Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Slump in Pumpkin sales...
Or, "don't make me a pumpkin pie outta THAT!"

Halloween is a scary and sinister time. Spooks, ghosts, gremlins, goblins, zombies, witches, bats in your hair and all kinds of stuff guaranteed to make your toes tremble. BOOOO! See? Weren't you scared?

I blogged before that I have never been a great fan of Pumpkin Pie. For me, it just doesn't have much taste. But people seem to like it year after year, not only for Halloween, but Thanksgiving, too. I'll take mine with plenty of whipped cream. Gotta give it some TASTE, after all.

Well, I've heard about one variety of Pumpkin that ain't especially selling very well this year. It's reported that this particular variety has no flavor, no taste, and is actually quite revolting. No taste indeed...

...Now, THAT'S scary. EEEEEEEEEK!!!

Through the past, Darkly...
...one last trip through the ol' memory books...

Dear Readers: I guess a few people stop here quite regularly to see what my latest case of insanity involves. I mean, someone's reading this thing...I've had over 14,000 hits on this blog over the last year. And I really appreciate you stopping by. I hope that something I've written has had some affect on you, and hopefully that affect has been of a positive nature.

I am going to be ending this blog soon. I am moving away to another area sometime this month. Coeur d'Alene is such a big part of me, but it is no longer the town it used to be. During my travels several years ago, I found a place even more beautiful than this. I've returned there over the years for vacations. I made the decision a couple months to try living there. I've never really lived anywhere else, than in this immediate area. It's something I must try, before I get too old and unhealthy.

Why I'm doing this, I'm not really sure. I suppose the best overall explanation I can give is that "I need a change of scene" for a whole lotta reasons. Will I return? I don't know. As the years have passed, it seems my life has just zoomed by. Other than you, my computer friends, I don't really have any "connections" here anymore. So, I feel that it's time to be elsewhere. I can live this life anywhere. So I'm going to try.

But before this blog ends, I am presenting a little ten-part series involving Coeur d'Alene history. I think of it as a gift to all this blog's readers who've been so supportive. Recently, I found an old magazine article, penned 1906, would you believe. It showcases the city for its readership in a most effective way. People have cursed the fact that our area is getting too big, in part, due to publicity generated by the media in other markets...well, stuff like that was happening around the turn of the century.

So, over the next ten days, you can travel back thru time in the "wayback" machine with me. I haven't read these articles yet, so this little history series will be an education for us both. Below, you'll find the article in all its resplendent glory. Most likely, the end of the page will chop a sentence in half, but I figure you'll be so intrigued that you'll stop by tomorrow for installment #2. Be sure and click on the page; the article gets bigger and it's easier to read the type. So, here goes: Installment #1 of Coeur d'Alene history, circa 1906:

You might have caught the reference to the impending completion of Coeur d'Alene's City Hall in this article...that building, as you know, now houses Cricket's Restaurant, and some other small businesses, and the cornerstone says "erected 1908", I believe. A grand old building. Soon to be dwarfed by hi-rises. What a shame.

Come back tomorrow for installment #2. This is quite a long and informative article; each page has at least one picture. I've seen enough of all the articles to know they're very informative. Our town, 100 years ago. Cool, huh?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Whoa, wait a minute...DON'T!

The Prezzidential approval ratings are down. Way down. Democrats don't want to create even the slightest impression that they support Prezzident Bush. And, it's turning out that candidates from his own Republican party really don't want him to try and help out their campaigns. If Dubya swims as well as he governs, someone would have to toss him a life raft! If I were him, I'd feel lonelier than the Maytag Repairman these days...

Obviously, Iraq is an issue. So is Hurricane Katrina. So is the Southern Border, which may soon be (partially) lined with a mondo-expensive fence that doesn't extend all the way 'cross the southern U.S.. There would be "gaps" in the fence. I'm kinda thinkin', if you wanna keep your dog in the yard, you ENCIRCLE THE ENTIRE YARD with a fence. But then again, that's "common sense". A precious commodity in D.C.

I cannot bear to watch or listen to this Prezzident. Why? Simple...I can't STAND him. He comes across on camera all smart-alecky, as if he's thinking this is all a joke, but he ain't gonna share it with the public or the Press. It also appears he is stubborn. So are JACKASSES. Does he have ANY IDEA of how FUTILE the Iraq war is? I cannot help but think he is incapable of dealing with large issues of a worldwide scale. I can't put my finger on it, but every time I see and/or listen to Bush, I think, "whoa, something's MISSING here."

Bill Clinton may be the most notorious Prezzident we've ever had, but at least he came across with a bit of CARING HUMANITY every now and then. I will always think it's a tragedy that he sabotaged his public perception in such a shallow way. But if he'd been able to run against Bush, I woulda voted for him in a heartbeat. Heck, Ronald Reagan in the final stages of Alzheimers' would be a better Prezzident than what inhabits the White House these days.

I was raised to love my country and respect the Prezzidency. Well, I don't respect this Prezzident, and I don't like what this country is becoming. This is my own personal view, but I have a sinking feeling that this administration doesn't have a CLUE. And, more importantly, this Prezzident seems to have no idea what he is doing. What's worse, if he DOES know what he's doing, where does that leave the rest of us?

I am largely apolitical. My eyes glaze over when the issues are debated. And I would dare say there are others, many others, like me out there. And if I feel this way about the way things are going, and the way our Chief Executive operates, how many others feel the same way? This is fast becoming a disenchanted, fragmented nation. I'm sure other nations see that and are licking their chops. Conquer from within; isn't that a Communist objective? We may yet prove to be our own worst enemy.

Don't look at me...I didn't vote for him.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still, I have...
...within me tonight...(old Beach Boys' song from the '60s)

I absolutely crave being outside with the warmth of the sun as it shines down on everyone and everything. For me, Spring is the beginning of life anew for yet another year. I'm outside in Spring and Summer as much as I can be. As Summer ends, and slips into Autumn, I can feel the year coming to an end, as if the year only has "so long" left to live, and as the rest of the year passes, it gets darker, gloomier, colder, and all of a sudden, it's not there any more.

I get depressed with cold, short, dark days. I feel as if I've adopted a "bunker mentality", that of being under siege, enduring the snow, ice, rain, cold, wind and sleet. The simplest of tasks becomes more difficult as forward progress is impeded by the fear of falling on the ice and breaking the ol' back and other vital body parts. More than anything, as I age, I do indeed feel the acceleration of time as it just zips by.

Last winter, I did a little something that helped somewhat. I found a picture of Coeur d'Alene's City Beach, in the middle of summer, with blue skies, blue water and people enjoying themselves in the heat...and I put that picture on my computer monitor, so when I flipped on my computer, that's the first image I would see. And you know, that helped a bit. As I gazed at that picture, I could swear I felt at least a few degrees warmer, even though I was viewing it in the seemingly endless murky frozen depths of Old Man Winter.

You can go into a ton of websites (I would suggest
www.webshots.com) to find sunny pictures of Coeur d'Alene, but if you're too lazy to do that (hey, it's cold, rainy, and windy; believe me, I understand)...you can use the picture I've provided below. This one, though, goes back into the 1960's, so there are certain tall monstrosities you won't see in the foreground. Enjoy the warmth of the picture, and when you get down with the winter blahs, find something like this to look at. It does help. I speak from personal experience...

City Beach, Coeur d'Alene, with Playland Pier in the background, in the 1960's. Look closely and you'll see the ferris wheel and the circular swings on the pier in the background. Who knows, I might have been on the beach the day this was taken. Save this photo for when you are shivering some cold winters' night as you're trying to decide how warm you want your home to be without going over your heating budget...

...and if that fails, break out into a rousing rendition of Nat King Cole's "Lazy-Hazy-Crazy-Days of Summer"...you know, "those days with soda...and pretzels...and beer"....dont'cha feel warmer already?

Saturday, October 28, 2006


...not just for TV anymore! Right here on your favorite (or not) blog!I haven't really posted a lot of significant things lately. In a way, I'm afraid that what little is left of my intellect has been drying up. Is there such a thing as "Mental Remission"? If so, that would be a pretty good diagnosis for ME these days.

This is for the birds dept.::
This section is about bird-feeding. When I've seen other people do it, they basically toss a whole bunch of crumbs and pieces out at once, and the seagulls tromp all over each other to eat bread. To me, a microcosm of society...the birds fly so beautifully, but they get ugly when they're competing. Me, I prefer to take individual bits and toss 'em to whichever seagull I think is really hungry. Some of them actually drool and salivate as they fly past me, hoping to grab a mouthful (beak-ful?). I toss 'em to seagulls near me, but if I see one that doesn't compete well, I'll make sure he gets some too.

But lately, the birds have really got me figured out. They'll hover overhead, hoping that I'll toss crumbs up to 'em. And you know, as they look down at me, sometimes I think I can see into their little bird-souls. For a brief instant, an interaction of sorts takes place. And I always feel better once I've fed the flock; I transcend my own problems as life itself zooms around me, in the form of squawking seagulls. I used to hate 'em; I think me and the birds have reached a sort of understanding. I took pity on those dumb birds, trying to survive thru the winter, and that was all it took. So, whenever life gets to me...I head for the birds.

Good thing I don't bet in Vegas dept.: Me, thinking I was some kind of Karnac-type sports clairvoyant, I thought I knew something about baseball, and as such, I posted in this blog that the Tigers would win the World Series. Can anyone say "MEOW"? The Tigers are a great team, but they basically gave the World Series away. Not that the St. Louis Cardinals are a bad team; in fact, they stomped all over the Tigers. Detroit's pitchers committed error after error; the infielders' plays just fell flat, and their hitters couldn't hit. On the other side, St. Louis took advantage of Detroit's myriad mistakes, plus the Cardinal pitchers were fierce and their hitters explosive. Can you say "Roll Over", boys and girls? I knew ya could...is it me, or was this kind-of a "flat" World Series? I love watching baseball, but this Series somehow just seemed "tortured" and "agonizing"; not at all like the year the Boston Red Sox won it all. This world series was a DIRGE in comparison. So, it's goodbye to baseball for a while. **snif**...

Soda serendipity dept.: I've noticed (or not) that the labels on pop bottles resemble each other more closely than ever these days. No, Pepsi doesn't look like Coke, but, all the varieties of Pepsi bottles look so much like each other, that sometimes I end up with "diet-fizz with a twist of lemon-iced-tea Pepsi" instead of the good ol' Pepsi that I like so well. Because the LABELS are so similar. Well, today, the same thing happened to me (it's all about me, after all) with the 57 different varieties of Coke out there. They all have red labels with the "Coke" logo. And if you don't look closely at the label, you'll grab the wrong variety of pop. Which I did. I got home today, broke open a bottle of Coke, took a swallow and thot..."hmmmm, what's going on here?" And then I realized, "heyyyy, this ain't regular Coke". But I actually LIKED the stuff. So I looked at the label, and found I was drinking a version that I didn't even know existed! "Black Cherry Vanilla" Coke. Okaaaay......

It just breaks my heart to see this dept.: Actor Michael J. Fox has appeared in an ad, aired on a TV station back east, which advocates stem-cell research for diseases such as the one he has, Parkinsons'. He had to stop full-time acting because his symptoms were becoming quite severe. And I've seen clips of this ad (which the PIG-HEADED commontater Rush Limbaugh lambasted), as well as a clip of Fox appearing on CBS' Morning Show. In both cases, the effects of Parkinsons' on Mr. Fox are heavily evident. It is so sad. Not only for him, but for all that have to deal with that, or any other gradually debilitating disease. Alzheimers, MS, Parkinsons', whatever. And, as fragile as I feel sometimes, my problems are NOTHING compared to how these and other afflictions affect those who suffer from them. And Rush Limbaugh can go to Hell! Except, the Devil would probably throw him back!

Summers' almost gone, winter's coming on dept.: Yeah, I know "Summer" is gone, but a song lyric is always a catchy way of introducing a subject. And so CDA is beginning to batten the hatches and face another winter. Once again, the time of snow tires and snowblowers awaits us all. The way I've got it figured, winter is a punishment that we are having to suffer for something bad that somebody did. The big tree in my front yard is shedding leaves faster than I'm losing hair...and that tree is dropping "seed grenades" which bomb my yard, front porch, and my car. Bonk! Thunk! Whap! Those are three sounds I now hear on a regular basis as these seed grenades strike my porch, my roof, my front door and anything else nearby. Maybe those Jehovah's Witnesses who are always leaving tracts in my door (tracts are pamphlets, basically) will get it on the ol' noggin. Hell hath no fury like a sloppy tree in a windstorm, after all.

OOPS, there goes another rubber tree plant dept.: Actually, this has nothing to do with rubber trees, but rather, the feeling I get when I see new buildings pop, pop, popping all over the place. POP! A new Mountain West bank, up thar at Ramsey and Kathleen Avenue...or, POP! The "whatever it's gonna be" building that's gonna obscure our picturesque view of the mega-box Costco Store, up there on Neider Avenue...or, POP! how about the "I don't know what it is, but it's gonna be something" building, which will obscure the demure vision of the Shopko Store, up there on Ironwood Avenue, across from Albertsons'. I'm so out of it, that I didn't even know until last week that, POP! Dave Smith Motors has now taken over the old Ponderosa Motors building in the 1900 block of 4th Street, or that, POP! the Breakfast Nook restaurant is now located up thar on 4th in a building that was formerly a Sports Bar. Long ago, by the way, that building housed an A & W drive-in, in case anyone cares about old stuff like that. No truth to the rumor, by the way, that "A & W" stood for "ask and wait".

Yeah, it's political season but I don't care dept.: So-and-so is saying his opponent said something really indecent. She is saying her opponent is an idiot. He is saying his female opponent doesn't have a clue. Plus, ads sponsored by committees sympathetic to either the protagonist or the antagonist outline how evil their candidate's opponent is. Yup, yup, yo...another political season in Idaho. Me, I don't plan on voting, so I can hate ALL politicians equally. Just remember one thing, though...it wasn't ME who re-elected George W. Bush! How about that...a vote for an incumbent Prezzident almost translated into an act of treason back a coupla years ago. Not to rub it in or anything, but the little "countdown clock" at the left of this post will tell you, to the second, how much longer we have to put up with this BOZO. Honk!!!!

I didn't think I had it in me. Sometimes, maybe instead of "forcing" a post, it's best to incubate various irritations for a while until they transmogrify into a rambling, ranting depository of inarticulate verbage. Such as what you've just finished reading. Oh, one more thing...have a nice day. Which reminds me...I saw a bumper sticker which pictured an expressionless "smiley figure" and it said, "have an average day." So I'll go with that. Yeah, I can do that.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

My last-ever comment on the...

There are a few property owners on Lakeshore Drive in Coeur d'Alene who say they own their respective portions of Sanders' Beach. Yes, I am familiar with the concept of private property. Property which is private! At the same time, I cannot stomach the fact that area citizens are BARRED from using those portions of the beach. We're talking about 10 or 15 feet of sand which lies between the property owners' sea walls and the lakeshore. Behind those sea walls are fenced-off portions of grassy private property. That is not the issue. But the public cannot use the portions of beach below, that the property owners claim as their own.

I am ASHAMED that this situation exists. For YEARS, the public has used Sanders' beach. Ah, but that's changed...your average minimum-wage worker and family has hardly any lake access at all, what with the greater portion of Coeur d'Alene Lake's shoreline being privately owned. I am disgusted with the city of Coeur d'Alene not ponying-up to buy the beach property for its citizenry, and I am disgusted with the whole selfish mentality of so-called beach owners who've have actually MARKED the beach with chalk lines. "You can't lay down and get a suntan on MY portion of the beach", they're telling us.

Break this down, if you will. Those portions of Sanders' beach, if no one can use them, will be VACANT 99.5% of the time. A beach no one can use that borders a public (for NOW, that is) lake. Yet, on the other side of town, just west of City Beach, property owners have let the public use the grassy areas bordering the beach for DECADES. Occasionally, a property owner will use the area for a private gathering, and the swimmers have no problem with that and everyone gets along just FINE. The blatant selfishness of the Lakeshore Drive property owners who don't want the public using (allegedly) private beach area makes me ashamed of Coeur d'Alene, makes me ASHAMED to be a Coeur d'Alene citizen, and MAKES ME ASHAMED TO BE A PART OF HUMANITY.

So, when I saw a really beautiful photo of Sanders' Beach recently, my blood absolutely BOILED. I realize the following satire is over-the-top, but this is honestly how I feel about this whole ridiculous Sanders' Beach Situation...

A Beach Nazi and his ever-faithful companion...guard towers coming soon...

This will be my last ever comment on this issue, and as long as this climate exists, I will never go to Sanders' Beach again. I feel very strongly about this issue, an issue borne of GREED and SELFISHNESS.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Searchin'...Searchin' every whiiiich waaay.....
(of course, that's a line from the song "Searchin'", a 50's hit by the Coasters...)

I don't know why I subject myself to all of the gloomy TV I watch, but I'm not the only one. I've been watching things like "Forensic Files" and "Cold Case Files" on such networks as Court TV and A&E...those networks seem to think that people will be morbidly fascinated with all of this true crime stuff. And it is fascinating, in a weird way. And, as proof, CBS has evidently noticed this tendency among viewers, and as such, "CSI: Miami" is one of the top shows on TV. Just lately, I watched a 5-hour "CSI marathon"...and the show is indeed pretty good. Shows such as the two I enumerated above often showcase crimes in which investigative activity gets suspended, because all of the detectives' leads have run out, and there's nowhere left to go. Then, maybe 5 or 10 or 20 years later, another detective will open those "Cold Cases", do some re-investigating, and perhaps succeed in solving the cases, what with new advances in DNA research or whatever. Some cases probably never get solved. But the search keeps going on, until some conclusion is arrived at.

Let's do a 360-degree shift and talk about baseball players. There have been some really great players down thru history who have never been on a World Series team, or on a team that never won the Division championship. A LOT of those players have been Seattle Mariners, and will continue to be unless some severe serendipity takes place. But these players just keep on chasing the dream, going back, going back, going back, season after season, hoping they'll realize their ultimate dreams of going all the way. Football can be the same way. Case in point: Dan Marino. A truly gifted quarterback, who played for the Miami Dolphins for a lot of years. Marino had one of the quickest releases and most powerful throwing arms in football. All for nada, because he never went to a Super Bowl. As a matter of fact, Marino himself only ran for about 35 yards in his whole career. That mystifies me...how can a long-time offensive player only run 35 yards total in all that time? And, another long-time player, Fran Tarkenton, that famous old quarterback, never won a Super Bowl.

So, dreams are difficult to realize, if we succeed in realizing them at all. We get up day after day, searching for some kind of ultimate realization in our dreary mundane lives, half the time not even knowing why we do what we do. Still, we keep on keepin' on. I guess it's a manifestation of the human condition. But, futility is not just limited to us human "beans", as is exemplified by the dog in the picture below...

One could say I've reached new 'heights' in my satire of www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo fotos. Or not...

Little Snoopy. One of my favorite characters. While all of the "Peanuts" madness goes on around him, he revels in his "dogness" and tries his best to live his dreams. You might remember all of those Snoopy records by the Royal Guardsmen that were released in the 60's; in the last one, "Snoopy's Christmas", the Red Baron forces Snoopy to land behind enemy lines on Christmas. Snoopy thot he was done for, but instead, the Cursed Red Baron breaks out a bottle of champagne and they both drink a holiday toast. Snoopy then gets back in his plane and roars off...knowing that he and the Red Baron will meet again one day.

My dream for this blog? That, maybe one day, I can get the whole thing to make some sort of sense; 'till then, I'll just keep shoving words together to see what happens.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Here Comes The Sun...
...it seems like years since it's been clear...

The gray days this time of year really give me that "cooped-up" feeling. It's almost as if the sky itself is pressing down on me, trying to make me collapse. It's hard to feel good about much of anything when there's drizzle, fog, low-hanging clouds and winds just kinda complicating everything. It reminds me of the Jimi Hendrix song, "I don't live today", in which he says toward song's end, "there ain't no life, nowhere"...

But today was just astounding. The Chamber of Commerce promotes days like this. The leaves are now just turning color; they've yet to fall en masse from the trees. People were in the park taking pictures today. Others were sitting on the benches, others were walking their dogs, some were strolling along the beach; me, I was walking my 3 laps around the park (all my back will let me do anymore), and in-between, I found myself gazing out at the lake and blue sky. Sunshine and warmth everywhere, no wind, and smooth-as-glass water reflecting cloudless skies of blue.

It was almost as if everything was happening in slow, dreamy motion. No one seemed to be in a hurry, everything seemed peaceful, and, life was all around. I had cabin fever really bad during last week's extended period of gray gloom. It's days like this that I'm glad I've been given the gifts of sight and relatively good health and I used them both to maximum effect today. The sun felt great; the environment looked good, and the pace of life was leisurely today. A far cry from the ceaseless momentum of tourist season when everyone seems to be immersed in all kinds of frenetic activity.

There is no big, huge point to this post, really. I gave up long ago trying to write things that have never been written before. Who is original, really? The only gem of wisdom I can come up with in this post (and it probably isn't all that wise, really) is that, when the days are gray and gloomy, remember that the sun isn't all that far away. It's just behind those clouds. Another way of saying, "there's always hope". In fact, on a day similar to this one, but long ago, the following image was rendered...

Here's one of those fabled lake steamers going up the St. Joe River back around the turn of the 20th century. And I'll bet the passengers on that boat enjoyed the weather, too.

As you probably know, Beatle George Harrison wrote "Here Comes The Sun". He and the other Beatles had been involved in some pretty intense business meetings. One day, George decided not to attend them, opting instead, to hang out in friend Eric Clapton's garden on a sunny day. And a song was born...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A case of "Fox"...out-"Foxing" itself?
...but only if Jeannie Zelasko stays home...

I've been watching the baseball playoffs, on the Fox network, of course, and a couple of things irritate me, concerning why the network does what it does...for instance, just before, and after the game, Jeannie Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy talk about the game, but they're in such a hurry to cram everything into a small time frame that they end up speaking faster than a 33 1/3 rpm speech record turned up to 78 rpm. Even then, Jeannie is cutting Kevin off half the time. You know, that's one of the reasons I quit watching the morning shows, such as Good Morning America, etc...there are so many different segments in those shows, and as the eye is always on the clock, the host of the segment ends up mercilessly hurrying the poor artist, painter, or chef through his or her presentation.

Another thing I don't understand...say, for example, the game ends at 8:48 pm. Normally, broadcasters in that situation would "fill" to the top of the hour, but no, not after the Playoffs on Fox! Jeannie and Kevin just kinda pneumatically blast their way through their post-game conclusions and analyzations. Why is it so important for Fox to get back into regular programming so soon? I think, if the game ends 10 or 15 minutes or more, before the top of the hour, that would give 'em time to put on a good, RATIONAL post-game presentation instead of attempting to speak faster than Speedy Gonzales runs, trying to get it all to fit into a 2-minute span. Not only that, who the hell is Jeannie Zelasko? What makes her qualified to comment on baseball? And who is Kevin Kennedy? A former ballplayer, I guess. Who probably wishes Jeannie were somewhere else, anywhere else.

I don't care about Fox's promos for its new shows during the game...there's a couple of shows they're advertising that I might end up watching. But I am having extreme difficulties with the "rap music" segments they present by rapper "Jay-Z". I just absolutely hate rap music. Rather than being a uniting force, as music should be, I really do firmly believe this urban punk-sounding street rap only serves to magnify the differences between the races. It is unmusical, harsh, in-yer-face type music that my musical psyche has absolutely no room for. So, between innings, when I see ol' Jay-Z screamin' his rap in everyone's face, well, that's what "mute" buttons on the remote are for.

So who's going to the World Series? I'll lay it on the line; nothing to lose. Nothing at all. After all, I'm not making any bets with anyone. Based on what I've seen, Detroit will win the whole thing, no matter if they play the Mets or the Cardinals. I'm writing this just before the start of Game 7 between those two teams, and it's anyone's guess who'll win tonight. Both teams are pretty thin in the pitching department. Oughta be interesting. After proofreading this post, I've decided to go ahead and commit on tonite's game. It's a tough call. I've watched a few of the previous playoff games between the Mets and Cardinals, and to me, both teams are fairly equal in both the pitching and hitting departments. No clear favorite. So, I think New York's home-field advantage will do the trick for the Mets. I'll check back in later and see how good my prognostication was...

Finally, since I tend to make mountains out of molehills, I decided to present the PHYSICS of BASEBALL. Pretty interesting stuff, actually...I hope it expands when you click on it...

...I've heard that 'if you don't screw up, you ain't doin' nothin'. Well, I was wrong. St. Louis won. A two-run homer in the top of the 9th, and they hung on to win. So it's the Tigers and Cards in the Series...hoo-boy, hang on...I still think Detroit will win it all. But, as was demonstrated tonite...I've been wrong before!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's the SAME...OLD SONG...
...and it just keeps playing in your head, over and over again...

(See the blog title above? Well, that's a song title. So, who sang the song, and when was it recorded? Answer in the italicized portion of this post, at the very end. Now, please continue...)

Have you ever had a song that's stuck in your mind? For me, the best way for me to flush my memory of whatever maddening tune I'm thinking of is to actually HEAR it somewhere. For example, I had an instance where I was mercilessly afflicted with "song burn" (my term for a tune that, for some reason, gets ingrained into your head) and I couldn't do anything about it Back in ye old high school daze, I was on vacation with my family, and we went to the Washington State coastline, up on the Olympic Peninsula. I had never seen the ocean before, and I was quite impressed by it. Still am. Anyway, all of a sudden, an old album track by the Moody Blues invaded my mind..."and the tide rushes in...and washes my castles away"...and I had to wait two weeks before we went home before getting the record out and playing it!

Sometimes, though, that "spontaneous song invasion syndrome" (a name the Federal Government would probably give it) can actually come in handy. It happened back in the mid-70's when I worked for the Forest Service during the summer, so I could pay for (most of) my college expenses. I was a member of the District Fire Crew, and in-between fires, we would carve out trails in the wilderness, or thin trees, or dig holes and then fill them back up, whatever. One day, the boss took us junior fire-kids deep into the national forest; we all got out of the van and began a two-mile hike thru heavy brush to get to the place where we were supposed to begin carving a hiking trail.

We were all carrying tools, 5-gallon water bags (which weigh 8 pounds apiece), rations and other equipment, and of course it was a 90-degree day and we were all wearing steel-toed boots, long-sleeved chambray shirts and jeans. In short, it was just plain old MISERABLE. After spending most of the day carving out the trail, we then had to hike BACK to the van...ugh...I was at the point of sheer exhaustion when all of a sudden, a 1972 Wayne Newton song popped into my head: "Daddy, don't you walk so fast!!!"; I sang out the title and we all had a good laugh over it. Except for the boss, that is.

More often than not, however, something even crazier happens to me. It seems that whenever I'm talking about music with someone, and I mention a particular artist, I end up hearing that artist on the radio or over a loudspeaker later that day. That just blows me away. The same spontaneous process seems to happen with people I'm thinking of. If a thought of someone pops into my mind all of a sudden, I usually end up seeing that person later on in the day. So I suppose even a doe-head like me has some sort of psychic powers; now if I could just put them to use. Maybe think of a person I wanna stay away from and I'll never see them again, perhaps.

And lately, just lately, that's been happening with catch-phrases that I've read or heard, and it's a pretty vivid expression...and I just can't bump it outta my consciousness (or lack thereof)...

It kinda looks like, here, that this guy didn't quite succeed at "JUMPING THE SHARK". I've seen that phrase used in blogs; evidently some TV series on its last legs used a plot of someone "jumping a shark" to increase ratings. And that phrase is now a part of my deflated brain, for better or worse. I think the show was "Happy Days"? Hah! Your day will be anything BUT, if that ol' fish gets ahold of you!

Another totally useless posting, but hey, I had to write something, right? Well, maybe I'm growing weary of being 'topical' alla the time. Or maybe I'm just tired of bad news. That must be it! Oh yeah, the song was the 2nd big hit by the Four Tops, one of the big Motown groups, and it came out in 1965. Damn! Now I gotta go play that song and get it outta my head!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

November must be approaching...
Them political candidates are baaaack!
...be afraid...be very, VERY afraid...

Take a typical (but fictitious)(still, it could happen!) political contest between a male incumbent and his female challenger..the lady candidate says the incumbent voted for self-serving legislation during his last term. He responds by saying she isn't qualified to serve a volleyball, let alone hold public office. Then, she says the incumbent doesn't stand for womens' rights. He counters by saying his opponent is a militant feminist who lacks the judgment to adequately represent men and non-militant women.

She accuses the incumbent of using taxpayer-funded office computers in order to visit questionable websites, including www.nazimongers.com, www.runoversmallanimals.com, www.sexwithanythingthatbreathes.com, is known to have purchased rubber underwear on Ebay, and has obtained instructions on how to make a nuclear warhead out of a pencil eraser from www.blowuptheworldandeveryoneinit.com. The incumbent first refutes those charges, then rips all of the hard drives out of all his computers and has them run over with steamrollers.

He has dirty laundry. She has questionable tactics. She says if elected, she'd serve in dedicated fashion on several select committees. He responds by saying his lady opponent spends WAY too much on fashions. He says he'd get a real "kick" out of being re-elected, so he could again serve his public. In turn, she says he has more kickbacks than the last ten years' total amount of punt returns from the National Football League. He says he believes in advocating the swift sword of justice. She then says all her opponent will do is write propaganda with a poison pen. He then responds by saying he represents a "meat and potatoes" view of America, to which his lady opponent says the only "meat" his opponent deals in is PORK.

Yep, folks, the season of politix is upon us all, as is painfully shown here...

The fine feathered folks at www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo will tell you this satire is 'for the birds'.

Soon, I guess, we'll find out which candidates attain their "gilded cage" while the more unfortunate ones just lay an egg. SQUAWK! All of this makes me really glad that my TV remote has a "MUTE" button.

Sadly, I really cannot say this post is a satire. The sum total of cacophony generated by all of this political advertising warfare sounds a whole lot like what I've typed above. But there's one good thing about an election...all the political people will just GO AWAY for a while.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sliding down the slippery slope of

You hear 'em all the time..."slippery slope" is used by politicians, pundits and those who pretend they know anything about the government works. I once had a hyperactive, disorganized Biology teacher who would make a "pun", then wreck that pun by saying, "pardon the expression". Why? It takes creativity to make up puns! The business world likes to put all their "ducks in a row", and of course, a huge catch phrase which could apply to this Republican administration and that party's ongoing sex scandal is "What did they know and when did they know it?" I first heard that phrase during the Watergate hearings in the '70s.

I had another college instructor who was always using the phrase "one fell swoop". I once took to counting how many times per hour he used it. As you can tell, it was one BORING class. And one phrase that's used on "Meet The Press" and other pundit-type shows kinda bugs me..."The Fact of the Matter". What, are they going to use facts that don't involve the matter? Huh? What? But the newest catch-phrase I've heard lately evidently came from some TV show, and I've sure seen and heard people use it a lot. Basically, if you've gone off the deep end, lost track of everything, or have done something totally crazy, you have "Jumped The Shark". Actually, that's a pretty neat expression...it conjures up all kinds of images...

While I was visiting Google, picking all kinds of images that I could mercilessly deface, I ran across a really interesting picture from someone's blog site. Not that it has anything to do with anything...except I think that this person, too, has indeed "jumped the shark"...

I can just hear the theme from "Jaws" music now...da-dum, Da-Dum, DA-DUM, DAAAA-DUMMMM!!! Personally speaking, if indeed scenes like this happen, I'll stay outta the water. Kinda looks like if you got bit by this guy, you'd come down with gingivitis!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Trick Or Treat, I guess...
Gosh, only two months left in this year...

This time of year, you can see pumpkins on sale everywhere. Stores must not be really too worried about pumpkin shoplifting...I mean, there's always a huge crate or two full of pumpkins outside every grocery store this time of year. But I must ask, if you're going to steal a pumpkin, wouldn't this be the time of year to do so? I can just see it now...some guy standing on a street corner in a black trench-coat..."hey, buddy, you wanna buy a pumpkin?" Black-market pumpkins, how about that.

I must admit that I have NEVER gotten used to the taste (or lack thereof) of pumpkin pie. It's supposed to be such an all-around crowd pleaser, but I've always thought it just tasted kinda gross. I can work up the nerve to eat a slice, though, if there happens to be some Cool-Whip (registered trademark) nearby...I can use it to disguise the taste of the pie. And so the pie becomes (barely) tolerable. Reminds me of the food-camouflage trick I used whenever the dormitory cafeteria served fried liver. It always came a with baked potato, so I'd put sour cream on the potato and cover the liver with it too. Quite good, actually.

Speaking of that, remember when our notorious former Vice-President Dan Quayle misspelled potato as "potatoe"? I believe he was thinking of the PLURAL of 'Potato', namely, "Potatoes". So he dropped the "s", but he left the "e" in. So he may have been more capable of thought than previously believed possible. He didn't make a dumb mistake; instead he thought of the plural of "potato" and made an educated, but still misguided attempt to spell the word. That's my take on it anyway.

So anyway, in observance of October, and all things pumpkin, I present the following photo-satire...

I swiped this foto from www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo. And if you make me a pie, make it APPLE.

Monday, October 09, 2006

He would've been 66 years old today...
It's hard to believe he's already been gone 26 years.

This photo was taken the afternoon of his last day alive. Better to remember his life. Even though his passing was a huge tragedy that many of us will never forget. Goes to show how fragile life is.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Seattle: Baseball PURGATORY...
Is it the water? Is it the air? Is it the coffee?

The other night, I saw former Mariner Carlos Guillen playing in the post-season. As I write this now, former Mariner Scott Spezio is up to bat for the Cardinals. And he just came up with a clutch hit to bring home a run. Former Mariner Mike Myers, a submarine-style lefty pitcher, is a part of the Yankees organization, who just lost out in the playoffs. But at least the Yankees got there. And, I've seen former Mariners reliever Ron Villone in the playoffs, as well as former Mariner Mike Cameron. Makes me wonder if the Mariners are the farm-club for the all the other teams in baseball. And, after next season, Ichiro's contract will be up, and all the stuff I've written here will probably apply to him, too. But I'm enjoying the playoffs. I'm seeing Pitchers who can actually pitch. Baseball strategies that actually work. Players who are playing with fire and passion.

I've been thinking for a while, though, that in Seattle's case, it must be something in the air, or the drinking water. Or, perhaps, Seattle is where great coaches and players go to die. It's strange; all of the former Seattle players who are more successful elsewhere. Productive players come to Seattle and turn into mere shadows of their former selves. Great coaches have come to Seattle only to have losing season after losing season. I don't know what the deal is. Is Seattle "baseball purgatory"? The way things have gone, they must be paying for SOMEONE'S sins. I'll bet, tho, that Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) is wishing right about now that he'd stayed in Seattle. That $252-million dollar contract and the pressures heaped upon him by the Yankee organization have changed him into a two-dimensional, largely ineffective player. I think Alex would be having lots more fun playing for less money in a more tolerant organization. You couldn't PAY me to be A-Rod right now.

Of course, I wouldn't wanna be a dog these days either:

This satire of a www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo photo proves that this post has gone to the dogs. Arf.

An unexciting weekend. An unexciting post. Yawn...

Friday, October 06, 2006

The world's (allegedly) greatest rock band played recently
in (relatively) nearby Missoula, Montana...

This highly energetic performance shot came from www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo. Yawn...

Just a thot...Butte, Montana ain't that far away, boys. That's where major league rock and roll bands go to die after their careers are over. Just ask Black Oak Arkansas.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Political Season arriveth again...
...here cometh the ads once more!!!

I virtually revel in political ignorance. I used to get out there and vote. I'd read everything I could get my hands on...views of the various candidates, trying to read up on all of the various issues politicians stand for, trying to come away with some comprehension of what all of the various propositions mean, and so forth, and so on. Yet, every time I'd find myself in the voting booth, I'd feel like I was in ninth-grade algebra class. So many politicians, so many issues, how do I remember them all? In the booth, I'd find myself voting for someone, rationalizing that "I seem to remember that he was for/against this; I'm not sure, but I do remember seeing his/her name", etc.

That is NO way to vote, I must admit. But if I operated that way, how many other voters don't know as much as they should going in? It was as if, the more I read about candidates and issues, the more confused I became. For heavens' sake, there's enough we have to be cognizant of in life, without heaping all of this political stuff on the woodpile. As the title of an obscure George Harrison Beatles' song says, "It's all too much". And, one must factor in the flip-flops that politicians often commit, as well as skeletons in the closet, such as past tax violations, bribery acceptance, and sexual escapades.

I was personally extremely disappointed in Bill Clinton. Such a smart guy, and when I voted for him, it was a vote for change, a vote for hope, a vote for a candidate that I was sure would bring a breath of fresh air into the political system. I guarantee he would've responded to Hurricane Katrina's aftermath FASTER than Prezzident Bushed did. But, Bill had a problem. He couldn't keep it in his pants. A little intern, in a public place, while he was on the clock! I was totally disgusted and disappointed; in one fell swoop, Bill Clinton lost any ability to get anything serious done, and instantly became a JOKE. During that time, I visited my parents, and my Dad said to me, in his gruff way, "YOUR President sure screwed up this time!" And I had to agree with him. Bill Clinton proved that my generation was nothing more than a bunch of screwups. I have not voted since then, because I am just totally disgusted with politics.

As I type this, there's an ad for some Idaho Governor candidate, and at the end of the message, he says, "I'm not for sale". Come on, EVERYONE is for sale if the price is right! That's what I've learned from politics. There are those who say I should vote; they say, "If you don't vote, you can't complain." I say, "If I don't vote, I can DESPISE every politician equally." And, at the end of almost every political message, you'll hear, "I'm so-and-so and I APPROVE THIS MESSAGE." Which makes me think, what politician is going to air an ad that he DOESN'T approve? So, I am totally DONE with politics. Consider me disenfranchised, because I am. They only appear on TV ads, appealing to voters, when they want something. Then they're gone until the next election. Sorry, I ain't buyin' it.

Wow, I didn't think I was gonna get that steamed up. Sometimes I just amaze myself. Anyway, I've stolen another picture from www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo, and I've defaced it. Here 'tis...

This was originally a novelty photo, the sign originally said "Beware of Dog". However, I'd hire a squirrel for the job! I'd never have to buy the squirrel a license or clean up after it!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Getting ready for Winter...
...it's comin' whether ya like it or not...

I try to take things day-by-day, and I appreciate autumn days like this when the sun's out, so I get out and try to enjoy the weather. But at the same time, it's as if things are shutting down. I'm not the most gregarious person in the universe, but on these autumn weekdays, "there ain't no life, nowhere"...it's as if City Park becomes a graveyard without tombstones. The leaves are beginning to fall as the days shorten, and it's just all sad, somehow. Already I'm thinking forward to the arrival of next spring, all the while blocking out thoughts of winter, but as is obvious here, I'm painfully aware winter's on the way.

To me, winter feels like a sentence that I've got to serve. It's like a yearly punishment for something I've done. During the winter months, I feel like I'm in solitary confinement in my house, doing whatever I can to keep up my morale. So I flip on the TV, activate the CD player, or dig into the record collection...whatever it takes. For me, it's a real "bunker-mentality" type of thing anymore, getting through winter. It was different when I was a kid; snowball fights, snow forts, snow sleds, no school on deep-snow-days.

As I've aged, "snow" has become a four-letter-word. Well, I've heard this might be an "El Nino" year, so maybe the snowfall won't be as severe and my pipes won't freeze this winter. But, as the picture below demonstrates, we all have to gear up for the winter...

The folks at www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo have resigned themselves to the fact I tend to screw up their photos...