Tag Archive | editors

Woof-woof Woof-woof-woof – Translated … Happy Thanksgiving

The holidays are on the way – Happy Thanksgiving, all!

The Holidays are HERE. I hope that the following season is a happy one for each of you.

May your disappointments be few –

May your successes be many –

May your opportunities be plentiful –

May you enjoy good health –

May your football, basketball, and baseball teams win –

May the “calorie sucker” do a good job on all the goodies you’ll eat today –

May we all understand the blessings we have and be thankful –

 

#  #  #

 

A Scary Fairy Tale for Halloween ……

 

Telling a scary Halloween story to my niece!

This is a scary fairy tale I told my nice niece Remi for Halloween.

Once upon a time there was this beautiful, kind, and loving dog. Her name was Large Gold Sandrahood, princess of the country, Hambonia. It was said of Sandrahood that she wouldn’t hurt a flea. Of course, that was easy for her because she lived in a flea-less castle and was protected by a monthly ritual where one of her human vassals removed magic potion from a silver package and with great ceremony offered the magic, mystic material to Sandrahood as an epicurean delight.

Everyone in the castle and all that came to visit loved Large Gold Sandrahood. They performed all shorts of traditional acts to exhibit their affection and loyalty for her like the ten minute ear scratch, the ball toss and bend over, and the offerings of Pupperoni and Milkbone biscuits. Sandrahood lived in an unending world of love. It was hard for her to believe anyone was baahh-hhaad.

Then one day, when all her human servants were away, a strange person came to the door. That person knocked and knocked and knocked. No amount of barking, to tell the stranger her servants weren’t home, did any good. Large Gold Sandrahood finally went to the door and opened it, but left the safety chain in place. She said, “Okay Dude, whatcha want?”

Standing in front of Large Gold Sandrahood was a huge fat figure completely covered by a cloak with a hood on it. The creature’s head was small and so far back in the hood its features weren’t visible. A squeaky voice said, “Hello, Large Gold Sandrahood. I’m your Granny Hoody Hood come to visit.”

“My Granny is dead.” Sandrahood wasn’t buying the Brooklyn Bridge today.

The stranger’s voice dropped four octaves. “Would you believe Grandpa Hoody Hood?”

“Would you believe I’m Nicole Kiddman?” Sandrahood replied.

“Nope.”

“You got your answer.” Large Gold Sandrahood started to close the door.

“No! Don’t do that! Can I interest you in an apple or maybe some Fuller Brushes?”

Sandrahood left the door open a crack. “No … GO … AWAY!”

“Wait! Wait! I’m a great kisser. I often change into a toad … oops I got that one wrong. If you go up on your balcony, and stick out your tail, I’ll climb up and save you.” The caped crock was getting desperate. He changed his approach. From the rusty annals of TV channels a voice from Laugh-In spoke, “Would you like a piece of candy, little girl.” It sounded just like Artie Johnson.

Sandrahood snorted, “You have more lines than Harvey Weinstein.”

“No problem. I can get you a part in a movie.” The creature moved exposing six odd-shaped arms and legs.

Sandrahood was alarmed. She screamed, “What a strange number of arms and legs you have!”

“The better to hang on while I eat you!” The creature threw off the cape exposing its 300 pound blob body beneath. In horror, Large Gold Sandrahood couldn’t tell if the monster was a giant tick, or a giant flea, or Michael Moore! She screamed as the monster grabbed the door and tried to pull it open.

But ……….. Large Gold Sandrahood was part Boyscout – she was prepared. She held two pictures up to the partly open door. The monster took one look at them, shrieked, and fell over … quite dead.

When her humans returned they were so concerned for her and apologized for her endangerment. One asked, “How did you dispatch such an ugly, vile, evil monster?”

Sandrahood smiled. “Easy, I held up these. I knew one or the other would do him in. If Hillary didn’t, Don would.”

#  #  #

This coming Weekend the Geezer (DL Havlin) will be at the Deltona Book Fair with his publisher Taylor & Seale and several of their authors. It will be held Saturday (October 28th) from 9:30 until 4:00. The location is at the Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave., Deltona, FL  32725. He’ll be there most of the day and at the fair sale area 1 to 4.

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

“I speak to you from hallowed ground.”

 

“I am speaking to you today from hallowed ground.”

Just for the period of time it takes to read this post, I’d like you to imagine the words are being read to you by Charles Kuralt. All of you under forty are probably asking, “Who in the hell is Charles Kuralt?” Charles Kuralt was “the voice” of a CBS program that aired for years. It was titled On The Road. His distinctive voice was the signature for this show … a show that was all his.  On The Road was just that, Charlie nosed around the nooks, crannies, highways, and byways of the US. I know it may be hard for the younger folks who read this post to believe, but once upon a time their were actual journalists on national television that were true to their vocation, not their political beliefs. It was a time before we were divided into blocks for political opportunism. Kuralt found and touched the heart and the soul of his viewers. As you read my words, hear them through his voice.

The historical marker for Camp Blanding. Though it tries to tell the story it can only hint at the brave people who traveled through history here.

I’m speaking to you today from a few hundred yards off of Florida Highway 16. It’s about midway between two places you probably never heard of, the towns of Starke to the west and Green Cove Springs which lies eastward. The grass field I’m sitting in the middle of, is part of the Camp Blanding Museum. Around me are the tools of wars past. They’re reminders of what this place was, one of the important training areas for a war that would engulf the world. What remains of this site as an active military center is behind the entrance south of the museum. It’s only a token of what was once arguably the largest city in Florida. Over 300,000 men and women trained or worked here. Look around and you see what young men came to this place to learn to use. They had to do this to help win a war we could have lost and as importantly to give them their best chance of surviving it.

One of the artillery pieces on display. An artillery barrage was an infantryman’s worst nightmare.

This 1 1/2 ton truck was a World War II workhorse. Men road in it and supplies it carried kept them fighting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sherman. This M4A1 version was a medium tank. Shermans were the primary battle armor used by US forces in WWII. Its numbers offset the German armors superiority.

Looking inside the drivers compartments of these vehicles is a shock to some. The levers, switches, and mechanisms are crude by 2017 standards. A young man asked, “Did they really fight in these things?” An old man answered, “We sure did and we did a damned good job of it!” There was more in his voice than pride in having served and survived. In his eye and tone there was that reverence those who have experienced combat have for those they knew who did not return to stand here today.

The lawn around the museum is home to many vehicles. Half-tracks, DUKWs, ambulances, trucks, field pieces, all are pages of a book that tell us a story. Even a C-47 transport plane with D-day markings graces a concrete pad, a reminder of 508th Paratroop Regiment who trained in the sands beyond the guard gate.

Mixed in with the vehicles are monuments to the Army units that trained here and the people that were flesh and bone that gave them life. Among them was the Big Red One – the first army division. Nine infantry divisions lived here and learned about war on these grounds. There are monuments to the extra brave who began their journey into hell at this place. One honors distinguished service cross recipients and another the nations highest award, The Medal of Honor. Both have a significant number of names chiseled into stone to remind us of sacrifice and that sometimes forgotten word – honor.

Going inside the museum is like stepping through a time portal on Star Trek. We see what we were. What we did. Right and wrong.

A D-day newspaper. This sealed Hitler’s fate.

A GI dressed for battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures and exhibits show us what a base for a quarter of a million men looked like. Row upon row of small cabins, barracks like the one the museum is housed in, hospitals, theaters, commissary buildings, maintenance facilities, everything that a city of that size needed to exist was built in Florida’s wilderness. Work on Blanding was a seven day a week, three shift schedule in 1940-1941. Today, most of the 150,000 acres that is Camp Blanding has been reclaimed by the pine barrens and swamps from which it was hacked. Concrete foundations, weathered and hidden by nature, dot the ground and are the ghosts that haunt these woods.

Reminders of the past always bring bitter to go with sweet. Exhibits remind us of where we’ve been, some of them telling us of what we did wrong. The Army of 1940 was one that was still segregated. Separate facilities, living areas, even swimming lakes are indictments of what just one of our societies mistakes has been.

It tells us of things we did correctly. Few know that many German POWs were transported to the USA. Camp Blanding hosted around 2,000. They lived in the same type facilities as our GIs. They were given jobs and paid to do them. Contrast that to the fate of POWs in German or Russian hands. Less than 10% survived the war and literally this amounted to millions of deaths. More than 15% of Germans elected to stay in the US and become citizens and over 98% survived.

Places like this, Camp Blanding, are places that should bring us together. We can attempt to change history, there are those who do, but it really won’t change. Camp Blanding is a string tied around our finger, like ones used by our country men before computers, to remind them of something they had to do. If we forget the good and bad that history teaches, we’ll neither continue our virtues or avoid our mistakes. Humans are on a long voyage of discovery. That discovery is how imperfect we really are. We have to embrace what we have become, not languish in what we were, but learn from where we’ve been.

The Medal of Honor.

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

Happy 4th! … Bring the Cannoli and leave the Firecrackers!

I’m watching from the car as Mrs. G prepares for her ride in the 4th-of-July parade.

It was fun! I got to watch one of my humans participate in our community’s celebration of the birth of our nation. Mrs. G was in Pine Island’s Parade. With the sky-roof open the windows down and the AC running, I felt like an executive in a luxury box at a big-league stadium.

Mrs. G was a pirate. Aaarrggghhh! The boat-float’s slogan was “Give me freedom – or walk the plank.” It works …

The Geezer snapped these pictures before and during the parade. He tries, but he’d be better off writing about what he saw. He uses a camera as well as our cat Oreo swims … not very good. The only thing I didn’t like was the clown (literally) tossing firecrackers closer to me than I liked. The Geezer saw that ended quickly.

“Standing by the corner watching all the floats go by” The Geezer told me to write that. Mrs.G is in part of the boat he didn’t cut off.

It was fun! Now, I’m looking forward to one of those ribeyes I saw in the grocery bags. Grilling Beans, potato salad, and ice cream, YUM! Bring the Cannoli and leave the firecrackers. Happy 4th to you all!

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

 

When a dog brags about something, is it called crowing or barking?

The Geezer deep in thought … or the best he’s capable of

I have to crow about this one! He’s done it again. The Geezer won another award for his writing. His short story, “There are no lights in Naples,” won the Novel Writing Festival’s contest and is their featured reading this month. If you’d like to sample his writing, visit the home page of his website (click the link … DLHavlin … on the left side of this post.) You’ll see the announcement that his short story, There are no lights in Naples, won. Click on the link (underlined and in bright yellow), it will take you to Novel Writing Festival’s home page. It’s featured at the very top … simply click on the image … Elizabeth Rose Morriss does the reading and does a great job of capturing the spirit and essence of the story.

The Geezer at the Copperfish at a previous event.

If you’d like to visit with the Geezer, he’ll be at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida today at 6:00 PM. The street address is 103 Marion Avenue. He’ll be signing his latest novel, The Bait Man. Its a suspense/mystery set in Florida that received a great review from Kirkus. I know he’s been waiting to talk to the Charlotte County folks and others close by about this book. Come see him. The Copperfish phone number is 941-205-2560 if you have questions.

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

Vindicating vacation value …

“Where do you want to go, Geezer?” I asked.

He thought for at least two minutes, that’s a long time when you’re waiting for an answer. Finally, he spoke, “Remember Seinfeld famously said his show was about nothing? So, I want to do the Seinfeld thing … Nothing. I want to go where I can do that.”

I looked at him wondering if the steam in his boiler had escaped. “Nothing? You can do that at home.”

“No Sandy, I can’t. The phone rings, the Internet calls, my next chapter demands to be worked on if I stay here. So … I’m going where no phone will bother me, where there’s no wifi, and to a place I’m far away from my research notes and computer.”

“Is there such a place beside heaven?”

“Yes, I think I’ve found utopia.” He smiled. “We’re going to Amity.”

The view from Amity Cabin’s front porch – A beautiful 38 acre lake we had to ourselves. Except for fish that lined up to strike our lures.

 

The place DL found was off the beaten path. Let me rephrase: This wonderful piece of seclusion was off a once used game trail. Located in Mississippi near the Alabama line, the farm Amity Cabin is built on isn’t close to anything most Americans recognize as a “destination.” The rolling terrain, the beauty of the unspoiled pines, magnolia blossoms, curious deer, and mirror-like-lake, wrapped  a serenity blanket around us.

Pines in the morning mists

A full house … The Mississippi Martin Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’d been at Amity for three days when the old boy’s wisdom became undeniably evident. He’d found the ultimate location and way to relax. We sat on the porch, watching martins pilot their bodies over the lake, dipping, zigging, zagging, and intercepting insects that would be their babies’ lunch. “I have to tell you, Geezer, I thought you were crazy. You weren’t. This is the closest thing to a battery charger for humans I’ve ever seen.”

He nodded. “The one solace accumulating years brings is the wisdom experience imparts. I spent years going on vacations that were scheduled tighter than my work regimen prescribed. I’d race from attraction to attraction, take advantage of sight-seeing or night-life at any place I happen to stay, and squeeze in some work to salve my misguided conscience. The result … I was exhausted at its conclusion. A vacation from the vacation seemed necessary. Then, I discovered this is what I needed. When I returned from a true rest, I found my productivity and creativity returned to the 150% I strive for.”

Mrs G and I had time to read our favorite magazine, Garden & Gun – Wow – what a luxury.

The Geezer rockin’ the day away on Amity Cabin’s front porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While our life style was definitely not an episode of “Naked and Afraid,” we were able to commune with nature. Deer visited daily … herons, owls, hawks, martins, robins, cardinals, and a multitude of other birds flitted around us … quail whistled “bob-white” from sun-up to sun-down, and a raccoon peered through the glass front door each evening, daring me to give chase. I didn’t even bark at him … not after his first appearance. It was my chance to relax, too.

 

A magnificent magnolia blossom. – The candle holders in the photo show size – each is 5″ in diameter. These flowers’ fragrance sweeten each day at Amity.

 

Most importantly, it was away from the filth Washington and the New York media dumps on us daily. There are no (vomit) politics on the farm. There are no assassination attempts at Amity. The only ABC we saw was in books we read. The FOX we watched had four legs. The Washington Post found its best purpose … to wrap garbage.

Yep, the value of our vacation was vindicated.

 

#  #  #  #  #

 

Do you ever wonder???

I reflect best when I ride. Some of the things I’ve wondered about recently are shared below.

A couple of days ago the Geezer and Mrs. G were running errands and took me along. They know how much I love the car. This is particularly true when we’re going somewhere … you know, like on vacation or a book signing trip. This wasn’t nearly as much fun.

The half-day was a series of short drives from uninspired stop to uninspired stop. The car would get hot after a few minutes parked in the Florida sun. It’s May. It’s 90. It’s boring! I shared this emotion with either the Geezer (most of the time) or Mrs. G as one or the other sat with me while the other performed some mundane task. The expressions on their faces said, “Ennui!” If anything, they were more bored than me!

Don’t get me wrong. I love being petted and having my ears scratched. The Geezer always has treats to reward me for just being his buddy. The windows were down in back so I could exercise my nostrils. But all these enjoyments have limits. I was bored to the point of distraction. That distraction started me wondering if other canines (and humans) wondered the same things I wonder. I’ll share a few of these wonders with you.

Do you ever wonder, if a few generations from now, human babies will be born without hands? If Darwin is correct they’ll be replaced with a cell phone on one side and a game tablet on the other. Will they be called right celled or left celled?

Do you ever wonder what television would be like if every program wasn’t a vehicle for pushing a political view or an ideological agenda? I’ve seen archaeological artifacts like, Ozzie and Harriet, Fantasy Island, and Dragnet that entertained without rubbing manure in your nose every minute.

Do you ever wonder why human ladies spend so much on the “latest style?” It would be smarter to just keep your old clothes for a long enough time so that some high-priced designer re-invented something that was done forty or fifty years ago. Hey, pants suites are now rompers. Remember the “chemise” and the “sack dress?” They’ve come back under a new title. Micro-mini skirts do keep their same title, though the Geezer calls them “water cooler stop lights.” Anybody know why? Anyway, my coat is always in style.

Do you ever wonder if we’ll get the politicians and TV anchors to settle their arguments Roman Style. In the Coliseum. Televised. With appropriate weapons. How about Sean Hannity versus Chris Mathews with battle axes? Or Hilary Clinton versus Sarah Palin with maces? Why not Ted Cruz fighting Chuck Schumer using long swords? Think of the attraction of Jon Stewart matching up with Rush Limbaugh. They can fight each other with shovels and huge piles of manure. The first one that covers and smothers the other, wins! After all, it’s these individuals creating the huge divisions in the country. Really, 75% of the people would just like them to go away.

Do you ever wonder when humans will figure out that reading is the best way to get information? Stuff on TV, in movies, or on the radio, effects people primarily based on presentation … NOT SUBSTANCE! If humans read most speeches or documentaries made on/for TV, etc. they’d learn something completely different than the quick view that’s intended to trick them. Reading actually gives you time to think and question information.

Do you ever wonder why canines are so far superior to humans as a species? No further explanation required.

I love my human. He is an inferior species, but this is even more of a reason for me to look after him.

 

#  #  #  #  #