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Thank You Sincerely

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to sincerely thank all military veterans, current military personnel, and (hopefully there won’t be a need for) future military personnel. I especially remember all those who have died or have been severely wounded while serving. Thank you for everything you have done, do, and will do to serve and protect the United States of America.


Off the Music Track – Live Carving Station

Quirky T apologizes for two non-music Guitar Train station stops in a row but a questioning rant about a different kind of station is needed. I saw this Easter Sunday brunch advertisement in the newspaper and I couldn’t let it go to the recycling pile without commenting.


Let us focus on the part of the ad which mentions a “Live Carving Station”. I have to assume the person carving the meat from the animals is live and not the animals themselves. I believe the restaurant means the cooked meats will be carved to order for the customers. Not that the animals are live and roaming the brunch area wating to be carved while still alive or killed and then carved. If that’s the case, I imagine the cow for the prime beef would probably be standing near the salad section of the buffet table grazing on the lettuce. The turkey could be harder to gather up as it could fly away from certain death (or at least back to Vermont). On the other hand, if customers saw what a live, unplucked turkey looks like, they may not be inclined to eat it anymore. The pig would probably find the restaurant too clean and look for a table where a baby or toddle was eating and roll around on the carpet in the scraps of food that had fallen. The lambs might be docile but could get noisy with all the “ba” – ing after their legs are chopped off. Plus they might be considered by some as too cute to eat or hurt.


I know the paleo diet is a big trend right now but this would be taking it too far. It may lead to more vegans as brunch customers see where their meat really comes from. It would also lead to impatient customers as they’d have to wait longer for the live animals to be killed, cooked, prepared, and then carved and served. You think a turkey takes a long time to cook for Thanksgiving dinner when it was frozen or refrigerated? Wait until it has to be plucked also.

Referring back to the brunch ad, the “Live Omelet & Pasta Station” may also cause problems. The restaurant would have to make sure they had a huge chicken coop on hand to have all the “live” eggs they would need in order to make hundreds of omelets. Hopefully the “live pasta” does not mean the pasta is made from scratch. While it is quite tasty when homemade, it is time-consuming. Plus some of the ‘live” eggs from the chicken coop would be needed in order to make the pasta.


This is one Easter brunch I definitely did not go to. I can understand a Christmas nativity scene with live animals but a live Easter carving station? No, thank you.

Guitar Train passengers, if live carving stations appeal to you, it’s not too late. The same restaurant in the ad is also having a Mother’s Day Brunch with the same carving stations. Assuming all went well for their Easter brunch, you, too, can enjoy the freshest food possible.

Paper Towel Craziness


This month, Quirky T is conducting the Guitar Train on a non-musical detour.   This stop looks at the craziness of paper towel designs. Since paper towels can be used for so many purposes, they are pretty much a necessity of life (unless you’re environmentally conscious and use washable real cloth towels – good for you). I never understood the need for a design on a paper towel. A simple plain white paper towel is all we need.

plain white paper towel

plain white paper towel

After all, we’re only going to use it for a few seconds to clean up or a few minutes maximum in the microwave. It does not need to have a design. It does not need to have writing on it. I’m not looking for words of wisdom from a paper towel. I just need something functional. Plain white paper towels without images or writing are actually requested when microwaving certain items. I suppose this is so that the ink from the design does not get into the food or stain the microwave tray.

What I do not need, want, desire, or understand is this –

park scene paper towel 1

park scene on a paper towel

What is that? Why is there a park scene playing out on my paper towel? Who thought of this and why? I can understand napkins having designs since they will actually be displayed on tables. Although, I doubt a stroll through the park scene on a napkin would match any table or event theme.

park scene paper towel 2

park scene on a paper towel

And why are the women who are pushing the stroller, walking the dog, and strolling through the park all wearing very high heels? I’m surprised the woman on the bike and the female jogger (who incomprehensibly is wearing a skirt) aren’t wearing high heels also. What does that say about this paper towel company’s concept of women? And what about the lack of men except for the guy on the bench and the boy playing? I just don’t understand it.

park scene on paper towel 3

park scene on a paper towel

Guitar Train passengers, do you understand the purpose of this design on a paper towel? Do designs and sayings on paper towels bother you?

Another Quick Station Stop and Reading Update

Good news from The Guitar Train, Quirky T is finally reading books she has had on her bookshelves for years. I just finished reading “The Beatles” by Hunter Davies. This is the only authorized biography of the Beatles and was published in 1968. The version I read included a 1985 Postscript and a 2009 Memento Mori list of Beatles related people who have died since 1968. I can’t believe that I have not read this book until now. How did I miss it 30 years ago when I first became a Beatles fan? I read so many Beatles related books then but none as great and first hand as this one. The author spent months with the Beatles during a very interesting time in their career (but really, when was there an uninteresting time in the band’s short career?). I recommend it to every Beatles fan as a must read book.

After finishing that book, I started reading another Beatles book, “Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney” by Howard Sounes. This book was given to me as gift and I purposely put off reading it because I thought it would be too salacious. So far it definitely is more so than the Hunter Davies biography which had to be whitewashed some at the time. But as I wrote in the station stop about reading Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford autobiographies, how much do I really want to know?

I really don’t want to know too many personal details about Paul McCartney especially if they are gossip and not fact. Still, I will read the book without necessarily believing everything that is written.


On a non-music note, I am also reading Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. I have seen movie and play versions of the book but I hadn’t read the book. I’m reading it now for a book club meeting in March. Since I have a deadline to finish the rather slim book, I think I’ll have no problem finishing it. So I am back on the reading track.


Guitar Train passengers, which Beatles book is your favorite and why?



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?

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