Question of the day – What was your first concert?

So, the Michael Jackson post turned into a discussion about musical preferences, and it made me get a little nostalgic.  I attended my first concert in 1977 when I was 11-years-old in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The artist was the incomparable “talk box” artist, Peter Frampton.  “Do you feel like I do,” was his signature song at the time, and I was chomping at the bit to see how he made that guitar talk.  I remember being really irritated that he actually played other songs.  My tastes diverged into the Southern Rock, Blues, and Pop arena shortly thereafter, so obviously the experience did not shape my musical preferences.

How about it?  What was your first concert experience?  Did it shape your listening habits for the rest of your life?  While you are perusing memory lane, here’s a little taste of Mr. Talk Box himself:

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An Open Letter to the President of Television

One half of Hassaula! BTW - this is the most uncomfortable Ive felt on my own blog!

One half of Hassaula! BTW - this is the most uncomfortable I've felt on my own blog!

Dear President of Television,

Can you do me a favor?  Can you stop spreading your crazies out so thin?  You’ve got David Hassalhoff on one show, Paula Abdul on another, and that guy Dog is way over on another show.  There are probably other whacked out reality TV stars that I don’t know anything about because you’ve got them all over the dial.  I have one word for you, consolidate.  Put all your crazies on one show.  In fact, I would suggest that you have Hassalhoff marry Paula, and then have Dog move in as the house guest who refuses to leave.  Bam!  Instant hit!  You could even have “Hassaula” (the show even has a built in power couple name) adopt Amy Winehouse.  I know she’s not a reality star, but c’mon, she’s a total train wreck.  She was made for reality TV.

I’m afraid I’m going to continue not watching reality TV until this consolidation takes place.  I don’t have the physical or emotional stamina to watch all that crap!

Yours truly,

R.W. Ridley

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Reportedly Michael Jackson was obsessed with beating Prince!

Reports are surfacing that Michael Jackson had become obsessed with showing up Prince during the last weeks of his life. No explanation has been given as to why Michael Jackson thought it was 1985. Ohhhh! Zinnnng! Oh, yes I went there. I zinged a dead guy…. and Prince. This does bring up the opportunity to compare the two pop icons. Who do you think was better? I’m not talking record sales. I’m talking personal preference.

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Yes, my body is a wonder land… if by wonder land you mean fat camp!

The fat camp that is my body

The fat camp that is my body

And by fat camp I mean fat has decided to construct a camp on my body in every area where it can find soft tissue.  In fact, the only place I’m not fat is my shins, and last I checked, there aren’t a lot of clothes that accentuate the shins.  Until recently, I didn’t really see myself as a fat person. I always considered myself ‘husky’, but the ever decreasing selection of clothes in my existing wardrobe has caused me to take notice of an unsettling weight gain.

Three weeks ago I decided to do something about it.  I started an intensive daily exercise program (a popular program designed by professionals) that mixes cardio, yoga, and strength training.  I changed my diet primarily by cutting out high-fat red meats, fried foods and sodas.  In addition, I started eating fish, fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.  I’ve even replaced ice cream with granola and non-fat yogurt.   I’ve done all this for three weeks without a single slip.  I have shown unbelievable willpower.  I am working this program as hard as I possibly can.  I tell you all this not to brag, but to complain.  I weighed myself this morning, and I have actually gained two pounds since the first day I started this life-style change.  Are you kidding me?  It’s as if the fat on my body is openly defying my attempts to get rid of it.   I have super squatter fat that is impervious to fat burning activities and all attempts to evict it.

But hear me now, fat.  You have your kryptonite, and I will find it.  Your days are numbered, my friend.  I’m closing down the fat camps.  Soon the rest of my body will look as good as my shins… that sounded better in my head.

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I’m not smoking crack!

Story not a product of smoking crack!

Story not a product of smoking crack!

I just saw a review for Délon City on Amazon that made me giggle (like a man!), and also made me feel kind of bad because I haven’t been diligent enough in marketing Books 2 & 3 of the Oz Chronicles.  Yes, they are out, and yes I’m working on Book 4.  I don’t want to give a deadline right now because, for various reasons in the past, I’ve had to change my plans and push it back, but this I pledge to you, I’m kicking it into high gear.

Here’s the review on Amazon that I amused me:

Awesome SEQUEL and SERIES!, July 16, 2009

By J. DAVID (USA) – See all my reviews

All I can say is, get this whole series right away if you want to experience an amazing dark fantasy. I loved The Takers, but Delon City really ups the ante and goes even further with Oz Griffin into the depths of madness as he tries to fight one horrible race of conquering creatures after another for control of the world…it shouldn’t happen to a 14 year old, but Oz is ever up to the task, becoming the leader he never would have imagined himself to be.

Ridley is either a master storyteller or smoking some serious crack…maybe both, but man what a story!! Get it now!

While title of master storyteller is something that I can’t in good conscience claim, I can assure you with great confidence, I’m not smoking crack, serious or otherwise.

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Lost Days – Post 21

This is the 21st installment of the book I am currently writing. It is Sci-Fi/Adventure for young adult. It is not part of the Oz Chronicle series. The first draft is completed, and it is currently under review by my agent, so the final version of the book will most likely look a bit different than what you read here, but I thought you might like to see a work in progress. Happily my agent is busy with another one of my projects at the moment, and she hasn’t been able to give me feedback on “Lost Day”s as of yet.  Click on the “Lost Days Book” category on the right to read from the beginning. Or you can click here.

I walked into the glass-walled room and stepped up to the counter.  Mrs. Jolly struggled to lift herself from her chair.  She peered at me over her bifocals as she swept her gray hair off her forehead. She placed her hands on her chunky hips and said, “What’s your business?”

I chewed on my lower lip before I spoke.  “I’m supposed to get Ginger Starling’s address.”

“Supposed to, why?”

“Oh,” I said.  “I’m with the Spanish club.  We wanted to send her family some flowers… you know for her mother.”

Mrs. Jolly pursed her lips together and examined me with a suspicious eye.  “Spanish club, you say.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She walked over to a folder on the counter and opened it up.  “French club was in here a minute ago looking for the very same thing.”

“Really?”  I squeaked.

“Guess she’s a multilingual little gal.

“I guess.”

She found a business card in the folder and handed it to me.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Family doesn’t want flowers.  They want you to send donations there.”

I looked at the card and read it out loud.  “Illinois Bird Watch, Protecting Threatened and Endangered Birds in Illinois since 1954.”  It had an address and phone number.

“Birds,” she squawked.  “People dying of diseases left and right and the Starlings want to save some lousy birds in honor of their dearly departed.  Doesn’t seem right.”

“But we already bought the flowers,” I said.

“What’cha do that for?” she asked.

“Can’t I please have the home address? It would mean so much to Ginger.”

Mrs. Jolly thought it over and then finally agreed.  She shuffled to a filing cabinet and rifled through some files.  She chose one, pulled it out and carried it to the counter.  I watched her every move.  She jotted the address down on a notepad, ripped off the sheet of paper, and handed it to me, “Better than giving money to some god awful birds.”  I snatched the paper from her hand and left the office as quickly as possible.

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