30 June 2006

It's July ... already

Well people ... another month has snuck by while I wasn't looking. Independance Day in 4 days and it seems as if Memorial Day was only a week ago or so. Devin is still here and we are anticipating his brother's arrival tomorrow. We are planning to drive up the mountain tomorrow after I get off work or Sunday. The mountain is 10 miles away and it's a 30 mile drive up to the top. It's about 7000 feet where we'll be, amid the trees, and probably 20+ degrees cooler. We'll take some Sub-Way sandwiches and some KFC and something to drink. A relaxing day in the forest. I should only have to work about 5 hours tomorrow ... 0600 to 1100. Just have to reload the four trucks servicing Wal-Marts. I hope to have some time onSunday morning to write a decent entry and post some pictures. Have a happy 4th.

27 June 2006

Thoughts for a Tuesday

I am starting to tire out a little with the new job. Been a long time since I worked these kinds of hours constantly. And 6 hours of sleep is much less than an 'old' man needs. There are 'bags' under my eyes. I will survive it though. "I am strong ... I am woman ..." oops, wrong song, huh?

H and I are planning to take a 3 day weekend to northern Az / the Canyon on 4-6 August. I hope that the fires are out by then. Her first view of the canyon should not be clouded by smoke. In the 52 years that she has lived in Arizona, she had never been to Las Vegas or the Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Colorado). We went to Mickey and Patricia in Vegas (they are the greatest hosts in the world) and now, she gets to see the Canyon, and Montezuma's Castle and Flagstaff. I really love doing things for her because she enjoys things so much. She really makes my heart warm when she smiles ... and when she says ".. cool .." (which she ONLY says when she is impressed or happy). I guess it is not rare for Arizonans to have NOT visited the Canyon. I remember in Virginia when I went to colonial Williamsburg and to Jamestown and went back to Danville. I found that NONE of my friends had ever been there! And in 'Nam, I knew a guy from New York State who had never been to Niagara Falls or the Statue of Liberty, et al. Anyway, I am hoping that she has a great time.

Work, back to that again, .... is interesting and challenging (helps my mental faculties, which were waning) and I am very active (helps my weight and my waistline) and the money is great (helps my being able to eat and live indoors). Life is good!

Devin and I are watching "The Princess Bride", one of the cutest movies of all time in my humble opinion. And ... my opinion is the one that counts.

It has been really great having Devin in Tucson. And, his brother should join us in a day or so. Being a tata is the greatest, if I only had more financial resourcesto be able to do more with them. They don't need money, but time and experiences are expensive in themselves.

Have a great week and hug someone.

25 June 2006

Sunday.. again

Well, it's another Sunday. I am awake and have clothes in the dryer and dishes in the dishwasher. The Sunday Arizona Daily Star is lying on my computer desk and I have hazelnut coffee and a Kaiser roll with cream cheese next to me. Hilda and Devin are asleep... all is good with the world. I read the "Sunday funnies" a while ago (I get most of them daily on my e-mail). I have the TV on and am watching an interview with Robert Duvall... one of the best actors of all time in my book. In a bit, I will fix breakfast for everyone and we will go to the pool and enjoy the sun for a while.

We went to the Tucson Sidewinders game last night. Most of you may know, from past letters from me, that they are our local AAA baseball team ... the farm team of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We played the Las Vegas 51's, a Dodger farm team. We were losing 6-4 in the bottom of the 9th and rallied to win by one ... and we never made an out in that inning. We are leading the Pacific League by about 10 games I think. Our ballpark is built below street level, the grassy seating area beyond center field ... above the outfield fence is actually at street level. They dug a big hole and the stadium is IN the hole. We love it. Hilda and I enjoy the ball games, but ballpark prices on food and drink really irritate us. I mean, $2.75 for a bottle of no-name water and $4.75 / $6.75 for a draft beer? Not to mention $4.95 for nachos that sell in the Circle K for $1.19. This is, after all, a minor league ball park and ball game. Devin got sort of bored before the end of the game. Most kids now-a-days have really short attention spans. I believe that this is caused by video games, TV, etc. They want everything to be action, action, action and to be over quickly. Just sitting seems to an anathema.

It is now after 1800 hours, we watched Open Range with Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner. Afterwards, I took Hilda home and I am now watching Hildago. I would LOVE to watch the first part of the new Robert Duvall western tonight on AMC, but I got a call from my boss, and she'd like me there early because there is a mixup on a Wal-Mart and I have to reload a truck at 0400. So .... that means early to bed and early to rise. Won't make me healthy or wise, but will put some extra dollars in my coffers.

I will post some pictures tomorrow or Tuesday and hopefully my schedule will allow me more free time in the near future.

15 June 2006

It is Sunday, "Father's Day" and I hope that all the fathers out there have a great day.

I am relaxing today. It is now 0600 hours and I am up. Slept in, but then I have only been sleeping 6 hours a night of late because of my work schedule. Hilda and I spent yesterday at my place. I had to work until about 1130 and then we came here. I did a few chores, we watched the Golden Child with Eddie Murphy, went to the jacuzzi and the pool, etc.

I have to wash clothes, clean house, et al today, but it'll be nice spending the time at the apartment and in the pool.

Today is the 64th birthday of Paul "the baby Beatle" McCartney. So, that means that I am not old... I'm 3-4 years younger than Paul.

I am hoping to get a few pictures posted here on the blog this week. I am going through some recent photos today and will glean out a few.

I am picking up my grandson Devin Thomas on Tuesday after work. He will spend a couple of weeks with me here in Tucson.

As I sit here today, contemplating Paul McCartney's 64th and my age of 60 1/2 .... I am thinking of all the wrong things that I have done in my life, all the stupid things, all the good things, and all of the intelligent things. There have been many of each, as there are in anyone's existence. I often wish that I could take back those wrong things and those stupid things ...... but, it would probably change the course of my life so drastically that I would be unrecognizable at 60 from what I am today. And who is to say that I would be a better person or happier or wealthier? And, to be honest, there were people who treated me pretty badly, with no regard for any feelings that I may have had. We have to play the cards that we have in front of us and not dwell on past hands or games I guess. I have regrets about some people, who were good people, that I treated badly or to whom I was uncaring because of being self-centered in my own route through this life.

I have had a lot of fun, a lot of misery and I have done a lot of things that the average 9 to 5-er has never had the time or gonads to attempt. I do not think that I am a bad person, although there are periods of my life when I probably was. I am a good friend, I was a good father and I attempted to be a good husband. I bent over backwards at times like a circus acrobat. "Quantum mutattus ab illo" ..how changed he is from what he once was. I have a lot of work skills and I am a good employee. The people that I am working for, AC Neilson Market Research, think that I am remarkable. But ... too soon old and too late smart I 'rekon.

Anyway ...those are my thoughts for this Father's Day. Again, I hope that all the fathers out there had a great day.

14 June 2006

Mid June already

I haven't been on in a while. The new job is really keeping my free time to a minimum. It should ease a bit in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime ... the pay will be great.

The summer seems to have arrived in our desert community. It was 109 Tuesday, 107 Wednesday, 106 for Thursday. We should cool down to 102-103 for a few days and then back to 106-107. The warehouse has been really warm ... no coolers or A/C.

My poetry writing has also slowed drastically. I am too tired to get the creative juices flowing I guess.

I am watching Rashomon on "TCM", starring Toshiro Mifune. It is one of the best foreign films ever. I do sometimes suspect the English subtitles, as they seem to miss a lot. I have always thought that Mifune did a great job in this movie. I loved his rendition of MacBeth in the Japanese movie Throne of Blood (Japanese version of William Shakespeare's MacBeth). If you ever want to see a GREAT movie .. see that one. It is, of course, in Japanese with English subtitles, but it is a magnificent movie and brilliantly acted. Rashomon is also well acted ... Machiko Kyô is really excellent as the wife of the Samurai, and Mifune gives his usual brilliant performance. He is sort of the Japanese version of DeNiro, Spencer Tracy, John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart rolled into one. You guys may remember him ... I don't suppose many of you like Japanese films ... as Admiral Yamamoto in the movie Midway or with Lee Marvin in Hell in the Pacific.

Tonight, the temperature has cooled to below 95 already. Going to be a lovely night.

I am going to the pool and/or the jacuzzi after the movie and relax a bit. I got off early today (after 11.5 hours). It is really bad when you think that 11.5 hours is a break ... huh?

07 June 2006

Rain and other things

Today (Wednesday), we got a real gully washer/ frog drowner of a rain storm ...... about a third of an inch at the airport, but MUCH more in the south central part of the city. We also had some rain yesterday. This is very unusual because the first part of June is the driest time in our year usually. I welcome the much needed and beloved moisture to our desert area. The aroma of the Palo Verde, the creosote bushes and the trees in my area is almost overwhelming. We should get down to the low 70's tonight and only in the low 90's mañana. What a pleasent evening.

Work has been ... long hours, hard work and very little sleep. But ... the money wil be great. I get paid on the 20th and am going to go and fetch my nieto Devin Thomas up to Tucson for a week or two ... or three.

It is now Saturday, I got in 68 hours this week and expect pretty much the same next week. The money will be good, but my ancient body is beginning to feel the wear and tear. I like what I am doing, and I am good at it, but the hours are truly long.

Update on our Tucson weather, triple digits are forecasted for all of next week ... peaking at about 108-109 for a couple of days. It's been really hot today, but the humidity was down to single digits ... so it wasn't really bad.

We went to get Hilda a haircut the other day. It is now short again ... the way it looks best. I never get tired of looking at her. She is so sweet. She gets on my nerves at times (probably my fault) ... she is not very educated (she has a high school degree but doesn't read a lot and has no desire to expand her educational horizons) .. but she loves me a lot and is very good to me. I find that days without her are boring and I look forward to her being here. I am very lucky to have met her and even luckier that she is still around.

After a few paychecks, I plan to take her to northern Arizona, possibly Las Vegas in the fall, and a definate maybe to go to Weatherford, Texas this winter to see Dr. McGowen.

Life is not GOOD yet, but is getting better. I am healthy and so is my mom. I eat on a regular basis and I sleep indoors... I am lucky I guess.

I hope that my friends and extended family around the U.S. are all doing well and enjoying their lives.

Hug someone this week that you haven't hugged before (or in a long time).

05 June 2006

Odds and Ends

"At the end of last night's 'American Idol,' Ryan Seacrest announced that more than 63 million votes were cast, which is more than any president in U.S. history has ever received. ... In a related story, this morning Hillary Clinton bought a karaoke machine." --Conan O'Brien

"Saddam Hussein's former adviser, Tariq Aziz, testified at Saddam's trial while wearing pajamas. Aziz said he was confused and thought he was testifying at the Michael Jackson trial." --Conan O'Brien

"According to a recent poll, 84% of Americans approve of making English the official language. I'd be happy if they made English the official language of 7-11." --Jay Leno

More Oxymorons:
Extinct Life
Plastic glasses
Terribly pleased
Computer security
Political science
Tight slacks
Definite maybe
Pretty ugly
Rap music
Working vacation
Religious tolerance
Microsoft Works
Alone together
Small crowd
Business ethics
Soft rock
Butt Head
Military Intelligence
Sweet sorrow
Rural Metro (ambulance service)
"Now, then ..."
Passive aggression
Clearly misunderstood
Peace force

Have a great day / week / whatever ... love from the desert

04 June 2006

June already

It has been a few days (about a week really), since I had time to write anything on here. I started my new job last Tuesday and averaged 13 hours a day through Friday and 7 hours on Saturday, ... which felt like half-a-day. Tried to relax and wash clothes today, took the lady to COSTCO, and I am designing some forms for work. I think that they will ease our chaos somewhat. Most "forms" are designed for bean counters and just show how much of what is where, etc. In a warehouse environment, you need forms that will allow the timely issuing and receiving of items with accountability. Also, they need to be simple and real ... as most truck drivers and warehouse laborers are not rocket scientists.

I have just watched 'Deadwood .. the 1st season' on DVD. I've never seen any of it before, as I do not get (or want) HBO, Showtime, et al. Very different and pretty good. The acting, sets and costumes were excellent, and I am a stickler for authenticity in westerns.

Yesterday, the Arizona 'Lady Cats' had to play Tennessee (with the nation's best left handed pitcher) TWICE to advance to the Softball World Series. They won and they are playing the first game of the championship series tonight. They are winning 8-0 against Northwestern in the last inning in a best of 3 series, so I think our chances are great to be the "Champs". It's official ... WE WON !!

Have a great week, and hug some folks ... you'll all feel better.