Today’s podcast is about my Dad. He was my only hero. He was a teacher. Most heroes are teachers in one way or another. The things he taught were simple but profound. He said things like ‘There’s a big difference between soft and gentle. It takes real strength to be gentle’, and ‘there’s a time for pulling yourself together, and a time for letting yourself go. He also said, ‘Be a man.’ And there wasn’t any doubt about what he meant when he said that.” One of the things Dad always did was keep fresh flowers on Mom’s table…all the time. That’s how he taught things. He always knew that show is much more important than tell. So he showed his sons how to be a man. He always told the truth, even when he screwed up, so I never saw him get embarrassed… even when I saw him cry. He said, ‘big boys don’t cry but sometimes big men do.’ He loved laughing, especially when the joke was on him. He was very smart. He was a whiz at math and music. Oh he loved his music. My room was right next to the living room where he has his piano. Most nights when I was a kid, he’d tell me a story, give me a kiss on the head, and go play his piano…and sing in that quiet, gentle, powerful baritone voice. Sometimes it takes some of us longer than others to learn about what’s really important in life.
Archive for August, 2015
I hope you’ll drop in on today’s podcast. I like having your company. I think I heard from my dad today. Dad has been playing keyboards with Beethoven’s Big Band in heaven for quite a few years now. But I woke up this morning with a song called The Leader of the Band running around in my head. You know how that works…a song just starts going around and around for no apparent reason. I’m sitting here in my big, manly, comfortable black leather poppa chair now, but I just came back from driving down to the supermarket to get some flowers for my Lady Wonder Wench, and over to the post office to mail a note to my brother Jeff. On the way back, the radio station was playing the same song that was going around in my head. Dan Folgelberg was singing, “He gave to me a gift I know I never can repay. A quiet man of music, denied a simpler fate, he tried to be a soldier once, but his music wouldn’t wait.” That was Dad. He was a musician, a teacher, and a man…in the finest sense of the word.
Today’s podcast is about the learning experience I had in the cockpit of my little plane, bouncing around in that turbulence the other day. I did actually hit my head on the roof of the cockpit. I would personally classify the turbulence as “really, really scary.” The FAA classified it as “moderate.” That’s because I was in the plane hitting my head on the ceiling, feeling hungry and needing to pee and the FAA was in its office building in Oklahoma City filling out paperwork. Difference in perspective. I really did ask myself why I was up there flying around in that weather, scaring myself. When all of a sudden it hit me that being scared is a very intense feeling…which means when you’re scared you are very intensely alive…and besides you can make up lots of lies to tell your friends about the experience later. Our lives are the most precious thing we have, and I was holding my life in my hands…literally…with my hands on the controls. Excitement. Man juice. It’s one of the things I love about flying. Once you’re up there…by yourself…it doesn’t matter how many thousands of feet…and it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going. There’s only one way to get back down again so you can get something to eat and take a pee, and that’s by doing it yourself. Nobody can do it for you. Air Traffic Control can sometimes help, but you’re the guy. There’s no breaking the law of gravity. The No Drool Rule is always…strictly enforced. A learning experience. Like these new angels are having.
Louie Louie Generation guys and girls (yes I said girls…as in “girls night out”) have been around for a while. We’ve learned things like, “Variety may be the spice of life, but it’s often monotony that buys the groceries.” And if life gives you lemons, it’s lots of fun to squeeze the juice into a water gun and squirt the people responsible in the eye.” And “No matter how bad your belly aches, never go to a surgeon with more than three bandages on his fingers…and never go to a plastic surgeon whose favorite artist is Picasso.” Avoid making mistakes like that. Join me for today’s podcast.
One thing that any married pilot will tell you is that when an airplane or a woman gets quiet…watch out. I don’t know much about women. But I think every guy every once in a while needs to experience a few minutes of the kind of sweat that happened to me a little while ago…flying my little plane in “Hit your head on the roof of the cockpit” turbulence. I think doing some things that scare us a little every once in a while keeps the man juices flowing. The guy in this picture is a good example. There’s a story about a guy who better keep that in mind before he makes a very bad mistake in today’s podcast.
Today’s podcast gives you a slogan to live by: “Drool is not cool.” I’ve looked in the mirror. I’ve noticed that some of my contents are beginning to look like they’ve settled during shipping. There has been a lot of shipping going on in my life for a long time. Lots of my friends are in similar condition. That’s the reason for the Louie Louie Generation. We don’t have rock hard abs and perky breasts like the people in the TV beer commercials anymore. But we have no plans to turn into a lumps of luke warm meat, either. We have a self monitored but absolutely strict “No Drool Rule.” It’s in my book “Staying Happy Healthy And Hot.
Sometimes things get uncomfortable when you’re flying a plane. When that happens, you ask yourself “Self…why am I doing this?” And there are more answers to the “Self why are we doing this” question than getting safely on the ground, finding some food and going to pee. That’s where the “No Drool Rule” comes in. You cannot fly a plane and drool at the same time. Drooling is best done in a rocking chair on the porch. And lots of folks my age do just that. My neighbor Steve now seems to get the same kind of kick out of rocking and drooling as he used to get on a roller coaster. As I have explained in my book, Staying Happy Healthy And Hot, I call people like Steve the “Dreary Drones.” The “dreary drones” slouch through life, drenched in TV, slogging through soggy relationships and settling for dimmed-down dreams. And lots of them sit in their rocking chairs and drool. Some of them can’t even start their chairs rocking. They could probably be declared landmarks. I don’t want any part of that. Drool is not cool.
Thanks for dropping in here on my blog, I’m very glad to have your company. I’m all comfortable now, sitting here in my big, manly, black leather poppa chair in my living room. Everything in the room is sitting still just like it’s supposed to. An hour or so ago, I was sitting in the left front seat of my little airplane flying in “hit your head on the roof of the cockpit” turbulence, making a left turn to final approach, and it wasn’t comfortable at all. In fact it was a little sweaty…to the point that I started asking myself, “Self…why are we doing this?” To which my-self answered, “Because you can’t stay up here all day you’ll run out of gas, you’re getting hungry, and most important, you’ve got to pee and the only way you’re going to do that is by landing this plane. Also, remember your own ‘No Drool Rule.’ So just do it.” Made sense to me so I did. That’s why I’m sitting here now. If I handn’t…I wouldn’t be. And furthermore, I’ll do it again. Sometimes reminds me of the kid in this picture. I’ll tell you all about it in today’s podcast.