i A Time and a Place...: May 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Well, We Did It!...

We played music today for an hour and got paid fifty bucks for it! It was really fun. The folks at the assisted living home were seated in chairs, all in three rows to watch and listen to our show. They really enjoyed it. And so did we! We go there again next month. It's going to be a real kick!


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Jam Session Time Again...

It's once again time for a get-together with folks for a little music, a little gossip and a bunch of eating! Boy, what more could a person ask for!? (Except, maybe, a Bud Lite)

This'll be fun today. We go to a large hall to play music. It's a lot nicer than some other places where the room is somewhat limited.

I hope to get there in time to help set up the mikes. They are sometimes out of adjustment and then don't sound very good. But, it's always fun anyhow.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two Quatrains...

And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch--for whom?

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and--sans End!


Cpt. K'rk...

"Very funny, Scotty," now beam down my clothes!"


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well, That Was a Bust...

I got my blood work done and it was a bit of a disappointment, considering how, earlier, I had blanched at the prospect of being stuck with a needle.

I almost didn't even feel it go in. (Ummm...that's what my first girl friend said to me,--but that's another story.)

Next time I mayn't even worry about it.


HDL...LDL...Blood Test Time Again...

It's time once again and I'm not exactly looking forward to getting a needle stuck into my vein! Of course, I don't suppose that is something anyone really ever looks forward to with any modicum of delight! (Except, maybe, Abraham ((Bram)) Stoker)

It's not that it hurts much but just the idea of something sharp (or dull) being forced through the skin and vein wall of the arm, or any other part of the anatomy, is chill bumps time!

Of course, getting the injection (or, 'out-jection') isn't necessarily the only thing unappealing about today's tryst. There, also, is the necessity of fasting for the preceeding fourteen hours or so. Without the fast, only the total and 'good' cholesterol can be considered, thus, the fast and inclusion of the 'bad' cholesterol in the test.

It's sort of strange,-what our minds can do sometimes. I wanted to lose some weight awhile back and didn't eat for thirteen (it was really one) days and I didn't even feel hungry. But now, I haven't eaten for fourteen hours and I feel like I am in the throes of starvation! Psychological, I guess. Then why is my psychy growling from my stomach? Just as I thought! It's, also, extreme hunger!

Well, (I say that a lot)I guess I'll head on down to the slaughter house,..-er',-medical center, and get the deed done and have 'done' with it.
If it's any consolation to me, I'll receive a free meal coupon for a meal at the hospital next door! 'Yay!' Scrambled powered eggs and imitation syrup on toy panpucks...er'..pancakes! And grease gravy, just what I need to replenish my LDL supply! What a deal!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Worst Of It...

This is a post I wrote on another blog and I want to share it on this one. It takes me back.

I guess the worst of the fruit to pick was Boysenberries. I won’t go much into how they’re grown, only how they’re picked, at least my experience of picking them.(which was only once)Boysenberries…

First, let me explain a little about Boysenberries and what they are. They are a cross between red raspberries, logan berries and blackberries. They were developed by a man named Rudolph Boysen (who abandoned the fruit after developing it) and first commercially cultivated and marketed by a man named Walter Knott of Buena Park, California.

Mr. Boysen developed the berry in Napa Valley but, as I said, abandoned the fruit and the vine. Mr. Knott, a southern California berry farmer and George Darrow, a USDA employee, heard of the juicy berry and tracked down the abandoned berry vine and Mr. Knott took it to Buena Park where he grew the large, juicy berries and his wife made preserves from the berries and sold them to the public. They were so well received that they (and the farm where they were grown, Knotts Berry Farm) became world famous.

Anyhow, us kids were always looking for a way to make a buck since, in Little Okie, Modesto, there weren’t many bucks to be had by kids. There was a man who had acres and acres of Boysen Berries and needed for them to be picked. It was hard for him to find people to pick his berries because he couldn’t pay much and no one wanted to get their hands all scratched up by the berry vine thorns. What he did was pass around leaflets through our and other neighborhoods saying he wanted to hire kids to pick his berries for so much money a small basket. The baskets were the size of the now popular strawberry baskets.

On the leaflet, he told where he would be on a certain day (the corner of Oregon Drive and Empire Avenue) and anyone who wanted to pick berries should be there to be picked up and taken to the berry patch. He would pay for the number of baskets picked by each person at the end of the day (which was about six hours). I don’t remember how much a basket paid but it wasn’t enough for me to go a second day. We were instructed to bring gloves and many of us did. We started at the end of a vine and picked the berries, one at a time, carefully so’s not to mash them, and put them into the little basket.

The problem was, no matter how thick your gloves were, (most of us had cotton gloves) they wouldn’t stop the thorns from piercing right to the skin and nailing your arms! I stayed the first day and picked all I could, mostly because it was too far to walk home. Some of the kids tried to put leaves in their baskets so they would appear full but the guy checking them quickly put a stop to that.

As I recall, I earned about a dollar and a half that day, not nearly enough for me to want to go back for another day! Actually, no amount of money would have been enough, considering the thorn holes on my hands and the scratches on my arms!

I told this story to a friend many years later and his response was, “Gee, I didn’t think Boysenberries had thorns!”

Well, ‘duh’! Then what was that I had picked? Well,.. what was it? I guess some do and some don’t. If finding out for sure takes another round of picking them, I’ll never know! (or care)

I guess the thing about picking berries, even Blackberries, is to not get in too much of a hurry. I remember several times when my Mother’s brothers and sisters came from Texas to Modesto to visit us. They would set up their tents on the end of our lot, a couple had small trailers that were big enough to sleep in, and we cooked and ate on a couple of big tables under the apricot trees.
This is a picture of Grandpa and Grandma (facing us) and Aunt Cannie Rayburn, Grandma’s sister, and some others sitting around a table, getting ready to eat. (or just visiting) This was about 1946 or so.
Mom and most of the women would go to Dry Creek and wade out into the creek with buckets and pick the ripe, juicy blackberries to take home and eat and no one much complained about the scratches they got picking the berries! They usually picked enough so that Mother could can up a bunch of the berries while the folks were there visiting us. Then the relatives would each have at least one jar of Blackberry jam to take home when they left.

Those days were wonderful. Everyone would sit around the table or on peach boxes and talk about their times at home or about things that had happened to them since the last time they saw each other; or just visit and enjoy each other’s company. Once in a while, Pop and Uncle Mack and a couple more of the men would sneak off down to Legion Park and take a snort of Three Feathers or Four Roses or some other kind of whiskey (there was no drinking allowed at home) and have their ‘man talk’ then come back and try not to let the women know they had been drinking. Of course everyone knew but as long as there was no trouble, no one acknowledged it. No one ever got drunk but it sure loosened them up!

Us boys would usually ‘put on the gloves’ and see who was the best fighter. The men made a big thing of it but always made sure the boxing gloves were 16 ounce gloves so no one would get hurt much during the boxing match. The winner was usually the kid who lasted the longest without getting tired. It was great fun!

Sometimes the women and the girls would get the quilting frame out and take scraps of cloth Mom had or the other women brought with them from Texas and have a quilting bee and swap gossip. They loved to talk about their men and things that had happened since the last visit. It was a wonderful way of life and everyone always seemed very happy. Who knows, this visit could be the last time some of us ever saw the rest, at least in this life.
It seems that kind of visiting doesn’t happen much anymore. Mother is gone to her reward and so are all of her brothers and sisters. I guess those days are gone forever.

And besides, most people are too busy nowadays to do much visiting. And who would sleep in a tent anymore and wade into the creek to pick a bunch of thorny blackberries! Too bad…sad.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

It Just Doesn't Get Much Better...

We did our thing today; played music for a ladies' group for an hour for twenty bucks. 'oops'...Actually, we played forty five minutes for thirty bucks and fifty big ones in tips! "Yay!!!"

Not bad, eh? Eighty bucks for forty five minutes of doing something we really enjoy doing.

And, when we ended our program, a guy who works for the Moose Lodge, the place we played, asked us if we would consider playing for a dance sometimes for the Lodge. He said it paid TRESCIENTOS DOLLORES (OR 3238.65 PESOS)(300 bucks) ((A little Mex lingo there)). I told him we'd think about it and to give us a call.

Well, so much for crowing. We'll see what happens now.


Today's the Day We Turn Pro...

...so to speak. Today Mi Espousa (a little Mex Lingo there) and I play music for money! 'Yay!' (Twenty buck plus tips is money, you know)

We'll put on a one hour show for a ladies club...'with songs and witty sayings!' We know a few songs; now to come up with some witty sayings.

It'll be fun!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Sound of Music...

Within these walls is definitely the "Sound of Music." And it's great!

Mi Espousa, La Donna, (a little Mex lingo there) and I are now the purveyors of mucho musica (a bit more Mex lingo here) at two different Senior Citizen Nutrition Centers in our area. One is the Tehama County Senior Center here in Red Bluff, Tehama County, and the other is the Frontier Hall in Anderson which is in Shasta County.

We, using our Band in a Box musical application running through our lap-top computer, (which is amplified through a PA system) play music from @10:15 AM to @12:00 noon every first, third and fourth Friday at Anderson and every 1st and 3rd Thursdays here in Red Bluff; same hours.

These musical productions are free gratis since the centers are primarily for low and fixed income older folks (of which, too, are we) so we do not charge for our services; they are charity. But, and this is a biggee, we get tips from our elders for our performances (the cumulated tips already approach a hundred bucks +-) and we each are given a free lunch with a combined value of five big ones!

That is the fun part. Now for the really biggee!

We stopped at an assisted living complex and inquired about a job there at some date and were hired to play a gig on a Wednesday in June for an hour for--are you ready for this?--fifty smackers! 'Voila' And a couple of days ago, the same lady from that assisted living center called and axed if we would, also, play for her oldsters on Memorial Day! 'Wow'! Is this a trip or what??!!?? We're really going big time!

And (are you ready for this) A lady heard us play at the Tehama (Red Bluff) center and told a friend of hers about us and that lady, the leader of a Womens' club, called and axed me if Mi Espousa, La Donna (a little more Mex lingo here) and I would consider playing for an hour for her group at the Moose Lodge on a date this month! And she agreed to pay us for our services! Boy, are we headed out or what?
I mean, you know, our income from the paying jobs alone will be in excess of a hundred and some many bucks! Whoa!!!
And after our second appearance, there wasn't enough room in the hall for everybody so many of them had to wait outside!

Donna wants to begin planning our move to Nashville (or NYC or LA, whichever branch of whatever recording company calls and insists on recording our music)but I suggested to her we should wait at least until we actually played some music more than a couple of times. You know, word of mouth travels not too Swiftly (no offense intended to John Kerry) sometimes.

I can't help but share some of her ardor, though. In my minds' eye, I can just see Chico the Wonder Dog look at me (dogs have to 'look at' you because, as we all know, dogs can't talk) "You know, I can sing some, too." Now wouldn't that be great; a trio consisting of Donna, me and Chico the Wonder Dog! A captivating, albeit impossible, dream!

I'd better cut this short and start working on our twenty or so songs for the Moose Lodge affair since there are only four days and four and a half hours to go for that one! I'll get back to you with an up-date on a later post.

Hmmmm....Hmmmm....da-ti-da-ti-dum-dum-de-da!!!(The Sound of Music!...)


Friday, May 04, 2007

It's Strange...

what can come to you while you're deeply engrossed in eating breakfast and working a crossword puzzle. I saw a word (I don't remember what it was now) that reminded me of the rash of school shootings that have recently occurred in this country, so I asked myself,(I do that a lot) "Self, why is it, do you suppose, that there are so many more school killings now than there were years back?"

"Well," I answered myself, (I also do a lot of that)"It's really pretty obvious, isn't it?"

Actually, it is pretty obvious why so many kids go off the deep end these days and start shooting up the place. Think about it.

Emotions is what causes people to do crazy things:i.e., greed, love, hate, lust, but most of all, resentment and revenge. When a particular kid is separated from the pack or sleighted for whatever reason, even an imagined sleight or reason, he feels alienated and picked on and the natural reaction is either to ignore it or respond to it. (Whatever 'it' is)

OK. you say; so what? Does that give a kid the right to kill people?
No it doesn't but we don't necessarily do things because we have the 'right' to do them. He does things because he doesn't fully understand the consequences of his (or her) actions. Super Mario was killed by me seventy seven million times and he, on occassion, still comes back for more!

What!!!..you say - you mean it's the fault of video games!!!
No, I don't say that.

Well, what do you say then? Well, (I say that word a lot..-it's kinda like 'er' or 'uhh', a concentration hesitation-((neat ain't it-I just made that up)))what I'm saying is; kids think they are,-and they are,- the center of the universe and the world revolves around them. So, when something doesn't go their way, they have a right,-no, an obligation,- to change those things to suit themselves. A problem is, they do not know just what it would be that suits them so they try crazy things sometimes,-even killing people. (who, unlike Mario, WON'T reappear later)

When I was a kid and wanted to say somewthing to one of my elders, ofttimes I was told to 'shut up until us grownups finish talking'. (Kinda like Little Jimmie Dickens having to "Take an old cold tater and wait")

I learned that grownups are SUPPOSED to take precedence and have authority over children. That's the way it's supposed to be and that's the way it was when I was a kid.

Now, I just made the first relevant point. Kids do not dictate to their elders.

Oh, and, by the way, neither I nor any of my siblings or friends or relatives have killed anyone because of ...???...for whatever the reason was that the kids of the last few years have killed people, either innocent or people guilty of-???-who knows what, if anything.

I could philosophize or theorize from here to Georgia but it would eventually boil down to the fact that kids nowadays are made too much of and ruined by grownups who put pressure on them by treating them like they are as smart as the grownups and have the same responsibilities, ergo, the same privileges as their elders and, when things don't go their way, they do not know what to do about it, so, instead of just forgetting about it and playing jacks or shooting marbles, they kill other kids. (or grownups)

In short, it's the way they're raised that causes them to kill. Instead of having their mouths slapped for swearing or getting their butts whipped for lying, they're 'reasoned with', pampered and petted then given a cell phone and permission to get their genitals or tongues pierced, rewarded for their naughtinesses.

Kids are/are not smart. A slap to the mouth for swearing is easily understood (although not particularly enjoyed) by a child, whereas, getting a cell phone or permission to have things pierced because you told your mother to go get screwed, is not easily understood by an unruly child; ergo; are/are not smart.

Now. all of this is coming to something, isn't it? Yes, it is. The fact is, kids nowadays are allowed to believe they are smarter and more grownup than they really are and they don't know how to handle that. And they do too many things at school other than learn and, when one of them is prevented from doing one of those things by his or her peers or a teacher and is not included in with the crowd, that kid lashes out however he decides to.

When I was a kid, we learned reading, writing and arithmetic, some art and music and physical ed. (and recess) And that was it. If we didn't go to school, the truant officer came to our house and got us.

We didn't dance; we didn't engage in political rallies; we didn't protest our teachers or parents or anybody else. We learned and were educated. If we were lazy or stupid and didn't learn enough to pass to the next grade, we did that one over again. And that was the way it was supposed to be and that was the way it was.

I guess, what it all boils down to is this; parents are way too lenient with unruly kids and schools allow unruly kids to continue. When I was a kid, unruly kids got suspended. There were fences around the schools and, if you weren't attending a school, you weren't allowed on the school grounds.

We need to get back to educating the kids and forget about forging them socially. That should be up to the parents.

And we should say a prayer at the beginning of class and a pledge to our flag. That would go a long way toward teaching them values.

I'll have to continue this later. I just heard on the news about a new killing spree by a pre-schooler who has a pierced navel and Folgers coffee in her baby bottle!