My Favorite Grateful Dead Songs

I’ve enjoyed listening to music of the Grateful Dead for many years, though haven’t purchased a compact disk in a very long time. Here’s a list of some of my favorite songs (in order) from the CD’s which I own:

Grateful Dead | American Beauty (1970)

  • Ripple
  • Sugar Magnolia
  • Box of Rain

Grateful Dead | Europe ’72 (1972) – double CD set

  • He’s Gone
  • Cumberland Blues
  • China Cat Sunflower

AND

  • Tennessee Jed
  • Mr. Charlie
  • Truckin’

Grateful Dead | Skeletons From The Closet (1974)

  • Uncle John’s Band
  • St. Stephen
  • Friend of The Devil

Grateful Dead | In The Dark (1987)

  • West L.A. Fadeaway
  • Throwing Stones
  • Hell In A Bucket

Grateful Dead | Built To Last (1989)

  • Victim Or The Crime
  • Built To Last
  • Just A Little Light

Concerts

What A Long Strange Trip

A friend from Cleveland, Brian Daley, showed up at my apartment in Holland, Michigan during the summer of 1985, asking if I’d be interested in traveling to Wisconsin to hear the Grateful Dead perform. After gathering my backpack, we scoured the town in order to purchase the only remaining original Coca Cola – following the recent change in formula – and hit the road in his Honda Prelude.

Along the way, we must have bumped into nearly a dozen people on the road that Brian, a Deadhead, knew from various shows he’d attended. That seemed rather unlikely – what were the odds? – though, less so upon arrival at the venue.

We set up a tent on the edge of a farmer’s field near the concert grounds, purchased tickets and proceeded to the first show, on Friday night. It was an excellent concert, though it took quite a while to exit the amphitheater, afterwards; something was obstructing the door at the top of the hill.

Once finally outside, we saw that a large car – an Oldsmobile Delta 88, as I recall – had parked directly in front of the exit, crosswise. That car belonged to friends of ours – Bernie, Libby, Roger – from Holland, Michigan, who heard that we had gone and took a road trip to join us. Knowing that we might be difficult to locate, they decided to be as conspicuous as possible. Indeed!

Lunch At McCloud Mountain Restaurant

I recently had the privilege of enjoying lunch at McCloud Mountain Restaurant, located atop the Cumberland Mountains at an elevation of 2700 feet. See the menu.

Contact 423-562-3282 for reservations.

Address: 1220 McClouds Trail – Duff, TN 37729

The food is delicious, though it’s really the view that draws patrons to visit McCloud Mountain. Here are some photographs from the restaurant, and the Skywalk

Enjoy your meal!

New Product Satire

I recently invented a new product, though it’s still in the prototype stage. It combines a metal detector with a weed whipper. I figured, this way I can keep my lawn looking good and make some money on the side!

HaHaHaHa

Didn’t think it was funny? Well, you’re not alone. I’ve been telling this joke – an original – since the mid 1990’s, with only a lukewarm response. Nevertheless, I continue to chuckle!

Magic Trick: Mind Reading – Revealed!

Having followed the steps outlined in my previous post, entitled Magic Trick: Mind Reading, it’s now time to reveal the magic!

Given they’ve applied their two different secret letters to the name of a country in the north & the name of a very large land animal, you can now turn to them and state…

That’s silly. There’s no such thing as Elephants in Denmark!

So much fun – have a good time with this magic trick, and thanks for visiting!

Magic Trick: Mind Reading

This is a fun trick you can use to amaze family & friends, who’ll be left scratching their heads, wondering – how did he know that? It works the same for one or more people at once, but you must be very clear in providing the proper instructions.

Note: I’ll post the answer tomorrow, so, if you’d like, you can play along today!

I have a trick I’d like to show you. It requires that you do some math, and you’re welcome to use a calculator if you’d like – but, it isn’t necessary.

Pick a number from 1-100 and don’t tell me. Keep it secret, and let me know when you’ve selected a number.

Ok. Multiply that number by 9…

Is your answer 2 or more digits long, yes or no?

If they say, “no”, then continue to The Next Step – see below.

If they say “yes”, then you say –

Ok. Now, add the digits together. For example, if your answer was 123, then add the “1” plus the “2” plus the “3” together to get a new number of “6”.

Next, rephrase the same question –

Is this new number still 2 or more digits long?

If so, have them add the digits together again & ask once more.

This time, they’ll answer “no” – continue to The Next Step.

The Next Step

Next, I’d like you to subtract 5 from your number…

Now I’d like you to assign your answer to its corresponding letter in the alphabet; for example, 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, and so on. Let me know when you’ve done this.

Ok. Think of the name of a country in the north that begins with that letter. Let me know when you’re ready to continue.

Next, move one letter further into the alphabet, and think of the name of a very large land animal beginning with that letter.

Conclusion

I’ll provide the answer…tomorrow. See you then!

Old Basketball Hoop

It had been a while since I played basketball, and I’d been thinking of it lately. My under-inflated ball was stored inside of a box in the garage, not far from an air pump. Shorts, t-shirt, shoes, air in the ball – I was ready.

The basketball hoop where I used to shoot wasn’t far, and so I practiced dribbling along the way. When I arrived, I took a moment to review the situation, and then remembered that I had a good book at home which I was planning to read.

Game over.

Believe It Or Not

I once lived in Holland, Michigan, where, one summer’s day, a friend – Brooks Besjovec – asked if I’d like to see some…

Red Chinese Bats?

It wasn’t far, he said, located just off of Ottawa Beach Road along the north shore of Lake Macatawa, so I skeptically agreed and the journey ensued.

It was late afternoon when we arrived. We parked along the side of a road near a local wind-surfing shop which I was familiar with, and my friend pointed across the yard of a nearby house. There, roughly four feet off of the ground, I could see a large rectangular-shaped wooden box between two trees.

As we approached, Brooks cautioned me not to startle the bats, to approach the cage slowly, quietly. In so doing, I could see that the top of the cage was open, covered only with chicken wire.

A painted sign attached to the cage read, “Chinese Bats”, and, as I peered inside, I could see that my friend had indeed been telling the truth; there before my eyes were two red plastic Wiffle Bats – a.k.a., toy baseball bats (Made In China).

Fitness Flashback

It was 1996 and I was 32 years old living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My gym was American Fitness and I was working out 5 days per week (3-on-1-off, 2-on-1-off).

One day, I noticed a flyer posted on the bulletin board, advertising for a strong man contest to be held in 2 weeks – who could bench press their own weight the most times? This was my favorite exercise, so I decided to enter the competition.

The contest would be judged, and lifters had to adhere to the following rules:

  • no bouncing weight off of ones chest
  • no arched back – ones back must remain flat, in contact with bench
  • to count, each repetition must be full and cleared as “good” by judge
  • contestants would compete based on a weight class bracket

The event was to be held at an old, industrial building near the railroad tracks on the east side of town, used at that time for a bar known as The Warehouse. Based on my weight, I was in the 175-200 lbs. weight class bracket.

When it was time, I arrived to see that many others were also interested in competing, and a local news station had their camera set up to record the event. The first order of business entailed stepping on a scale to be weighed by an official. Each individual did so in private without clothing, and I weighed 190.5 lbs.

It was at that point that I learned another contest rule – that is, that weights would be rounded up in 5-lb. increments. Thus, I’d be lifting 195 lbs. instead of my actual weight. It was suggested that I run outside around the building a few times – hoping to lose 1/2 pound – and that a second weighing would be made available. I thought about it but wanted to conserve my energy, so I declined.

I waited for my turn back in the main room, stretching my muscles and warming-up on one of several bench presses made available.

When I was finally called, I walked up onto the stage, listened to a brief review of the rules by an official, and then got into position on the bench. Next, as with each competitor, a judge (a.k.a., the spotter) assisted in safely removing the weight from the rack, thereafter releasing contact for me to begin lifting.

I bench pressed 195 lbs. for 29 clean repetitions, good enough for second place in my weight class bracket. First place went to a 178 lb. competitor (from my gym!) who pressed 180 lbs. for 31 clean repetitions.

All told, I bench pressed 5655 lbs. during that series of lifts, which (in consolation only) was a total of 75 lbs. more then the winner. My 29 presses were also the 2nd most of any competitor across all weight class brackets at the event.