Things And/Or Stuff

Home
History
Reading Material
Miscellaneous Fun
Greatest (?) Hits
More Fun (Sort Of)
Contact Me
New Page Title

Welcome to Mike Redmond's home on the Weird Wide Web!

Greetings, Earth People. I'm Mike Redmond. Not the baseball player. Instead of making you guess the rest, I'll just go ahead and tell you who I am and what I do.

  • I'm a newspaper columnist -- formerly the feature columnist for The Indianapolis Star (back when you could call it a newspaper). I bailed out of the place about two years after Gannett bought it, and I still count that as the best decision I ever made. My creditors don't always agree.
  • Now I write for papers around Central Indiana, a magazine or two, and this site. I'm also a public speaker, a teacher, an historical (as opposed to hysterical) interpreter, a farm tour guide, and occasionally, when I can be talked into it, an author. They're all my favorite jobs.
  • This is where you'll find my online column, posted every Wednesday, unless I get ambitious and post it Tuesday. But don't count on it.
  • This is also where to look for news about speaking engagements, new jobs, friends, and stuff that strikes me as interesting. I'll probably throw in a few recipes, too. I get wild like that sometimes.
  • Take a look around. Let's have some fun.

Archive Newer | Older

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We Went Halves On A Horse; Guess Which Half I Got

 

My sister Amy, normally the type of woman for whom the phrase "no-nonsense" was coined, recently called with a proposal that was ... well, nonsense.

"Want to go halves on a horse?" she asked.

Talk about a surprise. For starters, I live in the center of a big city and Amy lives in one of its suburbs. Neither is the sort of place you'd call "horse country." True, I've had some neighbors over the years I referred to as a certain part of a horse's anatomy, but you rarely see the entire animal around here.

Add to that the fact that we've never been what you might call horsey people, although there are lots of horsey people where we come from, up in LaGrange County. They're known as the Amish.

And factor in a lesson taught by my beloved Uncle John, who asked, "Why would you feed something you're not going to eat, sell or breed?"

(I am in agreement with Uncle John for the most part, although I do make exceptions for dogs, cats and family members.)

So you can see it was with some shock that I heard my sister, my sensible sister, suggest we go 50-50 on an underfed  gelding named Merlin. It was, however, no shock when I said "Okay." Nobody ever accused ME of being sensible.

Merlin came to our attention through one of my sister's dog- rescue connections who also happens to be a horse rescuer. The friend had saved Merlin from a slaughter pen. A couple more hours and he would have been off to some part of the world where horse is one of the four food groups. Illinois, I think.

(Naturally, my sister made sure to lay it on thick during this part of the sale pitch. Which, I noticed, went on for a good three minutes after I agreed to her proposal. I guess she was so ready to hear "No" that even after a "Yes" she still couldn't hit the brakes.)

To find my sister turned into a horse nut is actually kind of funny. As a kid, she had a pony, a nasty-tempered beast named "Peaches." When Peaches wasn't biting Amy, or kicking Amy, she was running like a bat out of you-know-where with Amy clinging to her back, screaming for one of us boys to come out and shoot her. About the only person who ever got Peaches to behave was my brother. She bit him, so he pasted her in the mouth with a left that just about knocked her cross-eyed. After that, Peaches was gentle as a kitten for an entire, oh, 10 minutes.

But that was then. Today I am half-owner of Merlin, who has just been ensconced in a stable outside of town where he is eating, you should pardon the expression, like a horse, while I pick up half the tab. Meanwhile, I am in Indianapolis not eating because of the enormous headache caused by Merlin head-butting me while trying to get to his feed pail.

Oh well. I'm in this thing up to the withers now. Might as well ride it out. Next time Amy comes up with one of these ideas, though, I'm going to put a hoof down and follow some very good, Uncle John style advice:

Just say whoa.

© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

Tue, July 27, 2010 | link 

We Went 50-50 On A Horse; Guess Which Half I Got

 

My sister Amy, normally the type of woman for whom the phrase "no-nonsense" was coined, recently called with a proposal that was ... well, nonsense.

"Want to go halves on a horse?" she asked.

Talk about a surprise. For starters, I live in the center of a big city and Amy lives in one of its suburbs. Neither is the sort of place you'd call "horse country." True, I've had some neighbors over the years I referred to as a certain part of a horse's anatomy, but you rarely see the entire animal around here.

Add to that the fact that we've never been what you might call horsey people, although there are lots of horsey people where we come from, up in LaGrange County. They're known as the Amish.

And factor in a lesson taught by my beloved Uncle John, who asked, "Why would you feed something you're not going to eat, sell or breed?"

(I am in agreement with Uncle John for the most part, although I do make exceptions for dogs, cats and family members.)

So you can see it was with some shock that I heard my sister, my sensible sister, suggest we go 50-50 on an underfed  gelding named Merlin. It was, however, no shock when I said "Okay." Nobody ever accused ME of being sensible.

Merlin came to our attention through one of my sister's dog- rescue connections who also happens to be a horse rescuer. The friend had saved Merlin from a slaughter pen. A couple more hours and he would have been off to some part of the world where horse is one of the four food groups. Illinois, I think.

(Naturally, my sister made sure to lay it on thick during this part of the sale pitch. Which, I noticed, went on for a good three minutes after I agreed to her proposal. I guess she was so ready to hear "No" that even after a "Yes" she still couldn't hit the brakes.)

To find my sister turned into a horse nut is actually kind of funny. As a kid, she had a pony, a nasty-tempered beast named "Peaches." When Peaches wasn't biting Amy, or kicking Amy, she was running like a bat out of you-know-where with Amy clinging to her back, screaming for one of us boys to come out and shoot her. About the only person who ever got Peaches to behave was my brother. She bit him, so he pasted her in the mouth with a left that just about knocked her cross-eyed. After that, Peaches was gentle as a kitten for an entire, oh, 10 minutes.

But that was then. Today I am half-owner of Merlin, who has just been ensconced in a stable outside of town where he is eating, you should pardon the expression, like a horse, while I pick up half the tab. Meanwhile, I am in Indianapolis not eating because of the enormous headache caused by Merlin head-butting me while trying to get to his feed pail.

Oh well. I'm in this thing up to the withers now. Might as well ride it out. Next time Amy comes up with one of these ideas, though, I'm going to put a hoof down and follow some very good, Uncle John style advice:

Just say whoa.

© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

Tue, July 27, 2010 | link 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What's On The Radio? Dust

 

 

I never said I was the sharpest knife in the drawer or tool in the shed. I am neither rocket surgeon nor brain scientist. I know my limitations, is what I'm trying to say.

Even so, sometimes I do things so stupid they surprise even me.

For example, I have been driving around without any music in my car for about, oh, six months. Why? Because I lost the radio.

No, it wasn't stolen. I lost it. And in the stupidest possible way, which I'll get to in a minute.

I suppose you could blame a streak of absent-mindedness that runs through the males in my family. Dad had it something awful.

Dad was a smoker who loved convertible automobiles, and as such he was able to do something I always admired but could never duplicate: Dad could light a cigarette with a match - not a farmer match, but a regular old matchbook match - going 70 miles an hour with the top down.

It was amazing. With his left hand steering, he could pull a match out of a book, strike it, and cup his hand around it so the flame stayed alive, in wind equal to a hurricane, until he got his Newport fired up. Then he'd casually kill the match and flick it out onto the road.

(Yes, I know, every litter bit hurts and only you can prevent forest fires. You want to complain about it, talk to Dad. You'll find him in the Brighton cemetery, not too far from Grandma and Grandpa. He's not very talkative - never was - but he's a very good listener.)

So flash forward to about 1968 or so. We're riding down the road, Dad and me and my brother P.D., in our spiffy new Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. Unlike our other car, this one has a cigarette lighter that works, although it doesn't have it for long.

 As we're cruising down the Mongo-Ontario Road, at Dad's customary 70 MPH, Dad uses the lighter to start another Newport. Then he casually tosses it out onto the road. P.D. and I are clutching our sides and laughing so hard that we can't tell him what's so funny for another three miles. Dad does not find it quite so amusing.

So you can see I come by it honestly, and frankly, I am a MILD case by Dad Standards. Even so, I have my moments, which gets me back to the radio.

It was one of those detachable face jobs, you see, which I got after the previous (non-detachable) radio was stolen. And to prevent theft I always detached the face and brought it into the house with me.

Such as when I returned from the grocery store where they double bag and put it, I believe, between the bags. I put the produce in the refrigerator and the Froot Loops in the pantry and then, shades of Dad, forgot all about the radio.

Long story short: It went off to be recycled.

As I said, it has been months, and I have yet to replace the radio. I believe such unalloyed  boneheaditude deserves some penance. Besides, I kind of like the quiet. It's a nice respite from a noisy world. Of course, it does leave a gap in the dash but that's OK. I still have the lighter.

 © 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

Tue, July 20, 2010 | link 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Posting A Link(letter)

 

I get lots and lots of email forwards. So do we all, I know, but mine usually come with a note about how the sender thought maybe I could use the enclosed in a column sometime.

Usually I just send back a thank you and an explanation that I don't like to use something I can't verify, which counts for 99 percent of the stuff flying around the Weird Wide Web. And I especially don't like to use stuff I can't credit. I've had my own work stolen and printed under someone else's byline, and you may take it from me that it stinks.

This week, though, I'm bending the rules a little. The following arrived just a few days after the death of Art Linkletter, TV host and author.

As a kid, I loved to watch "House Party" when I was sick and home from school, especially the portion of the show where Art would interview a bunch of 4- and 5-year-olds who, often as not, aired some of the family's linen in their answers. This led to a book, "Kids Say The Darndest Things," a title which grossly understates the situation.

Anyway, in honor of Art, I pass along the following, a collection of kids' observations about love:

"'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." -- Terri, 4.

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss."-- Emily, 8.

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobby, 7.

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate." --Nikka, 6.

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day." -- Noelle, 7.

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." - Tommy, 6.

"'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." - Cindy, 8.

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." - Clare, 6.

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." - Elaine, 5.

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris, 7.

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." -- Mary Ann, 4.

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." - Lauren, 4.

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." - Karen, 7.

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." Jessica, 8.

Ol' Art was right. Kids DO say the darndest things. And the wisest.

Tue, July 13, 2010 | link 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boston Cream Pie: It's Inspirational

 

As everyone knows, the Greatest Dessert Ever Invented is the Boston Cream Pie, which isn't a pie at all but a yellow cake split horizontally, filled with custard, and topped with chocolate. Cake, pudding, chocolate. It doesn't get much better than that.

This is what I was thinking when I bought a one about the size of a manhole cover at one of those warehouse stores. You know, those places where you can get 5,000 envelopes at what looks like a really good price until you get home and realize 5,000 envelopes is about two lifetimes' supply.

Anyway, back to dessert: I was halfway through a piece of BCP, as those of us in the know like to call it, when I wondered: This isn't pie and the cream isn't cream. Two fibs in one name. Is Boston Cream Pie REALLY from Boston?

Turns out it is.

A quick check of the World Wide Interweb Thingie tells me it was invented by the chef Sanzian for the opening of the Parker House Hotel in 1855.

Wow. Revolution AND dessert. You gotta love Boston.

BCP is the official dessert of the state of Massachusetts. A Boston Cream Pie doughnut (a Berliner with chocolate icing) is the official state doughnut. It also turns out that Massachusetts has an official bean (Boston baked) and muffin (corn), as well as cookie (chocolate chip).

Indiana has an official dessert, sugar cream pie, but we seem to be lagging in the doughnut, bean and muffin departments.

We are REALLY bringing up the rear compared to Oklahoma, which has an entire state meal: Fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas.

My word. That's a state meal? I'd call it the entire menu. If that's what they consider a meal out in Oklahokie, those poor folks must be sweating gravy.

This will never happen in Indiana. We're still fighting about what time it should be. There's no way we could reach consensus as to the state foods.

 I'm pretty sure we'd all agree on tomatoes and sweet corn, but it would all fall apart after that. Take the main course. Some would say it should be the pork tenderloin sandwich, and they'd be right. Others would argue for chicken and noodles, served on a bed of mashed potatoes, and they'd be right, too. And some would say it should be both. Those would be the people who recently moved here from Tulsa.

Dessert's taken care of, I guess, although I personally don't care as much for sugar cream pie as I do for black raspberry pie (especially warm, with vanilla ice cream). Persimmon pudding has a nice Hoosier quality about it, too.

Breakfast? There is no state breakfast because there is simply no agreement between the biscuits and gravy people in the south and the mush and headcheese people in the north. How would you compromise? Biscuits and mush?

Amazing, the sort of things that pop into your head while you're eating a piece of warehouse store Boston Cream Pie. And since I have about 90 percent of the thing left to go, I imagine my imagination's going to get a workout over the next week or so. Starting with figuring out what I can do with 5,000 envelopes.

© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.

Tue, July 6, 2010 | link 


Archive Newer | Older

By the way -- everything on this site is Copyright 2009 by Mike Redmond. If you copy it without my permission, I will hunt you down with either my dog or my lawyer. I'll probably go with the dog. She's smarter.

me.jpg
Click on the photo to see previous columns

Here at the home, we just love to get mail, so drop me a line at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

This site  The Web 

Goofiness abounds. Just go with it.


ClassicHolidayRadio.com
Visit Classic Holiday Radio.com