Short stories, poetry, haiku, expository and technical non-fiction. Report Cards and observations on writing. This began as my repository of exercises from the "What If?" self-help writers group at AOL. It has become more and less, since leaving AOL.

Sunday, March 28

Monday Morning Musing

Math Wonderkinder:

What was this eBayer thinking when s/he composed this ad to sell an undersized Tilley hat? Certainly is evident it wasn't math, unless the scrambled eggs I had for breakfast were really my brain cells (Mad Wil Disease, anyone?)

"This hat is mis-marked as a 7 5/8, but is really smaller, more like a 7 3/4 or 1/2."

That's OK. Take two aspirin and call your fifth grade teacher in the morning.

Friday, March 26

the friday five

Seems 'the friday five" is taking a vacation this week, so we will, too. Have a good, if soggy, weekend in the NE.

Friday, March 19

the friday five

What If???

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?

Surf and turf is my kind of joint. Good aged beef, thick chops, fresh Maine Lobster, Louisiana crawfish, strong drinks at the bar, fresh veggies and really good breads, especially sourdough bread, baked daily on the premises. For those crazies who just have to have dessert (you know who you are) there's be three kinds of cheesecake and a flaming something or other. Not a big joint, either. Something along the lines of 40 seats with another half dozen at the bar. There's be music on Saturday nights -- a cappella or a guitarist ... low key, soothing. No dancing or raucous behavior ... just the neighborhood steak joint. Done right, they're a dying breed -- you can't make enough money to stay afloat. Alas and alack.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?

I always fancied myself as the owner of a "head shop" but that is and was a problem -- I'm death on drug use -- so another venture died aborning.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?

Science fiction, of course. There's no finer genre to write for the reader. Sadly, except for a handful of "big names" it doesn't pay worth doodley squat. My stuff never made it out of the slush pile, anyway.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?

Obedience, baby! <>

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?

New Age piano riffs, with some 12 string guitar and Moog synthesizer thrown in for good measure. I think Terry Riley already did it back in the 80's though .....

A whole lotta ifs this week. I suppose next week will be ands followed by butts the Friday after that? :D

Y'all have a good weekend. Dodging snowflakes is again the weekend forecast hereabouts -- I do hope they've blown the forecast once again. BTW, anyone know where I can find a class in remedial calendar reading? The Flower Show and Outdoor Show are both THIS weekend. Grrrrr.

Thursday, March 18

Close Enough For Government Work


Phew! That was close! The bloody snow storm, that's what. The evil forecaster dancing in front of his blue screen with his, "...and here, in the Greater Bangor area, they will see a foot to eighteen inches of snow ....." while grinning evilly for the camera.

Well, let me tell you, I was shaking in me boots, me hearties. Injuns on the left and militia on the right and nothing but my toothpick! Oops, wrong story. That'll keep until next year's National Pirates Day.

Anyway, the evil troll behind the barometer missed all of the signs -- the storm tracked farther to the South - out to sea and missed me entirely! By how much? Deer Isle -Stonington got nine inches of snow and that's only 35 miles away on the coast, while we barely got a dusting which melted off in the afternoon when the sun came out!

As I said, that was close!

Sunday, March 14

Don't Worry

Be Happy

little gem came across the email desk today and I find it cute and/or clever enough to be shared. You'll need a flash player plug-in installed to view the animation, which you can obtain from the Macromedia Shockwave site if you don't already have it (it's included with the AOL software).

Friday, March 12

the friday five

1. What was the last song you heard?
Billy Joel's "Storm Front"

2. What were the last two movies you saw?
In a theater it was "Babe In The City" and "Horse Whisperer". DVD's would be "Freaky Friday" and "Snow Dogs". On TV, it'd be "Showtime" and "Mrs. Doubtfire". As you can tell, I am easily amused. LOL.
3. What were the last three things you purchased?
A deck bag for my kayak, some filters for our camera and a camera bag.
4. What four things do you need to do this weekend?
Big weekend planned. Going to take in the flower show, take a walk through the spring sportsman's show and change a battery in my car, on top of the usual, must-do chores like laundry and cooking.
5. Who are the last five people you talked to?
Doctors and nurses at the hospital. My life isn't terribly exciting nor varied, day to day. Sedate would be one adjective. Boring comes to mind, but then that thought is gone, much like all others. Short term memory loss is both a blessing and a curse.

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the nice weather if you're south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you or your family find yourselves in harm's way from a tornado or micro-bursts or supercell storms you are in my thoughts as the spring storm season starts to ramp up. Give a thought to this old pooch ... we are expecting a couple inches of snow and ice, and SWMBO has alerted me to the fact that, my bad heart, bad back, or unfirm body not withstanding, there's no way in hell she is going to shovel, so I might as well get used to it right now. I've ordered enough boards from the sawmill for my casket. Here's hoping I get it finished before I'm finished, if you know what I mean! j/k

Monday, March 8

Giving Cats Pills

Giving Cats Pills


  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm, repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10.
  4. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
  5. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
  6. Retrieve cat from curtain rail; get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  7. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse's armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat's mouth open with pencil, and blow down drinking straw. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  8. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessertspoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  9. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
  10. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
  11. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 1/2 pint of water down throat to wash pill down.
  12. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table. Arrange for vet to make a house call.

Written by olddog299 . Link to this entry | Blog about this entry | Notify AOL
This entry has 1 comments: (Add your own)
    I actually read an ingenious trick for how to pill a cat. It began with "hang cat by claws on screen door." I've never had occasion to try it, but I suspect -- based on this entry -- that one of the later steps involves "buy new screen door."
    Comment from nzforme - 3/9/04 3:32 PM

Friday, March 5

Ever stop to wonder....?

and forgot to restart?

Welcome Back, Manicotti

Almost time. Time to get your weekly dose of dees and does. I refer to the premiere of the fifth season of The Sopranos this Sunday evening 9PM e/p.

In honor of the august occasion, I offer you your very own Mob Name. Actually, Rick Melfi, the shrink's son, did it as a school science project in the eighth grade. No, really! No, no need to thank me. Fuhgedaboudit!

Old "Abalone Toweler" Dawg¹

P.S. Don't miss the complete reprise of the third season of Six Feet Under. The first episode will be at 8 PM e/p, just before The Sopranos. Six Feet Under is televison's best series - bar none. I wish others put as much effort into making good television.

¹ Nope, I haven't a clue as to what it means either. It's cool though, in a kind of kinky, erotic way, donjathink? Then again, I've always had a mental connection between food <-> sex.

The friday five

What was...

1. ...your first grade teacher's name?

Mrs. Paulhemous and it was Rocky Ridge School, a one room, two grade schoolhouse with bathrooms which only worked in warm weather, else you used the outhouses outside. Mostly I remember singing and a cute little blonde girl named Cookie Biggs. I've been a sucker for blondes since the womb, but Cookie had "IT".
2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon?
Mighty Mouse and Woody Woodpecker
3. ...the name of your very first best friend?
Tommy Carroll. Sadly, he died under an overturned tractor leaving a very young widow with two toddlers.
4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal?
Oatmeal. Was then and still is... although I now add raisins for sweetness instead of molasses. )*&^&% doctors!
5. ...your favorite thing to do after school?
We played "fort". One day it might be Injuns. Another it was Cowboys fighting range wars. The Blue and Gray (Civil War) always invoked fisticuffs as no one wanted to be "Johnny Reb". Varieties of modern warfare crept in, too. WW I, WW II, Korea ... we fought them all. Even did a Scottish highlands after my father told us about Mary, Queen of Scots, Rob Roy and all things Scottish. We even did an Irish uprising once, over famine after my Mother told us about the Potatoe Famine and the diaspora resultant therefrom. But, no matter what we called it, it was ALWAYS "fort"!

About Me

My photo
Well past (by at least a decade) the half century mark. One foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel at the rim of the abyss and the view from here is disconcerting. I am a former student, pearl diver, cook, truck driver, firefighter, EMT, CEO, Town Fire Warden, mechanic, oiler, marine engineer and computer whiz bang. Mostly I sleep these days in an aluminum tube. And So It Goes... I waste my time reading blogs and kvetching about the weather, playing with our Schipperke sidekick, Ignatz McGraw and waiting hand by foot upon my wife, the Queen of our Hovel, She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO).