Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ahhhh, Changes!

Yeah, sometimes changes are for the better (ask any 4-month-old, if he'll tell ya. Chances are, though, he's still stuck on Sunday's Video Music Awards, so he'll remind you to Google Gaga) ...

I was going through some old emails that Uncle Lloyd sent shortly after we met. He'd been following the other blogs I had at the time (the first one, you already know. The other one was with a studio that no longer exists ...).
In one of them, he gave me some sage advice that I began to use over thyme: When you write, put your own individual style into it. Let readers know it's you!" Well, I've tried to follow LL's advice; you know it's me and haven't run me off yet ...I hope ..., and, collectively, we've had a pretty good time together.

But, lately, I've been doin' a lot of repeats, simulcasts with the other blog and -- well, generally, it's just become redundant. it's just become redundant.
Sooooooo ... beginning with our next post, we're gonna add just a little more to the mix (I tried that once when trying to bake some made-from-scratch biscuits. I got some serious burns ... and a restraining order from Pillsbury® that forbade me from going within fifteen feet of their products ..).


You'll not only be readin' some original stuff again, but also go into the mind of the writer (probably a very short trip ...) with thoughts, meanderings and vignettes from the past. Obviously, there's still gonna be a lot of tribute to our Fab Founder, the Head Cheese who started the Clique clickin' ...

And I'll wanna hear some shout-outs from you, the reader(s) and Cliquer(s). You've both some great stories to tell, outtasite insights and other goodies to share ... in fact, you can even guest-host this madness every once-in-awhile if you'd like (just gimme a little advance notice, okay?).

So tell your friends (and, if you're on the illustrious Book of Faces or that Tweety-thing, re-post this and let's get everyone involved, okay??

In less than 24, we're gonna get started ... so stay tuned ...

Monday, August 29, 2011

It Wuz Boss, Not L7!

Y'know, the Sixties weren't just about fantastic music, peace movements, wild clothes and a war we'll never forget. For many teens and above, there were certain drop-words that made you hip (now that we're old[er], "hip" doesn't mean "cool", but a certain nagging point of arthritis). Some examples:

1. "Fab" was formerly the name of a laundry detergent. When the Beatles appeared with their British slang, it became the faddish abbreviation for "fabulous." Here in 2011, it's the name of a laundry detergent again.
2. "Gear" once meant something that helped machinery work. In a way, it meant the same thing in rock: if something was "gear," it meant it was "groovily happening." Today, it means the same thing it did at the first.
3. "Groovy" was a term used to describe the surface of LPs and 45s. Then it became our equivalent of "cool." Today, who knows what it means??
4. "In" and "Out". Either you were accepted into a certain crowd or not. Today, just a door sign ... or directions disregarded by Congress.
5. "Uptight". If you were "stressed out" (millennium phrase) about something, you were "uptight".
6. "L7" was one of the most cryptic, and didn't really catch on in the Sixties (originally used by the Greenwich Village crowd back in the '50s) until Sam the Sham's "Hattie" warned "Mattie" not to be that way, but learn to dance in "Wooly Bully". If you put an "L" and a block-print "7" together, you've got ... a SQUARE!
7. "Outtasight" -- a word supposedly derived from the space program -- meant the same as today's "awesome" or "off-the-charts." The best of the best.
8. "Boss" -- one of the boss's (Uncle LL's) fave words. Same description as #7.
9. "Chick" -- okay, this one's been around for ages, and was inspired by W.C. Fields' My Little Chickadee. Meant "lovely, vivacious girl".
10. Now, there are others that I probably missed out on, and if anyone remembers others, give me a shout-out.

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A Trip To Mickey D's

Look ... I'll be the first (or maybe 5,342nd) to tell you I don't frequent McDonald's® for their food or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Bit I do dig their coffee. It doesn't bounce. And it costs less than that of Starbuck's or a new car.

So, last night, I took a chance and fought the loudcrowd for it. However, as is often the case when in a quizzical place such as the Golden Arch (we're a small town, so we can only afford one), I left with more questions than answers (but I also had a real treat by running into a special friend there [he's okay, and he didn't make a dent on my bumper ...]. But more about that in a minute):

For example:
  • Why do girls wear those shorts with something written on the back end of them ... then get upset when a middle-aged man stops to read it?? (NOTE: It was not me! I said "middle aged"!! Besides, she wouldn't slow down long enough ...)
  • Why (actually, it was my friend, Scott, who was readin') do they wear something with the word "PINK" in black on a gray shirt??
  • The employee's have a bell they haveta ring after they wash their hands. Why don't they ring it before they wash 'em? Doesn't the other way sorta defeat the purpose of clean hands??
  • Why, oh, why, when a customer places his order (with fries), they ask "Would you like fries with that??"


Awww, maybe I'm bein' too picky. Whatcha think??

But there's one thing that was ultra-cool about the visit: I met up with my friend, Mike Thaxton, whom I hadn't seen in a few months. Now, if the name sounds slightly familiar, it's because he's a relative of our late-and-still-deeply-missed Chief, Lloyd! In fact, the first time I met Michael, he told me about his family being from Kentucky, then some of them moved to Toledo, Ohio! He knew Uncle LL -- in fact, he has the same smile, eyes and (now) shock of white hair that was LT's trademark (the hair turned white later in life, natch!).
When I mentioned him to Lloyd, he said he remembered a cousin by that name, from somewhere in Kentucky! And Michael is so reminiscent of our Chief -- except that he's about three feet taller (who wasn't?? Actually, Mike's just over 6'2").
He definitely brought back memories of the most amazing TV host/writer/humorist/producer/friend I've ever known.
And there's no question about that!

PINNING IT ON SOMEONE

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Changes In RelicVille ...

Okay ... it needs some 'splainin' ...

Y'see, over the past few weeks, this writer (a big "squirrelly" in my own write, I guess ...) has been juggling assignments, wrestling with stubborn accounts and doing other journalistic calisthenics whilst also get a few choice A&R suits to turn their labels toward deserving acts ... and gettin' some serious airplay for them at the same time.

Hey ... I may be faster than a speeding pullet, powerfully loco with a motive ... and sometimes I might feel like I'm in the lowest lane of this metropolis and work with the crypt of night, but I ain't superdude, y'know ...

Sooooo ... I've made a few modifications to keep the Rockin' chair movin' ... and keep me at 98.6 and pulsating:

First, rest assured that the Rock is gonna keep on rolling! There are some things that you just gotta have in order to survive -- water, food, love, matched socks. But, for The Relic, you've gotta add the music to the mix.
But, awhile back, I took the whole kit-and-kaboodle to the Lord (actually, Jim Lord. No relation ...), an occupational counselor. Actually, he wrote me with some ideas (having followed this blog since 1937, as well as my other writes...) and, by way of the magic of email, a few calls and some blacksnailmail, helped me get everything synchronized, sanitized, and (voila!) focused.
And actually make some of those much-needed dineros instead of facing unpaid invoices (one day, I might even be paid in American money ...).

With his advice (hey ... the dude's been at his calling for over thirty successful years, so who'm I to doubt??), I've cut down to one primo studio for the writes and three of the most awesome indie acts on the planet, which leaves me time to work on a very special project (one that I'll tell ya about later this week. So stay tuned ...).

You're definitely gonna see some powerful changes in these blogs, the RelicAttitude, my socks (which are powerful if I take my shoes off, believe me ...) ... and in the productivity of this guy you call The Rock Relic ... Steam-Powered Buzzard ... Son-Of-A-I'll overlook that, okay??

Now ... we're gonna get back to the Music-At-Hand with our next entry, which will be comin' up in about 24 hours, okay? For now, just thought y'alled wanna know why there's been a little break in the action ...

Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Turning The Page ...

Hmph ... as if my cats could ever do that ...

Actually, two things concern me about that pic: (1) What ... what is that thing he's studying?? It looks ... familiar somehow ...
Isn't that what we old fogies called ... a (let me think now:) a BOOK?? A non-Kindled, actual, hand-held thingy full of something called "pages" or something? WOW! Where'd he find THAT?!?
(2) Didja see the title of that hand-held model?? "MILITARY STRATEGY"? Uhhh, it looks like that Gaddawful guy in Libya isn't the only one that's gonna be overthrown. (Hang on ... gotta lock up the fridge whilst I'm writing ... brb)

Actually, I love to read ... and so did Uncle Lloyd. His Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!) is a best-seller amongst those who really want to get their train of thought back on the right track! It's more than a "page-turner" ... it's one of those rare writes that makes you wanna absorb the contents!
He, along with his fab co-author, John Alston, takes you through some of life's little hang-ups and hassles and, in a conversational, often humourous way, helps you find ways to handle 'em! I'd strongly RockRelicommend it for your daily, non-Kindlable reading (word to the troops: Does anybody know if it's available on Kindle yet?? Lemme know ...)

But there are some books that are cherished because -- well, they were amongst the first ones you read on planet Earth (remember? Like Dick and Jane, Dr. Seuss, The Bible, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary?).

Mine was Pep: The Story of A Brave Dog, which I had from the time the first words came out of my mouth (well, nearly. The first ones had me spittin' out the soap Mama'd stuck in there ...) until two years after I came outta the Army. It's the story of the first dog in combat. It was written in 1922 by Clarence Hawkes ...
After so many years, threadbare and pages yellowed and torn, front cover tattered, I still found that book intriguing (*now, class, that's the wrong way to write that sentence! Makes it seem that "I" was "threadbare, yellowed, tattered" and not ... wait ... maybe it was me after all ...) Anyway ...

So a reader from my home turf of Pineville (take-off-yer-hats-and-show-some-respect) NC sent me a .PDF of the entire book -- I mean, of the pages as they looked when I read it yearsandyearsandagesandeons ago! Man, my heart has plenty of room -- but this time it was a room with a Deja Vu! And I wanna thank Jimmy for sending it!
If I've heard it once I've heard it a hundred times: GET A DAY JOB! Actually, I've heard people say "Man, if I could only get in that (picture, video, etc.)! It'd be so cool!"

Pssst ... you can!!

And don't kid yourself: you know how ...
It's called "reading" ... not just lookin' at the words or skimming through a book, but ABSORBING the story ... FEELING it as you read ... and taking time to read it SLOWLY!. Just click on those links up there for either Uncle Lloyd and Cuzzin' Johns' book and/or/and Mr. Hawke's classic and get started!
Believe me, it's better than any webpage, audio book or video ...

and you don't have to worry about power outag


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Clown Princes of Rock

Yes, you've got all kinds of faces in the world of rock-n-roll.
Many of them look like they're just daring the camera to take a photo of them (like the guys in the pic -- though I'm sure they're good at their craft ...). These bands often put on a seriously rockin' show -- but, all too often, you forget about it within a coupla weeks.

And why? It's because they just don't know how (or, worse, don't want to know how) to rev up the audience! They get onstage, play their songs with angst in their faces -- but, then, after the last notes are played, the lights go on ... and they've disappeared from the venue. You don't see or hear anything about them until their next gig ...

They forget that the music's just part of the show. As in any profession, the other part (some say the most important one!) is promotion. And there's no better way to promote your act than to inject some pleasant, sometimes improvised zaniness during your show -- during interviews -- or just when people see you out-and-about as a band.

The best examples of this can be found in the clown princes of rock -- acts that were superb musically, but included a sense of humour that had fans loving every minute of each show they did!
These included the legendary Paul Revere and The Raiders who, whilst churning out some hard-driving rock anthems, also included some of the most hysterical hijinks in the history of music!

Of course, we couldn't leave out the fantabulistic Knight Errant of rock, leader of Herman's Hermits, Peter Noone. He didn't have to do more than stand behind the mic, move in sort of a shy, school-boy way, raise his eyebrow and flash a toothy grin, and the girls would go absolutely nuts over him! Somehow, you just had a feeling that this handsome young singer (and he still looks that good!) was also a bit impish ...

But it took a young, Buddy Holly (near) lookalike to take this craziness and actually build a dance around it. The singer was Freddie Garrity (R.I.P.) of the band "Freddie and the Dreamers" (PS The Dreamers are still performing, though with a different lineup). The song: Do The Freddie.
Freddie always loved to play for laughs -- even to the end. When he passed away a few years ago, the somber congregation at his funeral couldn't help breaking into chuckles when they saw his coffin borne in .. with a jester's cap on top of it (it was supposed to be a secret until the service). This clown prince is still missed by all ...

Of course, every Mouser here knows that this zaniness transcends the performing music and reaches into the wide world of television. And nobody -- nobody -- was crazier, livelier or more fun than our late leader, Lloyd Thaxton. Uncle LL knew that, whilst every performer should have his finger on the pulse of the fans, that "pulse" beat with a longing for life, humour and a release from the humdrum world of everyday blahs.
And he gave us that in spades ...
In fact, I received an email from a long-time fan who said that "The Beatles caused the spark to start the fire of rock. Lloyd Thaxton fanned the fans to make it spread."

So, when bands start showing more positive life onstage again -- when they give themselves some good, solid exposure (as a band) that shows they've got a bit of humour and liveliness -- I believe we'll see a huge resurgence of venue rock ... with record sales following ... and a return to the "good-time" feeling we had in the Sixties ...

NO MORE ASSAULT ON BATTERIES

Don't you just hate it when you're trying to take a picture, send an email via your laptop or make a video -- just to find out your battery's dead?? It's happened to all of us at one time or another, right?
You have to make a mad rush out to the nearest electronics dealer to find one -- and hope (1) the store's still open, (2) they have your brand in stock and (3) there aren't any long lines to deal with.
Well, now, by checking out the following link, you can breathe easy! You can find nimh rechargeable batteries online just by the simple click of a mouse -- and get this: They guarantee they'll have the replacement battery you're looking for! Of course, the rechargeables are the best, because you don't have to go out and buy again and again; just recharge them, and you're good to go!
So, before your camera/laptop/etc. runs out of power, give them a visit, okay? You'll love the prices ... and have your equipment powered up and ready to go in confidence!






Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweet Inspirations

Every once-in-awhile, I'm asked who my personal inspirations were for getting into the field of music. Not the professional ones, mind you ... but the people who were around me, every day.
Since I've covered Uncle LL, Gene Vincent, The Byrds and others, let me take a moment to give a special tribute to those who, outside my own mama and daddy (the best influences in my life as a human), fanned the spark that grew into a flame and burned within the kid who became a Rock Relic (HA! Still got that writer's touch in my head! Or ... maybe I'm just touched in the head. Dunno ...).

Now, the dude up there in the pic (South Mecklenburg High School Mixed Chorus, circa December, 1968) was a pre-Relician bullfrog; very rare outside Pineville, NC and (considering his age) almost extinct now.
But, if not for South Meck's unofficial "cheerleader" -- a smiling, talented and kinetic wonder named LaRue Perry -- I probably would've been singing lullabies to those wart-laden amphibians (no, not my siblings; we cleared those up a lonnng time before) on the banks of Sugar Creek.
Y'see, we were practicing an old song called Around The Corner when Mrs. P. noticed a godawful sound coming from the third riser. Finally convinced it wasn't the school's heating system kicking in, she had the rest of the class stop ... and called me down to the front.
"Chuck, was that you?" The kids giggled, whilst I was trying to figure out an excuse. Gas? Flatulence? Naaah ... that'd get me in trouble. So I nodded, "Yes, ma'am". She said I sounded more like a bullfrog -- and got me to sing a song an octave higher. It blended better with the group, and, quite frankly, I did feel more comfortable with it ..

After class, she took me aside (Donna Mohrman, our pianist, was glad to relinquish the bench. Besides, she had to put water on her fingertips [she was excellent on the 88's, believe me!]). "Chuck," she said. That was my name, as I said earlier. "If you apply what you've learned here in everything else that you do, you're going to be a big success! Always aim higher! You can make it if you keep trying and practicing!"

The woman was solid gold -- ask anyone who ever had her in class ...

Ahhh, then there was our Psychology teacher, Virginia Winget ... who, whilst stern at times, had a manner that could've convinced Mr. Whipple to let customers squeeze the Charmin® (alright, hands up of all those who remember him ...).
She was also encouraging us, in an almost-motherly way, to pursue our dreams (if they were honourable ... but be back home by 11 or the door would be locked ... and, no, you can't borrow the car ... er, well, not exactly like a mother ...). She inspired us to use our minds instead of our sex drive (sex? Hmph ... all I knew back then is that it was the number whut preceded sehh'bun!). I heard we, being of the teen society, were to have them in the absence of video games which came later ...
Most of all, she listened ... and understood where we wanted to go with our lives. She would suggest ways of getting there, and helped us form sort of a road map to make it to that destination.

Later on, with these teachers, my parents' (and my friends in Pineville's) inspiration, Uncle LL's Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!), David Schwartz's The Magic Of Thinking Big, The Bible and a few kicks-in-the-pants, and with the influence of great friends like John Bultmann, Lloyd Thaxton, Pete Dintino, Ron Ryan and others, the rock engine within me started humming ...

But it's you who helps keep it charged up ... and, for that, I thank all three of you. (Seriously, all of you who tune in ...)

So STAY tuned ... I'll see ya on the flip side!





Monday, August 8, 2011

Uncle LL To The Rescue .... (Redux)

Since I'm sorta tied up with a special assignment until mid-week, I'm re-playing this post -- a fave of Mousers around the nation and Kookamonga. Now, I have some NEW posts on the burner -- just waitin' for them to finish cookin'. But, until I can serve 'em up, enjoy this blast from the past:
For years, we of the Clique-and-beyond looked forward to getting home from work so we could get the latest thoughts from Uncle Lloyd and his blog. Whether we agreed 100% with him on everything or not (and disagreements were rarer than Vitalis™ in a headbanger's dressing room!), we loved every minute we "visited" with him.

Then, of course, we had the Good Book (I mean, Stuff Happens, of course). Between him and John Alston, we felt as though he really was our favorite uncle, showing us better ways to deal with life's challenges.

Yes, there were those of us who remember his segments on both The Today Show and Fight Back! In the latter, he gave us a lotta boss info on all kinds of goodies to make our Wal-Mart® shopping easier (if we'd had the store back then. As far as shopping there -- and with apologies to Clark Howard -- I still have to ask myself "Why??").

It goes without saying that his most memorable achievement to many boomers was The Lloyd Thaxton Show (now, why'd I say that?? Didn't I say it "goes without saying"?? Oh, NOW I remember ... we do have post-boomer mousers on board here). He brought the message of good times and rock-and-roll to our homes every weekday at 5 PM.

But the greatest message that Uncle Lloyd conveyed wasn't in his show, or in his book, or in his other shows.

It was found in the soul and heart that he shared with each and every one of us. When he had something bearing on his mind, or when he really felt great about something, when he was reminiscing -- or even when he was "up against the wall" with cancer -- he was still the epitome of hope, smiles, and an attitude that just grinned a big "Everything's gonna be all right. C'mon ... let's have some fun while we're here ..."

A cautious optimism? Confidence? A habit of being upbeat?? Let's face it: Uncle Lloyd just had a tremendous love of life and all that was in it! And, in his too-short time with us, he tried showing us, through his words and actions, that "Hey ... it isn't gonna BITE ya! ENJOY life!! It really ROCKS!!"

Chief, we're still learning ... but, then again, we had a great teacher ...

stay tuned ...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It Can Be A "Male" Thing, Too ... (Conclusion)

In our last post, I preempted our regular programming to share a highly-sensitive but critical message with you. So, for the next few minutes, I invite you to stick with me as we conclude our post on ... KEEPING ABREAST OF CANCER (MALE EDITION)

I'M A MAN, SO HOW DO I CHECK FOR BREAST CANCER ON MYSELF?
Actually, you do the same as a woman would do: you check manually. If you feel a small "lump" (it doesn't have to be the size of a baseball, either! It can be as small as a grain of buckshot) under the areola (the pinkish "ring" around your nipple), and if it seems to be anchored in other tissues, you need to see a doc -- pronto!

Now, somebody's gonna ask, "WHICH doctor?". Well, no, you don't want "witchdoctors" for this; you'll want to go straight to your hospital's cancer screening center and schedule a mammogram to have it checked out (sometimes, your family doctor can have this scheduled for you).

OKAY ... WHAT'S NEXT, THEN? Well, if you're thin, the mammogram might be a little hard to do because the male breast is so close to the chest muscles. So, if you can't have a mammogram and to be sure it's not a malignancy (cancer) or metastasized (spread to other organs of the body), an ultrasound or a needle biopsy would have to be done ... or both! (yes, the biopsies do require a needle stuck into that hard "lump" I told you about, but, c'mon, guys, you're strong, remember?? You can take it ...)

If the biopsies show a malignancy, the surgery that's most often used is a mastectomy. Now, whilst it means a woman has a breast partially or totally removed, men normally have a modified radical unless the chest wall's involved. In that case, the removal of your pectoralis muscles may be called for.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THERAPIES I'LL HAVE TO TAKE ... THAT IS, IF I GET ALL THIS DONE AND IT IS MALIGNANT?
Well, the best way to answer this is to go to the WebMD® for response. So here it is, word-for-word, courtesy their site:
Radiation Therapy. Treatment with radioactive rays or particles is standard after surgery. It's used to help kill off any cancer cells that were missed. In some cases, radiation may be the main treatment.
Chemotherapy. This is treatment with drugs -- either taken by mouth or by injection -- that attack cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used after surgery to lower the risk of the cancer coming back. For men with advanced cancer or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic cancer), chemotherapy may be the primary treatment.
Hormonal Therapy. Some kinds of breast cancer need certain hormones to grow. Hormonal therapy blocks the effects of these hormones, choking the cancer. Hormonal therapy is often more successful in men than in women. That's because more men -- about 75% -- have hormone receptor-positive cancer. Your doctor might use tamoxifen or other drugs. The effects of the new aromatase inhibitors like Arimidex and Femara -- as well as the drug Aromasin, known as an aromatase inactivator -- haven't been studied much in men. Sometimes, removal of the testes is used to reduce the amount of certain male hormones in the system. Men with breast cancer should never take testosterone.
Hormonal therapy is often used after surgery to lower the risk of the cancer coming back. For men with locally advanced or metastatic cancer, it may be the primary treatment.
Biological Therapy. This is a new approach. Some men have an excess of a protein that makes cancer spread quickly. Herceptin is a drug that's been approved to treat metastatic breast cancer. It stops this protein from making the cancer cells grow. It may also boost your immune system, giving it more strength to fight the cancer itself.

WHAT IF IT'S NOTHING? MY FRIENDS WILL THINK I'M NUTS! I actually had this question asked after the last post was done (a friend had read it and emailed me). Sounds to me as if someone's afraid of losing his good standing in "Machos Anonymous"!
Look ... no matter how strong and robust you think you are, you're definitely "squirrelly" if you don't have it done! I mean, we're talkin' about your life here, dude! Better know that it's "nothing" ahead of time than to find out it's "something", but too late, right??
In other words, when it comes to life and death possibilities, shelve the ego, okay?? If you wanna hang with your friends, be armchair quarterback when your favourite teams play, spend quality time with your grandkids, love your lady for a good, long time -- in other words, if you don't wanna take a chance on dying -- schedule that checkup and follow-through with it, okay?
Maybe you won't get breast cancer, but remember: A true man will follow it through, because he knows what he's got to live for! So, if you've feel anything out-of-the-ordinary around your breast, get it taken care of ASAP!!

Okay ... we're heading back to rockin' territory with tomorrow's edition, but I hoped this helped someone out there.
Stay tuned ...

***FOR MORE ON THE SUBJECT OF MALE BREAST CANCER, CLICK ON:***

The CANCER.GOV website

The MEDICINE.NET website
The WEBMD.COM website (treatment options)

It Can Be A "Male" Thing, Too ...

I'm pre-empting our normal blog post (yes, again! But, listen: this is important, okay?) to share a highly-sensitive but critical message with you. So, for the next few minutes, I invite you to stick with me as we talk about ... KEEPING ABREAST OF CANCER (MALE EDITION)

It's a diagnosis that every woman fears: that a mammogram will show them to have breast cancer. It's scary, heartbreaking, fatal if left untreated -- but, when diagnosed at an early stage, is curable! That's why, today, more women are aware of the disease than ever before. They're taking the time for self-examinations, regularly-scheduled mammograms, and to pay more attention to their overall health.

Still, it was estimated that 207,090 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, with 39,840 dying of the disease. That's a drop from 2004, when 40954 women and 362 men died. And, as more people get cancer checkups (ie, mammograms), that number will certainly continue to shrink.


I DID SAY "MEN", RIGHT?? Exactly. But the big problem with men is that -- well, having "breast cancer checkups" sounds sissy ... it's not the "man" thing to do! Besides, since it only comprises less than 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses, why should they have to worry about it??

Geez ... I don't know: Ask Peter Criss, the original drummer for the famed rock band, KISS. He was diagnosed with it in 2008, but treated the disease before it could spread (see the Rolling Stone™ article here.) Today, he's cancer-free.

Some might even give cancer the Shaft. Uh-huh ... Richard Roundtree, who played John Shaft in the ground-breaking detective movie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. Guys, he's about as macho as you can get, so ya gotta ask yourself: If SHAFT'S got the guts to admit it and get it taken care of, what am I afraid of??

OKAY ... WHAT WOULD MAKE ME SUSCEPTIBLE? Well, guys, here are possible factors:

  • If you're of Jewish or African-American heritage

  • If you have a history of mumps or orchitis (inflammation of one or both testicles) after the age of 20

  • Klinefelter's syndrome (one in which you have an extra "X" chromosome)

  • increased or excessive estrogen levels, or decreased testosterone levels.

  • exposure to electromagnetic fields (especially for long periods of time) or ionizing radiation
  • **this one, I'm including especially for those around my turf in Ashland, KY**: Jobs that cause high environmental exposure to heat (such as steel mills like AK Steel ...)

***(Many, many thanks to Christina and the Breast Care Center of King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland for the preceding information

ALRIGHT ... WHAT DOES THIS "CHECK-UP" INVOLVE (and will any of my buddies have to know about it)?? Well, I'm gonna cover that (and how to do a "self-examination") in the next post, coming up in less than 24 hours. But, listen --- do yourself and your "buddies" a favour, huh?? Take a deep breath, brace yourself -- and TELL them you're going in for a checkup! Maybe ... just maybe ... you'll influence one of them to do it.
And who knows? You just might save his life by DOING it!!

So stay tuned ... one more segment, then we get back to our norml posts ...