Category Archives: Wait… what?

Prunes for LP’s; a pretty cool swap

Hey Electric J,
Got a little story for you. (Don’t worry… has a happy ending. A happy ending called “the blues”.)

So I’m in the record store, with 2 albums under my arm… some weird live AC/DC double album I’ve never seen before (new), and Gogol Bordello (with “Start Wearing Purple” on it).

My buddy Justin** busts into the store and says, “Tim, you gotta come across the street RIGHT NOW!”

I’m all like, “wha??”

And he’s all, “My friend Joe* has a box of LP’s he’s giving away for FREE!”

We run across main street without getting hit.

I meet Joe. Going through a divorce. In his 60’s. Sad, lonely, maybe a little needy. And standing next to a box of LP’s.

“You selling these?” I ask. “Take a look and see what you like, and you can have it,” he replies.

Smelly. They got all wet in his basement. Sigh.

He ends up giving me the whole freaking box.

“Can I buy you lunch?”
“Maybe next time… I just ate,” he says.

So I put the stinky, moldy LP’s in my car.

Eating lunch with Justin, Raequel**, and Abby**. Fish and chips at the Irish Embassy. Delicious.

Then, suddenly, Justin’s phone rings. It’s Joe. Wants to talk to ME.

“What’s up?”

Tells me what I can do to pay him for the LP’s… pick him up TWO BAGS OF DRIED PRUNES!

I do.

Take the albums home. Spend a couple hours cleaning them, throwing away the nasty sleeves, wiping everything down with Lysol.

And now, my friend, the whole reason I’m writing this… I’m just chilling with Freddie King‘s 1971 release, “Getting Ready“.

Not to mention The Blasters, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dire Straits, George Thorogood, Dr. John, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, the soundtrack to Easy Rider… It’s a gold mine.

This is some good stuff. But you already knew it…

Brother T and the Blues Explosion

*Not his real name

**Actual names of actual humans

What about you, Gentle Reader? What’s the strangest (and coolest) trade you’ve made recently?


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Report from the fire in Oak Hill (Part 2)

By guest blogger Chris Birchard

O.k., Later that day.—————–
I’d arrived at the track where we run, just South and above , about 30 minutes after our evacuation.
Sunday, track almost deserted.
 So, I climbed to the upper-hill and made my way across the soccer field and onto the berm and near a fence that separates the residentials from the interlopers.
    First, I saw no cloud.
Then, I saw three or four clouds rising into the sky, from my hilltop perspective.  I sat down to join the grass and burrs, to join the battle being fought; to observe.
   It was a great vantage point: Two helos hauling tiny buckets back and forth. A spotter plane constantly daring the flames by running through them, showing C-130’s, with U.S.A.F. printed on the under of  their wings, where to drop their flowing, bright orange-red loads, onto the fire, which would stream out into the hot day.
   My sunglasses were gone, so I hiked my shirt up around my head, waiting for a verdict, avoiding the sun’s piercing stare into my eyes.A load of water, silence, then a new dark cloud, always coming back as a destructive shroud over the land.
    “Where will we spend the night?”, I thought.
The C-130’s made many circles right over me on their way into the action. As the younger of the gathering crowd would exclaim, “He’s peeing”, a load of retardant would hit the ground or flames, and I’d think, “Your’e upwind, son.”
   After the last dark cloud had left, I felt new again. I went home, to my precious objects and temporary security, but by a back way that few evacuees knew about, other routes in were closed, to find Jude & Sheri, there, waiting where we had started, for us, or something else, to arrive.

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Report from the fire in Oak Hill (Austin, TX)

By guest blogger Chris Birchard

2011 Capitol 10K

Hey, we’re all alright. I’m sorry for dramatizing it like I did. But I love that you are finally getting some response for your efforts. But I’m still not over yesterday, yet.


Sunday, 4/17/2011, (Scenic Brook, (South) Austin, Tx.)
  Esmeralda  got home early, that was a thrill, it meant I had some free time…
   Downstairs, picture-framing project. The tiniest can of polyeurethane that money can buy. She is “Poly”, the final step towards perfection.
 Applying poly, I start to hear many sirens and think what could it be to take such measures? Suddenly, first one siren and then twenty?
 Then an ash fell in my poly and I looked at my shirt, wondering, where did this come from? The sky then subtly changed tones-blue to orange. Then the smell. Weird, like cedar burning.
   Brush in hand, I took a walk to the top of the hill and found a group of people watching smoke and flames rise from a few blocks off as the strong wind blew the smoke directly into our faces. It reminded me  of Herb’s brush fires. The thickening of smoke as you approached the flames, the fun was just getting started, for the gusting wind would feed the games.
    The sirens, of course, wailed on and on.
   Everyone’s emergency character was revealed, as we watched that fire develop and discussed our options. The wind “ripping” towards us  and us only, it seemed, only directly at us and our homes, too. Flames would reach out, we’d discuss. The firemen, invisible, would gain three yards only to relinquish two yards.
   In other words, someone would say they’ve got it but the angry brown cloud would refoster itself, suddenly, in a brand new place.
People started to pack their, “most valuables”, and leave. (I gathered cash, change, and precious photos, totally forgetting my 1500.00 jackhammer and other sacred tools.)(I drove around as the “picture frame man”,that day, I guess.)
I met an actual teacher that day, on that hill, as he was,”wishing for a Northerner”, and it was clear that I had a new friend, as the wind was gusting hard from the South.
   We were the last two to speculate about our prospects with this situation at this location, although the “corner-man”, the dude that lives on the corner, the first to start moistening his lawn with a feeble gardening hose (soon, we were all doing it, by then the smoke was thick), so I ran back down to Jude and Sheri, our neighbors and friends, showing up for what would be my last “report” about the “front”.
   But it never did get to us, they stopped it, the firefighters did.
   But that was just the beginning of that day for me, in a way.

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