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ARCHIVED POSTS

  • May 19, 2017

    Chick Street Fight at 70 MPH

    NAVIGATING THE HUSBAND-WIFE DIVIDE

    These are confusing times for people who grew up in the olden days – meaning way back in the 20th century. Back then, when you went on a road trip, you got a road map printed on paper and all folded in upon itself. You would carefully unfold your map, decipher the lines and legends to plot your course, and try unsuccessfully to fold it back into its original state.

    That all changed when satellite navigation devices were developed – electronic gizmos that could instantly show you where you were in the world to within just a few feet and tell you what you needed to do to arrive at your intended destination. Now you would think that would be a giant leap forward, and it was, but as with all such advances, there were unintended consequences.

    For one thing, many married men end up driving long distances with their wives, and for some reason, most of the voices for the navigation devices are women. Being a relic from the previous century, I can’t really speak for married gay men or married lesbian women, but I do know this: Married women don’t like being interrupted ever, and they especially don’t like other women telling their husbands what to do.

    A man might be driving down the interstate at 70 miles-per-hour, while his wife is talking about what color to paint the bathroom, a new paella recipe she clipped from a magazine, or even how it looks like it just might rain. In other words, just every day stuff, which is all fine, except about that same time, the navigation device robot woman will say something such as “in one-quarter mile, bear right, get in the left lane, and take the exit to southbound Interstate-95.”

    It’s not that she has something more important to say than the wife does, but the information is very timely. You only have a few seconds to act on the information in order not to get lost. And as the captain of the vehicle, the driver might raise his hand for his wife to be quiet so he can hear the directions and execute the necessary maneuver to get the family to the final destination.

    The problem is, women don’t like their husbands to raise their hands and shush them, so he can listen to what another woman has to say, even if the other woman is a computerized robot. Now, I have to admit that sometimes the robotic navigation lady can be annoying. “Turn left in one quarter mile… turn left in two tenths of a mile… turn left in 300 feet… turn left…

    The other day, however, I  had one robot lady on the Garmin device and another robot lady on my iPhone, both giving me directions on how to get to the same place, and each had slightly different ways to proceed. It may be just my imagination, but the two seemed to be getting a little pissy with each other. And my real-life wife was the most irritated of all. I’m trying to decide which of the robot ladies to follow, and she just wants them both to shut up.

    “It was like a menage a trois, plus one, but not in the good way. “I don’t care which one you want to follow, but shut one of them off,” the real-life wife finally snaps. Now I like to think of myself as a manly man. A woman doesn’t tell me what to do, not by any stretch of the imagination. But in this case, I made an exception, followed directions, and did what I was told.

    I suppose I could get a male voice to give me directions – on most devices it’s merely a choice, but I don’t like asking another man for directions. I feel like he would tell me the whole trip at once. Turn left at the next light, go 2.4 miles, take a right on Jackson  Boulevard, go three blocks, make a U-turn and you are there. And if I asked any follow-up questions, he would get sarcastic, and start calling me a momma’s boy and telling me how I needed to listen up, follow directions, and stop acting stupid.

    And the worst thing is, my wife might agree with him.

    – George Lee Cunningham

    Do you have a dissenting opinion or any opinion at all on the subject? Contact me at george@georgeleecunningham.com and let me know. Meanwhile, you can always subscribe and get an email reminder of blog postings. Your name will not be shared and you may cancel at any time.

  • May 16, 2017

    LYRICS, POETRY AND PROSE XIII

    A place to share some words of beauty, inspiration, and fun. As Mickey and Sylvia used to say, “love is strange.” Today we’re talking about love gone wrong and how quickly love between men and women can turn deadly. Today we feature Marty Robbins singing about a victim of love waiting to be hanged. Then we have Willie Nelson singing about the red-headed stranger taking his revenge on the little darling that left him and the man with whom she ran off. And lastly we have the Dixie Chicks singing Goodbye Earl to the man who beat his wife. Click on the name of the piece to get a video or more information. You have some favorite lyrics? Please share…

    I took my pistol from my hip and with a trembling hand
    I took the life of pretty Flo and that good for nothin’ man
    That good for nothin’ man
    I think about the thing I’ve done, I know it wasn’t right
    They’ll bury Flo tomorrow, but they’re hanging me tonight
    They’re hanging me tonight

    They’re Hanging Me Tonight Singer: Marty Robbins;  Writers: Jimmy Low and Art Woltert

    But he found them that evening
    In a tavern in town
    In a quiet little out of the way place
    And they smiled at each other
    When he walked through the door
    And they died with their smiles on their faces
    They died with a smile on their face

     – Medley: Blue Rock Montana / Red Headed Stranger Singer: Willie Nelson

    Right away Mary Ann flew in from Atlanta
    On a red eye midnight flight
    She held Wanda’s hand and they worked out a plan
    And it didn’t take them long to decide
    That Earl had to die
    Goodbye, Earl
    Those black-eyed peas, They tasted alright to me, Earl
    You feelin’ weak? Why don’t you lay down and sleep
    Earl, ain’t it dark
    Wrapped up in that tarp, Earl

    – Goodbye Earl Singers: Dixie Chicks; Writer: Dennis Linde

  • May 9, 2017

    Ghosts of the Alamo

    MONUMENT TO HEROES/Photo by G. Cunningham

    We love Texas, from the vast emptiness of West Texas, to the beauty of the hill country, to the humid marshlands of the east. The people of Texas can be stubborn when the situation calls for it, but they can also be kind. Right is right and wrong is wrong and there is not a lot of confusion about which is which. Not in Texas.

    Nowhere is that clearer than at the most holy of holy places in the state – the Alamo, located in the middle of downtown San Antonio. The Alamo is where William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and a small band of Texans met their fate at the hands of the Mexican army under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna. The date was March 6, 1836.

    There is truth, and then there is the legend. And sometimes the second is more important than the first. What we know for sure is that the Texians were outnumbered about 10 to one, that Santa Anna issued an order to take no prisoners, that the Texians fought to the last man, that Davy Crockett died on the ramparts, swinging his rifle like a club before being overwhelmed by the Mexican soldiers, and that Bowie almost certainly died in his sick bed, armed with pistols and the Bowie knife that he had designed.

    The bloody battle was meant by Mexico to quell any idea of resistance from the remaining Texas population, but it had the exact opposite effect. “Remember the Alamo” became both the rallying cry for Texans in their efforts to separate from Mexico and a reminder for the generations to come of the independent spirit of the state.

    Today the Alamo seems small, almost insignificant, in comparison to the hotel and office towers of downtown San Antonio. It has become both a legend and a tourist trap. There are self-guided tours with rented headsets, a gift shop full of “Remember the Alamo” souvenirs, and a grassy, shady plaza leading up to the entry. City streets near the Alamo bear the names of the heroes – Travis, Crockett, and Bowie. You can stand at the corner of Crockett and Bowie and almost hear the gunfire pounding and the men screaming.

    RIVERWALK EVENING                                                        –By Carmela Cunningham

    The river that ran near the old Alamo mission is still there, but it has long-since been channelized and developed into the Riverwalk – a popular dining and drinking venue lined with restaurants, bars, and tourist shops that meanders through the downtown area.

    The brave men who died at the Alamo – on both sides of the battle – are long gone. The battle ground where they fought and died is a busy cityscape of skyscrapers and crowded shops. Like the little mission itself, the men who fought there have faded into legend.

    Once they were actual flawed and heroic human beings, caught up in a bloody and historic encounter. Now they are mere memories – glorified and deified shadows of themselves.

    – George Lee Cunningham

    Do you have a dissenting opinion or any opinion at all on the subject? Contact me at george@georgeleecunningham.com and let me know. Meanwhile, you can always subscribe and get an email reminder of blog postings. Your name will not be shared and you may cancel at any time.

  • Lyrics, Poetry and Prose XII

    A place to share some words of beauty, inspiration, and fun. We’re in San Antonio, Texas, this week, eating good food and visiting one of the holy shrines of the Lone Star state.  It seemed like a good time to share some songs all of which feature the town of San Antonio. Click on the name of the piece to get a video or more information. You have some favorite lyrics? Please share…

    Deep within my heart lies a melody
    A song of old San Antone
    Where in dreams I live with a memory
    Beneath the stars all alone
    It was there I found beside the Alamo
    Enchantment strange as the blue up above
    A moonlit pass that only she would know
    Still hears my broken song of love
    Moon in all your splendor know only my heart
    Call back my rose, rose of San Antone

    San Antonio Rose Singers: Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys; Writer: Bob Wills

    In the southern part of Texas
    In the town of San Antone
    There’s a fortress all in ruins that the weeds have overgrown
    You may look in vain for crosses and you’ll never see a-one
    But sometimes between the setting and the rising of the sun
    You can hear a ghostly bugle
    As the men go marching by
    You can hear them as they answer
    To that roll call in the sky.

    Ballad of the Alamo Singer: Marty Robbins, Writers: Dimitri Tiomkin and Paul Francis Webster

    Though Bowie lay dying his powder was ready and dry
    From flat on his back, Bowie killed him a few in reply
    And brave David Crockett was singing and laughing
    With gallantry fears in his eyes
    For God and for freedom, a man more than willing to die

    Remember the Alamo Singer: Willie Nelson; Writer: Jane Bowers

  • May 1, 2017

    May Day, May Day, May Day

    MAY DAY        Photo by Alexander Podshivalov, 123rf.com

    Here it is May Day already and according to who you are, May Day means different things. No surprise – I have my own idea on what May Day means to me.

    My favorite May Day is the traditional holiday, the pagan practice of women dancing around the May Pole to celebrate Spring and the springing forth of life. There are many watered down versions of what it all means – in order to fit whatever religious orthodoxy prevails, but I prefer the old pagan idea.

    In this version the May Pole is a giant phallus, the source of all new life, and dancing around it is a celebration of manhood. I can just imagine how it got started. Somebody in the village said it’s spring time – the flowers are in bloom, the grass is sprouting up out of the mud – we should celebrate. And the men all said, we should celebrate new life, and what’s the source of all new life? We are.

    So everybody in the village, erected a giant pole and tied colorful ribbons to it, and celebrated men and manhood. Yes, I know that after the manly work is done, women have to finish up the chore over the next nine months, but hey, it’s the men that made it all possible.

    My second favorite May Day is what pilots or ship captains say when their plane or ship is getting ready to go down. “May Day, May Day, May Day,” they say into the radio. Always three times, so there’s no mistake, even if there is a lot of static. It comes from the French word “m’aider.” It’s a trimmed-down version of the French phrase, “venez m’aider,” which means come over and help me, according to my friends at Wikipedia.

    The reason it’s my second favorite May Day, is that when somebody says it into the radio, it means the movie is about to start getting exciting. People are in trouble and now we’re going to see how they get out of it.

    My least favorite May Day is the one often ends up involving marches and protests. What can I say? I’m sick of marches and protests. It was started by a bunch of communists, socialists, and anarchists and is also known as International Workers Day. It’s not that I am anti-labor; I definitely am not. I respect work, whether it’s done in an office, a factory, or on a construction site.

    Work is something to be celebrated. Marching through the streets complaining about how the world is not fair just seems tiresome. It’s true. The world is not fair. But marching around complaining about it doesn’t do much to change that.

    Especially when the alternative is pretty girls dancing around a May pole.

    Do you have a dissenting opinion or any opinion at all on the subject? Contact me at george@georgeleecunningham.com and let me know. Meanwhile, you can always subscribe and get an email reminder of blog postings. Your name will not be shared and you may cancel at any time.