2023 Life Resolved

I’m going to Journal this year. That is resolution #1. I’ve ordered a nice brand new journal for this endeavor. I figured it’s cheaper than a therapist. I need to vent and no one is interested in listening to it. So I’m going to journal. I’d do it here but you never know when someone you work with or a family or friend will find your Blog and then BOOM, big drama.

So I’m going to privately put my thoughts down on paper. It’s not the first time. When I first got out of high school and headed off to college on my own I started a journal (or diary if you like). I kept that book religiously, documenting everything that happened that first semester of college. From leaving home on a plane to spending the weekend in an empty dorm (no football game on campus that weekend) reading the Amityville Horror, I documented EVERYTHING.

And then I tore all the pages out and destroyed them. I didn’t want anyone, including my future wife, reading it. It was just too revealing. My very private and innermost thoughts. I worried it would fall into the wrong hands. Like some secret Master Plan. I didn’t do anything like cheat on a test, or anything immoral or illegal. It was just very very innermost thoughts and feeling that I would never share in public. I still have the Journal with half of the pages missing. I regret that action now.

Resolution #2 is I need to slow down and don’t give a fuck. Meaning I’m done stressing over stupid shit that in the grand scheme of things doesn’t matter. Is missing a work deadline by a day going to tilt the world off its axis? Sadly the pandemic has come and gone and didn’t teach us anything. My work environment is back to “work your ass off for the good of the owners”. To add to this, I lost a work buddy the week before Christmas to cancer and the company replaced him within a week. Sad really.

Resolution #3, I gotta lose weight. I’m desperate. So desperate I almost bought a bottle of those gummi bear weight loss chewables that are supposed to have you dropping 50 lbs within a month. I just need to lose 70 lbs. I didn’t buy them. But I’m still considering it.

My last two resolutions, and I’m only doing 5 cause I don’t think I’ve ever resolved more than two, have to do with writing/creating. I need to write (complete) a book or comic book, and create, record and release a song into the world. I say this every year but….. sigh….. I never complete either of them.

So that’s it. 5 resolutions. I’m pretty sure I’ll start #1 and (like this blog) get lazy and stop. Fail at #2 (or get fired). I’ll try #3 but fail. And I’ll not get around to #4 or #5. Yay me. Lazy and procrastinator.

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Vinyl of the Month – The London Chuck Berry Sessions by Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry was a guitar Legend. I was introduced to Chuck Berry, along with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others, by my Mom. She and her sisters were into the “sock hop” music of the day and I got my love of music from her. So I knew Chuck Berry through is early songs like Johnny B. Goode, Maybelline and Sweet Little Sixteen. It wasn’t until 1972 when I heard My Ding-a-Ling on the radio that I became aware of the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions.

The album was released in June 1972, about the same time my family moved to Puerto Rico. And later that year I heard My Ding-A-Ling on the Armed Forces radio network. We loved the song. After all, how many times did you or your Mom call your penis a ding-a-ling. You didn’t? Must be a Southern thing. Ding-a-ling, tally whacker, these were nicknames for a boy’s tool and any song about it was going to illicit snickers. So we giggled every time we heard the song on the radio.

Jumping ahead in time, based on a hazy recollection, I bought the album at the Post Exchange (PX) on Ft. Buchanan P.R. in 1972 or 1973. On side 1 there were studio songs and on side two was a live recording of a 30 minute concert in London.

Side Two starts off with the gem “Reeling’ and a Rockin‘”, written by Chuck Berry and recorded originally in 1957. The song is an hour by hour account of a couple engaging in sexual activities. “Looked at my watch and it was quarter til nine, she said oooo Chuck baby this sure feel’s fine”. I loved it, I know every verse of this song.

Following Reelin’ and a Rockin‘ was a surprising extended version of My Ding-A-Ling. On the radio you only heard a few verses with the chorus, this was a full 11:33 of entertainment. I listened to Mr. Berry instruct the London audience on how to sing the chorus. The boys sing “Ding-A-Ling” and the girls part fits right around the boy’s part as they sing “My” and “I want you to play with My”. The sexual innuendos are flung left and right as Mr. Berry gets the group singing together. Fact I did not know – the original song was written by Dave Bartholomew in 1952. In 1972, Chuck Berry took it to #1 in the U.S. and UK.

As if those two songs weren’t enough, side two and the concert and finished off with a rendition of the classic Johnny B. Goode (1958, written by Chuck Berry). Based on the announcer at the end of the song requesting concert goers to vacate the arena, it sounds like Chuck Berry was opening for Pink Floyd.

Sadly Chuck Berry passed away in 2017. See my other post from 2017 on that. So many memories of listening to this album and singing along. For that The London Chuck Berry Sessions in this month’s Vinyl of the Month. Have a listen to it.

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Vinyl of the Month – Minimum Wage Rock & Roll – The BusBoys

This months Vinyl of the Month is Minimum Wage Rock & Roll by The BusBoys. This album was released in February of 1980 and until November 20, 2022, I did not own this album, at least not on vinyl.

In 1980 I bought the cassette tape if this album after hearing the band on the Eddie Murphy special. I played the cassette constantly in my tape player installed in my Chevy Monza. I mean I listened to it a lot. I later bought the CD and until last month, had never seen a vinyl version of it.

I found the vinyl at a flea market store called the Lucky Rabbit in Hattiesburg Mississippi. A tourist stop if you are ever in Mississippi thanks to some decorating/house show ow on HGTV. Apparently the antiques and other decorations are purchased from the Lucky Rabbit making it a spot for HGTV watchers to visit, and making it a pain in the ass for us regulars who stop in when are in town to see our Mom.

Anyway…. I have the vinyl version now, very cheap price, and in OK condition. But the album brings back many memories of cruising in my Monza around Killeen Texas in my youth. Thanks to the Lucky Rabbit for giving me the months Vinyl of the MonthMinimum Wage Rock & Roll by The BusBoys.

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Vinyl of the Month – Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest

Withe the recent induction of Judas Priest into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (finally) I thought it time to highlight a Priest album for Vinyl of the Month. I, thankfully, still have my original copy of Sad Wings of Destiny album purchased in 1977.

Sad Wings was the 2nd album by rock group Judas Priest released in March 19786. As I said I didn’t discover the Priest until 1977 after a listen to the Sin After Sin album and attending a Foghat concert where JP was the opening band. Back then they were a rock group, no mention of being a Metal group. That would come later with the released of British Steel and cemented with Screaming for Vengeance.

I have fond memories of this album and can play on guitar many of the songs. My band back then played half the album with Victim of Changes being an epic song in our set. Believe it or not, I could sing like Rob Halford. Alas those days are gone.

For bringing back many, many fond memories of band camaraderie and a simpler time, I recommend Sad Wings of Destiny by Judas Priest.

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Birthday Month Top 5 – Wishes

  1. I wish health and debt free prosperity for my family and friends, big wish.
  2. I wish I had gone in a creative job direction in music or writing
  3. I wish my Dad was still alive
  4. I wish Dennis was still alive. We’d be playing our acoustic guitar set somewhere
  5. I wish I could retire from my current job and do something fun and less stressful. There are many days I feel like a tool/peon to enrich the bonuses of other people.

Extra wish – I wish my recording studio business (or any of my hobbies) would be successful so I could do #5

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Birthday Month Top 5 – Things I don’t like about myself

  1. I drive too fast – I have no patience for slow ass effers trying to text and drive. Or driving 5 miles under the speed limit. I just want to get from point A to point B ASAP. I hate driving.
  2. I cuss… a lot. Mostly at work, but when I get agitated or frustrated the F-bomb comes out anywhere. I’m sorry.
  3. I have no patience. I hate slow drivers, ignorant people or waiting in line for anything.
  4. I stress eat. I pretty much eat when I am stressed or bored. So when I come home from work stressed from the drive or work, food and the TV are comforting. It’s hard to lose weight.
  5. I’m an introvert. Shy. Whatever you want to call it. Never been comfortable around social situations or crowds. Many people think I’m no fun or a jerk because of this. I don’t like happy hours or making small talk. I get pressure at work to be outgoing and attend happy hours and after hours social gatherings. Very uncomfortable.
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Birthday Month Top 5 – Hobbies

My Hobbies (or things that work gets in the way of)

  1. Reading and collecting comics – I buy them monthly, both hard copy (or floppy as they are called sometimes) and digital copies. I’ve read the complete original volume 1 digital series of Captain America, Fantastic four, X-Men, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers and many others. Digital comics allow you to read all those old 1960s issues without paying an arm and a leg. Just $1.99 to read Amazing Spider-Man #1.
  2. playing and recording music – I’ve been playing a lot of acoustic guitar lately, I just bought a looper to help with that, maybe I’ll play live somewhere, like a coffee house or such. I’ve not done any recording lately but I have all the equipment you could need to do that. I’ve got guitars, Basses, an electronic drum kit, a couple of keyboards, microphones, etc. Want to record an album? Come on over.
  3. writing – comic book scripts at the moment but I have a number novel ideas. I wish I could draw, I’d have many, many comic books available through self-publishing. I have created a small comic strip based on where I work. It’s something myself and a guy that works for me do to entertain ourselves and get a giggle.
  4. photography – at the moment Toy Photography is something I am pursuing, but I do have equipment to set up my own home studio and do portrait photography. Need a school photo session? I can do green screen too and put you somewhere else.
  5. Vinyl Music Albums – I buy nothing but vinyl records these days. It brings back great memories of listening to the record while actually holding a tangible cover with pictures and reading the inner sleeve. I am rebuilding the righteous collection I had at one time (the first Led Zeppelin album from 1969 sadly is gone along with original Grand Funk and KISS albums). Anyone got any old vinyl albums you don’t want? I’m interested.
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Birthday Month top 5 – Writers

This is My highly recommended Top 5 favorite authors and one extra mention.

  • Brad Meltzer – pretty much anything he writes I will read, including his dabbling in comic books.
  • David Wellington – His Monster Trilogy series about Zombies is a great read, His Laura Caxton Vampire series also a great series to read and two book Werewolf series is engrossing.  Great horror author.
  • Wesley Chu – The Book of Tao series about alien symbiotic possession is a great trilogy story
  • Jonathan Maberry – I started with Patient Zero (the Joe Ledger series) and read all 10 or 11 books in the series, and then expanded to some of his other stuff including his dabbling in comic books.  Great horror writer.
  • Brad Thor – his whole Scot Harvath spy genre series is just one continuous living of the life of Scot Harvath.  Non-stop action.

Honorable Mention:

Stephen King – read the whole Dark Tower series, last thing I read was 11/22/63 which was turned into a Netflix series.

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Birthday Month Top 5 – Sports I Watch on TV or in Person

These are my top 5 sports I like to watch on TV or in person. If I’m flipping through channels and I come across any of these, I will stop and watch.

  1. Supercross/Motocross – being a dirt bike rider for years, I watched Supercross/motocross religiously every year and attended a number of Supercross events in Dallas.  But since the pandemic things got out of sync and I’ve missed the last two years.
  2. Football – playing Fantasy Football has really expanded my desire to watch football, otherwise I would just watch the Cowboys.  Been to all of 4 (i think) Dallas Cowboy games in the 37 years I’ve lived in the Metroplex.
  3. Golf – many years ago I played golf a lot, and attended many of the big tournaments every year in the Dallas area.  Many times to the Byron Nelson, once to watch the Senior tour.  So I enjoy watching golf.
  4. Hockey – especially playoff hockey is fun to watch, but I mainly focus on the Stars.  If they don’t make the playoffs then I’m done watching hockey.
  5. Drag Racing – since i was a kid in 6th grade and found Hot Rod magazine in our school library I’ve been fascinated with dragsters. would you believe I’ve never been to a drag race?
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Birthday Month Top 5 – Fast Food

My Top 5 favorite fast food joints.

  1. Taco Bell – grew up eating at the Bell. We initially had one choice in Killeen – Mission Taco – until Taco Bell moved in. Mission Taco is still in Killeen competing. You could get 4 bean burritos for $1. But Taco Bell expanded our palette. Sadly there is no Mission Taco in Dallas.
  2. Taco Bueno – totally different taste in their tacos and burritos and, honestly, Bueno seems healthier than the Bell.
  3. Dairy Queen – haven’t eaten here in awhile (because nearest one is a slight drive) but its good stuff, I would kill for an unhealthy Peanut Buster Parfait right now. I don’t consider this fast food.
  4. Long John Silvers – we usually eat at LJS twice a year. That’s about all the cleansing my body can take. But I remember eating at LJS as a kid/teen and I love their chicken planks.
  5. Charley’s Cheesesteaks – in most malls you’ll find a Charley’s. There is one in the mall near where I work. Sadly we don’t have any indoor malls near where we live. So we usually eat at Charley’s in the Hattiesburg mall. Their Ultimate Fries are the best.
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