A Chistmas present and some laughs for all of you!

December 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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It’s getting close to the time old Santa will hitch the reindeer to the sleigh, pack his sack with goodies and leave the North Pole for places south.  I’ve been busy helping the Geezer with his book signings, decorate for the season and finding presents for his family and friends.  My blogging hasn’t been as frequent as I would like, but I promise I’ll do much better after the first of the year.

Speaking of presents, a lot of you have asked me…to ask him…if he would post his short story, “Claus and the Consultant,” so many of you enjoyed three years ago.  It was a Christmas present to all his friends, family and readers.  It’s hilarious. It’s back.  Go to  his blog at   http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com  or his web site at  http://www.dlhavlin.com  to read and laugh!

The Geezer and I have been doing so many things, I thought I’d post some of the pictures and captions of the events here and talk about them later.  Though I’m sure I’ll write between now and then — MERRY CHRISTMAS — Just in case!

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Storytelling by camp fire at Patrick Smith Day

Den and the bird

Den and the bird

Lori, Mike and Dorothy

Lori, Mike and Dorothy

The "grands"

The “grands”

H.O.P.E. Holiday House at Tarpon Lodge

H.O.P.E. Holiday House at Tarpon Lodge

Readers

Readers

Linda and Larry

Linda and Larry

Pine Island 50th Anniversary

Pine Island 50th Anniversary

September 11 – Why Labor Day? How about No Labor Day?

September 11, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments
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     Labor day is over, thank goodness.  It’s a holiday that marks a lot of changes where I live.  For example, hurricane season is about half over.  Hurricane season is something you feel a lot better worrying about as it goes away, rather than the dread of facing the season’s start.  Its one of those least worst situations; like voting for a politician in an election. 
     After Labor Day, cool weather is on the way.  Hooray.  Anticipating that makes me smile.  Human’s think they suffer in the heat.  They moan and groan like a bunch of puppies whose mother has decided to shut down the milk bar for a while.  I’d like those two-legged complaint machines to walk around in a full-length fur coat like mine, during August, and watch them swelter.   
     Ahhh changes!  We’ll have less rain, less mosquitoes, less humidity, more camping trips, more people returning to the ‘hood, and more time outdoors. 
     It marks change all over as I understand.  Other parts of the country see changes in their weather, kids go back to school, and humans change what they wear.   People are getting ready for elections that they hope will make changes.  Why, I’ve even noticed that some folks sigh and become more business-like in everything they do after Labor Day.
     I’ve wondered, why do they call the holiday Labor Day?  No body works on that day.  Why not call it No Labor Day?  Or something more appropriate like, Things Are Going To Change Day?”  The name didn’t make sense to me.  Human’s do many strange things, like throwing away perfectly good bones or driving four blocks to the store for a loaf of bread, then spending a half hour on an exercise machine to lose weight, so little they do surprises me.  Or should…….
     Though I should have known better, I decided to ask the Geezer, “Why do you humans call the first Monday in September, Labor Day?”
     The Geezer grinned, “Lets see, Sandy.  The simplest way to explain it to you is that its a day set aside to honor the working man.”
     I hate it when someone who isn’t any more intelligent than I am “talks down” to me!  You know, like when a politician speaks to you humans.  I fired back, “Oh, how about working women?  How was it set aside?  Did you do it with a bulldozer?  Crane?  What?”
     “Sorry Sandy.”  The Geezer had his I stepped in it this time look firmly affixed to his face.  Unlike a politician, the Geezer is smart enough to know when he’s insulting the individual he’s addressing.  “I owe you a decent answer.  You have to know a little history to understand why they named it Labor Day.  Mind?”
    I sat down, swept one paw across my chest and bowed at the same time.  “Proceed,” I said and resigned myself to one of the Geezer’s long-winded dissertations.
     “It originated back in the 1880′s.”  The old boy changed his look to his Geezerpedia countenance.  “There was a lot of turmoil between labor, business, and government.  Trouble boiled over and some union people were killed by government forces.  Grover Cleveland was president and he wanted to defuse the strife.  He quickly ran a bill through Congress declaring a holiday to recognize “the contributions that labor makes to our country.”  Eventually, the September date chosen was one celebrated by a New York union.  It became the national holiday we celebrate today.  It was supposed to be day of rest and relaxation.  Parades and speeches were a big part of the celebration in its early years, but they’ve faded.  The picnics, sporting events, and the last hurrah to summer just evolved.”
     “That makes sense,” I observed.  “Well partly.  A lot of the things you humans do on that day aren’t rest and relaxation.  Running in races, swimming, playing volleyball, and things like that are…. strenuous.”
     “Remember what Mark Twain said.”  The old boy likes to quote Twain.  The writing giant is one of the Geezer’s favorites.  “Work is what one is obliged to do and play is what one desires to do.”  The Geezer did his best to look literary.  “That’s why sitting at a desk doing accounting is considered work, while risking life and limb in a strenuous effort to climb a mountain is considered play.”  The literary aire faded and he looked like plain old Sam Clemons when he added, “That’s probably not the exact quote, but you can go to Tom Sawyer and look it up if you want.”
     I nodded and smiled.  The more time I spend around humans, the more inconsistent and difficult they are to understand.  Straining the Geezer’s meager mental machinery wouldn’t enlighten my old friend.  How do you explain to unthinking creatures that resting means going to a big cushion and laying down, not cashing cats in the hot sun?  The strange thing is that the species can make up clever tidbits, like that Twain fellow did, that almost make sense of their weird, irrational behavior.  Marathons?  Football games?  Parades?  Yard work?  Badminton?  Is that rest?  You think?
    The Geezer did try to placate me and I appreciated that effort.  To a degree…..   I started to make a snide remark, to tell him that he was sounding like a politician, but I couldn’t do that.  There are some insults you just can’t inflict on a dog or even on a human.

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www.dlhavlin-author.com

 

December 31 – Sandy’s New Year Wishes for her friends -

December 31, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, Media, New Years, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 12 Comments
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     Well, old 2009 will be leaving us soon.  My canine friends and I consider it an alright year.  No new houses were erected on the street so our romping areas remained in tact.  Bones still taste the same.  The Chinese didn’t put bad stuff in our food this year.  The politicians haven’t passed a dog turd or farting tax — yet.  Rabies is down, neighborhood dog population is up.  All is right with the canine world or at least its nuetral.
     My human is glad to see old 2009 leave.  The Geezer said, “It started bad, but everyone hoped for lemonade.  All they got were lemons.”  He looked wise and said, “Promptly at midnight I’m going to the toilet and flush it.  Hopefully, anything hanging around from 2009 will head down the drain.”
     Since 2009 wasn’t the best  for my human friends and just so-so for my canine buddies I decided to make some wishes for 2010.
     For Manny the chihuahua – Longer legs or more shorter women in the ‘hood.
     For Mrs. Zoomers – Shades that automatically go down on her windows when she undresses.
     For Gertrude the dachshund – Longer legs or less steps to climb and a bell on Manny’s collar to warn her when he’s coming.
     For the man who lives next door – A beer truck of his very own.
     For Giselle the greyhound – A rabbit that’s runs slow enough for her to catch.
     For Mrs. Gator – A TV remote that only works for her.
     For Heintz the mongrel – For the pizza delivery boy’s pepper spray can to always be empty when he delivers.
     For the Geezer’s friend Harry – That the next woman he marry’s divorce lawyer to be incompetent.
     For Barbie and Lucy our twin cocker spaniels – Matching boyfriends to match their matching food dishes, their matching rhinestone collars, and their matching neurosis.
     For Sparkles human – A really big one! I’m not sure what the big one she’s looking for is, but I sure hope she get’s it so she stops talking about it.
     For Sparkles the Irish setter – A bottle of whiskey, alka-seltzer, and a gag for her human.
      For Melissa Mrs. Gator’s friend – To be sure to read the labels on restroom doors before she enters
      For Fifi the poodle – A groomer with less of a warped sense of humor.
      For Dick the post man – A rear view mirror that doesn’t black out the mail boxes.
      For Sarge the German Shepherd – For his human to leave him with us for a weekend. WOOF! WOOF!
      For the Geezer – Either a TV that only broadcasts good news or less things to throw at it.
      For all dogs – Loving humans for them to own, lots of roadkill, a bones stimulus-bailout program, and flea eradication.
      For all humans – Smooth seas if you sail, clear skies if you fly, level roads if you walk, and honest politicians if you vote.  I at least had to put in one impossibility.
       To all HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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December 10 – A canine’s night after Christmas

December 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Books, Christmas, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 18 Comments
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     Christmas is coming with all the seasonal movies, songs, and stories that add meaning and warmth to the celebration.  Humans have their “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “White Christmas,” and “A Christmas Carol.”  We have our canine art forms written, performed and produced by great canine literary figures.  Who can forget “A Canine Family’s Christmas” starring Rin-Tin-Tin, Lassie, and Toto, directed by Michael Mutt and produced by Cecil B Wienerhound.  Or that classic composed by Irving Boxer, “I’m Dreaming of Turkey Left-overs.” crooned by the all-time woofer, Bling Cocker.  My personal favorite is the traditional poem written by our immortal bard Fidofus Spot Shakestail, “T ‘was the Canine Night After Christmas.”

T ‘was the night after Christmas
and the humans were done,
leaving the scene
for us dogs to have fun.
The house guests left early
with mess all around,
unaware that we dogs
in the middle would bound.
There were napkins to chew
and cookies to eat
and broken presents
that were hard on my feet.
Glasses full of liquor
sat on the floor.
I gave out with a snicker
as I nosed over more.
Under the tree
there was something for me.
A tasty new slipper
and a fruitcake I found,
which the cake– it was harder
than the slipper to down.
The living room air
that once was so fair,
now to be most honest and very clear,
was thick with the odor of stale farts and beer.
My tongue was engaged
with the dip for the chip
when I spied our cat Rufus
rolling in tinsel from whisker to hip.
After that rascal I went with a bound
sure that I’d catch him, but sadly I found,
stopping on floors that were made very slick
just wasn’t something a dog can do very quick.
The sturdy green pine with balls blue, red and gold,
went to the floor like a paper you’d fold.
I was in trouble, I knew when on went the light.
The master came running, he was primed for a fight.
But as he surveyed me and the riotous scene,
The most he did muster were words most obscene.
I heard him exclaim as he went to the rear.
“Where in the hell is the Pepto my dear?”
Ere he went into the bedroom and out of sight,
he mumbled softly like a moth in full flight
“There are some things that happen
you can’t face at night.”

     You just can’t beat the works of the old masters.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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November 30 – A canine Thanksgiving lesson -

November 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, Thanksgiving, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 14 Comments
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     (A note from the Geezer – sometimes fact is stranger than fiction and more gross.)

     Thanksgiving taught a friend of mine a lesson, one that I hope I’ll have the good sense to learn from.  I met Manny, the neighborhood chihuahua, on the Geezer’s and my morning stroll.   He looked glum, and past hello, he didn’t have a thing to say.  Now, that just isn’t Manny!
    When we wandered a few feet away from where the Geezer and Manny’s human were talking, I asked, “Hey, Manny, what’s happening?  You seem down.”
     “I am.  It’s my humans.  They are being so unfair.” 
     I know Annie, his primary human, and I can’t imagine her being unfair to anyone.  “Oh, how’s that?” I asked suspiciously.  Manny has been known to bend the truth.  Well, crumple and stomp on it is closer.
    “They have me on indefinite time out.  I’m exiled from the dining room.  It was all because of football, Thanksgiving, and chairs that weren’t pushed in.  They forgot their own words.  It’s all the humans fault, not mine.”
     That made me more curious.  “What exactly happened?”
     “It all happened so fast, but I’ll tell you the best I can.  I was in the kitchen watching Annie cook.  It smelled so good it had a hypnotic effect on me.  Yes, that’s it.  I hadn’t thought about that.  I was temporarily insane.  Anyway, everybody else was watching TV.  I followed her from kitchen to dining room as she moved one wonderful aroma producing dish after another to the big table that humans gather around.  Finally, she carried this huge plate with a gigantic brown lump on it and put it in the center of the table.  It smelled familiar.” 
     “Really?  Like what?” I asked.
     “Like my supper does sometime.  I have to tell you it made me drool.  Carumba!  It wasn’t fair.  I’ve heard Annie tell her own children not to do what happened next.”
     “Oh?” I prompted.
     “Si.”  Manny mixes in some Spanish when he gets excited or upset.  “Many times I’ve heard her say, don’t leave the chair pulled out if you don’t want Manny to get in trouble.  It will be your fault as much as his.  But it was Annie who looked at me as she pulled out a chair from under the table.  It was as though she was saying ‘come on big boy’.  Well, at that instant one of Annie’s guests stuck her head through the dining room entrance and said, ‘Come quick, the kickoff is in a few seconds’.  They left.”
     “When she pulled the chair out, you sure she wasn’t getting ready to sit down?” I asked. 
     “I never thought of that.”  Manny had a guilty look on his face.  “Anyway, it smelled so good and I thought leaving the chair there was an invitation for me to look.  And, maybe grab a little snack.  I gathered all my strength and jumped onto the chair, put my front paws on the table, and looked out over that fruited plain.”  Manny got tears in his eyes, “Oh, Sandy, it was like getting a chance to peek into heaven before dying.  All that good-looking and great-smelling stuff piled in humongous dog dishes.  And…and…and in the middle was that huge golden brown mound.  It had legs and wings and…and…and, now, I don’t want you to think I’m crazy, but I swear I could hear it saying, ‘Manny, eat me’…no dog could resist that.  None!  None!  None!”  Manny’s voice was getting shrill.
     “Calm down, Manny.  You don’t want to have a break down,” I said.
     “Gracias.”  He paused to compose himself.  With a big sigh he continued, “It was too much for me.  I knew I shouldn’t, but that mound kept calling.  Finally, I reasoned that no one would ever know, and if they did, I could blame Herman the cat.  He does those kind of things.  What would one little bite hurt?”
     “You got on the table, didn’t you.”
     “Oh, yes, but it was so hard.  The table, she was very crowded.  To get to the mound I had to wade through a bowl of stuff that looked like snow, but was warm with a lump of yellow in the middle.   And then through a swamp of green cut up plants with white juicy goo around them.  My paws sunk so deep my belly rubbed.  Finally, I made it to the huge pile.  The smell, if you only knew, que lastima!  I couldn’t resist.  I bit into one of the legs.  Turkey!  It was so good!  Then I tried some of the top.  I had to crawl up on the bird to get a bite, but I did.  Fantastic, absolutely fantastic.  It was so good I had to tell the world.  I barked, ‘this is super great shit!’  It only took seconds for the humans to rush into the room.  They were really mad!”
     “What did you expect?” I said.
     Manny looked sheepish and shrugged his shoulders.  “I was standing on top of the bird and Annie was carrying Herman so that excuse was gone.  I was scared.  They rushed the table.  But, it was what happened next that really made them furious.  “
     “That was?”
     “I yelled, ‘the devil made me do it,’ around a mouthful of white meat.”
     I looked at Manny dubiously, “Come on, what else?”
     “Well, I have this weak bladder…”
     I’ll spare you the remaining details.  However, when he’d finished his tale I asked Manny, “Did you learn anything from all that?”
     “Three things.  First, never lie with your mouth full of white meat.  Second, never brag about something you’ve done, while still close enough to get caught.  Third, never take a human at their word.”
     Manny did learn some good principles, however, he missed what might be the most important…”Never drink too much before you eat.”

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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October 27 – Why humans invented Halloween

October 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Halloween, holidays, Humor, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Writing | 9 Comments
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     I asked a simple question, “Why are our humans making all the fuss over this Halloween thing?”  It created a spirited discussion between the neighborhood canines. 
     Of course, Barbie, one of our ‘hood cocker spaniels, started talking before I finished.  She’s the know-it-all that every street has.  “It has to do with scaring away dead people.  Halloween is the day that the dead come back to life and parade around.  Humans get all excited and scared.  They dress up so the dead won’t recognize them and come and eat them.”
     “Yes, that’s right,” Manny the chihuahua said.
     “Human poop, it has nothing to do with the dead.  It comes from a Christian religious celebration called All Saints Day,” Sarge our resident German Shepard said authoritatively.
     “He’s right,” Manny agreed.
     “Wait a minute.”  Fifi the French Poodle looked skeptical.  “Let me understand.  People dress up like all kind of creatures that do horrible things to celebrate a religious holiday?  Yeah.  Sure.  If you believe that I’ve got a space ship in my human’s garage that’s shaped like a boat I’ll sell cheap.”
     “She’s probably right,” Manny had second thoughts.
     Baseer our Afghan said, “You don’t know about these Christians, they can be violent.  Now take us non-violent Muslims–”
     “He’s got a point,” Manny chimed in before Baseer finished, but he didn’t look sincere.
     “You’re all full of it!  It’s a capitalist plot to sell candy and teach their young how to extort goodies from the proletariat!  Read Marx.”  Lucy is Barbie’s twin sister, but boy do they see everything different.
     Manny asked, “Which Marx?”
     “Harpo,” Lucy said with certainty, but added, “Groucho was a major contributor to the theory.” 
     “Oh, okay,” Manny said.
     “I don’t believe this.  Can’t you see this is all a vast left-wing conspiracy?  The Commies are collectivising our young human people.  Soon they’ll have them singing songs about the glory of the Great Pumpkin in class.  Brain washing, I tell you.”  Sparkles Irish blood wasn’t settled.
     “You have a point, too,” Manny observed.
     I cleared my throat and said, “Hummm, if I understand you all… Halloween is holiday that humans celebrate to scare away evil spirits, based on religious tradition observed by some and not others, that some don’t believe in at all, and its a day the young humans are exploited by business, but also a day that two guys named Harpo and Groucho brainwash human kids into being like the Borg in Star Trek.”
     “Who said anything about the Borg or Star Trek?” Manny asked.
     “Oh, that’s just something I added,” I said.  “Does everybody agree that I covered it?”
     “That sounds right,” Manny conceded.
      Everybody woofed their agreement except Heintz.  Manny asked, “Heintz, you’re the only one who hasn’t said a word.  What do you think?”
     “Think?  Think!  I don’t think, I act!”
     “Well, Heintz, what are you going to do,” I asked.
     Heintz grinned and growled, “Bite the little bastards with the bags.”  There’s a man or woman of action in almost every group. 
     I think the whole Halloween thing is complicated and dumb, but considering humans thought it up, I understand.  Give me the good old canine holiday, “Trashcan Tipover Time,” for simplicity and pure fun.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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January 7 – Resolutions Progress Report

January 7, 2009 at 12:30 am | Posted in Books, holidays, Humor, Media, New Years, News, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 7 Comments
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       I thought it would be good to comment on the Geezer’s New Years Resolution progress.  Another way of describing this would be “Missions Impossible.”  I’m sure Tom Cruise could make a movie from my human’s struggles.  “Mission Impossible #16″  -  sounds good!  It couldn’t be any worse than some of the waste of celluloid I’ve seen on TV.
       Back to the subject.  The Geezer’s effort to keep up with those not yet a week old edicts, I’d grade as C-.  I hope that designation doesn’t offend those of you who are part of the “Society for the Universal Culmination of Kindergarten through School – of the Elimination of Grading.”  That’s SUCKS – EG, for short.  It’s hard to say anything in this ridiculously political correct environment without a storm of protest coming from some group of certifiables.  If you don’t like the C- “indictment statement,” tough.
       Okay, the old boy made 5 of those dedications to delusions, his words not mine.  One is already in “Flush Town.”  So much for giving a supreme effort to self-discipline.
       I knew the first one was doomed from the second he uttered the words… “I pledge to share control of the TV remote time equally with Mrs. Gator.”  There are somethings each of us aren’t capable of doing.  Physically.  Psychologically.  The stuff just isn’t there.  I don’t know if the Geezer was lying to himself or just plain lying.  Certainly, the football bowl games and all the related hoopla expedited its demise.  That resolution didn’t make it through New Years morning.  The Geezer hid the “clicker” when Mrs. Gator wanted to watch the Rose Parade instead of a replay of a game from the previous evening.  Mrs. Gator gave him “the eye,” waved the white flag without a struggle, and he removed the “power” from under the sofa cushion.  Scratch one edict.  I knew that one had as much chance of survival as a cat dropped into a pit-bull kennel with 10 residents that hadn’t been fed for two days.
       The two that are in jeopardy are his resolutions to, “manage my anger better,” and “clean up under the house and get rid of the junk.”
       The Geezer has one of those strange tempers that boils over at the littlest things, yet he manages to control himself when faced with some crisiss you would think should send him into orbit.  If he drops the soap while in the shower, a daily occurrence, it likely will trigger a stream of four letter wonders, connected in various combinations, shouted at the villainous bar of Dove.  However, he placed an order for Mrs. Gator’s major Christmas present on-line.  The store has botched it twice, but he has retained his composure and control when he speaks with them, remaining focused on getting the problem solved.  He dropped the soap this AM and there was no shouting, just an inaudible murmur.  I give this one 4 or 5 weeks.
       The “clean up under the house” decree is as secure as a drop of water on a stone in the desert at noon on a summer’s day.  It’ll evaporate, the only thing in question is the time involved.  The problem is Mrs. G.  She capitalizes the PACK in pack rat.  For every box the Geezer cleans out, Mrs. Gator will find at least one to replace it.  After a while he’ll realize it’s as futile as trying to keep the tide from rising, and he’ll capitulate.  He will work at this promise for two or three months until inevitability overcomes hope.
       His “lose weight” resolution is likely to be kept for four reasons.  First, the extra 50 pounds he’s toting around negatively impacts things he wants to do so there’s a big incentive there.  Second, he’s done this successfully before.  He has a diet that works.  Third, he knows the extra weight’s health impact on his ol’ codger bod’ ain’t good.  And fourth, when the needle on the scale gets anywhere close to having a three as the first number, he panics.  He’s throwing out the potato chips, Reese’s cups, buying diet sodas, and has the measuring cup and scale out.  I’m betting he’ll make this one.
       Last, and the one I thought would be the first to go, was his, “to watch less TV news and not to get angry at the idiots on these shows,” resolve.  Surprisingly, he’s doing this.  I didn’t believe he’d give up watching Fox and Friends for two hours every morning because he really likes the three humans who host that show, even the one he calls “Brainless in Long Island.”  He’s sworn off Bill O’Reillycompletely.  It’s surprising how positively its impacted his humor…it’s now generally good, not bad!  I asked him about the ease with which he’s abandoned that habit.  He grinned and replied, “You know how NBC has the peacock as its symbol?  Well, Fox is adopting an Ostrich as their’s.  That makes it easier.  I’d rather watch programs that stand for something, not nothing.”  I have no idea what he means.  I wish somebody would clue me in.  It probably has something to do with putting your head where the sun doesn’t shine and somebody named Beck, but that’s just a guess because it was mentioned at the same time. 
       That’s the Geezer New Years Resolution Progress Report.  Two are on-line, two are struggling to hang-on, and the third is already in septic tank city.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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December 30 – New Years Resolutions? Or is that Delusions

December 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Books, holidays, Humor, illegal immigration, Media, New Years, News, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments
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      “The weather is great this morning Geezer.”  The last week in Southwest Florida has been perfect if you like the low 80′s, gentle breezes, and bright sunny days.  We sat on the dock watching a pair to Osprey hover around their nest, the female spending most of her time perched on her eggs.  “It would be nice if it stayed this way all year,” I added.
       “I don’t know, Sandy.  I think it would get boring after a while.”  The Geezer rubbed his mustache and grinned at me.  “You’ve see warm, warmer, and hot, but never cold.  Maybe I should add that to my list of New Year’s Resolutions….Get Sandy into some cold winter weather.”
       “What’s a New Years Resolution, Geezer?”  That was something I hadn’t heard about before.
       The Geezer laughed.  “New Years’ Resolutions are what we humans do to delude our conscience into believing we will make changes in our lives we have no intention of completing.”  He hesitated, blinked his eyes, and got one of those ‘I’d better come clean’ looks on his mug.  “That’s overstating a little, Sandy.  There are a few of us that really will follow through and keep them.”
       “Let me be sure I understand, Geezer.  People realize there’s something they need to do, they say they’re going to do it, but really know they’re not?”  That really sounded stupid, but then we are talking about humans here.  I couldn’t help mumbling under my breath, “Dumb.”
       “You’re right, Sandy.”
       “Are you making any New Years Resolutions?” I asked.  “Of course, I KNOW you’ll keep yours.”  I can’t help it…I was born with a sarcastic tongue.
       The Geezer leaned forward and watched one of the Ospreys leave the nest.  He remarked, “Look, Sandy, Mama Ospreys going to find breakfast.”
       He should know I’m not that easy to distract.  “No, no, no, Geezer.  You’re not getting off that easy.”  I rose up on all fours and stared into his eyes.  “Are…you…making…any…resolutions?”
       The old boy gave me a guilty glance mixed with embarrassment.  “Okay, you got me.  I’ll tell you what resolutions I should make.  Want to hear them?”
       “Yes.”
       He shook his head and sighed before he began.  After he’d put off starting as long as he could he said, “To lose weight.”
       “That’s a good one.”  The Geezer’s shape was approaching that of one of the blimps televising the football bowl games.  Though filled with gas, he certainly wasn’t lighter than air.
       “Do a better job of anger management.”  His guilt glance made me laugh.
       “Go on,” I said.
       “Watch less TV and don’t get so upset by the idiots on the tube.”  The guilt remained.
       “I can see what you mean about delusions.  Geezer, since we’re talking fantasy here, why don’t you make up some wacky resolutions for some famous people?  That would be interesting.”  The smile on the Geezer’s face swished away his anguished features.  I really think the old boy should reimburse me for psychological services.  Sirloin steak would do nicely. 
       The Geezer thought for a few seconds.  “Hmmm.  I’d start with having that Illinois Governor resolve to enroll in a criminology course on wiretapping.”
       “Good one Geezer!”  I knew that would juice him up.
       “How about having Jerry Jones resolve to make Terrell Owens the Dallas headcoach and install Jessica Simpson as the new starting center for the Cowboys?”
       I laughed, “Well, they wouldn’t be much worse than they were against the Eagles.”
       “Romo would be happy.”  The Geezer’s eyes lighted up.  “I have a good one; have John McCain resolve to suspend his campaign to coach the Cardinals in their first playoff game.”
       “Hey, the election is over!  Besides, does he know anything about football?”
       “So are the Cardinals chances of winning the playoff.  And, McCain can’t know less about coaching football than he did about running his campaign.  That gets me thinking.  How about having Bill O’Reilly resolve to not mention his Harvard education on TV for one year?  Or having Paris Hilton resolve to install cameras in her bathroom so everything she does can be covered by the press.  Maybe we could get a resolution from Ann Coulter and Barbara Pelosi to resolve their differences in one of those steel cage wrestling matches.  The loser would resolve to have their vocal cords removed.  I bet Tiger Woods could be convinced to resolve to never drive another Buick.  Or we could get Michael Moore to resolve to make a movie on the humanistic side of Josef Stalin?  Why not have Paulson resolve to stand on the Mexican border and give bailout checks to the illegals as they cross.  Or get Kieth Obermann to resolve to get a brain transplant?  How about having the people that give out the movie Oscars resolve to select the best performances instead of passing out the statues to those who have an agenda with which they agree.”
      “Now you are truly talking delusions.  They have to make that kind of movie first.”

November 28 – As Time and Thanksgiving Goes By

November 28, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, Humor, Media, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 5 Comments
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       Last year was my first holiday season with Mr. & Mrs. Gator.  I was so busy experiencing the major events I missed the little things that help make days like Thanksgiving memorable.  I decided to keep a log chronicling what my humans do to make a holiday special so I could share it with you.
       4:23 AM – Ouch.  Mrs. Gator stepped out of bed and mashed my tail on her way to remove the turkey from the frige.  I whined and made a terrible fuss which woke up the Geezer.  It made Mrs. G feel guilty.  She got me a hot dog and even warmed it in the microwave.
       4:37 AM – As Mrs. G bent over to place the turkey in the oven, something scratched on the porch door.  She screamed and slammed the oven shut as I raced to investigate.  I growled and barked as menacingly as I’m capable.  When I looked out the glass, a fellow who wore a black mask, a brown fur coat, and sported a stripped black and brown tail, stared back at me.  He stood on his hind legs, but didn’t appear threatening.  The Geezer wobbled out to investigate.  Now that’s scary!!  He sleeps in the nude, is overweight, and is in his mid-60s.  His body would be a good prop to use in a remake of Halloween or Scream.  He quickly grasped the situation and a broom.  Old Geezer burst onto the porch with heroic intent.  His loud shout, while brandishing the straw stick, sent the raccoon scurrying from the porch…and illuminated the neighbor’s lights.  The Geezer retreated.
       4:45 AM – More screams, this time from the bathroom.  The Geezer walked in on our house guest, a lady friend of Mrs. G’s.  My analysis of the Geezer’s body”s horrifying nature must be right on, judging from the blood curdling nature of her utterance.  All wandered back to their rooms after apologies.
       6:44 AM – The Geezer rolled out of bed for his morning ritual.  That’s making a cup of coffee for Mrs. G, putting a scoop of Cool Whip in it, and serving it to his wife while she’s still in the sack.  Since he was awake and mobile, I went to the door and called out, “Geezer, I’ve got a case of bladder burst.”  He sauntered over, barefoot, dressed in his underwear, and asked, “Is it urgent?”  I nodded.  Geezer snapped on my leash, opened the door, and stepped onto the porch, while I pulled toward the stairs, grass, and relief.  When he got half-way down the steps, the stream of curse words floating from his lips made it plain…he wasn’t giving thanks for coon poop today. 
       7:20 AM – No bacon and eggs this morning!  Mrs. G never even made it to the stove.  Damn!  Cereal doesn’t do anything for my taste-buds.  The Geezer asked Mrs. G at what time dinner was scheduled.  Good News!  I found I wouldn’t have a long wait; the scraps should be finding their way off the table by 12:30.
        7:51 AM – The Geezer remarked how good the new oven’s seal was.  Mrs. G’s house-guest went to look at the new stove and said, “Oh shit!”  She asked Mrs G to come over.  Mrs G said, “Oh shit!  Geezer, I forgot to turn on the oven.”  The Geezer said, “Oh shit, that means we’ll be eating during the football games.  How long will it delay the meal?”  Mrs. G said, “Two Hours.”  I said, “Oh shit!”  Two hours longer to wait before the goodies start to fall.
       11:18 AM – Guests began to arrive.  A lady named Madeline stepped in the remaining coon poop.  Mrs. G made an emergency mop stop.
       11:22 AM – Madeline placed her “green bean casserole” on the kitchen bar.
       11:25 AM – Our 2nd guest, Susan, arrived and placed her “green bean casserole” on the kitchen bar.  Mrs. G looked concerned.
       11:30 AM – Patti, the 3rd lady guest arrived with…her “green bean casserole.”  Mrs. G is alarmed and hit the panic button.  “Geezer did you send out the right side-dish emails to all our guests?”  The Geezer answered, “Sure I did!”
       11:31 AM – Babs arrived with…her “green bean casserole.”  The Geezer checked his computer as suggested by Mrs. Gator.  His face turned very red.
       11:35 AM – The Geezer left for an emergency trip to the grocery.  Mrs G announced dinner will be delayed another hour.  Hunger pangs forced me to improvise.  Dirty socks just aren’t a substitute for turkey.
       12:42 PM – The Geezer returned carrying the feast prepared by the supermarket deli.  His arms were fully loaded with packages and when I gave him a welcoming nudge a pumpkin pie dislodged, did a triple somersault with a half twist, and landed on Susan’s white, dress-covered, lap.  The words offered weren’t in keeping with the day’s theme- being thankful.
       2:10 PM – Mrs. G announced the meal was ready.  The guests lined up at the serving table and piled on the chow, including samples from each of the 6 green bean casseroles.  
       2:12 PM – I never realized that I lived in a sexually bigoted family until today.  The women ate at the segregated dinner table and forced the men to eat in front of the TV.  I never guessed Mrs. G was capable of that. 
       2:42 PM – It was worth the wait.  Tidbits rained down on me like insults aimed at the opposition during a political rally.  Then, Mrs. Gator provided me with a large plate filled with assorted leftovers.  And to think, I never believed in heaven.  The humans watching me devour the goodies bet that I would explode, but of course I didn’t.  After the feast, I found a spot under the dining room table, curled up, and went to sleep.
       4:52 PM – I woke up during a battlefield nightmare so authentic, the corpses looked and smelled real.  When I opened my eyes the visions departed, but the smell lingered on.  It took a few moments to realize that the mass sampling of green bean casseroles had a side effect.  I went back to sleep to avoid nostril distress.
       6:55 PM – I finally became alert again.  During my nap all the guests had left except one couple, Patti and John.  They were very restless, both taking turns rushing to the toilet.  They called for Susan’s husband, but it was obvious he’d left.  Still they gurgled through the restroom door, “Ralph, Ralph, Ralph.”  Log note:  Ask Geezer why it’s not wise to mix red wine and vodka.  During their absence the Geezer and Mrs. G. had a whispered conversation about not inviting the head of the local Republican Party to the same event that the president of Professors for Obama attends.  I suddenly understood what had influenced my earlier sleep and its warfare nightmare. 
       8:00 PM – Mrs G. completed cleaning the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  The Geezer was so tired from watching her work he slumped into his recliner and snored, his noises being akin to those I’ve heard come from a pig sty.  He evidently was so tired Mrs. Gator had to take me for my goodnight walk. 
       After reviewing my log, I can see why humans treasure the holidays so much!  It provides so many unique ways to screw up.  I’m anxious to see what interesting things they’ll do to celebrate Christmas.  Anyway, that’s the way Time and Thanksgiving went by at our house.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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November 23 – Thanksgiving from a turkey’s POV

November 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, Humor, Media, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 7 Comments
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       The Geezer always says, “You never know why another man’s point of view is different from yours until you walk in his shoes for a week or two.”  That goes for paws and claws as well, as I learned this morning.
       First, let me explain–I’m in the figurative “dog house” right now.  My sense of adventure, my keen nose, and a gourmet pallet betray me occasionally.  Mrs. G. had this scrumptious smelling item protruding from her purse.  She’d left her handbag lying next to her bed, right where I sleep each night.  ‘Bout midnight I woke up, suffered a little insomnia, and became very bored.  I sniffed the item and it smelled like it might be delicious.  It was an envelope about 3″ by 6″ and had some bank’s name printed on it.  Let me shorten the explanation by saying it was filled with delicious tidbits.  I preferred the ones with 20 printed on them and engraved with a picture of some guy named Jackson.  The Lincolns were okay, but the 1′s were kind of plebeian.  I ate them all even though some weren’t particularly tasty; I detest wasting food.   
       As I was finishing, my lip smacking woke my humans.  They quickly explained what I had eaten wasn’t the equivalent of a Purina Dog-Bone and left no doubt my behavior was unacceptable.  Their unreasonable attitude was carried over until this morning.  I was exiled to the back yard, tethered to my anchor ring, a punishment post used when I pulled some puppy pranks in my youth.  The Geezer calls it “time out.”
       I’ve learned the best way to slip out of my predicaments is to beg the court for mercy.  I dawn my best “I’m guilty, but contrite look,” and exude remorse from my pupils.  Those sad-sack eyes normally melt the old boy, but he was resolute this AM, leaving me to “suffer” alone.  Big deal.  I quickly found an interesting patch of vile smelling grass, rolled onto my back, and wriggled around, thoroughly enjoying myself.
       As I tossed my head and waved my paws in the air, a voice said, “Pssst, hey you.”
       I rolled over springing up on all four and was hyper alert.  I looked around the yard, but couldn’t see who spoke.
       “Over here, I’m behind the Bougainvillea bushes.”  Looking at the greenery from a distance didn’t help; I couldn’t see the voice’s owner.  I trotted to the thorny vines and stared into them.  Glaring back at me from the other side were beady eyes, housed in a bird’s head.  My visitor was huge for a fowl, colored black-brown, with long spindly legs and a red beard.  I watched him suspiciously.
       “I hate to deal in stereotypes, but are you a dumb dog or did the cat get your tongue?”
       “Neither,” I growled.  The birds eyes showed alarm.
       “Whoa, stay cool man.  I’m just a jive turkey looking for a little a-ssist, dig?”  The bird took a step back.
       “Insulting a stranger you’re asking for help isn’t very smart, buddy.”  I decided I didn’t like my visitor.
       “Hey, my species isn’t known for high cranial capacity, aaa, what did you say your name was?”
       “Sandy.”
       “Cool!  I’m Tom.  You don’t happen to be a vegetarian, do you?” 
       I thought about the reason I was tied in the yard.  “Not strictly, omnivorous I think you call it.”
       “So you eat meat?” He answered his own question, “Yep, I thought so.  The poodle down the street said she didn’t, but she lied.  Good thing she didn’t have wings.”
       I visualized my neighbor across the hedge, sans feathers, headless, with the less succulent portion of his legs removed, sitting on a large platter with his golden skin giving off sumptuous odors.  My tongue protruded and the saliva began to drip.
       The turkey moved back when he saw the change. “Now, Sandy, calm down.  I don’t like that look in your eye.”
       “Sorry about that.”  I tried to sound sincere all the time wondering if I could dislodge the anchor from the ground or break my leash if I pulled hard enough. 
       “Good man, you just stay cool.  I just want to ask a few questions, dig?”
       “I’m NOT a man,” I said coldly, “but I understand and I’ll answer you if I know what your talking about.”
       “Yo, Sandy!  Sorry dude-ette, but you folks all look the same to me.  No offense?”  Tom was trying, but like he said the rocks in the driveway had a higher IQ.
       “None taken, Tom.”  I lied, still focusing on how to get lose and get a paw and chaw on my visitor.
       “Let me explain, Sandy.  Put yourself in my position.  I want to know if this is a safe place to hide from them.  Between now and the end of the holidays my kind lives in constant fear.  We don’t know who to trust.  It seems everybody is after us.  They all want a part.  During this month and a half, danger lurks everywhere.  It doesn’t matter what color we are, the whole world is hungry to get fed by us.  My white cousins tell me it’s just as bad or worse for them.  They’re relentless.  They have all types of devices to catch us and suck the life blood from our bodies this time of year.  It’s six weeks of Hell, Sandy, Hell!!!  You dig?”
      I nodded as I pulled against the leash.
      “just name someone, anyone, who has to endure this kind of annual intimidation, demoralization, and degrading treatment when all they want is to be left alone?  If you can, I’ll commit Harri-Kari!”  The turkey squinted his eyes and made them appear slanted.
      I thought for several seconds, remembering some wisdom the old Geezer Gator has shared with me.  “The US Taxpayer each March and April.” 
      I felt sorry for the turkey as he gasped his last.  Well, just a little.

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Note:  If you enjoyed this tale from the dog-side, I have a short Christmas story that will appear on my blog for those that love to laugh. in early December

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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