Tuesday, June 30, 2009


While attending Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio in the fall of 1973 I went with a group of fellow Marietta students on a camping and rock climbing trip to Seneca Rocks in Seneca, West Virginia.

After we arrived we camped at the base of the mountain and slept in sleeping bags before our assault of the rock cliffs of this famous Monongahela State Forest site. The three hundred foot cliffs of Seneca Rocks from a distance look like the side profile of the late Senator Hubert H. Humphrey.

On our way up to our cliff climbing adventure we passed a climbing route known as the "face of 1,000 pitons" as there were pitons driven into the rock wall of this climb literally every inch or two. This climbing route was used as a practice rock climbing area for some of the American soldiers who fought in World War II in the mountains of Europe.
Check Spelling
After climbing to the summit of the Seneca Cliffs we were treated to a spectacular view of the fall foliage of the forest canopy in the valley below. We all had fun as well rappelling down from the top of the cliffs. Rappelling is done by easing your body into a perpendicular position to the cliff while holding on to your climbing rope with one hand holding on to the rope in front of you while the rope is wrapped around your back with your other hand holding the rope slightly away from your back. You then jump away from the rock wall by pushing your feet away from the rock and feeding the rope with your lower hand to control your descent.

You have probably seen this maneuver in some of the action movies and television shows where people bounce off cliffs or buildings. It is a somewhat strange feeling but fun to rappel off cliffs and make believe you are a "ninja" or "Spiderman". I was "pleased as punch" to have had this experience. It really "rocked".

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Riding to Marietta"

Back in 1972 and 1973 while attending Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio I used to "car pool" with a few fellow Marietta students during school breaks as I travelled back and forth from Simsbury, Connecticut to Marietta.

One trip I remember "Carl" who was also from Simsbury gave me a ride back to Marietta. "Carl had thick glasses and curly brown hair that sloped away from his head and was cut straight across at the end. Some of my friends at Marietta nicknamed him "Sphinx" due to his hair style. Carl had a driving talent where he could drive along the highway going about seventy miles an hour with no hands by steering his car with one leg by guiding the steering wheel with his knee while he fished in his pocket for a cigarette and lit his cigarette.

Another ride to Marietta a student named "Dave" gave "Carl" myself and another student a ride in his blue van during a winter break from Connecticut back to Marietta. I met "Dave" in West Hartford off the highway and we proceeded on our road trip. We ran into a snow storm while traveling through Pennsylvania on the Pennsylvania turnpike and only one lane was plowed on this highway as we travelled through the heavy snow. I remember that I was in the back of the van lying down on a small cot while listening to the song "Frankenstein" by the Edgar Winter Group coming loudly through the van's speaker system from "Dave's" tape deck. All of a sudden the van left the plowed part of the highway and did a slow complete circle through the snow off the road as we ended up facing the plowed part of the highway just as a huge tractor trailer truck roared by just missing the van.

Listening to "Frankenstein" and spinning through the snow just missing a huge truck was a scary scene. Our guardian angels pulled us through and we proceeded on our way to time honored Marietta.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

YouTube - Land of the Glass Pinecones by Human Sexual Response

YouTube - Land of the Glass Pinecones by Human Sexual Response Here's a Boston based Band "Human Sexual Response" singing live in the streets of Boston in 1982 with their cult classic "Land of the Glass Pinecones". I've always liked this song although it never got widespread air play. Maybe "Land of the Glass Pinecones" refers to a magical land with glass pinecones and rhinestone seeds or maybe the song refers to small trees outside a bar where people stick beer bottles and the end of the branches as they leave the bar and head home for the night. Check out the You Tube link if you want to see the band "rock out".


Back in 1994, November 5th to be precise I was in Las Vegas and attended the Michael Moorer vs George Foreman Heavyweight Title Championship Fight at the MGM Grand Stadium.

I had just turned 40 that year as my birthday is on November 2nd every year. My friend John Polak was with me that year in "Vegas" and we decided to try to get tickets for the big fight. At first they said at the ticket office that the fight was sold out but to check back in about an hour as sometimes they are able to free up some tickets. We came back and got a couple tickets in the balcony (see proof with picture of the ticket on your left).

There is always something to see in Las Vegas. I remember we saw "Sugar Ray Leonard" being interviewed by Jim Rome (of the " Rome is Burning " television show) in the MGM sports book area.

On "fight night" there was an under card of about eight fights before the "Main Event". A couple of fights were of women wailing against each other with their fists. There were about eighteen thousand people there for the title fight. We got to see Michael Buffer introduce Michael Moorer and "Big George" before the start of the fight with his famous voice and phrase "LET'S GET READY TO RUMMMMBLLLLLE". I was glad I had my trusty binoculars as up in the balcony seats the fighters were only an inch or two in height without them.

George Foreman had a famous and colorful past as an Olympic Champion, fighting Muhammed Ali in the "Rumble In The Jungle", and of course his George Foreman cooking grill appliances. George has 10 children with five boys named George Jr, George III, George IV, George V, and George VI, with nicknames of "Monk", "Red","Joe","Big Wheel", and "Little George".

Back in 1994 George was 45 years old and an underdog in this fight with Michael Moorer. The titles up that evening were the IBF and the WBA as Michael Moorer had beaten Evander Holyfield. Foreman wore the same red trunks that he wore twenty years earlier when he lost to Ali. Over the first nine rounds Foreman was behind in the fight to the quicker boxing style of Michael Moorer. In the tenth round George caught Moorer with a few jabs then a quick short right hit to the chin knocking Moorer to the deck.

George became the oldest fight to win the heavyweight crown and the fighter with the longest time interval between winning and regaining the heavyweight title (20 years).

Good old George came through in the end. He was cookin' that night and didn't run out of gas as he grilled Michael Moorer to the chin with his right hand.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I am enjoying the "hype" that Sasha Baron Cohen is generating with his new movie "Bruno" as he travels from Spain where he dressed up like a bull with platform hoofed shoes and tail to the premiere in Amsterdam where he arrived by jet ski dressed in a cutoff suit showing his stomach and red thong underwear. Sasha is truly an actor who likes to "push the envelope" with his outrageous promotional stunts and bizarre characters such as "Ali G", "Borat" and now "Bruno". His comedic and satirical approach as he totally immerses himself in these distinct characters reminds me a lot of the late great comedian Andy Kaufman who to me it seems was an influence on Sasha Baron Cohen and his comedic approach.

Although I haven't seen "Bruno" the movie yet, from what I have read from recent articles featured in the "Drudge Report" website there are some controversial scenes in the film that will get people talking, probably laughing, and earned the film an 18 years and older film rating.

Apparently Sasha Baron Cohen is being pressured to cut certain scenes from the "Bruno" movie to generate a rating that would allow his teenage fans to be able to see this movie. So far I understand that they have resisted cutting the controversial scenes as they are apparently thought to be some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

It is an art to get people to talk about your film and promote your film. Andy Kaufman would have been proud of these "Bruno" promotions and his fellow "envelope pusher".

Thursday, June 18, 2009


What do you think of President Obama killing a poor innocent fly who was just trying to get the latest" buzz" on President Obama's positions during a recent interview? Do you as well condone such violent behavior towards one of God's creatures? This fly was one of the noted fly reporters who wanted to get a story for his "fly paper" and tell all the trillions of flies the latest poop from the President.

Yes, this fly was buzzing around and making inane noises as most typical liberal leaning reporters do; but does that give the President the right to kill this fly reporter just because the humanoid reporter was asking questions while not responding to the fly?

PETA is not pleased.

Also, this President is setting up a potential future of enormous deficits and inflationary pressures with his out of control governmental takeover of an ever expanding portion of our nation's economy and now we have to probably add the cost of supporting the family of this fly and the funeral expenses for a decent fly burial.

But Nooo, President Obama showed no remorse to this senseless fly killing. From what I understand he is rather proud of his cold blooded assassination of this defenseless creature. He said "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I got the sucker." First of all, a fly is a fly not a sucker. A sucker is a form of fish. Second of all I'm personally not impressed. Is killing a fly something to brag, boast, and toot your own horn about?

Only a sucker should boast about killing a fly as the sucker fish do kill flies for food. President Obama killed this fly and just threw the poor fly away. He didn't even eat the fly after he killed it.

During the Presidential Election campaign I remember Candidate Obama talking about how much he liked pie during one of his campaign stops. Apparently he likes shoo fly pie but he doesn't like the real fly. How sad to kill what you don't like.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I remember going to Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts back in the late 1960's and early 1970's with my Dad and brother to see the car races at the quarter mile track. Back then "Buddy Krebs" and "Wild Bill Greco" were a couple of the popular racers of that era. My Dad knew one of the drivers who drove a yellow car number 31 by the name of Frank Moulton.

In addition to the regular weekend races there were also figure eight races and demolition derbies. The demolition derbies must have brought a tear to the eyes of the residents of Cuba as the track would be filled with old cars similar to the cars found in that island nation and these cars would crash into each other on purpose until there was only one car left still running. All these cars would drive either forwards or backwards into each other at ramming speed. The car carnage was similar to the later movie "The Blues Brothers" where I believe about fifty-four police cars were crashed in making that classic movie.

The figure eight races were also fun to watch as there would be a lot of near misses as the cars navigated the figured eight looped race course as well as a lot of pile ups when the drivers would end up crashing into each other in the front and back of their vehicles.

Riverside Park Raceway opened in 1948 and closed in 1999. As part of the Riverside Amusement Park, the Riverside Raceway had a long and colorful history. The Riverside Amusement Park is now know as Six Flags New England.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Michael Jordan and I have something in common; besides both being male, human, and liking the game of basketball.

I used to play drums in the Simsbury High School marching band during halftime of the home football games in 1971 and 1972 as a junior and senior. One of the half time songs we played was the opening theme song for the classic and at that time current television show "Hawaii 50". I was one of the marching band members playing the snare drum during the songs and also during the drum cadence as the band maneuvered into whatever formation we performed for that game.

My Mom was in the grandstands for one of the shows and she noticed that while I was playing the snare drum that my tongue was sticking out of my mouth and curled up over my upper lip. Apparently I sometimes do this when I concentrate on something.

Michael Jordan was known for for his "tongue action" as he performed his incredible sky walking maneuvers on the basketball court. I don't think Michael Jordan learned to stick out his tongue from watching me play my snare drum back in high school although I am older than Michael so I didn't learn my tongue concentration behavior from him.

I suppose that Michael Jordan could have been in the stands that afternoon and sitting near my Mom but somehow I doubt it. I doubt that Michael Jordan's parents would drive all the way from Wilmington, North Carolina just to see Simsbury High School play a football game although we were ranked fourth in the state that year. Plus, although our marching band was good we weren't probably good enough for someone to drive all the way from Carolina to Connecticut.

Also, I have read the Michael Jordan loved baseball as well as basketball. He later spent a couple years in baseball as you may recall but had trouble with the professional curve ball.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


When I was a junior and senior at Simsbury High School in Simsbury, Connecticut back in 1971 and 1972; some of my friends and I used to go climb the rock cliffs of "Ragged Mountain" located in Southington, Connecticut. Paul Tuller, Bill DeMallie, Arno Schwartz, Tony Trocchi, Mike Paine, and a few other Simsbury High friends used to scale these rock trails as we had climbing ropes, caribiners, "hexcentrics", and other climbing apparatus to assist our climbs.

We used to "belay" each other as one person would be bolted into the top of the climb with a "hexcentric" nut wedged into a secure part of the rock with a caribiner attached to the hexcentric nut and the rope run through the caribiner. We would then wrap the rope around the back of the person on top of the climb and he would take up the slack rope as the climber ascended the climbing route. If the climber stumbled of slipped the "belayer" on top of the climb would put the rope across the front of his chest and be able to hold the climber so that he wouldn't fall.

In rock climbing sometimes you are literally hanging by your fingertips. Rock climbing is almost similar to playing chess as you have to look at the rock above and each side of you trying to figured out what your next moves will be for hand and foot placement. You then go over potential moves in your mind and then execute your plan to attack the rock.

One kind of scary situation is when you encounter and overhang above you when you have to reach up and in back of yourself so that you can scale this rock projection. This type of situation sometimes causes "sewing machine" legs as your legs start to involuntarily shake at the thought of no longer climbing vertically up the climbing route.

There are some times in a climb where you can use a "chimney technique" where you encounter a long vertical crack in the rock. What you do is put your hands next to each other with one hand on top of the other inside the vertical crack and push your arms away from the crack while you feet are on the rock and start creeping up the rock. Some of these techniques are easier to learn by seeing and doing that describing with words.

I remember one trip to "Ragged Mountain" I was with Bill DeMallie and Arno Schwartz. I was "belaying" Arno on his climb when he slipped quite near the top of the climb but I was able to save him from falling about seventy feet on to the rocks below.

We camped at the top of the mountain after our climbing day was through.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


As a member of "Facebook" I came across an interesting application they have on their site where you type in a name and they estimate how many people in America have the same name. For example, my last name Shaw is the 150th most common name in this country according to their estimates. They estimate that there are 155,172 "Shaws" with 76,190 male "Shaw" residents. There are approximately 228 "Richard Shaw" people and 43 "Rick Shaw" humanoids in these United States.

I don't know if I agree as I've met a few "Richard Shaw" people on Cape Cod myself so I would say that 228 seems like a low number to me given the millions of people who live in America.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Here's a photo of one of the "Hy-Line" ships "Brant Point" moored in Hyannis Harbor and getting ready for the summer season.


While aboard the "Hy-Line" ship "Great Point" this evening we saw one of their "fast ferry" ships entering the Hyannis dock area.


Here's a photo of Hyannis Harbor before we took off for a sunset cruise party. These drag boats filled up with diesel fuel from an oil tanker truck that came right up to the boats.


Just got back from a party hosted by "Hy-Line" on board the "Great Point" ship. "Hy-Line" is operated by the Scudder family and features ships that take passengers from Hyannis Harbor on Cape Cod and travels to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The annual hospitality cruise to kick off the Summer season features food, drinks, and music as we sailed throughout Hyannis Harbor near the Kennedy Compound and back. Thanks Phil Scudder for a fun evening.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Back In the late 1960's I went on a vacation with my parents and brothers and sisters to Lubec Maine . My Mom's Uncle Lloyd McBride lived in Lubec and we went up to see him. Lubec, Maine is the easternmost town in America. Lloyd had a house in the countryside of Lubec with a summer house and five hundred acres of land as well as a bay front location and a small island where he let a "hermit" live. In the winter Lloyd lived in his house in "downtown Lubec". In back of his house there was an outhouse with three holes.

Lloyd used to gather periwinkles along the bay that he called "wrinkles" and sold them to "fancy French restaurants. When we had breakfast in the morning Lloyd had a huge breakfast bowl. My Dad asked Lloyd if he wanted some toast. Lloyd said "sure" and proceeded to take the toast and crumble it up and dump it into his huge cereal bowl. We thought that was funny but I guess all the food goes to the same place.

Lloyd had a wife named "Lilian". She had a cat. I remember "Lilian" kept saying with her strong accent; "That ole cat likes dawg foooood!"

During the vacation we went to a sardine factory and watched the workers cut the heads and tails off the sardines and stuff the fish into the small cans. Apparently we were distant relatives of the sardine factory owners.

We also went to Campabello Island in Canada which was the summer home for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Monday, June 1, 2009

YouTube - Twin Peaks Intro

YouTube - Twin Peaks Intro Here's the intro music to the show "Twin Peaks" (click the You Tube Link). The guitar in this song has a catchy memorable sound.


I recently watched the whole two year series of television shows of "Twin Peaks" on CBS.com.
CBS.com along with "Hulu", "Joost", and other Internet media sites are a great way to see television shows such as "Lost", "24", Twin Peaks" and others where the television plot is such where if you happen to miss an episode you don't have much of a clue as to how the story line developed from the last episode you watched to the next show you saw. The advantage of the Internet is that you can watch the whole series when you want to with fewer commercials than with "live" television and also see shows that are not currently on TV.

"Twin Peaks" developed by David Lynch and Mark Frost was set in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington and aired during two seasons in 1990 and 1991. Laura Palmer, a local high school student, is murdered and agent Dale Cooper of the FBI is sent to investigate and assist Sheriff Harry S. Truman. There are a host of other interesting and quirky characters throughout the episodes with dream sequences, bizarre plot twists, and strangely funny scenes. Agent Cooper sure loved a good cup or black coffee and a slice of pie.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot twists and turns as you should see this show for yourself and draw your own impressions. However, it seems to me that the central theme of David Lynch productions is his thought that beneath the tranquil settings of the seemingly normal woodsy "Twin Peaks" lies an evil that bubbles to the surface. I think the name "Twin Peaks" symbolizes the battle of " good versus evil " in life.

So, you should take a peek at "Twin Peaks" and follow along this interesting and entertaining story. Maybe you too will become a member of the "Lynch Mob" of people who appreciate the genius of David Lynch.