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Quick Station Stop – Reading Update


This Guitar Train stop is a quick station stop to update my quest to not read any library books until I have read all the books I already own. The quest is not going well. I have not really read any more books since my last update in July 2018.

I did take one book out from the library which I am reading now. It is the former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama’s autobiography called “Becoming”. A very interesting and informative read and I would recommend it. I am definitely going to finish reading it and quickly because I only have it from the library for two weeks. Maybe I need deadlines in order to accomplish things, even in my leisure time.

Guitar Train passengers, do you need deadlines to accomplish pleasurable tasks?


Let It Snow

Winter is here so let it snow. I love snow and I wish it would snow all year round. The earliest I have ever seen snow was in September in St. Moritz, Switzerland high in the Alps. The earliest I have seen snow in the United States was in the state of Vermont in October while staying at the Trappe Family Lodge in the mountains. The lodge is run by the Von Trappe family from the movie “The Sound of Music”. So being from Austria, the family knows something about snow in the Alps. The latest time in the season I have seen snow was this past April 6. I would love to live where it snows straight from September to April. I often dream in the summer that it’s snowing only to wake up and remember it’s summer.

Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont, USA

As a child, snow brought the possibility of no school. Unfortunately that didn’t happen too often. It seems to happen so often now to the point where school children lose vacation days to make up for extra snow days they had. As an adult, snow brings more annoyances and hazards than fun. Treacherous driving conditions and power outages are common occurrences in snow storms. I don’t mind shoveling snow while it’s still snowing beautifully and there’s a quiet calm in the air. Once it has stopped snowing and it’s just dark and cold, shoveling feels like hard work.

So to celebrate winter and all the upcoming (hopefully) snow, here are my favorite non-Christmas snow songs.

  1. “A Marshmallow World “ (live) – Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra
  2. “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Dean Martin
  3. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” – Gloria Estefan


I’m also hoping that the snow this winter (and into Spring) will be beautiful and benevolent like a lady bug.


Guitar Train passengers, how do you feel about snow? Have your feelings changed since you were a child?



Off the Music Track – My Bargain with Bugs


This month Quirky T conducts the Guitar Train off the music track to discuss a topic which pesters her – bugs. Besides the cold weather I love, another great aspect of winter is less bugs. I have a bargain with bugs – if they are inside my house or workplace, I have the right to kill them because they are on my turf but if they are outside on their turf, I have to leave them alone. I can swat them away from me but I can’t harm them.


I had a cat who was a great bug spotter but she wouldn’t kill the bugs. She would just play with them and chase them. So I used her to find the bugs for me and then I would kill them, usually with a folded up newspaper or whatever heavy object was nearby. Luckily I don’t have enough bugs in my house to justify buying an actual flyswatter. Also, unless I carried the flyswatter around with me constantly, by the time I retrieve the swatter, the bug would probably have disappeared somewhere to tell their bug friends to all come over to my house.


I have no problem killing many kinds of bugs. I kill flies because they bite and are a nuisance. I definitely kill spiders since some types can cause blindness with their bite. I also kill ants because they can multiply so quickly and take over a house. I don’t kill stink bugs since I have heard horror stories of their smell after death. I actually corral them and release them intact outside. I also don’t kill lady bugs since they do not cause any harm at all and are pretty.


I hate the saying that someone is so nice that she would never hurt a fly. I have hurt flies but that doesn’t mean that I am not nice and I would physically hurt a person. I think a better expression would be, “She’d never hurt a lady bug.”


Guitar Train passengers, how do you feel about killing bugs?

The Guitar Train Stops to See Phil Collins in Concert!!!

Phil Collins concert 2018

Quirky T was fortunate to be able to conduct the Guitar Train to stop to see one of her favorite musicians, Phil Collins, in concert. I knew it would be a bittersweet experience since Phil Collins is not the able-bodied man he once was. I knew he would be sitting in a chair for the whole performance and not playing the drums because of back problems and drop foot. Still, I was not completely prepared for the moment he slowly walked on stage with the aid of a cane. That moment made me very emotional. I really hope he wasn’t in any pain. As much as I and other fans want to see him, he doesn’t need to be performing live anymore. Obviously something is propelling him to perform. Maybe it’s the chance to share the stage with his teenage son, Nic, or to prove the title of his recent memoir that he’s “Not Dead Yet”.


As soon as the music started, the fact that Phil Collins remained seated was not so obvious. He still can sing and had much energy despite having limited mobility. The songs played were hits from his Genesis and solo careers. The only song I wasn’t familiar with was “You Know What I Mean” which I’ll write more about later. With so many great songs to choose from, Phil said before he played the first Genesis song the chance that they would play the song we want to hear is slim. That was actually not true for me since I was happy with the three Genesis songs he sang – “Throwing It All Away”,

“Follow You Follow Me”,

and “Invisible Touch”.

I’m not used to him singing Genesis songs at his solo concerts. I liked how he always kept them separate but it made sense to sing some Genesis songs here because this tour may be his last performances. The only other Genesis songs I really would’ve liked to hear were my two favorites – “That’s All” and “Turn It On Again”. I realized that hearing “Abacab” and “Home by the Sea” would’ve been long shots.


As far as solo songs, I enjoyed all the songs performed except “Easy Lover” which has never been a favorite of mine. The only other solo songs I would’ve really liked to hear were “Don’t Lose My Number”, “I Don’t Care Anymore”, and my absolute favorite song of all time, “We Said Hello Goodbye”. So I can’t complain about his song selection except that it would’ve been nice to hear more songs but I understand if physically he couldn’t do more. One highlight of the concert was his duet with back-up singer Bridgette Bryant on “Separate Lives” which was slowly, beautifully done with drama and tension. Another highlight was the earlier mentioned song “You Know What I Mean” which Phil prefaced by saying his son, Nic, chose this song out of all his songs. The song provided a tender father- son moment as Nic played the song on the piano while his father was next to him singing it. Check out to see the complete set list for the concert.


I felt there was a fatalistic element hanging over the concert. Given Phil Collins’ ill health and age, some of his lyrics took on other meanings. He started the concert with the song “Against All Odds” which had the potent line “take a look at me now” which I was doing as a comparison to how he was in past concerts.  Also in the song, “Hang In Long Enough” (which Phil has done), is the line “It’s a long, hard road and the end is getting near.”

I guess all we can do is be happy that we had Phil Collins music in our lives and be happy he’s still with us now. Despite my reservations about seeing Phil Collins in a diminished state, I’m so glad I went to the concert. It was another amazing concert by an amazing musician whose music has meant so much to me throughout my life.


Guitar Train passengers, how would you feel about seeing your favorite musician performing in a physically diminished state?


Off the Music Track – It’s Okay to be Cold and Alone (update)


Last July, Quirky T conducted The Guitar Train off the music track to discuss a pet peeve. I don’t want to have any pet peeves or complain about people or issues but I thought maybe getting this annoyance out to the world would either correct the situation or get it out of my system as an issue and I could make peace with it. The latter occurred after I wrote The Guitar Train stop called “Sports Trash Talking”.


That former annoyance is now a non-issue for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the same results from this post. So here’s the post followed by an update.

So my pet peeve is people who feel like they need a consensus to be cold. I’ve often been in situations at a work office or a store where an adult has complained of being cold and then has asked me if I am cold also. No, actually I am not cold; I’m perfectly fine. In fact, I would much rather be cold then hot and sweating. When you’re cold, you can always add more layers of clothing, gloves, and a hat to make yourself warmer. If you’re hot, there’s only some much clothing you can take off. And even then, you’ll probably still be hot and uncomfortable.


When someone is in a house or a car and playing the role of hostess or host, then it is acceptable to ask others if they are cold because an adjustment can be made to the temperature controls to make the temperature more comfortable. In that situation, the need for a consensus is relevant. If the hostess is the only one feeling cold, then she has to be an adult and put up with the discomfort for the sake of her guests. But when you are in a large office building, supermarket, or another place where there is no way to adjust the temperature, then complaining is useless. Do the cold complainers think if they get a majority of people together to agree that it is cold, they can all march over to management and demand a higher temperature that will interfere with the safe management of the office or the products in the store but will make them nice and warm?


It has gotten to the point where when someone asks if I am cold at work, I answer that I am not because I work there every day so I dress accordingly. I don’t understand adults who don’t prepare themselves and then complain every day. If you know you tend to be cold, than dress accordingly. If you know your work atmosphere tends to be cold, than dress accordingly. I have heard people complain about how cold it is in a supermarket when they walk in from 90 degree heat and humidity. First of all, anything is cold compared to 90 degrees. Second of all, I would not want to shop in or buy food from a supermarket that was not air-conditioned in the summer. I would hate to see what the fruits, vegetables, and icing on the cakes look like at temperatures above 70 degrees in a building with all the windows closed. I have seen some customers come prepared for the cold and put on lightweight jackets when they enter the store. They don’t complain; they just come prepared and go about their business of shopping.


If the cold complainers are not trying to gather an army on their side to complain to management about the temperature, then why do they need to know if other people are cold also? Why are they so fearful that they are the only ones who are cold? I have never heard that feeling cold while indoors in air-conditioning for a short period of time is a sign of a serious illness or impending death and should be remedied immediately. If that was true, then I would want a consensus to know it’s not just me and I won’t be “catching my death of cold.”


So I am pleading with adult cold complainers to not act like whiny children and complain to me about something out of my control. No, I don’t know why “they” (the management) keep it so cold. Nor can I walk up to a thermostat and raise the temperature to please you for the few minutes you are in the building. Please don’t bully me into saying I’m cold just because you are. I guess all I can do when asked the irritating question if I am cold also is to reply pleasantly, “No, I’m not but I‘m sorry you are.” Really, everyone, it’s okay to be cold and alone. You’ll survive.


Now the update, the cold people have escalated the issue. As the seasons change, people seem to forget the fact that autumn is supposed to be colder than summer. Yet they still complain that they are cold and they now badger me to be cold also. Recently I have been told by a complete stranger while inside in 70 degrees that I should be wearing a sweater! I was not cold nor did I look like I was cold. I had to plead my case with this stranger that I did not need a sweater because I was actually hot.


A few days after that incident, I was again at work when I sneezed. A woman, a stranger, said she was surprised that I wasn’t sneezing all the time because it is so cold where I work. Again, I had to explain that I was not cold. (I probably sneezed because of dust). This woman then said I SHOULD be cold. Another woman passing by agreed that I should be cold. This is insanity. It’s now to the level where I am told how I should be physically feeling. For the record, and I wish the last time ever, I AM NOT COLD!


Guitar Train passengers, does this situation bother you? Have you ever been asked if you were cold and how did you respond if you weren’t?

The Guitar Train Urges All to Take a Cool Car Ride in Liverpool

Penny Lane

Quirky T is urging everyone to watch and set your recording devices for what promises to be an excellent television special called “When Corden Met McCartney: Live from Liverpool”. This is an expanded version of the segment of carpool karaoke which originally aired on the “Late Late Show with James Corden” on June 21, 2018. The segment was filmed in Paul McCartney’s birthplace of Liverpool, England. The new primetime TV special will air on Monday, August 20 from 8-9 pm ET/PT on CBS.

20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool – Paul McCartney’s house

Unfortunately I did not know about the air date of the original carpool karaoke segment so I did not record it. Of course I had to watch it on You Tube as soon as I found out about it.   It was an amazing segment because it was funny, heartwarming, nostalgic, and of course, contained great music. I was crying near the end during Paul’s surprise pub performance of “Hey Jude”. They were tears of joy over the success of this talented man from Liverpool and the enduring reach of The Beatles. I know from comments on this blog and reading other Beatles related blogs, that there are numerous other Beatlefanatics out there. Yet I am still surprised when other people show the enormous love and enthusiasm for the Beatles history and music which I have. Word of Paul’s appearances throughout Liverpool and the mini concert drew huge crowds of people. I didn’t want this segment to end so I am excited about this new extended version containing scenes cut out of the original.


So be sure to watch and record what will be a great TV event on Monday, August 20 at 8 pm ET/PT on CBS.


Guitar Train passengers, have you seen the original short segment, will you be watching the longer version, and what did you think?

The Guitar Train is Derailed on the Reading Track


The Guitar Train is chugging along with the May pledged to stop reading library books and only read the approximately 50 books I own at home and have never read.  I have had several derailments along the way and only minimal progress.


Before starting to read my own books, I had one last library book to read. “The White Lioness” by Henning Mankell at 500 pages was not a quick read. Once I finished that book, I put the Kurt Wallender detective series aside while I literally dusted off the books on my bookshelf.

The first book of my own I started reading was “X” by Sue Grafton only to realize that the story in “W is for Wasted”, the previous book in the series, was very important to recall in order to understand “X”. Since I had read “W is for Wasted” years before, I didn’t remember all the details so I had to reread it in order to follow the story in “X”. So that added another book to my “to read” list. I was worried as I was getting to the end of “Y is for Yesterday” that the story would not be completely resolved since tragically Sue Grafton died before she finished writing “Z” which would have presumably been the last book in the Kinsey Millhone detective series. Not to give anything away to anyone else who like me was silly enough to have left the books unread on a bookshelf for years or anyone who has yet to read this great series, the end of what became the last book in the series is very satisfactory.



The not reading library books track was almost derailed again when I was adding the Rizzoli and Isles series of mystery books to my huge book reserve list on my library’s website. A glitch on the website resulted in a non-Rizzoli and Isles book by the same author, Tess Gerritsen, to be reserved for me and sent to my local library for pick-up. Not only was it a book I did not add to my list, but it was also in large type format. By the time I saw the error, the book was already on route to my library. I decided to check it out since I might like it. Fortunately for my reading my own books exclusively pledge, the first sentence was so gruesome, it turned me off from reading the book at all.


While I was at the library, I picked up a free magazine listing nearly 100 recently published books in several genres with an emphasis on the mystery genre, my favorite. So that opened up a can of worms or in my case, a huge list of books to read for a bookworm. From that magazine, I ended up adding about 30 books to my already massive library book reserve list. Adding the titles made me want to get the books right then and read them and abandon my reading my own books pledge. I resisted the urge and logged out of the library website before ordering any of the books.


Another detour which added more books to my bookshelf was the buying of two books that I had first borrowed from the library. I had checked them out from the library to preview them to make sure they were really worth buying. They were so I added two more books to my list to read – one reference book and one cookbook.

So to update what I have actually read from my own bookshelf – not much. Besides the two new Sue Grafton books, I finished reading the autobiography of Mike Rutherford from Genesis called “The Living Years.” I wrote about this book and Phil Collins’ autobiography in the Guitar Train stop from January 2018 called “How Much Do You Want to Know?”  It was interesting to read Mike Rutherford’s take on Genesis.

I also read “The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay” by Ken Mansfield. He was the first manager of Apple Records in the United States. On page 135 of his book published in 2000 before George Harrison and Neil Aspinal died, Ken wrote, “In my opinion, the only people alive today who have the right to write the Beatles’ story are George, Paul, Ringo, or ex-head road manager and now Apple managing director Neil Aspinal. I honestly doubt that any of them would be moved to do so, but it still remains that they are the only ones still here and the only ones who were truly there for the duration.” I guess his own opinion didn’t stop him from writing this book and more books on the subject. Now I have to decide if I should add his other books to my never ending reading list.

The ride on the reading track has not been smooth and uninterrupted. It may be derailed again by streaming movies on Netflix in order to get through my 300 DVD queue quicker. After that comes the beginning of the NFL season which between all the games and the shows about football, leaves little time for reading. The book I am currently reading is Joe Torre’s memoir called “The Yankee Years.” That should help me get back on track.


Guitar Train passengers, have you read any books which have been sitting on your bookshelf unread for years? Did you enjoy them and regret not reading them sooner?

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