Tuesday, January 18, 2022

"Omicron and golf"...

Inside Lookin' Out...

Good Twofer Tuesday Morning, all bodies.
Well, wouldn't you know it. We've got about a week here in Kissimmee and I wind up sick. I've been working on it since I got a scratchy throat almost immediately after I pruned the night jasmine to hang Christmas lights up on the trellis. C'est la vie!

And, the only thing worse then laying in bed sick on vacation was watching another NFL playoff blowout on TV. Maybe, they should rethink this "Wildcard" games concept. Three of the six games stunk!

So my sister and Tee are out and about checking the amenities and perks and I'm sitting here with a third cup laughing my ass off at the goings on just outside the living room window.

The window overlooks a golf course and it is so entertaining. On the one side of the rough is the green and on the other side of the rough is another green. In between is a whole lotta lost golf balls because the rough is a swamp full of marsh grass, lily pads, and shore birds.

So funny to watch the myriad of golf swing styles not to mention the care with which they "address" the little white projectile!

An occasional buzzard circles looking for decayed balls. Two huge sandhill cranes landed on the narrow green and blithely turn their heads as two golf balls zoomed right past the patio window. A minute or two, two guys got out of their cart and started searching for those misguided golf balls. I think one was found!

Off in the distance, on the other side of the rough, a golfer gets out of his cart with club in hand searching left and right poking the marsh grass for his faux pas! So funny!

The dude tippy toes his way further toward the green's edge scattering a bunch of white egrets. I watched for over five minutes and never saw him bend over to retrieve the ball nor did I see a shrug of his shoulders before he climbed back in the cart to drive away!

No more cups... Might be time for some wine!

Copyright 2022/ Ben Bensen III


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Get Off The Stick!"

Get Hip...

 Good "more than you wanna know" Wednesday Morning, y'all.

All I did was compliment this woman's turtleneck and the next thing I know, she telling all about her businesses, her children and their art, and her love for the city of Nashville.
To distract her "marketing mania" I made the mistake of showing her my new artwork hanging on the wall behind her. (That makes person number six that went up to "Bird Cage" in an attempt to touch the galvanized panels.)
"Yeh, said Eric with a smirk on his face. "That's Ben's work behind you and it's there because it helps him claim the sofa chair you're sitting in!"
"No, no, no, I said as she was prepared to change seats.
"That spot is first come, first serve, ma'am" I'm just late to the coffeehouse."
After twenty minutes of her marketing strategies, like an idiot, I opened my laptop to show her my work. She was incredulous, but all it did was to spur her onward preaching to me that I need to get off the stick and get on to Instagram and TicTock and "get yourself an agent or get on FASO to let everyone know who you are!"
Thankfully, she had to leave at 10am to meet her boyfriend who's doing something important somewhere here in Folsom. And, to think that I was debating what to write in today's post... Ha!
Let's see... Now, where was I?
First cup!

Copyright 2021/Ben Bensen III

Monday, December 27, 2021

"First Down And Four More Carols To Go!

 Can you believe it? It's the "Day Before Christmas Day, y'all!

"No-oh well, No-oh well, No-oh well, No-oh well"

"It's a first down and ten, the referee-ee did say,"
"Green Bay on the twenty, Four minutes to play..."

"No-oh well, No-oh well", the-ee Angel did say..."

Even before we were married forty-nine years ago, I was invited to attend "Moo-Mas" which was Therese's second eldest brother's birthday celebration on December 23rd.

There's always lots of food.

There's lots of dips, too! Creamed spinach dip, tuna salad dip, crab dip, cheese dip, pepper jelly dip, spicy bean dip... dip dips! There's chicken and andouille gumbo, sashimi and sushi, sliced smoked turkey and ham, pigs in a blanket, three different salad combos including potato salad, weenies in barbecue sauce, mini muffalottas and more! 

Cake and ice cream, for later!

Over those many years, children have grown and gone their separate ways. Priests, aunts and uncles who used to run the party or at least, assist in making the celebration fun, over time, sat in senior spots and then, in time, faded away. Now, we sit in those same spots and watch children open gifts and play.

But, no matter what year, one thing throughout the ages remains the same. That is, singing Christmas carols while watching the game!

There were those who loved to sing and relished each note, and then, those that acquiesced and pretend to sing along by rote. Some tried to harmonize while faking the words. Some mumbled along singing in Latin like lost birds.

But, it is hard to sing a song when the game is on the line,
The notes all seem so flat, and there's no rhythm or rhyme!

"Yet we all are here together, feeling great and feeling fine,
Celebrating one man's birthday, so close to Christmas time!

Copyright 2021/Ben Bensen III

Friday, December 10, 2021

"It's Hard To Not Personify An Appliance."


Our 32 year old Amana

Our icy pal is slowly giving up giving us the cold shoulder after thirty-two years of service. It's hard to not personify an appliance. But giving the really sad options offered to replace it, including a repair contract paid for by the consumer before you take delivery, is criminal.

I'm really sad to let her go especially since she is still working, but struggling to do so!
You know I've mentioned our toaster, that was given to us, forty-nine years ago, as a wedding present. It still works!
No repair contracts or upgrades needed!
Also, another still working wedding present is our "Ostarizer" Blender. The black base/gasket that attaches the glass container to the machine cracked about two years ago, but still worked.
No repair contracts or upgrades needed!

Last week, we decided to replace this gem with a new Osta blender... It sucks!
But, I decided to see if that base/gasket would fit the original glass container. I mean, why not? Tee thought it was worth a try and "Lordy, lordy"... it fits.
So, for thirty bucks we found a replacement part that we couldn't find online. Sweet!

Now, we have to decide what to do with the cheapo/sucko blender that has been replaced by the new old replacement...

Copyright 2021/Ben Bensen III

Sunday, December 5, 2021

"It will be interesting to see if he actually follows through with the offer"...

 "Little Deuce Coupe" was blasting on the stage PA system as I sat down with my friend Al to have my first cup. I don't know if Frank was a Beach Boy fan, but I was sending GiddyUp and a few "community papers" car crazy hints all week long.

Halfway through my first cup, Cathy Rodriguez, dropped by with En Plein Air intentions, so we walked the back driveway to check out the classics and find a spot in the shade that would work for the four hour cruise.

There were some great setups with a wide variety of cars to paint.
But, I found a shady place between two blue SS Chevelles and a 1937 delivery truck.

One of the fun things about painting at shows is the people that come by to see what I'm up to and the comments they make.

"Can I, um... can I look over your shoulder?"

"No," I'd say, quoting a Talking Heads song entitled, "For Artists Only"... "You can't see it till it's FINISHED!"

You know, I could've finished the painting, maybe not to my satisfaction, but completed if I hadn't spent so much time entertaining myself with the many visitors. It was so good to see people I haven't seen in years or, at least, since Covid.

One ten year old boy, who, I assume was the son of the owner of the delivery truck would come by every hour or so to see my progress.

"Sir, when you finished, can I have the painting?"

"I don't know, man. I don't give away paintings until I sign it and I only sign it if I am satisfied with it," I replied.

"It looks good to me now," he said.

"You'll have to wait till I start putting some paint on the sketch, first!" I said.

"And, thank you," I said. You can't make a good painting from a bad drawing!"

My instructional comment about the arts fell upon deaf ears!

In between the many stories and wonderful kudos I received from the visitors as well as the classic car owners, the boy would return to peruse and once again ask if I was finished.

"Mister, mister, he said. Are you gonna put the writing on the door?"

"It sure is looking good to me," he later commented.

After about the four or five visits over a period of four hours, I caved in.

"I tell you what, here's my business card with my email address," I said, handing over to him one of my cards.

"In about a week, when the paint dries and I can fix the wheels, you send me an email and we'll see if I like it enough to sign it."


With the enthusiasm only a ten year old can possess, he smiled, put the card in his jeans front pocket and skipped back to his parents and the 1937 delivery truck. It will be interesting to see if he actually follows through with the offer.

Looking back over yesterday's activities including the many bands on the stage as well as Frank's harmonizing with his daughter's wonderful vocals, I wanna thank all those who came by to visit and said such nice things to me about the painting.

That was awfully sweet!

I never got to complete the car wheels, but people loved seeing the progress over the three or four hour attempt. I later finished, at home, the wheels in the spirit of the original effort.

Later in the day, after cleaning myself up and wiping the paint off my forehead, I sat down with some friends from Gus's and had a beer and the best fully loaded hamburger I've had in years. Thanks Scott Penton!

Copyright 2021/Ben Bensen III

Thursday, September 30, 2021

"Adapting To Their Surroundings...Easily!"


Good “non throwback” Thursday Morning, all bodies!
Yesterday evening, after the rains, I decided to pull a rather long and large pine branch out from the entanglement of a magnolia tree. Our hurricane debris has still not been picked up and I’m taking every opportunity to rid the property of all the trash, scraps and fragments of Ida as possible… and then some.
In an effort to not get distracted by the dog, when I returned home, I did not go inside the house, but took my briefcase and strapped it onto the fence post. Although it took me a few minutes longer to do so, I used my pruning saw to cut up the branch into manageable pieces and throw it into another pile of other crap to be discarded in the morning.
Happy with my handiwork, I headed back toward the house forgetting that I left the briefcase hanging on the post. It wasn’t until I needed the laptop that was inside the bag that remembered what I forgot and where I forgot it.
Opening the briefcase inside the kitchen, a roach scampered out and down to the floor… Big mistake!
Seconds later, a frog hopped out from the bag and hopped all over the kitchen with me in hot pursuit. I guess he felt that this was a great place to spend the night. How thoughtful!
Eventually, I cornered the green monster in the living room but he jumped from the lampshade, ricocheted off of my right shoulder, then, bounded unto our entertainment center. If he got into and behind the stereo equipment, I feared he’d probably never come out. Who knows what terrible things lurk between the wires, plugs, connectors, spider webs, and lint balls!
I almost caught him in mid-flight as he lunged from the encyclopedias onto a large leafy house plant, but I did manage to grab him before he could bury himself into the bowels of that rather huge green shrub. With as much care as I could muster, I escorted the squirmy little reptile out to the back patio safe and sound.
The briefcase must have been out there hanging on the fence for about two or three hours, max. Ain’t it funny how quickly Mother Nature’s creatures can adapt to their surroundings… Ha!
Second homemade CDM, y’all.

Copyright 2021/ Ben Bensen III

Friday, August 13, 2021

"My men wear English Leather or they wear nothing at all."

High Karate won't do...

It's Friday again... Good "TGIF" Morning, all bodies.

Had a great time yesterday talking to my SoCal friend. Ninety minutes sure flies by when you are having fun. But after that, I had even more fun.

In an never ending struggle to rid myself of stuff, I chanced upon a used up bottle of men's cologne. I've seen it shuffled around in the medicine cabinet behind one medication or another as if it really didn't want anyone to notice that the bottle was empty and had been for many years.

Looking for something to sketch between cups of coffee, I grabbed the ultra-hip, pseudo woodsy bottle of manliness from the top shelf and took it with me.

Just about 10:30, after finishing my sketch, I packed up my laptop, sketchbook, coffee cup and square bottle of "The Sixties" to walk out the front door, but just as I did, a voice called out my name.

"Ben, it's Tanya... Where ya going?"

"Oh wow, Tanya. What you doing so far away from Mandeville here at Giddy Up?"

Apparently, she was entertaining an artist friend, Kathie George, from Ohio and on the friend's last day, decided to check out the hill country of Folsom.

With a giggle and a smirk that only Tanya Dishler can do, she invited me to come back and I join them and as she did, she inquired about my bottle of cologne.

"What IS that?" she asked.

"It looks like a bottle of English Leather." "What ARE you doing with that old bottle," she inquired in such a sordidly curious way.

I started to show her the pen sketch I created from the bottle and to recite that promo line about getting naked, but she turned back toward the front door and headed for the barista.

I closed the sketchbook and followed her back in.

Once I was introduced to her friend Kathie, Tanya offered me a coffee or something to knosh on, but I declined. I was kinda coffee-ed out!

Eventually, we got around to talking about men and colognes and those halcyon days of peace, love and bellbottoms.

"How long have you had it and does it still smell like English Leather?" they both asked.

"I don't know. I guess so. I've never tried smelling it since it all dried up, but I guess it still does," I replied.

I then unscrewed the wooden top and took a sniff, and then, with a satisfied smile, handed it over to Tanya.

A smile appeared on her face as if, for one fleeting moment, she was reliving a romantic encounter so far away in the Sixties. As she gave me a bit of a sly look, she handed it over to Kathie and said, "Yes... that's English Leather!"

Karen giggled in agreement and handed it over to Frank Richerand for a whiff.

"Yeh, that's the smell," he said. "I used to wear English Leather before I switched to another kind."

"Me too, Frank, for the longest time," I replied and managed to get in a little dig... for fun.

"Oh man, Frank, I always thought you were a "High Karate" kind of guy!"

Frank had dropped by to chat and after Tanya and Kathie finished their lunch, planned to give the ladies the grand tour of the place including the Paddock grounds and the gallery.

I've been on that tour many times, so I dismissed myself from the get together and headed for the car with my laptop, sketchbook, coffee cup and a square, wooden topped bottle memories.

I passed by a trash can en route to the car and stopped momentarily to contemplate the fate of my fragrant youth. I don't know, maybe, I'll just keep it a little while longer.

I had been at the coffeehouse for over four hours and had a great time avoiding the realities of life with an impromptu special "Throwback Thursday", though, I was never in the position to incorporate into any conversation the familiar line...

"My men wear English Leather or they wear nothing at all!

First cup!