Tag Archives: Daily

Uh oh. Who opened up the Reactionary Grape-nuts?

A restaurant that removed your favorite item from the menu, a bad cover of a great song… Write a post about something that should’ve been left untouched, but wasn’t. Why was the original better?

Oh man, the avalanche you’re going to receive from this one. Us old guys, the rotary phone generations…everything was better “back then”, they had radio shows telling them so almost their whole lives. Remember radio shows?  Compare-and-contrast Amos ‘n’ Andy to Rush Limbaugh and ding! There’s your topic.

Wally and the Beav? No, modern television kids can’t stand up to the pure light (heavenly chorus fanfare) that shone from Wally and the Beav at all times. There’s your topic.

Cars–your little efficient four-cylinder, you know, is greatly inferior to my classic Cadillac V-8. Hell, back then we could afford 10 MPG! There’s your topic.

French fries, remember how those highly salted artery-clogging grease sticks tasted? This week’s mmm good(?) mono-unsaturated soybean-oil fries don’t stand a chance!

Education–paying so very much more and receiving so very much less.

Do we really need the lists of things that were better? All of the topics are done to death, and it’s all Old Guy Yelling Get Off My Lawn Damn Kids Cane-waving anyway, isn’t it?

Why encourage living in the past? I can carry my entire (used to be) 600 pound Vinyl record collection in my back pocket! And it’s grown an order of magnitude larger in the process!

Things change, and thank heavens that they do. We all suspect Those Damn Kids™ have our civilization teetering on the brink of collapse, but Socrates and Plato had the same worries (well, sort of, in a paraphrased kind of way).

But maybe we need to worry lot less about what Those Damn Kids™ are up to, and a lot more about what the Old Guy Congresscritturs™ are.

RecDave Seal

Give The Kid A Break

Mother Nature responds!

Yesterday, your pet/baby/inanimate object could read your post. Today, they can write back (thanks for the suggestion, lifelessons!). Write a post from their point of view (or just pick any non-verbal creature/object).

Uh oh. Winter called, she has some comments about that trolling you did yesterday.

I talked to my wife for just a few moments this morning about this assignment. “I don’t really have a point of view for Winter”. She responded “Easy! What did that guy say, Mother Nature is a Bitch.”

‘That guy’, near as I can figure, is Dr. Andrew Fassbach (Elyes Gabel, World War Z):

Mother Nature is a serial killer. No one’s better. Or more creative. Like all serial killers, she can’t help the urge to want to get caught. What good are all those brilliant crimes if no one takes the credit? So she leaves crumbs. Now the hard part, why you spend a decade in school, is seeing the crumbs. But the clue’s there. Sometimes the thing you thought was the most brutal aspect of the virus, turns out to be the chink in its armor. And she loves disguising her weaknesses as strengths. She’s a bitch.

Kind of chillingly prophetic, given the current Ebola scare…ain’t it?

Anyway, good old chilly, bitchy Mother Nature takes her swings in today’s post. Keep your heads down, this could get ugly.

Continue reading Mother Nature responds!

Winter, you suck.

Here it comes again, six months of grey, cold, wet, shovels, ice, accidents, commercialism, religious competition and general buffoonery. No sunlight, no break in the cloud cover, just grey gray grae until May.

Can’t get anywhere in a reasonable time, can’t commute safely, can’t stand the insincere “Happy Holidays!” from the happy happy sales clerks.

Can’t purchase anything without muscling your way through noisy, smelly crowds of humanity, and fighting for those precious few parking spaces miles from the store (in a snow drift).

Can’t get the damn car to even start, because it plunged deep into sub-zero last night. Can’t get your packages delivered on time (because the Delivery Vans also can’t get anywhere). Doesn’t matter, you’re plowed in anyway.

The Television Professional Plastic People glee at every parade and event, with their pristine polished enthusiasm. Let’s start the advertising blitz a month earlier this year, everybody loves ads! Shill it, shill it, media hoes! Ho ho hoes.

The glass is half full or half empty. My friend Bob likes winter. My friend Bob needs psychiatric examination.

I mean, come on, the guy is a cat-warmer!

I’ll be over here Grinch-ing and Humbug-ing. Let me know when it’s a civilized month again. July, maybe.

RecDave Seal

Yes, I swear at weather

 

Ticking away the moments that make up the dull day

The challenge today is picking a lyric that you know “by heart”, one that resonates particularly well (any why).

I find this sort of thing immensely difficult, because I have a trick memory (tricky in  a good way, I suppose) for lyrics. I can dredge up One-Hit Wonders with ease, and recite literally hundreds of songs entirely and thousands of lyric fragments. It appears to be one of the only things my memory is really, really good at retaining forever.

And unlike my wife (hi beautiful!), I generally have the right artists attached to the right songs!

Sucks pretty bad when Celine bleeds “My heart will go on” or Whitney craps out “I will always love you“, or one of the many other “Pop tunes I have always hated” gets stuck circling in my head and refuses to be shaken out.

So as you might expect, this sort of thing makes me say “hurmh, huh, well, umm” for quite a while, trying to eliminate song that’s wandered through my head, to narrow it down to only one.

I began to think through the second part, the “why”, while flipping through my 500-favorites. I decided to go with:

Time
(Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon, 1973)

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

Home, home again
I like to be here
When I can
When I come home
Cold and tired
It’s good to warm my bones
Beside the fire

Far away
Across the field
Tolling on the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell

Songwriters: DAVID GILMOUR, NICHOLAS MASON, ROGER WATERS, RICK WRIGHT

One of the more obvious choices, the best song from one of the highest grossing albums of all time, right? That’s not why I picked it .

I chose this piece for the instrumental, one of David Gilmour’s finest (to this day) moments, which is what makes it stand out in an album full of standout pieces.

(Groove to Mason’s Intro, too)

Watch the video and pay attention around 3:00, peaks with the long wail around 4:20. Brilliant, it still catches my breath to this day, and I always reach for the volume knob. Gilmour deserves to be played loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear.

My thanks to the boys in the band, and to Alan Parsons. There’s a fair chance my choice will be duplicated by other authors as a choice one (or many) times. I don’t care. I was a child of the 70s, this piece (and Hotel California) embodied the 70s, to me.

Hmm, Hotel California also has a long (and excellent) lead guitar break–do we sense a pattern?

RecDave Seal

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Mama mia, that’s a spicy meatball

Galileo*, Turing, Einstein, Servetus, and the list goes on.

If “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor”, then an important question that needs to be asked before we choose up sides for the softball team: Who decides? Politicians in particular have a stunningly bad track record for picking winners and failures.

Should the MGM execs kill off Mickey Mouse in 1927, or allow Walt a chance to fail?

The Michelson-Morley experiment was a failure that changed the scientific world (and for which Michelson won a Nobel—for a null result!). Scientists as a whole view failure a bit differently from the rest of us; it’s often the failed experiments that lead to the next big steps ahead, that teach us the most.

There’s some inspiration to be drawn from historical failures, and sometimes even the close calls—so they can make a good backdrop thesis for those stirring inspirational speeches. Or a solid chapter for any book, I suppose.

*Yes, I know it’s not entirely as black and white in Galileo’s case as my 8th grade science teacher led us to believe. But now both the rationalists and the Church have plenty of apologists busily re-writing BlogHistory… Will history have any clear-cut bad guys left in another hundred years?

“Grand Moff Tarkin? Aw, he wasn’t so bad, he just had a mean old Darth breathing down his neck.”

RecDave Seal

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Home of the Yellowjackets!

Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.

The home I lived in when I was twelve…all right, near as I can figure, counting on my fingers, that means sixth grade plus or minus a year? ’74, probably. And sixth grade was Mississippi. So dad was still finishing up at Keesler AFB, and we were living off-base east of Biloxi (Ocean Springs? D’Iberville? Some place in Jackson county, anyway, the exact borders of a lot of those little townships were unincorporated at the time. Ask Mom.) Don’t argue with me, spell-checker, D’Iberville is spelled correctly.

Anyway, we were close enough to I-10 that I considered it ‘right in my backyard’, though is was probably closer to a half-mile away, or a couple of minutes for kids on bikes. On the both sides of I-10, pine woods. Streams, creeks (one creek literally pushing the property line in our backyard). Dad raised rabbits at the time; we had rabbit hutches and an Irish Setter. My friends kept turtles, frogs, toads, snakes and pretty much any other living animal we could catch. We spent a lot of time terrorizing the local wildlife.

Enormous humidity, heat. Lots and lots of swampland in a ten mile radius. Skeeters from hell.

Sixth grade would be the Year of the Smart-ass. Miss Pleasance and St. Martin. You see, coming out of a military grade school (quite good) and going to a southern MS middle school (really, really bad)…my first year at St. Martin had me a) competing for valedictorian (finished second, barely) and b) winning the science fair. Effortlessly.

My fifth grade math teacher, Mr. Watanabe, had been feeding me on HS algebra books. Sixth grade students at St. Martin were probably operating around fourth grade level equivalent to anywhere else in America. MS schools were not good.

Miss Pleasance was nice enough, as I recall she was very supportive. Maybe too much so?

I coasted through sixth, seventh and eighth grades. I didn’t crack a book again until college. And if I have any tendency toward egomania, know-it-all-ness; it was born of sixth grade. Imagine I was a pretty damned annoying brat, at that age. Did I ever grow out of it?

Anyway, we’re living in the past, again. If these projects have any serious shortcoming, it’s how often they focus on retrospectives.

RecDave Seal

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

P1000164John walked slowly, enjoying Sara’s presence at his side and the warmth of her hand in his. Everything just seemed so perfect, from the light breeze carrying the scent of fresh-cut grass to the sunlight highlighting Sara’s golden hair.

A pair of joggers ran past, very attractive young ladies. But John’s eyes didn’t follow, just this once. John was admiring the trees, and a pair of red squirrels chasing each other, chattering. “This is just perfect,” John breathed.

He paused for a moment while Sara sneezed, then wrapped one arm around her waist and squeezed gently.

John smiled as he and Sara passed a park bench, where an elderly lady was knitting a small, red sweater. As they proceeded several steps beyond the bench, the wind shifted and John suddenly found himself helplessly choking back laughter, tears running down his face.

That old woman…oh god, what had she been eating? Oh man that is foul!


Sara was in misery. Poor John, he seemed so eager to make a walk in the park into the perfect date. As they strode together, hand in hand, Sara tried to concentrate on something, anything but the pounding in her head.

Her sinuses were filled, grass and mold and pollen were apparently everywhere in the park today, she could barely breathe as she clutched John’s hand more tightly.

A pair of joggers ran past, looking like tramps in their little tight jogging shorts, and they could both use much better sports bras. Sara missed her twenties, and the perfect tight little body she’d had then, but even in her prime she’d never had boobs to match those. She closed her eyes against the brightness of the sun.

“This is just perfect,” Sara heard John say, and just wanted to punch him hard; bastard was probably looking over those bimbos. A pair of squirrels were fighting, chattering angrily at each other, headed for a brawl in the trees, no doubt.

Sara sneezed and wished for a fresh Kleenex, damn allergies. To her dismay, John decided to side-hug her just as she felt the warning signs of an impending nose drip. God, not now.

As they strode past an old woman on a park bench, Sara tried to force a smile. Don’t think that was very successful, she thought, I’m just too miserable right now.

Sara blinked through allergy-teared eyes as John suddenly broke into a laugh, bent over and…crying? What in the hell?


Lucille calmly knitted the sweater for Timmy, her newest grandson. Counting calmly to herself, her mind drifted away from the knitting as she looked about at the park scenery.

The usual squirrels, trees and joggers. Lucille was a regular; this bench and she were old friends, familiar and comfortable with each other.

The buzz of the lawnmower over the next hill was soothing, another familiar sound of the  park. Lucille like the way the park smelled after the lawn was mowed.

Lucille nodded as two young co-eds from the local college jogged past. Familiar regulars, pretty things, believe they ran through here yesterday.

Another pair of lovers walked toward the bench, Lucille looked them over. Smiling young man, looked happy. But the young lady was frowning, trouble in paradise? Her young squire not treating her right?

Lucille frowned at the young man, her silent appraisal falling several chilly points down into ‘disapproval’. The young lady sneezed violently. And it looked like the uncouth youth copped a feel, and the young lady grimaced in Lucille’s direction as they passed the bench! The poor dear.

Just when Lucille couldn’t have a much lower opinion of this young creep, he glanced at Lucille and suddenly began crying with mirth.

“Well, I never!” she thought, as she furiously began gathering up her knitting.

RecDave Seal

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

Three tunes

Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.

This may be difficult for me, as I’ve already written about the first of my three choices (see: Ticking Away). So there goes one, and I’ve hinted at another (in the same post).


 

 

Which means I’ll have to figure out a way for the third tune: Train kept a-Rollin to use up the majority of the time.

So let’s start with that one, I guess, feel free to have a listen:

Not only is it a classic old Yardbirds tune (and there are a bunch of other covers), but it has a number of delicious lead guitar breaks (I might have mentioned that I lean towards ‘hard’ rock and wailing guitars…?).

Anyway, for decades this was the track that made me worship Joe Perry, first got me hooked on Aerosmith, etc. etc. I pretty much wore the album (‘Get Your Wings’) out.

Some decades after the first release, it became known that Joe Perry didn’t play on that track! It was actually played by Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner, studio musicians, who played with Alice Cooper for years.

Those wailing lead breaks that fascinated me so much (at 1:20, 3:20, 3:55) for so many years, Joe didn’t play them! The two guys who did play them weren’t even credited in the original album credits!

I forgave Joe and Steve and the boys, since they closed concerts with the tune for so many years…and their careers went on for decades…but I remember how cheapened I felt when I learned that. The music industry really is freakin’ sleazy.


 

 

That other tune? I mentioned it in Ticking Away…it’s Hotel California.

Title track of the best album of the decade (well, at least in my humble). First time we get hear Joe Walsh play with the band, that excellent last couple of minutes of lead guitar break…

And for a good many years, I was the Night Man.

“Relax,” said the Night Man. “We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

(Joe Walsh and Don Felder start wailing)

RecDave Seal