Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Once again, I've gotten airplay in Chicago!

WFMT's Midnight Special , which has played some of my stuff in the past, played "Good Enough For Guys" and "Catch Phrases" on separate shows, May 12 and May 19. Yay!

If you live in Chicago, listen to the program and request more ME.

Better yet, if you listen to the NATIONAL version of this show, which is an entirely different show every week, request ME.



This past Monday was Memorial Day. And since my dad WAS in the Army -- he was in training camp when WWII ended, and wound up spending a couple of years in Japan cleaning up the mess (with his tongue, uphill, in the blistering sun and in snow drifts six feet high, all at once -- or so he said) -- my mom thought it might be a good idea to go visit his grave. She hadn't been out there in a while and the last time she was there, she wasn't very happy about the condition of the grass.

Long story. She threatened to call the Bishop.

Anyway, my brother Joe rented a limo and the four Tuerff Brothers, their two wives (my Jan and Joe's Carol), one girlfriend (Pat's Cara), my son Brendan and my mom rode to the cemetery from Mom's place in cramped but comfortable style.

We cracked jokes. My usually humorless brother Joe was actually the life of the party in the limo, and everybody chatted away.

When we got to the cemetery -- St. Francis, the one that runs alongside the canal off of 48th street, it was obvious that nobody had been to "see Dad" recently, as nobody could remember where his grave was. I had a fair idea where I THOUGHT it was, only to remember that the spot I was thinking of was where another funeral was held on the same day as my dad's.

Joe had the limo driver park where he THOUGHT the grave might be. Then he wandered off into the sunset. We weren't sure if we were ever going to see him again, so brothers Dave and Pat took off looking for him -- and dad.

Now, we had a lot more room in the limo. It was kinda nice! I suggested we leave, but Mom suddenly remembered that we probably weren't on the correct side of the cemetery. She had the limo driver head east, to the east-most-entrance. Turning in there, we found the Tuerff search party still wandering about. Mom had the limo driver pull over.

We all got out and started wandering around reading headstones. We were scattered in about a million directions when suddenly someone, either Carol or Brendan or Dave (I don't remember) suddenly said, "HERE IT IS!" -- and he was standing not 20 feet in a straight line from the limo door.

Dad thus located, we put some plastic flowers down. Mom mentioned when she finally goes (with her genes this will be after the rest of us have long passed on), she'd be buried on top of dad. Which was apparent, since the headstone had room for one more.

Then, she says, "We also bought the grave next to ours!" She pointed at it proudly.

For what? I thought. A future underground patio? So I asked the only sensible question I could:

"Do we get to flip for it?"

Big laugh, no answers.

The grass was in awful shape.

"That's it," Mom said. "I'm calling the Bishop."

So Joe passed around fake champagne glasses, opened up some fake champagne, we all toasted dad and then Joe, who will never miss the opportunity to read from the Bible and tie totally circumstantial verses from one testament to the other, like this is gonna make anybody convert, read a bunch of boring bible stuff and eventually stopped.

We toasted Dad again and drank more champagne. Brendan said some nice things about his Grandpa and we drank some more.

Then we got in the limo and headed off to graveyard #2 in Mesa to do the same thing for my sister Kathy, who, while not a veteran, isn't around anymore either.

Picture a similar location dilemma, only loaded on champagne.

Actually, it didn't take us quite as long to find Kathy's grave because Pat had actually been there a couple times. Mom hadn't been there for years, having had some problems coming to grips with it all. (Kathy had leukemia and didn't know it; she was "sick" exactly ONE DAY. Then she died. That's how I wanna go.)

However, we didn't find it right away. Pat told the limo driver "It's right by the statue." Understand of course that a Catholic cemetery has LOTS of statues. I believe the one near Kathy's grave is the statue of St. Jesus the Martyred Third Baseman of Happyville.

Again, we marched all around the vicinity of Kathy, the general area of Kathy, in fact the entire DIOCESE of Kathy before we found her. Her little flower pitcher thingy was broken but I put flowers in it anyway.

Mom threatened to call the Bishop again.

Joe got the cooler, passed out more glasses, more champagne (something not quite so dry this time) was poured, we toasted Kathy, we told a couple of stories, Joe didn't read anything, and I was happy.

Janice had brought pebbles to put on both graves; it's the Jewish version of flowers. Lets people know you were there. My mom was hoping she would have some and Jan came through like a champ!

Anyway, with both parties ceremonially toasted, flowered and pebbled, we got back in the limo and rode back to Mom's. Good thing, too. Champagne in the heat makes me tired and grumpy.

Once back, Joe cooked burgers and we all had a good time. Not a bad way to spend Memorial day after all.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007


My collection of presidential autographs has doubled.

Okay, so now I have two.

About four years ago I won an ebay auction and now Franklin Pierce's alcohol-driven John Hancock decorates a land grant, nicely framed in an airtight frame on my office wall. Great conversation piece. Cost me about $70. The FRAME cost more than that.

And this morning, for $9.50 I got president number two for my collection: an autographed picture of Jimmy Carter.

That's all he's worth alive; $9.50. And since he writes and autographs books aplenty, when he dies I don't imagine his value will go up that much.

When it comes to DEAD presidents, you really have your work cut out for you.

My policy is, if the bidding goes over $80, I stop.

Currently, I'm awaiting a very reasonable bid price on Herbert Hoover.

Herbert Hoover is the Bubba Morton of presidential autographs.

Bubba who, you ask?

When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards. Lots of them, and I could readily depend on about 98% of the cards I bought each summer to be Bubba Morton cards.

Bubba was a joke with us kids. We used to say that if you didn't have at least 15 Bubba Morton cards, you weren't trying.

(EXHIBIT A: The 1967 Topps Bubba Morton card. I had THOUSANDS of these.)

It was cards like Bubba Morton's that convinced all of us that Topps stacked the deck each year. They'd only print a couple hundred Mickey Mantles or Willie Mayses, but they'd happily replicate no-nothing players like Bubba Morton by the thousands.

Herbert Hoover is like that. Apparently, after leaving the oval office, he spent the last 30 years of his life signing things. Everything. Books (He wrote a book about fishing and if you only knew about him from ebay, you'd think he signed every copy), documents, letters. Hoover wrote hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of letters.

So it's very easy to find Hoover stuff. But the bidding usually starts small on those things, then quickly jumps way above what I'd pay for a guy who nearly ruined the country with his inability to do anything about the Depression.

But anyway, if nobody outbids me in the next four days I may just have a Hoover for under $40.

Oh, and just so you know, I don't aspire to collect ALL of the presidents. James K. Polk alone can set you back $12,000 easy.
I'm not THAT crazy, even if we do share birthdays.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I finally got around to sending out my latest CD to some radio stations last month. The Saturday before last, the show "Laugh Tracks" on Duke University's WXDU ( a FINE, FINE Station that has never stopped playing stuff from my FIRST CD) featured four straight tracks off the new one! Woo Hoo!


Jan's tribal dance group went to Northern Cal last week for Tribal Fest, had a lot of fun and actually came home with a picture of my wife drinking alcohol. And they didn't even have to pay her...


Thursday, May 17, 2007


It's not money. It's not self worth.

People have jobs so they don't have to watch daytime television.

This week I'm working out of the house in the morning because Jan's out of town and my son goes to a charter school that's over at 11:00. I have to pick him up.

So here I am, watching Boomerang at the moment. They play old Hanna-Barbera cartoons from my youth in the morning. Some, like Snagglepuss, are okay. Some, like Peter Pottamus, are ungodly bad.


"What just landed on me? An earthquake?"



The Suns didn't win last night, but NOT because Amare and Diaw were suspended. They just couldn't hit the damn basket near the end of the game. I think an earthquake fell on them.


Jan's up in a place called Sebastopol, CA this week for Tribal Fest, a four-day dance festival. If you're in the area, check it out!


Tomorrow night I'm playing out in WAAAAAY west Valley at Over Coffee in Surprise. Come on out!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Forget Mexico. I think I know where the real threat to America is, and it's north of here. (Thanks to Chuck Sigars for finding this and putting the link on his blog).


I don't know whether to laugh, cry, run, hide -- are ALL Utahans this bizarre?


Monday, May 07, 2007


Is this a neat shot or what? It was taken at the reunion of theatre people at NAU the weekend before last, by Heather Chambers, wife of Todd Chambers, who was one of the attending alumni.

Brendan said this should be part of the next CD design. "Did she get one with your ENTIRE back turned to the camera?"


The lighting in this little experimental theatre was really neat, as you can see from the other pic as well:


Speaking of Flagstaff, the schedule should be out soon regarding playing times for the Flagstaff Folk Festival in June. I will let you all know here when I know something.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I just read where Bobby "Boris" Pickett, of "Monster Mash" fame, died about a week ago.

How sad.

According to police, he was working in the lab late one night...

No. Actually he had cancer.

That song charted THREE separate times.

And he never had another hit, unless you count the constant airplay he gets on Dr. Demento for the classic cut, "Star Drek."

And how, exactly, does one DO the Transylvanian Twist?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007


...and I have many...

Happy Beltaine! Does anybody dance around a Maypole anymore?
Does anyone do it naked? And if so, why am I not invited?

Oh, I know why -- I can't dance.


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