Pencil Thin Unibrow

Today, while I was running errands I saw a woman. Not just any woman.She lacked eyebrows. I’m pretty certain that there wasn’t a medical reason for her having a naked brow. No, this was self-inflicted.

As we walked toward each other, I crossed to the other side of the street. My car being on that side of the road was there was only part of the reason I crossed. Mostly, it was because she terrified me.

I jumped in my car and buckled up; when I looked up, she was about to cross the street. This was a difficult situation which forced me to look at her again. The fact that she’d shaved off her eyebrows and drew them back on made her, well, a challenging sight to describe. Read the rest of this entry »

Yo No Soy Marinero

Since my hearing impairment was diagnosed, I often ask myself two questions:

Was that person talking to me?

What did they say?



I just needed poblanos. (image purejadkid CCbySA3.0)

So, when a woman started talking to me yesterday at the grocery, I started with those familiar queries.

I was grabbing a cart and heard a woman’s voice behind me call out “hello!” It’s kind of rare for me to run into my friends during one of my afternoon food runs, but as I turned, I asked myself the first of my questions. She was looking at me and smiling; the answer seemed to be yes, she was talking to me. And I was pretty certain she’d said hello because when I turned, she followed up with “how’ve you been?”

But I had no idea who she was.

When someone talks to me and I don’t know who they are, I often ask myself two questions:

When did my wife introduce me to this person?

Is she close enough to save me?

I could not figure out the answer to the first question. Did my wife and I meet her at a party? I had no idea and my wife was in her office, too far away to get me out of this predicament with her usual grace. It was time to for me to start faking it. Read the rest of this entry »

So, Anyhow…

It’s been quiet here on Blurt, and I’m sure that it looks like I’ve stopped writing. Nope.

Yeah, it’s gotten a little tougher to get words on paper. I’m certain that’ll pass. Keep watching this space and you’ll see.

But while we’re waiting for that to happen, I had an idea for a new site and started it up. My new blog is called The Seventeenth Syllable Blog. The Seventeenth Syllable is a haiku driven news site.

Haiku news sites are what happens when I write down the things that I think of when I wake up in the middle of the night. Perhaps I should write those things down more often. Or maybe not.

See you at The Seventeenth Syllable…and here.

Haiku For Haiku, In Haiku


My rough draft. (image public domain)

A few months ago, I discovered that there is a town in Hawaii named Haiku. I can’t claim that I discovered the town. I’m pretty sure that the people who live there were aware it was there long before I figured it out.

But learning that the town exists inspired me to write a haiku for Haiku. That little writing exercise got me to thinking about becoming the poet laureate of Hawaii, so I knocked out two more haiku to expand my body of work (you can read all three haiku here).

About a week ago, my wife and I visited Haiku, Hawaii. It is a laid back, pretty little place in the hills. Read the rest of this entry »

Alligator Lizards In The Air

One of the great joys of retiring at my age is that my wife and I can travel. We go on a lot of adventures, enough that the shuttle bus drivers at the airport greet us by name.

Last year on one of our trips, I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. At the end of this week, we’ll see it again, and then fly over a lot of it to Hawaii. There are a lot of things we’re looking forward to from our two week journey way out west – volcanoes…a canoe trip to see whales…learning new Hawaiian words with far too many vowels in them…and finding out what the hell poi is. These adventures will pale in comparison to the very first thing that we’ll do on our trip.

Ventura Highway


Alligator lizards fly above this sign. (image by Tony Webster CCbySA4.0)

We arranged our trip to allow for two days in Los Angeles before we head out to Maui. While we are there, we are taking a day trip to Ventura. I am looking forward to being on the Ventura Highway.

Yes, the Ventura Highway. The road in the song by the same name, recorded by the band America back in 1972. I know from that song that “the free wind will blow through my hair”, or what’s left of it, while I’m there. Also, on Ventura Highway, “the days are longer and the nights are stronger than moonshine”. Moonshine is strong stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

Superman VS Batman. Why Are They Fighting??

Ads for the film Superman Vs Batman were prominently featured during the NFL playoff games. But the promotions and the premise of the film have left many with one huge question – Why are Superman and Batman fighting?

I did some investigation, including speaking with both superheroes, to get to the bottom of things. It was sad to learn that this feud has been going on for longer than most of us have realized. And thought they’ve been solving our problems for so long, it looks like the problems between Batman and Superman are too deep rooted for us to help them resolve.

For Superman, It’s All About Power


Before things got messy (image by postdlf/wikipedia)

“Look, the guy is a hero but there’s not a damned thing super about him”, Superman told me as he crystallized the issue between himself and Batman. “He’s got no real powers, just a bunch of gadgets and a mask. The other Superfriends – Aquaman, Wonder Woman and me, we were upfront about who we were. We didn’t hide behind some mask. And we’ve got powers – Aquaman can live under water and Wonder Woman…I mean, come on…you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, am I right?”

Batman seemed to confirm that was a big part of the rift between them. “Yeah, yeah. Hero, but not a super hero. I’ve heard it from him over and over. It just got old. They say the Super Friends split up “to work on solo projects. Yeah, right, like we were the friggin’ Eagles, man. I’m telling you, it was his elitist attitude that did it.” Read the rest of this entry »

“We Raised An Idiot”

I woke up to the news that a University of Virginia student, Otto Warmbier, was detained by the North Korean government as he was leaving that nation after a visit. The North Koreans said he’d entered the country with “the intention of destroying the country’s unity”


What about this says “Welcome!”? (image via USMA Archive CCbySA2.0)

Now, I’m sure that our government is doing everything it can to get Mr. Warmbier back across the Pacific quickly, so he doesn’t have to take incompletes on all his spring semester classes. We should all expect that sort of help when we’re in a jam; whether we travel to North Korea for a lovely beach vacation or to destroy some unity.

Nice Choice, Otto

But how far should the government go to rescue a young man who made a questionable vacation choice which put him in harm’s way? If Warmbier and his family have the money to send him to North Korea, we can reasonably infer that money could have been spent sending him somewhere less perilous. Being a tourist in a nation that has detained a number of your countrymen seems a bizarre choice. And when I say “bizarre”, what I mean is “stupid”. Read the rest of this entry »