Monday, November 28, 2011


(Film at 11:00)

The other day Rita of An Ordinary Life had a great post from the 80’s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. That clip from the Thanksgiving themed episode where Mr. Carlson threw live turkeys out of a helicopter, as a station promotion is one of the all time greats.
I got a good laugh watching that clip several times on her blog and reading all the comments.
So here’s the thing, on my way home from work just less than 30 minutes ago, when I got to that exchange in the interstate, I saw a strange object just ahead sitting partially on the ramp. The synapse were firing in my brain trying to conjure some sort of recognition pattern in the object. I kept staring at the object as I got closer and closer and tried to make some sense out of what looked like a very haggard critter.
I finally got so close my brain could no longer deny what my eyes were clearly seeing.
It was a domestic turkey, not a frozen Butterball or even a thawed Butterball. It was a complete turkey, feet, feathers, neck, head and giblets all intact. And it was alive!
It was just sitting there facing the rush hour traffic as if it were waiting for some good Samaritan to stop and offer it a lift.
I know some may think of Indiana as one big cornfield, but it’s not all farmland out here, there was no farm anywhere close that this rogue bird could have escaped from. Judging from the looks of this guy he had been having a rough time.
Half of his white feathers were missing and he didn’t look too frisky. It looked like he had been in on the losing end of a pecking-party.

Other than someone re-enacting that scene from WKRP, I am hard pressed to offer a theory as to how the hell he got there and what his plan was.
Maybe there was an overage of turkeys and he was one of the lucky ones whose presence was not needed on some family’s table this year
Maybe last week, he figured the jig was up and jumped out of a turkey death camp transport truck and he was still on the lam.

It is possible some miscreant purposely ditched the poor bird on the interstate due to his apparent low quality.

However, I don’t believe this last theory has any merit, as there were no signs of fowl play.
Sorry I couldn’t resist.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


1. Take one warm homemade yeast roll and slice it in half
2. Take a warm juicy slab of turkey a little larger then your roll
3. Slather a healthy portion of Miracle Whip on both sides of the roll
4. Plop the slab of turkey on the bottom of the roll which has now been transformed into a small bun
5. Put the top of the bun on
6.Now the finishing touch, butter the top of the warm bun
7. Enjoy!
Caution! You will need to repeat steps 1 through 7 several times until you start to feel sleepy.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Have you ever been on the receiving end on one of these phone calls?

Have you ever been on the transmitting end on one of these phone calls?

Some have been on both sides of these phone calls at different stages of their lives.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Nothing says Thanksgiving like Rita making her famous chicken and noodles wearing a hat made of tinfoil.

Hope you all had a great day with your family, I did.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I apologize in advance for this lengthy and ponderous blog. If at anytime you get sleepy trying to read it feel free to pull the eject handle and bail out. The main reason I started writing in the first place was the need to vent from time to time. Sometimes I feel the need to vent due to political or current events. Sometimes the venting comes from a more personal occurrence. This is one of those.

The last service call of the day had me heading many miles in the opposite direction from home, oh well, typical horseshit routing system. At least it's familiar territory. I used to have to go home this way when I lived this direction some 25 years ago.
That was another marriage, another me, another lifetime ago.
I looked at the customer's name on the computer and see that it's the same name as the road he lives on. Not really a coincidence out here in farm country. I drove through the little town of Monrovia on my way to the call, I remembered thinking "I'm only 20 minutes from home" when I used hit this town on the trip home way back when.

Back in those days I worked two jobs to save money for a house and kept up the part time construction work up until I started working for my current employer.
We finally saved up $12,500 dollars, a pretty good chunk of change back then. We found a beautiful 10 acres of wooded hills and valleys, selling price, $12,500 dollars.
Wiped the savings out and we got a mortgage for our house in the woods.

I had always wanted a place in the woods; this place had it all, huge mature trees, 80-foot ravines for boundaries, a creek in the back valley and no neighbors.
I put the septic and foundation in myself and got a nice manufactured house. I was in heaven.
I thought back to days of working in the noisy city, coming home and sitting on the swing and the only sound I could hear was the breeze moving from treetop to treetop. The difference in the ambient noise level from downtown Indy to my hideaway in the hills of Morgan County made the long drive home everyday worth every minute and every mile.

I drove through Monrovia and headed west closer to my to my former homestead now inhabited by strangers.
I made a few familiar turns and it was time to divert from the old route I had made a million times back in the old days, onto the road that was named for the farm family who homesteaded this ground.
I pulled into the gravel drive of the customer’s home.
He was an older gentleman who had left the work of feeding a nation to his sons and his son’s sons. I knew this would be a good work environment, a welcome change from working in the big city. Friendly conversation and discussing the area that I used to live in.
Then all too soon the appliance was repaired the conversation had run it's natural course and it was time to close out the last call of the day.

Talking to the old farmer about life way out here in Gods country made me remember my days out here.
Our first year out here, I put a wood stove in and we hardly ever ran the gas furnace. Cutting 14 or 15 ricks of wood every year was alot of work, but I did most of the cutting and splitting in the fall and winter. I used to love working in the woods when it was cold, the wood splits a lot easier too. I remember the first real cold day of each fall when I would start the first fire of the heating season and go outside to get another arm load of wood. The smell of that first fire gave me such a great feeling, winter was coming and back then that was my favorite time of the year. Now I just count down the weeks till it's over.

But back then, wintertime meant walking outside at night and the constellation of Orion seemed to take up the whole sky. If the full moon was at the right angle you could walk through the woods without a flashlight. It was putting up enough Christmas lights to make Clark Griswold green with envy. I put up all those lights to give my kids that Christmas magic feeling you got as a kid, well maybe it was to bring back a little of that magic to their dad too.

The summer nights the kids and me would get a blanket and lie out on the front yard and look at the Milky Way. It was so dark out there you could stare at a single spot and lose count of the stars. You could look for the blurry star that wasn't a star at all. It was an entire galaxy of billions of stars called M31.
Springtime brought out our white Dogwood and Redbud trees. Soon there would be a bounty of fresh morel mushrooms and a hillside of the sweetest little strawberries you ever ate.
I loved seeing my kids romp through the woods all year long. I built a barn and those kids just wanted to live in it. I put a wood stove in it and an old Westinghouse refrigerator and it kept my beer just above freezing temperature.

I remember the day I was standing at the sliding doors of the barn looking out at the house and our woods, watching the kids play in the yard and I was thinking, wow I have everything I ever wanted in the world, a family, nice place to live, two great kids and a steady job. I'm really content and happy in my life, finally!  The next thought that came to my mind was. What's going to come along now and fuck it all up? I didn't know anything for sure right them, but there was a shit storm brewing and it was heading straight for me. In a little more than a year my marriage, my fortress of solitude, my happy family, it would all be gone and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

The transition from that life to the one I am currently enjoying was not an easy one. From being a family man for 17 years then jumping back into the pool at the age of 45 was shock to the system.
I finally settled into middle-aged bachelorhood and was enjoying single life until I met Jojo and she convinced me that I was full of it and I was not as happy as I thought I was and needed to take the plunge one more time. I am happy to say she was right. She restored my faith and trust in the fairer sex.

I pulled out of the retired farmers driveway and headed towards Herbemont Road.  I came to the intersection and stopped much longer than necessary. I looked to the right, the direction I use to go from here to reach the place where I could let out a deep breath, go to the barn and get a cold barn beer, sit on the swing with my kids and talk about their day and mine, for 15 years that was home.

Just up ahead to the south was the section of road that's like a tunnel of trees. Some farmer planted oak trees close together on both sides of the road for about a quarter mile. From the looks of them he must have planted them fifty or sixty years ago. When I first moved out there I was working for IUPUI in Indy. I worked 3:30 till midnight. Sometimes I would save a little gas and ride the bike to work. Coming home I would hit the tree tunnel about 12:45 am. Something about hitting that stretch of road always made me want to crack the pipes open. I loved the look of those big oak trees zooming by and the sound of the exhaust pipes echoing against the them.  When I blasted out the other side of the tree tunnel I knew I would be home in about ten minutes.
Later when I left that job and started running service calls that would end the nice bike rides home.
But the tree tunnel would still mark the beginning of the homestretch even in the service van.

All that used to be just a right turn and a ten-minute drive south.
An old Henley tune started playing, The End Of Innocence, the song I can’t listen to anymore.  Thanks Don, your timing is great.
Actually the music wasn't coming from the radio, it was playing in my head, just like it always does when I think about the day when I had to tell my kids that I had to move out.
The memories of my former life and my kids hung like a cloud over me for a minute, then I turned left and headed north...towards home.


Monday, November 14, 2011


Saturdays visit to the Davidson Center For Space Exploration in Huntsville Alabama was very cool.
I have had a fascination with the Saturn V (five) rocket since Neil Armstrong made that first footprint in the moon dust. I was 14 and I just knew that in 10 or 20 years we would have people living up there on the moon.

The Davidson Space Museum is only about 2 years old, I have seen the Saturn V before but never displayed in such a way. In front of the building there is one standing up, all 363 feet. In the building it is displayed on it's side suspended about 20 feet overhead. It is segmented in an exploded view. I couldn't stop looking at this amazing antiquated technology.

 My two level cervical spinal fusion did not serve me well as I strained looking up to take in every detail of the five first stage rocket motors. Then walking down to look at the second stage to see the smaller versions of five rocket motors then farther down to the third stage single engine then to the instrument ring then the service module and command module.
This was no mock up of a rocket, this was the real thing.
My cousins company built most of the instructional displays for the museum
as well at the mockup of the Orion module.

Shaver and Sharon and a guy who used to help light the "candles" and the Orion
  There were volunteers walking around willing to talk to you about the displays and the Saturn V, they were retired engineers who used to work there and they would talk about the space program and what they did there as long as you wanted to stand there and listen. My cousin had long conversations with these guys, his father worked there for many years and it was interesting listening to them trading stories back and forth.
I'm sure his dad would be very proud to know that his son had built most of the displays for this place. My cousin Jim (Shaver as we have always called him) was our own personal tour guide and gave us a lot of interesting background on the displays and the history of the space center. I could have stayed there several more hours, I have always been an aircraft and spacecraft nut. It's a shame that NASA seems to have been co-opted by environmentalists political hacks.

At the far end of the building they had a moon rock on display and the actual Apollo 16 capsule.

The purpose of our trip to Huntsville was to see family, but this was a nice bonus getting to see a real Saturn V up close and personal.

Mom and Aunt Nancy

Many thanks to Aunt Nancy, Shaver, Sharon and Ethan for being such wonderful hosts. You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you get to have the best of both worlds, family and friends all in one.

Ethan showing off his very cool 57' Studebaker to Mike

Sharon showin off her very cool little hotrod
Mom, me, Rita, Shaver, Mike, Helen under the engines of the ultimate hotrod
Love you all !

Friday, November 11, 2011


You learn stuff if you have been married 3 times. One of the things you learn is, it's a he'll of a lot easier to jump off a cliff than go through a damn divorce. The other thing ? Some times it's a good idea to spend the weekend 5 or 6 states apart. 
We didn't intentionally set out to do this, it just worked out that way. She had a good reason to go to Wisconsin with some friends this weekend and mom and my siblings made plans to go to Huntsville Alabama to see my aunt and cousins. 
I have missed the last several trips down here and I am looking forward to seeing them all again. 
I hope I get some time to tour Red Stone Arsenal again while I'm down there.  I was just a kid the last time I got to see that place. My uncle worked there as did Wernher von Braun
At the end of WW2 us and the Russians divvied up all the good German rocket scientists. Judging from both early space programs, they got off to a faster start but we caught up and eventually won the space race. 
Before my uncle Bob started working at Redstone he spent several years working for the Secret Service. He couldn't tell us what he did there, well I guess he could have but he would have had to kill us after. 
Uncle Bob worked his ass off to get through college after serving in the Navy during WW2. He was a door gunner in a Naval aircraft. He had an attack of bleeding ulcers and was put in the hospital, his B24 crew took off without him and crashed due to mechanical problems. The entire crew perished when the plane went down. 
This blog didn't start out thinking about the sacrifices made by all of our vets, but I'm glad it took that turn after all this is Veterans Day. 
Thank you Vets! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My job can be fairly mundane at times, but some of the people you meet going into strangers houses can make for an interesting encounter.
The above picture was one of those interesting encounters. It was a call on a water heater in a part of the inner city where very bad things happen. There are many boarded up houses and various entrepreneurs on street corners plying their trades.

When I called the customer to verify the call, he told me to knock loud on the door he sounded like a young guy who could hear ok, but whatever.
When I arrived and saw the sign I just had to get a picture of it. The customer was a young guy; we went to the basement to look at the water heater. He was a very polite and well-spoken guy, he introduced himself as John, he seemed a little out of place for that neighborhood.

 He was telling me about his background in computer technology and was showing off his incredible memory skills like how he uses a product key for his password and reciting back to me the serial number of the water heater. It was a fairly new unit that had some warranty left on it. I determined it had a leak and would need to be replaced; this was a 3rd party call so I called the manufacturer and gave them the info so he could get a new one. The women on the phone wanted to know he purchase date, the guy didn’t know. That's not unusual, people often forget and don't keep the receipt. Then the women needed to know where it was purchased. I looked at the guy and he gives me this Joe Biden in the headlights look.

It seems that Johnny Mnemonic can remember a string of random numbers but can remember which big box hardware store he got his water heater from less than two years ago.
It was then the guy started acting a little hinky.
He didn't seem so interested in straightening out this whole mix-up and was more interested in shutting down this whole investigation.

Then it hit me, I could tell as soon as I saw the thing it was a self install and I began to suspect the unit had been purchased at "Midnight Appliance Supply".
They don't give receipts there and they sure as hell don't do warranty exchanges.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I wrote the first version of this blog over the weekend and apparently I wrote it after one too many Crown and Cokes.
When I went over it this morning I thought damn, I shouldn't drink and blog.  It sounded pretty mean and hateful so I still want to say some things but I need to tone it down a bit. I came off sounding like some of the people I was criticizing.

This whole idea of occupying Hollywood came to me after seeing Kim Kardashian on the news again and valuable minutes of my life were ticking away while the talking heads were discussing her sham marriage coming to a tragic end. I wanted to tell the Occupy Wall Street bunch to take a real stand against the abuse of power and money and fight the real enemy, the rich and famous like Kim Kardashian. While they’re at it throw in the thing they call Skookie. How about all of that bunch on her show and Lindsay Lohan ect. ect. You get the picture.
And the O. W. ers that are Jew-haters would have a field day in Hollywood.
Anyway I will leave it at that, I got out what I wanted to say and I didn't sound like a grouchy, bitter old curmudgeon.
Hmmm, now that I think about it that is what I am. Maybe I better have a couple of drinks before I decide which post I should use.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I had a document to file at the courthouse in Hendricks County, but I didn't want to make the hour plus drive and take the day off work, so I was going to mail it today. When I peaked at my route this morning I saw that I would be going right by the courthouse about lunchtime. Perfect! I could take the document there in person and speed up the process by a couple of days.
Danville is a bustling small town and that is not very common for small towns these days. There are a lot of thriving businesses on the square but my favorite happens to a little diner on the corner called the Mayberry Cafe. It's a beautiful day and things went so smoothly in the courthouse I decided to treat myself to lunch there.
If you liked the old Andy Griffith show the you would like this place.

There is an exact replica of the squad car in front and they have 4 TV's that play the re-runs non-stop. It's an old building fixed up very nice and decorated with memorabilia from the show. The food is great and the cute little waitress could have given Juanita a run for her money.
Something about this place just mellows me out. It's been a long time since I've had lunch here, too long.

I got to watch the end of the one where Barney bought the old junker from the sweet little old lady who turned out to be a crook. She was the same women who played Grandma Walton. Then I got to watch the entire episode where Opie falls for the little girl who won't give him the time of day. Then Opie starts hanging around Thelma Lou and the little girl gets jealous. Then Barney gets pissed because Opie is stealing Thelma Lou away so Barney starts dating the little girl. Ok I made that last part up.
I don't really have a point to make here much like most of the crap I write. I just liked the way things turns out today with the route taking me someplace I really needed to go anyway.
Make that two places I really needed to go.  


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hey Saddam you heard who's coming in today? No, who?
Kaddafi ! Are you screwin with me again Usama? No dude, for reals, he's on his way down. Quick turn on MSMBC check out the replay. Look there he is surrounded by a bunch of loonies getting his ass handed to him. Wow, look like he's crying and begging for his life!  Look Saddam, they capped his ass with his own gold pistol. Oh man that's cold.
Hey he's at the door, buzz him in.
Naa let's mess with him first, give him the old Cheech and Chong routine.
Who is it?
Muammar's not here.
No this is Muammar!
Yes damn it, it's Muammar let me in!
Muammar's not here!
Saddam is that you, you jackass? Let me in, I'm not playin, I got one badass headache.
Bahahaha ok you big cry baby, I'll buzz you in.
Come on in were just messin with you..... Oh dude! You look even worse in person than on YouTube.
They put me on YouTube? Yep! How many hits have I got so far? Well including the hits you took from the rebels I'd say about 10 mil, Bahahahah! Real funny Usama, your a regular wise ass you know that? Sorry dude but you pitched that one under-handed to me, I had to swing on it har har.
Man your head looks bad Muammar, you want an ice pack? My head? Apparently you haven’t looked in a mirror lately have you Usama? And hey, nice necktie Saddam.
At least I went down fighting.
Bahhahaha yeah right, you were fighting all right, fighting back tears! Me and Usama saw you on MSNBC crying like a little bitch!
Hey you got a lot of room to talk Saddam, I saw them pull you outta your little bunker lookin like ZZ Top
and you Osama, nice move trying to use your old lady as a human shield!
Ok ok, cool your jets dude, me and Saddam we're just breaking your balls.
Ok it's all good, so fill me in on the accommodations here, how's the action around here? When do I get my 72 virgins?  Uhh ..... virgins? I'm afraid I have some bad news Muammar. There was a little miscommunication concerning that. It was all bullshit, the mullahs made it all up, you know, a morale booster for the suicide bombers.
Damn!, well what's the deal with this place? I thought Heaven would be a lot nicer, this place looks like hell.
Yeah uh Muammar we need to talk about that, you better sit down for this one.