I mean really, get your mind out of the gutter (you’re blocking my view).
Took my granddaughters to Chuck E Cheese today. Scored some major papa points.
I mean really, get your mind out of the gutter (you’re blocking my view).
Took my granddaughters to Chuck E Cheese today. Scored some major papa points.
Yes, that was a lifetime ago. I’ll bet some of you reading this were not alive. There may even a possibility that your parents weren’t around then.
My best friend from my junior year of high school, even until now, is Maurice (I’ll leave the last names out to protect the guilty). Maurice and I, or Mo as he goes by now (which is funny since I have a niece named Melissa that also goes by Mo – guess it’s a unisex thing), used to sit and dream big dreams. And we were very seldom under the influence of anything other than, to quote Zonker Harris of “Doonesbury”, “Just getting high on life and America”. Oh, you probably don’t know anything of “Doonesbury”, here’s a quick tutorial.
One of our dreams was to open a gym in Austin Texas. Mo was very much into bodybuilding, me not so much. When I left for basic training, October of 1976, I stood 5′ 10″ tall and weighed 119 lbs provided I had eaten a large meal beforehand. Mo, on the other hand, stood about 6′ 2″, and had to weigh about 225, maybe 250. And it was all solid muscle. My niece’s little girlfriends (we’re talking 8th graders here, and we are both around 20), loved it when Mo came to the house to visit. Much fawning and adoration went his way.
But to get back to the story. We made up a corporation “The Body Shop” that would be the parent company of all our other businesses. He would have his gym, and I would have my music recording studio and publishing company. Of course, none of this ever happened, nor did we really expect it too. It was just a way to waste time during the day before going out to drink.
Our only other pastime was “The Great Search For The Blue Nehi”. But that’ll be another post. (And Frodo has nothing on our search).
This weekend, instead of going to the St. Augustine Celtic Music Festival like we had planned, instead Wifey® and I cleaned out the closet of what used to my home office. It’s now the bedroom our granddaughter-the-younger. She is 6 years old, so I guess it’s about time we cleaned it out so she has a place to hang her dresses. Of course, my Awia quadrophonic reel-to-reel tape deck, my dual cassette dubbing deck, my turntable and my 4 channel mixing board are still in the closet, simply because I have no other place to put them. I still need to find a place for all my old music books.
I’m sure you’re asking “just where is this story going”? Well, this something I found while cleaning out the closest, buried in the middle of my music books as well.
Some notes: Mo has always liked to try out different names. In this note, he uses “Hezikiah”. He once tried to set up a “New Persona” using the name Merlyn Cully Cross, which he found in a book and was rather taken with. I think he only managed to get a library card with that name. I have had the nickname “Skeeter” for as long as I can remember. Also, there should be a “G Clef” (for you music people between the “Skeet” and “Music”, but apparently this WordPress editor doesn’t have that).
Recorded by “The Foolish Brothers Band” on the “Would You Believe This?” album: “Late For My Own Funeral”.
(c) 1977 SkeetMusic, rights for the world administered by S&H Music, Austin, Tx.
(P) 1977 S&H Music, a division of The Body Shop, Inc., Austin, Tx.
Note: Although this has been copyrighted in July of 1977 and recorded in August of 1977, as of August of 1979 it has not been released due to the fact that “The Foolish Brothers Band” cannot get a major recording company to finance their “Would You Believe This?” label.
The Foolish Brothers Band is (are);
Skeeter: Lead Vocals; Lead & Rhythm Electric Guitars; Acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars; Acoustic guitar body; Various & sundry things lying around the room that make noise; foul words.
Hezikiah: Background Vocals; Lead & Rhythm electic guitars; Acoustic 6 & 2 string guitars; Acoustic guitar body; Anything else lying about the room that makes noises; Dirty language
R.M; D.M; P.B; M.W; K.W; T.W; A.S; L.S; (“The Get Outtahere Choir”); funny little noises in the background
So there you have. A little piece of nostalgia from my misspent youth. Hope you enjoyed this. I know finding this little scrap of paper gave me great joy, and hopefully, you got a kick out of it too.
And Mo, we definitely need to get together again real soon. Love ya man!
Today we honor women internationally? Why do we only have one day for this? I feel we should honor everybody every day, not just one day a year. But since I’m not the King, I’ll go with the flow. So in no particular order (other than my own faulty memory)…
First, of course, has to be Wifey®. Why she is still with me after all these years is a mystery. Every day when I turn the corner and see our house I look to see if her car is there (she works much closer to home than I do and get there before me). I fully expect it not to be there one day. Mainly because I’m such as ass to live with. Love ya, Babe!
Ladies that have passed on;
“Nanny”. Josephine “Josie” Bodle Campbell. My dad’s mother. Since my mom worked when I was young, Nanny lived with us and was the strongest guiding force of my childhood. She did her best to instill “Christian values”, although I’m not sure they all took hold. But she did teach me to respect others and to love everything as best I could.
My mother-in-law, Cornelia Greene Moore. We got along much better than I did with my own mother. I’ll admit, she had her doubts about me in the beginning (and who could blame her?). But it didn’t take long until I became like one of her sons. She showed me exactly how to accept others despite differences and find a common ground.
Ladies that are still with me;
Rev. Sonja Phillips. Even though I don’t think the mantle of “Christian” ever fit me, she allowed me to ask my faith questions without judging me. She taught me more about grace in one comment than 50 years of sermons ever did.
Melissa Cargile (who should have a “Rev” in front of her name as well). Nobody gave me the faith to get out and play my music like she did. Because of her, I had to learn more about the craft of playing my guitar and singing than ever. Especially when she would spring a new song on the band at practice and tell me I’m singing lead. No pressure or anything.
I’ll also add Wifey’s® “breakfast group” of ladies. I won’t list them individually because I’m sure I’d leave someone out, but I thank them for giving Wifey® a place to speak her mind (and bitch about me I’m sure). Everybody needs a group of friends, and I thank these ladies for being that for her.
Ladies I’ve met but interact with on Social Media a lot;
Kaitlin Curtice. Author, Patawommi Native. Another Christian that has allowed this agnostic to ask questions, and even argue at times, and never “fought” back. Just kindness and grace in return.
Kiersten (sorry don’t know her last name – like I said, its Social Media). Her courage in talking openly about her Eating Disorder (or Ed as she calls it like it has a real name – I like that, naming your problems) is astounding. Plus the books she reviews on her blog have given Wifey® and I a few new books to read (but she doesn’t read my theology/philosophy books, so it’s a one-way reference).
And before my family starts texting me asking why I left my own mother off this list, you have to remember I was an “unplanned” baby. As the joke goes, my parents went on a second honeymoon and brought me home. As such, I felt I was in the way more than my much older siblings. Mom worked even after I had left home and joined the military. She didn’t spend nearly as much time with me as Nanny did. And there’s not much worse for a little kid to overhear his parents saying “We can’t do that because of HIM…”
I could list lots more, but I’m at work, so my time is limited. Please add other names in a comment below. I’d love to hear about the ladies that inspired you.
Yesterday, in response to a Tweet by Goodreads (@goodreads) that asked: “How many books do you bring on vacation?” (which was a retweet of @TamoraPierce), I admitted that I prefer an e-reader (Kindle specifically for Wifey® and I both). I mentioned several reasons;
When we took our trip to North Carolina over the Thanksgiving week, both Wifey® and I had at least five unread books on our tablets (we both have Samsungs), available for us in case of bad weather, or if we just decided not venture out that day. I think the only day we didn’t do too much was Thanksgiving day. I know I only read, maybe, a total of 3 hours over that week. But that was my choice.
Then, later yesterday my friend Kiersten (you can find her blog at Once Upon A Spine, (which I think it a really cool title) asked me “What do you put on your bookshelves?” Why Celtic pottery and a family altar of course! Well, at least the tops of our little bookcases are filled that way. We do have a collection of books in both of the cabinets, one is mostly cookbooks and the other old sci-fi. I have no idea why we’re holding on to these, but there they are.
All the pottery has been purchased from And Sarah Laughed. We find them every year at the Central Florida Highland Games. This year we didn’t buy anything simply because we’re running out of room. Plus we are trying to downsize. After spending twenty years in the military and averaging 22 months between moves, we learned to live with a lot less “stuff”. We’ve been in this house twenty years now. And we have lots of “stuff”. Too much “stuff”.
We also have about 5 different versions of the Bible under the TV in our bedroom. We don’t use them anymore, but they’re still there.
So that’s what we have on our bookshelves. What do you have on yours?
One of the joys of owning a ten-year-old pickup truck is I’ve come to know every bump, grind, screech, and jangle it makes as I traverse my way thru life in it. Plus the joy it gives my granddaughters when they get to ride it in. They just love being able to sit up high and look into the other cars.
This truck has served me well, it’s moved both of my boys, more than once. Helped friends move more times than I can count. Not to mention the almost constant trips to county landfill with yard trash that for whatever reason the contracted waste folks refuse to pick up. (Other than just getting 2 paid holidays a year I wish I had their job – they don’t do shit).
The truck has given me very little in the way of repair problems. Had to replace the water pump (not unusual, but not my fault), and the clutch, which was, probably, completely my fault. And an outside mirror, which was son-the-younger’s® fault. But we found the replacement parts on Amazon and could fix it ourselves.
So, since I don’t listen to the radio while driving (the DJs in the Orlando/Daytona area just plain suck), I get to listen and talk back to my truck all the time. This morning on the way in I heard a completely new sound. What the hell could it be I wondered? It’d not a “clunk”, not a “grind” more of a rusty spring “squeak”. Now I know I need new struts on the front end (those are what have replaced the old shock absorbers, at least in mid-sized trucks), but that’s not what it sounded like. These usually just go “thunk” right before maxing out your credit card.
Now I do have to mention I have a pretty good hearing impairment. After playing in bands in my school days, years of DJ work (both on-air and parties) and then 20 years of military service with lots of “booms”, my ears are fairly shot.
After about 3 miles of this unknown noise, I’m starting to worry about it. And as usual, I get impatient driving and go around the line of folks who can’t seem to do the speed limit in the left lane (morons). As I pull up next to the truck that was directly in front of me (also an older model pick up, but not as old as mine), I hear this squeak loud as hell! It was that truck all along! I have no idea what his problem was, but when we pulled up to the red light and stopped, he was still squeaking. While stopped!! Hope he doesn’t blow up or something anytime too soon.
So now I’m back to the regularly scheduled tunes that my familiar old truck plays me every day. Such a nice symphony 🙂
P.S. A shout out to my son-the-younger® who helped me through a very rough patch yesterday. I felt myself spinning into a well of depression. Since I know he also has bad periods of depression, I asked him for help. And he came through. Together we replaced the ceiling fan in his bedroom (See Home Repair as Therapy to see how it helps me), and then he cooked Wifey® and I a most wonderful Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya for dinner. I even have leftovers for lunch!
I know he won’t read this (he doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter so he won’t get any notification). So for family and friends who read this, please pass this along, along with my most heartfelt thanks.
Love ya kid!
January 16th, 1982 we said, “I do”. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride, but we’re still here together. And I know I’m a shit to live with. Thanks for sticking me babe! Love ya forever.
If the title throws you, it’s because both of our families gave us 6 months to stay together. So we celebrate every 6 months. This will our 72 6-month celebration. That’s 36 years (didn’t want you to have to do the math because we all know math’s hard!).
So one of my blogger friends posted a blog about cats yesterday. I bemoaned (yes that’s the correct word) that you cannot post pictures in comments on Word Press. At least not on the plans that we use. maybe the top of the line plan allows it, but I can’t afford that.
So I thought I post the pictures I would have used in the comments here.
Then you go outside the house…
And my favorite…
And finally a video my coworker Corey turned me on to;
I’m sure those that have been on the ‘net for more than a year or two have run across the infamous “I Can Has Cheezburger“. This site (which has swallowed up several other similar sites) has a great compilation of cat & dog memes. Some are quite humorous, some well, not so much.
Hope you enjoy this. I’d say leave me some new pictures in the comments, but that doesn’t work. But if you know to get pictures in comments, please leave a comment with instructions!
So this past Saturday Wifey® and I, along with some friends (invited my brother too now that he lives in the area, but he had some lame excuse about moving trucks delivering furniture to his new house or something. Whatev’ bro) spent the day at the 41st Central Florida Scottish Highland Games. It was chillier than usual, right around 60° F. Not bad, but we prefer it a bit warmer.
The music lineup was as good as always, Albannach, Off Kilter, and Rathkeltair are some of our favorite Celtic/Rock bands. But this year we had a newcomer. The Screaming Orphans. An all-girl band from Ireland that did everything from traditional Irish songs (in Gaelic and English), reels to get you dancing and some pop sounding tunes, easily on par with The Bangles or the Go-Gos. (Sorry if you’re not into their music – we enjoy it).
Here are two videos to showcase their talents.
First is the oft-covered “Whisky In The Jar”. (Off Kilter closed out their first set with this song as well).
And then “500 Miles” another song that’s been covered many times.
They did do some original music as well, but due to all the loud drunks all around us, and the girl’s heavy Irish brogue I couldn’t get the names of the songs. Even though for once I was not on the drunk side during this festival. We estimate this is our 16th or 17th year attending.
Check them out on their webpage The Screaming Orphans. You’ll find links to their FaceBook and Twitter there as well! And everything they played was outstanding. Their vocals blend so well, it was simply amazing. Thank you ladies! We hope to see you at more of the Celtic festivals in our area.
If you’ve read the other posts about how I don’t feel that Christmas can start until I hear John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over), you will understand this post just a bit better. If you haven’t read them, go find them and come back here. I’ll wait…
(Hums Jeopardy theme song)
Back now? Good. So for some reason, my Spotify playlist just played the song. So I guess Christmas 2018 can now start? We just got the decorations down! At least it gives me an excuse to start the Christmas shopping early. And with the Central Florida Highland Games (Albannach & Rathkeltair providing the music, and another visit to And Sarah Smiled for more Celtic pottery) this weekend, we’ll have the chance to pick up some early presents!
So Happy Holidays, I guess??
(Many thanks to Kiersten over at Once Upon A Spine for the inspiration for this post)
And no, this is not a sad post, but the only song I could come up with that has “clown” in the title is “Cathy’s Clown”, and that’s not one of my favorites.
So, let’s go back in time, shall we? The year was 1981, Wifey® and I were not yet married (although we were dating). Wifey-to-be® and I took my oldest niece and nephew to a function at their school. But that was many, many beers ago and neither of can remember what the event was. At this event was Hi-Pockets The Clown. Hi-Pockets had his run in various circuses until he tired of the constant moving. So he left the circus and became a firefighter of all things, still continuing his clowning at parties and such.
Then he had a stroke, and his firefighting days were over, but he could continue clowning, just at a slower pace. He would go to the local schools perform a little and try to recruit folks for his clown alley. I was hooked the minute I saw his pitch.
I immediately signed up. As both Wifey-to-be® and myself were working at Metro Zoo (now the Miami Zoo), I had an in to get us into a face painting setup. We charged $2 to paint a face. We kept $1.50, the zoo got the rest. Not a bad scheme. We would also warm up the audience for some of the animal shows. When we would walk from our spot by the gift shop to the amphitheater, the Bengal Tigers would go nuts. They would pace up and down their open enclosure following us.
So one of the first things a clown needs to do is design a face. I sat down with paper and pencil trying to come with something rather unique. Unfortunately, only one picture of me in makeup survives.
I had just finished putting on the face and still had the scarf on keeping my rather long hair out-of-the-way when my dad took this picture. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you “Skeeter the clown”. Hi-Pockets told me this face is registered with Ringling Brothers, but I have no proof. But I hope it is.
One of my most beloved props was an Orangutan puppet named Merlyn. I bought him from a festival that was being held at the zoo. At the time, it cost me every penny I had, but the laughter and love Merlyn has generated has come back many times over.
Merlyn has seen quite a bit. Not only at the zoo, but he’s entertained friend’s kids, even went to a strip club with me once. I would guess he’s about 36 years old now. The first time I brought him out to Granddaughter-the-elder®, she was about 2 years old. She had no idea what it was. She wasn’t exactly scared, just very unsure. But it didn’t take long for her to warm up to Merlyn and ask me to go get him.Merlyn is enjoying his retirement awaiting the next generation to play with.And just to prove that I am not all clown, here is a photo, totally unrelated to this post, here is a picture of Wifey® and me in our kilts. Let’s face it, the Central Florida Highland Games are in about two weeks. We already have our tickets! If you’re in the area (dear ol’ brother mine) come join us. We’ll be over by the beer tent listening to Albannach.
Here’s the video to go with the title.. not the best I know. If you have a better song leave a comment telling me so.
And just to go with the kilts, here’s Albannach. The band name roughly translated means “Men Of Scotland”.
P.S. I’ve never understood the clown phobia. I know people that are very afraid of clowns, and I feel for them. ‘Cause clowns are cool!