Blog Archive

08/2017

It's the Principle!

August 02, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
When people squabble over small amounts of money they often claim it isn’t about the money; it’s the principle. Money has never been my life’s focus and I’ve dismissed these people as being foolish. Well, here’s yet another example of my hypocrisy.             Last May my mother cancelled her cable service, but accidentally overpaid on her Direct TV bill. She received a statement claiming she had a credit of $32.40. Mom’s retirement complex covered the cable for the television in her living room and she’d only been paying for the cable in her bedroom. Since she no longer had a TV in her bedroom and wouldn’t be incurring any more expense ...

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Twenty-One Years

August 07, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
  Last week was National Night Out, a time for the community to come together and enjoy free pizza and ice cream on a summer night while mingling with the police in an effort to build bridges between citizens and our municipal government. Readers of this blog know that Mrs. Chatterbox works for our local police department. In addition to managing over a hundred volunteers who save our taxpayers more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year, she’s been responsible for planning our National Night Out event.             Mrs. C. will be retiring at the end of September so this was her last National Night Out. CJ and I had come to surprise her, even though it was hard f ...

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America's Great Pastime

August 09, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Summer is the time for reruns, which this is, and sports. Many bloggers have great tales to tell about their athletic prowess. I’m not one of them. But there was a time when I was coerced into participating in a baseball game. Those of you who know me are right to assume it didn’t go well.             Mrs. C. and I were attending one of CJ’s Junior League baseball games, minding our own business and enjoying the fresh air when I was tapped on the shoulder by a coach who’d wandered over from a distant ball field. He asked me, “Your boy playing in this game?”             “I nodded and poin ...

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America's Great Pastime: Conclusion

August 11, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Check out Part One (Here).   **********************************   My difficulties as an umpire fell into two categories: first was a lack of familiarity with the rules of the game, conveyed to players and spectators by the erratic methods I used to communicate my decisions; second, my co-umpire (Mrs. C.) found it all but impossible to remain impartial and not show favoritism to the hardworking smallest kid in the game.             I learned the hard way that it’s prudent to step back when base runners charge the plate, especially if you’ve just lost a contact lens and can no longer see very well. In my case, when spectators griped that I must be half blind, t ...

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Flying Without a Net

August 16, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
      Last night I did something in bed I haven’t done in years. I was contentedly lying there, dreaming I was King of Bloggers and had finally figured out the difference between further and farther, and a while and awhile, when it happened. Mrs. Chatterbox was on the far side of our king-size bed and in no position to monitor what was going on. That’s when it happened. I felt ashamed when it was over. I mean, I’m not a kid anymore and this sort of thing doesn’t happen to grown men, even men with bladders shrunken to the size of peanuts and requiring frequent trips to the bathroom.   Okay, I’ve let you wallow in prurient thoughts long enough. I didn’t abuse myself or have a noctur ...

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The Worst "Selfie" Ever, or the Best?

August 18, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
We live in the age of the “selfie.” They’re everywhere on social media, and people are even buying selfie sticks so they can extend their reach and get better images of themselves. I-Phone cameras even have a key that reverses the camera to focus backwards, making it super easy to snap a picture of yourself.             The first selfies were, of course, self-portraits, with artists staring into mirrors as they captured their own likenesses. Self portraits served a purpose beyond vanity. Potential clients could study a self-portrait and compare it to the artist, and if the likeness and technique were deemed suitable a commission could result. Artists like Titian, Rub ...

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The Eclipse of Reason

August 20, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
An early post with a tip for viewing the eclipse.   ******************************   Are you ready for the eclipse?   Oregon is one of the states where the eclipse will be on full view, and people are going nuts. Port-o-potties are being placed in public places and along freeways to accommodate people pausing to view the sky show. People seem as excited by this celestial event as our prehistoric ancestors, who probably thought the gods had blotted out the sun to show displeasure with the human race. Few things live up to their hype and I suspect this eclipse will be the same, but the prospect of the world going dark at 10:18 in the morning is too much to resist.   Our son CJ lives across the Columbia River in Van ...

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Thanks, Rowdy

August 23, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
This post may not be for the squeamish.   **********************************             The children I grew up with were not always kind, especially when their attention fell on short chubby kids like me who talked too much. Making matters worse, I had a peculiarity that prompted additional ridicule, a birthmark on my upper lip. When I was a kid, one of the popular Smith twins across the street commented that my birthmark reminded her of the one on Marilyn Monroe’s cheek. Her comment was overheard and before long everyone was calling me Marilyn, even my best friend Ricky Delgado.             Being short and chubby ...

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The Birds Are Coming!

August 25, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Mrs. Chatterbox and I have lived in a lot of places over the years and every time we’ve selected an apartment or purchased a house Mrs. C. always says something like, “That corner by the living room window will be just perfect for our Christmas tree.” I watch House Hunters a lot and prospective buyers often utter similar statements. A few weeks ago we visited our son’s new apartment and it wasn’t long before my wife pointed out a proper place for a Christmas tree.   Frankly, I couldn’t care less where the tree goes. I have another concern when I judge the suitability of a potential home. I need to know where I’ll be hiding when the birds attack.   It isn’t that I’m particul ...

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Peculiarities #6

August 28, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
This poster has been hanging at Casa Chatterbox for over forty years. As most of you know, I like to paint in a traditional manner so this poster might seem out of place, yet there was a time when I was extremely interested in modern art. In particular, I was a fan of Russian painter Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935). Russia was at the forefront of modern art around World War I and the art scene might have shifted from Paris to Russia if Lenin hadn’t come to power and outlawed all modern art.   Lenin didn’t think much of Malevich’s work, and I’m sure paintings like the one featured on my poster were baffling to him. Malevich was determined to create paintings not based on anything in the natural world. He didn&rsqu ...

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Restaurant Review

August 30, 2017 :: written in: All Blog Posts
    In keeping with my desire to always focus on the important issues of the day, like North Korea’s missile launches, Trump’s disregard for our country’s time-honored institutions and Hurricane Harvey, today I bring you another important post, one sure to impact your life.   Mrs. Chatterbox and I are fans of the TV show Better Call Saul. Last season there was a funny episode where Jimmy (Saul Goodman) is instructing his dour legal secretary on how to talk to senior citizens, Jimmy’s bread and butter. When potential clients call, Jimmy tells his secretary to sound as “folksy” as possible and always, always, work The Cracker Barrel Restaurant into the conversation. According to Jimmy, se ...

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