Spikey Katfish V = very varied in the AtoZ challenge
A box of violet deliciousness; just ordered from Amazon.

All I can say is, “Thank you VERY much.”

Before I remembered to look for the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I was flailing; struggling to find a “V” word. I already have words for X and Z and a few options swirling about for W and Y. But, V, V was killing me, until exactly this moment as I remember that I had had a thought about a V word at the very beginning of this A to Z thing– and that’s why there’s a picture of Violets candy here. I’ll end with what’s what with Violets.

So, the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: vary/very. Use one, use ’em both, add stuff to ’em, your choice. Have a blast!

I sat at my wife’s desk to load music into iTunes on the 8 year old desktop that we have still pretty much just for that purpose as neither one of our laptops has a CD-slot. And I’m still a CD guy. I have bought a few “digital albums” but . . . it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t feel like I actually bought anything – I would’ve loved to have been able to buy albums on vinyl (look, I know you can but I don’t have a record player, nor anywhere to really stash one, though I am seriously considering going with the needle on the record approach in a few years when we move. I have bought a few records for the artwork, including Puff the Magic Dragon, hanging in our entrance way). I like to be able to hold the jewel case in my hand and think, “Mine.”

I also sat down here to finish off a blog post I’m ghostwriting but – SQUIRREL!!! – what can I say, I’m like a two-year old in a candy store where all the candy is free, there’s a petting zoo, and a wall of screens with cartoons on. I’m easily distracted. I’ll get to that blog post at some point today.

So I’m sitting here loading in CDs – many of which I had thought were on my iPod already. I still have – and use – a 120 Gig iPod. New old school, right? George still makes fun of me for wondering when we were first dating why the hell anyone would want one. When this think eventually dies, I’m going to be crushed. I changed my mind – though I don’t think I ever told her she was right (even if, sigh, she was).

I’m also a radio guy. I like the randomness of not knowing what’s going to be on next and that little frisson of pleasure you get when you here a song on the radio you haven’t heard in years (and why is it that when that happens, you’ll hear it again a day later?). I love that – not the day later part. In the 15 years of driving back and forth to Louisiana for holidays and delivering children for grandparental visits, I’d have a sleeve of CDs with to play. But more often than not, I listened to the radio. Once you get outside of the DC area, the stations become more varied in their playlists – on country stations you can sometimes even here country music! It’s changed a bit as radio has consolidated, but there’s still more variety than in a big city. There’s a stretch of about 60 miles as you leave Chattanooga (check out Lookout Mountain if you ever get a chance; and I need to do more than a drive-by of the Chickimauga battlefield one day – one of the great Confederate victories of

Spikey Katfish, V in a to z challenge
Anyone driving through Alabama, Georgia, or Tennessee has probably seen at least one of these. I have seen Rock City. It’s very cool in a very cheesy way. VERY cheesy. The view is incredible though.

the Civil War. Also, See Rock City.) where all you can catch is two Jesus stations and a country station. There’s nothing like a southern preacher’s cadence calling down fire and brimstone on a sinner’s soul to get you through another hour of driving at 2 in the morning.

So radio. Randomness. That’s why I love my iPod. It’s my giant radio station on shuffle filled with all of the varied stuff that I like – the last albums I’ve loaded:

  1. Meddle – Pink Floyd. “One of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces.” WTF is THAT about?!?!?
  2. The Next Big Thing – Vince Gill. One of the purist voices in all of music. Beautiful singer.
  3. Trouble – Ray Lamontagne. I love the rough, world-weary sound of his voice. And his songwriting is fantastic
  4. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles. It’s the Beatles. Though, I do think, like Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction, I’m an Elvis man. There’s a cut scene where Mia Wallace talks about her theory that you can like both Elvis and The Beatles, but you always like one a little more than the other. I’ve gotta go with Elvis in all his glorious, somewhat wasted talent, white-spangled jumpsuit glory.
  5. Streets of Fire Soundtrack – various. I LOVE this movie and the soundtrack. “I can dream about you,” “One bad stud” and I can’t believe I was missing this on my iPod. It is a rock and roll musical. I just looked and I have no clue who any of the singers are, but I love every song on it. Rick Moranis is awesome in this movie. It’s over acted and over the top, but fun.
  6. Every Breath You Take – The Police. The most beautiful stalker song ever.
  7. Greatest Hits, Disc One – The Band. I love Up on Cripple Creek, the only song I know of that mentions “Lake Charles Lousiana.”
  8. The Baddest of George Thorogood and the Destroyers – always thought that was a great band name, The Destroyers. “Bad to the Bone” and, of course, one of the best drinking songs of all time “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.” Other good drinking songs: “I like beer” by Tom T Hall, “Tiny Bubbles,” “I Got Loaded,” and “Two More Bottles of Wine” by Delbert McClinton.
  9. Heavy Metal Soundtrack – Various. Like Streets of Fire, great, great soundtrack. And I love the movie a lot too.
  10. Johnny Cash, Columbia Country Classics, Volume 1 – I think I have more Johnny Cash albums than anything else. “Great” is spread around a lot these days, but his music is truly great. From “Hey Porter” on this album to “Among the Stars” an album that came out last year; I never get tired of listening to Cash. Why you never hear him on “country” radio . . . a tiny bit baffling.

So, varied is my music selection – and then there’s the jazz, blues, Civil War music CDs, medieval music, musicals, and Japanese Drummers that is in this stack here to load.

The “shuffle” is the best thing ever when you just can’t decide what to listen to – and on my shuffle, you get a very varied experience.


Opened Violets, from Very Varied in the #AtoZchallenge
I want one now.
From Violets Wikipedia page.

Just a quick word on Violets. My Meme loved this candy and passed that on to me. Uncle Doug brought them from New Hampshire to her when he lived there in the 80s (I think) and she was hooked on them. Growing up, we were at Meme and Pawpan’s a lot and she’d share them out when she had them. Oh, wow, it must be 11 or 12 years ago now, but I hadn’t seen them in over a decade when I saw a box of them in one of the Sutler’s tents at a battle reenactment. I bought the entire box of 24 rolls.

It was great being able to share them with her when I went back down later that summer because she hadn’t seen them in a while either.

There are a few spots around that you can find them now – one candy store on the Inner Harbor most recently. Every time I see them, I think of her, at least for a moment, and wish she were still here.

Casey enjoys a Violet now and then. I hope when she’s older, she’ll have one and think of me for a moment or two.


  1. Meddle is a terrific album. San Tropez is a favorite and who can complain about a song (Seamus) where they actually appear to play a dog as a musical instrument? Nice work knocking off SoCS and A-to-Z.


    1. Thanks, sir. My order of love for Pink Floyd albums shuffles, but Obscured by Clouds is always at the top. Something about the album just always chills me out. One day, I’ve gotta try the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard I’d Oz thing too. And I am stoked to have Meddle back in rotation. What was I thinking?


      1. I like “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from Saucer full of secrets. I was a very early fan of Floyd. Back when they were carried on “alternative rock” station in Pgh.


  2. I haven’t listened to either Saucer Full of Secrets or Atom Hearted Mother in a good long while. I like a little King Crimson (always enjoyed Court of the Crimson Kind) and maybe some Procol Harum now and then, but prog-rock is one of the few genres of music I’ve never been able to get into much.


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