Arlo, Pete & Elvis

Happened upon this video, and found it mesmerizing and moving – hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Oh, shall I stay, would it be a sin
Oh, if I can’t help falling in love with you?   Like a river flows, surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes, some things are meant to be   Take my hand, take my whole life too
Oh, for I can’t help falling in love with you   Oh, like a river flows, surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes, some things are meant to be   Oh, take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can’t help falling in love with you
Oh, for I can’t help falling in love with you

DEATH OF AN iPAD

arlington national cemetery nbc4washington

Below is the place of the unfortunate incident

It is too bad that there is not a video of the passing of the iPad.  Although it would have been a bit humiliating for yours truly, I believe that it would have been hilarious! The picture above is my sister’s backyard pool in Palm Springs.  I was Face-Time-ing with some family members, showing them the pool, the landscaping and the small grassy area past the pool where we played hacky sack. What is only partially shown here is a small shallow wading area that makes an L-shape to the left of the main pool above. I was holding the iPad above my head as I walked from the grassy area around the wading pool back toward the pool.  As I was looking up, I cut the corner too close on the wading pool.  I stepped in, went down, and the iPad flew.  The good news is that it landed on the tile next to the pool; the bad news is that the iPad holder stuck to the tile and the iPad slid right out into the pool!!!  The water was so cold that nobody felt like diving in to make a rescue, so the iPad soaked in the cold, salt water for a while until the kids finally fished it out.

There was an attempt at resuscitation as shown below, but alas without success. 

The one small saving grace is that we had won the iPad for having the lowest month utility bill in our solar-assisted neighborhood.  The bad news Glenn, is that your comprehensive song list now sleeps with the fishes. 

TOO MUCH LIZZO

Disclaimer – I have seen Lizzo only a couple of times on the morning news programs.  She is apparently a popular musician, but I know nothing of her music [of course I know next to nothing about any 21st century pop stars].  She appears to be the physical antithesis of lily white anorexic-looking Taylor Swift, another star whose music is not in my repertoire. But, the point here is not about music, it is about obesity.

I mean seriously, does anyone really want to see this? Now I expect to be accused of “fat-shaming” to which I respond, if that’s what one chooses to call obesity as a health problem, so be it.  I won’t make a long list here, but just Google obese celebrities and obese musicians to get a glimpse of what I am talking about.  Lizzo, her ilk and those who enable, accept and “celebrate” obesity are doing a serious disservice to the public.  Obesity is a harmful health pandemic, and diminishes almost every aspect of health.

Here is the 2018 map of obesity in the US:

Prevalence of Self-Reported Obesity Among U.S. Adults by State and Territory, BRFSS, 2018. See map details in table below.

All states and territories had obesity rates of greater than 20%, with only Colorado, Hawaii and DC being less than 25%. 

Note the progression of obesity in the map below:

Image result for obesity map 2019

Even more telling is this map, beginning in 1985.  Colorado’s obesity rate of today, around 23%, would have made Colorado the most obese state in 1985!!

Image result for obesity map 1985

Although causes of the obesity epidemic are complex and multifactoral, the bottom line is that fat folks consume more calories than they expend – I know this from personal experience!  And sadly, the older one gets, the more difficult it seems to expend calories!! 

There has been a fair amount of buzz lately about “Blue Zones”, those areas in the world with long lived healthy people.  Blue Zones has even been commercialized.  My encouragement to anyone who gets around to reading this post is to assess one’s weight in relationship to being obese or overweight, set a target weight if you would like to lose some pounds, and then plot a strategy to get to that target.  I am not suggesting that one needs to be skinny, but am suggesting that there are target weights that maximize health.  For those who might say “Well Uncle X was obese, and he lived to be 80”, I say, “Well Uncle X might have lived to be 100 if he wasn’t obese.” 😋

GOOD ON FAIRPLAY

When we lived in Colorado Springs we owned some land between Fairplay and Alma, and we spent a fair amount of time in that neck of the woods – good mountain folks!!

When we lived in Colorado Springs we owned some land between Fairplay and Alma, and we spent a fair amount of time in that neck of the woods – good mountain folks!

Image result for fairplay colorado

This past week, there was a pretty big storm that closed some highways and caused quite a few folks to get stranded.  Although Fairplay is a pretty small place, the locals came together to shelter over 700 stranded travelers – this from the Denver Post:

“When the emergency shelter in Fairplay ran out of blankets Saturday night, volunteers went door-to-door collecting extras from locals.

When the hotels ran out of rooms, managers let stranded travelers sleep in the lobbies. When the shelter’s cots were full, volunteers spread out the high school’s wrestling mats to try to keep as many people as possible off the floor.

“Words don’t even describe what this small group of volunteers pulled off here,” said Dave Kintz, chairman of the South Park Salvation Army.

More than 700 people were stranded in Fairplay on Friday and Saturday after high winds, blowing snow and low visibility made travel impossible at the height of the post-Thanksgiving rush and closed a long stretch of U.S. 285, which remained closed along the Kenosha Pass on Sunday.

A group of volunteers stepped in to help manage the crowd as the sheer quantity of those stranded strained local resources.

The town of 762 people sheltered 300 people overnight Friday and 446 people on Saturday, said Gene Stanley, director of emergency management for Park County. Authorities also rescued motorists from at least 30 cars that were stranded along U.S. 285 on Saturday, reaching the drivers by using tracked vehicles.

“They absolutely could not move,” Stanley said. “I think the last rescue vehicle came into my office just before midnight.”

The county’s primary shelter, a community center, was designed to hold 50 people — but 112 people stayed there Friday, until the power went out and the shelter lost heat, forcing everyone to relocate to South Park High School.

“It grew into a larger event than we had expected,” Stanley said.

Fairplay’s few hotels filled up on Friday, said Dee Patel, a manager at A Riverside Inn. After all 50 of her rooms were booked, she let travelers sleep in the hallways and the lobby, passing out hot chocolate, tea and extra blankets and pillows.

“I cannot say no,” she said. “A lot of people had little babies and kids with them.”

Kintz, who is also the Park County coroner, said a core group of about 30 volunteers from the Salvation Army, the coroner’s CARE team, and two local churches were crucial to keeping the shelter running smoothly and ensuring everyone was fed.

“We brought in food from South Park Community Church, we raided the food supply of the school, we brought in food from volunteers who provided food from their places, we got some from local stores,” Kintz said.

He said the number of stranded travelers was unprecedented in his 17-year tenure in emergency services.

“Everyone was routed this way due to I-70 problems and other road issues,” he said, adding that he does not think drivers were adequately warned of the “despicable” road conditions in the area.

“I’m just so proud of my little community,” he said. “For the horrible situation we found ourselves in, to be able to help all those people is amazing to me.”

Authorities brought vehicles that had been abandoned on the highways to the shelter Sunday and reconnected drivers to their cars, Stanley said. Most people were able to leave the shelter on Sunday, he said, and the high school shelter was expected to close Sunday evening as the weather cleared.

“Now,” Stanley said, “we are cleaning up the mess.””

WHAT’S UP – 4 NON BLONDES

Time for some more music – turn up the volume!!

Twenty-five years and my life is still

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope

For a destination

I realized quickly when I knew I should

That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man

For whatever that means

And so I cry sometimes

When I’m lying in bed just to get it all out

What’s in my head

And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake in the morning

And I step outside

And I take a deep breath and I get real high

And I scream from the top of my lungs

What’s going on?

And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah

I said hey, what’s going on?

And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah

I said hey, what’s going on?

Oh, oh oh

Oh, oh oh

And I try, oh my god do I try

I try all the time, in this institution

And I pray, oh my god do I pray

I pray every single day

For a revolution

And so I cry sometimes

When I’m lying bed

Just to get it all out

What’s in my head

And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake in the morning

And I step outside

And I take a deep breath and I get real high

And I scream from the top of my lungs

What’s going on?

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

Oh, oh oh oh

Twenty-five years and my life is still

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope

For a destination

Photos of readers

Why Evolution Is True

Do send in a photo or two of yourself doing something interesting or characteristic of your life. We have, after all, more than 61,000 readers!

Today’s Featured Reader is Douglas Swartzendruber (on the left in the picture), who sent a food-related photo and the caption below:

When thinking about favorite activities, many things came to mind from trail running [Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods] to basketball playing [still get in two nights a week] to acoustic jams with friends [a plug here for Colorado Roots Music Camp] to traveling, but the picture shows an activity that our family has enjoyed for over 70 years – barbecuing chicken.

On our northern Indiana farm, we raised corn, wheat and chicken – a lot of Leghorns, tens of thousands per year.  The early bbqs were made out of oil drums cut in half, but the square-bottom ones shown are much more…

View original post 93 more words

MY MUSICAL JOURNEY

Image result for pre school percussion

My earliest memory of participating in music is New Paris grade school percussion, using many of the “instruments” shown above.  Obviously our first “music” was all about percussion and keeping time.  In the second or third grade, we added song flute.  I must have shown some abilities because soon I was placed with the cornets in grade school band.  Our band teacher throughout grade school and high school was Mr. Alan Harness, and he must have impressed upon my mother that I had some skills because the next thing I knew, I was off to Elkhart for private lessons! 

Image result for conn connstellation cornet

The Conn Constellation Cornet [not trumpet]
As eighth graders in our Class of 1964, Steve Eldridge, Dennis Caprarotta and I were in the High School Band.  Mr. Harness moved Dennis to French Horn, and Steve and I became first and second chair cornet in our junior and senior years.  Of course my mother thought that I was number one, and Steve’s mother thought that he was number one – and Mr. Harness decided that I was number one.  I was also selected first chair in the All-Elkhart County band for two years and got to play a brief solo in one of the numbers.  I and my band partners won a fair amount of first and second place medals, and one of my favorites was Bugler’s Holiday, with me, Steve and third chair Dick Kerlin.  As I mentioned in one of my basketball posts, I also played in the pep band while I was on the JV team, and would run up into the stands at half time to play, mainly because our school song, Frat, had a nice cornet solo.  Thankfully I did not have to do that once I was on the varsity team!  Another interesting tidbit is that New Paris had a marching band – usually played in the summer time in full-dress uniform including white buck shoes.  Mr. Harness finally agreed to Bermuda shorts after a few band members fainted in the heat.  A distinct memory is marching in the New Paris Memorial Day Parade that always ended up in the town cemetery.  I played Taps there several times, which was a bit ironic – a fellow from the Mennonite peace church tradition playing to honor the locals who had died in WW1, WW2 and Korea.  Also growing up in the Mennonite Church, I became very familiar with a capella four-part harmony singing.  I do not consider myself much of a singer, but I can do bass harmonies quite well.  My parents and sister have all of the family’s singing talent – Ed sang with the original Menno Singers, Mary with the Middie Singers and Saint John’s Singers, and Kay is a professional vocalist [and an amazing piano player].  Our high school choir was never quite as good as the band when it came to state competitions, but in our senior year, the choir got a first place.  Here’s one of the songs we sang, although we probably did not sound quite this good! Our long-time choir director was Mrs. Helen Hollar, and of course the standing joke for decades was “If you want to learn how to sing, go to Helen Hollar.”
My cornet playing days came to an abrupt end during my junior year at Goshen College.  I was driving my old Chevy south on Fifth Street in Goshen, heading back to college.  There was a large tree branch mostly obscuring the stop sign, and I cruised right through it, hitting the back end of a car going east on US 33.  My friend saw it coming out of the corner of his eye, and braced for the crash – his knees left dent marks in the dash board.  Since this was pre-seat belt days, I bit the steering wheel, leaving some lip flesh and pieces of seven teeth in the steering wheel.  So, there went the embouchure.  I had scar tissue nodules in my lips for years and could not play cornet.  I also spent many hours at the dentist for root canals and caps, which solidified my despising visits to the dentist.
It was the 1960’s, and since the cornet was out, guitar was the obvious choice – a lot of fellows were taking it up, but more as a babe-magnet than a musical ambition.  My good friend, and future brother-in-law, Ken Willems was playing guitar, so I started as well.  One of our classmates was a fellow named Henry Gleason who’s father worked for the Kaman Corporation.  The company did a lot of things, but one specialty was helicopter design and construction using fine woods and composite materials.  Founder Charles Kaman was an amateur guitarist, and he designed and built guitars that became the Ovation Guitar Company.  So Henry brought his guitar to Goshen and convinced me to buy one – I got the 449th Balladeer ever made.  Folk tunes, protest songs and roots music were the focus at the time, and Ken got me started with finger picking in the style of Elizabeth Cotton, i.e. Cotton Picking, and a similar style that is taught as Travis picking.  Although the Balladeer was an acoustic guitar, one could use a pick-up to electrify it.  I only did this a few times during college as the rhythm guitar player for the Backdoor Men.  Ken decided to drop out of the band, so I filled in for a few gigs. 

Image result for ovation balladeer

For decades after college, my guitar playing consisted mainly of strumming and picking by myself, with occasional get-togethers with Ken to play old tunes and some of the songs that Ken has written.  My mother bought a guitar so that I could play whenever we visited Indiana.  Also, my 104-year-old uncle, John Aschliman, has some nice guitars courtesy of his son Donn, and I sometimes borrow one of John’s guitars.  Amazingly although John is very hard of hearing, he still plays and sings, and is a hit with the Greencroft crowd!
Since Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp began hosting the Colorado Roots Music Camp, I have become more committed to learning new styles and songs.  I have been a volunteer at the camp for several years working in the kitchen, but in my free time I have been welcomed by both campers and instructors to join in the daily jam sessions.  I have learned to know some of the campers who live in the Denver area, and have joined in for a jam now and then.  Music Camp friend Glenn has even helped me to get a bevy of songs on my iPad.  Probably the most amazing jam that I sat in on at Roots Camp was with instructor Doug Smith and a local fellow named Phil Volan.  I knew that Doug was a Grammy winner and champion of the Winfield International Fingerstyle guitar competition, but I did not know that Phil was a second place winner!  They both were very gracious in allowing a few of us rank amateurs to play along, but they also played a few tunes together that were amazing, as you might imagine.  Phil’s voice sounds a lot like James Taylor’s, and he plays guitar just as well, so it was a real treat just to listen to Phil and Doug play and sing. Be sure to check out their links to get a bit of an appreciation for their talent.

The final tunes at Ed and Mary’s place.

END OF THE LINE – THE TRAVELING WILBURYS

Image result for traveling wilburys

Here is an oldie-but-goodie from The Traveling Wilburys 
Note the Songwriters Credit 
Note the Empty Rocking Chair at about 1:40 of Video

Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, doing the best you can
Well it’s all right, as long as you lend a hand
You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring (end of the line)
Waiting for someone to tell you everything (end of the line)
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring (end of the line)
Maybe a diamond ring
Well it’s all right, even if they say you’re wrong
Well it’s all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it’s all right, as long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it’s all right, everyday is judgment day
Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line)
You’ll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line)
Purple haze
Well it’s all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it’s all right, if you got someone to love
Well it’s all right, everything’ll work out fine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line
Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive (end of the line)
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive (end of the line)
It don’t matter if you’re by my side (end of the line)
I’m satisfied
Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive
Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line
Songwriters: Robert Dylan / George Harrison / Jeffrey Lynne / Roy Kelton Orbison / Thomas Earl Petty

H/T Ken Kukec

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