2016. We’ve Lost a Lot of People…

Nov 28, 2016 404

…but also institutions. I had the blessing of visiting New York City a few years back, a trip I would make again in a heartbeat. Checked out a few museums, saw the 9/11 Memorial and the Statue of Liberty, basically did everything except attend a show – which, in my case, was no big loss. 🙂 Much like my experience in the French Quarter of New Orleans, I decided pretty quickly that it wasn’t really possible to find a bad restaurant in NYC. And, since I was there for a few days, it seemed essential to go check out some authentic old-school Jewish deli. Sure, you may have had pastrami in your life, but if you ever go to New York and don’t take advantage of the opportunity to have it the way it should be experienced, I feel bad for you. I’m glad to say the Carnegie Deli was one of the places that I got the chance to try, and it was outstanding. They brought me a sandwich... ...

Almost All Your Thanksgiving Needs, Right Here. :)

Nov 23, 2016 384

– photo credit: D. Sharon Pruitt, from Wikimedia – So, to make your Thanksgiving joys/horrors pass a little bit easier, we thought we’d put all this in one place, so you don’t have to search around a whole lot. 🙂 For starters, some elaborate cooking help here, with good ideas and things to avoid overall. Take this example: if you’ve already got mashed potatoes, why would you also mash your sweet potatoes? The textures are all the difference. Or: have at least one relatively fat- or butter-free green vegetable as a palate cleanser. More here. And for turkey-specific advice, this old reliable standby. Maybe you just need to know which stores are open during the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday, and more specifically, WHEN. Here you go. Or maybe, you’re just done thinking about all of the above, and need some comic relief, like this unusual cooking prep method. Or some music for the holiday, like this longtime favorite. Or this more recent one. Or this bittersweet but funny song,... ...

Sometimes, the Best Music Stories? They’re NOT the Ones in Front of the Microphone.

Nov 17, 2016 330

picture credit: the former Manta Sound Studio 3, circa 1983, photo by Robert Taylor, accessed via Wikimedia Commons The premise of a new PBS television series, Soundbreaking, is there in the title above: musicians are not the ONLY ones with interesting tales to tell. Sometimes, it’s the producers and engineers and songwriters that provide more of the amazement. Sometimes, people cross from the performing side to the one with all the tape recorders and gizmos – and sometimes, that side can even be the MORE creative one. Music production – and I can tell you this from very personal experience – is an alchemy that truly exists somewhere between technology and magic. There have been times where I’ve accidentally stumbled onto one trick or another, and then thought to myself, this is so OBVIOUS…why couldn’t I figure this out sooner? Conversely, sometimes the opposite is true, where I’ve conjured up something wonderful-sounding, by sheer luck, and then can’t ever do it again, continuing proof that the muse will occasionally will be... ...

Coming In for Work in the Morning, and This Is How I Greet Myself.

Nov 9, 2016 491

When I arrive in the early pre-light dawn to start working, I see this quote, first thing, as I reach for my headphones, which never fails to make the day a little brighter. It’s from the late Hunter S. Thompson, from The Great Shark Hunt: “Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every twenty-four hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home — and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed — breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned beef hash... ...

What Comes After Halloween? How About a Hot Chocolate Fix?

Oct 31, 2016 628

Sure, you could do the instant powdered hot chocolate thing, and it’ll be…alright, not earth-shattering. My grandma Nellie, on the other hand, was the kind of thrifty and brilliant woman who would take the leftover candy bars after Halloween – the ones that weren’t given away, because they lived in the country and didn’t have that many trick-or-treaters – and would turn them into hot chocolate for cold winter weekends. I’ve learned over the years to repurpose the same trick quite well. (Another is to take the candy bars that weren’t just chocolate, that had caramel and nuts and the like, and use them to make coffee cake…truly transcendent stuff, and a trick I learned from, surprisingly, On the Road author Jack Kerouac.) Well, our friends at Buzzfeed have gotten even trickier with their hot chocolate. Maybe an astonishingly rich Spanish version, or one made with salted caramel, or versions with red wine or black cherry bourbon…I think yes. To borrow from the author Richard Bach, most people just drink... ...

Oh DEER. Or, The Animal Uprising Rolls Merrily Along.

Oct 27, 2016 403

Deer, or, as my late uncle Randy used to refer to them, the rats of the forest. 🙂 Contrary to the spirit of Disney films, the animal isn’t one of nature’s more brilliant creatures. Having spent a period of six months watching deer on a completely open highway turn around and run BACK into my car after I slowed up to let them pass by, I may be a little jaded about the relative intelligence of cattle-with-a-rack. After the four-deer-in-six-months spree, I actually suggested, not entirely kidding, that the Department of Natural Resources could install a cow sweeper – the thing on old-fashioned locomotives – on my car, and I could single-handedly take care of the overpopulation problem in various state parks, let alone the highway. My understanding, from smarter minds than mine as regards deer, is that overpopulation is exactly the problem. Not enough resources and too many animals will invariably equal trouble, regardless of the animal. The deer just happen to be larger and capable of more unthinking damage.... ...

2016 Trick-Or-Treat Hours

Oct 27, 2016 655

Halloween is Monday, October 31st! So, what are our trick or treat hours? I’m glad you asked! ...

Sure, This Is Probably Pretty Stupid, As Conduct Goes, But…

Oct 10, 2016 668

…still pretty cool, anyway. Especially if you ever wanted to be a hard rock singer in the face of heavy weather. *USUAL WARNINGS APPLY: KIDS, DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. Having said that, enjoy the video. 🙂 – Todd Berryman Middays on WIN 104.9 Whip My Hair, Etc. ...

How to Be Successful in Business Without Being All That Famous…

Oct 3, 2016 323

Well, sort of, anyway.  That’s about to change for one Shep Gordon, more than likely. So, this past weekend, I spent a fair amount of time watching a documentary on Netflix called Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.  For the most part, I found it massively, surprisingly entertaining, and informative. The name “Shep Gordon” was one I’d seen on various things – as Alice Cooper’s manager, or working with Emeril, for example.  But there are managers, and then there are managers. I’m going to describe a photograph to you: it’s a picture from the mid-1970s of, standing left to right, John Lennon, Anne Murray, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees.  (You can see that picture here.)  It’s one of the most famous photographs from Lennon’s “lost weekend” period, when he and Yoko Ono were separated.  The origin of that photo was something I’d never knew about, until I saw the Supermensch movie. Now, I don’t want to give away how that photo sprang into being, because I want you to... ...