Groundhog Day – My Favorite Holiday


Groundhog day (German-Penn) evolved from Candlemas Day (Christian) – which evolved from Imbolc (Celtic) —-  which evolved from a few cave guys knowing they were passing the mid-point of winter and needing to jump around and do something.

“Stoke up the fire  – it’s ON!!!”

“If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,

There’ll be twa winters in the year.”

This is an old Scottish poem about February 2nd – Twa means 2  

Basically saying that if the sun is shining on this day then winter will be longer.


Candlemas – A mass of candles – all the candles in the church were fired up to help bring light and hope to winter wary folk. There is also a 40 days after this or the other with the virgin Mary and some other mumbo jumbo to help validate it.

– which make me a wee bit suspicious.

 Because they needed to add more validation – they were trying extra hard to secure a claim.



On the left is the Saint Brigit and on the right is the Celtic goddess Brigid – Notice anything similar in these incredible hastily done illustrations?

Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.
The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bríde,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.

They both carry the fire of spring.

The ancient pagan festival of Imbolc in honor of this goddess of early spring is celebrated on February 2nd (it includes a little weather prognostication) – Christianity kept her fire and made her the Irish Patron Saint Brigit who has her day on February 1st.

I am totally OK with the practice of stamping  new traditions on old ones – this one is very cool because aside from replacing the wild hair with a halo – they keep the entire package together.

Anyway- moving on to my debilitated history mixed with folklore.


The groundhog or ~ ah ~ hedgehog or bear or badgerhog7

Somehow a rodent got in the mix—-blame it on the Romans – blame it on an over zealous priest or wizard – blame it on what you want – there are a few different theories.

But at the base of it all – It’s a simple evolution of the “sunny weather or cloudy weather” theme — turning into “see my shadow” because that is far more poetic.

The hedgehog is in the mix—can also substitute a badger or bear in a pinch, if that is what you have lying around the house.

The Germans later settled in Pennsylvania and found no hedgehogs —but lots and lots of groundhogs.

So here we go with a very sketchy explanation of how we arrive at  Punxsutawney Phil.

Disclaimer: I cannot defend my last few statements with any reference material whatsoever – please believe or not believe at you own risk.

Taking liberties from “see my shadow” to “I am a rodent that can only tell the guy with the tallest black hat what the future holds” — is all Punxsutawney shabby theater —and take it from this blogger – Well worth the trip!


 From an old English poem:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

The basic theme is always the same —- a nice sunny day  – be careful! Don’t to be lulled.

And a cloudy stormy day  — take heed – spring may arrive sooner than you think.

Either way – Winter is coming to an end and we are looking forward to the next season.

This is the turning point – we are on the way out of the darkness and the cold.

I love this day.

Happy Groundhog day to all!

[All accidental illustrations done by me, if you would like to use any (really can’t think why) just ask me]





Skate = Joy

My blades hit the ice and I am free – even though I am weaving in and out and around masses of inept humanity —

I am free

Even though I am old and rusty

I am free

You people don’t understand – you 4 or 5 better skaters out here that seem to be taunting me

I am free

You can’t contain me – you can’t diminish me

I am free


Thanks to my kids for dragging me down to the rink. Something happens when I get out on the ice – my spirit tends to soar, not just a little – but completely. I don’t care what anyone thinks about it—-

And to know it still happens, …. Even now, when I am feeling a bit “relicly” and a bit “used up”.

It is a cold fact that I am beat-up and in recovery mode.

But not on the ice

On frozen water

I am free.

[Disclaimer: I am a 50+ dinosaur from another age with semi-blunt skates that are half my age – I may have a diminished skill set—–but the SWAG —-oh yeah —- that is intact]

Cheers from the ice!

Do you ever yearn?

I am writing again although it is slow and difficult – so here is a post from a couple years ago to hopefully hold my dwindling but faithful followers over. The flow here is so smooth and unforced – it may take a while to get back to this level.

Cave of Fame

Do you ever yearn?

Yearn: to have a strong desire for somebody or something, especially when the desire is tinged with sadness.

That is really what all these unrequited love songs are about.

Maybe it is all this rain gently washing away the January snow that has me in this yearning funk.

I don’t know… but the best way to deal with it-is to find some great songs and let them rain in on my soul.

There is something always pure about something that is unattainable-if you can’t get it then it follows that you can never diminish it. It stands there in all its glory and remains just out of reach.

Mix it with talent and music and magic happens.

These songs are all great and I am just scratching the surface.

Howard Jones. No one is to blame

Bonnie Raitt I can’t make you love me

Cake. The…

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See you later Marie


Sad to report that I lost my wife this morning.

We are coming up on three years since she was diagnosed and I refuse to say that she lost her battle with cancer.

She did not lose anything.

She fought, she kept her spirit and she cared for those around her more than herself.

She was an amazing woman and I am lucky to have met her – she took a wreck of a human being and made him happy.

Truly happy and truly blessed.

There is no more that a person can do in this world – and no more can be expected.

She turned the light on in my soul –



Mystery Achiement

I can’t believe I missed one of my favorites from the great State of Ohio- The Pretenders set the standard for pure rock and roll angst that kicked you in the head with no wasted motion- a thing of beauty. I forgot Chrissie Hynde hailed from this little corner of the rust belt. I am posting this to make amends for this transgression and thank Mr. Standthereandplay for catching this injustice before more damage was done. Akron may have even more gems to uncover and has won my respect.

Monday after the Grammys

I made it through the first 2 hours of the Music Super-Bowl called the Grammys– there were some great moments. I did enjoy much of it- Mumford and Sons have rebooted rock music by going all the way back with acoustic instruments and harmonious pub style yelling so they deserve the award for best album. Fun and The Black Keys also got things going, this show may be the one when hip-hop is taking a few hits from rock music (they really never learned to play nice with each other).

For the Monday song, I’m going with the duo that everyone except bass players love. When I started this blog, I admitted that I knew nothing about this band (Can you call two guys a band?) and could not figure out why everyone was going crazy over them. That has changed with some listening -this music hits you like a virus that you can’t get over…. infectious… and I got it now. Best thing to come out of Akron, Ohio since Devo.(and don’t think too hard; there is no third thing, good or bad!)

Notes a year later:

What a silly music blogger I was- Akron is a hotbed of music talent. The great thing about blogging about anything is that you learn as you go and you get better.

Swedish Metal…tasty like Swedish Chocolate or is that Swiss chocolate? Anyway, break a square off and enjoy!

For my Monday song…I am going to stretch a little beyond my comfort zone and feature a little Swedish metal. This is from a great new blog on WordPress…Enjoy!

share a lick

Vains of Jenna

Continuing the topic of Swedish bands that rock hard I bring to you Vains of Jenna. Unlike previously discussed Hell & Diesel, Vains of Jenna did make their way to Los Angeles and brought their career to another level. Their trashy glam metal style which was manifested in their looks and sound turned out to be contagious. The band was formed at the beginning of the year 2005 by four guys whose common musical influences included Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Aerosmith and Hanoi Rocks. Even though two of the members were still 18 at the time, they managed to find a way to play at Crue Fest Hollywood that very same year. Talking about destiny, right? All of you musicians out there realise how hard it is to get a gig like that. And only after couple concerts and rehearsals since band’s formation?…There’s got to…

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A little androgyny goes a long way.

New York Dolls (album)
New York Dolls (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am almost ready to do a Top 5 of Gender Blender Rock songs -but letting the years of music run through my brain, I hit a little stumble block.

As a fan, it is easy for me to go back to David Bowie and Spiders from Mars as the start of the androgyny soul train. I consider that record  the first popular push for the male/female alter ego.

Immediately- I hear that voice in my head going… “All the music critics will say  The New York Dolls were the first androgynous rock band“. In fact the critics will say that the New York Dolls were the first… (Hang on to your seats, here we go!), the first glam band, the first glitter band, the first metal band and even the first proto-punk band. Proto-punk?? They also invented stage diving when David Johansen (NY Dolls lead singer- I have heard some of his stuff) lost his wig and jumped in the crowd to retrieve it….and …and  a guy who played  triangle on their second record invented the Wham-O Frisbee!!

Music I never heard is supposed to be so influential? I have nothing against these guys but you would think that something of them would be played somewhere I listened at some time if they did in fact, start everything.  I am going to admit that I have never knowingly heard a song from this infamous N.Y.C band. I was not hip enough to be in to them at anytime and I am not going to Google my way around them now and take a crash course. I am not a music critic; I am just a fan of Rock music. That is not an excuse, it is just a fact- So get ready for the Androgyny Top 5 coming to the Cave soon…and No New York Dolls will be harmed (or referenced in any other way) in the making of this list.

X “See How We Are”

Time for a Monday classic from the cave. This is like a Punk/Country/Pop song from the great L.A. band “X” . Hardcore fans might say they sold out to get on the charts. I don’t know or care what the thinking was on this because it is well crafted  and quality music that lasts a lifetime, it has that  feel of all the X songs…you know…”We’re desperate, get used to it” … Happy Monday everyone!

What’s so funny ’bout Peace, Love and Understanding

It is cold here at the Cave….brrrrrrrrrrr….even the archives room which is supposed to be kept at 58 degrees year round has dropped to minus 18 Fahrenheit. So cold that Iggy Pop stopped by yesterday and he was wearing a shirt!
Anyway – something to warm everyone up…can’t believe I did a list of 5 perfect Rock songs and overlooked this gem. Someday we will live in a world that will make this sound a little pretentious….that day is not today. This song still rings and reverberates over the entire planet. Thank-you Elvis and Nick Lowe