barry white


What was it like to be Barry White?

You know, when I “wiki’d” him, I found out that he’s one of the world’s bestselling artists of all time….that he sold in excess of 100 million albums…that he had 20 gold and 10 platinum singles.


I did not know that.

And he sang songs like this….

“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” Barry White

I think that Barry White was a very lonely man.

If only he’d been able to find love.

Nah…..I’M KIDDING!!!


What was that like for him….doing something simple like going to the grocery store….asking the checkout lady, “Oh, darling….could you please put my eggs on top? Yeah, baby….that’s the way….don’t you ever stop….”

What was that like for Barry White?

Of course, I never heard his speaking voice.

He might have had a real high-pitched speaking voice….really nasal and whiny.

I don’t know.

That thought completely humanizes him and negates his potency.

That guy was superhuman with that deep, seductive singing voice….and then I have to go and sully his image with the conjecture that maybe he wasn’t as seductive all the time as we’d like to think.

Maybe when he went to the grocery store, he’d squeal out in a horribly whiny sing-song voice, “MY EGGS!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT THE EGGS NEVER GO ON THE BOTTOM?!! MY EGGS!! MY EGGS!!! MY EGGS!!!!”

Man…that thought is sure a mood buster.

I shouldn’t do that to Barry White.

It’s that Spiderman thing all over….”with great power comes great responsibility” ….you know the one….you know that line from the movie.

I imagine that Barry White only used his power for good.

He was good to the ladies….and the ladies were good to Barry White.

Check out this song….

“I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More Babe” Barry White


Oh, Barry White! I am so sorry that I listened to that!

It sounded kind of…private.

That’s the thing about Barry White….he took us right into his world of seduction….and for about 4 or five minutes, let us stay there….until the next time we heard him on the radio.

He’s like a comet that only comes around every so often, though.

I couldn’t pull off that Barry White routine.

Jenny would laugh at me if I came at her with a deep “Ohhhhhhhh, baby….”.

I couldn’t pull it off.

I guess that’s what makes Barry White….”Barry White”.

I wonder how old he was when he figured out what he was going to do?

Did he go to his Momma and say, in his preternaturally deep child’s voice, “Momma….ohhhh, baby….you know, every time I think of this, it makes me think I’m gonna be, someone who loves and loves and loves, what else can I be?”

“Momma? Momma!! Did you hear me? Did you hear what I just moaned?”

It’s a different kind of career choice….to be one of the great seducers.

So….I’ll ask again because I’ll never know the answer:

What was it like to be Barry White?

dudes don’t empower

Unless they figure out a way to do some strange gender DNA thing, and they strap me to a cold steel table somewhere and then a doctor comes in after finishing the experiment and looks at me….then looks at his chart….then looks at me again….then looks at the chart….then puts the chart down….then looks at me….and says….

“Dude….you a lady.”

Unless that happens….and until that weird day….I’m just a dude.

And dudes don’t have a really empowering song that is just for dudes.

Not like this one, at least….

“I am Woman” Helen Reddy

Maybe we have enough sense to know that the ladies would be upset if we went around singing anything that said, “I’m a Dude….I’ve got the power! I HAVE THE POWER!! THE POWER OF ….”

People don’t like swagger, sometimes.

We have all those Bad Company songs that swagger….the “I’M COMIN’ TA GITYA” kind of songs….big power chords and the warning of conquest.

We have those kind of “dude songs”….but we don’t have anything that says anything like, “I’ll cut down a tree all by myself and out earn any ten people in the room….I’M A DUDE, I’M A DUDE, I’M A DUDE!!”

We don’t have any songs like that.

We don’t have a song that I remember that says, “hear me roar.”

All the dude songs are more subdued than that.

Except for the Bad Company songs….and some Jimi Hendrix….some Zeppellin ….Uriah Heep….Kanye…Common….L’il Wayne….Weezy…Weezer…all the rest of them.

Except for those guys.

We don’t have a song like this….

“Roar” Katy Perry

I can’t picture a bunch of dudes on a framing crew singing that to each other….or a bunch of lumberjacks…or even The Village People.

Dudes wouldn’t sing that song to each other.

So….I think that we just don’t have any really empowering gender based songs for dudes.

We brag and we swagger…but deep down, there’s probably something missing.

Deep down….we’re missing that declaration of independence and power.

Nah…dudes don’t even need that….we don’t need no stinkin’ anthem!!

We got it going on….the DUDES!!

It’s funny, though….I’ll sing that “I Am Woman” song in the shower sometimes.

It just makes me feel good.

(I’m kidding. I AM KIDDING….)

I guess that we just need to take empowerment where we can find it.

We’re supported by the mainstream media.

We’re empowered everyday…whether we have a song that says that we are… or not.

Maybe this is our anthem and we never even knew it.

Maybe this is the song….forget “Roar”.

“All Right Now” Free

There’s an anthem out there somewhere for the dudes.

Maybe there’s too many?

Sometimes I can’t even see the forest for all the anthems floating around out there….

Surely, dudes gotta have an anthem….

the expensive store knew

We had a plumbing supply store….actually, it was an old style hardware store… that I used to go into when I was really in a jam.

Usually, I’d go to the big store that had rows and rows of everything…piled high to the ceiling…when I bought my home improvement products.

It was cheaper.

Of course, finding anyone to help me with my problems (the ones that were home improvement related) was always a trick in the big store….and it took twice as long because usually I was trying to figure out what I was doing while I was in there.

Every once in a while, I’d have something that I really couldn’t figure out and I’d go to the old store and they’d look at the broken part in my hand and say, “Oh, yeah…I haven’t seen one of those for years. You need a …..(whatever….fill in the blank)”.

I guess now would be a good time for some Keb’ Mo’….

“More For Your Money” Keb’ Mo’

I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off dealing with the “little guys” more often?

What the heck? They knew what they were talking about.

Why not just buy it someplace where it’s probably going to be right and not worry about the price?


Old habits are hard to break.

I’ll go into the big store again….soon.

We have a big project going on.

I’ll be buying some stuff to improve.

I have such a broad range of people on my mail route.

Some of them never improve anything.

Some of them are always working at making things around them nicer.

Some of them say, “I’ll have my man get on that. My man will have to fix that….”

I don’t know who these men are or how to get them….but it makes the job easier when you can just call your man to do the job.

There’s not much to think about when you can just pay someone else to do the job.

Maybe the “men” just come with the big fancy house and the nice cars?

I don’t know.

I will still buy the cheapest almost every time.

I guess I should amend that a little. I will buy the best I can afford at the lowest price that I can find.

There’s a difference between the two, I guess.

I wonder if I’d be better off in the long run buying the best I can afford from the people or businesses that I like the most?

It’s a changing world….bar code tattoos just around the corner, I’m sure.

They don’t want you to save seeds.

Everybody wants to control something or somebody else.

And, to top it all off….I still need to decide where to buy my widget when the thing at the end of the thing snaps off in my rust covered hands.

The guys at the little store will probably know what to do.

I better start saving my pennies.





it’s just a song

I key off music sometimes.

I guess that if you’re out in the world, you’re going to bump up against a lot of things….and I’m always listening to music, so the chances of keying off something in a song are pretty good.

Sometimes I’ll incorporate some shallow philosophical treacle….(that’s a weird word…”treacle”)….that I pulled from a song…twisted to my needs….in this blog, even.

Poor song…most deserve better than that.

Here’s a song that I guess I could pull some weird little life lesson out of….maybe something about turning the other cheek…or making a relationship work through communication and positive effort…or really investing some quality time and reaping the benefits.

Or…I could just listen to it…smile…and rock out for a while….

Anyway…here’s the song.

“walk away” James Gang

Sometimes a song deserves to be taken at face value.

Enough of the philosophical musings….no matter how shallow.

“Hey!! You!! Leave that song alone!!”

(You know that things aren’t going to end well when the conversation begins with “Hey!! YOU!!!”)

We went out to the property that we just purchased this week and continued the clean up process.

Cleaning up is sometimes the same as “uncovering”.

It’s interesting to see all the new things to notice.

We need to get the road in to the old house scraped and graveled.

It’s big mud at the beginning right now after the rains we’ve had lately.

It’s all flat access, though, so it shouldn’t be a big deal to fix.

Here’s a video I hadn’t seen for a while….something about a road.

Look at these young guys go….

Here’s a thought….I don’t believe that the Beatles….collectively “The Beatles”…those 4 guys….had turned 30 when they officially broke up in… what? 1970?

That’s pretty freaking amazing.

Young guys.

“….the edge of the ledges I’ve made”


Here’s a new song by a young guy.

“Ledges” Noah Gundersen

“Here…I stand on the edge of the ledges I’ve made….looking for a steady hand.”

Ahhhh, that is really nice.

Sometimes I try and dig too deep….and dig in the wrong place.


I wonder and worry about things that don’t do me any good.

I worry about my own situation….and I worry about things that happen to other people….I might even worry about things that happen to other people who I don’t even know.

I should be listening to some Bob Marley….listening to some Bobby McFerrin.

Worry never got me very far.

So…why worry?

Is worry the same as compassion? I kind of doubt it.

“Compassion” sounds action packed.

“Worry” sounds kind of impotent.

Enough talk about worrying.

I worry about saying the wrong thing.

Maybe all this talk about worry was the wrong thing to say?

I worry about the embarrassment of not really knowing what poison ivy looks like after all these years of being out in the woods, and then having someone ask me, “Didn’t you see it? It was all over the place?” as I furiously try not to itch my inflamed arms and face.

That’s embarrassing. I’m old enough to know better by now.

I only have 500 words that I’ve allotted myself for this blog every morning.

I can’t start cataloging my worries.

I’d use up all my words with worry.

That whole “worry” and “compassion” thing….that’s something to think about for a minute.

I worry like it’s a sign that I care.

I worry about what’s happening to the environment…but I don’t do much about it.

What can I do, anyway?

I can’t join a picket line or chain myself to a redwood.

I recycle….I guess that’s something.

It’s the stuff that I worry about that’s already happened that is really crazy.

Move on, doofus.

“Ledges” is a good way to describe the situation.

I will crawl right out to the terrifying edge just so I can know what it feels like to peer over into the abyss.

Nahhhh….I’ll probably just eat some more red licorice (I’m not supposed to eat that anymore…it gives you cancer. Dangit….I love red licorice. I don’t want cancer.)

Worry without any action to back it up is just such a crummy avocation.

It’s a terrible hobby.

It would be so healthy to just be able to take things at face value….and let it be whatever it is.

There’s no boogie man….there’s no hammer waiting to drop….nothing in the universe really wants to destroy me….

I should lighten up.

You know….I’m not like a really humorless Woody Allen.

I don’t spend every minute worrying.

I can be a blithe spirit.

I can move through the world with a pretty optimistic outlook.

Most of this is just talk….racing to my 500 word goal.

That is a great song by a good songwriter.

Check him out….”Noah Gundersen”.

I’m not worried about his talent….good writing.

It’s the “other stuff” that gets me worried sometimes.


In the big picture, this is what the 7 acres we purchased yesterday probably is….

It’s just another little fishbowl….with 6 little fishies getting ready to start cleaning it all up.

But in our minds, it’s probably more like this:

It’s a big world out there….and that 7 acres is definitely part of it.

So, if I think about it, the land is really somewhere between a little fishbowl and a grand vista.

It’s rained here for the last week or so….so some of the cleanup is going to have to go on the back burner for a while….but I can still chainsaw in the mist, so all of the dead stuff has got to go.

I can cut stuff down with the best of them.

It’s exciting to have a big project to get into….


closing time

P1010331I don’t know that anyone ever really owns anything.

That’s probably a weird thing to think when we’re getting ready to go sign papers in a lawyer’s office that say that we legally “own” this piece of property.

It will give us the right to mow….and pay the taxes.

It will give us the right to drill a well…and build…repair…explore.

I guess that we’ll own this chunk of land after this afternoon comes and goes.

That’s pretty amazing.

“Owning”….what a concept.

I guess that it will be good to have that piece of paper when the Indians come to set up their tipis.

Owning is the white man’s way….I’ll need something concrete to show them that will help shoo them away….like a piece of white man’s paper.

I guess that what I’m thinking….before I have my first sip of coffee at 5:25….is that this is the time to put the pedal to the metal….drag the cart before the horse….make him drink.

This is the moment when legends are made.

Of course, I may calm down and change my mind about the drama after I get some coffee in me.

I may decide that it’s only the time to change the string in the weedeater.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be so dramatic?

After a long time….maybe a couple of months (?)….maybe a bunch of months….we’re going to sign the papers this morning…hand over a big check….and own this piece of property.

This dream goes from an abstract “what I might do IF…” to “what do I do now?”

(I know what to do…I don’t want to scare Jenny. I need to stand up on my hind legs and BE A MAN!! That’s what I need to do…be a man….with a hammer in his hand. EASY. )

I watch the home shows and I see these young couples say, “It does need a lot of work….hmmmmmm” and then I see them stripping some wallpaper or painting the kitchen….and then I remember that I need to rewire and plumb….sheetrock….rebuild a porch….drill a well….put in a septic system.

Those guys are a bunch of freaking whiners.

I’ll show you some crazy work, you whiners!


What was I saying?

I guess I shouldn’t write out everything that needs to be done. Writing it all out and filling up some paper with every task I need to do is kind of daunting.

One day at a time….one day at a time.

“Commit”….and then celebrate the 20 year anniversary somewhere a little ways down the line.

Don’t build the whole house the day you sign the papers….that’s crazy.

I need to just get into that overgrown homestead and distract myself for about week with a roaring chainsaw.

I need to cut down some little trees.

That should be a welcome distraction for  a little while.

This is really happening, isn’t it?

I need to start running again….but running towards….not “away”.

“Closing Time” Tom Waits

windless kite


I woke up early again this morning.

I don’t mean like 15 minutes early….I mean hours early.

I don’t really know why that is….I guess that maybe I have a worm in mind that I need to get somehow….or something.

I don’t know.

I think that “I don’t know” is my mantra, sometimes.

Jenny was awake when I woke up….and before I got up to start my day, she mentioned that she couldn’t sleep because she was thinking about what we were doing buying this land that we’re closing on tomorrow.

“What we were doing….”

She said that she’d seen all these pictures of houses that were far away from here….affordable…grand….adventurous.

And here we are….buying more property in the same school district.

She wasn’t distraught…just hot with the fan turned off….and aware of how much there is “out there”.

There is a lot to be said for “out there”.

I’ve been absorbed in thinking about “out there” and “somewhere else” for most of my post-adolescent life.

Thank you, Jack Kerouac.


Every single place that I landed, I found myself occasionally thinking that there has to be someplace better “out there”….some town or land or sunset….some high mountain peak or beach or house or school….or even a better restaurant than the one where I just placed my order.

Most of the angst was fleeting.

I’m a satisfied man, usually.

But it came again and again.

I was thinking about that after Jenny mentioned the places overseas where we could buy an interesting property.

There is always “someplace else”, I guess.

I realized that there was always something that was a constant in my longing.

There was always something that I couldn’t escape….no matter where I went.

It was me….dragging my windless kite and complaining that it wasn’t flying.

To quote Loudon Wainwright III …. “I’m the one….the dirty bum…I’m the one to blame…”

I’m the one to blame.

I can’t be happy no matter what I’m given.

I’m trying to learn to be, though….

Maybe that’s what the “apple” did for us….clued us in that there was “someplace else” out there….some reason to be dissatisfied.

So now I blame Kerouac….and the apple.

Dang both of them.

No matter where I go…there I am.

Just another collection of molecules….vibrating in a different chunk of air….imagining that I deserve anything…imagining that, if I just marshal my will and push through, that I can find Shangri-la underneath a pile of kudzu somewhere.

Maybe not underneath a pile of kudzu….that took all the romance out of the thought of finding Shangri-la….out of finding some weird Southern Nirvana…..or Western….or Slovakian, even….Scandinavian? The list goes…..


It’s me….I’m the problem. It’s not the place I’m in…it’s the one in the place.

This land is what we’re doing now.

It’s where we are right now.

There’s nothing wrong with a little satisfaction every now and then.

I should know that by now.

“Acres of Diamonds” Loudon Wainwright III

a parent’s broken record

I think that I could probably write every blog post about sleep.

When I wake up in the morning….after the occasional adventure that the night before repeated….all I can think about is sleep.

That’s a weird conundrum.

I wake up really early now (old people do that…..why am I doing that now?) and I think about sleep.

That’s weird.

If I’m so tired, why don’t I sleep in?

Talking about sleep all the time is a boring, broken record.

That’s an interesting thought…..”a boring, broken record”.  I’ll bet there are people in the world who have no idea what that phrase “broken record” might mean.

I don’t know if telling them that it’s sort of like when a file is “corrupted”….it just won’t play right.

I guess that it really means that it’s going to keep repeating itself…so “corrupted” doesn’t mean much. That really doesn’t make much sense.

It’s going to keep on repeating itself ad nauseam.

The record skips…and keeps playing the same thing over and over….bip…bip….bip…bip….bip…bip….bip…bip…bip….bip…bip….bip….bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip….bip…bip….bip…bip…bip…bip…bip….bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip..bip…bip…bip….bip…bip…bip….bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip….bip..bip…bip….bip…bip…bip…bip….bip….bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip…bip..etc. You get the idea.

Over and over….until you’re sick of hearing it and get up to lift the needle off the scratched part of the vinyl.

Now that I think about it a little, I think that I have this sleep thing figured out.

It’s these little kids who can sleep in their car seat who are keeping me up.

Especially that new little one.

The really little one is keeping me up sometimes.

Jenny does the lion’s share of taking care of Sparrow at night.

My job is mostly to open my eyes and wonder what’s happening.

So…I’m not as tired….but I’m still tired.

Did you ever see that movie “The Omega Man”? I think that Charlton Heston was in it.

He was the last man on Earth….except for the zombies….and all the zombies were trying to get him.

That’s not what being a new father again at 54 is like.

I don’t know why I mentioned that.

Being a father has nothing to do with zombies.

Maybe I was thinking that it’s nuts to think that I’m the only one going through this.

I’m not the only one.

Later, in India, there will be a man who is awakened by a little baby.

I think that China may have one tomorrow night, too.

And these men will probably feel kind of isolated in their own weariness, too.

There is no club or union for tired fathers….I don’t think the tired mothers of the world would allow it.

If there was, the motto would have to be, “What am I complaining about? You should see my wife…now that’s a tired person. I have no reason to complain.”

Nah….that’s a crummy motto.

I guess that I’m not overwhelmingly sleepy.

I’m just sleepy enough that my head is fuzzy in my brain.

I really can’t blame that on anyone else, either.

I made my bed….and now I can’t sleep in it.

I blame it on that little baby.

That little baby wakes me up.

I do loves me that little baby, though.

That’s why God made those little babies so cute.

“His Eye is on The Sparrow” Kimberly Penner