22 November 2005

THE "SUNDAY" 9: Docked a couple of points

.....for the two days this thing is late.

And here we are with another edition of THE SUNDAY 9. Brought to you by Gallmark "Gold Tiara" Stores, now with a newly-expanded line of belated cards. Look for the 'Shoehorn' cards, complete with that bitchy-looking lady saying something clever, like "Sorry I'm so late with this birthday card. Deal with it. I can't stand you anyway, so I don't know why I'm even bothering to send you a card to begin with!"

There is a valid reason for my tardiness, and Bolivar will be receiving it in the next week or so. Heh heh.

Today, in honor of The Turkey's Day of Doom, a simple list of seven (7) things for which I'm thankful (remember, I'm taking two points off for the lateness):

1) Tiger, my son. Even though lately he's been trying my outermost limits of patience with his attitude and teenage angst.

2) Seraphim, my wife. January 6th will mark five years we will have been joined at the parchment. A finer woman, a higher-quality woman, a more loving woman has never been, nor will ever be, created. I love you, my Grand Poo Bah!

3) Co-workers I dare say I love like family. Yes, even the one who sometimes tries the outermost limits of my patience. I count myself beyond fortunate that I've been among this motley group for more than five years.

4) Real friends. One I've had for almost 20 years. Another I 'met' online when I bumped into her website, found it highly entertaining, and e-mailed her about it. One, who several years ago died before his time of a brain tumor, I miss terribly. With me, it's always been about quality, not quantity. It costs me in numbers, but those friends I have -- real friends, not those who place greater loyalties on 'academic brethren', churches or places -- are worth more than the the Beatles "Butcher" cover.

5) My best friend. Yeah, yeah, call it padding. This is a repeat of item #2.

6) Puddy. 10 years old and still feisty as ever. Our Cocker/Brittany Spaniel mix is the one who really 'rules the roost' around here. Seraphim raised her from a puppy, but Puddy and I both accepted the other into our hearts.

7) Family. Nobody's perfect, we've had problems over the years, but I do know it can be much, much worse. And Thursday, all of us will be at the table sharing fellowship over Mom's classic turkey.

Think of what all you're thankful for, and treasure them all.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, from all of us quirky folk at the Gleck household.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Turkey, Beware" Gleck

18 November 2005

You are what you throw.

Once upon a time, smokers always used a receptacle to dispose of their cigarette butts. It was called an ashtray.

But smokers seem to have forgotten its basic function. These days, our roadsides, the grass and sidewalks around our buildings are increasingly becoming wastelands of spent coffin nails. People throw cigarettes out of their car in a careless disregard for those around them.

Worse, many throw them STILL LIT. And on the way home Friday afternoon, a lit butt exploded on the road in front of us, thrown out by a minivan-driving soccer mom who had the ciggy in one hand and a cellphone in another (she'd passed us, so I knew this to be true). She must've been one of those Tiger Ridge inbreds I keep hearing about, who live, work, and copulate among theirselves in upper Effingham County. I mean, only a child of incest would have a third arm, with which to keep on the wheel ... right?

This isn't the first time it's happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. I know cars no longer have ashtrays by default, even though most automakers offer 'em as options. Even if not, you can buy ashtrays with weighted bottoms, designed for car use. My grandmother, who smoked for years before wisely giving it up, had one. My Mom, who has singly kept Salem Menthols swimming in dinero since the early '60s, makes provisions when driving. Mom uses .... what's it called agai-- oh yes, an ASHTRAY.

But most smokers aren't my mother. Why do increasing numbers of nicotine-junkies act as if our (!) great outdoors is their own giant personal dispos-all?

I have a couple of theories:

1) They're acting out, in childish rebellion, against what they perceive as those who have "marginalized" them, forcing them out of their offices, and making them sit in special sections of restaurants. They feel as if their right to smoke trumps the rights of those who wish to breathe (reasonably) clean air. "They don't let me blow smoke in their face anymore, so I'll show them. I'll litter their little paradise with my butts."

2) Smokers in general have become like most teenagers and 20-somethings: egocentric, lacking in manners, and hostile toward anything and anyone who tells them "no." They care not one bit about the people around them.

I wonder about the homes of these cigarette smokers. I'll bet they don't even have an ashtray in their entire house. Their floors are probably littered with butts. It's a damn wonder more homes haven't gone up in flames.

If you're a smoker, you don't need me to say you should really consider kicking that bad (and expensive) habit.

And if you're a smoker who throws your ciggy 'roaches' out the window, I hope you realize that you're only punishing yourself in the long run. One of these days you're gonna throw out a lit butt into the road in front of a car which:

A) has a gasoline leak .... can you say "that car blowed up REAL GOOD!" (apologies to Big Jim McBob)

B) startles the driver, leading to adverse action, possibly causing a bad accident.

C) is an unmarked police car. Maybe the police are 'looking the other way' (it wouldn't surprise me), but throwing out a butt counts as littering. And in Georgia that packs a nice $1000 punch. C'mon, cops, that's more money toward your quota than piddling $25 seat belt tickets.

D) is driven by a politician or other influential gumment official who carries real weight. Can you say "introduces a bill to prohibit driving while smoking"? It's not that far-fetched, ya know ...

Or, even better:

E) is driven by a 450-pound redneck in a really bad mood. Can you say "ROAD RAGE"?

I don't wish for exploding cars or chain-reaction collisions. But I wouldn't mind a good case of road rage; let that redneck follow that driver to their next stop, and make them drop a load in their pants. If not violence, maybe a good scare.

You're not helping your cause, either. And what's more, you might force people like us to reverse our own libertarian attitudes (your right to smoke ends at my nose), and start pushing for a complete ban of all public cigarette smoking.

In closing, it's really simple: you are what you throw.

Ciao for niao

--Talmadge "Proudly smoke-free since 1965" Gleck

17 November 2005

Paleo-Blog

For starters, a happy anniversary to Josiebelle. Our divorce was finalized eight (8) years ago today. Not really important, except that November 17, 1997 made January 6, 2001 possible. Wouldn't want to be a bigamist, ya know....

*********

Okay, while deep in the Gleck archives, I found a whole slew of old entries previously thought to be long gone. Allow me to share:

NOVEMBER 1964:
It's nice and warm in here, I'd better enjoy this gravy train 'cuz it's gonna come to an end very soon. Hmmmm, I understand these funky things in my fingers are called "nails." And that stuff coming through my feeding tube tastes like a combination of potato salad, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Salem Menthol 100s.

I hear these muffled, echoed voices. They sound like Mom and Dad, but also the dulcet tones of Hugh Downs ... c'mon, the WILD CARD is under number 22. Don't pick 14 -- ahhhh, you matched the aquamarine flatware set, you fool! I can solve the rebus puzzle - "Bob Dylan, Stay Away From That Electric Socket!"

I'm looking forward to hearing that other new show Mom likes, I think it's called "Jeopard-----HEY!! WHAT TH'???? I'M BOUNCING ALL OVER THE PLACE HERE - GOOD THING THESE WALLS ARE SOFT!! OW!! OW!!! TAKE IT EASY, MOM, THIS HURTS!!!! OW! OOF!!! OWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! THERE GOES MY FUTURE LIFE AS BEING A HIGH-TICKET LAWYER. MY BRAIN IS RUINED. NOW I'M DESTINED TO LIFE AS A BROADCASTER!!!

[It's true, when my Mom was about 7-8 months along with me, she tripped down a flight of stairs]

SEPTEMBER 26, 1969, 230 PM (CDT):
Those bastards at NBC have canceled two of the coolest game shows, You Don't Say! and The Match Game. A pox on those twats. F(bleep)k them.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1969, 232 PM (CDT):
Hmmmmmm, "Ivory" has a nice, flowery taste to it. Less gritty than "Lifebuoy."

JANUARY 1979:
"In the Navy"? What kind of song is THAT? Is this what top-40 radio is coming to? What's next, The Village Cats' new hit record, "It's Fun to Stay at the ASPCA"??!!
Lordy, I hope it gets better from here.

AUGUST 1979:
Kermit the Frog has a record on the top 40?? Please, tell me where the exit is. Evidently Mom wasn't the only one who tripped down a flight of stairs .....

SEPTEMBER 1983:
Cool, I'm a first-semester freshman and have a computer class. Something called BASIC. I'm typing this on a computer with monochrome screen and 16K memory. I'd better hurry up and finish this entry, before I max out the hard dr

EARLY OCTOBER 1986:
It was an okay day, classes went fine, and I went over to The Record Exchange to see if Franklin C. had gotten any new vinyl. There was a copy of "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy, and I pulled it out to buy. However, this other guy wanted it too, but I had it first. Guy's name was Bolivar Shag-something or other. The rest is history.

FEBRUARY 26, 1990:
I have a date tonight. Her name is Josiebelle, and she works at the local newspaper. I'm going to ignore this fat and limping bald hologram who looks a bit like me, who's telling me DON'T DO IT. DON'T GO NEAR THAT WOMAN. YOU ... WILL ... LIVE ... TO ... REGRET ... IT .....

FEBRUARY 2, 1991:
Something about a chapel, a bunch of people, and Josiebelle in a white gown. It's all a haze. Why isn't Bolivar Shagnasty here? And why isn't Nettiema--no, wait. I don't know her yet.

DECEMBER 30, 1991, 550 PM (CST):
A son is born. We've named him Tiger. The lady in the nursery has just put this 10 pound and 7 ounce healthy infant into my arms. I'm a Dad.

Unfortunately, even now I don't think his mother and father are gonna make it to the finish line. Just a sad hunch.

JUNE 22, 1996:
I'm in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and wearing this tuxedo. Bolivar is about to marry this woman, a petit-ish redhead. *sigh* Good gawd, here's that fat and limping bald hologram again ... he DOES look a bit like me, I mean my hair is beginning to thin out up there, but will it get THAT bad? I wish he would shut up - he's all hyper, trying to tell Bolivar DON'T DO IT. DON'T GO NEAR.....

NOVEMBER 17, 1997:
Today, the divorce papers were signed, sealed and delivered. I'm officially free from that ugly chapter. I feel like putting my thought onto an online journal. Why hasn't anyone invented a BLOG yet? My 486 computer could handle it. I think.

FEBRUARY 9, 1998:
*snark* Yahoo! Personals. What kind of desperate, sad and lonely people are here? And what kind of desperate people want to find their soulmate on ... *HAH!* ... the internet!! Lemme see .... *snort*, *chuckle*, *pity*, *ridicul--- wait a minute, who is this "Goofelita" person? Her name is Seraphim. She's funny. I like her. Gotta respond to this one.

JANUARY 6, 2001:
I've got a head cold and my nose is dripping like a faucet. I'm tired and have somehow found myself at the Best Western in Lake City, Florida. Seraphim's with me, and I have a gold band on my left finger. Something happened this afternoon, it was in a church .... our parents were there, my brother, Seraphim's sister, Bolivar, Nettiemac, and several other good friends. I remember saying "I do." And Seraphim was in this beautiful white gown. Hmmmmm .....


So, how's that for life worthy of an episode of Behind the Music?

Ciao for niao!

--Talmadge "Blog to the Future" Gleck

15 November 2005

I'm nuts about dead insects















Okay, friends, here is the offending cashew to which I referred earlier today. I showed it to Seraphim, and she too votes "dead bug."

Do you realize I could just as easily have bitten into THIS half??

One part of me never wants to go near another cashew. The other, more rational side (yes, people, I have one, believe it or not!) says "you've been eating cashews for, how long?, not years; we're talking decades here!" True enough, all that good eatin', and it took this long to nearly bite into a dead insect.

Matters not in this case -- this jar's still headed back for Kroger.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "meddle not into the affairs of bugs, for they taste crunchy with cashews" Gleck

Now this really BUGs me.

For many years now, I have been a fan of cashews, particularly the dry-roasted kind in vacuum sealed jars. But if I can't find those, I'll marginally settle for the salted 'greasy' cashews packed in cans.

After this morning, though, my faith in the almighty cashew has been shaken.

A few minutes ago, I opened a new jar of Kroger brand Dry Roasted Cashews, listened for the brief 'whoosh' sound after breaking the seal (ahhhhh, freshness!), and proceeded to help myself to a few of the curly nuts.

I bit into half of one ... I've no idea why I do this ... but something seemed a little weird about the overall texture of this nut. I raised the other half to take a look, and it looked as if a dead insect of some kind was harbored in the groove of the cashew's core.

Ahhhh, freshness??

It looks like a bug. It has the body style, the dark head and what looks like wings. I showed it to my station manager, who also thought it appeared to be a dead bug.

Reminds me of the old joke, "What's worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm?" "Biting into an apple and finding half a worm."

This completely killed my appetite for cashews for the day. Tonight I'm gonna pull out the digital camera and take a picture of this nut. And tomorrow return the cotton-pickin' jar to Kroger for a refund.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "No more bug coffins for me today, thanks" Gleck

13 November 2005

The Sunday 9: Did you know?

Shamelessly plagiari--er, ah, borrowed from Nettiemac's recent blog entry, trimmed down of course to a lucky nine items for this, THE SUNDAY 9 ... brought to you this week by The Kevin Federline School of Hip-Hop, with available distance learning via illegal downloads. Classes forming now. Financial aid available, too; fill out that FAFSA form and collect your disbursement within 24 hours (right, Seraphim?). K-Fed, setting rap music back six months.

Now then, here are nine things you may not know about ol' Talmadge Q. Gleck:

9) I am not allergic to poison ivy. As I approached adulthood, I began to wonder why I never 'came down with poison ivy.' Everyone has at least one accidental brush with the plant, despite the well-known warning 'leaflets three, let it be.' Then came one time during college when I knew I'd come into contact with some. And not a thing happened.

Back when Seraphim and I were dating, we met one weekend at a state park ... I totally blew the woman's mind by pulling some poison ivy off of a tree with my bare hands, and rubbing it against my arm. Again, not a thing happened.

Hmmmm, I wonder if I could make some serious $$ offering my services as a poisonous plant remover.....

8) I have award-winning legs. In fact, it's the only trophy I've ever won. It was 1988, and I was living in a little rathole called Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Sunshine Foundation, a local 'make-a-wish' charity, had invited radio personalities from the local stations, and some from nearby Little Rock, to take part in a legs contest ... the winner was the one who raised the most money for said charity. Yeah, okay, I was game. Why not? Besides, the lady at Sunshine was really nice.

Along with a couple of local 'competition', the show was stolen by several of the high-profile top-40 jocks from Little Rock (one of them went by the name "Holly-wooooooooood Harrison!!"). Us Pine Bluffers stood on the stage with sheepish grins on our faces, looking at each other with raised eyebrows as if to say, "okay, when is this damned thing gonna be over with?" But those Little Rock jocks milked this for all it was worth, striking poses, you name it.

Most of the audience were made up of teenaged girls, who swooned at their radio heroes ... and they were all crowded around the donation table. There were mason jars, each labeled with our name and station. I figured, "Okay, Hollywood from KKYK is gonna take this one hands down ... or maybe the guy from ZOO-98. How much longer 'till 1:00?"

When it WAS over, I ran up the street to cop a quick lunch with my then-girlfriend. I came back to the legs venue, only to find the entire entourage wondering where I had gone!! I FREAKIN' WON THAT LEGS CONTEST!!! The reason? Sure, all the teenyboppers dropped their change and small currency into the top-40 mason jars; that was the deal -- I had an older lady who listened to my show on the AM country station every morning ... she'd dropped a 20-spot into my jar, which clinched the trophy for moi.

I didn't win 'cuz of my legs; I won 'cuz of my older demographics!

But 17 years later, I still have that trophy (it's somewhere in the garage), and Seraphim likes to remind me from time to time that I am "Mr. Sunshine Legs."

7) Rush Limbaugh's cousin was my 8th grade Civics teacher. And you wonder why I'm so screwed up today!! We were living in Cape Girardeau, Rush's hometown, and she was from the same gaggle of Limbaughs which produced our pill-poppin' egotistical talk show buffoon.

6) I taught myself how to read. Long before Kindergarten I was reading. Exactly WHAT was I reading, mind you? Why, road signs! STOP ... well, that one was easy. Then "MADISON" was next (that was the small town outside of Huntsville where we were living at the time).

From there I graduated to the big green signs along the portion of interstate open between Birmingham and Decatur, Ala. One read HANCEVILLE - ARKADELPHIA; by age 4, I could pronounce "Hanceville", but it took a little longer to decipher that other word. But by first grade I had it down. (No, my Arkansas friends, yours isn't the only Arkadelphia; there's one in Alabama, too)

5) Ditto for telling time. I credit the fine publication known as TV Guide for this honor. I learned the concept of time by studying the TV schedule. By the time I first darkened my kindergarten classroom, I had it all down. Even the channel numbers, too.

4) I cannot 'think fast' when something is thrown toward me. I don't know when or why this came about, but I always flinch when a ball, or anything else of solidity is thrown to me.

This was yet another reason P.E. wasn't exactly my favorite class. But at least I provided ample entertainment for the other kids.

3) I once crossed the Mississippi on my bicycle. Back in those salad days when I rode all over Cape Girardeau on my bergundy-colored ten-speed (complete with modified can holder duct-taped to the frame to hold my little radio!), often with partner-in-crime 'Wiz.' One Spring day in 1980, we found ourselves downtown just riding around on a Sunday afternoon, and we both looked toward the Mississippi river bridge. We looked at one another, and ... it happened. We made our way toward Morgan Oak Street, and did something which I suppose was my most reckless childhood stunt: Wiz and I rode our bikes across the bridge into Illinois!!

That's right, gang, with the radio playing the rockin' sounds of KGIR for a soundtrack, we traversed the narrow 10-foot lanes of that 1928-era bridge. Look Mom, no shoulders!

I have no idea how many cars we bottlenecked as we crossed, and I remain amazed to this day that 1) we didn't get our asses run down, and 2) that either Missouri's, Illinois' or Cape's Finest didn't weld our asses to one of the bridge's plate girders.

Once over there, we grabbed a Coke - or, in Cape parlance, SODA - at a convenience store ... and I dropped a buck on what was my first-ever scratch-off (Illinois had a lottery even back then). And yes, I busted.

There's a piece in my 10th grade yearbook about a group of kids who took part in a 'Cape Bicycle Club' of sorts, and they recall the one day when the group all rode across the bridge. The quote was, "We used a van to escort us, because otherwise the cars would've mowed us over!"

Escort? Wiz and I didn't need no steenkin' escort.

2) My first car was a real embarrassment. Not every kid is lucky to have their own set of wheels when they turn 16 years old. The day I turned the magic age, my grandparents gave me a car as a gift for my birthday. Expecting something along the lines of a late '70s vintage Mustang (which, years later, my Dad said was the original intent and his disregarded suggestion), I opened the front door to find my new set of wheels: a 1976 AMC PACER.

Yes, a Pacer. And this was 1981. A full decade before this cruel joke of a vehicle was 'validated' through the movie Wayne's World. I always knew my grandparents had it in for me. Why couldn't I have had a rustbucket Chevette? Or a hand-me-down '69 Ford LTD battle tank?? At least those things looked like bleedin' CARS!

Lucky for me, the thing fell apart in time for high school graduation. From there it was to an '82 Mercury Capri - the car I drove through much of college (and the car I today feel the most 'nostalgic' about).

1) Chocolate makes me throw up. I am completely, totally and undoubtedly allergic to chocolate. I cannot keep any quantity of chocolate in my stomach for long, because it'll start going into spasms and seismic fits and expel the stuff back from whence it came. What's more, the smell of chocolate is enough to make me gag and, if in the venue long enough, toss my (chocolate-chip) cookies.

Fortunately, the smell is only sickening when it's being prepared -- so Seraphim always gives me ample warning before making a chocolate cake. Either I'll go out running errands or I'll hole up in the 'music room' with the fan pointing toward the door. Long as I have that fan, I'm okay.

My 'practice wife' Josiebelle viewed it, among other quirks, as a major embarrassment (I was the AMC Pacer of her little world). Seraphim, though, sees the silver lining: if anything chocolate ends up in my hands, it goes to her. And if we each get something like that, she gets BOTH.

*********

So there you have it, nine (9) things you might not have known about me.

I think I'll have myself some ice cream. Vanilla, of course.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Schwinn Daredevil" Gleck

12 November 2005

Okay, then, how about some Consolation Criddles?

Auburn 31 - Georgia 30.

Auburn almost got a TD in the last seconds, but was (thankfully!) disallowed due to it being fumbled about 2 yards out. Alas, Eye-burn chose to punt on the 4th down.

I'm to blame. When Georgia was up with about a minute to go, I said to my father-in-law, "I might be presumptuous, but how about some Victory Krystals?" We had a late lunch today, so we're a bit hungry, and nothing satisfies at 1130 at night like a sackful of belly-bombers.

Gleck, ya jinxed it!

But I still want some 'Criddles' (which, according to my wife, is how it's pronounced while in an inebriated state).

Damn.

Ciao for niao!

--Talmadge "Now I'M saying WTF??" Gleck

It's 'gout' to be Winter!

If the pain in my toe could talk, it would be screaming "I'm baaaaaaaack!!!"

Last December, my right toe began hurting like the proverbial 'maternal fornicator.' I thought I'd somehow sprained it (as I'd done after a trip to Chattanooga several years back ... all the walking at Ruby Falls did it; one has to do some fancy footwork in those tunnels).

Not this time. The doctor took some x-rays of the offending toebone [apologies to Deputy Dawg], and ruled out a sprain ... instead, there was a lot of inflammation. She said I have gout. Gout is a condition where elevated uric acid levels produce some jagged crystals in the blood, and the toe area is where they like to 'pool up', so to speak, hence the (stabbing) toe pain. It comes and goes, but always seems to rage at its worst during the winter months.

You'd be surprised how much we rely on the muscles in our big toes. It's difficult to avoid big-league pain when doing anything but sitting down (and even then, it's not always comfortable).

Several factors contribute to gout. One of them is heredity, and Mom told me in no uncertain terms where it came from, then apologized. That explains why Mom sometimes gets moments where she has trouble walking. The other is diet - and it's said that red wine and red meat are the biggest aggaravators of gout. Well, I barely drink - and never wine at that - so check that one off the list. Red meat? Yup, guilty. Very, very guilty.

The gout began ebbing as February became March, and the weather warmed up. Throughout the year, my toes would sometimes get slightly sore, but nothing really major - and I'd pay it little attention. And, after cutting way back on red meat, I backslid in a big way - out of pain, out of mind, ya know?

Ah, but now we're pushing mid November ... and a cold front passed through on Thursday. Like clockwork, I woke up with a sore toe which made me want to take one of Seraphim's fancy knives and cut the bastard off. Only, this time it's my LEFT toe. The right one is blissfully ignorant of the turmoil currently bedeviling my left this-little-piggy-went-to-market.

If this is any indication of the Winter of discontent which faces my big podial digits, I might want to think about investing in a good walking cane.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Time to hop into the bed ... literally" Gleck

06 November 2005

THE SUNDAY 9: a mish-mash of mush

This week we're back with TS9, brought to you by The Dry-Roasted Cashew Advisory Board. Remember, dry-roasted cashews are good for what ails ya. So hit the grocery store right now and pick up some ... before that Gleck guy beats you to 'em. Dry-roasted cashews. Like peanuts, only better.

A few thoughts before I call it a night:

1) I BRAKE FOR BOILED PEANUTS
"The Nut Hut" is the name of a wagon that sells fresh hot green boiled peanuts. For some inexplicable reason they've been chased from a couple of locations outside of Effingham County. These days, they're set up on Skidaway Road near Bacon Park (east side of Savannah, for those of you not familiar with this weeeeeeird city of ours). From out here, it's a bit of a drive - even for a certified/certifiable boiledpeanutphile like myself. Hmmmm, wonder how boiled cashews would taste..... :-p

2) DOES YOUR BUBBLEGUM LOSE ITS FLAVOR, IN THE TRICK-OR-TREAT BAG OVERNIGHT?
$5.99 at Sam's Club got us 300 pieces of Dubble Bubble to dole out to the ghosts, goblins and (in one case) hippie. In order to keep Puddy from getting all riled up by repeated doorbell rings (see #3, below), we set up shop outside. Seraphim popped us some popcorn, and we sat outside to greet the moochin' kids. The weather (50-ish degrees) was wonderful for Halloween; much better than last year, when it was like an August evening. Or, if you're into Neil Diamond.....

Out of that, we're still stuck with half a tubble of Dubble Bubble. I don't feel like chewing my share of that crap 'tween now and Memorial Day, so if you want a complimentary piece, just say the word and I'll drop you a few pieces in the mail. Just pay $4.95 shipping and handling, and some yummy gummy will be headed toward your mailbox.

3) PUDDY AND HER MEDS
Puddy was sick over last weekend, and I took her to the vet last Monday. Her groin area was very inflamed, but the X-rays showed no developing back trouble (as the vet was afraid might be the case). She's been on a medicine regimen of painkillers and muscle relaxers for the last six days. Puddy's back to jumping on the sofa, but she's not quite brave enough to try the bed again. So I put her 'cushion' from the living room into our bedroom.

In any case, Puddy's doing much better now. Seraphim was in her native southwest Georgia over the weekend, and talked to the woman who gave Puddy to her. Found out that Puddy's mother passed away a couple of years ago, but, more depressingly, that of Puddy's siblings, only two are still alive.

4) CATEGORY 7
Randy Quaid kills where he badly needs it. Otherwise, this is a disaster film that gives a new meaning to "over the top." Category 7 is your typical TV movie 'event', and a sequel to Category 6, about the hurricane that hit Chicago. Makes me wonder if a Category 8: The Planets All Implode is up CBS' sleeve for a future sweeps week?

I generally consider prime time TV as 'beneath' me (the truth hurts, man), but for some inexplicable reason I go for disaster movies, no matter how stupid. Favorite scene: the trailer park, where Shannen Doherty cold-cocks the pothead who tried to steal their truck.

[gritted teeth]Yes, and I'm gonna be watching the conclusion next Sunday night.[/gritted teeth]

5) ARKANSAS STATE HAS SOME WORK TO DO
Their loss to Middle Tennessee State was embarrassing, bringing back the ugliness of the '90s (0-11, anyone?). Next week, the Indians play the Fightin' Prophylactics of Troy Not-State-Anymore University. The Tribe had better win, else-in' Tal here is gonna be a might' bit perticked.

6) TROY IN SAVANNAH
In the "Exchange" bidness tab of today's Savannah Morning News, I was greeted by a 1/4 page ad for Troy University, who have now opened themselves a Savannah branch office. Seeing billboards all over town are bad enough, but why the print adverts; can't a guy read the newspaper over lunch without losing his appetite??

I wish Armstrong Atlantic State University would open an outpost in Troy, Alabama ... it would only be fair.

7) MP3 UPDATE
In case you've been wondering about my MP3 conversion project, I'm now finishing up D. I decided to forego the vinyl conversion until after all the CDs have been done. This is a slow, but sure process.

8) YOUR SOUL DOWN, WITH 10.9% ATR
After seeing yet another Methodist® Church commercial ("Open doors. Open 7-11. Open mouth. Insert foot."), I began wondering - seeing as how they're obviously so desperate for new blood that they've taken to advertising - if they'll employ a new ad agency if they don't get the desired results with this "open" hooey. What if they hired the same guys who do those KIA commercials? How would that sound???
DO YOU HAVE A JOB?? DO YOU HAVE $99 TITHE?? THEN YOU CAN BE APPROVED FOR A NEW '06 METHODIST® MEMBERSHIP!! GOD HAS EXCITING THINGS IN STORE FOR YOU AT #1 METHODIST® COUNTRY, 4456767889 ABERCORN STREET IN SAVANNAH!!! Or, even better, hiring Chip Ellis to do their commercials: "THE UNITED METHODIST® CHURCH. WORHIP WITH US. I AM THE GOD!"

9) NO GLECK CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY BEFORE 11/26!
This one's for you, Seraphim. No amount of all-Christmas music radio stations playing in stores will get me to change my mind. Bah humbug. I'd like to pee in the Christmas stations' eggnog.

And that wraps up another exciting edition of THE SUNDAY 9. Have a cool week, and remember: "Only forest fires prevent bears."

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Tuck Froy" Gleck