I wanna be famous…

…said the seven year old boy.

 Good morning and welcome to mid-month October. Over the weekend I got to spend an extended period of time with my fiancé’s seven year old son Ayden. We normally spend evenings together during the week but from Friday night through Saturday and Sunday afternoon, it was just us dudes. He went to softball with me on Friday and supervised while I mowed the lawn and power-washed the deck on Saturday. We ate together and went to Walmart together and played some Uno and the board game Clue together. Back-tracking to the morning hours of Saturday, we went out to Hillsboro to visit my friend Matt who had been storing some of my belongings in his basement. While we were there visiting, we (me and Matt) were using the Tetris method to load my belongings into my spatially challenged car. But in the end, everything fit!

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Crazy Dreams

Good day readers, bipeds and people who ride those oversized tricycles!

Today is literally, Wednesday, October 4th. It is not the morning time but somewhere in the early afternoon of the Central Time Zone from a US (United States) perspective. For those that listened to my Freak Show podcast on the Podbean app from this morning – thank you. And if you haven’t yet, please check it out!

If you did listen to me earlier, you may have caught me yawning once or twice. There was no Facebook live but just the audio from the in-car session. At that time I was recording, I had not yet switched over my car insurance but as of now I have. Hey, saving 28 bucks a month is saving 28 bucks! If you are anticipating a Segway from that to what I dreamed about, relax, I did not dream about saving a bunch of money on my car insurance. To be frank, it wasn’t simply one dream but like 6 or 7 fragmented dream sketches. I did not say Sketchers, we are not selling any shoes here.

OK I’m back. Sorry about that lag in between paragraphs. I was texting with Jeremy, whom I do the Sports Stalkers podcast with; he wants to go to the WWE Live event coming to St Louis.

Back to the dream couch for analysis: In one of the disjointed sleep episodes I was trapped on a football field with a bunch of strangers. The grass on the field was pretty dead and around the perimeter of the football field was a pretty substantial canyon or gulf. People were trying to jump to the canyon floor but many were breaking their legs or getting caught in quicksand. I tried to drive someone’s SUV down an embankment that didn’t look as severe. About halfway down, a bunch of people jumped on the vehicle and it started to go sideways and eventually tipped over. I exited the vehicle, after it stopped rolling over, through the area that was the windshield (the windshield had just fallen out). Going through the windshield was necessary because the doors would not open and the battery died so I could not roll down the windows. At this point I was pretty stressed out and it was getting dark. I couldn’t see past the top of the embankment and all the people were now gone. On the far embankment to leave the canyon, there was a knotted thick rope leading to the top. I ran to the rope and tried to pull myself up but I guess the top was not secured to anything because the rope was pulling over the edge about as fast as I could climb it. <<Break>>

At this point I started awake for whatever reason. This was about 2:30am or so. There were 3-4 other mini-dreams before this but I don’t remember the details. Eventually I fell back asleep and…

I was standing in a parking lot of some closed mall or something. There were tons of cars everywhere but the building(s) were all dark and no one was around. The only light was moonlight and it glared off many of the vehicles. For the most part the cars and trucks all appears to be new or at least recently washed. The pockets of my jeans were empty. No phone, no wallet, no keys, no money – nothing! I was wearing a blank white t-shirt which is highly unusual and someone else’s shoes with light up soles when I walked. There was a cold breeze and I was panicked because I was late for something. There was a horrible, tight feeling in my chest, like when I was a kid and got lost in a corn field. Whenever the wind would die down I kept hearing a noise. It might have been someone calling my name from very far away or an animal or something. I tried to go towards the sound but the wind would pick up or a loud sound would come from the building(s) and echo for a bit. After a while I tracked the sound to one of the buildings. The windows were tinted and it was dark so I couldn’t really see anything inside except random light blurs. I knocked on a window and the wind stopped. The sound stopped. Nothing moved and a cloud covered the moon so it was totally dark as well. Something smacked against the window hard and I retreated until I fell over a muffler that was now on the ground by me. The cloud left the moon and I could see the old, rusted muffler that I tripped over. Right next to the window I knocked on was a door and that door was wide open. In that moment, I was pretty terrified with what this might mean and I took off. I ran along the parking lot while trying to look between the cars to see if anyone or anything was there. During one of these moments I was looking between the cards, I ran into a parked ambulance. Getting up off the ground, my arm was now bleeding.  I could not hear anything and my instincts told me to climb on top of the ambulance. With only one good, arm, I awkwardly scaled the hood and made my way to the top. Something or someone rammed into the back of the ambulance and I almost fell off the side. But when I looked down the back, there was nothing there. All of a sudden, the two driver’s side tires blew out and I started to fall / slide over the edge…<<Break>>

Once again, I flopped awake and it was like 4:08 or 4:09am. My eyes were a bit itchy and blurry so I am not 100% sure. After that I laid there for a while and listened to the normal house noises, I fell back asleep. If I dreamed anything further, I do not remember.

So for all the amateur dream interpreters out there, what do you think these two dream snippets mean?

Happy Hump Day to all and to all an enjoyable remaining 27 days of October.

Peace.

Odd Bucket List Stuff

Good morning and a most pleasant Friday to you!

 Today we are talking about bucket list stuff or at least one item on my bucket list. Some people want to swim with the dolphins (or sharks), some want to run a marathon, some want to meet movie stars, some want to jump out of an airplane, some want to get their 15 minutes of fame, and so on and so forth. For me, there are many things on this virtual list. One of them is that I want to travel to Tehachapi, California and see all those wind turbines!

 I’m sensing I may have caused quite a few people to blink several times at reading that last sentence. Do not adjust your eyes or over-think what I said. Yes it may not sound all that much of a thrill-seeking or death defying event but seeing about 5,000 wind turbines would be pretty neat. And as a bonus, visiting the Tehachapi Pass Wind Farm in Tahachapi, California would accomplish a second thing on my bucket list: visiting California. Just so you know, every single time I read, write or say the word California, I hear in my head former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger say: Collie-Four-Knee-Uh.

 OK so where did this weird desire to travel west and see these wind turbines spring from? Oddly enough, I think from the 80’s movie Karate Kid. A tale about a Jersey kid being moved to the left coast as his mother pursues a new career and a new life. Ralph Macchio, as Daniel Larusso, embodies an awkward, dorky loser who leverages the karate teachings of his friend and mentor Mr. Miyagi (may he rest in peace) to overcome the bullies and win the fair maiden! During the opening minutes of the movie, while he and his mother are driving to their new home, I swear there is a scene where the backdrop is the Tehachapi Pass wind turbines…or it could’ve come from Beverly Hills Cop. I’m not 100% sure as it was more than 30 years ago. Gawd, that hurt to type that. How is Karate Kid (the original) more than 30 years old? These are the end times my friends!

 Regardless of the genesis of the wind turbines fascination, I would like to check them out and stay nearby for like a whole week. A Collie-Four-Knee-Uh vacation would be delightful and if those darn Powerball numbers would stop being so elusive, I could make this happen!

 Before I forget, happy first day of Autumn! The 2017 version of summer has exited stage left. But left behind as a curtain call (not the Eminem album) is summer-like heat here in the Midwest. It is supposed to be in the mid-90’s today temperature-wise. Too bad all the pools closed weeks ago. Bummer dude.

 To everyone who has diligently and faithfully been my reader, thank you. Hopefully there is now and always will be some content for you to enjoy. Have a great weekend and Go Tribe!!

 Peace.

<<09-22-2017>>

The Total Solar Eclipse vs Y2K Madness

OMG.
Like the sun is like totally going to be like obscured and such for like two and a half minutes. Oh My Gawd!

So for my peoples in the path of destruction, where will you be on Monday, August 21st at 1:15pm-ish? Will you be hunkered in a bunker? Rooftop to stare at the sun spot?

Me, I will be at work while Kristi’s child will be at home because school has been cancelled to allow for the two plus minute window of darkness in the afternoon (face palm). Here’s a thought: It’s the middle of the friggin afternoon. If it gets too dark while driving you can turn on your headlights! Here’s a second thought: What are you going to do if it is cloudy that afternoon? Maybe try to get a refund for your #$@#@* eclipse glasses?

Why am I so anti-eclipse? Simply because it’s not that big of a deal. I say this as a person who got a C+ in all my science classes because I frankly do not find science all that interesting. Don’t get me wrong, science is great and the basis behind all or most of society’s conveniences. But for me it’s like magic. I know their is some sort of logic on why things occur and how ‘tricks’ unfold but I’ll let them remain a mystery and be accepting of the awe and wonder without getting all geeked up.

Some people may be of an age to remember and appreciate the hysteria from the Y2K malarkey. For those who were of an age to comprehend things back in the year of 1999, there was an unease and shallow panic in the throngs of the populace. The year 2000 was coming. The possible end of the world was coming. Computers as we knew them then were going to turn into smoking balls of fire once December 31st at 11:59pm clunked beyond the next minute. The collective electronic globe held it’s breath and hugged loved ones close as they prepared for the unimaginable. On that last day in December, the seconds raced toward the ‘end’.

11:59:59…turned into 12:00:00 and there were innumerable explosions! Ok Ok it was just locals shooting off fireworks and discharging firearms like any other new year’s celebration. But the hype, fear and pandemonium leading up to that point were unfounded. Yes I’m sure there were some programs that saved the files at the bottom of the list instead of the top where the newest stuff should get saved but for the most part nothing of note happened.

My point here is that for the most part I don’t anticipate anything of significance occurring on Monday either. The oceans will not rise and turn the all continents into a modern Atlantis. Gravity will not be suspended; thus sending everything not rooted to the Earth’s crust hurtling into the farthest reaches of oxygen-less space.

Monday morning will arrive. Monday afternoon will happen. It will become some shade of darkness. (Note: As a general rule you should not stare at the sun but if you have these ‘special’ glasses then go for it.) The eclipse will commence and then wane and everything will more or less be the same as before. A billion pictures will be uploaded onto social media. A trillion social media statuses will be something related to the solar event. This will go on for days until something else moderately interesting comes along and then it will cease to be noteworthy topic until those end of the year recap shows for TV and radio.

If you are hosting an eclipse party and I’ve offended you, I quasi-apologize. By which I mean to say: sorry-not sorry. I implore you to have your fun but for me, I put the eclipse on par with my appreciation for the sport of soccer. If it’s your cup of tea, more power to you but I’m viciously bored with both.

Have a great weekend and make sure to protect yourself on Monday from the marauding hordes of Big Bang Gangs crisscrossing the country!

Peace.

Cadaver Dogs

Did you know there is a website called http://www.cadaverdog.com? I had not a clue until about 12 seconds ago. I was thinking to myself:

“Self?”
“Yes?”
“What are the biggest sellers for the Cadbury company during the months after Easter?”

I start typing Cadbury in the search engine and auto-fill suggests cadaver…from there my mind starts sing-songing: Cadaver Dogs, down in the swamp! (To the tune of Bob Evans…down on the farm!) Why did my mind go there? I honestly have no clue. Sometimes the track switches without warning and the train rolls on.

In scanning through some material on cadaver dogs, I was surprised to learn a few things. For me, I kind of get the doggie stereo-type of German Shepherds as the police dogs with all the detection tools. But come to find out, there are several breeds that are utilized especially when trying to locate human remains. Goldens, blood hounds, collies, beagles, pit bulls and more! So don’t be like me. Let your mind be open and receptive to the opportunities available to many dog breeds regardless of size, color or gender.

Today’s random Google search has taught me a valuable lesson in embracing the possibilities (for doggie workers). And here’s to hoping I am never in need of the cadaver dogs’ services to locate my remains somewhere down the road.

To everyone who breathes in the air on this Earth while reading my posts, keep fighting the good ‘eat healthy’ battle. If nothing else, at least try to speak the names of healthy vegetables in the hopes that invoking their names to the universe will lead to good health.

Peace.

http://www.cadaverdog.com/

CADAVER DOG BREEDS

<<07-27-2017>>

Pet Peeve

Greetings Humpers! (It’s Hump Day)

I know I have mentioned this before but I’m going to mention it again. One of my pet peeves is people who back into a parking space. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about people who are parallel parking or people who ‘pull through’ back to back spaces to have their front end ready to pull out when they leave. I am specifically calling out those pretentious people who take like six minutes to pull past a spot, then back up with excruciating slowness into a spot. Most of the time it takes them a couple of tries to get aligned right or judge the correct depth of the space in relation to the length of their vehicle. I don’t care who you are, you are a wank. Because most of the time it takes too long and then the person is either crooked or didn’t back up far enough and the front end of their vehicle is askew or jutting out into the area for traffic to drive by. Just pull into the damn spot ‘nose’ first and back out like the rest of us!

Rant over…
(Mic drop)

OK for no other reason than I mentioned him on the Sports Stalkers podcast the other night, here is Ronnie Milsap’s website. (www.ronniemilsap.com) For the record (ha, see what I did there?) he is still alive and you can get all 21 of his albums for a special price right now…

Peace.

<<07-26-2017>>

I’m not afraid to…

…piss people off.

Hi, good morning. Hope you are enjoining some coffee or your preferred beverage of choice.

OK so let me explain my thought process on this. No, not the beverage thing…my stance on pissing people off. Don’t get me wrong, I am not just indiscriminately looking for people to piss off with mindless personal attacks. I’m just saying I am not scared to speak my mind and when I see something I perceive as wrong or a debatable topic, I don’t hold back. I may temper my opinions in a diplomatic turn of phrase but you can usually tell where my point/opinion is going.

Some of you in your minds are saying: here we go pointless drama. Nope. No ma’am, no sir. I am not here to spread gossip to pile on someone having a bad day just to be a bully. Everyone running around or wheeling around today has positive and negative aspects of their lives. Some are great parents, some lavish love and attention on their animals while others run businesses that provide incomes and purposes for others to provide for their families and loved ones. While I can try to find the silver lining in many different human clouds, there is always the ying to their yang.

I’m guessing at this point you are trying to discern a point that may take shape coming from the above fog. I am flawed and at times I am an internal mess. But aint we all? The important thing is not to take yourself too seriously and be true with your actions and words. If you see something that emotionally or mentally goes against your grain, you can do a couple of things. First you can ignore it and remove yourself from the situation and go binge watch GOT episodes. If you feel you must have your voice be heard (either literally or figuratively), think first.

Sometimes another human or an issue can cause such a visceral response that we lash out without thinking. Like when I’m on the highway and I see aggressive drivers switching lanes without blinkers or cutting people off when they could have just as easily have slowed down and settled in behind another car. My list of hated traffic grievances is about on par with the proverbial list of naughty boys and girls Santa has to deal with.

Animal abuse, child punishments, softball drama, social media, my Cleveland Indians and long car trips are just a handful of things I have a strong opinion on and my views may not be all unicorns, cotton candy and smiley emoji’s to the casual reader. Is my position the end all be all of opinions? Certainly not but I will do my best to state my case as to why I think that way about a topic. Have I launched into a tirade before about my opinion only to have someone chime in later with some bit of information I wasn’t privy to? Guilty. Did it radically change my stance? Not really but I filed that addition information away to be digested and further flavor my viewpoint.

Most everyone is so wrapped up in being ‘right’ that they lose sight of the spirit of exchanging ideas. Most people when they express their opinions, whether in the majority or minority, are on the razor’s edge for rebuttals. Expressing a dissenting opinion is on par with attacking that person’s most cherished loved one. One of my most favorite quotes I saw on Twitter said: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” This quote is attributed to Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. That quote is an ugly truth. I myself am guilty of this about half of the time. It happens when I argue with Kristi or Ayden or a co-worker or a softball friend or on my Sports Stalkers podcast partner Jeremy. We as a society are conditioned to be put on the spot and come up with a quip or an answer to prove our wittiness or competency. So much in our daily lives is submerged in self-doubt and competition, so we must be seen as competent at the bare minimum. And in the panic of the moment when we might possibly lose, we resort to snarkyness and name-calling in lieu of stopping and thinking about the basis of our opinions and how it may be colored by our life experiences as opposed to someone from a completely different background.

Take racism and discrimination for example. And no they are not exclusively the same thing. Discrimination is denying someone or a group based on extraneous circumstances that have no bearing on the criteria needed. Some of the biggest racists I know are the ones who play the race card. In my life I have known some people of color who have been the perpetrators of discrimination. There are no absolutes in this world when it comes to discrimination and racism. There are black people who are racist against white people and vice versa. Just as there are people of all ages who are discriminatory against other age groups.

See no name calling, no gross stereo-types and a note that I myself am not 100% above reproach here (see the listening quote). There is nothing wrong with absorbing and dissecting someone else’s opinion or view. The sticky-wicket is when we start questioning that person’s view and instead of listening to understand what we are asking, they are loading up mentally to respond based on a basal reaction to a perceived challenge.

Enough psychology for one day. I was just trying to simply offer up my ‘excuse’ on why I feel OK about sounding off with my thoughts and opinions even if you do not care. We all have a back story on our opinions. Did your parents instill that view in you? Perhaps your church? Or just life experiences? That is for each of us to carry around with us every day and decide if we are comfortable enough to share and if need be, defend as needed.

As usual, thank you for surfing in and reading some bits and pieces that migrated from my brain to my fingers. I hope you found something amusing, thought provoking or at least something that caused you to stop for a moment to at least consider.

Haffy Hump Day! That is a cross breed of Happy and Taffy just so you don’t think I am a horrible speller!

Peace.

Hot Dog in a Hot Car

Greetings to those of you reading this post first-hand and also to those reading with the assistance of Google translate. Today is the humpy-est of all the days of the week and the last hump day of June 2017. Use your minutes and hours wisely today.

For the topic of this piece, I am writing about the events surrounding my belated birthday dinner with my mom. My mom and I had agreed upon the Red Lobster location in the Chesterfield Valley (17204 Chesterfield Airport Rd) off of highway 40 at 5:30 PM CST for the day of Tuesday, June 27th. On this day, I worked late and then drove west on highway 40, leaving work about 4:55 and arriving at the restaurant by 5:08 PM. I parked on the side of the restaurant where Mimi’s Cafe was next door. Upon parking my car, I rolled down the windows and turned off the car to wait for mom. With the car’s radio and engine now silent, I heard a dog whining. Initially I was not able to locate the source of the sound but after about 15 seconds, the sound repeated. I got out of my car and carefully listened until I was able to pinpoint the source of the sound and walked to the vehicle.

Inside this dark colored Mazda CX-5 SUV, featuring tinted windows with Missouri license plates U– –S that don’t expire until October 2018, (apparently was purchased at West County Bommarito), I noticed a small dog. Both the front and rear windows were lowered about two inches. But inside the vehicle there was this small shaved poodle-type dog whining and crying. A visual scan confirmed that there were no humans in the car and that the car was not running. So I left this person’s vehicle and approached a Red Lobster worker who was arriving for her shift. I requested that she or her manager call the police because someone left their dog in their car while they went inside to eat and it was 85 degrees outside. She said she would pass the information along to her manager. Now granted the vehicle was in partial shade where it was parked but just standing next to the vehicle in dress pants and dress shirt, I was sweating. Inside the dog was moving from seat to seat to try to stick its head up to the incoming breeze, all the while whining and panting.

After about 10 minutes I went inside and asked to speak to the manager. When she approached, I asked if she had been notified to call the police about the dog in the car on their parking lot. The manager said they had not called the police but they could. She also said, “I can call but they aren’t going to do anything about it.” I said, please just do so and I’m going to go wait by the car with the dog. At about 5:30 my mom arrived for dinner after she had sent me a text a few minutes prior to confirm if I had arrived at the restaurant yet. I replied I was in the parking lot standing next to a car with a dog in it.

When mom arrived, she looked inside the car and then called the police and gave them all the vehicle’s information including the license plate number. She then went inside to ask the management to make an announcement. After several minutes, she returned stating the restaurant did not have an intercom system but she went table to table and found the dog’s owner. The dog’s owner acknowledged that he had his dog in the car but she should ‘mind her own business’. She proceeded to inform him that the police had been called.

About 90 seconds after mom came out and gave me the rundown, this older, balding man emerged from the restaurant and approached the vehicle. I asked him if this was his car, he said yes it is. I said it’s illegal to leave your dog in a vehicle on a hot day. He said, “no it’s not. I’ve had that dog for nine years and I do this all the time.” I asked him how he would like to sit in the hot car for a half an hour or more? He proceeded to get into the vehicle and light up a cigar without answering. After about five minutes, the side door to the restaurant opened and the manager escorted an elderly woman out with a to go bag. She hobbled slowly to the vehicle, the man got out, situated her on the passenger side, got back in, started the car, pulled out and left.

With the a-hole off the premises and the police nowhere in sight, mom and I were pretty disgusted and agitated with the situation. Mom placed a call to the police for them to disregard the dog in a car complaint and they told her the officer would be told to disregard. Since we were a bit disenchanted with the employees of Red Lobster being dismissive of the situation, we decided to move across the parking lot to their next door neighbor Mimi’s Cafe. We were seated in a booth and enjoyed a nice meal. During the meal my phone was blowing up. Why was that? Let me tell you!

After I initially went into Red Lobster to try to get the manager to call the police, I came back out snapped a picture of the person’s license plate with my phone and posted it on Facebook with the caption “Waiting in Red Lobster’s parking lot for this POS who left his dog in the car to come out”. In the span of about 25-30 minutes I got over fifty responses and several instant messages asking for updates. I know many pet lovers in my circle of friends, so naturally, they were concerned and angry that someone would be so callous and self-centered as to put their pet at risk while they leisurely enjoyed a meal in air conditioning. We didn’t get the desired result we wanted (the Chesterfield Police to show up) but at least we cut short this couples’ asinine dining experience. My other concern was in the dog owner’s statement that he ‘does this all the time’ with the dog. Putting his pet at risk was of no concern to him (or her apparently). What would’ve happened if they had experienced a medical emergency and had to leave their vehicle there until the next day? What if the temperatures were over 90 degrees and the vehicle was no longer in the shade and the animal had no food or water? OK this was a worst case scenario type deal but still they proved themselves to be unworthy pet owners. Companion animals are dependent upon their owners and reasonable precautions should be taken for their welfare…not cracking a few windows two inches on a mid-80’s temperature day where the temperatures get significantly higher inside the vehicle.

I do not know how to step down from this experience or issue. Like the story I did on the baby bobcat, this situation was not something my gut was willing to dismiss. If mom and I hadn’t decided to eat at that Red Lobster, would someone else have reported the dog in the car? I doubt it. While I/we were waiting for the police, many people noticed the ruckus the animal was making but didn’t bother to investigate and proceeded into the restaurant as if nothing was amiss. It’s that kind of attitude that makes me greatly sad for the future of this country and the world. If we as individuals do not point out the things that are wrong and try to correct them, then the society of the future will be nothing but an apathetic mass of people milling about with their faces parallel to the next iCreation as we devolve into zoo animals.

Wooo. Heavy. Cheerio and good day.

Peace.

City softball into the Twillight Zone

Greeting, good day and all that funky jazz.

Today is Thursday. The day that follows Wednesday or at least has for the last few thousand years. Last night at Wilmore Park (in St Louis) my softball team played some ball under the league sanction of ASA. Two games were played. Thanks to the evil and literally heartless beast that is I-270, I was seven minutes late arriving for our first game. Our collective opponent was a decently competitively team on par with our team. In the first game, mental and physical errors cost us the game from a win and loss standpoint. In the second game, more miscues and lack of hitting doomed us again. The differences in the scorebook were underscored by the two teams differing approaches.  The other team was taking the games very seriously and treating them like a televised national tournament. My team (including myself), however, was just not all there. I know what my problem was as it relates to how I performed on the field: I do not like arriving late. For me it throws off everything: hitting, pitching, mental assignments et al. So we lost both games and potentially we could have at least split the two games.

As you are reading along I can hear you thinking: well this doesn’t sound too out there. The games themselves were just a typical night of recreational league softball. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Where the weirdness comes into play is here. Coaching third base for the other team was an elderly-ish gentleman not dressed for softball but more business casual attire but a harmless enough looking fellow. In between innings and between the two games, I crossed paths with him a few times and he would make mundane enough comments: Nice inning, not your guys night, good pitching, the team has really been gearing up to play you guys, couple of plays here and there and you guys win, and on and on.

For whatever reason, after the two games were over and the teams were dispersing, this elderly guy and some of his entourage moved over to our side of the field and placed their belongings on our bench. This is the point where things, for me, got weird.

Now keep in mind, I don’t really know this guy. I gave you a vague description of a semi-elderly, tall, thin Caucasian man casually dressed but not casually dressed for a softball game. I do not know his name. During the night we exchanged some benign small talk in passing and I mostly just nodded or gave a non-committal laugh or just answered ‘yep’. As I stated above, part of his group migrated to our bench and he made eye contact with me and said: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?”

Odd request stranger man, so I said, no thanks. He cocked his head to one side and said again: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?” All I could do was make a befuddled face and before I could decline again, he said, “You know, from Alice’s restaurant?” Seeing as I was born in 1972 and the only reference I could come up with was the TV show Alice, where Alice the waitress worked at Mel’s Diner, I asked do you mean Alice from Mel’s Diner?

He laughed. A goofy, crazy old man laugh of someone who cannot believe how stupid the person he is talking to is.

Sensing I was ready to back away slowly, he proceeded to tell me the story of the album and song from Arlo Guthrie from the late 1960’s. Apparently the song was 15-20 minutes long and was a protest song about the Vietnam War. Again, pointing to the bench, he said there is a passage about sitting on a bench with the mean, nasty, ugly people who are mother rapers and father stabbers or mother stabbers and father rapers.

OK timeout. Correct me if I’m wrong but there has to be some reasonable social etiquette involved with trotting out controversial 50 year old war protest lyrics? Even figuratively offering me a seat on the ‘mean and nasty and ugly bench’ seems a bit rude. I play softball, I write blogs, I record a sports podcast and I try to be a decent person to my family, friends and loved ones.

With enough rudimentary information of whatever this guy was trying to figuratively push across the table, I once again respectfully declined a seat on the bench and made my way to the parking lot area. The whole walk through the overgrown grasses I just kept shaking my head. No offense to Arlo Guthrie and his family, but I could’ve gone the entire rest of my existence without knowing about Alice’s Restaurant.

For you curiosity (if you have such), I have Googled and pasted the song in its entirety below. I’m sure there is some sort of YouTube video of the song but I don’t care. In a way Google and YouTube are like Alice’s Restaurant (hopefully with less Mother Raping and Father Stabbing) in as much that “You can get anything you want”.

Peace. (Highly appropriate considering the reference timeframe of the song)
(Song of protest against the Vietnam War draft)
(The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day – From November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975)
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (album) – Alice’s Restaurant (1967)

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s
Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
You-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:

(“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
Study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
Situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the
Guitar.

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

It’s just an expression

I’ve heard people say a light bulb went off in their head whenever an epiphany occurred or an idea struck them.

So let’s hit pause for a second.

Have you ever been in a dark room with a light on? As you flip the switch, the light departs (at the speed of light) and you are left with weird after images as your eyes try to adjust to the now present enveloping darkness. I think what they meant was that a light bulb went ‘on’ in their heads. As in something (a concept, process or widget) was brought forth from the murk and obscured-ness of the dark and brought into the ‘light’ for inspection and scrutiny. This makes more sense obviously.

As a request, if possible, can everyone stop saying that a light bulb went off…unless you lose a great idea or concept. Then you can certainly use the “a light bulb went off” expression: I was on the cusp of creating an app that would wipe out childhood obesity but then a light bulb went off…and it was gone with a ‘pop’ sound that an implosion makes.

This has been a silly pointless PSA to everyone who uses expressions without truly validating their application. Like people who misuse “I could care less’ as opposed to the correct version “I couldn’t care less”. Otherwise, for the first one, you are stating that on a tiny sliver of a level you do care at least a teeny weeny bit.

Good luck in your Friday navigations, whether it be online (virtual), in a car, in a plane, on a boat, in an human waste tunnel beneath a prison during your escape or the myriad of other ways you can eclipse distance in your current physical form.

Enjoy your version of the upcoming weekend; consciousness not required.

Peace.

 

P.S. Yes I make up words and spellchecker can eat my toenails clippings!