Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dilly Dilly Follow-up

Just a Dilly Dilly follow-up.

Though the Bud folks and thier advertising company would love for us to believe that they are presenting us with an "original' idea, I think we're blowing the lip (or bottle cap) off this.  One loyal reader of the blog writes:

My memory of "dilly, dilly" is from the radio.  Burl Ives did it, too, but this is the version I remember most:




It was on the soundtract of the movie Cinderella

And now you know the rest of the story.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dilly Dally

 Went to hear a band play the other night at an old friend's bar.  While their, we spied a Bud Light T-Shirt with the now famous phrase "Dilly Dilly."
I read a business article that claims the copy writer needed a phrase for the king to say and someone spitball the "nonsense" word "Dilly" and everyone thought it was funny.  But, did the guy just invent it?

Imagine my surprise when I was reading Mother Goose Rhymes to my grandkids this past week.  I turn the page to:

 Title:  Lavender's Blue, Dilly Dilly

Lavender's blue Dilly Dilly,

Lavender's green;

When l am King, Dilly, Dilly,

You shall be Queen.

Who told you so, Dilly, Dilly,

Who told you so?

'Twas my own heart, Dilly, Dilly,

That told me so.

King, Quees, and Dilly?  Hmmmm?
Have a great Dilly Dilly day.  Whether you dilly dally or not.  But, do you lollygag?

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Woodworking Update:

Just an update:

A couple of 4'x8' sheets of 3/4" plywood, backing, trim, primer, two coats of paint and . . .

Phase one of three has been delivered 155 miles and installed in my grandchildren's homeschool room.  Progress, not perfection.  Let's just say, like an old friend, it has certain quirks. 

As an afterthought, I even threw in a couple of book stands so they can display their "Favorite Book of the Week" or "Top Pick".

Next, a nearly identical one for the other side of the room (working around an electrical outlet) and then a bench seat with storage to fit between.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Monday, July 23, 2018


 Question:  What is a "Concrete Poem." 

A "concrete" or "shape" poem where words are arranged on a page in a way that mimics or reinforces the poem's meaning.  A perfect example is Lewis Carroll's "The Mouse's Tale", taken from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  It's a tail in the shape of a mouses tale.  Or a tale in the shape of . . .

Reminds me of a gift my older daughter gave me twenty years ago (Yes, I try not to throw anything away). Though not a poem, it's a pretty, concrete statement taken from this quote:

“Some say it’s no coincidence that the question mark is an inverted plow, breaking up the hard soil of old beliefs and preparing for the new growth.”
― Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

I'm off for a couple of days.

Have a great week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Friday, July 20, 2018

How do you fall down stairs?

"That which does not kill me makes me stronger."
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

I don't know if ol' Friedrich said that after falling down the stairs or not, but I'm saying it.

Okay, I didn't exactly fall DOWN the stairs at 5:30 a.m.  I fell ON the stairs -- then slid down the rest.  

How do you fall down the stairs at 5:30 in the morning?
Step 1.
Step 2.
Step 3.
Step 12.

I don't know if my wife was awake when the event started, but I can assure you that she was wide awake when it was over.  To paraphrase Ralphie in Christmas Story, in the heat of battle, I weave a tapestry of obscenity that, as far as we know, is still hanging in space over the Ohio River.

I know that I should give thanks for my pain, as it teaches me courage and all that good stuff.  But, d@#M it hurts.  I am thankful that nothing appears broken and I can walk with not much more pain than I usually have going on.  Time to get on with my day.  Afterall, this morning, I'm stronger!

Have a great day, a great weekend, and be careful on the stairs. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Long Overdue

Opened my email this morning from Evansville-Vanderburgh Library:

Overdue books?  I'd forgotten that I even had any.  So, I took a shovel and dug through the mountain of crap on my desk.  Sure enough, three books I'd picked up a few weeks ago.  All "must reads."

Must not. 

Why do I do that? 

One turned was Music Theory 101.  Turns out that 101 is WAY too advanced for me.

One was on how to write successful songs.  The first chapter spent a lot of time -- A LOT of time -- on how Melissa Ethridge wrote a song for Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.  After that, not much to it. 

The final book was The Ode Less Traveled. Unlock The Poet Withing.  I do remember getting a little farther into that one, but obviously not enough to keep with it.

Yes, there's a whole world of knowledge at the public libraries.  But, the books don't read themselves.  No, wait.  They do now! 

Off to return these, pay my fines, and pick up a book on tape (digital now).  Perhaps my first one will be:  How to read a book without falling asleep after one page.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Another one of my hobbies . . .

Just thought I'd mention another one of my hobbies -- one I also share with my brother-in-law Lance:  "Greasy Spoons."  

 According to that all-powerful, all-knowing Wikipedia, a "greasy spoon" is
"a colloquial term for a small, cheap restaurant or diner typically specializing in fried foods.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term originated in the United States and is now used in various English-speaking countries. Originally disparaging, the term is now more frequently used in an endearing sense."

Saturday, while in Owensboro, we set off in search for a great lunch.  On U.S. 60, east of Owensboro, we found it:  The Country Ham Restaurant -- since 1949.

And what's The Country Ham Restaurant famous for?  You guess it:  Fried Fish, Hush Puppies, French Fries, Cole Slaw.

It's one of the little-known hole-in-the-wall joints that offer inexpensive good food, friendly service, all enjoyed in a "best finds at the thrift store" decor.


Oh, and the spoons?  Clean.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

You're only given . . .

Last night, I watched a documentary on the great and troubled Robin Williams.

Lewis Carroll famously wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “We’re all mad here.”

I agree.  And it's wonder-ful.

"Often times we are clouded by what we are supposed to do, rather than what we can do, and we curtail our own ability to become as great as we can be. Even the greatest of souls can stop themselves from being even greater than they are simply by letting their spark of madness rest.
And you can’t let it rest. You have to uncover it as much as you can, day by day, because madness is your motivation." -- Saima Ahmad

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn 

Monday, July 16, 2018

They're a Community Band . . .

 Found a new favorite live bar band to watch.

From the BIO page of the Adam Ezra Group's website:  It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin' essence of the Adam Ezra Group (from Boston, MA) into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: COMMUNITY.

To the musicians at the heart of AEG, community is epitomized by a belief they all share, one that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
- - -

Suzanne and I sort of lucked into them last night at Lamasco Bar and Grill on Franklin Street (Evansville's West Side).  Stopped in for a quick bite and hoped to catch a little bit of some live music.  Turns out we and another couple stayed for the evening.

It's impossible to put into words the joy and passion they project on stage.  And during breaks, they're out with the fans. 

Passion?  They're a four-piece band that travels with equipment in a 15-passenger van.  Check out this schedule in just the past/future weeks:

Jul 11  Funk 'n Waffles Syracuse, NY
Jul 12  Funk 'n Waffles Music Hall  Rochester, NY
Jul 13  Woodlands Tavern Columbus, OH
Jul 14  Rathskeller Biergarten  Indianapolis, IN
Jul 15  Lamasco Bar and Grill  Evansville, IN
Jul 17  Events in the Plaza  Libertyville, IL
Jul 18  Schubas Tavern   Chicago, IL
Jul 19  CSPS Hall  Cedar Rapids, IA
Jul 21  Mountain Goat Plaza  Keystone, CO
Jul 22  Steve's Guitars  Carbondale, CO
Jul 24  Walnut Room  Denver, CO
Jul 25  Avon LIVE! Concerts in the Park  Avon, CO
Jul 26  Urban Lounge  Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 29  Liquid  Madison, WI

I invite you to check them out.  And, if you're not squeamish about Boston vulgarity, check out their video, "The Devil Came Up to Boston."  Last night, since there were kids in the audience, they cleaned it up by bleeping out the obscenities with a whistle -- which was brilliant. 

For their final few songs, they unplugged and occupied a table on the floor and invited everyone to sit around and sing with them.  They even brought out some funky percussion instrument made out of a car muffler for the kids to bang on.  The final number was "Let it Be."  Awesome.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Thursday, July 12, 2018

a momentary stay against confusion

From Robert Frost's essay "The Figure a Poem Makes":  "It (poems) ends in a clarification of life--not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion."

Therefore, poetry can help us make sense of life.  Through poetry, and even short essays and blogs, we're able to give order to the chaos of life.

Well, due to my work schedule and leaving town for a few days, I'm going to give you a momentary stay from confusion -- confusion that is my writing. 

We'll see you next week. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Drops of water

My in-laws live in Owensboro, Ky and are currently without water.  Water main break.  No word on when they are going to get back on the grid.

Here in Evansville / Newburgh yesterday:  Power outage.

Things we take for granted -- at least I do.  Turn on a faucet and clean water or flip a switch and power. 

Seems that in the search for big things in life, I tend to forget about how special the drops of water are. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Wabi and Sabi

Spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about my next woodworking project for my grandkids:  A bookcase, hutch, bench seat storage . . .   Nothing fancy, basically square boxes.

But, as the great Gordon B. Hinckley (whoever he is) wrote,
“You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.”

Time to plow the field.

Of course, I would like to know that everything is going to turn out perfectly square; however, one thing is for sure, the woodworker who aims for perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.  

I'm taking a Wabi Sabi approach.  Wabi and Sabi are a pair of Japanese words that have come to define the best aspects of one of the world's most fascinating cultures.  Wabi has been defined as simplicity; austere elegance; imperfect, irregular beauty; rusticity.   Sabi seems to be interpreted as the beauty that treasures the passage of time.  Maybe the word "patina" would work (I hear that word thrown around in antique shops to justify the high price of some well-worn object).  

Or, to put it another way, K.I.S.S.E.D!

I'm sure you've heard of the K.I.S.S. method:  Keep It Simple Stupid!
I grew up with K.I.S.S.E.D.:  Keep It Simple Stupid, Especially David.

"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." -- Confucius.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

P.S. I once saw a sign in a novelty store that had an image of Confucius with a quote, "I really didn't say all that shit!"

Monday, July 9, 2018

Flaws and Grow

Seems that my grandkids have too many books (a good thing).  The old, cheaply built bookcase in their homeschool room just couldn't handle the weight of so much knowledge -- and entertainment -- and collapsed. 

So, my older daughter wants a bookcase.  Maybe a bench seat with storage.  And a matching bookcase on the other side of the bench.  Cool.  A woodworking project for me. 

Woodworking for me is one of those hobbies that I get interested in for a while and then, well, put up on the shelf.   When I do it, I'm a primitive woodworker.  Not to say that I don't use a lot of modern power tools, it's just that my projects turn out more primitive looking.  I told her that I would do it, but not to expect perfection.  She knows better, but I felt the need to say it


I learned a long time ago that striving for excellence motivates me; striving for perfection is demoralizing.  So, I'll measure, doodle plans, purchase materials, create . . . make news plans when the first ones don't quite work out, buy more material . . .  eventually, it will get done.  I'll fill all the imperfections with "painter's friend" putty, paint it.  It will never be complete in my mind, but it will be functional.   

"In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth." -- Yoshida Kenko

While this project will not stand the test of quality woodworking masters, it will, hopefully, stand the weight of all those books my grandkids will fill it up with -- so that they will read and grow. 

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

I have foul balls!

It's the little things in life.

Happy July 4th.

What better subject to write about today than America's Past time:  Baseball.

I was once a HUGE fan -- until the baseball strike of '94.  That was it for me (I know, Mom, "Get over it!").  Haven't been back to a Major League since.  However, I still do enjoy a minor league game from time to time.

Last Friday, Suzanne and I went to Bosse Field, the third oldest baseball park in America, to watch the Evansville Otters.  We saw a boy receive a foul ball from a player.  The kid went "Christmas Morning YouTube Crazy Excited" and showed everyone around his the ball.  I commented how neat it was to watch a kid get that excited over a foul ball and hoped we'd get one.  We did not -- at least IN the stadium.  As we were leaving with a couple of innings to go, a foul ball went out of the stadium and rolled right up to us.  I was a kid again.   And, thanks to Reuben Berman, that boy and I are able to keep the foul balls (I'll get to that later).

The other night, I had the privilege of going with my brother-in-law to watch his son umpire a high-school All-Star game in Hopkinsville, KY.  His son lives in Florida and has moved up the ranks in umping to the college lever. He and his crew got this gig because they were in Nashville for a couple of weeks for a series of games and were available to travel. 

Long foul ball story made longer.  While watching the game along the third base fence, I received another foul ball.  This time I had "Brian the Ump" autograph it for me.  He laughed.  Said that was a first for him. 

So, going back to that kid at Bosse Field.  You think he'll save his foul ball -- even until he's nearly 60?

Why not?  I did.

Twenty-five years ago this week, I caught a foul ball off the bat of Barry Larkin (HOF).  July 6, 1993, Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. 

As I remember, there were over 20 hits that game, yet the score was only 3 to 2.  Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Just a few foul ball "facts" from the internet (who knows if these are factual or not):

Each Year, 53,000 Foul Balls Are Batted Into the Stands

While there are no official records kept for most foul balls, the player believed to be the foul ball king is Roy Thomas, who fouled 24 times in one appearance at the plate and may have racked up 27 foul balls on another occasion. Thomas played from 1899 to 1911.

There is a foul ball record that is likely to never be broken:  Philadelphia outfielder Richie Ashburn, who played from 1948-62, was known for his ability to prolong at-bats by fouling off pitches. During one such at-bat in Philadelphia, he fouled off 14 pitches. One of them struck a woman who was sitting in the stands, breaking her nose. While she was being carried off on a stretcher, she was hit by a second foul ball from Ashburn during the same at-bat.

And now for the rest of the story:  May 16, 1921: Reuben Berman keeps a foul ball and is escorted out of the Polo Grounds. He sues for emotional distress. Is awarded the ball and $100 (although he asked for A LOT more than that). Fans are allowed to keep foul balls hit into the stands. (The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd ed.)

Happy 4th.  I'll be taking a brief holiday and then working during the weekend.  See you here next week.

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Misplaced Plants

Spent the better part of yesterday morning pulling misplaced plants.  Plants growing were people -- in this case, my mother-in-law -- don't want them to grow.  In other words, weeds. 

I guess you can say that weeds are in the eye of the beholder.  If you're like me, you don't mind a yard full of weeds.  after all, my yard does look green and lush -- at least from airplanes coming in to land at the Evansville Airport.  But, if you DO care not to have them in your yard or landscaping, they ARE weeds.  And weeds do need to be eliminated.  That was my chore yesterday. 

I decided to get out before the 105-degree heat index with 75% humidity attacked in full force.

Arland Gilbert, the great . . .  (okay, I admit it, I have no idea who he is) wrote:

"When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen."

That was me alright, wading into weeding with joy and enthusiasm.  The miracle was that I didn't have a heat stroke.  But, Suzanne was there all the way to help and we survived.   

You see, pulling weeds is a spiritual practice.  The Divine literally grounds us in the here and now.   The past and the future are not here. They may be, for some reason, in the mind and heart, however, only the present weedy moment is the present weedy moment. We are made for the present moment. In it, there is a purpose and meaning and a full living of life that the past and the future cannot provide.  As I pulled weeds I tried to be aware of the Zen proverb:  Before enlightenment: hewing wood and drawing water; after enlightenment: hewing wood and drawing water.

Oh, who the hell am I kidding?  Let's face it, I was just pulling weeds.  I was hot, getting blisters from hoeing, dazed when I looked at the cubic yards of landscaping beds I still had in front of me. 

Yes, I'm sure that there is some lesson to be learned from pulling weeds, but I'm certainly not Zen enough to understand it.

Other than, there really is no need to grumble and complain.  When God sends weeds, just do what you have to do to pull through. 

Or as Thoreau said, "When a dog runs at you, whistle for him."

Carpe diem Life,
David Kuhn