Facebook Music Posts: A Greatest Hits Collection of Sorts

Facebook is where I share a few thoughts and catch up on what others are thinking and doing.

I consider my Facebook page to be a little stage. It’s a soapbox where I can spout off a pithy little comment or observation and see what Facebook ‘friends’ have to say about my posts.

Some of what I create and post up is tied to twentieth century music in the rock, pop and country genres. Often, I’ll take a line from an old song and put it in the context of today’s world. So here are a few of my favorites from the past two years.    

Don’t accept a friend request from someone named ‘Buttercup’, she’ll build you up just to let you down.

I wish a vow taking nun would change her name to Sister Disco.

Love grows where my Rosemary goes but so do STDs.

In modern times Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero” would be re-titled “I-Pod   Icon.” 

Harry Chapin’s song “Taxi” should be re-titled “Uber.”

Kids now get inoculated to prevent the rockin’ pneumonia & the boogie woogie flu. Jenny McCarthy protests this vaccine.    

The road to Shambala should lead to a Waffle House.

I hope the road to Shambala brings me here.

“One of these crazy old nights, we’re gonna find out pretty mama, what turns on your lights.” (I bet it’s The Clapper)

 In “Take a Letter Maria”, R.B. Greaves asking his secretary out for a dinner date would now be viewed as sexual harassment.

“I can see for miles and miles”, thanks to Lasik Surgery.

“…way past one and feeling alright, cuz with Little Willy around they can last all night.”  (Thank you Viagra)

 Nickelback’s “Rock Star” asks for a bathroom with a king sized tub big enough for 10 plus me.  (That’s gonna be a bitch to clean)

Are Cheap Trick’s ‘Dream Police’ equipped with body cameras?

Do the ‘Dream Police’ wear body cameras?

“She calls me up and says baby it’s a lonely ole night.” (Sounds like somebody needs to get on Tinder)

Michael Penn sang, “What if I were Romeo in black jeans?”  (Make sure those pants are the ‘relaxed fit’ style)

Pearl Jam- Were charges filed when Jeremy bit the recess lady’s breast?  (Did he at least get an ‘in school suspension’?)

The new drug Huey Lewis wants, does it cause oily discharge?

Be careful, Huey Lewis’ “New Drug” might have some bad effects.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG- Highlights from my Spring Break.

Drinking Days Gone By…

St. Patrick’s Day is over.  Amen. I’m sure plenty of revelers started drinking on Friday and kept partying on through Sunday night.  Erin go Bragh, and all that stuff.  Yeah, I’m not a fan of the Irish boozing festival.  Too many goofs see St. Patrick’s Day as a built in excuse to get piss drunk. Jerry Seinfeld used to say how he didn’t like being around drunks because they’re always telling you how much they love you or hate you and he didn’t want to hear either of those things. Me neither.

Not that I’m trying to ruin anyone’s good time, but my heavy or even moderately strong drinking days have been in the rearview mirror for a long time.  I can’t recall a time since 2000 when I was even giddily buzzed, let alone bombed out drunk.  It’s not that I’m some high and mighty Puritan, I just don’t see the value in ruining a whole day or longer nursing a hangover after a night of too many cocktails.

Did everyone get enough to drink over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend?

When I get together with friends for fellowship, I keep it to a 2 drink total, 3 if it’s a longer hang.   In between each alcohol serving I’ll have a diet Coke or a glass of ice water with a twist of lime.  As far as drinks of choice, I go with bottled beer, Rolling Rock or a Shiner Bock do just fine by me.

Still, the carousing others do on St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of the days when I used to howl at the moon with the drinking. The first boozing I did was at age 14.  My sister Mary Ann was four years older than I and she introduced me and my friends to ‘Slow Screws’ which was Sloe gin mixed with orange juice.  That cocktail had a sweet and easy taste which made them fun to get an occasional buzz on. 

When I was in high school, the legal drinking age for beer and wine in Illinois was nineteen and to drink hard liquor you had to be twenty one.  My friends and I kicked into weekend beer hoisting at the start of junior year in high school.  Some of us, me included, were shaving fairly regularly so it was easy to look nineteen and buy suds at liquor stores in neighboring towns. We did that because the alcohol sellers in my hometown of Elmhurst always demanded to see an I.D. We rarely got into the hard booze.  A few cans of Old Style or Olympia beer were the norms for us.

Old Style beer was a constant in my high school drinking days.

 My parents had a liberal attitude towards alcohol. They told me to call them if I was ever too liquored up to drive, get a ride home from someone sober or just stay over where I was until the morning. By age seventeen they allowed me and my friends to drink at our house. My mom would fill us up with snacks and keep an eye out to make sure nobody went too nuts with the malt pops. The logic from my folks was, “He should learn how to handle drinking and if it happens under our roof, so much the better.”  And yes, there were a couple of times when I had to bunk at a friend’s house due to being over-served. I also hosted buzzed pals at my house for the same reason.  One piss drunk buddy filled up half a laundry sink with beer and pizza puke then passed out on my cold basement floor. His head was resting against our cat’s litter box.  Hey, we were young and stupid. O.K.?

Actually most of us York High School kids were fairly careful with the drinking after some sophomore classmates got into a horrible night time drunk driving crash.  Two blocks from my house some teens sped out of control while turning a corner and slammed a car head on into a tree. One of the crash victims almost lost his life and was laid up in the hospital for quite some time.  That was a stark wake up call to have fun but don’t be reckless.

Senior year, during our Christmas break, we had a huge beer bash in my basement and one of my teachers and his wife came by to say hey.  One guest was the daughter of the assistant director of our school district.  In our underage drinking times, things were much looser than today. If you got caught with alcohol, Elmhurst police officers usually made you pour out all your beers and if you weren’t drunk they’d send you on your way.  No arrests or police reports, no tickets, no court dates or alcohol counseling. One night my friend Todd Beja and I were directed to dump out a 12 pack of Old Style beer under the watchful eye of an Elmhurst cop who caught us with the forbidden drinks.

Elmhurst Police officers didn’t nail us bad for underage drinkers, but we never shared ‘Happy hours’ with them either.

Some weekends, I had baseball teammates over to our house for poker and beers. One of those card games was the night before Easter my senior year. During that get together my cat Squeaks delivered a freshly killed rabbit to our back porch.  The next morning I awoke to find no basket of candy waiting for me. My first basketless Easter!  My parents thought I outgrew the whole treats thing but I hadn’t.  So I asked my mom why I didn’t get a basket full of candy.  She calmly answered, “Sorry Mick, Squeaks ate the Easter Bunny.”     Very funny mom. Maybe she had a few drinks too and forgot my basket.

College drinking for me got a bit crazy.  Two summers in a row I hosted 4th of July parties that saw us drain 3 kegs of beer each year.  The first time I ever attended an Everclear punch party saw me literally crawling out of an elevator and to my dorm room to sleep off the effects of that drunk.  My introduction to doing whiskey shots at a party was also the first time I threw up on my shoes. Another time I wasted myself at a neighbor’s party, came home and spit up into a kitchen sink basket full of clean dishes. 

After college when I started working in Chicago morning radio, I could only drink on Friday and Saturday nights. By age 25 I started curbing my heavy alcohol intake because I didn’t like sleeping away my weekends thanks to too many pitchers of brew or mixed drinks. 

So yeah, now I’m a light drinker at best.  I do hope everyone had a nice St. Patrick’s Day weekend but am also glad I wasn’t around for any of the alcohol fueled ‘fun.’ 

I think it’s best to close off this blog with a drinking related song.   Bottom’s up!

Remembering My Dad Ken Kahler on His Birthday

March 11th 2019 would have been my father’s 84th birthday.  He’s been gone since August of 1993 and today I offer some fond remembrances of an aces guy.

My father Kenneth Robert Kahler. I believe he was about 50 years old in this photo.

Growing up I would often ask my dad about how things were when he was my age,.I’d say, “Pop,, back in your day, what did…” and he’d stop me right there and say, “Back in MY day?  It’s STILL my day!”  We always had a good laugh on that.

My dad’s sense of humor was sly and dry and something he didn’t often share with those outside of the family.  One thing he did shared was his love for all animals.  Dad could not stand people who hunted wild critters just for sport.  He adored the dogs we had and was truly broken up when our first pooch ‘Coach’ had to be put to sleep due to age related health problems.

He was also a cat fancier and we had two kitties (Prissy & Squeaks) while he was alive.  Dad would often say, “When someone tells me they don’t like cats, right away I don’t like them.”

A Kahler family photo from 1967.

Movies were something we shared a long and common bond on. He took me to see many films in their first run;  “The Godfather”, “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Rocky”, “The Great Santini”, and “Deliverance”  which dad said was one of the best & worst films he ever saw.  He also introduced me to classics like “The Hustler,” “Citizen Kane” and opened my eyes to how evil Andy Griffith could be in “A Face in the Crowd.”  Late Saturday nights were reserved for watching old time monster movies on Channel 9’s “Creature Features” show.  We also saw many great and not so great monster and horror films in theaters.

I’ll NEVER forget how hard pop laughed when we watched “Caddyshack” and the infamous Baby Ruth in the pool scene happened.  The whole segment had my dad loving the potty humor and when Bill Murray took a bite out of the ‘dookie’ he exploded with louder laughs and howls!  Pop went nuts for that!

I’ll never forget my dad’s hysterical laughing at this infamous scene from “Caddyshack.”

My dad was not shy about sharing any of his feelings. I remember back in 1990 when my car got rear ended and totaled in a bad crash.  My mother was in tears, beside herself that I had to deal with a trip to the E.R. (everything checked out fine) and the hassle of having to find a new car through no fault of my own. When mom shared this bad news with my dad, she told me he cried even harder.   Damn he was a good guy!

On the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 1993, my father was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. This was discovered after he suffered a seizure in a store. The oat cell carcinoma started in his lungs and went to his brain and adrenal glands.  Up until March of 1993 my dad was a lifelong smoker and he knew that hard to quit cigarette habit is what did him in.  Still dad took on his short but fatal illness with bravery. His faith that heaven awaited him never wavered.

This next segment comes from my pending auto-biography titled “Raised on the Radio.”  A book I hope to self-publish later this year.

My pop said he wanted to accomplish more in his life but I assured him he did way better than he gave himself credit for. Dad was a dedicated and loving son who took care of his elderly mother after his father died.  He served in the U.S. Navy, met and married my mom and adopted her daughter Maryanne and fathered me.  Dad had a career he loved and supported his family with, settling us in a fantastic neighborhood in a good town.  The beauty shop he owned did well in spite of having two other salons on the same street, just a half a block from his place. 

After selling his business, my dad started a new career as a hair-styling teacher at the DAVEA vocational school which is now known as TCD. (Technology Center of DuPage) His students loved “Mr. Ken.”  He also became the loving grandfather to my sister Mary and her husband Jack’s children Doreen and Michael.  Back in the mid-eighties he surprised me by taking over my college loan re-payment schedule.  Dad didn’t want to see me saddled with any debt and had the means to knock out my owed balance quickly.  This was the kind of man my father was.  He accomplished plenty.   

After dad’s grim diagnosis of no more than six months to live, we quickly planned his memorial service before he even came home from the hospital.  Hospice care would soon come in and treat him wonderfully.   I was to write and deliver dad’s eulogy at the service.  My dad had about two good months with us at home before leaving us.

I finished writing dad’s eulogy two days before he slipped into a coma. Mary read it to him because I was a puddle of sobs and tears. Afterwards he and I had our last heart to heart talk. I’ll always be grateful that we got to share those vital moments together.

In the early morning hours of Sunday August 15th, surrounded by his loving family, Kenneth Robert Kahler passed away peacefully at the way too young age of 58.  Smoking ended a life that should’ve gone on for another thirty years. My dad’s own mother would live to the age of ninety-five.  Mary Ann helped with the memorial service as she handled the scripture readings and shared some of her own fond memories of the only man she knew as dad. 

I wrapped up my eulogy with a quote from the liner notes on John Mellencamp’s “Scarecrow Album”; “There is nothing more sad or glorious than generations changing hands.” Those eleven words were a great comfort to me.  Then we played the Paul Overstreet song “Seeing My Father in Me” for the packed room of mourners.  The man who raised me to think so well of others, who taught me patience, how to appreciate movies and passed on his dry wit to me was now gone.  There has not been a day since when I haven’t thought of my dad and missed him very much. 

My mother and father enjoying the summer sun and their son. (Me!)

The Paul Overstreet song we played at my father’s memorial service was timely. But today I’m thinking about this wonderful dad song from Conway Twitty.


Reality TV Gets a bit TOO Real…

I’m all on board with watching this crazy TV show.

As crazy as it sounds, I’m a fan of the TLC reality series “Dr. Pimple Popper” starring Dr. Sandra Lee.  There’s something fascinating about seeing pimples, lipomas, cysts and other growths squeezed and surgically removed from her patients.  The human body is a wondrous miracle that happens to also be capable of producing really grotesque material that makes for wild TV.  Full disclosure: In the past, I had a 4 inch lipoma removed from my abdomen and a benign marble sized cyst taken off the side of my head, but not from Dr. Lee.

Many of the pimple popper patients featured have let their growths expand to amazing sizes.  One episode showed a man with a cyst on his arm that was the size of a 16 inch softball.  Another guy had a benign but bulging golf ball-like tumor on the middle of his forehead.  Cyclops had nothing on this ‘third eye.’  There’s also the poor woman who had a horn shaped cyst sprouting out of the top her of head.  It is cringe worthy seeing custard like goo oozing out of these growths. I might never eat another cream filled doughnut again. You can even sometimes hear the squishing sounds of certain cysts getting squeezed out of their skin.   

One poor woman had a horn-like growth sprouting from her scalp. Or was it a Frito’s corn chip?

The one thing I don’t understand is WHY these patients let their bulging lumps get so big that their body parts become a freak show. Maybe they didn’t have the money or insurance to take care of these issues.  However, the growth growers do receive what appears to be excellent care from Dr. Lee. Many of these epidermal abnormalities look like they were borne from another world.  I wouldn’t be surprised to someday see Dr. Pimple Popper yank the creature from “Alien” out of someone’s body.  

I await Dr. Lee pulling the creature from ‘Alien’ out of someone’s skin.

It can be a challenge to watch some of the scenes inside Dr. Lee’s exam room because they are not for the squeamish. Still, I take on that challenge each week and make it through without getting sick.  Some people like to climb dangerous mountains, some ride scary roller coasters and hope to not throw up, I watch Dr. Pimple Popper and hope to keep my non-vomiting streak going.  (If you’re keeping score, I haven’t thrown up since early February of 1991. )

Have a large lipoma? No worries, Dr. Pimple Popper will numb the skin and pull this excess growth out quicker than you know.

However, I think I’ve met my limit with a new program now airing on A&E.  It features an African American chiropodist who specializes in excising warts, ingrown toenails, fungus and other abnormalities from patient’s feet.  Feet! Ugh!  I cannot let myself even peek in on this program. 

Anyone who knows me is aware that I have an aversion to bare feet, especially toes. No matter how well clipped, manicured and painted they might be, toes are the ugliest part of the human anatomy.  Those goofs who claim to have ‘foot fetishes’ are in my opinion the most twisted weirdos on the face of the earth. Lord knows those ‘foot freaks will be tuned in to “The Toe Bro” as he clips, lances, burns off and surgically heals the ailments of men and women who want to get back to a normal life.

My barefoot and toe phobia means I won’t be able to watch “The Toe Bro”. Ugh.

With ‘The Toe Bro’ (pardon the pun) following in the footsteps of Dr. Pimple Popper, I see the realm of reality medical shows may have no limits.  So let’s examine a couple ideas from my sick mind for future doctor programs. 

You could take a male physician with a stoner persona who does breast enlargements and call his show “The Boob Dude.”   Or a female doctor who specializes in treating man’s erectile dysfunctions, call her “The Dick Chick” or “The Cock Doc.”   My personal favorite idea? How about showing a female proctologist doing her job?  Call her “The Ass Lass.”

I’m just spit-balling here.  There’s probably a load more of specialists doctor shows just waiting to be produced.   Until then, I’ll stick with “Dr. Pimple Popper” and make fast tracks away from “The Toe Bro.” 

You may now proceed to the bathroom and throw up.

Out with it!