Saturday, February 24, 2007

Badabing: Bon Vivant, Raconteur ... Hero

About a month ago I went into town to do some errands on a Saturday afternoon. As I passed the corral we have on our property, I saw a deer hanging halfway over the corral fence. It wasn't moving at all...just kind of hanging there. I stopped the truck...waited at least five minutes...still no movement. I concluded that the deer must have gotten stuck as it tried to jump the fence, had hung there for a while, and maybe died of starvation, frustration, or simply fright.

I continued into town to do my errands before the shops closed, wondering along the way how the hell I'm gonna' get rid of a dead deer in my corral. I asked the barber, who advised me not to worry since the turkey vultures would probably pick the carcass clean in a matter of days...then, I'd only have to move the skeleton. I asked the optometrist, who laughed and said he'd never heard of anything like that...I invited him to come out and take a look as long as he wouldn't mind lending a hand. By the time I got to Starbucks I figured it would be fruitless to ask the baristra for advice, so I just kept my mouth shut and got my coffee to go.

On the way back up the driveway it was still hanging there. When I got back to the house I told my wife and daughter to take a look out the dining room window and they'd be able to see it through the leafless trees about a hundred yards away. We all looked for a few minutes, and my wife suggested I call the local farmer who would probably know what to do with it. I went searching for the phone book.

Suddenly, my wife screamed. She saw what appeared to be turkey vultures attacking the carcass, but she wasn't absolutely sure since the trees were blocking the view. I took a look and couldn't see any vultures, then noticed that the deer was still alive. It was probably fatigued and resting when I went by. So, with split-second thinking rivaling that of the most accomplished emergency room surgeon (ok, maybe not exactly), I grabbed a pair of cutting pliers and we jumped in the truck and raced to the rescue.

Sure enough, it was flailing away, trying to get free of the barbs on the fence wire. My daughter wanted to hold and console it. My wife was yelling for both of us not to get too near it so we wouldn't get kicked. I approached cautiously, trying to get it freed without either of us getting hurt. In about a minute was able to cut through two layers of the fence wire. was like the deer had been shot straight out of a giant slingshot. In two or three seconds it had streaked about fifty yards to the other side of the corral and, this time, successfully leapt over the fence. Just before disappearing into the woods, it stopped and looked back for a moment. My daughter said, "Aw, daddy, maybe it's saying thank you."
Deer in corral

So, now in addition to being a friend, husband, father, lover, senior citizen in-waiting, gourmet cook, wine connosseur consumer, wannabe novelist, horndog, witty conversationalist, jokester, skilled eavesdropper, book hound, music lover, raconteur, bon vivant, and all-around nice guy...oh, did I mention modest?...I am now also a hero...saver of deer and all animalkind...with pictures to prove it :-)

What's that?...I hear strains of Whitney Houston singing "You are my hero..."

Ok, ok...enough. The sun is below the yardarm so it's time to start happy hour.

Badaboom Badabing...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We Called Her Mellow Yellow

On my trip to Atlanta last week, I was looking out the window at a river that ran by my client's office. Somebody told me it was the Chattahoochee River. The name seemed to ring a bell somewhere in my mind, and on the plane ride back it came to me...I thought it was the river where they shot the movie Deliverance (with Burt Reynolds and John Voight) back around 1970. For some reason it triggered a memory from my youth. As it turns out, I checked, and the river where the film was shot was the Chatooga, but who gives a rat's gave me the idea for this post.

I went through some old photo albums and dug out the pictures posted here. Back in the 1960's a few of my buddies and I pooled our meager funds and purchased a life raft that we named Mellow Yellow (after the Beatles Song). Every Spring, for several years, we would take a roadtrip from our neighborhood just outside of New York City to the Delaware Water Gap in boys in the country. We'd park one car up river and another car several miles down river. Then we'd launch Mellow Yellow and run the rapids down the Delaware River. It would take us a few hours to do the run, then we'd break out sandwiches and beer and talk about how hot-shit lucky we were to conquer those monster rapids. Truthfully, they were more like mouse rapids though we did have a few close calls. In any case, it made for good bar braggin' for the weekend (big fish stories couldn't hold a candle to ours)...and I vividly recall that there was a definite non-linear relationship between the number of beers consumed and the treachery of the rapids.


City Boys in the Country (Click to Enlarge)

So here's a few pictures of my buds and Mellow Yellow. The big blond guy (he was 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds at 15 years old...bigger when photo was taken) is Eddy (aka Big Bear). The dark skinny guy is Denny (sadly, Leukemia took him at 25 years of age), and the other big guy with curly hair is Jimmy. I was the designated photographer (wielding my Kodak Instamatic) for the color pics. In the black & white pic, that's me in the plaid shirt and long hair looking like a midget standing between Jimmy and Bear.

One of the VW's belonged to Jimmy, the other to Bear. I can't tell which one we were posing in from the picture, but they were identical cars except for the color...I remember that Jimmy's was green and Bear's was blue. I've actually been in touch with Jimmy over the last two years, and sent him these pics this past Xmas. We both confirmed that neither of us was in possession of Mellow Yellow, and we know that Denny didn't have her when he left us, which leaves the possibility that Bear may still have her...I saw him 20 years ago but forgot to ask him. I'm gonna' try to track him down and find out.

Ahh, the good ol' days.

Oh case anyone is, we didn't meet with the same fate as the characters in that movie :-)

Badabing Badaboom...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It Really Bugs Me When...

When best-selling authors don't get their facts straight...I posted about this a while ago, and it just happened again. I know I shouldn't get all upset about this, but it really bugs the shit out of me whenever I encounter it...and I'm not even looking for this kind of stuff. I'm reading Short Straw, the new novel from Stuart Woods (who is a very good writer). So...the thing that ticked me off this time is that his main character grew from 5' 8" tall to 6 feet tall in a mere 75 pages.

There, I feel so much better now.

And...I'll be feeling even better very happy hour at my hotel starts in 5 minutes :-)

Badabing Badaboom...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cupid Missed His Train to Georgia...

So, here's the scene...upscale restaurant in an upscale Atlanta suburb. It's Valentine's Day, early evening. The place is packed...mostly couples, a few stray pairs of dateless males and females, and one or two guys like me who were eating or drinking alone. I manage to get the last seat at the large circular bar, and am even lucky enough to have both a perfect view of the dining areas and a small lamp in front of me that threw off enough light to read by.

I order a glass of wine and alternate between reading my book and evesdropping, er, observing the crowd. Focusing my attention on the couples, I was a bit shocked. The vast majority of the couples weren't even close to connecting with each other. Guys were watching the basketball game on the tv screens hanging at various locations in the restaurant; some women were reading, some were just eating or drinking; and a few were trying, with mixed success, to converse with their dinner partners.

The woman sitting next to me was talkin' at...not with...her husband, explaining to him the finer points of the rhumba. I found out later they had been taking dancing lessons. Between feigning interest with occasional "uh huh's" and nods, the husband was more focused on sneaking peeks at the game. Figuring to get his attention, she finally hopped off the bar stool and began to demonstrate the dance steps. That seemed to held his attention for a full five seconds. Before I forget, it did look like she'd had a drink or three by this time.

I couldn't resist, so I started up a conversation with her while hubby went back to enjoying his game. Apparently enjoying my undivided attention, she repeated the rhumba demo, and switched to a salsa. I didn't want her to think I was a real wise ass, but, being the wise ass that I sometimes am...after I complimented her on her lovely dance I couldn't resist telling her that what she was doing was actually a mambo step...and that that was ok because it is commonly used in salsa as well. And no, I didn't just make that up...and yes, I know how to dance. Ok, ok, not really, but I am taking lessions. Oops, I'm maybe that will be fodder for a future post.

Anyway, that got her full attention. She slid her barstool closer to mine and hopped back on. I guess it was something I said. And if you're wondering...yes, she was attractive...I can say this truthfully because I was still nursing my first drink. Hubby was engrossed in his game, so she and I had a nice conversation about dancing and other things (I quickly switched off the dancing topic because the extent of my knowledge about it was exhausted in less than five minutes.)

Eventually this small black thing setting on the bar between her and her husband starts blinking and buzzing and doing its own little thing. Their table was finally ready. Hubby jumps up and reaches for his wallet to close out the bar tab, but she stops him and says she'd prefer if they just ate at the bar. He gives me a glance and then engages in a little tete a tete with the wife, that became a bit animated in a not so good way. The only dialogue I was able to catch was "we waited a god damned hour for this table...". They ultimately decided to take the table, and I got a smile and a "thanks for the company" from her and a potentially dirty look from him. Gee, ya' think he'd have appreciated me getting him off the hook so he could watch the game. I did notice that as they were seated he was doing all the talking. Hey, I can't help it if I'm such a nice guy...the lady at least deserves a nice conversation on Valentine's Day.

Being so engrossed in that conversation, I missed all but the end of the what was going on between a young couple that was sitting a little further down the bar. They had finished their meal and were arguing about who should pay...and about three minutes after I heard one of them say "cheap bastard" the guy gets up and leaves without her. In case anyone is, I did not slide on over... Saving one damsel a day is about Badabing's limit. Besides, she was way too young for me :-)

I guess cupid missed his train to Georgia that day.

Badaboom Badabing...

Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm in a Biblical Mood...

For some reason I'm in a biblical state of mind this morning. This one is for anyone who might enjoy a biblical brain teaser of sorts.

What is the difference between the following?

The Old Testament
The Torah
The Five Books of Moses

Answers posted shortly.

Badabing Badaboom...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Guess Some Folks Actually Read This Blog

I took the plunge and upgraded to the new version of Blogger a few minutes ago...and got a nice surprise. I found out that some of you actually read and comment here :-) Nice to know that I have more than one reader.

So, if you thought I was ignoring you...not so. I don't know why, but all of your comments from the last several months did not post on the old version. So, please forgive me if I didn't reply to your posts. I'm going to go back through the last few months and reply to you all...well, almost all...I received some pretty wierd comments that I'll probably edit out.

Actually, knowing that I have more than one reader is good motivation for posting more...which I will definitely do.

Ciao for now...I've got to catch a plane.

Badaboom Badabing...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Livin' On Sponge Cake Watchin' The Sun Bake...

Sunset in Key Largo February 2007
Can you guess where I am?

Hint #1: Parrot heads

Hint #2: Think Jimmy Buffet

Give up?

That's right. I'm in paradise...sorta.

Actually, I just returned from a few days in the Florida keys...where the weather was a helluva lot better than it is here at home. Nothin' to do but relax, read, bask in the sun, eat, drink, drink, drink...and watch the daily sunsets (a tradition in the keys)...and drink some more. Check out the pics taken from our hotel.

Sunset in Key Largo February 2007

Needless to say, after several balmy 85-degree days it was really hard to come back to temperatures in the teens. To make things worse, in the next hour I'm leaving to catch a plane to Chicago where the temperature is expected to be in the @#$%-shriveling single digits and sub-zero with the wind chill factor.

I'd definitely rather be "wastin' away in Margaritaville..."

Badaboom Burrr Badabing...