How Fish Get Caught - Nov 2016

If you’ve ever wondered how fish get caught, this is your lucky day. As a fish that’s been caught several times in a brief life, I can tell you exactly how and why it happens.

First of all, fish are not stupid. We know that there is some sort of lifeform above the surface of the water and that they would like nothing better than to yank us out of the water and into some sort of basket thingy. Sorry for the imprecision on the terminology, but we are not expert at all when it comes to things above the surface. Sort of like a fish out of water, you might say.

If we are not stupid, you may ask yourself, why then do fish take the bait? The answer can be very complex, depending upon the type of fish and the body of water, but I will review here the most popular reasons.

  1. Topping the list, without a doubt, is boredom. You swim around all day long, snacking on zooplankton, worms or insects you spot on the surface and you begin to long for a break in the monotony. Next thing you know, a furry looking insect thing plunks into the water and you swim up to see what this new thing is. Most fish will try the taste test and chomp down on it. And then BAM! Some lifeform pulls the line and you’re hooked. Believe me, when it happens you want to smack your forehead with your tailfin just to remind yourself what an idiot you are.

  2. Bad eyesight is probably the second most prevalent reason for getting hooked. You just have to look at the setup to appreciate that we have an eye on each side of our head, so we are really able to see with one eye if an insect plops into the water on the left side. If it’s straight in front of us, we might not be able to see it at all. When things are splashing into the water or landing on the surface, we really don’t have much idea what we are dealing with until we get right up on it for the taste test, and by then the horse is out of the barn.

  3. You may not believe this, but most fish are arrogant, and that can frequently lead them to think they can outrun or outfight the lifeform. I admit to having a bit of conceit about my ability to beat the system. One of the times I was hooked, I simply took the line as far as I could and it broke, which also pulled the hook free from my mouth. It hurt like hell but it sure must have ticked off the lifeform.

  4. I’m ashamed to say that a good fish is hard to find, so when the lifeform throws a fish smaller than me into the water, I have to go for it. You’ve seen the chart where the little fish gets eaten by the bigger fish, and the bigger fish gets eaten by an even bigger fish? And at opposite end of the chart is a shark that eats all the other fish. Trust me, it’s all true. Fish are good eating.

Think about this logic the next time you get out on the lake or an ocean, because the lifeform that knows how fish get caught is the lifeform who comes home with the biggest catch.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.



Tentative Kidnappers - Oct 2016

“We’re not grabbing the Lindberg baby – are we agreed?”

“Agreed. We’re going to go to a wealthy neighborhood and find a rich kid who feels sorry for old people. We grab her and collect a quick ransom.”

“And we’re not going to be greedy. We need enough to cover the health insurance premiums and your prescription medications. How much do you think that is, anyway?”

“Oh, I would say the insurance is about $8,000 and the prescriptions are at least $5,000, maybe $6,000.”

“That’s for one year, for Christ’s sake?”

“Yep, one year.”

“Jesus. Well, there’s not much point in trying to kidnap someone and only getting enough money for one year. Otherwise we’ll be back out there next year trying this same stunt again. I say we ask for $50,000. Any family in a good neighborhood can get that kind of money out of their 401k or already has it in savings.”

“I don’t know about that. A lot of these upper income families are starting to feel the pinch, what with rising college tuitions.”

“Wait a second. Let me get this straight. You’re worried about the upper crust running short of money? Give me a break. We don’t have enough money for the drugs you need. You think they have that problem? You think that if their little girl needs some special medicine that costs $500 a month that the money is going to break them?”

“No, I didn’t say that. I’m just saying that in this kind of economy, everyone feels some pain. And speaking of pain, do you think that two sixty somethings can hold down a ten year old without getting kicked in the head. Because if either one of us gets hurt trying to pull off this kidnapping, we’ll be worse off than we are now.”

“That’s a laugh. How could we be worse off?  Huh? We don’t have the money to cover your prescriptions. How sick is that? I tell you what, if we get caught and they throw us in the clink, at least we would get decent healthcare.”

“What are you saying? You want to get caught?”

“No, I’m just saying that we wouldn’t be any worse off than we are now.”

“So are we going to grab a kid to get a ransom or are we trying to get caught in the act?”

“I told you from the start. This is no Lindberg baby screw-up. We grab the kid, give her something to keep her drowsy and hit the parents up for 50k.”

“You sound like some hardened criminal, not a retired biology teacher.”

“Yeah, well times change.”

“And so do people.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”


Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.


Time Machine - Sept 2016

For all outward appearances the TMI looks like a sophisticated virtual reality machine. You wear this clunky looking goggle-like apparatus with a wire coming off of it. Then there are the earphones to enhance the audio experience. Maybe some day it can be surgically placed right on top of our retinas, but that’s way off in the future. The one piece of technology that makes the Time Machine Input completely different from VR is the cord that goes right into the brain’s cortex to the neurons that control our sense of time.

If you have visions of Hot Tub Time Machine (or Hot Tub Time Machine 2 or 3), let me assure you that the TMI does not take you back in time. It’s not going to fulfill some juvenile fantasy of going back in time to be cooler than you were in high school or to erase all those embarrassing moments that all of us would like to delete from our memory bank. The TMI extends time, stretching the boundaries of time and space in a way that just a few years ago we thought would be impossible.

We hear people say all the time, “if only there were more than 24 hours in a day, I could get so much more done.” The amazing TMI technology makes that possible. You need more than one hour to get yourself going in the morning? TMI can add as much as 15 minutes to the basic 1 hour block of time. Repeat that setting for a full 24 hours and you pick up a net gain of 6 hours. Over a week that adds up to 42 hours, or almost 2 full extra days in your week. But that’s not all. You could gain 104 days in a year, and over a lifetime, are you ready for this, you could gain 260 months or an extra 21 years.

Personally, I’m not interested in extending my lifespan by 20 or more years. My goals are much more modest. I just want that extra 15 minutes when the clock is running down and I need that boost. Let me spend 15 more minutes with the one I love, or sleep for 15 more minutes in the morning, or take 15 minutes our of my day to do nothing more than contemplate my navel.

The choice is yours with the TMI. You decide how and when you want more time. Just remember, batteries are not included.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.



Second Wind - June 2016

Twisting her wedding ring in both directions as if searching for a favorite station, Ellen stared through the windshield at what had once been her front yard, and listened to John Lennon sing “Starting Over” via the info-tainment system. Startled by an alarm, she reached to the center console and activated the speaker phone, chuckling to herself when she heard Amanda’s voice.

“Hi, Mom. It’s me . . . please pick up if you’re there. Sure would like to talk to you . . . I’m certain you are having second thoughts about living somewhere different after twenty-six years in the same house, but I mean if not now, when, am I right?

“So listen, Mom, are you there? I think I told you we’d meet at Towne House around 12:30, but something’s come up at the office so if I’m five minutes late, go on inside and I’ll find you in the dining room, or wait in the lobby if you’d rather, maybe you could test out the piano, at least try it and see if it needs any tuning or whatever. I love the idea of you entertaining the whole place, I mean, if you ever wanted to, you could, right?

“Anyway, I’ll still shoot for 12:30, but if you get hungry just start without us, Charlie’s picking me up and we should arrive by 12:45 at the latest. Hello, are you there, Mom, because, I mean, if you’re tuning me out, we need to talk, okay? Gotta run. Love you. Bye.”

Ellen waited for a dial tone and then said softly to herself, “That’s fine, Dear. I’ll see you a little later,” and as she pulled away from the curb without looking back, “Alright world, ready or not, here I come.” Driving north through familiar Albuquerque neighborhoods she continued her monologue, addressing the ghost of her late husband whose image had appeared in the rear view mirror.

“Oh, there you are. Try not to take any of this personally, Fred, but you gotta understand, there is no more Mrs. Roy Fredrick Rogers, it’s just me, Ellen Rogers and what’s left of my so-called life- born to privilege, married for love, widowed at sixty-five, about to move into a Life Plan Community for better or worse, and Freddie Dearest, it certainly does appear that you were right: there is no such thing as too thin or too rich.”

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.


Attention! - May 2016

So I’m having drinks with good friends at a new microbrewery…

Wait, is that my niece’s new profile picture? Cute.

Anyway, you were saying how there are so many of these new brewpubs cropping up and…

Dogs on trampolines! So funny. The boxer looks like he just discovered he has four feet. Hysterical.

So these brewpubs are like everywhere. It seems like a new one opens every week. What’s up with that anyway?

Oh, look! Here’s that picture of us at the beach that I posted a year ago today. Great memories.

I’m thinking that this artisanal beer thing has got to level off. There just are not enough beer drinkers to support this many breweries, don’t you think?

Wait, look at this! Who knew you could dice an onion like that? I’ve got to try it.

Now if there was a bar that specialized in margaritas….that I would definitely go to, wouldn’t you?

This is hysterical….a picture from my high school class. I don’t even want to know what they look like now.

But where was I? Margaritas, yes. Imagine a bar that only serves different kinds of margaritas. And maybe mezcal tastings too. That would be great.

Hey! Is this Vladimir Putin riding a tricycle bare chested? That’s very cool Photoshop work.

Have you ever had mezcal? I read that it could be the next big thing. Bigger than tequila. Only there may not be enough to go around. They make it in really small batches.

Ha! This cat is afraid of seeing its reflection in the mirror. Funny!

Maybe we should just go to Mexico, you know, go to the source and get some mezcal before they ship it to the states.

Huh? I don’t get these Yoko Ono quotes, do you? They go right over my head.

I hear that Oaxaca is one of the best places to go to try these small batch mezcals.

Listen to this! Do you believe this kid is seven years old and he can play the drums like that. Unbelievable!

Well it was great seeing you again. Think about the Mexico mezcal trip. It could be a lot of fun.

OMG! Look at these tacos!

According to a 2015 Nielsen survey, 52 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 50-63) and 42% of Silent Generation (ages 65+) respondents say they use technology during mealtime.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.



Early Peace - April 2016

Early-found peace this morning. Right here – such bliss. I can swim in it. Douse my eyes with it and see anew. Such pleasure. The quiet within. The lack of noisy, hectic, frantic jostling. New-found joy of quietness. Small but not fragile. A kind of strength that has no power to destroy – only to support and to be quietly joyous in.

Relax and the world does not disappear but shines anew with quieter hues – subtle earth tones that shimmer. Not bright, not dull but alive with wonder. Gentleness reigns. Not denial or avoidance of the hectic but living within it. Sublime perhaps is the word. A promise of spring and spring itself. A new awakening with a sense of having been here before. Yes, a renewing process. A remembering. We came away from this and may return. Some regret and sadness for having been away so long. But more wistful than sad. The past is not part of the moment. The sadness is just one of the colors – a jewel tone among many others. A flower in a meadow of flowers, each with its own perfume.

Yes, I remember and so I return. Have you forgotten? Come join me and we’ll go together. Such strength and warmth. No cold here. Only a coolness that refreshes our very souls. Come, no longer linger in this place of over wrought, outdated, punished souls. Slip out of your armor and dance in the meadow. Sob with delight as dew wets your feet for the first time in centuries. Will you come? Please say yes. The pleasure is not meant for one alone. It’s meant to be shared. I want to see it in your eyes to know it better in my own. Come, linger with me where the trees march and the birds know the secrets of the dawn.

This spring that comes into my soul, I know by remembering it. Its gentleness is not confined to poetry or prose. Although we may feel that it is. Facts on a page do not hold it either. It is meant to be felt, to be held with our senses to a depth where senses falter and part to reveal something much deeper. A little known idea – we are the spring. We are the renewal, the return, the fresh air of our own souls. Yes, it is quietly true. There are no banners or horns. There is no celebration unless awe is celebration. We enter noisily and return in quiet. My soul has been quieted by those depths and I am no longer distraught or disturbed. But we can no more linger there than we can on the edge of ecstasy. But we can know it, feel it and return anew.

Please come with me. I would have you know it too.

Pat Young is a former educator who now builds houses, makes puppets (the ones with gigantic heads), and can tell you all about where water comes from and where it goes. And she bakes the world's best biscotti.



It's Over - March 2016

I looked on with curiosity as the tourist paced back and forth in front of the hotel, towing his rolling suitcase. A bellman often sees some strange behavior in Las Vegas, so it didn’t make a big impression. Then I remembered the envelope the pretty woman gave me no more than a half hour ago.

“Excuse me sir. Is your name Donald?” I asked the man. His forehead was sweaty and he appeared to be very nervous.

“Yes, yes. My name is Donald. Do you know where my wife is? She was supposed to meet me here a half hour ago. She wanted to try her luck at poker table one more time. I’m getting scared that something has happened to her. It’s not like her to be late.”

“She told me I might see you here and that I should give you this envelope.”

Donald tore the envelope open and read the note inside. After the minute it took to read it, he let it fall to the ground, walked over to the taxi stand. He opened the door for himself, threw the suitcase on the seat and followed it into the cab. The vehicle shot out of the driveway and onto the Strip.

I picked up the discarded envelope and note and saw that it was written in a bold cursive style that read as follows:

“Donald, I’m sorry if my disappearance caused any panic on your part, but I felt as though there was no other way out. I needed to escape our marriage and going home with you to discuss it would have only prolonged the inevitable end. You would have tried to save a lost cause with suggestions that we get counseling or try some other hopeless intervention. I’ve cashed in the airline ticket and will be flying to another destination – not home. You will find that my sister has removed all my personal belongings from the house. My lawyer will be in touch to begin divorce proceedings. I presume that all of this comes as a great shock to you, but that is really the whole point. You never seemed to grasp what I was feeling or what I was looking for in our marriage, so I took this drastic action as a last resort – the only way for me to make a clean break and a clean start. You should see it as an opportunity to do the same. Patricia.”

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.



Can You Put It In a Setting? - Jan 2016

My mother came from Eastern Europe, when she was a young girl. It was Romania to be exact. When my mother and her family left Europe. they turned their assets into diamonds. They were afraid soldiers or whomever would steal their money. What they did was sew their diamonds into the lining of their coats. So, my mother thought diamonds were the most valuable commodity.

Morrie .and I were never engaged. We just got married after a year-and-a-half courtship. In fact, we were married I0 years before he presented me with a five-carat ring. It was a huge surprise and a very pleasant one.

Whenever I received a present for a birthday or anniversary, I would call my mother. She was always thrilled for me. She would ask, ''Can you put it in a setting?'' I would laugh and say, "No mom.''

Morrie and I moved to Florida from Chicago when he retired. We were both ardent golfers. One year I really wanted a four wood. I hinted to Morrie more than once. but he never showed any interest. Around my birthday, Morrie and I went to the golf course. Lo and behold on the golf cart was this long skinny box. Could it be? Yes, a beautiful four wood. You would think I was given the Hope Diamond; I was so excited.

Naturally, I called my mother! “Mom,'' I yelled into the telephone. ''I got a four wood.'' My mother excitedly yelled back. ''What's a four wood, and can you put it in a setting?'' I laughed, "Mom, you are so funny, no I can't put it in a setting.''

When my son and daughter-in-law would to visit us in Florida. Sharon always pressed her clothes before wearing them. She has beautiful clothes and always looks her best. Our ironing board was always kept on the first floors whereas the guest bedrooms were on the second floor.

I would watch Sharon as she dragged the ironing board to the second floor, visit after visit after visit. So one day Morrie and I went shopping and bought an ironing board for upstairs.

Soon they came to visit. Morrie and I said to Sharon, we bought you a present. At this time, Sharon and Larry had been married for 20 years. They had heard aII my stories over and over. Sharon said, “Can I put it in a setting?''

We all laughed as we schlepped out the ironing board and gave it to Sharon.

“Mom, you were a riot and we miss you. Wherever you are, I’ll Iet you know when I can put it in a setting.''

Bunny Schnider is a writer and painter who now lives in Albuquerque, NM, close to her son.


Tree Man - Dec 2015

Once upon a time, an old man lived in the forest. He was all alone and had been for many years. He did not mind being alone. He loved the tall trees, their branches swaying with the breeze, the birds nestled in those branches and the bright sky behind them. He would sit outside his little house and stare at them for hours.

One day he was sitting there when one of the trees said to another, “do you think the old man can read our thoughts?”

“Perhaps,” was the reply.

Then only silence. The old man glanced around, he was troubled by something he had sensed but could not clearly understand. He went on watching the trees and they went on watching him.

Years went by and the old man grew tired. He no longer had the strength to fix the leaks in his house or even to gather sufficient amounts of food to feed himself. Every day he set looking at the treetops as if the sight of them provided his nourishment. The trees grew anxious. They knew that they could stand close to the old man for many years, drawing up the food they needed through their roots. He could not.

They discussed the situation. “What can we do?” they asked. If they had been fruit trees, they could swing their branches and drop apples, pears and peaches at his feet. But they were fir trees and the old man could not eat their seeds.

Months went by the old man grew weaker and would often lay on the ground rather than sit on his chair. His eyes would slide shut and although he still saw the sky in his mind, he would fall sound asleep. The trees leaned toward each other and sheltered him with their thick branches.

One day he did not get up to go to sleep in his little house but stayed on the bare ground under the stars. His eyes opened in the middle of the night and he was delighted to see the bright twinkling stars hung in the branches of his beloved trees. He closed his eyes again and slept.

The trees knew that he was close to dying. They murmured among themselves and some of them wept. The old man stirred in his sleep. The ground was hard and his old bones were brittle. The trees crept closer, lowering their branches to keep him warm. The old man slept on.

His sleep was deep and he had extraordinary dreams — scenes of wonder passed before his eyes. He visited faraway places where the vegetation grew thick and lush, he flew through the air and fell in love. He slept peacefully for 3 days and 3 nights while the trees watched over him.

When he opened his eyes, the trees were surprised.

“This is a strange place to be,” he said. “I wonder why I didn't sleep in my bed.”

When he started to lift his feet to walk toward the house, he could not move. His feet somehow were attached to the ground. He struggled for a moment but there was nothing he could do. The trees were amazed.

The old man was perplexed but somehow not surprised. As he had woken up, he wondered why it was that he felt so refreshed. He knew that he had nothing to eat or drink for days, but he felt neither hungry or thirsty.

But what did surprise him with a small leaves growing out his feet. They were such a beautiful shade of pale green with scalloped edges. He bent down and ran his hand over them. It tickled. He laughed out loud. The trees laughed too. He had become one of them.

Pat Young is a former educator who now builds houses, makes puppets (the ones with gigantic heads), and can tell you all about where water comes from and where it goes. And she bakes the world's best biscotti.



The Ice Cream Shop - Oct 2015

In one of those old-fashioned stores situated at the crossroads of an isolated farming community, a woman opened an ice cream shop. She had chosen this location because of a tall oak tree that shaded two picnic tables on one side and fields of corn and beans stretching out in every direction off into the distance. The shop sign said Vanilla Ice Cream in Cups or Cones.

A battered pickup truck pulled up on opening day and the driver got out and walked up to the window.

"You only have vanilla?” he asked.

“Just vanilla,” replied the ice cream lady with a smile.

“Seems kind strange to only have one flavor,” he muttered.

There was no response from the woman. He ordered two scoops in a cup thinking there should be at least some chocolate sauce. He walked over into the shade and sat on one of the picnic benches. It was a warm day into the coolness of the shade and the ice cream cup felt good in his hands. He scooped up a mouthful and a startled look appeared on his face. Opening his mouth to say out loud, “This is wonderful ice cream!" he said instead “I think this winter I am going to take time to learn to play the guitar." He clamped his mouth shut and looked around to see if anyone had heard him. The startled look had not left his face. Realizing that no one else was around, he relaxed and thought “What made me say that?"

The cicadas sang in the heat and he finished up the ice cream. As he walked back to the truck, the corners of his mouth started to twitch as they always did when he was about to smile. “Actually I've always wanted to play the guitar."

Although he said these words to himself, the ice cream lady smiled as he drove away.

Pat Young is a former educator who now builds houses, makes puppets (the ones with gigantic heads), and can tell you all about where water comes from and where it goes. And she bakes the world's best biscotti.



Bubble Wrap 1957-2015 - Sept 2015

It is with great sadness that I report the death of the global entertainer, Bubble Wrap. “His regularly spaced, air-filled hemispheres made of polymer plastic will no longer offer their signature Popping sound,” said family friend Popeye.

Bubble Wrap was conceived in 1957 by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, former partners at The Sealed Air Corporation. Fielding and Chavannes hoped their invention would become a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper.

The inventors soon discovered no one really wanted a three-dimensional plastic wallpaper.

After Bubble Wrap failed miserably at his first job, he would have just popped into obscurity had he not found suitable work as a superior packing material.

While keeping his day job as packing material, Bubble Wrap soon rose to national prominence as an entertainer, thrilling millions with his distinctive “Pop. Pop. Popping sound.” People all over America, indeed the world, couldn’t wait to get a package delivered to their home or office just to hear Bubble Wrap deliver his classic “Pop.”

Bubble Wrap’s death came at the hands of a new product introduced by The Sealed Air Corporation. It is called iBubble Wrap. Instead of having individual chambers of air (hence the popping), the new product uses one interconnected pocket of air. Hence, no popping!

Funeral services for Bubble Wrap were led by Pop Francis and it was attended by many friends and relatives, including Saran Wrap, Panera Wrap, Hip Hop Rap, and his Mexican cousin, Taco Bell’s Chipotle Wrap.

Mourners included Snap Crackle and Pop, Pop Sickle, Soda Pop, Pop Corn, Pop Gunn and Pop Warner. “No one will ever duplicate his unique sound,” said one famous mourner. “It seems like yesterday he was here and now, POP!, he’s gone,” said Pop Gosa Weasel.

Even competitors at the funeral like Packing Peanuts and Tissue Paper shed a tear at the loss of their longtime friend, Bubble Wrap.

In a fitting tribute to Bubble Wrap, a distraught fan hurriedly wrote FRAGILE on the side of Bubble Wrap’s cardboard coffin.

Jack Goldenberg is a prolific Copywriter, innovative Creative Director and consummate, strategic marketer. Read his blog at  10 minutes of brilliance. With all he’s done, he still believes his best efforts are ahead of him.


Our Ladies of Perpetual Arroyo - July 2015

Last weekend two outdoor-types drove a beat-up Subaru into the arroyo on the north side of our property. They came off of Camino Barranca down by the big culverts and made it about a half-mile up the wash before they were stuck in the sand.

“Was the access point into the open-space easement restricted by any warning signs?”

“I don’t think so, Your Honor, at least not any that we could see. My friend Jessie is a little crazy sometimes.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, Sir, it was kind of late at night. Jessie said she didn’t feel like driving back up to Santa Fe, and she suggested that maybe we could just camp in the arroyo.”

“Hold on; you are two young women alone on a Saturday night in an unfamiliar place, and you decided to camp?”

“Sure. We were going to sleep in the Forester.”

“With the rear window broken out?”

“We had a bag duct-taped over the door, and it wasn’t air-tight or anything, but people say fresh air is good for you when you sleep, right?”

“Please tell this court what happened next.”

“We were doing everything we could think of to get the car un-stuck, stacking rocks under the wheels, digging out with our hands and sticks, you know, trying to find some kind of traction, and that’s when we saw these two old perverts with their telephoto lenses having an eyeful.”

“An eyeful?”

“Exactly. It was a sunny morning and we had worked up a pretty good sweat out there, so we peeled off our jerseys, not naked or anything, just trying to avoid getting over-heated. The two of them were maybe a hundred yards up the road, out on the front porch like they’re making some kind of movie, watching me and Jessie. About that time the Sheriff’s truck pulled up and he asked what we were doing in the arroyo, I think the way he said it was, ‘without any clothes on.’

“Jessie explained that we were making an effort to retrieve our vehicle, and how it seemed to us the geezers with the cameras were invading our privacy. The officer looks up toward the house, and we all see the dudes gathering their gear and running for the garage.”

“Something doesn’t feel right. You ladies stay right here.”

“He jumps in his truck and takes off, calling for backup like they do on Cops. Me and Jessie went back to digging, and twenty minutes later the officer returns with the two guys wearing handcuffs.”

“Are these the men what was bothering y’all?”

“That’s them, sure is. Hard to miss the one wearing the beret with a polka dot tee shirt.”

The story was all over the television news this morning. Chanel 7 reported that the two film-makers were indeed putting together a documentary featuring female athletes. It was also revealed that the film was being produced with equipment that had been “sold” to them without a receipt, and that most of it had also been reported missing from the film school at CNM. There, as they say, goes the neighborhood.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.



Bitsy - June 2015

There’s another version of the story that begins with me sitting at the counter in this truck stop thinking about how people talk to themselves all the time. I know that I do. Who doesn’t? It’s only when people do it out loud standing in the middle of the sidewalk that we refer to them as crazy. Hang on. Just who the hell is this guy standing here staring at me?

Excuse me, is that your backpack?

Oh. Sorry. Let me move it out of your way. Whoa. Hunk alert: how’s my hair? I’ll put it under my feet. Don’t make eye contact. There.

Thanks. It’s jammed in here this morning. How’s the coffee?

Not bad, actually, but good luck with the blonde waitress.

What do you mean?

You’ll see. And here she comes now. Are we having this conversation?

Hi. I’ll have the breakfast special, please, with scrambled eggs and bacon, hash browns, sourdough toast if you have it, otherwise wheat toast will be fine. Oh, and a small glass of orange juice, thank you. Nice. Must be a rotten job working this gig. Never hurts to smile. And what have we here on my right with the backpack and torn jeans bagging on the waitress?

She likes you, that waitress.

Likes me? Oh brother, a live one. What do you mean?

What do you mean what do I mean? When she took my order she jabbered at me a mile-a-minute about the stinking weather, but with you she just stared with the teased hair and that stunned oxen look. Honestly, she was all misty-eyed by the time you got to the orange juice. She likes you.

That’s rich. She must be the only person in North Florida who cares in the slightest. I played the Holiday Inn last night to a crowd of me and the bartender.

You’re a singer?

Sort of. I write songs, and to make sure somebody out there is singing them, I play the guitar well enough to draw a crowd. Occasionally.

You’re a modern-day troubadour, free and loose on the highways of our land? Kind of like a young Willie Nelson?

Something like that. There’s only one Wille Nelson. What’s your name?

Well now, Mister Troubador, who wants to know? Careful here, girlfriend.

Sorry, I’m Harpeth Rivers. Call me Rivers. Feisty little bitch.

I’m Bitsy. Here’s your food. And don’t call me bitch.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.


Not So Conspicuous Consumption - April 2015

After we settled into our first house in the suburbs my dad decided a cool, dark finished basement was the place he wanted to spend Saturday afternoons watching ball games. The Cubs. You know: “Wait’ll next year?” A glutton for punishment.

He decided the way to fix up the space on the cheap was to commandeer lumber and other assorted materials from the neighboring construction sites. No barriers then, no chain-link, razor-wired fences, no streetlights. He believed it was all very innocent and the builders would hardly miss a few pieces of wood. After all, they were making a fortune on these houses, right? And so he set upon a midnight raiding plan.

He’d sneak out late at night, usually after I was in bed, and run across the street and pilfer some 2 x 4’s or whatever from the house that was going up. My mother would stand in the front door and open it for him as he juggled four or five pieces of lumber, giggling like a schoolgirl when he ran in the door; every night, starting on Monday night. He did this until he had a nice pile in the basement, then he’d build some walls up real fast and partially cover them with Walnut wood paneling (he bought that), then he’d go out and do it again. Finally my brother got involved. The two of them could handle two or three times the material in the same time; much more expedient, over and over ‘til they had all the lumber he needed from about four different houses. The giggling doorman remained on duty. To this day it never ceases to amaze me they never got caught and for the longest time none of the builders ever seemed to notice stuff was missing. Or so we thought.

Finally one night, my mother, who was reconnoitering in the dark, in her aluminum folding chair on the front porch, noticed the cops were coming by a little more often. Then we saw them a couple days later, sitting down at the end of the block in the middle of the night; my dad held off. He needed just one more small piece of plywood, he said. He’d have to buy that my mother said.

It was over for now, but we had 99% of a great new beautiful basement with fancy lights (he bought those) and a tile floor, (where he got that we do not know; we didn’t ask). And we’d, all of us, sit down there in the coolness and dimness of the new rec room on a hot August Saturday afternoon eating Ritz crackers with peanut butter and watch the Cubbies lose again.

Wayne Mikosz is an ex-restauranteur, writer, residential designer, collaborative painter with the love of his life and a Certified Appraiser of collectible automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. Visit Convergence Studios. Check out his new book, 10 Stories of Life, Love and Death at


Rules of Engagement - Feb 2015

I don’t know how you played cowboys and Indians, but I can tell you how we played the game with very specific rules of engagement.

First of all, we had the perfect stageset for the activity. Down at the end of our street, there were open fields of grass, loads of worn paths, a small pond (watering hole if you prefer), large boulders on a hillside (perfect for ambushes), and steep slopes where you could survey the entire landscape. Hours in front of the old black and white TV watching Hopalong Cassidy, Wild Bill Hickok, the Cisco Kid, and Roy Rogers gave us all the plot scenarios we would need.

So, let’s get to the rules. If you jumped out from behind a rock and made the sound of a gunshot before the other person could shoot you, that meant that he was dead or wounded. When only two of us were playing, this created a serious logistical problem that could only be solved by kid logic. Think about it. If you’re dead, the game is over. More often than not, this led to the concept of “grazing.” As in, “You just grazed me.” This meant that you could get up after falling to the ground and skulk off to hide from the other player. Live to fight another day. Or another hour anyway. If you were really declared dead, you had to lay there for five minutes before you could come back as another character. “You shot Black Bart. That was my brother. My name is Blackie and you’re gonna pay for this mister.”

Another ploy was the ricochet. I can’t tell you how many times I claimed that my gunshot was a ricochet that rebounded off a large rock to effectively turn the corner and kill/wound the kid hiding behind another rock. Of course the downside of claiming your shot was a ricochet was that the intended target could just claim that it was a nice try, but “you missed me.”

By now, you must be thinking that if only two kids were playing, a lot was riding on our willingness to press forward even if we had to admit we were repeatedly killing each other. Our solution was the predecessor of the reset button that allows video gamers to start over after they have been zapped by the bad guys. If both of us were unwilling to repeatedly experience reincarnation, then it was GAME OVER, time to go home – and where’s the fun in that?

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.


The Debtors - Dec 2014

Ned and Carol, where are you? The reason I ask is that we keep getting calls for you. It’s been five years since we moved here and signed up for landline phone service. They gave us a number that must have once belonged to you.

But you two – you little imps – you two must have run up some mighty big debts, because not a day goes by that we don’t get a call from a collection service looking for you kids.

“If you are Ned Street or you know how we might locate Ned Street, please call yada-yada-yada.”

Now, when I see the collection agency name come up on caller ID, I pick up the call for two seconds and then disconnect. They are such wearisome calls after five years of hearing the same recorded message. And if I were Ned, would I really call the number for the collection agency? I hardly think so.

And not just one collection service is looking for you. There are several that would be interested in knowing your whereabouts. You and Carol must have racked up some serious debt. I imagine that it all started with some profligate spending on the credit cards and perhaps some gambling. The next thing you knew, it spiraled into a second mortgage and then maybe foreclosure on the house. The banks must have come after you too, but by then you and Carol had split town. Speaking of splitting, my guess is that the stress of your indebtedness drove a wedge between you and Carol, and the marriage folded. I could be wrong, but it seems unlikely that a marriage could survive the such a tremendous fall so far down the rabbit hole. I imagine you’ve gone your separate ways and tried to disappear into the cracks somewhere new, but it must be hard to try to rebuild a decent credit history with the collectors breathing down your neck.

I don’t know when the calls will stop. Maybe never. You would think the statue of patience limitations would have run out after five years, but hope springs eternal in the collection biz. I guess my own hope that the calls would finally stop demonstrates that I too have unrealistic expectations. Anyway, Ned and Carol, I hope you’ve landed on your feet somehow and find a way to rebuild your lives. If you’re ever feeling nostalgic, call your old phone number and let us know how you’re doing.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.


The Way We Were - August 2014

I woke up this morning and said, “Today’s the day. The day I write my memoir.”

Sounds easy but the truth is that I don’t remember much. I remember the song…Memories. Maybe that wasn’t the title but I can sing you the first line. Or maybe not. Memories, light the something something something. That’s all I remember. Oh, and Streisand sang it, I remember that. And she couldn’t or wouldn’t spell Barbara the right way.

That nice young lady who comes to see me sometimes, she can sing the song. I think she’s related to me but I’m not really sure. She looks a lot like me. Like a family resemblance. She told me who she is but then I forget right after she tells me.

Just thought of a joke. That doesn’t happen often. I say, “I think I lost my brafour and you say. ‘What’s a bra for?’ Get it. Funny. Ha, ha. Not sure why I remember that one.

Maybe the young lady will help me with my memoir. I could get her to write the things down so that someone will read it some day and they will know who I was, that I had a life, that I did things and went places. Like that. I hope I remember to ask her when she comes today or tomorrow. Or whenever she comes back.

I remember being outside and playing all day and when the cousins came and we would play hide and seek and games with a ball. I remember trying to show off and run faster and hide where no one could find me. Giant steps…that was some kind of game we played and you had to stand on the front porch. Something about a red light and a green light. Or you had to count to 20 and then go look for someone. I was better at hiding than looking.

We played until dark, until the fireflies came out and we chased them all over the yard. Sometimes we tried to trap them in a jar. And it had holes in the lid.

Where is that lady? Why isn’t she here today. When I’m not looking for her, then she shows up. When I need her to help me remember things, she’s not here.

The Way We Were….that’s it, that’s the song. That’s my life.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.


Five O'Clock in the Afternoon - July 2014

Mary Anne wanted a new life. She wanted to be a new person. She had even imagined her best friend, Angie opening a zipper that ran down her back and this new person stepping out of her skin. Then the world would swirl around her - shifting and changing with the old world, its squalor, hopelessness and pain disappearing forever. What would this new world be like? Well, first of all she would be in a city, not stuck here in west Texas downwind from a feedlot. At night, she could watch the city lights sparkle from the terrace of her spacious apartment instead of seeing only the incessant moths flying around the glaring light outside her trailer. By day, she could go shopping in glamorous boutiques and eat small exquisite salads in smart little bistros. If she had one more Arby's, she thought she might have to kill herself.

The baby's crying brought her back to the outskirts of Fort Davis. She slipped the latest copy of Architectural Digest into it's hiding place next to the old issues of Town and Country. Her baby was all pink and smiles after her long nap. Mary Anne snuggled her face into her warm sweetness, drowning briefly in the fresh baby smell. The baby chortled and wriggled in her arms.

Angie knocked on the door and came in, the screen door slamming behind her. Mary Anne held out the baby to her. Angie snapped her gum and took her. The baby went on smiling as she was cradled by her second mother.

"Well, little match girl, what's today fantasy? Pretty Woman, Breakfast at Tiffany's?" Mary Anne laughed. Her friend had given her this nickname after discovering the stash of upscale magazines. They smiled at each other both believing if Mary Anne ever made it to New York City, she had a better chance of ending up as a hooker than a millionaire.


"How about A Roman Holiday?" Mary Anne suggested.

"Oh, Gidget does the Continent", quipped Angie as she shifted the baby to her hip and pulled two wine coolers from the fridge. She plunked herself down on the couch, snuggled the baby close and flipped the top off of both bottles with the opener attached to the armrest.

"Let the good life roll!" she exclaimed.

Mary Anne slid the VHS tape into the machine and joined her best friend on the couch for their favorite form of escape.

At five o"clock in the afternoon, the movie was over, Angie was gone and the baby was down for another nap. Mary Anne leaned into the couch cushions sipping her fourth wine cooler, closed her eyes and walked into a luxurious dining room filled with beautiful people. They all turned towards her as she entered the room with love and acceptance in their eyes. She snuggled down deeper into the couch with the smell of the feedlot filling the air.

Pat Young
is a former educator who now builds houses, makes puppets (those really big ones with gigantic heads), and can tell you all about where water comes from and where it goes. And she bakes the world's best biscotti.



Next, Please - June 2014

Call me Th’ Gibson; he did. It makes me proud to be one of the J-45 acoustic guitars built when the factory was back in Kalamazoo. I was shipped for retail to Hewglie’s Music and then picked up by a song writer from Tullahoma who was in town to hit the big time, maybe get a spot on The Opry. We all have our dreams, but that guy never practiced. I spent most of the first year standing in the corner.

He’d grab me once in a while when he was drinking beer and take a stab at playing Wildwood Flower. We both got tired of how it sounded, and eventually he just left me in the case. Of course, they always blame the guitar. Not everybody understands the need for collaboration between the instrument and the musician, and that there has to be some chemistry. In a good match the music will emerge as a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

I met Rivers in the spring of 1962 at a major turning point for both of us. He was finishing a year at Vanderbilt and getting ready to tell his old man that there was a new game plan. Harpeth Junior was not going to continue down the path to medical school that had been his father’s dream. I was hanging behind the counter at a pawn shop on Broadway, and Rivers came in with his head down looking like he could use a friend. I was just out of the closet from my so-called life with the first owner, and when Rivers pointed and asked the salesman how much, I figured he was interested.

We played a few runs and some chord patterns standing there together in the aisle. I did everything I could to make him look good. He started showing off a little, and that made us both feel better. Ten minutes later he pulled out his wallet and handed over the last hundred and fifty he had in the bank, and boom, we were in the Volkswagen and on our way to Houston.

We’ve been through plenty in the last fifty years. It’s always like this --- a guitar finds a player and you give it everything you’ve got in the name of music. Now he’s got this new one, a black Fender Telecoustic that he’s calling The Guitar of His Dreams.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.


Burden of Proof - May 2014

Once upon a geometry --- long, long ago in The Golden Age --- Proof called for a configuration of Polygons.

“Attention, please,” said Proof addressing the multi-sided closed figures. “Octagons stop where you are; trapezoids and rhombuses, stand aside. For this procedure we will be utilizing four congruent right triangles and three different squares. Applicants should report immediately to The Ruler for verification of dimensions.”

“We have heard that Proof is demanding,” whispered one of the Three-Four-Five triangles selected.

“Me, too,” said the identical triangles in unison.

“Practice makes perfect,” offered a Four-by-Four square as Three-by-Three and Five-by-Five nodded in agreement.

 “Polygons, thanks for all you do,” said Proof. “Now, let’s get started. I’d like you to form a Seven-by-Seven square with the four triangles intersecting each other at a vertex. Ready? Configure!”

The Three-Four-Five triangles positioned themselves so that each hypotenuse provided one side of a single square. They motioned to Five-by-Five to join them.

“Check it out, I’m a perfect fit,” said Five-by-Five filling the space between his new friends.

“Splendid,” said Proof. For your next assignment let’s form another Seven-by-Seven square that includes Three-by-Three in perpendicular intersection with a vertex of Four-by-Four. Five-by-Five will sit this one out. On your mark, get set, configure.”

The two squares moved into position as directed and then recruited the Three-Four-Five triangles to help them complete the assignment.

“Want to join us?” they asked the four triangles.

“Sure, sure, sure, sure,” said the triangles as they scrambled into place forming a pair of Three-by-Four rectangles by aligning along a shared hypotenuse.

 “I see”, Proof observed. “There are two squares in this second configuration along with the same four triangles united to form Three-by-Four rectangles. Each of you has a ninety degree angle?”

“Right,” said all six of the Polygons.

“Eureka,” said Proof. “Both of these Seven-by-Seven configurations utilize the same four congruent right triangles, with the remaining area being either Five-by-Five or the sum of Three-by-Three plus Four-by-Four. I’d like to see that again. Polygons, as you were, I mean, about face or whatever.”

The triangles returned to the original configuration in combination with Five-by-Five. “Works for me,” said Three-by-Three. “Yeah,” said Four-by-Four, “and notice how nine plus sixteen is twenty-five.”

“That is so cool,” said Proof observing the maneuvers. “Alrighty then, you Polygons, one more time.”

“No problem,” said the squares and triangles as they alternated back and forth between the two configurations.

 “I’m satisfied,” said Proof observing the results.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.


Top 10 Differences between Men and Women - April 2014


Women mature much faster than men. Most 17-year old females can function as adults. Most 17-year old males are still trading baseball cards and giving each other wedgies after gym class. This is why high school romances rarely work out.


To their credit, men do not decorate their penmanship. They just chicken scratch. Women use scented, colored stationary and they dot their “i’s” with circles and hearts. Women use ridiculously large loops in their “p’s” and “g’s”. It is a royal pain to read a note from a woman. Even when she’s dumping you, she’ll put a smiley face at the end of the note.


A man has six items in his bathroom–a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of Dial soap, and a towel from a Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.


Men use rest rooms for purely biological reasons. Women use rest rooms as social lounges. Men in a rest room will never speak a word to each other. Never in the history of the world has a man excused himself from a restaurant table by saying, “Hey Tom, I was just about to take a leak. Do you want to join me?


A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and soccer games and romances and best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.


Women prefer 30-40 minutes of foreplay. Men prefer 30-40 seconds of foreplay. Men consider driving back to her place as part of the foreplay. Women like to have sex when they’re in the mood. Men like to have sex when they’re in the room.


Women do laundry every couple of days. A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants , before he will do his laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweat shirt inside out, rent a U-Haul, and take his mountain of clothes to the Laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the Laundromat. This is a myth perpetuated by reruns of old episodes of “Love, American Style.”


Men see the telephone as a communication tool. They use the telephone to send short messages to other people. A woman can visit her girlfriend for two weeks, and upon returning home, she will call the same friend and they will talk for three hours.


If Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose.

If Mike, Charlie, Bob and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Stinky.


A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

Jack Goldenberg is a prolific Copywriter, innovative Creative Director and consummate, strategic marketer. Read his blog at  10 minutes of brilliance. With all he’s done, he still believes his best efforts are ahead of him.


How I Introduced Letterman and Trump to the USSR’s Last Beauty Queen - Part 2 - March 2014

Hopefully, your read Part 1 of how I was forced to suffer two terrible weeks travelling on the east coast with the beautiful, talented, sexy and lovely Maria Kejha, Miss USSR. Even though the Russian Beauty Contest was 20 years ago, I'm still talking about her. Actually, not really talking, but putting pictures of Maria on Pinterst.

My story goes back to November, 1990 before the Soviet Union ran their “Going Out of Business Sale.” I reached an agreement with Global American TV, the company that had the U.S. rights to promote the Miss USSR Beauty Pageant. The Russian Beauty Queens were coming to America and I was to be their press agent and tour guide.

Global American TV made arrangements for the winner of the Pageant, 18 year-old Maria Kazha and 19 year-old runner-up, Lauma Zemzare, Miss Soviet TV, to visit and tour the United States for a whirlwind 8-day tour.

Immediately, two questions came to mind. How would I get them publicity? And how the hell was I going to tell my wife I was touring the east coast with two under-20 year-old Russian beauties?

So, I did the only sane thing a man could do. I met the two beauty queens at Kennedy Airport when they arrived from Russia and handed them bouquets of red roses saying, “Welcome to America.”

When I handed these two stunning teenage beauty queens the red roses, Maria and Lauma smiled.

“Where are we staying?” Maria asked.

“Tonight only, you’re staying at my house in Westport, Connecticut.”

Maria was no longer smiling. Lauma, for some strange reason, was still smiling.

But you would be missing the point if you thought my intentions weren’t honorable. Sure, I took them to my house for a sleepover. Because I wanted them to know I had a wife who was as beautiful as they were and a daughter who was even younger, so I wasn’t about to hit on them.

My job was the protect them and to get them as much publicity as possible. And to show the world that the women of Russia were beautiful and stylish, not at all like the images in the famous Wendy’s Soviet Fashion Show commercial.

END NOTE: Masha Keja, the former Miss USSR, is now a famous evening bag and accessories designer in Paris.

Jack Goldenberg is a prolific Copywriter, innovative Creative Director and consummate, strategic marketer. Read his blog at  10 minutes of brilliance. With all he’s done, he still believes his best efforts are ahead of him.



Here’s How the Fight Started - Feb 2014

My wife sat down on the sofa next to me as I was flipping through channels. She asked, “What’s on TV?’”

I said, “Dust.”

And then the fight started…

My wife and I were watching “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, “Do you want to have sex tonight?”

“No,” she answered.

I then asked her, “Is that your final answer?”

She didn’t even look at me this time, she simply said, “Yes.”

So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

And then the fight started….

Saturday morning I got up early, quietly dressed, made my lunch, and slipped quietly into the garage. I hooked up the boat up to the van, and proceeded to back out of the driveway into a torrential downpour. The wind was blowing at 50 mph, so I pulled back into the garage, and decided to go back in my house.

I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. I cuddled up to my wife’s back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, “The weather out there is terrible.”

My loving wife of 37 years replied, “Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that downpour?”

And that’s how the fight started…

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds.”

I bought her a bathroom scale.

And then the fight started…

I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver’s license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

The woman said, “Unbutton your shirt.”

So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair.

She said, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me,” and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.

She said, ‘You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too.’

And then the fight started…

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.

My wife asked, ‘Do you know her?’

“Yes,” I sighed, “She’s my old girlfriend. I understand she took to drinking right after we split up many years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.”

“My God!” said my wife, “who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?”

And then the fight started…

Jack Goldenberg is a prolific Copywriter, innovative Creative Director and consummate, strategic marketer. Read his blog at  10 minutes of brilliance. With all he’s done, he still believes his best efforts are ahead of him.


Scratch My Back - Feb 2014

Listen, Mike  --- it’s all about the numbers. Now hang on, hear me out --- it’s all about the money you are going to make. We’re talking about cash, Mike. Sure, I get my cut, and I also get credit for this brilliant idea.

Brilliant my ass. You’re just hustling your songs.

Maybe so, Mike. Okay, you’re right; but there’s hustle, and then there’s hustle.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Nothing, Mike. Forget it. Listen, here’s how it works. See, I wrote a couple of songs about how much I like living out here in New Mexico. You, my friend, have a song with a similar message. Three Wishes is a great song, you could be retired on that song.

I’m sure as hell not retired.

You’re not retired, Mike, but you could be if you sold a million CD’s. I plan to sell a million, Mike, a million CD’s with your song on every one of them. And here’s the best part: you don’t have to do anything that you aren’t already doing and have been doing for as long as I have known you. Sign the release, Mike. It’s standard stuff that gives me permission to produce a thousand CD’s with Three Wishes included in the collection. I master all the tracks, handle the duplication with eco-friendly covers that look like this one. Whadaya think?

That’s pretty cool. I like the title. Red or Green kind of says it all.

Thanks, Mike. Thanks. You’re right about the title. Every gift-hungry tourist that flies in and out of the Sunport is going to see the display and want one of these.

You planning to sell on the internet, too?

Anything is possible, Mike. I’m like you; I’ll move some units at the gigs this summer, maybe put the rest in gift shops.

Lemme think about it.

Okay, Mike. You think about it. You think about it. Listen to me, Mike --- when I deliver your box of CD’s- that I will guarantee to have in your hands by this time next month- you will be holding $1800 worth of product in exchange for merely taking me up on my generous offer. I’m handing you a big fat holiday gift here, Mike. Sign the form, sell some product and send me a thank you note when you get back from the bank. What are you thinking? This is like picking up money off the ground.

Sign the release.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.



What's Up Doc? - Dec 2013

Well, Doctor, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape for somebody my age, but I have concerns about my sleeping patterns.

Do you have trouble falling asleep, or is it a question of waking up throughout the night? What time do you normally go to bed?

It varies. We don’t go out at night if we can help it, so sometimes I’m asleep by seven thirty, right after dinner.

I see here that you drink alcohol, one to two drinks a day. Does your wife drink?

Like a fish, but don’t tell her I said that. Our cocktail hour is one of the great pleasures of retired life. Do you drink, Dr. Freeman?

Occasionally, yes.

Occasionally? You mean not every day.

Not every day, no. Would you say that you and Mrs. Rivers pretty much enjoy cocktails on a daily basis?

Indeed, we do--- martinis, as a rule. Actually she likes a Gibson up with an onion, and I drink mine on the rocks with an olive and just a whisper of vermouth. In the summer, I switch to gin and tonic as a nod to tradition, but I’m finished with the white shoes routine. My season runs from the vernal Equinox to my birthday on the cusp between Virgo and Libra. It’s like changing the batteries in the smoke detectors on New Year’s and The Fourth of July, easy to remember.

I see. So you don’t have any trouble falling asleep?

Not usually, no. Sometime I read in bed, but mostly I just nod out. We have a great bed, one of those memory foam units, queen size with plenty of room for the dogs.

You sleep with the dogs?

Don’t get me started, Doctor Freeburg. Those dogs have it made.

What kind of dogs?

Tibetan Terriers; they were bred as companions for the monks. They have hair instead of fur, no dander, and they don’t shed any more than we do. They don’t bark as a rule, and they’re just the right size, not one of those little yappers, but not so big that they clear the coffee table with the tail. Do you have dogs, Doctor?

Three Shelties. We lost one this time last year, and we’re starting to think about a puppy.

What are you gonna do?

Yeah, we love ‘em like family, maybe better. So you fall asleep easily?

Yeah, no problem getting to sleep, unless the dogs are restless, but after a few hours I’m awake, sometimes before midnight.

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.


Pillsbury Dough Boy Passes On - Nov 2013

Pillsbury Dough Boy Obituary (1962-2013)

Sorry I was late. I was at a funeral.

Please join me in remembering a great American icon – the Pillsbury Dough Boy, aka Pop N. Fresh.

The veteran Pillsbury spokesman would have been 50 this year.

Sadly, the Pillsbury Dough Boy died yesterday from a yeast infection. Fresh was buried in a lightly greased coffin.

Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Longtime friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the Dough Boy’s eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.

Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers.

He was not considered a very “smart” cookie, wasting much of his well-earned dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he was a roll model for millions. Towards the end, after his sad demise, it was thought he would rise again. But alas, he remained unleavened. Like Matzoh.

He had a good temperament and very few things made him angry. Although he did get a little burnt up when someone would leave him in the oven.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, and two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus one little muffin in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

The funeral was held at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes.

Jack Goldenberg  is a prolific Copywriter, innovative Creative Director and consummate, strategic marketer. Read his blog, 10 minutes of brilliance. With all he’s done, he still believes his best efforts are ahead of him.


Remmie and me. Or is it I? (It’s me, not you) - Oct 2013

“Whoa! What’s that light? (cough) …and all that dust?”

“Hi, Remmie.”

(cough) “…it’s you! It’s you! You’re back! Oh, Baby, you’re back.”

“Yeah, I’m back.”

“Where have you been? It’s been so long.”

“Well…I, uh…umm”

“It’s someone else, isn’t it? You’ve found someone new.”

“Well…I’ll tell you later, Rem. I’ve got some writing to do now.”

“But…I…I missed you Baby. Talk to me.”

“Shh, Rem. Later.”



“…but you always said I was the best, Baby. The fastest. You’d pat me and tickle my keys and dust me off and wipe me down after a long day and…you told me you…What’s her name?”

Dell keyboard“Rem, it’s just that…it’s Del…I…

“Del. Well…at least it’s not some guy. Like Mac…”

“…she’s…faster. She’s someone I don’t have to correct all the time.

Someone…someone, well, who’s sleaker and warmer and…and who talks to me and who remembers the things we do together”

“Faster!? Oh, sure. I bet you tickle her just the way you used…you wipe her down after a long session too? You louse.”

“Rem, stop. Please. Life goes on, I’ve moved on.”

“Well…then why are you here? Why come back now?”

“Well… I hit her. And I had to take her to the…”

“You HIT her?”

“Well, she can be frustrating at times. You know, you, of all people should know.”

“Well, yeah but you never hit me and I’d only get sticky when…”

“Oh, come on. I’d oil you up when you dried out and give you ribbons…and you’d still…”

“That’s when I got really sticky, lover boy…”

“Rem, please. Let’s not go there. I’ve got to work.”


“How long are you back for?”Remmington in case

“Just for a couple hours. She’ll be back this afternoon.”

“She is fast. So…this is it then?”

“Well, I’ll probably be back; whenever she acts up again. You know how it is. You’re my old trusty Rem, my fave. You’ll always be around…”

“Oh yeah? Hell with that. No more. Go to your faster, sleaker, hotter,

remembering-all-things lover. Think again, pal. I’ve had it. I’m outta he__”

“Rem! Rem, you’re stuck in your old ways again. Rem? Now what’s…damn! Rem!

You forgot your keys…don’t stop working with me now…Rem? I need you…I…”

(Sound of slamming typewriter case. Imagine dust rising around you in the gloom.)

Wayne Mikosz is an ex-restauranteur, writer, residential designer, collaborative painter with the love of his life and a Certified Appraiser of collectible automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. Visit Convergence Studios. Check out his new book, 10 Stories of Life, Love and Death at