19 September 2007
10 July 2007
I hope that everyone is having a great week after the 4th. I also hope that everyone had a great Independence Day and enjoyed much food and fun with loved ones.
Our weather forecast is for "increased" rain over the next few days. We have had a 'few' showers that wet the ground and made us more humid, but no REAL rain of note. Our temperatures tomorrow are supposed to be under 100 .... for the first time in about 30 days. We have been hot, but not abnormal over the past week ... 105-108 ... and it hasn't been real bad.
i am watching some old movies on TV and trying to relax for a bit ... watching "The High and the Mighty" right now. Have never seen it all the way through before.
Well, must re-fill my wine glass and pay attention to my movie. Have a great day and a better week.
Love from the desert
09 June 2007
Well .... things got the better of me and I am now sitting in front of the computer on Sunday morning.
Yesterday: [where it went]
I fed the boys pancakes, boys and I went to the pool, then we picked up Hilda, went to the International Wildlife Museum, ate Chinese at New China, went to the pool again, I went to the installation ceremonies for the American Legion Post 36 ( I had to take pictures and was installed as the Historian for 07-08), then we went to Amanda's 22nd birthday party (Hilda's daughter), took Hilda home, boys and I returned here. Elapsed time frame 0830 - 2200. So much for relaxing I guess.
Sunday went down the tubes pretty quickly. The boys spent some time at the pool, we went to the Legion to get a dog. Alissa (a young bartender there) and her husband had found her chained to a tree in a local park. The chain had created a scar around her neck and she was really malnourished. Alissa fattened her up but couldn't keep her ... she has lots of animals already ..... so I took her. One of my nietos (grandchildren), Steve Rigney Jr., who is with me has a birthday this week (Friday) and his parents said he had been wanting a dog and that he could keep her. They have a big yard (they live in my old house) and he really loves her. Devin would like to have her also but they can share, as Devin is at Stevie's a lot. She is a really quiet dog, but has some size on her .... she is about 16" at the shoulder. They are calling her 'Roxie' and she seems to like the name. She is gold colored like a Lab, wrinkled around the shoulders but Devin says she looks as if she has some 'Rotty' in her. She is really friendly, good with kids and extremely quiet.
You guys have a good week and a better one next week.
28 May 2007
1979 - US Embassy takeover in Iran,
1982 to 1991 - 10 americans kidnapped in Lebanon,
1983 - Bombings of US Embassy and the Marine barracks in Lebanon,
1983 - Bombing of US Embassy in Kuwait,
1984 - Hijacking of Kuwait flight 221,
1985 - Hijacking of TWA flight 847,
1985 - Hijacking of Achille Lauro,
1985 - Hijacking of EgyptAir flight 648,
1986 - Bombing of TWA flight 840,
1988 - Bombing of PanAm flight 108,
1993 - WorldTrade Center bombing,
1995 - Bombing of US military complex in Riyadah,
1998 - Bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania,
2000 - Bombing USS Cole,
2004 - Bombing of Australian Embassy in Jakarta,
2004 - Train bombings in Spain,
2005 - Bombings in London
Jihad's goal (their words) ... 'IS World Domination in the name of Islam'. Two quotes that I think are relavent:
"The wave of the Islamic Revolution will soon reach the entire world".
- Mamoud Ahmadinejad
" The ruling to kill Americans and their allies - civilian and military - is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it, in any country in which it is possible to do it ... to comply with God's orders to kill the Americans and plunder their money and resources wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youth and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the Devil's supporters allying with them."
- Osama bin Laden
In my little Redneck opinion... we should bomb the middle east into a parking lot and target ANY and ALL Muslim radicals whenever and wherever we find them. Happy Memorial Day and support our troops.
18 May 2007
My mom has been diagnosed with cancer again ... this time in her lung (she has had two masectomies ..[sp]). She is going in for the biopsy next Wednesday. She says that she is uncertain that she will accept chemo-therapy again. There are so many health risks from it at her age that she is fairly certain that she would rather die of cancer than pneumonia or some other complication from chemo.
Now that the depressing news is out of the way ... my brother Steve in Danville is fairly certain of getting a great job (that will send him to Poland for a few months). It pays really well, (for Danville), and he and his lady have both been laid off for some time due to the closure of Dan River Mills. I wish him tons of luck.
We here in the desert southwest are enjoying daily temperatures in the high 90's but have stayed away from triple digits for several days.
Hilda and I watched "Happy Feet" last evening. It was a cute movie. I took her home about 2000... I didn't want her sleeping with me as she has never had Chickenpox, and I can give it to people right now. I am really burning and itching right now but I hope it gets better during the day.
I am perusing the TV magazine (comes with the Sunday paper) for something interesting on the tube today, I don't feel like going anywhere. I had a fitful night of sleep last night because of the itching/pain. I got up and felt like writing poetry for the first time in a long time. I actually filled up a couple of sheets of legal paper with various words, phrases, poems etc. So, perhaps something good will come of my malady.
Our weather here is typical Tucson .... lows in the hi 60s low 70s and highs in the mid to high 90s. I wish that I felt like going out and enjoying it more. But ... it'll be warm until November or so.
I hope that everyone out there is having fun in their life and getting and giving love.
14 May 2007
We, here in the desert of Tucson, had temperatures of 101 on Saturday and 103 but it has cooled down to 97-98 today. Practically frigid.
Work has kept me pretty busy the last week or so, trying to invent a data retrieval system to take care of all the info on our varied machines, bill acceptors, coin mechinisms, fluorescent tubes, et al. that Perry (the owner) has been carrying around in his head ... (and sometimes forgets or changes).
I had a "down" day on Sunday (sort of). Hilda spent the day with her daughter and mother. I had to work a little .... on one of the company trucks that we are readying for use. I talked to my mom on the phone a couple of times and will try to get down to see her in a week. Other than that, I watched the tube, shampooed the carpet, did some work on the computer and over ate and over drank ... enjoyed every bit of it.
I answered an interesting e-mail from India about my choices for the best 10 "voices" in rock and roll over the last 30-40 years. It is purely my choice, and the other party had their choices and we discussed our choices. We did have a lot of the same people on our mutual lists. My choices (in no particular order) were:
David Clayton Thomas
Jay Black (nee David Blatt)
There were many things that I thought about when I made my list, but the "voices" had to be the factor. It was very hard narrowing it to only 10. We had more discussions about best writers, best groups, favorite groups and or singers. It was a great series of chats.
Well, gotta' go and shower and eat.
have a great day/week.
12 May 2007
06 May 2007
I am downloading pictures tonight and trying to make some CDs for the Legion and also one for the Legion Riders. I will post pictures of the car show and the picnic tomorrow on this little BLOG.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a better week this week. Ms Hilda sends her love to you all.
30 April 2007
27 April 2007
These are some favorite pictures of mine of some of our downtown buildings. I took these when Hilda and I were walking from the parking garage to the SAHBA Home Show the other week. Some of the buildings are below ground level, though open to the sunlight and ...... they have garden areas and plazas down there also.
The American Legion (District 2) Picnic was Sunday last here in Tucson. Ms. Hilda and I attended, as it was a beautiful Arizona day. The day before, Saturday, I awoke to a chilly rain and the Catalinas topped with snow. It did warm up during the day and turned into a pretty nice Saturday. The pictures above are
1) Ms Hilda fetching beer from the tapper for us.
2) My leg in it's brace ... that's why I'm not fetching the brew.
3) A low rider from in front of Pat's Chili Dog's
It was a good weekend.
15 April 2007
Celebrities, in my book, are not news ... unless they commit a 'real' crime, or are the victims of a real crime.
Anna Nicole Smith is not news! Now, in the past or in the future. She is dead, but, (sorry folks), she was a dumb Texas blond who had no control over her life or in her life. Having big boobs and marrying an old codger doesn't make you news. There are a lot of dumb women (and men) out there who have rotten lives, problems with drugs and alcohol and they either die or live.
Geraldo Rivera appearing in a small role in "The Sopranos" is not news.
Any of the Hollywood ?stars?, Music Business types, or sports ?stars? who get divorced, shave their head, get tattoos, have political views or want to save the whales, the world, the wetbacks, etc. are not news.
News is something that has, or should have, an impact on the lives [either physically, emotionally, mentally or financially] on a LOT of Americans. It can also be something of importance that affects (in the same ways) people either in our country or in other places in the world.
The topic of conversation in public and on job sites used to be about politics, world and national events, and sometimes sports. Now, all I hear in those environs is about TV shows. The Sopranos, reality (that's a stupid choice of labels I think) shows, Dancing with the Stars, whatever that "wanna-be-a-star" show is called. So and so's divorce, what Brad or whoever is doing behind their spouse's back and with whom. There used to be, and probably still are, magazines at the checkout counter that dealt with all that JUNK. Now, every 'news' show and every newspaper is a part of that market.
Maybe I am behind the times or just getting too old, but I hope that my life extends beyond something that is regularly telecast on TV.
Oh well .... I have opinions, as does everyone.
09 April 2007
I spent Easter with Hilda and her mom at Hilda's daughter's house. This was Amanda's first chance at being a hostess ... she blew it big time. Hopefully, she'll get better.
Valdez sent me a quote today that I liked ... I am big on lyrics, poems, and quotes. It was from Ernest Hemingway, who said:
"I write the best that I can. Sometimes I write better than I can".
My other 2 favorite quotes of the weekend are:
"I'm so old that I no longer buy green bananas."
"Food has replaced sex in my life. Now, I can't get into my own pants."
I also heard one a week or so ago:
"I'm so old, that when I go out to eat... they want me to pay up front".
It is now Tuesday morning, I am getting ready to go to work. Listening to Boot Liquor radio on the computer and letting my huge breakfast settle. The man on the news says that our temperatures will be lowering on Thursday/Friday to the mid 70's, and getting really windy ... not good news. But it has been nice at night ... high 50's - low 60's.
Now it is Thursday afternoon, where did the week go? I cannot have been that busy I think. But, this is the first chance I've had to get back on the BLOG since Tuesday.
This weekend (day after tomorrow already) we are going to the Fiesta Grande in Barrio Hollywood from about 1000 till 1400 or so, then to the SAHBA Home Show at the Community Center, finishing off the night at the ABA Ampitheater at Casino del Sol for a Mexican music festival. I guess I will wash clothes and clean the apartment on Sunday. So much for time to chill out.
Don Imus got fired from the radio and the TV, but interestingly enough ..... the ?Rev? Al Sharpton and the ?Rev? Jesse Jackson ( I don't know where or IF they ever got Divinity degrees) still have their shows and they are constantly talking shit about the white race.... Conservatives in particular. [Al Sharpton was ordained a minister at the age of 10 by a family friend.] [Jesse Jackson never got a degree or an ordination as far as I have been able to ascertain.] White America has given up all rights to have opinions and or views on any subject unless they have been politically O.K.ed by some minority group. Take, for example, the Duke LaCrosse team. They will not be charged, their reputations and names have been dragged through through the mud of the press and public opinion and all they get is a "Gee, we're sorry, ... guess we were wrong. You can go on with your lives now (or try)." They had to hire expensive lawyers (are there other kinds?), give up their sport, their educations, et al. OOPS !!!!
Well, enough of my ranting for now.
05 April 2007
If you cannot talk on your stupid cell phone AND pay attention to your driving .... HANG UP OR PARK THE DAMN CAR !!!!!!! After all ... be honest now ..... is that call really important or are you just bored with your stupid, inconsequential life????? Remember ... you are not important in the great scheme of things, but the person you run into MAY BE. Think about it.
If you are under the age of 25, have someone read this to you, it is important.
03 April 2007
Other than that, not much shaking here in saguaro land.Weather is in the high 80's ... over 90 tomorrow. Love it big time.
Had to go take Hilda to the store after I got off work. She works for the Jewish Community Center and the Deli is closed for Passover. She cannot take anything that is non-kosher to work (for lunch). So, I had to take her shopping for something to eat. Found some fish and white rice, better than matzos and Gefilte Fish I guess.
Now Wednesday ... bad day at work, gashed my head just before I got off, pretty long cut too. I had an appointment at the V.A., but you know they couldn't fit my head into my appointment so I mopped at it with a napkin the whole time I was in my appointment. I showered, clipped the hair around it and it has finally stopped running down onto my forehead.
I am having some dinner and a Shiner Bock ... regardless of what the doctor said. He asked me "when was the last time you were UNDER 200 lbs?". I told him "Basic Training, 1968". He wants me to lose weight and stop drinking beer, and stop eating salt, and exercise daily ... as long as it doesn't aggravate my knees. I have yet to figure how to exercise without standing up.
Have a great week
28 March 2007
Can I be the only person in the U.S. who uses them?
It is now Sunday evening, I wrote the drivel above on Thursday or Friday I think.
The weekend was far too short, as usual. We went to the club Saturday (day) and then came home and watched movies. Today, we went to Reid Park for the "Tucson Cleaner Air Festival" and then went shopping at Sam's Club and then stuffed ourselves with some Pat's Chili Dogs. You must understand, Pat's is not just a hot dog place, it is and has been a Tucson tradition since about 1948. The chili dogs come 'hot' or 'medium' and the medium ones are fairly hot. They also have fries, chili fries, shrimp, chicken and even a Big Pat's burger ... which is two patties, onions, mustard, pickles and hot chili with beans on a bun. such a great big delicious mess .... they are wonderful.
Any-hoo .. as they say ... I am sated, and sitting at my 'puter. I have a newly acquired (but released in 1995) CD on and am enjoying it to the hilt. It is High Strung Tall Tales by Adrian Legg. For those of you who don't know the name... he is one of the greatest finger pickers extant. He was voted 'Guitarist of the Decade' for the 90's by Guitarist Magazine and won the Guitar Player's Readers Poll as Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist for "93, "94, "95 and "96. Pretty fair hand, I'd say.
I should be doing some computer work for my job, but I feel like just kicking back and doing nothing as it were. I am going to open a Shiner Bock and listen to Adrian and to another newly acquired CD James Hand's The Truth Will Set You Free. Hand is a 54 year old from Waco who is releasing his first national CD. It was produced by Lloyd Maines and Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). He is sort of like Hank Sr, Ernest Tubb, Lefty, and all those Texas musicians of the 50's, only he is here and now. He writes his own music, and sings really well ... nothing like the crop of young Country(??) guys out there now-a-days. On a scale of 1 to 10, he rates at least an 8 1/2 in my book. And I do not give out 10's as you know.
I will make an early night of going to bed, I am half way through William Safire's In Love With Norma Loquendi. I assume you all know that Safire writes about the English language (as spoken in America) and that norma loquendi is a Latin phrase that means (roughly) the standards of grammar as established by a language speaker's actual custom and or usage.
Speaking of language ... I made a Mexican guy at the look up Margarita in the dictionary today. He didn't believe that the word means pearl. Almost a verbis ad verbera (from words to blows). I remembered it from the Latin phrase margarita antes porcos (pearls before swine)
Anyway, as I was saying, I want to get an hour or so of reading done before going to slumber land tonight.
All of you have a good tomorrow and a better day after.
PEACE ... LFTD
27 March 2007
4 whole trout, 1 pound each, cleaned with heads and tails removed
1 (16-ounce) bottle A-1 Steakhunter Cajun marinade
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion
1/4 teaspoon Wright's liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's seasoning (or more, if you're like me, you can even some add liquid sauce, like Red Devil or Tapatio)
1/4 cup real crumbled bacon
Butcher twine, 12 pieces, 6 to 8 inches long
8 slices THICK CUT bacon
Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking.
Place trout in large zip-top bag and cover with marinade; reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine reserved marinade, tomatoes, liquid smoke, Cajun seasoning, and crumbled bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes; set aside.
Lay 3 pieces of butcher twine horizontally on a sheet pan, evenly spaced. Lay 1 slice of bacon vertically on top of butcher twine. Place 1 fish on top of bacon slice. Top fish with another slice of bacon. Tie each piece of twine so that you have 3 knots securely holding the fish in place. Repeat process with all remaining fish.
ON GRILL: Place whole fish on grill. Cook for a total of 15 to 18 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. Watch for flare-ups from bacon slices. Remove from grill. Untie twine from fish. Top with Cajun tomato sauce and serve warm.
INDOOR: Prepare and marinate trout as directed. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place prepared trout on foil lined baking sheet. Roast fish for 30 minutes.
There ... it's on here.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah .... counting my Tuesday blessings. Hilda just called and she said she loves me ... crazy girl. Now there's a good song on Radio-i-o "Delta Lady by Leon Russell", had almost forgotten that one. Anyway, the weather today was so-so, pretty breezy ... 25-35 mph this afternoon, almost as bad as being in Texas. Will be great sleeping weather tonight ... down in the mid 40's. Cousin Dean would call that sweltering heat... but it suits me fine. It was about 78 here today, fairly nice spring weather for us desert rats.
I hope that everyone out there is having a great week, a great March (almost over) and a fabulous 2007 so far.
PEACE and LFTD
26 March 2007
I've been trying to do a little bit of personal writing this past weekend, and will attempt to continue during the week. I write here of course, but most of my east coast friends don't read the BLOG. They want me to write to them, even though they do not often write back.
Oh, the soul of one who needs to write
it is in constant turmoil I know
you wish that your words were read
but that is not the reason they exist
they pour out of your fingers
because you cannot keep them inside
the keyboard is easier than the pen
and so, your few words become many
you write what you know,
or what you suspect
or merely .. what you think
at times you write well
and at times, poorly .. or worse
persons who live alone
seem to write more often
it is like having a conversation
better than talking to yourself
but that's what you're doing
it is not a conversation
it is a monologue
screaming at the walls really
cheaper than a shrink
but not often as rewarding
cleansing is a process
that words never help
or in my case they don't
but still I type
(do people still say type?)
typing class is now 'keyboard skills'
so ... "still I keyboard?"
doesn't have the same ring
but I digress
but, ... don't I always
Everything is nebulous in life. Yesterday's dreams are today's realities and tomorrow's memories. Fantasies are reality to some, and reality is fantasy to others. Belief patterns change with the slightest breeze and nothing is in vogue for long. The least travelled path becomes the interstate and the older highways become the least travelled paths. I stumble about, constantly searching, rarely discovering ... but believing in myself and in others. Others are searching also, but we find different truths and experience different realities.
Oh well, enough philosophy ... the oven is cranking away at my evening repast and I want to look in on the Food Channel.
23 March 2007
I'm hanging out and hanging around
just kicking back, and life I've found
is staying home, not out on the town
white wine and dark bock beer
smiles are glowing, ear to ear
got good restaurants 'round here
great company, all full of cheer
like Rachel Ray, I'm getting by
hello world, I'm the guy
can't top me, don't even try
going like hell, until I die
writin' some verse, hummin' a song
folks like me just get along
we all know right from wrong
and right here is where we belong
this killin' time is not a crime
making up my silly rhyme
spreading lies from time to time
spending a dollar and savin' a dime
things are running though my mind
reality is hard to find
but I'm not in a bind
and life is really being kind
22 March 2007
intermittent and light
bringing freshness in it's wake
surprising how the entire desert
responds so quickly
to small amounts of moisture
in other places
rain is expected,
or seen as a nuisance
here in the desert
it is life itself
we, on the eastside of Tucson
had a small dose last night
it's pouring steadily
booming claps of thunder
disturb the soothing drizzling noise
of runoff from the roof
our summer rains,
in the desert
are the life of the region
winter and spring rains
are special bonus gifts
we enjoy our rains
whenever they appear
even though some folks
have never learned
how to drive
on rain drenched streets
I shall sleep good tonight
and rain noises
are much better
than sleeping pills
those leaping wooly creatures
perchance to dream
hopefully quiet dreams
of my cowboy heaven
or times long past
or things that never were
and never shall be
until my next visit to the keyboard
PEACE ... LFTD
19 March 2007
I did not ask if anyone was offended, I really don't care. I am not offended by Redneck jokes, and I was born and raised a redneck. In fact, I know a lot of the people that Jeff Foxworthy (and others) are talking about. In fact, I am related to most of them. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, then we are in sad shape.
Well, it's been a 12 1/2 hour day and I need to rest ... there are a couple of good books on my night stand and I'm gonna' go open one.
Have a great week ... and hug someone, you'll both feel better.
18 March 2007
I have some pork chops cooking ... I watched Guy's Big Bite (Guy Fieri) on the Food Network today. He cooked some mashed potatoes with Sofito today that are a must to try this week. But, I had (in the house) everything needed to cook his Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo .... well, I actually had to go to Safeway and get some watercress and an avocado or two. The entire house smells like some great restaurant... I have seen people walking by who sniffed the air and nodded in approval. I have been sitting outside in my camping recline chair sipping some wine. I have them cooling at the moment and shall eat a bit before I finish this scribbling.
It is now 1700, ... dearest cousin Dean, you must try these pork chops ... and do not change anything (at least the first time you do them) they are superb .. I am sated. I had them with a spinach salad with artichoke hearts, slightly tinged with EVOO and a small sprinkle of Tony Chachere's. Tell me (via e-mail) if you read this ...., God !!!! these are good. A good white wine, an Italian Soave or a good dark beer like Shiner Bock will really pull out all the nuances of this dish, in my opinion.
1 cup plus 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup vinegar
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup watercress, for garnish
1 Roma tomato, chopped, for garnish
1/2 avocado, sliced, for garnish
In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and vinegar. Add pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in refrigerator.
In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Tony's note: Add the following ingredients in between the chops, not on top of the meat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.
Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce juices in pan by half. Pour over the chops and serve immediately.
Garnish with watercress, tomatoes and avocado.
17 March 2007
The Air Show is in town this weekend ... we have the Blue Angels this year and not the Thunderbirds. Hilda and I will go tomorrow. The skies above Tucson have been really loud and busy the last couple of days.
I have to catch up on all my chores today, go to the library, buy groceries, etc. I have been really lazy of late.
I just finished reading a good article about my friend Dr Stanley McGowen, written by Stephen Stainkamp, I may forward it to a couple of friends. Stan says that the article deals mostly with what he's done since his accident and never touches on some things that he remembers fondly ... like our days in the Tombstone Wild Bunch, fighting each other in front of crowds. We had some truly great times in the 70's ... if a little juvenile and stupid at times. We lived life to the fullest, and often beyond. It is great to look back on, but I am not certain that I'd actually want to relive those years. It is an absolute wonder that we are alive at this juncture in time. We drank too much, partied too often, took too many chances and all in all lived precariously on the edge. We wrecked vehicles, collectively and individually, and drove much too fast ... often well over the legal limits of inebriation. God, or one of his lessor and more forgiving angels surely watched over us. We did not do anything bad to others, just had fun ... we'd survived Viet Nam and thusly we were 10 feet tall, bulletproof and would live forever. Hell, I'm 61 and a half and Stan will be 60 next month .... we have lived forever almost.
But do not write off "Valdez and Buttermilk". As the poets said, "we have miles to go before we sleep" ... "and we shall not go gently into that sweet night". But one day, if there be a heaven, he and I shall ride good horses through green fields with forests and rivers between us and the horizon and deer and bear shall fall from our rifle's crack. We shall eat venison cooked over mesquite and cold Shiner Bock shall magically appear from our saddlebags. Back at the ranch house ... several evenings a month ... our old and dear friends shall visit, singly and in groups. There will be much talk of old times, laughter shared, boasts spoken and lies told. Good food shall abound with beer, wine and whisky on the side board. Stan will have 20-20 vision and I shall possess the gait of a 20 year old. Everyone has a vision of heaven ... and mine has nothing to do with clouds, halos or wings. You can keep your streets of gold. my heaven has no streets. It is filled with conifers, mesquites, aspens and Texas red oak. It has God's creature in abundance ... but just enough people to make it habitable. The mountains are crisp and cold, the streams free running and clear and the veranda on the house is low, shady and filled with rockers. The Lord is just and loving ... and a cowboy at heart.
Love from the desert
14 March 2007
The doctors want me to give up salt, alcohol (all types), caffeine (even diet sodas), exercise regularly ... the only kind I can do is the stationary bike, so they say "buy one", yeah right! .... and not eat any fried food or high caloric food, eat lots of salads and fish and no sweets. Realistically .... who wants to live that damn bad? They frown on gravy, bacon, sausage, too many eggs, biscuits or kaiser rolls ..... they say a high fiber breakfast cereal with skim milk would be better for me. Fat damn chance, is all I can say!!!
O.K., the healthy life is out ... so what are my chances? I gave up my Cuban and Nicaraguan Cigars two years ago, didn't smoke that many ... one or two a week with wine or while playing golf. My beer consumption has been cut to about 15-20% of what it used to be. I mean, really, how long do I want to live? My stupid knees, at times, makes me think that 61-62 years old is plenty . I'll be 62 in November. But then ... why deprive the world at large of a curmudgeon of my caliber any time soon? I could probably make a fortune hiring myself out to parents to use as a bad example to their kids ... whadda' ya think?
Well, that's enough morbid bitching for a while I rekon. I need to do that sometimes and get it off my chest. I work mainly by myself all day, come home and spend the evening by myself, sleep by myself and so sometimes I need to sound off to others.
I haven't written any poetry of any type of late (see other BLOG entries) and little or no political commentary ... and Hillary and her big mouth are just outstanding fodder for anyone to write about. One thing that I will say ... quickly ... she is all over George W for his staff's firing of all those federal lawyers. Her and her husband Slick Willy fired a lot more than that and also cut their ties to lawyer friends who went to the pen in their behalf or because of ties with Clinton interests. I really hate very few people .. but she is one. She wouldn't know the truth if it bit her in her unattractive ass.
Well, must watch the History Channel or the Food Network. Have a good week and a better weekend.
LFTD ... PEACE
13 March 2007
When I was a senior in high school, I found that the majority of them were shallow and not too smart and that a lot of them were self centered assholes with no idea of what life was about. They cared little and knew little about what faced them in the future. They also had little or no knowledge of what our government was or how it worked. They also ... and this is even worse now ... had no knowledge of our history ... mankind's or the United State's.
Now I am ancient (61 1/2 years old) and I look at high school seniors and see, for the most part, 17-18 year olds with a 5th grade intelligence / awareness and a follow-the-herd mentality. The boys (again, for the most part) seem to want to be "Black Gangbangers and/or Players". They only want to be COOL and have lots of STUFF. They certainly do not want to work to earn it ... they feel it is theirs BY RIGHT, and should be available to them gratis.
I have actually stopped patronizing fast food (and other) establishments where multiple body piercings and tattoos are in evidence on the workers. This is my choice. I just am not comfortable with any of these folks preparing or serving me my food. This may be prejudiced behavior on my part ... but it is what I feel. I actually do not feel like eating if my waiter or waitress has eyebrows, tongues, cheeks, chins filled with strips of metal.
These are our future leaders in business and politics and in the military. Can a person who wears their pants below the cheeks of their ass with 6-8 inches of their underwear showing ... or has multi-colored hair and tattoos and multiple body piercings be expected to become someone whom others (besides individuals of the same ilk) want to follow, listen to or look up to?
I have become my parents !!! Is there any chance that any of this kids have ANY CHANCE of becoming their parents or hopefully their grandparents?
At times like this, I miss the voice, spirit, and opinion of my late friend Beau Chantz.
The Desert Dude has ranted ... feel free to reply.
12 March 2007
I have been re-reading things that I read years ago to understand what the term "classic" means. Tonight, I am rereading Poe ... poetry mostly, not Murders in the Rue Morgue and such. You know ... The Raven, Annabelle Lee, et al. My plans are to go through some Hemingway, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald,Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, etc.
Dean ... you seem to have access to eclectic info .... I am looking for a poem written by Eric Robson (Robison ?) Dobbs ???? called 'When the Ecstatic Body Grips' ... I think:
As much as I can remember (I read it 40 years ago):
"When the ecstatic body grips
it's heaven with little sobbing cries
Lips are crushed on hot blind lips
I read strange pity in your eyes
That you in you that I love best
masterless still, still unpossessed
Da-da-da-da and so forth
and the world is shrunken to a heap
of hot flesh straining on a bed"
I read it in the library in Danville, sometime back in the Pliocene era .. or maybe earlier. I was young once you know. I think that when Cain killed Abel ... I was called for jury duty. I am so old, that when Hilda and I go out to eat ... they make me pay in advance.
Well, better get back to the stupid Excel spreadsheets. Or better yet, lay down and read some Edgar A. and relax.
Have a great day and a better week.
11 March 2007
I am not sick, ill or uninterested ... just getting lazy sort of. I haven't received any 'real' e-mails in many moons but I do enjoy the forwarded jokes, funnies and other stuff.
I assume that these doldrums shall pass, especially since high temperatures are returning to the desert. I always feel much better when I can go to work in shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I certainly have felt, of late, as if I have nothing to say via the BLOG and have my doubts whether I ever did. Perhaps I need to change my reading material and that something will pique my interest once again and give me reason to think and food for thought.
I hope that everyone out there is well and getting along fine. We here in the desert arehealthy and still making a living.
PEACE .... LFTD
23 February 2007
I have just finished reading (for the third time) a book by Margaret Gray Towne. I believe, if memory serves, that she is the wife of the pastor at the church my brother Mickey and his wife Patricia attend. It is called "Honest to Genesis ... A Biblical and Scientific Challenge to Creation". It is the most amazing tome I have read in years. It has answered a lot of questions that had been in my mind for years. Now, I realize that I was not wrong in my doubts or in my beliefs. I read it through the first time and enjoyed it and learned a lot. The second time I studied it .. with the Bible at my side. This last time I read it to let it really soak in and enjoy the full context.
Margaret earned two degrees in Biology from the University of Michigan and attended Princeton Theological Seminary. Her Doctoral research at Montana State University centered on creationism and evolution. She recently taught science and religion courses as a "Distinguished Visiting Professor" at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. Currently she teaches in the Philosophy Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
If you can not find this book anywhere, e-mail me and I will send you my (Signed by the Author) copy ...... it is that important.
Love From The Desert
Now, to catch you all up to date with happenings here in the southwest.
HIlda, my mom and I are all doing well. My knee has been giving me fits 24/7 for a great while. I am going to the VA Hospital and they would like to replace both my knees. However, I can think of no way to support myself and pay my bills while recuperating, so it'll have to wait a year or two. They are working on getting me some disability while I am recuperating (the damage happened initially while I was on active duty). Anyway, I am working... again for Perry Hardee at ValuPlus Vending. I am repairing his vending machines and doing a little delivering and installing. It is something an old fart like me can do.
Hilda had her 53rd birthday yesterday (Thursday), no one where she works can believe that she is that old ... I can't either. I am going to Benson tomorrow to pick up my mom and bring her to Tucson. She and Hilda and I are going to the American Legion Post 36 tomorrow night for the steak dinner and music/dancing by Desert Knights. I will take mom back to Benson on Sunday. Hilda is going to the Casino del Sol on the Pasqua Yaqui Pueblo tonight with her daughter Amanda Hope and her boyfriend Sean. I passed ... cannot stand to drop my money into a machine that doesn't love me. I need to relax tonight anyway.
The route man was on vacation this week and I ran his route .... that's a young man's game. I hadn't run a route in over three years and a lot has changed. It took me about 11-12 hours each day and I came home exhausted and dirty. I'll live though .... it's Friday night and he'll be back tomorrow. I do need a good night's sleep and some rest on my poor knees. At this moment (1800 hrs on February 23rd) they're swollen up like balloons and throbbing like a toothache. I am watching Prince of Tides on the TV ... don't much like the stars but I am really getting into the author. Pat Conroy ... who wrote basically about about his screwed up family and his life. You may have heard of "The Great Santini", a movie was made of it starring Robert Duval, it was about his Marine Corp father. Or "My Losing Season" a novel about his senior year at the Citidal when his team won the longest basketball game (quadrupal overtime) ever played against rival VMI in 1967. There was a movie called "Conrack" starring Jon Voight which was about Conroy's teaching career. He also wrote "Lords of Discipline" about his time at The Citadel. He had a really screwed up family and existence ... but he wrote about it all ... probably cheaper than a shrink .... and it made him rich, which is always nice.
Well, I must go and shower and rub that hot lotion on my knees that the VA gave me (it's made of the Capsicum from Habanero chili peppers) and it burns like hell. But ... it keeps me walking around or I guess it does.
Anyway, you guys have a great weekend and a better week next week. Peace and love from the desert southwest .... Shalom
Antonio ... Tony ... Buttermilk
03 February 2007
I have been hacking away at my new job. So far it has been extremely strenuous and I am exhausted at the end of each day. When we start up the 2nd shift and I am the leadman, perhaps the back breaking toil will lessen. I certainly hope so. At age 61, I am no longer the man I once was. In fact ... in reality .... I probably never was that man. Except in memory maybe.
I just (5 minutes ago) got a phone call from a man that I used to work for, (I drove a vending route for him) and he wants me to go back to work for him ... installing, repairing and servicing vending machines.. It is $100 a week more than I am making right now and $50 a week more than I will be making next month when I start on swing shift. It is straight days, Monday - Friday and more money. It is also less physical labor. I cannot see any downside to it. I talked to Hilda and she loves the fact that it would be less strenuous on my knees and also that it would be day shift. She didn't like the idea of me working 3:30-midnight because it would lessen our opportunities to be together. I told him that I would call him on Monday.
O.K., ..... I had even forgotten that this message was sitting here unfinished. It is Thursday ... the 8th .... and I am getting ready to shower and go to bed. I have been busy, re-learning everything I used to know about vending machines. I will be repairing them and taking care of the route when the route guy goes on vacation, which is the week of 19-23 February. I will probably work 12-14 hours a day that week. Hilda and I are going to see my mom and my nietos this weekend (in Benson). She is working, as am I, and the schedules are crazy.
Our weather has been more Arizona-like this week .... highs in the high 70s and low 80s and lows about 50. We might get some more rain next week ... cold front from California .... but it is still up in the air. Been nice swimming in the pool and sitting in the jacuzzi though. My kind of winter .... like late spring really. Those of you who really love winter are more than welcome to it as far as I am concerned. Give me 70-80 degrees and short sleeves any time. Can't wait for the 90s and low 100s ... great weather.
Have a great week/month/year.
PEACE / LOVE / HUGS ......... LFTD
28 January 2007
I started to work Thursday last, at Natural Stone. That was the most physical work that I have done in years. Friday, I went to their plant in Phoenix (and took three others with me) to observe the operations and techniques they used. I will be the Bagging Operations Leadman on Swing Shift, but must train on days for a month. The other guys that went with me are Fernando, the day shift Lead and two guys that we chose, Johnny and Gilberto, because they seemed to catch on quick on Thursday. I will be writing up a letter of recommendation (what I learned on Friday) for my area today, to give to the boss tomorrow.
Our weather has warmed somewhat, almost back to normal. Still having to wear a jacket (especially at night) but better than last week by far.
Nothing much else going on here. The VA Hospital wants me to stop drinking beer (or at least cut down), and they have me on blood pressure medicine. I am entering the twilight of my years I guess. They are reviewing the paper work for my rating, so that they will know if they can put me on temporary disability while they replace my knee. I had a car wreck in the early seventies that started my leg problems, and I was on active duty at the time.
I hope that everyone is happy and that things are going good for you.
LFTD ... and Peace !
22 January 2007
I fell asleep last evening watching football (it was an early wake-up and a long day) and was certain that my Colts were going to lose big time ... but Peyton brought them back for the win. Great going Peyton! (and the rest of the team). Now ... Lovie Smith was the first black head coach to take his team to the Super Bowl ..... and now, his old head coach (and mentor) Tony Dungy joins him after 3 hours. Now we have two black head coaches in the "big show". Way to go guys!
PEACE and HUGS
21 January 2007
We were at the American Legion last evening for the Area Commander's Dinner. The Desert Knights were playing ... a win/win situation in my book. We met a local actress, Tami Sutton, who does plays here locally at the Top Hat Theater. The guy with her, Jim Wilson, (they're both in their 20's) sang a few songs with the band ... early Elvis and other 50's rock ... and he was amazing. I looked up his MySpace [www.myspace.com/jimwilsonsings] this morning, and we listened to some of his cuts on the computer. He has performed all over, mostle in Vegas and parts of California. He was once the lead singer of a band called Blue Vertigo. He is here in Tucson doing covers of Rockabilly, Country and Blues and working on some of his own material. We meet all these people because I am FAR from shy and I go up and introduce myself and start talking. Tami says she thinks that she can get us some "comped" tickets to the new show at the Top hat (starts next month). I took some pictures with my digital and will give her some copies next week. Hilda says that she could never meet people the way that I do, but she will learn I guess.
The Bears reared up and scored a bunch of points at the last to overwhelm the Saints (I, and many others in this nation were rooting for the Saints.) Now, if the Colts can win ... it'll be a Midwest Super Bowl.
It is now raining, a cold rain, pretty heavy for our desert southwest. Snow warnings are out for the Tucson metropolitan area for tonight and tomorrow.
18 January 2007
I start back to work next Thursday. Not as much money as I had hoped and not the exact job I wanted, but it is work and I can live on it if I watch my pennies.
My stupid Buick "MUST" be fixed now ..... the "Crank Sensor" was replaced on Tuesday. It seems that it was the reason that I had intermittent problems with it not starting. Another $300 that I didn't have, but BrakeMax is letting me make payments. I need the car to make it to work, as my new employer isn't on any bus route.
I am going "Stir Crazy" sitting around the house the last two weeks. Not enough money to go and do anything, so I have basically been confined to the apartment. I have gone through ALL my pictures and re-organized them. How does one ever collect so many photographs? My living room is starting to look habitable again. The bedroom should look the same this weekend. Being alone, I sometimes let stuff that I am looking through, or studying, pile up around the apartment. I am always going through various things and making notes on other stuff that I look up on the computer. I am forever researching three or four things. Some of the constants are music, history, people, lyrics, poetry and words/word usage.
I would like to offer my opinion on something. Art ! (it is now Sunday morning and I had forgotten to publish this post). I watch Breakfast with the Arts on A&E most Sunday mornings. When I say "Art", in this instance I am talking painting. I think that the quality of most art is judged by people because of WHO painted it rather than HOW GOOD it is. I mean, there are instances where critics and people in the know say how great a piece of art is and later it is found to be a fake and all of a sudden ... everyone sees all the amateurishness of it and how it has this flaw or that flaw. Bullshit ... it is either a good painting or it is not. In literature ... a "great" writer works are looked upon with awe. If he or she writes a piece of drivel .... hell, they'll say it is fraught with underlying meaning and hidden nuances et al. But really .. it's just a piece of mindless crap. We are slightly in awe of people who do certain things well and we imbue them with talents, judgement, intelligence and savvy that they possibly do not possess.
14 January 2007
I start to work again on the 22nd ... won't make the big bucks like on the last job, but it beats the hell out of unemployment. It will take me three weeks or so to recover from these unemployment checks and catch up the bills and stuff. I took Hilda home a bit ago. We stopped by the American Legion and had a pitcher or two (her treat) and watched some football on TV. We watched Superman Returns last night on the DVD player ... she loved it, I thought it was sort of mediocre (and left questions unanswered).
Arizona has it's hands more than full in the early going against Oregon ... and the football game looks as if the Chargers are going to lose ... too bad. I am not a Patriots fan and I did like the Chargers this year. Yep ... it's official, New England won. Too bad. I must root for the Colts and the Saints next week. If my wishes come about, I am torn between the Colts and the Saints. I really like Peyton Manning and would like to see him win a Super Bowl, but the Saints have had such a dismal record since their inception and I'd like to see them win a ring also.
Our Arizona Cardinals (the Chicago Cubs of football) hired Ken Whisenhut, the Steelers offensive coordinator, as their new head coach today ... hell, we'll try anything now.
Our weather here yesterday and today was frigid. Snow all over the mountains, it's 42 right now and headed down quickly. Tonight will be in the 20s and it has been breezy.
Well, must concentrate on the roundball on the tube.
Have a great week.
10 January 2007
01-10-2007 7:41 AM MST
(Tucson,AZ) -- A pair of weather systems will bring the chance of rain, snow and cooler temperatures starting today and lasting through the wekend. The first system will arrive tonight, bringing a chance of rain to the Tucson valley and snow in the mountains. Another system, bringing even colder temperatures and wetter weather should arrive Thursday. The best chance for rain and snow in the area will be Thursday and Friday. Temperatures will remain cold through the wekend with lows in the 20s and highs in the lower 50s.
Copyright 2007 Metro Networks Communications Inc., A Westwood One Company
09 January 2007
My Arizona Wildcats lost a tight basketball game this past weekend .. broke my heart. But the Ohio State Buckeyes lost last night in the BCS Bowl and that made me happy.
I am halfway through my 'self-forced' spring cleaning of my apartment and my storage shed. I am amazed that I have/had so much stuff still. I went from a 4BR house to a 3BR house to a 2BR apartment to this 1BR apartment and it seems as if I have been throwing away stuff for years and yet ... I am still gleaning through possesions. My living room floor is full of milk crates either getting filled or getting emptied.
I think that (real) milk crates are one of the un-sung inventions of mankind. Everyone seems to have a couple at least. They store record albums (33RPMs, remember those), old parts, et al. I see them attached to small motorcycles as carry-alls, and whatever laundry rooms I have been in, I have seen them utilized as laundry baskets. I like them because they stack so well in my small storage shed. I have seen construction people use them to carry tools, or as a small step ladder, or as a chair for lunch or to sit on and work on something a foot or so off the floor.
Working around the house the last couple of days, I have been listening to music from my computer ... an on-line radio station called Boot Liquor that I like. I really enjoy the esoteric Americana music they play. I have been listening to ... (besides well known people like George Jones, Lyle Lovett and Jimmie Dale Gilmore ...) Ronnie Cox, Montana Tunesmiths, Neco Case, Long Gone Lonesome Boys, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Gurf Morlix, Cross Canadian Ragweed and many, many more. I could become a hermit I think... if I had cable TV and my internet (food, wine and beer also).
07 January 2007
I really hope that all of you (if anyone ever reads this thing-o-mine) have, and are having, a truly fantastic 2007. We all were alive (7 years ago) to see the beginning of a new century and are now living in the 21st Century ...... when I was a kid, that was as far away as the stars.
Amazing how much progress has been made in my short lifetime. I was born at the end of WWII, ... propeller driven airplanes, no TVs, phones were rare in my area and all the music was on 78 RPM records. I was 9 years old when Elvis came around in music, now ... he's ancient history. I remember hearing lots of artists for the first time in all genres of music. I remember Webb Pierce, Elvis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash when they were basically nobodies. Also I remember ... jet planes, moon landings, computers as big as my living room, personal computers with only 64 KBs of memory. Makes me sound ancient I guess.