May 16, 2005

Blog Western – Chapter Four.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:46 pm

I finally found enough quiet time to read and thoroughly enjoy Kelley’s Chapter Four of the Blog Western. The lady can write up a storm. That’s for damned sure.

Next up, Eric.

I Ain’t Never…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:31 pm

I found this over at Accidental Verbosity, and I had a bit of fun thinking about some of the things I have never done. During the ride into work, I thought that there really should be two lists; one comprised of things I have never done, but would like to do, and the other comprised of things I have never done and have no intention of ever doing.

Then I got to thinking, ”Yo, Jimbo. Don’t overthink the farookin’ thing. Just write a list of ten things, fer Chrissakes.”

So, here they are:

I have never …:
1. Ridden in a tank
2. Used an ATM
3. Water skied.
4. Driven a tractor
5. Milked (or even touched) a cow
6. Watched a single episode of: Dallas, The Waltons, or Desperate Housewives
7. Been able to stay awake during the movie Gone With the Wind
8. Been arrested
9. Been transported anywhere in an ambulance (knock wood)
10. Gotten an Instalanche.

May 15, 2005

Cars on my Mind.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:29 pm

I was just talking to my buddy Paulie at the Post, and he showed me pictures of the ’67 GTO he has been refurbishing (I’m not sure that’s the right word) for years. He is re-doing the entire car from chassis up. The mondo-expensive paint job is now complete (candy apple red), and he had the bumpers chromed in some place in North Carolina. In a year or so it should be on the road, at least to car shows. It’s a beauty.

A friend of mine had a GTO in the sixties (I believe it was a ’66). I drove it a few times, and it was a killer.

With cars and car shows on my mind, I got a great kick out of this – a car cozy!

Via Cripes, Suzette.

Sunday With the Usuals.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:10 pm

Spent the better part of the morning at Costco (God help me) and the liquor store picking up soda, beer and stuff for the Post’s Memorial Day Open House that follows the Memorial Day parade in town. I wanted to get it done today, because next week at this time, a good number of the Usual Suspects will be in Florida doing a lot of poolside sitting and a helluva lot of poolside drinking. I’m psyched.

Now, I just have enough time to read a chapter or two in a real book before I head over to the Post for the usual Sunday gathering of the Usual Suspects.

I’ll be home in time to watch Deadwood.


May 14, 2005

Keepers, Tossers and Clutter.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:14 pm

Some people are “Keepers.” They find it very difficult to throw things away. By contrast, some people are “Tossers.” They believe that anything that hasn’t been looked at, touched, or smelled in a year can and should be tossed. Keepers, of course, inevitably run into a storage problem, which can only be managed by occasional tossing.

For Keepers, this is never an easy thing to do. I know; I tend to be a keeper, and I only toss things following an exchange of words that usually begins with something like, ”Do you really need this shit? You haven’t touched this shit in years? I mean REALLY!” For example, I only recently and (and mostreluctantly) tossed a bunch of my college textbooks, many of which, I hated to concede, were seriously out-of-date. There is just no getting around it. Pavlov and the conditioned reflex really is old news.

I have several large containers of record albums and 45s (the small records with the big hole in them), which have not seen a turntable in years and may well never see one again. The same goes for reel-to-reel tapes. They sit in a box in a basement awaiting that “some day” when I get my hands on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. I still have all my books and notebooks from Law School, and, at this point, tossing them is non-negotiable. So far, I have managed to successfully protect my collection of beer coasters from Germany that have been sitting in a box for decades awaiting the “some day” when I have a bar in the house.

Still, the basement remains a bit of a cluttered mess. It’s the sad lot of Keepers.

However, the Keepers with the most serious problems are the “Accumulator-Keepers.” Unlike the run-of-the-mill Keepers who accumulate things in the normal course of living, the “Accumulator-Keepers” are aggressive acquirers of things. They are the Home Shopping Network, QVC, eBay, and flea market junkies, who simply cannot go a day without buying stuff – and lots of it.

The Accumulator-Keepers face gargantuan storage problems, which often result in clutter that works its way up from of the chock-filled basement and spills out from the jam-packed garage into the house.

TigerHawk linked to a series of photos of a house that belongs to a World Class Accumulator-Keeper. It may be the worst case of clutter I have ever seen. Now I know that you are thinking, “Yo, Jimbo, I’m surfing blogs here, and I really don’t think I need to take up limited blog-surfing time to look at a cluttered house. What’s the big deal? It’s only a house with a bit too much random stuff in it, right?.”

WRONG. Go look.

May 13, 2005

He’s No Blogger.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:00 pm

On Thursday, one of Imus in the Morning’s of late, typically liberal pukes guests was Jon Corzine.

My first reaction was to immediately change the station, as I do when Imus fawns over John Kerry or Paul Bagala.

However, having been an Imus listener for more than a couple decades (lately, I find myself wondering why), I returned to the Imus program to listen to what our Senator from New Jersey had to say.

After listening for a few minutes, my impression was that this guy had better never criticize the President for his lack of articulateness. In my view, what he had to say was pure garble, and socialist garble at that. I was, however, prepared to give his early morning radio word salad the benefit of the doubt, traceable to my disapproval of his performance as a Senator and my desire that he never become the governor of this state.

I now see that Mr. Corzine has decided to dip his toe into the Blogosphere as a featured guest poster on Ms. Huffington’s “blog.” Enlighten New Jersey does a wonderful job ot politely showing that Mr. Corzine could use a grammar tutorial as well as a lesson on using Mister Spell Check before posting.

Enlighten New Jersey notes:

We never learn what Corzine’s going to Iraq had to do with figuring out how to prevent another attack, but he did discover American “soldiers are professionals in the most magnificant sense of the word..” (We couldn’t find “magnificant” in the dictionary, but we will assume Corzine was impressed with our soldiers.)

It saddens me to think that this guy, who is apparently bored with being s Senator and who is rich enough to buy yet another public office, is very likely to be our next governor.

But maybe, just maybe, he will clean up the Jersey Political Swamp.

Then again, maybe, just maybe, I’ll stick a feather in my ass and fly to Pittsburgh.

May 12, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:09 pm

bare feet.jpgOne sure sign that I was not raised in the country is that, when outdoors, I wear footwear of some sort. On those occasions when I do find myself outside and barefoot (e.g. on the beach or by the pool), I do a good deal of “oooching and owching” if I walk across anything more lumpy than a piece of slate. I’m a tenderfoot.

I have discovered that there is a dedicated group of people who celebrate barefootedness and practice it regularly. They call themselves “The Society of Barefoot Living,” and, like all good twenty-first century organizations, the group even has a Mission Statement.

Interestingly, the group’s website debunks the notion that it is illegal to drive barefoot. It turns out that, in most states, it is NOT unlawful to drive a car barefoot (some states require footwear for motorcyclists). For you Garden Staters, feel free to doff your shoes this summer (but I suggest that carry a photocopy of the letter from Trenton that appears on the webpage to show the cop). My Jawja friends should also know that they can lawfully drive those big-ass pickup trucks barefoot, but I figure you already knew that, or you don’t much give a shit what the law says about driving barefoot.

Then I got to thinking, Yeah, sure. That barefoot stuff is great in warm weather, but I wanna see some of these barefooters strut their shit in Jersey in the middle of January. Well, it turns out that some of the more dedicated barefooters like walking barefoot in the farookin’ snow, although this winter walker had to concede that deep snow began to present a problem. Yo!! Deep snow? Ice? Slush? No way. Even barefooters can get frostbite and gangrene.

Interesting stuff, this, but I’m sticking with shoesies.

Travel Plans?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:05 pm

If you happen to be anywhere near Iowa this summer, don’t miss this:

Those fun loving people in Sac City are at it again. Forty-four volunteers and five staff members of Noble Popcorn Farms built a popcorn ball that weighed 3,100 pounds on Sat., June 12th to promote popcorn and to create a tourism attraction for the community as it heads into its Sesquicentennial celebration in 2005. The ball surpasses the old Guinness Book of World Records of 2,377 pounds set in September of 1995.

If you won’t be in the Iowa area, or if you are too stoked to wait for your summer vacation, you can check it out HERE.

May 11, 2005

Reading the Crowd – The Saloon Eye.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:40 pm

So, again back in the 70’s, the owner of a bar in Belleville, New Jersey contacted us to book the band. As was our custom, we met with him to get a feel for the place. It was a fairly large and deep room. One entered near the large square shaped bar. Beyond the bar were perhaps a dozen and a half tables, which led up to and surrounded the dance floor. The place actually had a decent sized stage, which placed the band about three feet above the dance floor. It was well suited for live music.

Having checked out the layout of the place, I specifically asked the bartender what kind of crowd the saloon attracted. As much as he was interested in capturing our “following,” we were interested in not leading our following into a place that turned out to be a Bucket of Blood. The owner said, “Nice crowd here. We got no problems.” Done. We agreed to do a month of Fridays and Saturdays.

On our first night there, the joint was pretty well packed. People were two deep at the bar and just about all the tables were taken. The dance floor was full for every tune. The owner was happy, the partying customers were happy, and we were happy. It was a good gig.

Then, we played “Color My World.” It had followed several fast songs and, as such, provided the crowd with a bit of a rest, gave some folks on the dance floor the opportunity to rub naughty bits, and gave us a couple minutes to catch our breath. I had no singing part in the song, so all I had to do was relax behind the drums and “lay it in.” It was the first opportunity I had to really look over the crowd.

Because actually hearing the crowd is damned near impossible while the band is playing, one gets to pretty good at “reading the crowd” i.e. knowing how the members of a normal crowd typically move. When something out of the ordinary is going down, it is almost always accompanied by movement that doesn’t fit with the normal ebb and flow of bodies.

During “Color My World,” I saw such a telltale flicker of rapid and unnatural movement next to the bar, which was quite far away from the stage. Nevertheless, I knew from experience that this was almost always the sign of a fight. What made this typical pugilistic dance different was the speed with which it came and went. This was usually the opening moves of what would become a brawl. I was puzzled and was beginning mistrust my experienced saloon eye. However, one of the other guys in the band saw it as well and was similarly confused by it.

During the next break, I pulled the owner aside and said, “I could have sworn I saw a fight at the bar.”

The owner thought a minute, as if he didn’t know what I was referring to, and finally said, “Oh that? Don’t worry about that.”

I asked, “Waddya mean don’t worry about that? I thought you said that you didn’t have any trouble in this place.”

He laughed and replied, “I’m tellin’ ya. It’s no big deal. It was just Ted and Al. [fictitious names] This has been going on for years.”

He saw the look on my face, and before I could say anything, he continued, “About fifteen or so years ago, Al pulled some shit on Ted’s mother, which pissed Ted off pretty bad. Ever since then, every time Ted sees Al in town, he knocks him on his ass. Tonight was no different. Ted walked into the joint, saw Al and whacked him one, then left.”

Jimbo: “Are you shitting me?”

Owner: “No, it’s truth. Ask any of my regulars.”

Jimbo: “Nobody ever calls the cops?”

Owner: “Hey, I don’t wanna know nuttin’.”

I remember thinking, Damn, that’s one serious grudge. I remember also thinking, I oughta write some of this goofy shit down.

I never thought it would take me a couple decades to get around to writing it down, but there you have it.

Ted and Al never did their bizarre “dance” again during our month there, or on subsequent engagements at the place, but I had no doubt that they were performing elsewhere in town.

Over the years I have often wondered why Al never filed a criminal complaint against Ted for assault and battery. The only conclusion I can reasonably draw is that Ted is one of the bent-nosed guys and Al’s reporting Ted to the police might lead to Al receiving something much more unpleasant than the occasional smack in the moosh.

As you know, subsequent to this event, things again would get sideways during our playing of “Color my World.” At that point, the song was stricken from the set list, and if anyone requested it, we pretended we didn’t know how to play it. It was a bad luck tune.

May 10, 2005

Da Choice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:04 pm

Here’s da choice.

Blog? Or, meet this guy for dinner in a classic Jersey Italian restaurant, where everyone, men included, had big hair?

It was a no-brainer.

It was great seeing one of the Jawja Bloggers on my toif.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress