Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Month: January 2013

How Facebook makes me feel

odd, strange, beautiful, questions

Not anymore . . .
Done for now.


Charbroil Rocks

Ted, Charbroil, grilling, BBQ, Infrared

Many people know the magical story of my winning of a beautiful CharBroil grill back in September of last year.
I never win anything but somehow I won this amazing grill.
This isn’t a story about the winning but one of the grill itself.
And yeah, it’s awesome.
I have named him ‘Ted‘.

This Tru-Infrared grill has changed my thoughts and feelings about gas grills in general.
It used to be that gas grills produced dry burgers and drier pieces of burnt chicken but that has all changed.
I remember ‘working the dancefloor’ with so many grills over the years because of hot and cold spots.
The ‘dance’ would add another 20 minutes to my cooking times because every single piece of chicken or beef cooked differently.

The grill I currently own called ‘Ted’ has changed my mind about gas grills.
I cook breakfast on the sideburner (not stinking the house up with bacon grease) and rotisserie pork shoulders for supper.
There’s no more ‘working the dancefloor’ with this grill.
All surfaces are equal.
Cooking times are less, burgers and chicken are always juicier with some serious char marks.
This grill gets quite hot, folks.
My oldest daughter, Sarah and future SIL, Jonathan, bought me a Charbroil rotisserie for Christmas.
I made a pork shoulder last week that was simply amazing.
It was like crunchy bacon on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.
The thing is, I did nothing.
I watched in amazement as this huge churning chunk of meat came to fruition.
Charbroil has changed the life of my family for the better.
When Dad is cooking something on the grill these days, it IS special.
My thanks go out to all the wonderful folks from Charbroil especially, Michael Williams of the Charbroil Social Media department.
Michael has been a wonderful representative of a company that I will forever endorse.
We have traded many emails [how many, Michael?] and I would feel comfortable having him to my house for a nice meal someday.
Think about it, MW.
For all your grilling needs?
Look no further than Charbroil . . . .
Awesome company, awesome products, the best in support.
Charbroil rocks.
End of story.


Maureen, Twin, birthday, love, family

As I get older it’s on my birthday that I scan back through my life and think about the people that have
made a difference in my life.
There are many people I could add to my list but I would inevitably leave someone out and would have to pay
the consequence.
I’m pretty sure the folks on my list know who they are.
But there is one person that makes this day truly special; my twin sister, Maureen.
Through thick and thin we have weathered some serious storms.
Both Mom and Dad died from Alzheimer’s.
We traveled through Hell together, holding hands all the way and lived to tell the tale.
And believe me we have a tale to tell.
Maureen, on our birthday, I wish for you health, happiness, the inner solace and warmth of a long run, happiness and all the love your heart can hold. We are blood.
Through thick or thin we will remain . . .  heart to heart.
Happy Birthday, my twin.
I love you.


Black Cows

steely dan, music, life, love

I was on the train home tonight when I reached in my manpurse and found my long lost Ipod.
I’d put it in my bag weeks ago but forgot I actually had it.
Settling in I set it on Shuffle and sat back for the magnificent ride out of Boston.
Steve Lukather, Steve Khan, Marc Jordan, Marcin Marsilweski and many other musicians found their way to my earbuds.
It was around or near Ashland that ‘Black Cow’ came on, a Steely Dan version from the band that I used to play in.
I listened and smiled.
It was good.
Even my ‘Fender Rhodes’ solo was okay.
I thought about that time in my life when it had a rhythm and a purpose but somehow I lost it.
Or it lost me.
The nights of packing down gear at 1:30am after a gig no longer made sense to me.
The $50 paycheck at the end of the night was a slap in the face for all the time I’d spent learning tunes, harmonies and all.
30% of the folks that followed us got it, most didn’t.
Most understood that we spent a considerable amount of time doing what we did, the reason the 10 of them came out every night.
Hack musicians need not apply.
I was happy and musically fulfilled until the day my heart and soul just couldn’t do it anymore.
I like to think that the musicians that truly know me understand.
It makes me sad that some could never understand me.
I still play piano from time to time and still write a song or two but my gigging days are over, barring some unforeseen miracle.
I will forever have a problem with one bridge that burned for no particular reason.
We musicians are a funny lot.
These days find me writing words without music but somehow rhythm stil finds its way into my words.
Or so I think.
There was a time when my musical chops were finely tuned.
These days they are a bit dull and dusty.
But thank God they’re still there.
I’m just following my instincts these days.
And my gigging days are done.
If  it’s right for me, it’s write.
And get outta here . . .  {rhodes solo}


ps. anyone want an MP3 of Black Cow delivered to your inbox, email me.

the First

first, Boston, love


Cryptic, I know.
But it’s supposed to be . . .
Right click and ‘view image’ for a more detailed pic.


Just right

writing, blog, creative


Writing is such a funny thing.
When you want it to happen it doesn’t.
Never has for me anyway.
A friend of mine told me that writing is simply ‘BIC’.
Butt in Chair.
Life is hectic these days and creativity has no schedule.
It has no rules, no times when it will happen, why, when or if’s in terms of gestation.
I’ve just filled my favorite fountain pen with Noodler’s Black (my favorite ink!)
No idea whether my muse (looks like Danny Devito) will visit me tomorrow but I will write anyway.
It may be shit, it may be good but it will be writing.
New Year, New stories, a New Me.
I’m going for ‘BIC’ . . .


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