Saturday, October 29, 2016

"Lest you become another tale"

This is not the photograph I originally planned to run with this post. It was to have been one of my most recent acquisition among firearms: A Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver -- another .38 Special. That can wait and will appear another day. I have been having cable television / internet / landline problems the past few days, and this morning a technician arrived to cure the trouble. Apparently, my buddies, the squirrels, had damaged the connecting line and it had to be replaced. As I watched the workman, I immediately saw the link between his task and some of my words in this post -- the difference between a life of physical toil and one of mental toil. No doubt this man's tasks require knowledge and skill, but his occupation primarily centers on physical exertion outdoors in any and all kinds of weather -- extreme heat, harsh cold, snow, rain or, if fortunate, a "mellow" autumn day as today was here. My thoughts then raced on to this: While I have done any number of physical acts requiring difficulty and even extreme hardship, how long would I have lasted had my life been destined with no work more challenging than stringing cable with sun scorching my face one day and sleet stinging it the next? I do not think I would have lasted long living such a life. How does he do it? How does anyone do it .... walk in the same footsteps day after day until he can no longer walk?

The first verse of "Tales" -- a song
written by Ken Hensley
performed by the band Uriah Heep:

We told our tales as we sat under
Morning's sleepy sky
With all the colors of
The sunrise shining in our eyes

Give me a head with hair .... 

.... but first, I cannot understand it. I continue to be in a good mood. Sort of happy, actually.... inexplicably?

It might be because the weather has been good (with the exception of one torrential and a few lesser rainfalls) and because I have been doing yard work -- physical work -- preparing for winter. In terms of occupational work, ninety percent of my life probably has been spent doing mental work and ten percent doing physical work. I mean actual work -- not exercising or playing sports or running.
There is a significant difference in levels and states of exhaustion reached between these two "life styles." For me, nothing is so refreshing as physical work after a long period without it. Exercise or running do not help .... I do not understand why, but it has to be real physical work in order to rejuvenate my mind (and, my spirit ??) and to tire my body so that it truly can get the rest it requires.

Also contributing to my uncharacteristic mood, I am in something less than a serious / organized / logical state of mind at the moment. I think the complete, absolute, total ridiculousness of the two primary candidates for the office of president of the United States has reduced the level of intellectual thought to zero in this country and, subsequently, everything seems to be a bad joke these days and there is nothing which can be done about the situation except laugh in something approaching a hysterical manner.

It is blatantly obvious that extremist, absolutist adherents to polarizing positions have reduced both major political parties -- Republican and Democrat -- to comedic, yet tragic, entities. And, we, the people, likely will suffer for it for a generation or longer. (Does that make sense ?? Never mind .... never mind .... I cannot stop laughing ....)

Rock on & whatever ....

.... but I really am here today to relate an experience which struck me as ironically funny:

A few days ago, I was going to a tailor shop at a location where I never previously had been to drop off a pair of trousers. (Actually, it was new, winter / snow camouflage pants ordered over the internet and which came only in one inseam length .... needed to cut off a couple of inches. Camo gear still serves a purpose for me on occasion, he says with a crooked grin and a wink.)

Anyway .... I spotted the tailor shop sign and pulled into a nearby parking space. I grabbed my package and, without paying attention, left the car and walked to the doorway of the nearest store. Through the doorway I went, and found myself looking at four barbers, each sitting in his barber chair reading a magazine or a newspaper, passing time while waiting for customers. My mouth, assuredly, dropped open just a bit.

All four barbers stared at me. I have let my hair go again, and it is a few inches beyond shoulder length. That day, I had it in a pony tail.

"I think I am in the wrong place," I said, caught between a smile and laugh at the irony of the situation. "I thought this was the tailor shop."

"Next door," replied one of the barbers.

"Well, I suppose you think I could use a haircut and this might be the right place for me," I said, turning in profile to them while reaching a hand back and flicking my pony tail a few times.

"I do," said the nearest of the barbers, displaying his own smile and nodding his head to emphasize his words. He put his magazine down and started to get out of his chair.

I was tempted to ask, "What days does Delilah work?" .... but, every once and a while I manage to hold my tongue, so, instead, I said .... "Not today, guys. Sooner or later, I suppose, but not today .... and, I promise to remember how to find this place when and if the time should ever come."

I backed out of the door like a gunslinger making a hurried exit from a saloon in a Western film.... hmmmm .... my baby loves the Western movies .... sorry, I could not resist another rock 'n' roll allusion ....

That might be the story of my life .... going in the wrong door and backing out of it ....

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sort of a partial post to follow the missing post

A few days ago ....

.... I wrote the following words in a comment:

The problem with life is that a person cannot live forever. And, for sure, I do not mean that in the context of "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll." I mean it in terms of life being so damn fascinating on a human scale that I hate the fact I will not be around to watch it transpire ad infinitum.

Even in the short term, though, through the next decade or two, I think the world will find itself spinning and engaged in a war (dare I say it) to end all wars. King George III will roll over in his grave and British bands everywhere will be playing the song, "The World Turned Upside Down." In Europe, things will be worse, for it will be among the primary battlegrounds, and civilian causalities will be among the primary deaths. I really think so ....
I want to write a few more words about this, to continue on this line of thought .... but, not right now. Right now, I am listening to music and I am using it to stir a few memories .... sort of a "do not disturb" night ....

And, I have ....

.... mentioned this before, but with a bit less detail:

Once-upon-a-time, when passing through Duluth while driving from Michigan to Minnesota, I discovered Heart was performing that evening. I decided to spend the night and go to the concert. It became an interesting night leading to an interesting morning and, when I left Duluth, to a time of counting the moments until I could return. Sometimes, so-called "unintended consequences" form wonderful memories.

I did leave Duluth the next day, but came back two weeks later and spent a month there .... or was it two ?? .... or, maybe, the rest of the entire summer ?? .... who knows, who remembers ?? .... for that was the wild summer:

The summer of sleeping on the warm, sandy beach, of brandy and blasting rock 'n' roll and sweet sunrise to awaken me ("rosy-fingered dawn," as Homer described his sunrises so simply and so eloquently a few thousand years ago) .... sort of an endless summer with the lost, but forever present sunrise .... the summer which part of me never has left, which still exists somewhere waiting for me to find my way back .... to return to it ....

I am not certain if there will be more added to this post or not, but my mood is good and I wanted to toss these words into the sunlight.

Baby, am I on a nostalgia kick or what ??

Friday, October 7, 2016

The missing post

The objects in the photograph tell a story in a sense. Each object has its own message, a message which might be unique or different to each individual who views it. Put the objects together and the individual interpretations of the intent of the photograph become more complex and varied. So, what is your interpretation of these objects put together as they are in the photograph .... and, their relationship (if any) to the words of the post? In a sentence, write your own cutlines (caption) for the photograph.

[Editor's Note: I was putting the finishing touches on "Point Two" when I rather abruptly decided to postpone it and the third segment -- indefinitely. They have been written, so, someday, maybe, they will appear here. The photograph was to have accompanied the "Point Two" post. I decided to leave it here, alone, by itself .... why not ?? It might provide something for someone to puzzle over or to wonder how it was related to the missing post. Sort of a mystery ....]

No point to "Point Two" right now ....

Late (October 9) Addendum:

Just to feel like there is a breath of rhyme and reason here, to break the deadly silence I will belatedly add a bit of music to the mix. Here is one of the ten greatest songs (notice, I do not say "my ten favorite," but ten greatest) of the rock era: "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Some would even call it the anthem of the era .... in the least, the anthem of The Sixties.

The video accompanying the music is, in its own way, rather extraordinary. It puts me in the mood for a touch of elegance, a moment of indolence, a sense of beauty, real and abstract. It makes me remember, however briefly, there is an existence beyond running a woodland trail or swimming a hidden river. Hmmmm .... a masked ball would be fun .... would it not ?? It has been a while ....

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The (latest) Flame ....

My latest acquisition: A forty-one-year-old, like new Smith & Wesson K-38 Combat Masterpiece Model 15 revolver. It is .38 Special in caliber, sort of a weakling by contemporary standards, but in its day was the favorite among officers of many law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Powerhouse or not, it is a real "sweetie" and a perfect ten in my book. The photograph, incidentally, is from the auction site from which I obtained the gun and does not do this baby cosmetic justice .... I might try for a better "pix" myself .... or not .... I am certain you get my drift just the way things are and my photograph probably would be no better ....

[Editor's Note: This is the first of three posts unrelated in the sense of continuity, but correlated in the sense that these thoughts all passed through my mind while listening to the song which follows the words. I have no idea why they emerged as they did or if the song had anything to do with them .... but, I still am thinking / wondering about them. I like to psychoanalyze myself, you see ....]

Point One ....

There is a cliché / joke about the "gun lover" who discovers he has a holster, but does not have a gun to use it with .... so, what does he do? Sell the holster? No .... he buys a gun which fits it.

Something similar happened to me a couple of months ago. I did an ammunition inventory and discovered I have about seven hundred rounds of .38 Special ammo which dates back nearly twenty years. The problem is, I sold the last .38 Special revolver I owned, a Smith & Wesson Model 36, in 2009.

Yep, you guessed it. I did not sell the ammo .... I bought a revolver in which I can fire the ammo. I ended up with a Smith & Wesson K-38 Combat Masterpiece Model 15 revolver, the handgun used by most FBI agents and many police officers from some point in the 1950s until into the 1980s, when semi-automatic pistols became the rage of the day.

The one and only occasion I had to fire a Model 15 before was once upon a time when a friend of mine who was an FBI agent loaned me his to run through the FBI Practical Pistol Course with it. I still have the booklet which accompanied the classroom segment of the course, and used it to form the model when I set up my own pistol range during my "Sanctuary/Refuge" incarnation in Dakota.

To be honest, my shooting was pretty lousy that day, especially when compared to that of the "coppers" also going through the course .... but, I was sort of young, accustomed to semi-automatics and, as my son describes me now, I have hands and eyes "born to shoot Colt Model 1911 semi-automatics, not revolvers." Immmm .... but, I did shoot well enough that day to meet qualification standards for the purposes of my appearance.

The best part about this forty-one-year-old piece (1975 for you non-mathematicians) is that it is like new and probably never, ever even been fired. The next best part is that I bought it (won it) on an internet auction site for about $100 less than Model 15 revolvers in much worse cosmetic condition are selling for these days. Got lucky !!

Anyway, I love this "latest flame." The only problem is that being like new, it is too pretty to shoot .... I guess I might have to buy another which has been used a bit more ....

Something special ....