Friday, January 30, 2009


I have a scanner, and recently I decided that I would dig up some old photo negatives and scan them. They were kept in plastic sheaths for lo these many decades, so I thought they would be in perfect shape.

Wrong. Even "dustless" sleeves collect dust. It scratches negatives.

Case in point: Here's a photo of an old friend of mine. When I took this photo at a sci-fi convention in 19(CENSORED) she was only 17 years old. (My apologies that it loads sideways; I can't figure out how to flip it up.) Click on the photo to make it big and you can see what I'm talking about.

You can see the scratchies all over it. Fixable in Photoshop, I guess, but still.

Just a warning. If you have a copy of the photo, try scanning that first, then color-correcting it. It'll probably take less time.


And now, another photo from that same convention, just because I think the costume is a kick:

The thing I remember most about this convention was that is was held at the point when if you had a sci-fi convention, it was HUGE. In fact, every hotel room in this huge hotel was booked that weekend, mostly by the convention, which allowed for some rather odd things to go on -- namely, nude use of the jacuzzi and pool after dark, a live-action chase game that took place in the stairwells, and more booze than I've ever seen in one party room in my life.

At one point I found myself sitting nude in a jacuzzi with an albino woman.

Sorry, no pictures.


See my post from yesterday about what I'm doing tomorrow and SHOW UP!


I am now booked for one-quarter of the entire month of February. Woo hoo!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009


And they even spelled my name right!

If you're not doing anything, please come out for this. It's a fundraiser for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Five bucks, five bands (if I count as a band), and 10% of any CDs I sell will go to LLS. I'm the first act at 8. Don't be late!


I'm doing this fundraiser because I lost my sister Kathy to leukemia damn near eight years ago next week. It's a shitty disease so anything I can do to help, I do.


Some movie channel showed "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" today. There is nothing more unintentionally hilarious than Walter Pidgeon and Peter Lorre in the same shot. It looks like a giant talking to a kindergartner.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009


SI picked the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl this Sunday. Put Kurt Warner on the cover and everything.

Kiss of death. Steelers by 21. (I hope not, but I bet.)


Actual phone conversation:

Hello, Tom?


Kim Moody (from Alwun House). Were you planning to play the Erotic Music and Poetry Festivus this year on February 20?

Why, yes, I was.

Good, because your name's on the flyer. You wanna come pick some up?


I have a new song up on my Myspace page! Go listen! Took me a whole 75 minutes to make!



The Thursday open mic at Gavilan Peak Sports Bar in New River is fast becoming my favorite open mic. Tonight, I'll be at Chantilly's, 7th Avenue and Union Hills, at nine.


This Saturday I will be the opening act for a fundraiser for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. It starts at 8 at Donna Jean's Libations, 67th Avenue and Bell. There's a small cover, but it's for charity so all of you show up.

I will also donate a portion of any CD sales to LLS. So bring friends with money.


After that, I'm going to a party.


Anybody know a good home insurance person? We need to buy new home insurance.


The Songwriter's Gathering at the Glendale Library last Saturday was a ball and a half. I attended a seminar on promotion there that told me that I am an absolute waste of time if I don't have a Twitter account. I had a Twitter account, but I hadn't even thought about it for six months. I'm twitting a little more often now.


Word to Paul McCartney: GET A PRE-NUP THIS TIME.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yeah, ol' W was a prize. But you know what? I doubt he'll go down in history as the absolute WORST president we ever had. That's because there have been SO MANY totally inept clods who've run this country in the past.

About two years ago, US News and World Report published their list of the worst presidents:

1. James Buchanan
2. Warren G. Harding
3. Andrew Johnson
4. Franklin Pierce
5. Millard Fillmore
6. John Tyler
7. Ulysses S. Grant
8. William Harrison
9. Herbert Hoover | Richard Nixon (tie)
10. Zachary Taylor

Now, do you knock Zak Taylor out of the list to put W in it? Or do you pair him up with someone, like Hoover and Nixon are?

I can see why a lot of these guys are here, in the order that they are.

Buchanan is a good choice for worst. With America on the verge of splitting, he refused to do anything about it. He was pretty much the last nail in the coffin for peace before the Civil War.

Harding hired his friends for cabinet posts, and most of them ended up going to jail. (Shades of W there, except the jail part.) Harding likely would have joined them if he hadn't died.

Andrew Johnson pretty much reversed any progress that blacks had made in the south because of Lincoln.

Pierce, Fillmore and Tyler all contributed to the problems that led to the Civil War. At best they were do-nothings; at worst, they were pro-South.

Grant: Hero. Hires friends. Friends turn on him. Teapot Dome. The Harding of his century.

Hoover/Nixon: Depression/Watergate. And don't say Hoover couldn't help it. He truly believed that economic downturns simply had to run their course, and there was no way you could influence them one way or another. He survived another 31 years after leaving office, and his opinions on fiscal frugality never wavered. (There are some great videos of Hoover on the Internet where, even in the 1950s, he hasn't learned his lesson.) As for Nixon, don't get me started. Even worse than Watergate, and this is something I will NEVER understand, he allowed the CIA to overthrow the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED president of Chile, Salvador Allende, because the people chose to elect a communist. (I had a friend in high school who emigrated with his folks from Chile in order to avoid being shot. Thanks, Dick.)

Harrison and Taylor: They both died shortly after taking office. You can't call a guy the "worst president" when he hasn't had the opportunity to do anything. And Taylor was actually an okay guy. Anti-slavery; got California admitted to the union, anti-secession. Harrison spent his whole administration in bed with pneumonia and died in a month.

Where, if anywhere, does W fit in here? Near the bottom, for sure. If his successor gets us on the road to fixing everything, I would imagine immediate opinion of Bush will soften a bit, to the point that people might have trouble remembering anything he did. Or remembering him at all.

Which would be fine with me.


This Saturday is the Glendale Songwriters Gathering! 10-4 at the main library on 59th Avenue! Come watch me play at 12:40!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


For all you presidential geeks. (Don't look up the answers; just guess. They're at the bottom of this post, anyway.

1. Name the only president who ever actually hanged a person.

2. If his detractors at the time were to be believed, Barack Obama may not be our first African-American president. Who might have had black ancestors?

3. Name the only president who never took a vacation (not even a day off!) during his full four-year term.

4. He's the only president to receive a speeding ticket while in office. On a horse. Cost him 20 bucks. Name him.

5. He was the first president to live in the White House.

6. He lost the sight in one eye while boxing in the White House.

7. His well-endowed wife made cleavage-showing styles popular in the rather stuffy 1800s.

8. His son was late to arrive on the scene for 3 -- count 'em -- 3 -- presidential assassinations.

9. There is ample evidence to imply that this president may have been gay.

10. This Mexican-American War officer ran against his former commanding officer for President.

11. He's the only president who did not die in this country.

12. Nine presidents have survived blatant assassination attempts. How many can you name?

Think 'em over...


If you need any proof that America will never grow up, I just did a little research:
There are 21 listings on classmates.com right now for the name "Heywood Jablome."


And 166 for "Dick Hertz."


I'm not even going to bother checking for "Ben Dover."


King George is dead. Long live the new republic.



1. Grover Cleveland
2. Warren Harding
3. James K. Polk
4. U.S. Grant
5. John Adams
6. Teddy Roosevelt
7. James Madison
8. Abraham Lincoln
9. James Madison
10. Franklin Pierce
11. John Tyler (He died in Virginia during the Civil War, when the south was a different country.)
12. Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln (several), Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield (at least two before he was finally shot), Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Jerry Ford (twice), Ronald Reagan.

Monday, January 19, 2009


You know, I'm just as excited as everybody else that the reign of King George I ends tomorrow. Like a lot of people, I am encouraged by Barack Obama's sincere (if, I think, naive) call for change.

But indeed, already change is in the air.

Yeah, the economy sucks. I've been "freelancing" myself since September and I hate it.

But if change is what you want, I can't think of any more amazing sign that things have changed than yesterday afternoon.

The Arizona Cardinals won the National Football Conference Championship, and they are going to the Super Bowl in three weeks.

This is the first time the words "Cardinals" and "Championship" have been mentioned together since 1947.

That's change. May it be a sign of more important changes to come.


I would like to go on record to say that my sons' band officially kicks ass.

Adam, Brendan and their friend Ian have a band called Thunderstump. After ages of rehearsing, they finally took the plunge and played an open mic at a bar in New River last week. Jan and I went to watch (okay, I went to play, as well.)

You could SEE the adrenaline they were swimming in while they waited to play. And when they finally got up there, they did not disappoint.

They did two songs and even played a little trick on the audience. They started with a very slow and melodic instrumental that they had worked up called "Speed Bump." Then, they performed a great song that I think is the best song they have so far, called "Sleep." It's a loud, punky, funny song about having a manager at work who won't let you sleep.

The place went NUTS.

The guys were stoked. WE were stoked.

In his excitement after the gig, Brendan got so stoked that he inadvertently locked his car keys in his trunk. (Note: Dodge Stratuses are VIRTUALLY IMPENETRABLE, even to experienced locksmiths. We found this out the next morning.)

Thunderstump will play again. I'll keep you posted.


The annual Phoenix Songwriter's Gathering is now the Annual GLENDALE songwriter's gathering. It's this Saturday at the Glendale Library on 59th Avenue north of the peacock park. 10-4. I play a short set at 12:40. Come on out -- it's free!


Can you believe that guy put that plane down in that river last week? And everybody got off?

A guy named Sully had an airplane
Out of Laguardi-ayyyyyy
But then he lost both of his engines
Making goose pate
He put it down in the Hudson
It seems without a care
Everybody's gone Surfin'...
Surfin' U.S. Air!!!

Too soon?


Saturday, January 10, 2009


America has become so addicted to staying connected that in the past months I have found myself signing up to read messages from people on a whole variety of bizarre message websites.

A couple of years ago I joined a site called Tribe -- kind of the precursor of things to come. It's still there but it isn't well maintained and I don't use it much anymore.

Myspace was one that I joined purely by force: "WE CAN'T BOOK YOU IF WE CAN'T HEAR YOUR MUSIC." So I had to make one of those pages. (I have two, actually. I used to have seven because I couldn't figure out how to make it a music website and when I thought I was starting over I was just making more pages. I am a hopeless nincompoop on the computer. For the record, my two myspace pages are: www.myspace.com/tomtuerffmusic and www.myspace.com/ttuerff just because it's there.)

In the last few months, I have been forced to join a variety of message sites, some just to get ONE FREAKIN' MESSAGE.
Something called Twitter. Another one called...oh hell, I can't remember...

And the list goes on.

Which brings me to Facebook. Initially, this site was supposed to be used entirely by college students to keep in touch with other college students as well as worried parents. You are allowed no long diatribes, merely status updates. I would presume in the "college only" days, those status updates would be used to assuage worries that little Lurlene was in trouble:

"Lurlene is out on a date."

(followed later by:)

"Lurlene is home from her date. Stop worrying, daddy."

Terribly exciting.

Well, as you might imagine, now EVERYBODY uses Facebook to keep in contact with other people. I have an account, but I have to say I REALLY DON'T GET IT. It's hard to use, hard to change and hard to look at.

It does have its upsides: Nobody gets to look at your information unless you say so. (I presume this is to ward off potential date rapers.) It does allow you to find people who you once shared commonalities with, provided you've both mentioned that. (Your high school, for example.)

But what I find really interesting about it is, now that more people are joining, Facebook and Myspace appear to be entangled in an attempt to be EXACTLY LIKE EACH OTHER. Exclusive features to either site are now popping up on both.

For example, you can now have a Facebook MUSIC PAGE. (I'm holding off.)

And on Myspace, suddenly you can see a list of "potential friends" (that is, people who other friends of yours know) that you, too, might want to make your own.

It's gonna get worse. I'm pretty sure that soon, you'll be able to add backgrounds and videos and all that crap to your Facebook account, which has pretty much taken any enjoyment I ever had out of Myspace. Why? Because you people who insist on putting up 93 videos on your Myspace page, over a "custom motif" that merely sucks up memory while trying to load all your FREAKIN' VIDEOS, and makes it impossible to find the only thing I really want on your damn page, which is "Send a letter,"

I let my kid put up a "wallpaper" on my NON-music page and while it's apropos, I hate it. I have trouble reading my own page. Unfortunately I don't know how to change it back.

I'm middle aged. We're more important than you young jerks. Quit complicating things. And get outa my yard! Where's my oatmeal?


Okay, so last week, I predicted the Cardinals would win. And they did. Well, today, they're back east where they haven't won a SINGLE game this year, and I don't think that's going to change. We'll see. Panthers over the Cards today. I hope I'm wrong...


Wednesday, January 07, 2009


From the blog "Carolina Naturally," a list of famous nudists, past and present. (Various comments by me.) I (and you, if you're so inclined) am in good company.

John Quincy Adams (frequently skinny-dipped in the Potomac)
Christina Aguilera
Jennifer Aniston
Fiona Apple

Kevin Bacon
Oksana Baiul
Josephine Baker
Eric Balfour
Kylie Bax
Drew Barrymore
David Beckham
Victoria Adams Beckham
Amanda Beard
Jack Black
Lara Flynn Boyle
Kevin Brauche
Jimmy Buffett (Does this surprise, like, ANYONE?)
Robert Burns
Gene Burton

Winston Churchill
Kelly Clarkson
Nadia Comaneci
Billy Connolly
Cindy Crawford

Johnny Depp
Athena Demos
Alan Dershowitz
Cameron Diaz
Isadora Duncan
Erica Durance

Marianne Faithful
Ralph Fiennes
Colin Farrel
Ralph Fiennes
Colin Fletcher
Bridget Fonda
Peter Fonda
Matthew Fox
Jamie Foxx
Benjamin Franklin

Eva Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Gerald Gardner
Ian Gillian
Jeff Goldblum
Cuba Gooding Jr
Amy Grant
Macy Gray
Spalding Gray (This one surprises me a little bit)

Linda Hamilton
Tom Hanks
Daryl Hannah
Woody Harrelson
Melissa Joan Hart
PJ Harvey
Goldie Hawn
Robert A. Heinlein (DUH)
Ernest Hemingway
Margaux Hemingway
Mariel Hemingway
Alfred Hitchcock
Paris Hilton
Fiona Horne
Kate Hudson
Kate Humble
Elizabeth Hurley
Angelica Huston

Enrique Igelsias
Julio Iglesias
Natalie Imbruliga

Hugh Jackman
Janet Jackson
Jade Jagger
Famke Janssen
Lyndon Johnson
Raul Julia

Nicole Kidman
Kiera Knightly
Olga Korbut
Heidi Klum

Avril Lavigne
Lucy Lawless
Heath Ledger
Hyapatia Lee
Lindsay Lohan
Jennifer Lopez
Mario Lopez
Peter Lupus

Andie MacDowell

Matthew McConaughey
Ewan McGregor
Sir Ian McKellen
Sarah McLachlan
Patrick McNee
Elle McPherson

Barry Manilow
James Mason
Eva Mendes
Christopher Meloni
Helen Mirren
Demi Moore
Alanis Morrisette
Kate Moss

Jack Nicholson

Patrick "Tip" O'Neal
George Orwell

Paloma Picasso
Brad Pitt
Sidney Pollock

Sheryl Lee Ralph
Daniel Ratcliffe
Keanu Reeves
Lynn Regrave
Vanessa Redgrave
Tara Reid
Fred Rogers
Sara Rue

Claudia Schiffer
Jerry Seinfeld
George Bernard Shaw
Sherri Shepherd
Alicia Silverstone
Jessica Simpson
Rod Sirling
Britney Spears
Princess Stephanie of Monaco
Patrick Stewart
Joss Stone

Emma Thompson
Henry David Thoreau
Justin Timberlake
Leeann Tweedon

Vince Vaughn

Robbie Williams
Bruce Willis
Walt Whitman
Katrina Witt


Adrian Young


I need to set up that free recording time before the certificate expires. The song I'm going to record is now either going to be "I Saw Your Daughter In a Porno" or "Friends With Benefits," which my friend Nancy suggested I do. (This is partially because she has a nice arrangement of it that we do together...)


I heard a funny Henny Youngman joke yesterday:

A guy says to his friend: "Look at this diamond necklace I just got for my wife!"
The other guy says, "Hey, nice trade!"


Friday, January 02, 2009


If Jimmy ever really did crack corn, I would imagine SOMEBODY would care. Maybe not you, certainly not me -- who am I to keep a man from his corn cracking duties -- but SOMEBODY would have to have asked Jimmy to crack the corn in the first place. THAT guy would care.


And speaking of Stephen Foster, have you ever tried walking anywhere with a banjo on your knee? I have a banjo. I tried it once. Pain in the ass. And the knee.


If auld acquaintance really should be forgot, then wouldn't you just have to reintroduce yourself to everybody you know every New Year's Eve?


What do you think Eleanor Rigby died from? I think it was picking up all that damn rice.


I wonder if Shakespeare would still be revered if he had written a death scene where the soon to be deceased person raises his head one last time and says, "Later, dude."


I was watching some Honeymooners reruns on WGN on Christmas Eve and I came upon the realization that while they are funny, you couldn't get away with that kind of stuff on TV now, and to be honest, the Ralph Kramden character is extremely offensive these days. But Ed Norton? I'd live next to him any day.


I'll stick my neck out: Cards over Falcons tomorrow.


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