Monthly Archives: October 2019

As Cold As Halloween

loungepumpkinThe temps are barely above freezing, the moon is smiling sideways, and there aren’t any trick or treaters outside. I knew it might be like this when we went to the store last night for candy. Half of the houses on this street don’t even have the porch light on. Oh well. At least we have a jack-o-lantern in front of our door, and treats to bribe the would be trickers. Heck. Maybe all of the kids are in the pumpkin patch tonight with Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

Son (or Daughter) of Charlie Brown

blacklithallowsLight a pumpkin, play something on the Farfisa organ, and let a Charlie Brown style Halloween happen tomorrow night! I forgot how cool orange and purple look under a black light. I’ve also forgotten the name of the artist that had this exhibit on display at John Brown University– but I think he (or she) has spent a few nights waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

Lakeside Trail

morninglakeA brisk morning will beat a swampy one every time. It can lure you out of a deep slumber and beckon you into the woods… which is what happened almost every morning that we were on vacation.¬†This was the view that was just a few steps from our cabin at Lake Wedington. There were no sounds except the breeze and the birds.

Return Of Trunk Or Treat Beeps

beeptothesouthThe kids came for the free candy and stayed for the beeps Saturday night at Overland Park Lutheran’s Trunk or Treat Fall Fest! We lined up the decorative gourds and miniature pumpkins for BEEP GOES THE WEASEL, and played a narrow array of songs: Ghostbusters, Smoke On The Water, the Star Wars theme, and some Charlie Brown music… and when we weren’t doing that we just made a racket. When the kids left I put on the Retro Cocktail Hour’s Halloween show, which featured ghostly moans, banshee screams, and a song about a teenage brain surgeon.

Tune Up The Pumpkins!

LINUSandPUMPKINgiphyThe days are cooler, the leaves are changing, and the air is crisp again. Now we can play the Star Wars theme on pumpkins, autumn squash, and warty gourds! It’s time to gather those natural resources for the unnatural display of music, vegetables, and mayhem that is BEEP GOES THE WEASEL. October 26th (that’s tomorrow!) Overland Park Lutheran will host a trunk or treat event from 4-6pm. When the kids aren’t grabbing candy out of someone’s trunk, they will be jamming to retro Halloween hits, and playing Smoke On The Water on a cornucopia of autumnal gourds!

The Fire Still Burns

fireplaceFIRESnap! Crackle! Pop! Those were the sounds coming from our stone rental cabin last week. With overnight lows in the 40′s it was perfect weather for a fire. The cabin was built in the 1930′s so Jenny & I tried to imagine what it would have been like to sit by the fire and listen to FDR on the radio. While we were in Arkansas the leaves fell, the fires burned, we dodged a tornado, and the vacation was a success.

The Illustrated Camel

richcamelI don’t smoke camels but I can draw them! That doesn’t mean that I “draw” camels as in I “beckon” camels. I’m not sure if there is a name for someone who does that. Jim Mathis recently wrote a book (see below) and asked me to draw a few cartoons for him. Since they are in a book they are illustrations.bookcoverI’m not sure where I got the idea to put cuff links on a camel. Wait… I remember now: Snagglepuss from the Yogi Bear show.¬† The rest of the ensemble (the cigarette holder, martini, and sunglasses) is pure Hunter S. Thompson.

He Creamed The Weenies

JeffCollageFirst there’s a melancholy guitar and trumpet playing. Next comes the familiar sound of helicopters that is quickly followed by an announcement– “Attention! All personnel! Incoming podcast!” And just like that (snaps fingers) something resembling my favorite TV show is back! That something is M*A*S*H Matters, a podcast hosted by Ryan Patrick and Jeff Maxwell. Patrick is a long time fan of the show, and Maxwell played the role of Igor, the often ridiculed mess hall cook (pictured above) for 9 years. The two hosts talk about their different perspectives on the show, interview guests, and basically cover all things M*A*S*H related.
–huge thanks to pop culture writer, Whitney Matheson, for the heads up on this podcast!

The PH Coffee Connection

jarrednmeA long time ago both of my parents told me “son, it’s not always WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.” At the time they were emphasizing how important it is to make connections with people to get a job. I realize now that this advice goes even deeper than that– who you know can connect you to people and experiences you may never have if all you do is focus what you know. Last week I went to PH Coffee. It’s a new coffeehouse in Pendleton Heights just northeast of the downtown loop. My old co-worker (Jarred, pictured above) started the business to connect people. On the PH Coffee facebook page it says: “our goal is to create a space where people can be together and learn about what makes our community so great.”

Air Goes Beyond There

joe-cocker“Unusual gesturing” was the New York Times description of Joe Cocker’s hand & body movements in 1969 when he performed at Woodstock– today it’s better known as air guitar. There’s even an annual event that’s held in Finland to see who is the best air guitarist in the world. 6 years ago it was Eric ‘Mean’ Melin. I knew him back when he only got as far as the regional competitions. He used to come in to Homer’s for coffee. This morning I was thumbing through a summer issue of the Smithsonian when I read an article with this picture at the top. Eric was quoted in the article as saying “…we want to express ourselves in a way that goes beyond what a ‘there’ guitar can do.”