Thursday, December 31, 2009

Notable Deaths in 2009

A lot of worthies passed away in 2009 - but one the New York Times somehow failed to note:

Donald P. Wierenga, an educator, builder, artist, optimist and humanitarian, died on April 20. He was 78.

The world is a sadder and poorer place for his loss.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Just in case you were wondering what is pissing me off today...

All the stupid airport security crap that we have to go through and TSA doesn't even pay attention to their own "watch lists" -- preferring to spend their time patting down clearly harmless folk like you and me while letting known terrorists breeze through without a second glance.

stupid stupid stupid stupid

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Joyful Noise

Living right downstairs from one’s rental unit can be noisy. Vacationers like to listen to music. They drink beer, they exchange jokes and they laugh. Vacationers frequently keep different hours than I do, But much as I value peace and quiet, I have to tell you that I get a little nervous when I don’t hear anything up there. Are they not enjoying themselves? Are they perhaps quietly plotting against me and/or my property? Strange as it may seem, I am comforted by the squeaks, rattles and flushes of daily life coming from above.... to a point.

Extremely inebriated shrieking and hostile rap music played too loud make me even more nervous, as does overwrought emotion (I can’t hear distinct words, but I can hear emotional tones) and mysterious crashes. The rhythmic bouncing of a pool cue may start my toe to tapping but can soon lead to madness. And there was a time that the plumber-foiling “please jiggle the handle” toilet - whose pipes drain inches from my head when it is in bed - frequently ran all night. Sleep hours went down: water bill went up.

I do have favorite noises: the flurry of activity that indicates impending mass exodus (usually followed by a period of blissful silence) was one of the first I was able to recognize. But my very favorite noises are the joyful ones: a snippet of “The Entertainer” banged out on the old upright grand; the crack of billiard balls followed by a hearty cheer; guitar flogging and lusty singing and even the happy thumpiness of dancing.

Those joyful kinds of noises don’t bother me in the slightest. Unless they go on past -- oh 2 AM, say.

Monday, December 14, 2009

a day at the beach

Thursday, December 03, 2009

toasty the sandman