Being a collection of doggerel, verse, stories, politics, historical essays, satire, poetry, jokes, pictures and whatever else I damn well please on a variety of interesting (or otherwise) subjects.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Story of the Non-conformist Sparrow

Once upon a time there was a non-conformist sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. Soon, however, the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly decided to fly south after all. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and the poor little bird fell to earth in a barnyard almost frozen. The sparrow thought this was the end, but presently a cow passed by and crapped on the little fellow. The sparrow now thought this was really the end, but the manure warmed him up and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy and able to breathe the sparrow began to sing. The barnyard cat, hearing the chirping, came to investigate. When the cat cleared away the manure, he found the sparrow, and promptly ate him.

There are three morals to this story:

1. Everyone who shits on you is not your enemy.

2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not your friend.

3. If you're warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Old Black and Whites

A young philosopher discusses a fine point with a friend.

When my daughter was very young, I was heavily into black and white photography. I used to haul her around to parks, lakes, zoos and playgrounds on my days off and take pictures while she played. Then I would spend the evenings in the darkroom. I was recently looking for something else and came across some boxes of old prints that I had made. I decided to scan some of them and post them here. Here's a few to get started with.

A denizen of my front yard

Historic "Fire Station 1" in Fort Worth

A fellow I met at the Ft Worth Zoo

I took this picture in chest deep water
looking back toward shore at an area lake.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

TV Dinner

Now, I like television as much as the next guy. I think TCM and Encore-Mystery are the greatest things since sliced bread and wouldn't miss the latest installment of Battlestar Galactica for the world. For the last 10 years or so, I've been using a DVR with my satellite system, which makes TV even better. I am no longer bound to a schedule about when I should watch something, but can select what I want to watch ahead of time and watch it whenever the mood strikes me. I currently have movies recorded on the DVR that aired over a year ago. I'll get around to watching them one of these days. I watch several hours of news/politics programs every day, but I don't watch them in real time. I watch them at my convenience, and skip through the commercials so that a one-hour program only takes me about 45 minutes to watch. Even less if they interview Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor.

All this is just to say, I'm a fan. I like TV. I watch TV a lot. I'm not a TV hater.

Here's the problem. It seems recently that it is becoming impossible to go out to eat without having a TV in sight. It used to be that a restaurant might have a TV in the bar section. Sports Bars, which were a kind of fad a few years ago, would have lots of TVs doing ESPN of one flavor or another. Almost every restaurant we have gone into in the last couple of years has multiple TVs hanging from the ceiling, strategically placed so that they are in view from every seat at every table in the place.

This wouldn't be such a problem if I weren't so conditioned to what Harlan Ellison called "The Glass Teat" that I find it very hard to ignore a TV if one is turned on in my vicinity. Not that the program that is playing is EVER something that I would choose to watch at home, mind you. It's usually sports, of one sort or another.

And it's not just restaurants, either. I went out to have my wife's car inspected at the local lube&tuneup joint the other day, and there was a TV in the waiting room playing something called "Auto Net TV" that had little snippets of entertainment programming interspersed with well-endowed young women in fetching, if not not terribly convincing, mechanic uniforms attempting to sell me on the idea of synthetic motor oil. This, accompanied by animated illustrations of how natural motor oil was made up of long chains of molecules and synthetic motor oil is made up of little round molecules and "what's more slippery, a floor covered in pencils or a floor covered in marbles?" Personally, I refuse to take a position. Both options seem equally undesirable and indicate extreme carelessness on the part of the janitorial service.

In the waiting room at my doctor's office they have "Health Net TV." In the local Wal-Mart they have the "Rapacious Soul Devouring Hillbilly Corporation TV Network."

The Wal-Mart TV Network mostly, from what I understand, runs commercials for the different areas of the stores. Now, basically, anyone who walks into Wal-Mart deserves whatever they get, so I don't much care about Wal-Mart TV, but you can see where this is going. How long will it be before all those strategically placed screens at the steak house and the spaghetti joint are no longer playing ESPN but something far more objectionable?

Don't say I didn't warn ya!