Posts

The Great Fitted Sheet Battle

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  I know that some of you are waiting for me to do a blog post about our recent trip, and I will, but I needed to do a post for Fan Story, and I decided to postpone the vacation blog until next time. I promise I'll do it. Meanwhile, I hope this will suffice.     Those of you who know me, know that even the every day things that most people do as a matter of living, for me can be a struggle. What gives? Am I the most incompetent man who ever lived, or do I just bitch a lot and blow things out of proportion? Tonight I'd like to say a few words about fitted sheets. No doubt they are an asset, if for no other reason than at least you know what sheet to put on the bottom. I don't recall ever having to deal with fitted sheets when I was growing up. Are they a fairly recent thing (in the last fifty years) or did my folks just not have any? I can't say. Perhaps it was because I wet the bed when I was little and mom didn't want to deal with the fitted sheets. I can't say

Chainsaw Carpenter

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   When I was  a little kid, I used to tell folks my dad was a carpenter. When he found out, he got mad and corrected me, mentioning that he was a contractor. I didn't understand the difference at the time, but know now that the knowledge he possessed was far beyond carpentry.   One Christmas I received an Erector Set. For those who aren't familiar with such a thing, it was a set that had numerous thin, flat bars of aluminum or steel, all of which were drilled with multiple holes up and down the length of the bars, which were about twelve inches long and maybe 3/8 inches wide. Also included was a number of little screws, as well as nuts, and an illustrated catalogue that showed the various things you could make; towers and small buildings and cranes and  I don't recall what all else. I suppose the idea behind the set was to encourage future engineers and architects or iron workers. It all fell flat with me. For a short while, when I was bored on a rainy day, I would dig out

Zippo

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    I was on Fan Story today reading some posts by various authors that I follow when I read one by a friend named Jim Wile. He's writing a book about a fellow who finds himself working on some innovative idea to miniaturize a camera to assist people who have dyslexia. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I was reminded of an incident that occurred back when I was in Great Lakes Illinois at Radarman "A" school. A whole bunch of us had flunked out in the third or fourth week during a class on maneuvering boards.  They were basically just sheets of paper with concentric circles about an inch apart. A circle of course consists of 360 degrees, and on the paper, each degree had a mark on the outside so that you could get an accurate bearing on a contact on the radar. With the maneuvering board a pair of dividers and a parallel ruler,  you could trace the contact for three minutes, and determine what it's course, speed and closest point of approach would be. Now of course 

Ahoy Matey

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  You know, when you tell enough stories, you're bound to repeat yourself now and then. I guess it's to be expected from us older types. Ideas are rattling around in my head like the marble in a spray paint can until something comes out. I was looking back through my portfolio to see if I'd written anything about my navy days, and I don't see anything, but I'm sure I've commented somewhere using an experience from then. If you've seen these stories before, please forgive me. If you plunk enough coins in a gumball machine, you're bound to get the same color more than once. When I first joined the navy back in 1972, it wasn't because I had any desire to see the world, like their posters suggested. I was number 52 in the draft, and I didn't relish the idea of waltzing around rice paddies and swamps picking leeches off my body. Although I do like green, and camouflage is kind of cool, I settled for thirteen button wool pants and a pea coat. I hated t

Freedom isn't Free

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    I heard that spring break is happening now down in Florida. It's a wild time for college kids to go hang out, drink a lot, do drugs, have sex with strangers and let their hair down. In some towns, the residents have had enough of the rowdiness that comes with spring break.   Some time back, my older brother Mark forwarded me this picture as a reminder that someone else paid a high price for the freedoms that we enjoy. A day on the beach can mean different things to different people. It's food for thought.

Chickadee Jerks

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  I think we could all pretty much agree that human beings have the ability to be world class jerks at times. It doesn't mean we're that way all the time, but when something doesn't go our way, we sometimes exhibit behavior that is less than stellar. A perfect example is when we get behind the wheel of our cars. The mild mannered neighbor down the street can turn into a jackass when he's sitting in a two thousand pound machine rocketing down the road at sixty five miles per hour. If someone pulls out in front of him or isn't going fast enough, or perhaps is tailgating, the transformation is akin to Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. Would it surprise you though that humans aren't the only animals that behave badly? When I was living down south, I had a neighbor who kept a dog, a mongrel, that would bark uncontrollably whenever someone walked down the street past its yard. Fortunately it was fenced in. One day a fishing friend of mine named Bunny was walking down the road wit

Where's My Eyebrow?

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  I got an email from a friend where I used to live. His name is Tim. He used to work in the woods as a logger, climbing hillsides and cutting down huge old growth spruce and hemlock trees. Now he's working at the local sawmill, running the saw, turning those logs into lumber. He's tough as nails, a real he-man. We developed a friendship some years back when he started coming to church. He knows enough about some of my misadventures in life that he felt comfortable relaying to me a story of his own misfortune. While getting ready for church a week ago, he took a look in the mirror and realized that he was starting to look pretty shaggy. Hoonah doesn't have a barber shop. There are a few people in town who cut hair, but by and large, most folks either opt to cut their own, or get a haircut when they take a trip to Juneau. Tim decided to trim up his hair and shave his beard. Then he noticed that his eyebrows were really getting long. He said about an inch and a half in length