Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

   In the USA we celebrate Thanksgiving. A holiday that commemorates the first year's bounty of the Pilgrims coming to the North American continent.

   Our ancestors gave a party and the Native American were invited. If you believe the stories, we had a "Pot Luck" style dinner back then. The Pilgrims provided the table and the Native Americans provided all the food since the Pilgrims weren't yet very good at providing for themselves. 



   Basically the "Indians" provided the first welfare food bank and our ancestors were the first welfare recipients. We were on the cutting edge of our modern society!

   Today we celebrate this holiday every November by gathering as a family and feasting on roasted turkey, stuffing/dressing (whatever term you prefer), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pies, squash and sometimes a baked ham. 

   We sit at the table and eat and eat until we have to loosen our belts just to breathe.



   After dinner we sit in front of the TV and watch football and eat some more. Later we eat leftovers heated up in the microwave or cold. Over the next few days we continue to eat the rest of the leftovers in our lunches, for dinner and as snacks. We become championship level eaters during this holiday.


   Looking back to the first Thanksgiving we know that they ate venison, dog, corn, fish and sweet potatoes or yams and they were thankful to have it.

   Today we gorge ourselves to the point of bursting and by and large, we really don't seem to be thankful for much of anything except for maybe the football game (unless out team loses, then we go and eat more to salve our 
depression).

<--- California Roast Turkey

   This Thanksgiving we should all be thankful that we have food enough and a roof over our heads and warm beds. Be thankful that we have our families around us and be mindful of what they really mean to us. 

   Be thankful that the wars our Sons, Daughters, Fathers and Mothers are fighting right now are relatively small wars and not on the scale of our past world wars. 

   Be thankful that most of us have the means to provide for our families, however meager those means may be. Be thankful that there is food on the shelves of our stores or in our fields ready to be consumed.

   Be thankful that we have what we have because so many people in this world do not.

   Tell me in the comments section below what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

   I hope you all are well and have what you need wherever you may live.

   Happy Thanksgiving from the Geezer!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Family Secrets - So Don't Tell Anyone!

Oh! The things we do as kids that we later look back on and laugh!

   I remember when my Sister was about 3 or 4 years old. We lived in a rural area of Logan, Utah. It was a former Fox Ranch. They raised fox for their fur. My Dad and Uncle used it as a base for raising mink for fur. There was also a large fenced pasture next to the house for two horses - Star and Tony (correction added - 10/21/12)

   I recall one winter when my Sister and I were walking with my Dad to the mink pens for feeding time.

   The mink were kept in wire-mesh cages with 1/4" mesh on all sides. There would be a small wooden box inside each cage for the mink to make their nests. 

   Feeding the mink would entail grabbing a hand full of ground horse meat and plopping it on top of the wire mesh. The mink would raise up on their haunches and eat the meat through the wire mesh.


   The weather that day was very cold and we were all bundled up in our coats and mittens. When we were done with the feeding and got back to the house, my Mom found frozen horse ahhh... droppings in my little sister's coat pockets!

   "I found 'ball-o's'" she said (balls). 

   My little sis had seen the droppings frozen to the ground and thinking they were balls, she put them into her pockets.  Mom threw them outside and then threw the coat and Sis's mittens into the wash.

   Some kids grow up with odd hobbies! I wonder if she still collects crap?

   Around the same time, certainly while we lived in the same house I had an experience that still makes me chuckle when I think back on it...

   I mentioned the mink food being ground-up horse meat... well we didn't grind it up ourselves (we only had two horses!). There were several mink ranchers in the area so they had formed a cooperative, a "Co-Op". 

   The Co-Op would have the horse meat ground and delivered to the mink ranchers weekly. The truck would arrive in our driveway and we would place large wheel-barrows beneath the chute at the back of the truck and several hundred pounds of ground horse meat would go into each tub. They were then wheeled into the barn to await being taken to the mink buildings for feeding time.


   Often times the full wheel-barrows would remain in the barn overnight. When we would go to the barn in the morning, we would find the loads of meat covered with feeding rats. 

   The rats would be so fat from eating all night that they couldn't run away and were very easy to catch.

   One morning I went to the barn and managed to catch eight rats. I held them in my hands with each tail between my fingers so that I could hold them up and they would dangle from my hands. I was excited to have caught so many and I wanted to show someone what I had done! I was sooo proud of myself.

   I made my way back to the house and shouted to my Mom. She called back from inside the bathroom. She was taking a bath. I told her that I had something very cool to show her so she said, "Come-in". I went in... holding the rats behind my back so as to surprise her...   I did!



   "Look what I caught" I said as I held out eight rats dangling from my little hands.

   "Yeeaaaggghhhhhaaaeee!" my Mom screamed (Very loudly). I was so startled that I let all the rats go at once. They promptly all fell into Mom's bath water while at the same time my Mom was making a valiant effort to walk on water, wrap herself in a towel and scream all at once. It all happened so fast!

   Okay, it wasn't very funny at the time. I cried as I pulled drowned rats from the bathtub and put them in a bucket. Mom was screaming at Dad who was laughing so hard that Mom got even more angry. 

   My Uncle Ted, who lived a half mile down the road had come running because he had heard my Mom scream (She was only 4' 11" tall, but she could scream!), was also sitting on the floor laughing so hard he couldn't stand up.       

   Mom pouted for about a week before she came out and forgave me, but I don't think her heart was in it.

   I learned that the rats belonged outside and that no matter how many I had managed to catch, Mom didn't want to see them. Ever!

   I was in my teens when I was reminded of this incident from my childhood by my Dad retelling the story to a relative... It all came flooding back to me! This time though, it was funny! I have never forgotten it! Great memories!

   The Geezer is slowing down but my precious memories keep me young! I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obituaries (Not For the Squeamish)

   Michael Eugene Carver, 23, a noted rock climber fell to his death Saturday while climbing Yosemite's "El Capitan" the 3000 foot massif in Yosemite Valley.

   Carver was making a traverse of the cliff face while free-climbing the daunting granite wall when, according to witnesses, his grip failed causing him to fall nearly 2000 feet to the jumble of rocks below to the horror of onlookers.

   Witness James Slayter was closest to the point of Carver's impact had these comments, "Dude! I got splashed! I thought I was going to hurl! Oh, yeah. Too bad about Mike!"

   Carver's family noted when interviewed by KBSX reporters that, "Michael will be missed, but at least he was doing what he loved".

***O***

   Stanley Lee Gabrosky died as a result of a shark attack off the coast of Miami Beach while Wind-Surfing. Gabrosky was "Catching Air" when he fell from his board according to witnesses. The Great White Shark came up from beneath Gabrosky and nearly severed his torso with one gigantic bite.

   Gabrosky's remains were fished from the water by the Coast Guard and turned over to Miami Coroner's personnel.

   Gabrosky's fiance, 19 year old Gina Clemmens, while extremely upset over the incident claimed that she was happy that "Stan died while doing what he loved best, well, next to me that is".

***O***

   William Gaines Finn, 35, was killed Friday in a Bungee Jumping accident in St. Louis, Missouri. The "Bungee Dare" amusement operated by Crazy Carnival and Amusements, LLC was the scene of the accident.

   According to friends, Finn was celebrating his birthday and had been drinking on and off during the day. His wife of seven years, Earlene Finn, 24, dared Finn to jump from the "Bungee Dare" attraction.

   Mrs. Finn told reporter Mark Steele that she told her husband, "He was a real wuss if he didn't make the jump". Reporter Steel noted that Mrs. Finn had a black eye and several bruises on her arms.

   According to the police report, Finn was in such a hurry to make the jump that he didn't wait for the carnival employees to attach the bungee cords to his (Finn's) ankles. Finn leaped almost 200 feet to his death.

   Finn's parents, Bill and Kate Finn, told reporters that William Finn died while doing what he loved, showing off to his "Purty little wife".

***O***

   James Joseph Mills, JJ to his friends, 21, of Myrtle Beach, Florida, died of an overdose of heroin last Wednesday night while partying in his parent's basement apartment, where he lived. Mills was found the following afternoon at 3:30 pm by his girlfriend, Lauren Dickey, 19, also of Myrtle Beach.

   Dickey was interviewed by police detectives where she stated that they had been celebrating an upcoming job interview JJ had been called to attend that day. "It would have been one of the best jobs he had ever had". she explained. The interview was with Chang's China Cuisine as a dishwasher and chopstick repairman.

   JJ's parents Cord and Elizabeth Mills were very introspective about their son's death. "JJ always liked to live life on the edge. He had such a zest for life and wasn't bound by society's conventions" Mrs. Mills stated. "Even though he dropped out of High School, he made his life his own. He died doing what he loved most, brown heroin".

***O***

   Leon Tyler Brown, 47, of Battle Creek, Michigan was shot and killed by Battle Creek Police while in the act of raping college student, Michelle Johnson, 19, of Detroit, Michigan.

   Police were called to the 600 block of Prentiss Avenue at 9:36 pm with reports of a woman screaming and crying. When Police arrived, Officer Todd Wyatt called for Brown to stop what he was doing. Brown reportedly turned to the officer and brandished a firearm resulting in Officer Wyatt shooting Brown. Brown died on the way to the hospital. Michelle Johnson was treated for minor injuries and released.

   Brown's wife of 27 years, Andrea Brown, stated that Leon had always liked young college girls and commented the she never thought that he'd resort to rape. Police stated that they believe Brown to be the so-called "West Side Rapist" that has been terrorizing Battle Creek for the past 16 months.

   Brown's wife stated that she was happy that he, Leon Brown, "Perished while doing what he loved".

***O***

   The body of David Carleton Ross, 56, of Billings, Montana was found dead in the Billings Morgue. When employees arrived at work Monday morning at the morgue, they discovered Ross on the floor of the storage room. An unidentified corpse was found face down on a morgue gurney. 

   It appeared to investigators that Ross had been sodomizing the corpse when he suffered a heart attack and died. Morgue personnel found several other bodies that had been similarly molested.

   Ross' aged mother, Eugenie Ross stated that her son was always "different" in his tastes. He is reported to have never been married or had a girlfriend. "I'm happy to find that he at least had an outlet for his energies" Mrs. Ross stated. "I'm glad that he died while doing what he loved"!

***O***

  I, The Geezer, 64, hope that when I die, I do so while doing what I love...
While the names above have been changed, the incidents have actually happened... so do what you love, but watch your back!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4 O'Clock In The Morning!

When I was a young kid - starting around the age of 7 or 8, my Dad would take me fishing or hunting or camping or shooting in the back country of Northern Utah.

This was fairly common for me. Usually once a month, sometimes more during the summer. Dad took these opportunities to teach me about nature. He'd teach me to build a fire or set a snare or to erect a tent. He'd teach me to fish and hunt and shoot a gun, how to find or catch something to eat in the wilderness. It was a great way to grow up!

I learned a lot from my Dad during these outings. I learned to appreciate nature and to have a sense of the world around me. I learned to get up early in the morning!

Whenever we'd go out on one of our trips he'd always tell me: "You have to go to bed early, Steve. We'll be getting up at 4 O'clock in the morning."

4 a.m. took on an almost magical meaning for me. It was the time that something special would begin. It was the time that we would begin our adventure!

We'd get up and have a quick breakfast of cereal and toast with a big cold glass of milk (Dad would have coffee). We'd pack a few sandwiches that we'd made the night before and fill our canteens with water. We would always stop at the service station and fill up with gas (at 15 cents per gallon) then we'd take off to our destination.

As I said, sometimes we'd go fishing or hunting. Sometimes this would be an overnight or even a weekend-long trip. Those were the best!


One of our favorite destinations for a camp-out was a place called Tony Grove Lake north of Logan, Utah. This was a remote mountain lake set in the pines and aspen high in the mountains surrounded by primitive camp sites. Usually nothing more than a ring of rocks for a fire left by the previous campers. To get there we had to travel a single lane dirt road that wound it's way up a narrow canyon. The trip was an adventure in itself. 


The last time I was there, the single lane dirt road was now a two-lane blacktop road and the lakeside had restrooms and "improved" campsites including a firebox on a pedestal, a picnic table and designated tent areas. You now have to pay to camp there!  It's still beautiful but it's like camping in the parking lot at Disneyland.

I remember one fishing trip we went on. We were just a few miles from our town along the banks of the local river. After a day of catching fish we'd caught our legal limit and it was time to go home. We went to get into the car and Dad discovered that he'd lost the car keys! Upon checking he found a hole in the pocket of his trousers that the keys had dropped through! We had been fishing both sides of the river and had worked up and down the bank on either side. The keys could have been anywhere.

Dad managed to get under the dashboard and hot-wire the ignition and was able to get the car started and we made it home safely. I remember him hot-wiring the car and was startled at the amount of sparks that resulted from the contact with the wires. It scared me! I didn't know much about electricity.

Once we got home we changed into clean clothes and I heard Dad laughing from his bedroom. He'd found the keys! Dad usually wore Wellington style boots and the keys had dropped from his pocket down his leg into the top of his boot along with a handful of change.

Another time I went deer hunting with my Dad and Uncle Ted. We went high into the mountains in my Uncle's 4-wheel-drive truck. It had snowed the night before and there was a few inches on the ground where we started. 

After a while it became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to keep up because the snow was up to my knees and it was difficult for me to make much headway. Dad and Uncle Ted asked me if I wanted to wait in the truck. 
I certainly did not! 

Dad had taught me about staying warm and not to be afraid in the woods so he asked if I thought I could just stay where I was until they returned. Sure! I could do that! At least I could see whatever sights there were to see.

I sat down at the base of a big pine tree and was sheltered from the snow by the overhanging branches. Dad left me a couple of sandwiches and a small thermos of hot chocolate. He told me to be quiet and not to move around too much while I waited and they'd be back in an hour or two.

I waited and watched several deer cross no more than twenty yards in front of me. I could hear them walking behind me, too. I stayed still for fear of spooking them in case Dad and Uncle Ted came back and wanted a shot at them.

Around two hours later, here comes my Dad and Uncle and no deer. I had not heard a shot at all. Dad said, "There's no deer on this mountain or we would have seen them. We're going home."
     "I saw a lot of deer!" I said.
     "No if there were any deer, we would have seen them." he replied (grown-ups know everything!)
     "Really! There were a bunch of them over there and behind me, too!" I said, pointing to the tracks.

Dad and Uncle Ted started looking and found tracks from about thirty deer all around the tree where I had been sitting.
     "Next time, we'll all just sit under a tree with you and get us some deer! Either that or leave a gun with you!"

It was funny but Dad and Uncle Ted would get mad every time the subject came up in conversation after that. At least I think they got mad, good-natured mad. Probably just to make me feel good. I did, too!

Now that I'm a Geezer, I remember these trips and outings with a wistful longing to do them again. It's not to be, though. As we get older, things change. Look at the before and after pictures of Tony Grove Lake above. Nothing stays the same! It's too bad ~ I could go for some more 15 cent per gallon gasoline! Maybe if I got up early - say, 4 o'clock in the morning?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Funniest Thing I've Seen in the News Lately

This may be the funniest thing I've seen in the news lately... of course this is just from this humble American's viewpoint:



In Lahore, Pakistan Mr. Abdullah Ismail died from smoke inhalation following his burning of an American flag during a protest demonstration.

After the demonstration he complained that he didn't feel well and was taken to the local hospital where he died from breathing the toxic fumes from the burning of the American flag which was made from synthetic fibers.

As an American, I can't tell you how sorry I feel for Mr. Ismail and his family. I'm sure that he was a good friend to many and a good son to his parents.

Perhaps his time would have been better spent minding his own damn business.

The Geezer thinks that sometimes, just sometimes justice is fickle. It's about time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Okay. What's Next?

As I was growing up one thing has remained constant: I enjoy listening to music on the radio.

We have had quite a few singers over the years who have been popular enough to have made their mark for the ages. Some good and, well, some not so good.


When I was a kid, I remember listening to music on the radio. Back then the radio was about the size of a small refrigerator. They were usually in a wooden cabinet that had been handcrafted and polished. The dial would glow like something not of this earth. 

It was a modern piece of equipment and we would all sit around it to listen to music in the evenings.



One of the first singers that I can remember was Frank Sinatra. He was a young guy then and I can remember my Mom and my Aunt Helen gushing about how very sexy his voice was. Yeeccch! 

His songs were okay but he didn't do much for me at that age. I was in my sub-teens, well around five or six.



The next singer that I can remember that made any impression on me was Pat Boone. It seemed that he was always on he radio.

 He was easy to listen to but again, not much there for a young boy to get excited about. (Me being the young boy).

Then. THEN came Elvis Presley. Now there was an exciting performer! I remember my Mom and my Aunt Helen listening to a 45 rpm record of "Love Me Tender" on an old record player. The kind that closed up like a small suitcase, with a carry handle and everything! The i-Pod of the 50s! 


Mom and Aunt Helen would play it over and over and giggle and swoon like a couple of young girls... wait. They WERE a couple of young girls! 

My Dad and Uncle Ted would grumble and grab their guns and walk out the door. "Let's go kill something" they'd say. I think they might have been a bit jealous of Elvis - or disgusted - or both.


As I grew a bit and made it to my teens, television was more common and about 70% of the homes in America had one. Families that had two were wealthy. They were not cheap items to buy! 

These were black and white pictures only. At that time there were only 3 networks to be found: ABC, NBC and CBS. So you could watch anything you wanted, as long as it was on one of those three channels.


There were a lot of programs that featured singers and bands. American Bandstand and the Ed Sullivan Show were the favorites. 

One of the most innovative groups of that time were Sonny and Cher. You remember Cher?


Sonny became a US Representative before his early demise and Cher became (and still is) a Diva with a capital D.


Fast forward to the seventies. There was a child singer named Michael Jackson who was quite the rage. He later grew up to become the so-called "King of Pop" and an alleged pedophile. 

As he grew up and was sitting on more money than God, he decided that he wanted to look like a white Dianna Ross. 

So, just to prove that money CAN buy happiness... He became a white man. It was quite a transformation, you have to admit. One has to wonder if he would have had the success he did if he had stayed black. I think he would have but I also believe that there was something not quite right in Mike's head. I think that I'm not the only one who believes this. 


Female singers were also popular pop icons. If you're thinking sexy, trashy and young, then you have to be thinking Britney Spears

She had wonderfully wholesome hits like "Oops, I Did It Again" and "Do It to Me One More Time"

After Michael Jackson's success it became apparent that different, eccentric and strange would make you a hit. 

Suddenly it seemed that actual talent took second place to image. Enter Madonna.


Madonna seemed to have no boundaries when it came to live performances. 

She'd wear outfits featuring cone-shaped busts and on occasion, she'd wear her underwear on the outside of her costume. 

This was quite sensational and believed to be just a performance stunt until pre-teen girls were going to school wearing similar outfits. The girls were sent home to change and Madonna eventually started to tone it down a bit.

The next performer to try and capitalize on Madonna's technique was Lady Gaga.

Where this person came up with that name is beyond me. If you ask me it should be Lady Gag-Me.


Gaga seems to be in a never-ending effort to become more and more outlandish in her costumes or in finding more ways to wear less and less during her performances.

Not surprising to anyone is her complete lack of singing ability.

Singing, or in her case, shouting out words in time to the music with the occasional shriek or two is what passes for talent these days.

What or who will we see next? Your guess is as good as mine. I hope that the pendulum starts to swing back the other way and we begin to hear people with true singing ability back on the radio.

The Geezer sometimes wishes that performers like Lady Gaga would limit their performances to the radio only. 

Looking at her makes my eyes bleed.

Have a good one!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Computers: A Double Edged Sword!

Yesterday I attempted to upgrade the RAM memory in my computer. I purchased a 500 mb memory board from Amazon and installed it last night.

I turned the computer on and it ran great! The speed was faster. I could load videos and watch them in real time. I could upload stuff much faster that before...

Then the entire system CRASHED!

I had to do a system re-format and lost about 95% of my saved files including photos and a book that I have been writing! Arrrrgghhhh!

I worked for about 6 hours last night just to get things back together to a point that I could operate again. AFTER removing the new board!

I discovered that I had saved my book on a memory stick and only lost the last 3 chapters which I had printed out so I only have to copy the last 3 chapters and I'll be back in business, so to speak. (I'm writing a book - More about that in a future post).

This unfortunate incident reminded me how technology has saturated our lives. How dependent we are on computers, remote control devices and other things we now take for granted in this day and age. e-Mail, Banking by computer, data storage, Internet news etc.

30 years ago we didn't have this stuff and we lived happy and productive lives. How did we do it? Could we get along now without cell phones and computers? If we were forced to, we could but what a drag!

When something goes wrong with my computer I get the cold sweats and my hands start shaking. I wonder if I'll have to go to WalMart and put out another $500 for a new system. It's scary!

If your computer is running well - don't screw with it! Leave well enough alone! It's what I plan on doing!

I spent the better part of last night re-building my files and setting up the sites that I visit as well as my e-Mail accounts and online pharmacy, etc. It was nerve-wracking and tedious! I swear, I swear that I'll ALWAYS back up my files from now on! I can't afford not to.

Geezers like me can't take this tension! If this ever happens again, I'll go next door and just borrow their 9 year old. I'm sure she can fix it in nothing flat!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My! How Things Have Changed!

When I was a kid, way back before the turn of the century (I love saying that) my family moved from Utah to California. I was almost 11 at the time so this was in 1958 or 1959.

My Dad had a job with Mountain Bell (telephone company) and thought that he had a job with Pacific Bell in Southern California but when we arrived he discovered that the transfer had fallen through and he was out of work. We were in California and basically - for the time being - homeless.

Dad eventually got a job as a Tool and Die maker (machinist) but during that first summer we lived off of our Parent's savings and what little they could make at whatever part-time jobs that were available.

My Aunt (Mom's sister) and Uncle invited us to stay with them at their home in Lawndale, California. They had six (I think) kids (cousins) and I and my sister had a ball! My sister was about six years old and she and I didn't hang around together much that summer. I and my two cousins, David and Ted were like the Three Musketeers all summer long.

Once we were up in the morning our day was like this (keep in mind that we were 10 to 12 years old): We would put on a pair of swimming trunks under our jeans, grab a towel and whatever money we could scrounge (usually much less than a dollar) and hitch-hike to the beach! Alone!

We would go to Manhattan Beach which was about 10 - 15 miles from the house (it could have been more or less - I wasn't worried about the distance). We would hit the nearest main thoroughfare and stick out our thumbs and before ten minutes passed - we'd have a ride! It seldom took longer than that and we almost never had to get another ride to make it all the way to the water's edge. Bliss!

Before I was allowed to do this the first time, my Mom was worried about my safety and asked her sister if it was really safe. My Aunt Lorraine replied, "They'll be allright". From that point on, we were golden!

We'd hit the beach, look for some friends of my cousins - boys and girls - and hang out all day long. We'd spread a towel on the sand and take off at a run for the water. This is where I learned to body-surf and play in the waves and swim like a fish. We had a great time!

When it started to get dark, we'd gather up our stuff and hit he road. I remember on at least two occasions that we got a ride back from the same person who had given us a ride in the morning. We'd spend what little change we had on a Coke and a hot dog or on candy. We knew that we'd have a "decent" meal once we returned home.

During this period, the cities of Southern California were separated by a mile or three of fields growing fruit or vegetables. These days, the city of Los Angeles is a continuous metropolitain city from North of the San Fernando Valley almost to the Mexican border. The fields are no more!

I think of this often and wonder how many parents would let ther 10 year-old kids hitch-hike fifteen miles to the beach, spend all day unsupervised then hitch-hike all the way back home every day all summer long. It ain't happening! Not today.

Back then we were never once touched "inappropriately" by a nasty old pervert or harmed in any way. Often some of the folks giving us rides would contribute to our lunch fund. People were nicer back then and they showed it.

The world just isn't the same as it was back in the fifties. In more ways than I can count. First of all, the kids today would get arrested for hitch-hiking (if they were lucky!) or just disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. Sixty years from now their skeletal remains would be discovered when an old house was being demolished to make way for a new anti-gravity gymnasium or a holographic interactive theater.

Kids today have been too conditioned to believe that strangers are evil and dangerous beings... and maybe they are. Maybe we no longer have that sense of innocent trust of one another that we had back then. Maybe deservedly so.

Today we have people getting shot at work or at a movie theater just because someone has had a bad day or believes he or she is something that they aren't (sane). It really is a sad situation for all of us.

This was also the time that I discovered my love of motorcycles. One day at my Uncle's house, a friend of his came to visit. My Uncle was a stone mason of great skill and his friend worked with him on several jobs. His friend pulled up in front of the house riding a loud Harley Davidson motorcycle. As they talked inside, us kids gathered around the bike and checked out the chrome and the pipes. It was a magical beast!

This ocurred not long after we moved in with my Uncle's family and, being the "newcomer" I was struggling to be accepted.

When the man came back outside and saw us all around his bike he asked us if anyone wanted to go for a ride. The other kids were either too shy (hard to believe) or just flat afriad to ride. This was my chance! I spoke up and accepted the offer. I climbed aboard and off we went in a cloud of exhaust smoke (no EPA emission laws back then) and a rumble of pipes!

We were gone for close to fifteen minutes. When we got back I was now the most popular kid there. I was cool! I was also sold on motorcycles and as soon as I turned sixteen, I had my own. I have one to this day but sadly, it's for sale. Too much arthritis pain to ride for any distance.

Childhood is magic. When we are young we don't have the concerns of the adults. We don't worry about jobs or money where the next meal is coming from. We worry about friends, having fun and being kids. Every day was a big adventure back then. I look back and shake my head remembering the things we used to do and wonder what on Earth we were thinking! Apparently... not much!

If you have little ones at home, don't worry what they think about you being out of work or having to move to another community or neighborhood. They'll get over it and make new friends. Kids are flexible. They adapt faster and easier than us old folks. Kids don't judge you the same way you judge yourselves. All they want is to be loved and cared for. As long as you do that, you will be a successful parent.

The Geezer hopes that you all had a wonderful childhood that was full of fun and adventure. Age is just a number - so, let's all go to the beach!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Olympics

Okay... For the past two weeks I, like most everyone else in the world have been watching the Olympic events on the TV.

Most have been entertaining but as usual there has been little if any coverage of a few of the events that I find interesting. I like the shooting events, Rifle, Shotgun and Pistol.

I also like the Archery events but these were covered fairly well so I have no beef with NBC on this.

On most of the shooting events I have had to go to the Internet in order to find out who took the medals. Even then, they were not readily available without a lot of searching. Thankfully my Google-Fu skills are in top form... (I have a Black Belt)

Then there are those sports (?) that are Olympic events that, in my opinion, should not be. Here are a few of the "Sports" that should not be in the Olympics according to The Geezer:

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS - Little girls prancing around with ribbons on sticks, beach balls and hoola-hoops. Really? a sport? When was the last time you went to a ribbon stick or beach ball competition? What gets me is that the "Competetors" take this so seriously! And how do you judge such an event? Do you get more points if you make bigger ribbon loopy things than the next girl? This is not a sport by any stretch of the imagination. Period.

FIELD HOCKEY: Let's face it. This is just Soccer (Football - depending on where you live) with sticks. Instead of kicking the ball, you smack it with a stick. I'm glad that there's no possibility for personal injury here!

TEAM HANDBALL: This is just Soccer (see parenthetical phrase above) but with a softball and you use your hands instead of your feet. Soccer is boring enough without all these made-up variations on a theme.

WATER POLO: This would be much more fun to watch if actual horses were used. Instead the players just swim around playing catch. They should call this "Water Soccer" instead of Water Polo since they seem to have left out the horses and mallots.

SOLO SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Are you kidding me?

BMX (Bicycle Motor Cross): This is sort of fun to watch but these guys are actually grown-up men and women under those helmets. When most of the kids that I knew did this, they quit when they got out of Junior High School or got a job. And another thing, what's with the "Motor" part. I don't see no stinkin' motor! This is more fun to watch in the neighborhood vacant lot but not in the Olympics. Someone is trying to legitimize a kid's hobby which will lead to a generation of 20-something slackers on welfare. Like we need more of those!

DRESSAGE: Fifty-something men and women on dancing horses. These folks get to go back to the Country Clubs and claim themselves to be Olympic Medalists whilst the real medalists are locked away in a stable somewhere eating hay and oats. Let the riders do this event without their inbred dancing horsies and see how far they get! They'd look like the silly buggers from Montie Python's Flying Circus!

Let's talk about the Slutting-Up of the Olympics. Oh yeah, you know what I mean. The first thing you thought of was the lady Beach Vollyball players in their micro bikini skivvies jiggling all over the place in the sand. You know you did!

And for the ladies, let's not forget the men diving off the springboards and platforms wearing what amount to jock straps. They come out of the water all glistening and slick with their six-pack abs and a wedgie. Ladies, face it. It's why you watch.

There has been some talk of proposed future Olympic Events. The one that caught my attention was Olympic Pole Dancing. Yep. Someone's trying to slut up the Olympics even more. At least it would be easy to judge. The "athlete" with the most dollar bills in her g-string at the end of the music is the winner!

The GEEZER enjoys watching the Olympics as much as anyone but we've gotten pretty far afield from the original games. Now we're seeing everything that could conceively be called a sport as an Olympic Event.

Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I'm a Bad, Bad Boy ~ Part 3 (Final Installment)

My sweet sister Peggy has reminded me of several more "episodes" wherein I seemed to be in fine form.

I gotta tell you that I feel a bit embarassed about reliving these little gems, (really!) but here goes...

NUMERO UNO

If I remember correctly, I was home on leave from the Coast Guard and had taken my sisters and nephew to lunch at a local pizza joint. The place was called "Numero Uno Pizza" and served a really great pizza with a thick soft crust and topped with delectable cheeses, meats and veg... well...

Anyway, our waitress was an attractive young lady  who was abnormally endowed in the upper chestal area. It was obvious that there wasn't much between her skin and her "Numero Uno" T-Shirt ~ and it must have been chilly inside because her shirt was, well, puckered in spots (2).

The waitress was fully responsible for what happend next. If she hadn't asked me what I would like, this would have been a non-event. I simply replied that I'd take Numero Uno AND Numero Dos (number one and number two) while staring pointedly at her chest.

She had a good sense of humor and giggled and jiggled herself back to he kitchen. If someone did that today, they'd be arrested. I imagine. Peggy seemed a bit embarassed to be in the same room with me. Her big brother! Go figure?

WILLIAM TELL

Another time, I think I was much younger - around nine years old or so. and it was just after Christmas if I remember. I had gotten a nice (toy - or so I thought) bow and arrow set. My sister Peggy who was around four got a stick horse. (Times were simpler back then before video games were invented)

We were out playing in the backyard. She with her stick horse and I with my bow and arrows. I got the idea to have Peggy stand still against a wall with an apple on her head and I would shoot it off with a cleverly placed arrow a' la William Tell...

Can you see where this is going? Yeah, I thought that you could.

I lined up the shot and took it, the arrow whizzing toward my poor, innocent and patently gullible little sister who was standing with a bright red apple on her head. The arrow found it's mark - right in the shaft of the stick horse which she had leaned against the wall. The stick horse broke in two.

Actually I was really aiming for the apple but I was a crappy shot at that age... My Father's hand subsequently found it's mark and I was sent to bed, never to play with my bow again. Drats! I'm sure with a little practice I could have made that shot...

FART BUG

Another time I was home from the Service driving my brand new 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Dark green with white simulated imitation leatherette seat covers. It was a thing of beauty! I had paid just over $3000 for it right from the showroom floor. I was proud of it. It was my first car! So I took Peggy for a ride. If you've ever ridden in one of the older Bugs, you know that they were practically air-tight - and small. According to the advertisements, they would actually float! In real water!

At that time in my late teens and early twenties (and in the military), I thought that it was high humor to fart in public, loudly and with as much odor as diet and concious thought would allow. Had Peggy known this, I'm sure she wouldn't have ridden with me. BUT she did!

We were going down the boulevard and I farted. (see description above) I had been eating chili and hard-boiled eggs. She started to gag and I started to laugh. She reached for the window crank as did I. She to roll down the window and I to prevent said rolling down of the window. I won! She lost! Boy, did she lose... Picture: tears and crying-gagging sounds.

(If you are under the age of 30, a window crank did what the window up-down button does in modern cars).

CHICKEN LADY

This next Bon Mot is my all time favorite (at least until she reminds me of some more - my memory isn't what it used to be). Peggy has recently told me that on a scale of one to ten, this ranked at 100! High praise! Maybe because she wasn't the target, so to speak.

We were at the grocery store - this was in the pre-supermarket days - Mom and Dad were shopping and Peggy and I were looking to see what trouble we could get into. More precisely, I was looking to see what trouble I could get HER into.

We wandered toward the butcher counter where a nicely dressed woman was inspecting a whole chicken. No it wasn't the whole chicken. It was dead and it's innards and feathers and head and stuff were all gone. Back then they actually let the customers touch the goods, unlike today when everything is wrapped in a hermetically-sealed cocoon of styrofoam trays and plastic wrap.

Anyway, the lady was standing next to a fully-loaded shopping cart. Probably $20 worth of goods at the prices back then (early 1970s) Today the price would be closer to $350 bucks!

Our Lady of the Plucked Chicken was holding the bird up to her petite nose with the chicken's legs splayed shamelessly apart. She was sniffing the gaping cavity in order to determine if the late bird was indeed fresh.

Seriously, folks! Back then I had absolutely no social filter between my brain and my mouth, and now, the older I get the less it works, even today. I have no idea where the thought came from. Maybe the deep recesses of my primative lizzard-brain. In any case, I said: "I'll bet YOU couldn't pass that test".

The woman froze as if to let that thought register and then to decide on a reply. A dignified course of action. She had nothing! She turned, her face as red as William Tell's apple - and she walked out of the store. She left her cart sitting there at the counter. The butcher was, well, what's the term today? ROTFL. He thought it was amusing. My sister was like, OMG! I can't believe you said that! - Well, neither could I. Neither could I. But out it came like the hatching of a 17 year cicada on crack!

You've either got it or you don't. In some cases though, even if you got it, you shouldn't show it to everybody! Nah! Who am I kidding?

Now to tell one on my esteemed sister Peggy.

SLAYER of CHICKENS

Back in the day, our family lived in Logan, Utah. Logan is still a mostly rural and college community. We had chickens and every fall we'd butcher them for the freezer (but we didn't sniff them. We just didn't - that's just wrong).

Dad had an old tree stump next to the chicken pen that he'd use for a chopping block to dispatch the chickens. (that would be a good occupation - Chicken Dispatcher: Chicken number three, chicken number three! Report to the head rooster immediately!)

Dad used an old machete. A long knife that was used to clear brush and the ever present Utah jungle vines. He'd stretch the necks of the unsuspecting chickens across the stump. I'd hold the head and he'd whack the heads off. The heads fell to the ground and the chicken would run around the yard squirting blood and bumping into things. They'd run around like a chicken with it's head cut off which is where that phrase comes from - they really do run around! They're dead but chickens are too stupid to know it. (okay, PETA, Bring it on!) Hah!

After watching this fun-time family activity (Mom and Grandma were gutting the chickens and ripping their delicate little feathers out by the roots) Peggy decided that she wanted to "Chop one". (she was around four)

Dad patiently took a chicken and stretched it's poor little neck across the stump and I held it there. Dad placed the edge of the machete on the chicken's neck and told Peggy to chop it right there.

Peggy, being the little thing that she was, couldn't lift the machete up but then and there showed us all a hidden mean streak that she'd been harboring. She began to use the machete as a saw. Back and forth went the sharp blade across the chicken's neck. The chicken started screaming. Dad started laughing his ass off. Blood was squirting EVERYWHERE! (I never knew there was that much blood in a chicken - and under such pressure!) Mom started praying. I'm sure that's what she was doing. I heard, "Oh! God! Oh my God! BOB!  We all looked like we'd been in a scene from the movie, Carrie.

(Picture Hannibal Lechter asking, "Do you still hear the chickens screaming at night, Clarisse?")

I'll bet a hundred bucks that you didn't know that chickens could scream. Oh, they can. They can!

Dad ended up finishing off the poor test subject with a well placed whack!

After that, we never let Peggy near a knife without adult supervision.

It's fun being a GEEZER! I don't even have to remember these pivotal times in my history. As long as I have my little sisters to remind me, my life is an open book. Maybe it should be closed and burned?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm a Bad, Bad Boy - Part 2

After a recent post of mine, my dear sister reminded me of some of the other questionable things that I had done in the past. Things that I should share here with you...

A number of years ago I worked as a Security Officer at a gold mine here in Nevada. The mine was owned entirely by British Petroleum (BP). One of my duties was to drive a van from the town where I lived to the mine and back at the beginning and end of my 12 hour shift.

There were two Security Officers on duty at any given time. One of us would drive to work and the other would drive home. Also on the van with us were 12 or 13 other miners. On the trip home they would always sleep. The distance from town to the mine was 75 miles each way, at least 1 1/2 hours of sleep each way.

My partner and discussed that it didn't sem fair that we should have to drive while the rest of the crew was able to sleep, so we devised a plan... oh, we were sneaky.

We decided that I would drive the crew back to town. When I walked to get in the van already loaded with the mine crew, my partner, Jerry would come out of the building offering to drive home loud enough so that those in the van could easily hear.

When we got inside they asked what was going on. Jerry replied: "Steve forgot that it was his turn to drive home tonight and, well, he's been having problems sleeping so he took a sleeping pill and now he wants to drive but he won't let me take over for him."

Needless to say EVERYONE on the van was now wide awake and offering to drive for me but I wouldn't allow it. They were all talking to me on the way home in an effort to keep me awake and several times I "accidently" drifted toward the other lane or to the edge of the roadway or I would drop my chin to my chest as if I was dozing off. This would result in the screams and shouts of my passengers. Lovely. No sleep for them on this trip!

When we got to town (safely, I might add) Jerry and I told them that we were just having a bit of fun with them and that I hadn't actually taken a sleeping pill.

They were not very amused. Death threats were uttered. Bodily harm was attempted. We laughed. They eventually got over it... I think.

Another time, when I was stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Key West, Florida (I was in the U.S. Coast Guard but was attending a year-long Navy school) I had been corresponding by mail with my next younger sister Peggy, who was in High School. 

Through the course of this correspondence she asked me if I could send her a souvenir from Key West. I was happy to do so. But what to send?

I thought about it for at least a week when, during the task of cleaning our barracks room it struck me! I would send her some Florida green-eyed blow flies! I carefully swept several of the little (dead) buggers from he window sill of my room into an envelope. I added a short note explaining what they were and dropped them in the mail. I honestly thought she would be excited!

I then called her and let her know that her Key West souvenir was in the mail! She was excited since I wouldn't tell her what I was sending. Her anticipation level was high.

Really! She KNEW how I could be! She set her expectations WAY too high. When she got the envelope she was apparently disappointed. So much so that my mother called me and kinda chewed me out for being so cruel. What? Me cruel? Hardly! I'm not sure that she's ever forgiven me. She sort of laughs about it now but it's one of those laughs that has no humor behind it. The kind of laughs that says: "Just wait (insert slang term for rectum here)! You'll get yours!"

My sister loves me...  oh yeah she does.

The Geezer sometimes has to watch his own back when around family!

Be good!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello Foreign Readers!

Writing this blog has been a great outlet for me. It allows me to get things out into the open that have been bothering me and to share stories from my life.

I periodically check my "Stats" page to see where my readers are from and I have been surprised to find that just over 25% of my fans are from countries other than the U.S.A.

I suppose that this shouldn't surprise me so much since the Internet or World Wide Web is just that: World Wide.

What surprised me the most is that other than the United States, the country that shows the most readers is Russia(!) with Canada being a close second place.

To me, this is amazing. To think that the words that I write are read by people from all over the world is truly humbling and I thank you all who see these words!

This brings up a question though.

I wonder how much of what I write is lost in translation to other languages? Do American cultural references translate to other cultures? Do my foreign readers understand fully what I write?

I try not to use slang or other forms of language that may confuse someone without attempting to explain myself and I hope that this helps you to understand my thoughts and feelings.

If not, I want to help.

What I propose is this:

   If there is anything in any of my posts that a foreign reader does not understand, please ask me to clarify myself in the "Comments" section of the post in question. I will attempt to help you understand any cultural reference or other problem you may be having with the words that I write.

As a Geezer, I want you to feel the full impact of my twisted mind!

Once again, thank you all for reading my Blog. I hope that we can become friends and comrades!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Using Someone's Fears Against Them

It's very common these days to see people's fears used against them. We see it every day and we're all victims of this tactic.

You say, "No one uses my fears against ME! I have no fears!"

Well, sorry to say, "Yes you do." Otherwise you wouldn't have purchased insurance for your life, your car, your house your family or your health.

We're all victims.

Buy insurance for your car and you're saying that you have a fear of being involved in an accident and don't want to be faced with the enormous repair or medical bills that follow - or you're afraid of having your car impounded for not having insurance.

Insurance is a big gamble. When you buy it, you're gambling that you WILL be in an accident, that you Will be injured (or someone else will be) and that you WILL have your car stolen. The insurance is gambling that none of these things will happen. The insurance company is usually right and you lose! (your money!).

Actually insurance is a legal form of extortion. Think of it that way and you'll get pissed off. I know I do every time I pay my premiums. In my lifetime I have only been in one accident in all of the many vehicles that I've owned. Also, my wife hit a coyote on the highway and we had to make a claim against the insurance to get the damage repaired.

Even in these cases, the insurance companies still win. They will pay to have the damages repaired but your rates go up and you still lose. Sit down sometime and figure out just how much money you have spent in your lifetime on insurance premiums alone. I figured that I spent over $68,000 on insurance just to pay for $6,000 in repairs.

It doesn't seem quite fair. There has to be a better way. I just don't know what it is. Do you?

Using some one's fears against them CAN be fun at times, though.

Several years before I retired I worked for a mining company. The mine was located over 70 miles from town - out in the sticks.

During the summer, we had a young girl working as a geology intern who had just graduated from High School. Her job was to assist the field geologists with whatever they needed to do. Haul soil samples, tag sample bags - whatever.

Before going out with the geologists she let it be known that she was deathly afraid of ticks - those little blood-sucking parasites that almost always get attached to you when working in the sagebrush.

The story was related to me by the geologist involved. (they are a fun-loving bunch of reprobates as ever there were)

The girl, Allison, was very shapely and pretty with long blond hair and large... umm... attributes. The geologist, Mike, was just a horn dog.

In the sagebrush one day as she was loading sample bags into the bed of the truck, Mike came up behind her and said, " Allison, you have a tick on the back of your neck."

"Get it off me" she said in a panicked tone.

Mike fiddled at the nape of her neck and said, "It's fallen down your collar. It's inside your shirt."

Allison began jumping up and down screaming, "Get it out! Get it out!" and stripped off her T-shirt.

Mike told her it was now just above the waist band of her jeans. She was almost in a full panic by this time.

Mike touched her lower back and told her that the tick had slipped down into her pants.

The pants came off along with her shoes.

"It must be inside your underwear. I don't see it".

The underwear came off. Allison was in tears by this time.

Mike told her, "I don't see it. Maybe it's, you know, like between your cheeks."

The cheeks got spread apart. Allison was sobbing and quite beside herself.

"Nope. Little bugger must have fallen off. You're okay now."

Allison got dressed and made him swear that he would tell no one about the incident. He did so swear.

When he got back to the mine, well, guess how I found out?

Turns out there was never a tick to be seen but he apparently saw what he wanted to see and liked what he saw. They're now married and have three kids.

I don't know if he ever told her that the tick-trick was a fabrication. Probably not. He's a man of his word and they are still married, after all.

The Geezer asks: Is it ever right to use some one's fears against them? Not in this case. It's just plain cruel!

However in the case of Allison and Mike, it turned out okay.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"Wrappers" and "Rappers"

   The first time I saw a wrapper (a real wrapper) was in a department store in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was during the Christmas Season and a nice lady was wrapping gifts purchased at the store for 10 cents apiece. I must have been around six years old.

   Even then, it seemed like a great idea. For a mere 10 cents it saved the buyer from having to lug the gift home and spend all that time wrapping and tying a bow. Wrapping was much less complicated back in the 50s.

   When I was a kid in elementary school, maybe in the 3rd or 4th grade, I had a teacher who would remind us as we were leaving for the day, "Don't forget your wraps". When I realized that she was reminding us to take our coats and jackets, it made sense. Kind of a classy way to say, "Stay warm".

   Fast forward to the late 90s...

   Now we have "Rappers".

   It took me a while to 'wrap' my head around just what a Rapper was. As I understand it, Rappers are inner-city kids of various ages without any real talent, who try to talk in time with the music. In so doing, they occasionally rhyme a word or two. When I say "music" I am using the term in it's loosest possible context.

   For some reason, Rapping has grown enormously popular with these same inner-city kids. The ethnic heritage of these kids are predominately African-American but there are some participants who are of other ethnicities as well.

   An entire sub-culture has grown around Rapping. These are identified as "East Coast" and West Coast" camps. They do not get along. There have been shootings and killings between the two groups. Notably Tupak Shakur and Big-E-Small. Apparently one group thinks the other can't talk and rhyme in time to the "music" as well as they do. For some reason this makes them angry and they take it out on each other. This is more for "Street Cred" and impressing their "Big Assed Ho's" than anything else. (Here, and I thought a hoe was a garden implement!)

   The inner-city types have settled on Rapping since they really have no inherent talent to speak of. If I wanted to, I could become a Rapper. All I would need do is scribble out a few verses of very bad poetry and shout it out loud and fast in time to some gawd-awful music while I make spastic hand gestures to an audience. I would intersperse this with words such as "Yo" and "Word" and even an occasional "Wassuuupp?"

   I'm thinking that anyone could do this in a few minutes if they put their mind to it - and didn't mind looking and sounding like a retard being electrocuted.

   Inner-city kids of all ages need Rapping to make them feel better about themselves and their environment, especially given what little in the way of natural talent and resources they have to work with. This is the same theory that the California Education System used when they started issuing their students the "Feel Good" grades back in the late 70s. It's similar to patting a retarded person (or Developmentally Challenged - if it makes you feel better) on the head and saying, "Oh, well Bless Your Heart!".

   In my opinion, the terms "Rap Artist" and "Rap Music" are oxymoronic (for you Rappers: an oxymoron are two or more words in a phrase which are fundamentally in opposition to one another as in... well, Rap Music).

   As The GEEZER I find that Rapping is, at best, highly irritating (could you tell?).
   I was watching "America's Got Talent" the other night. There were several Rappers auditioning (there goes the 'Talent' part). One of the Rappers was a 70 year old grandmother (who did a pretty fair job). Another Rapper was backstage complaining to his friend, "She be dissin' (disrespecting) my art! I've given my life to Rap!". Really? OMG! Your LIFE? well, Bless Your Heart!

Note: I sincerely hope that if you are a Rapper you won't be offended by my opinions stated herein.

(I really hope I don't get a cap busted in my ass!)



  

  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Well, I Imagine...

   I love my wife.

   We've been married for over 35 years. She's a very moral person - sometimes to a fault.

   As I've stated previously, I enjoy joking around and on occasion, I tell a little "white lie". You know, the kind that does no harm to anyone but often is meant to preserve some one's feelings or to make an amusing comment.

   Whenever I do this, she'll just comment: "You shouldn't lie".

   This would often hurt my feelings but I've grown accustomed to it and adapted.

   I now preface my "comments" with the phrase, "I imagine...". This relieves me from the moral dilemma of knowingly telling a lie and satisfies my wife's strict moral code (I imagine).

   She knows that I don't mean any harm when I make these statements but calls me on them every time. Every time.

   I'll say something like, "It was so cold last night that a Polar Bear took refuge in our freezer just to stay warm...I imagine". Or something along those lines.

   I gotta tell you that it keeps me on my toes. I have to review my comments in my head before I let fly... I imagine.


   The Geezer has to watch what he says as he gets older. You never know - I might get struck down by a bolt of lightening at any minute... I imagine.