Saturday, May 21, 2011

Don't Try This At Home

IN my lifetime I've owned only three cars. My first was a 1974 Toyota Corolla which I drove for over 18 years and only ridded myself of it because I was tired of it. The next was a 1992 AUDI which I kept for nine years. And now I have a Toyota RAV 4 which I've had since 2001.

I was in the market for a new car, saw the RAV4 at an auto show and said to myself, "that's it."
This came with a CD player, tape player and radio.

I was very satisfied with the manufactured brand. About five years ago I was playing a CD for someone inside the car, realized that I was running late and hit the EJECT button so hard, it slid behind the console. No amount of fooling with it would get it back to its home base.
After that if I wanted to eject a CD I would have to press the spot where the EJECT button used to be until the CD popped out.

Over time even that began to fail. Each time I'd push the envelope a little further urging the CD to eject while punching with keys or straightened paper clip.

About two weeks ago, I popped in an Alex Bugnon CD and no amount of finagling could get it out.
This CD was not my own but one I borrowed from the Public Library.

That's when I decided it was time to get a new CD player. I'd priced one at the dealer. $700 was not what I wanted to pay.

WHAT POSSESSED me to think that I could unscrew the thing and get the CD out is beyond me.
But I tried anyhow.
I've removed the face of the unit. That's the air conditioning duct above the audio unit.

Here's where I pulled out the whole thing but didn't know what to do with all of those wires and things in the back.

This was painstaking work. I'd bought a socket set some time back .

I don't know how to use a socket set, so I had to toy with that for a looong time.

I still didn't get the CD out so I put everything back in place but didn't screw it back in.

I put the screws in an envelope minus one that fell behind the console.


I went to an audio shop to have a new audio system placed in my car. I didn't want anything fancy just something to play my CD's on and listen to the radio.

Here it is!

I no longer have a tape player but I have radio and CD player

And it has a remote and this bag which I was clueless as to what it was for.

I guess the installer thought I knew it was a pop out radio, but I didn't. I didn't discover that until I got home. By accident. The bag is to place the face of the radio inside when you remove it.

Here you can see that I've removed it .

There's a USB port to connect music I've downloaded to listen to on my MP3 player, IPOD, Walkman, etc.

I was shown how to operate the radio by the installer but pressed the reset button by mistake so I have to listen to the Walkman until I read the directions on all of its features.

The CD is still stuck in the old player. I have paid for the CD at the library.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Five Guys Named Moe

Last evening I visited the Red Mountain Theatre and saw Five Guys Named Moe.
Nomax , it's principal character is drowning himself in liquor because of his failed love affair with Lorraine. He takes to heart the sad sack songs coming from his radio and he continues to soak himself in alcoholic drink. During this bout of drinking, five guys emerge from his radio. Big Moe, Four-Eyed Moe, Eat Moe, No Moe and Little Moe proceed to inform Nomax where he has made his errors with Lorraine and the art of pleasing women. This musical is filled with singing by all six of these characters. Much of the music is from the 1930's featuring famous band leader and musician, Louis Jordan.

I had the opportunity to see and hear Louis Jordan in person during the late"60's. My Mom and some of her friends were so excited because Louis Jordan was to be a featured act during , The Festival of the Arts. The Festival of the Arts was an outdoor street festival sponsored every year in downtown Birmingham. Most years a particular country was featured with ensuing activities geared toward the theme. I really don't remember what the theme was that year but there were people everywhere and I remember the enjoyment everyone seemed to get from Louis Jordan and his band. I was unable to really appreciate his talent at that young age. With age though "sometimes" comes wisdom even if its just a little bit and I can appreciate his music now.

Five Guys Named Moe involved the audience in a sing along and conga line with Push Ka Pi Shi Pie . The audience participated in a call and response with Caldonia.

These actors were hugely talented professionals. They could do it all. Dancing, singing, cartwheels, the works. And did I mention that one of the actors I've known since he was a child. He has a degree in Fine Arts and has since secured a certificate in film and directing. We all called him C.J. and now of course he's Cecil Washington Jr.
He has traveled extensively and I was glad to know that he still knows "the little people." People like me.
After the show the audience was invited to ask the cast questions. They graciously responded to them all.
I'd advise anyone to see this great musical.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


There are no spoilers below if you haven't seen these movies. Besides, would I do that to you?

I attended the matinee to see Madea's Big Happy Family. I'm a Tyler Perry fan though there are those who thumb their noses at his productions. But that is the way of the world. Everyone has an opinion.

This was on a Thursday. As you can see there weren't many people at this first showing but that was fine with me. The story has to do with a woman dying of cancer(Loretta Devine) who wants to get her three children together for a meal and to tell them all of her illness and impending death. As with many families inner turmoil exists and each character has his or her own problems preventing the dinner from taking place. That is until Madea steps in and gets some straightening done. There are surprises in the storyline and of course a moral and wise advice that you can take with you to think on.

On Friday, I wanted to see Jumping the Broom so I went to The Edge. Privately owned this theatre is located off of Crestwood Blvd. where the Eastwood Festival Theatre once reigned. Before I get to the movie, let me tell you about the theatre.

There are no huge movie posters or 3-D stand- up advertisements. There is no box office. You go inside and there are about four "cast members" ( That's what the employees have written on their badges along with their names.) Your fare is paid at the concession stand. This was free popcorn Friday so the only thing I had to pay for was my beverage. The beverages are self-serve against an adjacent wall. When I gave my ticket to the usher he gave me another ticket sized card titled $5.00 Tuesdays. He explained that on Tuesdays you can see any movie for $5.00. These are the same movies as those playing at the chain theatres. All of the cast members were polite and friendly. I felt welcomed as if my business was appreciated.

There was no soft music playing inside the theatre before the feature. You were left to your own devices there. There were no murals and colored lights on the wall. At the appointed time, the previews began and then the feature. The only drawback I had was that the movie screen could have been a little brighter but once my eyes adjusted I settled in to the movie. I will be returning to this theatre because of the staff and the simplicity of it all.

Jumping the Broom tells the story of a couple in love from opposite sides of the track as it was once called. The future in-laws and relatives create much havoc before the nuptials causing severe strain on the wedded- couple -to-be. There are surprises also in this movie that pop out all of a sudden. Mike Epps is funny and serious. There's plenty of male eye-candy which is always a plus to me. As a T.D. Jakes production the morality issue is a strong theme. The bride makes a vow to God that she will not have sex before marriage. Whoever God sends her will have to love her enough to want to wait until after marriage for her "cookies" as she calls it. As can be expected, both bride and groom take a lot of heat from friends and relatives about this vow. The groom defends his bride by telling the nosies that if he had to wait another six months, he would do it because he loves her just that much.