Monthly Archives: July 2017

Song “Flowers by the side of the road”

I’m assuming that anyone who was ever ‘invested’ in a relationship remembers doing ‘above and beyond’ activities to strengthen and develop it.
And in this case, later, also seemingly non-cost-effective measures to grasp why it failed, god-forbid.
Oh, and worse, planting highly visible and recognizable flower beds along her travel path, as a posthumous reminder of what had died.
Not saying this one is autobiographical, but I will note that after 6 months or so of carrying water cans in the back of the car twice a week, you could be forgiven for declaring the point made and ‘getting over it’.
Apologies for all the ellipses (missing lyrics, ‘un-transcribable utterances’ here.
I’ll have to contact the fellow some time and ask him what he thought he was saying. Or maybe the girl remembers, but I doubt it.

Flowers by the side of the road


Verse one-
Can you believe I just spent twenty-four hours on the highway
Just to meet you in this White Hotel?
Not to mention twenty years I spent trying to forget you..
Now we’re standing at the Wishing Well

I’ll say you broke my heart;
You’ll say you never meant to
All the letters that I sent you
Missing you night and day

Verse two

You know I stopped at every roadside attraction
You remember where we used to play?
Where the … waters so cool in the Summer
And the flowers take your breath away.


I’m looking for a sign; something to believe in
Love that will never die
Oh.. Oh, you don’t know how much I loved you
(How could you know?
How could you go?)

‘Our love will never die’
Yeah, that’s what I told you


I’m dying just to hold you
How could you ever let this go?
Verse three

Baby baby; a night to remember
All alone in this white hotel

We’ll go swimming in the Wishing Well

I’m leaving you a sign
Something to believe in

There’ll come a time
You’ll need someone to depend on:
There’ll be Flowers by the side of the road



Song: “My baby my darling”

Not to worry; no mawkish sappy cringe-worthy moments here.
More like the dual Lobster scenes in  Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’ I link below
This fellow, certain that he’s found ‘the one‘ finds anyone else’s company a source of constant comparison… and quiet
I do like this song, overlooking its several technical production-faults. No one’s perfect. Not even ‘My Baby my Darling’.


Verse one

Somebody new, and she don’t even look like you
Even in the candlelight
I close my eyes and think this can’t be true

She says I look elegant in blue
It’s not that I don’t think she’s right
I just wanted to be ‘elegant’ with you

Cho: My Baby, my Darling; I can’t live without you!

Verse Two

My silent spring;
All the oranges in bloom
But can’t even smell the flowers
I don’t even listen when they sing

Now she’s asking what to bring?
But I’m not even listening
And I tell her I can’t think of anything..

Cho: My Baby my Darling; I can’t live without you!


Verse Three

I’ll be all right
I’ll just smile and throw a kiss
If I can’t be with the one I love
I should love the one I’m with?
But not tonight;
When I think of what we missed
There’s got to be a God above
To make someone so precious and so right
Cho: My Baby my Darling; I can’t live without you!

Verse four

Someday she’ll call
I’m not that easy to forget;
When we held each other
Time was just a number in a picture on the wall

Now I think it’s time we met
We always had so much to say
Lately I don’t talk to you at all

My Baby, my Darling; I can’t live without you!

lobster scene


“What kind of monstrous creature could have done this?”

 In an ‘against all odds‘ effort yesterday AM I harvested half of an entire cornfield. I’d been nervously watching the situation on the ground up there for the last two weeks. Perhaps lulled into a false confidence, I was caught off-guard by a surprise attack. Seven ear-heavy stalks, model soldiers, were fatally desecrated in one night. While I slept unaware in the bunker.
We declared “Tzav shmone” (Heb: ‘Call-out 8’) immediately, at 6:45 AM, and my entire platoon (me and 5 empty drywall buckets) secured the perimeter and went to work in the 100 degree heat.
Ok, another metaphor might be the stock market… or foreign-exchange. When Forbes, Bloomberg and the Bank of Israel all show the US dollar in a death spiral, it’s time to cut losses, spend the green-backs while they are still alive, buy whatever, (10,000 pair of knock-off eclipse-viewing glasses?) and brag to the gang about your cleverness.

I sold the ‘young‘ but criminally-tasty ears by nightfall. (Ok, gave away a couple dozen to a list of nine ‘Friends’ I need to ‘cultivate’. Worth every kernel, I tell myself.) They call back later, stacked up on the phone like wide-bodies at O’Hare, to repeat the by-now familiar ‘product-review: “Food-fights ensued in the family here; a battle for the most ridiculously-flavorful corn we ever tasted!”
Oops, I’ve ignored the Enemy here: Cats!

corn damage
Yes, one black-and-white 2-yr-old male is the ringleader. We caught him red-pawed taking a destructive bite out of each ear. (Hard to sell corn with feline bite-marks, I’ve learned)
And of course every arm-chair General has a solution: Fence around the corn? I actually favor ‘fencing around the cats’. Cheaper, and more emotionally satisfying.
In a country where every bullet ‘expended’ needs to be documented in triplicate, my old-country habit of patrolling with a trusty .22 in hand has died somewhat. That, plus my distaste for being judge and executioner on a fellow animal who just wanted a handy meal…
There is also the concept in law of ‘attractive nuisance’ to consider:
Having, so to speak, installed an enticing swimming pool, I have a responsibility for any neighborhood child who feels like drowning himself in it.
And so, noting another half-dozen casualties this morning, I’ll conscript the haggard troups in the second-wave compulsory harvest. What they do with any captive cats is on their own consciences.
Meanwhile, ‘Buttergold’ Sweet Corn, adorned with melted butter is as close to ‘Food of the Gods’ as any vegetable I’ve met in 68 years.

Total eclipse of the memory

 Lets just start with what I do remember:
Huntingdon, PA. The later stages of my truncated college career. We were there at my bass-player’s ram-shackle farm-house to ‘rehearse’, or party, or something. And as odd as it may sound in this day and age, none of us expected or anticipated the Sun’s ‘umbration’.!
We dropped the acid mid-morning, I’m assuming. That’d explain a few way-points. A brief kissing/melting episode with Roger William’s little sister, gorgeous but troubled, and he didn’t mind. (I later saved her from two suicide attempts, and ‘woke’ her from catatonia with one magical kiss.)
Ok, it was early Spring. That much I knew before Googling. (the point of this essay). Melting snow patches made it hard to find a place on the lawn to lie down.
We all noticed the ‘bite out of the Sun’.
‘It’s getting worse’, Barry Grubb, the stocky bass-player, not much of an astro-physicist, told us.
“It’s a sign!”, he added.
“Of what, that our studio demo’s been accidentally erased?” I think I might have replied. Or, who knows, simply thought to say, not certain by that point that emitting vocal sounds conveyed,’ like, information, man.’
And yes, it did ‘get worse’. Darkness, a cool breeze suddenly, and a feeling of ‘apex-ness’… or ‘nadir-ness.
We survived. And today with the wonders of the net, I’d give my hard-drive to be able to compare experiences with the gang back then. With whom I’ve been out of touch since our exciting but debilitating ‘house-band’ gig at a club a block away from Niagara Falls, NY. Yes, another excuse to do the Owsley, with mega-tons of water powerfully showing what Nature is all about.
Long story, guy; what’s the point?
I’m hoping that anyone with a pulse already knows to cancel all calls on August 21. The track of totality in this next eclipse stretches from sea to shining sea, as if God Himself decided on a one-day reprieve from the Fear and Loathing of the Drumpf catastrophe.

And, equally germane:
I had sadly given up on ever remembering even the year of this event. Now, thank WIKI, I have a date,and even an hour. Yes, March 9th, 1971. Not that this factoid nails down who I was, what I believed in, or a myriad of other relevant questions a grown man ought to be able to answer. Forty-six years later (?)
Seriously, what was I wearing? In whose car did I get there? Did we have snacks? What was Ms. ‘Sweet-Sixteen’ wearing? (yellow and green sun-dress. Stored elsewhere in the ‘Libido file’, thank god)
And the general Question, to conclude, is perhaps:
“What should we know, and for how long should we know it?”
I do use Google to track my path in life. More and more. Anyone else reduced to that?

Stood up by Myles Standish (!)

Steadfast in my desire to interview stand-out actors on the historical scene, I was understandably thrilled by the offer, from his ‘agent’, to have a nice sit-down with Mr. Standish.

Not-with-standing my Trumpesque ignorance of all the details of the man’s life: (I’d been hearing ‘more and more about the work he’s doing, along with that of the great, great Frederick Douglass)’ , I’d agreed to meet him, yesterday 2 PM at a cozy restaurant in Plymouth, Mass.
I withstood the embarrassment of hogging a reserved table-for-two in the corner of what turned out to be an almost standing-room-only hot-spot (so much for ‘cozy’) until 2:30, when I called my ‘contact’ person on my cell.
“Um, Standish has been kinda stand-off-ish lately..”, ‘Jim’ kinda apologized. “I’m working on it. Give him till four, and if he don’t show up, just leave the hundred bucks with the owner, and I’ll be in touch.”
The ‘click’ when he hung up was a perfect sound-effect for my ‘duh’ moment:
Had I been had? And the ‘finder’s fee hadn’t ever been mentioned!
Plus the long trip, Tel Aviv to Boston’s Logan airport, had me comparing the ride with the two-month voyage of the Mayflower. Unfavorably. (I flew ‘stand-by’, thinking it apt.)
Never mind, paying my bill for three cups of black coffee, I apologized to the owner for tying up a table for nought.:

“Who were you waiting for, if I might ask?” he asked diplomatically.

“Myles Standish!” I crowed, as if a bit of name-drop might repair my lost self-image.
“You’re kidding?!” the owner said, and I felt the hoped-for rush… until he added:
“He’s been dead for 360 years, Bud! Jim sent you?”
I hung my head.
Walking to the bus-stop, I had time for some soul-searching.
Why hadn’t I Googled the guy?!

Hadn’t I learned my lesson from the failed meet-up with ‘Edmund Hillary de Witt Clinton’? I’d prepared lengthy questions on Engineering, Mountain-climbing, and Politics after some too-hurried Wikipedia research.
“Oh well”, I comforted myself, “I’ll write the interview on the flight home.”

Alternative facts’, they’re hot these days.

And that’s me in the corner, losing my pride.

Just a silly ‘Guess Who’ story

 Ok, three people walk into a bar: an actress, a singer, and a defense attorney.
The bartender gives them a long look before saying:
‘What is this, some kind of a joke?’

The three look at each other, dumbfounded.
Peter, the singer says: ‘Um…not that I know; we just stopped by for a drink.’, and orders a beer.

Bartender: ‘You want that in a WHEELBARROW?”
Pete’s like ‘Duh’, and answers calmly ‘No, in a glass. And my friend here. she’ll have a glass of wine.’

Bartender: ‘No problem. I have a nice white wine… and it’s flavored with Rosemary’ This said while looking at Mia, the actress… and waiting for a reaction… which doesn’t happen.
Frustrated, the bartender remarks to her: ‘You do look a bit thin; sure you don’t want a burger with that?’
Mia, deflecting the un-requested medical advice, says cheerfully: ‘No thanks, I’m actually a vegetarian.’

The Bartender, too loutish to feel chastened, just has to persist:
‘So what do you people live on, SPARROW MARROW?’

At this point Clarence, the D.A. in the three-some, decides to weigh in:
“Sir, lots of folks all over the world do quite well on a meat-less diet.”

This time the Bartender allows a closer peak at his true agenda:
“Where, in the Faroe Islands?”
Clarence, (a sharper mind might not exist), draws out the Bartender with a bait:
“Actually, I was thinking of the farm fields of Ohio, the ‘breadbasket of the US’.”
The Bartender, plunging in, grabs the hook:
“Oh yeah, where you have to HARROW the fields all spring. And then weed the NARROW rows of corn.”

Clarence: “Actually, it’s mainly done with machines these days.”

Pete and Mia glance at each other… and at their watches. They’ve both read about their lawyer-buddy’s spending 12 hours in court on a witness to win a case. But damn, all they wanted was a drink!

The bartender tries one last desperate hint:
“Ok folks, sorry for kinda monkeying around; I just like to scope out my customers.”
Clarence, happy to put another win in his resume, shares a glance at his two friends. At this point the question was whether to move on, drink-less, to a different watering hole… or to wait, they hoped perhaps in vain, for no further attempts by the Bartender to destroy their precious anonymity. (That blogger jsolberg’s readers could always be counted on to supply the last critical puzzle-piece, and the trio knew it.)
Peter checked his cell for the address of the ‘Arrowhead Inn’. Walking distance. They walked the five blocks thirstier than ever for a simple gulp of an elixir which cared not who they were.

Hey the bartender could have simply asked for autographs.

Instrumental Song: ‘Broken Wing’

Apologies for the blank screen on this now-lost video: a soundtrack I did for a ’70s PBS documentary about inner-city kids putting their lives back together.
Yes, there were lots of children: muscled shades of beige, brown and black on playground swings, riding the damn things   higher and higher until they realize that the only limits to their dreams and success in life are…
Um, …the length of the support chains and the height of the playground infra-structure (!).
Sorry, broke the wonderfully-supportive PBS mood!

I include it here for posterity. The rights to the original version, recorded laboriously on now-dinosaur TEAC 4-tracks, were long-since sold to Turner, Sony, or whoever. Doubt they’ll lose sleep over seeing this remake on my lonely WP site.

Song: ‘Missing you…Not!’

Unless you’re one of the stone faces on Rushmore, dear Reader, you must certainly be familiar with the ‘un-announced onset of moments of passion and memories’
But as someone once advised about deciding to suddenly go jogging, the best wisdom is to ‘find something else to do until the feeling  subsides.’
Memory is well-known as a selective, tunnel-vision experience.
Here, in this song, the conclusion is that ‘we only remember the good times… times two.’ (Or “too”- also.)
The human brain does that; otherwise you’d lie awake at night thinking about what an asshole you are.

Of course some folks (women, ok?) are frustratingly  incapable of even putting the ‘times’ on the table for perusal and/or reflection. Need to Google what the professional call ’em.
My advice, though: Don’t call ’em. No matter how teared-up you you feel drunk-dialing, take it from me: Go jogging instead, brother.

Verse One

I was blind
But now I see
I thought I was missing you
But now I know that we
Only remember the Good, times 2

Verse Two:
I bought you flowers:
You said I paid too much!
You think I never cry?
That I don’t need your touch, girl,
Only remember the good times 2

It’s just like you left it, Baby
Nothing is changed
Once in a while I just let myself cry
Guess you know how much I

Tried to belong to you
Tried to be strong for you
Write every song for you
Oh baby.. right or wrong

Verse Three:

I read your letter:
Sounds so tough
I thought I was good enough
Seems like you can’t find the time to remember
the good, times 2


Verse Four

We watched the sun rise
For all it’s worth
No spooks, no evil eyes
The lowest place on earth
Girl, just remember the good times two

-break and finish-

You got what you wanted, Baby
Nothing at all…
Once in a while you can let yourself try
I don’t know, let’s call it…


Help! Mexican Rapist Cats are eating all my sweet corn!

Not all of my problems have solutions,  and I knew I was out of luck when the only search-results on Google for “prevent cats from eating my corn” were cute-kitty YouTube videos, or articles addressing whether gobbling my carefully-planted livelihood, already barely worth the investment, might harm their precious health.

Yup, the next cat I catch going down a row and taking a destructive bite out of every other ear… she’ll have some ‘health problems’, trust me!

Trying not to blame Trump for this, although I spent 66 happy years never seeing either his ugly face or a cat eating sweet corn. It’s become a huuuge problem since the ill-fated election of 2016.
‘I’ll build a great, great fence around our nation’s corn-fields, attach solar panels… and ‘the cats will pay for it!’,  I caught myself thinking.

Just like the folly of spending 25 billion dollars to ‘prevent’ a couple dozen documented cases of injury caused by illegal aliens, (it’s statistically more likely that your dish-washer’s door will malfunction, open prematurely, and suck you into a fatal spin-cycle!) , I’d be smarter to build a temporary ‘detention-center’ for the perverted cats who’ve developed a taste for Johnny’s homegrown organic corn.
My hope, at first, was to overwhelm them with ‘human-wave, massively-parallel’ tactics. I planted at least 2000 corn-babies. And I still hold onto a dream that that the later-planted ‘Great Yellow Hope‘ Upper field will remain, as at present, ‘Terra Incognita’ to the furry plague until I can harvest and sell its crop.
But, like Trump, I’m also feeling that even a chance victory up there, and one not based on ‘alpha-human’ domination, will be essentially ‘un-twat-worthy’. No, I need proof, for my voters, that I grabbed the felines by the pussy, bent them to my will, and made my garden ‘great again’.

I shall treat this post as a ‘real-time’ report on the fuzzy cat-immigration issue: Readers deserve no less; photos of the horror might be convincing. And having dealt with way-ward cattle for decades with electric fences, the solar-panel route may actually have some virtue.
Meanwhile no one on the forums dares to take my side in the battle. ‘Animal rights’ apparently include ‘innate and un-fettered access to the fruits of the Earth’.
Yes… when seeds, water, fertilizer, and labor are free… More later/JS

My Lorenz-Fitz-gerald-Minkowski Deposit Box.

Q’adima/Israel, Thursday early AM:

I’d watched the little Lucite box set into my ceiling for a couple hours, as the clock neared 6 AM.
With an access door on the top, and then ‘my’ little door on the bottom, I can only ever see vague movement inside it; shadows.
And so I was watching when I heard the sounds of footsteps on the tin roof, heard the upper latch release, and saw, only for a second, a moving hand toss something into it. Oddly, the moment the door opened the box became almost black inside for the few seconds.
But I’m used to ‘odd’ by now.

Grabbing my stepladder and setting it up under the box, I hastily un-did the little latch on my door, Now lit-up inside from the approaching dawn here, I reached in and retrieved the $1000. Ten crisp hundreds, cool to the touch, and even ‘cooler’ to a fellow who’s been frightfully broke for much too long.
Thank God for the Box. If it weren’t for the ‘fail-safe’ mechanism preventing both doors being opened at once, I would have reached in and shaken my trusted tenant’s hand, somewhere ‘over’ (‘up’? ‘down’?) there… wherever he is/ was.

Lancaster County PA,  USA: 11PM Wednesday:

 It’d taken Rob till almost midnight to finish work, stop by the bank, fight traffic homeward, help his wife feed the young kids, count his own meager finances. Some things just take as long as they take, but he’d promised to do the deposit.
A long ladder he keeps safely resting on the ground along the garden wall; Rob set it up against the eaves of the centuries-old log house. In the darkness he carefully climbed up and crawled the couple feet to where the Lucite box was sunk into the cedar-shake roof, opened the trapdoor, and tossed the bills into it. The light suddenly shining out of it was disconcerting to his dark-adjusted eyes, and after closing the door he wisely allowed his pupils to re-accommodate before descending to the lawn. His cell-phone chirped ’11 PM’ .’ Great’, he thought to himself. ‘I’m happy, he’s happy; what a wonderful planet!’

And so I sit on the edge of my bed, putting on my shoes still dirty from yesterday’s concrete job. Off to work, but wait: there’s still time for fleeting but deep thoughts about Time, Space, Distance, and Simultaneity…
 Were Rob and I actually in the the same world, for a moment?

The imaginary-but technically-possible telephoto shot from The Moon seemed to confirm it, yet their ‘time-stamp‘ was ‘late’ by a second or so. Speed of light… or Reality?
One big issue to fix, ‘first things first’ is to toss into the trash that silly ‘Time-Zone’ source of confusion and cognitive duhs:
‘Different Strokes (of Midnight) for Different Folks’? Who needs it? I’m thinking we would be wiser to do without.

Give the folks at Greenwich a cheap and painless ‘why not?’ honorary medal. ‘World Time’ (aka GMT, UCT.’ Rob, my US benefactor and I can then shake hands at an easily-remembered ‘0400 hours GMT‘ on both of our clocks. Kinda…
I’ll not belabour the Einsteinian time-like/space-like separation issue. Who even knows; the nano-second-critical act of our hands clasping, in our disallowed ‘mixed-frame of reference’, might be observed by most anyone else as a ‘mutual annihilation’ explosion’ as the electrons in the outer layers of our separate skins seek to reconcile their quantum vibration wave-forms. Only a carefully-chosen point on the Moon’s surface will see it as a nice gesture of gratefulness.
Luckily, we survive quite well ignoring real, physical, hidden, aspects of our modern life here.
And the money will go to a good cause: school taxes, textbooks, whose carbo-hydrate covers might have at least some nutritive value for today’s students.

Thank God, Michelson, Morley, and the folks in the title for the Box. Look ’em up; so they shouldn’t have died in vain.