I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore

Well folks, I just got in from the garden. A mere two hours of planting chrysanthemums, pruning shrubs, dead heading daisies and I’m washed out. I entered the cool of the house and plopped in front of my desk to read e-mails. Here is number one. Darned if it didn’t pick me up and make me want to go out again. See if this works for you too. Oh, if you are under sixty-five you may not understand what this is all about. Thanks Bob I know YOU understand it well.

My Heart Is Down

Sad to say I’m on my way,

Won’t be back for many a day.

My heart is down, my head is turning around

I had to leave a little house in Wrinkle Town.

 

Plink, Plank, Plunk

Yesterday, Peg and I ventured out into the big world to visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Back in January, while driving into town I spotted a bill board advertising the place. It only took twelve weeks for us to make it there, now I am sorry we did. This museum like most museums is so large that it takes more than one visit to see it all. The museum is new, very modern in design, two stories tall, and huge. Within its walls are instruments from every country in the world. Do you know how many countries exist? I don’t even remember how many continents there are, and that is important because the country displays are within rooms classified as continents. Only the United States and Canada are separate rooms because they are so big, and well, because the museum is in the United States.

We used the escalator to move us up to the second level where a tour guide asked us where we wanted to start. We chose to begin in Africa. That was a bad move because we spent over an hour and a half looking at the primitive flutes, and lutes of the various countries within Africa. MIM has a unique display for each country. The instruments are flat against a wall or supported in mid-air on display around a video screen. We received a headset and a black box at the ticket counter. The unique feature of this black box is that when one walks to within range of a video screen it begins to play a video of natives playing the instruments on display. This allowed us to hear the instrument and to see it played. Many of the videos showed scenes of native craftsman chopping, carving, and sanding wood to shape it into something they could make sound with. Strings are usually animal hair or other body part. One instrument called the thumb-harp has a series of metal fork-like handles attached to a sound box. As the musician plunks the various length metal prongs they plink, plank, or plunk into the sound box to make a note.

By the time we hit Asia, Peg and I were beginning to fade. She carries a purse loaded with at least ten pounds of stuff and I carry a bowling ball belly that plays hell with my back. We literally raced through the Mid-east, South America, and Europe, and intended to skip the USA and Canada. As it turned out I got lost in Europe and we wound up running through North America. That is when I began to get glimpses of some fabulous displays and regretted our move to start in Africa and not North America.

While in the African room, I looked at a map of the continent which displayed all the different languages spoken in Africa. I quickly realized why Africa is still so primitive. Imagine if we lived in a place where every state is a country and every county within a state has its own language. I have enough trouble understanding regional dialects much less different languages. There exists, however, a universality among these many people s. It is in their musical instruments. Somehow, the good Lord gave us all a talent and want to create music, and deep within our brains is the blueprint for how to make sounds using tubes, skins, and strings. Just about every country has a form of stringed lute, drum, and flute.

Peg and I hope to return and to begin the tour counter-clockwise the next time.  Here are a few photos of the displays.

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A New Leather Jacket

This piece of British comedy came to me from a grammar school buddy, and retired saxophone player Bob.

Why are the liberals so anxious to mimic the country we fought our ass off to break away from? It is sorry that we follow in Europe’s footsteps instead of advancing the world toward a more just and exceptional population that fends for itself and cans big government.

 

Butch Who?

imgbutch cassidy and the sundance kid2

41o6B1MusML._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_In 1969 the movie titled Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid became my all time favorite western bank-robber, train-robber, love story. Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Katherine Ross the film portrayed the adventures of the Hole In the Wall Gang. The characters were so lovable I cheered for them to get away from the posse who chased after them. As a very young man I thought Katherine Ross was the hottest thing on planet earth, that is after my beloved wife Barbara. Based on a true story the movie became a wildly popular film because of Paul Newman, and Robert Redford who played such lovable bad-guys. The theme song for the film came from Burt Bacharach who composed “Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head,” a song that still plays in my mind. This week on my library visit I spotted a book titled Butch Cassidy: The Lost Years. In true see it, like it, take it fashion, I checked it out.

This story begins in 1950 when a man named Porter enters a general store in a small Texas town searching for a man named Jim Strickland.  Four men play cards when the scene opens, and Porter enters asking if any of the four know a man named Jim Strickland. One of the four, a very old cowboy, responds by asking Porter to step outside with him so they can speak privately.

They sit on the front porch of the general store drinking Coca Cola when the cowboy begins to tell a story about Jim Strickland. From there the book becomes a can’t put it down read. The old cowboy spins a yarn about Jim Strickland implying that he may really be Butch Cassidy. At the end of the movie Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid get into a shoot out with the Bolivian army. The director left us wondering how these two could have survived the odds. He made the viewers believe the army killed them. This book reveals that Butch survived, escaped,  and went into hiding. Butch spent several years in several countries before finally returning to the United States to lead a life of obscurity.

This story was a fun read, and author William W. Johnstone created some cool characters in creating a hypothetical new life for Butch Cassidy.

I Am Amazed

Creative people always amaze me with their interpretive ability. Where do they come up with all the stuff they do? Yesterday, I went to the Munster Theater with friends. We were early for the play so we went through their show of Middle and High School art. What a fabulous display of talent. Like I said above talent amazes me, especially of these kids ages nine through fourteen.

The cartoon below sent to me by my high school buddy Jim, is a prime example of the creativity that abounds around us. Watch this and laugh, or cry your butt off depending on whether you are a Liberal or a Conservative. It is  hilarious. The cartoon relates current events around the  lyrics of a very old, but popular song by the 1950’s group “The Platters.”  They are from my time folks, when singers sang real songs with real lyrics, and weren’t making social statements with rants that pass as music.

The Gift-Part 6-Transformation

The Gift-Part 6-Transformation

Early the next morning, Morty got up, brushed his teeth, combed his curl, and ate breakfast. It was time. He found the tree stand and placed it in the corner of his tiny room.

“Stand straight Connie,” he said as he filled the bowl with sugar water to give Connie strength.

“You have an important duty ahead.”

“I have to play Christmas tunes while we decorate.” Morty tuned in to the Choir of Heavenly Angels over his boom box to play carols.

Morty sang with the music. He strung the lights onto each branch, making sure that the spacing was even.

The rabbit and the birds helped by hanging the popcorn garland. The Sparrow held one end of the garland while the Cardinal held it farther down the string. The Chickadee held a third spot. They flew in unison carrying the garland. Gently, they lowered the popcorn garland onto the branches. The beads came next.

“I wish Brad were here to help,” said Morty. “His muscles would be a great help with these heavy beads. They are too heavy for the birds. I have to drape them carefully to make them look pretty.”

As he worked, he hummed Silent Night, his favorite Christmas carol.

“Sing with me Connie.”

“Si – lent night, Ho – ly night,

All is calm. All is bright.

Round yon Vir – gin Moth – er and child!

Ho – ly in – fant so ten – der and mild,

Sleep in heav – en – ly peace,

Sleep in heav – en – ly peace.”

They sang together as they worked.

“After we finish with Connie, we can prepare for the party tonight.”

What a happy group they were. The Cardinals, Chickadee, Rabbit and Morty were all decorating the tree for Jesus.

“Almost finished,” said Morty. “Birds, please carry the crystal star and place it on Connie’s top stem.”

“Now, for the final touch, we have to hang the tinsel. It is a great job for birds,” he said.

All three birds began immediately, and carried tinsel like they carried grass to build a nest. They hovered above a branch and carefully lowered the silver strands down.

“You can be proud Connie. You are beautiful and will make Jesus happy on his birthday.

To be continued . . ..

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