Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday the 26th of February, 2010

Today is the last Friday of the month. There were only four this month. Five Fridays in February occur once every 28 years. The last time five happened was in 2008. It will not happen again until 2036. Make sure to make a note.

If you are interested in saving money, you can reuse calenders every 28 years. If you still have your 1982 calender, it is valid again this year. If not, then be sure to save this year's calender and use it again in 2038. For those of you born in 1926, 1954, or 1982, whatever day your birthday is this year, it is the same day you were born on.

To be completely accurate, in 2100 there will be no extra day in February, so the calender from 28 years earlier in 2072 will not work. Leap days are inserted every four years except on the centenial, the 100 year division. But wait, you say, the year 2000 had a February 29th! The reason is because it was a millenium, a 1000 year division. All this was figured out by a gang of monks called Gregorians. They calculated exactly how long it takes the earth to travel a complete rotation around the sun. The problem was that it was not an even 365 days. There were about six hours light. Those six hours every four years demand an extra day. The about part means it is not quite six hours so every 100 years they skip adding a day. Unfortunately that works for about 1000 years and then to even it all up, we forego the skip.

Does any of this really matter? I find it interesting, but with the planet supposedly ending in 2012, the only creatures left will be cockroaches and they could care less about the Gregorian calender. They're still on dinosaur time.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A new post all shiny and bright

Yes, it has been a few days. I thought I would be able to write on a daily basis. Shows how well I know myself.

Nothing new has occurred, or for that matter, nothing occurring is new. Is it a ever really a new day dawning? If you take into consideration the turning of the earth, dawn is always, and has always, been ongoing. The only way a new dawn can happen is if the sun would black out and turn back on.

When asked "What's up?" My typical response is, "the cost of living." I use to respond "Clouds" or "telephone wires." I try to change. They say "the only thing constant is change" or "the more things change, the more they stay the same." I say "can you spare some change?"

My attempts at humor are low. I think I will end this now and try again at a later time.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ma's Pa

When I was only a singular digit of age, I thought Grampa was the most fun person to ever be around. I did not know that his oars didn't reach the top floor. That is to say his elevator did not quite touch the water.

I would only see Grampa in the summer, when there was no school, and Dad took his vacation. Grampa lived in New Jersey and we lived in Michigan. My father's father had died years earlier. I have the dimmest of a memory of him. My mother's father lived until I was nine years of age. Both grandmothers had died before I was born. My mother's brother, my Uncle Chet, had a trucking business in Manville, New Jersey. For lack of creativity, he called his business "Chet's Trucking." Uncle Chet was still single and he took care of his father, my Grampa.

Every summer my folks piled me into the back seat of the car, next to cooler filled with sandwiches and colas, and we headed east for the next week or two. I hated the 12 hour drive but loved visiting Grampa and Uncle Chet. I had a different name in New Jersey. When in Michigan I was called "John" or sometimes "Johnny", but in Joisey I was called "Jawn" or "Jawnny." The "aw" sound was stretched slightly: "Jaaawn-nee." I was always fascinated by their use of different words for familiar things. Bags were called sacks. Pizzas were called tomato pies. Pop was called soda. "Jawny, you want a soda with your tomato pie? Grab one out of the sack."

My uncle's house was on a street named Dukes Parkway. It was a long dirt road with a few houses scattered here and there only on one side. The other side was county property and on that side, about a half mile from Uncle Chet's, was the city dump. This was like Oz to a seven year old, and Grampa also loved the dump. He would walk me there and together we would scrap. Scrapping is the term he used to describe digging through garbage in hopes of finding something useful or fixable.

My Uncle Chet had bulldozers and steam shovels and other heavy equipment in the yard adjacent to his house. This was like a carnival to me. He would always leave the blades up on his construction equipment. I would climb into the driver seats, push the air release levers and lower the scoopers and blades. I wasn't able to raise the extensions. Air compressors, running off the engines, were required for raising. Uncle Chet did not give me the keys to start these machines. So I learned how to gently push the levers and I could lengthen the time spent dropping the gear to the ground.

One of my last memories of Grampa was the day that he went to the dump without me. I stayed behind to play on the metal dinosaurs. The steam shovel was a brontosaurus and the bulldozers were triceratops. After I had bested the beasts, I went to the road to look for Grampa. In the distance I saw him coming. He was pushing a shabby, wobbly baby buggy back home. I ran to greet him and saw the buggy was wobbly because it only had three wheels. I looked in the carriage and saw an odd assortment of gadgets and gizmos. This was par for the course. What surprised me was the dead flat bird laying on top.

"Grampa, what're ya' doing with the bird?"

"I'm gonna fix it," he told me. This seemed unlikely, but being seven, I wasn't going to doubt an adult. I still had a fear of the Oz flying monkeys although I was pretty certain that they did not exist. Who was I to say what was possible or not.

I helped Grampa push the carriage back to Uncle Chet's and into his garage. Grampa had a little work area in the garage where he tinkered with his found treasures. Next to his bench was a large pile of broken objects that he either could not fix or hadn't yet tried to fix. There were all sorts of interesting things he intended to repair. Clocks without hands, radios with missing components, rusted meat grinders, shovels without handles, shoes without soles, lamps without cords, corroded pots and pans, eyeglasses without lenses, smashed coffee pots, punctured inner tubes, and lots and lots of pieces of tinfoil among it all.

Grampa rummaged through the stack and pulled out a balsa wood toy plane. One of the wings was pushed straight up. He bent it back to the proper position and it cracked off. Next he swabbed the broken area with Elmers Glue and held the wing in place. As he waited for it to set, Grampa talked to me. I don't know what he said because he was talking in Polish. Grampa would forget that I did not understand Polish, and talked to me in his native tongue. His volume would go up and down, and I knew when he was making a point when his words rushed out and then stopped suddenly. I would put a surprise look on my face and he would nod his head to assure me that what he just said was the absolute truth. He may have been giving me worldly advice, or perhaps revealing a tale of his past, or maybe discussing the previous evening's Perry Mason episode. I never knew the meaning behind his words, but it did not matter. The important thing was that he was giving his attention to me. When you are an only child like I was, it was a rare occasion to find an adult that would talk to you without ordering you to do a chore or yelling about something you did wrong.

Grampa decided it was time to test the newly glued plane. As soon as he released it, the wing fell off again. He grunted and grabbed a roll of tape. He then tried taping the wing back on the plane. This had a little success. It was attached, but wiggled. Good enough. Next Grampa took the dead bird out of the baby buggy and set it across the frame. The birds wings stretched out over the plane's wings. Grampa taped the two together.

I followed Grampa out of the garage into the back yard. He held the bird mounted plane at shoulder level, pulled his arm back, and flung the flyer into the air. It went about ten feet before plummeting to the ground. He smiled his approval, retrieved the bird-plane and offered it to me. I took the thing from him. He patted me on the head, told me to enjoy myself and walked off. I stood there staring at Grampa's bizarre creation. Finally, I threw it into the sky and watched it go over the back fence. I took a moment to debate if I should climb the fence and retrieve it. I decided I was hungry instead, and went into the house to ask my mother to fix me something to eat.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Nite Memory

This is Saturday. Saturday night. I am home at my computer. As you can decipher, my social life leaves much to be desired. Saturdays used to the greatest night. Many years ago, there was a place called the Eastown Theatre where popular bands would perform. On Saturdays I would arrive at their door to pay $3.50 to see Alice Cooper, or Rod Stewart and the Faces, or Iggy Pop and the Stooges, or the Bob Seager System, or Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, or Grand Funk Railroad, or Mountain, or Brownsville Station, or any of a thousand different bands. The Eastown was an old movie house that had the first 20 rows of seats torn out, and featured popular rock bands instead of films. The audience could meander around the floor, getting within spitting distance of the performers on stage. And Iggy Pop did indeed spit, among other things.

The Stooges were on stage and Iggy was singing "I wanna be your dog" when he suddenly jumped into the audience. He crawled accross the floor, the crowd close but leaving a spotlight of space around him. He sang as he made his way to the center of the auditorium, dragging his microphone cord behind him.

On this particular night, I had consumed mescaline. The colors were bright and dazzling, the music was pure bliss. I stood stoned still in complete awe. Iggy made his way back to the stage and as the circle of people around granted his way he found me. I did not move out of his path like all the others. I was frozen in my spot, mesmerized. Iggy got off his knees, grabbed his mic in both hands like a club, and knocked me on my ass.

The sudden assault awakened and irritated me. I jumped up ready to fight, but by now the circle containing the rock star had passed. Iggy had found his way back up on the stage. His microphone cord did not. I picked up the cord at my feet and gave a yank. Iggy, trying to finish the song, was pulled forward. A tug-of-war ensued. I would pull Ig to the edge of the stage. He would jerk the line back and continue singing. We pulled back and forth half a dozen times before the bouncers grabbed me.

The next thing I knew, I was standing on Harper Avenue, stoned to the gill, angry at Iggy Pop, and without the means to get home. I had to wait for the concert to end for my friend, Donny, to appear. He had supplied our transportation that night. Donny told me that he had seen the bouncers throw me out. I asked why he didn't come out to find me. He said, "There was over an hour of the show to go. No sense of us both missing it." I couldn't argue.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 3

This is the 3rd day of my blog. I am not sure I like hearing that word aloud. It sounds like a belch from Bela Lugosi. This may be like pointing out the obvious, but the word "blog" is taken from the words "web log." I wonder why they didn't use "webble" instead. "I'll write on your webble if you'll write on mine." That's as corny as tweeting on your twitter.

Now it is time for ranting and raving. "RANT! RANT! RANT!" (a moment's silence) "RAVE! RAVE! RAVE!" Okay, that's out of the way.

I was born towards the end of the last millenium. I have lived in two of the three milleniums since the birth of Christ. So you figure I should have gained some advanced wisdom along the way. I have not. I never figured out the meaning of existence, or what happens to a person on their expiration date. In fact, I cannot say without utmost certainty that I am not a figment of somebody's demented imagination. I more than likely am not. Yet who is to say, that all this that I see around me and have experienced, is not part of some other being's deranged thought process. That would explain alot.

I am rattling on right now. I am actually forcing myself to type. I figure if I get in the habit of writing on a daily basis, then I may come up with something interesting. If that happens, then I will give out this web address and let others onto these words. (oh boy, the anticipation is titillating) I wonder if anyone will happen upon my page by sheer chance. (that idea has even more titillation)

Yes, I like the word "titillating" or "titillation". That should be obvious by my abuse of its use. Another word I enjoy is "inebriation." I like combining the two words: "A titillating inebriation." In fact, that sounds like a good idea. I feel like indulging my dipsomania and enjoy a titillating inebriation. I shall return...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Blog Day

Well, here we are at day 2 of my blog. So far, all is well. I haven't told anyone about this yet. I don't know if its because of cowardness or shame. Perhaps a combination of them both. I have always hated to be part of the pack. Blogging is everywhere now-a-days and I do not appreciate being grouped into the majority. Then again, maybe it is only my perception of blogs that has me believing it is part of mainstream society. You see, although I have over half a century of life under my belt, I am currently a college student. I attend classes with people who think of the attacks on 911 as ancient history. They could call me grampa, I am in that age bracket, hopefully in good humor and not rightfully so. They all have laptops and are constantly blogging. Blogging and tweeting. I hope I never sink so low as to tweet. It is bad enough that I am now blogging.

In a way I appreciate schooling more today than when I was a youth. I actually enjoy learning. It is no longer a dreaded chore to endure until I can party with my friends. Most of my friends these days are taking that long underground sleep. In my younger years, when a friend passed it was because of a car accident, an overdose, or a suicide. Today when a friend dies it is because of heart attacks or fatal diseases such as cancer or brain tumors. Statistically, every 7.5 years 10% of the people you know will leave this life. By the time you reach 40 over half the people you have ever met will be dead. Filled with fun facts, aint I?

I wonder what the life span of ostriches are. I could google it but then I wouldn't have anything to wonder about. I think it would great to have a pet ostrich. I could ride it up to the store and back. I've seen videos of people riding ostriches. It looks like something I would enjoy. They appear hard to steer. That would add a bit of suspense to the ride. Will I end up at the liquor store, or will this bird take me to a gas station instead? Which way will the bird turn?

I once told a friend's children that I had a pet kangeroo in the basement. They wanted to see it. I told them I couldn't chance it. If the kangeroo kicked them then their father would sue me for everything I owned. When they weren't looking at me, I would pound the floor and yell towards the basement, "Be quiet down there!" They believed in my kangeroo as dilligently as they believed in Santa Claus. It is so much fun to trick kids.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Time Traveling

The first post did indeed work.

I noticed the time stamp is 4 hours earlier than my time. This could be financially beneficial. I can relay winning lottery numbers to anyone who is co-existing 4 hours prior. They can bet the numbers, and WE can share the winnings. I can see stacks of greenbacks piling high. We will finally get that indoor plumbing!

The Start of My Blog

These are the first words I am typing on my blog. It is so exciting. Who knows what wonderful meaningful words I will share. I don't, and I'm the one writing them. I may even come up with the cure for cancer (or perhaps a new recipe for egg salad) as I pour out my inner soul. I understand that pouring out your inner soul is mandatory for blogs. I'm not sure that I like that idea very much. Does that mean I have to shine up my blackened soul to continue. I don't know if my soul has truly been blackened, it is what I have been told by my ex-wife.

Anyways, I have found myself on a second paragraph. I wonder if it is permissable to go back and edit the first paragraph after you have begun the second. I better not dare. I don't want to violate some blog etiquette and be fined or have my blog taken away. Are there blog police? I have read some very disturbing blogs in the past. If the blog police exist, then I was there before them. One blog I found extremely upsetting was claiming that Howdy Doody was a pedophile. Little children covered in sawdust. Yuck.

I don't want to write too much for this first post. I keep thinking I will be asked for money by the good people of blogger dot com. If that happens, then these words you will never read. I believe blogs are to let the world at large know what you are doing at any given moment. So at 3:11 pm (E.S.T.) on February 17, 2010, I am typing on my computer for this post. Afterwards, I will be examining this post to see if it does exist and how many typing and gramatical errors I have made.

I will return (providing I remember how to get here).