Can’t Beet That or: Red Head Shot

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Salutations™!!

I did something I’ve not done in a while today and that’s got a sunburn. I met with my friend Stallone Frazier to do a few headshots for a project or two I have coming up and we were on top of a building downtown. I wanted scenes from the town I love. That’s not what did it, though.

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So red I glow! (no, not really)

Stallone is an awesome dude and we had a two-hour conversation about life, business, business life, kids, parents, and so on. It was just cool talking with him. I dig him a lot and what time we get it was good just hanging out on the top of this building. The bad part was it was right in the sun. There was a lovely shaded space but we didn’t move there. I think we both thought we’d end the conversation at any time but it went on for two hours. But, you know what? To me, it was worth it.

So, for the next few days, I’ll still be able to fry an egg on my head and will start peeling, but that’s okay. All is good. Thanks again, Stallone! I’ve seen other people’s headshots he’s done and they’ve been great, but the subject matter was me this time. I will probably hate them because I’m in them, but I’m sure the shots will be great! When I have something, I’ll share. Stallone is also working on branding for me for a “new venture” which isn’t really new, but he did The Man Who Ate the Town logo, which I love. You should contact him if you need photography or graphic design done.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they now do.” – Will Rogers

Still Flying or: The Bad Crash

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Salutations™!!

Today was an up-and-down, topsy-turvy kind of day, Dear Reader. I was still flying high from Saturday’s Cobras game and then the relaxing, laid-back nature of the day yesterday, along with some yard-sitting. Rule1logonew

Today, I had all my podcasts, save one, cancel so, it was to be an easy day.

The podcast I did was the Rule One Podcast, and we know that while there are humorous aspects to this podcast, the subject matter is very serious. It’s about addiction and can be for several things, but mostly drugs since Kerri Sigler is the founder of Phoenix Rising and the WS Drug Court.

The subject was tough. We had a young mother, whom we call “Nicole,” talking about how she got into drugs, what she did to try to get off of them and how she’s now been stripped of her rights as a parent. It was heartbreaking listening to her story.

A lot of people ask how can your child not be enough!? How can you still do drugs when you’ll lose them!?

Those are unfair questions. Addiction doesn’t work that way. Addiction doesn’t care what the consequences are. Well, she could not take them. No, that doesn’t work either. When a 12-year old girl is introduced to drugs by an aunt, someone she should trust, and that continues on into her teens and then the parents of the boyfriend (baby daddy) introduces a late-teen already hooked on stuff to crushed-up pain pills and how to snort them, there’s nowhere for that child to go. Okay, run away! When that is your lifestyle, you don’t know to run away. Stop being an insensitive f**k!

She admitted the only person in her family that wasn’t an addict was her mother, who was partially disabled. Listening to her story and hearing the emotions was hard. I never fully recovered all day.

3B had fallen asleep at his mom’s for Easter dinner but was supposed to be with me yesterday. He doesn’t have his after-nines (driving after 9pm), yet and while he is allowed to drive after nine for work or school, this was neither. So, I didn’t get to see him yesterday and he worked today so I didn’t get to see him today. Just hearing “Nicole’s” story, I wanted to hug him, badly. But, I also know that he’s growing up and my time of seeing him is going to get shorter and shorter and he’ll be off to school (hopefully) after this and I will see him even less.

It makes me realize how my parents feel when I don’t see them as often as I could. I mean, they live right next door. But, my regular schedule (and theirs), keeps me busy and harder to get by there. Reminds me of a song…

You can hear the episode HERE.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon. ‘When you coming home, son?’ ‘I don’t know when. But we’ll get together then, dad. You know we’ll have a good time then.'” – “Cats in the Cradle” (Chapin)

Not-So-Silent Sunday or: The Home Game

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Salutations™!!

Yesterday was my first game as “the Voice” of the Carolina Cobras. It was a little nerve-wracking at first as the schedule was tight and we had to hit marks. But, I had an intern on headset telling me what they wanted when. After the first 10 minutes or so, everything settled down and the flow really picked up.

I had plenty of time to throw my personality in the announcements, as well, interacting with the crowd a bit. And, we raised the 2018 NAL Championship banner last night!

I’m also proud of my Fan Interference partner, Ty Collins as he was the play-by-play for the Cobras. He did a great job with his color commentator, Matthew (sorry I missed the last name). This was co-broadcast on local My48 and on YouTube. So, I am including the YouTube feed and it’s a long one, but if you’re interested, you can enjoy the game. The next game is on May 4th and it will be Star Wars night. So, enjoy the game.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Cobra Nation, make some noise!” – Me

Sounds Like Saturday or: That Devil, In GA

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Salutations™!!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Charlie Daniel’s Band’s Million Mile Reflections which featured what is probably CDB’s most famous tune. Now, this version is different, a little cheesy even, but man, the girl is pretty darned smokin’, so I’ll go with it. Michelle Lambert, take it away…

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“He played ‘Fire on the Mountain’ run boys, run. The devil’s in the House of the Rising Sun. Chicken in a bread pan pickin’ out dough. Granny, does your dog bite? No child, no!” – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Marshall)

A Piggyback Tasting or: With a Little Zesto

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Salutations™!!

I wrote a big long blog post on The Man Who Ate the Town blog today of our big tasting and blogger event at Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream yesterday.

15 Spicy Honey Chix

Spicy Honey Chicken Sandwich

I’m no stranger to Zesto, so I organized the blogger/writer event. It was good. We had close to 20 items. That’s a load of food. Read the blog post HERE.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


Our menu is based on fresh products and over 70 years of passionate cooking for millions of customers” – Zesto Burgers & Ice Cream

A Happily Recurring Theme or: Seventh Second

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Salutations™!!

Note: I liked what I wrote about this day last year so I just copied it and reposted. It’s hard to write this story without repeating myself so, why fight it? I want to bring attention to the fact that I’m still here to annoy you, Dear Reader. I am happy to be able to say that (that I’m still here).

It was  six seven years ago today that I received my “zipper.” Being at the hospital before the sun came up, getting shaved from neck to (literally) toe, seeing my family, having my (then) fiance – The BCPF – standing holding my hand and trying to keep a happy face, having my parents pray over me as I get wheeled through some ominous doors, being moved onto a mostly comfortable operating table and telling stupid jokes to the operating staff before I just blacked out counting back from 100. That’s how I remember it.

I groggily stirred with a breathing tube snaked through my gullet whilst hearing a nurse, whose name I believe was Sandy, talk to me and me nodding that I understood whatever it was she was saying to me. The BCPF came in to see me, touching me, stroking my hair (I still had a little bit). I’m not sure of the timeline, I was still very doped up on morphine at the time. Maybe some time passed, maybe it didn’t, but Ma Mère came into the recovery room and in a moment we will all talk about until we’re no longer here, she patted me on the left shoulder and said, “see, you really do have a heart.” At this point, I pointed to “Sandy” and made a motion to bring me a writing utensil and something to write upon. In my continued, and glorious haze, I scribbled to my mother the following:

Leave the comedy to me!

I remember everyone laughing. My job was done, I went through another phase of “blacked out.” They had collapsed my lungs in order to get to my arteries and heart and whatever else they were doing with me and, as a lifelong asthmatic, my lungs and I have a long history of arguing. They weren’t wanting to cooperate and inflate so I could breathe on my own. So, recovery took a little longer than it should have. Then they wheeled me up to my own private room. I had to get up and sit in a chair. I asked for my phone and that’s when this selfie was taken:

Tim After Surgery

My son came in to see me, as did my family. I had put them all through a lot. They were tired, nervous, but happy that I was sitting there making stupid faces at them, I was alive. I had survived. Hand me my heart-shaped pillow and let me cough. There was no laying down for a while, that’s for sure. When I sat back, I could feel my chest shifting. After all, they did saw me in half. I didn’t lay down for about four weeks, actually. But, over time my strength came back and I was able to maneuver around like a real person.

On the way to that, though, I had people watching over me like a hawk. The BCPF made sure that someone was “on duty” with me the whole time, from my sister to my mother, her to her mother. Someone was always here. It got to where I had to fake needing to go to the bathroom just to go sit on the toilet lid and be by myself for a few minutes. I had some great friends bring me and my chaperones food. I can’t tell Chris and Ashley, Doug and Molly and Jerry and Jennifer how much I appreciate them doing that.

After this, though, The BCPF and I decided that we’re going to live. LIVE! And, that’s what we’ve done. We’ve been to Europe twice, the second a wedding/honeymoon expedition. So glad I got to see Notre Dame before this week happened. We accompanied friends to Costa Rica. We went to Walt Disney World with my family. We have time with each other. We enjoy just about everything we do. We collect records, we eat really delicious food, we hang out with really terrific friends, we just love our lives.

I have to really thank The BCPF for everything, because if it
weren’t for her, making sure I take my meds regularly, eating right, doing what little exercise I’ll do, going to my doc appts, and just living the heck out of IMAG0150me, I wouldn’t be here today to write this. She didn’t sleep much that first week. When she did it was in my hospital bed. My boy is also a huge part of my life. He’s almost 16 17 so he’s testing my ticker a good bit, but I love that boy to no end. They together are truly my everything. To my family, thank you all for your support and being here for me. To my friends, you’re all my bedrocks. You’re the foundation that I build on. To The Beer Dads, Jon and Paul, thank you guys for traversing this weird ride with The BCPF and me in our quest for World Domination. To everyone. I love you. Just… I love you. To Dr. Bret Borchelt. Thank you for “fixing” me.

I was 41 when this happened. I’m 46 47 now. I have to at least make it to 82 for me to be satisfied with it. I have to say, in all sincerity, I would never want to go through this again. However, in the grand scheme of things, it was all worth it and really, for me, wasn’t all that terrible. I think my family and friends had it worse than I in this ordeal. I got taken care of, waited on and yes had to endure some pain, but it wasn’t too awful. I’m just glad we have hit the “magic number” (no not three in this case) of six seven. That’s when the docs stop looking so closely at the procedure. I’m still here and other than being ridiculously fat, I feel great. So, all is well on this side of the world. I hope all of you have as wonderful a time as I do. Happy sixth seventh second birthday to me.

Until tomorrow, still kickin’…
Scorp out!


“Open-heart surgery is now part of a typical life experience for many people. Folks talk casually about ‘having a stent put in,’ as if they had their tires rotated.” – Roger Ebert

Roundtable Piggyback or: The Giveaway

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Salutations™!!

I got a good deal of feedback from the conversation I posted on here yesterday, either on my page or those of Salem, who were really supportive of Graylen and, I suppose, me. cobras-logo

We didn’t have a guest on The Less Desirables tonight. That was mostly by design. We haven’t had a chance to really catch up with our lives, so Danielle, Bethany and I had a good “roundtable” discussion.

One thing we did talk about the Carolina Cobras this weekend, where, again, I am the “voice” of the team. Tomorrow morning I will release some social media that will act as a contest where I will give away two sets of two tickets to this Saturday’s game. I do hope you’ll enter the contest. You’ll have to listen to the show to win, though. You’ll have to answer a question about it. You can listen HERE.

Until then, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“The team will play in the Greensboro Coliseum and be called the Carolina Cobras.” – NAL

The Tic Code or: We Need More “Gray”

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Salutations™!!

One thing about me that I have never shied away from is the fact that I have Tourette Syndrome, “TS” or “Tourette’s.” I have lived with it my entire life. We didn’t know what it was when I was a kid, though. My Pops would just yell at me, “stop that grunting!” and I would snap back wide-eyed because I had no clue what he was talking about. My Ma used to say she could pick me out at football practice, not only because I was the skinniest kid on the team (believe that or not) but because she could see my “wing flapping.”

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(l to r) Liv, Salem, me, Graylen, Mika, McKensey

My friends were good about it and asked about it sometimes but for the most part, made more fun of the things I did on purpose than what I couldn’t control.

My friend Salem and I were talking recently and she said that her daughter was doing the things I described, little habits and jerking motions or coughs or grunting. We TS folk call these tics. I asked Salem if I could talk to her daughter about it, to see if she had any questions, to ask if she thought it was something bad or just know that others live with this “disorder.”

Salem agreed, and so did her daughter, Graylen. We decided to record the conversation and put it out here for people to hear, whether you have TS or not, whether you know someone with TS or not. I think the chances are that you do and may not even know it.

1 in 200 folks have TS but in my heart, I believe everyone has it and perhaps it never manifests itself into anything noticeable. It is on the “spectrum” somewhere.

According to the non-profit Tourette Association of America website:

  • Tourette syndrome (TS) belongs to a spectrum of neurodevelopmental conditions referred to as Tic Disorders.
  • TS and other Tic Disorders are not rare. Tics occur in as many as 1 in 5 school-aged children. Some occurrences may be transient, while others will persist into adolescence and adulthood.
  • The combined prevalence of TS and other Tic Disorders is estimated to be over 10 cases per 1,000 (1%, 1:100), suggesting that over ½ million children have a Tic Disorder in the US.
  • The best estimate for the prevalence of TS is 6 cases per 1,000 (0.6%, 1:160) children, which means that approximately 300,000 children have the condition in the US (based on 2010 Census data).
  • There are currently no reliable prevalence estimates of TS and other Tic Disorders in adults but are expected to be substantially less than in children as tics often decline with aging. Mine actually got worse as I got older, but that, obviously, is rare.
  • Further research is needed to provide better estimates of the prevalence of TS and other Tic Disorders across all age groups.

CNN wrote: “Many know it only as the ‘swearing disease,’ but only about 10% of people with Tourette’s syndrome swear uncontrollably. People with Tourette’s syndrome suffer from involuntary tics, which can be either verbal or physical. Physical tics may include jumping or twitching. People with the syndrome describe a tic as being like a sneeze, impossible to hold in without extreme discomfort.” This fits me exactly. This is what it’s like.

There are celebrities that have TS like actors Dan Ackroyd and Dash Mihok. Musicians Jamie Grace Harper, Michael Wolff and Billie Eilish who confirmed she had TS when a compilation video of her came out in November 2018. Former MLB star Jim Eisenreich, soccer stars David Beckham and Tim Howard who has also made a lot of public appearances on TS and living with it. Also, Marc Summers who was the host of Double Dare for a long time and now produces many of the Food Network shows, has it, too. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) both had it. Howard Hughes, too. 

I think Tim Howard said it best. “It’s something that I live with every day. For me now in my life, it’s like breathing for me. If I woke up and didn’t have Tourette’s syndrome, it would feel weird — not better or worse, just different. So I’m very happy and comfortable with it,” he said. If I had the opportunity to get rid of it, now, knowing what I know and being who I am, I wouldn’t. It makes me who I am, what I am.

I want to thank Salem and Graylen (and the other girls from the family) for talking with me today. Here is the conversation:

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“You know, we don’t all curse.” – Tim Howard

 

 

Our Lady or: Sleep Well

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Salutations™!!

I had planned on writing about more happier and funnier things today, but with the news coming out of Paris about the Notre Dame Cathedral being gutted by fire has really hit me in the teeth. My stomach has turned since hearing the news.

800px-Notredame_Paris

©Madhurantakam

My mother called and asked if I heard about it and I hadn’t because I was recording. But, once I knew, it was rough.

The BCPF and I have been to Paris twice and I think we are both in agreement that it is our favorite city in the world. Both trips had us visiting Notre Dame several times each trip. It’s at the center of the city so you really can’t escape it.

It’s no secret that I’m not religious. I make sure people know so they know where I stand. However, the first time I went to Paris was April 1, 2013. That happened to be Easter Sunday. After eating, the first thing that we did was visit Notre Dame. It was a very busy day being Easter and we took a tour into the historic cathedral. All the bronze statues, the wood, the architecture, the organ and its hundreds of pipes and much more. The loss of these things can never be brought back, even if the French rebuild.

As of this writing, the bell towers are still standing. Let’s hope they hold on.

The last time we were in Paris, which was 2014, we were instructed by Arturo, our tour guide, to actually step on the Point Zero in front of the church and the superstition for that was that it meant you would come back to Paris. We certainly plan on going back, but it may be a while. I hope this fire is contained and the bones of the building stay standing and that this enables Paris to finish renovations quicker.

I’m leaving it at that.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“The spire ruined in the Notre Dame fire contained artifacts considered sacred to Roman Catholics, including a relic believed to be from Jesus Christ’s crown of thorns.” – NBC News

Spinning Sunday or: RSD Edition

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Salutations™!!

As you saw for the last two days, I spent almost 20 hours on the sidewalk in front of Underdog Records, camping out, watching the weather, hoping against hope that it didn’t rain, had my hands butter scrubbed, had a new restaurant stop and offer us samples of their shrimp and grits, was joined by The BCPF, survived without any rain, worked with my friends to make sure we all got what we needed and came home and crashed. There was a lot more detail of this story, but we will probably focus on that later in the week. For today, here is the Record Store Day haul!

Trout_Mask_Replica

©Straight/Reprise Records

  • Captain Beefheart And His Magic Band – Trout Mask Replica — This was the reason I camped out, at least for me. I don’t really “like” this album but I love having it. It is #60 (of all spaces) on the RS list. I understand more about it since my first listen, I love the artistic value and respect the heck out of the project. It isn’t a pleasant listen but it is an interesting one. 2xLP reissue. All of these will be Near Mint or NM and I’ll tell how many were available worldwide. This one doesn’t have limited availability, from what I can tell.
  • Pink Floyd – A Saucerful Of Secrets — Last year it was Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Floyd’s debut album remastered in mono. This year it’s their sophomore effort and I can’t wait to listen to it. I really liked Pink Floyd with David Gilmour minus Syd Barrett. I understand the importance and somewhat maniacal genius that Syd was, but just like I like Peter Gabriel, I don’t really like Genesis with him. Barrett was on this album minimally as he was starting his slide. He was dismissed before the album was finished. The cover was designed by Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis and is based on a Doctor Strange comic. 6500 available.
  • Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks Test Pressing — We have Blood on the Tracks which is #16 on the RS list but this is the New York Test Pressing of the album. The
    “hype sticker” on the shrinkwrap reads: “The original New York version of Blood on the Tracks. Replica of the 1974 test pressing. Featuring unique mixes. Available for the first time ever.” So, The BCPF wanted this one, so that’s what she gets. Only 7500 available worldwide.
  • Fleetwood Mac – The Alternate Fleetwood Mac — The last two years’ RSD hauls have had a few “Alternate” Fleetwood Mac albums. 2017 was Alternate Mirage, 2018 Alternate Tango in the Night and now this. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I like the concept. It’s the entire album, in this case, but is all early takes or early versions. Should be cool. There are no “availability” numbers for this album on the RSD website.
  • Duran Duran – As The Lights Go Down (Live Oakland Coliseum ’84) — DD at their height. 2xLP but only three sides. Side 4 is etched. Only 5500 of these are available worldwide.
  • Frank Black – Frank Black — One of the several that I camped out for, for The BCPF. She tells me that it was released a month or so before she graduated high school and they rode around wearing the cassette out. I like what I’ve heard of it. I like it better than Pixies stuff. It’s orange, too. 4500 available.
  • Jeff Buckley – In Transition —  The BCPF loves her some Jeff Buckley and this is 7 previously unreleased performances of his tunes. Only 3000 worldwide.
  • Bingo Hand Job – Live At The Borderline 1991 — So, one of our fellow campers was looking online and came across this one. I don’t know if he was just researching or if he was intrigued by the name but when he looked it up, he found that it was really REM doing their “alias” thing and playing a club. So, being as we were the first four in line, we kept that secret and three of us grabbed them. Hey, we were the ones that camped for 20 hours, we got what we want. 3000 available.
  • a-ha – Hunting High And Low (The Early Alternative Mixes) — I love the original and these are the early alternate mixes making their vinyl debut. There are only 6000 worldwide.
  • The Charlatans – Some Friendly  — This was the title that The BCPF wanted the most. It was Charlatans UK to her (and it says that on the album cover). It is clear vinyl and only 1000 worldwide.
  • Peter Gabriel – Rated PG — I generally have sworn off picture discs, but hey, this is Peter Gabriel. This is a collection of his songs that have been on movie soundtracks. Supposedly, according to Discogs, it is numbered, but I don’t find any indication on mine of a “number.” It does include a digital download, though. Only 2000 worldwide.
  • David J – Thoughts And Prayers — Similarly with the picture disc model, I don’t usually get 7″ either. But, The BCPF wanted it and here it was. Only 500 worldwide.

So, people have asked me if it was worth it. Truly, the actual record buying was secondary to the camaraderie, conversation, friendship, community and experience. That, in and of itself was worth it. The vinyl we got, knowing that we are one of 500-6000 in the world that have one, is priceless. Thank you so much to Underdog Records, especially Jonathan, for being a place where we want to do such things, always having our backs in the inventory and letting us in to go to the bathroom before you go home, bringing us doughnuts and coffee the next morning and just being an all-around awesome dude. And, thank you, Discogs for being available to help us sort this crazy mess out. And, thank you, Record Store Day (yes it is an entity) for doing this awesome “holiday” twice a year. And, lastly, to David, Jordan, Bob, Michael, Taylor, Jay, and The BCPF, thank you for making it a great experience to be out there.

Until tomorrow, keep spinning…
Scorp out!


“Master, master. This is recorded thru uh flies ear ‘n you have t’ have uh flies eye t’ see it. It’s the thing that’s gonna make Captain Beefheart and his magic band fat. Frank, it’s the big hit. It’s the blimp! It’s the blimp, Frank! It’s the blimp!” – “The Blimp (Mousetrapreplica)” (Van Vliet)