Saturday, December 10, 2011

Losing My Religion

"Missing My Grocery Stores"


Does anybody but people living in Oklahoma know what the store with the name "Reasors" hanging on the front canopy sells?

OK...I'll end the suspense and tell you that out here in the Midwest they are the best dang Grocery store in the state...

but still...

While living in the "Atlanta Metropolitan Area" I was pretty much a Kroger man...with the occasional visit to Winn Dixie when I was looking for Beef or even Publix when the straits were dire.

Then on St. Simons Island, GA we continued our subsistence on Winn Dixie Beef (Winn Dixie being based less than 100 miles south out of Jacksonville, Florida) and the chain Harris Teeter which catered to the upper crust consumers driving past our Condo and house going out to Sea Island.

In retrospect, I went to Harris Teeter almost every day when I was spending most of my time lounging around sitting by the pool...

Since those glorious semi-unemployed days and now before moving across country, while in Knoxtown we again became firm Kroger consumers with three "regular" Kroger stores within five miles and one "Super Kroger" (with a second under construction as I write) within a similar distance from my back door.

But now today our grocery needs are met by Reasor's with their weird Isle layout with everything running perpendicular to the front door rather than parallel to the sides of the store.

Seriously, I feel like I'm in a drunken stupor just walking into their store layout looking for a half gallon of Orange Juice and some Hunt's "Petite Diced" Tomatoes.

Ok...this dissertation is getting a little obtuse even for me...but you get my drift.

When you regularly cook like I do and when you walk into your grocery store you are not "shopping" i.e. wandering aimlessly down each and EVERY FREAKING isle looking for corn starch or capers...

Most of the time I come into my local grocery store...a which I expect and demand to be a veritable purveyor of gastronomic ecstasy...and conduct the next 15.375 minutes like I'm a Navy Seal.

Strike...

Take Prisoners...

Get Out...

You know?

Feel free to consider the above admissions and contemplations and get back with me if you feel I'm in error.

Otherwise...That will be all...for now...

Livin' In An Electronics Store Tulsa Town At Christmas

My Electronics Equipment OWNS My Butt...


So here's my problem here out in Tulsa, Oklahoma this morning...Ladies and Gentlemen.

Try to commiserate with me...if you will.

It's like this...

In about the past 60 days I've acquired intentionally or in some cases, (like a progression of THREE new company cellphones ending with the current Blackberry), un-intentionally more new devices containing computer chips and being delivered into my life with owners manuals and requiring my daily attention than I can possibly deal with at my age.

I've already mentioned the new used car...our Audi Q7 "crossover" SUV...that basically drives itself and if I'm not careful each weekday morning instead of going to work I find myself heading to Jamaica because this thing can basically read my mind and it does things based on the environment around it and where it is at any given moment without my input.

Thus far I've managed to hold on to the steering wheel and poke a few extra buttons and watch the two GPS screens and make it back home each afternoon.

Then once I arrive back to the new house each day I have to deal with THIS GREAT NEW BUILDING which it turns out since we moved in is also intelligent.

In the process of wandering around looking at stuff I've learned that there's some kind of "multi-zone" heating and cooling system which I've yet to have the time to sit down and read the manual and understand...

Out in the Garage there's a control panel with the "Rain Bird" logo on it which controls our in ground "multi-zone" sprinkler system.  I stacked a pile of boxes in front of it a couple of days after we moved in because our lawn is currently dormant in the Tulsa winter conditions and frankly...

I didn't feel like reading another operating manual for free when I'm up to my ass in alligators at work learning how to model giant steel structures in my new RISA structural design software.

And then we have this "Security System" which has a keypad beside the Garage Door and the Front Door and yet ANOTHER ONE in the master panel in our bedroom and while I appreciate the idea of being able to cause it to dial 911 and make a fuss with alarms and shoot lasers and machine guns in my absence...

I just wish someone would tell me how to turn the volume down on the annoying BEEEEEPPP it makes each and every time I open my door in the middle of the night to walk outside for a minute to pick up some more firewood.

Speaking of firewood...

We bought a giant pile of seasoned wood last weekend, and since then Missy the Turbo Pup has learned to hang around the Hearth most nights basking in the warmth and glow of a good fire.  I think that she remembers her younger days when we lived on St. Simons Island and had a Tabby mortar fireplace we used a few dozen nights each year when the weather dipped down close to freezing.

Our house in Knoxtown was fireplaceless and that was one of the few things we didn't love about the place.

Meanwhile, back to discussions about combustion...

I started one (a fire) last night about 6:30 PM and it's been roaring now for over ten hours. 

I intend to try to keep it going non-stop all the way through the weekend until I have to head back to work Monday because other than a little shopping later this morning I personally don't intend to move much further than 75 feet away.

After all...I'm pretty darn accomplished at doing absolutely nothing, and this weekend other than a little homeowner stuff that is ALL I will be working on.

Hope you all have a LOVELY pre-Christmas weekend and try not to spend more than you can pay back on the old credit cards...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Colonel Potter's Gone

My Heart Is M*A*S*H*E*D

I just learned that yesterday Harry Bratsberg A.K.A. Henry Morgan A.K.A Harry Morgan AKA Bill Gannon (Dragnet) AKA Colonel Harry Potter has passed away.

I feel older and older every day, and every day it seems that I know and/or admire more dead people than live people.












RIP Colonel Potter....

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

December 7, 1941

"A Date Which Will Live In Infamy..."


I wasn't around on this day in 1941 when Japan executed their attack on the US Pacific Naval outpost of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii...

69 years ago (oops...make that SEVENTY YEARS AGO.)

But I've heard the stories about that day my entire life (since I was born shortly less than 18 years later) and lived outside a military base for the following 18 years after that period and had family members which served in the world war which ensued.

I saw the pride and fire and pain in their eyes when the topic came up.

Funny thing...

most of the men and women I knew really wouldn't talk in detail about their service but did have a strong opinion about our country's ultimate participation in what has come to be known as World War II...the sequel to World War I..."The War to end all Wars."

I guess that some people would say that it is easy for me to sit here at my age and compromised health in the floor in front of a computer in my living room and filibuster about the need for our country to continue to take the lead on the world stage in enforcing the rule of law and defend humanity as we have over the past 235 years.

But if something like the attack on Pearl Harbor happened again this morning and if the US military called me I'd get off my butt and go...even if it was only to do things like issue uniforms or run a computer or paint sidewalk stripes on Navy bases.

So this morning...in an out of character moment...instead of offering political commentary, I'll just offer my thanks for the service and sacrifices made by those patriots which served both before we officially declared war on Germany and Japan and after President Roosevelt's famous speech...the closing passages which I offer here:

"Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire."

All you have to do today is change the date in that speech to September 11, 2001 and substitute the words "Radical Muslims" for "Japanese Empire" and you have a pretty good starting point for solving things around here for the next 69 years....

but our politicians don't have the backbone and spleen to do it in convincing manner like we did in the 1940's.

In closing, on this anniversary of the loss of thousands of lives in Hawaii in a cowardly act of war, I offer my own hearty "God Bless America."

Yet I also observe that it is critical that we in this next election in 2012 somehow manage to overcome the forces which are working from within to make us a country which could not today and would not in 1941 have been able to muster the manpower and industrial might to succeed in winning a war forced upon us.

Monday, December 05, 2011

70 Channels And Nothing On TV...

GOD Save Us All...


Just in case you haven't been paying attention, I'm pretty cranky these days because I'm a little tired from finishing the details of moving over the last six weeks and a lot tired from doing my new job about 50 hours a week in the process.

My internal Internet and cable TV is still a work in progress here at the new house--the surround sound system for the living room is still un-installed sitting in a cabinet under the space awaiting the new living room TV...

but meanwhile I'm finishing some work here in the early morning hours of Monday, December 5th, 2011 and I just poked the button on the remote control enough times to scan the entire channel spectrum and it is truly disgusting the bullshit which is on the Cable TV system at this time of the night.

What I want to know but am almost afraid to ask is this...

Who is their target market and do these people watching this stuff actually VOTE?

Just wondering...