Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Ricky Nelson

We’ve ended up with a mini-theme here on Two For Tuesday: TV actors who had hits on the Top 40. Here’s one of the more obvious ones: Eric Hilliard “Ricky” Nelson, who appeared with his parents and older brother David on The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet from 1952 to 1966. The show provided a vehicle for his musical career, and usually the programs ended with a song from him. He was the father of actress Tracy Nelson and the twins Gunnar and Matthew, who have had their own band, Nelson, since 1990.

Ricky had 53 singles appear on the Billboard Hot 100, including the first-ever hit on that survey, “Poor Little Fool,” between 1957 and 1973. Beatlemania and the British Invasion stymied his career in the mid-Sixties, after which he moved in a more country direction. On New Year’s Eve 1985, he was flying from Gunterson, Alabama (where he had been visiting a friend) to Dallas when the DC-3 he was aboard caught fire and crashed near DeKalb, Texas.

I promised myself I wouldn’t pull out my favorite Ricky Nelson song, “Hello, Mary Lou”, for today’s twofer, but I think I’ve mentioned it has one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, played by James Burton. But let’s move along…

“It’s Up To You” was released in 1962 and is the title track of his album from that year. The song reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Cash Box survey.

Ricky was invited to play at an oldies reunion concert held at Madison Square Garden in 1971, and followed some of his greatest hits with a country number. The crowd began to boo (it’s possible they were booing the police) and Ricky left the stage and refused to return for the finale. The following year, he released the album Garden Party and its title track as a single. It reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and in Canada, and #6 on the Hot 100.

Ricky Nelson, your Two For Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Join me here next week when I try to figure out who else fits the theme….




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Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Summer Songs

I’m not sure that “Happy Memorial Day” is an appropriate thing to say on a day in which we honor those who died in the service of this nation, but it is a holiday in the United States and also the unofficial start of summer, and people are certainly going to have a good time today, so Happy Memorial Day, and Happy Summer 2016! Please be careful if you’ll be driving anywhere today, and please don’t drink and drive.

I built a playlist last year with some songs I typically associate with summer, and for today’s M4 I’d like to pick a few tunes from it. A little on the lazy side, but hey, it’s a holiday. If you want descriptions, see the original post.

Summertime – Billy Stewart

See You In September – The Happenings

We’ll Sing In The Sunshine – Gale Garnett

A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy

Hot Fun In The Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for Memorial Day, May 30, 2016.

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


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Week That Was, Memorial Day 2016 Edition

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies. Cocoa Krispies taste like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!

In the race between Cocoa Krispies and Cocoa Puffs, Krispies definitely won. And it was a lot of fun to drink the milk afterward. That might have been the best part about it.

The Week That Was

Thanks to everybody who dropped by this week and left comments. I’m still experiencing the bump from the A to Z Challenge, which is always good, and I hope you like what you see here and keep coming back.

The theme for this week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me was music from the late Fifties and Sixties, and I managed somehow to pick five songs that weren’t exactly rock songs, other than Bobby Van’s “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.” As I explained to commenters, Top 40 music from that period included much more than rock & roll, and I chose songs that I liked. My brother Kip called it a “hodgepodge,” which means I did what I wanted to do.

Two for Tuesday featured Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen, the two actors that portrayed Mary and Jeff Stone on The Donna Reed Show, a wildly popular program from 1958 to 1966. The producers evidently had to twist both their arms to get them to record albums, and while neither was a particularly gifted singer, they both produced Top Ten hits, with Shelley’s “Johnny Angel” reaching #1. Lynn, who admitted to having a crush on Paul Petersen, pointed out that he started a charity called “A Minor Consideration,” which IMDb calls “an outreach organization that oversees the emotional, financial and legal protection of kids and former kids in show business.” It’s sad that such organizations are still needed, even after the examples of Jackie Coogan, Shirley Temple, and Macaulay Culkin.

I dug into my Evernote, turned up a first line I wrote once, and featured it on One-Liner Wednesday. If you come up with a story using it, I’m glad to have helped. Maybe I should create a contest where I throw out the first line and publish the stories on my blog… nah, too much work… I’ll think about it; if you have any opinions on the matter, leave them in the comments. Keith said he had heard there are lulls at around twenty past, forty past, and on the hour, and that his observations proved it happens about two-thirds of the time. Kind of like on radio, where there are commercial breaks around those times. Josslyn Rae said if people never talked to themselves, they’d probably go insane. Mom thought people who talked to themselves (specifically her oldest son) were insane. Go figure.

I published my Writer’s Workshop entry late on Thursday, thus leaving the chain unbroken. I gave the seven reasons I thought Col. Robert Hogan, USAAF, played by Bob Crane on the mid-Sixties TV series Hogan’s Heroes, was my favorite character on television. Several readers told me they liked the show, especially John Banner’s Sgt. Schultz. He’s a favorite of mine, too. I once had my old boss on the floor laughing when I did my impression of Schultz saying “I know NOTHING!” My Ghostletters buddy Dave said his mother loved it after she got over her misgivings about the premise; she had said there was no way anyone could make a POW camp funny. It helped that the Germans in the series were played as such buffoons. Sue wanted to know if I found any modern characters appealing. I’ve had to think about that, and while I like quite a few (Leonard and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, most of the characters from NCIS, Laura Diamond from The Mysteries of Laura, and the lead characters from Burn Notice), I don’t feel the same level of investment, for lack of a better term, in those characters.

In honor of Memorial Day, The Friday Five featured songs with “remember” in the title. I wrote most of the post before leaving for therapy, and was tired when I go home and my Internet connection was acting funny, so I just added a few words to it and published it. I think it turned out pretty well. Arlee reminded me of a couple of other songs, one of which was “I Remember It Well,” sung by Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in the 1958 film Gigi. I’m surprised I didn’t remember that one.

Finally, the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “press,” so I talked about my latest round of physical therapy, involving compression and lymphatic drainage massage to reduce the swelling in my leg. It’s worked remarkably well; this morning my leg looked almost normal and it’s much easier to walk. I highly recommend lymphatic drainage for lymphedema. I’m happy that no one felt I had overshared and that I could explain how it worked, and thank you all for your well wishes.

I want to remind everyone that, if you’re looking for an index of all of the featured artists on Two for Tuesday, it’s right here. I’m thinking of doing the same for all the entries from my A to Z Challenges.

That’s all for this week’s The Week That Was. I look forward to seeing all of you next week. For those of you in the United States, have a safe Memorial Day, and please don’t forget the men and women in the armed forces who gave their lives in combat. I want to leave you with “God Bless America” as sung by Timothy Miller, tenor with the Atlanta Opera, professor at Morehouse College, and Atlanta Braves fan, who sings it at the seventh-inning stretch at home games. In full tuxedo, mind you, no matter how hot it is, and believe me, it gets hot here in Atlanta. He can get away with it, because he’s such a cool guy.




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Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Physical Therapy Update #socs

It shouldn’t surprise you that I’m going to talk about compression.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been seeing a physical therapist with a certificate in lymphatic drainage to see if I can get the swelling in my right leg, which has been bad since the stroke and for which no solution seemed possible. My doctor referred me to her because he was worried the swelling would cause the skin to break down. I was already starting to see the signs of it: my leg was red, shiny, and hot.

When I was in the hospital nine years ago, they put my legs in casts for more than a week to shrink them down, then gave me compression socks to keep the legs from swelling up again, and I was afraid they were going to do that again. That would create problems, as there are stairs leading into the house and from the living room to the bedrooms (one of which is my office, where the computer is), and I wouldn’t be able to negotiate them. I explained this to Diane, my therapist, and she said that might not be necessary if she could drain the leg and find a way to keep it drained without my having to fight with compression socks.

Her approach involves wrapping my legs in bandages to compress them and having me leave them on 24/7, and using lymphatic drainage techniques to encourage the lymph to flow from my legs through the lymphatic system to my heart, where it moves to the kidneys and out through “the process of urination,” as they call it on some commercials. She wasn’t able to do the drainage my first visit, because my leg was so swollen it was hard, so she wrapped it in stretchy bandages to see if they’d soften up. That night, “the process of urination” kept me up most of the night, but I started noticing some improvement by the second session. When she took the bandages off, she noted that my leg had softened up, so she started with the lymphatic drainage.

I had gone to a lymphatic drainage therapist before the stroke, a man Mary met while taking courses in massage therapy, and remember it had helped a lot, and also was so relaxing I slept through most of the sessions. It’s a very light form of massage, where she strokes the skin from my feet all the way to my chest, giving the lymphatic system help in pushing the lymph up and out. After two sessions of that and three wrappings, my bad leg has shrunk down almost to the size of the not-so-bad one.

I didn’t realize how miserable lymphedema had made my life. It was like carrying around a cannon ball. We figured out that I had been carrying close to two gallons of fluid (that’s 7.5 liters) in my leg. That’s close to twenty pounds, just in my leg. I couldn’t actually walk; I was stepping forward with my left leg and swinging the right leg forward, and the more walking I did, the more my left hip hurt. I thought I was going to have to have it replaced. Now it doesn’t hurt.

Sorry if there’s been a little too much information here, but I’m just happy that things are back to normal. I’ve said all along that therapists should be paid well, because they work miracles, and here’s another example.

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Another Stream of Consciousness Saturday entry. Visit Linda Hill for the details.




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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Friday Five: Songs With “Remember” In The Title

It’s Memorial Day weekend her in the United States, when we remember our service men and women who lost their lives defending this nation and our freedom. (It’s also the unofficial first weekend of summer.) I can remember the days when Memorial Day was always celebrated on May 30, before Congress moved most national holidays to Monday in the 1970’s. Veterans’ groups protested loudly over the relocation of the holiday, but their protests landed on deaf ears, and they got used to it…

Anyway, I decided to pick five songs with “remember” in the title to celebrate.

Try to Remember – Jerry Orbach

(You Forgot To) Remember – Frank Sinatra

I Will Remember You – Bing Crosby with Danny Stewart on Hawai’ian Steel Guitar

Remember Me – Josh Groban (from the 2004 movie “Troy”)

An Affair To Remember (Our Love Affair) – Vic Damone

It’s been a long day with more Internet troubles and more physical therapy, so I’m just going to give you the songs and the heck with the formatting. Sorry… Anyway, that’s the Friday five for May 27, 2016. Have a great weekend, whether here in the US or wherever you might be, and please stay safe.




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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Writer’s Workshop: My Favorite TV Character

It’s been one of those days today, which is why I wasn’t able to get this out sooner. Anyway, one of today’s prompts is

Write a list of 7 things you love about a favorite tv character

 

Mary and I don’t have cable, but we still get a lot of good television, both on the network stations and on the subchannels. One show we watch almost every night and that never gets old is Hogan’s Heroes, which ran on CBS from 1966 to 1971 and starred Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer, and John Banner. Crane plays Colonel Robert Hogan, USAAF, who is prisoner at Luft Stalag 13 somewhere in Germany during World War II. While a prisoner, he and the NCO’s who are imprisoned with him gather intelligence and pass it along to Allied Command in London, assist in helping prisoners who have escaped their stalags and Germans deserting the German Army to escape from Germany, carry out sabotage against The Third Reich, assist the German resistance, even take a few of the German officers prisoner and send them to London as POW’s (Hogan’s rationale: if the Germans can have POW’s, so can we). They carry all of this out under the nose of Colonel Wilhelm Klink (Klemperer), the commandant of the camp, a vain Luftwaffe officer who has risen to his level of incompetence and can’t understand how all his classmates are now generals and field marshalls while he’s still a colonel and a prison camp commandant. Klink’s senior enlisted man is Sergeant Hans Schultz (Banner), a decorated veteran of World War I who was perfectly happy running a toy factory until the German Army drafted him and forced him back into uniform, an obese, lazy, and unmotivated soldier who is easily misled and more easily bribed.


Bob Crane as Colonel Robert Hogan, USAAF (source: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

Col. Hogan might be my current favorite character on TV (I know, the show is fifty years old, but it’s still funny). Here’s why.

He’s loyal to his men. They’re willing to work for him, because he doesn’t ask them to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. He’s an active part of every mission, whether he’s posing as a civilian or a German officer, or working as a commando. He might not be the person who plants the explosives under the bridge, but he knows who can and trusts him to get the job done, and while they might screw the job up, he doesn’t take his disappointment out on his men. Often, they’re harder on themselves than Hogan is. He shows genuine concern for them; he’s not just acting that way to get them to attempt the impossible. And he takes the heat for them when they get caught and thrown in the cooler.

He’s clever. He sees a situation and thinks “how can I work this to help someone escape, throw a monkey wrench into the Germans’ works, or embarrass the Gestapo/some German officer?” He realizes there are electronic listening devices in his quarters so the Germans can listen to what’s going on, and stages conversations to deliberately mislead them. He keeps Schultz busy while his men are busy putting the elaborate plans into action.

He’s devious. It’s rarely a straightforward mission with Hogan. He won’t just help prisoners escape, he does it by getting them into the trunk of a visiting German officer’s car. He and his men have built a rabbit’s warren of tunnels and escape hatches under the camp, and when it looks like the Gestapo will find them, his crew digs a tunnel that serves no purpose other than giving the Gestapo something to find. He and his men leave the camp almost at will and always make it back before anyone realizes they’re gone. When they run into Schultz in Hammelburg, Hogan convinces him that reporting them to Klink is more trouble than it’s worth.

He plays his captors like a violin. He knows Klink is a vain and incompetent camp Kommandant (despite never having a prisoner escape from Stalag 13) who can be manipulated easily and convinced that the ideas Hogan plants in his head are his. He knows Schultz is slow-witted and unmotivated and can be made to look the other way with one of LeBeau’s strudels or pumped for information by bribing him with a chocolate bar or two from the Red Cross packages. Both of them see him as a friend, despite the fact they’re enemies, and will confide in him. He, of course, uses anything they say against them.

He’s a ladies’ man. He’s carrying on with Klink’s secretaries, often obtaining information about what’s going on behind Klink’s office door in the process. He also has ongoing relationships with female underground agents, and has been known to seduce the girlfriends of German officers visiting Stalag 13. He has a tough time with the double agent Marya, though…

He’s cool. When things don’t work they way he wanted, he figures out a way to try again without becoming flustered. When in disguise as a German officer, he convinces other officers that he’s one of them. When his men get captured, he doesn’t panic, and comes up with plausible explanations for why they aren’t at roll call. He then gets Klink to get them back.

He understands his mission. It’s the job of every officer who has been taken as a prisoner of war to try and escape. Superior officers who don’t understand what he and his men are doing feel he’s a disgrace who is in cahoots with the Germans until they see what he’s doing while held as a prisoner. He could easily escape using the infrastructure he and his men have built and the contacts he’s made, but he knows that what he’s doing is a vital and important part of the Allied war effort, and he’s determined to see it through. Besides, he’s having too much fun.

A lot of people find Hogan’s Heroes objectionable, and I can understand why. There was nothing funny about being a German POW, and the Nazis were brutal in their prosecution of the war, treated their prisoners poorly, and killed millions of innocent people (including nearly every Jew in Europe, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally challenged and deformed, and others) with cyanide gas. Several members of the cast (Klemperer, Banner, Leon Askin (who played General Burkhalter), and Robert Clary (who played Cpl. LeBeau of the French Resistance)) were Jewish and had been held as prisoners by the Nazis or escaped Germany and occupied countries ahead of the SS. In movies from the Fifties and Sixties which dealt with WWII in the European theater (The Great Escape, Stalag 17, Escape From Colditz, etc.), the Nazis were portrayed as they were. The actors who played German soldiers in the show were assured that their characters would never win and that they would be made out to be buffoons. It’s a farce. Not everyone’s cup of tea, maybe, but a farce nonetheless.

Have you seen Hogan’s Heroes? Did you like it?




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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A First Line From An Unwritten Story #1LinerWeds

They (whoever “they” are) say that every six minutes, there’s a lull in a conversation. They’re right, even when the conversation is with yourself.

I came up with the above line a few years ago, and just found it. Use it if you want.

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Linda Hill brings you One-Liner Wednesday every Wednesday (duh). She has all the rules, as well as a comment section full of pingbacks from other participants, on her blog. Feel free to jump with your own, if you like.




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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen

One of my Monday’s Music Moves Me friends featured Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” as part of yesterday’s post, and it gave me an idea for today’s Two for Tuesday. In case you were wondering how I came up with the idea.

Remember The Donna Reed Show? It ran from 1958 to 1966 and starred Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares, and Paul Petersen as the Stone family. It was really popular – I mean, we used to watch it – and was the typical Fifties family sitcom, made in the days before TV dads were idiots.

Paul Petersen was a singer of some talent, and recorded a number of songs in the early and mid Sixties, including “My Dad,” which he sang for his TV dad on an episode of the show. It’s a beautiful song, and Paul’s TV family seemed to be highly moved by it, especially his TV dad. Remember, these were the days when men didn’t show much emotion, which makes Mr. Betz’s reaction to the song so beautiful, wanting to cry, but not allowing himself to. This made its debut on the show in 1962, and was released as a single later that year, and it reached #6 on the Hot 100.

Naturally, the producers wanted to capitalize on the show’s popularity, and knowing that Paul’s records were going over big, soon turned their attention to their other teenaged star. She didn’t consider herself a singer and balked at the idea, but eventually recorded “Johnny Angel.” It also debuted on the show and was released as a single in 1962, and the non-singer, who it turned out had a rather good voice, reached #1 on the Hot 100. Take that, TV little brother!

The show can still be seen in reruns. Most recently, I saw a marathon of the episodes on the Decades channel a couple of months ago. I happened to turn it on at about 11:00 Sunday night, and before I knew it it was almnost two. Okay, the show was corny, but I liked it.

Anyway, that’s your Two for Tuesday, May 24, 2016, and I’m off for my date with the physical therapist.




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Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Late Fifties and Sixties Music

Thank you to Mike Golch, who served this up into my wheelhouse (as they say in baseball):

Theme for Monday’s Music Moves Me this Monday is “Late 50’s & 60’s Music” and our Spotlight Dancer is “Michael Golch”! Thanks Mike!

This presents a problem, because there’s just so much great music from this era, so what I’m going to do is pick five songs off the top of my head from that era, for your musical pleasure…

From 1964, Dean Martin, “Everybody Loves Somebody.”

From 1967, Bobbie Gentry, “Ode To Billie Joe.”

From 1956 (like me), Eddie Heywood and Hugo Winterhalter, “Canadian Sunset.”

From 1959, Bobby Darin, “Mack The Knife.”

Finally, from 1962, Bobby Vee, “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes.”

Lots of Bobbys there, huh? That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 23, 2016.

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


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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Now Available: The Two For Tuesday Index

housekeeping

You’ll notice I’ve done some housekeeping over on the sidebar, moving the special pages of the blog close to the top of the column, removing the calendar (since I have the latest posts listed) and the Feedly link, and putting headings on everything.

I’ve added a “special page”: an index to all the artists I’ve featured on “Two for Tuesday.” I did this as much for me as for you, because you might remember I had a hard time remembering who all I’ve done. I’ll update it whenever I publish a “Two for Tuesday.” At least that’s the plan…

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Take a look and tell me what you think!




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The Therapeutic Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Post Grape-Nuts cereal. Send away for your model Century motor boats, free for just three box tops of Post Grape-Nuts!

The last time I saw an ad for Grape-Nuts, Euell Gibbons was doing it. He said they taste like wild hickory nuts. I think I had them once, and didn’t like them.

The Week That Was

It was kind of a quiet week around here this week. It was a freebie week on Monday’s Music Moves Me, and I did songs with “mind” in the title. I asked for more suggestions of mind songs, and presented those for The Friday Five. Figures we all thought of the best song with “mind” in the title after I already published that: Glen Campbell’s “Gentle On My Mind.” Here it is, for those who have never heard it or who just want to hear it again. It’s a great song.

That was from Ralph Emery’s show on The Nashville Network. There was a lot of musical talent on the stage that night: I recognized Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Roy Clark, and Crystal Gayle (looking lovingly at Glen, if you ask me), and I bet you’ll recognize some others.

Two for Tuesday was a rerun of my very first one, from June 26, 2012, when this blog was just getting started. The Monkees were the subject of that first one, and since then there have been over two hundred artists I focused on. I took some time this week to build an index of all the featured artists; it should be ready this week. Watch for an announcement later this week.

One-Liner Wednesday featured a comment from a reader of The Wall Street Journal that suggested we’d all be better off if we got off Facebook and thought for ourselves. This was in reply to a column in which the author suggests that Facebook alter their newsfeed algorithm to present articles from a viewpoint opposite the one the user has shown a preference for. As I told David, a good friend from my Ghostletters days, the more I blog, the less of a use I have of social media, but I do like staying in touch with the family and there are a couple of nostalgia groups I follow. And, of course, the cat pictures and memes. I used to spend hours at a time on Facebook; now my Kindle Fire lets me know when there’s a comment I might find important, and I check a couple of times a day for what’s going on in my groups.

Thursday’s post was more a followup to a couple of things that I had talked about earlier, my trip to the therapist to deal with my lymphedema and my decision to change feed readers. My legs have been wrapped for about three days now, and I do notice an improvement, both in the swelling of the leg and the number of times I have to get up to use the bathroom at night. I go back to her on Tuesday afternoon; I’m not sure what the next step is. As for the feed readers, I confirmed that my problem with IFTTT working with Feedly was that I wasn’t a “Pro” (i.e. paying) Feedly user, and that I could expect further reductions in service as they make more services Pro-only. So, I’m getting used to Inoreader, which offered a free month of Pro service and several levels of support when the month is over. The one thing I’ve noticed about Inoreader is that some articles are repeated, the result of the RSS stream in question having the same article multiple times. What causes that, I’m not sure, although it might be a person correcting and reposting the article. There’s a fix for it on the desktop, but not on Android or iOS. It’s a small price to pay.

Linda’s prompt for yesterday’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday was “break/brake,” which suggested a music post. Arlee managed to find a couple more songs that fit the theme just a while ago, and they should be in his comments.

So that about wraps up last week. I have a couple of therapy sessions this week, but all the regular features will be here. See you soon!




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BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Please Mr. Postman” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My most recent Battle of the Bands pitted an Irish girl group named The Saturdays against three members of the cast of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club (Tiffini Hale, DeeDee Magno, and Brandy Brown), circa 1989, to see whose version of The Mavelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman” was preferred by our august panel of judges, i.e. you. Voting is now closed, and here are the results.

The Saturdays: 12
The MMC: 5

I think this is an indication that people preferred the more mature sound of The Saturdays to the teeny-bopper treatment of The MMC Girls. It’s interesting to note that, because the MMC girls were in their early teens in 1989 when the show was filmed, they are now older than the members of The Saturdays. Just thought I’d mention it.

Anyway, congratulations to The Saturdays, who are no doubt the musical idols of the children of Tiffini, Brandy, and DeeDee, and a hearty “well done!” to the MMC Girls.

Our next Battle of the Bands will be on June 1. As I’m nowhere near as well-organized as Arlee, or any of the other hosts of Battles of the Bands, I have no idea who the contestants are or what the song will be. Join us then, anyway.




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Saturday, May 21, 2016

A few “Break” Songs” #socs

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know how my brain works: prompt words make me think of song titles. Those become my stream-of-consciousness. This is one such example. Today’s word, or words, is “break” or “brake.” Here are a few songs with “break” in the title…

Break Up To Make Up – The Stylistics Seventies Soul… it doesn’t get much better. This reached #5 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1972.

Breakout – Swing Out Sister From their first album, 1987’s It’s Better To Travel, this was their first single; it reached #4 in the UK and #6 in the US.

Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do – Neil Sedaka I ran a Battle of the Bands where I put this up against his more soulful Seventies version, and this prevailed.

19th Nervous Breakdown – The Rolling Stones This was their first single in 1966, and reached #2 in the US. It was the Stones’ fifth UK #1.

Jailbreak – Thin Lizzy The title track from their 1976 album, which also included “The Boys Are Back In Town.”

Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley The list originally stopped at the five songs above, then I remembered this one and knew that I’d be inundated with “How could you forget ‘Heartbreak Hotel’???” Elvis’s first big hit, it reached #1 on the Pop, R&B, and Country charts in 1956. It’s considered one of the greatest rock & Roll songs of all time.

Foggy Mountain Breakdown – Earl Scruggs and Friends Here’s the list of the players: Earl Scruggs, banjo – Glen Duncan, fiddle – Randy Scruggs, acoustic guitar – Steve Martin, 2nd banjo solo (did you have any idea he could play like that?) – Vince Gill, 1st electric guitar solo – Marty Stuart, mandolin – Gary Scruggs, harmonica – Albert Lee, 2nd electric guitar solo – Paul Shaffer, piano – Jerry Douglas, dobro – Leon Russell, organ – Glenn Worf, bass – Harry Stinson, drums. Wow!

And a bonus, because it technically doesn’t fit the theme, but it’s a form of “break” and I like the song, okay?

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? – The Bee Gees Their first #1 in the US, from 1971.

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by the lovely and tolerant Linda Hill, who doesn’t mind too much if I run roughshod over the rules for the event. Visit her blog where you can see the rules I’m ignoring and pingbacks from all of the other contestants.




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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Friday Five: More “Mind” Songs

On Monday, I chose five songs that had “mind” in the title and invited you to suggest others, promising I’d play the nominees if I got five of them. Well, I got three, and said, what the heck, close enough for government work, and chose two more. So here are five more songs with “mind” in the title, for your listening pleasure…

Friday on my Mind – The Easybeats A classic from 1966. Arlee Bird suggested this one.

You Were Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson Our friend Carol from church and Uncle Jack both suggested this one, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it.

Mind Games – John Lennon One of my two contributions to the list, the title track from his 1973 album.

My Back Is Achin’ (And My Mind’s No Better) – The Good Rats Had never heard of this, but gave it a listen and liked it. Another Arlee Bird suggestion.

Too Much On My Mind – The Kinks I was looking for a fifth and turned up this one. This is from their Face To Face album, released in 1966.

I’m sure you can think of some more; if you do, leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the playlist.

If you haven’t already voted in my latest Battle of the Bands (Battle “Please Mr. Postman” pitting The Saturdays against a trio of young ladies from The New Mickey Mouse Club circa 1989), you have until whenever I get to posting the results, probably sometime Sunday, to let your voice be heard. Pay no attention to Grumpy Cat…

That’s the Friday Five for May 20, 2016.




from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Followup from last week

I spent this morning getting my legs wrapped. This isn’t the heavy-duty wrapping, just a wrap to keep the swelling under control. My therapist said there are alternatives to compression socks, but that won’t be for a while. Right now, the trick is to get the leg to a more or less normal size.

It was easy to find the place, never a given when dealing with hospitals and their various clinics and outbuildings. As a bonus, there’s a back door into the lot from a much-less-busy street, so we don’t have to get on the road in front of the hospital to get there. That should shave some time off the drive next time. As it was, we had to be there at 9, and traffic in our area is a bear during rush hour. We’ve scheduled all my remaining appointments for between the rush hour periods. No more getting up at the crack of dawn to get there…

As I suspected, the issue I had with IFTTT being unable to access anything in Feedly is the result of my not being a paid Feedly customer, and evidently other features I’ve come to rely on will soon find their way behind a pay wall. It’s a fine service, and if I felt those features were worth the asking price I might be tempted, but I don’t. So I bid them a fond adieu and chose to cast my lot with Inoreader, which has its issues, but nothing I can’t work around.

The WordPress app for the Kindle Fire is difficult for me to work with, so more tomorrow.




from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#1LinerWeds from a Wall Street Journal reader

Imagine if you could just get off Facebook entirely and think for yourself.

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. During election season, I hate it. The Wall Street Journal, some of whose articles the wi-fi at Starbucks has on their landing page, had this article by Geoffrey Fowler in which he suggests the following:

Facebook’s home page News Feed is run by a personalization algorithm that feeds you information it thinks you want to see. It’s a machine tuned to promote sunset selfies and live cat videos, not foster political discourse. Why not add an opposing-viewpoints button that gives me the power to see a headline from another side?

Facebook is a great place for kitten videos and funny memes, and for keeping up the members of your family, but especially at times like this (i.e. election season) it gets a little tense. During times like this, I don’t think we need an “opposing views” button. I think we need to spend less time on Facebook and more time doing something more constructive. Like writing a blog…

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I do my best not to introduce politics on this blog. As I said way back in the beginning of this blog, I hate politics. But this picture of the lovely Tarder Sauce, a/k/a Grumpy Cat, which first appeared before the Super Bowl, might best express how I feel…

As always, we welcome replies to our editorials.

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It’s One-Liner Wednesday, brought to you by the lovely and talented Linda Hill. She has the rules and links to all paricipants at her blog.




from The Sound of One Hand Typing