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Refinding Music And Tech

I’ve always been behind the times in both music and technology to deliver said music.  Especially since I got married in my late twenties and had a family and a job, with all the requisite trials and tribulations therein.

I had (and still have) vinyl, went to cassettes, then CDs.  I bought an MP3 player in the early 2000s.  But never had the money to fill it.

Life.  It’s both a cereal and a board game.  And my listening to music got somehow waylaid.  😦

But, I’m here alone in my rented room, doing my morning routine with the blog.  And something was missing.

I tried Pandora for a while, but it never hooked me.

J. told me recently about Spotify.  So, I thought I’d give it a try.  On both my PC and my new cell phone!  (NOW with earbuds that actually fit!)

Maybe I’ve missed ‘my’ music too much, but now I’m immersed in it via Spotify.  Free, with a few commercials every so often.  Or, one can pay.

Of course, I’ve no funds.

So, FREE it is!

Currently, I’ve been vacillating between Dave Brubeck, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Person of Interest soundtrack.

Yeah, I’m eclectic!

😛

(FTC – Spotify gave me nothing save the free music they give everyone!  go away!)

 

Roger Moore, RIP

Nope.  Not another character actor.

Well, maybe…

But, one from my youth.

I first knew him from Ivanhoe (TV) and Maverick (TV) followed by The Saint TV series.  Suave, but offbeat.  Drove a car similar in outward appearance to the Bond car (a Volvo, hardly an Aston Martin!), but I was a kid – what did I know?

Had clever lines, foiled the bad guys – who could want for more?

Eventually, he replaced Connery, Lazenby as Bond.  I’d read all the books by then, and, while I enjoyed Live And Let Die, it was NOT Connery nor Lazenby, and had a campy, Batmanesque manner to it.

Not the James Bond I had grown to love.

I ended up watching two or three more of the Moore Bond films (of the eventual seven) and gave up.

I did enjoy The Persuaders, a British TV romp opposite Tony Curtis.  But, it only lasted two years.

And there were non-Bond films, like Shout at the Devil (1976), The Wild Geese (1978) and North Sea Hijack (1979), among others.

But, I never forgave him for his the comic book portrayal of Bond.

He did take a conservative anti-Bond stance in an interview I once saw.  He was a conservative, religious man, and suggested Bond was not a very moral man.  Certainly not one he would like dating his daughter!  He was probably correct in this assessment.

And he made it to 89.  And was knighted.

You will be missed.

Just not as James Bond (by me, anyway).

Memorable Movie Mistakes

I’ve not been ‘on a date’ in some time.  It’s simply a matter of logistics – I’ve no extraneous funds and my car is a beater with no air conditioning.

The fact that I don’t travel is any circles with available women has nothing to do with it!

😛

I was thinking this morning about a few of my more memorable dates in the distant past.  Some with fondness; some not-so-much.

I used to like to attend the cinema.  There were many first-run films each week, lots of theaters from which to choose, and who doesn’t like sitting in the dark with a young woman? (this was in my 20’s – before I had been married, and subsequently divorced).

Now, of course, there are fewer movies and movie houses.  And one may sit at home in one’s skivvies and watch videos until the cows come home, with beer, pizza, and (if one is so lucky) company.

AND, one may pause to go to the bathroom!

Times have changed.

ANYWAY, I remembered a couple of dates.  One was a later Hitchcock film.  I did (and DO love Alfred Hitchcock).  My date said she did as well.  Were post-date antics in the offing?

Sadly NO.  The film was Frenzy.  A film of a serial killer rapist, made in London.  I think it was the first time Hitch actually exposed breasts on film.  Following a violent rape and strangulation.  Hardly something to arouse a normal young woman to later romance.

Sigh.

Another time, a former girlfriend returned to town and looked me up.  We went out a few times, and I had hope of rekindling the romance.  But, it was not to be…

She had mentioned she liked Burt Reynolds.  There was a new film out with him in it.  I thought “Hey!  Maybe this will get things going again?”

Hardly.  The film was Deliverance.  You remember – dueling banjos, homosexual rape?

I just couldn’t get a break!

(as an aside, the consummate actor Ned Beatty was the rape victim here.  I’ve wondered about the audition…“Hey, pages 18 and 19 are missing?  Don’t worry about it, Ned.)

To .40, Or NOT To .40?

(from TFB, in part)

40 S&W Gel Test: Black Hills 140gr TAC-XP Solid Copper Hollow Point

Is this just silly?  Or is it a valid scientific ammunition test?I owned a .40 S&W once.  For a couple of weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a Sig Sauer P226, black stainless, and shot consistently through the same hole at 15 yards!

I traded her to a good friend to pay off a debt.  Should have kept her, except, she would have been in the vault and now missing, regardless.  😦

For the newbie, the .40 was essentially a truncated 10 mm.  Apparently, the feds thought the 10 too potent for the average troop.

And some early tests said the .40 exceeded the .45 ACP in stopping power…

And while both calibers have their adherents, they no longer hold the popularity they once did.

Hell, the feds have gone back to 9 mm!

This is all an exercise in futility for me, anyway.  I cannot afford anything.

But, it’s nice the adherents keep trying for a magic bullet…

Surrogate Fathers

I’ve had a couple of surrogate fathers in my lifetime.  Why?  Because my own father was either on business trips, working, or wrapped up in his sports addiction.  Even the bonding time we did have was surrounding his sports (going to hockey games, where he was in charge of the off the ice officials, fishing – where he required silence so he could drink beer and fish).  When I became disabled at age 11, he was no longer able to teach me sports.  He couldn’t relate.  You get the idea.

I’d two surrogate fathers – Wayne Taysom, who had been my seventh grade homeroom teacher, and Kenneth Wells, my high school choir teacher.

Mr. Taysom and his Mormon family happened to live on my way home from high school.  How fortuitous for me!  Wayne and his lovely wife Jeanne would welcome me in whenever I stopped by.  To talk, have a healthy snack, sometimes even dinner!  In spite of the large family running around!  (Come to think of it, Jeanne was a surrogate Mom, as well!)

Kenneth Wells was my high school choir teacher extraordinaire!  He offered me one of the few highlights in my high school life, teaching me how to sing, read music, perform in the Baroque manner and how to appreciate such diverse music as J.S. Bach and Stan Getz.  He pushed the Concert Choir into taking All State, and singing on Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in 1970.  It was one of the highlights of my life.

These men gave me both discipline and direction when my own Father was unable to.

I salute them!

Yep. It’s March 18th And 19th, Again


Twenty two years. Since we were in an accident on a Saturday.

And she left us on a Sunday.

Forever to be age 12.

There have been many memories. And many tears.

And many sad days and nights.

I miss you and love you with all my heart. And would trade places with you in an instant, were that possible.

You out there know what I’m going to say next.

Please, tell those whom you love that you do love them. And hug them if at all possible.

Because you never know.

I LOVE YOU MOLLY! ❤️

 

Toy Gun Memories

As it states in the ‘about’ part of the blog, I’m a child of the 50’s.  Television, movies, play, were all about The Lone Ranger, Space Command, Warner Bros. cartoons, Forbidden Planet, The Untouchables, and all other manner of sanitized violence.

And my green, wooden toy box reflected that.

It was filled with cars, trucks, robots, construction equipment, tools, and yes, toy guns.  Including a multitude of cap guns and rifles-that-made-noise, play bullets and all manner of boy’s toys.  Not a doll in sight.

Sadly, when my Dad married my step-mother, the toy box was moved to the exterior of the house.  Wouldn’t want Guffaw’s toys to clutter the house, now would we?  😦

And, as I advanced in grade school, I played with them less.  This meant my Mattel™ Fanner Fifty (with left-handed holster!), Detective Special (both re-loadable with Matty Mattel bullets and ignited with Greenie Stickum Caps), the construction gear, cars, tools, and everything else were subjected to the elements.

And eventually discarded.  😦

(My friend Leigh’s parents did film me in full cowboy regalia once, reenacting some scene from a forgotten cowboy TV show, running, jumping, rolling into prone, drawing and shooting one of my cap guns.  Of course, the 8mm home movie is probably long lost.)  😦

This was when children played outside!

But, boys are nothing but ingenious!  🙂

My friends and I began constructing rubber-band guns, using scraps of wood we ‘found’ at housing construction sites.  (Hey, we had to have guns!)

a less-refined version of this

a less-refined version of this

Affix a spring closepin to one end, stretch a rubber band (or a series of them for greater distance) and viola’!  A toy gun with which we could play cowboy, or soldier, or spy, or whatever.

Of course, we were never happy with the limited distance or inaccuracy.  (Sound familiar?)

As we got into the 5th and 6th Grade, we clamored for more.

So we attached the rubber bands to the wood (ala a slingshot) and began looking for projectiles to shoot!  Obviously, after a few misadventures with pebbles and bent bobbie-pins, we made the universal decision to not shoot one another.

For safety sake.

Of course, escalation lead to model rockets, amateur rockets, BB guns, and eventually real guns.  Always something to shoot.

And, we still don’t shoot each other.

This isn’t South Chicago…

 

A Possible Explanation

I used to LOVE the rain!  Growing up in the desert, it was rare.  Coupled with the addition of huge thunderheads, lightening and sudden downpours, it was the BEST!

Then, I got older and two things happened.

  1.  With age and illnesses came THE arthritis. (It’s a rule, once one reaches their sixties, one is required to put THE in from of the infirmity, i.e. the flu, the AIDS, the arthritis.)
  2. As people in Arizona don’t get rained-upon very often, unlike Midwest, South, and East-Coast people (and pretty much everywhere else!) they are less familiar with the process of driving in the rain.

AND PRETTY MUCH BECOME DANGEROUS IDIOTS ON THE ROAD, WHEN WATER IS INVOLVED!

So, rain isn’t as much fun for me, as it was when I was age eight.

BUT, I’ve developed a theory.

Remember, when it rains, how earthworms surface on sidewalks?

a-rain-worm

I’m now convinced that those that escape the sidewalks make it to cars, and start driving like maniacs!  Obviously they have less driving experience (with the rarity of precipitation).  And many don’t even have licenses!

THIS explains how there seem to be more idiot drivers during rainy weather, than when it is dry!

It’s The Beginning Of That Time Again…

…Actually, the beginning was last Halloween.

Yeah, I know, I can be a bit maudlin.

Time marches on, things change, people pass away.

It’s one thing when it’s an aged relative – that’s unpleasant, but expected.

But when it’s a child or a dear friend in their prime.

THAT’S when it gets me.

Recent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas aside, now it gets more personal.

For the next six weeks, or so.

Today is Ground Hog Day.  I hear tell he saw his shadow – six more weeks of winter.  Perfect!

Yesterday was, by my recollection, Ground Hog Eve.  Marked on my calendar to remember a dear friend.

MARK BELL

As previously recounted in these pages, Mark passed in 2012 a from a sudden, unanticipated heart attack.  We had gone shooting together the previous Sunday.  His passing happened on Ground Hog Eve.

I have had many friends over the years.  Mark was one of the best, the most kind, giving, and funny.  A USN veteran.

His definition of guffaw remains at the top of this page in his honor.

I love you and miss you, my dear friend.

Mark Bell, R.I.P.

 

Sometimes You Find The Ark Of The Covenant…

Sometimes, you are digging in the wrong place!

It was FIFTY YEARS AGO (1967!) that my interest obsessive-compulsion in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy began.  That, coupled with my family history in police work lead me to security and investigation work, an associates degree in Police Science, and my private investigation business.  Followed by a career as a credit card fraud investigator.

But I always came back to the JFK thing.  As a ‘hobby’.

It began when I was in high school, newly disabled, complete with a pair of crutches and my right leg in a steel brace.  For a year.  I’d read the condensed ‘report’ in the high school library, and soon walked the two miles to the university library.

And I found the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission exhibits and testimony.  And proceeded to read them all.

See, not compulsive at all!

Years passed.  Books and films critical of the Warren Report came out,  And I devoured them – to the best of my ability.  And kept notes.

But, there was one problem.  I had no copies of the 26 volumes in my home.  I couldn’t afford them, and my parents would not spring for them.  (I think they were $185 at the time).

This meant many a trek to the university library, and having to deal with my regular high school work, my family, friends and life.  What a P.I.T.A. !  🙂

Time passed.  I still occasionally dabbled in the JFK stuff, when my marriage, fatherhood, auto accident, etc. didn’t get in the way.  I DID recognize I could be obsessive about it and would voluntarily pull back when I felt it suck me in for more than a few days  weeks  months.

But, I never had my own 26 volumes.  And the price went up when they went out-of-print.  Even with the advent of the Internet, it just seemed they weren’t available.

Sigh.

I recently had a birthday.  Good friend Biff, lauded often in these pages, and I met for coffee, and he gave me a birthday present!

wp-image-1034841587jpg.jpg

Apparently, I was digging in the wrong place on the Internet!  Now I can return to my obsession in peace!  With my forty or fifty Warren Commission critic’s books, the few by apologist’s, the Internet, my notes, and MY 26 volumes!

(Maybe life would have been simpler had I eaten the bad date?)

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…