Another Classic Rocker…Gone

Randy Meisner, co founder of the legendary band, The Eagles, has just died 26 July at the age of 77 years. He played bass guitar for the band until  his departure in 1977. He co-wrote the song Take It To The Limit, which was one of the Eagle’s earliest hits and an Eagle’s classic:

RIP Randy.

Holy…Cow.

An excerpt from my book: I Thought I’d Died and Gone To Heaven. More information about this book in the link above.

Is Glass a Solid or Liquid? » Science ABC

“I am reminded of one really weird and unexplainable moment
that occurred to me while waiting to go into the confessional to
confess my indiscretions and sinful works and sinful deeds and
equally sinful thoughts. It was a Saturday afternoon, springtime,
around 4 p.m., the scheduled time for confession at our church.
And given that the church was right across the road from our
house, that day or time of day didn’t really cause me an inconvenience.
Run across to the church, do my thing, say the requisite
number of Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s, and Glory Bees, and voila,
the slated soul was clean, snowy white again, all black spots
disappearing into the sinful ether. Then run back home to catch
the latest Tarzan edition on TV or tales from the really dark
continent, awaiting a supper of hot dogs, or better still, Kraft
Dinner—with ketchup!

I am sitting there in the cavernous church: nonplussed, and
wondering what I’ll be confessing. There was that list of sins of
course, both venial and mortal, to contemplate. The church,
being really well organized after thousands of years of practice,
and not wanting to waste anybody’s time, the priest’s or mine,
had a list and that list was all-encompassing. It must have been
quite interesting and comical fun coming up with the list of
venial and mortal sins.

Second Vatican Council Q&A - AKA Catholic

I would have loved to have been part of that Working Group or Ecumenical Council, for certain. Yes, a sinful checklist of remembrance was the way to go. Did I do this? Check! How about that? Check. Masturbation? What is
that? More on that later! Uncheck? Murder? Nope, uncheck
unless thinking about murdering my oldest sister was a sin?
Uncheck that. On and on it went. Meantime, while I was sitting
there waiting to go in to meet my fate head on, I suddenly came
down with a horrific case of the hiccups: bad, violent, non-relenting.
Each hiccup shook my entire being.

Ever try to mask or hide a hiccup in a confined environment
like a church, or worse yet, the claustrophobic confines of a
confessional? It is not pretty. Your cheeks bulge out; eyeballs and
pupils expand outwardly in a Feldman-like manner; the stomach
contracts then expands in rapid succession; and, like an uncontrollable
fart, a growling sound begins its emanational rise from
the lower bowels of the human body, bypassing the stomach then
running up the oesophagus in its belch-like fashion, or in the
Catholic vernacular, like a resurrection. The gut, it hurts. The
whole sensation repeats itself over and over and over again until
those hiccups run their course. With each attempt to mask the
hiccup the sensation becomes worse and deeply magnified.
Embarrassed, I sat out in the pews near the back of the
church not even daring to think about going in to that dark,
dank, and tiny expanse that they called the confessional. The
interior of those tiny cells, abreast of and on either side of the
priest’s chamber, have a unique odour about them. Here, some
fifty years later, as I am writing this, I can still sense that smell.
A toxic mix of incense and sweat, interspersed with a whiff of
stale tobacco and alcohol, for all of the priests smoked and
drank. Once inside and kneeling there was no escape, for the
priest knew you were there given the little panic-type button
that activated a beep for the priest’s sake and a tiny red light
outside of the cell once your knees pressed into the red foam of
the kneeling pad. All the priest had to do then was to slide the
small grated sliding door to the left or to the right as need be
and you were trapped—trapped by the priest’s undivided attention,
until absolution. I am sure that every Catholic knows and
remembers the sound of that small sliding door opening and
closing.

I couldn’t even think of how I would handle that situation.
“Bless me father—hic-up—for I have hic-up—sinned. It has
been hic-up—one—hic-up-ed week since my last hic-up-ed
confession.” Good thing that I didn’t stutter, for heaven’s and the
priest’s sake!

I sat there in the pew for what seemed to me to be an eternity.
As the time marched on my hiccups seemed to get worse. I
prayed and prayed that they would stop but no heavenly dispensation
came my way that day. I held my breath for what seemed
to be minutes but no luck. I looked directly into the glare of the
afternoon sun but again no reprieve. Finally I sensed that I was
the only young soul left sitting in the pews of the church, still
hiccup-ing. Just then the priest came out from his priest-cave,
looked around in the late afternoon sunlit church, with its long
shadows and soft beams of spiritual light accentuated with particles
of floating, flickering dust, and spotted me. It was Father
Docherty. He was a fatherly Father of our church: nice but somewhat
of a lush. Chubby, but not fat, with cherubic features,
weathered and somewhat rustic with a fractured nose and
pronounced limp from his athletic days of playing ice hockey for
the “Holy Rollers.”

The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books: Review of "Father Bauer and the Great ...

His robes hung over him in disarray. He was more of a slob
really, or should I say heavenly slovenly. He always drooled so it
was wise to give him a wide berth to avoid the spittle for, as
mentioned earlier, second-hand spittle was a fate worse than
death or penance for someone as young as me! He had a high
squeaky voice which did not adequately or accurately personify
his physical features.

How did I know he was a lush? Several of my friends were
altar boys—assistants to the priest while celebrating mass. And
Father Docherty always celebrated the 10:15 mass. That was the
time that the semi-high mass at our church was celebrated. And
one dictum that every young lad or lass in the parish knew was
never ever go to the 10:15 mass. It lasted an eternity. And being a
semi-high mass meant more wine at the offertory segment of the
celebration. It was the altar boy’s job to carry the small carafes of
water and wine from a side table hidden from view from the
parishioners up to the altar area such that the priest could mix the
water with the wine. Only in the case of Father Docherty’s
masses, there was no water, only wine, and lots of it, in two
carafes: one being white to resemble water, the other being red to
symbolise the blood of Christ. By the end of the Mass, Father
Docherty’s limp became more pronounced as he began to slur his
words. This was not really a problem because no one in the
church was paying attention by this point in time anyway, and
even if they were they couldn’t understand Latin.

“Morrison,” he commanded. “What’s the problem?”

I thought, isn’t it obvious, Father?

“I have the hiccups, Father, really hiccup-ing bad so I cannot
say my hic-up-ed confession with these hiccups.”
“Come here.”

I obeyed and when I got within reach of his massive arms he
put his left arm around me, chuckled somewhat, and told me not
to worry about the hiccups as he led me to the confessional.
Perhaps he was impatient for this session to end so that he could
run back to his own quarters and watch Tarzan.

And at that exact moment in time, without a doubt and with
no exaggeration on my part, when he slung his left arm across
my shoulder, those hiccups ceased immediately.

Is this a saintly, beatification-worthy moment? Probably not
in the overall Catholic scheme of things, but for me it was an
experience that I never forgot. It was right up there with my
Uncle Rupert’s guardian angel apparition on that dark and stormy
night when he was just a child; or my dad’s miraculous recovery
from cross-eye-ed-ness after visiting Ste Anne de Beaupré’s
shrine outside of Québec City with his mother. Truth or fantasy?
Don’t really know, for I was an impressionable and innocent soul
back in those days. Cynicism had not yet manifested itself or
wrestled away or destroyed my enthusiasm for life nor my innocence
or naïveté as yet. Only happy thoughts!”


Shrinks are God’s way of telling us we have too much money. Catholic shrinks are more hands on.

Rollers: Holy Rollers

She resembles my elementary school principle.


Written 2,000 years ago:

Take heed that no man deceive you. Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.


St Paul’s letter to the Roman’s – written almost 2,000 years ago. I do not profess to make judgement of any kind here or pontificate but I find that these warnings made by Paul to the Romans about the dangerous trappings of a future world are unbelievable and accurately prophetic when taken into account in today’s reality.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. (Gaia anymore, environmentalist’s creed.)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


Have a nice day.

 

Another School Game

An excerpt from my book of parochial school nostalgia: “I Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven.” Click on the link above for more information.


Then there was the game of all games: British Bulldog. I
think every school on the planet that was tied to the Commonwealth
played British Bulldog. It didn’t matter if you could even
spell it or pronounce it or even read it, especially in countries
such as India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh. Oh, you say British Bulldog,
you say. Okay. Let’s play, you British Maha-raj-dog you!
This game could be brutal. I truly believe it was the foundation
that made the British Empire great or the modern-day
Commonwealth common. If you were weak-kneed, fragile,
timid, shy, look out. This was one game where anyone’s, everyone’s,
disposition or nature, weak or strong, somehow manifested
itself in very short order. If you were scared you might as well be
wearing a sign that said: “I am scared shitless.” Okay, let’s go
after him. He’ll be the last one standing. It was an unwritten rule.
This game was so profound. It provoked the leaders from the
followers, the bullies from the bullied, the weak from the strong,
and the popular from the dispossessed. Too bad! That’s the way
it was in the life of a male elementary student at a Catholic
school. Meanwhile the girls were playing maypole. Or
hopscotch! Sounds like fun to me!

How did this game go?

Get as many guys as you could muster in the centre of the
schoolyard by yelling out British Bulldog. Volunteer immediately
to be one of the Bulldogs, that is, one of the guys in the
middle of the schoolyard facing about one thousand of your
closest friends, who are lining up against a fence at one end of
the yard. The aim here was that once the alarm was sounded by
the Bull, one had to run across the open yard en masse to the
other side of the field without being caught by one of the Bulldogs
waiting in the centre of the field of play, of course. Caught?
No, tackled was more like it. Today I believe they might call this
“Capture the Flag” but for us it was a tad more brutal and Neanderthal
than waving some shitty piece of pink or blue ribbon.

Tackled, yes, but in those days the schoolyard at that time of the
year, again late winter or early spring, was covered with coarse
green-brown grass sprinkled here and there with rock-hard but
soon to be well-textured mushy, smelly dog turds. That was the
whole point of the game though: to scare the beejeezus out of
some of the so-called geeks of the school. And once you were
tackled, you joined your tackle-er and became one of the Bulldogs
in the centre of the field. The last one standing was the socalled
winner of the game. In reality, and by our rules, the last
one standing was the biggest loser.

This was the preferred game for bullies in that it was an
unwritten rule that the geekiest or weakest-looking nerdy guy in
the school would be the very last one up against the fence. His
poor, pathetic perspective of his seemingly small nerdy world
would be facing down a thousand of his closest bully Bulldogs
standing in the centre of the field waiting unabashedly to rein
down pure unadulterated, pre-adolescent terror on the poor lad.
Fun? You bet! A tad mean and ruthless? Perhaps! Definitely. But
it was a surefire way to grow up.

Why would some seventy-pound weakling agree to participate
in such madness? Simple. At the beginning of the game
there was strength in numbers, so one geek would feel somewhat
safe and have a somewhat secure but false sense of belonging
standing there against the fence at the beginning of this melee,
with a thousand of his so-called geek buddies. Unbeknownst to
him though, it was the unwritten but agreed upon rule by all of
the bully Bulldogs that the designated target would be allowed to
run free and easy, again and again, bypassing the awaiting but
increasingly growing horde of bullies who would manifest themselves
into becoming this vast conflagration of idiots bent upon
the realization that this was going to be the very worst day in the
poor lad’s short life.

Interestingly, while some of the remnants, or targets, realizing
what was about to occur in very short order, might turn and
run toward one of the school’s doors. Those that did stick it out
found out, somewhat ironically, and to their astonished astonishment
and amazing amazement, that they earned the respect of
some of the biggest bullies, louts in the school. They unwittingly
demonstrated that they had the courage, the backbone, the
stupidity to stick it out, get a little bruised perhaps, and wear that
badge of honourable dog shit that every British Bulldogger wears
on their sleeves. Interestingly, soon after, they relished the
thought of becoming a Bulldog themselves: one of the guys,
louts, idiots, Bulldogs, in eying down some other poor sod that
had the misfortune of becoming a target. There must be some
psychological determinant to explain away this form of activity,
group think, mob behaviour, or stupidity with security in
numbers. How else can one explain how a horde of six hundred
Bulldogs ran across this field of death with idiots to the right of
them, idiots to the left of them, and so ran the six hundred idiots
(apology to Tennyson).


I never thought that when I grew up I would become a grumpy old man. But here I am, at 72 years of age, killing it.

But as an old fart I have a right to be grumpy. After all I have gone through a lifetime of insults, verbal abuse, broken promises, delays, “we value your” crappy service, shitty pay, no benefits, lied to, stepped on, disappointments, delusions, political corruption – and on and on she goes.

So there!


This was a huge hit during my less than grumpy old man days:

 

Baseball In A Parochial Environment

An excerpt from my book of parochial school nostalgia: “I Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven.” Click on the link above for more information.

 

“Then there was Jim Reynolds: a tall athletic young man who
was very fond of Our Lady of Peace. I say this as he repeated the
higher grades of the Catholic elementary system, grades six
through eight, a plethora of times. In grade seven, when I first
ran into him, I do believe he was sixteen. He must have been, for
he smoked and drove a ’56 Ford to school. That was cool: to
park his beater with the grownups, the teachers, in the school
parking lot. We knew he was a smoker for he rolled his cigarettes
up tight in his short-sleeved white tee during the warmer spring
weather. Buckinghams, non-filters, seem to come to mind as the
cigarette of choice for all young punks at the time. Of course no
one seemed to care about second-hand smoke at the school in
those unregulated days.

A smallish baseball diamond was situated in one of the back
corners of our schoolyard. During the late winter, early spring
months, when the last vestiges of snow had all but disappeared
and the ground was suddenly covered with trash and rock-hard
dog shit, we would pull out our bats and balls and set up a game.
Teams were not a problem, for we used an “up or out” rotational
system of play. Somewhat like the Navy’s promotional and
downsizing scheme, but I digress. One could remain at bat so
long as one did not strike, fly, or be thrown out. You had to be a
good hitter to remain at bat. Once you were thrown out or struck
out, you were in the field and would remain out there until
another batter suffered the same fate. Then rotate positions. The
only exception to all of this was that if someone caught the ball
in the air, they would immediately go to bat and the batter would
take their place.

Jim Reynolds may not have been too smart but he was tough.
Street tough. And could he ever hit a softball.
When Jim came to bat it was pure delight. He could hit, man
he could hit: towering, out-of-sight fly balls that seemed to go on
forever. No one could match his skill or catch his fly balls. If you
were on base ahead of Jim, you were safe by default as a home
run was coming in very short order. I always tried to be on base
just before he came up to bat.

1950s TEEN News Photo - Getty Images

He was a sight to behold. Standing there full of confidence, a
smirk or sneer on his face, his lips sometime adorned with a
smoke out of the corner of his mouth. Of course he had to do this
by stealth such that he wasn’t noticed by any of the lay teachers.
Not the black and whites mind you, for they refused to come out
during recess, lunch time, or before or after school. I think that
this was the only time they could catch a few puffs of their own
without being seen by the prying eyes of us turds—as they sometimes
called us. They were possibly at prayer but I doubt it.

So here was Jim. His whole frame permeated confidence,
self-assuredness with an air of arrogance: shuffling his feet like a
rabid dog marking his territory after a good piss. The pitcher,
watching him suspiciously as he readied his throw, knowing full
well what the outcome was going to be, as did everyone else for
that matter. Yet Jim, for all his size, and swagger and confidence,
was not a bully. A show-off perhaps but no bully. We all appreciated
that. For he could have easily kicked the living shit out of
any one of us if he so pleased for he looked the part. He was the
James Dean of Our Lady of Peace. Slicked back brill-“a little dab
will do ya”-creamed hair, with a trace of growth above the upper
lip, muscles bulging beneath his body-shaped white tee. Blue
jeans, of course, with the bottom cuffs turned up about two
inches, showing his bright white socks, as was the style in those
days. He was cool and we all marvelled at that, but in a good
way, and all of us thought that when we reached the age of
sixteen we would all look as cool as Jim but with hope upon
hope to be in a higher grade perhaps.

The ball is ultimately pitched by the pitcher. It comes his
way, straight across the plate. As if on cue Jim swings the bat
with a florid motion, picture perfect, as if in slow animation,
stepping into the ball with his arms outstretched, his elbows
locked, his eyes focused entirely on the seams of the ball as it
comes into his sights. Whack, ball upon bat, in the sweet spot,
Jim’s cheeks and belly wobble like hard jelly, as if his whole
body’s energy force is transmitted down that bat and into the ball
itself. Then the pregnant pause as Jim looks up to the heavens,
arms outstretched as if giving lordly thanks and praise, dropping
the bat to begin his cool saunter toward first base. He doesn’t
have to run hard for he knows, yes he knows, that that ball is
gone. Like God’s angelic rocket, or a holy ghost of a hit, it soars
to the heavens above Our Lady of Peace’s schoolyard. And us,
with our innocence and heavenly gaze, are entirely awestruck
and enthralled at the power and the sheer majesty of it all as the
ball rises up and into the blue cloudless sky. A pure white
stitched canvas ball set against the backdrop of the apostolic
blue, like Christ’s resurrection, rising then arcing its way across
the heavens, then down and out and through a second floor
window of our school.

Ooops!

It was like this all the time. The nuns tried their best to curtail
Jim’s prowess. Perhaps that’s why they were praying during
recess, but to no avail. They would have loved to expel him but
his parents were church stalwarts and sat in the front pew at the
10:15 semi-high mass. They were quite rich, quite influential,
and quite demanding. I am told that his mother was the civilian
equivalent to Sister Mary Bernice. I would have loved to have
seen that. It wasn’t long though before Jim did leave us. Trade
school, we were told. Trade school! That prison and so-called
parallel universe of Catholic elementary school life. Trade
school! Failure in the eyes of the church. Trade school! We all
shuddered at the thought. Trade school! Be good or you’ll find
yourself in trade school they would tell us. Say your prayers
every night. If you don’t you might just find yourself at trade
school. Of course, the female equivalent was secretarial school,
or worse, in later years, home economics, code for getting yourself
knocked up! The rest of us, if we were good, worked hard,
and said our prayers every night, would be blessed in more ways
than one could possibly imagine at the time at the local Catholic
private high school for boys. Generalists! Arts and science! If we
graduated from the local Catholic high school for boys, we could
aspire to be “Jacks of all Trades,” “Masters of Fuck-all”. And for
all of my efforts, I became a real “Jack Tar”, although I wanted
to be a proctologist. Somewhat like a plumber. Perhaps trade
school would have been a good fit for me after all.

I missed Jim after he left. When he was with us he sat in the
back of our class. I can still see him sitting there in the tiny desk,
his legs sprawled out, arms folded across his chest, with his
Elvis-like sneer, snickering at no one in particular. He always had
a cig ready to go behind his left ear. He was so cool, and quite
funny. Like a class clown. Indeed, he intimidated the teacher and
swore like a trooper but he was very, very friendly to us.
Jim did leave a legacy of sorts. All the windows of our school
that were facing the schoolyard were fitted out with metal
screens. Even today, some fifty years later, those same screens
adorn the windows at Our Lady of Peace School. Today,
someone not completely in the know might surmise that vandals,
petty criminal activity perhaps, presented a causal relationship to
those metal screens. They would be wrong, of course, for whenever
I look at the school today with their protective screened
window coverings—for I knew the truth—I would nostalgically
think of Jim and his baseball prowess.”

Great memories of a simpler and fun age.

And F&^K AI. It truly is artificial


When men were men, women were women and great tunes like this one ruled the airwaves.

Play loud.

Happy 4th of July

To Our American Friends

Happy 4th of July

 

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from “Defence of Fort McHenry”, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.

Have a great day.