Tuesday, January 29, 2008

10 signs a book was written by me - Meme from Lucy

I was tagged by Lucy and this is my input:

10 Signs a book was written by me.

1) It is never finished but no one notices
2) The protagonist is a woman with loose morals and a tight body
3) There are lots of pictures
4) It makes absolutely no sense at all
5) It shows up on Ebay immediately upon publishing
6) It does not appear on Oprah's book club list
7) The ACLU burns it, it is banned in 40 states and Puerto Rico
8) Stephen King is afraid to read it
9) It is written at a 4th grade reading level
and the 10th Sign a book was written by me:
Proceeds are donated to starving people in Africa but they reject it saying "We are not that hungry"

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Miscellaneous - 1/27/08

The prompt, “miscellaneous”, gives me the opportunity to comment on a myriad of unrelated topics that ran across my mind. As a result, this will be even more fragmented and rambling than my topic based renderings. Good luck trying to follow it. One should never give me this much freedom or lack of direction.

On the current Valtrex commercials, no one seems to be overly concerned that their partner has genital herpes. “I have genital herpes.” “But I don’t.” Good, dump the bastard before you do. I think a brilliant marketing idea would be to link that commercial directly to EHarmony.com, so that the person without herpes can find a new mate and maybe the infected partner could find someone else with an STD to begin a relationship with.

Another potential follow-on product would be Trojan Condoms, although the only type of rubber that would be in play here would be rubber burning as my car peeled out of the driveway. There is another product that could also be linked. For me, the knowledge that the person I am about to be intimate with has a contagious disease that might be passed to me would reduce my ardor and Viagra might be needed. They could call it erectile “dysinterest” instead of erectile “dysfunction.” This is a more realistic commercial.

Don’t you think that Geico could reduce their premiums a bit if they didn’t spend a billion dollars a year on advertising? Do you think at this point there is anyone in the free world that doesn’t know about this company?

There are a plethora of drugs advertised on television that might sound good until you hear the side effects near the end of the ad. Some of them are absolutely unbelievable. Hey, if they cured cancer, I would risk the side effects, but come on. For instance:
I was suffering from a toenail fungus (too much information?) and the drug that my physician recommended was called Gris Peg. It can make my toenails nice and healthy but it is entirely possible that I would require a liver transplant. My toenails will remain gnarly.
Alli is a weight loss drug that's major side effect is that you might crap your pants. Thank you. I will stay fat and under control.
Propecia can help you regrow hair but can also make men grow lactating breasts. It is so dangerous that a pregnant woman cannot even touch the capsule.
Accutane can cure acne, but at what price? Taking this product can result in crying spells, rectal bleeding, bone fractures, psychosis, hepititis, and even herpes. Of course, then you can take Valtrex. It is a vicious cycle.

I just saw a Hillary Clinton ad that claimed she has 35 years of experience. Doing what? Not sleeping with Bill?

I just bought a new DVD player as mine finally gave up. Since it was one of the original units manufactured, it has served its time. They are cheap enough that repair is not necessary or economically feasible. As is the case for most electronics, they have become disposable. My new unit comes with a remote control that has over fifty buttons. I actually need two: play and stop. Most of the others are just designed to intimidate me.

I mentioned this to my son who has just installed a new big screen HD television and home theatre sound system. This requires four separate remote controls, pictured here. Holy crap!! I would have to sit in silence. I hate technology.

I attended the “final” Rolling Stones concert at Wembley Stadium in London in August of 1990. The only thing final about it was that it was the last time Bill Wyman would appear onstage with them. The opening acts were Living Colour and Guns N’ Roses, but nobody cared. We were all there to see the Stones. It was amazing to hear over 100,000 voices singing along with every song. The atmosphere was electric. I was fortunate enough to see the Stones twice at Wembley Stadium. The first time was in 1982. It was probably also billed as their “final” concert. This is a clip from that tour, though I could not find one at Wembley. For this 55 year old the greatest band ever was the Beatles, but I never got to see them live. This, however, was a defining point in my life. Absolute magic.

I keep my digital camera in my car pretty much all the time. In the event that a historical event, such as the landing of a UFO in my general area, occurs, I will be ready. In the mean time, I take occasional photos of things that interest me, usually due to their absurdity. I hope you are entertained by them as much as I am.

Do you really think that a Pawn Shop is your best choice to prepare your taxes?

Found at a popular Myrtle Beach shopping area. Look closely at the Ship's Stores.

So can I get a reservation or not?

This is not a very good shot but I had to be a little careful getting this photo as taking a camera into a public restroom could put me in Larry Craig type trouble. But I just had to capture this. It is an official sign that is in every public restroom in South Carolina, published by the Department of Health & Environmental Control. It pretty much illustrates the intelligence of our state government. Don't even have spellcheck.

I spotted this beauty at a truckstop that serves as a Greyhound Bus Depot. It really requires no caption but I am certain that the author probably once held a position in the South Carolina State Government.

Lots of funny things to say here but I will let you just enjoy the possibilities.

I cannot take credit for this photo but had to include it. This is the official logo for the NIT Basketball Championship t-shirts that were designed, approved, and worn by University of West Virginia faculty and student body. Not exactly an Ivy League institution, now is it?
And last but not least:
The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have a moment, please visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along. They are aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal. I checked this with snopes and it is absolutely true.


Your smile counts. The more smiles you share, the more we donate. Join in!

Don't give me this much latitude again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Fellow Travelers - 1/20/08

I have traveled extensively in my life, but sadly, mostly alone. This is partly by choice and partly because I am such a bastard that few people enjoy my company for long enough to endure any kind of extensive trip. But, this writing will be about a companion that doesn’t care that I am an asshole. She loves unconditionally.

In December of 2000, I escaped the frozen wasteland of central Wyoming and moved to Myrtle Beach, SC. I put everything I had in storage and set off in my new SUV, with my traveling companion, Suzy. Suzy was, and is, a Dachshund. As a puppy the size of your hand, I gave her to a friend’s daughter for Easter in about 1996. Suzy was re-gifted to me just prior to my trip. Situations required the family to move into a rental property that would not accept pets.

So Suzy and I departed on the 2,000-mile adventure. I hadn’t gotten out of the driveway before I realized that this journey was going to be interesting. I had always known that Suzy suffered from OCD. If you think that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is only a human condition, you have never spent much time in the company of a canine, or at least this one.

The first compulsion that I observed with Suzy was her obsession with chasing a ball. From the time she was a tiny puppy she loved fetching a ball. No one taught her to fetch, she just figured out that if she brought it back you were inclined to throw it again. She never tired of it. She would chase as long as you would throw. She would not even stop to relieve herself, rather let it fly while she was at full speed. When you wanted to stop the game, you had to hide the ball. I mean HIDE the ball. If she saw where you put it, she would either engineer a way to get at it or look at the spot in which she believed it to be and whine until she drove you completely mad. If you just stopped throwing it, she would move the ball closer and closer to you with her nose. That failing, it would soon be on your foot or in your lap. There was no ignoring her and hoping she would lose interest. She NEVER lost interest.

If you uttered the word “ball”, even under your breath, her ears would perk up and she would begin to dance in anticipation of chasing her beloved ball. Even the words “mall”, “hall”, “doll” or anything else with an “all” sound, elicited the same manic response. Tennis balls were her favorite, though I believe she would have tried to retrieve a bowling ball. If you threw more than one ball, she would make every attempt at bringing them all back, driving herself mad with indecision.

Once, I took her to the beach to chase balls and on the way home I stopped to get gas. I hadn’t realized that one of the balls had gotten lodged between the back seat and the door. In the length of time it took me to pump the gas and buy a drink, she had chewed my leather seat trying to retrieve the ball. She normally did not chew, but when it came to “ball” she was unbridled.

Okay, back to the trip. The new obsession that Suzy exhibited, and would continue to exhibit for the next 1,999.9 miles was that she required that I pet her at all times. I didn’t really have to make a stroking motion; rather my right hand must constantly rest on her. Any attempt to remove that hand resulted in her repositioning it with her nose. Should I try to put both hands on the steering wheel, she would crawl onto my lap and whine. Not once, while the vehicle was in motion, did she sleep. I tried once to put her in the back seat but it became obvious that was not acceptable to her and since she has toes like a badger, I again feared for my leather.

We made the trip without incident, though my right arm slept for most of the journey.

When we arrived in Myrtle Beach, my plan was to leave her with my son Josh and his wife Tia until I settled in but she bonded with my daughter-in-law and has been her dog ever since.

Suzy is now about 11, very old for a Dachshund, due to their fragile back and hips. She is grossly overweight (Suzy not Tia) and her ball chasing days are about over.

She coexists with their 100+ pound black Labrador, Bob, but it was obvious from day one who was boss. She has terrorized Bob for seven years now. Suzy has no idea that she is only a foot tall. She fears no dog. She is the alpha dog.

A cat once beat the crap out of her, but that is another story.

Bob loves Suzy. Before she arrived he had terrible seperation anxiety whenever he was left alone. Suzy's presence calmed him. Suzy pretends to hate Bob, but when no one is looking she will play with him. But she will not share her bone, her food, her attention, or her place on the couch.

Suzy does not really like children. They move at her too quickly and are a bit rough for her liking. Suzy is a gentle creature. She does not bite them, but she will avoid them and if they continue to pursue her she will growl and show her teeth, maybe even a little warning snap. This is my grandson Carson getting into Suzy's personal space. She is less than pleased.

Remarkably, the only children she tolerates, and even seeks out, are two young autistic boys that are neighbors of Josh and Tia. She is pictured here with one of them.

The other photo is of Suzy and Bob waking my son, Josh, on his birthday.

Suzy is now, pretty much of a couch potato and as you can see, still enjoys being stroked. Don’t we all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

MEME From Lucy

Tag You're IT!

I was tagged by Lucy. Thanks! for choosing me!

These are the rules :
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. A. Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog; or
B. Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list; or C. Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when you were 25 years old.
3. Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meme from Melanie

It’s A Meme!

Here’s how it works:
Use the first letter of your name to answer each question. Must be places or names…Nothing made up. Can’t use own name for boy/girl’s name question. If can’t answer, skip to next one.

First things that came to mind:

1. Famous Singer: Randy Travis
2. Four Letter Word: Runt
3. Street: Reynolds
4. Color: Rust (Red was to obvious)
5. Gifts/Present: Ring
6. Vehicle: Range Rover
7. Things in Souvenir Shop: Reykjavik T-shirt
8. Boy Name: Roger
9. Girl Name: Rebecca
10. Movie title: Rounders
11. Drink: Rusty Nail
12. Occupation: Roustabout
13. Celebrity: Ronald Regan
14. Magazine: Rolling Stone
15. City: Raleigh
16. Sports: Rugby
17. Fruit: Red Delicious Apple
18. Reason for Being Late to work: Roadblock
19. Something you throw away: Rotten anything
20. Something you shout: Rah!!

Play along if you want to and let me know if you do so I can check out your post

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - First Date - 1/13/08

It was 1987. He was recently divorced and had finally decided to get back in the saddle, so to speak. He met an attractive young high school teacher at the gym. Twenty years later he spends an equal amount of time in a gym as in church. His body and soul both show the neglect. But I digress.

After a lot of consternation, he decided to ask her out on a date. Since his last first date was in 1971, he was uncertain of where to go. After talking to some of his more date-savvy friends, he opted for dinner and a movie. Particularly appealing after a lot of graphic references to “butter blouse.” Plus you don't have to talk. He made a mental note to get plenty of napkins.

Dinner goes fairly well. After talking to some of her more date-savvy friends, she had a salad, which is a girl’s traditional first date meal. Though she would rather have steak and lobster, the salad sends two messages. 1) that she is not a big, fat, pig and 2) the less he spends the less he will expect after the date. They also help her choose her wardrobe. A bra that would stop a .38 round and a blouse she had no affinity for. They know about “butter blouse” too.

Since the community he lived in only had a single screen theater, there was no movie choice to make. A hot, new, film, “Fatal Attraction”, was showing. The poster said it was a love story. A perfect first date movie. This was going to be great. Wrong!!!!

There definitely was no “butter blouse.” In fact, after an uncomfortably silent, high speed, drive to her residence, there was no goodnight kiss attempted or expected. Leaving the car running prevented any misunderstanding about coming in for a “drink”. He left her on her porch fiddling for keys and ran to the car and locked the doors.

He peeled out like he had just gotten the green flag at Daytona. He has remained single for 21 years. This movie still creeps him out.

Here are two first dates worse than mine:

Marilyn said it was midwinter . . . snowing and quite cold . . . and the guy had taken her skiing to Lake Arrowhead. It was a day trip (no overnight). No, not Marilyn. They were strangers, after all, and truly had never met before.

The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon. They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte in the lodge.

They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for awhile.

Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her pee beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car.

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. Unfortunately, in the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself.

Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation.

Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation.

As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to pump handles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor she answered her date's concerns about "what was taking so long" with a reply that indeed, she was "freezing her butt off and needed some assistance!"

He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing.

She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma.

Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal!

Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free.

So, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

And you thought your first date was embarrassing. This gives a whole new meaning to being "pissed off".

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - New (2) Gwap - 1/6/08

Today I received a check in the mail. It was not a large check but it was for royalties for a song I co-wrote. There are two points I wish to make here. The first is that this small check is the first money I have ever earned in my life from doing something I enjoy doing. I know that is a sad commentary, but I think many of us do what is necessary to make a living without enjoying what we do. If I am the only one that feels that way, I stand corrected. I question whether the guy that pumps out your septic tank is self-actualized, but maybe so. The second point is that at the bottom of the letter that Tim sent along with the check, he wrote: “Thanks for the great song!” Those few words meant much more to me than the check. Oh, I will spend the money, probably on something very unhealthy, but I am keeping the letter, forever.

I have always enjoyed writing, but most of what I write is never seen by anyone but me. It is not that I don’t think my writing is good. Sometimes I write something that I think is very good but I am not confident that someone else will share my opinion. Writing is very subjective. For instance, sometimes I read a blog on Sunday Scribblings and I don’t understand it at all. It seems to be way over my head. But then I read comments from others raving about it. As a result I often think my own writing is not at the level of many who write here. As a result, I tend to use self-deprecating comments to protect myself from anyone who might think I am taking myself or my writing seriously. Well, no more. From now on when Lucy says she likes my writing, I am going to believe it, instead of just thinking she is being kind.

The song I co-wrote is called ‘The 3-Legged Dog” and is the title track of Tim Bays' latest recording. You can hear it here: http://www.timbays.com/mp3/3leg.mp3

Tim is one of a legion of great Nashville singer-songwriters who dwell in relative obscurity. He is one of a dying breed of folksingers. His songs seldom carry a message about cop-killing, ho’s and bitches, popping a cap, hate, or satan. As a result, he is not as commercially successful as say Flo Rida, who has this weeks Billboard #1 song.

In case you are hip-hop challenged, one of the verses goes:

Shawty what I gotta do to get you home
My jeans full of gwap
And they ready for Shones
Cadillacs Maybachs for the sexy grown
Patrone on the rocks that'll make you moan

(I think if my jeans were full of gwap, I would not write about it.) You could never use spell-check to edit a hip-hop song. The computer would crash.

But I am very proud to have Tim record a song that I contributed to. Don’t get me wrong, Tim is a very successful singer/songwriter. If you Google Tim Bays, his site is the first thing you see. If you Google me, Rick Wainright, the first things you see are “Did You Mean Rick Wainwright” and my son’s biography. But Tim's posse consists of his wife, her mother, two dogs, and a totally useless cat. I guess useless cat is an oxymoron.

Well, the new thing here is that I am going to send Tim some more song lyrics very soon for his review and I am not sending any to Flo Rida. My writing is not full of gwap. By the way, according to the Urban Dictionary gwap means money. My jeans are definitely not full of gwap. And so it goes.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "New" - 1/6/08

Sometimes my blog can reveal how stupid a man with a 145 IQ can actually be.
New things and foreign concepts confuse me. I usually end up falling back to that which is familiar and comfortable. Having traveled much of the world, this shortcoming can be magnified. My last blog discussed my failings as an Italian. We will now move on to my experiences as a German.

On my initial visit to Germany I was experiencing my first Gasthaus and after drinking several of the largest beers I had ever seen, needed urgently to visit the restroom, which they call a water closet (WC) or wasserklosett. The signs on the two doors said Damen and Herren, with no pictorial help. I used my innate faulty reasoning ability to figure that Damen was like Da Men, therefore the men’s room and the Her in Herren must mean woman. It may be apparent that I am not Sherlock Holmes. I am certain that the beers added to my illogic. I was so very wrong, even with a 50 percent chance of being right. There were indeed Dames behind the door I chose. By the way, why is the Oktoberfest in September? I missed it my first year there.

That was not my only Teutonic blunder. Some of my friends were discussing whether the largest city in Germany was Berlin or Hamburg. I interjected that I thought it was Ausfahrt. I had seen signs for it everywhere I went. For those challenged in German as I was, Ausfahrt means exit. The fahrt should have given it away. Think about it.

After a few similar incidents, I purchased pocket-sized a German-English dictionary. It was not convenient for conversation, but it came in very handy for getting the gist of what someone was saying or writing.

My landlord’s mother stopped by one day and seemed very distraught. What it sounded like she said was “Mein Ehemann ist Tute.” I had her repeat it several times to make sure. She seemed impatient. I knew some simple words at that point. I verified what I suspected, that Ehmann was indeed husband. But when I looked up Tute what I came up with roughly was that her husband was a doggy bag. I, of course, as is my nature, broke into hysterical laughter. She probably did not get the joke as she was telling me that her husband was DEAD. She was saying “Tote” not “Tute”. Simple mistake. I later satisfactorily explained to my landlord, Werner, who had become my friend. His mother never did. Come to think of it, she never “Sprechen” to me again.

Even though Germany tries to take over the world from time to time, it is basically a very religious, Christian, country. Martin Luther (no, he is not Superman’s archenemy. OK, I was confused on that too.) was a German Monk, who rebelled against the Pope and formed the Lutheran Church. Anyway, in small German villages, such as the one we lived in called Queidersbach, Sunday is a quiet time. At least in the 80s, when we lived there. No stores are open, no Gasthaus serve, and nothing is allowed that disturbs the peace. I wonder if they stopped bombing Britain on Sundays. I will have to research that. I learned that one Sunday when I was washing my car with “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel cranked up on the stereo. My landlord, Werner (Yes the same one that forgave me for laughing at his father’s demise) came by and calmly related to me in his broken English that my activity was against the village laws. He explained about quiet Sunday and that he was ordered by the village to get his American under control. I immediately had a vision of the scene in Frankenstein where mobs of townsfolk are approaching the monster with torches and pitchforks.

I adhered to their customs during my years there to include sweeping the sidewalk every Saturday, but I drew the line at sitting down to pee. Yes, many German men do. Most American women are content to have their husbands put the seat back down when they finish or at least aim in the vicinity of the bowl.

I also tried my best to learn the language, which I think is the responsibility of any immigrant or long-term visitor to a country. That is the only political statement I will make in this blog.