Between Jobs

“Age is something that doesn’t matter. Unless you are a cheese.”



Morning Cliff. How are you doing?

Fine. You?

Concerned. Seems like friends and family are dying at an alarming rate.

I know what you mean. Have you noticed the trend?

Not sure what you mean. What trend?

At some point in life you look in the mirror and suddenly realize you are old. You look like your Dad.

Well………..yes. I suppose so.

Then you retire.

Then you die.


Don’t you see it? The chain? Old…retire…die.

Ok. So what.

The secret to a long life is to break the chain.


I’m now officially BETWEEN JOBS. Not retired. BETWEEN JOBS. That breaks the chain.

My brain hurts Cliff. Talk to you next week.


“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Posted in All kinds, America, human, life, life span | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Rock N Roll music

“If I’m not working on something, I literally just sit and think, which I don’t think is productive.” – Adam Driver

During a conversation with my wife and daughter, the subject of the first Rock N Roll song came up.

What was it?

It was probably some obscure Black gospel type thing. Gaby recalls the first Rock n Roll song she remembers hearing was Rock Around the Clock.

I clearly remember the first time I heard Rock N Roll. It was 1956. I was 13. My brother and I were searching the air waves in rural South Carolina just out of curiosity. Just passing time.

Suddenly, a sound we’d never heard before. Did not know it then, but it proved to be the first Rock N Roll music we ever heard.

Our reaction was immediate. WOW. That was different. What is this?

Most of my generation were there at the beginning. Do you remember?

”Songs are a funny thing. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history.” – Pete Seeger

Posted in America, human, life, Music, Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Father’s Love

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

Sitting on a park bench, enjoying the warmth of the noonday sun.

Shortly, a man and his young son sat on a bench close by.

The rhythm of their conversation was soothing and, while the words were lost in the wind, it was obvious they were discussing pleasant things. The scene and tones further soothed my soul.

And in a while, with tears in his eyes, the man lovingly hugged and kissed his young son.

I tried to turn away, not wanting to intrude on this private moment. I could not.

The son asked, “Daddy why are you crying”?

Son, there will come a time when you will not want me to kiss and hug you. I want you to have these good moments to remember. Someday you’ll remember this and know in your heart that your father loved you. This is the greatest gift I can give to you.

With a heavy heart, I turned away.

 “Music……it’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” – Tom Petty

Posted in All kinds, America, Behavior, father, human, life, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Needle In A Haystack

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein

On the job. Phone rings. Pick up at North entrance. Guy needs help finding his car.

The North entrance is the furthest point from my current position.

Drove there.

Guy hobbles up to my van on crutches and clutching a key.

Hops in. Points key at me and says “Need to find my car”.

I stare at him expecting more info. Like vehicle description. Maybe which garage he parked it in. Something.

A long moment of silence.

Finally, I asked “that’s it? There are 4,500 possible locations around this hospital. Do you at least know which parking garage? A possible starting point?”

He gets huffy. I was having a heart attack when I got here. A security guard parked my car. I don’t know where.

I’m thinking this guy is a whack job. So you drove yourself here while having a heart attack. Correct?


You probably drove to the emergency room entrance. Then, while you were wheeled into the emergency room, a security guard parked your car. Does that sound right?


I think I know where it is.

Drove to the garage and there, on the second level, is the guy’s car.

He thanks me profusely and hops out.

I am a miracle worker.

Should have bought a lottery ticket that day.

“When I see friends from school, I think they’ve all grown old and I’ve stayed the same.” – Steve Coogan

Posted in All kinds, America, Behavior, life, Strange, Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Hospital

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemmingway


Several months ago I took a part-time job driving a shuttle for a local hospital in Tulsa.

I thought it would be a benign, brain dead affair. Driving people to and from their parked cars.  All on the hospital grounds.

Six parking garages with as many as 6 levels. A possible 4,800 parking slots. 6 different hospital buildings. At least 30 acres in all.

A big campus. The geography is such a good GPS is a must.

Well….soon it became obvious that, while mild in nature, it has its moments.

Such as:

Got a call to pick up a lady at the main entrance.

Good afternoon. Where do you want to go?

To my car but I’m not sure where I parked it.

Hmm. Well….was it a top level or below?

Top level for sure.

Car and color?

White Lexus.

Your visit purpose?

What do you mean?

Were you visiting someone or was this personal?

To visit my mom. She was admitted yesterday.

After you parked your car, how long was your walk to the hospital?

Not very long at all.

(These questions are designed to give me an idea of where to start looking)

After 30 minutes of futile search, it became obvious she didn’t have a clue.

I decided to begin a macro search. Looking everywhere.

Descending down to the lower levels she insisted she had parked it on the top level.

We’ve searched the top levels. It was not there. Therefore, it has either been stolen or is on one of the lower levels.

As I descended she exclaimed, what are you doing? It’s not down here.

Work with me.

30 minutes in we found the car. It was on the lowest level. And it was not white. It was silver.

But it was a Lexus.

This scenario happens every day. Several times a day.

And it is not gender-specific.

So I’ve learned how to tell someone they are dumber than a fence post without creating a scene.


“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg

Posted in All kinds, America, Behavior, human, Jobs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

I Know

“It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends, and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.”


Having experienced loneliness, I know this to be true.

How about you?”

Posted in All kinds, America, Behavior, health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I’m A Guy

“We did not change as we grew older, we just became more clearly ourselves.” – Lynn Hall

 My wife accuses me of being pig headed. Not always, but sometimes. For instance, I mostly ignore directions. Specifically HOW TO things

How to assemble.

How to use.

Like most guys, I don’t need no stinking instructions. I’m a guy.

So our toilet bowl flushing device quit. A problem demanding immediate attention.

I’ll fix that.

Do you know what you need my wife asked with skepticism?

Of course. I’m a guy as I thundered out the door. Off to Lowes to get a new flushing mechanism.

A bit of a dilemma. Lowes had 8,000 devices to choose from.

But, because I’m a guy, I was prepared with a picture of the old malfunctioning device.

Got the correct one and confidently returned home.

I start the repair. Immediately there is a problem. I can’t get the old one out of the tank.

Reluctantly I consult the directions. Aha. That’s what I thought.

I got the old one out and began the installation of the new one.

Thought I had completed the task….turned the water on and uh oh, a leak. Where the water line hooks up to the tank.

I call out to Ann requesting towels and a bucket. Within a few moments she arrives with the items. At this point, there is an inch of water on the floor as the leak continues nonstop.

What the hell is going on Ann asks?

I ignore the question.

Once the situation is under control, I take another look at the old flusher.

Aha. There it is. A washer type thing that was not in the new packaging.

Take it off the old and put on the new.

Problem solved. As I admire my handiwork Ann has the audacity to ask, “Didn’t the package contain the washer type thing a ma bob?”

Did you read the instructions? The part list?

Of course you silly girl. How odd that the new product did not come complete with all the parts.

I know. My thinking exactly.

Ann retreats to another room with an armful of wet towels as I continue to appreciate a job well done.

Like a silent, dark omen, Ann suddenly appears. In her hand are the missing parts.

What the hell? Where did you get those?

With an evil smirk she asks……..Did you read the parts list? The instructions?

Well, I stammered, clutching at straws, I consulted them a few times.

With a low, measured voice she states……….”You are so busted”.

Ann, please don’t tell your mother.

“We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.” – Friedrich Hayek

Posted in ACCIDENTS, All kinds, America, Behavior, Jobs, life, repairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Was I Thinking?

“You don’t know what unconditional love is if you don’t have a child, you don’t know what that is.” – Regina King


So yesterday I finally got those rain gutters installed that the house so badly needed.

As the installers drove away I thought now I need rain to test those beautiful new gutters.

In my mind I performed an elaborate Indian Rain Dance. To test the new rain gutters. Got to test the gutters.

That night, the rain Gods obliged. With a vengeance. A mighty storm blew in from the Texas panhandle and spawned buckets of rain and………a nasty tornado.

A frantic pounding on our bedroom door at 1:30 am woke us with start. Our daughter announced with each desperate hammer – ‘WAKE UP.  A TORNADO IS HEADED OUR WAY.’

What the hell?

The TV was on and sure enough, they were telling us all to take cover as they tracked the beast moving relentlessly towards our neighborhood.

Tornado sirens wailed and rain pounded our fragile home. We huddled and prayed.

As if a final goodbye, my daughter cried I love you.

So there I sat with two women, a dog, a cat, and my thoughts.

What was I thinking as we wrapped arms and prayed? Important things like death? Praying for my soul?

No. I was thinking I should have waited one more day to install those gutters.



“On the ‘Star,’ you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone.– Ernest Hemmingway


Posted in Texas | 5 Comments

Parent’s Day

“The older you get, the quieter you become. Life humbles you deeply as you age. You realize how much nonsense you’ve wasted time on.”


Mother’s Day. A day, set aside, to celebrate Mothers.

But wait. There can be no Mothers without Fathers. Is it not so?

So why a Mother’s Day only? Why a Father’s Day only? There could not be either without the other. Right?

So……………how about a Parent’s Day. Celebrate both as one.

What a concept.


“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” Maurice Lenda

Posted in Texas | Leave a comment

This Could Kill You

“Don’t forget to drink water and get some sun. You’re basically a houseplant with more complicated emotions.”

Woke up Tuesday morning in a sweat. 103 temp. Could not move. I was sick. Very sick.

About noon my wife told me I needed to see a doctor.

Too weak to argue, she dressed me and Ann got the car ready as I struggled with my emotions. What the hell was going on?

We went to one of those medical emergency establishments. They took blood, chest x-rays, and swabs.

30 minutes later, the Doc came in.

So Doc…have I got the flu?



Not only do you have the flu with a high temperature, but you also have pneumonia.

I was stunned.

You need to go to a hospital Emergency.

Slowly I begin to comprehend.

In the meantime can you give me some prescriptions?

You don’t understand. Given your age, this could kill you. You must go to hospital Emergency now.

Kill me? Wow. What?

So we went. 2 days later, after multiple X-rays, a steady dose of IV drugs, and multiple blood tests all administered by wonderful hospital staff, I emerged. Busted out.

I’m still recovering but feeling much better. In a few days, I’ll be good.

But I can’t get over that statement……………”This could kill you.”

What an attention getter that was.


“It is not necessary to know what a person is afraid of. It is enough to know the person is afraid” – “The Sins of the Fathers” by Lawrence Block

Posted in Behavior, Conversations, death, Doctor, fear, health, life, memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment