Haiku 2014

Well, it looks like 2014 was a year of haiku for me. Seems I wrote a few of them. But not your "modern-day, wait for a haiku moment" kindof haikus.

My haiku were more the traditional, 5-7-5, down-home, boots in dirt, hard-working, get up and do your chores, have a big breakfast, don't step on the cats, sometimes political, yes I'm a democrat, go to work, come home, fix dinner, watch Doctor Who, read a book then go to bed kindof haiku.

Starting with the early ones I wrote in 2014 to the present, here's the ones I liked the best:

Thick morning fog sits
like fearless desperadoes
waiting for a train.

*  *  *

What a wild finish.
Dallas, Aily, Jeff scratches.
The Iditarod

*  *  *

These tomato plants
better survive 'til summer
cookouts call their name.

*  *  *

Early-morning fog.
I-20 to Abilene
playing hide and seek.

*  *  *

This April sunshine
warms up my neck real nice like
April sunshine should.

*  *  *

Fancy boots don't scoot
through Texas dirt like old ones
baptized in hard work.

*  *  *

I've been to LA
once was one time too many.
Texas suits me fine.

*  *  *

I sweat wind and dust.
The Brazos flows through my veins.
My soul sings Texas.

*  *  *

Those damn mosquitoes
always cruising the main drag
looking for free drinks.

*  *  *

I ain't no greenhorn
waitin' for daylight to break.
There's work to be done.

*  *  *

That first cup of Joe
tastes like Columbian sex.
Smooth, dark and steamy.

*  *  *

It's been a whole year.
I still see her standing on
a hot summer night.

*  *  *

A pen in one hand,
a ballot in the other,
my voice loud and clear.

*  *  *

Autumn's steady rain
Fall seeps into everything;
Winter boots stand by.

*  *  *

Last day November
kicks up windy ruckus 
of leaves, and is done.

*  *  *

Cattle in the mist
restless shapes and dark shadows
appear, dissappear.

*  *  *

Rainy-day Thursday
like Dorothy on aged vinyl,
Misty Blue in D.

*  *  *

Three cats on a couch
staring at the Christmas tree
making their cat plans.

*  *  *

Fam'ly buried in
wrapping paper avalanche
not found, at present.

*  *  *

December twilight
breeze whispers to clinging leaves,
"Let go. I'll catch you."

*  *  *

Cold night for frost breath
like steam locomotives at
snow-covered stations.

*  *  *

Got resolutions?
I prefer mine short and sweet:
Talk less, listen more.

*  *  *

Well, that was at least most of them,
and certainly more than enough to put here.
So, here's wishing to you a happy and wonderful,
Happy New Year.

(Gosh, that was lame!)

Christmas Tree Photo Tip

If your Christmas Tree photos are gonna be blurry anyway, you might as well go all out.

O Christmas Tree

The only things my local newspaper lacks...

... are well-written stories and great photographs. The ads, as far as I can tell, look very professional.

O Tannenbaum My Tumbleweed

I wouldn't mind having a tumbleweed for a Christmas Tree, but every year my family says no. Not just a plain no, but a STRONG no.

Well, they can't say no to me writing songs:

"O Christmas Tumbleweed, O Christmas Tumbleweed,
your dried-up twigs are okie-doke.

O Christmas Tumbleweed, O Christmas Tumbleweed,
your dried-up twigs are okie-doke.

We rolled you in without a doubt,
when Christmas's done we'll roll you out.

O Christmas Tumbleweed, O Christmas Tumbleweed,
your dried-up twigs are okie-doke."

Survival tip for those who enjoy riding a motorcycle throughout the winter

Winter Motorcycling Advice You --

Thermal underwear,
wool socks,
riding boots,
rain pants,
snow pants,
leather jacket,
rain jacket,
glove inserts,
snow machine mittens,

-- Frostbite

Life after Black Friday

I didn't buy a single item the day after Thanksgiving. And the only thing I bought on Thanksgiving Day were two bags of ice from the corner gas station near my parent's house, solely because their ice maker wasn't working and they hadn't thought about buying ice trays.

The day AFTER Black Friday (Golden Saturday in my opinion), I went to the grocery store and bought food for the next week because I knew the Thanksgiving leftovers wouldn't last forever, but I only bought groceries -- no TVs or DVDs or charcoal grills or all other types of nonsense that "the prices are so good you just HAVE to buy them."

Isn't it amazing how we go shopping crazy over stuff we really don't need?

Isn't it amazing that every year we fall for the "Black Friday" con-job retailers subject us to.

Isn't it amazing we aren't smart enough to stand up and say "enough is enough."

And when I say WE, I really mean YOU, 'cause I don't do Black Friday. I'd rather pay $100 extra on Saturday than battle through Black Friday crowds on Friday.

So what is life like for me after Black Friday?

The same as before: Trying to make the perfect guacamole, the most delicious banana nut bread, practicing guitar, reading good books, mowing the lawn as little as possible, and riding my motorcycle as far as I can.

Me and 34

That cold weather hits and the only thing you need is a blanket, a fire, warm socks and hot coffee. But that's not what you end up with.

Leather, helmet, mittens, ski pants and 17 miles to work on two wheels is what greeted me this morning. Like it has for the past 10 winters. No heated gloves. No windshield. No electric vest. No avoiding it. No denying it. It's cold.

I was going to say I wouldn't have it any other way, but that's a lie. Sometimes a warm car is mighty enticing.

But that's not my life.

Today I ride.

When I grow up I want to be ...

Sometimes I can’t make up my mind who I really want to be.

My wife, of course, would prefer me to hurry up and make a decision because the garbage is piling up in the kitchen and she’s got this “take out the trash now or I’ll break your kneecaps” kind of look.

It’s not that she’s violent or anything, but women do hate to wade through garbage bags just to get to the coffee maker.

Now if I were Captain America, things would be different. Tall, buff, handsome, saving the day for the good of the country. I could so live with that. All I’d need to do is exercise a bit, take a few martial arts/kick boxing lessons, eat plenty of roughage, grow about 12 inches and have cosmetic surgery.

On second thought, cosmetic surgery sounds expensive.

Instead, maybe I can transfigure my personality into Johnny Depp cool, Johnny Depp suave, Johnny Depp urbane. Women would swoon at just the mysteriousness of my smile. I could live with that. All I’d need to do is exercise a bit, learn to talk low and slow, get some tattoos, grow out my hair and have a little plastic surgery done by some Hollywood “Surgeon to the Stars.”

Except I might have a problem with the “growing out my hair” part. I’m good at losing hair. Growing it, not so much.

Well, forget Captain America, forget Johnny Depp. I think I could be a spy. A good old fashioned, James Bond, always undercover superspy, never showing my face to the enemy, thus precluding the need to grow hair or indulge in plastic surgery unless my cover is blown, but since the government is paying for it, what the heck?

I’m not sure what it would take for me to become a superspy, but I’d probably have to exercise a bit, become a master of all kinds of weapons, and learn to control myself in the face of obvious female seduction. Unless being seduced is a part of the mission, then I could live with that.

Until my wife found out. Then I’d die a horrible death. Buried under mounds of garbage that is piled high in the kitchen because I forgot to take it out.

Nobody would ever find my body.

She’s thorough like that.


... comes, mingles, dances for awhile, then takes a cab to Lou's All-Night Diner to smoke Marlboros and laugh at bad jokes.

Canine Companionship

I've been reading some poetry by Ogden Nash and really like the way he sometimes didn't write in a strict meter. So, I thought I'd give it a try:

Canine Companionship

They say a man's best friend is a little bitty doggy
that barks at him, whines, licks the newspaper until it's downright soggy,
where you can't read the obits, the comics or even the sports
which would put me dearly, not merely, but quite clearly out of sorts.

A dog requires a leash, a collar, a bone, a house of its own, and a ball,
and to be walked halfway around the planet, but the gall of it all
is that he demands to be rubbed every night on his tummy;
which to me, if he's supposed to be my best friend,
                         sounds a little bit too chummy.

I had a best friend once, and he never slobbered on me (that I knew),
and if I had tried to put a collar on him, and walk him, he'd beat me
                       until I was entirely black and blue.
He never begged for special treats or chased cars that were just passing by,
and he never barked at little old ladies, or young ones. He was kind of shy.

No, a dog is not my best friend, and never will one be.
I'd rather have a goat or two, maybe a llama, a ferret, a hamster,
                 or some fish from down under the sea.
A raccoon would be fun to have, or maybe a vampire bat.
But I'll never befriend a dog, or for that matter ... a stinkin' cat.

My mother and father...

... are saints for having me and for not selling me to gypsies when they had a chance.

My kind of poem

I am no poet.

A poet is somebody who delves deeply within their psyche and writes about universal thoughts and emotions that may or may not strike a nerve with their readers, but they don't care if it does or doesn't because they're writing only for themselves in the hopes of making sense out of this curious thing we call life.

I don't delve into my psyche. It's too messy.

My Kind of Poem

I don't mind
reading poetry that don't rhyme
as long as it includes
a motorbike,
or traveling through time.
But I don't much cotton
to rotten poems about
begotten lovers,
or feelings
written in such a way
that makes me want to
puke up
what I ate for breakfast;
puke it up right down
on my freshly mopped floor.
Poems about vomit I can handle.
Poems about emotions I abhor.

Every day's a good day to ride

My wife pert near killed me for taking this photograph, but I assured her I was wearing a helmet.

Every day's a good day to ride.

El Chupacabra

El Chupacabra is legend in Texas, and legends deserve sonnets written about them.
I wrote this sonnet a few years ago, and I think it's time to share it again:

El Chupacabra

Down in Texas there lives an ugly beast
With no hair but fangs as sharp as knife points.
He stalks the back woods for his nightly feasts
Of goat blood and gnawed animal leg joints.
It hunts its prey by the light of the moon,
Keeping to shadows from hedges and barns.
Its spine-chilling howl can make old men swoon,
Like man-eating wolves did in ancient yarns.
Very few have glimpsed the beast on its hunt,
And those who have pray to never again.
For its eyes glow red as the blood it sucks,
Its eyes shake the knees of the bravest men.
Down in Texas where Chupacabra roams,
The locals lock doors, and stay in their homes.

To be honest with you...

... I'm usually not.

I can make it "appear" as if I'm on the top of the world, but we both know I'm not, because neither are you.

And you're trying to create the same illusion as well.

"Howdy, how's it going?"
"Just fine, and you?"
"I'm having a glorious day!"

Rubbish. Hogwash. Lie to me one more time and I'll call you out and we'll stand in the middle of the dirt street and shoot stories at each other.

At high noon, bucko!

We lie because we think nobody really wants to hear our sad tales. Either that or we're too scared of the insecurity that comes with opening ourselves up to another human soul.

And it's embarrassing to admit that not everything is hunky-dory.

Well, here's the truth of it all: We're all broken, we all hurt, and we all need each other if we're going to survive.

So here's what I'm suggesting -- Stop thinking only about YOUR hurts. Think about how to make others feel better.

A smile works wonders.

How about a Howdy every now and then?

Handshakes, pats on the back, hugs, high fives, compliments.

They all work miracles and cost so very little.

(But don't try to kiss someone. They may not be as progressive as you.)

And maybe, just maybe, by helping others we'll help ourselves.

At least it's worth a try.

Me and My Shadow

The Shadow
This is the first "artsy" photo I ever took of my Honda Shadow, way back in 2010 -- and it's still my favorite.

I let the cats cry...

... for a second or two before I jump up to feed them because I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

My Friends Are Crusty

I wrote this poem way back in 2010. So I was sitting around the house one day, not really doing much, when all of a sudden I thought, "My friends are crusty."

I have no idea where the thought came from, but I wrote it down because I just KNEW I could make good use of it one day. Once I finished the poem, I went looking for the perfect photo to go with it.

And here it is:

My Friends Are Crusty

My friends are crusty, hardheaded and proud.
They wear leather jackets and ride really loud
motorcycles, but sometimes they thumb for a ride.
My friends, they take it in stride.

My friends wear moustaches, beards and goatees.
They have more tattoos than you ever did see
but you won’t, ‘cause they share them with only their crew.
My friends, they know what to do.

My friends don’t care if you like them or not.
They do what they want and they don’t give a snot
what you think, so it’s best if you don’t criticize.
My friends could lick out your eyes.

So if you want my friends to be your friends, too,
you should be respectful, kindhearted and then you
could pay for the kibble, next time they’re in town.
That’s what keeps my friends around.

biker dogs by istolethetv, on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Istolethetv on Flickr

I Am a Biker-Man

Just a short little biker poem to while away the time.

Of course I rode my bike today.
I ride it almost every day.
I ride it in the heat and cold,
through pouring rain and falling snow.
I ride it Summer, Spring and Fall,
through Wintertime, but most of all
I ride it just because I can.
I am a Biker-Man.

Robin Williams

I'm sad that Robin Williams is dead.

I don't understand why he gave up.

I realize he had more than his share of demons to fight, but you NEVER give up. Not at 63. Not at ANY age.

You live to make life better for those around you.

You live to make the universe just a little bit brighter.

You live to fight another day.

And that's what I don't understand.

He just gave up.

I'm sad that Robin Williams is dead.

I'm grateful he was here at all.

Hey, I wrote a book!

It's been six years since I wrote "Never Trust a Goat."

So, not having much to do the other day, I thought I'd put together a new one.

It's called "Porch Poems."

It's just a little thing. A few of my better poems, put together in a fashion that sortof resembles a poetry book, uploaded to an e-publishing site to sit there and rest until YOU go and download it and come to the conclusion, "He calls this a book? Shoot, I could've written something just like it, but better."

And it isn't angst-filled poetry, either.

It's fun poetry. Poetry you don't have to think hard about.

Poetry that's just right for reading on the porch.

Whereas the Goat book was free, "Porch Poems" is gonna cost ya.

Ninety-nine cents.

Heck, that's a little less than what a cherry limeade costs.

And once you're finished drinking it, it's gone for good.

Until you have to wee.

Download "Porch Poems" for a wee .99 cents, and you can keep it forever.

Cowboy Haiku

Cowboy haiku ain't like city folk haiku. Its old 5-7-5 face is weathered and worn by long days, hard work, dust and sweat.

Those damn mosquitoes,
always cruising the main drag
looking for free drinks.

I sweat wind and dust.
The Brazos flows through my veins.
My soul sings Texas.

Bacon. Bacon is.
Bacon is muy rico.
Bacon is. Bacon.

Biscuits and gravy,
sausages, bacon, coffee.
My Breakfast Dream Team.

I've been to LA
once was one time too many.
Texas suits me fine.

Never eat a big breakfast before doing your chores

I had a big breakfast.

Bacon. Eggs. Orange juice. A biscuit with honey. Coffee.

I was going to do my chores BEFORE having my big breakfast, but the bacon seductively called my name, begging to be fried, and the eggs seductively called my name, not wanting to be outdone by the bacon, and the orange juice licked its lips at me, in a mildly obscene way, and the honey winked at me from the top shelf, not wanting to be just left on the top shelf -- and I didn't stand a chance.

So I fried up that bacon.

Fried up those eggs.

Poured that orange juice.

Dribbled that honey on a leftover biscuit (which might sound disgusting, a leftover biscuit, but smothered in honey it was quite nice).

Washed it all down with that tall cup of coffee.

And spent the rest of the morning on the couch, trying to force my way outside to do my chores, but giving in to a mid-morning nap. And now I'm trying to convince myself I'll get something done this afternoon, after lunch.

It doesn't look promising.

My DFW photo safari

It doesn't take a whole lot of money to go on a photo safari.

And you don't have to venture into the wilds of Africa to do it, either.

All it takes is a camera, a destination, a bit of patience, and some Coke money (You get awfully thirsty out there in the almost-wilderness).

Sometimes I just sit on the porch and let the "wildlife" (bugs, birds and whatnot) come to me, but this past week, the family and I ventured west to Dallas and Ft. Worth looking for a close-to-home vacation, and I came back with some decent photographs.

Well, at least I think so.

"58" at the Dallas Museum of Art. Don't exactly know what it represents, but it sure was interesting.

58 at the DMA

Bumble Bee at the Trinity River Audubon Center. We'll be heading back when it's cooler because there's lots of trails left to explore.

At the Trinity River Audubon Center

Macaws at the Ft. Worth Zoo. I've never seen a sad-looking macaw. Have you?

A Day at the Zoo

"Looking For My Zen" at the Ft. Worth Japanese Gardens. If you've lost your zen, you can no doubt find it here.

Fort Worth Zen

And "Girl Walking Through Garden" also at the Japanese Gardens. It's amazing what a little Photoshop can do.

Girl In Garden

And there you have it.

Maybe YOU need to go on a photo safari!

It'll do you good.

Hiking the Gila Wilderness

My daughter and I recently backpacked The Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. It was with a group of people, we actually didn't hike very far, but I can't get hiking and backpacking and camping and pooping in the woods out of my mind.

.Hiking The Gila with Becky

Ever since we've gotten back, I've been reading about hiking, devouring info on lighter gear and the best way to purify water, counting how much money I'd have to save up to buy all the stuff I've been going gaga over, getting depressed because I'll never be able to save up that much, reading journals, blogs, tweets -- you name it. I've been hyper-focused on it and I don't know if I can control it.

I just want to hike some more.

Not just around the neighborhood you understand, but Arkansas, back to New Mexico, Colorado, Big Bend National Park, the PCT, CDT and the AT.

Hey, why not across Canada? Or maybe throughout Europe? Not just a weekend of hiking, but a lifetime of hiking.

Yes, I've been bitten by the bug, but good!

Happy Anniversary

It's hard to believe we've been married 37 years. Thirty-seven years of...

No, wait, it's only been 29. That's right, today it's been 29 years of married bliss to my beautiful wife Sharon.

No, wait, I mean Suzette.

Holy cow, I meant Susan. That's right, 29 years of bliss with Susan.

Well, maybe not exactly bliss.

Sometimes bliss. Sometimes, not so bliss.

What is bliss anyway? Say it enough times and it sounds like a French cheese.

Sharon, I mean Susan, loves French cheese.

No, wait a minute, she can't eat French cheese.

She likes the French language, but has a terrible accent.

French/Texan accent.

But I don't laugh at it because after 29 years you know what you can and shouldn't laugh at, and you know when to duck when you screw it up.

I'm proficient at ducking. I screw up a lot.

Oh well, Susan, it's been a wonderful ride. Roller Coaster ride, but a wonderful ride all the same.

It is "Susan", right?

There once was a poem here...

... but after rereading it several times, I came to the conclusion that it was nothing but rubbish and sent it off to the rubbish pile.

Well, it's still here, somewhere in the deep background, and that is where it will stay for the time being.

Some of my poetry I actually like.

That wasn't one of them.

Don't worry, you're not missing much.

Have a nice day.

Vintage Steve Martin

I really enjoyed Steve Martin as a comedian and movie star, but I like him even more as the world-class musician he has become.

His banjo playing is a joy to watch and listen to, he's still as funny as ever (I think even funnier), and he talks so passionately about the banjo, it's history, and other players, that it's hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. Sometimes it's hard to imagine he was once that wild and crazy guy with a fake arrow sticking through his head.

Vintage Steve Martin

I Photoshopped Wil Wheaton, again.

Photoshopping Wil Wheaton is like using an addictive drug you just can't live without. I see rehab in my future.

Photoshop Wil Wheaton, No. 3

Training for the Gila Wilderness

It won't be long now until my daughter and I will be knee deep in the Gila Wilderness. Backpacking, hiking, camping, pooping in the woods. Yeah, we're up for this.

But you gotta train in order to survive.

She's in pretty good shape. Out running most days, yoga, eating right.

I'm more of a backpacking disaster waiting to happen.

I run the air conditioner, lounge on the couch, and eat way left (the absolute opposite of right).

But I'm training. So I think I'll make it.

Luckily, my daughter knows CPR.

I Photoshopped Wil Wheaton, Again

Sometimes you just want to go with the flow, amuse yourself, try something new, give Wil "The Black Spot" and see how he handles it.

Photoshop Wil Wheaton, No. 2

 Gee, I hope he'll be alright!

More than just a cartoon cowboy

It's been almost a year since I started my @TheTexasHoss alternate ego over there on that Twitter thing. A year of country-isms, sweet tea, Texas politics and poetry.

And photography.

And maybe some stupid jokes.

Almost a year.

Texas Hoss is solely meant to be a cartoon characterization of how I feel about certain topics that, if expressed with my neighbors, could get me strung up and labeled a good-for-nothing Yankee bluecoat who has no business living outside of the north, or Austin.

It got me an interview with Wendy Davis! That was pretty cool.

I got followed by Lyle Lovett! Damn cool!

And I've become acquainted with a lot of very nice folk.

I just thought, for my Internet friends, it'd be nice if I stepped out of the shadows for awhile and said Howdy.

Nothing should really change with The Hoss, except for maybe more of an eclectic range of tweets, but I really don't think y'all will mind.

More than likely, nobody will even notice.

Family Portrait
These people kind of like me.

I Photoshopped Wil Wheaton

It's a little game he plays.

He sends out a photograph of himself and gives you a chance to Photoshop it into something humorous. If he likes it, he re-tweets it and you get your 15 minutes of heart palpitations because, "Oh My God, Wil Wheaton thought my stuff was F-U-N-N-Y!"

Wil is an actor, writer, producer, gamer, beer drinker, all-around geeky nice guy on the Internet.

Here's my photo:

Photoshop Wil Wheaton, No. 1

Well, Wil didn't pick mine to re-tweet.

No heart palpitations this time.

But that's okay.

Tomorrow's another day!

Disaster averted

It's Sunday, and I almost lost The Farr Place.

Something about billing, couldn't access my account, auto-renewal, "we're sorry, but you have 19 days to respond or you're REALLY gonna lose everything you've done for the past six years, and have a nice day."

But, that's in the past.

I got in.

Paid my way.

Saved the day.

I need a drink.

It's a new year, again?

It's funny how time slips by.

One minute you're knee deep in yard work, and the next they're building high-rise apartments across the street.

Well, not MY street. But somewhere, I'm sure.


Ya kinda snuck up on me.

I won't hold it agin ya.