Thursday, December 31, 2009

You can't buy this in stores!..

What is there one can really say,when providence and circumstance conspire to keep you from spending five consecutive Christmas's with the most very important people in your life?
Nothing,..I suppose.
All you can do is cherish those times that do present themselves,file the love away for future reference,and call upon the memories in the small hours of your regret.
...It's truly a good thing!

Follows,..a select photofolio.
Mostly,like the saying goes,each picture conjures up a thousand words.
Captions are for the sake of brevity.

********Cast of Characters********

Grandma,Grandpa,..and each and every one of the Little Slinglets.

Little Jackson,and his strapping Dad,Octavio.
Thanks,and thanks again for the handsome lad!

Erin practicing her make-up skills on Grandma.
Dont'cha know she received the ultimate beauty kit,fit for a tween!

Erin presents a meal with her usual flair..

I.LOVE.THIS.PIC!..Olivia and cousin Jackson share a humorous secret.
Personally,I think they are articulate beyond their years,but I can only imagine what unheard comment passed between them at this moment and,..wait,..I have a booger in my nose.

Tyler Anne,in a 'Hey!..Look up!' moment..
Do you remember when her Grandmother was 12??..Probably not,since I met her when she was 14.

My eldest son's daughter,Olivia.
It took all of a minute for her to jump into Grandpa's lap.
I had only ever seen photos of her until this occasion.
I wish you could make out her startling blue/green turquoise eyes in this picture.

Okay..I cheated and took a picture of a picture of Erin,caught in serious contemplation..

Me and Jackson..I think that couch makes me look fat.

Like most Christmas family gatherings in Bloggertown,..eventually,..some one ends up with an octopus stuck to their face.

********Christmas day********

Interior view from the patio...where we do our mandatory smoking.

I participated in the annual Team Gingerbread (Graham cracker) house building contest for the first time!..Erin and I came in the top three!

..Daughter and Grandma took first place..(fixed).

.. and Octavio and Tyler took second.

********My Birthday********

Did I mention it was also my birthday?..No??..I'll wait while you smother me with hugs and kisses.............
Jackson's Papa somehow managed to buy me the perfect gift.
Who knew cheap brown liquor comes in actual glass bottles?
The shiny hip flask will come in useful, doubt.
Those squiggly Christmas lights were a happy accident.

MINE!!..All mine!..
Darling Daughter went the extra mile to cover both Christmas,and my birthday..
I have only had three birthday parties in my life,..what with all thoughts turning toward Christmas.
..That's okay by me.

Capricorns,you see, have two cast-in-bronze traits..
1) We don't like to be the focus of great amounts of attention,..and,..
b) We don't believe in astrology.

This is my homemade 'Birthay' cake!..

Fortunately,..Darling Daughter is gorgeous,...and doesn't need to know how to spell.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Road Trip Part I...

A lot has changed over the years,as regards traveling via the Greyhound bus.
It used to was,that an extended trip consisted of seemingly endless hours of mind numbing boredom waiting for your particular bus to arrive,combined with the last minute chaos of watching your luggage slammed into the bowels of the beast,while you scrambled to find a seat,..any seat,..that;

a) Provided easy access to the restroom.
2) Wasn't behind that kid that just loves to adjust his seat allllllll the way back,so that your knees are thrust up into your chest for four goddamm hours,..and,
c)..Please..Oh please Lord,..don't let that fat sweaty guy in the 'I'm MORE than a Christian..I'm Apostolic!' T-shirt pick the seat next to me!..OH NO!..He's looking this way!...(put on my best anti-social face)..
..'No,..that seat isn't taken,...helpyerself'.

..These days,modern Bus stations are located in charming neighborhoods..

..And provide both full service amenities,..

As well as a refreshing ambiance to soothe the road weary mind...

Okay...Things haven't really changed all that much,..but it's all part of the adventure!
The true world traveler knows to keep his eye on the prize,which in my case was the bar-none,absolute best Christmas ever!
I have upwards of eleventy-seven pictures to go through and edit,so that I can properly document my most wonderful holiday at Darling Daughter's.
...I'm shooting for Thursday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Here Comes Sling-O-Claus..

The day has finally arrived!
My work day is done,my laundry is spinning warmly in the dryer,and all that remains is a little last minute packing before my long awaited trip down south to Darling Daughter's house.
I've been assured that all and sundry relatives that don't risk violating their probation will be in attendance to help celebrate Christmas day,as well as the untimely birth of yours truly.

Here is my round-trip itinerary,in case anybody asks you where I was last seen..

I want to extend my most sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas,to all my beloved friends in Bloggertown!!...

Friday, December 18, 2009

To make a short story long..

We still solve crimes on Wednesdays,..occasionally spilling over into Thursday.

Every morning,all of us Housing Authority types meet at the shop to gather our wits before shuffling off to do our various chores.
I was off this Wednesday past,so I didn't get to hear about all the drama that went down until Thursday morning.

It seems my lovely co-worker 'Red' had left her car unlocked for just a few minutes to go into the shop,only to discover upon returning to her vehicle that her purse,and pink canvas lunch sack had been stolen!!
She immediately called the police,and while she and the Partner were waiting,another co-worker,'Jason',arrived.
They relayed the story to Jason and he said,'Hey..I just passed a guy goin' that-a-way with a pink lunch bag!'..

Lickity-split!,..Red and The Partner jump in the truck,and sure enough,spot the felonious butt-plug a few blocks away.
They trail the guy from a respectable distance,while relaying his whereabouts to the police dispatcher.
Eventually,the perpetrator enters a corner market,and while he's still inside,the cops arrive in the parking lot.
Well,within a few minutes he comes out of the store,and the cops accost him in possession of Red's lunch bag,and savings account book!
..But no purse.
Turns out,the guy had just been released from county jail only hours before,which confirms my theory that jails are just chock-full o' geniuses..

For two hours after the scoundrel's arrest,Red and The Partner scoured the neighborhood,searching hither and yon for Red's purse,..but to no avail.
Poor Red is devastated,..not just over the loss of all her ID and checkbook,but for those few personal mementos she carried by way of remembrance.

Like I said,I was absent from this dramatic turn of events,so I was happy to go along on a second search during our lunch hour on Thursday.
Red,The Partner,and I split up,and re-covered much of the area that had been previously examined.

It was getting time to go back to work,when The Partner says,'Sling,..why don't you go over to Hammond park,and check the trash cans in the restrooms.
Hammond park is about 400 yards away,on the other side of a great fallow field,and it seemed to me an unlikely place for a respectable thief to take inventory of his swag,..but what the hell.

..You kids see where this is going,..right?

I toddle my happy ass on over to the park,and check the trash can in the women's restroom,(Hey,..the door was propped open),only to discover that it is absolutely empty..
Then,I cross around the building to inspect the trash can in the men's restroom..


It's all there!
Red's purse,ID,make-up,mementos,checkbook,bizarre marital aid,(just kidding Red),..and even a half empty box of Ricola cough drops.
Minus only the less-than-ten-bucks she had in her wallet.

Needless to say,I was appropriately smothered with great quantities of hugs and kisses from Red,over the safe return of her belongings..
Plus!..As an added bonus!..Homemade chocolate chip cookies this very morning!

Of course,you all know what this means.
Yep...It means that it's Friday,and once again,..good triumphs over evil in Sling's Domain.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Timely Reprint..

I know there is Evil.
It crouches in the dark,with a terrible patience.
'Till the scent of innocence fills it's nostrils,
and opportunity draws it from it's lair.

I know there are Demons.
They understand our weakness,
and tempt us from desire with feigned compassion.

I know there is pain,and loss,and injustice.
By virtue of having been up and down upon the Earth,
and walking to and fro' in it.

I know there are Angels.
That illuminate the darkness,
sustain our haggard spirits,
and retrieve us from icy waters.

There are always Angels..


Friday, December 11, 2009

Sling's got a ticket to ride!..

I may have given the impression in my last post,that O-Town was still enjoying a crisp Fall landscape.
We've been huddled against record low temperatures (17F.-27F.) for the last several days,and it's pretty much taken it's toll.

Fortunately for the owner of this Walnut orchard,the season's harvest has already been brought in.
..The ground is covered for acres in glistening crystal spheres.
Automatic sprinkler systems created these curious ice sculptures overnight!

..I don't know if the trees look creepy,or beautiful.
I think beautiful.

Even a weed takes on an interesting silhouette,when it's locked in suspended animation..

Those industrious kids that put that world famous California citrus on our tables,may not have fared as well.
The Mandarin Oranges,my personal favorite,ripened early enough,but Grapefruit and Navel Oranges still have a week or so,and some losses are expected.
..We'll just pass the costs on to your morning Orange juice.

********In The Woots and Hoos News!********

Christmas is ever joyous for me wherever I celebrate..Still,I've been absent from
the hearth of kin on this occasion for the last five years, and quite naturally miss being surrounded by sleepy-eyed Slinglets come Christmas morn.
This year,I'll be hauling my happy ass down south to spend the holiday with Darling Daughter,and the entire Brood!..
I'm holding the round-trip tickets (via Greyhound) Darling Daughter sent me,even as we speak.
Plus!..As an added bonus!..She's promised to throw a super soiree in honor of my having managed to circle the Sun yet another year,without getting hit by a bus...THANK YOU BABY!

It's Friday,and it may be as cold as a witch's tit outside,..but life is warm and fuzzy on the inside in Sling's Domain..

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fall Around O-Town

We have a preponderance of fiery red maples here in O-Town..They're among my most favorite.

This is the view from my front porch..Kind of a blustery day,but the color palette is very pleasing.

No zoom here!..This little grey squirrel allowed me to approach within a few inches,..

..before bounding off into a nearby tree,in search of a suitable place to lay her eggs.

It's a little hard to tell,but the morning dew has turned to ice on this hardy rose.

'I'm not cleaning that up!'

This magnificent fungus sprouted up within 24 hours of a heavy rain storm!
It's a little bigger than a basketball,..more like the size of those red rubber 'dodgeballs',like the one Tommy Kratzmar hit me in the face with back in 3rd grade,and made me cry..In the 5th grade,I threw a rock at him and knocked him off a cinder block wall,causing him to break his arm..So it all turned out quite nicely in the end.

..Top view of above fungus.
I'm counting this as Fall color.

Empty nest syndrome..

A typical O-Towner,in traditional garb.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Unfinished Draft..

Like most bloggers,I write a lot of things under the influence of cheap brown liquor,..and then save them as a 'Draft'.
Viewed in the harsh light of day,and after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs,sausage,hash browns,wheat toast,..and coffee,....we recognize a certain nebulous quality of intent that just doesn't quite make the cut.

Do you do like I do,and spend five minutes writing a post,and two days editing it?
..Fuck that shit.
Follows,a recently unearthed draft,in unedited form..

There's been a fable going around among generations of mindless believers,that I think needs to be put to rest once and for all.
The delusion that there is some kind of unseen force prevalent in the universe,that holds sway over our daily lives.

Whole cultures wake to it's supposed power,revolve their livelihoods around it's purpose,and worship at it's altar with unwavering determination.
Still and all,this omnipotent entity remains invisible,as if the fabric of it's being relies entirely on the acceptance of it's existence,as a matter of faith.

Well,I think it's high time we,as sapiens,discarded these mystic notions of an invisible and ever present spectre.
Let us all,in unison,stick our car keys in the light socket,and prove once and for all that ELECTRICITY does not exist!
..Can I get an 'Amen'!

(Kool-Aid will be available in the lobby)..


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Up the Down Staircase..

Young Jackson will be turning two years old this coming week!
Even now,the precocious little guy possesses a keen set of reasoning skills,and hand-craftiness..
..(sorry about the sideways video).

Darling Daughter is 33 years old..

..They say genius skips a generation.
Have a great week kids!