HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

LOOKING FOR A GOOD ACOUSTIC GUITAR? GIVE FINE ACOUSTICS A TRY!

Here are two photographs of my newest acquisition in the world of guitars. This is an all solid wood mahogany back, sides, and top 000-12 fret Recording King guitar that I just received from Fine Acoustics, a store at 185 East main Street, Westminster, Maryland.

Ordering an instrument through the internet, having only seen a photograph, can be a dangerous move. However, in this case, I had one of the most pleasant experiences I have had with a music store! Hats off to Ed Smith who handled the transaction not only with a great deal of professional aplomb, but also went out of his way to please the customer.
First, Ed is very conscientious about getting your order filled and shipped as quickly as possible. I ordered the guitar on a Saturday and it arrived UPS the following Thursday!

In addition, the guitar was very well packed to prevent damage. No space was left unfilled with packing paper and he shipped it in a heavy card board box made for that size guitar and case.

When I opened the guitar case, there was additional packing under the peg head for safety sake and although he certainly wouldn't have had to, he included a very nice polishing cloth and restrung the guitar with a fresh set of strings just before he shipped it out to me.

Throughout the entire transaction time, he communicated freely with me by e mail. I wasn't made to feel that I was "a bother".

So if you are looking for a good guitar at very reasonable price and want to be treated like royalty, go to www.fineacoustics,com, look over the impressive acoustic inventory and give Ed the business. You won't regret it!

THANKS, ED!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'M STARTING TO SORT OF WRITE. SCAREY!

You Had Me at “Get Lost”
(to be sung as if you hate singing country songs)

Larry Heagle, words, music, June 15, 2011


I walked up to her table
Motioned at the empty chair
“Get lost!” she said in her best bitch voice
“My friend is sitting there”

But I made a move to sit
And she grabbed the waiting chair
And she busted it over my head
But, Hell, I didn’t care

(I just said)

Chorus:
Don’t you know that you had me at “Get Lost”
Do whatever you want to 
Give me your best shot
Don’t you know that you had me at get lost?
And every part of no -
Is the part I don’t understand

She grabbed a tequila bottle
Did the same thing she done with the chair
Then she kicked me til my shins was bloody
And the meat was all laid bare

She gave me a titty twister
While she kneed me in the balls
And I fell to the floor
Criyng “gimme some more!”
You could hear me all over the hall

singing

instrumental solo

back to:

She gave me a titty twister
While she kneed me in the balls
And as I fell to the floor yellin gimme some more!
You could hear me all over the hall!

chorus and out

New Guitar, Old Fuses, No refrigerator!



This is the week I should have gone up to the Turtle Lake Casino! My luck is still holding today. Let me explain.

Last week friday, I decided I had to come to the juncture where I really want to buy an all mahogany (including top) guitar, OOO-12 fret size, with a classic slot head peghead. (the small photo on the left)

I searched the net for a used one but to no avail. then I began to look around at on line music stores to see who would give me the best price. I finally found two sites that carried the guitar at $699.99 without a hard shell case - without a case at all, in fact!

Still, after looking around at hard shell cases I figured I could get a fairly good case for $95 plus shipping. So now I was really determined to get that guitar. but how? I ain't got no guitar money floating around!

so I looked over my arsenal of guitars and picked out the acoustic that I love the least, a high end Epiphone "Elitist Texan" flat top, very similar to the one Paul McCartney recorded "Yesterday"with. I looked around for used Texans and found that they have become rare as Epiphone ceased making them in 2004 I did find one that a store was touting at $1199.00.

So I decided to post on eBay - opening bid at $700 and "Buy It Now" at $900.00. I laid out the ad and punched sell and went away from the computer to take my morning ablutions.

10 minutes later, wrapped in a towel, I hear the ding for mail and I can't believe it! Someone has just offered me $800.00 cash if I sell it to him today.

By Friday afternoon, I have shipped the guitar and ordered the Recording King ROS-616 through amazon.com. I am assured of a Thursday, June 30 delivery.

Saturday morning I am back at the office putzing around trying to find a good picture of my new axe when I stumble upon a web site in Maryland: FineAcoustics.com. I go to their list of Recording King guitars and there it is, the ROS- 616 for $640.00 INCLUDING A HARD SHELL CASE!!

First I am furious that I didn't spend more time looking yesterday. Then I wonder if I have the option to cancel the guitar I ordered through Amazon. so I quickly bring up my order from Amazon and their policy clearly states that I can cancel as long as my item has not yet shipped. And it won't ship until Monday!

My fingers fairly flew accomplishing that act.

So I saved around $160 on the deal! I am on a roll!

Then I leave Sunday morning for two days with my friend Tom Johnson who is up in Superior, Wisconsin, working on redecorating the interior of his late mother's house.

Having read recently that to save gasoline you should make 60 MPH your top speed on the highway, I decide to see if it makes a difference in my mileage. My Scion xB is rated at 26 mpg in town and 32 mpg on the highway,

When I get home on Tuesday morning, I calculate it: I got 35 mpg - and with gasoline at $3.64 a gallon, I just saved $10.95! That's it for me, man! You can pass me and give me the finger - I am driving 60 mph!

Back to luck story;

So I go over to the office and reach in the refrigerator for a carton of yogurt and that sickening smell of thawed refrigerator greets my nose.

I, of course, immediately go into panic mode and figure that it's the compressor. Kim asks if I checked to see if it was plugged in all the way, but what does she know?

I go to Best Buy and price refrigerators - the cheapest being $358 with tax. I go to Sears. They are more expensive.

I talk to Ron Wendt, our carpenter, and he asks if the light inside the unit comes on when I open the door - well, no, it doesn't. then it may well not be the compressor or the light would turn on. It has to be electrical.

So back to the office I go, wrench the refrigerator out so as to get at the outlet. Well, it's plugged in. I try the other outlet, still nothing.

I stretch the refrigerator power cord to its limit and plug it in to an outlet in the kitchen and voila! It kicks in! I don't need a new refrigerator!

But then something more ominous comes to mind - an electrician at $85 per first hour and $60 per each additional hour. so I call Kelly electric and the truck arrives at 1PM this afternoon. He does some testing here and there and finds the source of the problem in less than half an hour - there are two circuit breakers that are so worn out that they click off by themselves.

The service guy is very helpful and spends the rest of his hour labeling all the fuses and circuit breakers - we work together using walkie-talkies and he finishes before the hour is complete!

Total bill with parts? $127.32. Tell ya what - that's a hell of a lot better than all new wiring or a new refrigerator!

Let's go to Turtle Lake, man! I am HOT!


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ANOTHER SET OF KEYS? WHO THE HELL ARE THESE?

See the old lady in the cartoon? I had a day yesterday that rivals the activity pictured. I had an errand to run so I grabbed my keys off the entrance way table and pocketed them. When I reached the car, I reached into the opposite pocket, pulled out a set of keys, started up the car, and drove into Eau Claire to Fastitich to discuss whether they could "take in" a baseball cap which was too big for my head.

After leaving there, I looked across a torn up Hastings Way towards the Wendy's on the other side of no man's land. So I maneuvered my way through all the signs, pulled into the Wendy's parking lot and went in to pick up an order of my favorite french fries, the ones that are naturally cut, skin on, with sea salt.

After finishing my fries, I went out to my locked car, reached into my right hand pocket, pulled out they keys and pushed the button on the black key fob which automatically unlocks the doors - and nothing happened. I try again with the same result. Then I reach into my left hand pocket to find another set of keys with a black key fob and push the button on that one and the doors open.

Now I am completely confused and think that I must have picked up a wrong set of keys off the counter while in Wendy's, so remembering the customer who was at the counter when I was, I go back in the store and seek him out.

No, he tells me. those aren't my keys. Now I am really confused! All I can think is I must have picked up this extra set of keys over across the street at Fastitch. so instead of doing the sensible thing, I decide that crossing the street under heavy construction by foot is the most direct route, so I dodge cars, cement rollers, trucks and mud holes and finally reach the place.

When I ask if these keys belong to anybody the answer is no. Now I am totally bamboozled! Once again I work my way across no man's land, back to Wendy's and tell the counter help that I don't know whose keys they are but they should keep them.

I go out to the car and decide I'd better check in with Kim by cell phone as I have been gone long enough to have her be worrying.

I start explaining what has happened and she says: "THOSE ARE MY KEYS, YOU DUMMY! I LEFT THEM ON THE TABLE BY THE DOOR BECAUSE I HADN'T PUT MY CAR AWAY YET!"

Back into Wendy's to explain to the crew what a dolt I am. Good thing I didn't have anything to mail! I would have (as in the picture) probably tried to send it special delivery via air butt!

Some days I can't even wipe!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I AM MISSING MY BURGERS AND IT'S ALL CLEAN HEAD ED'S FAULT

I am going into my second week of eating absolutely no solid food -- I can almost see the Culver's at the other end of the tunnel motioning me in!

Every day I daydream about a double hamburger (well done), lettuce, tomato, and a side of Culver's Thousand Island dressing - I don't even need fries! and give me a small Pepsi and I a Senior discount.

I first discovered Culver's when I was working in a pretty nice joint on the main drag of Prairie Du Sac called The Fire House. It gave me a chance to have a native of the area, Ed Treinen, now of the Minneapolis area, bring his blues harps in and really add to the show, both harmonically and vocally.

well, down the highway south towards Madison, I spied this Culver's Custard and I had never seen a store like that before. so I pulled in and got my first butter burger.

It's only now that I am realizing how much I love that juice running down my wrist while I try to master dressing, tomato and lettuce.

Any how, I got to get hold of Ed Treinen. We were last in a really hot band together about damn - I don't know how long! But I been sitting around thinking every day that hey! I am not getting any younger and if I am by God going to get a band together again, it best be now.

So here's what gave me the impetus or the kick in the ass, if you will. Patty Stangel, who has been a frIend of mine for MANY years, is opening a new Injured Wild Life rehabilitation and rescue center- and she is going to need lots of donations to keep it going.

So I want to be Patty's official fund raiser band. I want to feed the owls, the baby raccoon, the wood squirrel, the snowy owl, and all the other creatures in Patty's care.

You can read about her a couple of blogs back.

Anyway, I know Ed knows Patty - she was our photographer for the publicity shots we took of you and me leaning against that ol Oldsmobile 98 back in the "duo" days.

At any rate I want to get you, Mikey, Too Tall, and Barney together for another go-round. I want us to rehearse and learn new tunes of our choosing.

So, Ed, if you are reading this, we need to talk about where you are musically, how much you are working musically, do you have time to rehearse new material - are you even interested - and things of that nature. I miss you, man!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

LEARNING TO SLOW DOWN TAKES PATIENCE BUT PAYS OFF

With gasoline nationally selling for $3.76 a gallon and locally going for $3.84, I think that many of us are for the first time becoming conscious of how many time we use the car a day, much less a week.

I know it kills me to have to make a trip that isn't really necessary anymore. That's why I found the following article not only interesting to read but more important to implement.

Here's the article:

The website Fueleconomy.gov states that for every 5 mph driven over the speed of 60 mph, 24 cents per gallon of gas is effectively added to the cost of fuel, because of the decrease in fuel efficiency for your vehicle when traveling at higher speeds. If this simple formula is accurate, then driving at 75 mph would cost an extra 72 cents per gallon. Driving 80 mph would add an extra ninety-six cents per gallon!

Combined with rapid acceleration, and sudden braking, speeding can reduce fuel efficiency by thirty-three percent, according to the same website. A vehicle with a fuel efficiency of twenty miles per gallon, driven aggressively as noted above, would be only getting about 12-13 miles per gallon, resulting in the owner paying far more in gas costs than if he or she drove sensibly.

Gas prices currently in the U.S. have risen, as everyone is aware, but are we aware we could simply drive slower, and in some cases, stop speeding illegally, to save money on gas?

Republicans and some Democrats, including the President, are going ahead to try to accelerate more offshore oil drilling in American waters, and yet extra drilling won’t bring gas prices down significantly because the amount of oil we can produce is so small, it is next to nothing compared to the huge amounts we consume. (The LA Times reported that we Americans consume nearly 25 percent of the world’s crude oil, and yet our own reserves equal only two percent.)

Yet the current federal government apparently is going to drill more anyway, even though it won’t help gas prices much and is clearly a political ploy. At the same time, none of the politicians are telling people free things they can do to reduce their gas consumption and therefore save money.

Maintaining the correct air pressure in tires also helps fuel efficiency, up to three percent. If the engine is tuned properly, that can save another four percent. Idling also wastes gas, so if you are waiting in a parking lot for someone who is doing an errand, turn off the engine.

Another free, and very easy thing to do to increase fuel efficiency and save money, is simply to remove any unnecessary items from your vehicle. Some people drive around with many pounds of stuff in their trunks or back areas, though they don’t use these items on their trips or when they arrive.

If possible, park your car in shade during hot weather so you don’t have to blast the air conditioner to cool it down. If it is not possible, use a windshield sun shade as the dashboard is a solar collector and can get very hot, which requires energy to cool down.

Driving around with an empty roof rack that you don’t ever use will also decrease fuel efficiency because it creates extra drag from air. Replace worn tires, and consider low-rolling resistance ones to increase mileage also.

These are just a number of things you can do that are vehicle-related, but of course, we can all car pool, drive less, ride public transportation, ride bikes, and maybe even consider walking once in a while? The Europeans ride bikes, walk and ride public transportation, and are a little less in girth than we are, so it seems to be working for them.

Image Credit: Aaron Lawrence



Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/gas-tremendous-amount-wasted-by-speeding.html#ixzz1OnOsGPKu

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Of course, you have to be prepared to have strangers give you a one-fingered salute if you slow down, but money is hard to come by, and so I can deal with that. How 'bout you?

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A great joke:

Share: (from my sister-in-law Kristi) woman was sipping on a glass of wine, while sitting on the patio with her
husband, and she says, "I love you so much, I don't know how I could ever
live without you."
Her husband asks, "Is that you, or the wine talking?"



Monday, June 6, 2011

PATTY STANGEL ESTABLISHES WILDLIFE R&R, INC





Yesterday Kim and I accompanied a very excited Patty Stangel out to look at what she hopes will become "Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release, Inc.", a center designed to take care of injured birds and animals that have been found in the Chippewa Valley and turned in to her by citizens who care about wild life.

Patty first became involved in this endeavor when she worked as an assistant at "White Pine Rehab" with John and June. When John was diagnosed with cancer, the couple annoounced that the center would be forced to be closed.

Patty finally talked them into letting her take the animals that were still there and she proceeded to walk the beaurocratic maize necessary to become an authorized wildlife rehabilitaion agent.

Patty is truly a renaissance woman with many talents. She is an interior decorator, an incredible wild life photographer, she successfully owned Patty's Pub down town Eau Claire for years and managed the restaurant at her brother's motel/restaurant complex.

I have known Patty for years and have never seen anyone who has a connection with animals that she has. For years she rescued wild kittens that were born on her small property before the father of the little ones could kill them. She provided us with two of our all time favorite house cats, "Harley" and "Hannah" and we referred to her as "Aunt Patty" because the cats would recognize her every time she came to visit.

Right now, Patty has in custody four great horned owls, a great snowy owl, a very small baby raccoon, a little red squirrel, a sawhett, and a Canadian gosling that devoured too much blue algae and cannot hold his head up properly.

Patty's days are spent feeding and caring for each of the creatures individually. She is truly the Chippewa Valley's version of "St Francis of Assissi

I am sure that when word gets out that the spirit of White Pine lives on, a menagerie of broken wings, broken legs, and all forms of illness will come under her care.

She takes any of the animals that need veterinary care to the vet. Right now, funding is what she is really going to need. To that end I am hoping to put my band back together and continually play fund raisers just for that purpose.
If and when that comes to be, I will post on Face Book.

I hope that the Chippewa Valley will respond to this beautiful gem that sets us aside as a very special, giving society!

June 7 - NOTE: I found out today that Partty had to have the poor little gosling put to sleep as her condition continually worsened. Too much nerve damage from the algae. Another example of how humans are ruining habitat environment - my deepest sympathy, Patty, as I know this hurts your heart!


To end on a happy note, however, today Patty signed the necessary sale papers and the log home is hers, officially! She has asked that I not disclose the exact location but to tell everyone that it is within a 20 mile drive of Eau Claire and is on a magnificent wooded hill side lot. Eventually she will build steps onto the deck for visitors as the downstairs door will lead into the animal rehabilitation center.
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Today is D-DAY, the sixth of June. On this day in 1944, the greatest military operation in the history of man was successfully launched.

How fitting then, to have today be the day of another invasion. Today I have laproscopic surgery to repair a hiatal hernia which has impeded my singing and speaking voice for several years. I go under at 1PM! Wish me luck!

Another Note for June 7: I am home from surgery. It went very well. Now I live on liquids until June 21 and then learn how to eat all over again ... slowly with much chewing!

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

HOW DO I GET TO HWY 100?

Sitting on the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a cop sees a car puttering along at 22 mph. Says he to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over. Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies, two in the front seat and three in the back -- wide eyed and white as ghosts.

The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don't understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"

"Ma'am," the officer replies, "you weren't speeding, but you should know that driving slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."

"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit exactly. Twenty-two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.

The Police officer, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 is the highway number, not the speed limit. A bit embarrassed, the woman grins and thanks the officer for pointing out her error.

"But before I let you go, Ma'am, I have to ask . . .. . . Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken, and they haven't made a peep this whole time," the officer asks.

"Oh, they'll be all right in a minute officer. We just got off Highway 95."

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IF I BUY, IT WILL BE CHEAPER IN DAYS

I just thought of another of those "Larry's Laws" -- If I purchase something on eBay at a sale price, within a week that same item will sell for at least $15 less.

Such is the case of this Mitchell and Ness retro 1960's Packer warm up style jacket. I had been salivating over it for nearly a year but with the MSRP at $150.00 that's about all I could do - salivate.

So last week I see it being offered at $92.90 or best offer - so I make my best offer at $75. and they snapped it up. So I think I have done a hell of job in the world of thrift. today I go to a different site just to find the photo used in this blog and they are selling the jacket for $60.00.

Same thing happens when I buy gasoline. Once I fill my tank the cost per gallon drops at least four cents a gallon.

So if you are a Packer freak like I am, now is the time to buy this jacket! You can purchase it right through Mitchell and Ness's web site.

Now I want a big discount!

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EVIL IS WINNING - NO PEACE AND JUSTICE

I thought this a pertinent picture to post on my blog. How does that old joke go? Politicians are like diapers - they are generally full of shit and both need changing often.


Lately it has been my thought that this country's voters are getting exactly what they thought they wanted with the 2010 election.
Yesterday I had a conversation with my chiropractor and he admitted that he had voted for Walker, a decisiion he says now he regrets.

I don't have any faith in either of our major parties. Neither will take a stand for the two most important tenets of a lasting world: PEACE AND JUSTICE.

When Barack O'Bama was elected I thought he was telling the truth in his campaign promises - but instead he has become a "Jackie Robinson" of politics, just trying to do a job but being very careful not to upset the white man. Consequently he has been a huge disappointment to me in matters of peace and justice.

What are we still doing fighting a useless war in Afghanistan ? A war by the way that recently set history as the longest war America has ever been involved in. A war that emptied our coffers and filled the pockets of the military complex - can you say "Cheney"?

It is laughable that Mr. O'bama was given a Nobel Peace Prize - for what?

And let's not even talk Republicans. They are generally insane, greedy, racist, sexist, extremely wealthy - with some totally misled dying middle class that still believes the shit that they are dealing out for good mix, included the deluded Tea Party Patriots..

I had a chance to perform for a luncheon of hospital volunteers and somewhere in the show I said: Catholic and Republican are a contradiction in terms."

As for me, as my race is almost run, all I can do is hang on to hope that the fat pigs in congress don't get rid of Medicare.

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And to prove my point:

from good old TEXAS:


Texas Cheerleader Fined $45k For Refusing to Applaud Her Rapist
May 8, 2011








A cheerleader in Silsbee Texas was dropped from her high school’s cheer leading squad for refusing to join in a cheer for a team member, Rakheem Bolton, who had raped her. His charges were bargained down to two years of probation, community service, a fine and a requirement to take anger-management classes.In exchange, he was taken back on the team for which HS was employed as a cheerleader.

Of course, when the cheerleading team was told to cheer for Bolton, this put HS in a quandary. She decided, quite understandably to stand with arms folded instead of cheering the person she had taken to court for rape.Richard Bain, the school superintendent, demanded that she leave the game, and tried to browbeat her into cheering her rapist. When she refused, he expelled her from the cheerleading squad.

Following this, HS sued Silsbee High School for violating her free speech. HS lost, and appealed her loss all the way to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. Now HS must pay $45,000.00 to the school district for filing a “frivolous lawsuit”.

There is plenty of blame to go around. The court’s decision is, needless to say, outrageous. But Silsbee High School has shown loudly and clearly that it does not give a damn about rape victims, bullying victims or anyone who falls to the nether reaches of the high school food chain. Rakheem Bolton should have been expelled from the team for his behavior. Unfortunately, in Silsbee, Texas, character means absolutely nothing.Richard Bain is a failure as an educator, unfit to teach or serve in any high school. Unfortunately, he probably reflects the values of Silsbee Texas.



I can’t say a whole lot for the other cheerleaders either, who refused to stand by HS when she challenged the system. Lastly, the school should salvage a shred of decency by refusing to collect the fine levied against HS and her family.

If HS and her family must pay Silsbee High School, the entire $45,000.00 dollars should be brought to the school in pennies. Preferably, the pennies should be soaked in cat urine for about a month before being delivered to the school, so they will stink as badly as the legal decision that mandated payment. If there is any justice in the world, Rakheem Bolton will see university doors slam in his face and sport scholarships disappear in the aftermath of his crime. Hopefully, any administrator or employee who lists Silsbee High School on their resume will experience similar rejection.

Silsbee High School is famous around the world, but not for its sports team. They are famous for tormenting rape victims and lauding rapists. A Silsbee High School diploma will be like the mark of Cain on the resume of all who invoke it.

This entire story is a nightmarish illustration of what happens when character and values are given no weight in education. There are Certainly decent people in Silsbee, Texas. Whoever they are, they are almost certainly deeply, deeply ashamed of their town.