Fandango’s Flashback Friday — October 23

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 23rd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on October 23, 2011

I Felt The Earth Move — Twice

It was around 2:45 p.m. local time. I was working in my office at home when the sliding door that separates it from the hallway started to rattle.

I looked around for our cat because the rattling sound was similar to the sound it makes when he rubs up against the partially open sliding door. Only this time it was more like he had run full-force into the door. But the cat was nowhere in sight.

“Did you feel that?” I heard our son call out. “It was an earthquake.”

This was the first time that I had actually felt an earthquake since we took up residence in San Francisco. There had been others, I’d been told, but I either slept through them or they were virtually imperceptible.

Later that same day…

It was around 8:15 p.m. local time. My wife and I were sitting on the couch in the living room watching some TV drama that we had recorded on our DVR when the sofa suddenly started to vigorously vibrate. The shimmying lasted for only around ten seconds, but the whole house shook, as if some large truck had rammed into it from the street below.

My wife and I looked at each other with wide eyes. I yelled out to our son, who was at the back of the house in his bedroom. “Did you feel that? It was another earthquake,” I definitively declared, now that I’m experienced at detecting such things.

The good news is that there was no damage to anything inside our home. The same can’t be said, however, for a couple of cars that were parked beneath a tree down the block from our place. The tree was apparently uprooted by the shaking earth beneath it.

Ah, so this is what it’s like to live in San Francisco! Or wait. Maybe it’s just the beginning of the end.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 16

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 16th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on October 16, 2018.

Stalker

3CB78D37-B12D-49B1-A0D1-EB073F441DFA“Well isn’t this a fine case of serendipity,” he said.

She turned around and looked at the man who was standing behind her on the balcony. “Excuse me?” she said.

“The two of us here, together and alone on this balcony,” he said. “I mean I know we’ve been glancing longingly at each other all night. And here we are.”

“I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said. “I’ve never seen you before in my life. And I certainly haven’t been glancing longingly at you.”

“Oh but you have,” he said. He pulled a small sketch tablet from his sport coat pocket and held it out for her to see. There were pencil sketches he’d drawn of her, not just tonight, but over the past several months. Each sketch had date and a caption written on it. “Together Forever” one said. “My One and Only” another caption read. “Meant To Be” a third one had written on it.

“Oh my God!” she screamed. “You’ve been stalking me!”

“No,” he said. “We are destined to be with one another. You might as well acquiesce to the inevitable.” Then he moved in to giver her a kiss, but before he could get to her, she put a jujitsu move on him.

She calmly took her phone out of her purse and punched in a few numbers. “9-1-1,” the operator said. “What’s your emergency?”

A man has fallen from the third floor balcony,” she said.


Written for these prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (serendipity), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (balcony), Scotts Daily Prompt (tablet), Daily Addictions (caption), Your Daily Word Prompt (acquiesce), and Word of the Day Challenge (emergency).

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 9

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 9th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on October 9, 2017.

Good Samaritan Gone Bad

Before I begin, everything you are about to read really happened. It’s the truth. It’s not flash fiction. There are no embellishments, no exaggerations. I’ve taken no literary license. I am relating actual events as they occurred in real life.

With that out of the way….

Did you ever have one of those days where you found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time? And then, when you thought you were doing the right thing it turned out to be the totally wrong thing to do?

Yesterday morning I was out walking with my dog. On our way back home from the park, I heard what sounded like a woman groaning. I realized that the groaning was coming from a car parked on the street. As my dog and I got closer to the car, the volume and intensity of the groaning grew louder and more urgent.

I sensed that someone may have been in trouble and was possibly in need of some sort of assistance. The groaning continued as I arrived at the car. When I looked inside the vehicle, I saw a middle-aged woman sitting alone in the back seat. Her groaning was even more intense. I tapped on the window to get her attention and to see if there was something I could do to help.

That was when I realized I had made a a terrible error in judgment. This middle-aged woman shot me the dirtiest look you could ever imagine. Realizing my mistake, I grabbed my dog’s leash and pulled her away from the car, where she had been busy sniffing the tires.

When my dog and I got home, I told my wife what I had seen.

“You’re kidding me,” she exclaimed. “This woman was masturbating in the back seat of her car, which was parked on that busy street, in broad daylight?”

“Uh huh,” I said, and we both burst out laughing.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — October 2

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 2nd) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on October 2, 2013.

What time is it?

 ClocksIn addition to my watch, there are ten timekeeping devices (aka, clocks) in my house. TEN! And except for one, they’re all digital time displays. Where are these timekeeping devices?

  1. Bedroom alarm
  2. Coffee maker
  3. Oven
  4. Microwave
  5. Cable box
  6. iPhone
  7. iPad
  8. Laptop
  9. Printer
  10. Desk clock (analog face)

I’m not obsessed with knowing precisely what time it is. However, I do participate in a lot of conference calls and online meetings for my job, and I like being prompt for those calls/meetings, since others could be affected by my tardiness.

So this morning, when I looked at the clock that sits on my desk and saw that it was three minutes past the hour, I thought to myself, “Shit, I’m late for the call.” Then I looked at my watch, which told me it was just on the hour. I picked up my iPhone, which read one-minute past the hour, as did my iPad and laptop.

Now I’m not saying that I’m easily distracted, but instead of placing the call that I may or may not have already been late for, I decided that I needed to check out all of the other clocks in my place. I ran to the bedroom and checked my alarm clock. I went to the kitchen and looked at the times displayed on the coffee maker, the oven, and the microwave. I checked the time on my cable box and on my printer.

In my kitchen alone, the coffee maker, oven, and microwave displayed three different times, each different from the others by a minute. Three different times displayed on three clocks within 10 feet of one another, for crissake!

The time displayed on my cable box showed one minute later than any of the three clocks in the kitchen. In all, the variation among all of the 11 timepieces — the ten clocks and my watch — was four minutes from slowest to fastest. Fascinating, right?

By the time I finished this truly pointless and somewhat irrational exercise, I was ten minutes late for my call…or maybe only six minutes late. I can’t be certain. But even after I got on the call and apologized to the others for my tardiness, I couldn’t really concentrate on whatever it was that the call concerned.

The only thing that was going through my mind, to the exclusion of everything else, was that old song by the band Chicago: “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”

And then it struck me. Does anybody really care?


Photo credit: Jon Tyson at unsplash.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — September 18

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 18th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.


This was originally posted on my old blog on September 18, 2008. America was preparing for the presidential election between Republican candidate John McCain and Democrat candidate Barack Obama. Politics seemed pretty strange back then, but as I re-read this post from twelve years ago, from today’s perspective, it was actually rather quaint.

Politics as Unusual

I have tried to remain apolitical in this blog but it hasn’t been easy, given that, besides hurricanes, the collapse of Wall Street, the tanking economy, the price of energy, and the exciting race for the AL East pennant, it’s pretty much been all politics all the time.

It has gotten interesting though, especially when you look at where we are compared with about a year ago, when McCain’s Straight Talk Express had seemingly run off the rails and no one was giving him a chance to get the GOP nod, and when Hillary was the walk-away favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

But now, with only about seven weeks to go before Election Day, it has suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, turned into a dog race between McCain and Obama.

I have to give the McCain campaign credit. His rather unexpected and highly unusual selection of Sarah Palin last month as his running mate served four political purposes aimed toward bolstering his sagging presidential campaign.

First, hoping that gender supersedes ideology, he was pandering to the disenfranchised Hillary supporters.

Second, he was countering his “old, out-of-touch, white man” image by parading a fresh, new face with, on the surface anyway, a few years of reformer credentials under her belt.

Third, he was accommodating the religious right, the evangelicals, who were critical that McCain isn’t “conservative enough.”

Fourth, with his pick of Palin, he has blunted any Democratic criticism that she has virtually no experience in national affairs because the Republicans can then throw it right back at Obama’s perceived lack of experience.

It’s not that I am impressed with Sarah Palin, but I think his pick was brilliant. It was a great way to add spark to an otherwise failing campaign. Brilliant, anyway, until we start to learn more about her.

And we are learning a lot more about her.

There’s “Troopergate,” and that she is trying to end the investigation or at least defer it until after the election. There’s her somewhat dubious flip flopping stories about the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere” and her claim to not accept earmarks.

There are some questionable expense reimbursement requests related to living expenses in her own home. There is a question about what actually happened with the jet plane that she proudly claimed to have sold on eBay.

There are her ultra conservative, the-bible-is-the-literal-word-of-God beliefs and that the U.S. is on a “mission from God” in Iraq. There’s her position that abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, should be banned.

There’s her inquiring into what it would take to ban certain books, along with her belief that creationism should be taught along side evolution in science classes.

But will all of these revelations have an impact in November? Or did McCain’s running mate pick effectively position him to ascend to the presidency? If it does — and I hope it doesn’t — but if it does, that will be the only reason that McCain would have been elected. And, if that happens, then it truly will have been a brilliant pick.