So you need to choose between baseball and football

I found this article by Grant Brisbee about Kyler Murray who is going to choose between baseball and football. It’s a great article that relates to any athlete choosing between the two sports. He writes in the article if you want fame quickly choose football… if you want a long career and more money in the long run…pick baseball…but it’s not that easy on either.

He touches on quality of life also a little in this…For me, this is the key thing to think about. In years after retirement being able to…think and function would be a nice benefit.

Jeff Samardzija is a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Right now, Jeff Samardzija is somewhere either smoking a cigarette or rehabbing his shoulder, unless he’s doing both at the same time because he’s an absolute legend. But his brain is still good. In 10 years, his brain will probably still be good, and he’ll have made more money over his career than Joe Thomas, who was one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history.

It’s a good article.


My Favorite Drummers

This is my top ten favorite drummers…I’m sure I’m going to leave some great ones out. Like guitarists, I like drummers with feel more than technique. Anyone who has read this blog knows who my number 1 is without question…

1…Keith Moon, The Who – It’s hard if not impossible to copy this man’s drumming style. He changed the Who completely and was their engine. I’m not a drummer so I really never cared like some drummers do if he played by the rules in drumming…Was he disciplined? No, but it worked well for him and for the songs. Songs like Bargain and Goin’ Mobile are great examples of Keith.

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2…John Bonham, Led Zeppelin – Without Bonham, there is no Led Zeppelin as we know them. He was the ultimate groove drummer. He was a bricklayer and had hard hands and hit the drums incredibly hard but with a light touch also.

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3…Levon Helm, The Band – Not only was he a great drummer but also a soulful singer. He brought something many drummers didn’t… a bit of the old south.

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4…Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones – Charlie and Ringo made their respective groups swing. Charlie can play blues, rock, big band, and jazz. Charlie and his rhythm section partner Bill Wyman were overlooked being in the same band with Mick and Keith. On top of his drumming skills…Charlie grounds the band much like Ringo did for the Beatles.

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5…Ringo Starr, The Beatles – He was not Moon or Bonham in flash but he played exactly what was needed…He could have gone overboard and the songs would have suffered. He played for the song. Some have called him the human metronome. I cannot imagine any other drummer for The Beatles. His tom tom work on Sgt Pepper alone is excellent.

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6…Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix Experience – Any holes left in Jimi’s music would be quickly filled in by Mitch. He was a jazz drummer who fused it into rock.

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7…Ginger Baker, Cream – If this was a list of “likable people” Ginger would not be in the top 1000 but his drumming was some of the best of the sixties and I’m sure he would say “ever”… He was as big of part of Cream’s sound as Clapton or Bruce.

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8…Bobby Elliot, Hollies – Drummer from the Hollies that other drummers have admired. He hit the drums hard and his fills were great… He is often overlooked but he is always spot on.

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9…Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters, Nirvana – He can play anything… He fuels those Nirvana songs…and is really great at whatever instrument he plays.

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10…Clem Burke, Blondie – An exciting drummer that was heavily influenced by number 1 on this list. He has played with Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie.

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Honorable Mention

Gene Krupa, Buddy Miles, Mick Fleetwood, Max Weinberg, “D.J.” Fontana, Benny Benjamin, Stewart Copeland, and Hal Blaine.

Yes, I know… No Neil Peart…yes he is a great drummer…just not my style of music.




Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – Home

When I heard this on Lightning 100 in Nashville (alternative station) I thought it was an old song. I liked it off the bat. Alex Ebert had left his band Ima Robot and formed this odd hippie type band with Jade Castrinos. They were a band that had members that would come and go and were like a commune type group. The song was released in 2010 and it charted at #25 in the Billboard Alternative Songs in 2010 and #50 in the UK Charts in 2013.

The song is extremely catchy. Unfortunately Jade is not in the band now…

From Songfacts.

This feel-good song was written by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros vocalists Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos, who were a couple at the time. As Jade tells it, they were enjoying a romp through Elysian Park in Los Angeles when she lost her shoes and he carried her on his back. The scene was like a montage from a romantic comedy, and giddy with love, they returned to his apartment and wrote the song. Using Ebert’s Pro Tools setup, they put the song together on the fly, with each trading lines and then singing together on the chorus.

The lyrics are effusively lovey, but genuine:

I’ll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you

And while there are many songs called “Home,” this one has a key hook line in the lyric that connected with listeners:

Home is wherever I’m with you

Ebert does the whistling intro, which is reminiscent of the Ennio Morricone scores found in many westerns, often starring Clint Eastwood.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros rose to power early in the American folk music revival that included acts like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers. “Home” was part of their debut album Up From Below, and established their love-centric, communal sound that made them a festival favorite. 

The band is named after a character from a novel Ebert was writing – Edward Sharpe is an otherworldly figure who comes to Earth to offer enlightenment to the masses, but finds himself getting distracted by the beautiful women. Ebert, raised in an upper middle class household, spent a lot of time looking for the meaning of life, and created his own hardship by getting hooked on heroin. He got clean, but sobriety didn’t suit him, so he ditched treatment and switched to (mostly) mushrooms. He went minimalist, with no car or cell phone, and began working on the Up From Below in a tiny apartment. After meeting the like-minded Jade Castrinos, they put a 10-piece band together and went all-in on the joyful, enlightened sound. Even churlish listeners who weren’t buying this hippie vibe agreed that it was convincing, and even after they found an audience with this song, Ebert stayed steady to his creed, often blurring the lines between Edward Sharpe and his true self.

When Ebert and Castrinos banter about her falling out of a window on this track, they’re recounting a true story:

Jade Alexander, do you remember that day you fell out of my window?
I sure do, you came jumping out after me

Castrinos was defenestrated from his second-story apartment, and couldn’t walk for a week. Ebert came to her rescue and took her to the hospital.

In 2014, the band parted ways with Jade Castrinos, changing the dynamic of this song considerably (she and Ebert had broken up). At their first show without her – May 11, 2014 at the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta – Ebert turned much of the song over to the crowd, doing it “campfire style.” It worked, and the band continued performing it that way, with the crowd filling in much of Castrinos’ vocals.

Like many songs in its genre, this song didn’t make the US Hot 100, even though it seemed to be everywhere. Much of its ubiquity comes from its use in commercials – the message and the melody make it suitable for a number of companies looking to project community.

In 2010, the NFL used it in a spot titled “There’s No Place Like Home”; that same year it was in commercials for the Kin phone, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Levi’s, and the trailer for the movie Cyrus. They did turn down some offers: AT&T wanted to use the song where “Home” was the AT&T store, and the band declined.


Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Not that way that I do love you

Holy moley, me oh my
You’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
Ain’t nothing please me more than you

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Mommy, I’m coming home

I’ll follow you into the park
Through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I never loved one like you

Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls
I’ve been everywhere with you

That’s true, laugh until we think we’ll die
Barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you

And in the streets you run a-free
Like it’s only you and me
Geez, you’re something to see

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La, la, la, la, take me home
Daddy, I’m coming home

Jade Alexander, do you remember that day you fell out of my window?
I sure do, you came jumping out after me
Well, you fell on the concrete, nearly broke your ass,
You were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you out to the hospital, you remember that?
Yes, I do, well, there’s something I never told you about that night
What didn’t you tell me?
While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was going to be your last,
I was falling deep, deeply in love with you, and I never told you until just now

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you

Ah, home, yes I am home
Home is when I’m alone with you

Alabama, Arkansas
I do love my ma and pa
Moats and boats and waterfalls
Alleyways and pay phone calls

Ah, home, let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home, let me go home
Home is where I’m alone with you

Defunct Restaurant Chains

Some of these restaurant chains,  people will remember some won’t because it depends on where you live and if any were in your market. A few may have a handful open with Franchisees but for the most part, they are closed.


Steak and Ale -1966 – 2008   I liked the Mock Tudor building and the atmosphere inside…the food was good. They are trying to make a comeback…I hope they make it. Last time I ate at one was in the 90s in Huntsville Alabama.

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Burger Chef – 1954 – 1996    They had over 1200 locations at one time. Many were bought out and turned into Hardees.

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Rax Roast Beef 1967 – (handful open now)   I liked the Roast Beef but the best thing was the chocolate chip milkshake. There are a few lone Franchisees left. I remember going to them in the 80s.

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Minnie Pearl’s Fried Chicken  1968 to mid-1970s – How-dee-licious…indeed. It was actually really good. When I was in 2nd grade we would go to one in a nearby town once in a while…really good chicken… it went down because of faulty accounting… Great article here.

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Bennigan’s 1976 – (Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale making a comeback together)  An Irish Pub theme restaurant. I went there a few times. There are a few locations left…

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Red Barn – 1961-1988 They were known for the “Big Barney” and Barnbuster burger. I see an old Red Barn where I work and now it’s a Mexican restaurant.

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Howard Johnson’s Restaurant – 1953-2017   I do remember eating at a few of these traveling.  In 2017 there was one left in New York but the owner was arrested and now it’s closed.

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LUMS – 1956-1982  I did go to one but I was really young and traveling at the time.

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Bonanza Steak House – 1963 – 2008 (bankruptcy) There are a few of these left… these and Ponderosa… Dan Blocker (Hoss Cartwright) was an original investor. In the late seventies before we would go to a movie we would stop at a Bonanza. I did go to a Ponderosa a few years back.

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Digital Wristwatch

In the mid-seventies, I remember digital watches started to appear around our school. I thought they were really cool. I got one when the price came down. I had a friend named Paul who shunned me a little after I got it. He said he thought they were for only people would couldn’t tell time…no Paul.

After Roger Moore was seen with one in Live and Let Die it was the thing to have. It’s hard to believe a watch could make me so excited back then with its red numbers that only lit up when you clicked it because it would drain the battery if it stayed lit.

Later on, in the early eighties, I went to the now-defunct Service Merchandise and my mom bought me a digital display wristwatch for my birthday that played the Beatles Hey Jude…midi style. I would give anything for that watch now.

In 1972, Hamilton introduced the world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch. It retailed for the pricey sum of $2,100.  The Hamilton Pulsar P1 was encased in 18-carat gold.

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Roger Moore as the one and only James Bond…his arm anyway. The Pulsar II

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The very first liquid crystal display (LCD) watch was introduced in late 1972. These Dynamic Scattering LCDs were power-hungry and unstable, and the market soon moved on to TN Field Effect displays. The Seiko 06LC was one of the first to use the new effect display and it stuck for decades.

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Hamilton Pulsar Calculator Watch came in 1976. The buttons were extra small but every model had an improvement.

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By 1977 the watches really started to fall in price. Star Wars watches were everywhere and they were a more affordable 16.95. A long way from the 18-carat gold watches.

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In 1982 the Seiko TV Watch was released. It allowed owners to view live broadcast TV on a tiny blue/gray LCD screen embedded into the watch face. But…and there is a but…an external tuning device had to be connected to the watch. I don’t remember these but it is incredible they had these in 1982… If you had one of these please comment…were they clear at all?

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Now with Apple watches that can tell you your heart rate and bank account…they have come a long way.


Always had a Bean Bag

I have had a bean bag in my place of residence ever since I was a teenager. They are very handy to throw somewhere and sit. When you play guitar or want to watch a movie it’s a comfortable place to sit. They are also affordable and can be a good alternative sometimes to chairs.

The only part of owning one I don’t like is the inevitable end when the white small styrofoams like “beans” (expanded polystyrene) start coming out and going everywhere.

I would like to get an original leather bean bag one day.

According to some historians, bean bags were first invented by the ancient Egyptians sometime around 2000 B.C., and for thousands of years, they were used to play games and for other recreational diversions. The first bean bags were small, round and made of leather. They were most likely filled with dried beans or pebbles.

The first bean bag chairs as we know them were developed in the sixties. They were first called a Sacco chair, and released in 1969. They were designed by Cesare Paolini, Piero Gatti, and Franco Teodoro who were commissioned to create the piece by Zanotta Design in Italy.

Bean bags were huge in the 1970s and they were at first usually made of leather and filled with PVC (short for PolyVinyl Chloride) pellets. Soon nylon and polyester were used with expanded polystyrene (EPS) for filler. That combination proved to be more durable.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the popularity of bean bags declined greatly in popularity, but they were still being manufactured by several companies.

Now they are now experiencing a strong resurgence in popularity. You can get a regular bean bag or one pre-formed into a chair or couch. They are being sold for use as pet beds.


Wiffle Ball was a Blast

I had almost as much fun playing wiffle ball as a kid as I did little league. I was completely into playing baseball with friends or for years in leagues until I was 16. In my front yard, we would play wiffle ball until dark. If only one friend was over that was enough… we could still play. Hit it over the house, a home run…hitting a window, a double, in the creek a triple… etc.

You didn’t have to worry about breaking a window or knocking your buddy out while pitching as fast as you could. You would learn how to grip it and you could make it curve, rise, or sink a ridiculous amount. We would play for hours until night or until the ball was stuck on the roof or in a tree.

In the late 70s and 80s it was a fun alternative to playing baseball when not enough friends were around or you had to play in a neighborhood full of houses with nice big windows.

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In 1953, David N. Mullany was watching his 12-year-old son and some friends playing a baseball-like game with a perforated plastic golf ball and a broomstick in their backyard. The boys tried throwing curveballs and sliders but with no success. They couldn’t use a baseball because of the trail of broken windows and upset neighbors.

Mullany, who had been a semipro pitcher himself, knew all too well what thousands of Little Leaguers have had to painfully learn. Nothing shreds a young arm quite as effectively as throwing breaking balls. Mullany set about trying to save the boys’ shoulders and elbows by creating a ball that would curve and bend on its own.

He tried a hard plastic ball that served as packaging for Coty perfume. After having the boys experiment with various designs, Mullany hit on the Wiffle Ball we now know and love.

Mullany’s son and his friends referred to strikeouts as “whiffs.” Since the new invention made knee-buckling curveballs a breeze to throw, pitchers started racking up the strikeouts. Mullany named the product the Wiffle Ball to honor its strikeout-friendly breaks.

When they started to advertise them they would use old photographs of MLB players. The Mullanys later explained in interviews that doing actual photo shoots with the players would have been too pricey, so they just negotiated with players’ agents and then used any old photograph.

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The slots on one side make the ball curve and rise. Just like a real baseball…the more scuffs a ball has the more it can curve. They have Wiffle Ball leagues now where players play competitively.