Wednesday, April 3, 2024

"Capturing The Moment"...

 Good Morning Wednesday, y'all.

Yesterday morning driving out of 'da Bayou, I paused to put on my seatbelt and to my amazement discovered a blue heron skulking around the shallow part of the front pond. We seldom get visits from waterfowl, ducks, herons and egrets and every time we do, I am unprepared to record the visit. I just knew by the time I got iPhone out to photograph the bird, it would be disturbed and fly away.

But, not this time. The heron was obviously stalking prey, and just like seen on "Wild Kingdom", it finally flung its beak into the pond and pulled out a small fish. It gave the fish a shake or two and in short time, swallowed breakfast, spread its wings and glided on to the next tasty endeavor.

The camera never left my front pocket.

Working on my second cup at Giddy Up, a woman unloads her briefcase full of papers, her cellphone and computer directly across and facing me. We couldn't help not seeing one another, stealing glances from each other as we went about our business.

I noticed one of those glances as particularly intriguing, and then I could not stop looking at her. She kept flinging her long black hair as she spoke on the phone and then, flung it away again and again switching from one device to another.

But, one full fledged fling tilted her head to the right which elongated the length of those ebony locks, rather seductively over her shoulder and down toward the black covered computer.

For whatever reason, she held that pose for a minute or two. I decided it was time to pull out my iPhone just in case she did that one or two more times. I lost my chance with the big heron, I wasn't gonna miss another chance to capture the moment... I was visually seduced.

But, she never did!

Ten minutes after she picked up her mobile office, she acknowledged me with a smile, nodded and left, I decided to capture the moment as fleeting and futile as it seemed.

Inspiration is like that. A charcoal stick was messy, but the perfect tool for the task... that, and, a kneaded eraser.

Still hoping for another cup!

Copyright 2024/BenBensenIII

Thursday, March 21, 2024

"Will I Ever See You Again?"

 Well, I really have no one to blame but myself. Three Wednesdays ago, I received a third “invite” to visit my urologist. At first, it was with the phone call. Then, a text message. Both of each, I ignored. Finally, through My Chart, the front desk requested an interview of some sort.

At last, I walk through the door of the doctor’s office and is handed a list of pages I am suppose to fill out.

“Ma’am, why do I need to fill these forms out?” You guys have been harassing me for over a month and therefore, I assume you have all the information you need on me!”

“I’m sorry,” is all she said.

“Yeh, me too!”

Signed, sealed and delivered, I was seated in one of the rooms after another inquisition and a good pee in a cup, I await the urologist, and peruse the many interesting models and all the wonderful things that could go wrong with one’s “pleasure machine!”

The urologist enters a few minutes later to tell me that my urine is fine and that all systems seem fine, but…

“Mister Bensen, I am curious as to why do you have two urologists?”

“I do?”

Laughing, I proceed to tell him the shortened version of my “Tales Of Testosterone” epic. I could tell from the look on his face he was only slightly amused.

“So, you are seeing this doctor and he is monitoring you levels every six months… Correct?”

“Yes, I guess so. It’s about time to see him soon,” I said, a bit apologetically. I thought that guy was you guys!”

“So you won’t be having a need for our services, I assume,” he said.

“I am told because of my age that I won’t be needing a PSA exam for another five years, so I guess not”… 

“Not with you guys, at least!”

“Well, okay, but before I let you go, let’s make sure all is well and have another look anyway!”

I thought,”you mean for old time’s sake” but I didn’t say it.

As expected, I passed the test with a quick poke from the blue fickle finger of fate. Pulling my pants back up, I turned to the man, looked him straight in the eye, and as he ripped away his gloves asked him  with a slight smirk on my face…

 “Is this the end… Does this mean our relationship is over?”  Will I ever see you again?

“No,” he said.

First loving Giddy Up cup!

Copyright 2024/Ben Bensen III

Saturday, February 24, 2024

"Fire Prevention Week!"

Smokey would be pleased!

 Good Sunday Morning, y'all.

I hope no one minds me reminiscing the GD days. Some of these I've thrown out and some, once again, has made the cut... or made me smile. This is one of them.

After my experience with the tech group, the graphics department thought it best for me to chill out... Or, that's my opinion of what went down!

I was pretty much handed lots of ads for in-house events. If I was gonna screw up again, it wouldn't be on a national level. One of those was the Fire Prevention Week promo. I don't recall who designed the previous one a year before, but I'm sure it was most forgettable.

I presented the boss a few ideas, but leaned heavily on the one with the burned hard hat. Seems the sticking point for approving the idea was acquiring an actual hard hat to destroy, so I told them that I'd use my own. I actually had a hard hat from my days with the oil companies from Louisiana.

You couldn't walk on any property without one... even artists had to wear one to sketch and photograph subject matter. I did ask one friend who worked at the plant if I could use his helmet and he was delighted to give it up for "um" science and set it on fire!

I guess he wanted an excuse to get a new.

But, in the end, I decided to torch my "oil and gas chapeaux".

Strangely enough, I don't remember anyone inquiring about where I was gonna do the deal. The entire scene was created in our driveway on our cheapo tin barbecue pit full of charcoal briquettes... even burned a piece of 2x4 for effect.

Back in those days, I did not own a 35mm camera, to I asked Mitch, the same photographer I worked with on"TheCountdown" if he could help me out. I think he enjoyed working me on my strange projects.

So, one day after work, I spread out all my burned debris on the factory floor, and Mitch shot a roll or two. Mitch was a big time smoker and made the suggestion of smoke from a few lit ciggies.

In one of the comps, I illustrated a water soaked floor, but we both felt that what we shot should suffice quite well. It would have been nice to have the poster printed in color, but the budget wouldn't allow it. The red headline was as good as we could expect.

It didn't win any awards, but I assume Smokey was pleased. More on that awards thing later down the GD line!

Copyright 2024/Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

" I Know, I Know, It All Is Completely Baseless!"

It's based in truth...

 Good "wacky" Wednesday Morning, y'all.

Well, here I sit, directly across from the bathroom wall wondering if, indeed, I have to once again, clean the baseboards from the lint, hair, and dust.

I know, I know, you laugh, but in most homes where carpet floors meet the walls, there is some kind of baseboard moulding. Some are quite simple and some are quite "fancy-dancy!"

The "fancy-dancy" ones are the hardest to keep clean.

In most of the house, carpets can hide the overall hairiness and dust making it easier to clean when one vacuums, but not so in the bathrooms. That's where most floors are covered with linoleum which easily show their dismay and lack of attention.

And, the tiny spiders love that!

I notice these things because I do more than just read my constitutional rights three or four times a day. I sit and stare, directly across from the wall and the baseboard, and sometimes think about a good friend who has since passed away.

He was a big, burly Irishman that I knew from high school. In our football days, he was fast, and slim and powerful and could easily take on two offensive tackles, throw them aside and make the tackle. He made me look good at the linebacker position. That was then...

Divorced, a bit overweight, and still Irish, and in his sixties, he was preparing to retire in a year or two. As far back as I can remember, he and another employee at the electric company, carpooled to work into New Orleans. Though they spent most of their time working away from each other on the road, much of their after work hours were spent with friends at bars and restaurants.

But, his good work buddy had another life... he was married, and quite happily so.

On the weekends, when Pat, the high school buddy, had no plans, no date and got lonely, he always tried to recruit Cliff to join him in some form of frolic, or another. But Cliff, the family man, better known to most as "Weenie", a moniker given to him by Pat, would on occasion, graciously join us all at the local restaurant for breakfast and then, try to excuse his way back home.

Some of those excuses, as one would guess were pretty lame, but the one that always brings chuckle to my heart was Pat grilling poor Weenie..."C'mon man, what'cha gonna do, give me that excuse about cleaning your baseboards again?"

Oh, that Pat. He certainly had an effect on everyone, including me. Every now and then, I find I have to give them boards a second look!

Coffee and then, another doctor's appointment!

Copyright 2024/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

"No, Not That Kinda Hey... HAY!"


Good "Monday Again" Monday Morning, all bodies!

See, you have to understand some people here in Folsom come from a different stock with their own special priorities. For example, we are in the middle of a highly sophisticated topic about automobile oil filter sumps when a friend's eyes set long and hard on a pickup truck that passed by the window of the coffeehouse.

"With her eyes all a twitter, she jumps up out of her chair and yells, "Hay!"

Now, being a city boy who is still trying to find my place in this here town, I answer,"WHAT?"

"No, Barbara says as she points to the window. Not that kinda hey... HAY!"

Her enthusiasm puts a halt to the conversation as everyone watches her run to the window.

"It's hay... two bundles of the good kind of hay sitting in the back of that truck. I wonder where he got it,” she asked hoping that the owner was gonna stop by for a cup of coffee.

Unfortunately, he did not making a right turn at the corner and off into the distance.

With a giggle, I asked her, "Do you always get so worked up about... um, HAY?"

"I do when it's the good brand of hay. You can't get that kind of quality here in Louisiana."

As she continued to explain the differences in hay to anyone who'd listen, I couldn't help but be impressed by Barbara's ability to see and discern one brand of hay from another, and even from the back of a pickup just passing through. Gotta love it though!

  • Copyright 2024/Ben Bensen III

Friday, November 24, 2023

"I Thought, Is It Too Early To Thank Old Saint Nick?"



Good Thanksgiving Thursday Morning, all bodies.

In the afternoon two days before today, I walked into Folsom's "The Donut Stop" to assure myself that there would be enough chocolate covered Bavarian creme donuts and apple fritters. The young woman at the counter, let's just call her Darcy, assured me that there would be but that they'd be closing at 1pm the day before Thanksgiving.
She asked me if I wanted to to secure my order and I told her that I didn't think that that would be necessary though in the back of my mind, I knew better. The Donut Stop's apple fritters are legendary.
Well, I should have placed an order, and then again, Darcy might have mistook my indecision and did it anyway!
It's been our Macy's Morning tradition even in California, to order danish and bearclaws and serve it with a big bowl of fruit. I can't find bearclaws that I like on the Northshore, so apple fritters fill the void... So to speak!
So yesterday around 10am, I saunter into the bakery to find no apple fritters on the shelf, or in the back, baking..AACK!
The woman who knows me from my frequent visits over the years, apologized and said that they were holding in a box, two apple fritters and two chocolate covered Bavarian creme donuts for pickup sometime today... for someone!
"Aw jeez, my wife told me that I should've placed an order," I said.
Therese who was with me was a bit disinterested because she spotted on the shelf plenty of chocolate covered Bavarian creme donuts.
So the manager, sporting a camo baseball cap, and wearing a long black apron that covered his camouflaged ensemble, seemed to be biding his time till 1pm. He came to the counter to see what was the problem.
After telling my tale hoping that Darcy mistook my non-order as an actual order, I awaited the manager's decision. The older woman told the manager that they were saving the order, but that there was no name written on the order.
I could tell by the sympathetic look on her face that she was pleading the case in defense of the entire staff as well as my traditional Macy's parade need.
The manager put his large hands across his salt and pepper gray beard and scrubbed it in thought.
"So, we don't know who actually made the order," right?
The older woman handling the drive up window, nodded.
"And it is the exact same order this man is looking for, right?"
"That's right," she said.
I could tell as he continued rubbing his beard that he was thinking about that "bird in an hand" stuff...
"Well then, let these folks have it!"
"That'll be $ 8.53 with tax," he said, confident in the finality of his decision.
I thought, is it too early to thank Old Saint Nick?
First home brewed with fritters!
Oh yeh, c... y'all.

Copyright 2023/Ben Bensen III


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

."Belton, the belted kingfisher.".

The Little Opportunist!

 Good "late Wednesday Morning," everyone!

We drove into Merrywood a few evenings ago, and circled the bird sanctuary to notice white things on the lake. Slowing down, I noticed that those white things were egrets, ibis, herons and other shore birds feasting on the slowly drying up lake... It's pretty sad. I don't think Louisiana has ever had a drought as long, hot and intense as the one we've been experiencing in the last three or four months or more.

Bird Sanctuary Pond

We get all kinds of the feathered visitors according to the seasons, but one that seems to endure the changes is our clownish resident, the belted kingfisher and his babe. Most of the times, one finds it hard to locate them around the many ponds and the sanctuary lake, but you sure can hear their noisy "rattle" that seems to express their disgust with being disturbed.
Perched high up on a very flexible branch with a coififure that is straight out of a punk rock group, the kingfisher overlooks the lake, bounces and awaits the right moment dive bomb the lake for a scaly tidbit. We sat quietly in the car for about twenty minutes to checkout the action.
We were both laughing in disbelief when we saw the "belted one" dive down and actually snatch a fish right out an ibis's mouth and take it to the treetops on the other side of the lake.
Little stinker!

A sketch inspired by the antics of the clownish freshwater fisherman. Maybe tomorrow, I clean it up and add some digital color!

A few adjustments were made!

I'm pretty happy with the outcome so, I think I'll give the bird a name. The name "Belton." seems appropriate and kinda Cajun though not as popular as Boudreaux or Benoit!
I'm okay with that...Belton, the belted kingfisher... ha!

Copyright 2023/ Ben Bensen III