Feb 29

You are a Good Egg. A Real Good Egg.

Isn’t it something?  I happen to know a LOT of COOL Chicks.

The coolest of cool, if you ask me.  I am very lucky that way.

I decided to write about all of this because I have been thinking about someone I met at my sister’s wedding in Montana.  I really only had the pleasure of hanging out with her for a few days… during the festivities.   This woman is so very kind, classy, smart, funny… and full of moxy.  You can see it in her eyes.  Yes, she is one of the coolest chicks I’ve ever met.  Her name is Ellie.  I wished I lived closer to where she does.  I would like to spend more time with her.  But at the same time… I am very glad to have met her.

And all of THAT….. then led me to THIS……   …. ..The cool chicks in my life come in many ages, shapes, styles, and sizes…. and our relationships vary from one to the next.

The coolest chick I know is, of course, that person nearest and dearest to my heart, my best friend, my confidant.  The one who saved my life and knows me better than I know myself.  My biggest fan, and my most honest sounding board.  What a gem.  A diamond.  The Hope Diamond.  A VERY Cool Chick indeed.

There are the coooooolios that I have known, for what feels like… my entire life.  We go way, way, way back… as they say.  Thick as thieves…..we are.  That is a good thing…. it means good and true friends who hold no secrets between them.  Yep.  Cool Chicks.

Then there is the range of the coolest chickadees that I’ve recently met in life.  These friends have turned out to be purer than gold.  And shinier too.  I know a bunch with huge hearts… some of them with hearts so big I don’t know how they stand up straight.   But they do.  They stand up very straight and strong.

Some cooly chicks I know merely from afar.  We may have been childhood friends, or even passing acquaintances.  But here we are now.  New-Day-Digital-Pen-Pals.  Social Networks and Airways.  Some are smart, or funny, or creative, or strong.  Others are brave.  Very brave.  Some have it all rolled into one.  Again…. you guessed it.  Cool Chicks.

Yes… most of those incredible women in my life are real tough birds….. they are.  Armor-Strong on the outside.  Powder-Puff-Soft on the inside.
I am thankful for each and every one of them.  They make my life special…. and good.

So to all the Cool Chicks I know…. THANKS.  I mean it.  A lot.

So I couldn’t end this without asking the age old question…..

Why did the chicken cross the road?   To prove to the possum that it could be done !

And finally… Being a Cool Chick is different from being a Chicken.
Mostly… because…..  Cool Chicks keep on trying.

“How long should you try? Until.” – J. Rohn

Feb 28

Leap Something….

Leap Year.

We all know that pesky old Leap Year.  Yes.  It is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month).  This, as it turns out….. is one of them.

Now… the whole deal is carried out…. in order to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.  Pesky, I’m telling you. Downright pesky.

I don’t know why Leap Years irk me so.  But they do.  This extra day thing gets my goat.   And the nerve of whoever mapped this out… to throw that extra day in February.   February 29th?  Why I ask you?  Why?  February is the crappiest of months.  Well, for us in these parts.  The dark of winter.  The blustery.  The cold.

Now… why wouldn’t they make the day….. oh, let’s say…. fall on the day after the 4th of July?  We could call it July 4A.  Make it a National Holiday.  Keep our flags up…. and shoot off extra fireworks.  Two back-to-back days of high-flying-fun in the snappy old US of A.

For every one else… well.   How about if we just take turns on this one?    Leap Year Day has been on February 29th for a couple thousand years.  So perhaps we will move it to July for the next two millenniums.  Yes?

The other thing I don’t like is the name.  It sounds too much like Leap Frog.  I got 29 stitches playing Leap Frog when I was a kid.  Who knew I was THAT close to the edge of that building?  Holy smokes.  I was in a world of hurt.  But that is another story entirely.

Maybe we should move this “tag-along-day” toward the Autumn months.   Then, we could  call it Leaf Year.

Or perhaps…… instead,  I think we should be calling it…….  “One Dang Extra Day” Year.

ODED Day.   People could write Odes about it.

I shall begin the tradition.  Right this very here and right this very now.

My Ode to this Abomination of a Calendar Day.  (Please sing it loud and very proud… to the the tune of…. “Oh Christmas Tree”.

Thanks.  You ROCK.  Okay, all together and with me……

“Oh Extra Day….
Oh Extra Day….
We don’t like you… so go away.
It ages us.
It ages us.
This extra day… it rages us.

We wanted March…. we liked it fine
You came and added extra time.

Oh Extra Day.
Oh Extra Day…
Why do you go and Leap Away?”

Okay.  So I’m not Gershwin.  But you should have seen me dancing a few minutes ago…..

Feb 27

Jack and Hank Eat Cake

Well, here it is… the tail end of February.  And on this date, we celebrated the births of two incredible authors.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) and John Steinbeck (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968).  Both men were amazing in their own right.  Or their own write.

Steinbeck was best know for his novels…. “The Grapes of Wrath” (Nobel Prize) and “Of Mice and Men”.   Longfellow was popular in his day…  more for his poetry than anything.  He wrote numerous classics, including “Voices of the Night” and “Ballads and Other Poetry”… and of course “The Song of Hiawatha”….

So…. on their birthdays…. I summoned them both for a brief interview.

PK:  Hi Guys.  Thanks for joining me this evening.  Well… truthfully… I am a little down.  There is so much bad news in the world.  Afghanistan has gone crazy.  School shootings.  Threats of war.  Mothers injecting daughters with heroine.  What do you make of all of this madness?

JS:  Man is the only kind of varmint sets his own trap, baits it, then steps in it.

HWL:  If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

PK:  Well…. looky at you two smarty pants.  Both… so…. so…. cryptic and enigmatic.  Alrighty.  So.  I shouldn’t be too down on the world right now… all that is going wrong …. and all the bad things that people are doing?

JS:  One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.

HWL:  The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.

PK:  In that case…. I’m getting a dang umbrella.

So, then…. do you have advice for us?  In perhaps…. making this world a better place?

JS:  No man really knows about other human beings. The best he can do is to suppose that they are like himself.

HWL:  Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

PK:  Great advice. Both.  So… maybe we should switch it up to something lighter?  I’ve heard that you are both afraid of the dark.  Is this true?

HWL: The nearer the dawn the darker the night.

JS:  Sure as shit… I am afraid of the dark.  Leave the lights on when I sleep.  And I have footie pajamas now.  That has helped.  They are light blue.

PK:  Well, thanks for your honesty there John.  I think.    Okay… how about the Oscars on Sunday night?  What’d you think?

JS:  The Tree of Life sucks.  War Horse should have won best film.  I like a good war movie.

HWL:  Uh….. Angelina Jolie looked like an imbecile with her leg jutted out all night.  Was her knee hot, or something?  What was the problem?

PK:  Well… I agree.  The Tree of Life was not my favorite.  And old Angelina… well….  maybe she was trying to get people’s minds off the fact that her husband was in The Tree of Life.  Well……hey guys……..  this has been more fun than a barrel of pickles.

Any parting words of wisdom for us?  You know…. about life.

JS:  No two journeys are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.

HWL:  It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.

PK:  Got it.  Do the next right thing.

Happy Birthday Boys.

Feb 26

Is it Gene? Check the I.D….

DNA.

Some think it stands for Dynamic Ninja Armadillos.

But no.

In reality…. it is Deoxyribonucleic acid.  It has a tremendous purpose in this universe.   As it happens….. it is a nucleic acid containing THE genetic instructions.  These little  “how-to’s” are used in the development and functioning of ALL known living organisms.  That includes me…. and you…… and your little dog too.

And finally…..the DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes.  Not like Levis or Wranglers.  But like Siskel, Simmons, Wilder and Kelly.  Genes.

That good old snappy DNA evidence has come a long way…. hasn’t it?  We see it about every other night on some TV crime show.  And we hear it on the news, and such.

Well… for a few years now, they have been testing the DNA of dogs.  We had Maxine done some time ago.  But earlier this month .. …. I sent samples to the lab for Ollie, Frances… and Maxine again.

The results are in.  Envelope please.

Maxine…. same as before:   a lot of West Highland Terrier  + some Shih Tsu  + a little bit of some other breed… maybe Cairn Terrier or Border Collie.

Frances…. another big surprise.  NOT.   A lot of Labrador Retriever + a little of some other dog… maybe Scheperke, or Schnauzer.

Ollie…. now this truly WAS a big stinking surprise.  Equal parts Jack Russel Terrier + Pekinese.

WHAT?!!  Dang it.   Now… before I hack off a bunch of Jack Russel owners, and Pekinese owners… well…  the truth of the matter is….  I am about ready to get all of you folks all jacked out of shape.

Since I was a kid… there have been a handful of breeds I am not fond of.  At the top of that list is the….. yes…. the Pekinese… and  yes…. the Jack Russel Terrier.  I just never, ever, ever…. wanted one.  I know they are wildly popular… but just not my cup of tea, my bag of donuts, my pick of the litter, my cream of the crop.  Nope.  No way.  No how.

And now.  Looky who is in my life.

Well… another lesson learned fro PK the Chowder Head.

The lesson is …. well……  it is sort of like … “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  Mixed in with a little… “you won’t know if you like something unless you try it.”   Sort of.

But maybe more like….. well…  you know how canned tuna kind of smells bad…. … and so does a jar of mayonnaise.  But if you mix the two together…. you have semi-delicious Tuna Salad.

Okay… that’s not really it at all.

More like…. in this life… we probably shouldn’t say ….  “I don’t know about this.  Therefore… it must not be true, or good, or right, or possible.”  Maybe first we should  study things to know about them.  Then once we know about them… we might be able to better understand those things.  And finally… once we gain a true understanding…. then we can determine if it is right for us… or not.  Maybe.

And Ollie is as right as rain, I’ll tell you .  As right as rain.

Right down to the Dynamic Ninja Armadillos.

______________

“Do not wait for the last judgment. It comes every day.”   ― Albert Camus

Feb 25

Here’s Looking at You, Kid…..

And the nominees are…..

You know.  I am a prrrreeettttty big fan of movies.  I like them brand new and hot off the press.  Or the reel.

I like them old.  Heck, I can view the same movie time and again.  In fact, I do.  Sometimes, I will watch a movie in pieces.  I don’t mean that I am in pieces… crying, upset…. that sort of thing.  No…..  I mean that I can put a DVD in… and watch a bit.  Then I will come back to it the next day… and then come back to it again.  Sort of like reading a book.  A little here, a little there.

And, as it happens… I quote movies when the opportunity strikes.   I try not to do it too often.  But dang it… sometimes I can’t help myself.  And…. “”Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”  Okay.  Okay.

Well, it dawned on me a bit earlier, that the Oscars will be airing in less than 24 hours.  The Oscars.  The biggest awards ceremony for those movie we all love.  And, as I mentioned, the nominees are…

For Best Picture….
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

I’ve only seen three of those this year.  The Help; Midnight in Paris; The Tree of Life.

I have to tell you… concerning two of those choices….   I really have to wonder what the Academy is thinking.

Personally, I think “The Tree of Life” was the worst movie I have ever seen in MY tree of life.  Worse than “Ishtar”… “Gigli”…. and….. “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” all rolled into one.

“Midnight in Paris” was just okay.  Typical Woody Allen.

“The Help” was tremendously good in my book.

So now I say…..”What the heck?”   Who is doing the voting for the list of nominees?  Larry, Curly and Mo?  Some Nun somewhere?  Oh…..  I don’t know.  Clearly, I am no expert.  (Heck, I thought “The Lincoln Lawyer” was a lot better than “The Tree of Life.”  And I typically like those “artsy” type movies.)  This one was the Pitts.

Okay, enough from me…. I will put the old “Rex Reed” personae away for the rest of the night.

However. I have a new idea for a better Awards Ceremony for the Movies.  We will call it the Canine Film Festival Awards.   The Fidos.   Yes.  I say we leave to voting to the dogs.  That seems to be where it is going anyway.  Put a bunch of dogs in one big yard.   And then.  Bring in the lists…..

Write down all the nominated movie titles.  Each Movie Title on a separate piece of paper (or actors names… or what ever the particular category).   Then let the voting begin….. by peeing proxy.   The last piece of paper to get peed on… WINS.  And there you have it.

This system HAS to be better than what they are doing now.  The statue will be a….. big Golden FIDO, in a beret.  Coolio.  Two paws up.  Heck…  I will tune in just to watch the voting.

“Dogs. The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? But rather, Can they suffer?”  -Jeremy Bentham

This much I will tell you.  If you make a dog watch “The Tree of Life”… that dog will surely…. without a doubt……   suffer.


Feb 24

Call me if you want to ketchup….

Ponder is a great word.  Sometimes it goes hand and hand with Wonder.  Both rhyme with Yonder.  Another terrific selection of a word.

The only other rhymer I can think of is Launder.  It is not much fun to do….. AND it isn’t spelled quite like the others  .. …. so it doesn’t really count.

With all of that said…. tonight  … I suggest we go over yonder, and ponder with wonder.  Because… as you all know by now… I like those fun-filled facts.

Basketball was never my strong sport.  Softball… soccer…. yes.  Da basketball … nope.  It was because I am not a very good jumper…. at all.  Well, apparently, I am not the only one.  Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump at all.  Not even a little.   Can you imagine if they did?  Holy smacker-olly.

I speculate it is not because of their size.  No.  What I found out is that the elephant is the only animal with four knees.   The prospect of coordinating all four knees at once is just too much for old Dumbo… is what I think.  Plus, they don’t own any Nike Air High Tops.  (I, on the other hand, have no excuse for my vertically challenged status.)

One in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.  Imagine how proud the parents must be.

Now… I know some Cow Farmers.  Actually, I know a lot of Cow Farmers.  I guess that is the “politically correct” term for them.  I mean, they don’t actually stick the cows in the ground and watch them grow…. like bean farmers.  They keep them in barns and pastures… and yank on their udders from time to time.   Milk comes out and they shoot it into buckets.  Honestly!  Milk comes out!   I would NOT jerk you around on this one.

At any rate… this is for my farmer friends.  The most money ever paid for a cow in an auction was $1.3 million.   I bet them udders are insured.  Pink is the new gold, by the way.

I used to love the Sunday Comics.  It was my favorite part of the paper.  But this little tidbit has escaped my memory.  Lucy and Linus (who where brother and sister) had another little brother named Rerun. (He sometimes played left-field on Charlie Brown’s baseball team….when he could find it!).   That is all according to hours of internet research on my part.  I never saw Rerun. And I can’t imagine why his parents named him that.    This all bothers me.  Keeps me up late at night….

I like my fast food every now and again … it is true.  But not enough to verify the next fact.  They say that on average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonald’s Big Mac bun.  Who knew, really.  I guess I am glad for that.  I like the sesame seeds on the bun of the Mac.  But that good old Special Sauce is the best part.  Or it could be the two all-beef patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion.  Could be.

Heinz Ketchup was invented the same year Alexander Graham Bell made his first phone call. My question is this.  What did Alex eat on his French Fries up to this point in history?  How could he EVEN think to invent a phone… with no ketchup for his fries.   Ha. Revelation.   I bet he counted seeds on buns to clear his mind.

Finally……  You are not the same person you were last year.  It seems… that every year about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.  This frightens me to no end.    I really thought I knew you.

Feb 23

Through the cracks of time…

This little plant managed to sprout itself up from between this rock, and this hard place.  It wasn’t there a week ago.  It probably won’t be there by the end of the month.  Things come.  Things go.

We would like for those good moments to keep on going.  For that Fudge-Brownie Chocolate Ice Cream Cone to be perpetual… ..  for that walk down the aisle …. to last until the end of time.  For that warm Sunny-Day-Picnic to never, ever, end.

On the other end of the stick…. that case of the flu… that algebra test …  that moment filled with grief…  … those moments can not pass quickly enough.

So whether it is good… or it is bad… or even if it is ugly…..it is bound to evolve and transform.  Change is just what happens here on earth.  Every minute of every hour of every day.

So whatever is happening in this very moment… “it is only for now.”  Yep.  Whatever “IT” happens to be …. .. …  that thing is going to change.

“It’s Only For Now”  – Nicky, Rod, Princeton, Kate Monster, Trekkie Monster, Bad Idea Bears, et al (Avenue Q)

Feb 22

Helmet Head and Bowling Balls.

I read a newspaper article today about the popularity of “Baby Helmets” in the United States.  Who knew.

There seems to be an influx of parents putting their infants and toddlers in these little helmets… to protect their noggins in case of a “Fall-Down-And-Go-Boom” Incident.

The meat of the article continued on with this notion: Baby Helmets may be doing children more harm than good. Apparently, the number of head injuries in wee-ones is relatively small. No pun intended.

Yet, putting a helmet on the kid… according to Child Specialist Tim Gill…. takes away the “FAIL” response. “That’s because children learn from mistakes. Human beings are nature’s greatest learning machines, and this kind of thing stops kids from learning the consequences of their mistakes.”

Helmets on Kids. Overprotective parents keeping their babies in bubbles. Which also causes paranoia and late developers.

Well… you can just slap me upside the head on this one. When we were kids… we’d ride our bikes in heavy traffic… eat Crisco right out of the can… walk 83 miles to school in 5 feet of snow. Yes indeedy.  Heck… I cracked my cranium a blue-million times when I was growing up… and look at me today!  (Okay.  That’s not the greatest example.  Forget that last observation.)

But you know, I’ve been saying this sort of thing for a long time. Kids growing up today are too protected. We have parents suing people for all sorts of things. Attention Deficit Disorder on the rise. Peanut allergies. Obesity. Those earrings that stretch the lobes into really big round gaping hole circles….. All of this comes down to ONE singular cause.

Bumper Bowling. You know what I mean …  .. … those rubbery barriers known as bumpers….. are placed at the edges of the bowling lane.  They keep errant balls in play and out of the gutter. Bumper Bowling was started in 1982 by Phil Kinzer at Jupiter Lanes in Dallas, TX. Way to go Kinzer. Brainiac.

I strongly suggest that this was the beginning of the Decline of Modern Civilization.  The Kinzer Effect.

Here’s the Deal-O-Rama. We don’t always hit the pins in life. No. Sometimes we throw the ball in the gutter… as hard as we take aim and try. But we step up to the old ball return again…. dry our hand on the neat little blower thing… lift that oil-coated heavy ball up to our chins …. and heave it toward the headpin again.

Sometimes we through Strikes. Other times… the old 7-10 Split. And yet others… our balls end up in the gutter. Not our minds. Our balls. But the fact of the matter is… we keep on trying. Not because the bowling shoes are so dang stylish. They are. We continue to strive because we have The Winner Inside.

So there you have it. Do away with Bumper Bowling, and things will start looking up again. Baby Helmets will disappear.   Justin Beeber will fade into obscurity.  Peace will take hold in the Middle East.  The grass will be green on THIS side of the fence again.  Unemployment Rates will Fall.  And Happy Days Are Here Again.

“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.” – Zig Ziglar

Feb 21

Phone Home.

Today, I stopped by J.C. Penny’s to buy some bath towels. I rarely shop at Penny’s. But, for some reason, I opted to pull in to their lot… instead of Target or Dillard’s or a few others.

While paying for my merchandise, one of the cashiers dropped the magic barcode reader. She let out a huge sigh, and pronounced… “Ohhhh. It has been ONE of those days.” I just smiled and (jokingly) said… “I think it has something to do with how the planets are aligning right now.”

The other cashier looked at me with grave sincerity. She then cocked her head slightly and asked… “Do you believe in Aliens too? Because I do. Have you ever listened to AM with Jasper on 94? All sorts of people call in like us. They talk about lots of great stuff….”

Now…. there is no telling what my facial expression might have been at that moment.  I felt the side of my face all scrunching up though.  The dreaded Brain-Stumble was sneaking up on me.  After an awkward silence …. the other cashier abruptly said….”Annnnnnd did you find everything you were looking for Ma’am?”

Now… this is the third time in just over a week someone has asked me directly about my Alien Knowledge.

At the Harris Teeter (one of our Supermarkets in Charleston), I was at the magazine and newspaper rack, looking for a Geek Magazine. Something Apple-ish. There was a young, nicely dressed and well-quaffed man, standing there. He had in hand, one of those Tabloid Rags. Liz Taylor and Michael Jackson spotted at diner near Elvis’ Mansion. You know the ones.

He looked up from his reading, and said to me… “There’s an article this week about Area 51. Do you keep up with what’s happening at Roswell?” As it would be, I experienced Brain-Stumble….. and couldn’t really form complex sentences.  Then my face scrunched up…. AGAIN. “Ahhhh. I’ve sorta’ lost track these days.”  That’s all I could muster.

The third instance was in the Post Office. A guy in line was really going on and on…. loudly… about all sorts of things. I think he might have been having some other issues.

At any rate… he stopped his rant… looked directly at me.. and asked… “Have you seen the Aliens in here? Did you see them pass by you at the door? They walked right by you.  Can you tell what they put in here? What is the ONE thing that doesn’t belong in here? Do you know…..?” (Again, Brain-Stumble hits.  No words are forming in MY mouth….)

“That RIGHT!” He said. “Ha! The Clock!”

Whew-weeeeeee. Three Alien Encounters in one week. This indicates to me, one of three things.

1. There is something in the water down here…..
2. I look like the “Alien-Believer-Club” Type.
3. We are in for a crap-load of trouble from some Aliens in a nearby galaxy.

I am leaning toward number two… just because I hope #1 and #3 are false. But who is to say….

Maybe there is something in the water down here. And… maybe the Aliens put it there.

In a recent study conducted by the University of Connecticut….  61 percent of those surveyed believe extraterrestrial life exists on other planets.

“How would it be if we discovered that aliens only stopped by earth to let their kids take a leak?”  — Jay Leno

Feb 20

The air we breathe….

Sometimes.  When I look around me, I am completely amazed.  To gaze out and find this sky and sea… looking back at me.

The life we are in is full of wonder.

This is an amazing place, this world of ours.  This existence.  The concept that you and I know each other…. out of all the other people on this planet.  How incredibly excellent and considerable is that?

Yes, the fact that we are lucky enough to have met, and become friends.  And no matter where you are right now…. on any part of this planet…. we are connected.  Our feet are touching the same ground,  and we can look to the sky, and see the very same sun, and moon, and stars.

Whether it is by design, or by chance, I can never say for sure.

But it is a profound and brilliant thing… this heart that beats, and brain that thinks, and soul that feels….  to know you, and to share this time, with you… my friend.

Yes.  I am so glad to be right here, right now…. in the very midst of all this connectedness.   While it is far from perfect…. it holds so much for us to learn, to feel, and to experience.

And like it or not….that molecule of air you just drew in, may have been one that I sneezed out a couple of weeks ago.  I’m just sayin’.

But that’s what friends are for.

“No love, no friendship, can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.”  – Francois Mocuriac