Monthly ArchiveOctober 2007

Personal 08 Oct 2007 05:46 pm

Just Another Manic Monday

Happy Monday everyone… or “Happy Computer Lock-up Day” as it’s known here at RYB headquarters.


No, I haven’t managed to fix my computer problems, yet. I have a pretty good idea of what’s causing it, but I just haven’t worked up the courage to undertake the software rebuild.

I’ve tried to get one of the cats to do it, but she seems to lack the proper motivation.

I’m toying with the idea of getting a laptop computer and using it for all my daily online activity and just using this desktop PC as a file server. That way, I’d have a portable machine I could take with me on trips plus it would free me up to work on this one without worrying about it being down for a few days if need be. (It would be a good idea to have a backup in any event.)

There are other reasons for getting a laptop, but I’ll probably put it off until after Christmas when the prices are lower.


On a sad note, the kitty in the picture is actually no longer with us. She was poisoned during the Chinese cat food fiasco and subsequent recall that took place last Spring. Can’t definitely say she was poisoned by the tainted food, because she was fed a product that wasn’t on the recall list. But we took back the unused cans just the same.

Her name was Patches, because she had patches of fur from different breeds in her coat. For example, her main overall look was yellow Tabby, but her hind legs were dark like a Siamese. I used to tease her that she was made from spare parts.

When she was just a tiny kitten — while her brothers and sisters where playing and running around the kitchen — she would come over and climb all the way up and sit on my shoulder nuzzling my neck while I made breakfast. Needless to say, she won a special place in my heart. (I’m such a pushover.)

Reluctant to part with her, I gave her and her brother to my mother who kept her for the past 12 years.

Patches face

I’m afraid I made the mistake of giving her away too soon, however. She apparently wasn’t fully weaned and so, for her entire adult life, she would climb into your lap and attempt to nurse. It was so cute and adorable if you didn’t mind a big wet spot where she slobbered all over you.

She never quite stopped being “just a baby kitty.”

Every cat has a different personality and her lot in life was to be a sweetheart. She is sorely missed.



Music &Personal 06 Oct 2007 06:40 pm

Looking For An Echo

“Just take those old records off the shelf,
I’ll sit and listen to ‘em by myself.
Today’s music ain’t got the same soul,
I like that old time rock & roll.”

— Bob Seeger


It’s no secret that my real passion is music. (I have about as much interest in back pain as I do in dental floss or ceiling wax.) And there’s nothing I like better than finding a “new” old song that I’ve never heard before or a band (old or new) that really knows what music is supposed to sound like. (Don’t get me started.)

Jay and the Americans

One of my favorite bands from the 1960’s was a very popular vocal group by the name of Jay and The Americans. Over a span of 11 years they had a string of hits including such classics as This Magic Moment, Come A Little Bit Closer, Cara Mia and Only In America. (I’m particularly fond of Hushabye and Walking In The Rain.)

Why do I bring this up? Well, as it turns out, one of the founding members of that group was a fellow named Kenny Vance. Yeah, I’d never heard of him either until one evening I was watching one of those Doo Wop specials on PBS television and among the performers was this group by the name of Kenny Vance and The Planotones.

At the time, I thought they were a newly formed “cover band” and it seemed odd to me that they were included on a program showcasing classic artists from the 50’s… not that I cared because the song they did totally blew me away.

Here’s that performance… a sample of just how cool this guy and his music really is:


Note: If you don’t have a high-speed connection, you can still view YouTube videos. Just let it play through once (it will stop and start several times). Once it’s done, just click it again. I’ll play correctly now that’s it’s loaded into your cache (or temporary Internet files).


A little for you history buffs:

In the 1970’s, after Jay and The Americans broke up, Kenny Vance went on to a career composing and scoring television and film soundtracks. His list of movie credits include, “American Hot Wax,” “Animal House,” “Eddie & The Cruisers,” and “Looking For An Echo.”

He was the producer for the rock band, Steely Dan and for a while was the musical director for Saturday Night Live.

As an actor, he appeared in “Hurly Burly,” “Billy Bathgate,” “American Hot Wax,” “Eddie & The Cruisers,” and the Woody Allen films “Manhattan,” “Stardust Memories,” “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Husbands and Wives.”

During the making of the film “American Hot Wax,” he put together several bands … including one called The Planotones … for the purpose of shooting the movie. His goal was to recreate the early days of rock & roll as a way to tell the Alan Freed story.

Jumping ahead a few years… he re-formed The Planotones in 1992 and they are still performing to this day.

All of this has been my longwinded way of saying that – even though you may have never heard his name before – Kenny Vance has been around since the beginning and that’s why he was included on the PBS Doo Wop special.

— Dean


Personal 03 Oct 2007 10:16 pm

Just Playing Around

I apologize if my last post was a little confusing.

First off, I start out talking about taking some time off… then go into the real subject; Ben’s blog… comparing it to Steinbeck’s book… which could make you think that the post is about a novel… but it’s not… it’s about a blog that reads like a novel. (Whew!)


Couple all that with the fact that I added the images as an afterthought. I really didn’t design the text to coincide with them… something I intend to do in the future… but for now I’m just playing around with flickr and photobucket.

I wanted to find a good cover shot of Steinbeck’s book, but couldn’t find one in the public domain that I liked so I just stuck with the Navy theme.


Speaking of the Cosmos… I’m still here.

I haven’t actually gone anywhere. I thought I was back-to-blogging a couple of weeks ago (as alluded to in my last post) and yet, more than a few days have gone by and I haven’t posted anything.

It’s not that I have a lack of ideas. I’ve just been having trouble putting the words together. Chrysalis Angel hit the nail on the head today in a comment on that post; I’ve lost my muse.

She’s out there somewhere and it’s just a matter of time before I find her again.


Part of the problem has been a lack of time. I start out each day with the goal of writing something for the blog and the next thing I know it’s late at night and I wind up telling myself, “It’ll keep till tomorrow.”

Even when I do take the time to “write something” it just ends up on the cutting room floor. After several hours of stomping and flailing around on the keyboard — what started out as an interesting post — just seems to turn into sludge.


I have been working on several things related to the website including a new project that I think people will find interesting and helpful. I suppose I could blog about what I’m doing, but that would just take time away from the actual “doing.” (Not to mention that I may change my mind about halfway through the project and decide it’s not a good idea after all.)

27 T Coupe

But enough about me…


BTW, The really cool street rod in my second to last post is a 1927 Model T Coupe… and no, it’s not mine. (I wish.) It’s just a picture I stole from who knows where. (If it’s yours, drop me a line and I’ll give you proper photo credits.)

— Dean


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