Sunday, September 30, 2018

Gotta Love...

...Fall golf...crisp cool temperatures and wider fairways...

Drilled that putt for par on the par 5 #4 yesterday...and I do mean drilled...hit it too hard but right on line and it banged into the flag and dropped in.  Pretty sure if someone had removed the flag it would have bounced over the hole and kept on going.  Oh well...counted as a par in my book.

And it was the start of a good run for me...parred the next two holes and bogeyed the last three so all in all a pretty nice round.  This happens about one time out of ten attempts so I takes 'em when I can gets 'em.

Other than that not a whole lot shaking this weekend...Karen decided to decorate for fall, so we hauled out some autumn decor...
...including a quail, turkey and pheasant...and on Saturday we planted 4 arborvitae trees...
...at least it wasn't 90 degrees and sunny like it usually is when Karen decides I should get outside and dig in the dirt for awhile...

Today we trekked down to Allegan...there's a big flea market / antique show at the fairgrounds there on the last Sunday of each month from spring through summer, and this was the last one for 2018.

It's amazing how much stuff is there and how little of it is of any interest to either of us.
Not exactly a waste of time because it was a pleasant drive together there and back - and the chicago dog and spiral fries from Gretchen's Kitchen were great - but it's hard to imagine doing it again.

When Karen and I were actively collecting a few years ago we had specific interests, most of which aren't represented in any significant way there.

So now, with apologies to Johnny Cash, it's Sunday Evening Coming Down, and I bid you adieu...

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Lucky 13...

...for Karen and me...yes, the poor woman has endured 13 years of marriage to yours truly, so that merited a fave cookbook, flowers, a cake, and some champagne to wash it down.

Remember, marriage is kinda like playing cards...at first all you need is two hearts and a diamond...
...but later on you wish for a club...



...and a spade...











Thankfully we haven't arrived at that phase yet, and all is still well.  Right, honey?  I said, right??

Took a couple of days off of work for the big event...and along with anniversary type celebrations, I thought I might get some hickory golf in...
...but that was how my first day off began...torrential downpour, which eventually subsided and gave way to an 86 degree steambath in the afternoon...and then 50 mph gale force winds blew in the 2nd day...and today began with temps down in the 40's...this must be Michigan where each day is its own isolated and unrelated weather system.

But today is a glorious fall day...
...ok, not quite that glorious...but still it's a lovely autumn day...crisp temperatures and bright sunshine, so off to the links I went...unfortunately my cleek staged a minor rebellion and refused to behave from the tee...I was forced to banish it to an unused section of my Sunday bag, and once again I was reduced to playing "simple golf"...mashie, niblick, putter.

Wasn't all bad...
...that ball mark about 2 feet from the cup was where my tee shot landed on the par 3 number 2 hole...and while I should have carded a birdie, I "settled" for a par.

The rest was downhill from there.

My younger brother passed back in 2003 when he was only 43, but Phil was a fabulous athlete in his day and golf was his best sport.

He didn't work at it; he was just a natural who could hit the ball a country mile and he putted like Jack Nicklaus.  It was beautiful to watch and maddening to play against because he was just so effortlessly good.

When he played 18, if he came in at 5 or 6 over par it was a tough day on the course for him.

If Phil is in heaven, today he had to be laughing his ass off at his older brother.

Oh well...as the last scene in Gone With The Wind opines...
...tomorrow is another day...I'll tee it up, try again and hope for better.

Karen and I spent a little time in downtown Holland yesterday...
 ...ate at the Windmill Restaurant for some authentic Dutch fare...y'know, a hamburger and a chicken sandwich...
...and spotted some children performing an ancient rite no longer practiced in much of our modern day society, may God have mercy on our souls.

And because the autumn winds have been steadily blowing, I think most of the acorns have finally fallen...our yard is absolutely covered with them now...
...and we've been gathering a few to save for later...
...we'll feed them to the deer that still frequent our backyard...
...when food is a little bit harder to come by than it is now.

I've got about 2500 words on PMT: The Amateur now and I'm liking the story so far...these typically come in around 17,000 to 18,000 words so I've got a ways to go...should be at 5,000 words before the weekend's out.

But right now it's a beautiful sunny day and I need to get outside and soak up some of that fall sunshine, so...

later, mcm fans...

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

CAUTION...

...Hard Hat Area...because it's raining acorns from all our majestic oak trees now...and those little suckers hurt if you get plunked on the noggin...consequently we've put up an umbrella in our sitting area in the front yard...
It's actually kind of fun to see / hear them dropping all around us...should have plenty of well fed squirrels this fall.

And speaking of fall...I was sitting outside this evening enjoying the sight of a bright moon and Venus in the southwest sky, watching a couple of bats flying in front of them, feasting on the abundance of mosquitoes...apparently west Michigan has raised a bumper crop of the little flying bloodsuckers in the last few weeks...
...and of course it made me think of All Hallows E'en...and no, the moon and bats did not look like the above but that's still a pretty cool image.

Karen asked me the other day, "are you really going to put all that stuff out again this year?"

...so I tried to affect my best "who, me?" look and asked her...
..."all what stuff?"

The problem is greatness is rarely recognized in its time...it's usually only appreciated in retrospect...

Switching gears, it appears we were visited by aliens recently...
...as we spotted this crop circle in our backyard...

...it's either that or else we finally removed the big ugly tank that was sitting in our backyard, masquerading as a swimming pool...don't be alarmed...that gentle breeze you hear rustling in the  trees is just me breathing a major sigh of relief.

But I have to admit Karen got her use out of it...she was quite content to cool off during this extra hot summer in our inexpensive INTEX pool...and she still rocks a bikini like nobody's business...now I just have to sell a few thousand books to finance an in ground pool next year...

And speaking of writing...I've started Papa's Model T: The Amateur...
...but so far it's been slow going.  Been researching some stuff from the 1920's and I'm just about ready to knuckle down and make some real progress...hopefully this weekend.

That's about it for this mid-week edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe.  Thank you for stopping by and please close the door on your way out.

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Back From...

...the brink...ugly weekend with major hardware issues, but today's a new day and things are finally back together...thanks to God's grace and good men like Dave Roderick, Kevin Fisher and Scott Bailey...great job guys...dodged a mortar shell.

Have I mentioned I'm too old for this kind of excitement?  My achin' back...

Prior to all the chaos that took up all of Saturday and much of Sunday, Karen and I watched a great but often overlooked William Holden flick...
This is not your typical 1950's war movie, most of which were of the rah-rah-the-good-guys-win variety.

Don't get me wrong; it's not unpatriotic, it's simply a thoughtful and intelligent look at one extraordinary man's service in the war and his justifiably cynical view of his situation.

He'd done his part in WWII, served honorably, been discharged and gotten on with his life...married, kids, a law practice in Denver...but when the Korean "police action / war" began he was called up to active duty as a jet pilot.

And the actual film footage of those jets taking off from the deck of a carrier pitching and rolling in the middle of the ocean is stunning.  At one point the admiral wonders aloud, "Where do we get such men?"  Where, indeed...

We follow our hero, Lt. Brubaker, as he deals with the dangers and stress of his job as a Navy pilot.  He's admirable, dedicated, conflicted, and - spoiler alert - ultimately doomed.

In the end we see him dying in a muddy irrigation ditch after his jet is hit by flak and you want to cry at the pointlessness of it all.

No wonder this movie was not a blockbuster...no feel good glorious and triumphant return to his happy home, just a healthy if unwelcome dose of reality.

If for no other reasons, you should see this movie to watch the great William Holden give a stellar performance - and to marvel at the skill and bravery of those Navy pilots who risked their all every time they strapped themselves into the cockpit.

Got some pics of life on the road which means it's time for...
Rodger's Ramblings...             









This past week found him in the Memphis, Tennessee area which oddly, is home to one of the 10 biggest pyramids in the world...
There's a story about this pyramid, including accusations of someone placing a crystal skull in the peak and causing it to be cursed...yeah, makes sense...but for a time it was nicknamed the temple of doom bc it sat idle for years until the Bass Pro guys stepped up.
Now it's one of their major attractions and houses - besides all the Bass Pro items - an indoor swamp, hotel and bowling alley...though I don't think those three are necessarily related...hope not anyway.

Rodger was also trucking through the Missouri area and reports the cotton is in full bloom now...
Remember, as CCR opined musically, when those cotton balls get rotten you can't pick very much cotton...no, really...CCR wouldn't lie to us...

Thanks to work, no golf this weekend...drat...
...pretty sure this was the weekend I was going to break par...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

And Suddenly...

...it feels like fall...woke up to a fire going in our fireplace in the living room this morning...low 50's outside and of course we don't have the heat on yet...so the rest of the house was chilly but the living room was nice and warm.

And since it's now jacket weather I decided to do the same outside on the patio this morning...
 ...not really ready for the change of seasons but apparently I was left off the committee that decides such things so here we are.

Have to admit it's gorgeous weather...I do love the crisp, fresh smell and feel of a fall morning...should have gotten out on the links but just wasn't motivated...maybe later today...

Karen and I were treated to a meal at the Cygnus this past week...

...and while we were there one of our party decided to start with octopus as an appetizer...
...yummm...appetizing, yes?  At least it wasn't still moving...

It was a fun evening, filled with interesting conversation, good food, great wine, and lots of laughs.

Friday, September 7th was the 78th anniversary of the start of the Blitz, when Germany began its nightly bombing of Britain for 57 days in a row at the beginning of World War II...so we watched "Their Finest" again...
...and every time I watch this movie I am more impressed...this is truly one of the best war related movies ever made.  The story, writing, directing, acting, camera work, scenery...all of it is top notch, and this movie is close to replacing Casablanca as my all time favorite.  Bill Nighy steals every scene he's in, but Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin are stellar as well as the leads.

If you haven't seen this film you're depriving yourself of a true gem on an historically significant subject.

Now why in the world would you do that??

And since it was movie weekend, we also watched another William Holden film...
...great flick from 1957 for which Alec Guiness won an Oscar...I will say this, their depiction of "Japanese brutality" in prisoner of war camps is laughable...but hey, it was 1957 and they couldn't depict the reality in cinema back then...they made it seem like a picnic at a tropical resort compared to how the Japanese actually abused and brutalized their prisoners.

Almost ready to start writing Papa Model's T: The Amateur...story is coming together in my mind now and I'm almost done researching...need a little more substance on the opening but should get started this week.

And speaking of Mr. T, took him out for a spin  yesterday...first time in a while...
...ran great and reminded me all over again how much fun it is to drive one of these old, antique cars.  Of course, you've got to be ok with the concept of kickin' it old school at only 35 mph...and while I am, other drivers on the road generally are not...so there are limited places I can drive him safely...may have to upgrade to a Model A Phaeton...

While we're on the subject of cars, here's a pic of my Mini-Outlaw Racing friend from work:
...aka Larry "The Man In Black"...guess he had a blast tearing around the race track Friday night...

But now, a beautiful fall day beckons, so...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ah, The Melancholy...

...of Labor Day weekend...yes, it has officially come and gone, taking the heart of summer with it.

That dirty dog...did it again...just like last year, and the year before.  We should wise up and outlaw Labor Day...

Here's a couple of pics from a friend's cottage up north in TC...

...he took those over the holiday weekend...love those views...

Karen and I drove down to Saugatuck and wandered a bit...
 ...standing in front of the Rosemont B&B where we stayed several times when we first got married...
...then we stopped by Coral Gables and sat out on the deck listening to music...
...then wandered along the boardwalk looking at some of the beautiful boats anchored there...

this one's close to home in more ways than one...
...as I looked at these and others I tried to remember when it was I turned left at the light and ended up where I am instead of going right and arriving at a point in life where I could buy a $500,000 boat to play in on summer weekends...

While we were window shopping I saw a sign that said "You Better Slow Down, Don't Dance So Fast...Time Is Short, The Music Won't Last..."

Since I'm staring at 62 just up around the bend in December, I can definitely relate to that.

Also saw one that said "...and suddenly you know it's time to start something new and trust in the magic of beginnings..."

Labor Day embodies both of those sentiments...a pang of regret at having danced away another summer, but a sense of expectant hope at what's just up the road in this new beginning of another fall season...

Enough with the melancholy!  Be gone foul emotion!  I hereby banish thee to the outer darkness!

Check back with me in a week or so and I'll let you know if that sudden outburst accomplished anything worthwhile.

In the meantime I've decided on my next writing project...it's back to the Papa's Model T series...
...this one's going to be Papa's Model T: The Amateur

My motivation is an email I received from Bryson, a  young fan who inquired if there were anymore PMT books...when I told him there were just the five, he responded his grandpa has a Model T, they're fun, and he'd like it if I would write more of the PMT books.

So what the heck...this next one's for you, Bryson and thank you for your input.

Karen got these pics of a hummingbird that frequents our yard...

...cute little bugger...

And...I think that's a wrap on this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe...thanks for stopping by...

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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