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!