Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Mariel Moment

That's my girl!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


A tip of the hat to Dale Carnegie and the Learning 2Share blog!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh, The Noise, Noise, Noise Noise!


Gosh, but there is a lot of noisy noise being generated twenty-four hours a day by a lot of people who get paid a lot of money to stir the pot. I would go so far as to call these people cynics.

I grabbed three panels of a recent "Tom Tomorrow" comic as one illustration.

Right now, there are quite a few folks who can't stand the fact that "their guy" lost the 2008 presidential election. To them, the current fairly-elected head of state is evil, incarnate looking to forever ruin our beloved country. He is a hard-line Islamist/Socialist who (gasp!) reads his speeches off a TelePromTer and whose wife is out to make the previous first lady look bad, on purpose!

The whole "Tea Party" movement to protest phantom tyrannical tax increases smacks of some sort of phony grass roots movement. I remember these sort of things were referred to as "AstroTurf" back during the swift boat veterans for the truth era. (Get it? Artificial grass roots!)

But, you know, there are enough of these amazing media pundits out there so that it cuts both ways.

For instance: The Bush Theocracy. Wow! Remember when Dubya created The Church of America and punished those who did not immediately sign up? Yeah, me neither!

How about when President Bush ordered endless truckloads of arsenic to be dumped into the nation's drinking water supply? Oh, yeah. Um, it was more a matter of restoring the acceptable levels of allowable arsenic to what they were while Bill Clinton was in office.

Then there's the absolute and total ban that GWB enacted on all scientific research during his presidency. Oh, yeah. He simply didn't want to approve federal funding for stem cell research. And, gosh, there's not another private concern or another country in the whole world that could've continued stem cell research. Only through USA Federal Tax Dollars could this be done.

The "mainstream media" is selling us out!

I've seen both conservatives and liberals bellyaching about the blatant bias and distortions the "mainstream media" is inserting into each and every important news story. The liberal point of view is sensitive to things like the current financial melt-down being called "The Obama Recession" while the conservative point of view seems to be that the real truth is limited exclusively to the "talk radio" and "Fox News" outlets that beam into every market 24/7.

Is there any objective source of information anywhere?

I doubt it.

Now, excuse me while I tune out some of this racket.

Calgon, take me awa-a-a-a-y...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll Confidential

Our mailman, Cletus, is a very personable fellow. When he has a package to bring to the door, he'll invariably have a smile and will want to chat for a bit. Of course, I'm usually at work when the mail comes, but I'd encountered him enough during the weekends and periods of unemployment to have at least struck up an acquaintance with the guy.

I'm not sure how it came up, but Cletus asked my wife if I played guitar. Perhaps he was delivering a Musician's Friend catalog, I don't know.

Michelle gave him a run-down of my musical resume, which seemed to impress our happy letter-carrier no end.

"Do you think Craig would like to get together with some of my friends from the post office?" he asked. "They get together every so often and they're looking for another guitar player. They like The Beatles and sixties music."

"I he'd love that, Michelle replied. "He's been looking for some guys to play with ever since we moved here!"

"OK, I'll let you folks know when they guys are going to get together and maybe Craig can come on over."

The arrangements were made, and about a week later Cletus came by to pick me up so as to chauffeur me and my equipment over to his pal's house for the big "session."

Now, keep in mind my daily schedule has me getting up at 4:45 am, leaving the house at 6:00am and finally returning from work at 5:30 pm (under optimal conditions!) Also keep in my I'm 51 years old and my last gig was nearly 12 years ago.

Cletus and I arrived at his friend's house and we lugged the two guitars and my amp up to the door.

His pal, George, greeted us and and we went to his living room. He had a small PA system set up, along with his amp and the bass player's amp. George's wife (I'm bad with names) offered me a drink (water) and we set about tuning up.

"So you like 'sixties music?" George asked. "What kind of songs did you used to play?"

Now this is a toughie. I tried to explain the whole "garage band" concept and that my last group (MYSTIC EYES) did songs that were not hits that were recorded by regional bands that nobody ever heard of.

At this point the bass player, Rick, arrived.

A genial sort, the unpacked his bass and the wife brought him some JD and a shot glass. I am happy to report he didn't get blotto.

Again, the question about "what sort of music do you play" came up and I tried to offer some less obscure references.

"Um, do you know 'Little Black Egg' by the Nightcrawlers?" I asked while playing the song's main riff.

"Huh. No."

"How about 'Little Girl' by The Syndicate of Sound?" I played that riff.

"Ah, yeah! I know that one!" Rick replied. "Hey, little girl/ You don't have to hide nothin' no more..."

"Well, that sort of stuff," I said.

"Oh, man! I was a big fan of Paul Revere and the Raiders!" We stumbled through a few bars of "Hungry" and "It's Just Like Me."

We spent the next couple of hours slaughtering some Beatles tunes and "jammin' the blues." I'm not much on blues jams, but George seemed to like them.

I noticed a couple things during our two-hour music fest.

1. I started out the evening tired and worked my way into near total exhaustion by just sitting on the stool and trying to play guitar. These 13 hour work days can really take it out of you!

2. I am very rusty. You see, I tend not to play guitar unless I have a reason to. I'm not that in love with my own virtuosity that I can be bothered to sit and play on my own.

What about Cletus, you ask? He contented himself with sitting on the couch and drinking it all in. He and George's wife took a couple turns singing, but just for fun.

The 9:00 curfew came and we all shook hands and commented how nice it was to meet
one another. Cletus helped me load my junk back into his truck and we departed.

"Well, that was fun," he said. "Did George get your phone number from you?"

"Um, no, he didn't," I answered.

Guess I didn't pass the audition.

We arrived at my house and once again unloaded the amp and guitars. They now weighed about 200 pounds apiece by this time.

Cletus and I exchanged good nights and I flopped into bed, exhausted.


It's official.

I'm too old to rock and roll.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pine Cone Picture

My sister, Kim, was visiting this weekend. She has a digital camera, so she snapped this pose of Mariel holding an authentic NC pine cone.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Pictured here are a couple Hagstrom electric guitars.

When I can get a moment I'll fill in the rest of this post with a recent foray back into the land rock 'n' roll.

Right now I'm busier than a one armed monkey at an ass-kickin' contest.

(Have I mentioned lately that I am bad at analogies?)

See you soon, I hope...