Monday, March 12, 2018

I Hate Vending Machines - Revisited

I hate vending machines. They are nothing but physical manifestations of the greed and wanton disrespect corporate America has for the consuming public. You have no choice as to what is offered and no complaint if what you picked does not come out. And then you have maybe an even chance of not receiving your money back. 

I have always hated these box like clerks who stand there woodenly, silent, with suspicious brightness and cheery demeanor. Their cover tempts us with visions of Palm Trees and bottles with droplets dripping seductively, giving the impression that once we have punched in the $1.25, 12ozs of thirst busting pleasure will envelop our taste buds. And what pops out, a warm coke that got dented on the way out and then explodes as you break the seal and raise it too your lips. There's your thirst busting pleasure fella. Right there in your face. Enjoy!

The above is an edited repeat of one of my first blog posts from 2004, which was my grand entrance into the World of Blogs and the wacky folk who live there.

I only bring it up now, because of a recent run in with yet another electronic vendor.  I put in my 2 bucks and watched the mechanical screw move the bottle to the drop box where any second now my mouth would be wallowing in expected sugary fizz.  ...................

Instead of dropping dutifully, that bottle rebelled and became hung up just behind the glass.  It mocked me as only a rebellious bottle of soda can. And no matter how I tried, my hand would not reach it. So close, yet so far.

My hatred of coin operated anything goes back to my childhood.  I learned early to never trust a box with pull handles or buttons.  They are a pox on our civilization.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Man in the Tree - Too

One of the positive takeaways from my Acid Days was learning to look past the first impression of an image and find those smaller images that lurk just beyond the outer surface.

It was mine and two others first trip in 1967.  We swallowed some microdot Strawberry Fields.  I sat and watched an ant hill for maybe a couple of hours.  Maybe more, Time takes a back seat when under the influence of LSD. I was so focused with my eyes but a couple of inches from the ground, the ants loomed large as they went about their scavenging.

In retrospective, that might give appearance I was just another drug befuddled and bewildered teenager with nary a whisper of a clue whatsoever.  I mean, who in their right mind would think watching an ant hill for a couple of hours was a normal activity.

Well Duh People, ...... I wasn't in my right mind.  I was tripping fer chrisakes.  My experiences on LSD became much wackier over time. LSD definitely twisted my normal take on the existence around me.

So anyway ......... those years tripping the light fantastic were not a complete waste.  I learned some patience and better appreciation of the beauty around me.  LSD always intensified every situation I was in, whether it be dancing in the pucker or cooling my heels in a local lock up.  Not always pleasant, but always interesting in retrospect. Each were experienced outside what would be considered my normal sanity center point.  Since I was convinced perception is the key ingredient needed for Reality to exist, then it was not me who was trippin, it was the World beyond my eyelashes that was.  ............... LSD only helped me see the world for what it really was ...............  Nothing but a Fig Newton of my imagination.

I derived the above image out of this rather pedestrian Kodak moment in my dooryard.  I snapped a picture of the weeping cherry that has graced the front of my house for the last 50 years.  It has been on Death's Door for at least the last 20 years.  Yet each year, it tosses out new growth.  I think it comes back every year because there is a creature living inside it just below its outer surface.

He has yet to introduce himself.

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

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Rock

A deliberate rock follows its predictable routine established so many eons ago.  Its groove in the Universe well worn by now.  From all appearances, a gentle chunk of rock doing what civil rocks do in this part of the heavens.

Yet, on its surface, an over crowded and chaotic population is doing what it can to destroy the Rock.  They scorch it here, dig at it there, and pave the rest so their machines running on the remains of long dead animals can make it from here to there and back.

Blind to the damage their active lifestyles have done, they throw another rack of ribs on the barbie, park their asses in a lounge chair and sip on drinks festooned with celery or the occasional umbrella.  They may light a big fat cigar or a huge blunt.  Sinking deep into that lawn chair, they will be satisfied with their place in space.  Life can't get any better, right?

Oh sure, many of the inhabitants are aware of their parasitic behavior.  Figuring what they have, will have, or might have won't make a difference in the big scheme. Let someone else sacrifice. Besides, chosen leaders have ensured them, there is nothing to fear about melting glaciers, rising seas, and those chemicals that have enslaved them.

Consuming is good for All their chosen honchos say.  Spinning the natural into permanent trash is how its done.  Facing any future bogeymen, well, we will face them when it is too late.  Okay?

Meantime, the Rock shrugs, travels its well established path and waits patiently for these assholes to die off.

Written while listening to Sprung Monkey.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


I have been straight out in the last week helping to write a minority report for the seven member Acton Commercial Marijuana Committee, forever to be known inside my brain and out as the ACMC.  It wasn't like the three of us were really out numbered.  But we were definitely out gunned. 

The handpicked chairman, a retired state legislator, comes off as a genial old man who encourages all viewpoints. It took me two meetings to realize this guy was a shark. He could twist the discussion in the direction he preferred.  His laid back demeanor hide the tightly wound unbending, not willing to change his mind no matter what, Republican mentality.

His partner in crime is a Price Waterhouse Coopers employee who has had 35 years in the trenches of big business acquisition.  He carries himself in a professional way, always speaking softly with just a slight bit of condescension. His original stated opinion was that he was open to commercial marijuana if it would make money for the town of Acton.  His true colors came out on the first meeting after our first conference call to some town in Colorado.  The other two folks holding up the majority have been barely involved, but have proven their haste in rubber stamping anything their big gun buddies want.

In the beginning, I was a lone voice tilting at this well constructed windmill.  It was apparent I was a novice.  I made many minor mistakes for which I was slapped down for.  But having grown up in the political bear pit that were family dinners in my youth, I stood up well and kept up my nuisance attacks.

This went on for a couple of months.  More conference calls and massive trolling of the Inter webs later, Mr. Price Waterhouse released his first draft of our report, a report I was supposed to fall in line with like a good little soldier.  I began my usual resistance when suddenly the two members who had been usually quiet jumped all over that report.  I was smart enough to let them go for it.  In less than ten minutes, the normally calm Chairman had lost his composure and was pounding on the table, "We have to ban marijuana.  We have to ban marijuana."  I looked to my left and what I saw made my day.  The big guns were sporting bulging eyes and red faces. 

That was when I knew some power had exchanged hands.  Since then, the three of us have turned that report from one with a serious bias to one that is closer to the objective report we thought we were tasked with coming up with.

It has been a real education. ....................................

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Its Official I Guess

Okay ........ Hmm ....... So I guess I cannot say I am not retired anymore.  A year without a paycheck is either being out of work or retirement. I have had no interest in pursuing gainful employment since my bike shop sold, and saying "unemployed" offers a promise that I might be looking for work.  I certainly do not want to give the wrong impression. So "retired" it is.

So what have I done to fill my days for the last year?  While some nagging honey do chores have been addressed, the additions to the list I made a year ago with the best of intentions, created an even longer list.  The list will never be broken.  I need to come to terms with this and be grateful I have so much more to avoid than I used to.

One of my regular blog visitors, Pipe Tobacco, commented in my last post about Trump. He was surprised I hadn't focused my attention and ire more on our fearless leader.   Well, I guess it is a case of being over exposed to the asshole.  I can't watch or listen to a broadcast without Dimwit in Chief being thrown in my face.  Frankly I am tired of him, tired of the Republicans, tired the spineless whiners on the Left, and absolutely have had it with the media enabling all those assholes.

I am just fucking fed up with the noise.

Instead of bitching about his Royal Highness, I decided to throw my energy in a new direction - Local Politics.

If you do not want to be frustrated and bored at the same time, don't just go to weekly selectman meetings or committee meetings.  What you need to do is join a committee.  Do that and you can be frustrated, bored, and occasionally pissed off.

I joined the newly formed marijuana committee set up last September.  Seven members tasked with providing information to the selectmen and citizens regarding the commercial and retail side of legal marijuana in town.  Myself and two others represent the Pot smokers and the rest want to bring back the 1950's.  It has been a very contentious experience.  Tempers have flared, feelings hurt, and you know what?  I fucking love it.

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

New Flash Fiction over to BoZone Too

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Being, Like, Really Smart

...... Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard, as everyone knows, went down in flames.  I went from VERY successful businessman, to top TV Star. .......

I have up to this moment, been able to resist commenting on the latest dumb ass tweet from the Donald.  There have been so many pointing out his inadequacies so far, why now do I bring it up? Maybe I have had it up to here, or I just couldn't resist the irony of this particular tweet. ........ If he wasn't so dangerous, I might enjoy this clown's buffoonery.

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

Friday, December 29, 2017


1/28/12 - Carrot Ranch Challenge
99 Words - Prompt - wishing star

Maybe a tad irreverent.  All I can say is, it is what came to mind. ......... Oh well.


“Wish I were, Wish I might……… Ah, screw it.  This doesn’t work anymore.”

Crestfallen, Jesus stood on the Mount and stared up at the night sky.  Moments passed as he wallowed in self pity.  Off to his left, a brighter star than the rest seemed to come closer.

“Boy, I told you there were limits. “

“But Dad, how can I turn this planet around if you won’t cooperate?”

“Well son, I’ll tell ya.  No water walking, leper healing parlor trick is going to upstage that damn Free Will clause I enacted ………… Time to pull the plug.”

Contrary to my write from the hip style, instead of going with my first effort, I tweaked this one into three slightly different takes.   This was the third version.  And though I am still on the fence somewhat as to which one I like the best, I felt this one told a more complete story.

Regardless, seems I have gotten over that awkward period of re-acquainting myself with Flash. Cool. Trying to make it better is a good next step.

Oh Yeah - I wrote the first draft to the tune "Honey Dripper" as performed by Dr John, the Night Tripper.   Some of the Devil's music.


Later Gator ..............................................

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Conquering Hero

This was a piece I wrote for a flash fiction challenge awhile ago.  I wrote it in memory of a friend who did not die in Vietnam.  He died because of Vietnam.  

Found it again and thought it might be appropriate to re-publish it here with a new year looming and all.  What can we do to keep this kind of legacy from repeating itself in our future?

His eyes were full of the things he had seen.  His mouth, full of stories better passed over than passed down.  Memories caught in his craw and woke him sweating cold in the dread of his nights and left him staring into his darkness til Dawn’s early light.

Well meaning people wearing blue scrubs and white coats did what they could.  As it was with so many others, it did not work out.  Scarred and broken, he was sent back to a homeland that would never be the same for him.  His innocence pooled bloody on too many foreign plains.  Feeling forgotten, discarded and alone with his demons, he sought solace in barbiturates, whiskey and gin.  He could never forget his role in the premeditated chaos of Man killing Man in faraway lands.

One day he gave up, double hit China White, laid down and he died.  Before his curtain closed, with one final sigh, the untold stories and nightmares at last said goodbye.  Our conquering hero had finally found his peace.

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tread on Me

Being a member of the Masses always bothered me.  Not that I was a card carrying member, it was the use of the word "Masses".  The word leaves no room for individuality or self expression.  And just what is a single member of the "Masses" called?  A Mass?  A Masshole?  The possibilities are not endless.

Well, I do not need to worry about it anymore.  Among the many improvements the Donald has made around our landscape, he has, if unwittingly, given us a new name now that we are officially the largest Banana Republic in the World.

We are now Peons tending the toilets and gardens of the rich and famous, not just "the Masses".  Peon sounds so much more important.  Better than "minion", as minion leads one to believe we are all willing participants in Donald's quest to "Make America Great Again".  This does not mean a Trump minion is not a Peon.  They are just the stupid Peons.

Anyway, just some of what stumbled across my mind this morning with my first coffee.

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

Monday, December 25, 2017

Red Sky in the Morning

This is a shot of the southwestern sky from my door yard at Dawn, yesterday, Christmas Eve morning.  No better proof of the old adage, "Red Sky Morning, Sailors Take Warning".   Because today, Christmas 2017, we have been getting over an inch of snow per hour since breakfast.  Looks like a solid seven to eight inches of more white crap out there.

About as white a Christmas as anyone could wish for I guess.  But I tell you what.  It is kind of wasted on Mainers.  Snow on the ground is just another day on the planet during Winter up here.  I would have been pleased as punch if  Christmas had just opened up with a nice clear frosty day.  A Winter Sun up here makes everything pop when it is able to bounce its rays off the snow cover.

Hope everyone's holidays pan out as planned.


Friday, December 22, 2017


99 words exactly – Prompt – “White Flowers”

During a season that is supposed to be about the joy of life, giving and goodwill to Man, we should also take a moment to reflect on those who have lost, are lost, and will continue to lose in the future. 


Hovering over Pauper Grave #242, uninhibited tears fell onto the single white Chrysanthemum Jack clutched in his hand.   Six inches of snow had found its way into the cast off Bean boots someone threw at him from a Lexus.  He did not even notice.

It was six Christmas Eve’s ago he had identified the body of his hard times friend.   Closing his eyes, Jack could still see Rodney’s gap toothed grin after they had constructed their last blue tarp cardboard palace together.

Jack tossed the Chrysanthemum on the grave and watched it disappear into the fresh snow. 

“R.I.P. Rodney”.

Maybe it was my recent re-read of Steinbeck’s “Tortilla Flat”.  Or maybe it was today’s NPR piece on the Homeless Vigil held in Portland, Maine around Christmas every year.  Toss in some white flowers and there you have it, something to write about.  

Whatever reason ya’ll have for celebrating, please enjoy it, savor it, and carry it as far into 2018 as you can. 

Ho …………………………………………….

Cross posted at  Lostin the BoZone, Too

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

What the Hell Happened to Us?

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was proud of the Boomer Generation I was part of.  We made up a majority of the citizen soldiers whose resistance created so much change for the better.  Civil Rights, Anti War, Environment, all benefited from our efforts.

That was then, this is now.  Today, I am ashamed of my generation.  We had claimed we did not want to become our parents.  And we didn't.  We became something worse.  We shed all the good character traits of our parents and absorbed all their flaws.

Sure, there are many of us who have kept the flame burning, but for the most part, Boomers have become a generation of cynical, self absorbed assholes who don't give a rat's ass about the next guy. 

We created the extreme partisanship we all live with today.  What the Hell happened to us?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Big Bang

This Kodak moment I snapped a few weeks ago was a rather pedestrian image that did nothing for me until I messed around with it.  Once I had it at this point, I considered what it reminded me of.

After some contemplation I decided that it reminded me of what scientists describe as "The Big Bang" theory of the beginning of the Universe.  Everything inside the circle getting organized while the outer wave swallows all the loose matter in its path. 

I know the theocratic views favor different scenarios, but they all seem to indicate no matter what happened, it was a sudden event and everything we know expanded from this beginning.

I have no clue why the various takes create so much friction, hate and discontent.  The beginning seems such a stupid thing to squabble over.  But then humans aren't happy unless their panties are bunched up over something.

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

BTW, for anyone interested, I posted a piece of flash fiction over to "BoZone Too".

Friday, December 15, 2017

Enjoy the Decline

So I have been M.I.A. for awhile now.  The better part of a year or so I'd say.  In that time much has transpired, gone down, happened to, happened because, and resulted in more negatives than pluses.  Actually too many incidents and accidents to mention in one blog post.

I delayed my re-entry into the blogosphere because there was just too much to cover.  I felt fucking overwhelmed.  Where does one start when all that surrounds them seems to have gone down the shitter?  Fires, Hurricanes, Pedophile candidates, and nuclear confrontations have surrounded my small spot on the rock.

And then there is Trump.  Mix him into all the madness and what we have is not a world that seems to have gone insane, but a world that has definitely lost its mind.  The lowest point Humanity has hit in my lifetime.

Regardless, one recurring tendency seems to have become obvious to this untrained observer.  While the USA has managed to slip out of top billing among World Leadership, we have become the number one, with a bullet, the largest Banana Republic on the planet.  And since the horse has already left the barn due to the self interest of the Right and their owners, there is no sense in pissing and moaning. ............

...........................  Just sit back, spark up a doob or sip on a cocktail with an umbrella in it and Enjoy the Decline.

On a personal note, this past year without a job to go to everyday or worry about every day has been very interesting.  I thought I would get so much more done at home.  I guess I did get more done than I would slogging to a job every day, but that Honey Do list just does not seem much smaller.  Had some health issues I now hope I have on the run and my wife came up with breast cancer.  Thankfully we now have a plan and are dealing with that optimistic first phase of the disease.  I'll tell you what, Life outside my small circle seems so petty and meaningless once Cancer entered.  Yeah, my perspective has changed fer shur.

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

Monday, February 13, 2017

Low Key Resistance

Okay so the title is political in nature.  So sue me.

Seems we all need to be more attentive.  I had obviously become complacent and satisfied that while the Planet was in a world of shit, right here in America, we were stumbling in the right direction.  Seems we have been poleaxed back some recently, what with the ascension to the throne of the 45th President of the USA.  All I will say is, he is a joke, but what he is trying to pull is definitely no joke.  Millions of critical eyes need to be on the lookout.

But ..........

That is not why I came here today.  It is so damn easy for me to get side tracked from that early morning clear as a bell thoughtful idea for a post to the 4 hours later here and now.  A lot happens in 4 hours in my world you know.  Coffee to make, cats to yell at as I clean up their daily leavings in and out of the litter tray.  Then there is the gazing out the window into my afternoon future that will surely create more wasted sound waves of fussing about blowing snow without a cab around me or how those plow guys just love to plow me in. ............ Bastards.

All that aside, my original thoughts were about the current hip go to word for the pinko liberal commie socialistic losers who won't stop whining and get on the bus driven by a crazy man.

RESIST!  ............If there is any time I feel proud to be hanging out Left of Center, it is now.  You Pinkos rock.

My first conscious act of resistance was after I smoked that first joint in 1965 or so.  I knew within the first minute of those rushes and giggles, the law against Nature's best herb was absurd.  At least it was absurd in my 13 year old mind, given what my reaction was to my first over indulgence of alcohol.  That was not a pretty picture, me being drunk, on my knees and puking up vodka taken straight from the bottle.  If Alcohol was legal, then the Doob should be too.

One conscious act of resistance led to another when I found myself marching against the Vietnam War.  And then it became easier for me to smell something wrong in Denmark and I made low key resistance an integral part of my life.  Where I saw Absurd rules, I broke them when possible.

If a rule makes no sense, then do what you can to change it.  A first step has always been to break that rule.  Seems it was a logical place to start.  Of course one soon realizes there is a cost to breaking rules.  I learned early on.  But I have no regrets.  50 plus years of living a slightly less stressful state of consciousness has been well worth the wrist slaps I dealt with back in the day.

They can make something illegal.  But it won't do them any good if enough folks ignore it.

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

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Machines of War

Those of us who survive are left to shed the tears as we remember our dead.  When the departed die for no good reason other than to advance a country's selfish policy, those tears are filled with rage and sadness.  There are no worse tears I can think of.

The young go willingly.  They throw themselves into harm's way with nary a thought.  But contrary to their posturing, their bravado, they are not indestructible.

The Machines of War are arbitrary and will always finish what they begin. ..... No matter how long it takes.  No matter if there is a victory.  No matter if the machines leave thousands lying in contorted poses in their wake.  The Machines of War always win and Humanity always loses.

For my nephew on this US Navy remembrance day.  He didn't make it home...........

RIP Bobbie.  1983 - 2005

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Things Do Go Bump in the Night

When I was a child I was sure there were indeed things that went bump in the night, monsters under the bed, and closet creatures just waiting with bated breath to snatch me up and take me to their lairs.  My parents would be understanding  but firm about it being my problem, not theirs.  My dad would grunt, "Go back to sleep Bug, there's nothing to fear."

Nothing to fear?  Who was he kidding?  Sinister Evil hung out in every nook and cranny of my room.  But I would suck it up and cringe under the covers until the need to sleep overcame the need to be scared.

Eventually I learned to not fear the figments of my imagination.  Rather, I embraced them,  let them play out their worst case scenarios and then parked them in the dusty file marked "Get a Grip Mike".

Yet even now, when the flashlight is on, those figments often find its beam.

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

Friday, February 03, 2017

Yeah, Why is this Even a Debate?

For someone who claims to not care about Religion, I sure spend a lot of time thinking about it.  It is not a top tier issue for me, but it pops into the middle of conversations I have with myself on a regular basis.  .................  Damn Facebook.

The Image to the right popped up in my FB news feed the other day.  And it pissed me off.

I was not angry because of what either the secular view or the theocratic view represented.  I am at the point now where I am just tired of Religion  and anti- religion wasting so much of our time by distracting us from the act of living the best life we can.  Both sides are unwilling to accept that they are possibly not the final answer.

Neither one is the final answer.  You cannot prove the non provable without more evidence from either.  One side uses "Faith" to support their claims.  The other uses theory.  Neither one  is or can be the final answer at this time.  Definitive answers do not exist, and something tells me they never will.

And does it matter in the big scheme, the plan, this trip our species is taking through the flow of Time?  This is a petty and stupid disagreement, God or no God.  Yet because of both, millions have lost their lives over the millenniums.

Religion was created by Man for Man.  Science was created by Man for Man.  Both offer explanations for the why,what and where we came from, where we are now, and where we might be headed.  And both are nothing but throwing darts at a dartboard.  Score is kept by who can shout down the other the best.  Its all bullshit.

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

No Lester, It is not Complicated

Lester Holt of NBC News tonight was summing up happenings surrounding the Trump Regime's recent Muslim Ban order.  He tried to appear neutral in his summation by finishing with and I paraphrase,  "Many in America are upset of this perceived violation of basic human rights, while others are understandably concerned over the threat of terrorism in this country.  It's complicated ....."

No Lester, it is not fucking complicated.  Rather than calling out Trump's obvious manipulation of people's unfounded fears, instead, you feed the flames by intimating the fear has some validity.  You sir are as bad as Fox.  Asshole.

Unfounded fear is unfounded fear and should never be given any consideration other than it is unfounded fear.  Instead of just giving us the news, you are helping to create it and keep the fear at a fever pitch.  You did your viewers a true dis-service tonight and also lost my respect.

Jerkwad ..........................................

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Not Just Another True Story

So I'm cruising around Facebook this AM, not paying attention to what roads I am on.  Come across a post with the image at the right.  Something about Trump being not only the first hybrid of a Pig and a Human, but the first blend of an animal with a human ever.

I don't know about the first one, but I know Trump is not a hybrid of a pig and a human.

........ The true story ........

70 plus years ago in the Bronx, a real estate broker and his wife wanted a child.  Sadly, he and his darling wife could not have children.  He was shooting blanks or she was barren.  Not sure, cuz back then, well, nobody checked, it just depended on who was talking.

Well, this real estate guy knew a guy who knew a guy who was a janitor at the biology building at NYU.  He told them he could fix them right up.  He had been paying attention while sweeping up around the egg heads gazing into microscopes and such.  He just needed a quiet place to get it done.

The real estate broker fixed him up with a locked room in the basement of one of the tenements he owned in Queens.  Bought the supplies and equipment the janitor wanted and the janitor performed his magic.  Before the year was out, the Donald crawled out of that dark tenement basement room.

Real estate dad was at first concerned.  Donald didn't look normal.

The janitor calmed real estate guy down, " Yeah, the hybrids always look a tad odd when they're young.  He'll grow out of it."

Not quite sure about his young son turning out fine, real estate asked why did his son look the way he did.

"You know I couldn't trust yours or your wife's DNA.  And since you were in such a damn hurry, I used what was handy."

"Oh", Real Estate Guy's concern grew.  "And what was handy?"

"Well, I used some DNA of mine and some from a nag's ass I moonlight with on weekends in Central Park ."

"So you're telling me my son is part shit room cleaner and a horse's ass?"

"That about sum's it up.  But fear not, one or the other will become dominant by puberty."

And that is the first and only, though undisclosed until today, successful Human/Horse's Ass to date.

True story.  Add it to your quiver of alternate facts.

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