This and That, Here and There and Still Water

Spanning the globe…Here’s an old story that never made it to print:

On a walk a while back I happened upon a cat lazing on a lawn.  He, she, it was a friendly sort and I asked a neighbor sitting on a front porch if the cat belonged to her.

” Oh no,” was the reply.  ” The cat belongs to no one and to all of us.”

“The cat was adopted by a family that moved away recently and they couldn’t take her with them.  The cat was already a neighborhood favorite so a couple of the neighbors got together and here’s what we decided.”

” I feed the cat every day, she sleeps at my next door neighbor’s house and the people in the green house across the street take her to the vet. She seems to like the arrangement.”

A nice story with a happy ending.

The other night on the porch listening to the local nine on the box a friend and me were discussing our impending ” One day we ain’t gonna work no more” plans.

And Bobby said, ” I think I deserve to just and stare at still water for as long as I want.”

I thought about that for a second and said, ” Me too.”

Lock Your Car, Take Your Keys

I’m miss writing and running.  My writing is a direct result of my running has been lacking because running has been lacking.

Pick the sore body part – foot, knee, ankle, hip – I got beaucoup of them.

But onto the subject of today’s nonsense.

To condense a long story I found myself at a church last week which is located in a pretty rural community.  I was there for an evening band rehearsal and what with it being a gentle summer evening and being in the middle of nowhere I decided to leave my car unlocked with all the windows rolled down.  I had my guitar with me in the building – What was there to steal?

Once upon a time I lived in an even more rural setting where on Friday afternoons after work when I arrived home I could leave the car unlocked with keys in the ignition and on Monday that VW would be right where I left it.

It was a simpler time, I was a simpler person and my needs and possessions were few.

This morning I stopped at the local coffee emporium about which I have written about on these screens many times.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and made my way out to the patio  where I could see my car with open windows in all it’s unlocked glory.  It is a simple pleasure to be sure.

Leaving the car open and unlocked is not a habit I plan to cultivate but I kind of like the possibility of being able to do just that.

The car thinks it’s pretty cool too.



Bein’ Right Neighborly OR I Got Tools

At first I thought I would title this – ” It’s a Guy Thing” but I realized how sexist and stupid that was so I ditched it.

I have two sets of new neighbors, one directly next door to my left and one next door to them also on my left, theirs also.

I’m a friendly, neighborhood guy and I wanted to get off on the right foot with these first time home buyers.

Besides the usual lawn, garage, house heating and plumbing issues we discussed I finished off the conversation with the phrase ” I got tools” meaning if you need anything: mi toolbox es su toolbox.

Thinking about this post I thought well, it’s a guy thing to discuss tools but no it’s really not really.

I work in a business where many women have better tool kits than some of the guys on the job site so saying that tools equal guys is just stupid.

Carry on.



It’s Pretty Simple

Regulars and keen eyed followers of this space may recall that I make my living as a Stagehand.

Those fellows and gals who unload the trucks, set up and run the shows of all your favorite rock and roll, country & western, pop, folk, rap, Broadway and so on shows.

There is one pretty simple rule that governs what we do and it’s this:photo.JPG  If it’s in the truck it goes on the stage.

If it’s on the stage it goes back on the truck.

Any questions?

So the next time you lay down good money to see Bruce or Willie or Beyonce or ( heaven Forbid) that Bieber kid, or anyone else in your favorite hockey arena, ballpark, theatre, concert venue or local bar please remember that you are supporting the arts and by the arts I mean me and my fellow Stagehands.

That also goes for monies given to the NEA.

The arts support a lot of people and not only those with paintbrushes, tu-tus, violins, guitars, Ludwig drum kits, paper and pencil, laptops, video cameras, print cameras, phone cameras, kettle drums, typewriters and scripts.

I’m Phil and I approve this message.

Parking Lots

I’m at my local supermarket this morning.

There are spaces in the parking lot designated for handicapped drivers, pregnant women, women with toddlers all close to the store.  I think that’s great and I have no problem with any of those considerations.

I would like to add a new category of designated spots: “Stupid people who can’t park properly, can’t back out of a space and who nearly cause accidents by either nearly running over someone (me) or backing into my car, that would also be me.

Just let me know where the dopes get to park and I’ll go somewhere else.  Maybe I’ll rent myself a couple of toddlers.


A Word or Two about Words OR Old Man Yells at Cloud


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When you are a fan of the National Pastime on the radio as I am you get get used to being flooded, bombarded and inundated with commercials.

Today’s lesson kids is about car commercials.

Recently I’ve noticed and maybe this goes back further than I can recall but marketing cars today has spawned some strange new words and phrases that I’m not entirely familiar with although I was able to figure out who’s who and what’s what.  For example:

Car company A has an auto that carries onboard Lane Drift Alerts.  Stay in your lane buddy or there will be consequences.

Company B preaches the wonderfulness of a “Pedestrian Avoidance” system and not be outdone it also has some kind of gizmo called ” Collision Alert.”

So, basically your new Oldsmobile is a riding and rolling radar unit emitting who knows what kind of gamma and x-rays in all directions to make sure you don’t run over anyone or smack into that Pierce-Arrow that just slammed on the brakes in front of you.

Maybe there should be a ” Put down your cell phone” minder in the car too which would alleviate the need for all the above mentioned gadgets and wizardry.

Oh yeah, turns out we also have our own onboard pedestrian alert, lane drift and collision avoidance system already built in.

It’s called your “Brain” so open your eyes, put down the phone and take those buds out of your ears Bud.

And now back to Ted and Larry with the play by play…


I Feel the Earth Move OR You Are the Father !!


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Quiet day yesterday here in these parts except at 4:29 pm eastern whatever time I heard a loud boom.  I mean a big honkin’ kaboom.

At first I thought, well, this is it – Kim Jong what’s- his -name managed to lob one over the net and I wondered how much canned soup I had left in kitchen since trips to the grocery store were liable to be severely curtailed for the next million or so years.  There goes all the Supermarket Bonus Reward points I had stocked up.

It turns out we experienced a 2.3 sized earthquake down the road apiece towards the southern end of the county.  No damage, nobody hurt so that’s good.

Back to the Kim Jong thing- apparently several 911 callers to Country Control feared the same thing I did, that our little buddy finally found a way to ruin everyone’s weekend forever.

I got to thinking though – What if you were taking a polygraph test at the same time ground shook?  And what if the question was one that would prove you guilt or innocence?

What would Maury say besides, ” You are the father, bub.”

I suppose you could ask for a do over just like we used to do when we played stickball in the streets.

Really, we played in the street literally all the time.  We painted bases on the asphalt and our parents watched us.  They told us to go outside and play.  The best was tackle football in the snow in the street while the roads had yet to be plowed.

That’s all I got.

Film at 11.




Perusin’ the Obits

The Sunday paper seems to have an extra large selection, more than any other day of the week.  Maybe the rates are cheaper because the circulation is larger.  I don’t know.

I had to compose an obit once for an uncle.  The funeral home gave me a worksheet/questionnaire that I filled out with pertinent facts about him.  The newspaper fleshed it out into an obituary that was printed and published.  I don’t remember what the cost was.

In today’s paper there were some sad stories, some, well, it was time to go stories and some tell me how this is fair stories.

One line in a story struck me.

It read  ” She liked to sit in the sun.”

Don’t we all?

I don’t remember sitting in the sun as a blank to be filled in.

She liked to sit in the sun.

Don’t we all?

Another Friend

She lives pretty much on the road.  In and out of hotels and airports all the time.

Recently she was side lined because of a broken ankle and had to spend a couple of weeks at home.

She said when she got back on the road and checked into a hotel and opened the door to her room that she felt really at home.