I originally posted this 12/1/2016 on my Facebook page. Thought it fit… 

NBA Friends – Merry Christmas! Some of you will remember this and some of you won’t. Some of you will know some of the people in here and , maybe not others. If you were there, you know what a blast this was to do. If you weren’t, try to imagine… And eat your heart out! LOL
Back in 1994, the Beach Boys played a concert after a Padres game at Jack Murphy Stadium. Channel 8 decided to put together a contest and asked for people/groups to submit videos of them performing Barbara Ann. The winner(s) would perform the song on stage with the Beach Boys at the concert!
Retired Corporate Mom, Barbara Brumfield, thought it would be fun for us to submit an entry, so she showed up one day with her movie camera and asked for volunteers.
Nobody wanted to do it (yeah – right!) so we got some ideas together, wrote down the words and shot three takes. Then we had to get back to work.
They get better as the the number of takes increases.
The third one is the one we submitted.

Did we win? We were sooooooo close! 

Who won?

Well… It was some drunk guy. Knee deep in the Pacific Ocean. Wearing a straw hat. Playing a ukulele… Really.

And then he never showed up for the ball game or performance!!

Oh well – we had a ton of fun doing it!  

Anyway, enjoy…

Things With Six Strings

The Bed Hair Trilogy – Part Three

The Grand Finally

(As in “it’s finally done”)

Click here to start at the beginning (Part One)

In the first two segments of this series, we have almost thoroughly discussed the subject of Bed Hair.

We have seen the manifestations of the condition.

We have learned that our pets are, for the most part, immune to its ravages, and that they will almost certainly go out of their way to keep from warning us that we are in possession of a good case of the stuff.

We have determined that some fortunate historical figures have been able to turn their Bed Hair disadvantage into a vehicle for achieving huge success in the fields of art, music, science and military domination.

But what about the rest of us? What about the guy who has no aspirations of world domination? Or the woman who is…

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Click here to catch up on everything and have some idea what the heck is going on…  and start at the bottom of the page with Part 1 (one).

Click here to go to Part Five (5)… so you know where we left off…

Well, Bovine enthusiasts, it’s been almost four (4) years since last we met on the subject of cows. I’m thinking I have left you hanging long enough. But take solace in the fact that this will, perhaps, be the last of the trilogy. Who knows…

So…

Yes, it is, in fact, a fact that chickens smell multitudes worse than cows. Multitudes squared, actually.

While cows can smell items up to six miles away, you, as a human being, can smell a chicken ranch at nearly twice that distance, given favorable (or unfavorable, depending on how you smell it) wind direction. In that regard, cows can be labeled “fortunate”. 

I say “fortunate” because nobody wants to be the stinkiest object in the room. Not even a cow. And with chickens providing such negatively aromatic competition, the typical cow can point an accusatory hoof at the nearest barnyard provider of delicious eggs and deflect most, if not all, thoughts of disgust otherwise aimed toward her.  

But lets face it, even though a cow is not a chicken, she still emits a pretty “fowl” odor. 

But lets further face it, if there are chickens around, a cow doesn’t smell nearly so bad. This is especially true if you live in rural areas of the planet. 

But lets further face it further. If you are a city dweller, you, most likely, don’t live in very close proximity of a true, bonafide chicken raising, egg producing,  heavily populated chicken ranch. And you probably don’t have the foggiest idea just how much the chickens on that ranch poop. And you don’t have ANY idea what that sh – stuff smells like in large quantities.

Well let me tell you, city slicker, I DO! And it ain’t ANYTHING like your brand newly planted front lawn. 

Uh… sorry. Got a little carried away… 

“So,” you ask, “just how bad can a chicken smell, anyway?”

I am pleased that you have brought that up. To answer that question, I have assembled a short list of “how bads” for your consideration. 

  • The odor emanating from a small to medium sized chicken ranch is so bad that you can hear it.
    • (Yes, you can actually hear the smell, and it is not nearly as appealing as the sound of screeching brakes ending with a crash and the sound of breaking glass.) 
  • A chicken ranch can smell so bad that, over a long period of exposure, roosters have been known to lay eggs.
    • (Yes, even chickens are negatively impacted by their own smell.)
  •  I’ve seen uninitiated folks have their socks curl up, disintegrate and fall out of their shoes at the first whiff of a working chicken ranch.  
    • (Yes, up. Not down – up.)
  • And, finally, a chicken ranch ALWAYS smells so bad that it makes a cow smell like Nirvana Rose perfume.
    • (Yes, women – and the men who smell them – would rather smell like a cow than be subjected to the odor of the average chicken ranch.)

That’s how bad it is. It’s awful. Really awful.

And that, my friend, is what makes a cow smell so good.

Comparatively. 

And on that note, it’s time to say…

Moo… 

 

Things With Six Strings

In our last discussion, we learned all about Bed Hair. We learned about how it creeps up on you in the night.

While you sleep.

We learned that it gives no hint of it’s existence through any of our physical senses except for eyesight. We cannot directly hear, taste smell or feel it.

Notice the word ‘directly’.. for, while we cannot detect the ailment physically through any of these other four senses,we can detect when someone else has seen it in ourselves.

For example, we can hear someone whispering behind our back about how ridiculous we look with our ‘hair like that’.

We learned that Bed Hair makes no distinction between classes of people – it strikes anyone within reach of its’ pernicious tentacles – ever searching for that one last victim.

We learned that (contrary to the general population of the planet) some famous historical figures have made their…

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Hmmm… I guess you can train nose hairs after all… 

Nose hairs

Things With Six Strings

I’m going to start out by admitting something that has been rolling around in my head for a week or two.

For a long time, I didn’t think I was getting any older, and the thought that I was not getting any younger never made it’s way into my head. However, that has changed, and I am ready to go on record as believing that I am, in fact, not getting any younger. 

At first, I was disappointed that I was not aging in reverse, but after some consideration, I have decided that that’s not a bad thing, and here’s why…

When I thought about it, I realized that time only moves forward, never backward, and the only way one can expect to be around tomorrow is to move forward with it and get older. When you stop moving forward with time and, therefore, stop getting older, you die (not necessarily in that order)…

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Things With Six Strings

I was talking on the phone with a friend of mine (I’ll call her Judy) the other day (actually about 20 years ago, at this point, but something happened to me this morning that made me think of the conversation) when the subject of an early morning knock on the door came up.

It seems that her husband had somehow locked himself out of the house while releasing the dogs for an early morning constitutional in the backyard dog run. Being dressed only in his shorts and a small (but not unattractive) apron which proudly proclaimed “I’ll never be barefoot and pregnant”, he, quite naturally, was hesitant to go to the front door of their house to gain entrance. (Being new in the neighborhood, he was concerned about first impressions, and moseying through the front yard in such attire would give him unwelcome exposure – so to speak – to…

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Way back in 2015 – more practice with auto-focus. Before we got a real movie camera…

Again, making it up as we go along… And Steve is actually just under 6’7″ tall…

This termite goes into a saloon, hops up on a stool, slaps his hand on the counter and says, “Bartender here?”.

When I returned from Vietnam, and before Judy and I got married, I told her this joke. Her response was not what I expected. She said, “I don’t get it”.

I didn’t explain it to her. In fact, I have never explained it to anyone. Ever. And I’m not going to explain it to you now. 

But one night about seven years later, at 2:30 in the morning…

Judy: “Bill, wake up!”, she said, shaking me from my sleep.

Bill (me): “What is it? Are you OK?”

J: “I’m fine.”

B (m) (a grin starting to spread across my face in the dark): “What do you want?”

J: “I got that joke.”

B (m): “Uh…What joke?”

J: “The one about the bar.”

B (m): “Oh. Well great.”

J: “I don’t think it’s funny.”

B (m): “OK. Is that all?”

J: “No. I think I’ll tell it at work tomorrow to see what they all think about it.”

B (m): “OK. Anything else?”

J: “No, that’s it. Goodnight.”

The next night Judy came home from work…

J: “I told the joke at work. They didn’t think it was funny, either.”

B (m): “Well, how did you tell it?”

J: “Just like you told me. I said, ‘This giant ant walks into a bar, sits down and asks for the bartender…”

B (m) “Delivery needs work…”

It’s 5:30.

AM.

In the morning. 

It’s dark.

It was dark when you went to bed at 1:00 AM and set the alarm on your Android phone.

Yours is a mind filled with activity, in anticipation of things to come. 

Or things already past.

Or both.

It was dark when you finally fall asleep at 2:39 AM.

It’s a fitful “rest”, and you toss and turn, but it is, in fact, some sort of sleep, though you don’t quite reach REM until about 5:15 AM. But it’s still dark, and you dream. You dream of a most pleasant time…

368

…You are walking along the beach, the waves softly rolling onto the shore, a gentle, breeze whispers through your hair and cools your face after a warm day, seagulls singing as they ride currents thirty feet overhead. You stop and turn to gaze upon the open sea as the sun gently lowers itself below the western horizon, taking with it all of the stress of the day gone by. 

You’ve heard of it, but have never taken the time to stop and notice – and marvel at – the beauty of the fabled “Green Flash”. For years – no, decades – you have read about it. You have listened to your friends speak most eloquently about the stunningly dazzling sight. 

But now, after all this time, you are ready. Ready to cast aside all of the anxieties of the day. Ready to discard the apprehensions of tomorrow. Ready to immerse yourself, completely, in the magnificence of nature. 

Nature above you. Nature below you. Nature in front of you. Nature behind and beside you. The only thing man-made object within range of any of your senses is you, yourself, and even you are a product of nature.

You take a deep, cleansing breath…

You have found peace. Tranquility. Stillness…

This, at last, is what life was meant to be. Not the disquiet of the daily grind mankind has wrought upon itself.

As you stand there alone, bathed in the incomparable majesty of God’s creation, the anticipation of the marvelous spectacle you are about to witness builds. Any moment now, the sun will blink out below the distant boundary that separates the sky from the sea and, if you are lucky, you will behold what comparatively few have been fortunate enough to notice throughout the ages.

You wait, watching in silence…

Until the moment finally arrives… 

You know how, sometimes, you want to succinctly express your feelings to someone in such a way as to let them know exactly what you think of them? And you want to do it without using any really bad words? And you can’t think of any way to do it without using any of the really bad words you really want to use but would feel really badly about it if you did? And so you just don’t say anything at all?

You Stifle yourself for the sake of propriety. 

On the one hand, this is a very good thing to do – it shows maturity and self control when, in many cases, you may be justified in letting the other guy verbally have it; but because you are a really nice person, you just bite your tongue and keep your thoughts to yourself. 

Is that not just about the most frustrating thing in the world?

Well take heart, my good person, because I have stumbled upon a way to inform anyone who irritates you exactly what you think of them without the use of any really bad words at all! 

Yes, that’s right! You can exercise your right to insult the _____ing _____y ______e who has just proven him/herself to be exactly what you don’t want to say and do it in such a way that you can say it without any self recrimination or fear of getting your mouth washed out with Lifebuoy. 

Imagine a situation where someone has just demonstrated themselves to be exactly what you don’t want to say, but you are able to say something even better.

For example, instead of calling them a _____ing _____y ______e, you can say,

“Thou gorebellied pottle-deep canker-blossom!”

or

“Thou clouted milk-livered malt-worm!”.

You can even go as far as saying

“Thou beslubbering tardy-gated skainsmate!”

without having to go to confession because of the really bad words that you didn’t use! And, at the same time, you can demonstrate that you actually are quite the cultured individual because you can sound “Shakespeare”-ish.

“So how do I do this,” you ask? It’s easy! Simply look at the chart below and follow the instructions and in no time at all you’ll be insulting everyone from your boss to your doctor; from your spouse to your daughter’s boyfriend; from your used car salesman to your grocery clerk, all while impressing them with your knowledge of  The Barb!

No need to thank me. I didn’t come up with this, but I really wish that I had.

shakespear-insult-kit

I have a cold. A pretty bad one, at that. And I have had it for almost a couple of weeks – since Christmas Eve night, actually. I was fine all day Christmas Eve and then later that night – BOOM! It hit like Santa getting stuck halfway down the chimney.

It gets better and then it doesn’t. I am currently in a “doesn’t” phase, and it is manifesting itself, as colds do, in lots of sneezing, coughing, clogged sinuses and mucous. (My intent is not to gross you out, here, I’m just being honest.)

Probably the most bothersome thing about this particular cold is the sinus congestion. I hate not being able to breathe through my nose because it forces me to breathe through my mouth. That wouldn’t bother me too much except that breathing through my mouth makes it more difficult to chew, swallow and inhale at the same time. Yes, I realize that you cannot swallow and breathe through your nose at the same time, either, but there’s something special about not being able to do it through your mouth. At least, to me.

Additionally, I sound funny when I speak – like I have a clothespin on my nose. People who know what I really sound like have noticed. People who know how I sing say that I should always have my sinuses clogged. One person suggested permanently filling them with concrete and then try out for “The Voice”. 

This, astoundingly, is not an option.

I have been using a couple of nighttime and daytime concoctions to help me get through, and, I think, they have been helpful. To a point. 

The issue with these particular snake oils is that they have not really helped with the clogged sinuses so I continue to be a “mouth breather”.

And then, just about ninety minutes ago, I had a thought.

Neti Pot… I have a Neti Pot! Two of them, in fact! That’s one for each nostril! 

Now, I haven’t seen either of my Neti Pots since we moved into our new home. And, in fact, I haven’t used one in several years. And I have have never used one while I have had a cold. 

I got excited. 

I went hunting for them.

I found them in the laundry room, in a cabinet, in the back of a shelf, hidden in the middle of several aerosol cans and spray bottles. Specifically, I found them sitting next to a can of pet odor spray (for getting rid of pet odors, not causing them), a jar of disinfectant wipes and a spray bottle of a cleaning product named after my dog.

I got more excited. 

I brought them to the master bathroom.

I filled one of them with water and added a packet of the special saline powder to the warm water in the pot.

I put the lid on. 

I brought it up to my right nostril, just to the right of my left nostril.

I leaned my head over the sink.

This is when I learned the following lessons: 

  1. Always check for stuff that might be inside the Neti Pot before you fill it with warm water.
  2. Use warm water.
  3. Not hot water.
  4. Have some sort of paper facial tissue (snot rag) immediately available.
    1. Be prepared to keep your head held over the sink for a really long time if you forget the facial tissue. 
  5. If possible, have the water running in the sink while performing the Neti Pot procedure. 
  6. Don’t sneeze while performing the Neti Pot procedure. 
  7. If you sneeze, don’t be looking at the mirror.
  8. Or your wife.
  9. Especially your wife.
  10. Don’t use a Neti Pot if you have a bushy mustache.
    1. If you have a mustache, it may be more pleasant to stick one end of a drinking straw up your nose and the other end into your mouth and just suck real hard. 
    2. Or not, depending on just how bushy your mustache is.
  11. If you sneeze, don’t be looking at your wife.
  12. Especially your wife. 

How To Live Our Lives

January 5, 2017

I firmly believe that we should live our lives in such a way that when we die we leave the world a better place for Keith Richards.

Things With Six Strings

It was dark. In fact, it was really dark. And hot. And humid. And it smelled bad.

And I found myself lying between sweat soaked sheets that reeked of chlorine bleach and calamine lotion and were stretched across a bed frame so full of splinters that you could use them to hang the ‘resort’ supplied bath towel that’s so thin you could read the newspaper through it in the pitch black darkness of  a hotel room that was so run down that even the rats, mice, termites and spiders had abandoned it nearly a decade ago.

Well, at least the chances of catching Hantavirus were low, what with the conspicuous absence of vermin, and all. 

As I lay there in the dark, I rehashed the events of the previous eight hours, trying to figure out why this trip seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Was it the promise of the the resort restaurant – “Voted the best…

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A friend posted the following meme on Facebook… 

fluent-in-silence

…and it got me to thinking:

I am completely fluent in silence. I hardly ever talk. About anything. Well, some things I talk about, I guess, but only a little bit. Except when I think I have something really important to say. Which isn’t very often at all. Only when I run out of things to think – that’s when I feel like I have to say something. But that’s not an event that comes up very frequently. Only when I’m awake. Or asleep. I don’t talk much in my sleep, though, that would irritate Judy. So if I ever do talk, it’s mostly when I’m awake. And I run out of things to think. For example, I ran out of something to think last March, and I actually said something out loud. That surprised everybody in the room. Actually, it was in the bathroom and I was the only one there, so maybe that doesn’t count. Then there was that time in 1978 when we moved to Oregon. That was actually kinda cool, what with the 4th of July rodeo being snowed out and all. But other than that, oh yeah – there was the time when I was in the first grade and I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of class and I raised my hand and asked the teacher if I could go to the bathroom and she said “yes”. I went there and sat there and ran out of things to think, so I talked then, too. Hmmm… I think I do most of my best talking sitting on the pot. At least – oh yeah, and there was the time when I was driving to the store to get milk and carnation instant breakfast for dinner when Judy was out of town and I had to cook for myself. I ran out of things to think about and started to repeat my shopping list (which I had forgotten to write because I was in the middle of thinking of something when I decided to go to the store) so I wouldn’t forget why I was going there in the first place. When I ran out of something to think about, I just repeated over and over, “Milk. Carnation Instant Breakfast. milk. carnation instant breakfast. milk. carnation instant breakfast. milk. carnation instant breakfast…” Then I realized that I had been talking without using any capital letters so I had to start over again. “Milk. Carnation Instant Breakfast. Milk. Carnation Instant Breakfast. Milk. Carnation Instant Breakfast…” I got it right that time, so I could stop talking and start to think of something again. And there was the time that I was thinking about something – I don’t rememebr exactly what it was – but I know it must have been something important because I was thinking it – and I realized that I had been thinking about it for five minutes after I had stopped thinking about it and it made me talk. I said, “crap, what was I thinking about?” I never did rememebr, but I had fun talking about it anyway. After all, it was one of the few times I talked outloud, so it’s hard to forget that I did it. I guess the whole point is that I rarely speak or write out loud and that makes me fluent in silence. Oh – wait! There was the time when I was running to catch a fly ball in center field and …