Monday, December 31, 2018

Something's missing

As of this writing, the federal government is partially shut down. Perhaps it's something that should be made permanent, or possibly even expanded. In any event, we have in the past two years witnessed a near-complete deadlock in the body politic, as each 'side' rejects out of hand any ideas advanced by the other.

I'm not of the opinion that government should be evaluated by the quantity of legislation produced - we're [mostly] all familiar with the comparison regarding the manufacture of sausage and laws. And, in many regards, it may be preferable not to have any new nitwittery added to the federal register. But, if that be the case, why not eliminate substantial portions - and the attendant expenses - of the dog and pony shows that play out on Capitol Hill?

In selecting the above clip, I also found this one, which - I believe - failed to chart:

Catchy, huh?

Note: I'm not sure where Alexa got her lyrics, but the second verse, per the Dylan webside, starts thusly:
Too much of nothing
Can make a man abuse a king
He can walk the streets and boast like most
But he wouldn’t know a thing

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Fair Play?

It's said that fighting should be 'fair', and that you never shoot a man in the back.

While this is possibly noble and just, it's also sometimes just flat out wrong, as when the righteous Judge Roy Bean eliminated the evil Bad Bob:

 Robert, it is written that thou shalt not impugn the integrity of Miss Lily Langtry.
End of lesson.

Or when a U. S. Green Beret took the initiative to neutralize a threat before the enemy killed more friendlies or American soldiers. He has now been charged with murder.

When evil men are your enemies, you do what needs to be done.

No Clapton, Page, or Beck here

Quite the unplanned post, the result of some research following Tommy Boy's posting of Fleetwood Mac's Hypnotized, with the late Bob Welch.

It seems the Hypnotized single, considered the best cut from the Mystery To Me LP, was backed with (b/w for you old-timers) the Graham Gouldman composition For Your Love, which was originally a hit for the Eric Clapton-era Yardbirds, and released by that band on the day he left. While notable guitarists Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page would later join the Yardbirds, they were not featured on the single.

I think this version stacks up favorably against the original.

And, lest anyone forget, Carlos Santana did not write Black Magic Woman, which was, of course, composed by the founder of Fleetwood Mac himself, Peter Green:

Sunday, December 16, 2018

A hoot owl's been howling outside my window

On the way to looking up something altogether different - something different - I found this:

I've seen M3 several times since 1978 - always a great show.

Earlier this year I posted a couple of songs from Murf's 1978 Lonewolf album.  Here's  another:

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wide Open Spaces

  • I think this is the longest I've gone in any year in about 20+ where I have not seen It's A Wonderful Life. It's long been one of my favorite films, but in the last couple of years, I think I've begun to suspect that George Bailey - decent guy though he is - might be a socialist sympathizer.
  •  I got my flu shot a couple of months ago. The nurse who came to our workplace said they felt this was a good batch, but that last year's sort of missed the mark. As I understand it, the people who concoct the vaccines make their best guesstimate of the strain of flu that's going to be prevalent in the upcoming season, and sometimes they don't get it right. In any event, I've not had the flu, but have been dogged for a few days by cold-like symptoms. Not enough to keep me from going to work - Heaven knows enough other blockheads will be calling in sick - but enough so that I retire about 9:00. I'm thinking tomorrow I should have run the gauntlet and will be back close to normal.
  • Well, normal for me...
  • In the past several years, reading actual books - beyond reference tomes and the like - has not been a priority for me. Sure, lots of magazines and interweb news, but few actual hardcover books. Well, in the course of four months or so, I've completed five books, and am about a third of the way through another. I'm trying to rebuild my reading muscle.
  • My work colleagues are harrassing me for not having gotten a dog yet. Admittedly, it's been an extended mourning time. There've been a few canines that kind of appealed on the rescue sites, but which were either too large, disinterested, or which I simply missed out on. There was an Aussie Shepherd at last week's HSNT/FWAC event at Will Rogers, but she got snapped up before I could get down there to check her out. One co-worker in particular has been telling me: "Just get a damn dog already! You're more careful choosing a dog than you are a wife." I noted that I am pointedly taking my time to get just the right one, adding that my approach is at least halfway working, inasmuch as I've had better dogs than wives.
  • For those of you who enjoy authentic country music, may I recommend Erin Enderlin's Whiskeytown Crier?  It's a lot like country music used to be, before it got conflated with pop and rock and roll.
  • I must be somewhat on the mend, it's 10:00 p.m. and I'm not in bed yet.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

From Every Stage

Combat Kevin's latest post referenced Robert Zimmerman.  Well, one thing led to another, and soon I was thinking about this Dylan song, performed on former paramour Joan Baez's 1975 From Every Stage live double LP (those big vinyl things, for you kiddos).  The album featured four additional Dylan compositions.

The drummer for that tour was Jim Gordon, formerly of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, and Derek and the Dominoes. Although he is sometimes credited for writing the piano coda/outro on Layla, credible sources indicate it was actually lifted from Rita Coolidge, his then girlfriend. In 1983, beset by mental illness and perhaps substance abuse, he bludgeoned his mother to death, a crime for which he remains incarcerated/committed in Vacaville, CA.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dying a little more each day

Heard this on Jody Dean's Saturday evening radio program earlier.  Following the death of my family this summer, it hits a tender spot.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Everyone's entitled

Though I didn't watch the CMAs this past week - I'm not much into awards shows, or even much TV for that matter - I read that Mac McAnally won his 10th CMA award. Although Mr. Mac is well-known as a country music tunesmith, and long-time member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band, I mostly remember this song from 1978, recorded when he was about 20 years old. In the D/FW market, it got some minor airplay on 92.5 KAFM and 102.9 (I don't remember the call letters at the time), and possibly even 103.7 KVIL, although I'm not certain of that. I can remember hearing it while driving on the D/FW turnpike - or early post-turnpike I-30 - on my way to or from school. This is a more recent recording of the song:

Here's another of his songs that was a hit for the Sawyer Brown Band:

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Well, it's been more than a few yesterdays since I was young.

I'm heartbroken to learn today of the great Mr. Roy Clark's passing. I was blessed to have been introduced to his music as a child, well before he gained wider fame as the co-host of Hee-Haw. Just last week I watched a clip of him making a guest appearance on the TV sit-com version of The Odd Couple, doing a fantastic, riveting performance of Malagueña. At the end of the song, Tony & Jack were clearly spellbound.

I don't believe there was a stringed instrument that Mr. Clark did not master.

Thank you for the great music and memories, Godspeed Mr. Roy Clark!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sounds of Silence

  • In college, I commuted from the Metromess to Denton daily.  Back in those days, I had a number of mix tapes, as well as a few full length LPs recorded to cassettes (Maxell UDXL-IIs, in case you were wondering). Among my favorites were Wings Over America, Willie and Family Live, and Simon & Garfunkel's Concert in Central Park (1981 - I was fortunate enough to subsequently see them, in the rain, August 18, 1983 at the Cotton Bowl).
  • A few weeks back, I snagged the CD of the S&G concert at the thrift store, and have been listening to it at bedtime the last couple of nights. I happened to ask a co-worker, a former NYPD officer, where he was Sept 19, 1981. Turns out he was already in Texas by then, but he mentioned this cover of Sounds of Silence, by the band Disturbed. Noting that he had lost too many friends, I could tell from his description that it had had a profound effect on him, and when I looked it up, I understood.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Seems Like Old Times

  • It's been a bit busy lately, but it was reported recently that the writer/playwright Neil Simon had passed away at the age of 91. Originally part of the writing staff for Sid Caesar, with other notables such as Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, he became one of Broadway's most prolific playwrights.
  • Although Barefoot in the Park was his breakout production, I've never seen it.
A deaf cook and blind butler


  •  In high school, I did sound effects for The Sunshine Boys. I loved the movies Murder By Death and Seems Like Old Times (Hawn/Chase) and still watch them from time to time. Between marriages, I had a leading role in a community theatre presentation of Fools, and later provided technical services for The Good Doctor.

Thursday, August 23, 2018


I certainly don't date back to 1948, but still...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

After the Thriller is Gone*

News comes this morning that Eagles - Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 has again regained the title of best selling album of all time, overtaking Michael Jackson's Thriller, which had previously de-throned it.

Many online opinionators were dismissive of the announcement, noting that the Eagles' release was a compilation of hits from their first four albums (which preceded their landmark Hotel California record), while Thriller was a single work. Dissention noted, the Eagles' Hotel California, their next release after Greatest Hits, and not a compilation, earned #3 status on the same list.

It's inevitable that many, this writer included, have internal biases relating to what artists and style of music they prefer.  However, the RIAA rankings are based on sales/downloads/streams, not on subjective factors. I was somewhat surprised that Rumours did not score above its #10 ranking, that The Wall was #6 instead of Dark Side of the Moon (not in the top 20), and that Lennon/McCartney's records were not in the top 10 (the White Album and The Beatles 1967-1970 ranked #12 and #18, respectively).  Incidentally, Zeppelin's IV was #5, and Physical Graffiti #20 (tied with Metallica), and piano men Joel and John each have a compilation in the top 20.

Framed inscribed CD covers on my wall...

My inscribed Frampton Comes Alive and Blue Sky Night Thunder did not make the top 20.  Pity.

* After the Thrill is Gone is a song from One of These Nights

Sunday, August 19, 2018


BTW, don't call me Shirley...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

This is what leadership looks like

The first African-American to graduate from Ole Miss, James Meredith, rankles some in the 'civil rights movement' by saying that full liberty in American society comes with a responsibility for moral character.

 Oxford, Mississippi 1962

I pray that Americans - not just hyphenated ones - but Americans of all shades, will heed his advice.

James Meredith now

Friday, August 17, 2018

PC run amok

  • It seems a school in Georgia has attracted the ire of the perpetually offended class, by having the audacity - no, not of hope, that would've been lauded  - to allow its cheerleaders to wear and sell t-shirts proclaiming they stand for the flag and kneel for the cross.  A school board member deemed this to be racist and horribly offensive, and promptly called for the practice to be shut down.  For my part, I checked the interweb and found the following design, which I plan to order shortly:

There are several similar designs, 
but I like this the best. 
  • Now, for the didactic portion of our programme, we present the Merriam-Webster definition of 'moral': 
1 a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical moral judgments
b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior a moral poem
c : conforming to a standard of right behavior
took a moral position on the issue though it cost him the nomination
d : sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment
a moral obligation
  • Nothing seemingly untoward in the preceding - most every society, culture, or religion espouses or promulgates some form of code of morality.  So, you can imagine my great surprise - has the devil been fitted for a parka? - that the mayor of a crime-ridden major midwestern U. S. city has called on citizens to behave morally.  And, believe it or not, he's being criticized for it.  No fan of the mayor I, I nonetheless commend him for saying what few in his party have the backbone to say, although on the subject of the Second Amendment, I'm sure we're still poles apart.
  • A Colorado red-tape state agency, seemingly oblivious and unfazed by a U. S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year, has taken another swipe at a baker, for not accepting an order for a transgender-themed cake. The swamp is deep.  Interestingly, the hegemony of the gay lobby would-be leadership is not absolute, as illustrated by this column from conservative columnist, radio host, and lambda lady. 

Godspeed, my dearest friend

-  2018
A purer, sweeter, kinder spirit I have never known

An oft-repeated and forwarded story concerns a family that has recently had an end-of-life experience of their furry companion.  Pondering why dogs' lifespans are so much shorter than their humans', the young son provides the perfect answer:

He said, “People are born so that they learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The four year old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I have to agree.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Can't a guy even cross the street...

...without being hounded by the media?

Of course, if it's this guy, and this street - well, it's understandable.

Paul McCartney

Oh, the water is wide...

From two of the best '70s artists. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Credo ut intelligam

"I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but rather, I believe in order that I may understand"

- St. Anselm of Canterbury

Friday, June 1, 2018

Breaks my heart

I can't recall where I saw this earlier this week, but it accompanied an article talking about the disconnect between men and women in relationships.  Perhaps it was always thus, but it seems to me that we are living in coarser times - civility and dignity, never mind tenderness and love, have taken their leave from relationship behavior.

I apologize that the image is not so sharp as I would like.


Will the human race endure?  I'm sure it will.  Tommy Boy recently posted on the treachery extant in modern love.  But isn't there at least something worthwhile and noble in trying a little kindness?

Man, can he play guitar, or what? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Heck, I'm no rocket scientist...

A few oddities from the crevices of my mind and the bathroom countertop:
  • People who make aerosol/pump spray fragrance buttons should use contrasting polymers for the button and for the nozzle.  It would make it much easier for those of us over 40 (ahem!) to see which direction the darn thing is aimed.
  • Does anyone know why shaving cream is super fluffy at the beginning of a can, and very watery near the end?
  • I am almost certain that no person on earth gets their money's worth from a tube of toothpaste more than I do. No, I don't slice the tube open when it's done, but I'm pretty confident that a steamroller (gratuitous JT reference) could not dislodge another 1/8 cm³ from it.
  • A couple of weekends back, I took the train to the city where the East peters out, to see some fun stuff at their convention center. Despite much consternation from the nattering nabob nitwit brigades, I did not encounter any untoward sentiment personally, and was able to enjoy a fine time both days that I attended. Of course, it should go without saying, I was smart enough to not go on the day that multiple politicos were there for photo ops.
  • While I was there, I saw or met noted writers, Col. Craig Boddington and Phil Spangenberger.
  • While it can be argued that MSRs - and accessorizing accoutrements - were more than adequately represented at the event, there was still quite a lot for traditionalists such as myself to enjoy.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

I beg your pardon never promised me a rose garden.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Funky Friday

  • I thought I would run a few errands this afternoon, then mow the grass before darkfall.  The rain dashed my plans.
  • Picked up some interesting CDs at the resale for cheap: Emmylou Harris' Duets, a two disc 60's folk music sampler (it has 30 songs - The Kingston Trio and The Brothers Four each got two songs), Whiskey Folk Ramblers - a local alt-country band, Undertakin' Daddies - from Canada, and one of those background sound discs of loons (yeah, like from On Golden Pond).
  • A few weeks ago, I cleared my schedule for tomorrow. Now, I have no recollection why. 
  • Dude, rollover:
This might be Matthew Perry, though...
  • The above was seen at The Old Home Supply. They had three busts of Elvis. Inasmuch as they have buiidings on all four corners of the intersection, and each bust was in a separate building, no normal person would have noticed. Ah, but I'm very observant...and not your average bear.
  • Henley does this Billy Sherrill song on his Cass County CD. Tonight, I learned that Emmylou had recorded it on her first album:

  • Last week/end I spent three nights sleeping outdoors: Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It was kinda warm the first night, chilly the second (and Sienna was restless). I sleep comfortably under the stars, but Monday night the wind blew a bunch of tree fuzzies onto my sleeping bag and pillow.  😒
The moon rises also...
  • Daughter and I had dinner at the church Wednesday night. Breakfast for dinner. I was served by a twentysomething chick who gave me two pieces of bacon. Teen daughter was served by a teen dude...who gave her six pieces. What the heck? Luckily, she shared with me. I probably only eat bacon 2-3 times a year. It was delicious.
Mmm, bacon...
  • I wonder if I can set up a GoFundMe account for one of these:
I like the dark finish, but the 6-7/8" fluted bbl in stainless is probably better.
  • For Easter, I gave daughter a yuge stuffed Easter Bunny, with a gimme knapsack with scented soap and some perfume she wanted.  The bunny, with its ears extended, is taller than me. Wednesday night, she told me she'd named it...Harvey.
  • Well played.  I showed her this portrait of the pookah and me:

Me and Harvey, circa 1991.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tuesday's tinkerings

  • As the rain prevents doing chores outside, I may putter around on some projects in the garage this afternoon.
  • Last night I read about a beer commercial that is allegedly 'terribly racist', according to someone called 'Chance the Rapper'. The video wouldn't open on my phone, so I checked it this morning on my desk computer. The charge about it being racist is a stretch.  
  • Over the weekend, I fulfilled a minor wish list item. I'd been wanting to go to the Old Home Supply Store since hearing about them 3-4 years ago. Daughter and I enjoyed perusing the merchandise, in many cases playing "what do you suppose this is/was?"
 You can't beat a  Dread-horse

Rock on, woman!
(I wonder if the N. K. Fairbank Co. received twiddles branding them as racists...) 
  • My research indicates that the mascots - who today would most likely not be considered politically correct - featured on the product above were named Goldie and Dustie. The N. K. Fairbank Company was apparently a major supplier of home cleaning supplies from the late 1800s through the mid-20th century. Proctor & Gamble bought out some of their product lines.
  • A co-worker who does not like the man-bun texted me this this morning:

  •  The circus blogger this morning posted a helpful guide regarding the information facebooks keeps on its users.  Maybe on account of having this blog, I never felt the need to have the facebooks.
  • My church is very much technology forward.  A few years ago, I was going to load a Bible app on my phone. When I looked at all the 'permissions' that the developer retained, I decided that my paper Bible worked just fine. I don't have anything to hide, but why would I let people I don't know, anyplace on earth, run amok through the information on my phone?
  • To this day, when people tell me all the swell things I could do with this or that app on my phone, I just smile and say "Wow, that sounds cool!"
  • When I was in high school, my buddy's dad who owned a bank drove a Mark V (later a Mark VI). We sometimes borrowed it, because it was cool to ride around in a car with a phone. I thought of that when I saw this pristine doppelganger of that car the other day:
 Bring back the opera window!
  •  After touring the used building materials, Daughter and I found a hidden urban spring a couple of miles north, where I decided to refresh my feet in the brisk flowing waters:
 I took the picture after I put my sock back on. I did not want to snow-blind my readers...
  •  The movement to divide the Peoples Republic of California may be gaining ground. If only I knew where to send contributions. 
  • Of this, ComKev would say "I weep for the species." Circus blogger might call it Idiocracy. In any event, there's no shortage of evil in the world.
  • Observed this in the outside patio garden of an art gallery just east of downtown. Daughter says I should make one of these:
I think I would lack the patience to weld 200 washers together...
  • I support the Right to Bear Bows. I have recently been on a mission to re-string my recurve bows. I still have to order a string for the Pinto, per my research dating to the 1960s. I also have a Bear Black Bear assault (compound) bow, not shown. 

Bow-wow! Ben Pearson Pinto, Fred Bear Kodiak, Shakespeare Manitou.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday wonderings

  •  Ford is recalling over a million cars due to the steering wheels coming off.

Race cars have been doing this for years...
  • Whoa, Toto!
  • It's reported today that high school students are taking the streets to protest gun violence.  I hope the streets start obeying the laws.
  • This isn't your father's.
  • Oldest son forwarded this to me:
  • About three years ago, I spent four days on a murder trial jury. Last month, I received a jury summons - I thought my prior service would exempt me, but it was too far back. So, I went to the Central Jury Room in the nearby large town, thinking perhaps I'd not get chosen. However, there were few people there that day, and not only was I selected for a jury pool, but with a low number, I was also picked for a jury.
  • As it happened, the trial lasted three days. 
  • Where is that Flex-Tape?
That's at least a 3 roll repair...
  •  Back to steering wheels, this one seems a bit complicated:

 There's a lot going on there...
  • I have an arsenal of recurve archery bows, and one assault (compound) bow. Only the compound and one of the recurves have strings, but that is soon to change as I have ordered a new string for my Bear Kodiak bow. My Pinto will have to wait - it's the longest (66" AMO), almost a longbow.
  • In the ongoing whack-a-mole that is the HRC blame game tour, the failed 2016 Presidential contender has now blamed misogynist white men and their wives for her defeat, while accusing the same of opposing black progress, and resenting women and Indian-Americans in the workplace. My rough calculation is that the former State Secretary has now blamed about 75% of the American population for her defeat. Yet she still believes she's relevant.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Go Your Own Way

I have to be honest, this is the only Cranberries song I know, by way of its inclusion on the Rumours tribute album, but I have always thought they did a great job of it.  Dolores O'Riordan, the singer, died today in London at age 46.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Writing my runes by the dark of the moon

Oak Cliff's Michael Martin Murphey is best known for his mellow country-rock (Wildfire, Carolina in the Pines), and for being one of the early headliners at the Armadillo World Headquarters in the Austin Music movement.  More recently, he has led the preservation and promotion of authentic cowboy music.

The songs that follow are from his Lone Wolf LP, circa 1978.  To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't play any of the songs from that album in his shows these days, which is a shame, because his themes and lyrics on some of the songs on that album are on a par with Henley's opus The Last Resort, with a bit of introspection not readily apparent in the latter's works until 1989's The End of the Innocence. Disclosure: I suppose I am a wee bit biased in favor of both of these artists, inasmuch as I matriculated from the same university that both had attended in the 1960s.

At any rate, I did see these songs performed live in February or March of 1978, when Mr. Murphey opened at DCC for America.  My GF and I were running just a tad late, and I can vividly remember entering the concourse of the venue to the opening strains of Carolina in the Pines starting the show. Even though Gerry, Dewey, and Dan were the headliners that night, it was MMM's Lone Wolf that I bought at a small record shop in Six Flags Mall shortly after.

Trivia Note: I didn't really think of it until just now, but I attended both artists' septuagenarian birthday shows: Murphey's 71st at The Kessler in 2016, and Henley's 70th at the AAC this past July.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Shame on me!

Here it is, only the first day of the New Year, and I am already guilty of species-ism and gender-ism, as while reflecting on the works of the late Denney Crane, the interweb philosopher Combat Kevin, man-at-arms ML, blog provocateur Thomas, and occasionally the courtyard fool - as well as phoning in a proxy post of my own - I have taken advantage of my dear canine companion by having her warm up my side of the bed before I retire for the evening.

Upon signing off this post, I will, of course, displace the furry one to her side of the bed, whilst nestling comfortably under the pre-heated covers...