Saturday, May 30, 2015


Looking back over my 60-odd years (yes, they've been odd), it occurred to me that no one has ever called me "darlin'". Even though I've known some lovely Southern women (who use the word copiously), they never saw fit to call me darlin'.

Honey, sweetie, pumpkin, lovey-dovey....yeah, they're fine, but there's something about the word darlin' that's hard to beat. It conveys both an affection and a passion which are elements that simple terms of endearment lack. "Monkey pie", "angel face" and "bunny hunny" can't hold a candle to darlin'. Beyond that, darlin' is sincere. I cannot imagine anyone in the throes of an argument using the term in a crass way.

Foe example, take the case of Clark Gable playing Rhett Butler. His famous line toward the end of "Gone With The Wind"...

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" would be rendered meaningless if he had said...

"Frankly my darlin', I don't give a damn."

So it was with great surprise and genuine happiness that, while on a routine call to Southwest Airlines, a representative (I think her name was Bobbie Jo...or was it Billy Bob?) said to me "well, darlin' let's pull up your record and see what we have here." The accent was unmistakeable. It was Atlanta, for sure. To be accurate, it was North Atlanta, not north enough to be referred to as "Scumbag Yankees", but close.

My mind started to race. This woman on the phone had unwittingly crossed an item off my bucket list - to be called darlin'.

In thinking about it, the woman from Southwest Airlines probably calls all the dumb schmucks who call her 1-800 number darlin'. The guy before me may have just robbed a bank. The guy after me could have been worse, maybe even a snowboarder.

Still though, being called darlin' is something special. After my phone call, my mind began to wander. I wondered what kind of life the Southwest Airlines lady had. I surmised that she was in her late 40's, rather plain, grown kids, church choir, makes a mean plate of fried chicken, reads a lot, and not much for sports except for the Atlanta Braves.

She's been married to a guy named "Mike" forever and is still crazy about him. She might say to Mike:

"Anything else you want, darlin'?"
"Another piece of fried chicken, darlin'?"
"Another cup of coffee, darlin'?"
"Want to see a movie this weekend, darlin'?"
"How are you feeling, darlin'?"

Whoever this woman is in real life, Southwest Airlines should be glad to have her.

She's a real darlin'.

Readers, enjoy your day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


The wife and I recently spent a weekend in Victoria, British Columbia, a short ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Victoria is a wonderful city, full of beautiful flowers, trees and sub-tropical plants. The colors of the many varieties of vegetation are stunning, particularly during this Spring season.

Equally beautiful are the people of Victoria - friendly, pleasant and outgoing.
Upon arrival in Victoria, we enjoyed lunch at a local outdoor fish and chips takeout restaurant. Due to its popularity, the line for placing orders was especially long, ambling slowly but steadily toward the takeout order window. In line in front of me were four Muslim women, chatting among themselves as they moved steadily forward to order and receive their lunch.

When the Muslim women reached the takeout order window, they were greeted pleasantly by a smiling young woman who asked them if they are having a nice day and what would they like to order for lunch. Orders were taken and paid for and names for the orders written down carefully by the smiling employee.

Shortly thereafter, the names of the women were called out by a young man who was in charge of fulfilling the completed orders. In a courteous and friendly way he explained that he would put an extra wrapper around the items to make it easier for them to handle the hot food. The women were most appreciative of the service that they received from the employees at this simple takeout restaurant.

I wonder if the same respect would have been shown to these women at an establishment in the U.S.

I wonder.

Readers, enjoy your day.


Of late I've been at a loss to write something as there's not much exciting going on in my life. That is, unless my two readers would enjoy reading about how I skillfully vacuumed out the car this morning.

No? I didn't think so.

An always interesting subject in my life is my dog, Scooter. Here's a picture of the little culprit:

As you may have guessed, he is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is the Corgi without the tail. But he, in fact, has a tail. (It's complicated). Some people refer to Pembrokes as The Queen's Dog as Queen Elizabeth has had a veritable gaggle of them over the years. At one time she had as many as 8 Corgis but is now down to her last two. She says that she won't replace them as she is 88 years old and tripping over one of them could be catastrophic. Plus the fact that she's tired of finding dog hair in her afternoon nachos.

We were in Wales a number of years ago and looked high and dry for any WELSH Corgis. It seemed like an easy task since it's easy to find Scottish Terriers in Scotland and Irish Wolfhounds in Ireland. Surely WALES must have some WELSH Corgis.

Nope. We couldn't find one of them.

No matter; we still have our little Scooter.

We named him Scooter because when we open the back door, he madly races out to chase and thereby rid the world of squirrels, cats, rabbits and other such undesirables. As with any dog, he has learned a certain amount of our vocabulary. He likely does not know much about what nouns, verbs, adverbs and sentences are, but he does know what certain words mean. Here are a few:

"Toy": things you squeeze and make a noise with, eventually chewing out the stuffing from the insides of them and having to go to the vet for a medically-induced vomit experience.

"Food": stuff that we put in a bowl twice a day. It tastes alright but the cupcake that he snatched off the table last week was a lot better.

"Outside": the place where he's supposed to do the things that he's not supposed to do in the house.

"Car": the thing that takes him to the beach or sometimes to the vet. Left turn = beach, right turn = vet. (Left turn, wag tail; right turn, whine and cower.)

"Come here": words he pretends not to understand.

"Sit down": words he pretends not to understand.

"Stay there": words he pretends not to understand.

And then there are the words he really enjoys hearing:

"Good boy".

And then there's the occasional "Bad Boy", to which he mentally replies:

"Who? ME?"

Readers, enjoy your day.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


My dog Scooter is a very active communicator. Unfortunately, I have no idea what he is saying. Several times a day he sits in front of me, looks me square in the eyes and makes a sound. The sound in question is hard to describe. If I had to put it into writing it would be:


The dog obviously wants something but I've never been able to ascertain what he specifically desires when he says "M?".

Today when he sat in front of me and did the "M?" thing, I was determined to figure it out. I immediately asked him what he wanted and he told me.


"Oh, I understand. You want to go outside." So, outside we went, where he proceeded to do a few leg lifts, aiming his liquid projectile toward the wife's rhododendrons. Satisfied that he was satisfied, we came back into the house.


"Oh, you want to go for a walk?" So we went for a one mile jaunt and came home.


"Oh, you want a treat?" So I gave him a dog biscuit.




"O.K., I'll feed you."

So, I fed him his afternoon ration of food. After his meal he curled up at my feet and went into a deep sleep, his short legs twitching from time to time, presumably dreaming of running in a meadow among his canine friends.

It was very useful to go through this exercise today as I finally understand my dog's language. When he says "M?" he wants to go outside then go for a walk then have a treat then be fed (in that order).

Or, maybe he's just hungry.

Readers, enjoy your day.