Changing things up

New site address – – not so much adventure as a grandparent and more stuff I do on my own.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go

Debating whether to keep this Blog going. Just don’t have the determination like I used to.

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Vinyl of the Month – Wedding Album by Cheech & Chong

Wedding Album

Gong out on a tangent for this month. For this month I’m going to recommend Cheech and Chong’s Wedding Album circa 1974. I still remember buying this album, I believe it was off the Army base in a deaprtment store in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Cheech & Chong

I was already familiar with Cheech & Chong by hearing the Sister Mary Elephant routine from Big Bambu and the Dave sketch from their first album. I remember hearing these through word of mouth. My friends who had heard the sketches would recite them to us at school. Previous to the Wedding Album I had never owned a C&C album.

One sketch that had caught my attention and made me want to buy the album was the song Black Lassie (A Great American Dog). I recall hearing this on the radio. But there was also probably the best song they’ve ver done on this album as well. Earache My Eye. The song ended up in their movie years later.

Alice Bowie

HOWEVER, my favorite sketch from the Wedding Album is Hey Margaret. The sketch is man and woman at a theater viewing what sounds to be a porno movie. The man proceeds to describe the movie to his wife. It’s hilarious. I learned to recite the complete sketch by memory.

C’mon Margaret sit up straight and quit acting like such a God damn idiot. I mean what the hell its only a porno flick for Christ’s sake.

I would not listen to this one with children. There’s not any bad words, just a lot of sexual innuendo. Funny sketch and you can imagine a couple at a flick.

So if you are looking for a classic comedy album from the 70’s, I recommend Cheech and Chong’s Wedding Album as Paw Paw’s Vinyl of the Month.

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Vinyl of the Month – Machine Head by Deep Purple

Machine Head

Deep Purple. Everyone has heard of Deep Purple right? Perhaps not, but at one time they were the loudest band on the face of the earth (1975). I was not initially a fan of the band because, as I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t a fan of bands with keyboardist. However, if you’ve ever learned to play the guitar you will know that Smoke on the Water is perhaps the first or second song (behind Wipeout) you learn to play. Its that easy yet so iconic.

Smoke on the Water is from the album Machine Head released in 1972. I was just a pup at the time and really didn’t know the band or the song until around 7th grade (1973) when two things happened.

  1. I took guitar lessons the summer of 1973
  2. I got kicked out of shop class (a story for another time) and put into art classes that fall

Now I took a lot of ribbing from my friends (who were in the shop class) for getting punted to art class. But let me tell you, all the girls took art class and I was one of only two boys in the class and in 1973 I was starting to notice girls. So I wasn’t bothered one bit by the ribbing and I enjoyed being in art class. Getting kicked out of shop would later affect my high school shop class grade but another story for another day.

Art class consisted of one day (Tuesday) in learning to draw or paint or, my favorite project, create our own tie-dyed shirt. The other day (Thursday) was spent in music appreciation. Now, on any other year music appreciation would be listening to and discussing classical music, but I lucked out that year and there was a new teacher who wanted to listen to and discuss Rock music. The Rock Gods were listening to my prayers.

Yes – Closer to the Edge

Here is where Deep Purple’s Machine Head comes into the story. The music teacher pulled out Machine Head, we listened and we discussed. How cool is that for a 7th grade class. I was in heaven. The other folks in the class, mostly girls, not so much. We went on to listen to Yes, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly‘s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Uriah Heep. All bands I’d never heard of but was now seeking out and listening to. My music knowledge and appreciation was expanded greatly that year

Iron Butterfly

Sadly, I don’t remember the teachers name or even remember how he looked. I do remember sitting in the classroom though.

So in honor of that year I spent in and loved art class, I’ve chosen Deep Purple’s Machine Head as Paw Paw’s Vinyl of the Month.

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Vinyl of the Month – All the Girl’s in the World Beware by Grand Funk

I’m a Grand Funk fan. Been listening to them almost as long as I’ve been listening to KISS. They are another band that I am in the process of recapturing their complete discography on vinyl again. And I’m close to doing that. Sadly I gave up a number of those old albums but I managed to hang on to All the Girl’s in the World Beware.

All the Girl’s in the World is my favorite album from them. It was released in 1974. Its the newer Grand Funk, they had dropped the Railroad from their name and picked up Craig Frost on keyboards. I bought this album, like many of my old ones, in Puerto Rico. I can sing every song on this album.

About 10 years ago I played bass in an 80’s retro band called Retroplex and even though its not an 80’s song, we played Some Kind of Wonderful because it has a great dance groove and because I wanted to play and sing it.

I still pull this album out and sing along to it. All 3 original members of Grand Funk Railroad are still alive but sadly Mark Farner does not have a relationship anymore with Don Brewer and Mel Schacher. Don and Mel still tour as Grand Funk but with ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and a couple of other guys. Craig Frost is also still alive and plays in Bob Seger’s band. I wished they would kiss and makeup. A tour with the original 3 members (and Craig too) would be a sold out tour. I’d pay fairly good money to see that.

So, anyways, my vinyl of the month pick is All the Girl’s in the World Beware by Grand Funk.

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Vinyl of the Month – Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin

Physical Graffiti

A little behind on posting this. This months vinyl of the month is the first Led Zeppelin album I ever bought – Physical Graffiti. It was released in February 1975, I probably bought it the summer of 1975, it was a double album with 15 songs. It was their 6th album release.

I was a die hard KISS fan at this point in my life, loving their short 3 minute songs about sex and girls, so getting a Led Zeppelin album was a totally different direction for me. 5 minute songs on average and the epic Kashmir almost 9 minutes long, this was a different listen for me. But I loved it. And I was now a Led Zeppelin fan for life. Custard Pie stood out as my favorite at the time followed by The Rover, both guitar heavy songs.

Led Zeppelin

I then proceeded to find all the rest of Zeppelin’s back albums. Sadly #1 – I never got to see them in concert. I can still remember where I was when I heard the John Bonham (the drummer) had died (I also remember where I was when I heard Elvis had passed too).

Sadly #2 – I gave my Led Zeppelin vinyl collection to my brother after buying the CD versions of them. He proceeded to sell them. I’m now in the process of replacing all those albums. I have one left to purchase.

So this month Vinyl of the Month is Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, still my favorite Led Zep album of the bunch.

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Still Here with lots of ideas

I’m still here. Taking Toy photos during February was a bust. Weather not good, work not fun, etc. And here we are already in March and there is stuff going on with work and we are watching our grandson and fixing to take a spring break trip to visit my Mom with him. So its been hard to get going on one thing or another and focus.

I’ve done some more drawing with my XP-Pen drawing pad. And I am working on a comic book idea utilizing some military toy figures I’ve purchased. And I’ve got a few ideas for some songs. So lots of ideas, but sitting down and executing is the issue. Focus.

Did I mention I’ve been doing Pokemon Go again? I got back into it (yes I was going it back when Pokemon Go app first came out) as a way to do more things with my grandson. we’ve been having fun going on Pokemon safaris around our neighborhood. Check this one out. I have a video of it licking but WordPress won’t let me post videos with paying them more. Is this not the most awesome Pokemon you’ve ever seen?

Licky Licky make you Sticky!

So, when I get some time I’ll get something going. Winter is slowly relinquishing its grasp on Texas so the mood is improving.

Oh, and we sold our Winnebago Micro Minnie. For numerous reasons I’m not going to list, it was best for us to pass it on rather than keep it in storage. It hadn’t been used since October 2021. So that is one weight lifted.

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Vinyl of the Month – Angel – On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Ever heard of Angel? Most people haven’t. They were part of the Casablanca Records artist pool along with KISS. Like KISS they had a stage show and gimmick. They released 7 studio albums (one as recent as 2019) and one live album. I have all their albums on CD but my introduction to Angel came through CREEM magazine.

If you are my age and was into rock music like I was you know what CREEM magazine is. Remember Boy Howdy beer? It’s the precursor to Hit Parader and Circus magazine, both excellent rock magazines that came later. I believe I’ve mentioned this before but CREEM introduced me to KISS through this article.

CREEM August 1975

So, back to Angel, I was wanting to not miss an issue of CREEM, so I talked my parents into a subscription. Well that subscription came with a free album – Angel’s On Earth as it is in Heaven. I figured what the hell, they have costumes like KISS. My only concern was that they had keyboards. There was a time in my young life where I didn’t consider keyboards belonging in a rock band. I know silly.

The album was released in 1977 and I was happily surprised. I liked it, and played in constantly that first couple of months when it arrived in the mail. This is before YouTube and Spotify and the internet so you never knew what you were getting until you stuck it on your record player. I still have this album in my vinyl collection.

So for the month of March Angel’s On Earth as it is in Heaven is my Vinyl of the Month.

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Hey, where’d he go?

I guess you’re probably wondering, “Hey, what happened to Paw Paw and that great toy photography adventure he started on?”

The weather was the main catalyst. Down here is Texas is got frigid cold. Not like last year where the whole state shut down for a week, but still it snowed about an inch, sleeted for a bit and we were stuck at home on Thursday and Friday. Didn’t mean I didn’t have to work. I’m able to work remotely so I still put in my 8+ hours each day. Don’t get me started on that meeting that started at 4:15 on a Friday and lasted 3 hours into the evening.

Anyway, I had some ideas for some photos but the weather kinda put it behind schedule and I just gave up. I gotta tell you, I don’t like the cold anymore. I used to be a cold weather guy, loved to go skiing every year, but those days are passed. I like a nice Spring and Fall, and then the summer in a swimming pool.

So here are some old toy photos I did about 6 or 7 years ago to placate that adventure. I think I’m going to go back to drawing and learn how to use my drawing tablet. And work on my comic book script.

Lost in Space Robot

Toy guitars and amps

Chevron Car

Sting on a OCC Spider-bike

OCC Spider-Bike

G.I. Joe Winter Soldier

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Toy Photography – Day 1

Wasn’t sure I was going to pull this off tonight. Setting things up late at night, trying to be quiet in the house while others are sleeping. This was definitely a challenge.

I used a figure I received in the mail today. A Joy Toy figure that is highly detailed. Using some old tin I had laying around and my LED lights, I tried to mock up the inside of a ship or some kind of structure. Anyway, its OK for a spur of the moment idea. Also sharing a behind the scenes look of the set up.

Kenji Tanaka – suited Assassin

This figure is part of my comic book story I’m working on. Meet Kenji Tanaka from the Japanese Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office. He is part of my Threat Neutralization Team (T.N.T.)

behind the scenes
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