Writing a one word response to the word Awkward.

While I was still a teenager I was waiting for the traffic light to change on a Kansas City street. An attractive young lady was crossing in front when the elastic snapped on her panties. They fell to her ankles in mid stride. I don’t think the word awkward crossed her mind. Without missing a beat, she stepped out of them and continued on her way without a backward glance.

Hitler Escaped To the Moon

I’ve read a number of theories as to why Nazi Germany didn’t invade the UK as many feared he would. It was the waters of the English Channel some said. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s not so far afield from other straight-faced opinions I’ve heard and read. If that’s factual than where is the truth in the the rumor that he escaped to Argentine aboard a submarine. Even the identity of the boat is recorded. However, this past winter that vessel was discovered sunk off the coast of Norway, a long way from Argentina.
Theories concerning what happened to this guy have been circulating for nearly 80 years. Why? I’ve not a clue. Unless these are outlines for some hellish novels that have leaked to the media.
But this morning Google News carried a story published by AL.Com concluding that Hitler is not hiding on the dark side of the moon?
Really? 😳


Why Do Fewer Women Write Letters To the Editor? That was a question published in the Atlantic Monthly Online, 17 May 2017.
I don’t know that there is truth to this question. But if there is, the reason might be that women are busy tending to things that truly matter – family, budgets, things that go wanting if the woman doesn’t tend do them.
I think readers are seldom moved by opinionated letters. However, I do recall an incident that created an uproar, at least among those of poor reading comprehension.
It started in Eugene, Oregon during the 1960s when the downtown business district was overhauled in favor of Urban Renewal. In the process a large park fountain was installed. It measured some twenty feet across. Within days a band of hippies arrived bearing soap and towels. And the Eugene Register-Guard was quickly swamped with letters demanding that the bathers be sent packing. 
One writer, however, stated that the incident didn’t bother him in the least. In fact, one Saturday afternoon he’d purchased hamburgers for his two children and then took them to the park where he watched the bathers while his children masticated. The editor was swamped with a second wave of letters. 
I don’t know if anyone ever tallied the sex of these authors, but it would be interesting to know.

A Reflection

Reading the story published by Google News this morning caused me to reflect on my own past and how quickly I’ve embraced the technologies that came my way. I wonder if I’ve surrendered more than I’ve gained. 

My folks were on the move during my youth, so I mixed with a host of societies, people with different cultures, customs and values. During my eighth grade I attended a one-room school. There were nine us representing the third, forth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. We had a hand-me-down piano that was played by a dairyman’s wife/musician. Adhering to our schedule, she emerged at the appointed hours in work clothing and gum boots which were often showed smears of cow manure. She gave it her all. When God passed out a sense of rhythm she failed to get her share. Bless her golden heart. 
Her husband always kept his shirt buttoned tight, neck and sleeves no matter the temperature. Much of his farm work was accomplished the old-fashioned way. One summer he hired me to help with his oats harvest. Anyone of a half-dozen neighbors would have brought their combines. But he was his own man. He bought a new, stationary thrashing machine and then and hired men of my grandfather’s generation, with their teams and wagons, to haul the grain bundles to the machine. It was a glorious week for those old men. 
Reflecting, I recall window curtains swaying in the breeze, porch swings, iced tea, and neighbors joining the family on a warm summer evening. Those memories are now replaced by the harsh reality of air conditioning, smoky car windows, mobile sound systems, television, Facebook, WordPress, and a host of other gadget-related endeavors. 
Who needs neighbors? Who needs friends?

Mt. St. Helens Revisited

Mt. St. Helens was the gem of Washington’s Cascade Mountain Range. She stood as perfect and proud as Japan’s Mt. Fuji. I always anticipated seeing her on my occasional trips to Seattle.
Harry Truman (not the Harry that first comes to mind) owned a ski and recreation lodge overlooking Spirit Lake. No one could remember when Harry wasn’t there. When there was suspicion that Mt. St. Helens might erupt a reporter traveled there to chat with Harry about his plans. I don’t recall his exact words, but I remember he pointed to the place where his wife lay buried and said he would join her.
People installed devices, probably GPS receivers, in order to detect any physical changes. She began bulging on one side and they warned that activity was occurring. But no one took heed. Campers, hikers, fishermen, photographers, and the like headed for the mountain in droves. And then her side blew out.
I was enjoying a company picnic when a bulletin announced that Mt. St. Helens had erupted. I rode a motorcycle within 50 miles, close enough to see tons of ash billowing. I remember wondering when it stopped, if it ever did, what kind of gaping hole would occupy the place where our proud mountain had stood.
Those who had ignored the warnings fled for their lives. One man reported giant mud balls zipping past his car as he drove like his life depended on it. A toasted photographer was found in a tree. I’ve forgotten most of the accounts, but the number 17 seems significant for those who were recovered. That may not include others who will forever remain buried, along with Harry Truman.
The Army Corp of Engineers brought large equipment to the Toutle River where it passes beneath Interstate 5 and spent weeks clearing the channel of ash. When they were finished the equipment was moved to the side. A decade later it was still there.
Off Topic:
My first summer after high school I worked on a ranch east of Bend, Oregon. The bunkhouse had a large window facing west. Using powerful field glasses, I often studied the seven mountains occupying the Cascade Range, especially the one known as Mt. Broken Top. During the early morning, when the mountains were still pink in the morning sun Broken Top appeared “gouged out” on the east side. Mt. St. Helens now looks the same way.

It’s Almost Mt. St. Helens Day

Barb and I lived in Albany, Oregon, some two hundred miles south of the mountain during the period that included the day it blew out – May 18, 1980. There were a host of unknowns congering our fear. We didn’t know what the ash might do to us. Ash flakes the size of half-dollar coins floated down in our yard like gray snow flakes.

I was service manager at a Honda Car Dealership in Albany. And we went about our business selling air filters and giving advice about things about things we didn’t understand. 

One evening, after the owner, mechanics, and sales people were gone and I was the only one in the store, a faithful Portland customer sang into the service drive. He’d traveled the hundred miles because he trusted us. 

“Will you replace my air filter?” he asked. 
“Of course,” I replied. But when I raised the hood I was unable to see the engine. It was as though he’d filled his engine compartment with Mt. St. Helens volcanic ash. THIS ENGINE IS TOAST, I thought to myself. But instead of saying anything to him, I washed the engine down with a water hose. Only then did I unbutton the filter cover.The breather side of the filter was totally clogged. But I felt no grit between the air filter and the carburetor throat. 

The filter had preformed as advertised. 

Nevada Smith, Part 1

Today I received an email announcing the publication of a new book.The author’s home is Sparks, Nevada. His location caused me to remember a small black cat I found in Sparks some 20 years ago.

I was long hauling. My tractor, a blue, three-axle Freightliner, had developed a coolant leak. Since Sparks was close, my dispatcher directed me to the Alamo Truck Stop in Sparks, located a block off Interstate 80 and adjacent an International truck shop. He’d scheduled me in for repair even though it was just short of 0200 hours.

While waiting a small black cat wandered in where I was drinking coffee and introduced himself.

By the time my rig was good to go we’d established a relationship. By dawn I was loaded and headed for San Diego. The cat was sacked out in my sleeper and I was mentally going through a list of appropriate names – Alexander Alamo and Sparks McGregor were two runner ups, but Nevada Smith seemed to fit him best.

By the time I reached San Diego he’d crapped in my bed and our relationship had cooled somewhat. I would have abandoned him but the kids already knew about him. So we pressed on.

I hauled steel from Los Angeles to Sacramento. The instant I rolled my window down he leaped from the cab and hid himself in one of the zillion steel yard hiding places.

“That cat come with you?” asked the forklift driver in a sarcastic tone.

“Can’t catch him.”

“If he ain’t in the cab with you when you pull out of here I’ll call your dispatcher,” he promised.

Nevada Smith and I reloaded for Spokane.

The days become another week and I shared about 3,000 miles before arriving home. The kids were thrilled to see him; no more so than I was to see the last of him.

But that wasn’t the last of him. There’s more.
 from Yahoo Mail on Android


We were a covey of neebes trying to master Morse code in order to earn our general class amateur radio operator’s license. And we were stuck on the ten-word plateau. The elusive thirteen kept it’s distance until someone mentioned King Arthur’s Round Table. I’m sure the suggestion was made in jest, but the idea flourished. And it helped
Live, on frequency, and in code, we created a virtual table with seating to accommodate all who wished to join in.
QJR, it was called. It was an acronym for Quick John Run. Potty breaks were no allowed. And to enforce that rule the person next in line send his message, or ask his questions could declare a roll call. Everyone was obligated to reply to their call sign with HR (here). If there was no response the game was terminated by sending QJR.
Our record of uninterrupted Morse code lasted 4 hours and 35 minutes


I’m an amateur radio operator, have been for thirty years. During that span of time I’ve met the man on the street. And then some. The first one that comes to mind is Wheatley. He took time to swear on the air using Morse code.