Friday, September 28, 2012

Ode to the Seasons

Haiku My Heart
September 28, 2012

Haiklu My Heart happens on Fridays here at Round Circle and at other blogs. Pay a visit to Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon to find a list of other bloggers in our small beautiful community of sharing and find out how to participate.

Cloudy sunny day

Mix and match, change of seasons

Unbroken circle

It’s that time of the year. I know of no other place where the seasonal change in weather shows itself more than the upper Midwest of the United States. We can gauge our wardrobe and utility bills pretty much by the equinox and solstices, and those events keeping lock step with the calendar.

Many folks say that Fall is their favorite time of the year. I must agree, at least for this week, as we have temperatures in the 70’s with bright sun every day this week and the forecast beyond. But I like the frosty mornings as well as the cold rainy changes. Trees going from bright green fullness to stark gray branches. It does my heart good to see these miracles unfold before our eyes.

A small comforting fire in the fireplace has been utilized each morning before old Sol does his job and warms us. Funny to see the little children in shorts, shivering at the bus stop, then coming home, forgetting their sweatshirts at school.

Yellow and gold leaves are falling, littering the lawn, and although far less noticeable, the white pine sheds its needles and they are strewn all over the front yard and will make a gutter cleaning inevitable before the snows come.

Fall, another season. Another time of change. And we’ll be waiting to see what vengeance Winter brings. Predictions are for another mild time with less than the usual accumulation of snow. My friends in Albuquerque might have to make plans for a trip North this year to escape the long Winter cold.

Peace to all

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Take: Monday Night Football

I feel the need to chime in on a subject. Not feeling real creative yet, so no stories to share, but I do have a few opinions about a popular current event and I must clear the air. I’ll use my blog today to have my say.

Monday Night Football

Last Monday, the Green Bay Packers played the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks won the game by a score of 14 to 12. Everyone is up in arms because the last play of the game led to a call by one of the officials that changed the outcome of the game.

This happens all the time in almost every game that is played. The fact that this was a Nationally televised Monday NIght Game and therefore watched by a Nation of fans, coupled with the idea that the Referee, Umpire, Linesmen, Field, Side and Back Judges that regularly call the game are on strike, or locked out, which means basically the same thing to the fans and viewers, gave watchers a false reason to dislike the play calling.

But there is a difference. A lock out is when management won’t allow them to do their job because of some agreements and disagreements. A strike is when they won’t perform their job because of agreements and disagreements.

The fans don’t care which way it is because they think the replacement officials are doing a horrible job and the regular NFL employed officials, which are locked out, by the way, do a better job.

Case in point, an official makes a questionable call that dictates the outcome of a game on Monday Night Football. The fans blame the idea that these replacement officials aren’t as good as the ones they are replacing, and that if the regular officials were calling the plays, the other team would have won the game.

What do they think? That the regular officials that are locked out of their job won’t ever make a mistake?

Look at the Armando Galarraga no hit baseball game that wasn’t a no hitter because an Umpire missed a call. This happened on June 2, 2010. Galarraga, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, had retired 26 batters in succession. No walks, no hits, no errors. When the 27th batter, the last batter, that if called out, would have led Galarraga to a perfect game, a feat that is not very common in Major League Baseball, and a milestone in anyone’s baseball career, the Umpire at first base made a glaring error in a call.

The Umpire, Jim Joyce, a seasoned Veteran Umpire that has been calling plays in Major League Baseball since 1987, made a bad call. The fans knew it was a bad call, the announcers did too. Everyone knew it was a bad call and that Mr. Joyce, the Umpire, had made a mistake on a very very important decision.

The next day, Joyce apologized to the player as he realized his error. The game where he made the error went down in the record books with the errant call intact. Even an admitted mistake in officiating didn’t change the outcome of the game.

The Green Bay Packers need to get over it and live with the call as it was made and determined, whether it was a mistake or not, and whether it was made by replacement officials or not. They are NOT going to change the score of the game because of it.

I have an opinion about the play itself. As I saw the replay, and remember, the camera shots you get to see on TV are not scripted, they are at full speed and at the angle the camera gets IF it is pointed at the play or a part of it, the receiver had a hand on the ball and the defender also had his hands on the ball. When the players came down in a heap, the defender was on top of the receiver and the receiver had his hands on the ball.  Joint possession. The decision favors the receiver, by rule.

As the defender rolled off of the receiver, he then had sole possession of the ball. But at the time of the end of the play, they both had the ball. It is simply an opinion that the defender had more of the ball than the receiver. An opinion made during a highly stressful time of a highly contested play in a game that is played and decisions made very quickly.

So, wrong or right, it’s over. It won’t be reversed. Live with it.

The worst part of the matter is that the officials that are locked out by management are sitting there wanting to work and do their job but can’t because management wants to make more money for the owners and pay the officials less. Always about money, isn’t it?

When I worked as  Teamster truck driver years ago, if I were to pull up to a business and the union workers were on strike, or locked out, I would divert the load and bring it back to the terminal. 

I would not, nor did I ever, cross a picket line. This was to honor the idea of collective bargaining and support other union workers since I, myself, was a union worker.

I think the NFL Players Association, the Union that the players work under, should have refused to take the field for any game that the regular officials were locked out of from day 1. There would be no bad calls then as they wouldn’t play because they were honoring the picket line of another union. Greed. It’s all about money. Honor makes no difference any more and that, to me, is the real tragedy. 

Like war, where society allows the government to teach soldiers how to kill people. The world of football allows the owners to persecute the workers, in this case the officials, and we watch for our entertainment without regard to the psychic cost to the game, all in the name of money.

It is simple greed that cost the Packers to get a bad call and lose the game. That, and the idea that the team should have never played so poorly to be in a position to lose the game.

There, I said all I needed to say today. I’ll get back to my convalescing. Stitches are out, the black and blue is getting smaller and taking on a purplish hue, and my teeth, and the places where there used to be teeth, are healing but still hurt like hell.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on a Sunday Morning

There is an old joke that we here in the Spadoman household say to each other all the time. It goes like this:

Perpetrator:   "Does your face hurt?"

Victim:          "No, why?"

Perpetrator:    "Because it's killing me!"

Then the perp laughs and points his or her finger. Observers laugh too.

These days, no one is saying that joke because they know that my face does indeed hurt. The stitches are itchy and some parts of where I am stitched up are sore. My mouth is sore inside and out. A large bruise on the left side of my face has a very sore lump underneath my chin, and the inside lower gum is very sore. Besides that, the tooth they took out last Monday because it was sort of hanging down out of its socket into my mouth has developed Dry Socket, or, infection. That really hurts. Besides these areas, I'm still sore all over, but the swelling is down, the black and blue parts are turning pink again and I'm sleeping pretty good with the help of Vicodin.

Tomorrow, I go to the VA and have the stitches removed, which I'm sure will be quite a job with the beard hairs I have grown since not being able to shave are the same length and look just like the stitches. I'm sure there will be some pulling of beard hair thinking it is a stitch and that will sting like the dickens.

After the stitch removal, I go back to the dentist and get a plan as to what they're going to do to replace the teeth I have lost and repairs to whatever else they find. (I'm worried about that lump and my sore gum). So, the day will be a busy one for me. I see myself at the VA pretty much all day.

In the meantime, my motorcycle is a total loss. I had insurance and I will pay the $250.00 deductible. The Insurance company will pay off the loan and send me a check for the rest as I did have equity in the value of the bike versus what I owed on the loan. I get rid of the bike payment as well and won't have to have it insured any longer and will save more there. Unless I buy another bike and make a loan, I'll save some money every month.

Many of my friends go beyond wishing me a speedy recovery. Some mention the idea of not riding motorcycles ever again. One friend called to suggest I buy a sports car instead of a motorcycle. I had already been thinking about the idea of long distance travel by myself and how much harder it is since last years heart problems.

Sure, I tell you the highlights, but I don't go into detail about the bad stuff. I admit it to myself and then decide if I will proceed. I did push the envelope with the 860 mile marathon I pulled off last Tuesday. I did it, but it wasn't without a lot of pain and discomfort. I have to realize and accept the fact that my old body can't be doing stuff like that any longer without being uncomfortable.

It is just plain hard to be like I was when I was younger and in better health.
Anyway, the thought is that for now, I will not buy another motorcycle and I will scrutinize my future of such activity over the Winter. Besides, I have a lot of projects that I have set aside all Summer. Now that the weather is cooling off to the point that it is no longer pleasant to hang around outside and the daylight hours are shorter and shorter each day, I'll have more time to be inside and catching up on so many things that I do want to accomplish.

I am motivated by others when I go to their pages and see their artistic creations. Yes, I do imagine myself as an artist and now even have some space to spread out my works as none of them are ever completed in a single day. If you want a Dream Catcher or Rattle or a genuine pair or matching set of Ojibway Woodland Snowshoes, now is the time to order.

To stop doing something I truly love, like riding a motorcycle, is a hard decision to make. I realize I don't have to make that decision today. There is no plan that must be executed before a certain date. As the mood strikes is the way I'll proceed, but wouldn't you know it? Leo's South, a motorcycle dealer in Southwest Minneapolis, sent me an e-mail as if it was right on cue, that all of their current inventory is reduced in price and there are incentives to encourage buyers to step forward. I mean, how did they know I lost my bike and needed another one? Do they read my Blog? Are they monitoring Facebook?

I didn't respond to the ad, but I did check out their used inventory until I got tired of sitting upright and needed to get into that comfortable reclined position that I have recently found to be so soothing lately.

I just want to say Thank You, loud and clear, to all of you that care about me and sent good wishes for a speedy recovery. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your friendship. If you'll excuse me, I have a Dream Catcher started and I hope I'll finish it today.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Laying Low

Haiku My Heart
September 21, 2012

Haiku My Heart happens every Friday here and at the blogs of many others that share their lives, through art and Haiku, with friends. To see more and find out how to participate, please go to Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon.

Blowing in the wind

Immune to trouble until

I crash and burn

Last Sunday, while on a leisurely motorcycle ride towards home with my good friend Steve, I was involved in a crash. My motorcycle is a total loss, according to the insurance adjuster. My face lost in this wreck as well. I lost many teeth and will have dentures as soon as the swelling goes down to a point where they can work at restoring my upper teeth. The stitches come out next Monday. I don't know how many the surgeon put on the inside and outside of my mouth, but the scar will run from the middle of my lower lip to the left, to the lower part of my left cheek.

Photo taken Monday, one day after the crash

I do have one broken bone, my right cheekbone, otherwise, the C/T scan showed no internal bleeding or broken bones anywhere else, the bleeding being a concern because I still take blood thinners ever since last Winter's heart fiasco. Just some heavy bruising, especially in my rib cage on the upper left side. A few scratches on my left leg in the shin area and my already bad shoulders that suffer from torn rotator cuffs are more sore than usual with the left arm not having any lifting capacity.

The majority of the pain is coming from my broken teeth and the stitches, which go from the middle of my lower lip down and to the left side of my face, below the mouth to my chin. I'm scheduled for a dental surgeon on Monday afternoon to see the extent of the damage. I'm sure I'll have teeth in a jar at my bedside, yet another harbinger of geezerhood.

Without reliving the entire episode, I will tell you that a car coming towards me on a well marked newly paved two-lane rural Wisconsin highway, came over the double yellow line into my lane. I avoided the head-on collision and took the roadside ditch. Things can happen in an instant to anyone at any time. Why me? Why at this particular moment in my life or another person's life? There is no answer except to say it happened and I survived. The other car left the scene quickly and immediately and left me in the ditch bleeding.

Photo taken early this morning showing the bruising below my chin and on my cheek and around my right eye

I'm going to be on the mend for a while. I'll be around, but not in the mood to sit upright in a desk chair for hours on end. Just thought you'd like to know that I'm alive, I'll mend, and that I am still one tough son-of-a-bitch


Friday, September 14, 2012

Capitalization Standards

Haiku My Heart
September 14, 2012

Each Friday we meet on the blog pages and share ourselves with each other. To see more haiku and to find out how to become a part of this pleasant and peaceful community, please visit recuerda mi corazon.

The recent trip I took to Taos, NM was a great success. Please return in a few days to read all about it and see some photos. I'll do a Monday Mystery Tour story on, yep, you guessed it, Monday.
In the meantime, I had this thought about some of my habits in writing, so I entered them here as haiku. After all, these things are very dear to me heart.

Sneak preview

I Capitalize

Pirate, Veteran, Soldier, 

Warrior, Mom, Dad 

Brother, Sister, Aunt, 

Uncle, Cousin, Child, Kid

Grand Father, Mother

God, The Creator

Great Spirit, Great Mystery 

Higher Power, Peace

Love, Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth

North, South, East, West, Sacred Fire

Sweat Lodge, Sundance, Sage

Tobacco, Sweetgrass

Cedar, Cancer Heart Disease

Health and Happiness

Spring, Fall, The Solstice

Winter, Summer, Wind, Water

Mankind and Women

I’m sure there are more. These come to mind today as events in the lives of my family and in my own life bring these thoughts to mind. I emphasize these words when I use them in any of my writings. I can connect the words to the thoughts and feelings that run amok through my mind and heart.

Do you have words you capitalize on purpose?

Sometimes it is how I feel about the particular subject I happen to be writing about. I’ll tend to capitalize a word over and over, every time it appears in a post. There is no purpose to tell you these things, yet I felt compelled to do so. As usual, take what you need and leave the rest.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On the Road

As mentioned in the previous post, I'll be leaving today for points South. Taos, New Mexico will be the destination to attend the third annual Triumphs in Taos Motorcycle Rally.

I have my lap top, GoPro, camera, tool kit, cloths for warm weather, clothes for cold weather, rain gear as well as all the pills I need and a few top quality Romeo y Julieta premium cigars. I'm taking my Triumph Bonneville motorcycle and plan on being back in about two weeks.

In the meantime, please be kind to each other and check back from time to time for updates and interesting vignettes while on the road.

Peace and Light to all

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Mexico Dreams

Monday Mystery Tour
September 3, 2012
Labor Day

This story written and previously posted in 2005.

The Colorado experiment was good for the most part. I had lived my whole life in the Midwest up until then with just a little time out, when I lived in Chicago, to visit Southeast Asia at a place known as French Indo-China. Shortly after that I moved to Minnesota and it was from there I made the sojourn West to Grand Junction early in 1993.

Why Grand Junction? It’s simple, really. My teenage daughters refused to go to New Mexico. When I fell in love with New Mexico in the early 1990’s, I had been living in extreme Northern Minnesota running a lodge in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. We lived literally on the Canadian border in a cabin. I’m still in love with that area, too.

But it was time to go. I was working at a YMCA camp that was situated on West Bearskin Lake. A very unique setting made this place inaccessible by land. You had to cross the lake, about a mile of water, to get to it. I’ll save describing that experience for another time. This time, we’re going to Silver City, New Mexico.

Since Camp Menogyn was across the water, it was hard to get there when the lake was in Fall freezeup or Spring thaw. I was scheduled the months of April and November off because of this. So, it was in November of 1992 that I took the old Chevy pick-up out of the storage garage and turned it South.

It was a grand old truck. Under 50,000 rounds on the motor and clean as a whistle. It drove great and as I headed South to escape Northern Minnesota’s icy grip, I remember going all night and waking up, near Wichita, Kansas the next morning, from a nap I took in the front seat.

I rolled around down there through the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and into New Mexico. The air felt good. It was warm for November and what I’d been used to at this time of year back on the Canadian border. I cracked the window to let some of the sweet wind into the cab of the old truck. I‘m sure I was blastin’ something good on the stereo. Probably the theme song from the Magnificent Seven movie.

In Tucumcari, I had breakfast at Del’s, a place that is still around today, and I had my first taste of Chile Verde on my Huevos Rancheros. I was hooked. I rambled on, still headed Southwest. I didn’t have a destination or a roadmap. You see, I didn’t believe the signs that told me “you can’t get there from here”.

The stage was set. Warm sweet air, beautiful vistas of sage spotted high plains and rounded rocks, new virgin scenery for my eyes and thoughts of adventure in my mind. The road took me to a small town that lies on the Southern end of the Gila National Forest, Silver City. 

I wandered back to the North along the West slope of the Rockies, and then home after visiting with some friends. A great trip. I wanted to go back to Silver City, and I did, about a year later. This time with some idea to stay a little longer.

New Mexico panarama

The elevation is 5900 feet above sea level. The terrain is hilly with oceans of sage. South, the land drops off into Deming or Lordsburg into a deep and broad sandy rocky trough. To the North is the Gila National Forest. Pines and elevations as high as 10,000 feet.

The town itself was smallish with copper mining the main industry. Like other mine operations, it ebbed and flowed its economic virtue to the area in spurts. Signs of prosperity mixed in with failed bankrupt endeavors. The downtown had its share of empty storefronts. Rent was cheap and so was  a spot for the RV at the city park. I pulled in and set up the 1960’s era camper and started to explore my new surroundings.

The coffee shop was found right away. Called A.I.R. for Artist In Residence, it served a top-notch Americano. The proprietor moved to Silver City from Seattle. Now Seattle is known for it’s coffee and she brought the craft of roasting and serving full-bodied drinks to this great little spot in New Mexico. She also brought her artwork and gave the place a special feel. It was here, in the mornings of January and February, that I sat and enjoyed many of the 308 days they average in sunshine per year. 

The temps were moderate. Some days it was in the 60’s and pushed into the 70’s. Others, it stayed cool at the mid 50’s. Winter nights could see a drop into the frosty range with an inch of fluffy white stuff, but it melted quickly. 

I do miss my old Jeep

I explored the area with drives in my jeep, picking up rocks as I stopped to hike around. I met small towns in the mountains and highway stops, both abandoned and working, as I trolled. 

The Gila Cliff Dwellings, outside.....

Mimbres Valley, Faywood, Fort Bayard, Santa Clarita, Tyrone. The Gila Cliff Dwellings are a sight to behold. The Magollon populated them high above the river for shelter and existence long before recorded history. Well worth the hike to view the caverns from the inside. Pinos Altos and its abandoned mining camps, the massive working copper mines with their mountains made from stratified tailings. And the endless forest roads through the Gila, miles and miles of them, leading to lakes and panoramas, a place to spend hours gazing and listening.

And inside

Nowadays, Silver City has hit a stride. The old storefronts are filled with galleries and art studios. The retail and work space, once in abundance and had for cheap is in demand and more expensive. Tourists make it a destination to shop the galleries filled with pottery, paintings, sculpture and jewelry. 

Your truly in front of my old storefront workshop apartment in Silver City, NM

In 1998, I rented one of these storefronts and used it as a workshop with sleeping quarters in the back. For a couple of Winters, I set up my operation making my crafts and handiwork. The miles and situation made me give it up. Now, I just visit Silver City and enjoy the weather.

Over the years, I have experienced many ways to travel and live. Most of the habitat experiments were first tried in Silver. The RV trailer, motorhome or tent at the City park or up in the mountains, the motel suite complete with kitchenette, (microwave and small fridge), renting a house for a month at a time and the aforementioned storefront/apartment. None better than the other. I still play it by ear when I travel and crash where it happens, all the while searching for the holy grail of a diner. Nancy’s is Silver City’s breakfast spot, with El Paisanos the dinner favorite. Both Mexican, both muy bueno.

Beautiful rainbow over the Silver City shop

Last February was the last time I was there. I stayed in another area about 75 miles away, but made my visit to Silver City. I go back at least once every year. This year holds a plan to venture down that way around Labor Day to the annual Apple festival in Hillsboro and the Chile affair in Hatch. I’ll have to give you specifics when I get back.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear today. 


I wrote this story and posted it many years ago. I still get to Silver City often when I am traveling. I am about to leave on a motorcycle trip to Taos, NM tomorrow. I’ll meet up with other Triumph motorcycle enthusiasts in Taos for a few days, then use a few more days on my own, to visit and explore. Silver City is always on my list of places to get to and enjoy again.

More recently, I have been traveling to and staying in Truth Or Consequences. T or C, as the locals refer to their unique town name, is about 100 miles away from Silver City and involves a great ride over Emory Pass in the Black Mountain Range, not to mention the annual chile harvest being in full swing and the edible delicacies available at every diner, restaurant and taco cart.

Last time I was in New Mexico was last September. I left there fully anticipating the idea of returning and spending much of the winter in the warmer milder climate. That didn’t happen as I was reeling from a heart episode and placement of a pacemaker.

I will attempt the trip, starting tomorrow, the day after Labor Day, on my motorcycle. I’m not totally sure I can make such a journey, but I am going to try. If I fail and fall short of my destination, so be it. I simply turn around and return home or call a friend and have him pick me and my bike up with his trailer. But I must try to make an attempt at one more adventure.

I plan to live until I die, not just be alive

Thank you for joining me on this journey from the past here at Round Circle.