The holidays are on the way – It’s time to those remember those we have loved.
Christmas always awakens memories in us. Of times past. Of friends past. Of friends gone. I browsed through my photo file with this in mind. At first, my reaction was sadness. The sense of loss depressed me. Then I realized how foolish I was being. How fortunate I have been to have had such love in my life! I’d encourage all of you to look back, think of those loved, and lift a joyous glass to have had the privilege of their company. Memories are treasures!
Super Trooper a real lover
My friend for 13 years, Oreo.
Dan the fan asking DL, “When is your next book coming out!”
Chet “Coach on the left, the Geezer in the middle, and Miss Betty right – once in a lifetime friends
Missy #1 our loved friend for 23 years.
Sister Gracie Walag
My beloved Sandy
With profound joy and happiness…A toast to you all. Thank you for some of the finest moments of my life.
Our freedom has been won and preserved at an awesome price.
Tomorrow we celebrate all those who have fought to obtain our freedoms and to preserve them. They put their lives in jeopardy in a gamble that we could live a free life as individuals. Many forfeited them. They lie in rows, asking only two things: we remember their sacrifice…we preserve the freedoms they died for.
There are some who would abandon those freedoms for their totalitarianism that whispers sweet lies about “equity.” The only equality will be the misery ALL live under, but for the very elite and select few that make rules tor thee and not for them. Those who insist there is only one way to think, do so at their peril. Intolerance breeds intolerance. Power shifts. When it does, those that have abused it will suffer. Sometimes harshly. And, the power structure will change! Those that wish to make change must understand that change is never static. Those that do have an SI (Stupidity Index) not an IQ.
Slavery is a great wrong. Whether it is to another human…or to the state! Having the state tell you what you can do, what you can’t, what you may have, what you may not, where you may go, where you can’t, and most basically what you may think and what you can’t, is slavery. Know this! Those that seek this “Eguity of Misery,” know it is for you…not them.
The blood and treasure lavishly spent to make us free will not be forfeit. Those sacrifices make us aware that those freedoms are what have made us a truly great country where others wish desperately to live. If we are so bad, why is that?
Those that lost their lives did not do so for us to abandon them
Look around you.
Misery for the many is in evidence and growing everywhere. Do not let it win.
I think I’ll stay in bed on October 31st. If I crawl under the covers the ghosts and goblins won’t find me.
I asked the Geezer what Halloween was about. I’ve seen ads on TV. As I understand it, Halloween is a holiday that celebrates scaring humans shitless. (Pardon my French) Asking the Geezer was a mistake. He explained the holiday, it’s background, it’s traditions, it’s international connections, the impact on GNP, the effect of candy on children’s teeth, the average number of steps kids make trick or treating, and so on. That’s a mistake I won’t make again. When the speech finished, I knew the same basic: Halloween is the day folks try to terrify each other. One of the things the Geezer did…provide me with a list of things that horrify humans. Decaying Bodies, vampires, chain saw killers, the IRS. Horrible to humans, not to canines! I eat bats, I’m not stupid enough to get close to anyone running a chain saw, and dead bodies have never attacked a dog. The IRS, the FBI, the NKVD, maybe a little. I’ve decided to make my own list of what scares we canines (or at least, me).
Sandspurs completely covering my bathroom area — Ouch!
These weeds are the bane of my existence!
Huge cats stalking our neighborhood!
It haunts my dreams!
Hunger, Starvation, oh woe is me!
Dog catchers at work! shiver!
I need to add Dr. Fauci to the list. As I just learned from TV, he tortures puppies to death in his medical experiments.
The big green truck! It has a huge mouth and makes strange noises!
Aaarrrgh! Varoom! Beep, beep, beep! Vast amounts of “stuff” disappears inside of it!
I think my list is more terrifying! If you don’t think so, BOOOOO to you!
Some of you asked about what the Geezer is doing. Go to the right margin of this post, find the link that says, DLHavlin(blog) or DLHavlin –that’s his webpage. He has two new books out, including one anthology featuring the Oak Ridge Boys.
This is just a reminder note to all you pet owners. Please, please, please see to all dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and all your other non-human friends safety, when disaster knocks on the door. Aren’t we your buddies? Just because many of us have four legs, not two, doesn’t make us any less loyal. Most of us provide you with unconditional love. Should you do less for your friends? Locking us in a room with a few bowls of food doesn’t get it. Would you do that to Aunt Pamela? Or your neighbor Fred? Take us with you and provide for us. Do you really thing we can survive something like you see below?
Rarely can a pet survive this!
Do you want your friend to end up like the ones below?
What the Geezer does that creates “No play days.” Here he’s at King’s Gate CC speaking to 50 members about WWII
Life is usually fun and games in the Geezer’s, Mrs. G’s…and my house. My human’s like me to hang with them. Normally, I can interest them in a game of tug, fetch, or can solicit an ear scratching session. However, on rare occasions I get stone-walled. The usual welcome disappears and is replaced by a total lack of response. Why is that? I’ve made no bathroom accidents inside. It’s been months since I learned removing items off the coffee table is a no-no. I’ve given up sneaking Mrs. G’s undies from the dirty clothes hamper as an unneeded painful experience. The chair legs are no longer a chewing temptation…they all taste like wood. So, why am I treated like I have leprosy from time to time. It has taken a while, but I think I’ve figured it out.
The Geezer and I normally enjoy our time together. He makes a great mattress.
No play days, that’s what I call them, are days before two things happen. The first is the day before the Geezer is scheduled to to do one of his speaking engagements. The second is when Mrs. G pays bills.
The Geezer spends most of the day before an appearance, starring at his computer screen and talking to it.
Mrs. G’s reaction to bills. They don’t put her in a good mood.
I’ve tried a number of things to offset their human fixations on less important things and refocus on the most important thing in their life. ME! Blocking the stairs to the Geezer’s office doesn’t work. He steps over me. Putting my paws on his arms and body as he sits at the computer makes him cranky. Licking his face isn’t welcome like it usually is. Taking my favorite ball and putting it in his lap gets no attention at all. Mrs. G moves me if I block the way to her desk. Barking only makes her bark back at me. I tried chewing up the bills but that only got a momentary smile followed by a scolding. The only thing that works is laying in places I’m not supposed to be. They play chase for a couple minutes and it’s back to being ignored!
Blocking the stairs won’t work……..
If I get on the bed…they get me off!
The Geezer asked if I was posing for the centerfold. What’s that mean?
I hate no play days!
PS — If you’d like to hear the Geezer (DL Havlin) speak on historical events or his books, click on DL Havlin in the right hand column. It’s a link to his webpage. Then go to “calendar” (right under the heading) to find where he’ll be in the future.
Brandi rings the bell — this time for new years — welcome 2021
Happy New Year! Let’s all get a new perspective.
Let’s hope that 2020 was the low point. The Geezer says he’s dedicating his efforts to the positive. I am too. Now if the Bucs can win the Super Bowl it will be off to a great start. The Geezer will be starting the New Year off at Master the Possibilities doing three presentations on Tuesday the 12th. Brandi gets to go along. Hooray! Peace for the day.
Hi, this is my traditional present for my blog readers. Read it and share with others!
Leonardo’s decorated for Christmas
“People welcome! Dogs welcome! Covid-19, not so much!”
That’s what the sign said. The invitation hung under the poster requiring masks and imploring everyone to stay six feet apart. Still, the café invited my human and I inside with its huge holly wreath decorated with miniature Santas and shiny colored ornaments. Blinking strings of lights around the windows swore to the sincerity of the words. My human, Mark, wasn’t reading anything. Christmas Eve brought memories of a one-year anniversary. Not a pleasant one. His fiancée had returned his engagement ring, when she had the opportunity to trade in an engineer, for a recording star. Mark plodded along the street like an extra in a zombie movie. The season reminded him of his loss and his sentiment toward Christmas made old Ebenezer look like a joyous celebrator.
Like all Golden Retrievers, I’m friendly, enjoying the companionship of both dogs and people. I’m not about to endure my human’s self-imposed isolation, so I stopped at the door, and pawed it, telling Mark, “I want to go in!”
“No, Ralph!” Mark tugged at my leash, but I braced myself for the pull I knew would follow. I barked a couple times and pawed at the door again, reemphasizing my desire. He acquiesced. “Okay, boy. We’ll see what’s inside.”
At the first cracking of the door, I could see Leonardo’s was my kind of place. Lot’s of laughter, smiles, and conversation between humans. Also……Lot’s of lovely lady canines lounging with their people.
“Welcome, to Leonardo’s, are you by yourself?” A smiling waitress greeted us at the door.
“Yep, just me and Ralph here,” Mark’s eyes dropped to me, a signal I should say, “Hi.” I barked twice. Marked added, “Ralph’s pleased to meet you.”
“What a beautiful dog! A Golden Retriever, right?”
Leashes are kind of pointless, though it helps to lead my human
The girl’s face turned to an apologetic mask, “I’m sorry, the covid rules mean we have to observe social distancing. That means three seats between customers at the bar, so it’s filled. I can put you in a booth or at a table.”
“Wherever I can be by myself.” Mark looked miserable and I felt guilty. But…only so guilty. There were a bevy of beauties at the end of leashes eyeing me with more than passing interest!
“I have the perfect spot for you,” the waitress said. “Follow me please.” We entered the restaurant’s main dining room which was set up like a checkerboard. Every other table was out of service, the chairs turned upside down on their tops. Human patrons in the bar had to be actors and actresses. Half were bandana desperadoes from 1940 westerns; half were masked extras from the 1960 TV series, Dr. Kildare. Covid creates a kind of universal robot countenance for people.
The waitress looked over her shoulder as she walked us to our place. “Another person made the same request you did. I’ll seat you at the next available table. You two can be together in being alone.” She smiled as she reached the table. “Enjoy your privacy.”
Mark didn’t pay any attention to our neighbors, however I did. Of course, my primary interest was the creature at the end of the leash. A red and green sweater covered her closely cut fur, with the exception of the puffs left untouched by her groomer. “French,” I mumbled to myself. She saw my stare and haughtily turned her head away, lifting her nose toward the ceiling. Poodles…they’re all arrogant…smart, yes, but very arrogant.
“My hairstylist has a drinking problem
I tried to look as disdainful as I could and traced my vision up the leash to the human on the other end. The female sitting in the chair and on the casing of the leash, positioned her back so it quartered toward Mark and I as we were seated. The creature, a table away, had long raven black hair that cascaded down over her shoulders. Enough of her face was visible to show she had attractive upper features. She wore a wind breaker so any surmise about her top half became pure conjecture. However, the part of her that contacted the chair…remarkable, very remarkable.
Of the many common interests Mark and I share, one is our fondness for the same anatomical parts of the fairer sex. We are both hip and leg men. The gentle sway has our attention far before the blubbery bounce gets a notice.
Whether to achieve more complete privacy or initiate a marketing campaign, I’ll never know or try to guess. The woman in question, rose, repositioned the chair, and sat back down so all that could be viewed became the flat of her back. However, the standing presented items of interest. Her movement attracted, Marks gaze, and that gaze was rewarded with a view of long perfectly proportioned legs and a Mitzi Gaynor posterior.
Mark’s well-used DVD of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific produces the same comment about Mitzi’s rear every time Mark plays it. “Now that’s one million dollars-worth of ass!” he says as his imagination removes a pair of white shorts. The exclamation mark stays. I’d say the mystery woman’s, would cash-out at a million-and-a-half. Mark stirred from his death-sleep for the first time in a year. Yep, the lady had Mark’s full attention.
Mitzi G — One of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace a film.
Mark’s happiness is my major concern, unless it significantly effects mine. For the first time in a year, my buddy exhibited renewed interest in a love life. I felt it incumbent on me to do some kindling. Creating a scene to get attention by barking or other bad behavior wouldn’t work. We’d end up being thrown out; I’d end up on dry dogfood for a week. I’ve heard the way to a mother’s heart is through her child. I reasoned a woman’s pet had to be a close second.
I moved to the poodle as much as my leash would allow, tried to be as suave as I could, and asked, “Excuse me, Miss, could you direct me to the restroom? My human has a weak bladder.”
“Monsieur, you are speaking to me?” Accent…heavy, sexy…and without the overtone of animosity I expected.
“Oui,” I answered.
“But of course. The toilette is to the right of the bar, through the arch, and the homme’s room is on the left.” She batted her eyelids and stood displaying her rear and hind quarters. Like master, like dog. I drooled a bit.
“Nice day we’re having,” I grimaced. A master of pick-up lines, I’m not.
“Snow, slush, wind, and cold? Oh, I can understand with that beautiful, thick gold coat it does not bother you. Me, Monsieur, see I need a sweater to stay warm.” She wiggled her tail. I took that as a positive sign. Straining against my leash, I hoped two kill two birds: To get he, and me, closer to possible objects of our affection.
Mark expressed his willingness to comply by saying, “Okay Ralph, I see you want to get to know Fifi better.”
“My name is Bridgette, not Fifi.” She looked at Mark with a jaundiced eye.
I spotted an opening, “Poor Mark. He is like many human males, so chauvinistic. I, of course, am not. In his defense, his intent is good, he’s just wounded by an unfortunate affair of the heart.” If Bridgette watched old movies, I’d be cooked. My theft was verbatim from a Maurice Chevalier flick.
“You are warm-hearted,” Bridgette pulled and stretched her leash from the rewind case. It left us five feet apart. She added in a sultry whine, “I adore warm-hearted men.” We were so near yet so far.
Mark stood, and approached the mystery woman, and said, “Sorry to disturb you, but it seems our two dogs want to become better acquainted. Would you mind if I let them satisfy their curiosity?”
She turned toward Mark. What he and I could see above the gaiter…flashing deep blue eyes, a widow’s peak, creamy olive skin…all were attractive. What the black mask concealed remained a mystery. The woman answered suspiciously, “Is your dog friendly? Bridgette is very unassertive and I don’t want her frightened.”
“Ralph is a cream puff. The only way he’d hurt a fly is to lick it to death.” I could visualize Mark’s smile under his blue paper face cover.
The woman looked dubious.
Mark guessed her concern. “Look, this isn’t a ploy to get an introduction. When I came in, I wanted to be seated in a location by myself. The waitress put me here because she said you wanted privacy too. Promise…I’ll stand as far away as possible while our dogs exchange doggie greetings.”
She nodded, “Okay.” The woman released the leash lock, another six feet of cord pulled out, and the poodle and I exchanged customary sniffs. Whether we were eyeball to eyeball or eyeball to otherwise, Bridgette and I found each other intriguing. Each of us sent visual signals that chemistry might be right and that we had no desire to be separated. When Mark pulled gently on my collar, I remained steady; when he jerked, I made a low growl.
“What’s wrong with your dog?” the woman said, concern creeping into her tone.
“Nothing, I pulled his leash, so I can go back to my table. He isn’t ready.”
“That’s silly and I’m being foolish. Come sit at my table. We’ll be within the social distancing rules.” She pointed to a chair diagonally across from her. “We can stay six feet apart.”
Romantic positions in a Covid world.
“Thank you.” Mark walked to the chair being careful to maintain his “social distance” and not tangle leashes. Within a few minutes they introduced themselves, Mark and Jeanette, they exchanged the most rudimentary personal facts, and they reinforced the Greta Garbo thing, “They wanted to be alone.” If you don’t know who Garbo is, look her up on the Net.
It was clear to me that they desperately wanted to break the ice dam they’d constructed, but human stupidity or pride, take your choice, prevented them. Canine common sense to the rescue! Under my breath I whispered to Bridgette, “Just stay still. I’m going to walk around you a few times.”
“Monsieur, it will tie our lines in knots. Our humans will have to unwrap us.”
“That’s the idea.” I leaned close and whispered using my best Harrison Ford imitation, “Trust me.” I quickly bounded around the poodle three times, pulled the line tight, and whined. Mark reacted exactly as I knew he would.
“I’m sorry! Let me get them untangled.” He dashed around the table, kneeled at Jeanette’s feet, and tried to unwrap the leashes. I moved or circled to prolong and make the process as difficult as I could.
Comments began to flow. “Ralph stop moving,” of course, I increased my activity. “It’s not your fault, let me help,” Jeanette joined Mark on the floor trying to separate Bridgette and me. My poodle buddy saw my purpose and moved and dodged to up the difficulty level a few notches. Mark held my collar with one hand, unhooked my leash and was removing the last few twists when the waitress appeared above us.
“I’m so sorry, but the manager has asked me to tell you, you’ll have to leave. You’re breaking the Covid rules and other patrons are asking why they can’t.”
Mark issued an embarrassed, “I’m very sorry. Soon as I get my dog hooked back up, I’ll go.”
“You don’t have to leave, I will,” Jeanette volunteered.
The waitress looked distressed. “Sorry, the boss said, you both have to go.”
“On the avenue, Christmas Avenue…
Mark and Jeanette left together with Bridgette and me in the lead. After we left Leonardo’s they spoke. “Well, it was nice talking to you. That was a great Christmas Eve present,” Mark volunteered.
“I enjoyed our conversation, too.” Jeanette shook her head. “It was nice to have a discussion with a man without him hitting on me.” Oh no, I thought. Mark’s honesty would screw the whole thing up. He opened his mouth to speak and I barked, “Shut the hell up!” but it didn’t work.
“A…I assure you I wasn’t hitting on you…however…I think you are attractive. I wanted to say something to you but wouldn’t if Ralph hadn’t been so insistent on wanting to meet your poodle.”
Jeanette laughed, “Great minds. I wanted you to notice me. I’m not sure why, chemistry maybe. Anyway, that’s why I stood up and turned around. Don’t say anything…That’s why we girls spend lots of money on clothes that, shall we say, put our best foot forward. Anyway, I liked the way you moved when you walked to your table, or something.”
“Too bad we got thrown out, I had a good time while it lasted.” Mark looked at his parked car without claiming it. “You know it is Christmas Eve. I’m alone. You’re alone. If you’d like to go somewhere else, we could enjoy the evening. Alone. Together.”
“Where? Every place I normally hang out in is closed or have the Covid Police standing by with pitch forks to keep everyone in line. That’s not much fun. Besides, I’m curious. I’d like to see what you look like under mask.”
Mark took three steps back, removed the blue paper from nose to chin, and said, “Be sure to shield your camera. My face destroys them.”
Jeanette pulled down the gaiter, “You have a good sense of humor! I like that.” The masks returned to their Covid parking places over the two humans faces. Both would be considered good looking by human standards, though to canine standards, furless faces seem sickly and without verve.
“It is too cold to stand here,” Jeanette remarked. “As you said, being alone together on a holiday seems a good idea. We can go back to my apartment and see if Santa arrives. It’s only five blocks away. I warn you, I’m a bourbon drinker. There’s no scotch in the place.”
“Ahhhhh! We have our first thing in common. What brand?” Mark asked.
“I like Knob Creek, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, I’m not much on Four Roses. If you impress me with your ability to drink and savor the good stuff, I’ll share some of my favorite, Noah’s Mill. I bet you never heard of that before.” Jeanette…definitely confident…Mark and I like that in a lady.
“It’s from a small brewery near Louisville. It’s like sipping a little bit of heaven.”
Jeanette quoted Bogie, “Mark, this might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
Bridgette and I led the two chattering birds to Jeanette’s apartment. I winked at my new poodle friend and she returned it. I muttered to her, “Isn’t it satisfying to be able to help less capable and intelligent species like humans?”
Bridgette said, “Oui, Ralph. Aren’t they lucky to be owned by us, mon ami d’or?
My protegee is wide-eyed and bushy-tailed as she gets her first taste of Christmas in the Geezer’s house. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes provide new delights. Brandi’s very first Christmas contact were with the lights that decorate the outside of our house. The Geezer unwrapped them, laid the string on the floor, and test lit the lights. Twenty-five feet of green wire and blue bulbs were something she’d not imagined. Brandi asked, “What’s that?”
I replied, “Those are Christmas lights to decorate the house. It tells everybody we love Christmas and we want to share our happiness with them.” Brandi sniffed a couple of the bulbs, then tried to eat one. The Geezer scolded her. “You can’t eat everything,” I cautioned.
She answered, “I can try.”
What’s left we get! Well…some of it.”
“Oh, you’ll love Christmas,” I told her, “I have one word for you. Leftovers!”
“What’s that?” she inquired.
“When the humans eat on that day, they fix a lot more than they can eat. What’s left over, we get! Well…some of it. Even you can’t eat that much, Brandi.”
“Want to bet?”
I’ve seen her dispose of food. She works like a highspeed conveyor emptying into a bottomless pit. I said, “I’ll pass on that offer.”
Grandma made this. We treasure the opportunity to honor her each Christmas
The next thing she noticed was the banner pinned in place over the front door. Brandi asked, “All the other decorations are shiny and new looking. That one looks old. Why did the humans put that up?”
“Christmas is a time for humans to remember. They keep things that remind them of others and the good times and love they shared.” I pointed to some old ornaments on the tree. “Those remind them of aunts, uncles and special friends. It’s a very good tradition.”
I thought for a few seconds then answered in terms I thought Brandi would understand. “It’s something you do that reminds you of what you are and where you came from.”
“Like AKC registration papers?” Brandi asked.
“Not exactly, but close.”
Brandi’s new favorite place
It turned a little cooler that evening and Mrs. G stoked up the fireplace. Brandi asked, “What’s she doing?”
“Notice it is colder tonight? Well, humans make a fire to warm up the house. In Florida that isn’t often, but it is nice and comfy when they do. Fireplaces are associated with Christmas, too.” I decided the concept of Santa and chimneys would create information overload for the pup.
“I’m going to like Christmas,” Brandi promptly curled up in front of the fire and went to sleep. Isn’t youth wonderful?
What comes to mind on Thanksgiving? This is one thing!
Happy Thanksgiving! As I pound the keyboard, the turkey lies thawing in the sink, Mrs. G is fussing over her last second grocery list, and the Geezer is formulating a precise plan to maximize the number of football games he can watch on Turkey Day. The year 2020 has been hard to find much for which to be thankful. Maybe the item we can agree on to be thankful for most, is this damned year is almost over.
Over is the key word. Despite all the political bull-crap, we’re close to having a vaccine to control and get us over the Covid-19 virus the Chinese donated to the world. Hopefully, the violence in many American cities is over. The stupid-season is past, and the filth burning and looting didn’t help their cause. Most importantly, the election is over! It’s over! It’s over. IT”S OVER!! No more lies from politicians. Well, at least, less lies. No polls that have no basis in reality. No more mind pollution from the saturation of TV with garbage election adds. Please, will you worthless idiots in the media keep you mouths shut for a while and give us some peace. At least, let us have our holidays without your constant fermenting of unrest! The election farce is past!
Let’s look forward. Ahhhh. Next year. Let’s hope we can burn those cursed masks. Watch the NCAA basketball tournament…in person. Have dinner at our favorite restaurants. See The Masters with spectators. Visit our favorite state park. Enjoy a full football season. Swim at the beach. Visit the library. Go to the gym. Drink a margarita at our favorite watering hole. Watch a selective earthquake that swallows all past and present politicians and Washington bureaucrats. Well, somethings are too good to hope for. Happy Thanksgiving from Sandy and Brandi……..