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Showing posts from July, 2017

My Early Morning Walks

We all carve out our routines throughout the day.  Once I became acquainted with the Waterboard gym, and committed to get more fit, I began to rearrange my day.  With my Papa Daycare client arriving at 7:35 am and wanting to avoid as many people as possible (I'm a people person, ask anyone), I began setting the alarm for first 4:00, then 3:00. 
Walking a treadmill for a couple hours is deathly dull stuff, even when the TV is running Rachel and Chris reruns, each equally apoplectic about the world, and probably rightly so.  Every once in a while I'll take a look at state-run Fox, but that gives me a pain in my duodenum.  CNN puts me to sleep and TCM is usually running Japanese samurai retrospectives.  On those days when I can't take it anymore, I will take a nice walk around the block.  The block here is roughly 4 miles and is fun in that I have things to hear and see that aren't yelling at me.     

My first mile is mostly residential with its dark spots and bucolic quiet…

Flashback Friday

I wasn't always a willing team player.  With regret I must confess that I sometimes balked when heading out to family gatherings.  I should say "her" family gatherings.  Mine were fine.  

As Mackenzie has noted on this Polaroid we have Grandma Grandpa, Dad and Darryl.  Christmas of 1994.  The current Mrs. Blythe's folks, Loren and Doris, or as I called them, Lo and Do.  They were nice people and, once they got over the shock of their daughter marrying me, hid their feelings admirably.  I'd like to think that the more they got to know me the more they liked me, but then we often create fantasies to mask reality.  

These guys were salt-of-the earth type people.  "Salt-of-the-earth" types have gotten a bad rap: it can be kind lingo to describe hard working, no play folks.  These guys worked hard but had fun, too.  Ask Lo about the last Cubs game and he'd say he didn't pay any attention to them, then rattle off all the key plays.  He also had a kind o…

Our Water Nymph

A few months ago I mentioned in this blog that during an early morning walk I found a Nikon camera on the sidewalk.  Strangely enough it worked and after buying a battery charger I have been using it on some outings.  It wasn't till later I also found out it is waterproof and so I took it to the pool to test it out.

I'm somewhat speechless at my good fortune.  I wonder what event landed that camera on that sidewalk and kept it at that spot, a working camera mind you, so that I would come upon it in the early morning hours?  It wasn't far from Wal-Mart so one can surmise that a person left it on top of their car.  A tourist perhaps, although the pictures on the card would not suggest it.  I don't know.  And never will.  I erased the pictures on the card because I felt like a voyeur.  If I could have gotten some indication of eh owner or address I would have liked to have returned it; it was not cheap.  Looking at Amazon it came close to costing $200.  

I do know that it h…

What Is On My Nightstand

I knew why Amor Towles' A Gentleman In Moscow was taking so long to finish.  I didn't want it to end.  Now pay attention to this next sentence.  I may have discovered my all-time favorite novel.  No, I take that back.  I have discovered my all time favorite novel.  

I finished last night and I don't know what I will start next - it cannot measure up.  It is really quite unfair to all the other novelists who have cranked out excellent reads and await my time for I think most others will pale in comparison.

First the set-up.  A young aristocratic Russian is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow for having opposed the new Bolshevik regime in 1922.  The next 32 years of his life as a prisoner of the posh hotel is a man who overcomes, who loves, whose adventures are grand and small but always fascinating.  My description does not do it justice.  Amidst the events are small snippets of how a gentleman acts, behaves and thinks in social situations and with those…

Tuesday Tidbits

Decline In America

Look around and it is easy to see an almost imperceptible decline in America.  Student test scores, governmental leadership and legislating, manufacturing and industry, diminished middle class, and the list goes on.  In other parts of the world mass transit is the future on rails.  We no longer lead.  We now, simply, do nothing at all.
The late Samuel Huntington, Harvard political professor believed:
Huntington, like Trump, wanted America to be great, and came to long for a restoration of values and identity that he believed made the country not just great but a nation apart. However, if that path involves closing ourselves off, demonizing newcomers and demanding cultural fealty, then how different are we, really, from anywhere else? The central agony of the Trump era is that rather than becoming great, America is becoming unexceptional.
Adventures in Babysitting

Here at the Daycare Center we have only 2 rules:  

1.  No Naps, No Snaks 2.  What happens at Papa'…

Scenes From BFE

If you ever glance at the title of this thing you will notice that the location refers to BFE.  BFE is an acronym for, well, you know what.  The "E" used to stand for Egypt but now refers to "e"verywhere you are.  For awhile I was in a small burg North of G-Burg, South of Alpha and west of New York City.  I lived with my dog, Missy Marie, and this place was probably the second    happiest place of my existence.  In my most depressed state I wonder why I left.  But then I remembered that I had a family elsewhere and who are we if don't have that?  But I will always consider myself an honorary resident of BFE and it is one of the reasons why I now have a Cabin not far from there.  If G-Burg was a long passionate night of love, then BFE was an equally satisfying early morning quickie.  Kitschland?  More like ED.  But I digress.
The following pics are from BFE or areas close.  

Outside Emerald City a ways toward BFE in an area of overgrowth next to a fence line lies…

Flashback Friday

I had a house rule in G-Burg that we would not turn the heat on until Thanksgiving.  Prior to that date the screens would come down and the glass windows would go on.  It wasn't always an easy project. 

Step One:  Screened windows unlatched and lifted off sill hardware.  Twisted just so as to allow them to be brought into the room.  Take them all up to the attic.

Step Two:  Bring glass windows down from attic.  They are not light so can be a hassle bringing them down the narrow steep attic steps.  

Step Three:  All the windows must be washed.  

Step Four:  Sit on sill and maneuver the heavy and large glass window through the opening and across your lap.  It is now fully outside so don't lose your grip.  (I actually did once and almost hit Brendan with a an old Victorian window.)

Step Five:  Lift the window from horizontal to vertical and attempt to place window latch's into the outside sill hook.  This often means a person must push down on your legs so you don't fall out …

Single Picture Post #3

Taken on 6-5-2017
4:14 AM
30 sec exposure
ISO 800
South Lagoon looking North East, Emerald City

Emerald City After Dark

One early morning I took my camera downtown in Emerald City and took these black and whites.  Alleys in the dark.  No cars.  No people.  No sounds.  This is why I like the early morning.  Mystery. Shadows.  Hiding places.  

Just another way to look at our world.  Night is much more thrilling than daylight.  The shadows aren't just black, they make our hearts race just a bit.  It's not a horror movie race either.  It's an almost otherworldly excitement.  What lurks in the blackness - is it malevolence?  Is it benign?  Is it something in between or nothing at all?  We never know, until daylight.  But by then our hearts have resumed their unburdened beating - normal, unexciting, lacking the thrill of night.  Until the sun sets again.

Tuesday Tidbits

As I ponder my next stay at the Cabin in the Woods, my thoughts go to all the things that make it rewarding to have it.  Whitey's, Papa's Fish Market,  BFE, my Peeps, roadtrips, Jerry's, dark skies, the bike, Miss Frump and... 

...all the regulars at Beer Bellies.


It isn't always blue skies and sunshine in Central Kitschland.  You never get one of those really neat day-long rains that are so wonderful up North, but when it does rain it does so like an old cow pissing:  fast and hard but short.  This was taken at the Sunset Grill in St. Pete where we went for breakfast.

Did you know you can buy a keyboard that mimics the old fashioned typewriter?  Yup, you sure can.  Even down to the occasional sticky key.  It costs about $140 and for all you old-school reporters or novelists who yearn for the good old days then go ahead and pop for it.

I was lucky enough to have an old electric typewriter the folks got me when I was in college.  It was blue and mostly …