Monday, April 30, 2007

Danger Will Robinson!!!

A mixed up, jumbled up, shook up post ahead.

This time, I knew going in that this boogie would be a mess!

So much stuff banging around my mind. A lot of it jangling and clanking.

The last several days have been a cage battle royale to the death match 'tween me and these evil wisdom teeth implanted in my jaws by some malevolent being.

Four against one.

I'm winning for now. They have a way of launching coordinated attacks, wreaking havoc and retreating.

I coaxed my way into some, uh... relievers.
"I hate to let you have these while you're drinking beer. It says right here, "Don't take these while your drinking beer."
"That's like a, a, a speed limit sign. It's a SUGGESTION!!! Gimme the drugs."

Tech Wars.

I finally downloaded the software to get the AirCard working on the laptop. The Thrill of Victory was short lived. The AirCard screen shows that I am connected. The Control Panel says that I am connected. But, I can't get to Explorer.

"Will he prevail?! Tune in next week!"

I slept through most of last nights storms. I slept through all of the morning. I finally rose up about one this afternoon.

The heat was down the swelling was down that's when I heard that hard drive sound.

{{{Good Gawd Ya'll, Elvis Costello doing Lexus ad's on TV!!!}}}

I made the rounds through my favorite blogs. La Gringa's Blogicito, Bob's FH1100 Pilot and Hal's Dispatches From The Away Dad Nation. All had something to say. And I look forward to their posts.

Gringa is the most prolific of what I'll call 'Us' for now. She posts every day it seems.

The rest of 'Us' are a little more tentative and or sporadic. We wait 'til the spirit moves us or until we see or experience something we feel is worthy of a post. (That's my take Guys. Let me know if I'm wrong.)

Hal had a post about writing. In a way, I could have writen the same post.

I want to do it (write). I like, nay Love to write. I haven't developed a discipline.

I don't write enough often enough. I don't read enough often enough. I don't trust myself enough. I don't open up enough. I don't listen enough. I don't get out enough therefore I don't meet enough people.

Therefore, wherein, to wit I don't take in the stimulous to attract the Muse! (Thanks Hal! I just put enough together to get it.)

In my humble view, everyone that creates lives with a muse of some sort.

She comes and goes. When she's around we create. When she goes into hiding we lament our lack of creativity and commitment to craft.

So how do we lure her out of hiding? OH! Here's an interesting thought. Do we really want her around all of the time?

Think about it.

Everything needs a balance. Equilibrium.

That's enough waxing philosophically for now.

Black Oak Arkansas... "Lord Have Mercy"

The halls of Kharma are like a maze. So many choices. Decisions. It can be overwhelming. The winds are light and flukey. There are dead ends and every corner is blind.

I said in the beginning that this would be a shook up post.

This new image of the Halls just hit me on the way home a while ago. For the longest time I thought of them as one long hall. Doofus.

Writing. Pain. Joy. Rain. Thunder. Stimulii.

"To me the road is wide
To you it's all black and white
I see roundabouts with spokes like eyes
You can't grasp the shades of gray in the sky
I wont challenge your palette
I wont try to point the way
(Don't you try to lead me astray!)
I'm gonna make me a paper moon
I'm gonna tie it to a silver string
I'm gonna set is alight
I'm gonna let it fly
I'll ignore you
if you ask me why..."
"Paper Moon" DRS 12/28/2003

Winter '03/ '04 was a Real winter of REAL discontent.
I had to surrender. I hate to f*%*ing surrender.
I had to surrender to the American Legal System where $$$'s rule.
Where ALL of the "Judges" hate their Fathers.
Someday that sum-bitch will step out into the street,
in front of the Dodge.
The last thing he will hear is her roar.
I will eat his still beating heart, raw.

Who me? Bitter? When it comes to my Kids. Damn Straight.
Step in front of the Dodge.

The Battle continues. Devolving to a childish state.

I am sorry. Not your place to have to listen to my rage.

What else is in the journal...?

Whoa. Good thing this is a short one...

"I stood on Elk Mountain
and shouted my Daddy's name
On the echo I heard calling
I heard my children
calling out for me..."
DRS Untitled/ Unfinished '03/04

Another short that I kinda like...

"... and the Archimedian Screw
holds the anchor rode
the tie that binds
Bernoulli's wing
to Earth and Sky..."
DRS Untitled/ Unfinished

Ten hand scrawled pages of a screen play...

OK, here is a good short to wrap this episode...

If these pages
full of cries and rages
were all that you knew
of all about me.
You'd be certain
that I was hurtin'.
You'd surely see
a threat to society
Well, yes
the pains are real
they are not all that I feel..."

M.i.B.- "No, Elvis is not dead. He just went home."

Tommy Lee Jones.
Yeah, me 'n Tom go way back.
"Blue Skies" Tommy Lee, Jessica Lang, Whatizname 'n me.
OK, no billing for me.
I did get a check and a really bad haircut out of the deal.
I waited years for the movie to come out.
You can't EVEN SEE me. I was on the wrong side of the wings that we were pushing around the hangar for no apparent reason.

Yup. It's been a looong strange trip.

M.i.B. is over. Time to load the CD player. I should wrap this thing, do some writing on the side. Take another dip in the pool tomorrow.

"Ain't this boogie a mess..." Frank Zappa

(For the record, Blogger again refuses to check my spelling.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Free to good home...

One really cool dog collar.

This sucks. When will the weasels stop eating my flesh?

I got home from work in time to see the Landlord loading Yellow Dog up to haul him off.

It seems that the dog had been witnessed, tried and convicted of mischievous mischief. Tearing open trash bags and making messes. A lot, apparently.

Landlord assured me that he had a friend with a yard that wanted him.

Hasta la vista Perro Amarillo.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

At home and on the "Headphones"

Back in the hovel sweet hovel.

I've been working on a weak weak post ever since the airport in Indy on the way outta town It's 'saved to draft'. Might be a nugget in there somewhere.

We had some odd storms around these parts last night.

I did hear some rolling thunder without the lightning prelude. A little bit of wind. Sporadic rain, some of it heavy. No big deal.

There was one moment that I had to ask the most important question known to us Plainsmen, "Is that a train?" Naw, just rolling thunder.

I headed out to Pat's this morning. My trash cans were blown over but still in place. No signs of a struggle.

The Homestead is about 8 miles to my South. Brightledge (Marge and The Architects place) is about 30 miles to my North.

The Homestead is on my route into Floresville. The closer I got the more storm signs I saw. sporadic bursts of limbs and leaves in the highway.


The talk at diner was all storm.

"Who? Me? Slept like a stone."

No casualties within our Circle. Haven't heard of any in the area. No grand catastrophe's. The Folks neighborhood did make the San Antonio TV news.

The odd part is the way the wind did some things and didn't do other things.

In trailer court fashion one yard was full of limbs and leaves and the next untouched.

Several trees down, a lot of trees damaged.

Hanging plants still right where they were this time yesterday not a leaf or petal missing while a bird house hanging the same tree was destroyed.

The huge Live Oaks at the Homestead still have a lot of dead wood I need to climb up and cut out. (Borrowing a heavier chainsaw tomorrow!!! BIG FUN!)

The wind didn't pull any dead stuff down but it did knock a full grown size oak tree (limb) out of one of the Live Oaks. Leafy and green it hangs upside down from the host tree.

Up North at Brightledge they spent a long and worrisome night. (Echo November snoozed through it all. < Insert Big Grin Here!) They are up on a hill and the lightning was on top of them. The Architect reports Zero time from Flash to High Intensity BOOM. The kind that penetrates the marrow.

Thanks to all that called to check our status!!!

(That kind of action would have had Comanche and the Master SGT on the top deck hollering, "Hell YEAH!!!!)

Total topic twist. I never did get to listen to my 'Leaving Indy' CD. I have it on the 'Phones and cranked up to Painful. I must say, I made some great picks! I keep resisting hitting rewind and I'm happy every time that I didn't.

I'd have to call it "Deep Pop Cuts". Walter Egan, "Magnet and Steel". Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz". Leo Sayer, ... ''I did the two step quick step and the bossanova, ya know I can dance, ya know I can dance..."

Great harmonica.... Ozark Mountain Daredevils.

Keep twisting topics.

Looking back at the Indy trip, gripes aside, it was a good trip.

I was treated with courtesy and respect by the folks on- site.

I realized that I am not a piece of doo. I found that I can still do what I do. I am good at what I do.

I got reacquainted with a friend that I had not seen in over a decade. I met new people. I got to know a few people that I work with now a little better.

I wrote a poem (lyrics) that I like a lot.

The latest "Writers Digest" was waiting when I got home. I've decided to enter their 2007 contest. Maybe in a couple of categories. Actually yeah, at least two entries. Poetry and short story. LOL! What are they gonna do? Ignore me? Gee, that would suck.

This morning at Pat's the crowd thinned out (((NO, I' not gonna 'poach'! I promised.))) I was
waiting for a call from Pop that his oil change was done and he was headed to the Homestead.

I had an opportunity to tell another story within a story. Actually it was a prelude to, "There we were... 18,000 feet over the plains of Africa"

No, this was after, back in Bahrain....

I was holed up at the Holiday Inn Bahrain. Spending my evenings in the hotel bar.

I met two Saudi gents. We would sit at the end of the bar and drink and talk. I have no idea what we talked about most of the time.

I launched a couple of Tequila Assaults. They were with the spirit. "Salud!".

Mostly, I could not buy a drink much less a round. They covered every drop.

I had been hanging out every evening drinking and even going to an after hours belly dance show with them.

One night I launched the story of my trip to Kenya. Just the part about the flight down...

I flew out of Bahrain with another guy from the company. We were to have less than an hour layover somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

We deplaned and had to go through security.

I kept setting the metal detector off. The infernal machine would not stop beeping no matter what I took off.

Finally they wanded me and declared me unarmed.

In the meantime there was a young Saudi Sargent going through my carry on bag. He unzipped my shaving kit to find (UH-OH!) a well traveled bottle of Amaretto.

Airline bottle, a couple of thimbles worth of liqueur. He kept the kit inside the carry on and his hand inside the kit.

He dropped the bottle and rooted around some more. I was relieved briefly but he kept rooting and going back to the Amaretto then rooting some more.

Then, he pulled the little bottle out. The label had worn white during it's time in my bag and was completely illegible,

"What is this?''
"Amaretto." I said again. Looking him in the eye. Hey, I wasn't lying!
"What is Amaretto? Whiskey?"
"No, liqueur."

My travel mate (and the rest of the passengers) was in line behind me and chimed in,
"It's liquor."

Thanks a load there Mr Lick!

The SGT carried the bottle over to his supervisor. The hollered at each other for a minute. I didn't have a clue what they were saying but knew it wasn't good.

"Come with me." I followed the SGT across the terminal.
Not looking good here...

He came to a door. The men's room door. He pushed it open,

"Come with me."
Looking worse...

He walked to a stall and pushed the door open,

"Come with me."
This is bad...

"I can see just fine from here." I figured what the hell. It's one on one in an empty bathroom He wasn't much bigger than me. I wasn't going into a smaller box. I'd have better room to maneuver outside the stall.

Thankfully he was satisfied with my answer. After all, it wouldn't have been one on one for long now would it?

He opened the bottle. He poured it into the toilet. He flushed it, twice.

"Come with me."

I followed him to the sink. He rinsed the bottle and cap, twice.

"Come with me."

He put the bottle and cap in the trash and covered it with paper towels.

"Come with me."

We exited the men's room and walked back towards the security station.

You know me. Can't leave well enough alone. Curiosity over came logic.

"Uh, what was that all about? Ya have to have a witness or what?"

"Many people the that the police, the soldiers take it for themselves but that is not The Way."

Then he leaned in conspiratorially and whispered,

"I used to live in Brittain from 1982 to 1984. I used to drink and smoke and do all things but that is not The Way."

Whatever you say...

So, back to Bahrain several weeks later and I tell this tale to my drunken bar buddies. You want to talk about turn on a dime, change at the drop of a hat!

"Why did you bring it into my country!!!"

Just like that. Stone cold sober and just as serious. Offended.

I managed to back paddle into somewhat smoother water.

I guess I was as taken aback at their reaction as they were at my transgression.

Live to learn, learn to live.

"Back Into Dust"

"I've been ground to dust
between the wheels of love
and the stones of the
long long road
nothing left now
but for the winds to sweep me away...

another time and place
a place to collect and
wait for the rain
wait for the rain...

begin again
begin again as mud
and wait for a seed
wait for a seed...

but will it take
will it hold
will it find
will it find

any love
any love
any love in me

is there any love left in me

is there anything left of me

I tried so hard to give it all away
I had so much
I had so much

is there any left in me?..."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

'All revved up with....

no place to go!!!'

Sums up a lot of 2007 but most especially this trip.

Put in a last few hours this morning. Finished rigging the flaps on an old C90. (From scratch.)

Easy money. They are sweet now. Damn near exactly flush with the fuselage. Evenly matched from right to left. Matched up on both sides. If she doesn't fly straight, It Ain't My Fault.

no place to go'...

Hotel room is policed up.

45 Lbs of long handles are packed. (Had to sit on the bag to zip it.)
My uniform for tomorrow will go into the tool box. (NOT gonna unzip that bag!)
I'll wear what I have on to fly.

I burned a road trip CD and titled it "Leaving Indy, IN". Should be a good listen.

It kicks off with Dr Hook, "The Last Morning".

A double tap of Sir Elton John, "Holiday Inn" and "Town of Plenty"

(...strewn across the runway were the passports and the luggage...
all that remains of a rugged individual...) EJ

It goes on.

Rare Earth, Lowen and Navarro, Joe Ely, Dylan, Sweet, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Walter Egan, Leo Sayer, Meatloaf...

I still don't have a reservation to get out of Indy.

I have identified the southbound interstates....

I hope it doesn't come to that (OK, it wont. Let me daydream.) BUT, if it did come down to a hitch. It would be a helluva tale. Or, could be. Could be a total yawn.

It wouldn't be the first time I've been left to find my own way home. Just the first time within the U.S.A.

The Architect informs me that he never received his piece of the Parthenon.

One, that begs another trip up (ALL) of those steps.

Two, that means that someone bid on an 'abandoned' storage unit and found a rock.

Just a rock. To them.

Kinda serves the vultures right. They held a piece of history and tossed it over their shoulder.

Hey, Macanudo! We'll add it to the Sand Dollars. It'll be like... a mission!

Hey, a chance to recreate the "Dos Lunas Blanco de Trujillo"!!! LOL!!! (Please don't ask 'cause I'm liable to spill it!)

Burger is here. Spurs are on. Time to publish!

I was out on the prowl
out by the edge of the track
like a son of a jackal
I was the leader of the pack
but every Saturday night
I felt the fever grow
Do you know what it's like?
All revved up!
With no place to go..."

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I don't even know how to title this!

This whole blog thing started with a web search for organic gardening.

I literally stumbled across a blog from La Ceiba, Honduras.

Turns out, it's about a whole lot more than just gardening. There is social, political and cultural info as well. A lot of great photos of plants, birds, puppy's, the house, other peoples houses, places and things...

La Gringa is an American transplant. She and her husband, El Jefe have a really great house and garden that they had built and are building themselves.

Gringa is a busy lady. She takes a lot of time to help a lot of other people.

I'm (kinda) gushing. Gringa has been very gracious and just plain nice to me. I appreciate it. I am very happy to add (with permission) La Gringa's Blogicito to "The Whole Lotta Nada Presents".

Take a few minutes and have a look. I bet you will be hooked too!

Blue Angel Down

I just logged on.

Yahoo News has a post about a Blue Angel crashing in North Carolina.

An airplane crashing hurts. Hurts to hear about.

A member of an (very) elite crew going down....

"WTF, Over?!"

Everything those guys do is PRECISE.

I can just imagine their "Maintainers" turning wrenches to cadence. Each click of the ratchet counted and accounted for.

That's the whole point of a precision flying "Team".

WTF, over?


I don't feel much like writing I just wish the trip was through.

I've worked on a couple of posts in the last couple of days. I got really torqued a time or two (at Blogger) and just deleted everything I had written. I think I saved a bit to drafts. We'll see.

[Shaking off the gloom.....]

Theoretically, I go home Monday. The hotel had me scheduled to leave yesterday. I checked my flight this morning, It says "Status-'Cancelled'".

Huh? The same person made all of my arrangements.

I feel a little like Connor McCloud of the Clan McCloud. In the early scene of "Highlander".

The Locals had just realized he was not like them.

He died in battle and lived to tell the tale.

So what was the perfectly natural response from his family, friends and neighbors?

"STONE 'IM!!!"

His buddy Angus intervenes,
"Theyer'll be no stonin'! Not heah. Not today.
To McCloud,
"Can you walk?"
"I'll bloody well walk out of heah."

[Trying again to shake it off.............]

It seems that Yellow Dog likes being fed on a regular basis!

It remains to be seen how that will translate into Friendship and Loyalty.

Ya never know. Someone may offer a ride in a newer truck and steak instead of Alpo.

LOL! My luck, Yellow Dog and my buddy Pop will have bonded in my absence!

Finally had a meal in this hotel that didn't disappoint. (It wasn't amazing but it was edible and reasonably priced.) So, I'm headed back upstairs. It's freakin' cold in here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A little story within a story

When I first started going into the Road Trip Tales I thought I had a million of them.

After just the few, I began to wonder how many I really did have and how many of those would be interesting.

I've already been mentally composing my all time favorite... "There Were, 18000 feet over the plains of Africa..."

It seems to be way too early for that.

Tonight at yet another restaurant chosen by committee, a sub-story.

Three of us set out for dinner tonight. We hit the main drag in this part of Indy and the,
"Where are we going?"
"I don't care. Wherever you guys want to eat is fine."
"What's around?"
"Well, there's this and that and the other. What sounds good..."

I wanted a beer and food, soon,

"This is starting to sound like a date. Who wants what and nobody cares. WHAT'S THE FIRST PLACE WE WILL GET TO?"

I didn't shout. We wound up at that Aussie Themed place that I wont name here.

The waiter brought the bread and salad at the same time, the second round of bread and all three entrees all in the span of three minutes.

Then disappeared.

He reappeared and asked if we'd like a second beer. We were ready to go by then.

POOF! Gone again. As we waited for the checks we realized that we needed that second beer.

He brought the checks and fled the scene. In the time it took to come get the checks we could have had a third.

Yes, we could have had yet another in the time it took to get change.

In the meantime the tip meter was sliding down the scale.

One of my com padres pulled a foreign bill out of his wallet, "If he doesn't hurry this will be his tip."

Where the bill was from or what it was worth I don't know. I am sure it wasn't worth much.

AND That reminded me...

After a few weeks of hijinks's and adventure in Kenya it was time to be headed to another joint.

I caught a 737 out of Mombasa bound for Nairobi. Typical of my I hate to be late nature it was the first flight outta Dodge that morning.

Little did I know I would arrive in Nairobi before my airline out of country would open.

OH and of course it was in a different terminal. Exactly where the next gate was is a little fuzzy but I remember having to get a cart and lug gear.

That's when I encountered a 'helper'. He insisted on helping. Wary, I told him something like, 'I don't have any money.'

He pushed my stuff up and down curbs, in and around traffic and to the right place.

I tipped him. He wasn't real happy with what I gave him but gave up pretty quickly.

I discovered I had a three hour wait to check in.

Sitting on a bench with one pocket full of souvenir Kenyan Shillings and another with Opals and Tanzanites I noticed signs around the terminal,

"You are not to remove any Kenyan currency from Kenya. If you posses Kenyan Shillings you are to surrender them to the nearest Official immediately. Oh, by the way, you must pay an exit tax of $20.00 USD, no Shillings will be accepted for exit tax."

Paranoia began to set in.

I looked around the nearly deserted terminal and saw my 'helper' in a heated discussion with a much larger man in a much nicer suit. The larger man dispatched my 'helper' and turned to make eye contact with me.

"Threat Level on the rise. Paranoia Elevated"

The larger man strode across the room in my direction. His assessment of his next encounter was brief. I saw the scan he took, subtle as it was. I saw the process behind the eyes. Actually, it was a little reassuring. He was a Pro. I stood and smiled a meek respectful tourist grin and maintained eye contact. I figured that if I was wrong in MY assessment I should at least go out like a man.

He introduced himself. Chief of Airport Security. He quizzed me about my 'helper'. Had he asked for money, had I given him money etc. It seems that Jomo Kenyatta Int'l takes a dim view of "unregistered" panhandlers. He informed me that these guys often demand huge sums for their 'help' and have been known to steal your luggage.

Even though I was reassured enough not to panic at the .45 in his shoulder holster. I figured he wasn't going to shake me down (for too much). I could feel the contraband currency and the gemstones trying to melt into my thighs and out of strip search range.

(Anyone remember "Midnight Express"?!)

After he quizzed me he strode away again.

But he seemed to be nearby the entire time. I could almost feel him watching as the jet rolled out of the gate.

I never thought I'd be happy to be back in Bahrain.

I've asked this question here before, "Have you ever flown a S.A.R.?" Search and Rescue Missions consist of hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror. That kind of describes my life and road trip experiences. That's the best explaination for the anti-climatic endings.

Most of what we are sharing here is anecdotal and in the end humourous. The, ya had to be there, kinda stuff.

Will we ever get to the .38 in the face or the narrow dead end one against a bario with a wife and child in tow, kidnapping?

A night in a foriegn jail, an engine exploding at altitude, anchor over board while underway at night, a sinking sailboat... all fun and games.

Yeah, we'll get around to all of them. Probably not a million of 'em... yet

Lord knows I've paid some dues.
... an' the Devil he knows that I aint through

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


We all try so hard to spell check, have some sort of structure and to use the correct word in the right place.


Yes, I MEANT Counter-Clockwise.

That sort of error grinds on my nerves. (The mistake, not being corrected.)

I love to see aircraft in movies and such. We Airmen notice things though. I'm sure Doctors, Cops, Firemen and every other trade notice things.

Ever watch an airplane movie with a Pilot or Mechanic? I bet he irritated the crap out of you.

"That's Bull....!"

Here is a Favorite...

You SEE a piston powered airplane. You HEAR a turbine engine, not even a turbo-prop but a straight turbine. And, the interior is ENORMOUS!

There is a popular TV drama that shows exterior shots of a Gulfstream Jet. The interior looks to be the size of a Boeing airliner.

Hang on one sec...

I'm going to paste Bob's comment about last nights post. He is the one that busted me on the altimeter part. The comment is great.

"Okay, um, one very small correction: If you've had the dreaded dual flame-out your altimeter will be spinning counter-clockwise. If it's doing the reverse, you've probably hit the ground pretty hard already and are on your way to a meeting with a guy named Peter - and not the one from that bar in Glyfada either (P.S. hope for the best!).

What a wonderful story. I love these things! I've never been to Greece, but stories like these make me wanna go, bad. Must've been a blast.

Other than this little sojourn to Honduras, I've never been out of the U.S. much. The 3rd world is not so bad. At least there is still music in the cafes at night, but no revolution in the air anymore.

And why does society demonize alcohol so? Seems to me it plays a part (however small) in just about every good adventure story. Why, just recently I was up at Graham's. The crowd had thinned out and I was just about to do the same, when... ah, I don't want to get tangled up in that. It's a story for *my* blog!

Life can be such an adventure, huh? If you let it be, that is. If you actually take the wierd job assignments.

There are those who stand against the wall and watch, and there are others who get out there and dance! Good thing you're a dancer, man.

Me? I just shrug and go, "C'est la vie. It goes to show you never can tell." Hope that doesn't mean I'm becoming one of the old folks."

Whoa! Apologies to Bob and the rest of you. I didn't realize it would reformat and be one paragraph. I broke it up. Hope I didn't screw it up in the process.

My favorite element is the music ref's. (You were riffin' there Bob!)

While we are riding an airplane theme...

I decided today that being an Aircraft Mechanic is a long death by one thousand cuts.

I discovered yet another way to destroy myself one piece at a time. I think I broke my right big toe this time. The nail on the left one isn't quite back to normal yet!

The left was a Puppy Incident. I had my priorities out of order. Yes, protect Redd was number one. I got that one right. But, I was too concerned about spilling my coffee to worry about mere life and limb.

The right got it from the big hydraulic line on the hydraulic 'mule' we use for powering hydraulic systems.

I have this problem with fouled, twisted, tangled, incorrectly coiled lines. I was trying to get nice, useful coils onto the rack when the big one slipped out of my hand and nailed me, Quick Connect Fitting first on the top of my toe.

For those of you scoffing. It freakin' hurt. I'll even send pictures of it getting progressively more colorful. If that doesn't convince you, "Just stand right here for a second..." Let me get a toe with my big ballpeen. LOL!

Hey! Here is a little Whole Lotta Nada sport. How many references to songs can you hear in Bob's comment? How many artists?

Monday, April 16, 2007

I forget why I wandered in here...

I was surfing around last night. Having fun. Finding places I've been.

Then I found this photo. Lord Byron's graffiti on Poseidon's Temple.

It bummed me the hell out. I had this photo. I took it. It's my new computer wallpaper. Just something to remind how it hurts to loose things. To help me Stop losing things.

Unless you've been iced up and had dual engine failures and seen the altimeter spinning clockwise in a blur (and I sincerely hope you haven't)... Well, then the things that I have managed to lose is incomprehensible.

C'est la vie say the old folks.

Let's try this...

"Marge" (the commenter formally known as Echo November's Mom. Hey, she picked it! LOL!)

Marge asked about other Tales of the Road. I'm going to attempt to tell the first story.

It wont have much impact on anyone that hasn't had a similar experience. I mean, there are no cops, guns or road blocks (OK VERY few), Yeah, there is beer and some Tequila involved but they play very little in the story.

... Let's see...

It was '92. I had been assigned to NAS Dallas for a year. I submitted a transfer request to become a Rover Dog. It was accepted.

I had lived, visited and worked in a few States. My OCONUS experience consisted of a few trips to border towns of Mexico. They don't count for much.

My soon to be new Boss kept telling me, "David I'll keep you in the States until you get used to the drill. Living out of a suit case, hotels, expense reports and running from site to site."

I lost track of the times I heard that spiel.

One week before I was to transfer...

"David, I hate to do this to you but would you mind going to Athens for a week?"
"You know me Boss. Team player and all."

The next Monday morning I hit DFW with a suit case, tool box, brief case and a carry on. (I know that sounds like a lot of stuff but I had no idea when I might be home again.)

DFW to Atlanta Hartsfield (The Entrance to Hell!) TO Frankfurt.

We deplaned on the ramp, not through a Jetway. We walked a phalanx of Police, Soldiers and an APC with the .50 Cal pointed at the stairs.

'Welcome to, "You ain't in Kansas boy!"'.

Uneventful. Layover. Another gate. Another airline and another ride.

I hit Athens... sometime after dark... no idea really.

I gathered my stuff and headed out into the terminal. No familiar faces. No signs for Simpson. No clue how to proceed.

I got some Drachma (Did I spell that right?), dug out the phone numbers that I was given and found a pay phone.

Let me just insert here... Ever heard the phrase, "It's all Greek to me."? THERE IS GOOD REASON FOR THAT!

I plugged coins into the slot. I dialed. I couldn't tell a dial tone from a ring from a busy signal. No answering machine to pick up either.

"HMMmmmm, What the F#&% Over. Now what do I do?"

I didn't have the name of the hotel. The site phone was unanswered. The Rep's home phone was unanswered. I began to wonder just how good an AMEX was.

"Who's asking?"

The Rep and an Avionics Rover had finally narrowed the crowd down to Me.

Then we were off to The Hotel Brazil in Glyfada. Amstel Lights and then off to a small suite.

The Brazil is a small place. The 'room' was an apartment. Marble floors, kitchen, separate bedroom, patio. I was duly albeit easily impressed.

Off to work the next morning. Thank the stars for five years of Dallas traffic. It gave me an intro to REAL traffic!

Lot's of work.

The site was on the military side of the international airport. The office was an old house trailer that even the worst Slum Lord would condemn. The Greek Air force HAD condemned it!!! I don't know it the hangar floor was dirt or just looked like it.

The Avionics Rover was doing a major modification. The Rep had (saved up) a lot of work.

Day one, I was flow checking fuel nozzles. That amounts to pulling a fuel injector out of an engine, connecting it to a pressurized tank full of gas and creating a flammable fog.

A Greek Airman walked up with a lit cigarette. It's clear that there was no explosion but it did flip me the hell out.

Lotta work.

I had an apartment, more or less, so I went to the Grocery store on the corner. Trying to bank some per diem and cook for myself. Holy Cow! Certainly not the worst market I've ever been in. It WAS the First Worst I had ever been in. I got used to it, eventually.

I found an English Style Pub within walking distance. It was full of Ex-Pats from all over the world. More Amstel Lights. English speaking folks. Darts. An oasis on the Aegean.

I'd wander the streets of Glyfada and wind up in the Pub. Hang out for a while then wander the streets until I'd end up back at the hotel.

I met a regular at the Pub named Peter. He was half Greek and half Russian.

I don't recall what started what became a tradition for me... I bought a round of tequila. Tequila and darts became a 'thing'.

I was extended for a week. The Saturday that I had been scheduled to leave I took the renta-car and headed out for Poseidon's Temple after a few conversations that went like,
"How do I get there?"
"Just take this highway and keep the sea to your right. You'll know when you get there."

Sure enough. I did. The drive was glorious. Winding mountain road full of sport bikes racing up the hill. The blue sea to my right.

Then, there it was. I can see it tonight in my mind. I can almost feel that same sense of discovery and exploration.

To stand atop that mountain, to stand between the pillars, to stare out at the sea. I wondered how many sailors had broken through the mist to see that temple and say, "I made it. I'm almost home."

I went with the Avionics Rover and his wife to the Acropolis the next day. I did bring back a piece of the Parthenon for the Architect. I hope I gave it to him. That cradle of the world did not compare to the solo trip to Poseidon's.

The next week I was off to Delaware.
Then to Andrews AFB...
Then to...???

Did I have anything to say? Do I? Not really.

I guess that's why it's a Whole Lotta Nada.

Copying a Johnny Cash CD. Very cool. I guess I'll send the disc home to it's rightful owner on the next thing smokin'.

We had another S.A., TX guy show up today. One left. One leaves Thursday. One goes Friday but is talking about extending. Me, I'm here for another week at least. May extend.

Weather is breaking. Not Texas quality but warming.

I'm on track for another week with 80 total hours. It will make for a fat check. Is it worth being away for an extra week or more? LOL! Ask me when that check hits the bank!

Trouble is, if I can extend to three weeks I'll have to ask and make arrangements BEFORE the check gets deposited.

Again, it comes down to money. This is the first real overtime I've seen since Christmas or before. I have no way of knowing when the next opportunity will roll around.

A sweet dream is for this outfit to have Rover Dogs. Roving from site to site. Busting hump for a few days or weeks then home until the next fire breaks out.

Switching to Bob Dylan. Blood on the Tracks. "Tangled Up In Blues" is one of my all-time favorites. One problem with my new toy. Damn thing wont crank up loud enough!!!!!!!!!

Another reason to go home!

{This post is jumbled. Just worked out that way. Oops.}

"... now I'm going back again. Got to get to her somehow. All the people we used to know, their an illusion to me now..." BD "Tangled Up In Blues"

"... and if I pass this way again I'll always do my best for her. On that you can rest assured..." BD " Shelter From The Storm"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More about this later...

A little something I'm proud of.
The photo is of the horizontal stabilizer on a Beechjet.
It is partially removed from the airplane for repairs.
Look to the right of the chain.
See the four lugs?
The wing nut thingys are clecos. Just to the left of the leftmost
cleco there is a hole.
That hole, as well as the holes where the clecos are holding things
together, is supposed to have a rivet in it.
During the inspection I found four or five sheared rivets and a couple more smoking.
I wish I had charged admission to the manlift. Everybody has taken the ride up to
see the busted rivets.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

These things happen

Just a note from the fringe.
From another hotel. Another town.

"... another empty bottle
and another empty bed...
I'm just another empty head...'


"I've been ground to dust
between the wheels of love
and the stones of the
long long road
nothing left now
but for the winds to sweep me away...
another time and place
a place to collect and
wait for the rain
wait for the rain...
begin again
begin again as mud
and wait for a seed
wait for a seed...
but will it take
will it hold
will it find
will it find
any love
any love
any love in me
is there any love left in me
is there anything left of me
I tried so hard to give it all away
I had so much
I had so much
is there any left in me..."

Don't take anything seriously. It's just another night and another urge to write.

Cold precip out the window.

The '...ground to dust' and the 'stones of the long long road' line has been banging around in my head for a week or so. The rest of it is a little forced. I just started typing.

I picked up a CD-oddity today.... ripped it, listening to it now...

"The Third Installment To Rock's Most Epic Adventure!" (from the sticker on the cover)

Any guesses?


My first thought was, "Good Gawd, how long are they gonna ride that pony?!"

Hey, if it's working for them, why the hell not ride it? Meat still has the voice. Steinman still has the pen.

I've heard a few lines that were the 'damn I wish I'd got that one first' type.

Still campy. Loaded with teenaged angst. Still rock opera. {Some day I'll finish writing mine.}

OK, I'm warped. I liked Bat II also. "Objects in the Rearview Mirror" stands out at the moment.

Anyone know where I can find a big chuch choir, a heavy metal band, an orchestra, a soprano, OH and a marimba?!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A visit to Indy

It was not anything I had in mind. I didn't volunteer for the mission.

I knew it would be cold. (I haven't been disappointed there.) Pretty wild and wide range of weather.

Not sightseeing. Lots of overtime. Crummy over crowded hotel.


In the first few seconds at the shop... I turned to go down the fire lane and who the hell do I walk smack dab in to?!?!!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right. The Man, the Myth. In living color. (I expect a big grin there M.R.S. and an "Aw shucks." when I see ya Monday.)
We haven't escaped the confines of work and responsibilities yet but we will. Whole Lotta catching up to do. We did, it seems to me, fall pretty much into sync. Amazing after 12 or so years.
Yes, Bob, they do have some internet (scams) in this little town. $.49 a minute to use the one machine in the business center of the hotel. We have WebTV in the rooms. Front desk can't tell me what the charges are or what the capabilities of it are. They did allow that it is unreliable.
So. Uncharacteristically I waited until payday and nipped the problem in the wallet.
Bran' spankin' new laptop. I Are Happy! It's a Hot Rod compared to my time worn Frankenstien.
Now, I just gotta learn how to use it!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Did ya miss me?!

It's 0047 hrs. Should be in the rack.....
Another 10 hours tomorrow and then at least 9 more days of work. May even work out to 14 or 16 more days.

Pop is feeding yellow Dog. We'll see how that works out.

Indy is a good job site. Indy is a lousy place to be at the moment. Cold and rainy yesterday morning. Then sun. Then Tornadoes. Then COLD. Then 25 mph straight line winds this morning. Then more rain. Then horizontal snow. Then, just damned cold and windy.

This hotel blows. I could rant but not right now. There seems to some sort of fight out in the hall. There is a pool tournament this weekend. Lotta drunks with sticks wandering around.

Great, now they are screaming for security and slamming doors. Maybe I'll go down the hall kicking doors on the way to the elevator at 0530!!!

More to follow after I have slept!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Yellow Dog

The Yellow Dog was, is back.

I actually got a little lovin' in this afternoon. He came to me and sat sorta blissfully as I pet and scratched him.

I fed him a half a pack of hot dogs. Only thing handy from the fridge. (If I'd given him the spinach dip I doubt he'd hang around!)

I stocked up on dog food on the way back from a great Easter Dinner at the Homestead. He's feasting under the front porch right now.

"Indian Sunset"

By Sir Elton John and from the Madman Across the Water album. That's where the 'yellow dog' line comes from.


Great God-A-Mighty she "Owns" that song!!! All due respect to Sir Paul... She kicks his butt on that one.

What a tremendous bonus, huh?! I kept hitting repeat on the way to and from dinner tonight.

I should still be busy getting ready for the trip to Indy. Do you have any idea how much room long-handles take up in a suit case?!?!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Great, I knew I shouldn't check it.

According to Yahoo, it "Feels Like 28F" in San Antonio, TX and "Feels Like 19F" in Indy.

At a way late time of year it's approaching the same kind of weather that drove me Way South ten years or so ago.

It was February '96. Colder than you know whose you know what in a brass...
sub Zero wind chills.

(By the way, if it "Feels Like" or the Wind Chill is -X, THEN IT IS -X!!!)

We had the coolest hangar ever and it was the coldest too.

Smack Dab in the middle of Tinker AFB.

You can see it on Google Satellite Maps. Locate the intersection of the North/South runway and the East/West. Scroll North till ya see a hangar with a long pipe sticking out the back. Out there all by it's lonesome.

Closest structures were the blast fences across the taxiway. Nothing to really block the wind or slow it down.

Our customer liked to depart at 0600. 0400 even. We had to be there 2 hours prior to launch. Do the math. There were times when I was at work at 0130.

Nothing to block the wind and no heat in the hangar. I'm going off to work looking like the Stay-Puft Man in the Ghostbusters movie, layered up with everything I can laminate over my body. Starting with a dive skin and working my way out.

Our Area Supervisor came to town. In the course of his Visit/ Site Inspection he said, "David, we have a possible opening in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Do you want to pursue it?"

Here we go with that old song again, "Possible... Do you want...?" By then I had heard that song many times that I was numb. Mostly, I heard it during the two years it took to escape 'Stalag 915' in Selma, AL.

I said, "Yes." He said, "Call the Master Chief." I did. Master Chief said, "Stand-by."

Now they were dangling my dream job in front of me. It took eight years with the company to get to that point.

In fairness, once I did escape from Selma... It was a "Helluva Ride Houston!"

Four years of pretty intense travel. Then they offered me my own site. I arrived at Tinker before the airplane and had been there for a year before this totally unexpected, "Possible Opening."


Days past. No word from the Home Office in Gluckstadt.

I broke. I called the office.

"Hey David. How are ya?

I'm dancing like a cat on a hot rock! (already thinking warm thoughts)

Don't worry about it. Your are going."

10. Ten. Ten days later I was in Teguc. Lock, Stock n Barrel.

My Spanish consisted of-
Uno mas
Por favor

Nada mas. No, "Nada mas" was not in my vocabulary at the time. I spoke nada mas que Cervesa etc. I couldn't even ask for the bathroom. I had to look for signs and watch traffic patterns! (Important stuff after uh a few Salva Vidas.)

Anyway. There I was. It's March by then. I've gone from Stay-Puft to tank top, shorts n flip flops, I'm giggling at folks in Rivera's Yucca con Chicharon Drive In because they are wearing jackets.

A year later. I was giggling at myself. Sitting at the Drive In thinking, 'Ya know, the jean jacket would feel good right about now.'

A year later I was dreaming in Spanish.
When asked, "Where are you from?"
"Oh, Si, I can tell by your accent."
I miss that level of proficiency. I miss it A LOT!

One of the biggest, greatest reasons I fell in love with Honduras was the willingness of people to work with me because I TRIED to Speak and Learn Spanish. 180 degrees out fron the Sicilians.

Yes. There was a lot of fun to be had at Ol' David's expense. I figured it was just the cost of doing business.

When I'd get to the Drive In, the hard core regulars (such as Col. Soto) were never satisfied until...

"David, como esatas?
No! David, Como Estas?
OK, Pijudo.

{During the re-re-read before posting. Col. Soto really wasn't one of the ones that put me up to the pijudo thing. He is fascinating and a historic man in Honduran and Aviation history. Someone for every pilot to know.}

(Gringa, if I just said a bad word or two, I don't know any better. I never did figure them out. My highly trained pilots didn't know either. All they could point out was the obvious. Pi? Pe? Well, I did get the connotation but not the meaning. It really amused my 'Friends' and that is troubling. LOL!)

Cold, crappy weather and more on the horizon. I'd kill for a plate of yucca and cabbage, topped with a big helping of steaming hot chicharones. Hit it with a good dose of "Marie Sharps" habanero sauce. Knock down a few Port Royals.

Hey, it's an effort!

I'm going to have to shop for a laptop in Indy. Neck and neck with that purchase will be a battery charger for the better camera.

Until then, this is the best (manipulated even) photo I can get of "Four Seasons". It's rotated 90 degrees from the way it hangs on the living room wall.

And, just a note, nothing in this apartment is square, plumb or level. Measuring off of the wall or ceiling is useless , as you can see.

It's actually a Good Thing.

The weather has gone to crap.

Cold. Drizzling rain and of course North wind.

I swear I hit ice a couple of times on the way home. It took three clutch 'adjustments' to come off of a stop light. Tires kept breaking loose.

Even better, it has been cool, even cold at night. It makes for good sleep weather. So, the windows were open when I got home. 45F in the house when I got here.

"How is that Good? You loathe cold weather."

It's good prep before I hit Indy. If it was sunny and 90F here like it was a few days ago it would make for a more difficult transition.

The Yellow Dog is back. Or, was. She (I do not know why I say, She. Haven't been that close to the dog.) 'She' did accept food. Acted like she wanted to get close but is very skittish. I still may end up with a dog. Might even name he, she, it "Yellow Dog".

A very nice lead for a trivia question Might even be a little tougher than "Stand Tall".

"... What kind of words
are these to hear
from 'Yellow Dog'
who white men fear?..."

Another nice lead in to the new CD's.

The Todd Snider is different but still TS all the way. The title cut, "The Devil You Know", reminds me of WZ. There may be a connection between them. Anyone know? Good album regardless.

The Black Oak Arkansas overcame the trepidation one feels when buying a Live recording after being enamoured with a Studio recording. By a long shot. And then some.

I bought it for "Lord Have Mercy". I didn't really pay attention to what the other tracks were at the time.

A quick scan through in the truck revealed some surprises that I should have been aware of. "Great Balls O Fire", well done. The spoken intro to 'Mercy' is just like I need it.

One track caught my eye first. "Maybe I'm Amazed"

"OH MY! Wonderful!!! That voice! That's not Jim "Dandy" Mangrum. I should know this. Who is that?"

Disc has a great interview with Mangrum...

Another fantastic trivia question.

So, Bob ya get a two-fer! With an additional clue(s) as to who the singer is on "Maybe Amazed" and "Love On Ice" and backing vocals on a lot of other Black Oak songs...

From the liner notes of "King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents Black Oak Arkansas". In an interview with Jim "Dandy"...

"We loved her like she was kin and saw her as one of us all the way- the only female in our lives that could run with the Black Oak Wild Bunch and not cause trouble." Jim "Dandy" Mangrum


Another great quote from Mangrum regarding their more or less signature radio song, "Jim Dandy (to the rescue)"...

"Dandy got a call from Elvis... "He was calling to suggest we do LaVern Baker's Fifties Hit 'Jim Dandy' and when the King tells you to do something you just do it."..."

Sounds to me, like the King made the right call!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Old stuff revisited.

I just dusted off "Enjoy Every Sandwich".

Friends of Zevon covering his songs after his passing.

Remember what I said about skipping "Werewolves..." when it comes around on a CD? Well, I just hit rewind on Werewolves for the first time in years. It's freakin Adam Sandler! I forgot. Or I skipped it during earlier listens. The boy does a good version!!! I don't know who is backing him but it's done differently than I've heard before. Still, it's on point and just giggle cool!

I got an email from The Homestead tonight. My two new CD's will be going to Indy with me! Also very cool.

Black Oak Arkansas "King Biscuit Flower Hour" and Todd Snider "The Devil You Know".

I'm going to spend a night in Indy, not a school night, with a bottle of good tequila in a dark hotel room my Mag light to illuminate the pages, listening to "Lord Have Mercy", one finger on a pen and one on the repeat repeat button.

It's going to be colder than... well, when it gets below 70F I begin to not like the weather. Maybe it will recall nights in Korea. The white owl crashing into the hotel window at 0300 will eventually make it into a story.

We'll see what it produces. If anything.

Back to, Enjoy Every Sandwich. The Wallflowers do a good version of "Lawyers Guns and Money". (Not every version has the "Hiding in Honduras" line.) I loved that song BEFORE I even knew exactly where Honduras was or what it was like.

I have an additional verse ready. If the time ever comes...

"Underground Atlanta
ain't no place to hide
gonna take the MARTA out to Hartsfield
Hop a plane and ride..."

Weak? Maybe. Pretentious? YUP, damn Skippy it's pretentious. Kinda like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Hey, 'I was born to rock the boat... You're my witness, I'm you're mutineer... some may sink but we will float..."'

Time to wind this up.

By the way if I don't see Hartsfield again, it'll be tooooo soon, (Daddy and Grandad used to say, "If you're gonna got to hell, ya gotta go through Atlanta Hartsfield.")

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Isn't that what life is all about?

(LOL! I guess that all depends on how your boogaloo situation stands...)

Whether we're hunting and fishing, hunting and gathering, working for a paycheck.

Or, we started a knuckle dragging blog three months ago.

The occasional negative, it'll sting but if we evaluate it honestly and find it to be true, it only helps us grow.

The occasional high praise will send us into that giddy silly grin state that we all long for.

Wow, no parenthises For this one...
"is there something you could do for him right now... is there some kind word that you could say to him right now..."
The Guess Who "Old Joe"

I can't make this stuff up. I've been on a Guess Who kick all day. Just as I was typing, Old Joe stepped up to the needle. Phonograph needle. OK a CD doesn't have a needle, but you know what I mean.

This will most likely be the last post of the day so it'll be a run-on sorta deal. I just pulled The Guess Who "These Eyes". It was the third or fourth run in a row. If I listened to These Eyes and or Undun again it would alter the entire tone of this post.

SO! We're back to the latest aquisition... "The Last Waltz". I found the DVD at HEB for less than ten bucks this afternoon on an unscheduled trip.

Bob Barbanes and I have been on a sort of music banter pretty much all day. Off and on. Then, I swooped in to see what he was up to... ... Can you say "Make My Day!"?

Ya see, I think it's fair to say, we talk to each other. Sure, we read blogs. We comment on blogs sometimes. We email sometimes. That's all bonus material. It's when he writes something that gives me goose-bumps or gives me the 'OUCH/ Giggles'. Or, I write something about a split rim with air pressure and one or two bolts left in it... he goes pale. It's not that we are posting blogs to each other but sometimes when I write I know, "Bob'll get this one."

And, If I am wrong. I'm certain he will let me know.

Isn't that wild? We've never met. Had I been a car salesman and he a Dentist in Guanaja. Probably not the same connection.

Those damn flying machines will take ya places you never thought about!

On a totally different note...

I've been slinging paint on canvass.

"Family Constellation V2" is as done as it's gonna get. It's a matter of making a point rather than a portrait or something. I took pic's of it but I guess that battery is low. Even on a tripod it came out fuzzy.
V1 is Sharpie on canvass. V2 is totally a different approach. It's acrylic on canvass.

The four pieces of "The Seasons" are each to about the same stage as each other. 'Winter' needs some work to catch up with the other three and then it'll be time to decide how and if to tie them together even tighter.

(STAGEFRIGHT, I love this song.)

I should make some effort to get ready for work. 0400 will be here in .04 seconds.


Isn't that what life is all about?

(LOL! I guess that all depends on how your boogaloo situation stands...)

Whether we're hunting and fishing, hunting and gathering, working for a paycheck.

Or, we started a knuckle dragging blog three months ago.

The occasional negative, it'll sting but if we evaluate it honestly and find it to be true, it only helps us grow.

The occasional high praise will send us into that giddy silly grin state that we all long for.

Wow, no parenthises For this one...
"is there something you could do for him right now... is there some kind word that you could say to him right now..."
The Guess Who "Old Joe"

I can't make this stuff up. I've been on a Guess Who kick all day. Just as I was typing, Old Joe stepped up to the needle. Phonograph needle. OK a CD doesn't have a needle, but you know what I mean.

This will most likely be the last post of the day so it'll be a run-on sorta deal. I just pulled The Guess Who "These Eyes". It was the third or fourth run in a row. If I listened to These Eyes and or Undun again it would alter the entire tone of this post.

SO! We're back to the latest aquisition... "The Last Waltz". I found the DVD at HEB for less than ten bucks this afternoon on an unscheduled trip.

Bob Barbanes and I have been on a sort of music banter pretty much all day. Off and on. Then, I swooped in to see what he was up to... ... Can you say "Make My Day!"?

Ya see, I think it's fair to say, we talk to each other. Sure, we read blogs. We comment on blogs sometimes. We email sometimes. That's all bonus material. It's when he writes something that gives me goose-bumps or gives me the 'OUCH/ Giggles'. Or, I write something about a split rim with air pressure and one or two bolts left in it... he goes pale. It's not that we are posting blogs to each other but sometimes when I write I know, "Bob'll get this one."

And, If I am wrong. I'm certain he will let me know.

Isn't that wild? We've never met. Had I been a car salesman and he a Dentist in Guanaja. Probably not the same connection.

Those damn flying machines will take ya places you never thought about!

On a totally different note...

I've been slinging paint on canvass.

"Family Constellation V2" is as done as it's gonna get. It's a matter of making a point rather than a portrait or something. I took pic's of it but I guess that battery is low. Even on a tripod it came out fuzzy.
V1 is Sharpie on canvass. V2 is totally a different approach. It's acrylic on canvass.

The four pieces of "The Seasons" are each to about the same stage as each other. 'Winter' needs some work to catch up with the other three and then it'll be time to decide how and if to tie them together even tighter.

(STAGEFRIGHT, I love this song.)

I should make some effort to get ready for work. 0400 will be here in .04 seconds.


"Clap for the Wolfman" WASN'T a Top 40 Hit?!?!?!


Shoulda been.

"These Eyes" freakin' fabulous album.

Is there a BAD one out of the eight? NO! (I was thinking that "No Time" was on here too.)

"These Eyes" Hell, I'd cry to that one right now.
"Undun" see above
"American Woman"
"Clap for the Wolfman"
"When You Touch Me"
"Old Joe"
"No Sugar Tonight"
"Share the Land"


.... It's Robbie Robertson and the rest of The Band
It's a Scorcese movie called, "The Last Waltz".
You won't believe the cast!!!

Best Damn Part Is, I got it at HEB for less than ten bucks. AND, I only went to HEB on a whim. I wasn't looking for movies or music, just FOOD!!!

I'm not gonna get doo done for a while. This thing is just tooooooo cool.

A Chah-lahnge!!!

I love it!

An old Bill Cosby episode. Coz and an Old Time Tap Dancer were trading "chops". One would throw down a tap routine then throw his arms out and "Chah-lahnge!" the other to top him.

So, I threw out an S.O.Song yesterday.

"... Stand Tall
Don't you fa-ll..."

"Oh please, give us a hard one! You must be a youngster."Stand Tall" (1976), Burton Cummings first release after he got kicked out of The Guess Who. Sold over a million copies if I recall. Sweet revenge though - does anyone remember any Guess Who songs released after 1976?" Bob Barbanes

AS a matter of fact, I Do know...

How about "Raisin' Hell On The Prairie"? AND, nine other cuts from All This For A Song (1979)
Frank Zappa get a nod in the liner notes.

I found it in my stash this morning. Then, I Wiki'd it. Seems to be a lot of stuff released. But, The Guess Who never was a simple as The Guess Who. Personnel changes throughout the life of the band.

Gotta love it. A Chah-lahnge and being called a youngster in the same comment!

Now, I just have to come up with a hard one...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Another Lost Song...

Some clown decided to use it for a tater-tot commercial...

"Stand tall
Don't you fa-ll...
... don't do something
you might re-gret la-ter..."

HELP! Who is it. What's the name of the song? I'm blank.

I want it. I want to hear it. I want to share it. What the hell is it?

First, yes, I was whining earlier (or later depending on the order you read it). Yes, the Ol' B.P. did spike. Replete with ringing in the ears. NO. I didn't really kick stuff around the apartment. YES, I really wanted to. I didn't. Too many bony breaks in my hands from tantrums earlier in life.

I actually had an idiot tell me, years ago, "I don't lose to inanimate objects!"

"Really Doofus? Uh, that $300.00 piece of equipment (that you just threw against the wall) didn't feel a thing and it doesn't have to pony up $300 to replace itself."

In reality, I didn't "Get It" for some years and many rounds with Mr Fridgidaire later. (Thus the bony bumps in my hand-bones.)

All of that Nada to say, no, I didn't throw a tantrum. Instead I settled into taking care of business.

House has to be clean. Plants have to have a nurse. Trash has to go to the curb. Rent has to be paid. I need a ride to the airport. Tools have to be shipped. Clothes packed. Music must be selected! Bhudda has to be tracked down. What's the weather like in Indy? I've got to get a tool to read and send email and blog upon. Trash has to go to the curb at least one more time.

Plus, everything that I haven't thought of yet.

Damn. Bugging out for a Road Trip didn't used to be complicated. I guess it's the unexpected trip and the open return date. Mostly, it's the Fates jumping into our plans again.

JUST You Watch!

I'll sweat bullets. I'll be fretting over some detail as I wait for the flight out of San Antonio and Boom! I'll get waved off and be back here before I ever get there.

Fat Chance.

Just loaded a few 'tranquilizers'. Old Zevon.

When I say OLD, I mean like,

"The First Sessions".
Lyme and Cybelle from 1966
The print in the liner notes is too small to read at the moment. I don't recall who is Lyme and who is Clybelle.
THEY, are teen aged Warren Zevon and Violet Santangelo.
Pretty cool, huh?

Next, WZ "Wanted Dead or Alive". His 1970 solo debut.

Last, for now, self titled WZ from 1976.

These notes read like quite a cast...
Waddy Watchel, Jackson Browne, Jorge Calderon, (staples of WZ's work)
Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham.
Mr Phil Everly makes a couple of appearances too.

By now I have bored you to the point of clicking away. Speaking of which!

Here's a creepy thought for you.

Several weeks ago I added the sitemeter deal. It gives raw and vague stats.

Basically, the "Who" portion is a string of nine digit numbers representing URLs.
The only person I can identify is me. "Level3 something or other".
The others read like "405.210.830". Is that supposed to mean something? I dunno.

Also vague is the "Where" column. I get hits from everywhere. China comes to mind. But, nothing shows from OK, TX, Honduras, GA, or anywhere else that I can say, "OH, So and So visited."

BUT!!!... One visitor was a clickable URL. No name associated with it. The entity was Clear.

Immediately after I posted the "I no longer work for you know who" piece.
You know who spent quite some time perusing the Nada!
And, not the commercial, user friendly branch of you know who!

And You thought I was wacky with the Orwellian bit!!!

Kinda flattering and kinda pisses me off at the same time.

You know who crams "Ethics" down employees throats. Uh, last time I checked you could still find remnants of an industrial espionage case against them. I'm pretty certain they lost too. Cause, I was out of country at the time and had to change patches for a while.

I know, I know. It was just a keyword alert. Someone got the alert and found a knuckle-headed blog. Even my paranoia has parameters. Sounded good for a minute there didn't it!?

It's gonna be a long night. I'm wound up like a cat tail in a wagon wheel.

I NEVER thought I'd say this.

This afternoon, I got tapped for a Road Trip.

I don't want to go.

It's not like I have any viable options.

The thing is, It's Really Bad Timing!

I was literally in the middle of making personal plans for the first two or three days of next week! The first such plans in tooooo long.

All hope is not lost, yet. A will and a way, right? If we can pull something together for Sunday... My most reverent and hopefull wish....

Then, the more I thought about it, the worse it got.

Where the Hell is Indianapolis?

Yes, I know where it is. I'm just feeling foul...

No computer! No email! No Blog! No writing. (I can write but still...) AAAHHHGGGHHHH!!!!!!! No CD player!!! At least that one I can fix tomorrow.

"So, how many WEEKS do you want to go for David? Two? Three?"

THREE?!?!?! Three weeks in Indiana?!


I asked for it.

Ga'damn! When will I learn?

"Bright side. Bright side. There's gotta be a bright side... {sounds of kicking stuff all over the apartment I worked so hard to clean} Where's the freakin' bright side?!"

All I can see is a very, very, very slim possibility of running into Bhudda. Maybe.

Somehow, in the next 24 hours I have got to come up with a laptop or will will loose my mind.

It has been many posts since...

I tried anything that was not directly, personally related to my little land of Nada.

I just ran across something that is relative and decided on the spot to work with it. It was too obvious to be ignored.

There is a news article on the Yahoo home page.

'Blogger Released From Jail' paraphrased.

It raises and discusses a couple of questions.
A. Can a Blogger be a Journalist?
B. Can a Blogger be an Activist?
C. Can an Activist be a Journalist?

From a cursory read of one article, one time I say, "Yes to all three with provisos."

Provisos apply to question "C".

Activism has no place in Journalism. (Those that have gutted it out through the entire Whole Lotta Nada know my feelings.)

Having restated that. Two things spring to mind.

Regardless of their professionalism or objectivity all journalists are human beings. Some feelings can and will show through and frankly that's not entirely bad.

Is Mr Wolf any more of an Activist Journalist than many of our major news outlets today?

In the Kevin Sites interview Mr Wolf states,
"If you watch the videotape, you'll see there are many things that make the protesters look bad and there are things that make the cops look bad. It is essentially a balanced report of what I saw. It's a bird's eye view."
(From the Kevin Sites interview referenced in the link above.)

My question for Mr Wolf, "Why not take a stand on one side or another?" Pretty much the exact question posed (repeatedly) by Kevin Sites.

He (Mr Wolf) seeks protection under the law but refuses (seemingly) to take a stand as a journalist or as an activist.

It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. It will be of much more interest to me to hear your thoughts as Bloggers and Readers.

Monday, April 2, 2007

By popular demand...

OK. In reality, it was one comment, in one email, taken out of context.

Another Road Trip Tale. Not quite stranger than fiction but I swear by Orville and Wilbur, it's as true as I can muster...

Buckle up for safety. Remember, your seat cushion doubles as a flotation device, just not a very good one.

Once upon a time there was a little Shenanigan perpetrated on the U.S. Navy every year.

The T-39 Sabreliners were due for a compass swing every year in December.
Since there was no Compass Rose at NAS Sigonella Sicily...


We're off to Rota Spain...

'T was right before Christmas 1993 and Ozzy and I headed out for Rota with the airplane.
We checked into a neat little hotel near the beach.

December, even in Spain is no time for beach bumming. We did however enjoy some good beers and the most Fabulous Garlic Shrimp at a place near the hotel.

Off to work. (The next day, not after garlic shrimp and beer.) That Navy base was the only place I've ever been scrutinized so heavily just to get OFF of the base.

We made it to the airplane. Fired up and taxied out. Swung her around the "Rose". We HAD to cut away the sealer and make a few minor adjustments to the flux valve. (Yes, real term not Star Trek).

Therefore, we HAD to reseal the panel over the flux valve. Seeing as how it was cold even in Spain in the winter time.... It took a couple of days for the sealer to cure. Even with heat lamps applied to the afflicted area.

YES, we did make honest and valiant efforts to get that stuff to dry. But, alas, we had time on our hands.

What 'er we gonna do....?


We got directions from the local Mechanics... "Oh, ya just take this highway to Jereth, hang a right and keep going. You can't miss it! It is the freaking Rock of Gibraltar after all."

Bright and early the next morning we saddle up the mypoic renta-car (with no radio) and took 'this highway to Jereth'.

I drove the downwind leg. The lack of a radio soon proved to be problematic.

You see, Ozzy is a very bright boy and has the short attention span to go along with it. The lack of outside stimuli prompted his leg to thump to some imaginary rhythm.

When I say, "Thump." I mean, "THUMP!" The shoe-skate-a-car was rocking!

It was nerve wracking but I consoled myself with the knowledge that I'd be in the right seat on the way home. I'd probably be semi-conscious by then but in the mean time, I'd come up with some way to irritate the piss outta him on the ride home. (Aren't Friends Grand?!)

"Where the hell is Jereth?!"

We did have a map. There was no Jereth on it. Not near us. Not anywhere.

There was a JereZzzzzzzzzzz. Jerez, with a Z not a TH. "THat" couldn't be it. Or could it?

Not even 0900 and things are a little sideways. In the Biz, we call that Foreshadowing!

After visiting Jerez(th) we finally located a highway 'to hang a right' on.

Sometime and a beautiful, scenic drive and 43,000,000 ''Thumps" later...

"Tally Ho!"

That's a big damn rock.

Guess what?


"Take this exit.
Well, crap take this exit and double back.
Where the hell are the road signs?"

At long last we got on the right track. Crossed the border between Spain and Gibraltar.

"Uh...what's this?
A stoplight.
Yeah but what's that?
A runway..."

The or at least that road into Gibraltar crosses the runway of the international airport. 737 landed, light turned green and we were finally on the Rock of Gibraltar!

"Where are we going and where are we gonna park?
Keep driving.

We had burned a substantial amount of daylight by then but we did get some looking and some shopping done.

Lladros were the purchase du jour.

Believe it or not, we found ourselves in a pub.

We took stations at the bar and ordered a couple of pints.

Now, Ozzy was wearing a leather jacket with some.... wear. Let's just say, 'wear'. It came, the 'wear', from another automotive misadventure.

I AM NOT going into that tale until or unless it is cleared in advance by Ozzy!

I WILL say, It Had Nothing To Do With Motorcycles.

However, the sweet retired couple to Ozzy's left didn't know that.

Seems they lived on The Isle Of Mann. Big annual bike rally you see.

And, you see, Ozzy has the requisite imagination to go with the short attention span and high intellect...

"Do you ride?
OH, Yeah! We've got Harleys back home in Sicily.
Really, Barkeep!"

The more outlandish Ozzy's stories got the more pints they bought. That's what ya call a self-full filling-drunk coming on. The more talk the more pints and therefore the more talk...

I played the silent type. No stretch for me. Grinning and nodding occasionally.

I did tug at the tatters of Ozzy's "Motorcycle Jacket" and get his attention...

"Dude, don't get me in over my head! I don't know the difference between a Flat Head and a Knuckle Head."

Eventually, the sweet old couple from The Isle of Mann were escorted to their table for dinner.

Ozzy and I giggled conspiratorially...

"Thump, thump."

Two more pints hit the bar. We looked at each other then looked around to see the couple saluting with two fresh pints of their own! They KEPT buying pint after pint.

I don't recall how or how gracefully we made an exit but we did...

"Where'd we park?
You remember?
I think so.
Do you?

We located the shoe-skate-a-car. I tossed Ozzy the keys.

Winding our way through the narrow streets we found the runway. Luckily, no "Incursions".

Until, we had to make an international border crossing at night.

Guardia Seville. AK47s and cranky guards. They obviously need to go hang with the sweet old couple for The Isle of Mann!

I was taking thoroughly useless video as we departed the rock. When they pulled us out of traffic I raised the camera to document the moment. The Guardia brought the aforementioned AK to bear on the lens. I dropped the camera and kept my hands in sight. (Sorry B.J.O., that's what happened to the video camera!)

They invited Ozzy to step out of the car. Flashlights, guns, trunk popping ensued. Jail was imminent. Job loss and divorce were certainties. Here we go.

Ozzy got back in the car. We made halting progress, then rolled sheepishly away from the border, the cranky guards and their guns.

We had a long way to go still.

Somewhere in Southwest Spain we stopped at a gas station.

Ozzy bought a cassette player, a tape or two off of the rack and AA batteries.

I discovered a vending machine outside that had BEER! Yeah! We need MORE of THAT!

I'm banging Pesatas into the machine as fast as I can and stacking beer on the roof of the car.

Ozzy comes out, quite excited, with the solution to the "No Radio Dilema".

In roll the Guardia Seville.

I start scooping beers off of the roof, careful not to drop one.

Off we roll. The Guardia just eyed us on the way by.

How many bullets can we dodge in one night?!

Back on "the highway to the right", fresh beers in laps and I am fumbling with the player, tape and AA batteries.

I got the thing assembled but it wouldn't play.

Ozzy went from damn near euphoric to pissed.

In the dark Spanish night I'm checking battery alignment, buttons, anything I can to get NOISE outta this thing.

No Joy.


Bat turn in the middle of "the highway to the right". The tires of the shoe-skate-a-car screeching like nails on a chalkboard...

If that damn thing wont play I want my *#%$& money back!
Dude, G-U-A-R-D-I-A S-E-V-I-L-L-E...
I don't care, I want my *#%$& back!"

May Orville and Wilbur strike me down, I speak the truth...

We slid sideways into the offending gas station right before the eyes of the Guardia...

"Go get my money back.
Where's the receipt?
^*&% the receipt."

I went quietly into the store. Did I mention that I spoke ZERO Spanish at that time? Frantic hand gestures, feeble demonstration of the problem. Worried that I wouldn't get my point across before the Guardia decided to take a look at the car that had earlier had a case of beer on the roof.

The clerk looked at the drunken idiot before him. He pushed some button or another on the cassette player and stuck the ear bud into my ear.



Calm, cool and collected, back to the car... 'maintain man, maintain, they are eyeing you from the corner of the gas station. Be cool...'

"Did you get my *#%$& money?
Did you...

It's pretty anti-climatic from there. Once we were back on "the highway to the right" with no high speed pursuit of the shoe-skate-a-car and tunes on board... Well it pretty well fades to black.