1.31.2020 -looking down AT me

looking down AT me
peacoat, blue jeans, cowboy boots
Gosh! what year is this?

I looked down at myself this morning.

I saw the front of my peacoat.

I had one strap of a backpack over my right shoulder.

Blue jeans.

501 Button Fly Levis.

And cowboy boots.

My brain hit a time warp.

Was I walking across the parking lot to the TV station where I worked and it was 2020.

Or was I walking across the diag to a class in Ann Arbor back in 1984.

Was my back pack filled with computers and apple devices.

Or was my back pack filled with books and note pads and an apple for lunch.

I describe my wardrobe as “classic”.

My wife and daughters describe it as “Dad’s clothes”.

Cotton button down shirts.

Khaki slacks.

Both plain and pleated so there.

I am not trying to pull off any look.

I am not trying to dress like a college kid.

I am just trying to be comfortable.

The other day my wife got into a discussion about my shoes with some of the boys.

The boys being son Lucas and Alexis’ baby daddy, Taqir.

Wife points at me as says, “He has worn the same low cut, white Nike’s his whole life.”

I respond that actually over the last 40 years I have had 4 pairs of low cut, white Nike’s.

I asked the boys how long a pair of ALL LEATHER white Nike’s should last?

“10 years at least,” was the answer.

“But it’s all the same looking shoe. When do they go out of style?” says wife.

The boys looked at each other.

Looked back at my wife.

And responded together.

“White, Low Cut, All Leather Nike’s go out of Style?”


1.30.2020 – more flexible

more flexible
deterrent option

Double U, Seventy Six.

W76-2 to be more precise.

What is the W76-2 you ask?

It is our latest nuclear bomb.

It just shipped out on US Submarines from Kings Bay Naval base at the North River in southeastern Georgia.

It’s production was ordered from the White House in 2018.

According to the Guardian,

The US has deployed its first low-yield Trident nuclear warhead on a submarine that is currently patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, it has been reported, in what arms control advocates warn is a dangerous step towards making a nuclear launch more likely.

Advocates of W76-2 argued that the US had no effective deterrent against Russian tactical weapons because Moscow assumed Washington would not risk using the overwhelming power of its intercontinental ballistic missiles in response, for fear of escalating from a regional conflict to a civilian-destroying war.

Deployment of new US nuclear warhead on submarine a dangerous step, critics sayJulian Borger, Wed 29 Jan 2020.

This is what worries me most about Trump-mania.

When the news focuses almost on the President and what he SAYS, who is paying attention to what he does?

In the last 2 years, the decision was made that the US needed a newer SMALLER Nuclear Bomb.

A bomb SMALLER than the ones dropped on Japan in 1945.

A bomb small enough that if dropped on the US Capitol Building would destroy the building but not even cause windows to break at the White House.

Maybe that is what appealed to the President.

A comparison of how Washington, D.C. might be impacted by the detonation of, from left to right, a W88, a W76-1, and a W76-2, as a generic example, according to NUKEMAP’s models. The gray outer circle is the maximum extent of light damage, such as broken windows. The yellow circle, clearly visible in the cases of the W88 and W76-1, is the extent of thermal raditation, which can cause third degree burns. The other colored bands cover more extensive damage and the spread of radiation, as well as the immediate fireball, outlined in red.

(Above from Navy Missile Sub Has Begun Its First Patrol Armed With Controversial Low Yield Nukesauthor: joe@thedrive.com)

The bomb went into production.

The bomb went into deployment.

Did anyone notice?

I did not notice.

I like to think I follow such things.

I accept the policy of Mutual assured destruction (MAD).

I accept the idea that these bombs are here, both sides have them and that’s that.

I am reminded of Carl Sagan on Nuclear War when he said, “The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”

Now the US has the W76-2.

Still waist deep in the gasoline.

But smaller matches.

1.29.2020 – man on the beach said

man on the beach said,
try the other side of the boat.
bread, fish on the fire



Ugly words.

Waste and frustration.

Driving fast down the wrong road.

Fishing all night and nothing to show for it.

Peter the Apostle and his buddies went fishing one night.

Went fishing and caught nothing.

Tired, frustrated, most likely a little bit cross with life, hauled in their nets and headed for shore as the sun came up.

Far on the shore a man waved and caught their attention.

How is the fishing? the man on the beach yelled.

Peter might have shook his head slowly or held out his hands, palms up to show their were empty.

“Try the other side of the boat?” yelled the man.

I have often wondered just what Peter thought at this moment.


Maybe not.

Maybe if the man on the beach is Jesus and he is yelling advice, even if you aren’t sure at that time the man is Jesus, something about the man makes you less likely to question the advice.

So Peter tells his friends they are going to try one more time.

I am sure Tom, Nate, John and Jim and the other two guys were thrilled.

And on the other side of the boat, the net comes up filled with fish.

Peter and his friends drag their nets full of fish onto the beach and find the man there with bread and fish already on a beach fire.

Lots of lessons might be drawn from this story.

Lessons like the answer to problems may be closer than you think.

Try to look at your problems from a different angle.

Turn to the man on the beach for direction and advice with problems.

I like the end of the story.

On the beach, breakfast was ready.

Regardless of how the night of fishing went.

Regardless of whether or not the fisherman took the advice of the man on the beach.

Regardless of whether or not there were any fish on the other side of the boat.

Breakfast was ready.

Ready and waiting.

1.28.2020 – Edge of the abyss.

Edge of the abyss.
Fall in? Fall out? Fall Over?
I know where I am!

A physicist is pulled over for speeding.

“Do you know how fast you were going?” says the cop.

“No,” says the physicist, “but I know where I am.”

A good example of why there is a lack of science humor despite the success of the Big Bang Theory TV show.

An interesting show that ran out of wit in season 2 and added girlfriends and 2 and a half men punch lines.

I am not sure how long could the show could have lasted on just jokes about physics but I digress.

I took the trash out last night and looked up at the moon.

Sky was clear for the first time in a long time.

Moon was a brilliant Waxing Crescent with Venus shining, BLAZING in the sky close by.

I went inside and to get my grand daughter and carried her out in her bare feet to see the show.

I miss Orion down here in the south.

As a kid in Michigan, going out sledding on cold nights in January, Orion filled the sky.

Looking at stars I get nervous that I am standing on the surface of this planet and there is nothing between my head and the moon.

Nothing between my head and Venus.

Nothing between my head and the starts.

The moon is about 238,855 miles away.

Venus is 162 million miles away.

Stars I don’t want to think about.

Thinking this way makes me feel … small.

I remember that film we all watched back along the way somewhere.

So pleases to learn that THAT film is available.

Why am I not surprised that it was created by the Film Board of Canada.

If you haven’t seen it, from a kid rowing in a park a camera zooms away deep into space.

Then the camera stops zooming out and zooms back in and disappears into the cells and atoms of the kid.

It is available on YouTube.

The concept is also made plain in Horton Hear’s a Who by Doc Suess.

You remember, “BOIL THAT DUST SPECK!”

Watching Cosmic Zoom, looking at the moon, who is to say Suess isn’t right?

How does all this fit?

I am reminded of Uncle Albert Einstein’s, “My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.”

How much of what Uncle Albert ever said was what Uncle Albert really thought.

Is something valuable because of who said it?

Or is the value in the thought expressed?

Humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit.

The little we can comprehend.

Little is the word.

Standing on the surface of this planet.

Out under the moon and planets.

I know where I am.

1.27.2020 – Wonderful new word!

Wonderful new word!
Soppressatta! At same time,
new pizza topping

Our youngest son has been auditioning for various summer dance programs.

All the auditions so far have been at the Atlanta Ballet studio in West Midtown, Atlanta.

The prize in this box of Cracker Jack is that my wife and I get a couple of hours to be downtown.

Not that we need an excuse to go downtown, but it helps.

Yesterday we went out for a late lunch.

We had stopped in at this spot for a cup of coffee last week and decided to go back and try the food.

The menu was filled with new words.

New words that I guessed were also new names for old foods much like Patagonian toothfish shows up on menus as Chilean Sea Bass.

Words like Muhammara, Chorizo, Guanciale and Boerewors.*

Yeah sure.

Like the old coach in the movie, The Natural, says to Robert Redford when they go out for Italian food, “You can’t pronounce it but it sure does eat good.”

One word stuck me.



Pronouced sop·pres·sa·ta, we had to ask the server what it was.

She smiles and says, ‘Its a fancy Italian sausage, like pepperoni.”

Sounded okay.

The pizza came with tomatoes, big leaves of basil and these paper thin, silver dollar sized slices of what I guessed was the Soppressatta.

Tasted great.

Just like soppressatta was supposed to taste.

At least to me it did.

In a way it was like the stories about the Connoisseur who samples a 200 year old bottle of supposed fine wine.

The Connoisseur  pronounces the wine as excellent but then not too many, if any people KNOW what a 200 year old bottle of fine wine is SUPPOSED to taste like.

I enjoyed the soppressatta.

I loved the word.


“So PRESS at ta”, I said out loud.

“So PRESS a ta Don Corleone”, I said out loud until my wife told me to shut up.

I had to get out the Google.

Ever have one of those moments where maybe you really did not want to know?

The Google reported that soppressatta is an Italian pressed sausage made with Pig’s head, tongue, belly and stomach.

I left it there.

I did not ask the server about the origins of their soppressatta.

When I thought about it for a bit I decided, so what?

It tasted great.

This place proclaims …

To the mindful, to the curious
to the brilliantly flawed.
To those seeking comfort, respite,
splendor, and sustenance…
The Bold Monk welcomes you.

Quite a statement for a restaurant.

If you decide to eat in a restaurant that makes such a statement, don’t ask what it is in the sausage.

Just eat it.

Seek the comfort.

Seek the respite.

Enjoy it when you find it.

*Muhammara – a thick pomegranate syrup, can be found at Middle Eastern markets
Chorizo – mixture of chopped pork meat, pork fat, salt, whole pepper grains, cinnamon, achiote
Guanciale – an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks
Boerewors– coarsely minced beef and spices

1.26.2020 – You can’t get that back

You can’t get that back
You don’t get a do-over
You get that one shot

In the valley of decision.

Speeding down the middle of the valley

I will turn 60 years old this year on my birthday in July.

It is like a billboard across that freeway in the valley of decision.

Coming up fast.

And written on it is:

you can’t get that back
You don’t get a do-over
You get that one shot

Much is going to change this year.

I can worry about all the changes all I want.

Worry is free.

What I want is to be worry free.

I try to hang my hat on what Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I can do pretty good during the day.

But it is at night.

At night in bed when all and everything piles up like a jenga tower in my brain, just waiting to tip as soon as I make the wrong decision and pull out the wrong block.

And it all comes tumbling down.

Who could sleep with that on their mind.

Today’s Haiku comes from a story about one-time Detroit Lions General Manager, Martin Mayhew. (Ex-Lions GM Martin Mayhew knows he blew it: ‘I wish I would have taken Aaron Donald’)

Talking about decisions he made as the Lion’s GM, Mayhew said, ““It’s like anything else in this game,” Mayhew said. “If you’re the defensive coordinator and you call a blitz at the wrong time and you give that touchdown up and lose the game, you can’t get that back. You don’t get a do-over. You get one shot. If you’re the corner and you get beat for the winning touchdown, you got to live with that (and learn from it). If you’re the quarterback and you throw a pick-six in the fourth quarter with an opportunity to win it, you got to live with that.”

My decisions are not made in the public eye like Mr. Mayhew’s decisions.

But my decisions can impact a lot of people.

People I love.

I think I have more pressure on me than Mr. Mayhew.

I get one shot.

I do not get a do over.

I get that.

I can live with that.

As someone who has accepted the gift of grace through Jesus Christ, I can die with that.

I just wish I could sleep with that.

1.25.2020 – Saturday Morning

Saturday Morning
someone set alarm last night
Need big bounce today

My Saturday started at the weekday time of 5:15AM because SOMEONE set the alarm on my bedside clock last night.

Half awake, less than half asleep I grappled with consciousness to get close enough to the surface to understand what was going on and I swatted at the clock and the alarm stopped.

I whispered a sorry to my wife.

Then tried to swim back under the surface of sleep.

The alarm went off again five minutes later.

I had hit the snooze button.

I hit the snooze button so hard I knocked the clock off of the beside table to the floor behind the bed.

Now the alarm was really going.

Growing louder and more shrill.

Out of bed and on the floor, searching for the clock, saying words my Mother never taught me, I finally got the alarm off.

But boy, was I awake.

I apologized again to my wife and got back in bed.

Bemoaning the awful truth that my Saturday lie in was over.

My thoughts turned to coffee.

Coffee and breakfast.

We had Korean Chicken take out last night.

Unexpectedly I really enjoyed the pickled radishes.

There were leftovers in the fridge.

Sometimes a cold piece of chicken with my coffee is just what I want for breakfast.

At this moment, I could smell the coffee and taste the spicy chicken.

I slid out bed and went downstairs.

There was my Son.

There was my Son surrounded by the plastic containers that I had used to pack up the leftover chicken the night before.

The empty containers.

Bit my lip and made coffee.

Soon I was sitting down with a big mug of blessedness with my iPad, I set out to enjoy what I could of my morning.

My son called out, “I have to be at dance early this morning. I told Mom.”

No one told me.

We would be leaving in about 10 minutes.

So much for a quiet coffee time.

What was left of my Saturday Morning was now a black cloud over my head.

I looked like that emoji of the face with the head exploding.

I needed a bounce this morning.

I would need a BIG bounce.

Dressed and in the car, I was negotiating with Saturday Morning traffic on I85.

I connected my phone to the car radio and Siri told me that music playing, all songs, shuffled.

First up this morning was Someone to Love by Queen.

I grew up with Queen.

Not that I really noticed.

I wouldn’t call Queen the soundtrack of my life.

But they were always there playing in the background.

Recently watched the movie Bohemian Rhapsody and I was struck but how many of their songs I knew.

And knew well enough to sing along with.

And if you know Queen, it is music you sing along with at the top of your longs.

It was good music.

It was music that made you feel good.

At this moment of my life, it was possibly the best song I could have heard, of ALL songs, to get a bounce to my day.

A BIG bounce.

I laughed a lot as I listened.

It is a good song.

It is a song that makes you feel good.

The trip to the dance studio went by quickly.

I pulled into the driveway as the song came to an end.

I came to a stop and my son got out.

He paused with the door open and looked at me.

“Did you have to play that SO LOUD?”

1.24.2020 – morning traffic woes

morning traffic woes
plenty of warnings, had to
see it for myself

The TV station where I work puts a lot of effort into their traffic reports.

All the local media invest heavily in traffic reporting.

Traffic problems consistently rank as the one universal issue that interest all voters in the Atlanta area.

I myself get traffic alert emails every day, through out the day.

I have two traffic apps on my handheld device.

This morning, like most mornings, I ignored all it.

Backed out of the garage and made sure my iPhone was on and connected to the car’s audio system so I could listen to an audio book.

I made my way over rainy streets to get to my entrance to i85 and the drive downtown.

At one point, I drive on a back road that parallels the freeway.

Through the leafless trees I noticed something odd.

The freeway was empty.

At 6AM this wasn’t, well, impossible but highly unlikely that no one else was out driving.

Further along the road I could make out the bridge and intersection where my entrance ramp was located.

Rarely had I seen so many flashing blue lights.

“This is not good,” I said to myself.

But maybe this is all just to the north of my entrance, I thought.

Maybe I can still get on the freeway.

I turned on to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

Just ahead, cop cars lined the overpass and the entrance to I85 was blocked off.



I continued down Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and switched the radio on in time to hear, “RED ALERT in GWINNETT COUNTY. I85 at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road completely closed for an investigation of an accident …”

I switched off the radio and made a quick assessment of my situation.

Made a u turn and back tracked across the overpass.

I headed for the next freeway interchange at Old Peachtree and was on my way downtown without much more than a brief hiccup to my commute.

In fact, once on the freeway, with all the traffic north of me cut off, I had a very easy, if rainy drive.

I was shocked to see evidence that most of the morning traffic that I have to contend with on I85 seems to come from places further away from Atlanta than I am.

What could have been a commuting nightmare did not happen.

I am convinced that no app would have recommended I make the turn that I made.

Traffic for me, in that wonderful phrase that is the motto of traffic down here, was able to “KEEP MOVING.”

I had all the traffic tools available to me.

I had all the traffic warnings available to me.

I didn’t make use of any of them.

Here is the point.

Had I watched TV.

Had I listened to the Radio.

Had I read my emails.

Had I checked my apps.

I would still have made the same drive to my usual freeway entrance.

I would still have had to see the problem for myself.

It isn’t that I don’t believe the reporting.

But maybe, I just don’t trust it.

The reporting is, “passionate, but does not persuade,” to quote the Emperor in Amadeus.

I have had as many success stories using traffic tools as stories where I end up saying, WHY DID THEY DIRECT ME THERE?

As most of my issues with traffic are anxiety related, just knowing there are problems and why there are problems is the information I need.

Once I get going, I will let traffic do its worst.

And I will do my best.

1.23.2020 – one haiku a day

one haiku a day
three hundred sixty five days
keeps doctor away

WordPress says I have made 365 posts to my blog, No Haiku for You.

When this started, I had no idea I would keep at for a year.

I had no idea how much I would come to enjoy it.

Even look forward to it.

It is how I start my day.

It is how I go through my day.

Ask my wife how many times I hear a phrase or comment and say ‘There is a haiku there.”

I carry a notebook to write these thoughts down.

As I read, I take note of words, combinations of words, use of language and the odd old quote.

Words that show that, “Words of the world are the life of the world,” as I quoted Brendan Gill on Wallace Stevens.

I reproduce, rewrite, repurpose those words and thoughts in 17 syllables.

Are they real Haiku?

Do they follow the rules of Haiku?

Can the rules of Haiku be adhered to using the English Language?

Well, you have me there.

I don’t know.

Seems like I was taught somewhere back in grade school that a haiku was a 5 – 7 – 5 syllable expression of thoughts and that is good enough for me.

If someone reads or comments on my thoughts so much the better.

It has been therapeutic for me regardless.

My psychiatrist.

My confessional.

My outlet.

So there you are.

1.22.2020 – injured innocence

injured innocence
element of genuine




When was compassion removed from this world?

In the Holiday classic, a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown expresses his feelings over the list of requested items in his little sister’s letter to Santa.

In response, Sally Brown, the little sister, exclaims with injured innocence and an element of genuine incomprehension, “All I want is what I … I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.”

Left unsaid is, “What’s wrong with that?”

Watching the news.

Reading the papers.

Surfing online and seeing intolerance.

Not on your life.

Don’t tread on me!

So many stories and viewpoints are easier to understand when I realize the people in the stories and with the viewpoints are stating their opinions with injured innocence and an element of genuine incomprehension.

Their look, their words, even their posture, says that all they want is their fair share.

What’s wrong with that?

All they may want is their fair share.

But something tells me.

Maybe it’s something I hope.

Maybe it’s something I fear for them.

Maybe it’s something I fear for myself.

I am in that boat with all the people I read about.

And I fear, that they, and I, will get what is coming to us.