Holiday hodge-podge of unrelated thoughts

OK, give me a break. It’s a holiday weekend, isn’t it? Sure the Fourth was yesterday, but midweek holidays throw everything up in the air. So, I’m thinking there’s no way I can hold onto one thought throughout an entire column, so today is a hodge-podge of unrelated thoughts.

Let all the music play

Did we ever used to hear the starting portions of songs? I wondered this while driving down the road with the radio blaring the other day. Old-timers like me remember the days when AM dominated radio and the DJs who talked over the instrumental opens of songs, striving to stop talking just as the singing began. FM radio changed a lot of that philosophy and we’d hear the whole song without “time and temperature together” updates.

A DJ the other day apparently was reliving his past. Remember “Never Been Any Reason” by Head East? (Kids, ask your parents.) There’s a nice guitar run to open it, probably 30 seconds or so.

Well, this radio bozo talked over it all. It ruined the moment and made me wonder how much we missed before. Looks like I might have to start going to more Pandora while in the car. (Parents, ask your kids.)  

That might not have been the worst of what I heard while traveling that day. Another station gave me the cut-down version of “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” one of my favorites by The Who. A great, albeit slightly long for radio, rock song. On the album, it’s 8:32 long. The old AM cut-down version checks in at 3:38. It just didn’t seem right. I was fooled into thinking I was going to hear a long song.

New law for Sen. Seiler

Someone get Sen. Les Seiler on the line. I have a suggestion for a new law because, heaven knows, we don’t have enough of them.

Anyway, I say any truck driver who blows out a retread tire while driving down the interstate has to go back and pick up all the shreds of old tires left behind on the road.

Summer must be a particularly hard time on the retreads. Maybe it’s the heat that makes it harder for them to stick together. A couple of trips down Interstate 80 this week left me at times doing the slalom around former tires. And apparently when you have 18 wheels on your vehicle, you can keep going without one from the trailer.

The worst feeling is seeing one at the last moment and, due to traffic, not being able to take evasive action. Rolling over one sounds like the whole underside of your car is going to end up right with them as road trash.

So I say they go back and pick them up.

On second thought, I guess then I’d just be dodging truck drivers and semis in reverse. Maybe I might have to have the senator send this one back to committee for more research.

Time for a nap

How’s this for a new law? Mandatory naps.

I recounted last week that I spent the better part of three days camping with the Boy Scouts at summer camp.

As the adult with the group, all you really have to do is make sure the guys are off to their scheduled activities at the time prescribed. After that, you’re kind of on your own.

So, when you’re in the camp site with everyone else gone, and the temperatures are pushing up toward the 90s, and you slept in a tent the night before so maybe didn’t get the ideal night’s sleep ... well, sitting back in the chair and catching a few winks isn’t the worst way to pass the time.

I’m not talking major chucks of the day here. Even just 15 minutes or so is a nice little recharging of the batteries.

So, that’s my suggestion. I’m sure I’d be real productive the rest of the day if for just a few minutes — let’s say after lunch sometime — we just lean back for a little cat nap. What could go wrong?

And, come on, you may have just got home from work on July 5. How late were your neighbors shooting fireworks last night?

Don’t tell me a nap doesn’t sound like a good idea.  

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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