“Watching the Wheels” John Lennon: All Too Clear…

September 9th, 2015

When I was growing up, my mother would play “Double Fantasy” by John Lennon and we would do puzzles in the afternoon.  Those were great memories.  From time to time, I would listen to this album for more sentimental reasons, than to listen to the songs deeply.  Lately, I listened to “Watching the Wheels” and I LISTENED to the song numerous times.  It was amazing, after all these years listening to this song, I finally feel like I get his message in the song.  I truly never paid attention.  Why?  Maybe because I was always in a place where I did not feel I could understand his sentiment when he wrote the song.  But now that I think about it, he was nearly 40 at the time of the song and his life was changing. Music was changing.  He was now the elder of the new generation listening to Punk and pop.  The 60’s/70’s revolution was over.

I really was not a John Lennon fan at all.  I still can’t listen to many of his 70’s albums.  Nothing specific, I just did not feel I could equate to his philosophy.  I was never one to be as liberal and hippie like as him (hate categories).

Double Fantasy was a great album.  He was changing his writing, but he was no longer trying to make a message to the world, instead he was just saying what he felt, and did not care if you liked it or not.  It is like he was the brightly colored dressed man on a rocking chair and people walk by and stare or make comments and he is just smiling and waving like there was nothing wrong in the world.  He had nothing left to prove at the time of the recording.  It is all just my opinion, I could be wrong, but that is what I see from that recording.

This song could not be more clearer to me than it is now.  I really don’t feel like being in the rat race anymore.  Let the young folk play that game.  I just want to watch the wheels go round and round…


Turning the Page in Life. Youth to Elder.

May 4th, 2013

So lately, I have had many life moments where I am realizing that I am no longer that young kid who wants to conquerer the world.  Now I am that old guy who is grumpy and wants to be left alone.  When did this all change?  It happened very quietly.  I know things were starting to become different when I use my computers.  I notice, i don’t want to install software and experiment as much.  I just want it to work.  I noticed that I am now very reliant on consistency in my daily routine.  I no like surprises or interruptions.   I notice when my teenage boys are posting online, half the lingo, discussions they have, I can’t even decipher.  I am now,  “Mr. Lepre” to my sons’ friends  and I am accepting of that name.

Amy and I love our Saturday routine and I am frequently wanting to take naps on a Sunday afternoon.  I am territorial now.  I don’t like my things being touched if it is mine.  Nothing worse than buying a box of batteries for my gadgets/accessories and then going to recharge them and have NOTHING left in the box.  I prefer a good intelligent movie over a movie with lots of violence and sex.   When I am driving, I would prefer to listen to a talk show pundit or a comedy channel.  I constantly think about how fast the day and time goes over the course of a week.  I have more friends or people I know suddenly dying.  I look back at my past and think.  My God, it was nearly 25 years ago when I graduated!  I now think of how to get to $1 million dollars in Retirement funds before I get to 55 and how bad the medical coverage is getting.  401K is no longer some old fart’s concern, it is MINE.  The Dr. is going to be my next best friend.

So, it all sound morbid.  It sounds like I am sad this is happening.  Actually, the funny part of it is, It’s not that at all.  I would not trade the world for being the young kid again.  MAYBE 30.  I think I would like to do the last 12 years over, but there is a certain satisfaction in my new chapter.

I say this a lot.  I am in at the sunrise of my old age.  I am just starting to see it coming over the horizon.  The quicker I accept it and move on, the more I will come to enjoy it.  See, I have been an “A Plus” personality for all my working years.  I wanted to get ahead and be the best in what I do.  I think I still have that ambition, but it is different now.  I don’t want to be number one.  I just want to be respected in my field and be able to accomplish things without the politics.  I am no longer wanting to work overnight for 3 days straight to prove I am not like most people.  I want to work normal hours and still get things done.  That is working SMARTER.  But one thing I have to say.  I want to enjoy each minute of my time off more and more.  I completely enjoy sitting in my backyard every chance I get and enjoy the birds, the sunlight and the feeling of being alone to my thoughts.  It is truly something I cherish.  All my youth, I have been so quick to get things accomplished and not sit around (I will sleep when I am dead) and take everything in.  It is so funny when I sit here and stare out into the yard.  I notice things now.  I notice each day the differences in the season. How the yard was gray and muddy and in a few short weeks, it is vibrant with greens and yellows.  The smell in the air is more pleasant.  It is truly a miracle.

In the next 15 years or so, I want to start to wind down.  Let the young people run around and be conquerors of the world.  My time has past and I want to enjoy it in my early “retirement”.  I want to go fishing with my best friend Kevin and talk about how the young whipper snappers are out of control…. watch our kids get married and have their own kids.  I want to spend time with my wife and fall in love all over again and travel the world.  That is my desire, and that is what I am going to focus on in the next chapter of my life.  Because the difference between my youth and where I am today, I know all too well today, we all are on borrowed time.  Enjoy it while you have it to enjoy!

Pacific Northwest (Day 3)

April 14th, 2012

Hey yo! Cage here again. Our agenda for today will be to see Mt. Saint Helen and Mt. Rainer and then head on over to Spokane for a photo op with a building that has a huge milk bottle attached to it. Afterwards we’ll hit Idaho for yet another mission to get a bell from that state.

Lets see how the weather is today…

OK, not too bad, nice and cool and the sky is looking clear. What about you folks in Philly…

Oh wow, better, but…. really not gonna miss that scorcher on Monday. Oh well, we’ll stay cool in Washington.

So, we go towards Mt. Saint Helens and stop at the visitors center. From there we noticed the clouds getting thicker (figures) and covering Mt. Sain Helens (dang it!!) SO… I did the next best thing…

I walked all the way up the mountain and took a picture….. HA! Just kidding (obviously). This pic was taken in the visitors center’s monitor that takes live pictures throughout the day. This one was taken on a better clear day.

They tell us that even though the clouds are covering the top of the mountain, we should still get some good pics down the road.

SO…. on down the road we’ll go.

Hey, looks like we found a friend!

Hey there!! Of course I had to tell him that he left his underwear in Seattle.

Yea…. he wouldn’t let me go after that. (I don’t think he appreciated that news)

Rage talked him into letting me have my crushed hand back by letting him know that I was a mental patient on leave.

So…. of course…. now THEY’RE friends….. sigh…..

Welp, we say our goodbyes (and appologies) and continue on our way. I mean we ARE looking for a mountain of a lady Saint who already popped her top! (yes, Mt. Saint Helens)

I spot an opportunity to take a pic that expresses what we ALL know…..


 As we’re cruzin on down, we stop at a viewpoint that had a Helipad for tours. I would have LOVED to catch a ride with that but they were not available at the time. We snapped a couple of shots towards Mt. Saint Helens.



It’s WAY back there in the distance. (and I guess I was still looking for it)


Again we cruiz on down and just go in awe over the wonderful sceneries!!


We drive around a bend and go OH WOW!!

There she is!! We’re getting closer!

We stop at a viewpoint and strike some poses….





We finally made an executive decision to stop the cruze here and head on back. The clouds just were not our friend today and it seemed that it wasn’t going to let up.

SO…. our next spot? We’re going to see Helens’ neighbor, Mt. Rainer.

We make our way to the road that will take us quite close to the mountain by way of it’s park.

As we drive on in the park, we’re quite disapointed in learning that the way through is closed due to ….. snow….. ARRRGGGG!!! (Cage was NOT a happy camper)

So, we had to do some double backing but we took the second best route going around the mountain on the south side.

Yea, we can ALWAYS head back to Mt. Saint Helens right?


We were not able to get the best view of Mt. Rainier but we still managed to get some good shots in.


We also had a great time with the mountain views all around…








So we drive up to a Mt. Rainier viewpoint but the funny part of it was that it was snowed over!


Meanwhile as were looking around here and taking pics, I kept hearing the pebbles falling down the mountain side behind us.

It was both disturbing yet quite fascinating.


Ok, continuing on….

Another fascinating thing was just how deep the show was along the road and what they must do to keep the roads clear.

Cruzin…. on a Saturday afternoon… (Quicktime)


So as we’re cruzin along we spot this wonderful lake called Rimrock Lake and we just HAD to stop.

Just looking around this great lake. WOW. (Quicktime)

Just one of those places were you would find me camping out….


So as we’re leaving, I noticed a house on the mountainside, just on the other side of the highway.

Dang! Would love to live there and have a great lake almost in my front yard!

 Back on the road we go… Now you’ll notice as we get further along, the snow and trees start to disappear…


As we’re cruzin along here, we noticed that was a trend starting….

A BUNCH of fruit signs all around! Just made it look like these people were yelling FRUIT!! It seemed that this town had a contest to see who could make the biggest FRUIT sign and then decided to just use ALL of them! FRUUUUUUUUUUUIT!!


Ok, anyways, as we’re moving on, we also noticed that we were getting delirious. The wind was picking up quite a bit and combine that with our driving, it seemed that we were moving around 200 MPH! So… of course we had to take advantage of that to make a short video…

WOOO HOOO! Catch us if you can!!! (Quicktime)

My favorite video!!

Yea…. we were going bonkers about that time. We were a little better after that.


Ok, now we noticed that the mountains were also disappearing, giving way to farmlands..

 “We’re in the Spirit Mart”


Ok, now we’re heading through Spokane, WA

and heading to Coeur d’Alene, ID….


and we finally get to Idaho… YAY!


HA! He said “I’d da hoe”…. MAN! Wouldn’t Idaho just LOVE to have just a penny for every time it heard THAT dead horse joke?? They would BUY the United States…


Ok, so we get into Coeur d’Alene to try working on completing the mission in getting a bell. We made a stop in the local mall called Silver Lake Mall. Would we get such luck that we had in Portland that we would find a store called…. Made in Idaho? Nope.

We looked around this mall and …. boy, I can only hope we caught this place in a bad day because…. it was dead inside…. practically nobody!….. On a Saturday!


Rage and I made some web searches and phone calls until one lead had us going to an Exxon gas station with a gift shop. We found the gas station only had shot glasses as their best novelty BUT the lady did point us to the Walgreens across the street could have bells. So does it? YES!! Success!! Qapla’!!

SO, with the bell we’re almost happy about the night. The problem? Rage thinks he’s getting sick! He’s hoping its just allergies but it looks like a cold is coming…. oh boy….

We’ll see how he is in the morning……






Pacific Northwest Trip (Day 2)

April 13th, 2012

Oh wow!! Gotta get used to that time zone difference! We may have been on the west coast but our dang body clocks were still on the east coast.

We passed out early (9p) but we sure did wake up early (3a).

So after staring at each other for some time, waiting for the cob-webs to leave our heads, we decide to just hop in the car and drive up to Canada.

We stop at a conveinence store to grab some drinks.   The only employee there was a funny little thing. She was hopping around, high on Red Bull, and we also learned that she was going to school to get a degree . Well good for her. We wished her luck and got on our way.

It was a nice foggy day and at times was quite thick.

WOO HOO! We’re close to the border!

So we finaly get to the border and see just one lane open with a line of cars. Figures.

Of course the line goes slow but I’ll fast-forward for ya.

The guard was polite. Asked us a handfull of questions like… “Who’s your daddy and what does he do?” ……. oh wait…. that was from a movie I saw……

He did ask us how we knew each other (Rage: “Sir, I’m just filling my quota to help a mentaly disabled”)

He then asks how long we’ve known each other (Rage: “Sir, I just picked him up about a minute ago, just wondering around on the road drooling”)

He then asks why were we way over here in the west coast (Rage: “Sir, I was just wanting to see Canada, I didn’t plan on having this drooling mess here next to me”)

He asks how long we plan on staying there (Rage: “Sir, I just want to cruise around and take in the beauty of Vancouver and hopefully find a home for this poor dumb man there”)


So the poor guard feels sorry for Rage and lets him continue on. British Columbia!!


The drive is quite nice with the fog lifting slowly but surely. It even lasts up to us getting to Surrey.

But after that? The fog lifts quickly and O M G!


Well, looky here…..

We’re going through a tunnel….. in Canada…



A nice mountain view ahead….. in Canada…

 A shot of Captain Rage and his sidekick Commander Cage….. in Canada…

What Rage? Not Commander? Oh….. ok…… Lieutenant Cage then……… No? …….. um…… Ensign Cage? ……. oh boy…….. this is gonna be a long trip…….. some ex-military people can be su{THIS COMMENT WAS ABUSIVE AND WAS REMOVED}


Ok, I’m back….

Here were some nice streets….. in Canada.



This was all taken in Vancouver and with these next few shots, we noticed that the city has a futuristic look to it.


Ok…. more street shots.

 Oh, look, here’s a stop sign….. in Canada.

Ok, ok, sorry Rage, I’ll stop interrupting… continuing on with the great city shots…


Now here’s something you don’t see everyday…

Now, would you consider this a lazy dog? Lucky dog? Smart dog?

 Now for some bridge shots…… in Canada


There’s always that one car that has to stand out from the rest… eh?…. in Canada 

 Now earlier in the day, Rage had made us a mission….. you see, Rage’s ma collects little bells from various places throughout the world and we needed to get one from around here SO… as we’ve been admiring these greats views….in Canada…. we’ve also been looking for a gift shop of sorts so that we could complete this mission and complete it we shall!!

We just basically drove without much of care which direction…. just drive man… drive!

We found ourselves in a nice bay called Horseshoe Bay.




At this nice little place, we found a gift shop that had bells!


So with the mission completed, we decide to try to find our way back to the border.


Going back to the good ol’ U S of A!

Thank you Canada for your beautiful scenery and hospitaility, hope to come back again someday!

Getting through the border went just as smooth as getting through this morning. The guard asked just about the same questions as this morning. The guard was most pleased that Rage was taking his bumbling jester Cage back into the USA…

So once we were moving on, we started looking for the first exit available with a diner so that we could sit for lunch and discuss our next move.

We figured that since we were way up from Seattle to visit Canada, why not just keep doing the long distance spots. So our next stop? Portland, Oregon.

Rage placed in the mission to find a bell in Portland SO… off we go!

 Along this trip we witnessed a miracle of sorts. As we were crusing along, we saw a puff of smoke from within a handfull of cars ahead of us and then a car swirves from the right hand lane to all the way through three lanes of traffic, past the left hand lane and into the grass median and then come to a complete stop. We noticed no other cars were involved into this so Rage pulls over in fron of the stopped car to see if they were all ok. The driver came out looking around his car. He was wearing a Soldier uniform, the typical camouflage, and started talking with Rage. I noticed in the passenger seat was a lady looking scared to death. Rage shakes the guys hand and we take off to continue our journey. The soldier said someone had tried to push him off the road so he did the best he could to avoid any accident but found himself very lucky that he didn’t hit anybody else! Yes, lucky indeed to the point I would say a miracle considering the amount of traffic that was around him at the time and he found no damage to his car and no other car was hit! Rage did tell him that someone upstairs was looking out for them. Wow….

So, as you can see from the pictures above, the clouds were getting thicker as the day went along. By the time we got to Portland, the weather was miserable and so were we. Rage was wanting to kick me out of the car for the umptenth time but we were bound and determined to find a gift shop to find a bell dag’gummit.

We finally stumbles upon a store called… get this… Made in Oregon! You think we found a bell?


So with bell in hand, we head on out to find a Hotel and passed out.



Pacific Northwest Trip (Day 1)

April 12th, 2012

Howdy! I’m Cage and I’ll be your tour guide for the FIRST ever Rage n’ Cage road trip!! WOO HOO!!!

Rage took quite care of posting the trip through Facebook under the Pacific Northeast album. Take a gander at the album for his perspective. Probably better than mine….

So the day started early with a 5:00am trip to the airport. All was good and easy until the bus ride from the parking lot to the terminal. It was PACKED with everybody looking around with the same question on their faces: “Why are all these people here this early in the freakin morning??”

By the time we got on, there was very little room to place luggage so Rage decided to keep his as a companion…. (I was ALREADY replaced)

Ticketing went through great and then I got to see something rare for Philadelphia Airport…. more than two security lines were open!!  INSERT ANGEL CHORUS…

OK, enough of that. So, we manage to get to the gate and we have this excitement of what is to come with our plans to tour around Washington.

In what seemed like a very long time (yea…) we finally board and we’re STILL stoked…

Well, even that can only hold someone for so long….. while sitting…… in an airplane……. waiting to leave…… yes, insert the ETERNITY waiting list. Well, Cage got bored…..

hmmmmm, what to play? Oh! Words with Friends! Airlines LOVE having people play that….

OK, lets fastforward through the first flight that included some moaning and groaning about the ever so uncomfortable airline seats (sigh… old story, I know) to Salt Lake City, Utah. Philadelphia weather was pretty decent but in Salt Lake City?? We landed into a hail storm!

Just great!! We’re not gonna leave from here anytime soon! Surely the next flight will get delayed!….. Nope, all goes out without a hitch! WOO HOO! If this was Philadelphia, our flight woud have gotten delayed to maybe even getting canceled. (yes, I’m sure you’re getting the idea that my love for the Philadelphia Airport is low)

We land in Seattle, Washington, got our bags, and took the shuttle to the car rental joint. All is going good until…. Rage has been notified that he took someone else’s luggage! OOPS! Ya know… I’ve always heard of people doing that but never got to experience it with someone….. welp, I can now check THAT off my list…(RAGE EDITORIAL INPUT:  The bag was the exact same as mine)

SO, since we already have the rental car papers all set, we decide to just drive back to the airport to exchange Rage’s luggage. Meanwhile our friend Dave caught up to us at the car rental joint, and so with the three of us, we trot on over to see what car we was assigned. WOO HOO! A Dodge Charger!!

OK! Way to go Rage!

We get to the airport, the baggage exchange goes good and we’re off to Dave’s house. Seattle looks great! We do a lot of “oooooo”s and “aaaaaaa”s and even some LOLs….

We’re enjoying the scenery and looking forward to all the neat stuff we want to see “We’ll drive here and we”ll drive there….” yada yada yada…. until we see a piece of scenery that makes Rage and I both go “Oh Crap!”

Gas is HOW MUCH here??!??!

So…. I guess we’ll talk again about JUST how much driving we’ll do….

Anyways, we continue on our journey and still admiring the sceneries.

Rage loves coffee. Here’s a nice little shop he spotted.

We get to Dave’s house and he has a nice view from his balcony.

 I don’t think the pic does the view much justice but it is a good view. Back there is a factory but behind that is a Naval Base.

After a nice little rest we decide to head on down to Seattle’s world famous Pike Place Market which is one of the oldest farmer’s market type of place right next to Seattle’s Elliott Bay waterfront. A very nice BUSY place to visit. You can walk around for hours just looking at all the different shops and diners. It seems that whatever you need, this location has it.

One particular shop, that Rage just needed to get to, is THE original Starbucks from 1971. Him Loves Starbucks!


I wished that I could have just spent a day here but since this trip was a broad trip, we just couldn’t spend too much time looking in all the places.




We finally did get to the place that I needed to get to… The famous Pike Place Fish Market! Here you can watch them operate by yelling out their customer’s orders and toss the fish around.

I called the three of us to pause for a photo op.

OK…. not…. quite….sure…… what I was doing in that last pic (RAGE:  He was trying to kiss me!) but this next one I had to do for one of my favorite pizza joints in North Carolina called Blue Mountain Pizza, since of course I was wearing their teeshirt.

 OK, lets continue on our tour around this place.

One thing I’ve learned in this place was that Bigfoot is famous here. I guess he slept here sometime ago and people have not forgotten it (nor threw anything away)…

 We stopped in Pier 57 to take a look-see and was faced with some great carvings.

 We just couldn’t resist an arcade stop at the Seattle Waterfront Arcade! Of course Rage found a great outlet for his…. well… RAGE!

(You’ll need Quicktime to see these two files)

Dave tries his hand at King of the Hammer (QuickTime)

Rage then shows why he’s the… KING OF THE HAMMER!!! (Quicktime)

 The Rage says: “Yea! I’m da man.”

OK, so enough of that, let’s get out of here and start walking some more!

 Great sunset from the pier.

So as we’re heading on back to the car, we have to walk through the Pike Place Market, which is along side of a hill which leaves some of the shops with more than one level, and we’re now walking upwards. We take notice that along side a part of the hill, their are free walking goats. A great idea since they help keep the weeds down while yet the town doesn’t have to feed them!

We get into the car and we now find ourselves heading on over to the Space Needle! I’ve been looking forward to this one.

It’s your typical go to the window, buy the tickets and…. WAIT for the elevators.

OK, so I get goofy when I have to wait for an elevator…..

So we finally get in the elevator and it’s a half glass elevator, yes!

>>> Elevator ride up to the top of the Space Needle! (Quicktime)<<<

Absolutely great view up there!!

The last one shows a great view down so, of course, I couldn’t resist acting like I was gonna get sick..


 Dave just can’t believe he’s so high up!!

Rage snatched my hat!

 Can you have too many sunset pics? Nope.


Ok, let’s call it a day. Gonna go crash and wake up tomorrow for another day of adventure!

The elevator ride back down. (Quicktime)

Rage N Cage Heading to the Pacific Northwest!

April 10th, 2012

Our area of conquest!
















Many of you know we have been wanting to take a trip across the US and just sort of live out our version of “Wild Hogs”.  We want to get away from the rat race of life and just take on the road.  Well….. We sort of ran into a few snags…. Money, time, and approval from the beautiful wives… I mean, how much could three weeks away and $10K in funding set us back??  So we found the next best alternative.  Visit a good friend AND see part of the country!

Rage N Cage  are heading out April 12th to see Dave Rowe, our good friend and a member of Brotherhood of the Griffin.  We are going to visit him and then take him in our rental car and travel the entire Pacific Northwest for a few days!  We have some ideas where we want to go, but we will work that out on Thursday.

Kevin and I will film as much as possible as well as post our pics on Facebook.  Keep an eye on RageNCage.com and see what fun we have up in the Pacific Northwest.

look forward to seeing Dave in a few days!

Just Sayin……

January 19th, 2011

I have purposely have refused to read much on the shooting in AZ. It is so gut wrenching to see the media on top of that city like vultures. I did see that Sheriff Dupnik apparently made comments about Rush Limbaugh and other media pundits about the use of violent metaphors or references. I do not disagree with this Sheriff in his thinking. I agree in principal that media ratings = Drama +violence = $$$. But I felt the point is being missed that an elected official that is to serve and uphold the law should not comment or get caught up in the media speculation. He should not engage the media in his opinions. Keep that to you and your deputies or family outside of media microphones. You are to be impartial and just. It annoys me that a Wolf Blitzer puts this guy on TV and asks questions about Rush and Sarah Palin as if his opinion has any credibility.

ok.. Rant complete.

Joshua Tree (Amy Version)

April 23rd, 2010

I love this f’ing picture.  She is so beautiful in this shot.

American pride! Bad?

December 4th, 2009



Just where the hell is the line drawn from where someone wants to show his country pride to pride going too far?
IS there such a thing as showing too much country pride??

If I see a house with a thousand American flags on a thousand poles I would probably go “Wow. Um. Holy crap!” but I would respect it and salute. Now, of course, if someone is abusing the flag then that’s crossing the line, which then those people will need a, um, “lesson” from vets. But just where is the line??
Where is it that will make a person go “You are too proud of your country, you MUST reduce your pride or else?”

Well, I’m glad you asked!

I just so happen to see such a story where a 90 year old decorated vet is being forced to remove his flag pole from his property in Virginia by the homeowner ASSociation’s board. It’s considered not “aesthetic”.

The ASSociation is telling itself that it’s not about the flag, it’s about the pole….. WHAT??!?
That’s the equivalent of them fining your brand new car because “Hey, we’re not against the car, we’re against the four bad tires it has.”

OK, to be fair, the reason the ASSociation is bringing this up is because they did deny his request for having a flag pole in the first place.
OK, yea, that makes them less jerks…. You ASSociation jerks can just keep telling yourselves that if it makes you sleep better at night. Not the poor old vet who ONLY fought for our country in three wars and received the Medal of Honor just so you could have that nice sleep at night. Nooooooo.

Yea, I have a line of words I would just LOVE to throw at this ASSociation.
My first thought was a story that involved a bunch of vets with guns storming the ASSociation but…… Where’s Rambo anyways??

Well the good news is that he’s getting all kinds of help from local people, a lawfirm willing to represent him for free, to a Senator! Now THAT’S America. I do hope they cut the ASSociaion pricks down a few notches and teach them to THINK and use their heads and hearts…. not their damn pens.

Welcome to rageNcage.com!

October 26th, 2009

When North and South collide, You never know what will happen

Welcome to Rage N Cage.  We are going to announce a launch date shortly.  We are still developing our theme.

Just image when you put a Redneck and a Northerner on one blog, what will emerge?  Stay Tuned.