75 and Still Alive!
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June 25, 2004

The Menacing Ruler of the Violet Underground, Mommy, master of shadows>>>
Aerial photos reveal shapes cut into the landscape from alien visitors 10,000 years ago.  Oh...wait, no, sorry...it's a birthday cake.>>>
Doctor Mommy aborts the icing fetus>>>
Mommy had made it through 3/4 of a century and still had the gutts to wear purple! Brother Darrel phoned me in May and said he wanted to surprise the Old One and have us all get together for the milestone. So I drove back from Virginia, Darrel drove down from Indianapolis, and Brenda drove over from a few miles down the road (with children). We all got together at Sandy's Pizza in Ft. Branch, Indiana where Mommy grew up, along with Aunt Rosalyn and Olivia. We stuffed our faces with pizza and then began chewing. I managed to zoom in far enough to count the lines on Mom's face. Hmmm...do you see more than 75? Could she have been lying about her age?

The visit to Indiana was fun, and the drive into town was too. I'd discovered diet Redbull energy drink. Wow! I wanted to drive another 13 hours!
I stopped at Ferdinand, Indiana to shoot some photos of the sunset. Gizmo loved Mom's big yard too, and he bit the hand off our neighbor so he could run around the yard with it. Or maybe that's just a work glove. For the most part it was Mommy and I drifting about the big old house, discussing what the heck I would be doing with my life after I retired from the Air Force. It looked like it was going to happen in six months and I had no plans. Of course I could have put a resume' together and jumped right back into another office job I hated, or, I could look for something I enjoyed doing. The running story at work was that I'd be a mascot at Dollywood so I could dress up like a giant animal and harrass children, and instead of getting arrested, this time they'd pay me!

In highschool my love was electronics. I'd built a small keyboard synthesizer from scratch, loved jamming my sister's radio station, and was a menace. But that was 20 years ago. I'd since taken up bicycle racing, which, at the age of 38, with my record, I'd be lucky to make $30 a month. And I was just too old. That was out of the question. I was a better runner than cyclist but then again, I didn't like running much and at the amateur level you need other income. I'd been out of electronics for so long I didn't even know if I liked it. I also enjoyed drawing, drafting, creating models of vehicles I designed out of cereal boxes, making musical spoofs...
Writing? Perhaps...but then again, I hadn't written any poetry in years, or, nothing I'd want to show anyone. I'd been financially exploited by poetry.com and was sending them nasty emails and letters wanting them to remove my work from their site and disassociate me from them. After receiving no replies, I began posting rude, vulgar poems on their site trying to reach those monkeys. I received a letter...they wanted to publish my vulgar poems in their new compilation. I think they'd publish human waste if they could make a buck. One piece I wrote was called,"Poetry.com Sucks". I approved their request to publish. A few months later I noticed my work was no longer on their site. Perhaps they finally received enough bananas to understand.

I dropped by Knoxville, Tennessee on the way back to Virginia but not before visiting my good friend Hope in Kentucky. For the sake of privacy she asked not to be shown here. She met Gizmo for the first time and her doggy attacked, but they made up and all was well. Then on to Knoxville.
I had no plan except to sniff around and see what struck me. Knoxville was foggy, rainy...not necessarily bad. The traffic was bad and the people didn't seem as friendly as Asheville's people. I ended up driving through some slums and getting caught in traffic. It didn't look like a nice place.

However, I had no problem getting Gizmo into a motel...I asked the lady at the counter if they allowed dogs...and she replied,"Hmmm...I don't know...let me see him". As soon as I pulled Gizmo out of the car and she laid eyes on him it was like butter under a heat lamp. It was all,"Oh my! Let me hold him! He's so adorable! Goochie goochie..." He was walking on the check-in counter and maids were tickling him. I stood by watching...proud, but alone. No tickles for Mr. Horsey :=(

So I took my tickle-me-Gizmo to a gym next to my motel. The lady at the counter said she couldn't let him in...but then she played with him and called more members of the staff out to see him. I should be getting paid as his agent I think.

I drove through Smoky Mountain National Park with Gizmo at my side. I ended up driving home after a few hours, turning a seven hour trip into one of 14 hours. I took the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way back, passing through Roanoke and going through some memories.

Whoa!!! We're too close to her face!  Pull back, we need more altitude!  AGH!!!>>>
Gizmo, spokesman for the new dog shampoo 'Gee, your hair smells like my butt!'>>>
Bee Good>>>