Thursday, December 29, 2005

Unwelcome Guest

Like an invading army,
It enters the mind, finds the heart
And seeks refuge, convuluting
Itself and leaving behind its
Causing worry and anguish
To fester
And bear fruit.

It refuses to be cast out,
Moreover it buries itself
Deeper and deeper
And hides amongst all
Creating a web, spiralling out of
Robbing one of their courage and common sense.


Friday, December 23, 2005

My Two Cents Worth

As rough as this is at the moment being able to only barely use my right hand, I have to lay out my opinion on something that is eating me alive. Even though I'm not ready to begin regular postings again, I'm going to do this special one simply because I feel I have to.

There is so much cain being raised this year over the political correctness of how to wish one a Merry Christmas. Firstly, I'm probably the most politcally incorrect individual you'll ever meet, so if my rantings here bother you, big deal, I don't care if I did upset you because if what I have to say upsets you, things will be a lot worse on you later on down the road.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the bearing of gifts presented to Him upon his birth. Therefore, it is a holiday bearing His name and no one elses. It's a holiday that is celebrated around the entire world, which should clue you in as to why the holiday is celebrated to begin with.

Even though the holiday has been mutated over the years and become so miserably commercialized, it's still a holy holiday, and if you can't accept that, then don't celebrate it. If you don't believe in the birth of Jesus, then don't celebrate His birth. Let the day be just one of many others each year, but don't try and deny those who celebrate Jesus' birthday the right to do so.

Our nation has become so preoccupied with trying not to offend the minorities, the majority of us no longer stand much of a chance for anything. Our nation is slowly becoming a nation that the minorities want to become a "godless" nation.

We don't try and change the celebrations of other holy holidays around the world for other religions, but the self-righteous liberals who try and take everything out of context and to the extreme are doing their damndest to take the true meaning of December 25th away from us.

Even though we don't know the exact date of Jesus birth, we have set aside this one day a year to celebrate his birth, thus the beginning of Christianity as we know it. To take Christ out of Christmas is ludicrous, yet the minorities are trying to do just that. It's time the majority put their collective feet down and put an end to this nonsense.

I work in the public, and every year at this time when my customers leave my workstation, I wish them a Merry Christmas and probably 99 1/2 % of them do the same to me. If I wish someone happy holidays, it's meant as a shortened Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

However, we aren't allowed to see manger scenes on government land anymore, businesses have told their employees to change their greetings to customers to NOT reflect the name of Jesus! Funny how people seem to think this makes anything more correct!

I will continue to wish my customers a Merry Christmas for as long as I work my job because that is, after all, what we are all celebrating. If that offends anyone, GOOD! If it let's someone remember just exactly what Christmas is all about, then those two words did their job as it was intended.

Whether or not one chooses to believe in the holy birth of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, is entirely up to them. If they choose not to believe in it, then don't celebrate his birth and leave that for those of us who do believe. Think of the money and stress you'll save yourself.

Forget about the civil liberties of a few and let the joyous celebration of Christ's birth continue to be celebrated year after year until the day of judgement.

To all of you, believers and non-believers alike, I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope that you remember just exactly is being celebrated on December 25th each year.

Thanks for reading and God Bless you all...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

one handed musings

as i sit here this sunday morning, my right hand wrapped in a large ace bandage, i'm trying to psych myself up for this afternoon's unveiling of my recently operation wound. my surgery went well, and after about 14 hours of medically induced numbness following surgery three days ago, i came to the realization on friday morning that my carpal tunnel pain had indeed vanished like a miracle. when this happened and i realized that for the first time in months that i wasn't in pain, tears welled up in my eyes and i gave thanks to the good lord for the success of the surgery, and i quickly found my wife and shared the good news with her.

i sit here at my keyboard typing with only my left hand, but at least i'm able to do that. i can't type upper case or capital letters, but at least i'm able to type.

tomorrow morning, monday december 19th, i attend my first physical therapy session, which is not something i'm looking forward to. four days after christmas i get my stitches out, and the following day, december 3oth, i have the same procedure done on my left hand. again, not something i'm looking forward to, but the end result if all goes as well as this first surgery has gone will make it all worth the pain and discomfort.

having this second surgery this soon is going to hamper me in a lot of ways, but it gets it done in the same calendar year which will save me lots of money since i've already met my deductible for this year. my mobility will be very limited, but again, the discomfort, pain and inconvenience will be worth it in the long run.

so, i leave you again for a short while, but rest assured, i'm coming back soon with more to write and more to share with you.

to ems, mea and shelle, thanks for your continued support and loyalty. without you three this venture would not be the same. ems, get busy and do more writing. mea, keep on with your entries and continue to amaze me with the work that you do on your site. and shelle, thanks for your friendship and get the fever and start a blog page of your own. you certainly have the talent for it.

and let me close with one more thing, which is, go colts....


Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Brief Hiatus

To my faithful few, I'm going into my busiest week of the year, and it's shortened this year by the surgery I'm having this coming Thursday. Since the surgery involves my hand and wrist, I don't know exactly when I'll be back online to add to my site. Be assured, I'm coming back, I've just been busy this past week with holidays and preparations, and of course with my work. Hopefully the recovery will be quick and complete, and if you get a chance, any thoughts, blessings or prayers would be welcomed.

I thank all of you for your continued reading and support, and hopefully it won't be too long before I'm back at it again.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year's, and I hope you hear back from me before the end of this year.

Peace and God bless.

Monday, December 05, 2005

What Is Happening To Me?

For those of you who don't know me, one of the most painful periods of my life was when my wonderful Mother lived the last few years of here life with Alzheimer's Disease. We hear people joke about this dreaded disease and make light of it, but for someone who has had to watch a loved one go thru it's debilitating process and have to suffer watching the pain and agony that goes along with it, it's nothing to joke or make light of. Mom passed away four and a half years ago, and it's in her memory that I am writing the following. This is not a reflection of her life or her own bout with the disease, but it is an overview of a typical lifestyle of someone who is afflicted with Alzheimer's. I write the following piece in loving memory of my mother, who I am sure would agree with me, there are some things worse than dying. Alzheimer's is one of them.

What Is Happening To Me?

I'm keeping my curtains shut now, not so much because I don't like the sun coming in anymore or that I'm trying to hide from the window peeper I know comes around each week. I keep them closed because I don't want to have get dressed and clean up each and everyday just in case company arrives. With the windows and drapes closed, I can look out the window, and if it's one of my good friends, I can always let them in. If it's one of my kids, they can let themselves in because they have a key.

I spend a lot of time lying in my bedroom now with the tv on, although most of the time I have the tv on for the noise it makes, because I seem to have trouble figuring out what is going on with the programs. They don't seem to make sense to me anymore, and everytime I try and change the channels with my remote, I can't seem to get the remote to work right anymore, the darned thing. It used to work fine, but I can't seem to remember which buttons I need to push to get the tv to even go where I want it to go. Sometimes the volume goes up when I'm trying to change channels, and sometimes the channels change when I'm trying to turn the tv up or down. I think I need a new remote because this one just doesn't work right.

I still take the two newspapers I've always taken, the local one because I can actually make some sense out of it, and the one from the state capitol I take because we always have taken it. I can look at the tv paper in it and find programs I like to watch, but I don't get much of a chance to watch them because I can't figure out the remote control. Have I told you about that remote control of mine?

My phone rings a lot, and it's always these nice people one the other end talking to me and telling me they want to send me things or have me join things, and when I tell them I better not, they tell me they already have my address and I have an account in good standing, even though I'm not sure what they mean by that. And don't you know, those nice people do keep sending me these nice gifts in the mail, books and magazines mostly, and I can't ever remember getting as many magazines as I'm getting now, but they surely must like an old lady like myself that takes the time to talk to them because they keep sending them to me. I don't really get a chance to read much of them, it interferes with my tv time and my newspapers that I like to read, and some of the words don't look like English to me. I can't understand a lot of what I'm trying to read, so I just lay them aside and I intend on throwing them out in the trash someday bed is getting kind of messy with all these papers and magazines lying about.

It seems like so many of my friends have either passed on or they don't come around anymore. I used to go with them each day for coffee and breakfast, but they got to talking about things I didn't seem to have any interest in, so I quit going. I have my coffee here at home in the morning, and for some reason, it seems my kitchen appliances don't work like they used to because I have a hard time cooking my meals or using my microwave. There's this nice restaurant just a few blocks away that delivers, and bless them, they call me each morning to see what I'd like to have for breakfast and then they check later in the afternoon and they take my order for supper. They ring the bell and come on back to my bedroom with my food, and I pay them and always give them a tip for being so nice. I never can eat all they bring, so I put it in the refridgerator with the intention of having it later, but since I can't work that microwave anymore, the food just kind of stacks up in there. When then trashmen come on Tuesdays, if I don't forget, I usually fill up a couple of bags with the uneaten food in it. Since I don't walk real well anymore, I just put it outside my garage door and they make the walk up from the street and take it for me. And because they're so nice, I always give them a nice tip at Christmas time for helping me out that way.

Some of the people that come see me tell me they were sons or daughters of old friends of mine that I haven't seen in years. They come in and spend time and talk to an old woman like me and they let me tell them stories that so many others don't want to hear, and after a while they get to telling me about their lives, and how they're struggling to make ends meet. I always thank God that I have a home that's paid for and while I don't have a lot of money, I can't help but give these people a little bit of cash or write them a check to help them out. They always seem grateful and they come back again a month or two later, it seems, and we do the same thing again.

I told you about people calling me, but when I try and call my friends and my family, I keep getting wrong numbers. Some of the people are so nice and they tell me that either I have the wrong number, which I know I don't, or they tell me that the person I'm calling died several years ago. I try and act surprised when they tell me that, but I know they're lying to me because I saw some of these people not long ago, or at least I don't think it was very long ago.

What I don't want my kids to know, I'm really having trouble getting around now, and a couple of times I've taken a fall. I've always worried about falling and breaking a hip, but so far, my falls haven't been all that bad.

six months later:

I don't like this place I'm staying at. It's not that it isn't nice and kept real clean, and they try and make some really nice meals, but I don't understand why I'm having to stay here. I remember falling at home early one morning, and I remember sitting in my chair for hours before someone from the restaurant called and when I didn't get to the phone, they called my kids and they drove over and found me in this chair, and I couldn't get up and walk, so they took me to the hospital, and after going to a place called a nursing home and them having me exercise, I got to where I could walk with this darned walker. After I got to walking again, my son took me to this place he called assisted living, but I really think I'm staying in a motel in Madison now and I can't understand why my husband hasn't come to pick me up or at least stay with me.

I've tried calling him at home and I keep getting my son instead. My son, he's such a joker with me, always has been, but when I tell him I'm trying to get ahold of his dad and find out why he's mad at me and won't come and pick me up at this motel, he tells me my husband died almost twenty-one years ago, and I don't think that's funny. He's so insistent about it, and then he gets mad at me, I guess cause I don't go along with the joke, but he tells me I'm not in a hotel in Madison that I'm still in Rushville in something called assisted living. It's funny, too, this furniture in this two room hotel suite looks like my furniture from home, and the bed not only looks like my bed, it feels just like my bed, so I don't have much trouble sleeping at night, at least the nights that white cat doesn't come in and climb in the bed with me and sleeps with me until morning. Then, when the nice lady comes in to get me up and tells me I need to get ready for breakfast in the dining room, the cat is always gone.

I tell this nice lady, and there's another one two, although I don't ever see them both the same day, I tell her I really don't want to go down to the dining room for breakfast, because I don't like sitting down there with all these old people. Some of them are nice, but there's this one old man down there that flirts with me, and if my husband ever found out, then I know he'd never come and take me home, because he would be so jealous.

I can usually eat breakfast at my own kitchen table, the lady brings me in a nice home cooked breakfast and coffee, but I don't eat much of it, because sometimes it looks like there's bugs in the food and roaches in the coffee. They bring me a drink that tastes like milkshake, and as long as I drink it quick, nothing ever seems to be in it. And these nice ladies help me take my medicines each day, which is something I had quit doing when I was still at home. I quit going to the doctor because I never got to feeling better so I just quit taking his medicine he was giving me to, even the drops the eye doctor told me I had to put in my eyes because of something called glaucoma. Well, these nice people give me all these pills and they put the drops in my eyes, but I think something has happened to my left eye, because I can't see anything out of it anymore. I guess that means I've gone blind in one eye and I sure hope it wasn't that medicine that did it because now that they're giving it to me, I'm so afraid I might go blind in my other eye, too.

My kids come and see me almost everyday, and I can't figure out how they can afford the drive down here each day. My son comes to see me in the morning before he goes to work and my daughter comes up after she gets off work. Those kids are driving a lot of miles to see me but they won't take me home where I need to be. They keep telling me I am home, but I know better. One of these days my husband will quit being mad at me and he'll come and pick me up and take me home with him. I just wish he would hurry up and I so wish he'd call me, I miss him so much.

I tried to call my mom the other night. This nice voice came on an answering machine and it was one of my daughters friends. She called me back last night and told me that my mom had died almost 40 years ago, and since she was a friend of my daughter's, well, I just let her go ahead and tell me her lie and I quit trying to call Mom, because I know one day soon she's coming with my husband to see me here.

I got all dressed up last Saturday night, because my brother was supposed to come up and have supper with me. One of the ladies told me he wasn't going to be able to make it, but I sat in the nice recreation area next to the dining room and waited for him, because I just knew he'd make it. After he didn't make it, I thought maybe he might have gone to the wrong hotel room, so I went looking for him. I found a man in his room that wasn't my brother, and he let me in to call 911. After the police got here and I told them what was going on, someone who runs this hotel that I hadn't seen before butted her nose in and told them that I was having memory problems and that my records showed that my brothers were all dead. She wasn't very nice to me, but the policemen were and walked me back to my suite and told me just to go ahead and get ready for bed and maybe he'd come and see me some other time soon, he had probably just forgotten.

Then there are times, and there aren't many of them, but there I times I swear, I think maybe I really am in Rushville in a place called assisted living, and I once in a while almost believe my kids when they tell me my husband is dead as are my brothers. But just about the time I start to actually believe maybe some of this is true, then I realize that if any of that had really happened, I'd remember it.

And I don't remember any of that happening. And those thoughts I have, why, they're probably dreams I'm having. Dreams can seem so real sometime.

And things could be worse, I could be sick and I could be losing my mind, but I'm not. And I'm staying in a really nice hotel with such nice people looking after me and making me wonderful meals. But I so wish my husband would come visit me.

I want to go home where I'm safe.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The pain you have caused me
Has changed over the years.
There have been times when it seemed
My world
Would cease to exist because of your absence.
Other times,
I knew I would survive without you
In my heart, although you resided within me
For so very long.
You continually eat at my heart
Like an out of control cancer
Until now, there isn't much less to devour,
Because most of what had been there
Is gone forever.
I shed no tears anymore
Because I've come to an acceptance
That things are never going to change or become
The realist in me has finally attained
The clarity of light,
Necessary to see beyond the facade
Of your total and genuine non-caring self.
I no longer ask,
I no longer seek,
I no longer expect,
I no longer care,
Except to move on
And leave the pain of you behind me,
Now and forever.
I've been released....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dedication For These First Seven Months

It is with the most heartfelt emotion that I dedicate these first seven months of blogging to Jimi, Janis and Jim. Damn, I can't imagine where we would all be now if you were still with us....You will all live forever within my heart and soul...hope I can someday do justice to what you did for us all...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

just a wonderin'

So, now that gasoline prices are falling (not enough in respect to what is being charged for a barrel of oil like it was a year ago) how are the providers of home heating going to explain the record high prices for home heating, such as natural gas, liquid propane and home heating oil? Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting, we have George W and all his speech writers to try and sell us on his latest load of crap about that...stupid me....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Remembering Summer Heat, Part 4

I know that if you didn't grow up during the '60s, you can't comprehend the feelings that were going on during this time. There was such political unrest, not unlike today's. There was a war going on that was never actually declared a war, much like today's. People back then, however, protested to the inth degree against the US involvement in Viet-Nam, and it was a feeling I can't even begin to put into words when you were so dead against something that you knew was doing no good, yet you couldn't bring anyone home because the government wouldn't call a cease-fire and admit they were never going to win this war.(Hey, George W, does this sound at all familiar to you today?)

Anyway, one of the things that seemed to bring release to the tensions of the decade was music. I can remember my radio in the car was always on, either that or my 8 track player, and when I was home, I always had music playing on the stereo. Whenever I listened to my music, I envisioned in my mind entertaining people like they had never been entertained before. Each time Summer Heat took to the stage to play a dance, I always wanted to put some of my ideas I had to the test and see if they left the audience wanting more.

I received so many compliments on my lighting and how it complimented the band as they played. Of course lots of the people at the dances looked forward to the band playing "Fire" and seeing the cloud of smoke emanate from my pipe. There were other things, small things that we did week after week, some that worked, some that didn't work so well, but we at least tried to give the people that attended our dances something they could talk about days after the dance was over.

A few days before our dance following the Rush County Sectional Basketball Tournament final game on Saturday night, probably back in '68 or '69, I had conceived an idea that I hadn't even shared with the members of the band. The true reason I hadn't told them of my idea was basically because I was afraid they would shoot the idea down and tell me not to do it...and actually, I thought the spontanaity of it would be even better for them if it was a total and complete surprise.

Like I've said before, I've not been blessed with any true musical talent, other than maybe a little bit of luck writing songs...but I can't play anything well, just a little bit here of this instrument, and just a little bit there of that instrument. Several years prior to this time in my life my parents had bought me an acoustic guitar from probably Sears, but I never managed to learn much on it, mainly because I didn't realize I was trying to play the damned thing upside down. I play a guitar left handed, and for those of you who have tried to do that, you know that basically most cords are anatomically impossible to play because your fingers simply won't bend the right way. Anyway, I didn't know this at the time, so the guitar had laid around the house for several years without any attention being paid to it.

The night of the tourney dance, I fumbled thru my closet at home, found the guitar, and basically sneaked it out of the house and into the trunk of my car. I got cleaned up, shaved, and put on my favorite pair of stage pants, which were a pair of gold, wide corded corduroys with flaired bottoms. I put on my gold shirt with the huge color, another popular item of its time back then and made sure my hair looked just right...

I arrived at the Community Building about the same time the rest of the band pulled in and we began unloading the van and carrying equipment in and setting up the stage with the drums, the PA system, the lighting, etc. Denny and Mike tuned their respective guitars, Jim set up his drums just right, Jay set up the microphones, and I helped carry in the amps got the lights set up just right...While everyone was busy with their particular job they each did so well and so often, I got into the trunk of my car and brought in the old acoustic guitar and set it behind Mike's Fender amp.

It didn't take long before Jay spotted it and asked me what the hell that was for. I found a quick lie in my head and told him someone was coming to look at it that evening, which I guess really wasn't a lie because before the night was over a lot of people were going to be looking at that old acoustic guitar.

Back in those days, folks, there were so many things one could buy across the counter to get high on it was unbelievable. You could buy Romilar 8 hour syrup, which, if you drank the entire bottle would totally screw you up for hours, not to mention make you empty the entire contents of your stomach along with that feeling. You could buy Primatene tablets over the counter, each pill containing 1/4 grain of phenobarbital, so if you took four of them, you were getting a full grain of the depressant. You could buy a simple Vicks nasal inhaler, break it open and take the gauze that contained all the goodies for your sinuses and drink it down with a swig of coke and within an hour you would be on one hell of a speed trip that lasted for close to 8 hours or so...

On this particular night, if memory serves me correctly, it was the Vicks Inhaler that was going to get me going for the evening's surprise performance.

Even though the ballgame wasn't going to be over much before 9:30 or so, our dance started at 8PM sharp, and actually quite a few people showed that chose not to go to the basketball game. Right before we started our first set at 8, I walked outside, put the inhaler inside my handkerchief, laid it on the ground and stomped on it, so I could retreive the little soaked wad of gauze. I pulled it out, drank it down with probably coke or pepsi or something else, then went into the Community Building and joined the rest of the band on stage. Promptly at 8, Summer Heat started playing a dance that would be talked about for the next few years as one of the wildest shows they had ever seen us do(at least up until then.)

I did my thing with the lights as Summer Heat belted out tunes by Blue Cheer, Cream, Vanilla Fudge and the like. Within 40 minutes or so, I was really feeling the buzz from my trusty old Vicks wad. As we closed in on the 9 PM hour, Jay told the audience we were going to take a short break. We stepped outside, gathered our senses, I smoked a couple of cigarettes, something I've long given up since. We talked, and as we talked, I buzzed more and more and stronger and stronger and realized that we were probably within an hour of my big surprise. That got me going even more.

My excitement had to be showing, because Jay and Mike kept asking me what the hell I was on and why I seemed so uptight and excited. I told them it was just the excitement of the evening and that I thought they were playing great. Even Jim, who didn't really carry on a great deal of conversation with me usually, noticed I was wound. He even told me my lighting effects seemed better this evening that they ever had. That really made me feel far out, because sometimes my lighting effects got on his nerves...he said my timing sometimes thru off his drum timing...But tonight that wasn't bothering him at all.

Around 9:15 t0 9:20, Summer Heat once again took to the stage, and by this time, yours truly is really flying higher than the proverbial kite. More and more people began piling in, and the crowd was growing. Jay announced after just a few songs that Rushville had won the game and was moving on to the Regional Tournament, which met with lots of applause because, face it folks, Indiana is definitely a state that loves its basketball. Several more songs were played, and Jay began talking to the crowd again, and I felt like my time was about to arrive.

I glanced out at the crowd, which by this time, close to 10PM, was really growing, matter of fact, people reached three quarters of the way across the building. Their were couples standing together, waiting to dance to the next song, groups of people just standing around talking, and the usual group that found a place to sit down and be comfortable and just enjoy the music sitting down. Jay looked back at the band and announced, "One more song and then let's break for a few minutes."

Jay turned back to the crowd and announced, "We're going to do one more song and then take a short break. This is one of our favorites by Steppenwolf, it's called "The Pusher."

Those words were like magic, because I knew this was it. My lighting scheme for The Pusher was almost all strobe light, so once the song got going I wouldn't have to stay by the control box. This was just what I needed.

The opening chords were played by Denny on keyboard and then Mike joined in on lead guitar. For those of you who have heard this song, you know it's a slower tune but very powerful in its delivery. Tonight, I was going to make it the most powerful delivery Summer Heat had ever given of it.

Jay started singing the first verse, and I stood off to stage right by my lighting box and played my tambourine in beat to Jim's drums, eyeing the crowd, who were basically just dancing with each other and not really paying any attention to the band. Jay went thru the first chorus, asking God above to damn the pusher head was reeling at this point, and I was nervous as hell as the proper time was getting closer.

Jay began singing verse two, talking about the dealer and selling you lots of sweet dreams. I laid the tambourine down and slowly walked back towards the Fender amp as Jay began singing about the pusher leaving your mind to scream. As he belted out the second chorus of God damn's, I reached behind the amp and got out the acoustic guitar.

When Summer Heat played The Pusher, we had a very long instrumental in the middle, longer than Steppenwolf played on the original, and this was when I was going to pull my surprise. Jay always grabbed an extra guitar to play rhythm while Mike played a fabulous middle break on lead. When he grabbed that guitar, he looked over at me and saw me holding the acoustic and the look on his face was basically asking me "What the hell are you up to?"

He was about to find out.

As the instrumental between verses two and three had gone on for maybe twenty seconds or so, I held the guitar in a position like I was actually going to play it and walked up the front of the stage and looked out at the dancing crowd. It would be the last time I saw them until the song was over. I slowly turned the guitar to where the top was facing me, and let it rest against my right knee. As Mike's awesome lead got stronger and the song seemed to grow louder in my head, I reached down, grabbed one of the strings with my left hand, and pulled the string straight towards me, breaking it in the process. I remember my left hand feeling warm, and grabbed a second string, doing the same thing to it, pulling it towards me until it broke as well...I turned the guitar over to my left leg, again facing me, and pulled the remaining 4 strings from it, one at a time, and saw something in the strobe light that looked like dark water flying thru the air...

When the last string was broken free from the guitar, I again turned my attention back the other direction, held the guitar back on my right leg, and held it up all of sudden high above my less than five seconds, I drove it as hard as I could to the floor of the stage, breaking the body of the guitar, but leaving plenty of it still intact. I was lost in the music, and again, took the guitar up above my head and pounded into the wooden stage floor, more of the body breaking and the neck cracking away slightly from the body. I fell to my knees, and repeatedly drove the guitar down into the stage, smashing it beyond all recognition of what it had orginally been...

I looked over at Jay, who by this time was humping his guitar against the amplifier, causing this tremendous amount of feedback. Mike was facing his Fender amp, playing directly into it, the sounds of his lead guitar feeding back with such volume, and Jim was crazily beating the living hell out of his drums...

I kept looking for pieces of guitar that needed smashing, but all that was left was the neck, so I began attempting as best I could to destroy that as well...I honestly think it ended up in about four pieces...and all the while, I kept wondering where all this dark colored liquid was coming from that I saw flying thru the air in the strobe light.

I honestly don't know how long that instrumental went on, all I know is that when I finally realized nothing of that guitar was left to smash, I threw it to the stage floor, and Jay laid his guitar against the amp and he went back to the mic and the band went into the third and final verse of the song. I simply stood their, totally physically and emotionally spent, and stared at the destroyed guitar as the band finished the song.

When the final bars of The Pusher were played, I looked up from the stage to the crowd, and got the shock of my life. No one, not a person was dancing. They were all standing as close to the stage as they could get, staring at the spectacle that had just happened. A few seconds passed, and then the most thunderous applause we had ever received up to that time roared out of the crowd...I kept thinking, wow, how fucking cool, and damn my hands hurt. I bent down and turned off the strobe, Jay announced we'd be back in 15 minutes, and the main lights in the building were turned on. It was then that I discovered what the dark fluid was that I had seen flying thru the air in the strobe light.

My hands were completely covered in my own blood. Not only covered, but dripping profusely onto the stage floor. Jay ran over to me and hollered, "You crazy fucker, that was beautiful, man!" He was overcome with laughter and excitement at the same time. Mike was also fired up as was Denny, then Jim walked over and said, "Man, your hands are cut to ribbons."

Thru the pain I looked at them all and asked, "Yeah, but wasn't it worth it?"

Jay answered, "Hell, look at that crowd, man, fuck yeah it was worth it!"

That made me smile.

A real, big smile.

The funny thing I noticed, no one was leaving the stage area, they were all standing there like something else might happen. I heard people hollering "Far out" "Outasite, man" "Unfuckingbelievable, man." I even heard a few comments such as "that dude is fucking crazy" and the one I have never forgotten, "Man, that's the greatest thing I've ever seen anyone do on stage."

I stepped off the stage, several people coming over to help me get my hands doctored, because, quite honestly, there were some really nasty cuts, deep ones, no doubt from the guitar strings I had pulled off at the very beginning of this stunt.

During that break as we found a bottle of alcohol and quite honestly, we poured the whole bottle onto my hands and probably used a half a pack of paper towels from the men's room to stop the bleeding, but people kept coming up to not only me, but to the whole band and told us that was the most unbelieveable thing they had ever seen a band do in Rushville.

I was so high on the excitiment from all the attention we had gotten collectively, and was so pleased how Jay and had gotten into the moment and how the whole thing had blossomed into what it had blossomed into. A friend of mine told me the whole song lasted somewhere between 12 to 15 minutes. The instrumental with the destruction of the guitar was almost half the time. I don't remember, I truly don't, I only know that it was a pinnacle for me at that point of my short time with Summer Heat, and I didn't think it would be a moment we would ever top.

Later on, I would be proven wrong.

But for the moment, I was on top of the world, chopped up hands and all.

I think Summer Heat was feeling pretty cool too at that moment.

to be continued...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Starting Anew

One of the things I vividly remember during my November, 1975 hospital stay was the fact that I had no voice, no guitar, and I for one, can't read a lick of music. However, lying in the hospital bed, day after day, my mind could hear this tune, over and over, and as I hummed it in my mind, I grabbed a notebook and pen and began jotting down words as they came to mind. The following song was written from a hospital bed in Indianapolis, traech tube in my throat, no voice and no musical instrument. To date, it is one my most favorite songs I have ever written.

Starting Anew

As I wake up today,
And things they aren't the same
I'm haunted by the memory of you.

My life itself is young
In fact it's just begun,
And I want for so much now to be free.
Things have changed for sure,
Still my life remains impure,
Still there's my memories of you.

I want so much to be free
From your hold.
To be someone quite different
Not so cold.

But as I wake up today
With no new games to play
I'm smothered by the memory of you.

You rid yourself of me
And your as happy as can be
With your new someone you've had for so long.
I want to set myself free
For there's someone new I see
Yet, there's these memories of you.

I want so much
To be free from your hold.
To be someone quite different
Not so cold.

Well I've taken off my ring
'cause it don't mean a thing
And I'm destroying those bad
Memories of you.

Song Lyrics from 1973/ Life's A Struggle

Let the embers on the fire slowly burn their life away
I continue, with what I'm doing, never reaching, what I wanted to.
Life is full of its moments
And even the chance of losing you.

Life's a struggle,
It can make you
Or break you
It can keep a good man up
Or bring him down.

Let the embers on the fire slowly burn their life away
I still live with all I'm feeling, never sure, what I ought to do.
Life is full of its miseries
And now, my darling, I'm losing you.

Life's a struggle
It can make you
Or break you
It can keep a good man up
Or bring him down.

So let the embers on the fire slowly burn their life away
I'm so damned tired of always doing, these things you've asked of me.
Live your life the way you want to.
Keep your mind closed to what is truthful
In my heart you'll always hold a place,
For the rest of my life
I don't want to see your face...

Life's a struggle
It can make you
Or break you
It can keep a good man up
Or bring him down...

So let the embers on the fire....
Let the embers on the fire...
The embers on the fire....

Saturday, November 12, 2005

One Again The Demon Awakens

The fire is starting to burn again in me, and it's been years, nearly 5 now, since the yearning was there to sit and write and forget time and space...the fire is starting to kindle and burn again, and frankly, dear readers, it's scaring me...

During the last few years of my Mother's life before she left for a much better world, I sat at this keyboard, day after day, evening after evening, night after and night, and I wrote...did you get that, I WROTE!!!

Three-thousand, eight hundred and sixteen pages....Look at that again, folks,

3,816 pages...

And no one, not even yours truly, the author, read was written over a period of close to three years....written, never proof read, never re-read...just written...

And then, when I felt the time was right, I deleted every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every single thing over that span of time....words that had flowed, words that had just simply fell from my mind and out my fingers...


I remember some of them, a lot of them, but not enough of them, and truly, I believe that is a good thing...There were a lot of harsh words, a lot of things I felt but didn't truly understand and still don't, and a lot of confusion going on in my soul....

Most of the words that were deleted served their purpose and were purged from my being, and honestly, I think a lot of them were the best words I ever let out of myself...

Some of those words were hurtful words directed at people that didn't really deserve them directed at them, and they have been lost forever in print, and most of them have been purged from my mind as well.

I do wish a few of those words I hadn't my mind they were profound and worthy of being seen by others...they were probably some of the best word I have ever written...

I hope I'm getting my point home to those faithful few who continue to read what I expunge here...You've missed the best words the Demon has ever written or will ever write, bar none...they were deleted forever with the single stroke of a key...

So. a new challenge is born...

I'm about to start again, after all these previous entries, I'm now READY to start writing again for real...

Hope you stick around and see what happens...

Hope I do too...

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Failed To Recognize You

Muffled steps from behind me
Uncertain of the distance that
Separates them from me
As I walk alone, down the unforgiving
Darkness that surrounds me.

The lonely howling of a dog
From the next block over
Muffled voices crying out in the night,
Their sound amplified by
The magic that is night's amplifier.

My own steps move forward faster,
My head constantly turning to look
Past my shoulders,
Searching for what I perceive
To be the one who I can FEEL
Following me,
Catching up with me with each
and every step I take.

Darting around a brick cornerstone
Of a long and abandoned building.
The sound of traffic blocks away from me now
As I try and find solace
Anywhere but where I now find myself.

The streetlights seem darker here,
For what reason I have no clue.
I only know that it's so very dark
Where I now find myself almost running,
Trying to escape the sound
Of the one who is getting closer.

The wrong path chosen
A solid wall ahead, no exit to either side,
But only
The way I came in here.
Trapped, no way out,
The light has all but been
Consumed by the night.

I stand alone, not moving,
The sound of the steps approaching
Louder with each taken,
Closing in on me,
Me, not understanding why I'm being followed.

Suddenly, a feeling of warmth embraces my chest,
My hand reaching to feel its warmth
And welcome this feeling I had feared
For no reason.
Suddenly, I find myself smiling, recognizing
The stranger I had feared for so long
Yet who I now realize I should have ushered into
My presence.

I reach out my hand to shake the hand
Of the one who I had foolishly fled
And smile to great him now,
Realizing how he had been following me
So closely all these years.

His hood and sickle reassuring me
That we are old friends,
We've just been separated for too long
Are about to be reunited.

Welcome, dear friend....

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

30 years ago tonight

It's hard to imagine that's it's been thirty years, but thirty years ago tonight, November 8th, 1975 at 9:10 PM, I drove my 1972 Chevy Impala off of US Hwy 52, thru 256 feet of fence and thru 2 telephone poles. Eight feet of the first phone pole were never found. Might be the fact that I was driving somewhere in the vicinity of 110 MPH and quite under the influence of alcohol, my blood alcohol limit was registered at .235. My head hit the windshield upon impact and my throat came down across the steering wheel, breaking it into pieces.

Needless to say, I was hospitalized, given an emergency traecheotomy because my throat was closing off and I couldn't breathe. That's a pain I hope to never have to experience again. My larnyx and pharnyx were both fractured and I was told that if I survived, IF I survived, I would probably never talk again.

On the 11th day of my 14 day hospital stay they removed my traech tube and I was allowed for the first time in eleven days to have something to eat and drink by mouth. My first request, as I recall these 30 years later, was a glass of Pepsi and a pack of Kools. The hospital gave me a cold can of Coke, and the cigarettes, well, they were finally brought to me by a friend later on that evening...and they were Salems, to boot.

Since that fateful evening 30 years ago tonight I've had a lot of things happen in my life, some good, some not so good. I divorced the psycho I was married to at the time and who was actually the contributing factor the this accident, which I won't go into, but I divorced her a few months later, gained sole custody of my son, who I raised on my own until I met my wonderful wife who later on in years legally adopted him and whose name now appears on his official birth certificate as his birthmother.

I've lost both of my parents, Dad just a few years after this accident and Mom just a few years ago. I'm still married to the same wonderful woman who deserves a medal for putting up with me for almost the past 28 years. I have the most wonderful sister any man could ever have and had the pleasure of being able to work side by side with her for nearly 23 years.

I quit smoking over 21 years ago, probably the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I still have a few habits, my coffee and my beers now and then, but thru it all, I'm still here, and I'm still talking and I haven't shutup since.

I still haven't figured out why God chose to save me all those 30 years ago or what purpose I've yet to fulfill, but I can tell you honestly with each breath that I take that I take none of those breaths for granted and I'm thankful for every single word I'm able to say, whether it be the right word or not.

The best thing out of the whole incident after all these 30 years have passed, I still don't remember any of the accident or what led up to it. For that I'm eternally thankful.

I'm also eternally thankful that November 8, 1975 wasn't my intended time to leave this earth, because apparently there's much more for me to do.

Hope I don't let God down on my end....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sometimes, A Simple Glass of Whiskey

There are times when things going on in life, whether it be in mine or a friend of mine, or maybe a situation going on in the world, well, it seems like sometimes the only answer to them is a simple glass of whiskey.

Don't let this simple sentence set you off thinking that you're reading the meanderings of a drunk or someone with a drinking problem. That isn't the case. But there are times in this world that a simple glass of whiskey, no more, no less, can seem to make things seem a bit rosier, not much, but maybe just a little.

Being the pacifist that I am, I assure you the present situation in Iraq upsets me beyond words. And while I'm the first to say I support our troops who are valiantly fighting a war-monger president's war, I do NOT support the war. I feel this war was based on out and out lies to the American people. There were reasons we attacked that nation that we aren't ever meant to know. When I stop and think about the lives of our American soldiers that have been lost and the lives of our allies who are aiding us in this nonsensical battle, I sometimes grab a simple glass of whiskey.

Bill Clinton had the lowest morals of any president this great nation of ours had, but he ran our country successfully and we experienced 8 of the most prosperous years of the 20th century. He made some bad, moral decisions and made the mistake of lying to the American people about them when he stated that "I didn't have sex with that woman." Right, Bill, and you smoked pot but you didn't inhale...bravo for you. Truth is, that while his decision to be unfaithful to his wife while running the affairs of the strongest nation on earth was not the wisest thing he could have done, it wasn't him, but a Republican controlled Congress that decided to spend approximately 50 million dollars investigating a 20 dollar blowjob. When I stop and think of the idiocy that made that decision to spend that kind of money to investigate and persecute a man with an odd taste for cigars, I sometimes grab a simple glass of whiskey.

When something goes wrong at work, at a job that I have faithfully executed with a passion that amazes even me, and it's a decision that I don't understand, I stand up and question the powers that be, awaiting their typical government answer: "Because that's the way we want it done." It doesn't make any difference if the change is right or beneficial to the public we serve, it's just because it's the way THEY want it done. I was always taught to never question authority, but with each passing year, I question it more and more and I ask for answers, never receiving anything but what I just covered. When those things at work get so bad, you guessed it, sometimes I have to grab a simple glass of whiskey.

Family matters seem to prey on our minds the most, the good and the bad. Sometimes those family matters get out of line and get out of reason and we seem to lose control of them and not be able to grasp the situation and fix it like we think we should. It doesn't matter if it's the right fix, only that it's the fix we want, the fix we think should be set into motion. And when those situations remain unfixed and I can do nothing to ease it or make it any better to suit me, sometimes I grab a simple glass of whiskey.

I drop to my knees many times and ask the good Lord above for help, to get me thru one crisis or another and to solve it for me, and when asking God for this help, He may not solve the problem or do exactly what I think He should have done. And even though I shouldn't question as to why He didn't do what I asked him to do or what I thought he should do, I nevertheless have the human tendency to become beligerent and angry with Him, and sometimes at those moments when I don't think God is doing His job for me the right way, I grab a simple glass of whiskey. And probably way before I grab that glass I imagine God knows that I'm about to and in His own infinite wisdom He understands why and gives me that method to release my anxiety and tension.

I wish our world could come together, stop the fighting, stop the wars that plague our planet. I wish people could get along, quit fighting, quit divoricing and quit bringing unwanted and unloved children into this world. I wish the terrorists that are responsible for all the problems that they have created and all the lives they have taken could be caught and tried and held accountable for their actions. I wish all these things, but I know deep in my heart that they will never happen. Osama bin Laden will probably die a peaceful death in his sleep and never be brought to trial. I'll wonder how many died in vain while trying to catch this power hungry and sadistic bastard. I wonder the outcome of the trial of Sodamn Insane and will the Iraqi people give this man the justice he derserves or will he be set free or simply idly back in a prison cell somewhere awaiting his natural time of death? And sometimes when these things cross my mind and nearly drive me over the edge, I grab a simple glass of whiskey.

I miss my friends from the past, not just the ones from my childhood and the ones I grew up, but I miss the ones I spent a lot of my early to mid adult life with. I miss the ones that used to get together week in, week out, and I miss how we used to put the problems of the world and in our families aside for a few hours each week and how we would escape those problems and have a simple glass of whiskey. There are some of those people who have already left this world who I never had a chance to let them know just how much they meant to me and how much I cared about them. There are those of them who are still in this world, who for one reason or another, I will never ever see again or get to talk to again and I'll never be able to let them know just what had an effect they had upon my life and just how much I loved and cared about them, too.

There are also those parasites that have come and gone in my life, the ones who took and used, the ones who acted so very smug and so very caring all the while merely taking and using all they could with no intention of ever giving back. I'll never have the chance to let them know that even tho they may have fooled me for a while, they didn't fool me completely. When I think about the fact that in their mind that they had me snowed all along and still think that they do, I sometimes have to grab a simple glass of whiskey.

I've been mostly blessed thoughout my life with a wonderful family and wondeful friends, a great job that I love doing and with the exception of a few short years before my adult life came together, I've never wanted for much that I wasn't able to have. I'm thankful for those things in my life and am happy to have been blessed in this way.

I have a friend who continually tells me how much he wishes he could go back to years ago when things were different and not quite so complicated. Not me, faithful readers, not me. I'm glad to be where I am today with the problems I have today and with the resources available to me to try and make my problems better, to try and make the world just a little better place for others to live in.

I don't ever want to go back, and even if I could, I wouldn't change a thing that has happened because to do so would change who I am, who you are, and all of our lives would be changed in one way or another. We'll never know if those changes would have bettered things or made them worse, we only know things would be different than they are now, and I can't ever see wanting to be able to have that power in me.

For those of you who made it thru this entire blog, I thank you for your patience and your understanding and for allowing me to just simply vent a few things I needed to get out of my mind and down.

For those of you who skipped a few sentences or possibly the majority of the blog, I thank you for reading the parts that you did and I hope you gained something of value from it.

And for those of you who did read it all and find understanding and some profoundness in any of what I wrote here this morning, on this 6th day of November, 2005, take a moment sometime today and join me, please

In a simple glass of whiskey!

Peace and God Bless you all!

Sunday Morning, 7:12AM

Such a dark, dreary morning
As a strong wind is blowing.
The leaves swirling into sprials
Before they hit the ground.
A new carpet to walk on
Wet and damp
The colors of red and gold
And orange and yellow.
Begging to be walked upon
And scattered into a new arrangement
Until the wind changes its pattern
Yet again.
I long to walk upon this carpet with you
The wind blowing about us
Drawing us closer together
In an effort to stay warmer.
The wet leaves sticking to our feet
As we talk and laugh and share.
A morning like so many others
Yet so unlike any before
Because today as we walk
We share our new friendship
And walk this wondrous landscape

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Remembering Summer Heat, Part 3

I honestly have to say one of the things I remember most and admired the most about Summer Heat was the fact that they didn't play the "top 40" songs that so many local dance bands played. Summer Heat was innovative, playing a lot of what was at the time called "Progressive Underground" rock music. Songs by Cream, Spirit, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Canned Heat, Steppenwolf. Summer Heat did NOT play songs by the Cowsills, the Monkees, the Archies, or The Partridge Family, and might I add to that, a hearty THANK GOD!!!

For those who attended our dances around the Rushville area, this was what they had become accustomed to because a lot of our fans were diehard Summer Heat fans and wouldn't miss a dance we played for anything. Sometimes, however, when we played out of town, that became a different story. Out of town dances where no one really knew that much about Summer Heat were occasionally requesting songs that fit the "Bubble Gum" genre, which was definitely not in the bands repetoire.

And the other wonderful thing that Summer Heat did when they played, they played LOUD! And not only did Summer Heat play loud, but they also played, in my opinion, great! The band practiced a lot, and I do mean a lot. Our practices were held in a law office just off main street, and the music brought kids from all over the west side of town who gathered outside the law office to hear the music being played. Although they were never officially street dances, on more than one occasion our practice sessions became just that: mini-street dances.

I must, at this time, do just a bit of bragging on myself, because, frankly, with each dance we played, I got better and better with the lighting and my "Simulated Stimulation" actually got the band a lot of compliments. There were times when my light shows were simply inspired by the music itself, and there were also times when the light shows were "chemically enhanced" shall we say. We are, of course, speaking of the 1968 to 1971 years, give or take, so a lot of free flowing supply of mind-alterers were readily available. To my recollection, no one in the band partook of any such substance, but the entrepenuer of Simulated Stimulation did on more than one occasion.

I actually got our songs down to a lighting scheme, so that when the song was played the lighting effects stayed pretty much the same each time the song was played. Occasionally, yes, I changed a few things, but for the most part, the lighting became just another part of the song that remained the same each time.

Still, for me, something seemed to be missing. Something seemed to me needed to be added to each show to make it just a little bit different than the last one. As we added new songs, I felt the need to add new theatrics as well. Being basically a non-gifted musician, Jay gave me a set of morrocas to play, a tambourine which I became quite proficient at one finger twirling and I got a cowbell which was used whenever we played the lengthy instrumental portion of "Rock Me" by Steppenwolf.

Still, this didn't quite seem to be enough, and soon, unbeknownst to the members of Summer Heat, I began plotting a special addition to our scheduled dance that was to be played at the Community Building immediately following the final game of the Rush County basketball Sectional.

Not only did it set a precedent for Summer Heat becoming the most unpredictable local band Rush County had ever had, but it set the stage for many theatrical performances to follow.

to be continued.....

Stone Becomes Yet Another Stone

Sometimes memories fade
Sometimes they change
Sometimes they remain like a block of granite.

From you, someone who was supposed to be so
Much a part of me,
I vividly remember you
Standing, facing me,
Your hand out,
Your heart closed...
But smiling your false
Yet greedy smile.

And now,
as I stand facing you
with empty hands
My heart has also become empty
and for you
I hold no smile.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Our Private Dance

Of all things in this life
That I'll never be
Is a dancer, for I've been blessed
With two left feet.

Should a time arrive when
The two of us walk amongst
The beauty of the woods
Just one time I'd like to try and
Dance with you.

We won't need an accompaniment
Of an orchestra or a band
We'll have the music of the ages
To help us glide our steps.

The wings of the butterfly as she makes
Her journey home.
The whine of the mosquito as she searches
For her nightly meal.
The buzz of the hummingbird as he lands softly
Searching for his nectar in the lillies of the field.

The cicadas singing their high-pitched song
Looking for their intimate encounter that
Perpetuates their life cycle.
The crickets chirping out
To set our feet into rhythm.

Our arms embracing as our eyes
Gaze deeply into each other
Communicating a closeness
A bonding
A sensation like no other.

A dance with purpose
A dance with daring
A dance shared by two special friends
The music:

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Conceivable Concept

Last night one of those strange little quirks happened to me. For the second time since I began blogging somehow I managed to erase an entire blog right before it was finished. There it was, and then, there it WASN'T! Lost forever somewhere in the vast space that is called the web, never to be found again. To say I was upset would be an understatement, because quite frankly, I was pissed off!

It occurred to me at that time, that there was no way that I was ever going to recapture the essence of what I had written. It was lost forever, never to be returned to its original intended form. Then something else occurred to me at that time which is the reason for this blog in itself. Now before you go off and finish reading thinking you're reading the meanderings of someone who is smoking something really good here or maybe has nipped one too many shots out of a bottle of Crown, give this a chance, because I'm sure after you read thru it you will see the point I'm trying to make and shake your head in amazement at the profoundness of what you've just read.(Okay, maybe the last part is just wishful thinking on my part, but at least give this entire blog a read, ok?) Besides, it's shortly before 8 am and I haven't nary a thing to smoke or drink at this early hour, and I'm barely thru my first cup of coffee.

Writers expound upon us the wisdom of their with as they produce different articles of literature for us to read. Some spend mere minutes, others spend vast hours. Some like myself do it for the pleasure of releasing words from the mind, others do it to make their livings. Has it ever occurred to you that you are indeed NOT reading what they had originally intended for you to read?

I submit to you that a writer never, ever completely gets down on paper the original idea he had began his quest to write. For whatever reason, it never completely makes the trip from his mind to his hands and comes out in the same form it had originally intended to be. Consider this statement as I continue typing and you continue reading. As you just read this past paragraph, how many different thoughts crossed thru your mind? Doesn't the same thing happen to a writer, regardless of how absorbed he is in what he is writing? As his fingers move his pen or pencil or type out his words on typewriter or word processor, his mind wanders, and during those wanderings he has no control over, his words come out somehow different than they were originally intended. Therefore, what he writes is not what he had planned on writing. It has changed, mutated and become something different even though in many cases the intent has remained the same, the words have not stayed the same. Hell, in some cases the entire concept of a single sentence has mutated beyond what he had actually started to create.

Now, with this thought in mind, does it occur to you at all that what we are reading and in sometimes paying big bucks for isn't what had started off at its inception and we are reading merely a partial form of an originally intended work? So, are we paying a partial price of this piece of mutated literature because it isn't what was intended at its inception or are we being overcharged? Or, for that matter, is what we are reading better than originally planned and we're paying a premium on top or it's original intended price?

So, now that I've expunged this theory of mine, which I think is actually a matter of fact moreso than it is a theory, did I actually get it explained to you the way I had intended to or are you merely reading a mutated form of what I was trying to explain to you? The answer has to be obvious to you if you've read every word up to this point.

So consider now, as you continue to read these words and your mind continues to travel from thought to thought which you have no control over, consider that every great book you've ever read, every poem you've ever been fascinated with or even an article out of a newspaper or magazine is indeed NOT what the author began writing but rather is a mutated form of what it was supposed to be and not at all what it was going to be when started.

Mind boggling to say the least, or maybe because of its appearance here it should be considered mind-blogging!! And try and consider even further that what you just read, every single word, sentence and paragraph was actually NOT what it had originally set out to be. This even further boggles the mind if you ponder it long enough.

With that being said and for those of you who made it thru this entire blog, thanks for reading probably, oh, I don't know, maybe 70% of what I had intended to write to begin with. Or actually, maybe it was more like 106%, I can't be sure, because my mind was wandering while I was writing this and I can't be exactly sure at this point.

Can you?

Actually, this came out better than what I had originally written last night.

Or at least I think it did, I can't be sure because it didn't actually stay the same as I wrote it down....


Monday, October 10, 2005

A Satisfying Emptiness

A journey into words unfolds
As I try to bring into the light
The hurt and the very
Kept hidden in my heart for so many years.

We shared a special closeness
that was foreshadowed by an intense
Emotional unrest on your part
And I watched as the years went by
And you did your mental damage
Time and time again
To the seed
I had nurtured.

As the years rolled by us
You kept yourself and those in your life
Continually in our hearts
Yet all the while continuing to
The evil spirit of animosity
Towards one so special in my heart.

Like a weak-willed soul, I tried to look past
This idiosynchrisy and try and acheive
An acceptance
In an effort to hold onto
This bond that had held us together
For so very, very long.

As happens in life
The catalyst that held this heavy weight
Between us, bore down with a burden
That required nothing of you
Yet you seized the moment
And in a fit of glory shared only by
You fired it directly like an arrow
Into mine and my soulmate's hearts
Leaving a gaping wound in us both
Relishing in the orgasm of your self-fulfillment.

You have driven the final wedge, the final blow, and the ultimate
Exit of our bond.
As you live your life
As a legend
In your own mind
I hope this fulfillment of self-serving
Has been worth the price it has

You have become nothing in our hearts and
Nothing in our lives.
Yet I doubt you feel any loss
Because in your life
You only need to be fulfilled by yourself.

And you have always done that so very

Saturday, October 08, 2005

and the purpose of this is?

Yes, it's already happened to me on a few occasions, and as I browse around different blogs I notice an increasing number of cases of spam being left in the comments section. Even using the precautions blogger has set up, it still a case of someone barging in on your space and taking it up with useless and worthless tripe after you've taken a piece of yourself and left in down in words. Obviously the first course of action is to never, and I mean NEVER travel to the spam site that info has been left behind for. Secondly, promise yourself to never under any circumstance buy from any one of these spammers. Thirdly, I think blogger should give us the means to irradicate same said spammers from trashing up our blogs. The present method does no good.

Now, with that said and me feeling a bit relieved of spam induced tension, I'm off to Indiana Downs for my first visit to the world of horse racing.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Two Glorious Weeks

As I make this latest entry, my wife and I have started our favorite two weeks of the year, namely our October vacation. Even though our travel plans don't include any out of state travel this year, we still have plans and are going to be doing the best to renew our relationship with each other for the next couple of weeks.

I received disturbing news this last Friday when medical tests have shown that I have not only carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms, but I have degenerative arthritis of the spine. I guess this means I'm going to have to adapt my lifestyle somewhat, but other than that, I plan on being the same guy I've always been. I must admit it's harder to sit at the computer now and make these entries, but I still feel the need to release these words...

Anyway, two wonderful weeks of vacation lay before us, two romantic getaways are planned and our first trip to Indiana Downs also await us. Though the fall colors are a bit late arriving this year, you can be assured we'll be making a few sightseeing trips as well.

This will probably be my last post for the next couple of weeks, so until I return to the real world after vacation, let me just say that I will be back shortly after some badly needed R and R.

As always, I wish each of you Peace!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Cold Beans Don't Hit Me

Your words, empty of truth
they promise so much yet deliver so

You profess such alliegance
You deliver only lies

I gave you the essence of my being
I was there for you
When Mother Earth left you alone and

In return
You gave me emptiness
An empty heart
An uncaring soul
Which you still deliver without
Pause and without any

Each time I think you are reaching out
To me
I find you continue to live the lies
You have lived thoughout your
Yet try and blame on the one you
try and pass off as

Your phonyness
Is only emplefied
By your lying heart and
Your uncaring soul

You've had the chance on occasion
to fool with my heart
But now, my elaborate fool
You get the chance never again

Lie to others but leave me alone
the truth could literally bite you on the ass
And you wouldn't feel a thing
Much like I feel with your words now
After over three decades


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Remembering Summer Heat, Part Two

The biggest thing, I tried explaining to Jay, was that "lighting" was the biggest necessity to having a good show, even though basically Summer Heat was really providing music for people to dance to. At this point, all Summer Heat really possessed for lighting were a couple of boxed panels that had colored floodlights in them. The lights were blue and green and red, and that was it. They stayed on, the colors kind of mixing, but basically just putting a bit of dark colored light on the stage.

I told Jay I had found some flash buttons at a local hardware store. All you had to do with these flash buttons was put them in the socket before you put the bulb in, and the button caused the lights to flash off and on. These were purchased out the band's fund almost immediately. I also told the band that they couldn't go wrong if they had a good strobe light, but they were so expensive back then, and even though they thought a strobe light was a great idea, they balked when they priced one.

The next dance the band played was at a small venue in town that was sponsored by the local Boys Club that was called the Peppermint Cave. I helped them set up their equipment that night and told them how forward I was looking to add my "special effect" pipe smoke to their performance of "Fire" that night. That was when they told me that the Peppermint Cave was "smoke-free." Therefore, that night, I was there mainly to help set up and tear down. Running the lights consisted on plugging them into the socket and letting them blink off and on. Right away I could see this wasn't going to be one of my favorite places to be with the band.

A few nights later The Chalets were playing the Community Building again, and on this particular night I got a chance to really take a look at the equipment the band had. One of the guys, and damn but the years have taken the memory away of which one it was, but he had built this power box with outlets and switches on it that ran the bands lighting system. The Chalets not only had similar boxlights like Summer Heat's, but they also had a homemade strobe light. The had built a wooden box about three and a half feet square and about 10 inches deep that had a bracket built in the center of it that contained a fan motor. Instead of it having a fan blade, it had a large circular piece of cardboard with a small hole cut in the outer perimeter of it about 4 inches wide and 7 inches long. Mounted at the back of the box was a white floodlight. The fan was hooked up to one outlet and switch in the switchbox; the floodlight hooked up to another outlet and switch. The result was this fan motor whirling the cardboard around in a circle, only letting light go thru the hole. The large wooden box had a hole cut in a door that allowed the light to come out only at the top whenever the hole in the cardboard passed over the light. The result was an absolutely amazing and inexpensive "strobe light."

We immediately started asking questions of the band as to how long it took to make this. The guy that made it said it was a weekend project he had done himself. I asked him how much he would charge us to make us both the control box and the strobe. His answer was startling! He'd be more than willing to sell us these! With a unanimous vote of the band(no, I didn't get a vote since I wasn't a true member of the band), Summer Heat became the owners of The Chalet's strobe light and control panel. I was given the crash course on how to hook things up and how to run the controls by The Chalets, and Summer Heat gave me the job of being their special effects specialist! I was more than elated, to say the very least.

The next week the band once again played the Peppermint Cave. Not only did I get to help set up the stage with the band that night, I also got to hook up the lights for the first time to the new control panel and I got to set up the strobe light for the first time. That evening when Summer Heat played, they had not only flashing colored lights, but they had the strobe light they had wanted for a long, long time.

I experimented that night running the lighting, making sure to shut off the box lights when I ran the strobe light, and making sure not to overdo the strobe in an effort to avoid overkill of a great special effect. This would be the first night that I started getting a routine down to the bands repetoire. I would get better each and everytime they played, and I would be a part of Summer Heat every night they played after that. Even though I was never actually a member of the band itself, I became a fixture with the band. I even came up with a name for my job as their lighting director. The name was one I came up with that I never forgot and one that got Jay laughing each time it was mentioned.

I called it "Simulated Stimulation.

to be continued.....

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Time Of Renewal

For a few short weeks each year, we enter the early fall season. In my case, this is one of the very few times of the year that I feel totally alive! The crisp fresh air that breathes in and out of the lungs so well, the beautiful fall foliage, the reds, the golds and yellows, the oranges. It's a time of year that I look so forward to each year, knowing that it's only going to last for a few weeks and then the onset of my least favorite time of year follows that as winter rears its ugly head.

Years ago my wife and I spent our fall vacation time camping. Since we gave up camping eight years ago, we have found new ways to spend our time, most of it still spent outside. We normally take a trip to Tennessee or Virginia or North Carolina, but this year because of the oil companies greed in gouging the American public with ridiculous oil prices, we have decided to forget about travelling out of state and spend our time right here in good old Indiana and enjoy what our home state has to offer us in fall activities.

The nice thing about this time of year for us is that we take an entire two weeks off from our jobs, we spend the entire time together and enjoy each other's company the entire time we are off from work. This time is quality time, time well spent, and time that we invest in each other and in our marriage. And since it's our big vacation every year, I tend to find myself wishing summer away in anticipation of the arrival of October.

For those of you who find these words and read them, it is my wish that you use this wonderful season of the year as a time of renewal and fulfillment. Enjoy autumn to its fullest extent, because it won't last that long!


Friday, September 23, 2005

Is It Any Wonder?

Have you ever seen this?

I thought I had years ago, but then after careful consideration I realize that what I had seen at the time was not the same thing as this is. Usually I keep it out of direct sunlight, although I've heard that if you filter the sun's rays thru amber tint it won't hurt it at all, although I couldn't verify if that is actually true or not.

Some people I've heard in back alley rumors keep theirs under a tarp, which I can't understand because it seems to me like if you were at all proud of it, you'd keep it out in plain view so you could share it with others, maybe even gloating about having it in your possession to begin with. You just have to keep the sun off it, that's the main thing.

I've never seen this for sale on eBay, although I can't imagine why not, except for the fact that it's actually very rare and hard to find. I've even gone as far as looking thru Yahoo to see if you can find any new ones out there, but obviously as you can probably tell, they don't make them anymore, least wise, not like this one. And they do say the older ones are the best ones.

I've heard of some dating back to before the Boston Tea Party. Can you imagine that? I know this one isn't that old, you can tell by the color up at the top edge on the right. However, some people seem to think that takes away from the stellar beauty of it, but to me it seems to intensify it! I mean look at this, take a good long, hard look, if you can, because frankly, it's hard to keep looking at it for very long. Makes one afraid of the old myth about blindness.

Anyway, I'm not trying to make you jealous, well at least not overly jealous. I just happen to be proud that I have this one and I can't help but want others to know that I have it. We've upped our security system here at home, adding those digital locks with the basically impossible code to break, and after talking to our homeowner's insurance agent, he put a rider on our existing policy to make sure it was covered. Hell, you can't just have this without having insurance on it. You have to protect your investment, you know?

And I am proud, and proud without being a gloating SOB about it, too. If I was able to share this with a few of my close and personal friends, I would, but looking at it realistically, you can be assured I don't even share this with my family. Hell, I can't because there simply isn't enough to go around. Actually most people understand, and I'm hoping you do too.

Thanks for being my friend and for sharing in my joy. It makes me feel very special to be able to share this with you, even if it is for just a moment and out of the direct rays of the sun. Besides, isn't that what friends are for?

Bless you for being so special!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Step From The Norm Neatly

I can't find my way
Alone in the
I need someone to guide me.

The fear wells up
Inside me at
Won't you come and sit beside me:


Memories Of A Less Troubled Time

Years ago, more than I care to think about, no one had ever heard of a designated driver! That's not to say that there weren't such people that stayed away from the booze all evening long, but it just wasn't something that was really ever talked about.

During those times it was not uncommon for my wife and I to have a houseful of company on a weekend night and an absolutely amazing amount of alcohol be consumed. And while most of our friends drank as much as they wanted, I don't think there were a lot of people that left and hit the road three sheets to the wind.

We did have a friend one night decide he could stomp on a two by twelve plank and break it half, only to find out that this particular plank was bullheaded and had no intention of letting him have his way. Thus, a tetnaus shot and thirty-seven stitches later after an hour or so in the local emergency room rounded out the evening of fun and excitement.

Then there was the night one of our crowd was bragging about all the pot he had smoked and how it never affected him. The next weekend our same small group of people got together, loaded up a pipe with the contents of a Lipton tea bag and watched same said individual get stoned on his ass as the rest of us laughed behind his back, amazed that anyone, anwhere and at anytime could ever get even a mild buzz of of good old Lipton Tea!

One of group belly crawled upon a poor unsuspecting couple one evening that were parked up at the top of our hill and in the heat of passion they didn't hear the air being let out of their tires. Another couple a few weeks later parked in about the same spot were shammed by our group as we each wore a blanket around us and over our heads and walked towards their car chanting out loud like a group of "Satanists." I don't recall ever seeing anyone getting their pants on and taking off any quicker than I did that night.

We had one night when all of us beer drinkers decided to drink screwdrivers instead of beer. We each spent the evening with the blender nearby mixing vodka and orange juice. When our friend the tea smoker showed up, we convinced him to join us and drink screwdrivers with us. And we were nice to him that evening, too. We mixed his drinks the same as ours, two fingers of booze and the rest of the glass filled with orange juice over ice. Oh, did I fail to mention that while our drinks all consisted of two fingers of vodka per glass, his glasses someone received two fingers of Everclear alcohol! All one hundred and ninety proof! Needless to say, this young man felt pretty rough on Sunday morning from all reports, and to this day, unless he's reading this now, we never did tell him what we had done.

There are countless other tales and adventures and misadventures, but the point being, we all had a good time, made some wonderful memories, and put no one at risk on the highways. We provided a safe haven for our friends to get rowdy and have a good time without putting anyone at risk.

I wouldn't change any of that for anything in the world and given the chance I would do it all over again.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So, What's Next?

Anyone who drives has got to be wondering just what is going to happen next with the price of gasoline. Gasoline has gone up more in price in the past few weeks than it has in years. If you think I'm exaggerating, think about this for just a moment.

Just a few weeks back gasoline jumped over the $2 a gallon mark for the first time. That infamous date was March 29th, 2005. As of today, a mere 5 months later, we have travelled thru the $2 range and gasoline in certain places in central Indiana today has crested the $3 a gallon mark.

Listening to the price analysts on radio and tv today is like trying to listen to a lawyer. Part of this price increased is supposedly based on advance fear ratio. Excuse me, but what in the bloody hell is that?

Does that mean people are getting worried about gas prices so the oil industry goes ahead and jacks up the price because of these fears? What a crock!

And of course, the oil barons are also taking advantage of the serious hurricane damage sustained in the Gulf of Mexico to add even more to the price of a gallon of gasoline. The sad thing is, nobody, nowhere seems to be doing anything about it.

Naturally the president will do nothing, mainly because of his investments in the oil industry. He is no doubt going to profit handsomely thru this time of overinflated pricing. The funny thing I can't seem to get over here and that no one can explain to me is that the gas prices are being jacked up on gas that was already paid for months ago! How can something that has already been paid for go up because of recent events? Can someone explain that to me in plain unvarnished truth? I think the answer is an obvious no!

My own take of this accelerated trip thru the $2 range and into the $3 one is quite simple. We keep the prices in the current $3 range for a short period of time, lower back down into the mid $2.70 range, and people will think they are getting a bargain once again, even though they are really getting shafted while the oil industry continues to show the largest profits in history.

I talk to a lot of people, and very few I talk to have done anything to curb their driving to less miles. Most continue to take trips, make numerous trips that could be consolidated into one trip, and they continue to fill up and not raise any hell about it.

Not here. This year, instead of my wife and I taking our normal out of state vacation in October, we're merely staying close to home and do some local sight seeing rather than drive thru 5 to 7 states and make numerous stays in hotels along the way.

Our nation is slowing bankrupting itself, thanks in part to the increase in crude oil futures. My trash hauling company is adding a fuel recovery charge to each stop they make on their trash runs. As I see, they are going to add on a charge of $1.75 per stop, per week. So, if they stop in my neighborhood, they are now going to make an extra $17.50 a week, in my neighborhood alone. In my opinion, they are merely using the extra price per gallone of fuel to pocket a larger profit on their services. And yes, I am looking for another company to haul my trash.

Heating oil and gas supplies, both natural and LP, will be higher this winter than ever before. People on fixed incomes will either have to turn down the heat or find more money to pay their bills. I hate to think of the people who will be freezing to death, literally, this coming winter.

President Bush doesn't hesitate to use "terroism" as a reason to invade countries and wage war, yet he is allowing the oil industry to hold the American public hostage while the fat cats continue to get fatter, he himself among them.

Now I know I've gone and pissed some of my regular readers off with what I've written here today, but I think it's something we all need to take a look at. This situation isn't going to get any better. And if you think it is, take a moment today to write today's date down and put it up somewhere, along with the current price of gasoline from the station where you normally buy your gas and check back with it and keep record in the weeks to come.

It could be that gas might make an even quicker trip thru the $3 range and make a speedy journey into the $4 range before it subsides a few cents. But it should be interesting to watch. And should gas move into the $4 a gallon range before it starts sliding in price, I bet it gets there quicker than it did for it to go from $2 a gallon to $3 a gallon.

Drive smart, readers, slow down and consolidate your trips. Car pool if you can and find things closer to home to do. Quit using as much gas as your do right now, and hopefully someday the truth can come out and something can be done to stop this madness!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Remembering Summer Heat, Part One

Back during the mid to late '60's, a common activity that took place regularly were teen dances at the Rush County Fairgrounds Community Building. Live bands from around the area and sometimes from Ohio would come, set up on a makeshift stage on the south wall of same said building and begin playing music for Rush County youth to dance to. These dances normally began around 8 pm and last until 11pm. A usual turnout of around 100 to 150 was normal, and along with the presence of youth there was always the presence of local law enforcement as well.

I recall back in 1968 attending my first dance at the Community Building, presented by then hot tune am station WIBC-AM. DJ Jim Shelton emceed an Indianapolis band called "The Sons of Summer." They were actually a quite talented band of young men varying in age from their late teens to early 20's. Myself and a couple of friends attended, and as big a lover of rock music as I was back then, I was instantly hooked. For a buck and a half we were not only entertained by the band and Jim Shelton, but we got to watch various foxy ladies gyrating to the music that was obviously being played way too loud, but wouldn't have sounded as good if it had been turned down.

I was fortunate to see "The Sons" on several occassions, and even managed to get to know Jim Shelton on a personal basis thru another friend of mine who was quite a talented drummer. I eventually got to work for Jim on a few occassions by taking posters around Rush County and advertising for upcoming shows that he held. The pay wasn't much, a few dollars and free admission to the dances, but it was the music business, and at that time in my life, music was where I wanted to spend my life!

WSAI-AM out of Cincinnati held a couple of dances there, with several bands playing the three hours. I vividly remember a group called the Gory Oatly and a Cincy band called Love Train that had a gorgeous lead singer, and if memory serves me correctly, Love Train was the only band that played there that boasted a female lead singer.

Other times, the dances held were by more local groups, from Shelbyville or Connersville. One band that played innumerable times were the Chalets from Shelbyville. I got to know several members of the Chalets, Mike Davis, Rocket, Jack Hignite, and we became friends that always enjoyed seeing each other whenever they came to town to play.

Also back in 1968, Rushville itself had a few local bands trying to make a name for themselves. A couple were pretty much forgettable, namely Innovation and Care. One band, though, that really rocked and comprised solely of Rushville natives was Summer Heat. These guys were great! Another thing about the local bands was that they only charged a buck a head to get into their dances.

Summer Heat was comprised of lead singer Jay McGinnis, lead guitarist Mike Clarkson, bass guitarist Denny Dawson, and drummer Jim Smiley. All of them were well-known, popular teenagers and all very talented!

I remember at my second Summer Heat dance, they had a table set up in front of the stage with this huge speaker in front. Since I've never been a talented dancer at all having been blessed at birth with two left feet, I generally spent my time in front of that speaker listening to their music full bore! On this evening in question the band began playing their version of Jimi Hendrix's classic, Fire. As Jay belted out the words, I sat down on the speaker table and took my pipe out of my mouth and began blowing into the bowl of it, forcing this huge cloud of smoke up towards Jay and the band. If you've never seen anyone blow thru a tobacco smoking pipe backwards, it's quite a sight to behold. The amount of smoke resembles that of a small forest fire. It's huge, very blue looking, and yes, it really stinks like hell, too!

Anyway, Jay became so engrossed with this neat "special effect" that he and the band added a couple of extra rounds to the song, extending it way past its normal length. As soon as the song was over, the band took a break and Jay came down to talk to me.

He told me that he had seen me coming to the dances for a few months and was wondering who I was, so I introduced myself. The smoke was still hanging in the air and he laughed and told me how cool that had been to be singing a song called Fire with all that smoke unexpectedly filling the stage. When I told him that it just seemed right to do it when they started playing the song, he told me I had a good idea and asked me if I had anymore ideas the band might use.

What I didn't realize at that moment was how important an effect this band was about to have in my life for the next couple of years.

This was going to be the first of a great many nights spent with Summer Heat.

A lot of memorable nights....

to be continued.....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Congrats, Rushville Rocket!

This past Sunday's Brickyard 400 was not only one of the most exciting Brickyards ever, but it was very special to those of us who are dyed in the wool Tony Stewart fans. This is, after all, the one track Tony has always dreamed of winning at. That dream finally came true for him at long last.

A new track surface seemed to allow for more passing than is usual at the famed 2 1/2 mile rectangular track. Not only more passing in the field this year, but more passes up front. Instead of the usual game of follow the leader after the first handful of laps, this 400 miler gave lots of exciting track action for the Nextel Cup fans.

I made my usual trek for both Friday and Saturday action again this year, even though Friday turned out to be a day of no more than sitting in the stands and trying to wait out the rain. Sitting under the protection of an awning over our seats proved to be just what we needed, as we sat for over 7 hours, hoping that Nascar would at least make an attempt to dry the track.(Even after the rains finally came to a halt in the early afternoon, it was apparent to those of us faithful that Nascar had no intention of really trying to get the track dry. Within a half hour of bright sunshine returning to the Speedway, the announcement came around 3:10Pm that all track activity scheduled for that day had been postponed.

So, again early Saturday morning, we made our dash to our favorite seats down in turn 1 and waited for action to begin as the thousands of fans began to pour in. After a few rain delayed moments within minutes of practice starting, Nascar allowed the two one hour practice sessions to become on lengthened two hour session. Honestly, it was one of the best pre-qualifying practices I have ever attended. The break between practice and actual qualifying, however, was long and drawn out, with no track activities in between to occupy the interest of the fans in the stands. This was okay, however, because it allowed several trips down to the concession area where several bloody marys and a few Crowns and Coke were purchased and consumed, along, of course, with the some several Coors Lights I happened to bring along.

With qualifications set for 3 pm, the crowds never really started looking for seats until, oh, let's see, about twenty minutes before qualifying started. I can't tell you how many people actually thought they were going to get those choice seats, but from all the people I watched make the climb up to the top of the stands and the look of bewilderment on their faces when they found no empty seats, the number was huge!

An action packed two and a quarter hours of qualifying followed, setting the field for Sunday's running of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. And as much as I would have loved to have been in attendance the following day, my wife and I decided not to pursue that venture, and we rode home with a friend of ours and settled for watching the race on NBC. After all, we didn't have to get up real early to make the trip to Indy, pay outrageous prices to park and fight the crowd of people or the jam of traffic that snarled its way towards the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we didn't have to stand in line to go to the bathroom, and we didn't have to fight the crowd getting out of there, either. We sat in our living room and watched the race unfold before us on our large 60 inch television and had a view of the entire race better than any seat at the Speedway would have allowed us to have.

My biggest regret, however, was not being able to see Tony cross that finish line ahead of everyone else in person. My couch has the imprint of both of my hands that I left after watching him retake the lead, and then again when he saw the checkered flag wave ahead of everyone else. I shared in his joy and in the joy of the tens of thousands of his fans as he won a race at the track he had always dreamed of winning a race at. My wife and I watched his Polish victory laps, we watched him climb the fence along with his crew, and we watched him receive his trophy and the traditional kissing of the bricks at the start-finish line.

To see Tony win at the track that his luck has never held out for him on, was such a glorious thing to behold. And now that Tony has risen above the beast that has kept him out of Victory Circle on so many occasions, both in Nascar and the IRL, I sincerely hope it is the first of many victories for him at the famed Brickyard.

This is what Tony has wanted for so long, and now that he has made this achievement, hopefully that second championship awaits him at the end of this year's Nextel Cup season.

My heartiest congratulations once again to Tony Stewart, the Rushville Rocket!!!