Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding

The bride beautiful. It is axiomatic: All brides are beautiful.

No, I did not get up to watch. But yes, I saw numerous "reruns." How could I have not ? Oh, leave the telly off?

Best twitlet comment: Two giggling, ecstatic girls on camera. One says, "Catherine went into Westminster a commoner and came out royalty."

Oh, really. Did she get a blood transfusion in there? Royalty is not "of the blood"? So why do we always speak of "royal blood"? Truth, there is no difference between commoner and royal. We are all but dust.

The madding crowd; the titillated throng. Best comedic line: Ellen DeGeneres said, "Two billion people watched the wedding. Put it in perspective, eight people didn't."

The happy Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. One truly wishes them many years of marital bliss and long life, as we do for all newlyweds. I might have liked a shot of "the kiss." But that is a bit intimate, don't you think? (actually it was on and off so quickly the shutter couldn't catch it.)

My moment of envy: I have always fantasized about ownership of an Aston-Martin and there is the Duke driving one. And I'll never ever get close enough to one to touch it. What was I saying about "we are all but dust"?

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Post for April 29

This morning on 31 southbound,
I looked over to my left and there was a Woman
In a brand new Escalade doing 65 mph, with her face up next to her
rear view mirror putting on her eyeliner.
I looked away for a couple continue shaving
And when I looked back she was halfway over in my lane,
still working on that makeup.

As a man, I don't scare easily.
But she scared me so much I dropped my electric shaver,
which knocked the donut out of my other hand.
In all the confusion of trying to straighten out the car using my knees against the steering wheel,
I knocked my cell phone away from my ear.
It fell into the coffee between my legs!
Ruined the darned phone, soaked my trousers,
And disconnected an important call.
Dang women drivers!

Disclaimer: This is not original with me. I found it in a folder I maintain titled cryptically "TTK" which as you guessed, means "things to keep." I drop stuff in there for the same reason Foghorn Leghorn keeps his feathers numbered.. for such an occasion as this when the creative feathers have been plucked.

Image: LooneyTunes

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Warm Time in Perfect

Now, that's what I'm talkin' about!

Second day in a row: 85o! And as well, it is the third day of the last four above eighty.
Makes me glad to be back in Perfect. I mean, that is perfect.

I got out Wednesday morning and scrubbed the roof of the RV. No big deal, you say. But to this rickety-kneed old man working eleven feet above the pavement, slicky, soapy water under his feet, well, there was a certain element of excitement-- or trepidation. But, safely on ground level again, job done. Then it was the awning, and this time a ladder. But it's over and I am safe and as sound as I was before the job began.

Now the rest of the exterior. But that is Thursday's job. Will no doubt get that done just in time for the rain. But not to worry-- the interior hasn't been thoroughly cleaned since returning from the South; and that is work that can be done while the rain patters on the roof.

All has to be done, though, because our summer camping season starts in ten days!

What ever made me think...

The Book of Acts

When I was a sophomore in college, to fulfill a requirement for three quarter-hours credit in biblical literature, I enrolled in a course on The Book of Acts. This turned out to be nine weeks of intensive study, approximately twenty-five stultifying lectures, and a 2.0 final grade. Okay, water over the dam.

I did learn things (witness I did not fail the course). But a few days ago, I stumbled upon a video on youtube entitled The Book of Acts in 3 Minutes. I am not going to tell you that you can learn more in three minutes than I did in nine weeks, but I am going to tell you this video is worth more than the three minutes it will take you to watch it. Click on the link!

You might even be motivated to open your Bible to the Book of Acts and read it again!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is She Expecting You?

Yesterday I was ranting about superfluous and meaningless verbiage in advertising. Today, kudos to a commercial well-done.

As with most television commercial presentations, and after having seen it numerous times, I've no idea what is being sold. But it is a great story well-told.

It is the tale of Suzie and her lemonade stand and her "rise to the top," so to speak. While as a rule I detest child actors selling adult products, I make an exception in "Suzie's" case. Who could not be taken in by this child? Who could not but find her totally believable as the CEO of a lemonade empire? Who, in fact, could not avail themselves of the peddled product?

Well, I, apparently, inasmuch as I've no idea what the product is.

But I loved the story.

Lemonade. They are selling lemonade!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Very Well Qualified

No, I am not peddling automobiles. The focus here is on advertising, or rather the implications of the language used therein.

Here we have that certain leases are available to "very well qualified lessees." We often hear the same phrase with regard to buyers. No matter. The implication is that we are too stupid to understand the basics of car buying, that we might, in fact, assume that anyone can walk in and drive out.

Anyone who has lived more than seventeen years and has at least a third-grade education knows that he will be vetted, credit checked and otherwise hassled during the closing of the deal, should we get to that point.

First, it was advertised that the dealer would lease autos. Or sell them, but we knew that. Then it was advertised that these deals were for "qualified buyers." Duh. Yet this is not good enough, so we have modified the phrase thusly: "well qualified buyers." At this point, fog begins to settle in. Is the modifier an adverb modifying the adjective "qualified" or is it an adjective modifying "buyer"? It is the case that one is either "qualified" or he is not. So then, he must be "well." Of course we cannot sell a vehicle to one who has epizootic, malaria or even the common cold, for he is not a "well" buyer.

However, for good measure, let's pile on some more meaningless verbiage. Introduce, therefore, "very." To what end? What does it mean? How does it improve the conveyance of the concept? [I can't help myself. Stop, Fingers!]

Just advertise the car, for crying out loud. Your sales staff is highly competent in the skills of 1) sorting out buyers from tire-kickers; 2) determining the financial health of the buyer, and 3) twisting the arm to bring the pen to the dotted line.

We are qualified. We know slop.

A succinct summation: Either one is qualified or he is not qualified. Modifiers do nothing to improve the message, or the meaning. In fact, they obfuscate. It is much like using a modifier with "unique." Again, either it is, or it isn't.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chartreuse Wheels. Really?

Look! BBBH has a new long molar. No, wait. The new molar is next week. Here she is on her new lawn mower. She is actually much more excited about the tractor than she is about the dental work

So am I, because the dental work will cost a whole lot more than the mower, and it won't even show! Her dentist has been trying for two years to get her to go for the crown, and this time when the filling fell out, I think she decided to bow to his wisdom.

The new machine drives easier, turns quicker than the old vehicle, and it mows beautifully. Sweet.* Yard looks great. And it will have to be done again in a week.

*The sweetest part is that it is BBBH's machine and I'm not permitted to drive it. Bummer. ;-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011


"Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o'er His foes!

He arose a Victor from the dark domain

And he lives forever with his saints to reign.

He arose! He arose!

Hallelujah! Christ arose."

Holidays and birthdays, sunny days, and gray. Jesus lives! Easter is my favorite day!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011


hangs upon the cross.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Verily I say unto you, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Woman, behold thy son.

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?

I thirst.

It is finished.

Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

-Matthew 26:20

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Missed Me By

that much.

Last night's storm left part of the neighbor's pear tree next to our car.

But there was no serious damage in our area, for which we are thankful.

Plotting to Betray the Master

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. --Matthew 26:14-16 KJV

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Who wouldn't be thrilled to find ten little chicks amongst the iris and daffodils on a beautiful Spring morning?

BBBH is so good to me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cherry Blossom Time

See the tree?

See the bee?

See the springtime?

Happy me!

The intent was for today's post to be a more-or-less wordless presentation. But you know me. Given a keyboard...

So here's the deal. My sister has a blog entitled Very Verla joie de vivre in which she conveys very interesting thoughts and experiences. Verla is a professional writer. She posts on Mondays and Thursdays. I think you would very much enjoy her work. Take a look.

Last Thursday, her article was about awards; but somehow she turned it into a plug for this blog. That is truly appreciated. What a sister!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Holy Week

This week is observed as "Holy Week" by Christians everywhere. Today is Palm Sunday. This is posted to encourage each one of us to study and reflect on the true meaning of this week of commemoration of Our Lord's final week before His glorious resurrection.
Palm Sunday recalls to us Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the Hosannas! and adulation of the people. (John 12:12-19, also Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, and Luke 19:29-38.) Maundy Thursday is observed in memory of the Passover supper Jesus observed with His disciples. (John 13 through 17)
Good Friday is set aside in which to grieve the death of Our Lord on the cross, and to grieve in repentence for our sin which sent Him to that cross.
The balance of the week is given to dolor in memory of the Savior's entombment.
Consider the Passover that Jesus and His followers observed. This feast is a duty and privilege of God's people in commemoration of the "passing over" of the death angel when Israel was held captive in Egypt. The people were assured that if they would apply the blood of a perfect lamb to the doorposts of their homes, they would be spared the loss of their firstborn.
Observe. 1) The passover lamb must be perfect. Christ was perfect.
2) This perfection was tested by confining and observing the lamb. Christ came under severe scrutiny by the world, and no flaw was found in Him.
3) The lamb must be slain. Christ was slain.
4) The blood must be applied. Only if found on the doorpost would judgment pass. The blood of Christ has efficacy for the individual only if it is appropriated by faith. (Salvation is offered to all, but it is not universal. The blood must be applied!)
5) The blood alone is perfect protection from judgment. Christ's blood alone saves man from judgment.
6) Observing passover is a duty and a privilege, but not a condition for safety. The believer is saved by the blood. He is strengthened by feasting on the living Word!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My friend was known to one and all as "CJ." In fact, many people who knew him for years did not know his first name, and there were only a handful who knew his middle name. CJ was born the same year my father was born. Though there was a generation between us, we became close friends and confidants.

I first met CJ when I took a job in the school where he taught. I was 35 at the time, he was 59. We had work-related business together since his academic charges and mine were basically the same bunch of twelve- and thirteen-year olds. But we soon discovered that we had "leisure time" business, since we would meet in the gym after school hours for fiercely fought contests across the Ping-Pong table. Table tennis was a passion for us both at the time, and we were fairly evenly matched. He was older, but it has often been said that age and guile trump youth and enthusiasm. Well, sometimes. Often when he would lose a closely-fought point after a long rally, he would say: "Well, I'm a sad man."

CJ served in the US Army during WWII. He fought in North Africa, and landed on the European continent at Anzio. Needless to say, he saw much action. He could still get into his uniform when he was in his seventies and eighties, and he enjoyed talking with interested groups about his experiences in the war.

CJ's wife, Sue, succumbed to cancer shortly after I met them, and he was left with the youngest of his four children, who was in junior high at the time. Whatever else he may have accomplished in his life, he raised his children in the way in which they should go, and all of them are very successful in their own right. CJ never remarried, but he had a blast traveling the world, literally seeing every continent and meeting many interesting people.

CJ took up tennis at about the time he retired, and while I could handily best him on the court at first, he was never satisfied to come in second. He worked at his new-found pastime, joined a tennis club so that he could play year round, and it was not long before I found myself on the short end of the score more often than I liked. Eventually, though, when he was in his late eighties, I made a miraculous comeback! Golf was another passion of this wiry old man. He always walked the course, and often "shot his age." I did not participate in this with him, as he had a cadre of buddies who were able to provide him better competition.

CJ moved to Macon, Georgia when in his early nineties to be near his son who was pastor of a church in that community. He was able to continue his active lifestyle until the last few days of his tenure on earth. I miss this old man. He was a good friend.

CLAVIS JEWETT HINSHAW, July 29, 1910-April 17, 2005 RIP

Friday, April 15, 2011

Luther at the Imperial Diet

Nearly three and a half years had passed since Martin Luther affixed his "95 Theses" on the church door at Wittenburg. Now he was commanded to appear before the Imperial Diet which convened at Worms. The 21 year-old Emperor Charles gauranteed safe passage to Luther for his journey. He began his trip to Worms on 2 April 1521 and arrived there on the 16th. He was asked point blank to recant his writings. He asked for a 24 hour recess in which to ponder and formulate his reply. This was granted and on the following day, at the closing of the proceedings, Dr. Ecken again asked, "Plain and simple, are you prepared to recant?"
Luther then replied: Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished. Unless I am convicted [convinced] of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted [convinced] by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God's word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.
On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
Kansas State University Personal Web Pages
String Too Short to Tie

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dad, Poetry and Memories

My dad was an avid reader and a lover of poetry, especially that of the inspirational and the whimsical types. He collected verses and kept a scrapbook of his favorites. This was a fixture in Dad's study and my sisters and I all liked to pore through its pages. My sister Ilene chose this book as a memento and the item she most wanted from Dad's home after he went Home to his heavenly Father. She made copies of the book for her sister and me. Dad often quoted illustrative verses from the pulpit.
In addition to the scrapbook, though, there are many clippings of poems and his own writings in the file folders I have in my possession. Occasionally I go through some of these folders. I may not live long enough to process them all.
Here are a couple examples of the sort of thing he found appealing.


I had a little party this afternoon

at three, "Twas very small,

Three guests in all, Just I, Myself

and Me.

Myself ate up the sandwiches, And

I drank up the tea, and it was I who

ate the pie and passed the cake to me.

--Jessica Nelson North

1891 – 1988


Count your garden by flowers

Never by leaves that fall,

Count your days by golden hours

Don't remember clouds at all.

Count your nights by stars, not shadows,

Count your life with smiles, not tears,

And with Joy on every birthday, count

Your age by friends, not years.
--Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pick Your Battles

Our country seems to be blessed with many well-intentioned citizens whose zeal outruns their judgment. You may even now be reading examples of this in your newspaper, or hearing about them on your newscasts.

A case in point is the elementary school principal in Chicago who has ruled that the students must take the school lunch. They may not bring their lunch from home in a brown paper bag or in a Justin Bieber lunchbox. Rationale: a frontal attack in the "War on Obesity."

Is there an obesity problem in our society? No doubt. Is the principal responsible for the welfare of her charges? Of course. (To the extent that in loco parentis standards apply.) Has she pulled the lanyard on a charge that is more likely to blow up her cannon than it is to impact the target? Obviously.

Years ago, many, many years ago, there was a student in our elementary school who brought her own silverware with which to eat the school lunch. A teacher (remember zeal outrunning judgment?) chose to make an issue of it, though obtuse as I am, I couldn't see the issue. The girl, of course, enlisted her parents in this tug-of-war.

The father explained to me that the tableware provided by the school tended to react in an unpleasant manner to the girl's dental work, hence his darling carried her own sterling. Now we were not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths, but the fact that this gentleman had another daughter a year younger than the girl in question who did not carry table service to school lent credibility to his claim, and I said it was not a problem. In essence, I apologized for another's handling of what should have been a non-issue. Principals get to do that.

Well. I say. People!

Pick your battles!

When I used the term "Justin Bieber lunchbox" I did not know it actually existed; but as a long-time observer of the societal condition, I was not surprised when I Googled that phrase to find that it does exist. You can find it that way, too, should you want to send your kid to school with one. (Provided of course your kid doesn't attend that school in Chicago.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Changing of the Guard

I have vivid memories of the day April 12, 1945. I was a fifth grade student at Bristol School. I came home to the news that the President of the United States had died. It was the topic of conversation at the dinner table. I recall that my father made the comment that "Now Truman is President. Out of the frying-pan and into the fire." He said a lot of other stuff.
Dad was not a fan of Roosevelt; nor, apparently was he a fan of Truman. I have thought about his animosity toward Roosevelt. It might have been the fact that his mother was a republican and his father a democrat, each so committed to a political position that they did not even bother to hook up the wagon on election day, knowing that their votes would cancel each other. And I know which of his parents he adored.

But that really was not it. What it was was that while he could not find sufficient work to provide adequately for his family who were surviving on goat's milk and little else he watched while fine cattle were slaughtered on the orders of the Roosevelt administration and buried along-side the railroad track behind the house. I suspect he may have forgiven in his heart, but he never forgot. And doubtless never voted democrat.
Time passes, and a little over three years after the death of Roosevelt, President Truman campaigned for election to the White House in 1948. This was the election in which I first became interested in politics. I followed assiduously. I even "campaigned" for Truman to the extent that a fourteen-year old boy can do that. I was at the D&RGW railroad depot when Truman spoke from the platform of the rear car of his train! I was enthralled.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945 RIP
Image: Wikipedia

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ford Truck Fun

I mentioned something a while back about a "pickup" and suggested it might make a post. So, here, indeed it does. I found this 1952 F-1 Ford Truck in a newspaper classified ad. Yes, long before Al had created the internet. I called the number and found that the physical location of the vehicle was about eighteen miles away, so I enlisted a driver to take me to the place. I bought the thing and headed for home.
It took very few yards on the road to discover that it drove like a hog on ice, swaying and rocking hither and thither. It required a good bit of muscle to keep it in the road. So, first project discovered. And managed. But meanwhile, I discovered that the vehicle lacked a wiring harness. No, true. The only electrical hookup that existed was the ignition, which allowed the car to be driven. But there were no lights, no gauges, no accessories (not that it had many anyway) and no way it could be legally licensed and driven on the highway. Project number two.
I got the old J.C. Whitney catalog. You remember J.C. Whitney of Chicago, Illinois. Newsprint mail order catalog listing thousands upon thousands of auto parts and accessories. (Does Warshawsky seem familiar? I am thinking an identical catalog was published under this name, with same address and ordering information. Am I right?) Well, back on track. I searched the catalog for a wiring harness for the 1952 Ford F-1 and behold! it was offered for a modest price. I don't remember exactly how much, but it seems it may have been in the fifty dollar range. I ordered it. And it arrived promptly via the U S Mail.
I am not an electrician, and you may already have gotten the idea that most of my mechanical skills were at the pliers-and-screwdriver level. You may believe me when I tell you that the installation of this harness, simple though the vehicle was by modern standards, was a challenge. But I accomplished the task! And it worked. I now had lights and other necessary running equipment. I licensed the vehicle.
When I acquired her, the truck looked pretty much as seen in the top picture, although here some body work had been started. I drove this thing for several years before my spouse and I decided its appearance needed some improvement. So we, the two of us, enrolled in an evening auto body class offered by a nearby vo-tech school. We went every Tuesday night for many weeks, cutting, welding, filling, sanding and eventually painting until the vehicle passed through the stage in the middle picture and finally on to the gorgeous red car shown below. We were proud.
We drove the vehicle for quite some time, finally deciding that it was no longer a need in our lives. We sent it to auction. Accounting for the purchase price and all the expenses entailed in making it a useful truck, we wound up making money. Hence it is one of only two cars I ever owned which turned out to be an investment rather than a money pit. (The other one was also a Ford pickup.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Life's Happy Release

On a beautiful Spring morning a flock of robins had gathered around one of their own struggling in an alley trying to extricate herself from an entanglement of fuzzy twine. Shouts of encouragement from the throats of the robin flock coud be heard for some distance. Making a careful approach to the apparent dilemma, protests in chorus made me know that my presence was unwelcome. However, their limited assistance, love and care was not enough.
With careful steps and ready with help, I gathered the entangled robin, along with the ball of twine, while assuring her that she would be released. Then with sharp knife and patient care the threads were clipped one at a time until the last thread was off. Her aides were near watching in subdued silence. Now unafraid, lying on the palm of my hand, she was making no effort to fly away. It was time to give her an upward thrust into her native element. With chirps of gratitude she found her wings and mounted skyward with her kind.
A parable of rescue of the lost in dilemma.

Found in the papers of D. W. Lacy, 1910 - 1999, over his signature.

For another bird story by Rev. Lacy, see Converting a Jay Bird.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It had been a very clear morning. Bright sky. Hot. Not an uncommon mid-July morning, but the stillness of the air seemed to bespeak some impending disaster. Superstitious omen.

Huge white clouds floated in from the west about eleven this morning, but with apparently no motivating force, because the atmosphere was as motionless as it had been earlier in the day. The clouds and the sky darkened before one o'clock. Still there was a deathly calm. There was not a rustling among the leaves of the silver maples which lined the opposite side of Deer Path Avenue. The patrons of the Home Tavern began to file out and wend their way homeward. Silence prevailed in the entire surrounding neighborhood. The alternate red and white flashes of the huge neon sign up the street which read "Zharko's" lent a brightness to the gloom, but its periodic regularity--red, white, red, white--served only to intensify the ominous stillness.

A short thin man in shirt sleeves, middle-aged, balding, apparently very well trained, walked out of the huge gray-white house across the street. On the porch railing of the house a very small red neon sign proclaimed modestly in one word that there were rooms to rent. As he put his hand on the screen-door of the grocery store where the proprietor, Ned Mills, and I stood in friendly conversation, the storm broke with a simultaneous flash of lightning, crash of thunder and a torrent of rain. The little man muttered something unintelligible and slammed the door behind him. Seeing us, he flushed red and made an apology for his rudeness, adding that it was indeed a beastly trick to scare a man half senseless, then drench him, all in one operation. He picked up a loaf of white bread and placed twenty-eight cents, carefully counted, onto the candy showcase which served as a counter, and the bread was his. He walked toward the door and stopped, saying only one word, "Dreadful."

This was a real cloudburst. As though looking through a stream of clear running water, I could see the wavy flashes of alternate red and white, metronomic meter never affected by the storm. The leaves of the maples on the opposite side of the street were falling with the rain. They were quickly carried off in the river which was now raging down the street, giving a queer moss-like effect to the murky water. The water that splashed from the metal shield of the "Rooms" sign across the street broke up into a mist, which glowed red as though it had some fluorescent property. A geyser sprang up in the middle of the street, which had now become a riverbed, as the force from the water in the storm sewer raised the manhole cover and carried it down the street. The rain was over in twenty minutes.

The river in the street was still running, but it had ceased leaping and tumbling. It still had sufficient force to carry some good sized red rocks which had washed down from Ram's Horn Hill. A tall, stout woman stepped from the gray-white house across the street. Disregarding his shoes, his trousers and his health, the small man who had been silently in our company for nearly half an hour, opened the door and plodded through the muddy stream which washed about halfway to his knees. In the middle of the street between him and home lay an open underground torrent.

The light at Zharko's continued punctually to beat time--red, white, red, white--.

©1952, 2011 David W. Lacy

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cardinal in Spring

The male cardinal was sitting on the power line across the road. His persistant, perseverating call got my attention. Had the point-and-shoot in hand, so I snapped this picture. See him there? About seventy yards away. There, below, we have a blow -up. Not great, but you can tell that it is a cardinal. Anyway, his wheat-wheat, wheat, woot, woot, woot... just wouldn't quit. On some of his runs, I counted up to eighteen "woots." Sure hope he accomplishes his mission, for he is one dedicated bird.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

There Shall Always Be Work

Wednesday. Another outdoor work day. Sunny 75. What's not to like? The work, perhaps. I cannot keep ahead of the shedding of branches from the austrees. There are six of them in our yard, and I am happy to have them. But not the mess they make. Seems every time the wind blows more branches and twigs hit the ground. I had plenty to do, notwithstanding I had the same area cleaned two weeks ago.

Neighbor cleaning his spiffy SUV "howdied" me. We passed a few pleasantries about the unending nature of work. And that set me in a nostalgic frame of mind as I continued about my chores.

I recalled a situation that I observed when I was about 13 years of age. My dad had contracted to build a house and he had hired a couple of people to work with him. On a limited basis, I was one of them. What did he pay me? you ask. I think it went something like this. "I need your help on the house. You eat the food I provide and which your mother serves you regularly. Earn your keep. Be on the site at eight o'clock in the morning."

Dad's other employee was an older gentleman. That is to say, he was not only older than I, which is obvious because he was a man, but he was older than my father as well. About ten o'clock, we all took a break, sipped a little coffee and ate an oatmeal cookie while we rested from our labors. Presently, Dad said, "Well, we'd better get back to work."
The Old Man replied, "Oh, my brother, there shall always be work."

I have lived close to sixty-five years since that day, and I have seen absolutely no evidence suggesting that the fellow was in error.
Picture: Pile is much larger than it appears. And all that material was moved 100 yards from the point of pickup. By me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ants, Leaves and Cornhusks

Sunny morning yesterday. Not warm, a bit breezy, but not bad for spring clean-up in the yard. So, the gloves, the rake, the sheet (for carting debris) and it's off to work I go. That is a significant statement, because I don't do much work anymore. The lion's share of the detritus requiring removal consisted of leaves from the neighbors' trees and corn husks. If you live downwind of Farmer Fred's southeast quarter, as I do, you know exactly what I mean. Those cornhusks gather on the leeward sides of the fences, under the bushes, and generally just about anywhere in the yard where it is difficult to get at them.

(I have ants in my computer. I just chased one across the keyboard with my left index finger, failing to skoosh it before it went down the ??/?. I had a momentary loss of functionality; and I greatly fear that the day will come that one of the little demons will destroy something vital. But I can't spray Raid down into the keyboard. Can I? How, you might wonder, did I get ants in the computer? So do I.)
Anyway, there is still lots of yard work to be done, but BBBH came in and said, "Wow. That front yard sure looks a lot better!" I live for such moments.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dallas and Dallas

It was thirty-three years ago this week that I attended a conference in Dallas. It was the annual convention of the professional organization of which I was a member.
Apart from the exciting and scintillating sessions sponsored by the organization for my edification and professional development, I remember three or four specific things which made a lasting impression on me. The first of these was that Indiana, while beginning to experience some April-type weather, had not yet shaken off the remnants of the Great Snow of '78. In fact, when I left for Texas, there was a lot of snow still on the ground; and when I returned five days later it had not yet completely disappeared. Meanwhile, there were green leaves on the deciduous trees in Dallas, and the temperatures were in the high seventies and low eighties!
To account for the illustration, I will list this as the second of the memorable incidents. A great hall was set up for the convenience of vendors whose hope it was to impress the attendees with their wares, and perhaps snag them as customers. Wandering through this exhibition, I came upon a booth where the sales staff had employed an artist to sketch caricatures of the potential customers. I stood nearby as the artist worked, and soon enough I was invited to "visit" with the man as he drew the sketch you see here. He chatted me up about my interests, and hence the old Ford pickup and the wrench. (Perhaps a story for another time.) In truth, I have to say that the youngster captured the "essence" of me, so to speak, for it is a pretty faithful representation of the man I once was. A long time ago. But I already mentioned that.
The third memorable event was an evening entertainment in the great convention auditorium. Pearl Bailey performed a very nice set, giving us a never-to-be forgotten experience. The performance was just a few days after her sixtieth birthday.

While in Dallas, the premiere episode of the night-time soap, Dallas was aired. The local newspapers made such a hullabaloo about it that I made it a point to be in my hotel room when the broadcast occurred, thus now being able to say I saw it at its inception. And that was it for me. The newspaper critics in Dallas weren't much thrilled with it either, for reading the articles the next day was a great deal more entertaining than was the show itself.

Finally, as I wandered the streets of Dallas, awed by the magnitude of the big city, I came upon the fabled Niemann-Marcus Flagship store. Of course I had to spend some time "shopping" there. This means, of course, that I roamed through the store big-eyed, mouth agape and mind boggled by the merchandise and the prices thereof. I found a swell camel-hair sports jacket that I really liked; yet it puzzled me then, and does so to this day, why anyone would pay a month's salary for a jacket. Well, it was a month's salary for me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dog Eat Dog

Go, Bulldogs! Bite Beat Huskies.

Sic 'em!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Sunday Drive

Butler 70 VCU 62 !!
Gangly, skinny, his forehead presenting with acne, the Boy at six feet, three inches towered over the Dean. Yet inside he felt about the size of the spies of the children of Israel alongside the descendents of the Anakim. That is, in the sight of the Dean, he must surely seem as a grasshopper.
"Have a seat right here." It was not a request. The Boy complied. The Dean pushed a legal pad toward the Boy, the yellow paper screamed "Guilty!" as the youngster's eyes took it in. The proferred pencil was red, putting an exclamation point to the accusation. "We know," asserted the Authority Figure, representative of the President, the Board of Regents, and by extension, believed the lad, of God Almighty, "exactly what you did yesterday afternoon. You will write an accurate account of your every move. Leave nothing out."
The Boy was yet several months shy of his seventeenth birthday. His best friend, who was the same age, had, just shortly before this glorious afternoon, acquired an automobile of his very own. This marvel of freedom and independence was a 1936 Ford fordor sedan. Gasoline was five gallons for a dollar. A Sunday drive was the very ticket for these two well-behaved yet fun-loving youngsters. As the boys were tooling along West Colorado Avenue, to their wondering eyes there appeared walking leisurely along the sidewalk two of the students from the bible school the Boy attended . These were girl-type students, and no discussion was required between the boys as the car rolled to a stop beside the curb and just ahead of the young ladies. Long story short, the girls got into the back seat of the auto; the boys remained in front. The drive continued through Manitou Springs, up Ute Pass to the Rampart Range Road which they took back into the Springs, taking care to drop the passengers off conveniently near the original pickup point. The boys went home.
It would serve no useful purpose to go into the details surrounding the number of rules of the school that had been broken in the execution of this innocent excursion. Hence, however, the Boy's Monday afternoon conference with the Dean.
The Boy took the pencil in hand and began to write. In so far as he was able, he wrote honestly, clearly, and completely an account of the events briefly described above. It was enough. It served the needs, whatever they were, of the authority of the school. Punishment descended upon the guilty culprit.
It only occurred to the lad much later that he deserved the punishment, not so much for the actions of the Sunday afternoon outing as for his own stupidity in complying with the directive the Dean had delivered. Our hero's best friend, owner and driver of automobile, was not a student at the same school, and thus his only punishment was the suffering that he no doubt endured knowing that the friend had been chastised. Yes, yes, to be sure.

©2011 David W. Lacy

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Neighbor to the (Far) North

Nunavut was carved out of the old Northwest Territories in 1993, and officially became a Federal Territory on April 1, 1999. Nunavut holds one house seat and one senate seat in the Canadian Parliament.
The population density is 0.04 people per square mile of land area. Put another way, there would be about 25 square miles of land for each inhabitant, man, woman and child. Think you could find enough space there? Nunavut is the largest of the territories and provinces of which Canada is comprised, being about the size of Western Europe. It is also the least populous, with about thirty thousand people. Alert, Nunavut is the farthest north of any permanently inhabited location in the world.

Map: Wikipedia

What do you call a resident of Nunavut? Nunavutian? Nunavutan? Canadian.