I Was Right, Today

November 8, 2017

I was right, today.

I don’t know how it happened, but it did and I don’t really know how to handle it because it’s never happened before. 

I think I’ll just bask in the afterglow of my rightness for awhile.

Judy says that’s OK because she is leaving for work now, but that I should be done before she gets home tonight. 

 

 

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Mustard And Ketchup

November 7, 2017

I like mustard. Judy likes ketchup. I showed her this to bolster my position:

She sent me this:

 

Guitar Storage Evolution

October 26, 2017

Hello, Gentle Reader(s?),

One of the things that every guitar owner must take into consideration when he or she makes an investment into a new instrument is – “Where am I going to keep this thing?”

This is not as easy a question to answer as one might think. Especially if you have a wife in the house. You can’t just make room for it on her side of the bed and expect her to be OK with it (wives can be funny that way). And you also can’t just pop it into the refrigerator and hope she doesn’t notice.  

No, you have to be more imaginative than that. 

Fortunately, you have me to show you how to be more imaginative than that…

After you have decided to display the instrument (assuming you are going to display it, that is – but what good is it to have such a fine piece of art unless you are going to make it visible to anybody who walks into the room – or even into the immediate neighborhood?), one of the first considerations to, well, consider, is the dignity with which the instrument is displayed.

Here are some things to think about NOT doing:

  1. Never, under any circumstances, keep your guitar sitting on the back of the toilet. This is not a dignified storage method. You can keep it in a closet, just not a water closet.
  2. Refrain, if at all possible, from keeping it on top of your wife’s grand piano. While this is certainly a more dignified and public place to display the instrument, the resulting marks on the piano may lead to some animated discussion between spouses. 
  3. Don’t just leave it in a case somewhere. To do so completely negates the real reason for the acquisition in the first place – people will not think you are cool and groovy if they don’t see your guitar out in plane sight. That’s because they won’t know you have it. (Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to know how to play the instrument as long as company sees it and THINKS you can play it.)

Now, The best way I can think of to demonstrate the proper method(s) of displaying your guitar or collection of guitars is to show you what I have done over the years.

First attempt:

The Guitar Love Seat

Nice try, but brilliant failure.

While this presentation looks nice, and even comfortable, it was not a permanent solution. The issue was that I either had to 1) take them down when company came (removing the “You play the guitar? You are soo cool and groovy!” display factor) or 2) try to squeeze everybody onto the piano bench to visit.

Second Attempt:

The Original Guitar Wall:

This, actually, worked pretty well for awhile. The only real issue was the sparse population as evidenced by all of the extra space on either end of the line of instruments.

Third attempt:

The Guitar Wall – Fuller, Cooler and Groovier

While this rendition of the wall was certainly cooler and groovier, it still lacked a couple instruments because there wasn’t enough room to hang all of the available instruments… Of course, there was room on the adjacent wall for the snake, so it wasn’t all bad.*

Third attempt, part B:

The Guitar Wall and Floor

Even though they wouldn’t all fit on the wall, a small investment in guitar stands enabled the inclusion of two more instruments. I had completed the display of coolness and groovyness…

Third attempt, part C:

The Charred Guitar Wall

Unfortunately, Third attempt, part B didn’t endure the fire…

Third attempt, part C (cont’d):

The Empty Guitar Wall

This isn’t as cool and groovy as it was when there was an actual room around the wall and actual guitars available. But it DID lead to…

Fourth attempt:

The Guitar Driveway

Sadly, none of these instruments survived the fire. The firefighters, though, laid what was left alongside the driveway in a rather respectful manner…

Fifth attempt:

The First Replacement Guitar Wall

14 months later, most of the instruments had been replaced, the house had been replaced and the Guitar Wall had been replaced… All was good. For about five years…

Sixth attempt:

The Guitar Closet

When you move, you have to make adjustments…

Seventh attempt, fourteen months later (last week):

The Second Replacement Guitar Wall

When you have a guitar closet, it’s not cool or groovy because nobody can see the instruments. Especially you. When you can’t see the instruments, you don’t play them. When you don’t play them, you get rusty and your caps (calluses) go away. And when you pick one up, your fingers hurt. They might even bleed. You can’t leave the instruments in the closet…

Seventh attempt, part B:

The Guitar Wall and Floor

When you don’t have enough wall space, you go back to the floor…

*On a sad note, Monty (pet snake) did not survive the fire, either. I had hoped for a long and happy life for him and used to joke that I would turn him into a guitar strap when he passed. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do that when we found him and we buried him under a tree (see “Guitar Driveway” above), next to the driveway. Rest well, Monty. I really do miss you… 

Montgomery Pyth

I have been married to Judy for a little over forty-six years.  That’s 16,844.5 days. Rounded up from 23 hours and 56 minutes per day, that’s approximately 404,268 minutes. 24,256,080 seconds, give or take. (I would keep going but my calculator won’t allow me to compute nanoseconds.)

In all of that time, I may have heard Judy utter anything that resembles any sort of naughty word once. I say “may” because I must have done something to elicit some sort of swear word somewhere along the way…

It was another dark and snoozy night...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 3:30 AM

One hour ago, I was deeply asleep, dreaming about my new Ryobi model RY08420A Backpack Leaf Blower with the large 2 cycle, 42cc engine for excellent clearing power, with a unique air-flow orientation and angled air nozzles, a variable speed throttle and a cruise control setting to make quick work of the toughest of clearing jobs;  and with the shoulder and back harness designed for ultimate comfort, that features a contoured back and easy strap adjustments; when I was awakened by the sounds of 1) Murphy (the dog) panting and whining and 2) Judy saying…

Judy: “Bill, do something about the damn dog!”

Bill (Me – suddenly and unexpectedly waking up): “Huh? What?”

J: “Do something about the damn dog! He got me up at 3:15 and I fed him and gave him some water and he won’t shut up!”

B (M): “Do you kiss your husband with that mouth?”

J: “Not if he doesn’t do something about the damn dog!”

 

 

Driving home from Oakhurst after Mass…

Judy: “We could rent a motorhome to go to Utah. I’m kind of afraid to go to Utah, though.”

Bill (Me): “Why? Are you afraid you might want to move there?”

J: “No. I’m afraid to come home and get a call that Dean had a heart attack in Hawaii. Besides, if we moved to Utah, you would have to become Mormon.”

B (M): “Well, what would I have to become if we moved to Arizona?”

J: “You would have to become a ‘Free Spirited Artist’.”

B (M): “I could do that. I could be a ‘Free Spirited Artist’. I could become a Free Spirited Photographic Artist’… I could be a ‘Phartist’!”

Hahaha…

Hahaha…

Hahaha…

Hahaha…

J: “The next time somebody asks me what I have learned being married to you I’m just going to say, “I have learned not to be sipping a soda through a straw while having a conversation with him in the car,” and they will ask “Why shouldn’t you sip soda while having a conversation with Bill?” and I will answer “because I’m afraid of what will come out of his mouth.”

B (M): “No you’re not. You’re afraid that what comes out of my mouth will cause your soda to come out of your nose.”

Judging by what happened next, Judy, apparently, has yet to learn that lesson. 

“I, on the other hand, was just wondering if they could just tear my toenail back ninety degrees and call it a day…”

Or click here to go back to the beginning…

Once the catheter was inserted, things were better. For the nurse. She got to leave for a few minutes. Judy stuck around for a couple of minutes and had to go do something with paperwork, or some such thing.

I was back in the room alone again. It was just me and my catheter…

A couple of minutes later, I heard Steve’s voice outside the door asking if he could come in to see me. The wheels started turning in my head and had finished prior to the time he received permission to enter…

He walked in.

He looked at me.

My eyes were open, glazed over, staring into nothingness. My jaw was slack, my mouth a gaping cavern. I was holding my breath…

“Dad?” “Dad!?” “DAD!!”

“Yes, my son?”

For some reason, he didn’t think that was funny.

Neither did Judy when he told her a moment later. 

Neither did the nurse. 

I, on the other hand, thought it was hilarious. 

Some people have no sense of humor. 

Time, once again, for me to put something other than something I did myself up here. Love this…

There are times when I want to express my view that something is extremely positive or that I really like something about someone, somewhere or some object. This is usually not a problem for me because I am a reasonably positive person.

However, at some point in the past decade or so, I seem to have fallen into the habit of using the word “awesome” whenever I want to express my belief that something was, well, awesome. It was like, “Your (insert noun here) is awesome!” is just about the only way I would describe something that I thought was extremely positive. 

“Your hat is awesome!”, “Your house is awesome!”, “Your wall is awesome!”, “That cow in your living room is awesome!”. 

See what I mean?. Everything is awesome. It’s not “great”, “beautiful”, “amazing”, “fantastic”, “spectacular”, “breathtaking”, “formidable”, “overwhelming”, “imposing”, “magnificent”,” grand”, “majestic”, “daunting”, “mind blowing”, “wondrous”, “striking”, “astonishing”, “stunning”, “inspiring”, “nice”, “good”, “lovely”, “swell”, admirable”, attractive”, “becoming”, “charming”, “delightful”, “favorable”, “pleasant”, “nifty”, “peachy”, “cool” or “ducky”. 

It’s “awesome”. 

I suspect that many of us do this out of habit and don’t even realize it.

I have decided that I need to replace the word “awesome” with something a little less used by the general public, but something that I think would be awesome if more people used it. Something that may be used to mean (pretty much) the same thing, but with a little less imposing sound to it. Something a little more laid back to more closely approximate my own easy going personality. Something that was used long ago, and has never come back around for a second spin. 

I would like to invite you, my loyal reader(s), to work with me to bring back the word…

“Groovy”. 

Yes, “Groovy”. 

I know, I know. “Groovy” is a silly word and you may not want to go anywhere near it. I get that. But think about this – you will probably be the only one of your friends or acquaintances to use it for awhile. Pretty soon, somebody in your circle of friends is going to think it’s a pretty cool word and start to use it. Then, one of their friends will think that if that person can use it and make it sound so awesome, then maybe they should start using it, too.

The cycle will repeat itself over and over and over again and pretty soon, a fairly large group of people will start to feelin’ groovy.

And maybe some people who are moving too fast will slow down a bit and make the morning last. Maybe they will stop yelling at each other and pay attention to life around them. You know, go kickin’ down those cobblestones and looking for the positive things instead of focussing on the negative.  

Anyway, I think it’s an awes –  groovy idea.

Or am I being a little too far out? 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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…”

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 …

The End.

A few months ago, we were testing some functionality on the D3300 camera. There was a guitar in the room (seven, actually, but I only have two hands, afterall). Steve and Judy decided to play along (Judy playing the part of the beatnik** in the coffee house, totally enthralled with my performance. Note the look of complete contemplation of the lyrics and the keeping of time with her foot). 

In the video, we are not actually Dixie Fried (especially me). And Judy is not a shape in a drape in this case, but she is certainly everything plus. 

And while this may have you interviewing your brains, and you think the performance is slated for Crashville, if you know your groceries, you will see I actually threw babies out of the balcony. Just be sure to focus your audio.

And yes, this is off the cob.

Murphy expresses his opinion at the 2:35 mark.

The whole thing is actually quite disturbing…

** beat·nik
ˈbētnik/
noun
 
  1. a young person in the 1950s and early 1960s belonging to a subculture associated with the beat generation.

Judy: “I love you.”

Me: “I love you, too.”

Judy: “You’re wonderful.”

Me: “You’re wonderful, too.”

Judy: “I’m not perfect.”

Me: “I am.”

Judy: “Well, I tried.”

What you said: “I set the alarm for 6:00 because I have a crock pot dinner to make.”

What I heard: “I set the alarm for 6:00 because I have a cough drop in my neck.”

What you said:  “They’ll probably want me to put sheets on their bed.”

What I heard:  “Ted scroogled the feet time good.”