posted Sep 26 2013 10:00PM
It won't be long until the holiday season lasts all year. Even now, before September is even over, I'm beginning to see Christmas lights out on houses. If you are one of those who is already in the spirit, I mean no offense,
I just don't get it.
When I was a kid I recall the lights started to go up in late November, usually after Thanksgiving. For me that association usually indicated the beginning of the holiday season. But over the years the sighting of the first lights has creeped backwards little by little until the sight of them in October became commonplace.
And now, apparently, people are putting them out in September. Or turning them on, in some cases. I know some people leave them out all year long, which I've never really understood, either. It seems like it could be a fire hazard or something. But I digress.
I'm all in favor of getting into the holiday spirit. And if you want to stretch that season out for three and a half months, more power to you. But like I said, I don't get it. Personally, I'm lazy. You will not see any decorations of any kind at my residence. Not for any holiday. Why bother? I'm rarely there on holidays anyway.
In any case, I anticipate the day wil come, and probably soon, in which the lights and decorations are a commonplace all-year affair, and kids will be asking why Santa is so often depicted in snowy settings. The more things change, the more different they are. That's a thing, right? Cheers.
posted Sep 19 2013 2:25PM
Hand-eye coordination is a funny thing. Especially if you don't have much. Like me. For years I was an enthusiastic darts player. I never joined a team or anything. But I had a dart board in the house and when I was bored I'd throw darts.
From my time playing baseball I've got a pretty decent throwing arm, and with a ball I've got pretty good accuracy. It's all about muscle memory. Once you train the body how to do something, it kind of runs on automatic pilot, to the extent that when throwing a baseball I didn't even have to look at the target to hit it.
I assumed it would be the same way with darts. It wasn't. I couldn't hit the bullseye if it was a foot in diameter. And it wasn't for lack of trying. I practiced with those stupid things for hours on end, several days a week. And I never got any better. So I gave up. I took up pool. I'm not much better at that, but it's easier on the elbow. The point (and there is one) is that if I learned anything, it's this: hobbies are never fun if instead of just doing them you're obsessed with being the best. If you already know this, I salute you. As for me, I had to learn it the hard way. Cheers.
posted Sep 16 2013 6:16PM
Lemonade. A simple beverage or a way of life? I'd like to think the latter. It would take far more time and space than I have right now to list all the ways lemonade has made my life and the lives of those around me better.
Lemonade is seemingly a simple thing: lemon juice, water, sweeten to taste. Ah, but it's so much more than that, so very much more. When I'm feeling thirsty: lemonade. Hungry? Wash down any meal with lemonade. Sad? Lemonade. Angry? Lemonade. Angry at lemonade? Don't be silly. Why would I, how could I ever be angry at lemonade? What a thought.
Can lemonade solve all of life's problems. No it cannot. It is only a drink. But it is a very, very good drink.
posted Sep 11 2013 11:00PM
As September 11 comes to a close I want to take a moment to express my continuing sympathy for those who lost their lives on 9/11/01 and to their families, friends and other loved ones, who have been forced to endure daily reminders of those acts of terrorism and their aftermath.
Also I would like to convey my ongoing respect and honor for those who responded to the victims, many at the cost of their own lives. May their courage never be forgotten.
On September 11, 2001 I was in Bowie, Maryland. I was working as a land surveyor and my crew chief decided to leave the work truck doors open so we could listen to the radio. We soon realized that there was no music playing on any stations. Within minutes we stood silently, listening to the news, our instruments forgotten in our hands. As we listened, our collective horror mounted as we realized this was no joke but a serious and ongoing situation.
My crew went about our job like drones, all three of us pale and shaken. We recieved a call from the home office, who let us know the office was closing for the day. We were told to finish what we were doing and come on in. We completed our tasks silently, loaded our gear into the van silently, and spoke barely a sentence between us as we drove back to the office.
By the time we got there most of the staff had already left, and those who remained appeared just as shellshocked as I was feeling. In a daze I walked out to my car, got in and started the drive home.
At my apartment I turned on the TV and stared at it dumbly. As the news continued and new information came in dribs and drabs, I gained a greater realization of the enormous gravity of the situation. I put my head in my hands and when I took them away they were moist. I realized I was crying. I didn't even know it.
I don't remember much of the rest of the day, other than that I hardly moved from the sofa where I sat and stared at the television. My roommate had moved out some weeks before and I had scheduled an interview with a prospective replacement for that evening. When he showed up I engaged him in perfunctory conversation, then said, "If you can give me the rent for next month, you can move in whenever you want." He gave me the money and left.
Sometime around 11 that night I realized I hadn't eaten anything the entire day. I had no appetite, but I slapped together a sandwich anyway and nibbled at it. I don't remember going to bed. I do remember waking up the next morning hoping it had all been a dream. Of course it wasn't.
I remember driving to work and marveling at how odd it was to see no planes in the sky as I passed BWI. Later I drove the loop road around the airport and stared with a new horror at the tarmac, which was absolutely full of planes. It was more planes than I had ever seen in one place, and not a single one of them was moving. When I think back on 9/11 now, that's the first image that comes to mind: a huge lot, absolutely choked with airplanes. They stood in silent sentinel rows, as though in tribute to the hijacked planes and those aboard who had died.
The second image that comes to mind occurred excactly one month later. On November 11, I attended my first class at Connecticut School of Broadcasting, beginning the long road that would eventually bring me to WAYZ. CSB's DC campus was located in Crystal City, Arlington, VA, and to get there the first night I drove through downtown Washington to Interstate 395 into Virginia, Looking back I'm not sure why I went this way. It certainly wasn't the quickest way. As it happened, this route took me right past the Pentagon.
Having seen the Pentagon on TV almost continually for the past month, I was nevertheless unprepared for how absolutely enormous it was in real life. It was without question the largest building I had ever seen, and still is, for that matter. The highway was directly adjacent to the side of the Pentagon that had been struck by American Airlines Flight 77. The sight of that building with such a gigantic hole in it was nothing less than shocking. It looked as though the wall had been struck by a wrecking ball. The idea of such destruction having been perpetrated intentionally was inconceivable. Yet there was the evidence right in front of me.
I continued on to school and began my classes. But I was shaken, and that feeling didn't lessen for some time after. In a way it still hasn't. I haven't flown since then and have no desire to do so, even all these years later. The idea of getting on an airplane terrifies me, quite frankly, and I'm not sure what I'd do if I were placed in a position where I had no choice but to fly. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
9/11 was one of those events that divide American history into a before and after. Other such events include Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the explostion of the space shuttle Challenger. But 9/11 was the first of these to occur when I was an adult, and it remains a large and looming memory in my mind. I remember experiencing alternating waves of dread, fear, and horror. For a long time after, like many other Americans, I worried that more such acts of terrorism were coming, and that they could happen at any time. Even when I heard on the news that many of the known members of al-Qaeda had been captured the worry remained. Even five, six, seven years later I worried. The worry lessened over time but never really went away altogether.
The world truly is a different place today. September 11 was designated Patriot Day, and on this day we remember the victims of 9/11 as well as those who worked to rescue them, those who contributed to those rescue efforts directly and indirectly, and those military personnel who have placed themselves into harm's way throughout the War on Terror. Many lives were lost on 9/11 and in the days, months and years since. They may be gone but they will never, ever be forgotten.
posted Sep 10 2013 10:57PM
What a weekend it was...Pickin' In the Panhandle Friday and Saturday and the Walk with Tori Sunday. It was my first time attending both of these events and I have to say I was extremely impressed with both, although I must also admit I all but collapsed from exhaustion when I got home Sunday evening.
For starters, being at Shiley Acres for Pickin' I couldn't help but note the number of people there who had a strong love for bluegrass music. The performers' zest for the music was infectious and spread through the audience. It was a great thing to behold. Also, those of us in attendance from the radio station were given a warm and friendly welcome from everyone who stopped by our tent to say hello. When we went onstage for announcements we were greeted enthusiastically. In such an environment it is impossible not to have a great time.
Then on Sunday, the walk brought out all kinds of people united in a cause: to support Tori and raise money towards research and development for a cure for scleraderma. It was very heartening to be a part of such a unifying event, and hopefully Tori's courage in coming forward and sharing her own experience will help to raise public awareness of the condition as all those involved continue to work towards the goal of eradicating scleraderma.
posted Sep 4 2013 11:44PM
Fall is upon us, and as always I feel it's my duty to weigh in with my take, waxing philosophic on the subject of autumn and the ramifications of...
Actually, forget that. You know all about that already. Leaves fall, days get shorter, the air gets cooler and drier. I consider most of those to be good things. I like summer, but three months is just about all I can handle. Usually by the end of August I'm done with the unrelenting heat and humidity and ready for a change.
And that's what's nice about the fall. As spring is nature's annual renewal, fall is like getting ready for bed, with winter as the long slumber. So here's to a plesant fall, with the days and nights cooling gradually until winter is here, almost as an unseen visitor. Cheers.