Antimatter spring

Tammy in motion

This spring is beginning to resemble last year’s cool, wet season. The damp is ok because I’m sure the drought will probably return and we will need as much ground water as possible without causing flooding.
Have any of you seen the movie Angels and Demons based on a book by Dan Brown? I have not seen it but I just a few days ago finished reading the book. Much like Brown’s The Lost Symbol, he goes into great detail to explain the background of just about every sect, society, and cult which he uses in the book. Most of it is medieval and Renaissance stuff which, I suppose, may be boring if you are not much interested in such, and truthfully, the story would work just as well without so much detail.
The story is about Robert Langdon’s (hero of The da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol) search in the Vatican for an antimatter bomb which was created in the famous physics lab C.E.R.N which is located in Switzerland. A cult—long thought to be extinct—within the church’s fringes known as the Illuminati, has purportedly re-arisen and its hatred for religion in general and the Vatican in particular has spurred it to murder the Pope and plant the antimatter bomb to destroy everything within the walls of the Vatican, including the museums which hold some of the most valuable art and manuscripts in the world. Langdon and a beautiful young scientist from CERN are sent to try and save four Bishops, one of which will be elected as the next Pope. The pair must use centuries-old clues to find the hidden temple of the Illuminatus to recover clues as to where the bomb is hidden.
It is a well researched book, and I for the most part enjoyed it until the near the end when author Brown pushes credibility a bit too far when Langdon has to jump out of the Papal helicopter which has the “found” bomb aboard. He is high above the Vatican and has no parachute and Langdon’s well known good luck is pushed into the realms of Superman. He cannot fail because he, to quote Elwood Blues, “is on a mission from God”. I will give this one three stars because it has a great plot and story line, but the climax really needs work. At least the heroes get to make love at the very end.

Photos courtesy of Tammy as she and her dance group learn hair moves. Thanks, Tammy.


Have a Thursday!


Learning the moves

Published in: on March 31, 2011 at 10:51 am  Comments (8)  
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Wet worms

Little bird

Yesterday was near perfect weather, yet a bit chilly for porch sitting except in direct sunshine. Today is rainy and cooler and robins are working the lawns for earthworms that are attempting to get away from saturated soil; nature has its own catch-22s.
Carolyn is a bit disgusted this morning; she had to raise nearly all her accounts by a few dollars to make up for extra gasoline expenses. Last evening she found out one of them is getting new bids for cleaning. So far one bid has come in and it is $150 per month more than what Carolyn charges. The insult is that she has been cleaning the place since 1995; it is a Fortune 500 trucking company and they, of all businesses, should know how hard fuel prices are hitting America’s vehicular dependent companies, yet small business are expected to carry the brunt of it and not complain. This same company raises their per miles driven fees each time fuel prices go up a few cents. I told Carolyn that with the crappy way her business is going already, and even if she doesn’t lose the place, she should immediately raise them $100 per month and tell them if they don’t like it they can take a flying fuck at the moon!
The huge forsythia at the end of the front porch is in full bloom, but since the heavy snow of winter-before-last smashed it down and spread it out, it is just not as pretty. If I had any idea we would be living here in another year, I would cut it down and allow it to regrow all new shoots; they would bloom next spring and in a few years it would again be beautiful. It has not made a new shoot since the big snow worked it over. It was a large, mature bush when we got it in 1995 and was the first landscape item we bought for the yard.
Wednesday; the weekly day of transition. Have a good one!

Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 11:42 am  Comments (8)  
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Starz and stories

STARZ was one of the best bands I’ve seen in concert. They opened for Bob Seeger at Johnson City’s Freedom Hall in 1977 and when their set was over, a lot of local rockers were more than impressed.

Not much going on in my little world today. I am going to add some more to my story about Guy’s Cafe and will put it on Brass Tacks when I get it where I want it. BTW; I put another of my stories on that blog. It was created from my 1980 English composition class although I have changed it a lot. It is about eighty percent fabrication and the remainder mightily stretches the truth. To understand the story it would be best if you know a bit about our Revolutionary War; for some reason, my British friends who read it didn’t care for it. Roy and Wayne were playing Tong, a card game, while having the conversation.


Have a great Tuesday!

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm  Comments (4)  

Cheeseburger and Pepsi

Guy's Cafe

Walk with me to a place I call yesterday. In years, it is more than half of a century gone; in my reverie, it was a few hours ago. Yesterday was 1958, and the place was downtown Johnson City, Tennessee. Open your mind and see the little corner cafe as it was in a simpler era, a time when there was no use in hurrying and scurrying about living a daily life. Men worked during the days on jobs in factories, stores, and small offices. A majority of women were home raising and teaching their children. Most families owned a big, wooden box with a small screen displaying less than perfect black and white moving pictures which could enhance their lives with the latest news and entertainment; a time when news and entertainment were not the same thing. In the evening, a man would come home from his daily job duties where there would be a meal cooking on the stove and soon the family would sit down together and feel blessed by their fortunate circumstances. After supper, they would migrate to the living room of their modest but well cared for house and watch TV for a few hours. The viewing fare then was about the same as now; local news followed by network feed news from around the world. One thing different clearly manifested itself; the news was more important than the news anchor person. In those days, a commercial would be interrupted for breaking news whereas now breaking news is at the mercy of senseless commercials. After the news was over, the few available channels offered variety shows, sit-coms, police and detective shows, and western dramas where having a horse between a cowboy’s legs was more important than the cowboy being between the legs of a saloon girl. The children of the American family were usually in bed by no later than nine o’clock with the parents following by ten. There was really not much to do compared to what we now take for granted; it was an age of routine but not at all boring.
Guy’s Cafe was located at the corner of W. Market St. and McClure St. on the edge of downtown and at the time of my innocence the little sidewalk covering over the door did not exist and neither would a weed like the one shown been allowed to flourish. Remember with me the plate glass windows that ran the length of the McClure street side. The two front windows were regular house-type windows and the door was a heavy wooden door with glass panes in its top half. Inside and along the windows was a row of booths, not many, but they were typical vinyl and chrome of the period. Near the back was a jukebox which seemed to be in a constant mode of musical activity. Beside the booths was a narrow isle and opposite them was a counter with stools which matched the decor of the booths. The lighting was mostly from the large windows in daytime and from small overhead fixtures for the supper crowd. Attached to the back of the counter between each two stools was a miniature of the corner jukebox and they were also placed on each booth table. This feature was a boon for the worker who had a short lunch break and wanted to eat his beans and cornbread while listening to Hank Williams sing Kaw-liga.
At the back and the very end of the isle was a single uni-sex bathroom for use by the public and the establishment workers. behind the counter there was barely room enough for two workers to pass by each other and over another small counter behind that was the long, narrow kitchen and storage area. The entrance and exit end of the dining counter was cut diagonally so the front door could be opened and leave room enough for people to stand while paying their bill at the cash register.
One summer day when I was 14 years old, I was in town with my mother; we had bought new school clothes for me because the time of my annual autumn angst was approaching. Afterward, she was mostly window shopping while awaiting my dad to come and pick us up in the car. She suggested–probably after sufficient whining by me–that I go along to Guy’s Cafe and get myself a cheeseburger and Pepsi. That was at a time when mothers didn’t have to worry about their children being abducted while walking alone in the small city. She gave me a dollar and down the streets I merrily went to have the best cheeseburger in town, and for all I know, in any town. I went in and found an empty stool and just as I sat down, I felt someone squeeze my shoulder. I looked up and beside me sat my uncle who I had not seen in many years; one day he just picked up and caught a bus, looking for new horizons. No one in the family heard of him for all that time, and all of a sudden he was sitting beside me. He said Wayne is that you and I nodded and said Buford is that you. We sat eating burgers and talking; he asking how everyone was I asking where he had been. He had worked his way to Chicago where he found a good job in a car factory and he lived in a boarding house; he was a lifetime bachelor and was able to drift with the wind. Finally my parents came in and there was momentary shock on their faces at seeing their “little” boy having a happy talk with whom they thought to be a stranger, and even more shock when I turned and grinned about my “find” and Buford was recognized. It was a good time to be 14 that day; I had finally become old enough to be trusted lallygagging around town on my own, finding my long-lost uncle, having a superb cheeseburger, and getting to keep my dollar because Buford paid for my lunch.
I don’t really miss the “old days”, but would like to go back, even if only for a few minutes to places like Guy’s Cafe and once more enjoy the sights, sounds, feels, smells, and tastes of indelible memories such as this.
I made the photo in 2007; since then the little building has been demolished and there is a little used parking lot in its place. In my real world, it will be there forever as dishes tinkle, smells of fresh cheeseburgers come from the kitchen and the Everly Brothers are on the jukebox singing All I Have To Do Is Dream.

Published in: on March 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm  Comments (6)  
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Ducks and hollies and melons

The Hollies were the best of the Beatles “clone” bands

I had to take a couple days away from the PC for various reasons, but I will be here when I can.
Tammy, take a look at the last few of these comments.
His net page.
Tarte is also on FB.
Mark is in his new house and has already murdered a holly shrub. I suppose it is for the best; sharp-pointed things can be dangerous to people whom are unwary or have had a beer or two. In 20 or so years when he retires, the house will have become a great investment, especially if he decides to live his golden years in Florida. Maybe he can move in beside Mike and Tammy, put up lots of security lights, own a pack of pit bulls and slobbering Great Danes, and be a perfect neighbor from up north. Be sure to have an outside speaker system so all of you can enjoy some down home Pavarotti.
Jola, our melons, other than watermelons, are mostly varieties of muskmelons (cantaloupes). A muskmelon has a green-yellow, rough, and slightly wrinkly feeling skin with a sweet, musky tasting yellow flesh. The honeydew is another variety of muskmelon which is a bit larger but has a smooth skin of a shade of green-yellow and a sweeter, greenish flesh. Another which is popular on the west coast of US is the casaba which has an almost white flesh.
Have a (add your own superlative) week, my friends.

Published in: on March 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm  Comments (8)  
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