Haunting Thoughts …

imgres“Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

Ending lines from the Robert Redford Movie … A River Runs Through It.  This and other Stories is a semi-autobiographical collection of three stories by author Norman Maclean (1902–1990) published in May 1976. Continue reading

Is That Seat Taken ….

The ground below me is a checker board of farms and long highways …  I am flying the middle seat, 38,000 ft up to Oakland, California working a crossword puzzle. Finding myself stumped I cannot figure out a four letter word for “woman.”  At that time I kind of mumble under my breath (a character trait that my wife and most women do not like) and the lady sitting next to me inquires, “having a problem?” She has in her lap, coincidentally, a puzzle book too. Continue reading

The Posse

One of my fondest memories in life are trips to the movies when I was a kid.  Me and a buddy, would talk Dad into driving us downtown to go to the movies on Saturday.  Always asked my Dad, cause if you asked Mom, she always had the “don’t you let no nasty old man touch you in the bathroom” lecture, and that kind of embarrassed me to no end.  That one, and the “my first bra in High school and the other girls ….”

I really hated that one. Continue reading

You Can’t Call Me Bruce Anymore ….


Don’t know why anyone would want to switch gender so late in life.  I am talking about Bruce Jenner’s decision to “come out” and announce he is now going to be a woman. (Hey Kim … Guess What?)   Continue reading



Its only weird if it doesn’t work.  Like most of America, I watched the Super Bowl yesterday.  It seemed strange for a number of reasons, one being it was the fiftieth Super Bowl, and that somehow just does not seem possible?  As I have been around for quite a few of them personally, and the numbers, well, they just sort of always add up not necessarily in my favor these days.

Another thing that was different is this.  I hard drived the game (DVR’ed it) and did not actually watch the game as it unfolded and the drama increased, we watched the last three minutes of the contest and that was it.  As I am not a great football fan anymore, I taped it in order to see the commercials, which I now consider to be the best part of all of it.


Funny how habits sort of get ingrained into a person.  I am so used to “skipping the commercials” and watching the main body of the program.  Now for this event, I had to reverse the procedure, and it took some getting used to.  I finally managed to master it, but it was tough, that and seeing the Niner’s lose, I wasn’t all that keen on that either.

This is a pretty good video, it wasn’t on the Super Bowl, but you will find it amusing.

Shopping at the Costco Fish Market.

The Great American Free lunch:  The Senate Budget Committee reports that in fiscal year 2011, between food stamps, housing support, child care, Medicaid, and other benefits, the average US household below the poverty line received $168 (my note, 7 days a week) in government support.  What’s the problem with that much support?  

Last time I even bothered to check, the median household income in America was just over $50,000 per year, which averages out to $137.13 per day.  To put it another way, being on welfare now pays the equivalent of about $30 an hour for a 40-hour week, while the average job pays $25 an hour.  And then there is the person who works who has to pay taxes, which drops the pay to $21 an hour.  

It is no wonder that welfare is now the biggest part of the budget, more than Social Security or defense.  And why would anyone want to get off welfare when working pays $9 an hour less.

Another great thing about welfare versus working … No drug screening for anyone, just sign up and wait on the money to come rolling in.  For more of the report you can find it here.


Crayon’s before bullets:  While I am up here on my soapbox.  One of our American Hero’s was taken out this weekend by a gun, and there is more negative news about firearms in the media.  It all seems so far fetched out of of sync for me.  Our so-called cures for societal problems are directed at the symptoms rather than the causes. We can’t keep throwing money at a broken education system, or its victims. We can’t guarantee raising well-behaved, normal children in broken, drug-dependent or parentless families.

Taking guns from law-abiding citizens will only deepen the lawlessness of criminals. Taking God out of our schools and society, and legitimizing every type of deviant moral, physical and psychological behavior, dooms American society to a continued descent into more violence, self-centered behavior and immorality. Society won’t improve until America returns to her roots.

If we truly want to solve most of American society’s problems, return America to its founding principles. Otherwise, we commit societal suicide.

Munday-Munday:  I got those wake up its early, wash behind your ears they’re dirty, eat your eggs and oatmeal, rush to work blues.  I just do not do Monday’s all that well anymore … Most folks believe heart attacks occur on Monday, but the majority of them knock you down on Wednesday, not the first of the week as erroneously presumed.  And they hit at 10 A.M. (or thereabouts) quick check your watch.

That is one of those mysteries of life, you know things that do not add up.  

Why is it that every black guy in prison in the movies is named “Red?”  That would be one.  How come some guy born in Kansas City that happens to be black is now called an African American?  He aint African anything.  Why does the late Patrick Swayze look both ways before crossing the street in the movie Ghost?  I mean hell, he is a ghost, an errant cab or a delivery truck cannot hurt him.  Strange doin’s on a Monday.

 One more and I am outta here … If evolution is true as they say, then why do Mother’s only have one set of hands?

Think about it ….


Do Over

Let’s pretend for a second here, that we could be something, anything, we want to be.  That we could radically change our present circumstance to anything we want it to be, to be able to change our present status in life to something totally new and different.

To be the NEW you that YOU want to be.

If given the chance, a vast majority of us, would do it in a heartbeat.  This might be why a large segment of the population in this country relate so well to Hollywood and movie personalities.  It gives us a little chance to live vicariously thru other people (actors and characters) for a short while and escape the rigors that modern day life has to offer.

Let’s face it, most of us live lives of quiet desperation.

We all secretly wish to be someone else, to be something else, we are as the younger generation puts it a bunch of  …. “Posers.”  We make a mental note each day of things we want to improve, things that we want to change, and yes, people we admire and want to be.  We are so bad at this, that an entire industry was formed around the very idea of the quick note.

During my career on the railroad we had a select group of people that followed us everywhere we went.  They were armed with cameras and radio scanners, they knew just about every aspect of our working lives.  They didn’t do it, they just thought they knew everything about it, they for lack of a better word, studied every aspect of our daily duties, our career.

They were also quick to tell you that they were “rail buffs.”  We on the other hand, called them “Foamers,” because each time they saw a train, they kind of went all glassy eyed and freaked out.  The sight of GP35 or a SD40 took them over like a rabid dog, thus, the term “Foamers.”

Rail Buff At Work

This is just one example of a poser … someone trying to be something else, a person living thru you.

In the bus community (people who own and restore old buses) have a term for it, those folks who dream of owning a bus, who want a bus, they are called “wanna-be’s” and those folks new to the lifestyle are called “newbies.”  They even have folks residing with them that do not own a bus, but still consider themselves bus people, fact is, I don’t know what to call someone like that.  Hopeless Dreamer comes readily to mind.

One very popular show on television is Extreme Home Makeover.  A very popular television series featuring a new abode, with brand new stuff, and of course, higher taxes. Who amongst us hasn’t secretly pined for a shot at that.  Those of us who sit around during the slow part of the day and dream of castles in the sky, a new place to hang our hat. (Hey what the ____ it beats working right?)

Then there is the movie thing that we seem to be obsessed with.

A movie that quickly comes to mind is Somewhere In Time.  The ability to go back in time, to a much happier period, perhaps one less stressful, where you do not have to dress for success.  That special niche in time where you do not have to kiss a part of the boss, the part he sits on most of the day, in order to get by.

Face it, most of us don’t need any of this. We don’t really need another chance to be something that we are not, because that would waste the unique individuals that most of already are.   What we need is a do over.  Perhaps one more shot at the now dead American Dream.

Having ample time to stop and consider my present station in life, I have come to one solid conclusion about all this.  I don’t favor Robert Redford, another Dustin Hoffman I am not, there is only so much room for industrial hero’s like Donald Trump, Warren Buffet  (the ultimate train buff) or Lee Iaccoca.  In other words … Don’t waste a makeover on me, that is a total waste of time, I am what I am, pretty much locked into that.

No need for a Make Over here … What I really need is … A Do-Over … one more swing at all this, and I promise Lord, this time I won’t screw it up.