Chemistry Can Be Funny

If you were lucky enough to take Organic Chemistry in college, you probably don’t recall it being funny.   If you were a real masochist and took Physical Chemistry, “funny” is not likely a word found in your lexicon.

But. . . I didn’t take either.  So, I think chemistry is funny.

If you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.
– Author Unknown

This, and many other funny, chemistry quips can be found at Still Fueled By Chocolate.

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In A Pool Of Dreams, About To Drown

Been thinking about music lately and bands that I used to listen to daily, but have not recently.  Blackfoot is one of those bands.

Blackfoot just might be one of the most underrated “Southern Rock” bands of the 1970’s-80’s. Fronted by Rickey Medlocke (currently playing in the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band),    Rickey had a powerful stage presence. Backed by his life-long friend and co-songwriter, the late, Jakson “Thunderfoot” Spires 0n drums, Charlie Hargrett on guitar and Greg T. Walker on bass guitar.

From the Marauder album, a  classic, Southern Ballad

Diary of a Workingman, with lyrics below.  If you can’t feel the emotion in Medlocke’s voice and guitar playing, well, you just didn’t listen.


In a room all alone waiting by the telephone   With a tear in his eye and a pen in his hand So begins the diary of a working man  He’d been a poor man all of his life and just when things were going right Some stranger takes his woman away, he doesn’t know if he’ll see Oh, another day, oh, another day Ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh Time has come and it was right, it was a cold and rainy night And he thought for sure she would follow but it won’t be the same, no, tomorrow Now here’s the man glory-bound in a pool of dreams about to drown If he can just get through this night, then maybe tomorrow things Will work out right, oh, will work out right Well, with the pain in his blood, he’d love to take her if he could And as he wakes with a scream to only realize it’s just reality, ooh-ooh-ooh He woke with sweaty hands, maybe there’ll be a change in plans With a tear in his eye and a gun in his hand, so ends the diary of a working man

Posted in Music of the 1970's, Music of the 1980's | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A Morning Of Memories

Earlier today, I attended the Aiken Department of Public Safety Employee Reunion Breakfast and it appeared that a good time was had by all.

Ryan and me after breakfast.

While I started my adventure as a firefighter/EMT back in 1976, I worked as a firefighter/driver-operator in Aiken from 2000 until April of 2012 when I “retired.” Thirty-six years in emergency services, all while I also had my career in funeral service.

It was great to see so many of the folks I used to work with over the years, both in law enforcement and the fire division. Public Safety provides law enforcement, fire, and first responder services to the City of Aiken and adjoining fire coverage area.   All the police officers are also trained as firefighters, but most of the firefighters are not cross-trained in law enforcement.  That being said, everyone gets along and works as a team.

It has been seven and a half years since I retired and if I said I didn’t miss it every day, I’d be lying. It was fun, it was exciting I helped people and I made friends that will last until the days we die.

Pull out the fire vehicles and set up the tables for 200 family members

Thanks to Chief Baranco and the committee that put this event on.  I already have next year’s date on my calendar. Additional thanks to Capt. Ryan Senn, Columbia, SC Fire Dept., Engine 33, who told me of the event the other evening when I stopped by his firehouse for a cup of coffee. (I forgot to update my address with Aiken when we moved into this house) At the sake of sounding maudlin, I refer to Ryan as the son I never had.  He is as old as our daughter Kelliann and I introduced him to some people at the CFD. He got hired on and now he is captain (officer in charge) of an engine company.  He and his crew are always most gracious when I stop by to visit.

As I get older and physically can’t do many of the things I once did, I am thankful for those I worked with and the clear memories from the days I could.

The guys that worked together 10-15 years ago. Some retired, some moved on and some still there.

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Sunday Pipes #42

The talented organist Chris Oelkers plays Immaculate Mary (Lourdes Hymn) on the Custom Monarke organ at the Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood (TX).

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Break Down, Into Tears

It was the Fall of 1978, freshman year at college when Jack Sonntag brought over the  “Alive on Arrival” album and I heard my first, Steve Forbert song.  It has been a music love affair ever since.  I’ve seen him live dozens of times and I want to see him one more time before he retires.

That sure was a treat for me.

The song below is from that debut album and it is the first Forbert song of many that I learned to play on the guitar.

Back in 2014, I took Elissa with me to see Steve in Charlotte, NC and I had the opportunity to talk with him for quite a while, telling him how much I’ve enjoyed his music over the years.

I have lots of “favorite” Forbert songs, but “Tonight” will always be special. I feel a little melancholy tonight and thought of this tune,


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On Learning

There are three kinds of men:

The ones that learn by reading.

The few that learn by observation.

The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Will Rogers, courtesy of americatherepublic on Instagram

For the record, I have utilized all three methods.


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It’s The Thought That Counts

It was just over two years ago and I was up visiting my parents for a long weekend. My father and I were trying to find something and I was going through his desk drawer when I found a watch that I had never seen before.

Not just any watch my what appeared to be a Rolex Submariner Date. For those of you not familiar with the Rolex brand, a new, Submariner Date is just under $9,000.00.  I was more than shocked as my dad was a Timex guy and bought most of his watches over the years at the drug store.

Once I caught my breath, I asked him where he got it from and did he understand how much it was worth?  My mother walked in just about then and heard the question. She explained that not too long ago, one of their friends, before he died,  mentioned that he had five (5) Rolex watches and wanted to give my father one to remember him by and to take his pick.  (I should have friends like that, eh?)

I suggested that they have the watch appraised for insurance purposes and also for someday when it became part of his estate.  I offered to bring it back to Aiken to take it to the jewelers we had known for almost 20 years as they were an authorized, Rolex dealer. They hesitated and the watch was put away.

The following year, I was up for another long weekend for my mother’s birthday and they gave me the watch.  I cleaned it up a bit, began wearing it and it kept perfect time. I did some online searches and found there were some variations of the Submariner and I was thinking I may have had a unique, well-worn Rolex.

I took it to Floyd & Green’s Jewelers and explained to Jenny the history of the watch and that I wanted to get it appraised. As she took it, I could tell from her expression that something wasn’t right.  She excused herself and went into the back room and came out a few seconds later and gently told me it was a fake.


Well, that was a bit of a shock, but made sense in light of some of the features that were not found on any of the models I saw online.

I walked out disappointed, head hung low, and my biggest concern was whether my parents would believe me and not think I was trying to scam them.  Who, me?  Mom and Dad were just as surprised as I was and felt bad for me and wondered if the former owner knew?  What could I say aside from, “It’s the thought that counts. Thank you”

It may not be real, but it does keep perfect time and has a great story. That makes maybe getting called out for wearing a fake Rolex worth it.

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I came across this cartoon on Instagram the other day and it “spoke to me”

Sometimes waiting is stressful, but  it can also be a picnic.

Your choice.

Choose wisely.

I can’t read the name to give proper credit, but the cartoon is not my work.

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The world has more blogs than you could ever read in your lifetime, so it is important to pick good ones.

My friend Kurt Harden provides a good starting point with his 25 Blogs Guaranteed To Make You Smarter.  

What was probably one of the first blogs to be put on the list is The Hammock Papers and you never know what you will find there each morning. It is a forest of things.

During my travels around the state of South Carolina,  I sometimes find myself driving through the quaint town of Denmark, home to the Jim Harrison Museum and Studio.

Harrison is a cult figure of sorts for some of us and today, Rob at The Hammock Papers uses Jim to teach us a lesson in happiness.

It is simply called Simple.

All the wisdom of the world in one sentence.


Posted in 25 blogs, backroads, bloggery, Blogs | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment


We remember our beloved “Maggie” who died a year ago today.  Megan was with her the day she was born at the farm and all of us were with her 12 years later when she died.  She was sassy and the titular head of our fur family, never to be replaced.

Fall has arrived in South Carolina. I love the juxtaposition of the blue skies, turning leaves, and the Palmetto tree.

I recently cleaned up the desktop on my iPad, but a few days later, I found this app loaded on. I don’t recall seeing it previously and it was grouped around the apps I use daily.  Typically, apps like this I put in folders to reduce clutter, so I am thinking it was put there by some powerful, unmovable force at Apple.  Can anyone shine a light on this for me?

Baby Adeline slept through most of her Sunday after attending her Aunt Megan/Uncle Andrew’s wedding shower last night.  It was her first, “big night out” and she did great.

Monday starts a new week, full of new adventures.  Grasp each one and run with it. And, in the words of Sgt. Esterhaus, “Let’s be careful out there.”

(Who remembers that line?)


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