Now, too late for Christmas! The Fourth of July audio book

Last spring, a group of amateur and professional voice actors read parts of The Fourth of July to create an audio production. It has been available as MP3s and on a streaming feed, for free, and still is. Now the audio book is available as a set of four CDs. There is a $12 charge for the CDs to cover production and shipping. Order now and not get it in time for Christmas!

Go to the Fourth of July audio book page.

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Deodorant / Antiperspirant Alternative

I wear white shirts. I couldn’t clean the pit stains out. The best results came from acetone, but it wasn’t without its dangers and unpleasantness. So, I questioned why there were pit stains and reasoned it was the antiperspirant I was using. That took me down another path, looking into the effects of having antiperspirant chemicals painted on one’s armpits. There might be some dangers to wearing chemicals, it seems. So, how to get rid of pit stains, antiperspirants and deodorants?

I reasoned that people might not actually smell bad, but that one’s armpits might be a natural gathering place for bacteria that do. So, giving up your antiperspirants and deodorants would leave you open to the smell of the bacteria colonizing your pits. How to kill them without poisoning the host? Alcohol!
It’s been about a year now, and I deem the experiment a success. Instead of deodorant or antiperspirant, I just pour a little alcohol on a washcloth and rub down my armpits. I don’t stink. No more pit stains. Even my old shirts have come clean.

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Well, this was a surprise!


Why on earth use my name?! I just got a couple of copies today. I hope to like it! After all, my name is Kevin and I do live in suburban Connecticut. I hope the rest of it doesn’t stick… Anyway, if the book is good, Dr. Glassman can look forward to being a character in the sequel to The Fourth of July!

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It’s a Dog Christmas

The vocals need a little work, but here’s last night’s Christmas song,
"It’s a Dog Christmas":

I want a chew toy
You want Atari
I like a raw hide
You want guitari

I'll get a collar
I'll get a leash
But you get nothing
From Santa Paws

I want a dog house
You want the Gogos
I want a foam pad
You want a pogo

It's a dog's Christmas
Arf arf, bark bark
Jesus was born today
Look, there's a squirrel!

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The strangest Christmas gift

I won this on eBay a couple of years ago. I indentured my subject and tried to regift him, but nobody wanted the gift. I have to give this kid credit for a really great experiment.


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Christmas Music – “Santa, won’t you bring me a woman?”

Every year at this time we say we are going to record a Christmas collection and never get past one or two songs. But… here’s one:

Here is "Santa, won’t you bring me a woman?" with vocals:

Last year, oh you brought me some trouble.
Brown hair, brown eyes.
Sittin' in the kitchen said 'get up and get it yourself.'

Santa, won't you do me a favor?
Take her back in your sack.
Bring me a honey with a smile to warm my soul.

All night I wait by the fireplace.

Blond hair, blue eyes.
Lovin', I can't do no wrong.
You owe me something for the mess you left last year.

Cookies. There's scotch on the bar.
Twenties. Help yourself to a beer.
Just don't leave-- don't leave the old one here.

All night I wait by the fireplace.

Won't you bring me a woman?
Santa, won't you bring me a woman?
Bring me a honey with a smile to warm my soul.


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Groovy Spaceman

Not many tunes get words. This one was begging for words, though.
Here is Groovy Spaceman with vocals.

He got space boot
You got shoe
He got space suit
He's so shiny
Why do you think all the astro girls love him? 
He's Groovy

Groovy, grroooovy

Moon comes up
Sun goes down 
The strip throbs
Like the Cosmos

He's got hair gel
He's got your girl!
Why do you think all the astro girls love him? 
He's Groovy

Groovy, grroooovy

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Two hours to create and record; no going back

Dan Pope and I get together on a non-regular basis to eat spaghetti, drink beer and play music. These are the rules: we have a couple of hours to argue over a chord progression and record it. There’s no going back; the recording cannot be fixed up the next day. The only exception to this rule is the addition of lyrics, though we almost never get around to that. We’re very happy with ourselves. The songs sound pretty bad when we’re done, but by the next day they develop some real charm. Here are some of the recordings from the last few months:

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Zip Class Sloop

The sailing scenes take place in Zip class sailboats. 9-30-2010_066ssThese were 16 foot wooden plank sailboats made in Long Island Sound during the late 1930s and early 1940s. In the early 1970s, there were still plenty of them around. I think there must have been at least ten of them at NBYC in 1974.  The only one I know of in the sound today is at the Madison Beach Club, and someone told me that it’s not completely original. At this point, it’s an 80 year-old ash plank boat. That’s pretty old for a boat.


My family had a couple of Zips. In the early 1970s, we owned Zip #64, Hurricane.  Someone had applied fiberglass resin over the wood at an earlier time. That’s not always a good thing; wooden boats swell after they go into the water.  In the case of Z64, the seams were damaged as the planks swelled around fiberglass that had been pressed into them. When the fiberglass was pulled back off, the result was widened seams and a leaky boat. We had to stuff the seams with a lot of oakum and cover them with underwater seam compound—like icing a cake. We even tacked firring strips over a few of them. Each year, for the first few weeks after the boat went into the water, my brother or I had to bail the boat from completely sunk to dry twice a day. My heart would sink too when I’d turn the corner to the beach in the morning—oars over my shoulder—to find just a mast sticking up above the surface. We kept blocks of styrofoam under the deck to keep her from submerging completely. Eventually, she’d swell up enough that bailing became manageable.


Of course, people would make fun of us for having such a crappy boat.  The boat was slow too. When we raced, we were sure to lose. One summer, I entered Hurricane in a round-robin race—a race where everyone takes a turn in each other’s boat, meaning everyone would have a chance to lose.  Two of the other sailors, whom I shall call Dave Pelissier and Gerry Shea for simplicity, got into a collision with my boat and one other.  The collision sprang three planks on the starboard bow, and Hurricane sank in the race.  That was the end of her. This was the inspiration for the description of the accident in the book. I’ve seen it happen first-hand.


This is a tough photograph to get any glean details from, but I can clearly see the firring strip that we tacked over the larboard seam, close to the keel. You can see my mom’s 1964 Galaxy wagon in the background too.


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