Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year (And it could not have come soon enough).

* The 12 posts preceding this one are my favorites/milestones from a very tumultuous 2010.

It started out with one of the worst Winters on record.
Then, when Spring was just arriving, my mother's dementia took a turn for the worse and she passed away in mid May.
Summer was no better, as my daughter had to experience firsthand the "shithole" that our city has become.
Fall found me extremely depressed, but I fought through it without the help of pharmaceuticals.

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

In reality, it is just another tick of the clock that turns a Friday into a Saturday.
A December into a January.
2010 into 2011.

But, it is more than that. It is a fresh start.

Sure, we will all have the same problems in our life at 12:00:00AM that we had at 11:59:59PM.

But, we can always hope that things will get better.

Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things.


Originally posted on Dec. 14,2010.

As usual, I came home from work today and turned on the computer. After all, it is my life. That is an unfortunate four words to type, but it is the truth. And, believe me, I am not the only one.
I go to sit down at the computer and I have no internet connection. I run thru my usual steps to remedy this situation.
1) Remove and re-insert wireless USB network adapter.
2) Go upstairs and remove and re-insert modem connection.
3) Reset modem.
4) Try #1, #2 and #3 numerous more times.
5)~The Dreaded #5: Call Comcast!

When I finally got through to a "real" human being, my first question to him was: Is Comcast experiencing any connection issues in my area? He replied to the negative.
After I explained to him what issues I was having and what I had done to remedy the situation, he told me (on his end) that I had no signal coming into my home. He even asked me if I was able to access my cable T.V. Yes, I was. That was the first thing that I had checked.
The solution from Comcast was to schedule an appointment that was convenient for them(i.e.~ between 1 and 4 on Saturday). Who the hell can live without the internet for almost 4 days? That is like denying a junkie "smack"!!!
So...I take matters into my own hands and move the modem to another upstairs room and I still have no connection. I re-connect to the original room and "Wah-la! I have a signal. The only trouble is that I have to re-enter my 26 character WEP password. It is a good thing that I never throw away anything!
The only trouble(now)is that I had to use that old linksys adapter to connect to the internet. It was either that, or use my next door neighbor's signal.
So here I am surfing the internet "unprotected".
Oh well, I guess if you are a junkie and need your fix, you will share a needle.

If You Want To Make The World A Better Place...

Originally posted on Nov. 22,2010.


Originally posted on Oct. 15,2010.

I have been in a "funk" for the better part of this year. It started about a month before my mom got sick and eventually passed away. I have had no energy, no appetite, nor any "zest" for life at all.
Last month, I went to my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment and voiced my concerns to my doc. He had put me on a beta blocker in the summer of 2009, when I had that "episode" that gave me my first ride in an ambulance. With my suggestion that this drug could be causing my lethargy, he took me off of it to see if my blood pressure would remain the same. Two weeks later, I was back in his office and he informed me that there was no change in my BP.
Next, he ordered four different blood tests(CBC, TSH, Testosterone and MGTT). All tests came back good, meaning that nothing tested would cause my lethargy. What he was doing was a clinical test for my depression.
That being said, I am now going to try a depression type drug(probably Prozac). It will take a few weeks to kick in. We will see if I can get "zesty" again.
In the meantime, if you notice me getting a little too "zesty" on this here blog, please tap me on the shoulder. Being a little "manic" is always cool. Being a lot "manic" is not.

Santana is the best band that I almost got to see. We were on the Bay Bridge when the radio informed us that the concert at Memorial Stadium had been canceled, when lightning hit the stage. This was in 1974.

"King Curtis: Live on Newton Street"

Originally posted on Sept. 15,2010.

When my older brother married his first wife in the summer of 1972, they moved into a third floor walk-up apartment on Newton Street in Salisbury. The three rooms with a bath were probably just one large bedroom back when the house was originally built. I am sure that the address was one of the most fashionable in the town at that time.
In 1972, the area was not at all a bad place to live. In fact, across the street, lived Dr. Fritz and his family. Today, I would not even drive down the street in broad daylight and everyone knows why. But, I digress.
In the summer of '72, my brother's place was the place to hang out on occasion for me and my friends. He was of age to buy beer, always had the best "grass" and had the latest "cool" music that us high school kids would never have stumbled upon, without our time on Newton Street.
Whenever I think of Newton Street and the music that my brother turned us on to, I think of this one particular LP. I title it..."King Curtis: Live on Newton Street"!


Originally posted on Aug. 31,2010.

"There can't be any such thing as civilization, unless people have a conscience. Because if people touch God anywhere, where is it, except through their conscience. And what is anybody's conscience, except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived".

In Remembrance

Originally posted on July 2,2010.


Originally posted on June 11,2010.

These two were married a year later. You can almost see the "feelings" jump off the screen!

"I Hate To See That Evenin' Sun Go Down"

Originally posted on May 14,2010.

Yesterday, at 5:30 PM, my mom passed away.
She had been very ill for the past two months.
She was a very strong willed woman, witnessed by the events of the last two months.
I saw her today at the funeral home for the last time and she looked very peaceful.
In fact, she looked so at peace, so incredibly at peace, that now I can be at peace.
Thanks Mom, I love you muchly!

Her favorite song:


Originally posted on April 7,2010

To the good old days...when women were women and men were damn glad of it!


Gone From My Sight

Originally posted on March 26,2010.

I am slowly getting comfortable with the realization that my mom is dying. I think that she has been getting ready for this event for some time now. When people acknowledge that "yes, I am dying", they often go through several stages in preparation. Increase in sleep, decrease in food intake, picking at clothes and agitation are some of the signs that I have witnessed in the last few weeks. At the hospital, her heart rate was all over the place, including zero (another sign). Yesterday, she was moved to the Hospice at the Lake in the Deer's Head complex. I guess that it is just a matter of time, now.
Several weeks ago, we had a conversation about her death. She told me that it could happen in 10 minutes or 10 years; one never knows.
Whenever it does happen, I think that I am ready for it, because I think that she is.


Originally posted on Feb.20,2010

First I would like to apologize to Rec1(Rick) for not being able to stay to catch his band, Reconcile520. The hour was getting late and I had to get home to tend to familial duties. I did buy one of the band's tee shirts and I did get to meet him in person. Thank you for putting together this show for such a worthy cause.

Now on to the music. First up was The Permilla Project, my favorite local band. They did a cover of Steely Dan's "Josie" and a set of original songs, including "Black Beans and Rice", "Pesto" and "The Bullfighter". "Bullfighter" was the best performance of the evening by far for me. Here is a taste of some "Black Beans and Rice" for those of you who were unable to attend this musical feast.

After a short break to set the stage for Bluelight Special, which is Melanie of Progressive Delmarva's band, my daughter and I moved to the front row with the rest of the media (aka Michael of Monoblogue).
Let me tell you that Meredith(twirling...towards freedom blogger) and I had a ball.
Listen to this line up of songs that this six member group performed:

(Jenny) 867-5309
Walk Like An Egyptian
Rock This Town
Just What I Needed
My Sharona
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Pretty In Pink
Our Lips Are Sealed
Dancing With Myself
Any Way You Want It

I think that I forgot their opening song.
It went something like this...

You go, girl!(2nd from left)


Originally posted on Jan.9,2010.

Why P.W. did not receive an Oscar nomination for this scene alone makes me think that Hollywood 'just doesn't get it'!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010



{I am not alone when it comes to my choice in picking "my" favorite Christmas movie. Heck, I would go as far as to say that "It's A Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie of all time.
In fact, this movie was not intended to be a Christmas movie. The finale of the movie just happened to occur on Christmas Eve.
The first time that I ever saw this movie was just before Christmas in 1977. Four or 5 of us had been riding around catching a buzz and ended up at Hollywood's mom's house. I am sure that she must have been away for the holidays. We would not have gone there otherwise.
Not one of us guys had ever seen this movie, but at the end, there was not a dry eye in the house!
If you have a soul, you can not not be touched by a Good vs. Evil parable.}

I would like to wish everyone of my readers a very Merry Christmas!
The majority of you are fellow bloggers that I have never even met or have met only on a limited basis. However, one can learn a lot about another person by the content of their blog and even their comments on my blog. I don't see a one of you that I do not consider a friend!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

ATGR Experiences Record Day!!!

Yesterday, my blog experienced a record day!
No, I did not have 7 gazillion hits like some other blogs around here like to claim.
My sitemeter stats revealed that I had 13 visits to my blog. Actually, only 9 computers visited ATGR on December 22. One IP address visited my site 5 times throughout the day. To be more accurate, that one IP address "spent the day" at ATGR!

Page Views: 253.
Time: 10 Hours and 39 Minutes.

The longest stretch was for 6 Hours, 7 Minutes and 42 Seconds. That's a lot of reading!

I would much rather have this kind of record day, then to have a gazillion visits. It makes me happy to know that someone out there in cyberspace enjoyed what I have been doing for these past 3 years or so to actually spend that much time reading it.

Maybe to them, it was like a good book. They just could not put it down. They just had to see what was next.

I have an inkling to whom it was by the location. But in any case, I hope that whomever it was enjoyed it, and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grandma Was A Blogger!

Last week, when my internet access crashed, I had to amuse myself in other ways.
I pulled out all my handheld games, only to find that all but one had died due to battery fatigue.

After playing the one surviving game(5 card draw/deuces wild)for maybe 20 minutes, I went in search of something more stimulating to the gray matter.
My mom was a whizz at double acrostics and had several uncompleted books. I tried filling in the clues, but found that my knowledge of "Cinema" was not that great. If only I had the internet to search out what was Anthony Minghella's directorial debut in 1991(3 words). I will check that later.
Also in the drawer with the puzzle book was my Grandmother's diary. She kept a journal of her day to day life, right up until the day she had her stroke. The journal that I found was dated "December 1, 1965 through June 30, 1966". At the time, I was 11 years old.

My Grandmother had lost her husband a few years earlier and had moved from McLean,Va. to our town in Delaware to be near her family. She bought a new 2 bedroom house within walking distance to ours.

While reading her journal, I was amazed at how vivid my memory was of some of the events that she described. That was 45 years ago!

I remember going on the trip to D.C. for the Auntie's Christmas party and how the static carpet at the hotel would make us "shock" anything we touched when we scuffed our shoes on it. I am sure that my sister was the main recipient of the "shocks", courtesy of me and my brother.

I remember her descriptive of my and my mother's trip to see the Washington Senators baseball game in D.C. I recall that Frank Howard had bunted down the third base line to knock in the winning run. I now know that they had trailed 5-2 against the Angels going into the last half of the ninth on May 21, 1966 and the high that day was 82*.

These are just two of the mundane entries that jumped off the pages of Grandma's blog. Of interest to no one but me, as I am the only one left that could appreciate the day to day happenings of a 75 year old woman that was loved dearly by all her family. Not one day went by that my mom and brother did not stop in to visit her. I did not go as often as them, but I did find an entry that made me smile a bit.

Sunday, February 13, 1966.

Rained during night. Much rain today, accompanied by high winds, even a tornado warning.
In one of the heaviest downpours, Ridgely was blown to my front door.
He did not want Grandma to be alone in a tornado!

I don't really remember that, but...yep, that sounds like something I would have done!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sharing Thoughts...

My Most Unforgettable Character !

I believe it was in 1986 that I met "Grace",when she came to work for the same company that I was employed with. I think she was 58 at the time. She was a large woman with flowing gray hair, and her eyes and her soul "sparkled".We worked side by side for most of that summer and we talked a lot. She is the only true hippie that I have ever met. She once lived on a commune. She lived in Greenwich Village in the early sixties, and recalled to me about seeing Bob Dylan perform when no one even knew who he was. Another artist that she knew was "Country" Joe McDonald and I believe the actor Tony Franciosi (sp).We argued about politics and in what direction the country needed to go. Politically, I was a right leaning moderate and if she had been any more to the left she would have fallen over sideways. She gave me little gifts,things she made for me.One was a picture of a snow covered lane that she pasted on to construction paper. Under the picture,she wrote my favorite poem by my favorite poet ("Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost). She also made a cassette tape for me. It began with a song by Steve Miller titled "Wide River"and most of the rest of side one was filled with Gregorian Chants. Side two was never used. I think she saw value in me and was trying to change my way of thinking.She once told me that I " had the mouth of the devil,but the eyes of Jesus Christ". She saw through the bullshit.A couple years later, I left that store and moved to a different branch that was closer to home. She kept in touch,sending Christmas cards.The address was never correct,but the cards some how found their way to my mailbox. I think "Grace" died in 2003. I was lucky enough to get her phone number and speak with her beforehand.We spoke awhile and she spoke with my daughter(who wasn't even born in 1986) even longer. Maybe she knew that she did not have much longer on this earth and needed to pass on to my daughter that her father had value ,but needed to change his way of thinking.Rest in Peace, "Grace"! And yes,I have changed my way of thinking.The next post is for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor/ Box Brownie/ Pink Floyd.

"Get Me Everything We've Got On Pearl Harbor".

On Saturday night, December 6, 1941, my mother and father had their first date. They both worked at the Washington Post. He in advertising. She in the "morgue" or research.
Dad took her to a night club in the city. The reason that he took her to this particular club was because the singer that evening was Kay Griffith. Mom's first name was Kay. Dad's last name was Griffith. She always claimed that she did not get the "hint".
The next day, while working in the "morgue", my mother's boss came down and asked her to get everything they had on Pearl Harbor. Her reply: "Where's Pearl Harbor?". His reply: "The hell if I know!".
Later that day (and until this day), we will always remember where Pearl Harbor is.

The #1 song in the country on this day in 1941.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

This Is SOOOO Cool!

Google maps has outdone themselves.

This is the house that I grew up in, in Milford, Delaware.
The house on the right was inhabited by the Gardner family, as it was the parsonage of Christ Episcopal Church. Right of that is the house of the Young's and then the Barto's. To the left of my house is the Ackerman's. We will not go there!
You can even scroll around 360*. Across the street was Toad Road. I do not know why Google maps insists on calling it Plum St.

View Larger Map

Friday, December 3, 2010

What Would YOU Do?

YOU move into a previously respectable apartment complex that is offering a discount to new renters. The place is roomier than YOUR old place and everything appears to be nice. YOU sign a one year lease and settle in.
Then, the previously respectable apartment complex shows it true colors.
Tenants are apartment hopping.
Tenants are out at all hours of the night, hollering and playing loud music.
Tenants are dealing drugs on the sidewalks in broad daylight.
Tenants are vandalizing YOUR vehicle.
Two tenants are victims of "extreme violence" in an apartment in the building across the courtyard from YOU.
(the next tenant in that apartment finds $100,000.00 stuffed behind the washing machine)
Not so respectable, is it!
Would YOU want to continue to live here?
I know that I wouldn't!

So, YOU move out and the landlord takes YOU to court for breaking YOUR lease.
The disposition of this case has yet to be decided. But if "Justice" really is about finding out the "Truth", then it should be a no brainer.