Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

28 February 2011

Larger than Life

So, who fits the bill? What makes it Large? And what shouldn’t be?

People – that’s tough. Aside from my own parents and wife, there are a few non-family amazing folks today’s Top 5: Mother Teresa, Greg Mortensen, Jimmy Carter, Jon Bon Jovi and JRR Tolkien. Though I’m excluding almost all of you, to be fair, I’ve just got to shout out an honorable mention to my son Chris, The Exigent One, who isn't afraid to tackle most anything from bloody patients to screamer Mustang SVTs!

Things that are larger than life: Potbelly’s Italian sub; in general, subs/grinders/zeppelins on the Food Network; NFL – tho it’s really just a game, updated from the Roman Coliseum; Ted Turner’s ranches; a good rock concert (Kim, Our Effervescent One-what was the best one ever?); the world of Dune with its lessons for humanity and humility; and, Dungeons and Dragons, a world all unto itself and larger than any one hero like me.

For the umpteenth time, we ask ourselves What Is and What Should Never Be (larger, that is): government, something better when nimble and understandable; any of us unless we’re ready to wax in the limelight; money, it taints too much of the soil; retirement, an increasingly fleeting fantasy that can take away from the good we can for a paycheck; and, media – it opens vistas but imperils our rationale by skewing everything through its must-be-biased looking glass.

Now I’m reminded of Alice in Wonderland and how things are not as they appear. Good analogy and time to look askance at the routine things in my life, wondering just why exactly they’re smaller or larger than they first appear. Hey, maybe I’ll sleep better afterward?

24 February 2011

Dazed and Confused? Or a Communication Breakdown?

”I (sure don’t) want to hold you in my arms. Yeah, I’m having a nervous breakdown – you want to drive me insane!”

OK, paraphrasing Led Zeppelin doesn’t really cover the scope of my disgust with Congress, but it’s close. And nope, today’s post isn’t about politics because I won’t go there. 1001001001001001001001001 …

Isn’t cyber-correction tape great?! You have no idea how many nasty barbs above were just rewritten AND deleted! So, I will NOT make the mistake a few Facebookers and bloggers make about spewing bad things online, things that never go away. My negative thoughts on our Congress shall remain my own…

Makes me wonder why we in this era still see so many emails that should not have been sent. Guess there are lots to thing sent and not sent that resonate across history, like captured battlefield missives that turned the day or poignant letters unsent that, when unearthed, show you a true depth of feeling, of character.

[whew!] [more Zep plying on Henri the iPod and it’s really dead-on this time] ”I been a workin’ from 7 to 11 every night. It really makes life a drag. I don’t think that’s right, no. I’ve really been the best of fools.”

23 February 2011

Snowflakes fall down, we all fall down

Hah! Gotcha! I mean, who wants to read dreary stuff? Life is an interesting flux of Pollyanna-Obi Wan-Eeyore emotions these days but while wildly swinging past the balance, I realize we usually can deal with all this ‘life stuff.’

Take snowflakes. I like them and sing songs to them while moving them from our cars to their happy place, the ground. We build them into goofy figures and toss them about. Doubt the latter makes them too happy so maybe that’s why some snowballs hurt more than others, angry snow. What winter’s morning is more perfect, when you’re not going anywhere anyway, than a nice cuppa Joe, a piece of German stollen and a boundless field of snow? Oh, you’re right - tossing the cats outside, then giving them a warm bath afterward!

Attraction of blue,

Rumination of browns,

Purring green,

Eternity white.

Sorry, I have no idea where that came from, probably some damaged occipital lobe cells trying to be heard. Hmm, those are the same buggers that chime in when I’m speaking up at meetings. All those electro-shock sessions and this mindless babbling all is I get? Sucks to be me, he without a filter to keep the Inner Voice quiet and Deeper Feeler somnolent. Thinking about the chaos, the daily dramas, that sometime swirl through my life, I wonder if the lack of a reliably good filter is the reason.

The Arctic Cat has reached its station after an Iditarod-like mush along Route 5. I and my warped cranium are nearing work, the nirvana of my morning that substitutes for the perfect day above. [sound of flutes lilt in the background] I have coffee and my morning workout there, so today Obi Wan rules and we saunter along the calm path, the best path. Please disembark safely, and may your own day be a good one, a strong one.

15 February 2011

RW’s Last Day

How is it I sit here and feel Rod Stewart’s ‘Country Comforts’ dancing across my brainwaves? That would be hard since Henri the iPod is asleep this morning, so there's no real music playing. Robin’s moving response to the Last Day blog post got me to thinking. As said on , my last day’s thoughts don’t matter as much as yours, so Robin, please take it away…

"I would want to start the day before day break, so that James and I can take pictures of the sunrise together, just like we always talk about doing. Then I'd gather everyone around the breakfast table, so we could enjoy a big meal together. We'd linger over that last cup of coffee, before getting dressed and heading out for the day. I'd want to visit as many of my family that I could, and telephone the ones I couldn't. I'd take my mother out to lunch, with her sister, and tell them both to grow up, and make up. That life is too short to bear grudges, especially when you can't even remember how they got started, or understand why they continue. I'd tell them if they were lucky enough to be given a sister, they should honor that gift, and honor the memory of their parents love, by sharing that love. Hoarding it away just makes you crabby.

I'd want to spend the afternoon with James and the kids, doing whatever they wanted. Painting more ceramics, or tie-dyeing stuff, or lazing around watching movies. Anything to see their happy faces, and have the chance to talk and touch and hug and tease. I'd hold them close, and smell their hair, and tell them that it's never too late...to have a happy childhood, or a happy anything else. Life is precious, and should be savoured.

I'd want to have dinner with my parents...Daddy and Jean...and Aunt Sarah...to talk and laugh and drink too much coffee and eat too much chocolate...to listen to my father tell our families stories, and watch the children take it all in, to turn to Jamie with a smile, and listen to his stories, too. And somewhere in there, I'd want to take off to Arkansas, to see my new family, but I'd probably end up settling for a phone call...

And after dinner, I'd want to spend the rest of the evening with James, sipping a glass of wine, watching the starts, listening to his heart beat, and just BEING....because There is no place like Home... "

14 February 2011

Yes, It's me in your Mirror

It’s always – really, always – been clear to me why I love Michele. If words were wings, then dreamers would fly, ride or be able to convince their spouses of that love. It’s funny to know I’m not Icarus and yet still dream my wings (and true love) are real. A startlingly simple revelation after 26 years of Our Journey, one worth celebrating on this Valentine’s Day:

Yes, It's me in your Mirror

For you and me

life is not some dreary routine

but a marvel of humor and spirit

that travels at the speed of love.

For you and me

age is not the defining mood

where we hang on yesterdays -

because our dawns brings hope.

For you and me,

our presence, the whole of us,

a tumultuous togetherness,

carries me away in a storm.

For you and me

some things are self-evident.

But nothing charges me more

than meeting your smile.

My heart goes out to you

anywhere, any crazy time,

as we move along,

as we intertwine.

11 February 2011

Independence Avenue Muse

One day I’ll be a minstrel in the gallery, but for now I’m just an Independence Avenue muse.

And what a situation it is, watching folks skimming along the motorway shoulder and flitting up close behind, rushing to their assigned daytime tasks. Those who cut through parking lots to save an intersection’s worth of delay torque my jaw as they live out their self-absorbed arrogant little lives. Ahh, there goes a another scumbag, taking a right/u-turn/reentering onto the merge lane to get ahead of us.

I’d bet interviewing them is a step below eating dirt. I probably give them the false salutations at work, like “How are you today?” when, if I know knew I’d just seen them, it would be more like “You bottom-feeding more-roon, self-centered Jerry Jones knock-off, are twenty car lengths all that important? Get a life – somewhere else.” Now I better understand the generic, “I’m fine, thanks.”

Like those birds soaring nearby on the morning’s warming wafts, my mind wanders far afield, tucking its wings toward northwestern Maryland. Beavers toil, turtles dart about and the life of a minstrel is at ease and complete at the evening’s campfire. Sweet oak crackling, the cool breeze and scents of dinner curry my brain into tranquility. I think know why the muses practice their craft in these gypsy circles - it brings a circular harmony into their world. Think I’ll practice that concept at lunchtime: “Let’s gather round, co-worker chums, and harmonize ourselves before staff call.” [that fell flat even as I was typing…]

10 February 2011

Never a Dull Day for TMM’s Humor Neutrinos

(though some have faced a firing squad)


Why take a day off to be serious? And, of course, never make a day a downer event. Lastly, look for the lightness and color in the dull-speak and blah-feelings that permeate the air we breathe.


2/3/2011, 5:27 PM: Holy $@#$... My words hit home while typing the paragraph above. You won't believe it but just as I was leaving the Census Bureau area, I see a looney tunes guy dressed in a homemade lime green Statute of Liberty outfit -- prancing around in the median of the intersection like a whack job. OMG, and I didn't even have beer at home this month to reinforce my defensive posture against the Dark Arts of DC’dom…


Speaking of which:

  • I wonder what weirdness they find in those Goodwill boxes
  • Why do phone companies/phone manufacturers make Call Block so hard to use?
  • Why do some many Government People wear black jackets to work? Shouldn’t we all dress brightly in commemoration of the joy, the unbridled happiness of office life?
  • Why can’t I get overwhelmed by the Super Bowl? Because my fav team isn’t in it? That it seems to denigrate the efforts of the other finalists who kicked butt to almost get there? Or maybe because Super is such a dumb, dumb name for this marquee event?
  • Groundhog Day would be such a more meaningful societal event if we actually ate the little buggers. Then we’d tack on Squab Sunday and Cicada Night.
  • When you see a Chinese restaurant which also features chicken, ribs and sub’s, how do you politely ask, “What do you recommend? What do you REALLY cook well? What sucks? Which dishes have the pigeon?”
  • Don’t architectural designers and architects get drug tested? How to explain the US Census Bureau headquarters?

09 February 2011

Star Date 2525.345.22: Self-reflections validated … I have become an Emoticon

I ‘wonder’ –and have I worn that word out yet? – and ponder/reflect/surmise and otherwise tumble about the idea that we’re in some larger conversation. It’s not an especially new glimmer of insight, and it’s not like I’m so Poet Savant who can give you endless hope atop the heartless undercurrents of our 21st century lives.

No, it’s much simpler than that. We’re lucky to be daisy-chained to one another in our busy lives, so how do we tie that conversation together, preferably this side of the Great Divide? I’d like to make some sense out of the insights I feel we all have.

I guess I ought to go to church Sunday and take this up with Someone greater than me. I’ll get back to you if the answers hit me like a 2-by-4 with new revelations. Otherwise, the TMM blog will continue to be a whimsical wandering with no particular destination but maybe gradually more clarity into our human condition.

My filter is kind of coarse so maybe that’s why I get overwhelmed – people fascinate me. So, if unlike me you’re bored and have too much time on your hands, how do you keep up with the hundreds of folks who matter in your World?

Today’s Follow-up … from Robin W. on Jan. 18th’s post: Double Agent of the Abwehr

You should read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters from Prison". It's a collection of letters written between Dietrich, his family, and a few close friends. Very enlightening. It was the book of choice for my Sunday school class a few years ago. We followed that by reading Spong, then "The Shack", and now we are on to Thomas Moore's "The Care of the Soul." Good stuff!

08 February 2011

Mild Turbulences in the Slipstream of Life

Life this month has been busy and I’ve been wearing my serious face – you know me, the penultimate government wonk . HAH! OK, picture now some Calvin & Hobbes stupefaction. I’ve not had time to blog daily but that doesn’t mean the footfalls of emotion, those of tempered introspection, don’t lead me astray on these hour-long bus rides.


Here’s something I’ve been working on for awhile, free-flow feelings that tug me back to those wild young days when I used to write a poem or two. For a girl I (still) know, go imagine that. Probably pure drivel but I really believe love never grows if you take care to nurture those feelings…


When the wind whispers of you

and I call out your name,

new snow carpets my recollections.

Never to be lonely.

It’s no surprise all I’m chasing

still leaves me empty.

So I resolve to just laugh

at those Don Quixote windmills.

Safe harbor on a restless sea,

the veil of you settles

one more league nearer to me,

pieces of our dream again together.

I keep alive in my heart

Pieces, shards, flares of love

From really

not so long ago…

01 February 2011

ASM for Joe Public, O for U and Me

Analogies, Similes & Metaphors. Do we really know what each one is? I checked dictionary.com and realized I was only 2/3 right. I need to contribute more to the blogospheric conversation at-large, so here’s something somewhat educational, albeit still dysfunctional. But isn’t that you keep coming back?!

Analogies: a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be based: the analogy between the heart and a pump. TMM variants include My Work Habits and the Little Engine that Could; Molson’s Lager and A Taste of the Canadian Wilderness; Bus rides and a painful Dental Exam.

Similes: a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.” TMM chimes in with He is just like the Government Cheese; He is like an unspeakable animal by-product; A sunset like the red tides of Florida

Metaphors: a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our god. TMM likes A higher profile at work is my reward for good career planning {OK, gag me}; A fat bank account is my pillar of strength {yeah, like most of us know anything about that one}; Running like the wind {Bob Seger is the Man}

A Bonus Item -- a reward for reading down this far:

Oxymorons: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect. Some of my favorite funnies are the tried-and-so-true Military Intelligence or Political Outrage. Let’s add Fiscal Discipline, Smooth Roads in DC, and DMV-Common Sense.