In the ink well

Dog Ear

August 13, 2020

The Robby Awards (DOG EAR)

he heat was sheeting off the three eastbound lanes running towards Bithlo, Florida. I was in the right lane behind a massive pickup truck with all its proudly stickered vulgarities. Suddenly the trunk swerved its massive tires left, cutting into the center lane. In horror, I saw a guy on a hog (with no helmet) making an equally uncleared and unsignaled shift from the far left lane. Both spotted each other and locked up (I had to stop because the wide back end of the pickup was still in my lane). Then, like pitbulls, they screamed at each other, unmasked […]
August 6, 2020

Lead Time (DOG EAR)

know this is going to happen. Saturday after next is the deadline for the Journal Box, the model train newsletter I put out for the Southeast Region of the National Model Railroad Association. Just like all the ones I’ve done before, I’ll post out calls for articles and nobody will respond. I’ll get one or two, but not enough filler for 16 pages. And then, the day of the 15th, everything will come flooding in. Usually critical information will come in the day after deadline (with stern instructions to me to make room for this late piece). Always the same. […]
July 30, 2020

My Busy Schedule (DOG EAR)

ecently I had a friend leave a message to complain that I wasn’t returning his calls in the evenings (usually we talk once a week, and those calls can run 90 minutes to two hours). Really, since retirement and the C-19 plague, I’ve been more busier than ever. Every evening is packed. So lets see:         Monday: This is work night at the model train club. We normally meet on Wednesdays but the guys working on various projects like to meet on an off-night when there is more elbow room (of course, this is a per-plague sentiment, […]
July 16, 2020

The nicest morning (DOG EAR)

oke up this Saturday the usual way, my head alive and spinning with ideas. No going back to sleep. So I ended up on the computer for an hour or so, reading the online paper and emailing model railroad design plans back and forth with a buddy. I’d just gone back to bed (at 8am) when the neighbor started mowing the lawn. So that’s out. Instead, I went out and got Manfred (my Brompton folding bike) out of the garage and (sans helmet) went for a spin around the neighborhood. Outside of it being a glorious day full of sunshine […]
July 9, 2020

Juniors (DOG EAR)

hen I was working, we’d walk over to Juniors on Sunday mornings to have our omelets. And being readers, we’d settle into that crowded, muggy background and prop open our books and read. The waitress (who was used to this bookworm way of breakfast) would keep the ice-teas filled and bring us the check when we closed our books. Once I retired, we shifted to Thursday. Now seating was always available, the mood was slower and more casual. There wasn’t the Churchie rush at 11pm that packed the joint. We’d sit by the huge plate glass window, look out on […]
July 2, 2020

Early Bird (DOG EAR)

se to be, back when I was a working man, that I’d need to wake up and be out the door in twenty minutes, riding the bike through hot and cold, watching for cars, figuring out my work. You can’t commute on a bike in Oburg while muzzy with sleep. So now that I’m retired, twenty years in the purple have left me altered. Now when the furry kids wake me up at 5am for their feeding, I can’t get back to sleep. I lie there, mind spinning up, unable to drop back into slumberland. So this morning I did […]
June 25, 2020

Blessed Creativity (DOG EAR)

howed up a little early for a dentist checkup the other morning. Was the only one in the waiting room and the TV was on mute (and I wasn’t going to disturb it). They were running a little late so I sat quietly for twenty/thirty minutes while they got to where they could see me. When the nurse came out, she said she hadn’t thought I was even there, I was so quiet. And on top of things, I’d forgotten my book. I was thinking. Unlike that kid the other day at the hair cutters (the one who stood and […]
June 18, 2020

RPG (DOG EAR)

t’s probably a bad idea. I’m going to start role playing again (after 30 years or so). Role playing (if you live in a cave and don’t know) is where one person acts as an impartial (or so they say) referee, setting up everything from the nature of the world to the price of a beer. Players describe what they want to do, and the ref determines (using tables and rules as guides) the outcome. Back in the day, I hosted a very successful StarWars campaign (which ran pretty much weekly for fifteen years). I can figure that a lot […]
June 11, 2020

Insomnia (DOG EAR)

don’t know if this is the classic definition of insomnia. I just know it’s before 6am and I’m up. I’d planned to post something else out of my prep-stash but looking out the windows into the dark morning, I thought I’d cover this topic instead. Are you a writer? Do you find yourself up way too early in the morning, tired yet active? I think I know where my case came from. For the last twenty years of working, I’d have to get up and pretty much hit the ground running. Commuting in by bike, I didn’t have time to […]
May 28, 2020

Dead Slow (DOG EAR)

ell, this is ironic. You’d think that during the greatest pandemic we’ve seen in a century, in a house loaded with all the books I could ever want (and all my old favorites) I’d be burning through titles. But experience has proven otherwise. My primary issue is that I’ve been very busy. I’m experimenting with Squiffy Gamebook programming. And dental surgery has gotten in the way of everything. Then there are all those bike rides I’ve been making (I’d gotten pretty fast, now that my lack of junk food has shed some pounds). And with live streaming, I’ve gotten through […]