Saturday, December 24, 2011
Posted by John Elder Robison at 5:44 PM
Friday, December 23, 2011
Posted by John Elder Robison at 4:08 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Have you ever looked at the men and women who ring bells, accept donations, and hand out little gifts outside our malls and thought: I wish I could do that! Help the needy and raise some cash for a drink or even a gift?
Well, now you can. All you need is a can for the money, and a sack of Perfect Gifts for the Needy. Coal is widely recognized as the stocking stuffer par excellence, and of course it's good for blacksmithing, home heating, and even power generation. In its natural form, it's a smooth and beautiful black, waterproof and durable. A gift for the ages. Think of each stone as a diamond that didn't quite make it.
My friends at Penn Keystone have all you need. They can sell you fifty pounds, bagged, for less than thirty cents a pound. Compare that to the prices at Toys R Us, or Macys! Fifty pounds of anything from those stores will cost far more than fifteen measly dollars!
Give them a try; you won't be disappointed. Remember - Real Santas use Real Coal. American Coal. Accept no substitutes.
Posted by John Elder Robison at 8:27 PM
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Every country has it's big rock and roll bands. We Americans assume the bands that are big here, are big all over the world. In some cases, that's true. But every country has its own musicians, some of whom are very popular at home while being totally unknown here.
That's the case right here in Canada, where April Wine is huge all over, yet few in the USA have ever heard of them. Founded in the 70s they are still on tour today.
April Wine will always be special to me, because I turned 21 on the road with them, riding the ferry to Newfoundland the night of August 13, 1978.
Yesterday I was going to through old papers, and I found my April Wine tour schedule, my tour pass, and an old sound system slide rule calculator.
Lots of people think touring with a band is glamorous, but it's hard, hard work. This tour had gone on the road in July, touring the Calgary Stampede, and hockey rinks across eastern Canada. After a short break, the tour resumed August 15 at Humber Gardens, a big barroom in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland. We played till midnight, then tore down the gear, packed it, and hauled everything through the night to the next night's show at Grand Falls. We did another one night stand there, and played Marystown the next night. Then we got a break with two nights at Memorial Stadium in St. Johns.
After that, the tour calendar optimistically says "OFF" for three days, but what we really did was pack all that gear into cases and ferry it to Nova Scotia for the next leg of the tour. It may have been "OFF" for the musicians, but it most assuredly was not off for us.
Most all our shows sold out; the tour was a huge success for the band. It was hard work for me, and everyone else who made it happen.
Canadian readers will find a story about April Wine in the opening of Be Different, which goes on sale across Canada in paperback this March.
Posted by John Elder Robison at 9:10 AM
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Posted by John Elder Robison at 4:29 PM
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Tradesmen keep our world running. When your lights go out, you don't turn to an investment banker for help.
Posted by John Elder Robison at 10:06 PM