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 – 2021
I’VE GOT AN IDEA! I’ll be the first to admit that it might be a bit…Progressive, on the cutting edge even. Yet it has been done on a smaller scale for hundreds – thousands of years even. So, my proposal is both classic and avant garde. Kinda, sorta.
Let me give you the Big Picture. I’ll leave the details to people who have something better than a Liberal Arts Degree. I know what I want, but the nitty gritty of how it’s done is beyond me. I get baffled trying to fold a donut box.
THIS PAST SPRING AND SUMMER have been somewhat of a disappointment – and this Fall isn’t looking much better.
When it comes to the bits and pieces of Life things have actually gone well. It’s the big stuff that’s got me down. By BIG STUFF I mean the things that get me up in the morning and keep me up late at night.
You know – BASEBALL.
Baseball this year has been a tortuous exercise. It has been even more upsetting because I cheer for the San Francisco Giants and I live three time zones away. That means that more than half of the games don’t even begin until 9 PM or later. That can make for some extremely late nights and my aging body gets it’s revenge the next day. I do not recommend grocery shopping after an extra inning game from the West Coast.
I’M GETTING INTO A RUT. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY, “KRAFTY, YOU ARE GETTING TO BE AS DULL AS DIRT.”
They’re probably right.
It was just yesterday (if you actually read yesterday’s blog) that I highlighted (highlit?) my day with safari into deepest, darkest Dollar General in search of the Wild Parmesan Cheese. How could anything be less exciting than that?
Quite easily if you are me.
This morning, after dream-filled night fraught with images of me walking in circles and the more I walked the farther away I got from everything, At a couple of minutes after 6 AM I popped into semi-consciousness. With only one lobe plugged in and operating I dressed myself, staggered down the stairs and made a pot of tea…all without any injury or embarrassing fashion faux pas. That gave me hope that things might be on the upswing.
I should have known better.
As I sat there slumped over my mug of tea like an early-morning barstool cowboy my wandering (read: unfocusing) eyes lit upon a shopping list note propped up within my field of vision.
Small Bottle of Bleach
I don’t care what fad diet you may be following in your pursuit of skinny jeans, there is no way in Rochester, Minnesota that mixing Bleach and Pepto Bismol can be a good thing. Just seeing that list at that hour made my tummy-tum-tum do a triple back flip. I tried to ignore it as I submerged myself into my tea. It didn’t work
Throwback Thursday from April 2016 – “I’ll Need To Sleep On It”
SLEEP – I’M IN FAVOR OF IT. I’ve had years of practice doing it. I can do almost anyplace.
Whenever I sleep witnesses have sworn that I do it with my eyes closed. Not everyone does it that way. I know someone who sleeps with their eyes wide open. Talk about Spooky. This person was not a sleepwalker with his eyes open. Nope, this fellow could be in bed, tucked in, snoring like a locomotive, with his eyes open. I’m sure there is a scientific explanation as to how and why he does that. My five cent answer is that he was possessed by demons that never sleep and stay up all night watching infomercials. Yup, spooky.
IT LOOKS LIKE SPRINGTIME IS FINALLY HERE. I see robins and cardinals and they don’t look worried about frostbite. There are giant Vs overhead going north and there are new baseball stars on the horizon.
Major League Baseball teams have been heavy into Spring Training for over a month and just like the new flowers that pop up in the spring so do new young players.
Terminal B LaGuardia Airport. Not America’s finest example of its greatness or its Might. Dark. Dingy. Beyond Stale. Earning its status as the Worst Airport in the Country. Dead last in surveys. Sad, really.
Lines are backing up at Security, including TSA pre-check.
One hour and 5 minutes to boarding: Flight AA2632 to DFW.
I clear security.
And I walk.
AA2126. Boston. 6:00 a.m. Sit in the stands at a Red Sox game.
AA4752. Washington. 6:00 a.m. Sit on the steps at Lincoln Memorial.
AA4527. Atlanta. 6:05 a.m. Lounge in the Georgia Aquarium.
What if. Just what if. Just one time. You call it in sick. A Sick Day. What’s that? You walk back out of the terminal, stroll up to the American Airlines ticket counter, pull out your credit card, pay full price for a ticket and…take off…to…anywhere else. Like take a day trip. By yourself. To anywhere else. Turn off your cellphone(s). And disappear, for one day. Off Grid. Just one time.
AA3803. Raleigh Durham. 6:29 a.m. Sit in a diner and read Murakami’s new book, uninterrupted.
AA3549. Portland, Maine. 6:29 a.m. Sit on a bench and watch the leaves turn.
AA349. Chicago. 6:29 a.m. Walk Michigan Avenue.
AA2510. Miami. 6:50 a.m. I pause here. South Beach. Beach chair. Cool drink delivered. Long Nap.
I approach my gate.
AA2632. Dallas. 6:59 a.m.
And here it comes.
To Do’s. Commitments. Responsibilities.
I walk up to the Gate attendant. “Good morning Mr. Kanigan. You are seated in an Exit row. Are you willing and able to assist in an Emergency?”
Exit. Now. Do it. This is your last chance.
I smile. “Yes. Yes I am.”
I walk down the jet bridge. And I note that the heaviness lifts. Peace.
IT’S THREE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND I AM WIDE AWAKE, laying in bed, and listening to the sound of a train passing through town. Its whistle is echoing, muffled in the fog. A real Woody Guthrie moment.
I’m not sleeping. My body is resting to a degree, but my mind is wandering all over the place – Planning our Texas trip, Compiling a grocery list for later today, and when I heard the train whistle I was taken back in time to my childhood. My childhood – a time of Steam Locomotives and steel ribbons of tracks disappearing around a curve. My late night wanderlust is hearing the Conductor calling out, “All Aboard!”
NOT LONG AGO I WAS CHATTING with one of the younger members of the family. She is in the sixth grade and turning into an interesting human being. She is past that Baby stage and is thinking about her future.
I asked her if she had given any thought to what she would like to be when she grows up. She answered me.
A collection of fairy tales written by child refugees in Greece has gone on sale to help those like the book’s authors.
Travelling Tales features a rugby-playing dog, a king who grew to love animals and chickens fighting an alien invasion among its eight stories.
The book is the brainchild of Brazilian journalist Debora de Pina Castiglione and her sister Beatriz. The two combined their love of words and illustrations to create the book but the ideas came directly from the children.
Debora ran workshops with Syrian and Kurdish children aged between four and 14 years old, at three refugee camps close to Thessaloniki in Vasilika, Lagadikia and Oreokastro.
It gave the children something to do without focusing on their own lives.“The idea was not to have the children talk about their journeys or experiences fleeing war, at least not directly,” Debora said. “It was to let them tell the stories they wanted to, in ways they chose themselves.
“I think it’s important for young people to engage with one another. Children all over the world are watching the refugee situation, or hearing it on news programmes their parents watch and listen to, and as well as hoping it would be an interesting project for the children at the camps, I wanted to do something so the children outside of the crisis could see the children caught up in it on their own terms, as children with fun and interesting stories, just like they are.”
And there is something entirely captivating about the stories. In The Travelling Princess, Amira shuns her royal title to live as a poor person who goes around giving away gold she found as she explored the world.
In Aliens vs Chicken, Earth is under attack from extraterrestrials who want to steal all the chicken eggs in the world. While humans are relieved about the aliens’ demands, the chickens are not happy and fight back, reclaiming the eggs.
The story was written by nine-year-old Shahd who lives in the military camp of Lagadikia. Debora describes her stories as “full of adventure. Her creativity reminds us that there are heroes even where we least expect to find them.”
“We spent four months with the children,” Debora added. “In some cases, the children spoke English very well, and had quite clear ideas of their stories. In others, we worked with a translator, and also spent time with them to help them develop their ideas, to make the stories hold together better.
“But the point was that these are the stories of the children, so we didn’t change their words, or add anything they did not include themselves.”
Five professional illustrators helped to bring the stories to life, including Beatriz.
The book was published last month and is available in English as well as Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Dutch. It is for sale via Amazon priced at £10.
Money collected from the sale of the book will be used to help support projects that look for alternative housing solutions to the military camps.
“hope is a waking dream.”
credits: the irish news, Debora and Beatriz de Pina Castiglione, child refugees in greece
#teachers for refugees
A thousand Thanks to KSBeth for allowing me to share this with you.
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I REALLY HAVEN’T WRITTEN MUCH ABOUT MY SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS LATELY. There is a good reason – they are not having a good year. No, it’s worse than that – they are stinking up the joint.
For the first time since the 1980s they have a chance to lose 100 games this season. That hurts.
I remember going out to games at the old Candlestick Park and watching them lose day after day. It was not easy to be a witness to that. Since then they have had some glorious years – winning three World Series rings in a three year period. But that was then and this is now.
LAST YEAR WAS A TIME OF TRAVEL FOR US. Our seven weeks in Ireland was followed by about 10 days in Detroit, then a week in Texas. That was all squeezed into the period from early April to early July.
This year promises to be more sedate, but hardly comatose. We’ve already done one trip to Texas with another booked for Mid-July. In between there will be another 10 day sojourn, this time to Georgia near Atlanta. After that the calendar looks empty as far as travel is concerned – until the Holidays late in the year.
THE LAST PERSON WHO HAD A STIFF NECK like mine was back in 1873 and hanging from a tree in Arizona for being a “Hoss Thief.”
I woke up this morning when a lightning bolt of pain shot through my neck when I rolled over in bed. I did a quick check – no rope, no pair of gnarled hands around my throat, and my head was still attached to the rest of my body.
Even in a world with very few Monarchs who are anything more than figureheads being a King still sounds like a good job. The days have passed when mobs of peasants used to storm the Palace with torches and pitchforks. Very few people have pitchforks anymore and I don’t recall ever seeing anyone carrying a real, honest to goodness torch. Yes, I think that might be the job for me – “King Krafty.” That has a nice ring to it.
A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO my wife, the lovely and thought provoking, Dawn, posted a question on Facebook that made a lot of people stop and think.
She asked for, “Songs / musical pieces that bring you to tears or grab you and won’t let go.”
That was not as easy a request as I first thought.
I am a music lover. My tastes range through just about every genre that you can think of. What I have playing in the car could make you scratch your head. I have Hard Rock, Opera, Country, Oldies, Jimmy Buffett, Broadway, Blues, Pop, Classical, Jazz, and even a Folk number or two. I usually have it going in a Random Mode, but if one song or artist hits a nerve I slide into Repeat Mode.
Inside the crowded cabin, the roar of the jet engines was only a constant vibration to him. No sound was getting through. He always flew stone deaf. It would take two days for his full hearing to return.
“I know, Dominic,” said Peeto. “Happens every time you fly.”
“Happens every time I fly.” Dominic pinched his nose and blew, trying to open his blocked ears.
“I tell you, Peeto, I hate to fly. I really hate it.” The blowing did no good.
“Yeah, it always messes up your hearing,” nodded Peeto.
“It always messes up my hearing, y’know?” He stuffed five sticks of gum into his mouth.
It was a little more than an hour into the flight from Newark to LAX and the flight attendants had already started dealing out the prepackaged, precooked, and pre-ruined meals to the passengers. It was a ritual known to the attendants as “slopping the hogs.” Somehow, that part never got into their ads.
Well, plans for Christmas are now in place. We will be flying down to Texas and spending a week or so visiting with Family. I can’t think of a better way to spend the Holidays. OK – maybe hitting the jackpot on the lottery while there would be better, but the odds are not in our favor.
My wife, the lovely and optimistic, Dawn will go for a “Quick Pick” lottery ticket on occasion. She doesn’t do it all the time. She has standards – the jackpot has to be at least $100 Million Dollars or it’s not worth the investment of a dollar bill. I can’t argue with that. It really is a game of “Go big or go home,” so she goes big and then goes home anyway.
Additional arrests made in homicide of local radio personality
Staff ReportPublished: October 25, 2016, 8:12 am Updated: October 25, 2016, 9:32 am
SOMEONE I KNOW WAS MURDERED.
I can’t say that we had been close friends, but I knew him well enough to say that he was a good man who would go out of his way to help others – and he was murdered.
There aren’t a lot of details available yet, but four people have been arrested. They had his car and were caught after trying to use his I.D. and bank card at a local Wal-Mart. Their combination of cruelty and stupidity led to their speedy arrest. They were caught within an hour of being turned away at the store.
These people decided that a car and a bank card were worth a man’s life. And now they will have to further decide if those things were worth their own lives as well.
The man they killed was well known in this area for his work with several local radio stations and the Chamber of Commerce. He and I had first interacted about 7 – 8 years ago when I was still working. I had several young clients who had expressed an interest in possibly pursuing a career in broadcasting. I contacted one of the local radio stations and they were very receptive to allowing me to bring one of the teens to the station. That was when this gentleman entered the picture.
He greeted us and took us into the studio where he was “On The Air,” Between songs and other announcements, he talked with and listened to my client. For at least an hour we all talked about the business and what it took to be a success. He was a Radio DJ, but he was also a teacher.
Several other times he allowed me to come back to the station with other kids where he lifted their eyes to goals higher than what they had thought possible.
He made a difference.
And now these stupid and heartless people have ended that – all for a trip to Wal-Mart.
Right now I don’t have anything more to say.
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SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT AFRAID to say what they believe. I’m not talking about religious beliefs or anything political or even restaurant reviews. No, I’m talking about the people (I assume that they are actual people) at AccuWeather. Com. When it comes to forecasting the weather these folks don’t know the meaning of the word “Maybe.”
I just went to their website and, according to their seers and their array of Magic 8-Balls; it will start raining again here in 116 minutes – not 115, not 117, but 116 minutes exactly. Now THAT is a weather forecast.
John Kraft is a writer living and working in Terre Haute, Indiana. He moved to the Midwest after 25 years in California where he worked as an actor, comedian, voice-over actor, as well as a writer. He now enjoys a saner pace of life with his wife, Dawn, who tries to keep him from embarrassing himself in public.
Perhaps I should explain the title of this blog: Down the Hall on Your Left.
My name is John. People are always asking where they can find "The John." My answer is: "Down the Hall on Your Left."