SPOTTED A NICE FAMILY AT THE CHATTERBOX 01/12/15

I saw a neat thing at the Chatterbox yesterday while doing a broadcast.  Once the records playing and the next one is ready, I have time to check out the scene.  It’s a great place for my favorite hobby, people watching.  Across the room, I spotted a family.  Looked like nice folks.

     Dad was like a mountain.  Picture the Matterhorn sitting at a table.  He was a bit wide at the waist, or base, and narrowed as eventually your gaze rested at the summit or the top of his head.  I’m sure his ball cap was normal size but, it looked like a beany to the rest of us down in the valley below.  He was eating hot dogs like they were gummy bears. I didn’t see Dad smile much but, he struck me as one of those people who was so content that he didn’t need to smile.
     Mom, was a big woman but, nowhere as big as Dad.  I pictured them dancing a jitterbug.  It would have been a hoot.  She was busy talking happily to dad and eating a bit here and there.  Dad just kept shaking his head yes.  Smart man.
     They had a young daughter.  I’d say she was about four or five.  She was a great kid.  The Chatterbox was her Wonderland.  She was sitting next to her Dad but, her fanny wasn’t on the seat very much.   She was a thin little girl and was up and down the whole time.  She’d grab a French fry and get out of her seat to catch a better view of one thing or another.  She’d wander over to the statue of the giant hot dog then, she’d come back to he table and snag a bite of cheeseburger.  Then, she’d get out in the middle of the floor and look at the movie posters on the wall, or mosey over to the double decker giant burger statue.  She picked up on one of the songs I was playing and started to dance.  I thought she was very good.  Kid’s don’t get self conscious when it comes to dancing.  She was really into the song shaking her booty as the waitresses tried to get around her.  One waitress danced past her for a step or two.
     What really blew the little girls mind was the model train that runs along the upper wall.  It wasn’t on to begin with.  The manager realized that it was off and hit the switch.  The train was right above the little girl and, she saw it begin it’s run.  You’d have thought she saw the heavens part revealing showers of lollipops.  Her hands went up to her temples and she looked like she was going to have a stroke.  It was so cool to see.  She was pointing and turning and running back and forth from her table to the center of the room.  It was almost more joy than she could bear.
     One more thing.  I was surprised to see that there was one more member to this family.  I couldn’t see him behind the Mom but they had a little boy too.  The little guy wasn’t even a year old.  The only way I got to see him was that Mom handed him over the table to Dad.   I could tell that someday this little guy would maybe be even bigger than his father.  But, right now, he wasn’t much bigger than a basketball, if even that.  He sat with his rear in the palm of his Dad’s left hand.  His little legs draped down past his dad’s fingers.  Dad was taking little spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese and offering it to his son.  The little guy would look the offering over and then suddenly snap it off the spoon in one gulp.  Then, he’d look at his Dad for more.  The little guy had such a serious face.  You’d have thought he was a judge..   Dad held his little boy in his hand, much like an artist holds a pallet of oil paint.
      This family was at their booth for quite a while and I could tell that they had a great afternoon  They, eventually got all their stuff together and headed out.  The little girl had her cardboard hot rod in one hand and her Mom’s hand in the other as they went to the car.  Dad carried the little guy.  Nice family.   Nice day.
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IT’S THOSE LITTLE THINGS…1/7/15

I did a nice oldies doo wop show yesterday with an old friend of mine Gary.  It sure seemed like it was going very well.  Gary had brought some real cool doo wop.  He knows a lot about the groups and it’s always fun to talk with him.  In fact, it was going so well, that I decided to replay the show right away.  We ended at 6pm and I hurried to process the show for replay as fast as I could.  It was ready to go by 7pm and on it went.

     I allowed some time to sit back and enjoy it myself.  I wanted to hear it.  When you do a show, you really don’t get to hear it very well.  There’s too much going on.  I set out a bowl of Cheese Its and made me a coffee and, logged on to the broadcast.  The show was just coming on.  The first song sounded great, I came on and talked a bit to welcome everyone and introduce Gary.  Gary said hello and as he talked a bit, I just about fell off my chair.
     Poor Gary who has a great voice, sounded like, like,  well, picture a talking GI Joe doll on low batteries, picture Rod Serling with a mouthful of tarot cards or maybe King Kongs last gasp.  I jumped up and ran around in circles in disbelief.  That couldn’t be Gary.  He’s a great talker.  He even sings.  What the heck is going on?  I’m yelling all this at the computer screen which is a really dumb thing to do.  Hoping that I was just hearing a fluke, I kept on listening.  I’ve got to say that for the whole show, that although I’m not a golden throat by any means,  I sounded reasonably OK.  But poor Gary just wasn’t coming through.  There was something wrong with his microphone set up for sure but, what?
     I turned off the show and sent an apology to Gary.  Then, I went to bed and tossed most of the night trying to figure out what went wrong.  I went over every nuance of the set up but, nothing came to mind.  First off, the set up sounded ok in my headset. ( Remind me to get a new headset )   You can’t imagine the drag it was to go over every wire and switch in my head as I tried to fall asleep.   Millie the Hound hopped into bed and plopped herself between the pillows and the covers.  She sighed and fell asleep in about five seconds.  I eventually conked out too.
     It’s really a good idea to sleep on a problem.  When morning broke.  My eyes popped open and just like a flash it hit me.  Gary’s mike was plugged into channel two phono switch active.   That’s what did it.  Don’t ask me why but I do know that you don’t run sound signal from a microphone through a line set for signal from a  phonograph.  Doing that would make Clyde Mc Phatter sound like Gretta Garbo with a hangover.    I jumped out of bed and crawled to the mixing board.  I had to crawl.  My foot was still asleep from sleeping funny on it.   Indeed I was right.  The line in question has a toggle switch that allows the line to either play phono signal or music and voice signal.  Sure as heck it was set on phono.   Just a little tiny switch.  It’s no bigger than a dead ant.  It’s black just like the mixing board and blends right into the background.  It may as well be invisible.   I never thought to check it out and it made a wreck of the show.  All would sound very well except poor Gary.
     The best I can say,  is keep an eye peeled for the little things.  You’d be surprised how they matter.  A smile can be a little thing but, aimed in the right direction it can have quite an impact.  We’ll have Gary on again soon.

POP POP TALKS ABOUT THE POLICE 12/22/14

The shooting and killing of the two NYPD police officer just before this Christmas, made me want to do this one hour show about the very nice things I’ve seen people involved with law enforcement  do in the line of duty and beyond.  I have never thought badly of the police and really feel that those that belittle them are so wrong.   When that gunman so filled with hate, executed the two officers in New York City, I was busy helping the Hackettstown PBA hold a Christmas party for the poor kids in Hackettstown.  I don’t know, but I’d bet a good sum that somewhere in New York That same day, there were law enforcement groups holding similar Christmas parties for kids in each and every neighborhood.   I doubt that there were any crooks doing the same thing. To be a policeman, is to be very special.  Bless them.

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A FOGGY DAY TURNED AROUND

Last Sunday I was heading for The Chatterbox.  You may remember that it was a chilly, foggy, dreary day.  It was one of those days you see in the sinus pill commercials.  Two minutes outdoors and you find yourself nailed by the worst sinus headache ever.  It was one of those days that had backache written all over it.  I remember thinking in a moment of weakness as I was driving down a foggy country road, “Who the heck is liking a day like this?”   That was pretty much my thought.   I ran into others who seemed to be in agreement with me.  The  workers at the bagel place I sometimes stop at we’re just besides themselves in gloom.  Even the girl behind the counter with all the happy tattoos didn’t seem to be her usual bubbly self.  I think even the half naked pixie on her bicep was lost in a frown.  It was one of those days.

     There was some national news program on the radio.  The announcer and some politician and an expert on some kind of dreary topic were having a fight about the economy.  I passed a spot driving through a wooded area where a car must have had a wreck and caught fire a few days ago.  You could see the charred grass spreading out from the road.  There was another spot where someone must have tried to turn onto a side road and went through a guard rail and down into a gully.  That must have been fun.  I was getting to the point that I had wished that I had just stayed in bed.  No, make that not in bed but, under the bed.
     Now, I could have just kept going my unmerry way but, I luckily caught myself in time.  I finally realized that I was goofing up big time and asked the powers that be to turn me around and get me looking for the good stuff instead of the boloney.  Angels can help in times like this.  I think one of them told me in a way to turn off the radio and, enjoy my bagel and coffee.  After all, it was good hot coffee and certainly a perfect and delicious cinnamon raisin bagel.  In fact, the girl back at the bagel place said it was a super cinnamon bagel.  She was right.  It was pretty darn good.    Pretty soon I’m passing this fog covered hill full of live Christmas trees.  The trees disappeared up the hill into the fog.  Each one was a different shade of grey green.  The angel on my shoulder didn’t have to point out that it was a very pretty sight to see.  The ride went uphill from there as I slurped down that last bit of coffee.
     I turned into the  final approach to the Chatterbox and felt fortunate that there wasn’t much traffic on Route 206.  It gave m a chance to look out into the farm fields all plowed in for winter and fading off into the fog.  But, the best thing came at the Chatterbox.  As I pulled in, I saw a whole bunch of jeeps in the parking lot.  It was a jeep off road club.  They often come to Chatterbox on Sunday.  They meet there and maybe get a bite to eat and then off they go to trail ride all Sunday afternoon.  The trails would be muddy and foggy for them today and they were tickled to the hilt.  There was no happier group in the county then these guys and gals. There they we’re right in front of me.  That did it.  The gloomy day became the best day ever.  I got myself set up to dj and I think it was one of my better shows if I do say so myself.

BOTH ENDS OF THE TELEPHONE POLE COUNT 1/5/15

I sent out an email a day or two ago where I briefly mentioned walking Millie the Hound out in the front yard.  I said how she was checking her pee mails.  Many of you were tickled at the phrase and wondered where I got it.  I don’t remember getting the comment from anyone.  I think it just came to me.  I guess it just seemed to be the right way to describe what dogs do on their information highway.

     Dog’s love to stay in touch with other dogs and critters just like people like to schmooze with their friends and family.  We have computers and, dogs have their noses and bladders.  I’ve been told that a dogs nose is about 400 times more sensitive than our human schnozollas.   This means that when we walk past a pot of chicken soup simmering on the stove we smell chicken soup cooking.  When dogs do the same thing, they smell the soup, the chicken, the noodles, the parsley, and the fire under the pot.  Just like humans seeing individual words on a page and seeing the letters they’re made of, dogs can pick out the soup and bark out what the individual ingredients are.
     I don’t know what might be in urine that makes it unique to a species or an individual.  But, for dogs, it must be highly charged with differences that make it like the 5 O’clock News for their nose.  Millie, if she could talk, could tell you a lot about that bear that knocked over the garbage can.   She’d be very certain that Ma and Pa rabbit just had a blessed event.  She could warn them that a fox was coming around at night looking for a quick snack.  This is all front page news in the kingdom of the front yard.  Speaking of front yards, Millie leaves all the notices that she possibly can to be sure every critter on Ruth Lane knows that this is where she lives.  She especially like to leave flyers at the end of the driveway.  It’s all invisible to our eyes but, quite plain to the critters.
     I often wonder how a Basset Hound would survive in the wild.  They’re aren’t too good at chasing anything.  Slugs move faster and, it takes a mess of them to fill a skillet.  It’s always nap time and, that warm rock ledge overlooking the field just couldn’t get any cozier.  What’s a hound going to do when its mealtime?   Well, I think just like a submarine raises it’s periscope to find a target, a hound would just sniff the air and hone in on a cool meal somewhere.  Maybe she’d catch a whiff of a dead rabbit a mile away.  Maybe with experience she’d catch the scent of a sick or old critter that’s moving slow not too far up the trail.  Maybe she’d smell a picnic and head over to the campground looking her cutest.   She’d be fine just as long as she didn’t catch a head cold.  Peeing here and there might also be a way of getting together with other dogs and forming a pack.
      It’s funny.  Dogs use one end of a telephone pole for communication and, we use the other.  I’m kind of glad that we don’t have to leave our scent on a pole to stay in touch.  We’d all look pretty funny sniffing down on our knees.  I’ll leave that end of the pole to the experts.   Millie for her part hardly ever goes into the bathroom.  I don’t think she approves of humans wasting so much perfectly good data.

AHH!!!! IT’S THAT NEW YEAR SMELL

Well look at this.  Woke up this morning and there it was, staring me right in the kisser, a brand new 2015.  I don’t know about you but, I love that new year smell.  I couldn’t wait to get behind the drivers seat and check out all the new bells and whistles.  Doesn’t it seem like years just get better every time you turn around?   I was checking out the owners manual.  This year comes with all the usual standard equipment, love, dreams, smiles, family, and friends.  Many folks I hear are adding a good belief system as standard equipment.  This helps in emergencies  and, especially downhill skids.   I just couldn’t wait to put this baby through it’s paces.   With a great big grin on my face, I settled down into the cockpit, put the petal to the metal and headed down life’s highway sharing admiring glances with others on the road early.  It seems like early risers enjoy waving and smiling to one another especially when they’re behind the wheel of a brand new 2015.  Funny how we we’re all revving the engine and burning a little rubber at intersections.  New years have that effect on people.   I know that the owners manual has a disclaimer that states that although years start from the same line, results may vary from driver to driver.   But, I’m not going to let that worry me right now.  This year will have more than it’s share of bumps and scrapes.  There might even be a wreck or two.  But all in all it’ll be a good, no great, ride if I keep a good map handy, and keep my eyes open for all the good stuff along the way.  Besides, I just love that new year smell.

BEANS AND PIZZA ON THE OLD TRAIL

Just a quick note to say that I’ll be knocking out a country oldies show this evening friends.  I noticed that the one I’ve been playing is getting a bit old and needs changing.  So, I’ve fired up the old chuck wagon of tunes for after sundown and I reckon we’ll just sit around the campfire and eat beans till the trail boss says it’s time to hit the hay.  Put on your dancing boots and keep your ears peeled for the cooks triangle.   And don’t be turning your nose up at beans.  I’ve been cooking beans for about twenty years now.  Darn things is as tender as can be.  I put some bacon in there and they’ve been simmering over a buffalo chip fire for a week at least.  Been dragging those beans half way across Texas now.  Corn bread’s about ready too.  If that ain’t good enough, you can call in to Dominos.  We’ll be the third campfire to the west of the Santa Fe Trail crossing.  They’ll find it.  Dominoes delivers even out in the old west and their thin crust pepperoni goes pretty good with beans.  Now, get back to your chores and I’ll have it all ready for you just after sundown.

     On a lighter note I will be doing a New Years Eve show tomorrow friends.  It’s just that I’m not going to do it at midnight.  For crying out loud, I can’t possibly stay up that late and be up for work at the A&P on New Years Day.  So, tomorrow Wednesday, we’ll celebrate New Years at 9 am.   I figure that way we can party till noon, holler whoopee, eat a hamburger, then, go take a nap.  Sounds like a plan.
     Also, if you know of any local small guardian angel type charities that might need the help of this station, please contact me.  The contributions are coming in fairly OK from the listeners and I want to start doing what I said I’d do.  That being, devoting my station to entertaining folks and doing what I can to help people in a jam.  Local guardian angel charities do a great job of helping those less fortunate and I want to help them. Whatever you can donate to the station no matter how small, will be a big help to that end.  Thank you.   The link is Click here to support My Web Station Needs Help To Help by Doc South