Monday, December 12, 2016

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Recently, we took in a cat. I know what you're thinking, a cat in the house of Daleville Dan? I mean, he's not known for being friendly with cats, And what about the dog named Muffin who is known in these parts as "The Cat Slayer?" Well, we simply had to take in this cat as it was already a member of the family.

The cat is named Sir Purssalot, and he is my granddaughter's best friend in the whole wide world. You see, my daughter and her family recently moved into a new apartment that does not accept pets. Since we adopted the cat for our granddaughter on her Birthday, we simply could not allow the little sweetie to go to some strange home.

All this leads to the heart of this post--dogs and cats are strange, and even stranger when living together.

Since the cat is something new, our dog follows him all over the house, trying to sniff, or even lick at him. As soon as the cat turns around though, the dog runs away as if scared. Meanwhile, the cat has its own peculiarities. One might be sitting comfortably in a chair, and the cat (previously sitting comfortably on the lap of said individual) will suddenly spring forth with a speed matched only by the flash of lightning in a storm, and run laps around the house. The cat might also be found hiding in a dark corner for what seems an eternity before suddenly pouncing on his little mousy-looking toy. Of course, all this may suddenly stop and the little creature will nestle into a lap once more and start purring like the engine of a well-tuned race car. Thus, the name Sir Pursalot.

While the cat seems to have taken well to his new home, one cannot say the same as to how the dog feels about this new intruder to his, otherwise, sacred abode. I'm no psychologist but I would guess that the dog is jealous of cat. In the evening, when we are relaxing for the night, the cat likes to jump onto a lap for some attention. I believe the dog does not like this and displays some kind of passive-aggressive tendencies. As soon as the the cat finds a lap, the dog will immediately go to the door and want outside. It doesn't matter if he just came in from outside moments earlier, he will start panting and whining and scratching at the door.

With all the undertones of anymosity now, I'm sure it will not be long before these two animals are the best of friends--buddies to the end--or at least until the end of one or the other.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Last Haiku

Well the month of September is now (mostly) behind us. This means that my thirty-day haiku-a-day challenge is coming to an end.

Does this mean I'm done with haikus forever? Certainly not, but I will limit this display of gross negligence and incompetence in the writing arts to the occasional attempt.

So, I felt it fitting to post a haiku about my last haiku for this momentous occasion. I've posted quite a few haikus about haikus in this month. I can affirmatively say that this exercise has helped in getting me to write something each day. I think all writers eventually succumb to writer's block but the reason vary. My reasons are more about self-doubt that anything else.

Anyway, here's the last haiku post of the month.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Daily Haiku-Ransom

Uh, I have no explanation for today's haiku. It just came to me.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Daily Haiku-Coffee

When I was younger, I was not a coffee drinker. I guess one might have called me a "teetotaler" in those days. Although, I think that the title "Tea Drinker" might have been more accurate since the aforementioned is one who never drinks alcohol. While I preferred tea over coffee in those days, I certainly did not shy away from the gin and tonic or, in desperate times, rum and coke.

Anyway, somewhere along the line, I took a liking to coffee, and now I've joined the masses of coffee zombies clutching their cups of hot java every morning.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Daily Haiku-Debate

After suffering through the Presidential debate last night I found myself trying desperately to wash the dark stench out of my soul. In fact, recovery has been a long time coming and today, while at work, I still found myself occasionally becoming suddenly overwhelmed with a strange desire to vomit.

So, as a form of therapy, I included my thoughts in today's haiku.



Monday, September 26, 2016

Daily Haiku-The NonHaiku

Today's haiku brought to you by a coworker of mine. A few days ago, I was late in posting my daily haiku. Since there was no haiku to read yet, he created a haiku about there being no haiku. Strange, but if you let your mind slip into the profane and bizarre for just a moment, it will all make sense.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Haiku

Today's haiku is for my daughter and her family as they are moving this week. The house is in shambles and the kids start at a new school on Monday. I can empathize-I've been there.



Saturday, September 24, 2016

Daily Haiku

Today's haiku celebrates a milestone in my month-long haiku adventure. I suppose that, after next week, I'll have to start posting regular articles on my blog again.  My first blog article will probably be about my experience writing a haiku a day for the month of September.



Friday, September 23, 2016

Daily Haiku-Birthday

Today, I would like to extend my wishes for the best of days. Happy Birthday to my wife, friend, and partner for the last twenty-nine years. I wish for her and eternity of health and happiness.

That said, today's haiku was written exclusively for my wife. In hindsight, I really should have typed it as my left-handedness detracted from the perfection I was trying to create with a fountain pen.

Left-handed people out there-you know what I'm talking about. Try as I might, I just could not get a clean copy, so you'll just have to deal with the smears and smudges.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Daily Haiku

Today's haiku is all about computers. Okay, for some of you younger folks, you probably have no problem with computers whatsoever. Computers are probably an integral part of your life - unnoticed, unseen, and unobtrusive.

Well, this is not the case for us older... erm, I mean wiser, folks.

So, here's a haiku about computers and how I feel when they don't work for me.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Daily Haiku-Prosenator

I am currently in the process of turning an old Royal Companion Typewriter into the... wait for it...

Purple Prosenator! Yes, this typewriter will allow its owner to write the most fluffy, purple prose the world has ever seen.

No more will a character simply walk across the room. Rather they will flow like a river, destined for its end.

Bosoms will heave...

All hair will flow as if in a constant wind...

Features will be chiseled...

Swords will be sheathed.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daily Haiku-Gun Control

Daily Haiku. My thoughts on gun control in America.



Monday, September 19, 2016

Daily Haiku - Monosyllablic

Today's Haiku was provided by Bill Cagle--a coworker. Looks like I found a new literary friend.



Sunday, September 18, 2016

Daily Haiku - Western

I was recently flipping through the channels on television, trying to avoid the news, and came across one of the last of the westerns featuring Clint Eastwood. I love those old Spaghetti Westerns and watch them every chance I get.

Anyway, the movie was called "Unforgiven" and it prompted this little haiku.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Daily Haiku - Wind

Today's Haiku. Enjoy.



Friday, September 16, 2016

Daily Haiku - Wheels

Today's haiku is all about the open road and freedom that is often found on the iron horse.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Daily Haiku - Flying

My haiku for today is about flying. I do not think I quite captured the essence of the feeling of breaking the surrey bonds of Earth but I'm posting it anyway.

Enjoy:



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Daily Haiku - Nature

Today's haiku is about nature and my typical experience in it. Or is this my experience everywhere? I don't know... I have a very sarcastic sense of humor.

Anyway, enjoy.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Daily Haiku - Wine

Last weekend my wife invited a friend to our home to do teacher stuff. Together, they built something like dioramas out of plaster of paris. Inside, they put little dinosaur footprints that will be covered with sand. Later, Kindergartners will use little brushes to clean away the sand and "discover" the prints or fossils. But that's not important. What is important is that, while doing this, they indulged in the comforts of wine.

Anyway, her friend asked me to write a haiku about wine. I choose to be even more specific and make it about her favorite wine-Pinot Grigio.

Here goes:



Monday, September 12, 2016

Daily Haiku - River

In the Japanese tradition, the haiku normally brings up a very general or broad subject and this subject is often related to nature in some way. Water is one of the primary elements needed for life so here is a haiku about a river winding its way to the ocean.



Sunday, September 11, 2016

Daily Haiku

Sunday seems like a good day to post a haiku about religion. This is a very general haiku since it is difficult to delve into as deep a subject as religion in such a short format.



Saturday, September 10, 2016

Daily Haiku - Bug

If you do not like profanity, avoid this haiku. What am I saying? Those not approving of my occasional profanities stopped following me years ago.

This haiku was created through an actual event. I really did see a bug-a spider, to be forthright. I think it might have been a black widow. I just know that it found itself a comfortable home in my chicken coop.

Anyway, here it is:


Okay, the spider shown in the picture is a wolf spider. They are big and formidable and carry hundreds of little wolf spider babies around on their backs. Plus, I like the name. The spider in the chicken coop did not really bite me on the leg.

P.S.

Before you go gettin' your panties all up in a bunch, I know that a spider is not technically a bug. Neither is a spider an insect - rather, it is an arachnid, which is in classification of its own... but that's none of my business.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Daily Haiku - Mayberry

On my way to my writers group meeting this Monday, I stopped into the golden arches for a drink. While I was waiting, I couldn't help noticing their television was set on some station that played classic family shows.

So, while I waited in line and watched the Andy Griffith show in black and white, this Haiku popped into my head.

Enjoy.



Thursday, September 8, 2016

Political Haiku

Since we are in the midst of a heated election cycle, I thought, why not post a political haiku. Don't worry. It's not a rant and I'm not asking you to vote for a particular candidate. I'm disparaging all politicians equally.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Daily Haiku - Clouds

My daily haiku poem. Today, about clouds.



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Daily Haiku

I grew up along the shores of the Puget Sound in Washington. The thing that pulls me back to that time are memories of fishing along the rocky shores, exploring, or just walking, and smelling the briny scent and seeing the sea foam along the shore.

So, in perusing through those memories, I must include a sense (of the scent, if you will) of the triggers of some of my fond memories.

Today's haiku: Beach



Monday, September 5, 2016

Haiku for Labor Day

In celebration of Labor Day (at least here in the United States) I thought today's haiku should be about the holiday.

So, here goes...


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Haiku - Enlightenment V2

Here's an alternate version of the haiku posted yesterday. Only the first line remains the same.


Sunday Excerpt 24

Leonidas squinted against a harsh stream of early morning sunlight out the window of his car. Rising from the low lying haze was the skyline of Atlanta. The same light reflected brilliantly off the angular glass buildings of the metropolis, making them appear to sparkle like ocean waves in the distance. He took the exit into the center of town, and the Five Points Metro Station. He had no real plan in place to find Alexis outside of casing the bus station, and expanding his search from there. He wasn't even sure what he would do when he found her. He just knew, given the condition of his father, it wouldn't be long before he would step into the rightful position of pack Alpha; the position every male in his family held since coming to America in the early eighteen hundreds. When he became pack Alpha, that prissy little bitch, Alexis, would be his... or he'd cast her out of the pack, or kill her. Regardless, she'd have no need for a mate if she couldn't submit to him.
He smiled to himself as he pulled his car into a vacant parking spot along the street in front of the Five Points Station. His decision to leave Ellijay early paid off and he'd gotten into the city before the morning traffic. Metro buses lined the street, and a few Greyhound buses filled slots along the side of the building. He imagined Alexis sleeping off her short journey at some dive motel within walking distance. She probably had no idea that he would come after her. His smile grew as he imagined how surprised she would be when he came busting into her hotel room and carted her ass right back up to Ellijay. Leonidas found the main entrance to the bus station on the side of the building. Inside the tiny office, there were schedules and routes posted on every wall, and one diminutive man wearing glasses and a sweater vest, sitting behind a partition. He asked the man about the bus from Dalton.
"The bus from Dalton came in about midnight, before my shift," the man said.
"I think my niece was on that bus," Leonidas lied. "Is there any way I can find out if she was on the passenger list?"
"Sorry Sir, I can't give that information out." The little man went back to shuffling papers at his desk behind the glass partition, trying to pretend like Leonidas' commanding presence had no affect on him.
Leonidas thought about breaking through the tiny window and grabbing the man by the throat. That would get his attention, but the man likely had the police on speed dial. He decided on a softer approach.
"Look, Sir," Leonidas forced the submissive words from his mouth. "I understand your position, but I must get some important information to my niece about a death in the family. Can you help me out?"
"I'm very sorry," the man said. "All those new regulations since nine-eleven makes it impossible to give out any information without a warrant."
Leonidas' face flushed with heat, and he fought hard against the urge to just force the information out of the man. The last thing he needed was a scene. No, he would just have to find her on his own. The man behind the glass probably wouldn't have any useful information for him anyway. He turned and left the office without another word.
He found a public phone at the front of the station along the street. Most of the pages were torn from the phone book but the hotel section was still intact. He bunched the entire section in his hand and ripped it from the phone book. After finding a long-term parking spot for his car, he grabbed his handheld GPS from its mount on the windshield and thumbed through his stack of hotel listings. A smile again stretched across his face as hope returned. He'd find Alexis, and have her back to Ellijay by that afternoon. Then, his succession to alpha would be secure and Alexis would be his mate, or she would be dead.
§
Sam had just opened up the bar when the bounty hunter came in. He was surprised to see Frost so early in the evening. He was just getting set up, and Becky and Paulina had not even shown up yet. He watched Frost looking around, scoping out the seating area for other customers, before walking up and taking a seat at the bar. He ordered a rum and coke, without the rum. Sam fixed his drink and thought about what Knuckles told him the night before. The bounty hunter seemed to be taking a liking to Paulina. Maybe he wouldn't have to be the one to convince Paulina to dance. Maybe he could get Frost to help.
"You took in Lefty the other night, didn't you?" He busied himself with washing glasses as he spoke.
"Yep," Frost pulled the virgin rum and coke toward himself. "Got lucky. Found him on the first night."
"It was lucky for Paulina too." Sam plunged a glass on the scrubber in the sink, placed it on a towel before grabbing another. "Although, she'll never admit it."
"You noticed that about her too?" Frost raised his eyebrows over his drink as he spoke. "She's got just a little bit of an independent streak."
"Look," he said, finally looking at Frost directly. "I know you like her. You waited around till closing time last night just so you could give her a ride home."
"I wasn't here for her," Frost said. "I was watching a new skip."
"Your new skip wouldn't happen to be Knuckles, would it?"
"Maybe, maybe not." Frost stared across the bar counter at him. "But that's my business."
Sam fell silent, going back to washing glasses. He wondered if Frost noticed, he was washing the same glasses over again. Frost held his glass with both hands, sipping it once in awhile like he was afraid of being accused of lingering.
"What do you know about Paulina," Frost asked him, as he nursed his drink.
"What's to know? She's the new waitress," Sam countered. "The rest is, how did you put it?" Sam couldn't help but smile, amused at himself. "My business."
"Fair enough." Frost went back to sipping his drink.
He realized negotiation was not the bounty hunter's strong suit. He went back to washing his glasses and wiping down the bar top for a while, but kept looking at Frost. He finally put down his towel, and grabbed the counter with both hands, leaning in close to Frost, as if he had a secret to tell.
"Look, Frost," he said. "Maybe we got off on the wrong foot." He shifted left to right as he leaned over the counter, nervous but using his own negotiating skills to his advantage. "I know you want to bring in Knuckles, but I don't want my bar torn up in the process."
"I probably wouldn't grab him in here anyway," Frost said. "You probably got nothing to worry about."
"That's just it," Sam said. "I think I do have something to worry about. Knuckles has taken a liking to Paulina too. He wants me to make her a dancer, replace Becky."
"Seems to me, that's not his decision to make." Frost took a long pull of his drink, finishing it off before finishing his statement, "Or yours."
Sam thought about it. It really wasn't his decision, but if he couldn't make it happen, he feared he might come into work one day to find his bar in smoke and ashes. He sensed Paulina liked this guy, though, and a word from him would go farther toward convincing her, then he could expect to get alone.
"Her dancing may distract Knuckles, or his thugs, long enough for you to grab him without too much resistance," Sam said, hoping he sounded more convincing to Frost than he did to himself.
"Her dancing may distract him, but I don't think he'd give up without a fight," Frost said.
"Just think about it, maybe mention it to Paulina, and see how she feels about it." Sam had an urge to look away, wash some glasses, but if he did, Frost would probably see right through his facade of trying to help.
"It could help," Frost said. "We'll see what happens."
Sam was pleased with himself. Although he couldn't see his new waitress deciding to dance on her own, at least he wouldn't be seen as the bad guy for suggesting it to her—that, and he really wanted to keep his bar. The first early customers filtered into the building, taking seats at the bar. Paulina came in next, with Becky right behind her. They both said a quick hello, and then hung around Frost, who'd taken a table near the back of the bar but along the far wall closer to the stage.
§
Leonidas walked around downtown Atlanta until the sun disappeared behind the tall buildings, casting a layer of shadow on the streets below. He had checked nearly every bar and hotel, covering the area in concentric circles outward from the metro station. Every place he went was another dead-end. He was beginning to wonder if maybe Alexis was not in Atlanta after all. She was smart, probably too smart for her own good. She could have done any number of things to trip him up. She could have bought a ticket, but taken a later bus into the city. She may have caught a taxi, or another bus, and found boarding somewhere near the college—it was a place she knew well. The search was taking much longer than he'd planned for, and he knew, the only way he'd find her now, is if he just happened upon her somewhere. Frustrated he wasn't finding any sign of Alexis, he gave up the search downtown, and started working his way back to the midtown metro station to get his car. From there, he'd take a drive to the college campus, visit some bars in the area, maybe stop at some hotels and boarding houses.
The bitch is mine, and she knows it.
He was resolved to find her, no matter what it took. He just wasn't sure what he was going to do with her after that. As evening approached, the bars began to fill, and Leonidas took his time checking each one along the path north toward midtown.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Haiku-Enlightenment

A haiku of enlightenment. Had a couple of options with this one so I'll post an alternate version tomorrow.


Oops. Just realized that the second line actually has eight syllables instead of seven. Well, when reading, just leave out the word "so" and all will be right with the world again.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Haiku Love poem... Of Sorts

I must get better at expressing love in a haiku. It is a rather challenging endeavor to express something of this depth in such a contracted format. Well, I'm no Haiku Master but I'm getting better.

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sunrise Haiku

I'm departing from my normal method of delivery and am going for something more rustic, personal. Here's a haiku about sunrise.

Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Haiku about a Haiku

Today, I am posting a haiku about writing a haiku. How's that for irony, or is is coincidence, or juxtaposition? Maybe my daily haiku will become deeper, more meaningful as I get the hang of this style of poetry.

Anyway, here it is for your reading pleasure.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Daily Haiku

So, I've decided to test the waters and try to create a new Haiku every day until further notice.  A grand undertaking considering my history with consistent blogging. I thought it appropriate that my first effort should be about typewriters and in typecast form.

Here goes:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Excerpt 23

The excerpt today begins a new chapter. New characters will be introduced in the coming weeks.

"I see you like to ride in class," Alexis said jokingly, as Frost opened the passenger-side door of his truck for her. The door springs creaked and something made a sort of metallic popping noise as he forced it open.
"Hey, don't knock it," he said. "It gets me from A to B."
She crawled into the middle of the bench seat and Becky sat beside her. Frost jumped in the driver's side and shut the door with a hollow thump. They drove the short distance down South Boulevard to an all-night diner, the light from the big yellow square-lettered sign diffused through the truck's dirty windshield as they pulled into a parking spot. Frost ran ahead and held the door open for them.
"Such a gentleman," Becky said, as the two girls tried to squeeze through the door at the same time.
"It's just the way my momma raised me," Frost said to Becky, but he looked at Alexis, winking at her as she walked through the door of the diner.
They found a booth and Frost again waited until her and Becky sat on one side before he slid into the seat on the other side. She ordered a half-stack of pancakes and coffee, and Frost followed suit, ordering the same thing, right down to the coffee. Becky ordered some kind of mega-special with three eggs, a full-stack of pancakes, three slices of bacon, and grits.
"Where do you put it all," Alexis asked, as Becky handed her menu back to the server.
"Dancing is hard work," Becky said. "Burns a lot of calories moving around that stage, climbing up and down that pole."
Frost shook his head in agreement. Lexi thought about it. It made sense. Becky's workday must've been like a six-hour marathon of aerobics. No wonder she was so skinny. The food arrived quickly, and when the server asked, Frost motioned for her to keep the coffee coming. They fell into silence as they ate their food. The only noise was the occasional grunt from Becky as she stuffed food into her mouth with a fork in one hand, and a spoon in the other.
Alexis stole a glance at Frost to watch him eat whenever she thought he wasn't looking. He was a quiet eater, very deliberate, and well mannered. His upbringing was clearly better than his current circumstances. His biceps stretched the material on his shirt each time he brought the fork to his mouth, and it sent a little thrill through her. She found his reserved power somehow alluring and sexy. She looked away when he caught her looking at him a few times. On the other hand, maybe she caught him looking at her. Either way, she felt she was getting to know him almost without words.
Frost finished his food, but Becky was still going at it. In fact, she asked to eat the food Frost left on his plate. Alexis caught him glancing over at Becky, then back at her with a strange look on his face, and she nearly blew coffee through her nose trying not to laugh. She thought she even heard a little chuckle out of Frost, the first since she'd met him. She wanted to know more about him, but she didn't want to have to reveal too much of herself. Not yet, anyway.
"So, Frost," She said. "Do you do anything else in your spare time, besides roughing up hoodlums?"
"I used to, but now, that's what I do—rough up hoodlums."
Alexis shook her head. She wanted to ask him more, but was afraid it might lead to questions about her. But she'd opened the gate with her question, and she could tell, when he brought his coffee cup slowly down to the table, staring at her, he was about to force her hand.
"What about you, Paulina?" he said. "I know you're new here. Where are you from?"
"Florida," was the first thing that came to mind. "Just moved up from Panama City."
he looked at her as if he could see right through her lie. He was probably thinking of some way to catch her in the lie, maybe not then, some trap he'd set for her to fall into later. She was a terrible liar, always had been, and now she wished she did not have to lie, and despised Leonidas even more for putting her in this position.
"What made you decide to move from Panama City to Montgomery?" Frost brought his coffee cup to his lips, pausing to look over the rim of the cup at her.
"I don't know. It's just where I ended up." She wasn't going to last long under this kind of interrogation. She figured changing the subject might help. "What about you," she said, blurting out the first thing that came to mind. "Have you always lived in Montgomery?"
"Born and raised here," he put his cup down. "Did a stint with the Army, but had to quit that gig to help my sick mother."
"How is she now?"
Frost fell silent, looking down at his napkin. Alexis thought she saw tears welling up in his eyes, but he played it off, trying to make it look like he had a sneeze coming on, or something.
"His mother passed about six months ago," Becky said in a low voice, as she reached over and placed her hand over Frost's big mitts.
"I'm so sorry."
He looked up at her and said, "It's okay. It's just that she was the last of my family. She was a good person, but she got the cancer. It tore her up. She tried to hide it from me, but I could tell when I talked to her on the phone, she was really sick."
Becky glanced over to Alexis, nodded, and moved her hands to her lap. Alexis reached for his hands, and he allowed her to take them in hers, or rather, lay her tiny hands on top of his big mitts. He smiled at her, and continued.
"It started affecting me on missions, so I was told to go take care of her."
"They kicked you out of the Army because of your sick mom?"
"No," he said. "The job I was in, I wasn't really in the Army anymore. It's hard to explain. They gave me the option to come back after things were settled, but I couldn't"
"Why not," she asked, wondering what could have happened to make him live a life as a bounty hunter after doing something obviously more important for the government.
"My mom was sick for a long time. The last few months, she was in hospice care. She didn't have enough insurance to cover it all, and the bills piled up."
"Wouldn't the Army help with that?"
"Well, like I said, I was technically out of the Army, and besides, their insurance doesn't extend to parents. I realized after she died, if I went back in my old job, I wouldn't make enough to pay off her medical bills and burial costs."
"You make that much as a bounty hunter?"
"Recovery agents can make as much as they want, as long as they're willing to accept the risk."
"Yeah," Becky added. "And plus, rumor has it, Frost's the best around."
Alexis noticed Frost made no response to Becky's comment. He fell silent until they all finished their coffee. Afterward, he drove them home, dropping off Becky first. She, surprisingly, lived in a small row house along South Boulevard. As soon as Alexis told him she lived at the Woods RV Park, he needed no other directions. He didn't speak until they were turning down the gravel road in the back of the RV Park where the trailers lined its length.
"Which trailer are you in?"
She told him it was the last one on the left. It was so quiet in the cab of the truck, Alexis heard the gravel and sand moving under the tires as Frost brought the truck to a stop in front of her rental. He got out and ran around the front of the truck to open her door.
"You working again tonight?" Frost asked, as she stepped out of the truck.
"Yep," she said. "I'm working every night I can."
"Maybe I'll see you there," he said.
She saw his eyes reflecting the moonlight. He looked sad, hurt, but he also looked like he wanted to say something. They stood, motionless for a moment, and then she reached up and kissed his cheek.
"Goodnight," he said, and ran back to the driver side of the truck, sliding quickly into the cab.
After he drove away, she stood at the front of her trailer for a moment, wondering why she kissed him. She wondered why he left so quickly. Maybe talking about his mother was not the best way to avoid talking about her own past.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Non-Post Post

Working on something now. Sorry to be so anti-social but sometimes life just gets in the way of posting on my blog. Hold on folks, I'll be back in the world soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Excerpt 22

Sam was washing glasses, trying to keep up with the busy night, when Knuckles left his table and came to the bar, leaning over it and motioning him close.
"Who's the new girl?"
"That's Paulina, our new waitress," Sam said, already suspecting Knuckles' motivation. "Why, did you have a problem with her?"
"No," Knuckles snorted. "No problem at all. In fact, I'd like to see more of her."
"What do you mean?" Sam knew exactly what he meant, and he didn't like it one bit.
"I mean, can she dance?"
"I didn't hire her to dance," Sam said. "I need a good waitress, and she's the best I've had in here in a long time."
"Why don't you take that stick of a girl, Becky, and put her on the floor taking orders, and put Paulina on the stage." Knuckles gestured toward Paulina, making a sweeping motion toward the stage. "That woman's got some meat on her bones." Knuckles chuckled, and his goons, who apparently knew what he was saying from their table near the stage, joined in, laughing in unison.
It was like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon, or an old-time gangster movie. Maybe that's where Knuckles and his gang got their playbook. Sam looked at Paulina as she worked her way from one table to the next. She moved with fluidity as if she'd been doing this for years, but he doubted she could dance. He looked over to the dance floor. Becky was throwing herself onto the pole, spinning around it and sinking slowly to the floor in the splits. She could dance, but she was no waitress. He'd lose business with Paulina on the stage. It'd be even worse with Becky on the floor. He grabbed a tumbler and shoved it over the bristles of the brush, stalling for time, hoping that Knuckles would suddenly burst out in laughter again, and tell him he was just kidding.
"Hey, I'm talking to you." Knuckles reached across the counter and poked at him, before squeezing a handful of his shirt into his hand.
He wasn't laughing.
"She's not a dancer," Sam said. "She's a good waitress, the best I've had in here in awhile, and it's only her second day." Besides, what would I do with Becky?"
"Becky's none of my concern," Knuckles poked his knuckles into Sam's chest with each word. "You tell Paulina she's gonna dance, and me and my boys here will tip her well if she does."
"What if she doesn't want to dance?" Sam already knew what Knuckles was going to say, but it didn't hurt to ask.
"If she won't dance, you'll fire her. If you don't fire her, I'll have your bar fired, if you know what I mean." Knuckles made a wide sweeping gesture with his arms. "Can you imagine this entire place reduced to ashes? What would you do then?"
"I'll do what I can." Sam stopped washing glasses, grabbing a towel instead, and squeezing it until his fingers hurt.
"You'll get her to dance, or I'll become very upset," Knuckles said as one of his goons sitting at his table flicked a lighter, bringing it to flame. "And I think you already know, bad things happen when someone makes me upset."
Knuckles turned, and walked out of the bar, his entourage standing up from the table and following behind him. Sam squeezed his towel again as Knuckles passed the table where Frost sat, and Frost looked up at him. He was relieved when Knuckles walked beyond Frost, paying him no attention. Sam figured Knuckles either didn't see him, or he didn't recognize the bounty hunter.
Sam knew exactly what kind of bad things happened when Knuckles was upset. He'd seen numerous bars and convenience stores along South Boulevard either burned to the ground or suddenly become without owners after doing something to upset Knuckles. He would not let that happen to his bar.
§
Frost wanted to jump up out of his seat and cuff Knuckles on the spot as he passed by his table, but he resisted. He had to be smart with this skip. This was the one that could finally get him back on track. Plus, the way he saw the bartender and Knuckles talking, and Knuckles gesturing to Paulina meant she might be involved in all of this somehow. He might gain an advantage if he could get close to her. Well, that, and her look, and her sassy, confident attitude intrigued him.
He waited at his table until the bar closed, nursing two more virgin rum and coke drinks until the last customer left the bar. The skinny dancer picked dollars and change off the small stage, and then disappeared through the kitchen door, probably putting some clothes on. Paulina was working through the tables, picking up empty glasses and bringing them to the bartender. He was busy washing the glasses by hand, as Paulina made a second sweep through the lounge cleaning tabletops.
"Sir, you're gonna have to leave, the bar's closing," the bartender yelled to him.
"If it's alright with you, I'm just waiting to talk to Paulina." Frost looked at Paulina as he yelled back to the bartender.
The bartender waved at Paulina, and yelled to her, "You know this man, Paulina?"
Paulina looked at the bartender, then back at him. Frost knew he was taking a chance. If she didn't want to talk to him, she could simply tell the bartender she didn't know him. This was it, do or die. He was either going to talk to her, or be persuaded to leave with all the subtlety of a shotgun shoved in his back. The dancer must have heard the yelling over the music, as she made an appearance from the kitchen door to watch.
"Yeah, he's okay, Sam," Paulina said, but she looked at Frost with a less than pleasant expression on her face.
She finished wiping down the tables and left her towel at the bar before walking to his table.
"So, what's the deal," Paulina said. "Did you wait around all night to remind me again how you saved my life?"
"Well, you have to admit, it didn't look like you had the upper-hand with Lefty."
She folded her arms, and made a 'Pfft' sound before saying, "I've been dealing with guys like Lefty all my life. It's no different than dealing with guys like you."
"Ouch, you got me," he said. "Look, I'm sure you can take care of yourself just fine. Maybe I misread the situation, but I was looking for Lefty and he nearly fell in my lap when I saw him in that alleyway with you. Please, accept my apologies, and sit with me?"
Paulina stood for a moment with her arms crossed before sitting down. "Apology accepted, but only under the condition that you stop bringing it up."
"I really think we got off on the wrong foot," Frost said. "Maybe an apology isn't enough. Let me make it up to you over coffee, or a late-night dinner."
"I could use a good cup of coffee." Paulina looked back toward the bar.
The bartender, and the dancer were standing next to each other, looking like they were doing their best to listen in.
"Okay, I'll go for coffee with you under one condition," Paulina said.
Frost looked at her, shaking his head. "You put conditions on everyone like this?" She shot him a blank look, as if she couldn't even conceive negotiating without someone bending to her conditions.
Her blank stare turned into a faint smile, and she continued stating her condition. "We take Becky with us. You can give us a ride home afterward. It's late after all, and two delicate flowers like us shouldn't be left alone in the dark with all those evil fingerless men out there." She snickered at her own joke.
"Okay, now you're just mocking me," Frost said. "Deal. Coffee and a ride home to make up for last night."

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pearls of Wisdom

Photo Credit:  http://www.teachtoinspire.wordpress.com


Was looking through some of my writing today. I sometimes peruse old stuff or tap away at one of my old manual typewriters for inspiration. Anyway, I came across some quickly written poems and realized some of them were not that bad.

At some point in the recent past I had this flash of a dream to be a street poet. Okay, so my poetry is rather terrible but I do have the ability to whip out a quip rather quickly on one of my old crotchety typewriters.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll decide to show up at some local event with a little table and chair, and sell poems while you wait. I imagine (in fact, I've already purchased some small frames) that I would have a long line waiting to buy a quick poem using a customer's subject or prompt.

I set out to practice this and came up with some decent work and some truly terrible words I destroyed immediately. I gave myself a subject and five minutes to come up with a short poem using my typewriter and trying not to make mistakes. Here is an example of the  results.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is yesterday
Not yet past.

Time, it replicates
From first to last.

And when we look back
And when it's all done.

We'll know that the battle
Fought today
Is tomorrow's battle won.

So, remember the days
And dream of the morrow.

Hold on to your dreams
And forget your sorrows.

For, tomorrow is yesterday
Not yet past.

Okay, probably not the best in the world but it fit on a 4 x 6 card so I consider it a success. Within this process, I also came up with a couple of little sayings that I'm sure will become standards in the future-probably so far in the future that the author will be known simply as "anonymous."

Past is the teacher
Future; the test.

Or, this one: 

The greatest light draws the deepest shadow.

Sure, the last one is a little ironic but, hey, irony flows from me like water flowing through a three foot hole in a six foot boat. Really though, exercises like this are a great way to get yourself writing when motivation is low. I'm sure that someday soon, you'll see me at some local festival tapping out poems at five dollars a pop. It might not make me rich but I'm sure it would make me some new friends.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Bit of Europe in a Small Town



I was out and about in Daleville the other day at lunchtime and found this new restaurant. Well, if you want to be technical, it is an imbiss or schnell imbiss, which is a fast serve restaurant in Germany. I suppose an imbiss might be more similar to a street vendor in New York City than an establishment like Mcdonald's.

As many of you know, I occasionally post about this small town of Daleville. Now you know, it is not a fictional town at all, rather a small community just outside a military post. Yes, Daleville Dan is often talking about real situations-good or bad-although fictionalized.

Anyway, since I've spent some time in Germany (stationed on two separate occasions while serving in the military) I have some experience with German street cuisine. This new establishment gave me a sense of authenticity while inside and brought back fond memories of stopping for a quick bite while shopping in some quaint German town. I remember looking forward to Wednesdays when the Henchenwagon (chicken truck) would roll through the small town outside my military post. Many of us would hurry off the post at lunch so we could buy their specialty; a half chicken with a big cone of fries. Yes, I know it was really just rotisserie chicken, but it was special. With this in mind, I'll try to give a review of sorts and offer that everyone should try this particular new place or, if one is available, give one in your own town a chance.

First off, the food.

I found the bread rolls, called brotchen, were fresh and doughy on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside. The brotchen was just as I remembered it from years past. The Bratwurst (some are calling this place the bratwurst brothers) was also very authentic and delicious. If memory serves, they offered seven different kinds of wurst (or sausage) from the Nuremberger to a white sausage. I had the Nuremberger lunch plate with potatoes (called bratkartoffeln) and a drink. The food was worth the price.

Sadly, I did not get pictures of the food or the inside of the establishment so you'll just have to imagine juicy sausage so fresh off the grill that steam makes its way through the spoonful of mustard, all encased in a hearty bread roll.

On the positive, the cut and fried potatoes were fresh and hearty with just the right amount of browning. I certainly would have liked to have the option of ordering french fries (called pommes frittes) in one of those conical paper containers. As with German tradition, they did offer mayonaise for the potatoes.

The atmosphere.

As one is driving by, this new place may look somewhat like the average roadside lunchtime eatery in this small military town but the sign on the front of the building caught my eye-a simple sign that told customers what they should expect to see inside-bratwurst. This is how I remember many of the signs while in Germany. We used to walk all over town trying to find the most obscure, out of the way, hole in the wall place because they always had the best food and service. I once found a gyro shop far from the market center and halfway up a hill in Schwabish Hall, Germany. It was owned by a Turkish immigrant and his gyro's were the best I've had, before or since then.

Inside, I found posters on the walls of different imbisses throughout Germany and round tables painted in Germany national colors that were so tall one could stand at them or sit in the high chairs provided. Also, along the walls, I found the typical shelves with chairs for extra seating. The atmosphere inside was inviting, authentic, and functional.

If there were anything I might say that was less than positive, it would have to be a general lack of air conditioning inside the building. While it was not entirely uncomfortable, the single portable AC unit was clearly struggling to beat back the oppressive noon day heat associated with the south. I'm sure this is something that is easily remedied. Maybe I just happened by the day their AC was on the fritz.

I would like to state that I was not asked to do this review and I ask forgiveness to the owners after-the-fact for this impromptu review. Overall, I was impressed by this new establishment and encourage locals, visitors, and aficionados to give them a try for lunch. I'll certainly be back again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Excerpt 21

As soon as Frost walked into the Pink Pony, he saw Knuckles and a few of his thugs, sitting at a table in front of the stage. Knuckles had his hand raised, waving it in the air, as he nodded an "over here" look to the waitress at the bar. Frost immediately recognized her. She was the woman he'd rescued from Lefty the night before, although she had made it clear to him, she didn't see it that way.
He'd thought about her, off and on, all day. Not obsessive thoughts, just little snippets of how she looked, standing in the dark alley the night before. He could have sworn he'd seen a flash of light in her eyes, like the reflection in a dog's eyes at night. No, he wasn't obsessed, just intrigued. Nevertheless, he had to get those thoughts out of his mind, stay focused, especially with his biggest skip ever sitting at a table right in front of him.
He found a seat near the door, sat down, and watched as the woman he met last night brought a round of drinks to Knuckles' table. She didn't collect any money from them, which meant he and his gang ran a tab at the bar, or had some influence over the bar owner. He filed the information away mentally, and realized that he wouldn't be able to grab Knuckles in the bar, unless he was ready to make an escape in a hail of gunfire.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
No, he was under-armed and under-protected for that kind of extraction. Knuckles made some kind of grotesque groping gesture as the waitress walked away, and his table erupted in forced laughter.
Yeah, I'm gonna enjoy taking this bozo down.
He waited until the waitress finished making her rounds, and then caught her attention with a wave. She nodded and put up a finger as she started toward his table. He could tell she recognized him from the night before, but she gave no indication of gratitude, or distrust of him. She must have had her waitress game face on because he just couldn't read her, and he was usually pretty good at reading people.
"What'll ya' have," she said as she reached his table, giving no indication or gesture that she gave any thought to his rescuing her.
"For starters, how about your name?" Frost stared her down, waiting for a response.
"How about I take your drink order first, then we can talk about names."
She just stood there with that look on her face that women has when trying to appear cute and smug at the same time; big bulging eyes, duck lips. She was not going to give in.
"Okay, drink order first," Frost said. "I'll have a rum and coke please, hold the rum."
She turned without as much as a smile or look, stopping to take orders at a few other tables on her way to the bar. Frost watched her as she filled her tray with drinks, dropping them off at each table with a smile and brief conversation. Her gestures were abbreviated, her laughter excessive, but the customers liked her, handing her tips in bills, rather than change.
He also kept an eye on Knuckles and the men sitting at the table with him. He would have to play this one smart, make sure he stayed back long enough to catch Knuckles alone. Taking in Knuckles would be the biggest haul he'd brought in yet. He could pay off the rest of his mother's bills with the skip money, maybe even have a enough left over to get a better truck.
The waitress made it back to his table. It was obvious she was taking her time getting back to him. As soon as she put his drink on the table, he pulled a wrinkled ten dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it to her. She started to dig in her apron pockets for change but he held up his hand to stop her.
"Keep the change," he told her, as he placed the bill in her hand. "Looks like you're earning your keep tonight."
"The drink was only two dollars," she said as she reached back into her pockets. "Your tip's too much."
"Tell you what," he countered. "My name's Frost. You probably remember me from last—"
"I know who you are," she said, before he could finish. "You're Frost. Nobody seems to know your first name but I've been told you’re a local bounty hunter, and unwarranted hero to women who don't need saving."
"Ouch, that's harsh," he said. "Seems you know who I am, but I don't even know your name. Keep the rest of the money as your tip, but at least tell me your name."
She just stood there, looking at him for a moment before responding.
"Paulina," she said. "But don't think I told you my name for the tip. I just figured since I know your name, you should at least know mine. With that, she turned away, and went to another table.
Frost watched her for a while, trying not to be too obvious, just to see if she looked back at him.
She didn't.
Knuckles got up from his table, with his goons following closely behind him. He went to the bar and motioned for the bartender to talk to him. Frost watched as he leaned over the bar, talking to the bartender. Knuckles looked back a few times, gesturing toward Paulina. The bartender looked like he was becoming agitated, but Knuckles blatantly reached over the bar, taking a handful of the bartender's shirt in his hand. Knuckles clearly had some kind of personal agenda, some kind of personal plans for Paulina.
A weakness for the new girl. Something I could use to distract him and bring him in.


You know, I suppose I should put a link in here so that one might go and purchase the story. Here's the Amazon link. This link is for the kindle ebook but it is also available as a paperback, others to follow: Lexi's Run