This was written Memorial Day weekend of 2012. I still have fond memories of going to that concert. I even bought the CD of that concert tour. Sooooo great!!!
This past Saturday I attended perhaps the best concert ever. It was timed perfectly. It was Memorial Day weekend AND Sirius radio was playing their music constantly! You may ask yourself "how did I get here..." No wait, that's something entirely different. What you are most likely asking yourself is "what band is he talking about?" The band is The Accordion Kings!
Actually I don't know if there is a band named that but if there is, I'm free to manage it, but it won't be free to manage. The band was named the Beach Boys and it was there 50th Anniversary Tour!! I have never written a review of a concert and I'm not about to now - other than to say it was KICKAWESOME!!! 40+ songs and it lasted at least 2 1/2 hours! You might be doing the math about how long the songs were, but back in the 60's most songs were 2 and a half minutes.
I have seen the Beach Boys many times, but this was the first with Brian Wilson, which made it all the more special. Now I guess I should have known what the audience would be since it's the 50th Anniversary of them getting together, but I can also be very "not-fast of mind." So, I was surprised that most of the audience were over 60 and practically all the men had Hawaiian shirts on! (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)
Maybe it's just the place we saw them at - a casino in Palm Springs. But as we were in the buffet line (ok, hold you're wise cracks) I complemented every guy I saw that had on Hawaiian shirt and asked them if they were going to the concert. Every one of them said they were. If I had that type of success rate, I should have gone to a casino! Oh wait...
So what I am trying to say is that the concert was stupendous and people over 60 years old and wearing Hawaiian shirts are my type of people!! I fit in better with that crowd than I do people my own age! All that I am missing is the gray hair! Uh-oh, I see one coming in...
Monday, May 30, 2016
This was written Memorial Day weekend of 2012. I still have fond memories of going to that concert. I even bought the CD of that concert tour. Sooooo great!!!
Monday, May 23, 2016
This was written to honor Al Gore's greatest invention: the worldwide web. The anniversary is sometime in July, but sitting here recuperating from my procedure last week, all I can manage is a repost. When my body allows me to sit at the computer long enough, I'll post something new. I think that's the excuse all great writers use. Right?!
Yesterday was the anniversary of the World Wide Web, or the WWW, if you’re cool and hip. I’m not, so I will keep having to type out World Wide Web. In just a relatively few short years, think of how this invention has become so integral to our lives. I mean you are reading this blog post on the World Wide Web and will undoubtedly leave it to surf other things on the World Wide Web. In fact, you may leave this World Wide Web page before even finishing this post. Granted, that’s kind of rude, but not really the point I am trying to make about the World Wi…you know what, I’m going with just calling it the WWW and I don’t care what anyone says!
The WWW has made accessing information so much easier. It has made terms or companies like Google or MapQuest now part of our language. Heck, Google and MapQuest are actually verbs now. I Google and MapQuest stuff all the time. I Google recipes, information on things of interest, you name it. I used to ogle, but I am past that now. I also MapQuest directions almost daily. Granted I never trust their directions and go with my own intuition, but 9 times out of 10 that just leads me to turning around and going back to the exact spot that I deviated from MapQuest’s directions in the first place.
I waste a lot of gas doing this, but that’s ok because I can just use the WWW to find the cheapest place selling gas. The only problem with that is it’s the same place everyone else goes to get gas. Fortunately, I can also use the WWW to find the station selling the most expensive gas. I go there and never have to wait in line. In fact, the people working there are so incredibly friendly. They always smile and laugh as I pull away.
The WWW is an amazing never ending maze of interesting websites with one leading you to another with just a click of the mouse and your interest to guide you. It’s almost like an intricate spider web that begins at one single point and radiates out in many different ways. This complex web of entertainment and information is made up of sites from all over the world. When you think about it, it’s like a spider web that is world wide. Oh, wait a minute…so THAT’S why that call it that. Hmmm, go figure.
I have found that I can seek the answers to almost anything on line. When I wanted to know how to crack open a coconut, I used the WWW. Although I think I did it wrong because I ended up striking my thumb with the hammer. Still though, the information I received on the WWW gave me a starting point. When I needed a recipe for homemade frozen ice cream, the WWW gave me several. The only thing is, apparently you need to make sure you are using the right recipe for the capacity of your ice cream maker or you will make too much and then the ice cream maker will stop turning. The reaction of that action seems to be a burnt motor. No fear though, you can find your ice cream maker manufacturer’s website on the WWW and check the warranty. I did that, and the warranty doesn’t cover the mistake I made. I was tempted to use the WWW to send a nasty letter to the ice cream maker’s maker, but I came across a news story about panda poop souvenirs and never sent it.
I hope I have given you just a small sampling of the World Wide Web’s amazing power and potential. I feel so strongly about it (and the fact that I missed the WWW’s real anniversary yesterday) that I composed a short poem to honor the World Wide Web…
What would I do without ya
It’s such a fun trick
To be able to click
When I need something really quick
It’s so much fun to be online
All of the time...
Unless I am at work
thrown together by Michael at 6:57 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2016
To celebrate Super Hero Day, I present Insomnia Man. I wrote this after a few nights of insomnia, which kind of explains a lot...
Insomnia Man (IM because I’m too lazy to type the full name) was a sheepherder until being laid off in the late 90s when computer software and technology made it possible to count sheep more cheaply and efficiently than a mere mortal could. This disturbed Insomnia Man deeply and disrupted the ebb and flow of his life, but he found work not long after in a local office complex. He would spend his days in his drab mono-colored (coloured for any of my European readers) cubicle staring at a computer monitor listening to the incessant droning native to the office environment while pushing papers and taking things in and out of manila folders because that’s what he saw those around him doing. Due to the lack of excitement he was used to on the sheep farm, he would often fall asleep at his desk. IM could get away with this because he always had plenty of manila folders on his desk and was never seen not clutching one. This daytime sleeping made it hard to fall asleep at night and before too long IM became a full-fledged insomniac. Well, that’s what he believed after seeing that he had a few of the same symptoms as an insomniac does on the internet. Perhaps he was too quickly convinced that he was an insomniac because he thought it made him a candidate for disability until he was laughed out of his company’s HR Specialist’s office. This made him bitter and agitated which further deterred his ability to sleep.
The insomnia didn’t bother IM too much at first because it made it much easier for him to sleep through his workday and that made the workday pass much quicker than if he actually worked straight through 8 consecutive hours. IM would spend his nights learning foreign languages by watching their infomercials or enjoying his TiVo’d episodes of ‘The Wonder Years’ (don’t we all have Winnie Coopers or Kevin Arnolds in our past). One night while craving a Chalupa, he took to the streets to find a Taco Bell. It was at this time that he witnessed his very first crime. At least he thought that the guy was breaking into his neighbors house until he called the police and they discovered that it was his neighbor’s Father-in-law trying to get back into the house because he locked himself out while house sitting. Never the less, the adrenaline rush he experienced while thinking he was foiling a criminal act now and forever would be in his blood. It was only a bonus that his neighbors later dropped the charges against him.
IM now knew what he must do. He would use his sub-super powers to prevent evil in his city by finding crime in progress and calling the police. Sadly, IM was not smart enough to realize that the crime would be over by the time he reported it. He upgraded his cell phone plan, bought a digital camera and while his wife slept one night, he assembled everything he would need to fashion his own superhero costume, although he disliked the term costume as he felt it belittled him and referred to it as his ‘Superuni.” He later realized he had no talent for combining words and just stuck with ‘My Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime.” One night after driving himself to the emergency room to have his fingers removed from the cape he had accidentally sewed to them, his Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because I Can’t Really Fight, Crime was finished.
IM was now free to patrol the streets at night looking and listening for crime. He found that the longer he went without sleep, the harder it was to walk or drive straight and trust what he was seeing. Unfortunately, he missed more crimes than he prevented and was asked by the authorities to stop searching for crime after striking a group of elderly women leaving a bingo game one night. In time, the police dispatchers stopped taking his calls and then became further irritated when they had to dispatch officers nightly to get him off the yards of the town’s citizens. It turns out that those Neighborhood Watch programs really are effective. But then, how difficult is it to spot someone in a mask and cape with big ‘ZZZZs’ on their chest peeking in through your neighbor’s window.
Times were tough for IM. Then when having to go to the grocery store for his wife one day (despite his insistence that he needed to try and sleep during the day because he did really important stuff at night like Elvis used to), he realized that he actually did have an almost superpower. The bags under his eyes had become so big that they repelled the sunlight allowing him to not have to squint, just like the pro athletes who paint black streaks under their eyes before they compete. Now he could seek out and report crime to the authorities in the daytime too.
Insomnia Man patrolled the local streets day and night unsuccessfully for over 20 years. Then one day his social security check began arriving and his wife retired. She insisted that they buy a motor home and travel the country (mostly to escape the constant ridicule for being the wife of the sleepless caped idiot). While driving the motor home, he fell asleep at the wheel driving through Needles, California and was hospitalized for 8 months. Ironically, that day driving and the ensuing 8 months was the best (and by best I mean only) sleep he had experienced in 23 years. After recovering; they retired to Florida, took up lawn bowling and he now falls asleep at 3PM everyday while watching ‘The People’s Court’ in his recliner.
It’s still a sore subject for him when his grandchildren make fun of Insomnia Man. Except for the one grandchild who is afraid of sleep and found Insomnia Man’s Uniform For Deterring, if Not Repelling, Because He Can’t Really Fight, Crime in his grandfather’s attic one day…
thrown together by Michael at 6:22 AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Since it's National Tell A Story Day, this story came to mind. For one weekend in 2007, I was admitted to the hospital to have them administer a new heart drug to me. This is the story of my roommate...
My hospital roommate was something one could only dream up, except I’m telling the truth. He was an older Southern Gentleman, a real Southerner. As opposed to fake Southerner, which be would akin to Harvey Corman in the Carol Burnett "Gone With The Wind" skit. Listening to his voice, I felt like the Confederates were just moments away from stealing my plantation and drinking all my sweet tea…I mean that what the Civil War was like, right? I should probably begin podcasting, because written word will never, ever do justice to my impersonation of him calling his mother’s caretaker. As he was watching an I Love Lucy rerun (as opposed to the new episodes I guess. Did I really need to say it was a rerun), he called his mom’s care taker and this is what I heard (now picture a very, very dignified Southern voice saying this ‘tell mutha, that Vitameatavegimin is on. You can watch your stories lata, Vitameatavegimin is on.’ I was laughing so hard I almost popped my IV out. Moments later his phone rang and in the same dignified voice, I heard ‘I will have to call you back in 90 minutes. Vitiameatavegimin is on and then I need to watch my Judge Hatchett.’ All I could do every time his mouth opened was picture Forrest Gump’s Mama’s house.
thrown together by Michael at 5:56 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Now I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one noticing how weird it is that our government’s intelligence agency is publicly seeking employees. Apparently one of the things the CIA wants to do is wipe away the notion that all CIA work is like the very fictional world of James Bond. I’m sure my stereotypical driveling in the next few paragraphs is the exact type of thinking they want to discourage, but I just can’t help it. And with that, cue the moving gun barrel and the image of a well dressed man walking across it preparing to shoot you. Why yes, you can pretend it's me if you'd like...
What a relief though to know that if the CIA were to hire me I wouldn’t have to go out and buy enough tuxedos for every day of the week. It would be a little sad in a way to be hired by the CIA and have all of those myths associated with covert work demystified so quickly. I could see myself sitting in my new cubicle saying to no one in particular, “so this is it, really? Can my ballpoint pen kill anybody? When do I get to meet Q? Did I miss the lady with the caviar cart or does she come by after lunch?” At that point I’m sure I’d be
Although I know nothing about the workings of our country’s intelligence agency (in fact just using the word intelligence usually trips me up), I would imagine that working in a cubicle there beats working in a cubicle for anyone else. My guess is that the two most interesting departments would be HR and the requisitioning department. My mind can only imagine what items would be requisitioned at the CIA. Of course, in reality it’s probably the same type of stuff at any company like pencils, pens, computers, paper, copier toner and explosive tie clips. Wouldn’t it be great to hear a line like, “did you get that order of magnetic, homing device, self destructing wrist watches filled yet,” just once while at work.
HR might be the easiest department since every personnel file would be marked ‘classified.’ Imagine having to review someone’s file to determine whether administrative leave is necessary after he or she destroyed an entire riverfront Bistro in pursuit of a wanted dangerous international smuggler. More than likely, the day-to-day monotony of a CIA HR person would be filled with healthcare enrollment options, retirement packages and sexual harassment claims filed by older cold war relic spies who keep hitting on their new, young secretaries by calling them Ms. Moneypenny and asking if they’d like to see his Aston Martin (if you catch my drift). I should tell you that the notion to go with Pussy Galore instead of Ms. Moneypenny in that last sentence crossed my mind, but there's a certain word there that makes me blush. I shudder to think of using the word Moneypenny in a public setting. The word should actually be two separate words, but that's how they created it. It's so embarassing when you catch other people making spelling or grammatic errors.
Man, I bet the training films are great to watch. Do you think they save money and just show Bond films or episodes of Get Smart or do you think they actually make the training films themselves complete with monotone narration and lots of great black and white 1950's stock footage? Do the training films talk about how important it is to forget what you overheard during lunch or to only look down at the floor or up to the ceiling when walking down the hall? Are there plenty of suggestions on how to make the perfect double entendre or witty remark after you have killed someone? Does it cover the importance of leaving your disguises in the office and not forwarding government email to your best friend from high school just because it says ‘for your eyes only’ or ‘this message must be destroyed after receipt?’ My mind tingles at the possibilities.
Do you think the CIA plays other government entities in a governmental softball or bowling league? I bet that all the CIA players show up in Ray-Ban sunglasses and fake beards. I wonder if the other teams just throw the games because they are afraid of what would happen if they beat the CIA. No matter what the answers to all of these questions are, I think me asking them out loud has just guaranteed that I will never be invited to work for their agency. Oh well, it was worth a shot, right? After all, you only live twice. And diamonds are forever. And nobody does it better. And tomorrow never dies. And we have all the time in the world (bonus points if you can name which movie that one was in). There, I think I milked that dead horse for all it's worth. Wait, that can't be right...
thrown together by Michael at 6:19 AM
Monday, April 25, 2016
This blog post was originally written in 2006 on a Monday, as I recall...
I have to say how much I hate Mondays. I know that I am not alone and it’s certainly not a new sentiment among the blogging or Facebook community. You can see the disdain for Mondays on the faces of coworkers, other commuters and just about everyone you interact with on this solemn day. Go ahead, wish someone a Happy Monday and see what happens...
It’s time to address the issue head on. Monday should be removed from our calendar. I propose that we make Tuesday the new Monday. Of course, Tuesday has done nothing to deserve the wrath that becoming the new Monday will bring. Therefore, I also propose that Tuesdays become a universal casual day at work. By 'casual,' I don't mean shorts and sandals, although they certainly are welcome. I mean relaxing, kicking back, sipping drinks and visiting with your coworkers (providing you actually find that relaxing) all while listening to music. Plus, because things are so relaxed, you can come in whenever you want!That and the fact that it’s one day closer to the weekend should help Tuesday remain the somewhat innocuous day it already is. Is there the chance that your company will not want to pay you for relaxing on Back To Work Tuesday? Probably not, remember that the bosses and payroll folks will be relaxing too, just hopefully not with you. That would not be relaxing at all. Well, unless the payroll guy has a little too much to drink and starts doling out 'expense' reimbursements!!
I don’t expect much flak about the abandonment of Mondays except from the folks getting royalties on music about Mondays. I’m speaking of tunes like “Manic Monday,” “Come Monday,” “Monday, Monday” and my favorite “Rainy Days and Mondays.” (Yes, I just used the word 'favorite' in conjunction with the title of a Carpenters song. And yet I still maintain my dignity!) Those Monday songs would become outdated over night. Would it affect “Ruby Tuesday?” I don’t know, I haven't thought that far ahead. Do you really think the Stones are complaining?
When we remove Monday from the calendar it will set in motion a horrible period of chaos and confusion as was expected to occur during the dawn of Y2K. Remember buying up canned goods and erecting a Y2K bunker? No, well then never mind, you daredevil. I suppose you don't cook your pork until it's completely done either! Surely I was not the only one who built a Y2K bunker, right? Well, at least I got a tin-foiled lined, cable TV ready storage shed out of it. I just wish I wasn't still paying it off.
To avoid the problems that converting to a 6-day week would cause, I’ve come up with a solution I hope will be a popular one. We will name the new day Funday and it will become essentially another Sunday (to fill up the empty day) with a Friday feel. This will create the 3-day weekend, every weekend.
So there you have it, a well thought out fair and balanced solution to Mondays. Now if I can just find some crackpot candidate belonging to some obscure political party, we’ll be good to go. We’ll call the new party the Calendarians. Imagine how well a candidate campaigning on the Calendarians’ “Create Funday” ticket would be. How in the world can you run a smear campaign against that? Even if the party loses, man the nominating convention will be a blast!
thrown together by Michael at 6:17 AM
Monday, April 18, 2016
The most momentous headline I've ever read, huh? It sounds pretty impressive, considering it's my first blog post in a couple of years! Seriously, I just read a new item that will change my world — if not yours too.
On Twitter this morning I read a post about McDonald's and the fact that they are going to test "all you can eat fries." Of course, I didn't actually read the article. Reading the article would possibly make the news not as impressive. I figure that the more you don't know makes life more exciting. It also makes you not as well read as you could be, but that hasn't hurt me in 42 years, so why start now...
All you can eat fries? That just boggles the mind. How much would they charge for this slice of heaven on earth? Yes, the article, which again I did not read, probably says how much they would charge, but that's not the point. I would pay far more than what I have in my bank account for the privilege. Then after ingesting sooooo many fries I would be extremely upset with myself for consuming 10,000 calories in one sitting. I would
probably be a little sick but hey, that feeling will probably go away. All I would be left with is the feeling that I just had all you can eat fries. That would make me VERY happy. So yes, it was the most momentous headline I've ever yet read.
Thank you, all 3 of you, for taking the time to read this. At my last job, I had to work with a proofreader and I've clearly forgotten all he taught me trying to write this post. Writing is like exercise for the mind and I've clearly walked about 3 steps with this post. But I'm out of breath, so that is all the "exercising" for me today!
thrown together by Michael at 8:55 AM