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Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

You cannot flatter a January Sky.



Lot's of excitement around Stanyan today. Steve Ann, our man in Korea and the co-producer of the new double CD release already out in that country, "ROD McKUEN: PLATINUM," is dropping off copies late this afternoon. It contains 48 tracks and limited signed & numbered copies will go on sale from Stanyan By Mail on Monday. In tomorrow's Flight Plan I'll have the titles of the tracks and all the other information for ordering.


More than enough good stuff to pass along this Friday. I don't know about you, but I love these short workweeks (not that they've become any shorter for me, alas.)


Ellen wants to share. 

"I got a letter from Grandma the other day," she writes. 


The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. I was feeling particularly sassy that day because I had just come from a thrilling choir performance, followed by a thunderous prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper. 

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, just lost in 
thought about the Lord and how good He is and I didn't notice that the light had changed. It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed! I found that LOTS of people love Jesus!

Why, while I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, "For the love of GOD! GO! GO! Jesus Christ, GO!" 

What an exuberant cheerleader he was for Jesus! Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started 
waving and smiling at all these loving people. I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love! 

There must have been a man from Florida back there because I heard him yelling something about a "sunny beach"... I saw another guy waving in a funny way with only his middle finger 
stuck up in the air. Then I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was probably a Hawaiian good luck sign or something. 

Well, I've never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back. My grandson burst out laughing...why, even he was enjoying this religious experience! A couple of the people were so caught up in the 
joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me. 

I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed. So, I waved to all my sisters and brothers grinning, and drove on through the 
intersection. I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away. 

Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks! Grandma.


Coral writes:

"Dear Abby was speechless when these came in."


Dear Abby: A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I've never seen a man go into their apartment or come out. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby: What can I do about all the sex, nudity, language and violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby: I have a man I never could trust. He cheats so much I'm not even sure this baby I'm carrying is his.

Dear Abby: I am a twenty-three-year-old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby: I suspected that my husband had been fooling around, and when I confronted him with the evidence he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby: Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a Good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby: I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now, how do I get out?

Dear Abby: My forty-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50 an hour every week for two-and-a-half years. He must be crazy.

Dear Abby: I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby: Do you think it would be all right if I gave my doctor a little gift? I tried for years to get pregnant and couldn't and he did it.

Dear Abby: My mother is mean and short-tempered. I think she is going through her mental pause.

Dear Abby: You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex years ago and he is a doctor.


Andrea Robb spills the beans.


This young girl is going to get married.

Her mother asks, "Have you told him about your heart condition?"

"No, I haven't gotten around telling him yet."

"Well, you'd better tell him."

Weeks later, she still hadn't told him. So the mother finally calls him up on the telephone, and she asks, "Did you know, that my daughter has acute angina?"

"Well, I'm glad to hear that, because she has nice tits, too."


The German controllers at Frankfurt Airport are infamous for being a short-tempered lot. They not only expect you to know your parking location but also how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (United 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and the pilot of a British Airways 747 (call sign Speedbird 206).

Speedbird: "Good morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206, clear of the active." 

Ground: "Guten morgan, taxi to your gate."

The BA 747 pulls onto the main taxiway and stops.

Ground (brusquely): "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird: "Standby ground, I'm looking up the gate location now."

Ground (with typical German impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you never been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird (coolly): "Yes, several times in 1944, but I didn't stop."


These came in with no identification, I'm not surprised.


If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?

If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

Why do we say something is out of whack? What's a whack?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racecar not called a racist?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

And...Computer programmers are decoded, airline pilots are deplaned, bartenders are disbarred, undertakers are disinterred, and aerobics instructors are deactivated.

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

What hair color do they put on the drivers licenses of bald men?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me . . they're cramming for their final exam.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered, what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?

If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

No one ever says it's only a game when their team is winning.

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.


Sharon A. Sewell writes:

"For our friends further north. BBbbbbrrrrrrr...................."


Dec. 8:
6:00 pm. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

Dec. 9:
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

Dec. 12:
The sun melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

Dec. 14:
Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.

Dec. 15:
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

Dec. 16:
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think is very cruel.

Dec. 17:
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate here. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

Dec. 20:
Electricity is back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they say they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

Dec. 22:
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and its so cold it won't probably melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and got dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he's too busy. I think the bastard is lying.

Dec. 23:
Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What, is she nuts!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

Dec 24:
6" Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch that son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles per hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the goddamn snowplow.

Dec 25:
Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !@#%$^!@#$!@#% slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.

Dec. 26:
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

Dec. 27:
Temperature dropped to -50 and the pipes froze.

Dec 28:
Warmed up to above -30. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!

Dec. 29:
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it will cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

Dec. 30:
Roof caved in. The snowplow driver is suing me for a million dollars for the bump on his head. The wife went home to mother. 9" predicted.

Dec. 31:
Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

Jan 8:
I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?


George W, Bush has finished picking his cabinet and it's clear he's building a bridge to the 1980's 

              - Bill Mahr, Politically Incorrect. (submitted by Sam Bottoms)

That's it for another Friday, but don't miss tomorrow's Flight Plan because there are one or two important items I want you to see. That includes the titles of all the tracks on Platinum, the double CD import from South Korea. Sleep warm. 

                         RM 1/3/2000 Previously unpublished

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Konrad Adenauer o Alvin Ailey o Jean-Pierre Aumont o Juan Carlos I, King of Spain o Stephen Decatur o Jeanne Dixon o George Dolenz o Robert Duvall o Diane Keaton o Marilyn Manson o Pamela Sue Martin o Walter Mondale o Chuck Noll o Sam Phillips o Zebulon Pike o Cliff Potts o George Reeves o Charlie Rose
Rod's random thoughts The threshold of knowledge is need.

Unfortunately, brains take second place to will.

Never stumble the same way twice.


We are passengers
on the same train.
Destinations far removed
            from one the other
but close enough that you
once entertained the thought
of us arriving and stepping down
at the same stop,
                the self same station
from this vehicle
built for carrying
alike feelings, alike needs.

If the unseen, unknown conductor
                is not known to you,
he is to me.
Beneath his guises and disguises
he is known to me as love.

Again I shake my guts out
               not so silently
and boast and brag of love.
If you are so engaged with echoes
it may seemingly come often to me.
I cannot say with certainly
                          that it's not so,
but I will not demote, degrade
this aura, this event
        by any lesser name.

I love.
To what degree
this hour and this time
is of no importance.

I love you with what I am
and all I am as of this minute.
Not the hours ahead or yet to come.
It is possible that I will love you
More or in a different way.

Friends will say -
and if they do
then they are your friends
               no longer mine -
that I have loved before,
                    other places, other times.
And they may even circle
a certain calendar curriculum
and show you without doubt
that they are said to be
                    my lovers too.

I say doubt them.
Trust them not.
For I was not invented
           or thought up
until these recent minutes
that heaped atop each other
because these rounds and recent hours.

In truth
could I not
I would not love you.
I would choose the easy road.
Age has taught me, or I thought it had
how to discover, disguise and avoid
It's not so much that it is difficult
to love and not be loved, or even
                          that it holds no hope.
It is that the business of so doing
         is impractical and incomplete.
At best not being loved affords only
the luxury and latitude of self-pity.

This time
there is some evidence
that knowing you or starting to
has made me better in a known
           and in some unknown way.

Ah, but we are greedy men
those of us who come to rest
                                         at last
on what we feel to be
                           our final, real love.

Better will not do.
We always want the best.
A taste of you has left an ache,
an opening for all the rest.

Passengers we are
traveling these same tracks
carried along by the same ribbon
                           of boardwalk.
All journeys end
or so we are told they should.

The destination looms,
is nearly in our sights.
Can you see it, feel it ?

Come closer one more time
and see it through my eyes
or stand behind me, hold on tight
and feel it through my shoulders
or feel it while I'm holding you.

There on the beach
beyond the boardwalk
two people stand
           looking into nothing.
Can't you see them ?

There behind the snow fence
          where the track ends
some distance from each other.

One is holding little shells
and sea smooth rocks
gathered from some unnamed ocean.
The other's hands are cupped
and filled with chips of colored glass
             retrieved from that same sea.

Side by side they've come
down the same much traveled beach.
And having journeyed for a time
          on the same train
each has loped or run
the distance necessary
to have learned all lessons
             worth the learning.

Now each is gone
beyond the boardwalk separately
                       not together
where something surely waits
and found that there was nothing.

- from "Beyond The Boardwalk," 1975
1969, 1975,1989, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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