Monday, April 08, 2024

There's Someone in My Head, but It's Not Me


So Maine is once again in the national spotlight; not for anything the residents, bureaucrats, or politicians did. Maine happens to be one of 13 states to have the best vantage points to witness the planet's most recent solar eclipse.

The sweet spot here is up country around Presque Isle, Lincoln and Greenville. Motels and hotels have been booked solid for months up that way. The Maine Turnpike is all fucked up because so many folks from away want to witness something that happens all the time. Well not all the time in People time, but it sure is a regular occurrence in the Universe.

I considered driving up to Ground Zero to take a peak. Hmm.......... 

Do I really want to drive 3 1/2 hours to see something that lasts a few minutes? I took another toke and decided to stream the event later in the comfort of my own living room. Dealing with traffic and obnoxious tourist types just so I can burn out the retinas of my eyes on a Monday doesn't seem like much fun. 

Other than temporarily boosting the economies in a narrow ribbon of America, all I can hope for is that this may finally be the day of the Rapture. Evangelical Christians have been hoping and counting on proving that yeah, they were really right and they are willing to die to prove you heathens have your collective heads up your collective asses. We'll show ya. You can have the planet. We have another place to fuck up now.

If we are lucky we might even catch a glimpse of them ascending into the heavens. At least there will be a glut of new used homes available to put a dent in the recent Housing crunch. Used car prices and the price of Bibles will plummet. But best of all, I won't have to listen to them flap their pious lips anymore.

When I sat down at dark thirty this morning, I did not intend to rain on anyone's parade. Apparently I was a tad cranky from my sleepless night. I brought the rain with me and before I had finished my first sentence, any parade I was talking about would be a rain out.

Hope the eclipse is everything the fans expected. ........ Enjoy.

________________________

For my musical selection for this post, I had not considered the album,  "Dark Side of the Moon", recorded in 1973 by Pink Floyd. But them clever Google grunts pointed me to a 1994 Youtube video titled, "Brain Damage / Eclipse". The video is dated. It reflects the political scene of the mid 1990's and back. The points have not changed. Still relevant today; only the lunatics have been replaced by newer Lunatics.

The Lunatics are still in the grass. And now there are more of them.


BTW - The image at the top I created from screen shots I took while the video played. Came out nicely I think.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

1968 - The Hoochie Coochie Tent - 99 Words

I was 17 years old at the Acton Fair. I was determined to gain access to the Hoochie Coochie tent. Last year, the hawker out front laughed and sent me packing.

How could I get in? Security was tight. Without an ID, it seemed destined to be a failed effort. It was no longer about ogling naked women. It was now me against the rules.

As I walked away, it came to me out of the blue.

I would come back in my military school uniform. They might let me in then.

It worked. 

Oddly, I left totally unimpressed.

______________________

True story. I compacted it into 99 words so I could enter it in the weekly Carrot Ranch Flash Challenge. It has been awhile since I tried any Flash Fiction. I really enjoy Flash challenges. They force me to focus on the essence of the story, without all the trimmings that so often are just that, trimmings.

I have a much longer piece about this incident from my teen age years. It has languished now for at least a decade.

_______________________

I had a song picked out for this story before I even wrote it. I heard the song for the first time in college, several years after I sneaked into that Hoochie Coochie tent. Please enjoy "Sharon", by David Bromberg.



 

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Recovery Saturday

In keeping with my blue tarp, car up on jacks high standards, when I decided to set up some kind of bird feeder, I immediately thought of using some of the many plastic 5 gallon buckets I had scavenged over the years. They could be found in small clusters in various parts of the back yard , in the shed, the basement, and garage. 

I love those buckets. I have used them for everything from growing pot to creating two bucket benches that I still park my butt on regularly.

It was an excellent idea to start off with them to see if feeding the birds was something I wanted to do again. Because after a childhood of dealing with bird feeders, if you are going to have one, you have to totally commit. The flying piglets will haunt you if you don't.

Growing up in many locations, one of the first things my father would do once we had settled into our new digs; he would set up a bird feeder. When I was old enough, its care was put on my allowance chore list. I forgot how much I enjoyed it. 

With a plan in hand, it took me longer to find lids for the buckets than it did to set them up. They are easy to use, portable and best of all they go with my early 70's trailer motif.

I will be setting up at least one store bought feeder for next winter. Who knows, maybe a few of them. My yard is and has long been a nesting yard for more than few birds. Cardinals, Pileated Woodpeckers, Cat Birds, Robins, and at least for a period, Baltimore Orioles. Guess it makes sense to offer them some grub.

What I had forgotten about bird feeders is they are like chum to a shark. The flying piglets will go into a feeding frenzy, especially if the ground they normally peck at is covered with 2 feet of snow. Add in the visiting gang of Pine Siskins and the feeder situation is total anarchy now. And to really spike up the tension, I spotted the Gray squirrel from across the road having his way with the bird food.


Then I spotted the little Pine Siskin above frantically trying to escape my almost completely open front porch. The birds often are confused by the one window, but in a minute or so they figure it out and escape. This little guy was still trying to find a way out after 10 minutes or so even though the exit was only a foot to his left. I took mercy on the little guy, scooped him up and booted his sorry little ass out of the front porch. Damn, Siskins are tiny. Chickadee tiny, maybe smaller.

As I said, I will be setting up at least one store bought bird feeder for next winter. It's just been too much fun watching them interact with themselves and other birds bigger than they are.

I am calling today a "Recovery Saturday". I am flat out spent from all the snow removal I participated in the last 2 days. I think I am going to eat some brownies, kick back and sleep through a couple of movies.

Later Gators ..................................

_________________________

I wasn't going to present another Coen Brothers soundtrack, but then I found this excellent studio cover of "Hotel California" recorded by The Gypsy Kings for "The Big Lebowski", the bowling alley scene. And just to double the fun, here is the bowling scene the song was supporting

Damn, that was a great movie. 


Friday, April 05, 2024

Nor'easter, April 2024, - Day 3 - Are We Having Fun Yet?

I woke up this morning and discovered it was still snowing. Can't tell how much new snow yet. but from the look of the piled snow at the end of the drive, I am guessing at least another 5 or 6 inches anyway, Been quite a few years since we have seen this much snow in one storm and I have never seen one like this so far into Spring. It is fucking awesome out there. Mother Nature just bitch slapped us around as if to say:

                          " Whose the Boss Now Bitches,  cuz you sure ain't".

The meteorologists called for a lot of snow here in the Acton area. What caught them with their pants down was the storm apparently decided to punch well above its weight by dumping more snow than expected over a much wider area than predicted. Sanford, 8 miles away, was expecting 5 to 10 inches. At this point, they have north of 16 inches. Much of Sanford is out of power. Even with our power lines holding up a big pine, our power on Sam Page Road still flows. 

BA made the decision to not worry about going into her office today. She did bring home plenty of work. That takes the early morning pressure on me to get right out there for another fun filled hour or two of snow removal. I'd say I can't wait, but well, I am doing my best to make this cup of coffee last as long as I can.

Well, I headed out there to clean up some and dig out my wife's car. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. The moisture in the snow must have drained some. My tractor and snow blower had no problems. 

The tree is still across the power lines. I do not quite understand why it has not been taken care of yet. It is the main line that feeds Acton and parts of Milton Mills, New Hampshire. Over 10,000 people I was told depend on it for their electricity. 

So that's the way it is up here in the snow bound pucker of southern Maine today. Hope everyone affected by this massive weather system pulls through okay.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ....................................

________________________________

For music, again a song from one of the earlier Coen Brothers movies; here is the final scene and credits from "Blood Simple" accompanied by "It's the Same Old Song", by "The Four Tops". Makes me remember Friday night Teen Club when I was in 9th grade. ....... Always liked the Four Tops.

One thing though, the first 1:14 minutes of the video is the last scene of this very excellent movie. I think it or "Raising Arizona was the first time I watched a Coen Brothers film.


Thursday, April 04, 2024

Nor'easter - April 4, 2024 - Part ll

It is 10 minutes to 3 in the PM. The snow that began in Acton roughly 24 hours ago is still pumping hard. When I came in from blowing a hole in the white crap, my wife informed me we are over 20 inches accumulation now, and the snow is expected to last well into tomorrow, April 5th.

I had mentioned in the earlier post of today that the town of Acton was shut down today. Then I said we will have to see how much longer. When I spotted the big pine down across the power line  at the end of my driveway, I knew Acton has been slammed. The plow guy told me our road looks like every road in town. We're gonna be awhile cleaning up from this storm.

So Anyway, I wanted to share some of the Kodak moments I was able to snap.


Snow is already sliding off the roof. This snow won't last long.

Stay warm ..................................

_________________________

Here is another song from a Cohen Brothers movie; "What condition my Condition was in", by the First Edition. From the Dream Sequence in "The Big Lebowski".


Nor'easter - April 4, 2024

I guess I should be happy all the meteorologists in the Universe got a weather prediction right. And how come when the they get it wrong, the shit usually hits the fan? But this time they had to nail it and shit still hit the fan?

Hmm .......

They claimed Maine, at least my part of Maine was going to wake up with a 14 - 18 inch wet white blanket smothering our dooryards. It's 10:00 AM and there is at least 15 " out there and it is still snowing; not expected to stop until this afternoon at the earliest.

Yeah, yeah,... yeah, you weather geeks are heroes. What I want to know is when will the climate Einstein's do more than just blather about they think is going to happen weather-wise. If we last long enough, I am sure that day will come.

My wife just popped in and told me she checked on power outages in Acton. 

Latest census figures put the population here in town at 2539 souls. Only 32 of us still have power. Cool. Hate to sound smug and shit but, well, for once its great to be in with the cool kids. .......... Of course, I might have just jinxed myself.

It started to snow yesterday, mid-afternoon I guess. At midnight I took out the tractor and tried to blow the 4 inch sponge of snow. Damn stuff looked like white water pouring from a culvert. It wasn't blowing, it was pouring. I did manage to clean out the ends of the drive after a semi-close call with a town plow.  

So here it is ten-thirty in the AM and there is another foot or so out in the dooryard. Branches are touching down, many have broken. .......... Acton is officially snowed in for the day, maybe longer. We'll see.

The picture of Maggie struggling to take care of her business is a perfect Nor'easter image. That tree is basically south of the camera. Look on the east side of the tree. That shows where the snow comes from in a Nor'easter. The drooping branches show how heavy the snow is; another typical result of a Nor'easter.

So this is my day so far. When I stop writing and post this, I guess I will make an attempt to moved some snow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..................................

___________________

~ Story for the next Liars Club hoe down - We got so much snow, our dog Maggie had trouble taking care of business. She usually has no problem, but this storm dumped a lot of snow. How much snow fell? Well, Maggie's a big dog. At least 5 foot tall at the hips .............

_________________________

Because lately I have been thinking more about the Coen Brothers and their wonderful films, here is "Man of Constant Sorrow", by the Soggy Mountain Boys, from the film, " O Brother, Where Art Thou".


Tuesday, April 02, 2024

750 Feet Above Sea Level

750 feet above sea level is not very high. Year after year, all it takes to put us into a higher snowfall zone than Sanford, 8 miles away, is the 500 feet difference between the two of us. 

Again, there is a 'Nor Easter headin our way and we sit close to dead center for the most snow predicted starting tomorrow and into Thursday.

It's been an erratic winter here in Maine. There is no normal anymore. It seems this winter we received more rain than snow, and the snow that has hit us fell outside the usual seasonal parameters for the most part. By my less than precise count, we still have managed so far to accumulate over 60 inches of snow this winter, with another possible 18" accumulation by the end of the two day weather event coming up.

Our story here in Acton, Maine is no different than name any other place in the World. Region to region, the extreme climate changes may differ, but nowhere on the planet is unaffected.

This rock we call home is experiencing weather we are not used to. The weather still manifests itself in the same way it always has. Only now the weather tends to favor extreme expressions of anger, hate, and discontent. 

A big snow predicted is often much bigger than before. Hurricanes are more numerous and often more vicious. Drought conditions find their way into areas previously not used to them. And areas of traditional droughts can find themselves with more water than they can handle. Water frozen for thousands and thousands of years is melting into the sea and flooding neighborhoods all over the planet through storm surging or precipitation falling from the sky. 

Because this post is just another tune on my broken record I refer to as my climate change schtick, I won't belabor any argument about the changing climate as a result of humans shitting in the bed they sleep in. No, I won't do that. It doesn't fuckin matter who is at fault or whether this is just a natural flow of geologic events that happen to planets from time to time as they find their way to their end times. 

What matters is what are we going to do to try to mitigate the damage coming? 

Pissing on each other shoes arguing about fault does not help any of us. Yet, that currently seems to be the only answer we have. The paltry efforts to find solutions go under funded and/or ignored for the most part.

So anyway, I write this post sitting in a house at 750 feet above sea level. How long will it be before I have to change that to, "Here I sit at 700 feet above sea level"?

Just some thoughts that popped up as I sat and pondered another winter that is not playing by the old rules.

Later .........................................

______________________

There is only one tune I want to share with this post. I have posted it before, so this song also is becoming an anthem of sorts. Here is Playing for Change with their excellent cover of that great Led Zeppelin tune, "When the Levee Breaks".

Oh yeah, it's another song to play as loudly as you can handle. Enjoy.


Monday, April 01, 2024

Seriously, No Foolin

There are times when people of serious mind and dedicated intent become tired of the pressures and loads they carry day in, day out. Most days, making sense is the objective. Then there are times when it makes sense to make no sense. This is one of those times; not making sense that is.

Not making sense on today has a long tradition. This day finds its beginnings in Europe in the late 1500s. Seems back then, the new year did not start on January 1st.  It was celebrated over the last week of March through April 1. Because news did not travel quickly in the late 1500s, many areas continued to celebrate the new year in March, even though it had changed years earlier. Those people became known as "April Fools". That created fertile ground from which the the traditions of pranking grew.

So in that tradition, this post is about nothing special except to wish ya'll .......

________________________

Struggled some on the musical choice. Finally, I came back to a tune previously unknown to me. Here is "We are Fools", by Drug Dealer. A very nice mellow piece.


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter

So it's Easter. I don't know about you, but I am excited; excited to celebrate another holiday celebrating a myth and legend so huge, it has become more than just a day to celebrate the death of an imagined god.  

True to the developing entrepreneurial spirit of America, Easter has evolved into a day with widespread economic repercussions.  Beginning around 150 years ago and looking to  bolster sales and not bunch up any Christian panties, the greeting card folks, the candy folks and the chicken farmers created  another myth of bunnies and chickens conspiring together to litter the landscape with dead embryos. 

Why? What was the premise?

 I have never understood the connections there other than making money. Easter is a perfect example of religion and capitalism forming a more perfect union. Never miss a chance to score some more bucks; it's the American way.

Because it is Easter, I started off my day with a jig saw puzzle. Not a real, picking up pieces puzzle, but one online. After all, there are limits to my patience. It featured dogs in cute poses wearing rabbit ears. I love dogs, so of course it seemed an appropriately proper tip of my hat to a tradition I find silly.

On the other hand, there is always the darker side of my psyche pushing me for some kind of nod. I do my best to ignore it, but, well, I can only resist for so long until I just have to throw it a bone. 

The movie that inspired this cartoon on the left was the first of a now classic movie franchise that has been continuing to evolve these past 40 plus years. I guess it is only natural to lampoon it and at the same time irritate some over the top Christian Nationalist somewhere. If that is all I accomplish this Easter Day, I will have fulfilled my goal for today.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................

___________________

I wasted too many minutes trying to find suitable music that tied the movie "Alien" in some way to Easter. Other than the cartoon above, I found nada, nothing, not a fucking glimmer. My back up song quickly came to mind as I was listening to it when I decided to change gears. Here is "Imaginary", by Evanescence.


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Somebody's Bitch

I have been very critical of America, especially over the last 20 years. Don't get me wrong. I love my country. I just hate that "we the people" handed over the keys of the nation to idiots. And now the only choice we have is one kind of normal idiocy we are used to and in opposition, a new kind of idiotic evil that if allowed to have its way will complete our country's conversion into a super sized Banana Republic. 

The term "Banana Republic" is kind of dated. But then so am I. There are more than a few definitions for the term, but let's pick the one I have always considered to fit my view of what a "Banana Republic" is.

Wikipedia defines "Banana Republic" as:

“A banana republic is a country with an economy of state capital whereby the country is operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class. Such exploitation is enabled by collusion between the state and favored economic monopolies, in which the profit, derived from the private exploitation of public lands, is private property, while the debts incurred thereby are the financial responsibility of the public treasury.”

I feel that this may be where we are heading if the evil idiot and his band of evil side kicks win the day in November. They surely seem intent on completing the swap of our 3 tiered society for a two tiered system, with the only goal being to enrich an oligarchy of private sector Capitalists. 

Over my lifetime, this conversion has been plodding along under the main stream radar. It has had some setbacks, but all in all, because of its patient and insistent encroachment into the soul of our nation, it is now on the cusp of having its way with us. 

I ask that we don't solely place blame on the sneaky assholes who desire to own us. They are doing what they do in the open, right in front of us. It's what comes naturally to the self absorbed predator. We opened the door and continue to hold it open. We have allowed our country to become nothing but a labor pool being used and abused by a group whose only interest is lining their own pockets. 

I think the only difference between the "free" citizens of the USA and slavery or indentured servitude is a matter of degree. We aren't free. Not really. The need to survive all too often depends on the good graces  of the people with the purse strings. We also seem to need to serve as someone's ideological bitch. The problem headed our way now is we are about to be less free than we were.

If we want to blame anyone, we should all stand in front of a mirror and take a good look. Who is standing there? That person in the mirror and all the other people in this country share the blame for what we have to deal with today. If we can't retrieve the freedoms we have lost, we should at the least fight like Hell to retain the ones still available. And I don't mean guns. Guns won't do it for us. But voting just might.

Later ......................................

_____________________

Found an interesting music video on Facebook by Firehill. It's called "Somebody's Bitch". One recurring line contends:

"I don't want to get up to be somebody's bitch"

Hmm. Yet every morning most of us do exactly that.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Promising Child

I took, hmm..... actually I started a Sociology course in college, "Culture and the development of the promising child". Do not ask me what it was about. I had not a clue then and I still don't. When I saw the huge pile of required reading I would have to purchase at cut throat prices over to the College bookstore, I dropped that class as fast as it took me to get to the registrar's office with maybe a toke break thrown in on the way. 50 minutes was all I needed to know that Culture's role in bringing up baby was a subject I was going to be able to skip and still maybe, most likely live a fairly full life. 

I never forgot the title of the course though.  Through all the future failures, the upcoming successes and up to last night when I spotted that spiral notebook; the notebook I planned to fill with the studious and industrious efforts of a young mind just wanting to suck the World dry of every fact, where and why. Bright eyed and full of piss and vinegar, I leaned in hard at college that first year.  

By year 3 1/2, I wasn't leaning as hard into it and I was still a good two, more likely 3 semesters from graduating.    So I hit the road instead.  Yee Haw and the madness began, or rather continued unabated as I seamlessly switched from the life of a college loser hippie to a workin loser hippie driving tractor trailers.

Yeah, I was full of promise one day long long ago.  Full of promises others had designed for me without much conversation or debate.  I was to follow the same college path the previous 5 generations of Macrum men had hiked.   Since I chose my own way instead of the traditional family path, I am sure several of my relatives and a couple of ancestors would like to sue me for breach of promise.

My parents were most likely disappointed to a certain extent. If they were, they did not hold that disappointment against me. They never berated me. They never abandoned me. They understood I had to go my own way. It was the outliers and casual acquaintances who passed the harshest judgement.

And now, so many, many years later, I may have a few regrets here and there. I certainly do not have any concerns or regrets about what others outside my family have ever thought. I lived up to the only promise that really mattered. That was to follow my own path.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................
__________________

Didn't work too hard to find a tune to go with the post. "Good Riddance" by Green Day on a playlist popped up, so I picked it. Seems to fit I think. 

"it's something unpredictable
But in the end, it's right
I hope you had the time of your life"
Exactly.


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Aging is Relentless

I was 61 years old when the new haircut picture on the left was taken. I was sure I was an old fart by then and my then current aches and pains were payment in full for a life lived carelessly over the previous 61 years. They surely would not get any worse.

Ah, the naivety of the young. They just don't get it. 8 years later when the picture of the disheveled me was taken, I was 69 years old. Surely, this aging gig had finally peaked.

That had to be as obnoxious and uncomfortable as aging would get.

Ha!

I will be 72 in a couple of weeks and the aging process has not relented. It is even more tenacious now, with attacks on body parts I didn't even notice I had until pain had set up shop in them. I have resigned myself that the pain of aging will only stop when my ticker stops. Learning to accept the often painful discomfort is what I need to focus on. Pain Management is what some folks would call it I guess. 

BUT, I didn't mean to get off track like I just did in the first paragraph. What caused me to dwell on being old was a meme I spotted on Facebook regarding how too many of us old farts do not take advantage of the wide open world of Senior Discounts.

Asking is the best way to find out for sure if where you are shopping, eating, etc. offers senior discounts.

Aging never quits

Aging never lets up

No one will miss out 

If they make it that far

Doesn't seem like a fair trade 

For lasting so long

But Life is not fair

Glad I never expected it to be.

Now I look forward to whatever aging throws at me. It's part of the trip. 

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................................

_____________________________

Again, there is only one song for this post. And Yeah, it's another anthem for me. Here is "Old Folk's Boogie", by Little Feat.

Grab a Fat Blunt. Strap on some headphones and find a comfortable chair. This tune always moves my hair.



Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Girls at Recess

My wife mentioned a silly video reel she had found on Facebook the other day. Told me to check it out. I did and it was indeed silly. Three adult women  were performing some kind of group exercise. They were obviously friends. I cannot describe it really, but silly it was. The ladies were lost in the silliness of the moment like giggling school girls at recess.

Young or old, I have always enjoyed watching small groups of women enjoying themselves together and laughing without a man or boy anywhere in the vicinity. 

It started for me I guess in grade school when I would watch girls at recess hanging together, giggling and tittering, lost in their own moment. Though I would never admit it then, their laughter always made me feel good or maybe more accurately, made me feel safe. If the girls are laughing, Life at that moment was as it should be. All was right with the world.

When I moved to Florida half way through 3rd grade to live with my father while he worked his new job, we lived in an old farm cottage in a bygone orange grove in Northwest Tampa. The landlady, who lived in the big house adopted me, either by choice or my dad bribed her.

Regardless, I was soon adopted into the old lady gang the landlady ruled over. They took me all over Tampa over the next 4 or 5 months. We went to Lowry Park Zoo a couple of times. Every outing always ended up at a Morrison's Cafeteria, where I could show off my eating cred.

Yeah, those ole ladies might have smelled liked ole ladies, but when they got together, they tittered and giggled like they did at recess 60 years previous.

When the women are laughing, all is right with the World.

Remember that.

Later Gators ..............................

_____________________

Only one tune will work. I have used it before, so I guess it has become an anthem of sorts. Here is "Fat Bottom Girls", by Queen.  While any volume level is optional, I think the optimal volume level is best punched to WOW. ............ Enjoy.


Monday, March 25, 2024

History is Often an Unpleasant Circle

 

The problem with history is it needs to constantly remind us in order to be remembered. 

Why is that?

I am sure there are many folks with many letters behind their names who are cock sure of why this particular flaw in Humanity exists. But like most things not supported by facts, any conjecture or conclusions on why we cannot seem to remember History is useless. There are only explanations, opinions and excuses.

Since I have time now for useless endeavors, I have my opinion of course.

Most of us conveniently do not remember History now because we did not live then. This is true especially if that history runs contrary to current interests. Humans are so self absorbed with their existence in any given moment that thinking outside the narrow confines of their life is more often than not of no use to their here and now concerns. Humans are not inclined to long term thinking.

That leaves only the historians to keep track for us. And they do not often agree on how past events unfolded and what their significance for the future was. 

A perfect example would be Slavery and the Civil War. For years the southern apologists insisted the war was not about slavery, it was about states rights. The war was the North's fault. The South were the victims of a brutal war of oppression. 

Why did the Civil War apologists insist on painting this picture of being victims? Besides the obvious need to duck any responsibility for something that did not go their way, I can only assume it was in their interests, economic and politically, to play the victim card. The Jim Crow crowd  depended to a large degree on the appearance of southern victimhood to keep their evil policies of segregation in play.  It worked and is still working in some parts of the country and reappearing in others.

But no category of history has been manipulated as much as the histories of religions. Organized religion has been more responsible over the ages for more strife, anguish, and death than any other single idea. The fact that so many people still congregate in groups advocating hate and discount based on some kind of divine permission slip is the perfect example of Humanity's convenient disregard for what their various religions have unleashed on the World as they gained dominance on the World stage.

After the time I have used to think this through to this point, I have decided.............

We don't remember history because it all too often does not dovetail cleanly into our current rosy outlooks. Facing the past frequently forces us to face the unpleasant found in our present. 

Who would want to do that?

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..........................................

_______________________

I found two tunes that fit with this post. "History Repeating", by the Propellerheads w/Sirley Bassey rocks the casbah. Great tune.

And then there was a spoken piece , "History Repeats Itself", by Buddy Starcher. It is backed up with appropriately patriotic background music. I was not going to play it, but it pointed up some damn interesting connections between Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy. 


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Out Like a Lamb? Yeah Right.

The original forecast I heard was 3" to 6" of snow followed by rain. That was a few days ago. I figured since it's now the "out like a lamb" side of March, I won't worry about clearing the snow. I'll let Mother Nature do it for me.

Hmm .........

You would think that by age 72, I would have learned to not trust a meteorologist when they are giving a forecast. 

Last night a newer, more up to date screen shot of predicted snow crossed my computer screen. I did a double take. Apparently March, 2024 did not get the memo that the second half of the month, there will be no misbehaving, no hi-jinks, no fucking around. Acton now sits on the border of  6" to 12" and 12" to 24".

There is already 6 or 7 inches out there and it is only 8:18 AM. It's not a heavy wet snow. It's a dense pellet snow holding a lot of moisture. I would be well advised to try to keep ahead of it. So, with that in mind, I am suspending further comment and will now bravely face the elements with my 30 year old John Deere garden tractor. Together we will do what John Deere Tractors do; blow the shit out of that snow.

Still snowing. another 3 or 4 inches have covered what I blew two and a half hours ago. My britches are still wet and it looks like this storm is going to be a two blow storm. 

Later .................

__________________

I often use selections from my playlists to write by. This morning I picked "First - 2022", 2.2 hour musical binge of some of my favorite tunes. "Its Been Awhile", by Stand. I had not heard it in a long while; maybe since I created this playlist in 2022. Anyway ....... enjoy. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

An Unhealthy Obsession

So I woke up this morning, March 20, 2024 and not much had changed since yesterday. Trump was still alive and still parading around with his idiot clown show. Yet, I was okay with it. 

I have decided that all the political soap operas unfolding do not mean squat when considering whether Trump will continue to own us or become just another nightmare we had to endure. 

The election coming on November 5th is my demarcation point; my line in the sand. If the orange shit for brains loses, the country wins, and we most likely will survive as we have for the past 240+ years. If the orange shit-gibbon wins, the politics and policies of our country will be turned on their ears. What happens then is anyone's guess. I am assuming it will not be good.

For me, the two choices are all we have. This endless focus on what the Orange Imbecile is doing, isn't doing, and what he claims he is doing are a total waste of anyone's time at this point. We've had a lifetime exposure to this buffoon. What the Hell?

So ....

Once I realized Donald was still kickin, I got on with my day; at least I did until I sat down to write a post. And see what happened? I still can't get the Human Corncob out of my head. I am not usually one to become so obsessive over anything, but there it is. The man owns real estate in my head. 

I'd charge him rent, but he would never pay.

Stay sane .......... Forget Trump until election day.

____________________

I picked the early 1980's MTV hit, "Obsession" by Animotion. I remember only hearing this tune once before when I saw it on MTV in the early 1980's on a friend's television that was hooked up to cable. The sentiment fits my current perspective on the unhealthy relationship I have with Donald McRonald. 

Enjoy.


Friday, March 15, 2024

Avoid Disappointment and Future Regret

The TV ad assured me they were going fast. They insisted these "Donald the Perp" $2 bills are so popular they will only allow me to buy five as there will be a very limited printing.  

At the same time they are offering a deep discount. Why? Hell, I don't know. But I tell you what, they will only gain in value. They could become that MAGA hedge against future inflation those Satan worshipping Libtards will surely create in our futures. 

The TV ad ended with another reminder that there will be few bills printed and if I wanted to "avoid disappointment & future regret", I had better order today. 

Don't forget, your purchase of these once in a lifetime historic two dollar bills will go toward defending our Heaven sent savior from earthly persecution by Satan's henchmen.

 Praise the Lord and Amen brother!

_____________

And the clown show not only continues unabated, it gathers more steam as it rolls over any Republican who has ever hinted a bad word about the orange fruitcake. The MAGA movement owns the GOP now and unless all of us who oppose Trump and the lazy, useless, apathetic citizens who can't be bothered to vote..... unless everyone gets off their couches, puts down the gaming consoles, and turns the Kardashians the fuck off on November 5th and vote, well, their complacent lifestyles will not be so complacent in their future.

So what music would go with this post? Let's try googling "music about being conned". More than a few songs popped up. "Con Man", by Dispatch fits the bill. 


Sunday, March 10, 2024

The Decade of the Mullet

The 1980's was the first decade I experienced as a nose to the grindstone un-hip white dude. My slip from hip-ness was due to several factors I guess. I got married, stopped hammering the drugs and alcohol, and started a family. Life was suddenly serious now. I couldn't laugh it off anymore.

I was too busy to try to understand the social and cultural fads of the 1980's and 1990's. By the time I did notice many of them, they had been well entrenched for awhile and were way beyond my control. I honestly feel that if I had been paying attention, we would never had to deal with the mullet as a hairstyle for longer than a year or two. But because I was too busy with a family, a job, blah, blah, blah, my inattention allowed the scourge of the mullet to take hold in  America's heartland. And then it was but a hop, skip and a jump until the hairdo pestilence of all time spread coast to coast.

Suddenly it looked like all of us lived next door to Meth cooks, wannabe Glam Rockers, aged out hockey players with bad knees, or recent emigres from Australia. Someone told me it was not my fault. They might be right. But then, they might be wrong. so just in case and in an effort to keep my healthy sense of self loathing alive and well, I will take the blame. 

I won't take the blame however for is its recent resurgence as an acceptable coiffure. That blame definitely lies squarely on someone else; somewhere south and west of here where it used to be known as the "Kentucky Waterfall".

 Apparently it's popularity never completely faded in the sports world like WWE wrestling and Double A baseball. We are destined to be punished with the mullet topped Kiss Army reenactors, Hulk Hogan impersonators and aging Billy Ray Cyrus fans crooning offkey versions of "Achy Breaky Heart" at the local watering holes on Karaoke night. 

I am sure the only reason someone somewhere insisted on resurrecting the mullet was to piss me off. If I was a hardcore law and order guy, I'd lobby Augusta to make them illegal in the the state of Maine. But I am too lazy. All I can do now is shake my head and try not to look at them. 

............  Yeah right. It's like trying to not look at an accident as I pass by. 

Please join the MFA( Mullet Free America) and stop this bad idea from raising its ugly head again.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................................

_________________________

Billy Ray Cyrus, and his undeserved hit, "Achy Breaky Heart", was to be my pick to go with this post today. There were two insurmountable problems though. One is the tune did not come out during the 1980s. It hit the charts in 1992. Second and probably the real reason the song won't work is, I cannot stand it. It is a deeply rooted visceral hate I have for the song. I might go insane if I have to listen to it all the way through ever again. 

So then I thought that since Billy Ray rocked one of the great mullets of his time, I figured his 2017 tune "I want my mullet back" would be an acceptable replacement. Sadly or maybe it's a relief  to say, "I want my mullet back" is even worse than "Achy Breaky Heart". 

And since there is not a tune by Kiss I feel should be played in public or private, I will have to expand my search beyond the original and logical choices.

So I found a suitable tune. Here is "Better than KISS", by Teenage Bottlerocket , skatepunk rockers from I assume the West Coast.


Saturday, March 09, 2024

SOTU

I did not watch Biden's State of the Union address live on Thursday night. I watched the CNBC replay Friday. Total time of the video was 1:58 and change. the first thirty eight minutes of it were just Big Wigs and Lesser Wigs co-mingling and smiling at each other as they squeezed hands and patted backs. Then Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House, stood up and tried to bring the herd of cats to order. He obviously was out of his depth, but we all knew that going in.

When Bernie came in I chuckled. Love Bernie and his never give in attitude. Coach Potato Head, the Senator from  Alabama, began yukking it up with MTG, the idiot savant of all things MAGA. Tuber Head's politician smile suddenly became wider and his eyes, brighter. I couldn't see Marjorie's hands, so I don't know if they had anything to do with it. I do know that between the two, the shared IQ is still only in the single digits.

Biden took over three minutes to make it from the entrance of the House Chamber to the podium. It was not because he was old, it was because he had to schmooze with anyone he ran into on the way. The man shook more hands and squeezed more shoulders in those 3 minutes than I have in a decade. 

He and Marjorie Taylor Greene had a moment. Made me laugh. His eyes got big when he decided to notice her. His smile widened and he threw out his hands as if to say, "Well look at you child.... you are so cute." Then he paid attention again to the adults in the room.

I have always struggled to watch full speeches by any politician. I was sure Sleepy Joe would end up making me sleepy also. Well, I have to say, that State of the Union speech was anything but boring. President Biden came with his A game. He was ferocious and strong. He was not going to take any shit from the Grumpy Gusses sitting on the Right. He called them out every chance he had. He owned them Thursday night. 

The Joe Biden I knew existed showed up Thursday night. He challenged the GOP to pony up or take the consequences. He looked right at the Supreme Court Justices and told them if he is reelected and the people give him a reasonable Congress, he will make Roe v. Wade the law of the land. He was not just feisty he was angry and I was so proud of him.

Absolutely the best political speech I have ever witnessed. 

Enough said.

________________________

No song with political overtones for this post. Just a song from one of my favorite bands that hails from my home state of Maine. Here is Rustic Overtones with, "Gas on Skin".

Enjoy. 




Sunday, March 03, 2024

Weakness

I watched an interview of Rex Chapman this AM on MSNBC. He is a former phenome in college basketball back in the day. His NBA career was cut short because of his addiction to drugs. I have not read the memoir.

I took two things from the interview.

Mr. Chapman mentioned that while writing the memoir, one memory led to other memories he had forgotten. I can relate. When I became actively interested to writing down my past some 20 years ago, I would dredge up memories long buried by writing down the ones that had sat front and center through all the years. Some of them were wonderful, others made me sad, and the worst of them, well, one of the worst I still have trouble facing.

Rex mentioned how one memory led to others to set up his tale of being so desperately addicted to opiates, that he stole from an Apple store.

Effectively, what he said was:

"I can't believe I stole from an Apple store. If not for the drugs, I would like to think I would not have."

Sadly, he will never know because he has decided it was drugs that ruined his life. It was not drugs, it was that he was basically weak and even now, years later, he won't own up to it.

I had my own struggle with drugs. Serious struggles with drugs. Maybe the reason I finally found my way out was because I never blamed the drugs. I put them in my mouth or in my arm willingly. I did it because I was weak. Nobody's fault but my own.

We all grow up with baggage. Some of us are saddled with more than others. But we all have baggage, much of it invented internally to help with perceived and/or real injustices to our being.

My advice to folks struggling to overcome addictions is:

Deal with addiction first and then with the weakness or flaw that created the addiction in the first place. Blaming some one or something else for the bad turn a life has taken is counter productive in my opinion. If the problems are real, address them, not just the substance abuse that was the result.

Honestly, I had intended an upbeat post today. Then I watched the interview and it pissed me off. But I feel better now. Is not that one of the many reasons I started a Blog, to feel better about myself? Actually, the original reason is still the most important. A blog was a perfect vehicle for a sloppy below average writer to pick up his game. Where it ended up taking me, well, was here after over 1700 posts in the last 20 years.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................

___________________

What's the prompt word for a tune that fits in with this post; Drug addiction? Weakness? Or something totally unrelated just because it's a tune I like. One thing is for sure, it will have to be a Blues tune.

I found one song I had not heard by Keith Richards. It's his acoustic version of "Cocaine Blues".

Enjoy.