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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday message- Jonah and the WHY

Being without internet for a couple of days is a minor disaster, but potentially an expensive one.  Not only in money- but if you are like me, it chips into your chosen ministry.  So a person tends to wonder, "what did I do to deserve this", or worse-  "I KNOW what I did to deserve it."  And you get lost in the material things of life, but believe me, the material things are never more than a means to an end with God.

Take for example the story of Jonah.  To him, it seemed that the continued existence of one city- Nineveh- was the end game.  Thus, he was willing to cast that away, bidding to escape God's call and condemn a city to destruction.  And we in the hindsight of history can understand the feelings of Jonah.  But do we see what TRULY motivated Jonah?  Up to Jonah's day, Nineveh, capital of Assyria, had been a savage neighbor to have.  But the days of Assyria's true wrath- the days of Sennacherib, Esarhaddon, and Assurbanipal- were more than a half-century in the future.  What Assyria HAD done would be nothing compared to what it WOULD do in terms of war and slaughter and terror.  Makes you wonder if God had revealed this all to Jonah, and THEN told him to go save the city.  This would take him from being asked to do a distasteful task to seemingly being complicit in mass murder, and make his flight all the more understandable.

Especially if you go forward 100 years to the days of the prophet Nahum.  Here, Assyria was at its peak of evil glory, and God proclaimed through the prophet its impending destruction- which would come true so completely that people thought the city was a myth for over a millennium.

So what was going on here?  Why was God wanting to save the city then, at that moment, in Jonah's time?  To know that, we need to understand a bit more history.  Nineveh at this point was ruled by a king called Asshur-Dan.  Dan was not having an easy time of things to say the least.  His city has just faced a major plague, then a terrifying solar eclipse that seemingly heralded the end of the world, followed by another plague.  And when he wasn't fighting off disease, he was fighting off rebellions.  It truly seemed that their entire civilization was ready to fall apart at the seams.  And then, here comes Jonah, preaching, "Yet 40 days, and God will destroy this city for its wickedness."

And so you have a willing audience for Jonah's preaching.  And thus, Nineveh became a repentant, loving city, and the course of Assyria's history was changed- for less than 40 years.  So what was the point?

It might seem confusing if you are caught like Jonah was, in the thought that the city's actions towards others was their sin they were being judged on.  But take a closer look at the prayer Jonah plead from the belly of the fish:

Jon 2:8  All who worship worthless idols turn from the God who offers them mercy. 
Jon 2:9  But with shouts of praise, I will offer a sacrifice to you, my LORD. I will keep my promise, because you are the one with power to save. 

The sin God saw in Nineveh is the one that ALWAYS makes Him the most wrathful- worshipping something other than Himself.  That is the one sin WE are judged on as well.  The glory of God didn't demand the city be saved physically- or my computer, or my car, or my employment situation, or bringing back my lost loved one, or curing my cancer.  The glory of God demanded He be worshipped.  And that's what God wanted Jonah to preach.

But to achieve that, Jonah would have to bring the 120,000 people IN the city to faith in God.  It was never the physical city, the past, or the future, that Jonah was to save- just 120,000 people who were ready to repent, ready to believe, if only someone brought them the message.  

So God's endgame was to save, out of 350 years of Assyrian villainy, 120,000 people in one certain time frame- no matter what happened once they passed from the scene.  Asshur-Dan didn't live out the decade after Jonah's visit, and it's easy to see God's victory as a minor, passing one.  Keep in mind the lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah- God would have been happy if TEN people out of that 120,000 truly repented.  But if God told you that you could put in three days of work and save from hell the population of a city the size of Fort Wayne, wouldn't YOU do it?

And that's my point here.  We get caught up in a lot of what I call "soap opera faith"- if You, God, save little Joey from this dread disease, if You get me that car I need, that job I need, give me back my computer, I will do thus and so.  But God's not into "saving the city".  His endgame is saving the SOUL.

And the sin isn't the day to day wickedness- even the Priest can forgive that.  It is the SIN- the lack of worship of God- that Christ died to take away.  The message is simple, and here I'll give it once again.

Adam and Eve were the closest to perfection in humanity God ever made.  When they fell, when they put themselves ahead of God in line, they proved that not only anyone of us could do it, but EVERY one of us WOULD do it.  Our imperfection was exposed.  We were no longer fit to spend eternity with a Holy God.  Our attempt to do it on our own will be met with the same success they had back then- the evil swept away in God's wrath.

God gave the Law to Moses to prove to us that we could not live a perfect enough life to get in good with God again ourselves.  So a facet (so to speak) of Himself- the God/Man, Jesus- was manifested as a human to die FOR us, being eligible to take our place since He was both Human AND perfect.  By His blood, our way back to God was paid.

But now, we need to hear the message, and obey the message.  And not to expect God to change our circumstances, but to use them- to use our rebellions, our plagues, our "evil omens"- to lead us to OUR endgame, which is bringing us back to Worshipping Him.

Did the people of Nineveh expect, in turning back to God, a return of their "good old days?"  I don't know, I expect not, or else it wouldn't have counted as repentance.  Jonah was disappointed in God because he never focused on the endgame. And if you pray for nothing more than a return of the good old days, you may be disappointed too.  Pray for salvation first- "Seek ye the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and all this will be ADDED unto you."

Friday, February 12, 2016

Time Machine week 60

Today might not be a good day for flying, since it's February 12, 1962- 3 months and 4 days before my own entrance into the world.  You see, we have an aerial lost-and-found today.  Found, British pilot Bill Lancaster.  A famous pilot whose fame had just got him acquitted of a murder charge- confusing prosecution, calm demeanor, a helpful girlfriend, all combined to convince the jury that his rival for said GF committed suicide, despite Lancaster admitting he left bogus suicide notes for him- had left on an attempt to break the England to South Africa speed record.  He got lost in the desert- so lost, rescuers looking for where he was SUPPOSED to be never found him- and today, almost 29 years later, his body was found.  Lost- a scenic flight from Christchurch to Milford Sound, New Zealand.  Despite the biggest search in Kiwi history, no trace of the Dragonfly ZK and its passengers- including honeymooners Elwin and Valerie Seville- was ever found.  A $4,000 reward for finding the wreckage is still active, and the flight raised the rumours of a NZ "Bermuda Triangle."

Have they tried milk cartons?

Welcome to Time Machine just slightly pre- Martin Era.  In celebration, we'll have the latest of my song lists- "My favorite songs from when I was in the womb"!  Also, this week the return of a grouping that hasn't recorded together in about 45 years- and sounds like they never skipped a beat!  In addition, we have 3 new debuts, three "lowest charting songs", one of the great routs in panel history, and Hubert H. Humphrey!  Strap in, they'll never find us!


In the interests of spacing out videos, here we come with this week's first M10 debut- new ALVVAYS!!!!

Party Police debuts this week at #10, assuring Alvvays at least a few more to add to what is now an 11-week streak on the M10.


And now, let's meet this week's panel!

The list includes WHK Cleveland, KYA San Francisco, WDRC Hartford, WFBC Greenville SC, WJET Erie, KILT Houston, KRLA Los Angeles, WOKY Milwaukee, WYSE Lakeland FL, WLS Chicago, WABC New York, and WKBW Buffalo.  This gang racked up 27 different songs, though the #1 votes were rather, shall we say, concentrated.  Two tunes got #1 love without making the Panel Four- Jimmy Dean's letter to Russia, Dear Ivan (Lakeland); and Don and Juan's What's Your Name (LA).

This week, I have kind of a three way "lowest charter" on the Panel picks.  The lowest charting song on the Cashbox charts THIS week that got Panel love was a ditty by a band called the Raging Storms, with a song called The Dribble Twist, which got #2 in Buffalo but was at #143 nationally.  The next one wouldn't get to #143 until NEXT week- Big Sambo and the House Wreckers, who were #4 on Houston with The Rains Came.  And finally, there's a tune that never charted at all- though Charlie Rich would take it to #1 country in 1974- sitting at #3 on that same Houston chart.  It was by Harlan Howard- the man that co-wrote I Fall To Pieces for Patsy Cline- and the tune is She Called Me Baby.

And the Panel Four?

With 12 measley points and the #1 of Houston (which is the only #1 vote left that the #1 song DIDN'T get), the nation's #19, Bruce Channel and Hey Baby.

With 14 points, Chubby Checker and the nation's #2 song, The Twist.

With 18 points, the nation's #5 song, Dion with The Wanderer.

And at #1, with a whopping 9 #1s and 49 points... stay tuned....


So the Official Martin Era started the afternoon of May 16th, 1962, which means that the first 4 1/2 months of 1962 is "unofficial" Martin Era.  But by extension, you could say the ME started back in August 1961, when my father said, "Oops, CRAP!" for the last time.  And so, I looked up the tunes from my time in the womb, and here are my top 10 pre-birth hits:

10- You just saw it on the Panel Four- Chubby Checker doing The Twist.
9- The number one song this week in Los Angeles, Don and Juan's What's Your Name.
8- Gene Pitney takes the next spot with Town Without Pity.
7- Ray Charles hits the next spot with Hit The Road Jack.
6- Bobby Vee is here with Take Good Care Of My Baby.
5- Del Shannon comes next with Hat's Off To Larry.
4- The Shirelles are here with Soldier Boy.
3- Jimmy Dean makes another appearance this week with Big Bad John.
2- The Tokens take runner up with The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

And #1?  Wait a while- because this #1 is also the Panel #1!  And the Cashbox #1!


Video #2 debuts on the M10 at #9.  It is a band who hasn't performed in this lineup since 1970's Santana III- which gives away the big secret!  From the upcoming lp Santana IV, the original lineup Santana!


And now, a word from Her Majesty, Queen Victoria:

The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.

Them who?  Why, who else?

The UK top ten this week!

10- Bobby Darin here with a song at #28 this week in the States, called Multiplication.

9- The Everly Brothers, who were at #14 in the US of A, with Crying In The Rain.

8- Mr Acker Bilk got off to an earlier start in England, already top ten with Stranger on The Shore.  It will debut on the Cashbox charts on St Patty's Day.

7- Billy Fury came in here with I'd Never Find Another You- not to be confused with the Seekers I'll Never Find Another You.

6- A later start for Neil Sedaka's Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, which was already dropping at #46 here.

5- Leon Van Dyke sings a song later made bigger by Dionne Warwick- Walk On By.  It was at 40 and dropping in the States.

4- Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling In Love was climbing in both places, sitting at #7 in the US of A.

3- Eden Kane, who never did more than a "bubble under" on the American charts, was here with Forget Me Not.

2- Another late starter which was already in it's 25th week and falling at #68 in the US, Chubby Checker (boy, he gets around) with Let's Twist Again.

And at #1, eleven songs into that long top 30 streak we hit on last week, Cliff Richard with his third chart topper in the UK, a tune called The Young Ones.  He was still a few weeks from his first American chart, and about a year from making the top 40.


Hubert Humphrey was another of the politicians trying to spice up their campaign by having a band go touring with them.  Nixon had Blood Sweat And Tears (and wiki claims it almost finished them on the charts), but the Happy Warrior had Tommy James and the Shondells-  a couple years before the Rock and Roll lifestyle nearly finished Tommy off.  Humphrey actually wrote the liner notes to the Crimson And Clover lp, which contained a song familiar to those of you who paid attention to the M10 year end top 50.  That song was Sugar On Sunday, which made the M50 by a band called the Clique.  They only had one other song that had any impact, a tune called I Hold Out My Hand.  This tune was in turn covered by Gayle McCormick and Smith in 1969.  Smith, of course, is best known for their hit cover of the Shirelles' Baby It's You- and that tune sat at #8 this week but got no panel love.


And now, the M10!

You already know #s 10 and 9, so we start at #8, where Jana Kramer moves up two spots with her 3rd M10, Circles.  (Jana, BTW, has the next longest streak of being in the M10, with Boomerang and I Got The Boy combining for ten weeks.)

Next up, our third debut, from Boise, Idaho's Built To Spill- and my best lead in to this one is what I told Laurie last night:  "It amazes me that 50 years after we all sat getting stoned to Decade, we have grandkids out there still trying to sound like Neil Young and Crazy Horse."

Alvvays is also at #6, dropping 3 spots with Next Of Kin.

Brian Fallon climbs 3 to #5 with Nobody Wins.

Jack Wood, after two weeks at the top, slips to #4 with Born To Wander.

Quiet Hollers moves into third with Mont Blanc.

And a song that is constantly surprising me.  Didn't think it would make the chart, didn't think it would climb, and certainly didn't think it would be a heartbeat from the top.  Yet, here sits Brooke Annibale after another 3-notch climb in the runner up spot with Remind Me.

Three weeks ago, Jack Wood's Born To Wander became the oldest song to make #1 on the M10, passing the 1977 song Ridin' In My Car by NRBQ, which had been the oldest since week #2.  And here in M10's 25th week- it gets knocked to number three,

The number ones, please?

On the M10, the new second-oldest song to hit #1...

...Flo and Eddie with Keep It Warm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And this week's Cashbox #1, this week's overwhelming Panel #1, and the top song from my time in the womb....

....Gene Chandler, The Duke Of Earl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week we'll be hitting 1964- as well as the M10's first six months!  I'm sure there'll be cake or something, so don't miss it!

BREAKING NEWS!  BREAKING NEWS!  Mere hours later, we have completed the M10 Birthday Party, and it will post next Wednesday morning!  Don't miss out, lots of cool music, and maybe some cake...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Martin World News

ITEM:  Hello, blog world!  We have been basically off-line since the Super Bowl kickoff, thanks to the many weaknesses that Java has to exploit.  And one of them was exploiting into replicating itself on a continual basis.  But thanks to the good folks at A+ Computers, we are back in the pink of electronic health.

Unfortunately, this was just the cost-involved part of a series of problems- some of which I will get into on another post- which included me and a bag full of Day-Quil pills this weekend, and a Monday down with the Green Plague and NO computer to share it with (because apparently I already had)!

Now then, I am excited to do this next story, not just because I find it amusing, but because I have a special guest-reporter on it!

ITEM: From Medical Daily:

A New York dispensary will offer kosher certified marijuana starting in January. Vireo Health of New York, one of the five companies permitted to grow the cannabis, has received their certification from the Orthodox Union (OU).

Now in the interests of religious sensitivity, I have turned comment on this story to MWN's top Jewish correspondent and published author Robyn Alana Engel:

"Thus, as shabbat commenced, a small band of Orthodox rabbis convened in Times Square, accompanied by the Doobie Brothers. Rousing 'Mazel Tovs' and 'L'Chaims' were heard for miles, as special, kosher brownies were broken and shared. Herbie Potturginstein, an innocent passerby is quoted as saying "Dude, yo, high, go Jews!"

Robyn, in addition to being an ace correspondent (and much too sweet to mention that the Doobie Bros were singing, "Moses is just all right with me"), is the author of a fantastic book that still stares at me from the bedroom floor* after I finished it within days of receipt called Woman On The Verge Of Paradise, available now for just 1,035.95 Rubles, 822 Rupees, or 85.44 Yuan!

*Why does it "stare at me from the bedroom floor"?  "Cause she's so darn cute!

ITEM: Okay, we have found the BEST way of picking your Presidential candidates- well, not really, but I did find two fun ways to rank them!  First off, we all know that he who spends the money gets the spoils (Jeb apparently excluded), so here's a list of the candidates by wealth, from Forbes:

11- Marco Rubio
10- Bernie Sanders (I would have thrown in the "Feel the Bern" thing, but it makes him sound like an old Perv, and we all know the Old Perv is campaigning for Bernie's opponent)
9- Chris Christie (who may not win campaigning all over the country, but will be a shoo-in for a guest shot on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives)
8- Ted Cruz
7- Jim Gilmore (is he really still running?)
6- John Kasich
5- Good ol' Jeb
4- Ben Carson (That health care racket really pays)
3- Hillary Clinton (Surprising that after a quarter-century of fleecing the nation she isn't even the richest WOMAN)
2- Carly Fiorina (Who made her money the old fashioned way- Golden Parachutes)
1- Not surprisingly, The Donald.

The other, far more important list- which candidate has spent the most money on PIZZA!

- Carly Fiorina, who apparently has spent bupkiss on pizza.  There went my vote!
- John Kasich
- Marco Rubio, who spent over $40,000 on food from April through December- but only just under $300 on pizza.
- The Donald, who is the first candidate in 4 figures at around $1,200.
- Chris Christie, who beat The Donald, but not by much.  In a quick look I was unable to determine what his donut expenditures were.

- Ted Cruz, whose pizza bill doubled Trump's.
- Bernie Sanders, who's first over 3 grand.
- Jeb Bush
- Ben Carson
- Hillary, whose campaign beat Carson's 3-quarter total in EACH of the last two quarters, downing over $9,000 worth of pizza.  I'd never vote for her, but I wouldn't mind a job on the staff...

ITEM:  Another good friend way down by Indy found a story from my own back yard:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For fantasy football players, they all know there are highs and lows throughout the season. The high is a championship.  The low? Just ask John Zarse.

Zarse finished dead last in his fantasy football league this season. The stipulations in the league are the winner gets to pick what the loser gets as a “consolation prize.” And Zarse got a public shaming.

On Sunday afternoon, Zarse stood at one of Fort Wayne’s busiest intersections in a football onsie and a sign.  The sign read, “I am the worst at fantasy football.”

Zarse stood at Coldwater Road and Coliseum Boulevard taking his lumps and letting everyone know how his season went.

Just so you know, in our league that would have been me.  That's why it ain't happening.

ITEM:  If it ain't real, just fudge a little...

  This is an old school desk, with the initials carved into it- "JFK".  It has claimed to be the late President's school desk.  But is it?

The story begins in the 1970s, when the wife of a former Choate teacher offered the desk to the school. Choate turned down the offer, knowing the desk wasn't authentic: The style of desk wasn't in use during the time Kennedy attended, from 1931 to 1935.

The woman then donated it to the Kennedy Presidential Library Museum.  Somehow, she got a letter writer that was allegedly a school chum of JFK's to vouch for it, and it went on display- until 1993.

But in 1993, Lee Sylvester, Choate's archivist at the time, told the museum the desk certainly was not Kennedy's.  Sylvester wrote in a letter to the library, "We should have taken the thing when it was offered to us and burnt it on the spot!"

So into storage it goes.  But wait!

But in November the desk re-emerged, with museum officials saying it was among items never before displayed. (Current Choate archivist Judy) Donald emailed museum curator Stacey Bredhoff.

Bredhoff said the desk's history was news to the museum's staff. They weren't aware of the 1993 correspondence, and the person who replied to the letter no longer works at the museum. Even veteran staff members didn't recall the desk having been on display.

So now, the Library Museum once again knows it's a fake.  What do they do?

The museum has since updated the description that accompanies the desk. It says, "The desk, which comes from Choate, is presented here to evoke Jack's life as a high school student." 

Much the way my linen sheets evoke Caesar's toga.

ITEM:  Did you know why you shouldn't rob photo booths?

BATAVIA , Ill., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Police in Illinois were able to identify the suspect in a photo booth theft after the machine was activated during the robbery.

The booth at Funway Amusements captured photos of the suspect who pried open the machine's cash drawer and stole $75 in cash and caused $75 worth of damage, according to Batavia police department.

The flash shoulda been yer first clue...

ITEM:  And with a final odd twist, the BBC Store released a list of the books Britons are most likely to lie about having read.  Do people really still do that?  Truth be told- I have read several of the books Brits lie about reading- The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (#3), The Great Gatsby (#18), Catch-22 (#19), and Catcher In The Rye (#20, and believe me I wish I hadn't).  OUtside the Tolkien fantasy, here's the rest of the top ten:

10- Pride And Prejudice
9- Crime And Punishment
8- David Copperfield (I tried once as a wee lad, but it was putting me to sleep halfway down the third page.  Prolly have a better shot at it now...)
7- To Kill A Mockingbird
6- The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
5- Anna Karenina
4- War And Peace (Yeah, Tolstoy got two in a row, but Dickens had 4 of the top 20)
2- 1984
1- Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.

Also in the list were the Harry Potter series, the 50 Shades trilogy (there were 3 of 'em?), and of course The Diary Of Anne Frank.

And that's it for this week, it's dinner time!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Time Machine week 59

Today we roll into February 5th, 1976.  We just missed the news that a judge upheld the baseball arbitrator's ruling that ended the reserve clause, creating free agency.  We fly past a minor snowfall in San Francisco that had the city atwitter.  And we find something pretty familiar in Pensacola, Florida.

February 5th, 1976 – A riot erupts at Escambia High School in Pensacola because students voted to keep the new name Raiders instead of going back to the old name Rebels.The students who were in favor of changing it back to the Rebels, which was deemed “racially irritating” by the US District Court in 1973, went outside and attempted to hoist the “Rebel” flag even after losing. 30 students were injured and four were shot, including the quarterback. The riot lasted for four hours and the school building suffered extensive damage.

And we think we have problems in Fort Wayne trying to get North Side High School to trade in the name Redskins, because some PC Native American loser is offended because school kids want to celebrate his ancestor's bravery.

But we are not losers- we are on this week's Time Machine!  This week:  A story about the late Glen Frey leads off the six degrees; the panel has 8 different #1 songs; your favorite detectives, live from the UK top ten; and on the M10, a record streak is broken- but is it the streak of five different #1s in 5 weeks?   Plus Kojak, Columbo, and Steve McGarrett! And as of yet, no one from BBC has come after us for offending them, so climb in the musical Tardis and away we go!


The panel this week includes:  WRBR South Bend; WAKY Louisville; KEEL Shreveport; WFIL Philadelphia; WBAX Wilkes-Barre; KLIF Dallas; KEZY Anaheim; KFRC San Francisco (which should be clear of that whopping inch of snow by now); CKLW Detroit; WPGC Washington DC; WRKO Boston: and WCFL Chicago.  I believe they set a new record, or at least came close, with 30 different songs!  They included five songs that hit #1 on a panel chart but didn't make the Panel Four!  Those songs include the Eagles' Take It To The Limit (Louisville), The Theme from Mahogany by Diana Ross (Shreveport and Philadelphia, the second straight week that a song got 2 #1s and nothing else), Barry Manilow's I Write the Songs (San Fran and Chicago, but it did also get a 5th place vote from Dallas), Gary Wright's Dream Weaver (Detroit), and Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody (Boston).

The lowest charting song on the national chart that got panel love actually dropped from the charts 2 weeks ago- America's Woman Tonight, which was still #5 in Shreveport.  Another funny thing on this week's Panel is where they drew this large list of #1 songs from.  Take It To The Limit was at #12 nationally; Mahogany was at 45, Dream Weaver at 24, and Bohemian Rhapsody was down at 37!

And now, the Panel Four:

With 14 points and the #1 from South Bend, the national #33 (speaking of low charters) this week, Aerosmith and Dream On.

With 16 points but bereft of #1s, the national #2, CW McCall and the CB hit Convoy (The White Knight by Cletus Maggard also got panel votes this week).

With 16 points as well, but WITH the #1 vote of Wilkes-Barre, the national # 13, Rhythm Heritage and the Theme From SWAT.

And this week's winner, with 3 #1s and 25 points, the national chart topper as well... stay tuned.


I have to admit this week's M10 was a bit of a struggle.  One thing that was somewhat simple was the act of dropping Beach House's Beyond Love.  That means a 22-week streak is broken- since the second M10 back in September, there has ALWAYS been at least one Beach House song in the M10 until now.  I am planning on celebrating this by determining the longest top ten streak by one act in the Martin Era, and hope to have that ready next time*.  In addition, I had a lot of reservations about dropping anyone this week- and 6 songs begging to fight their way in!  By the time "choice night" was over, I was ranging from "screw it, I'm not dropping anybody" to "screw it, I'm having a top FIFTEEN this week!"  Just then, a wild card not in the six I was looking at presented itself- and everything fell together.  And now, at #8, I'd like to introduce you to the dark horse that snuck in to the M10- from a gent named Brian Fallon:

Fallon went solo this year after fronting a band called Gaslight Anthem (which I will have to do some digging into).  This is the second single from that solo lp, and was released just a couple of weeks ago.

* UPDATE- This was a far more tedious task than I was willing to complete, but I did find some notables.  I have to limit it to basically the Martin Era  because the longest ones that are current are all from the vastly changed music scene of the 2000's on, where songs can hang in place for months, even years.  But here are some of the longest I could determine, and they may well be the longest of the ME.

19 weeks- Donna Summer, May 12 to Sept. 8, 1979, with Hot Stuff and Bad Girls.

19 weeks- The Four Seasons, from Sept. 8, 1962, to January 12, 1963, with  Sherry and Big Girls Don't Cry.

23 weeks- The Beatles, from January 25, 1964, to June 27th- and but for two weeks between Love Me Do and A Hard Day's Night, would have been 35.  7 different songs made the top ten in this stretch, all but two hit #1.

28 weeks- The Bee Gees, from Nov. 19, 1977, to May 27, 1978, with the Saturday Night Fever trio of How Deep Is Your Love/Staying Alive/Night Fever.

And notable from just outside the era- Elvis put up a 22-week streak with All Shook Up and Teddy Bear from April 13th to September 7, 1957;  And on the other side, Michael Jackson posted 27 from February 12 to August 13, 1983, with Billie Jean/Beat It/Wanna Be Starting Something.  So Beach House's 22 is in pretty good company.

And now, a few words from Benjamin Disraeli:

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

And thus, we fearlessly declare it time for...

The UK top ten this week!

10- The man who hit big in the US of A, Mike (Tubular Bells) Oldfield, sat here with his tune In Dulce Jublio/On Horseback.

9- Here we find comedian Billy Howard, along with his "friends" (AKA his impressions of), TV detectives Columbo, McGarrett, Ironside, Cannon, McCloud, and especially Kojak, with this funny gem:

8- This spot was held by a tune that was at #30 over here this week, The Four Seasons with December 1963 (Oh What A Night), which had one vote in the Panel charts.

7- Several of the tunes this week are what I would call "typically British" in that they are poppy and nice enough, but would never make any dent over here.  The first of those was a band called Sailor.  Their biggest claim to fame (for me) was that leader George Kajanus holds the distinction of having wrote the song that snapped Cliff Richard's long British charts streak (54 songs from 1958-71) of never missing the top 30.  With Sailor he hit the UK ten twice, this week with a tune called Glass Of Champagne.

6- It was climbing in the US of A, but was already top ten Over There;  Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

5- That brings us to the second of the "typically British" songs (henceforth to be designated with a "TB") on this week's ten.  R (for Russell) and J (for Joanne) Stone with We Do It.  They did not do it in America.

4- Donna Summer was on the UK charts again this week with Love To Love You Baby- it was #5 here this week.

3- The Miracles were at #9 here and #3 there with Love Machine (OOOOOOOH Yeahhhh...)

2- The final of the TB songs this week was a Scottish group that went by the name of Slik and their future #1 called Forever And Ever.

1- And at the top, a tune that wouldn't make it's American peak until the end of July...

...ABBA with Mama Mia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Frey, Randy Meisner, Leadon, and Don Henley

One of the many Glen Frey stories I heard after his death was the one that involved founding Eagle Bernie Leadon's moment of resignation.  According to the tale, Frey and Don Henley "were arguing about who should do what and how to get them to do it," when Leadon stood up, poured a beer on Glen's head, told him to cool down, and walked out the door.  Leadon started his career with an outfit called the Scottsdale Squirrel Barkers.  Also in that entourage was Chris Hillman, whose many credits include the Desert Rose Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and of course the Byrds.  The FBB is where he met fiddler Byron Berline, who was from Stephen Stills' band Manassas.  Byron also played on the lp Windsong, which contained the highest charting song this week which the Panel ignored; John Denver's Fly Away at #15- which might be a new all-time lowest six degrees victim!


And now, the M10!

I've been promising it for a while, and here it is debuting at #10- new stuff from Jana Kramer!

Ducktails, #1 just two weeks ago, holds on after a 5-notch fall to #9 with Headbanging In The Mirror.

You heard Brian Fallon at #8...

Diane Coffee holds on to its precarious spot, slipping to #7 with Not That Easy.

A song I really thought would hit the top falls back exhausted from #2 to #6- Nothing But Thieves and Trip Switch.

Brooke Annibale slips up 4 spots to #5 with Remind Me.

Quiet Hollers move up 3 spots with Mount Blanc to #4.

Alvvays holds at the 3-slot with Next Of Kin.

The big mover is Flo and Eddie with Keep It Warm- more like hot, leaping from #8 to the runner-up spot.

And this week's #1s?  Survey says...............

....Paul Simon and 50 ways To Leave Your Lover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, the M10 says..................

...Jack Wood, claiming a second week at the top with Born To Wander!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tune in next week, where we'll see if I can get that consecutive top ten list done before my eyes fall out, and the musical Tardis flies off to- 1962!  It's always a party there!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Murder, murder, who did the murder?

So basically this is a post that really is only pretending to be about gun control.  It's actually just a fun look at statistics headlined by a funny meme.  So I saw this post about the 50 most violent cities in the world according to the Mexico Citizens Council For Public Security, and if anyone knows about violent crime, they certainly fit the bill.  They don't let themselves off the hook, mind you- 5 Mexican cities of over 100,000 population make the list based on murders per 100,000 population, including #4 Acapulco (your tourist destination) at 104+.  And they aren't the only touristy spot- Kingston, Jamaica, was 33rd, though with a fraction of the murders at 33 per.

However, one might make a case that every four years, the greatest tourist attraction is the Olympic Games, and this year, they are in Brazil.

Guess what?  Brazil took TWENTY-ONE of the 50 spots, from #48 Macapa to #12 Fortaleza.  But not Rio, which I guess counts for something.

Did the US of A make the chart?  Sure, and right where you'd expect:  St Louis (15th), Baltimore (19th), Detroit (28th), and New Orleans (32nd).  Which brought me to a question- which I'll cover in a minute.

Number one was Caracas, Venezuela, at almost 120 per- one of 8 Venezuelan towns on the list.  Honduras (and you are seeing the Latin American theme here) had San Pedro Sula at 2 and Distrito Central at 6; San Salvador made #3, Venezuela put Maturin (5) and Valencia (7) in the top ten.  Columbia, with 3 overall, put Palmeira (8) and Cali (10) in the top ten.  South Africa helped the US and Jamaica keep things from an all-Latino event, with Capetown at #9 the highest of its 4 members of the list.  Altogether, 41 of 50 were Latin American cities.

Now the article went on from there to use FBI data from January to June of last year to make a list of the most violent cities in 43 states, but that's just lazy number running.  I have something better for you, gleaned from the same list.  There are, according to that data, 24 cities in the US- with that 100,00 minimum- that topped 30 murders for that 6-month period.  I cross reffed that info with the Brady Center's list of the ten states with the toughest gun control laws, just for shits and giggles.  And here's the top ten murdering cities from Jan-Jun 2015:

10- Dallas, TX.  The lightweight of the group at 69 murders.

8 (tie)- St. Louis, MO.  Not surprising that the home of Ferguson and East St Louis should be on the list. 92 was their count.

8 (tie)-  New Orleans, LA.  Hmm, Mexico thinks their fourth, the FBI says eighth.

7- Detroit, MI.  And that gives us three of the four that Mexico listed.  107 for the Murder Motor City.

6- Philadelphia, PA- and Pennsylvania has the tenth toughest gun laws.  Tell that to the 115 that became victims.

5- Los Angeles, CA.  And with California having the TOUGHEST gun laws, LA still managed to dwarf the rest of the state at 128 murders.

3 (tie)- The third place tie is funny because the also had such a jump from the first six months of 2014, that the DIFFERENCE in their years would have EACH made 14th on the list!

One is Houston, who rose a whopping 44 deaths to land at 144.

The other- again not surprising to all you Black Lives Matter fans- is Baltimore, MD, which gained 45 over the same time period in 2014.  And that is with Maryland ranking 7th on the Brady list!

2- New York City, NY.  With the fourth toughest gun laws in the country, the Big Apple racked up 164 murders.  Just think if they had Indiana's laws, right?

And number one, with 207 murders and the 9th-toughest gun laws?  Chicago, Il.  I didn't catch that gasp, there.

So the #s 1, 4, 7, 9, and 10 toughest gun law states had cities in the top ten of murders.  #2 New Jersey had Newark at #15; the Massachusetts data strangely had no mention of Boston, for reasons I couldn't find* (Come to think of it, I didn't see Oakland in the California list), and the remaining tough states were pretty self-explanatory:  Connecticut (5), Hawaii (6), and Rhode Island (8).  They also breezed past Washington, DC, due to not being IN a state, apparently;  I learned that they hit 100 murders on August 22.

(* After the fact, I dug up Boston and found they racked up 10 in the time period.  Oakland had 44.  Why these guys got a break, I'm not sure.)

Fort Wayne?  FBI had us listed at 12 for the time period, which means the thugs really kicked it in the butt in the second half of the year, since we ended up with 30.

One more tidbit of data for the Black Lives Matter people- out of the US cities with the largest by number black populations- all on them were in the murder top ten list I gave with the exceptions of Washington DC (for the reasons previously discussed), and Memphis TN, who just missed with 64 murders.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Martin World News

ITEM:  THose of you that follow us on FB already saw my bedtime shot at the caucuses- "Jim Gilmore holds a 3 vote to 2 lead over Martin O'Malley."  Gilmore, the Virginia  GOP governor (I think) who jumped in late to the party ended up with 12 votes out of 186,874 cast- a whopping .0006 percent of the vote.  Even "other" drew just one less than ten times what Gilmore racked up.  O'Malley, on the other hand, pulled 8 votes- not as many as Gilmore, but out of a total of 1,406- which gave him 0.6%, or ten thousand times better than Gilmore.

The one thing I did learn with the caucuses is that I won't be voting for Ted Cruz unless forced to by Hillary or Bernie.  Ted's people, anxious that Ben Carson would draw votes from their candidate to the benefit of The Donald, started a rumor that Ben was dropping out.  Come morning, Ted says, "Well, there was a press release that said he was going home, but we forgot to release the update which said he's going home to get ready for the New Hampshire primary."  Those of you who have heard me in my opinions on Hillary know I have no love for blatant liars, and the supposedly Christian Ted just blew his Martin Cred.  Looks like I'm a Rubio man.  Unless I'm drunk on election day and say, "WTH, vote for Trump!"

ITEM: The Daily Mirror recently ran a story on spectacularly incorrect predictions made over the centuries.  Here is a truncated version of what they came up with:

“This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.  The device is inherently of no value to us.”  Western Union, internal memo, 1876.

“If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.” National Cancer Institute director Dr Wilhelm Carl Hueper, 1954.

“There will never be a plane with more than 10 passenger seats.”  A Boeing engineer, 1933, after the first flight of the 247 passenger plane.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”  Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?”  Harry Morris Warner of Warner Brothers, 1927.

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”  Dr Dionysys Larder,  1828.

“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.”  Darryl F Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, 1946.

“I don’t think there will be a woman PM in my lifetime.”  Margaret Thatcher, 1973.  Fortunately, she must have rose from the dead.

And finally....

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax."  Lord Kelvin, head of the Royal Society of Science, 1883.  Because scientists are always right.

Next up, three "clothes do make the man" stories...

ITEM:  Meet fundraiser Antonio Cortes, of Gloucester, UK.

Antonio was raising funds in a Superman outfit when he heard a cry for help.  A lady was being mugged, and he went up, up, and away after the guy.  He tackled the mugger and held him down until the police arrived.  Imagine what that mugger was thinking:  "Blimey, I'm off to the bloody USA, where all that'll happen is I get shot."

ITEM: In Ft Lauderdale, we could have used Superman- or his haberdasher- to capture the Butt Crack Bandit.

The stick up man used his (obviously not a Duluth Trading Co.'s Plumbers) t-shirt to hide his face during the robbery, leaving himself... well, exposed.  The robbery, it seems, occurred back in August, but CCTV video was just released to the public in an effort to crack down on this criminal.  Apparently the cops are a little behind, and weren't able to effectively tail him.

ITEM:  Our final wardrobe misfunction...

CRANSTON, R.I. — NBC 10 is reporting that Cranston's (Rhode Island)  director of senior services stepped down last week after she had a male bus driver for the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center masquerade as a woman to improve visuals at a press conference.
Sue Stenhouse, the former director of senior services for Mayor Allan W. Fung, resigned Friday, the mayor's office confirmed.

Apparently director Sue Stenhouse was launching a teenager snow shovelling initiative and at the last minute decided she needed a living prop.  Enter a Trans Van bus driver, well known enough that several people at the presser knew him and thought it was a joke.  She could find a costume, but not an elderly person.  Wow.

ITEM:  Want to know what President Trump MIGHT be like?  How about this example from the Czech Republic:

President Milos Zeman - who is known for his outspokenness - admitted in a radio interview in December he wished he could sack Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. At a public meeting in southern Moravia on Monday, the president was asked how he would get rid of the prime minister, to which he replied: "The democratic option is one way, through free elections. The undemocratic option is a Kalashnikov."

The leader of the opposition party termed the statement,  "truly statesmanlike advice", And the prospective victim noted, "We are in all likelihood the only country in the civilised world in which the president calls publicly for the killing of the prime minister. "  Zeman, through his spokesman, wrote the whole thing off as,  "hysterical reaction", insisting that Mr Zeman meant to say that a free election is the only acceptable way to remove a prime minister, and that for his critics to suggest otherwise was "extremely hypocritical".

ITEM:  Finally, we have the annual CareerBuilder's list of the most outrageous excuses for being late for work:

I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
I was detained by Homeland Security.
I had to chase my cows back into the field.
A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
All of my clothes were stolen.
I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.

And that's it for this week!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Purdue the butcher

One thing you guys know me for is the love of the nature around where we live.  Much of this nature is on the property of IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne Campus), of which I am an alum (hard is that may seem to believe).  And one thing you have learned from me in the time I have done this blog- IPFW is no friend of nature.

Without going into the many and increasing mistakes this institution of higher learning and no greater wisdom- and they are enormous- I want to take you on a quick review of their land mismanagement in the 7 years or so we have lived here.

It started when the lovely cover- vast honeysuckle hedges- along the canal on the greenway trail- were removed.  This set in motion an erosion that is pushing many areas along the trail west into the canal.  Coupled with injudicious removal of trees on the other side helping to make that edge near the river to fall in along long stretches, it makes sense to me that the trailways committee or whatever they call themselves haven't bothered to improve (ie pave) that section despite five years of promises.

Next came the loop trail they cut into the woods, so they could have some place for their fitness classes to run (as if they couldn't do it from their own River Walk to Shoaff Park; no, that wasn't enough).  This trail, you might recall, followed nearly exactly a trail that the once plentiful deer in the woods used.  I know, Scrappy and I followed it enough, and used to meet plenty of deer.

Then it was the meadow's turn.  On the east side of the woods USED to be a grassy meadow.  Rabbits and groundhogs lived their, killdeers and meadowlarks nested there, foxes hunted there.  And, most importantly, it was where rainwater flowed from the clay soil of the woods and made a plush, green environment- not quite a wetland, but it kept everything in balance.  Then IPFW stripped it down, flattened it out, put in two terraced soccer fields- which quickly experienced erosion as the water still came down and instead of rich soil where grass flourished for it to settle into, it hit the hard packed, UNTILED soccer pitches, meaning that they would only really be useful during dry stretches.  They also removed a clump of trees at the eastern foot of the terrace- leaving one line which, with no other protection, was blown down en masse during last spring's big windstorm.  A windstorm which also took down many of the trees still standing along the greenway trail after IPFW decided to chop out about half of those beautiful trees that lined the trail along the main soccer fields.

Last year, they put in the new ped bridge which connects the north end of the greenway trail to that south of California road.  Not a bad plan- but then they decided to unnecessarily rip all the cover out around it, and that area is already starting to erode into the creek.  With that, they also tore most of the cover around the south and east sides of the woods out.  By this time, you had gone from commonly seeing wildlife to only if you were lucky.  But wait!  The ham-handed attack on nature isn't over yet!

When we took the Bobby G.'s on a tour of our stomping grounds, I took special pride in showing them one of my favorite spots.  Hard against the fenced in south end of IPFW's main soccer field is a trail, with the fence on one side and a row of trees on the other.  The shade they provided made that small stretch of trail an idyllic place to rest up mid walk.  It was where we saw our second fox, as well as many groundhogs and deer.  Just past them was the less glamorous view of the creek's delta with the St Joseph River- an area that was more often than not a stinky mud flat.

Sunday morning, we discovered that IPFW had removed the row of trees.  Every one of them.

What was their offense?  Were they casting too much shade on the corner of the precious soccer field?  Are the runners and joggers so afraid of a mugger accosting them from behind a tree?

IPFW apparently never met a tree it didn't like to cut down.  At least, on our side of the river.  One day, I expect the woods will become a woods of streetlights instead of trees.  Soon all of the beautiful nature that Scrappy and I have know the past seven years will either be soccer pitch, running track, or eroded pit.  Because some one in charge (assuming there is someone IN charge; you can google IPFW news from about the last two years enough to bring THAT into question) just says, "Cut it down", without ever seeing or caring what he is ordering.  IPFW, at least the Purdue half of it, claims to be "one of the nation's elite programs in ecology".  I would have to say from the evidence here that the rain forests of Brazil must be littered with Purdue graduates.  You can see here  and here some of the beauty that has been run off by the so-called Purdue "ecology", which has more to do with getting that last drop of blood out of the turnip.

I am going to try to give Purdue access to this post and see if they want to respond.  I don't really care if they do or not; the damage is done, and by their recent actions in other areas, I would assume that they will continue no matter who gets hurt.  But I am fair, and if they have something to say for themselves, I will print it.  In the meantime, I will continue to spread the word that the Purdue commitment to "ecology" is hypocritical at best, and show the University for what it is- a mere money making machine.