MY SON, THE ROCK SINGER
There's no business like show business
My son is a rock singer. He always wanted to be a rock singer. The odds against achieving great success in that field are overwhelming - - - but he did it. He is the lead singer with a group known as August Redmoon.
There's no business I know
Most importantly, he did it on his own. As his father, I have absolutely no knowledge of this type of work. In fact, I was against the whole idea. “It was well and good to have an interest in music, but first you get a job.” If I said it once, I must have said it a thousand times.
Everything about is appealing
Mike always loved music. To be able to work at an enjoyable activity is a goal to be longed for; desired by many; attained by few. What better way of life could exist than spending endless hours working towards improving and perfecting a love relationship? Not to mention the satisfaction gained by bringing so much pleasure and happiness to a world so sadly in need.
Everything the traffic will allow
Mike had pleaded with me for months to see him and his band perform. I declined the many invitations for the simple reason that rock music was not my thing and I was sure I would neither enjoy nor appreciate it. Finally, feeling pangs of parental guilt, I conceded and we went to see a concert. The long drive through Los Angeles to get to an affair, which was bound to be unpleasant, did not get the evening off to a rousing start. Once committed, however, we did go through with the deal.
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling
It was at a small club in Reseda, California, called The Country Club. I now understand it is a well-known center of rock music, but I didn't know that at the time. It probably wouldn't have meant much if I did know. It was an impressive structure as far as the exterior went. A huge, brightly lit marquee announced the appearance of AUGUST REDMOON. I felt something was crawling on the back of my neck.
Yesterday they told you, you would not go far
Mike, with his wireless microphone, took off into the audience. He was singing and dancing though the audience when I heard him yell, "My Dad's here somewhere. Where's my Dad?" He found me and came to our table and threw his arms around me, announcing to all assembled, "This is my Dad?' I pumped my fist skyward and yelled, "Yah. yah!" in tempo. Something got in my eye about then and somehow that affected my ability to breath easily
That night you opened and there you are
Somehow the music wasn't loud anymore. I was watching a great performance. People were at the edge of the stage trying to reach up and touch my kid. It was fantastic! More flashing lights, more fog, a drum solo and the show was over. The lights went down and they left the stage. So soon? The fans would have none of it. They wanted more. Much cheering and whistling brought them back for one more number. To say I was impressed would be, at least, an understatement.
Next day on your dressing room they hung a star
We went backstage to the dressing room. After passing a guard and going up a small flight of stairs, we saw the band. They were all sitting quietly, perspiring and, not surprisingly, tired. I hadn't realized that a show was such an athletic undertaking. I too was exhausted, but proud and extremely happy to have been there. I feel the words I spoke to them at the time were inadequate to express my true feelings.
I know this much, perhaps the industry has not yet acclaimed Mike as a star, but Webster says, "Star(n.) a person who excels or performs brilliantly in a given activity."
In our house, he's a star!
We left and went to the car. Looking back I saw the marquee with the big, now even bigger, letters "AUGUST REDMOON”.
That darned bug was back on my neck again
Let's go on with the show.
August 29. 1982
Yorba Linda. CA
The band, August Redmoon, eventually dissolved and my son, Michael Henry, who was the lead singer, formed a new group called ARMED FORCES. They were well on their way to success when a rare bone cancer overtook Michael and he died in 1998 at the age of 37. His music lives on and I see that his final CD called “Take On The Nation” is still available at Amazon.com.
Fortunately, the music Michael composed and sang will live on, as will the positive impression he made on all who were privileged to meet him.
I couldn’t have asked for a better son – only one who stayed longer.
Let's go on with the show.
I am wogging (half walk/half jog) as usual at the high school track.
There is no one else here.
I wonder why.
Perhaps, because it’s Sunday, many are attending church services this morning.
As I continue, mindlessly, around the track it occurs to me that attending church services regularly and wogging at the track regularly have many things in common.
For one thing, it's is very difficult to make up one’s mind to go at all. There are dozens of logical reason why you should not go this time, but once you overcome these and get started it’s not so bad.
Once you arrive at the church you must go through with it; there’s no turning back.
It’s the same way at the track.
Then, as you continue on it seems all right at first but then begins to get boring but you fight the temptation to quit and do continue on.
It’s the same way at the track.
When, at last, it’s finished you are elated that it’s over, but also relieved knowing that you did something that, in some way, is good.
It’s the same way at the track.
Just what it is that’s so good isn’t readily apparent at that time but you have faith that somewhere, sometime, you will find out that you did something good.
As you head for home, you actually feel some euphoria knowing this is done and you can relax and not think about it until next time.
It’s the same way at the track.
And you did something that’s good.
Perhaps wogging could be called a "religious experience".
It seems as though it was a long time ago--in fact it was. More than fifty years or so I had the dubious privilege of meeting a "Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew"--Stanley Tabor, though I have taken the liberty of changing his name.
Stan was an incredibly skillful toolmaker as well as being a truly amazing person; shrewd, devious and often cruel.
He seemed to have an insatiable appetite for reading, which, strangely enough, was his biggest failing. I think Stan read too fast or something. In conversation he knew exactly what he meant to say, but it always seemed to come out jumbled or twisted and often in remarkable form.
Stan was the Shop Superintendent when I met him. I had resigned a teaching position to pursue a career in industry and became the Shop Foreman. As I was working directly under Stan I came to know him quite well. The first time I heard a ’Stanism’ I wasn't sure if it was intended to be humorous or not. I laughed once-- only once--it was not intended to be humorous.
It developed that Stan had been on a trip to Chicago for the company. "Had a great time," he said "but it sure erupts your morals". It seems as though he had met a girl who worked as a "short hand cook" and even though he thought she was a "lease bean", they did have a good time.
The supervisors meetings were events which everyone looked forward to. Stan chaired them and many people would listen intently, so as to not miss one of his jewels. For my part I followed instructions to "get a notebook with pages in it and write things down".
A typical meeting would go like this. "We are going to propagate 500 dollars for small tools". It seemed that the budget rumors, which had spread "like wildflowers" were just a "force alarm", Stan assured us that we could "exorb" the expense. He wasn't going to "quiver" over a few dollars. If necessary we could "decrease the costs down" in other areas, because profits "had made a gain downward" last month.
Further following instructions, I often spoke frankly to Stan. After all he had said to me "confine in me and don’t keep secrets". Expressing the feeling that perhaps leaving teaching was not the smartest thing I ever did prompted Stan to suggest that perhaps I was "just boring from the heat". Further opinion, based on recent experience with a customer from Sweden, led him to suggest that my college experience would no doubt qualify me for a job as an "interpertator".
The one time I really looked forward to was our "annual meeting, once a month". At this time all of the "big wheels" went out to lunch for an hour or so. I don't know who ran the shop during that time. In fact I’m not sure who ran it when we were there. Stan’s performance was totally predictable. First, at the top of his voice, "GARSO” followed by an aside, "That means waiter in French--they hate it". As if after months of this I didn't know that garso meant waiter in French. An interpertator like moi? Next came the order for "a glass of burgundy with an ice cube in it", followed by the main course "a plate of scalps with a toss up salad." It was always the same.
Stan was by no means all work and no play. He had a family. In fact had just purchased a new television set, "a Magnetbox -- the best kind". Even though he felt that his son, who had just started "kiddie garden", dressed like "Little Lord Faunt Royal", he did take him fishing. They caught several of Stan’s version of pickerel --"pickelers".
His views of the political scene were interesting. He took a firm stand opposing farm subsidies. He personally knew a farmer who had "20 asylums full of corn" which the government had paid far. Even a knowledge of Industrial Psychology popped out one day when Stan explained "the foreman’s outview should consign with that of the worker." Whew! Luckily I did attend college. That's pretty heavy stuff.
We manufactured a power saw that involved assembling some pistons using a tool known as a spanner wrench. One day as Stan was busy demonstrating the use of the "spaniel wrench" for the installation of the "pistings" to a bewildered customer someone came in and said that he thought he knew Stan from somewhere. Stan was sure "he didn't know him from Adam and Eve".
Oh yes, unforgettable he was. Mean, vicious? -- That too. However, that’s another story.
Recently they introduced a new service they call Video Mail.
It's possible for a user to record 45 seconds of a video and audio message.
This can be sent as a plain message or in the form of a greeting card or as a narrator for a series of still photos.
As I understand it, the recording is stored at Comcast for 30 days and the recipient can pick it up any time.
It also provides a link to use for connecting the video to a web page or, as in this case, a blog.
If you are curious, click below to see the real unvarnished me talking.
You DO NOT need to download any special video mail progam to see and hear this 10 second greeting, though it may take a little time if you have a slow dial-up connection.
Just Click here.
I don't remember anything else learned in that class, but I did come out with a lifelong ability to spell receive. My own innate intelligence led me to develop skill in handling "deceive" and "beleive", plus a few other assorted words.
So now, when someone asks me, as they surely must someday, “What did you learn in school?” I can shoot back, really fast, “R-E-C-E, receive.” No one has asked me yet, however.
By the way, I really do know how to spell “believe” correctly and even if I didn’t, my spelling checker, which I have nicknamed Miss Batchelder, would nag me.
When a person loses that much weight there’s a lot of extra skin left over with nothing to do. I think this might not happen so much in younger people but older skin seems to lack elasticity and doesn’t spring back readily. Or, as in my case, perhaps it had been stretched beyond its elastic limit. Whatever the reason, it just hangs there hoping all the residents of some small town might need a donor for skin grafts.
One of the prominent places it hangs is under the chin. I’ve actually had people (one waitress, actually) grab that skin and shake it and say, “That’s so cute.” The waitress had small children so she still lives.
One morning LOML was still in bed and I was standing bedside her. She looked up and said, “I think that little thing that hangs down is getting smaller.”
I explained, “That ‘thing that hangs down’ on a turkey is called a wattle. I don’t know what it’s called on a human but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t go around telling everyone “my little thing that hangs down is getting smaller.”
But have you ever done this? Last night I fell asleep easily and then lapsed into a dream where I was having trouble falling asleep. Now that is weird. Or as my Mother used to say, “No, he’s just different.”
This nation was originally founded by a bunch of religious fanatics who wanted to set up a colony where their religious beliefs were strictly adhered to and no others were tolerated. Does any of this sound familiar to you yet?
It’s pointed out that early on these Pilgrims set up educational programs to educate the young in reading. This was not for any altruistic reason; it was so they would be able to read the Bible. This somehow promoted these “family values” we hear so much about these days. What were some of these values?
How about a man not being permitted to kiss his wife in public? In seventieth century New England a certain Captain Kimble, upon returning from a three-years' ocean voyage, kissed his wife on his own doorstep and spent two hours in the stocks for his "lewd and unseemly behavior”.
How about it being a penal offense for a man to wear long hair, or to smoke in the street, or for a youth to court a maid without the consent of her parents?
How about one law that forbade the wearing of lace, another of "slashed clothes other than one slash in each sleeve and another in the back”?
I’m not making this stuff up. You can check it out by clicking here
Please think of this when you hear politicians talking about returning to the values our forefathers established when founding this country.
If that’s what you really want, there are a few groups who still live this way.
None of them are in Washington, DC.
It was from Mutual of Omaha, a life insurance company.
There was a stamp that called it urgent and suggested – no, ordered me to open it immediately
Then there was our address that also contained wonderful information.
1. The policy status was “PRE-APPROVED”
2. Coverage was “GUARANTEED LIFE INSURANCE”
3. The value: “UP TO $10,000”
What a winner! But it gets even better for me. The address was correct but the addressee was my late wife who passed away more than 3 years ago. She never was connected to this address at all and I have no idea how it came here addressed to her.
However, since the Omaha people were generous enough to offer her a PRE-APPROVED policy GUARANTEED for UP TO $10,000, I can see no reason to decline their generous offer.
I suppose there’s a catch somewhere. They probably want the first premium paid but, even then, I would come out ahead. And, if they need a check, I think there are still some of her checks around here someplace.
I'm just guessing, but knowing how slowly these big companies move, it will proably be a couple of weeks before I actually get the money. I can wait.
It’s about time the little guy got a break. Maybe this George W. Bush guy isn’t as bad as I thought he would be.
Information is presented in such a compelling manner that disputing it is difficult but it still leaves me with big questions.
How do they measure the flatulence? Now, with the cows it shouldn’t be too difficult. Anyone of the universities in the Red States would have an agriculture program. They could provide the cows. Then the athletic department could provide the two people who are needed to collect the data. These people would only need to know which end of the cow was the front, as the belching would also need to be taken into consideration. After that it’s matter of following a cow around and waiting until some noise comes out of the cow and making a mark on a piece of paper, noting which end it came from. Simple enough for most college students.
But with termites it would seem to be another matter. As far as I know, termite flatulence is silent, so there must be some kind of instrument that is used. What would it be like? Is it inserted into some cavity on the termite’s body? If so, how do you get the termite into that position? I can’t picture the termite bending over a table or having its feet up in little tiny stirrups.
The other alternative of having the termite wear some device seems silly to me.
That only leaves me with one conclusion. The scientists are guessing. They can measure how much methane there is in the atmosphere and how many termites there are, but they can only guess at other sources, like the fat lady who was on the bus with me last week. She had to be factored in as at least 1,000 termites or one cow.
I conclude that this information is, at best, sketchy but personally, if I were going to be anywhere near the ozone layer I wouldn’t choose that time light up. Or near that fat lady on the bus.
I expect this from most sports but not walking. What could happen when walking? A lot can happen.
Maybe you saw my blog of September 18, 2004 called:
A CASE FOR WOGGING AT A TRACK.
If not, you can read it by looking into my September archives to the right.
You may recall that I started a regular walking/jogging exercise routine at the local high school track. I began this about 10 months ago. I go there at about the same time; early almost every morning. Mostly the same people are there although they do come and go. I am far and away the senior member (oldest) of the group.
I have been working at improving my performance and thought I was doing well. I started by not being able to even walk for half a mile. I now do between one and a half miles and 2 miles each morning. In addition I have worked my time down so that I am doing a 20-minute mile. To me this is a pretty good speed and I end up perspiring, breathing hard with an elevated pulse rate. Plus that, my legs are telling me that I have been working.
I was very pleased with that until I picked up the paper the other day and some, so called, doctor was explaining that everyone needed exercise. He said it didn’t need to be much excercise. “A simple half hour walk at a brisk 15-minute mile pace is fine.”
15-minute mile pace? A 20-minute mile is pushing it for me. What a quack!
But yesterday I was humiliated even more.
In all the time I’ve been doing this, many people have overtaken me and passed me. I have never passed anyone. I almost did once when a man fell down but he got up before I could pass him. Then yesterday morning I was chugging along, listening to Louis Armstrong in my earphones and I could hear footsteps coming up behind me. I thought nothing of this until the man passed me and I notice he was jogging backwards! He was facing me and grinning - possibly laughing.
I muttered unkind things under my breath.
He probably was that quack who calls himself a doctor.
As an example;
This is the usual bell curve indicating the relative intelligence of the population of voting age in the United States as of January 2004.
Note there are approximately the same numbers of people on the Genius side of average as there are on the Moron side of Average. This is normal.
However, something that baffles scientists happened on November 2, 2004. For some unknown reason there was a dramatic shift as shown on the skewed bell curve below.
Scientists are still trying to figure out why American intelligence disappeared so all of a sudden. It may be that American intelligence never was that intelligent. It couldn’t find any weapons of mass destruction.
This certificate has been framed and hung proudly on my wall since then.
Besides having a gold seal in the corner, it states that I have been awarded this certificate,
“On Having Met All The Criteria Required For Certification As An Internet Instructor”
This certificate, plus some bravado, has enabled me to teach several Internet classes a various levels.
I use the word “bravado” as in “a false show of bravery”. There’s a reason for this is. As far as I know, there is no “National Society of Internet Instructors”. If there is, I think it would only have one member.
I made the certificate myself and printed it on special paper. Did you know that offices supply places sell special paper just for certificates? And they sell gold seals that look a lot more golden than the scanned image of my certificate.
The most amazing thing to me is that I have proudlly shown this certificate to many people and no one has noticed it is signed by the same person it is awarded to.
There is a lesson here to think about.
“Don’t let a framed certificate make you think it is anything more than a piece of paper.”
As the saying goes, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley." That was the poet, Robert Burns giving his interpretation to, “No matter what you do, it will get screwed up.” (I didn’t take all the English Lit courses for nuttin.)
It all began when She mentioned there might be a small leak under the kitchen sink. She deduced this by the puddle of water there so She thought there “might be” a leak.
Being the man of the house, of course I could fix this. I started by looking under the sink. Sure enough, there was a small puddle of water. Independently I came to the same conclusion. It appeared there was as small leak under the kitchen sink.
I could handle this. First, I needed to go to the garage and get some tools to make the necessary repairs. No problem.
I crawled under the sink and began to make the needed adjustment when I realized that somehow a part had broken and water had spurted all over the place, including directly in my face. After I shut the water off I had time to examine the faulty part and concluded it needed to be replaced. This involved a trip to the hardware store where I purchased the part with no trouble. I suppose I should have asked someone at that time but I neglected to buy the special wrench that’s needed to install the part. So, I can’t blame anyone for the second trip to the hardware store, as it was solely my fault.
Now, as most people know, and now I do too, these parts are located in positions where it is impossible to for any normal human being to reach, much less do whatever it is that needs to be done after you do reach it. So, this involved calling a plumber who agreed to attempt to fit me into his busy schedule.
Eventually two plumbers arrived. One knew how to fix pipe things and the other knew how to write on a clipboard. They smiled and made remarks about this really being a job for a professional and eventually they left and went to another job. I was left with a new garbage disposal, some new gadget for inside the faucet and a bill for one third of the National Debt.
You can see how much of by blog posting time this is consuming, but that wasn’t all.
I went back to the hardware store to see if they were hiring any part-time employees in order to get some money to pay for the leak repair. I got to meet with the manager who was a little punk kid who couldn’t have been more than 60 years old, if that.
He told me they no longer employ octogenarians since the last one had died on the job, thereby clogging the aisles with paramedics and firemen. He said, “We lost more money that day than we saved by hiring him at less than minimum wage.”
So, you get some idea of why I haven’t had time to post much here. In fact, I can’t do very much right now either. I’m expecting the plumbers to return to fix a small leak under the kitchen sink. It’s still there. So I will get this blog posted sometime between 8 and 12, unless they are late.
P.S. They just called. It will be between 1 and 4.