Friday, May 30, 2014

Maya Angelou

"I'm convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said—the lambasting, the gay bashing, the hate—I say, 'Take it all out of my house!' Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they'll be on my skin."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


It's like each person's life has the pieces of a 1,000 piece interlocking jigsaw puzzle. In my experience, no one seems to get issued a complete puzzle. Everyone's puzzle is missing, on average, seven pieces, and these puzzle pieces are distributed randomly into other people's puzzles. We spend our lives walking around saying, "Do you need a puzzle piece with a little yellow in the corner and a red line running through it?" Then we meet someone, and he or she says, "Oh, my God, I've been looking for it all my life." We say, "I don't know what to do with it, I wound up with it, take it, it's yours." It's rarely the author or featured speaker who has your puzzle pieces; it's usually someone who has a bit part in your life whose name is not recorded in the program."
 - Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Friday, May 23, 2014


They are pouring a new lot where I work. The guys I work with, they like looking out the window, and critiquing the job. Sure, they know nothing about pouring concrete, but it doesn’t matter. So they gather at the window and talk like Pedro and Jose out there don’t know what they are doing. I like to tell them “those guys know EXACTLY what they are doing!”
A few days ago a crew shows up after the rain. The guys gather at the window.
“What do they think they are doing?”
“They cant work with all that water!”
So the workers use a Caterpillar tractor to dig a trench, then lower a pump to drain the water from the trench, and the next thing you know they're putting up forms and laying re-bar.

I just laughed. “Pedro and Jose  way ahead of you guys!” I told them, and everybody went back to their desk.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Last Year over the period of 3 months I managed to lose almost 30 pounds.
I was eating right, and walking 4 times a week. There were days I lost two pounds.
I reduced the amount of diabetes medicine I take by half.
Then my scale broke. I stopped walking so much. The cookies down at Albertsons started jumping back in my cart.

After a couple months, I decided I sure did need that scale. I was worried how much weight I might have gained. So I went and bought a scale.  But when I got home and stepped on it, I was only up 5 pounds!
That was like a small victory. I could shed those five pretty darn quick by going for a couple walks.
But I didn’t.
Then one day I stepped on the scale and I was up another five.
But that’s not too bad; if I really get on it I can knock those ten back pretty quick, doncha think?
And besides, I’m still good by almost 20 pounds, and just as pretty as ever.  
Why stress? Stress is not healthy, not healthy at all!

So another month goes by, and a couple times it looks like I’m starting to edge up another 5, I’m tap-tap-tapping on 265 every now and then, but the next day, I’m back at 260, and 255 isnt far from 260, except one day I’m solid on the 265 mark, might even call it 267 if we stop rounding to the fives,  only its not one day anymore it’s a full week that I’ve hit 267, and all that medicine I didn’t need to take anymore, I’m having to take it some more. In fact, I cant seem to get those blood sugar numbers down down down to where they are supposed to be even though I keep bumping up up up with the medicine, and the doctor is gonna kick my ass next time I go in because he can tell that I have been playing catch-up with the medicine, and they have a scale at the doctors office, and he is going to see that I have gained 17 pounds back of the 30 I lost, except I just weighed again and damned if I haven’t shot up to 272 now.
All because somewhere along the line I stopped walking 4 or 5 days a week.

I lost 30 pounds and gained back 24. I feel like the guy in Vegas that hit the jackpot for $4000 at midnite, and now its 8am and he  is turning a weird shade of green because he's played it down to $6.50. The crowd that cheered him on is now vanished, except for the couple looking at him laughing and shaking their heads over at the coffee shop.

How dumb is that? 
I lost 30 pounds and now I’ve gained almost all of it back. It just snuck up on me over a 6 month period.
How dumb is that? 
I feel so dumb.
That’s as dumb as starting smoking again. Its been six years since I quit smoking.
I may as well just start smoking again if I’m going to be that dumb. 
See you in Vegas.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I’m sitting at Physical Therapy with my shoulder iced. Next to me sits a man, his shoulder is iced too. He has on an NRA hat. He’s playing with his phone to pass the time.
He hands me his phone and says “Take a look at that!”
It’s a picture of an F-4 Phantom, a workhorse of a fighter plane that’s been around since the Vietnam War.
“Oh, that’s nice” I say, and hand his phone back.
He explains to me how he used to do maintenance on them.
“Were you in Vietnam?” I ask.
“No, I enlisted just after.”
He proceeds to hand me the phone several more times, more images of fighter planes.
One is an F-15.
“Those can accelerate in a vertical climb” he explains.
“Incredible!” I say.

He hands me the phone again. This time it’s a picture of a motorcycle, with a leather holster across the gas tank and a pair of six-shooter pistols hanging on each side, a row of bullets in between. On the back there is a big leather scabbard with a sawed off 12 gauge in it.
“What do you think of that?” he asks.
I think a moment.
‘You probably would need something like that in Arizona” I say. I figure that’s fairly benign and a diplomatic approach to answer his question.
“Shoot, you need it around here these days” he tells me.

Now, I’ve lived “around here” most all my life, and never once had to blast my way out of Mexican Inn. Every now and then you hear about someone getting shot or stabbed by their girlfriend, I guess there have been a few instances of armed robbers at the Subway sandwich shop, and then that Mr. M’s over on Pipeline, some thugs a few years back came in and shot the poor clerk execution style. And I think a few weeks ago, someone tried to steal a ladies purse and a good Samaritan came along and got the perps at gunpoint and made them lay down in the parking lot until the cops arrived. That ended well, but it may not have been so smooth and easy if the perps had been armed themselves.
But it is a cool looking bike, and the leather work is good, and the six-shooters very shiny with Ivory grips.

“Is that yours” I ask?
“No, I found it online on one of my Second Amendment forums.”
“Pretty cool” I say, and hand his phone back.

He starts back to fingerpokin’ and buttonmashin’ again, and hands me back the phone. This time its text, in big red letters.
It says:
“The one card you never want to leave home without.
 Its all you need when you are out of everything else.
Its your own personal RACE CARD!
I sure love my Race Card!
It comes in handy whenever I find myself in a mess I've made.
I just bring it out and 'voila', the mess is overlooked.
In fact, there's no limit on how many times I can use it!
I highly recommend the Race Card.
Don't leave home without it." 

Then there is a picture of the President.

I don’t know if I was supposed to laugh, haha,  or nod an acknowledgement, give the secret handshake, or punch him in the mouth.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to think the meme is proof of not being a racist, or just a real dislike for the president.
I don’t know if its something a racist might carry around to show people, or if its just a mean man that has nothing better to do.
I don't know if I would recognize it if the president were to play the race card, maybe only because I like the president.
I don’t know if its like poker, and an “anti-race card” card beats a “race card”.
So I did my best at just not reacting at all. I’m almost ashamed of that, except I’ve noticed one thing for sure.

Talking about racism is like eating spinach. You just can’t hardly do it without getting some stuck between your teeth.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My First Affair With That Older Woman

when I look back now
at the abuse I took from
I feel shame that I was so
but I must say
she did match me drink for
and I realized that her life
her feelings for things
had been ruined
along the way
and that I was no more than a
she was ten years older
and mortally hurt by the past
and the present;
she treated me badly:
desertion, other
she brought me immense
she lied, stole;
there was desertion,
other men,
yet we had our moments; and
our little soap opera ended
with her in a coma
in the hospital,
and I sat at her bed
for hours
talking to her,
and then she opened her eyes
and saw me:
"I knew it would be you,"
she said.
then she closed her

the next day she was

I drank alone
for two years
after that.


Saturday, May 10, 2014


She was a real joker. You see whats going on here.

Friday, May 09, 2014


And what does it mean if we see
The moon-glazed mountains and the town with its silent doors
And water towers, and feel like raising our voices
Just a little, or sometimes during late autumn
When the evening flowers a moment over the western range
And we imagine angels rushing down the air's cold steps
To wish us well, if we have lost our will,
And do nothing but doze, half hearing the sighs
Of this or that breeze drift aimlessly over the failed farms
And wasted gardens? These days when we waken.
Everything shines with the same blue light
That filled our sleep moments before,
So we do nothing but count the trees, the clouds,
The few birds left; then we decide that we shouldn't
Be hard on ourselves, that the past was no better
Than now, for hasn't the enemy always existed,
And wasn't the church of the world always in ruins?
- Mark Strand

Image~Congregation in Mayflower Arkansas, undaunted, continue their worship after deadly Tornado last week.

Thursday, May 08, 2014


I was dove hunting at grandma’s in Grandview one time. Did pretty good along a fence line. Every now and then I’d have to hop the fence to pick up a fallen bird.
It was Labor Day, my buddy Brad was with me.
As were were leaving, a man and his kids pulled up in his truck, said he owned the property across the fence, and didn’t believe in no bird killin’ didn’t want us on his property.
“We didn’t hunt on your land sir, but I crossed the fence a couple times to pick up a bird.”
“Don’t wan’t you on there, no way no how”
“Ok, that’s fine. I'm sorry for your trouble sir.” and off to my grandma’s we went.
We watched the Cowboys with grandma that night, they whipped Baltimore 38-0 I think.
So we load up after the game to head out, and just as we are getting to the city limit, the flashing lights kicked on behind me. I pulled off to the right.
The officer comes to the window, runs my license, and pulls us both put of the car.
“Were you boys shootin’ birds over off Bois D’ Arc this evening?”
“Do any good?”
“Got a coupla few”
“Well, I got a call in from the McBrides. Said ya’ll was shootin’ birds on their property. Said they asked you to leave and you told ‘em to go to hell and proceeded to clean your birds right there in front of ‘em.”
Me and Brad looked at each other, and I said “No sir, we were on the Morgans property, and a couple times we crossed the fence to pick up some dead birds, but we been doing that for years. I told them I was sorry, and wouldn’t cross the fence anymore, dead bird or not.”
He kinda eyeballed me a second and says “Well, that sounds about right. They just bought that land last year. And they crazy as hell anyway, all of ‘em. Say, you wouldn’t know who won the Cowboy game, wouldya?”

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


I still see the Ex Mrs. Bulletholes a lot. We are really good friends. I saw her a while back and she was upset over something. I sat and listened a while and then stood up to leave.
She looked at me like 'Whats your hurry?"
I said:
“You know, you and I get along pretty well for a couple ol’ divorced people, but anytime I get around you there is a big clock somewhere that starts to countdown. Its counting down to a point where we arent getting along any more. My goal is to get out your proximity before the big hand gets to the Zero.”

Tuesday, May 06, 2014


“Will It Go Round in Circles?” Billy Preston
“Right Place, Wrong Time” Dr. John
“Do You Feel like We Do” Peter Frampton
“Maggie Mae” Rod Stewart…
oh what the hell…

anything by Rod Stewart.


"What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get into the habit of thinking, ‘This is the world,’ but that’s not true at all. The real world is in a much darker and deeper place than this, and most of it is occupied by jellyfish and things." 
— Haruki Murakami

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Every May 4th...

For me, its still like a sock to the gut.

Friday, May 02, 2014


Translated from the Russian  @ Dilapidated Page
“St. Prince Vladimir looks out over Kiev from Vladimir Hill…
“This opens up a summer cinema Vladimir Hill with its evening and night sessions (only if in Kiev!), On the upper terrace - outdoor cafes where you can drink a cup of coffee, listening to the nightingale trills and admiring the immense distances of the Dnieper. Here, under the night sky, studded with big stars, kissing couples in love, in love ... explained:
Imagine several generations remember the people of Kiev Vladimir Hill location as passionate declarations of love! Graduates Kiev schools traditionally greeted the dawn after the prom is on Vladimir Hill. Romantic place.”

In other words it’s the best place in the city to go and watch the submarine races. Yes, I can see that!

"Drinking is the joy of all Rus'. We cannot exist without that pleasure."

In 988 AD Vladimir, a practicing pagan, sent envoys out to neighboring lands to look for a more politically correct and suitable religion. 
Upon reporting back, he dismissed Islam because the envoys reported there was “no gladness among them, only sorrow”. Islam was undesirable as well due to its taboo against alcoholic beverages and pork. Vladimir remarked on the occasion: "Drinking is the joy of all Rus'. We cannot exist without that pleasure."
Judaism was dismissed because the Jews had lost Jerusalem, so surely their God had abandoned them.
But the Orthodox Christianity they witness in Constantinople, where the full festival ritual of the Byzantine Church was set in motion to impress them, they found their ideal:
"We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth, nor such beauty, and we know not how to tell of it"