28 November 2007

Speaking of VALIUM....

Here's a classic from the obscure mid-'90s HBO series Hard Core TV:



I have to credit (?) Bolivar for turning me on to this show .... only a handful of episodes were produced, and of those I have just three. What I loved the most about Hard Core TV was how gags would carry over into subsequent, completely unrelated sketches.

Three words: IT'S A BELT!!

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Do not insert in mouth or rectum" Gleck

I'm back from my therapy

This dentist office has another name for root-planing and scaling: GUM THERAPY.

This morning I went in to have said "therapy" performed on part of my mouth. The right side (or 'stage left') had the honors.

I have to say this experience was light-years better than the one I had in '95. For starters, this outfit does way better with the injections. They applied the topical anesthetic, and - get this - actually let it do its job before the needle's turn. I counted six (6) shots in all. Two of 'em were doozies, though. Oh well, as much as I hate two (2) painful pokes, it sure the hell beats 12.

The assistant who jockeyed the "gum therapy" was the same one who did the x-rays about three months back. Very good way about him ... was very conversational as he was doing his stuff, and -- most importantly -- was not condescending at all.

I go in again next Tuesday (12/04) for Therapy, Part Deux. I don't think I'm going to be as anxious about this one, as I know what to expect. Key word = "as." I still don't like dental chairs or having needles in my mouth. I do know it sure beats the hell out of Summer '95, following my first root-pla--er, "gum therapy", when I was in a state of near purple panic prior to the second visit.

Next week's appointment is in the afternoon, and I'll be able to drive myself. I don't think I'll need the Valium.

By the way, that pill might've taken the "edge" off of my anxiety, yet otherwise it didn't do jack-diddly. I popped one at 740 this morning, and here it is 11 AM. I feel my own charmin' psychotic self.

As for now, the right side of my mouth is still numb, and I know that later this afternoon that area will be hurting like a maternal fornicator.

All in the pursuit of cleaner teeth.

"Colgate's flouride M-F-P / Helps prevent the cavities ...." (I've forgotten how the rest of that old jingle went; "Captain Kangaroo" was a long damn time ago)

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "No food for me right now, thanks" Gleck

27 November 2007

V is for Valium, that's good enough for me.


I'm really excited, you know that? Tomorrow I'm going to be visiting the dentist and having the holy bejeezuz crap scraped off of my teeth. The dentist is my friend. Did you know that Frankie Valli's voice sounds like Lou Rawls'? And you should give "Revolution #9" a second listen, it really epitomizes the Great American Songbook. I'm in love with one of The Shaggs. Dorothy. *sighhhh* Seraphim looks nice and luscious, like a big-ass SweetTart. Green, of course. I'd eat her alive, but I'd have to floss. Why is my printer moving? I think Sinead O'Connor's hair looks very ravishing in cornrows. Seraphim cooked us some lasagna. Good stuff. I'm craving Taco Bell and a Pepsi. What's the big deal, anyway? They're just @#$%ing ROAD SIGNS!! Bert is the gay one, but Ernie has a thing for rubber duckies. Grover is bisexual. Sesame Street is brought to you by the letters 9, %, ¢ ... and by the number E. Big Bird looks like a giant, deranged Barney covered in yellow paint. Baby Bop looks tasty. Why is that man on fire? I wouldn't be shaking hands with him if I were you. I see visions of Goons, Paper Clips and ex-wives in filthy pigstys dancing before my dilated eyes. Isn't that Dick Cheney I see in my living room, and why does my face feel numb all of a sudden? I'm pickin' And I'm a grinnin' I searched the world over and thought I found true love. You met another, and turned on the bubble machine. Wunnerful. Geritol tastes like Dr. Pepper. I love chocolate Ex-Lax. So much that I ate the entire box. I want to work for Clear Channel. Lee Harvey Oswald killed Jimmy Carter. And what about Naomi?

When are these drugs gonna take effect?

Go Trojans!!

--Syd Barrett

26 November 2007

Bite me. Then again, maybe not.....

Wednesday morning is coming up fast. A little too quickly, if you wanna know the truth.

That is when I have an appointment -- no, a rendezvous from hell -- with the dental chair.

August 30 of this year marked the first time I darkened the door of a dentist's office in more than 10 years. Okay, 12. From 1995 until 2007. That's a long damned time to go without any kind of formal maintenance of the ol' tee-fees.

A little background: since I finished my course of orthodontia (I had braces from October 1978 through June 1980), I had no further appointments with a dentist. I don't know why. Okay, yes I do. It's 50% my mother not taking any kind of initiative to get me there (for part of that time, I was a teenager and still, ummmm, a dependent). And 50% MY not taking the initiative upon such a time as I was able to make appointments of my own volition.

Fast-forward to 1990. I moved to Troy, Alabama, and had the much-ballyhooed 'reunion' with my grandmother. And when Gran Lera found out that I hadn't been to a dentist since 1981 .....

The woman, feisty and ornery lady she, supposedly lit into my mother like neon on an old motel sign. And then she turned to me ... and, with the persuasion of a cattle prod against black angus bottom, told me in no uncertain terms that I was to make an appointment with a dentist five minutes ago.

Yes, ma'am.

So which dentist would have the honor? My options were limited. The dental plan (using the term loosely) which Troy State offered at the time was very convoluted, and had no provisions for "PPO", "in-network" or other such tedium. Basically, your DDS and DMD folk didn't wish to deal with Blue Cross' dental plans. Which left one to write a check for the entire procedure, and then file ones' own papers with the insurer. 6-8 weeks later, one would get a check .... often for far less than what one might've hoped.

Except for one. This one dentist, who'd practiced in Troy for eons (he still had his office in a very dated and dank '50s-era hole-in-the-wall on North Three Notch), filed BCBS for their patients and would balance-bill for the remainder. Just one. So I had little choice in the matter.

That first visit was a cleaning. Not too bad, although it was a bit rough .... this dentist made John Wayne look like John Ritter. Remarkably, I had just one (1) cavity after nearly a decade's worth of neglect. However, his chairside manner -- or lack thereof -- kept me away from the chair for several more years.

I managed to keep my stalling under Gran Lera's radar, but then she died in 1992. Off the hook! Yeah, right. I began having a small toothache along about early Summer 1995.

Then, as before, only one dentist was "affordable." So back to "Dr. Allen" I went. After getting "The Royal Bitching-Out", he performed a filling on the recalcitrant molar.

But wait, there's more.

I needed another cleaning. But this time it was worse. I had to have what's called a "root planing and scaling." Google it, if you wish, but for this session we'll call it "The Cleaning From Hades." It would be done in two (2) separate sessions -- two quadrants per sitting.

And in July 1995 I went in for Part One. I wasn't all that anxious -- just a bit, ohhhhh, nervous. Well, I hoped that I might have a little 'sedation' for this (cue up The Ramones!). Oh noooo, Dr. Allen don't do no steenkin' nitrous. "You're grown, you don't need nitrous," he said, with all the warmth of both my mother and my ex-wife.

The next ~20 minutes of my life following his flippant remarks echo to this day. This is when my mouth received more novacain shots than should be humanely possible! Ohhhh, he was a 'painless' dentist, all right. He sprayed a topical anesthetic in the area where his big-ass needle was fixin' to take its plunge. But did he wait for its effects to begin? Nope, he started poking nearly immediately after he sprayed.

Lather, rinse, repeat. 12 times. 12 doggie-style butt-@#$%ing times.

Did it hurt? Did the severely dented chair handles answer his question? Nope -- his next words were classic. "Aw come on, that doesn't hurt."

After I was uncomfortably numb, the worst was over. The sore teeth after the novacain wore off was kind of anticlimactic. But nothing compared to what was still hanging over me: PART TWO. Quadrants three and four. Or is that two and four? One and Three? (like some bass-ackward two-LP albums)

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 12 more times. Hell, I think Dr. Allen might've given me a Dentist's dozen.

*********
And that, friends, takes us to 2007. Is it any wonder that, given the choice, I'd rather stand outside in a summer thunderstorm in Orlando, Florida instead of seeing another dentist? (yes, lightning is a phobia of mine - didn't used to be, but then came two occasions when I've been indirectly struck. Long stories, I'll tell on request. But I suspect lightning pales when compared to dentistry.)

Incredibly enough, my teeth have held together fairly well, considering. But this past Summer I began experiencing sensitivity on a couple of back molars, one of which also gave some intermittent light pain. I sucked it in, and made an appointment for an x-ray and 'checkup.' They did the x-rays, and while the damage isn't as bad as I feared (one cavity, one cracked tooth and one 'leaky filling' -- requiring one filling and two crowns. Uh-uh. One filling, one crown and one extraction. I'll be golldurned if I'm gonna crown a back-most molar. Pull the fucker yesterday!).

Anyhoo, I'm looking at a little bit of dental work. But 12 years' worth of neglect has built up a lot of gunk, tartar, calculus, trigonometry, and remedial math on my teeth.

That's right, gang, another Root Planing. Two visits, two quadrants. And part one is Wednesday morning.

Now, this dentist has nitrous as an option. Trouble is, insurance doesn't cover it. And the gas carries a stiff price tag: 100 sugarless smackers. The dentist (whom I don't think I'm that crazy about, either; the assistant who did the x-rays, on the other hand, I liked. Very good and calm demeanor about him.) Anyway, the dentist wrote me an Rx for a handful of Valium®. Take one (1) pill before bedtime the night before, and one (1) pill in the morning. One (1) pill to make me larger, and one (1) pill to make me small. But the one (1) pill that Seraphim gave me doesn't do anything at all.

Why does that dentist look ten feet tall?

Whooookay, so here I am, armed with Valium®. I've never taken the stuff (although I'm sure a few people probably think that I could use it regularly), so I'm a little uneasy about whether this will take the edge off me.

As I said to the assistant back in August, as I regaled him with the tale of Dr. Allen, he is the poster child of why so many people have a phobia about dentistry.

I know I do.

Go figure -- I can go to the doctor and get poked and prodded for blood work, and it doesn't faze me in the least. Poke me in the elbow. Poke me in the finger. Hellfire and damnation, poke me in my pimpled white ass. But the idea of multiple injections in my mouthparts turns me whiter than my former boss in Troy when I turned in my resignation. I can barely take one novacain shot. Maybe two. But I'm not ready for six (as they told me it'd take).

Alas, it has to be done. My teeth aren't gonna get any better by abstaining any further. And just because I'm from Alabama does not mean I want to contribute to the corporate balance sheet of Poli-Grip, Inc.

Then again, the idea of dentures looks awfully good along about now.

Well, shit. I'll be glad when this is over with.

Ciao for niao.

--Ol' Gingivitis Gleck

19 November 2007

The apocalypse will not be televised....

Move over, Golden Throats and Ford Stereo For the '80s ... may I present Frank's Vinyl Museum: The Internet Home of Weird Records!

Would you go disco dancing with cereal monsters? Or listen to Ethel Merman singing her greatest hits in a disco setting? How about The Brady Kids covering The Beatles?

But that's just the cream of the crop. Dig deeper, and you'll see two dreaded words come together:

You haven't lived until you hear "Beer Barrel Polka" scored to a disco beat.

Listen, and (ahem) enjoy.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Part of a Good Nutritious Breakfast" Gleck

18 November 2007

A drive-by post (literally).

I was going through some pictures, and came upon one I'd forgotten about. It was taken in Cape Girardeau during my quick dash there and back a year and a half ago........

It's the only time I've ever seen European-style 7s on a road sign! I looked very closely to see if somebody might've added 'em after the fact. Nope, they look as if Missouri's DOT installed them like this.

What's more, there were two other 177 shields along this street which also had crossed-7 numerals.

Well, I found it neat. But that's to be expected, right? :-)

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Dot your 'i's and Cross your '7's" Gleck

14 November 2007

Nightmare in Studio 54

And then there was Ford tape #5. It's an RCA sampler, dated 1980, apparently before Big Corporate Interests acknowledged that, yes, contemporary music was here to stay and wouldn't be going away any time soon.

WARNING: I highly recommend giving any recently-eaten meal ample time for digestion before reading any further. I'm not responsible for any gastric discomfort on a full stomach.

This is so off-the-chart horrible that it should be repackaged by RHINO for a cousin to its Golden Throats anthologies.

Y'ready?

PROGRAM ONE: (man, talk about retro!)
NARRATION -- INTRODUCTION (this will be going to MP3 shortly and distributed to the "inner circle" via standard e-mail)

NICKELS AND DIMES / Dolly Parton

In 1977, Dolly had two of the biggest hits on the country chart.

Read that again. Slowly.

Ahem, no chart action here ... just spare change filler from her 1978 Heartbreaker LP.

ELEANOR RIGBY / Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops Orchestra

It was not about the music. It was about the models on the album covers, and nothing else. Any conductor who would wear a "U.S. Olympic Drinking Team" sweatshirt on an album cover should be expected to do the unexpected. He victimized every artist out there, and even The Beatles had to take their lumps, too.

GREASE / Living Disco
This was the first I'd ever heard of Living Disco. RCA gave us the sound that killed a million cats when they unveiled The Living Strings ... there was also The Living Guitars ... The Living Voices ... and, I guess, Living Disco. Grease is still the word. This is the version I'm sure Principal McGee would've preferred playing in the hallowed halls of Rydell High.

WHAT I FEEL IS YOU / Dave & Sugar
The door is always open ... just hit 'eject' and put in that Styx cassette instead. "What I Feel" was yet another filler cut from what no doubt was a filler LP. From the cut-out bin to your cassette player.

MUSIC BOX DANCER / The Living Strings Plus Two Pianos
As if Frank Mills' original wasn't MOR enough. Oh yeah, that's right -- Mills recorded for POLYDOR, and this was an RCA collection. Best of all, they added two pie-nanners to all the lushness. Bless their 81-key hearts.

By now you're probably wondering, "If this is RCA, then where in bleedin' hay-dees is the Floyd Cramer??" Uh-uh-uh-UH, Nipper -- don't touch that Victrola! We're not halfway through this tape yet.

TRAGEDY / Living Disco
No comment.

SO no comment.

AMAZING GRACE / Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Poops
It's better when played on an E-flat Drano can, a/k/a Your basic set of bagpipes. Or if sung with passion and soul by Rod Stewart (Every Picture Tells a Story, 1971)

UNCLE ALBERT/ADMIRAL HALSEY / Hugo Montenegro & His Orchestra
"We're so sorry", indeed.

PROGRAM TWO:

ROSSINI: WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE / Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Flops
Classical music for people not cultured enough to appreciate real classical music.

THANK YOU GOD FOR ONE MORE DAY / Odyssey
One for the youngsters. Odyssey was a black disco act best-known for their one-hit wonder "Native New Yorker." This song? More filler, sucker. Go buy the album.

MORNING HAS BROKEN / The Living Strings Plus Two Pianos
We're sorry, but morning has broken. Therefore, we're substituting afternoon. Hopefully we'll have it fixed by dawn tomorrow.

BOREL-CLERC: LA SORELLA MARCH / Arthur Treacher & The Boston Pisces
More dumbed-down classical. Longhair music with a "Toni" home perm.

SEASONS IN THE SUN / Floyd Cramer
What part of "RCA compilation" didn't you get?? Yup, here's Mr. Last Date himself, interpreting a page from the Rod McKuen book of poetry (and I hope that new roof started leaking very quickly!).

ORANGE BLOSSOM SPECIAL / Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass
Yeah, boy. Brass, and, since this is "Nashville", we gotta throw in a banjo or two for credibility. Crank this up in your F-150 and go yee-haw.

Why are the farm animals getting so nervous all of a sudden?

SEND IN THE CLOWNS / The Living Strings
DON'T BOTHER. THEY'RE HERE.

"Send in the cats" -- second violin on the fourth row needs another D-string.

DO YOU WANNA MAKE LOVE / Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius
Out of all the lightweight '70s pop, I would never have expected this one-hit wonder by Peter McCann to be performed in a C&W setting. (Jim Ed Brown, incidentally, hailed from Pine Bluff, Ark, and his family group The Browns started their career at KCLA radio. Talmadge Gleck also started his adult career working at KCLA. Co-winky-dink? Probably not.)

And yes, the song was terrible. I think I'd rather "just fool around"; there's not an Arby's in sight.

I WILL SURVIVE / Living Disco
My vote for best cover of this Gloria Gaynor disco classic goes to the band Cake.

And that's it. If anyone's interested, e-mail me and I'll see what I can do.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Living Blogger" Gleck

Ford has a better musical idea

Just when you thought I'd forgotten about my incredible cassetterriffic find last Saturday at the Salvation Army in Bluffton....

There were many Ford "Demonstration Tapes" produced throughout the '80s and into the '90s, most of them 'samplers' put out by the big record label groups, usually part of their 'special products' line. There were even such compilations on 8-track for those leisure-suit'ed souls to shove into that big hole in the dash while driving their new '75 Galaxie Country Squire, faux-woodgrain side panels and all, off the lot.

Five such tapes went home with moi. In addition to the first tape which caught my eye ("Stereo for the '80s" -- which deserves a separate post, just you wait!), there were some later-day compilations. Three of 'em are ARISTA samplers. A 1991-era tape reads like a who's-who of Adult Contemporary oatmeal. Taylor Dayne, Hall & Oates, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, and -- "one of these things is not like the other" -- a 1982 Alan Parsons album cut from Eye in the Sky ("Mammagamma").

All of those later-day tape compilations, including the ca. 1985 tape my grandmother had, were on LORAN cassettes. The tape stock wasn't anything to write home about, but Loran's selling point was its "Lexan Thermoplastic" tape housing, supposedly more resistant to extreme hot temperatures in a car.

But -- as always -- I digress. Another of the ARISTA collections, this from 1990, contained Kenny G's "Going Home" (which brought back my own days playing Pine Bluff's midday answer to John Tesh on KOTN) .... plus Lisa Stansfield's "You Can't Deny It." And, in case you can't get enough of Kenny G's house-rockin' saxophone (Delilah and her steely-dan live for it, I'm certain), there's another track: "I'll Never Leave You." That's what I was afraid of.

That tape was from Ford Electronics: Technology With a Purpose. Ya don't say. If there's anything I cannot stand, it's technology without any kind of rationale behind it. On the spine, it reads "Music System Reference Standard." Yeah, sure. Look, people, it wasn't a high-end Nakamichi or Alpine deck you were listening on, it was a stock Ford OEM factory receiver. Stick it there, and listen to the lo-fi sound while running down the battery in your Tempo as you're on the side of the interstate waiting ... patiently ... patiently? ... for AAA. Seriously, Ford could've put their demo tapes on 3-for-99¢ "Concertapes", and the average Joe Schmo listening on his sputtering '91 Tore-Ups--um, Taurus would be none the wiser.

Back to the point at hand, here's another ARISTA tape, circa 1988. This was the kind of eclectic mix I remember from my grandmother's tape. "Back to the Future" by The Outatime Orchestra. And remember the '88 olympics and Twitney Houston's "One Moment in Time"? I wish I could still forget. Well, it's on here. Also, more Kenny G (I'll pause while the soccer-moms all faint and swoon behind the wheels of their minivans -- Ford Aerostars, of course). Other curios: "Jamaica, Jamaica" by Special EFX ... "In the Mood" by The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel (sorry, no chickens) ... Satchmo's "What a Wonderful World" ... and, for the youngsters on our rrrrrrrreally big shew, Swing Out Sister's 1987 fluff-pop hit "Breakout."

Had enough of ARISTA? Me, too. I'll close this post with the lineup from a 1987 Ford demo tape from CBS Special Products.

SIDE A:
SOMEWHERE / Barbra Streisand
...is that tow truck. I've counted the number of button-copy reflectors in that big green sign in front of me. Twice.
HEADED FOR THE FUTURE / Neil Diamond
....thanks to being witnessed by Brother Love. Hal-lay-lew-ah.
I GOT LOST IN HER ARMS / Tony Bennett
Can't go wrong with Tony.
I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU DON'T WANT ME / Rosanne Cash
That's what the Tempo kept asking me in 1993, when I was car shopping.
LIVING IN THE PROMISELAND / Willie Nelson
A reliable Tempo? Or in a false sense of security that the jackbooted IRS thugs won't find him?
FOOLISH HEART / Steve Perry
A true 1984 adult contemporary flashback!

SIDE B:
FOREVER / Kenny Loggins
That was Jim Messina's answer when Kenny asked how long he'd keep Kenny's balls?
OH SHERRIE / Steve Perry
No, this does not have baggage. You-know-who d-e-t-e-s-t-e-d this song. All it took to make the woman apoplectic was to say, "Y'shoulda been gooooone!"
VOICES CARRY / Til Tuesday
I've always loved this song. A great '80s piece of power pop.
COURTSHIP / Bob James
In an '88 Taurus, broken down on the side of a lonely country road, just think of how much "courtship" can take place. Horsey sauce, anyone?
RESTHATHERIAN - THEME FROM THE COSBY SHOW / Grover Washington
Thursday night already? Damn, that tow truck is takin' forever......
OLYMPIC FANFARE AND THEME / John Williams
Ford Audio Systems. The official punch-line of the 1988 Olympics.

Comin' up ... a long distance dedication from Harvey, in a stalled Mercury Topaz outside of Inez, Kentucky, to Reuben at Wildcat Texaco in Paintsville ... "put down that ALE-8-1 and come give me a tow!"

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Tempo Tapeworm" Gleck

11 November 2007

Introducing ... The Blogger With Prestige

Our visit yesterday "north of the river" reminded the missus and me of all the pretentious growth that's taken root in the lowest-of-the-lowcountry.

The stretch of US-278 between I-95 and Hilton Head Island is fast becoming a monument to upper-crust retirement exhibitionism. Golfing communities. Planned cities (such as Tradition, South Carolina -- supposedly an actual town). Uppity gated neighborhoods.

And most of them, like the sheep they are, have the same kind of naming scheme:

The Links At Fox Hunt Crossing
The Shoppes At Deer Run Cove
The Mansions At Plutocracy Pointe

The Slums (Slummes?) At Ghetto Chase Ridge

Seraphim and I have a name for those kind of places: THE-ATs.

Frankly, I'm jealous. And it got me to thinking. What's stopping a couple of middle-class schmucks from doing the same thing??!!

So, in light of this epiphany, I bring you:

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a tee-time at 1:30 a.m. Don't laugh; it was all I could afford.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge Gleckke, Esq.

10 November 2007

Talmadge's Thrifty Treasure Trawl - Two

Ahhhhh, Saturday. What to do?

Easy. Seraphim and I made a sojourn across the river to Hardeeville to get Kitt's oil changed (the dealer does the first one free). Hard to believe it's already been nearly 4,000 miles we've traveled in her ... no, wait. That's about normal. We put lots of miles on our two carriages.

Well, after Kitt's crankcase enema, we took advantage of our proximity to Bluffton's Golden Corral -- far better than the mediocre GC we have in Savannah. There's rumor of Rincon getting one. We can only hope. Now, if only we can get a @#$%ing IHOP in our neighborhood. Please?

And after a most satisfying lunch, the two of us made a little side trip to the Salvation Army thrift store just down 278 from the 'Corral. Not much to speak of here, except for some curios I found in a cassette rack. For one:
It spoke to me. And I heard its voice. It said "Taaaaaaalmadge. Saaaaave me. Rescue me from this salvatory purgatory."

I looked further. And I found a total of five (5) such Ford cassette (pronounce: CASS-ette) tapes.
You remember cassettes ... don't you? They were about the size of your average iPod, except for being analog, storing far less amounts of music, and its uncanny ability to occasionally puke brown ribbons of retarded silly string whenever they got sick.

Somebody from the area (could it have been that goat from the O.C. Welch commercials?) dropped off these "demonstration" tapes at the Salvation Army. And I decided, at the price of 25 cents per each, they were all going home with Talmadge. (PS to Bolivar: "That one's going home with Franklin!")

Ford included these tapes with all new cars which had cassette decks installed. I remember one which Gran Lera had in her '86 Crown Vic station wagon (a/k/a "The Q.E. II"). Evidently other automakers did the same thing. Seraphim told me one came with her Hyundai Excel years ago. What I remember about the one GL had was that it contained samples of everything from classical to hard rock.

So, what about the cassette-equipped Ford head units? You know, the contraption containing the rectangular orifice into which you inserted the tape.........

Above is Ford's basic stereo radio/cassette deck, circa 1984-1992. A/K/A "KICKIN' SOUND SYSTEM!" And, having experienced this very model on a couple of different occasions, I can tell you that were you to have pulled it out and replaced it with the cheapest aftermarket unit you could find (rhymes with "Craig"), you'd be making a dramatic improvement in your sound experience.

And the frequency display on Mom's '86 T-bird and Dad's '87 Bronco -- both with the same type of factory unit seen above -- eventually burned out!

"So what station are we listenin' to again, Bubba?"

"I dunno. Our luck, it's that commie NPR stuff."

The tape deck's range was pathetic ... middling high-end, and hardly any bass. Trust me. I bought LPs back then (CDs beginning in 1986), and dubbed 'em onto TDK "SA" or Maxell "XL-II" chrome tapes, the Coke & Pepsi dual standard, for listening while in the car. Both tapes offered far superior dynamic range, even recording with a budget-line Realistic component tape deck, to the laughably horrid tape stock found on prerecorded tape albums.

The TDK and Maxell tapes (I leaned Maxell) shined in my car's Pioneer SuperTuner-III deck. Boy, that thing was a beauty. Great radio reception, too.

But those same tapes didn't sound so well when played in my mother's Thunderbird. Dad, though, was driving an '84 GMC Jimmy prior to buying the Bronco. The Delco tape deck in the Jimmy was quite good. GM radios, in general, could hold their own. Dunno about Chrysler. But Ford's radios from the late '70s into the 1990s were awful.

Fortunately, it appears that FoMoCo got on the ball. I rather like the audio system in our '08 Escape.

*********
Oh, and look what else I bought!

The original price tag for this two-pack of BASF tapes: $1.90.

Salvation Army Value Price: 25 cents.

Net savings from circa-1992 asking price: $1.65.

The confidence I'll sleep with tonight, knowing that my ass is covered just in case CD/Rs go out of style and the cassette tape becomes the in thing again: Priceless.


Hey, you never know when you'll need old-school blank recording media!

I'll dig into those Ford tapes and give the lowdown on the rundown in a future post, or two.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Have you listened to a cassette ... lately?" Gleck

07 November 2007

Savannah Night Fever!

News item: Mayor Otis Johnson gets reelected in a landslide. Below is the picture in today's Savannah Morning News.......

Does this mean we'll soon have mirror ball streetlights on Broughton?

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Never a boring time 'round these parts" Gleck

06 November 2007

Holy ... shitzu .....

So this morning I made a stop at the Kroger that's on my way to work. I had one (1) item on my list: one (1) can of Kroger brand solid white albacore tuna. The lunch of champions.

On my way to the canned meats section, I noticed on the soft drink endcap a curious sight: SQUIRT in 2-liter bottles. Okay, I've seen that off and on around Savannah over the last seven years. But never in cans, or even 20-oz. bottles.

On a whim, I scanned down the main soft drink aisle, and there they were.

SQUIRT 12-PACK CANS.

So maybe that Diet Squirt wasn't the fluke I was afraid it was.

And yeah, I bought a couple, why do you ask?

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Okay, make that THREE items" Gleck

04 November 2007

Where were you in '82?

I was in Rot Springs, Arkansas and wowwing the chicks in my hot rod Pacer. I was working evenings at a roach- and rat-infested radio station, and dating a girl from nearby Maggot -- er, um, Magnet Cove. Summertime '82 was in many ways a sweet time, and I was fixin' to begin my senior year in high school. Here is a musical snapshot from that time, courtesy of Casey Kasem. It's American Top 40, for the week ending 24 July 1982.

These, no doubt, were some of the hits Uncle Rico was jammin' to back in his glory days......

*40) THINK I'M IN LOVE / Eddie Money
The first of five songs debuting this week (which are asteriskally marked). Described my thinking along about this point for Dawn. Operative word: "think." T'was not love. Heck, I didn't know what love is (no, wait, this isn't a 1984 survey!) for another, ohhhhh, 16 years.

*39) YOUR IMAGINATION / Daryl Hall & John Oates
Fourth single from their 1981 Private Eyes LP. I always liked this one, although the Chart gods thought otherwise. Peaked at #33; any delusions of top ten-dom would be your imagination ... running away with yoooooou.....

38) LOVE PLUS ONE / Haircut One Hundred
Featuring lead singer Floyd "Delilah" Lawson, who was best known for his work with early '60s North Carolina skiffle group Barney & The Pyle Drivers.

Would you believe, Chief, a neat early '80s pop treasure ... among the first horses out of the MTV gate. The following week it would move up another notch, stalling out at #37 before its hair all fell down. This would be their only chart appearance, although another single "Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)" would be an early MTV video, um, favourite.

37) NICE GIRLS / Eye To Eye
Exactly what was an "ostracized guy", anyhow? This mystery didn't stop me from enjoying this marvelous song. Got some AOR airplay, but pop-wise it - like Haircut 100 above - would be a very low-end "one-hit wonder."

*36) PAPERLATE / Genesis
File under: Usual and customary practice by The Savannah Morning News' carriers. From the album Three Sides Live. So named because .... well, guess, genius! "Paperlate" was from side four, one of a handful of studio tracks.

35) I'VE FOUND SOMEBODY / Glenn Frey
I've always thought of Frey as the Garfunkel to Don Henley's Paul Simon. But GF's first album, 1982's No Fun Aloud, held its own. This was the first release, but the follow-up would be his biggest hit, "The One You Love." From here it would be all downhill for small Frey.

34) KIDS IN AMERICA / Kim Wilde
Empty pop, with all the filling qualities of cotton candy. In other words: Meh.

*33) AMERICAN MUSIC / The Pointer Sisters
It's an American Two-fer! Didn't care much for this'un; not among my favorites of the Points'.

32) IF THE LOVE FITS / Leslie Pearl
Memories of the automated FM station which I had the honor of babysitting after signing off the AM at sunset. KSPA "Stereo 96 Plus -- where the plus is in the music" was a weird blend of VERY light adult contemporary, MOR and outright muzak. ITLF was on the current reel during this period.

31) HOOKED ON SWING / Larry Elgart & His Manhattan Swing Orchestra
A/K/A "Stars On Scratchy 78s" It started with "Stars on 45" a year or so earlier, and it seemed like every freakin' music genre had to jump into the medley pool. Like all other early '80s medleys, it had that bomp!-clap! beat, resonating like a retarded metronome.

30) OUT OF WORK / Gary U.S. Bonds
Look what Bruce Springsteen pulled from out of mothballs. It smelled the same, too. It's about 11:35 in the evening ... a quarter to three was a long time ago.

*29) LOVE WILL TURN YOU AROUND / Kenny Rogers
From the redneck movie Six Pack, and a smash for Kenny "I Smell Roasted Chicken" Rogers. The intro brings it all back ... the song was on both the current reel at "Stereo 96 Plus", and in the hit rotation at KBHS "The Mighty 590", which meant I played it to death. That is, if I could get the cockroaches off the turntable long enough to cue it.

28) PLAY THE GAME TONIGHT / Kansas
Kansas, I don't think we're doing as well as Toto anymore. (Uh-oh, is that Liza Minnelli I hear coming to beat me up for dissing her mama?)

27) LOVE IS IN CONTROL (FINGER ON THE TRIGGER) / Donna Summer
Disco Diva Donna comes back for the '80s! Like This Song, Or I'll Kill Your Heart.

26) YOU SHOULD HEAR HOW SHE TALKS ABOUT YOU / Melissa Manchester
Ohhhh, a lot of women talked about Talmadge Gleck. Hoooooo, did they ever. *cringes*

25) GOING TO A GO-GO / The Rolling Stones
I forgot how wonderful this one sounded on the radio in '82. But not on the top-40 stations, just the one AOR in central Arkansas at the time. Both top-40s in Little Rock were under siege by narrow-minded program directors. I was what one might call a "chart geek" during my junior and senior years in high school, and I kept up with what all the stations played.

One (KKYK) was mainstream top-40, and they never went near anything until it hit top 20, and no guarantees even then. For instance, songs like "Pressure" and "Tainted Love" were never played in Little Rock. The other station (KLAZ 98.5) was so urban-skewed it wasn't even funny. If it was a hip-hop record, it got added in a flash ... but mainstream product was never added until it was nearly top 10.

Rock songs were heard in central Arkansas, and so was the black stuff. Unfortunately, a great number of mainstream pop songs fell through the cracks. What's truly laughable is that KKYK carried AT40 on Sunday mornings. Some weeks, as many as half (!) of the songs in a given week were nowhere near the rotation!!

24) EARLY IN THE MORNING / The Gap Band
Named not after the clothing store. GAP formed the initials of the streets in Tulsa where its members grew up: (G)reenwood, (A)rcher and (P)ine.

23) TAKE IT AWAY / Paul McCartney
Macca strikes again! Of note in personal lore because it was on the radio as I entered the parking lot of school on the first day of 12th grade. As such, I heard it going through my head all day long. (I smell another blog topic.......)

22) VACATION / The Go-Gos
I can never again think of this one without Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11 coming to mind.

21) WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I / Rick Springfield
Not enough of one to diss what I consider one of his weaker songs. I don't want my wife, who is Rick Goddess #1, to show me the door.

20) PERSONALLY / Karla Bonoff
More post-disco backlash/hangover adult contemporary passing for early '80s top-40. If you like it, that's fine ... just so long as you don't take my slight perso----oh, forget it.

19) STILL THEY RIDE / Journey
This just might be my favorite of their songs. Love it now, loved it then, back when I could bloody hear it (see: "Little Rock top-40s snubbed it", also second entry "So did the AOR station"). This was one big reason I was really pining for Cape Girardeau by this time. Up there, the top-40s were so quick jumping on records that by the time they appeared on AT40, you were already burned out on 'em!

18) TAKE ME DOWN / Alabama
Another "first radio job" memory. As with Kenny's "Turn You Around", TMD was on both the AM and FM stations (pronounced "Am and "Fum").

17) ANY DAY NOW / Ronnie Milsap
Seems to be a lot of country crossover product on here, doesn't it? Memories of top-40's last days as truly a Wal-Mart of music. Another year later, and the "Hot Hits" renaissance would hit, purging all the AC and C&W oatmeal and keeping the high-energy pop, rock and urban intact.

16) WASTED ON THE WAY / Crosby, Stills & Nash
A perfect title for an autobiography, should David Crosby choose to write one.

15) CAUGHT UP IN YOU / .38 Special
Overrated Skynyrd wannabes who spent a little too much time at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

14) EVEN THE NIGHTS ARE BETTER / Air Supply
When I hear Air Supply, I often find myself in need of it.

13) DO I DO / Stevie Wonder
The man never missed. I don't think Stevie is capable of making a bad record. A few I didn't care for, yes, but never a truly bad song. "Do I Do" was tailor-made for carefree good times during 1982's Summer.

12) LOVE'S BEEN A LITTLE BIT HARD ON ME / Juice Newton
More country crossover crap.

"Hey Butthead, heh heh, she said 'hard'."
"Yeah, Beavis. 'Hard.' Huhuhuhuh-huh-huh"

11) HARD TO SAY I'M SORRY / Chicago
Played without its epilogue, the hard-drivin', reminds-you-of-old-Chicago "Get Away." Ask my son what he thinks of this record, and you'll keel over and die from the look he'll give you (last year his school's marching band featured this during its halftime shows). Can't say that I blame him. I'm just as fond of it myself.

10) KEEP THE FIRE BURNIN' / R-E-O Speedwagon
Another windows-down, blast-the-radio high school cruising song. Yeah. Every time I hear it, even today, I wish it were 1982 again and Friday night, circa 9:30.

And just be quiet and stifle those guffaws. Yes, I cruised in a @#$%ing Pacer. You know how to kick a man when he's down.

9) ONLY THE LONELY / The Motels
Martha Davis was quite the looker (I've always been a sucker for brunettes, as if you haven't figured that one out yet), and she could sing a cool tune, too. I give it four diamonds, and a complimentary membership in AAA, Best Western and Mobil Travel Guide.

8) TAINTED LOVE / Soft Cell
Something's wrong. We're into the top ten, and I've liked all the songs so far. What gives?

7) DON'T YOU WANT ME / The Human League
Okay, we have a dip into "meh." Nothing says "1980s" like a group who plays nothing but synthesizers. "Look at us, we're on MTV. Who cares what we're playing??"

6) ABRACADABRA / The Steve Miller Band
Compared with the rest of SMB's repertoire, it comes up short. But on top-40 radio a quarter century ago (AAAACK!!!), it was as magical as its title.

5) LET IT WHIP / Dazz Band
Don't let the door whip you on the way out, Daz'

4) HOLD ME / Fleetwood Mac
First time I ever heard it, I was driving down 270 toward Magnet Cove, and my first date with Dawn. The AOR station jumped on it, but - in typical LR fashion - it took awhile for it to slog up the dial from 105.1 to 103.7 and then 98.5. I love this song, always have. Okay video, too.

3) HURT SO GOOD / John Cougar
Mellen-whaaaaa? I've never liked it. No, sir. I don't like it. I don't hate it, ala "Karma Chameleon" ... but HSG just doesn't do anything for me.

2) ROSANNA / Toto
One night with Dawn, over a deep-dish pepperoni at Pizza Hut, I counted the number of times the name gets said. Tally marks on a napkin. The answer? 21.

And the #1 hit of the week on 07/24/1982?

1) EYE OF THE TIGER / Survivor

Played to all nine deaths of the cat in the song title. Has the taste of some of that Hilton Head IHOP bacon.

Ahhhhh, what a time. You can keep the Pacer, Hot Springs, Dawn and everything else with it. But I'll hold on to some of the records and a lot of the memories. What's remarkable here is that while I disliked my share of the above songs, I can't honestly say I truly reviled anything.

And there you have it. Summertime 1982 and some good listening.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "THESE SONGS ARE NOT OLDIES!!!!" Gleck

02 November 2007

'Cause I'm a blond / B-L....I don't knoooooow!

Argument in favor of sending "beauty" pageants to the glue factory:



My question is, can she locate South Carolina on a map???

Ciao for niao

--Talmadge "yeah YEAH yeah" Gleck

01 November 2007

It ain't easy bein' .... oh never mind.

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.
While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.
Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.
You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.


Seraphim's right, though. I'm more the "burnt umber" type.

Or, in the Crayola box of 64 prior to 1962, "flesh."

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "7-UP bottle" Gleck