November 30, 2008

It's in the genes I guess, or perhaps inside the atoms of newly forming testosterone that lead a boy to literature like Call of the Wild or other novels by Jack London. Then there are the poems that boys allow other boys to know they have read. One of those by Robert Service, the Cremation of Sam Magee. Back in the day of radio shows, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon was popular fare for boys whose imaginations were going beyond their hometown out into an unknown world yet to be explored. Alaska seemed to hold a special place in the minds of many boys. They seemed to sense that it took a different kind of man to live in a place so cold and so sparsely populated, a place for men comfortable with themselves and their own thoughts.

Here is a good recitation of THE CREMATION OF SAM MAGEE, by Hank Snow.

November 26, 2008

Check out this funny site. Happy Thanksgiving. Do your best to overeat. I always do.

I came across a blog that used the subtitle 'opinionated rants', and it seemed like something I would like to on occasion include in the Reader. It could be included under the title of mental health, the saving of. A good rant or a releasing of divergent thoughts about events or people I think might be beneficial, not unlike this mental picture of an old railroad engine releasing steam when reaching its destination. A person like the steam engine can only store up so much and then it needs to release it to cleanse the total persons id. Look for the little man blowing his top and you will know I am doing the same. Even though I vent against someone or something, you must know I usually admire the person for achieving success ten thousand times more than I could even imagine.

OHIO AUTUMN by Charles Rowland. See more by Mr. Rowland at this site.

Our fall foliage has taken on a white covering in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping.

November 24, 2008

"The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." — Frank Lloyd Wright

November 23, 2008

J C Leyendecker, Kellogg's Toasted Corn Flakes,
"Ask the American Boy Why He Prefers Kellogg's" (1917)

November 22, 2008

Michigan stadium opens 10-22-27. Michigan wins first of the contests against their arch rival Ohio State, in 1897. Matter of fact they won the first twelve against OSU. Ohio is the dominant team currently and have run off a series of wins, but the rivalry is intense and anything can happen. Kickoff at twelve o'clock. If the game stinks, at least the OSU band playing and marching the script Ohio is worth the time.

November 21, 2008

My Father Adjusts His Hearing Aids

Once again my old man has gutted his hearing aids.
On the table beside him, around the smallest blade of his pocket knife,

his hearing aids lay scattered like the scrutinized guts of bugs.
Somewhere in those parts—the coils, the discs,

the blue copper veins—somewhere in that chaos lies the riddle
of sound. Now in the dark kitchen he faces the window

where the first stars tremble in the branches of his oaks.
The house is as quiet as a broken watch.

He knows the score—nothing will ever be
repaired again, nothing will ever work as it did. The dumb wind

says as much, and the needles raining in the yard.
The silence around his shoulder is my mother's arm.

David Bottoms

November 20, 2008


She was in Iceland in September to protect American advance bases and was on station at Hvalfjörður when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 catapulted America into the war.

This picture was found in Life magazine archives

November 19, 2008


Just when I was thinking that for whatever reason people were becoming more polite, Miss Jane appeared on the scene.

Politeness has been missing from my world for a long time now. It’s not a new wrinkle, but as more wrinkles appear on my face and elsewhere I seem to be more aware of its absence. It is common when dealing with clerks in stores, and has been for years now. Maybe it’s an old people thing that we like to comment on this or that as we are being checked out. But if the clerk is of a certain younger age, which is most likely, I will get, if I am lucky, a brief glance but no words. Since I am a veteran of this behavior I stop my efforts and wait for the wordless clerk to drop my change and receipt in my hand with nary a word to slow down my exit. Now I’m not asking anything from the kid except perhaps some validation that I am still a member of the human race. From a psychobabble page I am sure it has something to do with wanting to make some connections with other members of it. Now I don’t wish to start a war between the youngies and the oldies, but the older clerks, brought out of retirement I am sure because they need extra income, or have become a member of that dreaded widowhood, seem to share the joy of passing a few random comments on the passing scene.

In days long past I believe behavior of clerks or sales representatives was monitored by the management and if it needed friendlied up, they would make sure it got done. They used to think, an old fashioned idea I’m sure, that the clerks represented the store. People like to talk, for some it may be the only person in their day that they will meet. A couple little sentences won’t hurt or cost anything, but it could make some persons day. Perhaps this is a thought that young people cannot grasp yet, but believe me if you are lucky enough to live a long life it will happen to you.

Now back to Miss Jane. This person committed a double faux pas as far as I am concerned. She comes into my house to perform a service and out of her mouth comes the observation that my neighborhood sure has deteriorated. Now do I have to tell you how rude and crass that remark is? Yes it is true what she said, but that does not excuse her saying it, it is an uncaring and uneducated remark to make. First to come into a person’s home and say such a thing is almost the kind of remark that would lead to immediate expulsion from some homes. Second that she would make it to elderly people who have lived in the offending neighborhood for thirty-five years, and are of an age where moving is not on a list of things we want to do and, thirdly to defend my neighborhood, I have gotten older too and I don’t look so good either, and lastly it is again darn rude. Come on folks, on one hand we have people who won’t talk and on the other we have people who talk too much.

November 17, 2008

Watch supercoolTWY s2e07ohya.avi in Entertainment Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Remember when?

Watching this WONDER YEARS episode took me back to those years of growing up and what misery it sometimes was. The scene where they had fifteen minutes before the first bell rang and the uncertainty of what to do. Should I stand around and not talk? Will I look dorky or unpopular? I remember myself in those moments. Egads I wouldn't mind forgetting that. Well thinking about it now I guess I was a dork no doubt about it. Dork or no dork, I enjoyed my growing up years. My dilemma of standing around in some pose or another was solved when I met the girl I was going to marry. We shared lockers and I was able to drop any concern about hall etiquette and we started conversing and for crying out loud we are still conversing fifty five (?) years later.