Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few Quick Notes

Awww, everything'll be explained in the post (which, incidentally, will be simulcast on RRR this time). Let's get it ONNNN:

AND IT COULDN'T'VE HAPPENED TO A BALDER GUY: Yep ... I'm a writer. And, yep ... I, sometimes, I even do it for pay (or food. Whichever comes first ...).
So, natch, when a plum assignment comes across my desk, I'm generally up for it (if it's clean and my cats approve of it ...).  And, on occasion, I'll have a new studio request certain articles, along with description, deadline and price offered.

Sooooo, I was chuffed to find some pretty decent offers come in one awhile back. After all, I do need ... er, the tax man does need my money -- and, since these sounded promising and I'd heard of the studios before, I pulled out my trusty #2 and some paper, put on the ol' editor's visor, turned on the "office-background" .mp3 for mood (and to make people in the hall think I'm actually working somewhere) and dug in.

I was thaaaaaaaaat close to submitting them, when I got an email this morning from the company-in-question. It said the studio (the real one) had been hacked, and scam requests were being sent. They were familiar with my work, but I wasn't in their system!
In short, the "assignments" were bogus ... but, whilst I used a load of time that I could've spent on other assignments (such as sleeping, eating, and doing my other work), I now have some pretty nifty write-ups saved, in case I can find a place to use them ...

Of course, then there's that friggin' "heart" thing I've gotta be concerned about. The doc says that, until they can run the tests tomorrow (EKG and CAD at OLBH ASAP, the 3d initials bein' the hospital people.  The rest, I'm not sure of), I need (to quote the great Ricky Ricardo) to "take a tizzy". (This was translated from the original LooooSeeee language by Eagles scouts in 1974. It means "take it easy") So, again, I had to cut back on my work and stop drinking, smoking and sex until then (the first, I can do. The next three I remember doing once ... or twice ... years ago, but have long since forgotten).

Thus, there's been a cutback in good, quality blogs (HA! Fooled ya, didn't I??) until they finish prodding me tomorrow.
Now, remember: they said to cut back on -- not stop -- the writing. Of course, the man needs money (or a reasonable facsimile thereof ...), so I took on the above tasks.

On Friday evening, I expect to be going full steam once again, but I'm gonna stick only with what I know will work ...
things I'm known for, successful with, and paid for.

Yep.  I'm gonna go back to washing dishes for Joe's Eat'n'Burp down the street ...

Stay tuned ...
(yes, I was just kidding about the dishwashing.  Heck ... if I don't do it here, why do it somewhere else??  We'll be back and up-to-speed tomorrow night ...)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tacklin' Ticker Troubles?

Awww, it can happen to the best of us, I suppose:

Last night, after making a phone call outside (where the reception is 100% better [yes, I use a cell phone]), I experienced some serious pains around my ticker. Now, whilst I'm used to chest pains (I do have cats that like to "knead" on it when I'm lying down ... and they're not declawed), these were sharp enough for me to call the doctor at our urgent care center.

Natch, by the time I connected, the pains had stopped -- but the nurse asked if I still had them as I was talking with her. I tried to lighten it up a bit: "No! Maybe they dropped off outside or something!"
She wasn't laughing. But at least she was comforting and positive:
"Well, if you can make it through to the morning (oh, how I LOVED her reassurance!), you should make an appointment to see your regular doctor."

So (and I think it was just to spite her) I survived the night without incident.
During that time, I fell asleep on the couch -- with the phone nearby just in case. I awoke just minutes later, pains in my chest again ...
Only, this time, it was from cat claws digging in! My big Persian buddy, Val, had jumped up on the sliver of sofa between me and its edge and was "kneading" my chest from that angle!
I opened my eyes just a little (didn't want to interrupt him! Whilst I was slowly being perforated, between grimaces I thought it was cute...) He looked at me, then back at his "work", then back as if to say, "Okay, dad ... feel better now?? Ummm ... how about now?"

When I finally awoke, I smoked a quick cigarette and drank my two cups of coffee (NOPE! That was just to see if you were payin' attention ... I ain't that crazy!) and called the doctor's office.
No answer.
But, then again, it was just 7 AM.

So I tried again later ... at the proper time ... and have an appointment for Friday. The nurse or whoever-it-was told me that, if the pains come back before, then I should go to the ER.

OK. ER. 10-4.
Can my cat come with me??

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All Hail The Hula-Hoop

Y'know, while everybody is making a big thing about the national obesity issue, even more are wringing their hands and wondering "Gee ... how CAN I lose these gosh-ugly POUNDS?!?" They try different diets, pills, doctors and exercises, often without the desired weight-loss.
So how can anybody actually exorcise this weight demon?? There's one thing we used yearssss ago that not only took the pounds off, but was downright fun: It was simply called
"the hula hoop."
Though this wonder actually had its start waaaaay back in early Egypt, it didn't hit big until it was brought to England in the 15th Century. Of course, a lot of dislocated backs were blamed for the sensation as everyone, from paeans to kings, wanted to try it!
Then, in the 1800's (when British sailors visited Hawaii), they saw the similarity between "hooping" (as it was called) and hula dancing (thus, they returned with a name for this "hoop" thing: the hula hoop!). The phenomenon continued to grow and, in an attempt to cash in on the craze, an Australian company began making them for sale in retail stores in 1957.

And that brought it to the attention of Wham-0®, a small California toy maker. Richard P. Knerr and Arthur K. Melin (two employees) decided to make them into plastic hoops of different and bright colors.
These two guys promoted the products for months in 1958 on Southern California playgrounds where they would give away hoops to get the children to learn and play.

And that turned the HULA HOOP into the greatest fad the country has ever seen. Twenty-five million were sold in four months! The cheerily-plastic, Wham-O!® version of the Hula Hoop was introduced in 1958 ... and made Knerr and Melin rich!
Soon, it was touted as a great source of exercise, as long as people moderated their "hooping".

Hey ... with the recent "obesity" reports, wouldn't now be a good time to bring it back? It certainly couldn't hurt!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

He Did It HIS WAY ...

Man, talk about your musical success stories ...

That young, unassuming (former) car-washer from Logan, West Virginia (right ... not too far from here) has turned America on to a long-lost art called "crooner" music ... but has done so much more in the process.
You see, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. not only wowed the audiences (and judges) on America's Got Talent and, thus, won the competition -- he brought pride and a needed morale-boost to this Appalachian region (note: not just the community of Logan, which, at this very moment, is in the process of widening its fabric a little [yep ... burst at the seams with hometown pride!]).

The whole show itself has an underlying theme that's amazingly positive: No matter who you are or what your lot in life, you can make it! By focusing on (and actively applying) your God-given talent, believing in yourself and having a clear-cut goal, you can become whatever you want to be!
Sure, not every person on that show can win ... but, as we learned from the now-(I-guess)defunct American Idol, even if you just place in the quarter-or-semifinals, you can go on to greater glory with your talent.

Why?? Because you've just had a major gig in front of millions of fans around the world ... people who are glued to their TVs, ready to become your newest fans! You've just gotten the exposure you need go make your act move!

In fact, Landau himself shared some terrific words of advice ... words for anyone with dreams ... in the song he performed just the night before his win:

"Yes there were times I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all
And I stood tall and did it my way

(From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/f/frank-sinatra-lyrics/my-way-lyrics.html)

Congratulations to a great talent ... a great person ... and here's to a fulfilling and successful career for Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

Stay tuned ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

t5 (formerly: "I Want My MTV")

Awww, chalk it up to my cat, Huggs. I'd already placed the title on the text editor when, BLAM!! ... the polydactyl princess jumped from my armoire onto the keyboard, automatically erased my title and typed hers on here. Before I could change it back, the autosave decided her's was better ...

Hey ... anybody remember what MTV was all about??

Eons ago, in a far corner of the rock universe, the great Creator Nesmith (he of Mike-and-wool-hat fame) brought forth a strange phenomenon called the rock video (accent on the word "ROCK").

And thus it was that this strange anomaly visited itself upon the great earthly god K-Bel-TiVi. This pleased the great power (who also was known as BooBToob) and his host of young subjects who said "This must have a sacred name so that the holy Sponsor, Clearasil®, will accept it," and rechristened it MTV. So it was decreed to be spelled-out because, if one tried to say it phonetically, he'd sound like a muffled Jackass ...

And the world and heavens of rock-and-roll were pleased. Finally, there was a method whereby they could go forth and spread the Word of Berry (Chuck) and other apostles of rock (who, later, were known by their initials, "AOR". Yet, the earthly powers-that-be construed this as meaning "Album-Oriented Rock". And so it was that our music was set for the next generation ...).

As time passed, the great gods of greed conquered the mighty mittuhvuh (see how it sounds phonetically? Toldja it wasn't pretty ...) and spoke,
"Rid the vids! Bring forth the daring fools, the painted ladies, and the unruly from the shores of Jersey, for we need more MONEY!" And it was so ...

Thus the network exchanged great sax for bad sex, smokin' guitars for smoky bars, great voices for sorry choices ... and the music began to fade farther and farther away ...
---------------
Actually, when MTV began, we had a chance to see acts from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, solos and bands, male and female, of rock, rap and blues, perform their latest hits. Quite a few of them went on to stardom thanks to the network's promotions.

But, today -- thirty years after-the-fact -- MTV has changed ... and not for the better, IMHO.
Largely, they're so-called "reality" shows (and, listen ... don't be fooled by that name. These things are scripted to a degree; and, when you've lights and cameras and booms and grips following you around everywhere, you've gotta see the irony in that word, "reality").
And the network's losing some ground due to that ...

... which is why they've decided to bring back the legends themselves, Beavis and Butthead. They're also thinking of broadening it a little to include ... can you believe this?? ... some actual rock videos on a steady basis!
But that's just in the "thinking" stage right now. Let's hope it goes beyond that.
Because, like so many others, "I Want MY MTV (Back)!"

PICTURE-PERFECT!

I would imagine that everybody who reads this also loves taking pictures -- I mean, who doesn't, right?
Now, if you really want the best snapshots, you'll want a digital, single-lens reflect, or SLR, camera. Not only do you have the very best in focus at your fingertips, but high-resolution and a high pixel count (this increases the clarity and quality of each shot) as well. They'll look so good you'd think they were professionally done!

Of course, you'll want the best price on quality digital slr cameras -- and, by far, the best place is right behind that link you just passed!
Imagine ... in just a few short days you could be taking photos that will be so life-like that you'll want share them with family, friends, co-workers and others!
So why not click there now, and start enjoying life soon through a SLR lens? You'll love the results!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

From Ashes Came A GIANT!

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sometimes, you've just got to be serious ... and this, a very sacred day of remembrance here in the states, is one of those times.

I want to take you back to that Tuesday in September, ten years ago -- but after the attacks, when everything seemed to be in shambles.

For a short while, immediately after the World Trade Center had been leveled, Osama bin Laden thought he'd destroyed the giant America. Our morale, our faith -- even our very freedoms -- seemed to crash as a pile of concrete rubble over our collective being, from New York to Los Angeles. And he and his cronies sat back and laughed; all that was heard were the muffled cries of those who grieved over what happened to the power of America. A power that seemed to be finished ...

But, whilst the al-Quaidan backs were turned -- certain that they'd destroyed the American behemoth --
suddenly, the rubble of crumbled faith, trampled morale and broken freedoms began to move; a little at first ... then a little more ...
then ...
the giant America broke through!! And, with a tremendous ROAR and vengeance in his eyes, flexed his mighty muscles! In his fist, he held a steel beam from the World Trade Center; affixed to it was a flag formed with the red blood of the fallen, the blue from the heavens, white from the innocent children who were stolen from us -- and the stars of hope, sent from a God Who Wouldn't Let Him Die ...

He turned toward the east and the al-Quaidan camps, glaring with eyes filled with bloodthirst and lightning, and bellowed for the world to hear ...

"DON'T TREAD ON ME!!"

Those around him, who were grieving, took heart ... and gathered the pieces of faith, morale and freedom to build a stronger, newer nation that no enemy, foreign or domestic, would ever take down!

Since then, with the plaintive cries of the wounded under the WTC and Pentagon rubble, the heroic selflessness of first-responders -- and brave souls who changed the course of Flight 93 -- in our minds and hearts, we've risen to many challenges, helped each other through hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes and more ... and seen our country's best volunteer for, and pay the supreme sacrifice on, the field of battle.
And we've done it as a true team ... without waiting for Congress or a handout from some legislative group. We see our neighbours, our compatriots in trouble and, with the spirit of 40 heroes from a plane that crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, shout the battle cry, LET'S ROLL!!

So, whilst we remember Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and the heartbreak that followed, we know that, from that sad day, a stronger, more dedicated and determined America has formed.

Now it's up to us to keep it that way ...

I'll Return ... After These Messages ...

Folks, I'm gonna be taking today off to catch up on a few other pieces of business, clean the house ... and prepare a special post, to be simulcast across this little "blog network" of mine tomorrow.
Please ... wherever you are ... take some time tomorrow to remember the tragedy that occurred ten years ago in New York City ... in Washington ... and in a field in Pennsylvania; an event that forever will be known by two simple numbers:
9-11!

But, before I go for now, I ask you to take a moment to pray for the families of the following people -- those who lost their lives that fateful day:



Gone ... but never, EVER forgotten ...

Stay tuned ...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011

Alright ... for any of you who's complaining about your job, look at the above picture and quit it!

I've heard dozens of people complaining about their jobs over the past week. The pay's bad, the hours are long, the boss is terrible -- and that's from those who work for themselves!
(Sigh!) and these are the very same ones who were fussin' about the mega-heat wave we had. And now, on the one day they can take off and relax, are complaining about a little rain and cooler weather!

BUT WAIT A MINUTE HERE!! Whilst these walking "complaint departments" are plying us with their woes (I wish they would "WHOA!" a little ...), it seems they're forgetting something:
In the US of A at this very moment, we have millions of Americans who are unemployed -- and, amongst those are many who need the work, want to work, but can't find work! Their families are hungry because there's no income, they're in danger of being evicted or something being repossessed ...
And here the whiners are, able to put bread on the table, pay their bills and maybe have money to spare -- all thanks to the very thing they're fussing about: their jobs!

And now they're fussing about a little rain?? Listen ... we've just gotten over triple-digit heat waves throughout America, where, in some places, people even begged God for just a little respite. People were suffering and dying almost as quickly as plant life, and the unemployed seemed to have it the worst due to their circumstances.

So, if you wanna complain about your job (I don't care if it's at Wall Street or Wal-Mart), do it somewhere else, okay? At least you've got something to bring an income in ... you've friends and colleagues there ... you've got a payable future ... and besides:

We're kinda tired of hearin' it, quite frankly.

So, for all of you who work so hard -- whether at fixing patients, pets or Priuses, working Wall Street, Wal-Mart or wall-to-wall dishes -- have the day off you deserve. And thank you for all you do, no matter where you work!

HAPPY LABOR DAY, AMERICA!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How I Started Blogging

Every once in awhile, I'm asked how I started blogging. (This is usually followed by what it'd take to get me to stop, but I'm a persistant little cuss ...)

Actually, it was just after my hard-copy newspaper, The Window, folded (hey ... it was either that pun or saying it closed, so take your pick). I was sitting at my computer, wondering what to write, now that the monthly rag ... er, publication ... was no more* (NOTE: FYI, the paper was discontinued due to skyrocketing printing and overhead costs ...)

Whilst I was staring at my blank word processor and wondering if I should draw funny faces on it to get the creative juices going, my cat, Gadget, jumped on the desk and started heaving a furball:

"H-UHHHH ... H-UUUHHHH .... H-UUUUUAARRRHHHH!! and finally ...

BBBLLLLAAAGGGGHHH!!!

Bless that cat. He gave me the answer, in all its goopy glory ...
"A ...BLOG?? Of course! Why didn't I think of that before??"


So it began (er, after cleaning up the keys, natch ...). The first one was Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots, which was dedicated to my favourite subject, good old rock-and-roll! Of course, that blog is still online and updated every couple/three days.
Then (because we'd already started gathering a number of readers) I was asked, by a paying studio, to begin something called The Rock Relic. Thus, the handle I've been known by since 1956 (look ... it's better than a few, er, other names I've been called ...).

It was during those first few ishs that I met and became friends with Uncle LL (in fact, he sent me the clipping at the top of this post). To say that he became an inspiration is like saying the Beatles sang songs ... everyone who knew him can vouch for his positive, encouraging attitude. We decided to run with an idea that he was tossing around in his mind: A group of misfit mousers (computer-type) coming together in a little kaffeklatsche we ended up calling The Mouse Clique. Many mousers come ... cats stay away ... we make exception if they have guitar ...
Anyway, when the studio that sponsored the TRR blog dropped us all to re-format, Lloyd and I started talkin' plans to build a (in his words) "hand-held new Spaper". We kidded each other about how that little phrase of his had such sellability ... it was bound to be a success!

Of course, both of us had our hands in other things -- he with making a DVD and following the sales of his book, Stuff Happens, whilst bein' husband to beautiful Aunt Barbara, me with washing dishes and feeding the cats ... as well as working some appearances at pro wrestling shows (as announcer. You don't wanna see me in tights, trust me ...) and writing.

Then came that sad day in October ... Uncle Lloyd had left us to entertain the angels. Needless to say, the new Spaper never materialised; somehow, working on it just wasn't the same.
But the show had to go on:
In honour of the Chief -- and after conferring with Cuzzin' Gary Belich (our esteemed secretary in the Mouse Clique) and beautiful Aunt Barbara -- I continued the group here, at this blog.

More to come ... so stay tuned ...

PROMISE??

As we get closer to the holidays, young people seem to become more romantic ... they want their boyfriend/girlfriend to know that they love them and only them.
And, when they're ready to make that commitment to their partners, they want to show him or her ... and the world ... that they belong with each other exclusively!
The best way to do that? With a lovely promise ring!
Of course, some guys might be a little skittish when it comes to promise rings -- they don't know the whole story behind them, or what it all actually means. Well, there's one place where you can get all the promise ring information you need to make that big step -- and not only will they learn what it's all about, but their respective ladies will appreciate the fact that they've cared enough to learn about it. It actually adds meaning to your commitment, guys ...
So, if you and your loved one have decided to make that one-on-one-only decision, click that link you just passed and find out more about the promise ring and all that it means ...
and good luck with your now-steady relationship!