Saturday, April 09, 2005

It occurred to me some people

might think I was psycho back in 1980. If I was, I was in good company.

My friend Chuck, who was artistically bedeviled, painted an Easter bunny on a cross dripping blood and displayed it for all the supervision to behold.

This same Chuck (who was artistically inclined) was told on Friday by the Commanding Officer to beautify our barracks with a brand new coat of paint. Chuck painted a psychodelic choo-choo train which ran from the first floor all the way to the third floor. Very nice purple smoke puffs, Chuck. On Monday the Commander made him erase the entire train scene with solid "olive drab"...and never asked him to paint anything ever again. Chuck is now a social worker in Philadelphia. God save Philadelphia.

Then there was the "skeleton." Our First Sergeant inspected his room and discovered three feet of old pizza and hamburger left-overs. First Sergeant not happy. First Sergeant make Skeleton sleep in tent for two weeks. BUT the skeleton blew a fuse...ripped his own khaki shirt off popping every button...piff...poof...pzing. He then karate kicked the door to his room, broke his ankle and lay in the hallway sceaming and wailing until someone rescued him.

So don't think I was psycho. I was just trying to fit in.

One day back in 1980

after listening to Frank Zappa for several hours I got so disgusted with the Army and Texas and my gig at Kelly Air Force Base I hiked up to the barracks second floor landing and began tossing my lp vinyls like frisbees at unsuspecting cars driving by. A nice military policeman appeared eventually and suggested it might be a swell idea if I desisted from targeting the neighborhood vehicular traffic. We then walked calmly, but resolutely, to the Chaplain's office where I received a few hours "therapy."

But no need to I listen to Zappa THIS time...I have no vinyl lps.

I don't drive truck anymore

but here's one I wrote for my buds out there still chasing the white lines:

Sleeping By The Freeway

Past moonlit walls
doin’ the five
(as truckers say)
from ice packs
to angels,
phantom duals
whispered surf
breathing in the night,
like sheep
I count the diesels,
shift my dreams
past third and down
on down
exhausted now
to silence.

At precisely 11:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time

because I've dubbed today "Unofficial Joe's Garage Appreciation Day" and because I need a really good excuse to drink more Busch beer and because it is impossible to listen to Frank sober, I shall play the entire cult classic at maximum decibel levels while repairing my two-slice toaster with a rusty phillips head screw driver.

The cheapest way

to cover a "news" event (the Schiavo-thon or Pope-a-thon for example) is to pick one subject per day (or week), setup cameras, grab the pundits and broadcast rehashed material for hours on end. All very low cost...with very little news value.

Randi Rhodes had it right yesterday when she said cable news is really corporate cost-effective entertainment. From the corporate viewpoint if the public swallows this gruel they'll cease demanding any real news and come to believe journalism was always this lame. Lower costs and more profit for the corporation...more uninformed dumbness for the mallable American population.

Hideously simple and beautifully sinister.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Big Rick and Dennis discussing more "strategy". Notice how their pitcher is nearly empty (again).

Nice ride.

Opposing forces practicing their lag shots.

Our main strategy was to consume plenty of the above.

Team strategy session. Our team from left to right: Big Rick (our captain), Dennis (our hottest shooter), Fast Eddie in red (our best cheerleader and official bringer of pom-poms) and John.

Team spirit.

What better time

to post pool league photos than when you're too hung over to write. We lost the match but our team, the Stick Shooters, had a blast and brought in good beer revenue for the tavern.

It got a little drunk out last night.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

There are no atheists in pool tournaments.

Pray for us. It could be a bloodbath. We're playing the "other" home team tonight (who are rumored to be twice as sharp). I'm assigned as waterboy (though I'll be there shooting with my Sony Cybershot cue). I guess the team Captain really, really wants this one. Sigh.

Shooting darts with your cleaning lady

is not a quick way to have your apartment cleaned. All employees need a union break but, even so, there was no discount for play time. Rats!

A drinking buddy says I'm a liberal

but I say, "'Tain't so!"

How could a liberal drink Busch beer in copious quantities, listen to Loretta Lynn and survive twelve months combat on the border between North and South Vietnam? Sheesh...these dang extremist right wing neo-nazis. They don't know nuthin.

I watch VH1-Country because

1) It doesn't do rap or punk.

2) It's less depressing than cable news (and changes soundbites and video every two or three minutes).

3) Southern girls, in general.

4) Miranda Lambert and Deana Carter, in particular.

5) Minimal commercials. How can they afford that? Strange.

6) It enhances the taste of beer.

7) After twelve beers, the video looks and sounds even better.

8) The next morning it's still there singing and strummin'. No cleanup except beer cans required.

Blogexplosion said

yesterday, "You will not be able to beg, borrow or steal any mystery credits this morning because you are NOT supposed to be signed in. You are supposed to be pre-cleaning your apartment so the cleaning lady doesn't embarras you when she arrives to REALLY clean your apartment."

Sure though I bonus credits. I soon gave up and scrubbed the toilet. Thanks Blogexplosion for your nifty time budgeting feature.

I couldn't help but notice

Dick Cheney isn't wearing a ski parka around the Vatican this week. There may be hope after all.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm struck this morning

by the ecological beauty of March winds blowing twigs and leaves hither and yon just in time for the arrival of our nesting birds.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Entirely too many funerals

and not enough smiles while we are still here.

The flags of spring.

For those of you toiling and sweating

in offices all around the Fort Lewis area this morning...don't didn't miss a thing. Nothing but gray in the sky. Solid gray. Dull gray.

Today is definitely not Sunday...and the sun...well she's a difficult task master just now.

Decked out.

We probably have more flags per square foot in this town than most.

No news is good news.

Is the Iraq war over? Are the troops home? Have they stopped dying (with unreported funerals)? I know Terry Schiavo is dead. I saw it on the tv. I know the Pope is dead. But what of my friends fighting beyond the big pond. Do they matter? Are their deaths worth five minutes coverage?

An electric situation.

Monday, April 04, 2005

An old frump sitting out on the front lawn...

this is an audio post - click to play

The secret to winning at

pull tabs is not "knowing when to quit." Most players know all about the "when" (no pun intended) but lose instead because they forget the "what" which is, of course, the actual doing of the quitting.

The moral of this story is

don't place all your eggs in one credit card. I spent Saturday night dining out but when I reached for my wallet I found my card gone. No feeling quite like holding a thirty dollar bill with not a dime to your name. The waitress peering over her glasses at my embarrassed mug said, "Not to worry. Bring the money tomorrow. We know where you live." I backtracked the day's previous watering holes...still no card. Finally I gave up, went home and deactivated the card.

Sunday morning, after much frantic pacing to and fro and wracking my alcohol besodden brain matter, I discovered the card under careful watch at the local grocery store. Meanwhile several bills had bounced, sent unceremoniously head over heels back to their originator. Somehow I fixed all this and returned to the restaurant of the night before to pay my bill. Another crises dissolved.

One bright note...I ordered breakfast to celebrate, dropped ten bucks in the pull tab bowls and won $175. It could have been much worse. I learned a harsh but valuable lesson and made some extra "free" money in the process.