Saturday, January 20, 2018



"I’m a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator. I have done plenty of it from both sides."


Seriously ?   You just shut down the government Mr. President.  Your negotiating skills are about as good as the rest of your skills set ..,  Not much to be proud of in that package.  I think my 14 year old could have done a better job handling this situation. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump's 'Extreme Vetting' Leaves Thousands Scrambling At Airports

I'm not particularly political, but this is not the America that I know and love.  For the first time in my life I wrote my Governor and my Senators asking them to fight against this action.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Artist: Spinx

Album; Judas
Year: 1977
Label: Raas
Catalog: 2933 105
Condition: VG+ cover / VG+ LP

I'll admit it - I'm addicted to buying interesting looking albums by bands I know nothing about.   Most of the time they turn out to be crap, but once in awhile I stumble across something that's good, or at least interesting in a bizarre fashion.

Well, this one certainly fits the latter category.

Alec R. Costandinos started out as a singer, but enjoyed his initial international successes working with the band Aphrodite's Child and Vangelis in his solo career.  By the mid''70s he was also dabbling in disco and with partner Don Ray made this bizarre album.  Released in 1977 at the zenith of disco madness, "Judas" featured two side-long songs - "Judas Iscariot" and "Simon Peter," basically setting the story of Judas' betrayal of a disco beat. The disco arrangement's aren't anything you haven't heard before (okay the Gregorian chants are a little out of the ordinary), but the theme ... well hard for me to picture coked out dance patrons shaking their groove things to this one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


My father died about 20 years ago.  He's buried in a small cemetery in Leesburg, Virginia.  His grave is in the cemetery's older section, surrounded my a mixture of older and newer graves.  Overlooking this section of the graveyard is a majestic, old Maple tree.

Anyhow, I had a physical this morning and after getting through it unscathed, I decided to take the day off.  After doing a couple of other chores I suddenly decided to drive out to Leesburg to say hello and make sure his plot was clean.  

It was one of those wonderful Fall  days.  Bright blue skies; warm sunshine; green, green grass, and that Maple tree just beginning to change colors.  Anyhow, as I was standing there trimming the grass around the grave James Taylor's 'September Grass' climbed into my head.  It was the perfect soundtrack for the afternoon.  Simply one of my favorite Taylor tunes:

Saturday, October 1, 2016


I writing this knowing full well I have no musical talents.  After all, how many folks do you know who have been kicked out of seventh grade recorder band? 

Against that backdrop I have zero credentials for criticizing other folks.  'Course that's not going to stop me from putting this list on the web.

# 10 - Tony Bird

Bird's a white African born in Malawi, living in New York.  He's recorded sporadically since the mid-'70s with a couple of obscure albums seeing an American release (1976's "Tony Bird", 1978's "Tony Bird of Paradise", and 1990's "Sorry Africa").   Imagine a mash-up of old Bob Dylan and "Graceland" era Paul Simon and you'll have a rough idea of what Bird sounds like.  His voice is something else.  Thin, dry, and nasally, he sings as if infected with a nasty lisp.  His accent (apparently a mix of English and Afrikaans) makes it even harder to figure out what he's singing about (though the themes are often activist in nature related to his home country).  

Admittedly the sound quality isn't particularly good and this is a live performance, but this clip from a 1983 performance at the Winnipeg Folk Festival will give you a taste of Mr. Bird:

Monday, September 26, 2016


My wife will tell you I have the sensitivity and awareness of a brick.   Usually she's right.  I tend to be pretty oblivious to most things.

Anyhow, after seeing a photo reflecting how much weight I'd put on, for the last year I've made it a habit of trying to walk whenever I can. One of the places I'll walk is to my local library. It's about two miles each way so I'll put on my earbuds and listen to NPR, or a Pod episode while I make my pilgrimage.

Sunday I walked into a situation I'd never encountered before. I was a couple of blocks from the library and I saw a young woman sitting in a wheelchair in the middle of a side street. She looked bewildered and was in tears. Like a lot of people I tend to shy away from engaging with folks I don't know. In this case I was walking by her and stopped to ask what was happening and if there was anything I could do. The girl (her name was Haley), was probably in her early 20s. Long hair, pretty face, very quiet and demure. It turns out she and her boyfriend were staying in a Fairfax County shelter which happens to be located right next to the library. Her story was that she and the boyfriend had a massive fight and he stormed out of the shelter. She followed him in her wheelchair, but he started running and she couldn't keep up. When she finally stopped she discovered she didn't know where she was. That's when I crossed paths with her.

Even though she didn't realize it, Haley was only a block away from the shelter and so I told her I'd walk back with her. She was clearly upset by the episode so we didn't say a great deal during the walk. She wheeled herself along the sidewalk and I walked along with her and in five minutes we were back on familiar ground. As we were waiting to cross the street to get to the library and the shelter, I asked her what she was going to do. Her response was to text the boyfriend, but her phone had broken so she'd use one of the library computers. At that moment her chair was sitting in the middle of a busy library parking lot so I asked her to let me wheel her across the lot, up the handicap access ramp into the library. She agreed and that's what I did. Last I saw of her she was heading for the library computers. After I check out some new books I looked around, but she'd seemingly already left so I walked home.

So now I'm wondering if there's anything else I could have done, or should have done for Haley ...