Friday, October 30, 2009


YouTube - BABY KENZI IN HER GREEN CHAIR EATING HER TOYS "Kenzi" (5 months) sitting in her green chair eating her toys while Cayman (Dog) gets ready to sing "Happy Birthday" for my Mom's 80th birthday party (cliock the YouTube video).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"What's in a Name?

YouTube - shirley ellis - the name game Anybody remember this song, "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis? This classic song tells you how to rhyme any name. Start with your name, say it twice, then say Bo and your name with a "B" in front of it, then banana fana fo, then your name with an "F" instead of your first initial, then fe fi mo, then your name with an "M" in front of it, then your name. Sounds easy doesn't it? Listen to the song on this You Tube link to help you out as Shirley Ellis takes you through the song with certain names like "Tony" and "Marsha" as examples. For some of you this I'm sure is a new song whereas others will say "Oh Yeah, I remember this song!" Notice the dancers doing "The Jerk"?

I spoke recently with my friends Tucker, Bart,Mitch,Alice, and Chuck about this song and they all remembered what a fun song this is and was. For your homework assignment if you want try my friends Chuck, Bart, Mitch, Alice, and Tucker as names and after hearing "The Name Game" song and Shirley's explanation see if you too can master "The Name Game".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

YouTube - Kenzi so big

YouTube - Kenzi so big Baby Kenzi (5 months) "So Big" and she knows it so she doesn't do the "So Big" move.

Monday, October 26, 2009

YouTube - Baby Kenzi Meets Mr. Lobster

YouTube - Baby Kenzi Meets Mr. Lobster See the fearless Baby Kenzi (5 months) meet a 3 pound live lobster in the You Tube link.


Here's a photo of the cooked beef which along with 3lb. lobsters were the main course at a birthday dinner for my Mom's 80th birthday this Saturday. In addition to the beef and lobster; there was a gourmet spinach dish, potatoes au gratin, tossed salad, among other dishes as well as various cheeses, kielbasa, and olives.
We had so much food we forgot to serve the almost three pounds of jumbo shrimp and cut up a pineapple.
Quite the meal. I don't think anybody left hungry.


Here's a picture of the boneless prime beef roasts my brother Steve prepared for my Mom's 80th birthday party this past Saturday. You are looking at 15 pounds of meat with garlic, paprika, Cape Cod Sea Salt, pepper and other seasonings prior to slow cooking in an outdoor grill.


This past Saturday we had a party at my brother Steve and his wife Caprice's home in Connecticut to celebrate my Mom's 80th birthday. Here is a picture of my brother Scott yelling "ROCK LOBSTER" into a lobster claw as he is pretending this claw is a microphone. Are you familiar with the song "Rock Lobster" by the group the B-52s? It is a classic.

Scott brought down five 3lb lobsters from Cape Cod which were cooked in large pots both on an outdoor gas grill as well as on a the stove top.

Yes, they weren't rocks; they were "ROCK LOBSTAAAS".

"Hello Yellow "

"Hello yellow Maple tree". How bright your yellow leaves shine this sunny Fall afternoon. Yesterday you had a rainy day and were losing your leaves every second it seemed between the wind and the rain.

I remember when you were just a skinny small tree that my Grandma Shaw gave to my Dad to plant. My how you have grown through the years !

As Fall turns to Winter each year you shed your leaves in a "blaze of yellow glory" as you get ready for your Winter rest. What would you say about this "global warming debate" if you could talk in a language us humans could comprehend ?
I understand that you trees like carbon dioxide (CO2) and that you emit oxygen as a byproduct of your leaf production and growth. Do you think us humans are "sapheads" for believing that "CO2" is a pollutant? I would think that the more "CO2" there is , the more you can use this and then create more oxygen; but what do I know, I'm not a tree.


Here's a photo of a Japanese Maple tree in my parents back yard in Simsbury, Connecticut taken on Sunday October 25, 2009 in brilliant early afternoon sunshine after a rainy Saturday. Although the Japanese Maple tree has red leaves all year when the leaves are on the tree: I thought that the sunlight accented the "blazing color " this afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009


YouTube - Mountain. Nantucket Sleighride Ever been on a sleighride? With the Fall season in New England in mid-form; winter's chill and snow are not far off especially with our "global cooling" now in effect as the warmest year in the last eleven for earth's temperature was 1998. Some scientists contend that the prevalence or lack of significant solar flares and sunspot activity on the Sun have a direct correlation on the temperatures here on Earth. We are currently in a quiet cycle for solar sunspot activity which has signaled cool temperatures in the past. Why, just last Sunday it was snowing in Foxboro, Massachusetts as the New England Patriots edged the Tennessee Titans by squeaking out a close game by the winning 59-0. One announcer on WRKO radio the next day reported that the Patriots lost this football game by the score of 59-0 so that announcer was only off by 118 points of reporting the true score.

On Nantucket island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts there used to be frequent "Nantucket sleighrides" especially during the years of 1800-1840 when Nantucket was the whaling capital of the world. These "Nantucket sleighrides" would occur during all parts of the year as this term received its name from the whaling industry where whalers would harpoon a whale while in a small boat and then hold on to the rope attached to the harpoon as the whale took off through the water at speeds up to 23 miles an hour dragging the whale boat until the whale was exhausted. The whalers would then finish off the whale with a harpoon through the heart. Click on the You Tube link to hear the Band "Mountain" in the song "Nantucket Sleighride' describe this whaling process of Man against the "sperm whale". Back before electricity was prevalent, whales were hunted to provide fuel for whale oil lamps among other uses.

So, enjoy the long cold winter to come. If you visit Nantucket this winter you probably won't be able to experience a "Nantucket Sleighride" but there is a "Nantucket Stroll" each December before Christmas when carolers roam the cobblestone streets of Nantucket dressed in Victorian costume singing Christmas songs and Santa Claus comes to town from a Coast Guard vessel and rides through the streets in a horse drawn carriage.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Here's a photo of some of the members of the "Highland Light Bagpipe and Drum " band from Cape Cod marching in a St. Patrick's Day parade in West Dennis, Mass in March of 2006. My brother Scott is pictured in the center of the first row of "pipers".
The bagpipe is a fairly temperamental instrument to play so I've been told as the reeds are subject to temperature and humidity. The band has to tune up before each performance. My brother Scott has also performed at a few wedding and funeral services in addition to his parade appearances.
I downloaded a page of jokes about bagpipes a while back and gave a copy of them to Scott. I can't seem to locate that joke page now but I do remember the gist of one of the bagpipe jokes which went something like this:
One day a bagpiper was driving to a local store on an errand. He reached his destination and proceeded to park his car and walk across the parking lot towards the store entrance. When he almost reached the store entrance he said "Oh, NO!!, I forgot to lock my car doors and I have my bagpipe in the back seat." He rushed back to his car but was too late.... Someone had already put another bagpipe in his car next to his bagpipe.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


In January of 1974 I arrived at the University of Connecticut as a second semester sophomore student at the main campus in Storrs, Connecticut having spent three semesters at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. I lived that year in Belden Hall in the "Alumni Quad".

One day that year during the winter I was walking outside the dorm when I was approached by a couple of fellow students who said that they were founding members of the "Tit Club" and asked if I wanted to join. I said "the Tit Club, what's that?" They said that they were trying to recruit everyone that they came across and I just had to give them my name and say the "Tit Cheer" and I would be an official member. I was member number 444 and they gave me an official "Tit Club" blue card about the size of a business card be slightly larger in size. They said at the time that one of the members of the rock band "The Who" was also an official member. I wonder how many members are in the club today.

So, I said the official "Tit Club" slogan and I still remember it to this very day. Here is the official "Tit Club" cheer:

I am a tit rah,rah rah,
I am a tit rah,rah,
I am a tit rah,
I am a tit,
I am a,
I am,

And there you have it. Maybe you too have run into other members of the Tit Club" in your journeys through life. Perhaps you want to start your own chapter of the " Tit Club". If so, now you have the official cheer.

I often wonder why the founders chose the name "Tit Club"? Were they so enamored with the life and times of a little "tit mouse"? To me it sounds like a kind of a "sophomoric" name for a club. But then again I was a college sophomore when I joined so maybe the "Tit Club" was the appropriate name for that time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I remember making lead soldiers down in my basement back when I was eleven and twelve years old. I had some molds for the different soldiers that I had to heat up with a candle to make the inside of the mold black in color and to help the lead flow through the mold. I had a small electric heater to heat up the lead and change the solid lead to the liquid state to pour into the molds. I had molds of World War II soldiers such as an army man with a bazooka as well as molds for an officer with a pistol, and a cannon with wagon wheels. One of my friend's father was a plumber and he gave me a lead pipe or two that I remember having to use a hacksaw to cut up into pieces small enough to melt. Lead is an interesting metal as the color of lead is generally a dull metal when exposed to the air but is shiny like silver with heated up and melted to a liquid form. I can remember skimming of the impurities from the molten lead before pouring the lead into the molds.

After pouring the soldiers and waiting for them to cool I would file off the excess lead and later paint these soldiers. I sold some of them at a local consignment store and played with the rest of them.

I have been listening to a lot of the old Jean Shepherd radio shows on podcast at a website In a previous post I described my adventure with the author, humorist, and storyteller called "The Good Shepherd". This website has approximately 1175 recordings from the 1970's on radio station WOR. One of his shows was called "Lead Quarters".
During this show Jean described making lead soldiers in his younger days with his friends. Jean and his friends decided to experiment and made a mold of a quarter by pressing a quarter into a raw potato. They proceeded to make a bunch of quarters and they all came out nice and shiny. They then decided to go to a nearby store in Hammond, Indiana for soda and candy and when it came time to pay for their purchases; they decided to use their new lead quarters which the store owner accepted. They also used their new quarters at a few other local stores over the next couple of weeks. All went well with Jean and his gang of friends and their lead quarters until one evening at their family dinner Jean's Dad read out loud a newspaper article about a rash of counterfeit quarters throughout downtown Hammond and the treasury department was called in to investigate.

So, Jean and his friends had quite the adventure. Me, I never tried to counterfeit quarters, I just made my lead soldiers but Jean's story of his adventures with lead reminded me of my own lead experiences. Plus, I had baked potatoes for dinner tonight.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Here are a couple swans a swimming on a flooded cranberry bog up the street from my Cape Cod home. The cranberry farmers flood the bog with water from a nearby small lake to harvest the cranberries as the cranberries float towards the surface of the water and the cranberry farmers chop off the berries with a small floating boat with a paddle wheel like device on it to loosen the berries. The other cranberry farmers wearing big yellow waterproof waders then rake the cranberries together for the harvest.

Massachusetts and Wisconsin are the two leading states for cranberry production and a lot of these cranberries probably end up as "Ocean Spray" cranberry products.

These swans are enjoying the flooded bog while they can as when the water is drained from the bog it is tougher for them to swim on cranberry bog plants.


I took this photo today from a flooded cranberry bog up the street from my house on Cape Cod. The cranberry farmers had just recently harvested this cranberry bog and here are some of the cranberries that escaped the harvest (at least for now.) I don't know if the cranberry farmers are going to come back for these floating cranberries or if the wind pushed these cranberries together.

I spent a good part of the rest of the afternoon and evening counting these cranberries in the picture. If you can count these cranberries and come up with the same accurate count that I obtained then I will give you a valuable prize. (Here's a hint to help you count easier, click on the picture to expand the picture size. Also there are less than a million and more than 255 cranberries in the photo.)


YouTube - Avatar Movie Trailer [HD] Coming soon to a movie theater near you on December 18th, "Avatar", the new movie by director James Cameron, the director of "Titanic", "Terminator" and the non-movie movie "Aquaman" of the "Entourage" HBO television series. "Avatar" is a four and a half year project and from early reports this film will 'push the envelope" as far as film making is concerned with a mixture of live action, computer generated, and 3D effects that combined with an estimated film budget of three hundred million dollars should result in a film presentation that should be a must see. Check out the Twentieth Century Fox movie trailer on the You Tube link and get ready to see the much anticipated movie.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Cowbell

More Cowbell I don't know about you; but I love songs with a lot of "Cowbell". Here's a link to the classic Saturday Night Live skit called "More Cowbell" with Christopher Walken as producer "Bruce Dickenson" and Will Ferrell as "Gene Frenkle" on the cowbell. The band here is playing the song "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult and "Bruce has the fever for more cowbell".

Other notable songs with a cowbell include "Time Has Come Today" by the "Chambers Brothers Band", "Honky Tonk Woman" by the "Rolling Stones", and "Mississippi Queen" by "Mountain" . What is your favorite cowbell influenced song?

I remember growing up in Simsbury, Connecticut my Mom used to call me for dinner when I was outside playing with the neighborhood kids either in the woods across the street from our house or playing in the small stream and pond down the road by yelling "Riiiicccckkkkyyyyy, and ringing a cowbell from outside our back door. Other neighborhood Moms would also call their kids as well; so sometimes the Connecticut hills were alive with the sounds of "Riiiicccckkkkiyyyyy ring,ring,ring,ring, ring, Miichaaaeeelll, Beeeernnniieeee, and Bruuuuccceeee," among others in a chorus of homecoming dinner announcements. So, similar to the famous Pavlov and the dog experiments hearing my Mom ring the cowbell would make my mouth salivate at the prospect of a yummy dinner.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Everyone has unique talents in this world. One of my self professed talents is making a good bowl of popcorn. Here's a photo of my most recent bowl of popcorn consumed by me this evening.

I start out with a cooking pot and cover. I add olive oil and heat the oil slightly then add the popcorn to the pot and cover. One of the secrets to making a good batch of popcorn is to listen to the popcorn as it starts to pop, shaking the pot occasionally, and keep the pot on the stove until you hear the "sounds of silence". Then the popcorn is ready to be put into a serving bowl. I have had many popcorn batch with not one unpopped kernel using this technique.

To the popped popcorn I sprinkle some Parmesan cheese, melted butter, home made sea salt and then hot sauce. I first learned about popcorn with hot sauce while vacationing at Isla Mujeres which is an island off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. I was enjoying the white powder sand beach on Isla Mujeres one day when I was approached by a local Mexican man who was going from person to person asking if anyone wanted to buy some popcorn. I thought it was funny to be selling popcorn on the beach but I do like popcorn and wanted to help this fellow out so I bought some popcorn. This man then asked if I wanted some hot sauce on the popcorn. I had never tried popcorn this way before but thought, "When in Mexico do as the Mexicans" and tried the hot sauce. Well, by golly I thought to myself, "This is a good batch of popcorn. BAM!, the hot sauce really kicks up the taste."

The late Paul Newman and I had a couple of things in common. We both liked popcorn and beer and we both used to live in Connecticut.

The frosty ice cold Coors light beer in a chilled mug to me is a perfect compliment to the hot and spicy popcorn. The cool Colorado water found in Coors light beer seems to provide a "taste that beats the others cold".

So, that's how I make my popcorn. How about you? What ingredients do you add to your popcorn? Have you ever tried eating popcorn and drinking beer together at the same time? If not, you should try this combination. And remember eating popcorn and drinking beer is "not just for breakfast anymore"; you can eat popcorn and drink beer in the evening while watching television or a movie or even a sporting event such as "Monday Night Football".

Friday, October 9, 2009


Congratulations Mr. President on winning the Nobel Peace Prize today. You join two other presidents of the United States of America in being selected for this prestigious honor; President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt and Woodrow (Woody) Wilson. So, "Bully for you!"

I'm not quite sure what you have done to earn this award; and from your expressed surprise I guess you aren't sure yourself. Maybe the selection committee was impressed with your goals of making national government a bigger part in every one's daily life with increased influence in banking, the auto industry, energy industry, and soon to come further expansion in the health care field. Maybe the selection committee likes how you are reducing missile defence expenditures and halting protection of Poland, the Czech Republic with your cancellation of the agreed installation of defensive missile protection so that any future Iranian nuclear missiles can reach their target. Maybe they like your foreign policy initiative of alienating long term allies while trying to further befriend your soul mates such as Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers. Maybe the committee likes the fact that you can deliver a good speech when your teleprompters are working properly. Maybe just the fact that your name isn't George W. Bush was enough.

The Nobel Peace prize was named after the founder of dynamite. So, now that you have won this honor; let's get busy and approve expanding the Afghanistan conflict and approve a troop level increase of at least 40,000 additional soldiers. As the new "Prince of Peace" it is time to increase the killing of the "Islamofascists" and hunt down and bring to justice Osama Bin Laden as you promised the American people you would do before you were elected president.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Back in the winter of 1982 I went on a vacation to Jamaica with some friends. We stayed on the beach at the Holiday Inn Rose Hall in Montego Bay. One of the days we went on a short bus ride to Negril. At the time Negril offered miles of relatively undeveloped beach which I understand has been developed into quite a few resorts over the years.

I purchased this robe made from "Red Bull" brand 100 pound gross enriched wheat flour sacks which were stitched together by a local Jamaican lady named Gwendolyn White with two pockets in the front and a cloth belt. My robe was made from flour sacks number 018 and 022 of January 1981.

Later "Red Bull" developed a sports drink but somehow I doubt if a Jamaican flour company and an Austrian based energy drink company are the same company.


Here's a photo from last Easter of the interior of the Simsbury Methodist Church in Simsbury, Connecticut as the choir rang out some Easter tunes on their bells. There is a massive organ in this church with a ton of pipes of all sizes disbursed throughout the front and rear of the church. There are many stained glass windows throughout the chapel.

My Dad and his brother Donald are the two church members with the longest membership at the church.

This service also had a small band section and a baptism among other activities.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I took this photo recently outside my enclosed porch of a spider web which seems to refract the sunlight into a rainbow of color. I guess being a spider is somewhat like being a fisherman as you cast out your net and hope to catch something. These spiders have to have a lot of patience as they wait for insects to visit them then quickly spring into action and wrap up their prey and inject some sort of poison into their catch so they can eat their meal at a later time.

I wonder who teaches these spiders their "web design" as these spider web sites are sure different than computer websites. For some reason spiders don't mind bugs at their web site but computer owners hate to have "bugs" in their computer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Today was a golden day. The price in US Dollars for an ounce of gold on the "spot market" hit an all-time high today at $1044.80. Generally when a stock or metal hits an all-time high in price it tends to go higher as it has "cleared resistance" meaning that anyone who has purchased in this case gold in the past is now in a profitable position. A while back I submitted a "blog" post called "Hi Ho Silver" urging readers to consider adding gold and/or silver to their investments. I hope that some of you looked into investing in precious metals since then.

There was further talk about replacing the US Dollar as the world currency with a basket of currencies for trade and pricing oil. The rise in the price in gold is probably due to the decline in purchasing power of the US Dollar relative to other currencies. The US Dollar is not worthless but is becoming worth less thus it takes more US Dollars to buy an ounce of gold among other things.

Although no investment generally moves up in a complete straight line; gold today has " broken out" with today's new high price. Gold is "solid" whereas paper money can crumble or " burst into flames" as it continues to depreciate in value.


YouTube - Jim Calhoun Coors Light Commercial I like the Coors Light commercials where they have people in a "mock" press conference ask questions and then the coach or personality answers with a pre-recorded actual answer from a real press conference. Here in this You Tube link is a press conference with Jim Calhoun, the head coach for the University of Connecticut men's basketball team. Coach Calhoun was really responding to questions about his salary during these tough economic times and someone suggested that he give back part of his salary. Coach didn't agree with that premise; (I don't agree either) and thus the "Not one dime back, shut up!, and Get somes facts and come back and see me!" answers.

I read recently in an article in "Investor's Business Daily" that drinking beer helps strengthen your bones.Apparently beer has a lot of silicon in it which is good for your bones. As I recently broke my wrist, I have had to drink a lot of beer to help my wrist heal. It's good to know beer is good for you and I probably would be drinking some beer even if this action didn't help me recover from the wrist injury. I am getting better so I guess my beer drinking has helped me.

So, help your bones, DRINK BEER.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

YouTube - Earth Wind & Fire - Drum Song

YouTube - Earth Wind & Fire - Drum Song Here's a song by "Earth Wind & Fire" with this You Tube link for "Drum Song" featuring the "kalimba" as well as many drum and percussion rhythms. The "kalimba" is a small hand held instrument with varied lengths of small metal strips mounted on a wooden base and generally played with your thumbs.

/Monkey Song/ Zotos Brothers and Friends

YouTube - Johnny Press/Zotos Bros/Monkey Song Back in 1976 as concert co-chairman of the University of Connecticut Board of Governors, we had a concert performance by the" Zotos Brothers" at the Von der Mahden auditorium. Here's a clip from You Tube of their "Monkey Song". Back then the Zotos Band consisted of Alex, Tom, Dan, Zack and Steven Zotos. I remember that they used a "kalimba" on a couple of their songs and they had a running banter with me ("Rick Shaw") as I was seated up close to the stage.

Steven Zotos died at a young age and this song was part of a tribute concert in his memory with the proceeds of the show used to help musicians and interest young people in music through their school music programs.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Little Boy Heroically Shoots, Mutilates Burglar The Onion - America's Finest News Source Yes, I like "The Onion" America's Finest News Source. If you have never gone to this news source or web site you are probably "misinformed" and not getting the true picture of what is currently happening in this country and around the world. If you only get your news from the "crazies" and moronic sycophants of the "main stream media" then you are surely receiving a narrow minded view of the human condition.

For quality and factual reporting I myself rely on "The Onion". I like a "The Onion" as "The Onion" never makes me cry or tear up and is unbiased as contrasted with the sorry state of the mainstream cheerleaders . So use "The Onion" to spice up your life and be informed about the issues that really matter.


Here's a photo of the front and back cover of the "Captain's Clambake Emporium" brochure from the 1980's were I worked helping recruit he motorcoach tour groups which were our primary market. One season we had over 200 tour groups. One night we hosted 10 motorcoaches.

The front cover shows part of the meal cooked by steam in a custom made steam cooker in an open cooking area so everyone could watch the clambake process. This photo is actually a reverse image of the photo taken but you can see the lobsters,steamed clams, German knockwurst and corn on the cob portion of the clambake.

There was also a gas radiant char broiler in the open kitchen used for cooking the barbecued half chickens and steaks.

It was a fun atmosphere for the groups we hosted as we also had a player piano and handed out songbooks so people could "sing for their supper" as they watched the clambake being prepared for them.


Here's a photo of the inner pages of the Captain's Clambake Emporium brochure where I worked in the 1980's. I'm pictured in the upper picture on the right trying to make sure my lobster stays on the plate. Also I'm in the group photo in the lower picture as we sing around the player piano with our songbooks.
The young lady seated at the player piano is having her birthday tomorrow so if you know her make sure your wish her a "happy birthday."
I remember well the memorable meals we served at the "Captain's Clambake Emporium " along with playing thousands of songs on the player piano. I went up to Boston to help assemble this brochure with our advertising agency.