Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Overweight, Oversensitive and Overheard

All this talk about overweight Americans has got me a bit skittish.  I have a very hard time losing weight and keeping it off.  I, along with New Jersey governor Christie, don’t need to be told I’m too fat.  I’ve been on the heavy side a loong time. So, I admit to being a little bit sensitive what with all this negative press.

Recently, for example, I was eating breakfast (fat or not, you should always eat breakfast) at our local grocery store foodbar.  Several groups of older men gather there to talk and drink weak coffee.  Some of them were seated behind me and I couldn’t help overhearing some comments that got my attention.

“Wow! He’s a big’un ain’t he?

“Did you see his body?”

“Yup, he must weigh 220!”

“Lookit them littlebitty horns.”

By this time I realized they weren’t talking about me.  After all, I weigh a bit more than that.

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Filed under Comments, conversion, Discussion, Food, Humor, Obesity, Random Thoughts

A Wasted Morning

It’s a shame to write only when one is irritated.  Do it often enough and you will earn the designation, “curmudgeon.”  I am, at the moment, highly irritated and I am writing.  But I promise not to make it a habit.

Abilene is not really a small town, but sometimes it seems to be.  One would think that most things would be readily available here, especially medical supplies.  We have a dozen or so listed in the phone book and so, I got on the phone and began calling to find a particular item I really needed today.  I called several places, a couple of which did not have the item in stock but promised they could get it by the next day.  I decided to keep calling around to see if I could find it in stock somewhere.

My first “hit” was a place called “Choice Medical Supply.”  Yes, the lady told me, they had some in stock.  “Great,” said I and hopped in the car to pick one up.  It was not a short drive but not all that far either.

When I arrived, the lady I talked to on the phone led me into a room whose walls were lined with this and that.  But when we came to the place where it should be…guess what…it wasn’t there!

“I thought it would be right there,” she said.

“You mean, when I called you didn’t check to see if it was really in stock?” said I with growing dismay.

“I’m sorry,” she offered, “I thought we had some.”

“Look,” I said, “that’s the reason I called ahead so that I wouldn’t make a useless journey!”

“So sorry,” she said, “it’s my fault.”

At that moment, some language I learned long ago in the oil field came to mind.  I wanted to say, “You’re (fill in the blanks here) right!  It sure as (blank) isn’t my fault!”  But, keeping in mind certain biblical injunctions regarding a Christian’s speech, I simply stalked out.

Returning to the car, I consulted a phone book we keep there for situations such as this, and called some additional suppliers.  I kept striking out until one person told me that “West Texas Rehab” would be my best bet.  Since it was on my way home, I stopped in.  The very kind and polite lady there said they had sold their supply business and it was now “Travis Medical.”  She offered to call for me and, wonderful news, they had one!  It was two-thirds of the way back to “Choice Medical” but I was so happy to have found what I needed that I willingly and joyfully drove to their place.

In spite of having difficulty finding their location, I arrived in high spirits.  “We called a few minutes ago, looking for (the elusive item),” I said, flashing my best smile.

“Oh yes,” the man jovially responded, “it is right over….well, I thought it was there.”

“Oh no!” I said, my smile turning to a look of horror.  “We called,” I cried, “you said you had one!”

“I thought we did but it turns out it was this thingy,” he said lamely (the “thingy” bears little resemblance to what I was after).

“But that’s the reason I called ahead!” I responded with growing anger.  I looked for a table or something to turn over and drive everyone out with a cord of whips.  In the end, I simply walked out with slumped, defeated shoulders.

Finally, all hope of imminent success gone, I called one of the other medical suppliers who had promised they could have one by the next day.

“Should be here between 10 and 11 in the morning,” she said.

“Are you sure?” I asked with trembling voice and a tear threatening to form.

“I’m sure,” she said confidently.

As you might guess, dear reader, I’ll believe it when I touch it.

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Filed under Community, Health Care, Humor, Incompetence, Language, Random Thoughts

A Connection?

I enjoy living in Abilene.  We love our little piece of earth we call “Charamon.”  Over the years, I have lived or had extended stays in several large metropolitan areas in the United States and Australia.

Never have I stayed a city where more people ran red lights than Abilene, Texas.  Yesterday in one short drive to the grocery store and back, I saw two blatant violations.  Never have I stayed in a city where there were more emergency vehicle sirens blaring at all hours than Abilene, Texas.

Could there be some kind of a connection?

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Filed under Random Thoughts

It’s About Time

Part of an advertisement for a fancy thermostat: “Instant readings are available within 10 seconds.”

My immediate reaction was how can it be both?  It is either instant or it is within ten seconds.

Of course, there’s “instant” and then there’s “real quick.”  When I was a kid, we used to play outside (those were different times) and, come suppertime or bedtime my mother would say, “Come inside this instant!”  “We’re coming!” we’d reply…but we weren’t doing any such thing.  We were still playing.  We were going to squeeze every bit possible out of the interval between her expectation and our compliance.  She wanted instant action; we wanted to delay her desire in favor of ours for as long as we could.  It was a delicate balance between what she wanted and what we thought we could get away with.

When my wife (who, incidentally, is a gourmet cook whose culinary creations are not to be missed) tells me “Dinner is ready,” I know she means that I should stop studying, writing, carving or gardening, and wash my hands, a process taking up to five minutes or so.  It really means, “Dinner will be ready about the time you have finished getting ready to come to the table.”  We have that understanding developed in our nearly fifty years of marriage.

So, I’ll give you all of that but I still don’t understand how something can be “instant” with the possibility of a ten-second delay.  Sorry, advertising agency, I can’t let you get away with such a contradictory claim.  You might call it nitpicking.  You can feel free to express that in the comment section and I will instantly give you my reply sometime.

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Filed under Advertising, Contradictions, Humor, Life, Love and Marriage, Random Thoughts, Thinking, wordplay, words

Conversation in the Alley

I was driving down the alley when this old fellow (“old fellows” are, by definition older than me) opened his gate and his little dog ran between his legs right into my path.  I slammed on the brakes kicking up a cloud of dust.  A look of relief came over his face (the man’s) when he realized I had not flattened Rover.  The dog looked aged.  He was sprinkled with gray hairs in his coat and he was a little overweight.  I had come close to sending him to his doggy reward.  His owner grabbed him up, came around to the driver’s side and I rolled down the window to hear what he had to say.

“Oh thank you!” he said, his little dog safe in his arms.

“Sure glad I didn’t hit him,” said I.

“Me too!” he replied.  “You want some granite slabs?”

“Uh…granite slabs?” I asked, a little confused at the abrupt change of subject.

“Yep.  I’ve got eleven of ‘em,”

“Well, I don’t know…”

“Well, I’m puttin’ eleven of ‘em out here in the alley for anyone who wants them.”

“Okay, I’ll think about it.”

I slowly drove off, pondering the unlikely conversational combination of old men, old dogs and old granite slabs.

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Filed under Aging, Humor, Random Thoughts

Blasé to a Fault

I just watched another of those “Flash Mob” videos…truly amazing.  I have never been in one of those favored locations but I have watched a half-dozen or so on my computer screen.  What a kick to be in the midst of an unexpected performance by a dance group, choir or band!  I hope it happens to me sometime.

What has impressed me each time is that some of the shoppers continue shopping as if nothing were happening.  It almost seems as though they are stubbornly resisting being impressed or even interested.  They just go right on looking for an item of clothing or examining the eggs or pricing the butter.  What’s wrong with these people!?  What will it take to impress them?

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Filed under Adventure, Humor, Life, Meaning of Life, Music, Random Thoughts, Singing, Thinking

Current Events and Concerns

Observing my blog stats over the last few days, a well-known truth has been freshly demonstrated: if you don’t post very often—people quit reading. But, that harsh reality seems to be balanced in my case, with having nothing much to say. Oh, I suppose I could find something on which to pontificate, but I tend to wait until I feel compelled to put pen to paper. Waiting until my labor is induced may not be often enough if I want to build a readership. So, in an effort to catch up, let me give you my thoughts on a number of current events and concerns.

Presidential Candidates — It seems a shame to me that, among potential republican candidates we are presented with a billionaire who has funny hair and fires people on TV, another man whose choice of a religion makes me think he might fall for anything and a woman who very few people seem to take seriously. Ya know what I mean fellow-mavericks?

The Federal Deficit – Every responsible businessman and householder knows you can’t spend more than you bring in or you will get in deep doo doo.  From the smell of things, I believe we are up that famous creek without the proverbial paddle.  As anyone who has gotten in over their head is aware, cures for this sort of thing are notoriously painful.  In the case of the United States it is a question of who will make the tough choices and who will bear the brunt of the pain.  Who will be the offenders?  Who will be the offendees? Someone must be cruel to be kind (in the right measure). Unless I miss my guess most of the victims will be those who didn’t have much in the first place.

The News Media – Is it really true that people demand to be told about the upcoming wedding of Bill and Kate every five minutes? Are we really that infatuated with the formalization of a relationship of two people who have been living together for years?  “Fairytale wedding?” Please, give me a break!  And is it really true that we don’t give a flip about what’s happening elsewhere in the world? I beg you, tell me what’s going on in Europe, Asia, South and Central America and Africa. Does it take disaster or war to draw our attention away from politics and Charlie Sheen?

The Middle East – The cultural differences are so vast between this region and the West that I despair of ever being able to achieve our stated goals. People revolt in a small middle-eastern country and proceed to ride around in Toyota pickups shouting slogans (I guess that’s what they are) and firing rifles and artillery into the air. Some insane religious fanatic in Florida burns a Qu’ran (what was he trying to accomplish?) and Afghanistan (where so much Western blood has been shed to set them free from the Taliban), riots (again shooting guns into the air) and wants to throw their liberators out. We should say, “You can’t throw us out…we quit!” and leave them to their hyper-active and reactionary insanity.

Political Parties – It seems to me that someone is going to have to care more about America than some party’s political agenda.  It reminds me of religious denominations whose adherents care more about “our side” than about the gospel and seeking and saving the lost. Our nation is facing several crises that will require true patriots to work in concert. Lobbyists, special interest groups, corporate interests and the like must be ignored until we have solved the problems they and their political cronies have created (for example Monsanto, one of the biggest corporate bullies, spent over eight million for lobbyists in 2010). Given the power of greed, don’t hold your breath.

OK. For all its worth, I have spoken.

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Filed under Asia, Blogs & Blogging, Culture Wars, Current Events, Islam, Middle East, Palestine, Peace, Politics, Random Thoughts, Revolution, Writing