Saturday, June 30, 2007


Wrong #1: Where's all the drive-in movie theaters? In case you haven't noticed they're being torn down to make room for condos and shopping centers. That's what's wrong with America (among other things).

Don't you miss being able to get a six-pak, a bucket of chicken, a bag of candy and watch a movie in your car? Bring the kids, the dogs, all the people you can pack into the car trunk to avoid paying extra admission - I miss those things as well you should, too.

Wrong #2: Going to the movies and having to sit through 20 minutes of commercials. Paying 8 bucks to get in and then having to endure commercials is adding insult to injury. Add this to the list of what's wrong with America.

Back in the day instead of commercials there were cartoons before every movie. We looked forward to that. The cartoons were funny. We laughed. Everyone laughed. It was an American thing.

Sometimes there were two cartoons. We clapped and cheered when the theater played three cartoons. It was cartoon bliss when there were four cartoons shown in one night.

Tom and Jerry was everyones favorite. Grace and I have been watching Tom and Jerry nearly every day on Boomerang. That's a cable station. We count every Tom and Jerry cartoon we see. After the first is shown Grace looks at me and says, "That's one!" When the following cartoon is over I look at Grace and say, "That's two!".

NOW GET THIS: In yesterday's Wall Street Journal they listed the top selling TV series DVDs for the week of June 24th.

Number one: Planet Earth.

Number two: Deadwood Season 3 (holy cow, a lot of swearing merits number 2?)

All the way down to number 6 on the list:


I've been a trendsetter and didn't know it. Nothing but the best for the grandchild.

That's all, folks!

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Friday, June 29, 2007


A pair of shorts that I put on seemed a bit baggy this morning. Like I could pull them down around my knees without any effort. Time to climb on the scale to see what's happening.

168 pounds. Hmmm. Out comes the driver's license with a picture and my weight - the way I was July 2003.

Nice picture. Fewer cracks on the face than I have today. Weight? 185 pounds. Ouch! 185 pounds!!! Old Bob was a regular Pork-o-Matic. and well on his way to 200 pounds.

Looking through photos stored on the computer I came across this one taken in 2005. My favorite position: Recliner all the way out, dog alongside, the remote control for the television somewhere in this mess and me snored out.

Then there's my gut in the picture - like I was pregnant! Looks like I'm about 7 months along with twins. There's an awful lot of guys running around with pregnant bellies, don't you think? I want to go up to them and ask, "When's the baby due?" for truly, they're looking 9 months pregnant.

Not wanting to get into a punch out with some overweight guy who could probably kick my 168 pound butt, I bite my tongue, go my way and just think - geeze, that's a lot of weight to be lugging around. Not healthy. These guys better sign up for a knee replacement cause the ones they came into this world with are not going to go the distance.

I feel better weighing 17 less pounds. It's all about being active, eating fairly decently, not eating everything on an overloaded plate of food and laying off of those things that add the pounds. Losing 17 pounds was not intentional. It was only a matter of changing up a few things in my life.

No wonder my shorts are baggy around the butt. Time for a new wardrobe. Out with the old and in with the new.

Now if I joined a nudist colony . . .

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Thursday, June 28, 2007


During the course of replacing a dozen fence boards, Jake the Snake came out of hiding yesterday to check me out.

Stumbling on to a snake is always an unexpected surprise as in "whoa!" which is exactly what I said when Jake peeked out from underneath two discarded fences boards. Whoa!

Three blue jays soon arrived just waiting for me to leave so they could feast on Jake. No such luck. Much to the chagrin of the three birds I watched over our friend until he was safely undercover.

There are four or five pumpkins on this vine, this being the largest. Pumpkins seem to nearly double in size with every passing day.

The second crop of tomatoes is beginning to mature. The second crop are all yellow variety tomatoes.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Del Taco this morning. My usual faire at Del Taco: Macho combo burrito, no beans, small drink.

Cashier: "Will that be all, sir?"

Me: "Yes."

Cashier: "Are you over 65? We have to ask that and don't mean to embarrass anyone. It's for the senior discount."

Me: "Actually, I'm 29. I've lived a rough life."

Cashier: "Cool. Must have gone to a lot of bad ass parties."

Better to be 29 and looking like hell than being 65 and still looking like hell.

And I'm not 65! NOT!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


How do you run your life? Do you run it in a half empty sort of way or is your glass of life always half full?

Optimists always take the glass that's half full.

I'll drink to that.

I was a member of the Optimist Club when we lived in Appletown. Twelve years ago we moved from Appletown to a little village on the California coast. There wasn't an Optimist Club to join so I became a member of the local Lion's club.

After two years on the coast, we moved inland to Cowtown. Like the little village on the coast, Cowtown didn't have a local chapter of Optimists International.

I've decided to organize a Cowtown chapter of Optimist International. It's time to do that both for me and because Cowtown needs a service organization that has a focus on the youth of our community.

Most don't know a lot about what being an Optimist means. But when they read our mission statement or check out the Optimist Creed they light up.

Make a copy of the Optimist Creed and adjust your life accordingly. They are words to live by.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself-

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Purposes of Optimist International

To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed;

To promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs;

To inspire respect for the law;

To promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people;

To aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007


This morning in reading one of the dozen or so blogs I check every day, one asked, "What makes you happy?"

I made me think of the many things in life that make me happy. Granted, a lot of things piss the daylights out of me. That's life in the New Millennium - better to be pissed than pissed on or so they say.

There are flowers in my life that make me very happy. Happiness is certainly the two flowers pictured here: Candace and Grace. If you want happiness these two bring it on. They're always happy. Always singing. Always living an upbeat life. When I'm down, these two bring me up.

Happiness can be a warm puppy. Charles Schultz wrote about that. There's nothing like a warm puppy sleeping by your side to wake you in the morning with a wet, slurpy kiss.

This morning I woke up on my tummy. Jilli was on top of the covers and in between my legs. I was trapped. There was no turning over. There was no getting out of bed. I was trapped. In spite of those things it was still a happy feeling to wake up with that warm puppy cradled around me.

Happiness still is a warm puppy.

The Beatles wrote a song titled, "Happiness is a Warm Gun". Check the lyrics out. Weird. The song was acceptable in the 60's. I liked it, sang it, thought nothing of it. I can't imagine Happiness is a Warm Gun being acceptable in the New Millennium where happiness is not brought on by a 9mm semi-automatic handgun unless your a member of a street gang.

Happiness is not a warm gun.

Last week Grace hauled out the Hawaiian skirt and top we brought back from our trip to the Islands. She loves to dress up.

Don't ask what's she's doing with her hands here but I think she's starting to Hula.

Happiness is a grandchild full of joy and curiosity. Like a warm puppy, there's nothing like the unconditional love from a four year.

There's the real flowers in life a reminder that the workings of nature remain a mysterious and marvelous wonder.

We're growing pumpkins for the first time this year. I ask myself, "How do they do that?" when I examine each of the little gourds on the vine that seem to double in size with every day. How do they do that?

Happiness is watching pumpkins grow and inch their way towards October 31st.

Happiness is a warm Sunday. Sunday is sitting on the patio, a cup of freshly brewed coffee, classical music playing softly in the background. I can think of no better way to start the day.

The flowers in my life - These are among my favorite things - the things I hold most precious.

What are the flowers in your life?

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Saturday, June 23, 2007


This is Joanie, my eighth grade girl friend. She's pictured here on a cruise to Alaska she took with her husband last month.

Actually, Joanie was probably my first girl friend. We went steady in eighth grade.

Today Joanie lives in Peckerwood with her husband Gary. I knew Gary in eighth grade, too. I should have told Gary that I was dating Joanie.

Me: "Hey Gary - I'm going out with your wife to be! We're having lots and lots of fun!! What do you think about that?!"

Gary: "Huh? Who?"

I'm not sure why we broke up (I'm certain Joanie could tell you - her mind is like a steel trap) but some time during eighth grade we parted ways. I do remember that it was my idea to break up.

A short time later I was going steady with girl friend number 2. That ring of mine got a workout - all those girls, only one ring. I saw #2 a few years back. She was with another woman and living the "gay" lifestyle. Funny how things work out.

Over the years Joanie and I have remained in close touch. When we were younger, we'd rescue each other from bad situations. A long time ago Joanie had a really bad date. During the course of the evening her date got weird and creepy. At midnight there was a telephone call from Joanie. She had taken the opportunity to call when her date went to the restroom. "Get me out of here," Joanie pleaded.

I was ready to rumble. I did things like that in those days. There was nothing like a good kick butt, smack down fight - but only if I came out on top. This time all it took was one "I'm ready to kick your ass" look from me to her date, a couple of words to him and Joanie was soon out the door, in my car and on on her way home.

When I was very young - While attending a party 50 miles from home I found myself without a ride at 2 in the morning. A call to Joanie got me that ride home.

Today we remain good friends. We E-mail. Joanie reads the blog. Christmas cards are exchanged. We had lunch in Peckerwood a while back. It was an Italian restaurant, we ordered sandwiches and shared a bottle of wine. Kind of like it was in eighth grade. Nothing like a slug out of dad's wine bottle and then filling it back up with water. Did he ever know the difference?

Joanie still remembers things I said or did when we were in eighth grade. It's a good thing we never married. I'd always be in deep trouble with a memory like that.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007


I don't eat tacos often. They bother me. Tacos whisper to me while I eat. And I whisper back.

I am the Taco Whisperer.......

Some people hear voices. I hear tacos whisper. It makes for bad indigestion.

I had tacos for lunch yesterday. Lunch was in a nice little Mexican place, quiet, not too many people around my table. It was the kind of day that there was no way my tacos were going to whisper weird things to me. Little did I know that I should have ordered enchiladas instead of tacos.

Tacos: "Hi Bob! How are things going today?"

I looked around to make sure no one could hear me and my tacos talking to each other. Like, do you know of anyone who talks to their tacos? You'd think they were nuts, right? I thought so.

Me: "I"m not listening to you and I'm not buying the crap you're going to whisper. Leave me alone and let me eat in peace!"

Tacos: "But Bob, we have news for you."

Me: "Don't wanna hear it. The only news you have for me is 'Oh Bob, please don't eat us!' "

Tacos: "You're going back to work, Bob. We just know it. By July you'll be working. You'll be getting up early, eating like a fool, putting on pounds from all of the stress, waking up at all hours of the night worrying, working 12 hour days, getting more grey hair and losing most of it while you work! You'll love going back to work, Bob."

Me: "Yeah right, I'm not going back to work again. Work is too hard. Yes, I would have to get up early again and I don't want to do that. No way. No working for me ever again."

Tacos: "Oh, yes you are, Bob. Like it or not, you're going back to work. We'll see to it. We know tacos in high places."

Me: "Well hell, I'll put an end to this whisper crap. I'll eat you and that will be the end of my going back to work!"

Munch! Crunch!

Tacos: "We'll be baaaaaack . . . "

I never listen to what tacos have to say. Sometimes they're right. Sometimes they're wrong. Right or wrong, wonder what it will be this time? Maybe I should check into Rehab over this taco thing and kick the taco habit. Better yet, I need a 12 step program!

Tacos Anonymous, let me in!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007


You're looking at my newest best friend. Mr. Bumble Bee.

Like any new friend when I get too close Mr. Bumble Bee gets uncomfortable. He flies right at my face when the camera gets in his.

He's doing his job, Mr. Bumble Bee. Without pollination there will be no sunflower seeds.

The three barrels of tomatoes are starting to yield lots of fruit. Plants placed in a barrel a month before the others is pictured here.

Basil from the garden, olive oil, salt, pepper and of course sliced tomatoes make for a wonderful before dinner snack.

So far, so good when it comes to Tomato Worms. Not a one in sight. Geeze, they're ugly.

Grace's pumpkin plants still flower. But we're having trouble with the little pumpkins remaining on the vine: Once they grow to a certain size they drop off.

Too much heat? Not enough water? All things to be considered when you're in the pumpkin farming business. Good thing we're not depending on this crop to pay the piper this winter or put toward Grace's college fund.

And then there's the hydrangeas. The wife plans on showing them in next year's Cow Town fair. They're prize winners that deserve at least one trophy.

When I was younger and just married, I was put on display at the county fair. Won a trophy. I'm probably the only true trophy husband.

And if you believe that, pigs are going to fly tomorrow. . .

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


There's a small airpark a couple of miles from where we live in Cow Town. It's home to the Highway Patrol helicopter and fixed wing aircraft as well as other small airplanes.

For the past 80 years the airpark has been home to Aviation Day. A pancake breakfast, aircraft on display and best of all, rides for everyone in several single engine aircraft or a helicopter have highlighted every Father's Day for nearly a century.

For 15 cents a pound a 20 minute ride around Cow Town is yours. Helicopter rides are 40 bucks a person.

Scott, Grace and Candace took a whirl in this plane. This was Grace's second Aviation Day airplane ride.

I prefer both of my feet to be flat on the ground, thank you very much.

Taxiing for takeoff makes for wind in your face.

A river runs through it - right through Cow Town.

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Monday, June 18, 2007


Howdy buckeroo, it's country fair time.

This time every June, whether we need it or not, the fair comes to Cow Town.

And this time every June, whether we need it or not, Grace just has to go to the fair. It's part of being a kid.

First the animals. Here's a goat named after her Aunt.

Then we always take a horse ride. Grace had ridden Cinnamon for the past two years. It was dinner time for Cinnamon so she chose Bingo to ride.

Gotta have that face painted. What is it with kids having their faces painted?

And finally, the rides. Grace is not yet tall enough for rides that require "You have to be this tall to ride. For being just four years old Grace is eager to take on the biggest and the baddest ride but not quite tall enough.

There's always next year.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007


It was time for a visit to Cow Town's farmer's market yesterday. I was overdue for check the place out. Up bright. Up early. Ready to pounce on fresh veggies and fruit.

After taking a quick trip down the line of the many displays of fresh food, I stopped at one, picked up a bag and started to head toward a marvelous stack of squash.

Farmer: "You can't do that. You have to wait for the bell to ring. The bell hasn't rung so no one in the farmer's market can bag or sell any produce."

Since it was 7:15 a.m. and all of the vendors were in place and ready to sell, this was a silly rule. I you're ready for business, open the door and sell what you have to offer.

Make hay while the sun shines. Time is money. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Maybe this is why farmers are always crying poor mouth: They don't practice any of those things.

At exactly 7:30 a.m. the bell rang and everyone scrambled to a booth to get the best that farmer had to offer. It was crowded. Every little old lady, every infirm gray haired old poop, every mindless person who walks around with their finger in their butt all the while blocking the progress of people who want to shop, and every escapee from assisted living had to have been there yesterday morning.

I took a deep breath. Put a smile on my face. Made the best of this geriatric experience.

Strawberries. Asparagus. Squash. One chicken tamale. One beef tamale. All things brought home.

There's a fresh turkey in the 'frige just waiting to be grilled. I'll put the turkey in the smoker for a while and then grill it for several hours. Fresh squash. Turkey. Mashed potatoes. Strawberries for dessert.

The banquet of life.

Gobble! Gobble!!!

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Saturday, June 16, 2007


It was one big bad dream - a nightmare.
Yes, Mistress Rosie. No, Mistress Rosie. . . OUCH! Mistress Rosie!!!
Need I say more?
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Friday, June 15, 2007


A favorite saying: "Life can turn on a dime and it does".

One moment everything is fine, the next life can be more defining than before. Life typically goes in an instant from one direction to 180 degrees to the other.

I'll take life on the terms life is dishing out right now. Nothing is being defined, all is going in one direction. It feels good.

Unfortunately, under the terms of living life on life's terms, this is temporary. Have you ever lived for any length of time where life went from zero m.p.h to one hundred - and then in an instant there's the brick wall you're about to hit at a very high speed. This event is also known as the shit hitting the fan.

That, my friends, is life.

I'm not waiting for it to hit the fan. Enjoy the moment, as they say and not think about that pile you don't know about that's headed for the fan.

Enjoy this small moment, a snapshot of life as it is today.

Speaking of snapshots, Grace visited a friend from her preschool class the other day. He's crazy about our grandchild.

There were chickens to hold. There was a trampoline. There was homemade mac and cheese for lunch.

When you're four years old, it doesn't get any better than that.

I take a lot of pictures of Grace and of what she does. The photographs will become important to Grace when she's older as she remembers precious moments, life's snapshots of the very sweet times that she had with her grandparents.


This is Blog post 300. And they said it wouldn't last.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I tire of doing the same thing over and over. For example from time to time I quit shaving.

Why? Because I can. And because I hate doing the same thing over and over again.

Wife: "You look like a wino in need of drink. Shave that damn thing off."

Me: "I'll take that as a compliment. Is it already time for a drink? If it is, give me a shot of Tequilla in a glass of Budweiser."

Wife: It's 7:00 a.m. buddy and you're 12 hours away from a drink. Plus, you never drink Tequilla or anything else like that."

Me: "Since I look like a wino why not act like one? Apart from that, I like having a beard. Doesn't a beard make me look older and more distinguished?"

Wife: "First off you are older. No need to try to look any older than you already are. Second, you look like something the cat brought in from Skid Row. That beard makes gives you the look that says, 'Hey buddy, old pal, old pal, let's go get a bottle of Thunderbird and drink it under the bridge.' And finally - OUCH! that thing hurts when I hug you. Shave it off. End of conversation. No more talking. Just do it!"

So this morning off came the beard. I was already bored with not shaving. It was time to break up the routine.

I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

Later this morning . . .

Me: "I'm giving up using under arm deodorant. It's boring rolling that stuff on every, every day."

Wife: "Fine with me. Here's the sleeping bag. You can sleep in the shed with the cat until you get unbored with using deodorant."

Fluffy's a nice cat. It's time we become better acquainted. No time like the present.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States