Monday, November 20, 2017

OH NO, NOT AGAIN?






As CEO of EIB I have decided to take Thanksgiving Week off. Actually, CEO doesn't really describe my position.  Perhaps potentate better describes my function.  Combined with armipotent and bellipotent (mighty in war and mighty in battle, respectively), and you have it all in one package.  Ta da! But I digress.  I am giving the entire staff time off to contemplate and give thanks for their jobs.  Without my benevolent tolerance of their continual typos and laziness they would be scrambling about looking for empty bus kiosks to call their homes.  They will bow on bended knee this week, no doubt, to give thanks to ME.  

It's just for a week, so all is not lost.  This beacon of entertainment will return on November 27th ready to tackle things once again as we make a run toward the end of the year.  So, as always, behave yourselves, play nice and, calm yourselves Diago, your mind candy, Existing In BFE, will return soon.    

Friday, November 17, 2017

Flashback Friday


Back in G-Burg I had a bar in my garage.  We celebrated weddings, birthdays, plain old not-for-any-reason neighborhood parties.  On the shelf over the back counter was a tip jar.  These are some of the tips I received.  















Use these as you will.  There is wisdom in them all.  And, in case you are wondering, "... and the bartender asks, 'Hey, why the long face?'"



Thursday, November 16, 2017

My Clients Arrive

My daughter and her family came up to the Cabin for a mini-vacation in September.  Drew decided it was necessary to see his grandmother celebrate her 80th birthday.  Sadly, as the fates would have it, it would be the last time he would see his father.

They stayed at the Cabin while I camped with the Wombie.  I stole some time with them when they arrived to catch up on some cicada shell hunting.   





Norah and I are checking out a group of trees down the street.  I am happy to say we found a few.






In a rare instance of the guy with a camera being the subject, here we are, holding hands as we search for other possibilities.




Back at the Cabin, Alfred enjoying some cider donuts I picked up at the Corn Maze outside Viola.  They were a hit.   




When not fighting, they actually are a pretty loving pair of kids.  Alfred's ever-present blankee and Norah's ever-present smile are a winning combination.  Here big sister holds a sleeping Alfred's hand in what appears to be a posed shot, but wasn't.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Good Morning






On another trip to K-Burg I was lucky enough to time it so a barge was passing bay.  It was a full moon and as usual, quiet with just a hint of sound from a moving body of water.






Winding through the destroyed and dilapidated old bridge span this barge travelling south places both spotlights on either side of the river.  It will move those lights back and forth taking in all the hazards, buoys and shining light on those things that may hinder its progress.  




It gets closer to my position.




And closer...






And then, just as the tow boat was right across from me, it turns on its side light, illuminating me and, in its soundless fashion, says "Good Morning."   I wave back and after it sends its message, it goes off.




And then it goes on its way.




Like a spider feeling its way along a floor, the barge moves its lights in an endless sway as it floats slowly on its mission.  And "Good Morning" to you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesday Tidbits









Here at the Cabin in the Woods, things have been hectic and busy.  I did this week's posts two weeks ago because I knew that the Worldwide Web is a little sparse out here in the forest.  This is a pretty short visit and Farmer Mark is out in the fields so taking care of some projects and doing things that are more drudge than fun.   I will be taking a couple weeks off for Thanksgiving starting next Monday so brace yourselves. 

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Progress is not always better.

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Once I said to my mother: 'You would be happy if I just kept well-dressed and had good manners,' and she said: 'What else is there?'  

Cy Twombly, American Artist


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I uttered a major faux pas a couple weeks ago.  While visiting the nearby bar to get a feel for things, the guy behind the bar, who, by the way, seems to think everyone needs to be as sports nerdy as he is as he is bouncing from patron to patron talking ONLY sports.  Gee.  Anyway, he finally turns to me and says, are you an NFL fan?  I say, yeah, OK.  He wants to know what team.  This is where everything fell apart for me.  Knowing he judges everyone by their sport fanaticism, and when in Rome, and since I don't follow a team, I glanced up at the TV replaying Sunday's games and the Bears are on so I say, "the Bears".

I have to make amends here, folks.  I hate the Bears.  My whole family hates the Bears.  My father's last words to me on his deathbed were, "Don't forget, Son, to hate the Bears."  This is simply a case of a dimwit in public attempting to "fit in".  Dim witted and slow thinking.  Dear Dad in heaven, as Karma is my witness I shall try to regain my honor, and your trust in me.  Needless to say, I'm devastated.

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While walking to the airport I heard this guy taxiing for a take off at St. Pete-Clearwater Airport, which provides space for the local Coast Guard Air Unit.



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Just in case you wondered how they handle all that stuff after flights.

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Something that might be better than ice cream:  being cold and climbing into bed at the Cabin with an electric blanket.

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Back when we had the big old Victorian two-story in G-Burg, one of the more daunting and time consuming maintenance projects was keeping it painted. If memory serves you could get 15 year paint from Sherwin-Williams while other inferior brands might offer 10 years.  I wasn't overly fond of the job as it would take up most of two weeks to accomplish and was hard moving that heavy long ladder around, too.  I was more than happy to buy the quality SW paint, if only because I'd get another year or two more than the others.

Anyway, with some exterior area to paint in Kitschland I stopped by the G-Burg store thinking it may be nice to find that old index card with the formula we used for about three repaints.  Blythe Gray - a custom mix that we came up with along with a dark blue accent strip and muted maroon trim.  But my excitement was dimmed by the knowledge that digital and bytes invade information everyday.  Throw the old out, type the new in.    
A nice kid (at my age most people are kids nowadays) comes out of the office are and I give him my spiel.  He immediately, out of reflex goes to the computer.  Then, after striking out and thinking all the old cards have long been tossed, he walks back and opens a drawer in a 4 drawer case.  He brings it over and grabs the "B"s.  I stand watching for 5 or 6 minutes as he rifles through.  The hand-length of cards keeps getting smaller as he scans each card a millisecond and then moves to the next.

And then the pile is gone.  

I'm heading over to see an old family friend at Rosewood Nursing Center and tell the kid, "It was worth a shot.  Thanks anyway.  Say, if you ever have an extra few minutes sometime you might check again, I'd appreciate it."  I gave him my phone number, resigned that the formula was lost forever.  This was not a sale and there was no big payoff in finding the card.  I figured that was the end of it.

While talking to Dot and Lance at Rosewood I got a phone call but since I had my phone on silent I only noticed the call when I left.  The call was from the kid at Sherwin-Williams.  He found the formula.

The story ends with me expressing my thanks for a job well done to the kid and expressing the same to the kid's boss.   SW not only has the best paint, they have the best people, too.      



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If you could be remembered three hundred years from now would you choose it to be for a painting, music, book or invention? 

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"There is much to be said in favor of modern journalism.  By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community."  

Oscar Wilde


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For those of you who were too young or didn't take the newspaper, The Far Side was the funniest single pane comic ever.  Check out the books on Amazon and buy them for yourself or others for Christmas.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Travel Day




After a whirlwind trip to Northlandia it is time to return to Kitschland for the holidays.  As usual, Tony Bennett's got nothing on me - my heart remains in the land of corn, weather and dark skies.  


But I will return - this time during the fun of deep winter.  I am scheduled to be back for a few weeks in February, and then May and well, I will never not come back.  But until times change I have a job and kin in Kitschland so it will be my leash for a bit.  My job phases out in a year and a half,  which will signal a new "way of things".  One thing remains true, Life is in continual flux.  All we can do is hang on.  For today I will be hanging onto a seat cushion on Allegiant flight 827. 

My thanks to those who bend over backwards to assist me when I am up here.  No real good definition exists for "friends".  Webster never met mine.   I hope I can return your kindnesses at least by half.   



Friday, November 10, 2017

Flashback Friday

Veteran's Day is tomorrow.  In memory of my Dad, I repost this from July29th, 2011.



My Dad, like so many others, was in college at Monmouth when World War II took them away to fight in far off places. Brokaw's
"Greatest Generation" took these guys out of the classroom, tractor seat, factories and construction jobs, gave them a gun and told them to save freedom for future generations. Glenn enlisted in the Navy and they sent him to Columbia University in New York city for a short course in navigation and then aboard a gunboat around the Philippines. He was what was called a '90 Day Wonder'. After instruction you are awarded a rank of lieutenant (J.G.)and off you go.



I have no context for any of these pictures but there are a couple of him aboard his ship.  It was a gunboat which is larger than a PT boat but smaller than a destroyer.  Small, easily maneuverable for island searching and quickness. 



This is Herb (Glenn's nickname) presumably before his leaving for war or shortly afterward. 


I have no idea if this was taken at Monmouth or New York.  My guess, it was Monmouth since he was courting my Mother.



The ship had a number rather than a name which I have forgotten, shame on me.  I think it was the 61.  He did have a couple of stories.  One was the time he was on watch at night, probably right here where he is now, and because it was a full moon he could see quite a bit.  He talked of seeing a torpedo heading for his boat and having it miss.  He was pretty funny in relating the tale, but he always ended by saying how damn scared he was.      



There was a captain aboard when he became part of the officers of the ship, but he left and Herb then became Captain.




He went on shore after a battle once.  Took a sword off a Japanese soldier.  It is still in the family, and will be handed down to each successive generation. 




Their ship was part of a group that was stationed around Mindanao Philippines.   




This is what you wear after Midshipman School.




This is what you wear to Midshipmen School.





One final remark.  Herb also talked of his navigation class at Columbia.  One time his numbers were off and he had his ship,  on paper anyway, sailing through an island.  His professor wrote on the paper "Amazing ship."  

The above document is one of Herb's navigation papers from school.  A side note:  Herb was excellent with numbers.  He could come up off the top of his head with multiplication results of large numbers.  Mathematical skills he did not pass on to his second son.