Category Archives: Entertainment

A Little Love For The Eagles

Glen Frey and Joe Walsh

My first memory of The Eagles is from 1972, the year they released their debut album, Eagles. I can remember the first time I actually listened to the words of “Peaceful, Easy Feeling.” I was living with my brother, my best friend, two close family friends, and the brother of one of those friends in two small, suburban houses in North Hollywood, California.

I had returned to SoCal from a year or so living mostly in the Bay Area; Berzerkeley to be exact . . . for most of the time, and I had been healing from the damage a licentious lifestyle can do to one’s body. I had a used VW Bug and, at the time, my brakes were shot and I had to drive slowly and with a great deal of forethought to what was occurring ahead of me (my parking brake worked OK, so a combination of paying close attention, down-shifting, and parking brake application did the trick for a couple of weeks, until I could afford to get the brakes fixed.

Eagles – Debut Album Cover 1972

I had already become a committed Feminist and was deep into educating myself and the five young men I was living with of the righteousness of supporting women’s equality (along with other forms of combating injustice.)

I was driving my VDub when the song came on the air. Given my precarious brake situation, I always attempted to drive down streets I knew were quiet and seldom had much traffic, so I was driving lazily down a mostly empty street and enjoying the music on my radio. It was the second verse that caught my attention:

“I found out a long time ago, what a woman can do to your soul. Aw, but she can’t take you any way you don’t already know how to go.”

Peaceful Easy Feeling – Eagles 1972

When I heard the first sentence I remember thinking, “Shit! Here we go again. Men blaming women for their troubles. Crap!” Then I heard the second sentence and was relieved to learn they had inserted a bit of honesty into the observation. I felt much better about how much I enjoyed their music.

One of those friend/roommates of mine went on to become the road accountant for the Eagles for a few of their world tours. He and I were living together in Van Nuys and I recall him being out on the road quite a bit with them. He also toured with Boz Scaggs, Toto, and later on became part of Billy Joel’s entourage for perhaps a decade. He did well, retired young. He also ended up getting sued by Billy at the behest of (as I was told) Christie Brinkley, who believe he had been taken advantage of by his management company, of which my friend was a member.

He was very hurt by the accusations and, fortunately, the case never went anywhere because if was based on the same kind of evidence we’ve lately seen being used by Rudy Giuliani in his epoch attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 General Election.

I’ve long been a fan of the Eagles’ music, but I’m not a “fan” of anyone. I’ve been around fame a bit. Growing up near Hollywood has that effect on most of us; we run into celebrities just going about our lives. I learned early to leave them alone and to respect their privacy.

I have friends who follow the careers of several people they admire and whose work they enjoy . . . closely. I don’t do that with anyone. However, music is something I enjoy and I found the music and lyrics of The Eagles deeply compelling. Since I’ve not paid much attention to their lives, other than listening to their music, I was completely unaware that Glen Frey’s son, Deacon, as well as Vince Gill, had joined the band. Below is a link to a video of a show they did in Atlanta.

It’s a little over two hours and I haven’t listened to all of it yet, but I’m familiar with every one of the songs with the possible exception of “Those Shoes” and “Walk Away.” This is kind of a way for me to save the video for any time I feel like listening to one or more of my fave tunes.

I have to add that seeing Glen’s son, Deke, perform in his place brought a tear or three to my eyes. I’ve always been somewhat of a softie (even wrote about it here, and here) and, it seems, as I am getting older and contemplating the end (which I’ve also written somewhat extensively about) I find myself feeling the loss of people who have entertained and/or enlightened me—especially if they’re younger than me—more painfully than I used to experience such things.

The video also has links below which will take you directly to whatever song you wish to watch/listen to. Keep in mind, as well, this was clearly recorded by a fan and the quality is not what you would expect from a well-produced, high quality production. It’s quite serviceable, however. Enjoy! I sure do/did.


A Love Poem

It’s been a while since I’ve written much poetry, but I do have some old poems I’ve saved over the years. This one is probably at least 25 years old. It was written to a woman I was absolutely smitten with. Unfortunately, she was struggling with alcoholism and was also (ultimately) afraid of commitment. I was ready, but it wasn’t to be. Someone familiar with the work of Kahlil Gibran may notice his influence on this particular piece.

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

What wonders have I known since first I met you
I have tasted of your lips
Yet it is the thoughts they have expressed
Which ring in my ears
I have suckled at your breasts
Not nearly as a babe
Yet it is the aroma of your flesh which haunts me in my reverie
And the sound of your sweet sighs which fills my memories

To taste of the flesh is a simple thing
Too easily exalted
Too frequently abused
To taste of the soul is a wondrous thing
Too seldom found
Too seldom used

It is not just your eyes I see
But the depth which lies behind them
It is not merely your lips I crave
But the ideas which they convey
These. remain with me during the days
And calm my evenings
That I may lie
With images of you to lull me
Softly as I drift to sleep

Your smile floats before me even now
Your laugh softly fills my mind
And I crave your presence
Even as its memory fills me with joy

I have found in you a person worth cherishing
A woman whose value I deem boundless
And whose soul I have already partaken of
I ask for little more
Than to entrust my desires
My hopes and dreams
With one
As sharing
As giving
As you


More Zoomey Tunes

Here are a few more photos I took around the house. Just looking for interesting patterns, especially when zoomed in real close. I’m also experimenting a bit with WordPress’s various blocks for presenting photos. Here I’m using the slideshow block.


Another Change of Pace

In my last couple of years in High School I took a lot of photography classes. Back then (this was in 1964 – 1966) there was no such thing as digital photos. Everything was film and darkroom work. I remember enjoying taking pictures at football games, using Kodak Tri-X 400 black & white negative film.

I had to take it into the darkroom and develop both the film and then use the negatives obtained from the film strip to project onto photographic paper, which we then developed ourselves in the darkroom. It involved a lot of banging around in the dark, getting used to working by dim red light, and lots of chemicals to develop, set, and finish the work.

I’ve long enjoyed photography and still enjoy using tools like Photoshop to tweak and improve photos; sometimes to create political memes from them as well. I recently started using the magnification app that came with my iPhone XR and I’ve realized I can produce some interesting photos by zooming way in on subjects that have intricate or visually remarkable patterns.

Several of the ones I’m publishing here should be fairly easily recognizable to most people. At least one of them requires a bit of engineering knowledge and, perhaps, familiarity with space hardware. A couple of them should be easy to discern. Two of them relate to cooking in one way or another. What do you see?


A Surprise!

As I’ve noted previously, I am working on a couple of memoirs and my autobiography. In doing so, I’ve been conducting a bit of archaeological research on my two current computers’ contents. I have a PC laptop and an iMac. The laptop is going on three years old and the Mac was purchased around June of 2010, right after I retired from Rocketdyne, though it crapped out while it was still under warranty, and the CPU and most of the other components were replaced with those of a newer model.

Something I hadn’t been thinking about much was that I had moved all of my personal files from my years at Rocketdyne, as well as a lot of writing I did while I was there that isn’t worth their energy to call protected IP. At any rate, I’m encountering things I had long forgotten existed and I’d like to share some of them.

This is a press release I’m pretty sure I wrote tongue-in-cheek, but I’m not sure what happened with it. It was, if the file metadata is correct, written in early February of 2006, a little over 14.5 years ago. I can’t recall the last time I read a physical copy of the L.A. Times.

For Immediate Release

In an amazing display of ineptness and communications failure, and for the third time in almost as many weeks, the Los Angeles Times’ home delivery department, Ventura County division, on Sunday, February 5, completely mismanaged the delivery of the Times Sunday edition to the home of a Simi Valley family.

For years, this weekend edition, complete with both the opinion section and numerous advertisements and coupons, has been delivered to the Ladd family double wrapped in plastic and sealed to protect it from being soaked by the sprinkler system which, unfortunately, drains water in the exact location where the paper seems to be most conveniently placed by the L.A. Times’ intrepid delivery person.

Approximately four to five weeks ago, and without any explanation or reason which would be immediately apparent to the Ladds, the paper started being delivered with one, unsealed plastic bag. This difference, however, was not matched by a change in location used to place the paper and, the laws of physics and water being what they are, the paper wicked up enough liquid to add several pounds to its weight. As a side effect, it made reading the articles and advertisements contained in the Times virtually impossible.

Up until the 5th of February, subsequent to calls to the Times’ Customer Service automated telephone number, a new paper has twice been delivered within the promised 90 minutes. The last time brought an apology and a promise to see the paper was sufficiently wrapped and it was, in fact, delivered dry on January 29th. However, the following week, on February 5, the paper was once again single wrapped, and soaking wet by the time it was retrieved.

Richard Ladd immediately called the Times’ Customer Service automated telephone number, once again pressing the button to inform the electronic system that there was, indeed, a delivery problem involving an automatic sprinkler system and a wet newspaper. He then entered his phone number and street address, and was informed a new paper would be delivered within 90 minutes.

As of midnight, at the beginning of a new week, the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times had not been delivered to the Ladd family, causing them to wonder if they shouldn’t just throw in the towel and cancel their subscription, opting instead to read the paper (assuming they even care any longer) on the Internet, and either celebrating or bemoaning (they are currently not quite sure which it should be) the continuing slide of print media into oblivion.

– END –


“Corona Virus Blues” | Don McAlister’s Blogsite

Written by my former (and last) manager at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, these are contemporary blues lyrics. The tune is up to you. If you know 12 bar blues, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to gin something up.

Written by Don McAlister, 6/28/20 as a standard 12 bar blues song.

When this all got started
We didn’t have a clue
‘Bout how crazy things would get
And change everything we knew.

At first it didn’t seem that bad
The danger wasn’t clear
Then cases started popping up
West and East, and then right here.

And now it was a crisis
Affecting me and you
We got it bad
Corona Virus Blues!

CHORUS: We got a virus out to kill us
And it don’t care ‘bout who
And the only way to slow it down
Is to change the things we do.

We gotta stay six feet apart
And cover up our faces
Stay away from bars
Only eat at takeout places.

We’ve been hunkered down for months now
Watchin’ movies and the news
Yeah we got it bad
Corona Virus Blues!

Some folks got tired of hearing
What they should and shouldn’t do
And they protested and said
It was time to loosen rules.

Gov’nors felt the pressure
And opened up some places
But still asked us to distance
And cover up our faces

But it got out of hand again
Careless gatherings and booze
Infections started spiking up and
And now we’ve still got Corona Virus Blues!

(Repeat CHORUS and end)

Source: “Corona Virus Blues” | Don McAlister’s Blogsite


Shit Fahr – Ahm Gittin’ Hire

Little by little I’m moving all of my posts from my old blog, The Cranky Curmudgeon, which still exists as a Blogspot site. This one is a bit over 14 years old, posted on 10 March 2006. Can’t say I’m particularly proud of these verses, but they are what they are, i.e. part of my “collected works” so to speak. Anyway, you be the judge. Frankly, the whole idea of Cowboy Haiku remains a bit strange, IMO.


The Latest Example of a Time-Honored Tradition

I was reminded there’s a whole lot of Cowboy poetry out there nowadays. A quick Google shows lots of links. Here’s the first one returned http://www.cowboypoetry.com/. Anyway, I just wanted to be the first to publish a few Cowboy Haiku. I don’t have titles for them; they’re fresh off the ol’ keyboard. Here ya go, pard. Hope ya lahk ’em.

This cowboy wears spurs
They will jingle all the night
If he gets lucky

My hat does not fit
Perhaps it is because
My head is swollen

Blood on the saddle
Could it mean I really have
Hemorrhoids to boot?


Easing Up

While I know it means more lost jobs, ever since we started staying at home, I’ve enjoyed seeing TV pundits and their guests having discussions from their homes. The lost jobs I refer to are primarily the people that see to the hosts’ and guests’ hair and makeup prior to going on camera. That’s not feasible now and it’s sometimes quite obvious that people are putting on their own makeup (if any) and letting their beards grow (that would be the men, that is.)

Trevor Noah and His Books

It’s interesting to see the different levels of technology available to the hosts and guests as well. Some will be using wired earbuds, some will have airbuds, and some are using their computer or phone’s speakers and mic. The hosts, I’m assuming here, have access to more sophisticated equipment, though that wasn’t the case at first. It’s also been interesting to see the evolution of some of these shows, as I’m sure some of the tech they normally use in production has been moved to the homes of the hosts.

I’m speaking here of many of the afternoon and evening shows on MSNBC, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. All of these shows have a plethora of guests, and each one is communicating from somewhere in their home.

Another aspect of this new reality I find fascinating is where these people choose to set up their “studio.” On MSNBC, many of the guests (especially now, when so much of the news centers on this pandemic and many of the guests are medical and epidemiology professionals, as well as public health and service professionals, there are lots of bookshelves in the background.

Some of the guests are situated so it’s possible to get a glimpse of the titles of a few of their books and it’s possible to gain a sliver of insight into who these people are or, at least, what they’re interested in. My entire adult life, whenever I am at the house of someone I know, if I have the opportunity I will always check out their bookshelves. It’s not different when I have the opportunity to do so via the Tube.

Just one example. If I remember correctly, at least until recently, Trevor Noah had two books laying down on a shelf over his right shoulder. I don’t recall if I could make out the titles, but the authors’ names were quite visible and, frankly, that’s enough to get a sense of what he’s giving credence to or what he’s enjoying learning about. The two authors in this case were. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Eddie Glaude, two men I admire.

There are two other shows I normally watch, and each of them has chosen a wildly different approach for how to go about having a show with no guests and no crew (at least not at their homes.) They are Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher. John Oliver, whose show generally consists of him sitting behind a desk, with an audience, now sits in front of a white wall; that’s it. Bill Maher, on the other hand, has chosen to record his show in his backyard and he uses laugh tracks from old (and I do mean old – black and white) TV shows.

I can’t imagine how they’re thinking of doing original dramas, rom-coms, and the like, but I hope they never go back to doing reality shows. The last nearly three and a half years should have cured the majority of the nation from the need to ever see a reality show again.

Regardless, it’s interesting to watch the development of “workarounds” as their crews get more and more creative in dealing with working remotely. I’m hopeful it will result in a lasting change to how we view things like the need for men to wear a suit and tie almost any time a camera is on them. Or the need for women to have perfectly coiffed hair and painstakingly applied makeup. I’d like to see the world lighten up and relax a bit. We could use it.


Feng Shui or Marie Kondo?

Funny how being mostly confined to your house gives you a lot of time on your hands. After over a month of familial isolation, I think I’m finally getting used to what will likely be my existence for up to another year; maybe more. The reason I expect it to take that long for me to feel comfortable going to the gym or eating out at restaurants has to do with my vulnerability to this virus. I will be 73 in a little over a month. I have type II diabetes, essential hypertension, stage 2 kidney disease, and mild COPD. All of these health issues are normally well-controlled but, with COVID-19 that quite likely won’t matter. Ergo, great caution is warranted, IMO.

So . . . what am I doing with that time? Well, it generally doesn’t feel like much, though I do spend a lot more time planning our grocery shopping. I would prefer to have our groceries delivered, but nobody was doing a very good job of it for the first few weeks of this social isolation effort. At first, I went online and spent anywhere from a half hour to forty-five minutes carefully choosing what I wanted to have delivered, only to discover when attempting to check out that there were no times available. Frustrating! That’s beginning to change and I’ve been able to successfully get a couple of deliveries. This necessarily includes several disconnects (for instance, I had coffee from Trader Joe’s delivered but forgot to ask the woman who did the shopping to grind it for us.) Also, nobody picks fruit and some other things the way I do, and we normally shop from a half-dozen different stores depending on what it is we’re purchasing. That’s no longer possible for now.

I also find I’m spending a fair amount of time helping my 16-year-old with her homework, some of which requires a significant investment of time. Today I learned (or re-learned) a lot of stuff about the difference between Napoleonic warfare and WWI warfare, so I could help her answer questions about them. I don’t think I’m capable of helping her with her algebra homework. Although I was in one of the first classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District allowed to take Algebra in the second semester of eighth grade (in 1961) I don’t remember a damned thing about it and I don’t recognize anything when I look at the equations she has to work with. Frankly, I’m not relishing revisiting high school; it was a disaster when I was a student from 1962 to 1966 (one extra semester as a result of cutting far too many classes.)

Now, the point of this post isn’t to regale you on all the ways in which I’m coping—or not—with this pandemic lock-down. I just want to share something I found while straightening out some of the clutter in my office. This “Birthday” card, homemade by my brother’s daughters almost 28 years ago, was in a bag with old photos, etc. I decided to scan it and I’ve share it on Facebook. I want to share it here as well. It warms my heart. My nieces were four and seven at the time.

It WAS a happy birthday; my 45th

He’s Fakin’ It!

Cosplay is defined by Wikipedia thus: “[A] portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture, and a broader use of the term ‘cosplay’ applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, television series, and video games.”

I am of the opinion Donald Trump really isn’t the President, he’s merely a cosplayer pretending to be one. He’s clearly not interested in actually governing the nation, only in destroying what he and Steve Bannon refer to as the “Administrative (or Deep) State.”

In furtherance of making my point, and in getting some good practice in upping my Photoshop skills, I created a couple of memes expressing how I feel. Here’s the first one, which I posted on Facebook on March 7:

Playing the Big Shot

The second one, which I posted to FB on March 19, is a bit more elaborate, but kind of makes the same point:

Milquetoast Marmalade is his Cosplay Character’s Name

Regardless of the authenticity of his costume, I maintain he’s doing a really shitty job of acting the part. In fact, based on his performance with the COVID-19 pandemic response, I’m arguing he’s guilty of 2nd degree murder, but I’d settle for a conviction of negligent homicide, even maybe reckless endangerment. Anything to remove him from any position of authority over the workings of our government.


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