Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Passing...

...of A Great American...and of an era.

Richard Arvin Overton, 112 years old...born on May 11, 1906 (!)...died on December 27th, 2018.

Mr. Overton was the oldest WWII veteran, and an amazing human being.

And, as the picture above indicates, he was a cigar smoker...also a coffee lover, and a whiskey drinker...definitely my kinda guy.

Treat yourself and watch this video made about him when he was 109 years young...

Richard Arvin Overton

I love his outlook on life, and his summary statement that he may give out, but he'll never give up.

May he rest in peace, and may all of us embrace his spirit.
I've got a long way to go to catch up to Mr. O, but today is my birthday so Karen posted this on FB: shoot me...I like hats...

Thanks, y'all...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Post-Christmas Blues...

...well, maybe not so much...that's the Hostess with the Mostest surveying just a few of the holiday treats she set out for the big day...there was quite a bit more, including deviled eggs, barbecued pulled chicken and the like...

...but then we did have two waves of revelers on Christmas, early afternoon followed by the evening shift...and even with all that we still have plenty of enjoyable day and a relaxing couple of days after, as well.

I even got outside and swung my hickories a few times yesterday...temps in the low 40's and no snow so took advantage of the almost decent weather...
...and of course I had to dress for the occasion...glad I did, too, bc I actually hit pretty well, considering I haven't been able to walk 9 for more than a month now...grrrrr...

It's not post-Christmas blues, anyway...for me it's post-writing blues...always feel this way after I finish a writing project...the exultation of completing the mission is inevitably followed by a bit of a letdown as I start casting about for my next story...

...wait...hold on...I think I've got something...Timmy falls into a well...
...or does he??

It'll come to me eventually.

Saw a documentary the other day called "Always At The Carlyle" about the famous New York hotel...'s known for 2 things especially...its fanatical commitment to its guests privacy (*Vegas may say what happens there stays there, but at the Carlyle it really does*) and its very high priced accommodations...$10,000 a night, anyone?

So while it was interesting to take a peek at how the other 1 tenth of 1 percent lives, the most insightful comments came from its beloved - and now retired - concierge Dwight Owsley...
...when asked why he was retiring after 36 years he said (paraphrasing)..."the world has become less genteel, and I no longer want to be part of that in this position...if you look at old newsreels of ordinary citizens in the 40's and 50's...they all wore hats and jackets...they had a certain dignity and purpose in their lives...they looked like solid citizens... we've lost we all look like messengers...with the "costume" came a mentality, and when you toss that out, you've lost something...ineffable..."

Hear, hear...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

I'm Dreaming...

...of a warm Christmas...just like the ones I've never had...with those palm trees swaying, and people saying, You know, this sunshine ain't so bad...

And in a stroke of poetic justice, as I wrote those words it actually started snowing here...don't get me wrong, it's a chilly, green Christmas this year, the light dusting of snow we had having melted in the last day or so.

But there are, right 8:25 am on Christmas morning...a few fluffy snow flakes drifting earthward...go figger...

Actually finished Papa 's Model T: The Dipper yesterday...
...7th book in the PMT series...right at 16,000 words with proof copies on the way...hope it holds up because at the moment I really like this story...some of my better stuff, I think...

Anyway, it's Christmas and what the heck are you doing reading this blog?

You should be enjoying the warmth of hearth and home with those you love as you give thanks to God in heaven for the unspeakable gift of His Son.

Go on!  Get out of here!

And Merry Christmas...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

13,000 Words...

...and counting...on Papa's Model T: The Dipper...

Really liking this story and headed for the finish line in the next week or so...sure hope it's not a worthless load of crap.  Always hard to tell when the fever of creativity is burning red hot like it is now.
Hey, did anyone notice it's almost Christmas?
...and there now seems to be an outside chance we'll have a white one this year after all...been pretty blah, boring, depressingly gray weather for most of December...and saw on the news this has been the 2nd LEAST snowiest December on record so far.

So I got on the phone with Old Man Winter and the Jolly Old Elf Himself and ordered some hauled in from up north...
...on the Snow Train...we'll see if it lasts another couple of days.
Finally got a few pics of life on the road which heralds another edition of...

Rodger's Ramblings

Recent travels have taken him to West Virginia through Tennessee and down to San Antonio...
...with views from the windshield that look remarkably similar to one another...

...but such is the life of a truck driver.

That top one is the outside of Titans Stadium...

...and I did thank him for not taking his big rig over the walkway to the Alamo in San Antonio...
...would have been tough to explain why it was closed for repairs.

Rodger is home for the holidays now and will enjoy a well-deserved break from the highway grind.

Merry Christmas my friend.
Well since I started this blog our system at work...
...went kablooie (a technical term for corybantic) and the last 7 hours disappeared into the black hole of IT misery.

Plus all our snow melted this afternoon...
Bah, Humbug!

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

In The Warming House...

...children lace their skates...

From the poem "Ice", by Gail Mazur ( read it here )

In the little scene above that graces our living room coffee table there is no warming hut...just a pretend fire in a barrel to the right of the stone pillars, where two skaters warm their hands.

I often sit in our living room at night...
...enjoying the ambiance and the warmth of the fire, thankful I'm able by God's grace to live indoors on cold winter nights.

Not everyone can...a reminder as we approach year's end that organizations like Mel Trotter Ministries do good work with the homeless population all year 'round and need our support.

Another great ministry that could use your year end gift is Forgotten Man Ministries   They work with jail inmates here in Michigan, helping them find hope, purpose and direction again during a time of crisis in their lives.

For many people, a stint in jail can either be the spark to a reformed life or the stepping stone to prison.  Forgotten Man Ministries stands in the breach, offering a spiritual path back to productivity and usefulness for those who have stumbled onto the wrong side of the law.

However your passion for helping may express itself, may we all be we're reminded in Luke 12:48, "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required..."

And as Mr. Dickens points out in his timeless classic, A Christmas Carol...
"We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices."

Merry Christmas, y'all...
Our bathrooms in this home have sunken step down into them...
...and our master bathroom also has a skylight, same as in our kitchen.

So imagine you're buck naked, about to step into the shower when you hear something above you.

In this day and age of drones, it's not outside the realm of possibility someone could decide to take a little unauthorized peek.

You quickly cast your gaze skyward...and what to your wondering eyes should appear...
...but a view, overhead, of your cat's furry rear...'s a little closer look whether you want it or not...
...this is why you should have dogs, not cats...strange doin's over at the Hare place...
I've been casting about for ideas for my next writing project, and just over the last few days things have really started to coalesce around a couple of I'm itching to get started on Papa's Model T: The Dipper...
Yep, that's Satchmo on the top right, but in his early days he was called The wasn't until the '30s that he got his handle of "Satchmo".

And those are WWI doughboys crawling through trenches near "no man's land"...almost 2 million Americans fought in the Great War...
...and many of them returned home physically and psychologically wounded...suffering from what's known today as PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Toss in a stint for Papa X and Ike as silent movie makers...
...but using a scaled down, inexpensive, modern day equivalent...
...and you have all the makings of what is guaranteed!* to be the greatest book ever written...

*not a guarantee

Don't miss it while you can.

10 days, folks...'ve already missed the narrow window of opportunity when you could have legitimately it's simply too late and all is lost...if you haven't bought gifts, sent out cards, sung carols, communed with your inner Santa, eaten figgy pudding, suffered an allergic reaction to mistletoe, decked the halls and cursed the 1,000th repetition of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", there's only one reasonable course of action left open to you... a pair of Groucho Glasses and assume a different identity.

It's easy and it's foolproof; I do it all the time.

Whenever I need to skirt some important deadline I've missed due to circumstances completely beyond my control (how was I to know time would pass and I'd be expected to actually DO something?) I just don my Groucho Glasses and voila!

No one recognizes me and I'm off the hook.

Definitely a winner; and it's your only hope of having a Merry Christmas after screwing things up so badly.

No need to thank me; it's tidbits of wisdom like this that keep you coming back to The Atomic Monster Cafe.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Diva of Decorating...

...returns...Karen decided the front needed a little more work, while being careful not to cross the dreaded Clark Griswold line.

Here's a closer look...
...mostly the same, but a new green wreath on the right...
...the middle is really what needed lighting..
...and the white wreath is a nice touch near the manger scene.
There was a crafts show today in downtown Holland, and while there I spotted this book: childrens book author Dave I bought a copy and read it's really a creative way to introduce children to some important history of WWII with quality illustrations by Cary VanderVeen...and since I'm a sucker for history, I admit I shed a few tears at the happy ending.

You can buy copies of Dave's books on  Check it out...I enjoyed talking with Dave and his wife Joan, learning of their experiences as they travel to these kinds of shows, promoting the book.

Dave has another book coming out early next year as well.

Best success Dave and Joan as you strive to introduce a new generation to the Greatest Generation.
And while we're on the subject of the Greatest Generation...

...assuming you haven't just returned from a week long trip to another planet, you know we just completed a week of national remembrance for George Herbert Walker Bush, our 41st president.
His was a life of service...he was a naval aviator in WWII, a congressman, ambassador, Director of the CIA, Vice President and of course President.

My granddaughter, Tionna is part of the Naval Ceremonial Guard...
Tionna at a previous event, shaking hands with the brass...
...and she was on duty at the funeral that took place in Texas...hope to have pictures of that event soon.  Very proud of that girl, but of course her father Micah is even he should be.
Well, we've closed out the first full week of December, so I suppose this is as good a time as any to inflict some seasonal pain on you, my hapless audience...with apologies in advance to Clement C. Moore...

'Twas 2 Weeks Before Christmas...

...and every mouse,
had fled frozen fields
for the warmth of my house.

My wife found their droppings
and said “I'm not pleased,
to think that these varmints
are taking their ease

inside my warm dwelling;
this outrage won't stand!
What will you do?”
Then I raised my hand...

These mice, they are finished!
Kaput and kersplatz!
No way they'll survive,
for we have three cats!”

And then we beheld
our fat felines, all three:


and Zoey,

and the useless Smokey.

Disciples of Garfield,
were these pointless creatures,
with sleeping and eating
their dominant features.

No help would be coming
from those worthless saps,
so I scrounged all around
til I found an old trap.

And later that night,
before mice came a-creeping,
I set the cruel deadfall
then got busy sleeping.

So early next 'morn,
at dawn's early light,
I sprang from my bed
to find what I might.

But what did my wondering

eyes finally see,
but a clean, empty trap
and a note left for me:

"Thanks for the cheese,
but what would be better,
instead of old muenster,
could we have fresh cheddar?"

"And what's with this platter?"
my mousy pals asked.
"We might have been killed
if we hadn't been fast!"

'Twas then that I thought
of the great Robert Burns
and his famous lament
to a mouse that he turned

Out of warm hearth and home
as he plowed in his field.
Did I want to partake
in his life time of guilt?

The best laid plans,
it is easy to see,
Gang aft agley
and I think you'll agree

There was nothing to do
but give them their cheddar.
After all, it was Christmas,
and what could be better

Than showing the love
God has for His swarm,
by letting them stay
inside where it's warm?

So out went the trap
in the cold, winter, night;
we're quite overrun
but I guess it's alright.

So to quoth from St. Nick
on his annual flight,
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a Good Night!

An important note that I just recently realized...the above picture of Santa tippy toeing through a cool mid century modern house is from a Christmas card designed by Diane Dempsey of  I've been buying Christmas cards from them for 2 or 3 years now so should have known this, but I found the above pic online a few years ago and snagged it for this poem... anyway, credit where credit is due...and check them out...they have the best mid century modern Christmas cards anywhere.

I leave you now with this mid century modern icon...a short video of my aluminum Christmas tree emanating mcm Christmas elegance...def watch it in full screen mode...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here: