Thursday, May 19, 2016

You Know You're a Foreigner When....LBC

If it's Friday it must be LBC day. This week's topic was suggested by Lin. You Know You're a Foreigner When...... 
  1. the football being talked about uses a round ball
  2. the holidays celebrated are different than yours
  3. you constantly get asked for your passport
  4. its hard to find a hamburger- even a bad one
  5. eating with your fingers is the norm -regardless what is on the plate
  6. the movies in the theaters come from Bollywood
  7. cricket is more popular than baseball 
  8. you are an immigrant
  9. you are a yank and find all of the toilet paper sucks 
  10. the bartender stares blankly when you order a Coors
  11. gas isn't sold by the gallon
  12. you spell color and favorite without the "u" everyone else uses 
  13. you are one of these guys ----> 
  14. David Hasselhoff is a popular entertainer
  15. The Hoover is in a cupboard on the first-floor landing.
  16. you can only order beer or ask  where the bathroom is wherever you are
  17.  you automatically want to drive on the wrong side of the road
  18. your accent is different from  everyone else
  19. street  signs look like this  Image result for signs you are in a foreign country 
Now if you live in the USA these  things can apply from state to state. After 20 plus years in Texas I can unequivocally state that Texas seems like a foreign country.  Texans believe in God, Texas, family above all else. I'm not even  sure USA makes the top 10. 

Occasionally there is a song that is in a foreign language that becomes a huge hit in another country or countries - just such a song makes my all time topp 10 lost whenever I make it up. The other 9 may  change but this song is always on the list -

and then there is this - 

Even being a foreigner does not stop one from embracing music - I  am certain Lin feels the same way.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Calamities - LBC weekly post

Its that time again. If its Friday it must be LBC day and this weeks topic - Calamities -was suggested by Ramana - himself in the middle of a home  remodel calamity. One must wonder about the timing of the topic - LOL. 

Everyone deals with calamities from time to time. The first calamity I can recall was Calamity Jane - no surprise since - like most  men my age - I was a huge cowboy fan as a kid and Calamity Jane was a legend.

I must assume my pal Ramana had something else in mind when he suggested this weeks topic though. The traditional type of calamity might include earthquakes, hurricanes, even wars and other disasters that cause great harm and destruction.

I have lived in California on the edge of a major fault - the Hayward fault - and have been through a 7.1 earthquake referred to as the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. I traveled this collapsed freeway almost daily from the time I got my first driver's license at 16. The next image shows a building in San Francisco that collapsed. I included the image because my good friend Mark Stout was riding his bike and was there when that building collapsed. He was unharmed.

I was driving near our home in Hayward with my son, rolling to a stop sign. Sean and I both assumed we'd gotten a flat tire. Sean jumped out and right back into the van and said it is an earthquake dad. I looked to the right and saw people flying out of the medical offices. Upon returning to our condo, Lynn was spitting nails and cussing as a large bottle of cooking oil and a jar full of rice fell to the floor from atop the fridge. I went into the living room, turned on the TV and this is the image that greeted me -

That is when we knew it was serious.

In 1991 there was the Oakland firestorm.  No single image does justice to the destruction and terror of that event.

Image result for climate change effects on earth

 If interested, read about it here - Oakland Firestorm 1991

Move the clock ahead to 2000. We were safely settled in earthquake free Ft Worth Texas. Welcome to tornado alley. On March 28, we went through a major tornado.

That was a barrel of laughs.I got out of the office about 8 minutes before downtown was hit. Sirens went off for another 30 minutes or so after I got home. Our apartment lost  power and there was an impromptu wine party on the patio between units at our complex. 

Those are the three largest calamities I have been through - unless Lynn's disease could be considered one.

The music industry is littered with songs about calamities of many types. Here are a few if you are interested in listening-

Timothy  the Buoys

New York Mining Disaster of 1941  the Bee Gees

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald   Gordon Lightfoot

Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season   Jimmy Buffett

That's it for this weeks topic. I could regale you with tales of burnt dinners, dating disasters and such but the Sharks game is about to start and it is the 7th game of a 7-game series to reach the conference championship. Gotta root for my guys - LOL.

Happy trails til next week.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Growing Old vs Growing Up

Thia weeks topic is pretty well covered  by recent topics in April - The Old Days and Aging. I pretty well established the notion that everyone grows old chronologically speaking but not everyone necessarily grows up - maturity has proven elusive for some of us.

Growing old begins at the moment of birth and continues until the moment the lights switch off- death.  While on that path of life we hope we grow up - develop the skills and a level of maturity that enables us to deal with the  trials and tribulations of life. Everybody has a degree of tsuris in life. How we deal with it determines how successful our lives are. Our culture provides the standards by which we determine the degree of success or failure. 

Life is a balancing act of sorts. We need to find the balance between what  want and what we need.  And thenprocess put it all together, mix it up and make a life. A child is someone who passes through your life, and then disappears into an adult if you get it right.

Growing old is simply a biological  process but growing up requires changes of a different nature. Ideas change, friends change, life changes.

And when you reach the end of the line if you have resisted properly, you have grown old but still are still crazy,,,

Then of  course there is my personal anthem  on the matter - one you've heard from me many times


Hope you enjoyed the short concert - it surely beat the heck outta the written part.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Does That Sleigh Have Brake Lights, Mr Claus? LBC

Regulations. It's all about regulations. Its all for the greater good. It simply isn't safe to have  fat guys in red suits running around in sleighs without brake lights. Even with the plethora of new cars being advertised that stop on their own. People traveling behind that sleigh should all have the opportunity to be warned by brake lights.
Image result for cartoon santa sleigh

And another thing - do reindeer poop when pulling that sleigh? How many sleigh followers have  had their windshields covered in  reindeer poop? Clearly another safety issue. Another regulation needed, to be sure.  We need to make travel safe for all, don't ya know.

And that bag. Clearly Mr. Claus cannot see clearly behind him with that big bag - at least for half of his trip.  Another regulation crying to be in place.

Clearly we must consider regulating Christmas to keep everyone safe from that accident waiting to happen - aka Santa in his sleigh. I mean he has already taken out Grandma. Who is next? We simply cannot allow this to continue unregulated. We have plenty of time ot get this atrocity 
 before the holiday season assaults our senses with Christmas ads, floating heads Santas and barking dogs.

This weeks tussle with insanity was suggested by Lin.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Think My Dancing School Diploma Just Expired LBC Post

This weeks topic comes from the fertile mind of Lin - methinks this is her musical equivalent of a fractal equation from her mathematician better half. How did she even know a buffalo petite such as I had a dancing school diploma?  Alas - when the knees go so does the dancing and my knees are long gone. Diploma expired. Condemned to sitting and watching. Aided by  a few adult beverages. Another of those life changing events.

I have mentioned before that at one time I was a member of a Polynesian dance troupe. True story. One of the many things I did was the Samoan fire knife.I was pretty good at it too - but admittedly was never as good looking as the guy in this photo but I could do the knife tricks. The Samoan knife dances sere the mostr fun  things we did as far as I was concerned but the Maori Hakas were a close second. - maybe because those bead skirts were more manly that th egrass skirts we wore for Tahitian.


New Zealand sport teams perform hakas prior to international matches -  check out the American pro basketball player responses in this one.

My dancing career lasted about three years and ended about the time I quit playing football in college. Lynn was not thrilled about the coed dressing rooms and stuff like that.The friend that got me involved is now a well respected Kumu with a professional dance troupe he He's been one of my best friends since  sixth grade. And there are NO existing photos of me in a grass skirt Ramana so don't ask.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Fresh on the heels of last weeks Old Days comes this weeks topic - Aging. Ramana proposed the topic and since he does not eat meat I think it is a safe assumption he was  not thinking wet or dry when he conjured said topic.

Truth be told, when you consider wet and dry aging both refer to methods of meat spoilage allegedly to increase the flavor maybe Rummy has the right idea.

Now when it comes to adult beverages like wine  and single-malt whiskey. aging does improve the taste. I have personally experimented numerous times over the years and can conclusively say it is a fact. 12-yr old Glenlivet is excellent, 18-yr and 21-yr old Glenlivet are even better. I suspect the adage holds true for other adult beverages although most of my experience is with single-malts and red wine - along with beer.  And even  though I am not a wine aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, I know last weeks Merlot will taste better in a yea

From the moment of our birth we begin the aging process until it stops. As part of the process we grow up - and out. Our hair changes color, typically going to some shade of gray. In some cases the hair flees the scene. But no matter what, there are fundamental things that occur as we age.

Joints may ache due to years of abuse or arthritis. Some places on our body may sag a bit as we age. And occasionally we have memory lapses. 

But through it all, the aging process is just that - a process. Every day it moves us toward the end of the line.

Speaking of which - it is time to see what the other LBC posters have to say about aging.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

The old days - LBC 04/08

This weeks topic was my suggestion. 

Were the old days really better than today? Certainly there were good days - we were all kids once. Playing baseball every day during the summer. Watching favorite TV shows with friends and family. Playing jacks with Sally Ann Ransdell (she whipped my butt regularly). Saturday at the Uptown Theater for an entire day of horror movies Saturdays or the Bowery Boys laugh fests with Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hal.

At the same time a substantial part of the population lived a lie - in the closet hiding their homosexuality. Real careers were only a dream for  50% of the population. The female half. And in many parts of the country segregation was the order of the day. In my home town it wasn't always an obvious thing but it was there bubbling beneath the surface. All of which reminds me of a line from one of my favorite songs - Yesterdays over my shoulder but I can't look back for too long. There's just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can't go wrong with these changes in attitude, changes in latitude".

Life is about change.  Drink your nostalgic  kool aid on occasion and play this tune once in a while.

Now to some the old days pertains to today. Every day.  At 66 most days I feel  my age in my joints. That's my fault for not taking better care of myself physically over the years. But remember that old adage "Everyone grows old but not everyone grows up". That's my story and I'm sticking to it.