When I feel the need for a good sustained laugh I go to YouTube and pull up a few episodes of “The Vicar of Dibley.”
When I feel the need for a good sustained laugh I go to YouTube and pull up a few episodes of “The Vicar of Dibley.”
YOU SEE SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY. AT LEAST I DO. It may be something that millions of other people see each and every day, but it’s new to me. It is kind of like the first person who was hungry enough to eat a clam. They looked at that clam, heard their stomach growl, and decided that for the first time in human history that a clam could be food. OK, maybe it’s not exactly like that, but it is close enough for my purposes.
Last week I was, where else, slurping up my morning coffee at St. Arbucks when I saw something I had never seen before. I found it appropriate that it took place in the religious environment of St. Arbucks.
UH, OH! I SEE A CHALLENGE AHEAD. At least it is not directly involving me.
I learned the other day that one of the Usual Suspects is going under the knife in a few days. It’s nothing life threatening, but according to him it’s worse – he is going to have his golf game taken away for a year.
Why not just cut out his heart?
Throwback Thursday from March 2017 – “Three Little Words”
I KNOW A YOUNG BLOGGER, whose work I really enjoy. Recently she mentioned that she had decided to sign a “DNR” form. For the uninitiated “DNR” stands for “Do Not Resuscitate.” It is an alert to medical personnel that the person who signed the form does not want any measures, like CPR, to be taken to keep them alive if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. Serious business.
I’ve known a number of people who have signed “DNR” forms. They all had their reasons, but most of them were terminally ill and a “DNR” is a legal document. I do not have a “DNR” form. I also have my reasons.
There are any number of reasons to not sign such a form. One of them is specific to Indiana. Here in the Hoosier State the Abbreviation “DNR” also stands for the “Department of Natural Resources.” Such a redundancy could cause some really confusing situations.
For example – You might wish to sign a “DNR” so that, when the time comes, you could go quietly into that good night. – And accidentally find yourself being sworn in as an Indiana Park Ranger. Or it could go the other direction which could be even more upsetting, depending on your long range plans.
My own personal reason for not signing a “DNR” – the hospital one – is that I’m not knowingly ready to shuffle off my mortal coil. There are things I still want to do, places to visit, and books to read and write. It’s not so much a “Bucket List” like in the movie as it is a shopping list of things I want to pick up and carry with me. And I have no desire to become a Park Ranger. So me signing anything with the initials DNR on it is not likely for any time in the foreseeable future.
I’m not concerned about any sudden reversal of fortune when it comes to my health. Every morning when my eyelids open up like a pair of electric garage doors I say a short prayer. I’m not asking God for anything. It’s just a simple, “Thank You.” That’s all I need to say. He can fill in the unspoken blanks. Just “Thank you.” So I don’t feel the need for anything as final as a “DNR.”
That morning when the young blogger talked about her “DNR” decision we chatted a bit about it all. I told her why I didn’t have one as well. If I had been thinking quicker I would have come up with something witty and ever so clever as a retort. Well, following true to form, I did come up with something. I tried it out on one of The Usual Suspects over coffee.
“A What?” he asked
“A ‘PFGSRMNYOB’ form.”
“What in the world does that mean?”
“Oh, that’s a special form that I designed myself.
“‘PFGSRMNYOB’ – ‘Please, For God’s Sake, Resuscitate Me Now You Overpaid Bastard’.”
Good morning and Thank You again.
BY AND LARGE TERRE HAUTE (THAT’S FRENCH FOR, “I CAN’T MAKE UP MY MIND.”) is a quiet town that lives life one day at a time – except when it comes to making decisions. The civic power structure of this town can never make up its mind about anything. I’d hate to go to lunch with Terre Haute; it would never be able to pick what to eat.
Whenever the City and its elected officials, are called upon to make a decision it must first go through a lifetime of hemming and hawing. They will make up their minds and then immediately reverse themselves and go back to square one. It is as if the City is being run by a collection of squirrels who are trying to cross the street.
I do it because I can.
I confuse people.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I used to be part of an Improvisational Comedy group in San Francisco. The eight of us (AKA the “Improv Alternative” and later as “Anchovi Daiquiri”) worked in nightclubs, theaters, street fairs, and any place that would let us through the door. We would do a two hour show made up entirely from audience suggestions.
WHAT POSSESSES PEOPLE TO START A CONVERSATION about one topic over another? I mention this because this morning while I was trying to inhale my coffee one of the Usual Suspects started waxing nostalgic about her years in elementary school. After an unspecified number of decades why did this come to mind? I remember my years in elementary school, but I feel no need to bring it up for discussion.
I do admit that there are worse topics for discussion at that early hour. Honestly I also do not feel like listening to someone give me the details of their latest hospitalization for that nagging parasitic problem…At least not if I am eating at the time.
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.
TALK ABOUT PAINTING YOURSELF INTO A CORNER…Whew!
This morning (a few days before Valentine’s Day) I was stumbling into St. Arbucks for a transfusion with a little Half-n-Half when I saw a poster advertising a weekend concert. Whoever put it up was careless and posted it sideways on the bulletin board. The concert featured a singer doing a Frank Sinatra Tribute Show.
That singer is a performer whose Show Business career is firmly rooted in “The Law of Diminishing Returns.”
Aaron was born with congenital heart disease and spent much of his life in the hospital. He had a heart transplant when he was fifteen. That gave him a few good years, but when he was nineteen his body suddenly rejected his new heart and he passed away.
HABITS – THEY ARE LIKE QUICKSAND. Once you find yourself mired in them it can be difficult to get out. Yeah, quicksand, or contracts with a cell phone company or a relationship with someone who sucks the life out of you and eats crackers in bed.
Not all habits are that dramatic. Most habits just kind of sneak up on you and you are perfectly comfortable with them – until someone or something comes along to break into the usual pattern of everyday life.
I had such an intrusion into my life this morning. Nothing big, mind you, or earthshaking, but, darn it – it made me alter my routine – and I like my routine.
“The Brightest Flash of Light Ever Recorded Now Has An Explanation.”
That’s quite a headline. I would have opted for something shorter like, “Say Cheese! Says Heaven.”
When I saw that long headline this morning I had to read what followed.
It seems that in June of 2015 a pair of Israeli Observers (Read two guys who stay up all night really looking for UFOs, but won’t admit it.) were gazing into the night skies when they saw a bright flash of light – and lucky for them, they had their GoPro cameras or iPhones turned on to record the event. Why was I not told about this?
Jumping ahead 18 months or so to this morning the Observers say that they have finally figured out what caused it.
“…the burst was caused by the destruction of a star consumed by a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy,”
Somehow, I have my doubts about their explanation. It all seems too complicated. I think it all might have a much simpler cause.
“What did you do last night?”
“We stayed up all night staring at the sky, like most nights.”
“See anything interesting?”
“No. Just a bright flash of light.”
“Oh, what was that all about?
“That sounds reasonable to me. That was it. Mystery solved.”
“I dunno. My boss thinks it was a star being ripped apart by a black hole in a distant galaxy.”
“Hmm? I’d go for the pizza guy thing.”
“Yeah, me too.”
I make no claims to be a scientist of any sort. I was Liberal Arts major. I’m lucky I can read the label on a can of beans, but if this brightest light ever came from a “distant galaxy” – well, I have doubts that anyone can give a surefire explanation any better than, “The pizza guy had his bright lights on.”
“When a star passes within the tidal radius of a supermassive black hole, it will be torn apart. The rapid spin and high black hole mass can explain the high luminosity of this event.”
Loose translation into English: “I admit we were drinking and before I passed out my head was spinning something fierce, and then…I saw this bright light. Funny thing is I could swear I also smelled pepperoni.”
I admit that this is a very loose translation from the original “Astronomerese.”
Explaining what happens out there in the permanent night is, quite literally, a shot in the dark. The “Black Hole” idea about the bright light is as good as any I suppose, and just as valid as anything I could come up with. I like mine better. My explanation allows the guys who spend their nights gazing skyward to have a little fun – and some pizza. If we blindly accept the more scientific sounding explanation it makes me sad. Can life be any duller than spending each night sitting in the dark waiting for something, anything, to happen? It must be like being the Understudy to Life.
HERE WE ARE NEAR THE STUBBY END OF FEBRUARY and signs of life are returning to this frozen slice of the world. One of those indicators is the return of the Four-Legged Restaurant Critic to Terre Haute (That’s French for “Are you going to eat that?”). This town has more dining options than any town this side of West Terre Haute (That’s Portuguese for “Does anybody here speak French?”).
I like Mexican food. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find. There is a Taco Bell within hurling distance of where I am seated – no Mexican food there. Taco Bell has twice tried to open stores inside the nation of Mexico and twice they have failed to find an audience. ‘Nuff said.
OK…I’M AS FREE THINKING AS THE NEXT GUY and even more so than the guy next to him, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.
Not everyone in the world has good luck in dating and looking for true love.
The perfect, or rather highly imperfect, example of this comes in the person of Mr. Christian Nichols, 21, of Oldsmar, Florida. Mr. Nichols is currently incarcerated for “Looking for Love in all the wrong places.”
FOR THE LAST WEEK OR THREE I have been seeing stories about this Scientist from Harvard named Abraham Loeb who believes that an object that recently entered our solar system might, and he is heavy on the MIGHT, have been an Alien Space Craft (no relation).
To be honest… there was an object that came in from Interstellar Space. It was headed our way. Beyond that… I got nothin’.
After an exhaustive five minutes of research (Which is more than I do for almost everything else here.) I have learned a few tidbits of information – most of it confusing. I was a Liberal Arts Graduate. Having a B.A. in Theater doesn’t prepare you for dealing with Interstellar Space, unless you plan on playing a Klingon on Star Trek.
Here is some of what I have uncovered.
Throwback Thursday from Feb. 2016 – Albert Einstein Meets The Bowery Boys
IT SEEMS THAT EVERY DAY THERE IS A NEW INVENTION OR DISCOVERY that changes the world. I recently saw that scientists have discovered proof of “Gravitational Waves” that were mathematically theorized by Albert Einstein decades ago.
While that may rattle the tea cups of the scientific world, it really doesn’t impact our daily lives. Gravitational Waves are something on a Cosmic scale that may, at some date in the future, affect how or where people live. But, so far, it doesn’t alter what I’m having for lunch today.
With a minimum of research on my part I have uncovered one of those seemingly “little things” that are almost universally present, yet are virtually unseen. The Toothpick.
IF ANY OF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A JOB – come see me. I know of a very special job opening that calls for a very special person.
Dairy Queen is Hiring!!!
Imagine being behind the counter at Dairy Queen with access to everything – Blizzards of any size and flavor at your fingertips. All of that and, to top it off, you are living in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Put cheese on it!).
PARTIALLY DUE TO THE INCLEMENT WEATHER and the seemingly endless weeks of battling bugs of varying virulences we have been watching a lot of TV.
My wife, the lovely and the ultimate Amazon Prime Minister, Dawn, and I have gathered up blankets, Kleenex, and hot tea so we could do some serious binge watching.
With Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap we settled ourselves down for a long winters Ripping Yarn. Dawn had been scouting the terrain and had come up with a series that had six years of episodes in the can. We figured that should hold us until Spring. Well… After one week we are halfway through Season Four. Spring better arrive soon.
IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYDAY THE HEADLINES ARE FILLED with the nefarious exploits of criminal sorts who – how shall I say this – think big? Not content with knocking over a bank they pull off a multibank swindle for hundreds of millions of dollars. Then there are the Bernie Madoff sorts who just feed on the greed of those people who think there are “Something for Nothing” ways to Riches and Rodeo Drive. These are Big City News stories, but I think that there is nothing that can compare with Small Town News. In the Small Town newspapers you are going to find stories that would never make the pages of the New York Times.
Where else are you going to learn about the woman who was arrested for barking at a Police Dog?
YOU CAN TELL THAT THEY MUST HAVE SKIPPED BREAKFAST. All those guys wanted to talk about was food. They started out comparing restaurants and moved on to recipes. These guys are eaters, not cookers. They could easily kill themselves if they went into the kitchen. They would either poison themselves or blow the house to Kingdom Come.
The thing is – they are making me hungry and I’m stuck with them, sitting in the corner at St. Arbucks.
I think that part of this discussion of theirs has its Genesis in their desire to break out their backyard grills and destroy some perfectly good meat while they are popping open enough beer to get them all arrested for BUI – Barbequing Under the Influence.