A review of the TV series 1883. Continue reading Return of Random Ruminations – Cowboy Style
The life and times of Tommy T, Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations “Home Sweet Home” edition
The life and times of Tommy T. Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – “Blackballed” edition
The life and times of Tommy T. Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – “You’re in the Army now” edition
The life and times of Tommy T. Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – “Ship him off” edition
The life and times of Tommy T. Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – Max Headroom edition
The life and times of Tommy T. Continue reading The fall of the Flying Cloud, and Captain Burke’s dream
Today in “Things no one but me cares about” – the CBS Sunday Morning trumpet theme. I’ve been watching this show since Charles Kuralt hosted it, and was surprised to find out that the demographic is not just old farts like me, but actually placed first in its time slot in the key demographic of adults 25–54, beating all of the political discussion-driven Sunday morning talk shows. The issue I have is with the trumpet piece that opens the show. It’s “Abblasen”, attributed to Gottfried Reiche. It’s a pretty famous fanfare, and was performed for decades as written, by Doc … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – pulling my trumpet card edition
(written at the first months of the pandemic) All over social media, I see people saying things like: “You should be more respectful of the dead” whenever the subject of Herman Cain’s suicide – um, death comes up. No. I’m respectful of service members who gave their lives for their country. I’m respectful of First Responders who died while trying to save others. I don’t have to be respectful of morons who willfully caused their own deaths. Herman Cain and other deniers/anti-science idiots like him who loudly told everyone that the trucks zooming down the highway weren’t real, and stepped … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – more COVID crapola
I’m going into some old family history today, people. My maternal Grandfather J. E. (Ed) Neushafer lived in the East Texas town of Village Mills, in the height of its lumberjack days. He started as Deputy, and made his way … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Great Grandfather edition
(this was written before the COVID pandemic made going to clubs a thing too dangerous to do, but my position on this hasn’t changed) Why I don’t go clubbing You see, I spent an incredible amount of my lifetime in live music clubs – almost always to play. I have inhaled enough cigarette smoke to kill a hundred healthy men (in case you never noticed, most club stages put the musicians’ heads pretty close to the ceiling, where the smoke pools up) – sometimes I’d have to bend down to be able to see the audience. My Rickenbacker was … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “Why I don’t go clubbing” edition
Right-wingers have a standard reply to news of anyone dying from COVID-19 : “What were his comorbidities?” As if any other medical issue he or she had means that their COVID-19 infection didn’t kill them. Look, right-wing jerkoffs – if I have stage 3 cancer and my house catches fire, cancer didn’t kill me, and it has fuck-all to do with my death. I burned to death. If I have Type 1 diabetes and a plane crashes into my house, I didn’t die from diabetes, I died from a plane crashing into my house. These denialists will go to any … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – comorbidities edition
I guess you could call this one a guest post. It was written by the great geniuses behind MST3K, Kevin Murphy, for the pre-Rifftrax website “Timmy Big Hands”.
The site no longer exists, but I was able to save this wonderful piece with the assistance of the internet archive.
The following series of letters appeared over eighteen months in a Minneapolis newspaper’s weekly gardening advice column “Ask Dan the Gardener.”
Thanks for great column on leaf blowers. I took your advice and got the biggest one I could find– the Yard Monster Magnum with the big Tecumseh 5-horse motor. I used it to blow-rake the yard and it worked like a charm (I have almost half an acre!). And man is it powerful. Half my leaves ended up clear over to my neighbors yard! Sorry neighbors. I’m sure they won’t mind.
Thanks a bunch!
Larry in Bloomington
I am in love with my leaf blower. I have some advice for all your leaf-blowing readers: take the wadding out of the muffler to increase the horsepower and send those leaves to smithereens. Sure it’s a little louder, but with all that power, I’ll get my work done faster. I use it every morning before I go to work, to blow-sweep the driveway and the walks, and also it keeps my yard neat as a pin.
Larry in Bloomington
I just want to tell your readers a few uses for their leaf blowers they might not of thought of. I use it blow-sweep my garage, it sure beats a broom! And here’s a new one; you can use it to blow-brush all the twigs off your roof after storms. And the vacuum attachment lets me get every little leaf and twig out of the flowerbeds. My ex-wife told me she likes how the yard looks neat as a pin. Who knows, maybe I can win her back. (Just kidding honey, don’t call the lawyer!)
Larry in Bloomington
Say here’s a novel use for your leaf blowers out there: on Independence Day, remember how it was all hot and not windy? Well I just turned my leaf-blower on the flag and left it on all day, with Old Glory waving proudly. When I got home from the family picnic, the blower was still running, thanks to the Yard Monster’s extra big capacity gas tank.
Also, I’m wondering if you know if there is a social group or association of people who use there leaf blowers. Maybe I’ll start one and you can be a charter member.
Larry in Bloomington
(click on the “read more” for the escalation and ensuing war)
Webweave.com To: All employees From: Terry Siegel, VP of Marketing Subject: Hey Gang! Thanks to our corporate restructuring of the basic scalable elements need in the vertical dissemination of value-added products through a series of networked servers connected via fiber optics, we are projected to enjoy a brief productivity spurt proportionate to the rest of the undervalued market. In lieu of this unexpected spike, we are still moving forward proactively with our plan to monetize our vertical information resources and reorganize the essential e-business units of our company. The reorganization requires upper-management and upper-upper-management to identify the underachieving nodes within … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – ultimate corporate doublespeak edition
Wealth worship – or, why Trump is revered by the supporters his policies hurt the most I’ve been marveling at the slobbering knob-laving that lower -middle class and upper lower class Trump supporters display. The disdain they feel for their fellow not-so-rich is not a new phenomenon, and has been described in the past thusly: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” This explains the right fringe’s disdain for those … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – wealth worship edition
I promised last time that I was going to explain how Warner Brothers cartoon scorer Carl Stalling led me to discover composer Raymond Scott. Stalling loved to lift bits of public domain music – (“Tea for two”, “The Lady In Red”, “Oh You Beautiful Doll”, “California, Here I Come”, “Oh Suzanna” – all either publc domain, or owned by Warner Brothers music publishing). He used most notably “Dance of the Comedians” from “The Bartered Bride” as the background music for the Road Runner tearing up the highway. And then, he lifted a composition by an avant-garde composer Raymond Scott for … Continue reading Today in Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “Powerhouse” edition
The 50-piece Warner Brothers orchestra (no longer in existence, of course) was largely bored by their usual movie score assignments – either bland, or cliche-ridden. But… When Carl Stalling came in to do scores for Warners cartoons – They sat up, put on their big boy shoes, and loved doing these pieces that challenged their considerable talents (Warner Brothers recruited and stole them from several major symphony orchestras). It took them FOUR tries to get this one 8-second piece right : . . (the ticking sound at the beginning of each take was a metronome synched to the cartoons they … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Merrie Melodies – no more Stalling edition
Ok – let me make one thing perfectly clear – I fucking HATE anime’. I despise it. With the heat of a million suns. Why? It’s not really animation. I’m an advocate of the Golden Age of Warner Brothers cartoons – and not even all of them. As the budgets shrunk, and the good directors left (or were fired), they were no longer turning out the 24-frames-per-second cartoons with the extremes and in-betweens that made them wonders. (and no, this isn’t a “cartoons were better back in my day” rant, as the WB Golden age was over before I had … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – Ani-“may I throw up now?”
The Stages Of Barbara’s Unemployment
I wrote this some years ago, when Barbara was unceremoniously dumped from her long-time job at SEI :
Stage 1 – Elation.
Goes around the house singing “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead”.
Plays a lot of computer Mahjong.
Stage 2 – Catching up.
Gets up with me.
Starts cleaning house like the proverbial white tornado.
Washes and waxes pets.
Catalogues everything in house alphabetically.
Puts resume out.
Cleans house again.
Attempts to alphabetize firewood.
Calls all her old friends – as an afterthought, calls her brother.
Attempts to alphabetize pets – discovers that placing Bulldog next to Kingsford Kitty doesn’t work very well.
Looks for bandages.
Cooks dinner for me.
Click on the “read more” for the rest of the saga!
“Big pharma doesn’t cure….” I’m sick of people saying that “Big Pharma doesn’t cure diseases”. Cures are few and far between (the most recent cure is the one for Hepatitis),because once the damage is done, it’s done. It’s a little like saying that regular oil changes don’t fix a cracked engine block – of course they won’t, but they might have PREVENTED the hung valve that broke the engine block. The Eliquis I take keeps me from having multiple AFIB-generated strokes like the ones that struck down my Mom and destroyed her brain, (and the ones that paralyzed her Mom … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “Big Pharma doesn’t cure” edition
Barbara and I went on a snorkeling trip last time we were in Playa Del Carmen, but only for the boat ride and not to go snorkeling (Inah reef is pretty much dead now). The trip goes from Puerto Adventuras, North around 10 miles along the coast. The “Piratas de Tejas” is a 75-foot V-hull and not a catamaran, so it’s pretty susceptible to the wave action that is mostly nonstop in the channel between the Yucatan and Cozumel island, and it was a pretty rough ride.
For some reason, the crew were playing Spanish language rap and techno (as if any of the 20-odd passengers were going to be dancing around instead of just hanging on) all the way out. We stopped South of the reef, and the snorkelers were herded into a bait ball and led over to the reef. Barbara and I took advantage of the wind, stillness, and impossibly blue water to relax and chat with the other non-snorkelers, and have some ice-cold beers.
After the touristas were loaded back on and lunch served, we headed back.
That’s where it got a little strange.
More after the clickbait…
(short caveat – no, I’m not black, but I was a long-haired hippie in Waco during the 60s and 70s, and can’t count the times I was pulled over and thrown onto the ground (or occasionally into a ditch) with one cop holding a gun on me while the other tore my VW beetle up looking for the drugs I didn’t have. If you think I was safe from being shot because I was white, think again.) “Cops’ lives matter” These days, every time a cop gets shot, right-wingnuttia goes into knee-jerk hyperdrive. “Cops’ lives matter!!” Duh, motherfucker. But … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “Blue Lives matter” edition
Something different today, but still in the “Random Ruminations” category – a little story from one of my Facebook political group friends, Bob Crespo :
THE GHOSTS OF SAN GENNARO FEASTS PAST, OR WHY I HATED RUDY BEFORE HATING RUDY WAS COOL
In the 1990s I worked at the San Gennaro Feast in Manhattan’s Little Italy for about 5 years running, an 11-day affair that saw Mulberry Street transformed for 12 blocks starting at Canal Street and ending on Houston Street. This is the largest, longest and most famous Italian American street fair in the country, and a popular enough attraction to be mentioned in tourist brochures, but is the only touristy thing attended overwhelmingly by New Yorkers themselves and Greater Metropolitan Area residents.
It centers around the 2 weekends surrounding the September 19th Feast Day of San Gennaro, who turns out to be a bishop of Naples, Italy who was martyred by some Roman Emperor way back in 305 AD for rubbing him the wrong way. Emperors, Holy Roman or otherwise, tend to be a touchy lot, and it’s best for most of us to avoid them if we value our heads.
The fact that almost no one knows a thing about San Gennaro is not an issue at all, however, and Mulberry Street was selected because it’s the block in Little Italy with the church, the beautiful Basilica of St. Patrick where the opening ceremonies and a short parade begins, kicking off the festivities.
Mulberry Street is transformed into a carnival for 11 days, closed to vehicular traffic and lined on both sides of the street with everything from simple wooden booths to elaborate carnival trailers, selling sausage and peppers, zeppoles, Italian Ices, sweet confections and other ethnic culinary treats, sideshow attractions, kiddie rides, games of chance lined with young fellows trying to win a kewpie doll for their special girls, vendors selling jewelry, T-shirts, CDs or souvenir merchandise, clown-ducking booths and, finally, to the very heart of the San Gennaro Feast and where I came in, in one of dozens of wine and beer vending booths keeping the whole enterprise lubricated, happy and animated.
I just so happened to be the very best wine vendor in the San Gennaro Feast, approaching the job like a carnival barker and spending 11 days in row selling my wares at the top of my lungs. New York City street festivals are legendary for their chaos, and are noisy and crowded affairs, with exactly no specific itinerary and holding different charms for different people.
People just sort of wander where their feet takes them, and when they wandered in the vicinity of my wine booth they were likely to hear any or all of these lines:
“My wine is better, my beer is colder – it’s just that simple!”
“Check your watches, it’s Vino Time”
“Step right up for liquid love, ladies! Form a line!”
“Let’s talk, people… because Chianti!”
“Whatever the question is, wine is the answer!
(the rest after the break)
Halloween fun in days gone by I used to own a half-duplex, with a sidewalk that passed by the guest bedroom window. One Halloween, I wanted to do something other than just hand out candy, and (being allergic to decorating) I decided to set up a scary surprise. I plugged my 400W bass head into one of my 2X15 cabinets, and set my Yamaha SPX90 effects processor on top of the head, then plugged a SM57 mike into the processor and set the processor to pitch-shift. OK – let’s try this thing out. I dropped the pitch by one full … Continue reading Today in Tommy T’s Obsession with random ruminations – Halloween fun edition
You rang? I was staying with a (platonic) girlfriend overnight and head the doorbell ring. Thought “who could it be this early in the morning?” Heard a conversation at the front door, so I got up from the couch, dressed, and went to see. My very nice host had opened the door to a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and was trying to be nice and still get them to leave. Wasn’t happening. I came up beside her and slipped my arm around her shoulders, saying “Who are these fine people, sweetheart?”. She looked at me and advised me that they … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with random ruminations – “You rang?” edition
One more dip into Wacoville, I think Before I left for Dallas, my day job (for the City Of Waco Street Department) was driving/operating 20-ton dump trucks, asphalt rollers, and front-end loaders so big I had to climb a 10-rung ladder to get into them. Obviously I had my commercial license, and my usual job was to hook up the asphalt roller behind the dump truck, load three workers into the cab, and go to the asphalt plant, where the truck would be filled with hot mix (asphalt). After that, I’d drive to the designated location, let the panels on … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – Hot Mix in the Summertime edition
After I moved from Waco to Dallas, I still returned from time to time to see my family. And I always made a stop at Ray Hennig’s Heart Of Texas Music. Before Ray moved to Austin and got famous for selling Stevie Ray Vaughn his famous Stratocaster, he was famous in Waco for his ingenious sales technique. At any other music shop in Waco, if you asked to try something out, you got the stinkeye, an unspoken question of “Are you going to buy this?”, and a grudging “ok”, followed by an admonition to not play it so loud. At … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “Missed opportunities” edition
From a long time ago – I was going through My Documents and found this ode to a long-forgotten Free Republic poster Kevin Krepko, done to the tune of “Officer Krupke” from West Side Story (back when Republicans HATED Russians). ********************************** Deeeeeear Kindly Kevin Krepko Give me a fuckin break; Right-wingers are a nuisance; And always on the take; They’re screaming “communism” But don’t know what it means; Leapin lizards, you got crummy genes! (CHORUS) (You got genes, you got genes, you got crummy genes, You’re a dummy from your crummy genes!) Deeeeeear Kindly Komrade Krepko; I’ll tell you … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with Random Ruminations – “That’s a sweet burnstein” edition
Doing something a little different today and posting something that I didn’t write. The morons currently trying to run Texas into the ground have now made it law that all you need to carry a concealed handgun is the money to buy one, which prompted this post. I am a gun owner myself, have no wish to carry my Glock21 anywhere, and agree with every single word below from Leonidas Christian Mixon. ************************************************* “We have a gun problem and a bullshit problem in the United States. Let me start by saying I am a gun owner. I have been since … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – guest post edition
I’m not going to be watching “Wicked”, even if you tie me into a chair Alex-from-Clockwork-Orange-style and pry my eyes open. Why? Because I HATE adaptations that completely run roughshod over the original material. The Wicked Witch Of The West in the original novel was a villainess. The WWW in the movie was a villainess. Apparently, the WWW in the Broadway show was a kind-hearted good person inside who sings uplifting songs, and embraces Dorothy at the climax. Screw that. All I can think of is “Springtime For Hitler”. That being said, I can hardly wait for the Broadway musical … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Random Ruminations – “Witch bitch” edition