Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spinach sandwich

Like sandwiches? Here's a recipe I made up today. Two slices of 9 grain bread, guacamole, uncooked baby spinach, a stout cucumber quarter-inch thick slices, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Slather the guacamole on one piece of the bread, pile high with spinach, cucumber slices on top of that, salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mayonnaise on the other slice of bread and place on top of sandwich. You can add things to it like thinly sliced tomatoes, or my favorite, banana peppers.

I was watching TV the other night, there wasn't much on so I was watching a movie on TNT called “Shooter” staring Mark Wahlberg, about an ex special forces sniper. The movie was pretty good, Mark is a good actor. When a commercial came on, I starting flipping the channels as usual and on the History Channel was a show called “Sniper; Inside The Crosshairs ”. I thought that was pretty ironic.

But then I saw a commercial about a car that stops itself if your going to back into something. Man I wish I had that when I was driving trucks. I'd probably be driving today if I had. Another commercial I found interesting was about two little kids about 5 and 8 years old dreaming about being manager's of a McDonald’s, is that what kids have to aspire to today?

Well, that's it for today, I'm really going to try and be more consistent with my blog.

Yeah, right, like that's going to happen!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deviled Eggs

This trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house was in March, and it involved Easter that year. Now, everybody knows that I love deviled eggs, but only my family knew what they did to me. Everyone had strict orders not to let me have any kind of boiled eggs. My Grandfather was sneaking them to me at the bar, and my Grandmother was sneaking them to me in the kitchen, as I passed through on my way to the bar in the basement. I lost count of how many I had eaten, but they sure were good.
We left the next morning at zero dark hours, around 4am, anytime we went anywhere with my dad we would leave at 4am. On the return trip we had an extra person on board, my brother Tommy was coming down to stay with us for a while. He was 3 years older, and in the early years we were raised together, when my mom and I lived with my grandparents. So by 4:10 everybody was all settled in with pillows and blankets. My sister and brother were in the very back of the station wagon, Tommy and myself were in the back seat, mom and dad in the front. Everyone was sleeping except for my dad who was driving.
An hour later the boiled eggs started to do their job and I cut a silent but deadly fart. A few seconds later my dad was shaking my mom and telling her that the baby pooed his diaper. My brother was about 16 months old. So my mom woke up and told me to pass my brother to her, which I did holding back a smile. Now in these days Pampers were new and you couldn't reuse them once you took them off. She took off the diaper and told my dad that there was nothing in it. With a new diaper on I placed him in the back with my sister again. Just about the time everyone got settled down, another fart slipped out. A few seconds later, my dad is shaking my mom again telling her that the baby had shit his pants again. I pass the poor baby up to her again, same thing happened. With another new diaper on we all got settled down again. About an hour went by and it happened again. This time my dad swore up and down that the baby shit his pants, so we did it all over again, but this time mom stuck her finger in the diaper first and said she did not feel anything in the diaper. So we put him in the back again.
It's starting to get light out now and as I raised up a little bit to cut yet another fart my brother starts yelling that it was me cutting the farts not the baby. I couldn't help myself, I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. The rest of the trip was done with all the windows down and everyone cuddled up in their winter jackets, they kept saying they were going to tie me to the roof. Thank goodness that boiled eggs don't do that to me today.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Amazing Cucumber



This information was in The New York Times a while back as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.


1.  Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3,Vitamin , Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.


2.  Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.


3.  Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?  Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.


4.  Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.


5.  Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!!!


6.  Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache?  Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free.  Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!


7.  Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.


8.   Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.


9.   Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!


10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?  Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.


11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?  Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.


12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.


13. Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls! 


So there you have it, and you thought cucumbers were only good for salads.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beer and soda distributing


In 1966 my mother was pregnant again and had a boy. He became very sick and they had to transport him to San Antonio, the nearest Army hospital that had a heart specialist. Before my dad left to escort Christopher to the hospital he told me that I should pray for my little brother because he was dying. While my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my little brother my dad came home late one night. I had already gone to bed. I woke up to find my dad in my bed playing with my pecker, then he made me play with his and I don't want to talk about what else took place. I didn't know what to think, he kept telling me that he loved me. My mom had become very sick during this pregnancy and I had to take care of my brother and sister. When I got home from school it was my job to take care of them till bedtime. I had to feed them, bath them, and put them to bed. So to say the least I was not happy that she was going to have another baby that I would have to take care of. When my dad told me to pray for him, that's exactly what I did, but I prayed he would die. Guess what, he did die. Now I was carrying that guilt around with me til I was an adult. When my mom got home from the hospital I couldn't talk to her about what had happened with my dad because she was so depressed about my dead brother. The next time it happened I tried to tell her but she wouldn't believe me, she told everyone that I was just a trouble maker.

About six months later my dad got orders to go to Germany and he took us with him. A couple of months after we got there I found a job working with the Beer-man. This guy, Rolland, had a 14 foot flat-bed truck and it was loaded with beer and soda cases. He went around to all the American housing complexes delivering the beer and soda. There were 24 bottles to a case, the cases were either wooden or plastic, the beer bottles had those ceramic caps held on with wires, just so you know how much they weighed. I got to where I could carry one on my shoulder and two with my other hand. During the summer I worked with him all day, during school I only worked after school til we were done. Got pretty good money too, and of course I had to pay rent and buy my own cigarettes and what ever food items I wanted for myself.
My shoulders had already stated filling out because of the hay hauling days, by the time I started playing football in the fall my shoulders were out there.
When we arrived in Germany I stated the eighth grade, the school I went to was run by the Department of Defense. The local school only went up to the ninth grade, the high school was in Frankfort about 20 miles away. You could live on campus if your family could afford it, or you could catch the bus every morning at about 6am. When it came time for me to go my parents said they couldn't afford for me to live on campus. They had heard that there were a lot of drugs on campus and they didn't trust me. School started in August and we were being transferred back to the stated in December because my dad got orders to go to Vietnam. So my folks talked me into not going to school till we got settled back in the states. I would only miss one semester and would be able to catch up. I don't know why they didn't trust me, when all my other friends were smoking dope I didn't. I didn't start smoking marijuana till I was in the Army, but that's another story for a later time.


Who Remembers That First Kiss

I remember it like it happened yesterday, yeah I know, kind of corny for a guy huh? It was a special thing for me, cause it has always been kind of hard for me being so shy and introverted . My dad was stationed in Germany and it was the only overseas duty station that he took us with. They had a club for the dependent children call the A.Y.A. (American Youth Activities). They usually had a dance every Friday and Saturday night. Friday night they would have a DJ and on Saturday night they would have a live band. Most of the time I would just stand around and watch everybody dance. To me it was just great to get out of the house and away from my parents. They were very controlling and most of the time they would go out and I would have to stay home and babysit my sister and brother. My siblings were too young to take to the dance, they were four and three years old.
My dad found out that a buddy of his was stationed not too far away and he had invited us to come spend the weekend with them. My dad told me that he had a daughter about my age. I found out that they also had a AYA. So I packed a dress shirt, tie and sports coat in my bag. I don't remember much of the weekend, but I do remember going to the Saturday night dance with Christina and how beautiful she was. She had long red hair, and a pretty nice body for a 14-year-old.
Their AYA was decorated a lot better than ours. You have to remember that this was in the late 60's. They had black lights and cool posters hanging all over the place, I thought it was cool how your teeth glowed. After a couple of dances we went outside for some fresh air and to smoke. We went back inside and started dancing again and during a slow dance she whispered into my ear to kiss her. So I did, the only way I knew how to kiss. She asked me if she looked like my mother, and I said of “course not”. She said, “then don't kiss me like I am”. I told her that I didn't know what she was talking about. She grabbed my hand and pulled me outside. She said, “your serious, you don't know how to french kiss”? I told her I didn't know what she was talking about. So she proceeded to show me how. I will never forget that night, a whole new world was opened up to me.
We wrote to each other a couple of times, but then it went by the wayside. That's what happens to military brats, I think that's why we have such a hard time with relationships. Here for three years, there for two. When you did befriend some one you know it was never going to last long. You pretend that it doesn't bother you, and everybody knows why.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Little Battle Creek


Last night I was watching TV just like any other night of the week, and while a commercial was on I was flipping the channels like I always do. As I was going up and down on the TV guide channel my eye caught the word Jefferson. Hum, I thought, it's on the history channel at that, but for some reason when I saw the word Jefferson, George Jefferson came to mind. So I punched in the number for that channel to further read that it was the live and legacy of Thomas Jefferson. But still my mind saw George Jefferson, and I thought, wow, some body took the time to research the corrector of George Jefferson. How he stated out as a neighbor to Archie Bunker and went on to get his own comic show, movin' on up to the east-side. When I realized the mistake I made I started laughing and it brought back a memory from my childhood, and why everyone said I wasn't the brightest blub in the pack.

On the main road to town, there was a creek that passed under the highway, and right about here was a sign. At first glance I thought it read Little Battle, so I just thought it was the name of the creek, Little Battle Creek. Well after my brother died my dad thought it would be a good idea to take mother on a trip to see her family for Easter. So we loaded up the station wagon and hit the road. With my dad you always left at zero dark early like 4am. This was in the mid 60's, if there were any interstates they were just starting out. We had to take state highways all the way from Hicks, Louisiana to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I don't know how many I had seen but there were a lot of signs that read Little Battle. I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a big ass creek.” 
Every once in a while I would get to sit shot-gun, to help my dad look for signs. We passed by another Little Battle Creek and I happened to mention it to my dad that I thought it had to be the biggest creek in the world. I told him it was crisscrossing the highway all the way from Louisiana. He asked me to show him the next time I saw the sign, so a couple of few miles down the road we came upon another sign. I pointed it out to him so he pulled over. He told me to read the sign again, I said it's not going to change what it read. But after looking at it long enough I saw what it really said, Litter Barrel.
I hope you weren't drinking something when you read that part. Remember I was about 13 when this happened, but to this day my family will not let me live it down.

But that's OK, I get them back on the return trip, stay tuned to hear the rest of the story.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

THE PARROT FLOWER

THE PARROT FLOWER
This is a flower from   Thailand .

It is also a protected species and not allowed to be exported.

This will be the only way we will be able to view this flower.

THE VERY RARE PARROT FLOWER.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Proper English

English was not my original language, nor one of my favorite subjects in school. My original language was gibberish. English is such a hard language to learn with all the silent letters and such, as a matter of fact my favorite subjects were shop and PE. I could always count on getting good grades on these subjects. School was always such a struggle for me, I didn't get much help at home because my mother dropped out of school in the fifth grade because she had problems with school. My father graduated from high school but he was hardly ever around and when he was he wasn't. I had a really hard time with spelling, no one ever taught me how to sound the word out, the only thing my father taught me was how to memorize words. I think there's only so much you can memorize and that was my problem.
I pretty much taught myself how to spell better. I loved writing letters to my friends, as I was writing the letter I would underline all the words that I knew where wrong. When the letter was finished, I would reread it and underline more words that I thought were wrong. I would then look up the underlined words in the dictionary and correct them, then I would rewrite the letter with the correctly spelled words. As time went on there were fewer and fewer words I had to look up. Now with all this techno stuff, "spell check", I once again have gotten lazy. That's why I say if you find a mistake please email me and let me know. I don't even care if you just leave it in a comment, I'm not embarrassed any more. I just love to tell stories and you can't do that without writing. I'm trying to train a talk it type it program, I started this writing with it but it got frustrating about half way through. Later y'all. UnclePaul

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Armed Forces Indoctrination Center


I know I said I would be doing this the next day, unfortunately other things came up and I couldn't write any thing.


On March 12th at 1pm I was on the bus headed for Oklahoma City. I arrived at OKC around 5pm, I forget the name of the hotel that they had us in, it was across the street from the Holiday Inn. The Armed Forces Indoctrination Center rented the 5th and 6th floors. They gave me a voucher for supper at the restaurant across the street. When I got to my room my roommate was there, we meant with a couple of other guys and decided to see what kind of trouble we could get into. We walked around for a while and ended up in a bar. We told the bar tender that we were there to go into the service the next day. He said anyone old enough to join the Army and fight for his country was old enough to drink in his bar. We didn't leave till about midnight, everybody was buying us rounds, we didn't pay for anything. When we got back to the hotel there were more guys there, we were running the halls, Indian wrestling, and just having a good olé time. At about 2am the hotel called the MP's to come put us to bed. At 6am they were beating on our door telling us we had 15 minutes to be down in front of the hotel to get the bus. We were all out side waiting, making jokes and singing and just having a great olé time, most of us were still kind of tipsy. People in the Holiday Inn were shouting out their windows for us to shut up. An hour later the bus showed up, we could have had another hour of sleep. When we got to the indoctrination center they served us a continental breakfast, after they drew our blood of course.
First was the physical exam, which didn't take long at all, they checked all your holes. The last one, the butt check, we were all lined up in a circle with the doctor in the middle with a flashlight. We all had to turn around, drop our drawers, bend over, and spread our cheeks, I don't know what he was looking for, but what ever it was he didn't find it. After that was more testing, now with paper and pen, there were five different tests, they were all multiple choice. We had lunch in between. The rest of the day we were busy filling out forms, the same forms that we filled out at the recruiters office. Then you got a chance to talk to the “Career Counselor”. You were suppose to be able to tell him what you wanted to do while in the Army, but really it was he telling you what you were going to be doing in the Army. When my turn came up I told him that I wanted to be a carpenter. That I always did well with that in school, I liked making things with my hands. He told me that the army didn't have carpenters any more, that was all taken care of by civilians now. But with my test results I would be a great generator mechanic, I scored really well on recognizing tools. I said, “What's there to recognize, you showed a wrench, a pair of pliers, a flat head and a phi-lip’s head screw driver and a hammer?” I never had any interest in mechanics, I knew where the oil went and where the gas went, other then that I could look at the engine and shake my head all day. But then he said the magic words, “And you do some work with wood.” Now remember the emphasis is on the word “some”. I told him to go ahead and sign me up then, I was kind of naïve about how things worked, I didn't think he would lie to me, I mean, why would he lie? (I found out later that he had a quota to meet.)
By four o'clock we were sworn in, to protect the Constitution of The United States against any foreign or domestic enemies. So help me god. I wonder if they say that anymore? We flew in a small twin-engine 20 passenger plane, then a chartered bus ride for two hours. We were taken to our barracks at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, that would be home for a few days. We later called it Fort lost in the woods, Misery. The first week is spent getting you ready for the Army. The Sargent woke us up by beating on the trash can with a stick, this was 5am, we had 30 minutes to wash up, shave and be out in front of the barracks. We had thirty minutes to eat. Then we got our heads shaved, the bold head was nothing new to me because of my dad being in the service, I was never allowed to grow my hair. Then we had to fill out more forms, yes you guessed it, these were the same forms that we filled out at both the recruiters and the IC, talk about killing trees. After lunch we were lined up and taken through the warehouse to get our uniforms. They provided everything from underwear, tees and socks, to work clothes, dress uniform, pair of dress shoes, two pair of boots, duffel bag (which they gave us last), field jacket, rain coat. The rest of the day was spent getting our uniforms ready, and packing up what ever we brought with us to send home to mom with a thank you letter for putting up with us all these years. Day two was spent learning how to march, the start of getting shots. Every week we went through the shot line, there would be two medics, one on each side of the door and as you walk by they would give you the shots with these guns. Sometimes if you were moving too fast the gun would take a chunk of meat out of your arm, your doing half quick march the whole time. The next seven weeks you were nothing but Army, you talked Army, you read Army, you even dreamed Army. Everything you touched was OD green, OD stands for “olive drab”. Day four we were issued our field gear, back pack, again given to us at the end of the line, shovel, canteen, metal dish and cutlery, tent, field jacket, etc. etc. When we got everything into the back pack it weighed in at 40 pounds, you carried this everyday. The tent was funny because there were two different kinds. The old ones had buttons, where the newer ones had snaps, you always had to make sure you were buddied up with a person that had the same as you.
After our Drill Sargent got us settled into our new barracks, that would be home for the next seven weeks. “If you were lucky enough to be able call yourself Soldier”, when he got done with you. Do you remember the scene from Stripes? The one where they are all in a circle and each one took turns talking about themselves. Well, that's what our Drill Sargent did after we got all settled down. We had to at least say who we were, where you were from, and what you were going to do in the Army. I got very pissed when I found out that there were 3 guys going to carpenters school. I felt like I had been fucked and didn't even get a kiss. I think that is when my attitude started going down hill.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My Career Path, Continued

Alright, so when we got back to the states, it was around Christmas time. When Christmas vacation was over I would be going to the same high school that my Aunt and Uncle went to. This was going to be an exciting thing for me, they weren't in high school any more. But I had started school at their elementary school when they were still going there. But it didn't quit happen that way. We ended up at some god forsaken abandoned Air Force Base in Burns Flat, Oklahoma, “Clinton AFB”. They were sending military families that had husbands going to Vietnam to live there while they were gone. No one had asked me anything about going there. I didn't want to go, and I knew if I asked to stay with a relative would have been out of the question. By the time we got settled in, school had already started. I need to tell you I was not very good at school, if there had been classes for slow people back then I would have been in them. I struggled all through school, with not much help from my parents, my mom dropped out of the sixth grade. My dad graduated from high school, but he wasn't around much and when he was, he wasn't. He would hit the bottle as soon as he got home from work. So catching up with the other guys wasn't going to happen, I think I knew it when they first suggested it in Germany. I tried for a few weeks but just couldn't hack it, so I dropped out of the tenth grade.

There wasn't much to do in Burns Flat, it was just a little ole' town, with a gas station on both sides of town. I guess it shriveled up when the Air Force moved out. So looking for a job was pointless especially at sixteen and a half. March came in like a lion and took me with it. I gave my mom an ultimatum, sign me into the Navy or watch me run away. We had a fight the night before, one of many, because she didn't like me going out every night and she needed me to take care of the kids, yada, yada, yada. Well, I was tired of being father, I was tired of taking care of everyone else. I had wanted to go into the Navy ever since I saw my uncles in uniform. So on March 11th we drove to Clinton, OK. In the basement of the courthouse is where the recruiters offices were. So I went straight away to the Navy office, which was across the hall from the Marines. The recruiter basically told me to go back to school and come back and see him when I graduated. Well, I knew that wasn't an option. Everything I had ever read told me that I did not want to be a Marine. You have to remember I had very low self-esteem at this point of my life. So down the hall I went, the Air Force guy told me the same thing. By this time my mom is grinning from ear to ear, she thinks she's getting her way. I was desperate, so I sat down with the Army Sargent. He told me that since I was volunteering for the draft I would only have to serve two years active duty instead of three and he could guarantee an AIT school (Advanced Individual Training) for me. Which means I wouldn't be a grunt, (infantry) , not that there is anything wrong with being shot at, “I'm just saying.” But they would talk to me about that after the testing in Oklahoma City. When we left there I had Trailways bus tickets in hand for the next day going to O KC.

Tomorrow I'll talk about my time in O KC, and my start in the US Army

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

In 1966 my mother was pregnant again and had a boy. He became very sick and they had to transport him to San Antonio, the nearest Army hospital that had a heart specialist. While my mom was in the hospital giving birth to my little brother my dad came home late one night drunk. I had already gone to bed. I woke up to find my dad in my bed playing with my penis, then he made me play with his and I don't want to talk about what else took place. I didn't know what to think, he kept telling me that he loved me. My mom had become very sick during this pregnancy and I had to take care of my brother and sister. When I would get home from school it was my job to take care of them till bedtime. I had to feed them, bath them, and put them to bed. So to say the least I was not happy that she was going to have another baby, I knew that I would have to take care of him too. When my dad told me to pray for him, before leaving to escort him to Texas, that's exactly what I did. But I didn't pray for him to live, I prayed he would die. Guess what? He did die, he was missing one of the oxygen tubes to the heart. I carried that guilt around with me till I was an adult. When my mom got home from the hospital I couldn't talk to her about what had happened because she was so depressed about my dead brother, she had her tubes fixed after giving birth to him. The next time my dad did it to me, I tried to tell her but she wouldn't believe me, she told everyone that I was just a trouble maker.
About six months later my dad got orders to go to Germany and this time he took us with him. A couple of months after we got there I found a job working with the Beer-man. This guy, Rolland, had a flat-bed truck and it was loaded with beer and soda cases. He went around to all the American housing complexes delivering the beer and soda. There was 24 bottles to a case, the cases were either wooden or plastic, the beer bottles had those ceramic caps held on with wires, just so you know how much they weighed. I got to where I could carry one on my shoulder and two with my other hand. During the summer I worked with him all day, during school I only worked after school til we were done usually between 7 and 9. Got pretty good money too, and of course I had to pay rent and buy my own cigarettes and what ever food items I wanted for myself. I even had a suit tailor-made for me, it had the Nehru jacket and was made from shark skin material, bell-bottoms pants with a Spanish waist, three buttons on each side above the zipper. I wore it with a turtle neck shirt, or sometimes just a dicky.
My shoulders had already stated filling out because of the hay hauling days, by the time I started playing football in the fall my shoulders were out there. That's why I played defensive guard. When we got to Germany I stated the eighth grade, the school I went to was run by the Department of Defense. The local school only went up to the ninth grade, the high school was in Frankfort about 20 miles away. You could live on campus if your family could afford it, or you could catch the bus every morning at about 6am. When it came time for me to go my folks said they couldn't afford for me to live on campus. They had also heard that there were a lot of drugs on campus and they didn't trust me. School started in August and we were being transferred back to the states in December because my dad got orders to go to Vietnam. So my folks talked me into not going to school till we got settled in the states, I would only miss one semester and would be able to catch up. I don't know why they didn't trust me, when all my other friends were smoking dope I didn't. I didn't start smoking marijuana till I was in the Army, but that's another story for a later time.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Career Path, Continued


There wasn't much to do in Louisiana and I didn't have a lawn mower so I couldn't go around cutting grass. Back in those days there weren't any aluminum cans. Everything came in bottles, and they were recycled. When you bought a bottle of pop you were charged any where from 2 to 5 cents deposit. Most people were too busy I guess to take them back to the store and like the aluminum cans of today people would just throw them out the car window. That's where I come in. I found another use from my wagon of many colors. I would tie it to the back of my bike. Then I would hit the road picking up bottles as I went, by the time I got to the store I had enough for a couple of dollars.
Then my folks got the idea to move out into the country, twenty miles from town. We lived on a farm with cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, and homing pigeons. The rabbits and pigeons were mine. My buddy who lived in town gave me a few of his birds when we moved. I had two beautiful pure white fantail pigeons. By the time we left, we never stayed any where more than a couple of years, there were over 180 birds in my flock. I started out with two rabbits and before I knew it I had twenty of them. I didn't know how fast they would multiply. My dad worked at the mess hall on base. He was a cook for the Army and he would bring home these big boxes that the eggs came in. I would fill those up with cow dung and sell them on the side of the road going into town along with the rabbits. I would charge $5 per box or rabbit.
In the summer my teacher, Mr. Jetters had a tractor and a hay baler. He would go around to the local farms and cut their hay and bale it. The cutter would cut the hay and pile it in the center of the tractor in a neat row. Then after it dried he would come around with the baler attached and scoop it up and bale it into a three', 12” by 12” bale. The tractor didn't do so hot on corners, that's where I come again. He would pay me to go around to all the corners and rake them into a pile for the baler. When that was all done we would throw these bales weighing about 60 pounds onto a flat-bed trailer and haul them up to the barn and stack them inside. One cutting would fill this huge barn they had.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Career Path, Continued, background

Let see, where was I? Oh, yeah, making things up. I became quit the little liar, and of course you would believe me. Cause how could a little kid make all this up. And every week people would ask me if we had heard anything yet. Each week I would say, “No not this week.”

Then the unthinkable happened, my mother kept saying that she was through with my father and she would never go back to him. Well, she lied. He showed up on our door step with bags in hand and drunk. My mom took him in, got me and the kids dressed and told me to take them out and not come back for a few hours. This was in the winter. When I did come back everything was fine, we were going to move to Louisiana with my dad. No body asked me what I wanted, just that's it.

I used to do anything to be with my dad. One time my mother made him come out and play catch with me. I had been asking him for a while to play with me, he kept saying sometime but not now. Well, when my mom made him play with me he would throw the ball as hard as he could. Every time it would hit my hand it would burn throw the glove. And when I threw it back to him he would yell that I was throwing like a girl. I mean, who would want to do that again. One time we sat up all night watching a Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. He had his gallon of whiskey and cigars, and I had Royal Crown pop and tater chips. We made some Jiffy Pop and we made fun of the guests they had on.

After we got there my parents bought a car. My mom had the learn how and get her driver's license when we were going to the base to get the food at the commissary on the Navy base. So they bought this used car. This is the first beating I remember my father giving me. I has wrote a letter to my grandmother telling her how we were doing and that they bought the car. They weren't suppose to know that we got a car because my parents owed money to them. So my father beat the hell out of me, he made me strip down to nothing in front of him. The whole time I was begging him not to beat me. I found out threw time that the longer it took me to strip down the longer he would beat me. Every time until I was sixteen he made me strip down in front of him. When I turned sixteen I said enough was enough. I had done something, or had done something, it didn't matter, I said come on. Went into my bedroom, I didn't say a thing, I stripped down, laid across my bed. When he started hitting me with the razor strap I bit my lip, but I did not cry out, with every hit it would be harder and harder. Finally he threw the belt down, told me to get dressed and come out to the dinning room. When I got out there, he looked at me and said, “I guess you think your a man now?” I knew not to say anything. Then he punched me in the stomach with his fist and said, “That's what a man gets.”

Wait, I know what your thinking, this is suppose to be a story about my career? Well, it is, but I got to put back ground in there so you know where I'm coming from.

Next I'll tell you how collecting soda bottles put spending money in my pocket...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Career Path, Continued

Well, the last time I wrote I said tomorrow I would do a confession, so you already know that I'm a liar. Now you have to figure out when I'm lying and when I'm telling the truth. We used to say in the trucking industry that if you start out by saying, "You won't believe this." most times it's a lie or an exaggeration. But getting back to the confession, I learned that if I could spin a good enough story, and made people feel sorry for me that I would get a bigger tip, and sometimes they would fix me lunch or take me to lunch. So this is the story that I started to tell people. My dad was with the CIA and he was being held as a prisoner of war. Because he was with the CIA he didn't really exist, therefore we got no money from the government. My mom has to clean houses during the day, and I worked at night doing this delivery service, and all day Saturday. I'm not proud of this, nor am I bragging, but I made a lot of money doing what I did.
Well, next I'll tell you what happens when you take a city boy and move him to the country. Later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

My Career Path, Continued

We would pack their bags and put them into our wagons, and either the customer would walk with you, or they would pay you and give you their address and we would take it to their house and put the bags on the front porch. Back then you didn't have to worry about someone stealing it off your front stoop or porch. Sometimes the order would be just to take it to the car, which wasn't too bad, but usually a smaller tip.
West and south of the store was where the richer people lived, good for tips. All of the east side were fair to good tips, all the north west was poorer people that lived in apartments, not too good for tips.
So my routine was to run home from school, do my homework and eat a snack. Then off to the Acme I went, I was usually there by five. I would work till they closed at 9, I made enough money to be able to bring home milk, bread, margarine, eggs, bacon, or what ever else my mom said she needed that day, oh, and cigarettes. Saturday was the best, I'd be there from 8:30 am to 10 pm. I would get two large pizzas on the way home and we'd sit and watch horror movies.
My mom would shop and cook for the whole Thompson family. We would go to the commissary at the Navel Yard in Pa. That's where all the old ships are kept in mothballs. She would keep me out of school that day and I would either stay at home with my brother and sister, or I could go along and take care of the kids while she was shopping. It depended on her mood that particular day. But she would bye enough food to feed five adults, two teenagers, and two children for a whole month. My grandmother and grandfather were paying the grocery bill, and she would have to go and clean their house twice a month. And I did what I could to help out. After I came home from work I would eat something saved from dinner, kept warm in the oven. Then I would do the dishes from the whole day. Sometimes I had to bath my brother and sister and get them into bed... Tomorrow promises a confession.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Correction From Yesterdays Blog, My Career Path

The next line of work I got into was home delivery. We had moved from New York to Upper Darby, Pa. My dad was over in Korea, and again we found ourselves without any money. Every time he went overseas, he'd find himself a Ma-mason to shack up with and we would stop getting the allotment checks.
My neighborhood was row after row after row of Row-houses, in modern day we call them Townhouses. Long Lane was where all the shops were. Oh man, I remember the butter cakes that we would get at the bakery, and everything was baked on the premises, when you walked in the door your taste buds would jump up and say, “feed me, feed me. Next door to that was the Jewish delicatessen, and over in one corner was a big wooden barrel filled with the biggest, fattest dill pickles, and yes, it was a nickel. There was a tailor, shoe maker and the candlestick maker, a movie theater that had a balcony and Saturday morning was a quarter to get in. There was always a cartoon, a short serial like the Lone Ranger, or Buck Rodgers, and then we'd see the movie. It was usually some Disney movie or Elvis Presley, beating up guys and singing to the gals. How many of you have a smile on your face right now?Come on, you KNOW what I'm talking about and if you don't, you don't know what your missing.
The other end of Long Lane was where the Acme grocery store, and that was where I had my little home delivery service. We were called baggers. We didn't work for the store, that would have been child labor. We provided our own wagons to put the bags in. We boys would line up out in front of the store with our wagons. When a register was open the next boy in line would go in and pack the shopper's bags until they got an order to take out, then the next guy moves in. The shopper could choose someone they like if they wanted to. They would tell that person before they went into shop. One of my Uncles took my wagon and reconditioned it for me, and then he painted it the most awful colors for a boy, pastel pink, green, and yellow. Talk about barfing. But he didn't tell me that those were his Shrines' colors. I didn't have time to listen to other fellows make fun of me, I was making too much money... cont.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

The next job I remember having was when we were living in Brooklyn, N. Y. My dad was stationed at Ft. Hamilton. We used to go up on the roof and watch them built the Verrazano bridge. The building was six stories high, but at the young age of ten, they were skyscrapers. The Post had a bulletin that come out everyday, it was called the Plan Of The Day. I would pick them up and delivery them to the apartments and houses on the post. For doing this I would get ten cents at the end of the week from each apartment and house I had. Every Friday I would get over eight dollars, half I had to give to my dad to help pay for the food I ate. One time I was making ten dollars a week, but I never told my dad if I made more then eight.
Little did I know that that was the start to an ever changing career path. One that makes me pretty much a jack of all trades, a master at none.
My next job description is going to be very interesting, I think you'll be very surprised.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nice Short Cartoon

This isn't just for the birds!

Reflects On Drinking Beer



Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
Babe Ruth

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"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Lyndon B. Johnson

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"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Paul Horning

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"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
H. L.. Mencken
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"
When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
George Bernard Shaw
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"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin
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"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
Dave Barry
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BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.!
W. C. Fields
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Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser.
Professor Irwin Corey
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To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group -Salvation in a can!
Leo Durocher

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One night at Cheers, Cliff Calvin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:

"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! ; In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crockpot Bread Pudding


I made some bread pudding in the slow cooker, it turned out pretty good. Would have been better if I had measured the bread cubes. I just filled the pot thinking that that was about 4 cups of cubed bread, it came out kind of dry, but still tastes good, put a little milk with it and I'm good to go. Here is the recipe I used:

-->
This cinnamon and nutmeg spiced bread pudding is made
in the slow cooker, with bread cubes, eggs, milk, and
optional raisins.

                    Ingredients:

 * 4 cups French bread cubes,
 toasted
 * 2 1/2 cups milk, scalded,
 cooled slightly
 * 2 eggs, beaten
 * 3/4 cup sugar
 * 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
 * dash nutmeg
 * dash salt
 * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 * 2 tablespoons melted butter
 * 1/2 cup raisins, optional
 * dessert sauce or whipped
 cream for garnish

Preparation:
Lightly butter the slow cooker then add bread cubes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the scalded milk,
eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and
melted butter. Pour milk mixture over the bread cubes
then add raisins, if desired. Gently, using a largespoon or spatula, press bread cubes down into mixture
so all bread pieces will soak up milk mixture. Do not
stir. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 5 to 6 hours,
until bread pudding is set. 
Serve with a dessert sauce or whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Prairie Home Companion


Saturday night I watched "A Prairie Home Companion" the movie. It took me back to when I was driving big rigs across this great nation of ours. I loved driving through the night, we were a different breed of driver. The night drivers depended on each other, we hardly ever argued with each other on the CB radio, and swearing was against the rules at night. I remember one night coming out of Wisconsin, it must have been around midnight, I picked up the mic, mind you I hadn't heard anything for a while, I keyed up the mic and started sounding like a cow. A few seconds later someone else made the sound of a sheep, before I knew it we had a regular barn yard going on. Many of Saturday nights I would have "A Prairie Home Companion" from the PBS Channel, on the radio. A lot of times it was just to hear a human voice, it would mostly get me through the night. Truck drivers used to be know as the Knights of the Road, we would stop and help anyone broke down on the highway. But then people started robbing the drivers who stopped to help them. Sometimes it would be a very attractive female, and the tire would be flat. While the driver was down on one knee, a man would come running out of the woods with a bat and slug the driver. Then the couple would jump up into the cab of the truck and take off with it, leaving the driver with the stolen car. So it got to where we could take the chance any more.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My first job

I have always been an enterprising person. My first job was when I was about 3 and a half. After dinner I would sit in the back of my Grandpa's recliner and scratch his back with his comb. We would watch westerns together. When I was done I would get a quarter and that was my ice cream money. Every evening round about 6 ish the Good Humor man would start down our street. Back then a quarter could buy a lot of ice cream. Sometimes Grandpa would come out and get an ice cream cone and we'd sit on the front stoop and see who could make it last the longest. I always lost, but I didn't mind, it was just fun doing it together. I really do miss my Grandpa a lot. He was the only male figure in my life until I was about 9.

Monday, June 28, 2010

English

It's not only bad enough that we have to push the number one to hear it in English, but I noticed the last couple of days that there are two commercials that are in Spanish with English subtitles. What's the deal with that? I don't like commercials to start with, if you want Spanish commercials then put them on the Spanish speaking channels. There was a show on a couple of years ago, it was about a Spanish family and the mother refused to speak English. She understood what they were saying in English. It didn't make it to another season and I was glad of that. I don't think we should be forced into learning a foreign language. I wouldn't move to say Mexico and expect everyone there to learn English.

Introduction

This is going to be my place to rant and rave. I'll try not to get onto my soapbox, but I can't promise anything.