Monday, April 30, 2007

Nehru Jackets

Fashion trends always seem to come and go and come back again. It’s been over 40 years now since we’ve seen the Nehru jacket. Why hasn’t it returned in any retro movements?

The Nehru was really hot for about six months in the late 1960s. One day it was totally out, gone and almost forgotten. Johnny Carson tried to revive them in the 70s. A James Bond foe, Dr. No wore them. The Dr. Who foe, The Master wore them. It was a trend that just didn’t stick.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see them again? You can get one on eBay for $25. Ahhh, come on!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eternal Toothpaste

How is it you can get a new tube of toothpaste and use it all in a couple months? Though it seems all squeezed out you can still keep it going for at least another three weeks. I’ve got that going on right now. I’m on my third week on a used up tube and the paste keeps coming. It’s miracle tooth paste. Maybe I should sell it on e-bay.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Writing Outcomes

As a writer my only hope is that some of my words influence or inspire readers to see things differently. When I write a serious article for publication I hope to educate. When I write comedy, I hope to make people laugh or at least smile.

Sometimes the pay-off comes around. I recall being at Sunday Market one day last year and I heard some say the words Dried Salmon County as they passed me. They didn’t know I was the blogger who put that phrase out there. Then Clatsop County Matter adopted that as their sub-name for their blog and forum. Last week a reader contacted me and said they were filling out a form where they had to list their county of residence, and they wrote Dried Sal… before they caught themselves and had to start over with a new form and fill it is as Clatsop County.

By the way, if you are new to this blog or other blogs that call our county, "Dried Salmon County", and are wondering what that is all about, it all started back last July with this article: Fish.

Friday, April 27, 2007


As like most people I take some joy in finding an interesting rock or stone from time to time. I’ve had some really cool finds over the years.

I was talking with a local archaeologist once about fossils. He told me that one can find fossils of ferns and leaves in a place In Washington County and he told me where the best place to shell fossils in Dried Salmon County was.

Back before there were gates across all the logging roads you could drive up the road to Saddle Mountain and make a right where the Lewis and Clarke Main Line cut across the road. Then about a half mile go right onto another logging road and then right again on to this dead end spur. At the dead end there was a stream that came off the north side of Humbug Mountain. Just down the bank from the dead end and in the stream was the richest fossil bed I had ever seen. It was highly concentrated within less than 100 feet. Outside of that 100 foot area there was nothing but normal stones. Just about every rock held shells of all sorts, even nautilus shells. Some shells even had quartz crystals in them. I took only a few; leaving the millions of others for others to find.

A few years later I was telling someone about this place and decided to take them there. This time there were gates, but it was worth parking and walking in. It took about an hour to get there, but to my extreme dismay the fossil bed had been transformed. We came upon a road where the stream once flowed. The bed was now covered by a culvert pipe and hundreds of yards of pit-run rock. My favorite fossil bed was now a logging road.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Tram

I was in Portland on Tuesday and I got to ride on the new OHSU Tram twice. I know all the people who were against this tram and their reasons, but all in all, it was pretty freakin cool. What a cool job for the operator. It’s like a helicopter ride with out the danger.

Anyone who is a roofer in Portland who is looking for work should ride the tram.

The “Wow Factor” of that ride is amazing. It exposes how beautiful Portland is, even the highways are beautiful. It shows how beautiful the architecture is. It shows how beautiful trees are when you gaze down upon them. This tram is one of the wonders of Portland.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


There was a time when I really loved to fly. Maybe it was because I was a late bloomer and had never been in a plane until I was 20 years old. Before that age I had no reason to go anywhere in a hurry. Nor did I have any exotic locations to go to. My travel was mostly to Canada and the Adirondacks.

My first flight was a one-way flight to Florida to rescue someone who had a major panic attack and simply couldn’t drive back to New Jersey. Since then I flew to Hawaii every year and to the West Coast several times a year. I flew in a lot of small planes and helicopters, and even considered becoming a pilot myself. I went through ground school, but left it at that.

I’ve never had a bad flight, but I have had many wondrous ones. I flew so often that I was on a perpetual first class ticket. You could upgrade back then with 10,000 frequent flier miles.

I’ve been seated with some amazing people, particularly David Suzuki, pilots who were deadheading back home, and a scientist who not only had a seat in first class, but an instrument he was delivering to New York has its own seat in first class as well.

I just realized the other day that the last time I went anywhere by air was 1996 and I really don’t miss it. It just isn’t the same, or at least it no longer holds the same allure for me. I don’t mind terra firma one bit.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Hunger

I woke up hungry. This is odd because I had a rather big snack before bed, something I should never do. So why is it one can tank up and find themselves a few hours later feeling like they haven’t eaten in a week?

It’s always been said that one hour after eating Chinese food you are hungry again. Is it the carbs of the rice, is it the vegetables? It seems well balanced with several food groups in each meal. I can eat Italian food and feel full for days.

The appestat just doesn’t know when not to kick in at the proper time. Also, what is it about hunger? Why does it feel like that? It isn’t really a pain but rather a nagging sensation. It isn’t even like a stomach ache; it’s a totally different feeling.

Most eating is habitual. I’ve had days where I’ve totally forgotten to eat. I was never reminded by hunger. However if I have an English muffin a half hour before bed there I am awake at 3am feeling starved. Go figure. There are millions of people who are going hungry in the world and here I am at 3am desiring another meal all because I ate something too late. It just isn’t right.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blame the Name Game

I was recently speaking with someone about the bad names people give their children in conjunction with their last names. I bet every one knows a Robyn Hood. I knew a guy named Dick Hunter. Anyone who names their kid “Dick” should be taken away.

This conversation reminded me of a high school guidance counselor who had the last name of Knobbs. He named his daughter Ophelia…

I’ve seen some strange names come about because of marriage and hyphenation like: Sara Berger-King, Karen Sugar-Kane and Betty Bisby-Bee. There comes a point where one should just not hyphenate.

Care to share any names you’ve encountered?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How Low Can You Go?

I often wonder if I have ever hit my rock bottom yet. This poster states that I will know for sure.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


There was a large pond in my home town called Winter’s Pond. I’ve written about it before in a story about ice skating. This pond was the center point or shall I say the heart of the town. It was centrally located and people would gather there to skate, fish, feed the ducks, walk and play. It was too muddy and oozy to swim in. Oddly boats were never seen on Winter’s Pond. I and my friends remedied that with our rafts.

It was fun paddling about it the large pond, but the cool stuff was back in the swampy area known as the slough. The slough was where all the islands and vegetation were. This is where all the pond mammals lived. The water was different back there. It rarely froze because of the currents. It was an area that couldn’t be accessed on foot. People never got to go back there which kept it wild and natural.

With a raft one could navigate some of the channels between the small marsh islands. As young curious explores we had to check out every nook.

We drifted silently around. At least we thought we were silent. Can kids ever be silent? We spotted an island where the turtles lived. There were probably fifteen turtles basking on this island and we committed ourselves to catching one. With room only for one raft to flank the island my friend went in for the capture, while I remained in the channel.

Suddenly he screamed and flailed his paddle into the water to escape as quickly as possible from the island. “It’s a turtle grave yard!” he shouted. They are all dead.

I couldn’t see why anyone would be afraid of dead turtles, nor could I see why there were so many dead turtles on the island. I went in to examine and sure enough the island was full of empty turtle shells. It was really pretty cool. I suspected this was where a muskrat or a raccoon would have a turtle meal every so often. I retrieved one of the shells as an item of curiosity.

All the shells were from snapping turtles. If you have never seen one of these turtles in action, just hope your first experience doesn’t involve one of your fingers.

It was two snapping turtles that convinced us that we should no longer float our rafts on that pond again. One day we were on a hill above the back part of the pond and we saw two snapping turtles either fighting or attempting to mate in the pond. These turtles were larger than door mats; probably three feet across. We understood that further activity in that pond could place us directly in the food chain.

Friday, April 20, 2007


I was recently with someone who ducked out of sight when she saw someone walking in our direction. This is such a strange thing to see happening before ones eyes; finding it easier to hide than to deal with the person approaching.

We’ve all done it, I’m sure, but one must admit that it is an odd thing. I’ve either gotten to the point where I no longer need to avoid anyone, or I’ve gotten really good about getting away once I’ve been engaged.

This got me thinking about a woman who stalked me once. I call her “Miss God Bless You.” She got this name because she knew that I was not only an Atheist, but I also hated Christmas, yet she sent me a Christmas card that said, “May God Bless You on This Most Holy Holiday.” To make it easier I will address her as MGBY.

MGBY knew my schedule. She knew where I worked, when I got up, when I went to sleep, when I’d be cycling or skiing, the places where I’d dine and drink. She would show up where ever I was. To make matters worse she was a flight attendant for TWA. I would go on a trip and she would be at my destination. Imagine deplaning in Hawaii, and there is MGBY throwing a lei over your head.

She would show up every where before I got there, or she would cruise a hundred miles a night looking for me at my regular haunts. I just couldn’t stand it.

I was reminded of Richard Brautigan’s character in the book, In Watermelon Sugar. In the book he would hide when he heard Margaret’s footsteps on the bridge to his home. It seemed that there was a loose board and Margaret was the only one to step on that board and it would squeak. In my case MGBY had a car that sounded like no other. It was the muffler that just didn’t sound like a normal car normal. It’s like you know how a saxophone sounds, and when you hear Ornette Coleman play the saxophone it sounds different, like his sax has an accent or something where the notes come more from the throat of the instrument. Her muffler sounded like Ornette Coleman’s saxophone.

One day I was reading and I heard her car pull up. My doors weren’t locked and I didn’t have time to lock them and not be noticed. I just couldn’t bear seeing her so I ran downstairs and locked myself in my darkroom. It was easier to sit in there as she waited for me to return than it would have been to have another conversation with her. I heard her foot steps above me. I then wondered how long she could wait. Fortunately it was only about ten minutes. She then probably figured I went out for a walk and probably cruised my walking route to look for me.

When I heard her pull away I bolted, and locked the doors and got in my car and drove off to dinner.

At that time I hung out with a bunch of musicians. They were adventurous free thinkers, somewhat androgynous. They even wore man clogs. Once they were over visiting one evening, and as they were leaving MGBY pulled up. I saw an opportunity.

As she ascended my front stairs I asked my friends to play along. I said goodbye to each of my friends with a hug and a peck on the cheek. I could see the shock on her face.
“Now I understand,“ she said breaking into tears as my friends drove off. “You’re gay!”
I wasn’t gay, yet I said nothing.

She left and never returned. I had my life back and I never got another Christmas card from her again.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


When I was a kid I found an easy portable means of water transportation; the two-man inflatable life raft. It was supposed to fit two people, but they only safely fit one passenger at a time.

These crafts were big yellow with two air valves for floatation and one for the bottom where one would sit. Once deflated you could fold them up really well and tie them on top of a seat cushion with a paddle and stick them on a bicycle rack and go anywhere.

A few of my friends got rafts, too and our summers were spent floating down the Ramapo River and walking back home when our trips were finished. Drifting was very quiet and we would see some of the coolest wild life on the banks. It was the only time I had ever seen a coral snake, and yes, there are coral snakes in New Jersey.

As with all rivers; there are rapids. Though any rapids we descended were not by any means considered white water, they did quicken the pulse when shooting through them. We would always take on some water, but once there was a little more water in the river after a rain. I misjudged the aqua dynamics and watched as a pointed rock sliced through port side instantly deflating my raft joining me with the current to swim to shore dragging the useless rubber craft back to shore.

I continued using rafts through many of my adult years. I had a deflated raft strapped to my bicycle when I toured the Adirondacks every summer along with a telescopic fishing rod. I got into some really secluded lakes and rivers. I kept a raft in the trunk of my car and I’d often find an interesting spot to explore by water.

After moving to Oregon I found that I missed being on the water. An inflatable didn’t seem appropriate for the waters of this area so I got kayaks instead. Though they are more problematic to transport, I feel safer in the water with them. I’ve been in kayaks with a vinyl skin and never felt secure in them. There are pilings just below the surface of many of the murky waters here that could rip a skinned kayak open in a second. The waters here are much colder then the warm summer waters of New Jersey rivers.

Any time I am in a kayak, I immediately think back to the joys of my life back then and those bright yellow inflatables, floating on the surface of the waterways of my youth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Zen and the Art of Atheism

As an Atheist I have to admit there are some things I miss about acknowledging that there is some sort of monotheistic deity up there yanking my chain and threatening me with eternal suffering and damnation. It would it be cool to be convinced that not only is the earth flat, but that it has only been around for six-thousand years. I know those are way out there and far from main-stream theism, but there are other things they believe blindly without question like heaven and hell. That would make me feel like I were connected and a bigger part of the universe I suppose. That should feel pretty good.

The next problem I have is that I feel guilty when ever I say things like “God Damn”, “Jesus Christ”, “Jumping Jesus H Christ” or Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.” I love these phrases, yet since I will acknowledge a deity I feel like I have no right to speak that way…Damn!

I learned long ago to say, ‘May your gods bless you” when someone sneezes. I don’t know what sneezers believe so I like to cover all the bases out of politeness.

One thing I miss about going to church, (Catholic Church that is) is how every once in a while the congregation would say the same prayer out loud simultaneously. I’m sure they do this as well in other faiths, but I avoided being sucked into those other services.

The reason I miss this group prayer is because of Star Trek. I recall the first time I heard the Borg speak in their collective voice. The layering of the voices sounded just like a group prayer in church. Yes it is a sick parallel, but an uncanny one at that. You will be assimilated.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tiny Bubbles Burst

Do Ho died this weekend at 76. Don was on my Death Pool list. With his and Vonnegut’s passing within the same week, the list has been getting some activity.

Ho was an institution in Hawaii. Blue haired ladies would flock to his shows and cluster to have their photos taken with him. He would flirt with them. His photo appeared everywhere in Hawaii. All the tourist books and pamphlets promoted him and his daily shows.

Don traveled to Thailand in December 2005 to undergo an experimental stem cell treatment. He died of heart failure. Maybe I’ll put Al Harrington on the list next year.

So if you are playing along at home here are some names of people who remain on the list:

Lauren Bacall
Yogi Berra
Jack Black
Fidel Castro
Walter Cronkite
Billy Graham
Andy Griffith
Stephen Hawkings
Larry King
Tommy LaSorta
Jerry Lewis
Rupert Murdock
Iggy Pop
Andy Rooney
Micky Rooney
JD Salinger
Pete Seeger
Tony Soprano
Charlie Watts

Kurt Vonnegut
Don Ho

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pal's Diner

The drawing above is of the diner that was once in my home town. It was on the highway next to a truck stop.

Pal’s Diner was a spot for decent road food, and it was manned by manly diner cooks who I imagine were WWII army cooks. They were the kind of guys you could imagine in any post war, blue collar industry. Yes they slung hash, but they did it in a manly way.

I believe it was George Carlin who once talked about the transition of men who were once building things with steel and are now baking chocolate chip cookies for a living. Gentrification was not on the menu at Pal’s.

Open 24 hours a day, I’d find myself there getting a cup of coffee and a corn muffin before school. I’d pop in for a late night lunch when I worked nights. I was a frequent visitor.

This was a well used diner. My favorite illustration of this was the brick steps that lead to the entry. Because the parking lot was on the left side of the diner there was a one inch deep bowl carved into the bricks on the first step where people would step on the step and pivot left to go up the stairs. It was warn away by tens of thousands of shoed feet.

After the 70s the economy had changed. The Greeks were moving in and buying up old diners or building the next generation of diners which were now prefabricated monsters with all the charm of a double wide trailer park.

There were no longer any cooks back in the kitchen of Pal’s. If you wanted a chicken dinner the cook would get stuff from a fridge in the back and throw it all on the flat grill up front where everything was cooked, chicken, potatoes, beans and gravy. He’d plate it when it was warm and there you had it.

The Greeks eventually bought Pal’s, too, but is couldn’t compete with the new mega diners that the other Greeks were building. The diner was eventually sold and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I know of people who have made the pilgrimage to Michigan to reconnect with this touch stone from our past.

This is a photo of Pals in its new location. The interior has been modernized since the seats and counters were well worn before the move. The shell is probably all that is original. I know they didn’t take the warn steps.

I hope that Pal’s in its new location is building memories for teens the way it did for me and all my peers. I’m sure we all realize by now that we will never have our childhoods again nor will we ever have our Pal’s Diner back again.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Falling and Climbing

How is it possible that people fall in love and when the relationship is over they call it falling out of love. I can understand the falling in love part. It is definitely a falling, but when it’s over I think it should be called “Climbing Out of Love.”

I’m not going anywhere with this topic. I figure it is a quick little ditty that I can post on a weekend when few check in. I’ll close with my favorite love quote from Jack Kerouac written in his book, Satori in Paris, “I’m a wretch, but I love, love.”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Real Estate

I went for a walk in my neighborhood the other evening. I came upon a neighbor who was fixing a fence and visited with him for a few minutes. Somehow we got to talking about the price of local real estate. There has been a great deal of development out our way. The new houses that are pretty, but small and they are built on the cheap. These houses are selling for 450K and more.

My neighbor and I couldn’t fathom what our houses and property are worth now. We came to realize that we would never be able to afford our own homes if we were trying to buy into our community from the outside. How things have changed over the last 20 years.

The days of good deals are gone. I remember when I purchased my house on 10 acres. I thought I robbed the guy by only paying $75K for it, and he thought he robbed me because had purchased it two years earlier for $45K. I’m sure I’d feel like I was robbing someone if I sold my property at its current value. However when I see the prices for comparable properties in California or New York State I am shocked at those prices. How high can it go, and how much can the common person bear before everyone but the privileged is homeless?

Friday, April 13, 2007


OK, I’m on a fishing theme so allow me to continue for just one more day. As a kid who enjoyed fishing and spent so much time at it; purchasing bait was out of the question. The important part of any fishing expedition was to collect your own bait, be it minnows, worms or crayfish. My father was big on hellgrammites which were nasty little Dobson fly larva. They had nasty pinchers. I only collect them on rare occasion and n ever liked them.

Night crawlers were the preferred bait, and easy to get on warm summer evenings. I would water a patch of ground before dark and then wait. Once it got dark I would go out with a dim flash light and catch crawlers, which are large earth worms who come partially out of their holes at night and look for a mate. They could feel the heat from the light and they would shoot quickly back into their hole so it was important to not shine the light directly them.

After a while I learned to hold the flashlight in my mouth which freed me to capture a worm in each hand. In no time I had a couple dozen worms which would last me for a day of fishing.

One year while planning a fishing trip to Canada my brother and I collected night crawlers for weeks. We stored them in a Styrofoam ice chest with soil. We kept them fed and watered. We were going to be in Canada for a couple weeks so we knew that we need a lot of worms to hold us over.

Unfortunately when we got to the Canadian border the border guard discovered the worms and made us dump them out. Had they been in recycled newspaper it would have been OK, but we weren’t allowed to bring soil into Canada.

OK, plan B… We got to the lake and we immediately went swimming for crayfish. We didn’t have a trap, so we had to snorkel and lift wood and debris from the sandy lake bottom, which exposed the crayfish that were hiding from day light. Then you come up from behind them and snatch them and throw them into a minnow bucket with a lid.

After a couple hours we had a hundred or so, and then we transferred them into the Styrofoam cooler that once held the worms. We put the lid on the cooler, and left it in the boat.

The next morning all the crayfish were gone. We had forgotten about how much raccoons loved crayfish. On to plan C.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bonus Post, 1St Death Pool Contestant Passes

Kurt Vonnegut died on Wednesday.

Death Pool Post


My brother always loved to fish. He still does, though I’ve abandoned the notion years ago. It got to the point where after looking the fishing rule book in Oregon I decided I didn’t want to take an attorney fishing with me just to make sure I wasn’t breaking any laws. It’s just not simple here. Each stream comes with its own laws. It’s just too confusing for me.

As a younger brother, I was delighted any time my brother included me in his activities. He loved fishing; his friends didn’t, so I got to go with him often. Being seven years my senior, he had his drivers license and a car when I was ten, so I got the benefit of going to exotic fishing holes all over Northern New Jersey. I don’t know how he found some of the spots. Many weren’t even on the map. It was like he was a blood hound with a nose that could detect good fishing holes from 40 miles away.

On opening day of trout season most streams had fishers elbow to elbow on the banks going for the hand full of stockies that were tossed into the rivers a week earlier, by the Fish and Game Department. We instead were hiking up to obscure small streams and lakes in the Ramapo Mountains where the trout were wild and native. We were catching fish that had never had interaction with humans so we just about always got our limit.

When I moved out here I tried to fish like I did back East. I once heard that there is a fine line between angling and standing on the bank looking like a jerk. Of all the time I spent on the upper Lewis and Clark; day after day; winter after winter, I only caught one steelhead, one jack salmon and some cut throats. It was horribly disappointing.

I’m often asked if I plan to go back to visit New Jersey. I have no plans to ever go back, but if I do I am going to bring a fly rod.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Melanie Brown Returns

If you ever poked pack into my archives or if you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember my friend and film maker, Melanie Brown. Here is a link to the article I did on her. Melanie Brown back in July.

Anyway, I heard from Mel the other day and here is a link to her new film, “Ben, a true story.”

Melanie, often shoots music videos, but this one is a musical based on the song, Ben. Pretty funny! I love you, Mel. Keep us posted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I have to wait 30 minutes. I can’t leave; I must stay here and wait. Think of all the useless waiting we do. We wait at traffic lights when it would be absolutely safe to go because there is no traffic coming in any direction, yet we wait for a colored light to tell us when to go. If we get caught going before the light says so we can be fined…so we wait.

We wait at the doctor’s office. Your appointment was for 2PM, it is now 2:45…you wait and continue to wait.

You are at the store and there are only a few check-out lanes open. You picked the one you thought would get you home soonest. You picked wrong. The second person ahead of you is attempting to consume every god damned thing on the planet and use their coupons for the discount. You wait and wait. At this point you have so much time invested in it that it would be unreasonable to abandon your cart and go home without the items you came to get.

Sometime people get impatient. I’ve seen it often in Airports. There is a fine line between being impatient, being an abusive asshole and getting arrested in an airport. Things can turn bad rather quickly.

I, by the way am still waiting with fifteen minutes to go. I am like a dog or cat that waits by the door with a strong desire to be on the other side. Yet I must wait…here and now.

If you are one of those people who constantly say, "I can't wait!" Sorry, you still have to wait. We all spend a lot of time waiting.

I try to pass this time by writing this article for the blog, but I’d rather not be here. I would gladly abandon this story right here and now if I could leave. I would just post it as it is with no closing comments.

However, I must wait. I’m bound by my honor to wait. I can do nothing else but wait. If I don’t wait something could go terribly wrong. If I stay nothing will go wrong. Nothing ever goes wrong while I’m here.

I’ve just about used up the half hour now. It’s true, I type slowly.

Monday, April 09, 2007

CMH (aka Death Valley)

OK, I’m going to go after a sacred cow today. Columbia Memorial Hospital, AKA Death Valley is starting to piss me off.

First it was their arrogance by running ads by locals whose lives were saved by CMH. One was a letter written by a woman in Gearhart and newest one is by Skip Hauke. In both letters they thank the doctors, yet no mention of the nursing, radiology or administrative staff that made it possible for the doctors to assess the problems. In Skip’s case, they packed him up and sent him off to a real hospital. Basically, the ad shows that CMH is only a triage center with a heliport.

The fact that they run these ads tells me there is a problem. Their image in the community is poor. They clean house by eliminating staff or making it difficult for staff to work there. I often hear people saying things like, “don’t get that done here. Go to Portland where the doctors know what they are doing.”

This is sad because our community needs trust worthy health care. It is said that many doctors work here because they aren’t good enough to work in a better environment. There are a few who are here because they love it here and feel their financial rewards are sufficient. These doctors could work anywhere, but choose our laid-back life style. There are others that are a step away from becoming a camp doctor.

It is the responsibility of the hospital to have comprehensive health care, yet Dr. Park is the one who is trying to bring in specialists. His building houses a renal unit, and endocrinologist, a pharmacy and physical therapy. I don’t know his plans for his new building, but I’ve heard of a chemo unit. The hospital should have attracted this sort of health care years ago.

My advice is to stop running ads to convince us you do good things, and get out there and do good things. It is bad when you have to go to a hospital that is known as Death Valley.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


This is the day when Jesus arose from his grave. After rolling away the boulder that sealed his tomb he gazed to the ground. He saw his shadow and there were six more weeks of spring.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Saturday

OK all you Jesus believers out there, riddle me this... The story goes that Jesus was placed into his tomb in the evening after hanging on the cross all day Friday. He was there for three days and three nights then he arose, right? As you all know I am just a dopey blogger, but it seems to me that he would have been resurrected on Monday morning. Am I wrong?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

What’s so good about it?

Thursday, April 05, 2007


How nice are you? How often do you say something nice to someone or do something nice for them? I’m not talking about your family; you should be nice to them all the time, but co-workers and people you come into contact with every day.

Think of the people I’m talking about. Are you the type who compliments them occasionally? I’m not talking kiss-ass obsequiousness, but rather something nice; just nice; nothing more and nothing less.

What about a surprise gift? A flower or a home baked cookie? You know how special it feels when someone does or says something nice to you.

We try to have national “Nice Days” such as Christmas and Valentines Day, but those are so insincere. Some people are especially nice around these days and bastards the rest of the time. Some people are nice when in public and not so in private.

Earlier this week I was thinking of my brother who died in a car crash in 1988. To his family he seemed to be The Man Who Wasn’t There. He guarded his feelings and never really let anyone in. While attending his funeral my family was surprised to see how many friends and co-workers came to pay their last respects. They were surprised to hear stories of how personable he was and how nice he was to everyone. It is really odd when people behave one way in public and another way in private. It was like attending a funeral for someone we didn’t even know. Though while he was alive he shared his kindness with others; in his death he surprised his family with a lottery-like insurance policy where his wife and daughters never had to work again if they choose not to.

Yes, this article is somewhat disjointed, ending up where I hadn’t intended it to go. Kindness and thoughtfulness is what I was thinking about. I would like to be remembered as kind and thoughtful when I eventually go. I wonder as a person if I am actually doing enough to deserve that honor.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I just don’t get it. The Real Estate industry in Massachusetts is doing all they can to kill any possibility of off shore wind farms that may be visible from view properties in beach towns. All over the country supply and demand is the excuse for building ugly cell phone towers, radio and TV transmission towers, nuclear cooling towers, water towers, yet wind mills can’t be built where the wind is because they are ugly.

Of all the towers mentioned above, the wind tower is the most aesthetically designed. This is because it has movement. Humans love movement. We can stare for hours at a fire, or at the waves in the ocean or at water falling through a stream. We will watch clouds cross the sky. We can only see wind when it affects something in its path.

To me, wind towers are win-win. As spectators we get to watch their movement which helps us contemplate the vastness of the sky and the movement of pressure systems contained with in. Next we also get clean renewable electricity.

I guess the Massachusetts Real Estate industry prefers the smog and acid rains that coal burning electricity generation creates. I hope that’s working out for you…assholes!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Menu Item (By Gearhead)

My dear friend Gearhead is giving me the day off today. This is the first guest submission for this blog.

By Gearhead:

We were all in our late teens, in the mid 70s, working in a chain restaurant, paying our own way through college. On this evening, although underage, we were all heavily intoxicated, and decided to stop in at our restaurant for eggs and hash browns.

There were three of us. Big Dave, a 285 lb gentleman that grew up in a nice, working class family, Dave ? (I forget his last name) that had no family, no morals, no manners, no brains, no front teeth, almost no stomach (after several operations) and drank tequila like water, and little old me.

As we sat waiting in our familiar surroundings for the waitress to appear, something happened that chilled us to the bone. It was the sound of the double doors to the kitchen being thrown open. BA-BAM!!
We all knew that sound. It was the sound of someone throwing the swinging doors out of their way forcefully.

As we swung around in unison our worst nightmares were realized; it was the District Manager for the chain!! Why was he here at 11:00 pm? He only shows up when someone gets fired! But yeah; I can still hear the sound, “BA-BAM!!” The doors had been thrown open, and here he comes, with a cold hard stare and a steady gait. We’re dead. We’re all dead. And yes, there is a rule that states that anyone can be terminated for activities that “embarrass the company”. We were all drunk.

He stopped at our table. He stood there and stared at us for a few moments.
“What’s going on tonight boys?” he asked glaringly.
“Oh, nothing, nothing, nothing,” we answered.
He stared at us a little more. “Are you boys hungry?” he asked.
We all nodded yes.
“How would you boys like to eat anything and everything on the menu tonight and I’ll sign the check?” he probed.

Now we were really confused.
He continued, “I am working up the new menu. I need the products and pricing from Vops, Danny’s, Hi-Ho’s, Simbo’s and the Tom-Tom restaurants. If you can get that, I will buy you all dinner.”
“When do you need this?” I asked.
“Tonight.” he answered.
“So, how do you recommend that we…” Big Dave started.
“I don’t care, and further, I do not want to know how you come up with the information. That is your business.”

After a focus-group meeting, complete with multi-voting, paredo charts, fishbone analysis, (2 minutes total) we came up with our scientific solution; we would steal the menus. Big Dave was the driver and Low-Life Dave? was my partner in thievery.

First destination: Vops. As we waited in the lobby a cute little gal approached with 2 menus in hand. “Two?” she asked.
“One” I responded as I grabbed a menu out of her hand, and ran for the get-away car with my loser cohort.

We laughed all the way to Simbo’s where, as we walked in we spotted menus on the counter, grabbed one and took off. We’re having fun now!!!

As we walked in to Hi Ho’s, we were greeted by a young pansy-ass host that asked us, “Two?” He had no menus in his hand. We looked around. There were none to be seen! We allowed him to seat us at a table.

“Coffee?” the pimply-chump asked? Wouldn’t you know it, my airhead, loser partner says, “Oh yes please!” Now I am leaning across the table ripping on my dorky co-hort , when here comes the pansy with menus and coffee in his hands.

I grab a menu out of his hand and bolt for the fire door, which proves to be impassible. Then we dash for the foyer and end up in the breeze way with the pansy boy blocking the path of Dave? from the door.

At that moment I realized that I needed to turn around and save Dave? Before I could take one step, and in one fast motion, like the crack of a whip, Dave? Pulls a huge knife from it’s sheath and is holding it right up in the pansy’s face.

Dave? Had a crazed, survival level bend in his expression. I yelled, “DAVE, LET’S GO!!!!”

Panzy boy screamed and took off running back through the restaurant. We burned rubber out of there.

There is more to the story, but I have forgotten it. No one got hurt. Our new menus got printed later on that month. We ate well that night. We all had a new respect for our crew-cut, red neck district manager as well. I’m now thinking that we threw ourselves in harms way.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sick Day XII

I’m sick of Brownsmead. Get this Brownsmead residents, your shit stinks, too. I know you don’t think so, but you have been sucking fumes from Waunna for so long that you can no longer smell reality. Your shit stinks, and we are getting pretty sick of it. So get over that superiority attitude that you have going on of you. Remember the peace loving, equality for all beliefs you all had when you were young Hippies? Well, it’s time to get off your high horse and get back on the wagon, philosophically.

I'm curious, is the name based on Brown's Mead? Or was it Brown Smead?

And would it kill you to put up some street signs in that elevated swamp in which you live so people can get back to the highway without driving down every freaking road in your little burg? We are on to you, so knock it off. And by the way, Namaste, you rat bastards.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


A big thanks to Syd in Mississippi for sending me a batch of demotivational posters. I've been in environments where companies, instead of treating their staff better and paying them a better wage, they put up motivational posters to try to get them to feel better about the common goal which is usually team work and conformity... I have never been a good team worker so I always appreciate when I see something that discourages it. By the way I normally spell it teaim, so when people say there is on "I" in team, I offer my spelling. I prefer being a teaim of one.