Don’t Look Back

I was lucky enough to see Satchel Paige pitch for the St. Louis Browns. He was the oldest rookie ever at age 42 when he joined the Browns. He pitched for them for five years. For those of you wondering who the hell were the St. Louis Browns, they were an American League team for 50 years. They started in Milwaukee, moved to St. Louis and their last year was in 1953, the year I saw Satchel Paige pitch at Comiskey Park. He was also chosen to the All Star team that year.  The next year the Browns became today’s Baltimore Orioles.
Satchell with Browns

Satchell Paige stories should be passed down to your children’s children. He was one of a kind.
When a reporter inevitably asked Satchel about his age his famous quote was,
“Don’t look back, something may be gaining on you.”

Satchel Paige had more famous quotes than Yogi Berra, and unlike Berra, his quotes were actually quite thoughtful and rip-roaringly funny. Here are just a few:

Age is a case of mind over matter, if you don’t mind it don’t matter.”
“Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common.”

Reporters never saw Satchel running in the outfield with the pitchers or working out. When asked about this he replied,

“I don’t generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench. I never rush myself, see, they can’t start the game without me.”
“Avoid running at all times. Avoid fried foods, which angry up the blood. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.”

Many people have used parts of the following quote and never properly gave Satch the credit for this great quote.
“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”

They wouldn’t stop asking him about his age.

 “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

He seemed to never walk a batter, except on purpose.
“If a man can beat you, walk him.”

“Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.

Satchell Paige was the first player to be inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971 based on his excellent play in the Negro Leagues. He died at the age of 75 in 1982. When he was being interviewed about being admitted into the Hall of fame he made a statement that needs to be read at least twice. What a testament to living for each of us.

“Not to be cheered by praise, not to be grieved by blame, but to know thoroughly one’s own virtues or powers are the characteristics of an excellent man.”
Satchel Paige

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Keep Your Worm

That’s my message to you early-birds. And as far as Ben Franklin and his “Early to bed, Early to rise” crap, I’ve been there, done that and only felt very sleepy trying Ben’s recommended alarm clock…definitely NOT healthy, wealthy and wise.
Early Bird

I’m a different chronotype then old Ben with my own peculiar homeostatic sleep drive.

I’m glad the science of sleep studies has finally caught up with reality. Not all of us have the same regulated sleep clocks.

The circadian rhythm that controls our sleep patterns usually works with light and darkness. Aristotle stated that “Rising before daylight is…to be commended; it is a healthy habit.” This is true for a majority of people, but at least 40% of folks like being night people.

For many years, as a nightly working musician, it was normal to finish the gig around 1am, but it took another hour or so to wind down and finally go to bed. We can adjust our bodies to work all kinds of crazy shifts, but that don’t mean we like it.

Those musical nights have been over for quite some time, but I never liked adjusting back to being a “morning” person. Science is finally explaining the differences of night and day people.

The light/dark thing (circadian rhythm) varies with people and our energy levels throughout the day also change. Those differences establish our “chronotype.” (whether we’re night people, day people or, like me, somewhere in between).

Young children and old farts usually prefer mornings. Teens, young adults usually prefer evenings. It’s easy to see where you are on the chart by just going to bed when you’re tired and waking up without an alarm clock.

Science has also determined that the large majority of teens and young adults don’t produce melatonin (which brings on sleep in about an hour) until after midnight. That’s why it’s so tough to get kids to go to bed. They are not sleepy. It’s also why we shouldn’t be forcing them off to school in early morning hours when their all-important “REM-SLEEP” should be taking place. We’re not going to change our school hours ever, because it would be inconvenient for most adults, so screw the kids and their best learning times.

About that 40% of the population who are night people. It’s not easy, because the 60% are forcing their way of living upon us. We also are having an inner battle with two opposing forces. Our chronotype is the force controlled by light and dark, but another force, called our “homeostatic sleep drive” is controlled by our fatigue factor. The longer we are awake, regardless of our circadian rhythm, the more fatigue exerts pressure on us.

The morning early-birders are usually aligned and that’s a good thing. Their chronotype (established circadian rhythm) and their homeostatic sleep drive are in alignment. They are all happy, eager, smiley-faced, and ready to produce their best quality work first thing every morning.

Well, hurray for you!

The in-be-tweeners have a circadian rhythm problem, usually in the morning, because their fatigue factor has not been fully rested. The light outside says, “Get up.” The body says “Go away.”
early morning energy

The most wonderful productive things happen when the established chronotypes are matched with the correct work schedule hours.

I need to be making music in a bar every night…sorry. Besides, I like cheese, not worms.
second mouse gets cheese

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Time changes…Adventures don’t

Time zone changes can be wicked…especially heading east. It seems the three hours lost is lost forever. A few days of getting used to the new time zone and then the dreaded “spring forward” time change happened and another hour gone.
daylight savings

Actually time does not matter (unless sleep matters) when the main focus is on a dying mother. Just six weeks shy of her 100th birthday, it seemed that Mom was finally getting her wish to end this long boring nursing home adventure.

Unable to get a flight out of L.A. for 24 hours, I was sad I was not going to get a last good-bye. With a “DNR” and a positive attitude about slipping away from this reality, my Mother seemingly was knocking on death’s door. When I arrived she had suffered a heart attack and her ninety nine year-old lungs were filled with fluid. We felt it was a matter of minutes or maybe hours before the end.

After a few days of bedside waiting in the ER, the hospital sent her up to a room. Twenty-four hours later Mom opened her eyes, looked at us gathered around, shook her head and said, “Isn’t this the darndest thing ever? I’m sorry. You thought you’d be having a funeral and you get this. I don’t know what to do next.”

As usual she was the comic in the room. Another few days passed and they sent her back to the nursing home. She was devastated and depressed…but, only for a half of day. At one point she asked what the date was. When we told her, she then asked if it was still Lent. We told her yes. She said, “I can’t wait till it’s over, I gave up sex and cigarettes and I’m missing both of them.”  That’s Mom, she was back.

I stayed another week and enjoyed spoiling her with her favorite sandwiches, frozen custard shakes and French fries. Congestive heart failure, lungs still fluid-filled and sleeping like a cat, I had to say good-bye again and hopefully I’ll still go back for the 100th birthday. Who knows…

My wife, Amy, had flown out to Indiana the first weekend of Mom’s emergency, but needed to get back to work. So, she picked me up at the airport Tuesday night. We were both hungry so we stopped at one of our favs, Wood Ranch, in Valencia. Sixty five miles from Bakersfield, at the top of the grapevine, a rear tire blew while I was doing about 75 in the fast lane. I did a nice “Kevin Harvick” save, and steered across four lanes and luckily found a small dirt turnout. The wheel was not fixable…period.
sliding car

Since my traveling salesman days, I’ve always carried AAA Premier, so we needed a 65 mile tow into Bakersfield. We arrived around 2 AM.

The tow-truck driver, Mario, was from Argentina. His towing service was back in Castaic in Los Angeles County.
Mario was a happy guy and we found much to talk about. At one point I told him I had written a book about a tow truck driver. It was in print or e-book on Amazon. I told him it was called “Barstow Blues.” He asked me what it was about. I told him.

I said it was about a young tow truck driver who picked up a beautiful blonde in the middle of the desert and she was being chased by a Mexican drug cartel because she had stolen their money.

He was flabbergasted. He said, “Man, that happened to me…seriously. I picked up a blonde gal, she was gorgeous, and she was going to San Diego. That’s a long haul from L.A. She had a fancy sports car and it wouldn’t run. She wanted to go to her father’s house. She said her husband was involved with a Mexican drug cartel and they were trying to kill her.”

At this point, I’m flabbergasted. He’s telling my story. A story I made up.

He continued, “She was really paranoid, man. She demanded to see my ID, and I said I don’t have to show you an ID. As we continued down the freeway, I needed to let my wife know I was going to be late, so I text-ed her. Man, this blonde grew furious, demanded to know who I was texting. She started screaming for me to pull over and let her out…said I was part of the mob sent to kill her.  I was in the fast lane and I told her to calm down, I can’t stop on the freeway. She opened the door and I was scared she was going to jump while I was doing 60 miles an hour. I told her to calm down and I did get over in the slow lane and told her to stop screaming. I pulled the truck to a stop in the emergency lane and she got out and started running into the bushes along the freeway. I got out and yelled at her I was taking her car and not playing these games. I drove her car down to her father’s house and took it off the hook at the curb out front. Her father came out and asked me where his daughter was. I told him I saw her running through the bushes about fifty miles north of here. He better go find her. I went home.”

I promised Mario I would send him my book, Barstow Blues, but it wouldn’t be as good as his story. He said he’ll read it and write about in the Amazon comments.

Sometimes you just can’t make that shit up.

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What’s In a Name?

Just invent or make up something cool and they will name it after you.

Obviously we know how Ford, Dodge, and Gillette got their names. But, some common things we order and talk about every day had an origin, and sometimes it was a person…just like Henry Ford.

Here are a few common words you use all the time and how their name came about.

In 1943, Ignacio Anaya had a little bar and grill just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. Fort Duncan was there and many servicemen and their ladies crossed into Piedras Negras, Mexico to eat at Ignacio’s “Victory Club.” One night near closing time, a large group of servicemen’s wives came into the club wanting some food. Ignacio was out of everything. He didn’t want to turn the ladies out with empty stomachs so he cut up some tortillas, sprinkled them with cheese and jalapenos and baked them in the oven. They became a big hit and spread all over Texas and they were called by Ignacio’s nick-name, Nacho.

Back in 1784, a Major General designed a new bomb. He named it “spherical-case ammunition.”
He loaded a cannonball with lead shot which make the cannon a giant shotgun blast. It was a popular bomb and forms of it were used clear into World War I. So, that metal debris that flies through the air at lethal speed was named after the inventor,  Major General Shrapnel.
shrapnel shell

Ferdinand Von Mueller discovered a nut in the 19th century by accident. This native Australian nut was given by Von Mueller to a student at the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane. He asked the student to crack it open for germination and they would study it. Instead the student ate it, said he loved it. Von Mueller waited a day or so to see if the student would die. He didn’t so Von Mueller named the nut after his close friend, John Macadam. A Macadamia nut is one of the tastiest nuts in the world.
macadamia nuts

Who didn’t love Bart and Brett Maverick? Before James Garner became Maverick, there was a Sam Maverick. He was a lawyer, land baron and politician(I hate him already) from Texas in the 19th century. He had a big herd of cows and he said he didn’t want to hurt them by branding them. Other ranchers said that his herd kept growing because he would claim every cow without a brand was his. Today we call an unbranded cow a “Maverick.”

Finally my favorite dude, Luigi Galvani. Luigi was an 18th century Italian scientist who electrocuted dead frogs to watch their muscles twitch. To shock something by electricity was called “galvanizing” for some time. Then it was used as an electroplating method which today we call galvanization.

For you inquiring minds who have read this far, my research has not uncovered a gentleman named Ralph Fart.

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Who Do You Trust?

In 1957 a stupid game show came on TV called Who Do You Trust? It aired every day at 4:30. A thirty minute game show played by couples. The category about the question was presented to one of the pair and that person had to decide to answer the question or “trust” the spouse to answer correctly. Very boring, very stupid.

Then ABC made a wise decision one year later. They moved the time-slot to 3:30 and hired a new M.C. to host the show. Johnny Carson. He was hilarious. He was joined by a new announcer named Ed McMahon. They did the show until 1962. Huge ratings.

NBC grabbed Carson and McMahon to take the place of Jack Parr on the “Tonight Show” and they were together for the next 30 years.
Johnny and Ed

 I remembered the above trivia after hearing those words on a radio talk show. “Who Do You Trust?” The host was talking about a recent poll on trust.

Obviously most people Do Not trust the government. I understand that.
The thing I don’t understand is how most people trust Big Corporations. You know, the actual folks that are making most of our decisions. We love them. We want them to pay as low as wages as they can get by with. We want them to decide the products, food, autos, and homes that are best for us. And of course we want them to pay little or no taxes. We are proud of their intelligence when they move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying taxes. We hate it when the government regulates or taxes them.

We seem to trust the internet. We don’t do much reading anymore. We’re very busy taking pictures of our food. We never think we are losing more and more privacy.

I always love those detective shows when the star-detective calls “somebody” special and asks them to get information on a particular suspect. They always promise to make it up to them. They always know the right people in the right places.
Sam Spade

Well, you can now be the right person to find out anything about anybody in a few minutes.

Go ahead, type in your name at this online site:

As you watch the little spinning search engines looking for personal information, known addresses, relatives, traffic offenses, court citations, sex offenses, licenses and all social media information, you will feel a strange sense of your life passing before you.

At some point, names of people, ex-wives, children, etc. will pop up and tell you that some of these people have traffic records and “maybe” more. They politely ask…”Should we go on?”

Yes, yes, yes, feed me these secrets; give me everything you’ve got.

Finally, a finished report about YOU is ready. But then a pretty lady steps onto your screen and says, “Hold on, buddy, this information you’re about to get could be very sensitive. You must promise you will not use this info to do harm.”

You agree, you check the boxes saying you will not stalk, sue, fire, harm or, in the case of an outstanding warrant, you will not try to apprehend or approach this person. Now give me my damn report.

You click for the printed report.

Alas, the final truth of the website blooms forth. It cost them a great deal of money to find all this sensitive information about you and your relatives (or whoever you are looking into) and therefore please subscribe to this service. It ain’t cheap.


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Same Thing Only Different

I’ve lived in many cities in a few different states. I’ve always read a morning newspaper cover to cover (well, not the classifieds). When I read the local opinion page, especially the letters to the editor, I read the same identical letters in every locale. Those letters always talk about a “Good Samaritan” that returned a lost wallet, jumped a dead battery, changed a tire, gave directions, etc. The letters always end with the author stating they are so happy to be living in a place with such kind wonderful citizens.

good samaritan

And they are each right. I’ve found wonderful friends everywhere I’ve lived. Kind, thoughtful, helpful folks in all the corners of all the cities I was happy to be living in at the time.
Trust me, your city isn’t that “special city on the hill.”

Now that I got that out of my system, I have to say the cultural differences are a “whole nutha’ thing.”

The news, here in Indiana, is certainly different than my California news. The differences, like the weather, slaps one in the face upon crossing the State line.
Indiana snow storm

I boarded a plane last week in 75 degree weather. I took a few hours nap. I walked off the plane and saw my breath turn into ice crystals walking through the boarding tunnel. It was TWO below zero.

The joke in Indiana was always, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around it’ll change any minute now.”  This week the temps have pushed at 60 degrees.

Yesterday my brother and I were behind thirty people standing in line for frozen custard at a tiny little north-end burger/custard stand. The outside temperature was fifty four degrees in the sun. I was freezing in the shade with my long sleeve shirt, giving myself hell for not wearing my jacket. In front of me at least six gals, thank you very much, were in shorts and tank tops. Waiting for ice cream cones…brrrrr. They couldn’t believe the warm weather. I didn’t believe it.

The old adage—March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb—might be true, but it happens over and over throughout March… like a yo-yo.

The heavy snow, which looked like Antarctica as I flew across the state, has melted but last week while it was drifted high an Indiana farmer in a small town a few miles from here had a quick decision to make. This particular farmer found a new-born calf buried in the snow and near death. He picked up the calf and ran to his Jacuzzi and jumped in, clothes and all, holding the calf’s head above the water. After seeing some new life in the little critter, he took the calf into the house and wrapped it in electric blankets. The calf joined mamma this week as it warmed up.

The other culture shock is the Indiana legislature.  Last year it was a knock-down fight about gay marriage (a…duh…it’s Indiana) and now they are having a big “religious freedom” fight. While that sounds like a good thing, what it really does is give businesses the right to fire employees who are gay. It also gives business the right to refuse service to same-sex married couples. Gosh when you think about it, why serve people you’re backward religion says is going to hell. My religion hates southpaws and I abide by it. You left handers need not apply or try to buy.

I will say there may be a good law getting close to passing. If it does it will finally be LEGAL in Indiana to buy carry-out alcohol on SUNDAYS in liquor stores, grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores. Cool.
Sunday Liquor Sales

Speaking of the legal scene, last spring while I was visiting a sheriff from a county south of my hometown had to resign when another counties’ drug task force discovered he had an EIGHT year relationship with a prostitute. When I made a return visit in October, the sheriff from the next county also had to resign when they found he had solicited that same prostitute on eight different occasions. I expect a shoot-out may be next.

Last week a State Representative apologized for sexting the very same Evansville, Indiana gal who cost Anthony Weiner his Congressional seat. This guy isn’t about to step down from his job. Probably because he had bigger balls than Wiener..

Gosh it’s good to be home. The people here are wonderful.

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Apps Lapse

I’m suffering from “apps lapse.” I know it sounds like a drunk in a drug store asking for “ex-lax.”

What I mean is I’m so behind the times with my personal phone apps. Maybe you are too.

So, Dr. Dan is here to help you get your phone up to speed. Sure, I know you have an app to scan bar-codes, connect to your bank account, book a flight, count your footsteps, find a movie, get a sports score, map a destination, get a date, and call for a ride across town in a private car.  We’re so cool!

But this is the age of excess, greed, instant gratification and unintelligent congresspersons.

Here are some “special” apps for “special” people. Like you. Like me.

This first app you need to download would have been perfect for me last week. A family emergency in the Midwest left me unable to book a commercial flight for a couple days because of snow and frigid weather. Don’t YOU get caught in this trap.

This app already has 200,000 downloads so it must be working. Be able to book a private jet anywhere, anytime with “JETSMART.”
Here is your link:
Lear Jet





Have you ever been in a strange city and in need of some jewelry? Boy, I have. No more of that stuff. Anytime I need to find some bling, I just go to this great app. “BLINGFINDER.”
Here is your link:



So, you’re in this strange city and you’ve found your bling and now it’s time to celebrate. Where in the hell can a man find a drink?  Maybe a bottle of scotch, some craft beer? Well, now with your new “MINIBAR” link you can have the booze of your choice delivered to your door in 30 to 60 minutes.
Here is your link:
scotch whiskey






I’ve saved the best for last. There is nothing more frustrating than being in a strange country and not having a nice yacht to float. Fear not, for here is the answer to your boating needs. That’s right, 27,000 different choices of boats in 110 countries with your “GETMYBOAT” app.
Here is your link:

You’re welcome.

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