Tuesday, June 25, 2013

La Triviata

  • People used to want me on their team for Trivial Pursuit - because most of what I know is trivial.
  • I've been working long hours lately.  So far, I don't think I'm any the worse for wear, although I am dismayed that it has somewhat cut into my time with my Daughter.  The hours should normalize once the ship is on course.
  • At an all-day meeting last week, during lunch (brought in) in the boardroom, we watched a Morley Safer clip from 60 Minutes about the millennial generation, and how to manage them.
  • It's not your father's workplace anymore.
  • In my office, we have one employee 30-39, five 20-29, one who is 19, and the assistant manager, who is also in my decade.
  • Last week, I overheard one of the twentysomethings incredulously asking the 19 year old "you don't know who the Eagles are?"  (Note: This was not contrived, as she did not even know about my fondness for said band.)
  • I rushed from my office and asked the young man, "Is this true, laddie?"  It was.  Not a clue.
  • I told him not to be ashamed, and assured him that his supervisor and I would gladly assist in remedying this egregious lapse in his education.  I also gave props to his supervisor for her knowledge of a band that had [initially] disbanded before she was born.  She said she'd learned about The Eagles from her parents, who are big fans.
  • Had I not been scheduled for an off-site all-day meeting, I could've given an impromptu, condensed 2-hour remedial history lesson to try to bring him up to speed, at least covering the basics.
  • He must've been terribly disappointed.
  • I'm in class this week, at our facility in the town where I lived during my high school years.
  • As we broke early for lunch,and the training wasn't catered in, I left in search of some tolerable fast food.
  • It's sort of funny, sort of melancholy - the Jack in the Box near the old cruising strip, and the Sonic, are still where they were 35 years ago.  The Kissinger's Auto Parts across from JITB has long been relegated to some other uses.  The Bob's Big Boy is gone.  Sears Surplus store is now a pawn shop, and lots of the old fast food joints have been repurposed, though their architecture belies their original occupants.  Many of the restaurants have signs not in English.
  • I drove past the public junior high where I attended three weeks (while my parents arranged, unbeknownst to me, my re-admittance to prep school) after we returned from Europe.
  • The two lane blacktop stretch (in-town, mind you), where roundabout 1977, my '68 Chrysler Newport (383 cid) could get up to 110 mph if'n the tie rods and steering play would allow you to keep it between the fenceposts, has been replaced by a huge regional toll road.  
  • The ice cream store where I had my first paying job has long since been razed - the site is now a supermarket parking lot. And the Gibson's Discount Center, my second job, which once dominated its corner, now awaits the wrecking ball as a tattered 'Muebleria' - doors wide open most days as it's not worth replacing the A/C - tucked back behind a chain pharmacy.
  • I finally found an Arby's (America's Roast Beef, Yes Sir!) and ordered a ham & cheese from the value menu.  "Three ham & cheese - that'll be five..."   "No, no - just one."  I've finally gotten down into the mid-high 180s after probably 25 years over 200#.
  • For all my driving around the old haunts, I realized the truth of the axiom "You can't go home again."
  • Today, our presenter/moderator was giving an example, using the pseudonym 'Jacob Marley'.  
  • All of a sudden, one of the young attendees exclaimed "Hey, that's the guy from that Christmas story!"
  • I may have initially thought "Well, duh!", but stifled any manifestation that would've so indicated, choosing to put aside any snarkiness and instead just savor the joy of his epiphany.
  • May your day be blessed, my friends.
Why, yes, that is the same John Stewart who replaced Dave Guard in the Kingston Trio,
who wrote the Monkees (and Anne Murray) hit Daydream Believer, and whose '70s albums 
were assisted by Lindsey Buckingham, who'd learned guitar listening to KT records.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cheaters? Who cares?

Way back when I was in like 5th or 6th grade, one of my first LP records was by David Gates & Bread, featuring this song.  I played it on my GE clamshell record player, as Dad didn't exactly favor my using his Fairchild 412 studio quality turntable with the Shure V-15 diamond elliptical stylus-equipped cartridge, tracking at 3/4 gram.

Over the past month, on those boring Saturday nights, I've caught bits and pieces of Cheaters on some fly-by-night UHF station.  Now, for all I know, the show, ostensibly ratting out the unfaithful, may have as much reality to it as a WWF event.  I do know that I could pretty much script and block an episode in about two minutes:

  • Meet with aggrieved party/client.
  • Follow alleged cheater.
  • Meet again with client, prepare for the reveal, ask the client what he/she is feeling.
  • Execute the confrontation:  "You're a f------ -----!"  "F--- you!"  "Why the f--- are you doing this?!"  "No, f--- you!"  "F--- you first!"  "F--- you twice!" "Oh yeah? F--- you times infinity!"
  • Attempt to isolate and interview the alleged cheater, while f-bombs explode all around.
  • Insist that client tell you what they're 'feeling' and request for them to wax philosophical on their newfound knowledge.
  • End of episode.
It never occurred for me to engage a private eye back in the day.  And although mine eyes have been opened in some ways, I guess this song pretty much sums up my philosophical musing:

followed by:

Hasten down the wind...

Wonder if this isn't pretty close to the truth sometimes

From emailer Paul:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Musically Matthew with James

...22:39, that is, in which the consummate (and somewhat eccentric) troubadour is accompanied by one of my favorite electronic relics - a 10" reel-to-reel tape playback.  Video is a bit streaky (poor azimuth adjustment on the source tape?) and a bit odd at the 3:00 mark, but otherwise very good audio quality.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday's Minutiae

A few weekends ago, Daughter and I joined about 350 of our neighbors in creating a 16-hour tent city.
  • Here was our temporary home, featuring Sienna, the laser-eyed watchdog (or is that a Jawa?):
  • I think if we had to live off the land - we'd do OK - for awhile at least.  Daughter is great at spotting edibles:

  • She ran callin' Wildflower...  - DF Cosmic Cowboy M. M. Murphey, whose show at the Farr Best Theatre in Mansfield I was chagrined to have missed this weekend.

  • To be on the level, we had a lot of plums, wild caught...

    • Tony Bennett said it - Put on a happy face:
    (The fruits depicted in these images were ritualistically sacrificed shortly after these photos were taken - in order to make some delicious smoothies)
    •  I love Texas. 
    • A small token of appreciation from my credit card points to me, might come in handy next camping trip: 
    • ...or in lieu of a handy shotgun: 

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Happy Father's Day!


    A testament to how busy the past month's been, I see I haven't posted in over 30 days.  Oh, well.

    A wonderful Father's Day weekend was enjoyed here @ S116.  Daughter and I went to the waterpark over in the next town (thanks to Daughter's mom sending her season pass, and the park running a FD special), and the cloud cover made for a very pleasant afternoon.  Some highlights:

    • We rode most of the tube slides, including one that, midway, deposited Daughter and I into a swirling 'toilet bowl' - where you make 3-4 revolutions before 'flushing' through one of two small entrances, if you don't first get stuck sideways by the raised fiberglass guide.
    • A gentleman behind us, whom I was initially having trouble understanding as I am not so fluent in Ebonics (and June Cleaver has moved on to that Mayfield in the sky), and I had a swell conversation when a park employee asked the two of us to keep the queue in place while he went to 'unclog' some folks caught in the 'toilet bowl'.  By the time we got to the top of the tower, we'd found we had attended the same church at one time.
    • I probably could've expanded my Spanish fluency yesterday, if'n I'd put my mind to it.  On another slide ride, we were near the last course of the tower steps, when I saw that we should be on the left side for our blue tubes, and the family with a green raft across and down a couple of steps needed to be where we were.  Though I'd heard them conversing amongst themselves in Español, I didn't want to assume too much or seem patronizing, so I said "Excuse me - I think we need to switch sides with you" - which was met with a blank stare. So I shifted gears and said "Necesitamos cambiar al otro lado, por favor", pointing out the color coding, "azul, verde" on the stair risers (that had just started at that level).  After about a second of shock from hearing el gringo speaking in his tongue, the man smiled and we switched sides with his party.
    • Daughter, on the next step up, whispered in my ear: "What did that mean, Daddy?"
    • We used SPF-50 to good effect.  I was one of the whitest persons in the park yesterday, and today still substantially so.
    • You'd think you'd see tons of hot babes at a water park.  Not so much.  Despite the place seemingly being full, I don't think there were three women I'd have been interested in sitting down and conversing with, or anything else.
    • I don't know what my T-level is (you'd think with all the radio ads these days, I'd go get it checked) - but I do know that compared to the general population - as viewed within the context of a water park - I'm apparently experiencing a serious ink and hardware deficiency.
    • Is there an analogue to, say, interior designers, for dermatological art?  It seems like lots of folks have a sort of hodge-podge of designs randomly scribbled in various sites of their torsos and appendages, without any cohesive theme.
    • We saw a dude with the Fort Worth skyline across his shoulders, obligatory skulls, Asian characters, longhorns, a guy with "Hecho en Mexico" (which, I think, just underscored the obvious), and several with American Greetings captions below their armpits, some Scripture, and one that possibly was a condensed chapter from War and Peace or The Brothers Karamazov.
    • As well, lots of folks had metal in places that I would probably only have if my Zebco or Daiwa stalled on a cast.
    • I'm by no means buff - far from it - but I took some consolation that at 6'1"/187# (down from about 210 a couple of years ago), I was in the minority segment of the park patrons without a roll over the waistband of my swim trunks. 
    •  I'm also not the type to wax or shave my chest - I think I have an 'average' amount of chest hair, and negligible back hair.  One guy we saw looked like a Dian Fossey subject - but, he didn't have any ink.