Saturday, January 28, 2012

28 JAN 12

The Balcony...
... is open.
Just finished watching "Real Steel."
Had high hopes for this film after watching
the trailers. I do like Hugh Jackman.
Anyone who can jump from playing an action
hero (Wolverine) to playing a gay entertainer
(Peter Allen), and do so, convincingly, must have
some acting chops. Evangeline Lily was a wasted
talent... cast in a throw-away roll. Her part could
have been played by anyone with a pulse.
(Could've, easily, been a male role.)
The kid, Dakota Goyo, was pretty good...
but a bit too precocious for my taste.
Don't know that any 10-year-old could,
toe-to-toe, trash-talk a hard core
underground fight promoter.
The one great thing about the film was
the CGI robots.
They seemed to be "real" in each and
every scene.

Hats off!

But one has to wonder...
how many times are they going to re-make
"Rocky?"

-Fini 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

26 JAN 12

Television commercials and such...

I'm starting with the premise
that ALL commercials are lies.

Some commercials are funny.
Some are serious in nature.
Most are just plain stupid.
But, they all tell lies that we're expected to believe.

I'd like to do away with that GEICO pig on the zip line.
(Pulled pork sandwiches would be nice.)
Does anybody understand what it is the pig says?

H&R Block is now offering "free" basic tax returns.
For-profit businesses can't make money by giving away services.
There has to be some catch in the agreement that we're not being
told about. (They lie!

Some commercials are works of art...
they condense an entire tale and squeeze it
into a 30 second film.
Witness this piece for T. J. Maxx:

           T. J. Maxx Commercial

(The first time I saw this ad I thought it to be great theater.)
                         _______________________________


                                                              The GEICO antidote!


 -Fini

PS:
For those who don't know... GEICO is an acronym.
It stands for, "Government Employees Insurance COmpany.
I used their services once... I was leaving Japan in 1971.
Their insurance was inexpensive and available to government employees only.
Being in the military qualified me as a "government employee."
GEICO was sold in a small broker's office in the local town of Saitozaki.
(I have memory of an unpaved street, unpainted wooden structure, 2 steps up from the street to a small dim office, a square GEICO decal in the window.)
I purchased 3 months of coverage on the 1968 Pontiac I'd just bought... enough to cover the car until I reached home. The car would be aboard ship for the first 4 weeks of the policy.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150362551408521&set=a.10150362249083521.354308.542333520&type=3&theater

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poem: Prayer

Ironic... this was written by a professed agnostic... me!

(Don't think one can ever shake being taught by Dominican nuns in a Catholic school.)
                         _____________________________
  
PRAYER

A drear day in November,
The sky mottled gray.
Autumn's leaves have all fallen,
It's a raw winter's day.
The landscape is barren,
Stripped now and bare.
On such days I do wonder...
Does God truly care?

If His eye's on the sparrow,
Can His gaze include me?
In the dark of November,
What can God really see?
If I kneel, begin praying:
"Beg Your pardon, my Lord..."
Will He hear what I'm saying?
Will my prayer be ignored?

Were I sure He would listen,
Consider my plight;
I could turn away easy,
Not dread coming night.
Oh, this dark of November,
It does take it's own toll;
As I search and I flounder,
Seeking peace for my soul.

-- Joseph Welsh (1996)

24 JAN 12

Everything is relative...

Its the "water in the glass" question again...
is the glass half full or half empty?
Depends.
Were you filling it...
or were you drinking from it?

It's January.
The outside temperature, today, is 51 degrees...
a warm spell... a thaw.
Now, were it July and 51 degrees...
that would be a cold spell.

Perception depends on how one measures...
just where one is standing.


-Fini

Monday, January 23, 2012

23 JAN 12 (Part 2)

Once upon a day most dreary...

A drab day was today.
A day of drizzle, melting snow, fog.
I spent the day doing nothing... except some thinking.
It occurred to me that the world of social media can be pretty amazing.
How large is that world?
How many people does it encompass?
How may they all be interconnected?

I'd joined facebook.
Then I joined a group of veterans who'd served at Field Station Berlin. From that group, I was friended by one Jeannie Callaghan. Through her, I met Diana M. Rodriguez and Terre Spencer.
Diana led me to Don Carr, who happened to be a friend of Kathleen Welker, a friend I once worked with in Berlin, while with the Adjutant General's Office. Diana also led me to Anne Touraine, a recent immigrant from France, who happens to be a friend of Susan Zumwalt Boden, who attended high school in Juneau, Alaska and graduated with Dixie Belcher. Dixie attended college with my former wife and had vacationed with us, in Europe, several times. I managed to connect with Tony Nino, who'd worked with my ex wife in Berlin and who I hadn't seen since 1974 (?). I also found, and connected to, some people that I'd served with in the ASA. Among these: Ken Bargerhuff and Lenny Nezuch, Leland Thorpe. Pretty amazing... when you consider that I managed all this and never left my living room.

-Fini





23 JAN 12

On the morning after...

               The Super Bowl isn't to be played until Feb. 5th.
That means we've to endure fourteen days of, mostly meaningless, hype.
On the day... the game may, indeed, be exciting. It'll be a re-match.
             The New York Giants vs. The New England Patriots

(Oh, and the Pro Bowl will be sandwiched in during that two week wait.)
                     ___________________________________

From the Army Security Agency facebook page:
The true skinny...

THE CHAOS

IN THE BEGINNING, DA CREATED THE INFANTRY
AND DA SAID, "IT IS NOT GOOD THAT THE INFANTRY BE ALONE."
SO DA TOOK SOME OF THE INFANTRY AND PUT THEM ON HORSES
AND CALLED THEM CAVALRY.
AND DA BEHELD WHAT HE HAD CREATED AND CHUCKLED TO HIMSELF.
DA THEN GAVE SLINGS AND ARROWS AND CLUBS TO SOME OF THE INFANTRY AND DID CALL THEM ARTILLERY.  AND ALL WAS CHAOS.
THE INFANTRY AND THE CALVARY AND THE ARTILLERY CRIED OUT IN THE DARKNESS SAYING, "HELP US, FOR WE KNOW NOT WHAT OUR ENEMY IS DOING AND WE ARE LOST!"
SO DA DECIDED TO BRING LIGHT INTO THE DARKNESS AND SAID,
"LET THERE BE ASA!"
AND ASA BEGAT 05H, AND 05H BEGAT 98C, AND 98C BEGAT 05D, AND 05D BEGAT 05G AND 05G BEGAT 05K, AND ALL THESE BEGAT TECHNICAL EXPERTS CALLED WARRANT OFFICERS.
AND ASA WARRANT OFFICERS AND SENIOR NCOS BEGAN TO RUN THEIR OWN SHOW AND RESULTS WERE GOOD.
LO, NOT MANY YEARS HENCE, DA BEHELD ASA AND WAS DISPLEASED
FOR ASA HAD TURNED DOWN THE WAYS OF DA AND HAD FOLLOWED THE WAYS OF IT'S OWN, SO DA DECIDED TO PUNISH ASA FOR IT'S INIQUITY AND SAID,
"ASA YOU ARE HEREBY BANISHED TO THE OUTER DARKNESS WHERE THERE IS GREAT WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH AND PT TESTS AND ARTEPS AND TAC UNITS AND IG'S;
AND, FROM HENCEFORTH YOU SHALL NO LONGER BE CALLED "ASA", BUT SHALL BE KNOWN AS "INSCOM" (SIC!).
SO IT WAS DONE AND ASA WAS BROUGHT UNDER THE DIRECT CONTROL OF DA FOR ETERNITY AND GONE WERE PLUSH BORDER SITES, PLUSH SMALL DETACHMENTS, EASY TRAVEL, GREAT PER DIEM, LIBERAL PROMOTION POLICIES, AND CONTROL OF ASSIGNMENTS.
THUS INSCOM BECAME AS THE INFANTRY AND CALVARY AND ARTILLERY.
CHAOS REIGNED ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND STILL REIGNETH!!!!!
AAARRRGGGHH

Glossary of terms:
DA - Department of the Army
ASA - Army Security Agency
05H, 98C, 05D, etc. - Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) designators; What your job is in the army.
Warrant Officers - Officer ranking for specialists in a specific field. A WO rank falls between the  
                                 commissioned officer and the non-commissioned officer.
PT Test - Physical Training test; Push-ups, Sit-ups, 2 mile run, etc.
ARTEP - Army Training and Evaluation Program
TAC Units - Tactical Units (Out in the field a lot.)
IG - Inspector General
INSCOM - Acronym for "Intelligence Command" (What the ASA was folded into in 1976.)





-Fini

Sunday, January 22, 2012

22 JAN 12

The once and future gig...

Today's gig at Museum Village has been cancelled.
We've been done in by snow and cold.
(No one showed up to plow the parking lot or shovel the walks.)
Our next scheduled appearance there is March 4th.
There may be other venues looking for some jazz music
on a Sunday afternoon.
The organizer promises to inquire.
           __________________________

On another note...
Today is the last NFL play-off day.
The Giants are in San Francisco to play the 49ers...
the winner goes to the Super Bowl.
It should be a good game.
(Though that's not always the case.)
          ___________________________

I'm movin' slow and keepin' low today.
Had a bad reflux attack last night...
forced me to spend the night sitting up in my recliner.
I'm never worth a damn the day after that happens to me.
(Am kinda, sorta glad that the gig was cancelled.)

Kickin' back and watching "The Glen Miller Story"
on TV. Hard to believe, today, that at the beginning of
his career, Glen Miller's music was considered to be radical. 
"Moonlight Serenade" and "String Of Pearls"... radical??
         __________________________

The Giants are going to the Super Bowl!
They beat the 49ers, in overtime, 20 - 17.
Bring on the Patriots.


-Fini

Saturday, January 21, 2012

21 JAN 12

Let it snow...

Saturday Morning Weather:
Twenty degrees and snow.
Small flakes, falling fast.
Accumulation, as of now, about 4 inches.

Traffic, on the road in front of my house, almost non-existent.
A town plow-truck has made a pass or two.

3:30 in the afternoon and the snow has stopped falling.
Looks to be just over 4 inches accumulation.

4:30 and the fellow who plows my driveway has come and gone.

Decided to have an early supper...
heated a fresh-made spinach quiche, bought yesterday.
Served it with sliced Black Forest ham... a bit of wine.
All and all... a satisfying day despite being housebound.

It's now evening... after dinner... and through the window the world looks frosted...
cool and clean. Though it's past Christmas, I'm reminded of a Christmas season
in Berlin. We lived in a mixed German/American neighborhood.
The Germans decorated their trees and shrubs with candle-shaped white lights.
There was no snow on the ground at the start of that December.
When it finally did snow, less than 1/2 an inch fell.
Then it snowed again... another 1/2 inch.
It snowed nearly every day thereafter, in small increments, until Christmas Eve.
Every tree-light became encrusted... encased inside a snowy little igloo.
The trees all took on an ethereal presence... diffused lights glowing softly in the dark.
It was beautiful... a fairy world... a pleasure to come home to each night.
It only occurred that one year. (I think it was 1981.)

                                                                ( Ghosts of... )

-Fini

Friday, January 20, 2012

20 JAN 12

Second gig coming up...
again, on a Sunday at the Museum Village
...and, once again, there's snow predicted for the Saturday before.
Cold and snow... attendance may be low.
I'm just hoping the propane heaters are up and working this time.
                  ______________________________

Politics and TV...
It's a Friday morning.
My wife's watching the Wendy Williams Show on the kitchen TV.
Wendy's guest is Jesse Jackson.
I'm paying scant attention...
am busy reading.

What I, slowly, become aware of:

Jackson brought along a gift-wrapped box of Twinkies.
Jackson is hand-feeding a Twinkie to Wendy and somehow equating that
action with the Civil Rights Movement and the re-election of Barak Obama. (??)
(Not at all sure how the one equates with the other two. If I have the chance,
I'll catch the show again at it's afternoon showing and pay attention to the particulars.)

Didn't see Wendy's afternoon show... was out food shopping.
                       _____________________________

Etta James has died.
She'll be missed.
R.I.P.

                                          ( "here we are, in heaven" )

-Fini

Thursday, January 19, 2012

19 Jan 12

People are talking...

There's lots of comment being published about the "Arab Spring."
What's actually happening is... dictatorial governments are being
overthrown and replaced by... dictatorial governments.
New regimes mean we must reappraise our foreign policy.
Whom do we befriend?
What do we embargo? ...and all that sort of stuff.
State will be busy for the next decade or so, sorting it all out.
That's what they do.

Opinion:
Why are we trying to drag these medieval cultures into the 21st century?
We pay attention to the Middle East because of Oil.
Were we self-sufficient, we could tell the various Muslim Brotherhoods,
who seem to be taking charge there, to go pound sand.

Has there ever been a wider cultural gap than the one between a society that
gives the lash to women for being found in the company of unrelated males
and a society that gives women the chance to go into space to live and work
among unrelated males?

            http://jmawelsh.blogspot.com/2011/09/11-sep-11.html
                             _________________________

On a related topic:
It's been reported that vast reserves of oil have been found here in the U.S.
and Canada. Drilling for these reserves should be explored...
but keep in mind that while we humans can survive without oil...
we cannot long survive without clean drinking water.
Tread softly here... do not rush in.

                                                   ( Frack it... but carefully )
-Fini

PS:
(...and why is N.O.W. not screaming their heads off in any of the public forums?)

Addendum
From the book, "Pompeii: A Novel" by Robert Harris: 
"A good aquarius, his father had said, should know more than just the solid laws
of architecture and hydraulics -- he should have a taste, a nose, a feel for water,
and for the rocks and soils through which it had passed on its journey to the
surface. Lives might depend on this skill." 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18 JAN 12

Much ado...

Paula Deen has type-2 diabetes.
She is coming under fire for having kept it a secret while still pushing out Southern-style recipes... recipes that call for butter and sugar in copious amounts.

I say, "So what?"

I am diabetic (type-2) and I've come to know, intimately, what I can and cannot eat.
I would know to avoid most everything Ms Deen uses as major ingredients.
I've avoided most sweets and desserts for the past ten years.
(Point of fact... Dunkin' Donuts make me ill... just the smell of them.)
Generally, how I feel on any particular day depends on my own actions...
that's as it should be. Any diabetic who follows a Paula Deen recipe exactly,
then eats the resulting meal, deserves the consequences.

Last month, my daughter brought us a Moravian Sugar Cake,
picked up on a trip to North Carolina. Had never before heard of it
but, apparently, it's very popular in the southern states.
Curious, I ate two pieces... was sick for the entire night.
My own fault... not the fault of the bakery that made the cake.

                                   ( Sugar is also a lyric. )

-Fini

Sunday, January 15, 2012

15 JAN 12

"Baby, it's cold outside..."

According to the thermometer on my back deck,
it's 10 degrees this morning.
That's the coldest it's been around here since last year.
I'm thinking that it's another stay-in-the-house type of day.

Today is, also, another NFL play-off Sunday.
On this day (around here, anyway) it's Giants vs. Packers.
My gut tells me that the Packers will win...
but after seeing the sudden improvement in the
Giant's running game, anything is possible.
("... on any given Sunday..." and all that.)

Did I say "on any given Sunday?"
With 6 1/2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, the Giants are ahead 30 to 13.
'Twould seem my gut feeling about the Pack was all wrong.
(So much for becoming a prognosticator.)

Giants Win, 37 - 20 !

California, here we come...

-Fini

Friday, January 13, 2012

13 JAN 12

Friday the 13th...

A cold day.
A windy day.
A stay-inside-the-house-where-it's-warm kind of day.

                  ________________________________

Appropriate news for the date - (From the Yahoo Group,"Veterans Issues" )

"In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking.

Some statistics:
'Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 54 years old.'
If you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in VietNam ?!?!?
Don’t know about you guys, but kinda gives me the chills, considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets.
For the last 14 years we are dying off too fast. 390 Vietnam vets die every day.
That means that in 2190 days (2018), if you're still alive, you'll be one lucky veteran.
(That's only 6 years from now.)"

                                           ( The sand falls, pit-pat, in the glass. )

-Fini

Thursday, January 12, 2012

12 JAN 12

Merry and woe...

In the world of this new 21st century, nothing much seems to have changed...
except the technology used to inform us.

Through use of the internet, I know this:

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/hollywoodland/2012/01/11/occupier-jay-z-buys-newborn-20k-crib/

(This link no longer seems to work. I've copied the text from the BigHollywood site and am posting it.)
                                _____________________________________

Occupier Jay-Z Buys Newborn $20K Crib
by Hollywoodland
Rapper Jay-Z took time out from defending the Occupy Wall Street movement to ply his new young daughter with the very best of the best.
What child doesn’t need a $20,000 crib?

That’s just the tip of the one-percent iceberg regarding the riches the rapper’s daughter received since her much-publicized debut.
Since entering the world of music royalty five days ago, 7-pound Blue Ivy Carter has collected a cache of presents from her parents and their celebrity pals, including media queen Oprah Winfrey.
The newborn’s superstar father plunked down $20,000 on a Posh Tots Carriage Fantasy Crib made of solid cedar and birch. A rear luggage rack doubles as a changing table.
And then there is the $285 Jean Paul Gaultier silk dress to burp on, sources told the Daily News….
The new parents have also been inundated with gifts from the likes of Sean (Diddy) Combs, Kanye West, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey, the source said.
The Daily News reports news that Jay-Z bought his daughter a $600,000 gold horse simply aren’t true. If Jay-Z is in the market for gold goodies, he can always turn to fellow Occupy sympathizer Russell Simmons.
But lavish gifts may not have been the only perks of being Jay-Z’s kiddie. The New York State Health Department has launched a probe into reports that security surrounding the birth of Blue Ivy Carter prevented other parents in the hospital where she was born from seeing their own new babies.                                                             ________________________


Ah... but I also, now, know this:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085163/Children-dumped-streets-Greek-parents-afford-them.html

Fast talking celebrity swears fealty to an everyman cause du jour...
then flaunts his wealth.

The really needy go begging... unheard or ignored.

It's been said, "The rich are different."

Guess that's so.


                                                                 ( "God bless the child..." )

-Fini

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11 JAN 12

Some ado ...
Just seen on the evening newscast:
"Hostess Cakes files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy."
Can't get too excited here.
Never developed a taste for their products... not that I didn't try.
They were less expensive than the snack cakes I usually bought.
TASTYKAKE produced a much better product
and I loved their blueberry pie.
Twinkies just made me queasy.
For years, TASTYKAKE products were sold only
in the Philadelphia area.
They've expanded their market.
I can buy them here now (NY), in local stores.
I don't.
I'm diabetic and don't indulge in sweets anymore.
But I can remember just how good it used to be ...
to paraphrase "The Great One," Jackie Gleason,
"How sweet it was!"

                                       Another favorite of mine, Butterscotch Krimpets
 

                                                                              ( Yum! )

-Fini

Monday, January 9, 2012

Poem: Unknown Soldier

UNKNOWN SOLDIER

Who were you?

six iron-shod grays
a caisson and coffin

Were you kin to me?

a tattoo
on muffled drums
somber voices speaking

Were you friend?

twenty-one cannon
boom
in rhythmic salute

Were you comrade in arms?

Taps
blown sweetly
a brassy lament

Were you neighbor? lover? father? son?

the question goes begging
once upon a time . . .

Who were you?

- Joseph M. Welsh

     Photo courtesy of U.S. Army - The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery

09 JAN 12

Tumbleweed...

In my life, I'd not had many chances to put down permanent roots.
Almost, but never quite.
My own fault... or fate... can't say.
In the end, it doesn't matter.
Che sera sera.

1952 - Saint Martin Of Tours Grammar School, Philadelphia, PA
1955 - Ethel M. Burke Grammar School, Bellmawr, NJ
1957 - Sacred Heart Grammar School, Camden, NJ
1960 - Bishop Eustace Prep. School, Pennsauken, NJ
1961 - Triton Regional High School, Runnemede, NJ
1964 - Haddon Heights High School, Haddon Heights, NJ

1966 - Fort Dix, NJ
1966 - Fort Devens, MA
1967 - 8th Radio Research Field Station, Phu Bai, Vietnam
1968 - Vint Hill Farm Station, Warrenton, VA
1968 - Fort Devens, MA
1969 - 14th Army Security Agency Field Station, Hakata, Japan
1971 - Fort Devens, MA
1972 - Vint Hill Farm Station, Warrenton, VA
1973 - Army Security Agency Field Station, Berlin, Germany

After duty with Field Station Berlin, I worked as a civilian for the U.S. Forces in Berlin for 9 years, beginning in 1979. (With both the Army and Air Force... not the Navy. Theirs was a two-person liaison office in no need of outside help.) I was in Berlin a total of 14 years. Left, for good, in 1987.

After Berlin:
1987 - Bow, NH
1989 - Dresden, ME
1990 - Bethel, CT
1993 - Mahopac, NY
2012 - Mahopac, NY

It's been near twenty years since I settled in Mahopac.
I've now 8 grandchildren.
It would appear that I've finally managed to put down permanent roots.

                                                   ( a travelin' man. )

-Fini

Friday, January 6, 2012

06 JAN12

An Empty House...

In the past, people have asked me what it felt like to come home from the Vietnam War. I could never tell them anything that they would understand... or want to hear. Forty years on and I'm just beginning to understand it myself. In returning to CONUS, I'd left behind friends, and a job worth doing, to come home and live amongst a people who seemed self-centered, uncaring and shallow. Complaints about everyday problems struck me as being venal. I...  Didn't they realize that people were fighting, and dying, half a world away?
Good people.
Did they not care?
I grew to loath this prevalent attitude. That loathing went a long way in influencing my decision to remain in the service. I could relate to people in uniform... didn't really give a damn about anyone else.

This feeling probably explains a favorite saying
of many Vietnam vets:
     
      "Fuck 'em, fuck 'em all, save nine... 
       six to be pall bearers, 
      two to be roadguards
      and one to count cadence."  
         -Anon
    _________________________________________________

There have been honest attempts at portraying us. This is a video clip from the TV show, "China Beach." The actor playing the roll of the mother is a friend.  Her name is Penny Fuller. In 1983, while she was visiting us in Berlin, I related a story to her of my former wife throwing out all my clothes and uniforms when I returned from Vietnam. My first morning home, I had to root through trash cans on the curb to recover it all. My wife claimed that everything stank... "smelled like that place!"  When Penny accepted the roll on "China Beach," she told my story to the writers... they liked it and wrote it into the episode.
I always thought that was cool.

 
The pertinent portion of the video clip begins around 4:57 min.

                            ____________________________________________                     

           I don't believe that civilian attitudes have changed at all.




                                      ( Paint It Black )                         



Amateur Psychology - Part of the reason for my attitude, upon returning home, was a feeling of guilt at having "deserted" my comrades in Vietnam. I'd been asked to stay, to extend my tour. I was considered to be good at my job... one of the best. But I had a new daughter who I'd never seen and thought that her father should be looking to stay at home, watch her grow. (Didn't pan out that way... pity, that.)

I wasn't a grunt. I hadn't lived in the boonies. I'd slept dry. I'd drunk cool beer (and cold Coke over ice).    http://jmawelsh.blogspot.com/2011/12/13-dec-11.html
Can't swear that I would've had this feeling of guilt, and the urge to return, if I'd been Infantry instead of M.I..
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.480938238520.251687.542333520&type=3


Thursday, January 5, 2012

05 JAN 12

Ghost of...
the Christmas just passed.

Neglected to write of Christmas Day spent with the family at my
step-daughter's home in Connecticut.

Three things of note happened...

The wife and I forgot to bring with us the 4 pounds of candied carrots
that had been prepared the day before.

I had a cold beer... the first I've had in several years.
It was good.

I received an Amazon Kindle as a present.
I like it.
(The wife LOVES it... fewer books to pile up on end-table.)

                                                ( Adeste Fideles )

-Fini

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

04 JAN 12

On being... and having enough

I play drums... or, rather, I now play "drum."
With my band, Artsongjazz, I use a single snare, played with brushes,
plus a hi-hat cymbal (or, as it used to be called, a sock-cymbal).
For the most part, we play tunes from the '30s and '40s.
I know all these tunes by heart... was a huge fan of big-band music in
my youth... plus, we mix a few contemporary songs into our repertoire.

                     This is a Photoshopped picture of the band at Museum Village, Monroe, NY - 2011


Playing this style of music, in this manner, does not require
a great deal of stamina or practice on my part.
This works very well for me... but there are times when I want more.
I'll watch something like this video and think, "Why not me?"

"Actual Proof" covered by Tribal Tech

Kirk Covington is a very good drummer... with hard work
I could be every bit as good... I tell myself... constantly.

Then the Reality Fairy hits me with her wand...
I'm not young anymore.
I have congestive heart failure.
I have ankles that swell, feet that hurt to walk on.
I have a pacemaker installed.
I have a surgically redesigned digestive system.
I'm diabetic.
I take 10 pills a day.

I'm a wreck...
yet I play the drum with Artsongjazz.

That's enough...
as it should be.

I am thankful.

                                                ( Che sera sera. )

PS:
Here's an audio clip from our performance at the Museum Village, Jan 2012:
 http://soundcloud.com/snuffyny/masquerade-clip

-Fini

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

03 JAN 12

TV or not TV...

With the exception of a few shows, I'm not a big fan of what's
on TV nowadays.
Reality shows, for the most part, get my gorge up.
Though there are two that I do watch and like... somewhat.
These are "Pawn Stars" and "American Restoration."
However, I find that the "staged" disagreements and conflicts are
obvious and usually just plain stupid in nature.
These conflicts gotta be the idea of some producer, looking to inject
some "drama" into the show.
If a show cannot be made to generate interest with it's original premise,
then it's time for it to be gone... artifice degrades the story being told.
The minute a plot-line is introduced, a show stops being "reality"
and becomes bad theater.

I would comment, too, that artifice also degrades the subjects who are the stars
of these shows but since they are appearing in a reality show to begin with,
they probably wouldn't care.

                                ( "... What, and leave show business?" )

-Fini

Sunday, January 1, 2012

01 JAN 12

First post...

Last night was a quiet one for us... no hats, no horns.
We ate dinner, then watched TV or read some.
When the ball dropped in NYC we were awake,
we kissed, wished each other a "Happy New Year,"
went off to bed.
Not very exciting but adequate for us.
We're both ailing a bit.
Home is the place for us right now...
a crowded dance floor would be near torture
with our suffering feet.
Still... it would've been nice... fond memories...
"Auld Lang Syne" and all that.
              ________________________

A Happy New Year to all who stumble upon this page.

                                 ( "Last Post"... not yet! )

-Fini