29 September 2006

Me Again

I have been heavily watching all the situations developing in the nearing elections. I have not witnessed this much mud being slogged around since the last swamp buggy race I attended. Both sides have politicians that are just that ... professional politicians. People who will do, say and promise anything to acquire a job in our nation's capitol. I believe that NO senator or member of the house should be able to spend any more than two terms in-a-row in government. AND ... they should not have life time retirements. After they get out of office, they should get real jobs. And, they should have to be 'out' of office for two terms before they could run again. And all the ex-Presidents should not get paid forever and have office staff and secret service protection for life. If they are worried about someone who is wishing them harm, call 911 or the local police. They can make money by writing memoirs, giving speeches, et al. Politics should be "PUBLIC SERVICE" ... not a career! This country was run by small town citizen politicians for many years and should be run by real people again .. and forever. Perhaps that way, we'd all know what is going on in our congress. If you didn't have to get money from supporters on a "constant" basis, you'd have more time to take care of the business of government. If you were not worried about keeping your position forever [some of those guys have been there since I was in high school], you could try to make good laws and good judgement your "legacy". If you are an asshole, two terms is too much, and if you are really good at what you do ... perhaps you will make another future politician attempt to follow in your footsteps. As Ronald Reagan once said, "... I hear that politics is the second oldest profession. I think it bears too much of a resemblance to the 1st ..".

26 September 2006


I am home from the salt mine, and I am washing clothes and dishes. Thank God and Tommy Edison for electricity. We got the "News" today at work. The project is officially over the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Target wants to continue through the holidays, so I'll be working through the first of the year. I'll no longer get tons of overtime after October ... my overtime has been averaging $300 - $400 per week. That'll hurt, but all good things come to an end. I'll lose my trusty sidekick after Thanksgiving, hate to see him go as he is the hardest working 19 year old that I have been around in years. He is also intelligent and punctual. Hasn't missed a day since I hired him, and was only late (20 mins) one time. Hilda only got 8 hours in this week, but may get 18-20 next week. I wish I had more for her to do.

Desert autumn is like summer, but still
it cools down enough to stiffen your will
to the desert folk, the low 90's are great
and 60's at night ... is a hell of a state
while those back east have dreams of snow
and temperatures of 32 or below
we are dreading those days, coming fast
when we actually need long sleeves at last
shorts are no longer our daily dress
we dread it, but I must confess
there's a slight chance, in some later day
I'll think a sport coat is the mode of the day
and, perish the thought, sweaters abound
I might even turn the A/C down
but, those days are still off quite a while
so I'll enjoy the Fall with a smile
and I'll wear shorts at Oktoberfest
and fell as if I'm still well dressed

The autumnal muse has reared it's ugly head and you must suffer through it's rantings. Have a nice day / week.

Peace !!

25 September 2006


Here I am in my cocoon ..... Monday Night Football on the TV (almost), my computer monitor in front of me, the A/C humming, Shiner Bock in a frosted glass, pork stuffed zucchini with some Tony Chachere's sprinkled on top. [I need to post the receipe on here for you guys, it's almost sinful] Life is good here in the desert for an old, fat, transplanted southern boy. The weather is wonderful .... mid 90's in the day, mid 60's at night. Great sleeping weather in the desert.

Hilda is working for me in the warehouse a couple of days again this week and possibly a couple or three next week. She needs the money and I need a worker I can trust. I am paying her almost double what she was making at the day care center, but she can't get 40 hours with me. Every little bit of cash helps her though.

I have been watching the replay of the Chris Wallace-Bill Clinton interview from FOX NEWS Sunday. Now I am doing the MNF thing on ESPN. But, with all the celebratory stuff, the music and the "hooray, we're back from Katrina" stuff ... I won't see any football before bedtime. Hell, they're having the HALFTIME show before the game. You know, ... I like what I am doing work-wise (wish it were a 10 year gig rather than a temporary gig) but I would like to have (before I die) a job where I could stay up past 1930 (7:30 PM) at night and actually watch an entire Monday Night Football game or a movie or TV show in Prime Time. To get 8 hours sleep, I would actually have to be asleep by 1900 (7 PM). But, hell .... the money is outstanding, so I'll plug along and accept the cards I am dealt.

I'm gonna' check out Bill O'Reilly on FOX and come back to this "football" game.

Holy poop head, they have Ex-Prez G. Bush Sr tossing the coin at the football game. How can ANY game live up to this hype ... it's like the 2nd Coming of Christ .... live and in your living room .... play the game for heaven's sake.

Am I being a stick-in-the-mud or what? This is Monday Night Football and they're attempting to make you feel as if there should be a Nobel Prize or a Pulitzer or an Oscar or some damn thing presented to someone. Hell, I hope nobody scores in 3 or 4 overtimes and they play until daylight (while I am sleeping of course).

Oops, somebody scored already ..... The Saints quickly caused a fumble and ran it in for a score with 13:30 left in the 1st quarter. And then .. they held Atlanta in the red zone and the Falcons had to kick a field goal. May be a pretty good game after all. But ... beddy -bye time looms and I will only be able to watch the 1st half.

Later folks, ... Peace, and hug a child.

24 September 2006


It is autumn, still warm in the desert though. I am still wearing shorts at work, but when I go in at 0400 ... I have been wearing a long sleeved for an hour or so (not buttoned up though). This week was another 7 day work week. I put in 8 3/4 hrs. yesterday and 6 today. Short days.

Hold the phone !!! I just got back from Safeway (the grocery store) and I am highly pissed. The couple in front of me used their "Food Stamp" card. "She" was talking on one of those new expensive camera/cell phones and both of them had plenty of 'Bling' on their bodies. "He" paid for the cigarettes, beer and Jose Cuervo with cash ... everything else was food stamps. That was bad enough, but when I went outside ... there they were, she was hard to forget, getting into a Hummer H-3 with Mexican plates and a "My child was student of the month at Greenday Country School" bumper sticker. That is one expensive school. I am almost jumping up and down. We do not need a 'fence' at the border. We need a 30 foot tall brick wall. I'll write more when I calm down.

O.K., I am back.

Didn't get to watch any football games today. What with work, taking Hilda home, and we watched a DVD of 5-6 of Carlos Mencia's TV shows. He is a funny dude. He will be in Tucson on October 13th, but I do not have tickets. My 15 year old grandson would kill to go to that concert. I am watching the NFL game on NBC as I type (Denver and the Patriots). The Arizona Cardinals lost a squeaker on a fumble today, Sheryl's Vikings lost a close one they should have won(again on a fumble), Bret Favre won one for the Cheeseheads, and Dean's Ravens won a close one they could have lost. All the games were really close.

Well, I have to relax. Only slept about 5 hours last night .... we watched Sam Peckipah's "The Wild Bunch" last evening (Hilda picked it out, she'd never seen it) and I didn't get to sleep until after 2300. Had to get up at 0400, ... but actually slept until 0430.

Have a great week. LFTD

19 September 2006

Almost autumn

It is almost autumn .... everywhere but here in the desert southwest. Though it has cooled to the low 90's during the day and gets down to the low 60's at night, it is still summer here and probably will be for a couple of months. But, I would rather live here than anywhere else. Just the thought of snow and ice on the east coast and in the north makes me shudder with dread. I understand that there are those who look forward to such events ... better them than me.

Work is the same as usual and life outside of work is as usual also. Life is bland, but it beats the heck out of the alternative I guess. I am in a quandry about my apartment. After moving all the furniture for the carpet cleaners, I am at odds as to what I want to put where and what I want to eliminate from the decor. Less is more ... I know that .... but I have some important (to me) stuff and so little room in this apartment. Then there is the stuff that H has collected or that I have given her. It is a growing assemblage.

I am relaxing and watching the TV .... "Rashomon" starring Toshiro Mifune, followed by "Yojimbo" also with Mifune.

With Hilda being let go at her job, I was able to give her a couple of days work in the warehouse at $11 an hour. Only wish I had more menial work for her. But, any money helps her I guess. And the money is more than she usually makes. Hell, she may have to support ME after the first of the year. Never know where things are heading.

I was listening to some Gene Watson on the CD player just now. He had/has one of the best/most distinctive voices in country music over the last three decades and his choices in songs was really great. Anyway, I'd like to pass on the first verse in the song that I was enjoying.

"You said you dreamed of candlelight .. and old, fine, French champagne
satin pillows on a bed, and music softly played
tonight you're gonna' have it all, I only want to please
let me lead you down the hall, ... this dream's on me"

I truly love lyrics, they are the reason for my being at times. I know people who hear a song numerous times and do not know the words, or even people who have a 'favorite' song and do not know the words to it. I hear a song, and if I like it .. the words just leap out at me. Tunes are nice ... but words are The Song.

17 September 2006

Sunday Evening

It is Sunday evening. I am watching the NFL, cooking a meatloaf and trying to get everything out of my living room. The Carpet Cleaners are coming tomorrow ... the complex pays for one carpet cleaning per year. I have to move all the furniture though. Pretty hard on an old man. I need to obtain lighter furniture. This solid oak stuff is heavy. I am not moving this desk, they will have to clean around it. My desk was made for the Army in the mid 40's. The entire thing is solid wood, even the two pull outs at either side. Empty, with the drawers out, it weighs a bunch. It takes two big guys to move it. Hilda and I could not move it. It is 60" x 30" and is a bear. I told Hilda today that I am thinking of selling it, my oak bookcase, my beauty parlor chair, et al. I am just running out of room. I am also thinking of buying a loveseat or couch and another (tall) chest-of-drawers. My chest-of-drawers is a long one (6 ft) with 6 drawers. I would like to have 2 tall ones ... floor space you know. I have come to the realization in the last 4-5 years that there is very little (possession wise) that is essential for my life. I would like to convert ALL my pictures to CD's to save space, but that would take two weeks of eight hour days. I have tons of pictures, seriously... enough to fill about 50 albums. I was/have been a possessor (sp) I liked to have things. I have a few knives, quite a few coffee cups, ... some with military unit logos on them that were gifts and some with my name on them from places that I have been. Ego? Maybe, but I like(d) those things. Oh yes, and I have about 100 CD's for "AOL". You know, the ones you see in check-out lines, etc. I have about 100 different ones. Lots with pretty designs or pictures. But, ... the place I live is full of stuff. I need room, ... and less clutter. I am thinking of building some shelves for my coffee cup collection above the cabinets in the kitchen. I currently have my military awards and certificates there. They need to be stored away I guess. " . . . Memories, memories . . . pressed between the pages of my mind . . .". I am of the opinion, of late, that we hold on to too much that we don't truly need ... I know I do / have.

I am in possession of mementoes that are very dear to me and allow me to re-live sections of my life and assist me in remembering people and places that were/are important to me, . . . but, is it necessary for me to retain possession of these items? I am undecided about some of them, so that question will remain undecided for now.

Such is the fabric of life ... items, thoughts, memories.


15 September 2006

Another Friday

Another Friday, .... only a half day (6 hours) tomorrow and then a DAY OFF. I am resting (or attempting to) for a while this evening. It has been an extremely long week ... both really sad and filled with some happiness. Friends coming together, the loss of a good friend and mentor and lots of work (as usual). My car has been giving me fits (small things really, but quite a few of them), work has been really pretty weird, Hilda is still looking for work, today is my nieto Devin's birthday, my divorce was finally final yesterday, last evening was Beau's memorial ... this has been a totally exhausting week.

I guess that things in this life come in bunches. You are either bored stiff .. nothing happening ... or the dam bursts and you are overwhelmed. Well, this has been a week of floods. But, even floods deposit rich soil in the delta and too much water still helps things grow. There are so many sides to every issue, there is a silver lining .. blah, blah, blah.

I am going to shower, watch some TV and read a little. You guys have a great weekend.


14 September 2006


Today is my nieto's birthday, I must remember later.

I will be late for work today, but I pre-warned them. The memorial last evening went well .. in fact, it was still going when I came home. I have to work
at least 'a little' today . I need the money and they need my attendance, my knowledge, and my expertise.

We sent the late Mr. Chantz to the netherworld in grand style and hilarity last evening. I only hope that someone is left when I buy the farm to remember me in such a light-hearted and realistic way. We did not mourn his passing, we praised the journey of his life. That is the most that anyone can possibly hope for. He was cremated and will not take up space in a manicured, watered piece of urban land. He will be a part of the desert that he loved and you will never be able to separate him from those surroundings. Cactus will grow in his dust and small animals will scurry through his remains. Live long and prosper in your next existance Mr. Slim, you left a void here. But, your memory, like all memories ... will increase in stature as it is retold. Good night sweet prince.

The Memorial

It is getting close to mid September, and I have yet to espy a Christmas / X-Mas / Mid-Winter Holiday Season item. You guys keep me posted about your areas of the nation.

We are having a "memorial service" for my friend Beau Chantz tonight (in about an hour). Most of you wouldn't recognize it as such, but we are certain that he would. There will be poetry, some CD's (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Dylan, and John Prine among them), some wine, some brown ale, lots of munchies and some laughter and some tears .... and probably some disagreements. The Frothy Five are like that, and we will be the driving force(s) of the gathering. There will be a Unitarian minister, a Ba'Hai, a Shinto, a Rabbi, and a Wicken or two .... so I am certain that his path to the afterlife shall be bumpy at best. He'll kick butt though.


13 September 2006

Random thoughts .. volume whatever

Another day, another dollar. I only worked 8 hours today, after having David (my helper) come and jump my car this AM at 0400. I bought another battery about 0900 this morning. The reason for such a "SHORT" day was ... I started school today at Pima Community College. I am taking Conversational Spanish I. I know, I know ... I 'habla' a lot of Spanish. But, I want to learn to use the language correctly and in competant, complete, and coherent sentences. So, on Wednesdays, I only have to work from 0430 to 1230 (8 hours) ... whoppee! Tomorrow should be a beauty though. I have already had three messages from work on my cell ... had to turn it off during class .... but haven't answered any, I am on my time now.

I haven't been sleeping well of late but cannot fathom the reason. I aspire to sleep all the time. I tell Hilda that I caught it from her. I have been getting by on 6 hours a night for a while. Now ... I want 8 hours or more (haven't been able to get that much yet, but am desirous of some long hours).

Some haiku is erupting ... that's the designating word.

Somnulence abounds
sandman comes around
powerful urges
my blog, my savior
places for my words to sit
until they are read
words upon my screen
tumbling from my weary mind
hoping they make sense
just five syllables
in the first and the third lines
middle has seven
Love, lust and desire
similar feelings I guess
judged differently

Enough punishment for you folks for one BLOG. Have a happy.

12 September 2006

Reporting from the desert

Tuesday evening, almost dark. The clouds have been looming all afternoon like vultures over carrion. Their presence a harbinger of moisture ... but alas, no. Not in my portion of the city anyway. On the west side, where my lady resides, moisture of some substance. I took her to Bianchi's for some appetizers this afternoon and the rains came down slowly and steadily. But not here on the eastern fringes of the Old Pueblo. But, we are saturated anyway. The official rainfall in Tucson is about 10 1/2 inches this year. But, on the eastern side of town we are around 14 inches this year. That is a large amount of precipitation in the desert.

Speaking of my lady (and I do often), she had an interview with a Montessori School today about a teacher's aide position. If she achieves it, she will most likely move into my apartment as it is in walking distance of the school. How that will affect our relationship remains to be discovered, but I am optimistic as always.

I must get showered, shaven and get into my novel a while before the sandman gets to me.

Hugs and LFTD

11 September 2006

A death in Canaan

You people don't know him, but a friend of mine passed away yesterday (Sunday). He is probably the only male friend I have outside of Dr McGowen in Texas. His name is Beau Chantz, actually Ashley Beaumont Chantz. He is (was) a Republican/hippie/mountain man/ex GI/poet. He was, according to reports, lying on his sofa watching the NFL when he had some kind of heart attack. The autopsy was to be performed today. He had just turned 60 in February. He is survived by his mother Alisha, his father Avery (both of South Carolina) and his sister Borden (Bob) Underwood of St Martinsville, LA. He is also survived by his wife Marla Chantz. He was preceded in death by his brother Avery Jr (A.B.). I loved the man, the legend, the mind of Beau. He will be greatly missed by everyone whose life he touched. He was that kind of person. He left a void in this world that some will think will exist forever.

Love from the desert to you Slim, wherever you are. Te Quiero Mucho! Party on dude!

10 September 2006

9-11 Eve

Tomorrow is the anniversary of 9-11 .... I remember that day so well, as I am certain most adults do. I was laid off (had been for about three weeks), Jennie had been gone for about 8 1/2 months, and I was living in the house on San Pedro in Benson. I arose and turned on the news as was (and is) my nature and walked to the kitchen. As I was getting juice out of the fridge, I actually heard the reporters on TV. I walked to the living room and stayed there about 8 hours, just enough trips to the kitchen to cook stuff for the nietos and to wash dishes.

I had to work today .. that's seven in a row. I came home about 12, ate, talked with Hilda awhile, and then took her home. I have been watching some football. Dean's Baltimore Ravens won and my state's Cardinals won their first regular season game in their new stadium in Glendale. The first "home of their own" they have had since moving to Arizona. Bret Favre and the Green Bay Cheesers got shut out today for the first time since the Jewish people left the friendly confines of Egypt I think. I am getting ready to watch the Manning brothers (Colts vs Giants) play each other on NBC. I would like to see Peyton's Colts win, but I would also like for Eli to have a great day.

I really need to get to sleep early tonight though. Haven't had much rest of late. Long days, short nights, tumultuous dreams, ... Hilda has been on my case because I had a dream about her finding a younger / richer man. Been catching hell all week on that one. Anyway, the game started here at 1700 and will run until 2000. I shall be in la-la land long before that I fear.

We were talking at work the other day about "super-spies" (you know, James Bond, Matt Helm, Our Man Flint ... et al). The conversation got started because when I was younger, I read the Matt Helm series of books. He was blond, nordic, loved pick-ups and 4 wheel drives and ate like a working man. In the movies, he was played by Tony Franciosa and Dean Martin (dark haired Italians with silk suits and sports cars) and was a satire on James Bond. So, no one had read a James Bond book in years, And people under 50 didn't even know there were books originally. They thought that he was a movie invention. We debated "how different the Bond books were from the movies". So, I am in the middle (actually almost finished) of "Dr No" ... we had all seen the movie recently. I was surprised at how short a book it is. I hadn't read any James Bond in 40 years. And now, I remember why I liked him. He is totally different from the movie guy.

Well, have a great week ... I am watching the game and sharpening my kitchen knives (it has been a while since I really honed them up) on my butcher's steel.

Peace ... love from the desert.

07 September 2006

Thursday 9-7

It is Thursday, we had a big rain (1 1/2"?) last evening (east side of town only) and about 2 inches today (all over town). Smells great outside.

The harmonic balance and the serpentine belt ($48 by itself) cost me $335. But I am driving again.

NFL is back. I am watching the game and eating some home-made hot wings. Really bad day at work, but that's the breaks.

I was listening to an old
Guy Clark CD today at work and I am sending along some words from one of his songs ... powerful poet, ol' Guy is .... and hoping to get some comments from Sheryl or Dean on them. Is this poetry?

He was a wino, tried and true,
done about everything there is to do
he'd worked on freighters and he'd worked in bars
he'd worked on farms and he'd worked on cars

It was white port put that look in his eye
that grown man get when they need to cry
we sat down on the curb to rest
and his head fell down, on his chest

He says "Every single day, it gets
just a little bit harder to handle and yet ..."
then he lost the thread and his mind got cluttered
and the words just rolled off down the gutter

He was the elevator man in a cheap hotel
in exchange for the rent on a one room cell
and he was old years beyond his time
no thanks to the world and white port wine

It goes on, but the idea (and the poetry) is there. I really envy folks who can originate those kinds of lines. I have always been in love with wordsand envious of those to whom they come easily.

Back to the NFL and an early bedtime.

Live long and prosper (
was that a Star Trek line? I don't remember.)


05 September 2006

Tuesday 9-6-06

It is Tuesday afternoon, .. hard and long day at work. The problem with my car is the 'harmonic balancer' or whatever it is called. I will drop it off at Brake Max tomorrow at O-dark-thirty. My engine is a 3.8 and so the part is $190 ... if it had been a 3.1, the part would be $80. My luck, huh?? The labor for both jobs is about the same.

I have to clean up / straighten up the apartment ... two teenagers will definately get stuff out of kilter given a chance. First, .. I will eat and shower and sit on my butt some. Then comes the computer desk ...... it is covered with printouts, game 'cheat' sheets, tab tops, pictures, et al. I mess it up pretty well, but they outdid me.

Steve Irwin ... "The CROC guy" is dead. He accidently got hit by a stingray's tail (stinger), in his chest, off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. There is only a 3 square inch area that can be deadly if a Ray hits you there. He got hit in THAT 3 sq in area. Too bad. I had only watched one of his shows, not really my cup of tea, but his is a loss. He seemed to being doing stupid things on TV, but he was well prepared and knew his animals and their behavior.

On the home front .... I am having "slight" doubts about Hilda and I living together or getting married. I have become so accustomed to living by myself (at least for the majority of the week) that I become uncomfortable thinking about someone else being here ALL the time. Is this a thing that OLD people go through?

Anyway, must figure out my finances tonight ... the auto repairs are looming tomorrow. Have a great week.

04 September 2006

More pics - Monday

More pics from the weekend.

The boys in the bumper boats, Devin driving the Go-carts, Abel in his bumper boat, me and the McGowens


It is Monday afternoon / evening ... almost 1800 hours. I was supposed to take the boys back to Benson today, but as we left K-Mart the engine started clicking. I got it home (2 miles) and called my ex in Benson about 1400 (2PM). They (her and her 'guy') just came and picked them up. The engine is not running hot, it has plenty of water and oil in it. I do not know where the clicking is coming from .... only that it is where the serpentine belt is and the alternator, etc. It could be in the engine, but I am not a mechanic. I could get no one to look at it on Labor Day. I am going to call my helper to get a ride to work tomorrow.

The weekend with the boys was fine. We spent a ton of money at Golf n' Stuff, but had a great time. I am attaching pictures of the weekend, including our visit with the McGowens ... Dr Stan, Jolene and Travis.

Top is Hilda watching Devin drive the Go-carts, then Abel, me and Devin at Golf and Stuff, and the McGowens ... Travis, Dr. "Valdez", and Jolene (and Ethan the Dog).

02 September 2006

Saturday AM

It is Saturday, the first one of September ... where did the summer go? Of course, we here in the southwest will still be in "summer" weather conditions (according to east coast types) until late November. We will be in the 80's this weekend and back into the high 90's about Tuesday.

It is 0500 and I am heading out to Benson to pick up the nietos (Abel and Devin). Hilda and I got to see my best friend Dr. S.S. "Valdez" McGowen and his wife and son over dinner last evening. Travis (his son) had a shoulder operation on Monday and is going back to Texas with his mom and dad on a little leave ... he is in the Army at Ft Huachuca. We had a full table .... Hilda, me, Valdez, Jolene (his wife), Travis and a friend of Travis' named Paul (and of course Ethan, Valdez's seeing eye dog). Stanley (his real name) told me that his original service dog, Nicro, died last January in his sleep. He had been retiredfrom servicefor several years and was just a pet. He had been such a wonderful helper and friend to Stan all those years. He was such a beautiful dog. Ethan, another golden lab, is a pretty dog .... but Nicro was a special animal. We mourn his passing. Well, better get on the road. More later.

I am here again. It is Sunday though. The nietos monopolized my time and my computer (both of them) since yesterday. They are asleep now and so I get 15-20 minutes on it.

U of A Wildcats... huge underdogs to BYU of Utah ... won their opening football game of the season last night. Congrats to the Cats. It was a great game. "Headline City" here in Tucson.

We are going to
Golf n' Stuff after 12 today. They want to ride the Go-carts, etc. Hope that the Labor Day weekend is going well for all of you.