Friday, April 26, 2013

LBC Topic - Out of sight, out of mind"

Is that so? Does out of sight necessarily mean out of mind? In this digital age I suspect nothing could be further from the truth.  Seems to me the texting generations almost prefer being out of sight - seems silly even to them to text a person you are sitting with. Usually.

In this age of instant access to news reports -right or wrong, stories appear almost as if there is an embedded reporter at every event - it should be impossible to ignore the troubles in the middle east and Africa.  Unless of course what goes on is not deemed newsworthy by the powers that be.  Africa seems to rank near the bottom of the newsworthy food chain - not enough oil to be concerned with maybe? Couldn't be color could it? What the hell - a few thousand starving kids in Africa and their despotic rulers don't impact us or anyone we deem important so we'll beat our breasts over Syria. We have an interest there.

When it comes to old friends the pendulum swings both ways - how many classmates from high school or earlier do you think about? Remember? I'm generally lucky that way although I honestly believe that out of sight these days to some is a relief.  They don't have to be placed in the uncomfortable position of dealing with or commenting about Lynn's condition. I get that.  People here in town avoid me because they simply don't know what to do or say. Frankly at times neither do I.   But I will be eternally grateful to the ones that stay in touch or manage to work in time for a visit whenever they can.

There are times when this old saw is good advice,.  There are times it is pure, unadulterated horse hockey. That's for you to decide. What you remember is up to you.

Check out what my other LBC pals have to say - they're listed over there on the right.

Friday, April 19, 2013


This weeks LBC topic is NAMES.   I know y'all saw this one coming :)

My name (Chuck)  was a guilty pleasure when it came to the name game.  That was of course before "in your face" became the norm. My actual name - Charles - From the Germanic name Karl, which was derived from a Germanic word which meant "man". However, an alternative theory states that it is derived from the common Germanic element hari meaning "army, warrior". Cool.  Warrior.  Better than shy ex-jock - LOL.

Every name has a story behind it.  I like nicknames and their history - take mine - Bubba.  Now the uninitiated may assume that since I live in Texas - part of the south - that Bubba is a common regional nickname - and somewhat natural.  Not so in my case.  I was born in Colorado and raised in Colorado and Northern California.  I was first called Bubba by my little sister when she had trouble with the word brother.  Bubba stuck with me when my younger (I have not been allowed to call him little since he surpassed me in height) brother came along and to this day that is all they call me.  My 5 nieces from their families call me Uncle Bubba as do some very close friends' kids.  Only one person calls me Charlie (and lives to tell about it) and one old friend calls me Chas.

My other nickname is my Web name - shackman. That one is a natural as I have worked for decades at RadioShack.

I'm fond of a mystery series about a San Francisco based detective called nothing but Bill.  Kudos to Bill Pronzini for keeping that mystery alive for over 40 published works in the nameless Detective series. And the other end of the spectrum - the late Robert B Parker's Spenser series,  Bet ya don't know Spenser's first name.  And his oft times sidekick Hawk - a very aptly named badass sidekick.  And of course many authors publish their works under pen names.

Sports generates some great nicknames.  A few of my faves include Stretch - aka Willie McCovey, the Say Hey Kid - Willie Mays, David "Deacon" Jones - Deacon being one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history,  the Splendid Splinter - Ted Williams,  Gerry "Cheesy" Cheevers.

Of course entertainers rarely seem to go by their given names.  Take Prince (or whatever he goes by today).

Most people know who Marion Michael Morrison is but can you name:

Allen Konigsberg
Betty Joan Perske
Richard Walter Jenkins
Maurice Micklewhite

Surely you know Woody Allen, Lauren Bacall, Richard Burton and Michael Caine.

Then there are our pets.   Ginger, Cheech and Chong are the names of my dog and 2 cats.  There's nearly always a story behind pets names - I happen to be a huge fan of Cheech & Chong. And if you want to ride in the desert on a horse, how about

Names are fun to discuss.  Of course there can be a serious side to names and the discussion thereof - just not today by me. But what about my LBC cohorts?? Check them out - they're listed over there on the right.....

Friday, April 12, 2013


I started out as a child. Some contend I never progressed. In some ways I suspect those folks may be correct. At any rate I am much older now. And wiser. Well - maybe wiser.

Everyone needs a code that they can live by. It falls to the parents to teach their children

Teach but let them develop their own selves at the same time.  And remember - they are sponges and will soak up EVERYTHING you say and do.

When you look back on your life chances are your emotional peaks and valleys more often then not revolved around your kids.

It all seems so simple.  In theory anyway.  The results are out there for all to see. Watch the news. Listen to the music. Read what they write.  Look at the world around you and decide for yourself if we've done a good job.

Check out what the other LBC writers had to say on this subject. They're listed on the right side of the screen.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Todays LBC topic is finality. 

The end of the line.  That's pretty final.   The end of an event.  An adventure.  A day.  An hour.  Geeze - we have a multitude of ends every day.  Finality abounds. Who woulda thunk.  We are besieged by finality.  The weight of the multitude of ends rests upon our weary countenance.

Living in a linear world means finality is inescapable.  Things have a beginning, a middle and an end.  There is order.  There is structure.   Processes follow known cycles - step by step progressions. Logic dictates.  Spock is god. We stroll down the pathways of life until we reach absolute finality (that would be death). If you're of a religious bent that would be the absolute finality of this particular plane of existence. What happens next is wholly dependent upon your relationship with your god and her divine decrees.  Good boys and girls go to heaven, bad boys and girls go to hell. An over simplification? Sure - but it suits this discussion.  Maybe another day's topic will lend itself to a more serious discussion in that vain. I'll be sure to miss that one  :-) Of course if you are a non-linear traveler down the yellow-brick road of life  of life  things don't quite work that way.

No straight lines make up my life;
And all my roads have bends;
There's no clear-cut beginnings;
And so far no dead-ends.

 Ol' Harry was on to something methinks. Too bad he experienced the ultimate finality on that sad  Thursday in 1981. His wife, however, did win a substantial settlement from the company whose truck Harry collided with.  Finality?  Of a sort I suppose.

So what is finality really? Nothing more than the end.  It's settled. Irrevocable.  Complete.   In law there can be no further appeals. Sounds suspiciously like death to me. Birth leads to life and life leads to death. We'll all get there. It's what we do on that yellow-brick road that matters. Follow your conscience - even if it's the conscience someone or some institution gave you.  You chose it - you own it.  As you circle the drain, make the best decisions you possibly can. If you think praying to some god or another will lead you down the correct path who am I to tell you you're wrong.  And that sounds suspiciously final so we must be at the conclusion of this little ditty. No more time.

Now that's a send off.  What do my LBC pals have to say on finality? Check them out - they're listed over there on the right.