Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the month “June, 2016”

Throwback Thursday from June 2015

Throwback Thursday1

A Thing Of Beauty In Nine Innings

Double Play Giants

IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING this blog for very long you would have picked up that I am a BIG fan of San Francisco Giants baseball. I lived there for 25 years and it gets into your blood stream. I’ve infected my wife, the lovely and articulate Dawn, with Giants Fever and we both stay up much too late when the Giants are at home on the west coast.

Last Tuesday night they were playing in New York against the Mets. It was not a good day for the Mets.

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When Furniture Attacks!

Chair 2SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR A MANUFACTURING PLANT. They have an idea and they find some stooge to put up some cash, backing their endeavor. The end result is a product that, in a civilized society, would be outlawed immediately.

Case in Point –

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I Won’t Go There. You Can’t Make Me.

BB6TRYING TO UNRAVEL THINGS THAT ARE NOT OBVIOUS CAN BE A CHALLENGE AT 6:30 AM. They can be a challenge at 6:30 PM too, but the AM factor makes it harder by exponential degrees.

This morning, for example. The chain of events went like this –

  1. My eyes opened.
  2. I verified that I was alive and said a short prayer of thanks.
  3. Turned on TV to local morning news.
  4. They aired a story about a guy using his gas station as a B&B.
  5. I slapped my own face. I couldn’t have heard that right.

But I had.

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Bagpipes And Fractions

Hole1SATURDAY MORNING. THE SUN IS SHINING. The sky is blue and my butt is dragging like a line of tin cans behind the newlywed’s car.

Why? Was I out partying all night? Have I been on a three-day bender and just woke up slumped over my keyboard? Have I just finished my fourth Iron Man Triathlon this week?

No. No. And No in a million years.

No party. No booze. No, because my idea of a Triathlon is Chips, Salsa, and a Burrito. All of that might make me run a bit, but not 26 miles worth.

No, my friends – my rear end is dragging because I am about to hit my biblically allotted three score and ten years and I find the world getting more and more stupid as I get older.

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Fiction Saturday – The Henway Chronicles – Part Four

The Henway Chronicles – Continued – Part Four

noir detective officeSitting in that booth I was face to face with Lech Ontario – one of the Greats – if you listened to him and I was going to have to to find out why my old friend and tutor, Hank O’Hare, was looking for him.

“Tell me, Ontario, why is Hank so anxious to find you? Did you stiff him on a debt, did you cheat him at cards, or did you try to steal his woman?”

When I said that the dockside doxie sitting next to him spoke up.

“You better not be two-timing me, Lechie Baby, or I’ll make you very un-Lechie. If you catch my drift?”

That gal had a way with words. I touched the brim of my imported Fedora and started to introduce myself. She cut me off, but not in the way she’d threatened to with her “Lechie Baby.”

“I know who you are, Henway. My name is Daisy Cutter. I’m Lechie’s moll – and I am also this year’s ‘Miss Straight Razor – Emeritus,’ if you catch my drift.”

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It’s Called Summer

storm1WE’VE HAD SOME REAL THUNDERBUMPERS here in the last day or so. Cloudbanks clinging to the edges of cold or warm fronts (I forget which is which.) were scuttering across the sky – all looking like The Mothership was hiding within them, just waiting for the signal to launch their swarm of invaders.

It is early Summer in the Midwest. The thermometer reads in the high 80s and even into the low 90s. It feels almost tropical. The high humidity makes sweating a fulltime activity. My deodorant was getting a real challenge on days like that.

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Throwback Thursday from June 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

The TSA Mensa Meeting Has Been Cancelled Due To Lack Of Members

TSA Idiots

THE LYRICS IN THE OLD HARRY CHAPIN song, “Taxi,” proclaimed that, “It’s the going not the getting there that’s good.”

Not any more, Harry.

Travel in this country, particularly by air, has become a game of “Hurry up and wait.” At the airport it is line after line, slowly inching your way toward the next line. When you finally get to the “Security Checkpoint” you are forced to deal with the lovable cretins of the TSA – aka as “They’ll Steal Anything.” Over the last decade several hundred TSA thugs have been convicted of blatantly stealing just about anything of value that comes close to their sticky fingers.

Going through any airport has become equivalent of an updated version of a famous scene from the movie “Sierra Madre.” Now, instead of serapes and sombreros it is dorky blue uniforms. The thieves are not Mexican banditos anymore but a dog’s breakfast of humanity scraped from the sidewalks of America.

“We don’t need no stinking badges, but we got ‘em anyway.”

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Now Appearing At My Doctor’s Office

doctor1THIS MORNING I EXPERIENCED A NEW BRANCH OF MEDICINE.

I got there at a little after 9 AM, went through the usual litany of give and take with the nurse – “No, I haven’t spontaneously burst into flames since my last visit.” – and then I waited for my doctor to make his entrance.

Little did I know…

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I Felt Lucky, But I Was Wrong

Harry1I TURNED ON THE TV THIS MORNING looking for some mild entertainment. I usually fire up the Tube as background noise while writing. My hope was for an old musical – you know, a Fred and Ginger type of film.

I didn’t find it.

Instead I was treated to a “Dirty Harry Marathon.” A bit different than I had hoped for, but…I felt lucky and it made my day. After all, a man’s got to know his limitations – at that time of day.

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I Got What I Wanted For Father’s Day

Dad1YESTERDAY WAS FATHER’S DAY ACCORDING TO MY CALENDAR – another one of those days heavily supported by the greeting card industry and the world’s manufacturers of neckties.

I suppose if you are going to have a Mother’s Day you are somewhat obligated to have a Father’s Day. If you didn’t there would be a hue and cry about it. Therefore, we have a Father’s Day.

A few weeks ago my wife, the lovely and holiday conscious, Dawn, asked me what I would like for Father’s Day. Apparently she did not find my reply of, “The Monday morning after Father’s Day,” to be appropriate or all that helpful.

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Fiction Saturday – The Henway Chronicles – Continued

noir detective officeFiction Saturday – The Henway Chronicles

 

Late at night, when the Innocents in The City were asleep in their beds, the Not-So-Innocents were busy about their monkey business. The darkened streets were a hunting ground where the unwary became prey for the waiting shadows. Places of safety were few and far between, but a light shining through the fog promised refuge and maybe a Hot Roast Beef Sandwich, au jus – “just the way you like it.”

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Now You See It And Now You…

Cliff1

Charley Weaver

“THINGS ARE FINE IN MOUNT IDY, SHE GOES ON.”

That was the opening line that an old comedian used at the start of his act. He would read fictional letters from his Mamma back in the old home town of Mount Idy. I think you would have to be at least 60 years old to remember him.

He was always introduced as “Cliff Arquette as Charley Weaver,” and he was a regular guest on the Tonight Show for years. Later he was part of the “Hollywood Squares” collection of celebrities.

The reason I bring him up today is that I feel a bit like Charley Weaver some days as I report on the “goings on” in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Elsie Krack doesn’t live here.”). This is a town that has a rather sordid past and a questionable future, but right now there is an abundant supply of strange, unusual, crazy, and “you gotta be kidding me,” stuff going on.

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Throwback Thursday from June 2015

Throwback Thursday 3

Travel At The Speed Of Right

I LOVE TRAVELLING. I have always loved it. Even as a kid I looked forward to family trips even if they were to visit relatives.

I liked travelling so much that I began to suspect that I was adopted and that I was really born into a Gypsy family. There were times I’m sure my parents might have wished that were true. I was never the kid who asked, “Are we there yet?” My question was always, “How long before we go?”

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We’ll Be Back After This Break

X ray shoulder2atlas THIS IS THE MORNING AFTER. The morning after the 28th Annual Strawberry Fest at our church that is. Preliminary figures indicate it was in line with last year which was one of the best. And this is in spite of my wife, the lovely and orthopedically hampered, Dawn, having one arm in a sling.

An event that serves 10,000 people in one day doesn’t happen overnight. It is like planning an invasion – with strawberries, biscuits, ice cream and whipped topping instead of bazookas and machine guns (although a couple of those might have come in handy).

The last few days before the event are fueled by Adrenaline and Panic. It was in this environment that painful realty landed on Dawn.

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I Love Small Town Television

wtwo1I JUST LOVE SMALL TOWN TELEVISION. There are two television stations in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Our antenna has been hit by lightning.”). I find it surprising that we have two stations. Terre Haute is a town of only 60,000 people – not exactly a Megalopolis, but both stations seem to be solvent and filled with happy talk.

Being in a very small market assures that our stations are where careers in broadcasting begin. Most of the on-air “talent” is fresh out of school and eager to become the “Next Big Thing.” In Terre Haute that means that they will be doing newsbreaks and weather reports on weekends and holidays.

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For Everything There Is A Season

shirt1I HAVE OFFICIALY RETIRED MY SWEATSHIRTS UNTIL FALL. My colorful array of Pseudo-Hawaiian shirts is taking the field. I call my shirts “Pseudo-Hawaiian” because they’ve never been any closer to Hawaii than the package of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls that shared the shopping cart at Wal-Mart.

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Fiction Saturday – “The Henway Chronicles”

noir detective officeFiction Saturday

The Henway Chronicles – Continue…

 

Wilma Van der Sluice served the best German Chocolate Cake this side of the cafeteria at the Mortuary College. When she set down her last slice in front of me both my eyes and mouth began to water.

“New perfume, Wilma?”

  “Yeah, you like it? It’s called ‘Evening in Newark.’” She waved her two too massive braids my way. My glasses began to fog up.

“Nice.” It was all I could say.

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What Did You Just Say To Me?

pills1 I REALLY CAN’T HELP IT. I’m a bit of a Smart Aleck, Wiseacre, and (Fill in the euphemism of your choice). I know it.

Most days I have it under tight control. Other days – not so tight.

A lifetime of experience and a number of years when I got paid to be a (Fill in the blank) has taught me that if I’m not fully awake, not feeling well, or someone goes “Boo!” and surprises me, my brain and mouth tend to go off on their own to play. When that happens all bets are off and I’m as upset as anybody else at what happens next.

This morning is a perfect example. I apologize in advance and in retrospect.

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Throwback Thursday – from 6/8/15

from 6/8/15Throwback Thursday 3

I’m On A Mission From God

square donutsWELL, NOT REALLY, BUT CLOSE. I was on a mission from my wife.

Last Friday was “National Donut Day.”

We’re talking about the pastry and not the parking lot maneuver done by drunken teenagers with the family car on Saturday night.

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Summer Better Than Others

summer1Well, Summer is ready to go into full swing here in beautiful Terre Haute (That’s French for, “You sure can sweat.”). All the signs of Summer are blossoming.

The colleges and universities are spewing forth a fresh crop of graduates – most of whom are trading in their mortarboards and tassels for paper hats and napkin dispensers.

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