Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bein' Sutthun Bred ...

As most of you know, I was brought up in a little town called Pineville, N.C. but, as I write this, I'm makin' my stead in the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, KY.

Now, both of these places have one thing in common: We've both been called unintellogical hillbillies by folks who are too ritzy to have a Wal-Mart® in their made-to-order cities.  And what's wrong with that? I mean, the hills are necessary to everyday life.  Without them, you'd just have straight miles of boring roads without the excitement of hairpin curves, listening to your transmission rattle as you're tryin' to get your car up a 45-degree slope, or praying for guard rails.

Besides, our hills are popular! Even the Bible says we're where ya need to go: "I'll lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Psalm 121:1).

So ya see?  We're good to go!  And, though we're really just on the edge of the hills - in a place called the Piedmont - down in Pineville and pretty darn close to the Smokies on this side of the range in Ashland, we're proud to be considered billies of the hills.
(incidentally, mentioning "this side of the range" reminds me: I've gotta put the dishes away this morning.  They're sittin' between the range and the sink ...)


But we were talking about the South (gotta tie this in with the post title somehow) so it gives me a chance to do what I promised two posts ago, to make some sense, ummm, introduce myself:

Historical rewind: once, I was a child -- a member of an elite Pinevillean force known as Hinsons. Feared by no one, we trampled the grounds of Morrow Avenue and played amongst the wild creatures that roamed the wilderness ...

I was of the feeding group known as "kids". The scrawniest and biggest-snouted of them, I was often corralled for feeding, teaching and disciplining. Very embarrassing when you're 16, but I dealt with it.

Yes, we were raised on cornbread, turnip greens, fatback and pinto beans.  Our favorite drink was either Pepsi or RC Cola (right ... often with Moon Pies!  What of it??).  We didn't have a lot of money, but our folks could take a single dollar bill and squeeze every drop of savings out of it! And we didn't have these fancy (gag!) "Wally Worlds", so most of our shopping was done at K-Mart®'s (no, you always added that "s" to it!).

Here in Ashland, it's the same, except they drink Coke (pray for them, okay??).  It's like the Pineville of old, except with a little more concrete ... and a WalMart® ... and somethin' called "dip" (strange word meaning: "DONT DRINK OUTTA PAW'S BOTTLE!! IT AIN'T PEPSI ... I mean, COKE!!")

And ya gotta love the people in this little town!  Where else can you have (and I swear this is true!) a little old lady, no bigger than a minute but with years of 'em under her belt, stop by a local convenience store and, upon seeing a big rottweiler, tell the clerk she wants to call the police but needs to know the number for 911?
Or the man who was just leaving church but couldn't get his wife to come with him?  He looked around and found her talking to someone.  "Just a sec," she told him.  Apparently, he'd heard that many times before, because he bellowed, "You're always tellin' me that!  Honestly, I'm sick and tired of your 'secs'!"
Then he looked around and noticed that everybody in the vestibule had gone silent ... and looking at him.  So he tried to save face by looking at her and adding, "But whaddya say we give it another try tonight, just to be sure?"

Right now, as you know, there's a lot of hot air coming from Washington ... and they're too busy playing the "cootie" game with each other (remember the old days?  "You don't wanna play with Johnny!  Ewwwww ... he's got cooties!!"  And, no, I don't know what "cooties" are ... don't want to know...) to get anything done.

But I submit to you that if we just get rid of all those loudmouth city slickers and put in a number of women who've slaved over hot stoves, moppin' floors, washing clothes and cookin' supper whilst hickory-switchin' one young'un, band-aidin' another and listening to another read for school as she's tryin' to get the baby to burp, we'd have our country's problems fixed in no time!

'Course, they were better, stronger and more effective than all the Congresspeople in Washington; they were our mamas!!  

Now ... with all that bein' said ..

stay tuned ...


I've gotta admit: being a southpaw on this keyboard, sometimes when I type the word "dog" it instinctively comes out "god".

Not that they mind, of course.  I mean, in their doggy minds, they probably wonder why you're not on your knees, giving them a love offering and praising them and ...

Wait!  That ... that's what we do, isn't it??  Oh, well ...

I remember the first puppy I brought home for my sons back in 1988.  A cute little dude, Bingo was a black lab with a BFH disorder (bladder from hell).  To help him learn where to ... er, "go", I put old sections of the Charlotte Observer down near the back door.  Whenever he'd take a leak (and, by the way, why do they say "take a leak"?  They're leavin' it, for cryin' out loud!), I'd pick him up, take him to the paper and tell him "NONONO!! Go HERE!"  

Then he'd go back, sniff where he was ... and do it again!  For awhile, I was convinced his little "thing" was like a witch-hazel stick that could point to any moisture in the air, absorb it and expel it.

Sooo, I'd pick him up again, take him to the paper, tell him to "go" there ...
and he'd immediately run off (after absorbing whatever water was used in the creation of the original paper stock) and do it again!

Ahhhh, but after a lot of patience with him, he finally got the message I was giving him:

He'd still pee on the carpet, but then run over to the paper, read it, and run off to empty his bladder again ..

A year later - he was four years old by that time - one day I came in from work before the kids got out of school. Now, they had a neat Sega® game system that played some kind of game with a hedgehog (I mean, it was the game.  They actually played against each other ...) - it was their favorite.  But, when I came in the
front door, there was Bingo - with the cord to one of the controls chewed up and dangling from his mouth!

I'll never forget that innocent "awww-sh-t-now-I'm-gonna-die" look on his face as he spit it out and took off for higher ground (the claw-foot tub in the bathroom.  Not a good choice with his bladder ...).

So I took a look at the controller and figured "Hey ... THIS isn't complicated!  I can fix it with a little splicing and duct-tape.  It'll be good as new!!"  A half-hour later, I was finished!  So I plugged the controller back into the console, loaded the game and turned it and the TV on (back then, kiddies, no computer - you watched it on your television screen).

But, instead of the cute, happy music that introduced the game, the TV emitted a sound reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, a trash truck unloading a dumpster and cats with their tails caught in a fan!  And that hedgehog looked like he'd gotten some bad LSD or something - and ran accordingly!

Thank God we had a Toys-R-Us®  just a mile down the road from us!   

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gotta Hand It To The Cats ..

God bless Kabuki. If the rest of my cats were the Real McCoys, he was "Grandpappy Amos". Sadly, he's no longer with me ... but that Fateful Day could've been a lot earlier in his illustrious life

Y'see, a few years ago, I had a panful of boiling grease -- the result of frying up a package of bacon . As I was transferring the grease to a trap at the side of the sink, he ran in front of me. Now, the handle of the pan was kinda loose, and was just about to come off -- and I knew the entire, scalding-hot mess would douse K-Cat!

So, instead of seeing him fatally burned, I pushed the handle down in a snap, and took the entire load of it on my left hand!

Now, I'm not gonna say it hurt, but it was at that very moment that I found I could dance a very mean Watusi.
I ran to the fridge, jerked open the freezer door with my good hand and stuck the parboiled one in a big bag of ice. Then I took the bag out, poured it into a pot I had on the stove and carried it to the coffee-table in the living room (yes, I had to take my already-swollen paw outta the ice to do it. My reaction to the immense pain nearly resulted in five new curse words added to the Merriam-Webster® dictionary ...).I laid down on the sofa and stuck my hand in the pot. The relief was overwhelming -- and I shortly fell asleep.
But ...
two hours later, I awoke (hand still in the ice) to find my cats had gathered around on the sofa and table -- staring at my crotch (I could swear that the smallest were giggling. K-Cat and the others just shook their heads in disbelief ...).
So it's not just warm water that loosens the ol' bladder, eh?? Gotta make a note ...

Two Tylenol®, a bottle of peroxide (poured, not drank) and an ace-bandage later, the pain was still so bad that I went to the local ER to be checked out. Two hours passed -- I was down to the last two buttons of my shirt. I'd already chewed the rest of them off -- and the doctor came to look at it.
"You need to have somebody take a look at it," he said. He meant someone called a reconstructive surgeon. I was just hoping he'd have come back with a hatchet and cut the darn thing off.

Instead, I drove to the pharmacy (he did prescribe medication to ease the pain. What, exactly, is "arsenic", anyway? ...), and they gave me a jar of some kind of cream to put on it as well. Of course, I was to keep it bandaged afterward ...

The next few days were ... well, eventful. Now, I also had two dogs -- one male, one female -- who were very well-trained. All I had to do is give a simple command like sit, stay, flush and they'd do it.

But, once, I walked into the computer room to try my hand (literally!) on the Compaq®, when I accidentally hit my bandaged-but-still-throbbing hand against the doorsill.
Now, I'm not gonna repeat what I said, nor how often I said it -- but, when I turned around, the hall was filled with little brown poops!

NOTE: Whilst the second-and-third degree burns apparently had done enough damage to warrant reconstruction, I chose against it. It healed perfectly, and today I have total use of the hand. Miracle?? Therapy?? Listen ... the most miraculous therapy I received was some loving cats gently rubbing against the bandaged hand, purring ... and tender doggy-licks as deep brown eyes gazed up at me as if to say, Daddy, you're gonna be alright ...
and, by the way: thanks for smearing the back of your bandage with peanut-butter!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Little Travelin' Music (Maestro, If You Please ...)

Welll, it's not exactly like that, really. My cat's grayish-looking ...

but this is the new addition to the Mouse House (besides, I couldn't get the new hutch in here; our starsky was blocking it).  This continues the fun that Uncle LL was so famous for.  Sadly, he's left us for a larger stage ... and no one could ever duplicate our Mighty Mouse, Lloyd Thaxton (LL stands for "Lloyd", or "Leaping Leprechaun".  Either way, the name's the same...)..  But it's also sort of an extension of what I started over there on Facebook®, but without all the 'pokes'' 'likes', 'shares' and - and ...

oh - did I tell you I'm on Facebook®? Look me up ...

Anyway, because I need to concentrate on our little hole-in-the-wall here - I'm incorporating some of the scripts from my other blog Out Of My Mind and closing her up.  And we're gonna mix it with some great stuff from the Head Cheeser himself - our fab and still-seriously-missed Uncle Lloyd Thaxton.  After all, Aunt Barbara asked us to carry on our Mousey business in his memory, and that's just what we gonna do (after all, THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT UNCLE LLOYD BUILT ... right?  

Speaking of FB: Have ya noticed that we haven't heard one word there from those nice Nigerian people who email us, offering tons of wealth if we just send our personal info and first-born child to them? They're not on the social stagecoach yet ...

HEY!  I've got an idea that'll get rid of those emails and the hackers we haveta deal with on the 'book:

Let's get allll those Nigerian money people to sign up for Facebook®.  Then, the next time we're faced with those hackers (they call them "phishers", but I'd rather not.  The Fishers were friends of mine back home in Pineville and wouldn't do that stuff ...), we can refer them to our Nigerian 'friends'.  In turn, the hackers will be hit up, send their money, go broke, won't be able to afford computers, and we'll not see them anymore!

The Nigerian brotherhood-of-the-buck will be hacked into, their money and personal info taken -- all of which will be found to be fraudulent -- and the hackers and the law will be after them.  So they'll all go into hiding, which means they can't plug in their computers without being busted by one or both of them - so our emails will be free of them!!

Tell me what ya think ... is it workable?  Well, don't you wish it was??

In other news ...

A little earlier today, I ran across a friend (don't worry, he'll be fine.  Just my back wheels got him ...) who told me about a trip to his psychiatrist last week.  Said he'd just finished a quick jog around the park, so he went as he was: shorts, tee shirt, etc.

Oh, he had a good visit ... until he saw the shrink's coffee cup (you know, the ones with the little funny sayings and stuff??).  Said he instinctively crossed his legs tightly and sorta slumped over a little when he saw it.

A big, cream-colored cup with burgundy words that read:

"I can see you're nuts."

 Okay ... that's it for the first edition here ... and more is coming up in about 24 hours (depending on where you live ...)  Sooo, Mousers ....

stay tuned ...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Identity Identified

It all ties in ...

Awhile back, whilst trying to use my little, nearly-dog-eared Visa®, I found out that it was nearly maxxed out -- and not by yours truly!! Not entirely pleased with the matter, I went down, tore off the entered the doors of the bank with my little, nearly-Visa-eared dog® and found that somebody apparently used my identity to buy half of Podunk (of course, Podunk doesn't cost very much ...).

After crunching the figures about as much as my nerves were at the time, the banking father gave me the facts, figures -- and I believe, as irate as I was, even the bird -- and I proceeded to sign the zillion papers necessary to get investigations going and maybe a little remuneration.
At least I think I signed my name; remember, someone had stolen my identity, so I'm not really sure ...

Now, though it happened a few months ago, that incident did cause me to think for once:

These snakes who slither between the cracks in our web security and steal our names and numbers are called "identity thieves".  They lift our bank account numbers to drain us (heck ... what do they want with my 45 cents anyway??), or our credit-card info (I guess to raid one of those shopping networks?) or whatever.

But what they don't do is actually steal our identities!!  Those things are locked inside our brains (again, what do they want with my 45 cents' worth of intelligence, anyway??) and personalities. It's in how we handle our jobs, our families and ourselves when we're out-and-about.  It's in the way we worship.  It's in the way we react to movies, television or books we read.  Bottom line? It's in the way we present ourselves to others ... and ourselves!

And that, my friend, is sealed tighter than the answers hermetically sealed in an airtight jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch ...

You see, we can open new accounts, get new credit-cards or whatever.  But our identities -- our own, individual personalities -- are one-of-a-kind, permanently ingrained in us.
And nobody can take those away!
Stay tuned ...

Lessons From A Tragedy

WHEW! Lord, don't give us any more weeks like last one's, alright??

I mean, it seems we've seen the worst in just about everything over the past 168 hours - and, outside the wacky weather woes and a terrible explosion in West, Texas (not the direction - it's a town near Waco), it all seems to have reflected what Dr. Martin Luther King called "man's inhumanity to man."
But, then, Lord, we also saw our best:

The police, government ... and, above all,  citizens ... of  Boston, Cambridge, and Watertown, Massachusetts.

Under the guiding eyes of Mayor Tom Menino (whose 20th year as head of Boston will be on July 12), Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts (undoubtedly, the coolest gov a state could ever want) and with the prayers and support of President Obama along with millions of other Americans, these awesome people hunted down and captured the surviving suspect in Monday's tragic Boston Marathon bombing (the other was killed in a shootout earlier in the day).

 Now, it's kinda hard for us to get our head around the fact that, once again, we were under a terrorist's attack; after all, we thought we had that 'nipped in the bud' after 9/11.  But 4/15 took a tremendous toll, brought back those still-fresh memories ... yet also reminded us of what we, as Americans, are all about:

Our faith's intact,  Upon hearing of the tragedy and the ensuing deaths and injuries, so many of us took to our knees, figuratively or literally and in our own beliefs and faiths, to pray, meditate or send the warmest vibrations to those physically affected by the bombings.  Our churches, synagogues and meetings did the same.

Our hearts are united.  We lowered our flags to half-staff, both in our yards, churches and schools - and in our hearts.. All social-media posts reflected our solidarity in sadness ...

Our hands are outstretched to help.   We had a determination to help not only the affected families but also to find those responsible for this madness..  5K and 10K runs - "mini-marathons" - are still being staged to raise funds to help the families (through reputable charities, of course.  At this point, 'scams' only would make us more irate).

Most of all, our determination that this will never happen again on our watch is strong!  This is what makes America rebound from calamity!

Incidentally, as we have gone through this together - and, as one, rejoiced that the remaining terrorist has been captured - didja notice something?

Whilst NBC/CBS/CNN/HLN/ABC/ASPCA reported the events from Monday through now (yes, even the ASPCA reported the capture!), not even one mention of North Korea and its idiocy?  For a few days, they took a backseat (much to the chagrin of their media-hungry boss, Kim the Young'un).

Meanwhile, both Dummicats and Repelicans kept their whiny, tales-outta-school attitudes to themselves and acted as one - as Americans, and not snotty-nosed schoolkids!

After the perp was arrested, someone said "America's finally got its stroke back - it's got its 'mojo' workin' again!"  Sorry to burst your balloon, bunky, but, truth to tell, IT NEVER LEFT!!   

And it never WILL!!!

ONE MORE NOTE:  What we've done in pouring our love and support all over the Boston/Cambridge/Watertown areas should now be duplicated - focused on helping the victims of the West, Texas explosion that took so many lives and injured scores of others.  I know we have enough left in us to send their way as well ... and I know we will.  Because we care. Because we can.  Because we're ...

stay tuned ...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Relic Songbook

Okay, let's seee ... cats are asleep, everythin's quiet ... guess it's time to


ummm ... waitaminnit ... I can't ... break ... this ... chain that's cuffed me to the computer. And there's ... there's only ...coffee ... in front of me. (Sigh!) Okay ... guess I'd better get back to writin', then ...

Can ya believe this?? Someone sent MouseMail askin' "Relic, we don't know nothing (sic) about you, so why don't you tell us what you're (sic)back ground is like?" (Typos?  Dunno ... there's nothing 'sic' about me since my bronchitis cleared up, but my background has been a little 'sic' at times ....)
Wellll, okay ... but only 'cause you asked:

My background is covered in pants at the moment, and I'm sitting on it ... got a cat scratch on my ... oh ... Naaaah ... ain't gonna go into it here, okay? But I'll give ya a coupla/three clues -- and they're all in songs:

AMAZING by Aerosmith. Bro, this is my past. It's no diff from any of the rockers who've gone before me. Wanna know more? Just ask via email, okay? Let's just say that ya can't gain inner strength unless you've been through an outer fire or two in yer life.

YOU'VE GOT THE TOUCH by Stan Bush. From the Transformers cartoon movie came a song that pretty much sums up how I feel since learnin' a couple of previously-hidden secrets about me. It's a song that I'd recommend to anyone fightin' a battle ... 'cause "you've got the power" inside you (PS Some of you'll remember it from the Transformers cartoon movie years ago.).

DON'T STOP by Fleetwood Mac. It's my belief for the future. It's as bright as we wanna make it, if we realize that "it'll be better than before. Yesterday's gone ..." (PS This song was written by Christine McVie - their keyboardist/vocalist - to her distraught ex-husband John after their divorce).

WITH A LITTLE LUCK by Paul McCartney and Wings.  Whilst Sir Paul wrote it for troubled couples, this song is one of the most optimistic songs he's ever written!

TUBTHUMPER by Chumbawumba (chorus only). Hey ... it's me, man ...

BUT ... if you really want one song that sums up the Relic, head-to-foot, here it is:

'Nuff said??  Then ...
Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Linkin' Up ...

Before we get into the new stuff that's coming up here on LTMC, I wanna share some cool links that some of you have sent in. It'll keep ya busy until Thursday (and you'll enjoy them too, I'll bet!!):

Here's one on "disappointing facts about popular music"! Listen ... take this with a grain of salt, alright?? "Facts" are one thing -- but music is what ya feel inside, so don't let the stuff from this Buzzfeed get you down, k?

So ya think you're smart? Try this test! (Again, remember that it's not really accurate; after all, there's a lot more needed than these quick-and-easy-pen-and-paper tests to check "I.Q." In fact, it's a fact that your true intelligence quotient couldn't be measured unless someone was measuring you in every circumstance you encountered, and for a full year (at least!)!

Hey ... remember the cool sounds of 1966? Well, here ya go with a few of 'em!

Now, who out there likes the Big Band sounds that came outta the 1940's, with Miller, Goodman and the bunch? Well, get ready for a very cool step back in time.

Or maybe your taste is for the old television shows, so just click here (sorry ... remote not included ...)

Born in the 1950's, like the PPMC (present proprietor of Mouse Central)? Then maybe you'll remember these.

Of course, what were the Fifties without those classic Westerns, right?

Introducing Charlotte, NC's first "hard-rock" band, circa 1966 (now reunited) The Young Ages! (first "hard-rock" band in Charlotte, 1966)

Now, for all you who dig cookies and want recipes for your favourite, here ya go: You'll have cookies 'til the cows come home! (but don't worry, just let 'em graze ... cows don't like cookies, so you're safe! lol)

Now, I'm gonna switch over and get back to work on my latest blog, so until we get together this Thursday-if-not-earlier-and-there's-no-breaking-news WHEW!!)

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yesterday, Last Week and ... Tonight!

Yep ... been off for awhile, battling the flu and then bronchitis last week, working on a couple of article deadlines, a new e-book and, yesterday, fighting the dreaded ArBeast for control of my intestines (reads: I got hold of some bogus beef at a local restaurant whose name sounds a little like that 'beastly' one). This morning, after worshipping all night at the porcelain throne (amusing the cats, who kept waiting for the furball to appear), I feel much bitter ...

still better off than those poor, starving waifs in Rep. Wasserman-Schultz's office down there in sunny Florida!
I ... I actually felt guilty. I could just see those little urchins, in their nonskid Armani suits, kneeling in front of me, their spit-shined shoes reflecting their sadness, begging me for a hundred-dollar donation -- er, a morsel of food.
When I arrived home, my remorse was so great that I took a cheap cardboard box and looked for things to send them as a CARE package. From soup-bones I'd planned to give my dogs later to my quarter-loaf of used bread - even my beloved "mystery" stuff that was wrapped in aluminum foil and had been sitting in the back of my fridge since 2005 - I felt so benevolent!
You see, these poor, overworked politipaupers can't afford to eat on their meager ... $65-to-120 G salaries. So I hope each one of you can pitch in ... I mean, this poverty could be catching and, before long, we'll have Congresspeople in that shape across-the-board!

Now ... whilst I'm getting my laughter under control, I thought ya might want to read this ridiculous-but-true article itself!

On a brighter note, I also had the honour of seeing two of America's funniest men turn the tables on the head NBC honchos -- and right smack-dab in the middle of the Peacock Palace itself!

Whilst they were all bickering about Jay Leno and his contract/replacement/both, and had ultimately offered the 'Tonight Show' post to Jimmy Fallon (starting in 2014) - and seemed to have the subconscious (? perhaps conscious? Stay tuned ...) desire to make an ass out of Jay, he and Jimmy craftily turned the tables on the execs by pulling together a split-screen takeoff on the famous song-of-the-same-name-as-the-show-in-question. They reaffirmed their friendship and did a hilarious bit that seemed to flip a famous bird to the Peacock Panderers.
Of course, Jay's been roasting their hinies for at least a week now - probably trying to get his jabs in whilst he can. He's definitely the "King of Late Night" because his delivery is perfectly natural (much like Johnny's was). Only one other comes close, and that's Craig Ferguson!! But you know that Jimmy's "getting there"!!

Just hope that Jay continues his comedic career, whether on-the-road or in a studio somewhere! And, once Jimmy gets the "i's" crossed and "t's" dotted (granted, he's got a little more work to do), he'll set "Roots" in the new Tonight Show Coming From 30 Rock!

Stay tuned ...