Friday Mental Massage: The hits keep on coming edition

We haven’t done a Friday Mental Massage in some time, so let’s pound one out–primarily because I’m in desperate need of a real massage.

  • I tweaked something in my neck/back six days ago. On a couple of days, I could barely move. Now, it’s a minor annoyance that is worse when I wake up in the morning. The only horrible thing about this is that is makes me feel very, very old.
  • Our ancient water heater finally gave up the ghost this week. I was going to contact a company like, but as I type, a guy and his wife(?) are installing a new one in my garage. Yes, I could’ve done it myself, but Daddy always said to do everything at my house for myself except for plumbing and electric work. This heater is gas-powered, but I think I’ll listen to Dad anyway.
  • My Greenville, SC plumber wanted to charge me nearly $1,300 for a 50-gallon water heater with a 6-year warranty, including installation of course. He also gave me the option of one for more than $2,000. I mean, come on. I was sure I could get one cheaper, even if I had to go to the big box. This shows how much you need to do your research to find the best plumber for what you need. I should have had a look at websites like to see other options.
  • I went to the big box. I found the heater I wanted. I asked a member of the staff who I should talk to about getting it installed. He said, “Just pick up that black phone or go to the service desk.” Now, I like buying things online, but when it comes to spending hundreds of dollars on a thing that could maybe blow up my house, I prefer to talk to someone face to face. So, I went to the service desk. “Who do I speak to about getting a water heater installed?” I asked. “Oh, you just pick up this phone,” the lady said. Who knew? Two phones! So, I got on the phone and ordered my heater and installation from some guy I never saw.
  • I ended up getting a better water heater with a longer warranty for several hundred dollars less. Result! I then did some searching online to make sure I knew how to use it and look after it. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for. I did ask my friend for some additional advice in this area, as he has a water heater of his own and appears to be quite knowledgeable. If he ever runs into a problem that needs fixing, he utilizes the services of somewhere like Energy Pro Heating & Cooling ( to resolve any issues that are concerning his water heater. He’s said that he will recommend them to anybody, so I guess I’ll enlist their help if I ever need it in the future. But for now, I just need to learn how to use it. I never really know what temperature to keep it out but, as you’ll see here, the default temperature will be listed in your water heater manual or online.
  • I fell prey to another Facebook meme. Lord help me, this one involved my iPod, so I couldn’t turn it down. The idea was one of those “shuffle your iPod and apply each song to the next number” memes. Time-waster to the nth degree. Regardless, the songs that came up, with a couple of exceptions, would make for a pretty cool and relevant soundtrack (and I didn’t cheat once!)

    1. Opening credits: Wild Western Windblown Band – Reckless Kelly
    2. Waking Up: Nice Work if You Can Get It – Billie Holiday
    3. First Day of School: Dear Prudence – The Beatles
    4. Fight Song: Arnie – Robbie Schaefer live at the Handlebar
    5. Falling in love: Little Green Bag – George Baker
    6. Losing A Loved One: The Devil’s Right Hand – Steve Earle
    7. Prom: Raise the Roof – Widespred Panic
    8. Graduation: Boogie Music – Canned Heat
    9. Summer: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
    10. College: Windfall – Son Volt
    11. Heartbreak: Helter Skelter- The Beatles
    12. Life: Diane – Robert Randolph and the Family Band
    13. Mental breakdown(s): Too Fast For Love – Motley Crue
    14. Driving down open road: Chickamauga – Uncle Tupelo
    15. Flashback: Forks and Knives- Hoots and Hellmouth
    16. Wedding: Slip Slidin’ Away – Simon and Garfunkel
    17. Birth of child: Big Trouble – Man Man
    18. Final battle: Christine’s Tune – The Flying Burrito Brothers
    19. Death scene: Looking for a Way Out – Uncle Tupelo
    20. Funeral: Get Up – James Brown
    21. Ending Credits: Space Jam – Jerry Garcia, David Grisman

  • Oh, Captain is a pretty smart guy, but sometimes he will make a bold assertion that needs some calling out. For instance, this morning on Twitter he said, “Aldo Nova – Fantasy. Probably the greatest one hit wonder of all time not to become nauseatily annoying.”

    Oh, sir. I beg to differ. Using One Hit Wonder Central, I looked at the lists between 1960 and 1990 (anything before is too cute, and anything after is almost certainly annoying). While I don’t think it’s fair to call all of the songs one hit wonders, they were on the list and are certainly less annoying the Aldo Nova’s Fanstasy. I picked out five.

    Top 5 One Hit Wonders That Are Less Annoying Than Aldo Nova’s Fantasy

    1. Black Betty – Ram Jam
    2. I Want Candy — Bow Wow Wow
    3. Chevy Van — Sammmy Johns
    4. Mexican Radio — Wall of Voodoo
    5. One Toke Over the Line — Brewer and Shipley

    I almost included Funkytown by Lipps, Inc., but on further review, the song is, in fact, annoying. Also, the web list included the following songs which are certainly less annoying, but I take issue with them being declared one hit wonders.

    All Right Now — Free
    The Boys Are Back In Town — Thin Lizzy
    Mississippi Queen — Mountain

  • What started as a friend stopping into Greenville on his way to Florida has morphed into something…bigger. Next weekend has been declared Mastodon Weekend–four days of fairly spontaneous bacchanalia that already scares me a little bit. I’m out of training for this kind of thing. Why Mastodon? As G-Rob said, they were lumbering, oafish creatures who didn’t evolve and thus are now extinct. That pretty much sums us up.

    In the meantime, I have a lot of work to do and a masseuse to find.

  • Brad Willis

    Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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    10 Responses

    1. StB says:

      Water heater in the garage??? Interesting set up down south. Do you not have a basement?

    2. otis says:

      No basement in this house, no. But, really, rarely gets cold enough here for the garage to be a problem.

    3. Bam-Bam says:

      I’ll assume that worlwide sales is the catalyst that determines a one hit wonder?

      ‘Cause I have issues with saying W.O.V. is a one hit wonder? Mexican Radio got quite a bit of play around these parts, but to truly be a W.O.V. fan up here, you had to see them perform Ring of Fire.

      Tomorrow was also quite popular on local stations.

      But other than that, totally agree with the list.
      (Ram Jam still baffles me to this day)

      $0.02 added from the North.


    4. Mental massages are overated. If you really want to de-stress, the moment your water heater is installed, get a real massage!


    5. Random101 says:

      About a month ago, I spent $1000 to get a water heater installed under my house in the crawl space. That included a $200 extra charge for the crawl space install. I now feel slightly less raped.

    6. Jim The Knife says:

      Re: Water Heater. Mine is in garage also. No basement.
      It’s 10 yrs old and experts say it will NOT be long for this world.
      I’m going to put in a “TANKLESS” gas water heater to replace my tank.

      It’s too late for you, but this option is a few hundred extra…..
      but “instant” hot water ALL THE TIME.

    7. The Wife says:

      You got a bargain on the water heater either way – ours died this year too and was more . . .

      And you can totally tell Stb is from Wisconsin . . . I too was under the assumption as a naive farm girl that all houses had basements until we tried to build one on the rock in San Antonio.

      Enjoy Mastadon weekend and make sure my husband comes home . . . wish I could join you all.

      PS: I secretly love “Mexican Radio”

    8. OhCaptain says:

      Having grown up in Minnesota, I too assumed that all homes were built with basements until my wife took me to visit family in Virginia. Plumbing and natural gas are two things I too leave to the professionals.

      OK, I see there is some disagreement with my assertion. While I too am a fan of Ram Jam, Brewer & Shipley and Sammy John; much like Mott the Hoople, I found them to be a bit too similar to many of the big bands of the era. Often easily confused as being songs by other groups or artists. But they are definitely songs that never got annoying.

      Bow Wow Wow – I want candy, I really liked this song and would put it in my top five…but it can’t unseat Fantasy.

      WoV – Mexican Radio was ruined for me by people in this area constantly mixing it with the Flying Lizard’s Money (That’s what I want) – a truly annoying song.

      The sound of Fantasy was unlike any thing of that era. It was also really popular when I was in Junior High making my memories of that song have a lot to do with discovering that girls were interesting. Hormones have powerful influences.

    9. Jay Ferguson’s “Thunder Island” is much less annoying than Aldo Nova, too. In fact, it rocks. Sha-la-la-la-la-la muh lay-dee….

      (“Shakedown Cruise” might eliminate him from one-hit-wonder status, tho’.)

    10. Wes says:

      Please remove Thin Lizzy from list. They may have only one song that is heard on every single classic rock station every single day, but they have numerous others that are played quite regularly. They also had a distinguished career and in no way should qualify to be placed on any such list.

      Oh yeah, Black Betty for the win.

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