A Night At A Nudie Bar

It was a weekday night in December of 1992.  I had the night off from my usual work at the Sun Radio Network, and I had turned 21 a three months before.

And having turned 21, I had a brainstorm.  When I was a kid, my parents had taken me to Tampa Bay Buccaneers games a few times during the fall back in the early 1980’s.  While my dad waited to get back on Interstate 275 on Dale Mabry Boulevard, we would pass this odd place called the Mons Venus.  This place only had about ten parking spaces and it seemed to need about 100 with the overflow traffic it seem to get.  Of course, I had to wonder what went on at this place.  So years later, I would find out it was one of the top strip clubs in town.

After paying a $20 cover, a woman approaches you wearing lingerie, asking if you want to dance.  She seems to demand your eye contact, but all you can see is a couple of women dancing around this pole wearing absolutely nothing.  I pass on the first couple of women until a third women approaches me, asking me the same thing.  So, I figure I’d better find out what this dancing was about.  I sort of knew from my friends of the time, but sometimes, there is what you think you know, and there is what you know from personal experience.

Cue Nancy Sinatra.

I was taken to this couch, shared by other men and women.  The men were wearing clothes, the women were wearing anything but.  Suddenly, I felt like a kid in a candy shore.  Definitely more women naked per square foot, inch, yard, whatever than I had ever seen in my life to that point.  Women of all shapes and hairstyles, on their heads and a little farther down (never had seen a women without pubic hair prior to that night, now a days you’re more likely to see a woman without it than with it), and the only word I can think of was wow.  The woman who lap-danced on me was a brunette of medium build, and cautioned me not too get too excited.

Now, a lot of men have no problem…um…climaxing in these places.  I never got close to doing that in a strip club, and that probably was a good thing.  I haven’t been to a nudie bar for over a decade.  Why pay for the simulation of sex when you can date and get more for less?  It was just a fad my life went through.

The Speech

I was a 14 year old boy attending Largo High School on this day in 1986, the day Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, in the middle of Spanish class the fateful moment of 11:39 am.

My class ended around 12:30, and I had six minutes to trek the short distance to my science class that could easily be done in about one minute.  My buddy at the time came up to me and said he’d heard Challenger had blown up after takeoff from Cape Canaveral.  I would always tape the shuttle launches back then on VHS, so I had it on tape when I got back home.  No, I didn’t keep the tape forever and ever.  Who wants to be reminded of that?

CNN was the only network that covered it live from the launch onward.  Still remember that Tom Mintier was the reporter who covered it live.

A lot of the kids at the school made fun of it, saying the teacher on board, Christa McAuliffe, had hit a wrong button.  I told everyone it wasn’t something to laugh about, not that anyone listened to me.  The astronauts knew the risks, but they expected to return a week or so later.

My lasting memory of the day was President Reagan’s speech at 5pm that afternoon.  He was supposed to deliver his State Of The Union address that presidents do every winter.  But it was considered poor taste to go on with that plan.  It is one of my favorite speeches of any president in my lifetime.  He and his speechwriters helped the healing process immensely.

It wasn’t the last disaster in our sorties in outer space.  Columbia met its demise on February 1, 2003, killing seven astronauts on board.  I remember watching the events of that fateful Saturday morning, and thought of how eerily similar that day was of January 28, 1986.  Just spooked me out.

Of course, we’re know out of the space business, at least for now.  The space shuttles sit in museums, and the next time astronauts get sent into space on our soil will probably be from private enterprise of some kind.  It looks as if the final frontier will have to wait for generations down the line.

Ohhh Uh Oh Oh Oh, Oh…

Not all of my musical tastes are old school.

Deadspin did a nice piece on how the song “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes has taken over the sports world a little over a year ago.

Heard it several times, just never recognized the tune.

Now if I can only find the title of that new age/jazz track from the 1980’s with a flute playing in the chorus line, my life would be complete.  Yanni?  Pat Metheny?  See, when you don’t know the artist, it’s like going to a fight with both hands tied behind your back.

Oh, well.  I’ll save that quest for another day.

The Twitter Plateau

I recently spent 99 cents on an E-Book about how to get a bigger Twitter following.  It has proven to be one of my more wisest investments as of late, as the following for my Pauly’s Books Twitter feed went from 700 to 1,400 in a week by using Tweepi.

But there’s a rub: you cannot follow more than 2,000 people at a time.  Unless, that is, you have at least 1,819 followers.

Do the math.  Add 181 to 1,819, and you get 2,000.  So, you have to have 90% followers out of those you are following to brake that plateau.

Right now, I’m at exactly 1,400 people following me.  Only 419 to get.  As Judy Tenuta used to say, and probably still does say…it could happen.

River Deep, Mountain High

Two things I seem to appreciate: Bonnie Tyler, and a good version of “River Deep, Mountain High.”

How did I get started as a junkie of the blond Welsh singer and that unique voice of hers?  “It’s A Heartache” was one of first songs I can remember word for word, which was her first big US hit in 1978.  Of course, at the time I thought the title of the song was “It’s A Hard Egg,” but pish posh, details, details.

Five years later, the melodramatic “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” became her moneymaker.  You could arguably say that she very briefly held the mantle as the queen of US pop in the fall of 1983, succeeded by Cyndi Lauper, then Madonna, and on and on.  She had a follow up hit called “Holding Out For A Hero” in 1984, which is my personal favorite of hers.

The gender bending “If You Were A Woman (And I Was A Man)” was her last US hit in 1986, a minor one at that.  She’s still quite popular in eastern and northern Europe, still recording albums, such as “Rocks And Honey” which is set for release next month.  And to some extent, she has been a good portion of the soundtrack of my life.

Have a good weekend, catch ya Monday, Lord willing, and if the creek doesn’t rise.

The Great American Power Grab

I have huge misgivings about the way our government is going, on both sides.

A reminder: I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican.  I voted for Barack Obama in 2012 because I didn’t believe Mitt Romney was significantly different from his counterpart.

But these executive orders Mr. Obama passed yesterday…they do not sit well with me.  Its an emotional fight designed to prove that the second amendment to the United States Constitution is flawed.

Maybe it is, maybe it is not.

I don’t any more spectacles of death like Oklahoma City, Tucson, and most recently Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.  But tampering with the second amendment is no answer.  It just makes more people unsafe, and more people unable to fight back in a situation where they need to defend themselves.

If our government wants to declare the United States Constitution null and void, fine.  Do it!  Have Mr. Obama go in front of the TV cameras are say those words.  But all of this going around the Constitution while keeping it in place invites legal challenges.  When the government loses enough legal challenges, they’ll go broke because they’ll be unable to compensate the legal victors.

I am seeing my country change, and I do not like it.  I understand that all of us want more power, and have ambitions.  But I plead with the politicians on both sides: STOP THIS!

If America is a ship, we’d be sinking.  Will you not be satisfied until a Civil War breaks out?  Do you really want that?

Pimping The Box

A game of NCAA Football 2013 on the XBOX 360.  I played Notre Dame and beat UConn 17-7.
A game of NCAA Football 2013 on the XBOX 360. I played Notre Dame and beat the CPU’s UConn 17-7.  January 15, 2013.

So today I took the plunge and tried the world of online gaming, getting a month subscription to XBOX Live Gold.

The last time I played a video game online?  1995, with Madden 96 on the Sega Genesis.  So yes, it’s been a while.

I have two XBOX 360 games: NCAA Football 2013 and an arcade game called Full House Poker.  Both of the games feature online play, so I put each through some paces.

In NCAA 13, I played as Notre Dame against an opponent using Oregon.  Must have had a good day because my defense picks off four or five passes before halftime.  My opponent offered a “friendly quit” and I took it.  No need making enemies so soon.

Full House Poker has a game in it called “Texas Heat” and I fared pretty well, catching a flush right at the expiration at the 30 minute time limit.  Look forward to playing that game as time allows.

Take The Bullets Out Of Their Gun

Much like Ivan Drago of Rocky IV, I'm on a mission to break the will of telemarketers.
Much like Ivan Drago of Rocky IV, I’m on a mission to break the will of telemarketers.

As I mentioned back on November 1st (and before that on October 9th), I noticed a pattern with a series of calls I’d gotten at home.  All sorts of charitable organizations with either the words “Florida” or “National” had called, seeking donations.

No, I never did go with the idea of a $100 challenge to get all of these organizations from passing my number along to each other.  My thinking is they’d rather defend the right to bother you en toto before they’d take such a challenge.  However, I may get back to that.

There was something else I noticed about these organizations.  They all want to record you.  Some ask your permission, some assume the answer of yes.

I hadn’t gotten any of these calls over the holidays, but on early Sunday afternoon as I was watching the fate of Robert Griffin III at the helm of the Washington Redskins in their playoff game with the Seattle Seahawks, I get a call from a 407 number, with the caller ID lighting up as unknown.  Sure enough, the “ACLU wing” of telemarketers was back at my door.

However, I had a plan.  As soon as they say the call is being recorded or asked for permission to record, I hang up.

And when the next arm of the “ACLU wing” calls me, I will be ready.  Sooner or later, I will break their will.

Win At All Costs

They call him RG3.

Robert Griffin III was the breakout player in the NFL 2012.  Playing for the Washington Redskins, Griffin looked like a bust at first, as the Redskins only won three of their first nine games.  The Washington franchise caught fire in the latter half of the season, winning seven straight games and won the NFC Eastern division in a due-or-die game with a win over the Dallas Cowboys.

But not only did RG3 get hurt in a game against the Baltimore Ravens late in the season, his head coach, Mike Shanhan, apparently lied about the extent of his injuries.

So Griffin continued to play after a week off to “heal” his knee injury.  Not that you can really heal a bad knee after a week.  The Redskins started out well in their first round game with the Seattle Seahawks, building up a 14-0 lead.  But by half time, Griffin noticeably began to slow down.

And then, it happened.

Playing on the grass turf FedEx Field (which looked like little more than green-painted dirt), Griffin dropped back to pass in the fourth quarter, his team trailing 21-14 at this point in the game.  Griffin fumbled the ball, and tried to get back to it.  His left knee had other ideas, bending in a garishly unusual matter. RG3 collapsed, and the Seahawks recovered the fumble.  Griffin was down and hurt, and Redskins fans at the stadium probably knew their season was effectively over.

Mike Shanahan is a Super Bowl winning coach.  But it appears he recklessly endangered the career of a possible superstar player.  He should be fired just for doing that.  But he probably won’t.  Who would want to play for a guy like that?