Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm a jerk sometimes.

Got to go to work at four. This morning my wife got home after six, she stayed awake to make sure I was up by nine. Had a doctor's appointment at ten. My C.D.L. physical, need one every two years so I can drive a semi when needed. No coffee, no cigarettes until after the docs. Blood pressure has to be good or they pull your ticket, anything over ninety on the bottom number and your done. I was 108 over 70.

Problem was, before I went I was cranky. Like a little sniffling jerk, I gave my wife a hard time about something stupid. She put me in my place, doesn't tolerate that crap and she shouldn't. When I was done at the docs I lit up as soon as I jumped in the Jeep, had another smoke with my coffee when I got home. Now I was feelin' better, apologized, groveled a little. It's all good now, she's sleeping. She worked all weekend, she's off tonight. We plan on hanging out when I get home from my shift tonight. It's hard sometimes, we work opposite schedules but it's best for the kids. They are never home alone.

I have some old scars on my back, one of them is real nasty. It's just below my left shoulder blade, it's raised and it itches like hell sometimes. It's drivin' me nuts right now. Yeah Tommy, I know, I know. I'll stop cryin' now.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beetus, Harleys, The Shelby

My best friend's name is Beetus. Not his real name, we just always called him that. I have no idea where it came from, probably Bicky. That's not his real name either, we just always called him that. Beetus has a pool behind his house, he's got one of those automatic pool cleaning robot things. He calls that "The Bicky", don't know why. I've had other friends along the way, Beetus and me always stayed tight. Years have gone by without contact, not lately. We talk on the phone, laugh our asses off, act stupid. Sometimes you have to act stupid, it's important. Beetus has a big heart.

We both like old Harleys, I've had a few, not anymore but back in the day. Beetus had this really hot car, a Shelby. Has to be twenty-five years ago, probably more, when we flew that car. We were camping, a bunch of us were. Me and Beetus got elected to make a beer run, he drove. On our way back we ended up airborne coming off the top of a short steep hill. At the bottom was a ninety degree right turn, if you missed the turn you would fly off a cliff into a river. We hit the turn, just. Beetus cut the wheels in the air, when the car landed it shot to the right like a carnival ride. It was close, it was intense, it was one of those moments that stays with you forever. A few weeks later, upon exiting a bar, me and another guy got into a fight over who got shotgun in the Shelby. It wasn't really a fight, more like a drunken restling match while laughing our asses off. End result, passenger side window got busted out on the Shelby. Beetus was pissed, we had to pay for the window. Cost us a hundred bucks each. That Shelby was a nice car.

Hey Tommy, I told you about Beetus. Yeah I did, remember? You said it sounded like a guy you knew from your hometown.

Someday me and Beetus are going to do another road trip. Don't think we will fly any cars but we might go fishing, someday.


Dogs.......dogs.......dogs.......dogs.......; What can you say that hasn't been said already. We had a nice London Broil on the grill, wife made baked potatoes and a salad. It's been raining so I was grilling between the drops. She melts butter with garlic powder for dippin' the steak, we all love it. Steaks were just about done when our shepherd has an attack of explosive diarrhea in the front hall, and the back hall, and the kitchen. It was green.

So much for Sunday dinner together, my wife had to rush off to work after it was all cleaned up. She barely had time for a shower. Me and the kids enjoyed, Mom lost her appetite. Have to keep an eye on the dog tonight. The other dog, the mutt, he's fine. Must have been something the shepherd ate. A few days ago we got them these rawhide chewy toys, they have had them before. They have never had any like these, these were round and had some kind of dry meat like substance inside them. They both got sick, we threw the things out. They must have stashed some out in the yard somewhere, they have done that before.

Oh yeah, after all that, and before my wife left for work we were sharing a cigarette out on the patio. She gasps in horror and I look where she's looking. Through the kitchen door we see the mutt chewing on the filet knife, the very sharp filet knife. He must have grabbed it off the edge of the counter. He's okay, no blood no bones.

Dogs.....Enough to drive you crazy.

Hey Tommy, remember that dog at that bar? The one with one eye, missing a piece of his ear. That was a cool dog, we gave him Slim Jims and he loved us for it. That dog was old, had to be ten or twelve at least. Hey, if you see him around where you're at now, give him a Slim Jim for me. Tell him I said hey. He really was a cool old dog.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Keepin' in Touch.

Burned a CD for an old friend. Haven't seen him in years, lost touch like you do. Looked him up a year ago, e-mail sometimes, talked once. I'll mail him the CD, hope he enjoys it. When we were kids we shared similar taste in music, saw the Beach Boys at Radio City in 1977 or '78. I was more into the southern rock thing. We both dig Zep, Clapton and The Stones. I was pleased to hear that he likes White Stripes, I do. He's married, two kids just like me. He's an artist, plays the guitar. I have a hard time drawing stick figures but I do play a mean air guitar.

Old friends, partied together and hung out looking for chicks, unsuccessfully. I think he always thought I was a little bit crazy. Hell, I was crazy, I'm better now. Been itchin' for another old shovelhead, ain't happening anytime soon, someday it will. Right now every day is a good day. I look at my kids, words can't describe. My wife and I talk about them and laugh, share those moments when we can. Two dogs, two birds, two kids and only one mortgage. Thank God for all that.

Hey Tommy, I wonder if you ever got that boat. You always wanted that boat, hope you got it. Hope you had a blast out on your boat.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


News said that stocks rallied after a two day drop. How sad, means some guy made only a million instead of two. None of those people really contribute, do they? Maybe I just don't get it, they don't really seem to do anything. It's easy to criticize from where I sit, if I had money my attitude would change I'm sure. It's fun to bitch though, at least we can still do that here in America.

This is just stupid, I'm whining. Life ain't all that bad, could be a lot worse. What if things were different and I were a podiatrist? Now that would suck. Imagine having to deal with feet all day? Not regular feet either, feet with foot problems. The Podiatrist, the medical communities unsung heroes. Is that how you spell it? Podiatrist. Nobody cares.

Our parrot is hanging upside down saying hello repeatedly.

Monday, July 24, 2006


My grandmother was really something. Not even five foot tall, maybe she broke a hundred pounds. Tough as nails, adventurous and fun. She always had a good story.

In 1962, the year I was born, she was to stay at our house and help out with the new baby. Well now, that ain't the way things went down. She decided to to take a trip around the world with her sister instead. Can't blame her there, a crying little fat kid with dirty diapers or a trip around the world. Seems like an easy call.

She said they were flying from Japan to Thailand on a prop plane, were forced to land in Saigon due to weather. She said that South Vietnamese soldiers escorted them from the plane to a building, told them to hurry and be real quiet. She said that the whole airfield was blacked out, a few mortar rounds landed inside the perimeter throughout the night. She said they had watch geese tied out just outside the fences, the geese were nervous and would kick up a fuss if anyone approached and startled them. It was one of those stories she would tell after a couple of gin and tonics in the big tall glasses that she and her sister enjoyed so much. She always told a great story.

Years later I worked with a guy who was a member of the Special Forces, a green beret. He had served in Southeast Asia, he said my grandmother's story was probably true. It was an old Montagnard trick. (Not sure how to spell that, it's pronounced Montan-yard. A mountain tribe indigenous to the area, Vietnamese Indians if you will.) He had operated extensively in those areas where the (Montan-yard) lived. He had lived with and fought alongside them.

About fifteen years ago, when my grandmother died, my oldest sister shared that with the rest of the family. Everyone began to wonder how many of Maggie's stories really were true, some in the family believed that she would embellish. I always believed every word.

Another favorite story is about one of her many road trips. Guess it would have been around '73 or '74. She drove out to California to visit one of her brothers who lived near Los Angeles. She just had to drive up the coast and see San Francisco in her new Plymouth with the 383. She said she was driving late at night, along a stretch of near deserted highway that bordered cliffs dropping straight down to the water. She hit something in the road, was able to get safely onto the shoulder with a driver side front flat tire. She broke out the jack and as she prepared to change the tire, four big bikers road up on choppers. She said they wore vests with "Hells Angels" written across the back. They changed her tire for her, they refused her offer to pay them for their assistance and they escorted her to the nearest motel where she stayed for the night. That must have been a sight, granny in her 383 with four bikers riding point for her. She said they were perfect gentlemen, said they could not have been nicer. My grandmother said those guys were alright.

She taught me to never judge a book by its cover. She said don't believe everything you hear, see, or read. She taught me that actions speak louder than words.

That car of hers was fast, I remember her laughing as she punched it through yellow lights.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Grocery store and crisper drawer.

Just returned from the store, she gave me a list. Moist Deluxe chocolate cake mix, only chocolate cake mix was devil's food or dark chocolate fudge. I went with the latter, it has the word chocolate in it. This always happens to me, probably get in trouble. Made a mess of the cake mix shelf searching desperately for the chocolate cake mix.

An hour has elapsed, I'm not in trouble. The chocolate fudge cake mix is good to go, that was close. The fridge has a humidity control on the crisper drawer, I don't get it. You slide the lever back and forth, what do the numbers mean?

When I left for the store ZZ TOP was on the radio. that shack outside LaGrange..............

I love that song. When I was done at the store, Springsteen's Promised Land. I grew up in Jersey, he's still The Boss. My wife has to take a nap, she's doing weekend overnight shifts at the nursing home. She loves the residents there, she made a cake for them. She works hard for this family, she's a good woman. Our oldest may want to be a plastic surgeon, she's got the brains and the grades. She works real hard too, entering her senior year in high school. We can't afford much but will do what we can. We can make it happen. She is an artist, she loves theatre. She also has interests that vary, from interior design to architecture. We can make it happen.

Our oldest is my step-daughter, I hate that term, don't even like writing it. She was four when we got married, I showed her the ring before I gave it to my wife. She made a card for Mommy, what a sweet kid, calls me daddy. I met my wife a year after I returned from an active duty tour in Saudi/Kuwait, Desert Storm. In 1990 I was a cop for a few years already, still had a reserve obligation. Volunteered for Desert Shield/Desert Storm, seemed like a good idea at the time. It was really hot over there. The people are different, artillery is loud.

A few years after we married, our second daughter was born. She's smart too, like her sister. She's in the gifted program, could read when she was two. Some genetic things skip a generation, in my case it must be brains. These girls are my everything. When I was fifteen my parents had a Christmas party. I arrived late, a little bit drunk and a little bit stoned. Don't judge, it was the seventies. I remember talking with the ministers wife, a nice lady. I have no idea how we got on the topic but, she said she would never hurt another human being, even if she was defending her children. I still don't understand that, I respect it on some levels but I will never understand it. I am not a violent person, but mess with my kids? I'm sure most parents are just like me. How could you not want to give them everything?

Still wondering what the humidity control on the crisper drawer is for. I'll have to ask my daughter, the younger one. She's like techy smart, she'll know, or she'll know where to find the answer. I need coffee and a cigarette, maybe some asprin. My brain hurts.

Good morning this morning.

Okay, it's 1:45, not exactly morning but I work nights. Anyone who works nights will tell you, you get no respect. People will look at you like you're a drunk or something. I know what's being said.

Why is he just getting up now? I always wake up at five o'clock, four if it's a work day......

Yeah well, that's why you're an asshole. My work day starts at four in the afternoon, usually finish up at two in the morning, sometimes later. Years ago when I was a cop we worked twelve hour tours, eight at night until eight in the morning. People would call at noon and wonder why you were "still" in bed.

I just know there is something going on over there. I mean all he does is sleep all day!...
Why can't he just stop over and say hello? I mean it's not like he doesn't have the time...

You suck, that's why I don't want to come over, because you suck.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Dock

Been a few days since I've blogged, been real busy at work, much overtime. Last night the foreman and the dock supervisor became involved in a heated verbal dispute. Me and another guy figured it was going to get physical, it was. The other guy got between them and blocked the foreman's arm before it became a punch, that was close. They worked it out I guess, nobody got hurt.

This other guy at work has a 1934 Harley Davidson, all original. It's not his yet, belongs to his father. The original owner was his great-grandfather, it will be his one day. He had to promise never to sell it. He said I could come over and look at it sometime, it's in his grandfather's truck shop. Very cool indeed. When I was a kid my cousin worked at a boat yard, they had an old knucklehead. Suicide clutch and hand shifter, you could change the gears out manually for low or high range. My cousin let me ride it, I was maybe fourteen. That was cool.

I feel real bad for all those people caught up in the fighting in Lebanon, sure hope that ends soon.

Hey Tommy, remember when you told the Drill Sergeant that you didn't think basic training was hard enough? I remember, he grabbed your nuts and said you had big balls. You said yes, you did. I didn't know a human being could do so many pushups.

C-130 rolling down the strip.......Airborne daddy gonna take a little trip........Mission undetermined destination unknown........We don't care if we never get home, singing low right left, whole lotta left foot, we love to double time........Cause we do it all the time.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My sister

My sister posted a comment, someone read my blog. I guess she's sort of obligated, she's my sister. I love my sister, she is the oldest. She stayed near instead of going away to college, she could keep an eye on the rest of us. Things were not Cleaver in my house.

What would you do for a Klondike bar? Would you read my blog?

I watched Tom Brokaw last night. Discovery Channel special about global warming, enough to scare the hell out of you. I'll walk to work today, that will help. I can watch all the shiny Hummers drive by. Why are they never dirty? If I had a Hummer I'd be driving up cliffs, forging mighty rivers, at least I'd take it down a dirt road once in awhile. Guess it's essential for trips to the mall, gets rugged in the parking lot. If I could afford a hybrid I'd buy one, easy to say, I can't afford it. Honestly, if I had that kind of money? A used F-250 and an old Harley.

Our parrot likes Lena Horne, Moon River.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

just can't shut up.

I just can't shut up, this blog thing. I've said more here in the last two days then the last twenty years. I'm going to have a cigarette, evil bad sick and wrong. Nicotine rocks.

I know what you're thinking, don't really care. Don't smoke in the house, try not to offend anyone when I light up. This once was America, doesn't seem that way these days. It's another issue that sounds great when someone is trying to get elected, distracts from all the stuff they are really getting away with. Can't even smoke in a bar in some places, that's just stupid.

No increase in the federal minimum wage, eight grand pay raise for the people who "represent" us. I guess those guys are worth more than the rest of us, they're better. People wonder why nobody votes anymore. Why should we? I still do, I know it doesn't matter, won't change a thing but I still do. Someday it will all crash down around us, we'll have to pull our heads out of our collective asses and get to work. Screaming and yelling at each other won't accomplish anything, hard work and shared sense of purpose, that's what will pull us through.

Some of the smartest people I know never went to college, but they can work. We The People know how to balance our checkbook, live within our means. We The People are all we have, can't rely on government, it's not our government anyway. I bet there are hundreds, thousands of small town mayors and produce managers, plumbers and teachers who could do a better job then the corporate representatives who run things now. I do not count myself amongst the capable, but I know my wife could do it.

I saw this kid get arrested.

I saw this kid get arrested the other night, probation violation. They came and got him at work, we were all surprised. I can't believe that I did that for a living once, putting the cuffs on people and taking away their freedom. Many of them really did deserve it, had hurt others, violent and all that. Many were just regular, had made a mistake, didn't deserve what they got.

Tough on crime, sounds great in a campaign speech. Minimum mandatory sentences take discretion away from the court, from the people. I know this has been discussed before, by many who are much smarter than me. It needs to be discussed however, freedom is at stake here. I think a lot of it is about money, private prisons run for profit. Private cops, where does it end? I'm not some kind of flaming liberal, I shouldn't even have to say that. I don't think that profit should be a driving force in the criminal justice system, that's dangerous.

I remember when I saw the Rodney King video, that was sad. One of my bosses, a lieutenant, stood silently next to me as we watched on the squad room TV. He said he wouldn't beat a dog like that, we all felt kind of sick. I remember a juror's comment, the jury that found those cops not guilty. This juror said something like they don't pay their cops to roll around in the street with people, I think it was something like that. Well that's exactly what you get payed to do, I knew back then that something was wrong. There is no honor in some people. I know it was a long time ago, still makes me cringe. Most cops are better than that, don't know anyone who would ever do that, I hope.

We have a parrot, he sings the Beer Run song.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nine minutes.

Nine minutes left, the French bread pizza will be done. I washed the kitchen floor so my wife won't have to when she gets home from work. It's only the second time in a year that I have done this, should probably do it a little more often.

Last night when I got home from work I actually found a TV show that I was enjoying. It was on CMT, all about Southern Rock. Of course the satellite signal was knocked out by a storm. I guess Mother Nature doesn't like Skynyrd...................bitch.

Timer sounded, cheese is not melted enough, three more minutes. Man I'm hungry, wish I had some cold beer. Killian's Red, that's good beer.

Pizza was good, ate my deluxe and the rest of my daughter's pepperoni that she couldn't finish.

I write and tell no one.

I write and tell no one. I would like to think I missed my calling, to think I should have been a writer. Lately I have actually tried, received my first rejection notices, it's strangely exciting. I will continue, drive on troop.

Recognition would be nice, not likely. My stories are good, I enjoy them. The process is fun, I like how it feels. Every day is a good day these days. No blood no bones, drive on. The kids are artistic and creative, they get it from my wife. Years ago I sold my Harley to buy her an engagement ring. It was a shovel, I like iron blocks. She sold the ring to pay some bills, we don't wear rings now, don't need them.

I consider success, when I know no one is looking. Take the money out of the equation, I am enormously successful. These days I punch a time card, before I carried guns. I like the time card better. The army was okay, wish I didn't have all this ink on my arms. Hey Tommy, do you remember Wolfman? We had to buy him some beer and he stayed open late for us new soldiers, first ink. I left the army Tommy, joined the cops. You stayed, you're not here anymore.

Disability pension, not enough to live on. Being a cop is a dangerous job, mine was just a stupid accident. I am glad to be able to work, back with the blue collar guys. I never really liked being a cop, the work was okay, sometimes you get to help out. It's some of the other cops I didn't really like. Talk about insecure, you think writers and actors and artists are insecure? You have no idea. Guess everyone needs to feel loved.