Snow Day 2009

Weather forecasts all week predicted snow for Friday, Dec 4th and sure enough, we had several inches of snow. I was fortunate enough to have the day off and Cynthia got to come home early. We took advantage of this rare weather phenomenon. We simply don’t see this much snow in Houston EVER. It snowed last year, but not much and it snowed on Christmas Eve in 2004 but it didn’t stick. The last time I saw snow like this in Houston was in the 60’s.

Of course the sun was out the next day and the temperatures are expected to be back up in the 70’s before mid-week.

Our neighbors demonstrate their sense of humor about the fickle weather here in H-Town:

Additional photos are here

Santa Jaws

My good friend Jim Henkel recorded a Christmas album 20 years ago called “The Jazz Carolers” which featured about 4 Christmas standards where he played all the instruments and performed all the vocals. We put it into the seasonal rotation here at the house come Christmas time as it’s a real joy to listen to.

Now, 20 years later Jim has released “Jazz Carolers – 2009” which is pretty much the same, 8 Christmas songs with Jim doing all the vocals and performing all the music. The production values are fantastic on this one and it’s includes one not so traditional Christmas song. The new CD contains what may be my new most favorite Christmas carol of all time – Santa Jaws

Give a listen using the embedded player or download the song from here.

The song is free to distribute so pass it along!

My Screen Is Sideways


This month marks 4 years since I posted the above Q&A for my Helpline Blog at The Houston Chonicle. Since that time, “My screen is sideways” has generated over 700 comments from all over the world from people who have encountered this problem.

I really thought the problem was too esoteric and almost didn’t publish it.

In reading the comments it would appear that the primary cause of this problem is cat ownership.

I wonder what other computer problems may be cat related?

The Flu Pandemic


Many, many years ago my good friend (and fellow Flying Fish Sailor) Greg Henkel wrote a song about the 1918 Flu Pandemic that killed over 20 million people worldwide.

The Flu Pandemic song became one of our most popular performance pieces. Despite the grim subject matter, the song is often referred to as “a happy little ditty about death” and brings smiles and laughter to those who hear it.

The current swine flu outbreak has generated a lot of interest in the song and is driving a lot of traffic to the band web site.

The song is available on our Loch Ness Monster CD which is available @ or from us directly.

Interestingly enough, there is a live version of the song that was recorded at Rockefeller’s during Son Of Blarneyfest in 1996 that I almost forgot existed. It predates the Loch Ness Monster studio recording by several years.

You can listen to it here:

The Flu Pandemic

Copyright 1999 Topmast Production and the Flying Fish Sailors

Chorus: It was the Flu pandemic
And it swept the whole world wide
It caught soldiers and civilians
And they died, died, died!
Whether they’re lying in the trenches
Or lying in their beds
Twenty million of them got it
And they’re dead, dead, dead!

There was a soldier on the battleground in 1917
He turned there to his buddy with his face a ghastly green
He said “We made it both through Passchendaele, the Somme, and Flanders too
But now my number’s up my lad for I’ve gone and caught the flu”


Well a nurse was in the hospital when Tommy was brought in
When he sneezed she caught a face full that was flying in the wind
She wrote a letter home to England to tell them of her plight
But the letter never got there ’cause the postman too had died


From the meadow-lands of Somerset and o’er the bounding main
To the shores of old Americay they sung the same refrain
Mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts as well as the odd nephew
Brothers and sisters and bosses and lovers were all got by the flu


Well a farmer out in China watched his family dropping down
And a businessman in Cairo hit the street without a sound
And an eager little Bolshevik in old Sevastopol couldn’t keep up his grinnin’ at Lenin as Comrade Virus took its toll