Friday, September 23, 2005

I Heard the Best Joke...

...this morning on the radio!

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney walk into a Washington D.C. resturant for breakfast. A nice looking young waitress walks up and says, "Gentleman, may I take your order?"
"Yes, I would like a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit." said the vice president.
"OK. And for you Mr. President?"
"I think I'd like a kisse."

The waitress is flabbergasted! "You and Bill Clinton. I can't believe it. Just because you're the president doesn't mean I have to take this." and she runs off, crying, to tell her manager.

The Vice President leans over to the President and says, "Mr. President. You pronounce that 'quiche'..."

That just works on so many levels! (Hat tip to Tony Machrini, WNIS morning drive show)

(hee hee) >@_/

Monday, September 19, 2005

Remind Me Why We Send Kids To School...

...because as far as I can see, it's to teach them how to sell things door-to-door.

As a father of five, I am more than familiar with the cookie-dough-for-cuthroat-prices hawking that goes on in the name of school fundraising. And for some reason we tolerate this instead of raising taxes. Go figure!

Dr. Steven Taylor has written an excellent article on the subject. Go read it:
PoliBlog: PoliColumn: School Fundraising

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Clinton and Murdoch Call Katrina Coverage Baised

Bill Clinton and Rupert Murdoch characterize English coverage of Hurricane Katrina events as biased. From the article:
"Murdoch went on to say that anti-American bias was prevalent throughout Europe.

"I think we've got to do a better job at answering it. And there's a big job to do. But you're not going to ever turn it around totally," said Murdoch, one of three media magnates who spoke at Clinton's "Global Initiative" forum on peace and development.

The former US president, who held his conference to coincide with the United Nations summit in New York, agreed that the BBC's coverage was lacking.

While the BBC's reports on the hurricane were factually accurate, its presentation was 'stacked up' to criticize President George W Bush's handling of the disaster, Clinton said.

'There is nothing factually inaccurate. But ... it was designed to be almost exclusively a hit on the federal response, without showing what anybody at any level was doing that was also miraculous, going on simultaneously in a positive way,' Clinton said."

Wow! What else needs to be said.

Read the whole article. Blair calls BBC coverage 'full of hate of America': Murdoch - Yahoo! News.

(hat tip: Political Yen/Yang)

Friday, September 16, 2005

It's Friday Fiction Day Again

Unfortunately I must have stomped on my muse during that last forrest fire incident because nothing came to me. But don't let that stop you from enjoying the other stories submitted for the Fabulous Friday Fiction.

Phoenix shows the erotic side of her ongoing spy thriller at Villains Vanquished!

Nugget is back this week with "Don't Tell". Keep a box of tissue handy. You're going to need it.

Dawn springs a huge twist on us with a sweet tale that sours called "Secret Admirer?"

Silk takes us on an emotional roller coaster with a "Secret Dancer."

And finally Jeff's Golden World becomes darker in "Living Image."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Was Roe v. Wade Misinterpreted?

The linked story, in the LA Times of all places, talks about the history of the Roe v. Wade ruling. From the article
"Last year, on the fifth anniversary of Blackmun's death, the Library of Congress opened his papers to the public. His thick files on the abortion cases tell the little-known story of how Roe vs. Wade came to be. It is the story of a rookie justice, unsure of himself and his abilities, who set out to write a narrow ruling that would reform abortion laws, not repeal them."

Could it be that a society, in the midst of a liberal de-evolution, could have misinterpreted a ruling of the Supreme Court to suit it's own agenda? Yea, I think it might be so.

Your friendly ignited drake is not an attorney so I can't vouch for the veracity of the history lesson but I sure would like to believe it. I wonder if the notion of "stare decisis" (which speaks to the sanctity of previous judicial decisions) would allow a decision to be overturned or modified if it could be shown that the affect of that decision was not in keeping with intent. One can only hope.

Read the whole article called Roe Ruling: More Than Its Author Intended - Los Angeles Times and form your own opinion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Orleans Tragedy Explained

The problem in New Orleans was not Federal government. Or the State government. Or the Local government. It was in the condition of the citizens. Let me explain with an analogy.

A strong, healthy body is able to move more easily, fight off infections and live a better life. A weak body has trouble defending itself from all sorts of problems.

There are two articles that show how "ill" New Orleans citizens were. The first is an objective piece by Michael Novak that puts some numbers to the pictures we have all seen. The second is a subjective piece by Dr. Steven Taylor that warns of the dangers of unmarried parenthood. It also explains some of the pictures we have seen.

We can also carry the health analogy further. In this country, we take care of our sick. Everyone is uniting to help the homeless, New Orleans will be rebuilt and plans will be put in place to prevent the same tragedy from occurring again. Don't let political finger pointing distract us from the work at hand.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Results of Believing the MSM

Question: What are the military consequences of following inaccurate intelligence?
Answer: Attack plans created from it are doomed to failure.

It seems that Iranian military has been following the Katrina reporting and is excited about the military possibilities.
"Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been following closely the way the United States government has been handling Hurricane Katrina, and drawing strategic conclusions from it.

In remarks that appeared on Ansar-e Hezbollah website on Sunday, a top official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said the devastating hurricane had exposed America’s vulnerabilities.

“The mismanagement and the mishandling of the acute psychological problems brought about by Hurricane Katrina clearly showed that others can, at any given time, create a devastated war-zone in any part of the U.S.”, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, the official spokesman of the IRGC, said."

The only "acute psychological problems brought about by Hurricane Katrina" are in the minds of liberals and they don't join the military!

I have no doubt that the United States is vulnerable to another attack. That's the nature of an open society. I will also say that we are going to do what it takes to defend ourselves. We certainly aren't going to rollover and make it easy for terrorists. But if Iran feels that the MSM coverage of Katrina shows "at any given time, create a devastated war-zone in any part of the U.S." they are vastly mistaken. (I never thought I would consider the MSM a 'strategic advantage'!)

To coin a phrase I heard somewhere, "Bring it on!"

Read the whole article here - Iran military says Katrina showed U.S. could be turned into “war zone”.

(hat tip Political Yen/Yang)

Brown Resigns After New Orleans Success!

Question: Since this is true
"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

then why did Michael Brown, director of FEMA, say he has resigned
"in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president,"

Answer:Because, as I said before,
"A politician will do anything to protect the citizen’s opinion of him/her."

(Click on the quotes for the full stories.)

It looks like Michael Brown was looking to move to the private sector anyway. Since Nagin, Blanco and Landrieu are looking for ways to deflect scrutiny of their actions (even though, according to the first quote, those actions appear to be completely timely and appropriate) and since George Bush needs a way to calm the criticism, Brown willing takes the bullet.

So did anything go "wrong" in New Orleans? Yea, it did. A huge natural phenomenon called Hurricane Katrina ripped through a heavily populated city in which some people, exercising their rights, chose to stay. Some of those people died and we must mourn each death and look for ways to prevent such deaths in future hurricanes. We will find a way to do better.

The next thing that went wrong is that the MSM whipped non-thinking people into a frenzy for a political motive. We are already correcting that error through blogs and the alternative media.

In general, I find that Katrina was a resounding success. Many lives were saved. The death toll could have been in the tens of thousands.

The American people have once again showed that we are, and will continue to be, the most giving and responsive in the world. I encourage everyone to give generously to their favorite charity.

But most of all, Katrina is also allowing the DNC to continue to tighten the rope around it's own neck.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 11, 2005

I have struggled all day with trying to write what I thought would be a proper post. The problem is that words are really inadequate to describe my feelings. Any post that I write would be a rambling, incoherent mess. Instead, I decide to let my actions express the proper tribute.

On September 11, an American flag flies in front of the duck household. It's not some moving written tribute. It's not a huge political statement. Instead, it's what the average american household can do to remind everyone about the tragedy of that day.

Remember September 11, 2001.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Top 100 Songs of the Year I Graduated High School

The year I graduated high school, seems like a lifetime ago.

I have seen this meme on several blogs. Here's how you play. Go
here and type the year you graduated in the search box. Then code them to indicate those you like, those you own and those you despise. My coding will be

Bold are songs I like,
Bold italic are songs I own and
Strikeout shows songs I despise.
No code means no opinion.

Here they are:

1. Call Me, Blondie
2. Another Brick In The Wall, Pink Floyd
3. Magic, Olivia Newton-John
4. Rock With You, Michael Jackson
5. Do That To Me One More Time, Captain and Tennille
6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
7. Coming Up, Paul McCartney
8. Funkytown, Lipps, Inc.
9. It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, Billy Joel
10. The Rose, Bette Midler
11. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes
12. Cars, Gary Numan
13. Cruisin', Smokey Robinson
14. Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl, Spinners
15. Lost In Love, Air Supply
16. Little Jeannie, Elton John
17. Ride Like The Wind, Cristopher Cross
18. Upside Down, Diana Ross
19. Please Don't Go, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
20. Babe, Styx
21. With You I'm Born Again, Billy Preston and Syreeta
22. Shining Star, Manhattans
23. Still, Commodores
24. Yes, I'm Ready, Teri De Sario With K.C.
25. Sexy Eyes, Dr. Hook
26. Steal Away, Robbie Dupree
27. Biggest Part Of Me, Ambrosia
28. This Is It, Kenny Loggins
29. Cupid-I've Loved You For A Long Time, Spinners
30. Let's Get Serious, Jermaine Jackson
31. Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer, Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes
32. Sailing, Christopher Cross
33. Longer, Dan Fogelberg
34. Coward Of The County, Kenny Rogers
35. Ladies Night, Kool and The Gang
36. Take Your Time, S.O.S. Band
37. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer
38. Too Hot, Kool and The Gang
39. More Love, Kim Carnes
40. Pop Muzik, M
41. Brass In Pocket, Pretenders
42. Special Lady, Ray, Goodman and Brown
43. Send One Your Love, Stevie Wonder
44. The Second Time Around, Shalamar
45. We Don't Talk Anymore, Cliff Richard
47. Heartache Tonight, Eagles
48. Stomp, Brothers Johnson
49. Tired Of Toein' The Line, Rocky Burnette
50. Better Love Next Time, Dr. Hook
51. Him, Rupert Holmes
52. Against The Wind, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
53. On The Radio, Donna Summer
54. Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones
55. Rise, Herb Alpert
56. All Out Of Love, Air Supply
57. Cool Change, Little River Band
58. You're Only Lonely, J.D. Souther
59. Desire, Andy Gibb
60. Let My Love Open The Door, Pete Townshend
61. Daydream Believer, Anne Murray
62. I Can't Tell You Why, Eagles
63. Don't Let Go, Isaac Hayes
64. Don't Do Me Like That, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
65. She's Out Of My Life, Michael Jackson
66. Fame, Irene Cara
67. Fire Lake, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
68. How Do I Make You, Linda Ronstadt
69. Into The Night, Benny Mardones
70. Let Me Love You Tonight, Pure Prairie League
71. Misunderstanding, Genesis
72. An American Dream, Dirt Band
73. One Fine Day, Carole King
74. Dim All The Lights, Donna Summer
75. You May Be Right, Billy Joel
76. Hurt So Bad, Linda Ronstadt
77. Should've Never Let You Go, Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka
78. Pilot Of The Airwaves, Charlie Dore
79. Off The Wall, Michael Jackson
80. I Pledge My Love, Peaches and Herb
81. The Long Run, Eagles
82. Stand By Me, Mickey Gilley
83. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar
84. Deja Vu, Dionne Warwick
85. Drivin' My Life Away, Eddie Rabbitt
86. Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp
87. Sara, Fleetwood Mac
88. Wait For Me, Daryl Hall and John Oates
89. Jo Jo, Boz Scaggs
90. September Morn, Neil Diamond
91. Give Me The Night, George Benson
92. Broken Hearted Me, Anne Murray
93. You Decorated My Life, Kenny Rogers
94. Tusk, Fleetwood Mac
95. I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince
96. In America, Charlie Daniels Band
97. Breakdown Dead Ahead, Boz Scaggs
98. Ships, Barry Manilow
99. All Night Long, Joe Walsh
100. Refugee, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers"

You'll notice that I owned very few of the songs listed. My collection consisted of Chicago, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Harry Belafonte and Jethro Tull

Over 1000 Deaths...

...due to heat wave in 1995 and most were preventable. Why was there was no public call for a Federal heads during this. Oh yea, Clinton was in office.


(hat tip Political Yen/Yang.)

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Thoughts On All Things Katrina

LASunsett has asked for my thoughts on the Katrina disaster. I am reluctant to comment on this because I completely sympathize with all the officials involved. I am not willing to judge from a distance and I wasn’t involved in the Katrina preparation in anyway. What follows is just a series of thoughts, some from my occupational area, some on my political passion. Take what you will from them.

On Politicians:
Politicians are elected based on gathering the greatest number of votes by people who think they agree with that individual.

A politician will do anything to protect the citizen’s opinion of him/her.

Politicians are fallible people too.

A politician can have competent staff create plans but those plans will ALWAYS be adapted to the situation.

An evacuation plan that loses lives will kill your career. An evacuation plan that is ordered and not needed will kill your career.

Local politicians are responsible for local evacuations.

Plan communication is key.

On Evacuations:
Any evacuation plan that removes 80% of 450,000 people from a city is a resounding success.

People have the right to refuse help.

Only the Florida Keys has a well-designed evacuation plan that works but it’s not just because the plan is good. It’s because the area is small, the population is tiny and that population gets to practice the plan once every couple of years.

The bottleneck on most evacuations is not the number of vehicles available. It is the amount of roadway available leading to a safe haven. The roads will become clogged.

Time is key to evacuations. Vehicles will be traveling at 20-40 mph during the evacuation thus requiring much more time to leave. The roads will become clogged.

Plan communication is key.

On Dangers During a Disaster:
Wind removes buildings that provide shelter.

Wind destroys services, which makes it difficult to live in the area if you are not self-sufficient. Emergency kits (72-96 hours) are key to initially surviving immediately after the disaster.

Wind destroys but water kills. Keep the wind out and the structure secure. Run from the water.

On Hurricanes:
Hurricanes are unpredictable. Once you are certain where it is going, it is too late to evacuate. Don’t kill the career of a politician that over-cautiously orders an unneeded evacuation.

Category 1 and weak category 2 can be weathered through vertical evacuation. Run from a category 3 or greater.

The category system is based on the amount of damage one can expect. It is NOT an arbitrary number.

On Disaster Relief:
Lives are sacred. Protect and support them first.

Property can be replaced.

Local officials have jurisdiction during disaster relief. They must request help, they must authorize help.

It is perfectly acceptable to designate a shelter as a temporary with the intent of only using to protect from the storm itself and then move the shelter population to more suitable quarters after the event.

A temporary shelter must be accessible after the event.

There are never enough government staff workers available to perform disaster relief tasks. These things must be done by the affected population and outside relief workers.

On Being Prepared:
Government can ensure your safety in all situations given enough resources.

I can build a home that will withstand a tornado. You cannot afford a home that can withstand a tornado.

People complain about high taxes. Taxes must be raised to reinforce levies.

Being poor raises your risk in life. We are required to help the poor.

Poor people don’t have to be stupid.

If someone understands that they will die, they will find a way to leave.

Plan communication is key.

I reserve the right to add to this post as other thoughts present themselves.

More Picture Perfect Friday

The rest of the group has weighed in. You can read more great fiction from (drum roll please):

Phoenix who continues her spy-thrilla here. (I fixed Phoenix's link.)

Silk submits Death smiles for us all. The twist will bring a tear.

Jeff Vickers wrote FAMILY ROOTS with a HUGE twist.

Amelie just checked in with Fabrics, a compelling story with more visuals than a movie.

Update: I just submitted this weeks stories to the TTLB ubercarnival.

Picture Perfect Friday

Picture Perfect Friday is here again. Silk is away on holiday but Chrissy is hosting Picture Perfect Fridays, Week Five.

First the three images for inspiration.

Next here's my story.

David and Goliath

It starts with a tender coaxing and the trigger releases. Click. Tink! Firing pin strikes primer. An almost imperceptible sizzle grows rapidly to a roar as Brownie belches fire, it's deadly round sent gliding towards the unsuspecting casualty, unstoppable until it completes it's journey. David watched the bullet dance through the air. Lead piercing flesh, exploding vital organs. The mouth groans in desperation. The body slumps, insulted beyond repair. Goliath smiles approvingly and dissolves into a red mist. Twelve shots, Twelve bodies. One to go.

David tucked the gun into his waistband and strolled to his car. The beat-up ‘74 Mustang had waited patiently while another bullet found its mark. As David opened the driver’s side door, it groaned in disapproval. David slid into the driver’s seat. He hated this car and yet spent many hours here. It was the only place where Goliath stopped screaming at him.

David turned the key to “start” and the worn engine burped to life. A quick left turn signal let him into the nighttime traffic. He was starting the thirteenth hour. He was looking forward to the end.

Just over twelve hours ago, David had been commanded by Goliath (not her real name but David felt like he was fighting a giant), to pick a weapon from his arsenal that would be accurate, easy to conceal and deadly. Oh yes, it also had to carry 13 rounds. None of his rifles and shotguns would work. Accurate and deadly, yes, but too hard to conceal. His revolvers only carried six to eight shots. That left his fathers Colt 1911 military weapon and the Browning P-35 autoloader. The Colt carried 15 rounds but he had never gotten very good with it. With the Browning, however, he NEVER missed. His beloved "Brownie" carried 13 rounds in the clip with room for one in the chamber.

So David loaded Brownie’s clip. Thirteen of the deadliest rounds he had. Just as he was about to tuck it into his waistband, Goliath had insisted he load the extra round into the chamber.

“Why?” snapped David.

“Just in case you miss,” she said in that sultry smooth voice.

“Brownie and I never miss!”

“Load it, David.” And with that, David reluctantly loaded the extra round.

But all that was twelve hours ago and David was back driving the streets, looking for Goliath.

When he found her, Goliath was sitting on a billboard. David shuddered when he saw her pale smiling face framed by long flowing red hair. The sign advertised a performance of the Hong Kong Dance Ensemble. Goliath was sitting in her red dress, casually swinging her red spike heel shoes.

He drove to the theater but the marquee said the show was sold out.

“What do I do now?” thought David.

“You’ll get in.” came the sultry response.

David parked the car. A man seemed to be waiting for him.

“Mister, I got one ticket left. Third row, orchestra. $300 bucks. You’ll be close enough to see their eyes.” David smiled as he bought the ticket.

Making his way to his seat, David noticed Goliath floating in the rafters, waiting for the right time. David scarcely noticed the beautiful Asian dancers bedecked in golden costumes performing before him. His eyes were riveted on Goliath. He didn’t want to miss the signal. Like the twelve times before, Goliath would sit on the shoulder of the one she wanted.

It wasn’t until the grand finale that Goliath made her choice. She descended slowly and sat on the shoulder of the lead dancer. As the cast assembled for the standing ovation, the lead dancer, a beautiful, long women with coal black hair and ruby red lips, stepped forward with Goliath on her shoulder. David slowly raised Brownie.
It starts with a tender coaxing and the trigger releases. Click. Tink! Firing pin strikes primer. An almost imperceptible sizzle grows rapidly to a roar as Brownie belches fire, it's deadly round sent gliding towards the unsuspecting casualty, unstoppable until it completes it's journey. David watched the bullet dance through the air. Lead piercing flesh, exploding vital organs. The mouth groans in desperation. The body slumps, insulted beyond repair. 13 bodies. David was finished!

This time, however, Goliath smiled but she did not disappear. Instead she seemed to be drawn down to the last body, compelled by some unseen force. The red form of Goliath screamed and was swallowed into the lifeless dancer lying on the stage.

As the last red finger disappeared into the dead dancer, a black-gloved hand burst upward from her chest. Then, little by little, the hand became an arm and then another arm, followed by a body, buoyed by black wings and draped in black chiffon. But where there was a smile on Goliath, David saw nothing. Flowing black hair covered the face of this new manifestation.

Nervously, David turned and tried to blend into the fleeing crowd. He didn’t look back, fearful that this new phantom would be behind him.

David hurried out the exit. The Mustang door seemed to almost open by itself and David jumped into his refuge. He started the car and looked in the rearview mirror. Instead of oncoming cars, David saw himself, his face sweaty and pale. But he wasn’t alone. This new black apparition was sitting on his shoulder!

“Do it.” commanded the sultry black voice.

David took his hands from the wheel and pulled Brownie from his waistband. He only had one shot left. He mustn’t miss. That wouldn't do. David put the muzzle in his mouth and closed his eyes.
It starts with a tender coaxing and the trigger releases. Click. Tink! Firing pin strikes primer. An almost imperceptible sizzle grows rapidly to a roar as Brownie belches fire, it's deadly round sent gliding towards the unsuspecting casualty, unstoppable…


Update: Just as I did with "Helping Hands," I put together a quick piece on how I wrote "David and Goliath." You can find it at The Writing of "David and Goliath"

Monday, September 05, 2005

20/20 Hindsight is Perfect

From Naked Minyan:
"Another disaster, and the evildoers are George W Bush, Mayor Nagin, and Governor Kathleen Blanco. The evildoers are FEMA, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the armed services. These people sat on their asses and did nothing. Absolutely nothing in the face of disaster. They denied that anything was wrong. Lying in people's faces. We're used to it from politicians, but not while they let people starve to death in a shithole for days. The feds deserve a lot of blame. Bush's negligence was criminal. He ached to fight Iraq, but when the fight came home and the cause wasn't so glamorous, he wasn't up for the job. In fact, he did a job so terrible that in any other line of work they would've kicked his ass to the curb really fucking fast. But, the state and local officials also failed. They should've known that a Flood could happen. How could they not? Why didn't the Mayor who was so incensed at the feds provide bussing to the poor people who ended up at the Superdome and Convention Center? How could people from the state of Louisiana, supposedly qualified government officials, not be able to guess at what sort of disaster might happen. In the least, they could prepare for the worst."

I rode to and from the New Orleans airport with two different cabbies, one male and one female. Because I am in Planning, the topic of New Orleans, its sub-sea level elevation and it vulnerability to hurricane became a topic of conversation. BOTH cabbies knew of the danger and I hope they used that knowledge and evacuated before Katrina.

My point. EVERYONE knew of the problem. MOST people evacuated. Federal, State and local officials did act then and have acted properly since. A tragedy has occurred because too many people CHOSE to ride out the storm and they may have paid with their lives. A bigger tragedy occurred when some people were unable to evacuate and they may have died as a result.

My question is this. Since each one of these people screaming like Naked Minyan obviously knew of the problem, why didn't THEY help with the evacuation? Or maybe they didn't really "know!"

All we can do now is pick up the pieces.

Friday, September 02, 2005

It's 'Carnival of the Recipes' Day Again!

The Glittering Eye is hosting the Carnival of Recipes this week. It's posted at The Glittering Eye - The Carnival of the Recipes is here!. I have submitted my favorite Saturday Morning Breakfast.

Sterling even left a comment for an additional ingredient for my breakfast that I may try tomorrow. You can be sure that I will be experimenting with MANY of this weeks entries!

Hampton Roads Wackos

We've got PETA on the left and Pat Robertson on the right.
"'Clearly, the Lord was displeased by my recent call for the assassination of [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez,' Robertson said on last night's broadcast of his popular '700 Club' television program.

'I apologized for the remark, but by then it was too late,' Roberston added. 'The Almighty had already launched Katrina on its path of destruction.'"

Maybe God is punishing Hampton Roads, Virginia for something!

(hat tip Riding Sun: Pat Robertson takes blame for Katrina)

Friday's Elephant Joke

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Elephant who?

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Elephant who?

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Elephant who?

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad this is the only elephant joke I told this week!

(hee hee)>@_/

Picture Perfect Friday (Finally!)

(This post has been up since Tuesday but in celebration of a GLORIOUS Friday, I hereby repost it on the proper day!)

The premise is to take three pictures chosen by silk and write a story. Here's mine. I call it...

Helping Hands

It had happened again. Joyce Robins found she was waking up, butt naked, at the base of another headstone.

“All right. Try to stand. Nope, legs are still wobbly! Better climb up the stone instead. Man, that’s cold! Getting’ vertical afterwards is always a problem. This would get old if the kids didn’t need me.”

“Ok, who is it this time?” Joyce thought, getting down to business.

Jeremy Alan Rodgers.
Born: July 16, 2000 - Died: August 3, 2005.

“Just two weeks ago! Explains why I’m so groggy though. Must have been a violent death.”

“OK. Let’s get oriented here. Familiar cemetery so some clothes are nearby. New cemetery's are tough but I gotta’ admit catching a cab in the buff is never a problem, as long as it’s a man driving.”

“Okay… I’m in… the… northeast corner. Main gate should be… there! A short jog in the morning mist always does a body good!”

Thirty seconds later, Joyce was at the main gate. She pulled her brown knapsack from its hiding place under the sign that read, “Forest Lawn Cemetery.”

“Damn, they’re a little damp.” She muttered, “Note to self: find a more waterproof cache before next time.”

Though the pants were a bit wet, the jeans and flannel shirt felt good next to her skin. Her favorite socks, however, were soaked! Putting them back in the knapsack, she grabbed her shoes and slid them on her feet without the socks. Now, she’d catch a cab whether the driver was male or female.

Once back in her apartment, she poured a glass of milk. Milk tasted best in the morning but she preferred tea if it was afternoon. Joyce grabbed her glass and sat in the chair next to the phone. Lifting the handset, she pushed one on the speed-dial.

“Detective Ross,” the voice answered.

“Hi, Adam. It’s Joyce.”

“Hi, Joyce. Uh… let me guess. Church Street Cemetery.”

“Nope. Forest Lawn.”

“Okay... Date?”

“August 3, 2005.”

“August 3rd! Damn! That won’t be in the cemetery records yet. Let me grab the obituaries…”

“I’ll wait…”

“… August 3, 2005. Ok. What’s the name?”

“Rodgers, Jeremy Rodgers.”

“Um…Peters…Richardson… Here it is. Jeremy Rodgers, son of Isaac and Anne Rodgers. 164 Marble Lake Drive. See you in 30 minutes.”

“Good. Just enough time for a shower.” Click.

Joyce slid into the passenger side of the police cruiser. Detective Adam Ross handed her the case file of Jeremy Rodgers.

Adam started the conversation, “Looks like they ruled it an accidental strangulation. Jeremy was playing in the backyard. Mother, got talking with the neighbor. Half-hour later, they found him hanging in the nylon rope of the swing, his feet about three inches off the ground. What did you see?”

“We’re looking for a male, youngish, dark hair. Wiry but strong. Seemed to be a friend or relative of Jeremy. I didn’t sense any fear until after he grabbed Jeremy.”

“Friend or relative? This one ought to be easy. What can you give us for evidence?”

“Can’t say. I need to see his hands.”

Marble Lake Drive was only 20 minutes away. A right turn onto the street and 164 was the third house on the left. They went to the front door and Joyce rang the doorbell. A middle-aged woman answered the door.

“Anne Rodgers?” Detective Ross asked while showing his badge.

“Yes? May I help you?”

“We’re here about Jeremy’s death.”

“Now? We have family over. Since Jeremy’s accident…”

“ It’s about Jeremy. May we come in?”

“I… I guess so.” Anne opened the screen door wide.

Joyce walked into a living room filled with people. Three young girls played with dolls in one corner. A teen boy with red hair sat in a chair watching a football game. Three men and a woman sat at the kitchen table. All the men were too big to be called ‘wiry.’

“He’s not here.” said Joyce.

“Who’s not here?” Anne asked.

Detective Ross chimed in, “Is there anyone else here who might have been around the day Jeremy died?”

“Yes, my brother, Nick, has been living with us since he lost his job,” answered Anne. “Nick, can you come out here, please?”

A young thin man with dark hair emerged from a bedroom.

WHAM! The memories that were Jeremy’s hit Joyce with power of a tsunami!

She saw Nick sitting on a bed. Mirror on his lap. Razor blade in his hand. White powder in neat rows on the mirror. The second bureau drawer from the bottom open. Startled, Nick stashed the mirror in the drawer and led Jeremy out to the swing set.
Uncle Nick picked Jeremy up and put him on the swing. He gently pushed Jeremy three or four times. Then, in one smooth motion Uncle Nick grabbed the rope and twisted it around Jeremy’s neck! Jeremy struggled vainly, scratching the back of Nick’s hands. The jerking of the rope left nylon splinters in the killer's palms.
The last thing Jeremy saw before he died was his Uncle Nick’s face.

“Nick, may I see your hands?” asked Joyce coolly. Nick held out his hands. On the back, several deep scratches were healing. Two or three nylon splinters were just beginning to fester on his palms. “It’s him. You’ll find cocaine residue in the bureau in his room. Second drawer from the bottom. Hope you kept the nail scraping’s from Jeremy. You’ll find Nick’s skin there.”

“Nick, you're under arrest for the murder of Jeremy Rodgers,” said Detective Ross as he cuffed the thin wiry man. “You have the right to remain silent…”
This one was easy. They aren’t always that way. Joyce left the home and walked to the patrol car, wiping a single tear from her eye. As she dropped her hands to her side, she felt a tiny five-year-old hand, Jeremy’s hand, reach up and gently grab her fingers.

She loved it when that happened.


Well that's it. Hope you enjoyed my vision for these three pictures.

I really am interested in how other people go about the act of creating a story. And, not being one to ask others to do what I would not be willing to do myself, I have written a short post on my thought process while writing "Helpng Hands." You can find that post at The Writing of "Helping Hands".


Here's the rest of the lineup:

You'll be blown away by The Storm. A simple butterfly starts an imagery hurricane that you need to read to believe.

Jeffers tries to find himself (twice) in Shadow Self.

More dreams help Silks character deal with lost love in Manifestations of grief. Like Nugget said, "Just read it."

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Conservative vs. liberal reaction to Hurricane Katrina. No comment from me. Just go read the post.
Right Wing Nut House - FOR THE LEFT: A COMPASSION VACATION: Politics served up with a smile… And a stilletto.