August 21, 2007

Is there a more touching and enjoyable experience in life than to renew old acquaintances after many years? Tonight was one of those nights as my brother Mark and I met one of bandmates from our Top Priority band days of long ago, Jerry “Keys” Palma, for dinner and some wonderful reminiscing after 30 long years.

It’s funny how these kinds of things turn out. It’s literally been years – maybe even a decade or more – since my brother and I have even discussed our old band days. A little over a month ago, Mark (who played drums in the band, me playing bass) called to ask if I had any photos left over from our Top Priority days, as his two sons have started up a band of their own and he wanted to show them that their old man was no slouch when it came to garage band pursuits. Earlier that weekend, I had been playing CDs by an old ’60s surf band called The Sandals, who had reformed to create the soundtrack to the movie “The Endless Summer II” and recreate their original soundtrack to the landmark surf film “The Endless Summer”.

For some reason, Mark’s call reminded me of The Sandals, and I began wondering what our old fellow bandmates Keys and our guitarist Ken “The Cat” McDougal were doing with their lives, and I made a mental note to check the phone book upon my next visit back to Massachusetts. During that visit here last month, I found out that both their families still lived at their original addresses, and Mark, undertaking a search of his own, found a website link to what turned out to be Jerry’s law firm. Shortly after renewing acquaintances with Jerry by phone, I left a message on his parents’ phone and a few days later got a call from “The Cat”, who, as it turns out, lives in Jacksonville, FL and runs his own photography business. While Ken couldn’t make it up here for my August visit, we shared phone numbers and e-mail addresses and hoped someday we’d all be able to meet together for some laughs and memories.

Tonight, Mark and I hooked up with Jerry, and, as it happens in these kinds of situations, it’s amazing to watch thirty years of separation melt away in just minutes. While we were never very good as a band, we did have a lot of fun with it over the few years we pursued our craft seriously. While one could bemoan the fact that our lack of serious talent made success elusive and our music more of a hobby as anything else, it also allowed us to have more fun and be both foolish and creative with it – maybe it’s that very fact that we were more than bandmates, but friends. And it was renewing that friendship and being able to laugh and reminisce about those times that made tonight so enjoyable.

On one level, it was great to listen to some of our music again and laugh until the tears started flowing; on another there was this wonderful sense of time both passing by and going backward, melting the years away, making all our journeys all seem a little more worthwhile. We’ve all gone our separate ways, had our own life trials and tribulations, and now have our own lives and priorities left to pursue, but shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity – at least from time to time – to be able to rekindle relationships that enable you to take stock of where and how your own life journey has gone? And shouldn’t one be able to share and, yes, celebrate the fact that you’ve survived all those years with friends you haven’t seen for ages? These kinds of things truly are the spice of life, and it’s renewing acquaintances in this way that are just one of God’s little blessings that come along from time to time.

I feel fortunate and blessed indeed to be able to experience a night like this, and I’m well aware that there are a lot of people out there who should be able to be so lucky. So to Mark, Jerry, and Ken (who we were still able to talk with by phone while we shared dinner), I say ‘thank you’: we may not have been the best band in the world, but the times and memories we can still share together more than make up for any deficiency in talent we might have had.

Filed in: Top Priority - News! by at 01:01 | Comments (0)
August 20, 2007

Is there a more perfect time of year than August in New England? I think not – and it makes me quite happy to have scheduled my Red Sox game visit during a month I have always held dear and believed to be a special time.

Why August, you ask? Because the weather more often than not is undeniably perfect for just about any kind of activity one could plan. A walk in the woods? Why not, the trees are still heavy and green, and even if the day is hot and humid, there is still likely to be found a refreshingly-cool spot in some shady grove. A trip to the ocean? Absolutely a great time to go – if you’re down in southern New England – say, Newport RI or Mystic, CT, the waters are in the low ’70s and supremely inviting. Further up the coast, in places like Salisbury, MA and Seabrook, NH, the waters are cooler, but – especially on a hot, humid day – have lost their skin-numbing chill, enough to be able to float and swim after a necessary period of getting used to the water temperature.

To me, what always made August so inviting was its unique place in the calendar: no longer quite the high summer of July, these are summer days to cherish, for the shortening of the days from the Summer Solstice is quite noticeable by now, and you don’t need all the “Back to School” sale advertisements to tell you what is coming around the corner. Back in Gilbert, AZ, we still have a solid two months of murderous summer heat ahead of us, but here in New England, the nights are already cooling down, and refreshingly so. I’d forgotten how wonderful cool sheets feel to the touch when you first slide into bed, and a warm and cozy comforter on top of you during these nights almost guarantees a lovely sleep with all that cool fresh night air pouring in. (In our area of Arizona, there’s no such thing as cool fresh night air until you get to the cusp of November.)

Another service August provides us is the first hint that the year is getting on; the first indications of life beginning to slow down and move towards its unavoidable end. Already huge rolls of hay for winter grazing are appearing in the fields, and the grasses along the highways and roadsides once so thick, green, and full of life have become thin and strawy in color. And, is that a hint of early color I see in trees under stress from this summer’s lack of rainfall? These trees are already starting to lose their foliage, depositing their clothing on the still thick green lawns and hot pavements – early harbingers of a time when the fall colors will become ever numerous and more glorious before their final act is played out in days even shorter than they are now.

So, August to me was always a time of looking back and looking ahead. Days so perfect that you wanted to somehow figure out a way to take hold of them and keep them in your grasp for ever; nights so refreshing you wish you could bottle them up for safe-keeping during the long winter not so far away. And, as added excitement, the fact that this time of year began the period when one always had to keep an eye out on the tropics for any hurricanes that might think of sliding their way up the Atlantic Seaboard.

August is a series of bright blue days with flowers and grasses and a big blue ocean from which one can ponder the seasonal changes about to take place. It’s a joy to be able to make these pondrances possible when the weather is both warm and inviting; this is the gift that this month gives to those who call New England their home, and I’m glad this year I’ve been able to make it a part of my own year.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:52 | Comments (0)
August 19, 2007

monstah Back in March, after Major League Baseball took away from Dish Network the privilege of offering its ‘Extra Innings’ baseball package, I was planning on signing up for MLB’s ‘mlb.tv’ Internet TV service when I discovered that I could get the very same subscription package for free by purchasing a “Monster Membership” to the Boston Red Sox’ own “Red Sox Nation” fan program. Included in that package – yes, it was pricey, but at the time it seemed worth it – was the privilege of purchasing two seats on top of Fenway Park’s left-field wall, dubbed the “Green Monster” for a game from a list of dates provided. Given the fact that these seats are arguably considered the best seats in Major League Baseball to watch a game from, I jumped at the chance, and today was the day.

Of course, one imagines that by purchasing the “Green Monster” seats that it will be an exhilarating experience, made all the more so by any number of baseballs that come flying in, around, and over where you are seated as either the home team or their opponents hitters (or both) take dead aim at that inviting target. And, needless to say, the prospect of such made the tickets not only worth purchasing, but today’s game something to look forward to for quite a while.

So what broke out at Fenway Park today? A pitcher’s duel, and one by two ground-ball pitchers, no less! Not only did no home runs get hit during the game (let alone into or over our area), but the only ball that actually hit the wall during the game was far away from us. To make matters worse, the Red Sox lost the uninsipring and exceedingly uneventful game, 3-1.

Oh well. The seats were great and the baseball fun to watch, but it just goes to show you that simply because you pay good money for a decent pair of seats is no guarantee that you’ll end up with your money’s worth in the end. But isn’t the expectation of it all half the fun, after all?

Filed in: Golf & Sports,Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 18:35 | Comments (0)
August 18, 2007

From William Alexander Percy in his book Lanterns on the Levee:

“I have made …mistakes all my life, and it’s too late now to change. It was too late from the beginning. The color of our temperment, our chief concern, is nothing of our making. If we are pink, we can only hope that fate will not set us cheek by jowl with red. If we see the world through mauve glasses, there’s no sort of sense in wishing they were white. We may only console ourselves by noting that a certain opalescence, like sun through the misty mornings of London, is not without a loveliness denied the truer and cruder white noons of the Arizona desert.”

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments (0)
August 17, 2007

In recording circles, you hear a lot about how analog recordings have a warmer and more appealing sound than digital. For the most part, that is true – especially when it comes to listening to some of the older digital mixes of analog recordings from back in the ’60s. Of course, the technology is changing so fast that anything reproduced digitally, say, ten or more years ago sounds nothing like it would today in the hands of savvy producers. Compare, for example, the CDs of all the Beatles’ albums re-produced for CD by their producer George Martin back in the mid ’90s versus, say, The Doors’ new remixes of their “Morrison Hotel” and “L.A. Woman” albums – it’s like listening to two different worlds.

I only mention this because, by and large, digital technology has gotten a bad name in recording circles; recent experiences, however, have got me changing my mind a little bit. First it was those re-releases of the two Doors albums I just mentioned. To listen to their original release on LP or even CD with these new versions is, basically, to listen to two very different recordings – the quality is just that much more obvious. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I sent three 30 year-old, battered cassette tapes of my old band Top Priority to this company called Cassettes2CDs.com. Not only did they process the tapes quickly and efficiently, but one of the tapes I sent them was broken and hadn’t been played for at least a quarter century. Not only did the good folks at Cassettes2CDs repair that tape sufficiently so it could be transferred to CD, but the quality of the digital recordings as compared to how they sounded on those original tapes is an amazing thing to behold. We were never that good a band, but our performances absolutely leap out at you off CD – something that couldn’t have been possible on analog tape.

Not only that, but having Top Priority in digital means I can have at it with my DART CD Recording Studio 2 software, and, with all the tools it provides, the sky’s the limit, baby. De-noise, De-hiss, equalize, stereo – my office has been turned into a production studio. Of course, you can’t turn chicken sh*t into chicken slad, but you can certainly improve the bowl it has been served in. Phil Spector, eat your heart out!

So no more analog snobbery for me – consider me finally ready and willing to embrace the digital age!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:22 | Comments (0)
August 16, 2007

Mark the day, August 15. Yestareday afternoon, our swimming pool water temperature officially hit 100 for the first time this year.

The past few days have been very stifling, with temperatures around 105 or so, with dew points in the high 50s.

That’s just about as uncomfortable as it gets during the summer.

New England is gonna feel mighty nice this coming weekend.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:14 | Comments (0)
August 15, 2007

In a column posted on yesterday’s World Net Daily, David Kupelian broaches the uncomfortable, yet timely subject of madness and the contribution psychotherapeutic drugs might have in the uptick of seemingly inexplicable acts of violence we’ve all unfortunately become too accustomed to in this day and age. Kupelian’s argument – one which I find quite compelling, BTW – is that the role of modern psychiatry and its increasing reliance on pharmaceutical companies to provide quick fixes to the deeper spiritual problems faced by many in our rapid-paced, technologically-advanced and increasingly isolated culture as a major factor in the increase of these horrendous acts is something that needs to be considered:

When the subject of violent crimes and linkage to psychiatric drugs comes up, two distinct views emerge.

The mental-health establishment’s view is that these drugs have no “proven” role in enabling such horrific deeds, or at least that their benefits far outweigh whatever negative reactions may rarely occur. According to this view, of the millions of people taking these medications the vast majority are helped and the few who end up committing violent acts probably would have snapped anyway – with or without the drugs.

The other, contrarian view is that the drugs are dangerous and harmful, turning previously nonviolent people into homicidal maniacs. At a very minimum, critics contend, the meds push some individuals, already living on the edge of sanity, over the edge into violence. In addition to a growing corps of health professionals and a sizeable pile of peer-reviewed studies corroborating this view, the drug companies themselves – compelled by FDA labeling requirements – bolster it with their “black box” label warnings of increased “suicidal ideation” risk and other negative effects.

But let’s pause, putting aside for a moment the dogma of all the “experts,” and consider carefully and deeply what we’re really looking at.

We are talking about human beings who have somehow developed a secret inner life dominated by exceedingly dark thoughts and compulsions. Wild mood swings. Horrible, consuming resentment teetering on the edge of violent frenzy. Paranoid delusions fueled by intense emotion. Satanic visitations and inner voices that torment people mercilessly, sometimes for years, commanding them to commit murder or suicide – or both.

Does this really sound to you like a physiological problem in need of drugs? Sound like a disease? A biochemical imbalance in the brain? Neurotransmitter activity that’s too sluggish?

Or does it possibly sound like something much more mental-emotional, even spiritual, in origin?

The truth is, if we think we can solve problems like these with pills, we might be just as delusional as the people we’re trying to help.

As Kupelian is readily willing to admit, there are, undoubtedly, “genuine, organic brain diseases that may benefit from drug therapy”, as well as “instances where an individual is so psychotic as to pose a direct danger to him/herself and others, where sedation might be appropriate”, but I think he’s onto something when he writes of “the overwhelming majority of cases where psychiatric drugs are unwisely relied on to fix Americans’ mental-emotional-spiritual problems.” Further down in the article, Kupelian gets straight to the point:

Not too long ago, the counseling arts recognized that people suffering from mental-emotional, developmental problems needed self-understanding first and foremost. This was a noble and vital goal. But today, as Fortune points out, psychiatry has substituted “pills for couches.” Like mad scientists, our “experts” fool around with the intricacies of people’s brains, monkeying with the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine to artificially “elevate mood.”

Thus we have the spectacle of troubled people coming to mental-health experts with serious personal problems – emotional conflicts, fears, obsessions, compulsions and perhaps delusions rooted in early trauma, or in seriously flawed family relationships, or in buried resentments toward cruelty and injustice that were never resolved but just festered and grew. Yet, instead of being helped to understand where they’ve gone wrong, or where their negative programming, unhealthy relationships and destructive attitudes came from so they can correct them and find genuine healing, they’re given clever drugs designed to chemically trick the body and mind into “feeling better.”

I remember a time not too long ago when a night of television viewing would be replete with commercials advertising all kinds of smoking and alcohol products. At least in the case of the former, these advertisers were forced to end that kind of broad-scale marketing due to the negative impact posed by smoking on people’ lives. Nowadays, watching all the drugs marketed willy-nilly across the airwaves every night, I can’t help but wonder how this form of advertising is allowed to continue as well. We’ve become a nation reliant on the “quick fix” – and the major drug manufacturers, their advertising agencies, and the broadcast and cable networks are all too willing to play the role of willing provider when it comes to everything we think that might ail us, both physically and spiritually, in the name of revenue and market share.

Kupelian’s view is that, while this is all a very complex issue with no shortage of players, victims, and willing accomplices, in the end it all boils down to a single root cause – an increasing view in Western culture that religion and (although I hate the word) “spirituality” have virtually no role to play when it comes to self-esteem, individual happiness, and inner wellness; these are all conditions and/or processes requiring no link whatsoever to God and/or religion:

Until the last 50 years or so, Western man believed the Creator put us here on this magnificent globe we call earth, and that we, alone among all creatures, were given the ability – and destiny – to choose between good and evil.

Today’s cultural elite, including those in the healing arts, basically don’t recognize the existence of God, morality, good and evil, righteousness and sin. In other words, they don’t understand what life is all about – that each and every one of us on this earth is appealed to, from just beyond the visible world, by a dimension of good and a dimension of evil, which we call Heaven and Hell. And that by heeding the wrong impulses we get into serious trouble.

Instead, they look at man and see a soulless human animal whose behavior problems are mostly genetic or organic in origin and, in any event, manageable with drugs.

Does this sound in any way surprising? In a day and age where traditional and once highly-valued cultural institutions such as marriage, fidelity, and emotional stability are denigrated; where narcissism, self-indulgence, and outrageousness are both celebrated and encouraged (one look at today’s “reality shows” and cable TV fare will tell you that); where life itself has become cheapened to the point where it’s not really life itself, but the so-called “quality of life” that matters (and here I’ll toss in everything from abortion-on-demand to euthansia advocates), should it be surprising to anyone that we’ve become a nation searching for easy answers to the isolation, loneliness, violence, and familial disintegration we see all around us?

Kupelian argues that religion, while certainly not a “magic pill” for everything that ails us as a culture, nevertheless has a critical role to play in this day and age. For whether you want to call it “religion”, “Christianity”, “church”, or “spirituality”, all of these things help us understand there is something out there beyond us, humbling us, forcing us to see outside ourselves and the impact our actions – and reactions – have on those we interact with on a daily basis. Specifically, the Judeo-Christian religions have much to say about good and evil, the benefits of pursuing the former and avoiding and rejecting the latter as a way to inner peace and personal happiness, and the impact that sin, forgiveness, mercy, and repentence all have on our emotional self-awareness and ultimate well-being. Of course, you won’t find any of this either encouraged, uplifted, or publicized in a positive way in today’s mainstream dino-media; religious people are unsophisticated, uncultured, right-wing zealots, or just plain dumb. To go to church or be religious is a sign of weakness – well at least in that regard they’ve got that right – and something to be discouraged or, in the case of Christian religious symbols and practices, fought at every turn. It’s a sad thing, and, as a result, we have become the makers of our own sad lot in life and time.

Towards the end of his article, Kupelian sums his argument up as follows:

We need to revisit the practice of drugging troubled souls. Psychiatry has totally bought into it and will consider me a Neanderthal or worse. Too bad. Because they’re taking the crown of God’s creation, the human mind, and acting like Dr. Frankenstein engaged in some mad, grandiose experiment, playing God, pulling people’s mood-strings chemically. There’s another way.

No doubt there are appropriate times and places to use these medications – rarely. But our increasing reliance on them is creating untold suffering of a kind and magnitude we can barely imagine. All because of a blindness that dominates our age – a blindness that obscures that which every child knows naturally:

We are born with a good side and we have a bad side. And we need to be careful which side we listen to. If we listen to the wrong side, terrible consequences follow.

I encourage everyone to read and share Kupelian’s entire article. You may or may not agree with all the points – or the solutions – he is proposing, but it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and thought-provoking pieces I’ve read in a long time, and one well-worth reading and sharing.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:43 | Comments (0)
August 14, 2007

mr. rogers My good friend Pasquale (a.k.a. “Mr. Waltham”) alerted me to this article by Jeff Zaslow of the Wall Street Journal, who writes how educators and researchers have begun taking a second look at that icon of children’s television, Mr. Rogers, and his influence over several generations of parents and children now approaching their own adulthood:

Fred Rogers, the late TV icon, told several generations of children that they were “special” just for being whoever they were. He meant well, and he was a sterling role model in many ways. But what often got lost in his self-esteem-building patter was the idea that being special comes from working hard and having high expectations for yourself.

Now Mr. Rogers, like Dr. Spock before him, has been targeted for re-evaluation. And he’s not the only one. As educators and researchers struggle to define the new parameters of parenting, circa 2007, some are revisiting the language of child ego-boosting. What are the downsides of telling kids they’re special? Is it a mistake to have children call us by our first names? When we focus all conversations on our children’s lives, are we denying them the insights found when adults talk about adult things?

I was too old for the Mr. Rogers series, but every now and then you couldn’t help but catch him from time to time, and he was OK. Kinda dopey if you ask me, but definitely a whole lot better than the awful crap they have for kids on television and video games today. I never really thought about it, but I do think there’s something to this article, although to point the blame for a lot of what’s going on today on good ol’ Mr. Rogers seems a bit over the top to me. Was he a cause, or simply a reflection of a change in attitudes towards parenting and children? One certainly cannot deny the way relations between parents and their children have changed since I was a kid, and this whole idea of making children the focus of television commercials and/or the “smartest” people in television commercials (keep track of this the next time you’re watching TV – notice how the children are always either smarter than the adults or the focus of the product being sold) has always annoyed the hell out of me.

Because I travel a lot and do the shopping for our household, I can’t help but notice how much things have changed. At airports, you see six year-olds dragging their own kiddie luggage around. At supermarkets, you see parents asking their children what kind of snacks and food they want them to purchase. And don’t even get me started on that whole thing where fathers call their sons “buddy”, or that child/parent first name business, or parents asking their children when they want to get picked up from whatever activity they’re off to. You see, when I was young, you didn’t have any rights. You ate what your parents put in front of you, you wore what they bought you, and and life didn’t revolve around you, your needs, or your schedule. That was for grown-ups to decide. I don’t recall ever being told how ‘special’ I was, but I certainly knew I was loved. Did I have self-esteem issues? Yeah, like just about ever other teenager my age growing up, but I don’t see that as being necessarily a bad thing.

Frankly, I don’t buy the whole ‘special’ and ‘precious’ thing when it comes to children today. After all, they may indeed be precious and special and the focus of their parents’ lives while they live under their parents’ roofs, but if they expect to be given the same treatment by society once they’re out of the house, they’ve got another thing coming. I’ve always felt the primary role of parents is love their children, provide them a safe and secure homelife, and – most importantly – prepare them for life after the nest, not bestowing upon them every material wish they have in order to: a) show them how special they are, or b) to cultivate their love and affection. In my view, to do either amounts to a dereliction of duty that creates more problems for society in the end than anything else.

I often wonder what will happen when this child-centric, spoiled generation is all grown up with children of their own. Will they be able to handle the challenges, difficulties, and setbacks life hands out to everyone on a regular basis? I often wonder. While Mr. Rogers and his enduring influence might be a reflection, or even a small part, of the problem, I think there are plenty of other causes for people to focus on. Either way, I don’t see any kind of easy solution in sight.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:48 | Comments (0)
August 13, 2007

I often wonder what the purpose of this Goodboys Nation weblog is – is it just some form of self-gratification to satify my need to spout nonsense? Or is there some higher purpose involved – you know, a way of somehow setting this universe gone mad straight, perhaps? I’d like to think it’s more the latter than the former, and a comment last week confirmed that very thing. Let me explain:

Back in February, I gave a long-deserved fisking to that old Fifth Dimension song “One Less Bell To Answer”. It was really just a throwaway post following a dopey conversation over beers with fellow Goodboy Steve “Killer” Kowalski while we were in Vegas, but how could I ever have known that that single post would help one Goodboys Nation weblog visitor, one Brian from Alamo, CA, to exorcise some long-standing demons that had up to then required decades of psychotherapy, hundreds of thousands of dollars in 3rd-party payor bills, and an untold number of harrassing collection agent phone calls? As he wrote in response to that post last week:

Thank YOU, this damn lyric “eggs to fry” has been in my head for over 20 years yet I could never find the song or the full lyrics anywhere on the web. I researched every depressing female singer in the 1970’s I could find with no luck because it was “The Fifth Dimension” as you disclosed. I thought is was Laura Nyro and I was close because she wrote for the Fifth Dimension (Wedding Bells Blues, same singer) but no this song as you explained.

Man, those saxophones where depressing. This is one of those total post 60’s summer of love, 70’s hangover songs and how most of that free lovin’ wasn’t so damn free, like it is now . Again, thank you not only for finding this damn song but debunking it, I will now listen to it again and again to exorcise it from my brain.

But that, as it turns out, isn’t the end of the story. Brian and I ended up exchanging an e-mail or two about this, and it turns out there’s some pretty strange mojo workin’ out there, as he wrote me yesterday:

…Here’s a creepy follow up, I have not heard that song since I was about 6 or 7 (1972 when the song came out). I’m sitting in my hot tub last night and there is a live band playing for a party somewhere down the valley. The wind is picking up the music and sending it my way. It must have been a sixtysomething group of partyers as none of the music went past 1970 or so. So what song comes wafting up the valley around 9pm? “One less bell to ring”… creepy, maybe it is a sign I will now be released from it’s enduring lameness. Now I’ve got my whole Cul De Sac remembering it and will be playing in Itunes download tonight at our BBQ to rub it in..

…which, I think, Brian, is the correct strategy. If you can’t beat it out of your head, pass it along to your neighbors!

As it turns out, thousands of articles about this syndrome, called the “Recurring Crappy Pop Tune Syndrome” (RCPTS, for short) have been published in professional journals worldwide. In fact, I was a victim of it for years, except for me the song was Bobby Vinton’s “Una Paloma Blanca”, a polka tune that came out in ’72 or ’73, with these unforgettable lyrics buzzing around in my head:

When the sun shines on the mountains
And the night is on the run
It’s a new day, it’s a new way
And I fly up to the sun

Una paloma blanca
I’m just a bird in the sky
Una paloma blanca
Over the mountain I fly
No one can take my freedom away

Once I had my share of losing
Once they locked me on a chain
Yes, they tried to break my power
Oh, I still can feel the pain

Una paloma blanca
I’m just a bird in the sky
Una paloma blanca
Over the mountain I fly
No one can take my freedom away

Now these have got to be some of the most gawdawful lyrics that have ever been penned, and for five years that’s all I heard in my head. That is, until one day when I was walking out of a head shop in Wilmington, MA with a “Bob Marley is God!” poster under my arm and was struck by a psychedelic-painted VW microbus bus, causing an induced coma for 12 days. When I awoke without nary a bruise or broken bone, Voila! the song was gone.

…Or at least I thought it was. Uh-oh here it comes again! Aaaaaack!

All I can say is, hang in there, Brian!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:01 | Comments (0)
August 12, 2007

Today was, I think, the hottest day I’ve ever experienced in my 3 1/2 years here. The high temp was around 110, and while we’ve had hotter – it got up to 117 earlier this year – the (relatively speaking) high humidity really made it a scorcher. It was 102 in Memphis on Friday, but even with their normally-oppressive summer humidity, but it didn’t feel nearly as hot as today dfelt here. Even after running the fountain in our pool all afternoon to aerate the water and reduce the temperature, it was still awhopping 96 at 10 PM, so I know the water temperature must have been around 100 earlier in the day. Amazing. I’ll tell you this – no one lives in Phoenix for the summers, that’s for sure!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:46 | Comments (0)

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