Revenge of the Pissed Off Driver

We were the second car in line, waiting to make a right onto a major secondary road.

The car to the left of us successfully made a left hand turn. No traffic was coming in either direction. The Hyundai in front of us made no effort to move forward. Not sure if the driver was on s cellphone or not, but he obliviously continued to backup the exit from the parking lot.

I honked. The driver eventually pulled forward at about 25 mph in a 35-40 mph speed zone. The car drifted over into the empty bike lane like the driver really wanted to get off the road and finish whatever had occupied him initially. However, despite weaving across the bike and turn lanes, the car progressed v-e-r-y slowly down the road.

As we approached the light, it turned red. The driver sailed though the red light and continued at the speed limit, once he realized that it served no further value to continue driving slowly.

Where are the cops when you need them?

What Will You Do With a 25-Hour Day?

For many places in the United States, people will turn the clocks back an hour, essentially coming off Day Light Savings Time and returning to Standard Time. Although most of us will do it when we go to bed, officially the clocks are turned back at 2 am on Sunday.

One year I woke up at 0200 to see my digital clock jump from 0200 back to 0100–hence the 25 hour day.

Although I expect that most of us will use that extra hour to sleep, what else would you do with that extra hour? While I am typing this I can hear SXM playing Time Passages by Al Stewart. Fascinating coincidence.

Who’s Rights Are Right?

As your rights more important
than my rights?
Are you religious convictions more worthy
than mine are?
Does might mean right?
Does white mean right (whether skin or color of a cowboy's hat)?
Why is it ok to demand that you not have to get the jab or wear a mask
but it is not right to have access to an abortion, contraception, 
or even accurate information on that topic?

When up is down and in is out
when no listens, they scream and shout
who knows what life is all about?

July 7, National Dive Bar Day

National Dive Bar Day

A dive bar is typically a small, unglamorous, eclectic, old-style bar with inexpensive drinks, which may feature dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs, packaged beer sales, cash-only service, and a local clientele.

Seagram’s Seven Crown founded National Dive Bar Day on July 7th to honor all the dive bars around the country and to recognize them as an American past time that will never die. Seagram’s Seven Crown strives to help preserve the dive bar, those places with lasting personality, who take care of their own. Through historic preservation initiatives, Seagram’s 7 supports the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

April 7 is National No Housework Day

Forget about vacuuming
Don't wash the dishes
This is the day 
for Play Hooky wishes

For one day a year
skip your your honey do list
It will be there tomorrow
so nothing is missed.

National No Housework Day was established when Thomas and Ruth Roy felt it necessary to create a holiday where we don’t do any chores. They chose April 7 as National No Housework Day and encouraged people to “leave it all for tomorrow.”

How Many Baggage Carousels Does Your Airport Have?

I have been in dozens of airports (mostly US) over the years and the large ones easily have multiple baggage carousels. (I tried to find some numbers but could not find the right wording to retrieve any type of answer from Google.)

Google ‘read’ the question Which airports have the most baggage claims as Which US Airlines Are Most Likely to Lose Your Luggage? American was the most likely to lose it, while the three airlines least likely to lose your luggage were Allegiant, Southwest, and Hawaii.

Key West Airport (EYW) has two carousels–one medium and one tiny one. In April 2021, we waited on the tarmac for an hour to even be assigned a gate to deplane and then another hour for our luggage to be put on the carousel.

Charlottesville Airport (CHO) has a half carousel. The single carousel disappears behind a wall for half its circuit. We have to plane and deplane in the open, using a portable ramp pushed up to the plane’s door. This is an improvement over having to climb up and down the stairs on the plane door.

One time, we must have landed when the entire luggage crew broke for dinner. We waited almost an hour for the luggage to come off the plane and finally placed upon the one-half luggage carousel.

The other half of the carousel disappears back behind the same wall.

David Wyant–Farmer, Goat and Donkey Caretaker, Store Owner and

“Officiating is about the acceptance,” he said. “If you look like an official when you walk on the field, you’ve won by 75% of the acceptance level. Then there is only about 20% hustle and 5% rules.”–David Wyant

Winner of the 2021 Art McNally Award for his time as an NFL Referee.

From Wikipedia: The Art McNally Award is an annual award created in 2002 by the then National Football League (NFL) Commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, and given to an NFL game official who exhibits exemplary professionalism, leadership, and commitment to sportsmanship, on and off the field. This award is presented at the Pro Bowl.

Wyant, an official in the NFL from 1991 to 2013, wore the number 16 throughout his entire career. Wyant earned 17 postseason assignments in his career, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 9 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and his final NFL game, Super Bowl XLVIII. He served as the side judge on crews led by referees Gerry Austin, Dale Hamer, Walt Coleman, Larry Nemmers, Tom White, Bernie Kukar, Ron Winter, and Jeff Triplette.

A chance meeting with David Wyant on Sunday, Feb 20, 2022

Some football memorabilia from inside Wyant’s store:

You can tell that David really loves his animals and that love is returned. Goats that previously had preferred food to being petted will tolerate (and even seemingly enjoy) a scratch or pet with David around. The donkeys acted less like bullies in his presence. Nanny follows him around like he is her personal bully savior (and perhaps he is).

SIPs and VIPs

When we returned from Monterey, California recently on American Airlines, we had no problems with people wearing masks or on-time arrivals or departures. However, there were many self-important people (SIPs) and very important pets (VIPs).

On the flight between Monterey and Phoenix, we had three very well-behaved lap dogs and one cat that kept meowing “Why?” the entire hour-long flight. One dog belonged to two SIPs who carried more luggage than they could handle and felt that they were entitled to take up as many bins in the small regional jet as was required. Of course, that meant that they held up planing and deplaning so that they could accommodate the entitlements they felt they deserved.

In the Phoenix airport, one first-class couple (talking about the seats they purchased, not the quality of their behavior) crashed the line nudging aside people already in line out of the way. They made a to be heard comment about priority boarding not being announced yet at the same time that Priority 1 boarding was clearly displayed on the Gate marquee. Even they had to wait for the wheel-chair passengers and one VIP parent to finish getting into their seats.

Walking around the Charlotte airport, I saw more dogs on leashes than children walking with their parents. (In case the above sentence is too ambiguous, I saw no children on leashes or harnesses.)

While we were in Charlotte, awaiting the plane to Charlottesville, we saw one woman with two immaculately behaved Italian greyhounds. She had a large fuzzy throw for the dogs to rest on, a pillow, an overfilled tote bag, and a pair of dogs on a leash. Both dogs (a male and a female) had velcroed pads or supports about their lower backs. I’m not sure if it was to prevent puddles or protect the nervous, fragile dogs’ hips and lower back. She and the dogs boarded ahead of time–I’m guessing she needed more time to board with that much to organize.

The final SIP was a large man who held up the line because he thought he had lost the cellphone he had just been gazing at, announced that someone must be sitting in his seat (despite an empty aisle seat in his row), and as soon as he took his seat asked if he could use the bathroom before the plane left the gate. Once he wedged himself into the bathroom, he couldn’t figure out how the doors opened so that he could get out. The bi-fold door folded in and he was trying to force the door outward. He immediately chatted up the young woman sitting next to him, bragging about his golf game, despite her telling him that she did not play golf. When the flight attendant asked us our drink preferences, he asked for a double Scotch and water, which he never finished because he continued to chat up his young seatmate for the entire flight.

When we finally got to the Charlottesville airport, one young coed felt she no longer needed to wear her mask while waiting for the luggage to appear. Her boyfriend kept his mask on.

The Seance

It was a dark, but not stormy, night in December. My sister and I were in high school. She and her boyfriend, one of my classmates, and I were sitting in the family room staring at the fireplace.

“Let’s have a seance,” my sister suggested

“Who should we conjure up?” her boyfriend asked.

“How about the Devil?” I replied.

“Good idea.” “Why not?” “Let’s do it”. Everyone concurred.

We sat silently for about 10 minutes as the flames shifted from the familiar hands in prayer tapers to an angular shape with two horns appearing on the top. Slowly eyes and a mustached mouth emerged in the middle of the shape.

For several long seconds, nobody said a word as the facial details sharpened in front of us, the tension crackling louder than the flames.

“Let’s stop the seance, now!” somebody shouted, breaking the collective spell. The flames reshifted as the face receded.

We never had the nerve to have another seance.

That Tractor Has a Flat

I was driving up US20 heading north, exiting Orange, Virginia at about 40 miles per hour. Traffic was moving very nicely and Phlash Phelps was in the middle of identifying his City of the Day on Sirius 60’s Gold. I was in the zone and enjoying some time to myself.

As I was passing the Harley Davison shop, I noticed a green and yellow tractor parked in the grass on the side of the road.

First impression: John Deer Tractor.

Second impression: First time I’ve ever seen a tractor with a flat tire. Wonder if this is why it is parked there.

Third impression: Tractor is made entirely of square and round hay bales which is why the tire appeared flat.

How long has it taken you to notice something on the side of the road, accurately?

November 30 is National Personal Space Day

This is the third year of National Personal Space Day.

National Personal Space Day “November 30th promotes kindness toward sensitivities and supports healing by recognizing everyone’s right to decide when and how to be touched, or not.

Touch can hurt. Germs can harm.

The day provides an opportunity to be aware of a person’s unspoken need for space or a gentler touch. When you see someone wearing the peach symbol, forgo the handshake or hug and offer a genuine smile instead and offer another way to show you care.”

All we are saying is give Peach a chance.

White Space Expanded

The literature scholar Alan Jacobs argues that we need to embrace “not a permanent silence, but a refusal to speak at the frantic pace set by social media.” He calls silence “the first option — the preferential option for the poor in spirit, you might say; silence as a form of patience, a form of reflection, a form of prayer.”

How I learned to shut up and be still Author Headshot
By Tish Harrison Warren

White Space is the blank space left around a PowerPoint, print on a page, or words in a lecture or sermon. It provides a respite from thick block of text, graphics, or words and allows us the chance to absorb what we have just seen, heard, or experienced.

After reading this thoughtful essay that someone shared from the New York Times, I realized that White Space could also be extended to our lives as well as our various activities.

“Candle Flame” by Sam Bald is licensed under CC BY 2.0
As Thomas Kildare writes, “Advocacy in support of the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized and the pursuit of peace requires action. Particularly in a democracy, we have a responsibility to raise our voices to call for a more just and compassionate society for all people.
But the practices of silence, contemplation and stillness are essential disciplines in Christian spirituality. If you survey the advice of the saints from the past two millenniums, a consistent piece of advice emerges: Shut up. Be still.
If we fail to engage in active practices, Alcántara says, “we risk becoming distant, aloof, and detached from the world around us.” But he also says, “if we fail to engage in receptive practices, we risk becoming distant from ourselves, offering living water to others while we die of thirst.” 
By Thomas Kildare

A (Self)-Educable Moment

I was getting my flu shot at a local pharmacy an tried to joke with the pharmacist giving me my shot .

“I’m being facetious when I say this, but this shot won’t turn me into a zombie, will it?”

His response wasn’t what I expected. “For some people, that is their belief system. You believe some things that you can not prove.”

“Sort of like religion,” I replied.

“I suppose,” he finished with a jab of the needle.

I had never thought about this as a belief system and I suppose for many people it is. America has a long history from the witch trials in Salem through the Scopes Monkey trials in 1925, where some people passionately believe in things that many do not.

Prior to today’s beliefs in the reality/unreality of the Coronavirus and whether or not Antifa caused many of the violent protests in the past year and a half, the one of the last times we had such with hunts was in the 1950s with Senator McCarthy and the Red Scare.

All of this as passed, until the next wave of hysteria arises. I hope that this wave subsides sooner rather than later.

The Comings and Goings of Friendships

Did you meet a new person today?
Were you glad when they left
Or hoped they would stay?

Not everyone will turn into a friend
for which we are grateful
from beginning to end.

Some friends aren't what we had expected
Friendships aren't easy
So don't feel rejected

Some of them bless us by staying awhile
They leave us fond memories
That can still draw a smile

Some of them make us glad when they leave
Not what we hoped for
Not what we perceived

Each one we meet as some potential
to teach us a lesson
Learn something essential.

Each person we meet is a blessing or curse
We hope they aren't bad 
But sometimes they're worse.

You Can’t Talk Sense to Your Inner Toddler

About age two, that previously sweet baby learns the power of the word NO! It may be followed by “Don’t touch that”, but once the child hears NO, he realizes that he must obey or refuse. Refusal seems the more instinctive reaction.

Fast forward to the teen years. NO returns from both parents and teens. Whereas the toddler results to tantrums, teens yell and slam doors or they go passive/aggressive with sighs, rolling eyes, and shoulder shrugs. “Whatever” becomes a standard response of disdain.

Then came the pandemic which has turned many adults back into teens or toddlers. “You’re not the boss of me,” they metaphorically shout to anyone that recommends or mandates ideas ranging from masks and social distancing to getting a vaccine. Instead of the passive/aggressive response of many teenagers, they respond with fistfights on airplanes, sermons from pulpits and government buildings, and disregard for previously respected scientists and medical professionals. The only winner is the mutating COVID virus.

I'll do it when I'm ready
You're not the boss of me
You'll never be able to show me
 things I don't want to see

Why do you always tell me
the things I need to do?
You can talk till the cows come home
you're message will not get through.

I'd rather die than listen
to things I know aren't true
At least what I read on the Internet
is not advice from you.

This is supposed to be
the land of the brave and the free
So I'll keep on doing just what I want
'cause you're not the boss of me.

I'll continue doing
what I believe is best
Even if it kills me
But I'm willing to take that test.

To the Fool on the Hill

Day after day, alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin
Is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Dear Fool,

Today your alternate sense of reality might not be so gently judged, unless you are in politics.

Between COVID, politics, woke/cancel culture, and race–with the exception of race, many of the old litmus tests like nationality, religion, and values seem to have been thrown out the window or onto the compost pile of history.

Elite at one point was a typewriter size that got 12 characters to an inch, while Pica was 10 characters to an inch. We could all agree on that.

We still have self-proclaimed purity tests that measure what agrees with our versions/visions of what is right. Perception has replaced fact about what is true and what is not.

I can like what you say, but if I do not endorse everything you say then I am against you. That is one type of purity test–when is enough sufficient?

Superman stood for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” But we don’t agree on what any of those things mean anymore.

Fool, do you have anymore room on that hill?

Thanks. I’m asking for a friend.

“The Fool on the Hill Has Stepped Away” by garlandcannon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0