Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In the Good Old Summertime


It was 1991. It was hot. It was the 4th of July. It was fun. The speedway up at the end of the road had a fireworks display that night. We would spread blankets on the front lawn, pop popcorn and watch the sky light up with loads of OOOOOOs and AAAAAHHHHs! Once the show was over, we would make believe the sheet on top of us was our tent. Anyone passing on a bicycle was a cowboy. Anyone passing by walking was a Indian. Prowling cats were mountain lions. Stray dogs were coyotes. All the play guns from the toy chest were in the “tent” with us. Flashlights helped with our surprise attacks. Once the unsuspecting soul got close enough we let ‘em have it with all the imaginary ammunition imaginable. BLAM!

It’s 2009. The speedway had their fireworks display last weekend. I stood alone in the front yard and enjoyed the show. No popcorn. No cowboys. No kids. Just fun memories of 4th of Julys not so long ago.

Remember the great Super Soaker War?!

Enjoy your 4th of July celebration.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

August 1977

The recent death of Michael Jackson sent my mind back to August 16, 1977 - the day Elvis died. My 17 year old cousin from England was visiting for the summer. She missed the bicentennial celebration a year earlier; but she enjoyed the 4th of July in the "colonies". We had both just earned our drivers' licenses and had loads of summertime fun. The only car I had to drive was a 1962 Plymouth Valiant.
It was a two door with a push button transmission. I was completely embarrassed to drive it; but it got us around and the radio worked. Our fun was innocent and very inexpensive. In that year, the price of gas jumped to about $0.75 a gallon. We could turn in soda bottles or aluminum cans for cash to buy the gas (...and we griped that gas was too high!). If we wanted to enjoy a swim, we would pool hop. That's where we would enjoy a swimming pool at a local hotel. If we got caught, we went to another hotel. With her accent, we never got busted.
Her departure date was August 16. I can't remember the reason her flight was delayed; but she was thrilled to have been in America the same day that Elvis died.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cap & Trade

What the heck is cap & trade? I don't know what to believe. I don't know who to believe. I don't think I even matter in the whole danged mess. Guess I'll just get back out to the garden and try to grow the perfect tomato.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Goatheads - Dang It!

I've been riding my bike each evening after dinner. Pedalling along the sidewalk that is flanked by unkempt landscaping helps me to burn the calories and help my bad back. Either the developer is a slug (and he is) or the county can't afford the maintenance (they can't) - but I have to get off my bike occasionally and push the goathead weeds off the sidewalk and back to the dirt where they started. This practice will, no doubt, have to continue until the (ir)responsible party takes responsibility.

When I was a kid, we would intentionally step on these so they would stick in our Keds so we could have tap shoes. It wasn't fun to land on these with flip flops or barefeet. It's no fun today to have these boogers jammed into my bike tires.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Doctor, Doctor Give Me The News...

I prefer to see doctors in the big city (L.A.) when I have the luxury of scheduling appointments. Doctors in my town are fine; but typically the very best practice in the big city. A cousin was directed to have a mastectomy while the L.A. doctor prescribed a lumpectomy. The drive is a drag; but the proper diagnosis is worth it.

My health insurance is a wonderful benefit that I have earned that enables me to go where I want, when I want. If government gets hold of health care, can I expect the same service I receive at the DMV? IRS? Social Security? Post Office? If yes is the answer, I wonder if I could request Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard. At the very least, I could be entertained.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Addicted to Painting

Some people are addicted to booze, drugs, food, love. Farmer MacGregor? He's addicted to painting. Oh, I'm not complaining. Many house fraus would love to have someone around to make sure everything is freshly painted. I have so many photos of different painting projects that I was going to commission a calendar; but I may have enough images to bind a book.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Smart Car?

I test drove cars this weekend. VW, Honda, and a SMART car. SMART car? Not so smart car. It was an automatic that shifted like a teenager learning to drive a stick. Holy crap. What a rough ride. If this is the type of vehicle to look forward to with the federal government taking over car companies, I'm looking into getting a horse. Smokes!

This may be very European...clearly, I'm not. Next stop---Ford.