R.I.P.

Halloween creeps in as leaves start to fall off trees, pumpkins appear in windows, hot air balloons arrive for the annual Balloon fest in Albuquerque, creepy spiders turn up in school cafeterias, jackets on cold days become more than optional.

Headed for a jam session in the Albuquerque north valley, in a sedate part of the town where original settlers farmed and ranched, a family of skeletons in a resident’s front yard are wrestling with leisure, part of Halloween decorations a little early.

It is a sparkling fall day and these three, mom and dad and junior, don’t have to dress up, worry about hair styles, or designer clothes. They always look good in their birthday suits without excess weight, blemishes and imperfections to get in the way.

This family doesn’t pay me any heed as I stop to celebrate them with a few photos.

Some day, when in their same situation, I want to sit in the front yard too, watch the World Series and plan pranks to startle little kids knocking on my door.

Taking ourselves down to the bare bones is often the best way to start getting closer to the truth.

Stripped down to our bones, it is harder to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes.

 

 

Dinosaurs like to color too Another Charlie creation

Each day there are things to be colored.

Rainbows fade if they are not brightened up.

Flowers tend to lose their delicacy in the hot desert sun.

Oceans take a whole slew of work to keep the right shade of blue.

White clouds are always a joy to see till they start to show dark streaks and puffiness like a boxer’s right eye.

Junior carries his primary colors wherever he goes.

Junior is taking a road trip pretty soon and will sit in a grand daughter’s bedroom.

Late at night he and his soon to be best friend will hide under the covers and color the world the way it should look all the time.

Dinosaurs don’t always have to be the bad guys.

 

 

Solicitation No B.S.

ATM’s have become many people’s bank.

They are in countries all over the world and you can get cash in countries where no one speaks English and all the writing looks like hieroglyphics. The ATM’s accept debit and credit cards, let you make deposits, check balances and transfer money across accounts.They are open twenty four seven and have small service fees. There is a phone number to call if something goes haywire but we all hope we don’t ever have to call because talking to techs in India is dicey.

This simple, hand penned sign, by the ATM, is a plea for help. It was left leaning against a wall behind a trash barrel, so one guesses the writer got money and took his Sis for a nice meal at the local Jack in the Box.

This sign says your money will be spent on food rather than drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or other vices.

Whether we should trust what we read, because it asks us too, is a great leap of faith.

The only thing that seems questionable are the letters, ” No B.S. ”

I wouldn’t have put that statement in there, if it was my sign.

When someone tells me ” No, B.S..” I suspect there will be plenty of it coming.

 

 

Get away from my register UNM South Golf Course snack bar

Bazookas are old technology but World War 2 vets will tell you a thing or two about their effectiveness in the war they fought in.

This plastic army man, with his bazooka pointed at me,his helmet securely fastened, his feet planted and secured by a heavy application of scotch tape, looks at me with a stern no nonsense attitude.

Mounted atop the snack bar register, he is protecting the money, and, throws me back to grade school days when we kids actually played with these Army men, taped firecrackers to them and stood back as they were blown up with the striking of a match.

These days, Army men still wear uniforms and helmets, but they have put their bazookas in museums. Army men, these days, are likely to be killing people with their computers, sitting in a room thousands of miles from the battlefield. 

This cash register is protected, and, at night, when employees have gone home, this army man goes to the refrigerator and helps himself to a beer.

Fighting makes one thirsty and there doesn’t seem any end to war.

 

Home Depot Scare Halloween 2019

The season of spooks and goblins, pumpkins and puritans is approaching.

Our local Home Depot has dedicated aisles and displays to Halloween and looking for utility wire and masonry nails to secure a few plants to my back yard block wall, so they will grow up straight and be out of the path to the back of my house, I am greeted by grisly figures and demons from the spirit world..

There are ghosts peering down at shoppers from higher shelves, opening their arms and long thin fingers to grab us as we walk underneath. There are green skeletons and little girl apparitions in white dresses that I wouldn’t want knocking at my door any time of day or night night. All of the props in this holiday section are properly scary but not scary enough to make little kids cry. Most parents, these days, take their kids to school or church functions where it is safer than walking them house to house in neighborhoods where they don’t even know their neighbors.. It is hard to figure how a Christian country, like ours used to be, could perpetuate Halloween on any scale.

Even more grisly than these blown up spectacles is what comes on the 24/7 news scream. 

The development of new and more destructive weapons is still on going. Wars and revolutions play out around the world as men and women. elected and non-elected politicians. make and enforce their rules that everyone else has to slavishly obey. Television promotes drugs, lawyers, doctors, the need for insurance, the need to buy services you didn’t know you needed, the obsession to look and feel perfect. Homeless legions beg on the streets.Wall street rolls in money created by a government and financial system that rewards them for their efforts and keeps the rest of us competing with shadowy workers from abroad who keep business profits high and shareholders happy.

There is much to be scared of in this Devil’s playground.

Somehow, I don’t see much reason to celebrate Old Scratch.

Elevating him and his minions to holiday status to sell merchandise seems a bit short sighted, but altogether human.

Saving us from ourselves was even too much for Jesus.

I’m lucky today. Home Depot has my utility wire and masonry nails.

When stores stop having what we depend on, you are really going to see evil spirits come out to play.

 

Golf Course ducks UNM South golf course water hole

The UNM south golf course is a championship course that is way too much championship for this golfer.

It has ankle deep grass in the rough, tricky greens, deep traps, rolling fairways and a few doglegs that would make a dog blush. You wouldn’t want to walk this course unless you were a mountain goat and a masochistic one at that. The greens on all the holes have multiple breaks and the greens keeper always puts the pins where you would expect with someone who fights with the wife a lot.

On the back nine there is a short par four dog leg to the left that wraps around a little pond with a huge cottonwood between the edge of the left fairway and the pond. Long hitters can try to fly the cottonwood and drive the green while the rest of us mortals lay up to the right and have a wedge shot into a small tight green guarded by a big trap. 

The pond is shaded by the cottonwoods and a gaggle of ducks live there. When we golfers drive our carts down the fairway, the ducks waddle out to meet us and sample treats we bring from home and have stored in our golf bags.  

Growing up with ” Donald Duck” makes ducks seem approachable though we know these guys have a dangerous bill that gets aggressive if the duck feels threatened. If the ” Donalds ” get really bothered they usually turn back to their lake and paddle out to the middle where they can weather people storms.

Today, we give them treats and they stay close to us. We all hit our approaches to the green but no one makes a birdie. Walking off the green, we can hear the ducks quacking like television sports announcers.

Whether they are ” cute” or a ” Nuisance” lies in the eyes of the beholder but they make a tough day on the course a little less disheartening.

Even championship courses need diversions, even ones that waddle and quack.

 

 

All Smiles 206 bones

Waiting for the Doctor, after a nurse has checked my oxygen levels, put me on a scale, written down my issues on her note pad, the examining room is as basic as the intake procedure.

There are some Q tips in a little jar next to the sink. There is an examination table with a paper sheet on top of it..There is a secure box for used needles, a few magazines in a little rack on the wall. A medical equipment tool is close by, used to peer deep into ear canals. There are posters on the walls warning and informing about flu season, shingles, sexually transmitted diseases and a chart that indicates what weight I should be for my height.  In some rooms like this, doctors display their certificates of graduation from medical schools and photos of their kids.

In most examination rooms, wherever they have been, I have had this exact same bone chart to occupy my mind.

We have 206 bones in our bodies when we get to adulthood.

What I can’t figure is why this guy is always smiling around the world and why he has such a good set of teeth?

Put him in a nice set of clothes and he could be life of the party.

His teeth look better than half the adult population of the United States and he has a big future promoting the American Dental Association.

He wasn’t, by a look at his choppers, a drug abuser.

206 bones is a lot of architecture and the craftsman who designed, and assembled us, combined functionality with a fantastic attention to detail.

If the cornerstone is not placed in the right position, the final building will not stand. 

 

 

Tiny House Southfork, Colorado

Colorado is one of the leading states in the tiny house movement in the United States.This state has over 20 builders who have built tiny houses, has an annual  Colorado Tiny House Festival in Brighton, and a Colorado Tiny House Association that advocates for the development of the tiny homes industry.

The tiny house movement, whether in Colorado,or elsewhere, is driven by people looking to spend their money differently. Instead of sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into a site built house that has expensive taxes, upkeep, and unused space, people can get into a tiny house for a fraction of the price and spend their saved money on activities and experiences they would rather be doing than mowing the lawn.

This tiny house is parked on a lot in Southfork, Colorado, and, though locked, gives an idea of its roominess and livability by peeking through its windows.There are five different models to choose from and the builders of these models can custom make a tiny house to fit any budget and need.

The best thing about tiny houses, after looking at these models, is – they don’t have an engine.

Bigger the better, is a slogan that is reaching it’s limits in America.

American’s are downsizing, looking small ,seeking control of their lives. These days you are more defined by what you do than what you own.

Living in one of these homes means you have finally realized you don’t need stuff you thought did, you don’t need deep roots to feel rooted, and small is very big.

 

 

 

 

Seeing and Believing Reflections on a lake

The reflection of the clouds,on the lake’s calm surface,quiver. The reflection of the forest’s trees, on the lake’s surface, reaches across the lake almost to the bank we are fishing from and look as if they were growing out of the lake right in front of me. 

 If I had a long enough arm, I could reach down and scoop up these clouds in the palm of my right hand and they would wiggle like the fishing earthworms we just dug up in a close by field.

I know the clouds and forest on the lake’s surface are reflections. The real clouds are in the sky and the real forest and pine trees cover the rugged mountain sides directly to the south of us, across Hermit’s Lake.

If my mind can be even temporarily fooled by nature’s slight of hand, how much more of what I see is not what I see, and how much don’t I see that is right in front of me?

When scientists come up with better measuring sticks, we might start seeing more of the world as it really is, not fooled by its reflections, optical illusions, mirages, black holes, mirrors and miracles..

There will, on that day, as Jerry Lee Lewis sings in his rollicking rock and roll classic,be ” a whole lot of shaking going on.”

 

 

You can sleep when you are dead coffee sign deja vu

The last time I saw this sign was in Montevideo, Uruguay at the Ramon Massini Hotel/Suites. That sign was in the lobby near a coffee machine operated with tokens you bought from the front desk.

This afternoon I see the same sign at Candy’s Coffee in Westcliff, Colorado.

It is like seeing an old friend that you have lost touch with and figured you would sadly never see again.

I’m sure I’ll find this sign hanging somewhere else in the world down my road, but, at the moment, I don’t know  where.

Being able to still be surprised is something I’m thankful for.

Knowing that drinking coffee means I’m not dead, I enjoy my cup at Candy’s all the way to the bottom.

If I were superstitious, I would believe this sign is trying to tell me something that I haven’t yet grasped.

 

 

 

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