Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolved!

As it's New Year's Eve, 2012, and I'll be starting new posts on TMC tomorrow (see, it's been closed for a few days while we swept up the old cheese crumbs. Not a gouda job, but somebody had to do it!), I thought "Why not do a simulcast of today's end-of-year sendoff on RRR?" Soooo ... here 'tis:

Okay ... whilst we're waiting for the big ball to drop (which reminds me: I've gotta take my cat, Sir Jaxon in for neutering a week from now), it's also time to get festivities for the New year started. With that in mind, let me say, again HAPPY 2013 TO EVERYONE!

Actually, I think we're all happy 2012 is outta the way. And the best part is that we've got a totally-unused model waitin' for us in time's parking lot -- one that we can make into anything we wanna.
Most of us have made resolutions ... and some are gonna wonder, within a coupla days, why they haven't worked out. They think resolutions, like the money bill collectors want, must be due immediately, and transacted in full!

But it doesn't work that way. Y'see, it's a three-sided word: On the one hand, the noun "resolution" comes from the word, "resolve", which means "determination"; on the other hand, the verb and the computer versions of it means "clarification".
So if we can clarify our desire, and work at it with determination, we're there!
But it doesn't happen overnight ... ya gotta keep workin' at it until that desire becomes a reality!

Sometimes, we don't get it because we're so busy living in our little "comfort zones" that we tailor our resolutions to fit that, as we've always done. Remember the old saying, though (page 238 of the Old Sayings songbook): "If you always think like you always thought, you'll always get what you always got!" I think it means "always".

So, this year, I'm calling for a resolution revolution! Gettin' out from under the blanket of that comfort zone, taking a few calculated risks, and, even if we're feeling a bit like a fish outta water (any fish except cod. I believe in cod ...), going for it if it's honorable!
But we've still gotta be patient while these resolutions take hold. That's the hardest part. But we can do it if we wanna ... really, honestly wanna.
So, this New Year's Eve, why not resolve to throw back the covers of your comfort zone, get outta that bed of familiarity and rattle them pots and pans of faith, trust ... and positive movement?

That way, you can shake-rattle-&-roll yourself through a rockin' 2013!!

Stay tuned: New posts coming up in 24 ... 23:59 ... 23:58 ...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown

Today, across this blog's readership area, every person has extra children ... not our physical offspring; in fact, they don't even live with us.

They now live in Heaven ...

They're the twenty children whose lives were senselessly snuffed out yesterday in what can only be called a brutal massacre.

No, they weren't our own physical kids -- in fact, we don't know all their names as I write this; but we hold them in our hearts as our prayers and emotions plead with the Almighty to bless and cherish each one who's arrived in His Presence since the shootings began.

These children were less than two weeks away from waking up on Christmas morning, running into the living room and, with joyfully-expectant spirits and twinkling eyes, checking under the tree to see what Santa brought them. Was it a new bike? Maybe they'd be lucky enough to get a video game?

But they won't have that opportunity now ...

and grieving parents have seen the Christmas season of 2012 -- one so full of joyous anticipation as they prepared for a wondrous time for their families -- become a time now indelibly etched into their lives, forever to be remembered as days of supreme tragedy.
Instead of praising the miracle found in the birth of a baby in a Bethlehem manger so many years ago, they'll be cursing the darkness found in the death of their child in a Connecticut school on 14 December, 2012.

And the parents, brothers and sisters of these fallen angels deserve to know that, whether we're scattered throughout the U.S./Europe or just down the street from them, we're there for them. They should know that we're here to pray for and with them, to help in any way we can (this includes with services or assistance, even if it's financial)   ... to love them with a might that only everyday people like us -- not government or news agencies or whatever -- can give them!

Sometimes, the greatest Christmas gift you can give is of yourself.  And, whilst you know that Christmases will never be the same for these people again, we can at least give them the gift of ourselves ... to let them know we grieve with them ... that we're there for them ... that, through the storm, they'll never walk alone:



Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

LL To The Rescue ...

You could always count on Lloyd to make a great show, even if things ... well, didn't exactly go as planned.

Remember the band called The Five Americans? Though best known for their hit "Western Union" (History 101: This was a company that delivered what was called "telegrams" back in olden days. Sort of an like an email, but without a computer. See this post to view a rare one ...), their first charter was called "I See The Light" (not to be confused with "I See The Light" by The Music Explosion, Cat Stevens' "I Think I See The Light" or "I Saw The Light" by Hank Williams).
Anyway ... the band showed up for their appearance on the show, sans their instruments, which hadn't arrived yet! So Lloyd and staff quickly rounded up some guitars and a drumkit -- and, by the time TFA's spot came, they were ready.
After they performed, Lloyd leveled with the audience about the instruments (whether on set or at home, they could always count on LL being upfront with them).


Now, The Byrds were a different story. When they appeared to perform I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better, their intention was to play live and LOUD!! (By the way, ... Better was the "B" side of All I Really Want To Do. That song was released at the same time as Sonny and Cher's version and, since the DJs thought the duo's take would get more play, they flipped The Byrd on their rendition and promoted their "B" side instead.)

Now, I'll have a separate post on that incident, but I'll go ahead and give you the punch line now: Had Lloyd and his production crew not gone into overdrive when the band played a little "dirty pool" with their amps, there's a possibility that at least a few of us would just now be getting our hearing restored!

HERE'S UNCLE LLOYD at a surprise visit to the Canoga Park High School Class of '66 forty year reunion in Studio City, CA Since the embed link is disabled, you can catch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuYBeV6gsoY.

Stay tuned ...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ELECTION 2012 (If It Were ME, I'd ...)

With all the madness finally out of the way and the votes tabulated (yeah ... IIII know: 'that-electoral-college-aint-our-vote-they-miscounted-etc, etc) another Presidential election is finally in the books and all we've gotta do is wait until Jan.20 to seal the deal for another 1462 days.

Hey ... remember back-in-olden-times, when the movers and groovers were talkin' about gettin' one of our own to be Prez someday? (Yeah, I know ... we might've just missed the boat with George W., but did we win out with Obama or what? [now, watch me get busted for sayin' that ... lol])
Well, back then, the buzz was for Morrison or (especially) Zappa to take the plunge! 'Course, they couldn't do it 'cause the law says ya gotta be over 35 (and we didn't trust anyone but record execs over that age, right?).

Well, every four years or so, I get an email (Man, I've just gotta start writing more. Then I'll get more email than that!!) asking what the Rock Relic would do if he were President.
Geez ... let ... me .... think (reflective music as screen gets blurry):

Well, first, the National Anthem would be rendered ala Jimi Hendrix. Nobody could paint a musical picture better than his "Woodstock" version of the tune ...

We'd close up the chapter in Afghanistan and bring our military home -- sending a Tuppperware lady, a Chippendale dancer, Rush Limbaugh and Richard Simmons over to totally confuse the enemy until all troops are withdrawn.

I'd make "idnit" and "dudnit" legal words (examples of usage: "That ol' car's 'bout wore out, idnit?" "Looks silly with that bald guy drivin' it, dudnit?"). Hey -- I'm in Kentucky. I'm entitled ...

I'd pardon older-model cars with bald guys driving them. But not the drivers themselves. Unless they're bald(ing) Relics and have classic rock pumpin' from the speakers ...

People would be promoted heavily. Life would be revived. Time would be extended. All other magazines would have to stand on their own ...

I would commission scientists to study the Rolling Stones to determine the cause of their longevity. By doing so, we may be able to extend life by 120 years ...

(I'd find a use for this space, considering I lost part of my script ...)

There'd be a national ban on "Microsoft Explorer needs to close" messages
 
The national food would be peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Toasted. With bananas.

I would ban Maalox®, because, for some reason, there is no FemalOx. And indigestion shouldn't be sexist ....

And I'd ask cuzzin Gary Belich to be my VP ... after all, he's got the cooler record collection ...

Hey, look ... if we can see guys calling themselves None Of The Above ('tis true! Both L. D. Knox and Eric Mutch legally changed their names ) run for public office, and even a cat run for President in 1988 (Nine Lives® cat food's Morris), then it could be possible for me to ... 
(Suuuuuure, Relic ... and it's possible there was a Wizard of Oz ... right??)

Stay tuned ...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Election Selection

Okay ... who doesn't know the winner of Tuesday night's election?

Obama? Well, he did keep the job, that's true ... but that's not who I'm talkin' about, Mousers!

Y'see that lady up there? She's an Iraqi war veteran named Tammy Duckworth. Went into the heat of battles as a volunteer (hey ... don't ever forget that our forces are made up of those! They could've stayed home, dug a little music, watched a little TV, hung out at malls, done whatever -- but they chose to put their lives on the line if necessary ... and all for the love of their country! And that's as brave as it gets!).
.
She came back with her legs missing ... and almost losing her right arm! See, she was co-piloting a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when it was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents (source: Wikipedia).

This lady -- a Lieutenant Colonal in the Illinois National Guard -- could've given up, called it "quits", gone on disability ... gotten her husband to tend to her as a paraplegic ....
but NOOOOOOO!!
Instead, she set her goals higher, determined that this injury wasn't gonna get her down!
And, as of Tuesday night, that brave and lovely soul became known as ...

CONGRESSWOMAN Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Representative from the 8th District in Illinois ...

Y'know, Uncle Lloyd had a lot of faith in humankind ... and, whether in his book (Stuff Happens!) or his TV show (ummm ... I forgot the name of it ...) or just (c'mon, you know I'm kiddin', dontcha?) amongst his friends and fans, he stressed the importance of never giving up ... believing in yourself ... meeting your challenges, overcoming them to reach a success that's rightfully yours!

And Ms. (excuse me: REPRESENTATIVE Duckworth!!) is a prime example of what he was talking about ...

So, IMHO, there's your true winner amongst the elections shaking the political tree a few days ago!
And we can all can learn from this hero's attitude. I mean, sure, there are those who don't like the Prez, are glad Romney lost, or whatever. But, y'know what? To quote Tim Conway: IT DON'T MAAAAATURRR!!!!
What does matter is that she has shown, both in her valiant service on foreign soil and in her determination to climb that ladder to become one of our leaders in Congress, that you can make a difference, whether you are disabled or not! DON'T EVER GIVE UP!! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR CAPABILITIES!
So ... from the MouseKeeper and allllllllllllllll those who tune in to this blog regularly, we say:
GOD BLESS YOU, REP. DUCKWORTH!!  AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND DEVOTION!!  MAY YOU HAVE A LONG AND SATISFYING STAY IN CONGRESS!!!!

'Nuff said??
Then stay tuned ...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You Can Run But You Can't WHAT??

C'mon ... you already know the last part of the title, right?? ]
Uh-huh: You Can Run ... But YOU CAN'T HIDE!

When we look around us at the troubles we've faced over the past year alone -- political unrest, militant uprisings and meteorological upheavals -- we see countless opportunities to get involved for the cause of peace.

Whether it's in our country after a terrible hurricane or in our neighbourhoods, which are constantly battered with a deluge of venomous talk, violence or both, we've got the opportunity -- the power -- to do something to make life a bit better.

Recently, Phil "Fang" Volk (formerly with Paul Revere and the Raiders) released a cover of Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin', and, with a rocking (and haunting) arrangement, has transformed this '60's battlecry into one for today. In a moment, I'll repeat the link where you can pick up your very own copy of this stirring rendition.

But, as I listened to it (overandoverandover again), I couldn't help thinking about how so many of us have heard our local TV stations blaring the news about this country, that leader, or some other faction making a moral misdemeanour into a fierce, foreboding felony. We listen ... shake our heads ... and turn the channel ...

Y'see that pic over there on your right?? Pity, isn't it?? But so many people are like that; it's alright to talk brave or big or whatever when things are going smoothly, but let one thing go wrong and THOOMP! There goes the proverbial "head in the sand" like a scared ostrich. He doesn't want to confront the issues -- he just wants to hide ...

but remember this:

If you stick your head in the sand. DON'T COMPLAIN 'CAUSE YOUR BUTT'S GETTIN' FRIED!!

We, of the musical, "peace-and-love" generation, learned three important things about confrontation: (1) It isn't gonna kill you, (2) you stand to benefit far more than lose and (3) one day, your children and your children's children are gonna thank you for it, because you made the world a better place ...
because you decided to make a stand and not "take to the sand" ...
because you know ...that, just as Lennon said, "it's all up to you, mate."

Now, listen: If we, as a generation past, could bring civil rights, voting rights, women's rights -- and even an end to a vicious war -- by standing strong, what more can THIS generation do, with the technologies WE didn't have?

Mindbending, isn't it??

Yes, the times, they are a-changin'! Now, I told you about that link to "Fang's" inspirational cover of that song. Just click on his page at PhilFangVolk.com and scroll down a bit. Trust me, yardbirds: this song is gonna knock yer socks off!! So get it now!!

It's Lupus Awareness Month

A couple of days ago, whilst I was thumbing through the pages of FaceBook® (okay, so I just scrolled through it on the web. It just sounds fancier this way ...), I was reminded that May is Lupus Awareness Month here in America.

Now, I can tell ya from first-hand experience (having had a partner years ago with the disease, and also having been involved with the National Lupus Foundation™), this is not an affliction to be overlooked or (worse) underrated by anyone.
Simply put, lupus is a disease where the patient's overactive immune system attacks healthy organs via the connecting tissues. It can affect the kidneys, lungs, heart -- in fact, any organ of the body.

The disease -- which can affect internal organs (SLE or systemic lupus erythmatosus), the skin (discoid), or appear due to certain drug reactions (DIL or drug-induced lupus, the only curable form of the disease) -- has hit a number of music's favourite artists.
You see one in the pic to your right. Yep. Michael Jackson.
Then there's the great soul artist, Seal (remember Kiss From A Rose?), Georgeanna Marie Tillman (of the fab girl-group, The Marvelettes), today's super songstress Toni Braxton and more (including a non-singer: former First Lady Barbara Bush and her and George's pet, Millie!).

Decades ago, anyone diagnosed with lupus was practically doomed. But, thanks to the significant strides made in research and treatment, patients can expect to live long, happy and productive lives.

But, in some circles, they're still treated as lepers or castoffs -- and that's where you come in, oh faithful Mousers.
Let's get the word out about the Awareness campaign going on this month. Hey ... the more we know, the better we can confront this (presently) incurable disease, right??
Remember: lupus patients are no different from you or me. They deserve the same rights, understanding and happiness that everyone wants! Get informed about this disease -- and share what you've learned with others, okay?

Believe me, it'll make a BIIIIIG difference, gang!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The New Mouse House Is OPEN!

Now that I'm nearly settled in the new digs (check out the pic to your left. Ain't it purty?? I'll invite ya in for dinner sometime; all you've gotta do is bring the food. And maybe a stove ...), we can get back to our norml cheesiness here ...

CHANGING SCENERY is just one perk of moving, natch; the other is that yer head clears and you think more clearly after awhile. Y'see, if you've been in your old digs since 1938 or so, then chances are you've taken in every dust particle, every scent, every nuance of the old place and stored it in your mind somewhere. That includes all the bad "stuff" that's "happened" to ya over the years.
A new and better place, with more room and even an inside toilet (imagine!), can make a world of difference.
And, now that yer elder Cuzzin' Mouser has made that very move, I'm also resuming my old position as music publicist and promoter. Now, you'll still be seeing online articles I've penned at times, but this is the business I was teethed on and trained in ... so why not? Besides, I occasionally get these little green papers they call "money" for it!

IT'S ALMOST TIME for that big night, when little dudes and dudettes, dressed in all sorts of outlandish garb, come knocking on your door with their hands out and hopes for goodies from you.
Yes, fellow Mousers, we're talkin' about those last-minute political campaigners -- purveyors of purloined purpose practicing their palaver in order to get you on their side just before going into the booths (or, considering they're at your door, probably just before you're going to the bathroom. Salespeople always come knockin' at that time, don't they? And politicians are definitely 'salespeople' of sorts ...)

Of course, we'll also be seeing little kids  trick-or-treating for sweets or other goodies.  Now, a lot of towns and cities have some cool events planned for them, rather than see them taking a chance on the street; many have those events planned for their local shopping malls (hey, where better?  Mama and daddy can go shopping while Junior really rakes in all the cool treats from the dozens of stores around him!).
But the main thing that all of us should be doing during the H'ween days is to watch out for the children ... keep them as safe as humanly possible!!  That means watching the streets as you're driving (especially between parked cars on the streetside) and, of course, for any activity that could be harmful to them!

We were all kids once, I think ... and our communities did the same for us, right?  So whaddya say we continue the tradition?  Who knows? Maybe someday in the future, a youngster you helped to keep safe will end up writing a blog about teen show hosts and mousers and other good stuff ...

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Lloyd Thaxton Legend Lives On ...

Teen show titan ... producer professionale ... motivational master ... journalistic juggernaut.  Father of finger folks and curator of crazy. That's what millions of people knew about Lloyd Thaxton (aka Lloyd Thaxton).  But, for many others of us, in the business or not, he had a loftier and much more important description:

He was our friend ...

Lately, the Relic (Uncle Lloyd had also called me Computer Dude, Eagle, Chucky and collect ...) has felt more of his influence than I did back at my old tromping grounds.  Been digging more into that manic masterpiece of motivation, Stuff Happens! (and then you fix it) and feel an affinity for that jackass on the book's ad copy (I was one for awhile, remember!).  The man, flatly, knew how to talk with people in everyday language -- which (with the exception of that prop-uh writing I've gotta do to please my publishers) is the way I do onscreen-and-off.
His finger-people don't go unnoticed (especially since the last time I tried drawing them on my digit tips, it was in indelible ink!!  They're now my 'forever friends' ...).  They were the earliest of "Muppets", I guess ... sure to bring a smile to every kid who tuned in each afternoon to watch the show ...

The ad copy ... with me comin' outta the books' pages ...

But LL was more than just a friend to me.  He was, in many ways, my mentor ... a guy you coulld depend on for straight-but-stillll-fatherllly talllk about any problllem (somehow, ya got hooked on his "LL's".  Silllly but not syllllabic to lllots of y'allll, but fun to Lllloyd's telllly fans and llloving follllowers) or to helllp perk you up about a career move.  We'd toss around a lllot of ideas (one of which you're reading alllready!), worked on ideas for what he calllled a "hand-hellld new Spaper" on ollldies rock (I usedta be a newspaper publllisher once).
His sense of humour was second-to-none (and I've never known a nun who didn't have a sense of that), and was just as quick to take a joculllar swipe at himselllf as he was any topic!  What's the old saying? "The check's in the mail wait -- wrong saying. Try again: If ya can't laugh about yourself, you can't laugh about other things."  What I'm saying is that, if there was any one-word description of our esteemed master Mouser and Head Cheese, it was that he was real!  Amen, Mr. Belich (you know who you are!!)?

Yes, Uncle Lloyd is still seriously missed!  There are those who remind us of him in ways, especially that still-young personality of pop and pep, Joel McHale (one day, destined to grow up to be another Justin Bieber, I believe ...) -- but LL was one-of-a-kind ... a rarity in this world ... the truest of gems amongst that "field of dreams" made up of so many rocks and stones in Hollywood and beyond.

And to think we were blessed and honoured enough to call him "friend" ...

Stay tuned ... 
(PS to Gary B:  You once mentioned Steve Martin as a possible lead in a flick about Uncle Lloyd.  I just mentioned Joel McHale.  Hey, man ... who better??  Think we can sell the idea?)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Chi-Town Rerun

Mousers, with your Cuzzin' Chuckers backlogged with work that was delayed whilst I moved into new digs, I thought we'd rewind one of your fave posts 'til I've dug out from under all this 'moved' stuff! So, enjoy ... and I'll be back tomorrow evenin': Now ... where's my shovel??

It all started so innocently on that July morning ...
Y'see, back in '99, I took my (then) daughter-in-law and two-year-old granddaughter to Chicago so we could witness Kaela's dad graduating from boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Air Station.

I said the trip started innocently enough: Since I hadn't been to Chicago since 1897, I thought it was safer to take the Greyhound™ bus. Nothin' to it: Buy tickets, load baggage, find seats, relax. Right??

Yeah ... uh-huh ... suuuuure ...

Since the night before had been a long and sleepless one, I dozed off just before the bus approached the Indianapolis station for one of its famed stops (long enough to get a drink, not long enough to use the bathroom). Suddenly, I heard Kaela's unmistakeable cry.

(Now, for this next part, PLEASE understand that I was groggy. Please?? Thank you ...)


So, still mostly asleep, I instinctively reached over, rubbed her arm and mumbled, "There now, honey ... grandpa's here! You're gonna be okay!"

Suddenly, I was hit by a wadded-up piece of paper, and my name was being whispered loudly but urgently: "Chuck! CHUCK!!"
I barely cracked open my eyes when I noticed Kaela ... sitting with her mother ... on the other side of the aisle!!

I went from a drowsy to "freshly-poured-ice-down-my-pants" look in .015 milliseconds. If Kae's up there with her, then who was ....??

As they (and a few other passengers) began laughing, I slowly, hesitantly glanced beside me.

Now, I dunno ... maybe the sailor was coming off leave or something ... but, fortunately, he was still asleep! Thank goodness. Maybe I was off the hook? Probably not, considering it wasn't his arm I was stroking (NONONO!! It wasn't, er, "that" ... it was his leg! His LEG!! ONLY his leg!! Geez ...)

And I was right. By the time we pulled into the Indy station and I started to g-e-n-t-l-y get up to retrieve K's diaper bag, he tapped me on my hand and slipped me a piece of paper with his phone number on it! (And, no, I didn't, so don't ask ... let me suffer in peace, willya??)

Finally, after pulling into the Windy City (I'd moved to another seat. By myself ...), we got off the bus and into a cab, heading for the Metra™ train station.
Now, for you who've been there, you know there are some revolving glass doors in front -- and Chicagoans move faster than the speed of light through those things ...

ummm, until I showed up.

Carrying all the bags so K's mum could focus on carrying her, I waited until just the right moment and finally jumped into a vacant door ... which was smaller than my load ...
and jammed the entire system!

Y'know, people look a mite funny when their faces are pressed against glass ...

Eventually, I got out ... just to see my daughter-in-law nearly bent over in laughter ... red-faced, but laughing at me (imagine ...)!!

On the escalator going up to the elevated train platform (remember, me: pack mule. Daughter-in-law: protective mum), one of K's shoes fell off. Gallant granddad to the rescue. I reach over to retrieve the shoe ... a couple of bags fell off my shoulder and sped down the escalator and ...

remember the old bowling alleys?? Well, replace the pins with humans, and ...

All I could do is run down ("down" an "up" escalator!), grab the bags, look around in embarrassment whilst trying to save my butt by mouthing "I'M FROM KENTUCKY!" and run back up the moving staircase while keeping my head bowed (at least that way they wouldn't see the foot in my mouth!)

On the train, the conductor would come back and announce each suburb on the route as we reached it. The first time, little K. looked confused. The second time he came back, she looked angry. The third time he came back to announce the suburb, she jumped into the aisle, put her hands on her hips and yelled out, "NO S--T!!"

We finally got to the train depot at GLNAS and had to get over to the gym where the commencement was to be held.
But there was a problem: A wicked-looking barbed-wire fence separated us from the main area!

Natch, Mr. Braveheart took all those bags and negotiated the fence ... pulling barbs out of his torn shirt, wiping off a little sweat and blood with my hand. FINALLY ... I'd made it! I turned around ...
to see K and her mum standing in front of me ... and they were (do I haveta say this again??) laughing!!

Six feet from where I went through, the fence had stopped, allowing anyone (with any sense) to go around it ...

We finally got to the gymnasium and the ceremonies (and, I've gotta admit, when Tim marched in with the grads to Anchors Aweigh, I jumped up, tears flowing, and shouted. The guy behind me did finally apologise for burning my butt with his cigarette, though ...*).
After a fantastic July 4th weekend with him (and a great stay at the Great Lakes Navy Lodge), we took another stop in Chicago -- a very brief and cautious one (eyes watched ... and remembered) -- and headed home.

*(Alright, I've gotta 'fess up: The reason behind the tears and shouting was that I was proud of my boy. I'd raised him and his bro, Mike, by myself since they were pups, and to see him marching out there, so dedicated in his perfectly-pressed Navy whites, made me feel tower-tall ...)
But I wasn't done with Chi-Town ... yet:
A year later, whilst on the way to work with a client up in Canada (I took a non-sailored Greyhound™ this time), I stopped in the Windy City; since the next bus wasn't due for another eight hours or so, maybe I could make up for the mess I made last time.
Yeah ... right ...
I put my cigarette out in the ashcan as I turned around and headed for the terminal. With enough time on my hands, certainly there'd be enough time to take in one of the city's famous blues gigs.

Suddenly, people started running in and out of the station, yelling excitedly. I looked out and saw the unmistakable flickering of fire!
Apparently, somebody'd thrown a cigarette ... into ... the ... wrong can. One marked ... 'garbage'!
It was all just a simple mistake. I mean, any balding Kentuckian could've done it ... right??
Anyway, after viewing the resulting festivities ... er, from a distance, I thought it'd be a good time to exit the station right then (or, until the next bus came). So I checked my pockets and realised that ... I'd lost my ticket!!
No problem, really. Since I was sitting in the station when the flames started flickering, I just backtracked. There it was ... fifth seat from the right. I grabbed it, put it in my coat pocket, and took off.
"Hey!! HEY!!" The guy who was running after me had blood in his eyes: MINE!

"Who the hell do you think you ARE, man?? Gimme back my ticket NOW!!"
Judging from the way he was reaching for my coat lapel, I don't think he wanted it for warmth! But I obliged (either that, or this 6'4", 275-pounder was gonna make me "late" -- and I don't mean for the bus; it's what my friends would've called me ...)

"Look ..." I stammered to him (and the now-gathering crowd of mostly-roughnecks) as I pulled it outta my pocket. "I bought this ticket in Ashland, Kentucky, and I'm headin' for Canada. See?? It clearly shows I'm heading to ...

Boston, Massachusetts ...

So, as I was fumbling my apologies and handed it back to the man, another guy looked over and under the seats. "Here go one for ..." he checked it out ... "Calg'ry, Canada ... an' IT from Kentucky!" He handed it to his friend who grabbed my lapel, opened my coat and shoved it in the side pocket.

No, my friends ... I don't think Chicago, Illinois, will ever forget me. That's why I now have insurance ... and a good set of fake glasses-and-nose in the event fate lands me there again!
(DISCLAIMER: Don't get me wrong; I really love Chicago. The events that occurred in these posts actually happened, but does not reflect the city or its people ... most of whom I hope to see if I'm ever allowed back there ...)

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Day In A Pro Wrestler's Life

As I was once an announcer for CPW, ICW and OCW pro wrestling, and have had many friends in the field, I wrote this in their honour. This is also dedicated to Willy Wainwright, Uncle Lloyd/Aunt Barbara's son-in-law, who's an avid wrestling fan.

The alarm clock goes off at 5 AM as usual, and the former heavyweight champ pulls himself out of bed and staggers sleepily to the bathroom. He splashes cool lavatory water on his face to get him awake; after all, he has to be clocked-in and at his workstation in a couple of hours.

As he shuffles to the kitchen and fixes a cup of coffee, he can't help chuckling over the scores of people who think his only job is wrestling. Though he misses the "big-time" with the stadiums, screaming fans and fat paychecks, he's happier because at least he can control his own life now. He has to work a "regular" job now to make ends meet, but he can decide if and where he wrestles and, best of all, won't have to be away from his kids and family for very long.

His workday as security guard at a local mall is pretty routine: walk the mall, be on the lookout for anything unusual and answer any questions that shoppers may have. Often, he's stopped and asked about Ric Flair®, Hulk Hogan® or some other big-name wrestler whom he's known. Though he wishes they'd recognize him as being more than just another face that was once on a major sports-entertainment show, it's nice that they remember.

Near the end of his shift, he quickly makes one more round of the mall, then checks his watch; he's agreed to appear on a nearby independent wrestling card that evening, and has to leave immediately after work to pack his gear.

Shortly after five, he's back at home and packing. Along with his trunks, soap, towel, deodorant, boots, wrestler's license and the email offer he received from the promoter, he takes special care to pack his Ben-Gay® and a bottle of extra-strength Tylenol®. While he puts those in a special section of his travel bag, he shakes his head in disbelief.

How can the world think that all wrestlers have to use steroids and addictive pain meds? Okay, maybe in the "big-time", where they have to wrestle every night and aren't allowed to get over their bumps and bruises. It doesn't make it right, though; he remembers Benoit and Hennig and others who had problems with the stuff. He breathes a sigh of relief; at least this is the "independent" circuit, where the pressure's not that bad; a man can have a few days or weeks off to recuperate naturally if necessary.

After kissing his wife and kids good-bye, he heads to the local armory to set up. Once in the locker room and after greeting the other grapplers on the card, he greets the "worker" he's supposed to wrestle and goes over their night's work. This time, he gets to play the "heel", so they review their moves and plays to get the most out of the gig. Once it's agreed on how it'll all be done, and the "winner" is decided, he waits around until his designated match.

Yes, pro wrestling is choreographed to a degree, but that doesn't mean it's painless; as the match progresses, he strains a hamstring, and one bump to the outside nearly breaks his collarbone! Still, everything's paced so it's not as harsh as it was in the "old days."

After the match, he returns to the locker room, showers, rubs some of the ointment over the sore spots and takes a couple of Tylenol to help ease the pain a bit. Then he returns to the locker area, where the promoter comes in, hands him a fifty-dollar bill and a release form that he'd forgotten to have signed before the match.

The wrestling security officer signs the form, receives his pay, and packs up to leave via the side entrance. He knows it's not a big show like the "Omni" -- in fact, there were only about 300 in the Armory -- and the pay is certainly worlds apart. But at least he can return home in one piece, to a family that loves him, and knows he can have a good night's sleep ... naturally.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Day The Hinsons Met Ashland

If you've read my other blog, you both know I reside in Ashland, Kentucky (its name, I've been told, was translated from the Huyakidden tribe as "between-rock-and-hard-place").

My sons and I moved here in 1994. We arrived at the local Burger King®
shortly after 8 AM on April 22 -- and, after they finished the last 500 repetitions of the traveling child's sacred mantra, "Are We There Yet?", I took them in for breakfast and coffee (for me. Tons of it ...).    
Then we piled back in the car and headed up 13th Street, looking for a motel.

Suddenly ...

DAAAAAD!! LOOOOK OUUUUTTTTT!! I looked ahead of me and saw all these people coming to greet us. How nice. They were all in a two-lane formation -- why, they were even honking their horns at us in appreciation ...
or ...
I was heading the wrong way on a one-way street!

TURRRRN!! TURRRRRN!!!!! So I did. I looked back at him and asked Whaddya want?? He reminded me with a thrown shoe ...
We turned left on Carter Avenue.

DAAAAAD!! YOU DID IT AGAINNN! FIND ONE THAT ISN'T 'ONE WAY', WILLYA??

So I turned the car with a jerk (or maybe it was the jerk turning the car. I dunno ...) -- into a huge, adjacent parking lot. And, subsequently (as was my luck), hit a humonginormous pothole. Not that it was deep, mind you, but I coulda sworn I could hear the faint strains of the Chinese National Anthem beneath us ...

When we climbed out and dusted ourselves off (it was safe. Most of the irate drivers had gone home and were eating supper by then ...) I asked the boys where they wanted to go. Mike, the youngest, reminded me that we needed to find some place that sold toilet paper (no, I don't know why ...).
Tim had another idea. They'd stay. I could go to ... ummmm ...

Suuuuure. With my luck, they have one-way-streets down there, too ...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hey ... What's the Big "Secret"??

Hmph ... the only secret my ex ever had in her closet was a guy from the bowling alley (hey ... I'm not kiddin'! 'Twas October, '79!) ...

But, concerning that logo on the left ... I just don't get it! I mean, if everybody knows what they sell and do, then ... why is it still called a "Secret"??

Come to think of it, who's "Victoria", and why is it her secret?  And why would she care what her secret is, if we're supposed to be tight-lipped about secrets to begin with??

And why am I sounding like Jerry Seinfeld all of a sudden?  Geez ...

We've got one down here at our Town Center mall, and, honestly, there's no imagination needed when you pass by it (I look the other way as I get close. No, really ... I don't look at it! Thats why that gum machine was broken for awhile [took forever to run after all those little balls that scattered around the mall floor after I ran into it]). No imagination at all ...

But there's something else I don't understand:

Why is it that, when they have a brand called "PINK", do they sometimes have the name printed, in black letters, over a green background on some of their stuff?? Now, what sort of message is that sending our youngsters, who are just learning their colours?

Wait ... I'm not done:

Please ...will somebody tell me why those "Pink" words are printed over the rear-end of girls' britches?? I was in McDonald's (somebody's got me on a search for the elusive custard pies there on occasion now ...) a few nights ago when a girl (probably in middle school) came in with that word printed ... er, "there". Some teenaged boy read it aloud -- and her mama just about ripped his lungs out (at least verbally)!
"YOU SHOULDN'T'VE BEEN LOOKIN' AT HER! SHE'S JUST A BABY!!!" she hollered as her eyes spit out sparks ...

Look ... mom ... in fact, any female: If ya don't want guys to ogle your ... er, you know ... then don't put words "back there" to tempt 'em, okay??

I'm still wondering about that company name, though.  But who knows? Someday, maybe I'll find out who this "Victoria" person is.  One thing's for sure, though:  
Whoever 
she is, she's certainly lousy at keeping Secrets ...

Stay tuned ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Use for Cellphones??

This was so good that I just had to tell you cheese-nibblers about it:

A new 007-esque cellphone hack could bring cheap, on-the-spot disease detection to even the most remote villages on earth.

Using only an LED, plastic light filter and some wires, scientists at UCLA have modified a simple cellphone into a portable blood tester capable of detecting HIV, malaria and other illnesses!

As it stands, blood tests require either humongous machines that cost nearly a million bucks or technicians who identify and count cells manually under a microscope. Of course, these are slow, expensive processes -- but, soon, they could be things of the past.

UCLA researcher Dr. Aydogan Ozcan images thousands of blood cells instantly by placing them on an off-the-shelf camera sensor and lighting them with a filtered-light source (coherent light, for you science buffs).

The filtered light exposes distinctive qualities of the cells, which are then interpreted by Ozcan's custom software. By analyzing the cell types present in a much larger sample, a more accurate diagnosis can be made in a matter of minutes. No more sending blood away to a lab and waiting days or weeks for the results.

Can you imagine the good that'll do -- especially in time (as well as lives) saved? It's amazing what man can come up with ...

Stay tuned ...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Whatever Happened To ...??

Most of you mousers recognize this post as one that first appeared about two years ago. But, because so many TV shows of 2012 are keen on running biographies, I thought it's appropp ... aproppria ... fitting to run it again. Enjoy:

Let's face it, Mousers: some bands make it, some don't ...

and, while Uncle Lloyd gave plenty of exposure to some of the day's top bands, it was no guarantee they'd make as big a splash as The Beatles, beards and boppers of that "British Invasion." In fact (and although they never made it to the guestlist of Thaxton's show), there's only one member of that band up there (known as Chameleon Church) who actually broke through the ranks and hit the proverbial jackpot! And it wasn't as a musician ...

It was the drummer -- a fellow named Chevy Chase.

The point is (as the point was, as the point will be. Wait -- what was the point again?? Oh ... I remember now ...) that our generation influenced everything from great comedy (Chase) to great politics (okay, it's a stretch, but let's go with it for now ...) like former Rep. John Hall [guitarist, Orleans . Remember [You're] Still the One?) and the late Congressman Sonny Bono, to movie dudes like Billy Bob Thornton and Tommy Chong (of Cheech and ...). They all cut their public teeth on the music!! Remember when I mentioned how baby-boomers seem to be "snubbed" these days (readallabouddit here)?
Well, courtesy that guitar-slinging, longhair generation, seems Sixties music is still making a noticeable impact on society! Whether it's in the music or in the Capitol rotunda, you just can't get away from it! 

Here are some shots of bands that didn't quite make the national cut back in the day ... but ... there's ... someone ... we ... know ... in these groups:

First, there's Tico and The Triumphs. Together, these kids had a great act -- but Tico, himself, had a very unique style about him (he's the dude at the top).

Why, you could almost call it ... the sounds of silence! (awwe, do I haveta spell out his real name for ya?? It's Paul Simon!!)

Then there was the country-rock of a little band called CARP -- whose off-stage antics admittedly didn't thrill a lot of fans.

But their drummer (left rear in pic. I mean, he's on the left, in the back row. When finished, his rear left with him ...) did okay for himself. A top actor at one time, he would've gotten Buddy Holly's respect a few years ago. Today, though, Gary Busey's off-stage antics don't thrill a lot of fans, unfortunately ...


Though both Bobby Taylor and his Vancouvers enjoyed limited success, can you imagine what coulda happened to the band if they'd gotten a gig on Uncle Lloyd's show?
Especially that ... that guitarist on the left (in the pic). I ... I can't ... quite make out the features, man! It's like my vision's kinda covered with a purple haze or something ...

Was that too subtle?? (Okay ... it's Jimi Hendrix!)

Now it's your turn:  What was the name of this little-known band from Texas (taken in the early Seventies)?

Granted, they weren't sharp-dressed men back then, and only one had the beginnings of a beard, but they made it to the Top of the country-rock charts a decade later!
(Hint: They named themselves after ... a brand of cigarette rolling paper!)

Stay tuned ....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Thaxtonian Effect (Pt. II)

In January, 2003, a neat little book hit the market. From a distance (without glasses), looked like just another self-help novel, wrapped in a cheery red-on-white cover.

Then, as you got closer, you saw the authors' names at the bottom -- and just knew that this wasn't going to be just any book. It had ... Lloyd Thaxton as a co-writer!
I'd already gotten a copy of Stuff Happens (full name: "Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!") 9 Reality Rules to Steer Your Life Back in the Right Direction" See, they still had some blank space on the cover ...) and within a few months it was already worn out. Not only did I read it from cover to cover but took notes, shared it with friends, then got on the interweb and told others about it!
Anyway, it was so worn-out that Uncle Lloyd sent me a brand new, autographed copy -- and now its pages are getting dog-eared (nothing against dogs, by the way. If they're reading this, they'll understand ...).
It's a mix of some great inspiration and ideas and that inimitable Thaxton style of writing (he always wrote like he talked-- in such a casual, upbeat, positive style, as if the reader/listener were his closest friend). My favorite sections? To Change Your Life (Change Your Mind) and Choose: The Power to Choose Comes From Within immediately come to mind ...
Now, if I were to count the number of people he and John (Alston, co-writer) helped through this book, we'd be here for the next year or two, at least. I toldja the man really knew how to make a positive impact.

Lloyd Thaxton, the blogger, was no different from LT the teen host, producer or writer. He was personable, alive with ideas, witty, and completely, 100% authentic (a quality rarely seen in personal pages these days).
Now, if you have a blog or site, you'll know there's a page editor called a WYSIWYG, meaning What You See Is What You Get. In other words, "the real deal".
That was Lloyd. What we "saw" on our monitor screen was the actual, bonafide man himself. No additives, no artificial color or flavor. And each of his posts were actually riveting. Not only was the man an excellent word-weaver, but each entry was so interesting that we couldn't wait to see what he'd write next!
He was a true friend to all his readers (again, the impact!), and told me once that, if one had a problem, loss or worry, he felt it. He'd even make a point to personally email some of them, as well. Talk about an authentic heart ... Uncle Lloyd had it ...

Soon, the Chief decided to make even more of his growing blog ("growing". As in "leaps and (no)bound(arie)s") by introducing a unique and fun webside kaffeklatsche we eventually called The Mouse Clique (in honor, I worked up that little logo you saw at the top of this segment).
Here's what Lloyd said in an email from April 2, 2006:

"I want to keep the dialogue going. Though there are already
4,567,532,936,001 bloggers on the web. I've decided to make it
4,567,532,936,002 by starting up my own exclusive group. Based on 'The
Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin-Sammy Davis Jr, RAT PACK' of the 60s, I've
named my little ensemble 'The Lloyd Thaxton MOUSE PACK'"


A little later, he figured, out of respect for Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter and Joey, he'd rename our little confab "The Mouse Clique" instead. Besides, what do you do but click a mouse, right? (provided it's the computer type. Otherwise, it can get messy ...)
And many came, from near and far, to hear the words of the wise one. Then they'd stop by the Clique and enjoy themselves ...
Today, it's an honor to continue the Mouse Clique in Uncle Lloyd's memory. As Cliquers begin to return to the fold (and tell others about the blog! From social groups and email addresses to MySpace to Twitter and Facebook, send out the invites, mousers!), we can keep Lloyd's words, thoughts and persona alive for many clicks (not "-ques". That's ours!) to come!
A special thanks to Aunt Barbara Thaxton (Uncle LL's fabulously-talented wife) and my main man Gary Belich for their continued help and inspiration in getting TMC online -- as well as all of you who've donned the ears of honorary mousedom to learn more about the Man With Two LL's.
Lloyd Thaxton was more than a friend, more than a writer, more than a producer or TV host.
Thaxton ... was a man who had more positive IMPACT than we ever imagined! And the world's all the better for it ...

LOGGING IN

Let's say you were looking for some new furniture for your house, but wanted it (a) made in America, (b) sturdy, (c) rustic and (d) eye-catching.  Of course, in today's mega-malls and discount marts, you're going to have a hard time finding furnishings that meet all those requirements -- unless ...
... you invest in beautiful furnishings made of logs.  Now, these aren't just any wooden furniture -- in fact, they're all handmade from the finest woods, and are so sturdy that you can depend on their beauty and durability for many years to come!
From log beds to vanities, chairs to dining tables and more, these are all available to you (and at wallet-friendly prices!) just by clicking the link you just saw a second ago.
You can have your furniture built to order, get free shipping anywhere in the U.S. and also have their lowest-price guarantee!
So for the most beautiful furniture you could ever imagine, just click on that link today! You'll be glad you did!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Thaxtonian Effect (pt I)


Awwww ... who wouldn't just love to have that little, streetwise kid come stay with you?
Of course, it was just Uncle Lloyd, dressed to the nines (okay ... to the threes, then) and on calloused knees, cutting up as always.
And it was that type of zaniness, combined with the most awesome emceeing in teen showdom, that won everybody -- from studio to TV and radio audiences -- over.

Recently, I did a little snoopin' ... er, researching around and found something that doesn't really surprise any of us long-time fans and friends (but it might to some of the newbies who read this): Lloyd Thaxton has had one heck of an impact on our society -- then and now!!

Okay, the Show was one -- and, if you wanna know how impactive, let me share a comment received by Mouskiteer David awhile back:
"I found Lloyd again just a little more than a year before he left us...There was so much more i wanted to know...I was just a little kid 6-8 years old when i watched his show...Seeing the fun he had changed me...I wanted to be like him...And years later...When i was in high school...Lloyd Thaxton was still on my mind...Pictures in my high school yearbook of a skit done in the high school gym testify to the influence of someone i should have been much too young to really remember...I wanted to be fearlessly fun...Not afraid to let it all hang out...And the essence of Lloyd Thaxton brought that out in me...

For a long time i wondered where he had gone...Then the internet gave me a chance to briefly interact with the man who made me wanna be a DJ...I'll never forget him."


The bold type was mine, mousers -- but the words and soul of that note was strictly David's.

Here's an article from Met News. It just brings it home a little more (click the link) ...



That "fearless fun" took TV to new limits with the 200 segments he produced for the Today Show from 1985 to 2008 (check out his IMDb profile for more on his accomplishments) and Fight Back! with David Horowitz, a consumer-oriented show that included legendary wrestler Prof. Toru Tanaka testing Timex watches!

So many of us made our shopping choices and learned a lot thanks to LL's superb productions -- and we're still applying them today! It made us a bit more consumer-conscious ..

But Lloyd wasn't done yet:

He turned millions of kids on to reading the teen magazines, rather than just watching the tube! His Tiger Beat!&#0174 magazine kept everyone up-to-date on the teen idols of the day, and was chock-full of interviews, insider stuff and, of course, those dreamy pics!
I believe the first part of that pic was the Chief's second issue. The other half of the photo is of Tiger Beat! today. Between us, mousers, it's not even close to Lloyd's quality writeup! Mostly, you've just got glossy pages full of photos and a few words scattered throughout. Definitely not the original's style ...

Now, I haven't begun to touch on one book that Lloyd, along with his friend and colleague John Alston, put together. I'll get to that in the next post (strangely enough, called "Pt. 2"!). But it was/is that book that changed/is changing thought patterns and improving lives around the world!

THE TONIGHT SHOW ... starring:


It's gettin' to be a little obvious that Jay Leno and crew is pulling his show up in the late-night ratings. With recent gaffes by rival David Letterman and great support by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, it's not surprising that The Tonight Show™ is starting to find itself on top of the ratings pile these days.
Of course, for many of us mousers, the show will always be synonymous with the late Johnny Carson. After all, they went together like "Maxwell" and "House" (two sugars, one cream, please ...)

But, if you remember, Johnny had his share of guest hosts over the years (in fact, Leno was one of them). But there was one dude who, as Terry (Marlon Brando) said in "On The Waterfront", "coulda been a con-TEN-duh!".

That, Mouskiteers, was our Uncle Lloyd, circa 1965. Here's the telegram his manager, Alan Bernard, received:


By the way, David Tebet was the producer who recruited Johnny to take Jack Paar's place on the show. He became VP of Carson's production company.

Anyhoo, for reasons known only to Murphy (who wrote a pretty good law), somehow the word didn't get to Lloyd, soooooo ...
two weeks later, Alan got this little ditty, thanks to the Western Onion:


Now, I don't know what happened; he didn't know what happened. But it happened. And, as you know, Stuff Happens and not always buy the book (didja catch the subliminal pitch there? "Buy the book"? It's ... okay, I'll continue ...)

But can you imagine what the show would've been like, had Uncle Lloyd assumed the throne for just one night? With his zaniness, plus his bonafide interest in anyone he interviewed, it woulda been a hit -- and Johnny could've found a new permanent guest-host! And, eventually, we could've been seeing The Tonight Show with Lloyd Thaxton instead of Jay Leno!

His own show was a tremendous hit, as was Uncle Lloyd's mag, Tiger Beat! (I'm lookin' at a 1966 copy he sent me as I write this). More about that in a future post.
Gettin' back to his show: I received an email from a lady in my old tromping ground of Charlotte, N. C. who said her son, Tony, always hung out with his buddies after school -- until The Lloyd Thaxton Show made its debut. Then she couldn't get rid of him between five and six in the evening.
No problem, Mrs. R. Some moms still prefer their Tony home permanent ...

PLAYIN' WITH THE PLAYBOOK

Seems like everybody has a new electronic doodad that can help them reach out to the web, play games or whatever. And the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ is one of the most popular of them all, because you have everything you'd want in web-based enjoyment in one of the most reliable and renowned hand-held tablets ever created!
Obviously, though, you'll need some great blackberry playbook accessories to go along with it -- and you can find those just by clicking the link you just passed!
Oh ... did I mention you'll get the best and most affordable prices on them as well? From cases to Bluetooth® keyboards and more (even the PlayBooks™ themselves!), you can find whatever you're looking for right behind that link! So get ready for a great web experience -- and give your wallet the smile it deserves as well -- all by clicking that link now!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Uncle Lloyd's Greatest Message

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 ...

Hey ... Did Anybody Find Lloyd's Car??

Over the next few, we'll be running some of your favourite posts from TMC. Right now, I'm bogged down with a serious sinus infection (not to be confused with a joking sinus infection, y'know ...), but we'll get back up-to-speed here shortly. Til then, enjoy ...

CLIQUERS!! HAVE YOU SEEN Lloyd's candy-apple red Hot Rod??

Let me quote the Chief from his April 15, 2006 post:

"Now this wasn’t just any old HOT ROD. This was a hot rod built and designed by famed custom car designer and builder George Barris. Barris designed the 'Batmobile' for the Batman TV series, 'The Munster’s Koach,' and hundreds of other fantastic custom cars for movies. He is 'The King of Kustom.'

The George Barris designed Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod was a 1930 Model A, using a big Buick engine with MT manifold and carbs. The Body was channeled 10" over the frame for lower effect. It was painted with a kandy apple red paint job with black leather interior. It was really 'boss.'"


During one of his early shows ('62 or '63, pre-LTS. It was a 90-minute show he did for KCOP in L.A.), he awarded the car to some lucky winner (LL didn't know who it was, but, man, was he [or she] luck-EEEEE!!)

So, Cliquers, if you know or can find out who won the Lloyd Thaxton Hot Rod, let me know. He'd been searching for that HOT (forgive me, Paris Hilton, but I hadta use that word!), Kandy-Apple Red number for years. As he said, "I just hope the guy who won it is still driving it or, at the least, has it mounted on his bedroom wall (I wanted to do that with my bike but I didn’t have the nerve)."

BALLARD STREET BLUES

When Lloyd sent me a couple of 'toons by Jerry Van Amerongen (Ballard Street was his favorite), I couldn't help laughing. Not just because they were funny (which they were) or that the dude actually had me pegged (except for the wisp of hair, the weight and the age), but because, at the time he sent them, I was actually living on Ballard Street in Ashland, Kentucky!!

Someday, I hope to live up to the character shown in the pic on the right ...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Meet ... OLIN MELTON!!

???? What's a country singer doing on this blog??
Well, it's for one reason:  Olin Melton rocks!!!   (and remember: Uncle Lloyd's lovely daughter, Jennifer Weatherly, is a renowned country superstar overseas. So there!!)
You see, Olin and I grew up in Pineville, N.C. -- in fact, he was part of my band, Hy-Que, at one time (he played with us at the ill-fated talent show of 1967, where we were knocked out of first place by Pam Baumgardner's PJ and the Majestics). 
Today, he's making Austin, Texas home -- and thrilling audiences across the Lone Star State with a sound that's as smooth and welcome as warm maple syrup poured over a mess of pancakes on a cool Sunday mornin'

Actually, he's one of two Pineville boys who are makin' waves in the country music world: the other (who also picked with me back-in-the-day) is Jett Eller.  Now, whilst I'm honoured to be working with the best country ever to come outta the UK in Mike Lane, PaperFaces, Matt Hardy, Lookback and the legend himself, Phil "Fang" Volk, this is the first time I've had the pleasure of introducing my own hometown friends and former bandmates to the mix. 
So, beginning next week and amongst new videos of these other great acts, I hope to bring you more on this awesome performer and gentleman!  Oh ... and if you're on Facebook, you'll wanna "friend" him for sure!  

NOW ... A LITTLE ROCK QUIZ:

This week marked the first and last time one of the world's most popular bands played a live show.  They were three years apart -- and, no, it wasn't that band you see on your left.  I just threw them in here to throw you off-track a bit (PS: those guys did make it big, though ...). 
Sooo ... which band was it??

We all remember the great Elvis' big Comeback Special on NBC (hey ... wasn't that the last big show the Peacock Network had??  Just wondering ...).
Now, there were two things about this show that stood out:  One had to do with the set (in this case, meaning the songs for the show), and the other with his fans in the audience.  Can you tell me why they were different? 

One more:  Whilst Paul Revere and the Raiders saw their hit, Good Thing, enter the "Hot 100" of the Billboard charts (finally peaking at #4; these guys were thoroughly Solid Gold, though!) in 1966, an old and pleasantly unusual song hit the charts and made it all the way to #1.  BONUS!!  If you know the name of the song, then tell me:  Which TV commercial borrowed the song and altered the lyrics to fit its product??

Okay, troops ... whilst you're trying to figure that out, I'm gonna slip away for a few and get some lunch (want me to bring ya BACK anythinggggg??).  Until later this evening (or early AM EST US tomorrow), remember:
Keep your eyes on the skies, your feet on the ground, your heart with the music ...
and I'll see ya on the flip side!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What's In A Name??

Okay, dudes and dudettes ... since ya dig yer music, let's see how sharp you are on the bonafide names behind the acts! This is the first of a coupla quizzes where you (yes, you! 'Sides, I got the list ... so I already know!) figure out the stage monikers of the following people.
Oh, yeah ... this does include some that are obvious, a few kinda- newbies on the radio, and acts from pop, blues and even country as well. You'll even find the great Sophie Tucker in there somewhere! Drop me a line when ya get 'em done. I'll include the answers in the next post ... along with a new list:

1. James Marcus Smith:
2. Concetta Maria Franconero:
3. Virginia Patterson Hensley:
4. Robert Smith:
5. Steveland Judkins:
6. Muriel Deason:
7. Harold Jenkins:
8 Randy Traywick:
9. Sophia Kalish:
10. Annie Mae Bullock:
11. Harold Ragsdale:
12. La Donna Andrea Gaines:
13. Gregory Lenoir:
14. Patricia Andrzejewski:
15. Salvatore Phillip Bono:
16. Ernest Evans:
17. Cherilyn Sarkasian:
18. William Board:
19. Frank LoVecchio:
20. Sidney Liebowitz:
21. Brenda Mae Tarpley:
22. Norma Egstrom:
23. Albert George Cernick:
24. Prince Rogers Nelson:
25. John Henry Ramistella:
26. Martin David Robinson:
27. Reginald Dwight:
28. Peter Baker:
29. Leonard Borizoff:
30. Jape Perry Richardson:
31. John Symon Asher:
32. Don Van Vliet:
33. Lugee Sacco:
34. Declan McManus:
35. Vito Rocco Farinola:
36. George O'Dowd:
37. Pauline Matthews:
38. Mary Frances Pennick:
39. Doris Kappelhoff:
40. Howard Andrew:
41. Frank Abelson:
42. McKinley Morganfield:
43. Lloyd Thaxton:

One more little tidbit: Total Guitar Magazine has reported the ultimate guitar solo is Zep's Stairway to Heaven. Here's how the voting went:

Top 10 Guitar Solos
1. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
2. Van Halen - Eruption
3. Guns N' Roses - Paradise City
4. The Eagles - Hotel California
5. Metallica - Enter Sandman
6. Cream - Crossroads
7. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
8. Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
9. Free - All Right Now
10. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Any disputes, corrections or additions?

Until next time, keep your eyes on the skies, your feet on the ground, your ears to the radio (by the way, did I mention that John Hall -- just-retired U.S. Representative from New Yawk -- is the same one who played guitar for Orleans?) ... and I'll see ya on the flip side ...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Motion of Emotions

It's been said that there are only two emotions that a person can have, those being fear and love.

However, if one researches the broad spectrum of emotions that we feel over time, one will find this a rather brusque assumption.



First of all, our emotions are intrinsically personal. No one has the right to classify our feelings and say "oh, it's just 'this' or 'that' you're feeling". There are at least 48 emotions that have been classified and, whilst some of them do fall into the two aforementioned categories, others don't. And only we have the right to feel those that we have, without someone analyzing them unless we give them permission to help us "sort them out"!



Behavioral tendencies, the ability of the brain to produce dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin (three hormones that affect our emotions), and other factors have to be considered when psychiatrically or medically speaking of attitudinal or emotional triggers (the brain's amygdala, prefrontal cortex and hippocampus all play an active role in the development and nurturing of these emotions).



These factors also must include the neuropsychiatric or physiological state of an emotional individual.  Some disorders, such as bipolar or schizophrenia, as well as cerebral palsy (of which this writer has had a mild case; thus, the interest in this research), contraindicate the simple classification of only two emotions. So do serious medical states such as strokes, ALS and Alzheimer's/dementia.



If we are to classify emotions as being only two -- love or fear -- where then do we place those of awe? Surprise? Wonder? Does anxiety fit in "love" -- or "fear"? It can't be both, or it negates the dictum given at the top of this blogpost, right?



So, to place emotions into only two categories -- love or fear -- is like saying there are only two flavors of ice cream: chocolate or vanilla.  And to influence anybody with that theory is to actually do more harm than good, for it oppresses their ability to feel the emotion without worrying about classification and intellectual propriety.

Because emotions are far more complex than that ... they combine to create the intricate persona of each and every one of us!

Besides, nobody has the right to tell you how you feel or why -- or how you should feel and 'why' --unless they're going through what you are, in exactly the same manner, with the same history as you! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hoop-ing It Up

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 you exorcise the weight demon??

Well,, we had a way back-in-the-day (hey ... that rhymes!  Geez ... what's next: readability??) 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-O, 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!!

Stay tuned ...