Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Lost" - 2/27/09

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is "Lost". This is what came to mind.

Gerald was seventeen. It was June 1944. He had joined the army because everyone did. There were other guys from his hometown right here on Omaha Beach, though there were probably guys from every American village. There were soldiers as far as he could see in either direction. Some were laying still. Some were missing bloody pieces. All who could were moving forward, toward the insurmountable odds with superior positions. He did not want to be in France, but here he was crawling deeper into it.
He heard a mortar shell exploding very close to him. The old timers had lied to him, saying the ones you hear don’t hurt you. He woke up several days later, into intense pain and darkness. He was not sure which was more terrifying. He reached up to feel the bandages that covered his eyes. He heard the comforting voice and touch of an angel.
It turned out that she was not an angel, but a nurse on the hospital ship he was a passenger on. He asked. She answered. He had lost sight in his right eye and hearing in the same-side ear. A Purple Heart was pinned to the pillow next to him. He came back as a hometown hero, to parade and celebration. Deservedly so. He spent the rest of his very happy life viewed at a forty five degree angle, compensating for his loss. He took the nurse as his wife and she bore him a son in 1950.

Jerry was eighteen years old. It was 1968. He had been drafted into the army because he couldn’t afford to go to college and was rated suitable cannon fodder. Lots of guys here in Khe Sanh had traded their cap and gowns for jungle fatigues. He did not care about Vietnam and could not have found it on a map six months ago. Now here he was. He made the mistakes of being an excellent shot and a natural leader. His father had taught him both. Those skills put him right up front.
He weathered nightly rocket attacks and assaults from an invisible enemy. He even survived the Tet Offensive. Many of his buddies did not. He learned not to make friends, as it was easier to see a stranger blown away than a friend. He lost his innocence to death, infected whores (they were known as LBFMs), and Buddha stick. He learned that cheap drugs could take away the fear and numb his brain from the horrors he participated in daily.
He came home to ridicule and shouts of “baby killer.” He retreated into himself and jumped from noises others could not hear. He rarely slept and when he did his dreams were Clive Barker horror films. He spent the rest of his tortured life in anonymous groups and back alleys. He often thought of his late, one-eyed, dad and proudly wore his Purple Heart pinned onto his Vietnam Veteran cap. There is no medal or real treatment for the loss that Jerry sustained.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Three Word Wednesday - 55 Flash Fiction Friday - callous, interfere, persistent - 2/25/09

Once again, I am combining two great MEMEs: G-Man's 55 Flash Fiction Friday and 3 Word Wednesday. It is a fun challenge. I recommend you try it. This week's three words are: callous, interfere, and persistent. Whether or not this is a work of fiction depends on the statute of limitations.

He had learned not to interfere with the persistent warfare next door.
He was not callous, but he had jumped into such a fracas before, only to see the bruised and battered woman return for more.
Until one day he witnessed the dirt bag beating his dog.
That was when he went over the fence.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Heads or Tails - "Case" - 2/23/09

This weeks Heads or Tails prompt is Case. I wrote the following true account of a suitcase I once owned:

In 1995, my sons were attending college in North Carolina and I was living in Wyoming. It was the summer before their senior year and I found a nice package deal that would allow us to attend baseball games at Yankee and Shea Stadium in New York and Fenway Park in Boston as well as a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. None of us had ever been to any of those venues. The package included all tickets, lodging, and transportation. All we had to do was get to New York City. They arranged their travel from Charlotte and I took care of the rest. A few days of father/son stuff.

Rick and Josh arrived in New York before I did and were waiting for me at my arrival gate at LaGuardia. You could actually do that prior to 9/11, walk right up to the gate. We hurried to baggage claim so we could start our New York adventure as soon as possible. After the normal delay, the bell rang, light glowed amber, and the conveyor belt began to roll. All the passengers from my flight began to circle the carousel, assuming their bags had actually accompanied them on the flight. Experienced travelers are always hopeful, tempered with doubt.

Bags appeared and began their slow journey down the conveyor and around the carousel. It was a packed flight, so there was a pretty good crowd. We had chosen a good position to acquire my bag and be on our way. Even though the baggage carousel appears to be creeping along, retrieving a bag is always done in a bit of a panic.

Suddenly, amidst the assortment of bags, appeared a tube of toothpaste and a sock. Everyone chuckled. Then there were some other articles of clothing and toiletries making the rounds. More laughs and even I made a comment about the poor person whose personal items were on display. The second time around, I made a devastating realization. I recognized one of my shirts. Had I been wealthy, I would have left the airport immediately and just purchased new everything. But had I been well-to-do, I probably would not be the owner of a suitcase that had been patched with assorted colors of duct tape. Though I had traveled extensively in my 20 years in the Air Force, Bataan Death March participants carried nicer luggage than I did. And now everyone on American Airlines Flight 2397 and their friends and family were aware of that fact.

I had no option other than to begin reclamation of my belongings. Eventually, my bag also appeared, gaping open and nearly empty. From the passage of the first items, both my sons had distanced themselves from me, pretending not to know me, so I was pretty much on my own as I scurried about on this sad salvage mission, like a contestant in some sort of white trash game show. When I had recovered most of my property (not too interested in reobtaining the toothbrush), I found that the latch was mortally wounded and the case would never close again. So, we left the airport with me holding the case in my arms like the dead soldier that it was.

The deluxe package billeted us in a four-star hotel in Manhattan, which added to my humiliation, as we were forced into the services of a bellhop. Taking one look at the state of my suitcase, the bellman correctly assumed tips were going to be meager. While for many New York tourists, bellhops and cab drivers are a source of drugs and prostitutes, I employed them to obtain some duct tape and twine, which In Midtown Manhattan are much harder to score.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Trust" - 2/20/09

This week's Sunday Scribbling prompt is "trust". The latest peanut butter crisis has caused me to reflect on the risks we take in our everyday life. The thousands of people, mostly strangers, to which we entrust our lives and those of our family every day. Among millions of risks we take without realizing, we are trusting that:

The person piloting the aircraft we are riding in hasn’t just lost the will to live.

Our pharmacist can really read the physician’s writing and doesn’t confuse oxybutynin and oxycontin.

The guy driving the oncoming vehicle is awake and sober.

The kid assembling our burger didn’t just digitally master himself or his girlfriend prior to handling OUR meat.

The fish we are about to eat was not caught in highly contaminated waters. Was transported properly and in a timely manner. Was not handled by anyone with hepatitis of any letter.

Our elected leaders aren’t selling us out to socialism and foreign domination.

The person living in the condo next to us will not get drunk and fall asleep with a lit cigarette.

Our doctor paid attention in medical school.

Our partner hasn't just had a dalliance with someone infected with an STD.

The nice baseball coach, priest, teacher, childcare provider, scout leader, (fill in the blank) isn't a pedophile.

The Arab cab driver we are sitting behind doesn't have a dirty bomb in the trunk.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

55 Flash Fiction Friday - 2/19/09

Check out 55 Flash Fiction Friday. The idea is to write a story in 55 words. Very fun and challenging. Give it a try and I guarantee you will get a visit from the G-Man. Here is mine for this week.

At sunrise
Skooter and I walk
to his pooping ground.
Early rising squirrels cavort.
Skooter does NOT like rollicking forest creatures.
Skooter is NOT politically correct.
Skooter profiles squirrels.
To Skooter, there are NO good squirrels.
Skooter does NOT practice Diplomacy.
Skooter does NOT negotiate with squirrels.
ALL squirrels are terrorists.
ALL squirrels need chasing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Heads or Tails - "Legends" Volume 2 - 2/17/09

This is part 2 of my submission to the Heads or Tails prompt of Legends. This is a hodgepodge of recollections about my dad on the 20th anniversary of his death. If you scroll down you will find part 1.

When I played baseball, mom wouldn’t come see me play because she was afraid I would get hurt (I did get my jaw broken by a pitch when I was 10). Dad would not attend because he felt he jinxed me as I usually didn’t play well when he was present. Perhaps I tried too hard to impress him. But sometimes I would catch a glimpse of him through the fence or up in the far corner of the bleachers, quietly watching.

He started in 1949 as an underground miner at the Bunker Hill mine. Through his hard work and thirst for knowledge, he worked his way topside to the assay office. At his retirement ceremony, the company president in tribute said, “it’s a good thing George has no formal education or he would have my job.” All the engineers and geologists that worked with him and for him were astonished. They all assumed he was a geologist.

His first time going underground was one of my favorite recounts. He brought his lunch in a paper bag, not wanting to spend any of his precious little money on a lunchbox. The entry to the mine is a train that goes in for a couple of miles and then there is a inclined shaft that takes the miners down to the different working levels of the mine. The men sit in what is called a skip. The men essentially sit in one other's laps, wedged up against the man behind you. It drops at about a 45 degree angle. Having worked in that mine, I can easily picture the scene. The skip drops very fast and timbers fly by just over your head. Dad said he smashed his lunch flat and actually wrung it in his hands. That day, on his way home from work, he bought a lunchbox.

For most of my youth, mom worked as a baker and went to work very early. As a result, she typically would retire early. Those evenings were my favorite times with my dad. We would typically have a late night snack. Often, much more than a snack. He loved to oven broil a rib steak. He liked his “just knock the horns off and slap it on a plate,” though he would let it cook a bit longer for me. We always ate our steaks with sliced “maters” and “light” bread. Sometimes we would eat Eagle Brand Milk spooned right from the can. Mom always scolded us for that, but it didn’t stop us. We loved Vienna sausages, though he pronounced them vi-eee-nahs. We made what he called poor man’s milkshake which was ice, evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla extract shaken up in a mason jar. Sometimes he would fry bologna. He taught me the art of dunking my cookies in milk, which I have passed on. He loved to hand-churn ice cream. It was amazing ice cream, but an awful lot of work. It was not official until he recited: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

As you can see, my healthy eating habits began early in life. Dad was a small, but powerful, man, 5'8", never more than 160 pounds. He could eat anything he wanted and stay fit. I, on the other hand....

I regret that dad and I never shared a beer.

Dad never played sports as a youth. Such things were considered frivolous on a depression era tobacco farm. As a result, by the age of 12, I threw too hard for him to catch me. After he endured a few bruises and damaged fingers, he drew a strike zone on the cinder block wall of our garage for me to pitch to. I threw at that target for years. He would go to the park and shoot baskets with me but he shot underhand, which kind of embarrassed me. I was a jerk. I would give anything to shoot with him now.

He was an expert swimmer and the master of the shallow dive. He could dive into 3 feet of water. He claimed, he learned that as a boy swimming in the swamps of Georgia and diving off of cyprus trees. I have no reason to doubt that. He once dove into the North Fork to save our dog, Trixie, who was being swept downstream. He nearly drowned, but he got her out. We had her for 17 years. She was supposed to be my dog, but we all knew who's dog she was. He loved that dog. She always shared in our late-night kitchen raids.

He bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias when I was about 10. Through the years, he and I both read the entire set. Every year we would receive a yearbook update. We both loved reading those too. The set came with a CYCLO-TEACHER-LEARNING-AID that we played like a board game. I credit (or blame) that practice with the ridiculous amount of useless knowledge that I have bouncing around in my head to this day. Mom thought we were out of our minds. She loved reading the TV Guide, Reader’s Digest, and Family Circle.

Dad and I would go bowling occasionally. It was a special treat for me. It became almost traditional for us to go on holidays, after dinner. My dad was not a very good bowler, but he really enjoyed it. There was one particular house ball that he liked to use. It did not fit him very well, holes were way too big, but he had some success with it. I will never forget. It had the initials WLC engraved on it. That was how we could always find it. He also took up golf and we played together a few times. He held the club cross handed, the same way he held a bat. I tried to get him to change, but he did better that way, so I left him alone.

Dad and I would watch the Miss America Pageant every September. We didn't just view it, we judged it. With pen and paper, we would try to pick the top 5 and the eventual winner. We didn't fare too well, as I knew nothing about women (nothing has changed there) and he nearly always favored Miss Georgia, his home state (whose one and only winner was in 1953). We could never pick Miss Idaho, because she always looked like she was there by some sort of hung chad voting mistake. We always wondered why they could not find one pretty girl in the whole state. Even inbred states like West Virginia occasionally were represented by a pretty girl. Though they did not always win, every year, Miss Texas and California were knockouts. Even a young boy who knew nothing about women realized that. Bert Parks was the MC for years. I don't think he ever did anything else, at least nothing he was famous for.

Every Friday night they broadcast boxing on the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. He never missed it and I watched it with him. I will never forget seeing a man killed in the ring on live television. His name was Benny “the kid” Paret and he was killed by Emile Griffith. We also watched wrestling together (I am not sure he knew it was fake. I sure didn’t.) and the baseball game of the week. His favorite television shows were anything with Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, or Red Skelton.

One day, in the early 60s, the FBI came to our house. They were there to interview my dad because he was an acquaintance of a man named Leon Bearden. He and his son were the first to ever attempt to hijack an airliner to Cuba. Dad kind of enjoyed the excitement this event brought into his fairly routine life. The hijackers had failed in the attempt, but it was still pretty big stuff. You can actually read about it here.,9171,895543-1,00.html Dad recalled for the FBI, that Bearden had always openly carried a lot of weapons and was volatile, but neither was uncommon in the rough mining town we lived in. He knew a lot of guys like that.

Dad was an amazing fisherman. He took me fishing a gazillion times. He had a real knack for catching fish. He could be using the same bait, from the same boat, fishing the same depth and he would catch fish when no one else could. I have many wonderful memories of us fishing and one, vivid, bad memory. We were miles up a tributary of the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River and had caught a “mess” of trout. It was getting dark, so we put our gear and catch in the trunk of the car and I, inadvertently also put the keys to the car in with them. We had to walk miles until we could catch a ride home to get the other set of keys. It gets extremely cold in the mountains at night, even in the summer. Our jackets were with the keys. Dad wrapped his flannel shirt around me and he got so cold that he ended up getting ill. I mentioned earlier that dad was a quiet man. He didn’t yell at me. He knew how bad I felt and didn’t feel he needed to add to it. But there was not much conversation on the trip down the mountain.

Dad was also a great hunter. When I was growing up, practically the only meat we ate was wild game. Dad rented a meat locker above the Coast to Coast store and kept it filled. We had deer, elk, and bear. Elk steak is still my favorite of all meats. Not much of that available in South Carolina. Dad did not want me to hunt. “Too many crazy people shooting at anything they hear.” I think my mom had a lot to do with that decision. As a result, I have never been a hunter.

When we lived out in the country, at Rose Lake, a black bear was raiding our garbage can every night. One night, dad decided to sleep in the car with his rifle and when the bear started to rattle the can, he would shoot it. Sure enough, he was awakened by a racket. He rolled the window down a bit and stuck the barrel of the rifle out toward the sound. About then, one of the neighbor’s big dogs put his snout to the window, right in my dad’s face. Dad said he fired, but not the gun. He immediately went back in the house and forgot about the bear.

One of the best examples of dad’s demeanor is a bad prank I played on him. I turned the flame of his lighter to maximum. When he lit his cigarette, the flame actually burnt the end of his nose. His reaction: “won’t last a week that way, son.”

When I was a teenager I didn't think my dad was very cool. I have come to realize he was very cool. I really miss him.

Heads or Tails - "Legends" Volume I - 2/16/09

The Heads or Tails prompt “Legend” made me ruminate about my dad. My dad was George Washington Wainright Jr. March 25th will be the twentieth anniversary of his death from cancer. As I hurtle closer to his age when he died, I find myself reflecting on his life. Unfortunately, I never got to really know him as an adult. By the time I was mature enough to conduct a lucid conversation with him, I was in the military and primarily living overseas. He never really got to know his grandchildren, but their few memories of him are fond. Unfortunately, there are scant few photos of them with him.

Nearly everyone that knew him is gone now as well. I have come to realize that his legend will die with me unless I document some of it here. He had a life before I knew him which included two other children and he has two other sets of grandchildren that he never met. But that is another tragic story. I will randomly write some of my favorite anecdotes and remembrances of him here, hoping to keep his memory alive for future Wainrights. I am going to submit this as several posts. With all the memories swirling through my head, I know it will be a long-winded rambling. Many people don’t tend to read extra long posts. I know if I come across one with more than a few paragraphs, I move on without reading, unless it captivates me. My attention span is very short. The photos I am including require little explanation. A few comments: It is hard to find any photos of my dad as a young man without him having "a snoot full" as my mom would say. You can see that he always had time for me. I hope I was half the father as he was in that respect. I never heard my dad swear, which is amazing considering the environment where he labored, a hard rock mine. He may have sworn at work, but never at home. I on the other hand cuss like a drunken pirate. I try to watch it around my grandkids, but occasionally something will slip. My grandson, Carson, will scold me,"Grandpa, we don't say that." I tried to tell him I had Tourette's, but I don't think he bought it.

I inherited dad’s intelligence, potential for addiction, love of baseball, fishing, and Hank Williams. He also bequeathed to me his facade covering underlying sadness and hopelessness. He was a highly functioning alcoholic long before rehab was fashionable and available. A very gentle soul, he was honest and kind-hearted. I don’t think he had an enemy in the world. Dad had a calm about him very much like Gandhi. Though I think, unlike the Mahatma, his was somewhat alcohol induced. That being said, dad did not drink for 14 years as I was growing up. To my recollection, his drinking had no negative effect on my life. He was never abusive or offensive, just sad. Though we were poor, I never wanted for anything. But I think it is impossible to tell who he was without discussing his alcoholism. The following are memories of him and thoughts about how he has affected the lives of his lineage.

I see some of his traits in my own children. Much like dad, my son Josh enjoys the way the world looks through beer goggles. As Josh and I tend to be a bit boisterous, dad was a very quiet and soft-spoken man. In that respect, my son Rick is the most like him. He was independent and self-reliant, as is my daughter Carly.

He passed on his ability to type like a sonofabitch with two fingers to my son, Josh. I can type pretty fast but use the home keys and all my fingers.

Dad was a good guitar player and singer. He made up some great songs but never wrote them down. So they died with him. I received his love of music but was not blessed with his ability to make it. Luckily, that talent was passed through me. All of my kids are musical. I have songs in my head but they quickly turn into poems.

Dad had terrible sinus problems. I can remember him being very sick with them and having to go to an ear, nose, and throat specialist in Spokane for very painful procedures. This was well before Claritin. He passed that condition down to us. We all suffer from allergies.

None of us received his resourcefulness. There was nothing he couldn’t fix. I doubt he ever paid an artisan to repair anything. In the early 1960s, he took his malfunctioning television to a repair shop. He was quoted a ridiculous amount to fix it. In those days televisions were repairable, and a television repairman had all the rectitude of today’s lawyer. Dad took the TV home, traced the schematic, and repaired it himself. He immediately enrolled in a correspondence course and before long he was a part-time television repairman. Because he was honest, word soon spread and he had more work than he could handle. He finally tired of middle-of-the-night calls and closed shop. He never taught me any of his handyman skills and in turn, my kids are equally helpless. He once said that once I got interested in fixing cars I would do nothing else. He always expected that I would make enough money to afford to pay others to fix my stuff. Bad plan dad.

Volume 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - Sports - 2/13/09

When I saw the prompt was sports, there were several ways I could go. I could talk about how my life has been defined and enhanced by sports. I was a competitor in my younger years,
then became a coach, critic, and motivator, as my children participated in a variety of sports,

and now am pretty much reduced to being a fan, unless you count golf and bowling as sports.

My poor daughter, Carly, by virtue of living with three guys, had no choice but to play sports as well.

Lucky for her, she was a good athlete, but in high school switched to cheer leading. Carly was good enough at that to compete in the national championships at Disney World.

She has continued this competitive family tradition with her son, Carson. She has exposed him to several team sports to let him discover which ones he enjoys, if any.

My granddaughter Maris has already shown some talent. If nothing else she has learned to pose like an athlete.

I know a lot of bloggers consider themselves academics that are above sports and will predictably rail against athletic folly but they were and are a very valuable glue that helped to hold a broken family together. Don't get me wrong, we did not obsess with sports at the expense of academics. All three of my children graduated with honors from college. I was always of the belief that the best way to keep kids out of trouble is by keeping them busy with activities. In a military community, sports were always available. All three of my kids possessed aptitude for physical competition. After hauling their trophies all over the world, I gave most of them away to the Special Olympics, keeping only those with special meaning.
I could have written about that but I decided not to.

I could have talked about how professional sports have been ruined for me by the money, drugs, attitude of the players, and corruption. Here are a few facts that will illustrate my disillusionment with where professional sports have gone.

4th place in a single major PGA tournament pays more money than I have earned in my entire life (I checked my social security statement).

2nd place at a major PGA tournament pays more than Arnold Palmer made in his career.

Alex Rodriguez makes more money in a 3 game weekend series than I have made in my entire life.

In 2008, playing in only 6 events, Tiger Woods won more prize money than Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all-time, earned in his entire career.

David Beckham made $13,000 per each minute he played for the Los Angeles Galaxy. He was paid $32.5 million dollars and played a total of 2,500 minutes.

Carl Pavano was paid $40 million by the New York Yankees and pitched a total of 26 games, winning only 9 of them. That is over $4.4 million per win.

The minimum wage of a major league baseball player who is a bench warmer and may never actually get on the field is $390,000.

The minimum wage of an NFL rookie, who may never get into a game is $295,000.

The minimum wage of an NBA rookie, who may never get into a game is $442,114.

The minimum wage of an NHL rookie, who may never get into a game is $450,000.

Is it any wonder kids are drawn to steroids in order to compete at a high level?

But I decided not to write about that aspect of sports either.

What I have decided to write about a sporting event that I recently attended that restored a bit of my faith in professional sports. Though I am not a hockey fan by any means, my daughter and grandson recently treated me to a professional hockey game in Winston Salem. The Twin City Cyclones participate in the Southern Professional Hockey League. Yes, they have hockey in the south. I was surprised too.
It is, however, the absolute bottom of the professional hockey barrel. These kids play their hearts out with absolutely no hope of ever lacing them up in the National Hockey League. They are definitely not doing it for the money or glory. They play in front of about 1,000 fans. The league enforces a $5,600 a week salary cap which is split between the 18 players on the roster. The league minimum for Canadian players is $275 (hear that NHL). They can pay Americans less than that (we evidently suck at Hockey). Players are provided a place to live and some local restaurants give them discounts and that is it. And for that they get the absolute stuffing beat out of them. They undoubtedly play for the love of the game.

As a non-hockey fan, I was entertained every bit as much as if I were watching the top tier of the NHL and had a lot better seats. They have a mascot, though I am not entirely sure what it is. It is some kind of blue bird. How that relates to a cyclone is anybody's guess. But it nearly got ran over by the Zamboni, further adding to my enjoyment.

We attended on Humane Society Night and if you brought a dog your admission was free. They had dog shows on a carpet rolled out on the ice between each period. Skooter would not have approved and would have made a scene. The Cyclones even gave my grandson a puck and would have autographed it if we had desired.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thursday 13 - Movies - 2/11/09

The last 13 Movies I saw in a theater. I have listed them best to worst in my opinion. My rating system is totally based on enjoyability and entertainment value. Did I leave the theater glad that I invested the two hours?

1. Slumdog Millionaire – Great love story with a backdrop of abject poverty and brutality. Everyone who has not traveled to the 3rd world needs to see it.
2. The Dark Knight – Only this high due to Heath Ledger. Without his performance would be bottom 2 or 3. Moron that played Batman tried to use a fake voice, which didn’t work.
3. Stepbrothers – Laughed until I hurt. Will Farrell’s best. Great supporting cast.
4. Yes Man – Jim Carrey doing what he does best. He is hilarious in the right vehicle.
5. Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood’s best performance ever. Not a great story. Like Ledger in Batman, Clint carries it. Believability = 0.
6. Wall-E – A bit too political for my taste but to be entertained without dialogue is brilliant. Only time in my life I have enjoyed a cockroach.
7. Hancock – Anything with Will Smith is worth watching. Fun movie. Drunk, depressed, superhero. Now you’re talking.
8. Tropic Thunder – A good time. Great comedic cast. Tom Cruise steals the scenes he is in.
9. Zack and Miri Make a Porno – Seth Rogan cracks me up. Some funny scenes. Just dirty enough to arouse.
10. W – Oliver Stone did not trash him as much as you would expect. Too slow, too long. Typical Stone. Great Dick Chaney by Richard Dreyfuss.
11. The Wrestler – Too graphic, too stupid. Wrestlers using staple guns and barb wire. I don’t think so. Mickey Rourke looked like Bruce Willis after a tragic accident.

12. Pineapple Express – Even the very funny Seth Rogan couldn’t save this piece of crap. I love a good mindless comedy but don’t need to add graphic violence. Cheech and Chong didn’t make any movies with Charles Bronson for good reason.
13. Journey To The Center of The Earth – Good movie if you take out your brain and leave it home. Really stupid. More proof that Brendan Fraser will take any role. The theater I saw it in didn’t even have 3D, so I didn’t even get the benefit of the visuals.

55 Flash Fiction Friday - 3 Word Wednesday -Validate, Rabble, Disarray - 2/11/09

Combining two great MEMEs: G-Man's 55 Flash Fiction Friday and 3 Word Wednesday is a fun challenge. I recommend you try it. This week's three words are: disarray, validate, and rabble. My fractured imagination came up with these 55 words:

They were back.
The cornfield was in disarray once again.
She no longer attempted to validate her claims.
It would just end with more ridicule from the rabble of the small Iowa town.
She had learned to control her terror and lead a “normal” life.
Anyway, it was time to get Klynor5 up for school.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heads or Tails - "Love Story" - 2/10/09

This is my first time participating at Barb's Heads or Tails. I probably couldn't have picked a worse time to join in. With Valentine's Day looming, this weeks prompt is predictably "Love Story". For many of us, Valentine's Day is the saddest holiday of all. I am certainly not qualified to write of love. I will leave it to the professionals. I have included some song titles that speak to me of love, or anti-love. It seems others have shared my experiences with love. I don't want to come off as bitter, that is not the case. Some people are not good at golf, I am not good at love. At least no one ever cut their ear off because of golf. That being said, at the end of this post is a photo of the only love that I can be absolutely certain of, unconditionally.

Love is a battlefield
Love don’t love me
Love hurts
Love and pain
Love is a mutt from hell
Love is dead
Love is a killer
Love in vain
I don’t want your love
Love is blue
Losers in love
Love don’t live here anymore
Love is a stranger
Love’s a hard game to play
Love is a cannibal
Love’s a deadly weapon
Love for sale
Love should be a crime
Love pains
Love will tear us apart
Love to see you cry
Love under fire
Love song for no one
Love on the rocks
Love crimes
Love really hurts
Love lies bleeding
Love kills
Love me no more
Love is the fall of every man
One sided love
Stranger to love
The love that we lost
Tainted love
When love dies
The end of a love affair
U don’t love me
Unforgiven love
When love and hate collide
Tough love
Too late for love
There must be more to love than this
Whatever happened to true love
Too much love will kill you
When love cries
She loves everybody
The line between love and hate
This can’t be love
This aint a love song
The trouble with love is
The remains of our love
There’s not much love here anymore
Love can knock you over
Love is nothing
What do you do when love dies
Wasted love
What is love
We’re sending our love down the well
Walk away from love
Used to love you
We don’t make love anymore
What the hell is love
The price of love
Victim of love
The lonely side of love
The game of love
The love I never had
Violent love
Slap of love
Where did our love go
That aint love
When love turns to blue
When your lover has gone
Where does love go when it dies
String of bad love
When love fades
When you took your love away
When the wrong one loves you
When will I be loved
When love is over
So how come no one loves me
Sometimes love just aint enough
The girl I never loved
When love goes wrong
Suffocated love
Strange lover
Out of love
She loves me not
Should have loved me when you had the chance
So sad to watch good love go bad
Scars of love
She can’t love you
Never love again
Since you took your love away
Where has the love gone
Psycho love
I’m not your lover
Our love’s in danger
Nobody here to love
Prisoner of love
She don’t love you
Why don’t you love me
Without love
Wicked love
Where is the love
Price of love
Who needs love like that
One of us is in love
No love
Wounded in love
Pain is love
You don’t love me
Love’s so cruel
My love is dangerous
Who will love me now
You don’t know what love is
Only love can break your heart
One-sided love affair
You can’t make a heart love somebody
Woman without love
Never had a lover
Without your love
My lover’s gone
Love is rare
Love is strange
Never gonna fall in love again
Nobody loves me
No more love
Never felt love
Lovesick blues
Misery loves company
Never love you
Love is dangerous
Love fades
Love’s a loaded gun
Love’s unkind
Love and napalm
Far from love
Love ain’t worth making
Kiss your love goodbye
You’re not in love
You’re love is driving me crazy
You used to love me
You’ll never find another love
Love’s a slap in the face
Love bites
You took your love away from me
Life’s too short to love like that
You love me to hate you
Love and other bruises
You give love a bad name
Just wasn’t love
You say you don’t love me
It’s too late to love me now
It hurts like love
You don’t love me anymore
If you died I wouldn’t cry cause you never loved me anyway
I’m the man who murdered love
I’ll never fall in love again
I just don’t love you anymore
Hate to love
I’m not in love
I’m outta love
I wish I’d never loved you
I never loved you anyways
I love the dead
Love stinks
I don’t love you
He don’t love you
I love you like a ball and chain
I can’t be loved
Gone is my love
He loves you not
Falling out of love
Guess you didn’t love me
I don’t need love
I can’t make you love me
Your love is driving me crazy
Fractured love
Got love for sale
Gloomy love
Fool for your love
50 ways to leave your lover
After the love has gone
Aint Love a Bitch
Don’t kill for love
Desperate love
Faded love
Fools fall in love
Demolition love
All out of love
Don’t say you love me
Anti-Love Song
Betcha she don’t love you
Bye bye love
Chloroform the one you love
Casualty of love
Crazy love

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Myrtle Beach Bark Park - 2/8/08

Today was a beautiful day and after several days of brutally cold weather (for Myrtle Beach) it was nice to finally have a top down day. Skooter and I headed for the Dog Park, as did a lot of other folks and their canines. Just about every size and shape of dog and master was represented. The humans socialize while the dogs play. I took a few photos of some of the activity on this gorgeous day and some of the dogs that Skooter sniffed. Skooter even found some other beagles to hang out with. Click on photos to view larger image.