Friday, November 29, 2013


Daydreams.  That quick little escape from the daily grind, that boring lecture, that job you have to complete or simply the way to spend some time on/for yourself. Ponder the great coulda/woulda/shoulda. You know - that damn - I shoulda remembered this is Friday and an LBC post is due so you scramble to look up the topic. OK - so that's not something you daydream about but - um - well - er - sorry I'm late.

I confess to spending a lot of time in school daydreaming.  I think it is because I found school quite boring most of the time - not because I am smart - but simply because I was not interested. So I'd drift off in a daydream, knowing full well that in college I'd rarely be called upon to respond to a question in class as I was after all just a dumb jock and I rarely did anything to counter that notion until a prof lighted a passion in me about international relations and I went from being a PE major to a Political Science major.. I can't begin to tell you how many times I won the world series with a walk-off home run or scored a goal in the Stanley Cup finals.  Or just imagined myself in some far-off land having new exciting experiences. I made it to a lot of places - Hawaii, Europe, Australia - I loved Aussie beer - LOL.

I was a daydream believer.  I believed almost anything was possible.  And I had an anthem courtesy of the late and very great John Stewart.

On one occasion my daydream,s had a meeting with reality.  I've mentioned in the past that my only mode of transportation in Hawaii was a Suzuki 550.

Yeah - it looks smaller - LOL  I get that,  But I'd roll up to a stoplight in Honolulu by that statue of Kamehameha you see every week on Hawaii Five O or any movie filmed there   and think back on those daydreams.  Or I'd be sitting on the bike having a shave ice from Matsumotos looking out at the big waves at Waimea Bay  remembering those same daydreams.

These days I don't daydream much - I suspect they'd really be day nightmares of the coulda/woulda/shoulda type. Remembrances of past wrong turns down the road well traveled to get me here at this place in time. I'm happy to have spent that time daydreaming - looking for something to light my passions and point my way.  But the answers in life often are not easy - and can remain elusive.  But what the heck - you need  a reason to keep placing one foot in front of the other and to keep moving forward - as long as you're moving forward there's hope and without hope the future is mighty bleak.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Favorite Book

When I proposed this weeks topic - which as it turns out is something of a finale for the LBC - I specifically excluded the bible so as to take away the easy out for the uber-religious posters.  Understand - I do not begrudge anyone their faith nor their religion but  it has been my experience that it becomes an easy out for the faithful.  I was hoping for a discussion of sorts on wjy folks like the type pf literature they like.

In my case my favorite book is called The Long Lavender Look by John D. MacDonald.  It is the 12th in  a long series that chronicles the American human condition - as seen through the eyes of  self professed "salvage consultant" Travis McGee. 

It's my favorite book because it opened my eyes to the ability of a good mystery fiction writer to effectively offer an uncannily accurate look at American society at the time. Warts and all.  The adventures of McGee and his erstwhile sidekick - a gentleman called Meyr - a world renowned economist with a PHD in international economics.

I've read all 21 of the McGee series books numerous times and they never cease to entertain me.  Some people are not appreciative of McGee's attitudes but remember his age and the times in which his stories were written.  But, the quality of MacDonald's writing led me to authors like Dana Stabebnow  - IMHO one of the two best of the current group of mystery writers, chronicling the human condition through the eyes and actions of people in Alaska and her protagonist Kate Shugak, Les Roberts and his Cleveland PI Milan Jacovich,  Louisiana's Dave Robicheux - written by James Lee Burke, Stabenow's equal as a chronicler and story teller,  and then there are the Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn novels of the late Tony Hillerman and many more,

Mystery fiction - when done right - is as true a look at the society of the time of the characters and stories as the so-called classics.  And for my money few of the classics are anywhere near as much fun to read although Dickens and Twain certainly come very close.

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, sadly the LBC is coming to a defacto end - life has intervened while several of us were making other plans.  I jumped into the LBC pool for one simple reason - I was in the midst of reconnecting with and rekindling a friendship with Conrad - the Old Fossil - started back  in the 80s when we worked together at a RadioShack Computer Center.  We had a lot of fun and met come interesting folks there  - from super peddlers like Mark Stout and our resident jefe Jim Kelso to Michael - oue-resident red-clad follower of the guru bagwan shree rajnesh - who spent most of his time typing and submitting resumes for other work.  Good times.  And as I said - I saw the LBC as a way to stay in touch with and get closer to Conrad.  It was quite successful as we are now good friends - we've made up for lost time.  But, somewhere along that journey something else happened - I became friends with a gentleman in Pune India and a terrific lady in Ireland. As I am half Irish  Marie's perspective has been  a fascinating glimpse into my roots.  Then there's Delores and her strong Mormon faith.  I enjoy our back and forth - she represents all that is right and good with the faith I rejected years ago for a myriad of reasons.  And Paul - our resident author - always fun to read and one I'd seriously enjoy an evening in a pub with.  Now Ramana.  How on earth does a gentleman half way around the world in Pune India strike such a resonant chord with  a guy in Ft Worth Texas? Simple - syncronicity. He knows of what he speaks.

So although there may not be a formal LBC I intend to continue following the members in their blogging endeavors. A need that weekly dose of sunshine and positivity that is Maxi and I enjoy the fish out of water Irish woman married to an Indian and the stories that generates as well. They're all way too much fun to stop reading.

Friday, November 15, 2013

When I was young -- LBC Topic..

This week’s LBC topic – When I was young promises to be a fun one.

Tell me – with a straight face – you didn’t see this one coming

OK – the rooms weren’t colder and my father was a soldier in the Korean war. But many friends were involved in that little excursion to Southeast Asia. I smoked my first cigarette at 10.  It was also my last (well – regular tobacco anyway

And for girls, I had a bad yen
And I had quite a ball
When I was young

Gotta agree with this one, but I was extraordinarily shy so I yenned from afar mostly. I blogged about the change here if you’re interested in revisiting that one -  
The Yen

When I was young, it was more important
Pain more painful
Laughter much louder
Yeah, when I was young
When I was young

Boy that was true. The highs were higher, the lows lower and there was no real long-term vision about life.  Remember the “never trust a person over 30 advice?”  We were so slick.

I met my first love at thirteen
She was brown and I was pretty green
And I learned quite a lot when I was young
When I was young

Well – 15 is more accurate and she had brown hair. Cars back then had roomy back seats.  Yay.  And we had Johnnie Mathis – the mere sound of his voice caused bra straps to come undone seemingly on their own – at least that’s what I was told.

My faith was so much stronger then
I believed in fellow men
And I was so much older then
When I was young
When I was young
When I was young

I definitely had more faith when I was young -  I had high hopes for the world – I suppose that’s part of being a child of the sixties. Now?  Not so much – In the words of U2 - I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. But it’s been an interesting ride and I have no idea how many more stops I have left on this bus ride.  What do the other LBC members have to say? Check them out.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Road rage.  That uncontrollable feeling that comes over someone when another driver creates a seemingly egregious affront to our sensibilities – flipping us off, cutting us off or somehow otherwise impeding our progress - and we are consumed with rage. Woe be to the offender – we’ll show him/her we are not to be trifled with. The one-finger salute at minimum is ready and more than willing. How rational is that?

There’s just something about sitting in traffic that galls us.  We shouldn’t be wasting time like this.  We have more important things to do. Never mind the time we wasted during the day that put is in this position. 

Regardless of our normal daily demeanor I suspect most of us have felt road rage.  Or been the recipient of the rage of another driver.   Is it logical? Nope.  But I suspect it isn’t going away any time soon.  Life has become a hurry-up affair.  There’s always too much to accomplish and too little time in which to accomplish it.

Consequences? Texas proudly executed (they do that a lot here) a man convicted of a pair of road rage killings.  Accidents occur daily.  People are hurt/jkilled .

Avaidable? That’s a tough one we each have to answer.

I’m curious to know if roaf rage is as prevalent in other parts of the world – we here in the U.S.A. are very car centric – I mean many a man equates his coolness and manhood by the vehicle he drives.  Ladies too like a cool ride and become the Queen of the Realm when that car door shuts here. Time to check out the other members of the LBC – maybe I’ll find the answer.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Into the night - LBC Topic

Into the night – brought to us by Will. This ought’a be interesting.

I love the night. Always have. It’s a different world than the one offered during daylight. Things that inhabit the night seem more alive than their daytime counterparts. At least to me they do. Drive around any moderately sized or bigger city – check it out. Now granted – there are places you should not stop and smell the roses – or whatever that funky smell is – but still – try it. Look at the business being transacted after normal hours - Bars, restaurants, clubs and offices. And of course the business that is intended to be under the radar - Sure many are open during the day but they’re just not the same. Looking for quiet? What beats the still of the night?

Don’t get me wrong – I love to sleep. I love to dream. Nightmares have never been present too much to intrude upon my sleep. But – and maybe it’s just that I’m older – but I find myself awake at night much more often these days. I love night sounds – cars racing, sirens blaring, trains – a big favorite – the occasional sound of the local (TCU) college kids partying. I enjoy just sitting on the porch listening. I spend several hours a week doing just that. I’ve done that wherever I have lived. And yes – I’ve heard a lot of interesting stuff over the years.

Gunshots? Sure. And some seriously wild (or so it seemed ) lovemaking – LOL. Guess that is to be expected –

It must be genetic – my daughter is a classic night owl. Until she stopped working she was a restaurant manager and yep – she worked nights. She still maintains those hours.

Interestingly enough I’ve only had one night job. When we returned from a stint in Connecticut in 1976 I had to find work. I worked 11-7 at the 7-11 in El Segundo. Other than the armed robbery attempt I foiled – I was twice the size and thrice as charming as my severely inebriated would be robber and got him laughing so hard his revolver slipped down his pants leg and rolled over his foot onto the floor). That spooked him sufficiently to convince him to beat feet and run. But my regulars included night shift airport workers, members of the local amateur hockey league who came by 3 nights a week – half in uniform – around 2:00AM – that was when they could get ice time – and an absolutely DDG horse exerciser at Santa Anita race track – who hit me up for coffee every morning. She wanted to be a jockey. I wonder if she succeeded. Oh – and of course several local law enforcement officers. And generally, most transactions include several minutes of conversation. The darkness and early hours seemed to encourage conversation. I wonder if in the age of texting that is still the same.
So what did Will have in mind when he suggested this topic? I haven’t a clue. Maybe one of the other LBC writers do. Check them out.