Archives – September, 2005

Odious . . . (AKA Ode Reload)

Let it be knowed, no one may freeload uponst my ode, caustic words cannot corrode, witty emails will not erode.

Why? Because I liked my ode! I glowed as I strode from my abode, never mellowed or sorrowed by anonymous ode goads.

Continue Leave a Comment September 29, 2005

Ode to Waffle House (and a discussion of odes in general)

I was stranded off I-77, one of those lonely crossroads where the interstate crosses a somewhat more prominent county two lane. A very common thing outside the northeast.

I was about two miles out if town, and not much of a town at that, Statesville, North Carolina population 23,846. The only things there were a couple of budget motels, a GMC Truck dealership and a Waffle House.

I love Waffle House, it’s one of my foremost guilty pleasures! Anytime I travel in the south, I have my eyes peeled for that bright yellow sign. It’s the first place heading south from Philly where you can get real, non-instant grits, and where else can you get Steak & Eggs with juice and coffee for a measly six bucks?

MMMMM Steak & Eggs.

Most Waffle Houses (Waffle Housi) have personality, but the one in Statesville was oozing with the stuff. Open 24 hours, there is always at least one customer who knows everyone in the place, and who loudly converses with all of them, often about matters best kept private. There was a sign with a .357 Magnum circled in red with a line through it, I guess it’s the international anti-domestic violence symbol.

Bradford the Manager who was usually the waiter and/or the cook was there every time I came in, and I went there a lot. I wouldn’t call him a happy fellow, but he was polite enough and seemed resigned to his place as the Waffleman, dispensing waffley wonderfulness to his fellow mountain folk.

When I really like a place or a thing, I say to myself, Self, You should write a poem about this place or thing, but not just any poem, no no, an ode. I believe an ode is the best way to show your affection or fascination with any said place or thing.

Problem is I have no idea what an ode is, so I figured I’d do a little research. OK, very little research.

I illegally downloaded a Bobbi Gentry song from my childhood called An Ode to Billy Joe, hey it’s an ode. It goes something like, La la la When Billy Joe McAlister jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge and what a disturbing piece of childhood nostalgia it was!

I looked up The Tallahatchie Bridge on Google and it was none too impressive, but I digress.

Though my ode research was cut short when Billy Joe McAlister and his bridge jumping depressed the shit out of me, but to me an ode should go something like this:

Ode to Waffle House

O’ Waffle House, O’ Waffle House
How I love thee
Faithfully at every crossroads south of DC
Your grease and your charm fill me with glee
As you old lady waitress fill me with grits and coff-ee

When I’m far from home you are a welcomed site
Oh How your big yellow sign brightens the night
O’ Waffle House, O Waffle House
To you this I say
Shine On, Shine On
Lo’ till judgment day

I should be in a straight jacket.


Leave a Comment September 23, 2005

Are Gas Stations Evil?

Since our girl Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast, gas station owners all over the US, and specifically in Southeastern PA and NJ saw an opportunity to gouge us motorists to the tune of about a buck a gallon.

Of course it’s the same gas in the ground, but that doesn’t matter to the Gas Cabal. I paid $3.23 the day after Katrina hit, and we hadn’t even been hit with the rain from the damn storm yet! A few days later it was $3.42 and then $3.49. Appalling!

As the shock of people trudging through putrid water towards helpless help centers began to wear off, us folks in PA/NJ began to freak out a little about the whole gas thing and someone heard us. Imagine that.

Sometime last week an enterprising politician in Union County NJ decided to give summonses to gas station owners citing some “Anti-Gouging” law passed after 9/11. The idea caught on and by Friday gas station owners realized they had to show up in court with receipts and delivery dates to justify their confiscatory rates.

Today I paid $2.99. Hmm, what happened over the weekend? Maybe it was the New Orleans Saints’ upset over the Carolina Panthers that made these people think, “Maybe it wasn’t so bad down there after all.”

Being a registered Libertarian, I usually distain government intervention, but I liked this result.

The only bad thing is $20.00 worth of gas at $2.99 and 9/10ths equals 6.66 gallons.


Leave a Comment September 12, 2005

I’m going to Hell for this!!

But you have to admit it’s funny!!
(Pic stolen from Jonathan)

Leave a Comment September 10, 2005

Every Likke Bit Helps!

Welcome to New Orleans?

Bottled Water Relief is easy to do!

I don’t know if this is very funny, terribly sad, or madly infuriating?

What a Waste!!

Just in case you need a link:

Project Brotherly Love
Donate at WAWA!
Donate at Amazon
Donate at Red
Donate at the Salvation Army
Craig’s List New Orleans

Leave a Comment September 3, 2005

The City of New Orleans

Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.

All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin’ trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don’t you know me I’m your native son,
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home, we’ll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea.

And all the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain’t heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again,
The passengers will please refrain
This train’s got the disappearing railroad blues.

Just a thought…

Leave a Comment September 2, 2005

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Notes Book Club

Sorted by date

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
All the Light We Cannot See
The Martian
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Full Force and Effect
Understanding Our Mind: 50 Verses on Buddhist Psychology
Starship Troopers
Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible
The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
Winter Moon: A Season of Zen Teachings
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door
Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs
Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Vinny Bogan's favorite books »