May 30, 2008

Who was the lead singer....

Sixteen years ago I worked at a company with thirty some odd service technicians, all assholes. The dispatch system they used was centralized out of Chicago, where the home office was located. There was a buzz going around for a while that they were all calling a specific extension to get calls and close out finished calls because the dispatcher was so nice. One of the techs was in my department and called the extension just to talk to the dispatcher. During the conversation she asked a trivia question about music, I knew the answer. So, we began to send trivia MSG’s back and forth over the computer. This was before email had reached its current ease of use. We were all on a company network & you could send MSG’s from “module” to “module”. I used EIMC, and she used GTH4, when there was a MSG the asterisk would change into a semi-colon. We spent several days or weeks sending MSG’s back and forth, then we talked on the phone. She told me that she was babysitting for her sister that coming up Friday night and was going to be bored. I told her that I would call her so the time would pass quickly. We began to talk on the phone quite a bit. After the second or third ridiculously high phone bill I decided that I needed to meet her to see if we were as compatible in person as over the phone. So I flew to Chicago and she met me at the airport. A few months later she took a job at the Atlanta branch where I worked and on May 30th 1992 we were married. That was sixteen years ago today. Happy Anniversary…

May 29, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

What follows are two posts of pictures of what we did on Saturday May 24th. The trip to Fernbank Museum was alot of fun, the drive to Fernbank (about 40 minutes) was not that much fun, James (our four year old) was upset because we told him he couldnt take his gun... He was worried that the dinosaurs we were going to see would come after us like in the movies... The rest of the day was spent just hanging out around the house...

my brother, his daughter & her boyfriend headed down to the river for a weekend of muddin'

this is where the hobbit that watches over the garden lives..

gotta keep the machines running right

always have to tinker

on patrol on the back of the property

headed into the "garden"

future site of the permanent camp (its an island surrounded by creeks)

Quasi (one of our dogs) in the creek

the mule

our home

spin around & this is the view up the driveway to the road

latest carving

same carving (the spirals are not natural, it can be yours for $125.00)

getting ready for patrol

she waited on us at Zesto's on Ponce, the best chocolate shakes, french fries & burgers in Georgia...

the leaf tree in our drive way

the grandpa tree in our driveway

a moth (in our driveway)

fishing at Fernbank

making bubbles

all of our fingers

you gotta smush a penny when you see one of these, you dont have a choice...

Memorial Day weekend

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

He was playing in the cafe, you could smell the gin...

Thrilled about his new dino cup

in the "Fernbank Forest"

feeding the birds

in the tree house

listening about Georgia's history

bird fossil

these things were enormous

James was in his element

Dad,Dad,Dad,Dad,Dad, look look look look shark teeth!

James & Patrick

family fun

he couldnt believe how big they were


he was more interested in the monitor

James was in awe

May 27, 2008

Ummm, hello...

Is it going to take a literal mushroom cloud over Israel before somebody actually does something about this?

May 22, 2008


After reading Stuart’s blog (see ‘Stuart’ in the required reading section) I began to pay attention to the infotainment cycle again. I have been out of the loop for a while; not paying much attention to talk radio or talking head shows on infotainment television. There seems to be quite a bit of talk about should or shouldn’t we have ‘talks’ with our enemies.
There are always talks going on with our enemies. Every President has done this. The situation that most people don’t seem to understand is that for despots to have a sit down with the President of the United States of America lifts their stature and is then used in their propaganda. The enemy that I am specifically referring to is the leader of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There have been talks going on with Iran, behind the scenes, for quite a while now. This is no secret, it just doesn’t get discussed on tv, so most people don’t believe its happening. If tv doesn’t tell you, then it’s not true, right?
There is a fundamental difference between our society and Islamic culture in the Middle East that most people never consider. The appearance of strength and power count for much more with them than with us on a day to day schedule; or with the ‘common man’. Bush’s minions are keeping contact going between the two nations. The President himself will not meet in person with Ahmadinejad because he knows what will happen. The Iranian leader will tout their meeting to his followers, and indeed, to the entire Islamic world, as Bush groveling before him. This has been done before by other leaders and will always be done.
The Islamic fundamentalists believe in the last Imam. Google that and read about it, it’s worth an entire series of blogs to explain. In a nutshell…. They believe that a religious leader will rise out of a well in Iran, they have identified the well and built a mosque and palace around it for the Imam. The Imam will then lead the Islamic people through the ‘mother of all battles’, or Armageddon, to destroy Israel and begin the downfall of western culture, ushering in an era of Islamic domination of the world. Now, stop at this point, go back, and read that sentence several times. Let that sink in. There are hundreds of factions of extremists all around the world that hate our society for whatever the reason and would love to see it fall. They have joined forces with each other or are ‘taking a page from their book’ and attempting to act on this idea. There is nothing hidden here, through political correctness we ourselves have hidden the truth. If a person comes up to you and tells you that they don't like you and want to kill you, then try to kill you, what are you going to do? As a society what we are doing is trying to figure out why they hate us, then trying to figure out how we can help them 'get over' this little blip in their psyche, give them a societal dose of Ritalin as it were. Political correctness and pop psych nonsense are helping to bring these things about in a very quick fashion and we don't even see it happening.
There are so many examples of this, and it is sad that people aren’t aware of them. Koran’s found at the Mexican-American border, thwarted attacks in Seattle, Washington DC, and Chicago, rings of terrorists broken apart or taken out all over the world. From North Africa to the Pacific Rim, the Special Forces of our nations military have never been busier, just ask them… they will tell you.
It simply does not matter who the President is come the next election cycle. There are hours of ideology that can be debated on both sides, but again, this does not matter. There is a real struggle taking place around this world for control, or perceived control. The name of the person sitting behind that desk in the Oval Office will not matter to the people that want to bring about the downfall of our society. They do not care whether it’s a democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, man or woman; black or white, to them dead is dead. They want us all to die, or follow their law, that’s it, Simple enough. They follow the path taught to them by modern society. They had regular meetings with Nazi leaders during that time in history. They know how to play on emotions, they have stated in their own words, found in training materials, to use the media to their advantage. In Lebanon, during the Israeli invasion, they placed bodies in rubble, then called in the media to take pictures, and then would place the bodies back in storage and wait for the next group of reporters. The media people saw them doing this, but not many reported it, until someone smuggled out a video of them doing it. Why? Anti-Semitism, plain and simple. There are no dark secrets here, this is all cut and dry, right in your face. People don’t like Israel for many reasons, personally I don’t care about any of it. My motivation is as simple as theirs, want to kill me? Then I shall kill you first.
Sure, it goes without saying, there are no guiltless parties here. The United States has done things that are wrong or stupid, just as all nations have. But there will come a time when this country will begin to turn into a third world nation, and I feel that time is at last at hand. What are you willing to do about it? Appease them or destroy them?
It’s all perception of power, gaining power, and having control over the dumb masses. There are several points in history that can be referred to as examples of everything; none of this interests me. Naturally, we are doomed to repeat history, we never learn from the past. Discussing or arguing over semantics is pointless. You know what they want. You know that they are working towards it. Are we going to attempt to put an end to it? Or are we going to bury our heads in the sand and continue to be more interested in American Idol?

May 21, 2008

Pure BS

I clicked on one of the ubiquitous horoscope adds you see on line and this is what it said:

If you are trying to make a decision, give yourself the day to mull things over. The flow of mental energy is hard to grasp right away, and you might need the whole day to get a handle on the true pros and cons of your dilemma. There is no such thing as over-thinking when it comes to this particular predicament, so unless there is a serious deadline looming, hold off making up your mind until tomorrow. And you could ask for advice, but it probably won't help much.

Question is, why am I not getting paid to write that crap?

May 19, 2008

Waiting for the bus

When I was a little kid waiting for the school bus to arrive, I used to get all happy when this would come on the tv. I was late for the bus many times, while I sang along to it....

May 16, 2008

Double Damnation

$3.80 For one gallon of gas.

May 14, 2008

Earl, Lester, and Moon

The most magical time of the year when I was a child was, of course, Christmas. We always got our Santa gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas morning, which was fine with us. Every year we would load up the car and head to my Grandparents house. They didn’t live too far away, just North of town, some ten or so miles. They lived in a small house that my Grandfather built himself. Looking back on it all now, I don’t imagine that most people would stick around for the entire evening these days. In these current times of keeping up with the way TLC shows you how you should live and the food network shows you how you should eat, most folks would run screaming into the night when faced with a small “mill village” type of home, packed to bursting with all manner of people. It was hot, crowded, and extremely loud. There were constant yells of, “Close that door!” as kids would run in and out slamming the screen door and leaving the other door open to the cold night air. Delicious smells of food, lights of all kinds, and seemingly unending laughter were the order of the day. My wife, being from Chicago, was subject to severe culture shock when she attended a couple of Christmas Eves there. This was years after my Grandfather had passed away and the crowds were much smaller and quieter than they were in the days of my childhood. If only she could have experienced just one of the Christmas Eves I remember as a child…
One of the main things that I looked forward to on that night was the fireworks. I don’t mean a professional display put on down at the park so you could sit on a blanket and sip wine as your spotlessly clean children ran around and played while wearing the latest fashions from the current store of note that you are told to buy from by the TV and the “in touch” people at work or at Church. I mean fireworks. Down and dirty. The fireworks that you made the run down I-20 just over the Georgia – Alabama line to buy at the first building where Earl, Lester, and Moon worked. I swear, I went there once and those really were the names of the three guys that worked there. I didn’t go to the big yellow building on the hill, but the first one you came to. It was a little shack with a wood burning stove in the middle of it, with an open door and sparks popping out of it…
This was in the day that you could get real m-80s, those things could blow anything apart. If you have never heard the report of a real m-80, imagine the sound of a 12-gauge high brass shotgun blast. If you have never heard either sound, well, you just ain’t livin’ right… My older brothers and cousins once drove a five foot metal pipe into the ground a couple of feet, dropped lit m-80s in and proceeded to launch and destroy all manners of objects twenty to thirty feet in the air. They put an enamel or porcelain covered kettle on that pipe, when the m-80 went off that kettle sailed a good thirty to forty feet up & came down, it had blown every bit of the coating off of the thing, it was awesome. M-80s were quite possibly the perfect toy for the early teen boy, whether actual or at heart, just destructive enough to take a couple of fingers off but not kill you outright. I defy you to find anything that cool in these days of rampant political correctness.
Huge bricks of firecrackers, bottle rockets, and roman candles were what you had. This was when an adult would give you a lit cigarette to light the stuff with and nobody thought that was a bad thing. Somebody always goofed up, usually with the aid of a mischievous individual, and had something go off in their hand. My cousin once slipped up behind my younger brother while he was lighting a firecracker and yelled, “BOOM!” My brother, of course, tossed the cigarette he was using and held onto the firecracker… When this happened you went inside and got a wet washcloth given to you to hold onto the injury until the throbbing and tears stopped, then you rejoined the fray. Roman candles and bottle rockets were used as long distant weapons and firecrackers were for close quarter combat. My favorite move was to rip the stick off of a bottle rocket and toss it into a crowd of people; you just didn’t know where that thing was going to go… Then there was the return trip that you had to make back to the Grandparents house to rake up the mess that you had made in their yard. One year our cousin went with us. We collected every dud piece of explosive that we could find. Later that afternoon we went to his house, down in the basement. They had a room that once was a bathroom, but now served as his lab. We loved to watch Quincy & everybody had some form of chemistry lab at one time or another. We ripped every one of those duds apart and got the gunpowder out and put it all in a paper cup. The cup, one of the tall daisy wax covered jobs with the orange flower design, was about three-quarters of the way full of powder. We then packed it all down tight, bent the cover over it, taped it in place and added the fuse we had made of all the left over fuses tied together. We then, of course, lit it. Yep, right there, in the basement. Luckily for us it didn’t explode, but began to send up a blaze and the thick, foul smelling smoke only gunpowder can produce. Yes, we were afraid, the damn thing wouldn’t go out, we tried everything, but the smoke was getting thicker by the second. After it went out the footsteps banging down to the basement could be heard. It was his Dad. He is the kind of man that can bring a room of people to absolute quiet calm just by looking at them. The dressing down we got will stick with me the rest of my life. Hindsight being what it is, it was worth the trouble we got in.
I think about these things now and wonder what would happen if my kids were to do things like this. There just seemed to be less concern of well being back then, but we seemed to have much more fun. I mean damn, we would ride all the way to my Grandparents house while sitting on the tailgate of a pick up truck, dragging our feet on the paved road. Could you imagine the number of calls that would be made from cell phones to 911 if you were to try that now? You really never even see a pick up truck with the bed full of kids heading off to do something fun nowadays. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it many more times in the future. I wish I could take my kids back in time for just one weekend, What a time they would have.

May 13, 2008


I have had several emails come to me over the past week or so asking me what kind of person I am. Any email addresses I get go immediately into my contact folder to send updates to for this blog. I have three lists of addresses, aptly named… list one, two, and three…So I guess there are some folks that have read it that do not know me. Asking a person to describe what they are like is pretty useless. We all have images of the people we know and deal with, these pictures rarely change. I have an image, as we all do, of myself that I like to think is pretty accurate. But, as with most things, there are plenty of people out there that would disagree with me about anything that I would write about myself. But, at this point, you know that I am going to list some things about myself… that’s what I do, I make lists then put them in blog form.
I have thought about this and decided that what I will do is give you some basic background information on myself, then list things that people have said about me and let you make up your own mind as to what kind of person I am.
I was born in Newnan, Georgia in 1967 and have lived here all of my life. We lived in town when I was a child, then moved to the area that I now live in. I graduated from Newnan Highschool in 1985 with an average GPA. I never failed a grade, but never did very good either. I never attended college, although I wanted to, but basically was afraid. I spent a period of several months after Highschool when I didn’t work, then had a series of jobs, I was tired of being broke, before settling into the industry I currently work in. I have always been interested in art, in one form or another, but enjoyed sculpting more than the others, as I can’t draw or paint well… I have always enjoyed music, but have never had enough courage to learn to play any instrument or sing in front of real people. (A few drunken instances not counted). I have had a tendency toward violence and a short temper, but have gotten over this in the past few years. I met a girl from Chicago, married her and have two sons. I enjoy wood carving and making walking sticks. I have an unfounded fear of working on anything and generally faint at the thought of any home fix it ideas.
That’s the basic information, now, following the usual formula, I will list things that I have heard about myself… These comments run the entire time line of my life, some from childhood, some from yesterday…“God he is lazy” “he works all the time” “just make two sandwiches, if you don’t want the other one, Clay will eat it” “I made this just for you & you say you arent hungry?” “I worry about you more than any of the other ones” “I can depend on you to take care of anything” “wow, you’re pretty talented” “hmmm, my two year old can do better work than this” “good lord, why don’t you lose weight” “you need to eat more than that” “you need to stop smoking now” “do you do anything that’s considered bad for you?” “you didn’t have to hit him with the gas nozzle, I saw what you did, you better leave before the cops get here” “I can’t believe you didn’t kick his ass” “I never really liked you that much anyway, it was just an act” “I love you Dad” “you never went to college? I just assumed you had, you sound educated” “you’re not as smart as you f’ing think you are” “you just don’t care about anything do you?” “you have to get involved in everything don’t you?” “you enjoy starting shit don’t you?” “you wouldn’t give a damn if the whole world fell apart around you” “I can’t believe he is so clueless, it’s all going on right under his nose” “how does he know all that? Did you tell him?” “he can’t write worth a crap” “I like your stuff, its funny” “you’re a Godless bastard and will burn forever” “you are one of the most spiritual people I’ve ever met” “why don’t you just take a bath?” “I’ve never met someone who takes that many showers a day” “do you not have any feelings at all?” “you are so emotional, it gets on my nerves” “you want recognition for every little thing you ever do” “why don’t you tell them you did it & get some brownie points, it couldn’t hurt, you don’t always have to work behind the scenes”
Get the point….?

May 08, 2008

A prayer for Lucie

My nephew Danny and his wife are experiencing a trying time. Their daughter, Lucie, was born prematurely with some medical problems. Lucie is currently in the Scottish Right Hospital in Atlanta and has undergone several surgeries. I spoke with Danny today and she is now up to two pounds and has had her last surgery, she is doing well which is great news. As you can imagine, Danny and Lindsey are going through the emotional mill. I think we should all take a moment and pray, meditate, or just send good thoughts to them for a positive outcome for Lucie in the struggle she is going through. Children can surprise you in their resilience, lets hope that this is one of those times. Medical advances have come a long way in the past few years and we should be thankful for the expertise the doctors now have that can help Lucie out at this time. It takes situations like this to remind us of the things in life that are truly important. When day to day grinds take a backseat and love and hope come to the forefront of thought we are truly humbled. I offer to Danny, Lindsey and Lucie my sincerest prayer to God for peace in their hearts, guidance of the skills and judgement of the medical professionals who are helping Lucie to overcome her difficulties, and the hope that we may all be together soon to welcome her home.

Lucie Anneliese Putnam, born 05-01-08 1 lb 11 ounces

Fight hard Lucie, we are all pulling for you.

such a cutie....

May 06, 2008


Almost twenty-five years ago I made a trip to K-mart. My Crossman BB gun had gotten to the point where it had become bothersome in the BB gun wars. It was the type of gun that you had to pump up then pull the bolt back to load the round. By the time you accomplished this maneuver you had been fired on at least half a dozen times by the people carrying Daisy BB guns. One cock with a Daisy and you were ready to go. So I made an anger purchase; spent twelve dollars and got a plain Jane no frills Daisy. That gun went with me through countless hours of tracking down the enemy. It was used to pin down people and keep them there until, in desperation, they would muster the courage to run for better cover or to get out of range. It was used to drive entire teams from the trailer that was used as a fort. The object was for one team to hold the trailer while the other team led an assault to capture it.
The daisy has had hundreds of bottle rockets launched from its barrel, spent a while with a small flashlight attached to it, was lost for a period outside, slew many soda cans, (my dad hit fourteen with it once without missing a shot), was the primary weapon of destruction when you built forts with small army men then took turns shooting at each others base until there was a clear winner, cracked a few windows, was shot straight up into the air and waited with me to hear the sound of the round hitting something, (hopefully not your own head). The Daisy has stoked fires, been used in hand to hand combat, and hunted several small game morsels. It has been rusted, sanded, painted, bent, buried, been through several modifications, and held together by duct tape until new screws were added.. And come to think of it, I don’t believe I have ever put any oil in it…
Its appearance is as you would imagine, dinged, missing a screw or two, flaking paint, a crack here or there. But… when you cock it and pull the trigger, it fires true. (And only one BB comes out). Right now its sitting on a small gun rack next to the door with my fourteen-year-olds Red Rider.
It has gone through a phase of neglect. Soda can hunting, plinking and sniper practice have now been usurped by the Ruger 10/22s . Or the Thompson home protection unit.. But don’t worry… There has been a recent rebirth of the daisy.
The Daisy now serves as the primary form of personal protection when going on night patrol. Night Patrol is a recent invention of my four-year-old. (this guy) and yes..... he is a true bad ass...

It’s the same thing as an “adventure” it just takes place at night. We load up with weapons, he with his latest toy rifle and me with the Daisy. We get on the Kawasaki mule and ride through the woods at about walking speed, being very quiet, to make sure all is well. We stop at different places and turn the Kawasaki off to listen for anything out of the ordinary. These are his first experiences at night in the silence of the woods. The other night we made our way through the woods, picking our own trail after having left the main dirt road far behind. We worked our way precariously around the pond to the dam. We then cut the engine and sat listening for bigfoot, who lives just across from the garden, and the great white that lives in the pond, just to make sure they were both behaving accordingly. But after a few minutes of silence we each began to watch the stars. He started out by pointing out planes to me as they passed over, then I pointed out satellites and the few constellations I know by name. We were lucky enough to catch a few shooting stars as well. I told him about playing in these woods as I grew up and he pelted me with questions about what I had done. (as only a four-year-old can do). On one of the rare moments he stopped asking questions long enough to take a breath I pointed out the fog that had begun to form on the pond. He found it “scary” like in the monster movies. I told him that we would be ok as long as we didn’t touch it because it would turn us inside out (Simpsons). The big eyed look of terror he gave me forced me to admit my joke quickly, to which he told me that I was silly, with a huge look of relief. We then shot at the water for a while, primarily at the pine cones he tossed in. They became a fleet of pirate ships coming to steal our treasure from us, the treasure was locked in the five gallon bucket on the back of the Kawasaki and I was assigned its protection. I checked it when we got back and smiled to myself as I saw the soda can and rag that constituted our vast wealth. We have made several patrols through the woods with the Daisy in tow providing the necessary protection. I had thought of tossing the thing out over the last couple of years, but now I think that in the next few years it may find its way into the hands of the one kid I know that will refuse to let it rest, and that is how it should be. Have fun James....... I know I did.....

May 05, 2008


When I get an idea for something that I want to carve the first step is to go searching for the piece of wood that will work for the project. This sounds relatively easy but in reality it can be the most difficult part of the process. What you deal with is changing the idea. It’s almost as if nature itself dictates what it is that you will be making. I have set out with a firm idea in mind, but then come across a piece of wood that changes the entire plan. I didn’t look on line at all when I started this hobby, I had an idea for a walking staff and made a few, about five to six feet in length, with a leather strap in place to wrap around your wrist. After I had made a few, the inevitable remarks followed once I had shown them to a few people…”You should sell these things on ebay” So I did a search of ebay and discovered that there are plenty of people out there selling exactly what I had made, damn. I mean the same design, only they added a cheap compass clipped onto the leather strap and were selling the “hiking sticks” for fifty to sixty dollars each. It seems that there really is nothing you can say and do that hasn’t been done before. I wanted to carve a face on a walking stick, but had no idea how to start. One night, while watching the DIY network they had a guy with a carving studio on giving a lesson in carving wood spirits, it was a half hour show and fifteen minutes into it he had answered all of my questions about the process. I have since carved quite a few, note my profile picture to your left. (to me they all look like Jack Palance)
With these developments, I began to have grand visions of a small studio/workshop/storefront where I could spend my days carving and selling my work. But, as usual, reality set in. People like to see the things I carve and they do have nice comments about the stuff, but no one wants to pay for it. This past Christmas I made Santa ornaments & gave several away as gifts, they were well received. I have even gotten orders for next Christmas, which is neat. After Christmas had come and gone, I sat back and added up the amount I would have charged for everything that I had carved and given away from the middle of last summer through the Christmas season. I came up with the figure of $975.00, which doesn’t include anything given as a gift. I just get excited and show people the things I have carved, if they really like it, I give it to them. That seems to go against the grain of capitalism I know, but I enjoy the look of appreciation I get from doing it. I have since stopped the free flow of labor and now give nothing away. When someone says that they would love to have something like that I usually answer them with “For forty dollars you can have that one right there.” Needless to say, I’ve only sold one since incorporating this new plan….
One of the perks of carving faces and such out of wood has been my four year old helping me. When I am on the porch covered in wood chips and sawdust he is sure to be there with all of his tools around him working on a piece of wood he has gotten out of the yard. He has a specially selected butter knife that he uses to carve with. He can also be quite a hoot going out with me when I am looking for that specific piece of wood to make something out of. Another perk was seeing the reaction my father had when I first showed him some of the finished work I had done. I knew he wouldn’t believe I had made them. So I showed him a few plain walking sticks first, then I showed him the ones I had carved. He seemed to genuinely like the work. He asked me to find him a piece of wood that had a natural cross in it and carve him a detailed crucifix into it. I told him that that would have to wait until I got a bit better at what I was doing. Since his death I have only finished one piece, I showed it to a few people and they seemed to like it. I was actually on my way over to my parent’s house to show my Dad then I remembered. But hey, I’ve picked up the phone a dozen times to call him as well, generally about something I hear on the radio that I thought he would’ve gotten a kick out of. It’s tougher than I realized it would be, I can see, hear, and feel him in every tree, stick, and rock throughout the woods when I’m on the prowl for material. I miss him terribly. I came across a piece of metal, like an old tent peg or something, the other day. He had told me to toss it out several years ago when we were at the shop doing something. I was in the woods looking for a good piece with a natural walking stick bend when I found it. I had used it for a while as a knife, throwing into trees and the ground, when playing ninja. I stuck it into the tree that stands at the dirt road junction, the one we had tried to start building a tree house in. There are still a few of the nails we had put into the tree to climb it. That’s what I mean when I say that his spirit inhabits everything around there. I think the thing I enjoyed the most about him seeing and commenting on the work was that he was one of the few people that liked it, but never tried to tell me that I needed to find an avenue to sell it. He just seemed to enjoy my talent and told me so. I don’t know why people go immediately to how I can make money from it, it’s not offensive to me for people to mention it, it’s just one of the top two reactions to my work that I get. The other reaction still perplexes me to no end. Several people seem to get angry when they see my work, petty and brush it off as nothing decent. Oh well. Maybe they are jealous, or it isn’t that good. The important thing to me is that I enjoy it. The hardest part about it is the same as most any hobby, finding the time to do it. I made the mistake a while back of trying something different. I had, up to that point, done one piece at a time, from start to finish. Then it was suggested to me to try an “assembly line” approach. “Spend one day finding wood, the next week or so sanding and carving, then have a staining and painting party”. Needless to say that didn’t work out so well. I still have five or six things to finish. It adds to the feeling of falling behind when I see unfinished projects.
Simply put, the main reason I carve things out of wood is that I enjoy it. I have always been a person that looks for simple things to enjoy. I have been told that I am easily amused, and I am. I get a big kick out of things most people don’t think anything about. While standing in the parking lot of Hudson’s barbecue after a lunch meeting with a customer, a train came through town and stopped across the street. We watched while a guy got out of the engine, came through the ditch, across the street and into the take out part of the place. We both said “No way” when we realized what he was doing. Sure enough, he came out with a greasy bag, got back in the engine car and took off, it was priceless. Its little things like that that makes getting out of bed worthwhile to me. So if you want to see what I have made, or wish to buy something you can reach me at

May 01, 2008

Tired of the radar

Suffering from one of the world’s worst afflictions as I do, debilitating shyness, I have been afforded an unusual perspective in existence. Throughout my time here I have missed out on quite a bit of the normal life experiences. What this has done is made me a watcher or observer of life rather than a full on participant. There are many things that aren’t good about this, but there are some things that have actually been beneficial. One of the best things about this type of involvement is that it has given me the ability to read any situation or person quickly, and with a very accurate summation. I, of course, have been wrong before and will again, I’m sure, but my rate of success in accurate profiling is running at least in the 95-percentile range. Being blindsided by things un-looked for is the greatest danger I face, but then don’t we all? I like to get my palm read or have tarot readings, when these are free of course, because I can usually tell what they are going to say before they speak. It becomes fun when I tell them something about themselves that they didn’t know anybody else knew of. It really scares the hell out of them. But then, I can usually do this with almost everyone. It’s all in the eyes is the best way to describe it. I have run across people that are difficult to read, I refer to these people as having dead eyes. But in reality I have only run across two or three of these people before.
I usually get blindsided by people or things when they arrive un-looked for, or rather, when I am not paying full attention to them or what’s going on. These things pass quickly because if they are that far off my radar they normally aren’t important enough to cause any disruptive ripples.
A couple of the easiest to explain examples of this ability are when I can tell someone what their conversation with another person consisted of, or when I can tell someone what someone else has said, almost word for word. When they tell me of an overheard conversation. I’ve had people do the double take, or say to me “What? Were you in the room at the time?” I can always tell when someone isn’t telling me the truth. My favorite thing is when I hear that I am clueless, that’s funny to me. I heard this one recently “Poor Clay is so clueless, he just doesn’t have any idea” Quite the opposite. I know what’s happening and when and what’s being said as well. The other fun thing is when you hit the nail on the head & tell them something that is true & they squirm with all sorts of denial. You get so used to people telling lies that you have to quickly decide whether or not you want to "die on that mountain” before you say anything. Telling lies is so natural to people, including me, that it can be quite frightening to observe. Small lies to make people’s lives seem more interesting than they really are have become incredibly frequent and you get so numb to it that it barely affects you after a while, but you always know.
The question that comes in is how to handle it all. Getting older has brought about two segments of thought that are opposed to each other. On one hand, you get to the point of it becoming so annoying that you get tired of dealing with it, in other words, a loss of patience. This makes you reach the anger stage much faster. With being the ultimate anti-pacifist this sets me up for immediate violence of action. You would be amazed by the amount of people that think they are capable of instilling fear of their violence toward you. On the other hand you feel like you are running out of time here and feel like it just isn’t that important anymore. Try letting these two points of view wrestle around in your mind for a while. Calmness of the psyche becomes an illusive animal that is almost impossible to track and capture these days.
I didn’t recognize this ability as anything different or important growing up because I thought everyone could do it. So, I have always carried the moniker of being emotional or having an issue with everything, or talking too much about things that most people just don’t speak of. It took me a long time to realize that people couldn’t do it as well as I can. Everyone can do it, just at different levels. The quiet people are the easiest to read for some reason, you would think that it would be opposite, but it isn’t. Having labels applied to you isn’t anything new; we all suffer from it everyday. Specifically with being a white heterosexual southern male. An acquaintance of mine was telling me once that everybody could do it just as well as me, I then asked him what he had done before he got there. He told me that he had gone to lunch with his ex wife and son. I looked at him for a few seconds and then told him what they had talked about and what the content of the argument that they had was. He backed away from me a bit. He told me I should be charging money to people to do tarot readings. I have read books and articles by body language experts in order to educate myself on the subject. These things tend to lean too close to the “parlor trick” area for me, but were interesting. Which directions the eyes moved, or how people hold their hands etc. We’ve all read or heard about it. It’s fun to learn about it, it’s just repetitive behavior. But this can move a little beyond that. Not much mind you, it’s just fine tuned by forty years of doing it. There isn’t anything psychic or otherworldly about it, just years of observation and listening. Sometimes you can do it on the phone but generally its better in person, so you can see their eyes. It does seem to run in the family, but too many of them do believe it is psychic & head off in a strange direction. I found out recently that a cousin used to give tarot readings. We had a long conversation about it all & she told me of people in the family that have done all sorts of weird things. I kept waiting to hear about a relative living out in the woods that gives readings... a dollar and a dime... some things were close to that though. I would love to hear any stories of people in the family that have spoken of this kind of thing before, but for some reason most people don't like to talk about it. I don't believe in it, but it is interesting and fun to hear.
The bottom line is that it just starts to make you feel tired after a while. While you are talking to someone who is feeding you a line of pure b.s. you just want to wave your hand with a general grunt & walk away.