Apr 6, 2012

A Saturday Morning Ramble

My week is out of balance. Let me explain.

Life around here is pretty random. True, I get up early every morning and dress for success with a crystal vision of the productive and goal-oriented day ahead. The clarity always persists at least through the second cup of Folgers. At that point alternatives seem to present themselves and, as a man of small character,  I find myself too willing to entertain program changes.

(For instance, the Tuesday agenda required re-shingling a leaky part of the roof. But it might not rain for a while. Therefore there was no important reason not to stuff my fanny pack with cheap .22s and the Colt Huntsman and go afield in search of dirt clods which needed busting. This sort of thing improves soil tilth and is thus an environmentally responsible action, but I digress.)

Just one point of iron routine governs the schedule. Friday night "fish," a gathering of old friends for a drink or two and something to eat. We're all more or less retired these days, and Friday fish is about as close as most of us get to discipline and structure in our social and professional calendars.

So imagine my disorientation this morning. It is as though Earth's magnetic polarity shifted overnight as predicted by the Mayans or Jimmy Swaggert or one of those authorities. We canceled Friday night or, rather, we voted to hold Friday on  Thursday. That was yesterday, of course, so this is Saturday morning, confirmed by the stock markets, which are closed.

A taxing cerebral proces leads to intellectual understanding that, in fact, Saturday won't arrive until tomorrow. But the notion can not be assimilated into the spirit, so I remain  doomed to a purgatory of temporal disassociation.

Why would we subject ourselves to such confusion? Because of a Holy Day, that's why, combined with a business decision by a nearby Elk's Club.  These Elks own a fine building and up until a few months ago contracted the restaurant space to someone who put on a Friday night buffet and poured an honest drink. It became uneconomic. We were forced to cross the club off our rotation list. We missed it.

But the Elks decided on a special offering for Maundy Thursday as the day appears  on the Gregorian Calendar which has pretty well won the Easter Date wars around here; at least we hear nothing about bloodshed with the Julians in these parts.

They advertised chicken and ribs, and we bit. I, in particular, bit hard and long and irresponsibly enough to be happy for the reserve supply of bicarbonate of soda in the Armageddon-prep locker.  These guys apparently produced the feast themselves. We know they served it.

I am tempted to use all-caps to announce that they know what they're doing. The fellow on the broaster was a fowl artiste, and the rib man had a full understanding of the world's most sublime method of acquiring severe heartburn.

In due course I waddled to the cashier's counter where the money Elk wondered -- I think sincerely -- if I felt as though I had obtained full value for my twelve dollars (including the bourbon).  I assured him of my pleasure as he watched me write the check for fifteen. He seemed to find the amount odd and muttered something about twelve out of fifteen. "No, no, That's for the server, or your program, whatever." The smile returned . He took the check and dropped the "change" in a jar. That money, plus the night's chow and booze profits, would finance scholarships in his town and mine.

Well, maybe things are a little hickish out here in the heart of Flyover, USA,  but (a) that was a damned nice libertarian thing for the Elks to do and (b)  not a hundred people on the entire planet ate better than we did last night.

And that's what I wanted to tell  you this Saturday morning.

Apr 3, 2012

Carry enough gun

The Oakland outrage led this morning's CNN infotainment as chesty anchor girl  Solecism O'Brien (BA, Harvard, 2000)  interviewed the Oakland police chief.

"We understand the weapon  was a 45 millimeter handgun," she said.

"Yes, the shooter was a dedicated wildcatter and handloader," the chief responded. (Okay, I made that part up.)

Apr 1, 2012


Sir, If you had a son it would undoubtedly take after the Old Man.

(March 27, 2012, in a wild corner of the Camp J wilderness.)


I confess this photo is staged. The macho pickup/camper and the manly John Deere 318 were placed for a reason. Namely, I need the Chuck Norris points after having, and I swear this is true, made drapes. I really haven't had all that much trouble with tourist ladies hiding in the bushes with binoculars, hoping I'll change shirts or something in the wide open living room, but you never know.

In further defense, I created the curtains in a way that would never occur to a cute fellow in the lime green jumper and yellow ascot.

It is perfectly possible to create window-treatment elegance with a vintage flannel sheet printed with what someone (maybe the fellow mention supra) believed to be an authentic American Indian motif. It merely requires pinking (blush) shears, a Stanley 30-foot tape measure, a stapler, and a roll of Gorilla tape. The latter two items help fabricate the tunnel through which the curtain rod goes.

N.B. Above the window hangs a nicely scoped .30-06 in further testimony to my masculine status. It was cropped out, however, too black,  because my three volt cockroach by Canon couldn't solve the contrasty light problems.