Time to Let It Ramble

Sit down, turn on the computer, and write. That’s the system today. I have no preconceived course, agenda, or axe to grind.

Just be.

“Let it grow, let it grow,
Let it blossom, let it flow
In the sun, the rain, the snow,
Love is lovely, let it grow”

This from the Eric Clapton ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’ album. ‘Let It Grow’.

That record released in 1974. Great record. ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, the Bob Marley song, was my intro to it.

And this train of thought leads me to, ‘Let It Be’.

“When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be”

We, too often, want to force the action don’t we? Push, shove, cajole, manipulate, etc. We generally see time or a timetable as liner. That is a Western concept. Eastern thought sees time as cyclical.

But, what is time? Here you go.

Ecclesiastes has this to say.

War Eagle! I like that!

And how about this one from Chicago?

“As I was walking down the street one day

A man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my watch, yeah
And I said

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

And I was walking down the street one day
A pretty lady looked at me and said her diamond watch had stopped cold dead
And I said

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to cry

And I was walking down the street one day (people runnin’ everywhere)
Being pushed and shoved by people (don’t know where to go)
Trying to beat the clock, oh, no I just don’t know (don’t know where I am)
I don’t know, I dont know, oh (don’t have time to think past the last mile)
(Have no time to look around) And I said, yes I said (run around and think why)

Does anybody really know what time it is (I don’t)
Does anybody really care (care about time)
If so I can’t imagine why (no, no)
We’ve all got time enough to die

Everybody’s working (I don’t care)
I don’t care (about time)
About time (no, no)
I don’t care”

Let it grow. Let it be. Let it all hang out. Let it go. Let go and let God.

let1
let/
verb
  1. not prevent or forbid; allow.
    “my boss let me leave early”
    synonyms: allow to, permit to, give permission to, give leave to, authorize to, sanction to, grant the right to, license to, empower to, enable to, entitle to;

    archaic suffer to
    “let him sleep for now”

I would love to stay here and chew the fat with you this afternoon, but, “Time won’t let me.”

Grace and peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramblin’ 1/19/17

I found myself “Googling” the nutrition information of Krystal products the other day. And AFTER my next round of blood work was completed, yesterday, I stopped by one of those franchises to chow down on two or three of those 130 calorie, 2 grams of saturated fat babies. It would have been my first “cheating” episode since our trip to the Big Easy.

As fate would have it, they were still in breakfast mode and it would have taken too long to put together those little square devils to suit me. Solution? Down the street to Hardee’s and a smoked sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit combo. War Eagle!

Back to being “good” last night, split pea soup courtesy of our dear daughter, Leah.

And this AM? Multi grain toast with a bit of honey cinnamon spread.

The life of a heart patient, should be impatient, wrestling with food demons.

Funny, today’s scripture passage was from Luke 4. Jesus was just beginning his ministry and was in Capernaum casting out demons and healing folks, droves of folks.

Come out of there you mean ole Krystal demon! Come out of there potato chips, hot dogs, rib-eyes, pizza, and fried chicken! Come out! (In my best Ernest Angley).

In the verses prior to his work in Capernaum, Jesus preached his first sermon in Nazareth and was run out of town on a rail. The “church people” even tried to throw him off a cliff. You don’t hear about that one too often.

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga on Apple Music. “Anything Goes” “Cheek to Cheek” “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”, etc.

Music recommendations. Margo Price, Maren Morris, Iry LeJeune’s cajun music, Lukas Nelson (yes, Willie’s boy) and The Promise of Real, and Doug Sahm.

I’ve mentioned it before on Facebook but’s it’s worth another promo. James Lee Burke’s series of Dave Robicheaux novels. I’m on number seven and I can’t stop. Latest obsession. Seriously considering attending the Dave Robicheaux Literary Festival In New Iberia, LA (where most of these books are set) on March 31-April 2.

Gobble gobble, yum yum, slurrrrrrrrp! Eat everything on your plate. Listen to John Prine’s “Fish and Whistle” for more on that.

Follow the thread, exhaust your possibilities, retain or summon your curiosities, and follow them wherever they may lead. God is in the little things. You are you for a reason.

National Signing Day for college football is February 1.

Also on 2/1… In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union. Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” premiered in Turin in 1896. 1900, Eastman Kodak introduced the $1 Brownie camera box. And Grand Central Station Opened in New York City in 1913.

Birthdays on 2/1 include Ronda Rousey, Clark Gable, and Lisa Marie Presley.

Setlist change. ‘Inspired by Beatlemania’. “I’m a Believer,” The Monkees, was first up. Mercy! I love that song! Do you know who wrote it? Jeopardy theme song. Time’s up! Neil Diamond. Neil is embarking on his 50th Anniversary Tour. Go if you’ve never seen him. Red, Red Wine is my favorite of his.

Mony Mony was just on. I saw Tommy James and The Shondells at the Big Bam Summer Spectacular back in the late 60’s. Neil Diamond was also there, oddly enough. I miss those shows. Lightnin’ Lou Christie, The Beach Boys, Tony Joe White, Boyce and Hart, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Porter Wagoner were just a smidgen of other acts I caught there in the Garrett Coliseum. Saw a few rodeos and the circus there too. Also Disney on Ice.

64° here in beautiful Acworth, GA. temperatures are expected to rise to 69 with mostly cloudy skies. A l0w of 58 tonight. The chance of rain rises to 85% at 11 PM. Winds SE at 8 MPH.

I’ll never stop my DJ and play-by-play yammerings. Melodye is one patient soul. And my breaking into a song and/or dance with no perceptible provocation. God bless her sweet soul.

And now Nirvana’s “About a Girl.” Sweet!

Their “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is an all-time favorite. What genius lyrics!

Well, I’ve got a column I’m struggling to get completed due to technical difficulties. It’ll publish next Friday. ‘The Best and Worst of 2016 – SEC Edition.’

Lunch? Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt. Wheeeeeee…

Reading Buddies at 2:30 today.  There is not much that warms the heart like Josue, pronounced Ho-sway, running across the library, with his arms outstretched, yelling, “Mr. Bird!!!!”

Yes, God is in the little things.

Grace and peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November Rain

Weep, oh weep November Sky

December darkens and earth doth lust for thee,

Parched land and blades of grass

Now lift brittle arms to thy blessed plenty.

Sing sweet droplets upon this hallowed home

Cleanse our hearts and souls,

Winds to follow usher forth winter,

Frigid frost our companion,

Thoughts then shift to Spring’s resurrection.

Bowl Wrap-up and Clemson vs. Alabama

The 2016 college football postseason is now all but completed. Only one game remains and you don’t need me to enlighten you as to which game that is. As far as the FBS is concerned, this king of the mountain game is all but done and only two teams stand at the point of the peak.

Every conference, except for two, has completed the four-month march toward the summit. The SEC and the ACC are left standing and ready to do battle. One more time.

I’ll get to that shortly. In the interim, let’s take a gander at how every FBS conference fared in postseason play. We will start at the bottom and work our way to the top.

The Mid-American Conference, or MAC, was the biggest loser with an 0-6 record. It’s crown jewel, Western Michigan, couldn’t even bring home a trophy. That boat did not row.

The Big 10 strutted its stuff from September through November but went as cold as the approaching winds of December when all was said and done. 3-7. O(hio State), where art thou?

The American Athletic Conference (2-5). South Florida was bullish on the SEC’s South Carolina and Tulsa’s Golden Hurricane blew through Central Michigan, and that was it.

The PAC-12? 3-3. Top dog Washington could not mush its way through a Crimson flood. Upstarts Colorado and Washington State were put in their place. That left Utah, Stanford, and Southern Cal upholding the left coast’s honor.

I am concerned with the SEC in, this, my weekly slot. I am even more concerned after its 6-6 performance in bowl games. It took 5-7 Mississippi State, and its APR, to give the conference a break even finish.

Mountain West (4-3). I’ll wager that that even the least informed college football fan is familiar with the highest profile team in the aggregation. Yes, it’s the Boise State Broncos. But Baylor was its prickly opposition in the Cactus Bowl, winning 31-12.

Conference USA also wound up with a 4-3 record in bowls. If anyone can name all seven of the postseason participants, I will reward them with a ticket to its championship game. No Googling!

Things were brighter in the Sun Belt Conference. It went 4-2. Troy, Appalachian State, Arkansas State, and Idaho were your winners. Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama did not keep it on the sunny side.

Also with a 4-2 record was the much-maligned Big 12. Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and (cough cough) Oklahoma won big indeed. West Virginia and TCU. Nope!

And the conference with the most wins and best winning percentage (.727) in all of FBS football? The Atlantic Coast Conference! This gang of eastern USA squads stands at 8-3.

Here are the complete bowl results.

One more game is left to be played, and I absolutely will not buy a ducat for anyone who can name the two teams that will wage war in the finale.

Prediction momentarily!

But first we will tie a nice bow onto the concluded package of the great gift of games played to this point.

Say what? Yes, the nation’s independents were 100% in the slate of 41 bowl extravaganzas.

BYU and Army were victors over the Wyoming Cowboys and the Mean Green of North Texas State, respectively.

And now, finally! Our SEC will conclude its 2016-17 college football season in the College Football Playoff Championship game!

The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers will face off in a rematch of last season’s inaugural event.

There are places that you can go to get plethora upon plethora of information and analysis on this uber-event. I will only offer you a humble and simple opinion on the outcome.

All things equal, it all boils down to, for me, one final, and ever-important, thing.

Pat Dye once said that, “It all starts at quarterback.” And that is where it both starts and ends in this game.

Deshaun Watson and Jalen Hurts. The seasoned and smooth veteran versus the talented and terrific freshman.

This, from what I can discern, is what Clemson wanted, and this is what it got.

The Clemson Tigers, and Dabo Swinney, will manage, somehow, to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Nick Saban.

Clemson 28, Alabama 24

 

Tampa photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Ramblin’ with Neil Young

I was listening to a podcast, today on my walk, of Marc Maron interviewing Neil Young. It was great hearing Neil again. Like an old friend you haven’t seen or heard from in years. And Neil is still Neil. Thank God. He continues to rail against corporate farming, Monsanto, and the pillaging and plundering of Mother Earth in general.

Give ’em hell, Neil!

Since I sat down here and began to write, I’ve been sweeping away at a dusty corner of my mind in an attempt to recall my first memory of Neil and/or his music. I’m pretty sure it would be from the CSN&Y album Deja Vu. That record came to me from the old Columbia Record Club, as did many other great records of that day.

Helpless was on Deja Vu and it remains near the top of my favorite tunes of Neil’s. A great song.

His After The Gold Rush album was back somewhere in that time frame, as well. Another good one. What lyrics on that title cut.

Please click here to read them.

Whew! Man! And the french horn on there!

Takes me back to 332 W. Glenn St. in Auburn and the fall of 1970. But I won’t bore you with  any nostalgic ramblings of my freshman year at Auburn again. Not right now at least.
It wasn’t until 2003 that I saw Neil in concert for the first time. I missed catching him in Tuscaloosa in 1973. Some friends of mine were going to make the trek over there from Auburn. I think this was the Harvest tour. I thought I had to study for mid-terms so I declined the invite. Dumb, as I flunked out anyway. And I didn’t do a whole lot of studying that week. For the most part I was amped up on speed and cannabis, and chain smoking cigarettes. I went from Tuesday to Friday without sleeping a wink.
I’ll leave it at that other than to say,  *WARNING! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!*
Back to the first time I saw Neil. 2003. Bonnaroo. Neil closed the festivities that opening evening. And that set, that he and Crazy Horse did, sits at the very top of Bonnaroo shows that I’ve seen. I mean they rocked! In the free world as a matter-of-fact.
The second time Me & Paul saw Neil was later that summer at a Willie Nelson Picnic.This was in Willie’s back yard, literally, about 30 minutes outside of Austin in Spicewood, TX . That was a wonderful two days of music. A few of the other acts beside Neil and Willie? The Dead, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Pat Green, Leon Russell (RIP), Billy Bob Thornton, and Los Lonely Boys.
That brings me to our last encounter with Neil in a live setting. It was at Radio City Music Hall in the spring of 2004. The day before Melodye’s birthday. March 18th. I think she turned 35 that year. Wink wink, nod nod, know what I mean?
Neil and Crazy Horse performed his Greendale album, all of it, as a stage play. They then did about another 1 1/2 hours of Crazy Horse music including Powderfinger (another favorite), Rockin’ In The Free World, Cortez the Killer, All Along The Watchtower, Cowgirl in the Sand, and a couple of others.
Yes ma’am!
The next night, on Mel’s birthday, and the following night we caught shows by the Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon Theater.
Friday morning followed the Thursday night Neil & Crazy Horse show. We were staying at the Hotel Le Parker Meridien about three blocks from Central Park, and about a five minute walk from the Museum of Modern Art. We did  them both.
The walk in Central Park was especially memorable as it began snowing before we departed our room and it evolved into one of those special moments. All of it was really. The entire three day trip. The time we spent at Strawberry Fields was a highlight. We miss you, John.
I better call it quits for today. Gotta shower, get the dogs, and our, dinner ready.
I am very, very fortunate. I feel the word blessed has become a bit cliche, but that is certainly the case with me and my dear running mate. Blessed beyond comprehension.  I cannot imagine any life other than the one we have spent together, thus far.
I say thus far, because we ain’t done yet. Not by a long shot.
Peace.

Ramblin’ 11/2/16

We are now at “exceptional drought” level here in north Georgia. I can hear Johnny Carson attempting to elicit a response from his Tonight Show audience. “It is so dry here in ____. How dry is it?” Feel free to create your own answer. But it’s not funny, is it? Pray for rain.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to end up doing a rain dance, but I will.

Which segues nicely into the old Guess Who song, Rain Dance.

I really love the Guess Who. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and it is yet another stunning omission from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not even nominated.

Play/download the long version of American Woman. That song rocks!

Undun, These Eyes, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature, Share The Land, No Time, Laughing, Hand Me Down World… Come on!

And, trust me, you don’t want to get me started on Jethro Tull having yet to be nominated.

I’m very curious to see where Auburn lands in the initial 2016 College Football Playoff poll tonight. My guess is nine or ten. WDE! Lotta football left to be played, though, and all fans from the great state of Alabama have much to be proud of. (I checked the grammar. It’s okay to end a sentence in a preposition in a note to friends.)

How was Halloween for everybody? We had very few ‘trick or treaters’ here in our neighborhood. Maybe a dozen. I gave them Dum-Dums which is what I give the kids at our church when it’s my turn to do the children’s sermon.

Children. I was a member of the Pied Pipers children’s theater group when I attended Troy State University. (Now Troy University). We did such stories as The Three Little Pigs, The Tar Baby, and Jack and the Beanstalk, among others.

My favorite role was that of Brer’ Fox from The Tar Baby. Never failed though. Brer’ Rabbit always “out-foxed” me and Brer’ Bear and we wound up throwing him, or her, as Brer’ Rabbit was most often played by a female, in the briar patch. EVERY single time.

Brer’ Bear was stump dumb. I would hit him and chastise him severely. Over the years I’ve thought about that story a good bit and created PG13  and R versions of it in my mind. I think that would be pretty darn funny.

Vanilla Fudge’s eponymous first album, from 1966, is now pounding away on Apple Music. Dang that’s good stuff! These guys aren’t given enough credit for their impact on hard rock, heavy metal, and prog rock.

Ah yes, those psychedelic days of yore.

The groups that truly catapulted me headlong into that arena were Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Steppenwolf.

There was a band from Tallassee that would occasionally play the National Guard Armory in my hometown of Camden, AL. The fist time I heard the song Fire, by Hendrix, it was done by by that group, The Fantastic Playboys. After a couple of set breaks, which resulted in subsequent trips to the car, I was primed and ready to bust a few moves to Fire, Proud Mary, and my favorite of their covers, Devil With The Blue Dress>Good Golly Miss Molly. That was a song popularized by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

Those were the days.

Please click below and try NOT to bust a move with me.

 

Love y’all! Peace out.

(Photo from December 1975. The last day of Pied Piper tour. Me in my Tutu.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auburn vs. Alabama: Tough Times at Legion Field

Our Managing Editor, at the behest of our Executive Editor, asked some of us here at Campus Pressbox to do a piece on our chosen team’s rival. Auburn has a few exciting rivalries bubbling and brewing as the 2016 season fast approaches. In the SEC West, LSU has become a very good one since the divisions were aligned in 1992. Arkansas has reared its Hawg head with Bret Bielema making noise out in Fayetteville, and this game has become a little testy at times.

Over in the SEC East, Georgia has and will always be Auburn’s biggest rival. Although, the Bulldogs have had the better of it, by far, lately, winning eight of ten in The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.

Ok, ok! You know, as well as I do, where this is going…

Auburn vs. Alabama

The game is better known as… everyone, all at once… The Iron Bowl. But I don’t prefer that designation for the greatest and grandest rivalry in college football today. It’s the Auburn-Alabama game, or the Alabama-Auburn game, depending on which side you are affiliated with. Here is my take on that subject.

Back to the business at hand. We were asked to speak to which of these games are our team’s best and worst losses in the series, which ones we would like to live, re-live, do over, or delete; and the implications any changes in the outcomes would have on the current teams or traditions.

Auburn’s Best Loss

The 1981 game would have to be my choice as the Tigers’ best loss to the Crimson Tide. Pat Dye was in his first year as Auburn’s head coach. His record was 5-5 coming into this game and a win would have put Auburn in a bowl game for the first time since 1974, when Auburn annihilated Darrel Royal’s Texas Longhorns, in the Gator Bowl, to the tune of 27-3.

To heighten the drama, Alabama head coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, stood at 314 total wins which had him tied with Amos Alonzo Stagg for the most ever in college football history. No one gave Auburn much of a chance to deny Bryant his place as the winningest coach ever. Bama was an 11.5-point favorite.

Somebody forgot to tell Auburn.

Bama scored first to take a 7-0 lead, but the Tigers knotted it on a 63-yard touchdown run by George Peoples in the second quarter.

Both teams tallied a touchdown in quarter number three and it stood 14-14 entering the final stanza. Auburn kicked a field goal to take a 17-14 lead early, and the Legion Field crowd held its collective breath as the often non-functional clock continued to tick. A shovel pass to Jesse Bendross put Bama in front 21-17 and Linnie Patrick ran for a 15-yard TD to cap the scoring and give Bryant his 315th win, by the hardest.

The mood of Auburn fans, after the game, was not dejection, at least from those whom we interacted with at that time. Optimism was palpable as Coach Dye’s team had laid the foundation for what was about to become the Golden Era of Auburn football.

The Tigers did indeed upset the Tide the following year, to end a nine game losing streak, as a young freshman named Vincent “Bo” Jackson went “over the top” late in the fourth quarter to give Auburn a 23-22 victory. Starting with that monumental win, Auburn’s record against Alabama stands at 18-16 in this classic football series.

And so, if I had to re-live a loss to our arch-rivals, it would have to be this 1981 game. I could full well live with that knowing what was in the offing. If we got a do-over on it, I would have Auburn pick off that shovel pass and run it back the other way for a touchdown, take a 10-point lead, and win by a field goal, 24-21. The Bear would not have gotten his 315th win that day, and it would have been the beginning of a three-game winning streak for Auburn.

This would not have huge implications on the current team or traditions, but it would provide an immense sense of satisfaction for Tiger players and fans, and put Auburn one game closer to tying the overall series record.

Auburn’s Worst Loss(es)

Oh me, oh my. I’d rather not go there. Sigh. Ok.

Well, I don’t know how you can separate the ’84 and ’85 games. Both were last-second, gut-wrenching losses for my Tigers.

’84: Auburn was 8-3, with their only conference loss coming to Florida. The Gators were SEC Champions on the field that year, but they were on probation. If Auburn had won the game it would play in its second consecutive Sugar Bowl. Alabama was 4-6 and about to suffer their first losing season since before Paul Bryant began coaching the Tide.

Auburn came out flat that day for some odd reason. It scored first, but Alabama, the designated home team at “neutral” Legion Field, rallied and led 17-7 as the fourth quarter began to wind down. Then the Tigers’ Brent Fullwood streaked for a 60-yard TD and the two-point conversion was successful, 17-15. Later in the quarter, on fourth down, Auburn found itself at the Alabama one-yard line. I jumped up and began screaming at the TV, “Kick the field goal. Kick the damn field goal. Let’s get outta here.” Dye opted to go for it and Fullwood was stuffed for a three-yard loss when Bo Jackson thought he was going to get the ball, went the wrong way, and did not block for his teammate.

Auburn did have an opportunity to kick a last second field goal which missed badly. Game over. Nightmare.

’85: Nightmare Deux, in spite of Bo Jackson making a final, emphatic case for the Heisman Trophy. He put forth a brilliantly gallant effort, and he was playing with two broken ribs. The game went back and forth like a heavyweight prize fight. Auburn went up 23-22 very late in the game. The prospects of a win looked quite promising, especially when Alabama found itself at its own 12 yard-line with 37 seconds remaining and no timeouts on the board. A couple of plays later Mike Shula got off a pass to Greg Richardson coming across the middle, and he managed to somehow get out-of-bounds with six seconds left on the clock.

Van Tiffin then nailed a 52-yard field goal and that was that. 25-23, Alabama.

Alrighty then! That was a nice exercise in masochism.

Let’s go right to the do-overs. In ’85, either Richardson does not get out-of-bounds or Tiffin misses the field goal, and Auburn wins, 23-22, for the second time in four years. Back to ’84, Auburn kicks the 18-yard chip shot and wins, 18-17. The Tigers now, with my ’81, ’84, and ’85 do-overs, win nine-in-a-row. This trumps what would now be an eight-game winning streak for Alabama, ’73- ’80, in the series. Auburn goes 18-8 over these next 26 games, through 2006, and Nick Saban is not hired in 2007 as he wants no part of the turmoil in Tuscaloosa.

The implications? Auburn continues as the dominant team in the state, Alabama doesn’t win four more Natties, and all is well on the Plains.

Revisionist history. Pretty sweet, right?