Friday, October 28, 2005

Jack Back At Spano's

Great news if you like a little piano with your dinner: my friend Jack Candy is back at Spano's Restaurant in Point Pleasant, starting next week. Jack's been out of action after an automobile accident some months ago in which he broke his hip. And his recovery has not been uneventful; at one point it was in doubt he'd ever play again. But he's finally well enough to take his rightful place at Spano's piano.

Jack is a tremendously talented musician who has pressed on with his craft in spite of becoming sightless several years ago, and also has had the added challenge of a kidney transplant. Even with the auto accident, none of this has kept Jack down, and the news I got today from his longtime friend Karen Hedden (who, by the way, gave him that kidney) that he'd be back at Spano's was a great emotional lift.

More about Spano's at their website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

Great Website!

That's all I had to say upon encountering the website of veteran bass player Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who has played with damn near everybody. That's him you hear on that opening bassline on "Maneater" by Hall & Oates, very much inspired by Motown bass whiz James Jamerson (one of Bone's heroes). There's a candid gallery with some great pictures of Tom, G.E. Smith and guest artists (like Eric Clapton and Lonnie Mack) taken during his years in the SNL Band. Thanks much to Callie Ray for passing along the link and always keeping her eyes open for this stuff over the years!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fair Warning

I have tomorrow's USA Today puzzle. Link when available.

Monday, October 10, 2005

New Place To Sudoku

My crossword friends and I are entirely sure that the puzzle craze Sudoku will never entirely replace the crossword, but we note with interest that some of the biggest names in crossworddom are embracing this new form.

Merl Reagle, who does the great weekly crosswords found primarily in the San Francisco Examiner and online periodically at, now has a Sudoku online at his website. The neat interface allows you to enter an answer number on the big dash or mini test-numbers right below.

Will Shortz, the big guy at the New York Times, has three books of Sudoku out under his own name, published by St. Martin's Press. Link to order on Amazon coming soon, cause we gotta make money soon, y'know.

Dave's Endorsement for NJ Governor


As both "candidates" are now choosing to hide behind attack ads for their opponents, I support neither one.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Remember the good old days of gas price wars? Apparently, they're back in the South Jersey town of Bridgeton.

Two competing stations, Garden State Fuel and Major Gas, are the lowest-priced gas stations in the state, according to the website New Jersey Gas Prices. As of this evening, the Major station was pumping unleaded regular at $2.289 a gallon - now far below the price of gas just before Hurricane Katrina hit in the last week of August. (Prices in the Toms River area are now in the $2.61-2.70 range, still above pre-Katrina levels.) Garden State Fuel, at last count, was a cent above Major's low-water mark, $2.299. The whole Bridgeton-Millville area in a relatively sleepy part of South Jersey boasts the lowest gas prices in the entire state.

Be interesting to see where this one goes, particularly amid reports that the price of gas is going up on a national basis.

Update: A third station, Coastal Mart, on the same street, has also joined the fray. As of 10/9, all three stations pump regular gas at $2.289.

Back To Blogging

Mark Evanier on the TV Guide size change, and some of its Annenberg-era politics.

TV Guide became taboo in our house due to its becoming the Fox Network house organ after Rupert Murdoch's purchase of the magazine.

Me, I use Yahoo! TV to find out what is on, as well as the guide built into my set-top box. Save a tree, y'all!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nancy's Everlasting Memorial

This is Nancy's page at It will eventually feature remembrances from those close to her, and now has a slide show of pictures of Nancy from early childhood to just a few months ago.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Services for Nancy Mackey

Visitation will be Tuesday, October 4 from 5-8 p.m. at the Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, Main Street, Toms River.

Catholic Mass to be held Wednesday, October 5 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's RC Church, Hooper Avenue, Toms River.

Internment to follow at Whiting Memorial Park, Manchester Township.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Nancy Mackey 1954-2005

Sure, you probably know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And you're probably sick of hearing it, but hear me out here, folks. If you know me personally, you're probably aware that I am one of the people personally touched by breast cancer, my wife having been diagnosed in 2002.

This morning, my wife, Nancy Mackey, became one of the statistics.

A few weeks ago, Nancy was feeling just fine, not really too bad. But things just started happening. Mobility problems ensued, and we had initially suspected the bulging discs in her back.

Early on the morning of September 19, Nancy fell on her way from the living room to the kitchen. Our local police EMS whisked her away to the ER, and following more tests, the sad news came back: bone cancer, most prevalent in the lower back, and spreading elsewhere.

Nancy died at 9:40 this morning, surrounded by family. Her suffering was blissfully brief, and her passage into the next world was as peaceful as anyone would hope for.

We will link to Nancy's obituary, beautifully written by her cousin Catherine, when it's published.

The best way to honor the legacy of Nancy Mackey is to make a donation to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. If you don't feel like doing it online, the snail mail address is P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309.

And if you want to donate in another way, I suggest you go to and purchase copies of Nancy's books, "Melissa's Journey" and "Melissa's Journey: Year Two", the chronicles of Nancy's adaptation of the New Jersey Core Curriculum to serve the needs of a developmentally disabled homeschool student. All of the proceeds from this book in October 2005 will go to the Komen Foundation.

Thank you all.