Saturday, November 29, 2003

The Friday Five

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? Nope - I avoid it like the plague. I do all of the grocery and most of the household shopping. Aside from a last minute item, most gifts are done online these days as hardly anyone is local.

2. What was the last thing you purchased? 4 - 2 liter Diet Coke (decaffeinated)

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?
Online - no pressure.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?
Yep - started at a quarter and worked up from there (it was the '50's and 60's - a quarter bought all the candy one needed for a week)

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?
A size large Stohlquist dry suit - I promptly gained enough weight to require an extra large! This was a major purchase and the inability to earn a living now means I won't get to go kayaking in the winter again until I lose weight. And that isn't happening, due to the lack of kayaking.

This entry has 4 comments:
    Andy - the Diet Coke belongs to SWMBO. I drink decaf coffee :) Black. No beer. No booze. No fun ;)

    Comment from olddog299 - 12/5/03 1:44 PM

    Online grocery shopping - if only. Not an option around here, but the Bay area would have the population density necessary to support grocery picking businesses. We're too bloody frugal and independant. An acquaintance attempted such a business here and it died along with the economy. No sign of a recovery here.
    Comment from olddog299 - 12/5/03 1:43 PM

    haha i got you beat on the "hating shopping" !! i've also been known to resort to doing my grocery shopping online !!

    gotta love the internet lol
    Comment from his1desire - 12/2/03 9:27 AM

    Well, Diet Coke drinking man, why not lift weights or work out to Buns of Steel? They work! They do.

    Thanks for playing along.

    Comment from andreakingme - 11/29/03 6:28 PM

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Traditional Thanksgiving

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. It's traditional up here in New England to serve a roast turkey with a bread and chestnut stuffing, squash and corn, if diaries of some of the original Plymouth settlers are to be believed, along with Venison (Bambi, deer, AKA 4 legged garden trolls) but if one were to think about it for too long, late November wouldn't be a New Englander's choice for an outdoor gathering. Indeed, the Canadians probably are closer to right (October) than this National Gluttony Day we have here in the States. And while Mexico is rife with holidays, they find the whole concept of a turkey to be a bit on the weird side. Indeed, when I lived there as a child, the closest we came to a turkey for Thanksgiving was to roast a large peacock! (Don't tell the neighbors -- it was a "kill two birds with one stone" solution to the obnoxious screeches rained upon ones ears from before dawn until after midnight -- the maid 'negotiated' with the gardener next door to obtain the blooming thing in return for the feathers and "other items of value to be determined" -- heheheh.)

Anywho, it is also traditional -- with a small "t" -- for bloggers to declare the thing(s) they are thankful for. While not a long-standing tradition, blogging being only a few years old as an activity embraced by many, its a good one. I'll be giving thanks for my wife. She entered my life only six years ago come December and while there are huge chunks of those years no longer available to memory, the memories that remain are primarily of her. I also give serious thanks for my life. It was only a couple of years ago that I was "dead" on an operating table as surgeons performed open heart surgery. Not something I'd recommend to anyone for grins and giggles, but there was one immediate benefit beyond the restoration of blood flow to my brain and body: a week of morphine made giving up my 35-plus year addiction to cigarettes much easier than it would have been otherwise.

Now, if I could just kick this morphine addiction.....

This entry has 3 comments:
    Nope, not really. But I could have been, easily enough. My preferred poison is alcohol -- I never met a bottle of bourbon I didn't like. Or that I didn't drink, either.
    Comment from olddog299 - 12/8/03 8:28 AM

    Now this IS a touching story and the heart of what can make one thankful for what one has. Thanks for sharing.

    You aren't REALLY addicted to morphine, are you?!

    Comment from andreakingme - 11/29/03 6:31 PM

    what a touching story :)
    morphine .. ::big sigh:: now THAT was the bestest part of child birth oh yea !!!
    i'm glad you made it through your surgery years ago and that you're here today to share your life with us
    happy thanksgiving
    Comment from his1desire - 11/27/03 9:21 AM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

It's a gray and rainy morning hereabouts. Dark enough an hour after sun up to need a light on by the window in order to read the paper. Clothesline is drooping dangerously close to ground level as the sodden towels fail to dry in the morning rains.

I (like many of you) have been thinking about our military in Iraq - the men and women in infantry and on the ground in Tikrit and Baghdad and other dangerous places. What kind of Thanksgiving will they have? Their families will sorely miss them this year around the groaning board come Thursday.

Hereabouts another 300 or so folks are getting ready to ship out. Gone is the sense of excitement and anticipation I sensed in the first batch to go last spring. This bunch are somber, sober and reluctant to talk about anticipated conditions. These are my neighbors and acquaintances -- men and women I served for many years. Quite a few fear for their lives. Even more worry about those left behind. No one I have spoken with that's been called up appears to welcome the intrusion of this war in their ordered existence -- and yet all speak with confidence about the job they have ahead of them. I am proud of them.

Many question where US policy will lead us -- but none of those in military service I've prodded over coffee have been willing to discuss Bush's leadership or lack thereof. This is a far cry from the bitchin' and grousin' I heard from some of these same troops upon return from "Desert Storm." Before, it was about O-I-L. This time it isn't so clear. Some think they are helping to liberate Iraq. Others see it as mopping up what we failed to do the first time around. Most seem to think its a futile effort they have no chance of avoiding, so they'd rather not talk about it, thank you.

Wish them well. If you pray, include them in yours. Theirs will be a bleak Thanksgiving this year.

This entry has 1 comments:
    I know what you are thinking--my little brother is to ship out next month.

    Comment from jules432 - 11/26/03 7:59 PM

I'm angry, embarassed - and nearly a week late!

Nope, I'm not hauling out the EPT just yet. The love of my life and I got around to watching the tape of the last issue of Survivor! this past evening and lo and behold, the big guy has been shafted. Upset my wife no end that that scheming, snivelling psycho named Jon is free to wander around while the group gave Rupert the boot. She's even thinking about writing a nasty-gram to the show's producers. Me, I will sit back and watch - but some of the pleasure has gone out of it, for sure.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Early Season Santa Sighting

Santa Claus made his annual pilgrimage to sail from the Bangor docks this Sunday. Santa has been giving residents seasons greetings from his sailboard while navigating the harbor below the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge for the past 18 years. No doubt the Bangor Daily News and WLBZ-TV 2 will have coverage tomorrow or by Tuesday.

This entry has 1 comments:
    Well I was wrong - no coverage in the paper nor on the TV station's web site - just the quick blurb on the 6 o'clock news on Sunday. Guess wind surfing Santas aren't news any longer. :(

    Comment from olddog299 - 11/25/03 12:42 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Hmmm... not my day, I guess.

Hmmm... not my day, I guess.
Picture from Hometown

Which Happy Bunny Are You?

Brought to you by Quizilla

This entry has 3 comments:
    You definitely don't suck. :)

    Down with quizzes that are bad for your self-esteem!!! tehehe..
    Comment from slowmotionlife - 11/25/03 1:07 AM

    and of course it won't let me make my own bunny for some odd reason .. it keeps telling me i didn't answer all the questions grrrrrrr
    pamela (i want my OWN bunny !!!)
    Comment from his1desire - 11/23/03 2:53 PM

    I need a t-shirt with that picture on it
    Comment from irun01 - 11/22/03 4:38 PM

Michael Jackson Is Nuts!

Michael Jackson. Child Molestor or just plain stupid? I'm having my doubts. Methinks he's sucked gas one time too many during his nips, tucks and peels. His inane, actually, insane comments to the media. Totally inappropriate actions dangling his infant over the balcony railing last year and admitting to sleeping with children other than his own offspring. Way too weird for a sane 44 y.o. adult male in this culture.

That is not to say he isn't guilty of the allegations levied nor is it a suggestion that these crimes against children don't happen every day all over this world. I'll leave the courts to decide the question of Jackson's innocence. I'll leave the court of public opinion to struggle with what to do about child molestors in general.

But while I stumble off to the couch for a post-prandial snooze, I wonder at the absolute stupidity I have observed coming from "NeverNeverLand Ranch" and its denizens.

This entry has 3 comments:
    I can't help but feel sorry for the man. I mean, just looking at him and his behavior, you can clearly SEE he needs help. Money or not, someone needs to make sure he's not hurting anyone. Like you said - leave it to the courts. He's not automatically guilty just because we all thing he's weird. But I hope - whatever the outcome - that he's able to get some help. And anyway.... what mother would let her children go to the NeverLand Ranch unsupervised? Talk about crazy!!
    Comment from slowmotionlife - 11/25/03 1:17 AM

    I really think that his celebrity has shielded him from getting the intensive therapy that he really needs.
    Comment from fdtate313 - 11/22/03 10:42 PM

    Love your rantings--if it is true it is about time that someone stop him.

    Comment from jules432 - 11/20/03 7:45 PM

Photoshop Tennis, Anyone?

The result of one of many PhotoShop™ Tennis "matches" -- See the previous entry for the where. The why is up to your imagination!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


It appears I've failed to mention what's been going on in La Casa Loca lately and I should not have done that as it is the reason for the dearth of entries.

SWMBO has gone off and obtained employment at a new venue, new days and most importantly, new times. She is now in the ranks of the Treatment Nurse, doing wound care and giving, well, treatments, injections, salves, unguents, and the like (as opposed to the job of Med Nurse, which basically involves passing pills and elixers.)

This is a major change after having been a Charge Nuurse for the past 5 years followed by a stint as Shift Supervisor. It's a return to being a peon, with no significant responsibilities for the day-to-day functioning of the facility.

Most important is the fact this is a day job from 6:30 AM until 3:15 PM, Monday through Friday. This is so close to the American societal employment norm that we are experiencing shell-shock. Not to mention a severe readjustment of circadian rhythms. Neither of us have lived aught but a 3 to 11existence for over 5 years now. There is this blinding light in the sky that has me completely flumoxed. I can not see with out wearing dark glasses. And sleep? I know Pam over to Onegirlsheadnoise thinks her sleep cycle is pooched right now but she wouldn't believe what my body has been doing to me. I seem to have stabilized, finally, on surviving on 3 hours of sleep per night, with narcoleptic naps as my body sees fit. I am afraid to operate machinery. One minute I'm here but the next may find me in that peculiar state where I think I am awake, but given the genuinely bizarre thoughts and sights I can but conclude I am actually asleep. My legs, indeed my whole body is swollen, bloated in fact. My mind feels like it has been stuffed with shaving foam or whipped creme, perhaps. It's like a 24/7 hangover.

So that's why I haven't been writing. Sleep overcomes me almost immediately upon sitting myself in front of the keyboard. I arise moments or hours later, frozen from knees down, stiff and sore and cranky. If this be what everybody else lives like on a daily basis, they have my sincere sympathy, but I don't think I want to live like this.

This entry has 1 comments:
    "I am afraid to operate machinery" ohhhhh i can relate !! i'm running the washing machine with no clothes in it and making coffee at 3 am accomplishes nothing except an excuse to mop the kitchen floor lol like i need an excuse eh?
    i'm sending you both all the sympathy i can muster at 4 am :)

    Comment from his1desire - 11/19/03 7:13 AM

Friday, November 14, 2003

Sad News For Photographers

A story in yesterday's Bangor Daily News needs sharing with a wider audience. Dave Lyman, President and owner has announced he needs to sell the Maine Photographic Workshops and the adjunct Rockport College before the end of the year or he'll be forced to close their doors. The paper cites the adverse effect of the war and the economy as the cause of the financial difficulties along with high interest rates on a new dorm building.

Literally thousands of folks have availed themselves of the workshops to learn new techniques and to improve their understanding of photography. The MPW was started originally by a grant from the Eastman Kodak Foundation and Kodak has been an active partner until recently.

I hope someone or a group of peoples come forward to carry on the tradition of excellence begun by Dave. The loss forever of the MPW is something I don't wish upon the photographic world.

Forty Things You Have Never Heard Uttered By A Suthner*

40. Oh I just couldn't. Hell, she's only sixteen.

39. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.
38. Duct tape won't fix that.
37. Lisa Marie was lucky to catch Michael.
36. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
35. We don't keep firearms in this house.
34. Has anybody seen the sideburns trimmer?
33. You can't feed that to the dog.
32. I thought Graceland was tacky.
31. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.
30. Wrasslin's fake.

29. Honey, did you mail that donation to Greenpeace?
28. We're vegetarians.
27. Do you think my gut is too big?
26. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.
25. Honey, we don't need another dog.
24. Who's Richard Petty?
23. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
22. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.
21. Spittin is such a nasty habit.
20. I just couldn't find a thing at Walmart today.

19. Trim the fat off that steak.
18. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.
17. The tires on that truck are too big.
16. I'll have the arugula and radicchio salad.
15. I've got it all on the C drive.
14. Unsweetened tea tastes better.
13. Would you like your salmon poached or broiled?
12. My fiance, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.
11. I've got two cases of Zima for the Super Bowl.

10. Little Debbie snack cakes have too many fat grams.
09. Checkmate.
08. She's too young to be wearing a bikini.
07. Does the salad bar have bean sprouts?
06. Hey, here's an episode of "Hee Haw" that we haven't seen.
05. I don't have a favorite college team.
04. Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
03. I believe you cooked those green beans too long.
02. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Daisy.
01. Nope, no more for me. I'm drivin tonight.

* With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, whom I suspect is the spiritual father of these items, if not the actual author.

This entry has 2 comments:
    I've been a Southerner all my life and I have been known to utter a few of these lines. I do know quite a few of the people you're talking about though...
    Comment from fdtate313 - 11/20/03 12:42 AM

    Before being accused of Regional Snobbery, I should point out to all and sundry that I am married to a Suthner (Louisiana), these were sent to me by a Suthner (N. Carolina) and I'll probably move to the Southland one of these days if I ever figure out how to keep my beard from itching in the heat and humidity down there (as opposed to the heat I have been promised by some Suthren Baptists when I shuffle off this mortal coil). Hugs and kisses to y'all.

    Comment from olddog299 - 11/14/03 9:15 AM

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Sliding Down Occam's Razor - Watching My Sister Disappear

Stumbled onto this living requiem of a journal called Watching My Sister Disappear and it got me to thinking about my own family. Just two of us left now. And we have no descendants. Guess that's why my genealogy site is called "A Dying Breed," huh?

"We" used to mean the "Terror Trio" -- the thought of Billy, Ricky and Howie getting together in their homes caused palpitations in my grandmother's hearts (I'd previously been enough to kill off the only living grandpa shortly after my arrival).

Alas, Ricky is no longer with us. Little brother discovered his corpse one fine day in June 2000. Now he's haunted by the memory. Not sure whether it was accidental (he had diabetes and epilepsy and a history of not taking care of himself) or intentional -- the process of decay made it impossible to tell for certain. He was, by all reports, rebuilding his life after an unsuccessful suicide attempt 10 months earlier.

Neither Howard nor I are in the best of health and we are both over the hump and sliding down Occam's Razor into a vat of rubbing alcohol. I suspect that if a car accident, heart attack or stroke don't claim us then suicide probably will. We have both seen and come to understand the horror of life in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While that type of existence might be fine for most, we are both reclusive curmudgeons. Just the thought of living with that many people again causes shudders down the spine (and in my case a fit of apoplexy). Death by Colt is much to be preferred.

Don't get me wrong -- neither of us are ready to do the deed any time soon. Its just that the horror of Alzheimer's, for instance, is enough that neither of us would be willing to allow the disease to progress as far as it has in the case described by Ms. Ross in her journal regarding her sister's losing battle with the disease.

Then again, no one's getting out of existence alive, are they?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Rage Against The Machine

Today is Veteran's Day - the all-purpose remembrance day honoring the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces of these United States.

It started out as Armistice Day in remembrance of the end of the war we call World War One and of those cut down in aid of our allies. It was a truly horrid, horrible war and I am still troubled by my memories of the veterans of that conflict I knew in my childhood. They were hollow, haunted men -- never quite able to leave the horrors of the battlefields behind them.

As I grew from boyhood games of "Cowboys and Injuns" and that all-time favorite of little boys, the generic "War" whether it be with wooden sword and fiberboard shield or makeshift stick guns and pine cone grenades, I started to recognize the quiet sadness in the World War II veterans and the seething rage hidden behind the placid exteriors of the Korean War vets. On June 1, 1954, the Congress declared that henceforth November 11 would be set aside and dedicated to the remembrance of the United States Veteran.

Veterans of the Cold War understand that rage, too. Theirs was a conflict of nerves and economies over ideologies fought by well-meaning sycophants hidden away in underground bunkers and boardrooms. "What's good for the 'military/industrial complex' is good for America" was the watchword.

The sixties brought us the Bay of Pigs and the brinkmanship of Nikita Khruschev and John Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson's attempt at greatness in Vietnam and Richard Nixon's forays into Cambodia and Laos. The veterans of those conflicts have a much tougher time holding their head high. But they certainly understand the sadness and rage of their comrades.

Beirut. Grenada. Nicaragua. Desert Storm. Serbia and Bosnia. Somalia. And now Iraq. There seems to be no lack of venues requiring our presence. Millions of men and women have served in the armed forces of these United States. Your mothers and fathers and theirs. My brothers and sisters and yours. My children. Your grandchildren. Thousands upon thousands have died in service in the past 86 years, since that fateful day in November 1917. Honor them all for they have served and sacrificed so others would not have to.

This entry has 1 comments:
    thank you so much for the history lesson .. seriously .. it is so easy to forget the meaning of holidays and view it as a day off from work
    Comment from his1desire - 11/13/03 9:17 AM