The Redhead’s Rolling Rock Review

March 15, 2018 at 11:40 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again...)

I look forward to Wednesdays. Mizelle and Lily come down from the mountain, and I chauffeur them all over the metro area. One of the perks is the music. The Ford Explorer has a CD player as well as AM/FM, and it gets put to use.

Knowing better than to mess with another’s presets, I clicked around on the radio until I found presets closest to the stations I was after. Preset One, or Preset Five, and four clicks of the search button going right, got me one of the two classic rock stations in Portland.

KGON, to quote Bob Seger, is still the same. I called it the B.S. station. Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Squier, Buffalo Springfield. But no Black Sabbath, unless you count Paranoid. (Or Iron Man, if the DJ has to take a shit.) KGON does play a lot of Ozzy, but mostly Crazy Train and Mama, I’m Coming Home. Sho’nuff, Mr Crowley was playing when I turned on the radio.

So we click button number five, and push seek four times, to find 105.9 The Brew. Basically KGON with more Def Leppard and less Journey. (I stopped Believin‘ a long fuckin’ time ago.) Bonus: Cort Webber from the old KUFO days is the 10 AM-2 PM DJ, so the on-air interjections are humorous and brainier than usual. It’s comforting to hear a voice on radio that has been there for 30 years. From his intern days on the Bill Prescott Show, to the Cort and Fatboy heyday, Cort’s baritone snarkery is a constant favorite. He’s like Portland’s Walter Cronkite, with more nose hair.

Lily helps with musical selection. I try to explain that Pink Floyd isn’t really anti-education as we rock out to Another Brick In The Wall on the way to school. Pink Floyd gets the loud treatment; it was fun watching Lily’s face react as Welcome To The Machine threw itself around the speakers of the SUV. I reassured her it was supposed to sound that way, and the car wasn’t falling apart.

Time, with all the bells and cuckoo clocks, plays nicely in our terrestrial space ship.

Sadly, most of both channels are a playlist unchanged from 1986. Can we put Steve Miller away already? And Bon Jovi? Fuckin’ king of the earworm. I love AC/DC, but all they ever play is Back in Black and TNT. Put on some Soul Stripper or Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and watch the volume knob have an orgasm. Judas Priest is touring again, sounding as good as ever. How about a little love? Besides You’ve Got Another Thing Coming? (I noticed they are playing the song Grinder on this tour. It’s radio-safe!)

Ozzy’s duet with Lita Ford is lovely, but I skip songs about suicide when Lily is in the car. We have some deep conversations. I’m not ready for that one yet.

The past few weeks I’ve been bringing CDs, either off my sister’s “drinking pile” or stuff I’d previously burned for road trips. Lily wasn’t as excited about Blue Oyster Cult as I was, but, judging from her facial cues, she really enjoyed my Paul McCartney and Wings homemade greatest hits. We were the band on the run…

After 12-13 hours, I’m ready to let the eardrums rest for another week. I’m keeping my eyes open, in case Sister unearths another great one. My ace in the hole? When Bohemian Rhapsody comes on, and both Lily and Mizelle are in the car, I’m going full-on Pavarotti.


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Riding With The Manny-Goat

March 6, 2018 at 12:13 pm (On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

Explorer’s Spirit Animal

Arrgh. 7 AM. Usually when I’m drifting from hard sleep to REM. When the TV gets muted because the ads will keep me awake. (Enough with the miracle spring water, already.) But on Wednesdays I bounce out of bed, as bouncy as this old bag of bones gets, and make a frozen waffle breakfast. Kelly green butter is the first of many pretty colors I will be seeing.

By 9 AM, I am dressed and sitting by the window, waiting for Mizelle and Lily to pull up. Wednesday is road trip day!

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October 7, 2017 at 11:11 am (On the road again..., That's not funny...)

My Dad used to say, “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t fastened on.”

He didn’t mean me specifically. He mostly said that about himself, but I always enjoyed the visual; grabbing someone by the scalp, holding their severed head up a la Kathy Griffin and saying, “Um, dude…?”

Considering my age and how much weed I’ve smoked over the past 42 years, you’d think my brain would leak like a sieve. This is hardly the case. As my brother-in-law used to say, “You’ve got a mind like a steel trap. Rusted shut.”

I’d like to think I fall somewhere in between a mental lint-trap and Niagra Falls. But this week, I saw some glimpses of the doddering old man I may soon become…

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Deja Vu All Over again

September 20, 2017 at 11:11 am (On the road again..., Waxing Nostalgic)

Country Bumpkin

I love to drive. I started at age twelve by taking laps of the back yard in a 1970 Toyota Corona. I learned to drive a stick (three-on-the-tree) in a 1964 Ford F-100 half-ton pickup. When I turned fifteen and got my permit, I took my driver-licensed, stroke-paralyzed Dad along to keep it quasi-legal, and we drove and drove. This last weekend has been reminding me of that.

Mizelle has been using me… as a means of getting her vehicles home to middle-Washington. Work hours and childcare complicate matters, but I am more than willing to help.

It’s like being on vacation!

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Dairies and Berries

September 15, 2017 at 11:23 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again...)

Mizelle was lighting up my phone. “Hi there!”

“Well, hello sir!” she replied. After exchanging pleasantries, she got down to business. “Want to do me a favor?”

“Sure. Whatcha want?’ Her favors aren’t usually too annoying.

“I’m buying a truck out in Scappoose, and need someone to drive it back. You game?”

“Of course I am!”

And so began my summer vacation.

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Out In The Country

May 31, 2017 at 11:17 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

After a fifty-hour work week, lots of work drama, and a phone that won’t stop ringing, I needed a respite.

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Cryogenic Gluteus Maximus Removal

January 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again..., That's not funny...)

No. Just no.

No. Just no.

I’m surprised I’m not seeing little piles of gluteus maximus all over downtown. I almost froze my ass off last night.

I texted Dr T; “If Giggles is still there, tell him I’m gonna punch him in the head if he’s late tonight. We had to sit almost two hours to catch the last and only bus. That ain’t happenin’ again.”

I was pissed.

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Stay Frosty

January 11, 2017 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again...)


It was a four-hour shift. I spent almost that long at the bus stop.

It was spitting snow when I left the house. By the time Southie left the West End Store, a white blanket covered the intersection. By the time I got off work, YakTrax were required, and there were no buses or MAX crossing downtown. That’s not unusual after 10 PM.

I hurried to the bus stop. The tracker wasn’t working, but the bus was due at the top and bottom of the hour. Eventually I would catch a ride. I had a nice post-work buzz going, and the landscape was pretty. I could wait a while.

And I waited. I checked Transit Tracker for MAX, there was a train scheduled to leave four blocks away in ten minutes. I’d head there, while keeping an eye out for the Hawthorne bus. I passed a familiar looking group at the Madison stop. I went to the light rail stop. I hadn’t seen a train going any direction in a while. The sign at the MAX said, “You might want to consider not using public transportation tonight.” Great. I went to a different bus stop, on 6th Avenue. There was one of the #14 buses, sitting sideways blocking the entrance to Broadway on Main Street.

I tripped back to the MAX, still no sign of train. Midnight rolled around, and little by little people started walking. At 12:35 AM, I saw a bus taking an odd turn, and I got walking. I made it to 4th and Madison just as the #14 Hawthorne pulled up. The driver waved off my fare.

He was the only bus still in service.

We conquered. He turned and made one more pass. I hope he made it, for everyone’s sake.

Now I am heading back to work, for a full shift this time. If I leave three hours early I might make it on time.

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January 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again...)


Ice storm!Snowmageddon!Close the schools! It’s the end of times!

SPOILER ALERT: I survive. In fact, I came out of it pretty good.

We haven’t had a real winter for a couple years, so Mother Nature is making up for it in spades. The past week hosted non-stop sub-freezing temperatures, and the past few days have added liberal doses of precipitation, leading to enhanced thrills and spills. Cue Paul Simon; “Slip slidin’ awaaay…”

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You Doth Protest Too Much

November 10, 2016 at 10:40 am (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again...)

Tired Ol' Goat

Tired Ol’ Goat

I’m so sick of politics. Part Three.

Since the election, Trumpers have been walking around gloating, and the HRC camp (under-forty) are pissed and rioting in the streets. (“Voicing their opinion” as they call it.) Opinions are like assholes, and downtown has been full of opinions since the election.

I just wanna go home!

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