Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Haunts

Little boxes on the hillside

Little boxes made of ticky tacky

Little boxes, little boxes, little boxes

just the same

 which one will you go to for "Trick or Treat"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Once Upon A Time...

There was a little boy from the state of confusion and Florida who wanted to write. Not just write words, but write his heart out. But something got in the way. From the free-wheeling Keys to a conservative state. 

Was it responsibility to accomplish something more? Was it to apply the future for his family of a high school sweetheart? Was it the adventure of sci-fi? Was it the adventure of fantasy characters in the Disney dream? Was it the dark side of the vampire world? 

So if you call him today he will sell you space on the Internet or in print and wonder what he is writing....but that will change. 

Such is the challenge or the toss of the gantlet to a crazy person who has to experience every breathe every day. 

So I ask you..... What are you thinking? Don't just FACEBOOK it!!! Write it down!!

Let's sit down over a couple of beers (when you are not checking your phone to see when you have to come home) and shuffle some thoughts. 

It will be good for you.

It will be good for me.

It will be good for writing.

Be Creative. Observe. Contemplate. Compare. Expose. Comment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


All Saints' Day (also called All Hallows or Hallowmas)

often shortened to All Saints, is a feast celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. 

In terms of Roman Catholic theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven, while the next day, All Souls' Day, commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.

In the early Church, Christians would celebrate the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ (known as the saint's "birth day") by serving an All-Night Vigil, and then celebrating the Eucharist over their tomb or the shrine at their place of martyrdom. 

In the fourth century, neighboring dioceses began to transfer relics, and to celebrate the feast days of specific martyrs in common. 

Frequently, a number of Christians would suffer martyrdom on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. 

But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all.

And so Halloween is here. 
We all get dressed up and fantasize being a child again.

There is a dark side to this celebration. 
There are "things" we do not understand or can contemplate or control.

...and the Bible won't save you

Lost Time

Just finished watching the World Series. The team that won is a fave of a friend who lives close to them. His wife mainly, as I can tell, is a true fan. And after all the cold rain and running in the mud, I'm proud of the fans. Those guys are crazy to pay to sit in those kinds of conditions. 

And I wrote a message to a friends blog about his sexual fixation on trimming the bushes, Why not trim the one in the White House? Yes, Playboy the magazine changed America. It was not a PC magazine, but it did fill a void (so to speak). 

And listening to Beatle covers created in a basement while thinking about a mystery email that just showed up on the PC at work, but not at home. What's with that. I'll have to wait until tomorrow. 

And listening to myself sing backwards. When did the 60's end and the boring world of work begin? Did we forget all of this. Do (you that are parents) enjoy this in your offspring? 

Or have we lost the freedom to have fun. Crazy fun. No regards to the outcome or the reviews. 

Run down that hill and wave your arms. The sunshine will warm your soul.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Sorry

Two little words..."I'm Sorry". 

Words to try and repair or ask for forgiveness of a deed undone or a word misspoken. 

But these two words would not be in the vocabulary if the original act had not been intentional. 

How many times have you tried to mop up a mess with these two words? 

And do you really mean it?

We do what we do and we should be responsible for our actions whether they be hurtful to other with intention or not. 

So before you speak or act...... think

You won't be sorry.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Platform: America

What makes America? America??

The people, religion, money, roads, bridges, rivers, family, cities, water, electricity, protection, discover? 

The infrastructure that is falling apart. Bridges crumbling, rails rusting, wires stretched too tight, and a gaggle of satellites floating around us ready to fall. 

And don't worry about the cost. 

We can just print more money. Right?

Another Idea

I was presented with an idea. How about a "musical" blog.  

How do you do that? 

Then I saw Roger McGuinn tonight and had a thought. 

How about a one-man show, but the thoughts of the musician before taking the stage. All the musical and personal feelings that happened before this presentation. 

Rusty, I'm going with this. Add your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Platform: Economy

So what do you do about the economy? 

We have overspent, overcharged... and we ask for relief.

Do you spend more than you earn? 

Is that a good practice? 

Do you do like I did and make just enough to get by, before the credit cards mailings hit?

MasterCard, Visa, Sears, JC Penney, and many more. 

YOU HAVE GREAT CREDIT they said. Until we started to use them. 

And then pay off the interest only, then more bills, and more interest. 

It took me two years to pay off the first batch of credit "free" bills, then another two years to get caught up on other "credit" bills to avoid being bankrupt. 

And all around me people are paying credit cards for food. A basic necessary--- FOOD. Feed our family on credit? 

So how is your savings? 

Do you save a little or save a lot?

With the money market tanking, are all your savings.... or money you never had anyway, sinking to nothing?

So now what?

Don't worry be happy.

It's only money. Money you never had anyway. 

Just live for today and let tomorrow come what may.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who would VOTE for you?

I think I could get elected. 

I'm outgoing, friendly, good with children, and easy to get along with. I'm adaptable to others views and have no strong beliefs in anything. I'm not tied to any organization or religion so I can pretty well be swayed.

So think about it. 

Suppose YOU had to fight for YOUR JOB by winning the hearts and minds of the masses to go out of their normal routine and VOTE you into a career. 

Could you do it? 

Who would vote for you?

The baggier at the grocery store who sees you every day?

The bank teller (for those who actually walk into a bank) to passes you pieces of paper behind a glass shield?

The guy next to you pumping gas on a cold winter morning?

The Starbucks server who knows you will not leave a tip?

The recycle pickup guy who goes through your waste products that will not wind up in the land fill?

The garbage man who picked up your discards that will wind up in the land fill? 

Your work associates? 

The night folks who clean the floors of your office? 

The suit seller who says "You look great in this. It's your color." just to get you to make his commission? 

Your next door neighbor?

Your best friend's kids?

Your kids?

Think about it. You could be watching the numbers of another taking your job because they go more votes. 

But doesn't this happen every day in the work place? People vying for new positions, power, more money. Climbing the corporate ladder is a rough sport and must be taken very seriously. 

To get ahead, you must bend to the winds of policies, expectations, change in environments, staff, and management's whims. 

So get out there and earn their votes. 

Hey you, get out of that closet. Those skeletons are mine!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Riding the Rails

Riding on rusty steel fast, swaying back and forth, click clack, click clack, rumble and the roll. 

This is riding the rails. 

Since forever ago, the railroads were constructed and linked across the land. Treated timbers so they would not rot laid down with a steel rail pounded into it with a spike. All laying on a bed of rock or sand or dirt or whatever the local country had to offer. 

And traveled over and over and over again with tons of coal and steel and produce and what made America grow. 

But the steel is rusting. The bridges, the rails, the support infrastructure is rusting. It is getting old. And tired. And worn.

Much like all of us. 

We can travel by rail or by air or by highway, but they all are aging. As we all do.

So do we stay home and not travel?

But sitting on the Potomac River bridge, stopped waiting for a bullet train to roar by and watching the water reflect the airplanes take off, reminds you of where you are. 

Travel on....

If Time Is Money and We Have No Money, Do We Have More Time?

With the present and future economy looking rather poorly (big surprise there, we've been on a spending spry for most of my lifetime), will be sell off our assets (stuff) to people who have a better economy (where are they?)

Or will we horde our assets (stuff) to keep what we value away from others and hope it will regain it's potential.

Or can you give it all away and start over, really start over again with an idea, will-power, and the roll up your sleeves, put two feet on the ground and dig in. 

Remember folks, few of us have had it really rough. And we have the trinkets to prove it. 

Think about when you clean out your parents house and all the "stuff" that meant something to them but nothing to you. Do you keep it or add to the landfill? 

What can you REALLY, REALLY do without? 

More shoes? More music? Clean sheets? Hot water? Television? Heat? 

It would not take long for our cultured society break down without electricity to run all our gadgets. During a recent hurricane the power was out for 10 days. We were lucky. And the silence was appreciated. We even talked to some of the neighbors who walked the hood in search of ice and cool air. A home was an empty dark box that kept the wind and rain out. Basic shelter. 

Recently, on a way back from a northern visit, my train passed under a bridge and I saw a guy sitting in the gap between the tracks and the roadway with all his worldly possessions. It wouldn't take much. He's a survivor. Do not know his story, but I've been there, so I can smile at passing him. 

Cherish  your time more than your money. And make time for the things that are important to you. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Away From Home

Some days you got to get away. Some days life presents the requirement to change the venue to a different spot. Some days you must take a new adventure and Shake Things Up. 

Friday was one of those days. 

Gotta get away. Pack up enough "stuff" to live off the land for a short time and grab the rail. 

But the road trip turned into a 2 hour wait, then a spot and go journey north. Cool, pleasant scenery, weird conversations between young marines and slutty girls. 

Finally the arrival to a northern town and an old friend and his wife and son. Comfortable and pleasantly calm. Low soft chairs (not good after a 7 hour ride) and wide open spaces. 

The first taste of Philly in a sports bar watching baseball and eating pizza. Both daughters work there. And it was loud too. 

Sleep on the floor after an interesting talk with his son about computer games and music. ( His son reminds me of his younger brother.... it runs in the family.)

Wake to coffee and sunshine. Quick scan of the local newspaper (compare the color and gutter space), then off to Philly to walk the wide side and pack down a Cheese Steak. 

Log into the network (without a password) while napping. Then grilling chicken, sprouts, broc, and chow down. Yum! With Jack! A postal guy who has some fun energy. 

Boys to the boys room to gather before the BIG SCREEN to listen and view music presented on disc and sound mix to keep little minds entertained. Steve Miller, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, and brews on soft seats in the darkness. 

Another morning, but this wakes to dim sunshine and the smell of baking bread. Two cups of coffee and glance through the Sunday newspaper (thankfully, someone supports news) in the Sun Room. 

To another adventure, let's discuss PhotoShop techniques, then make a Compilation CD. 
Layers and blurs. Now you try it. OK!!
You pick a song, then I'll pick a song, then you pick a song, then I'll pick a song.....
Now how do they stack up? 
Move that one up, these two down. Rock to pop to girl sing to rock. 
Now blend them together, Good
Break for lunch and another beer and some football.
Back to work.
Burn a test CD and to the "Man Cave" music room to test it out while viewing a football rout of the Skins. 
Sounds good, unless you are the Skins, but it doesn't matter if you are in Phillyland. 

Light the fire, start the grill, plant a bush, enjoy the sunshine, appreciate the cool weather, tall trees, and full moon. Yum, burgers and puppies before the fire in a quiet time. 

Football turns to baseball and the yawns take the day. It's almost time for the butterflies to go home. 

Sleep until 7 am. Wow! What a rest. And everyone is still waking up over the dancing puppies. 
Newspaper, television news and "Pete and Pete". Very ordinary day. 

Pack up and off to the train. Follow the arrows and it's on time. At least for 18 minutes, when it stopped to let two other trains go by. So after a while of watching my seat mate watch Chinese and India music video and Yiddish movies, I moved to an open seat in Washington. 

And back to the capitol of the confederacy. So leave the ancient red stone building and walk up the economic hub of Richmond. The sack is full and heavy so public transit is the choice. 

So the Willow Lawn express pulled us up out of the bottom and onto Broad Street, but across the construction of a new Performance Arts Center resurrecting an old department store, the city bus picked up a wheelchair and immediately broke down. After a few tries and patched by the driver, the wheels rolled onto the old Broad Street train station which is now a Science Museum, where the wheelchair disboarded. And the public carrier stopped again. After several minutes, we unloaded the stricken wheeled chariot to board another, then on down the 4-land main street. 

But it was not time yet to wander home. Another night was needed to gather the thoughts and do research on possibilities for the future. And watch Nixon on PBS. 

Pretzels for dinner as the butterflies come home. Make some notes, close your eyes and dream the dream of tomorrow. 

And so it goes 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Playing By The Rules

As I grew up in the '50's, I was taught to play by the rules. Never question what the rules were or who made them and why we should follow them. The rules were made by the older and wisher generation who had fought the war of wars and became the top of the world. Just like pledging alliance to the flag or saying the Lord's Prayer in school, the rules were for the good of all of us. Why challenge what everyone did? 

And today, we play by the rules. The politically correct follow the rules, say the right things, think before they speak, adjust their thoughts in order and arrange their world in time bites. Everyone does it. 

And when it rains, we reach for the umbrella. And when it gets cold, we reach for the thermostat to turn up the heat. And when it gets too hot, we reach for the thermostat to turn up the air conditioning. And when it gets too quiet, we turn on all the electrical devices to drown out the silence. 

So play by the rules. 

And miss all the excitement of the adventure in life Put white shoe laces in your shoes. Different color socks. Walk in the rain. Sit by the river and watch the water for an hour. 
Listen to the voices inside your head while all your electronics are turned off. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Abstract Communication

Today I mentioned on my FACEBOOK status that I was "back at the wheel, but my nose hurts." 

I received several emails stating concern for my physical condition. "I'm OK." There was no accidents or riding on marbles. 

It was an abstract communication that was not grabbed by some. 

There is an old saying " put your nose to the grind stone" meaning work hard and you will succeed. 

Well I said "wheel" thinking the grinding stone mechanical wheel to sharpen knives. To put your nose on this spinning stone would only tear the skin off and lubricate the stone with blood. 

Perhaps that is the new work ethic. 

It just goes to show a thought misspoken to the masses can misconstrued and taken out of context, can give the worst of visions and responses. 

Thank you for your concerns. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Riding On Marbles

The seasons are changing. The trees are turning colors and dropping leaves and needles. As the sun rises later and sets earlier, the cool air blows through the air and sways the mighty giants. 

And as the wooden dancers follow the fall music, they make their own. Acorns drop like rain. Tapping on roofs, mobile metal monsters, concrete steps, lawn furniture, soft lawns, fallen crusty leaves, and paved streets. Even the occasional bicycle adds to the music. 

And the little grey critters scurry about grabbing every possible one for winter storage. 

But to ride across a field of acorns is like riding on marbles. Only two wheels need as much traction as possible, but these little guys move the thin tires left or right with their hard shells to juggle the ride and make balance a challenge. 

So enjoy the season change, but be careful out there. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another lost weekend

Full work week. Lots of panic. Lots of confusion. Piles of work with too few to produce.

Then a happy hour with a friend. Thanks for the laughs. I hope it helped your "family" time.

The rest was ritual. Grocery store, football, beer, grocery store, football, beer, grocery store, football, grocery store, grocery store, grocery store, football, a little PBS, grocery store, beer, and sleep.

Sunday morning, news, 10k ride, grocery store, grocery store, football, beer.....

Life is good. But what will happen next weekend. 

There's a new adventure coming. 

But keep the laughs up. 

And Rusty, keep singing the blues. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blinded By The Light

The morning ride started a little bit later than normal. The seasons are changing. The globe is rotating. The sun is rising in a different location. Blinding me with it's brightness. And reflecting off the parked mobile metal monsters glass to blind me again. 

Then I realize, I'm riding blind. 

Peddling along and not being able to see where I am going. Not a good thing.

But much of life is wandering forward without being able to see.

Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat 
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat 
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older, I tripped the merry-go-round 
With this very unpleasing sneezing and wheezing, the calliope crashed to the ground 
Some all-hot half-shot was headin' for the hot spot, snappin' his fingers, clappin' his hands 
And some fleshpot mascot was tied into a lover's knot with a whatnot in her hand 
And now young Scott with a slingshot finally found a tender spot and throws his lover in the sand 
And some bloodshot forget-me-not whispers, "Daddy's within earshot, save the buckshot, turn up the band" 

And she was blinded by the light 
Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night 
Blinded by the light 
She got down but she never got tight, but she'll make it alright 

Some brimstone baritone anti-cyclone rolling stone preacher from the East 
He says, "Dethrone the dictaphone, hit it in its funny bone, that's where they expect it least" 
And some new-mown chaperone was standin' in the corner all alone, watchin' the young girls dance 
And some fresh-sown moonstone was messin' with his frozen zone to remind him of the feeling of romance 

Yeah, he was blinded by the light 
Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night 
Blinded by the light 
He got down but he never got tight, but he's gonna make it tonight 

Some silicone sister with her manager's mister told me I got what it takes 
She said, "I'll turn you on, sonny, to something strong if you play that song with the funky break" 
And Go-Cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside 
And little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride 
Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer, playin' backyard bombardier 
Yes, and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent some dude with a calling card, he said, "Do what you like, but don't do it here" 
Well, I jumped up, turned around, spit in the air, fell on the ground and asked him which was the way back home 
He said, "Take a right at the light, keep goin' straight until night, and then, boy, you're on your own" 
And now in Zanzibar, a shootin' star was ridin' in a side car, hummin' a lunar tune 
Yes, and the avatar said, "Blow the bar but first remove the cookie jar, we're gonna teach those boys to laugh too soon" 
And some kidnapped handicap was complainin' that he caught the clap from some mousetrap he bought last night 
Well, I unsnapped his skull cap and between his ears I saw a gap but figured he'd be all right 

He was just blinded by the light 
Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night 
Blinded by the light 
Mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun 
Oh, but Mama, that's where the fun is 
I was blinded 
I was blinded 
I was blinded 

And so it goes 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just for You Steve


I was going to write about riding to work in the dark after a 5:00 a.m. breakfast, but you have already heard about all that weirdness. At least I got some of the soy bacon and a sip of coffee before the lights went out.

But instead, I'll tell the tale of a hippie wedding.

Around 1973, a friend from high school decided he was going to wed his live in girl friend. They had been living in his Williamsburg crash pad while he was continuing his education (and staying out of the draft) at William & Mary. And he asked his friends to play music for the wedding.

Now let me tell you a little history about the Lil' Spencer Boys and Cliff &/or Joe. The Spencer brothers lived in the fan and knew Joe(l) since Jr. high. I met Joe(l) in high school, along with the elder Spencer through a friend from the First Baptist Church. Joe and I became best of buds and hung out every day after school. I was learning how to play the guitar and he wrote poetry. After a while people saw us so much together we named ourselves Cliff and or Joe. ( In life you learn to answer to many names.)

So Cliff &/or Joe would write songs. Joe being the lyric man and I being the tunesmith. The first ones were silly, but after awhile they got pretty good. And they reflected the thoughts of the time. The elder Spencer boy also played guitar and sang harmonies.

And so the story goes that we accepted the offer to play at the Williamsburg wedding. But what songs do you want to play? Out came the music books. And a set was agreed on.

"Good Day Sunshine" the Beatles

"Gypsy Rover" old folk song

"Dear Doctor" the Rolling Stones

" Sun" Donovan

"Colors" Donovan

"Sing This Song Altogether" the Rolling Stones

"Hide Your Love Away" the Beatles

"Don't Let Me Down" the Beatles

"Blue Suede Shoes / Great Balls of Fire" to end the show

To rehearsal

Any band worth it's guitar strings knows, you got to practice to get all the notes right. So we gathered in the elder Spencer's bedroom, with his younger brother on tape recording and vocal backup. The guitars came out, tuned up, and we sat around in a circle on the floor and began. "What key do you want to sing?" "Only have half a key...." came back from an old Fire sign Theater group skit.

And practice we did, until we got it right. (Recordings of the Bedroom Tapes can be purchased for a small donation)

And so the day came. We had all traveled down to the Colonial town the night before, but I don't remember much after that, but the sky was clear and the weather warm.

Picking up our instruments we all walked over to the college yard to find a group of folks sitting on fold out chairs under a large tree. Joe, Jim, Art and I (dressed in our separate official Williamsburg shirts) sat on the ground. Joe's future wife (actually they had already been married in a civil service earlier) sat near by smiling like a new bride is suppose to smile. Or maybe it was because we were all stoned.

But we played well, hit most of the notes, and impressed passersby who stopped and gawked at the hippies passing around wine and laughing.

Excellent way to start a marriage. And they are STILL married. Wow man!

So there Steve. I know THAT should be the first chapter.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Morning - Wham! Bam! Thank You Maam!

The paper hits my chest and the light flashes above. 

I slowly open my eyes and I'm ordered, "Sit Up!" A pillow and then another is thrown at me with orders to "Sit back against the pillows!".  A cat runs across the newspaper in my lap leaving a nice gouge while a scratching dog takes up half the bed. 

"Here, take this, it's hot" as I'm handed a large cup of coffee. While still trying to scratch my eyes open, I turn and place the coffee on the side table. "Here, take this..." she said while handing me a large white plate. 

As I scurried around the bed to wipe the hair from my eyes, blinded by the light, and balance the bacon, fork, knife, and two patties... 

"I tried to make waffles, but the machine I bought yesterday, didn't work, so I made them in the egg maker." she complained. 

She reentered the room with a bowl of cereal and said, "How is it?" I poured some syrup over the mass and cut a chuck. Popped into my mouth and said, "Ummm, good." 

"Give me that plate." 

"This is crap." The bowl of cereal was pushed in my face. "Here, eat this. It's your second choice breakfast." With a huff, she walked out of the room. 

That's it. I arose, walked into my dressing room, slide the wallboard door to the side and got dressed. 7:00 a.m. Time for work. 

She had disappeared. I opened the front door to see her sitting on the porch "Go away, I don't want to be bothered." OK.

The air was cool and I started my daily ride. There was mist in the air, but it grew thicker. Great. I'm riding into the rain. What kind of day is this going to be. 

But as I rode the mist stopped. The constant familiar ride began to loosen my tight thoughts. As the sun brightened the sky, I relaxed. Even to stop and change course behind the trash trucks made the day more enjoyable. The mind and eyes and ears kicked in. Back in the groove.

And to guarantee the change, two cranes flew over as I entered the parking deck to lock up my wheels. 

The rest of the day seemed normal. Work, phone calls, emails, panic all around, but lunch was calm and got my chores done. 

And to end a tough morning and a normal day, a fine evening with a friend. Some good creative laughs over a few beers. Inspiration to write another day.

And so it goes. Just another life.

                            From Blind Kiwi Hoover, blue guitarist and all around Delta