Thoughts on Having Birthdays

March 30th was my birthday. To friends who also hang out on Facebook, thanks for all the nice thoughts and wishes. Otherwise, the day was uneventful. It’s kind of tradition in my world to allow a person to spend the day however he or she likes. I chose to chill out and do pretty much nothing outside of the normal routine. Get up, take the dog out. Work on stuff on the computer. Take the dog out. I tried to watchRead more

A Haunting Tale from Tombstone

Tombstone, Arizona is a real city. It has a high school, gas stations, and everything. Many think of it as just a tourist attraction, and that’s what one section of the city is. It’s an interesting place, “Old Tombstone,” a section of town devoted to glorifying gunfights, drinking, lascivious dance hall girls, and rowdy cowboys.Read more

Impossible Plastic Packaging

It’s called clamshell packaging. You know the kind. Hard plastic, pressure-wrapped around almost anything from toy tractors to printer ink. It is impossible to open within a reasonable amount of time without hurting yourself, or breaking into an uncontrollable sweat.Read more

Train Ride Becomes a Musical Journey

It’s generally accepted that insignificant things that happen during one’s early childhood can have an influence on directions we take and decisions we make in subsequent years. Such is the case of picking up a vacation souvenir, and having it turn into a serious avocation.Read more

A Dog Who Knew What to Do

Dogs can be trained to do amazing things. They can learn many words, and how to respond to them. Our dog Roy goes to the front door in the living room when he hears, “Want to go out?” If we say it differently, “Want to go out to the car?” he promptly heads to down the hall, to the door that leads to the garage.Read more

Who’s Playing at the VFW Hall?

In the early ’60s I was working at radio station KSTT in the Quad-Cities. In addition to being on the air, I also did commercial production. One day during my air shift, the receptionist buzzed me on the intercom. “Ulysses is here,” she cackled, through the tiny speaker next to the dial telephone. I asked her to send him back to the studio. “He knows the way.” Ulysses Walker was a local promoter who, from time-to-time, would bring acts toRead more

Dancing Through Commercials

It just keeps happening. A perfectly good television commercial is going along, minding its own business, when people start dancing. In the middle of the street,on top of a mattress, at the dentist’s office. TV commercials can cost nearly as much to produce as it costs to build a house, and many are excellent. Then, there are the ones that feature some form of dancing. . .just for the sake of dancing. Ever since the California Raisins ripened onto the scene, it seems televisionRead more

Kudos to a Courteous Cop

(Replicated from original”Amazing Cop Story,” published 11/16/15) Long ago, and far away in a place called Kewanee, Illinois, my home town, I was driving my high mileage Dodge van north on Tenney Street, the street on which I lived as a child. Read more