Saturday, February 23, 2013


This is the day that we've been threatened with since the day we were born. It's when, after we've been run over by the Ready-Mix truck, we meet our maker and HE (I've been told that he's a HE) judges us and sends us to our just reward. Why is it judgment "day"? Does it take a whole day to get it done? Is there a waiting line? Is it like going to the registry of motor vehicles where you tear off one of those paper numbers and watch the red LED lights in the corner of the room and wait for your number to be displayed? Let's assume that the last of these is true. Given the fact that every day there must be millions of people kicking the bucket, the LED lights would have to be at least 9 digits long. O.K., so you've had a pretty bad day, getting run over by the Ready-Mix truck and all, and now you face the reality that they just called number 15 and you're number 19,065,283. The line, thankfully, goes pretty quickly and you're now first in line. To your amazement you are not being judged by a single entity but by a panel of five judges. The judges faces are hidden, so as to protect their identity.

But who are they? Who should be qualified to judge? Ideally, there should be both men and women on the panel. But, given the fact that I've angered so many women in my life, I would prefer having just male judges. After all, men will be much more understanding about the fact that I once broke up with a woman solely because she had skinny legs.

My choice for my panel of judges would be Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Ray Charles, Winston Churchill, and Billy Lohnes. The first of these because he was a great writer and humorist. He'd take a look at my checkered past and chuckle a bit. Mr. Lincoln would seriously ponder my past indiscretions with the wisdom of a man who knows that all of us, indeed, have faults, and at least I've never pulled a pistol on someone in Ford's theater. Ray Charles was a cool guy that I've always admired. Winston Churchill was one of the great drunks of all time. The last of these, Billy Lohnes was my best childhood friend...and he still owes me five dollars.

Whether or not there is a judgement day and a life hereafter is one of life's great mysteries. I'd like to think that there will be a time when, after I "cash in my chips", someone, anyone, will take one minute of my time and explain the mysteries of the universe. In that one minute I'd like to learn the things that have been burning in my mind for so many years and have kept me from being truly content. These questions include:

Is pro wrestling staged?
Did O.J. do it?
Who invented The Chicken Dance?
What is the secret ingredient in Hostess Twinkies?
Did Oswald act alone?
Who shot J.R.?
Was Gumby edible?
Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
The moon landing was faked, right?

and, lastly:

Is the hokey pokey really what it's all about?

Readers, enjoy your day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Several weeks ago I posted about my love-hate relationship with the Super Bowl. My relationship with the Oscars is a bit more extreme. 

In thinking about what I should write about the Oscars, I could think of nothing that has not been said before. Here's a checklist:
It's boring - nothing new there  
It's phony - yup
The speeches drag on - been there 
It's over-hyped - done that
So, I find myself at a loss for new commentary about this American institution that rivals the Miss America Pageant in banality.

I group those events with many of the wedding shows that litter the airways, featuring hyper-bitchy brides-to-be doing their best to send their fiances packing prior to their wedding day. The action and dialog, presented as normalcy and packaged as reality, are truly remarkable.

A refreshing change from the ordinary is a reality show called "My Big Redneck Wedding" on CMT. 

I'm not kidding.

For the uninitiated, this is a show about ordinary people planning and having ordinary weddings. The people featured in the show are not what one would call glamorous. Quite the contrary, they are people who, if judged by popular opinion, would go down in flames. They are the very antithesis of Hollywood types.

It's very easy for any of us to be negatively judgmental about those who are featured in the show, given that they are so different from mainstream people. I'll go out on a limb and say that that is probably the intent of the show's producers. If we are to judge them, however, let's be fair about it. All of us can learn something from other people and the people shown on "My Big Redneck Wedding" are no exception.

Generally, they are close to their friends and families and are accepting of people's imperfections and are respectful of their parents, grandparents and children. Are they without faults? Not even close.

They are real.

Within their reality is the unpretentious act of having a greased pig at the wedding, of driving their trucks and ATV's through a mud pit, of engaging in mud wrestling - sometimes involving the bride and groom, of being married by the guy who works at the local foundry, of having a cooler full of Miller Lite and Budweiser beers for the attendees, of eating barbecued pork and chicken with no napkins, of hay bales for church pews inside a makeshift tent, and of arriving at the wedding in a tractor.

How truly refreshing.

Let's rewind to the Oscars:
"The envelope, please" 
"And the Oscar goes to..." 
"I'd like to thank..."

Readers, enjoy your day.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Urine and fecal matter everywhere, very little food and water, people forced to help infants and the elderly, no electricity, poor communication from the people in charge, people having to fend for themselves, no phone service, little hope of outside help, government won't step in, a feeling of isolation, rumors flying, danger everywhere, living in a tent city, sickness and disease, coughing and choking on the stench, confusion, despair, misery, crying babies, thirst, greed, promises of support that never materialize, exposure to the elements, no simple conveniences, lack of privacy, despair, prayers unanswered, undernourishment, tainted food supplies, flies, insects, scrounging for food.

In short, a miserable situation.

That describes the realities of being poor. In fact, half of the world's population lives on less than $2.50 per day.

Now, let's talk about the Carnival Triumph.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


While attending college in Minnesota I supplemented my G.I. Bill allowance with funds from working nights as a bartender. One of the places at which I worked was a lively spot called The Hot Fish Shop. There was a lounge attached to the restaurant called, strangely enough, "The Fisherman's Lounge". The lounge featured nightly entertainment with 2 to 4 piece bands playing favorites from the 1970's. Who can forget such unforgettable melodies as "Tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree". Yes, I suffered through many nights listening to the tunes of Tony Orlando and Dawn.

On a nightly basis, all sorts of interesting people would come through our doors - locals, tourists and other folks just passing through town. One of the most unforgettable people that I knew was a man named Morey Grove. He was a tall, thin, plain-looking man and was about the most well-liked person in town. He didn't come in that often, but when he did, people gravitated to him unlike anyone I have ever seen. Despite Morey's plainness, women flocked to him like he was George Clooney. The reasons for why women loved Morey were never clear as he was a simple man, certainly not wealthy, important or attractive looking.

Men also liked him. He was a guy who was very comfortable with himself as well as with other people. He had an undefinable character about him that made him interesting. He was more of a listener than a talker and, when he laughed, he laughed heartily. I don't know what Morey did for a living - I suspect that he was involved in the insurance business, but I cannot say for sure.

The first time that I met him, he came into the lounge and many of the locals, especially the women, came over to greet him. There were hugs and handshakes and the bar seemed to liven up with his presence. He ordered a beverage which was paid for by another patron and he continued to join in the fun and entertainment. That's another thing - I never saw Morey buy a drink for himself. People were always saying to me "get Morey a drink on me."

That was testimony to how well-liked he was.

The first time I witnessed what happened when Morey came into the lounge, I was dumbfounded. And it would happen every time he came in. About a half-hour after he walked in, people would begin chanting "Morey, Morey". The crowd would grow louder. Morey tried to ignore it. The crowd grew even louder. Finally, someone would plead with Morey to go out to his car and "get it". 

The first time I witnessed this, I was not certain what "it" was, but I was about to find out.

After continued pleading and a few kisses on the cheek from the adoring women in the crowd, Morey would go out to his car and "get it".

"It" was a clarinet that Morey had been playing for many years. It was his pride and joy and he loved playing what he called his "licorice stick". He seemingly knew every song that was ever written. You name a song and Morey could play it.

When Morey returned from his car with the old, worn black box that contained his prized clarinet, the crowd would go berserk. He would set the box on the bar and, slowly and methodically, do the setup of the instrument. He would entrust me to the safe handling of the protective box that his fine clarinet came in and he would proceed toward the stage, the crowd now in a fever pitch in anxious anticipation of hearing Morey play any tune that anyone could name.

As Morey stepped to the microphone, the crowd grew dead silent. He was about to play. Someone called out the name of a song and, of course, Morey knew how to play it. Pausing just long enough to build excitement, Morey, with eyes shut and having the crowd in the palm of his hand, started playing the tune.

And it was the most incredible thing I have ever heard in my life.

Despite the fact that Morey had been playing clarinet since he was a child, he was arguably the worst clarinet player in the world. If they gave awards for how one could make a clarinet squeal, Morey would win hands-down. When he played, dogs would howl, children would scream, people would close their windows.

There were a few chuckles in the audience but, for the most part, the crowd was courteous. After playing his tune, the crowd would erupt in enthusiastic applause, begging him to play another song. He never did, instead preferring to pack up his clarinet, finish his drink and bid goodbye.

In all, despite his lack of talent on the clarinet, Morey brought smiles to the faces of the people who adored him.

And that's what entertainment is all about.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


There is quite a bit of consternation among my fellow brothers-in-arms of the 1960's regarding who is, in fact a "Vietnam Veteran". Many VN combat veterans get a bit tight about someone who worked in a support role during that time calling themselves a Vietnam Vet. On the other side, all of us were called to war at that time and none of us knew where we would end up. At that time there were those who were lucky enough to stay stateside or be stationed in cushier overseas posts.

One fact remains: we all faced scorn and discrimination when we returned, regardless of where we happened to serve.

In all fairness to the guys who were Vietnam combat veterans, there should be different levels of recognition of duty during that time. I look at us in the following way:

Vietnam Combat Veteran: This includes anyone who was directly engaged in combat, being land, water or air. Infantry, pilots, forward air controllers, river rats and others directly engaging the VC fall into this category.

Vietnam Veteran: One stationed in the country of Vietnam in a non-combat role.

Vietnam War Veteran: One stationed outside of Vietnam in the Southeast Asia theater of operations (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia).

Vietnam Operations Veteran: Stationed outside of Southeast Asia primarily in an air support role (Okinawa, Philippines, Guam).

Vietnam Era Veteran: Anyone enlisted between 1959 and 1975 who did not serve in any of the above capacities.

I believe that these categories could be agreed upon by those veterans who were in the trenches of the war. Also, while I understand the Vietnam combat veterans' need to define themselves at a different level than others who were part of the Vietnam War, all of us should remember:
"All gave some and some gave all".

Readers, enjoy your day.


A few blogs ago we discussed the in's and out's of GAS (maybe I should re-word this sentence). GAS, as you may recall, is a music-related affliction that affects guitarists and it stands for "Guitar Acquisition Syndrome". For some reason, among musicians it only hits guitarists and not those who play trombones or double bassoons.

Last week I caved in to the dark forces of GAS and purchased another guitar and am in the process of selling a 12-string to finance this grand venture. The new guitar is being shipped from Port St. Lucie, Florida via the nearly bankrupt U.S. Postal Service and, if the USPS can stay alive for a few more days, the guitar should be here by the end of the week.

Which all leads to the lexicon of the day "NGD". Among guitarists, NGD is ultimately the cure for "GAS" - NGD stands for "new guitar day". Like GAS, NGD is widely known among avid guitarists, just ask them and they'll go on for hours about NGD.

There's something about awaiting the arrival of a new guitar. You know that it's going to arrive on a certain day because you plug the tracking number into the delivery company's website every 15 minutes to see where it currently is. Then it happens. The big brown truck driven by the guy in the brown hat, brown shirt, brown jacket, brown pants, brown socks and brown shoes pulls up in front of your house and opens the back door of the truck. He grabs a 4' x 2' x 6" box out of the back of the truck and heads to your front door. Although you've been sitting in your front room waiting for the arrival of the package all day you wait for the doorbell to ring and, pretending that (ho-hum) it's no big deal, feigning boredom you sign the electronic gizmo and take your possession into the house.

Believe it or not, the feeling of the new guitar arrival is the same feeling that I had as a child when I waited for my mother to come home from the hospital bringing home my new baby sister. And it happened twice. Amateur psychologists: feel free to chime-in anytime.

Once NGD has become a reality and the guitar is sitting in your house, now the tough part begins. Unlike ripping open Christmas presents, one mustn't open the guitar box for 24 hours. That's because bad things happen to guitars when exposed to extreme temperature changes - their finish material tends to crack, split and ruin the instrument.

Twenty-four hours. Of waiting.

Truthfully, I've been known to cheat the 24 hour rule, opening the cardboard box and allowing the instrument to adjust to the temperature change a bit quicker. This is considered rather gauche among guitarists but it's widely done and we all hate ourselves for doing it. This week, however, I'm going to be straight-arrow and, for 24 hours, completely ignore the presence of the 4' x 2' x 6" cardboard box in the living room.

There it will sit.

It will beckon.

I must be strong.

Readers, enjoy your day. I will - it's my birthday.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I suppose that that must be normal as I see my friends' wives doing the same thing. Of course, all of us have been married forever (or maybe it just seems that way?) and the wives have heard our jokes a million+ times. Furthermore, I don't think our wives think we are very interesting.

Being the behavioral observer that I am, when we're out to dinner I watch different couples who are sitting near us and it's easy to pick out the ones who aren't married. Among these single couples the woman is listening to her date with rapt attention, hearing every word of how he changed the oil on the lawnmower last weekend, followed by how he cleaned the gutters and, of course, hanging a new mailbox using only two wood screws. You can almost hear her exclaim "what a man  - only two wood screws! This guy is marriage material."

The married women in the crowd are equally easy to pick out. You can imagine their husbands saying to them "yes, Marge, today I flew the space shuttle to Mars, came back and saved New York City from a flood, was elected to Congress and received the Nobel Peace Prize." To which she responds "that reminds me, we have to stop on the way home and pick up some eggs."

To be accurate, however, my wife does laugh at my jokes. It's more like mocking than laughing but, when you are a starving comedian such as I am, you take what you can get. Her mocking laughter sounds a lot like Fran Drescher's laugh. Haven't heard it? Consider yourself lucky. 

Truthfully, after lo these many years, I enjoy her mock laughter and wouldn't change it for the world. Like all women who love their husbands, that pseudo-laughter is saying to the world:

Yes, he's an idiot but he's MY idiot.

Such is the way a good marriage works. Wives have to think of their husbands as being somewhat daft. Ultimately, this is what makes wives happy. Perhaps it gives them something to talk about when they get together.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Man, it's the worst I've ever had...and can't imagine. Every fifteen seconds or so it hits it comes again...ARGGGGGHHHH....jeez, it hurts.

GAS is a terrible thing to have. In my case it is debilitating. I can't do anything until I cure it. It has completely taken over my life, so badly that I can't walk the dogs or clean the house. Honey, you're going to have to fill in for me on the house cleaning this week, I need to deal with this GAS before I can function properly.

It started a few weeks ago and I, being brought up in a Catholic family, have chosen to suffer rather than deal with it. Why? Because that's what Catholics do, suffering being good for the soul in the words of my sainted mother.

It's to the point that I can barely sleep. No amount of Ambien or even Keystone Light will help me. I'd try both at once but the Keystone Light would kill the Ambien buzz.

The suffering must stop. I must spill it, to my wife if not to the whole world. So, I've decided to tell both people who read my blog about my GAS pains.

First GAS is not "gas". Secondly, GAS pains hurt much more than "gas" pains. Am I making sense? No? My apologies.


GAS, as any guitarist will tell you, is a syndrome known only to the players of this wonderful instrument. GAS hits occasionally and one must give in to the forces of GAS. To explain fully, "G.A.S." stands for "Guitar Acquisition Syndrome." I'm not making this up. Ask any guitarist if he or she has GAS and they will probably tell you that, yes, they have it and, yes, they are dealing with it. Sadly, acquiring a guitar of choice is the only cure for this debilitating condition. Nothing else works.

After acquiring an Epiphone Dove guitar for Christmas, my GAS was cured. Or so I thought. My long-term philosophy was to have no more than four guitars, the number which I currently have. I still believe that I will stick to that charter. I heard a Martin 00-15M on YouTube the other day and, yes, I have GAS again.

So, to make room for a new #4 I must "thin the herd" (as we say) by selling one of my existing guitars. That's an easy choice - the 12-string which gets the least amount of play time of the four will be the one sacrificed as a cure, albeit a temporary one, for my GAS.

I feel better already. The GAS is dissipating.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Truth be known, I used to be an active member of the Facebook community. It was a wonderful diversion for a while, allowing me to reconnect with high school classmates, college friends and military buddies. Then, after about an hour and a half, I grew weary of it and deleted my account, ashamed of the time that I wasted on the drivel that has become the trademark of Facebook. Yes, I am being harsh here but I hope that at the end of this posting that you will find a way to tolerate, understand and perhaps embrace my point of view on the subject of what is known as "Social Media".

In the end, I found myself bored with 99% of what people posted on Facebook. 

Here are some examples:

What people had for dinner: "I made a baked tilapia tonight that was to die for" 
Breakfast: "Mmmmmmm, coffee"
Gushing about grandkids: "That little Jimmy is potty-trained and he's only 4 years old!"
Vacations: "Tulsa is quite a town!"
Personal Issues: "I'm depressed today"
What I/we did today: "Took the kids to McDonald's"
Things to do: "Have to mow the lawn"
Kids: "You should hear Susie do her A-B-C's!"
Kids (the sequel): "You should hear Susie do the Itsy Bitsy Spider!"
Pictures: "Here's one of me with Minnie Mouse"
Music: "Has anybody heard this version of MacArthur Park by Tom Jones?"
Politics: "What do you think of Chelsea Clinton in 2028?"
Religion: "I'm thinking about joining Scientology. Any thoughts?"
Internet grammar: uve got to c my bff! lol!
Diet: "I think I'm becoming lactose intolerant"
Diet (the sequel): "I think I'm becoming gluten intolerant"
Diet (the sequel - 2): "I think I'm becoming peanut intolerant"

Thus, how I became Facebook intolerant.

What is most shocking is that people would chime in and leave comments about the aforementioned statements. Let's take one of them for example:

"Took the kids to McDonald's"

People actually chime in on this stuff. For example, comments about taking kids to McDonald's may read as follows:

"Have a Big Mac for me!"
"Love those french fries!"
"The shakes are the best"
"Beats the heck out of Burger King"
"Do they still give the toy in the Happy Meal?"

I've seen this, I'm not exaggerating. If you think that I exaggerate, see my blog regarding "The Toughest Guy I Know". That should prove that I report facts and nothing but the facts. (Choke, cough).

Back to the issue of Facebook.

O.K., we have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that 99% (or at least 20%) of the stuff on Facebook is drivel and that the people who chime in and leave meaningless comments are equally drivelous. In fact, there are no shortages of drivelous comments left by normally well-meaning people about the drivelous comments made by their equally drivelous friends.

But, there are folks that post some interesting stuff on Facebook. I once learned about a theoretical physicist from Arizona State University named Lawrence Krauss. He wrote a book called "A Universe From Nothing" which forwards the idea that the universe could have, in fact, emerged from nothing, given the realities of quantum physics. 

Not a single person chimed in.

There was a posting which showed a video. The video took 3 minutes to guide a pathway of human history from the dawn of humans to present.


Another posting examined the beliefs of the great scientist Stephen Hawking who examined the nature of the creation of the universe.


The list of drivel and drivelers is endless.

But all is not lost.

The one saving grace of my brief association with Facebook is the fact that I was reunited with a man who was a huge influence on my life. Everyone has someone who they can point to who has directed them on their path of life, regardless of its ultimate outcome. Mine was a man named Gerald "Jerry" Snodgrass.

More about Jerry Snodgrass in another edition of "West of Denver".

Readers, enjoy your day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


For those of you who are not familiar, Ride the Rockies is a bike tour whose chief sponsor is the Denver Post. It is a week-long, sometimes tortuous 450-mile bike ride through the magnificent Colorado Rocky Mountains. I was suckered into riding my first one in 1991 by John, my boss at the time. Despite my initial reservations, we had a great time and went on to do two more RTR in 1992 and 1993. Back then we were hardened studs, our ripped bodies attracting the envy of even the most rock-hard firemen in the land. We'd scoff at the 12,000 foot mountain passes, guffaw at the tightest switchback turns and eat up the road with a fervor that only a veteran Tour de France cyclist could appreciate.

Fast forward 20 years. Without providing before and after pictures, John and I have, shall we say, changed a bit. In short, the years have taken their toll and those firemen's bodies are now more like fire hydrant bodies. However, some women still drool at the sight of us in our tight lycra bike shorts. We know because we see them when we ride past the nursing homes. 

I got a wild hair this past week, knowing that the RTR route would be announced on Saturday. It would be a good chance to perhaps recapture those special moments 20 years ago. When the announcement of the route was posted on the Internet, I was downright giddy. The 2013 route is a very favorable one whose direction is such that it will take advantage of prevailing west to east winds; tailwinds for most of the ride will be a reality and the dreaded headwinds all but nonexistent.

With a great fervor I contacted John, gave him the details and we both agreed that we'd make this happen. I spent last Sunday morning putting together the plan. First, I looked at the fees involved and gasped. The $100 fee in 2003 has ballooned to $500. The $40/night motels that we stayed in 20 years ago are now $150/night. Transportation to the start of the ride is a 207-mile journey; the return trip at the conclusion of the ride is equally long.

Despite the challenges, I trudged on.

I detailed the costs and logistics in a lengthy email to John with the promise that we'd decide the next day whether we would move forward with this. The more I thought about it, the worse it sounded - costs and logistics being the key factors. So, with my tail stuck firmly between my legs I notified John via email that I was bagging the idea. 

I waited to hear from him for several hours, all the while thinking that he would come back to me in a bitter fashion, chastising me for getting his hopes up then wimping out on the ride. I envisioned the end of a great friendship, one which was riding on our recapturing the fun, challenges and accomplishment that we had 20 years ago. Yes, I was convinced that, should he ever talk to me again, it would be through a sneer in his lips that could only mean you sniveling whiner - we could have burned up the route this year.

My phone made the bonking sound that indicated that an email was awaiting my attention. It was from John. With great trepidation I opened it and read that he, too, had come to the same conclusion about the ride. Perhaps another time would be better. Another time, indeed. When? Five years from now we'll be either pushing 70 or pushing up daisies. Ten years from now...I don't want to think about it.

Regardless of the outcome of our decision not to ride this year, for a brief time when we were considering this year's RTR we were the men who we were 20 years ago, men with a hardened resolve to conquer the highest peaks. We relived the tremendous sensation of the finish line, the sweat, the emotions, the reward of a cold beer, of being reunited with loved ones, of looking forward to sleeping in one's own bed, of a huge steak sizzling on the grill, of a few days not tied to a bike seat, of the many tales that we would tell endlessly over the following years, of the memory of a Colorado sky so blue that it's beyond beauty and description.

Of being in our 40's again.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The following is a true story. I swear to its accuracy, unless otherwise noted. I have used fictitious names to maintain the privacy of the people involved.

Our friend "Rob" is an avid skier who was involved in a construction accident several weeks ago, breaking two ribs and puncturing a lung. Yesterday was a picture-perfect day and, not wanting to miss a fantastic ski day, "Rob" convinced his wife "Marni" that he was o.k. to ski. Reluctantly and with great reservation, she let him go. Quite by circumstance, the wife and I also went skiing yesterday and crossed paths with "Rob" who was skiing with his friend "Jorge" and we proceeded to ski with them. 

The remainder of the story is a little muddy and I cannot swear to the accuracy of any of the following events. Even the other people who were there may disagree as to which, if any, elements are true or are complete nonsense. In reading this, we should all remember the time-honored phrase: "don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."

While skiing the trees, "Rob" went smack dab into a 3 foot diameter aspen tree going at a good clip, probably 30 MPH. He got up a bit bruised and continued skiing. If that weren't enough, he went on to hit another tree. This time wasn't quite as bad, being that he was moving along at only about 20 MPH. Bruised and bloodied, he continued on, hurt but still enjoying a beautiful Colorado ski day.

His undoing came about an hour later when he was run over by a Snow Cat. From being run over by the Snow Cat's grooming gear, his ski suit looked like it was made of corduroy. Furthermore, it appeared that he had broken an arm and a leg. The ski patrol was nowhere to be found so we took a few boards from an abandoned mine nearby that were, unfortunately, covered with rusty nails and we splinted his arm and leg.

Believe it or not, he wanted to continue skiing.

So, bruised and bloodied from two separate collisions with aspen trees and having a broken arm and leg from being run over by a Snow Cat, he continued skiing for the rest of the day, stopping only because the bar was about to close and he wanted a shot and a beer.

Amazingly, on his way to the bar, he saved a young child from a chairlift accident, catching her as she fell from a lift tower 30 feet off the ground.

This story, unbelievable as it may seem, gets even more unbelievable. "Rob" got home, cleaned himself up a bit and took "Marni" out dancing that evening.

She never suspected a thing.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Friday, February 1, 2013


The wife read a previous blog - you know, the one about our hoarding glassware - I'm sure you've read it, it has gone viral in several 3rd world countries. She made the comment that I mustn't have very much to do - thus my taking the time to count all 253 drinking vessels* that we have amassed over the years...good years, all of them mind you, never any marital issues. Whew!

* 252 if you don't include the dogs' water dish

The time comments got me to thinking about the essence of time, itself, and how I have changed my perceptions of time since retiring. While employed, I was obsessed with time and felt an absolute obsession with timeliness. I must have been the only one as, when I showed up for meetings on time, I was the only one there. Once I left the workplace, I could see no use for wearing a watch, so now I rarely wear one. Why would I need one? There are no meetings to attend, no deadlines to keep, no schedules that demand punctuality. If I need to know what time it is, there are enough timepieces hanging here and there to give me the information that is needed. Even without the ubiquitous time devices, there are plenty of secondary clues that give an approximation of the time of day. For example, if a storefront has a sign that says that they open at 9 a.m. and the door to that store is open, you know that it's after 9 a.m. At the same time if the store next door to the first store says that it opens at 10 a.m. and the door is closed, you know that it's somewhere between 9 and 10 a.m. Better still, just look at the clock outside the bank across the street and it will tell you that it's 9:35 a.m.

Sitting in our living room is an inescapable maze of time pieces within view: one on the wall with a picture of a dog on it, the digital clock on the microwave as well as a digital clock on the range. There's one more: a console clock two feet below the clock with the dog picture on it. Into the dining room you'll find an attractive analog clock. The clock on my computer always has the accurate time, plus our phones display the correct time. The extra bedroom's clock is there but is an hour ahead as I never turned it back for standard time. No big deal - daylight savings time will be here shortly.

Note to self: I think that I need to revise the Hoarder's blog as I have discovered that we are also clock hoarders.

Readers, enjoy your minute at a time.