31 December 2007

End-of-the-year Moi-Moi

Best Album: Tie - Memory Almost Full by Paul McCartney and Raising Sand from Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Macca bounces back and Robert Plant delivers the surprise of a decade, if not millennium.

Best Non-Fiction: Something I'm reading right now, in fact ... Bob Sullivan's book Gotcha Capitalism. Very eye-opening. Also very depressing as hell. Does your butt hurt? We should; we get done doggie-style by American businesses each day.

Best TV Series: Seraphim watches 95% of the television in this household. About the only things I watch are Letterman, Family Guy and Robot Chicken.

Best Fiction: Haven't read a piece of fiction in many moons.

Best Kids’ Music: I try to avoid it as much as possible. I damn near rejoiced the day my son decided he'd outgrown "Radio Disney."

Best Movie: One we saw recently, in fact: Waitress. Honk your car's horn multiple times if you agree.

Best Sign of the Apocalypse: That we have a halfway good chance of another Clinton in the White House.

Best Comeback of the Year: "Cable is faster than DSL ... so what? A Corvette is faster than a Camry, but what good is a Corvette when it's in the shop half the time??!!" -- said to the Comcast representative as I was preparing to drop 'em and go with DSL.

Best Old TV show you are just getting into: My wife (who watches the $$ we pay for Dish Network) is the only reason we even have such television. Me, I'd have gone straight "OTA" (Over The Air) when we dropped Comcast in February. She can like it for me; personally I think cable/satellite is the biggest ripoff in this country today. $70 a month, and 90-95% of it is the same donkey vomit .... very little, if any, classic TV anymore, and reality shows and infomercials out all of our body orifices.

Best grocery store: Our local Kroger, I suppose.

Best (Summer) Vacation: We don't do Summer, we instead do Winter. Looking very forward to West Virginia in February.

Proudest Accomplishments this year: Braving, and ultimately conquering a gripping fear of the dentist chair.

Goals for Next Year: Realistic, or "yeah, right!"? Weight is still static -- at least I haven't gained any. To start seriously walking ... can I do this? We both bombed the Y experiment for a multitude of reasons. More realistic goal: for Seraphim and I to make it to March of this year, when we can celebrate TEN YEARS together.

Most Exciting Sports Moment of the Year: Is that guy still in the Wide World of Sports opening? You know, that skier wiping out as the announcer says "...and the agony of defeat!"

Saddest moment of the year: I'd have to say the recent death of Ginger.

Happiest moment of the year: Driving down New River Gorge, and, with Seraphim at my side, looking upward toward the "new" bridge while standing on the "old" one. Either that, or else standing with my wife at the Hawk's Nest Overlook about 40 miles away, looking at some profoundly beautiful mountain scenery.

26 December 2007

CHRISTMAS 2007: Fah-ra-ra-ra-RAH!

Or, in the vernacular of another blogger:
Hampton Inn, 9:35 p.m. My Cookie's Fortune, Let Me Read You It.

Saturday, I took Seraphim over to meet her parents at the Cracker Barrel in Dublin, Ga. She was going back over there with 'em until I would join the rest of the clan later on Christmas Eve. First, I had to work (although a short day) on Monday. Plus, I needed to get caught up on some stuff, and get the house spiffy'ed up for the arrival of Tiger, and our nephew Boogie.

So. It all started Christmas Eve afternoon, when, after getting off of work (not to be confused with "getting off ON work"), I started toward the wilds of Albany, Georgia (pronounced "all-BINNY jaw-juh"). Most folks pronounce this city's name the way it's said in New York. But the "old timers" put the accent on the last syllable, calling it "all-BINNY" ... I like it, for some twisted reason, and will catch myself calling it that from time to time. But of course, I have another name for the city: Pine Bluff, Georgia. Trust me, if you've been to that Arkansas "city", you know what I mean. Let's just say that we can easily feel like grains of salt in a big-ass pile of pepper, and leave it at that.

The in-laws, however, live outside The 'Binny in a place called Putney. It's a tranquil aggregation of two convenience stores, a liquor store and a Subway along US-19. And one of the neighborhoods off of said 19 includes the dwelling where my wife's parents live (and my SIL with her two kids, since they're friggin' HOMELESS ..... but that's another rant).

ANYhoo, since the house is, ummmm, more than a bit full, and bedding arragements maxed out (room - barely - for one of us, but not both), we booked a room at the Hampton Inn for the 24th. And seeing as how we had enough Hilton Honors points for a free room, we paid a grand total of $.00 for the privilege.

Seraphim had already checked into the room when I got there, and we then had a dilemma on our hands. It's after 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Actually, it was after 9 PM. Most all eatin' places were already locked down for the holiday. Even Steak 'n' Shake. I had the mistaken assumption that Albany had a specimen of the restaurant species Alwaysopennus Dennybus. Nope, no Denny's. Ass out of me. Not Seraphim. I'll take the hit.

The only place open for dining at 9:15 p.m. appeared to be the Krystal drive-thru. Go ahead and give me the whole golldurned pack of "Rolaids" just for the idea. What's more, the line of cars was spilling out onto the street. Seriously.

We continued along Dawson Road, and by now I was settling for a suppertime fate of uncooked brown & serve rolls from the next open convenience store we saw.

But then my wife looked toward a strip center we were passing, and she made a profound observation: "Great Wall of China is open!" Suddenly, a meal of cashew chicken and steamed white rice entered my head. And Seraphim was now jonesin' for some mixed veggies. Yes! Chinese food on Christmas Eve!

As I turned into the parking lot, I recalled that scene from A Christmas Story .... the one in the Chinese restaurant. "Fah-ra-ra-ra-raaaah!"

Thankfully, it wasn't all that crowded. Just two folks ahead of us, waiting for their orders. We placed ours, and in the usual tee-mee-net, we had our vittles and were on our way back to the hotel. Drinks were already covered; my wifely one had a Coke waiting for me in the room fridge.

I ate my steamed rice and cashew chicken (ordered without veggies - just the squab 'n' nuts 'n' sauce, yummm yum!), we had ourselves a Christmas Eve dinner that could NOT be beat, and we went to bed, and didn't get up until the very next morning, when we were paid a visit by Officer Santa.

No, what really happened was we ate our food, and then it came time for the fortune cookie.

Ah yes, the Chinese restaurant fortune cookie. Always full of generic, passe and trite happy-happy Pollyanna fortunes. Oh, and your 'winning' Lotto numbers on the other side of the little slip.

I cracked open my cookie, expecting the above. And I got a pleasant surprise........

Holy crap, I don't think I've ever before had a fortune cookie read my cotton-pickin' mind.

*********
Christmas morning, we were at the in-laws, and after that I went up toward Columbus where I met Whatzername and she "passed the Tiger baton." We met the rest of the crew at "Grandmother's" house (Seraphim's maternal grandmother) ... and, with "Rupert" all loaded up, we started back toward Rincon. Left about 6:50 and, after a mostly rainy trip, got back home just before 11:00.

It was a surreal trip. I was driving, Seraphim was up front, and we had two kids and a dog in the backseat. For nearly four hours, it felt like an alternate reality: that we were a nice, complete, not broken, happy family.

Today we're just hanging out. Tiger is in his room playing the bass part from "Come Together", our nephew Boogie and Aunt Sera are watching something on Toon Disney, and I'm finishing up a blog. This evening will be dinner and a movie. Movie is TBA; we have to see what Movie Gallery has on their shelves.

Tomorrow I'm working, and will meet the rest of 'em for supper at Ci Ci's. Then we'll pair off -- Seraphim will take Boogie to Toys R Us to let him spend his gift card; Tiger and I will head down to Circuit City so he may annihilate his gift card from his uncle, and the other little money gifts he received. My calculations show he'll have a grand total of $185 to spend there. Or $125 to spend elsewhere. He's hankerin' for a new MP3 player. I believe 185 smackers'll do the trick.

It was an interesting Christmas. But dammit to hell and back, I'm glad 12/25 is over with!!!

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Chillin" Gleck

20 December 2007

Stand by for BLOG!

It's amazing how a name buried in an otherwise unrelated message-board post can bring so much to my mind's forefront. It's a name and a voice I've known from just about day one of my recollectable childhood.

In spite of pushing 90, he's still going strong. He has an unforgettable style of announcing. His catch-phrases are universally known. He might be infuriatingly right-wing in his political views, however there's no denying his incredible talent of storytelling. And his diction, that broken staccato rhythm ... in 56 (!) years, it's become a recognizable trademark.

In the day, even a large number of top-40 stations carried his broadcasts. One five-minute program in the morning, a 15-minute show at noon, and a five-minute feature, The Rest of the Story, in the afternoon.

Of course I'm talking about Paul Harvey. The 'official' name of his show is Paul Harvey News And Comment, and it's been featured on the ABC Radio Network since 1951. For a time -- late '60s into the '70s -- he also syndicated a five-minute television commentary, as well. That's the first recollection I have of Paul Harvey. The TV module was seen both in Birmingham and in Huntsville following the 6:00 local news.

After we moved to Mississippi, I'd hear Harvey on WTUP/Tupelo. It was always on the radio as Mom took my brother and me to school each morning. What I remember best about Paul Harvey's morning newscast was how he came out of the opening commercial on Fridays: "Good morning, Americans .... it's .... FRIIII-DAAAAAY!!!" I lived to hear that, as an official affirmation that week's end was near, and Donny & Marie were waiting that evening at 7:00.

In 1978, we moved to Cape Girardeau, Mo. And Harvey followed us there, because on their local top-40 (KGMO), Paul Harvey was on the air, complete with his cleverly-disguised commercials, made to resemble real news stories, and partitioned only by his "PAGE TWO!!", "PAGE THREE!!", etc. I remember most of the sponsors well ... Buick ... Banker's White Cross ... True Value Hardware ... the Bose Acoustic Wave Machine ... Allstate Insurance .... I'm sure there were more. And they work, too. Because when I hear "True Value" (as in, hardware), I hear those words in Harvey's voice.

In 1982 we left Missouri for Rot--er, Hot Springs, Ark., where Harvey was carried on KBHS, The Mighty 590. My first radio job.

I think my only breather from Paul Harvey occurred in college. Then, when I entered 'the real world' in the garden spot known as Pine Bluff, Ark., it was heard "four times daily" on KOTN. And I had the honor of running one of said times. 12:06-12:21 p.m. Since I had the midday shift, it gave me 15 minutes to wolf down a sandwich, or whatever I brought for lunch.

There were the "bumper snickers", the "traveling microphone", and of course, "Our 'For What It's Worth' Department...." which always prefaced a funny 'kicker' story, followed by his iconic close: "Paul Harveyyyy ................ good-DAY!!"

And one Fall day in 1989, Paul Harvey caused a 24-year-old Talmadge Gleck to completely lose his composure on the air. He was delivering his FWIW segment (the above intro was always my 'warning cue', should I have been distracted onto something else, edible or otherwise). Harvey was reporting on a doctor who lost his license to practice medicine. The reason? He had his female patients completely disrobe. "Okay", I thought to myself, "What's the big deal? He's a doctor, right?"

Then Paul Harvey laid down the punchline. And it wasn't just that, it way the way he delivered it. "Dr. Smith ... was ... an optometrist-PAUL-harveyyyyyy..." He said it in such a way as to almost minimalize it. But suddenly my mind had the image of a nude woman reading an eye chart, with a horny eye doctor off to the side (the one in Employee of the Month, perhaps? "Are you staring at my breasts?" "I don't know.").

And then came "good-DAY!" He was finished, and I was on. And I began howls of laughter. I couldn't stop, either. I went straight to a promo spot. However, 30 seconds wasn't enough time to regain composure. I could barely get through the weather. I thought I'd made it, but then I looked at the record which I'd cued up .... some 10 minutes earlier.

The record was Jackson Browne's 1972 hit "Doctor My Eyes."

Ahhhh yes, that's my unforgettable memory of Paul Harvey.

*********
In my vast vintage radio vault, I have a copy of a News And Comment program from 1963 which Paul Harvey made from Savannah, Georgia. It's really something to listen to; his voice and delivery haven't changed one iota in 40+ years.

I have another piece of audio in my collection, a fun parody of Paul Harvey's commentary, done by a guy who called himself "Harvey Appalling." He had Harvey's entire style down nicely, even using his catchphrases to devastatingly humorous effect.

And then there's the brilliantly-produced piece of audio put together by someone back at WTBF/Troy, Ala. (which - surprise! - began taking Harvey when they joined ABC in 1999 after the demise of Mutual) . It's a montage of Paul Harvey's catch-phrases, set to a hip-hop beat.

*********
The man is 89 years old. And he's been married to the same woman for more than 60 years, a woman to whom he proposed over their first date. Her real name is Lynne, but he gave her a name on that day, and it's a name he's used to refer to her on-air ever since: Angel.

That's neat. Paul Harvey has an "Angel." And I have a "Seraphim."

Back in May, Harvey announced that his wife was stricken with Leukemia. And his voice broke on-air while saying as much. While I didn't hear this broadcast, it's sobering to imagine this singly distinctive voice crossing the line into emotion. Sure, Arthur Godfrey broke down on-air during the funeral procession of FDR ... but he was Arthur Godfrey. This was the stoic Paul Harvey. A comforting voice of strength and durability.

Yet I could understand it. Paul Harvey loves his wife very much. I gathered as much from how he'd talk about "Angel" while I was at KOTN.

He's 89, and, like the other great voices of radio's greatest days, isn't getting any younger. While I think Paul Harvey is a bit looney with some of his politics, for me it's easy to separate the beliefs from the man. I don't listen to his broadcasts with regularity, but it doesn't mean I won't miss him when he's gone. I have a melancholy feeling that when "Angel" becomes a real one, that Paul won't be far behind. Some marriages are like that. Johnny Cash and June Carter come quickly to mind. I think of Seraphim and I can understand - completely - what that feeling is like.

And now you know ... the rest of the post.

Talmadge Gleck...................ciao-for-NIAO!!

19 December 2007

Route 301: Episode 1

A QUEEN FARTIN' PRODUCTION! STARRING TALMADGE GLECK AS "BUZZ", AND SERAPHIM GLECK AS "LIZZ", TWO COMMON FOLK TRAVERSING "THE OTHER MOTHER ROAD" IN A VINYL-TOP '67 AMC AMBASSADOR, GETTING INTO ALL SORTS OF ADVENTURES AND TRYING TO OUTWIT THEIR ARCH-NEMESIS, DEPUTY EARL OF LUDOWICI.

TONIGHT'S EPISODE: "LOBSTER TALES"!! ..... BROUGHT TO YOU BY SUPER-CHARGED AND SUPER-LEADED GOOD GULF "NO-NOX" GASOLINE. IF THIS GAS HAD ANY MORE LEAD IN IT, IT'D BE FROM CHINA! PREMIUM-PRICED AT 35 CENTS A GALLON, TOO. ONLY AT YOUR GULF DEALER!
= = = = = = = = =
The town: Allendale, South Carolina. One of many towns bisected by "Old 301", food and lodging meccas along a thriving "short cut to Florida." The passage of the Interstate Highway Act in 1956 spelled eventual downfall for most small burgs like Allendale which soon would become bypassed when the interstate highways were to be finished. Some towns had the fortune of being along the planned routing of these new highways. Alas, the same could not be said for motels and many restaurants in places like Allendale, Bamberg, Sylvania and Glennville. Their days were numbered.

Some towns were cut off as quickly as the late '50s, and began to wither on the vine into the 1960s. Fortunately for 301 (if more inconvenient for travelers who wanted to get to point-B quicker), the completion of I-95 through South Carolina and Georgia was late in coming. Allendale, et al, therefore had a lot more borrowed time, as the last link of 95 wasn't opened until 1978!

Shall we take a nice siesta?
If you were a truck driver, and used 301 as your route to points southward, I'm sure you found the "Interstate Truck Terminal" outside Allendale as an appealing place to have a bite to eat, maybe a refreshing shower, and a tank of Pure "Super Energee" Diesel for your 18-wheeler:
Above is the aptly-named Interstate truck stop, pictured in a 1963 Pure Oil directory. Nowadays, it doesn't look so good:
So, what killed this truck stop? What a profoundly sad irony, eh?

Just like up the road a piece in Santee, the town of Allendale is another "Radiator Springs" overflowing with decaying reminders of an earlier time. It used to have its own Holiday Inn. And the town was home to a certain orange-roofed roadside icon:
In 2006, here's how it looked:
Simple Simon and Pieman have both moved on.

* * * * * * * * *
Now, you might've been passing through Allendale around mealtime, and found yourself captivated by the really cool neon sign outside of this restaurant:
Approved by AAA and recommended by Duncan Hines back in those salad days, the Lobster House provided a good seafood experience as a prelude to what the traveler would find in even greater abundance in Florida.

And today?
The sign, though weatherbeaten, remains. And although it looked to be closed the day we passed through town, the Lobster House appears to still be in operation, if various online references are any indication (including one "motorcycle club" which meets here).
Note to self: find out for sure ... and if The Lobster House is still in business, it would make for a nice day trip and lunch one Saturday. If so, then it'll be worth the drive, because if the food isn't good, it wouldn't be supported by the only remaining clientele base: the LOCALS.

Greetings from the old highway. Having a great time, wish it all were still here.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Retro Wayfarer" Gleck

17 December 2007

1962 A.D., Paradise Restaurant

For the benefit of anyone who might have half a curiosity about the picture I'm currently using for the title graphic, it's the abandoned Paradise Restaurant ... located in south Screven County, Georgia at the intersection of Georgia 17 and U.S. 301. It's one of many, many such empty and decaying relics along what used to be a thriving East coast arterial. And Highway 301, dearfolk, was just as busy and robust as a certain over-commercialized Chicago-to-L.A. corridor we're all familiar with.

Well, here's the above picture (which I took in the Spring of 2006) "in the clear", as we in the radio bidness like to say:
The Paradise is located in a pecan grove (and that's pronounced "PEE-can"), adjacent to a motel which also shares this name. In its prime, both served as an oasis of sorts along 301 between the cities of Sylvania and Statesboro. Evidently, this was the second building to house this eatery. Plenty of old, linen postcards abound on the 'net which show the original structure. I'd been looking in vain for one that showed this building. Lo and behold, I finally found one:
It's postmarked 1962. Okay, so it still had the old sign. Don't you just love that orange and teal color scheme?? And those hanging light fixtures visible through the plate-glass windows.

Yeah, yeah, it's these times when I wish I was 52 instead of 42. To have been able to experience a lot more of real Americana first-hand.

Okay, here's the deal: if Seraphim and I win Powerball, we're gonna buy this place and return it to her beautiful original space-age grandeur. That neon sign out front, by gollydurn, is gonna have every last tube restored, and it will again flash a siren call along US-301's roadside.

All this time, I've been bitching and moaning about the lack of a good artery-constrictin' Friday night fried seafood buffet around here. Well, I'd make one happen.

There might not be as many Florida-bound tourists along this two-lane blacktop, however we'll bring 'em in from Statesboro, Millen, Sylvania, Newington, Springfield, Waynesboro .... if you build it, they will come. I have to know I'm not the only one craving a good Friday night seafood spread.

The Paradise will come back to life. And it will become highly-renowned for its cakes, pastries and other baked goods. I happen to know somebody who tinkers a little with cake-makin' on the side. I share a bed with her.

And, in the event Nettiemac wants to join us, we'll offer The Paradise Tiki Room in the back.

It doesn't hurt to dream. It really doesn't.

"And so, my friends, we'll say goodnight,
for time has claimed his prize,
but tonight can always last,
as long as we keep alive,
the mem'ries of Paradise"
--Dennis DeYoung, Styx

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Recommended by Duncan Hines" Gleck

16 December 2007

Part of the plan?

I sit here, reminiscing about Dan Fogelberg, of all people. Earlier today, he lost his fight with prostate cancer.

Yes, I know the jokes. I've told a few a time or two myself, especially on my old classic rock show back in Alabama, Thursday on the Rocks.

To many, Fogelberg helped personify the 'wimped-out singer/songwriter' idiom during much of the 1980s, thanks to balladeer hits like "Leader of the Band", "Make Love Stay", "Same Old Lang Syne" ("...and we ripped off our clothes in the Chef Boy-Ar-Dee aisle, then proceeded to screw each other silly in front of Toucan Sam...") , and of course, the ever-popular wedding standard "Longer." (which we had sung, nicely, by Nettiemac at the Tal/Sera joining in '01).

But it's not completely fair to throw Fogelberg into the "oatmeal" pile. He could rock out, a lot more often than many give him credit for.

My favorite DF album would have to be his second effort, the Joe Walsh-produced Souvenirs (1974). It was notable for the backup musicianship he used -- Joe Walsh himself (guitars), Graham Nash (harmony vocals), Al Perkins (steel guitar), and damn near every member of The Eagles. It was a fantastic record, and one I still enjoy listening to. "Part of the Plan" was the album's one hit release (and Fogelberg's first top 40 single), and it also contained tracks like the very Eagles-ish "Someone's Been Telling You Stories", "There's a Place in the World for a Gambler", and my favorite - "As the Raven Flies."

I was also somewhat fond of 1978's Twin Sons of Different Mothers, the first of two collaborations with jazz flutist Tim Weisberg. "The Power of Gold" was the single release (peaked at #25), but "Tell Me to My Face" was one for the "rock" column.

Phoenix (1980) was a mixture -- part rock and a creeping hint of his eventual slide into the cream-of-wheat. Ditto for his next effort, 1981's The Innocent Age. Now there's an album full of memories, recalling happy times in latter-day Cape Girardeau.

It was the rock-leaning Fogelberg which got lots of airplay in and around Cape, especially KYMO and the old Q-99. The Q went very deep into The Innocent Age, an album unfairly tarred for the sappy hits (like "Run for the Roses" - ecch!). Dig deeper into that album and you'll hear a great deal of rock.

Y'know, the 1970s were a great time for singer/songwriters. Elton John, Billy Joel and Kenny Loggins -- all were at the top of their game in the '70s, but something happened around the time Ronald Reagan took his oath of office. It's as if all of 'em lost their gonads ... just as what would eventually happen to Dennis (Styx) DeYoung, Lou (Foreigner) Gramm and Kevin (R-E-O Wheelchair) Cronin. '70s = hip, laid-back rock; '80s = sappy AC oatmeal, waitin' for Delilah to enter the room. Again, Fogelberg wasn't as guilty as others .... but he wasn't totally blameless either, I'm afraid.

But what a voice!! In memory of a fallen name from my adolescent musical tapestry, here are 15 of my favorite Dan Fogelberg tracks:

15) "Lessons Learned" (Nether Lands - 1977)
14) "Missing You" (one of two new tracks released in 1982 as part of his 'greatest hits ' package)
13) "Wishing on the Moon" (Phoenix)
12) "Someone's Been Telling You Stories" (Souvenirs)
11) "Once Upon a Time" (Nether Lands)
10) "Empty Cages" (The Innocent Age)
9) "The Last to Know" (Phoenix)
8) "Stolen Moments" (The Innocent Age)
7) "The Innocent Age" (The Innocent Age)
6) "Face the Fire" (Phoenix)
5) "Nexus" (The Innocent Age)
4) "Illinois" (Souvenirs)
3) "Tell Me to My Face" (Twin Sons...)
2) "As the Raven Flies" (Souvenirs)
1) "Tullamore Dew/Phoenix" (Phoenix)

The voice brings a whole lot back for me. A whole lot of good memories.

As trite as it might sound, thanks for the music. Yes, even the sappy songs.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "His Blood Runs Through My MP3 player" Gleck

At last, a little Christmas spirit!

Inspired by hearing "Jingle Bells" for the 45,823,386th time last night at Kroger.....

Dashing down the road,
In a Hummer SUV,
Running traffic lights,
And laughing out with glee.

Yakkin' on the phone,
While combing up her hair,
Countin' down the minutes ‘till
John Tesh goes on the air!

Ohhhh...

SUVs,
Minivans,
Cellphones all the way,
Marlboro Lights, "Delilah" too,
Another shopping day ....

Estrogen,
Clearance sales,
Is it worth the fuss?
Oh the hell, it seems to be,
A Soccer Mom Christmas.

Ciao for niao.

06 December 2007

More Hard Core TV.....

Another lost '90s classic. DVD box set? Please?



Ciao for niao.

--Did we mention it's mostly Tal?

05 December 2007

Damn his eye!

So the awesomest missus-type wifely woman and I were partaking of Chick-Fil-A tonight. As Seraphim was finishing her vittles, I got up to procure myself a refill of Coke. As I was waiting for the lady behind the counter to serve the people ahead of me, I noticed this sweet little kid, in a red sweatshirt. Seven years old, maybe 8. The lady handed him the object of his desire: a vanilla milkshake.

Damn him. Damn him to Bloomingdale and back. Now I had to have one.

I threw my empty Coke cup in the garbage, and waited for my turn to place an order for a Vanilla milkshake (and a small Icedream for Seraphim). CFA's shakes are almost as good as Steak-N-Shake, and only half as good as Byrd Drug, yet miles ahead of Krystal's grotesque, so-called "MilkQuakes."

It was good, and hit the spot as a nice dessert. Although I could've used one last night -- the second part of my "gum therapy" was yesterday afternoon (more on that in a sec), and my mouth was plenty sore after the novacain wore off.

From there it was Home Sweet Rincon bound. Then we noticed the Walgreen's had (finally!) opened yesterday. *sigh* Yeah, I wanted to check the place out, too. But Sera especially did. Besides, we needed a few toiletry-like things anyway.

We both needed deodorant -- that way we wouldn't make folks downwind go into a spasmodic curdle. Check. Dental floss: check. Antihistamine pills: check. CD/R spindle: che---wait, blank recordable media is not a "toiletry" item. Screw it, at $8.99 for a cakebox of 50 Maxell CD/Rs, one went home with Talmadge.

It's a nice Walgreen's, and had that "new drug store smell." I just wish it were open 24 hours, like the one on Savannah's southside. Ours closes at 10 PM. Oh well, I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth; we're lucky to have it.

* * * * * * * * *
Ahhhh, dental adventures yesterday. As I said, I went in for the second half of my "therapy." Jonathan, who was my Tooth Shrink, did a very good and thorough job. Very conversational throughout the whole thing. What's funny is, he apologized for the dentist last week who did the novacain injections -- ref. the aforementioned "two doozies" -- saying the 'dentist on duty' (the wifely side of the couple who own the practice) was much better at injections.

I told Jonathan, "Hell, that guy was million-fold better than 'Dr. Allen' back in Troy, so I can't complain."

As it turned out, there were no surprises with "Dr. Julie." It might've been the most painless novacain application I'd ever received. Well, Jonathan did the planing/scaling, and did a polishing of the tee-fees, and I must say they're the best looking they've been in a long friggin' time. He expressed amazement that my teeth were in such good a shape, given the long period of dental dereliction. Can't bitch.......

What I am going to attempt to do (and it's why I bought floss tonight at Green-Wall's) is improve my brushing and flossing regimen. I'm due for a regular cleaning in March '08.

I still don't like people violating my "mouth space" with various instruments, and I did tell Jonathan that I'll always be a little tense in the chair ... however, after this experience I can say that my fear of dentists has plummeted a good 75% or more.

As for the kid at Chick-Fil-A, I still damn him.

But in a good way.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "Drenk Mor Shaiks" Gleck