What a beautiful day.


Pleasant day with a gentle breeze and with the warmth from the sunshine I was able to casually mow the front and backyards. Exiting the hospital 15 months ago from my second back surgery the really dour acting nurse in charge of me stated I had a (history) as she sent me home in the coolest ambulance  I’ve ever seen. That word, history, has stuck with me since then and it is good.

I’ve tried out many of my old work habits and discovered from pushing the mower, which is ok although sometimes I  have to break up the task into smaller pieces, the cumulative effect is the same.  I cannot go sliding under the boom of a 30 foot sailboat, clearing lines and tending my sheets during a tack and who only knows what else.  But anyhow it’s just a process of discovery of my limitations. Also wielding a chainsaw and splitting firewood seems to be off limits too.

But today is a beautiful day and when I put away my tools and closed the gate and walked to the front yard something inside of me echoed to look up in the sky.  I know it’s a  bit indifferent as freaking pictures of clouds go but I walked back inside, got my phone and took a picture.

IMG_7238

A beautiful day…

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It is Cool in Georgia…


First picture of the New Year 2015 as the weather in the south has gotten in on some seriously sweet polar chill. Witness my denim froze on the rail, in the sun drying.

My denim froze on the rail today.

My denim froze on the rail today.

 Two men are meeting on the street
“It was very cold this morning”
“How cold was it?”
“I do not exactly, but I saw a lawyer
with his hands in his own pockets.”

I would think the above joke on cold weather is somewhat universal, or should at least be understandable, universally. Anyhow……. If its this cold in Georgia then I suppose my friends up north are feeling the chill as well. Stay warm and help someone who maybe less fortunate, its happened to me before and I thank you.

McTell…

More Blog a bit less FB?


Last month of the year has arrived, it is December 2014 and oh how the time has passed.

Retired from Federal Government somewhat expected but never expected to occur as it did so quickly. Twenty five years with them seems like the cross between a lifetime and a bad dream that’s over and gone.

Since August, my official retirement-out date and receipt of my first pension check the days have been filled with ‘catching-up’ on the details, minor at first but over the years the details became an agenda in need of fulfillment. Deferred health care was a major concern and problematic that the time was never available. So I suffered consequences unavoidably. Obviously the top of me list is/was get your body fixed or repaired as well as my home. So much deferred for so long.

After years of painful and life altering spinal injury, no not disc, chord injury my surgeon ‘did it’. He repaired the damage I’d carried for years, but what I thought would take a day or two and a few weeks of healing, well I underestimated the process (laugh here).  I am now humble and grateful to him (my surgeon) and Emory-midtown in Atlanta GA, for what I simply call medicine. The process that combines the facility, the Doctors, nurses, tech and their philosophy. Medicine, the combination of physical, emotional and atmosphere to heal the sick. I thank you all. And the check is in the mail, its not free but worthy. Again thank you.

The few months before my surgery was spent on those items time never allowed working 10-12-14 hour days 6 days a week. Painting the house and windows, installing workable vents from laundry to exterior, repairing interior cracks in sheetrock. My home has been bounced around like a bouncing ball from a ‘massive construction’ project next door, but that is another story. And it is not pleasant at all.

Anyhow, from a year ago to this day the quote or saying…….” It was the best of times & It was the worst of times’ has never been more true nor real. While preparing physically for my surgery, like riding my bicycle every trip around town not driving. Me decided me need something for the long haul after surgery. I’d played guitar most of my life, despite my tin-ear. Work had so over taken my life the past 10-15 years I’d stopped playing and fairly well stopped listening to music. I purchased a nice guitar and told myself I learn to play again.

A  few days out of the hospital and still drugged/medicated to a very high degree I picked up that guitar and found a chord or two, still looking for that ‘note’, but she, the guitar sure sounds sweet.

God Bless those who have helped me recover to where I am now and it is good. Until then, when my strength returns me days are up and  me days are down.

Really random stuff…..


Just posting to keep a pulse on my blog. So for now its mostly visual and sparse and really random..enjoy.

When at this computer here in order is the album of songs I listen too. If not this then I stream WKDK am…..Newberry South Carolina. Evenings mostly is random music from the 60’s thru the 80’s, time, temp and weather. Other nights its South Carolina ‘Football’…

Soul Serenade…..King Curtis

Dig a Pony…………Beatles

Across the Universe…….Beatles

Devil Got My Woman….Gregg Allman

Bell Bottom Blues…..Derick and the Dominoes

Bertha…..Grateful Dead

Savannah Mama….Blind Willie McTell

Back on My Feet Again….Randy Newman

She Caught the Katy……Wet Willie

Wah-Wah……..George Harrison

The weather in the south has been wet this summer. Its easy…East Coast moisture north to south…mid third of the country moisture wraps southward above the plains. funnel into Ga-alabama

I’m behind the new Alpharetta City Center 100%…..lol.

Alpharetta City Center

Alpharetta City Center

 One supervisor and one worker. Its the American way..

1 supervisor 1 employee

1 supervisor 1 employee

When I was a kid in the 1960’s this was the Thomson/McDuffie county Jail House.

Thomson/McDuffie County Jail House

Thomson/McDuffie County Jail House

About 10 minutes from the house. Swallow at the Hollow. 100% great Southern Bar-B-que.

Singer-song-writer showcase and Americana music…think ‘The Loft’ on satellite radio.

Swallow At The Hollow -Roswell, GA-

Swallow At The Hollow
-Roswell, GA-

Sir Richard Branson…see below.

Richard Branson -5 questions and a quote-

Richard Branson
-5 questions and a quote-

I cannot for the life of me find the ‘5 Questions’ Branson published. The questions suitable for a job applicant or the applicant to the employer… Quotes below.

‘Why a business plan is only as good as one’s first contact with a customer’.

‘What do you need to take on a giant & win? Nothing but bravery, good people & a great idea’.

‘If somebody asks why are you looking up at the sky, ask them why they aren’t looking up at the stars’.

First ‘ floor-mat’ joke of your day??

Floor Mat

Floor Mat

Dockerys restaurant closed this year and it happened sooner than later. I’m here with the lady who brought me my last meal. She had always been the best.. During the goodbyes I managed to take some pictures of the people who I shared the establishment with over the years but never held a conversation.

She and I

She and I

 

I found a great sit back with a cup of coffee on a rainy Sunday afternoon. With this piece thirty minute read is too short, great article nevertheless.  Don’t let the title fool you into believing its a ‘government/political statement from the State department. It more and provocative in the light of the reality. Families apart and separated physically and emotionally, divided by juxtaposed societies and bound by their common culture.

THE ISLAND OF STOPPED CLOCKS: INSIDE CUBA 50 YEARS AFTER THE REVOLUTION

THE ISLAND OF STOPPED CLOCKS: INSIDE CUBA 50 YEARS AFTER THE REVOLUTION
BY JACKSON BLAIR
(What you cannot see on the video is how, over the course of the next few hours, Lesley realizes she’s lost the 25 years for good. That after all this time, the history they shared is too too faint or too slight to be recovered. Entering the terminal, she felt a brief but overwhelming sense of familiarity. But after the hugs and tears subsided she felt tentative and swept up by family in name only).

Leave em’ laughing I’ve been told….Lighter side of life.

-Why does Goofy stand upright and Pluto stand on all four feet? They’re both dogs.

-Do “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “The Alphabet Song” have the same tune?

-On Gilligan’s Island, the professor could make a radio out of a coconut. Why couldn’t he fix the hole in the boat?

-If Wile E. Coyote has enough money to buy all that stuff from ACME, why doesn’t he just buy himself dinner?

Moby Dick
Elijah:
( Ye’ve shipped, have ye? Names down on papers? Well, what’s signed, is signed; and what’s to be, will be )

Mark Twain on the press:

“There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.”

It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.

Just really random stuff….

November and a Post…….


“Repeat a lie regularly enough and it will soon become ranked with conventional truth…”

Francis Rupert Legge

 When the weather changes for real into Fall I’m reminded of living on the farm in the 90’s. The farmhouse and a couple of acres remained as the suburbs crept closer. In the back a acre of so of well tilled field, smokehouse/shed, two, three sided barns, one housed the grist mill. The mill was powered by rather large and rather loud tractor, sitting on cement blocks and a couple of flat tires. The belts she turned would be shifted to shell the dried corn from the cobs or turn the mill wheel. The leftover cornmeal dust on the floor always showed the tiniest mouse footprints, surprising considering the dozen feral cats living in the barns!

Around the middle of October, I’d be out digging up the rows of sweet potatoes below the terrace. Ripping out the vines by hand, rolling them into bundles tossed aside. I’d find myself excited as a kid on the way to a county fair. Digging out the tubers balances a fine line, ‘between the last rain and first frost’. Stacked they would lay in the field as I head back to the farmhouse in the evening twilight, putting away the hoes and shovel in the middle barn. Unfailingly my adopted cats would be sitting on the well-cover, together with out fail they would look at me, look at each other and at the same time hit the ground softly as one not three we’d go inside for the night. Winter, Spring, Summer an Fall this repeated itself hundreds of times and you know what? I simply never took one moment for granted. It was Heaven.

My soul was kick around a bit just last week from a vehicle accident bout a mile from where I’d lived on the farm. The road runs long and area is a refuge too deer and the coyotes, either of which I suspect as the ’cause’. Akshay, who did not survive the accident, received the Ferrari from his parents. I have lost some friends, brothers in a similar accident decades ago. The brothers are buried together behind the Augusta National golf course. It’s infrequent now that I stop in to pay my respects. Thirty years after I wonder what if it never happen and will always.

I cannot get enough of online literary magazine, The Rumpus.net with the musings of editor in chief Stephen Elliott. Whenever you find a free moment support them and check out ‘Letters in the Mail’, and ‘Letters for Kids’. The Rumpus.net has grown up quickly across the universal net of knowledge, literature, and the outlandish.

With that in mind I’ve been following Geoff Lemon from ‘down-under’ for several years. Similar to the above yet vastly different is “Going Down Swinging”.  I’ve been a follower of Geoff’s’ blog , “Heathen Scriptures” prior to the launch of GDS. Here is a link to a post from GDS that tugs me back often and I hope you also……The Blue Corner/Sometimes Poems…“Cold Was the Ground”.

Be well

I remain McTell…

 

 

Is there nothing I can do . . . . . .


First 5 bars

 We are always meditating on something, but we get to choose what.

When the subject or the personal or professionally interaction occurs where there is myself and a woman involved is there nothing I can do to better or more thoroughly understand the female’s mindset?  Nearly six decades into this life and the ever changing ever evolving opposite sex still remains to this individual the enigma dwarfing the construction of the pyramids of Egypt much less the concept of the Pythagorean Theorem.  I not sure but the feeling is this blog is about women simply because you remain to this day the mysterious one of all to me it seems you the female are never alone no matter where you are and seemingly never lost or at a loss.

Just this past week I head up to Dockerys’ here in-town for the weekly treat of eating a meal out of the house and in a café. The lunch menu as well as the breakfast has always been simple and good. Omelets, eggs, grits, biscuits for breakfast or the meat and two with tea and cornbread for lunch and maybe a desert. In the past few months since receiving a free iPhone I’ve developed the habit of copying articles and book chapters to notepad and forwarding them to my hot-mail account. Wherever I am I can open up a e-mail and read too my hearts content with out surfing the net. Two different letters I’d sent to my hot-mail account have kept me busy for a while. The first is EXPOSED By Emily Gould 05/08 where a argument with Jimmy Kimmel on CNN produced something of a life changing publication and provocative insight for Emily. The other and most exciting e-mail read is with Cheryl Strayed the writer whose career is looking like a NASA mission to the ISS.

At age 22 Cheryl having lost her mother age 45 to cancer having a marriage in taters and unable to find the correct energy to keep her family together bailed out into California to hike the PCT all 1100 miles from the desert to the mountains. Having never camped in the out of doors much less backpacked she did it. She did it thru every season available and the trials and pain, mental and physical. Admittedly and rightfully Cheryl realized the journey was not the answer to her troubling life but a benchmark to follow thru to where she is today. The adventure entitled * “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” immediately was optioned by Reese Witherspoon and Director Lisa Cholodenko will be at the helm with Cheryl on as associate producer.

Having walked up to Dockerys seating myself as the custom without looking up I muttered ‘unsweet tea’ to the waitress while scrolling up a read on the iPhone.  Better yet below the pictures is what I wrote down when I got back to the house after lunch…..

 

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta

Beets..Okra..Chicken dumplings..cornbread

Lunch today the waitress brought me a tall glass of tea and a very short straw. When I mentioned to the waitress the fact my straw was a full couple of inches beneath the lip of the tea glass the waitress instructed me thus..

‘On the wall in the men’s-room is a roll of paper on the wall, write your complaint on the roll and we will see to it”!! The mood in the dining area changed to much better when the waitress returned with a short glass of tea and …a long straw asking me if I am happy now.  Got around to asking her name something I find difficult to do unless the ‘timing is correct’. With orders and conversations abounding during the lunch hour I waited until the cube-rats had thinned a bit.

15 minutes later she sat down at a side table rolling flatware into paper napkins with the pause in the air I simply asked ‘what’s your name?’.  Replying she said ‘just call me the Chicken Lady of Alpharetta’. I laughed or more so the chuckle mentioning if indeed I could use the name in this blog. ‘Make me famous and put in there I’m from ‘Mobile, Alabama’. Scooting back it my plate while sitting two tables apart we discussed the differences of Birmingham, Alabama from middle of the state to differences of lower and gulf coast Alabama.

Chicken Lady of Alpharetta said her grandmother’s side of the family was mostly from Louisiana and it was there she had spent half of her life.  Interestingly enough I felt she had a closer affection  ofLouisiana than Mobile. In fact she told me her grandmothers’ home on Dauphin Island, Alabama had been lost to a hurricane in the 60’s. Blown clean off the low lying island the structure floated on the ocean for three days becoming a hazard to navigation until it sank to the bottom. Her grandmother’s home was rebuilt on the tiny island. The latest word from the island Chicken Lady of Alpharetta told me of State Farm insurance company celebrating the last remaining tree on Dauphin Island being lost to a hurricane. Apparently the regular weather devastation of the homes on the island cause by falling trees had dug a hole in the company’s profit margin!!!

Found a e-mail from a special interest group I’d signed up with a few months ago over internet usage, freedom of speech, intellectual property, bandwidth, twitter and well just about all things internet. The subject at hand was the ongoing problems with Pinterest over property rights. Locally a woman with a Boudoir Photography company and Portrait Studio of the highest caliber had second thoughts from blog input. Too make a long story short after gnashing of teeth and fretting Kirsten Kowalski in her blog ‘ ddk’s blog ‘  deleted her work in Pinterest and it hurt her to do so. The viral input landed on the desk of Ben Silbermann owner and founder of Pinterest. For business purposes his site is the godsend for companies like K’s photography but and the but is large as always attorneys has spelled out the most ambiguous terms of usage and Kirsten spent a lot of time reading the ‘terms’ in order to be a good steward in using the site and had to delete her works. In the end Ben Silbermann firstly e-mailed to arrange a ‘call’ to see what the two of them could brainstorm in order to get K’s business back and to expand the business while protecting the artist work and his ‘terms of usage’.  There are some links if you care to look a bit deeper and check out ddk’s studio and blog.

With one foot in the door and one foot out something I though I’d never see and something I’d never considered. Singer, songwriter and artist Gregg Allman’s biography debuted at #2 on the New York Times best seller list.

My Cross to Bear #2

My hats off Mr. Allman and good health to you too. From the excerpts I seen of the book the cloak is removed allowing the life and times of him, his family and music to be laid out and available for viewing. I’ve not a clue as to the highs and lows but in the life of mine the highs will never equal the lows just maybe that’s what makes my life  so very real.

give a listen……..McTell

 

 

 

A bit early Spring……


A bit early Spring…….

Just another day in the week of a month where Spring arrived several full fortnights in advance of Mother Nature’s typical cycle. Sitting down @the desktop I’m wondering what will follow months from today.  Will August arrive as a September and so forth. A second observation of question is will this summer in North America be warmer than the previous?  Summer of 2011 was warm and hot in a long and abundant sense rather than something to spike the thermometer daily and nightly. Previous to March the tornado sirens have already show they work when needed, and the season will last for months to come.

Hit the stand-by of WMP for a load of Allman Brothers to spur the imagination. Vintage and still relevant their first album entitled, “The Allman Brothers Band”. The opening cover of Spencer Davis’s Don’t Want You No More, is still as fresh and sonic as it was the day my sister brought me home a copy, it stayed on my record player for years. It was 1969.  On the subject, Gregg Allman has a book coming out just about now.  Having survived the decades as an artist, a “Rock-Star’, and the liver transplant this may be a worthy read……..available May Day 2012. “ My Cross to Bear”.

On the moving forward side, a company named C. W. Matthews began clearing the woods in front of the house here as construction begins on removing my street and replacing it with a different one. I’ve spent most of my life in this area and still this is a first. The city purchased all the homes on 27 acres in town, removed the structures. My home is at the east side of the development. My street is being removed, ok?  Quarter of a mile south of me a roundabout will be installed and the road will angle north in front of my home, end with a traffic signal a hundred yards away with a left or right turn.  The old road way will be taken up leaving a contiguous parcel of 28 acres of land. Upon which will be a park, a library and a city courthouse. All this is done with approval of the citizens of Alpharetta, 29million dollar bond, voted and affirmed. I have no clue what is going on, except I am the host to triple the number of squirrels I had a few weeks past.  New squirrel condos in abundance now..Lastly the parcel of land to be a public park was named March 26th . Brooke Street Park. When the road is finished and the park completed, Brooke Street will no long exist. I do like the name but it makes me sad to loose my street.

Looking south, new road approaching, will Over-lay Brooke Street in picture and continue about another 100 yards north @best to end at traffic light.

Thus a rather large chapter in my life is ending. Could it be akin to a relationship that has concluded and if so how is the end written?  The thought of the chapter being linked to a death of a partner is repulsive, saying the least. Attempting to name the change a formal separation will not work. Separation is not final and this is and it is written in stone. The street Brooke will no longer exist, the name will. A divorce may be the ultimate descriptive word, or best names the chapter. Yet the ‘D’ word has a weakness to simply name the chapter thus.

In Malaysia are a tribe, few in numbers still alive and well living up rivers in a communal fashion, as they have for thousands of years. Living with some modern convinces of necessity, sparse radios for communication and motors on the boats and canned beer.  The tribe still maintains a tradition of life. Many of the men of the community have left never to return, others have served proudly in Malaysian military. Mostly know for their brutal yet skilful removal of the communist from the country in the 1950’s.  Their tradition is called ‘Journeyman”. And it is a lifestyle.

A young man is encouraged to leave the village. Gather experience in life; bring something back to the village and repeat. Rather open-ended as the cycle may be repeated for their entire life.  Just maybe the loss of my street and its name, left only to the park, is a Journeyman. No shingle will be hung now of a life-time craft. Just Journeyman.

Got a few more thoughts there and about. The most nagging one is,” Go outside and wash the car”, it is covered in a very thick layer of yellow pollen. If your not born and raised in this area of the country, the pollen has the tendency to cause ones head to swell, the eyes to water, the nose to spew and a unceasing pressure in the forehead. Resulting in misery of the highest order.  Turning 57 on the 27th of March and repeat to myself the mantra I have for 35 years.  “ Where will I be in a year?”    McTell…

 

 

Debate will continue…..


I’ve never imagined myself a writer, nor a idealist. I’ve founds on the creative side mostly visual and physical success. Business in the craft of acting, motions, juggling the simplest forms of scene stealing short of just chewing gum. But alas no actor am I, but in the long run of life, and I lay claim here, with a chuckle. Myself finds the craft of directing thru line, texture or form, includes everyday life, indeed. The entrance of my home directs one towards a sitting area of entertainment or a ‘den’, of comfort and view of the out of doors. Hence I claim on the form of life, indeed follows the function and necessity.

Looking forward, if you will?? I’ve had a great blog idea or two and find no, absolutely no  compelling reason or inspiration to proceed. I feel not a lazy streak yet I do feel the need to be compelled, compelled by that great big mysterious force of nature or unature if there is such a word. A reason to ‘bevel’ in a justification beyond filling up the page with written word, not a cause nor justification. Me? I look for some universal need within me life to apply the ‘pen to paper’.

A city of east Georgia in the USA, has been the center of a notable writer from this state. If my memory serves me correctly he was originally from south of Atlanta, Georgia near Moreland, where more than one author of note was born and raised. The writer in my thoughts wrote of the last vestiges of indentured servitude in this state, of the sharecropper who could not give up his and his family’s life and the times and attitudes which bound these men and there families to the same cycle of life their fathers and fathers before them were bounds as chattel.

Oh how spring has risen here in me hometown a month early and no real winter upon us here, I would bear to say the weather has been cool, and cold, and even to chance we have been frozen at times of early mornings, but and but again there has been no seasonal waves of deep freeze and the timely percipient to aggravate transportation in the metro area. The most gorgeous of flowering plants, of Asian origin her in Georgia, the Azalea have bloomed in a most spastic way and continue to do so me thinks until April, while this is the seasonal time for the Japanese Magnolia, the arid blooming blossoms floating above the ground imitating pale lanterns of the foreground.

Rain on the way and the heavens have been generous this year around, with all the homes across the street from me finally removed, my view in the neighborhood has changed to being the front door of in-town Alpharetta, Georgia. Till later I’ll adjust and in-town will do the same. Guess I could always put up a sign and open a hotdog stand.

Camellia on the dinner table

Camellia on the dinner table