Thursday, September 08, 2011

"Fried Fridays: The 'Wonder' of It All..."

(cue music)

“I just called to say I love you

I just called to say how much I care

I just called to say I love you

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart”

Aw, isn’t that special…! Stevie Wonder is a ‘wonder’ in every since of the word, and the above lyrics are from but one of his myriad hits.

Love makes the world go ‘round.

Love is a many splendored thing.

Love CAN, well….

DATELINE: AMSTERDAM

In days gone by, love letters were collected and cherished, stored in a dusty shoe box with a pretty ribbon and bow, opened and re-read by the light of a glowing fireplace. The reader would hang on every word, as if they were actually hearing the distant voice in the room with them.

Now these days, you can hit someone up with a text on a cell phone, using cutesie little emoticons, or send an instant email or e-card avowing your unending love that is deeper than the ocean and higher than the mountains.

Or you can simply make a phone call.

65,000 of them.

In one year.

To one person.

More specifically, to a person who is none too happy with the unwelcome stalking and incessant calling, and who hauled your derriere into court to put a stop to it.

42 year old Jane Doe claimed she was in a relationship with the 62 year old John Doe (who denied said claim), and that her calling was not excessive. Not at all.

(Let’s see now…65,000 calls, in a 365 day year, which comes out to 178 calls a day. Let’s assume she slept at least 6 hours each day, so in an 18 hour day, that comes out to roughly 10 calls per hour, or a call every 6 minutes...)

Nope, not excessive at all.

Not much else to the story…as the police arrested her, they confiscated several cell phones and computers, and ordered her to never contact the man again. Seems like there should be some joke, punchline, or moral to this story but I can’t think of one. But it does remind me (kinda sorta) of a joke I made up a few years ago…

There was a branch on a pine tree that had a few pine cones on it. One cone in particular, though, had a filthy mouth and was cussing everybody and everything out all day long. Suddenly, he lost his grip on the branch and dropped 80 feet all the way to the ground.

What, you’ve never heard of an obscene cone fall?

Monday, August 29, 2011

AN URGENT PLEA


PLEASE, please, please….do NOT think for yourself. Believe what others say, but only as long it’s how you feel so you can justify it with fervor. Do NOT search for your own facts; rather, find a source that meets your belief structure and accept THAT SOURCE’S ‘facts’ blindly. Don't think for a second you are smart enough to think for yourself: it’s wrong if not evil to think you know more than a media outlet and/or personality. Stand up against them and they will pepper you with put-downs to perpetuate your stupidity and unworthiness. Save yourself the trouble.

Make things easy for everybody and go with the mainstream media flow…after all, endless colonies of lemmings can’t be wrong. Oh sure, many die by committing suicide jumping off a cliff, but they are vindicated in so doing because everybody else is doing the same thing. That makes it right, naturally.

Mainstream TV networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC have spent billions to get it right and save you the trouble of figuring every news item out. Honor them by not only watching them whenever possible…and not only by believing pretty much anything they say…but by doing something you might have been slow to do so far: "Friend" them on Facebook and gain a chance to become their 'fan of the day'. With luck, maybe you, too, can become an instant celebrity for a monumental millisecond.

It’s unhealthy to have a nation, yea, a society of individuals that all believe different things. Worse yet, it’s even more unhealthy to have a society where people actually objectively listen to someone else that has views different than their own. God forbid certain individuals become willing to compromise, for that truly IS the work of the Devil. Nothing will tear our society apart faster than to have people and elected leaders that wish to work together and set aside iron-clad personal agendas in order to benefit the good of all. We are NOT here to succeed as a whole. We are NOT here to compromise. Make sure you tell those that need to hear, "IT'S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!" We're here to be narrow-minded bigots….unless, of course, you’re just un-American.

Your momma may well have raised you with good and proper manners. Momma was a fool, so get over it. Nice people really DO finish last, so in order for your “world order” to come to fruition, you must become an outspoken jerk, and the jerkier the better. Jerky wheels get the media grease, because entertainment, NOT news, is what sells. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, make a video of yourself or someone else doing something REALLY jerky and do your damndest to get it to go viral on the web. But don’t forget two critical items you should have around you or in your hand: the US flag and a King James bible. It'll get you a little farther down the Righteously Justified Highway.

The more you can feel like a victim, the better. Too, the more you can make your cause victimized, mo’ bettuh yet. That way you can legitimize the above-mentioned 'jerk-itis' and defend your unadmitted bigotry to the grave. Why? Because you are RIGHT. Don't let anyone else tell you differently.

So remember the Cliff Notes version from all of this: Don’t think for yourself, and don’t gather your own facts; believe everything you want to hear. Don’t compromise. Don’t be considerate. You are always right, they are always wrong. Lastly, be the best self-righteous jerk you can be.

(This bit of satire is brought to you by someone thoroughly fed up with politics and the mainstream media, not to mention the individuals who exhibit these traits with continuous aplomb.)


Friday, July 29, 2011

"Fried Fridays: 2K pounds in the tub"

Washing ton.

Washington.

Can't argue it's about as 'fried' as it gets, just like the nerves and patience of the public.

I know it's getting late in the morning, and while I would love to be creative and write a more 'formal' Fried Friday's write-up, I'm also on a tight deadline to get some things completed before tomorrow's appearance at Bele Chere in Asheville.

Count me in with the masses THOROUGHLY sick and tired of our elected officials and their relentless bickering and unwillingness to compromise on any level, the latter for at least for one subset I can think of.

They say one bad apple can't spoil the barrel, but I'm not so sure anymore. There is a fine line and a dangerously slippery slope between pride and self-righteousness, that can make for a proverbial snowball heading for hell. Hmmmmmmm....

Many moons ago I heard a person tell another person to go to hell, which prompted the quick, cheerful reply, "I went once but got kicked out for bootleggin' icewater!" Amen.


Friday, July 22, 2011

"Fried Fridays: All Bottled Up...."

NOT.

Sometimes it's good to let things out. Keeping some things bottled up can lead to dangerous stress levels and all kinds of related issues that have to be dealt with.

OR NOT.

DATELINE: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

September was going to be the red-letter month for Mollydooker Wines, as the Aussie vineyard was to make a splash into the U.S. scene. A very special reserve Shiraz was to hit the American shelves at $200 per bottle.

A grand entrance, indeed....and I like the ring of "Mollydooker", too. Kinda ranks up there with "Ugly Boy Flutes". :-)

And, oh my, they made a splash alright.

Only it was in the shipping container in their warehouse.

It fell off the forklift.

461 of 462 cases, shattered. One survived. An estimated one million dollars down the drain, literally. The itsy bitsy silver lining is that the vintner did have the wine insured.

They say don't cry over spilled milk. I'm guessing when milk hits $200 per gallon, we'll say to hell with that expression...

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Fried Fridays: kinda sorta..."


Alright, this isn't my normal format, but I've gotten out of the blogger mode for so long that it will take some time to get back in it. This entry isn't about a wacky news story I've chosen to end a wacky week; rather, this is a story of just how some of my days go, this one being the good ol' Fourth of July...

My brother, his wife, and their just-turned 4-year old twins were down from Boston for several days over the Fourth, staying at mom's about 75 minutes away. Their first foray to make the trip to my abode was stopped by a hiddeous traffic snarl on I-26 heading up from the Foothills into the mountains...one big issue is that if there are major wrecks and traffic stoppage, there are no good alternate routes, so they aborted the trip Sunday and made it back on Tuesday.

That's me with the young 'uns that day, Willie Boo and Ellie Sue. Truth be told I started them on new nicknames, Scooter and LuLu, but that's another story for another day. And that's all part of the normal stuff that took place.

Alas, the morning of the Fourth is a story worth passing along....little events and decisions that, each alone, are minor....but when synergy is alive and well, and all the planets align just right simultaneously, the simple can become absurd.

My sacred time is early morning, when with prepared thermos of coffee, half and half, and Splenda I catch most sunrises, gently bringing in the day. Okay, sometimes there is an ill-timed Molly Bark-Fest at some squirrel that leads her on a chase through the woods near the neighboring cabin, but usually peace reigns supreme.

At the usual pre-dawn time, I got up, let the pups out, and soon opened the refrigerator door. It was the classic Homer Simpson "DOH!" as I realized I'd run out of creamer and forgot to get some only the day before when I got more Splenda. Leave it to me to rarely remember to make and take a bona fide shopping list with me. A grocery store was less than 10 minutes away, so I gathered the four-leggeds for an early morning ride down into the foggy valley below.

Not a lot is going on at 645am on a big holiday in my neck of the woods. There were more shelf-stockers than there were shoppers, all slowly swirling around a very sleepy start to the day. Quiet. Calm. Peaceful. I made my way back to the dairy section, and was disspointed in the price of even the store-brand of half and half, one of my daily splurges to keep my sanity. Money continues to be a big issue making ends meet in this economy, and I mused that if I would drive another 8 minutes I could get twice the product for the same money at Walmart.

Do I drive all the way there, or suck up the price and buy just the one carton, knowing I could go back out later to get all the other things I forgot to pick up the day before, so I mused. Heeding the peacefulness of the morning, and my adage from doing TV weather "if in doubt, throw it out", I decided to get the one quart and check out.

There was only one regular check-out register open, with a couple of folks lined up buying far more than a forgotten carton of moo juice. Ah, the self-check counters were open, so I headed right there. I was a bit surprised to see actual greenbacks in my wallet....well, truth be told, it was only one greenback, a fiver, but cash nonetheless. I swiped my store card, listened to the gratuitous canned "Welcome, Ingles custsomer!", and scanned the item. Hit the pay button, and inserted the cash....quick and easy? Oh, hell, no......

"Houston, we have a problem..."

Literally as the machine sucked in my money did the entire store lose power, big time. Every light, every machine, every register, down, dead, kaput. Dead in the water. What happened, how it happened, I have no idea as that was inconsequential. What was important is that we all quickly became lab rats trapped in a defunct electronic cage.

After about 5 minutes, the power did come on in the back half of the store, and apparently an emergency line that reached to front office area, as the main register trunk began to reboot the sophisticated software system that ran the registers. I'll give you a hint: rebooting such an expansive system after a crash is not one of the more speedy processes.

In another 5 minutes, one new register was able to be opened, and the lucky ones not in the middle of transactions could simply slide over and be on their way. We, the trapped lemmings, could only wait until the electronic jaws of death would unlock their booty so we could get change and go about our heretofore quiet morning.

And in yet another 5 minutes that came to pass, I got my change, and mused how I should have heeded my hunch to go to Wally World, missing the outage AND going home with twice the product for the same price. Oh well, it was what it was. The ol' deer-mangled buggy took us back on up the mountain.

Have you ever just wanted to start a day over? I sure did...and it wasn't because of the bizarre creamer expedition. No, it was something else I discovered when I went to prepare my coffee.

There was none.

Coffee. Item #2 that I forgot to get the day before.....


Friday, June 17, 2011

***NEW WEBSITE***


Well, I reckon I'll quit apologizin' for the lack of blogging...myriad reasons and not just excuses, either! For a long time I've been wanting and needing to totally revamp my flute website, having limped along on an old old version of NetFusion a friend set me up on years ago. Much of my computer time and creative energy has gone into that. Loads of it, too!

After much researching for what best suited my needs, I decided to switch to Xara Premium 7, which was half the price of the latest NetFusion. Xara does all I need it to do, and while it comes with scads of templates and features, I ended up making my own. It's a much more user-friendly site, and now that I have continually slugged along the learning curve to this point, I'm cookin' with gas, as the old saying goes. Same site address (redirects as it always has to ooakart.com); give it a look!
Link
www.UglyBoyFlutes.com

Finishing up some new 'kids', per usual...and dealing with nasty storms of late. Here is a video from Wednesday afternoon when bow-line echo moved through here...severe storm cells are one thing, but bow-lines are an order nastier in most cases. Thought for sure I could finish grilling the chicken before it arrived....I was wrong.

MONDAY update: I give up. I keep up a blog site for my homeowner's association, and that video posted quickly with no issue. Blogger won't let me upload on this blog, and I'm damn tired of trying to figure out why. It's really not worth all this trouble, but if you want to see the short video, click HERE.

:-)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

A Loooong Flute Journey....

(click on pics to enlarge)

This is a post that might not trip your trigger in details, but it does paint a larger picture of how one of my singing sticks comes to life, which you may find interesting. A good many are made and finished in fairly short order, and those are almost always more simple in design.

Then there are the 'specialty' flutes, flutes that have some unique, detailed design element that requires a lot of extra work and, correspondingly, command higher prices. I basically build only what I envision and feel, taking custom orders very, very sparingly. I can and will only work when I'm inspired and 'feel' I'm in a good spiritual place. On those days where I'm out of sorts, I just don't touch flutes. Not a good mojo and mix of efforts. Sometimes they come to 'life' in a reasonable amount of time....and then, well....

And so I had this Ambrosia Maple closed end flute that I blogged about....get this...February 18, 2009! OMG, here I was thinking I've had this flute a year and it's well over two. Talk about how time flies when you're stuck in "writer's block"! Find that post by clicking HERE. Eegads.

This is the flute as it has pretty much sat since then, with only minor shaping at the 'foot' where the woodpecker was going to go....

The above two shots show my pics of a Downy Woodpecker feeeding, up against what I was 'envisioning' for the flute. Originally the flute was going to be an F#4, but as I honed down the woodpecker and tweaked the tuning, it was much better suited for a G4, up a half step.

Voila, the flute finished off with the woodpecker detailed and painted. NOW came another big hurdle...what to do for the block? The main interest is the foot of the flute, and I didn't want a detailed block that would compete with the focus of the woodpecker. Conversely, I didn't want such a simple block design that it detracted from the focus...and so I sat with notebook and pencil and sketched. And sketched. And sketched.

I've done this with only a very few flutes, where I take scrap wood and glue up a composite shape of the pieces. Above you see scrap Bloodwood and Ebony, my actual pencil sketch (cut out) of the main tail sweep bordered by two 'wing' pieces, once of which you see cut out.

The three pieces weren't quite wide enough for the flute, so I glued on 'side bars' on the outer edge, knowing I'd sand their width down some. Too, you don't want a pure Ebony bottom exposed over the flue as such a design would lead to quick wet-out...so I thought I'd incorporate the red with the Bloodwood for a bottom choice. The bottom above was rougher than normal as a couple of pieces fractured off, but I knew I'd slap it on the belt sander and flatten it all before adding the Bloodwood.

With some shaping and careful sanding, the block took on an elegant sweeping design of a bird of sorts, with tail and wings, the Ebony and Bloodwood repeating the colors in the Downy Woodpecker. Only one thing left to do.....

The new G4 Downy Woodpecker flute fresh off the press as of today, as I write. Still a couple of more finish coats to put on, and the most minor of touch-up...goes to prove that I don't just whip these 'kids' out without a lot of thought and intentional thought! This one is close to a record, I'll admit. Worth the wait, though, eh? ;-)

Friday, May 06, 2011

"Fried Fridays: 5-Finger-Stop-N-Shop"

Boy, I just am NOT getting back into the routine of blogging, so apologies. Here is yet another Friday and my usual creative writing streaks simply are not coming forth. Doesn't stop me from coming up with not only a 'fried' story, but a pathetic trend that is really bothersome...

On the news this morning was a surveillance video from a convenience store. I watched in disbelief when a group of 20 or so teens rushed in and began stealing any and everything in a flurry, and left in the same rush. They talked on cell phones, having a good ol' time with their twisted social party, while the unarmed clerk could only watch. The youth brandished no weapons, just came in with wanton disregard for anything resembling a moral fabric, taking whatever they wanted.

A quick web search reveals a disturbing number of flash mob thefts, often 13-17 year olds that tweet each other, pick a location, then amass and steal at will. It's sickening....and easy to start making sweeping singular statements that simply can't encompass how deeply the problem goes. Where are the parents, where did their upbringing go awry, why aren't they in school...they're nothing less than little thugs whose lives are rapidly heading in the wrong direction. The Hip Hop culture certainly helps breed this lawlessness through a perverted sense of entitlement and 'revenge rights' from being 'wronged' by society.

After the disaster in Japan, it was quickly noted looting simply wasn't happening. Japanese culture doesn't tolerate that behavior. I've heard it said if you drop your wallet in Tokyo, there's a good chance it will be returned to you with cash and cards in place. You also don't have the handgun issues there, but that's a whole 'nuther can of insidious worms.

It's disgusting whenever there is a disaster in the U.S. that looting begins immediately. The Alabama tornadoes were a classic example, where shortly after being leveled by a tornado, people were filmed stealing any and all merchandise they could. One store owner said he didn't mind people stealing water and food, but one lady that a reporter confronted had a giant bag of nothing but alcohol. She saw nothing wrong with taking any and every bit she could.

I had to sadly laugh watching an expose on some show like 60 minutes several months ago....they were interviewing the North Carolina Attorney General (I think) on how she takes the counterfeiting business seriously. She had coordinated a large undercover sting operation at a flea market in rural eastern NC, where they arrested vendors selling pirated movies, CDs, and fake clothing labels.

The cameras were rolling in 'reality show' style as the arrests were made, and.....lo and behold...cameras panned over to flea market goers who quickly began stealing merchandise when the vendors were being cuffed and led away.

I don't even know how to wrap this post up. Before long, there will be a flash mob theft where a clerk fires on the criminals and bodies fall. And knowing how a lot of things work in our country, the clerk will be made a villain and the thugs made 'victims' by a society that has done them wrong.

Somewhere, somehow, we really took a left turn at Albuquerque...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Cadillac Flutes".....


It was another snowy, travel-trouble winter here, much akin to the previous winter. 50"+ of snow, made all the more frustrating by my lousy snow-driving car with only front wheel drive. May this will be the year I can afford a reliable used 4x4 so I can tame the slippery mountain roads here! I can see it now, scrimp and save to barely be able to afford a 4x4, then next winter there will be only two 1" snows and that's it! HA!

Anyhow, in response to the snow and cold (I still have to work in the still-unenclosed carport), I decided to celebrate the warmer weather by pulling out what I call my "Cadillac" woods, very rare, special pieces that are one-of-a-kind, most pieces good for only one flute. Many moons ago I restored a gorgeous 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood that, while possessed by the Devil, brought me much joy and appreciation for a while. Hence my moniker of these flutes pictured...

Pics SHOULD enlarge when you click on them....this is but a sampling of some of the more unique pieces, starting with THE most stunning wood I've ever worked before...tilt it in a strong light and it's downright holographic. There is over $100 in wood, mostly for the extreme curly Hawaiian Koa, and for the Gaboon Ebony endcaps and block...


A4 Curly Hawaiian Koa and Ebony drone

A4 Black and White Ebony with Gaboon Ebony drone

Bb4 Redwood Lace Burl w/turquoise heartline inlay

D5 Curly (rare) Pink Ivory with figured White Oak block

C5 Flame Birch with Bubinga inserts and block

C5 highly figured Ash with Massarunduba block

D5 Myrtle Burl with figured White Oak block

G4 heavily figured Myrtle

B4 heavily figured Red Oak with Narra block



Monday, April 18, 2011

Wildflower picture time!


The Greenin' o' th' Hills is alive and well here in western North Carolina. Here at 3775' the trees are flipping coins to see who goes first in the leafing department...always interesting to note how they stagger that output, and it's not necessarily by species, either. Got one Buckeye fully out, and another only starting. The wildflowers are out like gangbusters, thanks to our decent rains (winter snows!!!!) and finally some warming temperatures.

It looks like pics on here WILL enlarge when you click on them, but it is a slow process when I try it. Give it a shot...and enjoy!

Fiddle ferns unfurling

Smooth Yellow Violet

Wake Robin Trillim

Squirrel Corn

Dutchman's Breeches

Canadian Violet

Finger and Spring Beauty

Squirrel Corn and Molly

Bloodroot

More pics coming as the yellow Bellwort is out as well as the deep purple Dwarf Larkspur. And a new crop of flutes has bloomed with some of THE most wickedly beautful woods I've ever used...looks like a pic-filled week ahead! Stay tuned....


Friday, April 15, 2011

"Fried Fridays" returneth...kinda

To update a la Cliff Notes, last year's dead computer was finally fixed, and I did make a couple of posts...but between life and economic challenges, it didn't help that the computer died once again. I've since learned that HP laptops (my dv9000 series among others) have serious design flaws in cooling, and my video chip died from heat stress, as many do. One repair expert said the last 3 he worked on he couldn't resurrect. Tired of limping on an old Pentium 4 chip laptop (which multitasks as well as I keep things cleaned and organized), I finally now have a new boogie jam laptop and am off and running.

I miss the blogging, and I do aspire to get back to a routine of writing again....and I really enjoyed taking Fridays to tal
k of odd stories that are 'fried'. Writing, like anything, must be practiced to keep honed, and I've written precious little except for emails and blog posts for my neighborhood per severe weather issues and items of local interest.

Won't make a classic 'Fried Friday' post until next week, but one thing happened just a few minutes ago that made me get off my duff and write. I enter my day's easily, having coffee in quiet, watching local news and stupidly thinking it will be worthwhile...and then it happens.

Commercials. Not just any commercials, mind you, and I might as well lump in radio commercials as well (which is a whole 'nuther story as my car's radio is basically dead unless I'm within a few miles of a station). It's a specific type of commercial that makes me want to deck the person that wrote 'em....

It's those $#@& doorbells and dog barks. Talk ab
out going from 0 to 90 in a flash, my two pups could give any shark feeding frenzy a run for its money. They could be curled and snoozing, but you let one little ding-dong go off, or one dog goaded into barking, and the maelstrom starteth.

This morning there was a 'fried' national news story about a parent attacking a referee during an 8th grade girls club-league basketball game...the arrested idiot was 6'6" and near 300 p
ounds, and served as a wonderful role model by grabbing the ref's throat in a choke-hold. Scary the number of adults that have such a disconnect with common sense.

Sports stars never disappoint, either. Kobe Bryant got hammered with a $100K fine for giving public potty mouth a whole new level of head-shaking. Local station here put up one of th
ose stupid viewer polls and asked the question, "Was he fined too much? Too little? Should he have gotten no fine?" Setting aside that I hate those viewer poll things, I immediately mused why they left out the obvious answer choice of "appropriate". News and reporting in general continue to drop to new lows in terms of lacking thoroughness and veracity. Gotta stir the pot and create a drama, even when there isn't one.

Lest I forget Charlie Sheen. Next.....

Twitter. Next...

---------------------------------

The wildflower explosion is well underway, so look for posts of pics soon. Still haven't figured out why my neighborhood blog lets me enlarge pics and this one doesn't....if you are signed up for notifications, you may see some testing new formats to see
if I can get the pic thing fixed. I've also been using some very fancy woods for flutes that are worth a look, so lots to catch up on.

Have a good 'un, y'all.

test pic of my photo assistant...



Friday, February 18, 2011

Just 'stuff'....

(click on pics to enlarge)

Gotten into a pattern of a handful of days in the mountains and then pulling fill in weather shifts at my former station. Just enough to keep me out of a rhythm, which is making me a bit on the cranky side. ;-) While it has recently warmed nicely, it had heretorfore been a snowy winter fraught with travel woes for me, and now this week dealing with a cold of sorts. I jokingly say I wish I could get the flu to help me jumpstart a weight loss program, but gotta be careful what you wish for, eh?

1-15-11

So while I'm back in Charlotte as I write this, I did manage to get some flutes going earlier this week, and below are pics of two from unique woods. I've had this slab of Cinammon Burl for several years, and this is the first flute cut from it. I also have a G4 that is close behind it. Super lightweight and cuts/sands like butter.

Cinnamon Burl (Redwood) B4
(only oiled, no finish yet)

The Box Elder was a scrap of crotch lumber I got locally. Where a tree forks into secondary trunks, that juncture (the crotch) usually yields highly figured woods. Box Elder comes in a 'flame' variety that is chock full of the red flames you see at the foot of this flute, which I'd like to order some day. This scrap piece I picked up yielded only this flute, however.

Box Elder crotch B4
(only oiled, no finish yet)
-----------------------------------------

'Twas interesting watching Jeopardy this week, as IBM's "Watson" took on a pair of 2-legged champions. And so the news bits flew about, and after the two-night special, out came allegations that Watson had a technological advantage over the remotes humans used to ring in answers, yaddah, yaddah. I could care less. As I watched station after station report on the shows, from local to national, NOT ONE mentioned what to me was the most glaring of news stories: Watson screwed up royally on "Final Jeopardy". Royally.

The question asked which U.S. city had it's main airport named for a WWII hero, and its secondary airport after a famous WWII battle. Both humans correctly guessed "Chicago" but Watson was quite unsure of it's answer, and went with "Toronto".

Toronto.

You've GOT to be kidding me. Here is this phenomenal sophisticated ma
chine with 10 massive computer structures feeding it a gazillion bits of data in the blink of an eye....and it doesn't even come up with a U.S. city. Ooops!

Helluva glitch, if you ask me. But no one mentioned it on the news. Go figure.

---------------------------------------------

Back in early December I had just finished dinner with my parents in rural Polk County. Ive driven that country road more times than I can remember, but that night is a bit hard to forget. There on a 2-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, no houses, no lights, no road shoulders, a large Whitetail deer literally torpedoed my car. It had to have been at a full run, hitting me broadside at the passenger side front quarter panel.

No doubt the deer lost out on that one. How my side view mirror didn't get broken I'll never know, but he sure did a lot of damage down the car. Luckily no glass was broken, and everything is fine in the cabin....more importantly, it passes inspection.

You can correctly guess the car was 'totaled' by the insurance company given the Subie's 20-year old depreciation, so I now have the pleasure of driving around a 'salvage' vehicle that I can carry only liability on. Classy, eh?

Only one more thing I need to do....go get some outdoor decal materials and cut out "OH, DEER!..." and strategically place it toward the front of the front door.