all the live long day

Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railways… the connotation is warm. The combination is hot, for Warren Buffett, anyway. But I’m just playing with the words here. I know very little about the investment, the mess of money, the $34 billion changing hands, the back and forth shuffling of such commerce, all that’s on the line, the possibility of economic derailment… blah, blah, blah.
But when I hear the name, the brand, the icon Burlington, I think of trains, but then I think of coats and socks. Again, branding has scarred my brain. Oh, and Santa Fe, please. What has that to do with railways, I don’t know. It’s an unreal mockery-ville to the north of Albuquerque whose inhabitants are numb to the new-age artsy sweatlodge gift shop a-go-go status that brings in millions in tourist dollars along with the overly cordial presence of tribal-owned casinos along the way to and from the airport.
The railroads are things. The names of the places once closely associated with those things are memories, no more relevant than any arbitrary label invented yesterday at a marketing meeting.
Railroad companies have been named for places. Places have been named for railroad companies. I live in such a place. Frisco, TX. Never would anyone in San Francisco allow their city to be called Frisco. To do so would mark one as an obvious visitor. But here, in Frisco, Frisco is called Frisco. When we moved here in 1992 only 6000 other souls called this town home. Now the population is close to 106 thousand. Still, I cannot resist my favorite nickname for this suburb north of Dallas: Frisco, City by the Hay. There is still plenty of hay all over the place, even with the railroad coming through town.


The nature of this venue does not put a premium on research. This is no publication of record. It’s the Internet. Worse, it’s a blog. A web log. A log on the web. It is a log of blurbs and nonverbal verbiage because it has not been verbalized, actually uttered other than through these fingers upon this keyboard, and then, if you are a tormented with cognition, the voice you are hearing as you read this. The difference is that I don’t talk this way, the way these words are coming out here on this screen, unless I am writing. Or do I? I don’t really know. Sometimes and not.

Source: Wikipedia

I remember very little of what I say when I say a thing or two verbally, using the articulation tools from my guts to the end of my nose.  ((Some would include body movements, facial expressions and gestures often accompanying my speech.))  So, I’m discovering as these words accumulate on this log, I do not remember them as I thought I should or would. But that’s okay. They are here. That’s where the log part of blog comes in. That’s for what logs are. And the web, it’s for convenience, I suppose. Otherwise I probably would not have written here what I have written. But I did. I wrote them on this day, the 5th of November.

Upon hearing this date I’m reminded of it, of hearing the date spoken, verbalized, written about, cataloged, sung even. The singing part was what I couldn’t get out of my head. Instantly John Lennon’s song surfaced amidst the chemical flora and fauna playing with each other in the forest that is my gray matter. Some call it memory. I remembered the song, but not the title. Irony blesses my life again. This called for action on which the nature of this venue does not put a premium. ((Research. Remember? NOTE: First mentioned in the first sentence, first paragraph of this post.))
What I remembered most about the song was its finish, the last line. I dug a bit and found quite a few sites offered lyrics to all of John Lennon’s song catalog. To my amazement the first few sites showed different versions of the same song, different from each other, and certainly varied from what I remembered. The thing is, I don’t trust my memory as once I did. This is probably a mistake. I’ve discovered that I’ve remembered incorrectly far fewer times than not, even with younger, fresher minds at hand. Nevertheless, I could have sworn that Mr. Lennon ended the song Remember with “the 5th of November.” But the versions of lyrics I beheld through my “research” had omitted those words. ((Forgive me when I say that I felt like somebody was playing mind games.))  Anyway, I looked around until I found a couple of sites that did indeed agree with my memory. And so, I felt a lot better about a few things. Just couldn’t remember what.


Remember when you were young
How the hero was never hung
Always got away
Remember how the man
Used to leave you empty handed
Always, always let you down
If you ever change your mind
About leaving it all behind
Remember, remember, today
And don’t feel sorry
The way it’s gone
And don’t you worry
‘Bout what you’ve done
Remember when you were small
How people seemed so tall
Always had their way
Remember your ma and pa
Just wishing for movie stardom
Always, always playing a part
If you ever feel so sad
And the whole world is
driving you mad
Remember, remember, today
And don’t feel sorry
‘Bout the way it’s gone
And don’t you worry
‘Bout what you’ve done
o, no, remember, remember
The fifth of November.

John Lennon

Oh, and something about a Guy named Fawkes…


soylent chartreuse

spoyler alert… it’s people…  and kinda stupid… ((as are some people, like, for example, those who write about it 35 years later… and those who read about it… and those who, when they write, excessively use ellipses as a smooth and default-type of punctuation…)) happened in a movie a long time ago with a story set in a future still eleven years in…  the future, as in, from now. I decided to watch this quasi classic film again a few days ago, what with Thanksgiving and all. This was only the second time I had watched it since seeing the first time. Duh. (more…)

Klaatu called, he wants his shiny metallic object back


Klaatu says howdy as Gort looks for weapons to melt.

Klaatu says howdy as Gort scans for potential weapons to melt.

Professor Barnhart, the smartest man in the world, contacted the offices of Sacred Clone Chronicles with news of a communication he received from Klaatu.

“Moriblaz kliphm noopro lantupulo psyrintlib maraclin,”said Klaatu, according to Barnhart.

“It goes on like this for about eight hundred pages or so,” said Barnhart. “Here, I’ll read it to you: Moncli nadoplictonrinca sphlectisto marapulo victu marinngane….  And then on page 477 the whole tone of the message changes after the word ‘Boyonce.’ Turns out that’s how the pronounce Beyonce in their language.”

Translation: You know, you guys haven’t changed a bit since we left. All those people joining together for a moment of unity, right where we landed back in 1951 of y0ur Earth years, and the biggest news of the event is that Beyonce lip synced. All societies on this end of the galaxy are amazed you still haven’t destroyed your planet. 

A-Rod, a strike-out before the strike

Somebody had shelled out some big bucks for this family outing. It wasn’t me. I never is. It was probably Grampa and step-Grandma. It’s what they do. It’s amazing and wonderful, so generous, so memorable.
The Ballpark in Arlington was new. No scuffs on the polished pavement floors, no bumps or chips along the glistening walls, no hinges squeaking in the stadium seats so clean they might as well have been sanitized for our protection.  I remember entering the stadium through a glorious corner gate that is probably architecturally aligned with first base. St. Peter comes to mind. But memory enhances visual associations with emotional experiences, good, bad, and to all extremes. So please understand this is in my head coming out here through the tips of my fingers, hardly virtual at this point, what once was real, actual, walking and breathing a physical experience.
Lot’s of air. That is, not many people where there yet. No worries about breathing the same breaths as everyone else. The game wasn’t for another couple of hours. My wife, our three children, and I followed our hosts into the elevator that opened to a nearby TGIFriday’s. Something about bold stripes, checkered tiles, and new furniture begs to be soiled, tried, tempted, tested as if on a shakedown cruise. Whatever is in the way will be tripped over. Whatever is slippery will be slipped on. Whatever sharp edges of new chairs will catch fabric and rip a hole in it will catch fabric and rip a hole in it. Full of nicely broiled burger and accompanying fries such a burger commands, the men’s room visit took some pressure off and broke my heart.
My favorite one-hundred-percent-cotton Hawaiian-print shirt I had purchased oh-so-many-years earlier at the Banana Republic at the Dallas Galleria (when they offered such apparel) had been torn. The new bench I had been sitting on, I concluded, snagged it, ripped it, exposed the pleasant rounding of my back (my white undershirt, anyway) from seam to seam. Heck, I blamed it on the bench. Truth is I had worn the shirt so much it could have torn with sneeze, so thin was that section of cloth. My favorite shirt was ruined. (For the record, had I known people were associating me with Jimmy Buffet because of that shirt, it’s brightly printed parrot, it would have not been my favorite shirt. I do not show my allegiance to any style of music through apparel. That’s why these days I were all black.) Most embarrassing was the thought that I had been wandering around with my torn shirt for who knows how long. Probably not long. No one looked at me funny or anything. So, I wasn’t too worried about it until I had to walk back out into the restaurant. That was the closest I think I’ve ever come to that dream where you’re walking around naked or in your underwear. Anyway, I made my way to the manager, made my case, and he happily gave me a polo-type shirt from the gift shop as a replacement. It was yellow, that shirt.
I think the Rangers were playing the Mariners. The seats were excellent, a dozen or so rows back from the Texas dugout and a bit toward home. This was probably the best view of all players who bat right handed. This was fine-America. Splendid America. Best seats at a baseball game at a new stadium. What else: a new shirt; stuffed with burger-and-fries; with the beautiful young wife and our three young children, and the grandparents and an uncle and aunt and or cousin or two or three. Like I said, somebody had shelled out some bucks for this outing.
People began leaving about halfway through the game. I couldn’t understand it. But I hadn’t been paying attention to the game as much as to the experience of being with everyone, and the event itself. Mariners were winning. A Ranger had just struck out and was returning to the dugout. The stadium countenance changed. The mass of departing souls slowed, some even returned as all hushed, gasped, then applauded. The only thing that had happened was A-Rod had trotted to home plate. He was already a superstar, but not yet the superstar he would become. I was amazed at how absolutely natural he held the bat, how humble he seemed, embarrassed even, at the attention, as though genuinely afraid who would not live up to whatever was expected. And so the pitch. I watched through the binoculars as the young player swinged a swing with such power that the ball would have done anything other than what it did if the bat had connected solidly. The ball went straight up, back, over and down. A scuffle ensued a few rows ahead. A happy bald guy with a gut as round as the ball itself raised his fist to smattering applause isolated to the area just below us where everyone could see his prize.
A-Rod, still at bat. My father informed us that he had been having trouble hitting lately. That it was because he must feel guilty. He received about $20 thousand per game. Someone with A-Rods upbringing would have difficulty reconciling such earnings with the earnings of those back home whom he surely must think more worthy or some other grounds, if not baseball. The next pitch brought another swing of what must have wielded stunning power, so effortlessly. Nothing happened. I marveled at how a player could handle a piece of would so elegantly and gracefully, such an iconic tool, so powerfully, so effortlessly. Nothing happened. Did I mention that? So effortlessly. All that power. No effort. Nothing happened. Wait a minute. Nothing happened. No effort. It looked like no effort because, hey, he was using no effort. He wasn’t even trying. He was just going through the motions. I was pissed! I wanted to walk right down there and chew him out. Did I have to be restrained? I don’t remember. Five years later, my bold-and-cocky years, I most assuredly would have to have been restrained if at all possible. I remember thinking that had I forked over all the money and effort to make this thing happen with a family, the hundreds of dollars spent on tickets, the logistics, the fine seats… if I had paid for it I would have been in A-Rod’s face. How dare he not even try. How dare he make as much money by striking out during one game.. as much money as I would make that year! Oh, excuse me… the whole league was due to go on strike in a couple of days. Oink. Oink. Pigs. All of them. Alllll, of, them.
We left. I remember the highlight of the game was on the way home. It wasn’t our journey home. It was at the game. Right where we were sitting. An extremely scantily clad lady made her way down the aisle as close to the dugout as she could get before security caught up with her. She passed right by the seat where I sat. Her adventure took up a good minute of the radio announcer’s workday. Who was that woman? What did she say? Was she chewing them out for not trying?
I told this story to a nice lady I met today at the 7-eleven during my daily Big Gulp run. I had just dropped my wife off at her part time job, ducked in to this place on the way home. The routine. I always get a refill. It’s cheaper. And so this lady was kind of in my way as I was reaching for a cup lid. Something inside reached up and made me say to her: “I really want to see a good movie day. I don’t know what it is about today. And I probably won’t go see one because I’m too busy right now and…”  “They have some good one’s over at the Angelica right now,”she interrupted me. Knew where I was going. She started naming them, the movies. Told me she was going out to the new ballpark in Arlington, the Cowboy Stadium. That’s when I launched into the story above. “Was that the time that woman tried to make it to the dugout?” I was stunned. “Yeah, but by then we were on our way home. We heard it on the radio.” “That wasn’t one of my better moments,” she said. “Here, let me get your Big Gulp for you.”

A Similar Thing

The radio said a Cessna made an emergency landing

ont the same side of the freeway I was driving on

minutes earlier. This happened in Gallup

on the way to Salt Lake City from Dallas. So,

I have convinced myself I can make something of it

because one can take such liberties in poetry, the way a gull

dives for food at the stern of a ferry

while crossing the bay. A similar thing happened

five years later while driving back from cold nights

in San Francisco, the sea made me homesick

for the coast of Texas, Baytown, where I cut my foot

on the beach. There, I saw two men pulling

a sack of seaweed from the water. A boy my age

had drowned. The undertow, brought him there

from a mile away. He shouldn’t have been out anyway,

the water was too cold. He was only doing what I would have

had I not seen him blue and swollen.

But I cut my foot and left a thread of blood

to my aunt’s back porch. She told me to wade in the ocean

because salt water was good for hurts.

The water was too cold that day, I said.

And so, driving back from San Francisco I saw that Cesna

parked on the side of the highway like it belonged there.

And there was no news of it, because the night before

John Lennon was murdered; the radio played nothing

but his music and talk of his death.

Soon south of the Great Salt Lake, the smell

made me think of where I had been the day before.

Then, the radio said something about a Cessna

making an emergency landing. It was too cold

that day for wading.