Wednesday, September 27, 2006

....And I Thank You....
I want to thank Sar over at Belle of the Brawl for picking lil' ole' me as her inspiration for her weekly "Word Play Wednesday" (WPW). After reading my What're Words For Pt 2 post, Sar decided that her word of the week would be.....WORD.

So, be sure to check out Belle of the Brawl, and leave your message to Sar about what the word "word" means to you, or something using the word "word".

Whew! There sure a lot of "word"s in this post.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What're Words For...(Part 2)

This week's Word From Maine is one that I've actually already included on my blog page, but am only now taking the opportunity to give you the definition of this popular term used to denote close friends.

This week's word is: Chum, chummy (N., form of address, usually male to male)
Definition: Term of affection for friends. i.e. "Aw cheer up, Chummy, she's just another girl....."

Note: in some cases they can be warnings. i.e. "You think so, do you Chum! Why don't we step outside and see if you can back up your yap."

(Definition from: "How To Talk Yankee", by Gerald Lewis & Tim Sample, copyright 1979, 1986 by The Thorndike Press; copyright 1989 by the First North Country Press)

Be sure to check out my chummies on the right side!

And yes, chum can also denote the fish parts that fishermen throw in the water to attract fish, but that's not the intended use in the case of discussing friends; though I know of a couple of people I wouldn't mind throwing into a chum bucket.....

That, my friends, is the Finest Kind of Pork.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

I Know It’s True ‘Cause I Saw It On TV

As a boy growing up in Orono, Maine in the 70’s, one of the best parts of my day was watching the local NBC station (WLBZ) out of Bangor, Maine because they had Eddie Driscoll. Who??? Eddie Driscoll, you ask? Chicago had
Bozo the Clown. Philadelphia had Chief Halftown. Well, Bangor, Maine had Eddie Driscoll. Eddie Driscoll was a local media guy who hosted a show called “My Back Yard”. This was not Mr. Driscoll’s first or only TV show in Bangor, but it’s the one I remember the most growing up. He would come onscreen on a set that was resembled the side of a house with a picket fence, and he would stand on the opposite side of the fence (facing the camera), and would talk about the upcoming movie he was about to show, and he would always talk to his puppet dog, Mason Mutt. Now, Mason Mutt and Eddie weren’t seen on screen at the same time because, well, it was Eddie who did the puppeting and voice for the TV pooch. So, when Mason was on, Eddie wasn’t, and vice versa. I LOVED “My Back Yard”, and looked forward to it daily. Another thing Eddie did was hosted an afternoon movie during a segment called "Dialing for Dollars". He would be at his desk, and would give the 'count'......"Three up from the bottom"....."Two up from the top"....(and to this day I have no idea what any of that meant)...and during breaks from the movie, he would reach into a barrell of postcards sent in by the TV audience, and pull out one card. He would call that person, and if they knew what the count was, they would win some amount of money. I'm pretty sure my parents sent in a card, but we never got picked.....but we always knew what the count was.

Mason Mutt and Eddie Driscoll

Although I didn’t follow the career of Eddie (or Mason Mutt) after leaving Orono in the summer of 1983, I always remembered them. A lot of that had to do with the fact that my last name is Mason, so Mason Mutt was a nickname (one of many) that I carried with me during my childhood.

It was with great sadness that I learned over this past weekend that Eddie Driscoll
passed away at the age of 81 on Saturday, September 23rd. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since 1987, and had been out of the spotlight since that time, but his name and legacy lived on throughout the area.

In person, he was very nice (met him as a kid….most kids in the Bangor area met him when he would be at local events), and with his passing many of his TV characters went with him. The saddest part is that not much of his TV career is on tape, so his legacy is left in the memories of Mainers and people from the Maritime provinces in Canada who watched him for so many years. You can check out a rare, but still in existence, clip of Eddie and Mason Mutt
here (unfortunately, the other video links didn't work for me...if they work for you, you can check out Eddie in some of his other shows).

In June of 2004, the Bangor Daily News did a
nice article about Eddie's career.

Rest in Piece, Eddie…and you too, Mason Mutt. I'm gonna miss yahs, ayuh.

You were both The Finest Kind of Pork.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Lunatic is on the Grass.....

Last Saturday (9/16/2006) I went to see Roger Waters at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ. I went with a couple of friends of mine, and we went to the show right after an afternoon of disc golf at Sedgley Woods Disc Golf Course here in Philly. The word over the 'net about this tour was that the entire Dark Side of the Moon album would be played live, from first note to last note, and of course, we expected lots of Floyd songs. As we tailgated before the show, we altered our moods in preparation, and from the look of the other concert-goers in the parking lot, we weren't the only ones.

The show was awesome! We had managed to score a great spot on the lawn, looking down at the center of the stage, and though the band looked tiny from our perch, the humongous screens on the facade of the pavillion brought them to us in much better detail. More important than seeing the band was being able to hear the band, and the sound was great. There were many great moments, but the best was during the playing of "Sheep", and the well-known Pink Floyd inflatable pig made its appearance. (note: apologies for the less-than-stellar was taken with my cell night....but, it is an accurate visual description of how everything was looking to me that night!) The floating swine had many things written on it in black ink: Habeus corpus is still the right way was written on the right side; Kafka Rules okay on the left; and on the ass-end was written Impeach George Bush. Hey, the pig speaks the truth. The pig was floating and being pulled through the covered part of the pavillion by someone who had it on a tether. As the portly pink porcine was hovering its way over the crowd, it eventually was brought to those of us in the cheap seats. Once clear of the pavillion and out in the lawn area, it was let go. Yes, the pig was on the run. And as we looked up at it, floating away into the dark of night, spotlight on it, we saw what was written underneath: Free at Last! What we wondered was this: how could something so big be released so close to a major airport.? The Philadelphia Airport is only 5 miles from the concert venue, so we pondered: would there be a UFO (Unidentified Flying Oinker) sighting reported? Would planes flying by it have an announcement of "ladies and gentlemen, if you look out the right side of the plane you'll see a pig"? Would thousands of people lose money on bets they placed with the "when pigs fly" caveat in place? Would it reach a certain altitude and pop, sending bacon bits raining down on everything below it?
Early in the show they did a nice tribute of sorts to the recently deceased Syd Barrett. The four-song block of "Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun/Have a Cigar/Shine on You Crazy Diamond/Wish You Were Here" was accompanied by lots of film footage and pics of Syd and the early days of Pink Floyd.
The set list:
Set 1: In The Flesh / Mother / Set the Controls for The Heart of the Sun / Have a Cigar / Shine On You Crazy Diamond / Wish You Were Here / The Final Cut / Fletcher Memorial / Perfect Sense / Leaving Beriut (new song) / Sheep
(15 minute break)
Set 2: Entire Dark Side of the Moon (Speak To Me / Breathe / On The Run / Time / Breathe [reprise] / The Great Gig in the Sky / Money / Us and Them / Any Colour You Like / Brain Damage / Eclipse)
Encore: Vera Lynn / Bring the Boys Back Home / Comfortably Numb / Happiest Days of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2
Post concert, we tailgated for about another hour to give time for the traffic to ease up. It was a great time.
I've never seen Pink Floyd live (the real Pink Floyd band...not the one that currently tours but would be better off called the The David Gilmour Band), but I've seen Roger Waters twice (the other time being in 1987 in Worcester, MA during his Radio K.A.O.S. tour), and both times the shows have been great. Can't wait for him to come around again.
So, an afternoon of disc golf and an evening seeing Roger Waters in concert on a clear, starry night. That, my friends, is The Finest Kind of Pork.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What're Words For
The Maine accent is, by most people's thinking, tied in with the Boston (Baw-stun) dialect. That's only partially true. I feel that it's my responsibility to introduce the dialect of my home state to those of you who are from away. Each week here at The Finest Kind of Pork, I'll present you with a word, phrase, or expression that comes from the great state of Maine. I'll be taking these from a now-long-out-of-print book that was published in Maine in 1979, and later updated in 1986. The book, published by The Thorndike Press, is called "How To Talk Yankee", and was written by Gerald E Lewis and Tim Sample. I think you'll find this segment to be wicked go-ud, ayuh.

The word this week is: ah
Definition: the letter between q and s (...q, ah, s.....)

So, CAR would be CAH; BEER would be BE-AH; STARS would be STAHS)

See? You're learning already. (Yo-wah learnin' already)

And that's The Finest Kind of Pork.

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Who Are You......who who...who who?

I live in Philadelphia, PA. Since March of 1995, I have called Philly the 'place-where-I-now-live'. Is it home? No, Philadelphia is not home.

I'm originally from a small town in Maine called
Orono, population 9,110 (sal-ute!). I left Maine the July after my high school graduation in 1983. I spent four years in the US Navy (honorable discharge, natch), a couple of years bouncing around a couple of different schools, a few years managing nightclubs and/or restaurants, and then landed in Philly in March of 1995, where I've stayed ever since.

Why blog? Well, it seems that everyone else is doing it, and I just need to be part of the blog-ified world. Do I have have a lot...or anything say? I guess we'll find out, eh?

As a new entrant to the world of blogging and HTML stuff, I expect to be bumbling my way through site design changes and posts, and trying to master the fine art of color-changes and symmetry. This will be a new area for me to explore, and maybe you'll keep coming back to see where I am.

If you stop by, I'd love to hear from you. Say "hi"....leave a comment....or just read and run. It's all good. I'll surely be telling you what I think, but I'll be doing it with the understanding that, as Hubert H. Humphrey said, "the right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously".

So, welcome to The Finest Kind of Pork. It's great having you here.