Late, but is it better?

Still another barn
Still another barn

As long as there are wooden barns, I’ll be photographing them and posting them. In case you were wondering.

***

I started working on this post back on Monday the 22nd, but go sidetracked and didn’t get back to it. I decided on this topic in reaction to Morning Joe dedicating three hours to people gushing over the birth of the royal baby. When it became obvious that nothing of significance was going to be covered that Monday morning, I decided to watch an old movie instead. My choice was The Drum starring Sabu. I thought that a movie that glorified a make-believe benign overlordship of Great Britain in the subcontinent of Asia fit the bill. The major action in the movie takes place on the India (now Pakistan) and Afghanistan border.

The major villain in the movie was played by Raymond Massey. His character was Prince Ghul. This movie was released in 1938, just two years before Massey was nominated as best actor for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

Of course Sabu was the star of the movie. He was 14 in 1938. I used to watch Sabu movies on television on a regular basis when I was a kid. I can’t recall a movie when he wore more than a vest and pants; and often shucked the vest for long periods of time.

I can’t watch a Sabu movie, or even hear his name without thinking of the John Prine Song, Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone. The song, which was on his Bruised Orange album, is funny enough, but the version on his album, John Prine Live, has a very funny introduction. At least it is funny to people like me who have watched a number of Sabu movies.

This post would have been longer if I had finished it back on the 22nd, but as time passed, so did some of my ideas…I think. You have to decide if this post was better late than never.

A mixture of small items

Another run down stucture
Another run down structure

I’m not sure if the owner is repairing this building, or plans to tear it down and replace it. I hope it is being repaired.

***

I erred in my last post. I identified my favorite Ry Cooder album as Live instead of the correct title Show Time. I don’t know what I was thinking. I realized my error when I put the CD into the player in my car. I hope no one rushed out to find the album Live, because it doesn’t exist.

***

I’ve lost the source for this quote, but I know I heard it on television. One character, speaking of another story character, said that he would “drink anything that wasn’t toothpicks or shoes.” We probably all know, or have known, someone who fits that description.

***

I need to pay more attention to the auto-correct on my phone. The other day I was entering an appointment with my Optometrist, Dr. Yocum. My phone decided that I had misspelled his name, and changed it to Dr. Toxin. Sometimes I think the phone has a sense of humor, other times I think that it really isn’t all that smart.

***

I watched an old movie yesterday, Gold Diggers of 1933. I found myself feeling nostalgic for those times. Then I thought for a moment and realized that the movie had been made and released almost fifteen years before I was born. How do you feel nostalgic for something you have never experienced? How do you feel nostalgic for the Great Depression? I lost the nostalgic feeling as soon as reality set in.

***

I can’t take a selfie. I have tried, but I always look dead. I can’t keep my eyes open anticipating the flash, and I can’t smile on demand. I look like an angry dead man. The only time I come close to getting an acceptable picture is when I catch myself in a reflective surface. So, don’t expect to see a selfie in any of my posts.

It’s a Ry Cooder morning

Barn, yes another one
Barn. Yes, another one

Will I ever get tired of posting pictures of barns? Probably not. I’ve been taking pictures of them for at least thirty years.

***

I’m listening to Ry Cooder’s Paradise and Lunch album as I work on this post. I blame that on a Volkswagen commercial. You have probably seen it recently. The commercial evokes memories of the TV show Northern Exposure because it is set in Alaska and has a moose, or perhaps a large elk, standing in the middle of a street. But Northern Exposure isn’t the reason I put on Ry Cooder this morning. No, the commercial has a version of Dark End Of the Street playing in the background. When I hear that song I think of the covers done by Linda Ronstadt and – TA DA – Ry Cooder.

The cover of Dark End Of The Street in the commercial is performed by Cat Power. I Googled it to find out who the singer was. Cat Power. At first I thought that it was a band name (and it was originally), but it turns out to be the stage name of a singer who is also known as Chan Marshall. I’ll be listening to more of her music in the near future, just to see if I like anything else she has recorded.

Let’s get back to Ry Cooder. I had never heard of him until Steve Goodman mentioned him on the TV show Soundstage (see my post Day 321) when introducing the song Boomer’s Story. I loved that song, and later found out that Ry Cooder had recorded the song and used it as the title of one of his albums. I have to admit that when I bought the album I was disappointed in his version of Boomer’s Story but loved the rest of the album. I became a fan. I first heard his Dark End Of The Street (see I tied it back) on his album Show Time. That album is my favorite of all the Cooder albums that I own.

I once mentioned to a friend that I had read that Ry Cooder used to play in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. My friend looked at me quizzically and asked who Captain Beefheart was. Really? I don’t profess to be an expert on music from the 60’s and 70’s, thought I have a nodding acquaintance with it, but even I have heard (of) Captain Beefheart. I’m not a fan, but his existence is well documented.

Over the years I’ve bought 8 or 9 of Cooder’s albums, and Show Time remains my favorite. Why aren’t I listening to that album right now? I’m taking it to the car to listen to as I run errands later this morning. It is a great album for summer weather. And that’s why this is a Ry Cooder morning.

A memory from Auburn

The road we all follow...metaphorically
The road we all follow…metaphorically

I love graveyards, especially older ones.

***

On Sunday, when I was watching CBS Sunday Morning they had a segment on a women’s professional baseball league that existed in the 1940’s and early 50’s. It was am segment that had been on earlier in the TV season, and just like the first time, it reminded me of a woman a dated for a short time. I was living and working in Auburn at the time; long before I met Cindy. I was thirty-five and had been dating women in their late twenties or early thirties. Jane was 50. The TV segment reminded me of Jane because she had played either professional softball or baseball; I don’t remember which. Her age was right for playing on the Ft. Wayne Daisies team, which was a baseball team, during their last few seasons. But I don’t know for sure if that was who she played for.

When I met Jane she was divorced with two grown daughters. She told me she had divorced her husband, who owned a furniture store, because one day she went to see him at the store and found him, “screwing his secretary on a dining room table in the storeroom.” Those were her words, not mine.

Jane, at fifty, was in better shape physically than any of the younger women I had been dating. I think she could have stepped back on a ball diamond and picked up the game where she had left off.

Our relationship didn’t last more than a few months, but it was memorable. I have a few stories about Jane that I could tell, but I probably shouldn’t. I’m afraid the grandkids might some day decide to read some of my posts. Today I’m particularly remembering being caught in a rainstorm while in a boat on a lake. We got back to shore and warmed ourselves with a bottle of Jane’s homemade wine. My first sip made me wonder if it was wine or paint thinner. But it warmed, and the second sip went down easier, as did the third and fourth and so on. By the time we finished the bottle off we were perspiring.

Jane went on and started dating a man closer to her own age. I didn’t like him, but I wasn’t dating him. I eventually moved away, and even later, after Cindy and I were married, I heard that Jane had married that fellow. I also heard that he was physically and emotionally abusive and that Jane eventually divorced him. The last I heard of Jane, she was in a nursing home recovering from a stroke. The stroke removed all memories of dating, marrying, and divorcing the abusive cur. I was sorry to hear about the stroke, but was glad that the bad memories had been removed.

My Monday morning

Abandoned
Abandoned

It wasn’t bad enough that somebody left their clunker siting in the parking lot, but they couldn’t even put it between the lines.

***

I spent between four and a half, and five hours on Monday getting some minor repair work done on Cindy’s car. I thought it would be more than minor, but…well, read on.

I drove Cindy to work Monday morning and then went on to Midas to have her brakes looked after. No appointment had been made, so I had no idea how long it would take to get the brakes looked at. There was good news and there was bad news. The good news was that they could check the brakes that morning. The bad news was that two of the three mechanics hadn’t come in yet, so it was going to be awhile before anyone could look at the car.

A second mechanic came in at 9. Surprisingly, the manager gave the mechanic his choice of which of the three cars, that were waiting, to work on. I was lucky that he chose to look at Cindy’s car. I sat and waited.

I looked at the selection of old magazines they had for their customers. Most of them were Guns & Ammo and Road & Track. There was one back issue of Good Housekeeping that caught my attention. I like looking at the recipes. But in a small room with nothing but other men, I chose to not pick it up.

I decided to use my phone to check on email, Facebook and Twitter rather than watch the TV. Every time before that I had waited at Midas, they had Fox News on the TV. I didn’t want my blood pressure to jump, so I ignored it. But then, from the TV, I heard the phrase “horse catheter,” and I knew that Fox News probably wasn’t being watched, unless the folks on Fox and Friends were being particularly frisky in their judgements about the White House. I looked up and saw that Animal Planet was on the screen. There must be new management at Midas.

I sat a bit more. An attractive young woman came in with two young girls trailing behind her. She was there to get the struts on her SUV replaced. The two girls said that they wanted to go for a walk. “Where?” asked the mother. Why, they wanted to walk to McDonald’s, which was across one busy street and a few parking lots. “No,” snapped the mother, who then walked over and sat beside a young man who was reading Guns & Ammo. She sat there for a few minutes, but then abruptly stood up and said to the girls, “We’re waiting outside.” I wondered what the young man might have murmured to her, or if he had forgotten to shower that morning.

One of the girls asked, “Are we going to sit on the curb?” and the mother responded, “Where else?” As they were walking out of the door I heard one of the girls ask again if they could walk to McDonald’s. I didn’t hear the answer, but I’m guessing she said no because they sat down on the curb.

After waiting for about an hour, the manager asked me to follow him into the service area. I anticipated having to take a second mortgage to pay for the brake repairs, but I was pleasantly surprised. He told me that the brakes didn’t really need any work at that time, however, if Cindy wanted to get rid of vibration when she braked, they could replace the rotors, but then that could lead to new pads. He then quoted a figure. I said I would call Cindy and ask what she wanted, and I did so. No brake work today she said, but could they change the oil? I asked, they could, and they did. It meant sitting a while longer, but there was an end in sight.

After leaving Midas, I drove up the street to Tire Barn to get two new tires on her car. Tire Barn has always been quick and efficient, so I had no qualms. No qualms until the man who I dealt with told me that it would take about an hour to put two new tires on the car. So I waited.

Nothing particularly interesting happened while I waited, with he exception of  one of the clerks flirting with every young woman who came into the store. Some were flattered, one was not. She chose to sit on the curb outside. I double checked to make sure it wasn’t the same woman who had been at Midas. It wasn’t.

There are only two more things to say about my trip to Tire barn. 1) They have the most comfortable chairs in a waiting area that I have ever sat in, and I’ve sat in a number over the years. 2) It took an hour to get the car in for the tire change, and then another forty-five minutes to make the change. The balancing must have been tricky.

That was my Monday morning, how was yours?

Apology & Flo Update

Out to pasture
Out to pasture

I took this picture two or three weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to use it until now. Read on to find out why.

***

Let me start by apologizing for not posting anything for so long. I wanted to post, and planned to post at least three times since the start of the month, but we have been having computer problems. It is a long story, but I’ll boil it down to a few sentences.

I noticed that our firewall was not doing its intended job, so I was chary about going onto the Internet. I spent a couple of days copying all of our data files to flash drives rather than take a chance on losing it all. Then from Safe Mode I did a System Restore to am date a month earlier. That worked.

***

Other things have happened that I would rather relate to you, but most of the people who live around Lafayette prefer to read about Flo or my mother. So I’m getting this out of the way so that I can tell you other things that are more to my liking…though many people will find them boring.

There are just a couple of things relating to Flo. The first happened, oh three weeks ago I think; and it grew from a phone call that I got from Cindy. She called me from her office around noon one day and asked me to take a small electric fan to Flo’s room at the nursing home. Flo was having trouble breathing and had called Cindy because she was scared. They decided that a small fan might help, so I was asked to drive to Mulberry to deliver it. I said sure, but that I wanted to finish my lunch first. I wolfed down my sandwich (the minor heartburn came later), grabbed the fan, and set off to Mulberry.

When I got to the nursing home I went directly to Flo’s room to deliver the fan. The room was dark and the curtain was drawn around her bed. I was half afraid that I had arrived too late. I went to talk to the nurse. I told her that I had brought the fan, but didn’t want to disturb Flo if she was having problems. I told the nurse that Cindy had told me that Flo was having trouble breathing.

The nurse said that, yes, Flo had been having trouble breathing, but then they discovered that she had turned her oxygen off. Once they turned it back on she was fine. She was taking a nap, and they would be happy to give her the fan we she woke up. I left and went home.

The second update comes from this Saturday. Cindy had a surprise birthday party for Jill. Cindy picked up Flo and her friend Peggy and brought them to the party. For most of the party I was in a different room than Flo and Peggy, interacting with other guests.

At a certain point in the afternoon, as I surmised it would, Cindy asked me to drive Flo and Peggy home. She looked at me and said, “Well, I picked them up and brought them here.” I responded that she had invited them, but it wasn’t a convincing argument to her point of view.

So we loaded Flo into the car and set off for Mulberry. Let me say that silence is not an art that had been mastered by either Flo or Peggy, but luckily they kept each other entertained while I ignored them. At one point, however, when we were passing the SIA plant, Flo nudged my arm and said, “I forgot to bring my cupcakes. But I guess I don’t need them.” I thought that it was good that she didn’t need them, because I wasn’t about to turn around and go back for them.

After that it was smooth sailing and we delivered Flo to her room in the nursing home. On the way to Peggy’s apartment she chattered on and I nodded occasionally and muttered things like, “Uh huh.” and “Hmm.” and “Really?” you know, minimal encouragers. As we were driving down 350 South towards her apartment we passed an area where wild flowers had been planted. Every 5 or 6 car lengths or so there was sign declaring that they were wildflowers and they were not to be cut. Of course Peggy said, “They need to get somebody out here to cut down those weeds.”

I responded, “Hmm.”

So now you have been updated, and my next two or three posts will be about things you may find boring.

My dream

Another country scene
Another country scene

The question is, “Was I taking a picture of the corn, or of the barn?” I could make a case for either scenario.

***

Let me tell you about a dream I had a few nights ago. Since I seldom remember my dreams, I always feel that the remembered ones are significant, not just crazy. Though I must admit that the ones I remember are always odd.

I dreamt that I was in bed, but I was not alone in the bed. There was no one human in the bed, but rather there was a large, poisonous albino snake in bed with me. The snake was not only large, poisonous and an albino, but also it talked…in English. How odd. I was very nervous to say the least. I am not fond of snakes to begin with, but to find one in bed with me was more than disconcerting. The snake was trying to reassure me that it would not bite me, but I was not reassured when it slithered behind me (I was lying on my left side in a semi-fetal position), and I could no longer see it. I could feel it close behind my neck as it spoke in soothing tones. I didn’t care what it said, I was imagining it sinking its fangs into my neck.

I decided that I had to get out of the bed without being attacked by the snake, but knew that it could strike faster than I could roll out. I pondered the situation briefly as the snake continued to speak. I tensed all of my muscles, and then flexed my way out of the bed. I know that it sounds unrealistic, but it was a dream after all.

At that point I woke up…standing beside the bed. That has never happened to me before, and I hope it never happens again.

I thought that I should try to find an interpretation of this dream on the Internet, but I am just as confused after doing a quick search. One website told me that a dream of a poisonous has something to do with corruption or contamination, or that I lack integrity…stupid website. Elsewhere on that same site I’m told that a white snake represents something genuine or positive in your life that corrupts or contaminates everything else around it. Huh?

On other websites I’m told that to dream of snakes, is a foreboding of evil in its various forms and stages. If they bite you, you will succumb to evil influences, and enemies will injure your business.

I’ve given up trying to find an explanation of the dream, but I’m pretty sure that getting out of bed in my sleep shows that I want to avoid big white poisonous snakes…that talk.