Monday, April 30, 2018

Puns of steel

I am not sure why I am drawn to puns like a moth to flames. Most people just groan and shake their heads at puns. I find them satisfying the way a mathematician does at a chalkboard full of calculations. I especially like visual puns.

I mentioned that I joined a group on Facebook dedicated to puns. I posted the first photo below and no one got it. I didn't post the second photo because if they didn't get the first one, they'd never get the second one. I'll let you think about it for a bit before I explain.

The correct response is "Reed between the lions" which of course is a pun for "Read between the lines." It is so obvious to me that I am appalled I had to explain it to people in a pun group.

For some reason, famous composers lend themselves to puns. As does Arnold Schwarzenegger

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


blath·er·skite:Definition -  a person who talks at great length without making much sense. foolish talk; nonsense.

If I didn't have a great deal of equity invested in the name, "Dizgraceland," I think "Blatherskite" would be a great blog name. Not that I think that I am a blatherskite. At least not all of the time. I'm actually quite quiet if you meet me in person. Unless I've had a lot of coffee. Then I can be a blatherskite with the best of them.

Speaking of blatherskites, I joined a pun page on Facebook called The Punitentiary because I've always enjoyed a good pun (which is an oxymoron). But I have to admit I'm getting a bit weary of the constant stream of puns floating by in my new roll. At first I jumped right in and tried to one up the punsters for each post. Because that is what people in puns do. They hop aboard a puns train of thought until they reach the caboose.

Some of the Punitentiary don't seem to recognize a caboose and they turn the train of thought in to messy derailment. Puns only work when you don't have to try to hard. It's very easy to slip into blatherskite territory.

Monday, April 23, 2018

How does your garden grow?

It was uncharacteristically sunny over the weekend which means I once again don my overalls, rubber boots and tackle the weeds that insist on populating a good portion of my property. I also took this opportunity to remove a grape arbor that was collapsing under the weight of grape vines that have never really produced any grapes.

I have written about my backyard before, but a good journalist never assumes the reader has read anything he has written before and provides enough background to give context to his story. And though I was never a very good journalist, I will say that my house is built on the edge of a slope that flows down to a stream. The stream is called Shell Creek (though I haven't a clue why, there aren't any shells in it). It runs on the surface up to my property line and then goes into a culvert that diverts it under the road next to my house.

I thought it was cool when we bought the house to have a stream down below the house. But after lots of expenses for shoring up retaining walls and dealing with water leaks in my basement because of the underground streams that feed Shell Creek, I'd be happy to live somewhere on higher, flatter ground. I also would like a normal backyard that isn't constantly trying to revert back to nature. Every year I battle horse tails, blackberry vines and mountain beavers. And all are nurtured by being close to water.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I do confess

I was going to title this post "Laughing matter" but since I search my past posts these days to prevent too much repetition I discovered that I've written a few too many posts with similar titles and tone (I do confess 1,223 posts to be exact). So I chose "I do confess" instead. I googled "I do confess" and discovered that Shakespeare used that line often in his plays. So I feel I am in rare company using the line.

"I do confess" may be my new "but I digress."  But I do confess I think I replaced "but I digress" with "Pause for a lugubrious howl"some time back. I also confess that I don't really remember half the time.

More often than not, when I am trying to think of something to write about, I reread some past posts. Sometimes I'm surprised, sometimes I'm amused and some times I'm embarrassed. A person's writing style is a bit like their fingerprint. They are all unique and if you read some one's stuff enough, you could pick their writing out of a writing line up (that's the one, right there, I'd recognize that dangling participle anywhere).

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

An oldie but a goodie: Jukebox of the Gods

Blogger's note:

This post originally appeared on June 1, 2005. I was trying to explain to a friend the other day how Elvis' life and mine got intertwined many years ago when I tried to write a novel. She said I could still write it. That made me think about the book and why I never finished it. But this post explains better than I can verbally articulate (again) why that probably won't happen.

Take the "T" out of "Trust,"
And all you're left with is rust.
That's the first line of a country song my old friend Michael and I tried to write one time on a trip to Reno. We were sitting in a bar in Fitzgerald's drinking shots of tequila with a cheap beer back while listening to a country band. The band was asking for requests and I kept shouting, "Friends in Low Places." They tried to ignore me, but they eventually gave in and played a weak rendition of the song. They didn't seem too enthusiastic about it, though.

That's when we decided to write our own country song. Michael came up with that first line. "Hey," he said. "Did you know if you take the "T" out of trust, all you are left with is rust?'"

It may have been the tequila, but I thought it was pure "f-in" genius. So I finished the first verse:
Take the "T" out of Trust,
And all you're left with is rust.
Like this old pick-up truck,
Broken down, out of luck.

Take the you out of we,
And all I'm left with is me.
Sitting here all alone,
Staring hard at the phone.
At that point the muse left both Michael and I (I am pretty sure this did have something to do with the tequila) and we never finished the song.

I kind of view that song as a symbol of all of the unfinished things in my life. I've encountered many of those unfinished things I as we purge my house of clutter in preparation to sell it. For example, there's the wooden ship model of the Coast Guard training ship, the Eagle. I started building it in 1983. It will never see the wind beneath its sails.