Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Post haste


I know it is a bit lazy to copy and post old posts in a blog instead of starting from scratch and posting something new. But after more than 1450 posts in 19 years you occasionally run out of things to say. Fortunately no one pays me to write this blog. And I've firmly established that very few people read it anyway.

I did feel compelled to get some posts up for October since statistically I haven't posted much in October in the past. So what if I artificially inflate my numbers by digging up stuff from the past. It's not that this is a diary and I have to record what I've been up to for Halloween.

Though I did manage to decorate our yard this year. It is the first time in a few years. The pandemic and a remodel from hell curtailed my Halloween spirt. This year I put up lights, a new graveyard scene and turned one of our trees into a carnivorous creature.

We also made a trip to a local pumpkin patch to stare at some pigs, chickens, geese and pheasant and then walked through some fields decimated of pumpkins. Though I've recently learned that decimate originally meant killing one of every ten of something to teach a group a lesson. The pumpkins apparently didn't learn their lesson by eliminating one of every ten of them. There wasn't much to choose from. Regardless we were able to find two that I could buy for $30 and avoid paying a tenth of the cost at the grocery store.

Tonight I imagine we'll sit home and eat candy waiting for trick or treaters who may or may not arrive. Neither of my kids go trick or treating any more. Plus they both just got their COVID and flu shots and aren't feeling much like doing anything.

And since I don't have little kids I won't be putting on any costume tonight. I pretty much vowed a few years ago that I would never wear a costume on Halloween again. 

Well, maybe just a little make up.

On this almost day of the dead back in 2014

I posted this on Halloween 2014 when Google put out an app that allowed you to turn your old (and new) photos in Day of the Dead images. It was a pretty cool app that I imagine died some time ago. But the photos live (?) on:

 Día de las muertos fotos

“ On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children's altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations. ” 
—Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature
In honor of Halloween and the Day of the Dead, I've taken advantage of Google's Halloweenify yourself app to honor (?) my family. I suppose it is also a way to welcome the spirits into my blog. God knows it has been dead around here. 

My great, great grandparents and my grandmother

Monday, October 30, 2023

On the day after this day in (my) history 55 years ago

 I originally wrote this post back in October 2006. It was about what I believe was the last time I went trick or treating as a child. There were four of us. We were all in the 5th grade and pretty good friends at the time. The two friends on the right in the photo (Dave Little and Jim Lonnevik) have passed on. I am the one second from the left. The kid holding the plastic school on the left is Robert Tullis. I lost track of him after junior high. 

Anyway, I've always liked this post and it seems only fitting that it should rise from the grave of my blog archives on the eve of Halloween.

Halloween 1968

In 1968 Vietnam was still going strong, Lyndon Johnson was president, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, the first heart transplant was performed, Elvis made his comeback on national television, Lisa Marie Presley was born, the musical Hair opened on Broadway, Helen Keller died in her sleep, Robert Kennedy was assassinated while campaigning for president, riots erupted at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Jackie Kennedy married Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis, Nixon was elected president, Apollo 8 orbited the moon on Christmas Eve and I turned 10 years old.

It was an eventful year.

On a more disturbing note, Vanilla Ice was born on Halloween day in 1967. And we all know how scary he was. Fortunately none of us knew who or what Vanilla Ice was. And as Halloween approached, my best friends -- Robert Tullis, Dave Little and Jim Lonnevick -- and I were more concerned about what costumes to wear than the body count in Vietnam. We had decided to go Trick or Treating as a group and I convinced them that we should all go as characters of one of our favorite television shows at the time -- Dark Shadows.

Friday, October 27, 2023

On this day (five years, six months and nine days ago) in history (of my blog)

 I wrote this post on April 18, 2018. And I do confess that I like this latest trend I've created to repost old blog posts and avoid having to come up with new crap. Though this post deals with lots of my worst writing habits including repetition, digressions, overuse of parenthetical statements and other annoying mannerisms. So it is technically not new crap. It is lots of old crap. Still, it is crap.  But I kind of like it anyway. But with out much more adieu:

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).

Thursday, October 26, 2023

On this day in (my) blog history

 Back on October 26, 2009 I posted this:

"Notes in bottles

Years ago, when I was probably about 11 or 12 years old, I was fascinated by the concept of notes being placed in bottles and cast in the ocean to be read by someone thousands of miles away. Since Boise was about as landlocked of a place that you could find, I was in a quandary about how to fulfill my burning desire to cast my words upon the currents of the world.

I settled for tossing an old Gallo wine bottle with a note into Lucky Peak Reservoir, the largest body of water in Ada County. It was more of a childish prank actually then a real effort to connect with the world at large. I traced a copy of Thomas Jefferson's signature on a piece of brown paper and soaked it in oil, thinking it would look like aged parchment. Then I wrote out this convoluted note saying that I was a dying old man and wanted to leave this valuable signature to whoever found it in the bottle.

My friend Dave Little and I paddled out into the middle of the reservoir on inner tubes, chucked the bottle, and paddled back to shore. Within minutes, we watched as a Sheriff's patrol boat that cruised the reservoir monitoring the activities of drunk water skiers, whizzed by, stopped and retrieved the bottle. I'm sure they were just removing it as a potential hazard to the above mentioned drunk water skiers (who I am sure they blamed for tossing a wine bottle into the main boat channel of the reservoir). But Dave and I hightailed it out of there, sure that cops would be showing up at our door any day having traced fingerprints from the Gallo wine bottle.

For some reason they never traced the prank to us.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

A moment in Tim

I think a lot about time. I've written about it a great deal (including my last post which began in a very similar fashion...I repeat myself a lot, too). Time is one of those abstractions that we chase down rabbit holes thinking we can actually figure it out. 

In my experience, we can't. Or at least I can't.

I do note that we often treat time like a commodity. We've got nothing but time. We have plenty of time. He has too much time on his hands.

I think we also acknowledge that it is fleeting. Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future. Time is running out. If I could keep time in a bottle. We have no more time. Time's up.

But it is those moments in time (aren't all moments in time) that we cherish or hate. Those are the memorable times we think about fondly and wish we could relive or regret deeply and wish we could change.  Time, however, has nothing to do with either scenario. Apparently there is no time to go back and relive or redo. We do literally keep slipping into the future.

Or do we? That's where my ponderings start chasing their tails and get tied up in knots. If time isn't linear how can we slip into the future. Shouldn't we be slipping in all directions at once?  And if that is the case, then shouldn't there be the possibility that we could crisscross over something we've done before? 

I guess I'm referring to the metaphysical "we" because I don't think the physical "we" can do much of anything except age. The metaphysical "we" has more leeway to get all cosmic with theories about time, space and the whole universal enchilada.