Archive for April, 2009

Dickie – Quickie

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

TV Land is that weird place where you can talk about and show murder, rape, and disease as enthusiastically as you like, but you can’t talk about or show two people making love as enthusiastically as we do when we get lucky.

Dickie – Quickie

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Thank you for all your notes asking about my Lady Wonder Wench. She is recovering slowly, but very well. She has returned to her habit of talking back to me frequently vigorously articulately. And accurately. If any of you guys have ever figured out why they are almost always right please contact me immediately at Dick@DickSummer.com.


I Like Lady Sounds

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I like lady sounds quick giggles little snatches of songs that help make doing the dishes a little easier body lotion being rubbed on skin. I heard my Lady Wonder Wench before I saw her. She was sitting at her desk at work, laughing with one of the other secretaries. It was a happy, graceful, breathy sound that turned up at the edges like a smile.

She was wearing plain low heel pumps, and a pleated, scotch plaid wool skirt over her long, smooth, athletic legs. She was a rather serious weekend skier. These days I think she would be called, Tight.

(more…)

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Life is good. There is a new little girl in our family. Her name is Cecelia. And she is absolutely beautiful. Her mom, Emma, had a hard time with the birth, but mom and baby are both fine now. Life is good. Big things are good….like our new little girl, and little things are good… like… I finally got to put the snow shovel away in the shed. And while I was there  I cranked up the lawn mower…and it started. What more could a guy ask. Another big thing…my lady Wonder Wench still puts up with me, although like most Louie-Louie Generation guys, besides being courtly, humorous and thoughtful, I am often childish, frequently sloppy, and constantly sex obsessed.

I think Lady Wonder Wench has come to understand that I am simply not totally responsible for the fact that just looking at her makes my eyebrows wiggle, and my viagral parts come to attention. The woman turns me into what you might call a one man…gland. Life is good…bordering on excellent.


 
I still have questions and irritations like anybody else. For example: I don’t know why my car keys are always in the pocket on the side of the hand that’s carrying the biggest bundle of groceries. And just when I’m proud of myself because I’m at the top of the food chain…a mosquito comes along and…slurp… I’m not so sure who’s eating who. And maybe you can explain to me why an escalator’s  hand rail and the steps don’t go at the same speed. You know, I just realized that an escalator really can’t break. If it stops, it just becomes stairs.  That’s good. But the thing that got me started thinking about this is…why the hell do the guys in the tv commercials always have to yell at me ? I could hear the program they interrupted just fine. These are all questions that deserve answers.
 
But you know what they don’t deserve ? They don’t deserve to have us constantly whining and complaining about them. I’m going to knock that off in this podcast, and in my life. Read my lips. No more complaining. Life is good.
 

 As I told you, the new little girl in our family is named Cecelia. In the Catholic religion, St. Cecelia is the patron saint of musicians. My dad was a musician. My brother is a musician. And three of Cecelia’s uncles are musicians. Our daughter Kris says Cecelia tends to practice her singing most mornings at around 3am. But I really don’t mind, because there are three things that we have between us that keep her vocalizing from disturbing my sleep. Those three things are New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. I get to love little Cecilia, but her mom attends her live concerts in the middle of the night. Life is exceptionally good.
 
I have been told that’s not a mature attitude. And I agree. But Louie-Louie Generation guys like me usually don’t mature. I go to the airport and climb into my little airplane…and everything gets very business like. I run my start engine check list, check the area and call CLEAR, and start the engine. The avionics lights come on, the engine settles into a beautiful sound….brrrrooooommmm. I get cleared for take off, and I smoothly advance the throttle to takeoff power…and if nobody is watching I can’t help myself. I make that sound we all made as little kids…brrrrroommm. I’m not thinking about the mortgage, or the job, or even little Cecelia…my brain is entirely full of Brrrrooomm. And I’m very grateful for that. Brrroooom takes my mind off things I could complain about. It makes my life even better than good.
 

  Sometimes some little thing like brrrrrroooom  will just make you forget all about complaining…even when there are things you could complain about. There’s a story in the Night Connections album about a woman who was ready to cut loose with a symphony of complaints…and one simple thing changed that. And all of a sudden…well, listen. The story is called The Quick Change Artist. And you’ll find it at www.dicksummer.com/podcast/latest. Sometimes a woman comes so close…it’s overpowering. The Quick Change Artist is from the Night Connections Personal Audio Cd. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy just go back to the home page of this website, and click on the Night Connections album cover on the opening page.
 
Dick’s Details…Quiz.
 1- How can a crocodile give you the finger.
2- What is it impossible to do with your elbow.
3- Why can’t elephants use pogo sticks.
 
All the answers to the Dick’s Details Quiz are in the current podcast. Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
 

 So…welcome to the new little lady in our family. Pretty little Cecelia. She is already a woman in training. Women really run things. And that’s worked out ok for most of us. They’re the ones who decided that it’s toilet seat up first, then down. That goes back to some cave woman who kept telling her guys…no peeing in the cave. Which fork is for the salad, and which do you use to pick your teeth. No singing at the table. I could never figure that one out. There are drinking songs, so how come there are no eating songs ?
 

 Women don’t need physical strength to enforce their rules. They do it with just that look. Only girls can really give the look. Guys look like girls when we try to give the look. Women are running things. But I’m not complaining. Life is good. Very, very, good.   Little Cecilia even has her grand – mother’s little half smile.

 

 

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

DICKIE’S QUICKIE – 4-16-09

Will the guys on the TV commercials PLEASE stop screaming at me ?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
“No delay, immediate right turn to three six zero degrees!” When you’re flying a small plane, and Air Traffic Control says words like “no delay,” and “immediate”…that gets your attention. So I flicked the auto pilot off… and turned that control wheel over hard… and I watched the compass spin up till we were at about 345 degrees…then I eased her the rest of the way till it said 360…just like the man said.A moment later a big jet flashed by pretty close to where I would have been if the controller hadn’t called the turn. I flicked the mike and said “thanks.” And believe me, I meant it. Pilots around here call that a “Linda Rondstadt” because Linda had a big hit called “Blue Bayou”…as in “that jet just blew by you.”I flicked the auto pilot back on to catch my breath for a moment and I realized… I was looking at an “N word.” There’s no 360 degrees on an airplane compass. Just the letter N. It means North.Maybe there are some lessons here.

For example:1- There are lots of “N words”…which means there is no such thing as THE “N word.” Some idiot long ago couldn’t spell the word “Niger”, so we got the word “nigger”… which became a word other idiots have used to call people with brown and black skin. If a guy describes somebody as a “nigger,” he’s done you the favor of telling you right up front that he’s an idiot. Simply by using that word, he’s saved you the time and effort of figuring him out. Don’t waste any more time/effort on him.

2- Get real. “The N word” doesn’t mean anything. Say what you mean. “Nigger” is a word that cuts. It’s stupid, discourteous, and it hurts. And that means something…it tells you something…something ugly… something that won’t go away if you stick your head in the sand. So deal with it. The phrase “The N word” doesn’t hurt… because there IS no such thing as “THE… N WORD.”

There’s a dictionary full of “N words.” How about Nice, Nude, Naked (I like that one), Nabob, Naah, Nana, Nail, Native, Nose…etc. When that jet was bearing down on my little plane, the controller said “turn north.” That meant something. If he had said “turn to the N word”… the only response I’d have had is…”HUH?” “Do you want me to turn naked nicely like a nabob with a nana who has long nails…naaah, that can’t be… do you want me to fly my plane up your nose?” By the time I got if figured out, I’d have been toasting marshmallows on the jet guy’s after burner.

2a- And while we’re at it, there is no such thing as an “African American,” any more than there is a “European American.” “African American” means absolutely nothing. You African? Okay. You European? Okay. You American? Also okay. Africa is a continent. America is a continent. Europe is a continent. Three different continents. Lots of water in between.

3- Get a grip. When that controller called the traffic, I put both hands on that control wheel and some muscle went into that bank…fast. It happened, as they say, with “no delay.” The lesson ? Let’s cut the crap…now. We’ve got important things to worry about in this country. Let it be the exclusive concern of our very capable American Association of Interior Decorators to worry about how brown, black, white, pink, yellow and red can work together…. what do you care? Get up off your black, brown white, pink, yellow or red butt and get a grip on the things that count. And DO something about them.

Watch the newscasts…if you’ve got cable/satellite, check out the news reports from the BBC and other foreign sources so you know what other people are really saying about us…read the paper…learn what’s going on…make a note of which politicians don’t really answer the questions…tell your friends who they are, then vote them out of office. Raise hell on talk radio, and write e-mails to the politicians… and demand an answer from them by phone if they ignore you. Know what’s really going on…THINK…don’t get led around by the likes of Al “Sharpie” Sharpton or Righteous Rush Limbaugh .

Remember this quote. It’s from Adolph Hitler…and these are his exact words: “How fortunate for those of us who rule, that the people don’t think.” SO THINK. THEN get up off your multi-colored butts and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

4- A sense of humor couldn’t hurt. The thing the papers call a “near miss” is really a “near hit.” If it were a “near miss,” it would be a collision. But pilots call it a “Linda Rondstadt.” As in “Blue Bayou”…as in “that jet just blew by you.” We can all use a laugh… especially when we’re looking at something that can tear us apart…like racism.

4- Help each other out. It was that controller’s job. It’s yours too. And mine. Respect the difference between giving a helping hand and giving a handout. But if you’re on the receiving end, don’t bite either hand… and get off your black, brown, white, pink, yellow or red butt as soon as you can so you can pass some good stuff along.

5- The Air Traffic Control system is highly professional and absolutely courteous. Pilots and Controllers address each other as “Sir” or “Ma’am.” We trust each other with life and death decisions that have to be made in an instant. There’s no time to waste. But courtesy isn’t considered a waste of time.

Courtesy is simply an expression of respect and concern. You may not want to go so far as to call each other Sir or Ma’am, but you can hold a door open for a lady…or even another guy…what’s to lose? You can resist riding a guy’s bumper or giving another guy the finger if he does it to you. And Louie-Louie Generation guys should have the good sense to remove their hats at the table, at least when there is a lady present…unless your religion requires otherwise…in which case you can wear the appropriate yarmulka or turban…not a Yankee baseball hat.

We have a number of pilots who subscribe to this blog, and at least one (ex) Air Traffic Controller. On behalf of all of us pilots, let me take this opportunity to say “thanks” to Paul and all his brother and sister Air Traffic Controllers for looking out for us. You guys are the best.

I think if you asked him, Big Louie…the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation would say “It’s time to get real. Say what you mean. Get a grip. Laugh a little. Say ‘thanks’ when it’s due. Take at least one flight in a small plane on a lovely day. Enjoy living a little before you die.”

 Big Louie is a pretty bright guy. And he’s been around awhile. And for all of you who are planning a trip by air…he wants to wish you “Happy Landings.”

 

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Thank you. Lots of folks sent e-mails hoping my Lady Wonder Wench and I had a good vacation. We did. Caught the last week of New York Mets Spring training in Florida. Some funny stuff about it in the current PodCast. There was one moment that made me so proud… and one that would have been a disaster except for a nice lady by the name of Joan, who works at the Mets’ Tradition Field ticket office. I bought our “right behind home plate” tickets roughly ten minutes after they went on sale in January, and stapled them to our calendar so I wouldn’t lose them. But I got so used to seeing them there that I forgot them until I was at about 30,000 feet going about 500 miles per hour in the plane on the way to Florida. THEY WERE GONE…. impossible to replace right behind home plate tickets to four games that we’d been looking forward to since  just after Christmas.
The word stupid does not begin to describe the feeling. For one fleeting second, I wondered if there were any terrorists aboard who might be talked into using that forbidden can of hair spray that they smuggled past the x-ray machines, to force the plane to turn around and return to Philadelphia so I could get the tickets. As you know, you can always tell the terrorists at an airport because they all carry hidden cans of hair spray. I can only assume their plan is to threaten to spray the pilot’s back with enough of the stuff so that he sticks to his seat and can’t get up to go to the bathroom unless he does what they tell him to do. I was All Shook Up.
But Joan saved the day. She managed to find my order in the computer, and she replaced all eight tickets…then gave my Lady Wonder Wench one of those sympathetic “I understand, dear” smiles that one wife gives another about the dumb things their husbands do. If you go to Tradition field, please stop by the ticket office and thank Joan for saving my vacation. We don’t thank people like her enough… because we can’t.
The moment of so much pride came on Sunday. The public address announcer at Tradition Field asked everyone to “Stand and honor America as 8 year old Raquel (Somebody) sings our national anthem.” I don’t remember her last name. I wish I did. She walked out behind home plate and stood in front of 6,000 people in all her 4 foot something, maybe 90 pounds worth of little girl splendor. She was probably the only person in the stadium wearing a dress. Pink, I think, with a little bow on top. She took a deep breath, and started to sing…
“Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” It was a little girl’s voice…with just a hint that in a few years, it might sound a bit like Whitney Houston…but not yet.
“What so proudly we hail, at the twilight’s last gleaming.” I started thinking about how proud my Lady Wonder Wench and I are of our two little girls…grown up women now.
“Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, were so gallantly streaming”… The old guy in the row in front of me had one arm around his wife, and his other hand was holding a very ancient baseball cap over his heart. “U.S. ARMY” were the letters on the cap…probably circa World War 2. He stood as straight and tall and proud as my dad used to stand.
“And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air”… The old guy began singing along with Raquel…very quietly and a little off key…but singing. And Wonder Wench started singing along with him…singing and crying…and I knew she was thinking about her brother Bob. His simple white cross stands in the sand behind Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod.
“Gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there”…More and more of the people around us started singing…very quietly and a little off key…but singing…together.
“Oh say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave”… All of us were singing now. Very quietly and a little off key…but singing. All of us. All around the field.
“O’er the land of the free”…Even I was singing. Quietly. Off key, I guess. But singing…and thinking about my Uncle Joe the B-17 navigator, and my brother Geoff who did a second tour in Vietnam because he knew the experience he got the first time around would save a couple of buddies. He was right. It cost him a chunk of his leg…but it doesn’t seem to matter to him at all. He’s another guy who stands very straight and proud.
“And the home of the brave.” We all sang it together…quietly…a little off key…. Little Raquel, my Lady Wonder Wench, me with my jacket that says BROOKLYN across the front, and about 6,000 other people who just came to enjoy a nice spring training baseball game together.
It wasn’t a huge majestic sound. It was really kind of quiet…and a little off key. But it was…all of us…together. I don’t think any of us expected that.
There was an almost embarrassed moment of stunned silence. Then someone in the bleachers cut loose with one of those long, loud, two fingers between the teeth whistles, and the place exploded with applause, and laughs… more than a few tears…and so much pride. So much pride we felt at that moment…together.
You sometimes get a lot more than you expect when you go to a spring training baseball game. Yes. Thank you for asking. It was a very good vacation. 
REMEMBER – Middle age sneaks up on us like a windshield sneaks up on a bug in August. But Louie – Louie Generation guys know that wisdom and a few well worn moves can always defeat youth and skill. Well…almost always.
Would love to hear from you. Dick@dickSummer.com 

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Dickie’s Quickie – 4-2-09

From Mets Spring Training in Port St. Lucie…My Lady Wonder Wench and I are LOVING this vacation. This is a beautiful Minor League ballpark…think Bull Durham. Funny stuff and crowd participation between almost every inning. They had a “chip the golf ball into a bucket” contest…the guy from the crowd missed…and the crowd loved it…because the “guy from the stands” was Tiger Woods who was taking in the game. The prize…which they gave even though he missed…was a free round of golf at the PGA course! Sorry…but THAT’S FUNNY.

One of the things the crowd here has been doing that has made me stand a little straighter. At the start of the game…when some guest sings the National Anthem…around the last couple of lines…a few people start singing along…and then a few more people…and the final few words are being sung…right out loud…with such pride… by around 6,000 Americans.

It is good.