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Monthly Archives: September 2011


There you go man, keep as cool as you can.

Face piles

Of trials

With smiles.

It riles them to believe

That you perceive

The web they weave

And keep on thinking free.


The above is from The Beginning/Lovely to See You, by the Moody Blues on their album, On the Threshold of a Dream.  I am fortunate, I think, for I have seen the Moody Blues live twice. 

The entire time I was in high school and the first two years I was in college I played lead guitar in a rock band.  It was the mid and late sixties.  The first song I, and perhaps many ever heard of the Moody Blues was Go Now, circa 1965.  I fell in love with it the first time I heard it and quickly it joined our repertoire; it was the first Moodies song I ever learned to play.  The next one was Nights in White Satin.  That song, though I’ve read was released in the UK in 1967, I don’t think it hit the US until 1971-2…when I heard it first on their album, Days of Future Past.  The first of what would become the Moodies’ signature progressive/theme/concept albums…everyone of which I collected.

That’s Denny Laine of the original Moodies doing the singing on that version of Go Now.  Laine, along with Paul and Linda McCartney later formed Wings.  Though I loved Go Now and Nights in White Satin, it really wasn’t until I heard the In Search of the Lost Chord LP that I became a fan.  My favorite group up until that time was The Beach Boys but after hearing DFP I quickly elevated the Moodies to the BB’s level.  Those two groups are still my favorite groups of all times.

The first time I heard Days of Future Past I was also treated to In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, and To Our Children’s Children’s Children.  We listened to all four, back to back, smoking some crappy Mexican dirt weed.  I was stoned to the gills and speeding my butt off on a prescription diet pill, either Bamadex or Eskatrol, I don’t remember…it doesn’t matter really, both were heavy duty amphetamines and did the trick.  I liked everything about the albums and as soon as I could bought all three of them…and, a short while later, A Question of Balance.  The guy who had the album had also just gotten In Search of the Lost Chord, and we listened to that as well.  Those five albums are still some of my favorites.  The original five of the established Moody Blues band members play on them…Graeme Edge, Mike Pinder, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and Ray Thomas.

Nights in White Satin with the orchestra back-up…and Ray Thomas’ super flute solo.  It brings back a thousand memories to me.

I’ve said before that I went to college for two years, dropped out for four, and then went back and completed my engineering degree.  During the time I was out of school, I became a hairdresser, and a very good one at that.  While doing that work, the shop I was at hired a British girl named Anne…she had married an Air Force man stationed in England who lived locally and they had moved back to Louisiana after he was discharged from the service.  I had a very good friend named Linda, also a hairdresser, who worked with me.  Linda was a riot, a cute as could be, itty biddy, flame red headed coonass, who was loads and loads of fun to be around.  Linda and I had the nasty habit of getting stoned everyday at lunch and she always had a stash of diet pills.  So, it was a Friday lunch after a joint that she suggested we drop by Anne’s house.  Honestly, I didn’t care much for Anne at this time, but she and Linda were tight.  Anne had taken the Friday off; I didn’t know why and really didn’t care.  Either way, we took a hit of speed and headed off to Anne’s house.

Anne was in a tizzy.  She was baking brownies with grass in them and running around with her head cut off.  I quickly learned that she had taken the day off to bake the brownies because she and a group of others were going to see the Moody Blues in concert in Baton Rouge.  And, one of the group had cancelled out.  It turned out that Anne and her husband, Paul, had bought the tickets and the guy who had cancelled had stuck them with an extra.  Anne wasn’t sure that the girl who was supposed to go with the guy who cancelled could afford the ticket to go.  Linda piped up and said she’d take the ticket from the guy who cancelled…and I quickly said that if the girl didn’t want the other one that I’d take it.  After a phone call, it was official…Linda and I were going to see the Moodies.  By this time, we were way late from taking too long at lunch and too loaded to go back anyhow.  We decided it was way better to ask forgiveness than for permission so the both of us just decided to blow off the afternoon and attempt to explain to our patrons later.  As it ended up, that worked.

An “unplugged version” of The Actor.  Justin Hayward can sing love songs to me for a year of years if he chooses.  Hayward’s been married like since 1970 to the same supermodel…I’m not holding my breath.

Anyway, I don’t remember the exact date, but this had to be in 1972/73 sometimes.  I remember reading later it was one of the last tours that Mike Pinder performed with the group.  And, the concert was simply incredible.  In those days there was no skipping and prancing around the stage like a frog caught in a food processor.  The group was announced…they came on stage to applause…and for the next two hours they stood at the microphones and played perfect music.  It was simply awesome.  It was just like listening to their albums.

The second time I heard them was also in Baton Rouge.  It was in the early 1990s, around 1992/3, during a time when the band performed with a symphony orchestra accompanying them.  Minke Pinder no longer performed with them.  This was also most memorable because most of the Moodies’ songs were highly produced, as complicated as calculus, and almost always accompanied by orchestrated music…in this case, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.  The concert was just as good, though considerably more complex.

All great songs.  Though this is the produced version of The Story in Her Eyes, visit YouTube and one can hear the live versions…all is great music.

And, that brings me to Netflix.  There are two movies on NetFlix that I highly recommend.  One is Lovely to See You Again, which is a 2005 stage concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles which they perform for the first time since 1977 without an orchestra.  This is a great film and is pretty much what the first concert I saw them was like.  The other on NetFlix is The Moody Blues: Classic Artists…much more of a documentary with interviews interspersed with concert clips. 

This was music as it was supposed to be.  Perhaps I’m just getting old, but I listen to contemporary music today and don’t relate.  If you’d like to see the five original Moodies play Lovely to See You Again live…here it is.


Recently, I wrote about the rather harrowing experience of a Labor Day sailing trip on the outskirts of Tropical Storm Lee.  The trip was marred with one thing after the other.  As if the howling winds and very angry seas were not enough, in near gale and gale force winds we were plagued with problems with out rigging and engine that could very well have sunk our boat and left us swimming for our lives with supertankers.  Boliver Roads Channel, and its intersection with the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Channel, Texas City Channel, and the Intercoastal Waterway is one of the busiest waterways in the world.  Houston, Texas is the largest inland port in the United States.  The Houston Ship Channel services 7,000 tankers, freighters, and container ships alone.  Couple that with countless tugs, barges, cruise ships, and pleasure boats and the area is a bee hive of marine traffic…and, for the most part, they are very, very large vessels.  The thought of bouncing around at the very edge of control in very high winds and seas with these behemoths gives me chills when I think back on it.  Things did, however, turn out for the best and instilled a tremendous amount of confidence in the both of us, not to mention added tremendously to our already fairly adept seamanship skills.  It was not something either one of us want to live through any time soon, though. 

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Make sure to watch the Eagle Owl on full screen.

Some of you may remember that me and my husband were headed out sailing over the Labor Day holidays.  Well, we did.  It was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t pretty.  As if it needed substantiation, this past weekend was living proof that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong.

Let me tell you about it.

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Seen today on Cruiser’s Forum

Not sure if this should be here in the Floating Women section or Challenges , but anyway...

I want a woman with a boat.  However, I am not after a “relationship”.  More a traveling companion to share new and exciting voyages of discovery around the (sunnier) parts of the world for many months (and maybe years).

I envisage the arrangement to be like a genuine partnership (in adventure).  You provide the boat and I move onboard and the fun can start!  I figure as two can live as cheaply as one then my living costs onboard would not be an issue (and anyway it seems rude to ruin the start of a friendship by bringing money into the equation).  Of course I would be only too happy to share some costs…say, like buying the odd beer ashore.

Obviously whilst onboard I am willing to help out a bit and even share watchkeeping (as long as I get my full 10 hours – from 11pm).  I don’t have any special dietary requirements so you can pretty much cook what you want for me.  But, I do like my bacon crispy and am also keen on fresh bread every day, but this is not a deal breaker – every other day would be fine.  I won’t bring too many bags onboard either so won’t add too much onto your laundry time.

As I said, am not after a relationship – treat me as more of an onboard guest.  But if things do turn into a “Captain with benefits” arrangement we can deal with that when the time comes.

Now I appreciate that some of the fellas on may try and derail this thread with “helpful” comments but can I ask for none of the usual sexist nonsense that these sorts of threads attract.