Saturday, June 30, 2018

This Just In...


...it's too hot...at only 11:30 in the morning...

Here's a closer look at that thermometer...
...and while it may not actually be 100 plus degrees, the official heat index is "hotter than blue blazes"...so yeah, it's too hot.

It's even too hot for golf...I was on the course before 7:30 and it was already 80 degrees and 80% humidity...I was drenched with sweat by the time I staggered off #9...it's just no fun when it's that hot and sticky.

I did bump into some old friends there...
This was on the tee at #5...

...not sure how they found their way from my back yard all the way to the golf course, but I watched them and their little baby turkeys march across the fairway...and yes, I waited until they were across before I teed it up.

But speaking of my backyard...



...waited all winter long for this...love sitting here....
...while simply enjoying the view.

And in the courtyard, our yucca plants are now in bloom...

...strange plants but they do have a beauty all their own, especially when they flower.

So the saga of our "pool in the courtyard" project seems to be taking another turn...due to a number of logistical issues that may simply wait a year, so now we're considering  the dreaded "above ground pool in the backyard" option...

Personally I detest above ground pools because they're nothing but ugly tanks scarring the otherwise beautiful view.

However, I may relent on this one under one of two conditions....one being it's just a one year thing...buy an inexpensive "easy set up" one that's big enough for Karen and Sarah to cool down in but with the understanding it's just this summer...next year we'll sell it / give it away when we deal with the courtyard project again.

The second option is more interesting...Karen wants to join the two patios in the back...the one off our living room and the one shown in the pictures above off our bedrooms and TV room...with a nice deck...and she suggested we incorporate an above ground pool but partially in the ground, such that the deck wraps around it.
...something like that but nowhere near that big...maybe 1/2 or 2/3rd that size...and the pool might be round to complement the "round tower" look we have going in with the stone kitchen.

That might be ok...investigating...

stay cool, mcm fans...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Who Wants To...

...fly to Hawaii in style with me?

Video of United Airlines Stratoliner - 1950 

...back when flying was fun and waaaaay before airlines started viewing paying customers as self-loading cargo...or worse, criminals...("hands up against the wall, feet back and spread 'em...")

Of course it was an 11 hour flight back then as you cruised along at 215 mph for 2,400 miles over the ocean...but what a luxurious way to spend 11 hours, complete with sleeping berths and cocktail lounge.

The one I really wish I could have experienced, however, is the Hawaiian Clipper...a 1935 Martin M-130...a huge 4 engine flying boat that cruised at 130 mph, making yours an 18 hour trip from California to Honolulu.

...and of course it, too, had sleeping berths and actual food (not just bags of peanuts)  they served you to you in a formal dining setting.

But the granddaddies of them all in terms of comfort and style...
...were the Boeing 314s "Clippers" that replaced the Martin M130's...visually very similar, but larger, faster, and even more luxurious.

Cruising along at 180 mph gave you 13 glorious hours in the sky, surrounded by comfort and class that rivaled first rate ocean liners of the day.

Sadly, their reign was shortlived...just a couple of years after they were built in 1938 and put in service, WWII broke out and they ended up being used for the war effort.

By the time the war ended in 1945 their technology was already obsolete and Pan Am abandoned  them in favor of faster, less expensive (and less luxurious) airplanes.

So...about that trip to Hawaii...back before all the condos and crowds...

In Ecclesiastes chapter 7 we read..."Say not thou, “Why were the former days better than these?” For thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this..."

I've got to believe one of the reasons we shouldn't dwell on that is because it will make you crazy when you think of what's been lost to our so-called "forward march of progress..."

Some recent sightings...
Rocky Raccoon putzing around the deer feeder...

...Bambi wondering why Rocky would hang around his feeder...

...a friend's (Larry...MORA pit crew/driver) newly re-installed deck and his pontoon boat at the family camp near TC...

...and the rare mulier splendidis seen here relaxing in her natural habitat (Starbucks at the mall)...

do NOT tell her I said that...

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Love United...

...in Holy Matrimony...Marcellus and Rileigh Hare, June 23, 2018.

It truly was a beautiful ceremony and Marcellus and Rileigh are such lovely people I wish them all the best life has to offer as they continue their journey together.

Their wedding was one of the  few times my 5 sons and I have all been in the same place at the same time in quite a few years...
Left to right that's Chris, Benjamin, an unidentified old man who wandered uninvited into the picture, Evan, Micah (father of the groom) and Ryan.

Karen organized the quick pic and did a nice job of getting everyone to look the same direction at the same time.

Evan just got out of the hospital a few weeks ago after back surgery when he had two vertebrae fused after a serious bone infection in his spine...
...amazing to see all 6'6" of him standing on two feet unassisted.  The above was taken at Craig's Cruisers the night before...fun after the rehearsal dinner...
My grandson Damien with his Uncle Benjamin...

After the wedding Karen and I scooted back to Holland and decided to stop in to Curragh's, the Irish pub there...
...where we enjoyed some Guinness, a Blue Moon, and some actual food...fish and chips and a chicken sandwich with basil pesto and swiss cheese...very yum...

Once we made it home it was time to relax...
...which I did...when I first saw that sign in Curragh's I thought they actually had a cigar room downstairs, but alas, such is not the case...

Got another picture of life on the road which means it must be time for the 2nd installment of:

Rodger's Ramblings...
...and if you've ever crossed the Tennessee / Alabama border on route I-65 near Elkmont you'll recognize this iconic sight at the Alabama Welcome Center there.

That folks, is a genuine Saturn 1B rocket ship...stretching 168 feet in the sky and 22 feet in diameter.  It was donated to the state back in 1979.

Here's another view...
It's in need of a good scrub and repainting, a project which is currently in the fundraising stage.

Anyway this was one of the views filling up Rodger's windshield on his latest jaunt across this great land of ours.

I told him I need a picture of him in front or inside of his trusty steed and I received a typical wordy response from him via text message, the full content of which appears below:

"ok"

He's not big on texting...neither am I for that matter, but in his case it's at least in part due to the size of his meathook hands...they're big and broad and thick, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what you need to tippy tap on tiny little cell phone keypads.

In other words, he's a professional truck driver and damn proud of it, too.

Here's a few views of life around the ol' homestead lately...
...a few more daisies in bloom...


...the chief groundskeeper and landscaper busy at work...


...the fountain and two of the yucca plants in bloom...


...and Mr. Gopher taking a break from mining (hopefully for gold) under our yard...
And that's just about a wrap on this Sunday evening edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe...

"Wait!" you say urgently.  "No hickory golf update today?"

Well...since you asked...
...nah, no report today...the various and sundry vile acts I perpetrated with my hickories on the golf course today bear so little resemblance to actual golf they're not worth mentioning...

later, mcm fans...

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Friday, June 22, 2018

My Backyard...

...Fairway...about a par 3 with my little plastic whiffle golf balls...and today this is probably where I should have played instead of the real golf course...rough outing.

Actually started out pretty well...when I first arrived there were two guys with a cart on the first tee, so I decided to play 8 and 9, then jump over to the first tee and play 1 through 7.

And 8 and 9 went very well...bogeyed 8 and actually parred 9, first time I've done that.

But when I got back to 1, those two guys were just barely up around the green...don't know what they were doing that would take so long...by the time I holed out on 1 - another bogey - they were just starting 2.

At that point, I was feeling pretty good about how things were going...2 bogeys and a par...for my first 3 holes, I'll take that any day of the week.

So I moved over to 3, and that's when things fell apart...3 and 4 were unmitigated disasters...
...from 4 I went back to 2, then finished with 5, 6 and 7...those last 3 holes were a little better, and on 7 I was on in 3, putting for par...but it was a downhill 10 footer which I missed and of course it kept on rolling...at that point I should have done what Phil Mickelson did recently and chased it down before it stopped and whacked it back toward the hole...

Phil Mickelson Loses His Mind

But I didn't and my 1 putt for par turned into a 3 putt for double bogey and that was my round.

Thankfully I've learned from today's culture that none of this is my fault...

...I'm a victim of serial micro-aggressions and have been deprived of my safe space...couple  that with the obvious fact that somehow Trump's to blame for everything and I'm still able to feel good about myself which seems to be the main goal of life nowadays.

Moving on...
...A Stillwater Christmas is now available for sale on Amazon.com and the demand has been extraordinary...
...with lines stretching around the block...not exactly sure why since you can only order it online...but anyway it looks like yet another Cowtwiddle Times bestseller.

As literary glitterati Biff Bifflemeyer was quoted at a recent book signing gala, "Where's the men's room?  If I don't answer nature's call right now I'm going to have laundry problems..."

So take Biff's advice and don't wait...beat the Christmas rush and get your copy early...it's possible you won't regret it, but hey, there are no guarantees in life...

later, mcm fans...

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ah, The Solstice...

...when all the normal people come out to play at Stonehenge...this happens to be from the winter solstice, and of course now it's time for the summer solstice.

The assembled throng should give thanks the original druids aren't still in charge...in their day human sacrifice was in vogue...

Here's a slightly more dignified view of Stonehenge...
...mainly because it's one of the few moments nowadays when it's not overrun with fanatics...

Anyway, hope you're able to enjoy the longest day of the year...
...and don't give a thought to the sobering reality that the days will now start getting shorter as we march steadily toward my favorite time of year again...
...mmm...can't wait...

A little scary to realize we're almost 1/3rd of the way through "traditional" (as opposed to "meteorological") summer...and when June slips away from us in slightly more than a week we'll already be halfway through 2018...yikes...

SLOW DOWN already...
...life is better down that old dirt road...see that Model T way down at the end there?  Squint, use a little imagination...there it is...yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about...

While we're on the subject of the melancholy ebb and flow of the seasons, here are the English lyrics to one of my favorite summer songs, "The Girl From Ipanema"...

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking and
When she passes, each one she passes goes mmmm...
When she walks, she's like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gentle that
When she passes, each one she passes goes mmmm...
But I watch her so sadly
How can I tell her, "I love you?"
Yes, I would give my heart gladly
But each day, when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead, not at me
Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking and
When she passes, I smile but she doesn't see, doesn't see...

A Brazilian bossa nova megahit from the early 1960's, the music was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and the Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes...English lyrics written later by Norman Gimbel.

Ipanema is an upscale area near the beaches of  Rio de Janeiro...
...and the song was written based on a real person, Helo Pinheiro.

She was 17 at the time and would walk daily past a bar-cafe on her way to the beach, occasionally stopping in to buy cigarettes, and her exit was usually accompanied by a chorus of wolf whistles.

Don't recognize the name of the song?  You've heard it before...if you've ever watched "The Blues Brothers" it was in the form of Muzak playing in the elevator near the end of the movie...
...trust me, the original version is 1000x better...almost any version is better than that...

Here's Frank Blue Eyes giving it the master's touch...
The Girl From Ipanema Frank Sinatra

Happy Summer Solstice y'all...

later, mcm fans...

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