Friday, April 28, 2006

In this episode, someone gets skirtless

Thesis statement? we don't need no stinking thesis statement. In fact, we don't need no. Period. I will go so far as to say that.... oh wait, Survivor is back on. Watch your back, Courtney. Doo doo doo (Jaws music)...

I used to love rude t-shirts. Now I just find them rude. I would wear most anything and dared you to read it. Now I don't even like... well actually I really don't like... Hilfiger or Polo or anything else written on my clothes. In fact, the last thing I bought with words on it was a t-shirt that says Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa Florida. But it seemed appropriate enough. At the time.

Calming. There was something about the spaghetti colored walls. Those would have to go. As soon as she could scrape together enough loose change for a few pints of paint- maybe sherbert orange and lime green or maybe just flamingo pink if she could only swing one shade- it would be like magic for her little shack. Just what it needed really. Of course as a blind Peruvian conch peddler (her cheerful lesbianism played no part in her difficulty, really), and a crippled one at that, Key West and it's winding back roads could be a tough place for scraping together loose change. Tight change. That's more like it.

The options narrowed a little because of that. She had 2 main choices. Learn to live with spaghetti colored walls or somehow learn to live with spaghetti colored walls. I mean, what is life on an oyster shell road if not a series of choices and none of them good? If the deep south were easy, everybody would live there.

She needed to go to town. She grabbed her skirt off of the palmetto scrub where it looked a little better than when she wore it, although she didn't look worse in it precisely, just not better. "Sorry, Miss Thang," she spoke, "But I have been warned."

She was going to get drastic on the locals. Getting drastic on the spastic, she called it, though it didn't make perfect sense. But you know... deep south... oyster shell road... everybody'd do it. She had wanted to go to stand near the street and yell, "Paint. Paint. My kingdom for some paint!" But, being as how they knew her as the off kilter lesbian conch peddler who just happened to be Peruvian and who lived, often skirtless, in the palmetto scrub, well, the whole part about "my kingdom" was not exactly generating the buttload of buzz she had hoped for.

OK, off my tangent now. It just seemed like the time for a little story. Now it seems the time for a cookie (we made white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies last night) and a nap. Gosh, to have the only responsibilities I shouldered in kindergarden. Sit straight, play nice, don't eat crayons. Except for the sitting straight part, all of that is easy now. Dang! It finally gets easy and now so much more is expected of me.

Got my interview with the Sheriff now. My six months of wandering in the employment desert is ending. 0900 in Ybor City. Be there or be square. Dress for success. Pity the fool. (Insert your favorite jingo here ______. )

Like the lamb lies down on Broadway, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Leests? We don't need no steenking leests.

Pardon the bad Mexican accent. Accents are hard to do on a keyboard. You got the gist, though, and gist getting is about all I could really hope for anyway. You know, it's all about the gist. Gist is the grist for the mill. And with that I've gotten just silly. Time to move on.

I dress all up in my Wacky Hut uniform today and go in to get it looked at. I'm wondering if it would be easier in traffic today if I wore my smokey bear hat while I drove. In the rearview I could be mistaken for someone to get out of the way of. Merging could be easier. Decisions, decisions. I did the math on the job yesterday and actually the money is not as bad as I first thought. In fact, the pay compares to that of the manager position I had at Lowe's (for a week until I allegedly disrespected my name tag, if you remember that) for hours that are also comparable.

Today the application goes back in to the Sheriff's Office. We will cross our fingers on it.

I have 5 new ideas for you. These are possible first sentences for the great American novel. You want to write them, but can't always get started. Ramblin' Ed can help. Here they are in random order:

3. "I've hit that squirrel probably six times, but I can't get it to fall out of that tree," Wanda opined to Kimberly while shouldering her grandfather's old single shot 12 gauge, "So let's go home and let me get out of this dang frilly dress."
5. "I don't know, I always thought cable TV would be, ummm, skinnier."
1. The night folded up into itself like a boy's first pocket knife and I thought to myself how a nice picnic of steak and butter beans, on one of those classic red and white checked tablecloths would really turn her on. Yeah, she'd be a veritable tigress beneath a pocket knife sky. I could scarcely wait.
2. There he stood, proud and tall in his starched uniform and polished shoes, like Dudley Dooright, if indeed Dudly Dooright had been a Bahamian traffic cop.
4. It was a beautiful house. Well, more a bungalow really. Against the lush green of the forest backdrop there was something calming about the spaghetti colored walls.

I have put a lot of work into the post today. I selected no less than 8 Dive By Trucker songs to share and discarded them all. Then I looked at Prine lyrics. Nope. Looked at writing my own, but just don't feel like it. I am going to enclose at the bottom a story/song by DBT. It is not lyrics in the sense of lines and rhymes, but it is such an amazing piece. To me, anyway.

The Three Great Alabama Icons Drive-By Truckers I grew up in North Alabama, back in the 1970’s, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth… Speaking of course of the Three Great Alabama Icons… George Wallace, Bear Bryant and Ronnie Van Zant… Now Ronnie Van Zant wasn’t from Alabama, he was from Florida… He was a huge Neil Young fan… But in the tradition of Merle Haggard writin’ Okie from Muskogee to tell his dad’s point of view about the hippies ‘n Vietnam, Ronnie felt that the other side of the story should be told. And Neil Young always claimed that Sweet Home Alabama was one of his favorite songs. And legend has it that he was an honorary pall bearer at Ronnie’s funeral… such is the Duality of the Southern Thing… And Bear Bryant wore a cool lookin’ red checkered hat and won football games… and there’s few things more loved in Alabama than football and the men who know how to win at it… So when the Bear would come to town, there’d be a parade. And me, I was one a’ them pussy boys… cause I hated football, so I got a guitar… but a guitar was a poor substitute for a football with the girls in my high school… So my band hit the road… and we didn’t play no Skynyrd either… I came of age rebellin’ against the music in my high school parkin’ lot… It wasn’t till years later after leavin’ the South for a while that I came to appreciate and understand the whole Skynyrd thing and its misunderstood glory… I left the South and learned how different people’s perceptions of the Southern Thing was from what I’d seen in my life… Which leads us to George Wallace… Now Wallace was for all practical purposes the Governor of Alabama from 1962 until 1986… Once, when a law prevented him from succeeding himself he ran his wife Lerline in his place and she won by a landslide… He’s most famous as the belligerent racist voice of the segregationist South… Standing in the doorways of schools and waging a political war against a Federal Government that he decried as hypocritical… And Wallace had started out as a lawyer and a judge with a very progressive and humanitarian track record for a man of his time. But he lost his first bid for governor in 1958 by hedging on the race issue, against a man who spoke out against integration… Wallace ran again in ’62 as a staunch segregationist and won big, and for the next decade spoke out loudly… He accused Kennedy and King of being communists. He was constantly on national news, representing the “good” people of Alabama… And you know race was only an issue on TV in the house that I grew up in… Wallace was viewed as a man from another time and place… And when I first ventured out of the South, I was shocked at how strongly Wallace was associated with Alabama and its people… Ya know racism is a worldwide problem and it’s been since the beginning of recorded history… and it ain’t just white and black… But thanks to George Wallace, it’s always a little more convenient to play it with a Southern accent. And bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd attempted to show another side of the South… One that certainly exists, but few saw beyond the rebel flag… And this applies not only to their critics and detractors, but also from their fans and followers. So for a while, when Neil Young would come to town, he’d get death-threats down in Alabama… Ironically, in 1971, after a particularly racially charged campaign, Wallace began backpedaling, and he opened up Alabama politics to minorities at a rate faster than most Northern states or the Federal Government. And Wallace spent the rest of his life trying to explain away his racist past, and in 1982 won his last term in office with over 90% of the black vote… Such is the Duality of the Southern Thing… And George Wallace died back in ’98 and he’s in Hell now, not because he’s a racist… His track record as a judge and his late-life quest for redemption make a good argument for his being, at worst, no worse than most white men of his generation, North or South… But because of his blind ambition and his hunger for votes, he turned a blind eye to the suffering of Black America. And he became a pawn in the fight against the Civil Rights cause… Fortunately for him, the Devil is also a Southerner…

Well said, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fun flies when you're doing time

Man, oh man. I am busy. I am in training from 0800-1800 for this job. Of course, as a nod toward traffic, I head out from my hut in the suburbs at 0600 and snake my way into the big city. It is at the water's edge, and my first day coming home, my instincts failed me and I got onto I-275 southbound instead of northbound. That immediately put me onto a bridge so long that there is a sign suggesting that you check your gas. Not sure how that helps exactly, as there is no station at the sign and no way to abort or U-turn. I guess, if it applies to you, they just want you to realize that you are screwed. Anyway I got to visit the beach near St. Pete.

I will be in a gun school Fri, Sat, and Sun and back in Tampa on Mon to apply for my license. A lot of hassle for a $10 an hour job that I don't expect to have more than a month or two. Oh well, even though I'd be willing to just kick back a couple of weeks and wait on the sheriff job, the bills keep arriving in the mail.

Got my uniforms, smokey bear hat, cuffs, holster, speed loaders etc., etc. no gun until I finish the school, of course. Now, as I mentioned, this is a $10/hr job. The chances of me even pulling my gun (except in a fit of rage at being cut off in a parking lot) is remote. Not gonna happen. the chance of me needing to re-load even once, much less twice, is even remoter. Me... cuff someone? Not likely, unless I (or possibly she) paid extra for it.

I finished up my assignemnts in Computer Applications (which is really MS Office Applications) but this period I have 2 doggone courses, so I still have 2 English Composition papers due. Luckily I have a blog and have been stealing stories I already wrote off of it. If you are stealing from yourself I don't think it is plagerism. Is it?

Finally, I have a friend who is trying to find some time with me to go into the studio and work on this song we have about half finished. He still travels internationally so his time is limited and I have already covered my lamentations. It's something I really want to do. Finding ime is hard.

I really loved the poem in my last post. Thought someone should say that. At least it's true. I am a big fan. Of me.

John Barleycorn must die out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Shadow Man

Shadow Man 23 April, 2006

When I walk it's so all alone
Echoed soles
Like the concrete sidewalk speaks
Telling all the stories
That I used to not care
That I used to put out there
Signed with someone else's blame

Just one more long walk outta here
It's not your call
It's not your fall from grace now
They're all my shadows falling through
The sidewalk cracks

Crosswalk, flashing red, but
it's my cross to bear
Streetlamps tear a swath into
this evening's air

And as I step onto the curb
Silence falls
The distance calls
And though I try to answer
It's a teardrop forms
and what to do
but shake my fist
and swear back at the feeling?

How you gonna hurt me more?
You think you can?
Do you think you can?
Do you think you might find mercy?

Never knew how lives and lies
So intertwined
Like the vines that cut the tree
Wrapping ever tighter
like a lover's embrace
Like a whisper snakes it's way
around unpleasant truths

If it's one thing that I'm sure of
it's I just don't know
I don't know what I wanted
I don't know why I even came
this way tonight

The neon buzzes faintly, but
shares no light
The streetlamps stab their points into
this harlot night

As I'm stepping off the curb
Your words return
To hurt so hot and burn
into me painfully
I had a wall
but now the wall has crumbled
I just shake my fist
close my eyes and curse the circumstances

So how you gonna hurt me more?
You think you can?
Do you think you can?
Do you think you might find mercy
from a shadow man?

It ain't in the plan.
Bye bye.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's all about having a plan

Words that can be mispronounced to make you snicker:

I don't speak Thai (which, actually I CAN say, "Pome pood passat Thai, mai dai.") so for purposes of this post, imagine that "taktaktak" represents a lively conversation in the Thai language. Now, hold that thought.

My brother has never been married. he's a good dude with a good heart. A little shy, maybe, but a good catch. It seems to me he has relied a little too much on women waking up one day and driving to his house to ask him out, which to this point has had disappointing results, but things could pick up I suppose. I mean, look at me... and I've been married twice. Hold that thought.

Asian women meet other Asian women. You could move up to the Artic circle and open a coffee shop and within a week your wife will have met another just like her. They must blend really well, as I never noticed the phenomenon until I married one. They are also pretty straight forward. For example:
Woman #1: My sister (cousin, neice, friend, god-daughter) is 25 and still not married.
Woman #2: My goodness! How can I help?
#1: Who do you know?
#2: My husband has a brother (friend, cousin, nephew. co-worker, accountant, delivery boy, etc.) who is single.
#1: His specs, please.
#2: Single, never married, works such and such, makes this much, rents/owns home, good with kids, fairly white teeth, got some gut on him, good guy.
#1: Sounds good. She'll take him. Help me set up a meeting.

OK, now back to those thoughts you're holding. You are still holding them, right?

Me and my brother are doing something or another in the garage. Wife, who was came out of the womb with a phone attached to her ear, was on the phone. "taktaktaktaktaktak taktaktak taktaktak," she went. "taktaktak." Then I notice, "taktaktaktaktaktak taktaktak 44. taktaktaktaktaktak works for the government. At the airport. taktaktak Owns it, but it is small, only 2 bedrooms. taktaktaktaktaktak Very nice... and polite. taktaktaktaktaktak No, never. But had a girlfriend before. taktaktak No, not now. taktaktaktaktaktak." (I am not sure why when they talk to each other it switches back and forth between Thai and English, but it honestly does.)

So I realize that someone is in the market for a man and Noriko just happens to have one handy. I look over at Bro and tell him, "Nong's finding you a woman. Here's the cool part. You need not be present to win." Bro smiled at that, and went back to whatever he was doing. You can't stop 'em and you can't help 'em along.

BTW, my next wife (OK, there will never be a next wife. I am certian of that. But work with me.) will be Chinese, simply because being fat and out of shape is a sign of great prosperity. My plan is to start a week before I leave on a diet consisting solely of creme filled doughnuts and Mr. Pibb. That should really butterball me up. Then I'll put on a nice suit, get a manicure and stand on a corner in Quingdao (the only place in China I've ever been before, if you don't count Hong Kong or Taiwan) and wait for the women to flock to me. While it may not be a perfect plan, it does seem simple enough, and pleasant enough, to execute. Of course, the honeymoon will likely be over once she sees the trailer.

Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I sympathize with kitty lies, too

I Sympathize With Kiddie Lies 20 April, 2006

Losses start to add up but at least you tried

And everybody knows this always been a twisting ride
The roses were a nice touch but too soon all fell away

We ain't hardly started,

couldn't call it a party

Maybe wait for another day

It ain't right, but it ain't sad
Shouldn't do like we did

But we bent what we couldn't have

I was calling in the cards

That were not in my hand

You were cutting off your shirtsleeves,

Gonna make a stand

Ain't youth just screaming in the wind?

What could be more wasted than that tattoo smell

Nothing much to say and still you wear it well

A rebel and your tennis shoes belie your mildest dreams

Call me sometime Tuesday

And we'll give it a shake

If there ain't nothing on TV

It ain't right, but it ain't sad

Shouldn't do like we did
But we bent what we couldn't have

You were smearing crimson polish

on your "justice hand"

I was counting off the flavors

at the ice cream stand

And youth was screaming in the wind

It ain't right, but it ain't sad

Shouldn't do like we did

But we bent what we couldn't have

Dominos keep falling

As mascara dries

What's the need for truth

Unless you went and bought the lies
Youth is screaming in the wind

Ummm, Ed


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No you don't

I would have come to a screeching halt except I was already standing at the counter. Once halted it it difficult to halt further, screechingly or otherwise. You know, a body at rest tends to stay at rest and a body in motion tends to wear leotards. That's the college physics I never took speaking now. I know a lot of sutff for a guy often referred to as a dumb ass.

I needed oil and some filters. I knew the place to get them. An auto parts store. I walked in, got two 1 gallon jugs of 10W-40 and an extra quart. Not sure if the GMC is 4 or 5 quarts and it's been 10 years or more since I did an oil change. Pretty sure the Pontiac will be 4 quarts. Do the math, that's 9 quarts, or... two 1 gallon jugs and an extra quart. Dang, I'm good.

Got the nine quarts of oil, a drip pan for catching it and the filter for the GMC. The reference book for filters goes up to 2005. My Pontiac is a 2006. So I went to the counter.

"Can you help me look up an oil filter?"
"A 2006 Pontiac G6. "
"It has a 4 cylinder."
"No it doesn't."
"No it doesn't."
"Yes it does."
"No it doesn't. They don't make them with 4 cylinder engines."

Then he showed me right there in the computer. But I had asked for a 4 banger when I ordered it from GM. So I went out and looked. Looked like a 4 cylinder to me. It only had 4 plugs. It was an Ecotec 2.4 liter. I went in and asked him to come out and look. He did. And he agreed. It was a 4 cylinder alright.

We went in and had to find the oil filter by looking up Pontiac vehicles until we found something with the 2.4L Ecotec. Grand Am. Nope. Grand Prix. Nope. Firebird. Nope. Sunbird. DingDingDingDing! We have a winner.

That's it. We found it. Got all the stuff I needed. Happy ending, right? We'll see. I have not yet popped the hood and looked for the filter. As I recall from my past dealings with Pontiacs, you often need to disassemble a large portion of the engine to get enough space for your fingertips to get some tiny grip on the filter to inch it off. So there is every chance this will suck. It might not... but it will.

Ed Abbey quoting Top Gun in my comments. Who'd have thunk it? I remember that movie had me so hyped up I wanted to join the navy. But I was already in, so I was thinking about getting out just so I could then join.

Like a combination moustache cleaner and tooth polisher, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back when I was good

MSI = Member's Satisfaction Index. Mine was high. Leave while you're on top, I guess. This is like the only proof I have. I'd have gotten a picture of me smiling and pointing to my name, but I had to sneak the camera in as it was.

Far right column, 8th name down.

Good morning. Thank you for holding and thank you for calling America Online technical support. My name is William.... out
Ramblin' Ed Posted by Picasa
A big thing and a little thing happened this morning. AI went off to war and I am again unemployed. Neither thing is particularly comforting to me, but at least I can enjoy a week of the latter. It is, after all, sunny here and I have a big old oak tree just perfect for sitting under.

Busy, busy times. Next week I start my new job as a Custom Protection Officer for Wackenhut, or as I call it, A whackin slut for Wackenhut. Sure, I know it makes no sense. But it is fun to say. Like "Onononopia, I don't wanna see ya".

On April 27 my application goes back in to the Hillsborough Sheriff's office and my understanding is that the Major will fast track it. However, I have come to understand that when dealing with the county, a fast track is probably more less slow than it is fast. Yes, it DOES make sense. Read it again.

I did a group project for my Marketing class. 5 of us, all on line, in 4 different time zones trying to use email and chat to communicate. That was not the bad part as the technology for that is mature. The other students were not, however. Mature, that is. So a typical day consisted of a lot of small talk and talking in circles and noting how "somebody oughta do something like this except I can't do it because..." and getting nowhere in the end. Another term for group could be cluster, which reminds me for an apt description that I could insert here if I were not such a gentleman.

Several of you made my week this week with some things you all said off line. I won't share that, but I will share this: Never met none of you. Care deeply for all of you. Is that possible?, you ask. Well, it is for me.

Not a snowball's chance in Wales, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A.I.'s post

Appalachianist 15 April, 2006

You heard the call and had no choice but heed it

Through long goodbyes and things still left to do

So you packed your bag and went through the emotions

Because it is and isn't what you want to do

A citizen, a good one, from the mountian

A soldier when the nation needs one, too

A friend to folks that's never even met you

A simple man that shares a simple truth

My friend we're gonna worry 'bout you leaving

Just like we're gonna miss you while you're gone

But we're way too proud for any sort of grieving

And we know we're gonna see you before long

It's a job you have to do. Sometimes you're needed

Because it isn't right to take more than you give

I don't pretend to speak for what you're thinking

Though you make it clear enough the way you live

And my friend we're gonna worry 'bout you leaving

Just like we're gonna miss you while you're gone

But we're way too proud for any sort of grieving

And we know we're gonna see you before long


There is more that this should say. But this is where I end it. It is important that it remains uncomplicated.

Send us tales from the suck. And keep you head low. As a navy guy I'll probably screw this up, but... Hoo-ah!

Grateful, out
Ramblin' Ed

Friday, April 14, 2006

Crooked path

John Prine wrote the line about "it's a crooked piece of time that we live in". John Prine is a personal hero because he makes words dance. If you can make them dance you can mesmerize me. It's really pretty simple like that. OK... shiny objects kinda grab my attention, too.

My cats do not agree with my rules for being outside. They let me know that. Often. However, if they follow the rules I leave them alone. So they maintain the boundries of what I consider proper feline outdoor decorum pretty well these days. The neighbors are having less and less opportunity to joke about my "running of the cats". The cats call it a compromise...for now. I'll consider it sucessful training. And we will maintain this somewhat shakey truce we have going on here.

Keeping with the "crooked" theme, and really, crooked is a pretty great descriptor, here we go. Something from the archives:

A Crooked Path You’ll Wander

Wasn't worth the time it took

Time it was just wasted

I've looked for what I'd like to find
And fruits of life I've tasted

You've come and gone with much disdain

Of everything I've stood for

What I learned is that your word,
Was not what you were good for

Makes me smile to think a while

On what we almost finished

On what we did we meant to do

And what we did we didn't

So if a crooked path you choose

A crooked path you’ll wander

From point to point and in between

Don’t make the heart grow fonder

Wasn't worth the time it took

Time it was just wasted

I've looked for what I'd like to find

And fruits of life I've tasted

I’ve called out names in dark of night

That lasted but a moment

Pleasures that burned hotly bright

And turned on kisses stolen

You've come and gone with much disdain

Of everything I've stood for
What I learned is that your word,

Was not what you were good for

So you can take the games you’ve played

Spread out across the table

And move the pieces where you want

Wherever you are able

‘Cause if a crooked path you choose

A crooked path you’ll wander

From point to point and in between

Don’t make my heart grow fonder

Colorado Springs / Yokosuka

Some hair over the rain's bow, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I have two places. One for everything and one for everything else.

So... theoretically, there are 24 hours in a day. Not mine, of course, but everyone else's. I am not certian how many hours are in my day. It is more than just a few, but comes up well shy of the allotted 24 that I am supposed to get.

I base this on the fact that I wake up and enjoy a leisurely cuppa joe. Next, I go out and warm up the truck. So far, so good. After that I basically run from place to place to place doing thing after thing (sorry for all the technical terms here). At a point I am to my last thing and have either finished it or abandoned it, and have come home.

At home I have a list of things I want to get done. Many of you have a list like this. It functions simply. You merely add a job to the bottom of the list, make a commitment to yourself to knock these jobs out soon, then walk away. The next interaction you will have with the list is to add another job. Sometimes you will stare at the list and shake your head. But then you move on.

Mostly I just wander around, getting ready to do something, getting sidetracked by a plant that needs watering or a weed (and another and another) that needs pulling, and getting sidetracked from that by a phone that needs answering or a cat that needs chasing.

I do, however, get my requisite 2 hours of prime time TV. 8 PM - 10 PM is not to be disturbed. Me and my tube. Back away, Jack, I will scar you up. Talk to me not. Bother me not. Request my assistance not. Hover in my peripheral vision not. Anything besides quietly watching with me, and saving commentary until commercials, is a not. Surprisingly enough, I will let you keep the remote. All night and all day even. Only thing is... don't use it except for volume control. I already have it on the right channel.

My clock is a pretty simple also. It is not digital as I am pretty much an analog guy. Instead of the twelve hours on the face, it just has these for markings: NOT YET & TOO LATE. That comes in handy. You know it is too soon to start something or that the moment has passed. There's talk on the street of a model that has a DO IT NOW position also, but that model, if it even exists, is not yet available in my area.

So anyway, my posts are sporadic. My poems are rushed. My stories are once again building up inside, and will eventually seep out of my orofices... and by that I am thinking ears, eyes and mouf, anything else you are thinking is just wrong... like lava down the side of a volcano. Eventually this topsy turvy will come to rest. It looks like soon. The pieces are slowly coming into place and stability is on the horizon.

So, for now, check in every so often. I have already considered shutting down the blog and decided against it. Whether or not that's your gain is debateable. Still, occasionally I still hit my stride and it would be a shame if I had no outlet for the musings.

Like I fell off the cliff and haven't hit the bottom yet, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Retirement, Mayport FL

Didn't get any good pictures. Got some, but none real good. Will post a couple.

Basically, got off work Sunday and drove 4+ hours north to Jacksonville. Went to bed. Got up and went to retirement ceremony. Shook hands with newly retired Lieutenant Commander, got in car and drove 5+ hours south (hit Orlando during Monday afternoon's rush hour), watched The Apprentice and went to bed.

Real post tomorrow for shizzle, Drizzle.
Tuckered, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Hello, Atus

Probably should be hiatus, actually. Will probably not post today, tomorrow or Tuesday. I am bailing work tonight and driving up to Jacksonville. I'm skipping work tomorrow to be at a friend's retirement ceremony, but driving home right after. Figure to get in late and be too tired on Tuesday to post. Just letting you know the scoop.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Actually, I am not a germophope either.

I am not homosexual. I am not homophobic (anymore). I am also not a homonymn. So... that does about sum it up. However, something happened this morning that I just cannot seem to put into any neat little box. It is more like trying to fit a pink ribbon shaped peg into a rainbow colored hole. And it has me perplexed.

I was watching Will & Grace this morning, which I quite enjoy. For some reason though, the thought of watching Brokeback Mountian appalls me. That is probably another psychoanalysis for another time, though. Anyway, something happened on the show that quite mesmerized me. Here I was, a decidedly straight guy watching an openly gay show with a heavy dose of "I want me some of that!!"

Huh?? I want me some of that? I wasn't real sure I wanted to hear me say it, but, though you may try to feel otherwise, you feel what you feel. The heart wants what the heart wants. And my heart definately wanted Will's mom's kitchen in her house in Connecticut. It was spacious. It was chrome and steel. It was vegetables and wine and huge food preparation surfaces. It was copper cookware and recessed wine storage. It was awesome.

Sure, Karen's boobs are large and bouncy. But there are lot's of boobs in the world. Sure, Jack cracks me up. Yet funny little gay dudes who can't act are not that difficult to find. But a kitchen like that, well, now that you don't see every day. Thank you Will & Grace for showing me that kitchen. You may now resume your regularly scheduled double entendre.

Not "out" out, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Dancing's why she came

Edges 6 April, 2006

It's all right there behind me

what I left before I went
Promises too slippery

to break, or even bend

I have never been much better

than I ever had the right

to be born again
out in the morning light

Lord knows what a difference
that a few degrees can make

Your soul melts down into your shoes
as your reasons slip away
I can walk you home past midnight

I can walk that line alright

The heat it makes
a love that lasts all night

Colors dancing swirling on the sun

Devil's taunted me since time begun

Gun in my back pocket.

Rose, she never knew no blame.

Dancin' twirlin' gypsy in the rain

Colors dancing swirling on the sun

Hot as sin again out on the run

The Devil called me out, I know

That Rose, she knew no blame

Dancin' like she came for just the same.

e's been a mask I've worn
Since I could say my name

With a smile that'll drop you where you stand

but it ain't nothing more than paint
I ain't never been forgiving
I ain't never been the type

to be holding when the morning breaks it's light

I think I've had me 'bout enough

of this hard, hard living stuff

Think I might just pick a Rose
and settle down
Like a gypsy, has her moments

Like a gypsy,has her edges

Like a gypsy,
makes a love that steals the night

Colors dancing swirling on the sun
Nothing for me but trouble since I begun

With a gun in my back pocket

Rose, she never knew no blame

Dancing. Spinning in the summer's rain.

Colors dancing swirling on the sun

The devil grinning at me everywhere I turn
Mercy! I'm on fire tonight

Rose, she never felt so right

Dancing because dancing's why she came


because dancing's why she came

Brandon, FL

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Be afraid. Be a tad bit afraid...

I like Netflix. I like Shania Twain. One more than the other, and likely not the one you suspect. Netflix is a good idea, though they should do a slight bit more QA on the DVDs they send out. But I do like being able to get Shania Twain and Lucinda Williams and AC/DC concert videos to watch without having to buy them. It's pretty good. As for Shania, she's pretty. Good, too.

We used to canoe. (Reminds me of a punchline: I talked to a couple of local girls, they said OK. But what the heck is a panoe?) We would paddle to the end of our backyard lake when we lived in NC. The other end of our lake was the far end of town. Not that the lake was that big. The town was that small. It was a papermill town out in the boonies.

Once to the other end, we would get out and carry the canoe across the road, across one lady's yard, up and over the railroad tracks and down the other side, and into the swamp. Same swamp/creek we used to swim in. There we would paddle and ponder and talk, and swim, and pee off the side, and fish, and ponder, and talk, and swim some more. Swamps truely are great places to be a boy. And we'd fish some and pee off the side, if I had not already mentioned that.

And sometimes we would take a couple of jon boats along and play pirate wars where we splashed and jumped and tried to sink each other's boat. Last boat more or less floating was the winner. They never sank completely because of the styrofoam up under the seats. Plus there was a pirogue out there chained to a tree. We'd bust the chain and use it too. Then we'd put it back. We never stole it, so we always wondered why he kept buying new chain for us to break.

A lesson we learned, and we got a pretty good scare out of it too, was don't canoe in a creek through the swamp after heavy thunderstorms. Because, although it seems wide enough in normal times, when it slips it's banks and merges with the rest of the swamp, well... let's just say that padling through the trees all looks the same. We got way off course a couple of times and thought we may be lost. Not a good feeling. Swamps are chock full of critters and we were pretty respectful (scared) of them all.

We would finally come out at a bridge for US 74 or US 76, can't remember which, and call mom to come get us in the station wagon. Distance traveled by swamp: most of the day. Distance traveled by road: three miles, maybe. Anyway, color TV was still new, cable TV was not offered and only Dick Tracey had a cell phone, so we'd hoof it off to the nearest store to call mom. About a half mile there and a half mile back. Good times.

So when I was older and moved to Florididdy, I still liked to canoe. We found a place where we could drive and park. The outpost would rent us a canoe, drive us way up the Alafia River to where it was literally a few feet wide and a few inches deep and drop us off. We could get back in a day, but usually camped out over night and came back the next. The Alafia was still pretty wild and there was very little development. So you saw woods, and armadillos, and deer, and alligators, while safely sitting in your canoe communing with skeeters.

It was for sure the best of times. We were young and lean and tanned and chock full of no responsibilities. We had girlfriends and gas money. And time to do what we wanted. We called it boredom, but now I know that boredom is getting up on a sunny day, putting on a button up shirt and heading for work... and walking right past your canoe and fishing rod in the process. That's a bone weary boredom.
So, while paddling down the Alifia we did routinely encounter gators. Mostly up on the bank sunning, but occasionally floating along like driftwood. Most action we ever saw was a gator eating an armadillo like a jalapeno popper. That was sort of unpleasant. And fascinating.

Our biggest problem was the snakes. You'd get to trying to navigate around a couple of obstructions... the Alafia was full of fell down trees and sand bars... and get turned sideways. Then you drift sideways up under and into low hanging trees. Aarrrghhh, you're getting twigs in your ears and spider webs on your face, and quite often, and I mean quite often, find yourself eye to beady little eye with a tree dwelling snake, causing you to perform a very unsightly and uncoordinated looking jump, hop, flail, push-off motion to try to put some distance between it and you. Mostly it felt like you were moving in slow motion and you were sure that any minute the snake was going to lunge for your jugular and you, lying prone on your back across two canoe seats like you were, were not going to be able to do a thing about it. We were not particularly brave for the outdoorsy types. I just snapped off on that.

There is more to the story, but responsibility calls. I have a dentist appointment and then a job application to drop off in Tampa. Au revoir, adios, see ya later.

It don't make no sense, this common sense, don't make no sense no more, out
Ramblin' Ed


Ms. Nordia Finegan,
I'd like to inform you of my decision to resign, effective the 17th of April, or sooner if mutually acceptable to both Stream and myself.

I have enjoyed my time at Stream and am appreciative of the training and opportunity I was afforded here.

While my main reason for leaving is to pursue a position in county government, my dissatisfaction with HISO hastened my decision. I took the position after calling Eli White and talking to him and being assured that this was a technical position and not sales. I was doing well as a tech, but have no stomach for sales, regardless of how it is presented. I am not saying I was misled, I am saying that things have changed.

William E. "Ed" Abernathy

Well, that's what it looked like. Never resigned before. Have quit twice and been fired once, but never put it to paper. I really hope they give me next week off, but with them begging for overtime from everybody, I don't see it happening.

There really isn't much to say. Not enough time to whip up some fiction.... The puppy was white, not white as in pure, but white as in not yet been around enough for the stains to start their accumulation, and playful in the way of the innocent of heart.... so that will have to wait. I am getting behinder and behinder in my studies this week and it's another 3 chapter snoozefest. I am carrying a 100% average in the class and I don't think anyone, my wife especially, understands just how much time I put into this. I work between 0400 and 0600 then e-mail it to myself at work where I work on it before work and during lunch before e-mailing it back to myself at home for some afternoon revision.

Anyhoo, nothing witty. Nothing profound. Nothing satisfying. Gators won, sounds like they won big. Well, good on 'em I suppose.

Time's up. Out.
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ch-ch-changes. Sorry, Dave.

Whole lotta changes. First my widdle job. I didn't mind doing tech support, other than it got real boring, real quick. But it was easy enough walking people through uninstalling and reinstalling software or turning off the occasional e-mail filter. Starting last Friday, though, tech support became secondary to selling high speed internet, and I don't want to be a telephone salesman. In fact, right now, I just don't do it. My main goal is to quit before they fire me so I can use them as a reference.

Talked to the Sherriff's Deartment guy again last night who assured me that there was a place for me there. As you may recall, as much as I loved the cigar tree, and even just the idea of the cigar tree, they held up my application until it had been six months without one. Cigar, not tree. I may be a peckerwood, but I am not a woodpecker. Six months is up in a couple of weeks and the application is going in.

In the meantime... what to do? Stay at a job I no longer enjoy? Change jobs for just a few weeks? Quit, but not take another job? To me, the choice is obvious. Change jobs, even if only for a few weeks. I'll go in on Wednesday and apply. If hired, I'll give notice at work that (the Sunday before whatever Monday my training starts) will be my last day. I don't know, at least I'll feel better. I'd like to just quit and take it easy a week or so, but there's the whole paying of the bills dilema.

Florida Gators and UCLA are in the finals. Oooops, sorry. Did I just yawn? Why yes, I believe that I did.

Dang!!! They keep assigning reading assignmetns 3 chapters at a whack. That may not seem like much to you, but between the near constant interruptions, and the fact that I start nodding off about every 8 paragraphs, it can literally take days to get through it. Guess I need to learn to scan the reading, but I am really trying to get the most out of it.

Been really mulling over the whole Bachelors Degree thing. I think I need to factor in my age against the degree and decide if it'll improve my employment chances enough to justify the student loan debt. Short answer: Doubtful. Hey, I like sunshine blown up my skirt as much as the next guy, but you always gotta be honest with yourself. And like I said a few months ago, honestly, I have a great future behind me.

That show MY NAME IS EARL is great. So is FREDDIE. I'm drawing a blank on the girl's name in EARL right now, only because I'm thinking too hard, but she's been in a bunch of movires and was a Maxim & Stuff magazine favorite. Anyway, she's originally from NC and she rednecks up real good for the part. She makes such hilarious trailer trash. Ah, yes...her name is Jamie Pressley.

I give you infection real good, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, April 01, 2006

So long, Opus. We barely knew ye

I believe I still really like The Allmann Brothers' old stuff. It jams and wanders.

I believe I understand spirituality. It's religion that has me stumped.

I believe Microsoft Word could quit trying to format for me. I have never used the "justify" function, and am tired of turning in papers with a random paragraph justified.

I believe I will quit this job, probably next Sunday.

I believe I need to find a quiet fishing hole soon or I am not going to be the same mellow dude I always am.

I believe pajama bottoms are stylish and comfortable. I also believe that wearing the pajama top is just geeky.

I believe that outside is a whole lot better than inside, that swimming in a pool is better than swimming in an ocean, and that "for richer or poorer" won't hold up in court.

I believe I really like my friends even if, like last night, I've only known them a couple of days.

I believe you are penalized more for being a legal immigrant than an illegal immigrant. I further believe that isn't right.

I believe in a basic goodness about things.

I believe I am finished for now.

It's only a feengernale, out
Ramblin' Ed