Sunday, April 30, 2017

The End of the A to Z Challenge Week That Was

We’ll be right back after this from The Leather Showroom, Toronto’s largest selection of leather goods under one roof.

The Week That Was

So as of today, the 2017 A to Z Challenge is history. I’ll have my thoughts on the challenge a week from tomorrow, May 8, which is the official A to Z Reflections Day. Look for the badge for that event tomorrow. In the meantime, J (J. Lenni Dorner, my colleague on the A to Z team) has put together a survey where you can tell us what you thought of this year’s challenge: what worked for you, what didn’t work for you, what you’d like to see, etc. It’s open until May 20, so you have a couple of weeks. Take the survey here.

Meanwhile, life didn’t stop here at The Sound of One Hand Typing, so here’s the weekly summary.

I got to pick this week’s theme, so in honor of it being T day on the A to Z Challenge, I chose traveling songs. You came up with many more, which I featured on The Friday Five. I’m still getting suggestions, so if I missed your favorite, leave me a comment and I’ll get to it.

Two for Tuesday featured the late, great Marvin Gaye, whose life ended tragically at the hands of his father. You always have to ask yourself, if he was still around today, what would he be singing about?

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I shared something from my LiveJournal, which I still have and am in fact paying for, even though I haven’t updated it in about two years. Expect to see a few more things as I get the chance to thumb through it and find funny stuff I’ve shared there in the past.

The prompt was to talk about a time when I wasted my money, of which I think there have been many. I talked about the Christmas I bought myself a bunch of peripherals which didn’t work on my release of Windows. Twenty years later, many compatibility issues seem to have worked themselves out, but at the time that was a common occurrence.

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The prompt was “yard,” and I went totally stream-of-consciousness and allowed the term “going yard” turn into a rant about ESPN and cable TV in general, and finished it with a song by the Yardbirds, who have since morphed into Led Zeppelin.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

I announced the results of my latest Battle of the Bands, which pitted the 1961-64 theme for “The Avengers,” written by Johnny Dankworth, against the 1965-68 theme, written by Laurie Johnson. Sir Laurie’s beat Sir Johnny’s by a 3-1 margin. Arlee Bird gave me the idea for my next Battle, which you will see tomorrow and is a mashup with Monday’s Music Moves Me.

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And let’s not forget the entries I did for the A to Z Challenge:

  • We featured the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu on Monday.
  • Tuesday’s entry was dedicated to the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, UNLV for short.
  • I morphed into Heap Big Technical Guy on Wednesday and talked about database views, virtual entities that make the job of reporting and security a whole lot easier.
  • I shared a number of floor wax commercials from the Fifties and Sixties on Thursday.
  • I finally pulled together a cogent article about x-rays on Friday.
  • Yesterday I discussed Hall-of-Fame left fielder from the Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski, whose nickname was Yaz, much easier to spell than Yastrzemski.
  • And about seven and a half hours ago, I ended with a flourish, talking about zyzzyva the Brazilian insect, Zyzzyva the literary journal from San Francisco, and zyzzyva the last word in the English-language dictionary, which, if you were playing Scrabble and had a Z, two Y’s, a V, an A, and the two blank tiles, would spell “game over” for your opponents.

We get back to normal here. I’ve already talked about tomorrow’s BotB/M4 mashup, we’ll feature another top ten act from my high school days on Tuesday, another one-liner, whatever Kat and Linda come up with on Thursday and Saturday (respectively), and maybe more traveling songs on Friday. I’ll also begin my tour of A to Z blogs that will likely take me through the end of the year. I had hoped to do more visiting during the Challenge, and finally figured it would be easier to catch up on everyone when things rolled to a stop.

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




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Zyzzyva #atozchallenge

ZYZZYVA

So, we’ve wrapped around. As promised, when I got to Z, I’d end the word with A. I considered a bunch of words here, including Zola (for Emile), Zorba (the Greek), zebra, and zinnia, but somehow I knew I could do much better than that.

A zyzzyva, as Wikipedia tells us, is a long-snouted beetle no longer than an ant, found in tropical America around palm trees. Its name is more noted for being the last word in many English-language dictionaries, just as Zeke Zzzzypt was the last name in the Chicago white pages for years.

Zyzzyva is also the name of a literary magazine based in San Francisco. They publish the magazine three times a year and focus primarily on underrepresented authors. Their About page tells us

Every issue is a vibrant mix of established talents and new voices, providing an elegantly curated overview of contemporary arts and letters with a distinctly San Francisco perspective.

And, if that wasn’t enough, Zyzzyva is a free word study program made available through the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA). Written by Michael Thelen, it’s now maintained by the NASPA Zyzzyva Committee. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux environments, and I understand there might be an iOS version, though it evidently doesn’t run on iOS 10. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t tell you how it works, but if you like studying words and/or playing Scrabble, it might be worth a look. Have I mentioned it’s free? The current release is 3.1.0, which includes the OTCWL2016 and CSW15 word lists. The app has a Facebook page and can be found on Twitter as @ZyzzyvaApp.

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of this year’s A to Z Challenge, for me, anyway. I’d like to thank my fellow cohosts, Arlee, Heather, J, Alex, Jeremy, and Csenge, and especially I’d like to thank everyone who made this year’s challenge the best yet, particularly those who stopped by and left a comment. You made my day. See you next year!




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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Going Yard With The Yardbirds #socs

The prompt for this last Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday of April 2017 is, appropriately enough, “Yard,” because the A to Z Challenge letter of the day is Y.

“Going yard” is baseball talk for hitting a home run. I have no idea why people started saying that, because I’ve never said it and I’ve watched baseball most of my life. None of my friends used it when I was growing up, either, so it’s a recent term, probably inflicted on us by ESPN, which as we all know stands for Extremely Silly People Network Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It was hardly watchable back when it started, and it’s only gotten worse in recent years. Someone told me their share of the monthly cable bill is around $6 per subscriber, whether or not the subscriber watches it.

For anyone considering “cutting the cord,” i.e. cancelling cable TV or satellite TV and getting your programs over-the-air, that’s another thing you should consider. We cut the cord and no longer pay for ESPN and all the little ESPNs, CNN and its brood, Fox News and its clan, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, RT, Bravo, A&E, and all the other channels we used to get and never watch.

Of course there are a couple of channels I’d like to get: Fox Sports Southeast (which carries Braves games), MeTV, and all the channels and subchannels we get now over-the-air. Technically, I understand they can do that now, just give people access to certain channels, but there’s too much money in it for Disney (which owns ESPN and all the little Disney channels), Time Warner (which owns all the CNNs and all the channels that used to be owned by Ted Turner), and all the other companies that provide programming to cable and satellite systems, and they’ve gotten with the cable providers and ensured that won’t happen anytime soon. It would take an act of Congress to bust that monopoly up, but of course members of Congress get lots of money from the cable operators and providers and won’t do anything like that anytime soon. Money, incidentally, they get from the poor bastards that subscribe to cable and satellite TV and get hundreds of channels they don’t want and never watch.

There are actually laws in the United States that ostensibly prevent this sort of thing, among them the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, but hey, there are ways around laws like that anyway, aren’t there?

So I’ve discovered.

I had intended on segueing into a discussion of one of the great bands from the British Invasion, namely The Yardbirds, for whom Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page (three of the greatest guitar players ever) once played. Here’s “Heart Full of Soul” from 1968, featuring Jimmy Page playing guitar.

The Yardbirds broke up before going on a Scandinavian tour in the late Sixties, but they gave Jimmy Page the right to form his own band, to be called The New Yardbirds, to go on tour. Page took bassist John Paul Jones, drummer John Bonham, and vocalist Robert Plant with him, and when they got back they started recording an album. Some former members of the Yardbirds got a cease-and-desist order preventing them from using the name “The New Yardbirds,” so they picked a new one: Led Zeppelin. And the rest, as they say, is history.


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Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now, here are Bob and Doug MacKenzie for Pizza Hut.




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Carl Yastrzemski (“Yaz”) #atozchallenge

YAZ

A baseball post! Who’d’ve thought?

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How do you replace a Hall of Famer who might have been the greatest hitter of all time? In 1960, the Boston Red Sox were faced with this question as Ted Williams, who had patrolled left field for them since 1939 (with time off for service in World War II and the Korean War) announced his intention to retire from the game. Ted had a fantastic career, with a .344 batting average, a .482 on-base percentage, 521 home runs, 1,839 runs batted in, and three walks for every strikeout. Were it not for his extraordinary patriotism, Henry Aaron might have been chasing him for the all-time record in home runs. He homered in his final at-bat, a way of thanking the Boston fans.

The job of replacing Ted was handed to Carl Yastrzemski (ya-STREM-ski), a 21-year-old outfielder who had hit well in 1960 at Minneapolis, then Boton’s AAA affiliate (the following year, the Washington Senators would move to Minneapolis and become the Minnesota Twins).

Carl Yastrzemski 1963 Topps baseball card. Source: The Golden Age of Baseball Cards

Was Carl as good as Ted? No one was as good as Ted. But Carl was more than good enough. He led the American league in hitting three times, including 1967, when he also led the league in home runs (44) and runs batted in (121) — in other words, the Triple Crown. That year, he led the BoSox to the American League Championship and into the World Series, where he batted .400 and hit three home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals in a losing effort.

When it was all over in 1983, Carl had a more-than-respectable .285 lifetime batting average, with 452 home runs and 1,844 runs batted in, besting his predecessor by five RBI. He led the Red Sox in eight different all-time categories, and, as with his predecessor, that earned him a place in The National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story, though. I remember Yaz from the games he played against the White Sox. You hated to see him come up to bat with men on base, because more often than not he found a way to beat you. He’s one of those guys that, when he beat you, you just tipped your hat to him. What else could you do? He’s in the Hall of Fame because of it.

Be sure to be with us tomorrow, April 30, for the last entry in this year’s A to Z Challenge.




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Friday, April 28, 2017

The Friday more-or-less Five: Your Traveling Songs

I did my five traveling songs for Monday’s Music Moves Me, and Kip commented “You left some obvious ones for me to pick!” And he was right, and that was my intention, because I wanted to make sure there were enough songs to go around for eveeryone. Anyway, ya’ll came up with eleven songs (I had to guess at one that Mark had left).

Ricky Nelson, “Travelin’ Man” Kip and Janet both named this one. From his 1961 album Rick Is 21, it reached #1 that year.

Willie Nelson, “On The Road Again” Another Kip suggestion, which Cathy seconded. Classic Willie from 1980, when it reached #1 on the Country chart, #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #20 on the Hot 100.

Johnny Cash, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man” Kip’s third suggestion is from The Man In Black, circa 1996. This was used as the backing music in commercials for a hotel chain, but I forget which.

John Denver, “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane” Cathy suggested this one, and Calen suggested the Peter, Paul & Mary cover. He wrote it in 1966 and named it “Babe, I Hate To Go.” Milt Okun suggested he change the name, and the rest, they say, is history.

The Allman Brothers Band, “Ramblin’ Man” Arlee came up with this one. From the 1972 album Brothers & Sisters, written and sung by Dickie Betts. Capricorn Records couldn’t decide whether to release this or “Wasted Words” as the first single, so they sent a tape of this to stations in Boston (WRKO) and Atlanta (WQXI), and the reaction was so good they chose this one, which went as high as #2 on the Hot 100 because Cher’s “Half Breed” claimed the #1 spot.

Led Zeppelin, “Ramble On” Another Arlee choice, from Led Zeppelin’s second album, the appropriately-named Led Zeppelin II from 1969.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Travelin’ Band” Mary suggested this one, from 1970’s Cosmo’s Factory. It reached #2 on the Pop Singles chart that year.

Steppenwolf, “Magic Carpet Ride” Jeanne thought of this one. It was on Steppenwolf’s second album, 1968’s The Second. (Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?) It peaked at #3 that year.

Metallica, “Wherever I May Roam” Another Jeanne suggestion. This was the fourth single from Metallica’s eponymous fifth album and reached #82 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Album Tracks chart in 1992.

The Beatles, “Ticket To Ride” Joey came up with this, and I didn’t hold much hope of finding a copy on YouTube, but evidently the UMG gremlins missed this one and didn’t manage to get it removed or have the person who posted it taken out and shot. From their 1964 Help! album, this was #1 on the Hot 100 that year.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Travelin’ Man” Not sure if this is the song Mark was talking about when he posted the lyrics in the comment, but it seemed the most likely candidate. From their twentieth album (guess what it was called?) it reached #22 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1997.

Thanks to all who made suggestions! That’s The Friday Five for April 28, 2017.




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X-Ray #atozchallenge

X-RAY

“X-Ray” is used for the letter X in the NATO spelling alphabet, which I used as the theme for my first-ever A to Z Challenge back in 2012. I remember getting bogged down in the details when I tried talking about Röntgen and his discovery of the x-ray, until finally I gave up and talked about X-Ray Specs and the other wonderful toys you could buy from tiny ads in the backs of comic books.

Anyway, the x-ray was discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895. He was doing experiments with vacuum tubes, and noticed that a treated piece of cardboard was starting to glow, and that, when he held his hand up in front of it, he could see the bones and everything. He thought, hey, this might be useful someday…

Anyway, x-rays can be found on the electromagnetic spectrum above ultraviolet light and below gamma rays. Their wavelengths are between 10 nanometers and 10 petameters, with a frequency between 300 petahertz and 30 exahertz.

X-rays are especially useful in medicine and dentistry, as we all know, and while they pose a slight health risk, it’s actually lower than the risks posed by naturally-occurring radiation, if this page is to be believed. It’s a case where the benefits from the x-ray outweigh the risks from it. I get my teeth x-rayed about once a year, and it allows my dentist to see if there are any cavities below the gum line and to look for cancers they aren’t able to see on visual inspection. When I was in the hospital after my stroke, I caught pneumonia; they x-rayed my chest daily for about a week (usually at 3 IN THE MORNING) to see if I was getting any better.

They also use x-rays in airport security, to examine the contents of carry-on luggage. They tested the TSA inspectors on their ability to see guns and explosives hidden in carry-ons, and the results were, shall we say, less than satisfactory. Back when he was working, my father-in-law learned to use an x-ray to examine steel tanks for possible weak spots. He got really good at it; he could show the TSA folks a thing or two.

So much for x-rays. What have been your x-ray experiences?




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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wax #atozchallenge

WAX

Doing the research for this, I realized that the subject of wax is much more complicated than I originally thought. So I’m going to limit this discussion to just one kind of wax, the kind that housewives put on their kitchen floors up until the mid-Seventies.

Building custodians still use this sort of wax, as we can see in this video on the right way to do it.

There are many more videos on how to do this on YouTube. I just wanted to show you that it’s still being done. Just not at home, with the advent of no-wax vinyl floors that (supposedly) get that wax shine without the wax.

Daytime TV used to have at least ten ads for floor wax each hour. OK, I’m exaggerating; more like seven or eight. Here are some of them. We used Glo-Coat, because it shielded against black heel marks.

Just so you know, no, a heel doesn’t magically appear under your foot when you step on the floor. Glo-Coat was manufactured by Johnson Wax, now called S. C. Johnson because almost no one waxes their floors anymore. Johnson Wax also had Klear as an entry into the floor wax battle. Where Glo-Coat Shielded against black heel marks, Klear didn’t yellow floors.

The 500-pound gorilla in the floor wax business had to be Aerowax, mostly because it was cheap and had the best commercials. This is a mid-1950’s commercial for Aerowax as seen during the popular (at the time) soap opera, Love Of Life. This isn’t an especially good commercial, but it is a demonstration of the commercials where a spokesman for the product spent sixty seconds trying to browbeat you into buying the product, kind of like political commercials these days.

There are plenty more commercials for floor wax and other defunct products on YouTube. I try to feature a couple each week, for no reason other than I feel like it. Anyway, I’d like to end with a joke:

A policeman calls his sergeant. “I’m at a house where a woman murdered her husband because he walked on the floor she just finished washing and waxing.” The sergeant said, “Have you arrested her?” The cop says, “No, not yet.” “Why not?” the sergeant asks. “The floor isn’t dry yet.”

Did your mother (or you, for that matter) wax your floors?




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Writer’s Workshop: The Christmas of Broken Toys

Today’s prompt: Write about a time you wasted your money.

Mary and I have a deal at Christmas: we buy for ourselves, then pretend we got the stuff from each other. She usually wants knitting books, yarn, and other knitting paraphernalia, and at the time I was heavy into computers and peripherals. We’d have ended up having to tell each other exactly what we wanted and where to get it from, and finally we decided to eliminate the middleman. Works for us.

This one Christmas I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and it was getting close to Christmas. Finally, I was flipping through a catalog and saw a bunch of computer accessories I thought I could use, and they came to $50 with shipping and everything. So, I ordered it, and was relieved that I had finished my Christmas shopping.

The stuff all came in a box, and I held off opening it until Christmas morning. I brought all of it up to my office and started plugging it in. Understand, this was in the olden days when peripherals all came with driver software and nothing attached with USB cables, so I had to actually screw the stuff into the back of my computer. I got everything attached and ready to go… and nothing worked. I tried installing the drivers, and none of them would install, or it wouldn’t find the device I had installed and would tell me so, in large letters.

I go to the vendor’s website and find driver software, but had the same issues with what I downloaded. I tried every trick I knew, and it still wouldn’t install, and I couldn’t use the stuff without the appropriate drivers. Of course, it being Christmas Day, no one was working, so I put the stuff aside and figured I would call in the morning.

When I finally got through to them, the guy asked, “What release of Windows are you running?”

“NT,” I said.

“Ohhhhhhh… that stuff won’t work on Windows NT. It’ll work on 95 and ME, but that’s as far as we’re supporting those items. You might try getting your money back from whoever sold the stuff to you.”

So I call the people I bought the stuff from, and was told the stuff was on final clearance and couldn’t be returned.

$50 worth of peripherals, no good on my release of Windows. I just threw the stuff away. Merry Christmas.




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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#1LinerWeds From My LiveJournal

I know, I spend too much time at home with the cats.

Believe it or not, I still have a LiveJournal (a paid account, no less), although I haven’t posted to it in almost two years. There’s a lot of my life chronicled out there; maybe I should go through it and see if there’s anything interesting out there that I could share here. This is from June 11, 2003, back when I was having manager trouble and getting ready to go to guitar camp.


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One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this from Post Sugar Rice Krinkles cereal!




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View #atozchallenge

VIEW

I was going to talk about point-of-view here, but then I realized that many of you are writers and probably know all about first person and third person omniscient and all that jazz, so I’ll talk about another kind of view…

I was at one time Heap Big Technical Guy who was responsible for maintaining the training environments at my next-to-last employer. One of my responsibilities was to install the application, which was written in Java and used SQL databases, in our case either Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. When I worked for my brother, I built myself a database using MySQL for the stuff I was keeping track of, and would produce a report every day that I had created from the previous day’s data.

I’m telling you all of that for no other reason than to say I know SQL databases pretty well, and only had one class where I learned all the jargon and technical terms and the SQL query language so I could get data both into and out of the databases. Trust me, it’s a whole lot simpler than working with IMS, IDMS, Datacom, or any of the other databases we had back in the olden days, when we would punch cards with a hammer and chisel.

Anyhow…

A SQL database consists of one or more tables (called in database lingo relations) which conceptually look like Excel spreadsheets. In fact, you can load data from Excel spreadsheets into the tables. The trick when writing programs or queries was to know how to connect (or JOIN) the tables to each other so you could actually use the data and produce reports. See, databases go through a process called normalization, which means the data is separated into separate tables to minimize the amount of repeated data there is in them.

If your database administrator (DBA) is a nice guy, he might define a view that does all the joining of tables that you would have to do manually. Views are convenient ways of looking at the databases, and can be used to query the database or update it. It takes care of getting all the data together in one place for producing reports or adding additional records to the database.

The other use of views is security. There might be certain data that you don’t want everyone seeing, like executive salaries, or updating, like your own salary. The DBA can create views that have just the information users need to do their job, and restrict them to only using those views to do so.

That’s all I have to say about the wonderful world of SQL databases and views, other than to say WordPress uses MySQL databases, and if you decide to install WordPress on your own server you’ll need to allocate a database for use with it. It helps to know something about it. Fortunately, all of the documentation is available online. You can even download the Reference Manual (it’s in HTML, PDF, and EPUB formats) so you have a copy all for yourself.

Good luck….




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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Two For Tuesday: Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye had five hits in the Top Ten of the Hot 100 in the early Seventies, spending a total of thirty weeks there. Thirteen of those thirty weeks were for his mega-hit “Let’s Get It On,” a #1 for him in 1973. As a bonus, this video includes the B side, “Heaven Must Have Sent You.”

His second-biggest hit on the Hot 100 was 1971’s “What’s Goin’ On,” which reached #2 and spent eight weeks in the Top Ten.

Marvin was shot to death by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., on April 1, 1984, after Marvin intervened in an argument between his parents. The elder Gay agreed to a plea bargain, pleading guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and receiving a suspended sentence and probation. At his sentencing hearing, his father said, “If I could bring him back, I would. I was afraid of him. I thought I was going to get hurt. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’m really sorry for everything that happened. I loved him. I wish he could step through this door right now. I’m paying the price now.” The whole story is on Wikipedia.

Marvin Gaye, your Two for Tuesday, April 25, 2017.




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University of Nevada, Las Vegas #atozchallenge

UNLV

Bet you were wondering how I’d come up with something that starts with U and ends with V, didn’t you?

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From their website:

Since our first classes were held on campus in 1957, UNLV has transformed itself from a small branch college into a thriving urban research institution. Along the way, our urban university has become an indispensable resource in one of the country’s fastest-growing and most enterprising cities.

UNLV is a big institution, with almost 25,000 undergraduates, 4,300 graduate students, and over 1,000 faculty members (I can’t say whether that includes administrators or not). They offer over 350 degrees and are the second-most diverse university in the nation, according to US News & World Report.

Their athletic teams are called the Rebels, and they compete in the Mountain West Conference of the NCAA. They compete in men’s baseball, football, basketball, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis, and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swim & dive, track & field, volleyball, and tennis. They have done quite well in all their sports.

By all means, visit their website. I can’t do it justice.




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Monday, April 24, 2017

Tuvalu #atozchallenge

Well, how about that? We’ve made it to the last week of the 2017 A to Z Challenge! Hope you’re ready for seven straight days of posting.

TUVALU

Tuvalu. By TUBS [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, Virginia, there is a Tuvalu. It’s an archipelago in the South Pacific roughly halfway between Australia and Hawai’i that used to be called the Ellice Islands, when they were a colony of the United Kingdom. At that time, they were lumped in with the Gilbert Islands, which are now the country of Kiribati.

You can read all about Tuvalu here at your leisure; there’s quite a lot about it, and there are links to even more information and articles about the place. About 10,000 people live there, and they don’t get many visitors. Makes sense; there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot there and, judging from the map, it’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. Which, I’m sure, makes it very attractive to some.

Ever had the desire to go to Tuvalu? Had you even heard of it before now?




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Monday’s Music Moves Me: Traveling Songs

Guess who got to pick the theme for today? The letter of the day for the A to Z Challenge is T, so I picked a theme that started with that letter: traveling songs. Here are a few I came up with.

Elvin Bishop, “Travelin’ Shoes” Elvin Bishop was one of the original members of the Butterfield Blues Band who left in the late Sixties to front his own band, The Elvin Bishop Group.

Canned Heat, “On The Road Again” Canned Heat were a Southern California band that started out doing a lot of blues. Both founders, vocalist Bob “The Bear” Hite and guitarist/harmonicist/vocalist Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, were avid blues fans. Blind Owl sings this, which rose to #16 on the Hot 100 in 1969.

Vanity Fare, “Hitchin’ A Ride” A British band, they had their greatest success with this song, which reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #3 in Canada in 1970.

The Grateful Dead, “Truckin'” I kind of blow hot and cold on The Grateful Dead. They were really popular in the Sixties and Seventies, which might be attributed to the chemically-induced mental state of the fans. They were never much for the Hot 100, although this song spent eight weeks on the Singles chart, reaching #64. It’s from their 1969 album American Beauty.

Wes Montgomery, “Road Song” To watch Wes Montgomery play, you’d think he didn’t know what he was doing, but when you heard him, you realized he was one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the post-bop era. After years recording for Riverside and Verve, two jazz labels, he signed with Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and adopted a more commercial sound. Hardcore jazz fans questioned the move without noticing that he recorded some great music for A&M, including this, the title track from his third and last album for the label, recorded shortly before his death in 1968.

So there are a couple of traveling songs. Can you think of others? There are a ton of them out there.

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, April 23, 2017

A Rainy Week That Was In Georgia

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Totes Umbrellas.

We’re at Starbucks right now, and the rain is pouring down. See?

The Week That Was

I’m glad it’s raining. It’s been very hot and humid here, and we’re trying to hold off on using the air conditioning. So, here’s the week in review.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My latest battle was which theme song for The Avengers you preferred, the original by Johnny Dankworth or the newer theme written by Laurie Johnson. Johnson’s, which was the theme most of us were familiar with, was the clear winner by a 3-to-1 margin.

I discovered my new front porch and stairs are becoming a nest for carpenter bees, and played five songs about bees. Thanks to all who made suggestions on how to get rid of the bees, by the way; we’re trying everything possible.

Gladys Knight & The Pips were the featured artist this week. Everyone seems to like them, or at least not dislike them. I can’t promise the same for other acts I’ll be featuring. Which ones they are, I have no idea.

1linerwedsbadgewes

One of Kristen Lamb’s posts provided this week’s one-liner. It’s a good post, and I encourage everyone who’s a blogger, especially if blogging is something you do to promote your work, to go read it.

The prompt asked what I would choose as my new career. I always wanted to be a musician full-time, which I realize isn’t all that practical, but then, that’s no reason to consider it. I think I gave up on it too soon, to be honest.

I created a playlist with the fourteen “lady” songs you suggested, and after that I added several more to the list, because I received another suggestion and thought of a couple more. Go have a listen.

socsbadgecropped

The prompt yesterday was “spell,” and after expressing my contempt for spell checkers, I was on a roll and included “digital assistants” like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, as well as software added to computers that you don’t want and can’t uninstall. As Uncle Jack pointed out, I was in a mood.

a2z2017

This week’s letters were N through S.

  • Monday’s topic was Necco wafers, a candy that’s been around since the Civil War (or, if you prefer, the War of Yankee Aggression). Evidently wintergreen Life Savers (called Wint-O-Green in Life Saver parlance) will also spark when you break them in a dark closet. No idea why wintergreen wants to set fire to the house.

  • Tuesday I used a Venn diagram to discuss overlapping. Apparently it brought back bad memories for some of you. It’s interesting that Venn was a philosopher, not a mathematician, and used his eponymous drawings as a graphic representation for logic problems. I had trouble with them at first, mostly because Sister Antagonista demanded that the circles be perfect.

  • Wednesday we discussed the milk additive PDQ, made by the people who brought us Ovaltine. PDQ sponsored a game show back in the Sixties that went by the same name. There’s a video of the pilot episode in the post, if you’d like to see it.

  • We discussed the British names for musical notes on Thursday. I was introduced to them by Logan’s Tutor, the book I used to learn to play the bagpipes. A quaver is better known as an eighth note, a semiquaver is a sixteenth note, a demisemiquaver is a thirty-second note, and after that we’re talking about notes only Liberace could play.

  • Friday’s word was “rumpus,” which reminded me of Maurice Sendak’s award-winning children’s book Where The Wild Things Are. That beloved classic was written in 1963, when I was seven. Does that make me a beloved classic, too? Don’t answer that.

  • Yesterday’s A to Z entry was a stream-of-consciousness effort based on the word statement, which has many meanings. A very useful word!

Thanks to the calendar, we’ll be doing entries for the last seven letters of the alphabet, T through Z (whether you call it “zee” or “zed”). I chose the theme for tomorrow’s M4, which is songs about traveling. We’ll have another act from the Top Ten lists from when I was in high school, another one-liner, and all the other regular features.

And that’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. Have a good week!




from The Sound of One Hand Typing