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.”

The Time Of The DJ

deejayThere was a time when radio deejays were entertaining and knowledgeable. We are no longer living in that time. Tonight Jenny & I were laughing uncontrollably when a DJ played¬†Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship. We thought it was funny because the DJ called the band Stewardship, and apparently it is a big deal that they are coming to Great Bend, KS on October 19. Great Bend is over 250 miles west of Kansas City. That’s almost 4 hours driving time. I don’t know anyone who is that big of a Starship fan.

Hemlock Halloween Again

hemlock house 2Everyone in my neighborhood knows that Halloween is only four weeks away when the skeletons come out on Hemlock. For the last 20 years the folks that live in this house wait until October 1st to decorate their yard. Then 30 days later, they crank up the audio: thunder, moaning, cackling, and all the other scary noises that are associated with Halloween. I always wonder what the Jehovah’s Witnesses think about all this devilish detail. The church is just a few feet away.

What’s In The Works

NETWORK-Jp-1-jumboWhen we think about people and places, we remember faces and forget names. Sometimes smells and sounds can trigger a memory, and we remember images better than stories– but in the guts of every good story there’s cool stuff like:
a before and an after
a then and a now
a prologue and an epilogue
I’m putting together an audio podcast series called EPILOGUE CABIN. On each episode I’ll talk with old friends from high school to see if our memories match, and we’ll also find out what’s going on with each other right now. Stay tuned!