Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eine Kline Tag Musik

No, it ain't Mozart I'm listening to. It's the Tarheel Travelers. I've seen and heard this Bluegrass/Mountain Music group several times at a local country church. Right now I'm listening to their CD. I cannot give a web site, 'cause they ain't got one. However, if you Google them, you'll find their concert schedule around the various Mountain Music Festivals in the remoter sections of Appalachia.

They have great harmony in the "high-lonesome" voice/style of Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. And I always love that string sound of mandolin, guitar, fiddle, bass, and banjo. Think "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"; Flatt and Scruggs; The movie Bonnie and Clyde. I guess bluegrass is an acquired taste.

However, this music was born in the Appalachian Mountains by their Celtic ancestors that had to settle in the high country, 'cause the English had all the Piedmont to their selves, and like the colonial English everywhere in the 18th century, they had no space for lessor folk.

So you can hear this music in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and all of "down east" Canada; Ireland, Scotland, and here in the mountain reaches of the Carolinas, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia.

All of this is by way of saying that the banjo player of the Tarheel Travelers showed up at the 75th anniversary of my father-in-law's rural church and joined in with two white gospel groups. Great music, if a little too Jesus centered and preaching for my taste. But, damn, (oops) they could play and sing.

So now I have on Delbert McClinton "Live," and I can give you a link. I cannot classify this music: Blues? Country Rock? Driving Texas Blues and RoadHouse music? Whatever, it works for me.

Who is Delbert McClinton? If you're old enough, you might remember an early Sixties ('62) pop tune called "Hey, Baby" by Bruce Channel. Delbert was on the recording playing the harmonica. He got a "With Delbert McClinton" on the album covers and posters. Damn, he must be older than me. When "Hey, Baby" came out I was learning to drive and fighting pimples.

On this "Live" recording he does the best cover I've ever heard of Otis Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember." He writes songs, too. "Livin' It Down" has to be the funniest she-done-me-wrong song ever. He uses nothing but cliches to describe his pain: "I had my ducks in a row and she shot 'em; I had my eggs in a basket and she dropped it"; and on and on; hilarious.

Enough for today. Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe a little Charles Lloyd and Keith Jarrett.

BRB is Write (and knows what he likes)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Grump time

So, of course, I went to the sad meat bin and got elbowed aside by lots of white-haired folk, and scored no meat. I will return another day for more abuse. Speaking of my elders, it's almost time for the new symphony season. It's always a trial for me to be polite when all those old folk are pushing into line. However, I figure I only have to survive another 20 years and I, too, will no longer have to be polite.

Message to bicycle riders:

Stay off my roads and stop clogging up rural NC. All you Lance (and Lancette) Armstrong wannabes lobbied so hard for all those "Share The Road" signs without realizing that YOU, too, have to share the road. Riding 3 abreast on a two-lane rural road with a 55 mph speed limit is just plain stupid arrogance. What's even worse, ya'all were doing it up a blind hill approaching a side road. Even my old Corolla will do 55 up a hill, but you cannot. It's a wonder you have survived this long. That little pointy helmet and those stretch what-evers will not protect you from your insanity. And in rural NC, don't flip off anyone who honks at you to let you know that they are passing. When cars overtake you, go single file and hug the white line, and we'll all get along.

Going from Grump to Gramps:

Met favorite son-in-law and #1 grandchild in their local pub. It was passing strange to see Irish son-in-law with a coke and a burger instead of a Guinness and a cigar. Of course he had the most precious, cutest, blue-eyedest 6 month old ever in his lap. It's always a treat to see them. I had the pint, but no cigar.

BRB is Write (and is never grumpy after seeing that child)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Solo: I am so naive...

Chorus: How naive are you?

(I have to try this 'cause I am, after 61 years, still rather naive about things.)

When people tell me things I believe them unreservedly. Long, long ago in a country far away I was a shop steward in our local factory. The company had just contracted out the payroll work. The company sent the time cards and pay rates to another company, and we got paid. After many errors and late paychecks, the union decided to get involved and filed several grievances for back pay on short paychecks. Mine was from a young guy who said that the company had not paid him the 40 hrs he said he had worked.

At our first (and only) meeting with the Company rep they produced his time card for the pay period in question. He had so many missed punches and had few supervisor initials to correct the time card that I gave up and pulled him out of the meeting.

He wanted to know if he was getting his back pay. I had to explain to him that punching a time card was part of his job. I also told him that if he lied to another union rep ever again no one would take his case.

We lost because I believed him and didn't do my homework by asking for a copy of his time card.
As I said, naive.

Once when I was chief steward (I got the position by doing my homework) we won a rather important grievance by catching the Personnel Manager in a blatant lie. When we came out of the meeting I exclaimed to our Local President, "He lied! My god, he lied to us the whole time!" She just replied, "Of course he did. For a man of your age and experience you can be remarkably naive." I must say that she is some ten years younger and lifetimes more experienced and wise when dealing with people.

Solo: I am so naive...

Chorus: How naive are you?

I thought O.J was innocent. The jury said so.

Solo: I am so naive...

Chorus: How naive are you?

I think that most people are as polite as I am. I am always surprised by rude behavior. It costs nothing to be polite. I don't feel I am sacrificing any ego by civil behavior. However, don't be rude to me. I can lose my politeness in a heartbeat.

Solo: I am so naive...

Chorus: How naive are you?

I'm off to the sad meat bin at the local Lowes food emporium. I think I'm going to score some bargain meat. The rude septuagenarians and octogenarians will not be there pawing through the bin before me. That's how naive I am.

BRB is Write (and not as naive as I used to be)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I have to do this:

I have to post without anything to say, 'cause I cannot think of anything that is really bugging me now.

Added a new video card and more RAM to this 3 year-old and now practically obsolete computer. We will likely run Windows XP until we replace all the hardware. I tend to hate technology, even though it allows me to run a Corolla up to 240k mi and still going; I can call folk from anywhere on my cell; I can clog up cyber-space with crap like this.

When we lived in Canada, I used to root for global-warming to happen NOW! Now, after the last few weeks in NC, my wishes are coming true. Never had very good timing.

I was going to rant about for-profit health care, but I won't. We seem to pay a lot for rather indifferent care. It's the Wal-mart model, I guess.

Maybe tomorrow will yield more and better ramblings.

BRB is Write (and had nothing to say)