Sunday, February 27, 2011

R.I.P. Duke Snider

Duke Snider played in a baseball era before I was born. However, there were baseball greats long before I was born. Part of being a sports fan is not only to appreciate the current game but to appreciate the legends who came before. Heck, with the recent tarnished image of some modern day players, the past might be a place to find true heroes of the game.

So, no I don't have any first person memories of Duke Snider. I know he is a hall of fame player who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. I know Duke is considered one of the greatest center fielders. He batted .295 for his career which is worthy of the Hall of Fame. He belted 407 career home runs, which by today's standards might be border line. His best season might have been 1955 when he hit .309 with 42 homers and 136 runs batted in. That year he helped the Dodgers beat their cross town rivals the Yankees for the World Series. He hit 40 home runs in five straight years showing a time span of power dominance worthy of the Hall of Fame. His resume also included being an eight time all-star. He won two World Series and appeared in six world championships.

Fans of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers are feeling a little sad today as they certainly have the Blues with the passing of Duke Snider. Duke lived a long live reaching the age of 84 and died of natural causes. Snider was able to live a long live.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Homeless Shelter: Passing of a Belt

My youth is fading day by day. My waistline doesn't shrink like it used too. Needless to say I had a couple of belts at home I can't use anymore. Last night a gentleman came in to the homeless shelter and needed a belt. I asked him what size waist he had. Today when I went to the shelter I brought him a belt.

The belt work and he could use it. If it would have stayed at my house it would have been a useless piece of old leather. A big ice and snow storm was on the way tonight so I am glad the shelter was open for the guys who needed it.

There are two Vietnam era veterans at the shelter. There might be more veterans. Why are these veterans homeless? It is a shame. Our country sent them away to fight a war. No matter the politics soldiers, sailors ad airmen put their lives on the line in the name of our country. They deserve our thanks and gratitude. They follow orders. If they can get shot at, suffer all kinds of hell in the name of the country, why can't the country find them a home? They deserve better.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Homeless Shelter A Month Later

I do a lot for the homeless. I am on the board of directors for Hope Alive, serving homeless woman and children in Frederick, Maryland. I have volunteered at the REACH Cold Weather Shelter in Hagerstown, Maryland and now I find myself volunteering at a cold weather shelter in Charles Town, West Virginia. I volunteered at the shelter for the first time about a month ago. That day was bitter cold, one of the coldest nights we had this winter, we are talking single digit cold which is cold.

Tonight was milder, but a transitional night. It was in the mid 40's when they opened the doors. The temperature did drop some as I walked through town to meet my wife for a ride home. It had turned cold enough to sleet and the weather had changed to rain and sleet. You might think temps in the 40's aren't cold. However, I felt a man's hand tonight which was plenty cold. I insisted he have a cup of coffee before dinner.

I was happy the number of people staying in the shelter had grown. Yes, it is sad so many  need to stay in a shelter but I was glad the shelter was able to help more. I was disheartened to find out the fates of some I had met a month ago. I won't go into details. I will just say many homeless folks face different demons. The demons can take the face of alcohol, drugs, illness, mental issues and legal issues.

Cold weather shelters offer a place of warmth. Shelter from a storm or shelter from the cold. A warm meal. A place off the streets. A place of fellowship with others in the same boat.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Change Stinks!

My biggest site I write for just announced some big changes. They don't sound too good too me. Things will be the same for a couple of months. Maybe things will be better in April and by June it will just be a forgotten speed bump.

All I know for sure is change is on the way. I'll have to hop through a few hoops. I will possibly lose some income. So, yes change stinks right now. The oder may change later.  Just a bit of rambling venting today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I had a lovely date with my little valentine today. Picked her up from the baby sitter and took her to the pet store. We looked at the kittens, the gerbils, and the rat. Looked at the birds like parrots,parakeets, finches and doves. Looked at turtles, snakes and lizards too.

We had reservations at her favorite restaurant. Little candles placed on the table, a violinist setting the mood,  we ordered from the table for a change. We shared a desert. She played in the playground and then we both danced. She was out by the time we got home.

If you haven't guessed I spent the evening with my daughter. My wife and I went out to a nice restaurant in Shepherdstown on Saturday. After dinner we watched a movie at the Opera House. Sunday, me and my girls went to a lovely Italian restaurant. So, I guess I ate well for three days.

The lady behind me at the store on Friday said it looked like I had lots of Sweet Hearts. So, yes I took care of my girls for Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

50 years ago...

According to Fender,,,The Beatles made their debut. They played the Cavern Club in London. Yes they are another band that made their start a few years before I was born. However, their music still holds it's own.

I would still go and see Ringo or Paul today. If I had the money. Now if they were charging 1961 prices I think I would be able to scrape it up. One of my biggest thrills when it comes to music is related to the Beatles. I was in Virginia Beach in the Summer of 1999. I was in Virginia Beach to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in concert. Anyway, I was in Virginia Beach early and had some time to check out a Beatles museum. Anyway, it was a slow day there and the guy running the place let me pick up and strum a couple of notes on a Fender Strat which was owned by George Harrison. Unfortunately the Beatles museum has gone away. If any one knows please let me know?

Me being so young (okay so middle aged) my Beatles memories are a bit scarce. I did manage to see Ringo Starr a couple of times. His shows are really cool All-Star jams. Seeing Ringo, I was treated to listen to some really cool musicians. Paul McCartney puts on a heck of a show filled with his own hits and plenty of Beatles songs.

I am so glad they came together 50 years ago..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Robert Plant-Washington DC 2-1-2011

I was able to catch Robert Plant at the wonderful DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC last Tuesday. Thankfully, the ice held out though the long ride home in the pouring rain was not fun. I first witnessed Robert Plant in concert back in 1988 in Columbia, Maryland. Since then I have caught at least one show on his tours except in 1993. I had tickets for a show but the show was cancelled. Robert Plant has been changing his music up in the 2000's and surrounding himself with great musicians. Here is a review of the show I published on Associated Content. Adding to the blog for the first time I am inserting a picture. Here is a picture of Robert Plant (you can barely see Patty Griffin) that I did not use. It was a fun show.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Guitarist Gary Moore Dead

Guitar great Garry Moore was found dead in his hotel room, he was 58. Garry Moore was the guitarist for "Thin Lizzy." He also did an album with the super group "BBM" which included Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce from "Cream."

Garry Moore also had a successful solo career releasing several rock and blues albums. Garry's website announced his death. "It is with deep sorrow and regret, that we have to announce that Garry Moore has passed away while on holiday in Spain."

The music world lost a very talented musician and he will be missed by his fans. Rest in Peace Garry Moore.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Time

Te Super Bowl is so much more than just a football championship. Thirty second television ads going for 2.5-3 million dollars a slot proves the Super Bowl is big business. The game pits two football powers with great Super Bowl legacies with the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game is more than football as the Black Eyed Peas will perform at half time. The Super Bowl is a sports, entertainment, and business empire at it's peak.

However, is the Super Bowl about to decline? Next year their is the possibility of a lockout or a strike. Games could be loss. The season is n jeopardy. How will fans react to a shortened season? How will they react if a season is lost? Will the Super Bowl decline? These are the questions the NFL will have to address after the game. Especially if an agreement can't be worked out soon. The NFL both players and owners have so much at stake.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Voice of The Gathering of the Vibes Has Passed Away

Michael J. Potashnick died at the age of 52 from  from pneumonia.The press release describes him as "The Voice of the Vibes" he acted as the festivals co-Master of Ceremonies since 2004. He was involved with Gathering of the Vibes since the first one in 1997. However, Michael was a key player in New England's music and arts scene. Quoting the press release "He was an integral part of the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, the SoNo Arts Celebration, Bridgeport’s Polka Dot Playhouse, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington’s Flynn Center for the Performing Arts" and that's not all.

In the same state I live in West Virginia, Mr. Potashnik was involved in "The All Good Music Festival." I know people don't think of West Virginia as being a cultural center. The state does have very talented folks from here. My area is rich in culture and I have the luxury to share the cultural wealth of nearby areas. "The All Good Festival" is by far the biggest music festival in the state. It is a major music festival on the Mid Atlantic and the East. I am sure Michael J. Potashnik's contributions to the festival will be dearly missed. 

His contributions to all of the music and arts events he was involved in will be missed. Artists and musicians need people like Michael. People don't replace people like Michael but I hope the festivals, the artists, and musicians find people who can fill his roles. His roles won't be filled by one. He will be missed.