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Mixed Emotions

Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!

Of course, I love her and miss her.  Daily.

I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!

With a boy.

While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather.   And, of course, that never happened.

And I’m a little jealous.

I’m certain Molly is happy for them.

Another Day In History

Most of you ‘regular’ readers know I have morning routines, in part involving the reading of Ref Desk’s Historic Events and Birthdates.

It’s just something I do.  Sometimes, I’m elated by a reminder of a positive event or invention or birth; other times saddened by a reminder of the passing of great or interesting people.

And some days just seem to have more history than others!

Today, for example:

Birthdates which occurred on January 29:

1737 Thomas Paine political essayist (Common Sense, Age of Reason)

1860 Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Tagarov Russia, playwright (Cherry Orchard)

1880 W C Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] Philadelphia PA, “on the whole, he’d rather be in Philadelphia”/actor (My Little Chickadee, Bank Dick)

1911 Bernard Herrmann New York City NY, composes film music

1918 John Forsythe New Jersey, actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty)

1929 William McMillan US, rapid pistol (Olympics-gold-1960)

1945 Tom Selleck Detroit MI, actor (Lance-Rockford Files, Magnum PI)

Deaths which occurred on January 29:

1977 Freddie Prinze comedian/actor (Chico & the Man), shoots himself at 22

1980 Jimmy Durante New York City NY, singer/comedian (Ink-a-dink-a-doo, Palooka, The Jimmy Durante Show), dies at 86

On this day…

1863 Battle at Bear River WA US Army vs Indians

1886 1st successful gasoline-driven car patented, Karl Benz, Karlsruhe

1919 Secretary of state proclaims the 18th amendment (prohibition)

1958 Murderer, Charles Starkweather, captured by police in Wyoming

1969 Jimi Hendrix & Peter Townshend wage a battle of guitars

Of course, there are many more entries…

Another Year…

They tell me cat videos are ubiquitous on the Internet…

Yep.  Ol’ Guffaw is sixty-frickin’-three today!

It’s been said I don’t look a year over 68…:-)

Seriously, I’ve many gifts for which to be thankful…

A roof over my head

Food

A car

Family and friends

If I knew I would be living this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.

Now, I figure a good burger or pizza, with an occasional beer is better than a skinless chicken breast or tofu with green tea.

I know I probably won’t live as long, but I will enjoy it more.

Snapshot_20150503_1

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday, Dad, Belatedly

Dad1

Yesterday, November 16, would have been my Father’s 100th birthday. Instead, he passed at age 61.

There were so many life lessons he was unable to impart to me.

Calm reflection (he was an angry rage kind of guy); Moderation (he was an alcoholic and a compulsive overeater); Mechanical ability (I once saw him attempt to repair a leaky radiator hose with Scotch tape(!)  I was a kid, and even I knew that wouldn’t work).

But I knew he loved me.

After all, when I was born prematurely (and my twin brother didn’t make it) he hurriedly ran to the nearest church to pray for my survival.

He tried to make me an athlete, as he had been.  Alas, my developing a physical disability @ age 12 stopped those attempts in it’s tracks.  And from that point forward, he was unclear how to relate to me.

I only saw him cry once.  When he told me how proud he was of my graduating the Eighth Grade, and that I never asked him for money.  To be fair, I didn’t know I was allowed to!  When my Mother passed, he kept his grief private.

I’m certain his childhood was horrific.  A stern father who had been a Marine and railroad policeman, and his having grown up poor during the Depression.

He had not been raised to be a hugger.  I don’t remember him ever hugging me.  A firm handshake was the order-of-the-day.

But, he did teach me a few important things.  Loyalty (be true to your friends – he was to his); Honesty (your word IS your bond); and yes, Love.

He loved his wife (my mother) with all his heart.  Watching her die @ age 41 of emphysema must have been horrible. (I was in the Second Grade, what did I know?)  And in spite of the fact they were estranged, my (half)sister was his jewel.  He was very protective of her, which probably in-part caused the estrangement.  But she was another connection to his wife, which I don’t think she ever saw.

And he kept his heart disease hidden from me until it was too late.

He was flawed – he was human.

I love you and miss you, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

A Last-Ditch Knife

My roomie’s birthday was recently.  Last year, I had no funds, so we went out to dinner, and I grew a beard (she’s a hairdresser).  (NOT in the same night!)

I didn’t know what I was going to do this year – then I saw THIS on Gearhog!

mantis2

It’s a Mantis Cyclops knife.  Worn on a neck chain, it’s deployed by putting a finger through the center and pulling.  The separates the knife from the chain, and opens the hawk-shaped blade!

mantis3

The circular sheath is aircraft-grade aluminum; the ‘key’ (attaching the knife to the chain) is titanium!  It is quite strong, and very light.

And stealthy…

FORTUNATELY, my roomie collects knives – she always has two or three in her purse (along with the tac flashlight and Nighthawk, of course!)

This could add another option.  (I got one for myself, as well!)

AND, it’s made in Taiwan, not the PRC!  :-)

(FTC – look elsewhere.  I paid for them both.  Gearhog and Mantis have given me bupkis.)

More Tonsorial Splendor!

(or perhaps not.)

As some of you know, my roommate is a renowned hairdresser.  As such, she is an artiste’, or at least artistic.  She is also (by her own admission) an old hippie was a hippie in her youth.

As such, she tends to lean toward pushing the envelope stylistically.

Last Summer, around the time of her birthday, it occurred to me that I had no funds with which to acquire a birthday present for her.  Nada, zip, zilch.  And, as she is a good friend (among other things, she provides me with a room to rent!)

I had to do something.

I decided to grow a beard.  She likes beards.  Until her next birthday, which is in July.  You have seen it’s progress here. (Tonsorial Splendor)

And she recently decided to tweak it!

Here is the result:

Snapshot_20150427Kinds of ‘biker meets old man’!

The good news is she also cut my hair shorter.  I can probably live with this until July – Hey!  it shows I’ve lost weight, too! :-)

Thanks, J.!

Life Is Loss

From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things.  Food, warmth, love…stuff.  It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.

yin yangThe Yin to the Yang.

And, most of us don’t understand or like that.  In fact, most of us hate it!

And, it becomes a matter of degree.  That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book.  The dog that died.  The high school girlfriend who moved away.

And we choose to suffer for our loss.

But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.

If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.

My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated.  He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe.  Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him.  I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.

And grief over the loss of his foot.

Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty.  A blister, a bunion, a corn.  Calluses.  For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip.  And, I too, am diabetic.

I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though.  You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!

Molly 1986 2Today, is my daughter Molly’s 32nd birthday.  I spent most of her 12 years on this planet operating with the assumption that, as nature intends, she would outlive me, and would suffer with my passing.

I was wrong.  And I survive here to do the suffering.

I love you and miss you, Molly.  And sometimes grieve over you.

But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you.  I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths.  Because of the yin and yang.

And I’ve my memories to keep.

Forever.

Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them.  Because you never know.

And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.

You Remember How I Love Character Actors?

I also love to hear when they are still alive, and kicking!  So often when I hear about them, it’s in an obit, or an almanac mention of years ago, when they passed young.

Then, last night I came across THIS on Facebook:

l storch 92Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a birthday photo (yesterday, with cake) of LARRY STORCH at age 92 (today)!  Those unfamiliar with Mr. Storch by name might remember Corporal Agarn in F-Troop, or the Maharishi presiding over the funeral in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B., or a wonderfully inept criminal in an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.  Or the voice of Mr. Whoopee in his life long friend Don Adams’ cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LARRY!

So glad you are still with us, Larry!  And such a rich life…(link)

Where Were YOU In ’62?

Rather, 1952.

It’s November 24, GUFFAW’S Birthday!  I’m 62 !

AND, it’s time for a tonsorial update.

Remember, June 26, 2014, the post entitled Tonsorial Splendor?

Well, here’s an update:

20141118_154201Geez, Louise, I look like a bargain-basement Santa Claus!

Or Gabby Hayes*…

(*Children, ask your parents, or use that Internets thing!)

Today in History, Again

Many of you know part of my daily routine is to visit Ref Desk and view the subheading Events, Births, History.  This almanac sometimes educates me, sometime shocks me and sometimes amuses me.

And some days just seems replete with events – births, deaths, famous stuff.

Like today.

A few select examples…

Birthdates which occurred on July 03:

1883 Franz Kafka Czech, author (Metamorphosis, Trial, Amerika)

1913 Dorothy Kilgallen Chic Ill, columnist (What’s My Line?)

1941 Gloria Allred feminist attorney

1943 Geraldo Rivera aka Gerry Rivers, nosey newsman (Geraldo)

1962 Tom Cruise Syracuse, actor (Risky Business, Color of Money, Rainman)

Deaths which occurred on July 03:

1969 Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowns to death at 25

1971 Jim Morrison rocker (Doors), dies of heart failure in Paris

1981 Ross Martin actor (Mr Lucky, Wild Wild West), dies at 61

1989 Jim Backus actor (Magoo, Gilligan’s Island), dies at 76 of pneumonia

On this day…

1841 John Couch Adams decides to determine the position of an unknown
planet by irregularities it causes in the motion of Uranus
(insert joke here)

1861 Pony Express arrives in SF with overland letters from NY

1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes “The Adventure of Black Peter” (BG) (insert joke here – I know, I’m a sick puppy!)

1898 US Navy defeats Spanish fleet in Santiago harbor, Cuba

1911 Ty Cobb hits in his 40th straight game. Does not get a hit next day

1915 US military forces occupy Haiti, remain until 1934

1939 Lou Gehrig day; Gehrig makes “luckiest man” speech

1950 1st time US & North Korean forces clash in the Korean War

1976 Israel launches rescue of 103 Air France crew & passengers being
held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by pro-Palestinian hijackers

1988 US Navy shoots down Iranian civilian jetliner over Gulf, kills 290

Other days, not so much.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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