Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
1) - Coco Crisp (20 steals in 361 ABs) - CF
2) - David Dejesus (.366 OBP in 518 ABs) - LF
3) - Mike Aviles (.325 BA in 419 ABs) - SS
4) - Mike Jacobs (32 HRs in 477 ABs) - 1B
5) - Jose Guillen (158 hits in 598 ABs) - RF
6) - Alex Gordon (16 HRs in 493 ABs) - 3B
7) - Billy Butler (94 OPS+ vs. Teahen's 91 OPS+) - DH
8) - Miquel Olivo (91 OPS+ vs. Buck's 79 OPS+) - C
9) - Alberto Callaspo (98 OPS+ vs. German's 72 OPS+) - 2B
Utility - Mark Teahen (OF, 3B)
Do you care: Mark Teahen led the team with 131 strikeouts.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Regular Music 7:56 Todd Newman Our College Station Then n.a
Regular Music 7:55 R.E.M. rockville eponymous
Regular Music 7:55 Flamin Groovies Yes I am n/a
Regular Music 7:49 Big Dipper Loch Ness Monster Supercluster
Regular Music 7:46 The jam Start! Sound Effects vinyl
Regular Music 7:42 The Stranglers Dagenheim Dave No More Heroes
Regular Music 7:39 The Embarrassment Two Week Vacation Heyday
Regular Music 7:39 The Eat Communist Radio n/a
Regular Music 7:34 The Replacements Left of the Dial Tim Like bein in church
Regular Music 7:29 Psychic Archie No Sex Before Love Unreleased Demo
Regular Music 7:28 The Balancing Act She Doesn't Work Here Curtains
Regular Music 7:28 Lori Wray / Jay Orff Daisychain of Dandelions Glenburn
Regular Music 7:27 Cleaners From Venus Girl on a Swing n/a
Regular Music 7:27 Ramones Beat on the Brat n/a
Regular Music 7:11 The Leatherwoods Proof Positive Topeka Oratorio
Regular Music 7:10 Loudon Wainright III The Swimming Song Attempted Mustache
Regular Music 7:09 The Embarrassment I Only Want a Date Blister Pop
Regular Music 7:02 English Beat Best Friend n/a
Regular Music 6:49 Von Bulows Linda For a Day Unreleased Single Thanks Lori Wray
Regular Music 6:48 Chris Whitley I'm in Love With a German filmstar n/a
Regular Music 6:47 The Applejacks I Go To Sleep n/a
Regular Music 6:46 No Trend Teen Love n/a Out of Print
Regular Music 6:31 The Go-Betweens The Clock n/a
Regular Music 6:30 Brian Eno Golden Hours Another Green World
Regular Music 6:21 Big Dipper Homosapien n/a A Pete Shelley cover
Regular Music 6:08 Psychic Archie Every Time It Hurts Unreleased Demo
Regular Music 6:05 The Feelies Dancing Barefoot n/a
Regular Music 6:01 The Inmates Thought I heard a heartbeat n/a thanks Jon Harrison
Regular Music 5:58 The Plugz Electrify Me n/a
Regular Music 5:56 Sunny and Klaus Ice Bags n/a Thanks Mike, Lori
Regular Music 5:53 Yo La Tengo You Tore Me Down n/a
Regular Music 5:47 Devo Uncontrollable Urge Q: Are We Not Men
Regular Music 5:40 The Vapors Here Comes the Judge n/a
Regular Music 5:39 The Flamin' Groovies Way Over My Head n/a
Regular Music 5:38 Todd Newman I'm going on vacation n/a
Regular Music 5:38 Rank and File Lucky Day Sundown New Copy of Vinyl here!
Regular Music 5:37 Psychic Archie No Pictures of Dad n/a Thanks Jason Willis
Regular Music 5:36 black olive salty bite n/a
Regular Music 5:23 Game Theory Like a Girl Jesus n/a See littlehits.com
Regular Music 5:19 Gang of Four Return the Gift entertainment!
Regular Music 5:16 The Embarrassment Godfrey Harold Hardy Heyday
Regular Music 5:16 Ghosty Dumbo Wins Again n/a
Regular Music 5:15 Wednesday Week You Wanted me to hang around n/a
Regular Music 5:06 New York Dolls Lookin for a Kiss n/a
Regular Music 5:05 the fleshtones right side of a good thing n/a
Regular Music 4:55 casey dienel doctor monroe n/a
Regular Music 4:51 Adam and the Ants Antmusic n/a
Regular Music 4:50 Get Smart! They Walk in Pairs Action Reaction
Regular Music 4:45 Bedroom Walls Your Idea of a Holiday n/a
Regular Music 4:42 Minutemen Green River n/a Live
Regular Music 4:42 Rolling Stones Come On n/a
Regular Music 4:33 Von Bulows Silent Film Unreleased Thanks Lori Wray
Regular Music 4:32 The flamin' groovies Yes it's true n/a
Regular Music 4:29 lions and dogs Tell me Another n/a Thanks Jade Gurss
Regular Music 4:27 The Embarrassment Sex Drive/Pants Down/Gibberish Heyday
Regular Music 4:21 tommy keene highwire days n/a not a furs cover
Regular Music 4:17 comsat angels it's history n/a
Regular Music 4:13 big dipper lou gehrig's disease n/a
Regular Music 4:08 pedaljets lookin out my window n/a
Regular Music 4:06 Pylon Crazy n/a
Regular Music 4:05 the plugz achin' n/a Fowler Jones begins
Friday, December 26, 2008
The KJHK.org website has an Internet stream. Check it out. I'll be posting my playlist online too. We used to crib it on paper in the old days. No more! It's electronic. These kids.
I'm motoring over to Mission, KS for the 8th annual holiday postmortem party at the Clarette Club on Martway, starting at 9pm. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss your 401K goodbye as we gather to reflect on the year and look ahead to the Obama regime. Skaal!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
|Remember when big stars made cameos on I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show? William Holden or John Wayne popped in and Lucy freaked out. The studio audience applauded like mad and I received a Hollywood education. I knew who John Wayne was because his movies aired frequently on local television. I learned who William Holden was later when I saw Sunset Boulevard and Stalag 17 in high school. He was A-list all the way.|
Top drawer talent wasn't always available for Lucy sitcom cameos. Ruta Lee received the same treatment when she appeared. She got fawning Lucy, voracious applause, you know, the complete star turn. Who the heck was Ruta Lee? Game show hostess, Love American Style player? She was the perfect example of someone who was famous for something once, and that something got lost in all the follow-up filler. (Note: Wikipedia lists over 100 TV star and guest star credits.)
I feel the same way about Ruta Lee and religion. Other people thought Ruta Lee was important when I was young, then I learned more about Ruta when I grew up and rejected her status. I appreciate Ruta Lee now more than I used to. Ruta Lee succeeded in a competitive business. She does charity work. She's a peace loving Canadian. There might be Ruta Lee fanatics who invoke her name in crazy causes, but don't blame Ruta.
We need a Ruta Lee holiday. If there's a reason for the season, then I say, put a little Ruta Lee under your tree this year.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Then regulars Jay and Tyler heard the call and hustled in. Kurt gave it a try on his sore back, more vertical, less muscled, with good results, best of the season. Those guys stepped it up in the clutch and anchor Brent bowled his best series of the year, 600+ pins. I recovered from last week's season low 84 to post a 205 and a 510 series. We bowled our best team series of the year, 1180. It didn't matter that we lost three of four. Cue the trumpets - we happy few, we band of brothers, we came together.
He that bowled this day, and sees old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Bowling night:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on league night.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember in Ernst
What strikes he rolled that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Big Pants Pete, Edgar Winter FrankenMullet,
Westhoff and Jones, Baker and Rollins,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
This Joni Mitchell song played on our Oread home turntable (930 Ohio) a million times during the 85-86 school year. I've heard two other versions of it, there's the original studio version (not bad), and another live version on a Joni Mitchell record with a jazz arrangement (not so hot). This version, captured live as part of the documentary, The Last Waltz, is my favorite. Thanks to Nik Huffman for posting a link to it on my Facebook wall.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I don' t have anything against it. I'm pro karaoke, believe me, but the volume was deafening. I asked the squat karaoke maven to turn down the volume. We reunion people were there to talk and we didn't require music or extra entertainment. She refused. The manager, who was busy with regular bar/restaurant duties, said he'd see what he could do, and did nothing. I lost the karaoke battle. I looked at the microphone and some of our reunion people were singing along to David Alan Coe and Salt N Pepa. Perhaps I was was wrong about the added entertainment value.
I had a blast at the reunion, despite the karaoke loudness. 75 classmates, plus assorted guests and loved ones, toasted one another, took pictures, and in some cases got re-acquainted, but for the most part, our old bonds, our previous relationships, picked up as if we'd never been apart.
This reunion was supplemental in the sense that it was put together because if we didn't do it, there would have been nothing. It was never meant to be a full-blown weekend like the 10th or 20th parties. There was no Saturday night 'hotel reception' evening with speeches and meatballs. I am grateful to Joe and Laura Campbell for taking the initiative and setting it up. The Olathe location worked well. Many alums no longer live near the old high school on Johnson Drive, west of the Mission business district.
Here's my best recollection on who attended. I may have missed a few but I think this roster is pretty accurate:
~~~~~~~~~~~ Other guests
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
My other Violent Femmes story happened about two weeks ago in Olathe. I took my son to the high school football game and the home squad marching band performed a medley of 80s songs at halftime. They mentioned all five or six artists by name over the PA system; artists like Falco, Whitesnake, Cyndi Lauper, but no Violent Femmes. They played a few bars of Blister in the Sun. The announcer introduced it as, "And who could forget this dance club hit...". Somebody in the Olathe school district is afraid of the term Violent Femmes! Doesn't that slutty move to the Disney Channel allay a small minded high school administrator's paranoia? Lameness. Either that or they didn't know who performed it, but I doubt it.
Having slagged the Violent Femmes, I still think this is a fun song.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Oliver Hall had a big screen TV in the multi-purpose room next to the cafeteria. MTV aired as the default station on many days, at least until the soaps came on around lunch time. MTV was still a novelty in 1983. Many local cable outlets had not added it. Sunflower cablevision was an early adopter of MTV and that's where I saw this one.
Here's Pete Shelley on a typical early video set, with a cheap chroma key backdrop behind the blinds. That was a classic video move, have your singer look or sing at you through the blinds. Dig the early PC too.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Departed the house at 8am. I revealed the details of a practical joke I played on Joyce to Sue while we dodged commuters on I-275. Joyce left me a mailer from the Republican National Committee that outlined the defects in the Obama candidacy from their prospective. She propped it up on the end table next to the chair where I sat in the living room. It featured an Obama head shot and I tiptoed into the kitchen and cut it out with a small pair of scissors I found in a junk drawer. I thought of posting it in a picture frame somewhere but I found a better target. The Wises had a Mount Rushmore calendar on the wall next to the kitchen sink. Guess who the fifth face is?
We arrived at Epcot around 9:15am and the Magnesia Magic sent me the long-awaited signal, not a subtle signal, but an urgent signal. I saw a restroom at the entrance near the dog kennel. A security guard ran over and told us we'd have to exit and take our knapsack through the bag check area, but allowed us to use the facilities if we took turns staying outside the building with the bag. Emergency situation mitigated. Now if I could take a three hour nap.
My first Epcot experience and I was impressed with the layout and the big Buckminster Fuller Dome and the soundtrack music they piped in. We decided ahead of time to make the Soaring ride our first stop. Patrick Warburton appeared on the video monitor to relay ride information. We sat down in a harness rig with no floorboard or footholds. They swung us out and up in the air in front of an IMAX-style screen. The ride simulated flying. The rig tilted us forward as we swooped over mountain tops. A wind machine simulated a gentle breeze. There was music and lots of oohs and ahs. I got irritated with Skyler when we exited the ride. He said he didn't like it in spite of laughing along with us during the experience. He was a bit put-off by the whole Epcot venture, despite never visiting before and was determined to negatize the whole affair. My lack of sleep did little to hide my irritation. I whispered in his ear that I was not about to allow him to ruin everyones day and he'd better shape up.
Our next ride was a clam shell excursion to Nemo's underwater land of laughs and projected film bits. Where Soaring was a unique experience unlike anything I'd been on in the Disney Realm, the Nemo ride seemed Disney generic, like it would be equally at home in the magic kingdom or the animal kingdom.
We walked across the Futureworld section of Epcot Center, with the other half being the International Pavilions. The Futureworld part contained the thrill rides and opened two hours before the other half, with the restaurants, liquor stands, and cultural displays. We talked to Skyler about his disposition again. I was cooler this time and told him that choosing to have a good time or a crappy time was his decision. He lightened up after that, in part because our next stop was Mission to Mars.
We opted for the more intense experience and they weren't joking. Our ship crew consisted of the Jones family, Sue as navigator, Skyler as pilot, Leah as commander, and myself as engineer. The ship was enclosed so I have no idea how it simulated the g-forces we experienced on take-off and during evasive maneuvers, or the negative-g feeling during the outer space portion, but the transitions were quick and exciting, too exciting for the wife and I. My stomach is iron-clad but my recent dose of Milk of Magnesia made me queasy today, long before I arrived. We both came close to barfing on the visage of Gary Sinise, our mission guide, as he coached all the way to the red planet.
We trekked over to the imagination pavilion for a slow-moving tram ride. Eric Idle lit up the screen as the mad professor in residence. We also took in the Rick Moranis "Honey, I shrunk the audience" 3D glasses movie.
It was lunch time and Sue picked a French restaurant for us. I'm not sure how French the food was, but everyone liked it, the atmosphere was Parisian, and the waitstaff were real French people. We also saw a 30 minute film on the glory of France with wide screen photography and music. Very nice. Skyler was disappointed to discover "Arcade" did not mean video games in French lingo, rather it was a short hallway that led us to perfume shops.
We spent the afternoon exploring the different countries as they are in Epcot. We stopped for the drawbridge. They raised it for the fireworks ships that motored over for a show to be held later in the evening. We explored Morocco and Leah got her name rendered in the native characters, Arabic perhaps? I'm not sure. Every country featured a wine tasting stand. The American display also featured a Sam Adams beer tasting exhibit with presentations on the hour. We found a log ride in the Norwegian building and a boat ride in the Mexican section, enough to keep the kids interested.
I was impressed with the architectural touches in the various sections. The Italian pavilion had fountains, statues, and Roman columns. We made our way back to the ride section about 4:45pm and decided on the test track ride, touted as the longest and fastest ride in Disney history with speeds approaching 65 miles an hour. The track was outside and it was elevated over the entrance. One saw and heard the cars zoom by. The line was long: Our wait time was 40 minutes. They shut the ride down for five minutes before we entered the briefing station. Groans all around. We boarded our vehcile 10 minutes after they resumed operations. The ride was more than a speed loop. They took us over bumpy roads, they tested our brakes, and sent us through hot and cold tests. The speed test was the final bit of fun with a transition through a fake wall that dumped us outside, looped us around a large banked curve, through a straightaway and back into the building. We blasted off and then the ride shut down. We got stuck on the banked curve. The PA system advised us to stay in our car and wait for a ride technician to visit us if there was a problem with our vehicle. Not only were we on a 30 degree bank, but we were on an elevated track 25 feet in the air. There was a small level walk space that led to a safety stairway if needed but we waited and suddenly the car accelerated to 60 miles an hours down a straightaway before it braked and returned us to the loading bay. We bargained with the staff for another go since we got trapped on the first circuit and they agreed. All went well on the second cruise and the speed test was much more exciting without an unscheduled stop.
We bought the kids ice cream and rested. Our last stop was the iconic dome. The tram ride featured technology through the ages. It was cooler that I thought. They took a snapshot of us in the tram and worked into an interactive cartoon that showed us using futuristic technology. Judy Densch narrated.
She flipped over to CNN and they played McClain's response to an opposition remark about Western Pennsylvania being full of rednecks and hillbillies. McClain blew his chance to exploit this gaffe when he replied something to the effect of "and I couldn't agree more". We all had a jolly good laugh. What timing. (Sue's parents are both from Harmony, in Western Pennsylvania).
The Jones family left Republican HQ and the in-laws for a trip to the beach. We borrowed their car and returned to same stretch of Reddington Shores beach on the gulf where we camped out Monday. The public parking lot is next to a small section of rocks, roped off from tourists by rope and wood post. There are tough waves there and riptides. We pitched our blankets and towels on one side and the rocky obstacles made a reliable landmark by which to judge the tide. Both of our visits this week coincided with low tide and the wet sands stretched out toward the water by an extra fifty feet, a nice bonus.
Leah found a starfish and a sand dollar. She kept the sand dollar. Skyler and I threw the Frisbee. No sand castles today. We stayed for two hours. I saw the IPod girl in the parking lot on our way out clutching her car keys. She did not fall victim to a robbery as I feared on Monday. Good for her.
Home for showers and a brief rest before we made dinner plans. Joyce heard from a friend about a new seafood restaurant in John's Pass and we decide to try it. All six of us piled into Mother Wise's Buick for the 20 minute drive. I drove. We departed early, 4:45pm, but I don't recall why. We passed a sign for a local steakhouse with an early bird special that started at 2pm. Good Christ!
John's Pass is a touristy boardwalkish area of tumbledown bay side shops, bars and restaurants. Joyce did not know the name of the new restaurant or its location, two facts she revealed as I idled around the small streets of the Pass area looking for parking places. We putted past T-shirt shops, ice cream vendors, poster emporiums, biker bars, and all kinds of fried fish purveyors. This is a tacky little enclave, even by Florida standards. We parked in the main public lot, threw a few quarters in the meter and decided to explore a new high-rise building on the southwest side of the main quad. The new restaurant turned out to be a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company franchise and we ambled in and parked ourselves at a cramped table in the hallway between two main dining areas. It's not everyday that you get to sit next to a movie still of Siobhan Fallon as the smoking bus driver from Forrest Gump. I kinda dug that.
The food wasn't bad. I had a shrimp stir-fry and a couple of Vodka tonics. The other entrees were presented well, the frier grease wasn't too dark on the kids' shrimp, and when there was a slight problem with my wife's fish, our waiter apologized and took it back to the kitchen for another look at the broiler. We traded movie trivia questions with him when he returned and his charm helped us overlook the undercooked fish. He brought the kids an extra dessert and for his efforts we left him a big tip. Sue and I left the tip and my father-in-law picked up the dinner tab. The in-laws are very generous that way, in spite of our political differences.
Back home to Pinellas Park for the first game of the World Series. The Rays lost but we didn't see the end. We hustled the kids to bed and shut off the set by 10:30pm. Tomorrow is another drive across state to Disney and Epcot Center.
I tried to close my eyes early but I couldn't stop reading Michael Palin's diaries from the 1970's. 1975 was a big year for Palin and the book devoted 78 pages to it. I turned out the reading light at 12:30am with an anticipated wake up call at 7am but it would not be a restful night.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I didn't sleep great, but this is the norm for me anymore when I travel. I am camped out in the guest room / office with Skyler and his allergies woke him several times. He woke me at 6:30am with a wet blast. I stepped into the hall to visit the bathroom and saw my mother-in law. She stared at me from her recliner. She manages to see me in my underwear at least once every visit. It's good we got it out of the way early this year. I waved, stepped out of view and into the bathroom.
Politics are on her mind. She's a McCain supporter and watched Fox news all morning. My father in-law told me that Sue's brother calls once a week and any political discussion between them gets her blood up. She's trying to watch her BP and she's a heart patient too. I vowed not to initiate a discussion about the upcoming election.
Later I said "Obama" or maybe "Oh Mama" or perhaps "Alabama" and she went on a rant. She said the ACORN group intimidated bankers into making shaky loans that precipitated the banking crisis. I said the phrase "intimidated bankers" is an oxymoron. She told our daughter that Obama wants to raise taxes and take all our money. Leah looked at her like she thought he might stop by the house later with an armored car to make good. Joyce was kidding but her jokes are lost on the children. I told Leah it wasn't true. We don't make enough money to be effected under his proposed take hike for earners in the 200K neighborhood.
We went to the beach in the afternoon where Democrats and Republicans frolicked together and Skyler and Leah swam in the shallow water, picked up shells, built sand castles, threw the Frisbee, and hung out. There weren't many people there. We claimed a large chunk of sand for ourselves. I saw a young girl in a bikini get up off of her beach towel, put on her IPod, and walk away. She must have walked a half mile down the coast before I lost sight of her. I looked at her towel when we left and saw a fashion magazine and a full set of car keys. I told Sue I hoped the IPod girl didn't get her car stolen.
My father in-law drove us back to Ciega Village Phase Two in the Buick. His driving was swift and a bit perilous. He made several rolling stops, what he called "Florida stops", at residential intersections. Once another driver expected him to actually stop before proceeding. We faced off and won the deadlock.
Joyce and Sue prepared crab cakes for supper back at the house and they were excellent. We managed to avoid political talk for the most part, though Skyler seemed eager to participate in a debate.
We watched Monday Night Football. I wondered how the bowling team did tonight back at Mission Bowl and I read more from Michael Palin's book about Monty Python. Not every entry is included though Palin wrote nearly everyday. The Python entries are supplemented with select entries about his family life - his young children and his aging parents, all skillfully written.
His missives didn't dive into the writing process that produced classic sketches. He wrote, "Terry came over and we worked for three solid hours." Most writing or collab sessions were punctuated by large meals and drinks, with recurring passages that described cocktails or wine at lunch. Graham Chapman loved the big lunch. Productivity went down after such gala luncheons. I'm disappointed that there wasn't more minute detail about the sketches. Palin: "We've written six Python shows for the current series." Jesus, what an accomplishment. Expound on it. Must be the British gift for understatement.
To bed early. Sue and I take the kids to Disney World tomorrow.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Rob smoked his last Chesterfield in 1960 and later that year, he shut down his portable wet bar in the dashboard of his Plymouth Valiant. He wanted to be in tip-top shape in case he needed to out run a nuclear bomb blast. Have a highball on me old man, you've managed to out run the grim reaper for another year.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I enhance and support a web application for a large engineering firm and today is the monthly peak usage day. I am the main point of contact for support questions and I coordinate those efforts with the brain trust. The morning seemed typical with a steady stream of phone calls and emails, but nothing overwhelming.
Drove home for lunch and checked Facebook. Logged into Travian, the tribal wars community game. My daughter spilled applesauce on her outfit at school and one of our neighbors, a woman who was at the school for another reason, went home and brought her a clean shirt. She also has a first grade daughter. What a kind thing to do. She left a phone message.
Returned to the office for more troubleshooting among the faithful. The application architect and I reviewed a prickly problem with data and discovered a loophole that needed attention, but we won't mitigate today, not on the day of peak use. We'll schedule it for October.
Got off work at 5pm and drove home for a pork burrito dinner from the wifey. She's a good cook. Skyler played Madden '08 and Leah went to soccer practice. Mrs. Jones went out with the girls for bunco, a lady dice game featuring snacks and drinks.
I stayed in with the kids and we watched Tom & Jerry, they practiced piano, and the little one took a bath. She read me a story and I returned the favor before our ritual, a prayer and two songs. I sang her a personalized version of "Goodnight Sweatheart" where I substituted her name over the sweetheart part, and I encored with "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together" from the Carol Burnett show, only she doesn't know that's the origin.
It's 8pm and the boy and I talked sports. He brought me up to date on his GM activities within Madden franchise mode. He asked me to play a video game since his allotment is kaput. He gets one hour of PC or Gamecube time per day. I parachuted into France and surprised the German army all over again in Medal of Honor Spearhead edition.
He motored upstairs. Teeth were brushed, jammies were donned, and we talked before bed. I told him I wanted him to start a memory box, a small box with a lid to house momentos. We discussed what that meant and I asked him to imagine what it might be like if our house were frozen in time so he might return to the way it was today some time in the distant future. He might marvel at his baseball cards, his books, his toys. Those things are some of his personal momentos. I turned off the light and said goodnight. No songs for the 4th grader. He's not into it, although sometimes, not tonight, but sometimes I paraphrase a line from Cider House Rules when I say, "Goodnight my King of Kansas, my Prince of Prairie Village".
9pm - I did three miles on the treadmill in the basement. The calorie counter registered 250. I fired up Madden on the gamecube while I walked those three miles and the '62 Dallas Texans defeated the '96 Carolina Panthers 34-21 in a thrilling come from behind victory where the Texans, down 21-17, recovered the onside kick, and marched down field with less than two minutes remaining to take the lead. I was the Texans.
9:45 - I called my mother in Cape Girardeau. My 95 year-old grandmother is in the hospital. I've known since last night. She had the flu or maybe food poisoning. Anyway, she couldn't keep food down for four days and vomited when she tried. This led to dehydration and a fall in her apartment. A neighbor discovered her on the floor and called an ambulance. My Mom and Dad drove the 5.5 hours to Cape this morning and the good news is that she didn't have a stroke or a heart attack, but she's weak and tired and well, I don't know. She doesn't want to take phone calls today. Maybe tomorrow she'll feel better.
At 11pm I'll jump in bed, watch 45 minutes of TV and drift off to sleep.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
|Old Mission 1977-1980|
Mrs. Patrick - English
Mr. Spencer - Social Studies
Mr. Vrbas - Math
Mr. Gibson - Gym
Mrs. Dekeyser - Life Science
Mrs. Caldwell - Art
Mrs. Chamberlain - Spanish
Mrs. Winston - Typing
Mr. Corder - Gym
Mr. Colley - Math
Mrs. Schweiker - English
Mr. Dory - Social Studies
Mr. Meidinger - Earth Science
Mr. Dory - Social Studies
Mrs. Carter - Foods
Mr. Gibson - Gym
Mrs. Hodgson - Science
Ms. Parks - English
Mr. Lyons - Math
Mrs. LaPierre - Speech
Friday, September 05, 2008
Brian McClendon, a 1982 Lawrence High School graduate, and the man behind Google Earth and Google Street View, emphasized the importance of computers in learning and giving youngsters access to computers at a young age in an article in today's Lawrence Journal World (by Alexander Parker). The story featured a quote from someone who said they were amazed that Brian, a very successful man, remembered the names of his fourth grade teachers. It went on to say that he remembered to give them credit for his success. The latter part was probably the true intent of the statement, the amazing part. Can't most people remember their elementary school teachers' names? Challenge yourself (without consulting yearbooks). Spelling doesn't count and you don't have to include first names. Here's my list.
Roeland Park Elementary 1970 - 1974
K - Mrs. Bates
1 - Mrs. Sue Stewart (maternity leave) / Mrs. Kathy Gintzel
2 & 3 - Mrs. Mabel Williams
4 - Mrs. Barbara McAllister
5 - Mrs. Ewing
6 - Mrs. Gretchen Lohnes
Do you care: Mrs. Gintzel and Mrs. Williams both lived on my street (Rosewood) at the same time I did, although they had husbands and separate addresses. Tomorrow: Junior High
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The drive time varied from seven and half hours to five and a half depending on if and when we stopped the car. The original route included a passage from St. Louis to Cape on U.S. highway 61, that's right Dylan fans. Before I-55 opened in the early 70s, we traversed Missouri on a single lane job that hit lots of little towns like Festus, Ste. Genevieve and Fruitland. We took a shortcut down route W and approached Cape from the Northwest. I got excited when familiar landmarks appeared like the house on route W with the mailbox that resembled a moving truck. A roadhouse tavern sported a beer sign that said either Falstaff or Stag beer complete with a smiling crewcut blue-collar man in the photo who reminded me of my Dad's friend Coach Uhls. Those were the old days of Pevely Dairy billboards and "Are we there yet?" That section rated a two-hour drive at the minimum and sometimes longer when we ended up behind a big truck or a slow moving vehicle, in other words, every time.
The St. Louis to Cape Girardeau section of I-55 opened in the early 70s and cut drive time by 45 minutes on average. This was undone when the 55 mph speed limit was introduced during the energy crisis. Our trip time averaged about 7.5 hours.
My parents drove at night one time. We put the seat down in back and tossed in a foam pad. I tried to sleep but it was too exciting. Another time my Mom packed a cooler full of ice and sodas and we stopped three or four times between Kansas City and Columbia to use the bathroom. They gave up and we stayed overnight in Columbia where we paid the Holiday Inn people for a private room to pee in for the rest of the night.
We liked to stop in Columbia anyway. We lived there during the late 1960s (on West Blvd. South of Broadway). We used to eat at Howard Johnson's or the Post House. I watched for the little mall with the JC Pennys and the Flaming Pit restaurant where my mom got her hair done in the old days.
Mom touted Gasper's at Kingdom City. The parking lot was packed with 18 wheelers. "It must be good if the truckers like it," she said. We ate there once and it was okay. We stopped at other places along the way like The Red Lion in Warrenton or the Big Boy restaurant near Wright City.
My Dad discovered the 61/40 shortcut at Wentzville (home of Chuck Berry) south to I-270 about that time and we saved 30 minutes by skipping the run into downtown St. Louis. I liked seeing the arch but it took longer. I'm not sure if we ever needed to take that route, but that's the way we went. The 61/40 shortcut intersected I-270 north of Manchester and the big bird on the pole at the West County Shopping Center. I badgered my Dad into stopping at a gas station there. I called summer camp girls on the pay phone who lived in Kirkwood and Des Peres. He didn't like to stop and I understand now that I'm a Dad and the principal driver, plus my wife would not appreciate extra calls to summer camp girls. Some still live there.
The approach to Cape on Kingshighway took us past the memorial park where my Dad's folks are buried. There's an ancient KGMO radio tower near the side of the road. This stretch of the business loop was and still is dotted with commercial development - motels and burger joints ruled. We turned left on Broadway (by the Burger King), past the old McDonald's with the retro arches, left at Capaha Park and right on Pemiscot street (finally). Dad sang "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go" despite numerous protests.
Granny moved to an apartment on Bellevue in 1980. My grandfather Bader died that same year of cancer and I turned 16 the following Spring. I was old enough to stay home by myself. My family trips to Cape Girardeau ended. I wouldn't return until after college in 1989.
I took the family down this past weekend for Grandma's 95th birthday. This was their fourth trip. The kids don't realize how easy they have it in the van with the hand-held video games and the portable DVD player. They still ask "Are we there yet," sometimes before we hit Odessa. We stopped in Columbia at a burger joint with a habitrail.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Carpshoot's original lyric sheet is posted in the files here. We think Ron told us the story circa 1979, we rhtmed [sic] it, I transcribed it, Brent drew the fish and bullets, but it never made it past Ron's dining room. I recently expanded on the words and music, tried to keep it very simple, and that's what we played the other night.
They streamed last weekend's concert across the Internet where venerable music lover and scene historian Mike Blur listened at home, unable to journey to the show. He captured the song and posted it here.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
- There are no skyscrapers in England.
- I bought an extra carry on bag at a luggage shoppe in Kensington to help carry the extra goods. I bought a Wedgwood pitcher (about the size of a softball) for Mom, a book of Prints from the National Gallery gift shop, a tacky painted plate from a gift shop in Stratford for my brother and his wife. I bought a T-shirt in Cambridge and army surplus coveralls from the British air force at a surplus shop.
- The coverall, a jumpsuit, was nondescript, it didn't have a bunch of military insignias or lettering. It was a total impulse move. The dang thing was about an inch too small. It rode up in the crotch and the pant legs were a tad too short. I gave it to my roomie at Oliver Hall, Greg Merritt.
- I saw a topless sunbather on the beach at Brighton.
- The Bank in Kensington where I cashed my traveller's checks was Barclays. They were everywhere. They charged me a vig every time I made an exchange.
- I never quite mastered the concept of V.A.T. - value added tax. I can't explain it to you now.
- I tried a Wimpey burger after seeing them about London and viewing the TV ads. They invited me to sit down like a regular restaurant and a waitress took my order. I don't recall being blown away by it, but it was still better than British pizza.
- I took a novel with me on the trip, Different Seasons by Stephen King. The paperback featured four novellas. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, The Body (AKA Stand by Me) and The Breathing Method.
- The Onslow Court hotel was in a neighborhood where many Embassies for foreign nations were stationed. The Qatar Embassy was very close to us.
- One commodity that seemed to be missing: girls my age. I didn't see them at the pubs or the cathedrals. I didn't meet any girls on my own the whole time I was there. But I wasn't on the make either. I sort of had a girlfriend back home. I bought her a wool sweater at Windsor castle but she never got it. Our schedules got crossed and we ran out of time before departing for different colleges. I kept the sweater, a plum pullover with a conservative stitch pattern around the neck, and gave it to another girl later, who I deemed special. It didn't fit quite as well.
- I took up the tea habit while in country and promptly discarded it upon returning to the states. I also enjoyed many English beers but reverted to 3.2 tavern beer once back in Kansas.
- I was forced to visit British laundromats to keep my knickers clean. I ran into a couple of Americans in the Kensington laundromat. They were on the Euro-rail program, hopping from hostel to hostel. You need clean underwear for that. I donned my jumpsuit for a trip to the laundromat in the provinces. I don't recall what town, but a kind old lady who swept up offered me "a sweet". That's hard candy for you Yankee bastards.
- Litter and garbage were not in short supply in London. Thatcher may have been having labour problems but she chose not to employ them to collect rubbish. Trash cans were plentiful, but all seemed jammed with garbage.
- One time Marc and I ran late and I needed to choke down some food before we started our ritual pub crawl. We went into a shoppe and I ordered a slice of meat pie to go. The pastry crust was so flaky and dry that I couldn't wash it down without a drink. I opted for a pint of Guinness, recalling my first pint a few days before on the train back from Wales. Where as the first pint was chilled, this one was butt warm and I nearly passed out from pastry/warm stout asphyxiation. In the meantime Marc kept chiding me to hurry up. He was impatient when it came to meat pies.
- We stayed away from American chain outlets. No McDonalds. I don't think Pizza Hut was there yet. Every time we closed in on a bit of Americana, we got spanked. There was a bar in Kensington with a Texas theme. They had Lone Star beer cans stacked in the window and the whole place was done up like a western bar. We went in and sat down and ordered a beer, but they wouldn't serve it during pub siesta time. We left and never went back. Coca-cola was the lone exception.
- The Onslow Court hotel had a cocktail-table model of the Asteroids video game in a hallway by the back stairs. It cost 10p to play (about 15 cents).
- The USA Today was not available. U.S. news in general was hard to obtain. The BBC nightly news was very international, but not U.S. centric (and why would it be about America). This de-empahsis on America as the only show in town was one of the best lessons I learned while abroad.
- There is no "prime-time" on English TV. They ran re-runs and first-run shows in the evening along with news documentaries and [lookout] Cricket. Blimey. Those test matches lasted for days.
- The first day we were there, we heard the familiar British fanfare that played at the beginning of every episode of Benny Hill, but it turned out it was the network fanfare for Thames television, and it played before all the shows on that network.
- American shows on the schedule: Flamingo Road, Simon and Simon, The Munsters, The Bilko Show.
- Brit programmes: I caught glimpses of Coronation Street, Steptoe and Son, and Robin's Nest. Coronation Street was a prime time soap. Steptoe and Son was the basis for Sanford and Son and Robin's Nest was a spin-off of Man in the House, the inspiration for Three's Company.
- All not available: American cigarettes. Smokers on the trip were not impressed by the local tobacco flavors.
- Only Americans wore sneakers and jeans as casual wear. You could spot a yank from 300 yards with the Nikes and the Levis.
- I sampled blood pudding at a hotel restaurant buffet. I question whether this was the best venue to try it for the first time. It was okay, a bit gristly.
- I needed a passport for the trip and I waited in line at the Shawnee Mission post office but they rejected my application. I didn't have an official passport photo and you can't use a random glamour shot. I located a photographer in Mission who made such photos. He worked out of a little shop located in the concourse at the Mission Mart shopping center. That was a strip mall with Pier One and TG&Y. There was an indoor section that operated on two floors. Nobody ever went in there even when it rained but he had a storefront there. I called by phone and made an appointment that same afternoon. I was proud of myself for the extra hustle. He met me there. It was obvious that he didn't keep shop. He only showed up when he had a session. I sat down for three quick shots. I thought he'd give me a print on the spot. He told me to come back Thursday. That was two days later, but I guess it worked out. I got my official passport with photo in time for the flight to the UK.
- There were many public appeals, signs, billboards, etc. to help the "spastics". This was the accepted term for people with cerebral palsy (CP).
- I saw a kid on the subway in a Jayhawk t-shirt.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
My Dad met me at the gate in Kansas City. The plane touched down after 8pm. I couldn't wait to get home. We were all tired. In my rush, I don' t think I made a big enough deal about my goodbyes.
I saw Tom, Melissa, and Marc again at K.U. (and our pub mate from Bath). We made plans to meet with the two Judys that November for a reunion to look at snapshots and Tom's home movies. He carried either an 8mm or a 16mm camera with him in England and we all made the highlights I'm told. I never saw the prints. The projector bulb shot craps the day of our reunion. But Tom didn't give up. He and Melissa went to KU, got married, moved to Carmel where they befriended the Mayor, Mr. Clint Eastwood. Tom and Clint collaborated on several films and Melissa worked behind the scenes too.
Marc, the one-time cable man from Los Angeles, got a job at 96X, a rock station in Ottawa, KS that serviced the Lawrence market. He sold air time, was on the air, and starred in their local cable TV ad campaign as the Herb Tarlick-like salesman who got zapped by the cool rock sounds of 96X. I think Marc stayed in sales but I haven't talked to him in over 20 years. He may be living in California.
Judy Oden retired from Shawnee Mission North and became a travel agent. She and Judy Spencer continued to visit Europe, though not always together. Gordon drove coaches across the UK for many years. I hope he still does.
I unpacked my things when I got home but I didn't have long to rest. The dorms opened three days later at KU and I prepared to start another exciting journey, a new chapter, as a freshman at Oliver Hall. 1983 was a busy year.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
It was a pleasant exchange, albeit brief, but I can't get over the fact that a native wanted to chat with us by virtue of our nationality. We must have caught her on the cusp of assimilation. A couple weeks later and she may not have cared, a couple weeks earlier and she might have been new in country with fresh memories of the swell Americans back in Boston. I'll never know the answer. One thing I am sure about, the restaurant where she worked looked like it was destined to fail. The place was done up like a 70s glam bar with a boxing theme. She wore brightly colored silk boxing trunks. It was like a Hooters but with models dressed as boxers. Not sure if they donned the headgear, perhaps during World Cup happy hour. Those football hooligans, you know.