Friday, October 25, 2013

"That's What I'm Here For... I Think!"

The mind reels... well, at least, mine does!

So, while I'm putzing in the bedroom, making the bed, folding clothes, that kind of stuff, my wife pulls out these little lace insect wings and antenna with cute little fuzzy red ball tips at the end.

Well, like any man, the first that comes to mind... comes to mind.

"Gee babe, I say, We really don't have the time for that... dont'cha think?"

She looks at me puzzled and then, pulls out this brand new red tee shirt and says,

"Can you paint some black dots on this shirt, before I have to leave?"

A bit disappointed, I reply," Sure, glad to... wassup?"

"Well, today's dress up Friday, and all the second grade teachers are wearing this "lady bug" costume, and I thought, maybe you could paint some black dots on this red t-shirt for me."

I laughed because she knew I had an idea of just where two of them should go.

"Don't you dare," she replied.

Thirty minutes later five four inch black circles were painted in acrylic and dried. I yelled to her that that the shirt and all the black dots were ready to go... 

"Another deadline completed, on time and under budget," I said rather sarcastically.

She gathered all of her things, plus the lady bug costume complete with the painted red shirt and all, and said, as she pranced out the studio door...

"So nice, to have an artist round the house!"

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Another in a Series of Nixon Galloway's Watercolors...Number 13"

Love the yellow wings...
When most aircraft being built in the mid-twenties looked more similar to the WWI trainers that were used as barnstormers all around the country. One entrepreneur enthusiast decided to employ a designer to build a new kind of aircraft.

In 1925, Agnew Larsen began designing a series of biplanes that culminated in the beauty of Mr. Pitcairn's 1927 PA-5 Mailwing. It was used extensively on airmail routes all around the country. It was powered by a Wright Whirlwind J-5 engine rated at 220hp, the PA-5 cruised at 110 mph with a range of an unheard of range of 600 miles.

The Mailwing built of chrome-moly steel, with fabric covered spruce wings was a sight that surely influenced other designers in the coming years. Nixon's interpretation of the Pacific Air Transport PA-5 illustrated the beauty of the Larsen design.

Apparently, besides the aircraft hanging in the Air and Space Museum, there are a few privately owned beauties out there flying.

                                                                  ##Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

" My Book, Rock Lists And Mom's Bibliography!"

Just where is my favorite book?
My mother used to be a volunteer librarian. She went back to college, late in her life, in an effort to learn the library sciences, but took ill before she ever finished college. She now suffers, at the age of 89, from dementia. Gnomes and gremlins haunt her existence, meaning that she can never find things when she needs to. When everything disappears on her, she forgets where those devious munchkins from another world, put her stuff.

Of course, it has never been mom's fault... even when she had all of her faculties.

It has been my fault, since I purchased Dave Marsh's, "Book of Rock Lists" in 1981, that I have misplaced this well worn masterpiece many times. It went missing for years. Thinking it was forever lost, I'd put the book on my Christmas wish list many times.

I guess you've gotta be really into trivia or rock 'n roll or both to really appreciate the importance of this, one of many books, I own on the subject. The six hundred and fifty page book in just filled with really insignificant stuff like "Greatest excuses people use to get backstage!" to important stuff like The 100 Greatest Number One R&B Hits.

Great stuff...

Anyway, six months ago, I again found the book and put it on light stand next to the kitchen phone. It was left there after I used it to discuss trivia with a friend. And then, it disappeared again.

I never know where the book is until I need it, but three days ago, I found it in my mother's bottom drawer next to a stuffed Christmas icon called, "Mr. Bingo!" In it, my mom had saved the torn paper cover sheet and stuffed it inside an envelope. On the outside of the envelope, mom copied the bibliography as if she was gonna file it away in a library card file.

It wasn't the only time she has done such a thing. Mom has "stolen" just about every book in the house and copied, in one form or another, and then, filed "the card"in a spiral bound notebook or in the inside of the book itself. We only notice such a phenomena when we go searching for a missing book.

Only this time, that tricky little gremlin absconded with one of my favorite books!

One that I always seem to lose...

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"Utensils, The Who, and Plastic Soul..."

Mom's Stash...
A Google + friend, Katrina Szatmari, mentioned The Who song entitled, "Substitute," and it sent her mind back to the days when plasticware was washed and re-used. It got my mind reeling over the song, AND the days of the "fifties" anxieties, which in some, still exists.

We grew up French Catholic in New Orleans, and I guess we were considered middle class. We were taught never to waste food and the story of the starving children of "pick your favorite third world country" always reverberated in my head. Even as a kid, I understood the value of that lesson.

But, in elementary school, the nuns, thinking we were gonna be at war with someone, eventually, taught us to never throw anything away. Back then, it probably was those insidious and God-less communists, trying to get us to use up all of our resources for the big takeover. 

Damn God-less things!

Top that 'tude with my mother's WWII scraps for victory, the by-product of rationing and the depression, our household, today, is still shoulder deep in plastic tops with missing containers, ziplock bags, safety pins, bobbi pins, rubber bands and paper clips... and 
plastic utensils. Knives and forks and spoons of all shapes and sizes and of every color. Some uselessly bent or broken. I even found plastic silverware so lifelike it was found in our silverware drawer. 

Of course, it is not always my mother's fault. My wife, occasionally brings various forms of plasticware home from school when there's a classroom birthday party, or from a fast food establishment having to eat lunch on the run! But, it seems lately, every time I pick my mom up from the senior community center, where she enjoys lunch with her friends,  her pockets are full of sugar and Sweet-n-Low packets, salt and pepper, butter or margarine packs, napkins and, of course, plastic utensils wrapped in napkins and stuffed in her used styrofoam coffee cup.

And she becomes indignant whenever I inquire about her "booty." 

To make matters a bit more interesting, she suffers from memory loss. If I don't distract her to somehow confiscate her pilfered pockets of the goodies, I'll find them later stuffed in bathroom drawers, medicine cabinets, shoes, dresser drawers, kitchen and desk drawers and even, the refrigerator. 

The worse, though, is finding them, too late, in the washing machine. What a mess!

The Who, had it right. I may not have been born with a plastic spoon in my mouth, but...

"The simple things you see are all complicated, 
I look pretty young... but I'm just back-dated, yeah "

Gotta love it...

Copyright 2013/ Ben Bensen III