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Two Weeks In

Well, here I am, two weeks into my semi-retirement. Just so you know, I have not been sitting on my ass the entire time. Mainly because I can’t sit for all that long, nor stand, nor lay down for that matter. The herniated discs in my back have not improved as I had expected.

And, since this is Veteran’s Day weekend, we have our annual “smoke out”. We used to do this twice a year, at Memorial Day as well, but we had to cut one out. Just too much work, and too expensive. As usual, we’ll have about 25 folks show up. Some driving an hour or so just to hang out with us. I consider this an honor and privilege to host these folks. Son-the-elder will not be joining us this year as he is still overseas with his Army unit. It’s also granddaughter-the-younger’s birthday celebration.

That’s just over 25 pounds of brisket and 18 pounds of pork butt to smoke! I have never smoked this much meat at one time…

I have also been doing physical therapy three times a week in an effort to get my back and legs stronger, so that I can handle smoking all that meat overnight Saturday and most of the day Sunday. It’s been mixed results, as this week has been a very difficult week with a high level of pain. But between the doctor, my wonderful tech lady, Wifey and doing my exercises and stretches, I feel much better today. The jury is waiting to hear the complaints after this weekend..

I’ve also been trying to do some more of the home repairs/upgrades we started a couple of weeks ago. That is slow going for me, but I do what I can and take a break to rest my back and legs. Much to Wifey’s surprise and delight, I do the basic housecleaning (sweep/mop/etc..) during the day as I can. I am still looking for a part time job to both supplement my income and keep me from going stir crazy. I can only sit and do nothing for so long. I’ve already read three books down my down time.

For now, my beer costs have not gone up. I am doing my best not to start drinking at lunch every day. And so far, that has held true. But “watch this space”. One thing that has gone up is coffee. When I was working I would normally have just one cup at home in the mornings and then drink the job’s coffee. Now it’s my usual four cups every morning. And we won’t get into weekend consumption when both of us are hitting the brew hard.

I think this song is appropriate.. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Who Is This Girl?

No, this is not some true crime I’m trying to solve, this is a musical question.

Eric Clapton wants her lay down, just so he can talk to her..

Sammy Hagar says we need to let her ride..

Lou Reed says she can’t dance (but tells her to ride)…

Al Green says she need to ride as well…

All I know is she has a Mustang, and she needs to slow it down…

Where can I meet this Sally?

Peace,
B

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It’s Samhain Again!

Or for the new world folks, Halloween.

Once again, I will be my usual psychotic self for Halloween. I have saved a ton of money this way. I don’t have to buy a costume. Let’s face it, psychotic folks looks just like ordinary folks. We blend it quite easily. That is, until someone hits that trigger button. Then all bets are off!

Instead I’ll post some pictures from the past years.

This is from 1983. That’s son-the-elder that Wifey is holding. I bet if I quit shaving my beard would be the grey now!
Son-the-elder, 1986.

I can’t seem to find any pictures of son-the-younger in costume. But I do have his daughters all Halloweened up.

But we will always do a Jack O’Lantern.

Son-the-younger and his wee bonnie lasses did the carving this year.

Even the computers are getting into the act!

How are you celebrating the day this year?

(Previous Samhain posts are here, here, and here.)

Peace,
B

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We’ll Give $20 If You…

Background.. Just so you know.

The place would be Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The year, we’re not all that sure. It would have to be between 1990 – 1992. I remember that it was my second tour at Ft. Bragg, but that’s as close as any of us can remember.

The cast would be me, Wifey, and our friend Lloyd Brown, and an unknown guitar player. Let me give you some history on Lloyd.

I first met Lloyd around 1987. We were both stationed at Ft. Greely Alaska. Let me clarify that statement. Lloyd and I were both stationed at Ft. Greely, but not in the same unit. So, until that fateful day we met, we had never even seen each other. Why do I say that? Because we met when he was hugging Wifey!

We were coming out of the PX (for you non-military folks, a PX is the department store on the base. Much like a Wal-Mart now, but then much smaller), with my hands full and our very young son-the-younger in a back back when I notice that Wifey and son-the-elder are not with me. I turn around and there she is hugging the neck of some guy who I had no idea who he was! I was not happy at all.

But rest assured, it was not an issue. Turns out that Lloyd and Wifey grew up together. Lloyd was a good friend of one of Wifey’s brothers. The phrase “it’s a small world” really rings true in the military. I have been stationed with folks that went to the same high school I did (and Wifey too), or that grew up just blocks from either of us.

Now you have the backstory, lets get on with the “rest of the story” (RIP Paul Harvey).

Lloyd and I both enjoy Jimmy Buffett‘s music. We both play guitar and both sing. Over the years since our chance meeting Alaska, Lloyd has rented spare bedrooms in our house several times. We were caretakers of his dog and cat during deployments, and he helped with maintenance and such when I was deployed.

One evening we all went out to dinner together. At that time there weren’t too many places we enjoyed going to eat. Lloyd is, shall we say, a picky eater. Burgers with bacon and lettuce, and fries were his go to meal outside of the house. And a PB&J when home!

Sadly, we can’t remember the name of the restaurant in which this story takes place. I assure you there is story in here. Just keep reading. I recall it was Phat Daddy’s, which was up near the mall. Lloyd thinks we we’re down closer to Raeford Road, which is no where near the mall.

Well, wherever it was were were eating that night, there was a guy with a guitar playing and singing. I don’t remember much about this guy other than he sucked. Lloyd and I just sat back and laughed at the guy and talked about what mistakes he was making. Wrong lyrics, missed chord changes, you name it, this guy screwed it up.

We didn’t care too much, it was more fun laughing at him, until he (tried to) played “Margaritaville“. We all cringed when this happened, even wifey and son-the-elder. Luckily the “musician” went on and butchered some other songs. And we went back to drinking and laughing at him. But only for a short while, then he completely destroyed “A Pirate Looks At 40″. We couldn’t handle this. Something had to be done. Think of the children! So we came up with a plan.

Together Lloyd and I walked up to that stage and offer the guy $20.. to never play any Jimmy Buffett song again! The guys face took on a bit of a shocked look (understandably). “You guy must not like Buffett” he tells us. “No,” we reply, “we love Buffett, that’s why we don’t want you to play anymore of his songs”.

He didn’t play any more Buffett songs that night. But I guess he continued to ruin songs after that. Hopefully someone either gave him some good music lessons, or good advice – to not quit his day job!

Lloyd now runs the Wildlife Rescue of Dade County. They do amazing work helping injured wildlife get healthy and released back into the wild when they can. Check them out.

Here’s ” A Pirate Looks At 40″ from Jimmy’s live album “You Had To Be There“, and I was there. Part of the album was recorded at the Gusman Center, Miami, FL in August 1978, and I was there and Jimmy had his leg in a cast! Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In (Wifey’s) Head – 26 October

Yes! This is a wifey post! Well, she’s not really doing the post, but she did give me the song. And that counts. So there!

From the Wiki page:

The song is about two boys (“Me and Julio”) who have broken a law, although the exact law that has been broken is not stated in the song. When “the mama pajama” finds out what they have done, she goes to the police station to report the crime. The individuals are later arrested, but released when a “radical priest” intervenes.

The meaning and references in the song have long provoked debate. In a July 20, 1972 interview for Rolling Stone, Jon Landau asked Simon: “What is it that the mama saw? The whole world wants to know.” Simon replied “I have no idea what it is… Something sexual is what I imagine, but when I say ‘something’, I never bothered to figure out what it was. Didn’t make any difference to me.”

More recently, in October 2010, Simon described the song as “a bit of inscrutable doggerel“, while the “radical priest” has been interpreted as a reference to Daniel Berrigan, who was featured on the cover of Time on January 25, 1971, near when the song was written.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_and_Julio_Down_by_the_Schoolyard

The song is from Paul Simon’s 1972 self-titled studio album. Which had another of my favorite Paul Simon tracks, Mother And Child Reunion. Wifey says the lines; And it’s against the law, it was against the law
What mama saw, it was against the law
“, are what’s stuck in her mind.

I’ve always thought it was a political act that got those two in trouble, hence the line about being released by a radical priest. Wifey says “It’s drugs. Pure and simple.” But as the quote above from Paul says, even he doesn’t know. It doesn’t take a complete story to make a good song. Just a great concept and you’re off to the bank! The song topped out at #7.

Personally, I just love the rhythms throughout the song. Enjoy!

Peace,
B (and Wifey)

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Take A Guess – The Final Clue!

So this will finish this short series. Finally!

This song says it all.

Have you figured out what this is all about? All the songs since clue 3 deal with leaving. The first clue Whipping Post by the Allman Brothers and My Way by the one and only Frank Sinatra hopefully point to a general feeling of being burned out, and that whatever it is I’m leaving, it’s by my choice.

To recap the posts;

First, no we’re not getting divorced. At least not that I know of. But the time has come, and I’m taking an early retirement. Not a full retirement, I expect to get some part time work (“You want fries with that??), and with any luck not in the IT realm any longer. Think of it as a “semi-retirement”, which is very similar to “semi-pro”, just without the pay.

I really want to finish the repair/remodel work on the house we’ve started, get a garden going for spring, and do my genealogy again. These ghosts ain’t gonna find themselves!

So if anybody has work for a broken down 60+ year old fart, let me know!

Peace,
B

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Take A Guess – Clue 7

Continuing the series with clue #7. Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.

Clue 1, Clue 2, Clue 3, Clue 4, Clue 5 and Clue 6.

Peace,
B

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Take A Guess – Clue 6

Continuing the series with clue #6. Almost there! Do you have an idea? Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.

Clue 1, Clue 2, Clue 3, Clue 4 and Clue 5.

The clues so far;

  • Clue 1: Whipping Post
  • Clue 2: My Way
  • Clue 3: Walk Away Renee
  • Clue 4: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
  • Clue 5: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
  • Clue 6: Just A Song Before I Go

Peace,
B

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Take A Guess – Clue 5

Continuing the series with clue #5. Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.

Clue 1, Clue 2, Clue 3 and Clue 4.

Feel free to hazard a guess in a comment. I won’t tell you if you’re right or wrong, but it give it a go!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 20 October

I was saddened to hear of the death of George “Pops” Chambers earlier this week. George was of course, part of the late 60’s and 70’s “soul” band, The Chambers Brothers. The news immediately brought this song to mind, and it’s been in and out of consciousness ever since.

Originally from Carthage, Mississippi,[1] the Chambers Brothers first honed their skills as members of the choir in their Baptist church. This set up ended in 1952 when the eldest brother George was drafted into the Army. George relocated to Los Angeles after his discharge, and his brothers soon settled there as well. As a foursome, they began performing gospel and folk throughout the Southern California region in 1954, but they more or less remained unknown until appearing in New York City in 1965.[2]

Consisting of George (September 26, 1931 – October 12, 2019) on washtub bass (later on Danelectro bass guitar), Lester (b. April 13, 1940) on harmonica, and Willie (b. March 3, 1938) and Joe (b. August 22, 1942) on guitar, the group started to venture outside the gospel circuit, playing at coffeehouses that booked folk acts. They played at places like The Ash Grove, a very popular Los Angeles folk club. It became one of their favorite haunts and brought them into contact with Hoyt Axton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Reverend Gary Davis, and Barbara Dane. Dane became a great supporter, performing and recording with the brothers. With the addition of Brian Keenan (January 28, 1943 – October 5, 1985) on drums, Dane took them on tour with her and introduced them to Pete Seeger, who helped put the Chambers Brothers on the bill of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. One of the songs they performed, “I Got It”, appeared on the Newport Folk Festival 1965 compilation LP, which was issued on the Vanguard label.

They were becoming more accepted in the folk community, but, like many on the folk circuit, were looking to electrify their music and develop a more rock and roll sound. Joe Chambers recalled in a May 1994 Goldmine article that people at the Newport Folk Festival were breaking down fences and rushing to the stage. “Newport had never seen or heard anything like that.” After the group finished and the crowd finally settled down, the MC came up and said “Whether you know it or not, that was rock ‘n’ roll.” That night they played at a post-concert party for festival performers and went to a recording session of the newly electrified Bob Dylan. Shortly after appearing at Newport, the group released its debut album, People Get Ready.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chambers_Brothers

The (radio) edit version of this track reached #11 in the fall of 1968 (I was all of 10 years old then!), spending a total of five weeks at that spot. There were actually two edited versions of the song produced, one runs 3:05 and the other 4:45. The original clocks in at over 11 minutes.

The song has been described as psychedelic rock, psychedelic soul and acid rock, and features a fuzz guitar twinned with a clean one. Various other effects were employed in its recording and production, including the alternate striking of two cow bells producing a “tick-tock” sound, warped throughout most of the song by reverb, echo and changes in tempo. It quotes several bars from “The Little Drummer Boy” at 5:40 in the long version.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Has_Come_Today

So here’s an almost 15 minute live version for you. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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