Not The Song I Want To Hear

music

For those just joining the party, a little history.  In a previous life, I have been a DJ. I worked at a country station, a big band station, and did mobile DJ work.  All in the early 80’s in and around Miami.

IMG_0002

On Crandon Park Beach.  Employee party for the T.G.I. Friday restaurant chain. With Reflections Productions.

Also in a previous life, I was a worship leader for several churches in the Daytona Beach area. I have been told that I was the “Christian Tom Petty” and that my voice was like the guy from Lady Antebellum. I take both as huge compliments.

promo_001

Long ago, in a universe far far away…

Now that we have that out-of-the-way…

What I came here to talk about today are artists/bands/songs that either make me turn up the volume or change the station.  This is not a comprehensive list and I ask for comments, both where you think I’m wrong and anything that could be added. And as I’m writing this post, Jethro Tull’s Aqua Lung is playing.  While I love this song (and the “follow-up” Locomotive Breath) Wifey® will leave the room when either play, and I’ll turn it up. So that’s a perfect kick off!

Stuff That Makes Me Change The Station

  • Anything, and I mean anything, by George Thorogood. There is just something about his whole style that I do not care for. And I love the blues in general, just not his version.
  • Along the same lines is Bruce Springsteen. But not every song, just most of them. Again it’s a style thing for me.
  • Almost anything from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Especially Free Bird. I will let Simple Man and Curtis Lowe play.  Growing up in Florida, they had to be the most overplayed band of my youth. Along with our next entry.
  • Led Zepplin. Again, they were like every third song on the radio. I’m so over them.

 

Stuff That Makes Me Turn Up The Volume

  • The Beatles. When my granddaughters on riding with me in my truck, we always have The Beatles channel on SiriusXM playing. But not too loud, don’t want their ears to get as bad as mine.
  • CCR.  I love John Fogerty’s style. Every one of their songs gets me rocking.
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash (with or without Young). Songs I learned to play very early. Although I could never quite get the right sound out of my guitar. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Stephen Stills used an alternate tuning.
  • So we also need to add Neil Young as a solo artist. Wifey® doesn’t care for Mr. Young. Something about his voice. But I love his melodies, harmonies, and lyrics.
  • Just about any other “Southern Rock” band other than Skynyrd. Molly Hatchet (Especially their cover of Dreams), .38 Special, the Outlaws (High Tides and Green Grass), Marshall Tucker Band.
  • The Allman Brothers. Sure you could place them in the “Southern Rock” category, but they play the blues more, and better than the others. Is it odd that I like their instrumental works best? Melissa, Jessica, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed. Now that I’ve put that down, maybe it’s because they’re all named for women?
  • Bob Seger (except for Turn The Page, again way overplayed). But if  Main Street or Night Moves comes on, the volume goes up.
  • Eric Clapton. Doesn’t matter which band. The Yardbirds, John Mayall Blues Breakers, Cream, Derek & The Dominoes, or solo (even with Delany & Friends). His guitar soars above everything else. And that leads me to –
  • Steve Winwood. Just like Clapton, it doesn’t matter which group or solo. Spencer Davis Group (as “Little Stevie Winwood”), Traffic, Blind Faith etc, etc…
  • So lets put them together. Clapton and Winwood did a three-day gig at Madison Square Garden.  Has to be one of the best of all time. They covered each of their bands and other stuff. That cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing is my all time favorite.
  • Jimi Hendrix (oh nice segue there dude). Such an amazing guitar. Nothing else needs to be said.
  • The Monkees. Yeah, it’s bubblegum, but my very first album I was “More Of The Monkees”.  I watched the TV show every week. It was the one night I didn’t have to help with dishes! And, in my opinion, Michael Nesmith is a very talented musician. His music, both with and without The Monkees are some of my favorites.
  • Staying with the “pop” genre, let’s go with The Bangles. Great music, and easy to look at. Their cover of Simon & Garfinkle’s Hazy Shade of Winter is so much better than the original. But the video sucks.  Wifey® would add The Go-Go’s here, but they weren’t my favorite (but I do follow them on Twitter).
  •  Yes.  That’s the band there, not just some random exclamation. Such interesting melodies, not to mention Jon Anderson’s vocals! I also have several of Rick Wakeman’s solo albums. The Six Wives of Henry VIII is so out of this world, I used to blast it outside on Halloween night.
  • Heart. I have seen these ladies in concert three times. They put on a great show! I had a poster of (my wife to be – before I met Wifey®), Nancy Wilson in my bedroom.
  • The Who. Really anything by Pete Townsend. His style of blending guitar, keyboards and either his or Roger Daltry’s vocals are superb. It’s that “wall of sound” that gets me.

Stuff That Doesn’t Get Turned Up, But I Don’t Change The Station

  • Cat Stevens/Yusef.  His music saved me during those tough High School years. But I have to admit, I did turn up the volume now and then.
  • Dan Fogelberg. More music that saved me after those tough High School years. I tend to like the earlier stuff better.
  • Linda Ronstadt. Hers was the other poster up in my room. Her voice was what I fell asleep to most nights.
  • John Denver. Yes, John Denver. Just something about the folksy sound I really enjoyed. Except for Grandma’s Feather Bed et al…

As you can see, I have a lot more likes than dislikes. And I’m happy that I’m no longer behind the mic and have to play stuff I don’t care for, and pretend that I enjoy it.

I’m sure you can add others to both sides of this list. I didn’t go into much of 80’s music. But there are some I enjoyed, some I didn’t, and some that are hit and miss. I didn’t go into any Beatles solo projects either.  But I’ll save that for another post…

I’ll leave you with a video of Clapton & Winwood.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

Catching Up

So it’s been a while since I posted anything. So let’s catch up, shall we?

The reasons I haven’t posted are several. I had a killer head cold for about 2 weeks, that I couldn’t shake (same one I mentioned in my Celebrate Good Times (Come On)! post).  My work issued laptop died on me, and I’ve been so busy at work that when I get home and I feel like crap due to the cold, I had no desire to sit in front of any PC. When you consider how much computer time I log at work, it’s rather surprising how much I use one at home.

But not everything was bad. I bought a new SiriusXM radio for my aging truck. It’s an external device that plugs in through the aux port on the existing radio. I also stream, mostly the “Classic” (oh, how I hate that term. Can we go back to AOR please?) stations. I like SiriusXM over the local radio because the DJs don’t think they have to be funny so they can get hired and go to a larger market. SiriusXM’s market is North America. Quite a bit bigger than any terrestrial market. Plus these DJs know what they’re talking about.  I also like SiriusXM over most streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, etc.) because they play the music the way it was recorded. One thing that always pissed me off with the various streaming services is they tend to cut apart songs the segue into each other. A classic example is Jackson Browne’s “The Load Out/Stay”. Streaming radio turns those into two separate songs. It increases the total number of songs in their library, but it totally screws up the listening experience.

My office replaced my very small Micro$oft Surface Book with a beautiful 17″ HP laptop.  This thing is a beast! An i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and this wonderful huge screen! These tired old eyes can see again!

Wifey® and I have planned, and made the deposit on, something that is on both of our bucket lists. A trip to Scotland, the land of our heritage. We’ve both did the Ancestry DNA tests. I’ve posted about this before.  Turns out both of our DNA points directly to Scotland/Ireland/Land of the Vikings. I’d like to try to find the ancestor that made the trip over the pond to settle in America before we go. But that costs money, and right now we’re trying to save, not spend so we can blow the whole wad while in Scotland.  I’m hoping the duty-free shop in the Edinburgh airport has a good selection of native scotches.  I will have a separate post(s) about the trip as things get closer, and when we are in country.

We had a wonderful dinner the other night with my brother and his wife here at my house.  I smoked three whole chickens. Not that I expected we would eat them all that night, I planned on leftovers so we (as in Wifey® and son-the-younger and myself) could make pot pies from the leftover chicken and other veggies we made that day.

wp-1533321237490..jpg

Yup, there are 3 whole chickens in there!

wp-1533321237469..jpg

We ended up with 10 pot pies of varying sizes

I confirmed something I learned the last time I smoked chicken. From now on I’m only buying leg quarters. There were 4 and a half breast quarters left, but only one leg quarter. Seem we prefer the dark meat!

And I’ve read a couple of good books too. I won’t write any reviews.  If you want book reviews, there are plenty of sites that have them (I recommend Once Upon A Spine).

I’ll leave you with a video. Has nothing to do with this post, but the opening line “Been away, haven’t seen you in a while”, fits with the theme. Plus it’s Dave Mason.  I’ve been a fan of his since his days with Traffic.

So what have you been up to?

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

Celebrate Good Times (Come On)!

Yesterday we had the final celebration of Wifey® and granddaughter-the-elder’s birthdays. Since they both have birthday’s on or around the 4th, and we live in a tourist area, sometimes we have to do our celebrating in stages. Plus it’s more fun to keep the celebrations going for a while! Then this morning, Wifey® reminded me that today is our 73rd six-month anniversary. Yes, we celebrate every six months since that was how long we were told we would last. Ha!

So yesterday the family went to Universal City Walk and had a great time. It was all son-the-younger’s idea. Since Wifey® and I both agree we have too much stuff, we would rather do things with whichever family members we can get together. Son-the-younger picked Blueman Group, and since none of us have ever seen that show, I immediately agreed.

wp-1531740904567..jpg

My fam-damily!

And boy did we pick a hell of a day!  The rain was so bad on the way over to Orlando, we could barely see the hood of the car. But there was no rain in Orlando (surprise!). We had crazy heat. Well maybe not crazy, after all, we are Florida natives (except for son-the-younger, he’s our “token Eskimo” – he was born in Alaska).

wp-1531740904378..jpg

Feels like 108!

So our basic “plan” (we never have a plan – or if we do we don’t follow it), was to get to City Walk around 3PM, walk around and shop a bit, then catch an early dinner and the finally the Blueman Group show at 6PM. But as luck would have it, we sat down at the Lone Palm Bar (part of Margaritaville) and had a few beers. Son-the-younger took his girls and walked around. They found the hot dog stand. And they know that I love hot dogs. But, even cooler, they found stadium seats from some major league stadiums! They also know that papa loves baseball!

wp-1531740904544..jpg

My baby girls in the doughnut chair

Once we realized that we had missed our time for an early dinner, we decided that another round of beers was in order and that we would go to the theater and wait for the show.

Since it was so hot and humid outside, the theater was like an ice-box. But man did it feel good! Plus we were allowed to bring in our drink and snacks! I won’t give much of a review of the show as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing it.

wp-1531740904444..jpg

Beer, popcorn, and Minecraft swords! Oh, my!

The Blueman Group show was totally awesome! I have not laughed that hard in a long time. I was already fighting a head cold and scratchy throat before we went, so now I can hardly talk. But it was completely worth it. wp-1531740904422..jpg

After the show, we went to the restaurant that we used as a ruse to plan this whole adventure. We didn’t tell Wifey® about the show, only we were going to dinner. But since we had waited so long, there was now an hour wait. What to do? What else, go have another beer!  So back around the park, we go back to the Lone Palm Bar. But our very cool server, Bethany, was off shift now. But we only had time for one beer, so it was all good.

wp-1531740904403..jpg

It was 9PM or so by the time we got to eat. The girls were very hungry, almost to the point of feeling sick. But the milkshakes they had took care of that quickly. I will say I was not happy with my meal, but I don’t blame the restaurant. By this time I was feeling so bad, between the heat and the head cold, that nothing would have tasted good to me.  Everybody else said their meals were great, so I’ll take the heat on this one.

Other than stupid Orlando traffic, and all the damn construction, the drive home was a little easier. Traffic on I-4 (AKA The Devil’s Highway), which according to a recent study is the most dangerous road in America, was light. But we still didn’t get home until midnight.

But all in all, a most spectacular evening! I highly recommend Blueman Group. We’ve already made plans to bring the girls to the Universal Theme Park and Harry Potter.  Stay tuned for that review!

So, how was your weekend?

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

And A Good Time Was Had By All

As I mentioned on my 4th of July post, Wednesday was granddaughter-the-elder’s birthday, and Thursday was Wifey’s®. Last Monday, granddaughter-the-elder informed us she was having a unicorn party at both houses (as in our house and her other grandparent’s where she lives). Of course, she didn’t bother to ask us if she could have a birthday party, she just decided she was going to have a party, and that was the end of the discussion.  Well, what’s a good papa to do, other than making sure she has a unicorn party? Between Wifey®, son-the-younger (AKA Daddy), and myself, we managed to get everything together.

Wifey® and granddaughter-the-elder, along with granddaughter-the-younger, starting browsing the Intertubes for unicorn party ideas. Somehow they decided on unicorn cake pops. Now we have never made any cake pops before, much less unicorn type, so Wifey®, being the smart cookie that she is, said we should make a trial batch before the party so we could get things right. Damn good thing we did. The first batch was an utter failure. The “instructions” (not really instructions – more like general ideas) were so generic, nothing went as shown. So she broke down and bought a cake pop tray. And while the cake pops came out correct, it was still anything but smooth sailing.

wp-1531148573461..jpg

Nekkid cake pops

The concept is once you have the cake pops baked and stuck on a stick (and there are several sizes of sticks available – but no advice as to which size to use), you’re supposed to dip them in some melted candy. This will give them a nice smooth surface to decorate, plus it seals the cake portion making them last a bit longer.

But here’s the thing. We bought a package of “candy melts” that are specifically made for this type of project. We bought a 10-ounce package (only size available), the “instructions” say you only need 4 ounces to cover 24 cake pops. Bullshit. For one thing, despite following the melting instructions on the candy packaging, I never could get it to dippable consistency. I have been melting chocolate and other candies for many years and never had a problem like this. One “instructional” video shows that instead of dipping the pops, use a spoon and drizzle the melted candy over the pops. Nope, not gonna happen. The candy was never liquid enough to drizzle either. So we ended up only covering some of our pops.

So on to the unicorn decorations. Wifey® found “instructions” on how to make a unicorn horn with fondant. It sounded easy enough. Just roll out some fondant cut into about a 2-inch section fold, and twist to look like a horn. You can then mount it on a toothpick, or something similar, so you can stick in a piece of styrofoam like stuff and put them in the fridge to harden. Once they’re hard you paint them with a small mix of either water or something alcohol based (for quick evaporation) and some edible glitter. We used vanilla extract, but I think the dark color of the extract made the horns turn too dark. But for the ears, mini-marshmallows cut in half, and painted with the same mix, they came out beautiful.

Next, we were supposed to draw eyes on the pops. We

wp-1531147146275..jpg

have special edible markers just for this purpose. But since the candy coating didn’t work correctly, and wasn’t smooth, it didn’t work either. But granddaughter-the-elder had a blast doing it anyway!

Wifey® then showed up my failures by piping the manes and little flowers on some of the pops. She has considerable piping skills!

wp-1531147146241..jpg

But, cake pop issues aside, the party was a lot of fun. Since we didn’t have a lot of time to plan it, we let granddaughter-the-elder set the guest list. So only a few really close friends of hers were invited.

Daddy (AKA son-the-younger), made us some homemade pizzas. He is a sous chef for an Italian restaurant here in town, and he has this pizza making stuff down pat. We had five pizzas and a mess of garlic knots (also homemade). And they were amazing!  I think we only had three slices of pizza left over!

The best of all the kitchen work was how little I had to do. Not that I didn’t want to help, but my lower back issue flared up again Saturday afternoon so I was on muscle relaxers most of the weekend. So all I really did was sit and chop veggies, and fail at the candy coating for the pops. It also meant that I couldn’t join in on the tequila shots later that evening.

Granddaughter-the-younger said that the kids were celebrating sissy’s birthday and the adults were celebrating memaw’s (Wifey®) birthday. So there was a water balloon fight (all ages), fireworks later in the evening, beer (and I did have some of that) & tequila (adults only!) and movies with popcorn and a sleepover (kids only!). My driveway looks like a battle zone right now. Remnants of fireworks and brightly colored balloon pieces are everywhere.

One of granddaughter-the-elder’s presents was a stuffed turtle. She has a fascination with any stuffed toy, with a soft spot for turtles. The turtle looks decidedly drunk. One droopy eye and the pupils are different sizes! She absolutely loves it.

wp-1531147145998..jpg

SO… how was you’re weekend?

P.S. If you have any good tips on cake pops, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

Truth! (In Advertising??)

Let’s talk about a strange, but very interesting, ad. I don’t know if this commercial runs outside of the USA, so for reference here it is:

So let’s pick this apart shall we?

First, while it is true that text messages are being broadcast into space, after all everything that has ever been broadcast by humans has been sent into space. How do you think aliens are learning our anatomy & physiology? They’re not abducting us and doing rectal probes. They’re watching all the p0rn and sexting messages were sending out. Basically, aliens have as much of a screwed up expectations of our sex lives as a 16 year-old boy.

Second, if you were the astronaut in space, do you think you’d actually be monitoring text messages? I won’t even go into the lack of a lag it the messages. I know here on earth, my texts don’t get delivered in real-time. Can you imagine the bounces a message would have to take to finally make it to someone in space?

Next, both of characters are in a night-time scene. This would mean that the “space station” she is working on is close to the terrestrial location the guys is locked out of his car. That would indicate that the station is in a geosynchronous orbit. But the space station isn’t in that type of orbit. In fact it makes a complete orbit around the earth about every 90 minutes. So they would both see the same moon for a very short time.

Lastly, if one member of a couple is an astronaut I think they could afford something a bit more fitting of the astronaut’s earning capabilities than a Hyundai.

But that’s just my opinions.

Can you find any other “not quite right” moments in this commercial, or any others? Leave a comment if you do (or feel free to pick apart my pseudo-science).

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

Happy Day!

While the rest of the USA is celebrating our Independence Day today, I have a much better event to celebrate. Today is granddaughter-the-elder’s® birthday, and tomorrow is Wifey’s® birthday. I will not tell you their ages, as I know better than that!

g-ma & kairi

Several years ago.. not saying how many.

And since it is the 4th of July…

happy-treason-day-ungrateful-colonists-2986684

How are you spending the day today?

Peace,
B

Twitter FaceBook

A Tough Day For Music

On this day (3 July);

1969 – Brian Jones, a founding member of The Rolling Stones passes away at age 27.

1971 – Jim Morrison, frontman for The Doors, passes away, also at age 27.

But not all is sad in the world of music. If you’ve never seen “Carpool Karaoke” check out the YouTube channel. It’s quite fun. And Wifey® passed this episode on to me today. I had not watched it before. It was very moving.

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

Nothing To See Here

Just here to post this meme son-the-elder sent me.

17034.jpeg

This is relevant because my boss has pugs. Whenever he gets sick we say he has the “pug flu”.  I will admit that pugs are not my cup of tea but to each his own. Also, man buns are without a doubt the stupidest haircut for men since the mullet.

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

They Treat Me Like Family

Obviously, that is a clip from the hit TV show “The Big Bang Theory”. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 11 years or so, here is the Wikipedia page for the show.

I don’t watch much television. Wifey® on the other hand, watches a lot. But I do enjoy this show. The basic characters are, of course, over the top representations of your average science nerd.

Let’s look at this clip for a moment. What if a restaurant really did “Treat You Like Family”? In my opinion that would mean;

  • No menu. You would get whatever the hell the cook made that night. And you’d like it!
  • You would have to serve yourself. Go get your own refills and such.
  • The usual response to “pass me the salt, pepper, ketchup, whatever” would be “Get up and get it yourself!” Well, at least at my house that’s the usual.
  • You wouldn’t have to pay! Now that’s a good point. But it’s also a bad idea, as the venue would not be around very long.

What else would make it “like family” for you? Leave me a comment below.

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook

True Stories From The Workbench – Part II

(True Stories From The Workbench – Part I)

Here are a couple more stories of the odd things we techie types run into now and then.

The year was around 2001, I was doing in-home/office computer work. I went to the home of a doctor that was having a very minor issue. If I remember correctly (which at my age is questionable), it only took me about 15 minutes to fix the issue. While she was writing out my check, she asked me what I did to fix the PC. I didn’t get more than a handful of words out in reply when she interrupted me with “No! Don’t tell me. You may push something out of my brain that I need”.  Now I may have only been a paramedic back in the day, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the way the brain works. I was hoping she was joking, but she looked really serious. I just let it go.

Just this past week: We use Micro$oft SharePoint here at work. (No I am not a fan). It is set (and cannot be changed) as the default homepage for both Internet Exploder Explorer and Chrome web browsers. We also have it set that the login cookie (that’s what saves your username and password) expires at a set time. This means that every now and then you will have to re-enter your login credentials to continue. So, we get a HellDesk ticket “SharePoint is asking me to log in and I don’t know what to do!”  Uh… Maybe enter your username and password and login? You know, follow the damn instructions!!!

Have any stories you’d like to share?

And this video has nothing to do with anything in this post. But it showed up all on its own, so I think it’s an omen.

Peace,
B

Twitter  FaceBook