Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Maybe I should become an archivist....

Donald Sterling and his archivist V. Stiviano...


I'm not laughing at his bigoted and racist ramblings. Certainly not.

I'm laughing at them.

I've read conflicting reports regarding each of their ages, but let's make things simple and

round things off.  He's around 80 and she's around 30.

She's his "archivist".  (Wink Wink)

An archivist is a collector of historical documents and materials.  Doesn't sound like a very

technical or high falutin' job..Maybe it is. I've never known an archivist.

I don't know what he pays her.

I understand that he HAS bought her a $1.5 million home and several luxury cars...

She must be an awesome archivist. And what he does with his billions is his business, I suppose.

Perhaps he needs a mathematician.

He apparently is unaware or does not care that the rule for dating is that a guy can only go half his age plus

seven...   So, at 80, he can date a 47 year old. At the youngest.

Of course, they're not really "dating", 'cause she's just his archivist.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

God's view of lawns.......

This is not mine. I used to share this every year on the air when Spring would roll around...

With all the yard work we've been doing, I thought this would be rather timely....

      Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns:

      God: Hey St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on

      down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I

      had a perfect "no maintenance" garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand

      drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts

      butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by

      now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

      St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your

      flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

      God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees,

      only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really

      want all that grass growing there?

      St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. The

      begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

      God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must

      make the Suburbanites happy.

      St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it... sometimes twice a


      God: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?

      St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

      God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

      St. Francis: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

      God: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so when it does grow, they cut it off and

      pay to throw it away?

      St. Francis: Yes, Sir.

      God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and

      turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

      St. Francis: You are not going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they

      drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get

      rid of it.

      God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius,

      if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the

      summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the

      soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the

      soil. It's a natural circle of life.

      St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as

      the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

      God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

      St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call

      mulch. The haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

      God: And where do they get this mulch?

      St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

      God: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. Sister Catherine, you're in charge of the

      arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

      Sister Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a real stupid movie about.....

      God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

Monday, April 28, 2014

More than a bump in the night.....

It was 1:42AM this past Saturday morning...

Marianne sat bolt upright in bed and grabbed my left arm like it was a box from Tiffanys....

"I just heard a man's voice down the hallway!!!" she whispered/yelled....

Well.....I couldn't really tell her that she was hearin' things....

Because....I. Had. Heard. It. Too.

It had awakened me at the same instant that it had her. I was just too scared to say anything.

Neither of us know what he said....It was maybe 3 seconds of loud speech.

I started to rationalize. The dogs hadn't gone crazy. Certainly someone didn't break into our house during the

middle of the day, only to wait until the middle of the night to jabber jibberish...

No, I didn't grab a gun and go in search of whatever/whoever it was.

I stayed frozen in bed.....listening to every sound. Including that of my pounding heart.

I knew that Marianne was terrified.

Well, I thought she was...When the next sound I heard was.....

"Zzzzzzzzz....."  She had fallen back asleep.

So I figured if her female intuition told her that all was well, who was I to question it?

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it...


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Yard Work Safety Tip #37....

Another beautiful day to get some yard work done...

I'd like to provide you with Yard Work Safety Tip #37... wait, uh...oh yeah...NEVER lay your rake down in the "tines up" position.

This is also known as the "Three Stooges Position", and for good reason.

Please believe me when I tell you this, but no matter how much your woman will

vow and declare that the Three Stooges are NOT funny...

If YOU ever step on a rake left in this position....

She will wait, uh...oh yeah...ALWAYS laugh her face clean off.

This is pure truth.

Just call me "Curly"...


Saturday, April 26, 2014

I came. I mowed...

I kicked my lawn's grass today. First grass kickin' of the year.

I show no mercy. I take no prisoners. I do not negotiate.

Some of my neighbors like to "overseed" their lawns in the Fall.

Not I. I enjoy the brown lawn of winter. I have zero desire to mow my yard in January.

It's enough of a challenge to get all the Christmas stuff put away by February.

Not only did I kick grass today, but I shaved it as well.

Oh, I'm very aware of all the rules sermonized by the Grass Gurus and Yard Yodas about how high it

needs to be and how you should never cut it too short.

But, on the first cut of the new season, I like to show the yard who's Boss.

It's a form of psychological warfare, and I'm sure that the fine folks at PETZ (People for the Ethical

Treatment of Zoysia) will want to have me charged with yard crimes...

But I know, and the lawn knows that I know, that come August with the 97 degree heat and the humidity

at 100%, and the daily afternoon will exact it's revenge.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Truth in advertising.......

Watching TV with my bride, and up pops another Viagra commercial.

"Don't let erectile dysfunction get in the way..." drones the voice over guy.


"Erectile Dysfunction", by it's very nature, does not get in the way.

You WANT it to get in the way.

OK. I feel better. Class dismissed.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I've got the music in me....

I like to think of my musical tastes as "eclectic", which I believe to mean "choosing the best of many and
varied genres"...However, my research shows me that the word is derived from the Greek eklektikos...which means "a guy who can't make up his mind as to what he likes on any particular day and/or at any particular time depending on his mood and/or his level of hunger." Those Greeks call 'em like they see 'em...
I was looking over my iTunes library yesterday and had quite an ear opening experience. From Adele to ZZ Top, I realized just how varied my musical choices are...AC/DC to Josh Groban...Dean Martin to Depeche Mode...The Moody Blues to the Marines Hymn...
My iTunes library consists of 5.63 gigabytes of music.
That's 1,379 songs.
That's 3 1/2 DAYS of music.
So, why is it that when I set my iTunes on "shuffle" I only like every 7th song???....

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Left to my own devices.....

It was only 24 hours....From 2pm yesterday til 2pm today....Marianne had to make a quick overnight trip to

Virginia. And in that short period of time, I backslid into bachelorhood.

I ate chicken salad over the sink.

I watched an hour long show about machine guns.

I drank a whole pot of coffee.

I cranked AC/DC on the surround sound.

I left the toilet seat up.

Not necessarily in that order.

It was, er....uh....what's the word???....oh yeah. FUN!!!

But, kinda lonely too.

I need adult supervision.

The dogs nor I haven't a clue as to how to make chicken salad.

And, it ain't home without her....

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The odds aren't good.......

My success rate is pretty low....Maybe one outta three. As a batter in baseball, that would be pretty good.
But, for leaving the house, not so much.
There's always somethin' missing. Or forgotten.
I get out to the car and realize I've forgotten my keys.
I get out to the car and realize I've forgotten my phone.
I get out to the car and realize I've forgotten my wife.
You get the picture.
Sometimes I even get away from the house when a naggin' voice whispers in my head...
"Did you shut the garage door?"
"Did you turn off the coffee maker?"
"Did you leave the TV tuned to "Animal Planet" for Roxy and Sophie?" (Just kiddin'. They prefer The Cartoon Network ...)
Years ago we were driving to Hilton Head for vacation...All excited about a week at the beach stayin' for free in a relative's home...Three hours into the trip, I turned to Marianne and asked, "You've got the key, right?"
Drove back home. Went in. Came out in 7 seconds with the key. Headed back to Hilton Head.
And the nagging voice whispered in my head.
"Did you lock the door when you left with the key?"

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lent....and beyond.

I'm thinkin' that I might be weird. Maybe odd. Perhaps a tad askew.
I, like millions of others, had given up something for Lent. Even though I, being raised as a Southern Baptist, never really "did" Lent growin' up, I've embraced the practice for the last few years. In the past I had given up french fries...or french toast...or anything French.
It's kind of amusing to hear that someone has given up something that really is irrelevant in their life...
"I'm givin' up pizza for Lent."
"That's great. How often do you eat pizza?"
"Oh, maybe once a month."
"WOW."  Quite the sacrifice!
This year I decided to give up ALL sweets. When I gave up ice cream before, I just filled in the hole with candy, cookies and cake. No real loss. But, ALL sweets?  Game changer.
And now that Lent is over I can freewheel it again..Careen into a Candy Coma if I'd like.
Here's the weird part. I don't want to.
I thought I'd be tearin' into the box of Milk Duds in the pantry...And the Oreos...And the "emergency" Girl Scout Thin Mints in the freezer. But...Nothin'.
Has this ever happened to you? Maybe you gave up cussin' for Lent, and just couldn't wait til you could let the expletives fly again. But did you?
Maybe you added something to your life instead of subtracting. That's one of the options of Lent. Perhaps you did volunteer work or served as someone's mentor. It was only for 40 days, and then you could quit. Did you?
I'm down nine pounds. I feel better. It's not about vanity, but,'ll be Speedo season before you know it...

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Easter Sunday...
Marianne and I didn't go to church today...Could've. Should've. Didn't.
Been in a highly reflective mode...
We watched "The Passion Of The Christ" this afternoon...
We have friends and family that refuse to watch it. They fear that it would be "too tough"...
It is very tough to watch...I think that's the point.
To portray a love that is so pure and perfect for you and me and those like us. And for Hitler, Stalin, and those like them...
But, that final scene. That reminder that you've got to go through Good Friday to get to Easter morning.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Maxims for married men...

Our grandboy had his BIG birthday party today....The one with family and friends...More adults were there than kids. It was the stereotypical three ring circus....Lots of yelling and laughing. And the kids were even LOUDER.
We grownups gathered in the kitchen.
Conversations about all kinds of stuff...
We happened upon three maxims of marriage that seem to be universally true...
Heed these if you are a newbie husband or hope to be one of long standing...
1) Once you are married to one, you are married to ALL of them. (This may take a while to realize, but the light bulb will illuminate and you'll say to yourself, " THIS is what he meant...")
2) NEVER return home from anywhere and not call/text as to what might be needed to be picked up at the grocery/hardware/drug store....There is ALWAYS something that is needed.
3) This is the biggie, and the sooner you understand this one, the better. And not just understand, but learn to accept the following fact. MEN SPEAK AND LISTEN IN HEADLINES AND WOMEN SPEAK AND LISTEN IN FINE PRINT.
There are more maxims, of course. But those are just the headlines...

Friday, April 18, 2014

One Solitary Life....

The following was originally written by newspaper journalist Jim Bishop as a Christmas feature.
As a Christian, I find it just as compelling for Easter...

One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village.
The child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village,
Where He worked in carpenter shop until He was 30.
Then for 3 years He was an itinerate preacher.
He never had a family or owned a home.
He never set foot in a big city.
He never traveled 200 miles from the place He was born.
While He was still a young man,
The tide of popular opinion turned against him
His friends deserted Him.
He was turned over to His enemies,
and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between 2 thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners
gambled for the only piece of property He had-His coat.
When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave
Over two thousand years have passed,
and today He is the central figure for much of the human race.
All of the armies that ever marched and all the navies that ever sailed and all of the parliaments that ever sat
and all of the kings that ever reigned,
put together, have not affected the life
of man upon this earth as powerfully as this
"One Solitary Life"

With all due respect to the late Jim Bishop, he left out the most important part. That One Solitary Life 
rose from the grave.
He is risen. He is risen indeed...

So glad the tomb is empty...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spellin' it out.......

Fortunately, they're relatively simple words. No more than two syllables. Which is a good thing since Marianne nor I are stellar spellers.
It's just the way it is. Amidst all the jabberin' that goes on around here on a daily (and nightly) basis, some words have to be s-p-e-l-l-e-d.
Perhaps you need to spell some words around your home as well.
I'm talking about words like ball, walk, leash and the biggie, RIDING. As in, "You wanna go RIDING???"
For some reason, THAT word, more than any other, throws the crazy switch in 'em. Must be the d-o-g equivalent of winning the lottery.
What is it about r-i-d-i-n-g? Maybe it's the novel sights and smells they get to collect...Maybe it's fun to leave nose prints on the interior glass. Maybe it's the hope they'll get a peek at that big stud Shepherd down the street.  
Our d-o-g-s don't know that they are d-o-g-s. We've never broken the news to them.
We've had cats and they didn't like to go r-i-d-i-n-g....They'd flip out. We'd have to drug 'em. Come to think of it, cats are so cunning that they were probably fakin' flippin' out just so we'd give them drugs.
Never had to spell around a cat.
Would've just ignored me anyway...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The very first "clue"..........

I try very hard to not laugh directly into folks' faces...
"Looks like we have a Birthday Boy with us this evening!!!", enthused the male fast food employee.
"Yep. Our grandson is celebrating his seventh birthday today."
"Well little guy, enjoy bein' a kid for as long as ya can!!!"
And with that, he turned to me and said, "Man, I'm gettin' old."
I launched into full interrogation mode. "Really? Feelin' it, are you?"
"Oh yeah. I'm definitely slowin' down."
"Past your peak, huh?"
"Absolutely. High school seems soooooo long ago."
"Yeah, for me too. How old are you?"
"Twenty. Almost twenty one." He said this with a straight face.
I kept a straight face as well. Experience has taught me that the propulsion of root beer through my nasal passages is not a pleasant thing for me or for anyone else in close proximity.
I have jeans older than he is. In fact, I was wearing a pair of 'em that evening.
People have a lot of preconceived notions about the whole "gettin' old" thing. To many, it's a number. For most (I hope) it's NOT "21", but I've heard it about turning 30 or 40. That's just crazy talk.
Some feel the doom and gloom when the need for reading glasses becomes apparent.
For others, it's when you finally start having numerous reading glasses scattered around the house and in your car.
Maybe it's when you need your reading glasses to see that your dreaded AARP application has arrived in the mail.
Let me give you the secret. The first real clue as to when you're gettin' older.
It's that very first morning that you wake up and realize that you have somehow injured yourself in your sleep.
You'll say something like, "Huh. That's odd. My knee worked just fine last night."
Or perhaps, "I must've slept funny. I can't turn my head." Hysterical.
Maybe, "Why can't I put on my socks?"
You'll know it when it happens.
At least you woke up.
Beats the alternative.
And socks? Overrated.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 15, 1945....

I'm thinkin' about my Dad today. Of events that occurred 69 years ago this afternoon. I wasn't there, of course, but he told me about it several times. Each time he related the story to me, I could see him see it all over again. Veterans call it "the thousand yard stare". He relived it with all of his senses.
In the early 80's, I had acquired Dad's military records. This was included among them. This is the citation, word for word, for his being awarded the Silver Star, our nation's third highest award for valor.

 On the afternoon of 15 April, 1945, in the vicinity of Lichtenstein, Germany, a patrol of "C" Troop, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, engaged in battle with a numerically superior enemy force. The men of "C" Troop were pinned down, and four casualties, including the troop's commanding officer, were suffered...
Staff Sergeant Cecil T. Jordan immediately assumed command of the patrol, reorganized his forces and directed fire to pin down the enemy...Then, under intense enemy small arms and bazooka fire, he personally went to the aid of the wounded, but, realizing that because of the intense fire he could not evacuate them safely and properly, he placed the casualties in defilade and returned to his post. Jordan gallantly directed the fire of the patrol until reinforcements, who had been called previously, arrived. Upon their arrival, the sergeant, exercising commendable tactical ability, used the additional men to force the enemy's withdrawal without allowing them to capture any other men than the two wounded they had meanwhile taken prisoner...
Shortly after this action, S/Sgt Jordan skillfully maneuvered his small force through the enemy lines and led them to a German held hospital where the two wounded men of "C" Troop were being held. They were safely returned to friendly lines with no further loss to personnel...
S/Sgt Jordan's daring leadership, his boundless personal courage, tactical skill and determination to close with the enemy have marked his combat experience...

He was, and is, my hero.

"My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man..."  Dan Fogelberg

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Birthday Mason......

Our grandboy Mason turned 7 today.
Of course, it doesn't seem possible.
A blink ago he was a newborn. I remember smelling his head. He smelled new.
I smelled his head tonight at dinner, and he told me, "Poppy, I think I've had enough of that!!!..."
He can reason, and argue, and negotiate now.
He can be funny. He sings silly songs. He's growing up.
So much ahead of him. Elementary, middle and high schools.
So much to learn. Including the fact that his Poppy isn't really a ninja.
I can't wait to see what he'll be interested in. What he'll want to do.
I say, "I can't wait", but.....I'd like to. I hope that time will slow down a bit.
He's only "1" in dog years. Still a puppy.
I hope that God will let me see his wedding day. If so, I hope to sneak up on him at some point and steal a sniff of his head.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Nothing to write about......

My goal is to write somethin' for this blog every day...After all, if you want to write something good, write more.
It's getting late, and I just told Marianne that I just didn't feel that I have anything to write about.....She replied that I should write about having nothing to write about.
OK....Well, there was that shopping cart left smack dab between our car and another in the Kroger parking lot yesterday. We were all of 13 steps from the "Cart Corral". That annoyed me. But, I know that someone will remind me that the poor offender may have just received an emergency phone call and had to rush to the hospital and didn't have the 27 seconds to spare.
Then there was the promo that the Golf Channel was airing today prior to CBS' live coverage of the Masters. I don't remember what the promo was about because I was too annoyed that the announcer was using a phony Southern accent. Drives me crazy. Aren't there enough REAL Southerners around that they could've found one to voice their spot?  But, I've got to realize that the Golf Channel is based in Florida, and there ain't too many native Southerners down there...
Then there were the politicians on "Face The Nation" today. More "Blah Blah Blah"....Of course, I need to remember that they're just..............politicians. Bless their hearts.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recipe for a great day....

Was thinkin' a lot about my Mom and Pop this morning....They were married 72 years ago in my paternal parents' home. Thinkin' about from where and from whom I come. Thinkin' about where I am. Thinkin' about where I'm bound.
Too much thinkin'. That is, too much thinkin' about myself.
Time spent with family and friends this afternoon served to reroute my reverie.
The manual labor of yard work felt good. Science says that sweating releases toxins from our bodies. I suspect it releases toxins from our spirits as well...
And the laughter....The best medicine of all for me.  There was lots of it today.
Sweating. Laughing. And thinking about others instead of myself.
A pretty darn close to perfect day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hi. My name is Bill. I'm a golfer...

I'm watchin' The Masters golf tournament. As a recovering golfer, I'm really not sure why. I used to be insanely obsessed with the game...I'd return home after a round and then recount the entire debacle. I don't think there has ever been any other pursuit disguised as recreation that prompts more comments like, "If I only could've...", or "I should've..." or "I QUIT!!!..."  If not kept under control, addiction sets in...
The golfing gods will tempt you, tease you and tell you lies. "Maybe a new set of irons is what I need..." "Maybe a new driver will turn things around..." "Maybe if I sawed my right hand off that would cure my slice..." I plead guilty to believing those first two fantasies. Fortunately I quit the game before #3 would lead me to answer to "Lefty".
I have taken practice swings in a car dealership, a church and a cemetery. Think about that for a second. A seemingly sane grown guy "pretends" he's swinging a golf club in, what most people would consider to be, inappropriate locations. Yet, it's viewed as relatively normal. If you were to mimic any other motion, you would be deemed a bit off. Try it. Pretend you're throwing a pitch, act like you're casting an invisible fishing line, or imagine you're makin' a free throw, and you'll find yourself under observation. And, there's the proof that society views golfers as normal. And that's crazy.
If you're thinking of taking up the game, don't.
If you play the game and you love it, it's not too late. Quit.
It's easy. I've done it a million times....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What I ain't, is "handy"...

Seismologists would have registered it as at least a 5.7 on the Richter Scale...An earthquake measuring between a 5.0 - 5.9 is described as follows: "Can cause damage of varying severity to poorly constructed buildings. At most, none to slight damage to all other buildings. Felt by everyone. Casualties range from none to a few." There were no casualties of which I am aware. Well, unless you count my bruised ego. It was the early 1990's and I had just "kinda" installed a ceiling fan in our kitchen. When I threw the switch, the blades began to rotate. So far, so good. They gained speed. And that's when the shaking began. Who knew you're suppose to balance the blades?
A scene from the classic "Andy Griffith Show" played in my head. "Aunt Bea, call the man!!!"
My Dad was "handy". There was nothing he couldn't fix. When I was just a toddler he converted our single car garage into a den. All by himself.
Electrical, plumbing, auto repair, painting, he did it all....
I am not "handy". I am clumsy, inept, bumbling, bungling, useless. Or, as my neighbors refer to me, "entertaining". I know they're out there. I can feel their eyes on me whenever I attempt any kind of task that requires.....uh, what's the word?  Oh yeah. SKILL.
"Hey Blanche! Come here! Look! Jordan's trying to start his lawnmower...Hehehehehe....this oughta be good for a few laughs. Let's grab a coupla beers and watch him!!!..."
I just saw a statistic that 15% of men secretly fear the phrase "Some Assembly Required". I suspect the other 85% of men openly fear those words. And "Easy To Assemble". And "We Need To Talk"...but that's for another post.
Yesterday I swapped out Marianne's windshield wiper blades. All. By. Myself. No, I don't possess any "handyman" genes. But I've got something my Dad never had. "How To" videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I recall it semi-clearly. It was a Sunday morning. I was in the 4th grade. My Mom and Dad had gone with another couple to see a movie the night before. In the kitchen that morning, my Dad told me a bit about it. He thought I might like it. The movie? "GOLDFINGER". I saw it and I was hooked. I didn't "get" any of the  sexual innuendo stuff. But I "got" everything else. Here was this guy with a fast car complete with machine guns and an ejector seat. The bad guy's henchman could crush a golf ball with his bare hands and his hat was a flying razor. (I used a Frisbee. I targeted tree trunks but occasionally took out a window...)
I once sat through a "double feature" (Remember those???) of "DR. NO" and "FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE"....I will never change my opinion that Sean Connery was and will always be the perfect Bond. I've watched them all, though.
Here's how I rank the actors that played 007...
1) Sean Connery
2) Daniel Craig
3) Pierce Brosnan
4) Timothy Dalton
5) George Lazenby
6) Roger What's His Name
I got very excited in 1995 when Pierce Brosnan was announced as the new James Bond for the movie "GOLDENEYE"....Finally, there was an actor that was close to my age that would be 007.....which meant that "I" could be 007!!!  Hmmmmmm.......Maybe this wasn't going to be a good thing....
Was 007 going to be prone to random naps?
Was he going to lose his reading glasses?
Was he going to be involved in car chases all the while with his left hand turn signal on?
Was he going to forget the password for his iPhone?
I can see the scene in my mind's eye...
"Care for a nightcap, Mr. Bond?"
"Yes. I'll have an orange Metamucil. Shaken, not stirred..."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don't shoot until you see the ecru of their eyes!!!......

Not too long ago I read a story about a young lady who stabbed her fiance during an argument. An argument over paint. More specifically, an argument over the color of paint.
Women take their colors most seriously.
Where I see "pink", Marianne sees "salmon".
Where I see "blue", Marianne sees "teal".
Where I see "purple", Marianne sees "lavender".
I never argue. Never debate. I don't want to be perforated.
Larry The Cable Guy visited the morning show a few years back and related about the time he bought his girlfriend one of those "Mood Rings"...
"It worked purdy good too.", he said. "When she's in a good mood it turns blue, and when she's in a bad mood, it turns red right in the middle of my forehead..."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stonehenge and stuff.......

I can't describe it, but I know it when I hear it. That famed British wit.... Mary Carol, the proprietress of the Cardiff Hotel in London where Marianne and I stayed, possessed it to the hilt.  Marianne and I generally avoid the touristy spots. We like to eat where the locals eat and shun the big chain hotels. But there are some things that are just so famous, so iconic, that, well, you've just got to see and experience them....As we are both history buffs, we had some ideas and wanted to run them by Mary.
"Mary, we've got a couple of days left of our stay in England and we were thinkin' about visiting Leeds Castle...Your thoughts?"
"It's just a castle.", deadpanned Mary.
"Well then, how about The Cliffs Of Dover?"
"It's just some cliffs. You don't even see them, you just stand on them."
Surely she would endorse our next suggestion.
"Stonehenge! Certainly Stonehenge would be worth the time!!!"
Mary was unimpressed. "It's just a bunch of rocks."
I guess we're all like that a bit. We take the things around us for granted. We make "bucket lists" of faraway vacations and exciting adventures, but place so little value on the sights, sounds and experiences in our own backyard...Maybe we've done some stuff that is on somebody's else's "bucket list".  Playing in the Atlantic, attending The Masters golf tournament, holding your own child. These experiences and more are things that someone else wishes for.  Yearns for. Prays for.
You know what makes these things special, at least for me? Sharing them......
The best times in my life have been those with friends and family...Places and things we've experienced together.
For me, the things I still want to do, the places I still want to visit, if I do it won't be worth a drop in the bucket...
The next time we go to England, Marianne and I will go to Stonehenge. And we'll remember the words of Mary Carol. And we'll laugh. Together.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lovin' London.....

Marianne and I love to travel, and have been fortunate enough to have visited England several times. Unlike the airline pilots to whom we trust our lives in order to get us there, we often fly by the seats of our combined pants when it comes to arranging lodging once we arrive...It sort of adds to the adventure. Arriving at Gatwick Airport and then snaggin' a train to Victoria Station is the mere warmup. We called one of the many B&B's (Bed and Breakfasts) nestled in London's Norfolk Square. No rooms there, he told us. But, stop by and he promised he would find something for us. After a fun cab ride, (Note: I don't really recall any of the particulars about that specific cab ride, but ALL cab rides in London are fun) we arrived at our destination and collapsed through the front door. "Oh, the Yanks!!!", exclaimed the proprietor. We hadn't spoken a word. He "profiled" us correctly by our clothing. We wore "colors".
He had found a room for us. Right next door was the Cardiff Hotel, run by a sweet little Irish lady named Mary Carol. She had a room with a private bath. We Yanks like our privacy, you know. It was on the 4th floor. I asked to see the room before agreeing to take it. She handed over the key, and up I went. When I say "up" I mean almost "straight" up. Because the width of the stairwell was seemingly all of 3 feet, I was able to brace myself on the walls to assist in my climb. Breathless, jet lagged and knees buckling, I finally stood in front of the door. I prayed that the room would suffice because I was about to have a heart attack. I slid the key into the lock, turned it, and........nothing. It wouldn't budge. Back down the stairs I rappelled. "The key didn't work. Perhaps you gave me the wrong one.", I wheezed. "Jiggle it.", replied charming Mary. Back up I went. Jiggled the key. Opened the door. It was the smallest room I had ever seen. Somewhere on my way back down the stairs, I decided that the room was PERFECT for our needs, because I didn't want to repeat this process all over London. By the time I got back down to Mary I could only manage a nod. Marianne spoke up and asked if there might be someone who could assist us with our 237 pounds of luggage. "Certainly there is.", Mary said. "I believe you're married to him!!!"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pollen and some perspective......

It's the time of year when we all drive a yellow car. It's a symptom of Spring here in North Carolina. Should make us happy. Especially after the s'nasty Winter we endured. We like the sunshine and the warmth, but that yellow stuff???
We don't like it.
In fact, we hate it.
The Bradford Pear Trees?
Well, they're pretty, but they stink.
Warmer weather here means higher humidity, and I know many who are already dissin' the looming  "Bad Hair Days".
Sometimes it's as if we're not happy unless we're complaining about something...
Then there's my friend Chris.
"How you doin' Chris?"
"I'm blessed. How are you?"
Blessed???  Huh???
Chris was diagnosed last Fall with ALS, also know as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
There is no cure for ALS.
Chris has a beautiful wife, Anna.
Chris has two bright eyed children.
Chris sees things differently than you and I.
Marianne and I spent time with him and his family in downtown Raleigh today for the Triangle Walk To Defeat ALS...
He makes me laugh.  He makes me think.
I need a lot less "perturbed" and a whole lot more "perspective"...
I need to feel "blessed".....because I am.

Friday, April 4, 2014

One of my heroes...

It was the final day of our 5 day Radiothon for Duke Children's Hospital. I was struggling with finding the right words to say, in the right combination, the right inflection..The phones needed to ring. Alan was with me in the studio. He simplified the task. "When you get right down to it, people should give because it's just the right thing to do..."
We had met Alan a few years before. He was my daughter's age. He pulled an oxygen tank behind him. He had Cystic Fibrosis. He was around 12 years old.
Very quickly it became apparent that he and his family were special people. For some I had met, having a child with a serious medical condition had torn the unit apart. But this family seemed to grow stronger.
Alan received a double lung transplant. He competed on his school's track team. Things were looking up.
But the side effects of the anti-rejection drugs took their toll. He received a kidney from his grandfather...He needed another from his father. He lost an eye. He developed diabetes.
His Dad called me the night before my final show on WRAL-FM...I sensed something was wrong. He uttered the word "hospice".  An aggressive cancer had attacked Alan's liver.
Marianne and I drove over to Duke University Medical Center to see them. There was Alan. As I first saw him. Pulling an oxygen tank behind him. We all talked and laughed about some stuff. As we were leaving, I reminded him of all the lives that he had touched. All the people, young and old, that he had inspired. I assured him that he would continue to do so...
Alan entered into his heavenly home one year ago today.
The church was packed for his service. What a tribute to his life. Such a short life that had such an enormous impact on so many lives. And still does.
At the conclusion of his memorial, family and friends released hundreds of balloons toward heaven, but he was already there...

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith..."
2 Timothy 4:7 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

And God said, "Let there be...

laughter."  I can't find that reference in the Bible, but I feel pretty confidant in my statement...The thing I wonder about is WHY???.....Not "why" do we have a sense of humor, but "why" is laughter how we express it when we find something funny?  Why a laugh and not a burp? Why a laugh and not scratching your knee? I think I know... It's because that sound is joyous. Infectious. Healing.
Coming in at #1 on most people's list of pleasing sounds is a baby's laugh.
I have no doubt that God has a sense of humor...We all know that joke that goes: "You wanna make God laugh? Just tell Him YOUR plans..."
I remember anxiously awaiting the first time our daughter Jessica laughed at something. I don't remember what it was about, but I know that it was a soul sweetening sound. .And the same with our grandson, Mason. For him at almost seven years of age, anything that has to do with bodily functions is HYSTERICAL.
Growing up watching all the great comedians on TV and buying the albums of Bill Cosby. I would memorize them...I liked impressions. I didn't "do" John Wayne. I "did" Rich Little "doing" John Wayne.
When Jessica started to figure out about humor a bit, she was like most kids I know...Her idea of a "joke" was to ask a question and then whatever the answer she provided was the punchline. "Why did the turtle eat a banana?  Because it's Wednesday!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
She started to get the hang of it though, and when she was around 5 years old I would teach her a joke and we would rehearse it. She would call into the show and set it up...(I seem to remember her rate was a nickel a pop...)
"Daddy, what is a potato's least favorite day?  FRY-day!!!"
"Daddy, why did the cow cross the road? To get to the udder side!!!"
She didn't always understand why they were funny...
"Daddy, can you make a sound like a frog?"
"A sound like a frog? Why do you want me to make a sound like a frog?"
"Because Mommy says when you croak, she and I can go to Hawaii!!!"
I'm not sure that one was rehearsed...  ;-)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The story behind the photo.....

A few days ago, I posted a photo on Facebook of legendary Academy Award winning actor Charlton Heston and me in the WRAL-FM studio...The photo was taken in the Spring of 1997 when he was in town for a book signing of his "To Be A Man: Letters To My Grandson"....My on air partner, "Tall" Donna Mason had arranged with Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh to have Mr. Heston come into the show for an interview....He was scheduled to be there at 8:30am. I felt pretty confident that he would be a "no show".  It's not unusual at all for a celebrity to either not appear in person or be AWOL with a scheduled phone call....And, after all, Charlton Heston was the BIGGEST celebrity ever scheduled on the show. I cannot describe how I felt when he did not walk into the studio at 8:30......but at 8:20....Ten minutes EARLY.
Introductions were made....He asked me where the men's room was. I directed him. And I immediately thought, "Why didn't I go with him?!?!?!?..."  Not too many people would be able to top the story of standing side by side with Moses himself at the urinals....
One of my friends with Capitol Broadcasting was there as a photographer, and upon his return to the studio started clicking away with her gigantic camera.....After countless "clicks" he turned to her and in a voice that was soft yet rumbled..."Isn't one enough?" Uh oh, I thought...This is gonna be tough.
I always like to put the guest at ease if possible by building some kind of rapport with them....Obviously he had endured thousands of interviews before, so the challenge is always to make the guest feel comfortable and that they are having a conversation and not being grilled...There was only one angle I could think of as we went "live" on the air..."We have a very special in studio guest with us this morning....Please welcome Mr. Charlton Heston!!!"  I immediately explained to him that when I was growing up, my friends and I always got the actors Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman confused. "And I understand, that back in the day, you were often confused with Burt Lancaster?" I will never forget his response. "That reminds me of a funny story." My heart jumped. I knew we had touched on some magic. He continued (in that commanding voice of his) "My friend Kirk Douglas told me one time about his being in his front yard one morning when a stranger walked by and shouted to him, 'I loved you in the "Ten Commandments"!!!....Kirk said "I wasn't IN the "Ten Commandments"!!! To which the stranger yelled back, "Well, if you're not Burt Lancaster, then who the hell are ya?!?!?" What a great story. And with that, the ice was broken and he was a most genial and gracious guest.
And now....the rest of the story.
When we were finished with the interview, we posed for a photo. The camera clicked once. I'm no dummy. I stepped away. He grabbed me by the arm, pulled me back and pronounced "She needs another..."
What a moment...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How hard could it be???....

Harder than I thought. This writing thing ain't easy. Being a goof on the radio was different. I said something into the microphone. Sometimes I moved someone to smile, laugh, cry, think, or get so angry that they would call in and chastise me for using the word "ain't"...."WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING FOR OUR CHILDREN?!?!?!?"  As one of my female co-hosts used to say, "I'm sorry we're doin' a bad job of raising YOUR child..."
On the radio, I said something and generally, that was that. If I messed up a line or fumbled a word, I'd mentally (and sometimes verbally) kick myself, and then move on...I would realize that not everybody heard it ..But, this writing thing online is different. It's permanent. I get to type it, review it, correct it and tweek it.
Perfect scenario, right?  Nope.  Here's the deal. I have friends who are going to check out this blog. Many of them might I say this?......oh, yeah, "Grammar Nazis".... They are going to pore over every punctuation. Scan every syllable and spelling. Scrutinize every sentence. Bless their hearts.
The pressure is enormous.
But, you can't please 'em all...
I'm up for the challenge...
In fact, I've intentionally mispelled a word in this post.
Bring it.
I ain't scared...