Holy Jumpin’ Java

It was shortly after three in the morning. I recall the time because I had jus’ wrapped up my newscast for the top of the hour.

As I stood at the coffee maker, pouring the hot liquid into my cup, I was looking out the window in front of me. I looked down as I felt my mug was full and when I looked back up — I got the crap scared out of me.

In the time I looked down then back up — a homeless man had approached the window and had his face pressed against the glass doing his best to see inside the building. He must have seen me as I jumped — or perhaps he heard me scream — because he jerked away from the window and disappeared into the darkness.

It took me 10 minutes to clean up the coffee I had splashed thought-out the break room and another two or three minutes to pick up the broken remains of my cup —  and the rest of the morning to gather my nerves.

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Jus’ in Case

For as long as I could recall Dad carried a black attaché case to work. He took it to work and on temporary-duty assignments as well.

At the time I never once thought to think about what might be in it. Now that he’s gone, I find myself extremely curious, though I know there is no way of ever finding out.

What brings this about is the fact that a few months after Dad was laid to rest, my step-mom Jere’, gave me the attaché. There was nothing in it other than a few scraps of paper which included a couple of phone numbers and an address or two.

I brought it home and put all of his service papers in it and stored it away.

Without putting much thought into it, I found the case one day and pulled those service papers out and filed them in a safe-deposit box. I didn’t even recall at the time it was Dad’s old attaché.

It’s said that the memory is one of the first things to go.

Currently, I’m using it for work. In it, I carry my daily journal, various ideas for articles and stories I’d like to write, a pocket-copy of the U.S. Constitution, my time-card, a pencil and pen, my cell-phone, a small digital camera and at times my lunch.

I think it’s in pretty good shape for the age that it is.

Changing of the Bull

Along with KNSS being sold, the stations call letter were changed to KBUL. This was followed by a change in the station’s logo from a bull’s head in a circle to a larger than life bull-character wearing a Hawaiian-print shirt.

Through an on air contest, the new character was named, “Bull-dacious.”

That changed a few years back to the same bull-character wearing a yellow Hawaiian-print shirt. He was also sporting the same pair of sunglasses around his neck.

The character’s name changed too, as he’s now known as “Incredi-Bull.”

Jus’ recently I pulled into the station’s parking lot to find the old logo has undergone yet another change. The bull-character is now sporting a Marine Corps-style desert camouflage utility blouse, called MARPAT, which is short for Marine Pattern.

I think the character’s name ought to be changed to something like Gunny Indestructa-Bull or perhaps Gunny Bull-istic.

All Wrapped Up

Generally people do their spring cleaning in spring. This year much of northern Nevada and eastern California didn’t get a spring – instead going from cold weather and snow into hot temperatures.

Needless to say – I got a late start on my cleaning. Along with spring cleaning, I also like to take the time to use the same period for personal cleaning.

By personal cleaning, I mean examining my life. I usually find things out about myself that I had never taken the time to consider when I’m in one of these reflective states.

For example, my wife, Mary recently gave a heavy blanket away to one of her employees. Initially, I bulked at the idea as I really hated to lose that blanket. 

She offered up other recommendations. None of them made me happy.

This caused me to think about why I wanted to hang on to a blanket that’s been in the back of the closet for the last two years. It took me back to a period of time where I felt very insecure – which was pretty much until I was 41 or 42 years old.

Crazy as it sounds – the blanket represented protection from feeling crushed as I compared myself to others. Then I remembered a line from one of my favorite free-verse poems, “Desiderata.”

It reads: “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

Flair

Some one at the radio station had Chinese take out and I found this small slip of paper that obviously came from a fortune cookie. It reads: “You have a flair for adding a fanciful dimension to any story.”

Thanks for the inspiration — whoever left it.

Cereal Trauma

After leaving the Marine Corps, I found myself in a strange situation. I discovered that making small decisions were sometimes next to impossible. One afternoon, my soon-to-be-bride and I were in Sak-n-Save, a local grocery store. She was doing the shopping while I was tagging along.

She asked me to go get some cereal while she headed for the check-out stand. Without hesitation I said okay and off I went.

She says I was gone for over 15 minutes and eventually had to come find me. She finally located me still in the cereal aisle, looking at all the assorted boxes.

When she called my name, I looked over at her. She told me that I had this “wild and dazed” look on my face.

I never did select a box of cereal that day.

Instead, I left the store in a cold sweat, pale and shaky. My soon-to-be-bride had to check out without me.

This wouldn’t be the last time I’d have a difficulty deciding something like this. And eventually I learned to “adapt and overcome,” the cereal aisle when it happened again.

My plan is simple: Get Cheerios®.

Stupidity is Mightier than the Penn

Magician and Miss USA judge Penn Jillette says he’s happy a pageant queen from Tennessee lost to Miss California USA Alyssa Campanella. He comes to this conclusion because of her onstage answer to a question about burning Quran’s ran afoul of the First Amendment.

The vocal half of illusionist duo Penn and Teller says on Twitter that he’s glad to have helped Miss Tennessee USA Ashley Durham lose the competition. Durham placed second in the pageant.

Durham responded to a question about whether burning religious items should be afforded the same constitutional protections as flag burning by saying it crossed a line and shouldn’t be allowed. Of course, Campanella’s answer about marijuana was completely overlooked.

‘Well, I understand why that question would be asked, especially with today’s economy, but I also understand that medical marijuana is very important to help those who need it medically,” she said. “I’m not sure if it should be legalized, if it would really affect, with the drug war. I mean, it’s abused today, unfortunately, so that’s the only reason why I would kind of be a little bit against it, but medically it’s okay.”

Guess, one can’t expect much more than that from a 21-year-old California-New Jersey transplant. Her next stop — the Miss Universe 2011 competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 12th.

Now, if only Penn would magically disappear.