DOGS ARE SMART AND SO ARE RIVERS

I got home before Sandy today and took Millie the Hound for a walk.  We went down to the river.  I hoped it would do me some good.  There just didn’t seem to be a happiest place on earth today but, maybe the river would be a place to start.   Millie did her usual, sniff, piddle, and tug routine as we walked along the shore line.   We got to a shallow side stream that feeds into the main body of the larger river.   Millie walked right into it and had herself a big drink.  As she stood there with the water up to her belly, I got to thinking that in a way, mankind is kind of like a river. Our lives, our existence, our communities, our religions, all start out in a kind of spring much like a river must do. It’s impossible to stop a river from starting.   Branches join branches.  It’s all simply  powered  and flows effortlessly and grows as it travels its channel.   In due time the river joins the majesty and infinity of the ocean.   Some rivers, stink to high heaven and aren’t the greatest place to dip your toe.   I was glad that this section of river was so cool, clear and a joy to be near.  What a shame when a river or, anything else, is clouded with garbage, hatefully polluted with blood, dammed with ignorance.   What a mess all that can make of the ocean.  Still, how nice rivers are when that kind of thing stops and they clean up on their own just by flowing over the rocks. Rivers flow best when they are left alone to flow as they will.  People are like rivers, communities are like rivers, religions are like rivers.  God is more than a river but the part we see is very much like a river.  Millie instinctively knew what to do with a river. She just stood in it and had a nice big slurp and enjoyed her time there.  Dogs are pretty smart.

MR PEANUTS BEST FRIEND

My wife Sandy loves peanut butter.   REALLY loves the stuff.  I’m ok with it now and then but, you usually won’t see me eating it by the fistful.  Lately peanut butter is a bit expensive.  Three or four dollars a jar when it’s not on sale.  Two to three dollars when the stores are “giving” it away.   The peanut butter shelf is right across from the dairy section so, I keep an eye out for any sale that might come along.  If one does rear it’s welcome head, I pounce.  Well, the other day, I was strolling up the aisle to the cooler thinking about how I had all these cases of milk to move when something caught my eye.  Over near the peanut butter section I saw this big sign and couldn’t believe my good fortune.  I had to look at it twice.   The sign read…”SKIPPY PEANUT BUTTER THREE JARS FOR $5.00!”  Hey, that’s $1.67 a jar and, no limit too.  I ran to the cooler to get a cardboard box….a big cardboard box.  Yes sir!  To make a long story short, I snagged $20 worth of peanut butter.  I had twelve jars in the box when I left work that day and was coming back for more.  I couldn’t wait to get home.  Sandy went nuts.  She practically arranged the jars into a circle and did a jig.  OK, so, maybe she didn’t go that crazy.  But, she did check out every jar just like a pirate. runs his hands through a bag of gold.  I felt pretty proud as she said, hey here’s natural chunky!  Hey this ones honey flavored. Oh boy diet creamy!  I could go on and on.   For her, and the hound, it was a garden of earthly delights.  I was very proud.    After that day, there’d be one jar less in the bags about every five days.  She was getting down to about eight left and, I was thinking that I’d better keep my eyes open for the next score.   Then it came right out of no where. The very next Sunday, Sandy came running in from selling at the Saylorsburg Flea Market.  She usually crawls in and falls asleep about two feet from her bed roll.  But, not this time.  ” Look at this”, she hollered. and tipped over a big box and its contents onto the rug.  There on the floor spilling out of the box was about 13 jars of peanut butter.  “That’s not all of it” she squealed,” Look!!”  With that she ran out the front door and brought in another box full to the brim with more peanut butter jars.  All in all, when we counted all the jars, she had something like 33 jars in her cupboard stacked up all neat and pretty.  Turns out, one of the sellers at the market gets surplus food from a warehouse and had a good day selling,  He didn’t feel like dragging the jars home so he gave them to Sandy who is now the Peanut Butter Queen of Ruth Lane.   Want a sandwich?

LOCATION IS EVERYTHING

I was just coming back from a walk with Millie the Hound and we’re were on the last legs of the journey turning into the driveway going for the front door.  By the way, that means we still had about an hour to go till the walk was done.  Millie’s no speed demon.  This time that was good because, our snails pace gave me time to avoid walking into a huge spider web.  It looks like this lovely young lady laid out main support lines that stretched at least ten feet from a berry bush, to a sapling branch, and finally to a stump.  Once that was done, she laid out a round net section of about two feet in diameter which sat about five feet off the ground.  I’d say it was right about eye level.  She was sitting in the middle waiting for breakfast.  Actually, I could have been breakfast as I was heading right for her.  She must have been thinking how she was going to be eating  like a queen when, much to her dismay I ducked and happily, went under the snare without hurting it.  It’s a lot of work building a web, especially as it was so cold out last night.  Spiders get sluggish in the cold.  Besides it was a great web.  Just one thing that might be a problem.  She built it in across our driveway.  It’s a nice web, like I said, but, I don’t think it can stop a car.  I thought that she better catch a meal, and get out of Dodge before Sandy comes home from the flea market.  Talk about Armageddon.  Poor girl picked a bummer of a fishing hole.  I wished her luck and moved out at about two feet per hour heading for the door with Millie.    PS…I think our eight legged friend may have had a stroke of good fortune.  Just a minute or two ago I saw a big buck deer moseying through our front yard down the driveway.  He was slowly grazing over near the spiders web site.  With luck, she hopped down onto that rack of horns and began construction on every spiders dream, a mobile web.  Now she can ride in style through the woods trolling for flies.  I wish her God speed.  Now she’s a deer jockey.  Hi Yo Bambi Away!!!!!

THE GREAT RUBBER DUCKY RACE

I don’t think this is a bad idea at all.   I was walking Millie the Hound along the riverside trail running next to the Musconetcong river when this idea hit me.   The trail is very tranquil.  Millie and I try to walk as quietly as possible hoping to sneak up on a deer or, maybe a big trout.  We also don’t want to disturb the fly fishermen.  Those guys are like mystics in hip boots.  I admire them and their talent.  But, wouldn’t it be nice to raise the roof once a year and hold this giant rubber ducky marathon race.  I’m suggesting hoards of rubber duckies released all at once at Waterloo Village.  There could be festivities at Waterloo during the big day.  There could be a concert or two, food vendors, and, rides.  Participants could buy a racing duck.  It would have to be ID’d as belonging to that person yet have no outside identifying markings.  This would eliminate foul play.  At a set time, the ducks would all be let go as screams from the crowd echo from  the distant hills.  This would be the start of the longest duck race ever.  Personally, I think the first duck under the Washington Crossing Bridge near New Hope should be the grand winner.  Of course there could be prizes for the first one hundred under the bridge.  Can you just see the pandemonium as the pack thunders through the old fishery in Hackettstown.  Thrill as the duckies careen around the big bend near Mountain Avenue.  How will they gain the advantage at the calm stretch near Penwell.  How will they jockey for position in the Butler Park Narrows.  Riegelsville will be jammed with race fans and brass bands as the duckies pull out into the mighty Deleware for the grand home stretch.  Think of the carnage as it’s duck against duck in the Lambertville Rapids.  Then, its off to the home stretch where General Washington crossed the Deleware to turn the tables on the Hessian mercenaries that bitter New Years Eve long ago.  Perhaps we could have a General Washington re-enactor retrieve the first duck over the line and holds it high for all to see.  Honestly, there wouldn’t be a dry eye anywhere within earshot.  For a brief moment the winning duck would be the most famous duck in the universe.  Whoever owned that duck would be determined by the judges and fame and fortune would follow.  These ducks would be treasured as collectibles for centuries to come.  Some, that got lost, ensnared en route, would be found and probably find their way to museums and mantlepieces throughout this great land.  Naturally, I would be happy to be called on to MC this gala event.  You know how to reach me.

CHEF AND ROXY EATING BACON

Chef would sometimes come by my dairy aisle at the A&P every now and then.   I was always happy to see him.  He was just one of those people who you just couldn’t help but like.  In a way, and I hope he doesn’t take offense at this, but to see Chef coming by was like seeing a neighbors dog coming over to your house, tail wagging, for an afternoon visit.  If Chef was a dog, his tail would be always on the move.  Always.  Like the neighbors dog, he was never angry.  Chef helped out a lot as part of  the American Legion kitchen crew.  Concocting a meatloaf, brewing coffee, or doing the dishes it was all the same to him.  Each and any chore brought a smile to his face.  He wasn’t a veteran but, he loved helping the legion in any way he could.  He loved my radio shows and dug talking about them. I think his favorite thing as far as my show was concerned was when I involved my Basset Hound Roxy in the show.  Chef especially liked when I brought Roxy to the Legion breakfast.  Roxy liked it too.  Chef would learn that she was in the van out in the parking lot and immediately he’d gather up bacon, sausage, eggs and pancakes and take them out to the parking lot.  Roxy loved chef and, he loved her.   She’d do every trick she knew and then some to get to those goodies.  Roxy passed away at 17 years old and not that many people knew about it.  Chef came down my aisle a few months after her passing.  I think he’d been in Florida.  He asked about Roxy and, I had to tell him that she was gone.  He took it OK saying that she sure had a good time while she was here.  I told him how Sandy and I were planning to get a new hound soon as it felt right.  He thought that would be a great idea.    I don’t think he ever met Millie our new hound.  He would have liked her.  Chef died just the other day.  I feel honored and thankful  to have known him.  I’m certain he’s doing just fine now topside.  I like to think that maybe Roxy has sniffed him out and was in the welcoming party.   With her tail wagging, maybe she can show him where they keep the bacon and sausages.   God bless them both.

IN LOVE AND HOLDING HANDS ON A PATH IN THE DARK

The other night at the Chatterbox I was done with the show and just sitting on the patio in the middle of show debris.  I make quite a mess when I do a show.  Coffee cups, mustard wrappers, records, record jackets, cd’s, wires, and fliers surround me by the last song of the night.  I was just sitting there building the energy to start the cleanup routine as I looked out into the dark.   A mom with her little girl came out of the Chatterbox and walked across the parking lot and out to their car parked out in the field.  They were under a street light when I noticed that they were holding hands.  As I watched them, I got to thinking how it’s so nice to be walking through the dark holding hands with someone you love.  Then, I thought, as time passed for that little girl, and, if she came to the Chatterbox, or a place like it, over the next number of decades, who would she walk with holding hands into the dark.  Well, in a few years she might be holding hands with her Mom on one side and her kid brother on the other.  Later, she could be holding hands with her first boy friend on their first date.  Give it a few years, she might be locked elbow to elbow with her fiancé all kissing and hugging.   A few more years, and that fellow she was locked into before, is now lugging baby stuff out to the car and she’s holding hands with a toddler just learning to walk just like she did with her mom just a short time ago.  Before you know it, her whole family, two boys and a girl, along with her husband are holding hands  chain style laughing and looking for the car.  One night the girl, older now, is helping her aging mom across the field right in the path where as a little girl I saw them that night so long ago.  Much later, with crickets chirping, that girl and her husband, much older now, with the kids off on their own,  after a nice mea,l take their time heading out to the car.  Many years later, her husbands gone, and the oldest daughter, helps her mom using a walker, out to the car.  Then one evening, it’s just the mom and an angel holding hands and floating over the cars and heading off into the sky.  The angel agreed that it would be good to check out the old hand holding path in the dark just one more time before the big party in the light.

BOB BARRY AND DOC TALK ABOUT MONEY AND LIFE 8/12/14

This one came pretty darn good.  Financial planner Bob Barry touched on the topic of Robo-Investing along with Target Date Retirement Funds.   This is a bit of a hit on our culture of doing something that’s very important in a hands off kind of way.   The easy automatic way isn’t always the best way to get things done correctly.  Give this one a listen and see if you don’t agree.

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POP POP REMEMBERS THINGS HE KNEW WERE TRUE 8/11/14

It’s funny to try and remember all the things you believed we’re true when you were a kid.  We’ve all had our share of such things.   This episode of the Pop Pop Show explores the childs wonderland of boloney.  For instance, did you know that the ripples on the surface of a glass of milk are proof positive that there’s spiders hiding in the bottom of the glass  waiting to go down into your stomach and eat their way out of your belly button?  True!   Did you know it’s a fact that dragonflies can sew your ear to you neck?  One almost got little Gregory.  I saw it with my own two eyes.  You see what I mean?  This show came out very good.  Enjoy.

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VETS SUMMER FEST 2014

Here’s the show I did at Vets Summer Fest 2014  It’s not so much the music but the interviews.  And, it’s especially not me but, the people I spoke with.  I don’t think this is my best ever speaking voice.  I couldn’t see the computer mixing screen so well due to strong sunlight and I was too close to my microphone.  Hence, I’m way too loud for the mike level.   Blame good manners for the guests sounding good.  I didn’t shove the mike in their faces so, they were recorded at a good level.  Barring that, it was a very great day.  Enjoy this.

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A THIEF IN THE NIGHT……REVERESED

Most of you know that at any gig, I always stick out a donation jar for the VFW’s Operation Uplink. Folks usually put a buck or two or some loose change in to the old salad bar jar from The Chatterbox. You might like to know that sometime during my show at the Vets Summer Fest, when my back was turned and I couldn’t see the jar, some one, I wish I knew who, went and snuck a $50 dollar bill in under the singles. I would have loved to thank him or her. (By the way, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever taken one red cent from that jar.) That’s pretty cool.