Sears Silvertone Record Console


Thrift store shopping with the fam last night, and ran across an old-school record player console.  The first thing I thought when I saw it, was “What a Piece of Shit!”.

Silvertone 1

Before I could realize that I shouldn’t be cussing in a public post I was whisked away to my grandmother’s living room in Lawrence, Kansas.  Set the scene: my grandfather’s pipe smoke wafting from the pores of the ancient wood; the ultra creepy painting hanging in the haunted under lit space, the sound of the Royals losing another 100 games.  Halcyon memories win!  This was not only vintage furniture from my past, but maybe it could be reworked into a centerpiece item in our new house.  Giddy like my kids on a sugar high, I fast walked through Goodwill to find Jessi, knowing before I got there she’d poo poo the idea.  But I would not be deterred.

Fast forward, like, 30 seconds.

Jessi, “Holy Shit that’s cool!”

Me: “Keep it clean hon, this is a public post.”

Jessi, “You should get it.  I could sand it and you could rebuild the components on the inside, we could….”

Me: feeling overwhelmed by her concurrence and the sheer amount of work it would be, I back pedaled,  “Whoa whoa whoa.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.”

Jessi, “Do it.  Buy it.”

Me: “Well, that went as planned, and the saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.”

Jessi, “Are you talking to yourself again?  Are you making dialog up just for your blog.  The one you haven’t written in for like over a year?”

She got me.

Silvertone 2

Before moving on, I must point out one thing.  My wife, Jessi, is frigging awesome when it comes to driving a hard deal.  I’m asking the guy to write-up the ticket for the sale, when Jessie throws me a stern look, not unlike a school teacher visually threatening a misbehaving student, and gives me the thumbs down sign.  I quickly understand she’s not giving me reprieve from the task of actually buying and finishing this thing, but she’s telling me to negotiate.  Get the price down.  The damn thing was only $35 in the first place, but Jessi was Jessi, and I love her for it, so I asked, “Uh, excuse me sir, can we uh, do anything about the price?”  My voice cracked like a preteen calling his crush.

Jessi had given the sales person the same threatening glare, and he quickly melted to the same prepubescent state of mind.  His voice, equally creaky, never taking his eyes off of my wife, “Uh, yes sir, how about…..” he pauses considering his mortality, “Twenty dollars?”  His voice rises an octave accentuating how unsure he is of his offer.  Jessi’s gaze seems to intensify, “NINETEEN NINETY NINE!” he yells.  Jessi smiles, and the sales person and I fall into nearby chairs thankful to be alive.

So here’s the rub.

Silvertone 3

I assumed there would be millions of blogs, and pins, and articles on how people have already done this.  There would be step by step guides, and pictures, and the right components, and shib, probably even replacement parts by some hippie in San Francisco.  But I haven’t seen the plethora of ideas and instructions and parts I thought I would, so, I’m kinda starting from scratch.  So, in an attempt to be criticized by anyone who actually knows style, woodwork, electronics, etc, I’m going to blog the progress of restoring this bad boy.  That way the next person whose wife talks him into following one of his crazy ideas can show her my brutal failure, and maybe get a pardon.

I’ll see you out West…



Wait, What?

Wait What

So, I think we’re going to do this.

Like really going to do this.

After a whole 20 hours of deep thinking, tons of speculation and conjecture, a few obscene tirades, and way too much internet, we’re all in.  Jessie, Tigger, and Little Miss Manners agreed to do it.

More to come.

d.2. oban

Your Fresh Flesh

Fresh FleshThe mottled flesh, only slightly more healthy
Than the adjacent green glow.
Dried blood a juxtaposition of life and death
In the arid desert.

Pride fuels my hate, and drives me to be
You say you want to help the children,
But you only want to help yourself.

The country’s largest inner city wildlife and nature refuge.
Full of people passing, and pissing, and trashing and being
The sort of sub-ape, truly antisocial, sociopaths
That only HUMANS are capable of.

Rust, rot and ruin are signs of reverse progress.
So at least there was once some semblance or order.
But the progress I see us working towards
Make my vainglory anthem of self absolution,
Almost acceptable.

View from Below


The halo is black against a white background,
Complete opposite of what Sunday school taught me.

I believe that the light is good, brings life, and heat,
But oh, by the way, it causes cancer.

The purity of the white beyond the light, gives me peace,
But makes me wonder, if I can get that shade at the paint store.

Time and time again, we look up for answers.
But we’re under a roof of our own preconceptions, when we do.

Depth of Feeling

Ode to Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is one of my favorite poems.  There is a sense of loneliness captured in those four stanzas that capture a lifetime of living.  Most of the poetry I’ve written doesn’t necessarily rhyme or follow a pattern.  But I’m so impressed with Frost’s ability to express so much within those confines, I had to try it.

Honestly, I don’t like what I’ve produced.  But I wanted to throw it out there and get some constructive criticism from those who are smarter than I am.  So please send me you criticism.  Positive, negative, indifferent.  I’d appreciate anything.

d. 2. oban


Ode to Robert Frost

Ode to Robert Frost
Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

And I also have miles to go,
Before my worries I can stow
Sorrow in this forest runs deep
‘Massing at my feet as the snow.

No horse’s company to keep
Alone, the solitude I reap
I reflect on what I have sown
As the fingers of dawn do creep.

Rising sun expose that not shown
What sin have I to those I’ve known
Under shadow self elegy
Pride and reliance of my own.

Is it all lack of empathy?
Or friend become an enemy?
Does it even matter to me?
Does it even matter to me?

We are all…

Water 1We are all molecules of water, holding hands on a sub atomic level
rushing towards a waterfall, that will pass us from potential energy to, what?

Sand 1We are all grains of sand on beach, part of something bigger and more
Beautiful than a sing speck of metamorphic rock, broken down through time and stress.

Stars 1We are all stars in the night sky, a menagerie of heat, light, and hope
One in a number too high to count to.

Water 1But some of us are atomized going over the waterfall,
Turning to mist, being carried off by the wind.

Sand 1And others become stuck to the bottom of the young child’s foot,
To be brought home from his holiday, in the crevice of a shoe

Stars 1We are so far apart that one can only see our beauty from a vantage,
In which many of us are dead before the light from our lives is received by the observer.

Water 1The end to which we rush is tumultuous.  Frothy with change, and unknowing.
For those at the bottom have never returned to tell those at the top what to expect.

Sand 1Our beauty is in our numbers, but our desire is to be one, to be heard,
To be seen.  To make a difference as an individual.

Stars 1The lives we live may make a difference, to the satellites in our orbit,
But the light we shine into space may go unnoticed while we have the strength to shine it.

There is no power in a single molecule of water.  A single grain of sand is grit, and irritation.  A single star is too far away to be meaningful to another.

Can man drink a single molecule of water?  Can God build landfall from a single grain of sand?  Does the sun concern itself with the trivialities of electromagnetic fields on Earth?

The great paradox thus becomes:
To peak on our personal arc of achievement and purpose, we need the greater good,
But the greater good does not concern itself with the success of the individual.

My Spirit Animal

It was a cold morning in the desert.  Riding my bike to the bus stop, my brain was churning to keep warm.  In a minor creative flash during general ruminations about things I can never change, I worked through the algorithm to describe myself as an animal. This animal may or may not come up in future posts.  Anyway, I came up with a dinosaur as the best way to describe myself.  My perception of dinosaurs is entirely based on Jurassic Park, and so to paleontologists who are following, I’m sorry.

The dinosaur says many things about me.  What I wanted it to say was that I was primitive, could only think of things in terms of absolutes, and could only see objects if they were moving.  Jessi, EnergyBall and Little Miss Manners would also agree on this as my spirit animal, but more because it’s a reflection of the speed I drive, how loud I yell, and my ability to use technology (if anything on this site looks good, it’s all Jessi, I couldn’t even log on this morning).

Poe-tae-toe, Poe-tah-toe.


How I Pissed off the LDS

Disclosure – I have friends that are members of the LDS Church.  They’re very nice people, and this post is not a comment on religion.  This just so happens to be the religion that is commented on in this post.

How I Pissed off the LDS
A friend gave me a copy of the “The Book of Mormon”
To open my mind, to give me a new perspective.
It was a little blue book.
I thanked him.
I read the book.
I put the book on a shelf.
I forgot about the book.

The years passed, the book gathered dust and I needed to move.
Vamanos, if you will.
So the book went into a garage sale
(I don’t discriminate religions, a bible went into the garage sale too).

I can’t stand having people go through my crap,
And my wife is better at driving a hard bargain,
For the cracked tub that was supposed to hold popcorn,
Because the explosive lettering on the side tells me so,
Though we never put anything but dust in that damn thing.

Since I couldn’t bear to watch someone judge me by going
Through my old Motely Crue cassette tapes, I went to work.
But the fun just started.

My wife, dear and lovely, and not convinced my foosball table
Was worth $500, did her wifely duty, and got rid of shovels and rakes,
Books and dishes.  Baby Clothes, Adult clothes, couches, TV’s etc.
Shit upon shit, if you’ll excuse my French.

Until one lady, holding a pair of dull and rusted hedge clippers
Began to hover
Around the bargain book bin.

My wife, busy with another “customer” interested in our crystal butter dish,
Kept an appraising eye.  Those were really dull hedge clippers.

Butter dish gone, .15 cents richer (seriously, at what point in time did they take the cent sign off of typewriters, word processors, keyboards, and cell phones?)
The woman was still hovering, but now with a book in hand.
Remember, my wife is the innocent bystander.
Garage sale beauty queen.

“Why are you selling this?”
The little blue book, still clinging to the years of dust,
Shoved too close to my wife’s nose.
She sneezed, or for this tale, I imagine she sneezes,
So it’s real to you.

“I don’t know, it was my husbands.
What do you think about those hedge clippers though?”
Always driving a hard bargain.

“Why would he get rid of this?  This is an important book.”



I hate people.  My wife loves people.
Where my soul is black and sticky,
Hers is bright and sticky.  Mine sticky with dead stuff.
Hers sticky with sugar and kindness.

But after 15 years of trying to keep her soul clean, a little bit
Of the black rubbed off.

Return to the garage sale.


This bitch…. My wife thinks incredulously, wondering if she just thought it,
Or I added it to the poem,
To let the reader know
This lady was a realllllll bitch.

“Yeah, my husband, he’s a real loose cannon.”
It’s true, she’s not lying.

“So you’re trying to sell this book of faith for 15 (c with a vertical line through it)?”
She didn’t say that part about the vertical line.  There just isn’t a cent symbol for the letter set for my printing press.

“Yeah, but I’ll give it to you for a nickel with those clippers.”
I love this woman.

This was not the response the holier than thou woman
With an acute need for trimming the hedges and an
Exaggerated need for compassion, as surely demonstrated by Joseph Smith,
For those of us who mistakenly put our book of Mormon in the
Garage sale where the holier than thou can find it.

Next time we’re making a book bin and labeling it
“For the Not-Holier-Than-Thou Only.”

Josephine Smith looked longingly at the hedge clippers,
Guiltily at Joseph Smith,
And angrily at my wife.

“I’m not buying anything from you.”
A reallllll bitch, this one was.

She stormed off leaving my wife with the book, the dust
the clippers, and the disappointment of not closing the deal.
Did I mention I love this woman?

My wife sets the clippers aside, hoping that
After looking into a magic hat, the lady would
Come back and buy those rusty, old, decrepit clippers
And tossed joseph smith back to the bargain book bin.

An ice cream ball, not an actual ball of ice cream,
But a ball that you put cold ice cream in, roll it around,
And take out warm milk, was sold.  Don’t ask me how.  My wife is pretty amazing.

Despite her best efforts, that foosball table was too nice
For any of the white trash that came to go through my trash.

Bam.  Out of the blue.  I’m sure it was a
Gorgeous blue Missouri sky,
The Bride of Joseph Smith returned.

Car idling at the end of the driveway, obviously in a hurry.
In my wife’s head,

In a half sprint, half not a sprint, she slid into the bargain book bin
Which had been cleaned out pretty well.
And sighed a huge breath of relief,
Blowing more dust off the blue book.

“I didn’t feel right leaving it here.  Someone should get
Good use out of it.”

God bless my wife, “And the clippers?”

The lady threw the 15 $/100 at my wife, and sped away like she’d robbed a bank.
While picking up the nickel and dime, my wife noticed the bible was still in the
Bargain book bin.

So 1 point for the Mormons.  Where you at Jesus Freaks?

My wife, turned to put the 15₵ (if you got to ‘insert’ ‘symbol’ you can put in something called a cedi) in our Garage Sale safe deposit box,

She heard a lovely old voice ask,

“How much for the clippers?”


Full Disclosure.  I’m sure the lady was very nice.


Black and white, that’s how I see the world. But maybe there’s something in between?

Deuxiemepeau Poetry by Damien B. Donnelly

black and white
there are a thousand shades of grey

life and death
there are a million things to say

I love you
and I love you not

there is more than just hunger and hate


we are hungry
we eat (more than we should)
and then we hate

you smiled at me
in a sea of sadness I’d grown tired of
a blonde in a season of darker tones
and the distraction deluded me

                            from the truth

are we always alone,
even when we are together?

I held his hand in a taxi
while thinking of another
not yours, not his, but another

I lay in your arms at night
as you lied in mine, behind the light

between laying and lying
there exists a world of truth and disguise

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