Saturday, September 26, 2009

LOCAL VARIATIONS - small town timeless poems - little poems

In 1958, my small town started a Little League. Four teams; one each from the very different parts of town. The farm boys from Kenwood, the farm boys from Collinsville, the Public Servants from Dracut Center,  and the tough Irish kids from the Navy Yard. Feuds were started in that long ago summer that last 'till today. (I'm truly sorry Tom Molton)

The adult volunteers worked long nights after work, whipping fields into shape so their sons could experience the combat of hardball without the pleasures of cow pies and random rocks placed Murphy like, in just the right karmic position.

Little did we know, we were to be a small part of a larger saga. A story that continues today on the same, vastly improved ball fields. But in 1958, the men ran out of money and in Hovey Square Park, local ground rules had to be established. There was no fence in left field.

Local Variations

Louisville Slugger War Club
Ground Rule Birch Tree
no fence-
all you can get
to the left
-in the puddles
      tadpoles relentless.

Beaver brook
falls dam
tops worn Kids Ked
How many horn-pout

Soft sighing of
the wind blow
south from the mountains
flow over
the Merrimack River
towns built
on sites
indian war whoops
chasing Mohawk away
        behind Bob Garipy’s
        Auto Parts Store 

Friday, September 25, 2009


Right hand wall when you enter.  The entrance to the attic where all the cardboard boxes will be staying.

The new window.  I'm getting a combo storm/screen window to go on the outside. I'll make up a baffle to cover the inside when i'm recording.

Eight feet of heat. That'll be plenty when the amp tubes get cooking!

Lastly, out the door and back up to the deck and civilization. Television and computers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coming Along

Three guys working six hours and we're half done. About. In picture one; you can see the two areas inside the garage. To the left of the studs is the storage area for the bird seeds and the mowers. I'll put some pegboard on the side walls so I can hang tools. Stick a few shelves up to get the tool boxes off the floor. If you look to the right of the studs, out the new door, you'll see the deck. Just down a few steps and I can stumble into the studio.

Second photo is standing on the deck, looking down into the garage and the floor before insulation. We put in double insulation because concrete slabs in New England are murderously frigid.

Third photo shows Carl putting wires and outlets and other blue stuff. The Floor has been covered over with particle board.

The fourth photo shows some cotton candy.

Monday, September 21, 2009


What you are looking at is the South End of a North Bound Eastern Hognose Snake. An adult Hognose. About 24" to 30". This guy eats mice and toads. Now, a little explanation is necessary, here. Maureen and I like birds. So we feed them during the winter and we have stored bucketsfull of sunflower seeds and niger in the garage.We have done this for 35 + years at this location. The mice and chipmunks know this. And apparently  the Eastern Hognose Snakes do, also.  We've had to rescue mice who have fallen in the sunflower bucket and have been unable to escape their delicious predicament due to their massive holy Buddah Belly impediments. Our solution was a piece of wooden strapping, one end in the bucket to allow them to escape. ( we thought ).

The last time I had the garage cleaned out, I had a leftover ratty Coleman sleeping bag that had accumulated much too much campfire kiddy grunge. So I folded it neatly and placed it in the far back corner as a Base of Operations for all the little Chip and Dales and Minnies and Mickeys. What we did not know was that  the Hognose ( Herbert ) had snuggled in the folds of the Coleman waiting for the little rodents to stumble homeward in Marital Mice Mania, stuffed and sated, eager to increase their tribe. Ouch - What a trip. The Ultimate Disney Mickey Rat Trap. And I set it in motion.


This is saturday evening. I have done most of this clearing away, since Maureen had to work today. You know,  the Healing Gig.  Those Damn Sick People!!!

You will notice, four Gibson Amps in the middle left. Three are solid state and one is tube. I've had them for like, three years. As soon as the music room is done, i'll get to them. Refurbish them, clean them. I have actually finished one, a G50. It is surprisingly quiet at idle and sweet and clean at low volumes.

Sunday Night!   See the darkness creeping in on little Cass' feet. Little Cass lives down the ......... oh not really. It's fog like little milks eyes. No -but the fabled Music Room is empty except for the window on the floor that will replace the window all ready in the wall. Because the window on the floor to be soon in the wall opens and closes. Whereas, the window in the wall, now, merely sits nailed in place affording only a view but no cool breezes. Simple, right?

The "floating floor" flew out the open door on little big money dollars wings. We are going to hang 2 x 10's on the tops of the cement blocks and level that all up and put plywood down. The fact is, if I don't, i'll never be able to keep this room warm.  In that 10" space we will put in insulation. Over the plywood, we will put a carpet pad. ( or two ).

But tomorrow is Electric Day! Power! More Power!! Carl will be over to spend money. I'm going underground from the cellar to the front side of the garage. I've explained to Carl what I need. He commented that that was more than just the one light bulb, eh?  So if the East Coast goes down briefly tomorrow; that'd be me. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Last year at this time, I had my single car garage (14' x 20' ) cleared out and cleaned up. Mouse turd free, oil splatters sucked up with WeSuckOilDry , and ready to go. This modest little structure was to be my disability/retirement present to myself.  A neat little private music room. I wasn't going to call it a recording studio, as I had, over the years, actually recorded in real studios. Let me assure you, this is a garage. It will be have a floating floor, soft, absorbent walls. Bass traps and comfortable stools. There will be heat. There will be surveillance cameras and hefty, armbendingly ruinous  locking mechanisms. There will be gun safes, guitar safes and safe safes. There will be about three tape recorders and one digital recorder. (Tascam).

There will be a door cut into the side wall, right where the window is now. I took this photo from my new deck. The reason the music room didn't get built last year. Last year we put a new room onto the house and installed a new gas furnace and a wood burning stove in the addition. We were able to tell OPEC where to go last year.

What we see here is mostly clutter. Old cardboard boxes saved back for when the goods fail and need to be repackaged and sent home to a warehouse  in New Jersey to die. A quivering quaking pile of electric guts. This will be mostly tossed, as I don't expect to outlive my monitors. A functional window will replace the nailed in static air leak that is imitating a window at present. Pink Panther will be liberally applied between the studs and above the ceiling. The walls will be plywood, as i'm not about to spend gold for lead. A good quiet flat room will be fine.

This will sit nice on the hill, under maple trees and easy to get to. A new door will be going in and will be locked down tight. I should be able to play fairly loud. Loud enough for my needs.

I hope to also write and produce radio plays (20 mins). Record them here with vocal actors from UMass-Lowell and play them on student radio. Construction starts one week from today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A short trip for Basho. ( 88 ) miles. I've had it inspected, the brakes checked out and made sure the gas lines were ok and high pressure. Passed the inspections with flying colors. 
      Started up first turn of the key (as it should ) and we drove through Lowell; passing by Kerouac's Birthplace, and saying a short prayer, we continued on to rte 495. We only stayed on the highway long enough to run it up to 70 mph and checked out the stability. Perfect smoothness on all counts. Got off at rte 2 , to buy apples, peaches, and sweet corn. (Just to say we had a purpose. Also to let Lilly, the Terrior  pee.)  She was nervous as all get out; much more than she usually is, driving to known destinations around town. We got off rte 2, and drove back roads for the next few hours through rural mid-state Mass. Saw two cows in someone's front yard, not ten feet from the road. Took a picture of an old, unihabited house on Fred Smith Street. (true fact)

  We also passed a horse breeding farm. A rich Dallas Type Rich Hoss Ranch.  Some lake front homes from opulent to shed like.

Took a picture of a typical small New England town square.

If all of our forthcoming trips go this smooth, the VW will be proven to  to be a great deal, financial and emotional.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Because these bloggie thingees are set up to post the last post first; if you have not read the post below this, yet you have no idea that my hands are not satisfied to plague me with numbness and nerve damage and leaking damaging information to the White House Fishy Smelling Web Site where Obama spends minutes a day chortling at my misfortune. If you have, indeed, wasted precious time reading the hairy little post, you'll know that my hands hate me.

     So........ Maureen and I are retiring early. Thanks to my shrewd real escape powers, and a few winning Lotto winnings, and her admittedly wicked high salary, we no longer care about money. (HA) Seriously, I have no clue how much time I have left on this colorful little ball of stuff. But I have about 4-5 fatal, chronic diseases dogging my every move. Our daughter, who is turning 19 early next year, has foolishly chosen to leave our hearth and home to pursue Higher Education in Some Other State. So, we got her baby sitting covered. 

Not too many things or responsibilities holding us back. Unfortunately, Maureen's Mom passed away a few months ago at the age of 84. As a result, Maureen feels a bit adrift, losing her mom,  Kate leaving the nest, and me;  looming over her demanding care. So we are going to wing it. I'm selling all my land up north and most of my real estate here and donating the proceeds to the Heather Locklear Home for Wayward Weasels.  I'll be selling most of my firearms, keeping only about six. (snicker). Most of my books will be going to a Special Collections Section in my local Library. (Hey! I was A Friend of the Library and raised thousands of bucks for the new building). Most of my guitars will be sold or stored because my Right Hand Sucks! It has betrayed me. My cousin Gerry, the ex Marine with the Navy Cross and whom still has a hole in his back, and shrapnel falling like tiny deadly metal music has agreed to house sit. It wouldn't surprise me to come home to find a Stephen King Movie being filmed in my new GraveYard out back. More on this as it gets closer, the move, not the movie. We have a year to plan this.