Saturday, January 27, 2007

A procession of dreamers and clowns

David Brenner is talking on the country radio station this morning. I always liked him (and Gary Muledeer). Still, it strikes me as a bit odd.

We're headed up to NC tomorrow. Wednesday, when we fly back, we're bring a load of vittles home in our carry on. Livermush, of course. (Livermush Link) I feel like a smuggler. Like a mule. Which is funny because I can go for days,or probably weeks, without saying the word mule and yet here I have used it twice (thrice if you count this explanation) in just a couple of sentences. Mundane stuff cracks me up.

OK. It's tomorrow and we're flying up today. All the pre-trip stuff is done:
1. Cat sitters: Check
2. Dog to Brother's house: Check
3. Bags packed: Check
4. All the laundry in the house done: In progress
5. All floors swept and swabbed: Check
6: Bills paid and stacked neatly to mail a couple days after we return: Check

Nope. I don't understand numbers 4, 5, and 6 being part of the preps for a two day business trip either. But they are. Be more like me. Just accept it.

I think the temp may dip into the 30's the next night or two. The weather people on the news are all a'twitter. I lost some small fruit trees last year on the ONE night of the winter it got below freezing. I think the temp will stay just above freezing, but just the same, I wish I wasn't going to be gone. I'd like to drape a sheet or put a bucket over them. Guess I'll just have to hope for the best. I may never be the mango man that I aspire to be, though.

OK, let's finish up my little fantasy from when I was 19, shall we?

Part 1: The Winterland April 1979

My friend, do you believe in snow?
Faster horses in the rodeo?
Cotton candy on your hands?
The shyster tactics of another man?

Did you run and did you hide
from the prying eyes of the man inside
From paranoia stalking slow
The tell tale tracks there in the snow

Their eyes are everywhere it seems
There's hints of Heinlein in your dreams
Chasing, racing through your head
You feel you'll drown beneath your bed

It's fear that makes you rush the walls
Pounding, praying they will fall
A mix of blood and sweat, you know
there's another foot of fresh, white snow

Your dreams harrass, there's no relief
There you stand in disbelief
With no salvation anywhere
The faster horses stand prepared

The horses know the way to go
their hoofbeats muffled in the snow
down winding, long forgotten paths
can you sort out the aftermath

While stars avoid the threat of night
to turn their backs on one last fight
A newfound friend? A deadly foe?
Perhaps a vestige of the snow?

Your stallion stops and fades from sight
your nightmares gather for the fight
No sanctuary. No place to go.
Do you, my friend, believe in snow?

Part 11: Jesse May 1979

Jesse James is out there somewhere
Burning out a desperate rage
Surviving like a desperado
and dying like a man his age

Jesse still knows all the stories
Songs of life's own sweet refrains
A slowly sinking road to glory
A blood red trail across the plains

"When I was young," he told me slyly
"My wits were sharp as any blade.
I played my hand, the cards were with me.
Or maybe it was me got played."

Jesse James is out there somewhere
Solitary in the haze
It's the poets added all the romance
To dying like a man his age.

Part 15: The Final Scene (A love Story) May 1979

Together we've loved for a lifetime
never worrying much about names
Never saying I Love You (the cause of all grief)
Writing our wrongs in the rain

Such a love we found as we wandered
trapped inside somebody's dreams
Such beautiful beggars, such a beautiful game
and we lived through the Sixties it seems

So let's ride through the streets with a jazzman I know
let's take our parade through the sky
We shall lead our procession of dreamers and clowns
After all the old jazzmen have died

Bet the black girls will sing as the black girls will do
And the boys have a look in their eye
the streets will be cleared for a showdown at noon
Yeah, the girls will be singing tonight

Like the ghosts of a lost generation
every song, every whisper the same
trekking through life like the gypsies we knew
never burdened with each other's names

Together we challenged a lifetime
with our glass of fine wine and two straws
Never saying I Love You (the cause of all grief)
Since we'd lived through the Sixties and all.

Like a love affair I'd hoped to write, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Civilian Electronics

So there I was, looking at the back-up server when I realized, "This is kind of a mess!" And yet, it seems to warm the cockles of the engineers' hearts. I mean, you know, if engineers even have cockles and hearts.

The knee bone's connected to the leg bone, out
Ramblin' Ed

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Once in a Lifetime

You can only say this once, so I'd better do it today:

Four score and seven years ago... I was born.

To those of you who have already wished me happy belated birthday, I converted them. You were not late, the party was early.

Shout, shout, work it on out, out
Ramblin' Ed

The Dreams post

I dreamed I had a car accident. I have dreamed I was burned. I have dreamed I was poor, was fired, and was lost at sea while swimming. I dream about bad luck.

When I was a kid, I used to dream a lot about exploring and finding a cave laden with treasure which I am sure was influenced by an episode of the Little Rascals. Or girls. I dreamed about them a lot and an argument could be made that it was just a different version of the treasure cave dream, although that was long before I realized that the treasure cave came with a mind of it's own and a tendency to talk through basketball games.

So what do all the bad luck dreams mean? Don't know. I am sure it could mean that my good fortune and relative prosperity are things that I fear I could lose. Or perhaps I feel I don't deserve them. I don't know. It could just mean that brown is my dominant color and I didn't get enough bananas as a child. But... I did eat a lot of bananas back in the day, so that hardly seems to be the problem.

Nope, I'm a silver lining kind of guy and not given to moping and goth rock. I look at the dreams as a chance to feel horrible and forlorn, as a chance to hit the bottom with no hope of climbing back up. And that's good?, you ask. Well yeah. 'Cause then you wake up, shake the cobwebs off of your brain and realize, "Hey, a minute ago I was in the hospital dying from inoperable nasal cancer. Now I'm in bed at home in my PJs. AND I STILL HAVE MY WHOLE NOSE!! Holy Crap! It was all a dream." That's a pretty doggone good feeling and you carry it out in the day with you. Because nothing gets your day going like not being sick, dead or dying. Well, the not death part and some strong coffee.

Disclaimer - As a youngster I was fond of hallucinogens.
That probably shows here.

Part 12: Journey May 1979

The river curved through wonderlands
Sponges gathered near the shore
Soft colored whispers played the breeze
I wandered on, in search of more

There, in semicircles, sat
the keeper of the forest's soul
and greeted me with sad refrains
from olden songs his highness stole

Accept, I do, my chance to learn
I fell to rest there at his feet
amidst the mushrooms growing there
entrancing as the wizard speaks

My reddened eyes betrayed me there
where only then I'd learned to see
and from a past obsessed with Poe
a madman deep inside me speaks

Part 13: Dream Monger May 1979

The promise of an afterlife
Once proclaimed throughout the land
slipped between my fingertips
escaped right from my hand

A light, sweet smoke
did shroud the scene
came a'courting dreams
to drift off out across the plains
and dance into the haze

A stranger and a wizened man
a product of this restless age
a lover with the time to kill
to kill in unfulfilling rage

'Tis for my dreams!
I cried aloud
a hush then rippled
through the crowd
"They're slipping through my fingertips.
Escaping from my hand."

I wondered, but I couldn't seem to worry, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Days Inn Room 105

Room 105 of this very hotel is today's title item. Oh yes, kiddies, Days Inn room 105 does exist. It does exist indeed. And it bestows an ill wind and foul odor upon all who may chance to darken it's doorway. Well OK, not really. But it was a pretty doggone mediocre accomodation for $130 + tax + another tax + fee for the safe in the room.

Quote for Wednesday: "Simon can kiss my ass. I do not look like a monkey." - Little squirrely dude on American Idol who indeed looks like a monkey.

"Get to work, that's what we're paying you for." - Ramblin' Ed to a class of TSA screeners at Miami International Airport.

And spaketh the travel lord, "Ye though the the food be wonderous and the ladies be bootielicious, the angels may yon attest, Miami sucketh." There is nothing easy here.

OK, I am back in Tampa. I liked Big Cypress, but I have never hidden my affinity for swamps. I grew up in the pine groves and Green Swamps of Southeastern North Carolina in Columbus County. Bt still, there is something about seeing alligators sunning themselves as you drive by that is just so Florida postcard.

I had my 47th birthday party yesterday. I was happy for me and sad for my beloved Saints. My birthday was marred by the Bears stomping the snot out of the Saints. It was ugly, but I... must... try... to... go... on.
This is the ironing board in my Miami hotel room. Granted, I did agree to a room of lesser quality than usual because it was so darn close to the airport. But what is the point of providing an iron and ironing board if you're only going to use the board as an anti-theft device for the iron? You know, like those gas station keys of old, handed over the counter to you attached to a 3 foot long piece of 2X4. This plate was bolted to the ironing board and the iron was cabled to the plate. I had to try to iron my clothes utilizing just the skinny little point of the board. Nothing in Miami is easy.

Pics from my birthday party yesterday:

Chapter 4: It's Only The American Way April 1979

I've been feeling like a half past ten
Writing letters that I'll never send
Dependant on that which I cannot depend
A knight for a night and a child once again
Wondering if this is the way I should go
This dusty old road to the travelin' show
A freak. Or a clown. Or a lady I've known.
The lady is gone and the clown's on his own
White as a ghost and feeling so blue
and seven more hours before I am through
a sonnet for me. Perhaps one for you
a song and a poem, a story or two
Yeah, once I was feeling a quarter to noon
and I hopped the first thing bound for the moon
the ride was too long and was over too soon
left me stranded alone with nothing to do
I found me a pen there to pass me some time
ripped out a blank page and commencing to rhyme
and to write about death (til I found I was dying)
pretty damn funny (so why am I crying?)

Not too skinny and not too old, out
Ramblin' Ed

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Burmese, The Chinese, and the Ill at Ease

I am not sure what I was thinking when I came up with that in September 1978. But that's about as far as I took it.

I just found an old spiral notebook from that time frame- 1977-79. In it I found, among other things, a 12 part story, each chapter made up of a different poem. Kinda like them old timey rock operas that The Who used to do. Anyhoo, will revisit some of the old stuff here over the next few days. And some of the stand alone stuff, too. Remember, I was in my teens, so some of the stuff isn't as sophisticated as it seemed to me at the time. Them's the breaks.

Like I said, I think I will publish some of it here. Let it see the light of day again. A little bit so that I can share it with you. It was a big ol, wide eyed, full throttle life back then. I had a sense of wonder and the duty to report on it. But mostly I'll post it for me. It brings me down old paths. It stirs up old friends and warm memories. I lets me hang out in my remember-whens. I like who I am. Hanging out with this old stuff lets me hang out with who I was, too. Who I was and who I am are very similar. But I get the biggest kick out of EdWas. He's such a young, foolish, and sometimes oh-so-serious little goober.

Chapter 6: Introspection

I thought I would write you this letter
just to tell you I made it OK
South of the border and staying with friends
and tracking down life on the way

I was wondering if you could make it
you know, being alone and all
All I have is my sense of humor
and that won't even pay for the call

I was seeing your face looking down from the clouds
telling me "time to come home"
I'm thinking I'm prob'ly my own best friend
And better off left alone

Please tell my daddy I miss him
I regret the indignities hurled
In his heart he was holding the answers
In his hand he was holding the world

Gypsy sons were born to wander
At least that's what I've heard them say
Aimlessly traipsing down any old road
and tracking down life on my way

Chapter 7: In Search of the Last Georgeous Cowgirl

I carefully built up my sandcastle dreams
and used popcicle sticks for the floor
I knighted a sandcrab and sent him to save
the beautiful princess next door

The sea took my castle a piece at a time
my knight scurried back to his hole
The princess decided the sea was her home
my kingdom was out of control

I sadly relinquished my crown and my throne
to a young man with dreams of a change
I rode off in search of the last gorgeous cowgirl
and visions of home on the range

I waded through legends and stumbled on clues
the cowgirl had left me behind
the townspeople laughed, she had never existed,
"We've pulled us a good one this time."

I carefully built up a sandcastle dream
then I wearily ventured inside
my castle was taken a piece at a time
and I rode out to sea on the tide.

I don't pity the time I have wasted and lost, out
Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hi there , piss ant

Ola, peep

I waved at my neighbor yesterday and she waved back. Maybe a little smile, it was hard to tell as I made the slight turn to wave, whilst fighting the dog who was desperatly fighting me back to thoroughly sniff the area where some old carpet had been left on the neighbors lawn a couple of days awaiting the garbage pickup, and, of course her Saab (really... WHO drives a Saab??) never slowed down. But it does prove my theroy. Proves it quite nicely. I can, in fact, wave at you more times than you can ignore me back. Brings me to my pet peeve: If you can't wave to your neighbors, stay up north.

Interesting thing happened in the above paragraph. The R key and T key are next to each other. Take a second to check it out if you'd like. That's not the interesting thing, as I believe they've been like that all along. But if you are typing at a high rate of speed using only two fingers, you tend to hit wrong keys as you go. That is how I started out with "I waved at my neighbot yesterday..." A neighbot? Cool. The Gardenator. None of the petty mind games. Neighbot pissing you off? Pull her freaking plug.

There was one other thing I needed to tell you. And by "needed to tell you" I of course mean something I found mildly amusing that I thought I might share with you if a) I could remember it, and b) it didn't require too much typing (or typo-ing, as I do it) to convey.

They should name naval vessels after cats for they are true destroyers. If they can't kill it they break it. And they realize their faux paw (I know, but how could I resist?) and run before your prized possession ever hits the ground so that you either blame the dog or the other cat.

Like a karma Chameleon, out
Ramblin' Ed

Saturday, January 06, 2007

God's crooked smile

I heard said today, "We're all the same and we're all in trouble. We're all searching for the gold tooth in God's crooked smile." Now, I do not let the fact that the above was said by two different people at two different times about two different things deter me. I felt that they went well smooshed together, and smooshed together they shall be.

I was reading some old stuff from early last year and was pretty amazed at how much more entertaining the blog was. I was looking at one post and next thing I knew I was way on down the page on about the fifth "story". When I feel like it, I'm a pretty good story teller. Too bad for all of us that I haven't lived up to the promise in quite a while. Not sure why. I have good genes.

Feets Headed into Hong Kong

Found my thoughts while sitting on a weathered wooden seat
Canvas slapping tautly with a stiff and salty breeze
Sun's bright haze reflecting rays up in the minds own sky
No currency in looking back, feets headed into Hong Kong

The perfect fit of faded jeans and slightly darkened soul
Travelin' man , I know first hand the path has highs and lows
Rides and rhymes in my own time, sea spray on my face
Walking tall as fear is small, feets headed into Hong Kong

Proud city pushes hard to reach high and misty clouds
So much unlike the pine woods that a young boy ran around
One is East. One is West. I wear every mile between
I live what lies before me, feets headed into Hong Kong

And what I know I never knew I didn't until now
Years and miles behind me like rough roads I've traveled down
I am amazed the goodness and the kindness that has found me
In this big ol' small, small world, feets headed into Hong Kong

From Carolina's dewey morn to Bangkok's dusty dawn
Tokyo's young restlesness, Kyoto's ancient charm
I close my eyes and smile to know the journey's far from done
As sunshine warms such weary bones, feets headed into Hong Kong

You, my friend, are welcome should you chance to come along
Canvas slapping in the breeze, our feets headed into Hong Kong

DRE 9/6/03 + WEA 10/16/03 + DRE 10/15/03 = WEA 01/06/07

I believe in everything, out
Ramblin' Ed

Thursday, January 04, 2007

One like, two be cool

25 Things That I Like & Are Cool

25. Hitting cruise control when I get on the Crosstown Expressway and not having to keep stopping and restarting it due to traffic-ly challenged idiot drivers.
24. Soft slacks.

23. Brown. I think of it as the new gray.

22. Bread and melted cheese fondue at Olive Garden

21. Seeing an alligator while fishing.

20. Using small Post-It notes as chapter dividers in a manual and getting them to line up perfectly. Both in spacing and in height. Ooooh... IMPRESSIVE!

19. Lightly salted cashew nuts dumped by the handful into good vanilla ice cream.

18. Seeing the dogs eyes light up when you offer her the "ice cream bones". [The "bones" is the ice cream soup left in the bottom of the bowl when you are finished.]

17. Seeing the dogs delight when she discovers the two cashews you left in with the ice cream bones.

16. Enjoying Grey's Anatomy more than you really have any right to.

15. That point. Not when you decide that you're not going to do something that you don't like or don't want to, but the point when you realize that this time you mean it.

14. Dropping a crank bait beside the structure but in front of the bank, and doing so without putting it in the low hanging tree branches.

13. Casting where you think the fish are and varying your retrieve.

12. Chatting with your neighbor about nothing in particular and realizing that over an hour has passed. Life should be just that easy.

11. Having a beer somewhere, pulling out $5 and hoping it is enough to pay for it, then finding out that it's enough to buy two. [Thanks, Ker's Winghouse!]

Hmmm... seems I lost track right about here. Not sure exactly what happened... other than math......
15. Good, strong, black coffee on a misty morning alone with your thoughts and the early songbirds.

14. A nice, reversable belt.

13. Meeting a friend's brother from Kentucky for the first time and noticing that he's carrying a fifth of Woodford Reserve bourbon to share.

12. Telling a story just right.

11. The promise a dirt road always makes that it might go someplace special.

10. A manual transmission and a heavy foot

9. Knowing that even when you used to be something else, you were never someone else

8. A pretty girl flashing you a smile

7. A whole pack of bacon on a home made pizza

6. Using a Starbucks cup over and over so people think you can actually afford $5 a cup coffee.

5. A really dirty inside joke. (Heh heh heh... I wouldn't use that brush on my teeth.)

4. The way raindrops look hitting your windshield with Rain-X on it.

3. The way raindrops look at night, falling through the halo of a streetlight and back into the darkness

2. Quiet ducks

1. Any old CD (tape, record) you had forgotten was this damn good.

Sordid and sublime, out

Ramblin' Ed

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So long, rabid little terrier

Been watching a movie called Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus. Musician Jim White leads director Andrew Douglas through the sometimes mysterious South. And oh how I love the deep south. If I could, I would roll it's swampy, sultry, slow moving, suspicious, rabble rousing, sin soaked, church going essence into one soft, suffocating cloth and wear it as my cape. I would live in the smells of the south. I would dance in the sounds of of the south. I would be the south and and celebrate myself. but... that's just me, I suppose.

We got us a new governor here in Florida, a state which is definately NOT part of the south. At least not around here. Finally got shut of Bush. Ol' Jeb. He wasn't bad as guv, really, just hardheaded as all get out. And like ol' W, once he got a hold of an idea, it didn't matter how misguided it proved to be, he'd just snarl and shake it and refuse to let go of it like some kind of rabid little terrier. He lost my confidence when he pursued the Terry Schavio thing. As did a lot of the local GOP. Hopefully Charlie Crist will be a little more inclusive. And a little less... not so much arrogant, but close to it. And pardon me this fear, but those who govern based on emotion and dogma rather than principle scare me more than a little. I am, like so many others who also defected the Grand Old Party, a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. My "representatives", unfortunately, were neither. Had to try to vote 'em out.

I was one o' them what stayed up to watch the Boise State - Oklahoma game the other day. Good googly-moogly! I am so glad that I did. Fun game, that one. And the two trick plays at the end were beautiful. Just beautiful.

'Bout time for conference play to start in college basketball. Oh yeah! I'm a round ball junkie. In years past I have always defended announcer Dick Vitale as being exuberent and truly in love with the college game. Every year, however, his schtick wears a little thinner and gets on my nerves just a little more. Like Joe Theisman in the football booth. This year, I think I don't really feel like listening to his "simple piasano" bit, but there he'll be, front and center for every big game, especially ACC and Big East games on ESPN.

Got the Christmas stuff down and put away on the 1st. It was raining a little, but I didn't want the job hanging around. Some folks say it should all stay up until the 7th, but not me. Once it hits New Year's, it's time to put the holidays behind us and get back to work. Sure, there's still football on, but the lazy, crazy, too stuffed to eat another bite days are done. Finito.

Okie Dokie. As usual, nothing to say. Getting ready to be on the road most of the rest of the month. I will have 3 days, including my birthday, home. I have to train a class of students from Mexico. Some here in the office were sweating if they (the Mexicans) had waited too long to commit to the training and might now have trouble getting into the country. Somehow, my fear of a Mexican not being able to get into the country is less than my fear that he won't be able to find his way out again. And that I'll have to buy him a driver's license and pay for his child's education. But again, maybe that's just me.

The night's all that's left behind
So you keep your part and I'll keep mine
Go on home, it's closing time, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, January 01, 2007

First liners

Per Jn's direction, the first line of the first post of each month in 2006. Beginning, of course, with January.

This guy/these folks are dangerous.

That doughnut.

Lydia wasn't sure about the coffee.

Thesis statement? we don't need no stinking thesis statement.

Giving this a rest a while.

Hola, peeps of great patience.

In the winter, at least in the early '80's, Virginia Beach closed down.

One guy, every time I tell him something says, "Furry eel?"

Well, I got me through the education process right nice.

That was a line in a Graham Nash album I remember from a song called See You in Prague.

I don't consider myself neurotic or anything, but I got me my "habits".

I am not an evil man. In fact, at times, I can be downright benevolent.

Like touching a hot stove, out
Ramblin' Ed