Category: Life in General


A MORNING IN NOVEMBER

Just some thoughts as our 11th month draws nearer to a close.

My thoughts are with the Costa Ricans at this moment; for the first time in recorded history, a major tropical storm is set to strike the Caribbean coast. Mrs Bohemian and I spent some time there a few years ago, Puerto Viejo to be exact, and loved it. But the place is not set up to handle the ferocity of the impending storm. img_2345

Speaking of Mother Nature, saddened by the destruction caused by the recent earthquake centered around Kaikoura and Waiau in New Zealand. This is an area of understated beauty, and truly one of the more unique areas containing thermal springs, seals on the beach so close you can walk right up to them, the Kaikoura Ranges, and crayfish. As of this moment, business is slowly coming back, although a lot of infrastructure damage remains. One bright note, the U.S. Navy happened to be on hand and was able to assist in the evacuation of tourists and bringing in supplies to those stranded by the quake.

I hear that Donald Trump may have decided not to have his attorney general go after Hillary Clinton. If true, I applaud it. Of all the disturbing things that I heard during the election, the fact that a presidential candidate  and his supporters called for the incarceration of a political opponent was the worst. I served in the Navy for over twenty years to prevent things like this ever occurring in our great nation. The precedents for jailing a political rival are not pretty.

And sorry, but what’s all this crap about draining the swamp? Does that mean getting rid of lobby groups, such as the NRA and AMA? Good luck with that. What I really think it means is getting rid of the “establishment” politicians. Big mistake. Our nation, which is a great nation, was built largely by just such people. Thomas Jefferson was a career politician, Abraham Lincoln was a career politician, Theodore Roosevelt, among other things, was most certainly a career politician. Instead, we need Congress and whatever administration is holding office to refocus, get to work, and get rid of the obstructionism so prevalent since 2010.

So many of the restaurants we have enjoyed over the last ten or so years have been closing down. However, Mrs Bohemian introduced me to a little Argentinian empanada establishment on Broadway. Never have I tasted something made mostly with spinach taste so good.

Do people really buy their husband/wife a new car for Christmas? With all the holiday advertisements and sales we are being bombarded with from the car companies, I feel in the minority when I haven’t bought Mrs Bohemian a new Audi for Christmas.

And finally, freedom of speech is fine. But when that speech is about how the “white” race built this country, the line has been crossed. Does the “white” race include the Italians, who were hated when they came to the U.S.A. Does it include the Irish, who were not welcomed with open arms. What about Catholics? They were labeled as papists and not to be trusted.  If one bothers to read any credible history source, you will find amazing contributions by slaves and their descendants, by Native Americans both before and after the colonization period, by the Spanish and their Latino offspring, and pretty much every other racial/ethnic group. Those who chose not to read will be condemned by their ignorance.

 

 

 

20160123_142021_resized

A Day in the World

A neighbor turns a blind eye,

A civil war begins;

A mugging goes unnoticed,

Dying with no friends.

 

Racism raises ugly head,

Riots, screams and fire;

Children going unfed

And clothed in ragged attire.

 

Employer takes advantage

Of youthful will to work;

Another drunken driver,

Gunman goes beserk.

 

An arsonist starts a fire,

Husband rejects wife;

Tragedy strikes at sea,

Teenager takes his life.

 

But is it all so gloomy?

Is there nothing right this day?

Are we here for only blackness

Like a dreary, dismal day?

 

Then….

A man discovers Shakespeare,

Someone visits Bath;

A fireworks display,

Child learns his math.

 

A ceasefire and some peace talks,

People meet halfway;

Two girls find a new friend

And smile as they play.

 

A youth returns a wallet,

Elections fairly held;

Harmony ‘mongst neighbors,

It’s peaceful on the veld.

 

Young couple pay their home off,

Research finds a cure;

A loving pair do marry

And glows show in the mirror.

 

I now walk down the pleasant path

With fingers cold and curled;

And get a nice warm feeling,

All’s not bad in this funny world.

KK

IMG_2232IMG_2235

To our Southern Hemisphere family and friends, no shrimp

on the barbie or Christmas dinner at the beach,

but we got our white Christmas. A Merry Christmas and

Happy New Year from the Bohemians.

Getting Along

I was thinking a bit on the subject of how the last 6 years of Congress and, more recently, the election campaign, seem to have an agenda of dividing the country into these groupings that apparently cannot exist on a cooperative basis. But wait a minute, that cannot be true otherwise the United States would have splintered long ago. Then I recalled my wedding to Mrs Bohemian and it struck me that maybe the running of our country should be a family affair.

At our wedding we had Roman Catholics, Evangelical Lutherans, Muslims, Jews, Southern Baptists, Mormons, and who knows what else, and guess what? They all got along. We had midwest conservatives, southern democrats, and swing state independents: all worked together to produce a wedding that celebrated not only marriage, but family. And while there were people from all over the U.S. and from Australia, every single one of the people there would, and have, helped out any one of us in time of need. They didn’t ignore the 47% who may have had a different lifestyle from themselves, or who may have made more money than the rest of us.

So, members of Congress, while you say right now that because this is a lame duck Congress that there might be a chance to push through legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff”, that is not good enough. It should have started in 2008, or 2010, or prior to the elections this year. Take some lessons from those of us who have managed to get along with our lives despite having our differences in politics, or sport, or religion, or any number of things, and did so in a spirit of cooperation, friendship, and yes, even a little love.

.

The True Amateurs Anthem

As anyone who knows me, I have been a sports junkie ever since the day my grandmother taught me the joys of listening to the Twins on KLPM radio. I played baseball all my youth (the league’s worst 3rd baseman in 1971), was a 145 pound defensive end in high school, won a bowling championship in Hawaii, and finished 10 minutes behind a pregnant Liz McColgan in a 10k run in Dundee, Scotland. And it all led to this….

FAR THE SUPERSTAR

O’ I have known the thrill of game

The curveball and the green to tame;

But yet I haven’t found my niche

In worlds that make the others rich.

 

I loved the diamond and dugout

But in the skill I did strike out.

And in the hoops was much the story

Lots of effort and little glory.

 

I played gridiron for three long years

Tho’ never heard those longed for cheers

For touchdown runs and opponents rocked,

Because of my ability my fame was blocked.

 

I tried the mile and wrestling mat;

Only defeats they did begat.

Yet never worry, there’s more to the story

Two to effort and nil to glory.

 

I enjoy a round of holes eighteen,

Tho’  my opponents have never seen

The pars and birdies go rolling in,

Or my ball straight at the pin.

 

Many an hour of throwing darts

To try and make the ranking charts;

Same old story in sports ‘boratory:

A ton of effort but still no glory.

 

Attempts to play the game of cricket;

Flat bat and slips were not the ticket.

Nor was soccer, the worldwide game,

Not even short-lived or local fame.

 

Bowling, chess and eight ball pool,

Only to learn the hard knocks school;

And to add to the inventory,

A gold for effort but nuts for glory.

 

Then to the distance running game

To try to turn my shame to fame.

A plodder I could be called best

Despite the sweat that drenched my vest.

 

Always team player, support to lend

Because on my skill they could not depend

To carry the squad on my shoulders

More like a sack of granite boulders.

 

So yet it goes: not fast enough,

Reactions slow, forms too rough,

The eyes not keen, too tall, too short

To make a mark in world of sport.

 

KK

Sports can make you laugh or make you cry. Consider the Colorado Rockies, who are having a terrible year. What makes it worse is that 8 of their last 10 losses have been by one run.

 

Mrs Bohemian bought me a new alarm clock for my retirement. It has three buttons: On, Off, and Go Back to Sleep.

 

Please, Mr Romney, don’t tell us again how you balanced the budget in Massachusetts; IT WAS THE LAW!!! And while on politics, maybe we should enact legislation that takes 10% of the money raised by politicians for their campaigns and donate it to Social Security. Solvency issue cleared up.

 

Really, really looking forward to our upcoming journey. Beach time in Tahiti, dark beer in New Zealand, and Moreton Bay bugs in Australia.

 

Since I’m hone so much now, I really have to watch it or Mrs Bohemian is going to erase all my Reckless Kelly music. She has already put a ban on the Guttersnipe song.

 

Acupuncture is great, especially for tendinitis.

 

Not too many people go running at noon around here; is it unhealthy or something? Maybe that is why all these organized runs start so damn early.

 

If I wasn’t retired, I wouldn’t be writing this. Have a great day.

Random Thoughts

Worst bottle of wine ever

The Bohemian discovering the meaning of life

Ok, enough already. The Republicans are going crazy over the selection of Congressman Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Does anyone realize that he is on the ticket as Vice President? When was the last time a VP candidate actually meant anything? And as for the Democrats, please quit conjuring up scare tactics about the Ryan budget; his ideas aren’t new, especially on the issue of health insurance which is borrowed ideas put forth by Democrats back in the Jimmy Carter era. Isn’t there anyone out there who is willing to campaign on their own strengths and not fill the airwaves with half-true rhetoric? To be completely fair, Ryan does state that his ideas aren’t original; what would be original is if Congress actually acted on them.

For those who don’t know me, I am not the smartest tack in the box. Back in the days of attending school at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, I was working on a paper debating the effectiveness (or not) of the German’s strategic bombing of England. Who was my professor? A certain Dr Vincent Orange, world-renowned World War I historian who had a special affection for the air war 1914-1918. Good choice there, kid. He let me pass. Then there was the time I was working on how to remodel my kitchen to better situate the refrigerator. I had all kinds of plans until my mother asked me, “Why don’t you just buy a new refrigerator?” Nothing changes, which is, I guess, the reason why I still smoke and still run.

One final thought: I hope Americans wake up and discover that there is a political spectrum somewhere between Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh. While these two might be mildly entertaining at times, what I have found is that they both like to “name-call” and do nothing but try to scare the beejeezuz out of their audience. Maybe one day, after they retire, we can once again use words like liberal and conservative without any negative connotations.

Good night, Mrs Bohemian.

Mr Bohemian in the dark again

OK, I understand the general consensus is that Washington, D.C. is broke, and there is little we can do about it. Yes, we will hear all the rhetoric how a vote for candidate A means he will go into Congress and somehow find a way to get things moving, or if we vote for candidate B she will magically stop overspending. But the more I read it the more it becomes obvious that Congress has no intentions of working out problems. When the Speaker of the House says he won’t put the farm bill up for vote because it will be too hard with all the amendments forecast to be added on, well, I just throw up my arms and say, well, nothing. What can one say?

As an employee of the US Postal Service, I sent a sarcastic email to my senator, thanking him for all the inaction on dealing with the postal services problems. He did answer, stating they are looking at several options, including selling off profitable parts of the post office. Hey dude, I work for the post office. Did I want to hear that???? Guess that is how much the politicians listen: work out an answer and apply it to any question.

The upcoming general election adds another source of frustration in my little life. Do I really want to vote for someone whose campaign is built upon his experience in big business, which has nothing to do with running a country, or an incumbent who started his campaign a year-and-a-half after his election? Maybe I will vote for Theodore Roosevelt; always liked Teddy. Do I really want to vote for someone who voted for life-time health benefits for congressmen, or his opponent, who has spent 80% of his time in Congress fund-raising instead of working for the pay we give him. Tough choices with no real benefit for anyone.

I guess I will just go along my independent path, trying to find a jewel in the horse manure. Please, please, just somebody shine.

We were lucky enough to see the band America on its 40th anniversary tour the other night at Hudson Gardens. Beautiful night (after the wind went away), great music that led one to reminisce on past good times, and a little bit of unexpected music. Now the setting was great enough as Mrs Bohemian and I were married in Hudson Gardens, but America’s shift from playing their hits to playing songs they wish they would have written made the night that much more special. It got me thinking, not about writing music, as I can’t sing or play any instrument, but what about writing literature? What do I wish I would have written?

I wish I could have written “Welcome to the Monkeyhouse” by Kurt Vonnegut. It was the first of his works I was exposed to and have loved his writing ever since. Short stories, novels: I think I am one of the few people who have a copy of “Happy Birthday, Wanda June”, Vonnegut’s only play. Vonnegut is such a great writer and I feel under-appreciated for his contributions to American literature.

I wish I could have written “The Thurber Carnival”, even though my name isn’t James Thurber. Reading Thurber makes one long for the days when writing was a real art form, when letters could become literature, when good literature could be published monthly for the masses. Thurber is the only author who could make me laugh out loud while reading. I tried writing letters for a while,  emulating Thurber, with the aim of entertaining as well as informing my family of the goings-on in my life. One sister did remark how much she enjoyed my letters, but that was about as far as it got.

I wish I could have written “The Guns of August” by Barbara Tuchman. As many times as I have read it, it amazes me that Tuchman is able to portray so much color into her work on a subject that is more connected with mud, blood, and the vanity of man. The amount of research that went into this work, and so much detail woven into the story, I find it hard to believe someone could have written this book in less than two lifetimes.

The list could go on and on, and even move to other categories. I wish I could have been Willie Nelson’s bus driver, or the batter following Harmon Killebrew in the Twin’s lineup, or have a glass of wine with Ted Turner, discussing his next philanthropic project. But I am a SmilingBohemian, and that, my friends, is good enough for me.

%d bloggers like this: