More from the Mind of Kirby Lee Davis!

It was a really interesting encounter. I had been searching all summer

for a hawk or eagle to photograph for my book (which is almost to press, BTW).

I had a few chances during trips to or from Wichita, but I either never had the

time or opportunity to stop and shoot. Finally I prayed about my need, and eagles

started appearing during my daily walks, at times far off, other times drawing very

close. Each appearance illustrated just how unprepared or aware I had been,

and even worse, the deficiencies my phone camera had in reacting and capturing

images of such creatures. But that problem soon took care of itself. One day I

was walking down the path, under a tree, when an eagle took to the skies right

above my head, not 10 feet away. Engrossed in my book I had not seen him

until he lifted off. Soon after that, one apparently followed me down the path,

finally soaring over my back about 25 feet up. Naturally I saw him as he passed

by, his shadow making a striking emergence from my own. I tried to rip out my

phone, turn on the program, and get a shot.. only to see the air lord was by then

a football field away. That's also how I realized the camera's focus chip was

simply too slow to catch such a speeding critter. Many a shot I took, only to find him a small blip out of focus, or out of the image field. But on the third straight day of appearances, an eagle not only followed me, but circled back, twice, allowing me to get some shots. A second eagle joined in, flying about the other, making my day oh so special. And then they flew on down the river... and I haven't seen them since.

— Oct. 10, 2017

I'm sitting in this dark Cinemark theater, enjoying my second viewing of Deadpool, this time from reserved seat E8, when I notice this fairly attractive lady walking up, her intrigued eyes on me instead of the darkened seat numbers. I'm curious, having never seen a person arrive so late into a movie, but she doesn't sit down. Instead she leans close and whispers, "You know you've been snoring?" "Really?" I respond, having nothing else prepared for such a moment, which earns an amused grin. "Very loudly," she says. So I apologize, with broadens her warm glow into a fully charged smile, and she disappears into the darkness from which she came. And I can't help seeing this as a positive result to my latest test, the aggravated nasal passage lure. It just shows that you can learn something from National Geographic moose footage.

— Feb. 25, 2016

I'd put off boxing my dad's last sun-room books for weeks now, not just for the headache promised by their years of accumulated dust, but the cobwebs I attracted every time I drew near them. Suffice it to say, I can't stand the touch of a spider's web. But today proved D-day as a local grocer gladly gave me three empty boxes, eliminating my last delaying tactic to this necessary clean-up chore. Thus armed, I returned to the burdened shelves and slowly stowed away book after book, brushing off the aging residue, throwing away the few texts simply too sticky with dust or spider nests to worry about. Occasionally I could see streams of webs pull away from the shelves with a bound volume, but I never encountered an actual beastie until one started crawling up beneath my pant's leg. I smashed that nosy neighbor, then another, ever expecting to encounter an angry mama. But it wasn't until I reached the third to last book that we came face to face, me and a big brown spider with a body as long as my thumbnail, its legs spreading out more than half the length of my finger. I didn't see the web-spinner until its hugged book was about eight inches from my face. I stopped and looked at that critter, and it just sat there, watching who knows what -- perhaps my hand, just a few spider-lengths away. When it didn't jump for my eyes, which is a fear of mine, I gently laid the edge of that book down, and the spider got off. I then waited for that living embodiment of my favorite Jonny Quest nightmare to walk away. Instead that eight-legged freak turned toward my kneecap, which sat innocently just a few inches away. And thus, my patience reached its end.

— April 18, 2016

One decade into living within this apartment, I've found my spare keys.

— Feb. 13, 2016

I've been struggling this year with newly-found weight, which was a problem since the weight wouldn't go away. I like making friends, but not such that increase my pant sizes. I did my normal exercises, but remained at the front line of this battle. Made no sense to me. Then I found I had not one, but two emptied plastic containers in the dishwasher that once offered six pounds of wonderful Mrs. Gery's Deviled Egg Potato Salad, something I discovered this year at my local grocery. These are set to be cleaned because I hate to throw sturdy plastic containers away. I should be able to find something to do with them. Then I realized I had seven of these washed and stacked containers sitting above the dishwasher, nice squarish resealable units that each once came with three pounds of fresh potato salad. And thus I found where all my extra weight came from.

— June 6, 2016

The stage: a wet, cloudy Wednesday morning in southwest Tulsa. The antagonist: as usual, me. The plot: So I settle into Chick-fil-A for an early breakfast, two chick biscuits and a large unsweet iced tea, thinking I'll check my work status by hooking my work laptop into the restaurant's wifi. As often happens, the biscuits aren't quite ready when I order, so I retreat to the condiments counter and add sugar to my tea as the manager brings my food tray. As I reach for it, my computer bag strap slides off my shoulder. The descending weight spurs me to secure my hold on the tea... and the wall of styrofoam gives way. Suddenly I find my thumb sticking through a two-inch hole in my cup. I look down at the gushing fluid, wondering if such surprise is what the Titanic's storage crew first thought as they spied their many seawater spurts suddenly surging out of the supposedly solid iron. I see tea falling on my computer bag, so I turn the cup a quarter right, but that sends my favorite drink cascading onto my sweater and shirt. Strangely it soaks my pants leg before anything else, but I also feel this chill stream sliding down my forearm, so I turn the cup again and toss it neatly into the neighboring trash can. And in that brief period of time, the restaurant manager had already taken back my tray of now-wet biscuits, and another worker was walking forward with some paper towels to dry my clothes. Before I'd finished this amazing process, still another employee was mopping up my mess, while the manager arrived with a new cup of tea. This cycle of catalyst and resolution proved almost as great a demonstration of their emergency responsiveness as it did my ability to create a moment of icy chaos, all through one misplaced thumb.

— April 21, 2016


There are times when I actually praise God for my idiocy. For example, I just sat down before my computer to check my bank account and was shocked to see my balance was only $26 and some odd cents. I almost had a heart attack! Then, as I started pondering just what law enforcement branch I would call, I realized I had tapped into my credit card account, not my checking.

— April 9, 2016

When I was a kid, I often dreamt it would be just so divinely cool to have a pet alligator. Like many deep thinkers, I knew for a certainty that our tub would be a great place to keep it, at least until the beastie got as long as I was tall. After all, the tub fit me just fine, and in all the stories I’d read, other people who had gators kept theirs in tubs! Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I never realized this dream, and indeed, once I read my first book about water creatures, and soon after saw Jaws, I decided a pet that liked to use its teeth would not necessarily be the most desirable companion.

Like I said, I was a kid.

I don’t know how many times I expressed this to my parents. I recall Dad

laughing at the notion once, while mom simply smiled while doubting I

could ever train the reptile to do anything. She was certain I couldn’t take

it on a walk, no matter how I envisioned this. But she did think enough of

the idea, or my love of the idea, to get me a rubber representation of this

most favored of surviving dinosaurs, and me being me, I hung on to that

over the years, until the time came to share that dream with my daughters.

They loved the bouncy little green rascal, never afraid of those long white

teeth that latched onto any finger stuck into its deep mouth.

I rediscovered the critter last year as I finally broke down and sorted

through a box of belongings left in mom and dad’s attic. If my memory

serves me here, and there’s no reason to think it doesn’t, this toy remains much the same as it did when mom first gave it to me, except for the missing tip of its tail, which a beloved neighbor child managed to pull off after the girls took the pet under their care. Not knowing what to do with the gator, unwilling to throw it away, I finally decided the tub was the perfect place to let it rest.

And just that simply, I realized another dream.

— March 18, 2017

People like to tell me how I speed. I love to explain to them how I never speed, but I accelerate every chance I get. I love the sense of acceleration... it makes my downtime and rests far more meaningful. And it gives me the mistaken feeling that I'm never wasting time. For we're all grass, here today and gone tomorrow. We should never take one minute for granted. We should never miss a chance to accomplish something, even if it's just to fail and start again. We should never miss a chance to help someone, to give them a hug or tell them you love them! For we may never have that chance again.

— March 28, 2017

A jogger stopped me in my walk this afternoon, asking if I wasn't reading the exact same book as yesterday. After some confusion I admitted that I was still in Antony Beevor's Ardennes 1944, a book that came out late last year on the Battle of the Bulge. He seemed surprised at that, so I promised this inquisitive runner that I would have a new book started within two days, which he said was good. He then resumed his run with a smile. About two minutes of laughter kept me from getting back into the book, which now faces a finishing deadline. Oh, the pressures of walking and reading in Tulsa.

— Sept. 14, 2016

 

So I'm finishing up my ham sandwich with a bounty of cottage cheese and, just as I reach for some strawberry delights to enliven the large curds, my eyes fall upon a bag of Milk Chocolate M&Ms. And I'm thinking... wow! A wondrous idea!

And once again, I'm wrong.

— June 2, 2016

One of the things that intrigued me about replacing Red (my luscious candy apple CTS of which I’ve shared many a loving story over the past nine years) was the smart phone app Buick offers. I doubted I would ever use it, for I had no intentions of giving up my flip phone, but when that decade-old communicator suddenly died on me, I gave in to this telecommunications evolution and bought an iPhone 7.5, almost nine years from the time I first saw those little jewels and vowed never to put one in my pocket.

Yes, from that you may surmise just how swiftly I jump on bandwagons. But that's another point for another day.

The app allowed me to know where my car was at all times, load information to the car's in-dash intelligence system for Ole Blue Eyes' next trip (that's the current accepted name for the vehicle, otherwise known as The Pod), learn the pressure of its tires or the remaining life of its oil, plot its travel range based on the contents of its gas tank, etc. I could lock or unlock The Pod's doors by remote, start or turn off the engine, and activate/deactivate the horn or headlights.  I.e. instant toy. The neighbors love me.

But I soon learned said app did not automatically update itself as it was suppose to. While I could serenade midnight owls whenever I wished, and start that engine on cold mornings in bed, the app apparently stopped informing me of Blue Eyes' current status at roughly 1,600 miles. I noticed this deficiency around 3,900 miles, which shows you how much I use the app and/or smart side of this phone, but still, the issue worried me, since it might also indicate a problem with the OnStar system I intend to rely upon in emergencies. So as the dashboard odometer neared 5,000 miles, I decided the smart phone was not smart enough to fix this on its own, and thus I called OnStar (on the dash connection, not the phone).

After a short talk with the answering service, OnStar switched me to an app tech, who told me I needed to reconnect the app via a nonexistent button. When she told me where that button was, and I told her "On my screen, it's not" (audibly picture Yoda's sarcastic voice there), she said I would then have to turn off the phone and hope for the best... two things I knew how to do, but rarely associated to each other. When I took those steps, and nothing happened, she told me I would have to turn off the car at the same time, which of course would disconnect me from OnStar. As she vowed to call me back, I stopped the car, turned off the phone, reversed that process for both contraptions, and checked the app. Still no updated info. Within about five minutes the OnStar tech returned the call, with growing disappointment after I shared my status. Then she said how I would have to turn off The Pod AND open its sparkling gray steel door, so that the information system's power would truly be turned off. So we said goodbye once more, I did all those things and rebooted The Pod and phone, only to discover the app STILL had not uploaded any new info.

 

The OnStar tech was understandably despondent at this, though not as much as I. With a regretful sigh, she told me I would have to uninstall the app and then reinstall it. Naturally that troubled me, for I had no clue how to do so, but as I fingered the "Vehicle Status" tab once again, hoping for a miracle, suddenly and inexplicably my finger slid right... and the tab slid with it to reveal an unexpected "refresh" button.

Charged by discovery, rash to the extreme, I threw away all caution and tapped that capsule. And with a burst of digital ingenuity and resourcefulness, the odometer reading on the app matched that on the car.

I laughed at this, which drew surprise from the OnStar tech. Thus I shared my revelation. "What did you do?" she asked twice. Again I explained my accidental find of the refresh button, and she said, "It did what?" So I told her again. With a smile I could see through the speaker, she admitted that she didn't even know that button existed. "They must have installed that with the last software upgrade," she said. "They didn't tell us that." And thus she thanked me for fixing their problem, vowing to find out what else this app now does.

— May 30, 2017

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All text, photos, artworks, and layouts

by Kirby Lee Davis

© 2019 Kirby Lee Davis

All Rights Reserved.

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