Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stupid Things

I am dangerous with a knife in my hands. My fingers and other digits cringe in fear whenever I decide I need to cut or slice something. Sometimes, I forget which side of the blade I need to cut with, and which side I need to push down on. Other times I forget to get my fingers out of the way when I close the knife; and other times I just forget that I have a knife in my hand. Fortunately my propensity for doing stupid things with a knife is off set by my ability to heal quickly.
I also do other stupid things, such as lock my keys in the car, leave my head lights on, (thank God for that little buzzer), leave the stove on, lean back on kitchen chairs, and run on wet tile floors. I have down loaded programs that aren't compatible with my version of windows, left my cell phone in my shirt pocket, then bent over to flush the toilet, and lit my back yard gas grill with a match when the gas was on high. My miraculous healing abilities, high endurance of pain, hard head, quick growing eye brows, and the Triple A have helped me recover from some of these.
I have been known to run my mouth without engaging my brain, walk into objects that are in plain sight, light my nose on fire instead of my cigar (I have a big nose), walk into opposing stadiums wearing Oakland Raider's clothes, throw my white clothes in with the colored laundry (I went through college wearing pink underwear), wear sneakers to a dance on a gym floor, and hammer my thumb instead of the nail.
I have done other stupid things like told my wife she looks fat in that dress, microwaved a TV dinner in an aluminum foil tray, tried to rewire a switch without turning off the breaker, bathe my cat, change a light bulb without someone holding the ladder, and forget to put oil in my lawn mower.
We all do stupid things; after all we are only human. I think the only really stupid thing is to do them a second or third time. With the exception of wearing Oakland Raider's gear to opposing stadiums, I do my best to learn from my mistakes.
My guardian angel is busy enough with the mistakes I make the first time around.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Elusive First Rock-n-Roll Song

For those of you who are new with my posts, I am a record collector, a rock and roll historian, and a former disc jockey. In this post, we will try to track down the elusive first rock and roll song.
There has been many attempts to place the first rock and roll song, but rock historians are widely in disagreement with that one song. There are many songs in the running, but before we get to that, what exactly constitutes a rock and roll song?
Black rhythm and blues is well known to be the cradle of rock and roll. It is distinguished by it’s 4/4 time, an up tempo beat, and an emphasis on the saxophone to carry the solo on the middle eight bars. Rock and roll is barely discernible from rhythm and blues, except rock and roll uses the guitar to play the middle eight solo rather than the saxophone. At least that’s my definition. The electric guitar is responsible for the emergence of rock and roll.
If you read any of the histories of rock and roll, the distinguished first song of rock and roll falls to one of the following: Wynonie Harris, with “Good Rocking At Midnight” (1953), “Sh Boom”, by The Chords, (1954), (the first “race” record to break the white top 10); and “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets (1954).
While these are all ground breaking songs, in one way or the other; they do not measure up to be the first rock and roll song. First of all, they all use the saxophone to carry the middle eight, and secondly, they post date the song I believe to be the “first” rock and roll song.
This song is “Saturday Night Fish Fry” pts. 1 and 2, by Louis Jordan (1949). Louis Jordan, was probably the first black man to gain wide acceptance by the white public. While mostly known as a black rhythm and blues star in the forties, he was the first to use the guitar as a solo instrument. His song repeatedly uses the phrase “it was rockin’ ”, and it was a huge hit, in the top ten juke box singles for the year.
For the first Rockabilly song ever, I nominate “We’re Going To Roll and Rock” by Eddie Zack and his cousin Ritchie in 1953. If there is an older rockabilly song, I am not aware of it.
I am proud to state that I own 78 rpm copies of both of these songs. (We’re Going To Roll and Rock” is very rare.)
If you have a different opinion, please leave a comment.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Not Photogenic

When I was back at home on vacation a few weeks ago, I was over at Mom and Dad’s house for supper. My mom made sauerkraut and dumplings for me and dad like she always does when I come home. After supper my sister Pauline said “Hang around after supper, we are going to show the old home pictures.” “Oh oh, here we go…”
Before we go on, let me digress. I grew up as the middle of three boys all one year apart in age. My dad thought himself an amateur photographer, and in 1959 bought him self a real nice German camera. My dad loved to take copious amounts of pictures of his three sons, and my twin sisters.
There was one slight problem, I hated that camera. Not only did I hate that camera but I absolutely dreaded that thing. There were few things I dreaded more than Holidays and special family events because that meant that my dad would be lurking about with that damned camera.
It really wasn’t the camera I had a problem with, but the flash attachment. This attachment was a big foil cone that you would plug a flash bulb into. This flash bulb was slightly larger than a walnut, and went off as if a super nova exploded in front of your eyes. For minutes after taking a picture I would stumble around blind seeing nothing but little purple after images of the flash.
Needless to say I quickly became conditioned to squint when placed in front of that camera. It was so bad that even when we were outside and didn’t use the flash attachment I could not keep from squinting. Hence there are NO good pictures of our family with me in them. None, zip, zilch. I have ruined every picture I am part of.
Not that I wanted to, or tried to ruin them, I just couldn’t help myself. Believe me, I got a lot of slaps upside the head from my dad to try and cure my problem, but even that didn’t work.
Ok, back to the present; we all decide to watch the DVD copy of all of the old family pictures. I know it is coming and I don’t have to wait long, “That damn kid is squinting in EVERY picture! What the hell was the matter with you Michael?” My dad bellows. I feel bad but what the hell it’s been almost fifty years! Surly he didn’t think they corrected my squinting when they put the pictures on DVD?
Fortunately as I got older, the flash bulbs got smaller in size. I did eventually learn how not to squint when having my picture taken.
Too bad dad doesn’t have any of these pictures.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Condensing Infinity

Man's view of God really hasn't changed much in the last 4,000 years. Even today, most people's conception of God resembles Michelangelo's famous depiction on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City. There is God, often depicted as a gray-haired, bearded old man, and there is Man, created by God, but separate and distinct from God.
This sense of being separated from God has been used and compounded by the religions of the world. They have set themselves up as intermediaries between Man and God. This position has given the religions immense power because Man feels he needs a religion to connect him to God. Without this connection, Man has been taught that he will be doomed to an afterlife of eternal damnation.
It is time that mankind be told the truth. The consciousness of mankind has progressed enough that many can finally cut the umbilical cord between the Self and organized religion. Mankind is now an adult and can stand on its own two feet.
The only separation between Man and God is the wall each of us has built to hide ourself from God. The need to hide from God is the result of guilt and shame that has been hammered into us by the religions.
Let's talk about God.
In truth, there is nothing that can be said about God; to do so is to limit the limitless. However, since we are working through a human brain, we cannot comprehend the limitless, so I will try to condense infinity for comprehension purposes. God is, you are. Does that help? No? Then let me condense infinity some more for you. God is love; we exist because God loves us.
Since there is truly no separation between God and Man, does that mean that each of us is God? Because each of us has developed an ego in order to function in this world, that is not totally correct. It would be more correct to say, God is each of us!
Why is there evil and hatred in the world? Each soul has been given free will, and not all have learned the lessons of love. It takes thousands of lifetimes to learn through trial and error all the lessons needed to be learned before revelation has been earned. All of these lessons are about, and based on love.
That is why love has been stressed by every Saint and Savior that has ever come to help Man evolve. All you need is love!
There really is nothing else to say.
May the blessings be.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Big Butts

I come from German ancestry, almost all of my fore bearers are German. I am a third generation American. However because of excessive in-breeding by my Grandparents, and parents, I am almost all German by descent.
Not too bad really, I was always a very good athlete; but there was one stigma I never could shake, the German Big Butt Syndrome (GBBS). It seems that all Germans (and their progeny) have big butts! And I don't mean kinda big, I mean BIG.
Like I said I was always a good athlete, but even in the best of shape, I still had a noticeable butt. "Bubble butt" is what they called me at work 10 years ago, while at the time I was running 35 mi. a week to prepare for a marathon!
Well here I am, 10 years older, and only jogging (maybe shuffling is a better term), 12 mi a week.
The bubble has gotten bigger.
I try not to make a habit of bending over in front of my crew at work. The whistles and the snickers, are very embarrassing! "Hey! I can't help my DNA man! Show a brother some compassion will ya?" And to think what a good boss (jeffe, in Spanish) I am to them.
Like "Dirty Harry" said,"A man has to know his limits", and right now my limits are being contained in a 36" waist. At least I know if I hap-hazardously bend over in front of someone, no one will get hurt... unless I clip them with my big butt.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dancing In the Dark

There is one term that describes the state of mankind; spiritually ignorant.
We are but marionettes dancing in the dark to the movements of the puppet masters. We don’t know where we are, and we don’t know why we dance to other people’s whims.
We dance to other people’s desires because we have no clue to the truth, or spiritual ambitions of our own. We dance in the dark because we do not know our true relationship with God, and we are searching for the light, any light that may show us the way.
Many of us search for the answer in books; The Bible, The Koran; books in parapsychology, and Scientology. We are always looking for truth from a source out side of our self. It never occurs to us to look in the one true source of truth and light; our self.
Every true Savior that has ever come to teach us has stressed that the Kingdom of God is within each individual. You already have the light inside of you, why look any where else?
We search for truth in other places because we have been taught from a very early age that we need this religion, or that religion to be our mediator in contacting God. We are taught to fear God, and the penalty of sin: eternal damnation in Hell. We are not taught that each of us is divine; and that we all are the sons and daughters of God.
The religions don’t teach us of this fact because they know that if we knew the truth, none of us would follow them and they would not have any power over us.
There are many ways to find the light inside of your self. The best way is different for each person; so you must search for the best method that fits you.
One should never try to fit himself into a religion, but rather find a religion that fits you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an organized religion, it could be a spiritual path, or metaphysical teaching that best suits you. Some might be more comfortable in a community religion, where others will prefer a more individual approach to God such as Transcendental Meditation, or Eckankar.
To be a seeker of God you first have to be a seeker of truth. There are as many truths as there are people. We need to recognize this and we all need to search until each of us has found the path, or the truth that best fits himself.
Look inside yourself to find the answers.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Life Would Have Been Better, If Only...

As you get older you realize that maybe, just maybe, you should have actually listened to some of the advice you received when you were younger.
I know I am not alone. We all thought we knew it all when we were seniors in high school, when we were seniors in college, when we turned thirty, when we turned forty…etc. It is human nature to think you know it all, and it is definitely a part of growing up. Oh, to think how much better my life would have been, If only….
If only I had listened to my dad. He once told me; “Son, I love you and want you to be happy. Don’t ever get married!” But I never listened to anything that guy told me, I knew it all! Not only did I not listen to him once, but I turned around and did it again! What a dope I am. There are two words that should never be used in the same sentence; happy, and married. These two words are like oil and water, they don’t mix.
If only I had listened to my Grandmother. She told me, “Learn to save your money instead of spending it. You’ll be glad you did one day.” My brother and I both had paper routes when we were growing up. My brother was a saver, and I was a spend thrift. Now, forty years later, after Bush, and Obama, I am nearly broke, and so is he…Never mind!
If only I had listened to Dr. Timothy Leary. “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” I was a child of the 60’s, but never embraced his wisdom. Instead I went to college, worked full time to pay for it, and still ended up with the same job I could have got if I quit school after high school. Think of all the wasted years of partying I missed out on. Well, except for the fact that I partied like John Belushi in Animal House for most of my college career. I had a well rounded college education, I worked, I partied, and I actually learned a few things. (But I don’t remember them).
If only I had listened to the nuns when I was a kid when they told me “You’ll be going to hell one day if you don’t straighten up!” If I had listened to them I would have become a priest, and I would never have got married and lived through hell.
Some day I might learn, but I doubt it. I am now an “old dog”, and you know what they say about old dogs learning new tricks.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Crossroads Blues

The crossroads has always been a metaphor for a change in one’s life. In Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Traveled”, it stands for a choice of which road one will take in his life. In Robert Johnson’s song “Crossroads Blues” (later redone by Cream as “Crossroads”), the crossroads was where you met the devil to make a deal to realize your dreams. In either case, the crossroads was an important part of one’s life.
In the course of a lifetime, we all encounter a crossroads at least once or twice. The question always arises, how will I make my choice? Which road shall I take? How did I arrive here? Where do I want to go? Shall I make a deal with the devil?
When at the crossroads, there are no easy decisions. Often, we don’t know how we got there, or where we really want to go. The only thing we know, is that we have to make a choice.
Unfortunately, when facing the crossroads of our lives, there is no yellow brick road to show the way. The only guide we have to follow, is our heart. We trust that guide, and we make our choice, then let the cards fall where they may.
Sometimes our choice leads us to ruin, sometimes, another crossroads; and sometimes it leads us to Emerald City. Where ever the road we choose leads us, we persevere, and we walk that road. This is the road of life, and where it leads; no one knows until the day he dies.
It is awfully lonesome, when one is at the crossroads.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Love Thy Self

Jesus said," Love God with all your heart, and soul, and love thy neighbor, as thy self." With our world in such sad shape, it is obvious, that we all are feeling pretty crappy about ourselves.
Think about it, it should be natural to love yourself, you fight to stay alive everyday; but how many of us really do love ourselves, in the way that Jesus meant?
Everyone has some issues with them self. Let's face it, no one is perfect.
I believe our world is a high school of learning for soul, and that is why we are here, because we aren't perfect!
You will never be closer to God than you are right now.
We have all been taught to feel guilty whenever we screw up. This is a control factor taught by the religions.
Life is nothing more than one huge trial and error experiment. We learn by making mistakes.
By feeling guilty, or ashamed, the natural response is to try and hide from God because we feel unworthy, just as Adam and Eve did after the fall.
We create our own separation from God. To know God you have to let him see you. Of course, we never hide from God, but we shut him out. We need to learn to take responsibility for our actions, but to drop all of the guilt.
Accept yourself, and know inwardly that God does love you...more than you love yourself.
Now love thy self.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cold Nights, Hot Flashes

Back in the fall of of 1973 I was a young freshman at the University of Miami. I was given a room at the older dorm, Mahoney Hall. There was no air conditioning in our room, so the September nights were often pillow soaked experiences.
Late in that month, they installed a room air conditioner. My roommate Andy and I thought this would be our salvation. We were wrong. It led to us not rooming together the next year. Why? The reason was I like it cool, and he liked it COLD.
I had a job at the campus bakery that started at 05:00, so I normally would be in bed by 9:30 or 10:00. He had a rich dad, so he came to bed whenever he felt like it. The problem was I would set the air conditioner on low when I went to bed, and Andy would come in later and set it on high. At 4:15 in the morning, I would wake up to a frosty greeting.
Now I grew up in upstate NY, and the reason I went to UM was to avoid frosty mornings. So the fact that I found myself freezing, dancing around on the cold tile floor, trying to dodge snow flakes, quickly lost its appeal to me.
So long Andy.
Turn the clock ahead 40 years. Here I am once again living in Miami, (because I got real sick of being cold). Everything was going great, until my wife started going through menopause. She started experiencing "hot flashes". I really don't understand why they call them "flashes" because she is always having one! They really aren't "hot moments" either. Let just call them "hot, four years and running, never ending periods" of her life.
So here I am, with a room air conditioner in my bedroom, cranked to high, every night. I still have to work at 05:00, But since the commute is 26 miles, I now get to dance around on cold tiles, and avoid snow flakes at 3:15.
Even worse is when I come out of my hot shower, when I have to hop around like a Mexican jumping bean, to try to keep warm as I get dressed. What a funny "America's Funniest Home Videos" segment that would make! (Except that I'm naked)
I'm thinking Andy wasn't so bad after all, at least he never nagged me.

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This site is more a column than a blog. I write humorous, spiritual, and political articles. Everything I write is designed to make you think; what you think is up to you.