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


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Martin world news, with a serious side

I'm going to kick things off with a little less fun stuff, but the same ol' stupidity.

ITEM:  Most of you by now have heard this story:  In San Francisco, the very heart of radical-liberal America, a "sanctuary city", for what that's worth, has out of it's kindness and grace allowed a man 5 times deported to live in their town, and randomly kill a woman in a "random" shooting.  Thus blowing holes in the liberal mindset of allowing illegals to stay in this country, as well as their protests over Donald Trump's recent comments, as well as an innocent 32-year-old woman out for a stroll with her father.  Thank you, San Fran, please continue to boycott Indiana.

ITEM: And here's another one you've prolly heard-

Devon Staples, 22, and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in a backyard in Staples' eastern Maine hometown, Calais, when the accident happened with a reloadable fireworks mortar tube, police have said.

Yes, this genius set off a mortar on his head.  He rapidly went from stupid to deceased, and now his mother says that more regulations on fireworks would have saved his life.

The state should consider requiring safety training courses before allowing someone to use them, she said. 

You mean, Maine doesn't have a regulation covering setting off an explosive device on your head while drunk?  Maine, the state that has a regulation regarding not stepping out of a plane while in flight, and another requiring church attendees to bring shotguns in case of an Indian attack?  (Look it up, I did.)  Perhaps the mother of the dear deceased ought to work on ALCOHOL regulation.

ITEM:  If the mother of blast-head needs some ideas, I know where NOT to get them.  I found a story about the drunkest states in the nation- and some other interesting stats.

First, the highest percentage of adults who've had at least one drink in the last 30 days, and Wisconsin wins this one at 65.33% , just ahead of D.C., with Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts stumbling on behind.  Next, percent of "heavy drinkers", and Wisconsin and Washington DC come in 1-2 again.  Third chart was binge drinking, and guess who were one and two.  The cast of also-rans were an ever changing lot:  Montana, Oregon, and (for a second time) Vermont on the heavy drinking, and North Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois on binging.

They also did a cross-ref with age and ethnicity, and on a really cute interactive chart, we find the greatest drinkers in the 18-24 age group are multiracial;  "other" took a slight lead at 25-34, while the white boys (and girls) edged ahead at 35-44. "Other" nosed ahead again at 45-54, and Asian took the lead at 55-64.  The last category, 65+, was a dead (drunk) heat between "other" and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.

For the sober among you, fewest drinkers was Utah, and both heavy and binging was least popular in Tennessee.  The interactive chart was really interesting on the sober side.  The Hawaiian group was lowest in the two youngest groups, and WAAAAY lowest in the 55-64 group, which makes their "shot" to the lead in the oldest group all the more curious.  In between, 35-44 had the Asians lowest (right before they took THEIR lead), and the Hispanics lowest at 45-54.

Indiana was towards the middle at light drinking, and well into the sober side on the other categories.  They also topped the list in "state most likely to lie to interviewers."

ITEM:  A man from China, whom I'll bet was 55-64 years old, bought a pair of puppies in Vietnam.  Whether this is a story to show how dumb Chinese tourists are or how dishonest Vietnamese pet dealers are, I'll let you judge.  The puppies thrived with the man, one Wang Kaiyu, although they began getting big- really big- and did odd things like killing and eating Wang's chickens.  But it was only when Wang "saw some leaflets from the local Public Security Bureau on endangered wild animals" that he realized what he really had...

...that's right, they were two endangered Asian Sun Bears.  Nuff Said, eh?

ITEM:  A comedian named Kurt Braunohler decided the world needed to be brightened up with a bit of randomness.  This is why he is driving around the country with this...

...a 14 ft tall, 15 ft long, 8 feet wide, 1,600 pound butt.  He calls it the "Love Butt".  And that really is the end.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Narrative vs dialogue

I have recently been involved in a very interesting but unpleasant blog discussion.  I am not going to tell the entirety of the story, and what I do will be in my words.  I don't want to just rehash the experience, just make a point about the difference between a narrative and a dialogue, and when one or the other is useless to what it wants to accomplish.

Long story shortened, a blogging friend had a guest poster who was a black lady who was speaking on racism.  She had a tragic story of her own, and has struggled to get where she is.  The one thing I took as a point of controversy was a theory she had that, boiled down, says that black culture today in the USA is where it is because of slavery.  Yeah, you've heard that before, but wait, because that's not the whole thing and it makes some sense.  She points out that over the years of slavery, a black woman had to be the one to raise their family, because they never knew when the male, the husband, would be sold, or moved... or worse.  They had to come to depend upon themselves.  And because of this, the black woman has had to become accustomed to being that family head, to doing it all when the man's not there.

True, so far as it goes.  I tried to make pains to show that I would go THAT far.  But, as she went on, she tried to say that this is the reason that black society TODAY is in the state it's in, and that by extrapolation it is wrong of critics to place personal responsibility as the cause of any of the heartaches the black community suffers.  My words, not hers, but that was the impression I got.  So I commented on the place of personal responsibility in the equation as well.  Here's part of what I got in return:

So, basically, what you are asking is for black people to choose not to succumb to the pressure of the struggle, to overcome the discrimination on our own without asking yourself or the majority of white people to be accountable for the hows and whys of the way systemic, institutional racism and bias keeps us hobbled.

Notice the word "YOURSELF,"  which was to me, dumping me in with the problem without knowing anything about me other than the assumption of MY race.  I didn't care for that, as you might imagine, and it went back and forth, with me trying to explain why I said what I did, and her looking for what was wrong with what I said.  Finally, we came to what was really the crux of a disagreement that we shouldn't have even have been having:

 Your two cents vs my two cents are like the dollar vs the dinar. So as much as it might possibly hurt your feelings, no, a true dialogue is not what is asked for or needed in this context. But luckily cooperation does not require those qualifications. It only requires willingness to put your own perspective and ego on the back burner and let someone else have the front. It's not about doing what you're told to do, it's about sympathizing without putting your needs ahead of those you're trying to support. 

And there it was, in -if you'll excuse the unintended allusion- black and white.  It was never meant to be a dialogue.  The white person in her opinion had a place- to shut up, listen to whatever fabricated excuse she the suffering came up with, say, "Aw you poor thing,"  And go along with whatever solution she came up with.

But she had no solution, not even a hint of one.  She had a narrative, a dictation.  And what I had said, even though it was a complimentary part to what SHE was saying, should be kept to myself.

Go to the back of the bus.

I close my discussion with the author with this:

I'm not perfect, there are things that would make me uncomfortable. I realize that's because I come from a section of society that teaches that uncomfortable-ness, and I also realize it's up to me to change that for me. I can't expect society to change if the change isn't in my own heart. That works on both sides of the fence as well.

After that, another woman joined the fray, and that discussion turned ugly.  I will admit to my side of that, with this caveat-  I feel I was being accused of being racist, and then getting, "I never said that" back.  Not in so many words, but enough to yank my proverbial chain.  Rather than go into that useless and unproductive discussion, I will tell you MY narrative.

Growing up, I had two fathers.  One was the nice, funny, help anyone out father that I wish I would have known better.  But at least twice a week, he became the other one.  The other one would get drunk at the bar, have his good times, then return home to build up his self esteem.  He did that by pressing every button he could think of, whether it was untrue, or something from 10 years in the past.  He would pound at you and pound at you and pound at you, until you shouted at him.  Then he would calmly say in a slur, "Why are you yelling?  I'm not yelling."  And then, smirking over his victory and whatever shred of esteem it bought him, he'd start right out again.  I watched him do that to my mother for 12 years, too young to do anything about it, and when she passed, I spent the next five years on the receiving end.  Until it got to the point that, years after he died, I couldn't understand how people who'd never seen "the other" could possibly look at him in a positive light.

Years and prayer later, I finally got to that point.  But the scars remain.  And one of those scars is having impatience and anger towards those who know me from a comment section and tell me I'm something I'm not.  So I'll over explain, fight on long after I should just stop and say, this person has an agenda and will not listen.  And then I get MAD.Where the original author didn't get me there, the commenter certainly did.

That commenter said at one point, that I perceived that I was being told to shut up and go to the back of the bus, when I was only being told to let the author speak uninterrupted.  I took a little time and asked, "Did I do that?"  I don't think so.  She had the original post, which I read.  Then, and only then, did I comment.  It wasn't that I interrupted the author, but that I had the audacity to say my piece AFTER she was done.  I didn't interrupt the author, I soiled the narrative.  I didn't stop to realize she was speaking from the top of the mountain with tablets in each arm.  For that, I was told I was an arrogant racist.  For that, I was called insulting.  Frankly, I see only one thing I think was insulting in what I said, that to the last commenter:

I'm sorry that you are both more interested in telling everyone else how wrong and evil they are than trying to find common ground. You people seem less interested in eliminating racism by cultural education (which is where her post excelled, but has to go both ways) than you are in solving the problem by white capitualtion. Sorry, not buying that.

All I have left to say on the subject is, if you ever want DIALOGUE, feel free to stop in.  I have my opinions, and I will express them.  To my best recollection, I have never banned or blocked anybody that disagreed with me (with the possible exception of "John Rambo" and his he-man's-women-haters club).  But if I do disagree, prepare yourself for a response.  I don't think the guest poster at the blog in question was.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Time Machine week 31

Happy Independence Day!  The musical Tardis is celebrating in 1979, where we find on July 3rd President Jimmy Carter signing a "presidential finding" authorizing funding for the mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan.  It seems the plan to draw the Soviets into their own "Vietnam", launched by Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski, was bearing fruit, and now it was time to give weapons to those same fun people who later gave us 9-11.

Wait a minute, you say?  You thought it was George W Bush that got us involved in Afghanistan?  Heh, that's what happens when you get your news from MSNBC.

Wow, that's amazing!  Weird, wild stuff.

This week, I have a very special Time Machine in store for you.  In place of the shuffle ten and this week's summer 100s, we'll have a special Fourth of July countdown.  In addition to losing the ST for a week, we'll also be saying-

-to the six degrees feature!  And we're gonna Turn Off The Light on the unknown song feature, and if that ain't enough, the top four of the Bottom's Up not only aren't debuts, but they have a combined 51 weeks on the chart!  Who lives?  Who dies?  Hop in and find out for whom the bell tolls... it might be ringing for you!!!!!!


This week's panel includes KFI Burbank, KRUX Phoenix, WAVZ New Haven, CKLW Detroit, WHB Kansas City, WRKO Boston, KFRC San Francisco, WDRC Hartford, WCED DuBois, PA, WLS Chicago, WYSL Buffalo, and CHUM Toronto.  They collected 22 different tunes in their top fives and 6 #1s,  including ELO's Shine A Little Love (Phoenix) and Charlie Daniels' The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Kansas City)- which just rising up the charts at #67.

The panel list included 4 of the summer 100 (all of which are in the already-mentioned category), including three of the top four.

At number four, the national #9, which got #1s from Buffalo and Toronto and 20 points, Supertramp's The Logical Song.

At number three, the national #3 with 22 points and the #1s of Detroit and Chicago, Donna Summer's Hot Stuff.

At number two, the national #5 also with 22 points but three top dogs (New Haven, Boston, and DuBois), again with the Donna Summer, this time Bad Girls.

As usual I will hold the identity of the panel's #1 for later, but I would mention the geography of the number ones in the panel -each has #1s from the same geographical area.  And number one?  Does it continue the trend?  Quick detective work tells you it captured the number ones of two California cities...

...and Hartford.  And seeings as their geographic area tells us that they should have had Bad Girls at the top, they were one of the stations that didn't even give it a top five.  Just being difficult, I see.


Our unknown song comes to us from New Haven, where they had at #5 a song that was at #84 that week on Cashbox and would reach a Billboard peak of #48 (though it made #2 R&B).  It may have been unknown to me, but it likely isn't to anyone who is familiar with the sensational voice of the late Teddy Pendergrass:


Now, I had a little trouble this past weekend gathering my info for this post.  Saturday, Cashbox's website was going through one of their semi-annual "this account is suspended" periods they are so famous for.  So I went to Billboard for the Bottom's Up, and found that it was difficult to get a read on what exactly was a debut, because BB's archive doesn't list the "weeks on chart" at the time, but in total.  Thankfully, CB was paid in full by typing time, but the problem still remained- a full half of the BU crew were songs dropping from the chart after ten-plus weeks, including the top four!  In fact, they pushed one debut- The Cars with Let's Go- right out of the list!  So, without further ado-

-let's go Bottom's Up!

10- Dionne Warwick's I'll Never Love This Way Again, at 78 after 2 weeks.

9- Heaven Must Have Sent You by Bonnie Pointer claims this spot, at #80 also after 2 weeks.

8- The first of the Methuselahs of the BU comes next, sitting at 83 after 17 whopping weeks- one of my all-timers, England Dan and John Ford Coley's Love Is The Answer.

I remember reading somewhere an interview with Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts speaking about his brother, "England" Dan Seals, in which he said that if Dan and John would have had success first, then his act might have been named "England Jim and Dash Ford Crofts"!  Well, I always thought it was funny.

7- Patrick Hernandez' disco hit Born To Be Alive is next, sitting at 87 after four weeks.

6- Waylon Jennings (curiously just billed as "Waylon") is also in his fourth week, at #89 with Amanda.

5- Maureen McGovern claims the sole debut on the BU this week, with a song that was originally the theme to a TV show I watched all the time back in the day- Donna Pescow's "Angie".  The song is Different Worlds, and it sits at 90.

4- Here comes the over the hill gang, led off by another of my all-timers.  The Beach Boys sat at 92 in week #10 with Good Timin'.

3- Tipping the scales at 16 weeks, Barbara Mandrell with If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want To Be Right) is at #94.

2- With a dozen weeks under its belt, Deeper Than The Night by Olivia Newton-John lies at 97.

And the top bottom, weighing in at 13 weeks:

...Nigel Olsson with A Little Bit Of Soap, hanging on for dear life at #99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yes, there is a July Fourth countdown coming up, but for now let me just share what it's going to be.  See, as I said CB had one of its semi-annual forgot to pay the bills moments this past week.  So I had to take advantage of the harder-to-deal-with Billboard archives.  Somehow or another that led me to this thought.  What if I did something with the #1s on the 4th of July?  And when the CB site came back, I thought, why not combine them?  So what you get is not just Cashbox, not just the Martin era, but a combination:  the number one songs on the 4th, with BB and CB total weeks at #1 combined, from 1960 to 1985!  16 such songs totalled 4 weeks or more- three of those without any help from one side or the other.  Stay tuned to see who they are!


 And now, It's Goodbye Cruel World for the six degrees.  That song was one of two top tens in the early sixties for singer/actor James Darren, who also hit with Her Royal Majesty.

James concentrated more on the acting after his last top 40 hit, Mary's Little Lamb in 1962.  One of his acting spots was the 1978-9 season cliffhanger/premiere of Hawaii 5-0, in which he shared a duet with my top lady, Yvonne Elliman, on her AC hit from 1977, I Can't Get You Outa My Head.  Yvonne lent background vocals to many of Eric Clapton's hits in the seventies, including Lay Down Sally.  A co-writer on that song was guitarist George Terry, whose other credits including being part of the Bee Gees' studio band on lps like Spirits Having Flown.  Now, on Cashbox, had it been open at the time, the highest song that got no love from the panel would have been Kenny Rogers' She Believes In Me...but since it wasn't, a song that had already plummeted on CB (down to #30) was the lonesome loser on Billboard.  That song, from Spirits Having Flown, set several records for the brothers:

-9th #1 song in the decade;
-6 consecutive singles going to #1, a mark only the Beatles could match;
-3 consecutive #1s each from 2 consecutive albums, the only time that had ever been done;
-and put them 4th all time in both #1s and total weeks at #1.

The song?  Love You Inside Out.  Backwards and forwards, but not on the panel picks...


Alright, here's the moment you've been waiting for (at least, maybe kinda sorta)!  The top sixteen #1s of the Fourth of July, by combined CB/BB weeks, from 1960-85!

15th (tie), 4 total weeks:

Jackson Five, The Love You Save, 1970
Wings, Silly Love Songs, 1976

10th (tie), 5 weeks:

Everybody's Somebody's Fool, Connie Francis, 1960
Quarter To Three, Gary US Bonds, 1961
I Can't Stop Loving You, Ray Charles, 1962
Ring My Bell, Anita Ward, 1979
Funkytown, Lipps, Inc., 1980

7th (tie), 6 weeks:

Windy, The Association, 1967
Love Will Keep Us Together, Captain and Tennille, 1975
Bette Davis Eyes, Kim Carnes, 1981

5th (tie), 7 weeks:

Sukiyaki, Kyu Sakamoto, 1963
Don't You Want Me, Human League, 1982

4th, 8 weeks, This Guy's In Love With You, Herb Alpert, 1968

3rd, 9 weeks, It's Too Late, Carole King, 1971

2nd, 12 weeks, Flashdance (What A Feeling), Irene Cara, 1983

And the tops of the charts this week?  Fourth of July chart says...

... Andy Gibb, Shadow Dancing, 13 weeks, 1977!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other number ones included The Stripper, Mr. Tambourine Man, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), I Get Around, Paperback Writer, Strangers In The Night, In The Ghetto, Theme From Romeo And Juliet, Song Sung Blue, Give Me Love, Sundown, Afternoon Delight, Undercover Angel, Gonna Fly Now, Coming Up, The Reflex, Dancing In The Dark, Heaven, and Sussudio.

And survey says...

(where have I heard THIS before)... Anita Ward's Ring My Bell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, all the proper parts will be back in place, and we'll be stopping off in... 1966!  Be there or be square!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The novel continues some more (AKA picture post)

All right, let me tell you a bit about KC's doubleheader Sunday.

The Bad News Derby People actually had a good game in game one.  KC drove in a run and they kept it close till the last inning- Which was the seventh, for a change.

LAURIE: How many innings do they play?
ME:  I really am not sure, they've never made it past the 4th without being 20 runs down before!

There he goes!

Yes, believe it or not there are two girls on this team that throw it in from the outfield underhanded because they "can't throw it overhand".  To her credit here, though, she made a pair of spectacular catches- one which she may just have soiled herself making.  I know I about did.

Trying to beat the shift- fouled out.
The first game ended 11-2, but was 5-1 going into the 7th.  Then we got a break while that team played Paul Davis.  PD made short work of them, pounding the ball at will and actually putting one ball into the woods.  Then PD turned and saw us.

And a lot of this happened.

PD ran up 11 1st inning runs, doing everything BUT hitting the woods.  They tacked on 5 in the second, but we actually held them scoreless in the third while they were bored.  Fourth inning, they decided that enough was enough, and returned to score-at-will, running it up to 22-0 so the ump would stop play.  Allegedly, next game we'll finally be dropped down to a class more befitting, if there is such a thing.  Paul Davis will be moving up, I'm told.


And now, this afternoon's walk.

Remember the tree I described as massive, but you couldn't tell from that shot?  You'll see it now.

Bent one tree over on the way down, busted another in two.  I wrapped Scrappy's leash around the shattered tree's trunk to see how big it was-  It was long enough to run from my foot to my hip.

And as you can see, the lesson learned is don't grow on the edge of a dropoff.

Peek!  Someone napping in the meadow.

OMG, it's Scrappy!  Run!!!

Scrappy in the flowers

Seen a few of these along the river.

I do have to give IPFW a bit of credit.  This year, they are leaving a lot more of  the "in-between" stuff unmown, unlike the last few years where if it didn't require a Bushhog, it got cut.  Thus the places where we have caught our deer friends (like today, pardon the bad pun) are more animal friendly... but in order to not pick off ticks half the night, I'm going to have to declare the way to the duck pond inaccessible at this point.

However, if it's like a couple years ago, access might be resumed this weekend.  Two years ago...

They mowed a path to the river's edge, from which to shoot off mortars at the river the rest of the holiday.  I don't believe it was an "officially sanctioned event", but remote enough that anyone who might possibly complain would have the devil's own time finding them.  I thought it was last year, but last Independence Day Weekend...

We found out what the fox says (answer:  Bark bark yip yip)!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An hour with Scrappy

5:40- Dinner on table, Taquitos and sour cream.  Scrappy begs.  Gets little bits, some chips, licks a plate and an empty cottage cheese container.

5:55- Finish dinner, feed the doggie.  Give him his Cosequin, which makes him feel special as well as helping his joints.  I retire to computer with a glass of milk and sugar-free chocolate chip cookies.

6:00- Begs for cookie bites.  I finish, tell him there's no more.

6:05- He stares at me.  "What do you want?" I say.  Sticks his tongue out just a little.  "I told you there's no more."  He looks at the solo cup of milk.  What, you want to lick this out?"  Barks.  "Wait till I'm done."  I finish, he licks it out.  I go to sit down and watch Barney Miller.

6:07.  Barks.  "What Now?" A long english to beagle conversation follows.  "What, you want out?"  Rooorooo!  I laugh and get up to let him out.  Clean up after him, we come back in.  Sit down to watch Barney Miller.

6:12- Barks.  "What do you want now?"  Goes out to his water dish, comes back.  Barks some more.  "A drink?  It's going right on your head!"  More barking.  Chase him around with the cup of water for a while.  Turn to head for the water dish.  He follows closely.  I pour a couple drops in his dish.  Rooooroo!  Double over laughing.  Pour his water, go back to watching Barney Miller.

6:15- Barks.  "What do you want now?" Grabs his toy.  I take it, try to stuff it up his butt.  He runs around the room, beats up the bathroom rug, plays fetch for a while.

6:20 - He sits on the couch to watch Barney Miller.  I look up from the floor.  "What, now you're done?"  Looks at me and burps.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The strom in the woods

Some shots from two walks- one Saturday night and one Sunday morning- assessing the damage from the storm around here.

Ground Hog Road blocked by two huge Locusts down.

Two sticks driven into the ground

Nope, not crossing there...

All right, Mom, I'm coming!

Laurie saw this from a distance Saturday... it was worse close up.

Ponding water because IPFW thinks all cover should be ripped out to make joggers and socceristas safe from hoods and perverts.

Here I'm going to editorialize yet again.  These poor trees were left when IPFW ripped out all the surrounding cover and destroyed the meadow that HAD been drinking up the rainwater flowing down from the clay-soiled woods.  They replaced the meadow with two terraced soccer pitches, built up with more clay pounded down by dozers and rollers and NO drainage put in.  It has destroyed the hydrology of the entire area, and could have been overcome by anyone with a third grade education who was raised in the country.  Because of this, the area at the foot of the soccer fields get saturated, and with the cover ripped out, these six trees stood no chance.  Anyone tells you Purdue is an intelligent, environmentally concerned outfit, YOU SHOW THEM the next couple of pictures.

Nuff said.

Going into the woods

Blockage #1- this one will take a while to move.  Took a while to go around...
Ahh, here's the other end..

Scrappy, as usual, steps in the water.  Sinks up to his butt, jumps out.

Oddly enough, though the small branches were mostly maple and locust, the individual leaves were nearly all pin oak.

I know it was old, dead, and hollow.  But it stood like a monument.

 I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

-Percy Shelley

This tree was massive... but parked on the top of a ledge...

Just before the bridge

Oddly enough, everything south of the bridge was okay, relatively.  Swamp checks out, too.

Going back up the trail towards home.  All lot of work and planning by IPFW put these trees in a position for this to happen.