Monthly Archives: November 2012

Music Memory; I Learn To Fast Dance

We were really cool back then.

We were really cool back then.

The first time I danced with a girl was in the eighth grade. For a while I’d only slow dance. I felt awkward fast dancing. It was like trying to swim without knowing how to swim. I thought I might hurt somebody.

That all changed with Chubby Checker and the Twist. It was a great song and great dance.

He was interviewed on TV and shared how easy it was to learn. “Just pretend your putting out cigarettes with your feet and drying your behind with a towel.” After a few sessions dancing in front of a mirror I mustarded the courage to dance and when that happened history was made right then and there. You couldn’t keep me off the dance floor.

In time you develop your own style. I modified the towel drying my behind movement. I wasn’t content to stay in one place on the floor, but moved around a bit. I even mastered the splits. I became a legend – in my own mind. I was a skinny kid who had not yet grown into my feet and had goofy hair.

It was a fun dance. Everybody could do it and till this day when I hear, “come on everybody, let’s do the Twist…!” Well never mind, it’s not very pretty, but inside I’m still fifteen.

Here’s that song:

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There’s Money To Be Made; Going Back To Paper In A Paperless Crazed World

What was the world thinking when they decided to go paperless?

There is a crisis and where there is crises there is opportunity.

The world is going paperless. Ebooks are replacing hardbacks and paperbacks. Newsweek stopped its printed edition in favor of going online. Newspaper subscriptions are down. Banking is being done online. Bills are paid the same way. Which leads me to wonder what if the toilet paper industry goes paperless? I don’t even want to think about it.

We used to do all sorts of things with the discarded paper. A newspaper could be rolled up and used swat flies. Paper could be used for painting projects to prevent damage from spills and splatters. They make an excellent blanket for drunks who sleep it off on park benches or bus stops.

The best use was to line the bottom of the bird-cage. Sure going paperless is good for the environment, but what about my bird poop!

Currently I’m looking for some forward-looking and aggressive investors to invest in my company called, Dirty Birdie Cage Page, the finer liner. (that‘s only a working title). I’m negotiating a contract with NPR to reprint all their useless information on paper. I then package it and sell it as bird-cage liner. I have an immediate audience. NPR listeners have proportionally more pet birds than the general population. There are fifteen listeners nationwide and ten of them have birds.

NPR is happy to see the extra revenue, because of shrinking public support and less government funding. After I take my greedy cut the rest goes to the forward-looking and aggressive investors.

Just send five one hundred-dollar bills. Remember cash only (I‘m not paperless). Think of it as stimulus money for the faltering paper industry.

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A Night With Dad At The Avenue Café

Dad’s nemesis looked like actor Lee Van Cleef; mysterious, evil, and quiet.

(Continued from last week.)

At the Avenue Café was a man who did not like my Dad. His name was Vic. He was a little less than six feet tall and well built. He had a Lee Van Cleef evil-like appearance. His hair was a thick shiny black and combed back. His face was pitted. He always dressed well and wore heavy cologne. He was quiet and had a certain arrogance about him. He was popular, but I suspect it was out of fear.

My Dad was loud and bragged a lot. That’s what bars are for, especially the Avenue Café. There was another bar a block away called Arnold’s Place. It was quieter there. If you wanted quiet, that was the place to go.

The man tried to quiet Dad with sharp remarks meant to embarrass him. Dad never backed down.

Regulars at the Avenue played pranks on one another. Sometimes somebody would come behind my Dad and jab him with their fingers in his ribs. Dad’s arms flew in the air and he would yell out. Everybody laughed.

One night I came to the bar to get Dad so we could walk home together.

As soon as you walked into the Avenue the bar was immediately to the right. It was laid out like the letter L.

Dad sat in the first stool at the bottom of the L where it meats with the vertical part. His stool was also directly in front of the door. The building sat close to the street. From the building there was two steps down to the side walk and next to the sidewalk was Bellefontaine Avenue.

I sat next to Dad. Vic walked in with a date. Dad was quiet. He started to taunt Dad with some remarks from a few stools away. I watched him nudge his date and hurl a few more insults at Dad. Dad was uncommonly non combative and relatively quiet. In my mind I thought Dad was not going to allow himself to be goaded into anything, because Vic was obviously trying to get under Dad’s skin to show-off in front of the woman.

“Let’s go home Dad,” I said.

“I’m going to have one more,” Dad said.

“I don’t like that guy,” I whispered.

Dad ordered another beer. The verbal assault continued.

The man whispered to the woman and eased slowly from his stool. He sauntered to the cigarette machine and bought a pack of cigarettes. He moved slowly toward Dad.

Dad was looking forward, but I could tell Dad’s attention was on the man moving in behind him.

“Dad,” I leaned toward him and whispered. “He’s coming closer.”

“Shhh,” Dad said quietly.

The man jabbed Dad in the ribs. Dad turned quickly. It was a blur. Dad hit Vic with all his might in the face.

Let me regress for a moment. Dad was powerful. He was 6’ 2” but his reach was 80 inches. His hands were large and his fists were big. Dad was very fast with his hands. He always told me he was never fast enough to run from a fight so he had to learn to fight.

The punch that Dad landed sounded like a solid line drive from the crack of a bat. I’ve never heard anything like it since. I had no idea a punch could sound that loud.

Vic flew backward out the door, down the steps, and landed on his back in Bellefontaine Avenue. The bar went absolutely quiet. Dad looked out the door to see if Vic was in any kind of shape to continue. He crawled to the curb, got his feet, and stumbled toward the parking lot.

Dad sat down at the bar and took a swig from his beer.

I was shaking.

Dad looked over at the woman and said calmly, “I think he’s ready to go now.”

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A Case For Boise State To Crack The BCS Top 16

The only guy who has been at Boise State longer than D J Harper is Chris Petersen. The Nevada game will be Harper’s last regular season appearance. The annual rumors are swirling it may be Petersen’s also.

It was a bit disappointing to see Boise State not move up any further than two spots in the BCS standings (currently 20th). Nevertheless, not bad for having a bye week.

Certainly Kent State pulling ahead of Boise is an anomaly. The MAC conference is rated behind the Mountain West. Kent State and Northern Illinois play each other for the conference championship this week. They are both 11-1.

Boise State must beat Nevada convincingly to crack the top 16 in the BCS standings.

Here are the teams ahead of them and how they can influence where Boise ends up in the BCS rankings;

Kent State plays NIU. A BSU win will put them past Kent State even if they win. The only way NIU goes around Boise is if they (Boise) lose.

Texas at number 18 plays number 6 Kansas. Look for Kansas to hand them their fourth loss of the season. That may knock Texas out of the top 25.

Number 11 Oklahoma plays much improved and underrated TCU who has come off an upset win over Texas. A TCU upset will knock Oklahoma from a BCS bid and move Boise up.

Number 15 Oregon State plays Nicholls State in a make-up game from a cancelled contest the first of the year. No matter how bad Oregon State wins an impressive win by Boise might possibly help them move around the Beavers.

Number 16 UCLA meets Stanford for the second week in a row. This time for the PAC 12 championship. UCLA will likely lose. That will be their fourth loss. They will fall behind Boise.

Number 18 Michigan can only watch. They are already at 8 and 4. Boise wins and they go around them.

All this means nothing if Boise doesn’t beat Nevada.

If the standard that Boise State has been held to in the past were applied to them today they should be ranked nearer to South Carolina (ranked 10th) and Clemson (ranked 14th). Both are 10 and 2 on the season, but the MWC has a better power ranking than the ACC.

With South Carolina’s and Clemson’s season over and a Boise State win there would seem little logic to keep the Broncos from cracking the top 16.

All this means nothing if Boise doesn’t beat Nevada.

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Do You Remember Novemeber 22, 1963?

Do you know where you were on November 22, 1963? If you are old enough to remember that day and what you were doing the day Kennedy was assassinated I’d like to hear about it.

If you weren’t old enough to remember that day could you tell me about somebody who you know and what they were doing that day. It could be a parent, relative, teacher, friend; you get the point.

Has somebody shared that memory with you? If so, have them write it and send it to me or write it yourself and send it.

If you have a blog please include the web address.

I’m going to start you out:

How I Remember November 22, 1963

I was a sophomore at Bath High School. It was a township school east of Lima, Ohio. The school building was new. This was the first year it was occupied.

I was in seventh period study hall. Like most days I was fighting sleep. I laid my head on the desk. The intercom crackled. A radio broadcast echoed from the speaker announcing the President had been shot. Details were sketchy, only that he was in a motorcade in Dallas and rushed to a hospital. We all looked at each other confused. The intercom went silent. About ten minutes later the intercom crackled on again. It was difficult to make out what was being reported because we were coming in on the middle of the story. Everyone sensed it was serious. And finally we heard, “The President is dead. President Kennedy is dead.” We all sat, numb. It was disbelief. The radio station played some sort of dirge. The bell rang for the next period. We all got up from our desks and moved robotically out of the study hall. The hallway became crowded with students exchanging class rooms.

I recall a few girls in tears. What I remember most was the silence, only the sound of shoes on the floor. That was it. No talking. No anything.

That walk in the hallway felt like I was in the scene from a movie. Everyone around me seemed like mindless extras providing drama for my scene. They had no lines and I had no lines, but the camera was on me.

The last period of the day was Boy’s Health. It was held in the biology lab and taught by Mr. Schoonover. Mr. Schoonover was a quiet serious man. He was  muscular about medium height. He had a flat-top hair cut and wore dark rimmed glasses. He walked in the room and looked around. “I think in view of what just happened it would be good that we have a period of quiet.”

He walked out of the room and the boys began to whisper and wonder.

I rode the bus home and watched TV the rest of the day.

Sunday I drove to my cousin Jim’s home and we stood in the yard talking about what had happened. Jim was a senior at the same school. By than Lee Harvey Oswald had been captured and in custody.

Jim made a try at humor. “This sure spoils the weekend.” Then he turned serious.  “This is bigger than just one man. I bet the communist are behind it.”

“This is only the kind of thing you read about in history books,” I said.

“And we’re living it,” Jim said.

Uncle Vern burst out the front door of the house yelling excitedly to us, “You won’t believe this! They shot him! They shot him! They shot the sonuva bitch! I just saw it on TV! It just happened now! Come on in here!”

“They shot who?” Jim said.

“That sonuva bitch that killed Kennedy,” Uncle Vern said.

We went inside and watched the mayhem continue on TV.

Now It’s Your Turn

Please don’t add it to the comment’s section of this blog, rather send your memory by email. Use either of the following email addresses;


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If McDonalds Is Fast Food, Einstein Had Good Hair

Einstein having a good hair day. I’m thinking he might make a better Ronald McDonald. All he needs is bright red hair.

My number one pet peeve with McDonalds is that the service is slow. That almost seems like a contradiction in terms; when one hears fast food they automatically think about McDonalds. Maybe they don’t want to be considered fast food anymore.

This observation is recent. What I mean by recent, the last two or three years.

Half the time I go to McDonalds I order coffee only. I don’t understand how the person in front of me who ordered a Big Mac, a Quarter Pounder with mustard only, a double cheese with catsup and pickle only, a small fry, a large fry, a small fry with no salt, a cappuccino, fruit smoothy, a chocolate shake, two chocolate chip cookies, one oatmeal cookie, a fruit yogurt, and an apple pie gets their order before me?

Maybe I’m being punished for only ordering coffee.

Waiting in line for coffee only in like a living hell. Thoughts of guilt and remorse pour over me. ‘For what am I being punished?’ I mutter while waiting. I once saw a lady with a rosary mumbling holy prayers. She waited and waited. By the time I finished by meal she was still waiting. She fell to her knees and cried out, “Blessed virgin hear the prayer of a humble sinner! Grant me my meal. If not for me at least a Happy Meal (girl‘s) for my granddaughter.” She must have been a very bad lady in her youth.

It could be just me. McDonalds may circulate photos of me with a warning, “If you see this guy make him wait, maybe he’ll go away, but make sure you get his money first.”

You can get faster service at the DMV.

There are times I get pro-active. I don’t like to do this when somebody is with me, because it embarrasses them. I look behind the counter for the person who is not doing anything. It us usually a manager and I say, “I only ordered a coffee, would you mind pouring it for me?” And I watch to make sure they don’t spit in it.

I recall one time doing that when a whole herd of people were waiting for their orders. I asked the manager to pour my coffee so I could get on my merry way. Little did I realize that everybody waiting for their orders was pulling for me. They had grown tired of waiting and felt my angst more deeply than their own. After receiving my coffee (with no expectorate) I made my way through the hungry masses. A young guy with long hair and tattoos said, “Dude, way to go,” and patted me on the back. I smiled back and said, “Dude, that’s what the sixties were all about; power to the people.”


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A Beatles Black Friday Musical Memory

The Beatles took nearly every song and made it in such a way that it was unique and memorable. Not only were they prolific song writers as a foursome performing what they wrote, but when they did other artists’ songs they somehow sounded better (my opinion, of course).

The best way to describe it is that others sung the tune while the Beatles put themselves into the song. An example might be Twist and Shout and Till There Was You.

There is a song that I really liked. There was this quality of rawness to it that made it stand out from other treatments. And in keeping with a Black Friday theme, it’s called Money.

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