Fountain Pen

Saturday October 23 (Poetry Challenge Day 19)



Few tools give me more pleasure
than a fine fountain pen.

I only own one,
the bastards are expensive.

If you have never tried one,
you are missing a wonderful experience.



Note: This is not to say that I don’t own any symbols of success… I would not spend $1000 on a fountain pen, but I have spent well over that for a bicycle… by a factor of 10…

Get On Your Bike And Ride

Friday October 22 (Poetry Challenge Day 18)



You could use this phrase
to suggest someone needs to look
for a new job.

It could also mean
you have a penchant
for fat bottomed girls.

Maybe like David Byrne,
you have a “Diary”
in your future.

For me, it means freedom, exercise,
the means which allows me
to look at things differently.

Whatever it means to you,
‘Get on your bike and ride!’



When I Die

Thursday October 21 (Poetry Challenge Day 17)



You’ve heard the phrase
‘don’t cry for me.’
I’m going to add a new one,
‘don’t sweat the details.’

When I die
I would like it if you get together
and say nice things.
If they are true, all the better.

But please don’t sweat the details.

Don’t worry about a memorial.
I’ll give you all the instructions you need for that…

Play my favorite song.
Read my favorite poem.
(Likely not one of mine.)
Oh yes, and read a few words I have prepared for you.

And then… go get drunk.



Note: I realize the phrase ‘don’t sweat the details’ is not original to me.

My Cat Thinks I’m Stupid

Wedensday October 20 (Poetry Challenge Day 16)



He Is, There’s Little Doubt

Did you know there is such a thing
as an ‘Anthrozoologist?’

They specialize in thinking like animals.
They will tell you that cats think we are stupid.

I knew that.
My cat is constantly teaching me how to feed him.

He leads me to his bowl,
he doesn’t realize I’m onto his game.

Just for fun, when we reach his bowl,
I’ll pick him up and hold him instead of feed him.
The look of consternation on his face is priceless.

Sometimes instead of feeding him
(especially in the middle of the night)
I’ll take him back to bed with me instead.

I’ll try and snuggle with him,
he will bolt from my arms the first chance he gets.

Cats are still wild animals,
otherwise he’d know I was messing with him

Instead, he jumps down, shaking his head,
wondering how stupid could I be.



Note: The subtitle was written by my cat.

Parking

Tuesday October 19 (Poetry Challenge Day 15)



It’s truly amazing how quickly
we become frustrated
when we can’t find parking.



Note: Some would say this is a sentence disguised as a poem. I would not be the last person to agree with that…

Crisis

Monday October 18 (Poetry Challenge Day 14)



The world is in crisis.
I try to be optimistic.
I think I mostly succeed,
but occasionally reality intercedes.

Why have we reached this threshold?
The veneer of a just American society,
the notion of fairness and opportunity,
in reality stripped away.

I don’t understand what the leaders
of this frenzy have to gain.
Will making rich people richer
really help advance the interests of humanity?

What are the people that want
to take us to a “glorious” past
really afraid of…
I think it is fear of losing their power.

Or perhaps it is the desire to gain more
power, money, influence,
but, at its’ root, fear.
This feels all too historically familiar.



Note: I do feel a bit guilty about engaging in political writing. I don’t want to repeat the mistake of Eric Coomer from Dominion. He should have shown more social media restraint, but even if he had, I don’t think that would have in any way prevented us from finding ourselves where we are today. Which raises the interesting question: If there were no such thing as social media 1) would you be reading this, and 2) would there have been a Jan 6 insurrection?

Redmond Whiskey Fig


Given to me by a bartender at the Wayfarer Hotel in Redmond Oregon

1 Marinated Fig
2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1-½ oz. Orange Juice
¼ oz. Maple Syrup
3 dashes Orange Bitters

Wet shake, strain, and pour over ice. Splash with Ginger Beer. Enjoy while listening to “Son Of A Preacher Man” by the Dusty Springfield and “Last Night” by The Mar-Keys.


Daughter

Sunday October 17 (Poetry Challenge Day 13)



Happy Birthday daughter.
Of all the things that could be said.
Of all the things that bring me pride.
You are at the very top of my list.

Not a day goes by
that I don’t think of you.
Perhaps you find that hard to believe,
I understand… still it is true.

If I could give you anything in the world
I surly would (besides my love of course).
But for now, this simple poem
will have to do.

And if there were any doubt in your mind
to whom I am referring,
it is to all of you.
Three times blessed have I been.



Redmond Whiskey Sour


Given to me by a bartender in Flagstaff Arizona

1 Egg White
2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1 oz. Lemon Juice
½ oz. Heavy Syrup

Dry shake vigrously.

Wet shake to chill, strain and server over a big rock. Add a Pinot float. Enjoy along with a Notre Dame Football Game.


Redmond Manhattan


Otherwise known as a Black Manhattan

2 oz. Woodford Reserve
¾ oz. Amaro Averna Sicilliano
4 drops Orange Bitters
1 Luxardo Cherry

Shake 30 times over ice. Pour into a 10 oz. insulated martini tumbler. Enjoy with my Spotify playlist “Deep Funk.”


LST

Saturday October 16 (Poetry Challenge Day 12)



Poetry is in my blood.
I remember when I was in High School.
I got a job as a painter in a shipyard.
We were converting a WWII era Landing Ship Transport into a cannery.

The foreman sent me below deck
to paint a shower room.
He forgot to send me down with an exhaust fan.
Marine paint is bad stuff.

By noon, my buddy and I
were writing poetry on the walls with our paint brushes.
It was a contest of sorts.
We took turns composing lines.

When the foreman came down to get us,
he was surprised…

…we got the afternoon off.



Note: The point about poetry being in my blood could be a slight exaggeration… but at least it was that day for a period of several hours, accompanied by a splitting headache after coming back up on deck…

Coffee

Friday October 15 (Poetry Challenge Day 11)



I couldn’t cut code without coffee.
Now I can’t write poetry without coffee.

Coffee, the drug of choice
for intellectuals…

And those of us that aspire to be
a bit beyond ordinary.



My Greatest Joy

Thursday October 14 (Poetry Challenge Day 10)



My greatest joy might be
reading my poems to you in bed.

You have an amazing tolerance for drivel,
for that I thank you.

But that begs the question
why do I enjoy this so much?

I think it’s about showing
another person who you are.

There is something extremely
intimate in that.

It’s OK if you don’t like these poems,
listening is enough for me.



My Greatest Fear

Wedensday October 13 (Poetry Challenge Day 9)



My greatest fear is that
I will run out of things to say.
Perhaps I have less than 365
thoughts in my head.

I think the key to poetry
might be mindfulness.
Or, if not that,
simply the ability to empty your head.

Which, by the way,
does give me a significant advantage.



Famous People

Tuesday October 12 (Poetry Challenge Day 8)



I know a guy that dropped a pumpkin
from the top of an FAA Control Tower.
He traded his pumpkin tossing skills in
to become a commercial airline pilot.

I know a guy that was the first to ski
a snow covered volcano
in the Aleutian Islands.
He never got credit for it.

I know a woman
with exceptional English Language skills.
She spends her time correcting my grammar.
I love her for it.

You see, we are all famous in some way.
We just need to look closely.



In Defense of (My) Poetry

Monday October 11 (Poetry Challenge Day 7)



I know some of you may be thinking
is this poetry?

If you are one of the twenty-five reading this
let me assure you… I have no idea.

If I knew what poetry was I would never
attempt to write a poem every day.

It could be said that poetry is in the eye
(or rather the ear) of the beholder.

It might also be said there has to be
some intrinsic meaning.

These are just the answers
I have come up with.

Perhaps we can discover
the answer together.

Remind me to revisit this question
with you a year from now…



Missing You

Sunday October 10 (Poetry Challenge Day 6)



It’s one thing to wake up
every morning beside you,
quite another to find you
not there.

Without you there I am oddly free,
but the price is extraordinary,
for I find myself incomplete.
Not in a bad way

Having you there
makes me better,
more free,
because of your love.



The Oncely Alligator

Saturday October 9 (Poetry Challenge Day 5)



Perhaps all this poetry nonsense
stems from my childhood.

To get me out of the house
my parents enrolled me in a
summer writing program.

I remember our class titled
our composite summer work,
‘The Oncely Alligator.’

If only I could be so creative
as an adult.



Cats

Friday October 8 (Poetry Challenge Day 4)



What does a cat think?
I wish I knew.

When I look into his eyes
I believe he is trying to say something.

But alas, I can’t draw any conclusion
other than simple recognition.

I think he loves me in his own way.
I certainly love him.

A love that for the most part
seems to be one-sided.

But in a way,
that’s what makes it special.



Water

Thursday October 7 (Poetry Challenge Day 3)



I forgot to water the plants - again.
One of them seems to have forgiven me
the other has given up on me.

So much like life.

The trick is to surround yourself
with people (and plants)
that don’t easily give up on you.



475

Wednesday October 6 (Poetry Challenge Day 2)



Four hundred seventy five miles.
That’s a long day.
I can’t remember spending so much time
in desolation.

Eastern Oregon is amazing.
Never ending badlands it seems.
It reminds me of West Texas.

Only more remote,
and more isolated.



I've Been Thinking

Tuesday October 5 (Poetry Challenge Day 1)



I’ve been thinking about writing
a poem a day.

Who would read such nonsense?
Ah, but that is the point,

I do it for myself and no one else.
That may not be exactly true…

I also do it for the twenty-five or so readers
that might stumble onto this.



The Burl

Sitting in a tree house
looking out
surrounded by nothing but leaves
I am suspended by the handiwork of man
and the cooperation of Mother Nature.

A rare experience
as joyful as it is inspiring
it makes one pause
shouldn’t this be how we live
supported and uplifted by the
work of our own hands.

Much seems to be lost in today’s world
staying here and enjoying this experience
is grounding
even while the thought of being suspended
is ever present on my mind.

Daughter's Day

Yes it’s Father’s Day, but since I’m a Father myself it would presumptuous to write about me, so, I’m going to write about my daughters. Let’s call them “A”, “B”, and “C.” (Any correspondence to first initials is completely unintended.) I am so lucky to have three wonderful daughters. When I look at all three of them I see a bit of myself, but that is really not the best part. I believe all three of them would say they got the best parts of me and avoided the worst parts of me. Of course that doesn’t make them perfect. The rest of the equation they had to add themselves, and add they did. As a parent, the best thing we can hope for is that our children disinherit our bad qualities. Inheriting our good qualities is icing on the cake.

If I could say just one thing to each of them, it would be to tell them how proud they make me feel.

We never spend as much time with our daughters as we should. Perhaps that is better than too much time. When it comes to the right amount, there is no real way to know the answer to that. One thing we can control is our attention. I’ve always tried to be present with them when we are together, I think that is just as important as the amount of time itself. Kids need room to grow. Adults need space to be themselves. Even with that, they need to know they are in your thoughts, even when you are not there with them. I hope they do. I think they do. Happy Daughter’s Day!

VPN

This morning I started to set up my new router. I purchased this from a reseller that customizes routers so they will support VPN out of the box, no flashing required. I figured this is the safest approach since flashing a router yourself can result in a decorative brick that may or may not complement the decor in your living room. I will explain shortly my reason for doing this, but as I unplugged the old router and unplugged the Internet provider’s gateway, it occurred to me that there was no WiFi in the house. Imagine that. Silence, of a sort. I decided at this point to put on my coat and go outside and read for a bit, primarily so I can say, if I ever have to, that when the WiFi goes down I simply read a book…

The book I chose was “The Bomber Mafia” by Malcolm Gladwell. I love tech subjects (almost as much as Science Fiction) the subject that Gladwell deals with in this book is particularly fascinating. The invention of the Nordon Bomb Sight, the man that invented it and the men of the Army Air Corp that put it to good use. Without this particular invention the Second World War would have been a much different affair. After a couple of chapters it was time to get back to the task at hand, particularly because someone that still chooses to work for a living would be coming home in a matter of a couple of hours and it would not be good to have her greeted by a WiFi vacuum.

Back to the original task, first though, as I was reading about the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Gladwell’s book, I recalled my bicycle trip across the country. Yes, it’s a bit strange how these connections come up, I hadn’t thought about this incident in some time. While I was making my way through Pensacola Florida I decided to visit the Air Force Museum. The museum is located on the Air Force Base, when I rolled up to the guard booth the (mostly) friendly M.P. informed me that no bicycles were allowed on base. I thought that peculiar, but I assumed it was a liability thing so I turned around and looked for a good place to have some lunch. It turned out all right, I ended up having lunch and chatting with a pilot from the base, that was a real treat, the BBQ was good too.

The new router is set up. I had a bit of a hard time because the router’s configuration app was not responding when I tried to configure my VPN service. I could not figure out why, but I should have. I had a chat with the router support folks and I was simply told to use a different browser. About all I can say is not all browsers are created equal. I recently switched to the Brave browser, as soon as I tried the configuration steps in Firefox everything worked perfectly. I was using Brave for privacy, but now that I have router level VPN up and running, my security concerns have been greatly reduced. That said, I don’t use anything Google because they track you as soon as you log in to their platform. So there you go, the whole point of this exercise is to provide enhanced security, but there is one other reason, I want to watch Mariner’s baseball games on MLB TV. I’m looking forward to the first pitch tonight…