Friday, December 31, 2010

Past New Years Reflections

Here we are; another New Years Eve. Just trying to remember some of the celebrations I've played in bands over the years. The specific years are all fuzzy, but I remember a couple (at least) with the Back 40 Band at the Geneva Moose Club. It started with a climb up narrow stairs with the equipment, through the kitchen, to get to the main room and set up. Then there was the let down of the party woodchucks coming in to celebrate. The band sounded good, but the spirit was hard to conjure up in a room of strangers, smoke, laughter, and tipsy folk on the dance floor, doing their best to knock my teeth out, bumping into the mic stand! In the 80's, the pay scale, even at the Geneva Moose was probably better than today's pay on New Years.

I seem to remember a couple New Years Eve parties at the Ontario Fire Hall, playing with the Shortbread band. I probably did know more folk at those occasions, as I grew up in Ontario. Still, it was not the most exciting place to be on New Years Eve. I remember one time there, my wife and the bass player's wife took off bar hopping while we were playing and didn't come back till way after the ball dropped. Lord knows where they went, but my wife was not able to stand on here own two feet, and I found her outside, fertilizing a snow bank with tequila, vodka, and Cognac. That was a memorable occasion for sure.

The most profitable New Years Eve I ever played was the California Brew Haus, solo, six sets, from 9 to 3:30 AM. Dickie, the proprietor, got a special permit to stay open till 3:30! It was quite a night. By midnight, I lost my voice, ran out of material, and reverted to songs I've never performed, like Doo Wah Diddy. I only knew one verse and repeated it, stretching out the song for the dancers. The funny thing I remember was people requesting the stupid song again! By 2:00 AM, I managed to retrieve my voice, continued singing, playing, and amusing myself with the antics of the crowd. One drunk gal got up and sang with me, her breath, stinking of booze, me, bobbing and weaving, in a feeble attempt to escape her breath. I was smart and did not drink any booze. Good thing, too, for I passed through two road blocks on my way home.

In my own words Pope John Paul II

Materialistic concerns and one-sided values are never sufficient to fill the heart and mind of a human person. A life reduced to the sole dimension of possessions, of consumer goods, of temporal concerns will never let you discover and enjoy the full richness of your humanity. It is only in God--in Jesus, God made man--that you will fully understand what your are. He will unvieil to you the true greatness of yourselves: that you are redeemed by him and taken up in his love; that you are made truly free in him who said about himself: "If the Son frees you, you will be free indeed" (Jn 8:36).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In my own words Pope John Paul II

The incarnation of the Son of God attests that God goes in search of man. Jesus speaks of this search as the finding of a lost sheep. It is a search which begins in the heart of God...If God goes in search of man, created in his own image and likeness, he does so because he loves him eternally in the Word, and wishes to raise him in Christ to the dignity of an adoptive son. God therefore goes in search of man who is his special possession in a way unlike any other creature.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bucky's Peanut butter & Jelly Cocktail Meatballs

Yep, it sounds crazy, but it turned out good!

The sauce:
With the slow cooker on high, add
1/8 Cup Olive Oil
12 oz chili sauce
10- oz grape jelly
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 vinegar
1/2 cup red wine1/3 cup water

The Meatballs:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 course ground pork butt
1 cup sauteed onions
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 grated Romano cheese
1/4 parsley
TB Cayenne pepper
1/4 red wine
1 beaten egg
2 Tb caraway seeds
Salt & Pepper

Mix it together nicely, and form small meatballs. I fried some in olive oil, and roasted some in the oven at 375; both ways were fine.
When the sauce is hot, add the meatballs and bring up to a bubble. Reduce cooker to low and simmer.
Sweet, spicy, know!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pope John Paul II 1987

The name of Jesus, like the Word of God that he is, is a two-edged sword. It is a name that means salvation and life; it is a name that means a struggle and a cross, just as it did for him. But it is also the name in which we find strength to proclaim and live the truth of the Gospel: not with arrogance, but with confident joy; not with self-righteousness, but with humble repentance before God; never with enmity and always with charity.

Pope John Paul II
In My Own Words


Yesterday, a nice day for a drive, I took the Lake Rd. from Webster, intending to travel to Pultneyville, to visit a friend. After driving a short distance in Webster, through a beautiful winding, woodsy area, I noticed each time the car encountered a knoll to climb, it began to cough and choke. After about a mile of that, it lost all power. I scanned the road for a safe shoulder to pull off; nothing. As I began to slow down to a slow coast, I had to make a judgement call and bail into a nearby driveway. I was now off the road. Trying the starter, I could tell it was not getting gas. The stiff-headed Sicilian in me, counseled that one of the two fuel pumps had quit. I reached for the cell phone and called AAA. I advised my situation and position, adding that there was a freak chance I had run out of fuel. As I was blocking some one's driveway, they put a priority on the call. The sun was shinning, and I stepped out of the car to enjoy the woods across the road. Both sides of the road where lined with heavy barked trees, climbing 75 to 100 feet. I was entranced by the song of the tree limbs, squeaking against each other and swaying to and fro. Once in a while, one of the trees would raise it's voice above the rest with a loud snap. It had been quite a while since I had the chance to be in the woods, quiet, alone, serenaded by the trees. Nice! Within 15 minutes, a guy from the Webster Fire Dept. pulled up to make sure I was off the narrow road in a safe spot. He advised me the tow truck would be along in a couple minutes. The tow gut arrived, I advised him of the possible out of gas scenario. He dispensed a couple gallons in the tank. I hit the starter a few turns, but nothing. As the car was parked on the steep incline of the driveway, he thought maybe by lifting the back end up level, it would move the fuel forward. Up went the rear of the Volvo, round went the starter, and no response from poor ole Gustoff. He continued to hitch it up to the tow truck and we headed off back to the city, Volvo, following behind. He backed it into my driveway, unhooked it, I thanked him and away he went. I was about to go in the house to warm up a bit when I decided to try the starter once again. After a couple turns, the car responded with a quick sputter. I cycled the starter again and this time it fired and started with a powerless idle. I stepped on the gas pedal and it stalled. I counted to 10, hit the ignition switch again, and it started up like nothing was ever wrong! I stepped on the gas once more and it roared into action. The last time I ran out of gas was about 28 years ago. I reckoned I was about due again. I thanked God that it was a nice day, I was not on some goat path of the Finger Lakes in the dead of night, and that I did not have to plan on a repair bill one week before Christmas! Long live AAA!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A quote from Pope John Paul II

Christ himself carried a burden, and his burden--the cross--was made heavier by the sins of us all. But Christ did not avoid the cross; he accepted it and carried it willingly. Moreover, he now stands beside those weighed down by trial and persecution, remaining beside them to the end. It is for all people and with all people that he carries the cross to Calvary, and it is there that for all of us he is nailed to his cross. He dies the death of a criminal, the most humiliating death known to the world at that time. That is why to those in our own century who carry terrible burdens he is able to say: "Come to me! I am your Brother in suffering. There is no humiliation or bitterness which I do not know!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

What is Prayer?

It is commonly held to be a conversation. In a conversation, there are always an "I" and a "thou" or "you". In this case the Thou is used with a capital T. If at first the "I" seems to be the most important element in prayer, prayer teaches us that the situation is different. The "Thou" is more important because our prayer begins with God.

Pope John Paul II

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Ultimate Toddy for a cold

So, I've got another crappy cold. Got overtired last week, got run down, you know. COLD..........

Yesterday, day 2 of the cold, I chopped up some ginger root, about the size of half my thumb. I got that boiling in some water, added a bunch of cinnamon, 1 Tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 cloves, 1 teabag black tea, 2 jiggers whiskey, 1/3 fresh squeezed lemon juice and let that bad boy simmer for a while.

While it simmered, I took advantage of the steam from the pan and covered my head with a towel and breathed in the steam and vapors. Nice. The ginger and whiskey vapors went right to work on my head.

I ended up drinking the better part of my teapot of the wonderful stuff!

Cold go away yet? No, but I was only seeking relief from the sneezy, coughy, temple pounding, throat burning ..........I could go on forever, but, try the toddy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Killer Meatloaf with twice baked taters and green beans

Killer Meatloaf with
Twice baked potatoes,
Green Beans with honey roasted peanuts and Caraway,
Garlic Sticks

The Meatloaf

2 ½ lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped fine
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup oats
2 tbs pepper
Salt to taste
1 can cream of celery soup (Don’t add the water)
1 hot pepper

Well, there’s the list; throw them together. Once you add the soup, it’s a sticky mess till it’s mixed together! It did not fit into the usual bread loaf pan; I put it in a longer cake dish. Bake about 1 ¼- 1 ½ hours at 350

The Potatoes

Wash and cut potatoes in small pieces and boil till tender. Drain water, return to bowl, mash, adding butter, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. I always leave the skins on! Place in bread loaf pan, sprinkle shredded Romano cheese on top and bake with meatloaf, an hour or so at 350

The Green Beans

I used frozen French cut beans and steamed them for 3-4 minutes. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil, garlic, crushed fine, the beans, ¼ cup honey roasted peanuts chopped and mashed in bowl, and lastly, sprinkle a tbsp or so, caraway. Stir fry a few minutes, blending everything.

The Garlic bread

I had some day old whole wheat bread and thought I’d jazz it up. I cut thick slices, cutting the slices into 2 ½ inch strips. I had seeped crushed garlic in olive oil, and placing the bread on a baking sheet, I spread liberally, my garlic/oil mix over the top and threw in the same oven with my meatloaf and potatoes, baking the bread at 350, almost ½ hour.

I enjoyed that dinner to the max!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Buckybob's Stir Fry Extravaganza!

Buckybob’s Stir fry Extravaganza!

Carrots, sliced thin like French Frys
Potatoes, sliced thin like French Frys
Get the above steaming for bout ½ hour

Slice up water chestnuts, lots of garlic, one big onion
Some French Green Beans
Chicken Breast (already cooked)

Get your fry pan ready with olive oil, or canola, brown the onion, garlic water chestnuts while adding some Sweet&Sour dipping sauce, horseradish, some cranberry sauce, and Chinese Mustard.

Add all the rest of the stuff, season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and stir fry together for a few minutes.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Buckybob's Rye-Wheat Rolls


Got about four hours to bake? I made these tasty treats last night.

2 ½-3 cups warm water
1 ½ TBS yeast
1 TS salt
½ cup corn meal soaked in warm water a bit
2 Cups rye flour
2-2 ½ Cups wheat flour
1/8 Cup molasses
1 TBS coco
¼ Cup honey
1 TBS anise

Combine yeast, water, salt, molasses, honey, coco, and corn meal . Start adding the flours, bout ½ cups at a time and mix. Add anise. Add and mix with big wood spoon till you can no longer add any more flour. Dust a kneading area with flour and turn the mixture out of the bowl and start to knead. Add flour over and under the dough as it gets too sticky to handle. Knead dough at least ten minutes or more. When the dough is tacky but not too sticky, the kneading is most likely complete. Grease a large bowl, place dough in, cover with towel, and place in warm area to rise. Allow about 2 hours to rise. Back out on floured board, punch down and spread out on the board like pizza dough. Grease lightly, a cookie sheet, sprinkle some corn meal on sheet and coat lightly. Cut from the dough, and form your rolls, place on cookie sheet. It’s OK if the rolls touch each other. Cover again with the towel and back to the warm rise area. Allow 45 minutes to an hour to rise, heat the oven to 400. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 350 and bake remaining 45-50 minutes.

You should have produced crusty bottoms and tops, soft and chewy bread inside.
Don't just stand and stare; eat up!

Wonders never cease

Good morning, Rochester, NY
Just a quick update on my life.
I am no longer doing guitar repairs at Echo Tone Music. The closed minded owner went crazy when he found out I was advertising to do repairs in my home shop as well. Keeping in mind, I have no store front, no real advertising, and expect very little return for my efforts, the store owner still went nuts about it. The truth of the matter is, I was not doing a ton of repairs at his store and only was trying to add a few more bucks per week to my income. Maybe I shot myself in the foot by even trying to add more customers to my repair slate, but now it seems this music store shot themselves just below the belt area with their actions. If I loose $60.00 of income in a week or so, the store will forfeit $ 160.00 in repairs not done, plus the loss of a qualified tech. This all could have been resolved and smoothed over if the store owner had just called me and spoke to me without going postal on me with e-mails, threatening me with Federal Trade Com. copyright breech, bashing me in my own blog and on Cragslist.
So, I am planning a new web site to cater to my guitar repairs, my music compositions, my gigs and my impact in the Rochester NY area. I am sorry for all the customers who bring back their instruments to the store for future work, for now I won't be there. As far as I can tell, and I realize there are most likely a few customers not happy with my work and did not inform me, I am at 100% satisfaction with the majority of the work I completed. So, with the help of some small adds, I must rely on word of mouth by those familiar with my work to keep the repairs and restorations coming in. At the moment, I have a very old Bauer Mandolin to resotre and a vintage Kay banjo from the early 60's to work on.
REPAIRS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The dangerous streets of Rochester, NY

I read in the news about the 14 year old kid who rode his bike through street traffic and was hit by an emergency police car call. It happened in an inner city neighborhood. The black community is up in arms over the accident, and claiming wrong doing on the police.

The real fact of the matter is pedestrians, bikers, skate boarders, for the most part do not obey the rules of the road. We all are aware the law states pedestrians have the right of way. They really ought to re-word that statement because the pedestrians are actually stepping out in the path of cars all the time, taking advantage of the right of way clause.

I live in the city and drive through the city daily and people do just step out in front of me. Yesterday, I was making a turn onto a street and a young girl on her cell phone, sashayed out in front of the path of my car. She took her sweet time crossing the street causing traffic behind me to honk their horns. I threw my hands up in an impatient gesture to her and she took her defensive posture, waving her arms and throwing me the finger. This is a daily occurrence, not merely occasional.

Two weeks ago, another 14 year old was hit on his skateboard in the street, in the dark, wearing dark clothes, again, believing he had the right of way. He is dead regardless of who's fault it was but the operator of the car was not held responsible.

They really should start giving tickets out to the pedestrians for making illegal crossings against the traffic. Almost nobody takes heed to the cross walk signs; they just walk out there like they are invincible. When I cross a street, I am watching the traffic, and do not waste any time getting to the other side. I don't care who's fault it is; if I get hit by a moving car, chances are high that I am going to be seriously hurt or killed.

My prayer today is that people wake up to the consequences of their idiotic actions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What is a Catholic

A friend on Facebook just posted the question: What is a Catholic/ Is a Catholic a Christian? Questions like this have divided the Christian world for years. They say politics and religion should not be brought up in conversation for there is always division.
Where does one start to believe what is authentic or not? I was raised a Catholic, but did not attend church most of my life. As a teen, I attended a Methodist church with my sister and brother in law, but mostly to sing in the choir and socialize. As a young adult, I sent my children to a Catholic school in Virginia to keep them from being bussed to the inner city public schools. As an older adult, I began attending the Catholic church again, but as a member of the worship team band. There, things slowly began to take place in my numskull. I began to realize that God was speaking to me if I took the time to listen. My daily life problems (which were many) began to diminish in intensity by allowing God to take most of the burden on His shoulders.

Back to the question Is a Catholic a Christian? Again, I am slow on the up-take so to speak, but it is my understanding that Christianity started with Jesus Christ, who came to earth, the Son of Man, to die for the forgiveness and salvation of mankind's sins. His immediate followers took the preaching throughout the world. Jesus appointed Peter to be the rock of the church foundation and gave him the keys to heaven. Peter went on to be the first of many Popes. The Pope is the supreme human living leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Wouldn't that make a Catholic a Christian?

Jesus calls us believers to go out into the world and spread the "Good News". Why is there so much division over religion and Christianity? As Christians, we are not doing the right thing by creating divisions among the Christian religions. Jesus taught that a house (meaning the church) divided among itself will not stand. I originally believed Abe Lincoln said that first, but he was talking about our young nation and was quoting bible scripture.

If we spent more time adhering to the word of God, aspiring to do as Jesus asks of us, and less time creating all the division and strife between the Christian religions, would not the world be a better place for the advancement of all Christian alike?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Belly Roast Chicken

Happy Belly Roast Chicken

Take a roasting chicken, wash, place in a roasting pan with some olive oil in the bottom. Cut up potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic. Place around the chick in the pan. Cut up more onion, and a lemon. Place inside the bird, salt & pepper, drizzle some olive oil over everything and bake at 350. After an hour or so, add a can of peas to the frey, and continue to roast till everything’s brown and done! Let cool a bit, cut up, and pig out!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Living with less is more

I am not writing today out of envy to those who make the big bucks, but to mention a few of the things I do to get through this life, spending less and keeping happy.

1. I have no credit cards. I have managed to live without that weight around my neck for the last twelve or so years and have gotten along just fine without them.

2. I have no car payment. I've had many cars over the last forty-four years and have had one car payment in my life. In 1975, I borrowed $ 1000.00 to buy a 71 VW camper. All the rest of my cars were bought outright. When one vehicle tells me it's tired, I start saving and planning for the next one. I have never paid more then $ 2000.00 for a used car. The majority of the cars I have bought were about $1000. The 89 Volvo I am driving now, I paid $ 1200.00 about six years ago.

3. Garage sales can supply many great things at a fraction of the cost of new. Three years ago, I got a beautiful sofa for $ 20.00 in perfect shape, fitting into the perfect space in the living room, and even matching the existing rug! My entire stereo system, I bought used: Bang & Olsen speakers $ 40.00 Kenwood receiver $ 20.00 Teac direct drive turntable $ 35.00. Stunning dinning room chairs (one, hand painted and priceless to me) $100.00

4. Thrift stores such as Goodwill, etc. are great values also. I have gotten pants, dress coats, coffee percolaters, wine glasses, paintings and more for a pittence.

5. I'm not too proud to stop at the curb and pick up a thing or two. Some of the prizes were a violin (which I fixed and sold for a profit), several beautiful paintings, a rattan love seat which I patched up has lasted for over three years and now ready to go back out on the curb again. I love finding odd hunks of wood/lumber left on the curb from someone's project leftovers. Wood is very expensive at the lumber yards or hardware stores.

6. Make something into something else. I salvaged a CD rack for the 1/2 inch dowling to repair furniture joints, cut into molding, etc. A roll about dishwasher, no longer working is stowage cupboard in the kitchen and shelf for the microwave and toaster.

These are but a few examples of how to save big, stretch the ole dollar, and allow one to keep a few bucks in the pocket to treat the family out to dinner on special nights, buy a bottle of good wine and much more. Almost all of my musical instruments, I have aquired used, saved a bundle and gotten a higher quality than if bought new. Almost never buy a new book; people give them away, libraries have sales, and the book shelves are full in my house.
Many go out and spend to find happiness or to quelch their bordome. Since I stopped watching TV & going to the movies years ago, I find I have more time to read, write (like now!)learn how to fix things and most of all compose my music. Everybody is not a musician or composer, but I truly believe God gives everyone something that they do better than anyone else. Everyone has a special gift and it's up to each and everyone to find it and enjoy it.

God Bless

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Food Critic Instal. 2

Friday, Theresa and I usually go out for dinner, fish fry for the most part, but not always! One of my favorite places is Antonetta's Italian Restaurant 1160 Jay St. on the west side of Rochester. It's only open for dinner on Friday nights and during the week for lunch.
I usually aspire to try new dishes at restaurants, but it's hard at Antonetta's. It's hard to get past the sauce here. It brings back the memories of my mother's kitchen. Anyways, I almost always get the spaghetti and meatballs; it's that good! Last night was no exception. Theresa decided on the triple Parm plate: Veal, Chicken and Eggplant.
The place is old fashioned Italian decor; intimate, with tables with the red and white checked tablecloths, photos of Frank Sinatra on the walls of the back dinning room, and sports pics on the walls of the front room. The setting is intimate and the clientele, a mix of nuns, police, blue collar workers, families, all coming back for the best Italian eating in New York State.
Theresa licked her plate clean, while I left a small amount of sauce on my plate. I just simply could not eat another bite! A small salad, the house Chianti, and nice crunchy Italian bread rounds out the meal. I have never been able to eat desert, my tum tum too full!
The place is almost always packed; lunch or Friday dinner. One will never be disappointed with their meal, and oh yea, at a very modest price! This is the place to go for the best food in town; bring an appetite!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


September 15, 2010
Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Reading 11 Cor 12:31-13:13
Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
If I speak in human and angelic tongues
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, love is not pompous,
it is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The case of the fickle bulb failure

Most of you know I drive an old 89 Volvo. Well, the brake light went out on the right rear side. There is removable panel in the back to get to the bulbs. The bulb holder is removable by turning the holder counter-clockwise. The whole holder comes out so you can change the bulb easily. Re-assembly is in reverse order and the three bulb connections line up with three stationary points on the light assembly. Well, now that the car is 21 years old, the three stationary fingers that make the connections are worn out and one even broke away. I modified the assembly by removing the bulb holder, drilling small holes in the connection tabs, soldering three wires to the tabs, covering with shrink wrap, and crimping male spade connectors on the other end of the wire I just soldered. I removed the stationary connection tabs on the light assembly, and plugged my new wires into the original with the spade connectors, replaced the bulb connector. Hmm, with the stationary tabs removed from the light assembly, the bulb holder would not fit tight in the light assembly. A small block of wood with some duct tape wrapped a few times around it, fit behind the bulb holder and wedged it in the light assembly neat as neat. To change the bulb, I only need to pull out my block wedge, remove the bulb holder from the light, and pull it out from the compartment. I made sure my new soldered wires were long enough to pull the bulb holder out far enough to change the bulb. Cops love to pull ya over for a stupid light out! Long live Gustoff, the Volvo!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

That's Right, Pass the Blame

I read this morning where BP, the oil giant is blubbering about how the giant mishap is not all their fault. That's as non relevant as a ship captain sinking his ship and saying "I'm not to blame; I did not build the ship.!"

It does not take rocket science reasoning to figure out many things fell into a sequence in order for the accident to occur. What bothers me is the irrelevancy that their statement does to my intelligence. Because of their "oopps," that incident and many others are pushing our beautiful earth over Niagara Falls in a tuna can.

Lets see how fast we can destroy our planet. We are cutting down and ruining almost all of our tropical forests, blasting away our mountain tops to get to coal faster, polluting our oceans and sucking the crude oil out of the earth's crust, eliminating our wild lands in the name of settlement, and who is profiting from all this? Why big corporations, of course!

There really will never be an end to the folly. Power is perverse and corrupted. Power controls the entire world, elects the leaders who will make the laws to benefit the power that is destroying our entire world.

I wonder if God ever gets a stiff neck from shaking His head at our maliciousness.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Food Critic

OK, I'm a breakfast person for my mostly two meals a day. Today, Saturday, Theresa was with her son, getting him settled in his dorm to start his first semester of St John Fisher College, so I decided to go out to breakfast than do some chores at home while she was gone.

I usually go to a great all day/night diner in Rochester but today for time and distance sake, I decided on somewhere a bit closer. I picked Jim's Restaurant on Main St. I have had not too good luck there twice before but I figured, it's gotta be better today! The other two bad times was just a quirk.

I went in and over to the counter. The waitress came right up and asked if I wanted coffee. "Yes, please" I replied. She brought over a cup and pot of coffee, filled the cup, walked away to some other customer and plopped it down. She came back, smiled, and took some other customer's orders, stopped back by and said "I'll bee right with you." Then she proceeded to take more orders from others, and came back by and said something, I did not understand, than went to yet other customers, leaving me sitting there still without coffee. I waited there, trying to be patient for a few more minutes, observing her going by me several more times. I got up and walked out. Three strikes and they're out.
Double thumbs down to Jim's Restaurant, Main St Rochester.

I got in the car and drove the extra distance to my usual diner, Gittzie's on Monroe Av. and enjoyed my western omelet. By the way, I got my coffee, right away, and was served the wonderful omlette in less time than I waited for my coffee at Jim's.

I highly recommend Gittzie's if anyone is ever in Rochester!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Thank you, God for making me an un-educated plough boy

Sept.2, 2010

I read in the news today, oh boy! Stephen Hawking says there did not need to be a God to create the universe. "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing."

Just a quick refresher on Stephen Hawking; He has been the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, the same post held by Isac Newton.

OK, how can I, little ole me, question the mind of a world class genius? I have often noticed that some of the most intelligent people I have encountered, did not believe in God. Math was my worst subject. I must trust those with bigger brains to do the "Math." I have heard arguments against Mr Hawking's statements.

Our entire universe set up could not have been created from nothing. Everything about it hangs on precision movement, alignment, and yes, gravity. If we did not have other planets revolving around the sun in those particular orbits, or if our axis was not just so, or if any one of millions of things was not just so, we would not be here. Nuff said bout that.

As to the bible argument, if Genesis is not correct, then why is it that all the other books in the bible are credible? There were many prophets that foretold of Jesus's coming hundreds and hundreds of years before Him with surprising accuracy. All of the predictions so far in time were dead on, therefore, why then should I not believe the predictions yet to be fulfilled? It seems so strange that the bible would start right out being inaccurate.

Back to the question of why the most intelligent people (I've run across) find it so hard to believe in what I seem to see as plain as the nose of my face?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Danger in taking things out of context

Going to church does not make one a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car. I see this posted on Face Book by many lately. I guess what they are really saying is, just because one goes to church, it does not necessarily mean that they go out into the world a lead a pious life. But back to the original statement; I sorta have a problem with that. Going to church can make you a better Christian. If one attends church time and time again, yet goes out feeling no different than when they came in, that individual is only there in body, not spirit. Even then, God can make changes in one's spirit, small though they may be, that can lead to bigger changes in one's mind and soul, later.
I do not go into a garage and pray to be transformed into a car. I do go to church and pray for the forgiveness of my sins, I pray for the petitions of those in need, I pray for my own guidance, and thank God for filling me with the holy spirit, thank Him for my blessings and my suffering. I listen to the daily readings and homilies and reflect on how they apply to me today. I go to church for my daily bread. When the priest holds the host up high and says "This is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world." my spirit is lifted up high, knowing I am receiving Jesus, body and blood, into my body, into my soul, into my spirit.
So, I don't intend to be incarnated into a car today, but I have faith and hope that by going to church today, I will be a Christian who will go out into the world and spread the good news.

Monday, August 02, 2010

People never cease to amaze me!

I have a neighbor who is a Jehovah's Witness. Once in a while, out in the yard, he will engage me in religious conversation. He knows I am Catholic and go to Mass pretty much daily. He knows my faith is strong. Still, at times, he will "test" my knowledge for whatever reasons. The last time we spoke, I let him rile me some. He kept asking me questions about the Catholic faith as if to show that we were not worshiping the true and proper God. He asked if they teach the bible at Mass. I informed him that, no, they did not; however, I explained that we have four scripture readings: one from the old testament, a Psalm, one from the new testament, and finally the priest gave one from the Gospel. The readings all linked to the thyme of the day, the homily tied the readings all together in one easy to understand daily devotional. He huffed and retorted, "If you do not have bible teaching at the service, why then go to church?" All the while, he cited bible scripture, verse and paragraph. I advised him that I had read the bible once and constantly read from it but did not have all the reading memorized. He was all the time, making a mockery of our practices; wearing the cross around our neck was considered idol worship, daily communion was only to fool us into thinking we were being saved and other smug comments about our Catholic faith. He could not understand why we hold the cross in such high regard. He corrected me on several points I made, making me look a bit foolish.
The bottom line, I tried to tell him was, our knowledge of the scripture was not half as important as our personal relationship with God. Yes, my eyes are on the cross above the alter, much of the Mass, but in my view, whatever brings us closer to Jesus, is doing what is right. After all, it is all about Jesus Christ, who came to die for our sins. We are sinners and I need the close context of daily Mass to keep me on the right path, which is only to easy to stray from.
Why this neighbor is trying so hard to prove me wrong, is nothing short of evil in my mind. I never once questioned his religion. To me, if you are Christian, it will show through in your daily life, how we treat one another, what we do to help each other, and love. Sure, I will still read the bible at my pace, but more important, I will worship my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and body. If we all did that, our earth would be an entirely differnt world.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Visions at the Laundrymat

Saturday at the Laundromat, my favorite chore; I gaze round the room, people watching
The Mexican migrants with their brushcuts, quiet ways, and tinted windows
A mom and daughter folding their warm clothes, the mom but a child herself
The young woman in her twenties, approaching obesity, her face in a book
A couple young guys in Bermuda shorts in spite of the snow outside, talking football
Perpetual puddles eating away at the floor tiles, the scar faced change machine that
vandals attempted to violate, the droning of the clothes extractor The
squeaking of an occasional cycle-change of a washer, and the endless clinking of quarters
dropping into machines that appear to be ancient. What used to take two quarters
now takes fourteen.

Monday, June 14, 2010

BBQ tips

We just had a great party for my wife's son, who graduated high school this past weekend. I was up at 4:30AM firing up my wood smoker to cook a turkey, two chickens, a huge pork butt and a nice ring baloney for snacking with spicy mustard. I'd thought I'd pass on some neat tips on cooking out.

Marinades: It's always nice to let your meats soak in marinade for overnight or at least a couple hours. There are numerous ones on the market, but, I make my own with what I have kitchen about the pantry. (Yes, we have an old fashioned pantry!) The goal is to tenderize the meat and add moistness. Start with 1/4 cup of oil. I like olive oil, but canola, corn, or most cooking oils work great too. Next cider vinegar, wine, beer, lemon juice all add to the tenderization effect. Add some salt (I use sea salt or Kosher) pepper, garlic powder or better yet, minced up fresh garlic and hot pepper. Anything on the spice shelf is good. I've been using cinnamon quite a bit for many applications. Put the meat in a freezer bag and pour in the marinade, seal, and pop in the fridge overnight. Turning it once in a while won't hurt. Take the meat out of the fridge and let set at room temp for 45 minutes before cooking.

Rubs: Dry rubs work great on many cuts of meat, esp. pork. Start with 1/4 cup pepper, 1/4 cup paprika, and 1/4 cup turbanado sugar. Add other spices; garlic, onion, ceyanne pepper, etc in smaller doses. Mix together and massage into the meat. Again, place in freezer bag and cool overnight. Repeat the massage with the remaining rub right before placing on the cooker.

Pastes: I like to make up a thick paste for turkeys, chickens, and most fowl. Garlic is my favorite! Using a mortar & pestle, crush up a bulb of garlic and slowly add olive oil to end up with a nice thick paste. Rub all over the bird and inside and under the skin without tearing it. Yum!!

Grilling tips for a covered grill: Make a fire on one side of the grill, and place the food on the other side of the grill so the fire is not in direct contact with the food. Cover the grill and leave alone. A whole chicken will cook in an hour to an hour & a half. Throw some taters next to the meat. I cut up parsnips & carrots, place in foil, add some oil and spices, wrap and place next to the rest of the food. For desert, core an apple, lay on a piece of foil, put a bit of butter in the center and brown sugar, cover with the foil and pop on the grill with everything else. There, you have an entire meal cooking with minimal turning and fussing with. Soak some wood chips in water overnight and add to your charcoal fire for a great smoky taste.

Bon Appetite!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Careful, Big Brother, I mean your boss is watching you

Use a computer at work? Your chances of someone in your corporation is watching your use of the computer. How bout charging your cell phone or Ipod using your work computer? It could be watched too. Same thing with your social networking; Your Facebook activities, even your private personal e-mail account can be monitored if you log on with the corporate computer. I have posted previous warnings about what folks say on Facebook. Your private life is over. The advancement of today's technology and more importantly, the dumb things you may be putting out there are not private. The bottom line is: If you don't want the wrong person to know what you are saying or how you are acting, do not make the info public. Nuf said!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Help, I'm melting--I mean ranting!

I must be getting too old for all the stuff I see on FaceBook. I've posted my thoughts on this before and here I go again! Don't get me wrong; I see much good in the site. It gives me a chance to stay in touch with friends and family, esp. out of town. I gives me the privilege of posting my link for my Daily Psalms, though, I've been blocked from even that till I changed some settings!
The negativity I see in many folks publicly here is abundant. I have had to remove some of the "Friends" from my page, for I got fed up with only hearing about the complaints of the day. I was visiting with an old friend this past week and we got to talking bout Face Book. He made a great point. If people think they can say whatever they wish to and think that later, by deleting their account, it will all go away, they are dead wrong. The Internet, just like your computer's hard drive maintains information. Looking for a job? Is it possible that your prospective employer will view your FB account? Do you wish to take that chance? My advice to you is to take care, esp. you younger folks who spout off what ever comes to mind at the time. It can come back to bite you.
Now, I see warnings about the page: Becoming a father or mother was the greatest gift of my life. There are rumors that this page is a group of pedophiles, trying to get to your personnel info. I have some trouble with that possibility, but as my dad used to say, "Nothing surprises me!" I'd stay away from that link. But what about the Daily: Tarot card, Horoscope, Lucky numbers, Fortune cookie, Smiles, Hugs, Balloons, Angel watching over you, Word from God, Fish world, Mafia wars, and God only know what else? Is there not too much of good things? I'd say there is. My advice to people is to use the Face Book with some common sense and prudence. Please, lets not spoil something that we will regret later!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

So long (For Now) old friend

I just received word that a dear friend from childhood passed away this morning; Martin Keymel.
He was such a wonderful quiet spoken person, gentile and loving. We have not run into each other over the last few years but I know he remembers me as I do he. After a brave battle with heart disease, God called him. Now, we call on God to comfort his family, and all who knew Marty.
I must trust in God, that he is in a better place now, free from pain, struggle, and illness.
May the Lord shine his light upon those who knew him. I know I will reunite with Marty soon.

So, we have this ole picnic table in the backyard and last summer, we used it once or not at all! I also have these two wonderful canoes, a tandem WeNoNah 17 footer, and a solo 13 foot Mohawk. I got to thinken, How can I make a more secure place for the canoe stowage, other than saw horses? The Mohawk wants to turn into a kite when the wind picks up! I thought, if I added a short section of 2X4 under the picnic table seats, I bet I'd have enough space to lay the canoes on the seat. Hmm,,,,,,,the after thought was, how can I make it quick to attach and remove (If'n I ever decide to really use the table as a picnic table? If the extension 2 X 4 were to jam up under the wood supporting the picnic table seats, I'd only need one bolt to secure it under the seat. The hole spaced out a few inches from the end of the extension piece, yea,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it oughta do it! I used four pieces of scrap 2 X 4's, 24" long, 4 4 " carriage bolts, 4 5/16th washers and a 4 5/16th wing nuts.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Devil in overdrive

As many know, I post a daily link on Facebook for those who wish to listen to my daily Psalm, contemporary compositions I write from bible scriptures from the book of Psalms.

This week, I posted my link, when a box opened up claiming that some of my message content was abusive to some on Facebook. I've tried every which way to circumnavigate the block to no avail.

I pondered all week about the word "Abusive" How can my music, containing nothing vulgar, profane, or anything closely resembling the above be abusive? I now believe that there are some who can find my good news abusive. I am abusing the devil's plans to tear peoples' lives apart. By me being in the picture, I guess I am a threat.

I will still search for a solution to my posting block, but I most assuredly find much comfort in the fact that I am a small but significant splinter in the devil's foot. I am there to fester, and annoy him, without even realizing it!

Jesus warned us, those who follow Him doing anything in His name will face persecution. Somehow, I find that fact, that I, little ole me, am being persecuted for my actions, very warming, comforting, and rewarding.

So, I will pray, and know that I will find a solution to my temporary problem, and that I will have to take a bit more care to put on the armour of God, for the devil will not stop attacking me, ever. He knows he can't really win, unless I am broken down to face the attacks without fighting back.

Life Is Good, very good!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Living in the "Hood"

Last night, we headed out to go to dinner. When we reached Portland Av. we noticed the road was blocked with police cars, right in front of our church. We turned the other way on Portland and I said, "It's most likely an accident." We continued on, had a wonderful dinner, and headed back for home about two hours later. As we came up Portland Av. we could see the street still blocked off; obviously, not an accident. We went home and continued with our night, not talking about the road block. This morning, when I checked the news, I found out, a guy stabbed his girlfriend, and was out in front of our church with a butcher knife. Police responded and needless to say, told the guy to drop the knife. He did not and resisted them. One policeman drew his gun and again advised him to drop the knife. Instead, he held it up to his own throat. Over and over, he was told to drop it. Then the policeman said "I am going to shoot you" three times. After more threatening gestures from the guy, the policeman shot him in the upper leg. All the people that gathered to watch the sensation, screamed to the police, that he had no business shooting the man. I don't know about you, but if a cop orders me to do anything, I have no problem following his orders, but there again, I would not be in his position, stabbing someone, either. The violence is escalating fast. People are shooting each other, stabbing each other, on a daily basis. I'm not sure what the murder count is in Rochester, NY but in four months, I guess it to be between 30 and 40 people killed, murdered, dead, gone from this earth.
I am not a violent person, but I believe the policeman did the right thing. For one thing, the man is not dead, nor did he stab himself. The situation is so sad, so sad. I ask all to pray for the violence to end. Prayer is all we have. Pray for our cities, pray for our law enforcement authorities, and pray for these enraged people, endangering our lives.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

As a Christian

The homily at daily mass today hit home hard. It was about the things we should be doing aside from attending mass and praying. It was about embracing the various ministries, involvement in working in the community to do our part as God calls us to.

I like to believe that what we do, in our neighborhoods, our towns, to give support and help to those in need, not only makes a difference, but allows God to shine through us. I invested the past five years, playing in the church band, sharing my gift from God through my music ministry. I only recently have moved on to other musical ministry, composing music for the Psalms in the bible. I post the daily Psalm link on Face Book, each day for anyone to listen and hopefully gain renewed insight in the good word. I am known at our church's food cupboard as "Potato Man", as I go to the Public Market, weekly to buy potatoes for the Food Cupboard to share with those in need. I constantly ask myself, am I doing enough? I constantly pray for inspiration from God, to lead me to where I can make some difference. I read the bible, arming myself with the knowledge of the good news, prepping myself to give answers to those asking about God. Many times I have stumbled, attempting to talk with those willing to listen. I have bumbled more than one opportunity to spread the Gospel, through embarrassment and other lame frailties I bear as a human being, but looking back now, I can believe, I have dusted myself off, continued to learn, to listen, and to lean on Jesus for strength, courage, and fortification to continue forward being a servant in the name of my Lord.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Silence is Golden

A man joined a monastery, where you can not talk for two years and then only two words.
The days turned into weeks, then months, then finally after two years, he was brought in to the Abbot. "Well, what do you have to say?" The man replied "Food awful!"
Back into the silence he went. Days passed into weeks, then months and finally years and the man was again brought before the Abbot. "Well", asked the Abbot, "What do you have to say this time?" The man replied "Bed, lumpy." Back into silence, he went. Days turned into weeks, then months, and again, two years finally elapsed. Again, he was brought before the Abbot. Before the Abbot could ask him what he had to say, the man spouted out "I quit!"
"And no wonder" said the Abbot, "All you've done is complain, complain, complain!"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Patience is a virtue

I strive to consider myself a patient person, able to take all matters in my stride, not freaking when things don't go as I hoped for. All through the day, however, God throws these tests out to me to see how I will handle them. I can honestly say, that too many times, I don't do so well. My patience does not react half as fast as my human instincts. Oh God, when will I learn to change my attitude? I had a great oppertunity, just today as I was out shoveling the driveway. A couple doors down were three teens, shoveling also, and kabitzing among themselves. The F word sprung form their mouths as natural as breathing. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stick out and attempted to not hear their comments but it was impossible. Anger and contempt bubbled up from deep inside me, no matter how hard I tried to control myself. Worse yet, I knew I should have gone over and tried to plant the seeds of the Gospel in them, but being the wretch I am, I resigned myself to the conclusion that they were going to turn their wrath on me and kept my mouth shut. I chickened out for fear of persecution. I dropped my cross in the snow and ambled back into the safety and quiet of my home. Lord, please forgive my sins.

Facebook Friends

I find it so amazing that so many people sign on to Facebook only to report they are now friends with so and so and 29 others. Never do I see any of their posts really talking to their "friends" I mostly only see who their new friends are, or what stupid new group they are fans of or support. I may be way off the mark, but why not just sit at the computer and play solitare. Grantite, most of what I post is my daily Psalms, but I surely correspond with those who are sharing their lives on FB. A few of my friends are now friends with over 1,000 people, but yet they never post any thing one can read or write back about. The sadest point, I guess is some whom I considered good friends never share anything with me or even comment on my posts.

Oh well........................

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Jn 4:11-18

Today's daily reading is so beautiful, I thought I'd share it with all who care to enjoy it!

Reading I
1 Jn 4:11-18
Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.
This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
In this is love brought to perfection among us,
that we have confidence on the day of judgment
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love,
but perfect love drives out fear
because fear has to do with punishment,
and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love

Monday, January 04, 2010


By viewing the majority of posts on FB, what with all the surveys, quizzes, food fights, incomplete phrases like: so & so is in a relationship, so & so is frisky, chillaxin,etc. I wonder, what was it I logged on for? Not once have I seen a post about a new book one is reading. It seems to be all about Mafia wars, farmville, fish farms, fairly ridiculous surveys like, Are the Bible predictions true or false.

I get new friend requests daily, accept them, then never here a single word from that person again! I love it when artists share some of their work, when musicians post where they are playing, or post a link to the new song they've written. When I see someone bashing someone else, I remove them from the friend list. When I see repeated vulgarity posted, I remove them. When all I here from someone is the surveys, the IQ tests they've taken, the games they are playing, the nasty things they may say about folks, I wonder why I'm there in the first place.

Am I too, wasting my time filtering all this stuff, so useless, so meaningless, so trite?

I have been repeating to my son lately, Use this day as if it were your last. Perhaps I should practice more of what I preach!