PensionersRants

Monday, November 17, 2014

Leftovers

    Not all meals are of the A1 type. As everyone knows, somewhere along the line there are leftovers. Such was the case yesterday, at least for me. In this case it was fish, leftover from the day before. Basa, from the Mekong, a type of catfish. Small world, eh? I asked my wife if she wanted any, as there was enough for two. She said no. A few minutes later she said, "I don't think I'm a fish person, I think I'm a steak person."
    She hasn't always been a steak person. I remember when we got married in Germany, we would go out and have anything from deer to frog legs. When I got transferred back to Canada, she was into club sandwiches, something you couldn't get overseas. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into steak. I asked her once why she always preferred steak. She said, " It seems such a waste to go to a restaurant and not have steak."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ouch!

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I cut my finger. Not once but twice. Washing dishes. Put the dishrag into a glass to wash it out and the side of the glass gave way, cutting my finger twice along the way. I'm blaming my wife for this. Yesterday, I suggested I be fired from this job. She said no, and now today, an injury. If she had agreed with me, I wouldn't have two bandages on my finger. Would this fall under the umbrella of a need for marijuana to dull the pain. At least there was one good result - she finished washing the dishes for me.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Down She Comes

    Last week, I had one of the trees in my backyard cut down. A maple tree about 70 feet high. The trouble was where a branch had been cut years earlier. The spot started to rot, filled with bugs that eat wood, ants, etc. I was afraid that in some future hurricane, it would blow down on my neighbors house. Right now the house is abandoned, so I don't know what the outcome would be, but the place has been sold for taxes and I am expecting a new house to be planted there. I wouldn't impress the new neighbors if my tree fell on them.
    I had two guys, about my age, do the cutting. Ex power company employees, pole climbers by trade. I told them to just get the tree down, I would look after the rest. So for the next two days, my wife and I cut it to manageable pieces for the wood stove for some time in the future, and got rid of the rest. I told my wife she would have made a great pioneer.
    The next morning I noticed that the tree next to this one didn't have a leaf on it, while the rest of the trees in the yard are still full.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Old and New

    Every weekend, our newspaper has a section on the first world war - stories, photographs. The section makes me think about previous wars. Before photography, there were paintings. Think about those from the Napoleonic Wars. Large, vivid in colors, seldom dark or morose. Wind blowing capes, horses, one foot in the air, the general, brave and daunting, in front of his troops.
    Quite a contrast from the first world war photos, with their singular color of black and white, no brave general leading his troops, but troops dragging through mud, falling over dead and dying friends. Horses pulling gun carriages, straining at the load, starving, never to see green fields again.
    The Napoleonic Wars had the same grief, the same mud with the generals at the back of their troops, and the soldiers dying in the mud.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Joyride

     A couple of days ago, I wheeled my daughter into the van and drove her to Wal-Mart. It's so easy to do with the new van. I find that when I am driving, I am a touch more nervous than normal. Been driving for 55 years - not afraid of driving. At other times I drive the car and all is normal. But the van is a wheelchair type and cost over $60,000. I'm not worried about my driving, I'm worried about everyone's else's. Any type of accident would be disastrous. Even a slight touch on he back may not allow me access to the ramp, and then how would I get my daughter out. It would be a struggle getting her through the side door and I would never get the wheelchair out. So - extra careful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Onion A Day

   
     Depending on airport flights, airport waits can be long, and if not prepared, tedious. I find that a book as a travelling companion is a must. With or without a book, people watching can be most interesting, productive or disheartening.
     I sit in New Jersey - my carry-all luggage wrapped around me - a chapter finished. The spies can wait while I eyeball my surroundings. Raising my head, my first blink, like a photo, captures a couple, each with a hamburger laid out on a napkin, which tries its best to stay in place on their laps. It appears each has ordered a patty with the same trimmings. As I watch, they began to trade condiments - she dislikes onions, he tomatoes, she dislikes pickles, and he lettuce - and so it goes. With trading completed - both satisfied, they press their sandwiches back together, happy for the trade. They appear to be a good match.
     A man walks by holding a submarine sandwich by three fingers. The other two fingers clasp onto a dangling plastic bag. It hangs down rigid, eight inches long, dragged down by the weight of an onion. Not just any onion, but a large one, yet unpeeled, its outer skin green and brown. Is it a souvenir - something to brag about to Midwest relatives, "Everything is large in New York, look at this onion." Then again, it could be dessert, one I would shy away from, and I suppose from anyone who consumes one raw. Wonder what flight he is on?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Italian Craftsmanship

While walking along a passageway on the Caribbean Conquest, at center I noticed a bump in the floor bearing a sign, "Watch Your Step." A year ago, on the Norwegian  Spirit, there was no such bump. I asked my son about this. "Oh," he said, " this ship was built in Italy. The ship last year was built in Germany." It seems they build Caribbean ships in a naval shipyard as two pieces, then welded together. Italian craftsmanship - maybe they should stick to purses and shoes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Down South

Just back from three cruises down south. First, Carnival Conquest, second, Norwegian Sky, and third, a swamp boat in the everglades. No meals on the third one. I think we were the meal, catered.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Tha Best Man?

I read this from Tom Clancy. "Corrupted men only select other corrupter men to be their peers."
That reminds me of my air force career. Drunks promote drunks, cad players promote card players, and golfers promote golfers. It's the same in every business. I expect it's the same at the White House security. Then there's that Ebola farce in Texas.

On the Ball

On the ball this morning. Lathered up with shaving cream, then grabbed my hair brush.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Red Rabbit"

Reading Tom Clancy's "Red Rabbit."
Finding it slow going.

Title To Wonder About.

Working on my book. Still haven't made up my mind about a title. My three thoughts are
"The Man in the Panama Hat." "The Scavi Incident." and  "Neocropolis."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Books

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." -

Mark Twain

Sunday, September 7, 2014

All Good Books Are Alike

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Thriller Is About People In Danger

A thriller is always about people in danger. The key is to make the reader share the hero’s anxiety. In all popular fiction, the author’s aim must be to get the reader to feel the emotions of the characters. That’s what makes the reader turn the pages.

KEN FOLLETT

Friday, September 5, 2014

Facebook

When I watch American news at night, I notice that the first 15 min. is the news and the last part is what I call fluff. Stories about cats and dogs and other touchy, feely things. Facebook is the second part of the news.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Real Importance of Reading

The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing . . . . It also offers you a constantly growing knowledge of what has been done and what hasn't, what is trite and what is fresh, what works and what just lies there dying (or dead) on the page. The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.

STEPHEN KING

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Writing a Book is an Adventure

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.

WINSTON CHURCHILL

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Fridge

  
     I used to have an under the counter fridge. It became so packed, I couldn't find anything. So I bought a large fridge for downstairs. Over time, they became so packed, I couldn't find anything. When I did the last renovations on the kitchen, I bought a large fridge for upstairs. But now both fridges are so packed I can't find anything.
    Yesterday, I told my wife about this, and as an example I told her that I was looking for pepperoni, but the fridges were so packed, I never did find it. So she said, "That's because I never bought any."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

It Is Only A Novel

Oh it is only a novel . . . . In short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.

JANE AUSTEN