Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dave Barry is really funny

Dave Barry is a really funny guy. A clever and smart-alecky writer who is one of the inspirations for me and the semi-smart-alecky blog you are reading. Or are pretending to read. And not commenting on. Apparently. Which I wish would stop. Not the "reading" part, the "not commenting" part.

I have had a couple of conversations today, oddly enough, concerning words and their proper and popular uses. Sometimes not the same thing. I have spoken/written of this before.

Read Dave Barry's column about "Mr. Language Person". You'll laugh, you'll cry, it's better than Cats.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

...Now Internationally Recognized!

I can only say this because a Swedish friend in London took a night-shift job and has done some catching up on the GeezerChron in between studying and working.

SO, in addition to the four people who read this in Brazoria, Galveston and Harris counties, there is a Swede in London who pretends to enjoy my rants.

Thanks Mikael, you made me an international author. Sort of.

I win!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Slow Ride in Tyler Texas

Whenever you hear a song from your past, the memories flood back in an instant. You may be transported back immediately to the beach, or in the student center of the high school or the parking lot of the Weingarten’s grocery store. It may be an idyllic vacation spot in the Hill Country, or some East Texas lake. Almost any Chicago song takes me back to a certain ’64 Ford Falcon in Texas City.

But the song “Slow Ride” by Foghat whisks me away to Tyler Texas on a rainy weekend thirty-something years ago. An odd journey, you might say, but the story is tattooed on my brain. And the brains of three others in the geezer demographic.

Our families were always together, at church, after church and many times in between. The Dickson and the Soderberg adults got along famously, completely compatible in every sense. The kids always had a great time together, too. I think WE had more fun than the parents, but that’s just from our perspective. We played 8-track tapes and laughed a lot.

This particular time, we had all made a pilgrimage to the East Texas town of Van, the old homestead of our friends’. The town was so small, there was no lodging any closer than the pulsating metropolis of Tyler. There were numerous stop lights and even a motel, where we stayed Friday and Saturday nights. We roamed around the back roads of Van on Saturday, everybody piled into our truck (an early SUV; camper shell decked out with long bench seats and a vinyl “boot” connecting the cab and the camper) looking out the windows while stories about long ago ran around the space, with everyone laughing and imagining the old days.

My Dad and Mr. Dickson went and tromped around in the rain on some stickerburr-infested property that was owned by Mrs. Dickson’s family. Everybody else sat in the truck and waited for them.

So where does “Slow Ride” come in?

On Sunday morning, the day we were to leave, we were having breakfast in the diner associated with the motel. As usual, the adults were in one booth, and us kids were at another. The place was quiet at 7 a.m. on that morning, with older couples eating their waffles and eggs along with cups of coffee, their spoons quietly tinkling in the thick ceramic cups. Mostly rural types; farmers and retired oil field workers, ready for a quiet life in a quiet town.

That was all about to change, because we had decided that it was a little TOO quiet. Donna, being the youngest, was instantly and wordlessly chosen to take the magic quarter and feed it to the jukebox we spied up by the kitchen door. I don’t recall much convincing going on, so she innocently strolled up to the jukebox, coin in hand. We also didn’t make any specific requests for a particular song or kind of song, as far as I can remember. Just that the stirring of coffee and soft murmurs in the background perhaps needed a soundtrack.

We watched as she made her way to the jukebox, perused the offerings and made her choice. She spun on her heel and quickly retreated back to our booth by the window, but not before the strains blasted out of the speakers...NAA NUHNT- DA NAA NUNT- DA NAA NUHNT-- NER NEER NAAR - NA NUHNT-DA NAA NUHNT ...ReeeeReeeREEEEEee “SLOW RIDE...TAKE IT EASY...”

It sounded like they had been holding a dance the night before because the decibel level was absolutely off the chart! As Donna flinched and slunk down the aisle to our booth, leading EVERY EYE IN THE DINER right to the small group of stunned and laughing teenagers, the coffee cups rattled on their saucers as forks and knives were dropped next to the fried eggs. As the gravy congealed in the cold stares lowered at us, the manager exploded out of the kitchen scowling at us, and without looking, yanked the jukebox’s power cord out of the wall. He never took his eyes off of us.

I am wondering if the reaction would have been so swift and severe if the choice had been Willie Nelson warbling “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain”. Most likely not, though we can never actually know. I do know that I will likely never venture into Tyler again. Even with the radio off.

My lone commentor, so far, has corrected the date of the aforementioned Ford Falcon's model year. I said '64, the former owner says '66. Believe him about that. Believe ME about EVERYTHING ELSE!
Thanx, Falcon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Great Race

At our house, we don’t seem to get a lot of special snacks. Only rarely do we buy Cokes (mostly Dr Pepper, Sprite and root beer). Any time we get cherry pies, a special box of cookies or any other sort of extravagance, the chances for survival of the treat immediately plummet.

I made the comment once that my girls consume the orange, apple or grape juice at a rate that would suggest that there is a contest going on in which the object is to eat/drink or otherwise consume the delicacy in a crude and barbaric manner. Heck, I don’t even know how they TASTE the food, much less how they slam it down their throats so quickly! They pour giant tumblers of milk and orange juice, and root beer and Dr Pepper; they heap bowls full of ice cream and pudding and whatever else happens to land on the counter next to the refrigerator. Ice cream seldom even gets a chance to go soft around here.

One evening during the feeding frenzy associated with a jug of white grape peach juice or some other delight, my wife and I were relaxing, watching the news or King of the Hill, you know, something informative. The middle girl dashed through the living room into the kitchen, and in one swift move, grabbed a glass and the last of the juice, and poured the rest of it for herself. She then exclaimed, with glee, “I WIN!”

When we asked what she was talking about, she reminded us of my pronouncement that they acted like the consumption of juice was a contest. She had won, she’d gotten the final drop.

This remains a staple now, whenever someone plays the finale for the milk, juice, pie, ice cream, etc., they exclaim “I WIN!” At least here, I can have the last word.

I win.

Friday, March 02, 2007

What Color is Your Toothbrush?

When you get a call at work like this, you know you just need to buy another one on the way home...

...to be continued...

Ink Buying

So we were out of printer ink. The cheap printer is an ink hog. The black goes out quicker than…than a very quick thing.

My middle daughter calls me while I’m teaching my night class, “Daddy, did you get printer ink today? I need to print out my speech tonight.”

“Oh, yeah, (dang, shoot!) I’ll call Fry’s to see if they have any…”

While my students are finishing up their projects in the lab, I look the store up on the internet, and then I phone them to check if they have the necessary supplies. I am suspicious because in the past, it seems that they had truckloads of all the other ink cartridges, but MY model was completely out.

Not wanting a repeat, and being near desperate, I held while the boy looked up and down the ink aisle, searching for my cartridge. What is the picture on the front, what number was that, have you seen it here before…

My frustration was beginning to mount when he said “Here it its…T013, black!”

“Great,” I said, “how many do you have?”

“Oh, we have a lot of them.”

“How many is a lot, because I can feel it, there’s going to be a run on them just before I get there…what’s your name?”

“….uh, Jonathan…?”

“Well Jonathan, don’t let anybody buy them that’s not me…” I said. My students were listening to me. The ones that were left, since there were about 12 minutes left in the class time. “you’ll know me when I get there; I’m 6 foot 3, 245 pounds with a crooked nose. You WILL have one for me when I get there, won’t you Jonathan?”

“Y-y-es, uh how many do you want…we have a lot…”

“I just need one, but can you promise me there will be at least one when I get there, Jonathan?”

“Uh, yes sir.”

“OK, I’ll see you in about 20 minutes.”

When I got to Fry‘s Electronics, I asked to see Jonathan to thank him. They said they didn’t know who I was talking about.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Back on the Grid

You can once again get me on my cell. I was under the radar, off the grid, incommunicado.

At first, when my cell phone broke last Wednesday, I felt a little panic. That gave way to relief. A sense of freedom that I hadn't felt in quite a while. Imagine, after having an electronic leash for over a year, then suddenly the cord is cut and you can run free all over the yard!

I could go to Walmart by myself and not get called to pick up something extra. Wait, I could also go to Walmart and be totally isolated and cut off from the Mother Ship, and when I was looking at two nearly identical items, I'd have to make a choice on my own. Which isn't the end of the world...unless I get home with the wrong one.

So I got my new phone yesterday, and went home and played with it. It has nice big numbers for fat fingers, a big, bright LCD screen for a geezer to easily see. It also has a camera. Not that a camera on a phone is a "must have" for me, but I can play a little and customize my screen.

So call me, but only after 9 p.m., on the weekend or if you have Cingular. I don't want to pay for small talk.

Remember, first and foremost, I AM a geezer.