Saturday, February 14, 2015

On Planet Earth, I'll probably stay

"...Son, back in my daaaay, when we heard a song on the favorite local AM radio station (WTAC, "The Big 6"), we rode our bike to Cracker's Records in the Small Mall, or down the road to K-Mart on Dort Highway and bought the entire vinyl album with half-a-week's paper route profits. We would then rush home and play it, stacking our 2-foot speakers in the open bedroom window, cranked and facing out so that our neighborhood Lockhead street friends could also enjoy."

OK, maybe that was a little specific to me.

I bring this up because my 20-year son, Josh, recently "discovered" my Vinyl album collection. It's not THAT impressive of a collection, and the 120-ish albums I still have are only a fraction of what I once owned. Those things were hardly indestructible and would scratch beyond auditory tolerances, even for a teenager. They sometimes would warp so horribly, the needle would jump 3 inches off the turntable every revolution. Or sometimes a favorite album might disappear after it was lent to a friend back in 1980 and you haven't thought about it until just now... Bastard!

And I have no idea whatever happened to those large stacks of 45s, can I get an Amen!? Anyone else once have that gold one?

In any event, Josh asking about my album collection gave me a reason to revisit these and to suggest one or two for his listening pleasure. 

Feast your ears, son! No more music held hostage to a series of sterile digital 1's and 0's. It ain't music unless there is friction involved, along with the familiar vinyl groove produced dirty pop, crackle and hiss.

Numerous selections from multiple artists in no particular order include: Foreigner, Aerosmith, J Geils, Ted Nugent, REO, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Eddie Money, Van Halen, Stones, Seger, The Cars, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello. OK, I won't cherry pick. I also have these... Please don't judge.

I'm very sory you had to see those.

Not that I actually play an album much any more. Maybe once or twice a year I will play a side of one that's one my mind, but usually I just do the YouTube thing for convenience while I'm web surfing or blogging.

When I have a hankerin' for the real thing, my component stereo shelf is wired, ready and willing to melt my face. Behind the glass door on individual stacked shelves is my vintage 35 year-old Technics SL-D3 turntable, a much "newer" Pioneer VSX-402 receiver, as well as a Pioneer CD player.

The wife long ago gave up trying to get me to "garage sale" or otherwise get rid of this techno-dinosaur setup with the accompanying brontosaurus-sized speakers. As an accommodation, the unit sits in a far corner of the lower level, the turntable's arm in the dock and clasped at the "wrist" like a shackle to prevent the prisoner from escaping while awaiting my next "interrogation".

Maybe the reason I have kept those albums and my component setup is for the memories they conjure. My turntable alone elicits a smile just sitting there. Frankly, I am amazed (but happy) it still works. Then again, if it were a similarly aged vintage automobile, it wouldn't yet have 100,000 miles on it, with most of those miles having been traveled in the 1980s.

Ahh, the 1980's, and maybe the real reason I hold on to these vinyl relics of a bygone era, for almost all of them were purchased in the 80s. Music purchased later was either in cassette tapes or compact discs.

The 1980s. For me, they were "the best of times and the worst of times". The decade was like the month of March. You know, "In like a lion and out like a lamb". I spent the 1980s from the tender and idealistic age of 19 through to the wiser realistic age of 29. The wheelhouse of life, as it were. The decade began with my meeting my "now wife", graduating from college and starting my career. Marriage to my sweetheart, then losing my baby brother to a drunk driver, and then losing my father a year later to cancer. Towards the end of the decade comes the birth of my first of my 3 sons. We named him "Adam". The first man. A new beginning.

All of these thoughts and memories are recalled from my browsing through my album collection. Nobody else would understand, for they belong to only me. I'm sure you have your own.

Come back next week for a full recap of the 1990s, and a full dissertation on my furniture pieces from that period. In the meantime, here is what's on my turntable at this moment.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Brian Williams gets career on Target!

While a vigorous debate over Brian Williams' future is brewing as "NBC Nightly News", Williams has taken matters into his own hands. Last night he was spotted at a Target store in an out-of-the-way aisle in the toy section soliciting career advice from employees there. 

Last week, these same Target team members became a Twitter hit and internet sensation after helping a young teen who popped into their store in order to buy a clip-on tie for a job interview at a neighboring Chick-fil-A.
The store only had regular ties, so this awesome Target team member took the time to help the nervous teen put on his new tie, tuck in his shirt and then showed him how to give a proper handshake and tackle a few tough interview questions! As the kid exited the store, a bunch of supportive Target team members cheered him on! THIS is true customer service - Right on the mark, Target!! Fingers crossed for this kid'z interview!!

Since this story went viral, these Target employees have administered marriage counseling to various store patrons; helped local police in an ongoing murder investigation across town and helped a University professor grade a student's thesis.

Brian Williams is not the first celebrity to seek out their sage wisdom. They have helped President Obama formulate his latest budget, and it is rumored they were instrumental in finding Bruce Jenner (a/k/a "Jen Bruiser") some cute pumps IN HIS/HER SIZE!

It's all part of Target's latest marketing campaign.
“We want our guests to see and feel that when they shop at Target, they’re part of something bigger than a transaction... and not just trying to sell you something that can be found on store shelves,” said Jeff Jones, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Brian Williams was later spotted in a booth at a nearby fast food chain, one shirt tail untucked, stains on his clip-on tie and his normally well-coiffed hair in disarray and mumbling, "Winner, winner, Chick-fil-A dinner!"

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cliffhanger Monday: Did former 'Walking Man' make it to work today in his new Ford Taurus?

I have girded my loins while awaiting word from the media in order to learn if James Robertson made it to work today. After all, today is presumably the first day Mr. Robertson will be driving to work in the last 10 years, and the weather reports state the roads are covered in ice.

It was just last week that we learned the story about James Robertson, a 56-year-old Detroit man who has walked 21 miles a day to work and back AND HAS NEVER MISSED A DAY!! 

Can you imagine that? In this day and age where so many folks are looking for free handouts and expect something for nothing, here is a gentleman of unparalleled work ethic and character.

His story went viral and contributions were collected for over $300,000, culminating in his receiving the new car this past Friday. A shiny new Ford Taurus!

“it’s simple on the outside and strong on the inside — like me.”

And now we wait... Will he get a flat tire or other car issue that ruins his perfect attendance at work? Will he now adopt a sedentary lifestyle, gain 50 pounds and have assorted health issues because he quit walking? Am I the only one who is worried about these questions?

Why can't I read a feel-good human interest story and simply let it warm the cockles of my heart instead of worrying about the potential negative repercussions? 

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full... of coliform bacteria and other toxic disease-carrying pathogens?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hey! You got Brian Williams in my Obama!

I'll get outraged at NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and call for his job just as soon as our glorious leader follows suit and issues an apology and steps down his.

OBAMA: Good morning. Yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast, in my effort to give all praise and honor to Allah, I made a mistake in recalling the events of 800 years ago. . . . I "misremembered"  and I want to apologize. In fact, I've been making sh#(blog edit) up since before the 2008 campaign. It's what I do. 

This was a bungled attempt by me to draw moral equivalence between those freedom fighter ISIS folks and those racists who have acted stupidly in following some Jew carpenter some 2,000 plus years later. I hope those bitter clingers know they have my greatest indifference, and also now my insincere apology.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Obama and Dalai Lama star in: The National Prayer Breakfast Club

The question on the green lipstick lips of the media seems to be, "will Obama and the Dalai Lama interact during the National Prayer Breakfast taking place this morning?"

I have other questions regarding this breakfast, and I demand to have them answered immediately.

First, I must admit I am for the separation of church prayer and State breakfast, especially with this president of questionable religious faith. For me, it's not really "breakfast" if there is no bacon in attendance. While I was not sent the menu in advance (which is an obamanation in itself), I highly doubt this mouth-watering breakfast staple will be making an appearance.

Secondly, I just assume that obama now takes his breakfast in a bathtub filled with Cocoa Puffs and 70 gallons of 2% milk ever since his interview with GloZell Green last month.
 Just how big is his bathtub, and how many international religious leaders can it hold? Are Islamic extremists invited, and if so, are there enough fire extinguishers on hand?

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Especially if its his yellow rubber ducky bath toy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Local Cowboy confused by McDonald’s new ad campaign, Pay With Lovin'

McDonalds unveiled their new ad campaign with a commercial spot during The Super Bowl. From Super Bowl Sunday through Valentine's Day, McDonald's will be accepting expressions of affection as payment for food. Well, THAT certainly is open to interpretation.

Randomly selected patrons of this fast food chain will be asked to pay for their order with family hugs, high-fives and phone calls to mom.

Here is some free unsolicited advice, and this blog won't even make you perform a silly dance for it. 

When one considers that a Big Mac contains 75 mg of cholesterol, 1,040 mg of sodium and 29 grams of fat, the American Heart Association STRONGLY SUGGESTS you hug all your loved ones (and to make sure all of your affairs are in order) before consuming.

and that's the memo. And now for today's top story:
Naked cowboy on I-75 not likely to be charged

Police said the 53-year-old Bloomfield Hills man may have been suffering from a mental delirium episode when he stripped and walked against traffic, wearing only a cowboy hat, through a snowstorm just before noon Sunday on I-75 in Auburn Hills.