… you head to the basement to feed the cats and notice that the sanitary sinks near the washer are filled to the brim with swampy water.
It happens at least once a year. It’s not the washer drain that’s clogging (I have lint screen and a drain cover there), it’s just backup from the kitchen sink, and the basins near the washer are the path of least resistance.
My trusty drain auger, which I got eons ago for less than $20, saved the day once again. I was able to snake the drain to clear the clog.
Thank goodness… after all, I wouldn’t want to spend any dead presidents for an emergency plumbing visit on President’s Day.
I spent some time crate-digging over the weekend, looking through the albums at the thrift shops near my house. (Yes, thrift shops – plural – we live in a classy neighborhood!) Two albums from 70s pop idols caught my eye.
Donny Osmond and David Cassidy… it doesn’t get any more 70s than that. No, I did NOT purchase them! Mainly because I don’t care for bubblegum pop… and also because the Donny album cover seems a bit too, shall we say, pedophile?
But those album covers gave me a chance to contemplate a few things:
Why am I spending weekends in thrift shops?
Why is Donny’s album twice the price of David’s?
What’s the price of fame?
Donny and David had a lot in common. Hit songs, hit TV shows, multiple TigerBeat covers, huge fan clubs… and amazing hairstyles. But they wound up on different paths. Donny fell off the pop culture radar for most of the 80s, but has had top 10 songs since then, done musical theater, hosted TV game shows and syndicated radio shows, won a season of Dancing with the Stars, and has been appearing in Vegas (where else?) with his sister Marie since 2008.
David Cassidy‘s post-teen-idol path was a bit rockier. He had modest Top 40 success after the Partridge Family, dabbled in musical theater and acting… and had the requisite reality TV appearance (Celebrity Apprentice, 2011). He also had multiple drunk driving charges from 2010 on, filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and died of liver failure (due to alcoholism) in 2017.
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “there are no second acts in American lives.” In Donny’s case, he was wrong. In David’s, he was correct. Fame is fleeting, and it can extract a heavy toll from your life. Gaining fame is great fun… but losing it isn’t.
Some are born to move the world To live their fantasies But most of us just dream about The things we’d like to be
Sadder still to watch it die Than never to have known it For you, the blind who once could see The bell tolls for thee….
Many moons ago, we fostered a puppy named Bibo for 4 Paws for Ability, local non-profit that provides service dogs for children and disabled veterans.
Our job was to cover the basics with bouncing baby Bibo: the usual sit/stay/come commands, potty training, and “socializing” him to get him used to public spaces. Meaning my wife took him everywhere – stores, schools, sporting events, restaurants, parades… any place where he’d be exposed to new sights, sounds and smells.
At age one, Bibo needed to go back to the non-profit (much to my wife’s dismay) for hardcore “boot camp.” The training runs the gamut, as the dogs could be put into service in a variety of roles: mobility assistance, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. It’s like Navy Seal training for dogs, and only the very best make it through to graduation.
Bibo was a dropout. There’s no shame in that. But he needed a forever home. I’ll give you three guesses as to where he wound up (and your first two guesses don’t count).
Bibo is back (we should change his name to “Boomerang”). He joins Hope, our seven-year-old mutt (adopted from a local shelter)…
…and Coco and Lily, our two cats (also adopted) in our house turned menagerie.
I should buy stock in pet companies… and lint roller manufacturers.
When I saw this truck, I immediately thought of Cool Hand Luke.
Has anyone under the age of 70 ever purchased this type of candy?
Candystore.com referred to ribbon candy as “the candy equivalent of, ‘he has a great personality.’ “ Customer comments: “Whatever that ribbon stuff is, it isn’t candy. There should be a sign that says NOT FOOD.” “My sister loves the ribbon candy, but she never eats it. Because, duh it’s nasty and awkward.” “It should be a crime to call this stuff candy.” “The worst Christmas non-candy candy.”
Saw this shirt at the local thrift store. I should’ve immediately purchased it because: A. I’m beat AND B. I’m a male.
The one on the left provides quicker relief. (Just for the record, this was not on the desk of my work manager.)
Our youngest child is 13 and a half… and his voice is starting to crack. Of course, the first thought that springs to mind for someone my age is the Brady Bunch episode where Peter’s voice was changing.
But then when I clear the TV Land cobwebs from my puny brain (it takes roughly three hours to lose that stupid little Sha-na-na-n-na-na-n-na-na… sha-na-na-na-na! riff), I realize that our youngest child… our baby boy!… is leaving childhood behind.
That makes me sad, because if he’s moving to another phase, that means I am too. The phase where parents aren’t needed as much. We’re becoming accessories rather than necessities. Heck, we already have a kid in college (and another who will be there by August), two teenage drivers and another with her temps… They can fend for themselves. They’ve been off school for the past three days thanks to frigid temperatures and snow — and they probably didn’t even notice their old man was gone.
I’m not ready to be an empty nester just yet. In fact, the “failure to launch” concept is starting to sound appealing.
I know change is inevitable.
But that doesn’t make it enjoyable. At least not for parents.
“The Daniel Boone National Forest embraces some of the most rugged terrain west of the Appalachian Mountains. Steep forested slopes, sandstone cliffs and narrow ravines characterize the land.”
It’s only a couple of hours from Cincinnati, but it’s light years away from the rat race. A great place to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with nature. A New Year’s Restitution, if you will.
The older brother and sister-in-law of our neighbor are the instigators, they’ve been gathering the ol’ gang down there every January for years. Last year, thanks to our neighbors, we were added to the crew.
Happy hour and a leisurely and lovely potluck dinner Friday evening. Long hike (with an on-trail lunch break) on Saturday, followed by another happy hour and potluck meal, then carousing until the wee hours (which for our age bracket means 10:30). A shorter hike Sunday morning, then back to the reality of jobs and kids (or grandkids in some cases) and bill payments and oil changes and the other quotidian duties that can fill your calendar but not fill your heart.
Saturday’s hike was challenging… quite a few narrow ledges and snow-covered 2×4 board bridges, with a few icy spots throw in for good measure. But the sexagenarians (and one septuagenarian) were up to the task. And the scenery payoff was worth it.
You can keep your Ritz Carlton and your high-society parties, I’ll take a rustic cabin in the woods and some down-to-earth friends any day.
Lot #1352 – This was one of three Firebird Formulas provided by Pontiac Motor Division to the TV show “The Rockford Files,” and was used from 1978 until the series ended in 1980. With a special Sierra Gold exterior and tan interior, the factory Formula 400 model was modified to look like an Esprit for the show. This car was the sound car, used for close-ups while driving, and still has the original mic box, holes drilled to run recording wiring, and a skid plate to protect the engine and transmission from damage during stunts.
Please, please, please buy this for me. I’ll gladly pay you back from my new earnings ($200 a day, plus expenses) as a private investigator.
If you ever want to drive it, you can, just stop by my trailer near the beach, the address is 29 Cove Road in Malibu, California. But remember, I like to sleep in.
We’ll pick up Angel, my fellow ex-con, maybe print out a fake business card from the machine in the back seat, stop by the L.A.P.D. to see my pal Dennis Becker and get him to run some license plate numbers for me… and hope we don’t run into that jerk Lt. Chapman!
But don’t worry too much about him, my attorney Beth Davenport will put him in his place.
Fair warning though: if you hang around me, you’re probably gonna get beaten up… it happens to me once an episode… er, I mean day.
Call me up to let me know when you’re dropping this Firebird off. If you get my answering machine, at the tone leave your name and message… I’ll get back to you.
Also, the car might have $30,000 in the left front door panel.
After publishing yesterday’s post, I realized it was an inadvertent rerun – it had the same “inspirational quote” content as a post from mid-December. Clearly, I need to stock up on gingko biloba or some other memory aid (real or imagined).
To make up for yesterday’s stale post, today we have something piping hot and fresh from The Bakerman. Also known as Steve Baker… or just plain “Bake.” He’s a broadcasting legend, and I don’t use that term lightly (just ask Joe Buck).
Steve’s current role is Assistant Athletic Director – Director of Broadcasting for Miami University. But in a prior life, he worked at 97X for 20 years, as a news reporter, midday host, morning show host, station manager, play-by-play man for Miami U. football and basketball (he still does that in his current role), assistant engineer, only person with any technical expertise for live/remote broadcasts, etc. I had the privilege of working with him for a few years back in the late 80s and early 90s. He’s one of the best play-by-play people in the universe, and a great guy to boot.
My friend Dave (with whom Bake and I both worked at 97X) and I have started a podcast about the good old days at 97X, a tiny station in Oxford, Ohio that was one of the first in the country to play “college rock/indie rock/alternative” music and did so for more than 20 years, earning national accolades in the process. The station had a crappy, hard-to-pickup signal, but it also had an oversized influence on its listeners (and employees).
In our most recently published episode, we spend 20 minutes chatting with Steve. If you listen, you’ll hear some great stories from Steve – including how he started at “that damn punk rock station” and how his stellar voice (“great pipes” as we say in the business) wound up in the Academy Award-winning Tom Cruise/Dustin Hoffman movie Rainman.
If you’re so inclined, you can visit the podcast home page for three other episodes, and you can even “follow” it to be alerted when there’s a new episode (about every two weeks… provided the co-host/recording engineer/editor known as dubbatrubba doesn’t have too much other stuff going on.)
We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.