Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Musical Epiphany

Musical epiphany! I do not have epiphanies!!

Some one posted an amazing video of 2Cellos playing Thunderstruck by AC/DC on Cellos!!!

The video opens with an 19th century dressed crowd settling into a nice theater setting. Two young men walk out wearing period costums carrying cellos. They seat themselves and begin playing a nice sedate duo.

About 15 seconds in they look at each other and launch the most outrageous version of AC/DC's Thunderstruck. I actually had never heard the original circa 1991 not being into heavy metal of any kind. The refrain that has lodged itself in my brain and goes phonetically something like this:

Wearrrowearrrrrreowaaaaaawearowrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrar THUMP THUMP.
Repeat, nod head violently in time to the music.

Cannot shake this from my head, it is like a braingasm or something.

I shall try chanting from “The Demolished Man” (Name the Author Carl Berglund) Four sir, three sir, two sir, one. Tension, apprehension and dissension have begun.
Nope still there.

The music is the auditory equivalent of both Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters doing a stand up comedy riff of free association word play and reactions.

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh stop that at once! Buckle up your set belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. (Name The Movie/Star).

I want this played at my funeral/memorial along with Nesun dorma both versions by Aretha Franklin and Pavarotti along with “Rank Stranger” blue grass. Since we are talking music, also play a good tight harmony of “You Are My Sunshine”. Throw in a little Ravi Shankar sitar music, some Taiko drums and Amazing Grace. Yeah and and Oooh, need one good rousing choir rendition of Ave Marie in memory of the electronic organ we once warbled along on. I really like the idea of tossing my cremains out into the mosh pit to be handed around and back to the stage during the playing of The 2Cellos version of Thunderstruck. Then spread me ashes near the coastal town of Elk, California in memory of my favorite meal, that of butter fried, well beaten, caught at low tide Abalone. Truly food of the gods. Thank you.

Friday, February 21, 2014



My brother called to tell me that Uncle Paul had died at home on February 15. The funeral was scheduled for Wednesday morning at 10:30 at the Cloverdale Chapel and internment at Emmett Cemetery at 2 p.m.

So we packed and husband and I left eastward bound in Winter over the Blues headed to Emmett...in the Winter. We drove in shifts mostly an hour or so. The weather in Oregon was appropriately wet. The road spray was such that it was precisely like driving through a car wash with bad windshield wipers all the way to Pendleton. The rain stopped there and the wind blew and buffeted us quite badly. The Blues were mercifully dry and clear. We got into Emmett about 8 pm after various stops for fuel, food and rest stops. We checked into the local motel, no tell. The manager of this establishment has a sign on her door, “Beware of friendly dogs”. Boy, I'll say; the big one is a tan colored Bull Mastif weighing a good 150 pounds. The other dog is an arthritic white English bull dog who only weighs 140 lbs. They were very um, welcoming.

We coordinated with Richard (He was one of Aunt Wandas' choices for pall bearer) and Cathy and I rode over with them to the services. I'm glad Richard was driving the usual Treasure Valley real estate market has been booming steadily through the entire recession. Didn't recognize much. Got to the Chapel and visited with many family members. Paul Berglund (Uncle Paul's Grandson) and Jeremy Boyle (also a grandson) were both speakers. (Generally speaking the Berglunds sure do make good looking young men and women) The services were nicely done and there were some who spoke of their relationships and friendships with the family over the years. They had a montage of old photos that were very interesting, I was even in it. Most of the speakers mentioned Uncle Paul's truck driving career. We grew up as kids being exposed to stories of long haul trucking and the perils therein. We were educated on trucking etiquette; don't drive in the blind spot, back up until you can see the driver's rear view mirrors, don't pull over too soon when passing, wait until you can see the lights in your rearview mirror before pulling in front, keep an eye open for mile markers, you will need this to estimate miles left on that particular highway. We also heard tales of chaining up for Ladd Canyon so we were channeling Uncle Paul on that part of the route.

We headed to Emmett to dress a little warmer for the ceremonies at the Emmett Cemetery. The wind was blowing so hard that Tim lost his hat and we had hat chasing activities. Everyone there was invited to meet at a local establishment afterwards. We went to pick up Aunt Ollie and met up with them and had a very nice visit. Young Paul Berglund has posted on Facebook that Cloverdale had posted a video of the services on their website. I was tempted to share a Boise Berglund memory but declined in favor decorum. However, here is my sharing. The Boise Berglunds welcomed visitors and they always left the door unlocked. One time we went to visit and no one was home, so we went in, used the facilities and left. Mom wrote a note; “We crept in, we crapt and we crept out.” Not all visitors left notes. Aunt Wanda came home once to find the recliner turned completely turned upside down. She pretty much knew who to call, T.K.Jensen an old family friend. She read him the riot act and he told her next time he would turn over the couch.

Over all it was a loving send off for a much beloved Grandpa Berglund. I learned a few things about Uncle Paul; his middle name was Eber, the fact that he joined the Air Force while a junior in highschool and served a full hitch. I had always known that they eloped to Winnemucca to get married. I did not know Wanda was sixteen at the time! They were so young and cute and darn near unrecognizale.

In summary the Berglund brothers, all members of the Greatest Generation, are gone now; we loved them and have cherished memories of them. God Bless them all.

We left very early Thursday morning because we had furry live stock at home who needed to be fed and watered. The weather was cold and the snow clouds started descending east of La Grande and continued to do so. At every chain up stop there were dozens of truckers chaining up. We continued to carefully follow the slushy trail of the semi's in front of us. Got over the Blues, keep on tip toeing past dozens of truckers. No evil messages at the Meacham message board. It all went away going down Cabbage Hill and the rest of the drive was mostly clear. It is amazing what a new pair of windshield wipers can do to boost the driving morale.

God Bless you each and everyone and Drive Safely!!

PS: I hope that young Paul Berglund's Lime Green Dodge Charger can be fixed as he had some driving adventures on the way to Boise from Nevada....in Winter....

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Christmas Cactus is late!!

My old friend the Christmas Cactus got moved to a sunnier window in our house and decided to bloom twice; once in November and just this past week or so.  Very pretty.  Seems like it should have a scent but nope.  This hangs above the table of cacti craftily designed to keep the cats off the furniture.   yeah.....


Monday, February 10, 2014


All this?

For that?

Here is the story of the muffins.  A few weeks ago I purchased a box of Quaker Oats instant cereal all oaty and quick because I could NOT find Malto-O-Meal.   So I made a bowl of cereal for breakfast and choked down a handful of morning medications.  Meh.

Looked the box over and noticed a muffin recipe on the back.  Made a couple batches of fairly decent muffins, raised very nicely, a little strong taste of baking soda; banana, walnut, raisin muffins.

Threw the box out when it was empty of cereal. Did not keep the recipe.  I decided to try it with what I remembered of the recipe. (I can hear Mom shrieking about using the recipe now.)

1 cup of real oats.
1 mashed banana.
1 cup mixed fancy nuts.
1/2 cup dried cherries.
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup oil
pinch salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well, use paper liner in muffin tin, bake 30 minutes at 350.   

Results:  Six muffins, husband tasted and rated excellent but did not puff up as nicely as the very first batch.  

Still have ripe bananas........

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Book Review

MONUMENTS MEN: A book review.

I have been interested in the promotions seen on TV of the movie, so I ordered the book on my Kindle. At first read the book is quite scholarly but does not read so deadly dull that you lose interest. I was also interested in reading about some World History that never got covered in my high school classes. We were barely taught to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.

It all starts with a little back history. England began evacuation, preservation schemes for major art early on 1938, valuable stuff stored deep in the wilds of Wales.

Prior to D Day, General Eisenhower wrote an order establishing the Monuments Men group. Most of the men who were members were conservators or managers of well known American museums.

The story is told from the viewpoint of several of the men. They were amongst the troops almost from the beginning, however, they did not have senior military commanders, support, personnel. They were pretty much on their own armed only with the order from Eisenhower and ingenuity.

Eventually the group got a little better organized and supported. It is very hard to make official reports with eight copies without a typewriter and even harder if it gets stolen.

These gentleman discovered a salt mine that held millions of dollars of gold bullion, gold coins and gold teeth that had been removed from Death Camp Jews. The mine also held thousands of pieces of looted art work.

One of these pieces was the Alter piece of Ghent. See picture above.

Oh yeah and the mine was rigged to be blown up according to the Nero Policy by Hitler. The miners actually removed the bombs before the mine could be blown up.

Hollywood has to cut and edit to get the story to fit the time length so the movie cannot reflect exactly what happened; boys look for looted art, boys find looted art, boys break their backs getting looted art back to Poland, France and eventually even to Germany. At one point a French conservator reported that she had spied on the Nazi's shipments of art from her place of work. One place was Neuchshwanstein (Think Sleeping Beauty's castle). On their way there they stopped in many smaller German castles and even met an ancient German Duchess; very high German, imperial and nasty. Hope that bit made it into the movie.

The Monuments Men were also tasked to evaluate monuments such as partially destroyed towns such as Cologne, not much left. This is the only war in such an effort was made to save, preserve and conserve so much art. There has never been a repeat for any war. One of the men volunteered in 1953 for the Korean War and was refused. There have been efforts to help restore art looted from Iran with some partial success. I guess the decision makers decided that restoring looted art was not worth the effort if people were dying of radiation poisoning.

I definitely want to order the movie when it becomes available. I truly do not enjoy dragging myself to a movie theater especially if some guy decides to start shooting.

I recommend the book if you are feeling scholarly.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Opening Ceremony


Suprisingly watched ALL of the opening ceremonies. Go me!!

The Network opening remarks and cinematography were stunning. The COMMERCIALS were a quantum leap in quality, wit, appropriateness than the recent superbowl game....MUCH better but in Superbowl defense did not cost 50 BILLION dollars to produce.

The monastery choir was magnificent, acapella. Done so well in all it's full throated volume that I got chills and tapped my feet and had I known the words would have sang along. Don't care that it was the Russian National Anthem. Well done, gentlemen, well done.

Then some opening remarks. Mr. Putin pronounced the games open. Let loose the atheletes!! Best dressed? The French in tailored slacks and sport coat in tan and gray. Very nice. Everyone else was dressed in various warm puffy layers of colorful fabric. The Bermuda athelets showed off their legs wearing Bermuda shorts, of course. The American team scampered in wearing colorful yet ugly sweater contest winners. The Russians came in wearing red with white fur trim for the girls and blue with white fur trim for the boys. Remember the year they wore PETA incorrect SABLE but GORGEOUS?? Wowski, Comrade. Oh wait, that's not quite right either.

Once seated began the entertainment; it is hard to symbolically represent one thousand years of history with dance, marching but it was suitably vague skipping merrily over the nasty bits but who shows off dirty laundry at such a venue? Nope.

The lighting of the torch very nice, lots of famous Russian athelets. Nice jog to light up the fairly spectacular torch and fireworks. Wodka!!

Hey did the Chobani yogurt make it through customs?