Wednesday, September 30, 2020

From the Crest of a Hill

 The car parked next to the field, and the man opened the door.  Two dogs leaped out, tails wagging and gratitude expressed in every muscle.  The man motioned toward the green field and those dogs took off.

They flew.  The big black retriever ate up the ground with his long strides.  The black and white Border collie glided along the grass behind the bigger dog.  They bounded and rolled with each other, taking turns in the chase, and stopping reluctantly at their owner’s whistle.

The owner held a bright tennis ball, and the dogs lay at his feet in anticipation.  He teased them some, but then lofted the ball far off into the field.

The retriever burst into a full run, hind legs pushing off and front legs leaping forward.  He was fast and soon found the ball.

all photos courtesy of

Behind him ran the collie.  He had run his best and his fastest, but short legs never beat long legs.  Laws of physics demand consistency.

Again, they waited for the owner’s throw.  Again they raced each other to the ball.  Again, the retriever trotted back with the ball in his mouth, head high and tail waving from side to side.  He dropped the dripping ball at the man’s feet and looked up expectantly for the next throw.

Happy, happy, happy!  I'm so happy....

This time the collie didn’t return to the owner.  Instead, the wee black and white dog stopped half-way, and waited.
In your face, big dog!

The owner sent the ball off into the field.  The collie watched it go overhead, and ran with it, seeing it land in a patch of sea grass.  He plucked it from its perch, and trotted back.  Coming to a braking stop is hard for a locomotive retriever; he rolled head over tail, just as the perky collie carried the ball to the man.

The collie played the game well, getting to the ball first time after time.  The retriever poured on the power, ran his big dog heart out, but lost.  Finally the retriever gave up, and lay down. 

The man whistled and the dogs climbed into the open car door.  They moved slowly, but the retriever moved the slowest of all.

(Observations on a breezy ocean day: 2008)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

If you can read the directions, you can thank a teacher.

DSC 3283
I can do this...
The following is some advice that all should follow to make lives easier.

   Read the directions first.

   Follow the directions.

Now this is the hard part.  No matter how many times one has assembled an IKEA product, no one is an expert.  No one can or should open an IKEA box, look at the parts, screws, and that one lonely Allen wrench…and then say, heck, I can do this.  Then toss the directions (unread) aside, to proceed.

   After screwing up the whole process, take the object apart and read the directions this time.  Hopefully, your failure gone unobserved and no one is giggling. Hopefully, no screws are missing. If they have, you are in big trouble, especially if the Allen wrench is gone. Oh, man, this is bad.

Here is another bit of advice:

 Set the timer.
It does not matter what is being done.  If the directions say: Set the timer for 15 minutes to allow the glue to set.

This is also a hard part, as most assume that surely it was meant to say 45 minutes.  After all you are the adult here. When maybe an hour has passed and the project is finally checked, no profanity should be allowed.  It is your own damn fault.  Call the 1-800 number to see what can be done to un-stick the glue.

      Set the timer.

    If the cake directions say 35 minutes at 350°, then do it.  Do it.  Taking a burnt dry cake, covered with thick icing, to a family function will not disguise this error. This also applies to any cooked project, be it jello or a roast.

    Set the timer or else.   

I   When adding water to the pool, set the timer.  When 45 minutes should do it, and then forgetfully, let it go for an hour and a half, water will flow out onto the concrete, etc.  This, too, cannot be disguised. This also applies to any water-related activity. Water is unforgiving.

     Set the blasted timer, you idiot.  
I   If a soccer-playing child is supposed to be picked up at 4 pm, and 5 pm rolls around, that child will catch a ride with some other parent. Most likely this parent didn't like you in the first place. This parent and other parents will think that the aforementioned parent is inept. Embarrassment is inevitable.  The child will also tell his other parent. Nothing ever remains secret. AND this will never be forgotten.

   Read the directions and then make a decision to pay someone to do something for you.  

     Write down important stuff with your hand, paper, and pen.

    Write important stuff on an honest-to-God paper calendar. Smart phones are not always that smart and tend to need re-charging at bad moments. Pin info on the bulletin board, tape on the refrigerator, or write on a whiteboard.

OH, this list could go on and on.  It is suggested that one add to this list on their own, and then

Follow the directions.

If you can all make it through this blog, thank a teacher, yours or someone else's teacher.

P.S. This is a re-post from 2015. It is still applicable, one of those timeless posts.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Stand for your beliefs

Getting a summer job between school years was life blood of the next school year: No job, no money, no school. 

One job I held for two summers in a row was working as an intern for Farmers Home Administration. The first day was a normal, meet and greet thing, until the assistant administrator came from his office. The man filled up the door frame, hair just brushing the top jam.

Bob Robertson is a big man, retired pro-football player, a hometown farm boy, and he is a giant. Bob sent this article to others like me, and I am posting it here.  

Image may contain: 2 people, people playing sports and outdoor
Ted Tebow
Some Folks Have Come to Despise the NFL...

For fans who follow the sport, most of this will be a simple reminder of things you already know. For the rest, it's a wake-up call:

In 2012 the NFL had an issue with Tim Tebow kneeling before each game to pray, they also had an issue with Tebow wearing John 3:16 as part of his eye-black to avoid glare, and made him take it off.

In 2013 the NFL fined Brandon Marshall for wearing green cleats to raise awareness for people with mental health disorders.

In 2014 Robert Griffin III (RG3) entered a post-game press conference wearing a shirt that said "Know Jesus Know Peace" but was forced to turn it inside out by an NFL uniform inspector before speaking at the podium.

In 2015 DeAngelo Williams was fined for wearing "Find the Cure "eye black for breast cancer awareness.
In 2015 William Gay was fined for wearing purple cleats to raise awareness for domestic violence. (Not that the NFL has a domestic violence problem..).

In 2016 the NFL prevented the Dallas Cowboys from wearing a decal on their helmet in honor of 5 Dallas Police officers killed in the line of duty.

In 2016 the NFL threatened to fine players who wanted to wear cleats to commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

So tell me again how the NFL supports free speech and expression. It seems quite clear based on these facts that the NFL has taken a position against any action by NFL players demonstrating RESPECT for any issue:

God, social causes such as mental health, cancer, domestic violence, for cops killed arbitrarily, for being cops, or for the Memory of 9/11...
BUT they will allow demonstrations of DISRESPECT for our National Flag, our National Anthem, for America, and for the American People, if it will help mollify a particular Group and its supporters. 

That is who and what the NFL now has shown itself to be.

It takes big men who stand up for their country, and bow in prayer to God. Bob Robertson is one of those big men with a big heart for his beliefs.

My computer literally gave up,  still on warranty. So the tablet is all I have. Maybe tomorrow? 

Monday, September 14, 2020

What a Flag Represents

YouTube, about 5 minutes long

YouTube: "Paul Gottfried, veteran and member of the American Legion in Johnstown, OH, recites the Ragged Old Flag, by Johnny Cash. Gottfried performed this hundreds of times for school children during ceremonies over the years. He has stage four brain cancer and his post wanted his recitations recorded. He is a true patriot and loves old glory like no other. Matt Branson"

What is valued in someone's life? What is respected by others? Is a collectible item more important than what is valued and respected?

#america #americanflag #sky #mountains #acrylic #painting #canvas
MaryAnn Kochanowski

Sassy. Oh, yeah.
I have discovered a great site for me, for I am empress of sassiness.  Anyway, the following paragraphs are from that Sassy Senior FB site:

I found this timely, because today I was in a shoe store that sells only shoes, nothing else. A young girl with a tattoo and green hair walked over to me and asked, "What brings you in today? I looked at her and said, "I'm interested in buying a refrigerator." She didn't quite know how to respond, had that deer in the headlights look.

I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.

When people see a cat's litter box they always say, "Oh, have you got a cat?" I just say, "No, it's for company!"

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in case of an emergency. I think you should write, "An ambulance."

The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Have you ever noticed: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.

The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he knows when he's really in trouble.

Did you ever notice that when you put the 2 words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs?"

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me.

I want people to know why I look this way.

I've traveled a long way and a lot of the roads were not paved.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up, sags or leaks.

Ah! Being young is beautiful but being old is comfortable.

Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

May you always have:

Love to share,

Cash to spare,

Tires with air,

And friends who care.

From Sassy Senior Society

It is serendipitous to happen onto something that is just what you want or need. This was one of those: clever with a fair amount of humor which makes me wish I had written something like it.

Stay well, work in the garden, walk in green woods, and love one another.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Quintessential Radio: Delia, Oh, Delia

Quincy, Illinois

Annnndd, we’re back.  I’m Jimmy on WGEM with Dr. Bill chewing the fat with Joliet Federal Penitentiary inmate, J.C. Today is “why did you murder someone?”

Dr. Bill…Greetings one and all. We have J.C. to tell us about Delia. (Clears throat). Okay, Johnny boy, tell us why and how you killed Delia.

J.C…Delia, oh Delia. Delia, all my life. If I hadn’t shot poor Delia, I’d have had her for my wife…(loud sniffing). Delia’s gone, one more round, Delia’s gone.

Dr. Bill…Darn straight confession here, Johnny. What brought you here? Why kill Delia? (dim chuckling into the mic). Big time loser, here Jimmy, commercial time. Bring me a beer?

J.C…Well, I went up to Memphis and met Delia there. Found her in her parlor, tied her in her chair. Now, Delia’s gone. (Nose blowing). One more time, Delia’s gone.

Dr. Bill…Hey, now. Why in hell would you kill someone like Delia? I mean, are you such a lowlife you’d do this? Okay, Jimmy. Make that two beers.

J.C…Well, Delia was low down and trifling and she was cold and mean. That kind of evil make me want to grab my submachine. (amused laugh).

Dr. Bill… A submachine gun? Good grief, man.  Nothing else would take her down?  Soooo, then what happened?  Jimmy, are you recording this?

J.C… First time I shot her, I shot her in the side. (Chuckling and profanity)

Dr. Bill… Jimmy? Look this guy’s name up, okay? In her side? Not a kill shot, Johnny boy. Why not? In fact, that was sadistic. Man, that was just plain cold.

J.C…Hard to watch her suffer, but with the second shot, she died. (Sound of toilet flush. A string of obscenities.)

Dr. Bill… Okay, now. Johnny boy, your lack of remorse is amazing. You killed her, man!  What bothers you about any of her murder? Jimmy, once J.C. is done here, we gotta hit our favorite burger and beer joint.

J.CJailer, oh, jailer. (Who’s up for some weightlifting?) I can’t sleep ‘cause all around my bedside I hear the patter of Delia’s feet. Delia’s gone, on more time.

Dr. Bill… Okay, J.C. let’s wrap this up. So what’re your final words of advice to all those innocent inmates?

J.C… So, if your woman’s devilish you can let her run. Or you can bring her down and do her like Delia got done. Delia’s gone, one more round, Delia’s gone. (Guard, guard! Get me outta here.)

Dr. Bill… Well there you have it folks. Know anyone on lifetime vacations? Heavy swearing. Delia, oh, Delia. How did you get hooked up with one cold hearted bastard?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Music Lightens the Heart

1965? Promoted to high school.  1968? MLK Jr was assassinated, Democratic National Convention in Chicago showed me just how harsh the world is.  1969...

Current times have smash ups of disasters. Now, it is time to view life and disasters, in ways and perspectives we do not consider.  Now, see and discuss. 

Sound of Music, about 4 minutes long

Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody Revised
about six minutes
Truly this is a great way to spend time being who
we are, we love to be, giggling

Friday, September 4, 2020

And then, there was Jesus

It did not matter, back then, or in the here and now. We are not in charge. Man was never in charge. We will never be in charge. And really, that is a good thing, since man is famous-notorious-destined for messing things up.

All the tragedies done by man are without number. But there is only ONE being who has not failed and left man, and that is Jesus.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

My parents were part of a strict Protestant sect in a rural town in the Midwest. Our town's population was about 450, including farm families. There were four churches of different denominations, and most of them were also strict.

No movies, no dancing, eating where liquor was served, basically the choices for a date was also strict.

Not only was it a strict place, but a white bread place. I had never seen a person of different color, race, faith until I was in college. The world was opened up, somewhat scary and always exciting. South Pacific was much the same, but heartbreaking in conflict of WW2, meeting indigent peoples. Respect? 

West Side Story, we have seen it in many stage plays.  The social, political, and people of that era says so much the 50s didn't say.

South Pacific stage play

West Side Story

What I watched and understood as a teenager morphed as I became an adult. Great musical, great actors and voice! Great messages, if you look for them.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Torch in the Dark Fount

White Crocus Flower - Free High Resolution Photo
Such fragility

Finn struggled with creating meaningful narrative in his latest book, Torch in the Dark Fount.

Liam carefully spread the ceremonial shawl upon….

Who? Why would he “spread” any shawl upon…? Delete…delete…

Liam grasped his knife and savagely shred the silken shawl ….

A little better….type, type…

Liam presented a fragile white crocus dipped in enemy blood to Warrior Queen Maeve. 

Ah, much better, Finn decided. With a chest filled with pride, he headed to his kitchen.

However, Finn Liam did not push save, something he would regret in a few hours. Rookie mistake, but it was not Finn's Liam's first.
Image result for flower dipped in blood

The underlined words are part of the Wednesday Words from Sept. 2016.