Mutt Strut 2019

Yesterday morning Lenny and I popped tall early in the morning and made it to the beach for the 3rd annual Mutt Strut.

Lenny had fun.
Other dawgies had fun.
Friends were made.
Good times were had by all!

Normal workweek this week, next Saturday I head to the USA to see my dear ‘ol Mum.

Have a great week!

My Music History

When I was a teeny tiny kid, 5 years old or so, I remember my Dad had a reel-to-reel tape player. I wasn’t impressed. It was “portable” about the size of a large suitcase. He played voice on it, and it never caught my interest. Later, as a Broadcast Engineer, I became quite impressed with the warm quality music has on a properly maintained Reel-To-Reel.

When I was a grade schooler, my friends had a bunch of 45 records in their playroom. They were all out of the cases and scratched, but they played pretty well. There was all genres and I don’t remember much I particularly liked.

Then, I remember hearing the song, Rocky Mountain Way, by Joe Walsh on the FM radio. It was my first favorite song, and the song that made me decide I liked Rock n Roll. I used to listen to the radio for hours, waiting for that one particular song. Another favorite of my pubescent self was One, by Three Dog Night. I had it on a 45. I also had The Beatles, Hey Jude , with the much more kickass song, Revolution on the flipside. Plus Horse With No Name, a radio station copy, with the same song on both sides, Like Hey Jude, I wasn’t too impressed with that song, too mellow.

A 45

When I became a teen, my coolest older friends had gigantic record collections, on wall to wall shelves made of cinder block and lumber. With a massive amp, huge speakers and extremely high tech tuntable.

That’s who I wanted to be, someone with thousands of excellent Rock N Roll records, giant stereo amp, and earthquaking speakers. Bit it had to be the complete albums, 45’s were no longer cool.

I remember listening to the AM radio in my room at night in Missouri. (At night was better reception.) I remember a program called “Beaker Street” on KAAY Radio, Little Rock, Arkansas. Ted Nugent Stranglehold came on. The next day I went out and got the album. Excellent. Then came more Ted Nugent albums. Rock N Roll baby! I’ve heard KAAY is a religious station nowadays. And I gotta mention KSHE Real Rock Radio, St. Louis Missouri. But streaming doesn’t work outside the US….

I wanted to be a rock star, I asked my parents for guitar lessons, instead I got piano lessons. and played for 6 years, never wanting to play piano for a minute. Then my piano teacher died, and that was the end of my piano days. My parents asked if I wanted to get a new piano teacher and I practically shouted “NO!” Then somehow, I played the cornet in school. I remember the first day, I didn’t know if I was supposed to play the clairinet or the cornet, (I didn’t know the difference). I don’t know how I got roped into that, but I played cornet for another 6 years, never interested with no desire to play at all. By the time I was 16, I figured I was too old to pick up a guitar, all the future rock stars had a long head start on me, it was too late, the rock n roll stardom opportunity had passed. But I was still interested in music, and one summer, I was sound man for a band.

Somewhere along the music media line came casettes, which were good, but they wear out, and 8-tracks, which I never got into. There was a period of recording music from the radio onto a cassette. The radio stations would play entire albums and live concerts commercial-free. They wanted you to record them. I used to buy entire boxes of 90 minute casettes, an album would fit on each side! When I was in the Navy, cassettes were the thing. I had a first generation Sony Walkman. I thought there was no room for improvement after that. Sure, you still needed the massive sound system for partying, but I could still get ear-splitting loud Rock n Roll when and where I needed it. I’ll add here that in the Navy, in Aux Radio on my first ship, where the equipment graveyard was, we found an ancient, 8-track boom box that still worked. It came with exactly one tape, Nazareth, Hair Of The Dog, still one of the greatest albums of all time. (Except for that one crappy hit single, mellow song, “Love Hurts”.) We played that tape over and over and over for that six-month deployment. And if you have to have only one tape, that’s the one to have!

Then there were Compact Discs, Remember when they were new? It was advertised as the end, no way they could ever be improved upon. Ultimate. Looking back, the CD phase didn’t last long. I have 5 big CD cases filled with CD’s. I still have my original box of LP records, it never grew to the wall-filling collection I dreamed of. All the cassettes wore out. Moving parts are BAD! I still have my linear-tracking high end turntable. All in boses in the basement.

And remember MTV? When it first came out, it was excellent. Then went to shit. That didn’t last too long either.

After that came MP3’s, and digital music players. MP3’s aren’t that great, because of the loss of audio. Your brain has to fill in the missing parts, and people don’t listen to MP3 music very long, becaue although you don’t realize it, it’s tiring to listen to them. Successful radio stations use the WAV format, which is good quality, but not popular because of big file size. Listeners don’t keep it tuned to the station that plays MP3’s instead of WAV’s.

I have storage drives filled with almost every song I ever had the record, cassette or CD. I have huge amounts of music on my phone. In my car, I have a USB stick with enough music on it to probably play for a year, never hearing the same song twice.

I never listen to the music on my phone. Nowadays it’s streaming audio form the internet, usually with video. I hardly ever listen to an entire album any more, maybe Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here or Dark Side Of The Moon. With my Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones.

But you know what? Nothing sounds as good as the record, the vinyl LP.. especially on Pink Floyds Wish You Were Here, I notice missing parts, lack of clarity, on every format except the vinyl. It’s why Vinyl is supposedly making a comeback. But I can’t see buying records again. I listen, I like concerts, nowadays there’s not much new music that I think is that good.. If I had gotten that huge record collection in the beginning, things might be different. My records downstairs are in perfect shape, only one (Elton Johns Greatest Hits, the first one) is scratched. A huge record collection, wall to wall on lumber and cinder block shelves would be as cool now as it was back in the day. Even cooler maybe, and worth a mint!

I’ve ended up depressing myself with this post. I realize that the music industry isn’t what it once was. That energy from when I was younger seems to be gone. I’d like to have it back. The excitement of hearing a new song, the risk of buying the album with that song on it. The excitement of finding that every song is excellent! (or disappointment that it sucks) Buying more albums from the same artist, finding it all good! Then the joy of sharing this remarkable discovery with your friends, cranked up loud on your monster stereo. All that seems to be in the past, reduced to the private thrill of laying in bed, or on the sofa, with your outstanding headphones, listening to a song you’ve heard a thousand times.

It’s all still good, but not as great as it once was!

Have a great day!

Scapa Flow, 100 Years Ago Today

It’s the first day of summer!

Also, 100 years ago today, the Germans scuttled their fleet at Scapa Flow, after World War One. Read an article HERE. I’ve always wanted to dive there, but it’s cold. I haven’t used my drysuit in years. I would require practice dives to be ready for Scapa Flow.

And it’s FRIDAY! Yeay! Looks like nothing but great weather too!

Havva goodun!

Going For A New Record

I’m going for a new record on my fitness tracker. I’m going to beat my old record of making my step goal 33 days in a row. Not sure why I want to do it, but I’m going to go for it.

Suddenly, I get the feeling I’ve posted about this already….

Saying “have a good day” sounds much nicer than saying “enjoy the next 24 hours”, doesn’t it?

Revisiting The Dentist

I might have mentioned, I went to the dentist yesterday. Had a permanent cap put on a tooth. When I got home and tried to floss, the floss got caught under the cap, and I ended up using scissors in my mouth to cut the floss and get it out. Doing so, I think I “relocated” the cap, because it feels different and I can see it hanging down wwhen I look in the mirror. But maybe both are just my imagination. (I use those “Plackers” things, with the plastic bit.)

Anyway, I’m revisiting the dentist today.

More snags in the home additiion, but we’ll see. Getting a construction quote supposedly by the weekend. Big big big problems with the plans will cause higher construction costs.

Aaaaand I seem to be running early this morning. It was only 6:05 when I sat down here with my coffee. Now it’s 6:19 and I’m ready to say…..

Have a great day!

Doublepaint & Half Mile Gate

Lenny and my morning walks are pretty standardized nowadays. Usually we go to what I call “Doublepaint” a dash at the end of a road where we turn round. It makes for almost a mile-and-a-half walk.

My turn-around step

There’s also “Half Mile Gate”, it’s precisely a half mile from our gate. Guess how far it is round trip?

Half-Mile Gate

This morning is thundery and rainy. I carried an umbrella and we only went to Half Mile Gate.

There’s also “excursions” where we can cut through the woods in a loop, or another path to the beach and back. That adds a lot of steps. I’m trying to break my 33 day record of making my step goal in my fitness tracker.

Today I’m going to the dentist. Regular cleaning plus one of my permanent caps came in. Pretty soon I’ll get the other cap and the implant. (Both will be installed at the same time.) Then I should be back at 100%, dental-wise.

I’m tired this morning. I just want to go back to bed. But my coffee is really, really good! I think the coffee will be very effective today!!

Have a great day!

Watta Weekend!

Man! I saw some shit this weekend! 10 years worth. Got our septic tank pumped Saturday. I didn’t take pictures.

I did take pictures, however, of taking Lenny to the beach. He’s pretty cool but he’s still afraid of the waves. He’s not afraid to try and drive my van though. (I didn’t let him, I made him scooch over)

But he does enjoy the beach, and he’s pretty good at it too!

Meanwhile, Ashy did what she’s good at, look at the effort, the exertion, the professionalism!

This morning on our walk, the full moon setting was spectacular.

A also bought spur-of-the-moment tickets to go see my Mom in less than two weeks. Southwest Air nonstop to Baltimore. Cheap price too! About half the normal price!

Seems like it’d make more sense to do it in the winter though, so people can get away from the cold.

Have a great week!

Tribute To BTK!

Happy Friday! Here’s a post of our feral cat BTK (pronounced BeeTeeKee) I guess shes about 10 years old, and is the mother of most of our feral cat club. We used to have seven feral cats we feed every day, but that number has dwindled to four)

She got her name, because she’s the mother. When we first started feeding her, she was nursing her kittens, and she had huge boobs. I started calling her “Big Titty Kitty”. Then we changed her name breifly to BTK, (pronounced BTK), then shortly thereafter, we changed the pronounciation to BeeTeeKee. Still spelled BTK.

She’s a real cutie, and you can pet her while she’s eating. (Only when she’s eating)

Have a great weekend!

Switching Sides

For probably a year, maybe more, I’ve been suggesting that my wife and I switch sides on the bed. She days there’s a streetlight down the road that, when the door is open, shines right on her pillow.

I tease her. I tell her, “I have a secret for sleeping with lights, I close my eyes!”

Our house is up on stilts, as you probably know. Having the door open is essential for a good breeze and cool sleeping.

Last week, she agreed to give it a try on the weekend, which now, was last weekend. Last weekend came and went, I remembered, but didn’t say anything. I could tell she wasn’t up for it.

Yesterday, she said she’d give it a try. I asked her if she was sure, and that I could tell she had doubts last weekend. I also told her that I remembered, but didn’t say anything. She thanked me for that.

So, we did, last night, I slept on her side and she slept on mine. Yes, the streetlight does shine on the pillow, but not too bad.

Now we’ll see, if she want’s to go ahead and make the switch. Switching nightstands. The big act of permacy.

On a side note, for this post, I did a search for “couple in bed”. Sheesh! Nothing realistic. All the pics were couples romantically entwined, sleeping and smiling. My wife and I sleep passed out, unconscious, covers a wreck. When we wake up we have to re-assemble the whole bed. Nothing like that on Google images!

And of course, she says I snore loudly.. Of course, we all know I don’t snore! When I sleep, I’m like a quiet little angel!

If she decides she doesn’t want to switch sides, laying there examining the streetlight from her point of view, I think I could devise a shield, attached to the hinge of the door, that would block the streetlight.

Have a great day!

Embracing Bureaucracy

Back to work today. This morning I was walking the dog, thinking that I need to work around the bureaucracy at work. It’s preventing me from getting things done. Some of my co-workers and bosses embrace the bureaucracy, to me, to the point of being a hinderance.

But I normally don’t talk negative specifics about work here. This isn’t the place for it.

It was a good weekend, the wife had a party for a friend who is getting married. I set up the tables and lights, and helped as much as I could. Then I got out of the house for the party. Sunday, I took down the lights and tables, and Yesterday, we took them all back to my wife’s workplace and helped her put them away. Then we had a huge breakfast at a restaurant called Laurens.

I also made it to the beach this weekend.

So it was a pretty good long weekend. The wife has the day off today, wish I did. When it comes to weekends, longer is better!

The weather reports are getting flaky again, some say rain, some say not. I suspect there will be rain, later this week.

Have a great week! Don’t get rained on!