Other interests

Yes, Scott does like SOME things besides old military bases !

Copyright © 2002-2019, Scott D. Murdock

This page is updated randomly and usually without notice.


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My musical taste runs from heavy metal to bubblegum, from southern rock to disco, from jazz to top 40. I enjoy most country, and some rap/hip hop. I listen to whatever sounds good, without caring how the record companies or stores try to categorize it. I'll put the Partridge Family and Black Sabbath on the same mix CD. I'm amazed that I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can recall guitar solos from the 1970s and 1980s, note for note. I used to have a couple of guitars and a MIDI keyboard, and I've dabbled in some songwriting.

A few of my favorite concerts over the years:

Live - 2006 and 2007 (Dallas, Texas), 2007 (Denver, Colorado). An awesome show each time!

Led Zeppelin - 1980 (Mannheim, Germany. The ultimate Rock & Roll band, and I just barely managed to see them. They only performed two concerts after this one, Munich and Berlin.)

Queen - 1982 (With opener Billy Squier. Probably the best sound quality of any large concert I've been to.)

Johnny Winter - 1993 (The only time I've been right up front -- leaning up against the stage -- at a concert. Awesome!) That was at the Cibolo Creek Country Club, and soon after that I saw him again at Sneakers, in San Antonio. His recordings don't do justice to his playing -- you gotta see Johnny live!

Stevie Ray Vaughan - 1987 (I still get goose bumps thinking about this one. In Austin, of course! Opening act Omar and the Howlers.)

Metallica - 1998 (A good show by a great band, but... the thought did cross my mind that maybe I'm getting old for this kind of thing....)

Will Sexton - 1987 (Another Austinite. I first saw him in the Bergstrom NCO Club, and was amazed by his guitar licks. I saw him perform a second time at the release party for his CD Will and the Kill.)

Other nationally-known acts I've seen in concert: Barry Manilow, Van Halen (twice, with different singers), Foreigner, Starship, The Outfield, Journey, Glass Tiger, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chuck Mangione, Steppenwolf, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Level 42, Ted Nugent, John Denver, Aerosmith, Marcia Ball, Night Ranger, Alabama, Janie Frickie, Heart, Angel, Styx, Rob Welch, The Captain and Tennile, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Collective Soul, .38 Special, Big and Rich, Neil Diamond, Ed Kowalczyk, and the B-52s.

One of my favorite San Antonio bands is Painted Pony. They play a mix of hard and southern rock, authentic covers and catchy original numbers. I'm friends with one of the members, T.J. Lovelady, which made it more fun to go to their shows. I saw them many times back in 1993-94, and again in 2003.

Another San Antonio band I enjoyed seeing was Pirate Salad. They played hard rock and heavy metal; again a good mix of originals and covers. I met the lead singer, Virgil, through his day job with a moving company. They had a pretty good cassette, Eat it Raw, but they faded away after replacing Virgil with a new singer. I saw them perform several times in 1993-94.

My neighbor (in 2003 and 2004), Ray, played lead guitar for The Perturbed. They were a popular punk band in San Antonio. I went to one of their shows in late 2003; they played a few songs from their self-titled CD, and some covers including a kick-ass version of Folsom Prison Blues. By the end of their show, I was standing by the stage, banging my head as if I was too young to know what a chiropractor does. One of the other bands I enjoyed that night was Satantonio, and I still listen to their CD.

During my time in Denver, I've enjoyed concerts by local bands Opie Gone Bad, The Railbenders, and Ten Cent Redemption.

Another cool band to listen to is Southern Flite. I saw them perform in Scottsboro, Alabama, a few times. My brother Rick played in bands with some of the members, and sat in with Southern Flite on several occasions.

The first time I saw Curtis Ohlson perform was watching him hit a few bass riffs in his garage back in the mid-1970s. He's my cousin! He lives in the Bay Area of California, and my family visited his a couple times when we were teenagers. (Most of my relatives lived in New England, so it was a rare treat to see my California relations.) While in high school, Curt played several instruments in several bands, and of course I was completely in awe of him. Since then, he's played bass with Buddy Rich and Ray Charles among others, and released two solo albums, So Fast and Better than Ever. A third album is on the way, and I had a sneak preview when I visited with Curt in 2006. In 2007 I spent a few days in the studio with Curtis, where he produced and recorded a song I wrote. In 2008, I went to a performance of the Booker T. Jones Band, with the legendary Booker T. singing and playing organ, with my cousin playing bass. It was really cool to hang out with the band before and after the show, stand on stage while they played Born Under a Bad Sign during their sound check, and watch the show from the mixing board at stage left.

Booker T. Jones played at the Soiled Dove Underground in 2014 and 2015, and I went both years.

Folk musician Tim Rose released several albums over the course of thirty-some years in the music business. I corresponded with Tim about historic airfields for a few years, and one time I asked him what he did for a living... in his early days he played in a band with Cass Elliott (before she was in the Mamas and Papas), and during the time I knew him he toured with Robert Plant and opened at a blues festival in Norway! Along the way he made some great music.

One of my former coworkers is a singer-songwriter-guitarist in his spare time. He gave me his CDs, and they quickly became favorites. If you like music that is a mix of blues, folk, and rock -- with good, creative songwriting -- you might enjoy the work of Michael Wilder.

And of course, I've enjoyed many other bands in bars and clubs around the country, who I never heard of again after seeing them once or twice. Rock on, one and all!

Comedy Writing

While I was an instructor at the TAC NCO Academy, I worked diligently to incorporate humor into my classroom lessons. Much of our curriculum was dry, boring stuff... so injecting some laughter into the classroom routine made it much more bearable -- even enjoyable -- for my students. Of course, I occasionally ran afoul of my superiors for being too light-hearted. I was admonished for being unprofessional because I taught my students how to Moon Walk in formation on the drill pad. (No, I didn't quit doing it. In fact, other instructors would ask me to teach their flights how to Moon Walk, too!)

Toward the end of my stint as an instructor, I was encouraged to try some real comedy writing. One of my fellow instructors, Lee Holley, had done stand-up comedy in Seattle, and gave me some good feedback. So, in early 1989 I took the bold step of submitting some gags to a joke service. Much to my surprise, they sent me a check! For the next few years I sold material to various joke services, publications, and comedians. The payment wasn't much -- barely enough to cover expenses really -- but what a rush to write funny material and have someone pay you for it!

Stand-Up Comedy

In Spring 1991, my wife saw an ad in the paper for a comedy workshop program called Comedy Gym. She suggested I give it a try, and I figured it would be a great tool to improve my comedy writing. Well, they had comedy showcases every month, and after a couple workshops Sam Cox told me I'd be doing three minutes at the next showcase. I initially declined, saying that I was just a writer and not a performer. Sam said performing material live was the best feedback a writer could have. So I threw caution to the wind and took to the stage in front of an audience. It was both terrifying and exhilerating, and I was hooked. I made a total of 75 public performances in the next three years, until I moved away from San Antonio. I performed at the Rivercenter Comedy Club and Comedy Tonight in San Antonio, the Velveeta Room and Laff Stop in Austin, the Indianapolis Comedy Connection in Indiana, and the Laughing Lizard Lounge in Washington DC. I also worked shows at various sports bars, biker bars, officers clubs -- basically any place I could get a gig! I appeared on two separate episodes of Comedy Riots, a TV show in San Antonio. The second of those was their favorite episode, and it aired about once a month during 1992-94. It was kind of cool to have strangers come up to me and say "Hey, I saw you on TV!" Once in a while I'll see one of my former peers on TV or in a club.

Cartridge Collecting

As a youngster, I was fascinated by the occasional round of ammunition I saw. I had a handful of fired cases, and I was fascinated by the design and markings. When I lived on Guam (sophomore and junior years of high school) I found quite a variety of live cartridges and fired cases, much of it from W.W.II. I started research into the subject and found ammunition quite interesting. My first Air Force job was small arms instructor, so I was exposed to a variety of ammunition on the job as well as on my own time. In the early 1980s I started seeking out unusual cartridges at gun shows, pawn shops, and gun stores. I became a member of the International Cartridge Collecting Association (since changed to the International Ammunition Association) and the European Cartridge Research Association. My collecting peaked in the early 1990s when I had a few thousand distinctly different cartridges. Then I sold off most everything, retaining only a small collection of dummy cartridges and some of my reference materials. I became fairly good at interpreting ammunition by the markings, and I have done some identification work for museums.


I didn't shoot any firearms until I was about 15, when I first fired .22 rifles and 410 gauge shotguns belonging to a couple of my uncles. While on Guam, I took up skeet and trap shooting and enjoyed both. As a small arms instructor in the Air Force, I fired a variety of military and civilian weapons. My fellow range instructors and I owned quite a few weapons which we would bring out and fire when we had a slow afternoon. Other people from around the base would want to shoot their privately owned firearms on our range. We would usually oblige them, and they would usually let us fire a few rounds from their guns.

While stationed at Bitburg AB, Germany, I had the chance to shoot in a competitive match with the German army. We fired the G-3 rifle and the MG-3 machine gun, on several different stages of fire out to about 300 meters. I didn't do well enough to earn the cool medal, but it was a lot of fun. I returned to the small arms career field for 90 days while at Bitburg, and had the chance to train with the M-16A1 rifle and the M-1911A1 pistol, as well as the M-16 rifle with .22 conversion kit.

Also at Bitburg, I hooked up with fellow shooting enthusiast Thom Jennings. Based on our NRA instructor certifications and my small arms instructor formal training, we arranged to open the base small arms range for off-duty shooting on the weekends. With several other base pistol shooters, we formed what we called the Eifel Combat Pistol Team, and held International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) style matches each month. It was great fun! I shot either a Colt Commander .45 Auto (which I purchased on my 21st birthday), or a S&W Model 66 .357 Magnum, depending on the match.

When I lived in Abilene in the early-mid eighties, I joined the Ablilene Gun Club and participated in their monthly combat pistol matches. I traded in the Commander for a Government Model .45 Auto and bought a Dillon RL-450 reloading press. I did some minor customizing work on the .45, and had some major work done by gunsmith (and USAF pilot) Bob Greider. We had some great matches, and I picked up an occasional first or second place in my class. During this time, I did part-time duty in the Air Force law enforcement career field. Besides giving me a discount at the local police supply store, this allowed me to enter the Abilene Police Department invitational pistol match in 1984. Shooting my Model 66 with handloaded ammo (but wearing my Air Force uniform) I placed first in my class, and in the top 20 percent of shooters in the match.

I also fired in a few National Rifle Association high power rifle matches in the 1980s, with my friend and coach Alonda Roy. I managed to take third place in one of these matches, shooting an issue M-14 rifle. I fired a Springfield Armory M1A in a couple other matches. I also entered one combat rifle match with my friend Phil Thornton, firing an HK-91 assault rifle. I took second place in one of the events, dropping metal plates from 300 yards. I haven't fired a rifle in competition in many years, but Alonda stuck with it and became one of the ranking high power rifle shooters in the country.

In Air Force shooting, I earned the Excellence-In-Competition Bronze Pistol Shot Badge and the Excellence-In-Competition Bronze Rifleman Badge. These unique items were my favorite uniform accessory. Because they were uncommon, I was frequently challenged about their validity. So, at my desk, I kept copies of the special orders authorizing me to wear them. In 2003, I picked up a shotgun for the first time in over a decade and helped take the Air Force Manpower and Innovation Agency to third place in the Randolph AFB intramural skeet competition.

In the 1990s, I found that my dislike of cleaning weapons had gradually overtaken my like of firing them. I fired several different civilian-owned machine guns at a shoot near San Antonio in 1991. In 1997, I went shooting with a machine gun collector in Louisiana and fired a .50 caliber machine gun for the first time.

Book Collecting

My main collection was the Hardy Boys series. I had hundreds of variations of the 58 "original" titles (those produced in hardback). My collection dates back to my ninth birthday in 1968, when I received my first two Hardy Boys books as gifts. I'm listed as a contributor in Tony Carpentieri's Frank and Joe turn Blue, a reference book about the series, published by SynSine Press.

I had smaller collections of Tom Swift, Tom Swift Jr., Brains Benton, The Three Investigators, and the Rick Brant series. I also had all six of the Bill Bruce series books until I gave them to a friend.

Other favorite books include all of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels and stories, The Mad Scientists' Club by Bertrand R. Brinley, and The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald, by Clifford B. Hicks. My favorite illustrator is Charles Geer, who illustrated the last two titles (and many, many others). I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter books, and have read most of Isaac Asimov's work (both fiction and non-fiction).

When I was in 5th-7th grade, I participated in a weekly book club called Children Raving About Books -- CRABs. We met at the Oxon Hill branch of the Prince Georges County Memorial Library. CRABs had just formed a couple years before I joined, and it still meets in the 21st century!

TV and Movies

My favorite TV show ever is still Lovejoy, but Longmire, Big Bang Theory and Modern Family are giving it a run for its money. Other favorites over the years: I Love Lucy, M.A.S.H., The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Newhart, Friends, Seinfeld, The Bob Newhart Show, and many others.

Favorite movies include Twelve O'Clock High, Peeper (a 1975 film starring Natalie Wood), Rocky Horror Picture Show, both Flint films starring James Coburn, Office Space, Young Frankenstein, and too many others to list.


Okay, I can't always tell one high style from another, but I still enjoy interesting or classy buildings. Here's my architecture page.

Random Stuff

I visited an operational forest fire lookout in a Montana forest.

I hiked to the summit of Mount Bierstadt, a Colorado fourteener.

I hiked up the Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado.