Thoughts between the storms of life

Life takes up all my time. Even weekends. That’s why I’m often reduced to dumping collected thoughts into posts just to meet my arbitrary weekly deadlines. Thus, here are some dead lines for this deadline:

Why isn’t postcocious a word, the opposite of precocious? It would apply to those who demonstrate an immaturity beyond (before?) their years. No one I know fits that description… outside of that guy in the mirror.

Whenever I watch a movie on DVD, I have to endure the declaration that “Piracy isn’t a victimless crime”. Tell me about it. I just wasted 10 seconds staring at the message.

I love my library. And I love my librarians. Still, I have to ask, how scientific is “library science”?

How lame is it when the news anchors blame the weather forecaster for bad weather? They don’t blame sportscasters when their teams lose. I hope one day to see the weather guy turn it around. (“Hey, Jim, when are you going to stop this rain and send us some sunshine?” “As soon as you stop all those mass shootings, Mary.”)

There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who separate people into two groups and those who don’t.

Some say there are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who don’t.

I wish I had a nickel for every empty bottle or can I see thrown on the side of the road. Wait…

Most house fans I’ve owned turn on at the highest speed. Dumb. That’s like a radio with an on/off dial that starts at the highest volume.

Remember when we worried about privacy? We’ve sacrificed it on the altar of social media. As Keith Lowell Jensen wisely observed, “What Orwell failed to predict [in his book “1984”] was that we’d buy the cameras ourselves, and that our biggest fear would be that nobody was watching.”

I was at a food truck event not long ago and took this picture:

When I blow that picture up (below) you can barely make out a disturbing sight in the background: Yes, that’s a bloodmobile. Evidently, they were expecting vampires at this event.

What’s with all the moving graphics?? Watch news or sports on TV and count the number of moving graphical objects on the screen. My ADD nature causes me to watch them obsessively and miss whatever is going on in the program. One more reason I don’t miss “news” broadcasts.

Silly Pictures with Rick

Did anyone notice I blew off last week’s post? I thought not. Here’s what I’ve been up to these days:

  1. Finishing up my second novel, to be entitled “A Song in the Storm”.
  2. Prepping for the annual trivia game to raise money for Haitian entrepreneurs.
  3. Gearing up for my annual bike ride to raise funds to fight MS.

More on all those in later posts. For now, to save more time…

It’s time for Silly Pictures with Rick, the part of the show where Rick shows some silly pictures. (Apologies to Larry the Cucumber.)

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Here’s a deal that only looks good after you’ve had the two drinks.

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CPR: The perfect name for an emergency toilet.

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Living in the past. Cadillac SUV? Playboy??? Does this guy know it’s 2017? Does he care?

Photo Dump

I’m a word guy, but whenever I see something that evokes the absurd, I pull out my camera. Phone. Or whatever it is. When enough of them back up, it’s time to dump them on my unsuspecting readers. Consider them all to be writing prompts. There’s bound to be a story behind each one.

This week, here are some photos that capture certain facets of the weird world we live in.

This art exhibit gives the attendee the full "class distinction" immersion experience. (Note: This photo is actually from my daughter who also has a keen eye for the bizarre,)

This art exhibit gives the attendee the full “class distinction” immersion experience. (Note: This photo is actually from my daughter who also has a keen eye for the bizarre.)


3rd Ave at 2nd Ave?!? Is this a math or geography fail? Either way, some mail's gonna get lost.

3rd Ave at Second Ave?!? Is this a math or geography fail? Either way, some mail’s gonna get lost.


For the life of my, I can't figure out who can park here when. There are too many clauses. If you can parse this for me, I'd be much in your debt. Meanwhile I'll play it safe and park on the other side of the street.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out who can park here when. There are too many clauses. If you can parse this for me, I’d be forever in your debt. Meanwhile I’ll play it safe and park on the other side of the street.


It's bad enough that there's a store selling monsters at a discount, but look who's selling them...

It’s bad enough that there’s a store selling monsters at a discount, but look who’s selling them…

...a store for kids! We all thought the movie "Monsters, Inc." explained where the monsters under the bed came from. Now we know different.

…a store for kids! We all thought the movie “Monsters, Inc.” explained where the monsters under the bed came from. Now we know different.


Finally! A store that's selling something we can all really use. Check out the circled sign, lost in a jumble of useless shops.

Finally! A store that’s selling something we can all really use. Check out the circled sign, lost in a jumble of useless shops.


Sign at a local take-out shop. Risking their own business to do their parts to restore some semblance of civility to our technology-obsessed culture. Sign at a local take-out shop. Risking their own business to do their parts to restore some semblance of civility to our technology-obsessed culture.

Sign at a local take-out shop. Risking their own business to do their part to restore some semblance of civility to our technology-obsessed culture.


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Power drinks. Neither food nor nourishment, yet they’re in a cooler with that label. Go figure. What else can we expect in a nation where ketchup has been declared a vegetable?


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Believe it or not, this photo was taken in the cradle of American liberty, the birthplace of the American Revolution: Concord (MA) green. Yet they’re using the British term for the traffic circle! It’s a rotary, people! A rotary. Lorries don’t go around it, TRUCKS do! Next thing you know, we’ll be driving on the wrong side of the road! Stop the madness! Is this what we fought the revolution for? I say NO! Then again, who cares.

Things that make me say, “Huh?”

When time is short, I rely on photos to cover my… bases. This is such a post. Herewith, three photos that make me say, “Huh?”

The age of specialization has gone too far. What? You can't clean your own bass before you throw it in the Bass-O-Matic???

The age of specialization has gone too far. What? You can’t clean your own bass before you throw it in the Bass-O-Matic???

 

Oh snap! Why are we encouraging needy people to spend what precious funds they have for food on Ben and Jerry's?

Oh snap! Since when did Ben and Jerry’s qualify as “supplemental nutrition”?

 

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Yeah, and we really, really mean it this time.

Thousands of words

No time this week to devote to a fully developed article.

This excuse might wear on some nerves – I’ve used it more than my share of times – but it can’t be helped. If you knew my situation, I’m certain you would agree. Nevertheless, I’ve made a pact with myself and my readers to put something out here every other week (and on LITL on the in-between weeks). Rather than shortchange you, I’m publishing a longer one than usual… if you buy into the maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words.

ParkFailFor reasons I won’t get into, I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals lately. Based on the way people park in those places, you’d think they were hospitals for antisocial morons. This is just a small sample. There were many, many more examples. A hospital? Come on, folks! As tempting as it is, I would never key a car. But it’s hard to suppress the hope that someone will.

This is my new hero.

This is my new hero, unicycling the San Marcos Pass in Santa Barbara, CA.

I went inside, but there was nothing apply in there - no pie, no turnovers, nothing.

I went inside, but there was nothing apply in there – no apply pie, no turnovers, nothing. Oh, the scourge of ambiguity!

Finally, the power of calf's leg oil in a shampoo. What a country we live in!

Finally, the power of cattle leg oil in a shampoo. What a great country we live in!

Look closely

Whenever the subject of book tours is brought up in the company of writers, they all talk about how much they dread them. The travel, the repetitive questions, the crowds or the absence of them. I can’t imagine why they don’t enjoy the experience. If I had a book tour, believe me, I’d make the most of it. Easy to say since the prospect is slim for me. I can always dream.

If it’s any consolation to those jaded scribes, I enjoy hearing author presentations of any kind. The standard format is to have the authors read excerpts from their work then endure a line of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of autograph hounds. Serious RSI potential.

One of my favorite writers, Mark Helprin, did the signing thing but declined to read from his book, claiming that there were only a few great actors in the world and there was no way he could do his prose justice with his weak performance skills. There’s a lot of truth in what he said. What’s the point in hearing him read his own stuff anyway? Usually, I’ve already read it. If I’m there, I’m probably a fan so he doesn’t have to sell me on the book.

Instead of reading, Helprin described fascinating, often bizarre experiences he’d had. Not surprising, since his books are filled with such occurrences. He concluded his talk by urging his readers to follow his example by keeping our eyes open to the amazing things that happen around us all the time. (That’s heavily paraphrased. My addled memory can’t recall his exact words and my comparatively pathetic prose can’t come anywhere near his lofty standard.)

In the spirit of his admonition, and my unwillingness to devote too much time to this post in the face of deadlines and exhaustion, I present some photos of things I’ve observed in recent months. Since each is worth 1,000 words, this could be my longest post of all.

Enjoy, but then go out and have your own experiences.


I saw these two buses drive off a ferry recently. Which one would you prefer to ride, “Elite” or “Lamers”?

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This is what’s called a “no-brainer”. Who’s the marketing wizard who came up with “Lamers” for a name? It’s almost certainly a person’s name – a person who put his (or her) ego before the company’s best interests.

This guy was giving away ice cream in downtown Boston. I love this town!

This guy was giving away ice cream in downtown Boston. I love this town!

A visitor on the bike path. Is it any wonder I spend as much time on it as possible?

A visitor on the bike path. Is it any wonder I spend as much time there as possible?

What's cooler than the front porch of a general store?

What’s cooler than hanging out on the front porch of a general store? Especially Alley’s. (Martha’s Vineyard)

There’s something inspiring about these two trees seeming to grow out of nothing but rock. (Acadia National Park)