Wednesday, November 30, 2005

San Diego Supermarkets

Me and Ol' Bud used to do everything together. We were easily entertained, which is good because we didn't make much money, and in San Diego, as is probably true elsewhere but is exceptionally noticeable in Southern California, not having much money won't take you far. Won't get you much. Is not particularly effective as an aphrodisiac. So... that was us.

We would often go to the supermarket to eat. We loved Carl's Jr. burgers and Del Taco burritos, but those things cost money. I already said we wasn't rolling in the spending cabbage. So usually we would just go to Von's or Ralph's (yes, those are the real names) and get some queer bread and pressed meat. And please, before you get all "deviant lifestyle alert" on me, let me immediately explain that.

Let me start with pressed meat. You know what that is. The flat chicken, or ham, or turkey, or beef you buy to make sandwiches and cream chipped beef with. I like to think of it as little packages of moist, flavorful roadkill because it is such a flat meat. But also it is plentiful and cheap. It's about sixty cents a pack now, but in the olden times of this story it was twenty or twenty five cents. For the record, I preferred the chicken over the others. Followed by turkey. So now, if you're keeping score at home, put an X in the column titled POULTRY.

Queer bread is a baked goods that tells lame jokes like, "Remember, don't let your meat loaf." OK, OK, but I finally did work that joke in. No, queer bread was nothing more than our name for flour tortillas. I know exactly what you are thinking. Why, good man, did you give it such an awful name? Here's the story, as I learned it while living it.

We would get a pack of 12 tortillas and 2 packs of pressed meat each. We'd put a half pack of meat on a tortilla, roll it up an eat it, washing it down with as much spit as we could muster up (sody water costed money). If you do the math, and since I have my fingers with me I have already done it for you, that comes out to four roll ups each, or eight roll ups total. I KNOW... what were we gonna do with the four left over tortillas?

Save them for later? Nope. Guys don't do that, especially if they more or less live out of a Mitsubishi Mighty Max truck. A Mighty Max without a refrigerator, I might add. Throw them away? Nope. That'd just be darn wasteful of us. Feed the seagulls with them. Nope. Screw the noisy, aggressive scavengers.

We put them on cars, underneath the driver side wiper blade. Nothing vandalous. Just gently placed beneath the blade like a flyer for a tree trimming service. And we would be filled with a sense of great amusement. Then, with our pleasantly full bellies, we would drive off to begin the new evening's great adventure. And adventure that was likely to be so great that we could hardly wait to begin it. So we wouldn't. Wait any longer, that is.

And, as for the name "queer bread", it has it's origins in the first time we distributed the excess tortillas to other shoppers. As we were laughing at what we had just done, and the grandness of the idea, I exclaimed between chortles, "...then they'll come out and find them on their windshield. And they'll think to themselves, 'Goodness. How queer. There seems to be a tortilla on my windshield'." Since "queer tortilla" is not as melodious, we called it queer bread.

Did I already mention that we were easily entertained?

All that and a sack of boiled peanuts, out
Ramblin' Ed

Two things, before I forget

Thing #1: I think my that my wife is the coolest. I don't think I've mentioned that before.

Thang #2: Speaking of coolest, this is the coolest thing I've read this morning (Disclaimer: I have not read Calvin & Hobbes yet):
I feel the need to apologize to Dollar Tree.

So there, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Shaved. Cat. Football.

I have a pewter mug from 1976, the nation's bicentenial year. It has some special commerative artwork of some sorts. It was no good for cold drinks as it sweated more than a hooker in church. It was no good for hot drinks as the handle heated up and burned your fingers. But it holds a cake of shaving soap quite nicely.

I have an old, cracked handled, horse hair shaving brush that was my Grandaddy's. I don't have much else to rememberize him by other than memories. He died when I was too young to really understand the need for sentimental keepsakes. But I do have his brush. Once my wife tried to retire it and replace it with a "better" brush. Luckily, she has a sense of family history also, and quickly understood why there was no "better" brush to be had.

In the mornings when I shave, on the mornings that I do shave, I use this special kit. Might sound sappy, but I'm just that kind of sappy guy.

Just so you know, I kicked her butt in six straight games. It was so-o-o funny.

I thought the Steelers were going to do better than they did last night. Thought Ben might hold his own, at least for a while. I think Cower paid the Colts quite a compliment by gambling with the onsides kick to start the half and with his decisions to go for it on fourth downs.

I have 3 refrigerators in my house. All functioning properly and all powered up. Admittedly, the one in the bedroom is a one of them dorm sized units. Is it because I have that much food? Not really. It's because I have that many magnets.

Sometimes the game comes to you and sometimes you have to go to the game. Yuki, The Lizard Killer.

I just got offered another job. This time from Aerotek. It reads as follows:

We came across your resume and would like to get in touch with you regarding your skills. We are staffing up for an AEGIS retrofit project here at Port Hueneme in Ventura County California and need individuals with your expertise.

I have a friend out there in Port Hueneme (pronounced why-nee-mee, but derisively referred to as Port Who-needs-me by Pacific Fleet sailors) and he was working two jobs just to pay rent and buy groceries. Not inclined to relocate, especially to be poorer than I am now. I'll tell them no, of course, but it's still nice to be needed.

Heh heh heh, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What you never asked to know

Sure I write some stupid songs. You can't listen to John Prine and write death metal.

I am not politically correct. Nor am I studiously politically incorrect. I am more what you would call unfiltered between brain and mouth.

I don't care what anybody says about Jane Fonda, I think Barbarella rocks!

A lot of my friends don't know they're my friends. I am low key and stealthy.

I remember when, if your music was skipping, you just put a penny over the needle. See, that's back when a penny was worth something.

I used to date a blonde haired, blue eyed, large chested girl named (no fooling, this is true) Barbie. We had been friends for a couple of years before I asked her out (as in low key and stealthy). When I did ask her out, I learned that she had been waiting ever since we met for me to ask her out, which is how I learned that just because she looks to be out of your league by a long ways, you should still go ahead and ask. Anyway, the reason I finally asked her out? We had an Aerie Magazine awards dinner and I was going to be dressed up for it. I had a motorcycle. Barbie had a car. So I asked her to go with me and then I asked her to drive. Admit it, Ramblin' Ed is a smooth operator.

College basketball and football season are overlapping. This is the time of year that I go into sensory overload.

I used to tell the Filipinas that I didn't eat rice or seafood, and that they shouldn't either. When they asked why I'd get real serious and tell them, "If you keep eating that stuff all your kids will be born nekkid."

I had to jump the turnstile one night in Yokohama Station because the machine started buzzing angrily at me and ate my ticket. I hated to jump like that as it infers you are gaming the system somehow and I was not. I had legitimately purchased the correct fare ticket. Therefore I was very, VERY embarrassed when an old Japanese woman, with a stern, disapproving look on her face, walked up and handed me back my ticket. Apparently, I was trying to go through the turnstile backwards. Huh! What a goober-san.

One night, as the senior military guy present at a dinner with some officials from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipyard, I gave a toast in which I promised the full cooperation and support of both the navy and the federal government to something that they were getting started up. I didn't mean to, my mouth just kept talking on it's own. I think it is likely that I did not have the authority to do that.

I never remember to ask somebody their name when I meet them. I just get to talking and it goes from there.

I can't imagine I would ever get married a third time. That's kinda like admitting you don't have a clue that maybe it IS you.

I may never own Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or their Wish You Were Here CDs. I would like to, but I am engaged in a one man protest over the fact that neither disk, despite being 30 years old, is ever even the slightest bit discounted. I have been waiting since the '80s, so I have the patience. Wish You Were Here, by the way, is one of my all time favorite records.

I hate to shave, but don't think that I want a beard. I have thought of using Nair as a facial scrub butI haven't done it for fear of accidentally removing my eyebrows. Or worse, removing just one eyebrow.

Words are easy. I can glance at a page and see spelling and grammatical errors as if they were bolded or something. What I want to say, whether in a letter, a descriptive paragraph, or in song lyrics often flows out in my mind much like the plot setup at the beginning of the Star Wars movies do when they scoll upward and off into space. Often times, I cannot type fast enough to keep up, but I do not suffer from a lack of material. Numbers, however, are like little aliens to me.

My strongest belief is that I have business and you have business, and it is a full time job for each of us to mind our own.

How does someone get to the point of practicing canibalism? When does that start to become appealing?

Politicians should have 2 year terms, all of them, and cannot campain for re-election. Instead, their resume and voting record should be posted alongside the resume and voting record (if applicable) of any challengers on a government website to be voted on by the public in much the same manner that the NFL Pro Bowl voting is run now. There, done. You want to be elected/re-elected? Then concentrate on the job and post the strongest voting record and resume you can. Ramblin' Ed, problem solver.

I have ridden on an elephant's head. He did not seem to mind. The elephant owner/operator let me ride here when he realized I was finding the ride on the elephant's back way too uncomfortable.

I was afraid to go to Burma (Myanmar, I guess it is now) the time I had the chance. I take pause about visiting any country whose form of government is "secretive military junta".

I do still strive to traipse around the sub-continent some, starting in the south and traveling northward.

Like a fine Italian slate, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, November 26, 2005

3 fairly polite poems: It's always darkest just before the light comes on

Fair Weigher On 26Nov2005

I thought you might have known.
I'd hoped you might have guessed.
You know the way I am
You know my no means yes.
Empty rooms. Quiet places.
Storms aren't far away.
Seen the clouds slow rolling in
And soon will crack this sultry haze

I can be you
Or maybe be the one you choose
I've got a knack like that
I'm easy like an easy dude
Call me later,
just ring me on my telephone
Together we'll ponder
when going becomes gone

You've got the smile to dance
You've got the perfect tease
I used to hold it some
Did not ask you please
All I know is I don't see
Why you don't seem to see
Fools, like lovers going crazy
Hey, baby, toss me something!

So many years ago.
Back when our days were new
Our time was bright and shiny
Like we knew only truth
Still, we knew if it hurt us
It made us strong
But now that begs the question
What if we figured it all wrong?

I can be you
Or maybe just the one you see
When you squeeze your eyes shut tight
I'm colors swirled easily
Watch me fading
A thousand points of light you've known
So long you never noticed
the going become gone

I can be you
Or maybe just the one you love
When you've got no place to be
Or need ties that's thick like blood
I know it's darkest
just before the light comes on
But that's how it is
The going becomes gone.


Evening Rains & Carpet Stains 26Nov2005

Evening rains and carpet stains.
I fell into the room.
You were gone. A country song.
The cow that jumped the moon.
Cross your heart and hope to die alone
Snap your fingers if you know the tune

Flowers grow where heaven knows
There's folks that's never stood
Across the pond where red or blonde
The water tastes so good
Cross your heart and hope to die alone
Snap your fingers if you know the tune

I can't recall the reasons all
The steps, though, I can trace
A to B and you to me
I kinda liked your face
Cross your heart and hope to die alone
Snap your fingers if you know the tune

Evening rains. Old carpet stains.
I'm the fellow in the room.


A Place I Used To Be 26Nov2005

I can’t say that I have never done no harm
But I can say I’ve never been too mean
I tried to be all hard and tough, but I could tell
That was not my personality

I’d like to be your friend, but I could just be someone else
You met while traveling down life’s twisty trails
‘Cause I know that folks like you got so many things to do
and so little time before it all derails

You teach a kid to talk you gotta teach him how to fight
Things like that, you gotta do ‘em right
Now it don’t bear repeating what them people say to me
But I can close my eyes and sleep at night

I’d like to have you sit down with me underneath my tree
It would put your mind at ease, it never fails
But I know that folks like you got so many things to do
and so little time before it all derails

I walked down the road to see how far I had to go
From where I was to where I was to be
Passed a point in time that I used to think was mine
But now is just a place I used to be

I’d like to be your friend, but I would surely understand
If you need a little time there for yourself
‘Cause I know that folks like you got so many things to do
and so little time before it all derails

Yeah, so many folks like you got so many things to do
And there’s so little time before it all derails.


Onward through the mirrored frog, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, November 25, 2005


OK, OK. The title is misleading. I am sure the more acceptable term is "Whitefrican-American". Or, it might not be. Whatever. The point is, we had our little episode with one of the little thugs last night.

We were at the movies and had just finished up. My brother and wife had gone on outside while I stopped to admire the decor and make use of the facilities in the spacious, and surprisingly clean, mens room. It was here that I urinated, washed my digits (yes, really), checked the mirror, thought again about teeth caps and, to the best of my knowledge, did not run into any little white thug boys.

Upon leaving the mens room, seeing as how my "bidness" at the theater was finished, I headed for the exit. I spied thug boy, but didn't think anything of him as we're getting pretty full up with the little posers these days. The closer I got to the exit the more I could tell he was tying to nonchalantly get to where he could slip in behind me leaving. So, as I exited, I pushed the door shut behind me even as he was trying to hold it open.

"Hey, man!", he said to me, looking up through droopy eyelids. "Sorry. You don't get to go in that way", I replied. (I think I will replace curse words with the names of vegetables for the duration of this conversation.) "What the rutabega is it to you, man?" "Oooh, I'm sorry little boy. You don't get to talk to me like that." "Hey, carrot you, mother lettuce. You faggot." At this point he puffed up his bony little chest in what I assume was a threatening manner. So I just smiled and told him, "You might want to back down. Me and my brother will likely kick your spud if you come any closer." This was, of course, news to my very large, yet slightly pacifist brother.

Blah, blah, blah...he kept on posturing and I mostly just started walking away. Except when I told him I would spank him. But I was just fooling. I didn't really plan to spank him, just alluding to the fact he was not near old or big enough to be the manly thug he thought he was.

Now, one thing neither he nor I had counted on was the wife breaking free from me and scooting over there herself. "Come on, boy! Come on. Let's go. You want to do it. Come fight." She's a little fiesty. I've had to pull her away from street fights in Bangkok. That she started. Twice. So, I came over and herded her away from this one, too. Bro D says I should have let her continue. He says tuff boy would not have known what the heck to do with a face full of pissed of Nong to deal with.

I got her moving back to the car and he fell in behind us, shadowing us... again, I would have to assume in what he percieved to be a menacing fashion... at about a 10 yard distance. And he is a pretty lucky child. Lucky in that I did not let go of Nong's hand as she struggled to return to her previously planned smacking around of the foul mouthed, clueless child. Yes, he should thank me for that one simple kindness.

Anyway, that was it. Not a real great story, I suppose. But a pretty good moral, I think. See, I could have just let him slip in as if it was no big deal. I could have not shut the door. I could have just ignored his foul mouth. I could have decided to not get involved at all. But I kinda feel like we will end up with the society that we end up with if we don't make any effort to improve it.
I personally intend for my society to be a little more civil than that.

Counting flowers on the wall (That don't bother me at all), out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Left, left, left, right. There's a bell on the desk. Use it.

The first German lady I ever met was my good friend's mother. I am reminded of this story because I was telling AI about a friend of mine who went to jail in the Army, got out, and was promptly re-incarcerated by the great state of North Carolina on felony charges. While in jail he would write nice letters asking for help, for understanding and for friendship. He would push all of the right buttons. But what was written while he was locked up bore no resemblance to his actions when he was on the outside. Which reminds me, this was going to be about something I remembered about his mom.

I can't remember her name, or her height or what she looked like. But I will always remember being over at their house and being called in for lunch. We sat and she brought over this huge amount of food and filled our plates high. Then she set the pots on the table. I ate until I was fat and dumb, having arrived already happy, and pushed the plate away. She told me to eat up, and put another helping on the plate. I assured her I couldn't eat another bite and she told me I still had a plate to finish, that I had not eaten enough. "No, thank you, Mrs. R. I am stuffed." "You have eaten nothing, you must have more." "No, thanks. I'm full. Really." "YOU VILL EAT MORE! You must eat more." Well, having only met one German mother, I still think I have a pretty good handle on the propensity towards rotundity in the fatherland. Vurd.

Scored a 94 average on my TABE test today. It checked reading, math computation, applied math and language skills. Of course, it only tested to a 12th grade level, so it's not particularlly impressive. Still, I managed to divide fractions, something that I had personally thought was impossible. Like a camel through a needle's eye or a rich man into heaven. In fact, I believe that the only reason for me having opposable thumbs is so I can count higher than 8.

So now all of my pre-req's are done for the sheriff's deputy application. So, I am holding my breath and getting ready to set the first interview up.

It is better when you tell someone something and they get it. Sometimes they don't. I mean, if you're taking the time to say it, then it means something to you. Otherwise you'd blow it off, right? Why waste the breath? Then you realize the proverbial boat has been missed. That they're still standing on the dock, pondering what you said...and it ain't what you said. Do you go back and explain again? Probably not. Just let it be. Too bad.

Me and the wife drove to McDonald's last night about 10 PM to get her a Filet-O-Fish and a Big Mac. When we got there, this is what she asked me:

"Isn't there a curfew?"
"No, dear."
"Yeah, really."
"Then do these kids have parents?"

You see, the wife isn't numb yet to young teenagers hanging out aimlessly, acting the fool, and speaking loudly in vulgarities. She'd gladly swat their behinds and send them home.

This is the drool inducing ice cream of which I so flatteringly spoke of. In fact, I will enjoy a bowl tonight. I will enjoy a bowl the next night, too. In fact, if the good Lord (and Publix) didn't want me to enjoy this fine, fine frozen concoction, then pants wouldn't always come in another size bigger. Word.

Looks like fishing is on for Friday. My fishing buddy, DRE, has been working 7 day weeks for the last two months. We phone tagged each other every week or so to assure each other we were still among the living. Well, now he's back to five day weeks. And we shall fish.

Tis not as easy as before because your friend and mine, the land developer, has bought up, fenced off and ringed every small fishing lake and pond in the general vicinity with new homes. I just don't feel right about stomping across some yankee transplant's back yard to get to what was once a favorite wooded fishing hole.

And, for the life of me, I cannot seem to understand the fascination some people have for throwing shopping carts into a perfectly good pond. But apparently, many folks find it great fun. Or theraputic. Or something.

Still, there's some refurbished phosphate pits that are now good fishing spots, and I understand that there is a little known county park with some great spots to fish located right underneath the fire tower. And I got me some real worm friendly dirt here at the house, so there's a bit of savings there if we choose to go the live bait route.

Well time will tell, they told me
time will tell
And then what have you got to show
but the feelings that you've felt
There ain't no flashing arrows pointing
to where our tears have fell
No puddles at our feet
but time will tell

Time will tell, I'm sure
that time will tell
They said that I could not grow up
yeah, those who knew me well
Jim Morrison had tales
of polished chrome and answered prayers
And I'm praying with you, Jim
But time will tell

Time will tell, they say
yes, time will tell
just like my smokey thoughts that drift
off through the window sill
the nights, they seem so lonely.
Seem so dark. They seem so still.
Do shadows lie in wait for us?
I'm sure that time will tell

Time will tell, my lover
time will tell
And I see our love like grains of salt
spilled on the table there.
I don't even try to count them
nah, just leave them lying there
Makes you wonder can we make it, girl?
Well, baby, time will tell

----Barrio Logan, San Diego, June 1985

I've tried lots of things in my life. The things I liked, I've tried 'em twice. You've got that right. --Ronnie VanZandt

Not to be used near heat or flame, out

Ramblin' Ed

Hello, you stars of the rock n' roll

Not having a lot of time to blog, and today is no exception. I did a lot of stuff yesterday, including testing for a job that I do not want. But still, I took the test for a reason.

When I went to take my postal exam it was explained that this was for a data entry job and would entail 4, 6 or 8 hours of sitting and typing. At that point about 20 of the 80 or so people there got up and left. I almost did too, especially when I realized that even though I was going to pass this test, I was likely not going to pass the typing test.

Still, I pressed on. Why? Because I figured the more tests I take, the better I'll get at them. And I'm glad I did. I found two weak areas where I did not complete the whole sections in the alotted time. I got pretty far and I'm sure I passed them. But I did not finish.

Besides, I did learn how to take the test for regular postal jobs. A test I can take as a newly retired veteran. A test that is otherwise closed to the public because they had 20,000 applicants the last time it was offered. Will assuredly pursue that.

I've been jotting down funny things I've heard. I was gonna wait to find more, but will just have to use them now.


I'll admit I fall in love a lot. I nearly always give it my best shot. You must think that I'm the reckless kind. But I want a woman with a fearless heart just like mine. - Steve Earle

Sure, it's easy to point out my faults. It's a lot harder to shut up. - Homer Simpson

Oh, c'mon, it's not gay. There are guns in the room. - American Dad

Guns defend you from people with smaller guns. - American Dad

You can't raise children on amphetimines, barbituates, and alcohol. - Johnny Cash

Diamonds are diamonds. Stones are stones. A man is both good and bad. - Roy Orbison

Gracefully flailing, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Ha Ha dude post

I found this guy all over the internet. Never seen him before, so he gets a post. The picture to the right has nothing to do with this post, other than having ha ha in the title, but I used it because The Red Queen is a kokopelli fan and AI likes bears. So I kinda saw it as a twofer.

HA! HA!, out
Ramblin' Ed

If I were a carpenter (ant) and you were a lady (bug)

Can the Indianapolis Colts be stopped? It's hard to see how. So, if they complete only the second perfect season ever, couldn't happen to more deserving, more professional, or nicer guys. Good on ya, Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning.

By product of watching that particular game, taping it to watch at oh dark thirty for my convienence, was that I have a pretty healthy respect for Cincinatti now. I mean, to hold your own in a shootout with the Colts is something.

I got 77 of 80 correct on my Sheriff's Deputy exam. That's 96%, y'all. Good on ya to me. Of course, there is still another test, TABE (Test of Basic Adult Education) that I have to take, and pass, before I can even tender my application to the Sheriff's Department. I sure hope I get the job and it ends up being worth all this running around.

I test for the Post Office tomorrow night. Something else I hope goes well. It'll be my luck to not find the testing site. And, you know it is Federal Gov't by the way that they suggest you be fifteen minutes earlier than the fifteen minutes early that they require. Um..OK.

I think my favorite shows, and I'll list 10 because I have the time to play a little this morning, are as follows. Positions 2 through 9 are in no particular order, as I like them all a lot. Number 1 is the show I would choose if I could only watch one thing all week.

10. Survivor: Guatemala
9. The Apprentice
8. Family Guy
7. Desperate Housewives
6. Simpsons
5. America's Next Top Model
4. King of Queens
3. The Amazing Race
2. Fear Factor
1. Two and a Half Men

There you go. All sitcoms and reality shows. I'd like to like dramas more, but I don't. They're OK. Just not "must see for me".

The choices, as I see them are: One, the other, neither, or both. Of course, if there are more than 2 to choose from, then we're screwed. Know what I mean?

I left myself a note last night. I found it on the computer this morning when I got up. You know, it was good to hear from me.

Everybody has that somebody that they cannot say "no" to. Firm but fair with everybody else, but this one always has you doing something against your better judgment or making exceptions to your normally steadfast rules. I know. And you know that I know. For me, that somebody is ice cream. Just can't say no to ice cream. But read further, please.

I went to Publix and found this ice cream that looks kinda like swirled up bubble gum. It is the yellowest yellow, reddest red and bluest blue all swirled together. Drool inducing from the moment you pop the lid. It does turn into a blah colored gray soup as you go along, but this tale will not be taking us out to that point, so relax, Max.

The other night, it just looked so-o-o good. I could not resist. I tried to think better of it, but basically just put up a French resistance. I got a big ol bowl and commenced to munching. Mmmmm, cold. Mmmmm, sweet. Mmm mmm mmmm, creamy. Then I said something to the wife I never thought I'd say. I am sure I have never said it before and hope to never say it again. I said, "Hey, do you want to finish this? I scooped myself way too much of it."

Like a Neil Sedaka cracker, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, November 20, 2005

30 Wasps kicking 30,000 Bee-hinds

Been cruising the intrnet's backroads again. There is some strange stuff out there. These things caught my eye. I like to say that the opinions here do not necessarily reflect those of the management, but who am I kidding?

Here is about an interesting 4 minutes of your life: Wasps massacre bees.

Girls in meat hats and a giant lizard: Japanese Game (?) Show

Chinese dudes doing karaoke: BSB song

Live life on the edge. My foray into online Rock, Paper, Scissors (Thanks, Gunner) :
Results so far
You have won 5, lost 3, and tied 2 games
Statistics for 10 games

Random quotes:

"We squish each other's goodness all day." -- Melanie
"I wanna be her, then I could do myself." -- Adelaide, in reference to Angelina Jolie
"Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel." -- H.L. Mencken
"If ya got more feelings to express, get in the kitchen and put it in a bundt cake." -- Cotton Hill
"If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am right now." -- Clark Griswold

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I blog, therefore......what??

Yesterday you got a sea story and an old, old poem. Today? Who knows? It's a pretty good day. So far. Can't tell too terribly much by 0630 other than it hasn't started out particuarly crappy. Later today my friend from Mississippi is coming over. He was kinda bouncing around right after Katrina and was on his way down here when the officials gave the word that folks in his neighborhood could return and start working on the damage. He said his damage was extensive, but not catastrophic. Now he's going to be the first guest at our house. Queen sized bed, private bathroom. Heck, I even discovered a water hearter under the sink and now he's got hot water, too.

I don't know about NC and KY, but down here we've got the fire ants. Verily, they suck. They're not big and if you're not looking carefully you'll likely not see them at all. Never you fear, though. They'll announce their presence. First, the evil little goobers send some kind of telepathic signal out to silently (and treading lightly, 'cause you seldom feel them) cover a human appendage. Usually this wll be a foot and leg up to near knee. But can also be a hand, arm, buttocks, etc. It is seldom the face, but think about it. How many times is your face actually in direct contact with the ground? Other than when your wife disagrees with you as to the degree of which you were enjoying your conversation with the cute neighbor lady in the peach colored tank top.

So, to continue, after they get not less than 25 or so ants on you, could be more but not usually less, they'll start biting. And it stings mightily. And you commence to doing what amounts to a drunken hillbilly dance as you hop up and down in a staggered circle, on one foot and then the other, flailing wildly about the ankles and pants legs. While whooping. If you don't know that some fool has been standing in an ant bed and you are just driving by, well you just figure ol' Cletus done got himself ahold of some bad moonshine and you tsk tsk tsk him as you pass.

For an ant so small and speckish, they sure leave a big ol pus ball on you. Seriously, they leave marks and little scars. Oh well, I just go into my garage, mix up a deadly insecticide cocktail, and come out and carpet bomb the little bastards. Yes...I am a Florida homeowner.

My wife loves Star Wars and my brother likes sci-fi movies. So I have watched a fair amount of space movies lately. One thing I noticed that I found interesting. The keys are always in the space ship. If you are on a scheduled mission, are an evil warlord making a daring escape, are a kidnapped intergalatic monarch fleeing an evil warlord, or have been running wildly across a space station/death star/doomed planet that is about to explode, it does not matter. If you hop into a space ship of any kind you'll be able to fire it up and take off. As Yoda would say, "Nick of time in the just."

There is an exception to every rule. Today's rule: We learn from our mistakes.

I love this: We shall be remembered not only for what we create, but also for what we choose not to destroy.

After a brilliant film career, it's been quite a while since Pee Wee Herman's been seen. Too bad.

Quote of the day: Mama looked down and she spit on the ground every time my name gets mentioned. Papa said, "Oy, If I catch that boy I'm gonna put him in the house of detention." - Paul Simon

Dudes & Dudettes, YOU ROCK!

Like desperados waiting for a train, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Left Coast, USA

There used to be an old riddle went something like this: There are two guys. One, everything out of his mouth is a lie. The other, everything out of his mouth is the gospel truth. What one question can you ask them both that will allow you to know which is which? By the way, my theory that the answer is always five, or a derivitive of five, does not seem to apply here. Sorry.

So, as you know, I lived out on the West Coast for a while while I was a squidlet. A squidlet being, of course, a young squid. I think the term is not in common usage among the services, but is a frequently used term here in my house.

Right there at the edge of the city... the state... the country... heck, the doggone continent... was the ocean. The Pacific one. Pacific meaning gentle or passive, I would suppose, although the name is way far wrong in the winter time out far from shore. There's some ugly, ugly storms out there and it's c-c-cold, too. Anyway, I always thought it sould be called the Specific Ocean, because you're talking about that one. I'm usually ignored on the point. though. Something about it's already got a name, the maps are already printed, no one wants to be known as a Specific Islander, blah, blah, blah.

So we had us a brand new warship. We were the commissioning crew. She was squeaky clean and newly painted. We took off from San Diego with a group of about 18 ships. We all left in a bunch (or, if you are comfortable with the term, a gaggle) and in a bigger hurry than usual. Not a hurry really, I guess. But with a much shorter interval between departures. We got out past Point Loma a hair and just kinda loitered there in an unorganized bunch. Well within sight of the Russian spy ship... er, I mean fishing trawler that monitored such mundane things as the comings and goings of the Specific Fleet warships. So, from the git go, everything was more unusual and chaotic than usual.

We all finally started to fall in to a formation, and I was watching the ships cut and turn and weave and leap frog and all the other things that whip smart, hot dog navy ship drivers like to do. We were so slick and so slow that even I, the ever vigilant I, didn't notice for quite some time that we had drifted off from the pack and were starting to meander north. We never really got out of sight of land good. Just kept moseying north.

Later that evening, on watch up in combat, I found out there were actually three of us navy ships strolling north. Us, a nuke cruiser which I want to say was the California but my memory is a little hazy on this, and a nuke carrier. I also don't remember which carrier, as we called them all the same thing: Damn Carrier (or something close to that, anyway).

Anyway, we had got ourselves all intermingled in with the shrimpers and tuna boats, set a course that hugged the coast a lot closer than was usual, and had turned everything (radars, sonars, radios, etc) off or put them into recieve only. All except the commercial, off the shelf Furuno radar. It's for the surface picture which allowed us a navigation radar, and was not military frequency so we looked (to any nefarious people listening in electronically) like any other merchant, shrimper or pleasure craft.

This took us a few days, and when we got to about the Washington-Canada border area, we hung a left, still running darkened ship and in total emmissions control (still running dark and silent), and put the pedal straight down to the metal. We went screaming across the North pacific at a high rate of speed.

Now a carrier, as I suppose you know, is one humongus hunk of floating metal. And it carries about 80 or so planes and 5,000 people. It is not exactly a dinghy. But that doggone carrier, and her nukey criuiser, would have to keep stopping and waiting for us to catch back up. Now her true speed is classified, and I intend to honor that here, but I can say this. They can fly when they need to.

So we go barreling past Northern Japan. The Japanese, who had not been told about this transit, tried to vector some ships up to intercept us. We jumped all over them with our helo's, which allowed them to see it was the "baka gaijin", or "Crazy Americans". While that didn't help them to understand what we were doing, or where we were going, they knew we were warships and they knew we were flying so, like the cop that passes you on the highway at 100 mph with his lights flashing, they figured we had somewhere we needed to be. And be there in a hurry. They probably went home and turned CNN on.

Not long after that, and remember, we had kept our lights off and our electronics off for almost 12 days so we were more or less invisible, or, literally coming in under the radar, we caught an early morning fog and hid ourselves under it. We slowed down to fog bank speed and pulled up to within 10 miles of the coast and.... anchored.

A few hours later the morning sun started burning off the fog. When it did, the military establishment in Vladivostok, Russia was a might surprised to find a carrier and two cruisers just kinda sitting there. In the fatherland. Unannounced and uninvited. I think they found it rather rude of us.

We were immediately ordered to leave the area which prompted the Captian to have the grills brought up. All the while we were being ordered about, and threatened, and likely being cursed (as I am sure some security dudes were fixing to lose their jobs), we had the ship's band playing loud, the grills fired up with hamburgers on, and the crews lounging around the decks in shorts and t-shirts. And knock-off cheap sunglasses. And we stayed that way for three days, before finally leaving. Because we wanted to, not because you told us to.

Not too long after we surprised them they started sending planes out to buzz us. They would fly right overhead, really low. It would have been more intimidating, however, if the pilots hadn't kept waving at us with these big old grins on their faces. I figure they were happy we were getting ready to get some of their idiot bosses fired and they apprieciated it. But that's just my theory.

So, having accomplished our mission, which was, I assume, to show the Russians that we could, we went somewhere else. I don't remember where, but I'm sure it was warm, with cold beer and pretty girls. Yeah, just the place I liked.

People ask how you can stay in the navy, spending weeks and months at a time at sea. Because this stuff I just told you about is FUN. Never makes the paper. Is seldom even admitted to. But we did this kind of crap and loved it.

Remind me to one day tell you about cruising the length of Vietnam 12 miles and an inch off the coast and the "fishing junk" that put a machine gun round through the stereo in the Turner Joy's wardroom.

Oh yeah, I think the answer to the riddle is to ask, "Is the other guy the liar?" The liar will say yes and the truth dude will say yes. No wait, that wouldn't work out. Actually, I forgot the answer. Sue me.

Farewell to college joys, drink to the foam
until we meet again here's wishing you a happy journey home, out
Ramblin' Ed

June 1985... Doo doo do do, feeling groovy

Roses I Gave You

Let me take you down in a pool of tears
For a lonely swim through the long and wasted years
It's where you had my love on a silver chain
Where now only ugly scars remain

Just to touch your face through the morning fog
To speak your name, like I've wanted for so long
Let me take you down so you can feel the chill
You'll know exactly how I feel

I knew a princess, loved me like a fairy tale
Rode me down easy on those thin, steel rails
There ain't no place to hide when your heart slowly falls
through the cracks in the street as you walk

As the smoke dances lightly to a tune all it's own
And my thoughts drifting off to the women I've known
Like the cracked mirror, there in your glory I face you
In spiked heels. In flowing white cotton

let me take you on out an old road too familiar
to walk down alone with a woman a killer
Sure, the roses I gave you all withered and faded
Silent reminders in crystaline vases
of love I should never have wasted

California (maybe)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Joe Ely & Robert Earl Keene

Well, Some things are just worth waiting for. You want it every day, but you are forced to wait. Impatiently. All fidgety. Like having to anticipate a tall, cool glass of chocolate milk. When you finally get it, you take it slow. You savor every moment. You wish the pleasure could last forever. Interpretive chance Try hitting NEXT BLOG or I FEEL LUCKY, cause you ain't gonna find that here.

You know, for sombody who ain't working I'm sure a busy man. Mall pattern baldness

Actually, I started this yesterday, so any today mentioned is now a yesterday. And if I nose snare mentioned any day after tomorows, which I think is fairly unlikely, but if I did, they would now simply be tomorrows.

Today I went and took my civil service exam for detention deputy. It was easy, kinda. I took most of the 2 1/2 hours allotted because I wanted to read, re-read and re-read again every question. They say no one has ever gotten all 80 right, but I gave it my best shot. Molten art They were very simple concepts (add, subtract, multiply, count, tell time, read) but were laid out in some kind of convolouted way. I'll spare you the greusome details, but I was very slow and methodical.

My wife interviewed at Target and the interviewer said that they might even want to put her on a management track. She has a follow on interview in an hour or so. That's good. I kept telling her we probably needed to interview instead of dropping off applications.A penny for your socks I know they saw the address in Japan and figured she could not speak English, or work with dollars, or both. But I knew if she talked to a person during the process they'd see the experience she already had. And they did. Bridges? We don't need no stinking bridges.

Update: Wife got the job. Whoo-hoo, finally some money coming in. I took her to Waffle House to celebrate. I didn't even complain when she got TWO orders of grits. She needed khaki pants and a red shirt that was not a t-shirt. Ironically, Target didn't sell any red shirts for women except the 2 styles of t (crew or v neck).

I have always loved the Simpsons. It is one of the most subversive shows on the tube, though it can be kinda subtle sometimes. Well, maybe not subtle so much as sly. Now I'm starting to really like that show Family Guy, too. Far less subtle or sly. Probably why AFN never brought it over to Japan for us to watch. Memory exchanger It gets kinda crude. And just FYI, American Dad is pretty lame. Just because you're a smart alecky cartoon guy does not mean you're funny. No, really, it doesn't. Hire some writers.

Daggone cats were not near enough frightened of Big Mouth Billy Bass. You know, the singing mounted fish. I was expecting hilarity forbidden love....handles and what I got instead was apathy. Dang apathetic cats. And trust me, after only a couple of times that whole fish singing DON'T WORRY, BE HAPPY bit starts getting old.

I have been listening to a bit of Joe Ely lately. I'm a real sucker for them singer/songwriters. He can be a bit, shall we say, eccentric, but can also be real enjoyable to listen to. I loved this story/song by Robert Earl Keene. I was reminded of it because Joe Ely covered it on his Love & Danger album.

The Road Goes on Forever

Sherry was a waitress at the only joint in town
She had a reputation as a girl who'd been around
Down Main Street after midnight, a brand new pack of cigs
A fresh one hangin' from her lips, a beer between her legs
She'd ride down to the river and meet with all her friends
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

Sonny was a loner older than the rest
He was going in the navy but he couldn't pass the test
So he hung around town--He sold a little pot
The law caught wind of Sonny and one day he got caught
But he was back in business when they set him free again
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

Sonny's playin' eight-ball at the joint where Sherry works
When some drunken out-a-towner put his hand up Sherry's skirt
Sonny took his pool cue--Laid the drunk out on the floor
Stuffed a dollar in her tip jar and walked on out the door
She's runnin' right behind him, reachin' for his hand
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

They jumped into his pickup, Sonny jammed her down in gear
Sonny looked at Sherry said, "Let's get on outta here."
The stars were high above 'em--The moon was in the east
The sun was settin' on 'em when they reached Miami Beach
They got a Motel by the water and a quart of Bombay Gin
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

They soon ran out of money, but Sonny knew a man
Who knew some Cuban refugees that dealt in contraband
Sonny met the Cubans in a house just off the route
With a briefcase full of money and a pistol in his boot
The cards were on the table when the law came bustin' in
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

The Cubans grabbed the goodies, Sonny grabbed the jack
He broke the bathroom window and climbed on out the back
Sherry drove the pickup through the alley on the side
Where a lawman tackled Sonny and was readin' him his rights
She stepped out in the alley with a single shot four-ten
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

They left the lawman layin there, They made their get away
Got back to the motel just before the break of day
Sonny gave her all the money and he blew her a little kiss
"If they ask you how this happened say I forced you into this."
She watched him as his tail lights disappeared around the bend
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

It's Main Street after midnight just like it was before
twenty-one months later at the local grocery store
Sherry buys a paper and a cold six-pack of beer
The headlines on the paper read that Sonny's going to the chair
She pulls back onto Main Street in her new Mercedes Benz
The road goes on forever and the party never ends...

Ride a painted pony, let that spinning wheel spin, out
Ramblin Ed

Monday, November 14, 2005

Better to burn out than to fade away

For those of you who were not feeling old enough already, Neil Young turned 60 over the weekend. And,as a mere coincidence, I'm sure, on Sunday night Marge Simpson explained Neil Young to Bart like this: "He was a singer from the Sixties... like The Archies or The Banana Splits."

Quote of the weekend: "Do I want to ride a whatcycle built for who??" - Bart Simpson

I used to get asked all the time by the inhabitants of Yokosuka (Go ahead. You try... Yokosukians? Yokosukaites? Yokosukamanians?) if I liked Japanese food. Then they would look at me expectantly, patiently awaiting my polite response. I would smile and in my calm,international ambassador's voice I would reply, "Oh, I just love to eat Japanese... it's your food I don't like." And then I'd give them my best Godzilla meets the white devil smile. Good times.

I made a lot of mistakes as I went along and tried to grow up. And this will not be a real long bit. But I was thinking about it when I went to the school board offices to get a copy of my high school transcript for my sheriff's job application. This is going to show that I was a below average student, I was often a truant, I quit and went back, graduating 2 years later than I should have. Yep, it's all gonna show.* But what can I say? I know that by running head first into a lot of unyielding brick walls, sometimes repeatedly, I learned lessons and truths that I never will forget. And that have served to make me a patient, determined, and live and let live kind of guy. Sure hope I get a chance to explain that.

I posted this as a comment on Gunner's site. By the way, if you ever want a quirky site full of gun news, political discourse and the most eclectic selection of diversionary links available, then go to visit his site. It is one of the select few listed in my link field. And the boy keeps it all G-rated, same as me. Or same as I try to, anyway. I had just taken a quiz that pegged me as a political centrist, suprisingly with a slightly leftward leaning (who knew?) and I was adding my two cents to the comment chain. I noted thus:

"I think all drugs should be decriminalized for adults. In fact, the legislation could be on the same bill that would decriminalize shooting a drug addict who was trying to steal from you."

My thinking is that self destruction should be one of the inalienable rights, as it is never good to legislate against mother nature's natural selection process. Down here in Florida we already got rid of helmet laws for adult motorcyclists, which should serve to thin a few more of the foolish from the herd than the law allowed before. So, those inclined to slink in back alleys and flop houses to pump junk into their bodies should be allowed out into the open. It'll speed up the process. And maybe if the devestating effects of it on the body are more in the open for more people to see, it may serve as a sort of anti-drug message in it's own right. What is it they say, TRUTH: the anti-drug? But since some junkies will refuse to die on time, and most if not all will steal to finance their habit, there will need to be a provision in the law allowing us to shoot the morons. OK, just a thought from a newly discovered leftward leaning centrist. Again, who knew? And I always thought I was a slightly right of center libetarian.

BTW, here's my quiz results: Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%. Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 80%. (Please note: Scores falling on the Centrist border are counted as Centrist.)

Next... my home. Tampa is weird right now. I think it is really a city in flux as it was always a rather quiet, smallish town but is now experiencing an explosive growth rate.

I am in a pickle, really. I am a down home, little redneck boy at heart that likes pond fishing, live oak trees, livermush and sitting in the front yard with a cigar and talking to the neighbors as they walk past. On the other hand, having far right wingers, far left wingers, Jews, Christians, Agnostics, Hindus, Bhuddists, Yankees, Red Necks, old, young, in between rock n roller with a bluegrass bent all rubbing elbows all the time is kind of mentally stimulating. It's damn sure not real homogenous around here. We got the flag waving politicians and the clueless politicians. For example, when the city council in Tampa learned that ethics laws were keeping them from accepting some of the more desirous freebies from developers and carpetbaggers and the like, they all voted to change the ethics laws! Even in a snake pit like Hillsborough County, that didn't go over real well. So, here are some things from today's paper concerning Tampa trying to decide on a new motto. I think numbers one and nine are best with an honorable mention to number six. Enjoy:

1. Tampa: What happens here stays weird
2. Tampa- It has culture, it has vultures- a feast for the senses
3. Tampa: Redneck Miami
4. Come to Tampa. It's cheaper than Orlando
5. Visit Tampa. We're Tennessee's Riveria
6. What happens, when your wife thinks you're at a convention in Orlando, stays in Tampa
7. Tampa: City of the jammed
8. Tampa: Where the good life gets bitter
9. Tampa: Hold your breath long enough and it goes away.

Won $25 on a scratch off ticket today. Considerably less than the $20,000 I was going for, but when all is said and done, a $21 profit.

Please dispose of properly, out
Ramblin' Ed

* Or maybe not. Actually, I really don't know what's on a transcript.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

You can't blame everything on bums and squirrels

Well, well, well. We survived the holiday. It was a lot like any other day except without mail service. So Kim, I take back everything I said as I repeatedly checked the mail box before realizing that. It's not your fault. I blame the government.

I got invited to test for the post office. I even got a sample exam to help me prepare. I'll go test and all that. But I'm still applying to the sheriff, too. And if GE calls, well, I'll interview with them also. I'm going to continue to put irons in the fire until somebody puts me to work.

I have a 1997 GMC pickup. Started putting my first aftermarket accessory on it yesterday. A step for the passenger side. Never needed it before as I wasn't toting around too many four foot tall women. But now I am. And as fun as it is to watch her trying to get up into the passenger seat, I'm gonna put her in a step.

Of course, the term "universal" means it will fit everybody and everything except the particular model that YOU have, Ed. Broken drill bits. Skinned knuckles. Harsh words for the instruction writer's mother (and, on the reverse side, the instruction writer's madre). Good grief, it's two metal screws at the top and two bolts at the bottom. Finally got the screws in, but the bolts are another story. Mostly because at eight inches between chassis frame and sheet metal, I can't manuver a drill in to make the holes. I am NOT one to work with his hands and I have never lied about that.

I just learned that a cat will sit there through a pretty nasty fart. Never knew that before. Seems he blinked a few extra times, but that might just be because I was looking at him and laughing. Like the t-shirt in the mall said, LOVE STINKS.

I don't know if you could tell, but every one of the pictures yesterday was taken either in my garage or within about 10 feet of it. I know, because the grass was wet and cold and I only stepped off of the driveway once, to get the closeups of the cigar tree fauna. Ooooh, I lie again. The dark man photo was farther than 10 feet.

Yesterday was one of my less exciting days. This is what happens when you hang up your Travelin' Ed hat. I returned a mower to my brother, came and got the wife and we went to Wal-Mart for pillows, a plastic container for cat food, and another cupcake pan. But wait, there's more.

From Wal-Mart to Sally's Beauty supply where we bought a case for our barber shears and a plastic neck apron for when you're getting a haircut. I know... thrilling stuff. But we were just getting started, believe you me. Next we zipped back down the road to the laundry mat and washed all of our comforters. And dried 'em, too! Bet you wish you'd tagged along, especially when you find out we window shopped an Army-Navy surplus store while the blankets washed.

No, no, no. The excitement does not end there. We came home and filled space bags with clean comforters, towels, pillows and even socks. Then we sucked them airless with the vaccuum cleaner and I lovingly placed them in rows beneath the guest room bed.

And to think I used to spend my days in warm, tropical locales, eating fine food and sipping cold drinks. I used to wake up in the Caribbean, in Central America, or in Asia, in a one to five star hotel (sometimes less, never more) with a pounding in my head, a new friend in my bed, and just enough of last nights dinner on the dresser top that I didn't need to go out for breakfast. I have the t-shirts to prove it. Unfortunately, though I held out for a while, the pictures had to be destroyed. I knew Travelin' Ed, and you, sir, are no Travelin' Ed.

Oh well. We must move on.

Heard Christmas music most of the day yesterday. The laundry mat had Montel on. At least he is easier to ignore. Could have gone for more of that show Divorce Court, but one doen't fool with the television in a place full of trailer park people.

Armadillos should probably avoid roadways. Just a thought.

Paper or plastic?, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I am a dark man

I am indeed a dark man and I have a pretty long post in me today. I am struck by how seldom I have a rant in me, though. One of them things, I suppose.

Lots of pictures and stuff. A real variety pack, if you will. Been busier than you can shake a stick at lately, what with the job search, the interviews, the apparent need for me to finish everything the wife starts, the yard work and helping the occasional widow lady with a sprinkler problem. Also, twice we have set up the garage for a big ol' Thai cook camp and made satay the old fashioned way. Almost. They should probably be cooked over a habachi or cut in half cooking oil can, preferrably next to a busy street (for that faint trace of bus exhaust that gives the meat that special something in it's flavor) but all the Rambler here has is a George Forman indoor/outdoor grill. We muddle through. Besides, some of the satay we have passed throughout the neighborhood has started to come back in the form of soup, cake and key lime pie. Can't beat that with a stick. So, since it is a holiday and you should not be at work today, pour yourself two fingers of the good stuff and light 'em up if you got 'em. This will be a long read.

Well, don't it always start with the feets? Say you find yourself at point A. All the cool, happening stuff is at point B. Your ex-wife is at point C. What do you do. Ramblin' Ed suggests you depart the dreary point A using your feet to motivate on over to point B and send a card with your regrets to point C. Just a suggestion and your results may vary.
This pine tree just speaks to me. It more or less says "Welcome Back". Click and enlarge it and you will find it has character. I think the houses in the picture give the tree a sense of defiance in that it still stands, crooked with age and gnarled from rough times despite all the "progress" swirling around it. I call him "The Old Man" and he calms me mightily.
Grapefruits are for selling on the side of the road to folks with Ontario plates. Prefferably while the nose of said vehicle is pointed northbound. Oranges are for your own personal enjoyment. I got two trees and I am stoked.

Not all music is truth. Some is just crap. But a good singer songwriter with the road dust still caked on his shoes often speaks it. The rougher the road, the simpler and more profound the truths. That's my take on it anyway. Billy Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe. Just try and argue with that. Listen closely to the Drive By Truckers and you'll find your own misadventures chronicled in their songs. or at least misadventures you had always wanted to have. Either way. Sometimes the truth isn't neat and pretty. Sometimes it can be downright profane. So what? Don't sack it up til it knows how to behave in prime time. Just turn on the camera, tap your feet to the beat, and let the music play.

As Crystal Gayle used to sing, "Don't it make my green thumb brown". This pitiful fern might be doing better if the conch shell had some drainage. Or maybe it's just trying to piss me off.
I think these were just meant to be decorative, but my goodness they pack a kick. I love nothing more than to pause in my cooking, go outside for a handful of peppers, and use them for seasoning. I just does not get fresher. That's why I have always loved an herb garden just off the kitchen door. Makes you feel like you're back in the old country, maybe Tuscany or something, cooking the most delicious fresh food available. At least it does for me. But I also wear an apron. Draw your own conclusions.
OK, these just made good pictures. I took four. I posted two. Sounds like a compromise to me.

David Allan Coe has a line in a song that sums him up pretty good. It goes, "... and at twenty-three, I grew up to be that yankee's rebel son." If you're drawing a blank on DAC go google him and also google "the mysterious rhinestone cowboy". Talk about somebody being his ownself.

29 June, 1983. I was twenty three and a half. My thoughts:


Oh, dear Melissa
I have a sad heart as I write you this
We got underway from 'Frisco Bay
and we set sail for a foreign land today
It's so far away

Oh, sweet Melissa
Now I fear what we plan to do
For this ship has guns, and mother's sons
out to prove a certian righteousness of heart
the night looks so dark

And the Captian says that freedom's path's a long way down
sometimes guns must sound.
I've looked into the eyes of those he says we fear
I saw no malice there

The sunshine seems peaceful
The sea is like crystal now
And I don't understand how that small speck of land
brings a giant to her knees with just her hands
I just don't understand

I hear now the thunder
I feel the ship shudder
I smelled the smoke as the big guns spoke
Think I can almost see the blood soaking the sand
I almost can

Killing seems so clean when you're this far away
It's just your job they say
No faces to behold. No blood. No children's pleas.
Vengence rides the seas.

Death rides a white horse.
No, death rides a grey machine
Our path must be right, for we have the might
to ensure our candle burns forevermore
I can't take no more

Melissa, I've killed, you know
Never screamed in my sleep before
But at night in my dreams I can see the flames
My rack is a trap and I can't fight back
And the deck is wet with the tears of my fellow man
who died at my hand

My sweet Melissa
tonight as we sail the seas
on an eastern course for our homeland's shores
there's glory in my brother's eyes tonight
but I lost my fight

Put a light on in your window for me, won't you please?
make warm your bed for me.
Tonight you'll have to hold me like a frightened child
help me ease my mind

Melissa, I'm afraid of war
Never want to go fight no more
Call me less than a man, take me by the hand
but I love, and a lover cannot kill, I fear
Melissa, my dear

No more can I kill
Melissa, my dear


Now you know I used to ponder some heavy stuff. Luckily, I never had to see how I would react to a shooting war. How would it have changed me? I just don't know.

I am a big proponent of places to sit. Places to talk. Places to ponder. This is my garage. I am also a proponent of a clean garage that you can park your car in, although some folks think of their garage more as a giant walk-in closet that should be filled to bursting with crap. To each his unenlightened own, I guess.
Mornings creep gently in. How can it not be a great day to be alive? Doesn't this shot just say to you, "Screw it all. Let's get the jon boat and go fishing."?
Starting to get a little ambiance around the old cigar tree. I'm not opposed to looking at a neighbor's yard and saying, "Hey, can I have some of those?" People who love to garden also love to share their garden. Word.
These are my ferns and I imagine that they are pretty tired. See, these are called "resurrection ferns". They hang around (literally) all brown and grey and dead looking most of the time. Then, a few hours after a rain they're all perky and lush and green. For a day. Then it's back to brown, grey, dead hanging. I like green, at least when it comes to my plants. So I water them every day. That's why I know they must be getting tired. They're sprinters and I put them in a marathon. Like a fat boy loves his cake.

Welcome to my home. Slip off your shoes and stay a while.

Before we get to the pictures, just let me say this. I was thinking about something yesterday. You think about it, too. Come as you are. Yep, that's it. Come as you are. How eloquently spoken. How simply perfectly put. Come as you are without airs, without pretenses, without misgivings. You are who you are and we'd like you to visit. Like an old, weathered grey front porch with an even older wooden rocking chair, it is so inviting. How could you not? Come as you are.

Konichiwa. Prease step inside. I hope you will find it comfortable.
A little whimsey as you pass.
So glad you could make it. So... Charades or Twister? You pick.

You always gotta have a good coffee cup. I guess you don't always gotta set it on your new car without a coaster. But that's me. I live life on the edge. For I am a dark man.
I never dreamed I'd have an AF sticker on my car. Never. Of course, I also never dreamed I'd be depicted on the internet, reflected in a windshield wearing only my pajama bottoms.
Besides coffee cups, a good ashtray is good to find. This is my second favorite as it has a stain that, if you sit still and look closely enough, will remind you of a few Hong Kong nights. My favorite ashtray? It's nondescript, really, but is made for holding a cigar without putting it out. Hey, it could be worse. I could be one of those arrested development dudes with a beer can collection.
Another good mug. By the way, all of my coffee cups get used. None are just for show. It wouldn't seem proper.
OK,OK. So I'm turning into a cat lady. But cats crack me up and I like to laugh.
And finally, for AI, enlarge the picture and read the bumper sticker. My friend, I leave you with this quote from a true southern troubador:
Ain't about my pistol
Ain't about my boots
Ain't about no northern drives
Ain't about my southern roots
Ain't about my guitars, ain't about my big old amps
"It ain't rained in weeks, but the weather sure feels damp"
Ain't about excuses or alibis
Ain't about no cotton fields or cotton picking lies
Ain't about the races, the crying shame
To the doggone rich man all poor people look the same

Don't get me wrong
It just ain't right
May not look strong,
but I ain't afraid to fight
If you want to live another day
Stay out the way of the southern thing

Ain't about no hatred
better raise a glass
It's a little about some rebels
but it ain't about the past
Ain't about no foolish pride,
Ain't about no flag
Hate's the only thing
that my truck would want to drag

You think I'm dumb, maybe not too bright
You wonder how I sleep at night
Proud of the glory, stare down the shame
Duality of the southern thing

OK, I'm spent. Outta here. Just play the doggone music.

Ramblin' Ed