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A quarter-century gone

Feb. 8th, 2015 | 02:13 pm

My mother passed away 25 years ago today. This is the first portrait ever made of her. It was taken circa 1919, probably just shy of her second birthday. R.I.P., Mom. It's difficult for me to imagine you've been gone a quarter-century already. Both you and Dad left my life far too soon...

My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Chambers, made silhouette portraits of everyone in her class in school year 1960-'61. Mom liked mine so much that she framed it, and for 30 years, it hung on the wall in my Nana's bedroom.

I can't be certain, of course, but I've always suspected that Mom put my silhouette in the frame that originally held the photo of her as a toddler, and put her own portrait in that ugly, kitschy 1960s wood frame. The dark wooden one certainly looks far more timeworn than the white/gold one, and both frames are almost exactly the same size...

It's also difficult for me to grasp that this silhouette was made 55 years ago. I'm getting old so quickly, it's downright scary.


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Citrus Avenue

Feb. 7th, 2015 | 07:01 am

A continuation of Richard's and my pilgrimage to Covina on September 18, 2014. Here, we are traveling down Citrus Avenue through downtown on our way to have lunch at Bun 'N Burger.


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Jan. 5th, 2015 | 07:45 pm

Earlier this afternoon, I was walking Shadow back home along my street, when I saw three alpacas standing like statues in a neighbor's driveway, staring at me and my dog. I moved a few feet to one side and they trotted out onto the road, their soft hooves going clickety-click as they passed us by. They soon took a left turn onto the property across the street from my house, and played and grazed a little in Mr. Hurt's back yard before heading off in the direction of what I presumed to be their home. Quite an unexpected encounter! I've certainly never seen anything like it before.


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Arrow Highway

Jan. 2nd, 2015 | 08:40 am

A video I took during my trip to Los Angeles last September. My father's factory was located on Arrow Highway in Irwindale, and I asked Richard if we could do a drive-by on our way to Covina. Nothing special here – just two old farts reminiscing is all.


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Oct. 5th, 2014 | 02:31 pm

Sorry for the long hiatus. There haven't been any significant changes in my life in the last year, and unlike many on other social media, I don't feel it's either necessary or worthwhile to update my status continually on whatever trivia might be passing through my mind or via my internet connection.

I did have a birthday recently, though – my 60th – and for the occasion, I traveled down to southern California for a week to visit with my lifelong friend Richard and his family. It's quite amazing to contemplate that he and I have known each other for 55 years.

Despite now being in my seventh decade of life, however, I remain robustly healthy, and appearance-wise, I could easily pass for 45. I still have no wrinkles to speak of (I'm only now starting to get some "crows feet"), and though I have a little "salt and pepper" on the sides, my natural brown hair color still predominates. Just about everybody else I know who's my age looks old enough to be my parent in comparison. Now, if I could only get some money to go along with my youthful looks and superb health, my life would be perfect!



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A Scotland-less Union Jack

Sep. 8th, 2014 | 11:42 am

What might the Union Jack look like if Scotland were to vote to become its own nation later this month?

Yanks may not know this, but the present flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the nation's official name) combines the standards of the patron saints of the constituent countries of...

England (St. George's Cross):

Ireland (St. Patrick's Cross):

and Scotland (St. Andrew's Cross):

Without Scotland, however, the present flag's blue field and white diagonals would be no more. Remaining would be the overlain red crosses of St. George and St. Patrick on an all-white field.

Although I have read elsewhere that Wales is not represented on the current national flag because this ancient Celtic country is integrated into the constitutional body of England, I would hope that Wales's importance to the United Kingdom would finally be recognised at least symbolically by incorporating the yellow Cross of St. David into the Union Jack.

Baner Dewi Sant:

So, with a little photoshoppery, I took the graphic from the Wikipedia entry on the Union Jack, and created this new composite.

The constitutional unity of England and Wales is symbolised by their respective crosses' superimposition.

The addition of the yellow Cross of St. David also takes away the Scotland-less flag's unfortunate resemblance to a giant red asterisk, and the WWII battle flag of the Empire of Japan.


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The pooch

Nov. 8th, 2013 | 04:03 am

I've had Shadow four years this month. He's the most amazing companion! Smart as a whip, and loyal as can be. He's pretty good looking, too, isn't he!

Click image to view enlargement.


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Clean bill of health

Sep. 10th, 2013 | 02:36 pm

I had a physical exam yesterday. I didn't have any specific complaints (all my problems recently have been ophthalmological and dermatological, not internal), but I hadn't been to see my GP in over 2 years, and he pretty much insisted that I come in and at least talk to him about my general health.

So he took my blood pressure, listened to my heart and lungs, did the chest- and belly-thumping thing, palpated my lymph nodes and prostate, tested for blood in my stool, and kicked me out with a clean bill of health in under 15 minutes. Which is pretty much the outcome I expected, or at least hoped for. :) Nice to feel like I'm actually getting healthier as I get older! ^^


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Bee swarm

May. 2nd, 2013 | 03:44 pm

Well, we just had a little excitement here. I was out hosing off my driveway when I looked up and saw that my next door neighbor's honeybees were swarming.

Behind a cut for widthCollapse )

Quite impressive!


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Mar. 21st, 2013 | 01:16 am

The day after my anniversary earlier this week, my oldest friend here, who I knew for 25 years, shot and killed himself.

He had terminal lung cancer, and he just couldn't stand the pain any longer. I knew Morry was going to die soon, but I did not expect he would end that way. So tragic.

Only three weeks ago, he invited me to go deer watching with him. There isn't anyone in the world I enjoyed watching wildlife with more than Morry. I didn't go because I had take-out food in the car, and I didn't want it to get cold and dry out. How stupid is that. I just figured I'd go with him next time. Only there never would be a next time.

This leaves me with only one close friend in this part of the state. You'd normally expect someone who's lived someplace for 30 years would have more friends than he could shake a stick at, but I'm such an eccentric iconoclast, I find it very difficult to make friends, and even more difficult to keep them. Morry, though, broke through all of my barriers, lodged himself firmly in my heart, and stayed to the bitter end.

I'll never forget his last words to me. He said, "You know, Scott, I'm the best friend you ever had." Then, in parting, as he always did, he said, "God loves you." And as he turned away, added, "Whatever God is."

I already miss him more than words can express.

Maurice Scanlon (1937-2013).

Tough as nails
Heart of gold


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Unhappy anniversary

Mar. 18th, 2013 | 06:01 am

On this day, 30 years ago, I left the home of my youth to start a new life on my own. I was 28 years old.

Back then, I believed I was on a personal quest – a path of miracles for which I knew I was destined – and I followed that path for the next quarter century, with unfailing zeal and dedication.

But that all came to an unexpected, abrupt end, 5 years ago. Since then, I have done nothing but languish here.

Now, on the cusp of old age, I feel like it's time to move on again and start another new life, before I run out of time.

The problem is, there is almost nothing I can do that is realistically achievable given my age, modest means and general lack of career experience. So, I simply continue to languish here, year after year, writing blogs that no one reads, and basically just waiting around to die.

Isn't that a shame – to feel like I still have another 30 years left, and not have anything substantive that I can do? I think it's a terrible shame. A tragedy, frankly. A real tragedy.


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23 years today

Feb. 8th, 2013 | 05:22 pm

It just doesn't seem possible that you've been gone so long, Mom. You've been in my thoughts every single day since.

You were an amazing woman, and a true lady. I'm so grateful that you were my mother.

I will love you and honor your memory, always.

Your devoted son,


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