Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Pilgrim's Strange Side

Just in case you're interested I'm going to share some "wierd" or "strange" things about me. Maybe you don't even care. Oh well...

Here goes anyway:

1. Holding a coffee cup is therapeutic for me. I take my coffee black. When asked at Tim Horton's if I want it "double cupped" I emphatically answer "NO THANKS". The heat, even in the summer, takes away stress. Wierd?

2. When listening to my Southern Gospel CD's I'm listening to the piano or keyboard player first and foremost. NOTHING excites this ol' guy more than excellent pianists. I can detect, I'm sure, some runs and progressions in a song that most people would be completely unaware of. I could listen to Gerald Wolfe play all night. Lari Goss is one of my favorites. So is Stan Whitmire. Then there's my friend and neighbor, John Dinnick. There WILL be pianos in heaven.

3. Some of the greatest sounds and smells I've ever experienced were in the garage area at a NASCAR track. I've participated in chapel services conducted by Motor Racing Outreach (MRO) where the speakers and singers had to outduel the cars which were being prepared for the race. I love that sound! There's nothing like the sound of 43 stock cars barreling down the straightaway at the first of a race with several jet fighters flying overhead. The smell of gas, fumes and burning rubber at the track should be packaged somehow. I'd buy NASCAR cologne.

4. A hardcover book is like a person to me. I study the binding, the font of the title on the spine, the color of the paper, even the smell of the book. Taking a book on the commuter train to the ballpark is like having a traveling companion who rides free. Books have a personality. They have a story behind them that goes far beyond the actual story told in their pages. I have a stack of reading material beside my bed. Each night I read parts of several books. When the pile gets too high, my wife Carol takes 8-10 of them down to my basement office and then I start another pile. I'm a hopeless, helpless bibliophile. Got any books you need to get rid of? How can you do it? Books are people you know.

5. Before going to bed I go outside to call our cats, Willow and Smokey. I end up staring into the starry sky, transfixed by the beauty of God's handiwork. We live in the country so the vast expanse of the heavens is easily visible to us. The little game I play is counting the number of seconds before I see a jet plane flying overhead. I can't recall going past 30 seconds. Seems like there are always planes flying over the Fisher household.

6. I never tire of eating Swiss Chalet barbecued chicken. I'm sure I could eat there every evening. My menu selection never changes. It's always a quarter chicken dinner with white meat and fries. My appetizer is always a house salad with the house dressing. After downing my salad, I eat the fries first and then the chicken. Yes, I'm in a rut but it's a good rut.


  1. Dear Mr. Fisher....I love books too and reading your blog is like READING a good book! And you are right. Books do have personality.

    Drinking that Tim Horton's coffee is apt to kill you yet! It is so strong it will curl your hair. By jiminy, I think it already HAS curled your hair, Mr. Fisher!!
    My husband and I prefer going to the Macs for our coffee. They give us senior price, plus a second cup. The only disadvantage is that it is not served in a nice cup like that do at Tims. I am a little bit of a snob that way. I like to drink coffee or tea from a a china cup! [NOT a plastic cup either!] I take my coffee black and Bernie takes his black with honey.We both love our coffee hot and we both love the weather hot! The hotter the better!!

    Yes, the piano is the heart and soul of a good Southern quartet or trio group. I like Jeff Stice and Roger Bennett and the piano player for "The Perrys". I guess I like just about all of them!!And we have to love Nicki from "The Kingsmen". After all he got his training at our own Mohawk College. He started out playing for "Middle Cross" and then went on to play for "Manna" and then to "The Kingsmen".
    Does John Dinnick play for a group? And I did hear tell that you, yourself play the piano.[no doubt with a cup of Tim Horton's on hand when you do!]
    In the summer,when I am driving, I put my Southern Gospel on full blast and open my windows for all the world to hear. Strange!!!

    I know what you mean about good smells. I don't know about racing cars but I surely do love the smell of diesel. It reminds me of when I lived in Ottawa and I used to ride on the buses for hours. In those days you didn't have to keep paying once you were on the bus and I used it sit in the back seat with the window open and my head sticking out just thinking, even in the cold winter! Just loved it! Talk about being a little crazy, eh?

    Back to books...A soft cover book just cheapens a good story. Hard cover all the way! And they have to be treated with respect. I am constantly getting after people who instead of using a book marker, crease down the page corners. Just hate that!! And also there is nothing worse than reading an exciting book, just to find when you get to the end of the book that someone has torn out the last page!! And also before you have read a good book, someone TELLS you the ending!
    When Bernie and I moved from a three story house to a one story, I had to get rid of so many books and records it near broke my heart! I was very careful, [so I thought] to give thousands of books to a family who were book lovers. I wouldn't feel so bad if they were going to a good home. Much to my dismay, a few days later when Bernie and I were driving by their house, the boxes were still outside and it was raining!
    As far as the records I had, I had to give a few thousand of THEM away too. The only ones I kept were all my Southern Gospel, all my George Bev Shea, my Uncle Charlie Children's Singing. and my Zamfir Flute. The rest of them, which like I said were thousands, I left in the dead of the night at the Christian Benefit Shop. The next week they had a side walk sale of vinyls!! Ha!!
    What I am working on now is putting the old records on to cd. I download them on to music match and then burn them through nero and make cds. Then I go to epson and make cd labels and then I go to "Picture It" and make covers. It takes a fair bit of time but it is worth it.

    We have a cat named Shopping News and he never goes outside and he is awfully spoiled!! He is Bernie's baby! Bernie would have a dozen cats if I let him!

    You are so fortunate to hear the jet planes so often. That is one thing I miss. When dad was in the air force, we would hear them all the time and it was such a comforting sound. Now the only time you hear an engine in the sky it is a helicopter and it is NOT a comforting sound because it means that someone is being rushed to a Hamilton hospital in critical condition

    Swiss Chalet is ok but I always get the "messy chicken sandwich" and I always ask the girl to "nuke" it before she brings it. Otherwise, it is luke warm. I like everything piping hot!! I know I am fussy but we are good tippers so I expect good service! We always like to leave a little gospel tract too, so I am very careful about being a "mean" fussy person, just plain fussy that's all!
    Nobdy makes fries like Swiss Chalet and Harveys. They always have the potatoe skin on them and you know they are fresh!!

  2. Dear David,
    Before our annunal yard sale last weekend, I stood once again staring at our floor to ceiling bookshelves trying to find some books to weed out and put in the sale. It is like a frightening dental extraction, getting rid of good books. I love that our oldest son Aaron loves books too. Of the books that did make their way out to the garage, he brought several back into the house.

    I went to batting practice at the Rogers DOME in Toronto yesterday (Tigers vs. Jays) and couldn't even do that without a book in my purse, which I read while Bryan talked to our friend Tom who works there, and waited for foul balls in the stands.

    I cleaned our room this week and had so many books beside the bed that they when I put them back on the shelf they filled all the empty spots on the shelves left by the books I weeded out!

    I agree with your reader Terry, who can't stand it when people fold the pages of a book instead of using a book mark. No respect, eh Terry?! I too have come to understand that every book has a greater story behind it. A book is just an extension of the creative mind from whence it came.

    About coffee. I never drank one cup of coffee until I was forty. Now I love coffee, but it has to be fresh ground and made in a Bodum or french press.

    Both Bryan and I always order exactly the same thing as you do when we go to Swiss Chalet. It's the best. I haven't been there for a long time. Now I am craving Swiss Chalet and it is all your fault.

    There has been some talk about some of the guys (including Mark R. and Bryan) getting together a quartet for a Sunday Morning at Auburn (our mutual home church). I know that you play piano well and I think that you ought to accompany them. I will be talking to you about this so be prepared.

    So there you have it, we are kindred spirits indeed when it comes to coffee, books, and Swiss Chalet. The music part is a bit of a generational thing, but I appreciate it all.

    Your friend,
    E. Natalie Johnson.

  3. Hey e. natalie....How would that Mr. Fisher find time to play in a nice quartet between all those hockey innings and base ball periods?! Ha!!.Besides next thing ya know he will be taking a notion to produce a cd recording!!....from Terry

  4. Oh David... I think this is my favorite post which you have ever written..what fun! I, too, love everything about an old hardcover book. When I was young, any good book in paperback was good enough, but no longer--if it is an old book, I must now own it in hardcover form only. :)

    And a hot cup of coffee--yes! During the winter, especially, I like to even hold my morning cup against my sometimes-achy cheekbones (once it has cooled a little) and let it warm my face.... Ah... Gotta run upstairs for my morning cup right now! :)

    Thanks for a great post and God bless...... Debra

  5. Sir, I am a friend of Paul Mackay's (shhh. . . don't let anyone know) and I have to tell you I think you and my father could be brothers. The only difference is that he prefers his black coffee in the old ugly Tim's mug with the broad base (he claims this will keep him from spilling in his keyboard) and I don't think he has a penchant for Nascar, although it would be hard to tell since he's a bit of a channel surfer.

    Now, if you told me you loved old westerns, I'd think you were my father writing under an alias!!

    Thank you for all you do write. I tend to come here to read, and not comment, but I thought I should come out of the closet, so to speak.

  6. Dear Mr. Fisher. I wish that more "Angelas" would come "out of the closet" to comment!! I think all your readers seem to be "kindred spirits" and it is so fun reading their comments!! From Terry