Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Uke Camp - Couple Pictures

Above: BeBop Band - Paul Hemming, back row, right.
C.U. - look at the guy in the gray T-shirt, laughing like a baboon ...)

Above: Old Time - Canote Brothers, front row, left. Jere with the uke, Greg with the fiddle 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Movin' On

Draft is done on the uke book and is out to several readers with more knowledge about the subject than I. Once I get their input, I'll do the rewrite, and then stick it up on Amazon.com. I'll charge the minimum Amazon will allow to get the premium status, which is, I think, $2.99. I don't expect to sell a lot of copies, since the target audience is essentially somebody just like me, but you never know ...

Son of Beneath the Planet of White Death III

Long-time readers of the blog might recall my adventures with White Death, i.e., the Harrowing Tale of Too High a Triglyceride Level.

If not, a brief recap: Four or five years ago, I had my medical check-up and my lipid panel came back and sneered at me: The good cholesterol was too low, the bad stuff was too high, and the triglycerides were too high. Not so much that they want to drain and replace all my blood, but still ...

Hello? All that jocking out doesn't fix that?

No, no it doesn't.

Cholesterol is not a fat, by the by, but a waxy substance your body makes from fat. Too much fat, it makes too much. Clogs things up.

Triglycerides are fats, and they get kicked up by eating junk food and other low-density nutrition. They clog up the plumbing, too.

I did my research. The fix, in my case was, easy. Stop eating sugar, aka "white death," and other high-glycemic sweeteners, drinking alcohol, leave off the saturated fats, and white food in general–bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, unless they were the whole-grain or brown kind. And processed food, especially in a box on the shelf.

Instead, go with fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meat, fish, salads. Roots and twigs. More exercise.

I did this. The bad numbers fell like a brick on Jupiter, the good went up, all was well.

All fixed, and maybe the old heart doesn't clog up and sputter to a stop, hey?

(Yes, yes, it is easier to say than to do, but my resolve was stern. I wasn't ready to leave yet.)

Ah, but the Devil is insidious. Stuff crept up while I wasn't looking. Candy magically appeared, cookies, cakes, pies, butter, cheese, eggs, they called to me. Hey, Steve? How about it? and, of course, I wanted fries with all that, so one day I looked up and had regained the weight that melted off, and sent my bad numbers back into the clouds.

Well, crap!

So here we go again. Starting today, the stop-eating-so-much-junk diet returns. Not to say I won't have a cookie or a beer or a glass of wine now and then, just not so much as I was chomping and swilling down ...

Six months, I'll go have the blood retested, and see if the old diet and exercise regime works again. And with any luck, the beat will go on ...

Wrong Number

I have a dumb phone, so it doesn't do much, but it will receive and send messages.

These are a pain to send, because I have to use the number pad for each letter, cycling through to get to the right one.

Example, for those of you who never used a phone this ancient: If I want to say, "Hello," I have to go to the number 4, which has the letters GHI on it, toggle past the G to the H, select it, then wait a couple seconds. Then I go to number 3 (DEF) toggle to the E, select it, wait, then to 5 JKL, toggle to the L, select it, wait, select it again, then to 6, MNO, toggle to O ...

It takes longer to do it than it did to say it, so I don't use the message function unless I have no other choice. Sometimes I get messages, and responding to them will thus be terse.

Now and again, I get a call or message that was not intended for me. Got one of those last night:

"Here's the deal. I've always faked it to get it over with. But I really just don't want to do that with you. I think it can happen. So I refuse to fake it."


It was late, and I didn't feel like fooling with it, so I didn't. But this morning, I got another one:

"I'm heading up to your neck of the woods. :)"

Hmm. They didn't know they were talking to me and somebody might be getting a surprise. However embarrassing it might be for the sender, I needed to let them know I wasn't the guy they thought I was. I texted back "Wrong number."

Got a response: "Sorry."

Never a dull moment ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Disappearing Act

One of our local TV stations has a new look. Last few weeks, they have been doing the news from in front of a fake-brick wall with like a naked light bulb on a wire overhead, as the studio rebuild happened. So last night, the new and improved! newsroom debuted, big monitor behind the anchors showing a view of the river, la, la, la.

KOIN is watching out for us, as their logo tells us. Asking the hard questions ...

Come time for the weather segment, and there's this perky young woman I haven't seen before, Kristin Van Dyke, and Jeff and Kelly congratulate her as the new chief meteorologist.

Whoa. What happened to Bruce Sussman?

Gone. Contract ran down, Adíos, Bruce!

Mike and Shirley went the same way. One night, they were the anchors, the next, Shirley was replaced, and nobody said "boo!" Mike hung on at the station, but doing puff pieces in the field, then he retired.

This is how local news operates, they usually don't bother to announce personnel changes, just toss 'em out there. To avoid, I suspect, the deluge of comments from viewers who don't like to see their favorites let go. 

I liked Bruce. And maybe I'll grow to like Kristin. Or maybe I'll switch over to Channel Two or Eight and watch Matt or somebody else ...

Not supposed to be about personalities, but of course, that's exactly what it is about. If you trust Mike and Shirley, that's who you tune into watch. I like Jeff and Kelly, but I know one day I'll look up and one or both will be gone. Good evening folks, and welcome Rodney Roberts to the KOIN news team ... !


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Musashi Link

Oh, yeah, the link to the eBook version of The Musashi Flex is finally live, over there in the links list ...