Kinky soccer …

This one is pretty bizarre. I didn’t realize soccer could get so kinky. It’s a game that I never really understood, until the 1994 World Cup. I was still in Albuquerque and watched several of the matches with a soccer fanatic I knew. It helped to have him explain basic strategy. When I started looking at it as a slower, more thoughtful version of hockey, I finally got it. I still don’t go out of my way to watch it, but the highlight reels are pretty cool. Wonder if the photo from the link above will make those reels …

xena chills out with a baby newf …

A friend brought her newf pup, Governor, over to see Xena last week. It was a funny encounter. The two hit it off quickly and chased each other around for a while, then went to lie on the air conditioning vent to cool off. Unfortunately for Xena, Governor beat her there and got the prime seat. You can’t even see the vent in the photo above. It’s completely covered by newf.

Governor is a landseer newf. They have the black and white coats. I think he’s about 12 weeks old in this photo.

Art deco in Cincinnati …

I stayed at the Omni Netherland in Cincinnati this week. (I think it’s now a Hilton …). The rooms leave something to be desired, but the public spaces are an incredible testament to art deco. The example at right is one of the eye motifs that filled the conference room we were using. The art in the hotel earned it a National History Landmark designation. The bar is especially cool. Great place to smoke a cigar and just marvel at the art. It pretty much makes up for the shoebox-sized rooms and the slow elevators. If you’re ever in town, definitely swing by to check it out.

My first introduction to art deco was during a trip to New York, when Pearl, a screaming queen friend of mine, took me on a tour of the Empire State Building pointing out all the art deco touches. I was hooked. I’ve loved art deco ever since.

Another morning, another shot of wild turkey

Xena has been obsessing over rabbits and squirrels during our morning hikes, so I didn’t think much of it when she disappeared into the brush. Suddenly, I heard a commotion, mighty flapping and what sounded like a struggle. Another huge turkey. This one emerged from the brush with Xena right behind it, flew about 30 yards away and landed, leaving the disappointed Newf behind. Just as well. I’m not sure she’d have been the victor in the encounter …

This Michael Moore’s no stupid white man …

I’ve never been a big Dylan fan, and my knowledge of jazz is cursory, at best. But I heard a tune during the jazz show on WUOT the other night and made a note to order the CD.

It’s the best thing I’ve heard since Gillian Welch’s “Time (The Revelator)“. Different, of course, but really ethereal and vast.

The CD is “Jewels and Binoculars: The Music of Bob Dylan.” It’s by Michael Moore (no, not that Michael Moore). This Moore is an American expatriate living in Amsterdam. He plays alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, melodica, bells.

I really had to fish around on the Internet to find a place to order a copy. Amazon didn’t have it. I finally found it here. It was worth the hunt.

I really like the bass playing of Pittsburgh native Lindsey Horner. Without his bass backbone some of the tunes would fall apart like a jellyfish in the surf. But it all holds together with a delicate, haunting beauty.

I recommend this one highly …

A shot of wild turkey before 9 a.m. …

On weekends, I’ve been taking Xena to the lake early to beat the heat. She’s a Newfie and doesn’t deal well with Tennessee summers. On the way back from Melton Hill Lake yesterday morning, I saw a giant tom turkey a few dozen yards up the road from my truck, across from a horse farm that overlooks the Clinch River. The turkey was scurrying up the road, and I slowed to watch. I swear the sucker was as big as Xena. A fence on the left kept it from escaping, and the turkey finally decided the only way out was to take flight. It was like a C-130 lumbering aloft, clearing the fence and landing in the field on the other side.

Those morning hikes are awesome. No one out that early on weekends, and plent of squirrels, rabbits and geese for Xena to chase. Dew in the grass. And a shot of wild turkey …

One mile east of the Papermill exit …

I was returning home on Interstate 40 last night when I saw about four or five semis slowed to a crawl in the right lane. Strange. An acrid, burned-rubber smell drifted into my truck. I slowed to about 10 mph and came upon one of the most horrifying things I’ve seen in a long time. A man was lying in a fetal position on the highway while a woman ran toward him, screaming, crying. A mangled red SUV was about 30 yards away, off the road. It all happened so slowly, so strangely. I drifted past, noticing the glimmering broken glass covering the roadway. The Do Lung bridge scene in Apocalpyse Now came quickly to mind. Then adrenaline hit me. I pulled over, already past the accident, and fumbled for my cell phone. Misdialed. Dialed again. Was put on hold by the 911 system. A police car’s lights approached in my sideview mirror. I sat stunned for a moment. Realized there was nothing to be done but gawk at this point. Shut off my cell phone. Pulled slowly back onto I-40, hands shaking, and continued on home.

I still don’t know what happened. No report in this morning’s paper. It was probably past their deadline. But the image of that woman and man on the Interstate won’t leave. It reminds me of my reporter days, when I would “cover” a fatal accident. I always felt like a vulture circling carrion, and it always took me a week or two to flush the scene from my mind …

Continue reading “One mile east of the Papermill exit …”

Jesus H. Christ …

This one is funny on so many levels …

1. ABC, the network that brought us the Victoria’s Secret fashion special and so many sitcom crimes against common sense, is protecting us from using “Jesus” as an exclamation.

2. Jerry Falwell is deeply offended that ABC decided to bleep “Jesus,” probably sensing an anti-Christian conspiracy instead of a muddled attempt to avoid offending Christians. I wonder if Jerry will hold the same opinion the next time someone says, “Jesus Christ! Get the hell out of my way.” Bet he won’t … But then again, he’s probably still talking to God about how the World Trade Center attack can be partially blamed on “… the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America.” Jesus Christ! The dude’s too much.

Maybe ABC should hire him as their new censor.

Evel’s ready to jump again …

When I was a kid, I though Evel Kneivel was the coolest thing on wheels. He inspired us the the loftiest heights of stupidity. We jumped our Big Wheels and bicycles over just about everything. Somewhere, I even have 8MM slow-motion film of my brother crashing and burning on a Big Wheel.

Now the man is planning a return with his longest jump ever. Can you say “nationally televised suicide“?