Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Park Bench

With Winter finally settling in here in southern Maine, Life seems to be back on the well worn track it has been on the last 30 years or so.  It was such an odd Fall, I was beginning to believe my state had moved several hundred miles to the south.  Wearing tee shirts and shorts well into mid November is just not normal.  Last week we had a little freezing rain and over the weekend, enough snow fell to give the ground that sprinkled with baking sugar look.  Temperatures seem to be settling into the comfortable twenty's and the ground is beginning to stiffen up.Yesterday's ride saw us busting through some ice covered puddles, but many we were able to ride across.

The erratic and unpredictable weather we have had these past few years caused me to consider all the hate, discontent, and controversy stirred up by climate alarmists and their critics.  In the scheme of things general and trying to look at it from a point of view detached and outside the planet, I am guessing whatever is happening is not even worthy of consideration in the over all combustion and expansion of the Universe. 

I think we humans have an over blown notion of just how much influence we have over the planet we live on.  And conversely, I don't think we appreciate how much the smallest deviation in the orbit of this rock we call home has on our existence.  The planet does not seem to care about what it supports or what it does not support.  It does what it does based on influences outside our ability to control.  We are nothing but parasites living in the fur of an animal so large, it does not even know we exist. 

We could turn the planet inhabitable for our kind and the planet would not care.  It has different plans.  It marches to a different tune. It just keeps spinning whether there is life here or not.  Been spinning for what? .................. Let's see what Wiki says, hmm.

Apparently we have been able to pin down the planet's age to 4.54 billion years, plus or minus 4.54x109 years.............................Well that's an odd equation.  Why don't they just call it plus or minus 494.86 years?  With the number 4,540,000,000 in mind, rounding the correction up to plus or minus 500 years works for me.

Having no control or even the urge to control what pops into my mind while sipping that first cup of coffee, I pondered the age of the planet some.  Yeah 4.54 billion years is a long time.  I have to say the Creationist's 5700 to 10,000 years is easier for me to get my head around.   But they lose me with the "it only took 7 days to create it all" claim. 

God would have to have every excavator in the Universe working 24/7 to create this mudball we call home in 7 days.  It couldn't have been a government run project.  And as God seems to be held up as our ultimate ruling authority, would that not make God a government if by nothing else, by default?  So if God is a government, then any project he gets rolling would take a gajillion years to complete.  Just consider the magnitude of say creating a planet held up against the local town council putting in a new park bench in the town square.   The council might debate the issue for a year, send out bids for a year, and then debate said bids for a year.  Finally a contracter would be chosen and that contracter would put the new bench into their schedule and that might take a year.  Imagine this same process as it would relate to creating the Universe.   The planet is a much bigger park bench.

So who do I believe?

I gotta tell ya.  I decided long ago there are things I should worry about and things I shouldn't.  How old this planet is was dropped from the "important' list many years ago.   It sits next to "how many JuJubees I could cram in my mouth" question in the category of quickly forgotten passing thoughts.

So I guess, I just don't care how old this planet is.  It's here, I'm here.  It deals with me as it will and I deal with it the best I can.  A match made in Heaven?

Keep it 'tween the ditches................................................
Image from Google images - "creation"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On the Edge of the Limelight

Well I guess I am internationally famous now.  Okay, maybe not me so much, as it is the lower driveway of my house that has made the big time.  And yeah so what if the fame is based on my lower drive long before I was born, it's still damn cool.

I googled "Acton, Maine".  One of the ga-jillion hits was Wikipedia's entry for Acton.   As is their style, Wiki will include an image of some kind with every article.  And guess what?  Yeah that's right, the picture shown was taken from the end of my lower drive looking down the hill to Acton Corner.   It was a Kodak moment caught on camera around 1920.  That's uh, let's do the math...... uh one, two, thr......  Oh screw it, where's my calculator?  Shit.  Batteries are dead.  Um, okay, I'll wing it and guess about 90 years ago.

The buildings seen in the image are still here and look pretty much the same.  The only difference is tree cover now hides the buildings on the far ridge.  The two on the left are the town hall and current library.  To  the right is the Congo Church.  It has a new steeple now.  The old one sits rotting in the yard next door.

This discovery has been the source of some recent chest puffing on my part.  It's like I know a guy who knows a famous guy.   Or that I live on a famous historical site visited by millions of tourists every year.  Maybe not the Washington Monument in DC - more like living at the Washington Monument at Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore, but with a Maine twist.  So yeah like I am really cool now. 

This recent brush with fame brought back my last encounter with historical links to days gone by.  This image, snapped around 1900 is of  Springvale, Maine's first bike shop.  Philpot's General Store, as it existed 110 years ago, was located not 50 feet from my bike shop's current location.  My bike shop is at the rear of the building to the right of the pile of bike crates.  And though this knowledge caused me to become a local legend in my own mind, it pales in comparison to living on a spot recognized throughout the know cyberspace.

I hope I can deal with almost being famous.


Friday, November 26, 2010

A Close Encounter of the Maine Kind

Yesterday during half time in the Pats/Lions football game, I managed to pull my attention from the TV for a second.  The Pats had not had a fruitful first half.  Detroit had come out hard and put them behind after 2 quarters, 17 to 10.  I was beginning to feel a recurring nightmare coming on.  But instead of Cleveland giving my Pats a shellacking, it was going to be another Great Lakes team, the Detroit Lions. 

I glanced out the back window of the living room to I dunno, just take a break from NFL overload for a minute. Standing about six feet from the window just on the other side of the Hydrangea was an adult moose.  A huge cow moose.  It was looking towards my neighbor's field.  It's presence filled the window.  I hollered for Bobbi, my wife, to come see just as it ambled over to the pucker separating my property from my neighbor"s.  She hurried in and we watched it slowly work it's way down the field towards the woods and out of sight.

Awesome, simply awesome animals when they are up close and personal. 

Half time ended.  The Pats recovered and soundly beat Detroit.  Bobbi and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and I went back to watching football.  I fell asleep at some point and missed most of the New Orleans/Dallas game.  Woke up in time to flip to the NFL channel long enough to see that the hated New York Jets were probably going to win their game with Cincinnati.  Damn them.  Looks like it will come down to the Monday night game in a little less than two weeks.  I passed out again.

Today while I puttered and sputtered with the wiring for the snow melt system for the roof, a show came on the National Geographic Channel, "Alone in the Wild".  Apparently this British guy who fancied himself an adventurer was dropped off in the wilds of the Yukon in Canada to face the wilderness on his own for 3 months.  His plan was to catch salmon when they started running.  His plan failed.  No salmon ever showed up.  He ate porcupine and berries and cried a lot.  At about two months into it he called for help and was evacuated.  A very interesting tale as he filmed everything, including his many moments of self doubt and fear.

As the NatGeo saga wound down, the moose I had seen yesterday, this guy's struggles to survive, and my own feeble off road tours in the woods of Maine came together.  I was back in the mid 1990s on my bike riding crude logging roads miles from anywhere.  I ran through the many feelings I had as I rode alone through the Maine woods up near the Canadian border.  I remember being isolated from the civilized world I thought I hated  but apparently did not.  I remember craving greasy McDonald's burgers.  I remember wishing there were showers out there.  And I remembered one encounter with another huge moose.

It was my third night out by myself.  I had camped on a small point of land jutting out into some lake.  Nothing but trees, rocks and water.  No buildings, no people, no boats.  Just me camped in the middle of nowhere.   I had cooked my meal of rice and salami chopped up with melted velveeta on it.  I had drank my rationed three shots of Jack Daniels.  I doused my campfire and climbed into my tent to try to go to sleep. 

Let me just say that sleeping in the wild miles from anywhere with no sounds but the wind rustling the leaves is not as peaceful as one envisions when coming up with the dream in the safety of one's home.  Every sound made me flinch.  I imagined all kinds of things out there.  Bears, Coyotes, Hell even the thought of a crazed logger wielding a double bladed axe crossed my mind.  I finally drifted off.

At some point later, something awakened me.  My eyes popped open like they were on springs.  There was something in my campsite.  I could hear it.  Twigs snapping, heavy breathing, the works.  I laid paralyzed with fear.  I have no idea how long I laid there quiet as whatever creature it was explored my campsite.  At some point I gathered enough nerve to sit up and open the flap of the tent.  Standing a couple of feet away over my tent entrance were four legs.  They stood out against the moonlight reflecting off the lake.
Suddenly a huge snort and a moose head full to the hilt with antlers bent down and sniffed the ground in front of my tent.  I stopped breathing and just stared at it.  The bull snorted hard again scattering pine needles and dust and then lifted it's head back up.  A stream of piss pounded the dirt and the smell of it brought me back to reality.  This goddamned moose was pissing in my camp site.  What the Hell?  I hollered and thankfully it ran off, only taking out one of the lines holding up my raincover. 

Needless to say I did not go back to sleep that night.  As it turned out, dawn was only an hour or so wait.  I started a fire, cooked the last of my eggs and fried salami, packed up and headed on my bike for the last leg of that trip.

That was my first solo tour of Maine's backwoods.  I have experienced two others since.  Each one brought with it moments when I asked why I was doing this.  And each time as I packed the gear back into the truck to come home, I realized why.  To experience the Wild is to feel truly alive.  As the guy from the "Alone in the Wild" stated, and i paraphrase - "The Wild does not care about you.  It is up to you to deliver yourself." 

I make no claim that what I have experienced is the true out there alone experience.  But the challenges I gave myself certainly left me with deep respect for the awesome world beyond human influence.  It is indeed up to us to deliver ourselves.  My time alone in the woods has taught me that.

See Ya....................................

Image not by me - poached from Google images

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Rest of the World is Evil

I am not sure why I even asked the question.  But I did.  And of course as usual, Google had more answers than I cared to check.  The first one I checked made me stop and consider just how whacked many of us Americans are, just how ethno-centric and holier than thou many of us feel about the rest of the World.

My search started innocently enough.  Three words, "Thanksgiving, other countries" typed in the little Google blank at the top right of the screen.  Google had 10.1 million answers in .27 seconds. 

My tendency when using Google is to not open the first in line.  I always hated the kid who always raised his hand first?  So I went to the bottom of the page and opened one entitled "Why don't other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?"

"Betterknown" then expands the question with - "Are we Americans the only ones to celebrate because we are the only ones that God loves and the only ones that have strong moral and family values? Or is it just because they hate America and our freedoms? "

My first thought was that "betterknown" was tossing out some bait.  Seemed a classic trolling technique.  And maybe it was.  Didn't matter because the second answer from a user named "Tolstoy" swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker.

"Tolstoy" wrote in response - "It would be nice to know who "they" are in the question above. It would also be interesting to find out exactly how not celebrating Thanksgiving means that they hate America and our freedoms. Thanksgiving was something that was made up at the beginning of the twentieth century - a day of taking time to say thanks - by the U.S. government.

Regarding the other part of the question: yes, I believe that Americans are the only ones that God loves and the only ones that have strong moral and family values. America is an island of righteousness in the big soup of evil that is the rest of the world."

The rest of the World is evil?  We are the only country with strong moral and family values?


Well I guess I have something to be thankful for after all.  I live in the land of the Righteous and Good.  I feel better already.

You all have a good day today and thank someone for something.  God works I guess.  But I would call the parents, a friend, a relative or maybe even a boss first.  God's voice mail seems to be full up at the moment.


Monday, November 22, 2010

21 Years Ago & One Bodaciously Long Sentence.

The fuzzy photo above is marked "May 90" on the back, marking when I decided to develop it..  From the condition of the leaves in the background and the duds these tough guys are wearing, I would say it is a Kodak moment snatched from a late Fall ride in 1989.  Okay so that would be 21 years ago.  A solid generation ago.  Many of the tough guys I ride with now were but diaper wearing, marble eatin toddlers when this image was created.  Of the six manly men in this picture, only two of us still actively ride mountain bikes - the tall guy and the badass in the yellow rain jacket and all too hip nylon gaiters from LL Bean.

I was 37 then.  Old enough to understand my mortality, but still young enough to not care as much as I should have.  I was hard into that phase of Life where I was earning a living, buying a home, raising a youngun and getting into being very serious about Life.  I had to be serious.  Raising a kid deserves all the focus you can give it.  My daughter was 5 and it was dawning on me how important it was I be around to help where I could getting my kid from child to adult.

Yeah, I took parenthood very seriously.  Odd.  Never took much of anything else all that seriously.  My wedding vows maybe, but other than that, I was pretty loose about commitments.  And as I sit here contemplating whatever this is that popped up when I found that photo secreted in among a thousand other photos in a box I had stashed years ago, I realize that because I just wrote whatever came into my mind as I wrote down this sentence, I have forgotten what it was, whatever the point might have been of what I wanted to say when I began it.  So, uh....................................


Saturday, November 20, 2010


The story goes I wore my first pair of suspenders at age 2.  About the same time I wore my first hat.  Apparently I never looked back.   Both became part of what I was, what I became.

I always hated belts.   Yeah, they might work okay, but feeling like a garbage bag with a twist tie around the waist seems too high a price to pay.  Suspenders are the perfect support system.  Suspenders keep my pants at the right height.  No plumber's butt to shock the opposite sex and make friends laugh.  The gut is allowed to be the free flowing form it was meant to be.  Instead of  the two belly rolls a belt creates, suspenders allow an uninterrupted pleasing flow of the mid torso.  Nothing showcases a good gut like suspender straps on each side.

It boggles my mind that we insist on allowing skinny people to dictate what we full figure folks wear.  I used to be skinny and wore whatever I took a shine to.  As the years stacked up, I began to fill out into the classic WASP pear shape.   The loose fit of my pants disappeared through either their shrinkage or my expansion.  Most days I blamed the pants.  On those rare days when I was willing to cast a cold calculating and objective eye at the shape my body had decided to settle into, I saw Reality.

If I wanted to continue to wear my loved 'spenders, I would either need to buy bigger pants or bite the bullet and lose the padding I had worn out so many knives, forks and spoons to create.

Buying bigger pants brought with it several negatives.  First it was an admittance that I was actually getting fat.  There was also the notion that to buy big pants was giving up, giving in, throwing up my hands and learning to live Life the fat guy way.  Being a guy and well versed in the long deeply steeped traditon of denial, this truth was for a time buried hard back in the crusty dusty crevices and cracks of my mind.  I lived as a skinny guy on the inside and a fat guy on the outside.

So I crammed my bloated body into pants one size too small.  For several years no support was needed to keep the pants in place.  Just sucking in the gut once in the morning and fighting the button or snap into place would do the trick.  And as long as I didn't breath too deep or bend over too far, suffering the exploding pants syndrome was averted.  There were a few, maybe three, four, or more mishaps.  Embarrassing maybe, but not too high a price to not have to face the reality that looked back at me each morning I brushed my teeth.

Losing weight ........well, losing weight just seemed like too much of a hassle.  There was always something else better to do than cut back my time at the trough and instead do jumping jacks or crunches, or whatever it is the six pack ab dudes do to be able to bounce pennies off their gut like a well made bed in boot camp.  Sure it might turn on the honeys, but that kind of trouble had also become too much of a hassle what with being married to a woman who would have planted me deep if  I ever wandered off the reservation.

My recent and somewhat successful attempts to trim down the cubic feet my body took up brought with it a new optimism.  Thoughts of wearing those 34 waist jeans that have been gathering dust have been entertained.  And the 36 inch waist pants are starting to get sloppy.   Damn.  Finally back to needing a belt or ............suspenders.

I have an old set of LL Bean Red ones on now and they feel great.  I have begun to shop around looking for new and improved suspenders.   And again, the Internet did not let me down.  The Suspender Store is a online store dedicated to offering every kind of suspender you can imagine or think up.  Basic everyday 'spenders to high end Wall Street broker horsehair ones for almost $200.  They even offer promotion suspenders.  I could order some with my bike shop logo on them.  Now that would be cool.

I think my next pair will be some button style.  Pinch clips are fussy.  Button suspenders are a sure thing.  And I guess there's no need to sew any buttons on anymore.  Spiffy new high tech no-sew buttons are availble - six for six bucks.


Top image from The Library of Congress

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Murder Mystery in Acton

The investigation is still pending.  No arrests yet, and typical of Maine and New Hampshire cops, they are keeping their lips zipped.  So all we have are the physical results of two crimes and then whatever we come up with in our minds.

I actually like the tendency to lock out the news hounds around murder investigations in my part of the country.  It keeps the hype and wild theories out of the media.  But this case is close to home.  Literally.

Apparently a three season lakeside camp on Great East Lake about 3 miles from me went up in flames a few weeks ago.  Took three local fire departments six hours to get it under control.  It was immediately called arson.  The following Monday in a town in New Hampshire, the ex wife of the camp owner was found shot dead from multiple gunshot wounds.  Her dog had also been killed.

The ex husband was a well to do local businessman who owned several businesses that went south with the economy.  He and his ex wife's divorce was anything but friendly.  I am sure he has been questioned as have all the family and friends.  So far though, no arrests.

Maybe its's my new infatuation with writing, but this case has real life murder mystery written all over it.  I have entertained several scenarios that may have played out here.  I am sure I will be wrong.  The husband is certainly looking like the prime suspect given the information I have been able to uncover.  The fact that it has been almost 3 weeks now means the cops have many unanswered questions.  Hardly the slam dunk case many local lips are going on about. 

Anyway, I just thought I would share a rare sensational event here in Acton. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You're Just A F***king Chick Magnet

What with my inability to keep the real life madness from getting out of control and my tendency to ignore it when it does, when I do decide to take care of business, all other facets of my life including and but not exclusively this blog, well, they fall into disprepair and begin gathering dust. 

If that paragraph made any sense, then maybe the rest will.  If it didn't, then I guess I am circling the airport in my own special holding pattern and will continue to do so until the fuel runs out.  Sure hope I land in the water.

Anyway, my previous post about manic/depression was, well, it was what it was.  I wrote it, posted it, and then went back to trying to get a handle on the real world that I exist in.  More construction madness, more bike shop madness, and then also trying to fit in a ride or two witrhout having to dodge bullets in the woods as the lone outdoorsmen do their best to actually kill something legal.

So I just read the comments on the previous post.  I also just opened my emails for the first time in several days.  I thought I had finally gotten free of the internet babes who used to stalk me five or six years ago.  Apparently they were just giving me a break.   Once again I have to fend off the women who clamor at my internet door.  And now instead of just dealing with them as email spam, I have them finding me on T-Ten, the writing site, my blog, and again in my emails.

Must be the weight loss.  It's the only thing new about me that might even entice the ladies beyond their normal detached disregard.   I suddenly did not get taller.  I just did not win the lottery.   If it is the weight loss, then how the Hell did they know?  I have not posted any new images of the svetlter and slimmer me.  And besides, my new body is anything but skinny, it's just a tad skinnier...............Hmm......................

Okay.  I think there are spies in the pucker around my house using long range radios to update Home base on the MRMacrum status.  I imagine a whole coven of women dedicated to keeping tabs on me.  Has to be.  Couldn't be arbitrary and just my time again to get hit up for my credit card number so they can squeeze non existent money from it and leave me drained, a pitiful dried up carcasses in their wake.  Nah, that couldn't be it.

As BBC commented in my last post, "You're just a fucking chick magnet".

Well just don't tell my wife.  She might laugh.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

And the Mania Continues

Yesterday I shared my previous day of living Life on the frantic side of normal.  8 hours of construction labor followed by a night that ended a couple of hours before the Sun came up.  I worked, I danced, and then I punched some words and poked my next story a little further down the road.  Passed out around 3:30AM.  Got up at 6:00 AM and was driving to Loews for some home improvement supplies by 7:30 AM.  Had the lumber, fasteners and some handtool knick knacks secured in the truck by 9 and was home by 10.  Went to the bike shop, put in a full day and when I got home I felt the same fatigue I had the day before.  My body was toast, and dammitt, my brain was still spinning hard in the red zone.  Just a hint of what a full night's sleep feels like would have been appreciated.

I am sure now somewhere in my gulliwots down deep inside, my wiring is whacked.  The 110 current I normally run on intermittently gets a dose of 220.  Can yo say hyper?  And then other times, it drops to 55 volts and my system suffers a brown out.  I slow to a crawl and have even slowed to a stop on occasion.  I never really considered...............no, I guess I did but never would admit it.  I have since I can remember, lived my life from one high to a low and back again.  It has only in the last ten years my erratic behaviour become more of an issue as the depths I hit are deeper and the highs, well, they are some cool.

Off and on throughout my adult life, I have had medical professionals of one specialty or another advise me to consider using the latest wonder drug to smooth out my peaks and valleys.  "No thanks Doc," I always told them.  If I want medicine I'll self medicate.

 I convinced myself through heroic and herculean effort to safely self deny.  I didn't need no stinkin Prozac.  Sure the Black Dog was no fun when it came sniffing around, But Jeez wasn't it great when I climbed up and out to the tippy top of the trees.  I made sure I tuned in when an acquaintance, friend, or enemy would indicate they hated whatever designer drug their chosen doctor put them on.  I pretty much ignored any positive information, sure that the Depression racket was just that, a frickin racket.

Call this my coming out.   The point of my life where I stop walking around it, denying it, and admit that I have at the least a mild case of manic depression.  What I used to call "feeling down" or even more cryptic, "down in the dumps", is flat out Depression.  There I finally admitted it to myself, to whoever stops by and whoever may not. 

Once I felt ashamed of my falls from grace.  But well, now I am neither shamed nor proud.  It's the way it is.  Unless I want to dilute the frantic flow of my life through the magic of chemistry, I will have to learn to deal with the occasional nosedive.  Cuz I just don't know if I can give up the special highs the Manic part of the trip gives me.   Damn if it ain't like drugs.  And its free for the taking.  Almost like I'm growing my own dope.

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dancin Like a Rock Star

Not sure what got into me  last night.  After 8 solid hours of ladder sprints as I scurried to finish the eaves under the new roof I laid down recently, I should have spent the evening kicked back on the sofa with a cool drink, my feet up, and the remote within arm's reach.   Instead, after wolfing down some pizza, I headed to the basement and puttered.  Cleaned stuff, organized stuff, found lost stuff,  and just when I thought I was out of stuff to do, I found myself playing with stuff.

The radio was tuned to WHEB - 100.3 on the FM dial.  Classic Rock, current Rock, and future Rock.  At some point I realized I was dancin around the basement with a broom and ripping some real badass air guitar.  I was nailing those power chords just like Pete, picking riffs like Jimy, and suddenly I stopped.  "Just what the Hell was I doing"?  Jumping and kickin up my heels like I did when I was 23? 

Not much more comical than some old white guy sportin a full white beard trying to boogie to Green Day or The Doors.  I wasn't a teen anymore or even close.  Old men didn't jump around with reckless abandon.  Old Men were too cool to gyrate and shimmy in unseemly un-adult like ways.  Rock was the Devil's music.  Rock music was for the young punks. 

Old men had basically two choices.  They were either supposed be reserved and keep their cool, conducting themselves with the expected behaviour of grown adults.  Or they were  sedentarily obnoxious, fartin, scratchin, and leering at all the young girls.  Anything else was well, comedy.  Or just plain sad.  Take your pick. 

I tried to to get serious again.  Attempted to become industrious and productive.

Then Zep's "When the Leevee Breaks" kicked into gear.......Uh Oh..... I smiled.  My right foot began twitching.  Soon my left foot began to tremble, and before you could say AC/DC, I was bouncin off walls again.  'Bout wore the strings out on that broom I'll tell ya.

Around 11:30 PM or so I ran out of steam, I had pissed all my vinegar away.  Spent and toasted, I gimped upstairs and tried to kick back.  My body was crying "No Mas",  but my brain was still red-lining.  Turning over at 100 plus, I just could could not rest. 

So I sat down at my desk, punched up the 'puter, found "Detour Blues" , an oline all Blues radio station.  I then rocked and wrote the night away into the wee hours of the next day.

I can see why some Baptists consider dancin a sign an evil spirit has its hooks in you.  Definitely wicked immoral Devil's play.  Having this much fun has to be a sin.

Later, Gator.................Oh Yeah..................

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Unconditional Love

A short fiction piece I wrote on thenow defunct Thinking Ten site.  Based on an incident from my past, I tried to put into words how I felt at the time.  - The prompt was - On Location, Monday: A hospital waiting room


She stepped into the waiting room. Her white frock wrinkled and stained with blood. Her hair, so carefully tied into a bun before her shift, had fallen apart. She pushed it off her face and stepped up to the old man sitting near the window.

“Mr Jenkins?”

The old man looked up, puffy red eyes relaying his pain as he anxiously awaited news he knew would not be good. 

Quietly without emotion, “Yes, I’m Jenkins.”

The woman in the white frock looked down at him briefly and then shifted her eyes to the clipboard in her hand. She hated this part of her job.

“Well Mr Jenkins, I am sorry, but we could not save her leg.”

The old man stared at her not saying a word. He squinted and turned his head away.

“Can I see her?”

“Why yes of course. She is in recovery. She is still a little woozy, but I am sure she would love to see you. Please follow me.”

The old man slowly struggled to his feet and followed the young woman past double doors and through some curtains to the gurney his loved one laid on.

A whimper greeted him as he stroked her neck. Brown eyes looked at him with unconditional love. The sheet covering her danced up and down as she wagged her tail.

“Who’s the good girl?” Old man Jenkins bent over and kissed her forehead.


Some editing on this version.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Erratic Consistency

Having been off the grid so to speak for a week or so, now that I am back, I wondered what may have happened during my absence that may even be worth commenting on.  .............................

...........................Well, not much it seems.  The planet still spins with erratic consistency as it always has.  And contrary to the notion that we do not get along, humans continue to mesh together as well as could be expected.  So I guess I did not miss much.

Sure, there are still many places where we insist on ruining each other's day.  But that has been part and parcel of our collective experience from the first moment one cave clan encountered another cave clan.  Nothing new there.  Barring any world wide event or series of events, I don't see much changing in the near future.  We will continue to stumble our way towards the next millennium, each day increasing the odds that some future day will be our last day.  It would seem logical given the historical rise and fall of the critters that preceded us.  So far,  every top of the food chain prehistoric creature has worn out its welcome.  It would be terribly presumptuous of us to think we could beat this historical reality.


And with my second cup of coffee this AM, a leap of logic or maybe I just tripped over a tangent, but the notion of Sentience found its way to the top of the shit pile in my mind.

I thought about sentience for several minutes before I asked Wiki their opinion.  That many more intelligent minds than mine have been able to qualify, quantify, and then supply a definition much more substantial and intricate than my own feeble thoughts on the definition of sentience was I expected.  I have had many years to get used to my second banana brain.

I was not surprised though that the concept of sentience is another of those ego building notions thought up to justify our position as the species most likely to succeed.  Another rationale or excuse for the things we do to the other living things not blessed with opposable thumbs and the ability to understand the subtle nuances of "The Wives of Orange County".  Another excuse to assuage any guilt for the exploitation of the planet we exist on.  That somehow since we can reason, we have the right to do what we want to those we deem less than sentient.  It is no wonder then that depending on how much our heart bleeds, our definition of it changes.  Sort of like our views on religion, politics, and any other human action that means someone wins by making someone else lose.

Before this post becomes a condemnation of what we are, what we have done, and what we will or might do in the future, I would say that I actually think we are not a terrible species.  About average I would say.  Which delegates us as just another group of animals trying to get by the best that they can.

Certainly we exploit the resources around us.  Certainly we destroy or damage the eco-existence of other living things in our quest to survive.  That is the natural way of things.  Most every living thing does that.  But to our credit, within our collective conscience, more of us have begun to understand that our longer term survival depends more on stewardship of the planet, than the mindless exploitation that has worked so far.   Instinct is slowly being supplanted by Reason.

My only question is - Is this realization too little, too late?

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

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

La La La La La La La La

La La La La La La La La

I am sorry, I cannot hear you. 

La La La La La La La

Paul LePage is on the screen.  He's grinning.  This can't be good news for Eliot Cutler.

La La La La La La La La

If I don't actually hear them say it, it didn't happen.........Right?

And another four years begins where I will be punching the mute button every time my governor comes on the screen, the radio, or shows up at my front door.

Maine definitely shifted to Right last night.  And that's fine I guess.  Might as well.  Seems everyone's doing it.

But the countdown begins now.  If things do not get better in say, well, I'll be generous, let's say I give the Right ten days.  Yeah, ten days should be enough time to turn things around.

After all, they were so sure that the Left was doing it wrong, they convinced enough of us that they could do it better, even without offering any new ideas.  They must have a secret plan that is so awesome, once installed, Life will become the American dream overnight. 

I say bring it on.  But like I said, you only have ten days.  After that, I start whining again.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Down in a Hole

On this dark/bright day when shadows/light overcomes the heavy/light heart you drag down to the polls, I decided I would skip on down to the Acton Town Hall. I would not frown as I cast my vote.  Just put the x's where I think they fit best.  Skip along home and forget it. 

And instead of heated and passionate posting on the current slide down the shit hole I might/might not see coming, I am just going to waste some bandwidth with some other bandwidth I wasted on Thinking Ten.  Call it bandwidth wasted - squared.

A little ditty I wrote off the prompt "Down in a Hole" - a tale of tragedy and triumph.

Down in a hole
Where only the big moles go
The intrepid cricket tripped and he slipped
Coming down hard on three of his hips

He struggled to rise
But much to his surprise
Where once there had been six legs
Now stood only five.

From that day forward
He walked with a limp
But no one, nor anyone
Called him a wimp

Because on his shoulder
For all to see
He carried that lost leg
And would wield it with glee

Monday, November 01, 2010

Blogging Advice

Saturday's post was not received as I meant it to be.  Not that I ever really think about how what I write will be received, other than harboring vague thoughts about hoping it gets at least a few hits.  Anyway, I figured I would post this morning and do my damndest to not come off disgruntled, pissed or sporting any sizable hairs across my butt.

Of course it would seem that with each new year tacked on to the 58 plus ones I am dragging along now,  my emotional index seems to ebb and flow with the political tides.  And this won't do.  I find it to be totally unacceptable  that I am allowing flounders in a town 600 miles away to have such control over whether I am smiling on any given day.

So today I swear off politics.  And Religion.  Include education.  And while I am at it, any sports commentary beyond "Go Pats".   And even though tomorrow I might swear them back in, at least for the rest of this post, you can imagine me with a smile on my wrinkled mug and a big cup of coffee standing by to lubricate said grin.

I made the mistake a few days ago of checking through some old bookmarked links I had not visited in several years.  I had in mind cleaning out the riff and the raff, seperating chiff from the chaff.  Of course I did neither, but I did open up some links that creaked from the rust buildup on thier hinges.

I found a dusty folder in the dark depths of my browser's favorites list named Blogging Hints.  Started back in the day when this whole blogosphere was a strange and mystifying place for me.  I wanted to make the right impressions, so I looked for help and then bookmarked what I thought might be good advice.

As it turns out, I may as well deleted them before I even read them.  According to most, I am doing exactly the wrong thing with my blog if I ever expect to have what would be considered a "successful blog".

My blog has no focal point.  Whatever whim snags me, that is what I write about that day.  Definitely not a good thing according to the blogging elite.  Politics, religion, the neighbors, fiction, shit, I think I have mentioned just about every boring detail I can think of or make up.

I write about me fairly often.  Okay, okay, I write about me more than fairly often.  Again a huge blogging no-no.

Many of my posts are longer than 500 words.  Again, a "good blog post" should be brief and to the point.  A good example of a bad example would be this post by the time I am done.  Lots of words that easily could have been left unwritten, unsaid, unheard from and this planet would be in no worse shape because I chose to keep my dribble to a minimum.

But that is not my style.  Apparently and according to the "experts", I have no style.  Which I assume could be drawn out to include no class, low rent, erratic, and with a slight tinge of personality disorder just to round out the over all character of the blog.

So Saturday when I wrote before I was really awake, I guess I sent vibes I might be leaving the wide world of blogging behind me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am really just getting warmed up.  Besides, someone has to be the bad example, set the bar low enough so others may find success easier to attain, be there at the bottom to cushion other's falls.  I have an important role in the communtiy.  I'm the snotty wino on the corner sipping MD 20/20 and leering at the women as they get on and off the bus. 

Metaphorically speaking of course.......................................Of course.
Image - Acrylic on canvas - Michael Arnold