Friday, August 31, 2018

Our Nation's Capitol...

...was recently invaded...by a group of desperate outlaws, captured here on security video under the cover of darkness...

No...wait...my mistake...that's #1 son and some of his progeny...left to right, Micah, Isaac, Tionna and Isaiah.
...pretty sure that's the reflecting pool by the Capitol building...and that's Kyle on the right, Tionna's husband.

A couple more shots of them doing the tourist thing...
...two future residents of the White House...

...and the same desperadoes about to make their getaway...

Micah said the place was jammed with more tourists from other countries than Americans, all there to see what the big yank is.

God Bless America, y'all.

Well, the inevitable has finally happened...after <insert impressive but unspecified time frame here> of hot anticipation...
...Crescent Moon Paradise has finally hit bookstores all across the nation...but just like the poor beleaguered storekeeper in O Brother Where Art Thou...
...they get a shipment in and they "...just can't keep it on their shelves..."

And no wonder...as famed literary critic Biff Bifflemeyer was recently heard to exclaim, "For the love of chicken gravy, where did I leave my car keys?"

His confusion is understandable considering the rush to purchase this soon to be classic of ficta Americanus...not to mention his well documented problems with alcohol.

Biff's personal problems aside, the good news is you don't need to wait for a copy at your local bookstore as it is always in stock at Amazon.com and here within the friendly confines of the Atomic Monster Cafe.

Its pages are filled with exciting things like letters, grammar, punctuation and the occasional run on sentence.  A truly uplifting story that will be loved and adored by some.  (hey, it's possible; you can't rule it out.)

And considering for a moment that some of the above might actually be true!

...well, all I can say is, don't miss it while you can.

Moving on...

Enjoyed a round of hickory golf this morning...
...and tried out my new putter...that's a replica of Bobby Jones' famed "Calamity Jane" putter from the 1930's.

Jones was the greatest player in the hickory era, and the story goes that he was struggling with his putting just before the 1930 Open...his longtime coach handed him his old putter which Jones then used to sink a 30 foot putt.

He went on to win the Open and thereafter he kept it in his bag, using it for the rest of his fabled career.  Eventually he nicknamed it Calamity Jane after the 19th Century frontierswoman, scout and sharpshooter.

The 3 bands of whipping on the shaft were the result of Jones' famously volatile temper when he would abuse his clubs after a less than successful attempt, and he shored up the hickory shaft with whipping after he cracked it.

On my replica those are just window dressing, and sadly I did not sink any 30 foot putts today...but I actually did do a little better in that department than I had been with my other one, so I'll stick with CJ for awhile.

Watched a good flick last night, Trouble With The Curve...
...loaned to me by a friend from work.

It stars Clint Eastwood as an aging baseball scout, Amy Adams as his estranged daughter / ambitious lawyer, and Justin Timberlake as a former pitching prospect Clint helped sign who is now a scout after burning out his arm.

Clint is very believable as an old curmudgeon struggling with his eyesight at the end of his career, and the conversational repartee between Adams and Timberlake is fresh and entertaining.

Watch for the scene where Timberlake is attempting to ask Adams out on a date and manages to turn it around so it appears she's the one asking...which pseudo invitation he graciously accepts.

Was not a fan of Timberlake's music, and thought he was a bum for throwing Janet Jackson under the bus during the fallout from their obviously staged "wardrobe malfunction" in the superbowl halftime show, lo these many years ago.

But he has turned into a decent actor over time and handles these types of romantic roles very nicely.

There are some touching scenes in this occasionally dark story, including a gravesite visit that reduced me to tears, and a climactic father / daughter confrontation that finally helps clear the air between them.

Just when you're ready to be done with Clint's misanthropic ways the ship manages to right itself in time for a somewhat contrived but satisfyingly happy ending.

This one won't change your life, but it's a couple of hours of quality entertainment...definitely on my "watch it again" list.

But now it's a gorgeous day out there as we start up summer's swan song and prepare to welcome fall...
...so I'm going to get out in it and see what kind of damage I can do...

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:



Get your ebooks here:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

As the French say...

...Finis!   Well, almost, anyway.  I'm sure there are some typos to correct and etc, but it's basically done and in at 32,500 words.

Should have it published by end of week if all goes well.

And what's going to shock a few people...it's got a happy ending...more or less...love birds will be pleased...historians will wag a finger in warning re: what's to come.

It had to happen, and today it did...
...simple golf (i.e., just a few irons) gave way to regular golf (i.e., including a wood)...and it actually went pretty well.

It's a personality flaw, but when I know something is supposed to be done a certain way, taking a shortcut - even if the results are as good or better - never sits well with me.  Just can't do it long term.

Plus, there's an aesthetic issue here...a golf bag without a wood in it just doesn't look right,

There's a graduated length issue as they stand next to each other in the bag, and there's the striking craftsmanship of a handmade hickory cleek as well.

It's just prettier than all those hardass irons lined up in a row.

And if you talk nice to it, swing it easy and don't abuse it, it will produce nice straight drives for  you.

Well, sometimes anyway.

Today started out very foggy, so it was 9 o'clock before I got to the course.

By then two groups of 4 (2 carts with 2 people each) had started before me and they were going for the world record on slow golf..,
So I played 8 and 9, then came over to 1.  By then they were on holes 2 and 3...they're probably just finishing up as I write this after 6 pm.

I finished 1 and 2  then jumped over to 6 ahead of both groups.  Played 6, 7, 8 and 9 and called it good.

So it was only 8 holes instead of 9 but I didn't have the balance of my natural life to spend on the course today.

Managed to par holes 2 and 6, bogey 7 and 9, and the rest were my usual grab bag of scores so high I couldn't keep track of some of them even using all 9 fingers.
Most of all I enjoyed it, and that really is the bottom line for me.

Watched the 1954 version of Sabrina this weekend...
...a very well done movie.

So what if the bottom line of the above ad ("THREE ACADEMY AWARD STARS IN THEIR GREATEST ROLES") is nothing less than a bald faced lie?

We've come to expect that from Hollywood, yes?

Lying through their teeth to sell stuff is nothing new for Hollywood...or Washington for that matter ("if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"..."Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration in response to a video"..."I did NOT have sex with that woman").

True, the movie is just a little bit of romantic fluff, but hey...it does have Bogart, Hepburn and Holden, all in the same film.  Come on...that counts for something.

And in spite of the light hearted feel of the movie, there was some behind the scenes drama...Bogie wanted his wife, Lauren Bacall to play Sabrina and wasn't happy Audrey Hepburn got the part instead.

Throw in the torrid affair between Hepburn and Holden during filming and you've got some background for when you watch this fun little movie.

And once you're done with that you should cue up the 1995 remake with Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear...very respectable as remakes go, which is more than you can say for most.

Well, we are officially in the last week of traditional summer...next weekend is Labor Day weekend...
...so it seems an appropriate time to post my annual picture of summer packing its bag and heading for the station to catch the first thing smoking...NOOOOOOOO.....

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:



Get your ebooks here:

Sunday, August 19, 2018

A-NOM-A-LY

əˈnäməlē/
noun
  1. 1.
    something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

i.e., today's round of golf...
...parred 4 holes - both of the par 3's, then #6 the short par 4, and #8, a 330 yard par 4...bogeyed 2 others, and double bogeyed the other 3.

I was using my mid-iron off the tee and for whatever reason it made sense and felt right today...hit it consistently between 160 and 180 yards...even hit my mashie 160 yards on #8 and 1 or 2 putted most greens.

It's nice to know it's at least possible to do, frustrating to not be able to do it with any consistency.

So I know this is an exception...next time out I will most likely revert to my normal round, where if I happen to snag a par somewhere along the way it will have been a good outing.

But like all blessings, I'll take 'em when I can get 'em and today was one of those days.

Sarah snapped this pic recenlty...
Karen and a homeless octogenerian who wandered by planting a new fir tree in our backyard...

While researching for Crescent Moon Paradise I stumbled across this infomercial...
pretty racy for 1940...

...for Greyhound Bus lines, made almost 80 years ago in 1940:


The romantic backstory is a little bit hokey, but overall the film is well done and an interesting tour of the continental US by bus...starts off with a stop in good o'l Holland Michigan with a few shots of Tulip Time preparations.

Of course back then there was more of an emphasis on customer service and it was probably a half way decent way to see some of the country.  Today?  Well, probably not so much...

In any event, this is worth the 30 minutes of your life it will take to watch it.  Enjoy.

And now the rest of this sunny Sunday beckons, so...

later, mcm fans...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My New Favorite...

...antique ride...an Auburn Boattail Speedster...this one happens to be a replica of the 1935/36 classic.

Such a beautiful automobile, an art deco classic...and it figures prominently in my new novella...
...Crescent Moon Paradise...about 13,000 words in now, headed for 27,000 most likely.

Still liking this story, which of course has no meaning while the fever of creativity is still burning...it's only after it cools and some time passes that I'm able to gain some objectivity and make a judgment as to whether it's crap or not.  Strange but true...

Hickory golf has turned into more of a challenge than usual the last couple of weeks...
...and I don't really know why...I sorta think it has to do with my woods...always my weakest club, I seem to have forgotten what little I knew about how to hit them...and once I start struggling in one area it seems to bleed over to the rest of my game...next week I think I'm going to re-assume my secret identify of "iron man"...
...and revert back to "simple golf" for awhile...the point for me is to enjoy it, not keep score...and a well hit shot with my mashie is far more enjoyable than yet another blown shot with one of my woods.

A few more pics of life on the road landed in my inbox this week which can only mean it's time yet again for another installment of...

Rodger's Ramblings...             









And this was a busy week on the highways and byways for our nomadic friend...
...as he traveled to Philadelphia...
...Cincinnati...
...Louisville...
...Nashville...
...and most recently, Huntsville...and yep, that's our Saturn 1B rocket at the rest stop along route 31.

And of course many of those trips were there and back to Kalamazoo for the next load; then rinse and repeat again and again.

So that's 3,100+ miles and counting last week...these guys earn their money...think about your daily commute and how many bone headed things you see drivers do in their rush to get to / from work...then divide the miles you drive into 3,100 and think about your level of frustration and aggravation if you had to deal with that nonsense all day, every day.

That's why they call the professional truck drivers the Knights of the Road...keeping goods flowing from city to city and doing it reliably and safely day after day.

Had a couple of folks drive by our home very slowly last weekend then pull over and stop.  I was sitting out front enjoying the cool of the evening and they called out to me they were simply admiring our home...
...they were sisters, and one of them had driven by a couple of weeks ago so when her sister came to visit she told her "you've got to see this home".

They seemed sincere so I asked  them if they'd like Karen to give them a tour, which they happily accepted...turns out they're architecture fans and enjoyed seeing all the stone and glass and the half moon shape of our home.

As they were walking around the outside Karen showed them Mr. T in the garage and they commented their dad had been a chief engineer of design at Ford for many years...they were quite knowledgeable about car design in general.

This week we got a thank you card from them, a nice gesture that pegs them as from an era when common courtesy was actually common...classy folks.

So here's the mcm bed we've decided we need...
...love the copeland platform bed look and attached side tables.

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:



Get your ebooks here:



Sunday, August 5, 2018

Winding Down...

...another weekend...I'm so happy I could spit.

On the other hand, I really have nothing to complain about...but I'm normally the resourceful type and can usually come up with something.

This one time I'll spare you the complaints...a surprise to some, a joy to others.  You're welcome.

Not much shaking in my neck of the woods...only watched one movie this weekend...
...Jersey Boys...a behind the scenes look at how Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came together and achieved lasting success.

We'd seen it before so it was really our second choice - our first choice being a horrendous mistake - we rented This Is Where I Leave You from DirecTV's On Demand feature.

Now THAT"S a movie to avoid...we tried really hard to keep watching it since we did spend actual money to rent it - but with Hanoi Jane and the dorky Tina Fey we should have known what was waiting for  us.

The movie is filled with monumentally stupid characters in a race to the bottom to outdo each other for uncouth vulgarities.  Unfit for human consumption unless dull, boring, stupid and profane is your genre of choice.

So we grabbed our Jersey Boys DVD and enjoyed (again) a couple of hours of musical history.

Even if you're not a big fan of their music - and I'm sort of in the middle with them - their story is fascinating and the movie is very well done.  Plus the actors really are handling the singing parts, which makes it that much more intriguing to watch.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, it's both engrossing and entertaining...definitely worth your time.

In the "working me like a borrowed mule" department, we cut down a dying bush in front of our wall and replaced it with a miniature white pine:
...and we're making plans for some southwest desert landscaping in one section of our front lawn:
It won't look just like the above and won't be our entire front yard, but we will have those elements over a substantial area...gravel, a few large stones, some yucca plants, etc.

We have lots of sandy soil around our home and basically water just leeches through the front yard in a flash...
...very hard to keep anything green for long so we're going to embrace the elements we have rather than wasting endless gallons of water on it.  Besides, southwest style landscaping is a "thing" with mid century modern homes.

Golfing this weekend was the usual mixed bag...
...a few very nice shots, a few very bad shots, and a whole bunch of in between shots in between.

About the time I'm asking myself "why do I bother?" I'll "do it right" and end up with a birdie on a short par 4 as I did today on #6.  Oh to be consistent instead of every shot being an adventure.

In general I've found if I stand over my shot thinking about all the things I need to do to hit it right, it's pretty much guaranteed I'll blow it.

Thinking needs to happen before I take club in hand; doing needs to happen once I do.

I'll press on, if for no other reason than I deserve the punishment.

We tried dining out at Boatwerks tonight...
...but our server informed us any food we ordered would take an hour to prepare...they were that backed up.

I asked him if I ordered their turkey sandwich, it would actually be an hour before I got my food?

"We're very busy," he replied.

So I told him we'd pay for our drinks and be gone.  He seemed truly shocked we weren't thrilled to sit and wait for an hour but I assured him all we needed from him at that point was the bill.

We then trekked over to the Irish pub in town...
no I did not drink both of those...just the guinness...
...where even though they were just as busy as Boatwerks we managed to get a meal in about 15 minutes.

Let's hear it for the Irish.

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:



Get your ebooks here: