Monthly Archives: July 2011

Stop-Action,Non-stop Action, and Mysterious Inaction

      Hey, I remember back when we used to sit around arguing whether a horse’s four feet were ever  off the ground all at once while running. Tempers flared between the ‘Yup’s and the ‘No way!’s. I was usually the guy in the corner quietly dreaming of a device which could settle the issue. And in fact, I lived to see the invention of the ‘camera’, of trip-wires triggering Trigger as he ran past men in black hoods squinting into lenses, and of course, you know the rest of the story.
   I thought of this while trying to catch my new windmill blades in a blur of glory. Kinda the opposite problem. Even in waning sunset, the exposure-time is short enough to ‘freeze’ the action. (I know, read the damn manual.)
But actually, my real problem is more complex; sociological, even. See, I have to site the windmill where the wind blows. Which here implies a clear line-of sight from the road. Ok, let’s talk about what kind of man would build a windmill out of a junk washing-machine. For me it’s perfect, but I know the local natives well enough by now. I don’t particularly need curiosity-seekers seeking all over my garden, if only for the time I’d lose being diplomatic.
And also, I’m sure I’d probably cave in and give each and every one a basket of the ‘pick of the day’, kinda like paying a kid a nickle to get lost.
Sooo, I carefully took a picture of the contraption from the road, there at the first jewish speed-bump in the block, where everybody slows down anyway. (Our town of 8000 has probably 600 speed-bumps, about two every block. Yeah, I know, you can’t believe any culture could be that stupid. Think again.)
Anyway, whew! It doesn’t exactly SOL (‘screaming out loud’), even after I painted the blades green and blue, (what I had on hand.)

And this second photo is what a guy with a nose problem (or binoculars) will see if he waddles in to get a closer look. Only, it’ll just be a blur of course. Unless he brings his camera. Oh shit, hey have them in phones these days I hear.

Now to Non-stop action. I built this emergency fruit and vegetable stand for a local supermarket. The co-owner’s partner was away for the week in Europe, and so an opportunity presented itself to replace the existing relic, without heavy aesthetic and budgetary discussions. It took me 24 work-hours to build, which in my current frenetic explosion of newly beer-less ambition (one month, and I think it’s forever this time)  required a day and a half of real life.
All the while diligently watering and tieing-up a couple thousand lubias, limas, cantelopes, tomatoes, eggplants… and the little-known ‘summer savory'(?). What is it? I have ten of them, if anyone’s interested.
Pictured above is the finished unit. It’s now as we speak resting for the Saturday  night on the porch in front of the Super’s main door. Theft? It took four strong souls to put it there. I’ll take a chance.

And finally, this seems to be a troubled season for caterpillars and butterflies. I filmed this guy after mysteriously losing the first three, one right after another. And ten minutes later he too was gone! Birds? Alien abductions? I made them an entire Rue bed (their favorite host plant) but haven’t seen but one yellow Tiger Swallowtail this year so far. And she didn’t stop to lay eggs. Damn.
Maybe it’s the ‘banned in the rest of the world’ Methyl Bromide the dinosaur ‘farmers’ use here before planting, to kill all life on earth underneath acres of polyethylene
sheeting. I smell the stuff escaping in the breeze, blowing in from the fields up-wind.
The windmill warns me though.
And yeah, “that’s why I built it, guy…
Now take this free carrot and… you know, go away.

Туннель любви

    We’ll get to the title shortly, But first: (I tried 16 times to get it to print the Russian first, ‘Туннель любви’ followed by “Tunnel of Love/Lubia” before giving up. A Xanga bug?
Note: It may be time in the rotation to publish an actual factual post. (The previous TMI saga was fiction, except for me riding out the ongoing nuclear crisis at home down-wind and down-stream. Sorry, nothing gross happened in fact. I was simply re-asserting ownership of the acronym TMI for its rightful owners by writing a purposely icky story.
My pattern, without willing it so, seems to be Parody, Spoof, Fabrication, Fake expose, and then Truth, sorta. I do apologize to readers who are never sure what’s real and what’s whole-cloth here. It’s become a sort of inside joke. Humorous, maybe, but a dis-service to trusting first-time readers.
Still, the pleasure of reading a confabulation and knowing it is such is itself a small gift I enjoy giving. Especially since I can’t write much about my job, (and I can’t even tell you why not,) Ok, on
with the Lubia Truth.

Lubia is a long string-bean, associated, here in Israel at least, with Iraqis. Eaten year round but especially on Rosh Hashanah. When the price goes way up. Yippie, I’ll be rich!
Maybe. Planting it for the first time, and in near-commercial quantity, I carefully Googled the
damn weed’s name, all the better to avoid mistakes.No luck. ‘Google Images’ returns mostly pix of Russian whores. Why? I suspected a virus, until it dawned on me that the Russian root word for ‘Love’ is… Lubya.
And try entering ‘Lubia growing’ instead and you get ‘Little Lubia is growing up fast; click here to see her tits.’ I passed on that.
Now Lubia, in a perfect world, wants to spread out flat on the ground in about 12 directions, with runners that get to 16 feet within a couple weeks. Hmm… I planted it a foot spacing, 3 feet between rows. Naive twas I. I had an impossible jungle already after two weeks.
Sooo… after nights of tormented doom-scenaria, I consulted with locals who grew the stuff, and got a variety of battle plans, each of which I am trying separately. The one I most like is pictured here, my Tunnel of Love ” (Russian: Туннель любви“. The plants are supposed to crawl up over the trellis, across its ‘ceiling’, and then down the other side, where they can fight with the Lubias coming in the opposite direction. I love a good vegetable war. Serves ’em right. Only problem so far is that my hands are aching from constantly tying the vines to strings. Must be my Arthuritus, or maybe corporal-tunnel syndrome.
Yes, of course I have a back-up plan; glad you asked. I can rent out the acreage for Russian
weddings. They’ll enter one end single and emerge married at the far exit. Magic. Anything for a buck.

Since I shot this, I’ve added plastic mesh, about 6 inch squares, to both sides and the top. Oughta be romantic as hell inside.

And here is another way to fight the demon. See the little red knots? They don’t tie themselves…

JS does TMI

     I had a rash all over my butt when it happened. Two weeks. Only went away slowly when I took off that god-damn lead apron I made in a hurry. Probably didn’t wash the Sulfuric acid off the battery plates good enough. The diarrhea stayed with me though, for a month at least. I wrote it down each day, you know, the details, color, amount, etc. Wonder if I can find that book…
     I still say it was from the river. I was swimming there, in the Susquehanna about a dozen miles downstream when I heard about the accident on somebody’s car radio parked up on the bank. He left in a hurry.
    A lot of people evacuated. I thought about it too, but hell, being stuck in a traffic jam, dribbling all over the car seat, probably throwing up out the window as the radiation got worse. Not that I didn’t puke enough staying at home. Mostly on the lawn, even though I tried to stay indoors, especially after the reports of a hydrogen gas buildup in the containment building. Looked like pizza after a turn or two in a blender. I’d post the pictures except that this was before digital cameras and scanners. Oh yeah, and the internet. In those days if you needed to know more about prolapsed hemorrhoids you had to call somebody, which was embarrassing. Or do what I did; signed up for a mail-order course from, in my case, Texas Medical Institute. Course I missed the whole section on the anus and the rectum while the meltdown was happening. So I had to kinda ‘solve’ the painful, itching symptoms at least, using another homemade device. Which I won’t go into. TMI, you know.

Wu: Eeew. Gross!
Js: Yeah, a pretty shitty way to heat water, I say.
Wu: No, I mean the asshole part.
Js: Yeah, I’m not sure that Texas Institute is even accredited.
Wu: You don’t get it bud, do you?
Js: Get what? There’s a lot of important historical information here…
Wu: One could even call it ‘too much’.

Product Review: The TS-241-C See-Saw Saw

     Cops work in pairs around here. One can read, kinda,the other pretends to be able to write…. sorta…
Anyway I knew I wuz burnt when I saw ’em walking toward my chicken-house, where I was busy trying to coax more than one egg a month from my two ‘free’ range hens.
I’d seen the piece in the morning’s English-edition ‘Ha’aretz’ paper : “See-saw Seat Sought”
The article went on to describe a ‘wave of playground vandalism’, and mentioned that a suspect was expected to be aprehended shortly.

My Defense: I don’t know what came over me. One fine morning I awoke with weird mood-swings, felt myself sliding, bored, down that slippery metal slope towards criminal activity. Helpless, I watched as I ascended the monkey-ladder into a world of passion unleashed. I don’t know, something about the innocent little munchkins sitting on the see-saw seats… And having that very seat, all mine now, under my bed.
Not that ‘See-saw Vandal‘ looks particularly attractive on anyone’s resume, and not to mention what happens in jail when they find out that I’m the perverted dirt-ball who sent little Melanie home in tears from school. Might as well forget my plans to run for a Knesset seat, even on the Communist ticket.

   Anyway, the fat cop didn’t waste much time with small talk:
“Officer Tom seen yer ‘Thom Sawyer’ See-saw saw at the scene.”
I gulped, but not audibly.
“Yes, the very same see-saw saw that you used to saw the ‘see’ off the see-saw. On the night of May 29th”, his partner, ‘Tom’ continued.
Cursed Internet. Why in the hell did I assume that if they sell it openly, if it’s a simple ‘Add to Cart’ click, it’s probably legal? And ‘flaming red’ for the colour of the’ shock-resistant poly-propylene handle’? Dumb choice. Now I realize.
    It seemed like a freaking god-send at the time. A simple 180 degree flip of the handle and the saw goes from high-quality wood cross-cut blade to hack-saw metal cutting function. Just that alone saved me hours, on those frenetic nights when I cruised from park to elementary-school to day-care center, steering with one hand, then ‘having my way’ with an embarrassingly-long rap-sheet of gaily-coloured steel-and-pine attractions. Usually I
settled for simply cutting off the ‘Teeter’ end of the ‘Teeter-totter’. Somehow the name helped me to
get…you know… off. But some nights, it’s all such a blur, after the second or third time, I needed to whack off both sides of the apparatus, leaving bloody stumps, symbolically. God help me, I hope I don’t have amputee-fetish.
    So, all in all, the handcuffs felt ‘right’ somehow. It wuz gonna happen, sooner or later, like in Bonnie and Clyde.
Was it worth it? Hard to say. They subpoena-ed my credit-card records. $59.95 plus shipping. For that money, a dozen or so furtive ‘little-death’ experiences there in the dark, un-observed (or so I thought) play-lots.
   My first ‘peak-experience’, at age 12 or so, was one morning at recess when I finally, after months of un-success, managed to grapple my way to the top of a mighty and highly high swing-set at the elementary
school they finally built us in time for 6th grade. My public defender may or may not decide to make
something of this.
Plus, I bought a brand new welder, and I’m willing to repair all the damage my lasciviousness has done.
A gorgeous welder, all solid-state, with stick-in electrodes spitting fire and jism, and all at my
Jeezuz, I need help.

Wu: I been saying that for years.
Js: So where do I start, friend?
Wu: Well, for one, I just pull the bolts connecting the seat to the crossbar. Lots quieter. They’re usually 12 millimeter.
Js: Yeah but the ratchet sound kinda destroys the mood for me and then… Wait! That’s your ‘help’, Wu?
Wu. The First Step in getting better is like, not getting caught, duh. But anyway, how much you want for the saw?
Js: I knew I was in good hands here.

FROM: Patti Ritlyn in PR / RE: Egyptian Goddess of Love??

Ok, some newly-minted MBA on the top floor, Mike, just decided to create us an Office of Public Relations. As if we need one. I mean, we sell innovative pest-control devices, mostly for the poultry industry. PR??
Plus, he only interviewed one candidate, Patti Ritlyn, whose overflowing ‘hotness’ gives me at least the impression the he forgot ‘PUBLIC’ has an ‘L’ in it.
Anyway, she’s got a spiffy office, (vacated un-willingly by Lionel in Acct’s Receivable).His new quarters make a broom closet look spacious, and his usually agressive, (ok, ‘ferocious’) moods are now pretty much terminally ballistic. All the better to yell at deadbeats though, I guess. But back to Patti.
Miss Patti, bless her heart, was like totally duh on ‘PR, whaas dat?’ She’s up there since Monday morning, dicking with Lionel’s computer and um… learning the ropes, so to speak. Anyway we just got this first office e-mail. It sounds like she may be pulling (pushing?) on the right rope, but I’ll let the reader decide. I wish her well; she is qualified. Anatomically at least. Oh wait, ‘PUBLIC RELATIONS’.

 FROM: Patti Ritlyn in P-R
RE: Egyptian Goddess of Love?? (Don’t quote me on that, LOL)

Ok, Hi everybody. Is this thing working?
So like I’m in charge of P-R, and I want to explain some of the stuff you may be noticing, as I ease into position.
First of all, the trees. Mike said I could put them anywhere I wanted, so they’re there at the entrance beside the logo sign. A pair of pear trees. Don’t worry, Larry will level the ground tomorrow afternoon. He’s my brother-in-law (um.. my sister’s husband, relax guys) and he does landscaping a lot. Golf courses mainly. He can make a par four into a par 2 in half a day, he’s that good.
By the way, I’ll be off Friday. I’m going to a P-R convention, at the Grand Interconsonantal in Haifa Bay. It’ll help me in my new job, hopefully, you know,  peering at my peers there on the pier. Plus it’s only like 400 shekels per diem. Or per night. Something like that.
Ok, next we have Pyre to get over with. Icksa, it’s like when they burn dead bodies. Gross. Pyrotechnics are nice though. Mike, quote, “expects real fireworks from a bombshell like you.”, he told me. Don’t know if he’s allowed to say stuff like that. I do know that if I can help the man-on-the-street learn to love us and our rat-traps more fervently, it’ll be a success-story for us… and for  P-R. And we’re gonna have one hell of a Pyrrhic Victory Party.
But first I need to pore through the pile of Customer Complaints that keep pouring in since we released the Mongoose Im-mutilator II™. Poor me. Sounds like it works…well.. too well. Oh well, that’s my job.
In closing, it promises to be a pure pleasure, the challenge of making this company be more be-loved, of watching chicken farmers purr contentedly at night, knowing that our improved Fox-Gard-99™ is on duty.
Yes, it’s been a hectic week, growing into my new job. A week with a few little mis-steps. (‘Public Relations‘, turns out, is notdoing it in the road’. Google Schmoogle!)
But otherwise, this computer sure helps. (Thanks, Lionel, but what’s with all the gladiator bookmarks?)
Anyway, P-R is all about the vowels, I’m pretty sure. Put them together just right and life can be purr-fect.

Ta-ta for now/ Patti

Wu: I smell an outside influence on Patti’s process of self-discovery…
JS: Just what are you insinuating, Wu?
Wu: Admit it; like some vile vole, you got to the young veal with your vial of vowels…
JS: That’s an awful way to put it. Ok, we had a little chit-chat. I might’ve told her to look for the power in P-R. But I didn’t write the letter.
Wu: C’mon. “A pair of Pear trees”?
JS: Her idea. Absolutely. That’s how I knew, ‘By George, she’s got it’. They’ll get plenty of water down there beside the failed pond at the Corporate entrance gate.
Wu: Right…
JS: Ok, I did it, Wu. I did it for Luke. Sue me.
Wu: Who’s the hell’s Luke?
JS: Um, Luke‘s the guy who likes to look at the leak in the lake. Unfortunately, he’s out of luck; he
lacks the key to the lock
Wu: I give up!