Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipses...then and now

Den of the Beastly Bear

Howdy Folks,
 I sit in the grass next to my Father as the Eclipse begins. I take a hit from the bottle of Jack and pour a measure for him. The Perdomo 10th. Anniversary Champagne Noir cigar I'm smoking wafts it's snow white smoke skyward as I pick a stray piece of grass from Dad's tombstone. It's something he would have liked, smooth and mellow much like the man himself...well in his later years at least. My Father would have been 80 today you see, were it not for the Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

 I'm suddenly struck by a coincidence; I was sitting next to my Father, drinking Jack Daniels during the last Eclipse I witnessed.
Well over thirty years ago, my family would go camping during the Fourth of July Holiday. It was an annual pilgrimage made by several families together, some friends, some relatives.

 This one night a group of the guys was sitting around the campfire, my Dad, Uncle Bob and a few other adults and three teenage boys, myself included. Uncle Bob produced a half gallon bottle of Jack Daniels (my Fathers spirit of choice), cracked the seal and started passing the bottle around. The first several passes skipped the teenagers until Jack started working his magic and the rules were relaxed.

 I remember vividly the huge full moon that warm July night, the smell of the fire and the distant trill of frogs and crickets looking for love. The talk was warm and companionly, gentle ribbing and chuckles at this one's expense, before moving that one as a target. This was a special night, and we were allowed to stay up late with the adults as there was to be a lunar eclipse that night.
The hours wore on, the bottle emptied. On this pass, as it got to my Father, he stood up from the log we were both sitting on and hoisted the bottle high. Once certain he had everyone's attention he spoke, with much bravado for my quiet Father.
"I was in the Marine Corps., been around this crazy world and I've been drunk on damn near everything there is to be drunk ON,  and I'll tell you...there is NOTHING better than Jack Daniels!"
With that, he raised the bottle to his lips, tipped it back to take a mighty swig and stopped short.
"Well, will ya look at THAT!" He said, gesturing at the sky "Something's eating the moon!!!" He then, very uncharacteristically ...giggled.

Which of course set us all into gales of laughter, Uncle Bob went to relieve my Dad of the bottle and said "I think you've had just about enough there...." but as he reached for the bottle he tripped over a root, stumbled into my Dad, and they both went over the log!
As quick as they were down, my Dad bounced back up...stared into the bottle and exclaimed: "Didn't spill a drop!"

I smiled at the memory, poured the last bit of Jack on Dad's grave.
Ground out the butt of my cigar, held the bottle high and said: "Well, will ya look at that...something's eating the sun!"

There was no laughter this time, just a single tear.

Be Well Folks, 
Treasure your parents while you have them, for time is shorter than you think.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 not myself...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks,
So today something amusing happened to me, so I thought I'd share.

Losing half your body weight has some interesting side effects. Not only do I no longer have to shop in the Big and Tall section of clothing departments...but I now can walk in ANYWHERE to shop!
I now sometimes have the opposite problem and find something I like, but all the sizes left are too big...go figure!

 So, today at work I was brought a trainee to show the ropes of driving a Hi-Lo. He had been driving a couple days in another department, and we like to bounce them around throughout the plant to expose them to different aspects of the job, different environments, and let them work around different people. This produces a more well-rounded driver capable of fitting in almost any job assignment given them.

 This particular fellow looks vaguely familiar, but when I heard his name I drew a blank...after all, I don't meet so many "Ludwigs" that I would forget one.

 After he's been working on my dock for a couple hours, he mentions that he used to work with one of my regular drivers, Scott. They both drove for the same trucking company that I did, first for GM and later for Penske when he bought the division. At break time, we were talking about the changes that had gone on with Penske that had prompted each of us to transfer back to GM.
Talk then turned to people we knew and what had happened to them.

Ludwig- "I guess a lot of guys from the Flint terminal came over here."

Scott- "Yeah, I know a bunch of us are here..."

Me- "Doug Cramb is here on third...and Jackie, remember her?"

Ludwig- "Yeah, I ran into her the other night. Larry Nevers is on first, I see him every now and then... And Joe Ormerod, he's on second like us, he's in material but I don't know where."

Scott and I exchanged glances, Scott starts cracking up and makes an elaborate "TADA!" motion towards me. I raised my hand and waved.

Ludwig looks at me, then at Scott, back to me and says "Holy SHIT you've lost a lot of weight...I never would have guessed that was you!!!" A look of complete astonishment on his face.

Scott- "He hasn't been himself for a while fact, he's half the man he used to be!"

 And so realization struck me that Ludwig looked familiar for good reason, all be it I had not seen him in 20 years.

Ludwig- "You don't remember me do you? Well, you probably wouldn't. I wasn't there very long before you left, I remember there was a lot of talk when you left...other guys thinking maybe they should too."

So folks, there you have it. Another benefit of my weight loss...I am now incognito, hiding in plain sight! Lol

May you all be recognized and remembered for all you do!

Be Well, 
The Beastly Bear

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Escalation of Benefit or The Stripper Corollary...

Den Of The Beastly Bear

Hi Folks,
 I find myself of late, wasting WAY too much time on that soul sucking venture known as Facebook. So I thought I'd write another missive to you all.

 About my title today, Escalation of Benefit is something we are all familiar with. Every time you see a TV pitchman say "But wait, there's more..." you are seeing Escalation of Benefit. It is an age old marketing/advertising ploy used to separate you from your hard earned cash when you are vacillating on a purchase. But it need not be as in your face as Billy Mays screaming "But WAIT there's MORE!!!"   

 Sometimes the escalation is insidious and small, such that you don't realize you are being manipulated. Hence the second half of our working title today "The Stripper Corollary".

 Now I'll ask you ladies, and those who have never ventured into such an establishment (yeah right) to bear with me for a moment.
Allow me to explain. When one patronizes a strip club, one pays a cover at the door. One is then reminded that there is also a 2 drink minimum, these are the preliminary means of separating you from your cash. The dancers perform on stage for tips, usually dollar bills...maybe a $5 spot here and there. But the main means of emptying your pockets is the lap dance.

 So, you come in, pay your cover, buy your drinks and sit down to watch good looking women dance in various stages of undress. That's when the first stripper comes over. They always send the ugliest one (relatively speaking of course) first. 

You politely decline and send her away, and the next prettiest one approaches.(Escalation of Benefit) This continues until the girl is so fine you concede(this varies by each guy), and BAM there goes $25 A SONG. Now, generally speaking in all clubs it is verboten to touch the ladies as they are performing this service for you. The dancer will, however, lead you to 

believe that should you bump up to the VIP room there may be more to be had.(But wait, there's more!) Should you fall into this trap, you're now out an additional $50 and all you will get is a longer dance. So now you're out $75 you didn't plan to spend, on something you didn't really want in the first place.

 What brought this to mind is a friend that had broken up with her significant other, for the third time since I've known her. She was adamant that she was now DONE! Had met a nice fellow and they were going to start dating. Until the Ex found out. Then he started Texting (ugly stripper), she didn't respond. Calling (next prettiest stripper), then showing up to talk to her at work (they work at the same place in different areas), she was still adamant and discussed this with me. I tried to explain what was happening, told her of Escalation of Benefit and The Stripper Corollary. Next, he showed up and openly cried in front of the other employees (something this narcissist would never do) telling her how wrong he had been. Again she sought my counsel, I again reminded her that this all stems from the fact that she had met someone and he found out through the grapevine and now was going to do and say ANYTHING to try to get her back. When next I saw her she didn't bring him up at all, then I heard that she had gotten engaged.

"Wow," said I "that was fast, she just started dating this guy..."

"Oh no," they told me "She's engaged to her Ex."

"Holy Shit, she bought the lap dance..."

Hope you all enjoy some true benefits in your life...

Be Well,
Beastly Bear

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Funny thing happened on the way home from Buffalo...

Den of The Beastly Bear

Hi Folks,
 As many of you know I took a vacation out to Buffalo, Wyoming the week of the 4th. of July. My main reason was the 6th. Annual Longmire Festival, which transforms sleepy little Buffalo into the mythical Durrant, WY. in fictional Absaroka County. The setting of Craig Johnson's Longmire novels.

 Now Buffalo is a 21 hour 42 min. drive from the Den. So I broke the journey up by stopping a little past the midway point, in Sioux Falls, SD. I stayed at a chain Motel, famous for "leaving the light on for you" and having the added benefit of an outdoor pool. I booked a room for the return leg of my journey as well.

The trip out was uneventful, Buffalo a delight. So it was with a heavy heart that I set about returning home on Sunday morning. This, being the shorter leg of my journey, I sidetracked to both Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. I got to Sioux Falls around 6 pm. 

I was dressed, as pictured on the right. What you can not see, is I have a small lapel pin on my shirt pocket...a souvenir from Longmire days. It is a mock-up of a Sheriff's badge from the show, no bigger than a nickel and made of pewter.  
 As I went in to register for my room, I passed another guest heading to the pool. I gave him a nod as we passed and I headed in. The Night manager, an American Indian woman of middling years checked me in. A stout 5'6" tall with close cropped jet black hair; she wore sturdy heels with a floral print skirt and a blue blazer. As she was handing me my key, she leaned in to read my pin, saying "Wow, that's cool...where did you get that?" I explained, and she said she too was a fan of the show.

After securing my room key and feeling a tad peckish, I set out for tacos for dinner. They have a very decent little chain out west called Taco Johns; I ordered up a couple small "street" tacos and an order of Potato Oles (tater tot crowns with seasoning salt). Upon my return, I parked near the stairs as my room was on the second level. Removed my suitcase from the car and went to change into my suit and enjoy a little pool time. As I got to the base of the stairs, I encountered the same guest from when I first arrived. 

 He was lounging against the wall at the base of the stairs, partially blocking the base. Dressed in swim trunks and barefoot. As I walked up, I noticed the distant, unfocused stare of the chronically high/drunk. I excused myself politely, as he moved aside he seemed to stare intently at me as I passed him by...I paid it no mind. Mid-thirties, short dark hair, slight of build and a uni-brow...he didn't seem like much of a threat.

 I changed quickly. Grabbing my phone, key-card, and a cigar I headed for the pool area. A quick stop at the car for a Rainier beer from the cooler and I was ready. I found a seat at a table in the far corner of the pool enclosure, set down my stuff in my hat, turned brim up to catch any luck to be had...and jumped into the pool.

After soaking off the road, and enjoying the cool waters after a day marked by triple digit heat, I returned to my table to partake of my cigar and have a cold beer. I lit the cigar and had no more than popped the top on my beer when I heard loud, angry voices coming from the upstairs balcony of the motel.

"I told you to get the Hell off the property!!! This is the third time, and I'm not telling you again. I won't have you harassing my guests...get OUT!"

I could see down the front of the hotel, and there was my friend from the stairway with the night manager hot on his heels. He had a backpack slung over his left shoulder and some clothes and shoes in his right hand.

"You're in for quite a shock you fat bitch, I just bought this place...and you're FIRED!" He retorted to her barrage.

"I know the owner, and he didn't sell this place...keep moving, I want you gone..."
"I TOLD you, I JUST bought your manager He'll tell you."

"I AM the night manager..."

"Then you should know. Oh, you are soooo fucking fired!!!"

This circular argument lasted all down the front of the building, down the stairs, and past the pool...when suddenly his attention focused on me.

"Ask him," He said pointing in my direction. "He can check for you; he's a Federal Marshal. Just ask him..." He Opined.

"I'm not asking him anything; I told you to get! He's a guest here, and you will not harass him either. I already called the cops so get off the property!" She deadpanned, not giving an inch.

"Have him look it up! He's got his phone...let him check with the Marshals, they'll know. They can prove it to you!!!"

 Now folks, all I can figure is that this poor tweaked out idiot had been watching way too much "Justified." Saw the hat and the mini badge, which does bear a resemblance to the one carried by the Marshal service, put two and two together in his chemically altered mind and got eight.  

 As she was escorting him from the property, the owner of the restaurant next door came out to see what all the commotion was about. Our altered friend then tried to enlist his help against her. Complaining bitterly about his treatment and the lack of help from the Federal Marshal. Once he was off the property, the manager retreated to the office to await the police.

 She didn't have long to wait before an SUV with two of Sioux Falls finest arrived. She met them at the door, and while I was too far away to hear the conversation, her animated body language and wild gesticulating in the direction of our friend led me to believe she was still pretty wound up. And then the gloves came out...

 Our friend, still tightly in the grip of whatever he was on...failed to see the danger signs. So when they walked over to him his first words were "Thank God you're here..." he then went on to tell them how mistreated he had been and how that Marshal would not help him either "But I pay YOUR salary, you've GOT to help me!"


 Well, it wasn't long before he was wearing a set of steel bracelets and being led on tiptoes across the parking lot with an officer on each complete shock. It turns out; he was not even a guest at the motel!

All I could think was, the only way this could have been better?
Was if I'd gotten to see a live Tasing! Just like on "COPS"! Lol

Hell, I got a show with my room!

I know it's been a while folks, thanks for hanging in there!
Be Well, 
The Beastly Bear