“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

A Sneak Peek at My Western Roots
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Every year for Thanksgiving all Hudlers converge in Burlington, Colorado, at my folks' house. We're a small clan. While my family does most things very, very well ... breeding isn't one of them.

Mom just emailed me the photos from this year's get-together.

I want to introduce you to my wonderful mom and dad:. Meet Joy and Rol.

The names are interesting: Dad's full name is John Rollin Hudler II. And Mom's is Muriel Joy Hudler. She goes by Joy. Her sisters -- and I kid you not -- are named Happy and Lucky. (Aunt Lucky and her daughter Debbie also join us for Thanksgiving. On some years, Debbie performs her Elvis impersonation concert)

An eccentric family? You bet. A few examples of my mom's whimsical decorating are most telling:

The little snake hides in a plant in the bathroom. Women tend to miss him because they're sitting, but men are greeted, eye-to-eye with the little guy as they do their business.

My mom's spirit and personality have wound their way into at least two of my novels: Linc's runaway mom in Househusband and the character Geena in All This Belongs to Me. So far, dad has escaped my author's eye in crafting characters, but, nonetheless, he is there with me every day as I write: My dad taught me how to work, to get things done. I don't think I would have finished even one novel without his influence on my work habits.

Love y'all.

Reporter at Large: Central Ohio
Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wanted to share a few oddities I encountered while watching daughter Haley compete in Moot Court regionals in Ohio.

First, this shot from the small town of Wooster:

Black squirrels! All over the place! I had no idea such a thing existed.

And then, in a suburban Columbus Hilton, this interesting choice of a sculpture just inside the main door:

Not sure what to think of it. This bronze, contortionist human appears to be ... umm ... pleasuring him/herself while trying to fly?

This Christmas ... for the man in your house who has everything ...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Was Christmas shopping with my wife in suburban Columbus, Ohio and I found this really nifty coffee cup.

This is for you, Pee-Wee.

Tattletale at 36,000 feet
Friday, November 18, 2011

Sat by a commuting flight attendant yesterday ... a lead flight attendant, I might add. And take a look at this mess she left in her front-seat pocket. Half a candy bar, some paper trash and a half-filled glass of water. She also slept with her ipod on even after passengers had been told to power down all such devices.

Note to Barb (I read her name on her pin of wings):

Dear Barb: Please try to set a better example for the passengers.

Mr. Fussy

Bean Enchiladas and Pina Coladas: Why I like country music
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I grew up in the middle of nowhere -- East Jesus, we called it -- a town on the High Plains of eastern Colorado, 170 miles from the nearest airport or McDonalds, though there is a McDonalds there now. This meant we only had one radio station to listen to ... and that was KNAB, 1140 on the AM dial. And since my town was in the middle of ranch and farmland, KNAB's format was ... you guessed it: Country.

As a result, I grew up not liking country music because it was my only option, so, obviously, I rebelled against it.

But, having lived most of my adult life on the East Coast, I have since re-visited country music and have come to love it, especially classic country ... not that new crap that can't make up its mind whether it's rock or country.

I think the other reason I like country music is because I can understand the lyrics. I've always thought I had this genetic flaw that didn't allow me to understand song lyrics. (Remember the Pina Colada song from the '70s? I thought they were singing "I like Bean Enchiladas," not "I like Pina Coladas.")

Years later I realized that it wasn't my ears that were the problem -- it was the singers' inability to articulate. But those country singers ... their diction is awesome. And here is a great song by Deana Carter called DID I SHAVE MY LEGS FOR THIS?

"Flowers and wine is what I thought I would find
When I came home from working tonight
Well now here I stand, over this frying pan
And you want a cold one again

I bought these new heels, did my nails
Had my hair done just right
I thought this new dress was a sure bet
For romance tonight

Well it's perfectly clear,
between the TV and beer
I won't get so much as a kiss

As I head for the door
I turn around to be sure
Did I shave my legs for this?

Now when we first met
you promised you'd get
A house on a hill with a pool

Well this trailer stays wet
and were swimmin' in debt
And you want me to go back to school

I bought these new heels,
did my nails
Had my hair done just right
I thought this new dress was a sure bet
For romance tonight

Well it's perfectly clear, between the TV and beer
I won't get so much as a kiss
As I head for the door
I turn around to be sure
Did I shave my legs for this?
Darlin', did I shave my legs for this? 

Signs of Intelligent Life #28834W2
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Found this clever pothole cover in east Tennessee. The grate had sunk into the asphalt.
I sure hope they decorate it for Christmas. Maybe a Santa hat on top of the cone?

Mysteries of the Universe: #8444RB5
Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why is it that so many people order ginger ale on airplanes? (You never hear them ordering it in restaurants or bars.) Is it a comfort drink that we remember momma serving us when we were sick as kids? Are we seeking something that makes us feel safe ... because we're up there in the air, vulnerable from defying countless laws of physics?

It's not easy being green
Sunday, November 6, 2011

I do whatever I can to help ease the strain on the resources of our planet. I've replaced my superior, incandescent light bulbs with those pitiful, anemic compact fluorescents. I've reduced the number of times I flush the toilet during the day: "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."

I also buy eco-friendly cleaning products when I can -- but I won't be keeping this last one I bought:

Yep, instead of my usual green dish-washing scratchies I bought this one made of .... well, I'm not sure what it's made of. I think it's recycled plastic bottles and, best as I can tell, yak hair ... which sheds as you're doing the dishes.


Those frozen french fries? They're right beside the blue jeans.
Thursday, November 3, 2011

I just read in today's New York Times that the Levi Strauss company is trying to lessen their environmental imprint -- and they want the buyers of their jeans to do the same thing.

They ask us -- and I'm not kidding about this -- not to wash our jeans more than we need to.

I'm already there. Honestly, I wear a pair of jeans for up to 10 days sometimes without a wash. Denim is amazing; it seems to shed odors overnight ... even smoke from a bar.

The most fun fact from the article was this handy household hint on how to keep your jeans odor-free for longer: Put them in the freezer overnight.

Evidently, the cold temperature kills the germs that cause odors ... although, the article warns us, this is more successful if the person has faithfully been wearing underwear beneath his jeans.

I'm gonna try this one, folks.