Sunday, December 23, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Really ... Aren't They All Songs Of Ill Intent?

My friend Renee - one of the few I have left on Facebook, as many seem to be dropping like flies for one reason or another - noted her frustration with people in general when it comes to Christmas tunes by posting something someone wrote somewhere. (Was that vague enough for you?)

But I'll back up a bit to where it all started, with the holiday classic "Baby, It's Cold Outside." A little history on the tune, originally written in 1944:

"During the 1940s, when Hollywood celebrities attended parties, they were expected to perform. In 1944, Frank Loesser wrote "Baby, It's Cold Outside" for his wife, Lynn Garland, and himself to sing at a housewarming party in New York City at the Navarro Hotel. They sang the song to indicate to guests that it was time to leave.

"Garland wrote that after the first performance, "We become instant parlor room stars. We got invited to all the best parties for years on the basis of 'Baby.' It was our ticket to caviar and truffles. Parties were built around our being the closing act." In 1948, after years of performing the song, Loesser sold it to MGM for the 1949 romantic comedy Neptune's Daughter. Garland was furious, and wrote, "I felt as betrayed as if I'd caught him in bed with another woman."

"In the film, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was sung by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, then by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, who reversed the roles. The song won the Academy Award."

So ... was it a song originally written with ill intentions (read: rape) in mind? No, no it wasn't. Our monkey business society of do-gooders and political correctors has riled the masses into a froth about the songs "true" meaning, throwing its original lyrics (not to mention the societal norms of the time, the 1940s) by the wayside for their own purposes, mainly in order to cry wolf.

Last month, Cleveland, Ohio radio station WDOK announced it pulled "Baby, It's Cold Outside" citing listener concerns over the song's content. On December 4, 2018, the Canadian radio broadcasters Bell Media, CBC Radio, and Rogers Media followed suit. Hey, listener demand can be powerful ... I guess.

And that is the lead in for the post Renee offered below. I don't know who the original author of the following was and it is of no concern. It just so happens I agree with her/him. Because it's all about context and the timing of when the writers wrote the songs.

But those who'd rather whip up inflammatory, alternate meanings, well ... they're going to do what they're going to do.

Welcome to the 2018 holiday season.

Here's what Renee posted ...

"Just a little reminder how ridiculous society has become ...

"Since some radio stations decided to pull 'Baby It’s Cold Outside' from its playlist because someone was offended, shouldn’t these songs be pulled as well????

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Subjecting minors to softcore porn

2. The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation

3. Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances

4. White Christmas? Racist

5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom stalker

6. It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Bullying

8. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts, dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben

9. Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail

10. Frosty The Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman

11. Do You Hear What I Hear: blatant disregard for the hearing impaired

12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow

13. Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet: animal abuse

14. Mistletoe and Holly: Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?

15. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown demanding they get married … forced partnership.

16. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer: Woman attacked & Grandpa gambling."

Now ... I don't claim to be politically correct by any stretch of the imagination. Matter'n fact I'm certain I've raised eyebrows, caused Facebook desertions and much, much more with some of the things I've said and written.

And that, folks, is why a "delete" button was invented.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to every single one of the tunes above without any compunctions whatsoever.

In fact, while playing them, if I see someone who screws up their face in distaste at my musical proclivities, I'll probably just turn up the volume.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Queen: Detailed

A few weeks back I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, the chronicle of the band Queen leading up to their 1985 Live Aid appearance. 

And, yes, it was rather the mess. Timeline issues, missing information, fabricated biographical moments, more.

Still, it was enjoyable and entertaining. And, as a life-long Queen fan, that's all I was looking for. I went into it with the mindset of it being nothing more than a popcorn flick; I wasn't going to get bogged down with details. And guess what? It worked out for me just fine. 

Now, I've had the good fortune of seeing Queen live, 38 years ago to be exact on July 12th, 1980 at The Forum in Inglewood, California during their "The Game" tour. 

One of the most memorable moments of that concert was when Freddie Mercury took the stage atop Darth Vader's shoulders. Yes ... Queen's frontman atop one of the most evil dark lords of The Sith ever. And in a Flash Gordon T-shirt, no less. (1980 was the same year they recorded the titular soundtrack.) It was a cheer-worthy instant during the show, one of the many highlights of my long, long concert-going career. 

I've spoken of it many times with many people wondering if it ever really happened at all. 

It did. I know it did because I was there.

And now? I have proof:

Yep, someone posted a photo of that long-ago moment just as I remembered it. In this day and age of the internet and the prevalence of photoshopped images up the wazoo, one might doubt the validity of such an image. And I can completely understand that ...

But, again, I was there and I witnessed it first-hand.

It's nice to put a picture alongside the memory ...

And, hey! Bonus! Here's the setlist for that night!

Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley cover)
We Will Rock You (Fast)
Let Me Entertain You
Need Your Loving Tonight
Play the Game
Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
Killer Queen
I'm in Love With My Car
Somebody to Love
Get Down, Make Love
You're My Best Friend
Save Me
Now I'm Here
Fat Bottomed Girls
Love of My Life
Keep Yourself Alive
Drum Solo
Guitar Solo
Brighton Rock (Outro)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Bohemian Rhapsody
Tie Your Mother Down


Sheer Heart Attack
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions
God Save the Queen (Thomas Augustine Arne cover)

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, November 30, 2018

5 Personal Things: The Quotation Edition

Well, well, well ... look what we have here: The final day of #NaBloPoMo.

Plus, it's November 30th, too. Readers of this blog will no doubt recall that dates divisible by 5 mean it's time for Michael to whip out his 5 Personal Things list yet again! I know! You're champing at the bit to get to the meat and potatoes of it all!

But this time it's going to be a little different ...

It goes without saying the vast majority of you would like to be face to face with me and see how I actually interact in the flesh, right? Well, to accommodate you I've devote this 5 Personal Things posting to quotations I actually say, things indicative of me, just so you can get an inkling of how I conduct myself in real life situations. I know ... what fun!

Strap in tight folks 'cause away we go ...

"It could be worse, it could be raining." I say this when someone notes a dire situation or predicament they might find themselves in at a given moment. I like to think it eases their tensions and anxiety about what they're about to take on ... but I could be wrong. (I mean, I have been wrong before ...)

"Zounds!" "Egads!" "Woof!" Common exclamations in light of unexpected events, happenings or otherwise.

"The only thing that belongs in your eye is your elbow." Stated when anyone tries putting anything into their eye other than their elbow. Examples: a contact lens, eye drops, a low-hanging branch, etc.

"Oh my gordness!" Another exclamation, said with gusto.

"That was my next guess." Said with an over-stated, frustrating tinge when trying to guess something - no matter if it's the 2nd time guessing or 100th time - when the other person asks me to guess something then answers for me.

"Huh, buoy ..." I use this in place of "Oh, boy" when someone says or does something embarrassing, when an action could turn out to be regrettable and other applicable moments.

"Oh, look at the time."
Said hurriedly when someone suggests something to do or somewhere to go and I don't want to do it or go there.

"Well, people in hell want ice water, too." A pithy response to someone who informs me what they want.

"And how's that working for you?" This phrase has endless possibilities in any given conversation. Usually proffered when the thing someone is doing or thinking is ineffectual.

"Bring your dog and we'll give him a bonus, too." Offered when anyone says something which contains the word "bonus." (Thanks, Groucho.)

"I'm right here." An outstanding reply to the common question "Where are you?" Usually said during telephone conversations for maximum impact.

"It's like pullin' teeth." One of my go to responses when someone is stubborn.

Any Blues Brothers quotation. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) how many times a good quote from the film The Blues Brothers is appropriate during the course of the day. And on multiple occasions throughout the day.

And there you have it, folks. The final #NaBloPoMo posting of 2018. While I didn't make the cut of 30 individual postings because I flubbed a few during vacationing, I feel I more than made up for it in relevant, entertaining content.

Hope you had as much fun reading as I had writing.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Oh, No ... There Goes Tokyo

My #NaBloPoMo post today killed two birds with one stone:

On occasion I contribute to Warehouse Find, The Official Blog for

The blog's orchestrator - Jim Fitzsimons - tolerates my monkey business (sometimes) and posts (often reluctantly) the things I write. (So long as there's cash money involved to grease his palm. Personally I think he publishes my blatherings just because he often needs a nap and doesn't feel like grinding out something week in and week out ... but we won't delve into his questionable methods or work ethics right this moment.)

At any rate, click this link and read my latest contribution. 

Because it's better than unwrapping that extra large package of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and sticking them onto your thighs where they'll just end up anyway.

The video below is a bit of a clue to the post at Warehouse Find. Please enjoy.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Blathering On

You know, I write. A lot.

I have in excess of 500 posts on this blog alone. Another 900+ on CliqueClack, the television / film site I used to write for before it went dormant. Another couple hundred plus at The Unbelievables site co-written with some good friends and probably close to 200 more on Hotchka, another television / film site I currently blather on. Hundreds more broken up on several other blogs I possess not to mention probably the same amount on fellow social media friends' sites and blogs, guesting and co-hosting.

What that translates to is a lot of writing. Not near as many as some, quite a bit more than others.

Along the way, I've angered, informed, sarcastigated, offered some boneheaded theories, proffered my own brands of justice / worry / knowledge / comedy and more.

But when it comes to this particular blog - Rupe's Value Added Services - which has been in existence for 11 years, I've never topped 100 posts in any given year. Yes, I've written 200 posts on average combined, yet I haven't on my own personal scribble-site. (The lone exception is my photo blog - F ( STOP) where I have 1,000+ postings over the course of 9 years. There, I have 4 years in a row running of 100+ postings ... but it's not a true writing site in my eyes.)

Well ... that changes with the unfurling of 2019. It's a personal goal of mine to cross that 100 post threshold next year and, by golly, I'm determined to do it come hell or high water.

I still have tons of thoughts and fodder to put down on virtual paper and only I can stop me. But ... I'm not going to. If that makes any sense. And it does to me.

Wait and watch and see ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Juggler Extraordinaire

Remember at the beginning of the month I told you I was insane? (Click that link and go review if you need to.)

Well, it's caught up with me in a manner of speaking.

The lack of sleep, the constant repetition of "on the fly" projects, the multiple commitments I've promised not to mention work, holiday preparations (4 Christmas trees are up! Christmas lights on the exterior of the house are in place and active!), the Thanksgiving holiday and Life in general has beat me into submission. So to speak.

Here's what I've failed ...

#NaBloPoMo: I missed 3 posts in a row (November 21st through November 23rd) as well as an earlier jotting on November 10th. (But I did sort of make up for that post by doubling my 5 Personal Things offering on the 15th.)

#crystalvember: I missed several drawing challenges as detailed in that first #NaBloPoMo post, too. "Godzilla" (prompt of the 12th of November, which I have started but have not finished), "Wasp," "Snowman," "Robot," "2001: A Space Odyssey" (prompts 22 through 25, respectively) and "Mosquito" which was yesterday's prompt. Today's, "Salamander," I won't get to either. At least not today.

There's nothing I can do about the #NaBloPoMo pieces; I've chalked up a big failure on my part to post every single day in November as I'd hoped. But the #crystalvember challenge is easily remedied. I simply have to sit my ass down and get drawing. And, beginning tomorrow morning, I'll finally get the opportunity to do just that.

What a damned slacker I am ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, November 26, 2018

New Music Monday

I like music.

Yes, I do.

So when some new tunes come along, tunes which strike a chord, well ... happy camper me is more than willing to explore more.

Early this morning, I got a notification on   the Facebook of a new posting in one of the groups I haunt (Pacific Northwest XTC Fan Group) and one of its founding members, Phil Corless. Phil posted a song by a group I hadn't previously heard of before, Teleman, an English indie pop band formed in London half a dozen years ago from the ashes of Pete And The Pirates.

The song in question - Düsseldorf - is a catchy little number that not only got my toe tapping but spurred me onward to more of their output.

I've only gotten a couple tunes under my belt so far this morning but I look forward to streaming more from them while at work today.

For your dining and dancing pleasure, here are a couple for your perusal. Please enjoy.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, November 25, 2018

5 Personal Things ... Or "Cult Of Personality"

Here we are: Yet another day ending in a multiple of 5.

That means it's another round of features that make up your favorite #NaBloPoMo personality - ME!

The hits just keep a'comin' ... !!!

#1: My first exposure to classical music was the film 2001: A Space Odyssey where I immediately fell in love with "The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II.

#2: I'm often loud and boisterous. In other words, you'll know when I'm around or you can find me in a crowd.

#3: I'm a card-carrying member of The Grammar Police and I'm not afraid to point out grammatical syntax errors, punctuation violations and the like. Keep in mind, that's not to say I don't make (and admit to) blunders myself.

#4: My favorite color is stripes.

#5: I have a knack for making up music lyrics on the fly, warping a song to some silly or comical iteration just for the sake of it all. I used to do this for my kids all the time to keep them entertained. I still do it during the most awkward of moments to break up tensions and add levity to stressful situations.

<< BOOM! >> There you are. More tidbits of information for you to tuck away in your mind and recall at an opportune moment!

You have to admit: The valuable information you receive by simply reading this blog is uncanny ... !!!

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Three Days Lax

I'm back home! That's The Good News.

The Bad News? I've missed the last three NaBloPoMo posts because of vacationing.

Hey ... I apologize but what am I supposed to do?

There was driving for seven hours to get to my destination beginning 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. There was last minute monkey business to attend to in order to have things ready for Thanksgiving the following day. Then, the preparations of the Thanksgiving repast itself, an all day ordeal. Of course, dinner and dessert and the obligatory clean-up on said day. The following morning found me heading out to visit a "little sister" who was in the hospital more than an hour distant, Black Friday traffic notwithstanding. And more relatives to touch base with yet another hour away after the hospital visit. Finally, "home" (to where our vacation beds were located for the long weekend) where leftovers were prepared for the home's hosts who had been working all the live long day. Today, Saturday? It was another long drive back home to Placerville where I finally get the opportunity to sit down with a moment's peace and write this mumbo-jumbo.

"Couldn't you have written while on the trip in the car, Michael? I mean ... you had seven hours of drive time, doing nothing but effortlessly letting your ass grow wider ..."

True. But the wrinkle there was I drove the entire seven hours.

"You mean you couldn't have gotten up half an hour earlier on any given morning and done your thing to get your blogs in when they were supposed to be? You couldn't sneak away and plunk out a few paragraphs and post them? Not an instance of sitting on the toilet, doing your business and getting other business done, too?"

No, I could not.

So, like it or not, here is this chronicle detailing most of what happened, justifying my excuse - whether you believe it or not - of why I was remiss over the last three rotations of the small blue ball we all ride obliviously in getting a few words churned out.

Deal with it ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Again With The 5 Personal Things

Greetings, People of Earth!

It's November 20th! You know what time it is, don't you? It's Michael facts and fodder time - five personality traits (or quirks) about me you don't yet (or maybe you do, I don't know) know! I've done this twice already (here and here) you'll recall and here's the third iteration!

Let's dig in!

#1: I subsist on 5 hours' sleep and have for years. Once in a while (it averages about every other month) I'll need to crash and get a good 8 - 10 hours slumber under my belt which resets things. Yes, I know it's killing me but it is what it is.

#2: I've continually found the need to give names to people and things other than what they're named or what they are: My kids had the nicknames "Gut," "Gak" and "Goof" (the youngest one still has that moniker, I call coffee creamer "coffee stuff," I use the word "hoochamuhwaggit" often to call out particular items ("Do me a favor and hand me that hoochamuhwaggit") and when I refer to items in conversation I often call out "the thing" ("Hey ... where's 'the thing'?").

Image not indicative of Michael's personal set up
as he prefers salt and pepper grinders.

#3: The dining room table isn't complete without three items: Salt, pepper and napkins.

#4: I've never had an "eyeFone" (my mocking term for Apple's product) and I don't see that fact ever changing.

#5: For years as a kid, in the summertime I used lemon to bleach my hair blondish so I could run around in summer as the blond god of beach parties.

Wow! Another successful listing! The hits just keep on coming, don't they?

The 25th of the month and 5 more things will be here before you know it.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, November 19, 2018

Crack Habit

I was in the kitchen, cooking. I ground turkey sizzling in a pan of the stove and the fan above cranked full throttle. The television was on in the background, non-de script commercial break after commercial break bookmarking the evening newscast. I could only catch a few words here and there.

And then, clear as day, I heard it:

"... You! Check your ass out! Then grab it!"

What the what ... ???!?

I turned around and walked across the kitchen, closer to the living room to see what was on the television screen.

"What was that I just heard?" I asked.

"Oh ... nothing. It's just a commercial ..."

"No ... I heard '... You! Check your ass out, then grab it ...'."

Guffawing ensued. I stood (possibly comically) with a wooden spoon in one hand and the other on my hip, face scrunched up.

"That's not what you heard." More chuckling. "It was 'You should regularly check your acid levels out of habit' ..."

Well ... that wasn't funny at all ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Live To Ride ... And Walk

I have to give it up to the rough and tumble dude who rolled noisily down the street on his black Harley, decked out with a walker strapped to the back: No one is ever going to question him.

I only wish I would have had the opportunity to snap a photo. Some things need to be seen to be believed ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I'm Finished For The Day ... Finally

3:30 a.m.

Seriously: What the hell ... ???!??

I was tired last night. I went to bed reasonably early, just after 10:00.

But the little voice inside my head had other things in mind: "Dude ... it doesn't matter what time you hit the sack, five hours is all I'm going to give you. It's all you need."


And it was right. Five hours was all I got.

I thought about reasoning with the voice. After all, I had a drawing to submit for a challenge, a podcast to co-host, lots of chores to accomplish, a haircut to get under my belt as well as a blog posting to submit. That little voice, though ... it didn't give two hoots or a holler what I needed to do.

So here I am, finishing up the final item on my list, finishing up that blog post and getting ready to submit it.

Yes, I'm tired. Dog tired. My stomach muscles hurt from all the physical work I've done, I feel my eyes beginning to droop (actually, they've been doing so for the last couple hours) and when I went to get my haircut? I submitted a coupon to the kind lady who serviced me just to be informed the coupon was for a different establishment than the one I was in. I apologized for the oversight ... but she gave me the discount anywho.

So, shortly after this piece goes live? This guy is hitting the hay, rockin' Saturday night notwithstanding.

But it probably doesn't make any difference. I'll be up at some ungodly hour on Sunday morning ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, November 16, 2018

Role Playing

Not an actual photo of the woman I do work for ...
... but close.

I do yardwork and various other chores at the home of a little old lady I met long ago when I first refinished the deck in her backyard. Ever since that first encounter, she's retained me to do all sorts of odd jobs: painting, plumbing, etc. I'm there once a week, minimum.

She's older than dirt, just this side of 90. But she's still feisty as all get out. She'll throw it right back at me if I don't give her answers she's expecting. In other words, we get along just fine.

Today, though, I got the upper hand on her.

One of the things needing attention was putting an old, broken down washing machine out on her curb so a disposal company can come pick it next Monday ...

"So ... these dudes coming out to pick up the old washer - they won't get it if it's by your garage out front? It needs to be right there on the curb, which is no more than 30 feet from the garage?"

"That's what they said" she told me.

"How come you didn't use your wily charms to convince them you can't be bothered with such trivialities ..."

"They simply won't pick it up unless it's out by the curb."

I sighed. "It's a hop, skip and a jump! Besides, they have to pull up into the driveway anyway in order to get it. How difficult can it be?"

"Besides ... my 'wily charms' stopped being wily and charming a long time ago ..."

"Oh, bullshit" I chided her. "If that doesn't work for you, why not use your cranky old lady voice and tell them you don't have the wherewithal, the strength or the patience to deal with it? Trust me ... I've seen you cranky before. You have that down pat."

She glared at me.

"What? You know I'm truth speaking here. Don't tell me otherwise ..."

"I can't do that" she confessed.

"Again ... bullshit. You do cranky just fine. Matter of fact, if you pulled out your dictionary and looked up the word 'cranky' I'm positive there would be a picture of you right there beside the definition ..."

That's when she tried to hit me, all the while smiling at me.

Cranky old woman ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, November 15, 2018

5 - No! 10! - Personal Things

Hello, Faithful Readers!

It's the 15th of November ... and that means it's time once again to detail five individual and personal pieces of information about myself!

If you'll recall, I missed out on posting an entry on the 10th of the month and promised to make up for it in today's post ... and, sure enough, you get twice the knowledge for your money! You get to glean 10 spiffy things about me instead of the usual 5! Lucky you!

Ready? Here we go!

#1: I have a series of "Life Rules" which pop up at any given moment when a situation presents itself. Among these rules: "The only thing that belongs in your eye is your elbow" ... "No sharp objects around the groin area" ... and ... "Never say never."

#2: I constantly, continually open doors for people in public, women especially. And, yes, I often glare - and even make comments or blurt out "You're welcome!" - to oblivious or rude folks.

#3: I often strike up a conversation with unsuspecting people or make comments to break the ice in public. Life's short, make a move.

#4: I have a "leaves in the driveway" problem. I don't like leaves in my driveway. I will go out of my way to make certain leaves aren't in my driveway. It bugs me to no end if there are leaves in my driveway. (As of yet, this affliction hasn't caused any serious relationship problems and hasn't affected my well being personally that I know of, but I monitor it just to make sure. It is unknown if I'm effective at doing so.)

#5: I don't give a rat's ass if a penny is facing up or facing down on the ground; if it's lying there, I'll pick it up.

#6: I have an "everyday" belt I've been wearing for going on 10 years (probably more). You know how people have their "go to" menu item? Their "go to" decision making strategy? I have a "go to" belt.

#7: Eye protection, eye protection, eye protection. If I'm outside doing something, be it yardwork, washing the car, what have you, you can bet I'll have eye protection in place. It goes back to those "Life Rules" up there in that #1 slot ...

#8: When I crack open a canned beer or soft drink, I immediately turn the tab a quarter click counter-clockwise out of habit. And it's a good habit, too. In a room full of beer and soda drinkers, I can find my personal refreshing beverage in a jiffy while others are fumbling about wondering which drink is theirs.

#9: I give an inordinate amount of space to the person I'm driving behind, often to the point of annoyance to other drivers. It's a safety thing ... and it's not my problem if you take issue with it. Your issue is your issue, not mine.

#10: Sneeze once? I bless you. Sneeze again directly afterward? I tell you "Cuidado." (Spanish for "careful.") Sneeze a third time in succession? I blurt out "Tamales!"

*whew* I don't know about you but I'm virtually exhausted from putting all that information out there!

Tune in on the 20th when 5 more things get the discovery treatment here!

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I Think I'm Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

So this conversation took place:

"Hello! Just wanted to check - will you be locking up this evening?"

"Uhmmmmmm ... no. You guys usually do that ..."

"We do. But you're here on extended hours and there are other sites I need to be at. I'm just checking so I can plan the rest of my night."

"Oh, well ... I should be out of here by 9:00. But you might want to check with 'Belinda' (not her real name) in the next room. She's the only other one here besides me."

I go to check with 'Belinda' ...

"Hi! I'm not trying to rush you ... just wonder how long you're planning on staying ..."

"Oh, probably another 20 or 30 minutes. Why? Are you turning out the lights?"

"I have in the other buildings but I won't do so here until you leave."

"Will I still be able to get out with the alarm on?"

"Oh, no, no ... I'm not doing anything until you take off ..."

"So, the lights will still be on?"


"And I'll still be able to get out even with the alarm on? I won't set it off?"

"No ... as I said, I won't turn off any lights nor set the alarm until everyone is out of the building?"

"So ... I can leave without any problem?"

It was at this point I wondered if I was speaking in a foreign tongue and didn't realize it ...

"Yes. Without any problems. Lights: Still on. Alarm: Not set until you are out of the building ..."

I watched 'Belinda' screw up her face while thinking. I half thought she was going to ask another bewildering question but ... "Well, okay then. Thank you."

It's days like this when it feels like you're pulling teeth ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Safety First They Say ...

Some things? I just don't understand.

This, for instance, found inside a cupboard in the hotel room I stayed at:

Hokay ... let me back up a bit: I get it. Really, I do. I've simply never seen it previously. 

I suppose it's a good way to protect the salt and the pepper, keeping it fresh for others to use, all the while knowing there's no monkey business or funny stuff going on with it with come the arrival of a fresh set of people to the room.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, November 12, 2018

Parking Garage Comedy

Kids. They're fun.

Especially when they think they know everything.

News Flash: They don't.

Headed back to the parking garage ground level where we were parked (the kids were on the third level), they called out they'd meet us in a minute and to follow them. Suddenly, while waiting in the car for what seemed like an inordinate amount of time, the cell phone rang.

"Well ... we have a problem" I thought I heard from the driver's side of the car as my better half answered her phone. "Zeke left his keys in the car. They're locked in inside."

The suggestion was put out there: "Just call AAA."

"Can you call for me? He doesn't have AAA and I left my card at home. I don't carry it with me. Besides, my phone is almost dead and I'll probably get cut off in the middle of talking to them ..."

"Don't you have a spare key for the car? We could run you home and grab it ..."

"He has one but it's locked in the car, too. He keeps it in there so he doesn't forget it ..."

Kids. They're a barrel of laughs.

We drove up to the third level of the garage where they were stranded. That's when the comedy (for us, at least) really kicked in to high gear.

"How did you leave your keys in the car?" I asked Zeke.

"I thought I had them. They're in the ignition ..."

"In the ignition?!? Really?!? Don't you check to see if you have your keys before you get out of the car? Or at least before you lock it?"

"Well ... not this time ..."

"And your spare ... it's in the car as well?"

"Yep. You know ... so I don't forget it ..." The sheepish look of embarrassment from him became even more so.

"Good plan there ..." I commented.

"And why don't you have your AAA card handy? You should keep that in your purse wherever you go just in case," mother queried daughter.

"Well, I never need it ..."

That response tripped one of my favorite little triggers. "That's why you shouldn't use the word 'never' ..." It was time for her to dole out a sheepish look, quicker than you could blink.

"If I just had something like a hanger to jimmy the lock I could probably open the door ..." Zeke commented.

"Better response: If you would have made sure you had your keys with you prior to locking your car doors, we could be on the road already to our next destination ..." I noted.


.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ball: Dropped

Vacation has been a challenge the last few days.

I won't get into the whys and wherefores of it all and drone on about the reasons except to note I missed yesterday's NaBloPoMo entry. 


The Day: Up ant 6 in the morning and didn't stop until I crashed in the surprisingly comfortable hotel bed after midnight. The entire day was jam-packed.

Breakfast, a couple farmer's markets, shopping and running around all over Boise, Idaho followed by a necessary venture to a popular record store (full disclosure: David Byrne's latest, Utopia, was picked up along with used copies of World Party's Private Revolution from 1986 and Shriekback's 1984 effort Jam Science), dinner, then an raucous Idaho Steelheads' hockey game (they lost in overtime, 5-4). See? Packed. And, bad me, I didn't allot time to sit the back of my front down and plunk out an entry.

Plus ... yesterday was Day 10 which meant I was supposed to share 5 Personal Things about me! I know, I know ... I messed up and dropped the ball ... and you were looking forward to gleaning further information about yours truly. Shame on me!

So ... here's what I'll do about that missing post: On the 15th? When next the 5 Personal Things crops up? I'll make certain there are ten instead of just the usual five to make up for the flub.

Deal? All right then ... we're kosher.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Friday, November 9, 2018

Boise State Misery

It's not the crowds that bother me.

And it's not the fact I don't care for college football ... even a live game.

Really, it's the hardass metal benches - even with padding and cushions and seatbacks - having their way with my scrawny backside I hate.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sea ... See?


Don't tell anyone. Here's a sneak peek of tomorrow's prompt "Shark" for a 30 day drawing challenge I'm currently involved with.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Polling Place Story

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018. Placerville, CA. Polling place #320:

I walk in the conference room where polling is taking place for the mid-terms. Directly in front of me is a long table with a woman sitting behind it helping a man in a wheelchair. Another table is situated to the left of her, angling at about 45° with two more woman sitting attentively. A sign reading "A" is hanging off the front of it. Yet another table, to the left of the "A" table, is to its left again. Two more people are at that one, a woman on the left and a young man to her left. This woman greets me ...

"Hello! Can I help you?" she asks me.

"Hello yourself! Yes ... I'm here to vote" I tell her.

"I notice you have a mail-in ballot" she observes.

"I do! I have a question about that afterward. Now, I see an 'A' and a 'B' table but I don't see any 'N' table for me so ... where do I go?" I ask. Out of the corner of my eye I notice the woman at Table "A" shaking her head back and forth at my conversation in an "Oh, brother ... one of them" sort of ways. I turn to look at her and she quickly looks down at her charts, half concealing a sneer.

"Start at that first table when you walked in. That lady will get you on your way" the woman at Table "B" informs me cheerfully.

"Thank you" I respond and wait for the woman working with the handicapped gentleman finish.

In moments, she gets me checked in and directs me to Table "B." I walk past Table "A" and the sneering woman and look at her once again, but she still has her head down and won't look at me to save her life. I guess I'm just too much of a ball of fire for her to pay me any mind. Again I approach Table "B" and speak with the personable woman who first greeted me. She repeats my name - as she heard it when I checked in - finds my name, flips her chart around and asks me to sign beside my name. She hands me my ballot.

"Here you go. Behind you is seating so you can vote. Now ... you had a question about the mail-in ballot you brought with you?"

"Thank you ... and yes, I do. Can I drop this off here?"

"Yes. It's signed by the addressee, dated and you've signed it as well?"

"Yes ma'am to all three" I inform her.

"That box, right over there beside the ballot box ... that's where you deposit it" I'm told.

"Terrific!" I walk over, drop the mail-in ballot in its box and go vote.

I'm done in 30 seconds, get up from my seat and hold up my ballot. "This receptacle here?" I ask before depositing my completed ballot.

"Wow!" Table "B" woman exclaims "That was fast!"

"I don't fool around" I tell her. "This isn't my first rodeo, you know ..." She smiles at me. I snag my complimentary "I Voted!" sticker and waved as I strolled my way to the exit: "Have a good rest of a voting afternoon!"

As I walk out, I turn directly at The Sneering Woman at Table "A" one last time, ready to flash her a "I don't know what your problem is, lady, but you volunteered to perform with this circus and the adoring public who come knocking at its door so you better suck it up and work it until the very end" look but, once more, she's looking at her charts, doing everything in her power to avoid me. I almost stopped to ask her an annoying question or two but my mere presence appeared to have already accomplished that. I didn't need to do anything further.

I had to wonder, though: Why the hell was the woman working a polling station knowing she's going to get all kinds of personalities walking through the door if she's not ready to take on all comers? It's not as if I was a pain in the ass or anything. The last few years I've volunteered myself to work the elections and I well knew I needed to pull up my suspenders, make certain my underwear were straight and secure and put on a happy face.

I'll never know the answer to what her problem was. And I'm okay with that ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Indeed, the Halloween season is over.

Especially when you begin to droop, when the mold begins to appear, when your color fades and when you start to leak.

So long, Friend. You were good while you lasted.

Better days ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Monday, November 5, 2018

5 Personal Things

Hello, Faithful Readers!

Know what today is? Why, November 5th, the fifth day of NaBloPoMo! You know what that means? It means it's the first of six different blog postings where I, your trusty essayist, detail five individual and personal pieces of information about my ownself! Lucky you!

Ready? Then let's get right to it! Here we go!

#1: I have an abnormally low LDL cholesterol level, around 40 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This is the so called "bad" cholesterol so this is a good thing. Yep, I'm a medical freak of nature.

#2: If it's summertime, I have cherry pits in my mouth. Continually during the summer months (and whenever I can get them) I eat cherries like they're going out of style and I retain the pits to roll around in my mouth throughout the day. It's a habit.

#3: I sported a mullet for more than 20 consecutive years. It wasn't until about 15 or so years ago I finally gave that hairstyle up. Hey, something works for you? You stick with it.

#4: I cannot eat anything off of a metal surface with metal utensils. There is a coppery, metallic tang in anything that transfers to food metal to metal. It's akin to scraping fingernails on a chalkboard for me. If I'm served on a metal plate, it gets returned. I just can't do it.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO ... !!!

#5: Every time I purchase a pair of shoes, I almost always re-lace them. That's because, for some reason, when they assemble the laces in shoes at the factory the laces constantly begin at the top of shoes going INTO the eyelets. I need those laces coming OUT of the beginning eyelets and doing so with all successive eyelets. No exceptions.

And there you go! Wasn't that fun? And just think: In five more days, on the 10th, you'll get five more pearls of information about yours truly. I know ... the anticipation, it's almost to the point of excruciating. 

Like they say: The waiting is the hardest part ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Get Up, Get Going

As I've gotten older I've found - and especially in the last year - my "buddy" Insomnia runs a continuous free-for-all event somewhere inside my body with exactly zero sign of surcease any time in the immediate future. 

For the most part, I don't have a problem with this. I've rarely required much sleep (I subsist on 5-6 hours regularly) and it behooves my schedule for the most part. I'm continuously doing something and, currently, I'm busier than ever. Trips, writing, drawing, various household projects, etc. My hours awake are rarely wasted. And in truth it's rather difficult to accomplish any of my activities while slumbering.

But, Insomnia is a sly, sometimes devious devil. 

With the time change this morning, it was comforting knowing after a pretty full day of outdoor chores I would be relishing in that extra hour of sleep. I beat myself up physically Saturday and I knew my body needed a little recovery time. 

Fat chance I'd be getting it though. I was up just after 3:00 a.m. this morning. And that was prior to changing the clocks. 

I mean ... I don't have a problem getting up early. But I did take a few minutes to consider whether or not I really needed to get the coffee maker running at that hour knowing there was a full day yet ahead ...

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Life ... And The Wonder Of It All

In Life, some things simply aren't able to be explained.

At least not when stumbled on unexpectedly.

What they do is surprise you, then linger, often causing you to ponder them over in your mind.

You might never understand them, no matter how hard you try. Then again, it's possible for you to "get" their message immediately. 

The long and the short of it is this: Take Life with a grain of salt and enjoy the curious, sometimes bewildering wonder it supplies when offered.

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )