Everyone Fits Somewhere. We All Fit At The Deli.

It was a busy day. I spent the morning running writing and running errands. Hitting everything on my to do list felt great. I’d finished the list, except for the thing on it that I’d been looking forward to – lunch.

As I drove, I considered my options. Pizza was a possibility. Some really spicy Thai food would’ve hit the spot. I hadn’t had Chinese food for days. There was a great burger joint close by. And then I decided to try something completely different.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

To be fair, the food was good, but maybe not this good. (image public domain)

Not far from our house, there is a little local deli that I’ve never been in. The place is in an older, interesting looking building that I’ve wanted to get a look at. It always looks busy at lunch. I took that as a good sign and gave the joint a shot. Read the rest of this entry »


The Finest Blueberry Pie There Is

Some who read my blog know my friend, John. I think those who do know him would agree on this point – we’re sad for those who don’t.

All of us agree that he is someone everyone should know, but disagree on why. Some would point out that John talks with a funny accent and that makes him wicked fun to listen to. And that would be right. Who talks like that, y’all? No one.

Others might point out his fabulous wife as a reason to know him, and I’d agree there. You could also mention his noble profession, his fine sons, his charitable deeds or his taste in music. Read the rest of this entry »


Smokey Bear Is A Jerk

I was driving along a rural road on Saturday. It was a pretty ride, through a heavily treed area. It was at the entrance to a fire road, appropriately enough, that I saw the sign with Smokey Bear’s image on it. Next to Smokey was his famous slogan:

“Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Back off, bear. (image public domain)

Over the next few miles I considered how awful forest fires are – the trees and animals that are lost; the cost in destroyed property and lives. I’m a live and let live kind of guy. But if you asked where I stand on forest fires, I’d say that I oppose them.

It’d probably be a safe assumption that someone who is against forest fires is also pro-Smokey Bear. That’d be a safe assumption; but in my case it’d be a false assumption.

I think Smokey Bear is a jerk. Read the rest of this entry »


No, Don’t Bury Me. Here’s What I Want.

I suppose the right thing to do is to start by saying that I don’t foresee the plans I’m putting in place here being used for a long time. My health is better than it has been in years. Barring being hit by a meteor or being mauled by a bear, I’m pretty certain I’m going to live for quite a while. One hundred years is not out of the question.

But there is some wisdom in establishing my wishes for when it is my time to go. The last thing I want my family wondering about after I’m gone is my funeral arrangements. To be sure they don’t, I’m going to lay my wishes out here, in a place where they’ll be easy to find in 2061…or 2062, if I push it and go for one-hundred-one years.

Services will be in Key West. Dress casual. (image public domain)

Cremation seems the way to go. It’s cheaper, and it eliminates that whole situation where people show up at a funeral home to look at what’s left of me lounging around in a box. Let’s face it, no one wants to see that. It is a creepy tradition that has to stop. I’m doing my part.

That’s just the first step. Yes, there’s more. Read the rest of this entry »


An Open Letter To AARP

Dear AARP,

I appreciate that you look out for my interests. I don’t have the time to travel to Washington as often as I’d like. When I do get there, I’m not interested in soiling my reputation by being seen with elected officials. I’ll happily pay my dues to have you lobby on my behalf.

Yeah, I get a free one. Why? Because I’m an AARP member. (image public domain)

That’s not all that you do for me. I get good deals on donuts when I get together with my old man friends every morning. And when I travel, I get a break on hotel costs. You offer me insurance and I get a magazine every month. It almost seems like a one-sided deal that is in my favor. If you’re OK with that, so am I. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m Sick Of Frozen

You know what? Enough is enough. Though I have not seen (and will not ever see) the movie Frozen, I am officially sick of it.

As best I can tell from the blizzard of crap for sale in stores, the movie has three characters. There is a blonde girl who smirks a lot, a red-haired girl who seems secondary to the blonde girl and a snow man who looks like a demented pile of soft-serve ice cream. They live somewhere cold, because, well, Frozen, right? Of course it is frozen; soft-serve ice cream can’t just walk around on a magical island near the equator, can it? Read the rest of this entry »


Three Years Later

This doesn’t mark three years ago that my friend died, the number is now four. I tried writing something new about him but the words didn’t come this year. Sometimes it goes like that. This is a reprint of last year’s piece on this date.

Humor returns to the blog tomorrow.

Today, as every day, I miss Fred.

 

Three years ago today was a Friday. I’d slipped out-of-town for an over-night visit with my son at college. By the time I arrived, Fred had passed away back home.

Despite a heroic effort to contact me, I didn’t know we’d lost him until I read the news the next morning. I remember staring a lot that day. There were other things, but mostly there was staring.

That Saturday night, back home, I was still staring. I published what I felt that night, and then went to work at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, on no sleep, for my first shift without him. I wasn’t the only one sleepless and staring.

The staring returned this morning. I’m angry about the accident that cost his life months before he was to retire. I’m hurt for his family as they move on without him. I’m disappointed that I can’t call him to laugh about some of the stories we lived through and compare notes on how much being retired from The Job doesn’t suck.

But I’m also happy to have had the privilege to enjoy time with Fred. That’s the direction I hope the staring takes me today.

Things are better than they were three years ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m stronger, healthier and smarter. I’ve even learned lessons because Freddy had to leave; I’d rather have stayed ignorant of those.

It is quiet today. I’ll take time to think about the stuff we saw and did. And about pulling each others bacon out of the fire on several occasions. And finding each other on SWAT calls and saying “I’ll see you when this is over”.

Life goes on, brother. It is good.

I’ll see you when this is over, but it’s gonna be a while.

Fortes Fortuna Juvat.


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