Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tom, Tom the Piper's Son

Three years ago I posted this.  It is short, so I copied it here as an intro to today's tale.

Duck and Wheel with String discovered Goose with Frock and Bonnet on her front step. Lin is so not into kitsch. I get that. But this has prodded me into making this terrible confession. We have concrete statuettes in our yard. This SWaSD tableau is in our backyard, not visible from the street. Nor can the next-door neighbors see them unless they are looking for them. Is there an excuse for this? Yes. Yes, there is. They make BBBH happy! So it is likely that each spring I will place them somewhere in the backyard. Each fall I'll lug them back into the barn to protect them from the ravages of winter. And Snow White weighs ninety pounds. [groan]

Today's Tale

I was riding home on the bike when I spotted this less than two blocks from home.

My thoughts ran in this manner.  The pig did not wander from home and get itself trapped behind the guardrail and in front of the sign post.  Someone had to help him get there.  So someone boosted him from his rightful place, that is, this is a stolen pig.  Now why would I think that?  I think that because several years ago when SWaSD "lived" in our front yard, someone stole three of them.  A letter to the editor, an appeal to a conscience somewhere, was instrumental in the recovery.  So now they inhabit the backyard.  But back to the pig.  

I worked in the concrete industry many years ago and I have a pretty good notion of what the stuff weighs.  Eyeballing the pig suggests that there may be about 150 pounds of material there.  Not only did the pig not place itself there, it was probably an effort involving at least two people.
Profiling.  Yes, I am picturing a certain type of human individual who might be involved in such a thing.  Does male teenager seem about right?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fork in the Road: Three

In the previous episode we noted our protagonist choosing the pathway that led to college rather than taking the fork that led to immediate employment with a promise of a bright and lucrative future.

I drew a little chart before I started writing these episodes, vignettes, whatever one chooses to call them.  The  map contains fully a dozen Ys.  I think I need to be selective, lest I bore you to tears.  Thus I will skip over the various forks I encountered in pursuing a college education, and there were many.  Suffice it to say that after seven years, a wedding which united me with the young lady of whom I was enamored, and the birth of a daughter, I completed the baccalaureate degree which I pursued.

Then one day, almost before the ink on the diploma had dried, I got a letter from the secretary of the board of a community church in a small town in Central Washington State.  Like the phone call I received right after graduating high school, this missive purported to be a firm job offer.  The pastor of the congregation had moved on, and while they had an interim pastor they were looking for a young man, a go-getter who would provide the spiritual guidance  and perform all the other chores that a pastor performs.  This is a full-time job, and it pays an adequate salary to provide for your family.

Now how did that happen?  I was not a theology student, nor a graduate in Christian ministries, and I had no intention of ever pursuing a seminary degree.  My mother, in fact, was the only person who had ever suggested the ministry to me as a possible career.

Well, here's how that happened.  I majored in philosophy and had taken some courses in biblical literature along the way.  My major professor had been approached by this congregation seeking his recommendation for a young man to take over the pastoral responsibilities in their community.  He recommended me, and here I stood, once again, stunned.

Suffice it to say that my wife had never entertained the notion of being a preacher's wife, no more had I considered being a preacher.  We had traveled through Central Washington on our way west, but neither of us had ever been in the town from which the offer came.   Population, 3800.  Climate, temperate, semi-arid.  In the back of our minds we were always entertaining the notion of moving back to the Midwest to be near our families.  Central Washington was still over 2000 miles from home, and nearly 300 miles from the friends we had accumulated around the Sound.

I drafted a carefully worded letter, thanking the board for their consideration.  I would be happy, I said, to visit the community to get acquainted with the people.  I will give careful and prayerful consideration to your offer.

Next installment will take you into the life we found in the ministry. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Coming Soon!

For several years I have written about the emergence of the naked ladies in the garden.  As a general rule I predict they will dance on the 28th of July, though once or twice I picked the 27th.  This year, a big miss.  On the 28th there was no sign of any life beneath that bare spot of soil.
This morning, though, there is one, just one spear standing an inch above the ground.  The ladies will be dancing soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pushing the Stone

I read an instructive little tale a few weeks ago.

An old man died and went to heaven.  He stood before the Lord who greeted him, “Well done!”  “What?” the weary old soul yelled.  “You told me to push on that boulder.  I pushed for forty years and it never budged an inch!”  The Lord replied, “I told you to push, I never told you to move it.”

I believe all too often we look back on our efforts and assess our work as falling short, thereby allowing discouragement to hinder our future efforts.  Further, I think that if we follow the Lord's directives, it is not in our purview to assess the results, for that can only be tallied "on the other side" by the Master who assigns the tasks.

Jesus may have addressed this when a would-be follower begged leave to make a detour before following the Lord.  "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."  (Luke 9:62, KJV)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lupita Tovar

Lupita Tovar Argentinean Magazine AD.jpgI am not familiar with the work of MarĂ­a de Guadalupe Tovar.  Most of the films she played in were made before I was born, or during my childhood.  Many of them are Spanish language films.  Nevertheless, it is important to me to mention this lady, for on this day she will celebrate her 103rd birthday.  And that is perseverance

Lupita Tovar was born in Matias Romero, Oaxaca, Mexico.   She was "discovered" by a documentary film-maker as she performed in a school play in Mexico City.  She went to Hollywood in 1929 where she studied dramatics, guitar, dance and English.  She starred in The Invaders and in the Spanish language version of Dracula.  Tovar starred in Santa, Mexico's first talking movie.

Lupita married Paul Kohner in 1932.  The marriage lasted until his death fifty-six years later.  They have a daughter, Susan Kohner, who was an actress in her own right;  and a son.   Two  grandsons, are film directors.  Lupita also has two great-grandchildren.

Congratulations, Ms. Tovar, on a life well-lived!  Happy birthday.

Image:  Wikipedia
Information largely gleaned from the same source., and from
npr     (Link)

Update:  Ms.Tovar passed in November 2016 at age 106.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Save the Trees

For some time now I have been 1) puzzled; 2) irked, and 3) amazed when I find one of these stuffers in a mailing.

1) Puzzled.  What part of "blank page" do these people not understand?  Get a grip; a blank page is, by definition, blank.

2) Irked.  I know.  I shouldn't let such petty things annoy me, but that is just part of who I am.  No apology forthcoming.

3) Amazed. I am shocked that people who run major corporations allow such blatant stupidity to function on their premises.  I am amazed that people who should know better actually assemble and approve such nonsense.  I am stunned to realize that some of the same people who probably decry deforestation for paper production are actually using trees to stuff mailers with "blank" papers.
I could go on, but a good rant should end before the reader tires of it.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Trees See All

Yesterday I posted this picture.  Grace commented, "I love lilies and I love that tree!"  In response I wrote,  "Grace. the tree represents the spirit of generosity, for when I was visiting Cousin Jacquie in Louisiana, I admired her tree spirits.  When we were leaving, she handed me a shoebox which contained that little gem."

At that point, I realized I was into the beginning of a blog post.  So I ended there, and continue here today.

Jacquie, six months older than I, is the youngest of four children and the only daughter of my Aunt Bill.  When Wilma was born in 1902, she had an older brother.  She would have five more brothers before her sister was born. There would be two more boys after that.  Never doubt that Aunt Bill could hold her own.  And hold her own she did, as she raised her four children on her own.

Jacquie met a Cajun soldier boy from Louisiana at a USO dance which she attended with her mother.  Mama slipped the boy the phone number.  A few weeks later, Jacquie, at age seventeen, was a married woman.  Of course she moved to Louisiana.

Sixty years pass.  We are in Louisiana.  We stop to visit my cousin.  What a great reunion!  In the course of our visit I said something about "my Aunt Bill."  Jacquie clapped her hands with delight and said, "I had forgotten that Mama's brothers called her Bill!"

So the visit ended, as all good things must do, and I've already revealed how we came to possess the tree spirit.  I should have known.  I admired the thing as it looked out from the pecan tree in her back yard.  To admire is to receive.  I once had a similar experience when visiting Jacquie's brother, Dale. He had a coin purse which I remarked on, saying that my dad had one much like it.  Dale gave me the purse.  

Jacquie also gave me this one which inhabits the ash tree in the back yard.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Midsummer's Garden

Some of our daylilies were crowded out by the very aggressive wild tiger lilies to which I foolishly gave a home.  This bloom may have been the best of show for this summer.

I spent the morning cleaning the wildflower garden.  It had become largely overrun with tiger lilies and yarrow.  Now I like these flowers, but they are aggressive and left to their own devices will crowd out everything they come up against.  I need to do some digging, but it is still too hot for that.  Mowing, raking, and pulling thistle is about the extent of my ambition at this point.  It is at least cleared enough now that we will be able to see the naked ladies when they appear, and that should be in about a week.

Still standing are a few oriental lilies, some echinacea, and the four tomato plants in the front of the garden.

The catalpa, as usual, has produced an abundant crop.  BBBH says, "Too bad those aren't edible."  It is too bad that there is not some way to turn them into nourishment or money.

Another rather nice daylily.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fork in the Road: Two

High school graduation ceremonies were held in Civic Center auditorium on June 11.  About five days later I received a telephone call from a local accounting firm.  They tendered a flat-out job offer.  I had not sought such a position.  I was stunned.  "Why me?'  "We talked to your senior math teacher and explained to him that we wanted a talented math student, one willing to learn our system and who was not necessarily college material.  We don't want a college graduate.  We will teach you our methods, and you will be an earning member of society.  You can start tomorrow!"

I told the caller I would need to think about it.  I would let him know.  I was told not to take too long. They would hold the position open for me until Friday.  Now how does one react to that?

 Y.  Left fork, or right?

What a flattering offer.  The money from the start was more than I had ever dreamed I could earn.  Old Mr. B had such confidence in my ability, and the company such confidence in Mr. B's integrity, that it was a sealed deal before I even knew there was a deal.

I started immediately.  I spent day after unending day putting little numerals in little squares.  Number three pencils and thin-line pens became my stock in trade.  Mathematics is exciting, which is why Mr. B perceived me as an enthusiastic learner.  Little numerals in little squares are not exciting.  In fact, the level of boredom accelerated faster than my ability to spend the money I was taking home.

I started "clubbing."  Yes, I was too young to enter a bar, but there were places.  I found them.  I started fooling with women  I could never take home to mother.  The drinking soon accelerated from weekend nights to a bottle on the nightstand and a snort now and then, then...

Soon I was no longer able to see the little numerals well enough to place them in the little boxes.  In less than six years, that is to say before I was twenty-four years of age, my emotional health was a wreck, my physical health was well on the way to total disrepair, and I was unemployed.

Actually, my first thought was, Thanks, Mr. B, and since you think I'm not college material, I've just decided I will go to college, so there!  Then I called the company and advised them that I was not interested in the offer.

My little fantasy journey down the "wrong" fork is fraught with several difficulties, but it is fantasy.  I would truly be bored to tears in such a job, but the wine, women, and song is a highly unlikely outcome even in the face of such ennui.  I have an addictive personality, hence I stay away from known addictants (spell check says that's not a word;  I respectfully disagree).

I have always believed that I chose the "right" fork in that road, notwithstanding Mr. B was a bit put off by my cavalier response to his attempt to help me along life's highway.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Prettify the Beauty Shop

Energy, motivation and opportunity converged last week when we had a couple of days that were too hot for outdoor activity.  BBBH decided to reupholster her shop chairs.  Now by "shop" please understand that there is no commercial activity going on here.  This is the nook in the garage where she cares for our hair, hers and mine.

She has had the material and the intention to do this job for fifteen years.  Now it is done.  And I helped.  Yes, I had the joy of disassembling and reassembling the chairs.  The styling chair is put together with twenty bolts, the dryer chair with fifteen.  I also got to work the stapler!  You'd be surprised at the number of staples she demanded.

I never cease to be amazed, though, at what Beautiful can do with a tape measure, a pair of scissors, and a sewing machine.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fork in the Road: One

Here we are starting a series which I will call "Forks in the Road."  It is not a commercial for some steakhouse.  We will explore some of the possible outcomes had our protagonist taken different roads in his journey through life.  I have struggled a bit with the decision first person or third.  Third person would be a thin disguise, and moreover, I would have to choose an alias for myself.  On the other hand, first person seems a bit self-serving, and I have done a lot of that on this blog.

Fork One

The lad is offered a choice, along with parental bribery to tilt the playing field in the desired parental direction.  As he starts along the road to secondary education, the fork to the left offers public schooling, to the right lies parochial education.  Always a people-pleaser, the boy chooses the path associated with the bribe.  Thus the next several years of his education are in a parochial school environment.  Then as he approaches his senior year, the youngster rears up on his hind legs and asserts that he is transferring to the public school.

Which is what happens, and the boy graduates from the public high school; that is, the road taken years earlier converges with the road not taken, and the end result is the same.  Sometimes a road forks, the branches enclosing a deep dark woods which remains unexplored except for the view of the roadside scenery along the route chosen, then flows back into itself on the other side of the woods.  C'est la vie.

At the fork above, take a right, stop by and visit us.  Or swing on around to the left to Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, and beyond, or wheresoever your whim may demand.  That's my wheel standing there waiting to take me to the house.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bunny's Booboo Plan

This story is too good not to share.  It is long, but I guarantee you will appreciate my guidance in directing you here.  It is the story of the rabbit that has its own personal government-mandated disaster plan, courtesy The Washington Post.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Little Birdies Go Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

In keeping with yesterday's footnote, Wiley provides this.  Guess no one wants to be "irrelevant."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I encountered an article about "wristbands."  A wristband, in my experience, is a skinny plastic envelope thing attached to one's wrist when he is hospitalized.  It is an ID device presumably to keep the staff from losing you, or confusing you with someone else.  No.  THIS ITEM of which I read (and I still have no idea what it is all about) is a very popular device related in some way to something called "apps."  This app thing apparently is somehow related to your phone.

I was well-lost at this point, yet it seems this is not the newest thing in this World in Which We Live Today, for it has evidently been around for two or three years.  But its popularity is exploding, I guess.  If I understand it at all, and don't take any wagers on that, this device keeps track of your activity, prods you when you are sedentary, monitors your sleep habits and your dietary patterns.  Probably keeps track of your heart-rate and checks your blood sugar and cholesterol, and buffs your fingernails.  Or maybe not.  I said I didn't understand it.

I get a total feeling of alienation from the WWWLT1.  In fact, I wonder who took us over and why I didn't see it coming.  It sneaks up.  One gets a computer, which by the way, I am told a PC is a thing of the past.  Then one puts his phone in his pocket and carries it with him wherever he goes.  Then...

We've been had, folks.  You are now paying more for your electronic devices and their support systems than you imagined a few years ago you would ever shell out for an automobile.  Add it up.  My telephone is a telephone.  It has no apps, I do not text.  My computer does have a cable feed, as does my tv.  The monthly cost for those things alone, and it seems to increase about twice a year, is now over $220 a month.  I never ever had a car payment that high.  Groceries, yes, groceries cost a lot more than that, but still.

And I have no wristband.  That I didn't get at a hospital.2

1As to the WWWLT, while I was preparing this I heard a comment on tv to the effect that "if you don't tweet for six or eight hours, you are irrelevant."
2Okay, I do have a wristwatch with a band.  But I don't wear it anymore.  Phone, you know.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

This Seems Fair

It is 4-H Fair week in Tipton County.   Yesterday afternoon was gorgeous, so we went to the fair!  For years, I have told kids who were whining that "It's not fair!" that "fair" is where the kids go to show their pigs.  And it is true-- pigs and so much more.

In her considered opinion, to go to the fair and not have an elephant ear would just not be fair!

 We saw some fowl.

This lad's bird was being judged.  I think he did not like everything he heard.  But I really liked his shirt!

 We saw lots of rabbits.

 A barnful of swine.

 Some sheep

 and some goats.

 Some bovine critters

and a departing shot for Lin.  She'll get it.

A number of the kids showing their livestock were children of kids I taught when they were in junior high.  I got to visit with some of those former students.  I was also collared by a local and introduced to my Congresswoman.  She has a winning smile and a firm handshake.

The Fair runs through Wednesday, July 17.

Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R)
Indiana Fifth Congressional District

Saturday, July 13, 2013

We Are Not in Kansas...

Often it is the case that during a campout someone will organize an "excursion" for one purpose or another, e.g., to visit a nearby factory or simply to eat at a restaurant somewhere.  Usually BBBH and I  take the position that we have paid good money to enjoy the park and the outdoor experience, and thus decline the invitation to join the crowd.

On Wednesday, though, a knock on the door before we had finished our first cup of coffee brought with it an invitation to go shopping and have lunch in Toto.  "How far, when are you leaving, when will we be back? and we will let you know."

It was 8:30, the temperature already at 82o and the dew point pushing 80o.  Did I say it was quite warm and extremely muggy?  We decided a few hours in an airconditioned environment might be a good thing.  We got ready to go.

Toto,  we were told, was a half-hour  distant, though it turned out to be closer to an hour.  We rode with Doyle and Rose and were the second car in the caravan.  The lead driver was clearly following his GPS, for no one who was sane and owned a map would have taken the route he chose.  Anyway, we were barreling down a back country road when the dew point was reached with a vengeance.  The downpour was intense, and we continued to drive through rain all the way to our destination.  We got a parking spot right in front of the restaurant marquee, but in the ten-foot trip from car to porch, I got soaked, especially my back, and my feet which passed through the torrent in the gutter.

Are we having fun yet?

Our waitress was a jewel and the company around the table was pleasant.  I ordered the spaghetti, though, which was the day's special.  It is always a mistake for me to order spaghetti, because BBBH takes it as a personal affront, reminding me that she makes a much better pasta dish than I can get in a cafe.  And she is right.  And in this case, she was really right.

During lunch, the rain stopped.  We walked from the restaurant to the store, huge barn, next door.  There I sat at the entryway reading while the gang shopped.  Then we learned that we hadn't really had the "Toto experience" until we had been to Bailey's.  So it was back in the cars, and down the road.  Bailey's, I would say, really is not "in" Toto, for it was a six or so mile drive to get to this vast warehouse structure in the middle of a cornfield.  And it was pouring rain again by the time we arrived.

A bit about my experience at Bailey's can be found here should you be interested.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Christmas in July

The Christian Campers' Fellowship met at Potato Creek State Park for its July outing.  The theme this time was "Christmas in July."  No kidding, there were decorations aplenty, Christmas carols were sung, and a gift exchange was hosted by Old Santa himself on the final night!

Should you have been among those who happened by and heard the carols, or the laughter during the gift exchange, and thought, "What silly old people!" let me advise you that there is room in a life well-lived for a certain amount of silliness.  Try it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Old Hands

Gnarly, bruised, and crippled,
a pair of old man's hands.

They have flown a kite,
tightened a nut on a bolt.
Operated the machine
that made the pipe
that carries the sewage
to the processing plant.

They have held the wheel
that guided the car from
one end of this nation to the other.
They've tenderly caressed a woman
and changed a baby's diaper.
They have  rowed a boat.

They have paddled a canoe
and sailed a Snark.  They have raked 
and turned the earth with spade
and plucked the veggies from the garden.
Those thumbs can strike a spacebar
They've never tapped a message

On a teeny weeny pad.  
Those fingers have dialed 
a rotary phone; they've never
played Grand Theft Auto
and never will.  They have stitched
embroidery and darned socks.

Those hands have prepared cakes,
turned steaks.  They have mixed and 
stirred the candy
and cookies
and have transported same to the mouth.
They have wielded the blade that shaved his face.

They have served him well.
What is left for them to do?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fine Art

Many years ago I had an oil painting hanging on my classroom wall.  Painted it myself, I did.

It was entitled "Polar Bear in a Snowstorm."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Where Do You Live? (Rerun)

The above map, thanks to Mapquest, shows our location. The red arrow points to the foot of our drive. See the RV parked there between the street and the house? The tree line at the rear is our property boundary, and coincidentally it is the city limit line. Note that both neighbors to the south have pools.  And the one immediately next door is installing a new huge inground pool.  Cal to the north has a barn on the property line. Ours is identical to his, but is in the middle of the back yard, tree between it and the house. I didn't want to walk clear to the back of the place to get a pair of pliers.

To the east is "downtown". It is 0.7 mi. to the courthouse and the post office. Many businesses operate in this downtown area. There is a commercial area half-mile farther to the east and on the edge of town. So, did you follow this? Our place: west edge of town. Barely over a mile away: east edge of town. Just about right for doing errands on the old bicycle. Given: Dry, warm weather.

I have lived in large cities (Seattle; Portland, Oregon). I have lived in midsize and small cities (Colorado Springs; Lebanon, Indiana). If you have been following the "Loonville Vignette" series, you know that I have spent time in a really small town, and I once lived in a town even smaller than Loonville (Wilkinson, Indiana). I guess this place qualifies as a small city, or maybe town. But it is the county seat!

I think this is just about the perfect place in which to reside.

Reworked post, set in queue for presentation as the RV is rolling out of town!  We do plan to return.

Happy birthday to Carl, my eldest stepson, or as I refer to him, my eldest son.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Be forewarned that in reading this post you may perceive me as being a cranky, nay even a misanthropic member of the human clan.  If you see me this way,  you may be right.  So many things these days just wear me down.  The ultimate goal of the perpetrators, I am sure, is to wear me out.   I have probably carped about some of these annoyances before.  These things may seem petty to you. and perhaps they are, I'll give you that.  But a sufficient number of these little things loom quite large in my field of vision. 

These are little switch knobs for the rheostatically controlled lights and fans.  They are not readily available in the cream color here in Perfect.  So in the past, I have added a couple of white ones, notwithstanding the fact that they do not blend with the rest of the electrical fixtures.  So finding ourselves (what a concept!) in the City the other day, we stopped at a huge hardware outlet.  Certainly they had the item we desired.  Here you go, sir!  The guy handed me a packet containing two knobs.  Two matching knobs.  I think not.  One cream knob, one white knob per package.

There are marketing genii sitting around dreaming up ways to make the customers' lives more pleasant and efficient.  There are no such things.  Oh, there are marketing people, but they are sitting around dreaming up ways to steal from us without violating the law.  This is one example.

Thus, I bought three packages to get three knobs and paid for six knobs.  When I finished the installation of the knobs, now all matching the decor, I threw five white knobs into a box somewhere in the garage along with the spare screws and bolts we bought in packages of three, needing four, two to spare.  They will probably still be there at the resurrection.  But I have spare knobs!  They don't match anything, but I have them.

Friday, July 5, 2013

79 is a Prime Number

What else is there to say?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

The M-80 firecracker was the epitome of cool back in the day.  Package after package of Chinese strings were purchased and consumed.  But a few very special fireworks made the Fourth all worthwhile!

The M-80 was charged with three to five grams of flash powder.  Amazing!  By comparison, the most powerful of firecrackers generally available today  may contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of powder.  An M-80 could be 100 times more powerful than today’s puny offerings.

A couple of weeks prior to the fourth, we would marshal our resources, in some cases pooling with the best buddy, and head to the fireworks stand!  The selection  process was thoughtful, both tedious and exciting, and painstaking.  Key: the most bang for the buck, no pun intended.  For this reason, the purchase of roman candles, rockets, and the like, was very limited.  Firecrackers were the items of choice.  And the more the better, the bigger the better.

For nearly fifty years now, American youth have had no idea, for the limits on the charge was imposed by the Child Protection Act of 1966.  Eat your hearts out, kiddies!  The Fourth of July celebration is much tamer nowadays, and perchance much safer.  At least in some ways.

I know, the right thing to have done here would have been to present  the story of our country's founding, an appeal to patriotism, and a Hip, Hip, Hooray! for the Red, White, and Blue.  Well, consider that intended and implied.  But for once, I wanted to revel in nostalgia on this Glorious Fourth, and long for the “good old days.”

Here, Wes.  Put that M-80 under this lard bucket!

Tip for the younger set:  Did the fuse come out of that little contraband Chinese firecracker?  Break it in half, lay it on the ground and light the powder directly from punk or match.  When it starts (that'll be real quickly) stomp on it with the heel of your shoe.   Don't do this with bare feet or flip-flops.  For the M-80, oh, nevermind.  You don't have any of those.

Image: M-80s courtesy Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mississippi John Hurt

Recognizing another fine picker and country blues singer from the past, Mississippi John Hurt.

John Smith Hurt was born near Avalon, Mississippi on July 3, 1893, or maybe in March 1892.
A self-taught guitarist, his style is all his own, never derivative.  He said that he played guitar the way it should sound.

Working as a farmer, Hurt played for local soirees.  He chose to stay near home.  But in 1963 he was ferreted out by a blues lover and persuaded to go to Washington and share his talent with the world.  The story of his recording for the Library of Congress and other public appearances is available online.

If you are ever near Avalon, Mississippi, visit the Mississippi John Hurt Museum.

Mississippi John Hurt  1893 - 1966  RIP

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


July 2 is the middle of the year.  182 days have gone before, 182 to come.

Happy Mid-year!

You just never know what you are going to learn when you drop in.

Monday, July 1, 2013

My Neighbor's Backyard

Our next-door neighbor's backyard.

 This is a hole in our neighbor's backyard.

This is the digger that made the hole in our neighbor's backyard.

This is the (biased) tale of the digger that made the hole in our neighbor's backyard.

The neighbor inspired the (biased) tale of the digger that made the hole in our neighbor's backyard.

T'he former pool of the neighbor (who) inspired the (biased) tale of the digger that made the hole in our neighbor's backyard
was removed.

And the shade tree was removed.

And the neighbor asked if we were okay with equipment moving from the street to the backyard via the (very narrow) strip of grass between our houses.

Well, he did ask.  vanilla is a nice guy, if not a prince.
He said, Okay, so long as the ground isn't wet and soft.

The digger is now in the backyard.  Look in the hole.  It has considerable water in it
It came from the skies.

The forecast calls for a week of considerable rain.
The digger may or may not be able to continue work on the hole.

vanilla is not going to be pleased, well, I mean he will be less pleased than he is now, if the digger is removed from the backyard anytime soon.

You may think vanilla has a serious case of the envies because he is not getting a new humungous pool in his backyard.

Not so.
BBBH wanted to look for a property that had a pool when we bought this place, and
I told her if we bought such a place the first thing we would have to do would be to 
fill in the pool.

But the neighbor has a real case of the envies, for he admitted that the removal of the very nice hard-walled above-ground pool that was removed was not getting it, because the family and friends had deserted it in favor of his mother-in-law's in-ground pool.

So, seriously, he needed to find a way, expense be hanged, to get the party back in his backyard.

So the (biased) tale of the digger that made the hole in the neighbor's backyard
will continue through the chapters of construction and so on and so on, concluding with

Noisy parties in my neighbor's backyard.