Posts Tagged ‘story’

Now that I have finished with my Texas political review, I will tread ahead and continue lightening the weight. Remember? I believe in always going forward and leaving the closed minds and ignorant behind. I left the 1950’s years ago. If people in 2021, the 21st century, find comfort in the 1950’s, so be it. Black and white television, called TV at that time, was simple and even capable of being repaired by a local radio and TV shop. And they really needed repaired often. But even freshly repaired, Lucy’s red hair was never seen as red, only imagined. In that time, many things imagined were believed true.

It was imagined, because it was on TV, that ladies fixed dinner in party dresses and high heels (They DIDN’T),  everyone was able to vote (They COULDN’T), the U.S. always won wars(NOT anymore) and the Christmas trees were always filled with electric trains, talking dolls saying only “Mama” and Red Ryder B.B. guns(Only in their IMAGINATION). The 1950’s are when Americans learned to imagine their own false realities.

Wishing for and imagining their own reality continued into the 1960’s. But in about 1963, actual true reality, the way things really were, began to be seen. Most saw and realized that a President could be assasinated, Black civil rights protesters marched and we saw them broken up by fire hoses and billy clubs and the boys that were under that Christmas tree in the 1950’s were now drafted, handed M16s and setting under rain wet jungles, fighting a questioned war. Imagining our make-believe reality in a Leave It To Beaver and Lassy world didn’t seem so real any more. Some of us learned and accepted this TRUE reality that was going on all around us but many, perhaps for a while most, never did. They liked their imagined reality and they were going to keep it. Even if colored TV now showed them a little more truth and actual reality in “living color”. But because so many still thought the life that they enjoyed were in the 1950’s, they wanted that imagined world back. And the way to get the 50’s back was to change true reality by using lies and questionable politics.

Thus began the 80’s. And for the next 40 years the “Imagining our own 1950’s reality”political party hammered their way through their political convention platforms, destroying labor unions, reversing civil rights, reversing free choice, any 1960’s and 70’s legislation, whether it was supported by the majority of their party at the time or not.

Thus, here  we find ourselves. Stuck by an opposing party that now, having practically run out of any more lies trying to recreate their 1950’s world, frozen, unable to legislate  with a more progressive counterpart. Refusing to vote on even the most nonpartisan duty as paying their own fiscal bills. 

Well, the 1950’s aren’t going to happen again.


The world you saw back then may not of even been. It was only being projected by “make believe” people on a very “make believe” and crude electronic screen. My 1950’s was in a sawed board house with no indoor plumbing, small country school and we had no TV screen. I learned at a very young age that things should be better. People need not live like this. We, at a very young age, perhaps learned to recognize life’s true realities sooner and never wanted to return to the 1950’s again. We wanted a better FUTURE not past, we wanted a life that  makes things better for our families and the families of others and we voted and supported the politics that saw true realities. Life is a rock and we don’t need those that make it harder or have no VISION for that less hard rock. We do not need any of those that only see life in a mis-believed fairytale reality while poverty, poor health, poor shelter and lies dominates. Yes realities sometime suck but it is much better than lies and stagnation. 


E. 


 

I would describe it as gnarly. It has been split by ice, dried by drought and trimmed cruelly by storm winds. It sheds not only leaves in the summer and fall but branches and long dry sticks during the winter. Squarely sawed stubs of once strong branches protrude from its trunk. The wounds were undeserved and now are only slightly healed with a green rounded rim. The constant and predominate southern winds have trained our willow’s branches to spread reaching northward, permanently posed in a windswept profile even on the few calm days of summer. But despite its rough life, its trunk grows thicker and it gains a few feet of height each year.

The globe willow, even growing untended in the wild, is a most beautiful tree. As its name implies, its branches will naturally form a very rounded shape as if from a Grant Wood painting. That is what drew my first attention. It has rough thick bark and in its mature form casts a very thick cool shadow. But the species is known for its poor disease and insect resistance, which I found out only after choosing to plant it. My tree chose to ignore the rounded branches shape genetic characteristics, instead grows weak branches and retained its poor health reputation. It has survived many doses of insecticides and antibacterial sprays. Until now, I was unaware that a tree could unwind its own DNA helix.

Today I read of the Oriental bonsai tree. As I write this I realize that I may now better understand my 18 year old globe willow. The bonsai trees are grown in a small pot or tray. Through careful pruning and training, the tree is caused to flourish in a stunted growth state. Wire is used to bind the branches and trunks to force it to grow in whatever way the “gardener” prefers. They are an amazing and beautiful addition to a home. Imagine having a whispering pine tree growing in your home that is smaller than the average table lamp. But there is something more intangible and harder to explain about these miniature trees. Growing a bonsai requires a meditative state and the cutting and pruning should be approached with a Zen-like state of mind. It is all about harmony, peace and balance. Only with harmony between nature, man and soul will the tree flourish.

But I’ve read that most of the bonsai tree inter-meaning and Zen has been lost to the general public in the last few years. Westerners look at this tree as only decoration and added atmosphere to their homes. The trees are losing popularity because the Zen is lost. Maybe this too for my globe willow.

Oh it started off in Zen, I planted my little globe willow exactly on my birthday just 18 years ago. How much closer to harmony between nature, man and soul can you get. With the help of two steel posts, wire and rubber hose to cushion the bark, I braced my new tiny 2 inch in diameter tree so it would remain straight for its first couple of formative years until it was strong enough to stand against the wind on its own. But I didn’t think of meditating about it either before or after. Just a few years later when aphids invaded, as I sprayed the insecticidal soap, gently washing each branch and leaf, no prayers, meditation or aaahummmms were uttered. The tree grew at the mercy of the winds, being pruned violently during each storm. Not the required Zen-like state of mind to promote flourished growth, but admittedly done with a closeness to nature. The wire of the wind has formed it branches to lean and flow northward instead of the familiar globe shape of its brothers. No thought was given this, the gradual change was hardly noticed.

With all of this, the tree lives on, though gnarly, leaning, battle scarred and robbed of its intended form and handsomeness. It is still able to cast a cool shade, protect my home by breaking the wind and ice and growing steadfastly adding character to our yard. Perhaps there has been a speechless connection with man all along. The two share the same traits, the same scars, the same stubbornness for life. Perhaps a cosmic connection was made at the time of the first turn of the spade to prepare for its planting. Much like the man that shares its birthday it grows old. Perhaps there has been a harmony between nature, man and soul and both have flourished from it, although awkwardly, surviving and growing despite the forces. Bonsai, the western world’s largest bonsai may be growing in my front yard.

I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a Zen thing.

DSS

Yesterday I watched a mother robin that was feeding her young offspring that had just taken flight from its nest and fallen near our old pear tree. It made me think of this post that was written a few years ago. Perhaps one of my favorites.

Flight On Top

I am thinking of the bird’s nest built on the spring season wreath that was hanging on my front porch at home this summer. I thought the eggs would surely be hatched by the time I returned. Perhaps then the young birds, mouth wide open, would still be begging a meal from mother robin and stealing a bug or two from their nest mates. Or maybe if I was long coming  home, they would have flown the nest, placing their trust in the thin air as I am today traveling far from my home.

It is always sunny here on top, above the clouds. As the wisps of mist turn to thin clean air, we break into a hidden world above the cloudy day. Towering columns reach high but try as they may they still are beneath us. Our earth thousands of feet below is now only white vapor and rain and clouds covered by sunshine.

One hundred and five minutes, that’s how long it will take to travel what would take my four-wheeled conveyance eleven and a half hours. I’m traveling seven times faster but there is no breeze to my face or rumble at my feet. And as far as I know, no one on my bumper, to the left or right of my lane or rambling too slow ahead of us. How can others sleep while I am wide-eyed. I have traveled 12700 miles by air this year so far. I have never kept track of the miles in earlier years. Tell me, how many miles does it take until a guy is able to read a newspaper, play a computer game or sleep while being 35000 feet in the air and traveling 535 miles an hour? How many miles until you are deadened to the marvel of it all? Keep the orange juice, forget the pretzels or peanuts, don’t bother me, I’m looking out the window and wishing I was up front.

Nothing better than being on the way home. Check your bags, who cares if you’ll never see them again. No reason to drag your dirty laundry with you in the tightly packed, neatly tagged and tiny wheeled canvas Samsonite. Sure, keep the computer and camera but pack the little black bag so you are traveling lightly. You need at least one hand to drink the Tim Hortons or Starbucks. Worry about balancing the coffee and watching the scenery, not balancing two bags and keeping sight of your replaceable possessions. Don’t waste your time and energy protecting your “stuff”. You are miles from home and seeing things that you may never have the chance to see again, even if it is just a pretty girl or a set of 4-year-old twins each carrying a complete boxed set of Matchbox cars that Dad gave them on his way to war.

DSS

( From 4 years ago )

The “thing” going around in the last couple days is that a data collection firm harvested 50 million “Facebook” profiles.

I do not use FaceBook. Never had a profile there. I started one and filled in a few of the initial blanks of the profile and then scrapped it. But my profiles for any internet site are all different. Yes, I lie.

I was in “I.T.” for over 40 years. Yes, before there was a word or name for the technology. I began when information technology was just beginning. When computers became commonly used and memory storage increased, I saw that “information” was going to be key. User / customer data were secure mainly because every Tom, Dick and Harry didn’t have a computer mainframe at their disposal. The “internet” was just beginning, it wasn’t even called that. Only the military, colleges and big businesses had a mainframe computer and phone lines that connected them. Things were primitive.

The most popular computer phrase was “garbage in – garbage out”. Think of that. And that information was on punch cards and later reel to reel magnetic tapes.

Today, as everyone knows, the most powerful “mainframes” fit in the palm of our hand. Access to information is everywhere, whether it is your information or your neighbors, you can get it. How do we combat that? How do we keep our information private? Frankly, we can’t. Eventually your private info will be compromised. You must understand and believe that.

In the words of Mario Savio, “we can only slow the machine, clog the levers and the gears of the machine”. Clog the machine so that the information about you at Yahoo, WordPress, Facebook, Google, Amazon and YouNameIt is unreliable, confusing, conflicted. Confuse it so information gathered, pigeon holed and categorized will be less useful or at least questioned and less valuable.

Most things are self evident and I won’t repeat them here. Other things never to disclose is your real birth date, where you were born, when you were married, where you were married, your middle initial. If it is required, input something different in all of your different accounts. Get it? And if you judge it unnecessary for the account you are signing up for, your real name. It doesn’t matter, because the deep data miners will know that by your internet provider, IP address and probably your MAC address.

On variable information, ie – your life style, fuck’em up. If you are a Dem, input Rep. Next account input Independent. Next time when asked, Dem. Clog the fucking machine. I’ve been married in Las Vegas, Belgium, Washington DC and Fargo. To name a few, I forget the others. I have used 15 different middle initials, so far. For every serious Google search, I make one or two far out ones. My dog’s name has been Old Yeller, Lassie, Ralph, Blu, Skippy and NoneUBiznes. When answering a request for a special password validation question, for gawd’s sake don’t use anything that is the truth. You don’t need to use your mother’s real maiden name in their info profile or your real dogs name or da dit da dit da. You get the picture?

If you are a conservative, visit a few Liberal sites. And visa versa. If you are “religious” check out PornHub (wait, that one may not confuse them). Turn your TV (they are harvesting data on most TVs, too, which I love, every time Trump comes on, I change stations for a few seconds) or computer to Fox News, MSNBC or CNN and leave it on two or three hours while you do yard work or detail your car. If you are checking prices on underwear on Amazon, check out guns for a minute or two also or try to find “Underwater Basket Weaving”. See how far out your random advertisements on Yahoo, Google, FaceBook and WordPress , etc can get.

Remember “garbage in – garbage out”. Definitely keep them confused on location, age, politics, education and income. And most importantly, confuse them on what your fears are.

The point that I’m trying to make here is, we are not the customers of any of the social media companies. We are their product. They sell our data. Not just data that has to do with their platforms, but anything whether public or private that we reveal to them.

The recent news that 50 or 60 million accounts and any of the accounts of friends, associates, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, grandkids and dogs, kittens and personal confession posts and emails were sold to a company that mines, sorts and collates this data to be sold to clients that uses this data for their own cause should not surprise us.

Do you want your private information helping to elect any of your political opponents? Whether republican or democrat it affects you.
Do you want your data used to decide free choice, gun ownership or gender issues? What ever your political hot spot is they can use that to sway votes, no matter which persuasion you have. They don’t care, they are selling it to the highest bidder and turn that data into what ever cause that is willing to pay.

Take Ol’ Great Uncle Nutz advice. If you can’t beat’em then confuse’em. Do what analytical and political strategy companies are doing to us, “If you can’t furnish them with facts, then buffalo them with bull-shit”. If you still want to participate in the social media machine, then clog the levers, clog the gears and stop the machine with so much inaccurate information that their collating will be of no use.

OC

 

 

So, you want a few thoughts from me, OC ?  I really am the most colorful, I think, of this bunch that John allows to occupy his otherwise very empty mind, body and soul.

I’ve been having a lot of fun this year. As some of you know , I am more or less apolitical (E says that means non-political) and I don’t give a shit. But I will say this, President Trump is about the stupidest son-of-bitch that we’ve ever had as the leader of our country. I’m just telling you right up front how I feel. You see, I’m just telling you exactly how it is. I ain’t what you call wishy – washy. Some probably say that I am stupid for saying it that way. And you know what, so do I, but that’s just how I feel whether you agree or not, even if it isn’t true. I’m just telling you what I’m thinking right off the top of my head. Take it or leave it mother-fuckers.

Now before you get all burly and excited and threaten to beat me to a pulp for talking that way about your President, stop and think a minute! How I explained myself in that last paragraph is exactly what you stupid bastards said you liked about Trump.

You said “I like him because he tells it the way it is. He doesn’t mince words, he tells ya exactly what’s on his mind, right or wrong , whether you agree with him or not. I admire that about a man and a President”. If you love that about a man, you should love the hell out of me.

But truly, I gauge a man when I first meet him this one way and one way alone. And it is as simple as this, would I like working for a boss like him? Would he be an ass-hole to work for?

Come on you working stiffs out there that voted for him. How many bosses have you had that were like that ass-hole that you told to go fuck himself and you quit to find a better job? You voted for him as President? You need to wake up for Christ’s sake! He’s not going to do anything for you.

Shit, I could run for President.

Now, who brought the beer. Let’s have a drink and try to forget the mess you guys have made, then we’ll find that strip club a few blocks from here I want to check out.

OC

( I guess there isn’t much here that OC has said that I need to apologize for.  He just likes to tell it the way it is.    John)

It is not that the events of the past few months are not interesting, bazaar and in the words of others, “totally unbelievable – unbelievable”. It is just me writing about them that would probably just make them a boor, or is it a bore?

It reminds me of an experience I had while an electronic communications specialist. I received a formal “squawk” via email, from a dispatcher, that many management names were also copied, informing me and they that a vital communications receiver’s audio was at an  “unbelievably loud level“. And he was requesting that the equipment be repaired immediately.  Since so many “higher-ups” were copied I responded promptly assuming that there was something very wrong with this very expensive piece of gear. After “repairing” the receiver, I replied-to-all this short report of the fix.

“Turned the radio’s volume control knob down to a more “believable” level”.

I received the most replies and accolades and chuckles from management on that single “repair” than any other that I’d done in my entire career.

I guess the point I’m making here is, we could use a lot less “unbelievable” adjectives and adverbs these days spewed from the Administration. And it would probably do the Country much more good if before a lot of huge adjectives are used and unnecessary squawking is done, perhaps things should first just be turned down to a more believable level.

E.

 

 

I was walking down the street last Thursday
and a dog with bright white teeth and a big smile
approached me from the right.
He said he enjoyed walking with humans and asked if he could join me.
I, a man of great tolerance, said OK, glad to have ya!
We had walked only a block or two and he starts sniffing the street light poles and fire hydrants.
And with that big smile on his face he raises his leg and pisses on one of the posts.
Shocked…. I said, “look, that is very embarrassing to me, to be walking with you and then
having you do that. people will think you are my dog and blame me for messing up the sidewalk.
And how can you do that with such a big smile on your face?”

He said, “Smile on my face? I’m not smiling, dogs don’t smile! I have an urinary infection!” Then he gave me the finger!

OC

Friday March 12, 2010

There’s an old fashion saying, “Home Is Where the Heart Is”. Perhaps I really didn’t appreciate the meaning of that until today.

After a two-week absence, spending all but two nights in hotels, I arrived at my own digs today. But the house was empty. As in, my wife was out-of-town. She is staying one more day with our children and grandchildren. As I reported yesterday, I was able to spend some family time with her and the kids Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. But I must regroup today and Saturday for a return trip to my project in Illinois on Sunday afternoon.

So now you may know what I’m talking about. I’m at my house but I’m not yet home. Home will arrive tomorrow in a red Prius with my wife. It’s funny because my wife believed home arrived today with me in a white Tundra. Home is a very complex concept that is sometimes hard to identify and keep track of. Although we were not in our house, we probably were more at home Thursday night at the middle school in Leavenworth attending Em’s band concert.

But we have been married many years and we have learned that we can adapt easily. I think you call it “rolling with the blows”. We have been very lucky to have raised our two children and now we get to watch our children as they raise their five and create homes for themselves.

Hopefully tomorrow after Marcia’s visit ends, their houses will be just a little bit less home without us. Just as ours through the years has become just a little bit less without them.

Such is the life of John

Captain! Sometimes the most important person is you!
You!….. you dizzled drapes dropper
You! …. you measly mound of moose melt
Get up and fight the sons of bitches!
Hit ’em in the face!
Kick ’em in the balls!
Fuck’em up!

Now wait a minute……..
Think about this
The last skull you cracked still isn’t healed.
And you lost your Secret Society of Greenwich Ring.
Oh! Those were the days!
There was beer, blood and Brylcreem
smeared all over everything.
Royal Fly-boys!…. the Bastards!

Wake Up!!

Whew! That reoccurring WWI dream again!
What time is it?
6 O’clock already!

I HATE Daylight Saving Time!!!

OC

(DST has that affect on some people. This is OC’s  twice annually modified rant about it. Brylcreem??  John   )

Orie, Page 2

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Everyday Life, poet, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Of all the men Orie’s age that I knew, none spoke of World War II or what they had to do in it. Not one glorified their time in the service. I didn’t even know until his death in 1983 that my own uncle had served in a armored Calvary unit that ran reconnaissance behind enemy lines in Europe. His unit traveled in advance of the Allies by 20 miles. He had hand to hand combat with the enemy and was wounded in the thigh but turned down the opportunity to be sent home because he felt at the time that a leg wound was suspicious and used as a free ticket home. For 40 years he never spoke of any of it, I learned of his valor after his funeral while my brother and I went through his personal effects and found his bronze star with V and other ribbons and citations.

That’s how it was with Orie Penny, I knew he served in the War only because of a picture of him in his combat uniform that I spotted in an old photo album. The album was propping up one leg of his leaning end table. What happened to him during the war I never knew but I think he came home a changed man. So changed that after he got back to the States, wanderlust set in and he felt only the urge to travel. The only means were the trains that steamed so frantically coast to coast across the country at the time. And Orie wasn’t buying any tickets.

He spoke of Tin Cup Tim, Plug Nickels, Skeleton Jones, Kid Kicks and Jim Beam Jim. All hobos he had traveled with the four years he spent riding the rails. On a broken slate board with chalk that he kept near the kitchen table, he showed me the “marks”. The code of the hobos made of specialized X’s and O’s, boxes, triangles and hash marks. He spelled out “This woman will serve you pie”, “this man is mean”, “bad dog inside” and “soup around the corner”. As we sat and drank his strong black percolated coffee, he told of the time that Tin Cup Tim fell from a passenger train that they found themselves on and “greased the rails”. Bo speak for being run over by the train.

He spoke of Wild Cherry, Georgia, Paducah, Kentucky, Moscow Mills, Missouri and Ada, Oklahoma to name only a few. He spoke fondly of the cities as if he enjoyed feeling the sound of their names as they rolled off his tongue as he recalled the sway and the sounds of the rides. He said he was taught to always work for the little money he needed and always to take the worse jobs available in town. Like dippin honey, pickin blooms and pushing crumbs, meaning spreading manure, picking fruit and sweeping floors. He said he always took the worse jobs, that way he or a fellow bo would probably be hired again if they came back through town later. I have learned since that’s the hobo ethic.

We stayed up late into the morning hours talking of his travels as Plug Nickels. Remembering the rides and avoiding the railroad Bulls (train cops). But the smiling stopped and the smooth names of cities changed as he began to tell of 1949 and San Quintin.

DSS