It’s Pretty Simple

Regulars and keen eyed followers of this space may recall that I make my living as a Stagehand.

Those fellows and gals who unload the trucks, set up and run the shows of all your favorite rock and roll, country & western, pop, folk, rap, Broadway and so on shows.

There is one pretty simple rule that governs what we do and it’s this:photo.JPG  If it’s in the truck it goes on the stage.

If it’s on the stage it goes back on the truck.

Any questions?

So the next time you lay down good money to see Bruce or Willie or Beyonce or ( heaven Forbid) that Bieber kid, or anyone else in your favorite hockey arena, ballpark, theatre, concert venue or local bar please remember that you are supporting the arts and by the arts I mean me and my fellow Stagehands.

That also goes for monies given to the NEA.

The arts support a lot of people and not only those with paintbrushes, tu-tus, violins, guitars, Ludwig drum kits, paper and pencil, laptops, video cameras, print cameras, phone cameras, kettle drums, typewriters and scripts.

I’m Phil and I approve this message.


Parking Lots

I’m at my local supermarket this morning.

There are spaces in the parking lot designated for handicapped drivers, pregnant women, women with toddlers all close to the store.  I think that’s great and I have no problem with any of those considerations.

I would like to add a new category of designated spots: “Stupid people who can’t park properly, can’t back out of a space and who nearly cause accidents by either nearly running over someone (me) or backing into my car, that would also be me.

Just let me know where the dopes get to park and I’ll go somewhere else.  Maybe I’ll rent myself a couple of toddlers.


A Word or Two about Words OR Old Man Yells at Cloud


, , , , , ,

When you are a fan of the National Pastime on the radio as I am you get get used to being flooded, bombarded and inundated with commercials.

Today’s lesson kids is about car commercials.

Recently I’ve noticed and maybe this goes back further than I can recall but marketing cars today has spawned some strange new words and phrases that I’m not entirely familiar with although I was able to figure out who’s who and what’s what.  For example:

Car company A has an auto that carries onboard Lane Drift Alerts.  Stay in your lane buddy or there will be consequences.

Company B preaches the wonderfulness of a “Pedestrian Avoidance” system and not be outdone it also has some kind of gizmo called ” Collision Alert.”

So, basically your new Oldsmobile is a riding and rolling radar unit emitting who knows what kind of gamma and x-rays in all directions to make sure you don’t run over anyone or smack into that Pierce-Arrow that just slammed on the brakes in front of you.

Maybe there should be a ” Put down your cell phone” minder in the car too which would alleviate the need for all the above mentioned gadgets and wizardry.

Oh yeah, turns out we also have our own onboard pedestrian alert, lane drift and collision avoidance system already built in.

It’s called your “Brain” so open your eyes, put down the phone and take those buds out of your ears Bud.

And now back to Ted and Larry with the play by play…


I Feel the Earth Move OR You Are the Father !!


, ,

Quiet day yesterday here in these parts except at 4:29 pm eastern whatever time I heard a loud boom.  I mean a big honkin’ kaboom.

At first I thought, well, this is it – Kim Jong what’s- his -name managed to lob one over the net and I wondered how much canned soup I had left in kitchen since trips to the grocery store were liable to be severely curtailed for the next million or so years.  There goes all the Supermarket Bonus Reward points I had stocked up.

It turns out we experienced a 2.3 sized earthquake down the road apiece towards the southern end of the county.  No damage, nobody hurt so that’s good.

Back to the Kim Jong thing- apparently several 911 callers to Country Control feared the same thing I did, that our little buddy finally found a way to ruin everyone’s weekend forever.

I got to thinking though – What if you were taking a polygraph test at the same time ground shook?  And what if the question was one that would prove you guilt or innocence?

What would Maury say besides, ” You are the father, bub.”

I suppose you could ask for a do over just like we used to do when we played stickball in the streets.

Really, we played in the street literally all the time.  We painted bases on the asphalt and our parents watched us.  They told us to go outside and play.  The best was tackle football in the snow in the street while the roads had yet to be plowed.

That’s all I got.

Film at 11.




Perusin’ the Obits

The Sunday paper seems to have an extra large selection, more than any other day of the week.  Maybe the rates are cheaper because the circulation is larger.  I don’t know.

I had to compose an obit once for an uncle.  The funeral home gave me a worksheet/questionnaire that I filled out with pertinent facts about him.  The newspaper fleshed it out into an obituary that was printed and published.  I don’t remember what the cost was.

In today’s paper there were some sad stories, some, well, it was time to go stories and some tell me how this is fair stories.

One line in a story struck me.

It read  ” She liked to sit in the sun.”

Don’t we all?

I don’t remember sitting in the sun as a blank to be filled in.

She liked to sit in the sun.

Don’t we all?

Another Friend

She lives pretty much on the road.  In and out of hotels and airports all the time.

Recently she was side lined because of a broken ankle and had to spend a couple of weeks at home.

She said when she got back on the road and checked into a hotel and opened the door to her room that she felt really at home.



I have this Friend

I have this friend who told me the following story…

Last night in his dream he was reading the Sunday comics.  In all the strips there was a wall clock showing the exact local time he was reading the paper.

Read” Blondie” at 8 am, the clock reads 8 am.

Read ” Dilbert” at 9 am, the clock says 9 am.

Read ” Blondie again at 10 am, the clock shows 10 am.

And on and on.

He asked me what that meant.

I don’t know.


Spring Break at the Place

They had taken to calling their favorite coffee shop by the name ” The Place.”  It was much easier than saying the whole name every time.  Eventually ” The Place” would morph into being called just ” There” as ” I’ll meet you There” but that was a couple of months down the road.

For now The Place was deserted because the college was on Spring Break and everyone who could get away left town.  International students (too far from home for a brief 7 day trip) and lacrosse players ( women and men) stayed because their seasons were just ramping up.  Everyone else was solid gone.

Their absences led to more parking available on campus and the surrounding neighborhood streets.  And the Place had settled into a relaxing rhythm of not being a jammed and over crowded cacophony.

The mid -March afternoon sun was warm, not quite warm enough to enjoy coffee outside but sure as heck wonderful sitting in front of a full floor to ceiling window facing west.

Everyone seemed more relaxed with the reduced size of the crowd although for sure it affected the joint’s bottom line.

It was a peaceful afternoon which would have been more peaceful had everyone not known of the blizzard that was about to descend sometime after the sun went down.

There was a fiftieth high school reunion on the horizon which was a dramatic demarcation point in one’s life to be sure. Fifty years?  It reminded him of a phrase he once heard spoken by someone at a wake,” The days are long but the years are short.”  Fifty years!

For now they were just waiting for the sun to go down and for the snow to start falling and wondering what the world would look like tomorrow outside their front doors.


April in February

The weather around here lately has been downright insane.  It’s mild, it’s warm, it’s getting hot and I remind you it’s only late February.

And while the warmth is enjoyable it creates a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something, somehow, somewhere just ain’t right here on the mothership but that’s not a surprise to most of us anymore.

The temps have been pleasant, people are tooling around town in their Volvos with windows rolled down, although when was the last time you actually rolled down a window?

Those car window crank jobs are gone and they aren’t coming back.  All hail the little electric window motors which are probably made overseas anyway.

I stopped into one of my favorite establishments on the way to work yesterday afternoon and what I found caused me to immediately doubt the future of the human race on this planet.  Reminder – it’s February, maybe low 70’s, bright sun, blue sky and…

And, and – The air conditioning is running in the joint!!!  February, second month of the year up here in the mid Atlantic region, 4 weeks to the official first day of spring and these guys are running the AC.

If 70 degrees drives us to initiate artificial cooling then I’ve lost faith in anyone’s ability to cope with a little discomfort.  What discomfort?  It’s 70 delightful degrees.

What would Teddy Roosevelt make of air conditioning on a fine, albeit early, spring day?

He would be appalled I tell you and probably agree with my concern for what’s left of common sense on the planet.

It’s a travesty I tell you.  A mockery, a sham. A shamockery.

People please come to your senses, learn how to not only suck it up but how to appreciate what a gift a 70 degree day in February is.

Thank you.  I feel better now.