Time to swim against the current a little. I know at this time of year, most parents are overjoyed that the kids are heading back to school. Not this parent. I love all of the things that the girls and I do all summer long. I love being outside with them. I love game nights that start at 9 o’clock at night. I love heading to the local park to shoot hoops with them. I love taking them to baseball games. I love hitting the beach with them. I love attending outdoor concerts with them. But, mostly, I love the freedom that summer allows. Childhood races by at blinding speed, and childhood summers race by even faster. I, for one, am in no hurry to see them end.


Yep, I have those memories too although I’ve hadda adjust mine to “stay the %#&* outta jail”.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan recently passed away so lemme see if I can hook you up with a good number here (below). Becker w/b the guy playing bass and singing in the background by the drum kit. He and singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen pioneered a lot of the music we hear today and yes, that’s Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar for you Doobie Brothers fans.



Holiday Road

Chuck was kind enough to impart a few thoughts from his most recent beachside excursion:

From Chuck:

Diane (attempting to ask me about the upcoming weather): “How long rain harder?”

Chuck: “What??? You sound like one of the Hekawis from F Troop”.

From Jimmy:

O”Rourke (to Wild Eagle): “U don’t have to ACTUALLY attack the fort, just send your brave Hekawii warriors tonight and PRETEND to attack so we can make Cpt. Parmenter look like a hero.”

Wild Eagle: “No good O’Rourke.  Brave Hekawii warriors afraid of dark.”


(Back to Chuck) Diane and the girls are all killing me at Scrabble yet they are all trying to make me feel better.

Erin: “Your score isn’t too bad.”

Me: “Are you kidding me?? A monkey could eat the bag of tiles and s**t them out all over the board and he would STILL have a better score than me.”


Jimmy: Hey Chuck! You just disrespected rule #3.4 of this website which clearly stipulates (ahem)… “Any writer on this stupid, futile, insanely crazy idea of a blog shall refrain from monkey poop jokes to the extent humanly possible unless it’s really funny”.

(OK, that WAS really funny but if we catch any grief for the Hekawii gag it’s yer ass.)


(Why Chuck and Teresa put up w/me is anyone’s guess but check out MameMagazine.com for more cool stuff if ya haven’t already.  Thanks for hittin’ and readin’)


The Lowdown on Highlighters

Had the following conversation with my 11 year-old daughter the other day as we were getting ready to head to the beach.
Erin “Daddy, do I need sun block in between my fingers?”
Me  “No, sweetie. We’re not going TO the sun.”

A Pre Dinner Observation Made To My Wife:

Explaining to Diane why I’m less than thrilled with my new yellow Cape May t shirt.
“I have two problems with it. One, I can’t squeeze my giant head through the head hole. And two, when I have it on, I look like a big fat highlighter.”


Note from Jimmy:  “Diane” is Chuck’s wife and yes, if ya painted his head yellow he would seem to be an oversized highlighter.  Even tho I’ve told him to send stuff in (“SIZE 14 TIMES NEW ROMAN DAMMIT!)” ,  he defiantly insists on torturing me in the editing process.  HO, HO, not this time mi amigo!

In reality, I’m always glad to post his thoughts insomuch as he makes feel normal by comparison.


My Bucket List

While others may wanna go skydiving, travel the world, join Greenpeace, meet a famous celebrity and signup for sports fantasy camps before they keel over, I have different ideas of what a bucket list oughtta look like. This is largely based on stories from friends, my own experiences that were unfulfilled and stuff I think woulda been cool if they happened but never panned out.

For instance, I have a friend who’s car was parked in his driveway but suddenly could accommodate only two gears; Park and Reverse.  While the rest of us mortals would throw up our hands and call a tow truck he decided to take the initiative and drive a mile and a half in reverse gear to get his vehicle over to the local transmission shop.  This, my friends is no mean feat insomuch as he had to cross a major intersection and take a right (left for him) on to another major road and eventually pull in backwards to the Aamco parking lot.  (Let’s say you were sitting on a red light, waiting for the light to change.  Cars pass in front of you normally and there’s suddenly one that’s going backwards. Wouldn’t you be impressed?)

Secondly, I have another friend who was doing work on a house only to step on a failing section of floor, plunge through two equally iffy stories slamming into and penetrating each successive level while finally landing in the basement where he was bitten by the family dog.  Even the 3 Stooges and Bugs Bunny didn’t think of this one.

Thus is the premise of a doable bucket list that I think might be attainable or at least worth the minimal effort, despite the consequences:

Invent a new type of car horn that really captures my emotions at the time instead of a simple HONK. Let’s say for example that the driver in front of ya (to be mentioned henceforth as “Driver A”) isn’t paying attention at a red light turning green and needs a little prodding (from me, henceforth know as “Driver Q” (expecting me to call myself Driver B, weren’t ya?). In order to get things going you hit yer horn and instead of the old-fashioned honk the aforementioned Driver A motorist hears the chorus of the Stones “Get Off My Cloud”.  (“HEY, HEY, (you,you) GET OFFA MY CLOUD!) . This inoffensive nudge obviously applies only as a simple reminder.

Yet there are harsher honks that need to be considered.

Let’s say “Driver A” ain’t exactly cooperating and requires further incentive to get his/her ass in gear so to speak and could spark a road rage incident. Instead, why doesn’t “Driver Q” simply hit the secondary horn option that explains to “Driver A” that their on “The Highway to Hell” if they don’t friggin’ move it already.

Driver A still not moving? Horn option C will come equipped w/Alice Cooper’s “I Love the Dead”. What it lacks in subtlety more than makes up for in terms of getting things moving along.

Get rich- yeah, yeah I know this is on a buncha people’s bucket lists but I have a specific reason for getting this done.  I always wanted a butler/lackey to order around. For instance:

Me (wearing an ascot and smoking jacket while relaxing in my comfy chair): “I say Piffington, you provided me with subpar crumpets yet again, you groveling insect. Have you no concept of the fact they need a certain poofiness?”

Piffington: “I am most unworthy, Your Awesomeness. I will procure you such poofy crumpets and as soon as I can arrange for a suitable replacement, I’ll have myself executed. ”

Next, I’d like to establish a national “Brutally Honest Day”, where instead of the counter person at your local fast food joint asking “May I help you?” they say “Let’s get this over with.  I’m making minimum wage, wearing a uniform that fat people wearing Speedos on a Mediterranean beach would consider undignified and you’re lucky I have no snot left in my nose to put on your burger so whaddya want?”

Additionally, I’d like to go my doctor without him insinuating that I’m a borderline moron. While I understand that I’m apparently supposed to sequester myself from stress, eat healthy, exercise (all great advice) and take my meds, I start to wonder what the greater point is.  Does the person who lives the longest “win”?  People who tell me that “you’re gonna die” once they find out I smoke now get the response “Yep, I will die, but I’ve got some bad news for ya, so are you.”

What I really want is for my kids/family to live happy lives. That’s it.



Continue reading “My Bucket List”

The Doors Revitalized

Robby Krieger. A Concert Review…..

Last night, Miss Ruth and I were sitting 30 feet from an icon. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robby Krieger kicked off his “Doors Greatest Hits” tour in Collingswood NJ. When you get the opportunity to see someone in the upper echelon of rock some 45 years after their pinnacle of fame, a part of you wonders will he still be able to bring it.

The answer here is a resounding yes! His guitar work last night ranged from fantastic to jaw dropping to mesmerizing. Ruth and I shared two major concerns prior to last night’s show. One, were they going to be able to replace the musical inventiveness of Ray Manzarek and two, were they going to be able to find a solid lead singer. We didn’t kid ourselves. A voice like Jim Morrison’s only comes around once in a lifetime so you can’t replace him. What they did, however, was very effective.

Robby’s son Waylon handled the lead vocals and instead of doing some sort of lame Morrison impression, he just used his own exceptional voice. And it totally worked. Nathan Wilmarth on the keyboards did a very solid job at channeling one of my musical heroes. The rest of the killer band, Phil Chen on bass (even though The Doors never had a bass player. Astonishingly, Manzarek handled the bass lines on the lower end of the keyboard) and Ty Dennis on drums, did the legend of The Doors proud. They opened with the unmistakable samba beat on “Break On Through to The Other Side” and rolled through a good portion of The Doors eclectic catalogue including almost half of the tracks from their seminal debut album, “The Doors” .

This was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands, I’m sure they were both looking down and as smiling almost big as Ruth and I were. For Ruth and I, the highlight of the evening was the final 3 songs of the show. “LA Woman”, “Soul Kitchen” and “Light My Fire”.  The energy and musicianship that was on display for those 3 songs was straight up amazing. Robby even threw a little Rogers and Hammerstein (“My Favorite Things”) into his extended solo in “Light My Fire”. Despite the absence of Ray (he passed 4 years ago) and Jim (he joined the Dead Poets Society in 1971), this was such a great approximation of one of rock’s greatest bands.

I’m sure they were both looking down and smiling.

Almost as big as Ruth and I were.