June 29, 2005
I am trying an experiment, I am going to try to write something coherent, and I hope important. I am going to try to write it in the venacular of the simpleton, the stupid, the regular over at the Democratic Underground. If you have never checked it out, there is some hilarious stuff over there. I am talking total moonbat stuff. Some of the blathering idiots found there make Breezy, who comments over at Alli's place, seem reasonable.
There was this country it just finished a major war to get rid of a despot. One of the world's greatest powers did a significant amount of the fighting, but the people were pleased with their newfound freedom. Now, if we tell the truth, only about 1/3 of the people were in favor of the war, the rest did not care, or were part of the regime. There were some fire bombings, and beatings, and really a lot of unrest after the war. Some people left the country. Other groups came in to try and take power, to carve out their own country and kingdoms from the war ravaged land. An interim government was formed. A Constitution was written. A few years later another Constitution had to be written. It took more than 100 years and a desperate, bloody Civil War to make the new Nation sound and strong.
Yes, my readers I am talking about the fledgling United States. Certain Democrats expect Iraq to accomplish the same in just over one year. That soporific jackass Dick the Turban Durbin thinks we should give Iraq just two more weeks to see if they are on track. If the Great and Powerful citizens of this fine Nation, with a history of independent thought, relentless human spirit and independent mind took so long to get it right, what makes the simple minded liberals think an oppressed, uneducated nation with a history of oppression can solve the issues of self government in one year plus two weeks?
June 28, 2005
One particular year five of us headed to Indy, I was the designated driver. We arrived at one of the strip clubs that had a reputation for good shows and pretty girls. I settled into one of the back rows at a table away from the stage, while my buddies grabbed front seats and ordered their beers. I probably should add that plenty of alcohol was consumed during the 1 hour trip to the city. There was an old guy sitting near me. He smoked long black cigars, wore a pinstripped suit and a neat fedora. He looked straight out of The Godfather (and kind of like the old guy in the Six Flag commercials). Old Guy spent a lot of time, and money, with one of the dancers. She sat with him between sets, and danced mostly on his side of the stage. At this time I had begun to realize that strippers, for the most part, do not enjoy their jobs. The whole strip club scene is pretty pathetic when you are sober.
After a while the biggest human being came into the club. He was easily over seven foot tall, and must have weighed nearly 400 pounds. A pitcher of beer looked lug a mug in his paws. He ordered two pitchers of beer at the bar and moved to the stage. The crowd of men at the front row parted like the Red Sea as he approached. He began to feed a string of bills to the Old Guy's blond.
I was bored, so I headed for the head to relieve myself. Upon my return, Rick one of the guys with me told me to come on we were leaving. I asked what was going on but he just said we had to go. I got the story in the car. It seems the Old Guy approached Rick and told him he would give him and my friends $500 if we would take the Huge Guy outside and beat him up. Old Guy said the bouncers would look the other way. I suggested we go back and talk to Big Guy, offer him $100 to go outside with us and then leave for 30 minutes. We would be $400 richer. Rick said that Old Guy wanted to watch, so that would not work. I still was not sure why we had to leave until Rick said that Old Guy told him if we refused he would have him beat as well.
You would think this would have put a damper on the evening, but the real adventure was about to start. We went to one of the [popular dance clubs downtown. After we paid the outrageous cover we became split into two groups. This particular club had a balcony that ran three sides around the dance floor. I finally spotted Bitman, the wild one in our group. He was standing on the balcony, picking up half empty drinks from tables. He would sample the drink and if he did not like it he would throw the remainder over the rail onto the dance floor. i watched him do this several times to outraged howls of protest from Disco Danny and Dancing Donna on the floor below. Finally he was caught by a bouncer. He was escorted out, followed by an outraged Danny trying to get to Bitman to kick his ass for throwing a drink on his head. We headed for the door to calm the situation.
When the bouncers heard us say we were with Bitman we were booted from the club as well. Guilt by association, I guess. On guy was still missing from our party and a bouncer allowed Rick to go back, accompanied, to find him.
We waited outside in the cold air. Suddenly the door burst open and out came four bouncers and Disco Danny, still screaming that he "was gonna kill that guy". The bouncers threw him to the ground, cussing and screaming, Dave grabbed Bitman and led him down the block. Disco Guy shouted at the bouncers, as police cars screeched to a halt in front of the club, Danny struggled with the cops. Then he threw a punch. He tried to run, but two cops tackled him within a half a dozen steps. They began to pound his face into the pavement, screaming at him for hitting a cop. Blood began to pool under his face as the cops yanked him, now handcuffed, to his feet.
Rick and Jeff came out of the club at about this time and we started for the car and home. I could not help but think we were somehow responsible for the Disco Danny arrest and beating. Here he was out for an evening, trying to get laid and a group of rednecks throw drinks on him. Outraged he tries to start a fight. All goes wrong after that.
Maybe if we had thrown a drink on Big Bear Guy at the strip joint we would have been $500 richer, the police and bouncers doing our job for us?
June 27, 2005
Doctors tell us that 93% of all people who have heart failure die in 48 hours. Nearly 100% of those that are "out" (read dead) for more than 20 minutes are at best a vegetable, Terri Shiavo's in the making. My Brother-in-law is being moved to a regular hospital room today. That is just over a week since he suffered heart failure, was out almost 30 minutes, and suffered an additional heart attack at the hospital. He is eating, talking, moving. He has been up (with help). He is not 100%, but getting closer every day. The doctors are saying they think he will have complete recovery within a few months. You see, when he fell over, a co-worker began to immediately to give him CPR. This hero continued until the paramedics arrived, more than 25 minutes later. Have you ever given CPR? Even if in class, treating the dummy will wear you out in minutes. This guy did CPR for almost a half an hour. That my readers is a true hero.
Thank you Anonymous. I will try to find you out in this case. I am not sure how to thank you. I will though. In the meantime send me spam. Write incoherent troll rantings on this blog. Send me crazy emails. I owe you one.
Does any one know what battle is depicted here? I will write more about it later this week.
The heat continues here in the Hoosier Heartland. At 11:00 pm last night it was still a balmy 81 degrees at the HB Homestead. Yesterday was hot. Not Phoenix hot, but pretty warm, mid 90's. Humidity was pushing 100%. Yes, you Southerons have nothing on us in the Midwest. We were in the midst of a baseball double header. I cannot remember the last rain. The grass is brown and crunches under foot when you walk barefoot. I once had a colleague who moved to Gainesville, GA from Indiana. He related to me how the locals in Georgia complained about the heat. He said it was just as hot and humid in Indiana, if not worse.
Thanks for coming around to the Hoosierboy blog. It has always been my intention to offer quality entertainment to you, the reader. The real conundrum is defining the content. Hateful screeds are fun to write, and keep the angry fires from consuming me with rage. I am afraid the details of my home life are boring. My feeble attempts at fiction did not stir anyone. Do you like the miniature history lessons? What are you looking for? Do you want more rants, family life, education? Am I reaching the correct balance? Rest assured I am still going to write what I feel, but I also want to ENTERTAIN YOU. BTW, a hearty thanks to the new readers from the past few weeks.
Flag Burning makes me sick. I don't get it. I do believe that this proposed amendment will accomplish little but make more dolts burn the flag as a symbol of protest. Today, you see little flag desecration, but you know some liberal punk is waiting to be THE one who gets busted. He is guaranteed spots on CNN, the Today Show and Larry King talking about his "Rights". Lets not give them the chance. I have never seen a flag burnt, and I do not want to. I think we are trying to smash an ant with a brick. Overkill for a small problem.
I hate birds. They shit on my car, my porch, my deck, my new patio furniture. They shit on my roof and my kid's swingset. Geese shit big steaming piles all over the yard, ducks shit in the pond. The neighbor's dog shits in the flower beds, so do the neighborhood cats. Rabbits shit in the driveway. A bird even shit clear down the big window at work, blocking my view. Life shits all over me. Is God sending me a message?
I love the 4th of July. It is my favorite holiday.
Posting will be light the rest of the week, I am going on a big business trip. I will take the laptop and try to log in.
June 25, 2005
Sat on the deck and read the local rag. 8:00 and already above 80. Summer.
Son 2 plays in the league championship game this evening, he has been playing well the last few weeks. There is an all-star tune up double header tomorrow. It is supposed to be hotter than Hades. He won't mind, he loves baseball.
Son 1 is still incapacitated due to his broken collarbone. No skateboarding, no video games, no driving. He is bored out of his mind. I suggested reading a book. I might as well have suggested ripping out his ice with a melon baller.
Daughter works, works, works. She is in a stretch of 14 straight days of work between her 2 jobs. Good for her I say.
Spending lots of time at various hospitals. Everyone improving.
White Sox pounded the Cubs yesterday.
Yep, I am boring today
June 24, 2005
Amendment V - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
I learned an important lesson as a kid when I paid a very hard earned five dollars for a baseball card. My mother was furious. I patiently explained to her that the book said the card was worth fifteen dollars, so I got a bargin. As she pointed out, the card was only worth $15 if someone was willing to pay that much. In my professionsal carreer I have found that axiom remains true. Value is only what one party places on an item.
According to tax assessors or appraisors my house is "worth" a certain value. I may believe it is worth twice as much. To pay me less than I value the property is taking without just compensation.
To take your house and property to give it to another private citizen, is beyond my understanding. The Amendment clearly states FOR PUBLIC USE. I believe this is roads, parks, courthouses, and such, and then only if no other economically feasable option exists to taking private property.
I am in shock. I do not have the energy to rant, to gnash my teeth in anger. This has to stop. I have yet to find a person who thinks this is a good idea --liberal or conservative. Maybe someone can explain the upside to this dumb old Hoosier. Sam Adams, Tom Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Tom Paine -- where are you?
I fear for my country.
June 23, 2005
I am aware of your hatred of all things skateboarding, and in fact, execration of all children. I am aware that teenagers, in particular, like to gather in groups, that they dress weird, they are loud, listen to horrid music, and yes, use bad words. They take the Lord's name in vain. Sometimes they smoke. Nasty buggers teenagers are. Kids and teenagers do not usually think beyond their own immediate needs and wants. There is much left to desire when describing teenagers. I share to a degree your attitude. I am also cognizant that I acted similarly in my youth.
You bought a house beside a city park. Of course now you are upset there are actually KIDS IN THE PARK. Holy Cow, teenagers are using the park and its included skatepark. Sometimes they are annoying. Get over it. The skatepark closes at 6:00 pm for goodness sake. What are you doing all day? Get a job, volunteer, help the elderly if the kids bother you so much in the afternoon. To you and your neighbors, you had no problem with KIDS IN THE PARK when you had kids growing up. I know, because your son told me he used to hang out over there and raise hell, smoke, cuss and beat up the smaller kids for Coke money. That park was built in the 1920's. I am positive it was there before a single current homeowner.
Attention, if you are dim -- if you do not want kids near your house do not buy a dwelling located next to a park. Kids tend to go to those places. I know you like to sit on your deck shirtless, smoking and drinking while listening to country music. I guess the sight of teenagers skating in the skatepark shirtless, listening to music is truly appalling. I do not blame you. Note for the stupid types -- that is sarcasm.
As far as the skatepark ruining your quality of life and property values, I think you should look at your neighbor's broken down boat -- the weeds are over the wheel-well on the trailer. The garbage cans overflowing next to your garages might lower your values. Maybe you should move some of the broken appliances in the back yard. Mowing might help. Have you ever thought about a little paint on the trim?
Finally, I have a special comment for the lady so proud of the fact that you call the police every time you see a skateboarder on private property (even though the property does not belong to you). You Madame, are a fascist. It is people like you that let the Chekka and KGB hold the USSR under their thumb. You are a busybody,a despicable human being, a mean, evil, wretched old twat. You are a killjoy, a NIMBY of the worst sort. I bet you kick dogs, refuse to tip waitresses and poison bunnies.
I find you disgusting, reprehensible, loathsome, nasty, revolting and an insufferable bore. Your actions are lower than whaleshit, and to take joy in calling the police on kids who are doing you no harm is sick beyond words. I hope I have been clear about my feelings, you old c*nt.
Number of books I own:
More than 1,000. I really have no idea, but when I got married I had over 2,000. I have since purged the book shelves, and boxes, and storage bin, and relative's houses. I use the library more now.
Last book purchased:
Sharpe's Fortress by Bernard Cornwell. I have just started reading this series and enjoy it immensely. Rich in historical detail and a great read.
Last book read:
I often read as many as three or four books at once. I am reading / just finished (in the last week) these:
Sharpe's Fortress by Bernard Cornwell
Sharpe's Tiger by Bernard Cornwell (see above)
The Philippine War 1899 -1902 by Brian Linn
Chancy by Louis L'Amour (re-read)
5 books that mean a lot to me:
Wow, where do I start, books have been my greatest entertainment in life. Other than my family, nothing means more than the friends and adventures I have had through books.
Here are some I would recommend as some of the best reads out there:
The Maturin/Aubry books (Master and Commander) by Patrick O' Brian. Hands down the greatest historical fiction ever written. O'Brian is a master of language and you really get the feel of British Naval life in the Napoleonic era.
The Brotherhood of War or The Corps series by WEB Griffin.
Louis L'Amour - my grandfather gave me one of e westerns as a boy.
The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris one of the greatest histories ever written
Tim Dorsey or Carl Hiaason -- hilarious must read any/all
I know, that is more than 5, but any of those authors will give you a wonderful read.
June 22, 2005
The Court says that allowing a victim to testify to the damage this scumbag has caused improperly influences a jury. WTF? What kind of thinking is this? The Court says only the character of the criminal should be a influence in the decision to apply the Death Penalty.
Molly Winters, the officer's widow, said the courts have no regard for victims.
"It just isn't right," she said. "To me, it's another indication that our system is geared for the perpetrator. They don't care about the victim. They don't care about victims' rights. It's all for the perpetrator."
We have Constitutional requirements for speedy trials, and protection for the presumed innocent. At some point should not the victims be given some consideration? Fourteen years? Give me a break.
June 21, 2005
I read this article about the NCAA. Once again these pompous assholes are on a crusade to make the nation politically correct. Wait, I bet I am not allowed to use the word "crusade" and NCAA in the same paragraph, we might offend some islamo-fucking-terrorist. Any way, the it seems that the Seminole tribe is proud that the school thinks the moniker "Seminole" denotes strength, spirit, fight, and honor. If the NCAA had its way all schools would be cougars, bears and the fighting penguins, that is until PETA gets involved. At least I think my high school will be safe -- we were the Frankfort Hot Dogs (honest).
Trent Lott made a few stupid remarks in praise of Strom Thurman. He was stripped of his leadership position and his party threw him under the bus to placate the ass party. This asshole Durbin gives active aid and comfort to the enemy. Not only does his own party back him up, but the spineless, chicken-shit, ass kissing Republicans do not go after him. He is a traitor just like Hanoi Jane Fonda. You do not have to agree with the administration, but as a member of the Senate it is unforgivable that he gives false information that gives aid to the enemy. What he has done is no less execrable than Newsweek. Now it appears that his FBI agent may be made up. Durbin is a tool.
As seen in previous posts, I am a heartless bastard when it comes to kids baseball. I believe you play to win. Last night was the opening round of the league tourney. My boy's team won the first game. I overheard parents from the other team roundly criticizing one of the players who had a key error. The game of baseball is a team sport. His error cost two runs out of the eleven we scored. He has been a great and dependable player for that team all season, he had a bad night. The parents who complained should take note that their kid struck out three times. Maybe if he could hit the damn ball ball instead of jumping out of the batter's box like a big pussy, they might have won. Glass houses and all of that. In addition, these are little kids. Eleven and twelve year olds make errors. Relax, it is just a game, a big league contract and World Series bonus money were not on the line.
The Europeans are always bragging about the sophistication of the F1 racing circuit. Apparently they are unable to figure out how to go around a corner that NASCAR and the IRL negotiate at twice the speed. Of course using French tires might have something to do with it. Good luck and do not let the door hit you on the ass as you run back to Euro land. The head of F1 criticized the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for poor marketing on Friday. What a hoot, when all but 6 drivers refuse to race, we know where the problems are. In addition, two of the three most popular races in the US are held at IMS. I think they have the marketing aspect down. Let us try a pop quiz:
Name two famous automobile races.
Finally, thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we go through a tough week (especially my wife). Today is a beautiful day in Hoosierland. The sun is shining and my day lilies are in full bloom. There is plenty to be thankful for, and in the end, assholes like those I discuss above really do not matter -- but boy, do they piss me off!
June 20, 2005
I bought Hamburger Hill, Pale Rider, The Quick and the Dead (the Louis L'Amour story with Tom Selleck, not that abortion with the chick gunfighter), For the Love of the Game, Weekend at Bernies (one of the funniest movies ever made), and that Jackie Chan/Chris Rock movie that I can not remember the name (for my boy). I passed on John Wayne in McLintock, only because it is on AMC all the time anymore.
Of course the weekend went to crap, so I have only watched weekend at Bernie's. I had a great father's day. The wife and kids bought me a hammock to rest my fat lazy ass on a summer day. Sounds good about now.
June 19, 2005
My wife's mother goes into the hospital for surgery to remove colon cancer on Tuesday.
My wife's brother suffered a massive heart attack on Saturday, he remains in critical condition.
My oldest son broke his collar bone on Saturday.
Needless to say, I have some issues right now.
Your patience is appreciated.
some prayers would not hurt, if you are so inclined.
June 17, 2005
The same thing has happened every year, the manager says we will have 12 boys on the team, 14 or 15 try out and he will not cut the extra boys. Past managers have explained to the boys and the parents that the player will likely not see much action, etc., etc., and they are free to reconsider if they want to be on the team. Always, these less talented players want the honor of being on the all star team. I would too. Last year one of the worst players in the league tried out. The fact he was put on the team cheapened the honor of those who made the roster legitimately. "Johnnie made the All Stars -- you have to be kidding" I heard many of the boys and parents say.
Every year, the coach tries desperately to make sure these boys get playing time in every game. The problem is that these boys were not the best, and they are taking playing time from the better players, so that they can feel good and be a part.
I say we should cut the players and encourage them to try hard and get better for next year. I am not one of those win-at-all-costs guys living vicariously through my son. I do believe that in life some people are smarter, some are better athletes, and yes, life is not fair. Apparently, I am just the only cold hearted SOB who thinks that players should be cut if they are not good enough. Tell me if I am wrong.
June 16, 2005
It was cold outside, We were wearing winter coats. If memory serves me, there were four of us, I was the smallest. At that time I topped out just short of 5'10" and I weighed about 180. Little of it was fat. I roofed in the summers and the hard work, coupled with lots of weight training made me fairly strong. The largest guy was about 6'4", he was a lineman on the college football team. "Baby Huey" was big enough, aggressive enough, strong enough to be a starter as a freshman. He was only 19, the rest of us were at least 21. We stood along the street trying to decide if we should go back to the Fraternity House or go to the diner and get some food. We were minding our own business.
A car went by, clearly occupied by the locals, or as we sometimes called them, Townies. Cries of "Hey Faggots" and "Fuck you's" came from the car as it cruised past. It was after three in the morning. The car came along again a few minutes later as we were walking towards the diner. We were subjected to more catcalls and insults. The car suddenly swerved to the curb and we watched astonished as five guys jumped from the car. "Come on motherfuckers" and "lets go" they shouted, ready for a fight.
"What the fuck?", said my buddy as he wanted to know what was the problem. There were claims of us giving the finger, lots of cussing, name calling and posturing. The biggest, about my size had removed his coat and was shivering in the cold. I moved closer to him, sick of the whole thing. I asked him "We gonna fight or we gonna talk?". At the end of that question the football star, Baby Huey, said "Hell yeah" and punched one of the townies right in the face. I took a quick left jab at the shivering asshole, followed by a roundhouse right that caught him right on the ear, splitting it open and showering him with blood. Both guys fell to the ground, while the other three ran for the car. The other two guys with me stood there in shock.
Huey and I laughed and laughed as the last of the townies chased their car down the street. We hightailed it back home before the cops could arrive. Shit, Huey was underage! By the time we got back safe the whole event was hilarious to all concerned.
That was me, impetuous, angry and more given to action than talk in those days. Well, given to a lot of talk, but little patience. I guess some things never change.
June 15, 2005
When we first moved here the largest non-white population was Japanese managers and families living here to staff the numerous transplants. My neighborhood had several Japanese families. The elementary school my kids attended had many Japanese. Often these youngsters would arrive not able to speak a word of English. They worked hard, went to Saturday School, hired tutors and soon were able to communicate and learn. Sadly most of these boys and girls returned to Japan after 5 or 6 years, but I am sure they are richer for the experience of living in the good old USA.
The Elementary school now has a sizeable Hispanic population. I am informed it is improper to call these immigrants "Mexican". The school has posted every sign in English and Spanish. The school newspaper now comes in English on one side and Spanish on the back. We, the taxpayers, have hired 4 ESL teachers and aids to help these students learn English. The signs at the hospital are also now in English. Most businesses have bilingual signs.
Now let us contrast. The Japanese came to our community, built factories and created hundreds of jobs. They asked for no favors, in fact deemed it their responsibility to learn the customs and language of their temporary adopted home. The Hispanics come, demand we pay extra to make life easier, we speak their language etc. How many jobs have they created? Yes, they often do the low paying jobs many Americans will not do, but they also take the jobs that teenagers used to do. Try getting a part time or summer job in this town now. The Japanese made every effort to fit in -- at their expense, though they knew they would only be here a short time. The Hispanic demand we accommodate them, and they do not intend to leave.
4,000 illegals cross the border every day. Estimates are that by 2050, Hispanics will be the largest segment of our population. I can tell you, Middle America is fed up. If Bush wants to make sure his party is defeated in the 2008 elections, he need only continue with his lenient immigration policy. Mark my words, the next two election will be decided on immigration. We just need a politician with the balls to say what many of us believe -- enough is enough.
Clinton is not in Clinton County. Fort Wayne is not in Wayne County, but Richmond is. One of the largest Naval Bases in the USA is in Indiana. I bet you did not know that. It is not located on Lake Michigan, but in the hills of Martin and Greene Counties.
There is a city of Madison (home of a famous hydroplane race) but it is not in Madison County. There are towns named Greencastle, Greendale, Greenfield, Greensburg, Greentown, and Greenwood. None are in Greene County. Switz City is in Greene County, but not Switzerland County. Decatur is not in Decatur County. Of course you will not be surprised to find out that Booneville is not in Boone County, nor is Marion in Marion County.
No wonder people think we are a screwed up state, the inspiration for Foxworthy and his rednecks.
June 14, 2005
Since Walter "nose on a telephone wire" Cronkite spouted his political opinion and lies about Tet, the credibility of the big media has been strained. Today the polls show that an overwhelming majority (70+ percent) do not trust the media.
Will the egotistical asshats in charge wake up? Will they look to Fox (who also sucks, just not as bad) to see that people want unbiased reporting?
When I studied US History I learned all about the "yellow Journalism" of the 1890's. Can we honestly say that much has changed 100 years later? No I did not think so.
BTW, It is Flag Day. Do the appropriate thing.
June 13, 2005
The sun may have been shining, but the air smelled of a strange mixture of diesel exhaust and a week old container of General Tsao’s chicken with extra soy sauce. The Latino doorman asked me if I needed a cab. I asked for directions to the Park and decided I would walk. There were more people crowding the sidewalk than you find in all of Montgomeryville, Indiana during the Fourth of July parade. I saw a shadow fall into step with mine. Looking left, I saw a wrinkled face leering at me from under a filthy NY Yankees baseball cap. His greasy hair stuck out straight out above his ears, like a pair of wings pushed out by the cap. His head looked like a fat goose attempting a take-off. He offered a toothless grin when he saw me notice him. I stopped short when he asked me for money. The man’s breath smelled like stale beer and his body smelled of sweaty feet and urine. He reeked.
“What will you use it for?” I asked, sure I was about to get a sorrowful tale about his hard life and how he just needed a decent meal or a clean bed.
“To get a bottle of Hooch, you idiot.” was his retort. Based on his honesty, I flipped the panhandler a quarter. He flipped me the bird and shouted an obscenity about how cheap I was. I could only stare dumbfounded. Here I had given a man a quarter of a dollar to put towards a bottle of liquor, and he was ungrateful. The ways of New York were certainly confusing.
Eventually, I came to the Park. The trees were just coming to bud, and the grass was poking a hesitant green through last years’ brown leaves and thatch. The faint chirps of birds were audible against the hum and buzz of the city. Some kids lazily kicked a ball near the bench were I sat to rest. I relaxed and took in the ambiance of the world’s most famous park.
Do you know how sometimes you get that funny feeling that gives you a chill and stands your hairs up on end? You know that creepy kind of jumpiness that makes you physically shudder? A shadow fell across the left side of my face just as I got one of those creepy, shivery, jump-in-your seat, cold chill, and hair rising on the back of the neck feelings. I looked up to see a man, about five-foot six, leering at me through white face paint and a red painted mouth. He was wearing a stripped shirt and a derby hat with a daisy in the band. He gestured with white-gloved hands. Oh God, it was a mime. Did I mention I hate mimes?
He laid a small plastic container on the ground near my feet. I could hear the jingle of coins as he placed it on the ground. I guessed he expected me to pay for his performance. The mime began to go into his act. Now I have to admit I am not the croissant and arts kind of guy you might expect. I really prefer John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to the opera. I have only seen brief mime performances on TV, but it was clear even to me, this guy was bad. It took me nearly a minute to figure out the jerky motions and contortions were supposed to represent an imaginary tug-of-war. I have to say, looking back; it was at this moment where I made my mistake. I laughed.
I looked the guy right in the eye, painted on tears and all, and said, “Man, I hope this is your very first day of this mime crap, because you suck. You are really bad.” He pretended to cry and plunged into his routine with a renewed effort. He pretended to be blown backward by a strong wind. I rose from my bench with a laugh and moved down the sidewalk. I was followed by the mime.
He ran about twenty paces ahead of me and began to mime sweeping the sidewalk. I moved around him. He trotted in front of me and pretended to look wistfully at an imaginary something in his hand -- maybe a flower. I laughed at his lousy performance and moved around him quickly with a shake of my head.
He again blocked my path and went into the trapped-in-a-box routine. This time he refused to move out of my way. I stepped left; he mirrored me, all the time badly pretending to push on an imaginary wall. I moved right. He was still there. His face was a study in concentration. It was almost as if he was obsessed with getting my approval. I began to get mad.
At this point, I faked left and rolled to the right, a move that left many a linebacker clutching at empty air in my day as running back for the Montgomeryville Eagles. The striped demon with the painted face anticipated my every move and stayed right with me, never breaking a motion in the bad glass wall act. He was beginning to breathe hard from the exertions of the mime and staying with me. Sweat streaked his makeup. I pushed him aside with my forearm and moved quickly ahead. He circled behind and appeared on my right flank. He made a quick sidestep and tripped me.
I looked up from the concrete as he moved into a live statue routine. I stood up and hit him. Hard. I broke his nose and split his lip. I hit him again as he fell. I kicked him in the ribs. I told him to stay away from me. I guess I was a little angry.
The next few minutes were a little hazy as I got my bearings and headed in the direction of the hotel. My pulse slowed and I was just beginning to look back at the entire episode in amazement when rounded a corner past a large azalea bush. There stood the crazy mime. His white face was smeared with sweat and tear tracks. Blood dripped from his nose; his lips were a bloody pulp. As I stopped short, he began the rope pull act again. It was still bad. He did the wind thing again. It was worse. He was crying, but he still had not said a word. I was in shock. As I moved to go around him, he again blocked my path, now frantic in his gestures and movements.
I am a pretty big guy, about six-three and two hundred and twenty pounds. I grew up on a farm and have always worked hard. I work out with free weights every other day. This mime made me lose all reason. He had to be stopped. I hit him with every ounce of strength I could summon. I then gave him a left hook to the midsection and followed with a right uppercut. As he rocked back on his heels, I measured him with a left jab and followed with a strong straight right to the chin. He dropped like a tree.
I quickly walked from the park heading for my hotel. I needed a beer. I had to get out of this crazy town. Eddie and I were supposed to see the Mets on Sunday, but I was ready to head out now.
As I moved through the revolving door of my hotel and straight for the bar, I missed a figure rounding the corner. He wore a dirty, ripped striped shirt. His hat was crushed. His face was bloody and he was crying. There was a look of hate in his eyes that gave everyone who saw him pause. They avoided him with a shiver and that “hair standing up–on-your–neck” feeling you sometimes get.
June 12, 2005
June 11, 2005
List five songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they
are from, whether they have words or even if they're any good but they must be songs
you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artist and the song
in your blog along with your five songs. Then tag five other people to see what they're listening to.
I am going to change a little and list the last five CD I have purchased, as I do not listen to just songs much. I have purchased these in the last two months:
Live in Hawaii by Jimmie Buffett
Frank Sinatra live from Vegas
Greatest Hits by CSN
Me and Mr. Johnson by Eric Clapton
The Right to Bare Arms by Larry the Cable Guy
As you can see, I have eclectic tastes, but I'm stuck in the old days.
Ok I lied, actually the last CD I purchased, and I am really embarassed by this is the Saturday NIght Fever Soundtrack. I hated Disco in its prime, but I watched some show on the BeeGees and I just got in the mood. I AM SORRY.
BTW the last two songs I downloaded were For What it is Worth by Buffalo Springfield and Ridin' the Storm Out by REO Speedwagon. I am an old fart who does do a little technology!
June 10, 2005
Montcalm, Louis-Joseph,Marquis de Montcalm-Gozon de Saint-Veran (1712-59), Major General
Montcalm's fame rests on a short career during which he never commanded more than some 4,000 regular troops, and which ended with his death and defeat, and the loss of France's considerable American colonies for all time. It might be thought strange
that he should be remembered as one of France's most respected soldiers. (page 196)
Just think, there are some in this country that think we should emulate the French. I believe I have written it before, but a German friend of mine has a great joke,
"Why are there trees along the Champs de Elysee? Because the Germans like to march in shade."
June 9, 2005
It all started with the mime. Well, at least the weird part of this story. I was on my first trip to New York City. It was summer vacation. I planned to spend it following the footsteps of Jack Kerouac. I intended on traveling America, soaking up the sights and sounds of a nation. As Kerouac’s On the Road was the voice of the Beat Generation, I hoped secretly to become the voice of the post hippie, post Vietnam, post disco generation. In other words, my deepest desire was to be the voice of the eighties and the generation of the new millennium.
I was about to begin my senior year at Sugar Creek College. The trip was a result of a grant application to revisit Kerouac and compare his work against the backdrop of America today. This kind of claptrap appealed to the liberal faculty of the small private institution of Liberal Arts education in central Indiana. The ex-hippies in the English and History departments ate the idea up. They even helped me get the grants. The idea was approved as a senior project. I hoped the subsequent report and paper would be my key to graduate school and a chance to avoid getting a real job after graduation next May. My good buddy Eddie, from Upstate New York was to accompany me the first two weeks of the trip. I was going to splurge and stay at a nice hotel as I began my journey at the heart of America, The Big Apple.
I am from a small town in Indiana, and I have to admit my view of New York pretty much came from watching the classic Jack Lemmon flick “The Out of Towners.” I was sure I would have the same misfortunes that plagued the main character and his wife as he arrived in the City for a job interview. As school let out for the summer, I packed my bags and headed to New York. There, Kerouac and Dean Moriarty began their trip, and I would too. As I headed for New York, I was prepared for the BIG CITY. I was prepared for muggers and street people and prostitutes and the myriad hodgepodge of life that teems in a metropolitan city. I was prepared for the crime and the dirt and the giant buildings and the din and massive cacophony of sounds. I just was not prepared for the mime.
I arrived on Friday evening to get in a few days of sight seeing. l was to meet Eddie Saturday night and begin the first leg of the journey on Monday morning. The cab ride from LaGuardia Airport was uneventful. The cab driver probably cheated me since I did not know the best route to the hotel and because I did not understand a single word he said. I must have been tired, because the little fringe balls that decorated the interior of the cab started all swaying in different directions and I started feeling somewhat dizzy and catatonic. Maybe the weird sitar music played at full volume contributed to my trance. As near as I could understand, the driver was either some important government official or a brain surgeon in his native country. He was just driving a cab until he could get the same type of position in the good old US of A. When we arrived at the hotel I considered offering a much needed bar of soap as a tip, but decided it just was not worth it to all worked up at a smelly foreigner trying make a living.
I went to sleep early after a nondescript room service meal and a couple of beers in the hotel bar. Suddenly, at about two in the morning, the walls began to shake as the theme from the Rockford Files blasted through the wall from the adjacent room. I smacked my head on the corner of the nightstand as I searched the strange surroundings for the light switch. I did not know a TV could play that loud! The lamp on the wall above the nightstand was actually vibrating from the waves of sound. Clearly I was not going back to sleep soon. I decided not to call the front desk since I was already awake anyway. I tried to tune into the same station on my television, using the neighbors’ sound. This would have been a good idea, except the jerk started changing stations at random, hunting something better to watch. He was apparently entering numbers at random into the remote control, since I could not keep up by going through the channels in sequence. I thought I was finally safe as he paused on I Love Lucy for nearly 20 seconds before he moved to a preacher discussing salvation and sin.
After about ten minutes, there was a knock on the neighbors’ door. A loud argument ensued between the neighbor and the night manager of the hotel. Apparently, I was not the only guest irritated by the loud television. Of course, just about anyone on three floors could have heard the thing. When the real screaming and yelling began, I opened my door to see the action. The whole conversation became comical as the television began to blast the MTV theme. The hotel guy was at a clear disadvantage from the beginning. The television guy was an old man in – honest – a light blue nightshirt and red slippers. He was clearly very hard of hearing if not outright deaf.
“Mister”, shouted the manager, “You have got to turn down the television. You are disturbing the other guests.”
The old man replied, “Yes, I am a guest of this hotel.”
On the television, Boy George asked everyone in earshot if they wanted to hurt him.
“Turn it down and step inside please.” shouted the manger.
Boy George asked if we wanted to make him cry.
“What do you want? I am trying to sleep.” declared the man in the nightshirt.
The manager shoved past the old man, went into the room and turned down the TV. “You have to turn down the television, sir.” He announced with a great deal of authority. “You are disturbing the other guests”.
The old man turned the TV to a war movie. The volume hit a crescendo as the blast of sound accompanied the skirmish that erupted in the room. The clerk used the weapons of authority and quickness. The man defended by not using his hearing aid. “Get the Hell outta my room you asshole.” screamed the Old Man, “I am watching that. You are just like my fascist son-in-law, always screwing with my TV. I fought you fascist SOBs in the big one, and I will kick your ass right now if you do not get outta my room.”
The Duke led the charge through the sands of Iwo Jima. The manager pulled the plug on the TV. “You shut that thing off, or I’ll have you removed from the Hotel, Mr. Curtis,” ordered the night manager.
“Screw you; I don’t even want to watch your damn TV. The reception is no good, there is nothing on fit to watch, and the sound won’t work, your Hotel sucks, and you are a jerk Mr. Night Manager.” The old man completed his soliloquy with a resounding, triumphant “and I plan on complaining to the manager in morning about you abusive behavior.” He slammed the door with a thud. Only the cheers and applause of the guests in the surrounding rooms broke the silence. The manager’s face was red as he scurried away to the elevators.
June 8, 2005
She was my high school sweetheart. The first time I kissed her, my knees actually got weak. She will not believe it, but to my eyes she is still that beautiful young woman of 23 I married.
She will spend her day, most likely, doing Mom stuff: ferrying the little one to baseball camp, giving up her car so the oldest boy can go skateboarding, doing laundry.
I will try to cook her a nice meal, maybe we will eat on the deck, if the weather is not too hot. I bought her a really nice watch. Her favorite one gave up the ghost a few months ago. Not much for the woman of my dreams is it?
You would think after more than a 27 years of being part of my life, including almost 21 years of marriage, I would know what she wants. You see, it is funny, I know her like my own face, but I do not know her at all. I guess we are all that way. That is what keeps the spark alive, makes us interesting.
Heck, she does not know I have this blog. People are sure funny aren't they?
Happy Birthday My Love.
June 7, 2005
He looks around frantically, pacing off grids in the parking lot looking for something lost. He gives up, takes off the gloves with what appears to be disgust. He jumps back into the running Dodge and leaves.
A crow sits on the electric pole.
Someone is working on their car at the Auto Zone. I hope they know what they are doing.
Cars pull in and out of the BP/Amoco across the street.
That cloud looks like a baby elephant, a shape changing dumbo. That one a dildo.
I am bored. The phone rings, back to work.
It was just someone trying to sell me advertising in the Yellow Pages, I give them the quick and mighty brush off.
There goes a cop car, siren blaring, lights flashing.
A tan Buick just like my mom's is in the drive-through at KFC. it is an old person's car. It is not her, she lives 80 miles away. Probably some other old people; they like to eat early. Now a mini van pulls up. Maybe June Cleaver is pulling a fast one on Ward and the boys -- foisting off the Colonel's chicken as her own? Whay are all of these people buying chicken at 4:00 in the afternoon?
There are four cars and one truck in the parking lot of the Mexican grocery. I am told that referring to Mexicans as "Mexican" is politically incorrect. I should have said at the Hispanic grocery. Sorry, I am not sure what the business is called, the sign is in Spanish.
There goes a small plane. There go a couple of guys on a motorcycle. Looks like fun. If I had the dough, I would by one myself. Two guys on a bike does look a little queer though, don't you think? Is that comment also a political faux pas?
Is it quitting time yet?
I bet by now you are as bored as I.
In school I refused to wear anything except a solid color shirt when taking a test. No stripes, no plaids, no buttons were allowed. I do not like to set the alarm on an "even five number". 6:31 or 5:58 are acceptable, but not 7:00 or 6:45. I also do not like patterns on the clock when I go to sleep, if 1:23 or 12:30 appears, I will wait until the clock changes to close my eyes. Weird as hell, I know.
My boy's baseball team lost their first two games on Saturday. I keep the scorebook in my role as assistant coach. I used the same pen for both games. It was the first time I had used it (a free sample pen from work). I think I will throw it away. It never hurts.
Do you have any weird superstitions?
June 6, 2005
"The history of war does not know of an undertaking comparable to it for breadth of conception, grandeur of scale, and mastery of execution."
June 6, 1944. Not many under the age of 40, or maybe even 60, know the importance of this date. D-Day. The assault on Normandy, an operation that has never been equaled in the anals of history. The landing location was kept a secret, the Hun was stunned to the very core. Yet it was a close thing. Read the fine tome by Stephen Ambrose. Did you think Private Ryan was graphic? Read the words of the men at Utah, Gold, Juno, and Omaha beaches.
Nearly 175,000 Canadians, British, and Americans landed on D-day, at a cost of more than 10,000 casualties. We do not know for sure. It was only after several days of fighting that role calls were made, paperwork completed. Over 6,600 Americans were casualties, over 2,000 of those were on Omaha Beach and 2,500 were from the Airborne troops. These men sacrificed to save the world from the likes of Hitler. They freed Europe and saved France from its own traitorous Vichy Government.
"As the first men jumped, they crumpled and flopped into the water. Then order was lost. It seemed to the men that the only way to get ashore was to dive head first in and swim clear of the fire that was striking the boats. But, as they hit the water, their heavy equipment dragged them down and soon they were struggling to keep afloat. Some were hit in the water and wounded. Some drowned then and there... But some moved safely through the bullet fire to the sand and then, finding they could not hold there, went back in to the water and used it as cover, only their heads sticking out. Those who survived kept moving with the tide, sheltering at times behind underwater obstacles and in this way they finally made their landings.
Within ten minutes of the ramps being lowered, Company A had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and Sergeant had been killed or wounded... It had become a struggle for survival and rescue. The men in the water pushed wounded men ashore, and those who had reached the sands crawled back into the water pulling others to land to save them from drowning, in many cases only to see the rescued men wounded again or to be hit themselves. Within twenty minutes of striking the beach Company A had ceased to be an assault company and had become a forlorn little rescue party bent upon survival and the saving of lives."
Official Unit Report, Company A, 116th Infantry, 29th Division.
On the backs of these men and the rest of the "Greatest Generation" that we owe our freedom today. Thank God for them in your payers tonight.
June 3, 2005
Barbara and Laura Bush? Ellen DeGeneres, Brett Favre,and MICHAEL MOORE are included but not the author of the Constitution,James Madison? I am sure (well in at least Favre's case) these are fine people, but the greatest Americans ever? No Grant, Lee, or Sherman? Why is there no Adams or Henry Clay on the list? Omar Bradley, Where are you? Heck if we are going to be politically correct, where is Cochise, Geronimo, or Red Cloud? Were there no great Americans in the 1800s?
But Christopher Reeves made the list. Let us see, he made one OK movie and a lot of bad ones. He fell off a horse and was crippled. That just about covers it. What did he do to become one of the greatest Americans? "But HB. You whine, he did so much for the handicapped". Really?, What did he do before he was crippled?
This list is a waste of time. If you are one of my five readers and you watch this show, do not come back to this blog. You are a moron and a waste of good oxygen.
I have always taught my kids to give 100% all the time. Never quit, never say die. This tenacity has been at times a detriment to my career. I have been called a bulldog (and an asshole) but I believe you always give your all.
We stayed to watch the second game of the evening. Heck, I love baseball at any level, and honestly at 11 and 12 years old many of the kids really are starting to know the game.
The game was a blowout. By the 5th inning the score was 10 to 3. The boys on the losing team were quiet, they knew they would lose. The coaches sat in the dugout, no words of encouragement, no support, nothing. At one point I heard the manager yell "Good job, blow another one" as the second baseman missed a ball. It was his son.
The boys gave up. A ground ball was hit to the first baseman, he did not even try to beat the batter to the base. Why did the kids quit? Because the adults gave up. That was the lesson they learned last night, just give up if it gets too hard.
Now I am not the cheerleader type. But as a coach and role model for these boys you must encourage them, exhort them to give their best EVERY TIME, EVERY MINUTE. Do any less and you have failed as a role model, as a coach, as a parent.
June 2, 2005
Since that time I have studied Watergate in detail. Read Liddy's updated version of WILL. I am more and more convinced Dean planned the idiotic break in. What happened at Watergate is not the issue. The recent revelations as to the identity of Deep Throat is.
You see, the reporters at the Post did not break open the story as popular myth would have us believe. They reported only what the Justice Department was investigating. As with most criminal investigations, the details were not for public consumption.
Mark Felt, the number 2 guy at the FBI, turned over and leaked information to the Post. Today some call him a hero, a whistleblower. I call him a rat fink bastard stoolie. The guy was only interested in getting back at Nixon for passing him over for the top FBI spot. He knew he was a lying rat bastard or he would have come forward before. If he really wanted to expose "corruption at the highest levels" he would have gone to the Justice Department. If he had new evidence he should have gone to his fellow law enforcement officers. Instead he leaked internal information to get even with his boss because he did not get the promotion he wanted. In the end there is no difference between his actions and those of Linda Tripp, except Tripp had the guts to stand up in public.
Nixon was a crook. The Watergate stuff was idiotic. Felt was a small minded, bitter, cockroach hiding from the light, rat who turned on his boss. Hero, my ass. All he did was prove that Nixon made at least one good decision when he did not name him to the top post at the FBI. The man was unfit to lead a law enforcement agency and he proved it.
June 1, 2005
We hit all the tourist spots, Olympic Plaza, the underground, and the Coke Museum.
At the Coke Museum they have a room where there are fountains dispensing every product made by Coke worldwide. You could grab a little cup and sample the wares.
The kids thought this was great. We let them drink their fill and try everything, heck, it was vacation.
I noticed my oldest boy, who was around six at the time was taking a cup drinking it, then replacing his cup on another stack. It did not register at first. He continued to do this -- take a cup from the left, fill it, drink it, replace on the right. Then it hit me. He was putting his dirty cups in the clean stack instead of throwing them away! I made him stop, but he was so earnest that he thought the left stack was for used ones. I asked what he thought all the trash cans were for.
Of course we laughed our asses off. I did not drink any more and we soon left. If my kid would do it, I am sure others did too.
Do they still have this room? Are there still little disposable cups you sample from? Be aware.