Friday, January 23, 2009

Thanks, KK

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.' Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear.

From your mouth to God's ear...thanks, Karl

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Stand Up Comedy Hall of Fame

I stole this idea from another website (kinda like rock and roll isn't it)?

I have put together what I like to call the Stand Up Comedy Hall of Fame.
Here are MY charter members...

George Carlin

Richard Pryor

Lenny Bruce

You can vote for your favorites to the right. Enjoy!

From George Washington to Barack Obama Under Four Minutes


Top 100-Henry Gross

A few months back, I started posting about the Top 100 albums in my life, then I got sidetracked, as per usual. Let's continue the countdown, kids. Here's one that would fit somewhere in the 75-80 range.At age eighteen, Henry was a founding member of the world famous Rock & Roll revival group, SHA NA NA, wearing on-stage the "Greaser" clothes he wore in high school "because he thought they looked good". The groups' popularity took a giant step after legendary performances in the Fillmore Auditoriums, East and West and at the Woodstock Festival. With the groups' appearance in the movie "WOODSTOCK" their popularity became a worldwide phenomenon.
Henry left the band in 1970 to pursue a career as a singer songwriter signing his first solo deal with ABC DUNHILL RECORDS in 1971. The albums lack of commercial success did not discourage him and in 1973, after performing at colleges and clubs all over the country, he was signed to a production deal by Cashman and West, legendary producers of Jim Croce, who almost immediately placed Henry on A&M RECORDS.

Yes, Henry Gross did the song "Shannon" which, I thought, was a heartfelt tribute to a passing friend. Only later did I find out it was about That kind of ruined it for me. Before he did "Shannon", he relased an album full of great pop rock and roll. I had this on 8 track and wore it out. I bought this CD as an import from my buddy Tom at "Now Hear This" many years ago and again, it found a regular place on my CD player. Henry's got a high voice and the harmonies on this album makes me think of the Beach Boys and indeed, the CD features Carl Wilson. Along with the production duo of Cashman/West (Amercian City Suite), this is a joyful, great power pop record.

"One More Tomorrow" starts it off with a great ELO guitar riff and is a solid, moving, driving tune that would sound great on the interstate at about 75 mph. (I should know) Great harmonies and a killer solo in the middle. Dude could play.

"I'll Love Her" is a great word song wrapped in some cool harmonies (again) and a nice building groove. The guy has quite the vocal range. Great playing from the studio musicians he hired for the porject (including one of my favorite drummers Alan Schwartzberg and with keyboardist Micheal Kamen). This should ahve been a hit single.

"Southern Band" "I'll find me some smokin yankees and make a southern band" Great guitar song and he shows his chops here. Funky bass laid down by Warren Nichols.

"The Driver's Engine" This could've been done by Micheal Murphey (see previous post). Once again, tight Beach Boy like harmonies and a song that has a very distinct country feel.

"Travelin Time" You bet. Let's grab the Ipod, crank the windows down and crank this baby up. Last song on side one.

"All My Love" Beach Boys meet the Beatles, why this song wasn't a number one song is beyond me. Must have been the record company's fault. One of my all time favorite songs.

"Only One" the filler song, here he shows us how he can sing, but we already knew that. A bit sappy for me, but very heartfelt.

"Evergreen" cool song that reminds me of the mountains, featuring a banjo and a pedal steel guitar. "Evergreen, evergreen, you are my hearts true delight, with your lines softly whispering in the night..don't know why they made the city black and white"

"Dixie Spiderman" One of the best pop guitar songs ever, very well (maybe over) produced. Almost sounds like the Raspberries meet ELO

"Tommorrow's Memory Lane" the riff is from "Sweet Jane" by Lou Reed but his voice soars on this one. Nice finale to a great album

Yes, he's still around and making music. Here's his website, where he talks about writing "Shannon" (OK, after reading it, I am a bit more impressed than before) and how he and Carl Wilson became good friends. I always liked his music, not many hits, but the song "Tie Our Ships Together" remains one of my favorites.

When The Wind Blows

Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.
He constantly advertised for hired hands.
Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic.
They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic,
wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.
As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received
a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached
the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him.
"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help,
hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from
dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.
Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed
next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the
little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming!
Tie things down before they blow away!"
The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No
sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot.

Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.
To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had
been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens
were in the coops, and the doors were barred.
The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down.
Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his
hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while
the wind blew.
When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically,
you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the
wind blows through your life?
The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he
had secured the farm against the storm.
We secure ourselves against the storms of life by
grounding ourselves in the Word of God.
We don't need to understand, we just need to hold
His hand to have peace in the middle of storms.
A friend of mine sent this to me today,
and I enjoyed it so much, that I wanted to send it to you.
I hope you enjoy your day and you sleep well.

Why So Serious?

Post 1,400

"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. "

Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lint On My Shirt

...I leave Bloomington/Normal with mixed feelings. I think I left the stations better than I found them and I am sad not to have been able to finish what I started. I leave confident though, knowing that I found a whole new skill set for myself. I really liked the area and was excited about getting more involved in the community and the lifestyle there. It's on to the next challenge, wherever and whenever that may be.

...I believe that you must continually exercise your brain, at least as much, if not more than your body. This blog is an exercise of my brain. Writing is something I have done since the high school newspaper days. Too bad I haven't got much better at it.

...I remember how much I caterwalled at the tremendous amount of crap my mother in law had acquired before her death and how it seemed that the job of emptying out her apartment took forever. The amount of junk I collected in less than a year in Bloomington rivals that. If I ever move away again, please remind me that "less is more". Incredible.

...Stress can really mess with your body. It can shut you down or open you up, whichever.

...I think of myself as being a good Christian man (what would be a "bad" Christian?), conversely, I sometimes like bawdy entertainment. Example, I am now at episode 11 of Deadwood. Yes there are a lot of $#&+ers and c&*^%$ers, but the entertainment value is incredible and just the thought of trying to make it back then makes me wonder how tough those people were.

...When people ask me how it's going, I at least have some options opened up to me. I could say that this is the winter of my discontent, but I have already been through that. Being so sick that you can't get out of bed for three months will certainly put it all into perspective.

...When I try and sleep, sometimes song lyrics will play over and over in my head, here's the one that's been on my mind lately..."A gal comes towards you, You once used to know, You reach out your hand, But you're all alone.."

Here's the video for the whole song..

Al Stewart's music is so real, so basic. This features Peter White on guitar, one of the most underrated players in the business and Brian Savage on saxophone. Peter and Brian are huge in the Smooth Jazz world. According to Al, he didn't like this song much, but it became a huge hit for him. The follow up to "Year of the Cat". Al is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He came through St. Louis and played at a small club with just him and a guitar. Hard to do this song without the sax, though. Ah, yes, the summer of 1978..

January 20 2009

By some freak of nature and I am not smart or clarvoyent enough to know what it means, as President Obama was taking his oath of office, I passed the exit sign in Springfield Illinois for the Abraham Lincoln Museum. I believe it is exit 96. Some stupid chasm of time, space and continuum. Either that or I just left St. Louis at the right time for this to happen. I'll go with answer number two. It was kind of freaky though. One of those things that I'll always remember where I was when he took the oath.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Motivational Poster

Meandering Musings

Yesterday was the road trip day. You know, as much as I like to drive, yesterday was a bit much. I borrowed a truck from a friend of mine, left St. Louis at nine am, heading to Bloomington to get the last (I thought) of my stuff. I sold some things on Craigslist (which was decent experience) and decided after talking to my daughter, that she could use the rest. I arrived in Bloomington about 11:30 and packed up the truck (by myself) with a couch, kitchen table and chairs, a coffee table, two end tables and my bike. The people who bought my bed and dresser on Craigslist got there early, so leaving Bloomington at 1:15 put me 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Driving west on interstate 74, I encountered some of the strongest winds in recent memory. I stopped along the highway to make sure my load was tight and secure and nearly got decapitated my someones rear view mirror. Between Galesburg and the Quad Cities, the winds were blowing so hard that, for a few miles, there was nearly a white out. People spinning out on the highway even though it hadn't snowed in days. I arrived at my daughters in Davenport at about 3:45 or so, unloaded the truck by myself (except for the couch) and was on my merry way around five. I ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant (Rudy's in Moline) and headed for the Gateway City at about six. Once again, between Galesburg and Peoria, cars were spinning everywhere, the snow was blowing so hard it was packing up the highway and making travel pretty dangerous, but me, being the soldier I am, marched on. I arrived here at 10:20pm, worn out, tired and ready to read at church this morning at 7:30am. The strange part about this moving bit is that I am not done yet. I have to go back one more time to finish the job. It makes me wonder how I could have accumulated all that stuff in 6 months. THAT has to change.

I love reading at church, I love being in church. There is something calming and soothing about being in God's house that really appeals to me. Church makes me think, it makes be happy, it makes me cry sometimes. I never feel lost there and to use one of the very few gifts that God has given me to proclaim his word to the masses, makes me feel, in some small way, that I am doing his work.
I have a nibble on a VERY large fish. Please pray for me that I can pull this fish into the boat. The images of guys reeling in huge marlins or swordfish come to mind. It could be one of the biggest fish in my life and maybe one of the most satisfying. Your good karma thoughts and wishes are certainly appreciated.
Yes, I am STILL rooting for Kurt Warner to get to the Superbowl. I don't find myself getting caught up in all the football fanatics, but I am a fan of his and hope that he continues his comeback story. Good things DO happen to good guys, and as far as I am concerned, he is about as good as it gets.
I love the State Farm commercial. It's real song done by Frank and Nancy Sinatra.
Here's the video for all who care...actually not a bad song

That's all for now, see you soon.

Not For The Sqeamish

My arteries are getting clogged just thinking about this...not sure where this is, but ya gotta hand it to them...truth in advertising.

(Thanks KK)

Nice uniforms.

The scene of the grime, er I mean crime

Oh, my!

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