I’ve always been a little different musically…
My real mother (who passed when I was in the second grade) had lots of 78 RPM records of classical music – including The Nutcracker Suite done straight by Spike Jones! I still have some of them.
My dad was a big band kinda guy. And 50’s crooners. Perry Como, etc.
And my exposure to music didn’t include most rock-and-roll or folk. (My sister worshipped Elvis, though.)
In grade school, a friend asked me if I liked ‘popular music’. I said no. He replied, “not even Mister Tambourine Man?”
I had never heard it.
I was too busy listening to Johann Sebastian Bach.
I loved – and love – this piece:
My leg disability developed between Eighth Grade and High School. No P.E. for Guffaw. The high school principal ask me if I could play an instrument. I could not. He said, “Well it’s Choir for you!”, as if it were some kind of punishment.
I loved choir. They taught me how to sing (in the baroque manner), and how to read music. And how to appreciate Jazz! (Stan Getz, anyone?)
We even made All-State when I was a Senior, and we got to sing on the stage at the university’s Grady Gammage Auditorium (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!)
It was after I graduated and went on to college that I developed a liking for popular music. The Beatles, The Eagles, Credence Clearwater Revival, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others. Jethro Tull. I even taught myself a bit of flute to play along!
But Bach will always be my first musical love.
I like certain Mexican food dishes. Being a somewhat picky (American) food eater, like art, I know what I like. I’m even pickier with ethnic food.
J. has been pining to revisit a Mexican food place of yore – one she went to years ago, and one of her clients has been recently raving about.
Los Dos Molinos
(Locals may note I’m NOT linking to them!)
We opted to go the other afternoon. There are four locations – we went to the one she visited over 10 years ago. In a less-than-good part of town, it’s ‘colorful’, like a dive bar is colorful.
We went in anyway.
Yep. Dive (Mexican) bar restaurant chic.
It took them forever after they seated us to get us menus. Both of us being fans of Margaritas, and the restaurant lauding many varieties and ‘authenticity’, we opted for a pitcher of the house Marg.
THE WORST MARGARITA EVER!
Picture lime flavored Crystal Light, iced to dilution, with enough cheap tequila to give you a cheap buzz. $21.00 a pitcher!!! Not worth $3.00.
Our entrees were also poor. J.’s machaca chimichanga I’m told was tasteless – my chimi was quite spicy (in keeping with the New Mexican Mexican vibe), but soggy. At least hers was crisp.
We complained to the waitress/bartender, who at least didn’t charge us for the pitcher.
We like to support local business when we can afford to.
We’ll not be returning here.
not my car, same color
…well, more problems with my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue!
I was running an important errand for roommate J. evening last (well, going to a soft ice cream emporium for
pumpkin pie blizzards appropriately healthy treats!), when I noticed the car was running kinda doggy. And the battery light on the dash lit up – as did some other miscellaneous lights. And even seeing the lit dashboard was becoming a challenge…!
All this while in line at the DQ!
Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately) this is about 1/4 mile South of our residence.
So I limped her home in the dark, lights and engine in various states of fail, praying for her not to die in the street. And for no constables to be patrolling nearby. And my prayers were answered!
I was able to coax her to just outside our respective marked covered parking spaces. Emphasis on the just.
And there she died.
I attempted to physically push her into my space, being the fat cripple I am, and failed miserably. And the area directly behind the parking spaces is a private drive – a road – wherein traffic has been known to travel. So I couldn’t just leave her there! The H.O.A. would have her towed probably before my key hit my lock.
So, I called J., my roommate, landlady, and friend, who was lounging inside awaiting her
Blizzard healthy snack. Thank the gods for cellular telephones.
She responded tuit suite, and together we pushed my Intrigue into my space. Again kinda.
She’s difficult to maneuver with no power steering, and two persons-of-our-vintage with various physical issues don’t help much, either. J. had to retreat because of her asthma and move HER car to a different space so mine can sit comfortably – albeit diagonally – across our two allotted spaces.
Next, the problem of diagnosing what exactly is wrong, and coming up with the money to fix her.
SIGH – it’s always something!
At least she’s not on the street! :-)
AND, about an hour later, there was enough juice to close the driver’s window and secure the vehicle! HUZZAH!
(from JayG, in part)
More great news from the land I escaped…
Boston Puts Brakes On Haystack Parking App
A new app that allows people to find parking spaces in Boston is being shut down in response to a vote by the city council.
A new ordinance outlaws services that allow people to sell or save public parking spaces.
Got that? The app helped people find parking spaces, so what was the response from Boston? BAN IT. Smell that? It smells like Massachusetts. It gets better, though:
“They are dealing in hypotheticals. We’ve had no reported issues. We’ve heard this rhetoric, ‘There’s going to be blood in the streets,’ and that hasn’t happened. We’ve had over 1,000 successful transactions, and we haven’t seen any of that.”
Ah, yes, blood in the streets. We’ve never heard that prediction before. Ever. And even if we had, it certainly came true, right?
Of course, he’s referring to more citizens owning legal firearms. And they have, and the whole blood thing hasn’t materialized.
And violent crime has dropped where gun ownership has increased.
Even in places like Chicago and Detroit!
Personally, I believe governments should think long and hard before banning anything in a ‘free’ country. – Guffaw
(courtesy of my friend Borepatch)
One of the members of our dojo used the skills he’s been practicing for years. It happened suddenly. It happened in his back yard while his wife was outside doing yard work. A car being chased by the police hit a fire hydrant on the corner of their street and the driver bailed out running.Steven looked out the window at the sound of the crash, saw the guy coming at a run into the yard, and went outside. I don’t know if the man was just trying to run past them, but Steven reacted to the perceived threat to his family.
The link calls it a tackle. Heh.No one was hurt, the police were already on the way, the man was cuffed in less than a minute after he was pinned. The suspect has a criminal record stretching back 15 years.
I had been waiting hoping the TV station would post the whole interview, but all the link has is the text of the news article and the 45 second teaser.
The learnings that were shared with me:
1. It unfolded very fast.
2. There was not a lot of thinking.
3. People that don’t practice falling don’t fall well.
4. The expanded awareness and sense of calm only seemed remarkable after the fact.
5. And I quote, “Aikido works!” (the first words he said to me when he told me about it)
But, I was reminded of two things:
1) Bruce Lee (when asked to invade a bad guy’s lair, unarmed) said, “Why don’t your just take a .45 and blast him?” (Enter The Dragon)
2) Posse Comitatus – a cop orders a passer-by to ‘stop’ a fugitive (meaning to tackle or trip him) and the guy pulls a gun and blasts him!
It’s good our Aikido practitioner was alert, but might have been better had he been armed.
Just in case (?)
My own Father was not a hugger (of other men). Perhaps it was his generation (b. 1916), or time in history. But for him, a firm handshake said it all. A man’s word is his bond was often something implied in the handshake. Whether the word meant agreement to an implied contract (Yes, I will clean up my room), welcome (Welcome home, son, good to see you!), or even LOVE. (no verbal statement made)
As a result, when it comes to interaction with other men, I welcome a firm, dry handshake – as described numerous times in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. Not simply gripping the others hand with the tips of the fingers and thumb, but full engagement – thumb crotch to thumb crotch (or whatever they’re called). Not the (again, intoning Mr. Fleming) slimy, wet, limp grip of the Middle East, which makes a man want to wipe his hand on his coat tails, either.
It has come to pass that scientists have determined over-use of soaps, antibacterial hand cleaners and sanitizers have weakened our respective immune systems. In the effort to ‘keep clean’, we have invited more resistant microbes into the mix.
And now, scientists (I wonder if they are the same ones?) have determined the following:
I remember when I first saw the ‘fist bump’, as part of a ‘cool’ ritual of Black youth. Instead of shaking hands (as the White Devil slavemasters had done) they ‘checked in’, sometimes additionally bumping forearms and even hips!
I thought it was well, stupid then, and my opinion hasn’t changed.
Then, a popular comedian and game-show host began fist-bumping. He said it was because of his aversion to spreading or receiving bacteria. (I wonder if he kisses or has other personal contact with women?)
NOW, such behavior is reaching the mainstream (as shown in the news item, above).
I can see not wanting to shake hands with someone who is openly infectiously diseased. That’s just prudent. But fist-bumping like a hipster is just silly.
I know, I’ll probably die younger because of it.
But, my word remains my bond, and I’ve no other way I can comfortably express that.
And, I like hugging and kissing women, too! :-)
Must be generational.
The littlest of the three chee-hooa-hooas, Lola, is now six months old, and has grown from under two pounds four months ago, to a powerhouse of almost SIX pounds! :-)
She successfully survived her hysterectomy (with a barely visible scar) and now is content terrorizing the large boy dog (DJ), who is probably 15-20 pounds. Yes, he’s a throwback, every genetic trait one doesn’t ask for in a chihuahua. Including massive size.
But, he’s a big, stupid, happy lummox and we love him.
Lola is VERY bright. Try to lure her into a trap (like her kennel for the night) and she’ll fall for the bait. Exactly ONCE. And never again.
She also has an Early Warning System, if she’s penned up and wants out to ‘do her business’. We didn’t train her to do this – she trained us.
I’m usually awake around 0600-0700. Shower, dress, morning stuff and blog. And when the mistress-of-the-manor is absent, Lola bivoacs in MY room.
A Sample Morning
0600 – I Awaken. Kissed by a tiny dog who has been watching me wake up, who then curls up in my armpit and snuggles back to sleep. Then she produces 61,000 btus, forcing me to arise. (Well, that and my impatient bladder!)
0605 – Shower. Lola must be kenneled, lest she join me in the shower. She doesn’t require a bath daily. I do. Besides, I might accidentally step on her!
0615 – Dress. Lola remains kenneled, half or completely asleep, or sometimes therein quietly watching me check my email and blog.
UNLESS, NATURE CALLS HER!
Me, sitting at the computer, tiny kennel on the adjacent bed, containing tiny dog. All is quiet, except occasional keystrokes and the ever-present fan. (This IS AZ, after all!)
Suddenly there is a tiny, tiny bark. Not particularly high-pitched, but very slight in volume, as if distant outside. Usually no response from me. (We designate this DOGCON 3)
Then, a slightly louder bark, perhaps 20 seconds later. This is obviously from inside the house; inside my room. More apparent urgency (DOGCON 2)
(Followed by, if I choose to ignore it…)
DOGCON 1 – a loud, piecing, deafening bark, threatening immediate negative consequences unless she is allowed paper access IMMEDIATELY! This usually also agitates my chronic tinnitus!
My usual response is to get up from my desk, open the kennel, and she jumps up to my chest, sometimes my shoulder – and I carry her to the bathroom, containing the all-important morning paper.
And all is shortly right with the World!
(Until the tiny kitten Belle is heard screaming outside the bedroom door to be included in the blog process (aka walking willy-nilly across the keyboard). Please note, I usually learn from this and ignore her!)
(Obviously, an epidemic of hard drive crashes!)
Now the EPA has also lost emails due to hard drive crashes?
GEE, I wonder if I told the IRS MY tax records were lost due to a bad hard drive?
When I was a P.I., working the Bob H. at T.E. & A (enough initials for you?), I remember getting cases that had little information with which to start, but soon, all fell into place. And others that appeared to be a slam dunk, only to get mired in something complex and nerve-wracking.
I remember sharing my observations about all this with Bob, and he responded, “It’s never as easy as it looks.” I told him we should have a sign over the squad room with that very saying.
Fast-forward from 1981 ’til today. Here I am, post car repair. My 2000 Olds Intrigue has been rapidly deteriorating over the past couple of months, in need of new front brakes and some-kind of engine-repair, minimally, just to keep her road worthy and safe. (She also needs two tires, and A/C repair, but, those will have to wait. :-( )
I just don’t have the funds. I live paycheck-to-paycheck on my disability.
My dear roommate offered to front me some funds to get the necessary repairs done! We got the car into a local garage of good reputation, and waited. Turned out the engine problems were the result of the old ignition switch failing. We opted for the generic switch over the factory ($300 difference!) and this gives me one key for the door, a second for the ignition. No big deal, right?
Well, not exactly. These are not your grandfather’s ignition switches. Seems they are having difficulty getting the security of the key to match the security programmed into the car. Or something.
It’s never as easy as it looks! And all this to make a 15 year old beater drivable again.
(Update – I got my car back, ignition switch now working, and engine running better than before, but not like new. The brakes have been replaced, but the dashboard brake light comes on after about 20 brakings and stays on until the car sits for about 20 minutes(!) Of course, it’s SUNDAY, and the earliest I can get back to the garage is Tuesday.)
It IS never as easy as it looks!
(Update Two – I bought two ‘gently used’ tired for the front, as the ones I had were paper thin. Good news – they hold air, and are balanced! Bad news – my right front wheel has two partly stripped lugs. So I’m running on four instead of six. It’s always something.)
(Update Three – my SES – service engine soon – light went on when I dared drive FIVE miles, yesterday!)
“Here’s a line of peasants leaving Rancho Malario, to make room for YOU!” (from the Firesign Theatre, having little to do with the following post… NO, where I live is NOT Rancho Malario!)
Well, my lovely roomie has decided to move her unfinished, unrestored, ’62 Chevrolet Corvair Wagon to it’s proper place in the resident’s storage lot immediately West of our townhouse! (I’m certain complaints about it being an eyesore to the HOA from anonymous, whining neighbors had nothing to do with her decision.) Her dream was to have it fully restored to cosmetic and drivable condition, but, unfortunately, financial considerations got in the way.
(This was a car she and her last husband acquired and drove together in the 90’s, before his untimely demise in an industrial accident. As such, it’s a proper memory of him, and represents why she hasn’t just sold it to some collector.)
This means I’m able to move my recently-made-drivable 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue to the second spot under the resident’s covered parking, and out of the direct sunlight! In most regions, this would be no big deal, but in the sunny Valley-Of-The-Sun (temperature today 105) this is a BIG DEAL!
Especially as while drivable, the Olds remains un-airconditioned, so every little bit helps!
In other news, my roomie is leaving today for her sister’s in California for a well-deserved vacation and to conduct some family business. This means once again, I am the Dog (and Cat) Wrangler! – now with Puppy!
Not a problem, as they love me and I them, and this gives us a break from each other.
AND I GET TO PARK IN THE SHADE – WOO-HOO!