Sunday, August 27, 2017

Turkey...

...in the treetops...reminds me of the old WKRP in Cincinnati episode where they dropped turkeys from a helicopter to people in the parking lot.

It turned into chaos as the turkeys fell and hit the ground "like sacks of wet cement" and bombed the hapless patrons below.

Included was an hilarious sendup of the famous Hindenburg broadcast when Les Nessman exclaimed "Oh the humanity!" as people ran for their lives from the turkey bombs exploding around them.

And finally the shell shocked station manager exclaims, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!"

Well, I'm here to report they can...sort of...they leap into the air and fly up into a tree in our backyard on a regular basis...of course the babies seem mostly earthbound at the moment...
...they trail around after the mother hen as she leads her brood on feeding excursions.  That's Smokey the cat in the top of the photo...they ended up following him for awhile like he was the Pied Piper until he slipped into the woods and made his getaway.

Karen was painting the walls in our basement and sent me this photo...
I told her it's perfect, leave it just like that...but alas she painted it all white eventually.  I do now have my Total Gym and bike down there, along with a bunch of shelves stacked with boxes and etc.  It's been a couple of months since I did a decent workout, but I am determined today's the day I will start again.

But first, this morning I presented myself as a human sacrifice to assuage the anger of the golf gods, and man were they ever pissed off at me.  At least that's my theory...there's no way I could be as bad as I did today so there must be some other explanation...
That's the view from the 4th tee where I waited 45 minutes for them to turn off the sprinklers, which in days gone by they assured me were all done by 7:30...more like 8:30 today.  When they did finally turn them off I promptly dropped my tee shot in the drink and so it went today.

By the 9th hole I was so disgusted with my performance I was ready to throw myself in front of a bus, but today even that would probably have taken me 3 or 4 tries to get it right.

In the 1975 Western Open golfer Lee Trevino was struck by lightning.  Later he said he should have been swinging his 1 iron and when asked why he replied, "Because not even God can hit a 1 iron."

Today I was trying once again to use my cleek iron, which is basically equivalent to a 1 iron.  That is not the sum total of my issues, but it certainly contributed to my woes.  I should have just left it in the bag but no...I was determined to get it right, which of course I never did.

And once I'm struggling in one area it seems to bleed over into every area of my game.

Oh well...got home, removed the offending club, and spent an hour hitting whiffle golf balls with my mid iron, mashie and niblick in my backyard, trying to regain some semblance of competence.

And just so we're clear, golf clubs should have names, not numbers, and have shafts made of hickory, not super springium titanium carbonium or whatever it is they make them from today.

Finally bought a pump for the 300 pound fountain in front of our home...
Love the black eyed susans Karen planted on either side.

After working around the yard most of the day Karen and I relaxed by the fire on the patio outside the living room...
That chiminea actually broke in two pieces when we were moving it from the house in Wyoming...the top basically just lifted right off the bottom, about half way up the opening...so we bought some fire brick caulk and "glued" it back together, then found some rustoleum paint made for painting outdoor fireplaces to cover the caulk line...worked very well and we enjoyed relaxing for an hour before moving the party indoors.

Last night we watched LA Confidential again...
...great movie...Kim Basinger won an Oscar for that movie, but it should have gone to Russell Crowe...he's dynamite as officer Bud White and steals every scene he's in.
Love that flick.

But now it's time to attack the garage and all the flotsam and jetsam harbored therein.  Karen is motivated to clean out enough to get her car inside.

We'll see.

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Merry Christmas Y'all...

...and Happy Holly Days...thought this stuff wasn't supposed to show up until Christmas time, but here it is in all it's Glo-ry in front of our wall.  It's pretty, but no thank you...not ready for Christmas yet.

However, the change of seasons is fast approaching...temps are dropping into the low 50's at night as the days continue to get shorter...O joy...
...but it does make fires in the early evening enjoyable...

So I shelved my book, "On Being A Man...in a pajama boy world", mainly because it wasn't the book I intended to produce.
It's kind of a long explanation how I could end up completing a 200+ page manuscript and then conclude, "hey!  this isn't what I wanted to write!"

Sounds absurd, but there is a logical progression that occurred at a turning point when I made a conscious decision - the wrong decision I believe now - to keep moving forward in this "new direction".

Without delving into the minutia, the high level explanation is I veered into theological fields I didn't originally intend to plow...

...and as we all know, politics and religion are two subjects capable of eliciting very strong emotional reactions from the hoi polloi, the great unwashed, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

As an example, I asked a competent professional single woman who makes no claim to being a church person if she'd like to read the manuscript before I published it.
Before she did so, I would have told you we were on friendly terms.
Afterwards, not so much.
In fact she was so incensed by what I'd written she told me in very specific language what she thought of me.

I won't repeat the two word epithet here, but will note both words begin with “a” and the first one is “arrogant”.
And while none of that changed my mind about anything I'd written, I decided there are better, more capable men and women to carry whatever banner I may have been waving with that book.
So I've filed it for now under the "potential re-write" category, because I may in the future revisit this subject in the way I had originally intended...pointed, but lighthearted...bc I do believe we have an epidemic of pajama boys skipping about our collapsing society.
When you're 25 years old and the biggest thing you have going is capturing legendary pokemons and choosing the right facial hardware to complement your man bun, something has gone terribly wrong.
It's both hilarious and tragic all at the same time, and I may make attempt number two at chronicling this sad estate.
For now I'm turning my attention to "When A Cardinal Appears, Volume 2"
That's the cover for the first book, so I'll have to change that, but basically it will be more short stories I've written, along with some poems.
I'm trying to start something new, but so far the house renovation is taking up too much time and energy after work.  From a creativity standpoint the well may not be dry, but it's definitely low.
Next best thing?  Revisiting past stories and gathering them into book form.  It's a step or two down the creativity ladder...requires some writing in the "author's insights" sections, but not as much energy as writing new stuff does.
Hopefully this will prime the pump.
I't's Saturday morning with much to do on this beautiful late summer / early fall day, so...

later, mcm fans...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My New Ride...

...a 1915 Model T "Runabout"...well, it would be if I had a bunch of money laying around that I didn't need...

Here's another look:
Yes, I know...why would anyone need two Model T's?  Why not get a model A or something newer that can actually drive 50+ mph?  Would be a lot more useful...can't take Mr. T out and about on many roads bc people get pissed off if you're going 35 in a 40 zone.

But I don't know...there's just something magnificent about Model T's...they were so impactful to society...they put the world on wheels in a way that had never been done before...a truly significant part of our country's history.  I love owning a Model T.

Of course, owning a 1965 Bonneville would be cool, too:
...or maybe a 1959 Cadillac?
Gotta love those big tail fins...

Of course, a 1956 T-bird is pretty cool, too...
But the crown jewel is the 1956 Corvette...
Someone really should start a go fund me page in my name so I can own all these gorgeous cars...now there's a worthy cause...

I think that's enough coveting for one blog entry...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Holy Fountain...

...Of "Man Is That Thing Ever Heavy"...it has to weigh 300 pounds altogether...thankfully it's in three pieces but still...the base and shell part have to be more than 200 pounds...my achin' back.

Karen wanted it out of the little pond in our courtyard...that's going to get filled in - after I jackhammer a drainage hole in the bottom...and we're going to put a pool in front of that area - but still within the courtyard.

So Jack and Jill, engaged in a questionable water activity, had to go...to the front yard, apparently.

In the heat of the day on Saturday...
...ok, it's in the direct sunlight, but it was still pretty hot...
...we were treated to a turkey parade...
...until the deer feeder opened fire on them...
...those little dots under the feeder are kernels of dried corn - deer feed, apparently - being hurled at a high rate of speed across the yard.

This happens 4x per day, at 6 am, 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm.  The turkeys were pelted at precisely 2 pm on Saturday afternoon...they squawked appropriately and turkey trotted their feathered behinds out of there.

You do NOT want to be standing next to the deer feeder when it unloads; this I know from experience.

Right after I got it set up I decided I should test it out, so I knelt down and pressed the "test" button.

I noticed it started a countdown...10...9...8...

Around about 5 it occurred to me that maybe they gave you time to back up a bit so you didn't get deer feed dropped on your toes...so I backed up a few steps.

3...2...1...and then my deer feeder turned assault weapon commenced firing hard dried kernels of corn at me, pinging them off my arms, legs, noggin, etc.

Naturally I engaged in a dignified if somewhat hasty retreat ("what the...? ouch!  holy crap!  OUCH!") but had to put almost 20 yards between me and the loaded weapon to get out of bruise missile range.

If any deer are peacefully feeding when that thing launches they're going to be in for a surprise.

"Honey?  Why are there unconscious deer lying in our yard?"

Bumped into an old acquaintance while golfing today...
...Deuce Mulligan was staking out the course again.  His pal Bixby left him hanging so I acquiesced to his request for a round of 9 together.

That, plus the fact I forgot my bag stand / walking stick, left me a little flustered...hated to lay my bag down in the dew of the morning grass, but without my bag stand...
...I had no choice.

Yep, weak as they are, those are my excuses for today's round.

"Still choking the cobra I see," Deuce commented, as I put a death grip on my mashie in preparation for my tee shot.  "And what's with hitting a mashie from the tee?  Ain't you never heerd of a spoon or a brassie before?"

"You play your way, I'll play mine," I hissed as I topped it and hit a worm burner 60 yards.  At least I was in the fairway.

"Whew," he offered, shaking his head sadly.
"If you pay attention boy, I'll show you how it's done."

I wanted to tell him, "if you see a boy around here you kick his a**"...

...but he was already striding confidently to the tee where he struck his brassie 180 yards straight down the fairway while I stared, 50 shades of green with envy.

He nodded, a quick jerk of his head, then looked over at me for approval.

None was forthcoming.

He whistled and joked his way through 9 while I stomped and swore under my breath through the same but very different course.

When we were finally holing out he drained a 20 footer for a birdie while I 3 putted for a number nowhere near the same zip code as par.

"Well, thanks for the round," he offered as he hoisted his pencil bag and headed for the parking lot.

"Still driving a Model T I see!" I called after him.
It was petty, a low blow...after being soundly spanked on the golf course it was my sad attempt to needle him since he'd told me last time he was hoping to be riding in style in a 1931 Model A Roadster by now.
He stopped in his tracks, then slowly turned to face me.

"Hey buddy, ain't you heerd?  There's a Depression on!'

With that he strode to his T...
...cranked it a few times, then climbed in when it roared to life and bounced away down that old dirt road.

later, mcm fans..

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Miracle...

...On Washington Avenue...yes, that's a 202 on the scoresheet...told Karen when I got home and she said "did you use a different ball?"

Her doubt in my sudden improvement is well-founded, and I was in fact using a different ball...I normally use my "dice ball"...
...it has a core that won't hook, which was fine with me...didn't bowl enough to try to control a hook.

But today I decided to go ahead and pull out my Brunswick...
...which will hook and after warming up with an unimpressive game 1, I started to feel it a little bit.

Marked in 9 out of 10 frames...missed an easy 1 pin spare in the 10th...had I converted I would have had shot at a 214.

But I'll take a 202 any day and it will probably be many days before I see it again...anyway, it was fun but a little bit nerve wracking for the last 5 or 6 frames.
A seniors league was just finishing up as I completed my first game, and by the 4th frame of my 2nd game they were done and just hanging around.  It's a small bowling alley, only 14 lanes, and once they finished I was the only one bowling.

By frame 5 I was aware of a hush that fell over house the when I stepped onto the lane.  Part of that was undoubtedly common bowling courtesy.  These were people in their 70's and 80's and unlike the last couple of generations, they were raised with manners and taught to be polite.

And part of it was the simple fact there was nothing else to watch at that moment...if they weren't going home right away, they might as well sit and kibitz while the new guy rolls a few frames.

So they did, and thankfully I was in and around the pocket most of the time...but by the 8th frame I was well aware I was being studied.

Wish I was better and could have rolled something more impressive like a 260 but oh well...I finished and didn't even give a 2nd thought to rolling another game.

There was no way on God's green earth I was going to improve on that 202 and I wasn't up for having 15 or 20 elders sit around and watch my collapse.

So I finished on a high note, paid the man and headed outside where I could breathe again.

And since this was a vacation day, I actually started it with a round of 9 holes at the Pheasant Run course in Borculo.

I've mentioned this before, but I don't keep score when I golf...I play on a win/loss system.  For each shot...if I hit it well, it's a win...if I don't, it's a loss.  When the round is over, if I have more wins than losses, it was a good day.
Used my mid iron from the tee on #4...didn't land in the water hazard, and actually ended up in the fairway...win!

Next shot I hit fat and it only went about 60 yards, so that was a loss.  3rd shot was a mashie which put me on the left side of the fairway, about 120 yards further along...win...4th shot was a niblick that went about 70 yards, right in front of the green...win...short niblick onto the green...win...3 putt...loss.

That's 4 wins vs 2 losses...a good hole...actual score was an 8 on a par 4, so most golfers would not be happy...but I whistled my way to the 5th tee, feeling ok about how I did.

When I struck my mid-iron 150 yards from the tee, that was another win...and so it goes from hole to hole...

And today was a good round...didn't bother totaling up my actual score...just know I finished the 9th hole with more wins than losses and felt good about my pleasant stroll through the country.

The rest of the day was working around the house, getting various and sundry accomplished in this, our neverending renovation.

Also bought a salt lick and deer food to put by our feeder...
...hoping to entice Bambi into our backyard...realistically it will probably be fall before that happens.

Finally got a quote on some cupboards for our kitchen...I suppose it's at least possible we'll finish the renovation sometime in the next 10 years or so...but right now it doesn't feel that way.

Hey!  forgot to mention...actually sold 13 books in one day...6 e-books...

...and 7 paperbacks...

...sad to say, that's the most I've sold in one 24 hour period.  Wish I understood the who and why of that...might become a better marketer if I did.

and on that happy note...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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Thank you!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Covered...

...in yummy pollen...a good day for Mr. Bee...he showed up on our fence rail after shamelessly cavorting with our flowers...
...recently planted by Karen...black eyed susans, cone flowers, daisies...
...and hibiscus which are already here from previous owners...

Here's the best thing about my round of golf today...
...that's the early morning mist hanging low over the fields of a neighboring farm...I stopped on my way to the links and snapped that pic just bc I liked the way it looked.

The rest was pretty much downhill after that...didn't do terrible...only lost one ball, an errant shot into the woods...but didn't do well enough to feel good about it either...a few really good shots mingled with some really bad ones.  Best hole was probably 7...two decent mashie shots put me just in front of the water hazard, and a nice niblick shot would have put me on the fringe of the green had it been 3 feet to the right...as it was it landed on the edge of the sand trap...my shot from there landed on the far edge of the green and a 2 putt made 6...should have been a five.

Progress on the house reno continues...kitchen now has laminate countertops and #4 son cut a doorway through the stone wall from the kitchen into the TV room.
Lots of plastic everywhere to control the dust, of which there was plenty...
...and the (almost) end result: a doorway...with a hot wire strung across the bottom part...yet another job for the electricians.  Once they re-route that, Chris will frame in the doorway.

This was a major job that took about 5 hours to complete.  Chris has done lots of masonry / cement work in the past and said these were the hardest stones he's had to cut...he also believes they were probably quarried especially for this house since they are all so similar in size and appearance.

Since the home was custom built for a millionaire a way on back in 1961, he's probably right.

One thing's certain...if we ever finish this, it will be with much rejoicing and a deep sense of thanksgiving.  We love living here, but are tired of living in a construction zone.

Friday was a day off so I went bowling for the first time in a couple of years with predictable results...but it was still fun bc this place has wooden lanes, nothing synthetic...and no computer scoring, just paper sheets you score yourself.
I've done worse, that's for sure.

Summer's winding down, so I'm taking the next 3 Fridays off for long weekends...hoping for good progress on the house reno as well as some fun before Fall comes knock knock knocking on summer's door.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



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Thank you!