Wednesday, December 17, 2014

It’s a dining room again


After six months as a storage room, our dining room is cleared of boxes and other stuff and ready to receive company again.

Maria celebrated the occasion with a new festive holiday table cloth.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why I like Arkansas winters

indiana winter

This is how the driveway of our Thorntown, Ind. house looked at 8:08 a.m. on Dec. 9, 2005.

This is not my idea of a good time and, as I have said previously, I never want to experience another Indiana winter.

I can cope with 3” snows that go away in a day or two and the occasional ice storm here in northeast Arkansas.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I love Indianapolis

monument circleThis is the center and heart of Indianapolis – the Soldiers and Sailors Monument – and for my money, it’s the most beautiful centerpiece of any city in America.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the practice of stringing lights from the top of the monument to form the World’s Tallest Christmas Tree, which is why a bunch of people were assembled on the south side of the monument to form a “50.”

Friday, December 12, 2014



I ordered a couple of cell phone auxiliary battery chargers from a few weeks ago and they arrived in today’s mail.

They’re about the size and shape of a roll of dimes and cost $4.99 each, so we haven’t lost much if they turn out to be useless.

I have them charging from a USB hub on my rat’s nest of a desk and assume the red light will change color when charging is complete. They were made in China and came without instructions. The hype claims they were originally $49.99 each and that one of them can give you an extra 40 hours of cell phone talk time.

We shall see.

The solar panel powered charging device that came with my Nelson-Rigg motorcycle tank bag impounded enough of the sun’s energy to fully recharge two iPhones at the BMW MOA rally last July, so I remain guardedly optimistic.

Carmel, Calif. enigma

farmer phil

The Carmel, Calif., weekly newspaper has a cartoon feature based on entries in the area police logs.

Today’s issue included this cartoon based on an April 4 log entry.

I have no idea who Farmer Phil is or why anyone is concerned about him.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brain fade

I got the December rent check in yesterday’s mail from one of the tenants in our downtown office building.

I also received a light bill from the electric utility for a security light that illuminates the back of said building. A whopping $6.22 a month.

I dutifully wrote a check, tore off the return portion of the light bill and stuck it and the check into the appropriate envelope and affixed a stamp.

Then I shredded the extra part of the light bill and before I realized what I was doing, I put the tenant’s rent check into the shredder.

Oh, shit!

I reversed the shredder about halfway through the process and backed the check out, but it was damaged beyond retrieval.

Happily, our tenants are responsible, friendly people and it probably didn’t hurt that I had dropped off a holiday tray of cheese, meat and crackers at their office the morning previous.

They contacted their home office in Memphis and I received a replacement check in this morning’s mail. I took it directly to the bank and did not shred it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just another Lost Angel

lost angelMaria bought a few bottles of wine the last time we were at our favorite liquor store just over the state line in Missouri.

I opened one of the two bottles of cabernet sauvignon last night, mostly to test the wine bottle pour spout I got from the Amazon Vine Program, but I didn’t pay any attention to the name on the label.

When my eyes fell upon it this morning, I immediately thought of the Doors album “L.A. Woman” and its title song:

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows
Are you a lucky little lady in The City of Light
Or just another lost angel...City of Night
City of Night, City of Night, City of Night

A Doors tribute winery? There’s nothing on their web site to suggest it, but I like to think this company name exists because of Jim Morrison.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

51 years ago tonight


I became a pledge of Zeta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity 51 years ago tonight.


There were 23 of us on Preference Night when this photo was taken at the Tirey Memorial Union Building on the Indiana State College (now University) campus. Three guys, whose faces are blacked out and whose names I don’t recall, dropped out.

I’m the guy in glasses in the front row.

The actives then took us to a union hall in Seeleyville, about 2 miles east of Terre Haute on U.S. 40, where we all got thoroughly drunk. One of my few memories of that night was watching Alan Freeman (front row, second from right) sucking beer out of a can faster than it would flow on its own. Al is a retired college prof living the life of an expatriate in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Being an ATO was probably the proudest achievement of my rather spottyato pledge pin college career. I still cherish the memories and the friendships and I can name most of the guys in the photo.

We had to surrender our pledge pins when we were initiated into active membership in the Fraternity, but I bought one on Ebay years ago. Maybe I’ll wear it today to mark the occasion.