Saturday, November 7, 2015

Strange Week

Painted Sky, Steel Gray Water, Sunset from the Mount Hope Bridge
It's been about four months since I've had a full night's sleep. What sleep I do manage to get is populated with strange dreams. Dreams which seem so real that it's as if I was wide awake but with a bad head cold. That stuffy, plugged up feeling which makes everything sort of muffled. Still and all those dreams seem very real.

Until I awaken at 0300 and the dreams dissolve like the mist under a hot sun.

At that point I get up and do what old guys do at 0300 then go back to bed. From Monday until Friday that sleep is fretful, I am worried that I will oversleep and be late to work.

I think I've overslept three times in the last sixteen years. Perhaps once in the previous twenty-four years while I was on active duty. Oversleeping is just something I don't do. Unless I'm completely exhausted or sick.

From junior high school (which is what "middle school" was called in my day) up through my junior year of high school I had a paper route. Up every morning, except Sunday, at 0600 to deliver the Rutland Herald. It wasn't a huge paper route, perhaps forty families in a fairly small area.

My Turf

As a lad I had a clock radio. It sat just above my head on my bed's headboard. It was one of those alcove type headboards. There was a place for my clock radio, a couple of books and these two guys...

Gumby and Pokey (Source)

I think every kid back then had those guys.

Anyhoo. My clock radio was set to the local AM radio station, WCFR. I don't think they had invented FM radio at that time (just kidding) and there were only four TV channels: NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS. All in glorious black and white. We picked these up over an antenna up on the roof as I recall. Reception wasn't that bad, unlike my maternal grandparents reception over on the farm.


I walked into the living room one day to see my Grampa Ray and my Great Uncle Hank intently watching that sight above on the TV.

"Whatcha watching Gramp?" I inquired.

"Hockey game..." said my grandfather.

"Dammit, that's offsides!" cried out Uncle Hank.

"Alrighty then." I said as I went to see if Gram was done making cookies yet. (I think one of the darker spots was the puck. Occasionally you could see vague shadows move across the screen. The sound quality was okay. I'm not sure, to this day, if my great uncle was playing with me with that offsides comment. One could never be sure with Uncle Hank.)

At any rate, I see I'm digressing (again).

So, let me see, where were we? Hhmm, clock radio, paper route, local radio station... Oh yeah, now I remember.

Every morning (save Sunday) at 0600, for five years (I think), two things would occur, simultaneously. My clock radio would activate with a very audible "click" and the local radio station would begin their broadcast day with the National Anthem.

Five years of "CLICK... Da da duh da da DAAAA, da DUH da DUH da DAAAA..." tends to give a fellow a twitch. To this day if you want a strange response from me, sound a click and then start the National Anthem. I swear, it gave me a complex.

But over time I learned to wake up just before that click and turn it off before it could start. So for years I was trained to awaken every morning at 0600. Served me pretty well in the Air Force and in civilian life until about four months ago. Not sure why I now have this phobia about oversleeping. It's just not something I do.

Yet something deep within my aged brain is now convinced that that is a real possibility. The weirdest thing about all this is that I don't have to be at work at any set time. The company wants nine hours a day from us (eight on some Fridays, zero on the other) and expects us to be in our places (with bright shiny faces) during the "core" hours from 0900 to 1500. Everything else is flexible. Some folks come in at nine, some (like me) come in closer to seven. Of course, those who come in at seven leave earlier than those other folks.

While the number of hours are the same, the later one leaves in the months from November to March, the more likely it is that you'll be driving home in the dark. That just feels wrong. While I don't mind getting to work in the dark, I like getting home while it's still somewhat light out. That might be why I am paranoid about oversleeping.

Of course, my felines know this and have worked it to their advantage. When they hear me stir they are on the bed and they are all "Say, seeing as how you're awake, you might as well get up and feed us! M'kay?"

So I do, which merely encourages this behavior even more. It's this vicious feedback loop where the only real winner is The Missus Herself, who gets to sleep in while the cats toy with my delicate psyche. Or something like that.

So as time goes by, I get goofier and goofier. The folks at work like this, I entertain them.

Yup, just like work. Well, except for that throwing the sword thing. And yeah, I also wear jeans to work, not that Roman skirt thing. Which Russell Crowe can pull off (easy ladies, you know what I mean) but which I cannot. While my legs are okay, I just don't have the panache or swagger to do the Roman skirt thing. A kilt maybe, I mean a real old fashinoned kilt, like this...

All one piece of cloth that is.
The kilt first appeared as the great kilt, the breacan or belted plaid, during the 16th century, and is Gaelic in origin. The filleadh mhòr or great kilt was a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over the head. A version of the filleadh bheag (philibeg), or small kilt (also known as the walking kilt) similar to the modern kilt was invented by an English Quaker from Lancashire named Thomas Rawlinson sometime in the 1720s. He felt that the belted plaid was "cumbrous and unwieldly", and his solution was to separate the skirt and convert it into a distinct garment with pleats already sewn, which he himself began wearing. His associate, Iain MacDonnell, chief of the MacDonnells of Inverness, also began wearing it, and when the clansmen the two employed in logging, charcoal manufacture, and iron smelting, saw their chief wearing the new apparel, they soon followed suit. From there its use spread "in the shortest space" amongst the Highlanders, and even amongst some of the Northern Lowlanders. It has been suggested there is evidence that the philibeg with unsewn pleats was worn from the 1690s. W
Dear Lord but the modern kilt was invented by a Sassenach! (I had no ideer...)

So yeah, a strange week. I am glad the weekend is here, short though it be.

Photo sharing time!

More deer, Mama Doe was off as soon as I stopped the car. The two young ones weren't as nervous. Kids these days...

Fog was heavy all day. Warm conditions near the coast, in November, will do that.

Headed up Hope Street. Many leaves have gone, some remain. I need to find a way to mount the camera to the dash.

Approaching Chez Sarge...

The safety and solitude of the backyard on a Friday eve. Let the weekend commence!

Sorry for the jittery wobbliness. I hold the cell phone cam up and snap away at random. That way I'm not distracted from actually operating the vehicle in a safe manner. Of course, I delete a lot of pictures after the fact. Those above (with the exception of the backyard) were the best of the lot. Sorry.

Then again, it was kind of a blurry, fuzzy, out of focus week. The photos reflect the state of my brain late on a Friday afternoon. (And that's with no alcohol having been consumed! Yet.)

Until tomorrow then. And we have a surprise for you, coming soon. (Don't tell Tuna and Juvat just yet, I don't want to make them nervous. Oh wait. I just did, didn't I?)

Smile and wave boys. Smile and wave.


  1. Ah... some inspiration for a post... provided I don't forget.
    Thanks, Sarge

  2. We all tend to have those weird 'phobias' that pop up now and then. Hopefully it resolves itself soon!

  3. I overslept all the time, and even when I was up in time,something distracted me and I would be late to work or cutting it close. Set the alarm earlier you say. You would think that would work. It did not. Now that I am retired, I never over sleep...well there is no set schedule, so...

    1. I have to stay focused in the morning, otherwise I'd be outside all day watching the squirrels. (Or being a squirrel!)

  4. At least you have "alarm" cats going for you.

  5. As you can see by the time stamp on this comment - maybe - I have the same sort of habit. Even though I haven't had an office job for almost three yers now, I still awaken every day at about 6:00. Old Habits die hard.

    1. And now I see that my blogclock (and if that word ever catches one, I want royalties) is set to PST, not EST. Oh, well,

    2. Catches ON. Damn. What a lot of nothing for THREE comments. Sorry.

    3. Now I'm laughing so hard I can't remember where this started...

      Oh yeah, the blogclock. Mine too is set to PST. I like the word and if it catches on, you'll get royalties. By then I will be royalty. Which is a way of indicating the likelihood of that word catching on. Still and all, I like it. (And if I'm royalty I grant you a royal boon to collect on that word. Whatever a royal boon is.)

  6. The navy ruined my ability to sleep in with their "10 minutes early is five minutes late" principle. On the other hand, they gave me the gift of being able to sleep anywhere, anytime. One pet peeve about congressional clock tinkering is the deeper DST goes into the year the later the sun comes up. I like to be boots on the ground at zero-five (which means I can dog the watch early and shift to "want to" from "have to") and I greatly dislike having to wait on the sun in October.

    1. We had a guy at work who came in with that "10 minutes early is five minutes late" nonsense. Somebody suggested he do a better job of scheduling his meetings.

      On time is on time. When dropping bombs, ten minutes early results in the wrong people dying. Ditto five minutes late.

      I will show up early just to get a good seat. But that's the only reason.

      Congress should leave the clock alone. Just one more thing they are bad at.

  7. I think it's interesting how small our routes were back when we were young and people read daily newspapers. Nowadays ours are delivered at 0400 by 2 people in a large car and they service about 500 houses with all the papers around here. (WSJ, PlainDealer, etc) As I recall, I had 43 clients but as I look at the route today, wow has my neighborhood changed over the years.

    1. I wonder how modern kids will learn anything without paper routes and other jobs intended to be entry level.

      There is something about news print that I miss, sure it's more convenient to get my news online, but some days it would be nice to sit down with an actual newspaper. Every time I visit my Mom I get to do that, she still gets a daily paper. Hhmm. You've given me an idea for a post. Thanks! (POCIR)


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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