Monday, October 29, 2007

Shoot Out at the Sports Complex Corral

Automatic weapons, a mano mano gunfight and two yahoos we are probably better off without are now dead. This type of Wild West madness may be okay in the big city and environs jammed with angry people, but here in Maine we frown on wasting good ammo on something we can't eat.

Apparently at a shindig at a local indoor sports complex, two low lifes got into a tussel over that ever popular point of contention, another drug beef. I imagine it went something like this:

"Oh yeah, you ripped me off. That last bag of rock you sold me barely had enough rock in it to get off once."

"Rip you off? Why you sorry crack head. If you didn't live on the stuff, you might get a buzz once in awhile. My stuff is top quality and my count always true."

Oh yeah, well.....Let's just go get some guns and shoot each other."

So they go out to their respective cars. Each pulls out the weapon of choice. A 45 handgun for one and an AK 47 for the other. In front of 40 people in the parking lot dimwit #1 and dimwit #2 open up on each other.

I don't know about you, but as soon as I saw an AK 47 come out, that paltry 45 in my hand would be like looking at a pen knife. And putting one foot in front of the other might just be the judicious thing to do. But not these knot heads. Stupid machismo at it's finest.

The AK wielded by dimwit # 1 won of course. Shot dimwit #2 dead in his tracks. Dimwit #1 then scoots and 2 hours later after what must have been a titillating high speed chase is cornered in a parking lot. So instead of thinking things through, dimwit #1 puts a bullet through his skull. I guess he proved the better shot this night.

WCSH - Channel 6

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Curse is Really Dead

Well the Red sox did it. Swept the poor Rockies in four. It was as if one team came to play and the other came to watch. I wonder if I should be sad. Being a Red Sox fan means reveling in self pity. And the Colorado Rockies robbed me of this pleasure. I was not able to curse the Fenway gang like I had become accustomed to doing. I had all the pre-packaged excuses lined up. The whines about bad umps. And groans ready for that inevitable ball between the legs and 3 score rookie error.

No edge of my seat hanging on every pitch. The Red Sox just went into each game and took care of business. I am guessing the Bambino is safely interred now and will never again haunt the dugouts of Fenway.

Congrats Boys! You kicked some serious National League butt!

Especially you Lowell. Your .400 Series average came in handy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Survivor

This crusty old cat is Bob. He is seen here in one of his rare appearances indoors. Bob lives for the hunt. Bob lives for the fight. Bob is one bad ass kitty cat. At least that is what Bob thinks anyway.

I will say Bob does seem to be very good at what he does. He is the only cat we have who consistently stays outdoors and has done so safely for 10 years now. Somehow the coyote, the fox, the fisher and the bobcat have not been able to make Bob a meal. We have certainly fed them some other cats, but not Bob.

Bob's story starts out in a classic cat way. Picked up as a kitten at a shelter, thrust into a group home of other felines and expected to get along. And he does get along to a degree. He tolerates the other cats, but stays aloof of their silliness. He is just too cool to chase a string and he ignores the cat tower in the living room. The great outdoors is his domain.

12 years ago we did not have the intense predator problem that became such an issue oh about 5 years ago. Up until then, we let all our cats out when they led us to the door. Most of them always checked in around dinner time and then would settle in for the night. The ones that failed to show usually never showed again.

Bob often skipped curfew. It could be days before we saw him again. I cannot count the number of times I had written this bonehead off. Until we became used to his prolonged absences, many fruitless searches were carried out to find the little bastard. But Bob only showed when Bob wanted to. I am sure I walked by him in the brush while he hunkered down snickering at my clumsy human noise making ways.

Typical of an outdoor male cat, Bob would often show up with shredded ears, tufts of fur missing, or face open and crusted over in a big cat scab. He obviously was living his cat life to the fullest regardless of what we thought.

At the moment Bob is under house arrest. A recent encounter with who knows what resulted in an unseen scrape or cut that then resulted in an infection. A visit to the vet and $75 later, I am now entrusted to apply and inject antibiotics into his eye and by mouth. He is not allowed out either.

Great! Keeping Bob happy inside is impossible. He is not getting with the program. He has his agenda and it does not include the twice daily indignity of allowing me to force healthcare on him.

We are 4 days into a 7 day sentence now. The initial tusseling of the first couple of days have settled into a kind of resignation on his part. And I have figured out that dosing him is best done when I can catch him snoozing. I sneak up and stroke his fur. Whispering sweet nothings into his ears, I fill up his ego as I prepare to jam that eye dropper down his throat. I have it down now. Instead of teeth and claws, all I get now is the deep growl of a very unhappy cat.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Skeletons in the Closet

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This fine little snapshot from a darker past was actually sold as a postcard back in the day. When the KKK was riding tall and blacks were hiding small. A not so pleasant reminder of one race's attempt to make sure another race knew it's place.

Back in the 1920s, the KKK were in their heyday. Chapters popped up not just in the South but as evidenced by this photo, places that had few blacks. Sold as a poitical movement not a racist one, many stupid white folks saw this party as a true alternative to the corruption and sleaze of the previous years. The KKK was patriotic and pushed for a purity of the protestant national soul.

Immigrants from who knew where were rushing our unsullied shores. Jews and Catholics had begun to snake their way into every facet of leadership and commerce. And of course there was the Negro problem. Plenty of mole hills to build into mountains. That was for sure.

So these exclusive clubs filled up. Meetings were held. Most of the time it was like the Kiwanis or the Elks, a way to relax and maybe get some business done. Oh, and they got to wear those ever so spiffy outfits and march down Main street. A fun time was had by all.

I have lived in the South. I have lived in congested areas where the races are jammed together. And though I never understood the hatred, I understood that so close a proximity could be fertile ground for it to grow.

So what was up with Maine? So few blacks back then, many whites lived their whole lives counting on one hand the number of blacks they came into contact with. And certainly congestion was not problem. It isn't now. It could not have been then. Well I guess we had some Jews. And definitely more than a Catholic or two. But for the most part, no good excuse existed other than the need to be part of something bigger, something obviously important, because it was hip in Tupelo.

I have had this photo cached for awhile now. Whenever I would look through the pictures folder, I would tell myself I would write something on this. But I never seemed to be able to write how I feel about what some racial ancestors did so long ago.

I would like to think I feel no guilt. There is no good reason to. Unless I am willing to buy into the guilt some would have me eat now. No one in my family ever joined the Klan that I know of. Nor did they join much of anything. And so what if they did. Nothing to do with me.

Yet, I still feel uncomfortable when I view a picture like this. That somehow through racial connections I have no control over, I own some part of the hate these clowns lived for. I would guess it's a type of embarrassment. A feeling of racial shame.

I have no control over the color of my skin. I definitely have no control over what happened back then. So I can't be apologetic for something I had no part in. I can only try to make sure sure it doesn't happen again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


In the early innings of Game 4 of the ALCS, one of those heads up banners streaked across the bottom of the screen. Usually reserved for warning of serious winter events, I had to let it finish it's first loop before I could make sense of it. All I caught the first go around was the word Earthquake!

Now focused for the second loop I found out that not only had Maine experienced an earthquake at around 8:00PM, but the epicenter of this 2.0 monster was not 6 miles from my house.

"Hmm", I thought, "That was about 45 minutes ago." I rewound the memory clock to see if I could retrieve any recollection of odd sounds or movement from the house. Nothing. No break in the normal flow of another normal week night indicated anything had happened. Just this out of the blue banner on the eternal feed loop telling me over and over we had indeed just survived an earthquake.

Now I know a 2.0 quake is a ho hummer over on the left coast. More than likely a quake of this magnitude would not even make an eyebrow raise. And unless china breaks and walls throw pictures on the floor, most folks out there don't even bother to yawn over such a small variation in the stability of the ground they live on.

But here in Maine, we have become comfortable knowing that any unusual event created by Mother Nature is most likely going to come out of the sky. The ground is not supposed to jiggle here. That may be okay for the people living on fault lines out West, but here we like our events to be predicted by Joe Cupo on Channel 6.

I will always remember one of my father's great regrets. He always wanted to feel an earthquake. He died never having felt one. His only chance was when we lived in Japan when I was a child. While Mom and I were at home trying to catch stuff as it flew off of shelves and still keep upright, my dad was landing his C47 on a runway at the base. By the time he climbed out of the plane, it was over. I guess we all have some pleasures destined to be denied us.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Kristol Halo

Washington DC

The Kristol Halo
By Blair Darren

In what some claim is a desperate move to keep the neoconservative movement from losing the momentum of the last 7 years, the American Enterprise Institute has announced it will introduce cutting edge technology to keep the movement faithful up todate with a moment to moment rendition of important issues breaking out from around the globe.

"This is not an instrument of persuason", Nathan Ridgebutt from the institute insisted. "We hope to utilize this new technology in an effort to keep our followers in touch with breaking events that have an effect on the World as we see it."

He went on to assure the "Kristol Halo", named after Irving Kristol the father of modern neoconservatism, was not intended to punish those who might be having second thoughts about the movement. "It is a communication device, that is all."

When pressed about rumors the device was actually for brainwashing and forced adherence, he adjusted his halo, and repeated woodenly, "It is a communication device. That is all."

Unable to pry any more information from the obviously distracted Mr Ridgebutt, we sought answers on the street. An hour search on the packed and bustling streets of Washington resulted in sightings of people wearing them. But as soon as we approached, they would look at their watch, adjust their Halo and scurry away.

In the meantime, all we have are unsubstantiated reports, non answers from the Institute and film footage of people wearing them but not responding to our questions. Which only leaves this reporter with more questions than answers.

As always- Unbiased eyes on the Real World

Blair Darren

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My First Wake Up Call - I Was Not Home/Chap One

I was just another disconnected teenager with a larger chip on my shoulder than was considered acceptable back in White middle class 1967. Informed I was no longer welcome in a publicly funded school in Montgomery County, Maryland, my parents quickly tore me a new asshole and then scrambled to find a school that would corral that wild streak I had obviously nurtured just to make their lives more complicated than they already were. 

They found two schools that would have me. St. Albans Prep begrudgingly accepted my application. The minor scrapes with the law caused them some alarm. But I was certainly bright enough, their tests told them. My father's high standing as a former Air Force officer locked it in as they put it, and I paraphrase from a diluted memory, "Having the son of such a distinguished officer of the US military attend our school would be a privilege." In other words, his credit report came back with a big thumb's up. 

The"Ball" at Charlotte Hall Military Academy in Charlotte Hall, Maryland looked like he couldn't wait to get his hands on me. The man was the Headmaster and a very scary human being. About 6' 2'' and 240 pounds on the hoof. He had a blond flattop and stuck in the 1950's coke bottle glasses covering up bland pig like eyes that looked around you, not at you. He squinted in my direction."Boy, you need some discipline. That's all you need. You test in the 90th percentile. You are a smart boy. We're going to take that intelligence and channel in the right way. When you leave here you will know responsibility, duty and good Christian ethic." So these were my choices. For my parents gave me the honor of the final cut. I could day hop to a school nearby and deal with the alcoholic madness at home every night with adults I thought I hated at the time. Or I could go to a boarding school bent on turning me into a gung ho pillar of society. At that parent hating and punk mentality phase of my life, I would have gone to jail just to get away from my previous situation. I chose Charlotte Hall. I could almost see my mom breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe they wanted me out as bad as I wanted out. Without me in the middle, they could revel in their mutual acrimony without me spoiling all their fun. End - Chapter One