Archive for March 2012

Pa Rum Pa Pum Pum

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:54 am
By: Doug Lund
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I was rummaging around in the garage the other day and took notice of my old drum set which has been stacked up against the wall covered in blankets since..geeze, I can’t remember the last time I played them.

It got me to thinking about all the years and all the groups and all the gigs we were together making music.

I’ll be the first to admit that my drumming abilities have been pretty much flourish-free but I’ve found that most bands don’t care all that much about stick-twirling or complicated solos..they’re happy to just have somebody who can keep good time and provide the necessary kick to the music when necessary. It kept me working for a long long time.

I also never considered myself to be a mentor to kids but hardly a dance..especially a wedding dance..would go by without kids coming up to the band stand and just staring at the drums and me playing them. Usually, I’d talk to them during break and offer encouragement if they seemed particularly interested in the instrument even giving them a pair of my old drum sticks on occasion. When that wasn’t enough, I’d occasionally let them sit on my lap for a song or two for a drummer’s eye view.

Can't remember this young fan's name at the Elks in Sioux Falls sometime in the 80's

Can't remember this young fan's name at the Elks in Sioux Falls sometime in the 80's

One of those little guys was Brian Steever; son of Lori and Tom Steever. Tom was our guitar player in Mogen’s Heroes and I’m sure he was a little disappointed that whenever Brian was in the audience, his attention was fixed on the drums instead of his dad on guitar. But Tom and Lori did nothing but encourage the boy and his passion for drumming. In fact, it wasn’t too long before Brian would sit-down to my old set and play a few tunes with the band. It was more than a passing fad too. Brian, now a college senior in Kansas City, has spent his entire life honing those skills that were clearly evident as a little kid. His passion is jazz and not only has he been playing professionally since high school, Brian Steever is considered one of the finest up and coming jazz drummers in country.

He and a group of seasoned musicians from KC performed at the Touch of Europe in Sioux Falls recently and were simply amazing.

Brian's Sioux Falls homecoming at the Touch of Europe

Brian's Sioux Falls homecoming at the Touch of Europe

Off the stage, Brian is still the humble respectful kid he’s always been but behind the drums he’s a monster and NO I didn’t ask to sit in. Here’s a video of Brian working with Sean Hennessy at last year’s Jazz fest in Jefferson City, Mo. He also performed at the Jazz fest in Sioux Falls. Brian is featured at about six minutes in.

YouTube Preview Image

It wasn’t just Tom Steever’s boy who was fascinated by the drums, Mogen’s Heroes band leader and namesake, John Mogen’s son, Charlie, would also pay more attention to me at the drums than his dad who was actually making REAL music on the keyboards. Maybe it’s just little boys and noise.

Charlie's first State Fair gig on the Freedom Stage in the 90's

Charlie's first State Fair gig on the Freedom Stage in the 90's

A few years later, Charlie didn't need any help as he backs up the heavy set dude singing a Willow Lake

A few years later, Charlie didn't need any help as he backs up the heavy set dude singing at Lake Norden

Charlie Mogen’s musical focus hasn’t been entirely on drums, though. He picked up his father’s skills on keyboard and plays marimba in the highly acclaimed Lincoln High School Marching Band. He’s also a long time member of Groove Inc. The Sioux Falls based performance drum line.

 Then, last week I received a video via Facebook from my dear friend and former Keloland TV colleague, Beth Hughes. She and her husband, John are parents to three terrific boys who’ve grown into the kind of fine young men who reflect their upbringing in a home environment filled with love and encouragement to be their best. The video is an audition sent by their youngest boy, Evan, to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston. After watching it, Evan was accepted.

I hadn’t seen Evan since he was a little kid at one of the Kelo picnics. I had no idea he played drums but after viewing this sampling of his skills all I could say was WOW!

YouTube Preview Image

Seeing and hearing all three of these extremely talented young men gave me the urge to blow the dust off my old set of Ludwigs that sit quietly in the garage; maybe even see if I could find a gig to play again somewhere.

Wait a minute, that would require a lot of late nights and heavy lifting and I have sworn-off both.

Photos From The Front

Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 at 11:48 am
By: Doug Lund
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taylor marine

Excerpt from Lund at Large blog May 24th, 2011

 “We have heard that grandson, Taylor, has already had a taste of battle in Afghanistan. I pray God will watch over him and his fellow Marines as they fight to rid the world of those who would have us live in terror.”

 April 23rd 2012 

 Many of you who read my meanderings on this blog joined with Linda and me 11 months ago in offering up prayers for Taylor’s safety. Too often we don’t make it a point to give thanks or even mention when prayers are answered as they have been for our grandson. His five year commitment to our country and The Corps, came to a conclusion this week and he is back home safe and sound. Thanks be to God and to all those who sought His mercy on Tay’s behalf.

He and the Marines in his platoon experienced excitement and horrors only other battle-seasoned veterans can understand. Many in Taylor’s unit, including him, had digital cameras along to chronicle some of it; a very personal glimpse into Lima Company’s journey through hell. The following are just a few of those images:

The Few The Proud in Afghanistan. Taylor is 2nd from left.

The Few The Proud in Afghanistan. Taylor is 2nd from left.

The platoon encounters a sandstorm while on patrol. It was the only one during their tour but it was a doozey.

The platoon encounters a sandstorm while on patrol. It was the only one during their tour but it was a doozey.

 

An IED (improvised explosive device) goes off in the distance. A sickeningly regular occurance.

An IED (improvised explosive device) goes off in the distance. A sickeningly regular occurance.

Taylor stands in hole left by IED

Taylor stands in hole left by IED

Close up of a pressure plate used in making IEDs.

Close up of a pressure plate used in making IEDs.

Cpl. Smith in a lighter moment aboard a confiscated ass

SGT. Smith in a lighter moment aboard a confiscated ass

A not so light moment as Taylor calls in a helecopter to evacuate a wounded comrade.

A not so light moment as Taylor calls in a helecopter to evacuate a wounded comrade.

The chopper arrives.

The chopper arrives.

Injured buddy still has sence of humor despite face full of shrapnel.

Injured buddy still has sense of humor despite face full of shrapnel.

Last photo of Lance Cpl. Mark Goyet. He was shot and killed later that day.

Last photo of Lance Cpl. Mark Goyet. He was shot and killed later that day.

Taylor at the memorial for his buddy, Cpl. Goyet killed in action.

Taylor at the memorial for his buddy, Cpl. Goyet killed in action.

Still, the war goes on. Taylor (on right) about to depart for night patrol.

Still, the war goes on. Taylor (on right) about to depart for night patrol.

Back at camp. 48 hours without sleep. Dead tired but still alive.

Back at camp. 48 hours without sleep. Dead tired but still alive.

Taylor captioned this photo; "probably thinking about home."

Taylor captioned this photo; "probably thinking about home."

You can take the boy out of South Dakota but.....

You can take the boy out of South Dakota but.....

Taylor's caption: "Finally leaving this s**t hole.

Taylor's caption: "Finally leaving this s**t hole.

Taylor and his band of brothers who've been through so much together

Taylor says goodbye to his band of brothers who've been through so much together

Thank you Lord.

Thank you Lord.

And thank you Taylor.

And thank you Taylor.

Thursday night welcome home dinner with brother, Tucker and big sister, Tara

Thursday night welcome home dinner with brother, Tucker and big sister, Tara

Relieved Mama Brenda.."I can finally breathe again."

Relieved Mama Brenda.."I can finally breathe again."

Time To Come Clean

Posted: Monday, March 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm
By: Doug Lund
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Psssst, Hey buddy.

Who..me?

Yeah, come over here a sec.

Wadda ya want?

I gotta stash of Tide here I can let you have for half price.

Tide..as in laundry detergent? You’re kiddin’ right?

No I ain’t. Look, you in or not?

Sure, I’ll take a couple gallons, I guess.

 Did you hear on the news this past week that there was a Tide theft epidemic sweeping the country? The original story apparently came from M.L. Nestel writing for an on-line news organization called The Daily. According to Nestel, Tide has become a form of currency on the street, where it’s known as “liquid gold.” People trade it for drugs.
Apparently, thieves brazenly go into supermarkets, load up shopping carts full of Tide, and then dash out the front door, into waiting getaway cars. Nestle citied one specific example from a St. Paul WalMart showing Patrick Castanzo barreling out of the store with a cart full of Tide. He later confessed to stealing 25 thousand dollars worth of Tide and other products from Wallyworld and elsewhere.

Costanzo came clean and admitted the "Era" of his ways

Costanzo came clean and admitted the "Era" of his ways

Other reports say the Tide story is being blown way out of proportion and most retailers haven’t really noticed any dramatic increases in detergent disappearances.

I guess it really doesn’t matter to me one way or another. All I know is that when I do the grocery shopping..which is one of my agreed-upon domestic duties, there is always plenty of Tide on the shelves at HyVee.  Linda doesn’t insist on many things but she does like her Tide and has made it clear that I do NOT go bargain hunting when it comes to laundry soap. (She feels the same way about Charmin toilet paper but I digress.) My biggest problem is trying to remember what type of Tide she prefers; Tide with or without bleach, with or without fabric softener, scented or unscented.

laundry tide

If memory serves, my mom also liked Tide best but she also couldn’t resist some of the special premiums offered by competitors. In fact, she amassed a cupboard full of wheat-pattern plates, cups, saucers and drinking glasses offered free with the purchase of Duz.

Anybody else remember these Duz dishes?

Anybody else remember these Duz dishes?

They’re still around the house here in a box labeled “Mom’s Stuff.” (Update: Linda reminds me that our daughter, Suzan, has these dishes and still puts them to regular use.)

I’m pretty sure Duz  duzent  exist anymore. In fact, a lot of familiar laundry soaps that were popular in my youth  have gone down the drain..at least the powdered variety. Any of these ring a bell?

laundry ad

laundry dash

laundry oxydol

laundry surf ultraviloet

 

 Oh, yeah, anybody remember SALVO which were jelly jar-lid size tablets that you threw in with your dirty undies. I don’t know what the advantage they were..wait, let me check You Tube. Here you go, those pellets, according to pitchman Wally Cox,  were “Fortified.”

 YouTube Preview Image

Last February, Procter and Gamble came out with a similar method of distributing detergent into your laundry; But unlike Salvo, Tide PODS use dissolvable bags instead of tablets and proclaim to not only clean your clothes but remove stains and brighten them too.

Don't be fooled by the packaging, these are not candy.

Don't be fooled by the packaging, these are not candy.

Unfortunately, if drug dealers are using Tide for currency, these plastic pods just might be a more convenient way to go.

Actually, I think I’ll pick up a jar of them next time Linda sends me to the store and needs Tide. It sure would take the guesswork out of deciding which variety to pick.

Well, maybe not. I see they come in either Ocean Mist or Spring Meadow.

All Things Considered

Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm
By: Doug Lund
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It’s been a pretty good week.

Our daughter, Suzan was home from Lincoln for a couple days and, while here, announced that even though the official mourning period for their recently departed cat, Spangles, isn’t quite over, they decided to visit a shelter (embarrassingly named The Cat House) just to look over the selection of kittens and perhaps find one to fill the feline void in their life. Well, at The Cat House, it’s not just a matter of making a choice and taking an animal home. No, the proprietors insist you first meet certain requirements. Well, I have since learned that they have been approved and are actually getting TWO kittens; sibling sisters named Laverne and Shirley. The kitty’s homecoming has been delayed, though, because both are in quarantine  a few more days as they’re being treated for ringworm. Yuk. Anyone else remember when farm kids would show up in school with a silver dollar size round scalp-exposing bare spot in their hair? Ewww..my head’s itching just at the thought. Anyway, The Cat House isn’t taking any chances of passing the kitten’s unfortunate condition along to my granddaughter, Zoey.. who..by the way..has absolutely no connection to the TV series that inspired the naming of her new pets and has received permission (yes, it required Cat House approval) to change their moniker. Her choice? Blue and Bubbles. When asked why..Zoey simply said she liked those names and you don’t question the reasoning of a recently heart-broken 10 year old.

We took delivery of the new family-room furniture I wrote about last week and it has met with the approval of all who have beheld it. I’m especially fond of the recliner rocker and have already spent considerable hours in it so  it will quickly conform to the contours of my impressionable frame much like breaking-in a new baseball mitt.

Speaking of my formidable frame..there’s a little less of it these days. I’m not going into great detail but I’m coming up on five weeks of careful calorie counting and starting to notice some subtle changes..like the fit of clothing. I don’t weigh because our scale only goes up to what I want to get down to.

Had a weee of a time in Brookings the other night. I met up with Steve Hemmingsen at the Pheasant restaurant and lounge where they have live music on Monday evenings. On this night, we were treated to the stupendous sounds of jazz courtesy of the Johnson/McKinney Quintet. They have terrific taste in music but dubious judgment in who they allow on stage. In this case, I was offered an opportunity to sing a song or two. It went fine and the audience seemed to take delight in seeing a former TV guy belting out Sinatra. As I left the stage I mentioned to the boys in the band that Hemmingsen also had quite a reputation in piano bars from Sioux Falls to Nye’s Polynesian in Minneapolis as an interpreter of Broadway show tunes..so Steve was invited up and, after a challenging up-tempo number, he settled-in and provided a pleasant vocal surprise for both the players and patrons.

Steve closes his set with a big finish. Musicians include, Corky Johnson, sax..Jim McKinney, vibes. Greg Olson, drums and I can't remember the bass and piano player's names..sorry.

Steve closes his set with a big flourish. Musicians include, Corky Johnson, sax..Jim McKinney, vibes. Greg Olson, drums and I can't remember the bass and piano player's names..sorry.

You’ll have to check the place out. It’s a great Monday night alternative to TV.

Several months ago, the agency that sends Linda and me our monthly sustenance checks decided they had overpaid me and began withholding a sizeable sum from said checks until the debt was repaid. Well, my longtime tax man agreed to help me construct a point by point reasoned response to this agency in the form of an appeal. After several months had passed, we’d concluded that our plea had fallen on deaf ears but then the other day in the mail came a government letter telling us our appeal had been accepted and the dollars withheld would be reimbursed. Needless to say there was much jubilant jumping around the kitchen at the news and many thanks owed to Doug Amen CPA.

Now I wish I’d held out for the recliner with the vibrating fingers feature and side-mounted cooler for storing my low fat yogurt and diet cherry flavored Mountain Dew. Yumm.

Sofa King

Posted: Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm
By: Doug Lund
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A big day at our house as I say goodbye to a dear old friend. Our well-seasoned leather couch (or as I like to call it..my potato patch) has finally become so tattered from over use by me that Linda was embarrassed to have people come over anymore. So it’s going to wherever exhausted sofas wind up.

My potato patch on sliders and ready to haul away. The  love seat, which goes to, is at the right.

My potato patch on sliders and ready to haul away. The love seat, which goes too, is at the right.

Much to my surprise, the Salvation Army said they’d be happy to take it off our hands figuring the rips are reparable and their non discriminating clientele won’t have a problem with the patina I’ve created from years of  head resting against the puffy arms.  The matching love seat, which is in pristine condition because I rarely have plopped my rather pronounced posterior upon it, is going too. Our daughter wants it for her basement so out it goes . I find the name “love seat” puzzling. I don’t recall anyone ever sitting there and become overwhelmed with the urge to get frisky with the person next to them.

Nope..they’re gone and our new big ass recliner arrives this afternoon along with a brand new sofa. (Is it sofa or couch?..checking Google..be right back) Well, now..here’s the rather surprising answer:

Derived from the middle French word – “Couche”, a couch is nothing but an armless piece of furniture that was popularly used in the Victorian period and was often addressed as the fainting couch. The couches were used in order to provide a place for the ladies wearing tight fitted corsets with restricted breathing abilities. Couches generally feature one arm or no arm at all and a tapered back. On the other hand, the term sofa is derived from an Arabic term – “Suffah” and is used for a description of a bench which has been covered with blankets and cushions. Sofas are known to feature two arms and a uniform back.

I’ll be darned; didn’t know that. When I was a kid, my mom always referred to our sofa as the “davenport.” (Shoot..I have to Google again..just a sec.)

Huh. It turns out that Davenport  is the name of a series of sofas manufactured by the now-defunct A.H. Davenport Company. Due to the popularity of the furniture at the time, the name “Davenport” has become a generalized trademark and is often used as a synonym for “sofa”, especially in the Midwestern United States. Sort of like Frigidaire, Kleenex and Thermos I guess.   When our relatives from Canada came to visit they called it a Chesterfield. I already checked. It apparently comes from the 19th century Earl of Chesterfield. But I digress.

Our new couch/sofa/divan/davenport will not have to endure the Doug stress test.  No, Linda has not forbade me from using it but I have marked a new territory to occupy in the house.(And no, I didn’t mark it that way)

Yes, NASCAR.Shut up.

Yes, NASCAR's on. .Shut up.

 We have recently transformed one of the kid’s old bedrooms into my own personal Man-Cave complete with TV, computer, recliner and day bed. (Which works nicely at night too when the snoring gets intense) The walls are covered with photos, paintings, TV and golf memorabilia.

Mom's quilt

Don't laugh..Mom's quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bathroom is a few short steps away and I’m campaigning for a small refrigerator stocked  with brewed and distilled beverages. But Linda says “no way” ..that I can certainly walk to the “Frigidaire” in the kitchen. And she’s right, of course, exercise is very important.

The trouble with getting this new family-room furniture is that now Linda is getting all sorts of ideas for changing things around in the house;  replacing a few other old items that have seen better days. If you want me I’ll be hiding out in the cave.