Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Is it wise to domesticate a Pirate?

Since I have taken the helm at home and become a self-employed, work from my home, lay-about Pirate, several daily tasks or chores have been hung around my neck. I have relieved the rest of the brood from dishwasher duties, laundry, picking up around the house, cooking dinner and taking out the garbage. Of late Mrs. Pirate has extended the "Pirate do" list by asking me to dust and mop and other minial tasks. I have taken to them as easy as the rest of my talents. Today she may have went to far.

First of all she needed me to help her take several items to her office. She had decided to treat all her co-workers with "Smoothies", a fruit and dairy blended concoction that are popular around our Pirate abode. So this morning I did my usual wake up have a diet coke (cold caffeine always comes first with me), then a cup, after the coffee does its job, down below, I stagger out to the car and wait for the two youngest. After taking Slick and Lil Sis and a two othr kids from the neighborhood to school, I return to take Jock and Mrs. Pirate to their daily stations. This morning after we dropped Jock off Mrs. Pirate reminde me that I had promised to go to Safeway this morning and purchase the items needed in the smoothies and to deliver them all to her job. Man! I tried everything to welch on the promise. I whined that I had dirty sweats and tattered shirt on. I hadn't even showered yet and smelt like yesterday's pits. My back hurt. I have amnesia. None of it worked. She wasn't buying.

I have never in my life been in my wife's office. I drop her off every morning and pick her up promptly at 5 pm, but never have I stepped into her office on the third floor of a state agency, an agency in a security building. I have met maybe one or two of her co-worker over the years but now I was looking more like a street person who would be better applied by standing on a corner with a cardboard sign pleading for nickles and blessing those who help me fill my gas tank then a businessman who works at home. I didn't even look presentable enough for a Pirate, least not one who would be meeting a covey of women.

With my protests squelched by the ruling party, Mrs. Pirate, I found myself in the atrium of a marbled building going through a security screening to see if I was a security risk (gotta love homeland security). After the little fellow, Ed, who appeared to be from India or Pakistan (I only bring up his country of origin because of the irony of an immigrant to Oregon screening a descendant from an Oregon trail family)determined that I was harmless he then awarded me a visitor's badge and made it very clear I had the badge for limited amount of time and was to return the badge promptly to him within the half-hour. If more time was needed I had to return to him and request additional time.

I finally made it to Mrs. Pirate's office where I fortunately got to meet many of her co-workers and deliver the blender and the smoothie goodies. Mrs. Pirate thought it funny to explain to her commrades how uncomfortable I was because of the lack of shower and the "man do you look like shit" outfit. I am thinking she works with some nice people who assured me there was no problem with them since they definately weren't the ones in my shoes. I made my exit as quick as i could and got the badge back to Ed.

Then when I got home I found several notes on the kitchen counter asking me to dust, mop, hand wash her green wool sweater and refill the "Tilex" spray bottle from the industrial quantity bottle. I figured no problem. I washed her beautiful green wool sweater that I proudly bought for her this last Christmas. A sweater that I was so excitd to get her after I saw her gren eyes glow when she first saw it in that swanky women clothing store. The sweater she was overjoyed to recieve on Christmas. I laid the hand washed and hand rung sweater on a towel laid over the counter. I laid it out so nicely and admired my first handwashing job. I got to thinking if this business doesn't work out I can always fall back on some domestic job or go live with the indigenous people because now, I am confident that I could wash clothes on a rock.

I then went about doing the other tasks, whistling as I worked, I dusted, I swept, I mopped, I refilled the "Tilex" spray bottle, further thoughts of Michael Keaton and his Mr. Mom movie. Man! I was getting good at this. Its not even 9 am yet and i have done more then most Marines will do all day.

After putting away my new tools of my newly found domestic vocation I noticed something terrible. Something that is going to get me killed. The beautiful Christmas-purchased-green-wool sweater was now as green as ever with large brown spots all over the front of the it. My God! what did I do?

When I was refilling the "Tilex" bottle I accidently slopped several drops across the front of the sweater. Shit I am dead.

Don't look at me, that's the way I found it.


Monday, February 27, 2006

A lot happening these days

Right off the top I would like to say a thank you to three actors I enjoyed through the years, especially in my youth. Don Knotts, Barney Fife, has went to the studio in the sky. When I was kid he put more smiles on my face and made me laugh more then any actor I can remember. His attempts of being the steely faced cop or the suave lady's man with his straight man, Andy Griffith will always be imprinted in my mind.

Darren McGavin's role of the father on "A Christmas Story" will forever make leg lamps a specialty during the yuletide season and his creative use of the English language while he battles feral hounds and obnoxious furnaces. I also enjoyed his "Night Stalker" when I was in high school.

Dennis Weaver has also left this last couple of days. I have a special attachment to him due to the fact he looked and acted a lot like my Grandpa Bruce. Both men comfortable in a cowboy hat that sat above their hawkish facial features. When I was a kid watching McCloud I always saw my mother's father Bruce, in Weaver's New Mexico Sheriff in NYC character. Who can forget his role of the travling salesman in Spielberg's first movie, Duel? The confusion and fear that his face displayed as he tried to elude a crazy manical truck driver we never do see.

Thanks guys you entertained us well.

Is it me or are things getting a little silly these days? The VP accidently peppers a hunting buddy and the press goes into their "Watergate" mode. Meanwhile the Muslims are taking to the streets killing each other and burning up flags because of a cartoon. Then to top it off we find out that an Arab nation has purchased the rights to operate six ports in the USA.

Is it a little hypocritical of us to hope the war in Iraq will eventually lead to a relationship with the Middle East that resembles that of Japan today, if we give a country smaller then most Texas counties the back of our hand in the world market? Do you think those complaining and raising a ruckus about Dubai are standing a little close to the flag of prejudice or racism? I also think it is a little strange how those with the loudest voices against the port deal are silent when discussing the borders.

This morning while I dropped off the kids at school I hear Harry Belafonte in his present hoarsy sounding voice on the radio saying that the common enemy of the world's people is the capitalist system when its being ran by imperical tyrants. Does this idiot honestly think that? Does he think bush is acting as a tyranical imperialist? I also listened to somethings Belafonte and our modern day flower child, Cindy Sheehan say about our country while they stood on a podium with Chavez. Do these dolts really want to relive the 60s? I have friends that still haven't completely sobered up from the Summer of Love and as they see the end of the tunnel there is an element that wants to dig up Timothy Leary, afros, peace signs, braless tie dyes (my favorite) and Neru shirts. You know Pirates always look good in bell bottoms.

I hope that riled something in you and if it did don't blame me.


P.S. A belated by one day happy 40th to Rev. Dr. Abigambi. May you have 40 more on the wild side of the street.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Home repair is for better men then me

Thought I'd sneak in a word while Mrs. Pirate is busy working in the backyard. We got our weekly visit to Walmart for the groceries and finished most of the work around the house minus the three big repairs that wil have to wait until Spring and when money starts rolling in, or trickling in. How ever it flows I hope its soon.

This winter we had a leak in our roof right above the front door entrance. So now when you enter our abode you are met with an eye-sore. I have tried to make it look as appealing as possible but stripped down plaster and water stains can only be dressed up so much. What worries me is this will undoubtly become an issue with the outside roof as well. Then we have the upstairs bathroom floor that needs replaced. We have capsulated our showering in the house to the downstairs bathroom which has been interesting at best. Three teenagers getting their showers in during the morning rush has been touch and go on a few mornings. I am still able to get a lot of my reading done in the upstairs bathroom though.

The other project is the replacement of half of our backyard fence. Not being Bob Villa and never claiming to be the inside house projects will have to be hired out. As for the fence, that is one i can handle as soon as the weather warms up. I can dig holes and pound nails but doing floors and roofs; not on your life.

Whenever Mrs. Pirate starts in on the repair work I always remind her that never once in my life did I ever claim to be Mr. House Repair. I remind her if tshe goes back and looks at my application I boldly marked the box that said, "Worthless at house repairs". Oh, I can mow yards, dig up plants, plant other plants, paint, clean the pool, I am excellent at helping clean the house and as my new career of workjing at home has proven I am damn good at laundry and the dishwasher. I am also really good at having dinner done when the brood gets home at the end of the day along with walking the dogs and cleaning up after the cats. But home repairs, forget it.

People who know me well know to stay the hell away from me whenever I am busy taking on a home repair. It usually includes ten or more trips to Lowe's or Home Depot, a lot of pissing and moaning and eventually the repair is worse then when I first ateempted to fix it.

Don't get me wrong I admire those men and women who have the knack for fixing and rpairing things. I almost worship them but I am not on their team by any stretch of the imagination. Many have made me feel inadequate, not by anything they have done but because I internally feel so small next to such men. I have avoiding friendships just because I figured out that the male in the couple is handy around the house. When my in-laws come to visit I always want some kind of project going so I can put on the facade. My father-in-law owned and operated an equipment rental store and a sporting goods store when my wife was growing up and he has all the tools and the know how to do any home repair along with a career of killing a number of animals and being a guide for some of America's most famous wannabe hunters. I grew up hunting and fishing and do enjoy it when I get the opportunity but fixing things around the house I am impotent. Hell, I am a damn Pirate for heaven's sakes. I am use to destroying things not putting them back together.

I just heard the backdoor close, I think she is looking for me. Gotta go and look busy. So don't blame me 'cause that's the way I found it and in this instance the story I am sticking to.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Date Went Well

I met him at his office. A nice office at that. John Clymore prints on every wall throughout the building. Remington brass scultpures and other western art decorated the place. All of the support staff I spoke with prior to us setting out for lunch, were pleasent and comfortable.

We first sat and drank strong coffee in their conference room and discussed the importance of having a good industruial appraisal do the appraisals for their insurance firm. Thn we parlayed that importance into how I was the guy they needed. We shared stories and experiences and soon found we had a lot in common.

we went and had a nice little sit down lunch and discussion. After we finished it was obvious he wanted me to kiss him on the first date. As I parted I assured him that we could have a long and meaningful relationship but in no way was I ready for a cowboy commitment. I explained how I rally could careless if there were cowboys who wanted to share chaps but I was not one of them. My persuation was toward the Annie Oakly type. But what ever they wanted to do in the privacy of their own ranch was fine with me.

Unless I totally misread my new friend I think we have a new avenue for appraisals and do think it will grow into something nice. I already have one set for March and anticipate many more. I have not made one dime so far but I have had many promising meetings and have covered the land with my mailings. I have recieved a few calls from the mailings but mostly seed planting at this stage. What is comforting is I have the funds and the game plan to go well into next fall without one project. If I land anything between then and now it is only gravy.

On a "why have I not been blogging" note. I have been so darn busy it has been difficult to juggle family, business, and blogging along with my own writing that I plan to share one day in a published format. This last week i had a basketball game to coach every night of the week except for Monday. This next Monday I will be coaching my last regualr season 8th grade girls game before the playoffs. Next Saturday my high school boys team I coach for the city league has their playoff tournament. As soon as both seasons are over I will have ample time on my hands to do other things.

I just finished reading stephn King's latest, Cell. Not bad but it is obvious once you have become a well established writer you do not have to put your best work on paper to get published.

I am in the middle of reading Lovely Bones a book dale Hanks sent me. Thanks Dale. I also picked up three more books this morning from Borders. Damn I love those gift cards from Borders. My kids got me a $50 on Christmas and this last month on my birthday I got $75 of Border's cards. So far it has turned into four books, a new John Prine and Leo Kotke CDs.

Don't blame me, that's the way I found it!


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Playing the Dating Game

Today looks to be one of those businessmen flesh pressing days; "schmooze dating" if you will. I have a potential new client today that I have to buy lunch for today. Its been so long since I have dated I may have forgotten all the moves and the lines.

In the past I always let them do all the talking while I took mental notes. But I am older now work for myself and I am more desperate. Questions keep going through my head like, what are these younger business people into these days? What kind of music do they listen to? What do they talk about? If I fork out the money for the lunch will they feel obligated to put out? What if I can't perform like I use to? If I get it up can I sustain it? If they put out am I obligated to send them thank you notes later or flowers? Are they going to be interestd in Pirates? Worries, worries worries.

I'll be sure to wear clean underwear, brush my teeth, carry a quarter for the pay phone and have an escape plan. I'll keep a smile pasted on my face even if the topic bores me and even if I suspect that I am being used. I will not bring up life on the sea unless asked and I will keep my Pirate tongue to a minimum. When I part from the schmooze date I will be sure to be polite and say my thank you's as my mom always taught me and make the implications that this can go a lot further if they want it to. Its all up to them, for I need two to dance.

Oh boy! this is going to be exciting. Wish me luck...


Monday, February 20, 2006


Just as you thought it was safe to go back into the water the jolly old Pirate comes sailing back into town. No longer can you leave your treasures lying about. No longer can you wrap yourself in a sense of false security. Yes, its time to listen to that little voice in you that keeps reminding you that you left the iron on at home because the Pirate is back in town.

He's been away drying up his senses, un-numbing himself, putting his life right and avoiding the bad ass Mexican jailer that lurks at feeding time. He's been enduring torture that only Cheney would appreciate, ducking birdshot, hanging with the man on the street donned in an overcoat and bionoculars, watching and reporting on men in big shiny cars and fancy hats.

The Pirate has been sailing about visiting savages of many cultures, smoking with the chief, dancing to Van Morrison's Moondance, with the Ambassador to Togo's virgin daughter while he swallowed her jewels. He's been sleeping on the street of dreams, writing his memoirs of the time he spent with James Frey, drawing pictures in Denmark and pissing off the illiterate serfs of the land of flying carpets, terror, genies in a bottle, and Texas tea; "oil that is".

He has missed everyone of you and has had you all in his thoughts and thought of your musings most of his waking moments. Though he was living on the edge of paradise with the wind in his face he has kept abreast of the all of the mattering events on this big ball and has constructed his opinion on all of those events that matter and those that don't.

There was the fight in the bar in Frisco over the image of the American cowboy that he fought so bravely while he contemplated the new threats from Osama and his dope buddies. The ride across the plains in a stowed away freight car when he heard of the game the zebras stole from Seattle. He stood on a snow blown corner in NYC as he read about those burdened with the bird flu won the leadership of Palastine. He laughed while he sobered up in Buffalo over the VP's means of collecting back library fines and the self-serving press made claims of being the public conduit.

Where ever he stood during his vacation from reality he always sensed he needed to convey to his friends on the avenue and the blogoshpere that all is well, God is good, the Pirate is tall in his perch and his swashbuckling ways have not dulled. Tell Fast eddie to rack em up because the pirate is back.

And that's the way I found it.