Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Rain In Rein Falls Mainly On The Reign #socs

I have a pet peeve: it’s free rein, not free reign. “Free rein” is an equestrian term; the OED says it means “a rein held loosely to allow a horse free motion; the freedom that this gives a horse.” When applied to humans, it means “autonomy,” as in “You have free rein to go where you want to.”

Sorry to go all Sister Mary Antagonista on you, but man! Drives me nuts.

Anyway…

As for “rain,” everyone knows by now about my YouTube “Rain” playlist, so we don’t have to talk about that. We’ve been having some incredible rain this week, thanks to Tropical Storm Cindy, which hasn’t caused as much damage as we believed it would. The forecast for here tells us the remnants of Cindy are going to join forces with an incoming cold front tonight, and the results could be exciting, as in “hurry up and get in the basement.”

(I probably should mention I’m writing this on Friday afternoon, because I’m at Starbucks and Linda has been kind enough to get the prompt out there early enough)

Has anyone else noticed that TV meteorologists get really excited when there’s severe weather and they get a chance to show off all their tools? We missed most of Jeopardy! last night because there was the threat of tornadoes in a county about fifty miles away from where we live. The guy was practically hopping up and down when he said, “we have to stay on the air with this until the storm passes!” Great. Let’s go watch The Munsters. Guess we’ll find out tonight who won yesterday.

It’s been a busy week. We had our six-month tooth cleanings on Monday, and it appears we’re in for a lot more time at the dentist than usual. Oh, joy. On Tuesday, we had the roofer come out because, thanks to the heavy rain Monday, we seem to have a leak, and that will probably result in men climbing around on the roof and banging on it in the near future. I was back to physical therapy for more lymphatic drainage on Wednesday, because last year’s efforts didn’t last. I’ve got a different therapist this time, and we’ll see how well this lasts.

So, that’s it from my end…


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Friday, June 23, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Big Blue Diamonds” Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

A touch late, but here are the results from “Battle ‘Big Blue Diamonds’: Van Morrison vs. Percy Sledge”:

Van Morrison: 1
Percy Sledge: 9

Congratulations to Percy Sledge, and a pat on the back for Van Morrison.

We won’t be doing a Battle on July 1, on account of it being on Independence Day weekend. It looks like everyone is cutting back to one battle a month, and I haven’t decided whether I’ll do the same or keep doing two battles. I’ll leave it up to you, my readers: Do you like having two battles a month, or would you prefer just one? Let me know in the comments. In any event, the next Battle will be on July 15, when I’ll announce the consensus. See you then!




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The Friday Five (Times Two): Destination Songs By Kip

Response to Monday’s list of destination songs was remarkable. I got a ton of selections from you. My brother Kip, who doesn’t blog but can be found on Twitter, came up with a playlist of ten songs of his own, and it’s a good one, so I’m going to feature it this week. As I said recently, I might just rename this the Friday Five Times Two.

  1. Roger Miller, “England Swings” This was a hit for the King of the Road in late 1965, reaching #8 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  2. James Taylor, “Mexico” Sweet Baby James recorded this one on his 1975 Gorilla album. As a single, it was a hit on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US (#5) and Canada (#8).
  3. Johnny Horton, “North To Alaska” There’s something I like about Johnny Horton, chief thing being his name is easy to spell. He did a lot of historical songs, including “Sink The Bismarck,” “The Battle of New Orleans,” and “Johnny Reb.” This was played over the opening credits of the 1960 movie of the same name, which starred John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Fabian and Capucine. Johnny died in a car accident shortly after this song was released.
  4. Pablo Cruise, “I Go To Rio” Pablo Cruise only had a couple of hits, 1977’s “Whatcha Gonna Do?” (US #6, Canada #1) and 1978’s “Love Will Find A Way” (US #6, Canada #5). Kind of a shame, because they were a pretty good band. This came out as a single in 1979, and reached #46 in the US and #39 in Canada. A bit surprising, because I remember it being much more popular. Probably because 1978’s Worlds Away, the album it’s from, did so well (Gold in Canada and Australia, Platinum in the US, where it reached #6 on the Albums chart).
  5. Glen Campbell, “By The Time I get To Phoenix” Glen’s followup single to “Gentle On My Mind,” this reached #2 on the Country chart, #26 on the Hot 100, #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #1 on the Canadian Country chart.
  6. Albert Hammond, “It Never Rains In Southern California” Albert wrote a lot of hit records, including One Moment In Time” for Whitney Houston, “The Air That I Breathe” for The Hollies, “When I Need You” for Leo Sayer, and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for Starship. He also wrote this for himself, which was the title track for his 1972 album. It reached #5 on the Hot 100, #2 on the Easy Listening and Cash Box 100 charts, and #2 in Canada.
  7. Marty Robbins, “El Paso” From his 1959 Platinum album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album, this is the full version. The shortened version, which runs under three minutes because radio stations would explode if they played a song longer than that, reached #1 on the Country and Hot 100 charts and #19 in the UK. This is part of the “El Paso Trilogy,” the other two songs being “Feleena (From El Paso)” and “El Paso City”.
  8. Lefty Frizzell, “Saginaw, Michigan” The title track from his 1964 album, it reached #1 on the US Country chart that year. It was his last #1 single there. And, I checked, he’s actually from Corsicana, Texas.
  9. Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues” From 1968’s At Folsom Prison, this is one of Johnny’s signature songs. The album reached #1 on the Country Albums chart and went three times Platinum. He wrote it in 1953 and recorded it in 1955, and it reached #4 on the Country & Western chart then. The live version was released in 1968 and likewise went to #1, and won him the Grammy for Best Country & Western Performance, Male in 1969.
  10. Xavier Cugat, “Brazil” Recorded in 1943 with his Waldorf-Astoria orchestra and the Cugat Choir on vocals.

Thanks, Kip! And that’s your Friday Five (Times Two) for June 23, 2017.




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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: My Last Concert

As mnuch as I love music, I’m not a real concert kind of guy. I guess I’d rather sit home and listen to the recorded music. I think the last time I saw a concert was in 1992.

That time, I was in Toronto (Mississauga, actually) doing a training class. The Internet at the time consisted of America Online, which cost a fortune for “international” dialup, so spending much time on that was not a good idea. I had been to the mall across the street already, and there really wasn’t much else around, so I was prepared to spend a lot of time in my room watching TV.

I was reading the paper and find a story about Stephane Grappelli, who made musical history in the Thirties when he on violin and Django Reinhardt on guitar formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France with two other guitarists and a string bassist, the first jazz band made up solely of string musicians. A sample, the one I always pull out in situations like this, so those of you who have been following the blog for a while have already seen it.

At the end of the article, it mentioned that Grappelli would be playing the following evening at Massey Hall. I had no idea where Massey Hall was, but I knew I was going.

The next evening, I found Massey Hall, which is a pretty spectacular place in and of itself, and my seat therein, and a little after eight that evening, “Ladies and gentlemen, Stephane Grappelli.”

He walked out slowly, helped by a young man, with his guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli, and the bass player (whose name is lost in my memory) walking behind him. They sat him down in a chair, he pulled out his violin, and for the next two hours, it was the Hot Club in the Thirties again.

He still had it, sixty years later, as feeble as he might have been. Pizzarelli, while no Django, is a spectacular player himself, and did a solo version of “Nuages,” maybe Django’s best-known song. His last song was “Limehouse Blues,” and when he finished the young man who had walked him onto the stage carried him off as the crowd went wild. Of course, there was an encore, and when the group got resituated on the stage, Grappelli said “Thank you.” Someone in the audience gave the obligatory, “No, thank you.”

I left, knowing that I had seen and heard a piece of music history. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been to another concert.




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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

#1LinerWeds from Mary Schmich

WEAR SUNSCREEN.

Summer stated yesterday, and in typical fashion for here, it was overcast, rainy, and cool. Anyway, Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune wrote a column twenty years ago where she imagined what she would say to a graduating class were she asked to do so. Somehow, it got around that Kurt Vonnegut had delivered it at MIT that year. When someone wanted to license it, they contacted him, and he admitted that he hadn’t written the speech, but he wished he had.

Australian producer/director/screenwriter Baz Luhrman turned it into a song, “Everyone’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” in 1999.

This is also my annual “nag people about wearing sunscreen” day. If you’ve ever seen anyone suffer the affects of melanoma, a particularly virulent form of skin cancer, you’ll understand. If you haven’t, trust me, it’s awful. It’s linked directly with unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays from either the sun or from a tanning bed. Yes, a suntan is attractive, but it’s not worth putting your life at risk. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF (Jennifer Garner has been advertising one by Neutrogena that has an SPF of 100), wear a good hat (with a brim that shields your ears), and limit as much as possible your exposure to the sun.


One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, a word from our sponsors.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Two for Tuesday: Helen Reddy

I can hear the moaning all the way over here. “Oh God, not Helen Reddy!” Well, she did manage four songs in the Top Ten during my high school years, including two Number Ones, one of which was “I Am Woman”, which became an anthem for the Women’s Liberation movememt, even though it wasn’t actually written with that in mind, as Ms. Reddy said whenever she was asked about it, claiming that it was more about empowerment and that Women’s Lib was just part of the reason she wrote it. The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us that, in 2002, she said of the song, “To this day I get mail from women who say, I went to law school because of your song. But I would hate to think out of the wide spectrum of things I have done in my career, that’s all I would be remembered for.”

So let’s remember her for her other big songs in the early Seventies. First up, “Delta Dawn,” which reached the Top Ten in August 1973 and stayed there for eight weeks, peaking at #1.

Stepping outside the parameters I’ve drawn (it’s my blog, after all), “Angie Baby,” her next big hit was released in October 1974, reached the Top Ten on November 30, and hit #1 on December 28. The lyrics, by Alan O’Day, are a little dark, but I think this might have been her best song from the period.

Helen’s popularity fell rapidly after 1976, with only one song, a remake of Cilla Black’s “You’re My World,” reaching the Top 40 (#18). She retired from performing in 2002, but returned to the stage for her sister’s birthday in 2012. Sadly, she was treated for symptoms of dementia in 2015 and has retired for good.

Helen Reddy, your Two for Tuesday, June 20, 2017.




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Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Locations!

Okay, I’ve gone a little overboard, again, as usual, but did I ever have fun doing it. My good friend Mary over at Jingle Jangle Jungle dared us to come up with songs with destinations in the title. Here are eleven (count ’em, 11) of them.

  1. Muddy Waters, “Kansas City” I was going to use Wilbert Harrison’s version from 1959, but I like this one so much better. Featuring the great band Muddy assembled in the mid-Seventies: Bob Margolin (first solo) and Lonnie “Guitar Jr.” Johnson (second solo), guitars; Jerry Portnoy, harmonica; “Pinetop” Perkins, piano and vocal; Calvin Jones, bass; and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, drums.
  2. Sting, “Englishman in New York” From his 1987 album …Nothing Like The Sun, with Branford Marsalis on soprano sax. The elderly gentleman in the video is Quentin Crisp, author of 1968’s The Naked Civil Servant.
  3. JJ Cale, “New Orleans” From his 1990 album Travel-Log, one of my favorite albums of all time.
  4. Bireli Lagrene, “Senegal” Gypsy jazz guitarist Lagrene is best known for his ability to play almost like the amazing Django Reinhardt, but he recorded Foreign Affairs in 1990 to show he had an electric side. The album has faded into obscurity, but as one of the people who bought it (twice, as a matter of fact, on cassette and CD), I can tell you it’s amazing and “Senegal” is one reason.
  5. The Ides Of March, “LA Goodbye” Did very well as a single in the Chicago area (the Ides are from west suburban Berwyn), but virtually nowhere else, in 1971.
  6. Tony Bennett, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” A classic by Mr. Bennett, who is most emphatically not joined by Lady Gaga on this recording.
  7. Redbone, “Witch Queen of New Orleans” Do you realize it was only recently that I learned it was Redbone who did this one? Great song, and I know that’s two songs about New Orleans…
  8. “Scotland The Brave” Not sure what pipe band did this one, but it’s a classic tune and one that every piper needs to know how to play. I’m serious, it’s in the rules.
  9. Murray Head, “One Night In Bangkok” From the 1984 concept album Chess, written by Benny Andersson and Bj√∂rn Ulvaeus of ABBA, with lyrics by Tim Rice. This is the only good song from it, as far as I can tell.
  10. Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Hubert Sumlin, and others, “Sweet Home Chicago” Someone would have my head if I didn’t include this one.
  11. The Amboy Dukes, “Journey To The Center Of The Mind” Not all destinations are external, after all. Sixteen-year-old Ted Nugent plays the guitar on this one.

If you think of any that you would have added, let me know and I’ll add them. And that, at long last, is Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 19, 2017.

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, June 18, 2017

The Father’s Day 2017 Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is brought to you by Sinclair gasolines. Only Sinclair gasolines have nickel!

The Week That Was

A very happy Father’s Day to all you fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, foster fathers, uncles, priests and ministers, and anyone who plays father. Just for you guys, here are The Winstons from 1969.

Here’s the summary…

Monday was a freebie day, which I celebrated by choosing six songs from 1978, a year that’s important to me as I graduated and got married that year. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve started building playlists when I have more than one or two videos. This way the pages should load a little quicker.

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Cher was my featured artist on Two for Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, I did the “thirty questions” meme because it looked like a lot of fun. And it was. Maybe I’ll come up with a similar meme and maybe it’ll go viral. You never know with me.

I selected this week’s one-liner from the movie Stripes, simply because it was on my mind. I also found an ancient cartoon for Ipana toothpaste, which sparked some conversation about toothpastes that no longer exist. Maybe one day I’ll do a thing on that.

I was insanely happy about someone from Comcast coming to the house and finally figuring out what the problems were with my Internet service, and more importantly, fixing them. The prompt word was “treat,” which is what Comcast did to my connection to the Internet, so that was what I wrote about. Simple things make all the difference sometimes.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I’ll be announcing the winner of this week’s battle on Thursday, so be sure and get your vote in before then. The song is “Big Blue Diamonds” and the contestants are Van Morrison and Percy Sledge, who has a big lead as I write this.

I hadn’t featured your choices of car songs from Memorial Day’s Monday’s Music Moves Me, so I rectified the situation as well as adding three more of my own. The other nice thing about playlists is I can keep adding on to them.

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TV freak that I am, when I saw that the prompt for the day was “sign,” I immediately thought of sign ons and sign offs, something that TV stations no longer do, as they broadcast continuously. If they don’t have material, they buy a few infomercials and show those. There were some good stories in the comments about your experiences with falling asleep and being awakened by the 400 Hz tone or by the hiss of static as the “ant races” take place. Later TV’s suppressed the noise so all you had was the visual.

All your favorite regular features will return, and maybe I’ll have a few other goodies for you.

By the way, if you have a blog and want me to link to it in the “Thanks For Your Comments” section, be sure to give me the URL of your blog, either in your comment or in the space provided on the comment form. I appreciate your stopping by and want to return the favor.

That’s all we have for this week. Thanks for stopping by!




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Saturday, June 17, 2017

We Now Conclude Our Broadcast Day #socs

It wasn’t that long ago that TV stations in the United States, and probably the rest of the world, had a definite broadcast day. The station would fired up its transmitter in the morning and sign on, then at night they would sign off and turn the transmitter off. In the early days, stations might sign on and off several times during the day, maybe sign on at 7 AM and off at 10 AM, then on at noon and off at 3 PM, then on at 6 PM and stay on until sometime after midnight. Gradually, stations would sign on once in the morning and stay on all day, signing off in the early morning hours the day after.

Here is a sign off from WBBM Channel 2 Chicago from the late Seventies.

The signoff was like the station saying, “TV’s over for today, go to bed.” If you fell asleep with the TV on, you woke up either to the color bars or static, i.e. the “ant races.”

Now, stations are on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (366 in leap years) and sign ons and sign offs are an oddity from the past, of interest only to weird people like me.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now here’s Betty Furness for Westinghouse televisions.




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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Friday Five: Your Car Songs (And A Couple More From Me)

On Memorial Day, I did a post on car songs, because that was the theme for Monday’s Music Moves Me that day. Naturally, you folks came up with a few more songs, and in putting this post together I realized there were a couple I forgot. So, we have ten more car songs for this edition of The Friday Five.

I should mention that I’ve been grouping the videos for these posts into playlists when I have five or more songs, because I know that, the more videos there are in a post, the more time it takes to load the site. How much time this saves, I don’t know, but that’s what I’m doing.

  1. Chuck Berry, “Maybellene” Dan suggested this one. This was Chuck’s first hit, and was recorded at the same time as “You Can’t Catch Me” and “Wee Wee Hours.” It peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart (the precursor to the Hot 100) and #1 on the R&B chart in 1955. And yes, that’s the way it’s spelled.
  2. Ricky van Shelton, “Backroads” Dan also thought of this one, and I’m glad he did, because I don’t know much about “modern” country (i.e. recorded after 1990 or so). It was the title track from his 1991 album. It peaked at #2 on the US Country chart and #3 on the Canadian chart in 1992.
  3. Prefab Sprout, “Cars and Girls” Arlee thought of this one. It’s from the 1988 album From Langley Park To Memphis, and reached #44 in the UK that year.
  4. NRBQ, “Ridin’ In My Car” Martha says she kicks off the summer with this one. Haven’t been able to find much about this one except it’s from 1977. The album they recorded with Carl Perkins, 1970’s Boppin’ The Blues, is one of my favorites. A great band that hasn’t gotten much recognition, though everyone seems to know of them and likes them.
  5. Gary Numan, “Cars” Birgit asked about this one. It’s from Gary’s third album, 1979’s The Pleasure Principle, and went to #9 in the US in 1980.
  6. Deep Purple, “Highway Star” Stephen came up with this one. It’s from their 1972 album Machine Head, and Jon Lord claims the guitar and organ solos are based on Bach-like chord sequences. Whatever, he and Ritchie Blackmore really shine on this one.
  7. Walter Egan, “Blonde In A Blue T-Bird” This is another suggestion by Stephen, and it’s one I never heard before today. Information is kind of sparse about the song and the album it comes from, so if you know anything about it, let us know in the comments.
  8. The Cars, “Drive” This one and the next two are songs I thought of while I was throwing this list together, and I decided to add them. This is from The Cars’ third studio album, Heartbreak City, and their highest-charting single in the US (#3 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart) in 1984.
  9. Donald Fagen, “Trans-Island Skyway” From his 1993 album Kamakiriad, which The Blogger’s Best Friend calls “a futuristic, optimistic eight-song cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car, the Kamakiri (Japanese for praying mantis).”
  10. Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, “Too Many Drivers” Finally, some blues from one of the masters of the harmonica, from his 1973 album It All Comes Back, which I quite literally played the grooves off of during my blues stage.

Thanks to everyone who suggested these songs, and thanks for listening. That’s your Friday Five for June 16, 2017.




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Thursday, June 15, 2017

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “Big Blue Diamonds”

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

A few weeks ago, I did a Monday’s Music Moves Me where I featured songs that have the word “diamond” in the title, and as usual asked if anyone had any others. That Friday, I featured your songs on The Friday Five, one of which was “Big Blue Diamond” by Jerry Lee Lewis, suggested by the lovely Calen. As I said then, a substantial number of covers of this song had been done, and promised that I would do a BotB around it today.

“Big Blue Diamonds” (also called “Big Blue Diamond” and “Blue Diamond”) was written in 1950 by Earl J. (Kit) Carson. The first recording of it was a 78 RPM single by Red Perkins. Here it is, and please note it isn’t in the running; I offer it only for comparison, and because there’s a killer pedal steel guitar solo in the middle.

The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us that, while this was written as a country song, it’s been recorded as an R&B and a rock song. Give a listen to the next two songs and let me know in the comments which you like better.

CONTESTANT #1: Van Morrison From Van’s 2006 album Pay The Devil, where he gave us twelve covers of country tunes.

CONTESTANT #2: Percy Sledge One of the comments on YouTube tells us that Percy recorded this one on his 2004 album Shining Through The Rain.

So, give these two covers a listen and let me know by next Thursday (June 22) which you prefer, and maybe a few words why you prefer it. Then, hie thee over to Stephen T. McCarthy Presents Battle of The Bands, where he has a list (in the right-hand column) of other blogs which might also be having a Battle today, visit them, and make your voice be heard.

The lines are now open. Best of luck to Van and Percy!




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Writer’s Workshop: It’s Fixed!

I scrambled for the thesaurus this week when I was asked to come up with a post centered around “treat,” because it has so many disparate meanings. One synonym for “treat” is “take care of,” and that gave me an idea for what to write about, because I took care of something this past week.

You’ve probably learned by now that our Internet service has been flaky for a little over a year. Everything would be fine, then it’d stop working, despite all the lights on the modem burning bright and steady. Within five minutes, the modem would reset and try to re-establish contact with the Internet. Sometimes it would come right back up, other times I’d have to unplug it and start it again.

Before I called Comcast, I bought another gateway and installed it, replacing one that I had bought less than six months earlier, thinking that maybe the modem was defective. The new one worked well for a couple of days, then started acting up again.

I called Comcast and asked them to send someone out to check everything. The Level 1 representative seemed to be more interested in getting me to upgrade my service (adding TV and phone, which we had gotten rid of the year before), but he managed to get it working and I just wanted to get rid of the guy.

Things were fine when the weather got cooler, and I figured they had fixed the problem. All was well until the first day the temperature rose above 80 (sometime in early April), then the problems returned. It would cool down and everything would be fine, then heat up and we’d have trouble. Finally Mary had enough and told me to call them, that it wasn’t going to fix itself.

This time, I spoke to Level 2 Support, who didn’t try to sell me anything and who scheduled a technician to come to the house. The technician did some measurements and said he could see we were losing power somewhere between the street and the house. He found that the splitter that was sending a signal to three different cable hookups had gone bad, so he took it out and ran all new cable from the street to the house. Problem resolved.

It’s a treat having consistent Internet service again…




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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#1LinerWeds from “Stripes”

Lighten up, Francis!

I’m not much of a Bill Murray fan, but the 1981 movie Stripes, which also starred Harold Ramis and John Candy (from SCTV), had some pretty memorable lines in it. The line above comes from this scene.


One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from our sponsors.

(Some of you might remember Stripe toothpaste. I went looking for an old commercial for it, but couldn’t find one.)




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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The “Thirty Questions” Meme

I’ve set up a new category for Quizzes & Memes, because sometimes I see quizzes and memes that I’d like to do. Like this one, the “Thirty Questions” meme, that I’ve been seeing in my RSS feed a lot.

  1. What did you want to be when you were a kid? See here.
  2. Which Friends character do you relate to most? Why? I don’t relate to any of them. I never watched the show (which was aimed at a younger audience) and only saw it during rain delays during Braves games.
  3. Do you like your name? Why? Yes I do. It’s simple and easy to spell, at least for me. Not so much for others, evidently.
  4. Are you messy or neat? Messy.
  5. How tall are you? 5’9″ (175 cm).
  6. How tall were you when you were ten? My dad was as tall as I am now. I have a picture of the two of us when I was ten, and he’s about a foot taller than I, so about 4’9″.
  7. What is your guilty pleasure? Ain’t no such thing.
  8. What are you saving money for now? Property taxes.
  9. How many Pringles can you eat at once? Haven’t had Pringles in years (I heard them described as “potato chips designed by the Third Reich”), so I couldn’t tell you.
  10. Tea or coffee? Coffee, absolutely. I don’t like tea. I have to drink decaf because of my blood pressure.
  11. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Yes. I think the term is ambivert.
  12. What will be your Hallowe’en costume this year? I haven’t worn a costume on Hallowe’en since I was 13.
  13. Sweet or salty? Sometimes one or the other, often both.
  14. Favorite social media? My blog, then Instagram. I try to stay away from Facebook and Twitter.
  15. Who is the last person you kissed? Mary.
  16. What is your favorite breakfast? A local restaurant serves a breakfast of three eggs, three sausages, fried potatoes or grits, toast or English muffin. For me, eggs over medium, potatoes, and an English muffin with the sausages, and sometimes I get a couple of pancakes.
  17. When is your birthday? March 25.
  18. When did you start your blog? January 2012.
  19. What is your opinion on the Kardashians? I really don’t have one, and I don’t think they have one about me, either.
  20. How would you describe your style? Retired casual.
  21. What color is your hair? Mostly white with some brown in it. My beard and mustache are all white.
  22. What color socks are you wearing? Off-white. They’re the kind that fit under the Juxtalites.
  23. What is your dream job? I’m retired.
  24. Dogs or cats? Cats, definitely.
  25. What makes you weird? Pretty much everything.
  26. Celebrity crush? Julie Newmar.
  27. Opinion on cigarettes? I smoked pretty heavily until about 30 years ago. Smoking killed some people close to me, so I don’t like it, but sometimes I miss it.
  28. Do you want/have any children? How many? No and zero.
  29. Three favorite boy’s names. My brothers’ names: James, Christopher, and Patrick.
  30. Three favorite girl’s names. Mary, Kathryn (my paternal grandmother’s name), and Genevieve (my mother’s and my maternal grandmother’s name).

The picture I was talking about in #6. I’m the short one with the crew cut.

So, what would you say about any of these? Better yet, do this on your blog, if you haven’t already done so.




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Two for Tuesday: Cher

I’ve profiled Cher here before (during my “Chanteuses” series). Her solo career had started while she and husband Sonny were still married, and really took off after they separated. During the early Seventies, she had four hits reach the top ten on Billboard‘s Hot 100, spending a total of 26 weeks there, with three of them reaching #1 during that period.

“Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves” reached the Top 10 in October 1971, spending 9 weeks there, peaking at #1 on November 6.

“Half-Breed” reached the Top 10 in September 1973, spending 8 weeks there and reaching #1 on October 6.

Cher, your Two for Tuesday, June 13, 2017.




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Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Songs From 1978

It’s a “freebie” day here on M4, so I thought I’d feature some music from the year I graduated college and Mary and I got married. I looked at the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 from that year and took the first six songs that I liked. Hope I have some of your favorites here.

  1. Exile, “Kiss You All Over” This was Exile’s only hit on the Pop chart. They’ve had more luck on the country chart. It’s from their 1978 album Mixed Emotions and was #5 for the year.
  2. Player, “Baby Come Back” from their 1977 eponymous first album. The song was released in late 1977 and reached #1 in early 1978. It was #7 for the year.
  3. Commodores, “Three Times A Lady” From their 1978 album Natural High. It spent two weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 as well as on the Soul chart in August, and three weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It finished the year at #10.
  4. Paul Davis, “I Go Crazy” The first single from his 1977 Singer of Songs: Teller Of Tales LP. It only reached #7 on the Hot 100, but spent a record forty weeks on that chart. It finished the year at #12.
  5. Eric Clapton, “Lay Down Sally” From his fantastic 1977 Slowhand LP, it rose to #3 on the Hot 100 and finished the year at #15.
  6. Nick Gilder, “Hot Child In The City” From his City Nights LP, it made its way slowly up the chart to #1 by late October. It finished the year at #22, and was featured in the 1984 movie Angel.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 12, 2017.

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, June 11, 2017

Holy Summary, Batman! It’s The Week That Was!

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Batman, coming soon to a theater near you!

By now, you’ve heard that Adam West, TV’s “Batman,” died yesterday after a brief bout with leukemia. The only remaining “supervillain” from the show, Julie Newmar (who played Catwoman, although sadly not in the movie), paid him a wonderful tribute, saying he was “the best Batman ever.” Rest in peace, Adam West.

The Week That Was

Since yesterday, when I talked about how my Internet service was in and out whenever it was warm, I installed a new gateway (actually took out the one I had in there and swapped it for the one that was there before I changed it), and I’ve only had one brief outage. Could the gateway have been the issue? No way of knowing. Anyway, here’s the week in review.

I shared the #1 songs from the US and the UK on each of my brothers’ birthays, as well as my own. We were born on days with great music, is all I have to say.

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Aretha Franklin was Tuesday’s act from my high school days. She’s had a long and successful career, and seems to be a favorite of all of you.

Wednesday’s One-Liner was from the movie The Blues Brothers, which has more than its share of great one-liners. And Aretha Franklin was in both movies, the original and Blues Brothers 2000.

The prompt was “late,” so I wrote about a couple of times when I was not just late, but spectacularly so. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it and remembering the times. And yes, there are plenty more stories like those.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My most recent Battle was won by Miss Sassy herself, Sarah Vaughan. Any time I feature a battle with Sarah Vaughan, she wins. I’m thinking of retiring her from future battles; she’s just too good.

After the previous week, where I chose five songs at random from a list of the top 40 songs in the UK during the summer of 1979, I had intended on doing the same thing. Seeing as I couldn’t find such a list, I took a WLS survey from the middle of that summer and chose five songs more or less at random, being careful not to select any disco tunes. I think I might have gotten the only five non-disco tunes on the survey…

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The word was “admit,” and the topic was my latest battle with my Internet service, where they finally admitted maybe they were the ones that had an issue. They’re coming out on Tuesday. Stay tuned for further updates.

Nothing special planned, though my friend over at Mostly Cajun has me thinking about this whole blogging thing. I wonder sometimes if I’m doing too much on autopilot. On the other hand, like him I’d rather talk here than on Facebook, and I’m still enjoying this tremendously. And I think I’d miss this too much. Okay, I’d miss you too much.

That’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. See you later!




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