chainsaw_headerThis week, in a moment, we’re going to hit 88 mph. Fueled by 1.21 gigawatts, zipping unprovoked back and forth across the Chainsaw space time continuum. Watch me for the changes… and try to keep up.

Many moons ago, following a dishonorable discharge from my 2nd tour of duty (marriage, like war, can be hell) the struggle was real. Taking on the recurring role of single father trying to make ends meet for a doting daughter still a few steps away from the threshold of teen angst.

The only extra money was spare change. Collected and compiled weekly in an antique Skippy peanut butter jar, which when filled was sorted, counted and declared disposable income. This allowed for a “night on the town” every couple of months or so. These outings usually consisted of fine dining beneath the golden arches, a grand tour of the mall in the valley (back before it sucked) and finally terminating at the noble Barnes bookstore.

As the evening drew to a close on one such venture, mine only child asked if we could partake of the fancy coffees and pastries available for purchase. “Well kiddo, change is good but there’s not much left. Look around though, people are always dropping money and stuff… and I sense its presence.” This answered with a preteen eye roll. She was however astonished when, turning the next aisle, myself scanning the floor and finding a crumpled ten-spot. It was at this juncture in life that she finally grasped my reasoning behind constant full peripheral observation. Whereas most parents always encourage their kids to “look up”, I personally endorsed looking down.

Moons later, during my 3rd, currently in progress and final tour of duty <3, Lil Red (that’s the spouse) couldn’t help at times but be amazed at my oft bizarre scouring, scavenging, salvaging, search and find skill — and sometimes befuddled and annoyed with the things I’d bring home. Here of late I keep finding old wooden framed windows.

Yet on outings to the local parks with the Grand-saw, it was considered a godsend. Little fella wanted a ball to roll down the slide? Maybe shoot some hoops? Or just play catch? Give Ol’ Pappy Chainsaw just a minute. A quick check in the woods behind the ballfield, bushes behind the basketball goals, hill beyond the tennis courts and… voila — tennis balls, racquet balls, basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls, and just good old bouncy balls, not to mention the occasional Frisbee, all ready for playground play-time. Oft the little fellow would accompany me on these ventures. It was like a random spontaneous Easter egg hunt and always yielded some form of playtime treasure… and on one occasion a dead body… just kidding.

Of course, this all started with the knives.

Many more moons ago than the aforementioned moons found a younger me enamored with a rather psychedelic looking pocketknife in my father’s tool box. Surprisingly and uncharacteristically, he gave it to me — my first one.

When I asked how old it was and where it had come from, (expecting some cool tale of family lineage I suppose) he shrugged. He said he’d found it lying on the roadside, to the left of the upper end of the dirt road on which we lived. He laughed when I then pondered aloud that maybe there were more where that came from, mounted my banana seat and took off up the road. He wasn’t laughing so much that afternoon when I returned with a brand new, undamaged Swiss Army knife… it had little scissors and everything.

For the next several moons beyond this moon (dear gawd can we just stop with referencing passages of time by moons?) the top of the dirt road and 200 yards out to the left was my daily stomping ground… occasionally veering to the right. Over the course of those moonless days (ha ha think about that) there were several more pocketknives discovered. Along with small hunting knives, box-cutters, screwdrivers, hacksaws, adjustable wrenches and a plethora of cigarette lighters, most plastic, a rare few Zippos.

To this day I still look down. In doing so, over the moons, have collected hundreds of dollars’ worth of loose change and bills. So never think my visual direction is my mood. I’m just picking up after you for profit.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected].

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya.