Monday, November 30, 2009

Is It Lost, or just Misplaced?

For awhile, at least the seventh grade, science was my favorite subject. Well, at least the gadgets were my favorite. Our school district was right in the middle of the oil field and property taxes on all the equipment and oil holdings gave our schools a good budget without everyone’s property taxes being through the roof. We didn’t have gold toilet fixtures or anything like that but we had “gadgets” for seventh grade science.

The steam engine was pretty close to the top of the list. It was kind of a rip off because you plugged it in like a clothes iron. It needed water in its boiler but “Ready Kilowatt”, the little cartoon man that advertised for the electrical co-op, churned up the heat to make the boiler steam. From here on out, the contraption worked like an old fashion steam engine. You could hook up a series of belts and pulley to run other do-dads for experiments.

The skeleton was a close runner up. It wasn’t read bone and it was only about quarter size, but we had to wire all the pieces together in their proper places. It wasn’t spooky or anything like that, but once it was together, that was that. You couldn’t dance with it or anything, although it was attempted once or twice.

I could go on down the list of all the science toys we had but you would get bored. I am about to see it in your faces now. The thing ,that as a whole, which caught the attention of everyone in the class was a box of short triangular pieces of crystal or Plexiglas or some substance. They didn’t do anything. There were lectures about light refraction, light bending, wave distortion. I am making most of this up as I go. What we did was look through them. Everyone would laugh and make fun while looking at each other and stumble around trying to walk while holding one across your eyes.

I particularly thought that I could see brighter while holding it just right. The light was more crisp. Colors were bright and vivid. Everything was in sharp focus. The most amazing thing was that even on a cloudy day you could make it project a rainbow. It was just refreshing.

I mentioned there was a box of them. There were enough that each student could take one home and keep it. This was to promote interest in doing experiments on our own. I kept mine on my dresser right beside my combination coin bank that I got when I was too young to remember. Any time I wanted, I could just snatch that thing up and see more brightly and make rainbows.

Pretty soon the experiment worked. I didn’t even have to have the magic piece of glass to see rainbows. They were pretty much everywhere I went. I remembered the teacher explaining that for it to work its best, it needed to be unobstructed so that it had its own clear vision of input so that its output would be crisp. She was right. Good clear input and with adjust and alignment, good clear project was a snap.

Now days I worry about the input the magic glass is having to filter. What I see being projected is not what I have been used to. Someone seems to have borrowed my looking glass and has painted a counterfeit rainbow on it. Trying to mislead. It has only succeeded in obscuring the real rainbow. I think I must have misplace my prism. The elementary laws of science are not in evidence. It is not you. Maybe it is just me. Maybe not.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving To All You Nice Folks

Words can hardly carry the load sometimes, but I want to wish all of you nice folks a Happy Thanksgiving.  Glenn

Monday, November 23, 2009

What did I do this past weekend?

"Big Paw, can I watch Nemo again?" (5342 nd time)
anyone wanna guess what the my answer was?  :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Tomorrow, I am going to take a day of vacation.  Yep, sleep late, kick back,   YANNNNNNZKZZKZKKKKKK,,, Not!!!!!!
I am going to baby-sit my little red headed Grand Daughter and my "Little Sputnic" Grand Son.  Yep, have already made the trip to more than one toy store, grocery store Target and other's, so it is like getting ready for a vacation.  It will be a vacation.  Roller coaster rides, horse rides, magic shows, bath room breaks, fit throwing, ( Little Red Head is MAJOR Drama Queen). On her last visit, I open the refrigerator to get her milk for her and she stepped in front of me and was looking around.  I finally said,

 " XXXXXXX, step back, Big Paw needs to shut the door."  You would have thought that I shut the door on her HEAD.  She threw her head back, opened her mouth until she could have swallowed a grapefruit and commenced to yell loud enough to set off the smoke alarms.  Big old crockadile tears streaming.  Her momma, my middle Baby, came running.

"What's the matter, Daddy?"

"I told XXXXXXXX that I needed to shut the fridge door." With a quirky smile.

"You should of heard her in Target the other day when I said that it was time to leave."  She just shook her head and left the kitchen.

Any "pointers"?  I would be glad to hear you comments..

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Thanks Coach, I needed that."

Yes, I am still up and around, for the one or two people that still check this site. It seems something is in the air. No really. Dust everywhere I just finished with the vacuum cleaner, trying to straighten this nasty office a little, and it (the vacuum cleaner) spits more dust in the air than it traps. I know, I know, who cares? Ok, me neither. Just trying to explain why I am not working and taking a short break.

What I really am getting at is,, it seems that more and more people are getting tired and discouraged. Maybe it is just me, but it seems that I am reading that the people that I “follow” are putting up the “I am going to stop and take a break” sign”. I did this a short while back. My posted reason may have been a little vague and that is just the way I am, but, I recharge my energy from reading all ya’ll’s posts.

I wonder, if it is not something else. I wonder if, we as a whole, are losing our optimism. Not within ourselves but as a team.( ie, nation) There is a lot of disagreement out in the world. It seems that more effort is being put into the DIS than the AGREE. I have played on a vast number of sport teams and other team organizations. When the “glue” starts to turn loose, optimism goes with it. I somehow have that “feeling”. This morning, I was thinking about one of my favorite teachers and coaches.

Without giving you the long version, we were struggling with team performance. I was in the tenth grade and was on the varsity football team. After one of our many pep talks, he took a piece of poster board and a magic maker and made a sign. He taped it to the wall in the locker room. As far as I know, it may still be there. It was simple. It was to the point. It was true. It was not “deeply mental”. It simply said….

                 “A vicious block on the wrong man is better than a timid block on the right man.”

Translated, to me at least,-- it does not have to be perfect, just do it full steam ahead.--regardless of what it is. I must pay better attention.. Thanks coach.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Blue Crystal"

I love garage sales, yard sales estate sales, rummage sales, resale sales. I probably don’t need to go on and on. Sometimes I do that by accident or on purposed depending on my mood. I found this little jewel in one of those places. Why this particular item, reckon? I couldn’t tell what it was when I first saw it.. You see? Well, you can’t see now. It is broken - kind of. I noticed the base first. It was just sitting there. I thought it was a glass snow flake. But I could not figure out what the blue cone shape next to the snow flake was. Things aren’t always recognizable unless all their parts are stuck in the right places. The two parts should actually be one. The snow flake was a base for the cone when put together made an inch and a half tall, crystal sculpture.

The lady said, “It’s broken so I will cut you a deal on it.”

“Ok, I think a little glue or epoxy will fix it.” I had another use in mind even if I didn’t fix it. “What kind of a deal?”

“I don’t know. Three dollars too much?”

I just kept looking at other things scattered about.

“Ok, I will take two dollars if you are going to buy that book too. I would get lots more for it, if it weren’t busted.” Her eyes peering over her glasses daring me to respond.

“Ok, I’ll take boofum, the book and the do-dad”

She straighten her shoulder, pushed her glasses back upon the bridge of her nose and beamed. “You owe me three dollars.” (with a stern look)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mix the two parts of epoxy together and stir completely and wait a couple of minutes and you will be ready to apply the mend. BUT..

I first had to find  the exact position that would latch the two pieces together for the tightest bond. It took very little effort and I could “feel” where the original bond was set. The blue cone stood erect and in place without me holding it. I then noticed that the blue cone had a face on it. I think it was smiling. It was really a cone, I think. A glass crystal Ice Cream Cone character.

It turns out that it is like most of us. A little help to get our balance, and we can stand on our own. The glue is in our determination and sparkle is in the accomplishment.

THE MORAL of this story,, nothing,, I was going to, and still am’a gonna , put this item in Billy Ray’s Gris Gris bag, ‘cause he is might gonna need it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Conservative "Gripe" Post

I apologize for my mental outburst today but I have reopened my "No Hope Without TRUTH in Government" blog.  This is not a pitch to trick anyone into visiting my rant over there, but if you are interested, CLICK on the title and you will get a belly full of my aggravation.  Fair warning. lol You don't have to agree with me and I am not looking to convert anyone but if we don't wake up and come to our senses.... well, see there?  I 'bout got started...glenn

Monday, November 9, 2009

"Is That Your Husband?"

“Get the hell out of here!”. The barkeep was already closing the front door to keep anyone from coming into the bar. “Hazel, get them the hell out of here. I will get someone to clean this mess up. Raoul is going to be pissed.” He grabbed up the receiver on the black cradle type telephone that was resting on the back bar. His stubby fingers slipping out of the dial holes in his haste. Hazel grabbed Hank by the sleeve and yanked it with a motion toward the frosted glass door at the back of the bar, marked Out House.

“Come on, Billy Ray. This can’t be good on any level.”

What the hell was this all about?”

“Later. Now we have to run. I got a place you can go, but we need to go now!” Hazel gave Hank’s sleeve another tug.

Hank followed Hazel through the back door into a tight hall. A single light bulb hanging from an extension cord barely lit the area. Billy Ray was right against Hank, wanting out of there now. An unmarked door with several types of locks and latches slowed Hazel’s progress but it was obvious that she was familiar with the back exit. Sliding and turning the various knobs and levers, she cracked the door slightly and looked outside.

“Do you have a car?” Hazel was peeking around the corner of the building looking first one way and then the other. “Either one of you?”

“My truck is parked a couple of streets over.” Hank was trying to run through his memory to visualize exactly where he had left his pick up. He cautiously step out onto the sidewalk and started a brisk pace north where he could go right at the next street and get his truck. Hazel and Billy Ray followed on his heels. Hazel kept looking over her shoulder while Hank and Billy Ray were looking directly toward where they were going.


“Get in. Those were empty words Billy Ray had already opened the passenger door and shoved Hazel into the middle of the one seated pickup. Hank dropped the key ring two times before grabbing the right one. The old blue truck had a history of starting on the first round with the starter. No disappointment this time. Hank had already driven two blocks when he realized that he didn’t have a clue where he was going. Hazel read his mind.

“Turn right”. The one way sign could have told him that if he had not been in such a frenzy. Another right on Canal Street and they were heading on the way out from downtown and the French Quarter. Hank had the sense to drive in a normal manner. He definitely did not want to attract any additional attention.

“Who was that guy? Was that your husband or boyfriend?” There was still a slight nervous quiver in his voice.

“Hell no.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Interruption Of Hank and Billy Ray for Entry in Tales of Extraordinary Ordinariness Contest

Click on Title for Jump to Contest Entry.

Uncle Georges Rides Again,,,

Uncle George was crazy as a shit house rat. He had been most all his life, at least in a fun sort of way. He had accelerated once Aunt Flo had died some twenty or so years ago. Daddy hated the day that we took Uncle George to the “Sy-lum”, but Uncle George needed a lot more full time attention than we could give him. I knew that my visiting time with Uncle George was becoming short. I had some important things on my list to complete with him. Today was a good day. Sunny skies and the temperature was just right.

“Uncle George, hey there , I am Jim Bob. How are you doing?” Knowing he couldn’t hear a cannon go off if his butt was leaning against it, I was darn near yelling at the top of my lungs. I never could tell if he actually heard anything I was telling him. He leaned forward, each time, hunching his shoulder and squinting his sky blue eyes as if that would make him hear better.

“Huh? Whad ya say Glen Roy? I caunt hear ya, I ain’t got my teef in” He always laughed out in a series of outbursts with a wispy windy laugh. It always made me think he sounded like a blacksmith’s bellows blowing air onto the hot coals. His mouth, open in a big circle grin, as if to reinforce his claim of not having his “teef” in. His blue eyes still twinkling. “Shussssh, we gotta be quiet. They listening in on us all the time. These people that run this joint are nuts. Crazier than betsy bugs,, all ‘uv ‘em. You can’t trust none of ‘em. They even give you them there little pills that make ya,, ya know? Not chase women. I fool ‘em though. I drink a Mountain Dew right behind ‘em. Knocks ‘em in the head, right off. Just ‘cause they think they gonna hide my shells, it’s gonna keep me from going hunting’” Blacksmith bellows.

As a little boy I loved going over to Uncle George’s place. He enjoyed playing as much as us kids did. He had a nineteen forty nice GMC pickup that was in good mechanical order but had not been registered for many years. There was a dirt road that traveled the back side of his farm. He would take us on a whirlwind ride up and down the curvy hills at breakneck speeds. When we got into our early teens he let us sneak off by ourselves, but he enjoyed the rides as much as we did. I took the old truck to my place when Daddy took Uncle George to the sanitarium. I didn’t want vandals and the elements to just wipe it away.

“Uncle George, I think we should go on an adventure.”

His eyes fixed on my face. He was not smiling. He waited for a good long spell.

“They ain’t gonna let me just walk out of here‘ Are we gonna have to carry on here in this hell hole?” One eye, the left one, squinted closer to shut than the other one. He studied me right close.

“When was the last time you went for a ride? I mean a reaa-ull ride? The left eye almost shut now while the other one danced back and forth. Tongue licking recessed lips, darting from side to side like a grass snake stalking a bug. “I am fixing to break your ass outta here!” Big blacksmith bellows.

“I ain’t goin’ without Mona” Shut eye, no smile, tongue darting. “Me and her been a courting, when I can get my hands on a Mountain Dew.” Darting, waiting.

What the hell. Jail is jail. “Ok. Where is she?”

“Right down the hall. Two doors.” Shut eye. Darting.

“When I say so, go tell her to get ready and ya‘ll come back down here.. Don’t get into any long discussions. Now I was darting. Now what? “Have you got any matches?”

“Nope but I keep a Bic lighter, hidden for my pipe. Why?”

“Just give it here!”

“ Dang boy, you going to burn this sumbich down?” Big bellows.

“Not quite, but you just hang close when the commotion starts. Are you ready?” It took about sixty seconds for the Bic lighter on its highest setting to melt through the heat activator that kept the valve closed on the sprinkle system. Sirens and flashing strobe lights filled the corridors with voluminous alarm. White suits filled the halls and people where hollering from all directions.

“Get Mona.” Uncle George must have had a Mountain Dew with his lunch. He hit the floor in full stride, or more distinctively full shuffle. He was swinging his arms back and forth to give extra balance and speed. I grabbed his suitcase that he always kept packed. He expected every visitor to take him back home. As soon as I reached the hall they appeared. Mona kept looking at Uncle George then back at me as if to wonder what was going on. Uncle George must have noticed that too.

“We’re outta here Mona. Do you have what you need? Uncle George was in a heighten state of excitement to say the least.

“Old man, don’t wait on me. Let’s hook ‘em.” she had what looked like a pillow slip full of various belongings. She chewed ninety to nothing on a wad of Beechnut chewing tobacco. Her excitement was also apparent.

Nobody was paying attention to anyone that was walking on their own power. People who were being helped to walk and wheel chair patients had overloaded the staff. Hardly anyone noticed the three of us casually walking down the hall toward the door. Just before the main lobby Uncle George reached over to the red switch on the wall and pulled the lever, breaking the small glass seal. The alarm was already ringing. “That is for good measure.” He never even smiled. The exit doors unlocked when the fire alarm goes off so I pushed and the door opened. Mona stopped just before walking onto the porch. Uncle George and I both stopped to see what she was up to. The registrar was sitting in her office behind a plate glass shield. Mona turned her back to the frowning lady and gave her a big ‘ole moon.

“Dang Mona, you beat all I ever seen.” Uncle George slapped both knees. Big blacksmith bellows.

Stopping beside the restored nineteen forty nine GMC pickup truck, all three of us turned and looked at the old red brick “Sy-lum”. Time was precious, we had to get out of there.

We packed up and went to Far Rockaway beach for one last ride on the coaster

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The original plan had been for Hank to come alone. He was picking up seeds for James Winters’ farm. Soy beans had never been grown in the county back home, and Hank was carrying back forty pound sacks of seeds for James to experiment with growing. Both boys worked, off and on, for James Winters. Off and on, was about all any of the young folks worked after they had just graduated from high school. Billy Ray went directly to work for James and Hank had enrolled in a Junior College in the adjoining country. Junior college is the same thing as a community college in some other states. It was one of his “off” weeks so Billy Ray wrangled an invitation from Hank to make the trip. It didn’t take too much talking, Hank knew he would enjoy his company along the way.

“If this isn’t enough, just let me know. I will be right back with ya’ll’s beer”

She gently placed the two oval platters, piled high with whole fried catfish, on the table and turned to walk away. The mood had soften dramatically. The JAX longnecks were sweating ice cold condensation. droplets. They dripped tiny rain drops landing on the hem of her knee length outfit.

“Can I get you anything else right now?”

“I think we are OK, We’ll shout if we need something.” Hank noticed that suddenly she seemed tired. “My name is Hank. This here is Billy Ray. We are just visiting.”

With a shrug and a hint of a smile she actually seemed friendly. “Oh,? Well I’m Hazel” “There is a lot to do in Nuowluns, but only in certain parts. Her southern drawl was interlaced with something of an Italian twange. “I hope ya’ll have a good time.” A curly strand of chestnut hair feel across her eyes with a quick nod as she turned to go back into the restaurant to tend to other duties.

“Hank, when are we heading back? I think I could enjoy a couple of days down here.”

“We told James we would be back Thursday. He is only going to pay us for two days plus gas money, but hell, if we stayed a day or two on our own it shouldn’t matter. He is not going to plant those beans for a while anyway.”

“Get your goddamn hands off me!” The unmistakable sound of glass breaking and chairs falling over.

Instinctively Hank and Billy Ray jumped up and ran inside to see what was going on. Hazel was standing rubbing her fore arm keeping a table between her and a medium sized man who had grabbed a beer bottle and was waving it first at her and then the bar keep. Neither was making a move toward the man.

“Hey man drop it.” The attacker wheeled around to square off at Hank. The man broke the end off the beer bottle on the bar. Hank picked up a wooden ladder back chair and held it out like a lion tamer. He wasn’t sure that was going to be adequate but he had no other ideas at the moment.

“This ain’t your deal, dude.” The man was definitely in a fit of rage. Spit spewed with each word as if they were sentences of their own. “It don’t matter to me, if I have to go through you to get to her.” He took two steps slowly and then lunged toward Hank with the beer bottle pulled back ready to thrust at Hank. The assailant had been too focused to have noticed Billy Ray. Just as he lunged, Billy Ray swung a four legged bar stool, head level, and caught the man square in the face. The barstool collapsed and splintered pieces of wood flew across the bar and shattered liquor bottles in front of a plate glass mirror. As he collapsed to his knees, the force of the barstool sent his upper body falling backward and as he was losing balance he fell toward his left side. His head stuck the two by two square tubing boot rest that ran the length of the bar, and a gash opened up from his left cheek around to the back of his skull. Blood erupted in a fountain and he lay motionless except for a slight twitch in his right hand while releasing the jaggedbeer bottle as it clammered across the wooden floor..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Test One

There should be any number of places that we could stop in and eat supper.”

“Shore, if’n you like weird fish.”

“Weird Fish? I don’t guess I have ever caught any Weird fish” The expression was pronounced with heavy emphasis on the “earrreed” sound.

“If it ain’t fried catfish, it is Weird fish”.

Hank could see that he was not going to be able to talk Billy Ray into feasting on a big bowl of shrimp gumbo or any other kind of weird fish, as he called it. The best place in the world for ethnic seafood and he was going to have to find some peanut chunking dive that sold river cats rolled in cornmeal and black pepper, fried up in lard using a cast iron skillet. Hank kind of had a strut in his walk. He didn’t fool anyone especially Billy Ray. Neither on of them had ever been outside Sattersville for any length of time and this trip was something neither one of them had ever imagined they would take. Apprehension was fairly well rooted in both boys. Billy Ray actually felt the most at ease. There was definitely a higher proportion of coloreds in New Orleans, even walking throughout the French Quarter. He continued to relax more and more as they walked from block to block. The humid night air was beginning to cool things off as the sun settled down and the evening sky took on a deep purple mixed with a pink hue..

They had arrived earlier that day. Leaving Sattersvile that morning, they drove Hank’s fifty nine Chevrolet pickup in one sitting, except for taking a wood’s break. They had spent the bigger part of the afternoon rambling through the junk shops. Several times they teased back and forth that even coming from where they had grown up, they threw away better stuff than what these ya-hoos were trying to put off on the tourists. Neither one had made any major purchases. Hank told Billy Ray that before they loaded up to head home he was coming back to that second shop they had stopped in and buy that little black cast iron horse jockey for Billy Ray to put in his front yard. Billy Ray snorted a big laugh, but Hank kind of wished he had not have said anything.

“I can smell catfish a’ cookin’.” Billy Ray mumbled as he pushed Hank’s shoulder toward a noisy, music blaring, hole in the wall, eatery. Several tables with chairs were sitting out on the sidewalk for the more adventurous patrons to sit and enjoy the night air with there meals. They were the bent wrought iron type, made for withstanding all types of wet weather without damage.

“They must have got these  out of Doc Burtons old drug store, I didn’t know other people had these kind”.

Hank laughed, “ Man, you either got to get out more often or talk less. People are going to think both of us are a couple of hillbillies.”

“You mean bo’us? Sho’nuff?”. Billy Ray cut his eyes from side to side mimicking fear of being found out. Both guffawed. Both felt a little discomfort.

“You guys tourists?” A small framed, dark hair young lady, probably five years their senior was standing there holding a beer tray and wearing a slightly soiled apron. She spoke with more than a sprinkle of sarchasium.

“Are you the waitress?” Hank feeling kind spry, leaning back in his chair, but didn’t want to sound too coy

“Nope, I am the mayor, but I am filling in for that shithook, that didn’t show up for work tonight.” There seemed to be a slight tone of a dare in her response..

“Well, my friend and I would like to order fried catfish, if it is on the menu.” Hank eased his chair back down with all four legs touching the concrete sidewalk. He decided that it was not the time for sparing with this one.

Her dark brown eyes, pupils almost indistinguishable glared without expression. “Cocktails or mixed drink?” she waited expressionless.

Hank and Billy Ray exchanged glances, not really sure they knew how to order either one. “Do you have plain old JAX beer?” Billy Ray felt fairly confident they would have JAX, he had seen a giant sign on the top of one of the building right on the river.

She turned and walked back inside the building without uttering another sound to either on of them.

“Dang, she must be out of sorts, or something.”

“Or sumpin’ for shore”. Billy Ray didn’t want to speak too loud. He had seen women erupt for less that that before. He had a cousin that everyone in the family thought was a little nuts.

Hank was a little more comfortable. “I know what she needs.”

Billy Ray cut his eyes over at Hank but neither one picked up the carry on line. With that, they thought they would better serve the situation to just sit and watch all the Yankee tourists walk by wearing plaid, long legged shorts with sock and sandals.