Sunday, April 24, 2011

Telling On Myself

Back in the Dark Ages when I was a junior in high school, I had a car to support like many of my friends, so like many of my friends, a job was needed, any job that would buy gas,  pay for insurance and a set of glass pack mufflers!
I was lucky in that I found a job with the local flower shop delivering flowers after school and on the week ends. The money was good and I got to drive a VW bus which I enjoyed. All was going fine until the owner got the wild idea that the day before Easter, one of the other guys would drive and I would wear a bunny suit to deliver flowers to the door. Despite a lot of protesting and "no way", it came down to "my way, or the highway", so the Saturday before Easter, I put on this pink bunny outfit, complete with big ears and a huge
cotton tail!
All was going fine until the last delivery just before a break for lunch. A big vase of roses. We pulled up in front of the house, which had a fence around the house with a gate to go through to get to the front door.
I got about half way to the front door, when around the corner of the house a big German Shepherd appears! The dog froze in his tracks probably thinking that that was the biggest damn rabbit he had ever seen! I almost made it back to the gate, when he got me. He tore the a$$ completely out of the bunny suit and got a good chunk of mine as well! The roses went everywhere as I made it out of the gate.
On the trip to the emergency room, I had been so preoccupied with trying to stop the bleeding, I had forgotten to take off my big floppy ears and the now bloody bunny suit with the back in shreds.
The E.R. staff was all laughing, and called everyone in to "get a load of this!" Several stitches later, we drove back to the flower shop. Jack, the owner, was upset because the bunny suit had cost him a pretty penny, but was sympathetic for my stitches as well and doubled my pay for the day saying that I had earned it! We never heard about the roses.
So every Easter, I think about that story and feel where the stitches were and smile. My senior year I worked in a Shell gas station, no bunny suit there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banjo Pickin

We started out the day with a little sunshine that has faded into an overcast sky. More wind and T-storms for later today. Can you believe we lost a few more shingles in a high windstorm of a few days ago.
Time to call Bubba and his boys back to the house for a few repairs. Dealing with Bubba almost takes the sting out of loosing a few shingles!
Since the weather will keep me inside today, I need to knock the dust off of the banjo, tune it up, and start building my speed up again. My good friend, Dapper Dan, plays a mean guitar and one of these days we will do another session of back porch pickin and yowling. It used to be that after a little liquid refreshment we just sounded better and better as the evening went on! Now, do to health considerations, the liquid refreshment is not allowed, so the dogs howling in the neighborhood will be the best judge of our efforts.
I never really understood what Bluegrass music was about until I did a lot of extensive traveling through out Appalachia. It's the music of the people, telling of hard times, lost loves and just about anything else they wanted to put to music. I always found it interesting that no matter how bad a mountain house may look, the folks living there could always bring out a guitar, banjo or mandolin. The music was that important to them.
 The banjo is an instrument that many people might play, but very few do it well, me included! I found this one years ago in a music store in North Carolina. The fellow that owned the place must have wanted to get rid of it pretty bad and made me a deal I couldn't refuse. So, I'm walking out of the place with an instrument that I have no idea how to play. I guess that's when the Bluegrass saga began.
The news, with regard to the politics of the day,  reminds  me of two kids playing marbles, where at the end of the day, one kid wins most of the marbles, and the next day looses them. The whole thing is turning into a circus, and we are paying for admission.
Well, guess I had better go call Bubba over in Dark Holler about the roof!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pet Peeve Time

Pet peeve time!
A few days ago I was in line to check out a few grocery's, just items that I had overlooked at Walmart.
In front of me was a lady, very well dressed and coiffed, with a cart full of food. Since I knew it would take a few minutes for her to check out, I was curious as to what kind of food she fed her family. It was all good stuff, not like me with store brands in my cart. When she flipped out her food stamp card, I couldn't believe it! I'm sure my jaw dropped.
She was still loading her food in her car when I went out to the parking lot. Her year old Lexus looked brand new!  I drove home doing the slow burn.
Now, I know there are many folks that need food stamps, and have no problem with that. In the past when I have seen people use them I could picture hungry children at home and have a lot of empathy for those folks.
Then tonight on the news they said that food stamp usage has gained in number by a huge percentage.
Well, dah! Who's minding the store?
Several years back, they had dropped the hammer on these Welfare Queens by making them  re-qualify, but they know the system and how to use it to their advantage, so now they are back in greater numbers as it appears. This gal must have had some connections somewhere, because to qualify for food stamps you have to be dirt poor, among other things.  I guess I shouldn't be too critical, if the big "O" keeps killing our Social Security increases, I might need those stamps myself!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Up We Go.......

The day started out a little cool, but turned into a beauty, clear sky's and plenty of sunshine. A great day for a little day dreaming. I got to thinking about my old flying days, and a few of those "stark terror" moments that I recall. When I was still a student pilot, my instructor (The Crazyman) told me that since I had enough hours logged and had done good on my radio work that I needed to fly into a "controlled airport" in other words, one that had approach control, a tower and ground control, all requiring separate radio frequency's. I was ready for it! I took off  for large airport about 40 miles from us, contacted approach control to let them know of my intentions, so good so far, then with the airport in sight was told to contact the tower. They put me in the pattern for the active runway. No traffic chatter on the radio so I knew this would be easy. Just as I was turning on to short final, the tower comes on the radio  and says that there is a DC 9, right behind me and to "make good time and turn off at the first taxiway" These tower guys don't kid around, so I went to full flaps and crossed the fench at 70 knts, rather than the 55 to 60 knts Cessna recommends. The tires squeeled and smoked as I touched the runway, then I stood on the brakes to slow her down enough to make the first taxiway, as soon as I turned I looked back and the DC 9 landed! Too close for me, because if I had missed that first taxiway, we would have made the nightly news. I was having a Coke in the pilots lounge gathering up the courage to fly out of there and I get a call from the tower. They said that the DC 9 had a sick passenger on board and they had put him right behind me, sorry if they made me a little anxious, but I had done an outstanding job. (Whats a few more grey hairs!) When I got ready to fly back, the tower put me number one for take off, in front of an L1011. Guess they were still feeling a little bad!!
I used to keep a journal about my flying experiences. It was a great hobby, one that was made even better by an understanding wife.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Took A Little Trip

We had to make a quick up to western Kentucky to visit my brother, who was undergoing gallbladder surgery. I think he is the last in the family to receive the gallbladder merit badge, complete with green ribbons and stones attached!
The economy must be getting better for someone, as I don't think I have ever seen so many trucks on the road. I have a lot of sympathy for truckers as I have another brother, who is a long haul driver and have heard some of his horror stories dealing with wacko car drivers. But, the truckers who really gripe my tail are the ones who pull out to pass another trucker going up a hill, then don't  have the horse power to pass, so there you are, stuck, until the down hill side allows him to finally get around. I-24 going toward Ky. used to be known as "ticket alley", but since the cut back in state troopers, the speed limit of 70 mph is a joke. Now, it's go as fast as you have the guts to drive! I don't think I was much below 80 mph the whole trip, you would have thought I was driving a mule wagon the way cars and trucks were zipping around us! If I would have had a plastic Jesus on the dashboard, I think he would have had his hands over his eyes! Anyway, we made the round trip with out incident. Got home and were unpacking and get a call that one of our grand daughters had been in an accident and was in the hospital. Totaled the car in a mix up with a Fed Ex truck.
She is doing fine just a little banged up, and went home around noon today.
So for us on the ridge,  it's been a very busy and anxious week. Reminds me of an old commercial pilot I used to know who stated it best, "Hours and hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of shear terror." Yep, that about gets it.