Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Dog Days of The Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is brought to you by new and improved Quake cereal.

I never could tell the difference between Quisp and Quake. They both pretty much tasted the same. Different shapes, sure. Is it just me, or does Quake sound like Forrest Tucker?

The Week That Was

So another week has come and gone. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a periodontist. Seems one of my molars was going to need “crown lengthening” anyway, but as the dentist was drilling, she drilled away most of the tooth and still hadn’t gotten rid of the decay, so we decided I needed to have the tooth pulled and have them screw in an implant, then she can put the crown on. Sounds like a lot of fun… anyway, tomorrow is just an appointment for him to give me an estimate and to set up an appointment to have it done. At least, that’s what I think it is. The tooth, which has a temporary filling in it, has already partially broken away, so, yeah, it needs to go. I’ll try and get posts up for tomorrow and Tuesday so I can keep the chain going, but just realize that one or more might be late. Here’s the summary from last week.

The theme this past week was “European Favorites.” I had done a playlist of songs that weren’t in English that charted in the US anyway, and used several of them in the new list. XmasDolly thought it was good. My life is complete…

I featured two instrumental hits from my high-school days, both of which qualify as “one-hit wonders.” This week I’ll feature two vocal songs that were one-hit wonders in the early Seventies, then we’ll start counting down the most-popular bands from the period before moving on to something else. Birgit suggested I do the same for when my parents were in high school, which coincidentally was the start of the Baby Boomer years (1946-64). I’m thinking of going with a “Baby Boomer” theme for the rest of the year and probably a good portion of next year. What do you think of that?

Shared something funny that had been posted to Instagram by PunsWorld. The commercial, a borderline-obscene Arby’s ad, got as much attention as the one-liner. Reminds me of the days when the commercials were more entertaining than the shows.

Kat’s prompt was the word “island,” which led me on a discussion of all the islands I’ve been on. My list almost qualified as a Thursday Ten. I was surprised that I had been on so many.

I shared ten more of the destination songs you recommended, and announced that I’d hold off on posting any more for a while, partly because I was almost out, partly because a couple of the suggestions were “songs about places in Ireland” and “songs about New York City” which required a little more thought. You might see one of those tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you have more destination song suggestions, feel free to drop them on me.

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The prompt was “ceiling and/or sealing.” I found a story about how a colony of bees had built a huge hive in this woman’s attic. I know there are concerns about the declining bee population, then I see stories like that and it makes me wonder. I mean, this lady had an estimated 120,000 bees in her attic. And if you check YouTube, you can find similar stories where bees have colonized people’s houses. Several people wondered how this woman didn’t know they were there. Well, maybe she has tinnitus and thought it was just her ears…

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My most recent Battle of the Bands was won by Bing Crosby, singing the version of “Galway Bay” more popular outside Ireland. Next Battle will be on August 15, since that seems to be the way things are going.

Tomorow I’ll be adding a new feature, “Manic Monday,” brought to us by Sandi over at Flip Flops Everywhere. The link take you to the page that has the rules and the prompt for this week. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind if you joined in as well. Aside from that, all the regular features will be here, and who knows what else.

By the way, those of you who use Photobucket might already know this, but it appears that they no longer do free third-party hosting. If you store the images you imbed in your blog posts on Photobucket, you might want to consider moving them to another host or coughing up the $399 a year for third-party hosting. They explain it all here.

Anyway, that’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. See you in the funny papers!




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Saturday, July 22, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Galway Bay” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

So the song, or rather songs, were two named “Galway Bay,” one of which was more popular in Ireland (sung by Dolores Keane), the other more popular outside Ireland (sung by Bing Crosby). Here are the results.

Inside Ireland (Dolores): 4
Outside Ireland (Bing): 7

Congratulations to Bing and kudos to Dolores for a beautiful job.

I’m still curious: ignoring the singers for just a second, which “Galway Bay” did you like? They were two different songs.

Anyway, we’ll do this again on August 15.




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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Check Your Attic…

Not knowing what to do with a prompt of “sealing/ceiling,” I askd my friend DuckDuckGo to find stories with “ceiling” in the title. Immediately, it brought me to this story

May 18 (UPI) — A Georgia woman had a massive beehive removed from her home after learning about 120,000 bees had been living in her ceiling.

Evidently, she heard buzzing and saw bees flying around outside her house. She called a bee service who came into the house and took a section of her ceiling out. Here’s a short video of what they found there…

Apparently the hive weighed about 120 pounds, contained 60 pounds of honey, and housed around a hundred twenty thousand bees. The company was able to capture and relocate all the bees, and apparently the guy who caught them is going to give the lady some of the honey, but man, that’s scary. Thank heaven Decatur is the other side of town from me.


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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from our sponsors.

(I was hoping they’d show Little Debbie Honey Buns… oh well…)




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Friday, July 21, 2017

The Friday 5×2: Your Destination Songs, Part 3

Here’s the third, and for now the last, installment of destination songs chosen by you, the readers of this here blog.

  1. Paul McCartney, “Back In The USSR” Janet suggested this one, and while I couldn’t find The Beatles doing it (WMG issues, don’t you know), I did find Paul doing it live on The David Letterman Show, which is almost as good. The original was on The Beatles, more commonly known as “The White Album.”
  2. The Mamas & The Papas, “California Dreamin'” This was another Janet suggestion. John and Michelle Phillips wrote it, and it was originally done by Barry McGuire, with The Mamas & The Papas singing backup. Their own version features an alto flute solo by the great Bud Shank, and P. F. Sloan did the initial guitar figure. It was released in late 1965 and it took until March of 1966 to reach its peak at #4 on both the Billboard Hot 100 (17 weeks) and the Cash Box survey (20 weeks). Both magazines rated it the #1 song of 1966, with Cash Box having it tied with SSgt. Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of The Green Berets.” Thanks as always to Wikipedia for providing all this info.
  3. John McCormack, “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary” Uncle Jack suggested this one when he suggested songs about locations in Ireland. McCormick was the first to record it, in 1914. Tipperary is both a town and a county in south central Ireland, and its name means “The Well of Ara.” Just thought you’d like to know what I found out about it.
  4. Jacques Brel, “Dans le Port d’Amsterdam Debbie came up with this one, saying that if I couldn’t find Jacques Brel’s version that David Bowie’s was almost as good. Well, we found the original. Jacques Brel is alive and well…
  5. Tim McGraw, “Portland, Maine” Cathy submitted this. It’s from Tim’s 2014 album Sundown Heaven Town.
  6. Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” Dan and Kip both suggested it, and I can’t think of a better choice for the list. This was originally done by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, and the destinations were all within Australia. Hank Snow came up with the original US version in 1962, and Johnny recorded it in 1996 for his album Unchained. Ironically, it didn’t go anywhere in the Country charts.
  7. Martha & The Muffins, “Echo Beach” Annalisa suggested this. Martha & The Muffins, a Canadian group, recorded this in 1979 for their album Metro Music. It was released as a single in 1980 and achieved Gold status in October of that year, and won the Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) for Best Single that year. It was their only international hit, peaking at #10 in the UK and #6 in Australia. I don’t think it went anywhere in the US…
  8. Green Day, “Jesus of Suburbia” Another Annalisa choice, this is from Green Day’s seventh studio album, 2004’s American Idiot, and was the last single released from that album. This is the full version; the “radio edit” was only 6½ minutes long. It reached #27 on Billboard‘s Alternative Singles chart in the US, #17 in the UK.
  9. Bucks Fizz, “Land Of Make Believe” Annalisa’s last suggestion was this song from 1981. As a single, it reached #1 in the UK in January 1982. Bucks Fizz were winners of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest, with “Making Up Your Mind.”
  10. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” Guitarspotting recommended this, and practically all The Beatles’ songs that had a destination. BMG is releasing some videos on Vevo, and this is one of them. Originally intended for inclusion in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it was released in February 1967 as part of a double A-sided single with “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Which of the two A-sides to promote was the subject of some concern for WLS in Chicago, and I remember voting for “Strawberry Fields Forever” in the telephone poll. My choice didn’t win. It reached #1 in the US on both the Hot 100 and the Cash Box survey, #1 in Canada and Australia, but only #2 in the UK and Ireland.

There will be other destination lists in the near future, I promise, just not in the immediate future. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to make them, and when I get enough we’ll do this again. For now, that’s The Friday 5×2 for July 21, 2017.




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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: Islands And Such

A friend of mine once told me he uses the Columbus Method of typing. I asked him to explain what he meant, and he told me, “Find an island and land on it.”

Seriously, today the the prompt I’ve chosen is to base my post on the word “island,” and it made me think of the islands I’ve been on. And it struck me that every island I’ve ever been to was for work, or a work-related activity.

  • Puerto Rico I went to San Juan on a consulting assignment to their water company, PRASA. Thanks to missed connections in Miami and the fact that Puerto Rico is on Atlantic time, I arrived at 3 AM, and had a weird cab ride to the hotel where the driver stopped in his neighborhood and picked up a couple of his friends. The rest of the trip was pretty much taxi to the client from the hotel, taxi to the hotel from the client. My manager told me when I got back that they wanted me to spend a couple of months there to fix whatever issues they had. It never materialized.
  • Singapore I think I spent more time in the air getting to Singapore than I spent there. I was there to conduct a two-day class, arrived the day before, and left after the class. Singapore, at that time of the year, was exactly twelve hours ahead of Atlanta, and when I got back to the hotel after a day of teaching, I put on my tech support guy hat and supported classes that were ongoing in the US. Singapore is veddy, veddy British, don’t you know, even though most of the people are Asian, so I felt comfortable being there, but again, I spent a lot of time in taxis between the hotel and the client site.
  • Hong Kong I wondered if I should include Hong Kong, because I just stopped there on the way to Singapore and spent all my time in the airport. Interesting thing about public restrooms in Asia: there are usually one or two stalls which house a squat toilet. No, I never used one. I’ll save that bucket list item for my next life.
  • Manhattan I’ve spent a lot of time in Manhattan, relatively speaking, and it’s a very interesting place. To a lot of folks, Manhattan is New York. The first time I had sushi was in Manhattan. I got the sushi platter where the food just kept coming and coming. When I got my plate, I saw this blob of green stuff sitting on it. I figured, okay, green things are cool, picked it up and stuck the whole thing in my mouth. That was my introduction to wasabi, which if you’ve never had it is Japanese horseradish, except in most Japanese restaurants it’s hot mustard, horseradish, and green food coloring, which produces a flavor simiar to the real stuff, but a whole lot hotter. My last few trips were made to a client near Ground Zero, and I got the chance to see the aftermath about a year later. There was a chain-link fence surrounding the site, and people had hung clothing and other personal items from the victims on it. Very somber.
  • Long Island Several of my trips sent me to locations on Long Island, or as they say on Long Island, “Lawn Guyland.” I got lost on my way to a client site and ended up in Amityville, which I understand is at the very tip of the island. The client site was about ten minutes from my hotel. I had another trip where the client was a bank on a street corner in Flushing in what looked like a residential neighborhood. It was a small chain of banks, and evidently it was the only place they had a training facility.
  • O’ahu Yes, I had a couple of business trips to Hawai’i. I did a training class for a number of warehouse people in a facility near the airport, which was also where Dole had a processing plant, so the air was constantly redolent with the smell of pineapples. I made the mistake of wearing a tie, and one of the participants literally cut it off. “We don’t wear ties here,” she said. Listen, I remember the original Hawai’i Five-O, and those guys wore ties…
  • Hilton Head My company had an award called King’s Court, which one generally won by collecting a bunch of “attaboy” letters from clients. I managed to do so within my first year by spending all my time on the road, so my reward was to take Mary with me and go on the road to Hilton Head, where a full slate of activities was planned: golf (which we don’t do), sail (which we don’t to), play tennis (ditto). We nevertheless had an okay time.
  • Great Britain My list of islands originally ended with Hilton Head, then I remembered that Great Britain is also an island. Mary and I took a belated honeymoon there, spending a week in Edinburgh and a week in London, then I went to The Netherlands and England on a product-launch tour, where I trained our European associates.
  • Australia And, while I was writing the last entry, I remembered that Australia, while a continent, is also an island. I spent a week there, again training, this time our Australian associates. My friends saw to it that I had plenty to do while I was there, and one of the things was walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I managed to get lost one evening, going away from the water when I should have been going toward it, and that is a pretty interesting experience.

There isn’t much chance that I’ll be traveling much in the near future. Mary hates to go anywhere by plane, and travel is not a particularly handicap-friendly activity. I was never much for taking advantage of being in a foreign land to do sightseeing. But, ya know, maybe in my next life…




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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

#1LinerWeds: It’s True…

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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Arby’s. I’m thinkin’ Arby’s!




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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Two For Tuesday: Apollo 100 and Hot Butter

As I mentioned the other day, I plan on doing bands from my high school days through the end of August, at which time I’ll move on to a new theme. (If you have any ideas for a new theme, by all means, I’m open to suggestions.) I’ll count down the five acts that were most popular in August, but for this post and the next, I want to feature a couple of “one-hit wonders” that I especially liked.

One of them is Apollo 100. They were a British instrumental band led by multi-instrumentalist Tom Parker who had one hit in 1972, “Joy,” a rendering of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring.” It spent four weeks in the Top Ten, peaking at #6.

The other is Hot Butter, led by keyboardist Stan Free. They had a novelty hit in 1972 with “Popcorn,” a synthpop song which displayed the capabilities of the Moog Synthesizer. It was a cover of composer Gershon Kingsley’s 1969 song. It spent four weeks in the Top Ten, peaking at #9.

Neither Apollo 100 nor Hot Butter lasted very long. Apollo 100 broke up in 1973 after having released two albums, while Hot Butter released five albums and lasted through 1978. They recorded some good music, much of which is available on YouTube.

Apollo 100 and Hot Butter, your Two for Tuesday, July 18, 2017.




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