Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Old Fogey Still Trying to Boogie

"You know you're over the hill

When your mind makes a promise 

Your body can't fill"

    Little Feat - "Old Folks Boogie"

Had I an inkling of what being 71 years old would entail, I might have adjusted what I put my body through back in the day. I might have utilized more restraint and taken a more measured approach to Life before launching myself chin first into shaky and often dangerous situations.  

Yeah, .......... Sure I would have. .......... Riiiiiight.

I was not kind to my body over the years. Truth be told, I am still not very kind to my physical parts. ..... Come to think of it, the mental machinery is rickety and shaky some days, but we get by. I am nowhere close to mint condition.

My younger days were liberally sprinkled with moments of mindless recklessness. I have been knocked unconscious more times than I can remember. I am packing too many scars to even remember their why or how.  Because of my innate ability to embrace stupidity on an irregular basis, I have had several brushes with death.

For 71 years I have been my own worse enemy. I would like to think I would have been more cautious back in the day if I had been armed with the life lessons I am packing now. Probably not. Most likely I would be sitting here in the same shape. 

This post may seem to be a post of regrets. I guess it is, but I am inclined to believe that I have no regrets, just making an observation that how I made it to 71 years of age could have had less bumps in it.

Second guessing myself has never been one of my strong suits.

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


There is only one song that works for this post and my current mindset. Please enjoy , "Old Folks Boogie", by Little Feat - off their 1978 live album, "Waiting for Columbus". Turned up to WOW with ample room to dance is highly recommended.

Lyrics - "Old Folks Boogie"

Off our rockers, actin' crazy
With the right medication we won't be lazy
Doin' the old folks boogie
Down on the farm
Wheelchairs, they was locked arm in arm
Paired off pacemakers with matchin' alarms
Gives us jus' one more chance
To spin one more yarn
And you know that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill
Doin' the old folks boogie
And boogie we will
'Cause to us the thought's as good as a thrill
Back at the home,
No time is your own,
Facillities there, they're all out on loan
The bank forclose, and your bankruptcy shows
And your credit creeps to an all-time low
So you know, that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill
Try and get a rise from an atrophied muscle,
And the nerves in your thigh just quivers and fizzles
So you know, that you're over the hill
When your mind makes a promise that your body can't fill

Monday, October 30, 2023

Get out the Vote - Maine - 2023

There are 8 measures on the ballot here in Maine this year. All of them are worth considering, as they will have lasting consequences.

On the Ballot in Maine on Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 2023

As usual with initiatives on the ballot, at least in Maine, the questions are often poorly worded and can create confusion. In Example......  Three of them, questions #1, #2 and #3 directly relate to the same issue. But they are not clearly connected. If ever there was a time to closely scrutinize ballot questions in Maine, it is in this election.

 The controversial and over publicized Question 3, regarding public ownership of our power Grid rather than the foreign private ownership we have now, is the Question most of us have been exposed to. The campaign to defeat it has overshadowed the connection to questions #1 and #2.

Sadly, many Mainers will not draw the direct connection between the first 3 questions. In order to complete the break the lock on our power grid by private interests in foreign lands, all 3 questions should be dealt with. Question #1 deals with a specific one time action by the state. Questions #2 and #3 will have long term benefite to Maine controlling the influence outside forces can have on our state. 
  • Question 1 - Require voter approval for certain state entities, municipal electric districts, electrification cooperatives, or consumer-owned transmission utilities to incur an outstanding debt that exceeds $1 billion. 
  • Question 2 - Prohibit election spending by foreign governments, including entities with partial (5% or more) foreign government ownership or control.
  • Question 3 - Create the Pine Tree Power Company, an electric transmission and distribution utility governed by an elected board.
So, if you are a Maine resident and want less foreign influence on your lives:

Vote No on Question 1 and Yes on Questions 2 & 3

Moving on now:
  • Question 4 - Allow motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities to have access to the vehicle on-board diagnostic systems.
I am voting YES on Question 4. Again, a question that deals with outsiders attempting to dictate what we can do with our own property. 

  • Question 7 - Remove the requirement that an initiative petition signature gatherer must be a resident and registered voter of Maine.
I am voting NO on Question 7. I think the current set up is how it should be. If the question passes, we'll be giving more of our local power away to outsiders.

We do not usually have so many ballot initiatives on a ballot. And it is very odd there are no money related bond initiatives. Of the rest, two are State Constitution changes, and a change in the judicial review process.

And finally- 
  • Questions #6 and #8 clean up some clutter in the state constitution.
  • Question #5  - some adjusting to some judicial procedure.

All told, the results will have tangible long term effects on my state.

These kind of votes are often more important than who we elect to lead us. These kind of votes create the rules by which our leaders lead.

I stumbled across this James Brown tune, "Funky President" while searching for an appropriate tune for this post. I think this song is as close to appropriate as I can get. Enjoy it turned up to WOW ...... And I defy you to not tap your feet when you listen to it. 

I first saw James Brown at Walt Whitman High School for 50 cents when I was in Ninth grade. It was the first concert I ever went to.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

18th Century Values

When I was 7, my parents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias. I was immediately enthralled. I was like a pig in shit. I started reading Volume A and kept at it over the next so many weeks until my parents put the brakes on. I guess I was well into C by that time. 

It was not the reading part they objected to. They loved that. I had stopped going outside. All I wanted to do was read the World Book Encyclopedia. That was not healthy they thought so I was restricted to one hour  per day of the World Book.

I had become consumed by this awesome set of books that contained all the knowledge of the World, past and present. World Book had become my Internet. 

It was early into my consumption of these books of knowledge that I was sure I had found a flaw, a mistake, something was wrong with the information. As I had found I was partial to historical references and stories, I was positive World Book had screwed up when referring to centuries and the actual dates. 

A fer instance- They might contend an event of note had happened in the 18th century, yet the actual date printed would be 1730 or some other year. My 7 year old logic told me if  it said 1730 then it must have happened in the 17th century not the 18th century. How could a set of books so grand get this one thing so wrong?

My dad tried to explain it to me, but at 7 years old, I could not get my brain around the idea at first. I continued to believe the books were wrong until one day when I mentioned the discrepancy to the school librarian. She set me straight or so she thought. I was still skeptical when I went home. Two adults I respected insisted World Book had it right, so I eventually gave in, even though deep down I knew they were wrong.

I only remembered this early educational struggle of mine because of our recently elected Speaker of the House and his Rose-colored twisted vision of 18th century values.

Congressman Mike Johnson, Republican from Louisiana is the best clown the White Wingin GOP could come up with to run the House of Representatives? ...... I guess he beats a blank. At least now maybe we might see some of those useless fucks in Congress finally put a ball back into play................ Damn. I sure hope the GOP pays dearly for screwing up our country even more than it was a year ago.

But what about the18th century values our new dim witted Speaker of the House contends our forefathers overwhelmingly supported. He specifically mentions George Washington and John Adams, two great Americans with a public image polished hard by historians over the years. Mike Johnson's perception of past events is the perfect example of why we need to teach our kids history more honestly, without basing our supposed greatness on twisted and perverted renditions of our past or the heroes we put on pedestals. 

The basic values of the 18th century are no better or loftier  than the basic values most of us have today. But what are values anyway. One definition contends:

"Values are individual beliefs that motivate people to act one way or another." 

Johnson's falsely contending the values of the 18th century are better than the ones we currently profess proves just how much he has lost touch with Reality by twisting his world view to fit the future fantasy he would like to shove up our collective asses. The man is one scary Mo-Fo. That his GOP cohorts in Congress gave him their gavel is even scarier.

What we have here today in Congress is another reason every Republican in the nation should be ashamed of themselves for allowing these clowns to run and now ruin their party. I hope the GOP goes down in flames for what they have done to our country.

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


"Politician", by Cream was on the "Wheels of Fire" album Cream released in 1968. This was during my Eric Clapton period. He was one of the rock gods I knelt before at the time.

Friday, October 27, 2023

When Will It End?

I had hopes I would never see a mass shooting here in Maine. My hopes were dashed the other day when a maniac shot up a bar and a bowling alley in a town up country from me in what we call  L.A. (Lewiston - Auburn).  As of today, 18 are dead and 7 or 8 are in various states of medical Hell at the local hospital.

Yeah, my hopes were dashed, but I wasn't surprised. We have become a country filled with a fear and loathing of our own making. We have allowed merchants of death and chaos to create an atmosphere where all of us have lost trust in each other, condemned each other for the differences we carry, and now live in fear of each other.

My good FB friend, Jackie Sue, posted a meme that asked, "When will it end?"

I thought about it. I am of a mind that I see no end in sight. We will just have to wear ourselves out purging all this pent up fear and rage we have allowed to poison our souls.

Sadly, I do not think the stupidity has peaked yet.

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


"Here Without You", by 3 Doors Down seems an appropriate tune at this time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Militia Camp Massacre, Redux

 What follows is a Flash Fiction piece I originally posted Oct. 27, 2010. It was based on a prompt to include a monster in the piece. A seasonal fun piece I had a blast writing.

Militia Camp Massacre

The boys had gone soft. Jeez, they had not been out terrifying the citizenry for years. Just holed up here at the castle stuffing their faces, watching old horror flicks and playing video games.

Frank had picked up another 150 pounds. Drack had gotten so lazy, he had his meals delivered by a nice kid  from the local blood bank. Those losers over to the SciFi horror gang had been grabbing all the headlines in recent years.

I was no better. Hell, I hadn’t made any waves since Clarice gave up looking for me, got married, got pregnant and left the FBI. What do I do? I take over as the guardian for a bunch of washed up B movie monsters from the 1930s. 

It was time we took back what was ours.

“Okay guys gather round. “

No response.

“Guys?” I walked into the game room. Frank and Doc Jeykyll were lost in a game of nine ball. Frank must have been losing. As I walked in, he smashed his cue stick over Doc’s noggin.  I smiled.

“How much he into you for Doc?”


Doc was always a tad slow on the uptake, what with that awful crap he drank every day to stay in shape. He managed to swing his face in my direction and smiled that unnerving smile of his. “Uh yeah Hannibal, the stupid bastard is down four games at the moment. He’s gonna owe me big time.”

Drack spoke up. “Whoa there my fine fearsome friend.” 

He and Wolfman were hunched over a game of Chinese checkers. “You boneheads still owe me big after last night’s poker game. Especially you Doc. Whatever possessed you to draw to an inside straight I’ll never know.” Jekyll’s smile disappeared and his eyes glowed as he flexed obscenely long fingers.

Wolfman glared at Drack and howled. Drack looked at him with mock surprise.

“I did not cheat, you flea bitten loser.  Can I help it if you can't keep a poker face longer than five minutes. Remember, I cleaned you out first.”

“Guys, guys, guys. Cool your jets. We have to pull it together. Time to put on your game faces and get down to business. You guys have been sitting on your laurels and your asses for so long, John Q Public has forgotten you even exist. Don’t you guys have any pride left? Look at you. Sorriest bunch of has been monsters as I have ever seen. “

This got a rise out of them. They rushed me snarling and growling. It was just like old times. “Now that’s more like it……………. What we need is a plan. A night of horror to bring some pride back to the crew and let the World know who really makes them pucker with fear. Who’s with me?”

All hell broke loose. Frank toppled a few columns causing the game room ceiling to cave in. Wolfman shredded those new satin curtains I had installed so Drack could wander around in his whitie tighties during the day, And the Doc, well, he just drooled, wrung his hands and cackled. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I took on this crew of loose dogs. Not a one of them had a clue about teamwork before I hooked up with them. But that was part of their charm I guess. Spontaneous Evil without any direction can create wonderful fear. I just had to get them headed in the right direction and look past their individual foibles. When they were on a roll, no other crew could touch them. Nothing but blood and fleshy tidbits left in their wake.

I finally had their attention. So I went over the new mission. They were suspicious at first. Sending them all out together was not their style. They were more comfortable as solo acts. The occasional cameo appearance to help a friend was okay, but none of them wanted to play second fiddle, especially at this time of the year. Top billing at Halloween would make them strut for a month. But I explained to them that an awesome performance by an ensemble cast would magnify their images. They settled down and focused as best they could.

“Okay guys, let’s make this Halloween one to remember. This excursion has to involve all of you so I'll cover any camera and sound work.  If I can chip in with a slice here or a dice there, I will.  But this will be your show, your chance to shine.  All we need is the where and who gets your special kind of attention.  We all know this caper has to go down in the dark of night.  Nothing  scares like bloody fangs coming out of dark shadows or body parts dripping blood in the soft light of the moon.  So where and who guys?  It's up to you."

Doc Jekyll was first to speak up. “How about a high school basketball game? Lots of cheerleaders and uptight teachers to disembowel.”

Wolf Man yipped.

Drack looked at him. “You always want it to be in the woods fer chrisakes. Come on guy step outside of your box for once. Besides, where in the woods are we gonna find enough delectable victims for all of us?”

Frank raised his hand.

“Frank, you don’t have to raise your hand.” I was never going to get used to this 7 foot monster who acted like a first grader. It was too bad his brain sat out so long before it was installed.

Frank slowly dropped his hand. Looking sheepish, he mumbled, “Well we could invade a militia camp. Uh, you know, they are popping up all over the place now. That way Wolfman could stay outside and that would make him happy. Besides, I don’t like those militia types. Bunch of wannabe badasses.” Frank clenched his massive mitts.

Drack started o speak up and then stopped. Doc looked over to the Wolfman and the Wolfman looked at me. No one spoke. I think we were absolutely caught off guard at such a brilliant suggestion coming from the dumbest among us. Christ, I had to remind the big lug every day how to tie his hob nail boots.

Out of the mouths of babes………………..

The silence continued as gears turned and churned inside each of their warped minds. I could feel the excitement building without so much as a word of discussion passing between us. So I ended it.

“It’s a lock then guys. Militia Camp Massacre here we come.  Just save me a few brains and maybe a liver or two.  I seem to be running low.”

"Now go out there and spill some blood!"

1100 words or so. I know it is silly. But come on.  Monsters are silly. Real Life is so much scarier.

Image from Deadly Movies


Another Halloween themed tune would be appropriate. Here Is the original length version of Michael Jackson's, "Thriller", from the best selling album of all time. The video cost 1/2 million bucks when it was made back in the early 1980's.

I never saw the original 14 minute video until just now. It is actually quite good. It pays homage to the schlock B movie horror extravaganza's I used to watch as a kid at movie theaters where ever we lived.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Mysterious Ways

Recently, the term "God Works in Mysterious Ways" caught my eye. That term has always bothered me. It is the final, end of the conversation rationale used to excuse God from any blame. Along with the idea of "Free Will", both conveniently wash away any sins God may have had a hand in during his day to day interactions with Humanity.

It's like saying:

"Yeah well, this might be some bad shit, some ugly and brutal shit that I am sending your way; ....but you gotta go with it because it's all part of my plan, the workings of which you will never understand because you are mere mortals and I am Omnipotent.  .........

Besides, I gave you free will. You have to shoulder at least part of the blame. Right? ....... No? Well Nyah, nyah, nyah. I make the rules. Suck on it.  ...... I cannot be blamed for what I do in  your name."

Hmm .........................

Well now;... That was some odd Bullshit to spill out of my brain this morning. Seems I have not had enough coffee yet. Or is it that I have had too much? 

Back to Mysterious Ways and the original point I wanted to make. Seems my original point has gone AWOL. I am sure it was about God and the tendency of the righteously faithful to fall back on God to cover and excuse the assholery they might inflict on their fellow Man. ....... That moment has passed. The point was driven home somewhat; but without the necessary inflections, invictions, and potential resurrections to comprise a well rounded post. 

No, I fuckin dropped the ball this AM, which only points up another kind of mysterious ways. On a post I should have squelched, choked out, or set fire to before I ever wrote a word, I still insisted on wasting your valuable time and my less valuable time with inconsequential dribble than I ruthlessly unleashed on the innocent and unsuspecting Public. Why I insisted is one of my mysterious ways I will wonder about but never take the time to understand.

Some people and some shit were never meant to make sense. Today's post is a perfect example.

At least I had some fun.

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


Back in the days when I could be silly without embarrassment, my brothers turned me onto the Doo Wah Ditty, Purple People Eater pop tunes that saturated AM radio. I loved them. But then what 7 year old wouldn't?

In keeping with the silliness of the above post, here is "Purple People Eater", by Sheb Wooley. I was six years old when this song came out. It instantly hit #1 with a bullet. It was everywhere. You can imagine my six year old response. That might have been the first time I remember my mom insisting that, "I take it outside, ferchrisakes."

And because it is October after all; the month when monsters crawl out of every crib all around town. Creatures will stir and set up in front yards under lights. They might even wave their hands.

Here is another a silly song from the same period that pays homage to Halloween and all that it stands for, please enjoy "Monster Mash", recorded by Bobby Picket & the Crypt Kickers in 1962.  My favorite stanza:

From my laboratory in the castle east

To the master bedroom where the vampires feast

The ghouls all came from their humble abodes

To get a jolt from my electrodes

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Will the Circle Ever be Broken

I have been trying to sort out my feelings regarding this recent clash between Israel and Gaza. It has not been easy. The only real rock solid opinion I have at this time, is there are no good guys. There are only bad guys who both insist on dragging their respective populations into the fray with them as they throw rockets and bombs at each other. The innocent bystanders are the ultimate losers in all this; their lives forever changed or forever ended.

Who the worst actor is, changes week to week, day to day and depends on what news feed one wants to pick their bad guy for them. There are no Winners, only Losers, with the Truth being the first victim.

Neither side has any right to the moral high ground. Yet, both lay claim to that moral high ground and neither is willing to move off of it. The unwillingness of either the Israelis or the Gazans to budge, have lead to decades of intense tension that is always simmering, ready to boil over at a moment's notice. 

So,..... I am not neutral, nor am I in favor of one team or the other. I am against war of any kind which makes me hate both the leaders of Israel and the leaders of Gaza. Neither leadership really cares what happens to the people they are responsible to and supposedly represent. 

War never makes sense in the long run and only lines the pockets of pockets already overfilled. 

Oppression breeds Terrorism which breeds Opression which breeds more Terrorism, ad nauseam.

Will the Circle ever be Broken? 

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


I found this awesome video from the Halesbury School in England. It was written and performed by students at the school after a term studying war. This was their response. It is called, "War Sucks"

Saturday, October 14, 2023


Since I just wrote a memoir post about some time I spent in Florida as a kid, I figured I would do something with this languishing draft that has been hanging around for some time now.

 As a kid, I lived in Florida for a few years. It was in the days of little or no air conditioned anything. All the Crackers wore shirts with permanent sweat stains, red necks and straw hats. The three schools I attended in those 3 1/2 years were ovens. Gory Elementary, a 40 year old three story school near downtown Tampa was so stuffy, kids often fainted from the heat.

My time in Florida was full of some good times, and some very dark times in my young life. Maybe it was the dramatic shifts of Life's intensities that embedded such clarity now of those earlier years of my boyhood. I had come to Florida under a cloud and left it 3 1/2 years later a wiser but jaded preteen who carried a chip his shoulder for the next 15 years.

Florida in the early 1960's was a wild and crazy place. I did not really pay attention at first to the madness that swirled around me until the Cuban Missile Crisis happened. After that, I paid more attention and when I left Florida a couple of years later, I left unimpressed and glad to see the Sunshine State in the rear view mirror. There was a sickness that saturated Florida back in those days. The chronic corruption, racist attitudes, racist actions, and general nastiness that permeated much of the day to day interactions soured me on Florida.

Today, over 60 years later, it appears not much has changed in Florida except that the state has become air conditioned and over developed to the point that Orlando is a suburb of Tampa and the expansion of the greater Miami area is taking a very serious toll on the Everglades. The ugliness that had always existed beneath the surface when I lived there as a kid was still a bedrock of the Florida dynamic. 

The racism of today's Florida is not so overt, but definitely more insidious than when it was out in the open during the Jim Crow years. The rabid sleaziness and corrupt ways of the inbred bureaucracies that ran the state back then are still cesspools of self serving good old boy networks.

Florida was and still is a place where unscrupulous White Folk run the state like they own it. Only now, the power structure of the White power brokers is being challenged like never before. The smart ones know their time is coming to an end. They are running scared now and in desperation are governing the state through knee jerk restrictive legislation designed to maintain white control into the foreseeable future and beyond.

To bolster their fight against losing control of the state, Florida has been manipulated into electing a Dictator, uh, a governor who perfectly represents all that is ugly and evil about Florida.  In his 2022 State of the State Speech, Desantis said:

 “Together we have made Florida the freest state in these United States.” He added that the state, “has become the escape hatch for those chafing under authoritarian, arbitrary and seemingly never-ending mandates and restrictions.”

His words could have come directly from "The Idiot's Guide to Authoritarianism". One of the rules all authoritarians use to some degree is over utilize bullshit to cover their tracks. Tell them what they want to hear and then do the opposite. Rhonda appears to be a true believer.

Florida is nowhere near as free as it was before Rhonda came to power. Selective freedom given to some while restricting freedoms for others in no way creates more freedom for the greedy White power mongers. It just makes them evil assholes and ruins the ideal of freedom for all. Florida had plenty of those assholes when I lived there over 60 years ago. Now, it is obvious they are full to the brim with them.

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


Picking a song for these post sometimes takes me longer than writing the post. Not sure why. Today was no exception. It took more than a few tunes before I found the one that fit my mood or the post, whichever one comes first. 

I have not heard this Johnny Winter tune in many, many years. Again, not sure why. It certainly deserves a place in my music quiver. 

Please enjoy this Johnny Winter classic, "Evil on My Mind".

Friday, October 13, 2023

The Whites

I do not remember their real names. They were an all blond family with four kids who seemed to always be wearing white; from their immaculate white sneakers to the immaculate white ribbons the sisters always had tied around their blond ponytails. Mom and Dad always seemed to be wearing white also. The kids were not allowed to come home dirty. The whole family smiled all the time. It was creepy. 

As I was allowed into their lives only so far, it took me awhile to know them even a little. I learned the kids did not call their parents Mom or Dad, they called their mom "Honey" and their father "John".

The Whites lived 4 houses down on San Rafael St. in Tampa, Florida when I was in 4th and 5th grade. The family were very rarely separated from each other. When the kids were allowed to play outside, I never once saw any of them scuff even so much as one of those perfect white sneakers they always wore. They wouldn't sit in the grass, play in a sprinkler, or Heaven Forbid, swim in the canal or the bay. The sisters jumped rope, played jacks in kneeling position and played tic tac toe and never dirtied their hands. The girls didn't like me and that was fine. I wasn't yet partial to girls anyway. 

The brothers were even bigger pansies than their sisters. Every fun thing I suggested, they shot down because either Honey or John would not approve. And the time I said the word shit, one of them audibly gasped and turned red. Yeah, they were some odd, those Whites were.

My attempted friendship with the kids only lasted that first year. One day when my father was mucking around in the flower bed in the dooryard, Mr White pulled up in his, yeah, that's right, their white Ford station wagon. I was pulling weeds around the tree Dad had planted when we moved in some months before.

Mr White got out of his car and as soon as he caught the eye of my father, he smiled broadly and walked toward dad with his hand out. They went through ritual greetings two strangers might have, handshaking, reciprocal smiling and rigid body language as if each one had invaded the other's space. This was not a conversation between old friends. It was an awkward Howdy Doo moment.

I was too far away from them to hear what transpired in their conversation. I just remember Dad's face trying to harden around an awkward grin. I got up and walked in their direction when their conversation suddenly and abruptly ended. Mr White was still grinning, only now it looked strained and his body walked with a stiff look as he went back to his car and drove down the street to his house.

My father looked at me, shrugged and went back to tending his pride and joy flower garden. I could tell without asking, he had nothing to say to me. At least not then.

Later that night at dinner, I was quizzed about my relationship with the White kids. I indicated it was not much of a relationship because they never wanted to do the stuff I wanted to. Said their parents wouldn't approve. I finished with the odd fact that the kids never went home dirty. That just seemed unnatural to me.

I remember this conversation only because it was as if I had done something wrong and I knew that, at least recently, I had been living trouble free; just doing my kid thing. Why was I under the harsh light of a stern parental inquisition?

It turned out that that conversation was the first one of several more to come in my young life where I would be accused of being a bad influence. The inevitable grilling followed. Was I sure I was not trying to get them into trouble. Why would they accuse me of being a bad influence. What had I done? Did I know I was no longer welcome in their home or their yard?

By this time in my life I had learned the mistake it was to lie to my parents when they looked this serious. I dug in my heels, shut up and just said I knew of no reason why they had to ban me from their lives.

Our conversation ended there. I felt I had failed to convince my dad I was telling the truth.

It was a few weeks later I guess, on a night when my mom came back from the recent PTA meeting that the situation cleared up. She and my father had a conversation with the door to their bedroom almost closed. I heard none of it but the one outburst from my dad:

"Goddammit", followed by a shushing noise from my mom.

At dinner the next night, my father apologized to me. He had been sure it was something I did. But now he was pretty sure the Whites were just jerks and he should have given me the benefit of the doubt, but he didn't. He was sorry. End of discussion on his part.

Mom was not happy with his apology. She wanted to give it some context I guess, so she related her experience at the PTA meeting and her interactions with Mrs White.

Apparently Mrs White stood up at the meeting to object to the every other Friday Dance class in the music room. As good Southern Baptists, her family did not condone dancing of any kind, as dancing has its roots in Satanic rituals. God Fearing people did not dance.

I had never heard that dancing was against the Bible. But then my casual relationship with the Episcopal Church would never have concerned itself with such trivial and inconsequential stupidity. I asked my mom if she said anything. At that point in my life I had learned that no good came of my mom speaking her mind when she was angry. Mom indicated she had kept her mouth shut. She knew arguing with a religious fanatic was an exercise in futility. 

I can remember some confusion on my part. What did Mrs White being a Baptist have to do with Dad saying he was sorry. I said as much.

My father explained to me that he had assumed, since Mr White was an adult and I was a classic pain in the ass kid, that Mr. White's word carried more weight than anything I could have said. He continued that when he discovered their intolerant religious attitude, he knew I had been clueless about breaking whatever rigid family or wacky religious rule they may have.

"People like that find Sin in everything Humans do. They don't play well with normal folks. Forget them."

It might have ended there, but I was pissed. I had done nothing wrong. Dad had so much as said so. I did not even like the little tight ass kids who never got dirty. I vowed revenge but never got it because, well, I didn't develop the ability to hold a grudge until I was in my thirties.

In the meantime, the Whites yanked their kids from Dale Mabry School and I assume sent them to some religious school in the Tampa area.. I only ever saw them on our street from then on.


I wanted to incorporate the original spark that fired this post up. I just could not seem to work it in. What got my memory juices flowing was when the image to the left crossed my path. The winged glasses reminded me immediately of Mrs. "Honey" White. The rest was easy. 


Music today is MIA at the moment. Wait a sec. ........... Go ahead tap you feet and look bored. I'm working on it. Hmm. .......... Took a few minutes, but I found a wonderful anti-zealot yet devoted to Jesus tune, "Zealot", by Brock Human. And just to balance the books, I included a cover of the great Tom Waits tune, "Chocolate Jesus", as sung by Beth Hart on vocals with Joe Bonamassa on guitar. Both songs are worthy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Feast or Famine

I sometimes think, that as a writer, there is nothing worse than experiencing prolonged periods of writer's block. But then coming out of it and in usually an unexpected, yeah always an unexpected moment, my manic side kicks in and suddenly, I have too many things to write about and the 100 differing ways to write them. Sensory overload usually brought on by a few tokes over the line on the morning walk.

Too many ideas at one time can be very frustrating also and often bring with them an inability to focus on just one. 

Feast or Famine.

This morning I awoke with my first writing idea in mind. I know I did because the last thing I remembered before forgetting it,was when I came up with a new idea to replace it with. All morning long it has been a barrage of notions, tales and lies to write down. My brain has decided the best way to leave writer's block in the rear view mirror, is to take a shotgun approach to firing up my creative juices.

Feast or Famine

So far, as of 9:13 AM, I have conjured up a flash story idea about a dude being tortured and laughing at his tormentors. I watched Arnold Schwarzenegger being interviewed on MSNBC. Immediately I thought:

"Hey, Arnold has really surprised me over the years, I should write about him."

Thoughts of an "Ah-nold" post were lost as soon as I sat down to write and noticed that the normal pigsty that is my office and especially my desk seemed different. Instead, there was a kind of erratic calm, messy order, and involuntary sanity in what was before, the usual chaotic disorder and mayhem.

Other notions replaced previous notions steadily for 4 hours. And because I was blinded by the light and wealth of strange schemes, I became overwhelmed and useless. I can only write about what I might have, could have, in the future probably will have written about. 

I accomplished only slightly more than a normal screwin the pooch day here on Sam Page Rd. Without question, writing about what I am not writing about but could if I only focused for a nanosecond or two is as close to not quite screwin the pooch as I can get and still claim I had a productive day.

I hope the rest of the day ends making more sense.

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


Focusing on one song to share was actually easier than I thought it might be given the scattered brain I am utilizing at the moment. Well, the stars that line up for us potheads must be near or close by to some kind of conjunction, intersectional crossroad. I went right to Sublime and their cover of "Smoke Two Joints". I dare you to not tap your feet.

Monday, October 09, 2023


I have become enamored with the art or is it enamored with the image commentary on our Human Experience created by "Al Margen" (A pseudonym) . He hails from Argentina. Most of his art transcends any local or regional peculiarities and addresses concerns all of Humanity may experience at one point or another as they plod their way to the ends of their trails. I am going to try to use one image every week as a springboard for the post that day.

Before I even read the explanation to this visual comment on the right, I was reminded of my mother in law, Granny. If ever calling someone a saint was not an overstatement, calling her one would cover that. 

She was the heart and soul of her family. She sacrificed so much to make sure her children had every tool she could find to help them succeed in Life. Yeah, she was awesome. I miss her.

She developed Alzheimer's; irrevocably proving Life is not fair and throwing serious doubts on the existence of a compassionate god, or even the existence of a god at all. 

Granny was a quiet force of nature. She did not talk much. She did not boast at all. She specialized in steadying boats, not rocking them. She was Good as anyone could ever be. And yet her light left her long before her life did. In my mind, there is no more insidious and evil malady like Alzheimer's.

Yeah, the above image reminded me of her.

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


I had in mind a song by Pink Floyd and then I found "Blank Stares", by Jay Allen. Not sure what to say about it other than I shed tears.

Friday, October 06, 2023

Hanging Coffees

I ran across a do gooder thing that was started in Naples, Italy. It is called "Hanging Coffees", better known maybe as "Suspended Coffees". It is a simple twist on the idea of "Pay it Forward", where those of us who can, help in some small way others less able to help themselves. A small gesture that ensures someone in need the smallest luxury of a warm drink at a diner, restaurant, food truck, etc.

The way it works is someone will order a coffee or tea, or really any drink or food item and then add to their order a specific number of Hanging Coffees which can later be redeemed by folks who cannot afford the pleasure of a cup of Hot Joe themselves.

So simple, so small a gesture. Yet it speaks volumes about how we feel regarding the folks who are struggling because of economic hard times, mental hard times, etc. We may never walk in their shoes, but we can at least do something to make their walk less of a struggle.

One small token kindness in a world that appears to not care what happens to any of us. If the World doesn't care, maybe we should take over and do some of the caring ourselves.

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


The only song I could think of was Phil Collins' tune, "Another Day in Paradise". Another song that has a great video that comes along for the ride. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 05, 2023

The Select Board Meeting - Some Flash Fiction

Ezra Roberts stood up and ambled toward the short line of local citizens waiting to speak. Heads turned and tongues wagged in low murmurs. No one in attendance that evening had ever seen Ezra Roberts near the town hall, let alone standing in line so he could file a grievance of some kind at that evening's Board of Selectmen meeting. Shoot, the only time he ever came to the Town Hall was to register another motorized public nuisance or pay his taxes.

Now Ezra was a big man. .........  No, big does not come close to describing the chiseled immensity that was six foot, eight inch Ezra Roberts. Depending on who was talking, Ez was either around 340 pounds or over 400 as many people in town insisted. He was huge and intimidating. 

The murmurs stopped when Ezra sidled up to the podium to speak. Every eye in the room focused on him. He bent over the mic and stuttered,

"Uh, uh, ...... I have a com, com, complaint." 

Ezra shifted from one foot to the other and leaned on the lectern so hard, select board chairwoman, Mahthah Dillard became concerned for its structural integrity.  

Ezra was nervous.  He always stuttered when he was nervous. He never outgrew it. He never had to. Once he hit six foot at age twelve, no one ever mentioned it to his face again. 

Mahthah spoke into her mic. 

"Ez, you have to state your full name before you can speak."

Ezra looked startled. His mouth opened and closed a couple of times, and then,

"Shoot, Mahthah, you know who I am. You babysat for me and my brothers back in the day."

Mahthah looked at Ezra over her glasses.

"Don't matter a bit Ez. Those the rules. We have to have rules or these meetings might get uglier than they sometimes already do. .......... Now please, your name for the record and then speak your piece. You got two minutes."

Mahthah was having none of it. This was her select board and even a giant such as Ezra had to play by the rules.

Ezra glared at the podium and then looked up to face the select board sitting at the front of the room. These were sober good citizens watching and waiting for him to make a fool of himself. These people were not the good ole boys he yucked it up with down to the VFW in Sanford every Friday night. No sir. Not by a long shot. He knew he had to keep his temper in check.

"I have a complaint dammit, uh, oh yeah. ...... Uh, I am Ezra Roberts from over near Jackson Pond and I have had it with the county cops here 'bouts."

Alfred Bibber, the newest member of the select board, moved the shared mic on the table closer and in a snarky voice spoke up:

" Well Now Ezra, just what's your complaint? You been arrested for drunk and disorderly again?

Ezra looked down at the podium again and set his jaw. The look he shot Alfred Bibber made Alfred wilt like three day old cut flowers left in the Sun. Alfred swallowed hard. 

" Uh, no Bibber, I haven't been arrested in years. But I seem to remember the Sheriff was up to your place a few weeks ago." Ezra continued to glare at Selectman Bibber; then he continued:

"While I would just love to continue this conversation with you Al, I'll wait until we are both outside later,..... Ok Al?"

Al Bibber's face went pale. He gently slid the shared mic back to the center of the table, sat back in his seat and did not open his mouth the rest of the evening except when his vote was needed.

Ezra continued:

"The sheriffs are damn quick to pull me over and shove their decibel meter up my ..... , uh, yeah, they are quick to come after me, but when I have a second motorcycle torched in my dooryard in as many months, the useless pricks take an hour to get to my place to write up a report."

Ezra stopped and looked around the room.

"You folks know what I mean. ...... What are we paying the county for? The county sheriffs are useless........... "

Angus Wender, the selectman who never spoke, interrupted Ezra's tirade. He was not intimidated by Ezra. They grew up together and Angus knew Ezra was all mouth and no trousers. He piped up:

"Jeezum Ezra, You had another one of your motorcycles burn up? Damn, that's some hard luck, son......... I wonder if torching your bikes has anything to do with the god awful racket you spread around town as you roll hither and yon on those damn motorcycles you own. ..... You think that might be the cause Ez? .... Seems I remember you waking me and Mother up the other day at dark thirty in the morning when you drove by coming from wherever it was you were coming from. There weren't no need of it, but that did not matter to you, did it?"

Angus paused to let Ezra take in what he had said, then continued:

"Maybe you should put real mufflers on the next bike, whatta ya think? That seem like it makes sense? Well, does it Ezra?"

Ezra Roberts could feel himself losing it. He dropped his huge hands to his side and straightened up to his full height of six foot, eight inches. He stood silent for a time looking at his childhood friend who had just dressed him down in public. Clinching his fists several times, Ezra finally relaxed some. The tension drained and he once again bent over the podium mic to speak.

"I can see that no one here is the least bit interested in the thousands of dollars in damage to my property."

A voice from the audience behind him chirped:

"Yeah well, no one likes your damn motorcycle but you. Put a muffler on the next one."

Ezra and everyone turned around. Unbeknownst to him, his brother and next door neighbor, Jacob Roberts, had popped into the meeting while Ezra was whining at the podium. 

His brother Jacob continued:

"It was me Ez, I torched your bikes. I told you years ago I couldn't stand the noise. Jenny and I had finally had enough, so I torched em, both of them. Figured you might take the hint when the first one went up in flames. But no, you go ahead and build up a second bike that was even louder than the first one."

Jacob hesitated and then opened his mouth as if to speak again. He thought better of it and stopped there. Without another word, he turned on his heel and left the building. Inside the meeting room, silence; not a sound from anyone. Ezra stood with his mouth open, yet no words came. Somebody coughed nervously. 

Mahthah Dillard adjusted her glasses and said:

"So Ezra, are we done here? I think you and your brother have some things to work out. ...... Now please, if you are finished, leave or sit down. There's a couple of folks waiting to speak.


This story came to me in the wee hours yesterday as I sipped on my first cup coffee of the day. I was outside sitting on my two bucket bench and watching Maggie go through her morning routine. Off in the distance on the H Road over a mile away, I heard the outrageous sound of an un-muffled motorcycle heading towards 109. I looked at the time. It was 5:20 AM. My first thought was:

"I sure am glad I don't live on the H Road."

The above tale is the result of that one thought.

This is a total fabricated made up story. No one locally or abroad were used as characters. So please, don't let any panties get twisted.


Music........ Hmm.... 

I guess the first song I ever heard that made me want a motorcycle back in the day was "Ballad of Easy Rider", by Roger McQuinn of the band The Byrds. He wrote it for the movie "Easy Rider". Combine that with a Teen Club standard, "Born to be Wild", by Steppenwolf and Hell, what pubescent boy wouldn't want a two wheeled motor between his legs.

I would eventually own that motorcycle. I drove it all over the Northeast and camped on the sides of roads and behind feed stores. Then, my driving over the road career started and I turned the motorcycle in for a big rig. 

While I was looking for inspiration for a song to go with this post, I ran across a song Merle Haggard released back in 2000. It is called "Motorcycle Cowboy". That may have been his last album. It's a dynamite tune.

So today, it's a "Three Fer". 

Please enjoy "Ballad of Easy Rider", "Born to Be Wild", and Merle's, "Motorcycle Cowboy"

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

The Rich's Bitches

Facebook meme's come and they go. Most of them I forget as soon as I have taken in their point and responded in an appropriate way; laugh, like, care, cry, or be angry. I punch one icon up and move on. But sometimes a meme will pass by that pops up later in discussions me, myself and I have on a regular basis. 

The meme to the right fits that scenario. It makes or is it, repeats a truth that has been part of Human interactions and societies ever since the notion of "ownership" was embraced back in the "Pre-days"by barefoot, stinking skin wearing cave dwellers somewhere, most likely Africa.

This basic flaw in the human character is so ingrained, it is an accepted fact of life. Alarms only go off when the greed of the Rich blatantly outstrips the needs of the Not Rich. 

Sadly, the bar at which alarm bells go off is obscenely high. The 90% of us who live under the thumb of the richest 10% have grown accustomed and comfortable with our paltry share. At no time has this been more obvious than over the last two decades. 

We of the 90% have financially bailed the Rich out more than a few times in recent years. We have paid for tax breaks for the 10%-ers that have not only made them even more disgustingly richer, but has saddled us with astronomical future debt we will paying for into the 2030's, maybe beyond. 

When will the chumps who comprise the 90% wake up and make moves to bring more equity between those who have and those who don't?

The answer looks like "It will never happen". We would rather allow them to feed at a trough we pay for, yet have no access to. Slavery and indentured servitude may be off the books, but they are still here and have never been more in our face. We just do not want to admit it to ourselves.

We are nothing but the Rich's Bitches.

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


I knew going in what song I wanted to use today. The song "Money", written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford back in 1959, has always been the perfect anthem for the self-possessed Rich. My problem was, seems everyone and their brother has done a cover of this tune. I picked the Supreme's version because I remembered it from Teen Club in the mid 1960's.

Monday, October 02, 2023

October is National Bat Month

I hear Ozzy Osbourne celebrates National Bat Month with a cake in the shape of a bat. Can't say for sure if that's true, but hey, I wouldn't doubt it.

I looked for a nickname for sad sacks such as myself who spend too much time scrolling and whining here on Facebook. There is no nickname I could find. Damn, that's odd. I would think someone had come up with a derogatory name to use long ago.

Anyway, when I hauled Rock n Roll shows back in the mid 1970's, I drove for Black Sabbath on 2 tours. More than a few of the other bands I hauled hailed from across the Atlantic Ocean in England. They brought their own slang and idioms with them. Three of my favorites were:

  • Wanker - Some one who jacks off, masturbates, fiddles with their pud, or spanks their monkey. To be called a wanker though, can sometimes be a term of endearment.
  • Ligger - A Ligger is a person who is always ready to go to a free party. Generally when backstage, one does not want to be called a Ligger. Groupies and over dressed star struck relatives of the promoter are Liggers. 
  • Yank - The Brits called all Americans "Yank" which often pissed off  SHOWCO employees(the company I drove for). Many , if not most of the SHOWCO roadies, truck drivers and engineers were Texans. Calling someone from Texas a Yank can be taken as a serious, "them's fightin words" in the mind of an inebriated truck driver on the tour. I found it hilarious, but then I grew up being from nowhere in particular.
Because there is a lack of a decent nickname for Facebook time wasters, I will call them FLiggers since Facebook is a free party and so many of us just hang around on it, or wait for any notification with anxious enthusiasm.

Back to Bats and National Bat Month, which was my original reason for this post.

Like too many plants and animals out there, Bats are among the most endangered species on the planet. And like so many plants and animals on the rock here, they play an integral role in keeping our ecological machines functioning somewhat smoothly at least for the time being. 

There are over 1400 or 500  different kinds of bats. ( Take your pick. I saw both numbers as being fact ) Most bats are smaller than an orange and no bat is a real threat to humans. Yes, some have been known to carry rabies. But if you were bit by a rabid bat, you probably did something it decided was a threat. Bats, as a rule, do their best to avoid us. We're the assholes, not them.

It's too bad bats get lumped in with all the creatures that too many of us falsely consider nasty, evil, disease ridden vermin we would be better off without. In reality, Bats are better for the planet than humans are. Humans are the nasty, evil, disease ridden vermin, not the bats. 

Bats deserve the planet more than we do.

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

BTW - For some interesting facts (and cool pictures) about Bats, check out this site.


The topic of bats made me think of Ozzy Osbourne. Thinking of Ozzy made me think of Black Sabbath. Thinking of Black Sabbath made me think of two things. 

First, I remembered buying their album, "Paranoid", my freshman year in college. I smoked a lot of pot and ate a lot of Acid listening to that album. 

But most of all, the song "Iron Man" from that album was their opening tune both tours I drove for them. I became so sick of "Iron Man", I am only including it in this post as a reminder that some songs do wear out their welcome. 

Anyway, please at least endure or even like "Iron Man" from Sabbath's 1970 album, "Paranoid". Playing this song at less than WOW would be sacrilegious.