Return Of The Phono-Fiddle

phonofiddleAll those wires, knobs, and switches… at first glance it looks like a scene from a Terry Gilliam movie. Sometime in the middle of the night Reed Ghazala put one of his old photos on facebook. He found the phono-fiddle instrument that he is holding in a London antique shop many years ago. In his facebook post he explains: “The old crank-wound phonograph’s needle had at its top end a diaphragm, which it vibrated, and behind that diaphragm a big amplification horn. Here, the bridge rests against the diaphragm. So, half phonograph, half fiddle.” Now I really want to hear that thing!

The Fortune Card Says So

nowisagoodtimeRight before she left Homer’s, Sarah (one of the morning regulars) gave me this little fortune card. I don’t know where she got it. 7am is too early to eat a fortune cookie but I’m going to take it as a sign that the planets are in alignment, and fate has given a green light for THE EPILOGUE CABIN. I started working on the 7th episode featuring Jeff Hoover¬†during a break between shifts at Homer’s yesterday.

Five Miles That Way

5milesthatwayThe first thing we noticed was a grinding sound. When James’ car started to vibrate we both knew something was wrong. 35 years ago we slowly took the exit for Passaic on our way back to the dorms, and parked my roommate’s hobbled Monte Carlo next to the building pictured above. Back then it was a general store. We asked a group of guys by the register where the nearest payphone was. One of them pointed two directions and said, “the nearest payphone is 5 miles that way or 5 miles that way.” Then we asked if there was a phone we could use to make a collect call. The same guy said, “sure it’s right there on the wall behind you.” Last week I was on my way to Neosho to interview my friend Hoovie for an upcoming episode of THE EPILOGUE CABIN. I pulled over at Passaic again to respond to a text. The old general store is now an RV park. I still didn’t see any payphones.

Frogger, Sydney, and Me.

mesydandfroggerWe ate a good dinner. We had a great visit. She opened the door, and was just about to leave when I asked “have you seen my arcade machine?” A look of mischief and wonder crossed her face as she delayed her exit, and all of a sudden my 27-year-old niece was a little kid again. The last time Syd was this impressed she counted 500 records in my collection. This time we played Frogger. It’s one of 18,000 games at my disposal thanks to my old pal Hoovie.

Wyatt’s Second Birthday

jennyandwyattThe Herman tribe keeps growing. We celebrated with 2-year-old Wyatt before his actual birthday yesterday. Even though there were parents, cousins, and grandparents galore, Wyatt saved a couple of minutes for Great Aunt Jenny. His party had a “south of the border” theme, and Matthew (Wyatt’s proud papa) grabbed the smallest maraca he could find and said “Ol√©!”matthewthemexican

When We All Take The Leap

leapdayEven the most cautious person will take a leap today. It’s inevitable. I looked it up and apparently the earth takes exactly 365.25 days to go around the sun. Whoever figured out the orbit situation could have named that extra year and extra day anything when you think about it. Bonus Year would have been cool.

Show #6 Is On The Air

biggerengineerWe can all breathe easier now. The sound crew worked their magic on the latest episode of THE EPILOGUE CABIN last night while I covered an empty shift at Homer’s. By the time I got home the guys were patting each other on the back and heading to the local tavern. They invited me to go, but I said “no thanks” and stayed home and watched The Human Duplicators on Mystery Science Theatre. Enough of my shenanigans… heeeeere’s Becky!

No Pants Required

livingroomATARI_1SIS: “Hey Bro, you better put some pants on, Mom’s got the camera out again.”
BRO: “I’m not falling for that old trick Sis! The last time I put on pants you beat my high score!”
The kids in this old photo are playing something on an Atari 2600. My sister and I had a Pong game console with 4 variations that we would play after school. The only time we looked like these kids was on Saturday morning– but we weren’t playing Pong, we were watching Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the Roadrunner.
-image from PatmanQC video, ‘The History of Pitfall!’

The World That Beckons

8bitDONUTshopNow this 8-bit doughnut shop after dark is the kind of world I could slip into. Of course I would have to accept the fact that my existence would be less defined and extremely shorter in that squared off reality. Oh sure there’s cool adventures to be had and super feats of strength to show off– but once the person on the other side of the screen runs out of quarters my life is over. Still… I can dream.

Evelyn’s Birthday @ The Dragon Inn

dragoninnEVELYN90Thursday night we took Evelyn to the Dragon Inn. It was her 90th birthday! Peter (on the far left) has known Evelyn since he was a teenager in the 1970′s. His family runs the Dragon Inn so he covered the tab. Barb (next to Peter) and Jenny planned the whole thing. Later that night we went back to Evelyn’s house to sing happy birthday and eat cake. It took all four of us to hold her down for a birthday spanking. After 90 whacks we were pretty worn out so she didn’t get “one to grow on.”