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April 21st, 2019 · Tags: Uncategorized

Happy 8-Track Day, Music Heads Of Yesteryear!

April 11th, 2019 · Tags: Arts · Music

YES!

Thanks to fellow music head J-Ferg for pointing out that today is National Eight-Track Tape Day!

8-Track Holiday

My first 8-track player was a used tape player-only unit  — no AM/FM, no turntable — with two eight-inch-square speakers — purchased from my neighbor Barry for 10 bucks. And so it begun …  The last 8-track player I owned was an all-in-one unit, including a game-changing FM receiver and an 8-track recorder …  “let the piracy begin,” swapping and recording tapes … Woohoo! … That upgrade was awarded to me via a local radio contest (as detailed in the link/box below).

Pinging The Potty Humor Can Be Quite Winning!

I digress … About those tapes … Remember the old Columbia House ads that sold you 8 or 9 tapes all for $7.99, or whatever, if you pledged to buy 5 more recordings at regular price in the next year?  It was always a challenge to find 8 or 9 good titles in the discounted list … but we did it anyway.  Pretty sure that is why I owned the 8-track by two-hit wonders Orleans (“Dance With Me” … the one of the two that I like).

I left Vega about a week after high school graduation and moved to Canyon, next door to one of the most interesting people I ever met — Boliver. Or “Bubba” as he was called.

Bubba could pound anyone in the dirt in a street fight, but played the acoustic guitar with the soft touch of a minstrel. He was John Denver’s face on an Division 1 linebacker’s body. And he was the first person I had met at that point who had more 8-track tapes than me.

Bubba had won a contest sponsored by Hastings Records and Tapes which allowed him to run through their store and grab all the music he could carry out within a short time frame for the contest. Ha … he had some obscure recordings based on the pace of that spree. He even had a tape by REO Speedwagon, before Kevin Cronin joined and fronted the band for their live “You Get What You Play For” recording which put them on the map. Good stuff.

Bubba and I discussed strategy … and agreed that the way to maximize the haul would be to wear baggy, baggy sweat pants and fill the legs with music, as you ran through the store. I can’t remember if that had been Bubba’s strategy or not … Regardless he made off with lots of tunes.

Great memories … almost every tape I ever played would double track at one point in the list of songs, at which point a book of paper matches was inserted as a spacer above or below the cartridge to better align the magnetic tape inside the cartridge with the tape heads of the tape deck.

It was always fun that different artists and labels had different colored plastic tape cartridges, surrounding/protecting that often misbehaving spool of music inside.  It went something like this:

 

Pink — Atlantic

Seems like Atlantic 8 tracks were usually pink cartridges but they had other colors too.  In my mind, the most striking artwork on a pink one was Led Zeppelin’s “Houses Of The Holy” with its “Eloi-esque” blond Druids sprawled out on the huge stone steps to some mysterious, dystopian temple.

Black — Capitol

The Beatles … the 8 track that comes to mind was a two-cartridge selection of the F4’s works, 1967-1970, with artwork showing the band on the corner of an upper-floor railing of a hotel atrium, looking down.

White — MCA

Lynyrd Skynyrd … Southern and proud, before hate took over.  The self-titled “Pronounced Lynyrd Skynrd” album with “Simple Man,”  “Gimmee Three Steps,” and of course (“What song is it that you want to hear?”) Freebird.

 

Blue — RCA & Fantasy

Credence Clearwater Revival

“Creedence Gold” — “Who’ll Stop The Rain?” Their take on “Proud Mary,”  “Bad Moon Rising,” “The Midnight Special,” “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?,” “Down On The Corner,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Suzie Q” … perhaps one of the best “best of” recordings ever, and largely based on cover versions.

Red — Columbia

Chicago Transit Authority … lots of just Chicago brand/logo artwork … with an occasional photo of the band — like the one of them rolling on the paint/and or the artwork on a billboard, or something like that. Great numbers songs:) “25 Or 6 To 4” and my favorite, the nebulous “Questions 67 & 68.”

 

White — RCA 

RCA had The King … to the Thin White Duke, David Bowie … “ch-ch-ch Changes,” “ground control to Major Toms … and all that.”  Wonder if David Bowie ever looked remotely the same on any two pieces of LP artwork?

 

Black — Warner Brothers

The Doobie Brothers! My first real rock concert … and my second … and fifth … and 100th or so when I was actually shooting the band on stage.  So many great LP art pieces — the iconic jukebox cover of their greatest hits; the dramatic photo of a horse-drawn wagon under the remnants of a superhighway bridge collapsed by an earthquake for “The Captain And Me” and the breakthrough Toulouse Street 8-track with the band in a hippie/Normal Rockwell family portrait.  “Listen To The Music.”

 

Black — Bearsville label?

Foghat … “Fool For The City”

Foghat

 

And a few comedy tapes.  Pretty much every guy I knew had an 8-track copy of Cheech & Chong’s “Los Cochinos” encased in an almost military green cartridge if memory serves … and of course we knew every word to their comedy skits.  “No, Dave’s not here, man!” … So fun.

Happy 8-Track Day … and disregard the two songs double tracking and playing over each other:)

 

Know SHEwhatLOVESIYOUsayinYAH YAH YAH!?

Is Something Evil Afoot In The NCAA?

April 9th, 2019 · Tags: Sports

I dreamed about this. … Much more upsetting than the thought of my team losing the championship in overtime … “the how.”

I am actually considering the ugly idea that there was a fix. Nothing against Virginia — they seem like good people. But the officiating definitely did not want Texas Tech to win.

Too big of a Las Vegas payoff for the underdog to win? Too much open Christian faith witnessing by the Tech players? I just can’t imagine “the why?”

One of the cleanest, best players in the country — Jarrett Culver — was neutralized in back-to-back games in the semifinals/final — by officiating.

Three quick, blatant bad-call fouls against Culver in the Michigan State got inside his head, rendering him ineffective. (Benching him in foul trouble, temporarily.)

In the final game, the championship against Virginia, Culver was pretty much assaulted on every drive to the bucket … no calls. Was it just a message that a clean player will not be tolerated in the league?

To Culver’s credit, he fought back and drove hard to the basket for a slam dunk. Fouled and rejected at the rim … no call.

It is a bright day for Virginia basketball today and congratulations to them. But it was a dark day for NCAA basketball and/or officiating.

And don’t get me started on misfires from the Texas Tech bench … Repeatedly Brandone Francis has provided points, strong defense, steals, rebounds and even more importantly, a surge of momentum — leading the charge for Red Raider comebacks … then benched, mysteriously. (Or left in the corner, waving his hand to tell his teammates no one is guarding him, despite the three pointer he just made on the previous possession …)

I don’t care what the stat sheet or gameplan says about players’ alotted playing minutes in the game plan.  A coach must recognize momentum and the rhythm of his players … and do nothing to disrupt those key factors.

Despite otherwise stellar coaching and great achievements throughout the season … This underutilization of a strong leader has been a mystery to me.

Lastly, with one second remaining on the clock, and due to a time out by the Cavaliers, Texas Tech coaches has two chances to draw up or call a play for the last shot.  We had nothing!  That’s it!?!  Pretty anti-climactic after a season of coaching laurels.

 

But bottom line … great season Texas Tech Red Raiders.

 

Know what I sayin?

Texas Tech Homer Mounts Soapbox To Go Out On Limb

March 19th, 2019 · Tags: Uncategorized

Post Season Play — Lubbock Municipal Coliseum … Shorts Were Short & #15 Wasn’t Cool Yet In Tech Circles

 

Opinion piece, Editor’s Note:  Above all … I think Coach Chris Beard has obviously taken Texas Tech Basketball to new heights.  I think The Red Raiders have a chance to make it to the 2019 Final Four and even to win it all … IF everything is clicking on all cylinders.  Opinionated by nature … As great as the situation is, I think I see a few things that might need tweaking.  There is a very good chance that my opinions are wrong .. but I am not wrong for having an opinion.  Ha … never forget that:)

I am “drinking the Kool-Aid” … I just think the Kool-Aid needs a twist of lime …

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I May Be Indisposed, But I Know What You’re Up To

March 10th, 2019 · Tags: Coffee Shops · Gadgets · Satire · Uncategorized · Wi-Fi

 

 

It seemed to be a great revelation (to me) that if I left my JBL wireless headphones on, still playing music and around my neck while in the restroom of Starbucks — linked to my Mac laptop with a Bluetooth connection — I would know almost immediately if someone stole my laptop from my table in the cafe.

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When One Door Slams … Lesson Learned?

March 3rd, 2019 · Tags: Satire

I was strolling along, down the sidewalk between the new Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth and Starbucks … near the multi-colored, spinning shadow of the stained-glass windmill, when I saw a familiar face.

But my friend wasn’t casually strolling. She looked a bit frantic, clutching her young daughter in her arms — close to her body — with her two boys jogging a little bit to keep up.

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Bloggers In Cars Pinging Coffee … McLaren Rocks!

February 26th, 2019 · Tags: Cities · Coffee Shops · Sports

Ping, Scott Man

Sometimes when I write one of my so-called “blogs about nothing,” I feel a remote kinship with the master of nothing, Jerry Seinfeld.  But the other day I felt like Jerry’s sidekick … no, not George or Kramer or Elaine either (“not that there’s anything wrong with it”).

I mean Jerry’s sidekicks on the newest Seinfeld classic, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.”  Have youse seen it? Each episode features Seinfeld driving and describing a classic auto, as he picks up some other wiseacre for coffee.  The show features fairly candid, freeform conversation with notable comic geniuseseses ranging from Mel Brooks to Ricky Gervais to Sarah Silverman to Jay Leno to Tina Fey.  My favorite?  Chris Rock and the episode called “Kids Need Bullying!”  I am right there with you Chris … toughen them up.  BTW, I am on record as advocating a Boy Scout merit badge created for bullying … but we all know which way the liberal nazis have taken the Boy Scouts.  Oh wait … the liberal nazis have also recently attacked Seinfeld over the Soup Nazi character’s name from the sitcom classic … so I am not supposed to say nazi … good grief … I digress …   

Seinfeld 2.0 is on HBO — Comedians In Cars  

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Fort Worth’s Kimbell Displays Dresden’s Undying Beauty

February 8th, 2019 · Tags: Arts · Cities

 

When meeting author Kurt Vonnegut at Texas Tech University in the mid ’80s — as a college journalist — I asked for his best, professional advice for a budding writer.

“That’s an easy one,” he said, laughing.  “Marry a rich woman.”

Well … I write.  I’m not married … but I know a rich woman.  … That count, Kurt?

Perhaps more appropriately stated, this rich woman and her family are philanthropists, and coincidentally they founded and run the foundation for one of the top museums in the world —The Kimbell Art Museum.  And it is because of The Kimbell that I am thinking of Vonnegut today.

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Simmer Down Woman … I Do Not Encroach … Much

February 3rd, 2019 · Tags: Coffee Shops · Satire

Well … someone is wound up just a little too tightly, now aren’t they!?!

“Starbucks … security!  Someone has been over served.” 

There I was, sitting at the coffee shop, minding my own business, drinking a venti black tea and also the 120 gallons of water my docs recommend daily … when it hit me.

The urge … ha .. the dire-necessity, surprise attack in my case these days … simmer down … we’re talking #1 for the record … 

But like Charlie Rich once sang, who really “knows what goes on behind closed doors …”  I digress …

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Fort Worth Stock Show Is Forever; Caravan Long Gone

January 19th, 2019 · Tags: Music

Although cold/wet weather stifled the parade today, it is Stock Show in Fort Worth.  Interesting, the Martin Luther King Jr. parade is still on for Monday and the Right To Life parade went as planned yesterday. I digress …

Yesterday was day one of the 123rd edition —the oldest continuously running livestock show and rodeo … anywhere. Sadly, the 2019 event will be the very last time all these thousands of boots and beltbuckles and their high-dollar animals will amass in the iconic Will Rogers Arena.  Next year, the event goes Hollywood — or perhaps ups the ante a bit — in the huge, bright, shiny Dickies Arena still under construction nearby. (Did I hear “King George” — as his fans call the guy who ripped off Terry Stafford —will open the place?)

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