Saturday, January 31, 2009

Japanese Rickshaw

With the potential carbon taxes coming in the near future as advocated by Al Gore; we may have to go back to rickshaws for transportation as they used to use back in Japan.

TOMATO CANS

Back when I was a freshman in high school while living in Simsbury, Connecticut some friends of mine and I formed a "basement band" called "The Cloudmen".

Rick O'Brien and Greg Kunicki played guitar, I played the drums, and Bill DeMallie played the tomato cans. Bill didn't really have any musical training but we wanted him to be part of our group so he used a spare pair of my drum sticks to belt out some rhythms on the cans.

So, we had a unique percussion section.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

YouTube - MONKEY RIDING A SEGWAY ON JAPANESE TELEVISION!

YouTube - MONKEY RIDING A SEGWAY ON JAPANESE TELEVISION!

THE SHAW TWINS

Back around 1985 I started playing coed indoor volleyball on the Cape in Brewster Mass on Tuesday nights at the elementary school gym. We would set up two volleyball nets in the gym and play each week by lining up and counting off so each week we would be playing with different people.

Jennifer Mentzer was in charge of this volleyball night for a few years. My brother Scott also would play as well. Scott is about 6.5 years younger than me and really doesn't look that similar to me as he has brown hair while I had red hair. We both are similar in height.

Both Scott and I wore Nike high top basketball sneakers that were the same model as these shoes were white leather with a blue Nike "swoosh" logo with some yellow trim on these shoes as well. I told Jennifer that Scott and I are twins. At first she didn't seem to believe me but then I pointed out to her that we had the same shoes.

After that she used to call us the "Shaw twins".

I guess it would be hard for Scott and I to be actual twins given our age difference. I don't think any mother could endure 6.5 years of childbirth plus my two sisters were born between Scott and myself.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

COOKIE CALLS

My friend Jim Byrne and his wife Susan have four children; Charlie, Harry, Dierdre, and "Cookie".

I first met "Cookie" when she was a baby and her family rented a room at the Dolphin Motel in Chatham, Mass on Cape Cod for a week of summer vacation. "Cookie" had just mastered learning how to walk and when I was visiting their room at the Dolphin and sitting in a chair; "Cookie" came up to me and started handing me some of her stuffed animals and beanie babies. She gave me more and more of her stuffed toys and Dierdre started helping "Cookie" as well and soon I was almost literally covered in the toys. Luckily I survived this and I didn't suffocate or anything.

As "Cookie" started to learn how to talk she used to announce to her Mom Susan; "I gonna call Rickshaw."

So, "Cookie" used to call me and tell me her thoughts and experiences. I wasn't always sure exactly what she was talking about but I enjoyed hearing from her and listening to her stories. I made sure that I said a lot of "Oh!, and Wow!, and That's Nice, as well as asking her a few questions about "Blues Clues" and things like that.

As time moved on, "Cookie" stopped calling ... but I did enjoy her calls....

Even today, sometimes when the phone rings at my house I say to myself before I answer the phone, "I wonder if that's "Cookie" calling ?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tony Taeger

Back in 1972 as a freshman at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, Jim Byrne and Christopher Grover and I each had a radio shift at the college radio station WCMO. We all lived at 301 Parsons Hall.

The radio station studio was located in the basement of one of the older classroom buildings on campus. Back then they had these circular pieces of black vinyl with grooves in them called records. The records had a hole in the center which allowed the record to fit on a turntable. The turntable rotated around and around at a set speed of either 33.3, 45, or 78 rpms (revolutions per minute). While the record was spinning on the turntable you had to move an arm like fixture on the side of the turntable over the record and set this arm over the record where the needle at the end of the arm would touch the record and thus either music, speaking, or whatever was recorded on the record could be heard. Believe it or not there were not only no MP3 players at that time, there weren't even any compact disks.

Jim, Christopher Grover, and I each had memorable shows such as The Lutheran Hour, Symphony Hall, In the Bookstall, and other very popular radio classics. In addition to playing the assigned records we all had to check the teletype machine and compose a five minute news broadcast "hot off the press".

We would all listen to the radio shows that each of us had on the air. Jim, Christopher Grover and I decided that it would be fun to use fake names during our news broadcasts as a sort of inside joke. Thus, in my case, instead of saying that I was Rick Shaw; I said my name was Tony Taeger.

Not only was that fun: IT WAS GRRRRRREAT!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Les Deaux Carrosses


1707 Les Deaux Carrosses
by Claude Gillot

Ji Chou

Happy Chinese New Year. 2009 is the year of the OX. (aka Ji Chou). Welcome to year 4707.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

FIRE THAT SUCKERER

As a summer job when I was 14 and 15 years old, I worked for the Cullman Brothers picking tobacco. Cullman Brothers (aka Culbro) was renowned for the shade tobacco primarily grown in the Farmington river valley which included my home town of Simsbury, Connecticut. The shade tobacco was grown under a cloth in large fields. After the tobacco was grown it was stored and cured in large barns and then used for wrapping cigars for brands such as Phillies and Dutch Masters.I had heard that Dr. Martin Luther King picked tobacco for Culbro when he was a boy. The pay wasn't bad for a 14 year back then ($1.25 per hour).

One day we were suckering tobacco in one of the fields. Suckering tobacco involves taking off the small offshoots that grow off of the main stalk of the shade tobacco so that the broad leaves of the tobacco plant can grow bigger and wider for use as cigar wrappers and prevent some of the plant growth from going to the offshoots (suckers). We were instructed on the proper way to "sucker" and started working in the fields.

As we were suckering the tobacco plants, the general manager Barney Dudak came by to see how we were doing. One kid didn't follow the "suckering" instructions and instead of taking off the small suckers from the plant; this kid was tearing off the main tobacco leaves starting at the top of the plant. Barney noticed this kid and said something like "Goldang kid broke five plants in a row. Fire him".

That kid sucked at suckering.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

YouTube - THE RUTLES - Hold My Hand (1963)

YouTube - THE RUTLES - Hold My Hand (1963) Remember when those wacky lads from Liverpool (the pre-fab four) played the Ed Sullivan show? Well, here they are.

PENNY JAM

Back in 1972 as a freshman at Marietta College I was the victim of a prank. Here's what happened.

I lived in Parsons Hall in suite 301. The suite consisted of four separate rooms, two rooms on each side with a shared bathroom at the end of the hallway. One late afternoon I was in the bathroom taking a shower when someone came in and took my towel and left the bathroom.

I then heard some pounding on the side of the door and realized that I was being "pennied in".
Someone (I believe it was that evil junior Rickey D. Irvin) was wedging several pennies into the door jam (pennied in).

What to do. Although it wasn't my birthday, I was wearing my birthday suit. Being stuck in a bathroom has advantages and disadvantages. I had plenty of water and temporarily a private bathroom and toilet. Suite 301 was on the third story and there weren't any trees near the bathroom window so I couldn't safely climb out the window and it was too far up to safely jump. The bathroom window faced a street but this area wasn't frequented by many people walking by so I couldn't yell for assistance with much success. What to do.

I decided my first asset to speed my release was to use one of the most common elements found in a bathroom, water. I stopped up the drain of both sinks with paper towels and let the water start to flow over the sink, out onto the bathroom floor and then under the bathroom door out into the hallway and into the rooms of the suite. Just as in the bible in the time of Noah and the ark when God made it rain for 40 days and nights to cleanse the evil behavior of mankind; I on a much smaller scale used a mini flood to stop the evil Rickey D. Irvin.

It worked. The other people in the suite didn't like the water going into their rooms so they begged the evil Rickey D. Irvin to release Rickshaw from the bathroom; they said "Please Rickey D. make the water stop". Under pressure from the others, the evil Rickey D. Irvin took the pennies from out of the door jam , I had my freedom, and the waters started to recede.

I'm a tough guy, don't mess with the Rickshaw.

Friday, January 16, 2009

BLUE TIE OR RED?

I'm going shopping soon for a new henway and need some advise as I'm really not an expert on fashion or color coordination.

So the question is as follows: Does a blue tie look good with a henway? Or would red be better..

Any advise would be appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks in advance for your help.

NO HORSE POWER


Just a cow powered rickshaw.

RAGS'S CHOICE

Growing up in the late 1960's in Simsbury,Connecticut we had a next door neighbor who lived in a white split level house. The father of that family worked at a local science center which catered mostly to school age kids to learn about some of the "wonders" of science and the world we live in. This family had a sheep dog as a pet named "Rags".

Rags was a middle sized dog with black and white shaggy fur. The neighbor used to leave sometimes for weekend trips and leave Rags tied up on their outdoor deck. My Mom, brother and sisters used to play with and feed Rags when the neighbor wasn't at home.

Over time, Rags was spending more and more of his time at our house instead of next door. Rags was a smart dog who seemed to know some English. Rags knew his name, but also if you said "Rags, do ya wanna go outside?"; Rags would get all excited and run to the door, then run to you, then back to the door. Eventually, Rags stopped going back to the house next door and become our family dog. The neighbor never said, "Hey,give me back my Rags". He just bought another dog and that was that.

So, Rags became master of his destiny, that was Rags's choice.

bebe elephant

LOST ON 1/21/2009

The Television show LOST will premiere Season 5 on on the ABC network on 1/21/2009. The Oceanic 6 have to go back to the Island. JJ Abrams, the producer on LOST and FRINGE, to me has two of the most interesting and thought provoking television shows currently available for us to view. So, set your schedule or recorder for this new season.

Coincidentally, after the inauguration of President Barak Obama on 1/20/2009, we shall start to see the true direction that President Obama wants to take America over the next four years. Will he set a course of hope and change for the good or change for the worse? Is he the savior or an Obamanation? Will America find its way under his guidance or will we be LOST?

How will the future unfold? Stay tuned. " No man is an Island".

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

BAD DOG

Back when I was in 7th and 8th grade living in Simsbury, Connecticut I had a paper route delivering the afternoon edition of ( then called ) The Hartford Times. Each day after school and weekends I would load up my bike rack with the papers and ride from house to house on the route parking my bike and walking up to the door of each house to drop off the paper.

I didn't have too much of a problem with dogs, except for one dog on Deepwood road name "Mickey". Mickey was an older beagle mix mutt who would approach me with teeth barred, barking and howling, and trying to lunge at me to bite me in the leg. The owners would call to Mickey and try to get the dog to stop with his antics so I could deliver the paper and not sue them for multiple dog bites.

Apparently, Mickey's owners used to discipline Mickey by boxing his ears and head with a rolled up newspaper. So, in Mickey's eyes I was an accomplice to the punishment he received as I supplied the weapon of his punishment.

Sorry Mickey, but don't blame me, I was just doing my job.

PIE CRUST

Back when I was three years old I lived with my parents and two younger sisters outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My youngest sister Leeanne was an infant at the time (not that I was too old myself).

One day we all had our evening meal. Leeanne was in her crib in the living room near the kitchen. We had pie for dessert that night and being the nice brother that I was; I went over to Leeanne's crib and gave her a small piece of the pie crust. Leeanne wasn't happy about this and started to choke and cry.

I guess eating pie is an acquired taste and infants aren't ready to be pie connoisseurs. At her new born age she only seemed to like bottled milk. I guess sometimes sharing isn't the right thing to do.

Or maybe she preferred cake.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

HI RALPH

While attending Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in 1972 and 1973; my friend Jim Byrne and I were one day browsing through a surplus army/navy store in downtown Marietta when we spied some white shirts available for three for a dollar. The shirts were second hand shirts with names and tradesman logos on them. The value of a dollar was worth more back then but still we both thought that three shirts for a dollar wasn't too bad a price for such quality and besides the shirts were a good conversation piece.

We both bought three shirts. My three shirts had names on them of Ed (brake alignment..see picture below), Ralph, and Si. I don't remember the names on Jim's shirts but I do know that they had vowels and consonants which made names that that didn't spell Jim.

I can still remember walking into the cafeteria at Marietta and Laine Axelson, Stewy, Lynn, Joanne, Cruze, Janet Suber and others saying "HI RALPH" when I was wearing the "Ralph"
shirt.

THREE FOR A DOLLAR

Back in 1973 you could get quality shirts like these for three for a dollar.

I LEFT A SMALL TIP

Back in 1971 while working in the kitchen of the Black Dog Tavern restaurant in Canton, Connecticut I had a memorable experience one early evening. At that time I was a salad chef and overall kitchen worker at this well known restaurant. In addition to preparing and maintaining the salad bar; I often had to prepare sides of roast beef for cooking in the oven.

This one memorable evening the head cook said to me, "Rick, we need to get another roast beef in the oven right away." Preparing the roast beef involved putting the meat in a cooking pan, adding onions, dicing carrots, celery, and sprinkling salt , pepper, and other spices to the roast beef. I quickly went to work preparing the roast beef. I'm dicing the celery and onions with a small very sharp kitchen knife with no problem. I encountered a problem slicing and dicing when it came to the carrots. I'm right handed so I held the knife in my right hand and the carrot in my left. I get near the end of dicing one carrot and I cut my left index finger near the top joint in a manner that left a sideways cut on the finger. I quickly washed off my cut finger and went to the first aid kit in the kitchen and wrapped up my finger leaving only the top tip of my finger exposed and uncovered.

I then went back to dicing the carrots for the roast beef. When dicing a carrot, I grasped the carrot and encircled the carrot in my left hand and bandaged left index finger. I ended up cutting too close to my finger again as when slicing through this carrot with the sharp knife I also sliced off a small tip of my finger which was the only part of the index finger that was left uncovered by the bandage from the previous cut.

I couldn't get my finger to stop bleeding and I guess the small tip of my finger ended up somewhere in the roast beef pan. As I didn't have a car at the time, one of the kitchen workers drove me and my bloody finger wrapped in a towel to Simsbury where I lived and straight to Dr. Himmelsbach to see if he could stop the bleeding.

Dr. Himmelsbach inspected my cut in two places finger and got out a large syringe and needle filled with something and jabbed this needle into the side cut which stopped the bleeding there but blood was still pouring out of the missing tip of my finger. The doctor then jabbed the needle into the end of my finger and it felt to me like I was being electrocuted as the needle went right on some nerves that are found at the end of the finger. This action stopped the bleeding at the end of my finger but then the side cut area started bleeding again so he had to repeat the process.

Over time the bleeding finally stopped and my finger isn't recognizably scarred unless I point out to someone the small area on the tip that is missing. Thus, usually when people go to a restaurant they leave a monetary tip if they are happy with the food and service. I as a restaurant worker left a small tip (of my finger.)

I never found that small tip of my finger. The restaurant I know, didn't charge any extra that night for the extra ingredient in that roast beef I prepared.

Monday, January 12, 2009

THE UNKNOWN COMIC

Back in 1975 as a member of the University of Connecticut Board of Governors I went to Dunphy's resort in Hyannis, Mass on Cape Cod to attend a student programing talent showcase. The Board of Governors was in charge of selecting entertainment events for the student and the showcase was held to introduce us to entertainers that we could hire for our schools.

I recall a few of the entertainers that were present at the showcase. One entertainer, Lionel Hampton had a good vibe about him as he was a renowned vibraphone artist.

There was another act there, some guy named Don Imus. I wasn't impressed with him. He seemed like a pompous, arrogant, bore and I definitely had no interest in hiring him to come to UCONN.

Another act, this young comedian named Jay Leno; I thought was really funny in both his material and his delivery of that comedic material. I had never heard of him before but was very impressed with him.

We didn't end up booking Jay Leno, this unknown comic, we ended up having a show with another comic, Robert Klein. I often wonder what ever happened to Jay Leno. I hope he made out OK. It is so hard to make a name for yourself in the entertainment industry and so many talented artists never make "the big time." Jay Leno where ever you are today, I hope you gave your career your best shot no matter how things turned out for you.

FLIES FLY BACKWARDS

If you find that you are being pestered by an annoying house fly or horse fly; I have a hint on how to kill those flies who won't "buzz off." (Please note this post is for informational purposes and the author does not necessarily condone the killing of flies, other flying insects, or any living entity.)

Flies do not first fly forward when they take off from where ever they have landed. No, first a fly rises up in a backward direction before then flying forward kind of like a helicopter.

What you do if you wish to kill a fly is get behind a fly that is resting on something and then put your hands about eight inches apart and about six inches above and slightly in back of the fly. You then clap your hands and the fly should fly right between your hands as the fly senses the motion of your hand clap.

This method usually works quite well if you don't mind having to wipe some dead fly guts off your hands after you finish your hand clap. So, if you misplaced your flyswatter that is what you can do.

THE LONG HANDSHAKE

A few of years ago I attended a college basketball game in Storrs, Connecticut at the Gampel Pavilion located on the campus of the University of Connecticut (UCONN). The game was between the UCONN Huskies men's team and the Syracuse Orangemen. I was at this game with Tony Aloisio, Jack Ardini, Steve Briotti, John DeStefano, and Lou Gesualdi; all friends who lived in the Crandall D dormitory in South Campus when we all attended UCONN back in 1976.

The game was a good one and the good guys won (GO HUSKIES). After the game we all went to Chuck's Steak House, a nearby restaurant for some food and drink. About fifteen minutes after we were seated for our meal at our table on the second level of Chuck's; we hear this cheering and clapping coming from the first floor dining area of the restaurant. We all wondered what the noise was all about.

Jim Calhoun, the Hall of Fame coach of the Connecticut Huskies, had entered the restaurant and everyone on the first floor who saw him gave him that round of applause.

We continued with our meal and after we all finished eating we gathered up our coats, paid the bill and proceeded out to the parking lot. As we were about to enter the car, Steve noticed coach Calhoun in the parking lot as well and said that he would like to go over to coach Calhoun and say hello and shake his hand. Steve said before meeting the coach "I wish I had a camera so I could have a picture of me and coach shaking hands." I said that I had a camera so I went with Steve, Lou, and everyone to take the picture.

So, Steve goes up to coach Calhoun as says, "Great game coach. Do you mind if I have a picture of you and I shaking hands?" Coach Calhoun agreed to this and Steve and coach are shaking hands. As it was night time, I had to wait for my camera flash to charge up sufficiently before taking the picture. Steve and coach are shaking hand during this time. I take the picture but unfortunately the camera flash didn't work for some reason so I say, " The flash didn't work, hold on and let me try again." Steve and coach fixed in the handshake pose while the camera is trying to recharge again. I take the second picture and again the camera flash doesn't work.

Oh well, we let coach go on his way. We didn't get a good picture for Steve but we were left with a good mental picture of Steve and coach and the "long handshake".

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MY SIXTH GRADER TEACHER

No, not my sixth grade teacher, yes, my sixth grader teacher.

Back when I was in 2nd grade attending school in Carmel, New York, my class was given an aptitude/IQ test. We all took the test and about a week later my teacher said to me "Ricky can I see you after class for a minute?" The school day ended and everyone from the class left to wait for their school bus to take them home for the day.

I remained behind and my teacher said to me, "Ricky, you were the only one in the class that knew how to do the multiplication and division problems on that test we all took last week. How did you know how to do that?"

The multiplication and division problems on the test were something like 3 times 2 equals ___
and 8 divided by 4 equals ____. We did not learn these "high math " concepts in 2nd grade in those days.

I replied to my teacher "Oh, my neighbor Anthony Debrew is in sixth grade and I was over at his house when he was doing his homework and he taught me."

I guess I was ready to learn these math skills as the saying goes: "When the student is ready the teacher will appear".

P.S. If anyone isn't sure of the answers to the multiplication and division examples I mention above just make a note in the comment section below and I will provide you with the answer (if you are ready to try to learn these complex math concepts).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

FINGER ELEVEN

I remember going to Jorgenson Auditorium at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) during my senior year to see The National Lampoon Show in 1975. I had a good seat for the show probably around the fifth row from the stage as I was a member of the Student Union Board of Governors which sponsored the show and "membership has its benefits".

What I most remember about this show was seeing this fat pig of a guy on stage who had long greasy shoulder length hair. He must have started it by insulting us angelic college students in the audience and we in the audience returned his retorts with our own flurry of insults towards him. It was actually all in good fun and part of the total show.

This guy on stage was all worked up, sweating profusely, eyes bulging, pacing around and swearing like a trooper and the same time repeatedly giving the audience the finger eleven. The audience in kind gave him a one finger salute along with laughing, insulting.yelling, and cursing him back.

I didn't know who that guy was at the time by name but later when I saw this person in a different light or setting so to speak;
that the person who became more famous over time and the
portly prankster who was running around the stage like a "Bat out of Hell" were one and the same.

Yes," MEATLOAF" early in his career was the finger eleven fool who graced the hallowed auditorium stage of my beloved university.

NO STINKIN' SNEAKERS

One evening over at the Mid-Cape Racquet & Heath Club I was getting dressed for spin class in the locker room when I noticed that I forgot to pack a pair of sneakers in my gym bag.

I decided to go upstairs to the spin class anyway and try to do the spin class sans sneakers, just with socks. The spin bike pedals are made of metal and they were digging into the soles of my feet. I was near the paper towel rolls used to wipe the bikes down after class so the spin bikes are not left with the sweat generated from the spin class workout. I took the paper towel roll and wrapped both of my feet with the paper towels so that my feet kind of looked like the shoeless Revolutionary War soldiers during their winter camp at Valley Forge who wrapped white rags around their feet. My Mom's ancestors (last name Ashley and my middle name) have been traced to have been in the War for Independence. Although not anywhere in comparison to my revolutionary war heritage:
I figured if my ancestors could struggle through the 1700's (they didn't even have television or computers back then) I could "struggle" through an hour of spin class.

I'm a tough guy, I don't need no stinkin' sneakers.

ANGUS, KING OF THE MOUNTAIN

ANGUS,
"King of the Mountain" Is the certified tallest snow man ever built according to the Guinness World Record Book.
However,"Jeannie" (see picture below) is over ten feet taller.
Both of Wappingers Falls. New York

JEANNIE

"Jeannie" is the world's tallest snowwoman standing at 122 feet which is just 30 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty".

Recently constructed in Wappingers Falls New York.

THE LAST TICKET

Last March I joined the Boston Chapter of the University of Connecticut Alumni Association for a reunion at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston,MA for an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the visiting Charlotte Bobcats. I parked my car at the Barnstable Burger King parking lot and went inside to the convenience store where they sell the P & B bus tickets. Inside the store I ran into Phyllis Gustafson, a friend of mine, who had recently retired from her real estate career and who was going to Boston to attend to see a ballet at the Wang Center with her daughter Debbie.

So we boarded the bus together and found a couple seats in the back of the bus as this bus was filled with a lot of students who attend the Sturgis Charter school in Hyannis.

After the bus arrived in Boston at the South Station I took the "T" to North Station, picked up my game ticket at the will call window and proceeded up the stairs, escalators, and elevator up to the promenade level of the Garden. The promenade level is high up near the suites and level with the scoreboard and the 16 (at that time) NBA championship banners. We had our own bar for our group with some snacks such as hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, etc. One of the benefits of the promenade section in addition to our own bar, was that there was a lot space in this section; you could literally jog around the area if you wanted some exercise.

The reason the Alumni association picked this game was the fact that both the Celtics and the Bobcats have former UCONN players. Ray Allen (number 20) , seven time NBA all star, plays shooting guard for the Celtics and Emeka Okafor (number 50) plays for the Bobcats. The Alumni association also had a raffle with the top prize being a signed Ray Allen official NBA uniform and 2nd prize being a signed Emeka Okafor jersey. There were some other prizes as well such as UCONN hats, tee shirts, etc.

They sold raffle tickets at 3 tickets for $5.00, 7 tickets for $10.00 and 15 tickets for $20.00. The raffle tickets were sold from a large roll as a double ticket where you keep one of the tickets and the other one going into the raffle pot. The proceeds of the raffle were used for future alumni events. I splurged for $20 worth and sat back and watched the game while waiting for and the drawing for the raffle prizes.

Half time arrived and just before the raffle one of the people who arrived after the tickets were sold asked if anyone wanted to sell a few of their tickets. I sold this guy 5 tickets for $5.00 from the top of my string of tickets. The raffle drawing started and I wasn't having any of my number called. They got to the last raffle item, and what do you know, they called my ticket which was the last ticket on my string of tickets.

Lucky for me that I didn't sell that fellow five tickets from the bottom of my ticket string. Photo of the "grand prize" below.

Friday, January 9, 2009

GREEN SLEEVE (LESS)


JOHNNY G

I am (not) legend.... But to some I'm known as Johnny G.

You see, I used to belong to the Mid-Cape Racquet and Fitness Club in South Yarmouth. One of their popular programs is spin class. Spinning was founded by a fellow named Johnny G. from Miami,Florida and is basically riding a spin bike, which is a stationary bike in the dark usually with music playing, in a group setting, with everyone wearing heart monitors, and an instructor leading the group through a simulated ride through mountainous and flat section settings by varying the cadence of the revolutions per minute of the spin bike, varying the position of the rider on the bike,varying the resistance on the bike's wheel, thus varying the intensity and the recovery cycles throughout the ride as measured by the heart monitors.

One Thursday evening I was at the Harwich, Mass. community building for the weekly coed volleyball session and I was wearing a spinning tee shirt. On the back of the tee shirt is the following printed in red with black highlights "find the champion within" surrounded by red stars and signed below in black... Johnny G.

Some of the volleyball player got a kick out of seeing this tee shirt,quote and Johnny G. signature
and a new nickname for me was born.

I am (not) legend..... but to some I am Johnny G.

NATURE BOY

I was a state park patrolman as a summer job for a couple of summers back in 1974 and 1975.
One of those summers I was stationed at Stratton Brook State Park in Simsbury,Connecticut. I wore a tan uniform and even had a badge.

Stratton Brook had a fresh water swimming pond with a lifeguard station, a fishing brook and pond that was stocked with trout, a pavilion area for picnics, and various hiking trails throughout
the park. My job was to maintain the peace so to speak, patrol the trails and swimming area, and notify people when it is near sundown that they have to leave as the park closes at sundown. I had a violation book for parking tickets if people parked in emergency areas and a metal litter picker upper stick for stabbing any paper trash. I had a green ford state pick-up truck that I used to lock up Stratton Brook park and also to drive over to Great Pond State Park and lock up there as well.

Although the park closed at sunset, there was a unofficial night watchman named Cush "Nature Boy" Knopp who lived in the park and would carve and whittle walking sticks for himself and other people. The picture below is the walking stick Cush carved for me. There is quite a bit of detail on the carved walking stick as he put several small faces on the stick almost like a mini totem pole. Cush would sleep under the pavilion roof near the the fishing brook. on real stormy nights he was given access to a life guard station storage shed area but he preferred the outdoors. He called himself "Nature Boy". Thanks for the walking stick "Nature Boy". I hope he saved one of his walking sticks for himself as he was an older man when I knew him thirty-five years ago.

CARVED WALKING STICK


A Cush "Nature Boy" Knopp carved original walking stick.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NOT JUST FOR BREAKFAST

My friend Jim Byrne came up with this insight quite a while ago and I think it still hold true to this very day. I think Jim was influenced by a certain television commercial.

Anita Bryant, the renowned singer who first started singing on stage at local fairgrounds at the age of six, beauty queen winner of the Miss Oklahoma pageant and second runner up in the Miss America pageant, and orange juice pitch woman on television used to proclaim that "orange juice, its not just for breakfast anymore!"

Well, Jim noted that "pizza, its not just for breakfast anymore!" And you know, I think Jim's right. People should try pizza for dinner, lunch or even just as a mid-night snack. I hear that pizza even goes well with drinking beer. I could be wrong, but maybe you too should try eating pizza at a time other than as regular breakfast food.

WEIGHT LOSS FORMULA

My friend Jim Byrne whom I met while attending Marietta College reminded me the other day of my diet plan I told him about that is guaranteed to make almost anyone lose weight. He and I agree that maybe I should write a book about it as weight loss books are very popular these days. If I write a book on weight loss it will probably just have two main sections although the main point of the weight loss book is quite simple and could probably be condensed into a sentence or two.

Actually, I've decided to tell you the secret right here in this very article and you will probably say to yourself "He is right, why didn't I think of this myself before?"

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the secret to weight loss and maintaining a proper weight is as follows:.............(drum roll please) " Exercise more " is the first part of the plan, and the second part you ask?...........(continue drum roll to cymbal crash) "don't eat so much". That my friends, is how you either lose weight if you think you should or want to; or maintain your present weight ( assuming you aren't presently in a condition of almost starving to death in which case you should do the opposite which is of course "eat more and exercise less". )

So there you have it. The cat is out of the bag so to speak. You see the human body is like a machine . Food is the fuel. If you don't exercise enough the fuel (calories) accumulates and is stored on you as fat.

Thus, under exercising more: You should walk more, you should ride a bike more, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator more, you should park you car a little further from the store entrance instead of driving around endlessly trying to find a closer spot more, you should play sports more such as basketball, soccer, tennis,volleyball, almost any sport, golf of course doesn't apply as too many overweight people play and just rent a golf cart so that don't have to expend any energy and so they have a cup holder for their scotch and/or beer while they play that game. There are further exercises you can do more of but I won't list them all in case I change my mind and do write this diet book.

As far as eating less or not eating so much: Don't eat so much meat, don't eat so much potato, don't eat so much pizza, don't eat so much french fries (or freedom fries). In short don't eat so much food(with the exception of water which you can increase within reason although in rare cases if you really go overboard on water consumption there have been cases where people have died)

So now you have the secret, stick to your resolution and peel off those pounds.

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

I worked with the Manning family on Cape Cod from 1976 through 1986 in their various enterprises over those years. One of my roles with them was Director of Group Sales for the Soundings Motel, Colonial Village Motel, The Captain Williams House Restaurant and The Captain's Clambake Emporium Restaurant. We catered to a lot of motorcoach tours at that time and part of our marketing for new business was to attend the national conventions of the National Tour Association (NTA) and the American Bus Association (ABA).

One convention was held in Nashville, Tennessee. I was there and my friend Cyndi Miller asked if I wanted to go shopping with her at some local department store and then go over to the old Ryman Auditorium which was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. I said sure and off we went.

We went briefly first to some department store and Cyndi was looking at some blue suede shoes on display. I said "Cyndi, if you buy these shoes can I step on them?". Cyndi didn't know what I was talking about and said "why would you want to do that?" There is an Elvis Presley song written by Carl Perkins called "Blue Suede Shoes" where Elvis sings "But don't step on my blue suede shoes.You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes."

We then went to the Ryman Auditorium and we were the only people there so I went up onstage and raised my left hand up in the air and pretended to sing the song "The Impossible Dream" while Cyndi took a picture with my camera so that I had proof that I sang at the Grand Ole Opry.

DIGITAL CAMERA DISADVANTAGES

Digital cameras are great as you can decide right from the digital camera viewfinder whether the camera shot you just took is one you want to keep or whether you should take another photo. In addition, once you download your pictures from your digital camera to your computer you can also crop the photo, remove "red eye" from flash pictures, and a whole assortment of special effects. Then you can print the photos or send them to anyone you want by e-mail.

There is one disadvantage to digital cameras that I want to point out. It is harder to perform what I call "camera pranks" with a digital camera. The following is an example of what I mean:

One time my mom's sister Marty and her husband Skip also with their kids Jeff and Heather were visiting our family in Simsbury, Connecticut during one of the holidays. Marty had left her film camera on the kitchen counter of our house and was in our family living room talking with my parents and the rest of my family. On the kitchen counter was a glass gerbil cage with the gerbil inside walking around the gerbil container, spinning his little metal gerbil wheel and doing whatever else gerbils do to fill up their day. I thought to myself, I better take a few pictures of this gerbil in case Marty forgets to take some pictures of them.

So, I snapped a few pictures of the gerbil and put the camera back on the counter. The prank is of course, when you get your pictures back from being developed Marty says "I don't remember taking these pictures of the gerbils; did you take these Skip?". Skip replies "No, I didn't take them.Jeff, Heather, did you take these gerbil pictures? The kids reply "no, Dad we didn't".
Hmmm I wonder how these gerbil shots got there?

You can't do this with a digital camera which of course is a disadvantage.

RIGHT TIME,WRONG STATION

In November of 1977 I traveled by bus from Hartford,Connecticut to Los Angeles,California.

The original plan was that my friend John DeStefano (current mayor of New Haven) and I would travel together on the same Greyhound bus out to California. John and I both lived on the same floor of Crandall D, a coed dormitory at the University of Connecticut. John wanted to visit his girlfriend Kathy,(also from UCONN ) who was out in California already with a couple of her girlfriends and living near Santa Barbara.

I called John with a change of plans as I decided to work election day as a poll machine attendant in Simsbury, Connecticut to pick up a little extra spending money. I told John to go ahead with his scheduled bus trip and to call me when he got out to California and I would tell him the day and time of my scheduled arrival so he could meet me at the bus station. So, John was on his way.

A little over three days later John called me and said he is out on the left coast. I told John that
instead of taking the northern route by Greyhound bus I was going to take the southern route and travel by Trailways bus and that I was scheduled to be in Los Angeles at 5:00 am a little over three days later.

Both Greyhound and Trailways had a promotion at the time where you could travel anywhere in America for $79. S0 my adventure began. The southern Trailways route to California consisted of traveling from Hartford to New York City, New York to Washington,DC; Washington to Dallas,Texas and then Dallas to Los Angeles.

Traveling by bus across American really gives you an idea of how big this country is versus flying. It took over a day to cross through Texas alone. The whole trip took eighty hours (three days and eight hours). There were of course stops along the way across the country in addition to the scheduled bus changes. We would stop at different cities to pick up and drop off people along the way and also various highway restaurants at all hours of the day and night.

After the eighty hour trip I arrived at the Trailways station in Los Angeles at 5:00 am. Eighty hours on a bus leaves you a little disoriented as it is hard to get a good night's sleep and there was no place or time for taking a shower. I departed the bus and commenced waiting for John to meet me. Time went by and it was noon and John hadn't arrived yet. I didn't have any telephone number for John and thought to myself hmmmm. it looks like my vacation plans may have to change.

I left the bus station, which was not located in the most posh part of LA, and walked down the street to the Hotel Cecil. Hotel Cecil was an approximately 800 room older slummy kind of place but they had a large sign painted on the side of the building saying "Rooms from $8.00 per night". The price seemed right although for $8.00 you have to use the bathroom down the hall so I "upgraded" to a room with a shower stall for $12.00 per night and paid the man behind the bullet proof glass for three nights. I took a shower, and decided to take a short nap after brushing the hairs found on the sheets, and brushing away a few bugs as well.

As I didn't have John's phone number in California, I decided that I would call John's mom in New Haven on the chance that he may have called her and given her a phone number (no cell phones back then). I reached Judy (John's mom) and she said that no John hadn't given her a call.

I got to thinking maybe John thought that my bus was due into LA at 5 in the afternoon instead of morning. I also thought maybe he thought that I traveled by Greyhound as that was the way he traveled across the country. I went down the street to the Greyhound station and went up to the second level where there was a small luncheon restaurant. There was a pinball machine in the restaurant so I decided to play a few games. I'm playing away at the machine and someone taps me on the back. There was John.

John waited for me on time at the Greyhound station at 5 in the morning along with Kathy and her girlfriends. When I didn't show up at the Greyhound station they went to Universal Studios for the day. After their day at the park they decided to look again for me at 5 in the afternoon and there I was.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

YouTube - Rat loves cat!

YouTube - Rat loves cat! How nice! "Why can't we all just get along ?"

MOO, MOO

One sunny late summer Sunday when I was about nine years old I was riding in my parent's station wagon through the farmlands of Granby, Connecticut with my sisters Janet and Leeanne and my brother Scott. Granby is a town right next to our home town of Simsbury.

We passed by a field of cow corn and my Dad stopped the car. I along with the rest of my family went into the corn field and picked a few ears of the cow corn. Cow corn is a less sweet type of corn than is found in the local supermarket and the corn kernels are larger than the sweet corn varieties eaten by people. I'm sure the cows enjoy their corn well enough although cows probably never tried the sweet corn.

We all ate the cow corn and tried some of this corn right in the field as us kids were saying "MOO, MOO!

RADICALS REHASH WHY

Radicals rehash why? What does that mean? Well, that is one of the anagrams of my full name, Richard Ashley Shaw. Anagrams are made by taking the letters in a word and rearranging them to make new words and phrases.

There is a website called wordsmith.org that can do this automatically. They say on the website that anagrams never lie. Here are a few of their examples from their anagram hall of fame.

William Clinton = I'm it, an ill clown

George Bush = He bugs Gore

Clint Eastwood = Old west action

Postmaster = stamp store

slot machines = cash lost in 'em

Mr. Mojo risin' = Jim Morrison, from the Doors song "LA Woman "

They have many more examples at the website so go there if you are interested and rehash your own name or words.

DUNK IT!!

My friend John Polak and I are big college basketball fans and have been to quite a few Big East Tournaments over the years. John graduated from Georgetown, his brother Michael graduated from Boston College and I went to UCONN, all Big East schools at the time.

The Big East Tournament takes place at the "Mecca" of basketball, Madison Square Garden in New York City. In 1999 during one of the games, I was standing in the aisle near center court watching the game at hand and I saw Tom Moore, one of the UCONN assistant coaches who was scouting the game, walking up the steps toward me. I was wearing a UCONN 1990 NCAA tournament sweat shirts at the time and said hello to Tom and had a brief conversation with him.

Tom was quite pleasant and noticed my 1990 sweatshirt. I said to Tom, " I noticed the inside players are missing a lot of easy shots from close range by trying to lay up the ball instead of dunking. They should just dunk the ball, the crowd would go wild, and they would have a higher percentage of made shots or at least they would probably get fouled if they missed." I was making dunking motions with my arms and hands and John, who was watching from a distance got a kick out of this.

Tom replied, "Yes, we encourage Voskhul, Freeman, and the others to finish strong. Jake Voskhul does a good job for us on defense and setting screens but I thing we have a good chance this year with our strong guard play".

The next day I bought a copy of the USA Today newspaper and there was a picture of UCONN player Kevin Freeman dunking the ball.

Whether this was a coincidence or whether coach Moore said to the UCONN team even the fans are telling me you guys should have dunked those missed shots; I'll never know.

YouTube - Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues

YouTube - Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues Compare this song with "Weird AL's " song BOB in previous post.

NOT A BAD CONCERT

I transferred from Marietta College to the University of Connecticut for the spring semester of my sophomore year. At the end of that semester they had a free outdoor concert in the parking lot out by the hockey rink. The year was 1974.

For this concert the bands were as follows:

1. Fat Back Bank. A rhythm and blues band from New York City

2. Fairport Convention. A Brittish folk-rock band.

3. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band . 24 year old Bruce Springsteen and Company. I had never heard of him before but thought he was quite talented. I bought his record album, The Wild,the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, after I heard him play. I really thought he could be popular one day.

4. Aerosmith- The "Bad Boys from Boston". Steven Tyler was jumping off of amplifiers with his scarf laden microphone stand and singing songs such as Dream On and "Train Kept a Rollin".


NOT A BAD CONCERT.

I PREFER PIE

I share my November 2nd birthday with other more renowned people (different years).

Among them are: Ricky Martin, K. D. Lang, Pat Buchannan, Stephanie Powers, Burt Lancaster, Daniel Boone and Marie Antoinettte.

Marie Antoinette, queen of France, born in 1755 best known for saying "let them eat cake".

I prefer pie myself, particularly pecan pie.

I attended Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio in 1972 and 1973. Marietta College and the town of Marietta are named after Marie Antoinette.

SUBSTITUTE BAND TEACHER

I was a member of the Simsbury high school band and marching band as a drummer/percussionist. One day our band director, Mr. John Fabale was not there. He was either sick or took a personal day.

So, we had a substitute band teacher for the session. We in the band thought it would be fun to try new instruments and that day seemed to be a perfect day to start.

I decided to play the trumpet, Barry Ryan took my place on the drums, and others in the band switched instruments as well.

When the substitute band director said "Okay. Let's start from the top", the sound of the band was probably the sound a dying elephant makes as we all blasted away on our new instruments.

He then said," Let's try that again."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

DAKOTA STEAK HOUSE/ HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I remember eating dinner at Dakota Steak House in Avon, Connecticut for a birthday celebration. What they do there for a birthday dinner I thought was different than most other restaurants. When the waiters and waitresses come to the table they ask the dinner party if they want the long version of the song or the short version and also if they want the song sung forwards or backwards.

If the birthday dinner party says the short version the waiters and waitress get on their knees;if the party says sing the song backwards they turn their back to the table while singing.

THE ROOTS OF COINCIDENCE

I remember reading the book, The Roots Of Coincidence by Arthur Koestler. This book deals with theories of parapsychology,esp,and synchronicity among other issues. Sting of the band The Police was a reader of Koestler and named two of the band's records after Koestler books; Synchronicity in reference to The Roots Of Coincidence, and The Ghost In The Machine, another Koestler book.

What I remember most from this book is that Koestler talks about the Law of Large Numbers where seemingly random events can become predictable. Koestler gives an example that in London, England each day out seven million residents approximately seventy people are bitten by dogs.

ZEN BLOCK

I have played a lot of volleyball here on Cape Cod, both indoor volleyball and outdoor.

One summer while playing outside at Glen Higgin's house I made a block that became known as a zen block. I was in the center position of the front row with my back towards the volleyball net. The volleyball was in the other side of the court and that team getting ready to spike the ball over to my side of the net. Without looking and with my back to the net I jumped up with my hands above my head and blocked the volleyball. ZEN BLOCK.

YouTube - "Weird Al" Yankovic - Bob

YouTube - "Weird Al" Yankovic - Bob A take off of Bob Dylan's song Subterranean Homesick Blues. Song is done in pallindromes which are words or phrases which are the same whether read forward or backward.

WHAT'S THE STORY? WHITE GOOSE !!

I live across the street from Swan Pond which is an intertidal pond that flows through Swan Pond River down to the ocean (Nantucket Sound) on the south side of the Cape. Probably Swan Pond was named for the fact that white swans are frequently seen on the pond and along the meandering river banks of Swan River. In addition to the swans; ducks, Canada geese, and an occasional blue heron are seen on the pond.

The Canada geese walk around my neighborhood on the road and yards eating grass and leaving their deposits. One goose in particular made me wonder? What's up with that goose? You see one goose was pure white and of course looked different from the other neighborhood geese who had long black necks. The white goose was accepted by the Canada geese and was part of the goose gang.

What I wonder is whether the white goose was some sort of albino Canada goose or whether this goose was liberated from some goose farm where they raise domesticated geese to be eaten particularly for Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner.

I don't know but I often think I should write a children's book called "The Goose is Loose" and describe how the Canada geese liberated the white goose from farmer Brown right before the white goose was going to the slaughterhouse and how the other geese accepted him although he looks different from them.

I tried asking the geese but they all think that they are cars and would only say, "HONK,HONK"

BIKE RIDING AFTER MIDNIGHT

While in high school one summer I had a job working as a salad chef and all around kitchen helper at the Black Dog Tavern in Canton, Connecticut. The Black Dog specialized in stout steak which is made by taking a steak and marinating the steak in a bucket of Guinness Stout beer and burgundy wine. At that time, (1971) there were a chain of Black Dog Taverns across northern Connecticut. At the present time, I understand there is a Black Dog entity from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts which sells a lot of Black Dog logo merchandise such as hats, t-shirts, etc. but I don't know if they have any connection to the Connecticut restaurant chain. Currently, the Canton location is called Margaritaville and is located on Route 44.

I didn't have a car at that time so I rode the 8.1 miles each way from Simsbury, Connecticut to Canton on my 10 speed bike. The bike ride took about 40 minutes and consisted of some rolling hills and flat sections. One section of the ride took me by a meadow where several horses romped around and this meadow was at the bottom of a hill.

During my ride home from the Black Dog I would strap a small battery operated french arm light on my left arm and turn this light on when I heard a car coming in either direction so that they could see me. I preferred to ride in the after midnight darkness and rely on the moon and stars for enough light to see the road ahead. Some dark nights riding through the tree lined portions of the ride I could hardly see anything but was able to keep on the road by looking up and ahead to where the road was cut through the trees.

One memorable after midnight return bike ride I was barreling down the hill near the horse meadow when I saw something that I first thought was a horse. Riding silently, not having my arm light on and traveling around 30 miles an hour, feet locked into my toe clips,hands in racing position on my handle bars, I couldn't tell for sure. As I approached this thing in in road I saw that it wasn't a horse in the road. There was two teenage boys standing in the middle of the road about 3-4 feet apart from each other just talking to each other. Without warning them and riding too fast to stop in time and with not enough time to go around them I rode my bike right between them. I let out a yell after I passed between them something that sounded like FAAAAAAAAAAAAH and they yelled as well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

PRESIDENTS AND ME

I was born on election day November 2, 1954 in Hartford, Connecticut.

More presidents have been born on November 2nd than any other day. Two out of 44 to be exact; James Polk and Warren Harding.

James Polk was born November 2, 1795 and was the 11th president. Polk's term of office was from 1845-1849. He was the first president to retire after one term. Polk presided over the successful Mexican-American war and was the president involved with the second most expansion in the size of territory added to the United States with the securing of the Oregon territory (Washington, Oregon, & Idaho) for 285,000 square miles and the further purchase of 525,000 square miles.

Warren Harding was born November 2, 1865 and served as the 29th president serving from 1921-1923 and died in office being succeeded by vice-president Calvin Coolidge.

WWII NO FUROR, YES FUHRER

In high school at Simsbury High I was known as a punster. During my junior year I was in an American history class taught by Mr. Goralski.

The year was 1971 and the USA was still involved in the Vietnam conflict. Mr. Goralski was expounding on the fact that during world war II there was no furor throughout America as there were no anti-war protests compared with the US involvement in Vietnam.

I raised my hand and said "yes there was a fuhrer during WWII; Adolph Hitler. Everyone laughed at this comment except Mr. Goralski.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

When I was a junior in high school at Simsbury high in Connecticut I had a job working at Westminster prep school in the kitchen primarily as a pot washer cleaning up the large pots and pans used by the cooks for the breakfast,lunch, and dinners served to the students.

A man named Dave was the manager of the kitchen and he had an office near the kitchen cooking area.

Ken was one of the cooks in the kitchen. He was a middle aged man and originally from Jamaica.

One day I was over in my corner with my double sink washing and rinsing the pots and Ken comes over to my area and says "Rick, do you have a colander?" I said, "No, but think there's one in Dave's office."

With his accent I thought he was looking for a calendar. Calenders aren't too good for straining water from spaghetti.

YouTube - we are very small

YouTube - we are very small Click and see our relative size of earth versus the planets, sun, other suns, galaxies, and universe.

WE'VE GOT THABEET

Here's a photo of Connecticut 7'3" junior Hasheem Thabeet of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania blocking a shot.

I THINK YOU'VE BEEN DRINKING!

I used to be the property manager of the Harborside Arms Condominiums,a 26 unit residential condo, located in Dennis Port on the Cape. In addition to taking care of the building I had to listen to and try to solve disputes between the various owners and tenants living there.

My Dad, brother Scott, and I sound alike on the phone. Scott and I were living at the same house for a few years during the late 1980's. One night during that time I was out somewhere and Scott answered the phone. Mrs. Brown, one of the tenants at Harborside Arms , had called and started in complaining about the loud music coming from downstairs below her apartment.

Scott explained that he wasn't Rick, Rick wasn't home. Mrs. Brown said " don't tell me that, you are Rick and I know it." Scott said "I told you Rick isn't here, what..., have you been drinking?"

Mrs. Brown replied "I think you've been drinking!"

CAPE COD CLAMMING

I remember visiting Cape Cod on vacation with my parents and two sisters and brother back in 1964 I believe it was when I was ten. My parents had rented a cottage for the week near Pleasant Bay in Chatham.

Pleasant Bay is a salt water inlet known for the presence of horseshoe crabs which are still harvested for medical purposes. There are quahog( hard shell) clams found in the sandy bottom of the bay.

One day my Dad and I are in the water at Pleasant Bay feeling around for clams in the sand. All of a sudden I hear my Dad yell OWWWWWOWWOWWOW; he lifted up his clamming arm and on his thumb was a clamped a quahog clam.

Kind of like the little Jack Horner nursery rhyme but with a clam instead of a plum.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

articlesaplenty.com

I have a new website named articlesaplenty.com

This site has over 30,000 pages of free articles ranging from accounting to writing tips; basically articles about almost anything.

The articles are free but you may find them priceless.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

HEY, WHO STOLE MY GARBAGE?

Back in the late 80's and early 90's; my brother Scott and I had a local landscape business on Cape Cod called Matilda Bay Landscape. We came up with the name Matilda Bay from some wine cooler commercials on TV at the time which showed people using alligators to trim their shrubs.

One day Leo of Jack Conway Real Estate company called me and asked if we could take away a pile of leaves, grass clippings, and general yard waste from a house in Chatham, Mass which is about 12 miles away. I said sure we could go there the next day.

Scott and I went there the next day and cleared away the fairly sizable pile of yard waste from the back yard. No one was home at the house except a dog who watched us work from inside the house. We finished the job and went on to the next job.

About a week later I get a call from Leo wondering when we can take care of the Chatham house trash pile. I told him we did that about a week ago.

Apparently we went to the right street but the wrong house on that street. Sorry about taking away your trash.

Friday, January 2, 2009

MY FIRST "JOB"

I lived at St. Michael's Terrace in Brewster, New York at the time of my first "job". I was four years old back in 1958.

My parents usually had a garden and that year I remember selling vegetables mostly tomatoes and cucumbers. I loaded up my trusty red wagon and walked up the hill on my route. I remember the prices were 2 for a nickel and 4 for a dime and remember having to make change for some of the customers.

Later on that year I sold a bucket of cold water to some town highway department workers for thirty cents.

Prices are a little higher these days.

YouTube - The Greatest Prank Call Ever

YouTube - The Greatest Prank Call Ever Here's a way to take charge of a telemarketing call.
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DREAM SEASON

Check out this video immediately below this post from the 1990 UCONN Men's Basketball season "Dream Season" during the NCAA tournament where UCONN played Clemson in the Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. UCONN was ahead by 19 points and Clemson came back to lead by 1 point with one second to go.

I remember watching this game at home on my couch with my Dad and brother Scott. I couldn't believe that UCONN looked like they would lose after being up so much all game.

YouTube - The Shot

YouTube - The Shot I'm a big UCONN Basketball Fan. Watch this. Game is not over until it's over.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

SNOWY START TO NEW YEAR


Snowy start to '09.
View from my enclosed porch of my white car covered in snow, snow on the white fence across the street and the pond beyond.

GOLLY,GOSH, GEE WHIZ

I have a nephew named Matt who was visiting me up on Cape Cod with his Mom and two sisters about 8 or 9 years ago. He was about 8 or 9 at that time.

I told Matt never to say golly, gosh, or gee whiz as these are very bad words to say especially if you say them together. Of course that made him speak those terrible words.

It was fun to listen to him say "Golly, Gosh, Gee Whiz" over and over again.

RABBIT, RABBIT

I was told once back in the early 1980's by a waitress who worked at a restaurant (The Captain's
Clambake Emporium) where I also worked that you should say "rabbit rabbit" as the first words you speak when waking up at the start of each new month for good luck.

Rabbit Rabbit

HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

It has been said that the past is history,tomorrow a mystery, and today is a gift that's why it is called the present.

2008 was a memorable year with the summer Olympics, elections etc. But 2008 wasn't great. Let us hope 2009 will be fine.

There is an ancient Chinese curse which says " may you live in interesting times". 2008 was interesting.