Hodge Podge…

Lark Buntings Laughing in the trees

Hoarding butterscotch by the threes

Crying “shark” throughout the night

Tasting coffee in their sight


Lark Buntings grinning

Dying fast

Now who’s laughing

Laughing last


Kangaroos have gender foes

Shooting tadpoles from their noses

Playing pinball in the sand

Joey hears the Promised Land


Hush little Joey hush

Hush little Joey hush


Apple seeds dance with merry

To the horrid sounds of Joe Perry

And his project

His project failed


License lends to licensees

POWs on their knees

Bike spokes cycle round the wheel

Gong Show fans of mass appeal


Taylor Daine and Tesla feud

My Aunt Rose was so damn rude

In her big senilitude


Ponder questions rarely asked

Space cadets are always last

Sometimes after they’ve been gassed

They hear their chromosomes

They hear their chromosomes


Electrical fooling machine works well on me

Keith Olberman’s harsh reality steals my eccentricity

It’s okay, I forgive the man

Boston crab cakes in Siam


Cleansers made from toxic powders

Can’t connect without a router


I draw conclusions from the clouds

And talk as though I know McCloud

Man, Chief Clifford’s so damn loud

I like my water clean

I like my water clean


Spoken words are sewn by rhythm

Doesn’t matter what’s within ‘em

Music sounds from words of fashion

Thoughts confused are another’s passion


Take upon my oral list

And weld the thoughts so often missed

Feel the power, poets lurk

Taste the gospel of their work


If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this absolute gem from Marty Wilson-Piper of The Church.  Enjoy…


Dignity Etched…

I often see things on social media which suggest to me that, even as I watch my mother age, as I also age, I’ll remember her more as she was when she was young.  Or at the very least, I’ll remember her as she was when I was young.  Though when I consider this, after having had my mother living with me for nearly a year, I’ll suggest they are optimistic reminders of a reality which won’t exist.  I’ve mostly forgotten the mother of my youth.


As she continues to age, and as her physical and cognitive abilities lessen, the images in my head of my mother in her youth fade more each year, giving way to the more indelible imprints of my mother as she is today.  This is not a bad thing.  Five years from now, 10 years from now, or even 20, I’m sure I won’t want to think too much or remember too well the mother of my youth, but I will be grateful to remember my mother of today.


When I think of her then, as she was when I was young, compared to how I see her now, there is an absence of much.  True, the mother of my youth could hike, swim, stay up late, and prepare a holiday feast for 12 in less than 3 hours, but there was yet to be the earned dignity which now defines her.

Today, as her steps become shaky, as her voice quivers, and as her hands resemble road maps with stains on them, the wisdom, the experience, and survivalism that come with these, add up to a dignity which I do want to remember her with.


This is a good reminder to me that, as bright and capable as I feel I am today, I have yet to pay my real dues.  The dues I speak of are not the dues of career, of parenthood, or of middle-age responsibilities.  The dues my mother has paid – those she continues to pay, are the most important dues of all.  These are the dues of having it all, and of having it all slowly slip away, yet waking up each day to live a little more despite the inevitable decline of all things material, all things physical, and many things cognitive.


I am grateful that I will remember my mother as person who falls asleep watching Jeopardy, who heats up a Stouffer’s creamed corn casserole for dinner rather than attempt to make one from scratch, who often calls me by my brother’s name, and who asks me the same damned questions again and again – all day long.

This person – this mother of mine now, is the mother that reminds me daily that I will be more like her in the not-too distant future, than the me I am today.  This mother, not the mother of my youth, is the woman who reminds me that it’s a fool’s task to believe in or even pursue perpetual youth, and that dignity comes only from letting go of youth, and letting go of all those things that, as time proves to us all, never mattered that much to begin with.  Be well…  rc



If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Sonny Condell and Scullion.  Enjoy…

Don’t Be Cruel, Pretty Please…

Like many, the recent election caught me by surprise.  More honestly, it caught me off guard.  Yup, I had my guard down, and for too long.  So too, it seems, did a lot of people.  Also like many, I’m now wondering what I can do to help offset the inevitable shift of culture that may result from a change in our leadership.

I have seen people standing up for a variety of causes recently, many speaking out and taking action for the first time.  Others, putting their money where their mouths are and donating to social causes.  Whether these actions and donations will be short-lived, or the foundation of a new ground swell for social change can’t be predicted.

For my part, I’ve just been a deer in the headlights.  I want to do something – to contribute in some way, but all I have really done since the election results were tallied, is to spend hour after hour walking among the trees in a state of shock, talking to my dog about Syria, The Supreme Court, Social Justice, and attempting to digest this unexpected shift in our national behavior.

It seems clear that, now more than ever, if we are to keep social progress moving upward and ahead, more people need to be more active with a variety of causes.  My cause of choice, the area where I will direct my attention, will be with animal rights.  I will champion a cruelty-free society as much as I am able, and in ways that are reasonable considering my other responsibilities.   That is, I’m not going zealot, but I am going…


This is not to suggest I won’t also support other causes.  I will remain a supporter of religious liberty, LBGT rights, and social causes which serve equal rights among American humans, and I will donate to them increasingly as I am able.  I will direct my volunteerism though, toward promoting a cruelty-free society with the animals we steward.

You may find this interesting…

In early human civilization, 98% of the vertebrate animals on earth were self-made.  That is, despite that we had begun domesticating animals around 15,000 years ago, most animals on earth through human civilization, have been the result of the earth’s natural progression.

According to several sources though, today as many 98% of the vertebrate animals on earth are man-made.  That is, the domestication of horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, farmed fish, family pets, etc., has been so prolific over the past few thousand years, that these animals significantly outnumber vertebrates in the wild.  Oh,  and our own species is now more plentiful than ever.

Many of us, myself included, have had no problem spending $5,000 to repair the fractured hip of our family pet, or to spend money on behavior therapy for the kitty who eats toilet paper all day.   We have been just as at ease, myself included, with unconscionable acts of cruelty perpetrated against animals who are just as capable of feeling love and pain as a cat, a collie, or Shetland Pony.  Most of us are good with these acts of cruelty, because we allow ourselves to be insulated from them.  For my part, I can no longer be good with this.

Please take 10 minutes, if you have not already viewed this, to witness an intelligent perspective on stepping away from animals as a food source.

I won’t knowingly support animal cruelty, and I will try with each week to expose myself to the many gaps where I still do; leather or skin care products for example.   I will be active against animal cruelty, but do so with mindfulness, tact, and with as much intelligence as I can call to order from the walnut in my head.

Years ago, a good friend told me to put all my eggs in one basket, and to cover that basket.  That advice contributed to a livelihood which has served me well.  With my direction chosen, just like my direction with the weight room so many years ago, each day I will wake up and step, step, step, with all my eggs in one basket, and walk toward a cruelty-free lifestyle.

I have no illusions that I will change the world with my actions, but if I can change a few minds, I will have done more than I have up to this point.  Championing on behalf of animals, by the way, is not such a small-minded task.  It stands to reason that if our society can get good with the treatment of animals, we might get just as good with ourselves.

Lastly, I will be glad to reply to and to discuss any intelligent comments or arguments whether they be left in the comments section below, or in private emails.  If your comment though, is going to be, please pass the A.1. sauce, please refrain.  Be well…  rc


If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from the incredible Doc Watson.  Enjoy…

Kamikaze Treadmill Guy…

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in gyms over the past 42 years.  In that time, I thought I had seen it all as far as the characters of the gym go.  You know, gym characters…

  • Grunter Guy
  • Groaner Guy
  • Weight Slammer Guy
  • Intentionally Using The Equipment For Purposes Beyond The Equipment’s Design Guy
  • Loud Talker Guy
  • Swinging Ponytail On The Elliptical Machine Girl
  • The ‘Spot Me Bro’ Guy
  • The list goes on…

Add to that, all I have seen on social media – you know, the videos that show a man in tights using the cable crossover machine like it’s a Jolly Jump, or the girl faceplanting on the treadmill, and I should have seen it all by now.

Last night though, at a commercial gym in here in Souhern California, I saw the unimaginable.  It was a scene so surreal I had to ask myself whether I had taken LSD prior to my workout.  Of course, I did not.  We all know LSD is best used post-workout, for recovery.

There I stood though, high on a StepMill, the tallest piece of cardio equipment in the gym, and I was looking down to survey all the gym characters below me.  Deep into my rhythm, taking step after quiet step, suddenly I heard him…

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…” I heard emanating from a man on a treadmill in the foreground.

That was followed up by a couple of shorter, but more intense bursts of “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

No, I thought to myself, there’s no way somebody running on a treadmill is grunting that loudly and that deliberately.  But there he was, shouting over and over again as he ran short, fast intervals on the treadmill.

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”  “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

I have heard thousands of grunts, screams, and moans from the lifting platform since the age of 12, and though I rarely grunt myself, I understand the desire, even the need to grunt during a heavy squat or deadlift.

Never though, have I witnessed anyone grunting during cardio, and certainly not in a way which was both deliberate and aggressive.

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”  “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

Within minutes I wanted to hang myself just to make it go away.  He was loud too.  I looked around to see if any other members were bothered by this.  I saw a few others who seemed to notice, but most in the area appeared to be protected by their earbuds.  I was not, as my phone had died earlier in the day, so for the next 45 minutes while on the StepMill

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”   “Shyow!  Shyow! Qui!”

was the soundtrack to my workout, with only a distant chorus of Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend and other crappy music offering scarce relief from the classic rock station playing through the house speakers.

It was clear nobody was willing to cease their workout to help me subdue this guy.  There was just one employee in the gym at the time, and he was on the other side, apparently oblivious to the scene.

Now here’s the punchline to this little joke…

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t point out that the grunting runner was Japanese.  A person’s ethnicity is rarely relevant in the scope of any situation – but for the Kamikaze headband this man was wearing – with the sign of the rising sun square in the middle, and he ran with fists tightly clinched.  His head was pointed up the entire time, as if he here shouting at God or a deceased relative.  He was drowning in sweat.  I had never seen anything like this.


As previously mentioned, my phone had died prior to entering the gym so I was not able to video Kamikaze Treadmill Guy.  He will live forever though, as a memory shot in my head – a new edition to the pantheon of gym characters.  Kamikaze Treadmill Guy is in now in the house, and apparently he wants us all to know it.  Be well…  rc


If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Bud Bronson and the Good Timers.  Enjoy…