Yo No Soy Marinero

Since my hearing impairment was diagnosed, I often ask myself two questions:

Was that person talking to me?

What did they say?



I just needed poblanos. (image purejadkid CCbySA3.0)

So, when a woman started talking to me yesterday at the grocery, I started with those familiar queries.

I was grabbing a cart and heard a woman’s voice behind me call out “hello!” It’s kind of rare for me to run into my friends during one of my afternoon food runs, but as I turned, I asked myself the first of my questions. She was looking at me and smiling; the answer seemed to be yes, she was talking to me. And I was pretty certain she’d said hello because when I turned, she followed up with “how’ve you been?”

But I had no idea who she was.

When someone talks to me and I don’t know who they are, I often ask myself two questions:

When did my wife introduce me to this person?

Is she close enough to save me?

I could not figure out the answer to the first question. Did my wife and I meet her at a party? I had no idea and my wife was in her office, too far away to get me out of this predicament with her usual grace. It was time to for me to start faking it. Read the rest of this entry »

So, Anyhow…

It’s been quiet here on Blurt, and I’m sure that it looks like I’ve stopped writing. Nope.

Yeah, it’s gotten a little tougher to get words on paper. I’m certain that’ll pass. Keep watching this space and you’ll see.

But while we’re waiting for that to happen, I had an idea for a new site and started it up. My new blog is called The Seventeenth Syllable Blog. The Seventeenth Syllable is a haiku driven news site.

Haiku news sites are what happens when I write down the things that I think of when I wake up in the middle of the night. Perhaps I should write those things down more often. Or maybe not.

See you at The Seventeenth Syllable…and here.

Haiku For Haiku, In Haiku


My rough draft. (image public domain)

A few months ago, I discovered that there is a town in Hawaii named Haiku. I can’t claim that I discovered the town. I’m pretty sure that the people who live there were aware it was there long before I figured it out.

But learning that the town exists inspired me to write a haiku for Haiku. That little writing exercise got me to thinking about becoming the poet laureate of Hawaii, so I knocked out two more haiku to expand my body of work (you can read all three haiku here).

About a week ago, my wife and I visited Haiku, Hawaii. It is a laid back, pretty little place in the hills. Read the rest of this entry »

Alligator Lizards In The Air

One of the great joys of retiring at my age is that my wife and I can travel. We go on a lot of adventures, enough that the shuttle bus drivers at the airport greet us by name.

Last year on one of our trips, I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. At the end of this week, we’ll see it again, and then fly over a lot of it to Hawaii. There are a lot of things we’re looking forward to from our two week journey way out west – volcanoes…a canoe trip to see whales…learning new Hawaiian words with far too many vowels in them…and finding out what the hell poi is. These adventures will pale in comparison to the very first thing that we’ll do on our trip.

Ventura Highway


Alligator lizards fly above this sign. (image by Tony Webster CCbySA4.0)

We arranged our trip to allow for two days in Los Angeles before we head out to Maui. While we are there, we are taking a day trip to Ventura. I am looking forward to being on the Ventura Highway.

Yes, the Ventura Highway. The road in the song by the same name, recorded by the band America back in 1972. I know from that song that “the free wind will blow through my hair”, or what’s left of it, while I’m there. Also, on Ventura Highway, “the days are longer and the nights are stronger than moonshine”. Moonshine is strong stuff. Read the rest of this entry »

Superman VS Batman. Why Are They Fighting??

Ads for the film Superman Vs Batman were prominently featured during the NFL playoff games. But the promotions and the premise of the film have left many with one huge question – Why are Superman and Batman fighting?

I did some investigation, including speaking with both superheroes, to get to the bottom of things. It was sad to learn that this feud has been going on for longer than most of us have realized. And thought they’ve been solving our problems for so long, it looks like the problems between Batman and Superman are too deep rooted for us to help them resolve.

For Superman, It’s All About Power


Before things got messy (image by postdlf/wikipedia)

“Look, the guy is a hero but there’s not a damned thing super about him”, Superman told me as he crystallized the issue between himself and Batman. “He’s got no real powers, just a bunch of gadgets and a mask. The other Superfriends – Aquaman, Wonder Woman and me, we were upfront about who we were. We didn’t hide behind some mask. And we’ve got powers – Aquaman can live under water and Wonder Woman…I mean, come on…you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, am I right?”

Batman seemed to confirm that was a big part of the rift between them. “Yeah, yeah. Hero, but not a super hero. I’ve heard it from him over and over. It just got old. They say the Super Friends split up “to work on solo projects. Yeah, right, like we were the friggin’ Eagles, man. I’m telling you, it was his elitist attitude that did it.” Read the rest of this entry »

“We Raised An Idiot”

I woke up to the news that a University of Virginia student, Otto Warmbier, was detained by the North Korean government as he was leaving that nation after a visit. The North Koreans said he’d entered the country with “the intention of destroying the country’s unity”


What about this says “Welcome!”? (image via USMA Archive CCbySA2.0)

Now, I’m sure that our government is doing everything it can to get Mr. Warmbier back across the Pacific quickly, so he doesn’t have to take incompletes on all his spring semester classes. We should all expect that sort of help when we’re in a jam; whether we travel to North Korea for a lovely beach vacation or to destroy some unity.

Nice Choice, Otto

But how far should the government go to rescue a young man who made a questionable vacation choice which put him in harm’s way? If Warmbier and his family have the money to send him to North Korea, we can reasonably infer that money could have been spent sending him somewhere less perilous. Being a tourist in a nation that has detained a number of your countrymen seems a bizarre choice. And when I say “bizarre”, what I mean is “stupid”. Read the rest of this entry »

Colonoscopy Prep – The Live Blog

Tomorrow, I’m having a colonoscopy.

I imagine at this point you’re asking yourself “who schedules something like that for New Years Eve?” Look, like a lot of stuff that I do, this seemed smart at one time. I can’t remember what seemed smart about this idea.

Anyhow, since I’ve been on a little writing break over the holidays, I thought “why not write about what’s happening today?” I invite you to refer back to the last paragraph about things seeming to  me to be a smart idea.

I’m going to update this through the day, because in my cranky, hungry state of mind it seems like the thing to do.

It is about 10 am. I last ate at 11 last night. I’m not really allowed to eat today. I get water, jello and broth. I jumped up and got out of the house early to run errands, but forgot to enjoy some jello.

Times like this remind me that food is very prevalent in our society. It is everywhere. There’s a restaurant on every corner. The radio constantly advertises places I could eat, if I could eat.

Also, there are no jello and broth restaurants. Note to self, open a jello restaurant catering to the untapped colonoscopy market.

Ok, I’m going to finish my errands before I have to go home and take my first dose of the medicine that starts the process. Come on back in a little while for more fun with cranky me.

10:45 – I’m at Home Depot; they don’t sell food here, right?

I just left Costco. Those sample ladies are pretty aggressive. The one with the chicken samples was really bad. Hey lady, panko bread this!

This is my last stop before I go home and turn the house into the thunder dome.

IMG_212611:30 – I’m home and enjoying a delicious bowl of jello. Speaking of jello, Bill Cosby is being arrested. That has nothing to do with colonoscopies, it’s more of a stream of consciousness thing.

For any of you who may have wondered, two little boxes of jello makes about two pounds of dessert…or as I like to call it, lunch.

I made my lunch yesterday. You might notice from the photo that I made layers – lemon, then lime. I’m creative like that.

When you do a colonoscopy, doctors don’t want you to eat or drink red stuff. Apparently we’re all red inside. When you eliminate shades of red in jello, you’re pretty much locked in to lemon and lime or whatever the blue stuff is.

IMG_212712:00 – I just took my first dose of magnesium citrate. Things will be getting real soon.

You know, the last time I had one of these procedures, the stuff they gave me to get things moving was terrible tasting. It scares me to say this, but this stuff wasn’t so bad.

I got a kick out of the label “The Sparkling Laxative”, but it was lemony and sort of refreshing. I’m happy to see that it is pasteurized. The last thing I want to do is drink something that’s unpasteurized that will cause me to spend my day on the toilet.

2:00 – All  quiet so far. Three pills the doctor’s office packed for me are now added to the mix, according to the directions. And the cable is out.

3:30 – The medicine has started working…

3:50 – It hasn’t been a problem, but for safety purposes, know that if you think you only have to fart, you don’t.

4:00 – Time for the second bottle of “The Sparkling Laxative”. I notice that it comes with a money back guarantee. I don’t think that I will be making a claim on that guarantee.

5:45 – Well, it seems I really am full of it. Well, usually I am. I’m going to be empty tomorrow. If you see me then, I won’t be full of it and won’t put up with you telling me that I am.

6:15 – I think the bidet is an under rated plumbing fixture.

Most of the time I don’t think about bidets. Under the circumstances, I think it is reasonable to do so.

This isn’t to say that I have any practical experience with the bidet. I’ve never been in a bathroom that had one. But it is a darn fine idea and I think it is time for us all to have one.

6:30 – I want food. Bad. How bad? Our cat is in danger.


Look, I’m not saying I’m proud of it. I’m just saying that he’s already thawed out.

9:00 – I’m in this weird place where I know I should be hungry, but I’m not. I can’t explain why. I even watched a Food Network show with no ill effects. I think my stomach’s spirit is broken. I’ll rebuild its spirit with a cheeseburger right after I get out of recovery.

It is the next morning. My appointment is in an hour. If we don’t get out of here soon, the cat is in real jeopardy. 

Try Not To Be An Ass

Several years ago, some scientists called Pluto with some bad news.

“You’ve been great and all, but we’ve decided that you’re not a planet any more”, they said. Pluto was rightfully shocked. There had been rumors that one of the planets was getting demoted. The consensus was that Uranus, the most inappropriate of all the planets, was getting pink-slipped.


Stop by Mianus some time. (image via signspotting.com/Chris Phung)

“I’m out here on the edge of the solar system. I define the outer limit. I’m so inoffensive and Uranus just begs to be mispronounced. Why me?”, Pluto asked.

“Look, it’s nothing you’ve done”, he was told, “we’d be happy to recommend you to any other grouping of celestial bodies. It’s just that, well, frankly…everyone knows where Uranus is simply because it sounds dirty. We’re sorry.”

Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine

It’s true. Uranus is unique among the (remaining) planets. No one snickers when you mention Mars or Neptune, but people giggle when you bring up that one planet that starts with a U. Everyone knows where Uranus is, but not many can pinpoint mine. Read the rest of this entry »