Saturday, December 31, 2016

Rambling Out 2016 #socs

First, back on July 23 of this year I did another Stream of Consciousness entry on time. I was going to say the same thing here, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to read it again. I do want to say this, though:

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And this:

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Today is the last day of the year. December 31, 2016. For many of you, this day couldn’t come soon enough. Celebrity deaths, a hotly-contested election that has people thinking we’re in the end times, dead gorillas, bad weather, etc. I haven’t noticed a lot of it.

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Mark Twain said “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” Same thing holds true for cable news channels, the Internet, and especially social media. I quit visiting Facebook some time in October, and Twitter about the same time. I kept advertising the blog in both places, and found myself visiting Facebook from time to time because Mary would tell me “I tagged you on a video,” and to get comments on blog entries from people who comment there, but after a couple of minutes there, I was like, “why do I torture myself like this?” A suggestion: read Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Extensions Of Man. What he said about TV also applies to the Internet and social media.

Yes, we had a lot of celebrity deaths this year. The one that might have meant the most to me was the death of Carrie Fisher the other day. Not because of Star Wars, not because of her books and other film and TV appearances, but because she’s another member of the class of 1956. She was born in October, I was born in March, our mothers were born a week apart… I felt a connection.

Does anyone remember all the shit she took a year ago, when she was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (I had to look up which movie it was), because she had the temerity to age forty years and put on weight? She said this about it…

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Really, what did they think? She’d look like she did in the gold bikini? Some folks need to get a life.

My car broke down on my way to work one day (long story) about thirty years ago, and I ended up taking a taxi. The driver said, “Hey, look who I drove the other day,” and pulled out an autographed picture of Debbie Reynolds. Said she was really friendly and talkative, just like regular folks. She went up in my estimation about a thousand percent that day. A Hollywood star, one of the last from the golden age of cinema, and she’s just normal folks?

Those two, I’ll miss.

As for the others: WGN did a list of all the celebrity deaths this past year. Look at how many were in their eighties and nineties. They were around a long time. Maybe that’s why we’ll miss them. I mean, who’s coming up behind them? Likewise, where are the David Bowie, the Leon Russell, the Prince of this generation? No wonder people are upset.

Well, it’s almost over. Right now, it’s quarter to two in the Eastern time zone, so in nine hours and 45 minutes, it’ll be 2017. In Sydney, it’s been the new year for almost six hours now, meaning some of you are just getting home from parties. It’s been the new year in India for fifteen minutes. Wherever you are, Happy New Year, and hang in there. 2016 is at an end.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Happy New Year!




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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Top Five “Friday Five”s of 2016

How many of you just knew this would be the topic of my final Friday Five of 2016? I’ll be honest: I didn’t even know this would be the topic until just a minute ago. Anyway, I found all my Friday Fives for the year and sorted them by number of comments (realizing half of them would be mine). In true Top Five Fashion, I’ll start with #5…

Number 5: EBS Specials! (9/16/2016) I have a page that explains what an EBS Special is, in case you need a refresher. One of the songs, Don McLean’s “American Pie,” was given the label because it was not only played to death (and is still played to death on oldies stations nationwide), it was also analyzed to death, most notably by Bob Dearborn of WCFL radio in Chicago. Everyone likes it, though, so here it is.

Number 4: Five (plus a bonus) Songs With “Smoke” In The Title (10/28/16) You know how The Friday Five generally works by now: I get a word in my head and go looking for songs with that word in it, stop at five, and ask you to come up with others. Occasionally I decide, hey, let’s do six (or some other number greater than five). This was one of those days, because as I was writing the post with five, I thought of “Smokestack Lightnin'” by Chester Arthur Burnett, also known as Howlin’ Wolf. Here’s that one.

Number 3: “Moon” Songs (8/5/16) Decided the word for the day was “moon,” came up with five, and you came up with more. Here’s one I came up with, “Moondance” by Van Morrison.

Number 2: Even More “Rain” Songs (9/2/16) There are times I ended up doing a multiple of five, as in this case, where I did ten. There are a lot of songs about rain, and as I recall, you came up with a bunch more, including several people requesting “Rhythm of the Rain” by The Cascades, which was the first song I thought of when I did the original list (which I can’t find for some reason). One of the new songs was “Singin’ In The Rain,” from the movie of the same name, which I’d like to dedicate to the memory of Debbie Reynolds, who died yesterday. She was only twenty, maybe even nineteen, when she made the movie, and makes an appearance here at the beginning.

Number 1: “A” Songs (4/1/16) The date should tip you off that this was at the start of the A to Z Challenge. My theme for the challenge was “portmanteau words,” but seeing as how I published this after the portmanteau, people who arrived at the blog after I published this thought this was my theme. So I ended up with two themes this year. One of the songs in the post was “After The Love Is Gone” by Earth Wind & Fire, which I’d like to dedicate to the memory of Maurice White, a member of EWF who died this past year.

So, there’s the last Friday Five of 2016. Thanks for reading and commenting and making this worthwhile for me. For those of you I won’t see before tomorrow at midnight, Happy New Year!




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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ten Favorite YouTube Channels (Writer’s Workshop)

Another mashup with The Thursday Ten!

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Every time this prompt comes up, I do it, because YouTube is a great resource, and it seems that whenever I get this prompt I’ve found a few new channels. I’ll try not to repeat too much, so the other times I’ve done this prompt are here, here, and here.

Strange Mysteries describes itself this way: “Unexplained & Unsolved Mysteries of the World. All about ghosts, ufo’s, spirits, aliens, legends, paranormal activity & phenomena from magic, science, facts, and tales either real or some fake hoax.” Here is one of their latest, “7 Mysteriously Lost Great Cities.”

Today I Found Out is a channel dedicated to answering some of life’s greatest mysteries, including “Why Do Rice Krispies Snap, Crackle, and Pop?”

Looper describes itself as “the go-to source for the movies, TV shows and video games we all love.” Not that I actually care about movies, TV shows, and particularly video games, but occasionally they have a pretty interesting video, such as “Creepy Things You Never Noticed In Classic Christmas Movies.”

AllTime10s tells us “we aim to bring you the most informative, fascinating and engaging top 10 videos on YouTube.” For example, “10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Christmas.”

News Be Funny Videos makes me laugh. They publish video collections of news bloopers, including crazy interviews, funny video bombs, double entendres, wardrobe malfunctions, demonstrations that don’t go as smoothly as one would hope, animal funnies, newsreaders in hysterics, etc. Here is “Best Live TV News Bloopers, 2016 (Part 1).” Part 2 is here, if you’re interested.

Techquickie features Linus Sebastian and presents topics of a technical nature, such as “What Happens To Discarded Electronics?”

NativLang‘s proprietor says “I’m animated about language! The history of written and spoken languages amazes me. I use stories and cartoons to bring linguistics to life.” Here’s “What Latin Sounded Like – and how we know.”

Langfocus‘s creator, Paul, says he’s “sharing [his] passion for languages and reaching out into the wider world.” Here he explains “What’s The Easiest Language To Learn?” And, for the record, Dutch is a very easy language to learn, but as he says, the Dutch speak very good English, so it might not be necessary. And the Netherlands, or as I call it Holland, is a wonderful country.

TopTenz creates a Top Ten list every day that’s available at 6 PM Eastern Time. For example, “Top Ten Awesome Things You Can Do With Household Objects.” Notice that Simon Whistler hosts both this channel and the “Today I Found Out…” one.

I used to play the bagpipes. While I no longer do so, I still enjoy listening to Scottish and Irish music played on the piob mhor. So, I love Jim Ramsay‘s channel. He has a number of videos of homecoming parades for troops returning from Afghanistan. Here is a video he took of massed pipe bands, most of them amateur, walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, from Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish Parliament building.

Yes, I have some rather eclectic tastes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour through my brain as seen though my favorite YouTube channels.




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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: The Reporter Who Knew Too Much

As promised…

We like to watch the reruns of What’s My Line? every night. The shows are older than either one of us, but that doesn’t matter. We especially like the interplay between John Charles Daly, the moderator, and the panelists, which usually include actress Arlene Francis, Random House co-founder and author Bennett Cerf, and reporter and columnist Dorothy Kilgallen. Mary is impressed that, more often than not, the panel is able to determine the occupation of the contestants with little difficulty (often despite the “help” proffered by Mr. Daly that occasionally leads the panel in the wrong direction).

The panelist that impresses us the most is Miss Kilgallen, who used her superior investigative skills to her advantage and showed her dogged determination in her questions to the contestants. Usually, it was she who either figured out the occupation of the contestant or whose questions put the other panelists on the right track. We looked up the panelists on Wikipedia and IMDb, and learned Miss Kilgallen was born in Chicago not far from where Mary grew up, her father was a newspaperman, and that she died under suspicious circumstances from an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates in 1965.

At the time of her death, Miss Kilgallen, dissatisfied with the statements made by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and the conclusion drawn by the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he assassinated President John F. Kennedy two years earlier, had been investigating who might have been behind the assassination and the subsequent murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby. Mark Shaw, former legal analyst for USA Today, ESPN, and CNN, has written The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen, in which he takes up the cause for Miss Kilgallen, asserting that she was murdered because she got too close to the truth about JFK’s assassination, and presents arguments for who actually murdered her.

The book is well-organized, with chapters dedicated to the crime scene, the autopsy report, and people who might have had a reason to want Miss Kilgallen dead, as well as his assessment of how the crime occurred and who was responsible. Since most of the people who might have been responsible are deceased themselves, he managed to interview the people closest to her, primarily her hairdresser and confidante Mark Sinclaire. Toward the end of the book, he presents the possibility that the person who killed her was Columbus, Ohio reporter Ron Pataky, who is still alive, and details conversations he had with Pataky and messages Pataky sent him.

To me, Shaw’s interactions with Pataky seemed a little obsessive. I understand that he’s the last person to see her alive, and that on the night of her death she was seen having drinks with him in a club, but it doesn’t appear that he had any motive to murder her, nor is it likely he was pressed into service to kill her on behalf of someone else. Is it possible? Sure. Likely? I can’t say.

I was also disappointed that the book wasn’t edited very well. There were numerous typos and grammatical errors that, given the price of the book (I paid $9.99 for the Kindle version, and the print version, available on January 6, will sell for almost $24 at Amazon), should have been cleaned up.

Nevertheless, this is a good if imperfect book, and anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination or in a case that was closed before all the facts were known will enjoy it, as will fans of a woman about whom Ernest Hemingway said was “one of the greatest woman writers in the world.” I’ll give it three and a half stars.




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#1LinerWeds from “NCIS”

Hey, DiNozzo, this place kind of reminds me of your apartment, except for that minty-fresh urine smell.

NCIS, which stars Mark Harmon as NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, is one of the few network shows we watch anymore. It’s been on since 2003, spawned from the Navy courtroom drama JAG, and like that show, is a dramedy. As time has gone on, the amount of comedy has decreased somewhat, but it still can be funny when it’s allowed to be.

In one of the early episodes, Gibbs and crew are trying to catch a sniper who’s been killing Marine recruiters. Their investigation leads them to an abandoned building across the street from the recruiting station, and Gibbs and another agent, Tony DiNozzo (played by Michael Weatherly) search the building for the sniper’s nest. They get to one of the floors, and this is Gibbs’s reaction.


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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill, and is sponsored today by The Rainier Brewing Company, Seattle, Washington.




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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Sarantuya

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I might have played this before, but this is one of my favorite videos, a pop-music treatment of the Mongolian National Anthem, “Mongol ulsyn töriin duulal.”

Mongolian popular music isn’t known much outside Mongolia, unfortunately, so finding the names of these four singers (because I really like them) took some doing. Finally, someone pointed out they’re on the card you see at the beginning of the video, which appears only briefly and is written in Mongolian Cyrillic. But I did it: they are Zhargalsaikhan (the man in the hat), Ariunaa (the woman in the blue dress), Dashdondog (the man without a hat), and the subject of today’s Two for Tuesday, Sarantuya (Сарантуяа), also called Saraa. (I still have to figure out the guitar player’s name…)

Wikipedia tells us she is a mezzo-soprano and has been a major figure on the Mongolian pop scene since the late Eighties, and that she’s considered the queen of Mongolian Pop. She’s won a number of Pentatonic awards (the Mongolian equivalent of Grammys, I guess) and was honored with the title “Singer of The Century.” And her birthday is the same as Mary’s.

Here are a couple of songs by her that caught my ear.

“Hairlasan setgel” (“Broken (?) Heart”)

“Ter namaig dursdag bolov uu?” (“Does He Remember Me?”)

Sarantuya’s music is pretty easy to come by on YouTube and iHeart, and her latest album, Argagui Mongol Ayalguu 2, and a couple of her other albums are available at Amazon.

Sarantuya, your Two for Tuesday, December 27, 2016.




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Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy New Year!

Happy Boxing Day! Today is also the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death for his faith in Jesus Christ. A friend of Mary’s told us that she and her brothers would commemorate the day by throwing walnuts at each other. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. I wish we knew about that back when I was, say, ten…

Today is also the start of our favorite week of the year. Christmas is over, and it’s too late in the year to worry about anything. Put everything off until the start of 2017, that’s what I’m going to do this week. Speaking of which, by the time the next one of these rolls around, it’ll be 2017, so Happy New Year!

I was going to run around and find videos appropriate to the New Year, but it would seem that YouTube user Lindsay Koski has already done that, putting together a video of ten great New Year’s songs from the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties. Some were television performances, and where the song didn’t come with a video, she provided one, and went to the trouble of identifying each song at the start of each video. Thank you, Lindsay! Enjoy!

Happy New Year, everyone! That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 26, 2015.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

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Ho! Ho! Ho!

As I mentioned last week, there’ll be no Week That Was this week. I haven’t decided about next week, but I probably will.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you’re celebrating today, and if you aren’t celebrating anything today, have a good day! Sing us out, Andy Williams!

Notice “the most wonderful time of the year” comes at the end of it?




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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Food and Family #socs

I spent half my life living in Chicago and the suburbs, meaning I lived half my life in Cook County, Illinois. Just an interesting side note.

My stepfather, Tex, was a good cook, and since he had experience cooking for a crowd, he usually cooked on the holidays. He was a master of the Weber kettle. That’s a charcoal grill with a vented lid, making it an oven when it had to be. On the big holidays, that’s where he’d cook the meat: turkey on Thanksgiving, prime rib on Christmas, leg of lamb on Easter, and ham just about anytime during the year, sometimes in addition to or instead of the holiday meat. Didn’t matter if it was ten below and snowing, he cooked outside. 

Mom was one who, if you didn’t have a place to go on the holidays, she’d insist you join us. For that matter, if you didn’t want to eat alone on a given night, she’d invite you. “We’re just having chicken and a vegetable,” she’d say, “come on over around six.” It was easy to wrangle an invitation to our house.

Sundays were for “the usual crowd,” which would be Grandma Holton and her sister Florence and Mom’s Aunt Cash. Tex would drive down to Rogers Park and pick them up in the early afternoon and they’d spend the day with us. When Tex took them home, they’d have “care packages” of some of the leftovers. We always cooked for an army, so there was plenty for everyone. 

Tex had a nickname for the old ladies, “The Lavender Hill Mob,” after the movie with Alec Guinness. Eventually they all passed away, and with that went my Sundays. By then, of course, I was married and living in Atlanta, but it was a loss.

I wish I could have just one more dinner with them. 


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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is sponsored by Linda Hill.




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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Friday Five: Christmas Songs

Originally, I was going to make this “Christmas Songs With ‘Silver’ In The Title,” but after the first two I couldn’t think of any, so this is just a few Christmas songs that I’ve seen on other blogs, or favorites, or goofy tunes… Be patient, I have a cold.

Silver Bells – Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell This is from the 1951 movie The Lemon Drop Kid. The song had been written in 1950, so it was still new. William Frawley, who sings his own version of the song as “Gloomy Willie,” was also in the 1934 non-musical The Lemon Drop Kid with Lee Tracy and Helen Mack, though he played a different part.

Silver and Gold – Burl Ives From the Rankin-Bass Christmas special Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my favorite songs from that show.

Little Drummer Boy – Pentatonix Another beautiful rendition of a Christmas classic by this great vocal group.

Jingle Bells – Tommy Emmanuel Fingerstyle guitar player extraordinaire Tommy Emmanuel doing this Christmas classic. Did you ever notice that this tune gets worked into all kinds of Christmas songs?

Ja, Das Ist Ein Christmas Tree – Mel Blanc The Man of A Thousand Voices gives “Schnitzelbank” a Christmas twist.

Have a Merry Christmas, or whatever you’re celebrating this Sunday! That’s The Friday Five for December 23 (i.e. Christmas Eve Eve), 2016




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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Some Stream-Of-Consciousness On “Chill”

I have a cold, which is about par for the course this time of year. I must have caught a chill over the weekend, when it was cold and damp and when we were around a lot of sneezing, sniffling kids, or as we call them, “bacteria farms,” though “virus farms” might be more appropriate. Mary and I never had kids, and feline diseases don’t infect humans. Okay, there is toxoplasmosis, which can be transmitted to an unborn child if an expectant mother scoops the litter box, but as far as I know that’s not a feline illness.

We all had the chicken pox when we were kids, and Dad, who had never had them, caught them from us. He couldn’t shave for about a week, and his beard grew out in all different directions. Mom blamed it on the fact that his father died before he could teach Dad how to shave, so Dad had to teach himself. Hey, Dad died before I learned to shave, and I think I did all right. I have a beard now, because I have no one to impress besides Mary and shaving is a big pain in the backside.

I learned to shave using Dad’s old safety razor, which Mom never cleaned out of the medicine cabinet after he died. He left some shaving cream, a half-empty package of Gillette Blue Blades, and a half-bottle of English Leather, so I was all set. I learned the English Leather would stop the bleeding when I cut myself, which I did a lot of at first. I stuck with the safety razor, or an injector razor, until I found I couldn’t get the blades for it, after which I was forced to use the disposables. I tried going back to a safety razor when the disposables wouldn’t shave me properly, but after slicing my face to shreds relearning how to use one (and from the left side, because my right hand doesn’t work right), I said “screw this” and grew a beard.

I don’t get this trend among men today to rid themselves of their body hair (I think they call it “manscaping”). When I was a kid, I wanted my body hair to grow in, and it wouldn’t. I finally started growing hair on my chest when I was forty, and it came in gray.

None of the forgoing (I think that’s the right term) has anything to do will “chill,” but I get sidetracked sometimes and, well, you see the results.

It’s been chilly in the house, and two of my cats are sleeping in the bedroom, on the bed, close to the head of the bed, because a stream of warm air comes up through there from the heat register on the wall behind the bed. Homer, one of the two baby kittens that we adopted after they were taken from their feral mother in a “trap, neuter, and release” sweep, and his girlfriend CeCe, who we found in Edwardsville, Illinois on one of our trips north and brought home, are the couple. We think CeCe is feral, because she’s terrified of us, me in particular. That is, unless Homer is around. She had originally attached herself to Jethro, Homer’s brother, but he died. God knows what we’ll do if Homer goes. She won’t come anywhere near us.

All right, I’ve rambled on long enough here…

The prompt was “chill.”




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BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Yellow River” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I have a case of the crud that started yesterday, but so far it hasn’t affected my writing, which is a good thing, because I have a lot of it to do.

Anyway, our last battle was over the song “Yellow River,” done by both The Tremeloes and Christie using the same instrumental background. It was a pretty close battle at the start, then The Tremeloes pulled away. Here are the results.

The Tremeloes: 7
Christie:4

Congratulations to The Tremeloes, and kudos to Christie, who did a great job and, after all, it was Jeff Christie’s song.

Our next battle will be held on New Year’s Day, and I think the song I’ve chosen is more than appropriate for the occasion. Join us then!




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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Read More Than I Think I Do

Sometimes, particularly at the end of the year, I worry that I don’t read enough. Mary reads all the time, and sometimes I think it’s more like she inhales the books (or, in this case, the ebooks). I, on the other hand, am a great one for starting an e-book, putting it down for a period of time (measured in weeks or months, and maybe even years), picking it up again, reading some more, etc. until I get through it. If you were to ask me how many books I read during the year, I’d probably tell you four or five. And you would recoil in horror: “My God, you’re a writer and you only read five books this year?”

I was embarrassed about this until I got my statistics from Pocket for the year ending in ten days. Pocket is a service that allows me to put articles, web pages, and blog posts aside to be read later. I use it primarily to hold onto your blog posts, along with any links I might find, when I’m working on my Kindle or my phone, because occasionally those devices can’t open them, or the whole article doesn’t come through on Feedly, or I haven’t the time to read it then (like it’s the middle of the night and I just happen to grab my phone). Likewise, when I happen across an article on Wikipedia (which by now everyone knows is the blogger’s best friend) or a news item, I can save it for later, and I’ve discovered I can save Instagram pictures and YouTube and Dailymotion videos there as well.

Anyway, back to my yearly statistics. Turns out I’m in their top 1% of all users.

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Source: Pocket

So, I’ve read the equivalent of 45 books this year on Pocket. Add that to the four or five (it’s actually more than that) actual books I’ve read, and that’s about a book a week. Maybe not reading at Mary’s level, but at the same time it isn’t as though I’m not reading. I think I’m becoming a better blogger, since the majority of those words were from your blog posts.

So, thank you for writing that I’ve really enjoyed and learned something from.

Pocket added social media functionality to their service this past year, where you can see what your friends recommend and where you can recommend things to your friends. I don’t use that part of it, mostly because I’m hesitant to give Pocket access to lists of my Facebook and Twitter friends, and I’m not sure I’d use it much anyway. If any of you are Pocket users and you’re using those features, how do you like them?

And, if you’re not a Pocket user, why not give it a try? I think you’d find it helpful and convenient to use. It’s a free service (although I’m a premium user, at least for this year, at $30). (They aren’t paying me to say that, in case you’re wondering.)




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A Pre-Christmas One-Liner #1LinerWeds

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What else is there to say?


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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station.




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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Dodie Stevens

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I was browsing through Pinterest today, and someone had posted a number of songs by Dodie Stevens (née Geraldine Ann Pasquale in Chicago). I listened and liked her voice, and when I looked her up on Wikipedia I learned that her biggest hit, “Pink Shoelaces,” was recorded when she was just thirteen years old, not unlike Brenda Lee. It reached #3 on the Pop chart and #5 on the R&B chart in 1959.

Dodie charted a few more times in 1959 and 1960, with songs like “Yes-Sir-Ee” (#79), “Five Pennies” (#89), and “Yes, I’m Lonesome Tonight” (#60). She married in 1962 at sixteen, had a daughter (Stephanie), divorced in 1966 and resumed her musical career. She had some success with “Billy, I’ve Got To Go To Town” in 1969, recording as Geraldine Stevens. It was an “answer song” to Kenny Rogers and the First Edition’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.” WLS used to play them back-to-back. It charted at #117 on the Pop chart and #57 on the Country chart.

After vocal lessons, she began recording with Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’77 in 1972, and since then has toured with Loretta Lynn, Boz Scaggs, Frankie Avalon, and Mac Davis as a backup singer. As Geri Stevens, she toured in the 1990’s with Fabian and her own company, “Dodie Stevens and the Pink Shoelaces Review.” She recently has been working the oldies concert circuit and with Stephanie, as seen here. She still has a fantastic voice.

Dodie Stevens, your Two for Tuesday, December 20, 2016. Thanks to Wikipedia, the blogger’s best friend…




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Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: My Favorite Christmas Songs

I know, I yank these out of the vault every Christmas (or so it seems). I can’t help it. I love these songs.

I posted these on my first blog Christmas as a Two For Tuesday, even though there are three of them. You can read what I wrote then if you want (that way, I don’t have to repeat myself, which I do a lot). I’ll just say these have a special place in my heart.

The Three Little Dwarfs (Hardrock, Coco, and Joe)

Suzy Snowflake

Frosty The Snowman

Thanks to The Library of Chicago Children’s TV of the 60’s and 70’s for posting these.

If I don’t see you before then, have a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Hanukkah! That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 19, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Holly Jolly Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is brought to you by Norelco shavers. Even our name says “Merry Christmas”!

I know I ran this last year, but it ain’t Christmas without Santa riding on the floating heads of the Noëlco shaver.

The Week That Was

Bought my Christmas gift the other day, a radio that picks up AM, FM, shortwave, weather, and air bands. No special reason, just thought I’d like to get back into world radio listening, and even though a lot of it is moving to the web, there’s still plenty to listen to, and the air band will bring back memories of the times an airline would play the tower communications over the inflight entertainment system. I know, I’m strange. (In case you’re wondering, Mary already has her gift, a rather detailed knitting book written in Norwegian. She can still read the charts, of which there are many.)

Programming note: this feature will not run next week. I’ll post something, of course, just not a summary of the week. And speaking of which…

I chose songs that honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who had a big part in Christmas. I told Arlee in a comment on his Battle of the Bands that, like most Catholics, I find it easier to relate to Mary and the saints, and leave the communication to God in their able hands. Arlee said his favorite Blessed Mother song is Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” It’s a favorite of mine, particularly Luciano Pavarotti’s version. He also does a wonderful rendition of the Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria.” Dan liked the “O Sanctissima” from The Bells of St. Mary’s, a particular favorite movie of mine, at Christmas or any time of the year, really. Birgit recommended a singer named Ivan Rebroff, who does a great version of the Bach-Gounod “Ave.”

And I heard from my Aunt Jinx, whose real name is Mary Virginia, who loved the choices and says she and Aunt Moe sing the Carey Landry tune on Christmas Eve

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Alana ran a “happy birthday” post to the wonderful Brenda Lee, who celebrated her birthday last Sunday, and I liked the idea so much I made her my featured artist. She’s called “Little Miss Dynamite” because of this song.

The guy who posted the clip modified it so he could get the whole song in. Brenda is about sixteen here and already had a couple of hit records behind her, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “I’m Sorry.” Dan said his father had an 8-track tape of her he used to play in the car. Is it just me, or does country music just sound better on an 8-track?

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I ran a line from a news story about a guy who lost his privilege of being represented by counsel when he kept stabbing his lawyers in the neck with a pencil. Actually, the third time it was a pen. Janie said that maybe she should quit regretting not going to law school. When you see stories like this, can you blame her? Linda liked the Aerowax commercial from the Fifties I included at the end, and says she remembers it even though it was a long time ago. I remember it ran during the game shows back in the day. I’m sure you can still find floor wax, but I think the world is moving more to no-wax floors. Vinyl requires a lot less care than linoleum, I guess.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

We have a tight battle running with the song “Yellow River,” in which both contestants (The Tremeloes and Christie) are using the same instrumental track, so if you haven’t voted, you have until Wednesday night. I’ll publish the results this coming Thursday. I already have my January 1 song chosen, one appropriate for the start of a new year.

The prompt was to share a favorite quote, so I shared my favorite line from the original The Producers. Annalisa (who just moved her blog to WordPress, so be sure and visit her at her new address) wondered if she could use the line on agents. I know I would, though I don’t think it works as well if you’re pitching a TV or movie script. Eugenia, Ally, Janie, and Joey all shared their favorite quotes, so be sure and check them out.

I played your choices of songs with “yellow” in the title, including “Yellow Bird,” which I had to do or, as my brother Kip said, I would be in trouble with my aunts who sang it ad nauseum in the Sixties. I shared a video of The Mills Brothers doing “Basin Street Blues” with Dan to demonstrate their amazing abilities to sound like a horn section, and I found the French version of “Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” that Joey said is a favorite of hers.

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No idea where Linda got the idea of using “moot” as the prompt for the day, but she did. It made me think of the cartoon character Snappy Sammy Smoot from the underground comix back in the Sixties and Seventies. Like I told Joey a minute ago, it sounds like a cartoon character from the Twenties, kind of like Moot Mullins. (Yes, I know it’s Moon Mullins. I remember the cartoon well. I read it every Sunday when I was a kid, and every day when I started reading the Tribune on the commute to work. Never figured it out. Same with Gasoline Alley, which started running in the Tribune in 1918, meaning it’s almost a hundred years old.) “Moot” means “irrelevant” or “of no consequence,” although many of us (me included) got tripped up by the other definition, which means “arguable.” Anyway, it gave me a chance to talk about my days in debate, when I learned “you idiot” was not an appropriate thing to say to an opponent, no matter how idiotic their argument was.

This coming week, look for my review of The Reporter Who Knew Too Much, my favorite Christmas songs, another chanteuse, another one-liner, a couple of replies to prompts… you know, the usual stuff. See you soon!




from The Sound of One Hand Typing