Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;                                             they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,                                             and the most patient of teachers.

 Charles W. Eliot

One of my favorites. . . Dad reading to me, circa 1963.

Dad teaching me this lesson, circa 1963.

What are you reading today?

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Some day, when I have more time, I will need to look to see if there is any 220px-DeepPurpleStormbringerresearch to support why on some mornings, I wake up with a song on my mind and then “dwell” on it all day.

Usually, it is a song from long ago, like today’s entry, Lady Double Dealer, by Deep Purple, from the Stormbringer album.  I remember being introduced to this record by Thomas “Tom”  McKeon back in 1974.

Here is a live version from the tour, featuring Blackmore and the late, Jon Lord on Keyboards

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2,191 Days Ago . . .

. .  is when “A Simple Village Undertaker” was born at the urging of my friend and blogging maven, Doug.  You can find him at his original site “Eclecticity” and his current endeavor, Eclecticity Light.   Today, so you don’t have to get a calculator and figure it out, SVU is six years old.

So, while I have never earned a penny from blogging, (never intended to)  my life has been enriched to the point where I can’t imagine not doing do this until the day I die.

I have been fortunate to meet several,  interesting, smart and entertaining people. Some, I have personally met and some, it is only through e-mails and occasional telephone calls.  A few have grown to be be actual “friends,” not to be confused with friends on FB.  We communicate regularly and occasionally lean on each other for support and ideas for our real-world situations.  You guys know who you are and I  place high value on our relationships.

…at least on a good night.

…at least on a good night.

To my readers, thank you for coming by and sharing the look out of my window. I will note that to get the best view and reading experience, you should always click on the link to open the SVU website as there you will see the article displayed as it was intended to be. I guarantee you that it will also make more sense and look better  if you open the link.

This is my 2,886th post. I will be the first to admit that some were much better than others.  They are a  combination of personal stories, music, politics, current events and knowledge for the sake of knowledge.   It is difficult to pick six of my favorite stories, but these are the ones that come to mind this morning. These allow you to share that  view looking out my window.

We Choose You

How It All Began

Nonesense . . . A Guide To Living A Full Life

My Youth is Officially Over

Maybe, Just Maybe

No Excuse and Fewer Options

Thank you again for taking the time to spend a few minutes with me each day….RJV

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Final Preparations

The boys are getting ready to play at a fundraiser in two weeks and we added a few songs  to our set list tonight.  Here is last year’s story Nonsense, a Guide to Living A Full Life.

Jim "Mr. P." , an educator finishing his Ph.D. and playing the low notes and singing.

Jim “Mr. P.” , an educator finishing his Ph.D. . . .playing the low notes and vocals.

As we practiced this evening,  I wish we were rolling tape as we were  unusually tight and sounded really good….for a cover band made up of a bunch of old dads.  I will turn fifty-six in a few weeks and I have never had so much fun playing music as I do with these guys. After a pretty crappy start to the week, tonight was a great release for me.

Music, regardless of how loud it might be played, calms the savage beast.

We have been told we don’t play enough “old songs,” or songs to dance to,  so we tried to comply and add a few that fit the bill.

Added to the list:    Driver’s Seat, by Sniff and Tears, (1979), Here Comes Your Man,  by The Pixies, (1989), Since we already play Blackfoot’s Train Train, we thought it would be cool to add  Highway Song, which follows Train Train on the Strikes album, (1979), CCR’s Born on the Bayou, (1969) which we played years ago, but dropped; Jenny Jenny (867-5309)  another song we dropped, but we don’t know why, but it’s back and finally, the Violent Femme’s Blister in the Sun (1983) which is ridiculously easy, but fun to play.

This will be a fun gig…Oysters, Beer and Rock n’ Roll.

Dan "The Doctor" plays keyboards and harmonica.  Every band should have their own OB/Gyn physician. He is ours.

Dan “The Doctor” plays keyboards and harmonica. Every band should have their own OB/Gyn physician. He is ours.

Gavin has a successful career  as a solo, gigging musician, with a great CD to his credit.

Gavin has a successful career as a solo, gigging musician, with a great CD to his credit.



Rich, doing what drummers do to look cool…even when no one is watching.

Rich, doing what drummers do to look cool…even when no one is watching.


Not looking like an undertaker, forgetting that I'm 55 and having more fun than I deserve.

Not looking like an undertaker, forgetting that I’m almost 56 and having more fun than I deserve.

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Like A Fishing Lure

I came accross this passage in a book entitled Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard.  The book is a 365 day devotional/keep your head screwed on straight type of  book.  I have a deep appreciation of  Zig  and was fortunate to spend some private, one on one time with him back in the late 1980’s. I am just learning about Dr. Ike.

What a treat that was, spending an hour with Zig, and if the technology existed at the time, that would have been a selfie for the ages. I wrote about it here.


   I was asked to read the passage below at a meeting the other night  and as I read it out loud, I was mesmerized by it’s message regarding the devil.  It might not make sense to you, but it sure does to me. There are few things I am as sure of as I am about spiritual warfare and the battle for souls. I have a birthday coming up in a few weeks and I think that a copy of this book is what I will ask my wife for as a present.    th-1

I take no credit for these paragraphs and give it to where it is due, to the authors.

The lesson for January 31st.

“Author C. S. Lewis said that we often make one of two mistakes about the devil: We either make too little of him or too much of him. We need to avoid those extremes. In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes beautifully about our new life in Christ and the way we work together as the body of Christ, and he gives us clear directions about how to relate to God, to our family members, to other believers, and to those who don’t know Christ. Now, at the end of his letter, he addresses the isue of spiritual warfare.

“Don’t be surprised to find yourself in a fight,” Paul seems to be saying. “And remember all the rest of what I have written to you in this letter.” Satan uses several different ploys to block our walk with God. He uses temptation — of sex, money, power, pleasure and possessions – – like a fishing lure to get us to chase something that looks good but is very harmful to us. He tries to confuse us with conflicting teaching about God and His will so that we stop moving forward and drift in a cloud of uncertainty. And he attacks us with accusations (You’re rotten, “God will never forgive that,” or “How can you call yourself a Christian?”) to try to make us doubt God’s love and forgiveness.

God has given us powerful armor to protect us and the word of the Spirit, the Scriptures, to enable us to fight back (see Ephesians 6:13-17). We need to prepare ourselves for the fight with truth, grace and faith, so that in the heat of battle, we have the resources we need to fight effectively.

“To the degree that God will use you, the devil – to an equal degree – will try to destroy you”Ike Reighard.


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thI think Hemmingway may  have something here. . .  I wish I found this forty years ago and paid attention to it.  



Discovered on Twitter, Terry Alex (@takecareofUUU).


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Passing The Torch? . . .

. . . God help us.

I suppose that members of every generation look at those coming up behind them and shake their head in bewilderment.  BsJKVCyIQAAJZUe

But really, what is this world coming to?
I’ve been shaking my head since reading this article with my  morning coffee.

Read about it here:  The Violence of The Safe Place

A bit of culture from Kurt at




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