Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#1LinerWeds from Mike James

On our watch, America’s trust and confidence in the news media has fallen to an all-time low.

Mike James is the now-retired editor of a daily newsletter called NewsBlues, which looks primarily at Chicago television news, although what he has to say in his final column could probably apply just about anywhere in the United States, and probably the world. Robert Feder, a long-time Chicago media reporter and columnist currently working for the suburban Daily Herald newspaper, quotes extensively from Mr. James’s final column on his own blog. Let’s just say it’s strongly worded. Oddly enough, Feder’s readers, who are primarily people who work in the television industry, overwhelmingly agree with James, as evidenced by the comments the post has received.

I usually attribute this quote to Mark Twain, but learned that it was in fact Will Rogers who said it: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” The same could be said about television news.

By the way, Eli over at Coach Daddy wrote a great post the other day about his “breaking up” with the news. If you haven’t read it, hop on over there and do so.

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

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Two for Tuesday EXTRA: The Allman Brothers Band (RIP Gregg Allman)

I was never much of an Allman Brothers fan. Duane Allman was a guitar hero of mine, and like another guitar hero, Chicago’s Terry Kath, he was the heart and soul of his band, and when he was gone, it was as though the air was let out of them. Gregg Allman, Duane’s kid brother, passed away last Saturday, and the tributes to him are pouring in. And since The Allman Brothers Band was popular when I was in high school, and since I’m looking at music from that period, I felt to add a word or two.

Gregg was a great singer, musician, and songwriter. He was also a person who struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs throughout most of his career. He seemed to have put all that behind him a few years ago, and was clean and sober at the time of his death. My condolences to his children and all who knew and loved him.

I’ve chosen a couple of songs that are favorites of mine. The first song is “One Way Out.”

The second song is “Whipping Post,” which was written by Gregg.

Rest in Peace, Gregg Allman.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Two For Tuesday: Roberta Flack

Roberta Flack only had three Top Ten hits during my high school days, but all three went to #1 and she spent a total of 26 weeks at the top of the charts. In addition, she did a popular duet with Donny Hathaway, “Where Is The Love,” that spent six weeks in the Top Ten, peaking at #5, and a second duet with him, “The Closer I Get To You,” after our time period.

She won the Grammy for Record of the Year in both 1973 (for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face“) and 1974 (for “Killing Me Softly With His Song”). The latter spent nine weeks in the Top Ten in 1973.

Her third #1 was “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” which came out in the summer of 1974 and spent six weeks in the Top Ten.

In 2012, Roberta recorded Let It Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers. She lived across the hall from John and Yoko in the Dakota apartments beginning in 1975. She is said to be recording a second album of Beatles covers, but we don’t have a status on that.

Roberta Flack, your Two for Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Car Tunes!

I was going to start out by saying “Happy Memorial Day,” but Memorial Day isn’t actually a happy day, because it commemorates members of the United States armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) who died in combat. However, Memorial Day weekend is considered by many to be the unofficial first weekend of summer, so Happy First Weekend of Summer! The kids here are out of school until the first or second Monday in August, which used to be called “summer vacation.”


Since summer and cars go together, today we were asked to come up with songs about cars. I’m sure I’ll be repeating some of what others have chosen, because no doubt when someone says “car songs,” people tend to think about the same ones. Anyway, here are the ten I chose, in a playlist for you. Enjoy!

  1. Golden Earring, “Radar Love” The one big hit for Dutch rockers Golden Earring, this reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Cash Box survey in 1973.
  2. The Beach Boys, “Little Deuce Coupe” The title track from their 1963 album. This was their highest-charting “B” side (the “A” side was “Little Surfer Girl”), reaching #15 on the Hot 100.
  3. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” A cover of Charlie Ryan’s 1955 hit, it was the most-successful version, reaching #9 in 1972. It was on the Commander’s 1971 album Lost In The Ozone.
  4. Johnny Cash, “One Piece At A Time” The story of building a Cadillac piece by piece from parts stolen from the assembly line. It was the title track from Johnny’s 54th studio album, released in 1976. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #29 on the Hot 100.
  5. Chuck Berry, “You Can’t Catch Me” Chuck wrote a lot of songs about cars, and this was one of the first, released in 1956. It was recorded in the same session as “Maybelline” and “Wee Wee Hours.”
  6. Jan & Dean, “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” The first of two songs in this list by Messrs. Berry and Torrance, who did a lot of songs about cars and surfing. This one reached #3 in 1964.
  7. Ronnie & The Daytonas, “Little GTO” Ronny & The Daytonas were a surf and rock & roll band out of Nashville. They released a number of singles between 1964 and 1967. This was the first and the only to reach the Top Ten, peaking at #4.
  8. The Rip Chords, “Hey Little Cobra” From 1963, this peaked at #4 in the US, #5 in Canada, and #3 in New Zealand.
  9. Jan & Dean, “Drag City” Title track from Jan & Dean’s 1963 album, it reached the Top Ten in January 1964.
  10. The Playmates, “Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)” Heard this one on Dr. Demento many moons ago. This was a 1958 novelty record that reached #4 and spent twelve weeks on the Billboard Top 40 chart.

Hope this brightens your Memorial Day. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 29, 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.


from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The 2017 Memorial Day Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by District Furniture and Appliances. Come down to the District!

Another cheap furniture store in Chicago. I think they’re out of business now.

The Week That Was

Interesting week. I have been having a problem on the outside of my right foot making it excruciating to walk, and Mary convinced me to see a podiatrist. There’s evidently a tendon on that side that I managed to strain. He gave me diclofenac, a much stronger NSAID than naproxen or ibuprofen (but no codeine) and told me to ice it. A day or so later, I’m feeling great, because the diclofenac works on all the inflammation, including in the knees and back. I’m going to see if I can get a standing prescription for it. Anyone else using it?

Here’s the week in review…

Monday was a freebie, so I chose songs that have “diamond” in the title. I asked for suggestions of others, and you came up with a dozen, which we played on Friday for The Friday Five.

Music from my high school years continued with The Temptations, and I added in a song by former Temp Eddie Kendricks.

We got a new badge for One-Liner Wednesday as Dan’s entry reigned supreme, as they used to say on Iron Chef. My one-liner was something I found on Instagram, and the commercial I chose was for Burger King, advertising Return Of The Jedi glassware, some of which you can see here.

Question for all of you who participate in #1LinerWeds: do you keep a list of one-liners to use on Wednesdays? I’ve started doing that, because I have a memory like a sieve anymore. Evernote has become my new friend.

One of the prompts was to write about “staycation,” where you go on vacation but stay at home. We had a great one the two weeks the 1996 Summer Olympics were in town.


Linda’s prompt was “smell,” and ultimately I wrote about a guy I used to work for who smelled like he never bathed.

We’ll feature car songs tomorrow on Monday’s Music Moves Me, and we’ll have a Battle of the Bands on Thursday featuring a song we discussed a couple of weeks ago, when we featured songs with “all” or “nothing” in the title. Plus another act from my high school days, a one-liner, a Friday Five, and writing sparked by whatever Kat and Linda come up with. And, who knows what else? Be sure to join us!

That’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. For my US readers, have a safe Memorial Day, and be sure to remember those men and women in the Armed Forces who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Tomorrow’s a bank holiday for some of you who don’t live in the US, so have a safe and and restful day off. Everyone else, have a good day, anyway. See you soon!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smell You Later #socs

Saw this on Instagram shortly after learning this week’s word was “smell.”

Instagram Photo

Ever notice that, smell is good, it’s an “aroma,” and when it’s bad, it’s an “odor”? Like the aroma of coffee, but the odor from an outhouse? I mean, no one ever talks about the odor of Chanel No. 5 or the aroma of a corpse flower…

I worked for a man at a department store once who smelled like he never bathed. I feel sorry for the guy now, but back then, everyone in the department laughed behind his back. One day a customer said something to someone in the office, and they transferred him to a position where he had no customer contact. It was probably a cultural thing; the guy was from Eastern Europe and probably moved here sometime around World War II. Maybe he knew he smelled bad but not what to do about it. On the other hand, maybe the people in the office had spoken to him, and he didn’t do anything about it.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word from Jell-o.


from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Friday Five: Your “Diamond” Songs

In what is probably becoming a regular thing, there are many more songs than five in this week’s list. Twelve, to be exact. Technically, two of them don’t belong, but I added them anyway, at the end, because I’m just that kind of a guy…

  1. John Denver, “Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stones)” Uncle Jack thought of this back when I featured John Denver on Two For Tuesday. He said he and Aunt Loretta like the philosophy expressed in this one, and I can understand why. It’s the title track from his 1981 album, written by Dick Feller.
  2. Bon Jovi, “Diamond Ring” Annalisa came up with this, and asks us please not to judge her. As I told her, I don’t see why anyone would: Bon Jovi’s a pretty good band. It’s from their fifth studio album, 1995’s these Days.
  3. Joan Baez, “Diamonds & Rust” Janie thought of this one, and Martha heartily agrees. The title track from her 1975 studio album, she wrote it about Bob Dylan, with whom she had a relationship at one time. As a single, it reached #35 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  4. Paul Simon, “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” Ed came up with this, and Martha also liked this one. It was the fourth single from his fifth studio album, 1996’s Graceland, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo provide the backing vocals.
  5. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Big Blue Diamond” Calen chose this version of the song, an old country standard that’s been done by a number of artists. Meaning you’ll see it again for my June 15 Battle of the Bands.
  6. KISS, “Black Diamond” Cathy confessed she used Google to come up with this one and the next two, which is fine by me. This one was the final track on their eponymous first album from 1974.
  7. Eric Clapton, “Diamonds Made From Rain” Another Cathy choice, this is from Slowhand’s 2010 album Clapton.
  8. Enya, “Diamonds In The Water” The third Cathy choice is by the lovely Miss Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, who has Anglicized her name to Enya, thank God. It comes from her 2015 album Dark Sky Island.
  9. Bruce Cockburn, “All The Diamonds In The World” Arlee, our resident Bruce Cockburn fan, remembered this one. This is from his 1977 live album Circles In The Stream.
  10. Shinedown, “Diamond Eyes(Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)” Jeanne thought of this one right away. It’s from the soundtrack for The Expendables.
  11. Billy Joe Shaver, “I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal (But I’ll Be A Diamond Some Day)” Annie over at McGuffy’s Reader has been running a series by her husband, who has taken the A to Z concept and run with it this month. Cathy thought I should use this one, and since I had already been thinking of it, I thought that was a good idea.
  12. “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” Joey suggested this, saying it must be a “mom thing.” As I recall, Mozart wrote the melody, which is the same as for the alphabet song.

And that’s The Friday Five for May 26, 2017. Have a good Memorial Day weekend, if I don’t see you.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: Going on Staycation

You might remember that Atlanta won the right to host the 1996 Olympic Games. As with any case where the city at the hub of the area you live in decides, without consulting the residents, to hold a huge event, there were people who thought this was great, and others who thought it was a really stupid idea. I was a member of the latter group.

Believing that the Olympics would cause a greater logistical nightmare than Atlanta normally is, and since our county was uninvited from participating (again, never bothering to ask the residents whether that they wanted them to make such a resolution, probably because they wouldn’t like the answer), not to mention the fact that Mary and I couldn’t care less about the Olympics, we decided to take the two weeks off and ignore the fact they were going on. When I told someone this, they said “So, you’re going on staycation, then?” It was the first time I had heard the term, and I liked it.

We had a great time. We went to a lot of movies, ate out a lot, and I’d watch the Braves, who were on a two-week road trip to the West Coast, at night. All without traveling more than five miles from home.

Many of the vacations we’ve taken have been spent at home. Not that we’re opposed to traveling, although it’s gotten infinitely harder with my disabled status in the last ten years. We’ve taken some great trips over the years, don’t get me wrong, and there have been some occasions when I was able to mix business and pleasure and take Mary with me. But we’re basically homebodies, and when I was traveling all the time, the last thing I wanted to do on vacation was get on a plane and go somewhere. And, from Mary’s perspective, she’d rather spend the money on yarn.

Today’s prompt was to write about the word “staycation.”

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Something To Think About #1LinerWeds

Instagram Photo

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

Congratulations, Dan, for designing the new badge!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two For Tuesday: The Temptations (and Eddie Kendricks)


The Temptations were another band that had success in the early Seventies, putting four songs in the Top Ten for a total orf 26 weeks. In addition, Eddie Kendricks, who left the group in 1970, had two Top Ten singles as a solo act. More on that in a moment.

The group’s last single with Kendricks was “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).” It reached the Top Ten in March 1971, eventually climbing to #1.

Their next single to chart on the Hot 100 was “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” which reached the Top Ten in November 1972, also climbing to #1. Here’s the full version, all twelve minutes of it.

In the late Sixties, former lead singer David Ruffin was fired by the group, which apparently alienated Eddie Kendricks, who grew resentful, eventually leaving the stage at a performance at the Copacabana in November 1970. He then started a solo career that saw two of his singles reach the Top Ten, “Boogie Down,” which reached the Top Ten in February 1974 and reached #2, and “Keep On Truckin’,” which hit the Top Ten in October 1973 and spent ten weeks there, eventually reaching #1. As a pre-Memorial Day bonus, here’s that song, in its complete form.

Brothers Jim and Kip remember a night at Comiskey Park in the late Sixties where they heard a group of teenagers singing The Temps’ “Psychedelic Shack” and really sounding good on it. I must have been there, being the only White Sox fan in my immediate family, but somehow I missed the performance. Must have been great, because they still talk about it, fifty years later.

The Temptations, your Two For Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday’s Music Moves Me: “Diamond” Songs

I’m sure someone has already done this as a theme. Still, these are great songs, and I’m sure you can think of more. Here are some songs with the word “diamond” in the title.

  1. Seals and Crofts, “Diamond Girl” The title track from their 1973 album. It rose to #6 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Easy Listening chart that year, and was #40 for the year.
  2. Gary Lewis and The Playboys, “This Diamond Ring” Written by Al Kooper with Bob Brass and Irwin Levine in 1965. It eventually reached #1 on the Hot 100 in 1965.
  3. Shirley Bassey, “Diamonds Are Forever” The title track for the 1971 James Bond film. It was Dame Shirley’s second Bond theme song, the first of course being “Goldfinger.” It reached #57 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1972.
  4. The Beatles, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” Some clever person who hated The Beatles pointed out that the initials for this were LSD, but according to John Lennon, it was the title of a drawing that Julian had done. It appeared on 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in a slightly more finished form than we have here.
  5. Marilyn Monroe, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” From the iconic 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which starred MM and Jane Russell. Madonna “borrowed” the idea for the set and her dress for her 1985 video for “Material Girl.”
  6. David Bowie, “Diamond Dogs” The tite track from his 1974 album, which was the swan song for David’s Ziggy Stardust character. It was released as a single in the US, but failed to chart.

As always, I’ll take your suggestions for other “diamond” songs, and play your selections this Friday, if I get enough. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 22, 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.


from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Last Weekend of Spring Week That Was

Here’s John Cleese for Lowney Peanut Butter Cups.

I don’t know if they still sell Lowney’s Peanut Butter Cups, which is probably a Canadian brand. Anyone familiar with them?

The Week That Was

Once again, I find myself having to do all this with the WYSIWYG editor and switch over to the HTML one to embed the pictures etc. Funny thing, it doesn’t go really slowly when I cut-and-paste… but anyway…

I saw the doctor this week, and it looks like I’m on my way back to physical therapy, as the Juxtalite compression gadgets I’ve worn for the last year haven’t worked, and my leg is back to where it was. Looks like I’m going to have to find a way to get the compression socks on my legs by myself. They have a sock donner to help me get them on, so I’ll inquire about that. I’m sure they’d be happy to oblige. Anyway, onto the weekly summary…


It wasn’t even a contest:

We Five: 1
Jefferson Airplane: 15

Congratulations to Jefferson Airplane, and We Five, what can I say? Nice try, I guess. Shopgirl, who voted for We Five, especially liked Debbie Graf’s voice, but I guess the Airplane’s arrangement in general was better. Not as good as the Youngbloods’ version, which I think is the definitive cover of the song.

Mike Golch wanted to hear some Sixties Rock, and that’s what we had. I always get some comments when I play music from that era from people who don’t remember when those songs were popular, which is what I’m going for.

John Denver was the featured artist this week. He got really popular in the Seventies, and for a while you couldn’t turn on the TV and not see him, because in addition to appearing on many of the variety shows that were in their heyday he had a show of his own. Or maybe it just seems that way, because he was on so many shows.


Another piece of advice from me, which came from an image quote I saw on Facebook or Twitter or someone else’s blog. By the way, Linda Hill is having her new-badge contest for One-Liner Wednesday, and will be linking to the contestants tomorrow on her blog. Be sure and vote early and vote often.

The prompt I chose this week was to write a post based on the word “fired.” I came to the conclusion that getting fired, while generally not thought of as a good thing, was sometimes a blessing in disguise, as it might be an indication you had been at that job too long. I know that was my case. The discussion is always open, so feel free to read and comment on it.

This week I played the top five songs from the recently-concluded Eurovision Song Contest. I wasn’t impressed, and from the comments I received, neither were you.


Linda’s prompt was “all or nothing,” and it turned into one of my music posts, with three songs that had “all” in the title paired with three that had “nothing” in the title. There is a standard song that has both “all” and “nothing” in the title, and you’ll have an opportunity to hear that one in my next Battle of the Bands, on June 1, a week from this coming Wednesday.

All the regular favorites will be back this week, including a free-for-all for Monday’s Music Moves Me (get well soon, Marie!), another popular act from my high school days, a one-liner, writing prompted by both Kat and Linda, a Friday Five, and anything else I can think of.

That’s it for this week. See you tomorrow!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Saturday, May 20, 2017

“All” and “Nothing” Songs #socs

This prompt suggested a great Battle of the Bands, but that’s not for another week or so. You’ll just have to wait for that one, my friends. Here are three pairs of songs, one that has “all” in the title, the other that has “nothing” in the title.


Lionel Ritchie, “All Night Long”

Tom Jones, “I Who Have Nothing”


Mott The Hoople, “All The Young Dudes”

Billy Preston, “Nothing From Nothing”


The Kinks, “All Day And All Of The Night”

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

What pairs can you come up with?


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this word from Honest Ed.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Friday Five: Top Five Songs From The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest

A while back, I did a couple of posts that gave the top songs from the Eurovision Song Contest, both for 2015 (then the current year) and 1974 (the year ABBA placed first with “Waterloo”). This year’s contest ended last Saturday, with Portugal’s Salvador Sobral winning for his song “Amar Pelos Dois.” It was the first time Portugal won the contest, and the first time they placed in the top five in the 53 years they’ve participated. Congratulations to them.

#5: Robin Bengsston (Sweden), “I Can’t Go On”

#4: Blanche (Belgium), “City Lights”

#3: Sunstroke Project (Moldova), “Hey, Mamma!”

#2: Kristian Kostov (Bulgaria), “Beautiful Mess”

#1: Salvador Sobral (Portugal), “Amar Pelos Dois”

This year’s winners left me with that “meh” feeling. Most of the contestants were chosen from their home country’s Idol or The Voice program on TV, and almost all the songs in the final round were sung in English. I guess this is a byproduct of Europe becoming more or less one country, but I could be wrong.

Anyway, what did you think of the finalists, and of the competition in general? The full list of all the participating countries and how they placed is on Wikipedia, and all the songs are on YouTube.

That’s The Friday Five for May 19, 2017.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: You’re Fired!

I took a workshop years ago, and one of the things our trainer said was that his company never hired anyone who hadn’t been fired from a job at least once. He said the reasoning was they didn’t want anyone working for them who was afraid of losing his job.

It made sense to me, although I was one of those people who was afraid of losing his job. It’s tough when you’re the sole breadwinner; you realize that if you lose your job, you have to get a new one, or you’ll starve, and take your spouse with you. That, and my mother always had a bad reaction to people not having jobs. I don’t know how many times I heard her say, “My God, he has no job!” I guess I internalized that to the point that I stayed in jobs years after I should have left.

I guess you could say I was fired from the job I had from 1984 to 2004, but that wasn’t exactly how it worked. I was given thirty days to “straighten out my act,” as my manager put it, after a demo/training session went sideways at a user conference, and I decided that, after twenty years, it was time to move on anyway. Over the next month, I looked for work and got my resume in order, and I also thought about what I had just done. I don’t mean quit, I mean stay at that company for twenty years. I started reviewing those twenty years, and identified about a dozen points at which I should have quit, but didn’t. And I remembered something Uncle Jack told me many years before: “Back when I was starting out, the object was to get with a company and stay there until you retired. Nowadays, they expect you to leave after about five years.” Looking at things that way, I should have had four jobs in those twenty years.

Nowadays, someone between the ages of 18 and 55 has about eleven jobs. That’s about three years per job. In a way, you’re always looking for a new opportunity, even after you start a new job. Back when I started, that was considered “job hopping” and was supposedly career suicide. How things have changed in forty years. Now, it’s standard operating procedure: you’re supposed to leave after three years, or less. The longer you stay, the less valuable you are to the company. This is now a world of “free agency,” as Dan Pink calls it. You no longer work for a company, you work for yourself and sell your services to a company.

So being fired is actually your company doing you a favor. Might not seem that way at the time, but it is.

Today’s prompt (at least the one I used) was “Write a blog post inspired by the word: fired.”

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#1LinerWeds – More Advice

Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman. Then, always be Batman.

In much the same vein as last week’s one-liner.


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

from The Sound of One Hand Typing