Friday, April 26, 2013

11 days later...


can it have been already 11 days since the horror in boston, 9 days since the explosion in west, tx?  more than once in watching coverage of these tragedies, i've found myself tearing up, sometimes the tears find their way out of my eyes. 

that was the case when i first heard of boston magazine's planned cover for their next edition.  the heart was formed with shoes worn by folks running the 2013 boston marathon.  "we will finish the race" reads the caption "the stories behind the shoes" begins on page 70. 

i haven't read the stories.  some of them have likely been told at some point in the non-stop news coverage in the days since.  there is no way boston magazine, or any other media entity could possibly tell every story there is to tell. 

what a neat picture, what a neat way to honor innocents who just happened to be there in boston on april 15, 2013, the day they bombed the boston marathon.  a day the thousands who ran the race,  finishing before, or during the blasts, those who race was interrupted, those there to support the runners efforts, the world at large will forever remember the terror of that day.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

a woman's perogative...

mother nature is one fickle lady.  yesterday, the high temp here in little a-town was 89.  nice!  one might start to think spring has arrived to stay.  but, no!  last evening another polar blast blew through here on it's way south bringing with it winds sustained at around 40 with gusts to who knows how high.  laying in bed, trying to get to sleep, the sound of the wind funneling between our house and coach b's next door was restive in its rush to get to where? lubbock?  tahoka? o'donnell? lamesa?  the front will surely run out of steam somewhere along the way.

today's high is to be 40 or so, but with winds still at 30 and gusting, its another raw "spring" day.  it leaves us here in the panhandle of texas wishing mama nature could make up her mind.  is it spring?  or is it not? 

as for me, myself and i, a string of days in the 80's would suit us just fine; so come on mama, bring on the warmer weather.  please!



Sunday, April 21, 2013

medi-park puddle...

it's been a while since i hauled my carcass out of bed on sunday morning to meet the guys for coffee. we won't mention how long its been since i've made it up in time for perambulation of what was once medi-park lake.

thinking about it, i've not paid any attention to the lake since i've retired.  i remember watching from  the 6-c dayroom which looks down on the park as a heavy rain storm and a mini river of whitewater poured into the lake.that was some time before late may 2012 and the last time i gave the lake any mind.  saturday night i received something close to an engraved invitation to meet the guys for their sunday morning, neither sleet nor rain, yada yada yada-- walk.

it was a shock to the system leaving the warmth of my bed *-* hours before it has become my habit to rise.  an even bigger shock was the water level at the medi-park.  if we do not get some significant rainfall over the next weeks and months, at least the shallower south end could completely dry up and if that happens the north end can't be far behind as the south empties into it. 

another shock, although a pleasant one, was the absence of the canadian geese that fouled the sidewalks the last time i was there.  there are still a few but their numbers are now in the tens, not the hundreds i saw the last time i was there. 

admittedly, that was last year but it makes me wonder why.  i've not seen anything about parks a rec staging  goose round up, nothing about a mysterious and sudden die off.  they're simply gone.  maybe the water level got so low, the "lake" water so fouled with fowl doo, the geese left the medi-park for "greener pastures", so to speak.

i'm not sad to see them go.  walking around the medi-park without having too pay too much attention to where i stepped was nice.  maybe i should leave well enough alone; maye i shouldn't look a gone goose in the beak, if you will.  : )

whatever... bring on the rain, please!


Friday, April 19, 2013

1 dead, 1 in custody...

i wasn't tuned in to boston marathon coverage at the exact moment the bombs went off on monday.  watching continuing coverage of the man hunt for the perpetrators and the aftermath of the tragedy in west, tx has fairly taken over my life in the days since.

under influence of the fruit of the vine last evening, i opined that it would be okay with me, if whenever the marathon bombers were tracked down, that benefit of trial be forgone and said perps should be strung up by their balls.  (that is assuming one who kills and maims innocent people even have balls.) after hanging suspended for an appropriate amount of time, at least until gangrene sets in. a confession might then be elicited. with a six shot .45 caliber revolver with one round in the sixth chamber. the barrel of that revolver should be placed between the bastard's eyes and dry fired-- once, twice, thrice, four and then five times before, confession or no, on trigger pull six the lone round sends the s.o.b. straight to hell. the point being the punk should know a taste of horror, make that terror, not unlike the people the people struck by the bomb blasts unleashed by this coward.  he, however, should be made to see it coming.

after suspect  #2 was taken alive this evening, the talking heads made me see the error of my ways.  in the end he should be made to suffer exponentially to the number of folks he killed and maimed but in the interim, any means up to and including water boarding, should be used to extract every detail of the heinous plot he and his sorry brother foisted on boston and people from around the country and the world.

suffice to say i'm not too said that suspect #1 was escorted from this life last night and i'm more than happy suspect #2 is no longer at large and threatening  harm to more innocents.  

closer to home, west, tx. is still reeling from what is assumed to be an industrial accident.  the death toll continues to rise with perhaps dozens still unaccounted for. 

our thoughts are with the bombers victims and their families as well as the good folks of west.

i'm hoping for a slow news week upcoming.  i'm exhausted from chasing terrorists, spent from agonizing with my fellow Texans. but enough about me.

prayers for all who are suffering from being bombed in boston and blasted in west.
p.s. this message was also penned (as you might guess) under the influence of an australian moscato.  : )   

Thursday, April 18, 2013

thinking of West, Texas....

across Texas and around this country, in towns like West, the fire and rescue department is manned by volunteers.  brave men and women drop whatever they're doing in an instant and race to the call. be it a house fire, a car wreck or the conflagration that faced the West VFD yesterday afternoon, when the alarm sounds, regard for personal safety takes a back seat and helping those in need becomes the focus.. A number of West's VFD responded to the fire at the fertilizer plant; and then there was the explosion. 

it appears that some members of West's fire department who answered that initial call are missing. volunteer fire fighters and ems personnel, whose aim was to suppress the fire and treat any injuries on scene, may have been claimed by the blast. it is confirmed that two EMS personnel have died answering that call.

a search continues today looking to locate, hopefully to rescue those volunteers who answered that initial alarm.  a careful house to house search looks to find any citizen living in the blast zone who has yet to be accounted for.

small communities like West are extremely tight knit.  having one anothers back is a given and more than that, a necessity.  Unlike Boston, which has the benefit of multiple fire and police stations, towns the size of West must deal with such disasters as best they can, alone, until "the cavalry" can arrive from the next town over, from the next county and today from around the state and nation. 

no one wakes up on wednesday morning thinking that by the end of the day the town you've lived in all your life will be the scene of mass destruction with friends and neighbors killed, or hurting.  no thought given that the quiet anonymity of your home town will have given way to cnn's cameras broadcasting video of the explosion and the aftermath to the world over and over again.

in time the magnifying glass that is "the press" will move on to the next big story.  the people of West will be left to pick up the pieces, but they are not alone.  john q. citizen will be there for his neighbors, and they for him, not for praise but because that's  the way things are done in West and in small towns like it everywhere.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


the question is, "WTF! WHO DOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS?? this being, who plants explosive devices in the midst of non-combatants, women and children, men, the young and the old, people whose sole reason for being in that particular spot, at that particular time was a study in innocence?   there to witness a family member finishing the marathon for the first, or the umpteenth, time.  there to be a part of a patriot's day tradition, to witness the iconic sporting event being staged for the 117th time.  there to party with friends, to lift a few pints in fellowship and fun.  none in the 20,000 plus marathoners, none in the estimated half million spectators, none among the multitudes had such malicious intent, save one.  whether that one proves to be an individual or a group, foreign or domestic, only one amongst the many possessed a heart so black as to perpetuate such a terroristic act and the resultant deaths, grievous injuries and ensuant miseries.

few in this nation of "good will toward men" care to imagine setting such horror into motion.  there are individuals and groups "with a cause" who espouse hatred for others but seldom do they take their maleficent ideations beyond pompous boilerplate.  thus it is ever more paralytic when out of nowhere an event as bomb-blastic as the boston explosions intrude the country's collective psyche. 

there is no value in what-iffing, no use wasting our time in "if only land". 4-15-2013-- boston, mass.and the 117th running of the marathon will be forever etched in our memories.  nor should we forget 8 year old Martin and the other fatalities or the many who suffered injury to body and/or mind.  remembering will serve to honor the deceased and those whose realities were forever altered at 2:10 p.m. EST the day "they" bombed the Boston marathon.  to borrow a phrase, "it is a day that will live in infamy".


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston marathon bombing

....and yet another senseless tragedy has been visited upon innocent people.  for what cause, real or imagined, can the maiming and killing of innocents be justified.  an eight year old boy, dead-- to what end?

indeed, the aftermath of yesterday's bomb explosions at the boston marathon finish line area had the look of a war zone. to my unpracticed eyes their was evidence of life pulsed away in crimson arcs on a boston sidewalk.

there is no understanding such horror. there can only be a swift and certain race to bring those responsible to justice, and justice there must be.  8 year old Martin and the others who were killed and those whose lives were forever altered in an instant deserve no less.  we, the people, deserve no less.

it is a sad comment on the world we live in. it is an unfortunate reality that in this day and time, in the open society that is the USofA, those of mal intent see an event like the Boston marathon as an opportunity. an opportunity to reek havoc, to destroy, to demoralize those on the scene and across the country. if it can happen there, why not here?

my family is not allowed to "what if ?" as a country we must not slip into that mind set. to do so could be crippling. to do so would mean the miscreants who rained horror down on innocent people have won. we must not be cowed.  we must go on, even in the face of the possible. good must triumph in the end.

May God bless those who are hurting, the first responders and standers by who lent a hand in disregard for personal safety, the officials as they seek the perpetrators and all of us as we try to digest another horrific attack.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

memory 4---

just now, listening to a recording of Stilian Kirov conducting the ASO in Rossini's "Barber of Seville" took me back to the one screen movie theater in my little home town. there was usually a different feature film every weekend.  back in those days the movie was preceded by a cartoon. One week the cartoon might feature Woody the Woodpecker or Heckle and Jeckle or sometimes it was Bugs Bunny. at least for me, I looked forward to the cartoons more than the movies.  the princely sum of 25 cents got you into the theater for an afternoon of escape.

listening to the symphony play Rossini's piece took me back to a Saturday afternoon and Warner Brothers rendition of "the Barber" featuring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the "Rabbit of Seville".  Just what the movie of the week might have been I couldn't say but I do remember this carton classic.

them were the good ole days, I tell ya'!


Monday, April 8, 2013



this day is a day the Lord has made and we will rejoice in it.  it is a halcyon day, one of those very rare days when there is NO wind.  the flags are still.  it is astounding what one can hear without the  wind in your ears. on my run this morning I was amazed at the myriad of bird calls coming from all around me.  there was the sound of my breathing and the heavy plod of my shuffling jog, the sound of which set off a cacophony of barking dogs.  the quiet works both ways I guess.  if I can hear the birds songs from blocks away, the doggies can here the din that is me trying to run from afar as well.

today is one of those heaven on earth days that so rarely grace us here in little a-town. it's an outdoors day and on that note i'm going outside.

if you're lucky, it's just as nice where you are today!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

memory 3----


many, many times in my life I've been told I write like a girl.  an article in the agn sports page today was referencing how, even today, Arnold Palmer of golf fame takes care that when he is asked for his autograph, it is legible.  He referenced being taught to write with the Palmer method of handwriting.   The article opines as to how most athletes autographs are such that they are so illegible as to be undecipherable. 

Something I read on line referenced kids being taught the palmer handwriting method in fourth grade way back in the day. The years may well have fogged my memory's mirror but I've always given credit for my handwriting to my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Sherrill.  I was something of a teacher's pet in those days which made me eager to please her so I practiced my letters faithfully.  the years have not been kind to my handwriting. although it has lost any resemblance to the palmer method of perfection, it remains quite easy to read, girly if you will.

i wonder when good handwriting ceased to be important.  our youngest, the daughter, writes beautifully in cursive.  both sons skip the cursive bit altogether and print anything they need to "write".  even their printing can be hard to make out. our oldest son's signature consists of two capital Rs with extended tails for the letters following each.  the middle son has reduced his signature to a single letter C with a long tail for the rest.  the funny thing is that I would recognize all three signatures at a glance.

girly or not, I still owe a debt of gratitude to my fifth grade teacher. all that time I spent practicing my letters just to please her has served me in good stead.  unlike Arnold Palmer, people aren't standing in line to get my autograph but by damn, if someone ever does ask me for one, they'll for sure be able to read that it's mine.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

good people...


the news is full to the brim with all manner of evils visited upon others by those of mal intent. what doesn't make the news that often are people of good heart, and there are many.  it's just that  any positive news is all too often reduced to the feel good story at the end of a broadcast filled with all that is wrong in this world.

my aunt Christine passed on palm sunday.  on the Wednesday after, I called in an order for flowers to the House of Flowers there in Farmington.  the nice lady on the other end of the phone, Wilma, was all that is right in this type of situation-- solicitous, caring and kind. I hung up the phone knowing that a lady I've never met would do her best to convey to my aunts family that we, here in little a-town and in Conroe, were sharing in their loss.

fast forward to Wednesday evening.  I got an email from Chase telling me the statement on the card i'd used was ready. I pulled up the account and was puzzled by the balance outstanding.  investigating further I saw that the House of Flowers had entered a charge for $1240.67, not the $124.67 I had expected to see.  I was alarmed, thinking that surely this was an honest mistake, but how would I go about addressing it.  Should I call the store first and give Wilma a chance to answer for the error?   Should I call my credit card company, or the police if no option tendered a resolution? I went to sleep pondering how to best proceed.

fast forward again to Thursday morning-- early!!  the phone rang. on answering, i found that it was Wilma at the H of F calling to apologize for the error, telling me that my card would be credited back for the $1240.67 and asking how I would prefer to settle the balance. I chose to charge it to my card. it was an honest mistake, quickly corrected I thought, and I thank you very much, Miss Wilma. 

i'm not known for my patience, so I monitored the account daily checking to see if the "mistake" had been corrected.  days went by with no change reflected in statement activity.  not wanting to, and against my better judgment, I was thinking maybe the H of F was trying to pull a fast one, I filed a dispute.

I continued to monitor the account, once, or sometimes twice daily, looking for a new entry to the tune of -$1240.67.  Finally today I saw what I'd been hoping for.  the thing is the -$1240.67 was time stamped for the same day Wilma called her apology, telling me she had taken care of the oops.  it had taken Chase that long to make the correction.  the problem was not with Wilma, she did what she said she would do, it was with me.  I plead guilty to having a jaded perception of the world, to thinking there is a lot of merit to murphy's law.  a pinch of faith and a grain more patience would have spared me a great deal of angst. in the end, all is well.

this might have been a cautionary tale had the result been different, but it wasn't.  it just goes to show that with all that is wrong with the world there are still good and honest people who get up in the morning with only the best of intent, people who go about their ordinary lives, who at the end of  the day will have held a candle's flame against the darkness in the world.  because of people like Wilma at the House of Flowers there is hope the light will not soon go out..

thank you, miss Wilma, for your honest good works, for all you do for others-- in times of joy and in times of great loss. you're the best.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

changing of the guard....

I see on the net today that NBC has confirmed that Jay Leno will be leaving the tonight show come next year having hosted for these last 22 years. The rumor that Jimmy Fallon would be taking over for Jay and moving the show to New York  was also confirmed.

I have mixed feelings about the announcement.  I remember watching Johnny Carson as he hosted the show for the last times and the misgivings I had that Jay would ever be able to replace Johnny.  in truth he didn't, but Jay did go on to make the show his own with different bits.  no longer were we treated to Carson's antics as "Carnac the Magnificent" and others; "Art Fern-- TV Time announcer" with busty Carole Wayne as his foil, "Floyd R. Turbo-American" and "Aunt Flabby", among others. for those same 30 years Ed McMahon stood at his side, straight man to Johnny's hilarity. 

Just as it took time for Johnny to distance the show from the Jack Paar days, so did Jay make the show into his over time.  "Monday night-- time for headlines", "jaywalking", "battle of the jaywalk all-stars" and "ask jay anything" are regulars that come to mind when I think of  the tonight show with Jay Leno. 

After all the years I still prefer Jay over Fallon, Kimell, Letterman or Ferguson .  when the big switch is finally a reality, i'm not sure what i'll do. switch to Letterman?  maybe, but he's getting long in the tooth himself so who knows how long it will be before he sings his own swan song and the battle for late night is on-- again.

there is another option that I haven't given much thought to trying.  that is, I could just go to bed after the late news is over. but that might lead to getting up early and that goes against all that I looked forward to in retirement in the first place! I guess i'll have to see how things shake out.  as the old song goes, "whatever will be, will be".


Monday, April 1, 2013

memory 2...


now that I look at the picture a bit closer I see that the caption says "Read" but at first glance what I saw was "rea".  it was the letters "rea" that triggered another memory, taking me back to the summers of my youth.  every year, at almost time to go back to school, an invitation would come in the mail from the REA (that would the Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, a member of the Rural Electric Association) inviting us to thee annual membership bar-b-cue. It was a feast and not to be missed.  As I recall, it was held at Bulldog field in Tahoka.  The line was usually long.  shuffling forward toward nirvana was pure torture as their was no escaping the smells of mesquite wood fires and secret sauce.  Of course there was all the fixin's as well, potato salad, coleslaw, cobbler for desert and sweet tea to drink.  i'll never forget balancing that plate heavy with tasty goodies while looking for a place on the field to enjoy the spread.  why we didn't take a seat in the stands, I don't know.  perhaps because climbing up the stairs there was too much of a risk of dumping the sumptuous meal that had been keenly anticipated for weeks.  I remember that more than once the grass was home to hordes of  tiny green grasshoppers, smaller than a grain of rice. one had to be ever alert lest there be a little extra "treat" with that next bite.

that was the electric co-op-- but another highlight before heading back to school was the annual Wells Farmer's Co-op (a cotton gin) watermelon feed.  one or more horse troughs were filled with water, ice and watermelons; dozens and dozens of icy cold, red and yellow meated watermelons.  sliced into crescent shaped wedges, I dove smile first into slice after slice of melon until my tummy looked like i'd swallowed one of those babies whole.  one could literally eat watermelon until, if you ate even one more bite, there was a better than even chance you could literally explode.  those were the good some good times my friend!  gotta love them co-ops, my friends!