Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Monday, March 31, 2014

An Unconventional Season


This morning the sky looked like mouthwash
The blue kind, not the green or yellow
       Like glacier ice
       10,000 years old
       
Winter is loitering
With nefarious intent
        Waiting for the right moment
        To launch an unwarranted attack

No doubt immediately after the garden has been planted

        
             

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Storm Clouds Movin' In

                                             View towards Eldorado Canyon, Colorado

Everything In Ruins

                      Crow Creek Pass Along The Old Iditarod Trail, Alaska

Somewhere on this planet there is a community
A city, a town, maybe a village
Where everybody gets along

They do not always agree
but disagreement is not a big deal
People are free to think as they please

Can you imagine what it's like
To try to have an argument there?

"Your favorite sports franchise under-performs"
"Well, yes, your opinion may be valid"



Friday, March 28, 2014

After Awhile, The Lack Of Attention Started To Sting


The perfume she had on Wednesday 
Coupled with the new haircut
And the three-inch heels, red
Was enough to capture the attention
Of every man of conventional sexual orientation
And a few women who were not
They sat down in a corner booth
Ordered drinks
She asked the usual questions
He gave the usual answers
They both buried themselves in menus
She hadn't worn heels, or perfume
In probably 8 months
He wondered who she cut her hair for
She waited patiently for him to notice
That she had worn heels, and perfume
And had cut her hair the way he liked it

He was blind to the obvious
And that was what doomed the relationship

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pssst...Hey, Over Here...


What the hey! 

The Loss Of A Lifetime Ago Friend

                              Sketch of AKA I did in 1985, black Sharpie marker on paper

We met when I was 20, she was 23. She carried herself with fantastic confidence, something I could not resist. She was born in the deep south, Mississippi, but she was raised all over the country, being what is affectionately known as a military brat.

She did retain a bit of a southern accent though, which charmed me like nothing I had ever known before. She would get upset with me for some bone-headed error in judgement I'd make (as I often did and do), and I almost actually enjoyed just listening to the drawl in her voice as she vented her anger - made it hard to argue back, actually.

Her initials were AKA, and that was how I took to referring to her - it just sounded cool.

We went out dancing every single week, usually twice a week. She loved to dance, and more importantly, she loved to dance with me, and to the music I enjoyed dancing to. There was an energy to her, a sensual energy that eclipsed any I had ever encountered before.

However, the passion between us was a little too incendiary. Possessiveness wormed it's way in, bringing along suspicion and paranoia. We ended the relationship after one particularly ugly dispute, and though we were able to remain on friendly terms, we were never able to reconcile.

I moved on and so did she. Years passed, and with the passage of time coupled with distance and the onset of new relationships, we fell out of communication with one another. My peripatetic life took me far from that time and place.

Then late one June evening in Anchorage, 8 years and nearly 4,000 miles from when we last saw one another, inexplicably, we chanced upon each other.

There was an alternative music bar in Anchorage known as the Underground, and it was a place I went often, even though I did not drink at the time. The appeal was the large dance floor and a DJ that would play music I could dance to, plus the sand volleyball pit in the back, just off the outside patio. It was while I was playing a game of volleyball with a group of friends that we ran into each other.

Or rather, she spotted me as I was getting ready to serve, and called out my name. It was as odd a thing as I've ever had happen to me. I had the volleyball in my hands and a woman's voice shouted out my name. I turned to the patio and there she was, sitting at a table alone.

Stunned is not an adequate word to describe my reaction. I walked over to the table and looked at her and said her name, questioningly. She looked up at me and asked what the hell was I doing in Anchorage, Alaska, and I repeated the question back to her.

Then I sat down, and we started talking. For twenty minutes or so we talked. She told me what the hell she was doing in Anchorage - she had moved to Anchorage a few months back, following a soldier who was stationed at Richardson. That relationship had ended, but she was in another (and in fact was at the bar on a date with the guy, who had gone to the bar to get her a drink, and when he returned graciously allowed us to sit and catch up while he went off and danced). I told her what the hell I was doing in Anchorage, and we both marveled at the weirdness of running into each other there.

Soon, the opening chords to a song that was a favorite of both of ours spilled out of the doorway that led inside the bar - we looked at each other and just got up and headed to the dance floor. We danced to that song, and then another, before sitting back down. She then told me she had to get back to her (rather patient) date, and we exchanged phone numbers.

She left the bar and I returned to my (very curious) group of friends and explained what had just happened. Everyone agreed it was quite an amazing happenstance.

Getting home that night, I pulled out the slip of paper with her phone number on it and stared at it for a long while. The woman I was then living with was working a late shift and wasn't due home for awhile, and I pondered the implications of having that number in my possession. I considered telling her the events of the evening when she got home, but then I thought better of it. I decided right then that it was better to let sleeping dogs lie and I tore up the slip of paper and disposed of it.

I must assume that AKA had the very same reaction, as I never heard from or saw her again. 

Years passed. I left Anchorage to explore more of the world, until finally settling down in Colorado. This past Monday night I received an email from an old friend that had AKA's name as the title.

I opened the email and all it contained was her obituary - from 2001. She had been killed in a car crash 3 days before her 41st birthday. My friend explained in the email that he had stumbled upon it years ago, and had found it in a file as he was cleaning up an old computer he was getting rid of.

A wave of disbelief and sadness washed over me as I read the obituary. There were details about her life that I knew, and a few I didn't - she had left Alaska not long after we had run into each other, and had married twice (divorced once). She was survived by her husband. 

Sadness is a curious thing. I felt sad Monday night because a woman I once knew intimately passed away some years ago, but it was an odd sadness. I didn't feel a sense of loss for myself, I felt a sense of loss for those who were part of her life when she died. I felt grief for her husband, and I hoped she didn't suffer in the accident that took her life. 

AKA was a terrific woman, a terrific person. I will always remember her with a smile.






Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ball-Point Pen Sketch Of Butch

                Butch the Border Jack, Ball-point pen on paper, 11" X 13" CRB March 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pick Your Spot


Of all the pictures I have ever taken, the one above comes closest to my ideal of what a photograph should be. While the saxophone player is obviously the primary subject, the particular subway stop (77th street in Manhattan, near the Natural History Museum, if I remember correctly) contributes so much to the composition of the picture that it too is a primary subject. 

The juxtaposition of lines, curvilinear and rectilinear, as well as the brilliant splash of yellow hues, perfectly frames the busker. The way the tiles are arranged to suggest either the radiance of the sun or the entrance into a cave or tunnel is what actually made me want to take the picture, not the busker (who I gave a fiver to for allowing me to include him in the picture, BTW - always pay the talent).

There were so many angles in the composition I absolutely had to include the busker, as without him the picture becomes just a study in geometry and color.

That he was wearing a red hat and a green coat made it it all the better.

It's photographs like these, the one in 2 or 3 thousand, that make taking them all worthwhile. 

Or maybe I'm seeing more in this picture than is actually there. 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mark Twain Hit The Nail On The Head


Which is more difficult? Trying to share the hard lessons you have learned via experience with someone young and naive, or having to listen to some burned out old geezer trying to tell you what you should or should not do with your life?




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Traditional Lament In E Minor


On cloud-free nights he counted the stars
   Contemplating the Universe, cold and vast
Safe from harm in his palisade
   Remembering the days of glory passed

The magic of those moments would forever last
    Time stood still, no one ever would grow old
The last light of sunsets that would never fade
    The warmth of summer that would never grow cold

Plans were never made, nothing better could be imagined
   No sorrows blackened the clear blue skies
Then the responsibilities of a productive life
   Jumped from behind a corner and caught him by surprise

Life started making demands, forced him to realize
   Not everyone who aspires reaches the highest heights
But instead of allowing that truth to get him down 
   He counted stars on cloud-free nights


Friday, March 21, 2014

Two Primitive Humans Meet In A Cave...


The big ball of hot, dense hydrogen and helium was one of approximately 300 billion big balls of hot, dense hydrogen and helium within an elliptically-shaped area about 1,000 light years thick by 100,000 light years across (give or take).

Being as how the distance light travels in a year is close to 6 trillion miles, we're talking a fairly vast area here.

Like all the other big balls of hot, dense hydrogen and helium, it was traveling through space at approximately 10 miles a second, a result of the extremely large, some might say cataclysmic, explosion that had occurred 20 billion years ago.

Also like the other big balls of hot, dense hydrogen and helium, there were a few bits of debris from that explosion caught in it's gravitational  field, traveling at the same rate of speed through the same space.

On one particular speck of debris, a largely green and blue orb that was covered primarily in water, the only known lifeforms in the gravitational influence of the big ball of hot, dense hydrogen and helium existed.

Life had popped up on the green and blue speck of cosmic debris around 3 and 1/2 billion years ago, in various forms, and had proceeded to evolve, thrive, die out. 

At the moment, the lifeforms that dominated the planet had been around for about a million years. For 95% of the million years of the lifeform's development, they did nothing that distinguished themselves from the other primitive lifeforms they shared the blue and green orb with.

But then something odd happened to the lifeform. It developed a means of expressing itself, of sharing it's thought's with other members of it's species, of exchanging ideas and knowledge.

From that point on it's pretty much been a mess.


The Last Days Of Adolescence


Remember that one time when everything was just pie in the sky?
It seemed life was easier than a two-piece jigsaw puzzle
Then things started to get a little challenging
Teachers started expecting you to sit still in class, pay attention
Soon, you were expected to start carrying a little of your own weight
Clean up your room, put your things away, mow the lawn
Then that fateful day came
"Get a job"
Ouch
Worse yet
You started thinking
"There has got to be more"
More than this neighborhood, more than these people
So you set out in search of adventure
Navigating your way through the treacherous maze named experience
Like a one-armed kayaker heading towards the falls of Niagara
Hoping to make landfall on Goat Island before the river takes you over

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Man In The Uber-Traditional Subtly Expressive Synthetic Overcoat


Dream. Dream a lot. Dream all the damn time. Dream of what is possible for you, dream of what is probable. Never stop dreaming. 

For when you stop dreaming, regret slips in. Regret is a killer. Never allow regret to overrun your dreams.

The best defense against regret is to actively pursue your dreams...except that one where you're falling. Don't follow that one, you'll probably get hurt.

Follow the ones where you accomplish great things, overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, explore exotic places, make the world a better place.

Don't chase after the dreams in which you become the tyrannical dictator of a country though, or the dream in which you finally get your revenge on everyone who ever wronged you in the slightest way - leave that crap in the realm of fantasy, or better yet, learn to let that go - for those are the type of dreams that lead to even worse regret than the simple regret of never visiting the Smithsonian or learning to play the guitar.

In fact, if you're having malevolent dreams perhaps you should start thinking about seeking professional help, maybe some counseling.

But still, dream - dream of good stuff, you know, butterflies and unicorns and becoming a best-selling author of funny yet educational children's books, that kind of thing.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

An Ounce Of Pluck


Pluck. Who the hell says that anymore? "That boy has pluck, he's going to be someone." "She's a plucky one alright, nothing and no one is going to stand in her way."

About a billion years ago the word was used regularly, as sage advice - "An ounce of pluck is worth a pound of luck," and as encouragement - "That's the way son, show some pluck."

Nowadays...well, nowadays I do not believe it's used for anything other than as a last ditch attempt to create a rhyme with duck or buck or muck or stuck, or...I think you know where this is going to end up.

I'm fairly certain I've never used the word myself, nor can I recall anyone else ever using the word around me. However, today I heard the word "pluck" used in casual conversation, and by a person under the age of 40.

It was surprising, to the point that I stopped and listened in on the conversation for a full minute or so, and when the conversation had moved on, I made a mental note to Google the word, find out a little more about it.

Try this next time you're curious about a word origin. Go to Google, and type the word in the search engine followed by the word "etymology" - like so: Pluck etymology

The Internet is a grand and glorious thing. Now I know that "pluck" is of Germanic origin, and has a few different definitions. The one I heard being used tonight was synonymous with "courage", not the one that refers to the act of pulling off or out, as in plucking a petal off a flower or pulling on a guitar string.

BTW, apparently there are a few websites devoted to "false etymologies" of which there are quite a few for pluck.

Oh, and BTW part II, there are more than 89,000 websites that deal with the etymology of "pluck."

The word "pluck" has fallen to the wayside, replaced by words that carry more weight, such as "brass" or "bravery." And "gumption."

Wait a minute, no one says "gumption" anymore. Where did that word even come from? Hold on, BRB.







Monday, March 17, 2014

Every Little Mediocre Thing


He almost died at the age of 13
After putting his hand through a window

Saved by the quick thinking of a neighbor
Who wrapped his wrist in a towel

The police asked if he was suicidal
She said no, he was just clumsy

And so it went
Attempt after attempt

No one thought he was serious
He had too much to live for, after all

Good looks, talent and confidence
At least that was what he projected

Then the day came
When he finally succeeded

His novel became a best seller
And he was recognized for his talent

So he made his way up the mountain
And yelled at the top of his lungs

"I am done"
The last words he ever spoke

The novel, a pretentious bore
Made it to number 1

Death has a way of elevating mediocrity
















The Breaking Of The Incurable Romantic


Every two weeks a dozen long-stemmed roses were on her desk at work. At least once a week he made arrangements for dinner at a nice restaurant and secured tickets for the theater, usually in the first few rows of the playhouse. Also at least once a week she would find small slips of paper that had been carefully rolled up and placed in her purse or a pocket of a shirt or even in her makeup compact.

Those slips of paper, when unrolled, would feature short, artfully crafted declarations of love and loyalty, of undying devotion and exquisite assurances of eternal commitment.

She was always effusive with gratitude for the attention, and even wrote small notes herself, which would be left in places where he was sure to find them.

It all ended with a dull thud however, the day when he, while attempting to discreetly place one of the rolled up slips of paper in the pocket of her favorite red wool coat, found another small slip of paper addressed to her that expressed longing and desire of an explicit sexual nature...written in another man's hand.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tattoo Is As Tattoo Does


An acquaintance of mine had another tattoo inked into his arm recently. It is his 20th tattoo. It is a nice tattoo, executed by a talented artist who has been in the tattoo business for twenty plus years.

His name couldn't be recalled by the acquaintance however, and since it wasn't signed, I cannot give him credit for his artistry. All apologies.

Tattoos interest me, for the obvious artistic angle, but also for the psychological angle. When a person decides to permanently, indelibly, have a bit of skin art done, it becomes a part of them, sometimes a small part with little relevance to outsiders, and sometimes a huge part that is intended to proclaim to the world exactly who and what that person is.

However, tattoos do not interest me to the point where I've ever had one done. Which is somewhat surprising to myself if no one else.

I mean, all the necessary ingredients for a "bad judgment" tattoo have been uber present in my life - raised by a single mother in a less than desirable neighborhood, worked as a Carny in my rebellious teens, four-year enlistment in the US military, artsy-fartsy power pop punker leanings - literally, I'm the living embodiment of someone who should have several tattoos.


Hell, I've even sketched out tattoo designs for people who then had those designs tattooed on their bodies.

There is a reason I do not have any tattoos though, one I have expressed before, but in general terms. 

In the past when asked why I don't have any tattoos, I've always responded by saying I was raised in a neighborhood wherein the older kids told us younger kids that tattoos were to be avoided, as they would just become another way for the police to identify you.

That is a half-truth. I was told that directly, but it wasn't by an older kid in my neighborhood, it was by the father of one of my friends.

It was when I was 9 or 10. This friend's father had a tattoo on his arm - it was quite a cliché too, a hula dancer complete with coconut shell bra. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

When I stated that I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen to my friend's father, my friend's father looked at me very intently - I can still remember this quite clearly - and said in a very direct fashion; "Don't ever get a tattoo, it just narrows your identity down for the cops."

Now, it wasn't like I was planning a career as a criminal, but in the neighborhood I grew up in that was a viable option. Those words resounded, big time.

That being said, every so often I do get the urge to get a tattoo, on my right shoulder. I've actually sketched it out. A knight on a rearing horse holding a sword in his left hand, a banner below him emblazoned with the words "Fortune Favors The Prepared".

But I've always managed to quash that urge...so far.




Friday, March 14, 2014

Duck, Duck...Oh, Goose.


Short attention span, or short interest span?
Every person has an internal meter of sorts
One that starts running as soon as something new pops up
And stops running 
When that new becomes a few days old

Give us something to cheer for, or jeer at
Give us something to love or hate
That's the way of the world
That's how we humans operate

People have to wear
A logo
That proclaims the superiority of
A town, a school, a team
So much better
Than yours

People have to swear
Allegiance 
To whatever they identify with
Usually the leaders of their governments

It will be a truly great day
When people learn to say no
When they can say NO! country or culture
Is worth dying for 
And no charismatic lunatic is worth following
Unless it's to the gallows





Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Difficult Aspect


At one time I lived in Alaska, and whenever I tell anyone that they inevitably ask me, "How could you stand the cold?"

The cold wasn't the difficult aspect of living in Alaska. You get used to cold. Humans can adapt to just about any climate.

The difficult aspect was the dark.

My ancestors hail from North Eastern Europe, so you might think I'd have a genetic disposition to the cold and dark winters. I do not. The cold is okay, but the dark...the dark can drive you batty.

I lived in a brightly lit apartment the last few years I lived in Alaska, but artificial light just didn't do it.

The middle of winter in Anchorage (or Fairbanks - I spent one ugly winter there) is the the extreme definition of winter. It is cold and dark, and seems endless.

When the sun begins to spend more than 4 hours a day in the sky, it is heaven. By the time April rolls around, such as depicted in the photograph above, it is a joy to remove all the layers of thermal protection and to enjoy the feel of the sun on your face.

Alaska is a beautiful place, but the dark of winter...there's a reason cold and dark are the go-to allegories for depression.





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Trippin' Down


A decade or so ago I was injured in a freak accident, and today a letter from the surgery center that had put my ankle and fibula back together after the accident arrived in the mail.

The letter stated that Colorado law allowed for the destruction of medical records that were ten years old or older, and the record of my surgery fell into that categorization, so, unless I wanted to come pick up my records into the shredder they would go.

I have no particular desire or need for those records, so shred away.

I was actually caught a bit off guard by the letter, as I had somewhat forgotten about that whole episode, or at least put it out of mind.

Of course, after reading the letter I got to thinking about it, and how awfully inconvenient it was to have broken bones in my right leg. I was completely laid up for a month after the bones had been set and screwed in place. I was very fortunate to have family and friends around who helped me out during the full 3 months it took to heal up (boatloads of gratitude to Patti, Ron, Ryan, Nicole, Brad, John, Carl, and many others).

The injury occurred just as I stepped out of my Jeep. I stepped right on a patch of black ice and as I twisted to try to regain my balance, the side of my foot lodged on a patch of dry asphalt and I went down, hard.

I actually got right back up and tried to walk it off thinking I had simply sprained or twisted my ankle. I hobbled all the way into work and sat down at my desk, expecting the pain and swelling to subside. I took my shoe off and elevated my leg on my overturned trashcan, then went to work on my computer.

I was like that for a couple of hours before Brad W. walked by the office I shared with Carl, saw my ankle and said, "That's not a sprain, that's broken. You need to get to a hospital."

Carl then took me down to the hospital, and after waiting about half an hour in the emergency room, I was wheeled into X-ray. The Radiology technician took a few pics, then wheeled me back out to the waiting room. A few minutes later she came out and confirmed that yes indeed, I had broken my fibula and my ankle.

The bone was reset, the ankle screwed back together (and some bone spurs removed while it was exposed), and a cast was put in place. Carl and I went back to work, and after a few minutes spent in HR going over what happened (I had slipped on the black ice after parking in the area designated as company parking), I was sent home. Well, actually, I was driven home by Carl as the painkillers given to me after the surgery had started to kick in.

HR told me I was not going to be allowed back at work until I received clearance from a Doctor, and processed workmen's compensation paperwork for me.

A month on a couch reading every book Scott Turow, Michael Crichton, and Phillip Roth had written, along with quite a few Agatha Christie and PD James mysteries, most for the second or third time, really numbs the ol' senses. By the time I was allowed to go back to work (on crutches - no walking cast for my heavy ass out of concern I might stress the repairing injuries) I was nearly stir-crazy.

After nearly three months the cast and screw were ready to be removed. It was a very quick and surreal operation. I was awake and alert the whole time, watching with a morbid curiosity.

The cast was cut off with a small electric rotary saw. Once the cast was off my lower leg and foot were cleaned with an antiseptic, an extremely tight rubber sleeve (somewhat like an open toe sock) was placed over my anesthetized foot and leg, then quickly rolled up to the bottom of my calf, effectively becoming a tourniquet.

It took less than twenty seconds for the Doctor to cut open the area were the screw had been placed, and using a Makita cordless drill, remove the screw.

The Physicians Assistant quickly sutured the opening back together and bandaged it all up. I was given instructions on how to care for the area and told to return in 10 days to have the stitches removed.

I have a nice "S" shaped scar on the outside of my right ankle, but I've never felt any discomfort or pain associated with the injury. The Doctor and his assistant did a great job.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Interpretation


The two stood
Side by side
At the museum
Staring at the painting
"What do you think?"
She asked

He replied
"It is dark
Almost repressive
It seems to represent
The inequalities
That society 
Imposes on mankind
The vulgar separation
Between the haves
And have nots
The disparate
Dichotomy 
Between the rich
And the poor
The gross polarization
Of average Americans
Being played against each other
For the sake of ratings
By the corporate media
Machine
What do you think?"

"It's an oversized rendering
Of a cheeseburger,"
She said
"I think it is making me hungry.
Where should we have lunch?"


Monday, March 10, 2014

Not The Brightest Bulb In The Flower Basket


Have you ever been asked a question about yourself that you just cannot effectively answer? I have, on several occasions. Thousands of occasions in all probability.

The first time I can remember being asked a question about myself that I could not effectively answer was when I was 10 or 11. That question was, "Why don't you grow up?" I couldn't answer that question then, and not on the several hundred other occasions I was asked that question as I was in fact growing up either, simply because I didn't realize that what was really being asked was, "Why don't you mature and take life a bit more seriously?"

I only figured out what the real question was when I became neurotic enough to finally ask myself what it means to grow up, to grow from a child into an adult.

Truth be told, I'm still working on that one. Seriously, I am nowhere near as mature as I should be. Though I'm mature enough to be cognizant of that.

The other question I get asked a lot that I cannot seem to effectively answer, though I have made great effort to, is "If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?" 

It's frustrating for me to get asked that question BTW, as I never present myself as a smart person - at least I don't think I do. 

Other people must think I do however, because I get asked that question a lot. I better look into how I'm actually acting in front of people - there is the possibility I'm being an overbearing, arrogant douche.

Anyway, I was asked that question once again last night, after pub trivia.

The answer I always want to respond with is multi-faceted, but the first part of the answer is, I am not that smart. 

I just have a good memory. Being able to recall who wrote Flowers for Algernon is not being particularly smart, it's just a coupling of being an avid reader and having a good memory. BTW, it was Daniel Keyes. And, BTW, The only reason I recalled it was Daniel Keyes was because Keyes also wrote for EC comics in the '50's, of which I am a huge fan.

To me, being smart is being able to solve problems, on an above average level. I solve problems on an average level, and usually it's not because I actually figured something out, it's because I recalled reading how the particular problem in question was solved by someone else and just applied their solution.

The second part of the answer is, it does not take being smart to be rich. Talent, perseverance, and luck contribute far more to becoming rich than intelligence. I have had more conversations with incredibly intelligent homeless people than I can recall, and my line of work introduces me to more extremely wealthy people I wouldn't trust around a blender than I can recall.

Honestly, I would love to be rich, or at least very financially secure - and by that I mean I want to live in a villa on the Costa Del Sol and never have to look forward to a payday again as long as I live - but being Joe Average, I have learned to live within my means and to enjoy all the great things around me that really cannot be bought.

And I've learned to respond to that question with a short quip, which is, "I'm not smart. I'm just very lucky."

Yep. The luckiest person you will ever meet. Except for the two short marriages and subsequent divorces part.











Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Miserable Life Was What He Longed For


























Always played down his happiness
Always overplayed his misery
The truth was never even close to the middle
He just worked whatever angle made him feel affliction

In the morning he would spend time
Thinking up some new disaster
To share with his fellow miserable cubicle clowns
Every morning he would write it all out
Just how unfortunate it was 
To have been born in a time that demanded little

He needed to be angry
He desperately longed for a cause celebre
Something, anything, to fuel the fire
The fire that made him feel as if he mattered

In the evening he skipped through the channels
Hoping to chance on something dreadful
That he could incorporate into his own tale of woe
Every evening he hoped for calamity
To darken the blue skies he lived under
Skies that dulled him with a bearable life

Why, he wondered, hadn't he contracted a disease
A popular one that would result in publicity
For his suffering, his pain, his desolation
The horrible life he always dreamed of

As he grew older he realized he would be cheated
Of his moment of true, pathetic, wretchedness
The years passed without one single incident
Of unimaginable horrible tragedy
That would add substance to his life
Insurance went unused, caution was for naught
Day after day in a morass of stagnant bliss









Friday, March 7, 2014

Set The Way-Back Machine For 1918

As I've mentioned in an earlier blog, my father was a Naval Photographer. I was given a box of his photographs, 8mm films, and a few other items a few months back, and was surprised to discover that I must have inherited not only my love of photography from him, but also my love for collecting old photographs and postcards, as the box contains postcards and photographs that date back to the early years of the 20th century.

I scanned a few of the more interesting photos that had been made into postcards that feature photographs of the Naval Training Center at Camp Kearny in San Diego. Camp Kearny was initially an Army base, then became Navy Auxiliary Air Station Miramar, then Naval Air Station Miramar, and is now Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

There are also a few photographs of the Naval Training Center that was set up in Balboa Park, and at a few other locations in and around San Diego, all taken in 1918. 

That was the last year of World War One, and San Diego had become a Navy town like no other - to this day it is the home of the world's largest Naval fleet.

BTW, at the time these photographs were taken, San Diego had a population of 70,000 or so.













The last two pictures were taken in 1918 at Naval Air Station San Diego on Coronado's North Island. The base had been established in 1917, and is considered the birthplace of Naval Aviation.






Thursday, March 6, 2014

Women Want Equal Rights...They Do Not Want Equal Treatment


Tonight I was out with B & T, It was a fairly special night for us, as it commemorated the birthday of a man we knew as a brother who has passed away.

But that is not the point. The point is this. At one of the bars we were at, we observed two women sitting next to two men they did not know and, before either of the women actually introduced themselves, the one closest to one of the men took a drink from his glass, flirtatiously-like

Know what happened after that? Nothing, shits and giggles.

Well,  B and I decided to try to duplicate that action at the next bar we hit. We sat next to a couple of women, and I took a sip (flirtatiously) from her drink - through a small black straw.

Know what happened? Supernova explosion. Accusations of trying to drug her drink, etc.

Women, as a gender, can be extremely hypocritical. Flat out double-standard city.