BuzzzzzzzKKKK! Whoops!

Britta, a blogger friend of mine, just blogged that her mom used to cut her hair as a kid. You can read her blog here:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/110737174/posts/3967709465

She mentioned the dreaded “Bowl Cut.” When I think of that, my mind immediately goes to Moe from the Three Stooges. Really, he is the only one I think it looks good on! LOL

She went on to ask if anyone has ever had a “home haircut mishap.” Well, it just so happens that I have!

I remember my dad used to have a pair of electric hair clippers. I’m not sure that he always cut our hair, but there were certainly a few times that he did. One time in particular, I remember I was getting my hair cut and my brother was doing something to annoy me. I kept moving around in the chair and wouldn’t sit still. My dad was getting more and more angry every time I moved. He kept telling me to stop moving my head.

What happened next I don’t recall exactly, but I moved my head backward as my dad was getting ready to cut and the guard came off the clippers. I distinctly remember the clippers running right against my scalp. They mowed a HUGE path in the middle of my head! I am sure that my dad said some choice swear words and wondered just how he was going to fix it!

I remember crying when it happened and both my brother and I got yelled at. Rightfully so!

My cousin’s dad was a barber. If memory serves me correctly, he ended up coming over to my grandma’s house with his clippers and bag of barber equipment in hopes of making me look normal. The only choice he had, was to give me the haircut of another Stooge – Curly Howard!

I was the butt of many jokes when I went back to school. It took weeks for my hair to grow back! So I gained a life lesson – sit still while getting a haircut!

Silly Kid Stuff

To my Facebook friends, most of this blog is a recap of things I have already posted there. However, some of this is stuff I want documented in my blog for future viewing.

Andrew

Ok, I’m not going to lie, this is something that makes me laugh out loud every time I see it. Sam had AJ in a striped onesie recently and I only saw him in it briefly. Then, on one of my days off, I put him in the same onesie. I couldn’t really place what it made me think of at first, and then it hit me! I had to do a “comparison” picture.

AJ and Curly from the short “Dizzy Pilots”

What is even funnier is that I was wearing a shirt that had stripes on it a few years ago in a picture and my dad is the one who told me it reminded him of Curly from that short. Personally, I think AJ’s shirt is much closer to Curly’s. Now, if you are talking hair … then I am closer to Curly!

I’m not sure what it is, but I seem to make AJ smile a lot. Sam even said that I make him smile more than she does. I’m not sure that is the case, but I won’t lie, when he smiles at me – it is one of the many things that make me so very happy.

His hair reminds us of Ella when she was a baby. Depending on the light, it can look brown, blonde, or red. I guess we have to wait a bit to see what color it winds up being!

Ella

So we had a little snow storm here in Michigan this week. I think the “official” total accumulation was about 10 inches where we live. That is about half of what they said it was going to be. Because of the storm, many patients called and cancelled their sleep studies. That meant that I got called off and got an extra night home with the family.

For dinner last night, Ella wanted pancakes. I thought I would be the “cool” dad and attempt to make some Mickey or Minnie Mouse pancakes for her. She’s been watching Minnie Mouse on TV a lot, so I though she would think they were cool! So I fired up the griddle and made these beauties for her:

I was pretty excited about how they came out. I put them on the plate, walk them over to her and say, “Look, baby! What do they look like?”

She looks at them and back at me and replies, “pancakes!”

As one of my Facebook friends observed – “She’s not wrong!”

After dinner, she grabbed a few books to read. She has this Pete the Cat book that had a sheet of stickers in it. She’s been all about stickers lately. We’ve been finding them stuck all over the house in random places – on the bathroom wall, on the living room floor, inside the kitchen cupboard doors, etc…

I was on the floor with her and AJ and she began to place her stickers on a huge canvas …

MY HEAD!

At one point she tried to put one on my eye! I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and as I was walking out, Sam was walking in. She began laughing because when I removed the stickers, I had forgotten one and had actually fallen asleep with it still on my noggin!

Today, before I took my nap before work, I wanted to get out with the snow blower and go over the driveway and sidewalks again. Before I did that, though, we bundled Ella up so she could go outside and play in the snow. I pulled her around on her sled for a bit before we attempted to go out into the snow on the lawn.

10 inches of snow made it pretty hard for her to walk around, so I kept shuffling in my boots to clear a path for her. That allowed her to play in the snow for a bit. She seemed to like falling in the snow better anyway. I showed her how to make some snow angels, but I think she just thought I was being silly. The wind cut our play short. Her nose and cheeks were really red when we went in the house. We were probably only outside for 10 minutes.

What a joy it is to spend some one on one time with her in the snow! She loves being outside!

Sadly, play time ended and when she went inside, I pulled out the snow blower and cleared snow before napping.

So many fun moments with the kids this week! God, do I love them!

Library Memories

Yesterday’s blog about taking Ella to the library led to various conversations that brought back many of my own library memories.

My first trip to the library was of course during grade school. We always had a day during the week where we could go and check out a book. There were some occasions where we got to go to the library and listen to audio cassettes or record albums. I remember they had the worst headphones for listening to things in the library!

The above picture is close to what those headphones looked like, but I think the ones at school had very little cushion to them. They were either so tight that they left your ears red, or so loose that the never stayed on. It was rare to every find a pair that were “comfortable.”

On a trip to the library last year with my sons, my oldest wanted to play on the computers and asked for headphones. You guessed it – the headphones they gave him were almost identical to the ones we had in elementary school. Maybe they want them to be uncomfortable, so you won’t be on the computer too long?

My buddy Max reminded me that before the days of computers, you would take the book to the desk and they would stamp it with the due date. This was very similar to the way books were checked out in school, but in school, your name and the date showed up on the card.

Note the card had the date loaned, your name, and your classroom number … just in case they needed to hunt you down!
This one is a bit different in that it has the due date, homeroom and your name.

Today, you go into the library and do a search on the computer for a book. Back in the day, you had to use the card catalog!

With the card catalog, you could look up a topic, a title, or an author. As I recall, the cards were hand typed and in alphabetical order. You would then be able to find the section where the book was located using the Dewey Decimal System. You’d get the number, find the section, find the numbers, and hopefully the book was on the shelf. Each book had those white stickers with that info on the binder.

When I think about the library, two great childhood memories come to me immediately. Growing up, they used to play old radio shows on the radio. I was familiar with them because we used to check them out of the library on cassette tape! I was introduced to Jack Benny, Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly, Suspense, Dragnet, and so many other shows because of trips to the library. I loved checking them out and listening to them at night.

I also remember looking forward to the nights my dad rented the 16 mm projector from the library.

It was always fun to have dad set up movies and us watch them on the wall. He always checked out old Laurel and Hardy films, Three Stooges shorts, the Little Rascals and Smokey & the Bandit. This was in the days before any of these were out on video. It was awesome to be able to see these at home! I remember those nights very well. I was probably introduced to so many classics this way.

It’s been many years since I got my first library card. In that time the media used at the library had changed drastically. Instead of records and cassettes, today you can check out DVD, Blue Ray, and CDs. There are computers readily available for folks who have no internet. And, of course, there are millions of stories sitting upon the shelves in books. When I hear people say there is no need for the local library, it makes me sad, because it remains one of my favorite places to go.

Nice Lids!

I rarely post two blogs in one day, however, my last post made me think about something – hats. The reason for this is the first line of the song “On the Sunny Side of the Street” (Grab your coat and get your hat ….)

I guess I have always appreciated a good hat. I wish that people would dress up like they used to. It seems like there was a time when folks would wear a nice suit and tie and always had a good hat to complete the ensemble. My dad had some pretty cool hats growing up…

My dad and cousin Diane.
My dad and grandpa looking swell! Dig that hat!

When I watch an old movie I always am impressed by the way some of the actors dressed. In the Rat Pack film “Robin and the Seven Hoods,” there is a scene where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby sang a song called “Style.” Frank and Dean are singing about how Bing needs to dress better.

Anyway, there is a line in the song that says, “A hat’s not a hat till it’s tilted.” As I thought more on this, so many of the great actors wore hats and they always tilted them. I love that look! I always wanted to find a hat that I could wear titled and have it make me look good! The fedora seemed to be the choice of many stars ….

Cary Grant was always looking suave –

Cary Grant

Bogey and Cagney knew how to wear a hat!

James Cagney – Humphrey Bogart

Classic Gangster – Edward G. Robinson was almost always wearing a hat….

Edward G. Robinson

Al Pacino looked great in a fedora …

Al Pacino

Harrison Ford brought the fedora back to the screen as Indian Jones..

Even the great Curly Howard from the Three Stooges looks amazing in a hat!

Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra often recorded songs with their hats on …

Speaking of Dean Martin, the first line of his song “Bummin’ Around” says, “Got an old slouch hat ….” I wasn’t aware what a slouch hat was. I looked it up online and it was a sort of military hat. Google said, A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt or cloth hat most commonly worn as part of a military uniform, often, although not always, with a chinstrap. This picture came up.

slouch hat

I thought it was just a floppy hat, like Curly wore in Stooges films.

Curly

…or like Cagney wore ….

Cagney

Come to find out, those hats are called “newsboy hats.” The newsboy cap or newsie cap is a casual-wear cap similar in style to the flat cap. This is the hat that I always wear in the winter. Most people call it my “old man hat.” LOL

My daughter LOVES my hat!!

Wearing Daddy’s hat!

Maybe it is just the nostalgia lover in me, but I wish that I could pull off a nice suit, tie and hat and look as good as so many of the actors from the movies ….

Maybe I’m Over Thinking This …

I don’t want to get too deep into this. Personally, I think it is getting out of hand. I don’t have it all figured out. However, I can speak to what I know is true for me.

I watched Elmer Fudd …

I watched Yosimite Sam…

…and I have never had the desire to own a gun or the desire to shoot someone.

I watched Pepe Le Pew…

…and have never forced myself on a woman.

I watched Wile E. Coyote….

…and never had the desire to buy a load of explosives (or kill a Road Runner for that matter).

I watched The Three Stooges…

…and have never hit anyone with a hammer, poked anyone in the eye, pulled out someone’s hair, grabbed someone by the ear with a pair of pliers….

I don’t get it. Especially when I see the garbage that is accepted on TV, in movies, and on the radio. The Grammy Awards is a fine example of the trash that is looked upon by people as “entertainment.” It is far from it. How in the world is WAP by Cardi B even worthy of air play?

Recently, on Facebook everyone was posting the song that was #1 on the day you were born (Mine was American Woman by the Guess Who). I wondered about what song was #1 when my daughter was born, so I looked it up. The song is called The Box by some guy named Roddy Ricch. I truly hope my daughter never looks this up. It is complete garbage. The F word is prominent, the N word is prominent, and plenty of sexual content. It makes me sick.

Sadly, I don’t see things getting any better.

Another Ella Milestone

Here’s One For the Baby Book

Somewhere in my house, I have my Baby Book. My mom and dad didn’t keep up with it completely, but there are some things that are in there. One of the things is a plastic bag with a lock of my hair from my first haircut.

Today, we put a little bit of Ella’s hair in a plastic bag from her first haircut. Sam kept telling me that I could stay home and sleep because I worked last night, but I wanted to be there. I wanted to get some pictures!

In all honesty, her first haircut was just a trim. Her hair kept falling in her eyes, so we wanted to trim it up. She also had some crazy curls in the back that were trimmed up.

We had no idea what to expect. If you have ever taken your child to get a haircut, you know it can go very well or very bad! I know that I used to cry and throw a fit when I had to get a hair cut! My dad actually had a pair or trimmers and tried to cut my hair. While he had the trimmers on my head, I moved and it left one huge bald spot. The only fix was to shave it down to my skull, I was probably in 3rd Grade and I had the Curly Howard from the Three Stooges look until my hair grew back! Served me right for moving around and throwing a fit!!

Anyway, we went to the gal who does Sam’s hair and it went very well! She was all smiles from the get go!

Even when Mrs. Shari started trimming, she was still calm.

Did she ever get upset? Yes. I don’t know if it was because we were trying to hold her head still or what, but there was a total of about 20 seconds of crying and that was it!

Naturally, I had to get a picture of this! You know, for when she is 18 and I need pictures to embarrass her with….

All joking aside, I am glad that I was able to go to see her first haircut. She did so well! Thank you to Mrs. Shari for trimming her up. Maybe it is now time for me to attempt putting her hair in a ponytail again….

We have witnessed so many firsts over the past year. She is growing up so fast. We love her so much!

I Hope They Don’t Have to Blast!

When you work mid-nights like I do, you look forward to winter. I sleep better in the winter. The only thing that can really wake you up outside is the garbage truck or a snow plow. In the summer, however, you have kids outside playing, people weed whacking and mowing their lawn, and extremely loud motorcycles. You can imagine what went through my mind when I walked outside today and saw this a couple doors down…

Not one huge machine – but two!

Over the summer, our neighbor was having some sewer issues. It seemed like they were always doing something in their front yard. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen people out with big trucks in the middle of the street. One day they stuck some huge tube-thing down the sewer for a while before leaving. Obviously, something is up and they will be tearing up the street.

I began to think about my sleep (or lack of) for the next few days (or weeks, depending on what they are doing). I actually chuckled as a movie line popped into my head. In Back to the Future Part III, Marty is told by future Doc in a letter that the Delorean is in an old abandoned mine. Past Doc says to him, “We may have to blast.” They do.

Back to the Future III

At any rate, I got to thinking about how often dynamite was used in comedies and cartoons. Dynamite and laughs seem to go hand in hand. The Three Stooges used dynamite more than once…

Moe, Larry, and Shemp

Dynamite was a staple gag in cartoons like Bugs Bunny…

and Tom & Jerry…

And how many explosives did Wyle E. Coyote use trying to catch the Road Runner??

It was not just used in comedy, though. Dynamite was always something you would see in old Westerns…

I have never seen this Western ….

In the 70’s, it was a TV catchphrase…

… in the 80’s, two good old boys blew up things with dynamite arrows…

The Dukes of Hazzard

and even though TNT is technically different than dynamite, AC/DC still had an explosive hit with …

… and who can forget our favorite nerd …

As a kid, dynamite seemed like it was something that was something very easy to get. I mean, all you needed was an ACME catalog and you could get it from them. I wonder if the coyote had a charge account with them?

Anyway, I know it’s gonna be loud in the neighborhood this week. I just hope they don’t have to blast….

National Poetry Day

I missed National Poetry Day. I guess it was October 1st this year. When I was a kid, I used to write poems all the time. Topics ranged from my grandma’s food, my grandpa buying lottery tickets, why I loved baseball, etc… I was far from a talented poet. I would never have been able to make a living as a poet!

There are many famous poets, who you no doubt will know by name: Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Shel Silverstein, Carl Sandburg, and many, many more! Growing up I was very familiar with them as we often read their poems in school. Shel Silverstein had a book out called Where the Sidewalk Ends that my teachers seem to read aloud from often. In junior high and high school, we had these thick hard cover Literature books which were full of short stories, classics, and many poems. I recall reading Poe’s The Raven from one of these.

When I think of poetry, there is ALWAYS one that comes to my mind – and not for any reasons you might think! The poem is Alfred Lord Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade. I recall one class where we had to pick a poem and read it aloud in front of the class. I chose this one. Why is this the one I remember? I’ll get to that in a few paragraphs.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote this in 1854 about the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. (It sounds like I am a history buff, right? In all honesty, I had no idea about the details of this battle or even the Crimean War until I looked it up!) He wrote this poem based on two articles he had read about the battle.

According to one source: This poem was written to memorialize a suicidal charge by light cavalry over open terrain by British forces in the Battle of Balaclava (Ukraine) in the Crimean War (1854-56). 247 men of the 637 in the charge were killed or wounded. Britain entered the war, which was fought by Russia against Turkey, Britain and France, because Russia sought to control the Dardanelles. Russian control of the Dardanelles threatened British sea routes.

Many in the west best know of this war today because of Florence Nightingale, who trained and led nurses aiding the wounded during the war in a manner innovative for those times. The War was also noteworthy as an early example of the work of modern war correspondents.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Here is the poem:

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter’d & sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Enter – Alfalfa

So why do I remember this poem? Would you believe because of the Little Rascals?

Growing up, we watched the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy and the Little Rascals. In one particular Little Rascals comedy (Two Too Young from 1936), Alfalfa puts some firecrackers in his back pocket that he and Spanky have conned Porky and Buckwheat out of. After returning to class, the teacher asks who knows the recitation. To Spanky’s surprise, Alfalfa raises his hand. He stands and begins to recite the poem. Porky spots the fireworks and proceeds to light the fuse using the sun, which provides some “battle sound effects” to accompany the poem. “Cannons to the left of me…….”

Alfalfa in Two Too Young (1936)

So there you have it – a bit of culture today for National Poetry Day. Have no fear, this is about as cultural as this blog will ever get!

Porky and Buckwheat!

Thanks for reading! Do you have a favorite poet? Favorite Poem?

A Curly Classic!

It’s time to be counted

Yesterday, we received our invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in the mail.  The US Constitution requires a count of the population of the United States and every ten years since 1790 it has done that with the Census.

IMG_20200314_113200909

This year, you can do it all online, which I did earlier today.  It doesn’t take long at all.  If you can’t do it online, the US Census Bureau can send you a paper questionnaire you can fill out and send back.  Keep in mind that it is required by law that you take part in the Census.  If you don’t do it online or by mail, they will send someone to your home to collect answers in person.

Whenever I think of the census, I think of the Three Stooges short “No Census, No Feeling” from 1940.  Like many comedy shorts, they were often topical and 1940 was a Census year and the Stooges wind up getting jobs as Census takers.  One of my favorite lines of all Stoogedom comes from this short.  Moe, explains he is a taking the census and asks a man “Are you married, or happy?”

You can see the short, here:

Stand up and be counted this year!

 

Tune Tuesday – Vieni Sul Mar

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I wish I could speak Italian.  I have always wanted to learn.  I guess I always end up talking myself into believing that I can’t learn it.  The older I get, the less I can remember.  I also tell myself that I probably don’t have the time to learn it.  Then, there is the cost involved as many courses you can buy are quite pricey.  At any rate, I think the Italian language is just beautiful.

As a fan of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Lou Monte, there are many songs that they have done in which a lyric or two is sung completely in Italian (Lazy Mary, Volare, Come Back to Sorrento, etc…).  Bottom line, I don’t know what they are singing about, but I like the song, if that makes sense.  I don’t exactly recall how I came to know of Andrea Bocelli.  I don’t think someone said, “Hey!  Check this guy’s music out!”.  More than likely, I was sitting at home surfing channels and saw him on PBS.

At some point, I decided to buy an album of his on iTunes.  I chose Incanto.  I chose this one because I actually recognized one of the titles (Santa Lucia).  As I sat and listened to this album, there was one song that stood out for a couple of reasons: 1) I recognized it and 2) the arrangement was just beautiful.  The song is Vieni Sul Mar.

Funny story of how I recognized it – I saw it in a Three Stooges short.  In their 1945 short, Micro Phonies, Gino Corrado plays an Italian violinist and singer who sings this song at Mrs. Bixby’s party.  The Stooges, with Curly dressed as Senorita Cucaracha, sabotage his singing by flicking cherries into his mouth as he is singing it!

So my first exposure to the song is a humorous one, however, I’m glad I came to hear it in a non-humorous way.

The song is a Neapolitan waltz.  The melody is beautiful.  Andrea’s vocals are just amazing.  I totally get lost in the song.  I listened to this over and over and with each listen I grew more fond of the song – and, because I don’t speak Italian, I had no idea what it is about!

After a search of the internet, I found that Vieni Sul Mar means “Come to the Sea”.  I have to be honest, when you see the translation in English, it’s a bit disappointing.  I am not sure how accurate this translation is, but every time I read the English I think, “How can such a beautiful melody be about a drunk sailor!?”

So, give it a listen.  Enjoy the string arrangement, enjoy his vocals, and get lost in a beautiful melody.

Vieni Sul Mar (Italian)

Deh, ti desta fanciulla, la luna

spande un raggio si caro sul mar.

Vieni meco, t’aspetta la bruna.

Fida barca del tuo marinar.

Ma tu dormi, e non pensi al tuo fido.

Ma non dorme chi vive d’amor.

Io la notte a te volo, sul lido.

Ed il giorno a te volo col cor.

 

Vieni sul mar. Vieni a vogar.

Sentirai l’ebbrezza del tuo marinar.

 

Da quel giorno che t’ho conosciuta,

oh fanciulla di questo mio cuor.

Speme e pace per te ho perduto

perché t’amo d’un immenso amor.

Fra le belle, tu sei la più bella.

Fra le rose tu sei la più fin.

Tu del ciel sei brillante mia stella.

Ed in terra divina beltà.

 

Vieni sul mar. Vieni a vogar.

Sentirai l’ebbrezza del tuo marinar.

 

Addio dunque, riposa, e domani

quando l’alba a svegliarti verrà.

sopra lidi lontani lontani

l’infelice nocchiero sarà.

Ma tu dormi, e non pensi al tuo fido.

Ma non dorme chi vive d’amor.

Io la notte a te volo, sul lido.

Ed il giorno a te volo col cor.

 

Vieni sul mar. Vieni a vogar.

Sentirai l’ebbrezza del tuo marinar.

 

Vieni sul mar. Vieni a vogar.

Sentirai l’ebbrezza del tuo marinar.

 

Come To The Sea (English Translation)

Pray thee, awake maiden, the moon

spreads it’s ray over the dear sea.

Come with me, I wait for you brunette.

Trust in the boat of your sailor.

But you sleep, thinking not of your devoted one.

But they sleep not who live by love.

This night to you I fly, to the shore.

And in the day you fly with my heart.

 

Come to the sea. Come for a row.

Feel the intoxication of your sailor.

 

Since that day I have known,

oh maiden of this heart of mine.

Hope and peace for you I have lost

because I love you with a love so great.

Among the pretty ones, you are the prettiest.

Among the roses you are most fine.

Of the sky you are my bright star.

And on the earth beauty divine.

 

Come to the sea. Come for a row.

Feel the intoxication of your sailor.

 

Adio till later, rest, and tomorrow

when dawn will wake you,

over shores far, far away

the helmsman will be unhappy.

But you sleep, thinking not of your devoted one.

But they sleep not who live by love.

This night to you I fly, to the shore.

And in the day you fly with my heart.

 

Come to the sea. Come for a row.

Feel the intoxication of your sailor.

 

Come to the sea. Come for a row.

Feel the intoxication of your sailor