Archive for July, 2009

Happy Birthday Punkin

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 by tom

Staceypunkin was born on July 27, which is just perfect for her.  Why?

 

Because Leo Durocher and A-Rod were born on July 27th, and Stacey loves baseball.

 

Because Singaporean comic book artist Foo Swee Chin was born 7/27/77, and my Punkin is a wonderful colorer. 

 

Because Maya Rudolph and Bill Engval are also 7/27 babies, and Stacey loves to laugh, and makes me laugh.

 

Because legendary film critic Vincent Canby was born on July 27, and the girl is very picky about what movies she watches (maddeningly picky sometimes) 😉 .

 

Because actress/director Betty Thomas was born July 27th, 1948; Ms Thomas directed “The Brady Bunch Movie,” and Stacey’s family is like about 10 Brady Bunches combined.

 

Because on July 27th, 1987, RMS Titanic, Inc, began salvaging The Titanic, and Punkin would certainly never allow a shipwreck to litter her clean floors for 74 years.

 

Because July 27th, 1949 saw the first flight of the DeHavilland Comet, the world’s first jet-powered passenger plane; S wants to travel and see mountains and snow.

 

Because Bugs Bunny made his first appearance on July 27th, 1940, and Punkin loves cartoons.

 

Because on this date 143 years ago, Cyrus W. Field successfully installed the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable; Stacey doesn’t send telegraph messages, but text messages.

 

Perhaps most of all, July 27th is National Sleepy Head day in Finland.  Staceypunkin is frequently tired, because she’s so busy being awesome 24/7.  Happy Birthday, babe.  I hope this is your best year ever. 

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Sunday Thought Brunch for 26 July, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 26, 2009 by tom

Christmas Brunch in July

 

It’s hot, the mid-summer doldrums, and what could be more refreshing than  a little Christmas in July? Not the horrifying retail mayhem, and paper laceration-causing gift wrapping, but just a fleeting thought of cool December air, a tinge of wood smoke on the gentle breeze (or, in Canada, sub-zero temps and blizzard conditions), and some tasty Holiday comestibles. 

 

Some figgy pudding:  Farm Town has messed up my brain.  Seriously.  I love my little fake farm, and I relish the 15 or 20 minutes I spend each day running things.  The problem is, it’s really skewed my view of how agriculture works.  I have actually plowed a field. Really! Not only have I plowed a field with a  Gravely Tractor, I’ve even plowed a field with an archaic manual plow.  (In the interest of full and proper disclosure, I should note that by “field” I mean “small backyard garden” or, more likely, “a row of a small backyard garden.”)  It’s so much easier just to highlight the plow icon, then click on my blank field.  POUF! Instantly plowed field.  Nothing to it! Why do people expend all that back-breaking labor, sweating and becoming grimy, when all they have to do is click? Silly farmers.

 

Variety of Cheeses, courtesy of Maids a-Milking: It gets even worse.  I was driving to Clearwater Saturday afternoon, and one of the medians was planted with lovely bouganvillas, which were blooming bright fuschia.  All I could think was, “Those are ready to harvest.  Somebody should really click on them.” I’m a great farmer when it comes to clicking on things.

 

Roast Goose (no longer a-laying) with Chestnut (roasted on an open fire) stuffing: Semi-seriously, I wonder if future generations will have messed-up ideas of how agriculture works.  For example, on Morningwood Farms, I grow apples, oranges, mangoes, cherries, and bananas right next to each other.  (Holy shit, I'm growing my own Skittles!) I can grow rice next to potatoes, even though actual potatoes would drown in an actual rice paddy.  (Good thing I can grow cotton to soak up any residual mess)  I have cats running around my farm, and they never bother the baby chickens.  For that matter, I have cows running around my farm, and they never bother to take little cyber craps all over the place.  Thank God the Power Book doesn't have any sort of Odor-ama feature, where it could blast my olfactory senses with eau d'goat piss.   (Eau d'piss du goat? (Geaut?))

(Turtle) Dove Bars: Sorry, I may be calling it Christmas in July, but it's still July, and thus it's a perfect day for bananafish Dove Bars.  I heard on the radio that Prince has refused to allow his music to be used in Guitar Hero.  Why? Because His Royal Purple Badness thinks people who want to play his songs on guitar should get real guitars and play them.  God bless Prince.  Not to speak ill of the dead, but Prince was badder than Michael Jackson back in 1984, and he always will be.  Michael grabbed his cow-spotted crotch with his gloved hand, but Prince sang "Darling Nikki," "Jack U Off," and "Sexy Motherf***er."  The guy can play every instrument on the planet, write great songs, and yet manage not to be a complete freak.  He's definitely odd, but the guy's at least on the same planet as everyone else.  Plus, Prince gets huge-ass bonus points for referencing the hilarious Dave Chapelle bit making fun of him.  Other artists would've sued.  Prince stops in the middle of his Super Bowl halftime performance and mentions "pancakes" apropos of nothing.  Propz 2U, Prince.


Egg Nog (courtesy of French hens and my secret nog trees): The question that comes to my mind is, are we better off having some misguided expertise regarding a subject, or would we be better off remaining typically ignorant? Are we better off wandering through life not thinking about farms, or dabbling in a world where real-life horticultural knowledge is irrelevant in that particular game? Does playing Guitar Hero make you more of a musician than someone who just plays air guitar while driving, when neither of you has even held a real guitar? There are people out there in the ether who tweet every traffic jam and bowel movement they face each day, and change their Facebook status on a whim.  Will this ultimately replace conversation? Person A throws out a thought, and persons B through J comment on it.  I remember watching John McEnroe play Roscoe Tanner at Wimbledon one year, and they had all these amazingly long rallies.  It was enthralling.  So much of communication today is the tennis equivalent of hitting a ball against a garage door.  Sure, it requires a certain skill, but is it really playing tennis?


Morningwood Farms Special Roast Coffee (laced with B&B Cognac, for that authentic Christmasy touch): Sometimes I wonder if we're not living the Cliff's Notes version of life these days, forsaking deep, true understanding for a smattering of factoids.  I do that myself.  I want to be Dr. House and know everything, but I don't want to spend hours immersed in textbooks.  I love to write, to explore ideas, but I end up with about a one-paragraph attention span.  (Hey, it comes in handy on Sundays, I guess!)  Is it good or bad, this new world mindset?

A Mandatory Puck of Brandy-Soaked Fruitcake (followed by a cab ride home): It's neither good nor bad.  I think the rate of change increases much like our technology has.  Twenty years ago, people still carried Walkmans to play their cassettes.  My first computer 18 years ago had a blistering 16MHz clock speed, and a 100MB hard drive.  It didn't even have a modem.   Today? I'd feel like I were in prison if I had to use dial-up, and I freely admit that my 1.8 GHz PowerBook is obsolete.  I still love it, though.  What doesn't change are the basics: the bumps on the home keys, or the annoying hourglass icon (or the spinning pinwheel of death on a Mac).  Similarly, we may communicate differently today, and perhaps we are more superficial.  We're still humans, though, with the need for contact with others.  Maybe I don't visit my friends as often as I should, but I think of them when they leave me a chicken or a fig tree for my fake farm, or when I see their status change on Facebook.  I won't lament the death of cave paintings, not when I can download NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.  I won't pine too hard for the days when my hometown had four movie screens, not when I can download just about any film I want on demand.  And even though I once grew a sweet potato the size and shape of Richard Nixon's head, I haven't touched actual dirt in years.  That said, I dig my little fantasy farm, with coffee, cherries, and bananas growing in computer-generated harmony.  It relaxes me.  Plus, I have some beautiful flowers growing on Morningwood Farms, and I'm taking my girl out for a birthday dinner tonight. 

Pity that no matter how much I point and click, I can't find a way to get those damn flowers out of the computer.

Have a great Sunday. 🙂

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Sunday Thought Brunch

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 19, 2009 by tom

(Today's menu comes fresh from Morningwood Farms, my imaginary farm in Farm Town.  Sadly, I can't grow coffee, which is essential, so I'm having to outsource that, but everything else comes from my farm.)

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice: R.I.P. Walter Cronkite.  I remember watching Walter Cronkite when I was a kid, and I always liked him.  When Dan Rather replaced him, my loyalty to the evening network news was forever untethered.  Cronkite was smart, hard-working, and fair.  He was scrupulous, even removing himself from campaign coverage when his presence sometimes overshadowed the candidates' presence.  Can you imagine a TV "journalist" doing that today? Nor can I.  The greatest tribute I've found to Uncle Walter was that Swedish and Dutch both have as their word for anchorman a variation of his name: Cronkeiter or Kronkeiter.  What better tribute is there than having your name turned into a regular noun?
  • Strawberries and cream: The seminal moment in Walter Cronkite's career has to be his announcement that John F Kennedy had died in Dallas.  I wasn't alive then, but I can only imagine that when Walter took off his heavy black-framed glasses, choked back a sob, and wiped his eyes, the country absolutely fell apart grieving.  The great thing was, he didn't opinionize then.  He was only reporting the facts.  The facts were horrific, and he was upset.  For a few seconds he paused, then collected himself, and soldiered on.  This was a guy who waded ashore at D-Day, just to cover the story.  He was the one you'd want to tell you something horrible, just because he gave that vibe that it would ultimately be okay.
  • Giganto Omelettes with your choice of pork product and cheese, and a mandatory side of bacon:  Easily the most mind-blowing, horrifying national crisis I can remember was 9/11.  I was horrified as I sat and watched CNN's coverage.  I couldn't turn away–literally, because my radio station was simulcasting CNN, and if I changed channel, we'd lose the feed.  I was scared, of course, and confused, and the talking heads were all rattled and hyperverbose.  Then, around 10pm, Garrick Utley came on.  Here was an old-school newsman, somebody I knew wouldn't let things fall apart on his watch.  He explained things, and I felt a little better.  I still went home, drank a fifth of bourbon, and wrote a really bad e-mail screed, but just having this guy I knew and trusted made a huge difference to me.
  • Fresh cornbread or a selection of signature breads:  Not only do I lack linear thought in my blogposts, I kind of wander around when I'm perusing the Interwebs.  I watched some Walter Cronkite clips, and ended up watching two different JFK documentaries.  The thought hit me: Americans HATE Occam's Razor.  The simplified version of Occam's Razor is, "The simplest explanation that accounts for all the evidence is usually the best." The Warren Report was Occam's Razor.  Most Americans don't want Occam's Razor, but all of Occam's shaving kit, plus everything else in his carry-on bag.  For some reason, nobody wants to believe that one loon shot and killed the president, even though we can see video of John Hinckley nearly taking-out Ronald Reagan 18 years later.  It's no small irony that Uncle Walter interrupted "As the World Turns" to report JFK's death, since some of the proffered theories make soap opera plots look straightforward.
  • Hash brown potato casserole, with cheese, diced ham, and onions:  (Okay, I brought in some imaginary onions too, since I don't technically grow them on my imaginary farm)  I'm not saying that Oswald shot JFK while acting 100% on his own, either.  I don't know for sure.  Nobody does.  I believe he shot JFK.  Why? He was a loon, complete with a rifle and opportunity.  Did he act alone? I don't know that either.  "JFK" is one of my favorite films, even though it's at least 50% complete fiction.  Damn, it's awesome fiction to watch, though.  It's Occam's Razor, though: the simplest theory is the best: Oswald was a loon, who had a perfect place from which to shoot.  He bought a gun.  He used it.  Done.  It's a pity, too, because Donald Sutherland was freakin' awesome as X, the character who was only an amalgamation of various people, with a generous dollop of pure fiction. 
  • Fresh coconut cream, banana cream, or lemon meringue pie, or strawberry shortcake:    I've been watching "Dead Like Me" on hulu.com this week, and it got me wondering why I like this show so much.  I think it's because I like to the idea of living in "the real world," but also working in another world.  I felt like that when I was still in radio.  I won't bore you with ratings or anything, but I did consistently well in my target audience, even winning a handful of times.  Even though I could see data showing how many people listened, I could walk through the grocery store or 7-Eleven and nobody knew who I was.  It was sweet, sort of like being a ghost. 
  • Choice of Morningwood Lemonade or a Bloody Mary, made with home-made, triple-distilled vodka, and fresh lemons and tomatoes, respectively:  Yeah, that came crashing down one night.  I'd gone out for a long drive, just to escape the city.  I stopped at a gas station maybe 60 miles from here, and was making small-talk with the proprietor.  He said my voice sounded familiar.  "You sound like that Tom guy on the jazz station." I smiled politely and agreed it was me.  He was all excited, so much so that he gave me my Diet Mountain Dew free.  It freaked me out a little, but that was okay.  It was a gorgeous night, and I had a free cold refreshing beverage.  Life could be much worse, even if I wasn't as invisible as I'd thought.
  • Coffee from Dunkin Donuts:  It's hard to be invisible anymore.  I have friends here in real life, and I'm glad to have them.  Over the past nearly two years I've been Voxing, I realize that we can affect people all over the world, regardless of our location.  When terrorists bombed parts of Mumbai last fall, I read about it online, but I empathized with it through reading my Indian friends' blogs.  When Australia had rampant wildfires, it was one thing to see the story on a news site, but it struck home more when a friend posted snapshots of the smoke.  Sometimes, I'll try and remember how I first met a Gunderson Bee or Brown Suga or Lauri(e), and I find I can't.  But I remember their stories, the snippets of their lives, triumphs, tragedies, and–happily–the occasional kitty picture or fart joke.  It's a very different world than the one Walter Cronkite first covered.  We're simultaneously more anonymous and more exposed.  We're given more data, but I wonder if we really have any more facts.  Despite having learned some interesting life lessons along the way, I think I'm essentially still as clueless as I was when Uncle Walter signed-off in 1981.  The difference is that through this strange, miraculous technology, I'm able to share my cluelessness with people all over the planet.  And that's the way it is. 

Happy Sunday from Morningwood Farms.

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Things on Tuesday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 15, 2009 by tom

The Bitter:

  • A coworker got taken away in an ambulance Saturday night.  She's in the hospital, and the doctors are trying to figure out what's wrong with her.  I hate ambulances and hospitals and sickness and all that misery.  I had my share of it, and I feel bad for her.  (Good thoughts/prayers/healing vibes/whatever you do, for K, please)
  • One of my closest friends is having some neurological issues.  She goes for tests next Tuesday.  She's worried, and I can only reassure her so much. (Same thing, for D, please)
  • Too many of my friends are suffering in this economy.
  • The biggest problem with my new shift–other than missing my Punkin and my peeps–is that there's no freakin' parking.  Seriously, I might as well leave my truck at home and just walk in for as far away as I have to park some days. 

The Sweet:

  • I have awesome friends, both here in my "real world" and via the Interwebs.  I'm grateful for them all.  A fitting movie quote from "Tombstone":
  • Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Why you doin' this, Doc?
    Doc Holliday: Because Wyatt Earp is my friend.
    Turkey Creek Jack Johnson: Friend? Hell, I got lots of friends.
    Doc Holliday: …I don't.
  • Like Doc Holliday, I don't have lots of friends.  Years ago during my dark decade, I chased all but the most steadfast of them away.  Now, I have some old ones and some new ones, and I'm grateful for them all (for YOU all).
  • Somebody reading the novel I wrote years ago and liking it, or at least finding some good in it.
  • Though it may be as hot and humid here as the devil's beer farts, we have the most gorgeous sunsets.
  • Today is my one year anniversary at my job.  I've done well by them, and they've done well by me.  I'm grateful to have a job, period, but especially one I like working for a good company alongside great people.
  • Ice cream! I don't have any at the moment, but knowing it exists on a warm summer night pleases me.
  • "Dead Like Me" on hulu.com.  Great show, if only for the line, "If only Romeo had masturbated twice a week, he'd have saved those two nice families a whole lot of trouble."
  • The new Harry Potter film opens tomorrow.  I'll have to save a few weeks to afford the $85 for admission and popcorn, but it will allow the crowds to die down a little.
  • I'm broke, but I have gas in the USS Nimitz; my rent is paid, the power on, plenty of cat fuel, and the Interweb is running fine.  Things could be much worse.
  • That stupid Farm Town game on Facebook.  Seriously.  It's oddly therapeutic in a zen way.  And I can garden and have chickens and cows without any of that nasty "nature" stuff getting all over me. 😉
  • Staceypunkin reports 10 fingers, 10 toes, one belly button, and a slightly elevated pulse, because her urban assault vehicle overheated on the drive home.
  • I'm happy to report 10, 10, 1, and steady.

I'll leave you with the creepy answer to the question, "What would it look like if Charlie Brown were painted realistically."  *shudders*  Have a great week, and let's be careful out there.

 

(Artist: Tim O'Brien; story here)

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Thursday Snort if You Need It (I did)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2009 by tom

A little old man shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlor and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool.. After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split. The waitress asked kindly, 'Crushed nuts?'
'No,' he replied, 'Arthritis.'

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Perspective

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2009 by tom

From the Oakland Coliseum, these fireworks would've filled the sky, obscuring everything else with their color and majesty.

From that same Coliseum, on the darkest clearest night, you might have been able to see Andromeda galexy as a tiny, faint smudge.  In reality? It looks like this.

 

Which is more impressive? To those 50,000 people at Oakland Coliseum, I imagine the fireworks were pretty impressive.  In the great fabric of the Universe? I'm going with the one trillion stars in Andromeda.

One is the life, career and passing of somebody who was once talented, and has spent the last 20 years in a narcotic haze that would scare Elvis.  The other is the real problems real people face in the real world.  Please, for the love of God, return us to our regularly scheduled program already.  The fireworks are over.  It's time to move on. 

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Happy Independence Day: Random Exploding Brain Fireworks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 5, 2009 by tom
  • From the "The Crazy Shit you Remember" file: Brother Marky used to play baseball.  Quite well, actually.  Anyway, he had a Babe Ruth League game one Wednesday evening back in the day, and I rode to the ballpark with my parents.  My buddy Mike had just played a game before Mark's, and he was all excited to try out his new screwball.  Fernando Valenzuela was the new thing then, and he had a wicked screwgie.  Anyway, Mike and I were off throwing screwballs to each other.  It was a warm spring night, and the air smelled like a ballpark, one of nature's most perfect aromas–grass, clay, sweat, burgers cooking, peanut shells, dirt, and adrenaline.  The next morning at school, Mike and I were playing basketball with a bunch of our friends.  This jackass kid nobody liked tripped me when I was going for a lay-up, and I fell and broke the hell out of my right wrist.  The things you remember.
  • I didn't like Fernando Valenzuela after that.
  • I have always liked the Gin Blossoms, though.
  • The Gin Blossoms' guitarist is Jesse Valenzuela.
  • I don't know whether A) he's related to Fernando Valenzuela, or B) he can throw a screwball.
  • Gin blossoms refer to the ruptured capillaries on the nose of one who drinks excessively (see: Fields, W.C.)
  • The Gin Blossoms were formed in 1987 in Tempe.
  • In 1987, I was in Tallahassee, and I didn't have any gin blossoms, although I could throw a pretty good screwball.
  • Now, I have some gin blossoms; I like the proper noun Gin Blossoms, can't throw a screwball, and stopped drinking gin.
  • Though you'd never know it from reading this blog.
  • In honor of Independence Day, we've had a potluck type thing here at work.  As always, we're a bit dessert-heavy, with a couple of cheesecakes, an Italian Dream Cake, a fruit platter, a giganto birthday cake, a coconut custard pie, and other things my pancreas wouldn't allow me to examine. 
  • One lady brought a huge crock pot full of Cuban black bean chili.  Woo-hoo!!! My plan was to eat about four bowls of that, then go home and create my own fireworks.
  • Damn the luck, though, that masterful chili was all gone before I even got a spoonful.  However, big props to Linda for making the absolute greatest deviled eggs in the history of either the devil or eggs.
  • Seriously, if Satan made these while preparing for a picnic, he'd call them Linda'd eggs in respectful tribute.
  • Linda doesn't have any obvious gin blossoms.
  • Her eggs, though.  OY!
  • Okay, not her personal ova, but the deviled eggs she made.
  • She said they were the easiest thing ever, containing horsey sauce, bacon, salt & pepper, and did I mention bacon?
  • Adding bacon to eggs seems like a subtle perfecting of the existing chicken egg, and I mean no offense to chickens.  God forbid I offend the poultry-American community on Independence Day.  We damage human-poultry relations enough as it is.
  • Another one from both the "Human-Poultry Relations Snafu" and "The Shit You Remember" files: One year, my family was in Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia, for Independence Day.  There was a big celebration in the Chickamauga National Battlefield.  My grandmother packed a picnic of fried severed chicken parts, Golden Flake potato chips, and Coca-Cola in those little 6.5 oz glass bottles.  The Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra played, and there were fireworks.  Being there on that blood-hallowed ground, Civil War cannons still scattered throughout verdant fields, eating that quintessentially Southern American meal while fireworks exploded and patriotic melodies soared, my patriotism swelled.
  • My greatest fireworks experience was after the U-92 Tenth Anniversary Beach Blast, a big concert we staged on Clearwater Beach.  Predictably for an August concert, a giant thunderstorm came blasting through before the headliners were able to play, thus ruining our giant fireworks finale over the Gulf.  Well, here's the problem.  With all the lightning and ozone in the air (so the tetchy pyrotechnics guy said), the fireworks were unstable, and there was "No damn way (he was) driving them sumbitches back across the bridge in (his) truck.  That shit could explode at any time."  By this point, the crowd was gone, and Digger the promotions guy and I had taken down all our stuff.  Mike the Engineer, aka "Gorgonzola Monster Boy," asked Mr Tetchy 'Splosion Guy what we should do.  "Best thing is just blow the fuckers up." 
  • I should mention that Mike the Engineer had given two weeks notice two weeks before that night.  He didn't really care if the lingering dozen or so station VIP's and sponsors snootily lolling about the hospitality tent would be scared.  In fact, all the better. 
  • "Go right ahead!"
  • The fireworks display was to have been twelve minutes long.  I know this, because I had spent a few hours Friday painstakingly editing together a 12 minute musical montage to accompany it.  The annoying station brass and sponsors didn't know what hit them, and somehow we'd neglected to give them a heads-up.  The 12-minutes worth of fireworks were launched and exploded in about 25 seconds. 
  • The Apocalypse will have to work mighty hard to outdo this.  It was jarringly, violently beautiful, like nuclear explosions.
  • Thank God I don't have any nuclear explosion stories to share.
  • I should note that my buddy Mike from school and baseball is NOT Mike the Engineer, aka "Gorgonzola Monster Boy."
  • My buddy Mike went on to coach high school baseball, and there are few greater motherlodes of colorful language than baseball people.  Their expressions transcend the narrow ballet of ball and bat, forging into every facet of life, including meteorology.  For example:

The Weather Channel: "There were heavy downpours."

Baseball people: "It rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock."

 

  • That night, my buddy Mike would have told Gorgonzola Monster Boy Mike that "It's raining like piss from a boot."
  • States I've been in: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Indiana, and Michigan.
  • Maybe Ohio, too: I'm not sure.
  • Things change.  Many of the states I've been to were once fighting each other right on that Civil War battlefield where we had that picnic long ago.  My grandmother and grandfather are buried maybe fifteen miles north of there, in the Chattanooga National Cemetery. 
  • The Chattanooga National Cemetery was established Christmas Day in 1863.  By 1870, more than 12,800 folks had taken up residence there, 4189 of whom were unknown.  There are actual German POWs buried there, too: 183 of them from World War 1 and World War 2. 
  • Just to be clear, my grandfather was a World War 2 veteran from the United States Army, and NOT a German POW.
  • The last time I was at the Chattanooga National Cemetery was when we buried my grandmother on April 1, 1993.  It was ridiculously cold (Baseball term: "Cold as a witch's tit"), and I'd left the houseful of mourners by myself, just so I could hot-box a few cigarettes before the funeral.  I parked next to this beautiful valley, and all at once it started to snow.  Just a tiny flurry that didn't stick to anything, but I smiled through my misery.  This was just how my grandmother would've said "howdy" when I was sneaking cigarettes before her funeral.
  • Today there are over 43,000 bodies buried in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.  Watching over them since 1879 is a large monument erected by the State of Ohio.
  • Ohio is next to Indiana, which is where my buddy Mike now lives.
  • Ohio was also the home of a judge with the impressive name Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  Judge Landis was named after Kennesaw Mountain, from which his father and fellow Ohioan was shot during the Civil War. Landis pere was extremely pissed off that he left most of one leg in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain, thus he named his son after it, just as sort of a sick memorial.
  • I suppose it would be like me naming my son "Fournier's Gangrene Melancholy Socially Retarded Drunkard" (Biff, for short).  
  • Anyway, Kenesaw Mountain Landis went on to be one of the most revered and influential baseball commissioners in history.  His biggest achievement was maintaining the game's integrity following the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. 
  • His second? The phrase, "busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest."
  • Happy Birthday America, and I hope everyone has a safe, happy weekend.

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