Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lackey go lackey

I have reached a sort of pinnacle in my professional career. I am a lackey. I've come full circle. Most of the jobs I had before I was 18 were in the lackey class. I was a pin setter- primarily a lackey. I 'pulled' skeet at a shooting ranger- primarily a lackey.
I went on to more skilled trades, I was 'finish carpenter' at an RV manufacturer in southern California, later a welder and a truck driver.
I retired from driving truck, always knowing I would probably have to work part time to make ends meet. I worked at debt collections, for a full year, after I retired.
Now I am back to being lackey full time. Spouse Betty makes beautiful beaded jewelry. She and I participate in Arts and Crafts shows in a half dozen states.
It requires a booth and displays and lights carried in a trailer which we tow behind our truck camper as we travel from show to show.
I am in charge of heavy lifting, maintenance, logistics when we travel, updating and painting our displays and a multitude of other lackey like tasks.
I like being a lackey more than any other job I've done.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Family Funerals

These past couple of weeks have been family, family. Last week a family reunion and this week my aunt died. She was 82 and well loved, they had a large funeral followed by a family get together...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Reunions

Tommorow is our family reunion. This will be the first one I've know about that has taken place in Northern Erie county, most have been in the gingweeds of Catt and or Chatauqua counties. I have such a varied and spread out extended family I never know what to expect. If I make no more enties in this blog it means things worked out for the worst..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lewiston, NY

Betty and I are in Lewiston, NY for the arts and crafts show. Because of a change logistically we could not set our booth up until Saturday, the day of the show, at five AM. It made for a long day.
I slept well Wednesday night and not being able to string two good nights of sleep together in a row, I barely slept Thursday. We started setting up Friday, I with just a couple of hours of poor sleep. It was a long day. Sales were OK though and Betty and I went to 'Tin Pan Alley', a restaurant on Cayuga St. just a block away from our camper, parked in the Rite Aid plaza a few hundred feet from out booth on Center.
I couldn't keep my eyes open and went to sleep at 8PM!!!! Got up at 6AM - 10 hours of sleep!! I know, that was over use of the exclamation point. I stirred several times during the night and it was raining but with little wind.. As I write this around 8 AM the sky is blue with puffy clouds and we hope for a god day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MP3 X 2

Terry Stephan

Changing Lanes:MP3
I love electronic gadgets. When I was a kid, my imagination was fueled reading the comic strip, “Dick Tracy”. He had a two-way radio, which looked like a wristwatch. The idea that any radio could be that small was mind-boggling.
I had a radio my uncle gave me when I was twelve, my first major electronic gadget. It was a huge shortwave radio, it was just an all-business microwave oven-sized galvanized metal box containing glass tubes and wires. It had a twelve-inch speaker mounted on top and it must have weighed forty lbs. When you turned it on, you had to wait a few minutes for it to warm up before you could listen.
It gave me my first exposure to foreign broadcasts, commercial transportation communications, and best of all, rock and roll.
I didn’t know how it worked, but the sound was great, it brought me the world.
A few years later when I was 15, my first paychecks went for a stereo “hi-fi”. My stereo would play LP’s, 45’s and the old-fashion breakable 78’s. It looked like a suitcase covered with wood-grained contact paper. The ends of the suitcase contained the speakers, they would swing out on hinges to face forward or, you could lift them off and move them away from the turntable to give the sound, ‘stereo separation’. It even had an automatic record changer. I could stack four albums (my complete collection) on the spindle and listen to the first side of each album, uninterrupted. It was an hour of Bob Dylan, Donovan, Peter Paul & Mary, and Janis Ian. I could flip them over, reload and listen to the second four sides.
I set the stereo up in my bedroom on a flimsy stand. Several times, my basset hound Red knocked it over. Scratches on the vinyl music brought thoughts of my clumsy dog Red back to me, years after his demise.
Through the years, I jumped through the technology hoops; I bought new albums, then portable music in the form of eight track tapes and players, then cassettes. When we arrived at compact disks, I thought we were at the end of the road; technology was complete. CD’s have perfect digital sound; you could listen to them on the road, and they took up little space.
The first cut of the first CD I ever listened to was from an album I knew well, the classic Eagles’ hit, “Hotel California”. I loved the song and the group but I’d never heard all the nuances or all the guitar licks. I was stunned at the sound quality.
Over the years, Emmy Lou and I bought numerous CD’s. We gave them to each other when a present was required and asked for them when people wanted gift ideas. What better gift is there than music?
Now people download their music from the internet. They store hundreds of albums worth of music on their hard drive back-ups, often smaller than the size of a cigarette pack.
Emmy Lou and I again are jumping through hoops, keeping up with technology. We gave each other MP3 players for Christmas.
My MP3 player is just a bit larger than a Zippo lighter. It includes FM radio. I have six audio books downloaded on it from the library, and while I don’t know how it works it brings me the world through podcasts from all over. Best of all, I have all my CD’s on it including lots of rock and roll..
We’ve come a long way since I was a kid, My MP3 player does a thousand times what my shortwave radio did and weighs just ounces.
I still haven’t seen one of those Dick Tracy two-way radio wrist watches.. or comment on my blog at