Monday, March 2, 2015

33 Things That Secretly Want To Kill You

I thought this was a fun thing to post on lady red's birthday. Don't worry, I'll only post a few...

#1. Smile. It makes everything better.

Officer Wounded In Action, Survives

I apologize for my long absence.  As some of you know, I’ve been largely off-line due to the circumstances arising from my abrupt departure from Post, U.S. Embassy Lima, following the dissolution of my 16 year marriage.  It’s been a painful and stressful time, much harder than I imagined, which is saying something as for weeks, from early October through the new year, I felt like a badly wounded animal caught in a leg-trap and slowly bleeding to death.  There were nights, even whole week-ends, where I paced the floor of my Lima apartment, trying to figure out how to make things right, how to fix what was broken, how to put our little family, which I had thought of and still think of as a force for good, as a beacon and a shelter, back together.  And there were other nights where the doctor’s medicine put me to sleep for as much as 18 hours at a stretch.  Whole days blurred together, as I vaguely noticed if it was day or night by the light on my window shades.  

Finally, I was sent  home, which was embarrassing but not uncommon given the circumstances.  “You’re certainly not the first officer this has happened to, not by a long shot, and the most important thing to do now is to take care of your family and to heal, the Department will be fine without you for a little bit,” was what I heard from my superiors and other interested parties.   I went home, healed up and, after hours of discussion with my wife, I realize now, deeply, that she has already taken the mental step away from me and there is no going back.  Our children are handling it reasonably well, though what lurks beneath the surface is sometimes difficult to tell. 

The situation brought to mind a song I hadn’t heard in years:  Billy Bragg’s cover of a Smith’s song called “Jeane”.

The low-life has lost its appeal
And I'm tired of walking these streets
To a room with a cupboard bare

I'm not sure what happiness means
But I look in your eyes
And I know that it isn't there

We tried, we failed
We tried, and we failed
We tried, and we failed
We tried, and we failed
We tried

It’s a devastating realization as one approaches one’s 50th birthday that the central piece of work of one’s life has failed.  As I discovered when my sister died of cancer, there is an underground community of men who have had this happen to them.   As with those who lost close family members to cancer, it’s a quiet community that largely bears the injury more or less stoically, and while the tales differ in the details, the themes remain the same. 

It’s been a small comfort, but a comfort nonetheless, to be welcomed into this fraternity.  I’ve found that with certain people, including my new boss, I don’t need to explain this or that; they already know it all, and know how things played out and will likely go. 

On reflection, I think that this life outcome is unjust and can only be borne, not corrected.  I now live alone, without the love and laughter of my own children, who I see on week-ends, and I send them a check every two weeks. 

The sun is still shining, and no one has died.  But something good in this world has passed, for reasons I don’t fully understand and never will.  Onward, of necessity.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Five Man Electric Band...A Sign Of The Times

I'm not really sure what to make of this poll posted on Althouse and other sites. I mean, really?

Our country was founded on the premise of religious freedom. Admittedly, this early freedom was focused on different denominations of Christianity, but still. Why do we need a national religion? It's not the same thing as "English only", which saves the taxpayers a wheelbarrow-full of money. Private religion is just that. Private. Isn't it?

But heck, a sign that says "Christianity Only" is just one more sign in a clutter of signs, n'est pas? Who remembers the Five Man Electric Band? of the weirdest videos in the past decade and ample fodder for a psychologist's thesis:
"Losing My Religion" by...REM!

Smokin' Hot Grrrl Rock

Hat tip to Matt who gave me the jumping-off point to find Wanda in the forest of YouTube links...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Songs from the radio.

Something I have been thinking about for the past few days is how I am old enough to remember when we recorded songs off the radio. Heck, I am old enough to remember when we recorded songs off the radio on reel-to-reel. After Lady Red's great post and our new venture into being a music blog, I thought I would go ahead.

An odd thing about some of those songs we recorded is that sometimes something would happen during the tape such as a burst of static. I would listen to the tape so much that for years that burst of static was part of the song; I would hear it even if it were not there. For example, my brother recorded “All in the Game” by Tommy Edwards off of AFN in 1964.

On my brother’s tape, there was a burst of static just as the chorus sang “Soon he’ll be there at your side.”  I listened to that tape so many times that fifty years later  I still hear the static.

Some of those songs may have been recorded in passing; minor hits never to modulate a plate again.  An announcer on AFN used a song to close his show once. My brother recorded it, and I had no idea what it was. Years later I dubbed the song down onto cassette figuring I would never l discover the title or the artist. In the mid ‘90’s I was at the old Tower Records in Seattle. I saw a CD of the Ventures greatest hits. I am not a big Ventures fan, but they only wanted three dollars for it so I bought it. When I got home I was going through the CD, and guess what I found, the mystery song:

Sometimes my brother would record a song then record over it, leaving only a short snippet. One case was a song where my brother left two bars from the beginning of the song. It was distinctive, but not enough for me to know whether I liked the song or not. In the early ‘90’s I bought a various artists CD of oldies. I know some of the songs, but not all of them. As I played the CD, this song came on:

There was no mistaking that beginning. Another mystery solved.

About four years later my brother did it again. This time he left two lines and some “ba ba bas”from the middle of the song. In the ‘80’s I bought one of the albums from Rhino’s Nuggets series.. This song came on:


Back when I was in radio, we would record what were called airchecks. Generally, these were done on cassette recorders that would come on when the microphone was turned on. Because of this, I may have a tape of myself introducing a song but not have the song. As some of the songs were somewhat obscure I probably would never hear the song again.

Enter You Tube:


Another song I have on an aircheck that is not played anymore (with a little extra to set up the joke):

Where would we be without You Tube?

Maybe it’s the Joe Friday in me, but I love finding something I thought I would never find.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I hope you enjoy Walt Disney, Roy Rogers, and the Sons of the Pioneers. I loved when yodeling was a part of western music, and the SOTP album "Cool Water" is still one of my favorite LPs of all time.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Weather Humououour

I've been watching Jim Cantore on The Weather Channel this morning, and laughing at his antics. Don't you love Jim? He's trying to remain upright in a blizzard in Plymouth, Massachusetts,  He's covered with snow, and I don't think he can see out of his frozen glasses. The snow is falling in buckets, and the wind is howling. However, in spite of the brutal conditions, he's dancing! He's pumping his fists in the air! He's running, and leaping, and twirling in circles! He's screaming "YES! YES! YES!" What could make a middle-aged man and seasoned weather reporter act like a little kid?

Why, THUNDERSNOW of course!

And here in the South, we're battening down the hatches for freezing rain and snow this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow. Winter storm Octavia is bearing down from the the frigid nether-regions to give the budding fruit trees and roses a reality check. Everyone in the Ozarks has purchased their obligatory extra gallon of milk, flashlights have fresh batteries, la casa Redhawk has stocked plenty of food for my spoiled pups Molly and Bella, and my little power converter is charged. The wood stove is ready for action in case the ice accumulations take down the power lines, which seems to be a yearly occurrence in February.

I have a good book that I just started (Defending Jacob, by William Landay) and a great supply of tea, cocoa, and coffee. I have tortilla chips, cheese, and jalapenos to indulge my nacho cravings, as well as other fun "snowed-in" foods. I have projects to work on, and big furry warm socks to wear with my jammies.

Bring it, winter! My 8" high cucumber and tomato plants in the kitchen know that spring is right around the corner.

Beautiful redbud blossoms...any day week month now! Hah!