Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Blogged Down

A few notes about this blog, for all my readers:

The reply setting has been disabled. If you have comments of the intelligent and grammatically-functional type, email me at the Ticker. To me, comments here are just babble, and I won't reply. Email me and I might respond. A personal one-on-one dialogue! Imagine!

I'm not providing a photo because I disenjoy most things that smack of vanity. If I thirsted for vanity I'd get a TV commentary gig. Trust me; I can come across while using a teleprompter as well as the next talking head. I know I may be missing bucks, but that goes in the Oh, Well box.

My job at the paper and my schooling comes first. It's tough enough wedging my skull spillage into the slot that is a blank chunk of newsprint, then facing the freeedom of unlimited screen space online. Or tackling crunchy text and tring to figure out how to filter it through my head and spit out a gemstone. The mental shift gives me the wobblies. Sure I could wax on and let my editor trim to size in print but I don't consider myself a writer; I consider myself a rewriter. As every writer should. It's a duty and a requisite. Care to know how many drafts Hemingway would peck out with a typewriter? The triumph reveals itself the more the prose is reworked.

I don't apply my best standards and practices to a blog. After all, it's only a blog. I try to say something of worth each time, but I have to consider it a sideline.

Election Message From Nipsey Russell

The election is over
The result is known.
The will of the people
Is clearly shown.
Let's forget our differences
And show by our deeds.
We'll give our president
All the help he needs.
So let's all get together
And let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant
And you'll kiss my donkey.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

See Star

A relative who has spent decades along the coast of Maine remarked how much the near-shore wildlife has changed. As a youth, he remembers many jellyfish. Starfish, too. Both long gone.

A family hike along Rockland's Breakwater brought some wistfulness. No jellyfish, but a few starfish, just off the rocks, and deep, shimmering through the rolling waves.

Said relative remembered many tourist-trap photos of shorelines and tide pools, often featuring a starfish. He never saw one onshore, in all the many years he crawled the rocks and poked into crevices cradling sea debris. He always suspected the photos were seeded, and a good photographer would have to consider that. Also a lifelong habitant.

Owl's Head State Park is as you picture it: scenic lighthouse on a rocky promontory, gravel beach, overlooking Rockland Harbor and the distant Breakwater Light. Though free and open, it's not a place to drop money or haul away official souvenirs Made In China, so few but fans of a little accessible natural coastal wildness crawl the shoreline, poking the high-tide debris lines for sea glass and other maritime treasures.

Said relative saw an odd little soggy flesh-colored finger of something, the length of one segment of a little finger, the thickness of a pencil. Why sharp eyes fell upon this is and held attention is the mystery you can imagine. When taken to hand, the something was a wet bundle of appendages, unfoldable with gentle fingertips. Quarter-size, it was a sea star.

You can fill in the story yourself from here, remarking how this could happen after all the decades past, an unattractive tiny sprig of goo, spotted amongst so much other more notable bric-a-brac, discovered and cherished, the first star brought home in all the many years.

Maybe there were many to be found in all that time, but they were unrecognized because they did not appear as expected, never as on the tourist postcards. So perhaps we can say that there may be uncountable other stars to be discovered in Life, if only we affix our eyes on unremarkables, lift them free of the common clutter, and allow them to unfold and reveal their glory in a warm human hand.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacuum The Lawn

Dave brought home an interesting item. An electric lawnmower, complete with long bright high-contrast orange power cord, that had been clipped and spliced with black tape in three places.

How can this be, you ask?


It's the difference in the sexes.

Or at least, their habitual household roles.

The lady of the house is quite used to operating an electric appliance that tidies up what's underfoot. Said item underfoot is a floor, and said appliance is a vacuum cleaner. Notice that said appliance has a cord, and that the lady of the house is quite used to throwing it like a lasso, to get it out of the way of the duty at hand.

The lad of the house is not used to such a skilled activity. Count on it.

So when such lad hits the lawn with an electrified mower featuring a high-speed rotating blade, this lad may fall inattentive, especially if said lawn is of any size larger than, well, anything.

Guys just aren't used to vacuuming, which involves a powered appliance leashed to 110 volts of angry little electrons, or displaying similar skills involving an outdoor surface underfoot.

Combine that with the rotating slicing sharpened-at-both-ends blade, and you have this figured out already.

Guys, if you're going green with the lawn care, do yourself a favor and take a home economics course first, or practice by slurping up dirt from the living room floor a few times until you can handle major league pitching, which is longer, larger, and involving whirling weaponry.

In short, learn to vacuum the lawn.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

And Now They Are Legends

A month back I was on a business call to Atlanta. The rep was not only glad to speak with someone who acted like a human being, he was excited to hear I was from the Boston region. He grew up fifteen minutes from Kevin Garnett, and while in college, interviewed Ray Allen.

"Do you think the Celtics will win it all?" he asked.

I told him that my prediction was no matter. I will support them and cheer for them through thick and especially thin because they are good people.

And now they are legends.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Yankees Have Cooties

Even their fans are agreeing. And why their fans have any qualm about their HOF-to-be third baseman is beyond my understanding. How about being actual fans, through thick and especially thin?
Guess what. There is a bunch of them. The Bleacher Creatures. They support their boys. They know what it takes to get onto that field in a striped uni and take the flame from the disloyal, the fashion-slaves, and the Yankee gangstas. They express their love and respect and support, not because it's worn as gang colors or as a weapon; it's because it's their version of a Mom tattoo. Every team needs more fans like them. They earn respect from fans of other teams with similar supportive attitudes. Can I sit amidst Red Sox Nation and say "bless them"? I knew you'd understand.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Asfault Jungle

Excerpted from The Ticker Online, copyright 2008, The Ticker News Publications, Inc.

In an effort to keep the trickle of tourist dollars home, the authorities of the Northeastern U.S. have decided to bring vacation hotspots to the homeys. The citizenry doesn't have the coins for gas, and what few bucks remain can stay right here, thank you. Their first effort at bringing vacation to your neighborhood is in the form of little Grand Canyons, scattered at random amid our paved thoroughfares. To avoid any marketing infringement, they renamed these little versions "potholes". Take the wheel and it won't be long before you come upon one like a leftover Easter egg. Skirting the rim to admire the view is a must; stopping at the rim to gaze upon the panoramic sweep of the natural hole in the Earth isn't always an option.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mistake? Nonesense.

I can spell, thank you. I do well myself and sometimes reference an online dictionary just so it won't get lonely.
Readers new to the room notice I'll drop in a word they've not seen before. Sort of a dual-purpose word, not exactly like a Sniglet. Look that up if you need to, then come back.
I discovered long ago that there are words easily assembled that are not in the dictionary, but should be. There's where the Sniglets and I part.
I like words that are twists on old ones, or combinations of two words that get one's attention just for a moment, not long enough to break the rhythm, but immediately obvious in their meaning in context.
I've gotten some fame for this, and modesty demands that I state that it flows easy and natural and I reject some that cross my mind for lack of utter obviousness. I have my standards.
A few examples:
When the rains come hard and noisy, I raise a thunderbrella.
That colorful insect flitting through the tulips must be a flutterby.
A speaker who bores the audience and does not address their desires is an ignorator.
I hit my first-ever New England frost heave and nearly found myself behind the wheel of a Honda Pileup.
I miss my original home and family there; I can't get enough Flagstuff.

I don't own a patent on this concept, so feel free to make up your own if it'll help you communicate all the better. After all, others before us got us where we are that very way.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Smooth As Butter: It's Celts Parquet

I never got lit up by basketball, maybe because no one in the family expressed the depth and beauty of the game.
Boston's sterling basketball history is now in the present, judging by the long-term fans.
I watched a game I accidentally saw while channel surfing.
Eye-popping jaw-dropping net-snapping thunder-ball.
I was enthralled.
That stunning game-play of theirs has to translate to the record they have, and maybe more. They have a real shot at winning the last game played this season.
Those who can appreciate a game can become a fan of a team in a blink, if such team plays it right, with imagination, with smarts, and an ear-to-ear grin.
I'm forcing words. Sorry.
I'm just trying to say that I've fallen for these guys. The long-timers tell me this is the way the Celtics played many times over many years until they fell upon tough times. It must have been a show to make your heart leap, game after impressive game.
This is the best reason for a fan to hope for a championship: When your local boys play so wonderfully, you feel they deserve the biggest reward for their exquisite effort.
I'm not a bandwagon fan. I just didn't know a thing about this team's mystique and legend. I discovered them quite on my own.
Unlike other teams in other sports, their fans wear the colors not because they're fans of winning; they're fans of the boys and the entertainment value they see right now, not the trophy they may see in the future.
I'm thrilled I can see what the buzz was--and is--all about.
Go Celtics.
Now I just have to learn to recognize a pick-and-roll.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wicked Smaht

If we keep watching "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" and answering the questions on the desktop calendar and playing the home game for the next five years, we'll all have a fifth-grade education.
We should look forward to that.
Special cheat: If you have the desktop calendar, burn through all the questions as soon as you can. That may put you above and beyond most of those hum-jobs running for President.
No, I'm not cynical.
I just know in what three states of matter water can exist. (Second grade science.)