Monthly Archives: February 2014

Facebook: Show Off Your OWN Stuff!

Joe Smother, performing on a Friday Friday at the 306 Restaurant in downtown Valdosta, c. 2013.
Joe Smothers, performing on a First Friday at the 306 Restaurant in downtown Valdosta, c. 2013.

A musician friend, Joe Smothers, does a thing on Facebook that the Old Lady really appreciates.
He posts videos of himself, performing. He sings and plays his guitar, just like you would see him live on stage. No post-production, no glitzy effects, no “do-overs”… if he makes a mistake, it stays in. “That’s what happens during a live performance,” he told the Old Lady recently.
This is the kind of thing the Old Lady values on Facebook. Not “Shares”, not re-posts of funny videos (something that happened to somebody somewhere), not cute kitten pictures of unknown kitties, but real original material.
Facebook is a valuable publishing platform that anybody can use to show off their art, their music, their creativity.
The Old Lady wishes more people would take advantage of the opportunity.
Take a risk! Post YOUR own stuff! Listen to the Old Lady!

The Great Guinness Toast


Continuing her search for cultural treasures in Valdosta, GA, the Old Lady attended a global event this evening: her favorite dive bar, Ashley Street Station (ASS), hosted the local participation of the Great Guinness Toast, an annual world-wide effort to perform a simultaneous toast by the largest number of people for the Guinness Book of World Records (duh!).

The annual Toast is held on the 13th of February, and in Valdosta the moment of toasting hit at 11 p.m. where 24 toasters raised their glasses at ASS. In other time zones, of course, the hour varies… in Sochi, Russia, the Toast was held at 8 a.m. A mite early for Guinness but as Sheryl Crow sang, “I like a good beer buzz, early in the morning…” Okay, okay purists, so Guinness isn’t technically a beer but an Irish Dry Stout. Forgive the Old Lady, she prefers PBR anyway.

West Virginia Slims
West Virginia Slims

Playing tonight at ASS was the West Virginia Slims, a local band that put the “rock” in “rockabilly.” Mike Tappan, Zane Ally, and Dudley Johnson played a straightforward rockabilly first set but their second set got down and funky and rocked the Old Lady’s world, especially the song about Tallahassee.
West Virginia Slims plays every Tuesday night at the Bleu Pub in downtown Valdosta.
SUPPORT LIVE LOCAL MUSIC! Listen to the Old Lady!


Poet Richelle Hart at the mic.
Poet Richelle Hart at the mic.

In her continuing effort to reveal Valdosta as the cultural center of south Georgia, the Old Lady attended a performance by Poetic Magic this evening.
Poetic Magic is a spoken-word performance art group. Hosts Percy Chastang aka Brainstorm and Nikki Bradley aka Peaceamind Jackson kept things moving as poet after poet took the stage and shared their words.
Poetic Magic is not only keeping the art of poetry alive, they are sharing their love of the spoken word in the schools. They encourage young people to read, to write, and to create their own spoken word performances.
These poets speak from the heart, and they live their art.
Upcoming appearances are announced on their Facebook page; search Poetic Magic.


"A damn good read!" says the Old Lady.  "And it's tasty, too!" says the Purple Dragon.
“A damn good read!” says the Old Lady. “And it’s tasty, too!” says the Purple Dragon.

The Old Lady just enjoyed reading “FORDLANDIA” by Greg Grandin, and not only because she shares her last name with the main subject.
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, had some very strong ideas about how to restructure society to suit his modernized, mechanized world. As the inventor of the assembly line he held very rigid values about what the new world should be like. In fact, you may remember that “… a religion based on the worship of Henry Ford is a central feature of the technocracy in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, where the principles of mass production are applied to the generation of people as well as to industry.” (Wikipedia)
In his later years, as Ford launched a multimillion dollar attempt to raise rubber trees in Brazil to supply his automobile industry, he applied his principles to a huge plantation named FORDLANDIA in the Amazon jungle. Building a model village that could have been transplanted in entirety from the American Midwest, he imposed his idea of American culture on the indigenous Brazilian people and on the rain forest. The ruins of his mad dream still remain in the jungle and his influence on modern industry continues to facilitate the destruction of that habitat.
This book not only contains a great deal of information about the life of Henry Ford, it provides insight into how he shaped the world we live in today. This is a must read for anyone who is not only concerned about where we are with this planet and where we are headed, but in how we got to this place.
It is also a damn good read.

Getting Well

Help your body heal itself.
Help your body heal itself.

The Old Lady has been sick, really sick.
A lot of people around here have had this illness. It’s more than a cold, but a little different than the flu. It does involve a sore throat and sinus congestion, but not the trademark achiness of the flu. Some people have told the Old Lady that their doctors have prescribed round after round of antibiotics and prednisone… some people have taken four different antibiotics!… to no avail.
Now, different antibiotics do target different organisms. But isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over, expecting to see different results?
So the Old Lady took a radically different tack.
On the advice of a holistic health practitioner she turned to the health food store. Here is the list recommended by the wisdom healer:
Chlorella: a green single-celled microalgae that is rich in chlorophyll, beta-carotene, mixed carotenoids, vitamin C, iron, and protein.
Fenu-thyme: a combination of fenugreek seed and thyme. It thins nasal mucous so that the congestion can drain away more easily.
Olive leaf, colostrum, and astragalus: all immune-system boosters.
All of these substances were taken according to label directions, in the highest maximum dosages.
As mentioned before, some people have suffered this illness literally for months without much relief.
Forty-eight hours after the Old Lady started her regimen of naturally-derived, plant-based substances, she is remarkably better.
Listen to the Old Lady!

Goodbye, Miss Janice

Daughter Lee and grandson David watch Mama leave
Daughter Lee and grandson David watch Mama leave

Janice Lee Brown left this world early in the morning on Monday, February 10, 2014.
She was 86 years old.
Miss Janice spent her career as an elementary school teacher and principal. She loved children, all children, and especially her grandchildren.
A true Southern lady, Miss Janice held to principles of perfectionism and old fashioned manners.
Goodbye, Miss Janice, my friend.


Who IS that mysterious person???
Who IS that mysterious person???

From time to time the Old Lady works as a Mystery Shopper.
She has shopped clothing stores, drugstores, auto service departments, convenience stores, restaurants, and new car dealerships… and been paid for reporting on their customer service.
You won’t get rich as a Mystery Shopper; the pay is minimal but adequate. It is interesting work, as each assignment is different. It is great practice for a writer. Having to go through a common daily experience – shopping – but with your eyes wide open, noticing every little detail, sharpens your powers of observation. You can’t take notes, as that would blow your cover as a Mystery Shopper, so you must remember names, descriptions, and dialog. Then the reports are written like little narrative stories, reproducing the experience in full detail and in grammatically correct language.
The Old Lady considers it well worth her time.
If you want to try Mystery Shopping yourself, you can search the internet for opportunities but beware! Most of the offers you will find are scams. You have to do your homework to find the companies with credibility.
The Old Lady has done the homework.
Here’s the deal: if you send the Old Lady five dollars – check, money order, or cash – she will not only send you the websites of her three favorite Mystery Shopping companies, she will include her textbook MYSTERY SHOPPING 101 which will lead you through the process of becoming a successful Mystery Shopper.
Send a self-addressed stamped envelope and five dollars to:
P.O. Box 10122
Valdosta, GA 31604
Void where prohibited. Must be 18. Use at your own risk.

Co-Cola Controversy

The Old Lady did not watch the Super Bowl.  It wasn’t a statement; she had to work.

But the nice thing about the Super Bowl these days is that the parts people really talk about – the commercials – hit the internet even before the game hits the air.

And yes, the Old Lady cried over the puppy and the horse.

But the one that’s really got her going is the one for Co-Cola (the Old Lady’s hometown is Atlanta, so that brand name has never had more than three syllables for her).  Apparently, some people are up in arms because they had to hear “America the Beautiful” sung in languages other than English – or maybe, just maybe, because one of the families featured is a gay couple.  Whatever.

The Old Lady doesn’t even drink soda anymore, but she is tempted to quaff a cold Co-Cola at this point in time, not necessarily to support the company but just to thumb her nose at the small-minded and big-mouthed people who are attacking this ad.

So there.

Ashley Street Station

Ashley Street Station is no longer on Ashley Street.
The Old Lady loved that hole-in-the-wall dive bar. The constant stream of live bands, local and imported, helped her maintain a shred of sanity when she first moved to Valdosta.
So she was saddened to hear the place had moved.
However, she is happy to report that the new location on Baytree near VSU is comfortably familiar. Same guitars on the wall interspersed with posters of ate-up looking punk stars of the past.

Same lineup of skulls over the bar.


Hot Hands
Hot Hands

Playing first tonight was Hot Hands from Orlando. This power-rock duo warmed the place up nicely. They’re headed next to Tallahassee and then Pensacola. You can hear their music at


Break for band change and a beer.

Jimi Davies
Jimi Davies
Rred Freeman
Rred Freeman

Next up, Sin, a local Valdosta band. Again, a duo. But this guitarist is totally manic, a crazy man onstage. His name is Jimi Davies. He introduced a song about Aldous Huxley’s book “Doors of Perception” which he says he read last year, which the Old Lady read in 1968. Everything old is new again. Anyway, Jimi is a one-man wall of sound, backed up by Rred Freeman on drums. Their next gig is at the Bleu Pub on February 15, and the Old Lady plans to be there.

Kyle Chamberlain
Kyle Chamberlain

Last on the bill: Kyle Chamberlain and the Dirty Birds. Kyle has been out of town for a while, and he has gotten even better than the last time the Old Lady had the pleasure of hearing him. This band gets down and funky with some southern whiteboy dirty blues that had the Old Lady yelling “Collard greens!”
If you get a chance to hear the Dirty Birds, go! Listen to the Old Lady!


Green Eggs and SPAM

The Old Lady has learned one of the sad realities of blogging: blogs get SPAMMED. A lot.
I don’t know how blog spamming works; these would-be posts seem to have nothing at all to do with the subject of the blog. Most appear to be from out of the country, attempting to funnel readers to websites that sell various medications. There is, however, some unintended humor to be found in their wording (or mis-wording).
The Old Lady is not allowing these messages to post, but she couldn’t resist sharing some of the more choice lines she has seen:
“Whenever you accomplish the particular barrier regarding second there?s 55 several years you’d probably greater begin keeping track of the particular cholesterol an individual use up!”
“An ideal exit for guys who definitely are not happy while using the dimensions in their penises.”
“Exactly what antibiotics? All the info you’ll need to never kill by yourself simply by medications!”
And who could resist the high-powered salesmanship utilized in this line:
“This particular thirty day period we market most effective in addition to well-known antibiotics having insane special discounts! Speed approximately purchase it!”