Category Archives: ITISY

Vision Quest

So I spent the majority of Monday on a day long drive from the office to a tennis match to another tennis match to a softball game and back to the office.

It was a long day, nearly 200 miles and several different towns and cities.

I spent most of it by myself in the car. Part of the time driving I was on the phone, but most of it was just good old me, myself and I.

During the course of the day I saw tears of sadness and exhaustion followed by tears of joy. The joyful emotion came not from an athlete but from a parent.

I saw heavy, black thunder clouds that transported tornadoes that ripped up a few communities I didn’t drive through.

I saw a coyote trotting through a field. I don’t know its destination, but I believe it was racing to find a safe spot ahead of the storm.

I saw a rainbow.

I think it was some sort of vision quest day.


ITISY – Skunk Stink Eye

Is it bad luck if a black-and-white polecat crosses your path?

Driving home from the basketball game the night before last, I saw a creature making its way across the highway at the far reaches of my high beams. As I drove closer, I realized it bore the distinctive black-and-white markings that indicated I had spotted a skunk.

The creature was in no hurry, ambling along to the south. It had already crossed my lane and was well out of danger from my wheels when I reached it, and no other cars were approaching from the opposite direction.

During my encounter, I realized we’ve hit that time of year when the skunks are roaming about in a romantic frenzy, seeking their polecat paramour.

With no sense of urgency in its gait, the skunk paused long enough as I passed to take a peek over its shoulder before moving on toward the edge of the road. The stink eye thrown my way seemed to convey the message that this skunk meant business. No mere automobile would deter it from its journey of the heart.

I know in the weeks to come, the less fortunate brethren of this creature will litter the local highways. They’ll leave behind a scent that stings the nose, signalling their unrequited quest for love.

And now that you’re thinking about it, here’s some Loudon Wainwright III for you.

ITISY – Bird Watching

It was a bird watching sort of day for me yesterday.

As I mentioned back in the fall, the trees in our yard and the neighborhood are often filled with all types of birds.

Early in the morning, I spotted a pair of woodpeckers darting about in the bare trees in my neighbor’s yard. I’ve seen one occasionally, but on this day I noticed two of them flying together from branch to branch and tree to tree, pausing to peck a moment before moving on to find a new spot to look for a bug breakfast.

I’m not sure what variety of woodpeckers they were, but I did use my google-foo to learn that they mate for life, meaning they stay together until one of the pair passes away and then the surviving bird will find another mate. Awww, sweet.

Later that morning, on the way to work, I had another bird encounter.

There is a flock of pigeons I regularly see hanging out on the power lines in one certain area. Just your average pigeons colored in shades of gray and lavender. However, they’ve got a new addition to their group and this one is a stark white in color.

It stands out from the others like a sore thumb, or at least a sore thumb with a big white bandage on it.


Driving along the loop that forms the bypass around Martin, I saw a sight that reminded me of what the Roswell crash site must have looked way back when in New Mexico.

In the median, a mangled barbecue grill lay crumpled and misshapen after flying out of the back end of a speeding pickup truck. The glossy black dome-shaped lid of the grill was dented and warped. Four silver legs glinted in the sunlight like alien landing gear extended to support a vessel from another planet.

Traveling at 65 mph, I was moving too fast to be able to spot any wee, gray aliens with overly large heads strewn in the grass. 

When the highway department picks up this BBQ-UFO, will they take it back to their own version of Area 51 and do some reverse engineering?

ITISY Aye Aye Aye

This was actually something I spied the day before yesterday but I couldn’t help but throw it out there for everyone to ponder.

While visiting a yardsale here in Hooterville on Saturday, I made a purchase and was conducting the monetary transaction. The host family was taking the opportunity to teach their grandchild mathematical subtraction and how to count money. While they were prompting the young girl, I noticed the eyeglasses she was wearing on her round face were missing an entire ear piece. They were perched on her button nose and held in place by only one span of blue-gray plastic stretching from the oval frame back to and over her right ear. It was a a bit disconcerting and I opted not to stare at her while she made her pronouncement of the amount of change I should get back from my $5 bill.

While avoiding disturbing her thought process, I spied a chihuahua at the grandmother’s feet. The tiny dog sat quietly near its master. Unlike most small dogs, including my own, it did not yap and bark at the many strangers invading its driveway. It was alert, but silent, while on guard.

After the young girl made her correct guess on the dollar amount I would receive back from the pile of cash in their cigar box, I then noticed the T-shirt worn by the grandmother. While the wee dog at her feet appeared to be a truly loyal canine, the owner’s heart belonged to another. Emblazoned on the mustard yellow cotton of the shirt was a photo, dulled by many washings, of a rust-colored chihuauah sitting on its haunches and staring up at the camera with its large, round dark eyes from the carpeted floor. Below the photo, in large letters, were the words “In memory of Duke”.


The most interesting thing I spied yesterday was traveling north on I-40 just on the outskirts of Memphis. Yes, it was traveling.

Newscoma and I were motoring along home Friday from our TPA conference and great fun blogger visits at the Drinking Liberally gathering when suddenly I spotted something vibrantly yellow and red roaring down an onramp to merge into the traffic just ahead of us.

A childhood memory was immediately evoked. I barked at Newscoma to whip out her handy digicam so I could fire off a few snaps.

I began to hum a few bars and sing a tune in my head. “Oh I wish I was an Oscar Meyer weiner. That is what I’d truly like to be. For if I was an Oscar Meyer weiner, everyone would be in love with me.”

We pulled up alongside an actual Weinermobile.

My pics didn’t do justice to the event. When we pulled up alongside the enourmous rolling hot dog, so much of this gigantic bun and frank combo loomed outside the camera’s frame.

Instead I present you this interpretation of the Interstate ecnounter.


A couple of things caught my eye yesterday.

On the drive to work, a red plastic plate folded in half to form the equivalent shape of a hard-shell taco wafted back and forth across the lanes as passing traffic created air currents. The bright crimson created a stark contrast to the gray asphalt. The half moon shape, reminiscent of a disembodied lipstick smile, floated on the slipstream until I passed it and sent it on a new path.

Then later in the day, I had to walk down the block to the bank. Having crossed a busy street without getting run down by a giant Ram pickup decorated with Earnhardt memorial stickers and a UT plate or a dented Escort sporting a half dozen magnetic ribbons driven by a grayhair on the way to the grocery, I made my way to the opposite curb. I had to do a double-take whenI spied something that was completely out of its normal milieu. A two-inch, white cardboard tube which was once filled with cotton lay perpendicular to the curb in the scattered gravel and road detritus. How did something that had once slipped into the most intimate area of a woman end up on a main thoroughfare? Was the hygienic exchange done in the front passenger seat of a passing Altima with the window rolled down so the trash could be tossed to the curb? Many questions come to mind.