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The Taste of Soap

Posted December 31st, 2010 at 05:35 AM by chas
"I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!"
--The Big Bad Wolf
in The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time in Olde Jewish Brooklyn, there lived a young boy. He had two sets of grandparents--his father's parents and his mothers parents, whose houses were only one block from each other in The Old Neighborhood. Now his own family lived in Queens, but they would go back to visit. But usually he would see only one set of grandparents or the other at a time, since he wasn't allowed to cross the street in between them by himself. Sometimes he slept over at one house or the other, so his own parents could get some relief from raising him and do Important Adult Things.

Now grandparents are pretty funny old people, who seem to come from a different old time world, but they are usually kindly. One day when he was 10 years old, he was staying over at his father's parents, in an upstairs bedroom. That day this boy had a comic book called...
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Phantom Lady

Posted December 30th, 2010 at 08:10 AM by chas
Updated January 2nd, 2011 at 06:44 AM by chas
"To absent friends, and those at sea."
--Traditional Sunday toast of the Royal Navy

When economic times were better, Cousin Jim and I, naively single like Oxford dons and mistaken for gay when older, took a second vacation in the winter time. This usually meant to a warm location South of the Border. Rio Caliente, a hot springs spa outside of Guadalajara, Mexico in a beautiful national forest. Costa Rica, with its aerial tram through the treetops of a forest; the narrow neck of land where you could swim in the Atlantic and, after a short ride, bathe in the Pacific as well. Puerto Rico, after San Juan on the off island of Vieques, where the locals go to vacation. Antigua, home of Nelson's Dockyard, base of the 18th Century British Royal Navy. But the first trip south was on a tall ship in the BVI.

The Barquentine S/V Fantome: a windjammer- a sailing ship with a metal hull. Ship is my favorite way to travel (then train, bus, car, and last of all...
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Keeping Station

Posted December 29th, 2010 at 08:06 AM by chas
"I love you guys. But next week you'll be trying to navigate this 2,000 person 27 building institution without me! So don't throw away this contact reference list I've made up for you. Otherwise you'll find it takes you two weeks to find out who the one person is who can answer your question. And then it'll turn out they've just gone on vacation for another two weeks!"
--Me, hosting New Employee Orientation
At the end of my Civil Service career

First Assignment

I was hired with many other provisionals (temporary appointment, pending examination) in a wild circus like environment, when they needed to hire many people quickly, and get a impossible amount of work done on deadlines extending over the next year. And the place had just thoroughly reorganized, and were performing many duties instead of specializing in their former field. "One stop shopping" or horizontal over vertical integration especially makes sense when a new Director...
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Pool Side

Posted December 25th, 2010 at 08:27 AM by chas
Updated December 25th, 2010 at 03:53 PM by chas
"Love is patient, and envies no one."
--The New Testament

"Why won't you ever come down to the Student Union basement and shoot pool with me? I'm not very good, but its fun."
"I don't want to. I hate it!"
"How can anyone hate a game?"
"Never mind. I just do."
"Jeez, you Midwesterners are so rigid! You're always saying you want us to share things together. Well, this is something we can share."
"We Midwesterners know who we are; we know what its about."
"Yeah, like yesterday, when you said a tune on the campus radio was Classical music, and I said no, it was Gilbert and Sullivan. You had to call them up right away to nail it down. And it turned out you weren't right about that, Gorgeous Cutey Pie. So tell me about this."
"Its my fiancee. He can't out talk me, ever."
"That's why your Dad calls you Punky."
"But he...
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In The Beginning

Posted December 23rd, 2010 at 07:30 AM by chas
Updated December 24th, 2010 at 06:48 AM by chas
"I think; therefore I am."
--Rene Descartes

Gramma stops Big Brown in playground. On roof, Shiny Thing spins round and round. What is?

*This is my first conscious memory. From a huge old wooden stroller, I wondered about one of those spinning silver metal rooftop heat exhausts. I was born in 1951 ,and this was just a few years later.*

I named the white push pedal car 'Nellybelle,' after the sidekick's jeep on The Roy Rogers TV show. I loved that toy vehicle. It went wherever I wanted to go, and never ran out of gas. Years later, I had the Davy Crocket coonskin cap, and The Rifleman's special lever action long arm. Wah-hoo!

*I was totally heroic, playing guns, in a safe neighborhood where you never saw a real gun in your life. I particularly enjoyed dying. Years later, both sides would bang away from behind a tree or other cover. I'd come out and die dramatically. But then, since no one else would ever die, I'd lie...
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