Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Postman Always Drives By

I , generally , believe in the social  philosophy live and let live . As long as you don’t mess with me .

The new neighbor , for example :  He didn’t want to rake the magnolia leaves from his front lawn ? So what if they piled up ten inches high . Not my problem . Some people like a dry crackly dead leafy lawn . But . But the problem was the brown crinkly leaves would wander over onto my driveway with the wind , slowly sliding  on their dried tough  edges , sneaking one by one , at first , then getting bolder and slipping over en masse .    They began furtively to inhabit my lawn ; and then they wandered , uninvited , around my side yard , hiding ( not too effectively) behind the narcissus , against the stucco . Now it was my business , so to speak . No more live and let live .  Enough of rugged individualism . Bring me your tired , your huddled masses of magnolia leaves and seed cones ? Not in my front yard , buddy boy . As it turns out , Ada  early on , had talked to the neighbors about the problem . I think the neighbor’s wife got on his case after that  and made him clean up . He had all kinds of fancy new yard equipment . He even had a hand-held  yard vacuum . I heard a repetitive thumping noise one afternoon as I was trying to enjoy me retirement . An irritatingly odd noise in the neighborhood . Needed to be checked out . I peeked out the window to see what it was all about , in the watchful neighborhood style — my neighbors would do the same for me — and I saw the new neighbor working on his leaves .

MagnoliafruitopenThey were being swallowed by this innovative yard  tool clumsily hefted by the neighbor , kind of a scrawny guy . It  was making  the loud thump noise I had been hearing . The poor guy had a frustrated , despairing look on his sweaty ,  tortured  face . The thump of every sucked-up hard magnolia fruit would make him wince . He may have been , at that moment , reflecting :  So much for modern technology !  He may have been wondering why he’d spent so much money on this troublesome  yard tool . Who knows what might have been filtering through his mind , if anything , at that moment .

I had suggested to him early on  that he hire the gardeners who had worked his front lawn for years before he arrived . ” I’m my own gardener ,” he told me . With a tinge , an unpleasant whiff ,  of arrogance . A little halo of hubris wobbled  above his head . My own gardener . We’ll see.  Then he didn’t do a speck of gardening for weeks , until he had dead grass and a leaf pile ten inches high and it became my problem . It was Don’s problem , too . Don lives in the house on the other side of the new neighbor . Don ,  having put up with the world for ninety-one years ,  has more patience than I have, though  .

“He works very hard , ” Don said . ” He’s always busy ,” he said . He doesn’t have time to do yardwork , ” he said . ” Maybe it’s not his thing ,” Don said , as the leafy weeks went on and the pile grew .  Until a couple of months passed . The magnolia tree discards  eventually began to pile up on Don’s lawn too .  ” He should clean up that mess , ” Don said .

And he did , finally , of course . He hired the gardeners who had previously tended the lawn . Now , though , they demanded more money . One pays a price for arrogance , I guess . Not too many leaves reach my yard now , or Don’s yard .

But , this post isn’t about my neighbor and his magnolia leaf issue . This post is about the mailman , the old guy who drives the post office truck from house to house to deliver the mail .mailman 4

But ,  before that , I will mention one more concern of mine  , by way of, and in the interest of, full disclosure  that violates the live and let live maxim.  I am admitting that I can’t stand people who park their cars in the middle  , taking up two spaces , at the curb in front of my house . I wrote a post about that once :  park in your space      No live and let live here ! No way . Pick one side or the other and leave space for another vehicle . It’s only courteous . It’s only thoughtful , compassionate , sympathetic . It’s only human ! But , I digress…………..

So the mailman drives the post office truck from house to house . At each house he climbs down and brings up the mail for one house , then he walks back to the truck and drives to the next house . I could understand that method of delivery if the houses on my block were further apart . But they are 50 foot lots . He drives 50 feet , parks , and then another 50 feet , and then another 50 feet ………….    It bothers me  . My tax money goes to this post office truck’s gas . If the guy can’t walk the route then he shouldn’t be out here delivering mail . Right ? Is it just me ?mail delivery

Ada says to forget it . Live and let live . To each his own .   I’m always saying ” To each his own,” to her . I half feel like reporting this lazy postman to the postmistress . Ada says, ” Don’t do that !” and I am not going to do that . After all : To each his own !  and Live and let live !  But , really !

casablancaI know , there are bigger problems in the world . I read about some of them every day in the newspaper ( online ) . And  it doesn’t take much to see that our little problems don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world ( somewhat Casablanca ) . But still !mail rural 2

I know , I know , I have too much time on my hands .

mailman 2



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I heard a buzzing in my ears . Something up the street , I thought . One of the mansions up on the hill , behind the gates . An alarm gone wrong .alley walk Arcadia 004

I saw some black plastic thing on the street , near the curb . I saw it yesterday and left it . Today is trash day . I figured when I put out the barrels I’ll pick it up and toss it into the trash . Unless my neighbor , Ed , sees it and gets rid of it first . I didn’t expect him to take care of it ;  he flies by so fast , back and forth from his house to his truck . He’s busy . Has his own business and hustles . But , then again , there’s always hope .

But , by today,  Ed hadn’t picked the item up from the street . So I did . I did , just as Ed was climbing out of his truck and heading for his house .clocks 012

The plastic was buzzing . The buzzing I’d been hearing all morning was coming from the black plastic device lying on the street . A couple of wires attached ; one of them cut .

” Hey , Ed “, I called . This was unprecedented . Ed and I had never had a conversation during the twenty years since Ada and I moved in next to him . ” This thing’s buzzing .”  I began to explain to Ed how I’d seen it yesterday , how I’d heard the buzzing all morning but had no idea it was emanating from the thing in the street .

” It’s not mine ,” he said . ” It might be a car alarm with a sensor . If it were me I’d report it to the police , ” he said . It was the longest conversation that Ed and and had ever had .

” That’s why I’m talking to you , ” I said . ” That’s what I’ll do .”

And I did . Two police cars arrived a few minutes later . I showed the cops the device . The older cop was in the same boat I was . He had no idea what the thing  was . The younger guy said it looked like those wires ” they tie up merchandise in an electronics store with ” . We all agreed that he was right , that that’s what it was .

The thing had stopped buzzing by then but was clicking . The buzzing had sounded like giant grasshoppers . The clicking sounded like a bomb about to go off . Maybe I’ve seen too many movies .

The older cop noted that it had no serial number or other identifying marks and that it was wet like maybe it had been out there on the street for a long time . We all agreed that I should toss it , trash it . I thanked them for responding and they thanked me for calling .

The officers chatted out there on the street in front of my house for a minute or two as their cars sat mid-street .  I’ll get questions later from the old folks on the street . Arcadia is a safe city . This kind of a mundane  thing is big excitement on my street . Good for a little gossip for awhile .cartoon country store

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3 random photos




brass knuckles carried by Lincoln's bodyguards


derringer john wilkes booth

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mardi gras

Irish mannaquin in a store window during Mardi Gras in New OrleaMardi gras 2mardi gras 3mardi gras 4mardi gras 5mardi gras 6Mardi Gras

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road trip

see americaPeople should travel around America .old car 2

Ada and I have a couple of friends whom we have taken road trips with  several times .

And we are ready to do it again . This time a short weekend trip to Lake Havasu , Arizona . There’s a bridge there we want to see . It was shipped over from London and set up in Havasu City in 1971 .

We will have to find a hotel for the night , one night . We trimmed our trip down to one day over and the next day back .coffee stand in Alaska

We’ll stop for coffee and a snack on the way .cafe piggies

We’ll find a good restaurant in Havasu to celebrate our  journey . If Havasu is a disaster it won’t matter much . We will still have a good time . We always have fun .  If things go wrong we will have a good story to tell from then on .Bogue's Restaurant sign in Birmingham, Alabama

restaurant cuba

Antique trucks and cars along the road in Montana

cafe rt 66london-bridge-from-our

coffee shop

View of vintage car at the Hackberry General Store on Route 66 i old car 3old car 1old car gas pumps


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Crook the Indian fighter

The Apache called him Nantan Lupan , Grey Wolf.

gen crook

crook statue

indian manwarrior

acoma man(indian)

indian babycree womangeronimo bandGeronimo said , ” General Crook said to me , ‘Why did you leave the   reservation ?’  I said , ‘ You told me  I might live in this reservation the same as white people lived …………”



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