Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ponderosa's Meme

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was running a small retail business on Main Street in Riverton Wyoming.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

The same crap I am doing right now, except I didn't have a blog.

Five snacks you enjoy:

I have recently lost 60 pounds, so I don't eat many snacks these days. So I will report what I would eat if I wasn't so stubborn:

Cookies Dipped in Milk (can be Oreos, Nutter Butters, or Wafers)
Cheese (sharp cheddar is my favorite)
Chocolates (really good decadent European)
Bananas sliced up in a bowl of milk with sugar
Meat (Beef Jerky, Slim Jims, Peperoni Sticks, or Barbequed Vienna Sausages)

You can see why I needed to lose 60 pounds

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:

Five that I will admit to knowing. I have some that are guilty pleasures and I would lose my man card if anyone knew. These are ones that first come to mind and I sing along with often.

He Went To Paris (Jimmy Buffet)
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad (Meat Loaf)
Imagine (John Lennon)
In My Life (The Beatles)
Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound (Hank Williams Jr)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

Be very charitable
Remodel my place or buy a new one (depending on how many millions we are talking)
Buy a new car
Join a really good golf club
Invest in my children

Five bad habits:

Bite Fingernails
Pick Nose (hey I am being honest here)
Procrastinate (not really a habit, more of a way of life)
Eat too late
Watch too much TV

Five things you like doing:

Playing Golf
Watching Movies
Watching People

Five things you would never wear again:

A Mullet
A Leasure Suit
Birth Control Glasses
A Uniform

Five favorite toys:

(Private) Could have qualified as a bad habit
Golf Clubs

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Whirlpool - Poetry Thursday Submission

Life is like a salmon's swim
Upstream to spawning ground
As one obstacle is overcome
A new one is soon found

At journey's start, just as the fish
We are strong and sure
Determined to reach our goals
And able to endure

With every barrier that we cross
And bruise that we receive
And each time that we try and fail
A part of us we leave

I came upon a crippled fish
Being washed back to the sea
Belly-up and spinning round
And I like me

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wedding Vows

This is my submission for Thursday Poetry.

Wedding Vows

He says:
You’re not the best I ever had
But neither am I for you
So if you can put up with me
I guess that you will do

She says:
You are no one’s dream
Nor nightmare I must admit
So I will give you my heart
You’re the best I’m gonna get

Her Father:
At last I found someone
To give my daughter to
I never thought she’d ever leave
My god, she’s fifty two

His Mother:
At last my son has met someone
What a glorious day
I had given up him moving out
I assumed that he was gay

The Minister:
I now pronounce you man and wife
On this solemn wedding day
Since no one would want either of you
I know you’ll never stray

Simple Pleasures

The first thing that came to mind from this week’s prompt is simple pleasures. I thought I would list some simple, everyday, things that give me great pleasure. They are in no particular order. Since I am very hedonistic, the list could go on forever:

A child’s laugh

A puppy hanging his head out of a car window with the wind whipping its ears

A fish pulling my bobber under

The unmistakable feel of a well-struck golf shot

The smells and sounds of a summer night

Any body of water

Finding a twenty in an old pair of pants

A smile from a stranger

A good dream

The feeling I get from giving money to someone who needs it

Reading Major League Baseball box scores and finding my favorite players had a good game

Watching a favorite rerun of Seinfeld

Meeting someone new

Watching a couple in love

Playing with my grandchildren

Seeing the flag fly

Playing golf with my son

Watching my children participate in sports (I miss that)

Dipping cookies into ice cold milk

Human touch

Watching the sun rise or set

A new shirt ( really anything new)

Waking up on a camping trip

A really good book

A really good movie

Being right

A really good meal with friends

Riding with the top down

Walking on the beach

Praise or compliments

Passing a woman with just the right cologne

Hearing my lover’s pleasure

Arriving home after a trip

The end of a workday

Anticipation of pleasure

Being with friends

Being alone

Peeing when I really needed to (more of a pleasure the older I get)

Seeing a man/woman in a US military uniform, shaking their hand

A massage

Being met at the door by a wagging tail

Driving fast with AC/DC blaring on my IPOD

Sitting on my balcony 1) watching boats go by 2) watching a lightening storm 3) watching girls at the pool

A winning scratch-off ticket (no matter how small)

Waking up early and realizing it is my day off

When people surprise me

When I write something that I think is clever

A day with no pain



Being the first group to tee off just after sunrise

The smell of popcorn

Stranding on a scale that reads less than the day before

Looking in the mirror and liking who I see

Crème brule

Getting a haircut

A long, hot bath

A task well done

Fresh, clean sheets

Killing time at Brookstone

Sleeping in a cold room with a heavy comforter

A carnival

A song on the radio that I had forgotten

Watching an old man/woman with their mother/father

A really funny joke

Holding the title to my car in my hands

Watching a duck with her ducklings

Oysters at Hooters

Finding a golf ball

A fighter jet flying by (see previous blog)

Seeing a truly beautiful woman walk by (not talking inner beauty here)

A full moon

Reminiscing with a friend


The word benign

Seeing a herd of deer

Ice cold water on a hot day

Seeing something I am not supposed to see (guys will understand)

Receiving a comment about my Sunday Scribbling Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Interesting Quiz

A friend sent me this little quiz and I had a good time completing it. As with most things in my life I didn't put a lot of thought into it, just gut reaction responses. I think that sort of response reveals who I really am.

1.)Q. Can you cook?
1.)A. Yes, but hate to clean up afterwards

2.)Q. What was your dream growing up?
2.)A. Pro Baseball Player

3.)Q. What talent do you wish you had?
3.)A. Singing

4.)Q. Favorite place?
4.)A. Beach

5.)Q. Favorite vegetable?
5.)A. Corn on the Cob

6.)Q. What was the last book you read?
6.)A. When the Bough Breaks

7.)Q. What zodiac sign are you ?
7.)A. Virgo

8.)Q. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
8.)A. Hell no

9.)Q. Worst Habit?
9.)A. Biting Fingernails

10.)Q. If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
10.)A. Depends how threatening you look and what time it is

11.)Q. What is your favorite sport?
11.)A. Golf

12.)Q. Negative or Optimistic attitude?
12.)A. Realistic

13.)Q. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
13.)A. Avoid Eye Contact, probably hum

14.)Q. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
14.)A. Got Married

15.)Q. Tell me one weird fact about you:
15.)A. I have ESP

16.)Q. Do have any pets?
16.)A. Not currently

17.)Q. Do u know how to do the macerana?
17.)A. Nope

18.)Q. What time is it where you are now?
18.)A. 6:00 PM

19.)Q. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
19.)A. Scary

20.)Q. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be???
20.)A. Teeth

21.)Q. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
21.)A. Conscience

22.)Q. What color eyes do you have?
22.)A. Blue with red lines

23.)Q. Ever been arrested?
23.)A. No

24.)Q. Bottle or Draft?
24.)A. Draft

25.)Q. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
25.)A. Pay on Mortgage

26.)Q. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew?
26.)A. Watermelon

27.)Q. What 's your favorite bar to hang at?
27.)A. Not much of a bar person, too smoky

28.)Q. Do you believe in ghosts?
28.)A. Yes

29.)Q. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
29.)A. Play on computer

30.)Q. Do you swear a lot?
30.)A. Situationally

31.)Q. Biggest pet peeve?
31.)A. Bad drivers

32.)Q. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
32.)A. Cerebral

33.)Q. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you ?
33.)A. Why not?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


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I view these prompts much like a psychologist uses a word association exercise. I write down the first idea that comes to mind and then attempt to develop it into some sort of cohesive thought. I will admit that Sunday Scribblings has caused me to think about times and events that I haven’t thought of in years. I hate to dwell on the “good old days” because as we all know, they weren’t always good, but this prompt brought up a memory that made me smile throughout the creative process:

As a child, I ranked Halloween second only to Christmas in the pecking order of holidays. This was long before the world became so mean and nasty that parents must scan their children’s haul with a metal detector or run it through airport security prior to allowing any consumption. Anything that is not factory wrapped to include nutrition facts goes straight into the dumpster. People used to actually give us popcorn balls, candied or carameled apples, and homemade cookies. If someone tried that these days, the police would set up a parameter around their house and a Hazmat team would be dispatched. But I digress (as usual).

As anyone who has suffered through any of my previous posts already knows, I grew up in northern Idaho, in the town of Smelterville. Yes, it was as beautiful as the name implies. The population was about 1,500 at its peak, now about 700. I think its claim to fame now might be the smallest town ever to host a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

There weren’t many choices for masks in those days. Maybe in the city there were choices, but not in small town Idaho. We all bought our masks at the same stores, so there was little variety. A girl could be a princess, a witch, or an angel. A boy was destined to be a pirate, monster of some type, or a devil. A ghost was unisex and no mask was required. The masks were one size fits all, so no matter what age you were you could not see out of the eyeholes. Costumes were not important as we all were wearing winter coats to protect against the freezing late October night of northern Idaho. Finding or creating a costume that would fit over a parka was hardly worth the effort and obviously wearing an overcoat spoiled the effect of a skeleton costume. Our masks were not only unoriginal, but also unscary. This was long before someone thought to make Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” into a Halloween mask. I still consider it the most terrifying mask of all time.

Lots of kids carried pillowcases to hold their bounty. My mother forbade that for two reasons. She did not have a pillowcase to spare and she considered filling up a pillowcase with candy to be excessive begging. So, I embarked with a brown paper bag. The hours for trick or treating were well defined in those days. As long as the porch light of a house was lit, they were fair game. When a house ran out of candy or got tired of answering the door, they simply turned out their lights and were no longer bothered. A large dog in the yard would cause a house to be skipped, porch light or no porch light.

The favorite house for many of us to call on was on Northview and belonged to Mrs. Watts. She was my third grade teacher and one of the biggest fans of Halloween ever. She had the best treats. She always had homemade goodies and sometimes, even, money. There was a catch however. It was not possible to simply hit and run Mrs. Watts’ house. To knock on her door meant you had to go inside and perform. (Imagine that in today’s world. Bringing a child into a strange house at night would result in the dispatch of a SWAT team and a hostage negotiator.) She would require you sing a song, recite a poem, dance, tell a joke, or whatever form of entertainment you could provide. Shy kids would avoid her house, but they would miss out on the best treats of the night. She would also go through the ritual of trying to guess your secret identity (another SS prompt) under your costume. She knew every kid in town and had taught most of us but she would still make it a game show. She would pretend not to know who we were much the way the people at the Daily Planet pretend that Clark’s glasses confuse them. Never mind that most of us early in the evening had pretty much abandoned our masks or had lifted them up to look out from underneath them as we had tripped and fallen several times due to poor visibility. Even if we were dead set to keep our masks on, the flimsy rubber band and staple system that held them on usually had a shelf life of about half an hour. My paper bag had been spilled, refilled, stepped on, torn, and pretty much mutilated. I desperately envied those with pillowcases.

The candy I arrived home with would easily last through Christmas. Even though mom tried to ration my intake, I consumed enough sugar to keep my insulin release redlined through the end of the year. But sadly, some of the candy was never eaten. The candy corn (who makes that crap anyway), those orange peanut shaped marshmallow things (my dog wouldn’t even eat those) and the orange and black wrapped toffee experiment would be around until mom tossed them out, sometime near Easter.

The sad thing is that my own children never got to experience a real Halloween. What with their flame retardant, reflector strip costumes sized to fit, streetlights, designer trick or treat bags, and healthy and nutritious treats.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

 It's a great life!

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 It's my life!

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Second Chance

If I had a second chance
to live my life anew
What changes would I make?
What different things I’d do?

I’m sure I’d try to floss more
And read labels on what I eat
And make plans to use time wisely
And apply sunscreen in the heat

But those are things I intended
To do first time around
I doubt that I’d do better
With another set of downs

So I know if I was granted
A chance to live again
I’d pretty much end up
In the shape that I am in

I lived a full and happy life
I have few things to regret
I know I’ve made mistakes galore
And potentials never met

But if I had it all to do
And things that I could fix
I’d be the same man I am now
But I’d bought Microsoft in ‘86

But we don’t get a replay
To correct what went askew
So I don’t get another chance
To buy Wal-mart in ‘72

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Myrtle Beach in February
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You would think that growing up in the Idaho panhandle, only about 400 miles from the Pacific Ocean, that my first recollections of the ocean would be the rocky coast of Washington State. Well, my parents never ventured west of Spokane. Idaho is said to have two capitals, Spokane, Washington, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Spokane was the center of commerce for us, and only about 75 miles away. Sprague Avenue, on the extreme Eastern side of Spokane was the favored business district for Northern Idaho folks who had a hankerin’ for big city shopping. Long before the evil empire of Wal-mart existed, there was a store called Value-mart that my mother particularly loved. My mother never saw the Pacific Ocean and my dad’s only visit to the left coast was navy training in San Diego during WWII.

As my parents came from coastal Georgia and Florida and all our kin were still there, we would make an annual summer trip to that region. Never mind that it took as about three or four days each way, pretty much eating up Dad’s vacation in transit. Our trip would always include a visit to Jacksonville, Fernandina, or Jekyll Island Beach. .This was before sunscreen, so I would burn and peel and burn and peel. About once a year I have a carcinoma removed that was a product of mom rubbing Wesson Oil on my back and sending me out in the July sun. That would be considered child abuse these days. In 1960 it was good parenting.

I remember the affect the Ocean had on me. As I child, the sea did not offer me the tranquility and catharsis that it does as an adult. Standing knee-deep in the surf had a similar affect as looking down from a very tall building (of which there are none in Idaho). I was both thrilled and terrified. The vastness still overwhelms me as an adult.

My first visit to the Pacific Ocean was on my honeymoon, in June of 1972. We went to Lincoln City, Oregon (big spender). My first impression was that the water was more the color water should be and less like milk than the Atlantic and the waves were much larger. Since I was now 19 and had lost nearly all of my childhood inhibitions, along with common sense, I immediately ran and dove into the churning water. I soon learned the major difference between the two oceans. While the Gulf Stream and intense summer heat raises the Florida seawater to roughly the temperature of bath water, the Oregon water in June is freaking cold. Had I not been in the prime condition of a virile 19 year old, I am certain my heart valves would have seized up like the pistons on my 1972 Gremlin (another story). To quote George Costanza, there was “significant shrinkage.” My testicles were trying to find a place to hide. Not the best scenario for a romantic honeymoon.

Now I live in Myrtle Beach and have daily access to the ocean. Though I take it for granted now and go through long periods without visiting, I know it is there when I need it. I particularly enjoy walking the beach in the winter. It is the off-season for tourists and the beach is nearly deserted and only Canadians are foolhardy enough to enter the water. In the cold grey of winter, just the seagulls and me, and an occasional geezer hunting for treasure with a metal detector. When I first moved here I threw some popcorn to a couple of stray gulls. Rookie mistake. They didn’t keep it to themselves and called their buddies. Soon I had hundreds of their friends strafing me. But no matter how stressed I am and how bad my day has been, a visit to the beach is all the therapy I need. Oh yeah, it is great here in the summer too. The scenery is much more interesting. A different kind of bird altogether. They still tell their friends everything though. .