Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last Week That Was for January!

Here’s Miss Frances from Ding Dong School for Wheaties…

Miss Frances was Dr. Frances Horwich, who had her PhD from Northwestern. Ding Dong School was produced by WNBQ (now WMAQ) in Chicago and ended before I was born…

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I’m taking a different approach to TWTW, because it’s taking hours to write it every week. Let me know what you think.

  • MONDAY’S MUSIC MOVES ME: 1980’S FAVORITES: I think the general consensus was that my playlist of ’80’s hits was a good one. That I don’t listen to the lyrics surprised Twila, who said she collected music from the era based on the lyrics. To each his/her own.
  • A TO Z CHALLENGE SIGN-UPS START TODAY!!: Our annual abecedarian blogfest starts on April 1, of course, and sign-ups for this year started Monday. I’m glad to hear so many of you plan on doing the challenge. It’s the highlight of my blogging year, I know that.
  • PRESTIDIGITATION (#JUSJOJAN): Jennette said that she tried to do magic as a kid in the ’70’s, but never got good at it. For every kid that gets good at doing magic tricks, I swear that a hundred get frustrated and give up. Maybe even more than that. Arlee mentioned he used to read Mary Doyle’s (Marshall Brodien’s wife) blog, but hasn’t gotten any recent posts. Probably busy with her husband’s illness. Not the easiest thing to deal with…
  • WITH APOLOGIES TO DR. SEUSS… (#JUSJOJAN): Carol, who came up with “oneness,” wanted me to be sure and let you know that photographer Patrick Jennings was the one who supplied the prompt. Be sure and check his blog out. Linda and I got into a conversation about the works of Dr. Seuss, and how many kids who grew up reading his books can remember the rhymes. I played a trick on Mary where I picked up a copy of Green Eggs and Ham that was written in Hebrew and pretended I was reading it. (Come to think of it, ham isn’t Kosher…)
  • #TWOFORTUESDAY: JETHRO TULL: Arlee said he’s been to a couple of Tull concerts, and they were excellent. Sad they’re no longer active…
  • #1LINERWEDS FROM LAWRENCE BLOCK (#JUSJOJAN): I used a quote from Lawrence Block, novelist par excellence and author of Telling Lies For Fun And Profit, to fit the word of the day, “mendaciloquent,” and actually heard from him. He wants to be sure to let you know “Telling Lies, I’m happy to say, is readily available in print or ebook form, and any of y’all who’d like to receive my occasional newsletter need only send a blank email with Newsletter in the header to lawbloc@gmail.com.” It was a very pleasant surprise. Be sure and check out his books. And thanks to Dave Barclay for the reblog.
  • INTROIBO AD ALTARE DEI…: Damyanti thinks I should gather all my stories into a book and sell it, something that Mary has been after me to do for a while now. I might just have to do it now; my family seems amenable to the idea.
  • SERENDIPITY (#JUSJOJAN) – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO US!: Many thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes.
  • LETTERS FROM GHOSTS (#JUSJOJAN): Halfmoon Mollie, who wasn’t actually a member of Ghostletters, got to know it, and most of us, through LiveJournal, and took a moment to remember Anne Fraser and Lisa Schmidt, two of my favorite people, both of whom died way too soon. I think of them a lot, too. Anne, by the way, wrote a novel, Gideon Redoak, a paranormal romance, that was published posthumously; it’s available on Amazon. Several of you were sorry that the listserv (mailing list) was closed, because it sounded like a fun idea. And it was. Sometimes I toy with the idea of reviving the characters I created for that list and taking them out for another spin. You never know.
  • THE FRIDAY FIVE: 5 BY THE SERENDIPITY SINGERS: Big news there was that Bee nominated me for a Liebster award. Thanks, Bee! Arlee said he liked “Don’t Let The Rain Come Down” when he was younger, and that it was one of the first singles he bought, except it was by a sound-alike band, because the sound-alike record was cheaper than the original, great for the budget-conscious junior high schooler. Remember those days?
  • ANALOG AND DIGITAL (#SOCS, #JUSJOJAN): My original idea was to talk about the technical difference between analog and didgital. You lucked out this time. Haven’t had a chance to look at the comments; I was going to last night, then got involved in a The Donna Reed Show marathon on Decades. Sorry ’bout that…

So, that’s what happened last week. Thanks to everyone who commented, and I’m sorry if I got behind on replying. Coming up this week…

  • A Battle of the Bands with a Dave Brubeck classic.
  • A Question of the Month that ties in with a blogfest by Arlee.
  • Another progressive rock band on Two for Tuesday.
  • I’ll even try to do something fo the Writer’s Workshop.

Join us then!




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Clumsy! #JusJoJan

I’m especially clumsy since my stroke. Slow-moving, stiff, and prone to falling down, which I haven’t done in some time. Makes me worry I’m due for a big one. As big as I am, it could cause a small earthquake. Being big also means it’s harder for me to get up, at least by myself, but I can do it.

Outside the house, I walk on a cane. I bought the one I’m using a few years ago, when the TV show House MD was on the air. Remember, he had the cane with racing flames at the bottom?

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Source: FashionableCanes.com

 

The first time I saw it, I said, “You know, Mary, if I ever need to use a cane, that’s the kind I want!” I should have kept my big fat mouth shut.

After nine years, I’ve gotten used to being in public with people who take a step backwards when I’m walking behind them and children whose own little world doesn’t include large men on canes. I’ve learned to watch my step and not to assume that something that wasn’t there a second ago (kid, adult, table leg, etc.) isn’t there now.

At home, I have the cats to consider. Walking down the stairs is a major production, because I have to keep an eye out for one of the little darlings who, seeing that Daddy is ready to come downstairs, realize that they absolutely must be upstairs. And, I have to remember that just because the cat wanted to be upstairs so badly a couple of seconds ago doesn’t mean they won’t absolutely have to be downstairs now. One of the little darlings has a habit of getting halfway upstairs and standing there, front paws on one step, back paws on the step below, trying to decide whether to go up or down. This is Milton, our Devon Rex, the only purebred cat we’ve ever had and the only one we paid for. I like to figure out how much we paid per brain cell. I have another who, seeing I’m walking, will run to get in front of me and flop over like a flounder.

On the positive side, I’m still alive and still able to walk. I’ll live with the clumsy…


 

Judy over at Edwina’s Episodes provided the prompt for today. Linda Hill came up with Just Jot It January, which ends today. Thanks, Linda!




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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Analog and Digital (#socs, #JusJoJan)

Well, it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the prompt, so bear with me.

You hear a lot about your “digital life” these days, where all your entertainment, your job, and your communications can be broken down into a string of binary characters, i.e. 1’s and 0’s. When you came to this page, or received this email, or however you read this blog, it was delivered by a string of 1’s and 0’s. If you see a picture of a cat wearing a Santa Claus hat on Facebook, you’re looking at a string of 1’s and 0’s that, taken together, form the picture of a cat wearing a Santa Claus hat. Ditto what happens when you see a video of the cat in the Santa Claus hat try to get it off. Nothing but strings of 1’s and 0’s. When you think about it, it’s pretty cool, isn’t it?

Think about this: when my nephew Mathew was born, I got an email from my brother with pictures of his new son, taken within moments of the kid being born. Really, Matt was born at 2:00 in the afternoon, and by 2:10 I was looking at him. Back in the old days, you would take a picture of the baby, take it to Fotomat (remember those?) to be developed and to have sufficient copies made for everyone in the family, get stamps and envelopes, put each picture in an envelope, address it and stamp it, and drop it in the mailbox. The Post Office would work its magic, and a week or so later the letter carrier would drop it in the mailbox in front of my house. Ten minutes (digital) versus ten days (analog). Wow. That’s almost 1500 times faster.

Then there’s this, that I found on Facebook:

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Five megabytes! Now, I carry one of these around in my pocket: 128 gigabytes. 25,000 times more storage…

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We’ve figured out how to put more digits in less space. And we need to be able to store more digits in less space.

So digital makes our lives faster, but it begs the question, does it make them better? In some ways, it does, in other ways, not so much. We still live in an analog world, when you come right down to it; our lives can’t easily be broken down into strings of 1’s and 0’s. Despite all the technological advances, we still live in a world of things to see, and touch, and smell, and taste, and hear. We can’t duplicate any of those as accurately using 1’s and 0’s, and some we can’t duplicate at all.

So, don’t forget the analog.


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The prompt for this Stream of Consciousness Saturday, as well as for Just Jot It January, was “an-,” as chosen by the hostess for both blog hops, Linda Hill.

 




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Friday, January 29, 2016

The Friday Five: 5 by The Serendipity Singers

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Yesterday, the prompt for Just Jot It January was “serendipity.” It was our wedding anniversary, so I told the story of how Mary and I met, but if it hadn’t been, I would have featured this group.

The Serendipity Singers, like the New Christy Minstrels, were a 1960’s folk group that had one legitimate hit, “Don’t Let The Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man),” which reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in May of 1964. Most of their record sales came in the 1964-1965 time period, when they recorded on the Philips label. They started as the Newport Singers when they were students at the University of Colorado, and became a popular act in the Denver-Boulder area before moving to New York City in 1963 to accept a recording contract. Fred Weintraub, the owner of The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, agreed to be their manager, and proposed a name change because there was already a group with that name. The name “Serendipity Singers” was sold in the early 1970’s, and since then there have been a number of acts bearing that name.

Anyway, on to the music…

  1. Don’t Let The Rain Come Down: As I mentioned, this was their biggest hit, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Performance by a Chorus in 1965. It lost to The Swingle Singers, who won for “Going Baroque.”
  2. Beans In My Ears: The followup single, it reached #30 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It managed to be banned in Boston and on Pittsburgh’s KDKA, and several TV stations asked that they change the lyrics for broadcast, because doctors were worried that kids would actually out beans in their ears. I wouldn’t have. Though I did stick turkey up my nose one Thanksgiving (not recently).
  3. Down Where The Winds Blow: Their third single in 1964, it only reached #112 nationally.
  4. Sailin’ Away: The flip side of “Beans In My Ears.”
  5. Boots and Stetsons: Just a nice tune of theirs.

The Serendipity Singers had the misfortune of coming to the public’s attention at the same time the British Invasion was sweeping the US charts. After six albums for Philips, their contract was terminated, and they would never find the same level of popularity after that. Kind of a shame, really.

Anyway, there’s your Friday Five for January 29, 2016.




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Letters from Ghosts (#JusJoJan)

Some of you know, and I think I mentioned it on the blog here, that I was the listowner of a mailing list called Ghostletters for a number of years. The idea behind Ghostletters, and its subtitle, was “Conversations between fictionl and historical characters.” If you wanted to write on the list, you had to do so in character (your “persona”). Your persona could be a historical person (e.g. Julius Caesar), a fictional character someone else created (e.g. Sherlock Holmes — everyone wanted to be Sherlock, it seems), or a fictional character of your own choosing, the option most of us took.

The other requirement of Ghostletters was that communications had to be done in epistolary form, i.e. letters. Well, that’s how it started, anyway; soon many of us couldn’t resist writing stories involving our characters, and the list filled with stories about our characters.

My original character was Jack O’Brian, a widowed bartender and restaurateur who had received most of his culinary training as a Commissaryman (now a Culinary Specialist) in the US Navy. Eventually my circle of characters grew to include his daughter, Mary Cecelia (no, it’s not spelled wrong; it’s on her birth certificate that way), a diminutive redhead with beautiful emerald-green eyes and a love of firearms, Father John J. Flanagan, a semi-retired Jesuit and inveterate smartass (there was a Fr. Flanagan at my old parish in Chicago, and the character was a tribute to him), and many more characters, too many to list in a JJIJ post.

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A somewhat close approximation of Mary Cecelia O’Brian. Definitely the attitude. (Image credit: yeko / 123RF Stock Photo)

 

After about ten years and Lord knows how many arguments, tantrums, pissing contests, and people leaving in a huff, I was looking to get out, and when the previous owner (the creator of the list) returned, I prevailed on her to reassume control of the list, and extracted myself. Sadly, after repeated attemps to breathe life back into Ghostletters, it was decided that the only humane thing to do was to take it out and shoot it.

It was a lot of fun, though, and I met some outstanding people, two of whom are no longer with us, one of whom invited me to be in her writer’s group, even though she lives in Michigan and I live in Georgia (thanks to Google Hangouts, I can be there even though I can’t be there in person). I also met some remarkable writers. In all, it was a good experience.


 

Barbara at teleportingweena provided today’s prompt, “ghost.” Linda Hill is the hostess with the mostess of Just Jot It January.




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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Serendipity (#JusJoJan) – Happy Anniversary To Us!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is “serendipity,” which Wikipedia tells us is “a fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise.” Since today is our 38th anniversary, I thought I’d reprint something from a year ago today, the story of the most fortunate happenstance of my life.


The Clock at Marshall Field's (source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Clock at Marshall Field’s State Street store, now Macy’s (source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

I don’t think I’ve ever told this story here, but if I have, bear with me.

I transferred to Loyola University Chicago in my third year of college, and got a job at Marshall Field’s at Water Tower Place shortly thereafter. They had a training class on a Saturday morning, when all of us from all the different stores in the Chicago area gathered in the training room at the main store and were indoctrinated into the ways of M. F. & Co. During the class, I was seated with a couple of divorced men in their 30’s, and we were talking and generally having a good time. Across the table, there was a cute girl with short hair and gorgeous gray eyes who looked maybe eighteen. I thought she was the sister of a guy I knew from grammar school, but honestly, I was a little too shy to talk to her.

About a week later, I was walking across the bridge that spanned over Rush Street between the two buildings at Loyola, and who do I see crossing in the other direction but the pretty girl with the gray eyes. We were both headed to class, so we didn’t stop to talk or anything, but I knew something was about to happen between me and the gray-eyed girl. And, a couple of days later, it did.

I got to school about an hour before my first class, and went to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee. When I walked in, the gray-eyed girl was there, and she came toward me. “Excuse me, do you work at Marshall Field’s?”

Well, the ice had been broken, and we chatted for a couple of minutes, then she said she had to leave. “My name’s Mary, by the way.”

That was in October or November of 1976. By January of 1977, after many shared cups of coffee, I had asked her to marry me, and she said yes. And so, on January 28, 1978, Mary and I promised to be true to each other in good times and in bad, etc. and we became husband and wife. And we’ve been together ever since. And, after all this time, she’s still the pretty girl with the gorgeous gray eyes. And I can’t imagine life without her.


 

Today’s JusJoJan prompt was suggested by Jan at JT Twissel. Just Jot It January is hosted by the lovely Linda Hill.




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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Introibo Ad Altare Dei…

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Mary hasn’t told me what she wants me to post this week, so I’m going to talk about my days as an altar boy.


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We only got to wear red cassocks on special occasions. (Source: Love That Feeling)

 

When I was in fourth grade, I was honored by Sister Ann Catherine by being asked if I would like to serve as an altar boy. Of course, I jumped at the chance. That was an honor that was normally reserved only to the older boys (i.e. the fifth graders and above) and I knew that my folks would just be proud as heck of me.

Mother Ancilla, who was the head of the Altar Boys and kind of a young woman, was thrilled that I was interested, and handed me a card printed in black, red and white, with several passages circled in pencil. “Do you think that you can learn the circled parts by Monday, John?” she asked, and I nodded vigorously. It was in Latin, of course, and I had never tried reading or speaking in Latin, but it was Friday afternoon; I figured Dad could help me through it, and I’d be ready for the big quiz on Monday, no problem. Dad was really into that kind of thing. He was a lector and everything.

What I didn’t realize was that Mom and Dad were going out of town for the weekend, and wouldn’t be home until late Sunday night. Now, I was screwed. I was sure that my aunt Florence, who was staying with us for the weekend, wouldn’t be able to help, so I didn’t bother to ask her. Instead, I tried to learn it on my own, and ended up thoroughly frustrated and upset at everyone: myself, Dad, Florence, Mother Ancilla, Sister Ann Catherine, St. Tarcisius (the patron saint of altar boys), the Society of Jesus, the pastor, the archbishop, and the Pope, so upset that I thought of becoming a Protestant. When Dad got home Sunday evening, he sat down with me and went over the responses. I was able to bluff my way through on Monday morning, and no longer had a desire to convert.

After several afternoons of training in the church (which essentially consisted of being told by the older altar boys conducting the training to sit down and shut up), I was ready to serve Mass without making too big of a fool out of myself. I was assigned to the 7:45 AM Mass on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday my first week. That Wednesday after school, we had a meeting of the altar boys, at which we were told that we would have to learn all the responses in English, because Vatican II had changed the rules. I told Mom and Dad this, and they just laughed. I, on the other hand, was thinking of becoming a Presbyterian again.

In my four plus years of serving, I never once dropped a paten (the thing we in the Old Church would hold under a communicant’s chin to prevent the Body of Christ from dropping off the communicant’s tongue, falling on the marble floor, and being smashed underfoot), closed the book on the priest, tripped over my cassock and fell on my face while carrying the cross, or set fire to my surplice while lighting the candles. I was reverent, I knew when to respond and how, and was in general diligent in my duties.

That’s not to say that I was always fully aware of my surroundings. Most people who know me realize that I have a hard time sitting still. If Father happened to get started on a particularly long topic, within several minutes I would be examining the life of St. Ignatius, which was painted in great detail on the ceiling of the church. Or I would begin to fidget with my surplice, rolling it up and down.

One Sunday (and fortunately, there was only ever one), my father was assigned to the same Mass that I was. Needless to say, he was appalled at my behavior, and upon arriving home I was ordered to my room to examine my conscience. About a half an hour later, after he had cooled off, he came in and asked me one question: “John, why did you become an altar boy?”

I looked at him and responded, “because the opportunity presented itself.”

End of discussion. He was laughing too hard to stay mad.




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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#1LinerWeds from Lawrence Block (#JusJoJan)

Those of us who are driven to produce great quantities of manuscript don’t necessarily get any real pleasure out of the act. It’s just that we feel worse when we don’t write.
 
Lawrence Block

So, I saw the word Linda picked for Just Jot It January, mendaciloquent, and I said, “What the…?” So I went to the Grandiloquent Dictionary and learned that it means “able to tell artful or skilled lies.” And I immediately thought of Lawrence Block, who, in addition to having written more than a hundred novels and many short stories, has written a few books on writing, one of which is Telling Lies For Fun And Profit: A Manual For Fiction Writers.

I know that most of you are fiction writers, or have tried writing fiction in the past, and are always in the market for writing books. This is one of my favorites, because, in addition to being a hell of a writer with 58 years’ experience, he is very, very funny. Your local public library probably has a copy, so run out and borrow it, if it’s still available and one of my other readers hasn’t done so already. Or, get it from Amazon, if you’re so inclined. You’ll be glad you did.


 

Today’s prompt was brought to you by c0ral3 over at her blog, named, appropriately enough, Musefully Mendaciloquent. Just Jot It January was created by Linda Hill.

ETA: So, it’s a day early. So sue me.




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#TwoForTuesday: Jethro Tull

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Jethro Tull’s been around since late 1967, and started out playing blues and a little folk music. In 1971, they recorded Aqualung, which the critics clained was a concept album, which rankles vocalist-flautist-leader Ian Anderson to this day. The band’s response was to record an actual concept album, Thick As A Brick, a single song that spanned both sides of a 12″ LP, what Anderson later called “the mother of all concept albums.” The story behind the album was that it was co-written by twelve-year-old Gerald Bostock, an imaginary schoolboy. The album jacket was designed as a newspaper with Gerald’s story on the front page and a number of other bizarre news items on the inside, a nod to the influence of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The band officially broke up in 2011, with guitarist Martin Barre saying that year that he didn’t anticipate any further work as Jethro Tull. Anderson has released two albums under the Jethro Tull name (2012’s Thick as a Brick 2 and 2014’s Homo Erraticus), and said in an April 2014 interview that all his future releases will be under his name and not the band’s.

The first song today is from the Aqualung album, “Cross-Eyed Mary.” It’s the second song on the album, after the title track. Though Ian Anderson says Aqualung isn’t a concept album, He does admit that it’s based around several themes, and “Mary” fits the theme introduced by the title song. Personnel on the track are Anderson, flute and vocal; Martin Barre, guitar; John Evan, keyboards; Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, bass; and Clive Bunker, drums.

In 1977, Jethro Tull released Songs From The Wood, signaling a move to more folk-oriented music that lasted through the next two albums. Here is the title track; musicians on the track are Anderson, Barre, Evan, John Glascock on bass, David Palmer on keyboards, and Barriemore Barlow on drums.

Jethro Tull, your Two for Tuesday, January 26, 2016.




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With Apologies To Dr. Seuss… (#JusJoJan)

Oneness
Twoness
Redness
Blueness
Blackness
Blueness
Oldness
Newness

(Sorry… thought of this in the dentist’s chair and just had to use it)


 

Today’s prompt waas provided by Carol at WritersDream9, who I hope will forgive me for this. Just Jot It January is brought to you by Linda Hill, who I hope will let me keep playing after today…




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Monday, January 25, 2016

Prestidigitation (#JusJoJan)

I remember learning how to do a simple card trick when I was about ten. When I showed it to my grandfather, he said, “You’re pretty good at that prestidigitation!” I didn’t know whether it was a compliment or an insult, so I said, “what?” He told me to look it up, and I learned it means “sleight of hand,” or “legerdemain,” or as we called it, “magic.”

I don’t know if kids do magic tricks anymore, or if they’re too busy with video games and iPads to be interested in it, but it was big stuff when I was growing up. Everyone knew how to do magic tricks, even if they themselves couldn’t do them. Many of us learned our tricks from The Magic Hands on “Trick and Treat,” an interstitial. Here’s an example (unfortunately, the guy who uploaded it turned off embedding) of what the shows were like. The Magic Hands, a disembodied pair of hands, would demonstrate the trick, then make you sit through a commercial before he told you how it worked. In Chicago, we saw the show as part of “Garfield Goose and Friends” with Frazier Thomas, but ours were sponsored by Cracker Jack. This was during the time that the wonderful Jack Gilford was doing the commercials for them. This one, from 1970, won a Clio award.

We used to walk home from school at lunchtime (we lived a couple of blocks away) and watch “Bozo’s Circus” at noon on WGN. They used to advertise something called “TV Magic Cards.” Marshall Brodien, a “professional magician” from the Chicago area, designed them and sold them. Here’s the commercial, which the uploader put in the video twice.

Marshall was a semi-regular on “Bozo,” and by the mid-1970’s was a regular on the show, playing a character named Wizzo.


Marshall Brodien (left) as “Wizzo,” with Bob Bell as “Bozo” (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Marshall’s retired now, and sadly suffers from Alzheimer’s. His wife, Mary K. Doyle, has written a book called Navigating Alzheimer’s: 12 Truths about Caring for Your Loved One. He does have a page on Facebook (which I think Mary maintains), and seems to be doing all right, for now.


 

Today’s prompt, “prestidigitation,” was suggested by Pamela at Butterfly Sand. Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda Hill.




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Monday’s Music Moves Me: 1980’s Favorites

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Today, the theme is “Everyone’s Favorite 1980’s Rock Bands!” I originally misread this and ended up with a post, or at least an idea, of my favorite band from the ’80’s, then realized it was ROCK bands. So, I started with INXS and let YouTube suggest the others, and before I knew it, I had ten songs and figured I’d better quit, or you’d be after me with pitchforks.

All right, not everything I’m featuring here is “rock,” but I really liked the popular music of 1980’s, maybe more in retrospect than at the time. It might have been the last decade where I could say that. Most of what’s on “pop” radio these days is unlistenable trash. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older. (Rotten kids… get off my lawn, dammit!) This list represents music from the 1980’s that I enjoyed. Many times, I liked the song because of the music, not because the words were all that meaningful and relevant. A lot of times, I don’t bother listening to the lyrics; I just enjoy the groove behind the singer.

Anyway, the tunes….

  1. Never Tear Us Apart – INXS: I featured them on Two for Tuesday in August 2014. Check that post out for more details.
  2. Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds: I love the way this one starts: POW! POW! Hey, hey, hey, hey… then it gets real quiet and intense, and you sit there waiting for it to explode…
  3. West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys: One of those songs where I just like the music. Kind of ominous sounding to start, then a strong synth-beat underneath.
  4. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears for Fears: I think I like this one because I won a contest by being the fifth caller when the song played. I forget what I won, but it’s not important.
  5. Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins: I think I just liked Alannah Currie’s hair, or lack thereof. But the song is catchy.
  6. Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson: This starts out with a fantastic groove, and this one I actually like the lyrics.
  7. Breakout – Swing Out Sister: The subject one one of my early Two for Tuesdays. I think I had a crush on Corinne Drewery, the band’s singer. She still has a tremendous voice.
  8. Something About You – Level 42: Level 42 is all about the bass, in this case as played by lead singer Mark King. They were also the subject of a Two for Tuesday in July 2014, the first month I blogged every day.
  9. Smoking Gun – Robert Cray: Technically a blues artist and one of my favorite guitar players of all time, he had a big crossover hit with this in 1987. I’ve seen him a couple of times in concert, and he breaks more high E strings than I used to.
  10. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley: Couldn’t get through this list without Rick-rolling you. Another artist I’ve featured on Two for Tuesday, Rick has a fantastic voice, and this video is what the 1980’s were all about: great voice, heavy dance beat, catchy lyrics, and attractive dancers. And he looks like David Caruso.

That’s it for this edition of Monday’s Music Moves Me. Hope you liked it.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, and Naila Moon (at least through December), so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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A to Z Challenge Sign-ups Start TODAY!!

Please read and follow the sign-up instructions outlined below so you sign onto the list correctly!

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends. For more details and its history, go HERE

We recommend short posts, turn off Word Verification, and visit five blogs (or more) a day beginning with the one after yours on the list.


Blogs must be on an open platform – no Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – and comments enabled. Please make it easy for visitors to comment on your blog.

To streamline legitimate blogs from advertisement blogs, the Co-Hosts will be visiting each blog on this list throughout the Challenge. Once the Challenge begins, blogs showing no activity or those that miss five days in a row will be removed.

Please note your blog name and number in all correspondences. Remember that as blogs are removed, your number WILL change.

There are categories for those looking for like-minded blogs. Select ONE category code and enter it after your blog’s title/name. The code applies to your blog, not your theme for the Challenge and is purely optional. See the first few blogs on the list for examples. However, if your blog has adult content, you MUST mark it (AC) or it will be removed from the list. Codes are as follows:

ANIMALS: (AN)
BOOKS/REVIEWS: (BO)
CRAFTS/ART: (CT)
CULINARY: (CU)
EDUCATION/SCIENCE: (ES)
ENTERTAINMENT: (ET)
GAMING: (GA)
HISTORY/MYTHOLOGY: (HM)
HUMOR: (HU)
LIFESTYLE/SOCIAL: (LS )
PERSONAL: (PR)
PHOTOGRAPHY: (PH)
POETRY: (PO)
TRAVEL: (TR)
WRITING/STORYTELLING/MEMOIR: (WR)
ADULT CONTENT: (AC)

Be sure to grab the badge and display it in your sidebar so we know you are participating and link to the A to Z Challenge Blog.

For more information we recommend you follow the A to Z Challenge Blog and the hosts:

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
Heather M. Gardner
Jeremy @ Hollywood Nuts
AJ Lauer
Pam Margolis @ An Unconventional Librarian
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

We also have a Facebook Page
Email address is contactatozteam@gmail.com
Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z

Sign up below and join us for a month of alphabet fun!
(When you sign up, you agree to receive A to Z related emails.)

Click here to enter




from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Compelled #jusJoJan

I felt compelled recently to go through the files on my computer and either delete them, move them to Evernote, or otherwise arrange them so I can actually find what I’m looking for. Late last night, I finished digging through all the files in my Documents folder.

It’s amazing the stuff you accumulate on your hard drive over the years. I still had files that I moved from the last Windows desktop nine years ago (shortly before I had my stroke), receipts and manuals for things we no longer have, notes I wrote to myself that I had intended as springboards for stories, a whole bunch of files Mary had created and can’t remember, folders for software that I have siting around and never use because so many things can be done in the browser, you name it. I got a lot of things moved to Evernote and deleted from the hard drive, and a lot more just deleted off the hard drive because they’re no longer relevant.

My next task is to do the same for the files in my Downloads folder. I actually have several iterations of the Downloads folder; every few months I copy it to my external drive and delete everything out of it, only to fill it up again. I have no idea what’s in the folders. Or the contents of the Pictures folder, or the Movies folder, or any folder, for that matter. I look at some of the crap I’ve kept and say to myself, “Why did I keep this crap?”

And I figured it out: it’s the “I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it” mentality. I’ve always been that way. My mother was the same; when we cleaned her house out after she died, we found half a dozen curling irons on a shelf in a closet, none of which worked. No idea why she was keeping them; it’s not as though you can have them repaired.


 

Thanks to Willowdot21 for suggesting today’s prompt, “compelled.” And thanks to Linda Hill for running JusJoJan.




from The Sound of One Hand Typing