Friday, December 24, 2004

Curiosity Versus Caution

...and caution won.

   Went this morning to the nearby mall to finish my shopping.  I never finished and here is why.

   No luck at one end of the mall in finding what I wanted.  But no matter, there are stores everywhere, including those at the other end past the food court.

   I cruised the festive mall on my scooter past the specialty shops.  As I arrived at the food court a lady in a uniform, looking confused, rushed forward to confront me.  "You'll have to leave."

   What?  What's objectionable? Me? My scooter? What?  But before I could ask, she darted distractedly on and asked others to leave. Nobody paid much attention to her, but continued ordering their snacks.  Near the exit stood another mall guard. 

   "Are we evacuating," I asked.

   "Just the food court," he answered.

    Then I heard sirens, and outside a fire truck, a hook and ladder unit, pulled up and firemen began leisurely dismounting.

   I heard more sirens in the distance approaching.  No one, not guards, firemen, nor customers seemed to be in a hurry. 

   Now, my dilemma.  I'm never where the spot news is happening.  I  have had friends who sat out street shoot-outs in their cars and who told me about the excitment later.  I have seen familiar places on the TV news at night.  But nothing ever happens when I'm there. Here I am where the ACTION is. What me leave? My curiousity said "no way". 

   But, in this wide world every day, bombs go off, crazed gunmen walk into night clubs and restaurants machine guns blazing.  I might have asked the guard, "Are we searching for a bomb, or are we cornering an armed suspect?" I don't think he would have told me. 

   So I skedaddled.  Caution won.  I rode home and I couldn't even show anyone a bullet riddled scooter or brag about any singed eye-brows. 

    If there is nothing about Merced, California, on the evening news, I will tell you what I find out. If someone tells me, that is.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Let's Ban the Pizza Box

   I had cold, left-over pizza for breakfast. It was awful.  Everybody has, at some time, because we cannot, for some reason, leave pizza behind.

   Pizza, at the parlor, is hot, delicious, aromatic, covered with the toppings we like such as pepperoni, olives, garlic, onion, mushrooms, green peppers, sausage, tomato sauce, extra cheese.  It melts in the mouth and tickles the tummy. 

   But when we are done, we cannot walk away from those left-over slices.  We box them up and cart them home to keep in the frig. 

   Then the next day, we EAT them, cold and congealed and gloppy. We remember how good they tasted the day before and try to convince ourselves that it was a good idea to bring them home with us.

   I say, BAN the BOX,  and leave the left-overs on the table. 

   And even though I say it. I won't do it. 

Maybe Ill vote for the cat

Lost: One Future Vote

   A congresswoman from Southern California has sent me a gorgeous Christmas card, color printed on fine heavy stock She is beautiful, a smart dresser, and poses with her cat, Gretzky. It was printed by a unionized print shop. She is just the kind of representative I would vote for IF I could, but I live five hundred miles from her district.

   Why is she wasting money so blatantly? Why the extravagance? She must be covering the whole state with her cards. She may be looking ahead to some future statewide office. She wants me to remember her name, and I will. I will remember her as a spendthrift, extravagant, big spender. Just the kind of politician I DON’T want handling my tax dollars.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Cheezy Movie Lines

Aol is featuring "Top Ten Cheezy Movie Lines" today.  Reminds me of one of my old entries... last May.  Worth taking a new look. In other words: another rerun.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Rerun: Things You Will Never Hear Me Say

Top ten things you will never hear me say

Your ass is too big.

There is too much gravy on these potatoes.

Don’t come in, I’m not decent.

Sorry, I can’t come in swimming.  I forgot my suit.

I forgot my harmonica.

This roast has too much fat.

I retired too soon.

No dessert, thank you.

I'm glad I left Oxnard.

Leno is better than Letterman.


No. thanks, no more pizza.             - Ryan

Forget the scooter, Let's walk.      - Kate

Weenedn Assignement #39- Snow White and the Seven Imposters

When the novelty wore off, the family moved the wind-up Victrola to the kid’s room. That was me. Wow, a phonograph of my own, and all the family’s records, in my own room. Just watching the turntable spin wildly at 78 rpm was a treat.

When I had listened to Sailor Jack, William Tell Overture, or classical music hundreds of times I needed new material.

The movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was about to be released, and the music had been recorded in an RCA album. It was a soundtrack recording, right from the film, and I could listen to it right in my own room.

It took overtime wheedling, but I was taken to the music store, and there it was: for $7.98. But that was in 1935-dollars, which were hard to come by.

My mother said, “I’m really sorry, but I just can’t pay for the RCA-Victor album.”

I was offered a compromise. Frank Luther, whoever he is, had made a version of Snow White, by his writers, played and sung by his musicians, on Bluebird Records, for $2.95. It was a Hobson’s choice: this or nothing. I may have been a purist, but I was a kid. I caved. I got the Bluebird records.

“Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho,” sang Luther’s musicians. “Halt. Somebody’s shoes are a-squeekin’.”

Squeaking? There’s no squeaking in Disney’s Snow White. Who said that? Doc? Grumpy? Surely not Dopey. That complaining dwarf is an imposter.

So I had to live with Frank Luther and his band of fake Bluebird dwarfs. They are probably still a-squeekin’ in the storage shed with my Orphan Annie de-coder rings, and my Ovaltine drinking cups and the other shattered dreams of my childhood. The adultery of childhood may be as bitter as the adultery of adulthood.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Gift for Me

Monday at one PM.  I get measured for a new leg.  How's that for a gift?


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My workstation (Before) --Photo Scavenger Hunt



As requested, my computer station, as is, come-as-you-are, before you straighten it up for its portrait.

No chair, I roll right up in my wheel chair to the table. I face my Hewlett-Packard Pavilion 510n, about 1990 model, and tap out my journals or read yours.  When I pause to think I look up at my daughter's painting, Odyssey II, and enjoy the abstractions I find in it.

It cracked me up to look at this photo.  I never noticed that messy tangle of wires beneath the table until I saw it printed.

As for the second part of the assignment, (How it looks when straightened up for its portrait) that will have to wait until someday when, or if, I straighten it up. Check back next year sometime.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

My Mouth Harp

   I live in an old folks home.  I drive a Chevy and a Scooter. I read blogs and write in my journal. So what else do I do?  I play my harmonica.


   That four-sided beauty that I'm pictured with, is actually four twelve-hole tremolo Hohners fastened back to back.  That is 198 tuned reeds waiting for me to bring to life.  It belonged to my cousin, Paul, who was my inspiration to learn to play in my seventies. A course at the Senior Center in Blue Springs Missouri with a single four dollar diatonic eight hole beginners harp was the start of an enjoyable pastime.

   Now I own dozens.  I am not good at it, but you don't have to be good. to have fun and make acceptable music.  The harmonica does the work.  Simply blow into it and you get do-me-sol-do, the major chord in the key that the harmonica is made for.  Inhale, and draw on the left end of the harmonica and you get the second major chord.  Draw on the right end and you get the third major chord.  That and even a tin ear will let you accompany someone playing a tune.

   At our old folks home we have a volunteer, George, a pianist, who comes regularly to play from his life long collection of sheet music.  George tells me what key he will be playing in, I select the correct harmonica, and off we go, and it is not bad.  I make lots of mistakes, but George plays loudly, so they are not too obvious.

   I recently took a one evening course in "blues harmonica" and I play along with a blues CD too.

   My fellow residents are not too critical, so my harps are a wonderful hobby.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Show Us Your Transportation

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Your Transportation


    My early "get around" transportation was my Citybug. You can see it was a bit small for me.  However, I've traded up to a Pride Electric Scooter.  Now I can get to town, a fifteen minute scoot, or to the Mall across the boulevard in five.  I have even gone to the movies on the scooter, and I sit right in the scooter behind the last row of seats.

   If the trip takes more than fifteen minutes, I load my wheel chair into the 1995 Chevy Astrovan and hobble around to the drivers' seat, climb in and drive normally. When I arrive, I reverse the process:  hobble around, pull out the wheelchair, and roll to my appointments.    . 

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Another Christmas Parade?

I might as well try my hand at this posting our local Christmas Parade.  Several Bloggers have done it.  Hope we don't saturate the Parade racket.

I rode my scooter to the parade route in downtown Merced, CA,  a fifteen minute trip.  A charming "helper" was sighted (1).  I parked my scooter next to the local radio dee-jay who was annoucing the entries (2).  Kids lined the streets (3). Vietnam vets carried the flags. (4)  High School band led the big parade (5) keeping well in step (6) Local clubs made floats from trucks and wagons (7).  Car clubs like the Model A Fords were hits of the show.

The city council and the mayor rode on the fire truck, Sheriffs rode motor cycles, horses, and their bomb disposal truck while their Cessna circled overhead. Miss Merced and Junior Miss Merced rode in convertibles.  Hundreds of kids walked and waved and threw candy to the crowd.

When the sun sank behind the stores on Main Street it grew colder.  I scooted home after 33 of the 88, count 'em, 88, floats, trucks, and vintage cars had passed.  Santa, bless his frigid heart, was on the last float. I never got to wave to him.

I was glad to have seen hometown American Christmas Parade.  Last week, I had seen the ultimate Christmas Parade on TV.  So Main Street Merced isn't Park Avenue New York. It warmed my heart, anyway.  If it had warmed my hands and ears, I could have waited to see Santa.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Weekend assignment #37


   If you look at all those attempts to post pictures in the entries below, you might think my best quality was patience.  Well, I did keep at it, didn't I?

   But I gave up, I blew up, and stormed off to sulk too many times to say that patience is my best quality.  So I will claim no more thaN it is my second best quality.

   So what is my best quality then?  I guess:  I wear my 80 years well.  Please pardon me while I applaud my YOUTH.



Still ONE more attempt to post pictures

Geometric shapes for Photo Scavenger Hunt.

This is round.  It isn't much of a picture, but it was in my file, so I scavenged it for the hunt.  Then Krissy and Sue worked with me on getting it printed.

Wow, I feel like a new man.  Look at all those feeble attempts below.

"You've got (may"be) Pictures

Ho hum

Still laughing.  still cant find right picture.

(see earlier efforts in entries below)

Another picture effort

Still at this picture bit.  Here's the Round entry to Photo Scavenger hunt.

Laughing out loud.  Got big picture...but the WRONG picture.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Still struggling with pictures

 Still struggling with pictures.