Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am resolute in not being resolute.

A new record was set this morning, following the four inches of snow that fell during the early morning hours. It has officially been the snowiest December, in fact the snowiest month in the history of Bismarck, North Dakota.

35 inches of snow. Since December 1st.

Oh, and it's still snowing.

I have a really good shovel, by the way. And I'm reasonably fit. I can actually get the driveway, sidewalk, and front porch done before the other guy across the street starts up his snow blower.

I rule.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and I am going to have a houseful of people. I'm not sure how that happened......but I did get out and buy some party supplies before it became impossible to drive.

Memo to myself. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE.

I don't have any resolutions. That would require some kind of plan, and I don't have one. It would suggest that I have something to change, but the fact is I have so many things that need changing that it would actually be easier to make a resolution to NOT change something.

I need to eat better.
I need to continue my quest to be tobacco free.
I need to find a really good hobby.
I need a snow blower.

So, today is looking like a snow day; so, it's going to be me and the dvd player...I have about 120 episodes of GET SMART to get through.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I actually thought about making the title of this post longer than the post itself, but it seemed a cheap laugh, so I stopped just short. Or, did I?

All through the month of November, I wrote a post every day.

I thought through late December and into the New Year, I'd try not writing at all, and see how that went.

As you can see, poorly.

There is nothing quite so frustrating as a blank page or canvas, and the complete lack of articulative ability to put anything down upon it.

My life has become quite tedious as of late.

Profoundly boring.

I may need some help out of the hole.

Or, I may need a loan to spruce the hole up a bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And, at the Eleventh Hour, it comes.....

I'm recycling again, not because I have nothing to say, but because a man named Frank Church said is so much better, so many years ago. I cannot improve upon it, and I don't wish to try.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

After the tree goes dark, and the wrapping paper has been shredded to the oohs and ahhs of the circle of family, and the goose has been cooked and consumed, there is one thing we must take away from this season.....

For this brief, shining time, we become greater than ourselves, somehow. Our hearts become bigger; the memories of all the Christmases that led us to this one are sharper; our smile comes easier; and our loved ones become more beloved, if such a thing is possible.

Revel in it.

To my family, to my friends both old and new: My love is deathless. It started at a single moment of time for each of you, and the clock has not ceased its ticking.

Revel in it.
I do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

T'was the Day before the Day before......

I've been spoiled by Mother Nature.

Last year, I was forced to shovel the driveway, sidewalk, and front porch just once; and that was before Thanksgiving.

It's still snowing. And I know that I'm not alone in this; there has been snow in Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix.....as well as all over the Upper Midwest and Northeast. It's a winter wonderland out there.

And they say that nothing is wrong with the climate. When does one believe everything but what their eyes show them? When I get to that point, send me to dine with my ancestors....

I'm not looking forward to the day today.....like I said, still snowing. Been snowing since yesterday. This makes the travelling public very cranky. And when they are cranky, they take it out on the first available human being, and that would be me. I try to tell them that I don't work for the airline, but they don't believe me. I then try to tell them that blaming me for the weather is like blaming Ronald McDonald for getting a bad hamburger.....neither one of us is running the show.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, of course......and I can remember back to those grand days of yore.....the house seemed warmer somehow....it was great to see the snow on the ground, the lights shining on the wreath on the front door, and the red and blue and green lights shining off the birch tree in the front yard.

Family came in. My Mother's cookies were everywhere. Candles. Laughter. The radio stations and television crews giving updates on Santa Claus' travel from the North Pole....oh, the anticipation.

Cocoa and Clue.
We were never really a Monopoly family, but we loved a good mystery.
Cookies by the fireplace, and a carrot for Rudolph.

And, of course.....sneaking out after midnight, to turn on the tree, and just sit and look.

There is a time when you need to put away the things of childhood.

This ain't one of those times.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Me and the Tree.

There is something about a lighted Christmas tree that gets to me.

Wait. I need to be specific: There is something about a real lighted non-thematic lighted Christmas tree that gets me.

And maybe that's where I fall down this year.

It's been a few years since we did the real tree thing. It became far too unmanageable, and the tiffy tree was easier. But, when I was growing up, the feel and the smell of the fresh tree in the living room was right up there with the smell of my Mother's baking on the list of greatest things ever.

My father would string the lights on the tree.....and we're talking old school lights, people....huge bulbous things that seemed as big as a human fist, and you could see them from space.....but oh, what a lovely light.

The ornaments were stored in two ancient boxes, and they were a massive conglomeration of hand-downs from previous generations and the things the kids made in elementary school.

Tinsel in great supply, covering the tree like an autumn frost.

But my favorite thing was to get up early on a Christmas morning, and turn on the tree, and just sit and look at it, with the wrapped packages scattered around beneath. There was something special in that "calm before the storm" moment; it could be repeated but never duplicated.

Now. My tree is tiffy, of course, and lighted with small, white lights. The ornaments are, alas in a theme this year, the color of gold, with one single ornament, a picture of me as Scrooge, holding a young Tim on my shoulder, that hangs in the center of the tree. A star on the top, also in white and silver. Pretty.

But not.

I baked like a madman bakerguy through the weekend, puttering between the stove and the television, where the daily grind of Christmas stories played out on the Hallmark station. The upstairs television almost never plays football; it's a concession I make to the non-fans in the house.

A Christmas Carol always gets me in the end.

Three Days to Go.

All is well.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Waiting for the Candlelight.

Once upon a time, in my career as a pretender....

There was this director friend of mine, named Paul. I think he's chair of a department someplace now, but back then, he was like I was.....a graduate student, spending long nights and impossible hours trying to get everything done before it was too late.

I had the pleasure of being directed by him just once in our two years together, and saw just how good a director he was; he had a great vision for the play, and then he shaped it, gently, allowing for creativity to thrive. He didn't show the actors the road to his vision, he showed the actors the map, and let them get to his vision the way they felt comfortable going. The fact that he did that with a back-breaking schedule was nothing short of miraculous.

But.....everybody has their bad days.

So, one day, Paul is trying to get something from one particular actor; the method kind of actor who seems to be absolutely unable to move forward without the benefit of his "muse." Paul is explaining, patiently, what he needs to have happen at this particular moment in the play, and the fellow fusses and fidgets and finally says;

"I'm sorry, Paul. I'm just not feeling it."

For a man who's trying to get a show up on time, under budget, and worthy enough for him to actually get his degree.....well, Paul was a very mellow guy, but when the red cape is waving, the bull must respond. Paul grabs this guy by the front of the shirt, literally picks him up off the floor, looks him directly in the eye, and with a voice so calm it would make you wet yourself, says;

"Feel it, F**cker."

The tension of the room may not have abated if I had not begun to laugh. Loudly. Unabashedly. Wholeheartedly. The kind of laugh that cleanses the soul. I was joined by everybody in the room. And we dusted ourselves off and got back to work.

I tell you that story to tell you this.....

I'm not feeling it.

The decorations are up, the music is playing, everything is wrapped and ready and I'm about to do the yearly baking for the celebrations that stretch from Monday to Thursday.....and I'm not feeling it.

I'm waiting patiently for that moment when the full spirit of the season fills me like a water balloon. But I'm just not feeling it.

I need to feel a little Christmas, right this f***ing minute.

And I'll wait.

Bring it on.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Listing a little......

My friend Kizz is a constant source of inspiration.

Okay, let's be honest; I read her stuff, laugh a little, think a little, sometimes cry a little, and then I steal it.

And today is no exception, because she inspired me to look not at my bookshelf this time, but at the shelf of dvds near the television. Maybe you can see how my mind works.....

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett. I watch these over and over again, just to see that sliiight twitch of his cheek, indicating that he finds something humorous.

Nero Wolfe Mysteries, the A&E series with Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton. I was tremendously sad to see this series go; it was a terrific interpretation of Rex Stout's characters, and brought a sadly forgotten American detective back to life. I think I have the whole series of those.

Monty Python's Flying Circus. The whole shebang. These are well used, and rightly so. I am continually flabbergasted that the stuff can still make me laugh.

Also, in the Python vein, are Holy Grail and Life of Brian. I can remember where I was when I first saw both of those films. I can still remember how I almost passed out from laughter when the Trojan Rabbit came over the wall.

Danger Mouse. I saw this series for the first time when I was in college. They would run it on the first of the comedy channels, which later became Comedy Central. It's about a small white mouse with an eye patch, his ferret assistant, and the dastardly frog that is his enemy. It's British, so there is a lot of double entendre and such. It was funnier when I was high, but it's still good. I think I'm missing the last three seasons of this.

The Prisoner. You're now thinking I have a love of all television British. This one is a series from the late 60's, about a spy who's kidnapped and brought to the Village. They want information, he won't give it to them. Less than twenty episodes, but a complete story arc, and a more paranoid series you'll rarely see. Starring Patrick McGoohan.

Saturday Night Live, seasons 1 through 4. The original cast, the original concept. Quite a lot of funny stuff mixed in with the "what the hell were they thinking?" stuff, but it was bright and edgy for the time, and it reminds me what it was and how far they've been forced to adjust to their demographic. It's good to see Belushi again at the top of his game.

The Marx Brothers Collection. Not all of them, but the good ones. Duck Soup is my favorite.

The Complete Blackadder. Rowan Atkinson in this brilliant series, looking at the character in various times in English History. A great cast, featuring Steven Fry and Hugh Laurie, among others.

The Whole Bean. Once again, Rowan Atkinson as his silent goofball. Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean is one of my favorites.

Ken Burns Documentaries:
The Civil War. Amazing.
Baseball. Pretty good, but the middle innings are filled with....filler.
Mark Twain. A good biography. Good soundtrack.

There are movies, as well.....Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, Glory; your basic Civil War fare; My Favorite Year, a great comedy with Peter O'Toole before he began to fade; and of course, there's Roxanne, a great new look at Cyrano, brought to you by Steve Martin.

They say that we are what we eat.....but I'm pretty sure that you can learn a lot about a person by what they choose for their entertainment. There is much I still have to collect, mind you.....my next choice is the complete series of Get Smart. Don Adams won many Emmy awards....and Barbara Feldon is STILL hot, after all these years.

Have a good day, all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Porcupine Racetrack Redux.

Needed a boost today.....still in a creative lull, so I found one of my favorite sketches from a show called THE STATE. This is dedicated to a former roommate of mine, who could always make me laugh with this little ditty.....and I could always make him laugh by standing outside the front door, looking up at the sky with shaking fists, yelling, "Curse you, Young Abe Lincoln! How many more must die?"

I was funny, once.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blame it on the snowdrift.

Sorry for the delay. The weather has been entertaining, but it's also been a small inconvenience when it comes to writing.....I've been forced to work a few more hours than normal, because I can drive in this crap and other people can't.....so I can actually GET to work.

I have the kind of job that doesn't stop for the weather.

We have had no power outages, thanks be to heaven, but had a small problem with the furnace that caused me a touch of bother, but it was easily fixed by your humble servant, and we're warm and toasty again.

The truth is, I don't have very much to say. The holidays are nearing, and that always brings a certain amount of stress, but the truth is, I'm as dry as the old well as far as critical observations.

Yeah. Somebody threw a shoe at the President. With all respect to President Bush, the shoe throwing was seven years too late, but hey; thanks for the effort.

My Detroit Lions are two games away from going Ohfer the season. It's been done before, but never to this length. I'm almost rooting for it; Heck, a record is a record.

I've never been too sure what's funny about a pie fight.

It's very cold here. With the wind, it's -45. Without the wind, it's only -17. It's a wonder anybody ever settled here, back in the pioneer days.

Does anybody have a cup of creativity I could borrow?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow flying at me like bullets, all day long.

The storm is coming, my friends.

And I realize that those of you that live in the Northeast have already seen your share of the ice and such, so you have my sympathy as we batten down the hatches here in the upper Midwest.

It could be nothing, of course....that often happens. But, they are predicting the wind to pick up (which at present is happening outside my window) to 49mph, driving the windchill temperature down to -50 or so, and snow accumulation between 6 and 12 inches.

Combined with the wind, that makes for a verrrrrry bad travel day.

But at least it ain't ice.
I HATE ice storms.

I almost died in an ice storm.
But that's another story.

Speaking of other stories, let me just add this one more thing before starting my day.

I was driving down the street the other day, and I was following a car with two bumper stickers, one right above the other.

The top one said: Marriage is between a man and a woman.
The bottom one said: Proud to be an American, Land of the Free.

And the blatant hypocrisy continues unabated in this country.

"No one is free until all are free."

And a pleasant good morning to you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Farewell to the Fantasy of a Generation....

Bettie Page, pinup girl extrordinaire, passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

Gretchen Mol didn't BEGIN to do her justice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sir Mon.

I've often heard that the universe isn't fair. And in part, I believe this to be true. But it depends upon your interpretation. If everybody wanted me to be happy, then the world would be fair, indeed.

Alas, that ain't it, kid. Everybody wants happiness for themselves, and that leads to the whole "universe isn't fair" mantra.

So. The only choice is to be fair. Acknowledge the goodness in people; give when you can, not just when you must. Respect is something you give, not something you get. Give everybody their dignity, for it means everything to them and nothing to you.

Revolutionary concepts. Thank you, Joshua Ben-Joseph. Called The Christ.

The spirit of the season is beginning to come upon me.

To Quote Pogo Possum: "Don't take life so serious; 'taint noways permanent."

I must remember to dance.
I used to know how.
And I didn't need a "why."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If wishes were fishes.....

I read this missive this morning, and I added to it, and now I share it with you.

I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult.
I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.

I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant.

I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them.

I want to lie under a big oak tree with a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of lemonade and call it a picnic.

I want to play baseball in the backyard when the dew is still on the grass, and until it gets too dark to see the ball.

I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible.

I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simple again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones.

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.

So....here's my checkbook and my car-keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, cause, "Tag! You're It!"

Monday, December 8, 2008


Welcome to my Monday.....the snow has begun to fall again, on and off since Friday afternoon...not much accumulation, but when it leads the wind, it can be painful.

It's been a looong time since I was in a really debilitating blizzard. I believe it was the just after New Years Day of '99. We had plenty of warning, we put up supplies just in case of being unable to move, we kept the driveway as clear as we could, and we waited for the plows to come. Eventually, they did, and I think I made at least one trip down to Detroit to pick up stranded people at Metro Airport.

Good times.

But you know, blizzards aren't as fun as they were when I was young. Watching the snow fall......getting bundled and heading for the hills, to test the latest in toboggan technology......and not coming back until it was almost impossible to move.

Topping it off with cocoa.

Waiting impatiently for the announcement that school was postponed.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday, or a reasonable fascimile.

I could have sworn I wrote today. But it's a blank page.

I've been having headaches as of late. It could be that getting healthy requires some cranial pain. Or, it could be that I've finally reached my limit of information that can be crammed into my skull, it's trying to get out.

Stand back, it could look like ALIEN in here.

The Lions lost today, and they are actually one win away from tying the worst season in NFL history. The Buccaneers went 0-14 in their inaugural season, but they play 16 games these days.

Heigh Ho.

I miss Kurt Vonnegut.

My favorite Vonnegutian comeback? "Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooon?"

If you haven't read ARMAGEDDON IN RETROSPECT, I recommend it.

Put up some holiday decorations today. Apparently, I'm not very good at it, but my wife is patient and will correct my decorative sins.

Almost done with the shopping. One more thing to buy.

I miss my mother.


Saturday, December 6, 2008


I was writing to a friend of mine this morning, and I made the comment, "Now, you see....I've got nothing to post, because I'm sending all the good stuff to you."

But then I thought.....it's STILL good stuff, in my opinion.

So, let me see if I can boil it down.....

I was never the late night "come on over for sex" call. I can't call it a "booty call", because I feel I'm too old to refer to it like that. It just feels silly, somehow. But I was never that.

I was almost ALWAYS the "It's three am and I am drunker than hell and why doesn't he or she LOVE me anymore?" call.

It's a blessing and a curse to be born with so-so looks and capacity for wisdom. Had I been slightly less dense, and slightly more attractive, I might have had more company on cold evenings in days gone by.

C'est la Vie.

I have learned a few things, though.

Firstly, love is a powerful emotion. It's "Change the course of mighty rivers" powerful. "Bend steel" powerful. "I can't believe you ate all of that" powerful. When focused, it's like a laser beam. Unfocused, it's like dynamite. You need to be careful, and NOT at the same time.

If we figured that in the end, the outcome would be that we get blown to smithereens, we would never choose to avail ourselves of it.

But like a fire that warms and comforts, we cannot resist its Siren call. And when in its throes, being blown to smithereens seems to be a pretty good thing, after all.

Damn the outcome, don't damn the choice.

Like a character in a Jack London story, it's reasonable to mourn the loss of the fire, because without that fire, it's really, REALLY cold out here. But the fire comes from different sources, with variations in heat, and its possible to remain warm in the circle of friends and family.

And that's why I take those "three am, drunker than hell, wondering why he or she doesn't LOVE me anymore" calls.

And that's why I've travelled hundreds of miles in the dark, because somebody was hurting and needing.

And that's why I continue to talk about blue faces and bloody great swords.

My fire.

Good day to you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good God!

Yesterday, I read something in one of the many newsworthy publications I peruse about Atheists in Kentucky suing to have a section of the state's Homeland Security Act removed, because it says that we cannot protect ourselves without the help of Almighty God.

I shook my head, quite slowly. The things we choose to care about.

Don't get me wrong; I believe in God. I have a personal faith that only comes from trial, error, anger and acceptance that there are greater powers at work than myself.

Yes, folks....it's step one.

More to the point, I have faith. Faith in a higher power. My "higher power" doesn't necessarily have a long white beard, or Asian features, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't wear one of those Viking hats. Hey, on certain days I might actually be polytheistic, and it gets me through the day.

I don't have religion, however. I don't have a church. My church is in my head, where I talk the power to ease my mind, confess my sins, celebrate my victories, and learn from my losses. I can't have another man tell me what faith and God is. You can't go through life down another man's road.

Atheists aside......my argument about putting God into a document doesn't make it right. Take the Pledge of Allegiance......the "Under God" thing didn't occur until the mid-60's. And it doesn't fit.

One nation, under god, indivisible.

Does that mean that God is indivisible? And didn't we already know that?

It would make more sense to say, "Under God, one nation indivisible."

So, there it is.

To sum up.....

Bidden or Unbidden, God is present.

We shouldn't have to write it down.

The Pledge needs to be rewritten.

I need another cuppa coffee.

And perhaps a proofreader.

And an editor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Randomnosity, thy name is......

I wish I had something really relevant to say this morning.

But I don't.


Random thoughts:

I like CSI. But I probably won't watch after Peterson leaves. I can tolerate CSI:MIAMI, but only because I want to see what ridiculous pose they'll put Caruso in next. And finally, although I'm a big fan of Gary Sinese, I can't get into CSI:NY.

SCRUBS is coming back in January. It'll be good to get the stake into it's heart this time, good and proper. I like the show, but I am also the kind of person that requires a wrap up of plot lines and such.

It's going to be a long day today....on top of my usual duties, I have at least one meeting to talk about personnel issues, as if I'm some kind of expert. I didn't want to be an expert. I didn't take this job to be a leader of men. I took this job because it sounded interesting. Swwwing and a miss.

I see where they've remade THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Hmn. There are certain things that should never be remade. That's one of them. Also, the music of Skynyrd. PSYCHO. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The original film starring Michael Rennie still carries it's own weight, thank you very much, and just because you made it in color doesn't make it better, you f***ing f***s.

The previous was kind of like a raspberry seed between my teeth. Annoying to live with, and satisfying when it comes out.

And with that, I bid you a good day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I love a mystery....up to a point.

I want to talk a little about the mystery of disappearance.

I am a big fan of real-life mysteries, and as I re-read that sentence fragment, I realize that it's a bit creepy. Let me rephrase. I am intrigued by real-life mysteries.

Good. That didn't sound half creepy.

Anyway, history is filled with great mysteries......

The mystery of Kaspar Hauser, who appeared as a teenager in Nuremberg in the 1800's, without any idea of who he was or where he came from. Somebody attempted to kill him several times during his life, and finally succeeded by stabbing him to death. It's a great story.

The mystery of Judge Crater, who disappeared after dinner and show in New York in August of 1930. He was never seen again. There is evidence that popped up in 2004 that he was killed by a taxicab driver and buried at Coney Island. But the strange part is that his mistress, whom he had dinner with that fateful night, also disappeared shortly after, and was never heard from again.

The mystery of the Griffon, Lesalle's ship, which disappeared with all hands on the Great Lakes in 1679, never to be seen again....except during storms in November, so they say.

The mystery of the sons of Edward IV of England, who were placed in the tower for their protection, and were never seen in public again.

The mystery of the Roanoke colony, which disappeared entirely sometime in the winter of 1587 or 1588.

The various mysteries of Amelia Earhart, Glenn Miller, Michael Rockefeller, Jimmy Hoffa, Helen Brach, and many other high-profile disappearances....

I'm always reminded of the mantra that Detective Frederick Abberline would repeat during his harrowing and ultimately fruitless investigation of the Whitechapel murders...."Somebody, somewhere, knows something."

For a man who prides himself upon his intellect, I find it frustrating that this kind of mystery still exists in this day and age, when information is available in the blink of an eye, and we have satellites that can see that you need to see a dentist. What's equally frustrating is that only the really stupid criminals tend to pull off the perfect crime.

Case in point: The disappearance of Kristin Smart.

Briefly, Kristin Smart was a freshman at Cal Poly who disappeared after a party in 1996. She has not been seen since. Because it was just before spring break, there was a delay in reporting her disappearance; her friends thought she had gone home, and her family thought that she had stayed at school. When the investigation finally began, they had EVERYTHING they needed to find the person who saw her last: a scumbag named Flores. Witnesses put them together. DNA proved she was in his room. Cadaver dogs got hits in the room as well. And yet.....

He was never arrested, or charged.

Amazing. This idiot, completely improvising, probably after a roofie inspired sexual assault took place in which the victim accidentally died, has managed to get away with it thus far....and until they find the body, the location of said body being known to only one individual, the aforementioned idiot), this case will go the way of Judge Crater, and Roanoke, and all the rest.....

And that's the thing that intrigues me about real-life mysteries.

It's so thoroughly unbelievable, it's got to be true.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Driving, Sitting, Wedding Adventure.

Well, back I am in North Dakota, after a whirlwind trip to Minneapolis.

Another sign of getting older....a six hour car trip that used to be nothing at all is now just as far as your ass can stand to ride it.

Went to a wedding; the wedding of my late brother-in-law's eldest son. Kinda wished that Terry could have been there.....he was always appreciative of a good party. In fact, most of the really great parties that I've been to since visiting here for the first time in 2001 were instigated by Terry.

But he was there in spirit.....they hung one of his baseball jerseys over the chair in which he would have sat.

The wedding took place in this office building.

Yeah, I thought that, too, at first, but upon entering this office building, you are actually stunned into silence by it's rotunda lobby. It was beautiful....marble columns and stunning floor tile......if only it would have been acoustically sound...but what are you going to do with a marble floor, marble walls and a concave ceiling?

I had to leave several times during the reception, just to get the feeling back in my ears. A live band that didn't know how to play to a room. Oh, and another thing: A harp is the perfect instrument for the space.....a motown band complete with brass section is something you should re-think.

The bride was beautiful.
The groom was nervous.
But they pulled it off; they actually got to the "I do" without fainting, or without one of my many grand nieces or nephews attempting an attention coup de tat.

And in the end, it's all about family.

Welcome to the family.

Fasten your seat belt.

Drinks will be served momentarily.