At Last

If your life were a movie, what would its soundtrack be like? What songs, instrumental pieces, and other sound effects would be featured on the official soundtrack album?

Hit it, Etta: “And life is like a song…”.

My god, what a difficult assignment. Soundtrack music isn’t the same as, say, choosing a playlist.

But let me play this one straight-up. I’ll use the ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Soundtrack as a model. Because it’s an iconic movie, it had a good soundtrack, and it reflected its time. So we’re seeking songs that are iconic of the 70s and 80s, to reflect the music that’s most important in my life. (My friend Ken would hiss and spit; he says that’s all I listen to. Not quite entirely true; just mostly what I listen to.)

Anyway…24 tunes on the FTaRH soundtrack, so that sets our limit.

“Train Kept a Rollin” (Get Your Wings)—Aerosmith
“Time” (Dark Side of the Moon)—Pink Floyd
“Hotel California” (Hotel California)—The Eagles
“Back in Black” (Back in Black)—AC/DC
“Rocket Man” (Honkey Chateau)—Elton John
“Killer Queen” (Sheer Heart Attack)—Queen
“Stranglehold” (Ted Nugent)—Ted Nugent
“Waterloo” (Waterloo)—ABBA
“Halo of Flies” (Killer)—Alice Cooper
“In the Dark” (Don’t Say No)—Billy Squier
“Lucretia Mac Evil” (Blood, Sweat and Tears 3)—Blood, Sweat and Tears
“Don’t Fear the Reaper” (Agents of Fortune)—Blue Oyster Cult
“Hooked on a Feeling” (Hooked on a Feeling)—Blue Swede
“The Ballroom Blitz” (Desolation Boulevard)—The Sweet
“Turn the Page” (Live Bullet)—Bob Seger
“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” (Not Fragile)—Bachman Turner Overdrive
“Don’t Look Back” (Don’t Look Back)—Boston
“Cold As Ice” (Foreigner)—Foreigner
“I Want You To Want Me” (Live At Budokan)—Cheap Trick
“Couldn’t Get It Right” (Gold Plated)—Climax Blues Band
“Young Americans” (Young Americans)—David Bowie
“Money For Nothing” (Brothers In Arms)—Dire Straits
“Black Water” (What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits)—The Doobie Brothers
“Mr. Blue Sky” (Out Of The Blue)—Electric Light Orchestra

Your basic playlist of what (today) calls itself a ‘classic rock’ station, I guess. And of course I ran out of room before I ran out of songs, because I shot for songs that I felt were ‘iconic’, but also a few lesser tracks that deserve to be saved from obscurity (as soundtracks often do). Some are included solely for their personal meaning to me (ex: ”Black Water”—if you were there, you know why).

Some of these tracks, particularly the really long ones, probably wouldn’t be suitable for a real soundtrack. But hey, it’s my article and I get to play them, damn it.

Now all I need is another 25 tracks…ok, another fifty. Damn, I’d never be able to cut it down all the way to 24, I wasn’t even through “E” on my iTunes library.

And this isn’t exactly a riveting-reading Prompt topic, is it?

RecDave Seal

Needs more Long Tall Sally

The perfect day

The Perfect day might already be shot.

Difficult to explain: My perfect day involves no responsibilities, no obligations, no special plans, nothing that needs to be accomplished (except things I genuinely want to do, of course).

But I need (<–a danger word that indicates a value of ‘fun-negative’) to nip out and do a little bit of shopping.

Bzzzzzt! Don Pardo: “We’re sorry, but thank you for playing, and please accept these lovely consolation prizes as you go.”

Shopping isn’t one of those ‘enjoyable’ activities. It’s damned cold outside, and I need to get dressed and go out in it. Brrr-rrr. (Collecting a lot of fun-negative expressions, see?)

Optimism: Still, maybe a truly perfect day isn’t possible. But maybe, after the quick shopping trip is quickly knocked off the list, we can get back to enjoying the rest of the day!

Bzzzt! “You forgot about those dishes waiting in the sink.”

Dammit! Being a grown-up sucks.

Bzzzzt! “Remember, your car needs gas.”


The perfect day is drained away by the application of a series of minor irritants?

Well, only if you rely on absolute expressions like “perfect” and “ruined”. This is how pessimists wreck their lives; black and white, on or off, binary thinking, bifurcation. It’s a bad habit and bad thought process (that I surrender to far too frequently). Perfectionists feel if the entire day isn’t…well, perfect…it’s all just totally “ruined”. Perfected or wrecked. No grey area between.

I can get all these things done, and still have a “Pretty Damn Good” day. A minus, almost as good as A plus!

And maybe collect some valuable Wife Points as a bonus! Trade them in for Cash and Prizes. Sweet!!

Need to go get that shopping and run-around done now, later folks.

RecDave Seal

What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

Don’t chase Perfection and just enjoy it



Edit: Post-Run-Around Update

Well, it was cold, as expected (fun-minus). On the other hand, it was bright and sunshine-y, rather that the usual Chicagoland gray, grey, grae (fun-plus). Got parked in for a little while by a landscaping truck (fun-minus), but the gas tank was less hungry than I expected (fun-plus).  All in all, a solid “meh” experience. Call it a wash.

Now, on to those dishes (le sigh).


AndaPandaStarEdit: Update Part Deux

Turns out Annie did the dishes last night, so there were relatively few left from this morning, and they were quick to knock out. Which made me all thoughtfully happy and maybe a little bit smarmy even.

So I’ve been mucking around doing a quicky-illustrator cool beans medal of honor (or something) badge…cause I’m a doofus for stuff like that, and it’s more fun than watching idiot box.

You know, the day’s not turning out too bad after all; a wise man would learn something from that.

Good thing there aren’t many of those ’round here.

Neat, sweet, petite

Of all my cousins—I have lots—the oddest might be James
He collects small mammals that he nails to boards and maims
But my extended family has many more, like Mary
She’s not creepy, only ugly; Mary’s just scary hairy.

John’s branch of the family is known for their extra legs
But John lost his in the war and walks now on three pegs.
Come meet cousin Patricia, but we just call her Pat.
In place of Sunday bonnet, Pat just wears a mangy cat.

Then there’s Uncle Robert, you might call him Uncle Bob
Where most folks keep their nose, he has a large corn cob.
Cousin Linda cleared of all charges; she’s really not a cannibal
While she only consumes animals—the parts she eats are radical.

And my older brother Michael—he shortens it to Mike—
He’s locked up for certain habits that the county shrink dislikes.
Meet my younger sister Barb, call her Barbie if you dare,
She’s fond of sharp things that she hides inside her hair.

If you have not grown irate at my limping scansion yet
If my doggerel hasn’t bored you, and you can ignore the threat.
Come meet my cousins Bill and Dave, meet Jen and Susan too.
Come to dinner, but take my advice—just please, don’t eat the stew.

RecDave Seal

Cousin It

Any resemblance to real or Addams families is surely not entirely coincidental.

Virgil’s Salad

800px-The_Blue_Marble“Commence firing sequence”.

The Zarian Armada stood poised over the planet Earth, its anti-proton particle beams lining up to center on target. The small green amphibians didn’t really seem all that intimidating, up close, but these cruisers packed more than enough firepower to get the job done. And I meant to see those guns used.

“Aye aye, cannons warming,” the frog-like Executive Officer repeated the command. “Ready to fire in 180 seconds.”

You may call me Galactic Overlord Bill Jones. The Zarians had recruited me some years ago, chosen by their psi-scans as the Being Most Likely to lead their Armada to ultimate victory. Reflexes, tactical and strategic ability, hand-eye coordination…I had the whole package.

I drummed my fingers impatiently, while waiting for the APC’s to charge. At my side where the Zarian’s holy offerings; a cold can of Caffeine Cola and a large bag of French Onion Salty Crunches, my favorites. I cranked the volume, and the wail of the Sado Sirens latest death metal filled the bridge.

The Zarian Armada had plowed a swath across the galaxy, quickly conquering and destroying their opponent’s puny navies one by one. None could stand before Overlord Jones–my Armada found no worthy opponents and the Zarians enslaved hundreds of races and stripped the resources from thousands of systems.

Now, only one race remind the be ground under their flippers. My own, the miserable Humans.

While my patience was nearing its limit, I saw North America rotate under the cross-hair, and my thoughts turned to home town America, where I grew up.

Virgil wrote a short poem (well, short for Virgil anyway) titled Moretum. Translated literally, Moretum would be pesto, or salad or garden herbs. The poem describes the preparation of lunch, in effect.

It manus in gyrum; paullatim singula vires
Deperdunt proprias; color est E pluribus unus.

Spins round the stirring hand; lose by degrees
Their separate powers the parts, and comes at last
From many several colors one that rules.

“Moretum,” lines 103–4, The Works of Virgil, trans. into English verse by John Augustine Wilstach, vol. 1, p. 123 (1884).

How fitting, that America adopted for its motto the recipe that will describe its final demise.

I munch my chips until the Executive Officer announces, “Cannons ready, sir.”

“All right, all cruisers follow my lead, no resistance here to worry about. Going in 5…4…3…2…1…”

So I took the joystick in hand and initiated a victory roll as I pressed the fire button. And the planet Earth disappeared in a massive Hollywood special effects pyrotechnic explosion. And I laugh the required Evil Overlord Victory Laugh™.

Cheerful 8-bit victory music. GAME OVER, roll credits.

RecDave Seal

Salad Shooter

I’ve got a golden twinkle in my eye

All right. My first thought for this particular assignment was totally nerdy and totally retro and totally…well, lame, to anyone but me, I suppose.

You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?

Given that fabulous golden key that opens any door: I want to run wild through Rick Nielsen’s guitar collection.

Cheap_Trick_at_Gulfstream_Park_-_Rick_Nielsen By Carl Lender [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
What’s that? Well, a quick Google of Rick Nielsen Guitars will turn up a ton of articles and blog posts and such (here’s one), it’s a rather famous private collection. There’s a coffee table book, touring advertising, tv spots…

I’d just like to wander through, play Stairway under the “No Stairway” sign, and listen to the man himself talk about his babies. But I suppose I’d be embarrassed to plunk through Stairway with a guitar player of Rick’s caliber watching…whoa, bad old nerd and playing badly! Stop the fantasy, my ears!

So after gabbing with Annie for a bit, we came up with some better alternatives. The first idea was one I’d already thought of (in a general way), but it does sound like fun: egypttouring the Egyptology Wing in a museum that has a great one…the British Museum,  maybe?

Egyptian stuff is way cool, and having all the time you want to read and explore and research…  Yeah, I could enjoy doing that, particularly in a premier collection of one of the world’s great museums.

But that idea actually didn’t last very long, before being revised to Golden Key Mark III: a key to a working time machine. Why restrict yourself to a dead exhibit, if you can go and see history live? H. G. Wells would be proud; if we can avoid the Morlocks, it’s a fascinating idea. All of history to explore! Not a matter of “where”, but rather “Where First“?

Golden Key Mark IV is an Annie variant: a train passenger car that goes anywhere you want it to. She likes Anywhere better than Anywhen, I guess. Both of them sound like a great time, to me.

Did you notice the original assignment didn’t mention a time limit? :HUGE grin: That means we get to keep the keys!!!

I’m so there.

RecDave Seal

Golden Hinde? Who let Drake in here?


I might have mentioned that Brad’s some kind of très buff fitness robot machine (he’s a personal trainer)…? (Dad’s a flab machine, so don’t ask me where he gets it.) He’s got some ridiculously-crazy-low body mass index…and not much body mass, compared to those weights. (He weighs 140 to 150, lifting more than double his own weight here)

Anyway, Annie followed him setting up and lifting 360 at his gym for the “Achievement” photo assignment.

Update: Annie turned one of these (the second image, I think) into refrigerator magnets. For all of his female admirers? Stocking-stuffers? Personal trainer business promos? Heck, I dunno.

Here’s some samples:

10714101_10205365390922352_7849763049996467985_o 10646966_10205365393762423_247718413514072623_n 10624731_10205365392802399_1584011327584396324_n 10404498_10205365391602369_2868509063838183876_n 10397234_10205365403602669_3918322431645917438_o 10394595_10205365393522417_4128099184386013997_n 10392389_10205365394562443_2849103704642654135_n 10363640_10205365391882376_4592542184657099264_n 10330386_10205365394482441_4134401210992268172_n 10150557_10205365392882401_4056050258488196493_n 1982331_10205365393602419_7273188483253332845_n 1743487_10205365392362388_2423626371426413162_n 1385222_10205365392242385_1193494257544261481_n 934886_10205365393082406_3791817535455120002_n

I’ve botched up the order, but ya’ll get the idea.

All photos by Annette Park, ©2014 and all that rot. Mitts off!


Worth the wait?

How long will it be?

“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

I’m not exactly Joe Patience, and yes that’s an understatement. My wife puts up with it, bless her, but if you stick me in a queue at a theater or the waiting room of a doctor’s office, I quickly begin to fidget and seek escape routes.

Doctor’s offices, particularly; why in hell do they make appointments for 10AM and then keep you cooling your heels in the waiting room for another hour? I’m prompt and on time (anal about that, in fact). I’ve seen the doctor roaming around the back office drinking coffee and chatting with the office staff…wtf? Is there an express lane here somewhere, doc? Some secret society handshake I need to give the receptionist?

I know, at graduation every doctor received “Here’s your wealth-factory diploma and our special free ‘How to be repeatedly rude to every single customer and still get paid oodles!'” brochure; but please, use the Power responsibly!

I’m ranting, right?

See page for author [CC-BY-4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Thank goodness for Kindle, my sanity-restoration anti-fidget drug of choice. Since I’ve begun toting it to every dentist/doctor trip, the office staff death toll has been considerably reduced.

So anyway, back to the original question; no, I don’t really agree. I’m not terribly fond of waiting. “Reasonable” is usually a really, really small wait. “Patient” isn’t a word people would pick to describe me.

I think this might be another one of those ‘many character flaws’ I mentioned in a previous post.

RecDave Seal

Waiting Rant

Budget Time Machine

Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”—naw, I’m just messing with you man. What is this, 2004? What in the world are we doing at Starbucks with the damn hipsters? You know we don’t like this coffee garbage—look across the street, maybe we can get a Dr. Pepper over yonder.

Ah, that is better. Caffeine is one of the things we need to give up, really. Anyway, I know you’re terrible at taking advice from anyone, and you’re going to go ahead and do your own thing, regardless what I say, right? That’s a character flaw; we’re loaded with ‘em. But I’ve got to warn you what’s coming up…and you need to take this one pretty seriously. Just try to not be so stubborn about this one, all right?

About eight years from now (glances at watch), a little less, you’re going to have a stroke. Enormous high blood pressure, the smoking, the weight…dude, it’s all going to try to kill you, and quickly. I can’t stress this enough…we do survive, as you can see, but a little slower, a tiny bit of speech impediment, less fine motor skill. And damn did we get lucky on that. Don’t fuck with the Fates, or they will smite us.

Get yourself on BP meds right away. And stop the damned smoking, before you’re surrounded by terror and doctors telling you that it just (almost) killed you. Get that weight down, quit that toxic stress-factory of a job (can’t trust those assholes anyway: don’t), and work on becoming a real person again. I mean that.

The most rewarding thing…well, Brad just moved out of the house, doing the first-apartment-and-roomies thang (so far, he’s doing it way better than we did); we’re pretty proud of him, he turned out pretty OK, all things considered. Despite your best efforts to screw that one up, he turned into a functioning human-person. The dude is buff as hell, whipping old-flabbies like us into shape.

The “most fun” thing is kind of a… Well, you know how we are, what we like today and what we like tomorrow changes too quickly, sometimes. Right at this moment we’re having a lot of fun writing and blogging; maybe we’ll be into that one for a good long time, maybe not. It seems too dangerously introspective, on days like today. And it seems too retrospective on other days, you know how boring those “always living in the past” old farts are. But maybe that’s good for us, I dunno. It’s fun, anyway; maybe you should try it earlier.

Cut that hair, you look like crap. Gotta go man, the return ticket’s gonna expire soon. Good luck, go home and kiss your wife, right now!

RecDave Seal


Good Tidings

By Hand

What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.

I started to say “I got nothing” to this one, because I really couldn’t recall any gifts at all that were hand-made.

But that’s not true, cause Annie made me this quilt! She makes quilts for other folks, too, but this one’s mine all mine.

(Let me browse for a bit and see if she kept a picture of this one for you…one sec… Hmm. She does keep pics of most of the quilts she makes, can’t find one.)

There we go, flip the camera into amateur-snapshot mode, and I can handle it!


Anyway, quilters have a name for this pattern, I’m sure. Damned if I know what it is, tho (looks sheepish).

It was one of her earliest quilts, so I’m like, très extra-cool or something! All I know is that it keeps me warm every night. Can’t be much more special than that.

Gripping narrative, Dave. Really not that awake yet, are you? Sorry ya’ll. Back to nap some more!

RecDave Seal


Hair Glue

Finishing Paste. Forming cream. Are you still using that greasy kid stuff? Pomade. Hair spray. Styling mousse. Brylcreem.

There’s hundreds of products, but they all serve basically the same purpose. Glue down your hair at given favored shape (x). Unscented or zomgstinks; largely irrelevant to the primary purpose, gluing your hair in a semi-permanent shape.

Now I’m not a vanity kind of guy, I generally don’t pay much attention at all to my hair. I just dry it off, comb it a couple times, and we’re good for the day. “Bare minimum maintenance”.

But when it’s been freshly cut (as mine was few days back) and it’s really short, or it’s really humid outside, my hair tends to develop odd little cow licks. So I reach for the Hair Glue to nail it down to keep it from doing its own thing (too much). People look at me strangely if I don’t keep it controlled. Bad Hair Day alarms go off. Beauticians cluck their tongues and shake their heads at me.

Or maybe my imagination is too vivid.

Anyway..when are where was hair glue invented? Who first thunk up this stuff? Mustache Wax? Dapper Dan Pomade? Does it go back even farther than that?

Something to google up while lunch cooks, I guess.

RecDave Seal

What’s your favorite hair glue?