Hard to believe it's November already. You couldn't tell by the weather…I was wearing shorts outside as recently as last Thursday. It's a little cooler this weekend but the weather gurus say it will be near 70 again
Walking the Dog
midweek. I love it except for the fact that the sun goes down around 4:45.

My daily (retirement) regimen starts with a walk with my daughter Trixie. Miss Vicki joined us on Wednesday as she had the day off for Veterans Day. The photo to the right shows my view of the action as I try to keep up with my two best girls.

Speaking of Miss Vicki, she met up with our sons Kevin and Patrick to see Auburn lose to Ole Miss on Halloween night. Kevin provided the accommodations at his swinging bachelor's pad which is just 30 minutes or so from Jordan-Hare. Trixie and I stayed home and turned off all the lights and watched TV. The weather was lousy here and it kept the trick-or-treaters home.

Still talking about Vic, I should mention that she celebrated another birthday on November 4th. She is several
Birthday Girl
years younger than I am and looks it. She surprises folks when she reveals her age. I have included a picture so you can decide for yourself.

Tomorrow I am taking delivery of my first-ever load of firewood. It's mostly in case we have bad winter weather and lose power. I had the chimney swept last week so I'm good to go there. I have the plans and materials for a firewood rack that I intend to put together tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

Things are busy on the music scene. I have been working closely with that well-known grunge musician from Seattle, Tom Linscott, on several new tunes. He has been on a creative binge and has kept me busy coming up with guitar tracks. We are currently working on a tune he composed called "Try It Again". Hopefully I'll have some new music posted within the next couple of weeks. I have just posted a remixed/remastered version of Eleanor Rigby (in D minor). I recently switched to Pro Tools 12 from Logic Pro and I used Eleanor as a training project to learn the new workstation software. Check it out…it's my best effort to date.

And finally, thank you to all of our veterans. God bless you all.


Gone But Never Forgotten

On August 31, 2015 my Dad passed away.

He was my teacher and my sounding-board.

My Best Man and my spiritual role model.

My hero.

Rest in peace Pop.


Time Flies!

So this is me now. Sixty-four years old and retired. Yeah I know...if I’d known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.

I have been retired now for about 70 days. That’s how long I’ve had this mustache. I had a beard going but I screwed it up trimming it. My Dad keeps asking me if Vicki will still kiss me. About all I can say is at least she doesn’t gag like Gwyneth Paltrow in Mortdecai (crummy movie, by the way).

Time is absolutely flying. I think I have done more work since I retired than I did when I was doing the 8 to 5 thing. I just haven’t quite adjusted to the fact that I don’t have to get everything done today. I was talking with my friend and mentor
Robert Mead a few weeks back and told him I was taking the day off to work on some music. He laughed and said he had never heard of anyone taking a day off from retirement.

Family news roundup:

John Jr. and his family will be traveling to Huntsville sometime in the next month or so. Vicki tells me that the granddaughters will be staying with us and John and Diane will be staying at son Christopher’s new home. It will be good to see them as it’s been nearly a year. My oldest granddaughter, Brittany, is going on a mission trip this summer to some far-off place. Not sure what her sister Kaitlyn has lined up but I know it’s going to be exciting. Last time they were here I think it cost me about 500 bucks. Now that I’m on a fixed income I’ll have to be a little more thrifty.

As I mentioned, my son Christopher is now a property owner. He bought a house in the medical district and is now much closer to his office. Chris has been on the local news a bunch as he and his boss have successfully represented the city school system in settling a long-standing federal desegregation order. Chris, along with brothers Patrick and Kevin, are planning a trip to our nation’s capitol this summer to party.

Speaking of Patrick, we are now referring to him as Dr. Pape as he was awarded his PhD in software engineering from Auburn University last month. Patrick is a research professor at Mississippi State University. His bailiwick is digital forensics. He has adopted the traditional professorial garb down to the patches on his sport coat. I expect him to be smoking a pipe before long.

And last but not least, our youngest son, Kevin, has made the transition from college senior and frat boy to a productive member of the work force. We are really proud of him as he has struck out on his own and is doing very well. He is digging actually having enough money to put some away.

The newly-promoted Ms. Vicki is now on her three and a half week summer break. Her promotion came at the perfect time so she can support me better. She has worked for the city school system for 18 years, I believe, and plans to keep going for a while. I have been reminding her that Father’s Day is just around the corner...

Like my brothers and sisters, I have been spending a lot of time at Mom and Dad’s this year. They have given us so much and we are all glad to be able to provide them with the support they need at this point in their lives. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last month. Wow! That’s all I can say about that.

Finally, my best girlfriend, Trixie, is enjoying the fact that I take her for a walk 5 days a week. All I have to do is say the word “walk” and she launches herself at me and hits me about chest high. Not bad for a nine year old spoiled dog. She is laying under my chair as I type this entry. She’s even grown accustomed to being in the room when I play guitar. Hmmm, maybe that means I am finally getting better.

Well, that’s it for now. I am going lay down a guitar track here in a little while to send to my partner Tom so he has something new to work on. Thanks for stopping by...check back soon!


The Next Chapter

It’s a corny title but appropriate. I have started the next chapter of my life now that I am officially retired. At this point I can see no downside (but it’s only the second day). So far I have taken Trixie on two walks, washed the car, had lunch with my siblings, visited my folks and searched for a reasonably priced cell-phone provider. Tom and Laurin, our friends from Seattle, will be joining us for dinner tonight and Vicki told me to vacuum the stairs before she left for work.

I share a birthday (March 17) with my cousin Rosie, who lives in the great state of Ohio. Vicki and I, Mom and Dad, and my brother Jim spent a week or so visiting friends and family in Ohio a few years ago. I can’t remember if I spewed Crimson Tide trash-talk while I was there but I figure it’s probable as the Tide was kicking everybody’s butt and winning back-to-back championships right around that time. Well, last season it was the Ohio State Buckeyes’ turn to kick butt and win a championship and they put it on Bama in the college football playoffs. They were clearly the best team in the country. Coincidentally, I received a birthday gift from Rosie, shown in the adjacent photo. Payback? Hmmm, could be. Happy

I posted another
new tune for your entertainment. Let me know what you think. I gotta go vacuum now.


Sir Elton Rocks the House

A couple of months ago my Bride advised me that we would be attending Elton John’s performance at the Von Braun Center on March 4, 2015. So I purchased the (very expensive) tickets.

Now I have never been a big Elton John fan but I like his early rock and roll stuff. A little pre-concert investigation revealed that Elton’s band for this show included a couple of members of his original band.
Davy Johnstone, Elton’s long time guitarist and musical director, has always been a favorite of mine. And drummer Nigel Olssen does not suck.

So we went…and it was awesome! Elton really leaves it all out there. He played for two hours and forty-five minutes and everything he played was a hit. I don’t know how old that guy is but he still can tickle the ivories and belt out the vocals. And the band did not disappoint either. There wasn’t a seat to be had in the arena and I think EJ was really feeling the love.

Click on Elton’s picture to view a clip of a couple of my favorite EJ tunes captured by Vicki on her iPhone. The video is wonky in places largely because she was grooving to the music. You’ll need
QuickTime or a similar media player to view the clip. It takes the clip a minute or so to start so be patient.

Also, for your listening pleasure, I have added a couple of new tracks to the music page. Have a listen to the latest collaborations between myself and that Seattle-based duo, Tom and Bill Linscott. Let me know what you think. Thanks!