Tuesday, August 7, 2012


For long-time readers you may remember that I once worked for the Walt Disney Company as a Director /Cameraman at the Disney Studios in Orlando Florida when I lived in the “other world”.
One of my “creations” was a commercial that involved a scene where Mickey, Minnie and Pluto the dog were in a television control room directing a show. I had Mickey and Minnie standing on the right side of the frame and I put Pluto, because of his size, seated mid-frame running the switcher. (A switcher, simply put, is a panel full of buttons that select what camera is on the screen.) I finished the shoot and edited the commercial and, as was customary, I sent it off to California for approval. Two days later I got an email from corporate ( we used to call them the “character police”) that said I would have to re-shoot the commercial because Pluto did not have articulating digits (fingers) and he would not have been able to operate a switcher. I substituted Goofy (also a dog) for Pluto in the re-shoot and everyone was happy because Goofy does have articulating digits.

I told you that story to tell you this one.

The evening that I got back from my nieces’ wedding I went out to sit on the porch of the cabin and smoke my usual Swisher Sweet Double Barrel Rum Outlaw Cigar. Sitting next to my chair was a new ashtray made out of a

river mussel shell attached to an 18” maple stand. At first I thought Firewood Kenny may have made it for me but then I saw Dooley the dog peeking around the corner with a big grin on his face.
“You made this Dooley?”
“Sure did”, he said.
“It’s beautiful, I love it”
Imagine that, my wonderful dog made me an ashtray…..and all without articulating digits. Take that Disney!

(Ok, …you know and I know that Firewood Kenny helped put the ashtray together...but Dooley doesn’t need to know we know…so shhh!)

Monday, August 6, 2012


I apologize for not writing much recently. For some reason I am less inspired in the summer months. Here are a few things that have happened since my last regular posts in March.

I came out of the woods in April to attend my niece’s wedding in Charlottesville Va... It was absolutely beautiful. It was an outdoor ceremony (which I loved) at James Madison’s home. Firewood Kenny took care of Dooley and the animals for me while I was gone. It was great to see family. A consequence of this trip was a new computer. My sister, her kids and a few cousins chipped in and got it for me. They wanted a more direct way to communicate with me. I no longer have to rely on a relay system to get my blogs posted. Irene is thrilled.

On a related note, the County deemed it fiscally responsible to reduce Irene’s library to being open only one day a week. She says she’s ok with it but I know it she misses getting up every day and going to work.

Dooley and I fared very well through the storms that raged throughout the State in June. Power went out, but that is not much of an issue for us. Lots of downed trees but nothing big fell close to the cabin or the animals.

For those of you who follow Suzanne McMinn’s blog, “Chickens in the Road”, you know she had a terrible visit from what may have been a mountain lion. This has Dooley and I on high alert….we don’t live too far (as the crow flies) from her farm.

Oh, yeah…..I’ve been out on a couple of dates with Anita the dog groomer. More on that another time.