September 30 – Did I just hear this?

Did I just hear this?
Mercedes, Tell me a joke?
“Sorry we’re German”

Listening to the radio from London, a commercial touting Mercedes Benz Siri-like voice activated information system, ended with the line, “Mercedes, Tell me a joke?”

“Sorry, we’re German” is what I remembered hearing.

A quick Google search showed that the line is actually, “Sorry, my engineers were German.”

From the google post that I saw, this tagline has been around since February of 2018.

Apparently if you have Mercedes Benz assistant on your Mercedes and ask, “Mercedes, tell me a joke?”, that response is pre-programmed.

I am not prepared for humor at this level of business.

I have been made so timid by social media, my first reaction is, how did they dare that?

My 2nd reaction was, boy, am I glad they dared to do that.

September 27 – working or driving

working or driving
ID-10T errors,
make my day complete

ID-10T errors.

Do I want to make you google it?

Should I tell you?

Maybe if it was just spelled out.

Other fun errors encountered on a help desk:

PMAC – problem exists between monitor and chair
PICNIC – problem in chair, not in computer
IBM error – idiot behind machine error

I made this one up for driving on Atlanta freeways:

PEBSWADS – problem exists between steering wheel and drivers seat

September 26 – swimming to the top

swimming to the top
I wake up underwater
break surface and breathe

Daily battle to wake up.

Struggle to the surface, forcing my way out of the depths of sleep.

Claw my way.


Break through the water and into a gray day and fight to stay a float.


Hands together above my head.

Fingers pointing straight.

Body twists as my legs flex and feet paddle.

Knifing through the water.

I porpoise out of the water.

Into the sunshine.

Water drops dazzle like diamonds.

Hand closes into a fist raised over my head.

“NOT TODAY!”, I shout.

To nobody but myself.

(NOTE* I was listening to the radio as I typed this. By chance, Richard Strauss’s Sunrise from Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1896) was playing on the radio. Unexpected moments like this are the Oreo’s in your lunch bag that someone else put in there for you.)

September 24 – Fate keeps taking me

Fate keeps taking me
places do not want to go
stranger is myself

I stole the lines, ‘Fate keeps taking me, places do not want to go,’ from a preview of the TV Show, Lodge 49.

Describing me, my life right now, too well to be ignored, I shamelessly took the line.

‘Gaed a Wyrd Swa Hio Scel’ it says in Beowulf, or, ‘Fate goes ever as she shall

The older I get, the further I seem to move away from what is familiar and comfortable.

Who I am is a stranger to myself.

Who this person is, is still me.

I am comfortable and familiar with that.

September 23 – Fall’s first days? Not here!

Fall’s first days? Not here!
90 degree days for weeks
no frosty pumpkins

Hotlanta (oh wait, media is forbidden to use that term) usually has 37 ninety-degree-plus days per year.

In 2019, there are have already been 79.

Hoping for some relief to this heat fatigue, I look forward to fall.

My mind has turned to pot roast, pies and other eatables that use the oven.

Looking forward however, the march of ninety-degree-plus days continues.

Comfort food on hold while the air conditioning stays on to keep us comfortable.

September 22 – Unexplainable?

Unexcuasable? Michigan?
Writers saw same team.

Michigan, as a football team, stunk up the joint yesterday.

Michigan, as a football team, stinks.

Michigan, until about 2PM Saturday afternoon was thought to be one of the best teams in the county.

A top ten team.

Michigan changed everyone’s minds with their game play at Wisconsin.

Their performace was unexplainable.

Their performance was unexcusavke.

They were pretenders.

They were a fraud.

Now wait just a minute.

The only reason most of us had any idea that Michigan was a top ten team was because the people who are paid to know such things told us such things.

Like Will Rodges, all I know is what I read in the papers.

What, where, who, how and why did the collective sports world think Michigan was so good?

And because the sportwriters thought so and wrote so and said so, it is Michigan’s fault that the team is not as good as the sportwriters thought?

How dumb and I to listen to sports writers?

At the end of the day, I am a Michigan Man, so called.

A winning football team would be better than a losing football, but I do not consider myself a Michigan Man because OF the football team.

While in no way comparable, I am reminded of the Iron Brigade in the Civil War.

The Iron Brigade was the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

The wore distinctive black hats called a Hardee Hat which looked like a Lincoln stovepipe hat with a wide brim, pinned up on one side, aussie style.

This in the Army of the Potomac, the army of the Eastern United States, was made up of regiments from Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.

It was recognized as one of the hard fighting units in the army and was famous throughout both the armies if the North and South.

At Gettysburg, when the Iron Brigade came into view, Confederate soldiers were heard to say, ‘It’s those Black Hat fellers again.’

It was at Gettysburg that the Iron Brigade was wrecked.

In the first day at Gettysburg, the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division of the 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac lost two thirds of its effective strength of 1800 men.

And,” wrote Bruce Catton in Glory Road, his thee volume history of the Army of the Potomac, “for the rest of the war, it existed as a shadow, always a great name but never again a mighty force in battle.”

Like I wrote, the state of Michigan Football cannot in anyway be compared to the Iron Brigade.

But the simply poetry of the phrase, always a great name, appeals to me.

I hope I am wrong.

I hope the eggheads in the Athens of the West can collectively come up with a Coach who can prepare a team of athlete’s to compete on the big stage.

If not, win or lose, always a great name.

I can live with that.

September 21 – in my brain, twisted

in my brain, twisted
tangled wire coat hangers, sharp
spinning, endlessly

Big part of my weekend is the opportunity to sleep in.

If lucky, I can stay in bed to 8AM instead of my weekday 5:15AM.

I look forward to that a lot.

Maybe too much.

Last night, restless leg woke me with a sharp stick.

My head was pounding.

My brain was racing, flashing pictures and bits of movies and scenes from my life like the tunnel ride in Willy Wonka.

Somehow my nose and my throat are also plugged up.

Disoriented, confused, I rolled over to look at the clock.


My heart sank.

So much for a night’s rest and a lay in.

Sleep would now come in short blurps.

Succession of drinks of water, cough drops and trips downstairs to ‘read for a bit to clear my head’ and the drags on.

My mind would keep moving, racing, spinning, twisting.

Like a tangle pile of wire coat hangers.

Unable to be untangled and full of sharp points.

I give up, get up and make coffee to get some caffeine in my system.

Don’t ask me why, but it moments like this, it calms down the system a bit.

Saturday morning and 3 cups of coffee and my mind has slowed down but my brain feels like its filled with styrofoam.

Precious sleep.

Refreshing sleep.

How I covet this seemingly simple gift.