Has Our Journalists Worked Blue Collar Jobs?

Trucker sues Bass Pro after being hit by falling freight:

When Moore got to Florida, the lawsuit says Moore noticed that a load bar was dislodged and a palette had moved in the trailer.

The lawsuit says Moore asked Bass Pro employees to fix the palette and load bar, but they refused and told Moore it was his responsibility.

You know, I worked as a shipping and receiving clerk at an art supply store shortly after college, so the trucks I unloaded sometimes had palettes on them. But everywhere else where I’ve dealt with truck-delivered goods, the trucks have only had pallets.

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Book Report: Flight of the Golden Eagle by Terrence Webster-Doyle (1992)

Book coverI bought this book almost a year ago already when I went to ABC Books to get some books signed by a local author. I would say that the year has flown, but honestly it’s only because the number of event markers to indicate the passage of time have diminished in the year 2020, not that I had a lot of Big Events to jazz up the metronomic rhythm of middle aged life here at Nogglestead in 2019. As they say and I often quote, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

The author of this book runs (or ran) his own martial arts for peace institute. A psychologist and martial artist, the goal of this children’s book is as much about talking about world peace and how the perspective of a young person as a martial artist can help them bring about that greater understanding and world peace as it is about martial arts concerns qua martial arts. The book is broken into small sections, stories, recountings of teachers instructing the students through lessons or martial arts training (sometimes not the same thing). Each section has a lovely children’s book illustration, so it’s almost half an art book, too.

I can’t help but compare it to the Buddhist sesshin books I have read in the recent years (Everyday Zen and Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind). Although sometimes with insights that my own kyoshi has told me (Learn your own tells when you’re sparring because your opponent, if he or she is good, will see them, et cetera).

Still, the appeal of it for me, and the part I appreciated the most, was that practical advice and not the kumbaya bits. Because kumbaya is impossible. The best we can hope for is live and let live, and that’s in short supply these days.

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Some Yes, Some No

A meme on Facebook.

As I mentioned in 2016, I took my boys too the old neighborhoods where I lived in Jefferson County:

So we hit St. Louis late in the morning, five hours ahead of our hotel check-in time, so I took the long way in, through Jefferson County where I could show the boys a couple places where I lived. The house in the valley in House Springs looked pretty dilapidated; the garage door had been replaced with a worn piece of plywood. Sometime around the time I left, the gravel road had been paved, but it doesn’t look as though it had been maintained at all, which is worse than having never been paved at all. I showed the boys where the mobile home I’d lived in for four years had sat, but Siesta Manor Mobile Home Park had rearranged the layout of the pads over time, so there wasn’t a 106 Quintana any more. After taking some flowers to my mother’s plot in the cemetery at Jefferson Barracks, we drove slowly by the house in Old Trees–the only house I’m sad to have left–and saw the lilies I planted ten years ago are six feet tall. We stopped at Blackburn Park, where the oldest played when he was one year old, and were the only people in the park on a Friday afternoon.

Then we headed north. We drove by the house in Casinoport, which looked much the same as it had or better. Most of the time we lived there, it was white asbestos shingle, but we had siding put on right before we left, so it looked better as we left than most of the time we lived there. We got to St. Charles, and I showed the boys a house where I lived with my aunt and uncle–who I grew up thinking were well-to-do but it turns out they were just doing better than we were. We checked into the hotel and had dinner at the Cracker Barrel nearby, which was good as the area around the St. Charles Convention Center was all torn up.

I drove past my aunt’s old house where we lived in her guest room and basement for a year and a half. Several times, actually, in the course of my travels to St. Louis.

Pretty much every time we go to St. Louis, though, I do drive by the house in Old Trees. As I mentioned, that’s the only place I’m a bit sad I left. It’s right off of Interstate 44, the road from Springfield to St. Louis, so it’s not far off of the path from where I’m going if I’m going to something in St. Louis County (it is not on the way to St. Charles, though, so I didn’t drive by it every time I was in the area last year).

However, other places I lived, I’m not sure I’m comfortable driving through.

The house I lived in when I lived with my mother in Lemay is in a sketchy area. It was sketchy then, but I was young and a bit angry-looking (albeit a skinny angry). I might drive past it, but I really haven’t the times I’ve been in the area to visit my mother’s grave at Jefferson Barracks.

The places I lived in Milwaukee. Well. I would certainly not drive by my house in the projects at night, and I haven’t really felt the need to go by it in the daytime when I’ve been in Milwaukee, either. The neighborhood where my father lived, and I lived in his basement during college, probably has not transitioned too badly, but the house where we lived the last month in Milwaukee before decamping for Missouri–the lease on our apartment in the projects ended before the school year, so we stayed with one of my mother’s friends until school ended and we moved (and my mother did not tell my father where we were for that month as a bit of a dirty trick–their marriage did not end amicably to say the least), well, that neighborhood has been in transition ever since, so I might drive by it, or I might not.

You know, the last couple of times I’ve been to Milwaukee have been transitional–we’re driving through it on the way to Wisconsin Dells, or we stayed in Germantown to visit my grandmother who lives outside the Milwaukee suburbs. Even when I was visiting Milwaukee in the 1990s and early part of the 2000s, I was staying downtown and did not get to the northwest side very often.

Do I get a sense of nostalgia when I do? You know, not really–I get more from my memory than the places themselves since they’ve changed enought that I only sort of recognize them. Or I’ve changed that much. Although given how I hang onto physical things for memories’ sake, perhaps it is more that the things have changed than me in this case.

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A Mistake I Should Never Make

I mentioned that I did not watch Ice Pirates with my boys when we wrote Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” this spring.

However, my oldest boy talked about herpes for some reason today, in passing, as a meme joke of some sort, and the film features a Space Herpe, so it was time.

My youngest went for a bike ride with his beautiful mother, and my oldest, the sophisticated cinemataster that he is, only made it through half, so I watched it mostly myself. And I made a mistake.

When Killjoy appears, I recognized it was a former football player gone Hollywood, and I initially thought Lyle Alzado, but it’s actually John Matuszak.

Lyle Alzado
John Matuszak

You might understand the confusion. Defensive linemen from the 1970s who went to Hollywood who had dark hair and beards and played supporting roles in sometimes cheesy offerings. One could throw Merlin Olsen in this mix, but his hair was dark enough to not quite look the same, plus he had his own starring roles on television which cemented his distinction a bit. Also, he’s a little older than the others, as he played in the 1960s (as recounted in Jerry Kramer’s Instant Replay which I reviewed in 2004 and 2015.)

I say I should never make the mistake between Alzado and Matuszak because Matuszak was from Milwaukee and played a year of college football at Mizzou. So he should be on my list of “He’s from Milwaukee, you know” and has not been so up until this time. And he will be from now on.

Not that I won’t still have to think when I see one of them in a movie or television show from here on out. They do look enough alike for my confusion, don’t they? Humor me here, gentle reader.

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The Knock Knock Fairy Strikes Again

Another fresh new knock-knock joke from Nogglestead:

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Yeah, how did you know? 1, 2, 3…. Who are you, who who, who who? (I really want to know) Who are you, who who, who who?

Maybe I heard that one before and did not actually make it up.

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