Go Army – Beat Navy (please)


I’m not sure if this is an epiphany.  I was thinking about how proud people are of where they attended school, West Point, Annapolis, Ivey League, or what service they were in, leading the pack are the Marines, Army, Navy Air Force, even Coasties chime in.  I started to wonder why.

I have a thought.  At a formative period in our lives, we join something greater than ourselves, with history and heritage.  They tell us who we are.  You are part of a great tradition, something that extends back to the days of yore and steeped into the very fabric of our nation.  They point to alums and say, you can achieve greatness, be remembered.  “You are forever part of the long gray line”, it stretches behind you and ahead into the future.  I know, we had a Navy before any other service.  It may have started in Tun’s Tavern, but if you ask any Marine, he was borne on Paris Island and he is immortal because the Corps lives on.  It’s the thing that defines us somehow.  Like being Christian or Buddhist.

The civilian equivalent today are fringe groups, protesting what they think are evils of society.  BLM, protesting perceived racism and a “Genocidal attack on Young Black men” (I tried to find the original quote, it’s a catch phrase now).  White Supremacists are almost a caricature, so few take them seriously.  If it weren’t for media hype, they would probably fade away.  Then there is ANTIFA, dressed in black, covering their faces with bandanas, walking the edge of criminality and threatening the weak, as long as there are no police around.  They claim to be protesting fascism, yet attempt to use force and violence to compel other to obey their directives.

Today is the 118th Army-Navy game.  As much a tradition of the two academies as anything else.  These young men all of them, 18 – 22, preparing to enter their service to our nation, in exchange for pittance, a formal education, heaped with stress and competition so they can serve in hard and dangerous careers.  Maybe, this would be a better target for ANTIFA than Macy’s or Starbucks.  They could all converge on the Linc and intimidate the old, decrepit war mongers who have gathered to cheer their drone replacements in their violent traditional mock combat.

Or maybe, they would find out that some people aren’t interested in their nonsense and get the crap kicked out of them.  I’ve fought with and against Marines, always fun and entertaining.  Some of those Navy guys are pretty rough around the edges.  There aren’t enough cops in Philly to even slow down a brawl that big.

Someone should get on Twitter or somethin and get the ball rolling.  We may just have a new tradition.  Let’s use the Army-Navy game to tell these ANTIFA guys who they are.


via Daily Prompt: Patina

Patina; the effect of aging and discoloration on metal, stone, leather or wood, that creates a pattern, often found pleasing to the eye, often acts as a protective covering to the materiel beneath.

On people, we would call the same thing freckles.  Often found on the cute button nose of children, who spend time running and laughing in the sun.  Laugh lines, maybe, around the eyes and a mouth accustomed to bright, upturned expressions.  Wrinkles, gracing the aged, revealing the years in folds of skin that isn’t taunt with youth and resilience anymore.  Calluses, from tools and labor, protecting the soft skin beneath.  Scars, showing the effort and strain of living rough, enduring and recovering.  The patina of our lives.

After fifty years, I added quite a bit of color to my skin.  The tattoos are as much mine as the scars.  I don’t want to be restored to the original, I had a lot  of fun earning my patina, that unique patina that is mine alone.

Never pay to be the clown

via Daily Prompt: Carousel


“Don’t pay to be the clown.”  That’s it.  My great advise to the world.  It’s not even mine, just a hand me down from wiser than I.

Picture the midway.  The smell of cotton candy and those damn funnel cakes tempting you.  Flashing lights of games and carnies hawking the chance to win the one in a million prize, they are cheaper if  you order in bulk.  Farther on the rides, more lights, high tech gears and hydraulics spinning and clacking, screams and laughs.  But in the middle, majestic, bright colors with white lights, painted horses, dragons, dolphins and seahorses, old timey cars or trains.  Brilliant and boring.  I always ride the carousel, wish it could run faster or be more exciting.  I ride it anyway.

Maybe it reminds me of when I was a child and the simple things could make me happy.  Make me laugh like clowns tumbling out of a tiny car, getting pies thrown in their face.

There is a secret about clowns.  It’s just makeup and wigs.  After we all leave, they are the ones that have to clean up.  haul the trash and shovel the elephant yard.  Hence the advise, never pay to be the clown.  Eat the cotton candy.  play a rigged game for a Kewpie doll.  Ride the carousel


The phrase trained observer gets thrown around, cops, reporters, scientists.  It all comes down to the same thing, watching, taking note and remembering whatever you see and hear or sense.  Feel.

I’m watching again.  It sucks.  A friend is fighting.  I can’t send back up or ride in to kick someones ass who desperately deserves it.  I want to give in to my rage and destroy the threat, swallow the sun and use the power to crush my enemies and protect the ones I love.  Instead I watch.

I remember.  Laughing at stupid jokes.  Picking on each other because letting the true feelings show aren’t manly or tough.  Sharing the joy of hearing engines rumble and the communion of the road.  Good beer and bad food.  All of it.  I remember.  I’ll remember the fight, too.  The courage to try for one more day, because life and love are precious.

I’ll remember the feeling, the law of emotion.  For every feeling, there is the potential for an equal and opposite reaction.  The more we love, the more the loss hurts.

Talk About Nothing

via Daily Prompt: Final


Nothing is final.  Final is an absolute, a thing complete unto itself.  The problem is we are short sighted and can’t see the end.  The end doesn’t exist.

Let’s take the obvious one; Death.  (insert scary music)  What is it?  How do we define it?  It doesn’t matter.  Death of one organic entity, plant, animal, person, alien or construct is not the end.  At most I rate it as a stage f the sequence for cycling matter and energy.  Mufasa only saw his link in the chain.  We are all recycled again and again.  Reprocessed molecules and modified energy states.

What about our “souls”?  Describe it.  Define it.  If the soul exists and we are all going into the great bye and bye, isn’t that just the next step?  For all we know, the Earth, this great, ever competing, cycling ball of mud is nothing more than a breeding ground for the next great space army in a never ending war.  We just don’t know it yet, but the only cost effective way to grow a soul is organically, in a controlled environment.  Harvest at death.

Next victim.  Math?  Why did we learn one plus one in school?  Is it an end or the means to an end?  New discoveries in science? Physics?  Not final, just steps.  Our star dying and eventually exploding?  The hydrogen furnace is all used up and reducing to be food for black holes that will eventually collide and start a new universe.

Just because the music ends, doesn’t mean you don’t still hear the song.

Random Pink

via Daily Prompt: Pink  


Cotton candy at the summer fair.   Strawberry ice cream.  The tiny bow smile of my daughter.  A little girl in her Easter dress.  The tip of my kitten’s nose.  The color cream turns when you let the berries sit long enough.  The skin of a perfect peach.  The lipstick that looked strange on your great aunt but looks hot on your girlfriend.  Strawberry Now-n-Laters. Bazooka Joe bubble gum.  The carnation you worn for the Prom.  Victoria’s Secret Yoga pants.  The hand print on your face for getting caught noticing the Yoga pants.  Pepto after a long night you don’t quite remember.  Is it really pink or do words fall short?