Sunday, April 26, 2020

Here's A Lesson...


...in persistence. 

How does that happen?

All the other leaves have succumbed to nature and the elements but that tiny little cluster survives the winter and continues clinging tightly to its branch.

As Novalis wrote, "A hero is one who has learned to hang on for one minute longer."

So there you go...heroic leaves...your inspiration for the week.

Don't say I never did nuthin' for ya.



What do a fallen tree, the Civil War, John Henry, the Lafayette Escadrille, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the lost silent film "The Great Gatsby" from 1926 have to do with each other?

If you guessed "nothing", I don't blame you.

But in the unpredictable meanderings of my fevered mind, they have somehow become connected and thus...

...is slowly taking shape.

I've written the start - and ending, oddly - of my next novella, and am happily researching some fascinating historical events that fall in between.

Will it become a fait accompli ?

Time will tell.

I've made many enthusiastic starts on various ideas for stories, only to see them evaporate like morning mist under a midday sun, either through lack of substance or poor execution on my part.

At the moment, however, I'm still in "go" mode...

...so we'll see.

Haven't given up on the next Papa's Model T, just sort of back burnered it at the moment...

...simmering...to be revisited a little later.



In the Crying Man update...

...wrapping up week 3 and I'm down 13 pounds...with at least another 7, maybe 10 to go.

It's getting harder but you know the old saying...when the going gets tough, the tough get going...while the rest of us stand around yelling for...

We soldier on.



In spite of our enlightened dictator's continued lockdown decree, we had some visitors this week...

...they're probably constitutional scholars who understand a corrupt, petty tyrant can't abrogate the 1st and 14th amendments just because she feels like it.

Other sights 'round the ol' homestead...
life blooms in the most unexpected places


feeding time for our pet 'possum


Spring is slowly making its presence felt...


...with beautiful blossoms...


...and we're ready to enjoy it



It's Sunday afternoon, sunny with temps approaching 60 degrees...I hear my hickories calling to me...

...so it's into the backyard I go...

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Weather Is Here...


...wish you were beautiful...

Sorry, old joke...but our schizophrenic April weather continues, and I'm getting pretty tired of it.

In one day this past week we had 4 separate cycles of cloudy and snowing followed by bright sunshine, with temperatures never getting out of the 30's.

Hello Spring?  Any time now will be fine...



This is what's known as...

...a near miss.  That's a 60' pine that landed literally inches from the home of my friend Larry's grandmother.

Thankfully no one was hurt and no damage done (other than to the tree, obviously).

Amazingly, already all cleaned up...

...now that's a good day's work right there.



In Crying Man news...

...the torturous trek from squabby to svelte continues and as we near the 2 week mark I'm down 10 lbs...with at least another 10 to go, according to the man in the mirror...

...well not that man in the mirror...

...closer...



As the weather allows, I'm getting in the backyard and swatting whiffle golf balls...

...with my hickories...which is a pretty sorry substitute for actually walking 9, so I imagine I'm here...

...and driving that classic car home when I'm through.

Go big or don't go, right?



Any idea what today is?  I mean other than the obvious answer that it's Sunday, April 19, 2020.

If you guessed...

"Oh, puh-leeze!  Everyone knows today is the 245th anniversary of the start of the American Revolutionary War!"

...then give yourself 10 points for being a literate student of American History (and then subtract 9 of those points for being so snarky about it).

Yes, on this day in 1775 at 5 am, 77 armed Minutemen stood waiting on the common green of Lexington, Massachusetts, where they were confronted by 700 British troops who had marched there to capture Patriot leaders and their arsenal.

Historians disagree who fired first, but after British Major John Pitcairn's command to disperse was refused, someone opened fire and thus began the American Revolutionary War.

Later that day there would be a more organized confrontation at the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts...

...immortalized by Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn", the opening stanza of which reads thus:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world."

Ok, one last question before class is dismissed...how long did the Revolutionary War last?

Anyone...other than our snarky friend...?

Yes, you in the back there...

...um, sure...you can go to the bathroom...you don't need to ask...you're in your own home for crying out loud.

Anyone else?  No?

Fine...you again...

...whoo hoo hoo...look who knows so much...yes, that's correct, it lasted 8 years, 4 months and 15 days, finally ending on September 3rd, 1783, when the United States and Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris.

From that tenuous, blood bought beginning our nation has faced many trials, undergone many changes and grown immensely.

We were founded upon the principles of freedom enshrined in The Declaration of Independence...

...and committed to the concepts that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It has been an imperfect march through the years, marred by failure yet bolstered by triumph.

Ours, like every noble endeavor attempted by mortal man, has seen both the best and the worst in men played out over the span of our brief but intense history.

Through it all, these have been precious truths for which we've fought and died through the decades, and make no mistake, we will be forced to do so again and again.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said...

..."Freedom is not long entrusted to the timid or the weak."

Stay strong.

Class dismissed!



later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, April 11, 2020

You Know How It Is...


...with an April day...so quoth Robert Frost in his poem, Two Tramps In Mudtime:


"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."


At first it was mostly hail...

...but 30 minutes later, this is what it looked like:

Must be Michigan.



Gone fishin'...
...a grandson in Florida is making good use of his free time...

...fishing for both catfish and shark...big fun...

...and beautiful vistas.


In spite of the snowy start to this blog, we've actually had some decent April weather...

...and I've taken advantage of it, swinging my hickories in the back yard.

Last year I'd already been on the golf course by this time, but considering current circumstances...


...it's unlikely I'll see the links much before May.

I may look happy, but...


Now for the Crying Man update...

...and things are going along surprisingly well...down 6 lbs so far.

Of course, the 1st week is usually the easiest when dedication and enthusiasm have not yet been shredded by hard experience and fevered dreams of chili dogs...



                   ...and hot fudge sundaes...

...Yummmmmmm...


Been writing a little...


...researching a little...

...but still not hot and heavy into my next story...haven't hit the zone yet, just kind of dancing around the edges of it.

(And no. I will not include a picture of me dancing...oh, alright, fine...)

Don't blame me; you insisted.



On the movie front, we've seen some good ones lately, including a couple that aren't normally in our wheelhouse...

- and -


...but which both of us enjoyed...and a few old favorites like:
  • Young Frankenstein
  • Sabrina (the excellent 1995 remake with Harrison Ford, Greg Kinnear and Julia Ormond)
  • From Here To Eternity (for which Frank Sinatra won a Best Supporting Oscar in 1954)

- and - a film noir classic...

...c'mon...Bogart, Lorre, Greenstreet...great on screen chemistry with those guys...gotta love it.

And they were less than a year away from making cinematic history with Casablanca when The Maltese Falcon was released.

Oh, and the Falcon was pretty cool, too...
wonder who blinked first...


Finally, it's Easter weekend...

...and for what is probably the first time in our country's history, there will be very few church services celebrating the Resurrection of Christ due to "shelter in place" orders...some of them almost fascist in nature.

That does not - can not - negate the great truth of the gospel:

Christ died for the sins of the world on Calvary's cross, was buried and rose to life on the third day as evidence of God's acceptance of His sacrifice. (I Corinthians 15:3,4)

Because of what Christ did, we can be reconciled to our Heavenly Father through faith in His Son. (Romans 10:9,10)

I hope you've experienced that truth in your life, and I hope you enjoy a blessed Easter with ones you love.


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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