June 29, 2010


Hydrangeas Out The Yin Yang

The Summer after the ice storm, we had zero Hydrangea blooms out of all plants we have in our garden. This year we have a bumper crop. It looks like a funeral home around here.

June 27, 2010

What 97 Degrees Looks Like

History Lesson

Yesterday we had a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, who turned eighty-nine years of age. To put her life in historical perspective, here are a couple of fun facts.

She was born in 1921, 57 years after after Abraham Lincoln was shot by Edgar Allan Poe.

When she was twenty years of age the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, drawing the U.S. into World War I.

....Or something like that.

June 25, 2010

Friday Night Sound Clash

Every Friday night on WFPK there is a show called the Friday Night Sound Clash. It's a lot of experimental type music, mixing jazz, hip-hop, and a dash of everything else.

Otis Jackson Jr., known professionally as Madlib (short for Mind Altering Demented Lessons In Beats), is a Los Angeles-based DJ, multi-instrumentalist, rapper, and music producer.

Here is MADLIB's Young Jazz Rebels with 'Forces Unseen'.

June 23, 2010

Rodney Dangerfield

BLT's and Little Green Apples

Wife and I were eating BLT's and she said she was in a cooking rut and nothing sounded good to her. It's not surpising because she's cooked and baked everything under the sun.

"Oh, We have to eat June apples and sausage biscuits, it's that time of year again."
"What are June apples anyway?"
"They're those little green apples that you can find only in June."

I started humming a tune from a long time ago as we were cleaning up after our BLT's and couldn't think of the artist who wrote it and went to look it up.

"Little Green Apples" was written by Bobby Russell. It's been recorded by Roger Miller, Burl Ives, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Goldsboro, and countless others.

'Little Green Apples' Roger Miller.

June 21, 2010

My Toy Too

I occasionally hear this song on the radio and this morning, on the way to work, I finally caught the name of the band. When I got home I found it, downloaded it, ripped it to windows movie maker, and posted it. I went through all this trouble, so you'd better listen to it if you know what's good for you, sonically speaking.
My first was a hand held plastic silver Magnavox but as I recall it took four triple A's. As proof you can find anything using Google, I found a photo of this exact same radio I had as a kid.

The Iguanas are a band out of New Orleans and they've been described as sounding similar to Wilco with a Tex-Mex bent

The Iguanas 'Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart' 2003.

June 19, 2010

Ischemia in HD

My cardiologist called wife a couple of weeks ago and said my part two stress test results showed no surprises and the scan of my heart showed what he expected to see, namely ischemia (god bless you) around my circumflex coronary artery which was blocked about five years ago.

The part two stress test involves eating something fatty (they recommended a big sloppy burger) and the heart scan would take better pictures. I ate a double decker Baconator from Wendy's. Ben said a baconator might produce images in near high definition quality.

I had a couple of stents placed in my circumflex about six years ago and one year later the artery blocked again. They can't re-stent what's been stented before so now I take a hand full of pills every morning. I can't say I don't have the occasional angina pain but I feel lucky that the circumflex is a relatively small artery.

A good joke to tell a cardiologist:

A man and woman were getting to know each other at a bar and soon turned flirtatious. The man suggested they go to his place and they leave. Things got hot and heavy and the woman says,
"Hold on, I think I should tell you something. I have acute angina."
The man replies,
"That's great, your boobs look pretty good too."

Well, at least my cardiologist thought it was funny.

June 17, 2010


I had the pool to myself, that is, without anyone with me. A party of one, my last day before I go back to prison so to speak.

I chose a lounge by the adult pool where there is less noise away from the kiddies. I lathered myself up with SPF and plop myself on the lounge to read. There is a woman sitting on the other side of the table who I've seen before but I can't recall how I know her or how she knows me.

We fall into conversation and it turns out she knows my wife, of course, and knew my sister very well. She asks how my parents and the rest of the family are faring since her death.

My sister was cremated and the funeral was a memorial service. "Your sister was cremated?" I had assumed she knew. I told her that my sister's death didn't seem finalized or real to me without the more traditional funeral with a casket surrounded by flower arrangements.

During my sister's eulogy a lone tear crept out the corner of my eye. My granddaugher looked up at my face and reached over and held my hand.

My sister, in her youth, danced in the ballet and I went with mother to take and pick her up from ballet practice and the recital productions. My brother and I would always sit in the front row to watch them dance, and make faces at our sister.

Last night I was watching PBS and there was a kind of documentary on choreographers and a Paris Ballet Company. It made me a little sad watching while thinking of my sister.

Glamour Profession

Steely Dan 'Glamour Profession' 1980.

June 16, 2010

June Blooms

An American Poolside

Some people I know think it's boring lounging around at a pool. There's certainly time to think about wherever your mind, or a good book, takes you. I've been reading 'Undaunted Courage' by Stephen Ambrose.

Certain aspects of American life in the 18th century and America today are similar as far as waste of natural resources. Virginia plantation owners of that time wasted their land growing mainly tobacco using slave labor. Your average wealthy, land rich-cash poor plantation owners rode their horses about their land directing their slaves while drinking rum and whiskey most of the day.

Thomas Jefferson thought slavery was a blight on America and had hopes it would be abolished, but not in his lifetime, as he owned slaves and thousands of acres himself.

The pool opens at 11:00 and I've got to get back to the poolside and lay back in a lounge and read; No rum or whiskey allowed.

June 12, 2010

Melanoma Be Damned

I've been off work now for four days and have five more left due to over 200 hours of comp time I've earned working overtime. I've re-painted the wrought iron table and chairs on the deck, worked in the garden, prepared the front porch for painting
Monday, and plan to re-paint the wood trim on the back porch. This is called a workation.

It hasn't been all work though as I've been to the pool a lot and getting brown as a nut.

Regina Spector

"Eet" 2009

June 11, 2010

Al Fresco

We dined on the deck with friends and spoke of

time off work
St. Agnes
St. Margaret Mary
British Petroleum
oil and water
water features
holes six feet deep in the ground.

June 10, 2010

Not Limbaugh

I heard on the news last week that some polititian was using music from the band Rush during his campaign appearances. Rush's spokesperson said stop it or we'll sue your ass.

Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.

I use to like 'em alot during the early eighties. They're still making music today.

Rush 'Digital Man' 1982.

June 7, 2010

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

The other day I was listening to the radio and there was Jimmy Dale Gimore covering 'Mack The Knife'. I love Gilmore's classic country voice and his spooky version of the famous Bobby Darin classic.

She's Got Her Eye On You

June 3, 2010

Tastes Like Chicken

I was driving down my neighborhood street today and a hawk with a robin in it's claws swooped past my windshield ten feet in front of me. It landed and the robin skidded against the asphalt. The hawk just looked at me, as if daring me to take his lunch away.

It probably tastes like chicken.