Monthly Archives: January 2013

10 things I wish I still had

I know , I know . I said that I’d never do a 1o list ,  ie. 10 best this ; 10 reasons to….., etc.    Among other things , the 10 -list thing bothers me because 10 is too much a  round number . Everything , good or bad , comes in tens ? Are you kidding me ?    It’s a little too French too , somehow . No offense to the French . But didn’t the French Revolution usher in , among other things , the decimal system , lists of ten best these and ten worst  those ?  I think that the Assemblee  Constituante in Paris in the 1790s  made the first 10 list . I’m pretty sure it was : Ten Reasons For Overthrowing Monarchies ,  if I remember my European history correctly. Robespierre ?policz kropki

But , I think it would be interesting to think about some of the gone away things that I wish that I still had .  I wish sometimes , for example , that I still had my 1960 Opel Olympia .  I’d replace the floral pattern contact paper on the sides with fresh stuff ; but , this time , maybe a geometric pattern would do  . I’d get the brakes fixed . I’d  drive it just around the neighborhood . Just for fun .

Of course I’d want to have my hair back , a little long ,  just for driving the Opel . It wouldn’t have to be black . It might be white .  Somehow the Opel needs a long-haired  driver . Hard to explain . Shades of the old days , I guess , is what the Opel thing is all about .

I’d like to have my octagonal oak table back . I never should have sold it . I bought it from old Hugh Brown , an old man who lived in downtown Los Angeles where he had built his house in 1921   .  He had been a mining engineer . He’d had his own mining company . He wrote music . He had a picture of himself and Harry Truman at the piano . Both were at the same bench . Yeah . Mr. Brown had been a lawyer ; thought he still was , even in his nineties . I guess he was .  But , when I knew him he was half crazy and mostly blind and a cantankerous old hermit . The table was lying under an inch of dust in Mr. Brown’s basement . The table legs were nearby . He sold it to me for $ 15 . It had a leaf underneath that swung up in the center when the table was opened . The thing had been made in L.A.  I bolted the legs back on , cleaned it up , and I had a wonderful oak  table for several years until   I sold it to Rock Hudson for $ 90 . Yeah , Rock Hudson , about a year before he died . Who knows where the table has been since then . I wish I had it back .images

That’s three for my list  . I’m not doing ten . I told you that .  Twenty-five is too many . Four , five , or six might not be enough . I think eight would be a good number for a list , or nine , or possibly eleven or twelve . Thirteen might be good except that thirteen is , of course ,  questionable .happy friday

13 ? Are you kidding  ?  13 things………13 best places to eat sushi …………?  Never . Thirteen has too much baggage to  make an effective list .  13 favorite places …..13 worst foods………….13 best cities…………13  tastiest restaurants…………….. ?   Thirteen is too tied up with bad luck , Zodiac , ancient numerology ,  mythical mumbo jumbo . All the ancient peoples recognized the complex mojo of  13 . They twisted it into their calendars , their rituals , their apprehensions .  The sacred cord of the ancient Druids, for example , had thirteen segments . Did you know that already ?  Something awesome and fearsome  about 13 — be careful . They all knew that . None of the ancients ever  wondered about 13 ; it wasn’t one of the ancient wonders . None of them , as far as I know , made lists of 13 best or worst these or those . Even the French , to the best of my knowledge , never did that . The English had 13 American colonies . Where did that get them ?  The American founding fathers drew lines across the continent to extend the original 13 states until someone pointed out the fallacy of that to them , of staying with thirteen . Someone told Georgie Washington something like , “ The 13th hour is also the first ,”  or something like that . They might have told him also that the thirteenth chapter of Revelations  is reserved to the Antichrist and to the Beast . George never planned any battles for Fridays the 13th . I might be wrong about that , but I don’t think so .  13 ?  No . Don’t even go there . Remember  Apollo 13 ?  The number thirteen is the number of upheaval .  I’m beginning to wonder also , now that I’m reflecting on this , about 2013 . Maybe we should worry . flags in the neighborhood 006

I wish that I still had my Buffalo Springfield album . Of course , I’d have to make another wish , for my long gone turntable to play the album on . Now we’re at , what , five ? Five’s a good number , don’t you think ?  5 Things I Wish I Still Had .croquis2003-06001

Five might be a good list , a good place to stop  a list .  Five’s good , isn’t it ? Isn’t that why the USA  set up the Pentagon and not the Decagon  , or for that matter the Hexagon or the Octagon . The Olympics symbol consists of five interlocking rings , right ? Five’s good , right ?  To the   Pythagoreans five symbolized human life . The Pythagoreans discovered the five regular solids :





icosahedron .Picture 074

Nevertheless , I feel an urge to add one more item to my list of 10 Things I Wish I Still Had . I wish I still had the urge not to make a list of 10 things . But ,  after all , I did write the title : 10 Things ……..      When a blogger writes  10 Things then there is an obligation to follow-through and to write ten things . Otherwise the entire post is dishonest ; it doesn’t deliver what it promises . Who would trust that blog in the future ? Who would bother to read it ? No follow-through ! No integrity !

I wish I still had some integrity . That makes seven on my list .

I wish I still had that red long-sleeved cowboy shirt with the mother-of-pearl buttons . That was a cool shirt .Picture 065

I wish I still had the wish to walk several miles every day . I still like walking , but not so far or so often . And I get a lot more winded these days , of course . Wow , how wistfully  I wish I wouldn’t get so whoppingly winded while wearily walking awound . That’s nine .

I wish I still had the wish to write this post . But I don’t . That’s 10.oranzada


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post # 247

Public and Private
Copy of helicopter

Copy of Utah trip 036Copy of Utah trip 043

DARBY DAYS Nov. 2012 022desert 006local mountains 023

DARBY DAYS Nov. 2012 014 walk in rich oaks neighborhood 003
santa plastic 001

alley walk Arcadia 016alley walk Arcadia 004


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more old slang

1. clean out : to deprive of money illicitly (1810)

2. howling cheese : an overdressed dandy  ( 1860-1895 )Sczcecin 2 2012 028

3.  cow cow : to be in a rage ; to scold ( early 20th C. )

4. comb the cat  : to run one’s finger through the cat-o’-nine tails to separate the tails ( nautical  and military  (1800-1895)

5. Doughboy : an American infantryman ( 1867 )  ( revived 1917 )

6. cop : catch ; capture ( 1700 )

7. handle the ribbons : to handle a coach or a carriage ( 1827 )

8. fall in : to be quite wrong ( 1900 )Ports of Call San Pedro 014

9.  the jig is up : the game is up ( 1850 )

10.  mugwump : a great man ; an important one ( 1830

bonus .    goo goo :  lip balm ( c. 1991 )


Filed under humor

27 rules for making a bed

I say twenty-seven , but I fear that they shift and change . It seems like that . There are several very integral rules , evidently , for correctly making a bed . And these don’t even include how to pile and arrange the pillows that decorate the finished product .

For years I thought that a person just climbs into bed and pulls the blanket up if the night is cold . The blanket , therefore , has to be somewhat spread out , enough to cover a human body or two , at least . Simple , right ?

But I was wrong .

I can understand that ,  in a context of military discipline,  a soldier’s bed will have to be made according to certain specifications , so that the inspecting officer will be able to bounce a quarter off of it , for example .  I understand that a nurse needs to make a hospital bed neatly , with sharp ” hospital corners ” . And hotel/motel workers should be able to make a neat bed so that customers will have the assurance that no one has already been in there and used the same sheets .   I get that .

When I was a bachelor I used to pull the blanket up at night . For years I slept on a pullout couch . I simply folded the blanket up and collapsed the couch for the day ; pulled it open and unfolded the blanket at night . Seemed simple enough. Seemed to work .cropped-flags-in-the-neighborhood-010.jpg

But , I find that that isn’t any way for a decent human being to live . I’ve known that for decades , I assure you , ever since I’ve been married .  I’ve never paid much attention to the world of making-of-beds , though . I’ve wondered from time to time , as most men do probably , about the pillow -piling . Some women pile hoards of pillows on top of the bed . What’s that all about ? The pillows  just have to be taken off and then neatly piled up again  and then taken off . There has to be a place for them to spend each night , too , not on the bed . I shouldn’t really say ” piled up ” , because I am quite sure there is a system . They are , of course , arranged somehow . It’s not a military or a hospital style , but there is , no doubt , a style , specifications ,  a certain precise discipline .  Men, although living under this strict discipline ,  don’t know what those secret specifications  are . I think that’s a universal truth .ATT4

I’ve been assigned , recently , to making the bed . I think maybe that I volunteered . I foolishly thought that I was experienced enough to accomplish the task . It all looked pretty good to me when I finished . But it was declared a disaster ,  an unsleepable disaster !

I admit that I was not aware that the final cover on our bed has fringe on three edges but not the fourth . The fourth edge is , of course , the edge that should be at the top of the bed , the head of the bed . Otherwise you’ve got fringe under you chin when you pull the cover up . O.K. , I admit that I never noticed the non fringe edge ever before and that it makes a difference when making the bed .

Rule # 2 : smooth edge of cover goes  at head of bed

You may wonder where  is rule # 1 .  Good question . First of all , it should be noted that I have never acquired a copy of the secret specifications . I’m sure that they have their own logic and order . I ,  in the absence of real information , am winging it . Be aware of that . I’m doing my best to replicate the actual rules . Anyhow , rule # 1  is : air the bed . What you should do , apparently , is pull the covers all back and let them sit on the foot of the bed . How long ?  Good question .  There must be a definite time , but I don’t know what it would be . Perhaps it varies . Bed-makers , no doubt , must be ready to be versatile and flexible .

It could be that there are no hard-and-fast rules after all , that they change , perhaps constantly ; that they can’t be pinned down , written down , set in stone . Perhaps they are shape-shifters constantly on the move , avoiding detection . It could be , I suspect , that men are unable to detect them . Like stealth aircraft they are difficult , if not impossible , for men to detect .

There are , I can assure you , certain specific rules about  where the edges of the sheets need to be when the bed is made . Obviously the top sheet must be upside down , so that when the top of it is turned over it will show the fancy side up for a few inches . This item of information , for example , is not obvious to the uninitiated .

I had a lesson today in making the bed properly . It was  a step-by-step demonstration . I’m sure that I got all the nuances , the quirks , the proper procedures down . I’m confident that I can now make a bed properly .

But then , I was sure before , several tries before today , that I knew how to do a good job with making the bed . But I was mistaken . Ada took to saying , ” Are you doing this on purpose ? ”  She thought that I might be intentionally sabotaging the  process .  I almost wish that I had been into sabotage , had thought of it .  It might have saved me a lot of bed-making stress . But it wasn’t sabotage .

Now that I’m retired , I’m not giving up on the bed-making thing . It’s a challenge . I have time . Like fixing a broken clothes dryer ,  it won’t annoy me to try again . And again . And again . Eventually I might be successful . Ada might go crazy in the meantime , but I’ll be alright .

I haven’t explored the internet , yet , for bed-making procedures . Maybe there will be training videos .  There were such videos for dryer repair . But , I doubt that such secrets are out there anywhere .plant

I’m not blogging a list , 27 or otherwise , of bed-making rules . I don’t know how many rules there are . There might only be 10 essential rules. There might be many more . If I knew them , anyway , I wouldn’t be allowed , probably , to reveal them ;   or they would  already have been changed by the time I posted them .


Filed under humor

ten slang slung plus one

clinger : a female dancing very close to her partner (1890)

cossack : a policeman (1850s)

pull the devil by the tail : to take a risk of ruin (ca. 1750)

the devil’s guts : a surveyor’s chain  (1670s – 1700s)

flicker :  a drinking glass  (1700s)

good as good : extremely good ( 1850 )

head-rails  : the teeth (nautical ; 1785)

lash : violence ( Australian ; 1916 )

queer the pitch : to spoil a deal (1901)       tulip and palm 004

scammered : tipsy ( 1840 )

slang-tree : a stage (1850-1950)

Lilly-slang-tree : ( I made this one up ; no meaning ; 2013 )

1 Comment

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annoy noy


I asked one of my readers for suggestions after I had been  asked if I take requests . I said , yes , I take requests .Give me some .  I’m always open for ideas . My ideas are limited and non-existent for vast periods of time .

One of the suggestions was : Things that annoy me . The suggester mentioned a car alarm blaring annoyingly even as the suggestion was being written . Good idea , I think . And another suggestion was cats . cosmo coyote fighter 021

I wrote a post once about people who park at the curb and take up two spaces by parking right in the middle . For some reason people who do that bug me . Why not pick one side or the other ? Leave space for another car . Lack of consideration . Why should it bug me ? I usually don’t park at the curb . But it does annoy me . It never used to . None of us need another thing to annoy us . But , when things annoy they annoy .

Maybe somewhere there’s a meeting taking place at Annoyed Anonymous . I’ll have to Google it when I get off of this rant .cosmo coyote fighter 018

I had a principal of a middle school once say to me , ” My bad”.    Instead of an apology , or at least some acknowledgement that a mistake had been made : ” My bad “.  I can take  ” my bad ” from kids , or from strangers , or from random retailers , or from city , county , or state workers , or from  cashiers or from  cranky neighbors . I don’t want to hear it from my boss , or from a cop , or from the President . I wouldn’t’ve   liked to have heard the Secretary of State tell the Congressional committee when under pressure to defend her actions during the Benghazi crisis : ” My bad ! ”   I would’ve  been annoyed .  I imagine that some of those senators and congress people would  have been immediately texting their  Annoyed Anonymous sponsors  .  Or , it might be  just me .

I have a recent annoyance . It’s a small one , almost not even there . It’s probably not one of those tiny-pebble-in-the-shoe irritations that will undoubtedly get worse and worse and worse . But , on the other hand , I don’t think it’s going away . We have a new mailman . He’s an older guy . He drives the Postal truck from house to house to deliver the mail .  The lots on my block have , I think , forty foot frontages . This guy starts up the truck , drives forty feet , parks , etc. , etc. , etc .  Not really my business ? What does it matter ?  I know ; I know ! But it bothers me . Where’s his supervisor ?  Is this lazy procedure approved by the Post Office ?  I’ll be going to my Annoy Anonymous  meeting and I’ll bring this door-to-door driver up . Maybe I’ll get some moral support .cat friends

The over-use of the term   ” double down ” annoys me . It annoys me so much that I can’t even discuss it . My blood pressure is too high already . I don’t need it going any higher .

I try , I guess ,  not  to let things annoy me .  I have a feeling that everything used to annoy me .   I  am , by nature , skeptical , cynical , and over -critical . If you happen to be , on a minute -by-minute  basis , skeptical , cynical , and hyper – critical , then you probably have a long list of things that annoy you .

But then you retire ! ( I retired ! ) Let it go .  Relax . As my friend Bobby G  used to say in the middle of the hive when the annoyance bees were stirred up and buzzing :  ” It doesn’t matter .”  And in the long-run it really doesn’t .

But  then there are cats .our cats Woody & Cosmo 004

And , obviously ,  we won’t even talk about religion or politics .
our cats Woody & Cosmo 003


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prison jokes , limericks , or beer

I intended to go with another  Prison Jokes post . You may have seen my other Prison Jokes posts and perhaps you have been anxious for the next one .  The next one would have been  Some Profane Prison Jokes .szezecin 1 2012 149

But ,  don’t wait for it . Forget it .  I was talking to my sister today on the phone  and my brother-in-law was in the background saying negative things , I think , about my Prison Jokes . I think what he was saying in forceful assertive and  critical tones might be paraphrased as , more or less ,  ” NO MORE !”   Everybody is a critic ! At least he speaks his mind .

There’s no use now telling my  b-in-l   that it could be worse . Could be much worse . It could end up being  the old   ” be careful what you ask for ”  thing . I might ,  instead of doing more Prison Jokes posts , do a string of Limerick posts :

A morbid young lady named  Jean 

          was known as the Masochist Queen.

    Or I might begin making lists . Some bloggers make lists . There was a good one I read recently listing twenty five things to know before moving to San Francisco . It was well-written and comprehensive , but reading it was a little like monitoring  a freshman sociology  class at UCLA . Most writers seem to  make lists of 10 : 10 ways to do this or to do that  ; 10 reasons for this or for that ;  10 best these or those ; 10 worst this or that .  I might do lists of ten ,  too ,  instead of any more Prison Jokes .  How about them apples ?

She used thistles and cacti 

in pursuit of her practi

Actually , I’m just kidding . The Prison Jokes joke has already run its course . My brother-in-law is , nearly almost , entirely and indubitably correct . I did get one comment from a blogger who appreciated the fact that my posts don’t fit any particular categories .  It was a polite way of calling my stuff odd-ball , I think . Undefined . Yeah . But the commenter enjoyed the odd-ballosity of it all , I guess.

in a manner both odd and obscene .

I’m not going to do limericks . Almost all of them are too crude and coarse for my silly little blog .  I should put a little thought into my posts instead , a bit of intellectualism , something educational . Maybe I should pick a category and fit in , write to that ,  find a direction . Eh ?

How about this ?  :  Ten Worst Limericks I’ve Ever Heard .

A nasty old bugger named Bruce

I follow a beer blog called  Why I  Am Drunk  . There is a whole world of beer blogs out there . I’m thinking now , after reading some of them , of taking a  brewcation , or maybe even of making a beergrimage .  That’s focused  and I need a little more focus .  I’ll drink to that . I got an e-mail from Kaiser Permanente today entitled : Pasta-bilities . Modern lingo ! I’ll consider the pasta-bilities on my brewcation .

used to greet all his friends with a goose ……….IMG_3324

My bad . I’ll double down , write world-class , roll out something  ; it’s a no-brainer. I’ll take a blogrimage for awhile and due it write .

Or not .


Filed under humor