Category: Flotsam and Jetsam

01
Apr
2021
14:20

Ravioli Shoes

John Mayer made a TikTok of a short song called “Ravioli Shoes” and I liked it so much that I wrote a verse and added bass, drums, and a harmony.

29
Mar
2021
0:35

Beez McKeever

Sure most people are probably asleep at 6:40am. Some are even getting up or already up. Me, I’m laying in bed trying to sleep but instead getting an idea for a very silly song about having a crush on the Prop/Costume Diva for #MST3K and singing it into a voice memo in bits and pieces so I’ll remember it the next day. Quite probably the most niche song I’ve ever written. And that’s saying something.

I then also decided to record a full studio version and video for that version in all it’s power pop glory!

02
Mar
2021
1:46

My First Colonoscopy!

Colonoscopy done! Good news, everyone! I have a normal, healthy butt. Prep day was not nearly as bad as I’d heard. I had my last solid food on Saturday night. Starting Sunday, it’s all clear liquids, so I had a lemon-lime Jell-o, and a cup of half chicken broth half vegetable broth. The vegetable broth was actually pretty tasty, but he chicken broth was only okay. I had a jug of apple juice ready as well but never ended up drinking any. I was surprised how easy it was to not eat all day. I thought I’d be starving, but I didn’t even really notice. At 4pm I took 3 Dulcolax laxative tablets, then at 5pm, I mixed a full 8.3oz bottle of Miralax with 64oz of Gatorade. I drank 8oz every 15 minutes for 6 doses, then drank the last 16oz at 8pm. I sat in my rom watching Netflix, and went to the bathroom maybe 6-10 times in the course of about 6 hours. Fell asleep about 11pm. Got up for one more bathroom trip at about 2am or so, then eventually got back to sleep until 5am.

My roommate Staci graciously drove to the hospital. Sadly since I could not have ANYTHING, even water, after midnight, I got to experience the lovely combo of morning breath and a mask. I checked in and eventually was taken back to the pre-op area. I changed into just a gown and put all my stuff in a bag. They took my vitals, put some leads on my back, and put an IV in my hand (I’d never had one in my hand before, but she was a pro and it didn’t hurt at all). We were ahead of schedule so they closed the curtains and I just chilled for a bit. It was a weird sensation feeling the cool electrolytes coming in my IV. Eventually, the Anesthesiologist spoke to me and gave me the run down, and then the Doctor checked in with me. The nurses had informed me that he always started about 10 minutes early and was usually ahead of schedule. He asked if I wanted pictures and I said “Sure!” I mean how often do you get pictures of your colon? Sadly I don’t have any yet and I’m hoping they get put into my online chart.

The nurse eventually wheeled me back to the procedure room. This was my first time being wheeled in a hospital bed and it was surreal since I’d seen this so many times in movies and TV. I actually laughed to myself a little watching the ceiling go by. In the room, they hooked up my monitors, had me turn onto my side, put an oxygen mask on me, then started the anesthesia (my first time ever being put under). I think I was out within seconds. Next thing I knew, I was waking up from what felt like a VERY deep sleep, and as I opened my eyes, I was back in recovery and actually took a moment to remember where I was and what had just happened. A nurse had me move to chair and I drank some apple juice. I said “I guess they didn’t find any treasure, huh?” To which he replied that they hadn’t. After a few minutes, he had me get dressed still sitting in the chair while he stood by to watch over me. I called Staci who was already there, they wheeled me out in a chair, and I was homeward bound. I’m now eating delicious food and will probably watch Netflix and nap. Glad to have it over and done with! Still a little hungover from the anesthesia in that way you feel after a CRAZY deep nap!

22
Jan
2021
1:11

Dream Theatre 60

In this dream I was picking up my (dream) girlfriend (ex in reality) for some fancy date or function. I was dressed up and she approached the car in a sexy, form-fitting red dress. I was breathless and it was almost like life was in slow motion. Then as she arrived at the car, I realized I had not cleared the passenger seat of all the clutter and trash there. I did my best to quickly clear it, hoping there were no crumbs or anything that would get on her dress. Lucky for me, she didn’t seem to mind and scooted over really close, threw her arms around me and initiated some heavy making out.

Sadly the whole cluttered front seat part is only bit representative of reality.

29
Dec
2020
22:42

Scampi’s Organ Palace

There was a cool place in Austin called Scampi’s Organ Palace where my late Aunt would take my cousin and I when I was visiting as a kid. They were two of the most important people in my life growing up so those memories are very special. At one point a couple of years ago, I went in search of information on the internet. I couldn’t find much but since I was bothering to research, I figured I’d make a Wiki page. After a year or so, I Wiki informed me the page would be deleted as the subject was not notable enough or something along those lines. I didn’t think to save it so I thought it was just gone. Then last night I got the idea to use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find a cached version of it. Luckily it had been cached a total of one time, so I figured I’d immortalize it here as well for posterity.

Scampi’s Organ Palace

Scampi’s Organ Palace was a locally owned restaurant in Austin, Texas, from 1977-1985. Known primarily as a pizzaria, the restaurant also served salads and sandwiches as well as ice cream. For entertainment, Scampi’s featured magicians, jugglers, comedians, flashing lights, balloons, bubbles, a cymbal monkey named Scampi, and its centerpiece: a huge Mighty Morton theatre pipe organ.

The organ had a movie screen above it which primarily showed old silent movies and black-and-white films including those of Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, The Little Rascals, and Woody Woodpecker. Scampi’s also showed the first two films from the original Star Wars trilogy: Star Wars (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

A second-level stage to the left of the organ showcased performing magicians. A staircase to the right of the organ led to additional seating. The restaurant was carpeted in red.

History

Scampi’s was begun as Scampi’s Old Organ Grinder and Pizza Emporium in 1977 by original owner, Dayle M. Harris. An¬†Eastern Airlines¬†flight captain, Harris had long been fascinated by antique pipe organs.

Scampi’s was located in north Austin at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Koenig Lane with a current physical address of 5555 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 – now a Goodwill thrift store. Unlike Goodwill which faces North Lamar, the eatery’s entrance faced Koenig Lane. The restaurant received much of its business from the Texas Department of Public Safety located across the street as well as from students of McCallum High School.

After a particularly awful winter combined with the rise of Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E Cheese (which would eventually acquire Showbiz), Scampi’s had to close its doors in February 1985. In the words of last co-owner, Bobby Cordell, “Our last night was on a New Year’s Eve with a pizza and a pitcher of beer.”

The Organ

Scampi’s organ was a Robert Morton Mighty Morton theatre pipe organ built in 1925 for Loews Theater in CantonOhio. The organ accompanied silent movies of the era from 1927-1932.

Weighing over 8 tons, the Mighty Morton had over 1,000 pipes, some as high as 16 feet. It also had a whole battery of percussion instruments attached to it from chimes to drums as well as various other instruments, lights, gadgets, and gimmicks. A 10-horsepower motor powered the bellows to create the air pressure for the organ.

After Scampi’s closed, the organ was purchased by a pipe organ society in Florida.

References

  1. Trademark information
  2. Archived news story from the Roy Faires Collection

Sadly, 2 of the other sources I originally obtained some of this information from are no longer online.

50 year old me
28
Dec
2020
0:00

Semi-Centennial Celebration

50 year old me
50 Year Old Me

LEVEL UP! LEVEL 50!

This is a 50 year old man. Not bad for half a century if I do say so myself. Even if I haven’t had a haircut since just before the lockdown started in March, my beard is more gray than not, my forehead has lines from my extreme expressiveness, and my eyes have some well-earned crow’s feet and a little more weight of living and experience behind them. Why do I make this statement today? Honestly, because it makes me very uncomfortable so I’m owning it. Facing the discomfort. It baffles me as I certainly don’t feel 50. I’ve always said that from about the age of 12 I felt about 25. Truth be told, it’s probably closer to 30 now. Judging by the roles I get and comments from people who learn my age, I apparently don’t look 50. The gray beard probably adds 10 years but at the same time, I’ve grown to like its character when I choose to have it.

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"Eternal" Cover Art
23
Nov
2020
16:13

New Song Alert: “Eternal”

NEW SONG! WOOOOO!Here it is! The new collaboration with Andrew L. Hunter, one of my best friends for almost 40 years. We’ve come a long way since the days of spending the night at my house and making up silly songs on a cassette recorder. As usual, Andy sent me the synth tracks, lyrics, and a melody and let me take it from there. To my ears, this is what happens if you you put Genesis, Duran Duran, David Bowie, and The Police in a blender and add a dash of that personal seasoning and a melange of other influences. Available on Bandcamp, Reverbnation, and soon coming to all major streaming and purchase platforms.

"Eternal" Cover Art
“Eternal” Cover Art by Andrew Hunter