Tennessee is freezing. Being a Southern state Tennessee doesn’t handle the cold all that well. Most structures here are built for 80 to 90 degree weather with the occasional dip into the 50s, solidly built but lacking the extra layers of New England housing, and the heating system leaves much to be desired. There is something of about radiators generating scalding heat to the point that you have to open up a window too cool off. Of course, the farmers around here would rather have rain than a deep chill. 38 degrees during the day and in the 20s at night, in Boston I would have considered that a mild winter. I remember once walking home in Boston that it was so cold my mustache actually froze. All it needs to do now is snow and the State of Tennessee will shut down. People around here handle the rain well enough for driving, though rain during winter has shut the school system down once or twice, but snow tends to shut everything down.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/13
Opened up a word document and found myself staring at the blank white screen. When I started I had a few ideas rummaging around in my head but now I find my mind as blank as the screen. I know somewhere in my cranium there is some material worthy of filling up that blank white page, but fingers and brain aren’t speaking to each other at the moment. It will come, given time and patience, it will come. Well, at least that is what I’m telling myself.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/13
The holiday season is upon us. My wife asked the other day the yearly Thanksgiving question – ham or turkey? For a moment I thought of answering roast beef, but ham won out. There was no reason to add a third choice and complicate the matter. Many, many years of turkey has led to a preference for a nice glazed ham. Where Christmas evokes many different emotions from me, something to discuss later, Thanksgiving is simple holiday and it is just not because it is about planning a luxurious, high caloric meal. The simplicity of the holiday can be found in its name – thanksgiving. It is a holiday where we attempt to be thankful for what we have and who we share our life with. Simple. Easy to digest.
So plan your meal, especially the side dishes – and don’t forget to try the exotic side dish or two – and make your your travel plans, or not. If you are having turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, with asparagus, or ham with sweet potatoes, potatoes fixed however you like, with some trendy vegetable, just remember to pause and be thankful. If you are of the disposition then say a prayer of thanks, and if you have embraced the idea that spirituality precludes religion then take a deep breath and thank the cosmos.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/12
Ever since I was a child, Sundays have been days of anxiety and ennui. The anxiety came from going to Mass, catching the 10:00 that had to be done by 10:45 so they could get ready for the 11. Mass brought on anxiety because of mix of the metaphysical and pedantic. Churches have always been spiritual calming places for me, and depending upon the priest who performed the Mass, the homily could evoke either a one note lecture or a sense of imminent damnation. The ennui came from the fact that Sundays were the end of the weekend, the day to prepare for school, which meant an end to losing myself in what entered me and taking up the yoke of school. Now I took up that yoke hesitantly and often in a slipshod manner that showed in my grades. I often arrived on Monday morning ill prepared and with little of my so-called homework done. Unfortunately, there was always an old movie to watch or a book I wanted to finish rather than homework.
Sundays still have a residual of those old feelings. They have become muscle memory, a rote response to a day in the week. It has been too long since I last sat in a pew for a Mass, not so much a lapsed Catholic but one living somewhere where you don’t find many Catholic churches and finding excuses in my seclusion, I no longer have homework so I use movies and books to avoid other things I should be doing like finishing my novel.Sundays… maybe I should embrace the spiritual and indolent nature of the day and enjoy them more.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/09
Watching new episode of Hell on Wheels. I’m a big fan of Westerns and actually wrote a e-book called Murder in Cheyenne. The book took place during the winter when the Pacific Union was stuck because of a bad winter in Cheyenne. The story involves a serial murder, a vigilante group, and a Pinkerton and his close friend, who has been fired by the railroad to find the serial killer. It was fun to research and write.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/08
I gauge that we have a week or two before politicians start running for president. What the United States needs the most is a break from elections. A law should be passed that politicians can’t campaign until there is a year before election then they get six months to elect candidates and six months for those candidates to run for president. Take a year out of our life not this constant onslaught of men and women running for president. Give us a break.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/11/07
This is quickly becoming my least favorite time of the year. Daily we face television ads filled with either lies or smears. Too often you can’t tell who is in what party, as the candidates attempt to run stealth campaigns in order to sneak into office. Promises are made which will never be kept. It appears that politicians are become their stereotype. They have turned sincerity into a campaigning tool and charisma has replaced ethics. The worst part of this charade is that most Americans follow along defending the indefensible because of party affiliation rather than having commonsense and voting for someone who would be good for this country. No wonder the worlds appears to be a more violent and crazier these days.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/10/28
I read Russell Brand’s reaction to the act of terrorism in Canada and I’d like to add my opinion of him. He is a pompous ass who believes that celebrity has given him insight. What he does possess is an unfortunate world view that ennobles those who would treat women as chattel, homosexuals as animals, and non-believers as people to either be converted or killed. Now Russell would probably joke in his insightful way – you mean conservatives? No, Russ, I mean Islamic extremists. Russ, take your head out of your anus and live by your beliefs – move to Iraq and entertain ISIS.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/10/26
Here I am listening to the news and I hear that the CDC allowed a nurse to travel on a plane with a fever and I think – That’s not right. Shouldn’t they be looking to isolate those with the potential to spread Ebola. Later that day I hear an interview with Dr. Friedden of the CDC that the reason we shouldn’t impose travel bans from those countries spreading Ebola is because they are fledgling democracy. On this note I think – I though the CDC stood for the Center for Disease Control. Are they treating Ebola like it is a substitute for democracy which we want to see spread? I hope not.
I have no problem giving aid and comfort to those countries but access to the US seems a little unnecessary until the Ebola outbreak in their country is under control. More important is our country being run by a pack of adolescent dolts who believe in agenda and policy over common sense. Every America who contracts Ebola in this country from this point should be allowed to sue the federal government for endangerment. On top of that isn’t it time that we start voting for competent candidates who state their policies clearly and their intentions loudly instead Donkeys and Elephants who hide their intentions and are beginning to ruin this country. Just a thought.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/10/17
The white page awaits to be filled and all I can do is stare. Bad sales on my book has given me temporary writer’s block, or as I like to call it – the crippling feeling that I somehow lost all my talent in my sleep. I am trying to force my way through it, but it isn’t working, so I’ve decided to read my way out of it. In the hopes of finding my voice again, I’m reading Raymond Chandler, Brideshead Revisited, Dresden Files, Jane Austen and whatever else I can get my hands on. (Yeah, yeah for all those half witted grammar Nazis I ended a sentence in a preposition. So what? Faulkner made a living on run on sentences.) The white age awaits. It needs to be filled. Hell, it should be filled. But it has to be filled by something interest, something worth reading, and something pretty well written. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet.
Posted by johnrrm64 on 2014/08/29