In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Soaking in the Morning

Sunday morning is usually without hectic moments, so I have time to sit on the back porch.

This morning was almost still. A mockingbird sang in the near distance; the trills, whistles, and calls, a solitary sound in the morning quiet; the singing continuing for long minutes.

The cool damp air slowly moved. There was no gusts, or calms; just a steady push from the south as the cooler air from the Gulf sought the warmer air on the land. As I raised my cup, the slow breeze wafted the scent of fresh coffee. I sipped and enjoyed the moment.

Off to the east, the dim, silver sky silhouetted the trees; black against the light. As the sky brightened, the silver turned to a dark, powder blue. An orange glow followed: slowly brightening; announcing the soon to rise sun.

The mockingbird stopped singing, but other birds were now greeting the morning. The calls of mourning doves were joined by sparrows, cardinals, sparrows, blue jays, and finally: the raucous whistles of grackles; shattering the morning quiet.

I sipped my coffee and enjoyed the show. Squirrels played in the oaks, doves flew to the still bare pecans, and a mated pair of cardinals landed nearby to pick for the seed I threw in the yard.

I contemplated a second cup of coffee - and breakfast. My thoughts turned to what would be good. Bacon, hash browns, and eggs over easy came to my thoughts. Determined, I finished my first cup of coffee, and moved do start my task.

Before I could rise to my task, the mockingbird landed on the fence. I watched it, and it watched me. Whether it was king, or queen of it's territory, it didn't appear the least bit afraid. We stared at each other for moment; me silently watching; the mockingbird poised to fly, if I moved too quickly.

The mockingbird, without a sound, soon flew away. I watched for a moment, hoping it would return; but it didn't. Rising, I took a deep breath, made one last look around, and started my day. I had much to do, and would have like to relish more of the fine morning. Maybe next week will allow another morning to watch what too many miss.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Change of Plot (Re-post)

I don't think I've re-posted this before. If I have, then read it again. I won't tell anyone. 


“What can I get you?”

Startled, Amy looked to find the bartender waiting for her answer.

“I’ll have a rum and coke.”

As the bartender left, Amy went back to her thoughts. He soon returned with her drink. Paid in cash, he soon returned to the end of the bar.

Amy looked at herself in the mirror behind the bar. Examining her hair, she could only think of how she badly needed to go have something done. It needed trimming, had long lost the original style and she was beginning to wonder if it was time to start adding some color. The occasional gray hair was starting to become too common.

“Damn” was her reaction to her face. Attractive, she knew the makeup was hiding the start of the smile lines and blotches, which were her reward for spending too much time in the sun during college. They were fun times, but the cost was now demanded by her age. At the far end of her thirties, she was now facing some things she found disturbing.

Sipping her drink, she thought of the last fifteen years. She wanted to be a journalist, so she pursued the career. At first, the constant push for stories was a challenge. She found the work satisfying, until the constant exposure to the underbelly of society left her jaded. Reporting was a continuous battle between facts and slander. She knew more about the movers and shakers than she could reveal. They were generally reprobates and she despised many.

Looking around the club, she found few patrons and nobody else at the bar. It was quiet and she wondered what inspired her to stop. Maybe the disgust had finally reached her limit. The current mayoral race was a mud-slinging extravaganza and this club was the first one that looked safe on her way home. Covering the speech of one candidate was her assignment and she knew she couldn’t report what a low life she became in her effort for success. The carnage of destroyed careers was her infamous legacy. Backstabbing and unethical leverage was her method to the top. An expert with her methods, she was hated by most that really knew her.

Her thoughts wandered to her ex-husband. “What a loser” crossed her mind. His needy whining and jealousy finally brought the end. “What did I see in that asshole?” was her final thought before she pushed him from her mind and thought of her book.

It was a work of fiction; a composite of her experiences with political figures condensed into one character. About halfway through, she needed to be working on it, but lost the inspiration. She had to deal with politicians almost daily. Writing about them lost its appeal over a year ago. Her effort to break away from reporting was slipping away and she knew it. Her current mindset only made it worse. She really didn’t care much any longer.

She barely noticed the man that approached and sat two seats down from the bar.

The bartender spoke first: “Evening Craig.”

The deep voice that responded had a slight twang, which she determined was from Texas. Turning, she watched him sit down and answer: “Evening, Sam.”

Sam? The tag on the bartender’s shirt spelled Paul. Intrigued, she sat quietly and listened.

“It looks like we’re getting low, Sam.”

“I have another bottle under the counter.”

Amy looked over and watched the bartender pour two fingers of Maker’s Mark into a glass, place a cube of ice and replace the almost empty bottle back under the counter.

“I appreciate you keeping the good stuff handy, Sam.”

“It’s the least I can do. You helped me out.”

Sam only nodded, took a small sip and started examining his hands.

Amy glanced at his hands for a moment and turned away. She didn’t want to look too curious, or instigate a conversation she didn’t want.

His hands were deeply veined, obviously very strong and the knuckles scarred on both hands. Risking another glance, she realized he was still looking at his hands and not paying attention. Taking a few moments longer to investigate, she realized she was fascinated by the man.

She again turned away and digested what she observed. He was probably in his late fifties, dressed casually in gray slacks and a pull over shirt; around five feet nine, with a stocky build. His light brown hair was gray at the temples; the back of his neck was crossed with lines from the sun and there was an ugly, three inch scar on the side of his neck.

Craig spoke: “Have you seen Ann?”

“I saw her yesterday at the supermarket.”

“How’s she doing?”

“Good. She had John with her. He’s growing like a weed.”

“Was that prick with her?”

“No, and I didn’t ask. She was in a good mood, so I figure she finally dumped him.”

“That’s good…for her, and him.”

They were quiet for a few moments, before Craig spoke again: “I appreciate you keeping an eye on them, Sam.”

Amy, now curious, tried to put the pieces together. Who was Ann? An ex-wife? A girl-friend? Who?

As she sat and pondered, Craig spoke again: “I’ll be right back. I drank too much coffee at dinner.”

As he rose, Amy looked again to further her investigation. She could tell he was trim, had a good build and carried himself with confidence. Her mind worked through the different typical things she knew about people. She determined he was either military, in athletics, or both. The thought only made her more curious.

Looking at Paul, Amy asked: “Why does he call you Sam?”

“He calls all bartenders Sam. That’s some kind of rule.”

Not willing to allow the opportunity pass, Amy asked: “Is Ann his ex-wife?”

Paul smiled and replied: “No, she’s his daughter and John is his grandson.”

“They’re not on good terms?”

“No. It’s a long story and you probably should ask him.”

“Have you known him long?”

“Ten years. He’s been a good friend and helped me out.”


“Sorta. He helped me with some unwelcome business partners. They wanted a piece of the bar, and Sam convinced them it wasn’t a good idea.”

The comment caused Amy to sort through her preconceived character analysis and wonder more about Craig. Before she could ask any more questions, Craig returned to his seat, finished off his bourbon and tapped the bar. Speaking, he said: “And bring one for the lady. Hers is empty and nobody should drink alone without a drink.”

A little surprise, but interested, Amy rose, reached out her hand and spoke: “If you’re going to buy me a drink, the least I can do is introduce myself. I’m Amy Johnson.”

Taking her hand, he squeezed it enough, but not too much. Replying, he asked: “The reporter?”

A little unnerved that anyone would recognize her name, she replied: “That’s me. Do you read my reports?”

“Sometimes; you write about the garbage downtown.”

Defensive, Amy replied: “Some are good people”

Craig quickly commented: “Not near enough.”

Continuing, he said: “I’m Craig Smith; pleased to meet you.”

Before she realized, Amy sat next to Craig, instead of the seat she had occupied. Not wanting to appear forward, she quietly sat as Paul brought her a drink. Feeling self-conscious, she hoped Craig wouldn’t get the wrong idea.

Craig was first to speak: “You’re not downtown enjoying the hoopla?”

“I stayed long enough to get a story. The rest is rubbing elbows with people that tarnish your reputation.”

Craig laughed and replied: “You don’t think much of them either?”

Smiling, Amy could only comment a short “No.”

Craig continued: “If you listened to them, they’re saving the world.”

Amy only smiled

“The damndest thing is there’s good money to be made off the bastards.”

Amy waited for Craig to continue.

“They pay well to keep the unwashed masses from entering their kingdom.”

Now intrigued, Amy asked: “Are you in law enforcement?”

Craig laughed and replied: “Nope. Never was, but I was in security.”

Amy was confused, so she waited.

“I spent twenty years in the Marines. After that, I was in private security.”

“Not sure of his age, Amy asked: “Where you in Vietnam?”

“Do I look that old?”

A little uncomfortable with his reply, she said: “I wasn’t sure.”

“I joined the Marines in 1974. Vietnam was over by that time, although I was there when we evacuated Siagon. “

Craig continued: “It was the damndest thing to see. The North Vietnamese and Cong were steadily advancing through the city, while we evacuated people from the embassy. Helicopters were landing every few minutes and people were trying to climb the walls for a ride.”

Amy used the explanation to further examine Craig. His deep blue eyes had a thousand yard stare as he recounted the event. The lines in his face deepened and his forehead was furrowed with his concentration.

“We stayed as long as we could. When they were close enough where we couldn’t get altitude, we left, so they wouldn’t shoot down our choppers. It was chaos below. People were trying to escape with no place to go.”

Amy waited as Craig paused to take a sip from his drink.

“When we reached the carriers, there were so many choppers on the deck, they were pushing them into the sea, so we’d have room. Civilians were everywhere; including in boats. We helped a few, but we were out of room. We left and they continued sailing away from the coast. I sometimes wonder what happened to them.”

Amy was now completely absorbed in the conversation. Not wanting to miss any information, she asked: “Is that where you got the scar?”

Craig gently rubbed his scar before replying: “No, that came a long time afterwards; about ten years ago in some shit-hole country in North Africa. “

“Were you still in the Marines?”

“Nope; I’d retired and went to work for a private security firm.”

“In the United States?”

“Nope; I was working for an Arab businessman. We were to keep him safe, while he visited some of his customers.”

“What kind of business?”

“I never asked, or cared. The money was good and questions only led to being fired.”

“How did it happen?”

“Long story short: A young, impressionable man decided our client needed to die. While we were leaving a building, he ran up and started firing at our client. I pushed him behind a column and the crazy bastard caught me in the neck with a round. It’s a good thing he wasn’t a good shot.”

“Did they arrest him?”

“No. He wasn’t a good shot, but I was. Call me the judge, jury and executioner.”

“So, then what happened?”

“We left. No questions were asked and nobody tried to detain us. Money buys freedom in third world countries.”

“Do you still work for them?”

The question brought a chuckle from Craig and a reply: “Hell no. The businessman decided his son needed to be in the family business, so he moved up in the food chain and I was assigned to take care of his son. The little shit didn’t have a clue and hated my guts. The old man soon solved the problem by “retiring” me. He placed a substantial amount of money in an account in my name and I officially retired.”

Amy could only sit for the next few minutes and digest their conversation. An idea was forming in her mind and she was trying to put the pieces together. As they sat and sipped their drinks, it finally congealed and she realized an opportunity was presented.

“Can I ask you something?”

Craig looked at Amy and replied: “Sure.”

“You can say no, but hear me out before you do.”


“I’ve been writing a book for years. It’s about a fictional politician and I’ve hit a dead end.”

“So, what’s that have to do with me?”

“I just decided I need to write about something besides my work and you’ve given me an opportunity I’d like to pursue.”

Craig only looked at her and waited for her to continue.

“I want to write about you, but not as a biography. I want it to be fiction, but I need enough information to make it believable.”

“So, what’s in it for me?”

Amy felt a little panic. What could she offer him?

“Maybe nothing; there’s no guarantee the book will sell.”

Craig laughed: “I don’t need money. I have more than enough.”

Amy, now really confused, asked: “So, what do you want?”

Craig, now serious, replied: “I want to be able to read it before you put it on the market. If you’re going to place my life in print, I want the final word…even if it’s fiction”

“Are you going to tell me about your family?”

Craig’s face saddened and he replied: “Everything. That’s the sad part. That should sell the book by itself.”

Amy was unsure of how to continue. She’s just asked an almost complete stranger to tell his entire life, so she could present it to the world. She didn’t know what to say, but Craig helped with her indecision: “So, how are we going to get together? We have to meet somewhere.”

“How about here for now? I can arrange my schedule.”

“That works. I’m here every evening from about eight to ten. Other than that, I can be found at the park between six and seven every morning taking my morning run.”

“You run?”

“Every day; rain or shine.”

“I used to run.”

“Meet me tomorrow by the playground. We can run as we talk.”

Craig rose, left a big tip on the bar and left without speaking. Amy just stared as he left the club.

Finishing her drink, she wondered what she’d just got herself into. She’d soon find out and was excited, but wondering what she did with her running clothes. She’d buy some more. Tomorrow was the start of her path to success.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Didn't Listen to the Entire News Story

As I was leaving my truck, I heard a news story start, from a local radio station. It involved an arrest for assault, a flare gun, and a machete.

Now, I know many of you would want to sit awhile for the story to finish. After all the other news on the radio, I found I really wasn't interested, since Hillary is still lying, Congress is still a feckless group of opportunists, the President is still clueless, and a crazy man flew a loaded jet into a mountain.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Pandemonium is my best description of what this feckless administration created. Laws were broken; an attempt was made to make a deserter a hero; illegal aliens were invited to come unrestricted, but will soon find they're not welcome; supposed qualified administration heads are exposed as partisan hacks; and the cheerleaders in the media are finding their revenues are falling like a rock from an airplane.

If so much money wasn't being wasted, it would be a little fun to watch it all unravel. I like a good circus, and this one is a humdinger.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When The Big Boys Play

It's evident that the President of the United States, and Prime Minister of Israel, are not the best of friends. The media fawns over this conflict, and many - supposedly unbiased - choose sides.

From my vantage point, when any personality conflict arises with heads of state, the final outcome depends on the person. In this situation, those involved are remarkably opposites.

Netanyahu has fought terrorists as a soldier, and loves his country. He's unwilling to offer the Palestinians unbridled access to the real estate he governs.

Obama...well....obviously loves himself, has obvious disdain for the military, and wants to give illegal aliens full access to our country.

So, who wins? The answer is obvious. Obama doesn't have a chance of winning this in the court of world opinion.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Can't Figure It Out

I haven't been posting much. Being busy is part of it; but not wanting to constantly complain about the lying, thieving, reprobate pieces of crap in Washington usually leads me away from posting.

Still, I examine my stats, which leaves me scratching my head. There is no pattern to what attracts visitors. I'm guessing this is normal for all bloggers.

So, this is a post about confusion, explanations, and insight. Use it well with your daily endeavors.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rifts, Wedges, and Opportunity

A news report states Valerie Jarret leaked the information about Hillary Clinton's emails. This shows a huge rift in the Democratic Party, and the opportunity to drive wedges between members of the party.

In my view, this affords a small glimpse into the brutal character assassination efforts of the Democratic Party leadership. Not only are they willing to destroy their opponents, they're willing to destroy those that don't follow in lockstep with their current agenda.

Time will tell how this works out, but the opportunity to split the party, cause havoc, and remove a substantial amount of the their control is there for the taking.

Friday, March 13, 2015

What a Difference Time Brings

A bunch of years ago, torrential rains caused terrible local flooding. Over time, the weather was drier, and just a few years ago, we suffered a drought, which was bad enough to cause old trees to die.

Over the last few weeks, we've had more than our share of rain. If this continues, major flooding can become a reality. The soil is saturated, outfalls are full, and even moderate rain will cause problems.

That's one thing about my part of the world: If you don't like the weather, wait a day, and see if you like the change. That, and be careful what you wish for.

My Logical Solution

Ferguson is a mess, but the simple solution involves only skunks, and a video camera:Turn a few hundred skunks loose in the crowd, and film the reaction on pay for view.

The money from the pay for view should be used to help the honest business folks in Ferguson, and to pay for the cleanup costs the city will accrue.

As far as the protesters, I think an enterprising person could set up a roadside tomato juice stand and make enough money to fund their children's college education.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tired of the Lying

Hillary lied before, is notorious for stretching the truth, and has a past that would land most people in prison. Now she's lying about the emails.

So, how dumb are too many U.S. citizens for even considering her a Presidential nominee? In my book, as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I PostedThis Almost a Year Ago

...and I think it's still appropriate....

Ignore the Woman Behind the Curtain
May 18, 2014

Politics are full of subterfuge, obfuscation and downright lies. Both parties have their experts at the process and both parties like to play the general public like they're rubes at the casino.

With that in mind, any attempt to portray Hillary Clinton as a Presidential contender is nothing more than a political sleight of hand. They'll tease the public for months, too many will believe what they read, and she'll either announce she's not running, or they'll crucify her before the nomination. At that time, they'll come up with their favored politician and start the hard sell, with half-truths and outright lies. Bill Clinton will insure she doesn't have a chance, since his ego is "smarter" than his mind.

The Democratic Party has nothing to offer, will have nothing to offer, and anyone that believes otherwise is as dumb as a box of rocks.

The Republican Party won't be much better; especially if the entrenched Washington denizens of the Ivory Tower continue to ignore those that can save their party.

So what do you do? Hold your nose, vote for the best of the bad choices and pay close attention to your representatives. They can be manipulated, since they have to go home; sooner or later.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Email Shenanigans

Hillary used a private email server - which she had complete control - to conduct official business during her tenure as Secretary of State. Whether that's illegal is not nearly important as the reason for this wavering from official policy she strictly enforced with others in the Department of State.

I think it's safe to assume incriminating emails are now gone. While Hillary might not have this expertise, she could hire someone to remove the information. That's where there are other ways to find these email.

The computers of all in the White House, important members of the administration, and Congressional members could be seized with a search warrant, but it would take a willingness by the Department of Justice to pursue the matter. I don't see this happening, but the lure of money could yield some interesting information.

How about a cash award for emails from people that can be persuaded to trade cash for immunity? I think this would work. After all, when ethics, morals, and honesty are far removed from daily thoughts, the lure of money is a powerful tool.

This is a suggestion to members of Congress investigating; and for those with political agendas to remove the criminal elements in political power. Grow a set and do something useful.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Object (Re-post)

A few days ago, while passing over a tall local bridge, the clear atmosphere offered a view towards the Gulf of Mexico, and thoughts of my time offshore returned. 

I saw many things while I worked offshore. Some left memories that will last as long as I can still remember. 


It was around 7:30 pm on a summer evening. I had made my first rounds of the evening and was headed back to the shop to work on safety equipment. The wind was light out of the southeast and the Gulf was a tranquil emerald green.

As I walked across the catwalk, movement in the south caught my eye. I stopped, spent some time examining what caught my attention, and within moments, felt the hair stand on the back of my neck. Whatever it was, it was big and moving under the surface towards the platform.

The circular object appeared to be around a hundred feet in diameter and was a silvery gold that shimmered in the late evening sun. Since it was right beneath the surface, the small waves prevented me from seeing any detail. One thing I did know: it was moving fast and would be at the platform shortly.

As I examined the object, I tried to determine what it could be. Was it a some type of secret military submarine, or was it extraterrestrial?  My curiosity turned to apprehension and then to fear. I thought of trying to alert the crew, but soon realized there wasn't enough time. I stayed where I was and waited. It was moments away.

When it arrived, I braced myself by tightly grasping the handrail on the catwalk.  It passed between the platforms, so I had a ringside view.... It was fish. A huge school of moon fish that swam in a chaotic ball of motion, which kept predators at a distance. They passed silently through the water right below the surface. In less than a minute, they moved to where the light couldn't catch their silvery scales and were gone.

That was the only time I saw moon fish. I don't know if that was a migration, or a rare occurrence. I do know that I was in the perfect place to see the school as they passed. If they had passed a few hundred feet on either side, my tale would have a different ending.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Hamster From Hell (Re-post)

I mentioned the following to a close friend, so I'm posting it again.


My brothers, friends, and I were explorers. We weren't afraid of venturing anywhere, which including miles of the surrounding area and the undergrounds drains that ran under the streets. If we wanted to see it, we'd spend some time in doing just that; even if we had to say we were up to something else. After all, we didn't want our parents to worry.

Two blocks over from our house was a railroad track. Usually, only switch engines would pull cars up and down the track, but there was a passenger train twice each day and a long freight train at least once each day. When there was no train, we would explore up and down the tracks, under the bridges and along the right of way; if we weren't waiting for a train to flatten a penny or nail we brought from the house.

One afternoon, while exploring under a railroad bridge, my brother spied a critter in a hole under the abutment. After close examination, he realized it was hamster, which was not only an unusual critter to find, it was at least a half mile from any house.

My brother took a stick and stuck in the hole. The hamster responded by doing everything it could to turn the end of the stick into sawdust. Instantly, my brother decided he wanted the hamster as a pet, so we went home, he rigged a live trap and we returned with a mission.

It took over an hour of patient waiting, but the hamster finally made the mistake of going into the trap. My brother had a new pet and it showed appreciation by trying to gnaw the end off my my brother's finger. He was quicker than the hamster, but not by much

We didn't have one of those cute hamster cages, with all the tunnels and running wheel. All we had was a high sided wood box, which my brother secured with a piece of hardware cloth and a brick. We spent the rest of the afternoon admiring my brother's new pet, which ignored the lettuce we managed to remove from the crisper when my mother went to the restroom. Before the evening was over, my brother stashed his pet, and box, in the garage closet, while he decided how he would announce his pet to my parents.

Early the next morning, my brother and I went outside to check on the hamster, which he hadn't even named. Opening the door, my brother peeked into the box and found a hole gnawed in the side. The hamster was gone, which disappointed my brother, but it prolonged the announcement he'd eventually have to make - if we found the hamster.

We spent most of the day looking for the hamster, but it was all in vain. It was gone and there was no sign of it anywhere. We chalked it up as "one of those things" and went about our business...for a few days.

My mother was speaking to my father a few days later and told of how something was in the garden destroying her plants. Since weeding and upkeep was part of our responsibilities, we went to investigate the garden. We found a fairly large hole, which indicated something burrowed into the ground and was eating the roots of the plants. While my parents were confused, we had a pretty good idea what that "something"was. It was time to solve our problem.

My brother tried placing his live trap by the hole, which was a wasted effort. The hamster had no intentions of making that mistake again. It was living the high life in its comfortable hole, eating three good meals each day and lacking a care in the world.

My brother decided the only thing left to do was to flood the hamster from the hole. Placing the garden hose nozzle into the hole, he turned the water on full and waited. While we were waiting, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye towards the other end of the garden. Before I could focus on the movement, there was nothing to see, but there was a rustling in the high grass in the neighbor's yard. Within a few minutes, water started bubbling from a hole about ten feet away. The hamster had an exit, and I was thinking he'd made an escape.

We eventually filled the hole completely, which pretty well indicated we'd either drowned the hamster, or at least ruined it's home and it would leave. I'll never know. We never saw another sign of the hamster and we'd avoided having to explain the entire mess to our parents.

A few years ago, I told the story to my mother. She just shook her head and smiled. I felt better after keeping the secret all those years. She probably was thinking she didn't want to know about many of the things we did when we were young.