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Chicken Sh*t Bingo Parlor to Open In Carmel Valley

“The meanest thing God ever put on this Earth is an old woman with a shopping cart” L. Eagleson

Boy howdy. I’m driving a back road this morning and come to a one lane bridge, with another car about to cross on the other side. This is a test of character. A way to read a man’s true soul.

My home town of Greenup is built on the National Trail. A section of highway that isn’t as famous as Rt66. In fact it’s Highway 40. It’ll take you from Washington DC to Utah. There is a section of the old road called “Old 40” as opposed to the highway. It runs right next to the Fairgrounds and just as fast as taking 40.

We have a one lane bridge just past the Fairgrounds. It is Cumberland County’s Historic

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Covered Bridge. A true piece of Cumberland County history. I know! I remember when they built it in the 1990’s. Before that was a one lane cement bridge.  It blew up real good!

 

When two people met at the bridge, one had to pull off to the side signaling to the person across the bridge that you saw them and were letting them go first. After all if you were in a hurry you would take the interstate.

It would about come to blows over who allows who to go first. Two people sitting off to the side of the road waving at each other to go first. The words “Go asshole” behind each of their respective smiles. Finally after either an exaggerated wave that says “YOU MUST GO BECAUSE I’M NOT MOVING UNTIL YOU ACCEPT MY HOSPITALITY!” or after each person waves twice does one of them say “Okay…” and crosses. Then you wave politely to the person sitting on the side who in turn waves back. Good morning. I have done my good deed for the day.

Then you have the guy who doesn’t slow down because he wants to get his toilet paper and Copenhagen 15 seconds earlier. No one minds. You were going to give him the right of way anyhow. He just skipped the ceremony.  You wave a polite wave as he crosses. You are Brother’s in Arms when it comes to a one lane road. 99% of the time he will wave back.

Maybe this is a show of dominance, but it usually is some young kid with his sleeves cut off, a hat that advertises DeKalb fertilizer, and Steve Miller blasting in mono at full volume from a pick-up truck with a dog kennel in the back and a coffee can wired around6086bb645d38871e87a7e221878da284 the hole in his exhaust pipe. His folks taught him better. He’s a kid. Don’t cage him yet. The world will pound him into submission soon enough. Drive free boy! Turn that 88’ Silverado into wings and fly!

The guy this morning got to the one lane bridge down in Moneyville and took off across it. You really have to go slow over it. So I waved with my hand sitting on top of the steering wheel. The man looked right at me with a nonplussed  expression. Both hands still on the wheel. A snub.

This calls for inner-country boy to come out. So I waved REAL BIG! The kind of wave you do when you see an old friend across the street that you haven’t seen in years. Nothing…

This is a serious breach of protocol. I plan on getting up early tomorrow and waiting at the bridge. I’ll block it with my car sideways like the State Cops (CHiPS). Then I will run up and pull him out of his car, and I will wrestle him into submission using my non-existent MMA skills for giving me the virtual F*** YOU from yesterday.” With his head firmly between

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“Didn’t your Mama teach you any better???”

my crossed legs and his arm an inch from being broken because of my arm bar hold, I will teach him lessons I learned. Complete with local down home flavor.

 

Things like “That dog don’t hunt!” “Shit fire” & “Boy! You bit off more than you can chew.” Interspersed with various swear words and uncorroborated observations about his mother.

These are the things I’m holding onto.

  • “Somebody’s not stirring the Kool Aid” – Story does not add up
  • “I think you are telling me a western” – A lie
  • “Sum Bitch” A greeting or a sign of frustration or great amusement.
  • “Who is f***’n this chicken anyhow?” – I’d like to know who is in charge of this project? [edit] I mistakenly used an incorrect description. This actually is to be used as “I am in charge.” it is meant to end any discussion on a project.
  • “Sheeeeeeeiiiiiiittttttt! – means nothing, just a great way to break the ice.
  • “I’d rather have a Mother in the whorehouse than have a Republican as a Brother-In Law.” – I adamantly disagree with the Republican Party .
  • “It’s colder than a well digger’s ass” – The temperature outside is frigid.

I think I told my friend Lisa a whole story about a night out in High School without using a single intelligible phrase. About the time I got to the part where I was with Aaron as he was “cuttin’ cats asses” in the school yard; she stopped me.  I assured her no cats were harmed and it was simply Aaron and a scared shitless Sam doing donuts with his Mom’s station wagon in front of the school.

Yeah, I pronounce ‘tire’ as ‘tarr’ and ‘oil’ as ‘oral’ and if you have a hound with you I’ll probably tell you what a good lookin ‘dough-g’ ya got there. But I’m gonna wave you through a 4 way stop, or let you go over the bridge first (unless you are driving a little blue smart car of some sort)91-exl

I think I joined a band yesterday. My first California band. I’m in it with a guy from Maine and a dude from Oregon.

Maine cowboys. Great guys. It’s tear in your beer country but what the hell, I’m not looking for a date anyway.

-A.

I’m going to link Matt Poss’s song’ Three Bricks Shy’ here. He wrote it in college after explaining mushroom hunting to his roommates from Chicago. “What do you hunt them with? A knife?” Matt grew up 20 miles from me. This is home.

If you have a good country saying, post it in the comments below. Also Like and Share. How am I going to make a living if you don’t like and share???

I’m considering putting up a Chicken Shit Bingo parlor in Carmel Valley Village. Nothing says classy like having a permanent Chicken Shit Bingo cage in your establishment.

 

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Gene Simmons, left, and Paul Stanley of KISS rock out to over 8,000 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre on Thursday night. See metronews.ca for a slideshow of pictures from the concert. (Jeff Harper/Metro)

Famous, Irrelevant, Oldies Band cry “Rock is Dead!”

Blues folklore tells the tale of Robert Johnson, a man who in 1928 sells his soul in return for riches and fame as a guitar player.

There are various reasons why this is a bad idea, namely going to Hell, but when you make a deal with the Devil; usually the odds are in favor of the house.

Johnson ultimately had his fame while living. He had a hit song with ‘Terraplane Blues’, He was good looking’ and the ladies loved him. The hellhounds on his trail finally caught up with him one night in a Mississippi. He was hitting on the right woman, at the right time, in the wrong place. Her husband, the bartender, poisoned Robert. He died in a back room, writhing in pain and foaming at the mouth. They buried his body in a plotters field behind a church. The suite has been lost.9684bac7a0c1cf3ef7b952360466ff76

He died a legend.

He was great not just because of his music, but the idea of the music that he had yet to write. Hendrix, Janis, Cobain, Morrison, John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Christopher Cross and a few more. The music they left wasn’t good enough, Nooooooo… We want more! They also didn’t live through the Disco Era. Jim Morrison wasn’t too good to sing a pop song. Don’t fool yourselves.

It’s because they died at the height of their influence. They didn’t stick around to become irrelevant. It’s the price musicians pay for selling their soul to the Devil.

Gene Simmons was the first I heard say ‘Rock is dead.’ He peaked in 1977. KISS didn’t do anything but put on the show and stick the chorus of the song right in your face! Something Steely Dan wasn’t doing at the time. They changed what a concert was! Leaders of the pack in that niche

 

Flea

“Flea ruined an entire generation of bass players” ~I. Edwards

Flea is saying the same thing.

He peaked in the 90’s. The Red Hot Chili Peppers came out funk punk rappin’, making the 80’s hair bands look silly and the more people who saw them realized they were awesome and they sold a heap of records. He changed the game on 80’s Headbangers.

Metallica created their masterpiece in 86’(Okay… 91 *eye roll*). The band the made ‘Master of Puppets’ isn’t the band selling out stadiums today. They lived to play fast and loud. They sure as hell weren’t making a film that shows their sensitive side. Jesus people! You are rock stars. Start acting like one. Who wants to see Metallica work out THEIR ANGER ISSUES???? A bit hypocritical Thrash Metal Kings??$$??

The record industry and these bands became very, very, rich. The game was set up that way. The game changed, not rock music.
This is how the record industry works.

A band gets pretty good. They have a song that a lot of people will like. So they save up their money and borrow from friends and relatives and record a ‘demo’ tape so they can make it big and make a million dollars!

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Record Industry Big Shot

Record Industry ‘Big Shot’ (the Devil) hears the demo and thinks he can sell their product. The Band is now The Product. The product he is selling is your soul.
The Devil offers a fortune to the Product. The Product have been living on Taco Bell for years now and they agree! He hands them bags of gold to make their product. Just sign on the dotted line. In blood. This is their big chance to make a million dollars!

With the Devil’s help, a lot of lawyers, and a producer to make the product easier to sell by changing the Product so that it fits nicely in a box. New and Improved Product. Everyone loves the Product and they send the Product on tour for a year.

The wager pays off and the band sells their soul to the tune of a million –dollars. Just like the Devil promised. But give the Devil his due.

The Devil takes the lion’s share of the riches after all he IS a Big Shot. Then Scratch opens up the gates of hell as it pukes and belches out accountants and lawyers, and bills for hotel rooms for the guy who brings you a towel after the show.

They grab at the pile of gold, taking from the riches what you have spent on limos, prostitutes, and your drugs PLUS the original bag of gold they gave you… with interest. They haul out the cost of the tour and all the hotel rooms the towel man stayed in over the past 365 days.

After all of the fire and brimstone die down, the Devil lays 3% at the Product’s feet. $30,000 to be split among the five members of the Product

Soul=$6000 million-dollars-cash

 

The Devil then demands you produce another product immediately.

You spent your entire life making the first Product, now you have a few weeks to come up with new Product. After all you can’t live on the money you made on the Old Product. But you will make more on this Product since Beelzebub was so happy with the last one. He promises.

People don’t like the Brand New Product as much as the Old Product and the Devil spent all the promotion money on a really BIG Product like Bruce Springsteen, who he knows will make millions on the first day. The Devil says “Sorry but you can’t play these songs. We own the Product. Plus, you owe us for the last Product you gave me and didn’t sell.”

“Do not play until you pay me back or I will come get you with a demon spawn of lawyers. Do not pass go, and do not call us, we’ll call you.”

The Product turns into a band again and as they walk out the Exit, they see a line at the Entrance.

Welcome to the Digital Age.

Now a kid with a guitar can record his product in his home with higher quality recording equipment than anything the Beatles ever had.

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Success at last!

He can upload his song to CD Baby who license it to all the digital and streaming music companies; ITunes, Amazon, etc… reaching listeners, buyers, and fans. A kid in Zimbabwe can buy your song.

You can have it printed into CD’s and make seven or eight dollars off of each CD. You don’t have to sell a million copies to make a living. Selling 30,000 albums would be a windfall. You have total control of your product.

Soul is non-negotiable.

Stagger Lee got so mad
He threw the Devil clean off his throne.
On your knees old Satan
I’m gonna rule Hell on my own.
–Stagger Lee (somewhat creative commons)

Rock is alive and well. As long as there are kids with angst, drums and guitars, there is going to be rock music. I’ve been listening to Blackberry Smoke lately. They are awe-inspiring. There is nothing country about them. They were always good to me…way too good.

Take a second and switch channels on the satellite radio. You might find that rock has changed its name to Alt. Country. That’s where I hear loud rowdy guitars and riffs. You might find it on another station? It’s there. It’s online, and no one is bitching about not playing at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Thoughts on the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

I went on a date there once. It was great seeing the Pink Floyd inflatable Teacher, stage gear, guitars from every hero I ever had.5956572f0f8952207a1020109283de69

KISS refused to play together during their admission to the RRHOF. Deep Purple wouldn’t let the guy play who wrote the song that put them in the Hall of Fame. John Fogerty wouldn’t play with CCR. Don’t fool yourself boys I didn’t come here to listen to your new album. I came here to hear you play ‘Rock n Roll All Night”. You know it and I know it. As much as you charge for a concert ticket, you better fuckin’ play it.

You know who I don’t see bitching? Rock music pioneers.

The O’Jays, My friends; Dale Hawkins (RIP), The Shirelles, Danny and the Jr’s, the Tokens, Gene Chandler… Elvis’ first band, Scotty Moore and Bill Black (RIP), Howling Wolf, War, Aretha Franklin, the Staple Singers and all those artists who broke the fuckin’ ground you walk on in your platform soles. The ones who made no money, the ones who are still busting ass on the road. The RRHOF is there to honor THEM! Show some God damn respect. Suck it up and play the three minute song that got you here. You stole from the very people in that room. Quit being an ungrateful bunch of bastards

There is a genuine beef about how artists are chosen but don’t dare disrespect those who paved your way. Christopher died on the Cross for you (see what I did there?)

You are lucky to even stand on the stage that Little Richard built ya.

–A.

* Christopher Cross is alive and well and probably playing corporate gigs and state fairs and stuff like that. He also rips one hell of a solo at about 3:30. 

 

green weenies

No Green Weenies

In 1982 Cumberland Unit #77’s High School student body collectively rioted and demanded action. Cumberland Unit #77, surrendered in two days.

Due to the efforts of the sadistic Lunch Ladies, a series of events caused the students to take drastic action. Utilizing every bit of know-how at their disposal, (A civics textbook) they fought the school’s establishment, armed with nothing but a Plat Map, the Student Handbook, and a poster board sign reading “NO GREEN WEENIES!”

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Cumberland Students march against the frequency and color of their weenies

These are the facts

  1. Students could not leave the school grounds for lunch.
  2. For one week the students were fed corn dogs each day.
  3. The next week they were given hot dogs that had a green tint to it.
  4. The students revolted…

I don’t know the complete story with names and dates, but I know how it went.

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger.” 

It probably started out as a joke, then an idea, then a strategy. Hushed meetings in the library between Mrs. Ettlebrick’s piercing ‘SHhhh!” Someone says something to another student between classes. Notes are passed, rumors of a coup d’état have started.

The scheme was planned like the JFK Assassination. No one knows who put in the order, deniable plausibility. The entire student body knows their part. Everyone had to be in for the plot to work. Nerds, jocks, stoners and Prom Queens joined together in unity. There could be no dissention if the scheme were to be effective…

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.ript_samuraiwars

Each morning after attendance was taken in homeroom, the teacher would ask how many were eating school lunch. They would then send this number to the office and the kitchen workers would prepare food for at least that many students. The campus was closed so the students ate what they were given, brought their own lunch, or went hungry.

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” 
The morning of the conspiracy, each student in every class raised their hand. They were ALL eating in the cafeteria that day. The die had been cast. There was no turning back.

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Hands raised in the classroom. The Conspiracy has started

When the lunch bell rang, the Lunch Ladies, (as they became known) with their ladles, hair nets, and their cowboy cake, stood ready to shovel the daily swill onto virtually indentured students who had no choice but to take their mocking smiles as they shoveled mystery meat at them.

The Lunch Ladies waited, and waited, and waited… Not a single student ate their swill that day. They cursed the students, they screamed “FOUL!”, with cigarettes dangling from the corners of their mouths. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? What will we do with all this swill?”

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What will we do with all this swill?

The students had drawn first blood. The teaching staff and Principal were in a panic. “These punks won’t strong arm us! WE are in control!

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “he who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” 

“You will not raise your hand during attendance if you are not eating” growled the Principal, teeth clinched veins bulging as his fist crushed the school intercom mic. “There will be hell to pay!” as he throws the mic against the wall.

The students stood steadfast as 350 green hot dogs went cold. There would be no ‘Cowboy Cake” that day.

Students were called in and interrogated. Parents were called. Detention was cancelled due to overcrowding. Reports of beatings, sleep deprivation, and threats about a “Permanent Record” were being thrown around. The due dates on essays of “Moby Dick” were moved up a week.

The students were prepared with water, nourishment and a stack of Cliff Notes for Moby Dick. They laid low and kept the momentum of their first victory to themselves. The war was far from over

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.”  bag

Part two of the battle plan involved the Plat Map and the civics book…probably.

While the students couldn’t picket on school property, they discovered that there was nothing the School could do if you stood along the highway on the opposite side of the road. It is owned by the state.

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” 

“Who gives a damn about those ungrateful bastards? Who cares about a group of  kids holding a  poster board sign that said ‘NO GREEN WEENIES’?

WTHI TV Channel 10 out of Terre Haute Indiana. Serving the Wabash Valley with news and information; that’s who cared. photo

A masked spokesman for the group explained to the entire Wabash Valley about the school’s weenie policy. Terre Haute was outraged! Letters were written and phone calls were made. Politicians gave speeches. It was a turkey shoot. No one was left unscathed. War is hell. A lone child stepped forward and sang “99 Luft Ballons” tears fell and hugs were exchanged. The weenie word was out. The students could stand down.

Sun Tzu says in the Art of War “One need not destroy one’s enemy. One need only destroy his willingness to engage.”

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Victory!

Battled scarred and weary, Cumberland Unit #77 gave in to the student’s demands and nary a green weenie is seen in Cumberland County Illinois ever since. The Principal hung his head in disgrace. He later left teaching altogether to join the carnival. He runs that machine where you spray the water in the clown’s mouth.

The lunch Ladies simply disappeared. It’s rumored they are buried under the 50 Yard Line at the field where the Fighting Pirates played football.

And there isn’t even a fuckin’ plaque.

*The events are true even if I have taken liberty by filling in the blanks. 

On a side note, I graduated from Cumberland and the Kitchen Staff, Administration, and Teachers were always wonderful. Forgive me if I have put you in a bad light.


Dedicated to

Ciara Jade Faires

  In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond

‘Like’, ‘Follow’ and LEAVE A COMMENT ⇓

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Inner Beauty…Everyone Will See it if You Lose Weight

Passion. Motivation. Inspiration. Sacrifice.

We see these words and what pops into your mind? Blue tinted glitchy films of athletes drenched in sweat while their faces scream of agony as they cross the finish line, or lift an unimaginable set of weights over their head.
I’ve read recently about a wave of body acceptance crossing the nation. Gas Station food, sitting on your ass, not getting enough exercise. I should be ashamed of the extra weight I have put on since my depression has subsided a bit. There is no secret to losing it. Eat less, move more.

passion

Dedication!

Exercise has never been my favorite thing to do. The thought of walking out the front door in 100 degree heat and running never crosses my mind. The thought of lifting something heavy over my head doesn’t seem like a priority. I don’t want the athletes to think that I don’t respect what they do. I do want them to realize there are other ways to sacrifice that are just as hard, take just as much dedication and don’t give you shin splints or constant surgeries to get there.

I’ve heard it for years and to this very day it’s brought up. “I thought you’d get in shape with me! You never want to do anything.”Inner-Beauty-Best-Demotivational-Posters

Not exactly true. They don’t see that I don’t like the gut. They don’t see me cringe when I have to buy clothes. They don’t see me taking a brisk walk or skipping the snack that I’m craving. They don’t know the ache I feel in my lungs and heart from my smoking addiction which I have avoided through will power and an electronic cigarette. Right now I’d love to light up and read what I have written.

I was married to an Ironman triathlete. She could swim 2.4 miles, hop out and ride her bike 112, and then run a full marathon, 26.2 miles. We have no love left between us but I’d never take that achievement away. I saw it; I was always in awe of her and the ability to do such an insane race. I was at the finish line every time. A few times she even appreciated it.

She had the passion, motivation, and inspiration. She sacrificed time with her family, with her kids, ballgames, proms, birthdays (yes she went to London UK over her daughter’s birthday, and she forgot mine totally on a race trip.) Is it sacrifice or selfishness that guided her? She didn’t feel like she sacrificed anything. Who cares who you neglect as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you? THAT is the reason no love is lost between us. Narcissism and selfishness. Life went on while she was sweating; just she wasn’t a part of it. She chose not to sit on her ass over the needs of everything and everybody else. The sacrifice was given by her family, not her.

ironman-finisher

Success!

She couldn’t tell you the name of a single one of her “best friend’s” children, but she would work any conversation back to herself and her abilities. Which were being a damn good singer and an Ironman. It sure didn’t make up for character and honesty let alone respect.

Why do passion, motivation, inspiration and sacrifice only apply to athletes and upper management? Could it be that possibly my passion has nothing to do with being an athlete?

I’m passionate about art, learning new artistic abilities and programs, activism, reading, writing, songwriting, guitar playing, great movies, mentoring, and fighting for the rights of children, far out thoughts that lead to skills that I’d like to try. New things, new experiences, fresh ideas, wrongs that need corrected. Bad behavior that needs corrected. Documentaries about subjects I know very little about but want to know more. I have a passion for learning and exploring. I want to know how Ravens use tools, and why the laws of nature break down at the quantum level. I want to know how Robert Crumb thinks and what his process is when creating a comic.KK-254Who'sAfraidT.jpg

I’m motivated because I want to please myself. I’m curious. Recently I have tried and failed twice at sculpting and mold making. I know two ways NOT to make a mold. I know why and will solve the problem or realize I know how to solve the problem now and I might just move on to the next project.

I’m inspired by artists, writers, dreamers, good music, great songwriting, great animation, original ideas, and seeing an artistic medium that I’d like to try. I might not be the best at any of these things but I strive for them.

Sacrifice? Through the years I’ve sacrificed everything I’ve had at one point or another. I sacrifice my time to listen and laugh and cry with friends. I’ve sacrificed things that I love and moments of joy to do what someone else wants to. No one sees that.

I’m a guitarist and a bass player. I sacrificed every party, event, and good time to go out and entertain. I’ve sacrificed money and time to charities. I’ve sacrificed relationships and left myself open to ridicule by people I love. I’ve sacrificed time doing what I love because I have this built-in guilt that I’m supposed to be hiking backed up by society and friends who love to hike. I think hiking is ok, putting me down for not wanting to seems like a reasonable solution for not loving it though.

I write a new song. Record it and I can’t get anyone to listen to it. I recorded a whole album and even my best friends didn’t buy it. I’m giving it away now. Ask and you can have it. It took a year to make. It took a lifetime of heartbreaks and good times to find the words to write. Isn’t that dedication? I opened my veins and bled for you openly showing what goes on behind these tattoos. Maybe I should run along the highway with a sign advertizing my little collection of songs and a peek inside of me. If I show a little sweat maybe the songs will have some value.

v1_7Passion? I sat in my room as a kid learning to play a guitar. I still practice for the love of playing. Not for you but for me. No one saw it. No one heard the out of tune guitar trying to smoothly play Crazy Train. I worked for every note that comes from my guitar. Then through motivation I started working my way up the musical ladder until I was standing on a huge stage, or playing nose to nose with a guitar god and holding my own. You get to hear the results and never think about the dedication it took. Mainly because you don’t see the sweat dripping off a kid when he finally can play the opening lick from Layla.

My passions don’t involve a sport but unless they do, society, some friends, and strangers looks down their nose because I have a Buddha belly. I’ll finish with a true story.

I belong to a Facebook group of internet *Trolls. They gathered together to make fun of the Militia occupation of a bird sanctuary/gift shop in a Federal Park. Thousands of random people from all walks of life joined this group. No one trolls each other. They are just a group of clever, witty, sarcastic do-gooders. Many are activists and have been for decades. I have trolled hate groups for years. No regrets. These folks troll for good, not evil.

A young early 20’s gal hopped on the message board one day and started body shaming other ladies about fat asses, smoking, lack of will power, and no motivation. She’s a distance runner. She knows pain, she knows sacrifice, she knows dedication.

I came to the ladies aid and replied to her; “These people have been helping others since before you were born. From civil rights, to Save the Whales. Years of writing congressmen, marches, spreading the word and making the world a better place. Personally I researched and implemented a program that would help locate missing children after a tragedy in my old home town. I told them I wanted NO recognition. It was my duty as a citizen of the world.”
“What was it you say you do? Run really far? That’s nice.”

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Am I off base in thinking this way? Leave me a comment. Tell me what you think. You may get a discussion but you won’t be met with hostility.

Be sure to Follow, Like and Subscribe. I have low self esteem and could use the extra bump!

*Troll- (noun) In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

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Sushi?! Back home we call that ‘Bait’

My lady was eating sushi the other day. It reminded me of the saying “we call that ‘bait’” but not always… There are guys back home that do a type of fishing called Hoggin’.

Hoggin’ is where you and a buddy, go down to the river and you hop in the water and feel around for a hole or a hollow log. Catfish spend most of their time sedentary and laying in a hole or a hollow log.

When you find that hole you hold your breath and go underwater and then proceed to stick your arm into a hole that you can’t see because of the muddy waters that flow down the Embarras (am-BRA) River. If you are lucky, the catfish will attack you in an effort to escape the hole and it bites your hand. Then you hold onto its mouth and yank it out of the water. It’s very eco-friendly.

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Fish Bait not Sushi.

A catfish is really nothing to mess with. They have TEETH! These guys can pull out monster fish. Unlucky Hoggers can lose a finger to a snapping turtle, snakes, or a muskrat all of which also like to live in the abandoned catfish holes. These men have more courage or less sense than I will ever have. They fish with integrity.

When I was a kid there were two certainties in life

  • Muhammad Ali was always the Champion.
  • Evel Knievel was the toughest man ever.

May 26, 1975. Wembley Arena, London UK. Evel Knievel will jump over thirteen busses. His farthest jump ever.

Earlier that day Evel walks into the empty arena. He was wearing his leathers from the night before, he smells of alcohol and loose women, having been on a bender the past few days. Standing with the ABC Wide World of Sports crew was announcer Frank Gifford.

Frank says “how ya doin’ Evel?” with a knowing chuckle.

Evel replies “I’m feelin’ kinda crispy around the edges Frank.”

Evel takes a look at the thirteen busses and turns to Frank and says “I can’t jump that.”

Frank shocked at Evel’s comment says “WHAT??!”

Evel replies calmly, “I can’t jump that far.”

Frank Says “Come on Evel, let’s get the hell out here. We’ll come up with something.”

Evel says “No no no. I said I was gonna jump. I’m gonna jump. What do you want me to do? Give all these people their money back?”

Ninety-thousand people have filled the arena. Evel steps out of his trailer red, white and mostly blue leathers, cape and cane in hand. Flashbulbs are popping, The American National Anthem is blasting out the PA and fireworks are lighting up the air.

Evel mounts his bike. Not a Japanese crotch rocket, but a heavy ole’Harley Davidson. He
revves up the bike and takes off ,popping wheelies and putting on a show for the crowd who’ve come to see this former white-trash, county fair stuntman.

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May 26th, 1975. Wembley Arena

Evel rides up the edge of the landing ramp and gazes across. The take-off ramp is a stretched rubber band that fades off into the rafters. He takes a run at the ramp but at the last minute he turns and speeds by, milking the suspense and bringing the crowd to frenzy like only a dirt-track-carnie can.

Evel takes one more false run before hitting his ramp and roaring his Harley up the bleachers to the top platform where he turns, then pulls the front wheel right to the edge of the ramp.

Evel is now looking at a ribbon of plywood that ends where the thirteen busses start. He can see completely across the distance he has to jump. He in his mind he knows he’s not going to make it.

With a deep breath and a quick prayer, Evel gives his crew the thumbs up. It’s a go!

Evel guns the Harley and screams down the nearly vertical ramp! He’s helling down at top speed! The crowd is on its feet. The screaming is deafening! More flashbulbs pop as Evel hits the end of the ramp and into history!!!!! Now THAT is integrity.

Muhammad Ali died yesterday.

In my mind there are still two certainties.

  • Muhammad Ali will always be the Champion of the World.
  • Evel Knievel will always be the toughest man ever.

You can’t say they weren’t men of their word.

Mom and Dad let me stay up late and watch Ali fight on TV late in his career. That was pretty cool.


Hey do me a solid and hit ‘follow’ and ‘like’ I’d love to meet some of the weirdos who read this drivel. Leave me a hello or something in the comments. 

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Even the President has to Stand Naked.

Three upscale society ladies were having brunch at the Russian Tea Room in Manhattan.

Much to their chagrin, a Southern woman asks to sit with them as she is from out-of-town and alone.

The Southern woman asks “Where ya’ll from?”

One of the upscale ladies places her cup back into her saucer and without looking up replies “We are from a place where we don’t end our sentences in prepositions.”  Her friends smugly smiling into their tea.

The Southern woman took a sip of her tea and placed it on her saucer and replied, “Please forgive me. Let me restate my question. Where ya’ll from bitch?”


The culture shock hasn’t gone unnoticed. The weekends are filled with day trippers. Ladies in carefully thought out “oh, this old thing” light spring dresses complete with matching jacket and shawl, walk casually down the street.  They walk through the village and stop in the wine tasting rooms and admiring the quaint ambiance of an artist colony full of purple-footed grape mashers.b3557

I don’t think I’m fitting in. In Greenup, I am very liberal. Here I see where rules that I thought were universal are not. Such as respect.

“Don’t say ‘Hon’ to the fem-nazi’s here. That lady looked kind of pissed.”

My answer? Fuck her.’Hon’ is a benign term of endearment given when I don’t know your name and if you are a woman. It’s what words like ‘buddy’ and ‘My Man!’ are meant when dealing with a stranger who I don’t know who happens to be a guy. I refuse to believe in pointless outrage.

Show me proof of someone actually pissed because you told them Merry Christmas and I’ll show you someone with a stick so far up their ass they could be a scarecrow. You are out voted! Saying nice things to one another should be the freest of free speech. I say it and I’m an atheist. Beats a poke in the eye any day.

Vigilante justice, or the gold ‘ole ass kicking. It’s like they have never heard of using violence to solve your problems??!! The fear of being called on your buillshit should be real.

When someone is speaking out of turn, they expect not to be confronted with a conflicting point of view. Like a two black eyes, because I had to tell ya twice, kind of justice. Nothing like the fear of being hurt to make you think about your choice of words.

Attitude adjustment. Equalizers “If he’s too big, get a bat!” The throwdown. How will we know the line in the sand without two guys puffing their chests like peacock feathers. A bro-down.

They used to have ‘Bro-Downs’ all the time in Robinson IL. Two farm boys would stand outside in the parking lot of the club.Each are being ‘held back’ by a gal who weighs a buck-o-five. Played that joint for twenty years. Never saw a punch thrown. I miss it though. If you are ever through there, stop in the Main St. Pub and say hi to Sherry for me. Don’t worry, you are safe from violence there.

There is a lot to learn. I’m not a fan of wine. I never expected to be in California, let alone here. Maybe I can summon the spirit of Steinbeck. I think I’ll write Of Mice and Men. I snow-bunnyremember pretty much how that story goes. I won’t ruin it for you, but I remember there is a guy who keeps Vaseline in his glove so his hand is soft for the ladies. That with the “I’ll love him and squeeze him and call him George…” from the Bugs Bunny cartoons I watched in my youth, toss in an action scene or two. We got ourselves a humdinger of a story.

I listen weekly to the songs the songs I need to finish but just can find the words. I’m still blocked. In the interim I heard the master tapes to my close friend Tommy Dunn and Ike Edwards new album. Once again, great songwriting and performance. Check out their stuff. Mustache. This is the best kept secret in the world. I really mean that. These guys could stand toe to toe with any band and hold their heads high.

Tommy said something that I can totally relate to. He said he played and the most he could hope for was to impress his peers. Me being one of them. I’m honestly honored that he thought that much of me to even mention it.

I am just like Tommy. No matter what I have done, the shows I’ve played, the people I’ve played them with, It was the guys I looked to that I always wanted the respects from. The Three G’s, Greg, George and Garrie. I’ve stood nose to nose with George Lynch (guitar god from the 80’s) held my own and the dude I wanted to impress most is my neighbor and my buddies Rod and Doug. They are the ones who answered my questions and let me pester them into showing me something until I could start figuring it out myself.  Every note I have ever played came through them. Like shit through a goose.

Prince died this week. Every band on YouTube was playing Purple Rain. Iconic song, I played it for years myself.  I would have played Darling Nikki, I Want to B UR Lover, or Computer Blue. That’s how you solo brother!

Prince had a strange fame. He took all the best parts of Little Richard, Sly Stone, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Kung Fu, Shaft and Super Fly, and unapologetically put them together and invented a five foot funk machine, His Royal Badness, the former-artist-formally- known-as Prince.

He’s the one guy who, throughout his entire career, it was OK to like. Sure, you had your Ted Nugent dudes who don’t know the difference between a good guitar player and an Susanna-Hoffs-with-The-Bangles-550x310amazing musician. But he was cool, because he was boinking all the stars you wish you were boinking. Like Suzanna Hoffs from the Bangles…Ok so you can’t argue that. He puts on an amazing show, complete with great songs.  Ya got me there…

He has the majesty of a Las Vegas show in his pants. Canned heat in his heels and oh yeah, he can blow you away on the guitar. This is when it hits you that there are people better than you in this world. And I’m not talking about guitars. He is simply better than everyone.

His daily life is better than any vacation you will ever have. And we’re Ok with that. He’s transcended the American Dream and now lives the life of luxury in a palace of his own making. Too bad it’s in God for sakin’ Minnesota.  No one said he didn’t deserve it. He was the Willie Wonka of music. He produced the most wonderful flavors.

When you didn’t hear from him in awhile, you assumed he was off somewhere making purple music while wearing a smoking jacket, and a bevy of white women at his feet. Somewhere between Dante`s Inferno and the Care Bears Christmas. Both having their own foot in Hell.

There was a lot to being “Prince” but there are something’s that your assistant can’t do for you. At some point Prince sat down and dialed in the sounds he recorded. He was sitting on the floor with his pedal board. He was tuning that guitar and cutting the solo to Lets Go Crazy. The dude sitting alone and writing with a pad of paper and an acoustic guitar. “Even the President has to stand naked.”~ Bob Dylan

There could be a far out parable about Of Mice and Men’s main characters George, who has the burden of the simple minded Lennie to deal with. Prince let us pet it and love it and squeeze it and then a bullet to your head.

Prince is gone. Purple bunnies are chasing him. They are coming to dig him.

  • Robert Duvall and Prince have a separation of #3.
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Christian Rockers are Some Sick Mother F***r’s

Listen up sports fans! I’m dying a slow death. Suicide by still life. This is an artist community of people who paint nothing but bowls and pitchers with avocados or apples. The brave will throw some grapes in there.

I had to draw these in art class when I was in high school. I hated it then and I hate them now. Some of these guys can paint them with such realism that you could make a good bet it was a photo. Which brings up the point of painting it in the first place when you could have just taken a picture and not spent a year getting the colors to blend just right on a freakin apple.

There was an art show this weekend. They tossed some heavy dough into a big tent, people organizing and judging, setting up displays, and then they hung 100’s of still life paintings throughout the tent. Some of them had ribbons. Big blue ribbons. They said “Your picture of this bottle/avocado theme is the best bottle/random fruit in this category!” There must have been only two categories. Amateur bottle/random fruit painters and Professional bottle /and random fruit painters.

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This picture inspires me to bust the bottle and cut someone with it while eating an apple.

I assume there was no cash award, making the amateur a professional by definition.

The music. I have been trying to meet some musicians so I’ll have someone to buy pot from since I got here. I answered an ad on craigslist for a guitarist. When they replied the choice of material was obscure and benign. If ever a town needed a pair of jeans, a chain drive wallet, a pair of Chuck Taylors, and a three-chord-shit-kickin’ band busting out Travelin’ Band like they were playing it as if their life depended on it, this is the place.

Where is the passion? The beauty of simplicity, the beauty of painting outside the lines? Like a child. There are no rules. Will my lowbrow style even be considered art here? What if it’s not? I won’t be offended, mine will seethe with sweat, anger, danger and humor. Art without passion is Still Life, music without it is Christian Rock.

What if I told you I was going to start a band, but were only going to sing about ducks. A whole album about me following a duck, or simply saying what a great duck it is. People eat duck so I could sing about various ways to eat duck. It’s a myth that ducks don’t make an echo… After that I’m out of ideas. Maybe I could write a song or two about a duck when the mood hits me, and then write about a cow, or other bovine.

I’ll never understand Christian Rock. I helped out my Mom’s church by playing in a one time band playing three songs. All mid-tempo, extreme graphic violent accounts for the entire lyric and the chorus guilts us into buying a CD because my grandson likes Rock and Roll music. It’s not the music. It’s Christian Rock listeners. Are you kidding me? Hillsong? Casting Crowns? No one smiles. Not the band, Not the audience just the road manager counting the receipts back stage.

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Christian Rock. Not a smile in the creepy-ass crowd

Nothing creeps me out more than the hand raising. It’s way too “Hitler Youth” for me to swallow. Put your hands down and put them together. Maybe Hillsong will crack a smile as they describe Jesus being nailed to a tree. Metallica wrote a song about being trapped under ice on the Ride the Lightning album plus the title song, which I suppose is another description of death. Neither coming close to the description of the Passion. Christian rockers are some sick mother fuckers. A musical snuff film. I have news for you. You can love God and AC/DC.

Longtime AC/DC frontman, Brian Johnson has lost his hearing mid-tour. As the replacement for the late Bon Scott.  Brian could hit the notes and snarled out a comeback album like Back in Black. Due to Brian’s hearing problems the band just let him go. They will be finishing the tour with the dreaded Axl Rose singing lead.

I can only hope they are hiring Axl on to finish the tour, give the fans something special and all of it being a tip of the hat to B. Johnson. If he’s filling in to finish the tour, then Axl will be a hero. If he feels he’s replacing Brian then he will be the villain. I kind of like the idea. Beats trying to buy a ticket for an oldies act from the 80’s with one amazing album under their belt.

AC/DC fans are having a ball. For those about to rock...

AC/DC fans are having a ball. For those about to rock…

GnR back together, doesn’t thrill me and I LOVE the original version of the group. Appetite was on my turntable when it came out. IN 1987! Kids today weren’t even born then. Guys you have been a day late and a dollar short since you became superstars. It’ll be a big-time grossing tour, but it’ll also be playing the oldies, a picture of a once great band. A snapshot of the past. A still life.

Ever notice Axl sound like Ethel Merman? Knock, knock, knockin on heaven’s dow-wow… juxtaposed with There’s NO business like SHOW business….

Ethel Merman was in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with and actor named Tyler McVey. McVey was in the movie Captain Newman, M.D. with The Great Santini himself, Robert Duvall.

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Listen up hog!

 I’m 100% immersed into John Steinbeck country. The places I’ve read about in some of my favorite books are right here. I went to the Steinbeck Center the other day. It was pretty stiff. I did get to see his camper from the non-fiction travelogue Travels with Charley and his handwriting and typewriter. All for twelve bucks.

“It ain’t much of a crime, whackin’ a surly bartender.” ~ Captain Augustus McCrae (Robert Duvall)

~Arlo