Friday, September 30, 2016


Transit pass
For the past few days I've been on the
road. Traveling solo for business is
challenging enough. However having
to journey from one isolated place to
another equally far off site is circuitous
at best. Having been down this road a
bit before theres little one can do accept
reality. At this point in life I've nothing
to prove. Therefore I do my best to try
and make the process of getting from
here to there as easy as possible. After
all the truth is I've little control over my
destiny beyond hoping for the best...
Off the menu
In my youth I couldn't wait to hop in a cab
and explore a new metropolis. Upon arrival
I already had a table booked at the hottest
local eatery. Hence food was always a key
checkoff on my itinerary. Now that I'm a
bit older and wiser, my preference is to dine
either in my room or perched upon a stool
in the hotel bar. Both have their merits.
Little is more relaxing than dining a la
carte in the privacy of one's boudoir. Yet
solitude can be lonely. And depending on
what's on the television, boring. Whereas
something is always happening at the bar!
Bar none
The last three nights I've sat and supped
at various hotel bars. Each repast was
accompanied by several Manhattans,
or glass of wine, along with a dramatic
display of human nature. All of which
are more entertaining than the boob tube.
My first evening was fairly uneventful.
On my left sat a couple who'd obviously
been married for quite some time. Thus
they sat in complete silence. No chit chat.
Both peering at their respective mobile
devices. Leaving this innocent bystander
to question, WHERE IS THE LOVE?!
Public announcement
Apparently the use of technology lulls
it's user into a world of their own. No
wonder people freely scream into their
phones in public. Last night a rather
handsome young man spent the bulk
of both of our meals talking on his
speaker phone. Such a public display
of dialogue left it virtually impossible
NOT to eavesdrop. On the other end
was his soon to be former spouse. And
quickly one became familiar with the
details of the divorce agreement they
were in the process of negotiating.
Brief encounter
Why anybody would spread out their
dirty laundry upon the bar top is far
beyond my sense of dignity. However
soon I knew exactly where she stood
and was attempting to drag him along
for the ride. Frankly, it wasn't pretty.
Most of the conversation was spent
tussling over their ten year old son.
Her demands were not only unfair,
they were unfathomable. Yet the man
on my left behaved like the perfect
gentleman. Leaving me to think...
son... the WORST is yet to come!
Lover's lane
Having viewed two quite obvious
examples of anything but domestic
bliss, one might mourn love lost.
But in reality, all I had to do was
look the other way. There further
down the bar was an amorous pair
obviously deep into the process of
becoming acquainted. Given said
decadent display one had no need
to tune into soft porn. As the show
ended they moved upstairs. Which
left me hoping that they had NOT
booked the room adjacent to mine.
Over and out
Speaking of blowhards, theres always
at least one at every bar besides me.
Some big shot who feels the need to
vociferously posture for all to hear.
It's amazing the things people spew
within earshot of all others. For some
reason they feel the need to divulge all
sorts of highly confidential information.
As the evening progresses, said tidbits
become juicier with each round ordered.
If I've learned anything it's that we live
in a very small world. Hence the less
said, the better. It's called restraint...
Night cap
Invariably I find that I can only watch
such a spectacle for but an hour or so.
Long enough to devour a wedge salad,
a six ounce and very rare filet, plus a
bowl of ice cream. As I sit in silence
it's easy to be quickly lulled into a state
of suspended animation. Add liberal
doses of libations and soon I'm ready
for bed. Thus within sixty minutes I
retire to my lonely room. Being amply
self medicated insures a good night's
sleep. And so goes the journey. All
proving theres no place like home.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Auto pilot
Invariably history repeats itself. Meaning
that it seems almost impossible for me to
get from here to there sans being stopped
in my tracks. Technologically that is. As
you may recall, the last time I hit the road
my computer suddenly blew up. Thus in
a moment I was left on my own without
any devices. Said rude awakening forced
me to transverse a continent without any
access to the world at large. I was LOST.
Fortunately a few weeks later it seemed
to be going well. My computer was up
and running post some time in rehab.
Experiencing technical difficulties
Once ensconced in First Class I theoretically
had access to wifi. Shortly after taking off I
logged on and hit a wall. Per the stewardess
“Safari” was the culprit. Thus I had returned
right back to where I'd been weeks prior. So
what does one do if suspended in animation?
Being sent back to the future requires more
than a facile ability to roll with the punches.
And I’ve decided that having nothing to do
just may be the ultimate of luxuries. Being
stuck with myself solo was more than reason
for introspection. In my solitude I discovered
that a backward glance is beyond refreshing.
Food for thought
Take food for example. My airborne luncheon
options were Santa Fe chicken on greens or a
cilantro chicken upon a ciabatta. Back in the
old days that would have been chicken salad
or a chicken sandwich. One dimly remembers
when most of us were happy to roll unaware
that a ciabatta existed. And somehow in said
unpretentious state we were happily naive.
Which reminded me of the Italian bakery of
my childhood. They didn’t have any ciabatta.
However I recall being swamped in a fragrant
brew of yeast and freshly baked bread upon
entering as my friend and I purchased “rolls."
Fantasy versus reality
While they were in fact “ciabatta" it was
not until much later that somebody opted
to rename the obvious. Said phenomena
is in my opinion distasteful. Yet sadly we
willingly tolerate this pretentious mode
of moniker. While it’s long been advised
to call “a spade a spade” - many add a
layer of subterfuge rather than say it like
it is. Thus it seems that we have lost all
sense of decency. Many now prefer to
freely gild the lily. Hence even the most
mundane of everyday items are now
transformed into wolves in sheep’s togs.
Heaven sent
By the time I finally landed from my
technological purgatory I was once
again well grounded. Navigating that
two hour hiatus actually brought me
gently down to earth. Harkening back
to times past, I was able to appreciate
the here and now all the more. Hence
while it has been suggested that one
can never go back, I in truth highly
recommend it. If for no other reason
than the fact that hindsight is always
the best vision. And that in all reality
less just may in fact be much MORE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Roost of all evil
I’ve come to the conclusion that rather
than being a cock, Donald Trump is
simply fowl. Theres no doubt that he
laid a major egg Monday night upon
the Hofstra stage. And yet while said
rooster definitely knows how to crow,
his message was most certainly not
the wakeup call he'd hoped it would
be. That’s because rather than offer
up a vision for the future, Mr. Trump
opted to take himself and us to the dark
side. Proving that negativity sans any
solution is not all it's cracked up to be.
We all fall down?
If one takes his ramblings at face value
our collective sky was literally falling
down. Apparently everything about Mr.
Trump’s America is awful. Thus he had
nothing good to say. Per this mix master,
our glass is not only half empty, it's hit
rock bottom. Said drought is due to the
evil politicians who've led us to the brink
of extinction. However as fact finders
have since proved, the majority of his
gloomy forecast is fictional at best. So
even postulating from atop a wall won't
keep Donald from going over the edge.
Out of his mind
It would have been different if Donald
Trump had offered concrete solutions
to the woes he so broadly outlined. Yet
there was little to no substance to his
crows beyond hollow promises. Against
a more than prepared opponent Donald
verbally staggered across the stage like
a chicken with it’s head cut off. Slowly
swirling towards destruction as his wild
blood letting hurt nobody but himself.
By the end of the evening he had totally
lost it. Leaving most of us to ask…
Which came first?
Meanwhile across the stage Hillary Clinton
appeared to be as happy as a mother hen
upon her nest. Garbed in barnyard red she
occasionally pecked down her opponent’s
crowing attempts to rule the roost. Never
cracking under pressure, she periodically
squawked in protest against Mr. Trump's
vacuous and at times offensive statements.
Smiling all the way given it was obviously
Donald Trump was was laying the major
egg. Along with the rest of us, she watched
him scramble. Confident that in the end
the yoke would be most definitely on him.
Dog eat dog
Beyond poultry behavior, Donald Trump
behaved like the dog he is. Sniffing and
snorting over nothing at all. Pausing to
take an occasional slurp of water. As he
got deeper into the chase, he barked more
frequently and louder. Even growling at
times. Most likely due to having fallen
far behind, all he could do was bite at
"Secretary" Clinton's heels as she raced
ahead of him. Finally in an attempt to nail
at least one bitch, he even dragged Rosie
O’Donnell into the mix. Throw that boy
a bone and he'll bark up the wrong tree!
Caught in the act
As Donald exited the scene of the crime
he tried to convince us that he wasn't the
biggest loser. However Mrs. Clinton had
already proved that facts always TRUMP
bravado. Maybe that's because like most
men, Donald seemed unwilling or unable
to follow directions. Whereas Hillary had
come fully prepared with a roadmap that
will lead this country to success. After a
few detours, she deftly avoided Donald’s
dead ends. Proving that she can take us
to a better place. And isn't that exactly
what a President is supposed to do?!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Checked out
I am traveling as you read this. Hence
even if you're filled with anticipation
of my reaction to last night's debates,
today is not the day. You see, I usually
craft my blogs a day or two prior to
posting. Therefore my ramblings can
at times be a bit out of sync with reality.
Which brings me to the purpose for
today's rather mischievous missive.
Does anything we say or think really
matter? Or has our future already been
decided for us? Is any attempt to take
part in this process a waste of time?
Crowd control
During times like these one wonders how
we ever survived sans a poll pulsing our
every move. It seems that every minute or
hour or day new data spews forth. Each
contradicting prior results. Causing one
to wonder whether everyone is either mad
or simply unwilling to commit to anything.
If I were a betting man (who actually won)
I'd put my money on the fact that most of
the polls indicate absolutely nothing. Thus
it's not be worth fretting over what is the
digital equivalent of curdled milk. Polls
should be avoided, not swallowed whole.
Freak show
It's highly doubtful that most people
change their minds on a daily basis.
At this point the majority of us have
already chosen - whether we say so
or not. Now our primary search prior
to punching in on November 8th is
for confirmation that we've made
the right decision. Which was the
the purpose for last night's show.
Much more than entertainment the
goal of every Presidential debate
is to put an end to the conversation.
To reassure and finally seal the deal.
Misery loves company
Is our fate already decided? Then why
bother to vote at all? You may know
who you plan to vote for. However
given neither option feels right, you
may be considering opting out. Folks
like you are who I worry most about.
Perched perilously upon the absentee
fence, you're searching for any excuse
to stay at home. Therefore I'll make
it clear that I've no love for wastrels.
Rather than abstain, you must cast
your lot with the rest of us. You see,
our future could be in YOUR hands.
Que sera sera?
While Doris Day may have been right
and whatever will be will be - we all
have skin in the game. If you opt to
opt out, you put the odds in another's
favor. Passive aggressive acquiescence
eliminates what little control we each
have in the process. Need I remind
you of the year two thousand? Vice
President Al Gore won the popular
vote yet lost the Presidential election
by just FIVE electoral votes. Proof
that your vote truly matters. So why
would you ever consider wasting it?
You betcha!
Obviously I hope that an evening of
contentious dialogue has swung you
to the other side. But to be honest,
I don't care who you vote for. That
decision is none of my business.
However political correctness aside,
I do passionately care that you vote.
If for no other reason that we each
share the responsibility of crafting
our collective destiny. Thus whoever
wins or loses - at least we each had
a piece of the action. And isn't that
what being an American is all about?
Action figures
Whoever "won" last night - one of
the two will win the election. Thus
as contributing members of society
we must do our part. If you feel the
need to protest, put your dissenting
vote down on the record. Even if
you think casting your ballot is an
exercise in futility, why take a risk
of not being a deciding vote? Much
more will be said until November
eighth. Yet once the electoral dust
finally settles, few will debate that
every vote was beyond important!

Monday, September 26, 2016


More is more
What could be more basic to our daily
survival than the apple. Even if the old
adage didn't recommend a twenty four
hour bite - many are more than eager
to nibble upon America's favorite fruit.
This year we've seen an apple avalanche
here in Central Montana. And at least
for Frank and I that has meant an over
abundance of apples. Yet as with all
things Montanan, one must savor the
here and now. After all next year that
same tree might yield nada. And so our
mantra is gather ye apples while ye may!
Crowd sourced
Our first bumper crop arrived via the
tree outside of our house in town. It's
branches were laden with an abundant
harvest. Bending so low that our local
deer quickly made it's ample yield part
of their daily rounds. Soon the ground
was littered with partially nibbled orbs
discarded by said picky lot. Everybody
wanted to grab our fruit. That included
several strangers who knocked on our
door asking to help themselves. In the
end there fortunately was more than
enough to share our bounty with all.
Good n' plenty
While happy to crowd source we too
benefitted from nature's bounty. Even
if only left with the dregs - Frank was
able to cook up a large pot of apple
sauce. His recipe is simple. Peel and
core the apples, add juice of several
lemons, a dash or two of cinnamon,
and finally a bit of water. Then gently
cook over low heat until the apples
are soft enough to mash. The result
is great by itself or perfect with a
pork chop. Our only challenge is
eating it all. If only we could can...
The more the merrier
As if that wasn't enough - we've a hardy
apple tree out at Frank's garden outside
of town. Last year it yielded virtually
no fruit. Whereas this year, Frank has
already picked more than five bushels.
While not the biggest, they're beyond
tasty. Given we don't spray, many are
not the prettiest of apples. However all
are ample fodder for more apple sauce,
cakes, and pies. Yesterday Frank Senior
(age ninety eight) helped his namesake
peel a bushel or two. The result being
some saucy tales plus a pot of the stuff!
Lovin' from the oven
My Mother's specialty was apple pie.
Within a flaky crust lay a mound of
sweet and soft slices. Never a la mode
in our house, a slice of Ethel's pie was
invariably accompanied by a generous
wedge of extra sharp cheddar. All that
plus a liberal pour of heavy cream atop.
Another of her favorite concoctions
was "Apple Brown Betty." And then
my favorite - baked apples. Especially
when they were filled with walnuts,
brown sugar, and butter at the core!
No wonder I miss my Mom everyday!
Daily minimum requirement
While most kids adore apple juice I've
never been a fan. However as a boy I
loved our annual pilgrimage to Tice's
farm for fresh pressed cider. Years later
I discovered the ultimate in liquid apple
delights - CALVADOS! Leave it to the
French to figure out a way to make a
natural phenomena - phenomenal! In
my opinion the older the better. Which
makes my personal preference "XO" -
bottled at least six years prior. Hmm...
what could be a better way to keep the
doctor away than a snifter a day?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

7th Day Surprise - Leaf me alone

As the foliage turns,
it's time to turn over a new leaf
and enjoy this