Saturday, July 29, 2006

God Bless you Cindy Sheehan

God Bless You Cindy Sheehan

I read about the land aquirement in Crawford, Tx. for future protesting events, and I applaud your efforts. Day after day, we are sending our young men and women out to be slaughtered senselessly, while our pompous leaders continue to inflict our evil influence throughout the world in the name of freedom. They stand behind their so-called democratic notions, political agendas, and pompous attitude, all the time feeding the fires of war, and hatred throughout the entire world, as one pours gas on a fire, only the gas is the blood of innocent human beings all caught up in an ever escalating frenzy, ever edging closer to self destruction.

Its funny, you guys get arrested for protesting for peace, while the governments have the green light to murder and allow murder. Its war, I know, but what is war? Its murder in the politically correct whim of the day. People die. They don't come back. Gone; See ya.
I'm so sick and tired of it all being executed in the name of God. If that's not an oxymoron, I don't know what is. Yes, the Christians had their crusade all in the name of God, but that was over 800 years ago. People have been persecuted in the name of God since beginning of time. Enough, already! We are barbarians, but why bring God into it? When will mankind realize that its exactly the opposite of God's intentions for us? All these terrorist sects, Hezbollah, Taliban, al-Qaida, Jihad, etc (there are most likely many more that have yet to be brought to my attention) claim to be fighting Holy war. Well, idiots, get it through your moronic heads, that it is war, but please leave the Holy out of it.
Yes, the West is evil, as evil as the rest of the world, but there is nothing Holy about it. I recognize that the senseless killing will always continue, which is why we who oppose, should have the right to protest. And all these slogans such as "Support our troops" and patriotic acronyms like "God save our country" are useless to me. What does support our troops mean? That we should cheer them as they go into battle to kill and be killed? I don't support that.
Cindy Sheehan, and those alike, myself included, have the right, (and I'll leave Christian out of it) to speak our minds. So, go ahead, Bush and Blair, shake your hands, and wag your tails (and any other appendages you feel like shaking) and you, Israel, keep bombing Lebanon, and those who are making efforts to get humanitarian help where its needed, and block the UN efforts to do their jobs. Why did we create the United Nations in the first place if the most powerful countries in the world are going to thwart their cause?
Read Revelation!! Its starting. Jesus is coming, and like the scriptures predict, like a thief in the night, to finish the real Holy war. To judge the living and the dead. All knees shall bend, all tongues shall wag, all heads shall bow.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Most who know me, are aware that I've been a bachelor for quite a while. My bachelor life constisted of the usual bachelor traits, sports, cold beer, a big cigar now and again, paper plates, barbecue, weekly card games, and commiserating with other fellow bachelors. When I moved to the small country town that I call home, I got to know the guys at the corner tavern after work, tip a cold one, watch the current games on the tube, and laugh. As they got to know me, they learned that I was a pretty fair cook, and they started to stop by for my impromptu BBQ's, hang with me if I was wrenching on my cars (or whatever) The small circle of bachelor friends always seemed to know where the others were on any given day. Saturdays, one of my friends, who answered to "Bones", opened his doors to his "Casino". We all got together, he dealt Blackjack, cooked hotdogs, drank beer, and joked around all afternoon. Sometimes, he had two TV's going, and if need be, the radio also; bringing whatever games of the day; Baseball, Golf, Football, whatever was on. They bet on everything, aware of the "spreads" and kidding each other all day over who was winning (or otherwise) This has been going on since I moved to Palmyra. Hanging with Bones, Sneaky, Skip, Bird, Bud. The rest had normal names for some reason! Their life revolves around sports, gambling, beer, and hot dogs.
The past couple o years, they knew that I was getting closer to Jesus. I never pushed my witnessing on them; I knew better. But for the most part, they did not kid me about it. They were aware that I was playing my guitar at church, the past couple of years. About six months ago, I started playing at two churches on Sunday, so they saw change in the works. The Sunday routine for me was playing two churches, and Bones, bartend at one of the local bars. On Monday, Bones and I would talk on the phone, and recount our Sunday.
About three weeks ago, I announced that I was not going to drink anymore, or smoke, and most of them agreed that it wasn't a bad thing. But I noticed from then on, that there haven't been any impromptu visits to my house, BBQ or "Casino" invites. My phone messages have gone unanswered, and I got quite a bit of slack when I stopped at the corner bar, and ordered N/A beer. I've been trying to line up a rondeyvous to view the baseball game tonight, but, everyone's got other plans! Coincidence, or avoidance?
Thank you, Jesus, for coming into my life. I wondered what obstacles I'd encounter from taking you to the next level, and I guess this is one slight form of persecution. COOL!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


July 23, 2006

Yesterday, my computer started acting goofy; e-mail was not being sent with usual cyber-speed, I kept getting signed off and logging on repeatedly, and most functions were slowed down to a crawl. The computer's a bit dated, having only 12.63 Gigs, and my musical files taking up 98 percent of its capacity, I figured that I had too much stuff jammed into the poor thing, so I started deleting some music files, but the situation worsened. I went into the control panel, and did a disk cleanup, but things did not change. I logged off from everything, and ran a virus sweep, even though I had just run one earlier in the week, but alas, no cigar. I ran a disk defragmanet analysis, but was informed that it was not imperitave to run that. I re-booted the modem, and the computer several times, meanwhile, my blood pressure stepped up a bit. I prayed over it, but got cut off all together. My side toolbar was giving the weather in Honolulu, then Hong Kong, and I knew something was really wrong! Finally, I dug out my Verizon-Yahoo files from the notes I filed when I signed up for DSL, and found the telephone number for tech support, and called. I was put through all the automated paces, and then on hold waiting for a real human being to walk me through the calamity. I was informed that due to high volume of calls in at the time, to call back later. Stubbornly, I kept calling, talking to the automated voices, and waiting, and getting hung up on. Eventually, I got through to a real voice. I asked him how the weather was in India, but he did not make any small talk with me. I followed his walk-through instructions, and only then did he inform me that Yahoo was having trouble with the system! Why didn't he tell me in the first place? I turned off the computer, and picked up a book, and tried to relax. Each hour, I tried to get on line, but with no luck. Finally, I went to bed. This morning, all systems were fixed, and no more weather reports from Honolulu, or Hong Kong. Instead, I was greeted by the current news headlines:
Israeli jets targeting Hezbollah strongholds, Palestinians fire rockets at Israel, 33 killed in suicide bomb attacks, Fla. family die in murder suicide, 33 killed in Iraq by suicide bombers,US military urged abuse in Iraq, and Episcopal Bishop in Ark. OK's gay blessings.
Thank you, Yahoo for separating me yesterday from all the terrible news sweeping our world. Thank you for the e-mails I did not receive from friends who let me down this week, and thanks for the good nights sleep I got from the ignorance of the tragedies.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Hold me Jesus for I am weak
I hunger for your presence
Seeking the rock to plant my feet
How glorious, my Savoir

Wrap me in your warming cloak
I'm shivering outside it
Only you wash clean my stains
My precious God, my Savoir

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Camping Comfort


Anyone who camps knows what its like to get rained on especially if everything gets wet! Here's a handy tip for modifying a tarp to serve as a foul weather rain fly as well as a fair weather shade. For years, I used an ordinary tarp, tied to trees for a canopy over my campsite. I used to tie the four corners of the tarp off to nearby trees. No problem, as long as the weather remains fair. But when Mother Nature decides to throw a curve ball at you (usually in the middle of the night) the above mentioned tactic may not keep the rain and wind at bay. We all want to get out there and enjoy all nature has to offer, but when everything gets wet, the mood changes pretty quickly. Now, its no fun. In some cases, the average family may decide to pack it up and retreat. I managed to camp for a few years, using my old method of setting camp without mishap. But, one year, the rains came, the winds whipped, forcing me from my tent in the dark to try to tie things down better in the dark. My camp site got soaked, my tarp tattered, and my patience tried. Nothing was protected, and in the end, my stove would not light, my sleeping bag, soaked, tent flooded................
Here's a better way; cheap and easy.Get a tarp of decent quality, 10 X 10, 12 X 12, or so. This is enough room to make camp for a small party to keep dry under. Get a grommet kit. They are pretty cheap, and with a little practice, not hard to use. Spread out your tarp. The idea is to add a grommet inbetween all the existing ones in the tarp, doubling up on the number of grommets. In the middle of the tarp, the idea is to secure a flexible bungie strap to a thick leather patch, and sew and glue it to the center, creating a waterproof seal, and strong bind.
Select your camp site, and using nearby trees, secure two parallel lines to the trees with 1/4 inch line on each side of the fly area. If the trees are not exactly in the immediate area, use larger line to go the extra distance. Next, using thin line such as parachute cord, cut 12" strips, and tie them with a simple knot through each grommet. Begin tying the fly to the tree lines. At each corner, run the parachute cord around the tree line, and wrap each end in opposite directions around the line two or three times, and secure the ends with a simple shoe-tie bow knot. By wrapping the lines as I mentioned, the corners will not slide along the line. Once the four corners are secured, simply tie the remaining grommet lines to the tree lines using the bow knot, just as you tie your shoes. By placement of the tree lines at suitable angles, you can create a fly with some pitch to allow for rain runoff. Next run a third line in the vicinity of the center of the fly to attach your center bungie strap, thus creating a center peak in the fly. By adjusting the tension of the center cord, you can achieve the proper pitch to end up with a nice tight, windproof , waterproof canopy to set camp under. You should have enough room for your tent, a fire at one end, and you are apt to enjoy your camp in both sunny and rainy weather.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll

I just read the civilian death toll in Iraq. The first six months out of this year, 14,338 civilians were murdered. I'll put this in easy perspective, that would be enough to fill 14 1/3 of ships like the one pictured above. That would be the passengers on 261 Greyhound busses. that would be more people than would fit in our Blue Cross Arena, here in Rochester, NY. My, we are doing such a wonderful job over there, creating Democracy. Just may and June alone, nearly 6,000 people have died. And that's only a rough estimate, for many deaths go unreported. I haven't looked at how many US soldiers have been fed into the sacrificial fires; thats too depressing. And then there is Israel, and Lebanon. There was an old Star Trek episode, where on some planet, they had no wars. Instead, they had a lottery system, and picked people at random to be euthanized. They simply sacrificed people, no bombs, no guns, no beheading, just organized euthanazation. I just don't get it!!!


I read this fact inside the cap of a bottle of lemonade:"Real Fact # 368
In 2003, a six year old girl from Naples, Fla. was ticketed for not having a permit for her lemonade stand.
Now, I ask you, Whats up with that? How sick and ridiculous are we going to become before we come to our senses?

High School Youth Conference/Steubenville 2006

I thought I'd post more pics of "Unchanging" Teen Youth Conference I attended with our Youth Group this weekend. My testimony can be found following this Photo Display!

I figured my el-cheapo camera (or any for that matter) was not going to capture the immensity of this event! Ya just had to see it with your own eyes in person!

Its nice to know that in this world of sex on TV, drive-by shootings, internet porn, Major World-Wide violence, pre-marital promiscuity, and corruption to the highest degree (at the highest levels) that still, great masses of people (including our next generation) are getting together to praise, worship, and adore he that is soon to come to judge the living and the dead. Are YOU still gambling with your eternity?

Monday, July 17, 2006

God's Unchanging Love

I just got in from a Youth Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, where I helped chaperone teens from the Parish in Rochester, NY, where I play guitar in the band each week for Life Teen services. Life Teen is exactly what the name implies; church services geared specificity for our younger next generation. Life Teen is a Catholic nationwide movement, and Church of Annunciation has been sponsoring almost two years now.
This year the Youth Conference's theme was titled "Unchanging" a very well described theme describing God's unchanging and unconditional love for us. The exact attendance figures, I am not sure of, but my estimate is at least 2500 people; anotherwords---Big!!
Our busload from Rochester totaled 54 teens and adult chaperones. We left Rochester, Friday morning, arriving in Stuebinville, checking into a local school nearby serving as a dorm , bedding us down that weekend. We all dropped our gear off, and boarded our bus to the Franciscan University, and joined the endless appearing crowds gathering there. Bus after countless bus pulled up and unloaded teens (and chaperones) from all over the country and Canada.
The first Friday night event was an eye opener to say the least, but I was informed it was merely a prelude to the Saturday event culminating in the evening. Between the early start for me, the long bus ride, and hitting the ground at a run in Steubenville, by the time we got bussed back to out dorm, late Friday night, my eyes snapped shut at the instant my head hit the pillow. My other two chaperones with me kidded me all the next day about how fast I fell asleep! Our accommodations were a hard gym floor, a sleeping bag, and my flannel shirt, my pillow. There must have been over 200 kids sharing the gym with me! The morning brought a nice shower, and thank God for Starbucks coffee to pump me up for the upcoming schedule that first full day on campus.
The morning sessions included praise and worship, followed by mass, then a men's (as well as women's) seperate workshop sessions for us, lunch, then our choice of various workshops offered to us. Later that afternoon, there was a chaperone's workshop to "prepare" us for what would take place later that evening. We were nicely informed about the night events, and how the young people were vulnerable to emotional break-downs from the excitement they would experience. We were made aware of things like hyper-ventilating, hysteria, uncontrollable laughter, etc. which may occur in some when things got under way.
I must admit a tiny bit of selfishness on my part as to my chaperone role. You see, already, I was becoming overloaded with the holy spirit myself, even before the "Main Event". After that workshop, I stayed there in the chapel to pray. A guy was playing guitar and some were singing with him, while Father "J" offered prayer. I moved up to the front pew, and started singing with everyone, but soon, choked up, and tears started pouring out in spite of me in the midst of all these strangers. Time stopped for me, as I prayed, sobbed, sang, prayed........ I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder. It was one of other chaperones sent to drag me out of the chapel, for dinner was underway, and scheduling was tight.I almost did not go; I was in the spirit totally. I left the chapel, and tried to eat, but couldn't. I guess I was full from the prayer and worship that seemed more natural than physically eating food. Than, it was time to get to the Main Event of the weekend. Even though I had just attended the chaperone's workshop and knew we all were in for an emotional evening, I still was not prepared for what came next.
The Finnigan's Fieldhouse was packed to the seams, the electricity was just about visible in the thick air, the teens were revved as if they were at a major rock concert. The event, titled "The unchanging power of the Holy Spirit" got into full swing, the band was rocking the house, and by the time they rolled into Eucharistic Adoration, sure enough, as predicted, kids started to freak out in all the ways they described earlier. I found myself on my knees, my arms reaching for the sky, the tears streaming down my face, moved like never before. Physically, I must not have been there to feel my knee-caps becoming one with the hard floor, or my arms sky-high for time out of reckoning. A friend had slipped a soft kneeling cushion under my knees, but I still couldn't feel the fatigue from my raised arms so long. Nothing mattered except worship and adoration. Slowly, I realized that my hysteria was quelched, and the adoration was more intense than ever. To exactly recall what took place inside me would be impossible to describe, but I felt a calmness amist the loud surroundings, no more uncontrollable emotions; but the most definitive awareness where everything became so crystal clear in my brain, as if gazing through a high powered telescope image but with my naked eyes. I knew then that I would make some life-altering changes in my life, starting then. I knew then, that my hunger for the Lord's presence had magnified to the power of 10 if not, 100. I stumbled out of there knowing changes had taken place; boy had they! We gathered up our group, and talked about our experiences that night. I was startled at how a couple of the teens who seemed disconnected before, were now talking with amazing clarity and relevance. Later that night when we got back to our rock hard "beds" I think I konked out even before my head hit my flannel shirt pillow!
At mass the next morning, I found myself moving to the front of the alter when asked if anyone was considering giving their life to the Lord. Like Father Stan said, it was not yet the exact time to get measured for my frock, but I knew a change had come, decisions made, and a conviction to give the future up to the will of Jesus. I know not what doors will be opened for me, or when, but I stand at the brink of a proverbial cliff, toes on the edge, waiting to plunge. I may back up a bit, and re-approached the cliff, many times before I jump, but when I am clearer on what God's will is, it will be done.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

In the Navy (cont)

So, twenty years old, away from home for the first time, newly-wed, baby daughter, and new in the Navy, all the last six months of 1968. Wow, talk about an adventure a minute! A lot of new things to get used to, including the absence of my beloved moustache. Eventually, I managed to slip that back on my upper lip.
I went to Great Lakes, Ill. for bootcamp, Storekeeper A School in Newport, RI, and my first real duty station, the USS Sierra AD-18. It was home ported in Norfolk, Va. Legend has it that I took the last commercial prop plane flight from Rochester NY to Norfolk, but don't hold me to that one! There must have been buses at the airport, out of reckoning now, but when I walked down that pier, and looked up at this huge 530 foot long monstrosity, I was spellbound. I felt like an ant on the pier under the shadow of the mighty Sierra. I didn't really know where to look first; there were ships everywhere, many moored outboard my ship. My first vision of a submarine, and and aircraft carrier, and even from far away, that baby was huge.
I felt dwarfed under the load of my virgin seabag, as I reported aboard, a mixture of excitement, apprehension, and elation, cursing through my body. Up the gangplank I went, approaching the duty officer, I snapped a salute, and croaked out" Seaman recruit Gelo, reporting for duty, Sir" the salute was returned, and a pair of twinkling eyes peer out from a pair of bushy eyebrows, and the officer said " Ah yes, Jello, is it? We've been expecting you!" The rest of the afternoon was a flurry of activity, as I got settled in and shown around my new floating home for the next couple years. By dinner time, my heart had resumed occupation of my chest once again, and my jitters gave way to seconds in the mess line, which seemed to amuse the commissary personal. The food was passable, plentiful, and my new life began to take form as my first day came to a close.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sicilian Crusty Treats

Minulates, Milulates, who can say for sure how its spelled or pronounced, all of the old Italians close to me are gone; but what it means is crusty personal-sized rolls baked with pork, onions, and spices. Oh the flavor, is truly indescribable!! I have only encountered two other non-relatives in my life that made this tasty Sicilian treat. Heres how to make them........

The Bread Dough: Get good ingredients, and you'll get good for a king results! I use white
unbleached, un-everything but flour! Start with a couple cups of warm water
and yeast, 1-2 packs. Warm water means you can run your arm under it,
and not get burned. Stir the yeast in, and give it 10 minutes or so to "wake
up." Add a little salt, less than a tablespoon, and start adding flour, small
amounts at a time, stirring, stirring. I add about 1/2 cup in at a time. Keep
adding and mixing the flour, till the mixture is too hard to stir with your spoon.
The Kneading: On a floured board, dump out the flour mix, and season your hands with
flour. Add small amounts of flour to the mix, and gently start mixing it in
with your floured hands. It will be sticky at first. Keep adding a little flour, and
mix, and turn constantly, into a ball. Replenish the flour on the board as you
go. When the stickiness is gone, the dough should be workable, but tacky.
Using the butt of your palm of your hands, start punching or kneading the
ball of soft dough. As it flattens out in front of you, fold it in half, sprinkle
a bit more flour, turn 1/2 turn sideways, and keep kneading. Do this for about
10 minutes until the ball is consistently satiny smooth as a baby's behind.
Grease a bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rest in a warm area till doubled
in bulk. 1 1/2 -2 hours is about right for white flour.
The Onions: Peel and cut about 1 pound of plain ole onions, and saute in olive oil till soft
and yellowy. Use the regular olive oil, not extra virgin; that tends to burn faster
Set the onions with the left-over oil in a bowl to cool.
The Pork Butt: At the store, seek out a pork butt roast, as fatty as you can find, and small.
Ask the meat guy (or gal) to course grind. Generally, the blade they use for
The Assembly: Get the oven pre-heating at 375, get your risen dough back onto a floured
board, and again, sprinkle with flour some, and punch down and knead a
minute. Start rolling out the ball with your hands, then the rolling pin. Roll
to the likeness of thick pizza crust. Rub olive oil lightly all over the top, and
begin to sprinkle the ground pork butt over the top. You don't need to cover
every nano-inch. Come back around and add the onion, again not too thick.
Now for grated cheese; Romano, or Parm, or combo; get the good stuff!
sprinkle the cheese over everything, and follow up with fresh ground black
pepper. Now pretend you're cutting a pizza, and slice the dough up into
pizza slices. Take the narrower end, and roll up into a roll, and shape.
Grease lightly a cooking sheet, and sprinkle yellow corn meal and lightly
spread evenly. Place your milu's on the sheet, and into your nice hot 375
oven for about 45 minutes. They should get nice and crusty golden brown.
The Finish: No shortening goes in the dough, for the pork butt is adding that. The oven
must be nice and hot; you are cooking the raw pork butt into the roll. Do
not pre-cook the pork; It is ground, and will cook nicely flavoring the roll
as it cooks! You'll most likely have enough pork butt to do another batch.
I still cant make up my mind whether or not its best hot from the oven, or
cold the next day. One usually makes a meal for me! No advice on keeping
the left-overs; It has never lasted more than a couple of days here!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Era of the MG

The Era of the MG
The third car I ever had (They did not last forever back then!) was a 1957 MGA. Made in England by Morris Garage, the "A" Model was a sleek modern design breaking away from the TA, TC, TD, and TF Models with the bigger rounder fenders and wood frames. They made the Roadster convertible, and the Hardtop Coupe, both two-seater models. It sat low in spite of the 15" wire wheels, and when seated in the driver's seat, you were looking through the steering wheel rather than over it, to give an idea of the feel of it. I found mine used (of course) in a garage in a run-down inner city neighborhood in Rochester, NY. The whole convertible top, frame and all was gone, and of course, it wouldn't start! The guy let my friend Lonnie and I hook a rope to it and tow it up and down his neighborhood to try to jump-start it, but nothin. I don't honestly remember what I paid for it, but negociated "something-something" with the tow rope still tied in place. In those days, there were no expressways, which is most assuredly just as well, knowing my young mentality-one speed only-Full! Anyways, we headed for home, about 25 miles east of Rochester, with myself towing the MG and my buddy, Lonnie steering and braking from the lifeless sports car. unbenounced to me, Lonnie put the MG in third or fourth gear and the ignition turned on. About halfway home in the four corners of Webster, the ground shook from a resounding backfire, and as I glanced in my rearview mirror, Lonnie and the MG disappeared in a cloud of dense black smoke! Even before the smoke cleared, I heard the distinctive clatter of an engine running in spite of missfireing, and stinky old gas. The smoke cleared reviling Lonnie grinning from ear to ear, gently feathering the gas to keep it going. Wow, the engine was running, but only on three cylinders out of the four. Now, he kept the car in neutral, letting the engine idle, and we towed it the rest of the way home. It turned out to have a cracked head. The local junk yard in Ontario had a used head, and I was up on four cylinders. With the two carbs fine- tuned, it was the snappiest thing I had ever driven. I realized the starter did not turn, the first time I shut it off. I parked it on hills to roll down and jump start it after that. One day, I noticed a crank hole beneath the grillwork. I found a blacksmith to fabricate a crank handle. You can imagine the double-takes I got from observers when I got out there with my crank! It didn't matter that water splashed in from holes in the floorpans, or that the gas tank weeped a bit, I was driving something other than all the other Fords, Chevys, and Plymouths. The Lucas electrical system was a corroded nightmare, and the suspension was probably struggling beyond its life expectancy, judging by the vigor my girlfriend bounced off the seat when we encountered bumps! And yes, I got caught out in the rain many a time with the top down, because as I forementioned, the top was missing to begin with. It did have a tonoue cover, which covered the seats, and snapped up to the dashboard. Then there was assimilating the proper lingo that came with the British autos. The hood did not cover the engine, but was really the top! The generator was the dynamo, and you could probably guess what the windscreen was. Wrenches were spanners, and on and on! To fight the winter cold, I would bring the bottom cushion of the seat in the house and warm it over a heat vent. By removing the defroster hoses, I had extra heat blowing at my lap. The doors only had an inside handle, and the windows, or "side curtains" slid into the door top on two posts, and were made out of thin plastic of some kind. The years had diss-colored the transperincey of the material, making it hard to see out of to say the least, but with no top on the car, I hardly ever used the side curtains. The electrical system was 12 volts, however, it utilized two 6 volt batteries linked in series, and straddling the propeller shaft under the vehicle. Eventually, I located a working starter, and the crank got retired to the "boot" (trunk) Under the "bonnet" was a snappy four cylinder OHV engine capable of 1500 CC, two SU down-draft carbs, and a compression ratio wanting for high octane gas.
I wasn't the only one getting into foreign sports cars, many of my buddies from high school got equally, worn out, rusty, but indescribable fun. There was another 57 MGA, like mine, a 61 MGA MKII with overhead cam, a 57 Triumph TR3, a 56 Jaguar XK-140, a beautiful 56 Porsche, and lets not forget my buddy Mark's Alfa Romaro!
Ahh, the life of open roads, and cheap gas!!!

The Life and Times of Herbie

The Life and Times of "Herbie"

Ahh......Herbie; Where do I start? Well, Herbie is a Snapper riding lawn mower from the late sixties-early 70's. No one remembers anymore; we're all too old! And as I talk about him, the legend continues to roll and build!
Why write about a stupid lawn-mower? As an American, I've been programmed to believe that the lawn must be mowed each week during the growing season. My brother-in-law bought a new house in 1967, and soon afterward, the lawn-mower from the "farm" musta gave out, and Herbie came on the scene. My sister's kids were young, then, and affectionately named the new lawn-mower " Herbie".
Herbie's main task was to mow the nice, new, flat, suburban, grub-free, fertilized green lawn at the new house in the Rochester, NY suburban neighborhood in Penfield, NY. No big deal for a new lawn-mower.
Well, Herbie continued to mow the lawn in Penfield, for the next 28 years! I was living with my sister and bro-in-law at the time. When the time came for me to move on, Herbie was a token parting gift from my brother-in-law, to aid my re-location to an old farm-house in Palmyra, NY, where Herbie and I moved in. The house was in what I'll call "whats left of the country in upstate New :York". My landlady's property came with about 8 acres of land, but her lawn is probably way over and acre. We can break it down into about four separate lawns.
When I moved in,. most of the four lawns hadn't been mowed in time out of reckoning. The first section I picked to mow, the weeds stood about chest level to me. Sitiing on the seat of Herbie, it was about eye level. Starting out in 2nd gear, (1st was useless in those tall weeds!) I moved ahead, the mowing deck as high as it would go. Inch ahead, till the mowing deck was overwhelmed, and put the clutch in, stop, let the engine pick up RPM's, maybe back up, and get fresh start, and plunge ahead at a crawl. I really couldn't believe I was actually plowing through this stuff!
Things went OK till I plunged into "something", under all the over-growth. Something, turned out to be a pile of telephone poles, laying on the "lawn". When I hit the poles, poor Herbie stalled out. I climbed off, and pulled him back from the weeks for inspection. One edge of the mowing deck had bent, and broke away leaving jagged metal protruding out. I lifted the front end up, and stood Herbie on his end. The brake assembley was a twisted convoluted mess. I cut the cable, and pulled the brake shoes off the axle, and from then on, Herbie was "brakeless". I straightened out the twisted, rusty shards on the side of the mowing deck, and pulled the starter rope. Herbie sprang into action, in a blue cloud of smoke! Re-engaging the blade, I continued mowing.
He continued running, with many break-downs, but refused to stop. this has been going on for seven years. At the present time, Herbie's sporten a new disc drive plate, a new V belt for the mowing deck, and a new shear pin in the right rear axle hub.
All I've got to say is Snapper made one heck of a machine back then!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


June 2006

How long have I been alone? 15, 16 years? I suppose I could investigate the matter by looking through old checkbook registers; they're always a wealth of information. Funny, the exact year is unknown to me, yet the pain seems as acute as yesterday. Like old wounds; they heal. but the pain never really goes away. The exact dates and times are only an oblique distorted images, fuzzy on the fringes, but unwilling to exit my mind, as if woven tightly into the brain tissue, double-stitched, permanently epoxied, never to separate from the memory banks without ripping out my brain tissue with it. I suppose a lobotomy would take care of it. Do I feel any love for her any longer? I think not. She appears in dreams now and again, but very cleverly hides her face, never looking into my eyes, never talking to me, but there in a brief embrace for a split instant, then vaporizing before my bewildered eyes. Like this morning at 2:00. I awake, my feet twisted and entwined by the sheets, a cold sweat permeating my body, and that familiar pain, never looked for, but none the less making its cameo appearance all the same. They say time heals all, but that of course is just not true. Is it because the pain is as a mutating virus, continually changing its structure omnipotent to any antibiotics, or a cancer that is so ingrained in the soul that it will never be cut out, or eradicated?