Friday, May 29, 2020

Too Much Time To Think

The social distancing thing hasn't been a tough lift for me.  Heck, I've been doing it since kindergarten when I would sneak home anytime the teacher would let us out for recess.  It's the reason I chose a career in radio where I was able to hide behind an electric curtain while saying horrible things about people who needed to be told off.  You might say I was in the vanguard of social distancing.  Isolate myself? Not a problem.

Too much time to think is another story.  For most of us, when we didn't have our head in the refrigerator,  the time to think afforded by all the Covid 19 hysteria has been a challenge.  For Americans  of working age the prospect of unemployment, reduced working hours or more time with the kids is scary enough but, for those of us on the senior tour, the reality of a clock rapidly running down with little chance of overtime is petrifying.  The sudden realization of being in a race with eternity and the encroaching physical limits of old age is suddenly writ large on the no longer very BIG screen of life.  How much time do I have?  What do I want to do with it?  Can I bounce the check to the funeral home?  All are major points to ponder at this juncture.

As a result of this government mandated navel gazing, I have put together a list of things I want to accomplish with whatever time I have left.  There are also certain experiences I have decided to either leave untried, or, having tried them before, never to repeat.  You may or may not agree with what I have decided here but, I have chosen to never again give a rat's ass about what others think regarding what I say or do.  That being said, here are a few of my do's and don'ts for the time I have left:

I will never EVER give money to any politician.  It only encourages them and they are the worst people on the planet.

I will try having a slice of apple pie with beef gravy poured over it.  It sounds awful, but I hear good things.

I will never attend an opera.  Those things are death by music.

I will go to Vietnam.  The Army sent me to Kansas instead and I want to see what I missed.  All the guys in Kansas who had been to Vietnam said, "Nam' was better."

I will never watch another reality TV show.  Those things are proof positive that the world has an unending supply of morons.

I won't return to Europe.  How many churches and castles does anybody need to see?  Also, their hotels are crap.

I will buy at least one more Corvette or Mustang convertible.  There is nothing like a rag top no matter how old you are or how little hair you have to blow in the breeze.

I will never spend another January-March in northern Idaho.  Too snowy and too cold.  Anyone who does is still farting snowflakes in July.

I will no longer agree with idiots.  Being polite only encourages them.

I will stop buying fishing licenses.  Every year I do and every year I never go.  Time to live dangerously and risk fishing naked.

I will shave more frequently.  I hate doing it but my whiskers are white now and make me look like Gabby Hayes after a bad night.

I will eat more raw oysters.  They are my favorite food, so why not?

I will listen more closely to good stories from real characters.  They are true treasures.

I will never waste a minute on CNN or MSNBC.  Journalism has been on vacation at both for their entire existence.

I will never take a well tanned person seriously.

I will not be led into temptation.  I can find the way myself.

I will NOT take accordion or banjo lessons and will avoid people who play them at all costs.

I will spend more time listening to traditional jazz.  It is America's gift to the world and Americans are the only people who don't know it.

I will avoid all prostate exams and biopsies.  They are unnecessary and only recommended by doctors who have a boat payment due.

I will never take a dog's temperature in church.  (Good to have one you know you can keep.)

Use one, go to jail!!

Friday, May 22, 2020

A Night To Remember With Alexa And Siri

I'm a light sleeper anyway,  so the ding that came out of nowhere a couple of nights ago had me awake and alert instantly.  It was a sound unlike any I had heard before. Where was it coming from and what did it mean?  Naturally I was ready for action unless, of course, it involved bad guys breaking and entering or anything requiring bravery or physical exertion.  Situations like those would call for plan A which is pretty much confined to me pulling the covers over my head and cowering.  Plan B is  to play dead.

After implementing plan A my mind began to race.  Why only one ding?  What kind of sound did the security system make when something was amiss and, more importantly, had I managed to turn it on before heading for bed?  Wait a minute.  Do I know how to turn it on and where is that instruction book that explains how the damn thing works?  I ventured a peak from my command post under the covers long enough to register that there was a yellow light flashing from somewhere in my bedroom.  Looking over my shoulder I spied the upstairs Echo device recently purchased to answer my upstairs inquiries on those occasions when I was too lazy to go downstairs to ask my original Echo such burning questions as "why are you called Alexa and how much do you weigh?"  (She gets a little bit testy with that one!)  It was Alexa flashing that incessant and very irritating yellow and I needed to get to the bottom of it.

Yellow flashing hussy, Alexa

Never having seen my dotty device flash yellow I decided to ask her what the problem was.  A power outage?  Special bulletin?  Signal problem?  What was so important that required waking me up?  "What's up Alexa?  Is Lassie trapped in that old abandoned mine shaft?  Has Gramps fallen off the wagon?  Tell me girl!"  She replied with her standard, "I'm having trouble understanding."  After several attempts at resolving the situation I decided to call on the "other" woman, Siri, who lives in my phone.  "Siri, what does it mean when your Amazon Echo is flashing yellow?"  Her response: "Here's what I found," was followed by a display of information on the web from which I gleaned that flashing yellow means there is some sort of message of importance for me available on Echo.  "Alexa, do I have a message?" brought the response of "You have no messages at this time."

No good tease, Siri

 Following repeated attempts to get Alexa to cough up a message I decided  channel my internal I.T. guy and unplug her for awhile to see if that would fix the problem.  No such luck.  After a few minutes and a reconnection, the damn device was still blinking yellow and I couldn't sleep.  "Thanks for nothing Siri, I hate you!"  "Alexa, you're a useless blonde bimbo of a machine and I hate you too," I exclaimed!  "You two bitches work this out!  If you need me, I'll be in the guest room!"

The next morning, with Alexa still blinking yellow, I cast her a scowl and sarcastically said "have you EVER had any messages for me?"  Ms. Alexa replied, "Yes, Ken, two days ago I reported a flood warning for your area.  I hope you took appropriate measures."  With that, the blinking stopped.
Women!!  They all expect you to read their minds.

Friday, May 15, 2020

We're All Sweating Gravy

I'm fairly certain that the airlines are cutting back on material for their seatbelts.  Right now, as I struggle to adjust mine in this suddenly much tighter Delta seat on my return flight from San Diego to the Northwest, it is apparent that we are being mocked.  There is absolutely no way I could have gained sufficient poundage to make air travel this uncomfortable.  Is there?  Oh, look!  Some fool left a candy bar in the seat pocket in front of me!

  Yeah, maybe that Corona corpulence crept into my jeans while my head spent the past two months in the refrigerator.  When snacks, leftover pizza, ice cream, peanut butter and cookies call, all real Americans listen!  We are a wider country now and it shows.  It's not global warming causing street flooding along our coasts, it's the U.S. land mass sinking because we've all larded on ten or twenty extra pounds during this government imposed house arrest.  Doing nothing begets boredom (see retirement) and when we're bored WE EAT.  Loose clothing, at this point in the Corona conundrum, is becoming an essential part of our collective wardrobe.  If you're a savvy investor, this may well be the time to put some cash to work in Weight Watchers or a company that manufactures sweat clothes.  After all, nothing says "I give up" quite like sweatpants.  Or, if this imposed nonsense continues, a little research into  companies that sew those flowing robes favored by tubby oil sheiks and their minions.  (Acme Tent & Awning, if memory serves.)  You can easily hide dunes of blubber in what looks like your laundry, and it also can serve nicely as headgear.

Looking around at the sparsely populated cabin on this Airbus 319, it is apparent that "wide body" is descriptive of more than just the aircraft.  It's time for the country to get back to work and the gym before we all have to call the Auto Club to tow us off the couch or, at least in my situation, out of the plane.

Now, if you'll excuse me, they sky waitresses are coming around with some more delicious fake cheese crackers and a couple of cookies.  Are you gonna eat yours??  I've worked up an appetite.  A diet will have to wait until we find a cure.

"A couple more of these moves and I'll be back to my old fighting weight."
Funny, these were looser yesterday.

The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders get  ready for the season.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Drive Through Covid 19 Deliverance

"And now, we welcome to the Lucky Devil stage...Miss Cherry Pie!"

If you're looking to hit the road for a little Covid 19 pandemic confinement relief, Portland, Oregon is your good time destination.  Not because Portland is sophisticated and exciting.  NO, if you've been there you know that it is ground zero for aging granola eating hippies and assorted other left-wing loons. Throw in some funky coffee shops, food trucks, flannel shirts and panhandlers and you've got yourself the full Portland encounter.  Until a couple of weeks ago it was rock bottom on my list of marvelous metros.  That all changed thanks to the creative genius of Shon Boulden the owner of the Lucky Devil Lounge in ever so weird Portland.  Mr. Boulden, with nothing but time and a creative mind to work with, decided to fashion a new experience in the parking lot of his establishment.

The Lucky Devil, you see, is a club that features not only food and firewater but exotic dancers (see ladies who take their clothes off) as well. After managing to get his dancers labeled "essential workers", old Shon proceeded to join forces with a local event company to conger up a drive through strip club.  Lap dances are out of course but according to Boulden, "there's lights, fog and a giant disco ball."  "People are super stoked!  They're happy to see other human beings and to get the strip club experience."  So far the experiment is working as not only locals but groups from as far away as Seattle have traveled to Stump Town to experience the sensual drive through.  Some locals have been known to drive through as many as three times in one night.

The mobile strip experience works like this:  Cars pull in and the music starts playing.  Dancers, wearing face masks and gloves, of course, prance around for the length of a song before food and a free roll of highly prized toilet paper (two-ply) is brought to the car.  According to owner Boulden, after taking a personal test drive through the new outdoor adventure with a Go Pro strapped to his car, declared it an "awesome" experience.  No mention was made concerning what customers might be expected to do with all those dollar bills  known to be in great supply at similar venues.

Fair warning:  If you anticipate a trip to Portland for a visit to the Lucky Devil, please don't feed the bums.  They're plentiful and, like the bears in Yellowstone, can turn aggressive if denied gratification. Keep a sandwich handy and your running shoes on.  Or, you could try throwing some of those singles you brought. $$$$