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


Friday, July 19, 2019

Time Machine co-ordinates VICXIII55171955

AHEM, Yes, this is Horace Bellbottom representing your host, Christopher Martin.  He is indisposed, due to, shall we say, habens partem misericordia, and has asked me to step in as he doesn't feel he could put forth his best effort.   In perusing the date of our arrival, that being July 19th, 1955, once again we are finding no noteworthy events; however, I was quite excited by yesterday's commencement of the Geneva Summit....

"Darn, ya old stick-in-the-mud, you coulda told 'em that Disneyland opened yesterday..."
Yes, quite, thank you young man.  Perhaps we should start with the, er, teaser.  Something happens for just the 7th time on the M10, as well as two new debuts... and a jolly mess that was.  Also, the shortest Panel in history- length wise, not height wise... and the prerequisite changes made necessary by the moving our statistical package...

E:  It's a stat-pack, man...

The use of this heathen music and long hair by you younger fellows does not preclude the necessity of good grammar!  Finally, Mr Alan O'Day will be with us- and he will be dropping in to do the greatest hits of the summers of the 1970's, as it would have been unkind to show him the door after only this microscopic Panel list.  Mr Presley, would you like to handle the "pithy saying at the end of the teaser"?

E:  Are you kiddin'? This'd be like doing stand up after your mom's eulogy!  Just play the first song...

Very well.  Now, Mr Martin has a statement he'd like me to read vis-a-vis the debuts on the M10 chart.  As follows:

Hi guys,

This was the week I felt it time to drop King Leg's monster hit Seeing You Tonight from the chart.  As I also had another song dropping out, that meant I needed 2 debuts.  Well, I let the well run a little dry, and there were only three good candidates in the shuffle.  My first choice has a video that, typical for this band, is awfully reminiscent of an orgy, and the other choice video-wise was a lyric video that would prominently place an f-bomb at the beginning, so I said, no way.  The next choice was fine and dandy until I googled the band's name to learn more about them, and the word 'allegations' came up.  So I went to a news story and found that at least one band member- which they fired- and possibly more, had used knockout drops on young ladies attending their concert.  Mind you this was no heavy metal band, in fact they sounded a lot like former M10ers courtship.  And they were not alone in their crimes- apparently this is a thing going on in the Austin, TX, music scene.

So after firing them, I went to the last choice I felt good about in the shuffle- no video, no way to share it with you, the audience.  Thus began a frantic 2-night search for something good enough to take the spots- and I finally found a couple I really liked.  And you get the benefit of my diligence with a couple of pretty good tunes!  Enjoy, CWM


E:  Man, he's as windy as you, Bellbottom!  Let me play this here song.  It's by a little cutie name of Lili Trifilio, but she goes by the handle of Beach Bunny.  She's spinnin' at #10 this week with this hot hit:


All right, then, we next welcome Mr Alan O'Day to our show...

A:  Glad to meet you, Mr Bellbottom!

E:  You won't be...

Ahem, It is a pleasure, sir.  Now, you received this honor for winning last week's vote with Undercover Angel, which sounds frankly a bit risque to me, but the tastes of the times, I suppose...

A:  Ummm... yeah, I guess...

At any rate, we have magically brought you back here to 1955, but alas, the Panel is a bit on the small side.  With only four stations- all of them, it seems, from the Pittsburgh, PA, area- our host combined them with the Cashbox and Billboard most sold lists, and we end up with but four songs and 9 total votes.

A:  So everyone's a finalist!

Just so!  Also, you won't be able to give away their positions on the national chart, as those charts are PART of the vote.  So, before going on to the Panel itself, I am instructed to let you handle the listing of the biggest hits for this week...

A:  Got it.  Okay, friends, here's where the fun starts!  We have the biggest hits of the summers of the 70's coming at you, and you get to check out 22 of 'em!  Here's the first seven:

22- Kicking off with one right from the start in 1970, The Carpenters and (They Long To Be) Close To You.

19- we have a three way tie, kids!  From 1971 we have the Bee Gees and How Can You Mend A Broken Heart; from 1972, Looking Glass and Brandy (You're A Fine Girl), and from 1976, the Manhattans and Kiss And Say Goodbye.

Then, we have a two-song tie at #17!  Those two would be Elton John and Kiki Dee with 1976's Don't Go Breakin' My Heart, and the Emotions from 1977 with- whoa whoa, you get the Best Of My Love.

Finally for this first part, at #16 you get the Commodores with 1978's one, two, Three Times A Lady!  Back to you, HB!


Er, yes, thank you.  Next is time to have you introduced to the Panel contestants.  Mr O'Day?

A: Call me Alan, buddy!

I think not.  I have a certain dignity to uphold.

A:  Whatever, dude!  So here are your four choices:

The Chairman of the Board, Ol' Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra was Learnin' The Blues...

The dark horse in the race, Julius La Rosa and Domani- what a cool tune that was!

No surprise here, Bill Haley and his Comets with Rock Around The Clock is contestant #3...

And finally, how about Somethin' Smith and the Redheads with It's A Sin To Tell A Lie.  Guess they really did have red heads!  HB?

Yes, please make your educated guesses from those four songs, and we will announce the winner, and next week's President of Time Machine, at the end of our program.  And now, Mr O'Day will continue the special list...

A: Yes sir, we are climbing the charts of the best of the summers of the 70's!  And we pick up where we left off with a tie for 14th, between the Bee Gees- for a second time- with 1975's Jive Talkin', and Swanky Frankie Valli with Grease, the word in '78.

Another of the Brothers Gibb, little Andy, makes #13 with I Just Wanna Be Your Everything.

Gilbert O'Sullivan claims the 12th spot with Alone Again Naturally.

And now we're gonna cheat just  a bit and give you all four of the 4-way tie for the #8 post!  

First, we have a Paul McCartney and Wings twofer- 1973's My Love, and 1976's Silly Love Songs.

Then we got the Rolling Stones with their best hit ever, Miss You, from '78.

And finally, from the heart of disco in '79 we get Donna Summer and Hot Stuff!  And HB thought Undercover Angel was racy!

Well, it certainly doesn't make your song any less 'racy' to compare it to one even worse than itself.  Frankly, I think we could do a lot worse than to have a post featuring the great hymns of the age.

"That'll drive the fans away faster than my bologna casserole!"
I'm surprised to hear you say that, young man.  I've heard it said that you do a fine job on classic hymnals...

E:  Well, yeah, but this is kind of a rock'n'roll thing, you know what I mean?

Not really... but our employer does, so I shall bear with.  Now, it is time for me to do the statistical package...


And we start that out with the "6D victim" for which our host did NOT prepare a story, Unchained Melody by Les Baxter and his orchestra and chorus.

E:  What, you can't do one on the fly, like Chris does?

I would never presume.  Now the largest gain in the standings goes to Eddie Arnold and Hugo Winterhalter's Orchestra with, The Cattle Call, moving from 29 to #20.  In the United Kingdom, the #1 song was Miss Alma Cogan with Dreamboat.  Mr Martin would like to point out that, as he wasn't born yet, he couldn't know what song he would have put at #1, but mentions that of the entire Cashbox top 50, prior to Time Machine he knew only the following four:  Panel contestants Learning The Blues and Rock Around The Clock, along with Pat Boone's Ain't That A Shame and Bill Hayes with The Ballad Of Davy Crockett, and he would choose the last one from that list as his favorite.

E:  Aren't you gonna mention where they were on the charts?

No, I have no wish to effect the voting.  I can tell you, though that Mr Boone was at #13 on the Cashbox list, and Mr Hayes was at #11, as they are not in the voting.


A:  Hey, this here's the big A, O'Day, with all but the very tippy top of the list of summers 70's!

1979 claims #7 with Sister Sledge and We Are Fam-il-eee!

Yours truly claims the #6 spot with that risque song, Undercover Angel.  So there, HB!

Gerry Rafferty and Baker Street from 1978 is in at #5.

Then it's another disco duo- at #4 we get Anita Ward's Ring My Bell from '79, and at #3 it's Ms Summer again with Bad Girls, also from the very last year on the list.

My predecessors at POTM, Starland Vocal Band, take the #2 slot with 1976's Afternoon Delight.

And that's it for me!  All yours, Horace baby!


"Baby", indeed.  The cheek of... ah, well, that is how it goes in times like these, I imagine.  Next up is the second debut, coming in at #9.  This is a band that first hit the chart in mid-August 2016, with their song that made a peak position of #6, called My Love.  Presenting to you, this is M.A.G.S.:

Good Heavens!  Er, I mean, Mr. Presley, might you step in and do the top ten, please, I need a glass of water...

E:  Sure ya do, Bellbottom!  So you heard 10 and 9, here's the rest:

Frankie Cosmos and Windows, up one to #8.

Alka... Al... the Russkies, with Ribbon In The Wind, at 7 and holdin'...

Silversun Pickups an' Simpatico up 2 to #6...

Foster The People and Imagination, stuck at 5...

King Leg 'n Running Scared up a pair to #4...

An' the top three hold- Maybird Keep In Line at 3, Agnes Obel and Riverside 2, an' the seventh song to make four weeks at the top...

...ELO an' Mama at #1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You up to it yet, buddy?

Yes, yes, I'll be all right.  Is it hot in here?  Anyway, the top song of the summers of the 1970's belongs to...

...Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta with You're The One That I Want!

And finally, the Panel race: Somethin' Smith, with one vote, was at #9 on Billboard and #12 on Cashbox;

Domani, with one vote, was #15 BB and #28 CB;

Learnin' The Blues, with 3 votes, was #3 on both charts;

And so the winner, with the remaining four votes, the #1 on both charts...

...Bill Haley and his Comets and Rock Around The Clock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yowzah!

E:  'Yowzah'?  Bellbottom, you don't sound right.  Are you okay?

Yes, but I'm NOT Horace Bellbottom!  Actually, I'm....

E:  RODNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

R:  Yeah, and even as a stuffy lawyer, I get no respect!  Be back next week with Chris and 1956!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wednesday Bible Study: T is for Tamar (all three of 'em)

This one has been a little harder for me to get a handle on than most, for a lot of reasons.  For one, we are dealing with three different ladies in a couple of similar- but not so similar- situations.  Another reason is the fact that if I just stuck to Tamar #1, there are SO many interesting places to go.  She is one of the only four women (with Ruth, Rahab, and 'the wife of Uriah the Hittite') who get mentioned in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus.  Hers are the only set of twins (Jacob made it, but not Esau) where both children are mentioned.  And the significance of the three tokens she asked from Judah?  Yes, a lot of story- and I'll give you thumbnails of those.  But God called me to draw the other two Tamars into the mix- and that led me to do a lot of, "What is the common factor' debating- and what I discovered really threw me.

But instead of getting way ahead of myself, let me explain in short who these three are.

Tamar #1 was a woman, presumably Canaanite, that Judah picked to be the wife of his son.  But in a story I promise to flesh out, God killed him, and then killed the next brother when HE had to marry her 'for his brother', and then she was supposed to marry the youngest as well.  But Judah thought she was a jinx and him-hawed over it, claiming the youngest was 'too young'.  She knew he was trying to give her the bum's rush, though and tricked Judah into sleeping with her- and thus the twins.

Tamar #2 was similar enough that "The name was not often used in traditional Jewish societies, possibly because both Biblical characters bearing the name are depicted as involved in controversial sexual affairs." (per Wiki).  This one was David's daughter by wife #2, full sister to #3 son Absalom and half-sister to #1 son Amnon.  But Amnon was a lech, and drove himself nuts knowing that he couldn't have her because she was a virgin.  So his cousin gives him a plan of how to get alone with her, and he rapes her.  Absalom kills him in return, and the wheels really start falling off David's reign as king.

Tamar #3 is the DAUGHTER of Absalom, and all we directly know about her was that, like her Dad, she was a person of great physical beauty.

Now you've been introduced; let me loop back to Tamar #1.

I believe that the four women who were mentioned in the genealogy were mentioned because they were the means of SAVING the intended line of the Messiah when men were about to blow it.  Rahab had saved the spies sent to Jericho, because she feared the Lord and sought salvation; as a reward, she became the wife of Salmon, David's great-great grandpa.  Ruth, despite being a foreigner, pledged herself to Naomi and to God; as a result, she was married to Salmon's son Boaz, and their son was Obed, his was Jesse, and his was David.  Bathsheba, like Ruth and Tamar, had been married before; unlike the others, she was still married when she had the affair with David; and yet, she became the mother of the child prophesied when David was told by God he could not build the Temple.

How does Tamar fit in there?  Well, the Line of the Messiah was always to go through Judah (though none would know that quite yet), but Judah's eldest, Er, was wicked, and God killed him, before his evil could penetrate the line.  Onan was next, but he "spilled his seed on the ground", because any child he had with Tamar would get preferential treatment over not only any other of his children but himself as well, since a son would be considered Er's son; and God killed him as well.  Judah must have sensed that son #3 wasn't going to be any better, so he sent Tamar back to her father, and 'he would call her when the boy was of age'.  Well, considering Bar-Mitzvah is at 12, it didn't take long to figure out that Tamar was going to have to do something drastic or bear the shame of a childless widow.  So after Judah's own wife passed, he went up with a buddy to a "sheep shearing festival" (this is going to be a repeating pattern), and was POSSIBLY in the bag when he spied a "cult prostitute" along the road (Tamar in a veil for a disguise), and propositioned her.  When time came to pay, he 'didn't have his wallet' but promised her a kid goat next week.  In pledge, she asked for:  His staff (symbolic of the power of God he should have been leaning on), his belt cord (symbolic of the belt of truth, the Word of a God he wasn't paying attention to), and his signet ring (in effect his identity).  When he returned with the goat, she was gone, and he was like, "We can't make a big deal looking for her, or I'll be a laughing stock".

Three months later, he found out that Tamar had somehow gotten pregnant and was going to invoke the law and have her burned to death, as she was "promised" to son # 3.  But when asked who got her in the family way, she could have exposed the idiot's stupidity; instead, she just pulled out the three tokens and said, "It was the man that gave me these."  That gave Judah the chance to confess and own up; "Judah recognized them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn’t give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not sleep with her again. (Gen 38).

So she basically became a wife to Judah that he didn't use; and she had twin boys.  One stuck his hand out first, and the midwife put a red cord on it to mark him as first born- but the hand pulled back in, and the other came out.  The firstborn w/o the cord was named Perez, and through him went the kingly line of Judah; the other was named Zerah, and he would become royal as well- at the end of the age of kings, the direct line of Perez was cursed.  But the lines intertwined with the post-exile governor Zerubbabel, and the line continued.  If not for her twins, the sins of Judah's sons would have ended the line right from the start.

Tamar # 2 is a shorter story, which I have told most of.  When Amnon set everything up, he begged and pestered David to send her to comfort him with some food, as 'he was sick'.  Against better judgment, David commanded her to go.  David could be talked into anything by his sons; and she knew it.  Thus, when the attack came...

11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate[a] me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. 13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.

Get that?  Even though marrying a half-sibling would be a no-no, she KNEW Amnon could have talked David into it.  So David found out, got mad, and did nothing.  But Absalom plotted.  After bringing Tamar to live in his house-  And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom's house- and then played the old, 'let my brothers go sheep shearing with me' trick on David, had Amnon killed by his flunkies and ran away.

And David did nothing.

So I am guessing that Tamar #2 shortly died of her despair, because not long after, it is mentioned that Absalom had a daughter that he named Tamar.  Like I said, we know nothing of this Tamar from the Bible except her beauty.  BUT, the Rabbis add that she married Rehoboam, son of Solomon.  Who's that?  Why that's the next king, who given advice by his elders to lighten the tax burden of his father and the people would love him, or the advice of his buddies to make it even worse so they would obey him, he chose the second- and broke Israel forever.  Did she have a hand in this?  I don't know.  But what did the others have in common?

Failed Fathers.  Sexual excuses.

Judah later recovered his honors by repentance; but he had watched his father play Truth Or Consequences with women since he was a child; his crimes were watched by his three sons, who became even more evil.  So evil, God would not have them in the line of the Messiah, so He killed them and 'started over' with Judah himself.  His sexual excuse?  Oh, my wife has died, I am lonely; oh, I'm out with the boys, all lit up, what's the difference; It's only a roadside whore, who cares?

David gave his sons whatever they wanted.  Even when Absalom turned the kingdom against him, he could only grieve his death- so much that he made his own army wonder why they bothered.  His daughters, though, were another thing entirely.  Oh, whatever my boy wants; oh, how about that pretty thing waving at me from the bath on her roof?

So what made the difference between the big two?  Somehow, someway, #1 acted righteously to the Lord; she did not submit her rights, but must have submitted to His will, because, after all, she got her name in the Genealogy, where the one who committed adultery (Bathsheba) just got a mention as another man's wife.

#2?  Well, she was at least in word willing to submit to evil to stay from harm;  She knew she could only trust her father to take his sons' side, and apparently hadn't been taught by that father to trust in God.  And she dies alone, desolate, in her brother's house.

And see, this is what troubles me.  I understand that each man stands on his own sins, not his father's.  But if the standard for fatherhood is Solomon's "Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it", then the Lion from which the Messiah would spring, the Man after God's own heart, and the wisest man the world had ever seen, all failed miserably at being a father.

And the women?  #1, "According to Legends of the Jews, Tamar was endowed with a prophetic gift which allowed her to know the future of her descendants. From this gift, she knew that she would be the ancestress of royal line of David and mighty prophets."  I don't buy that, but I do believe she was put into the situation by God for the purpose of His Will- a will that Judah's sinfulness would have shot down.

#2? There is just not that much to go on.  But consider this:  Where #1 became part of a blessing of God (the promise of the Messiah), all #2 became was the starting point of the curse God gave David for his sin with Uriah.  And really and truly, I am left still debating, not only over what we don't know about these women, but how the most dreadful of fathers- Judah, David, Solomon, even Lot- go on to be named righteous in God's eyes.  But one day I will, and when I do, I'll comprehend a bit more of what God sees in me...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Newspage Go!

On a day more than one of us could use a good laugh.  Now mind you, I'm gonna bend the rules a bit- the best one came in the US MAIL- but I hope you get the chuckles out of these headlines that I did.

Item 1- Fox News

This is one of a pair of headlines that made me sit up and blink:

Harley-Davidson goes green with their first electric motorcycle

An electric motorcycle from a brand that used to pass out t-shirts saying, "My Harley doesn't leak oil- it marks my spot"?  Now, I knew they were in a bit of a hurt, but can you imagine any Harley biker of the Old School wanting to be caught dead on a "green" bike?  "Yeah, man, like I'm trying to save the planet before we run outta weed, man..."

ITEM 2- again, Fox News

Remember when you could be stupid in the privacy of your own home by just eating Tide pods?

People are stapling bread to trees and sharing the photos on Reddit

Yep.  This is a new thing.  Just do do something random.  Oh, and by the way, show the part of the world who struggles for enough to eat creative ways to waste what we have.

Item 3- BBC

Apparently the manufacturer of Juul e-cigs is involved in some odd child abuse:

E-cig boss says sorry to parents over child vaping

Now, I'm not into vaping, but I would think trying to fit children into something the size of a cigarette might be a bit difficult.  But, anything to get on Jackass, I guess.

Item 4- again, BBC

Here's one that I had a pretty good gag to use on it, but the first line from the actual article left me in the dust.

How Norway turns criminals into good neighbours

My gag:

Force-feed all prisoners that stinky fermented fish crap they all love so much- I know it would keep ME outta jail!

First line of the article:  Remember, this is how we turn prisoners into good neighbors:

"OK, and now put your big toes together and put your bum behind you!" calls the enthusiastic yoga instructor in English to the 20 or so participants who are shuffling into child's pose on rubber mats spread out on the grass in the faint early morning sunshine.  "Can you feel the stretch?" 

Item 5- Moscow Times

So, what kind of crime can a 75- year-old man get arrested for in Russia?  Well, here's one...

Nixon Fan Detained in Russia for Installing Plaque to U.S. President

Unfortunately, the local constabulary wasn't so grateful, and hauled him in- seems he had tried to get a permit and was denied, and put it up anyway, meriting a jail trip for unlawful assembly.  But the BEST part of this story actually came a little farther into the article...

Local lore claims that Nixon had spent his teens in the small town, where his parents had allegedly worked, in the mid-to-late 1920s.

Talk about election interference...

Item 6- again, Moscow Times

This one definitely falls under the, "you'd think they have bigger things to worry about" file...

Russian Communists Call to Ban Georgian Khinkali and Khachapuri

And what is that, you ask, and why do they want to ban them?  Well....

... the second one is essentially Georgian cheesy bread, and the other is a Georgian dumpling.  And Muscovites love them!  There are several restaurants in Moscow that serve them.  But they use the Georgian name for them, instead of changing them to the Russian  pelmeni and  pyshki.

Solution:  Learn American English, call them "cheesy bread" and "dumplings".  Leave it to socialists to make a big deal out of something with a simple solution.  After all, you don't hear US complain about...

Sarcasticus interruptus: I found what looked like a good one on the Jerusalem Post, but each attempt to peruse the article led to an attempt to "sell me fraudulent IT help" by something claiming to be related to Amazon, and being shut down by my anti-virus.  Clean up your act, JP, if you wanna get yer headlines here!

Which, of course, makes this headline from the Japan Times rather amusing...

U.S. education chief Betsy DeVos: Efforts to boycott Israel are 'pernicious threat'

Efforts to read their paper is a bit pernicious as well, apparently...

So, let's say the Japan Times saved the day on what we'll go ahead and call Item 7, and we'll give them a second shot with Item 8, with what might well be the worst selling point in vacation history:

A weekend in Kamaishi and Iwate: Educate yourself in natural disaster

Which reminds me I should still tell you about that ill-fated Saturday walk sometime...

Item 9- Deutsche Welle

And here with some perfect economic sense...

China growing at slowest pace in decades not a sign of weakness

Geez, I'd hate to see weakness, then...

But let me now round things out with the long-awaited Item 10.  Now mind you, I realize what this is actually trying to say, and I'm sure Chuck Swindoll, jolly pastor that he is, would get a chuckle right with me out of it.  Here's what he sent me in the mail today...

Wow, only been 40 years since the Lord ascended into heaven?  Doesn't seem a day over 2,000....

Monday, July 15, 2019

Love at the feeder

So this looks like a typical 'Sunday-morning with the Sparrow Mafia' picture.  But it ain't.  Let me explain.

That morning as me (somewhat) and my stuffed guys (Chocolate Moose and Farty Hippo, to a vastly lesser extent) woke up, I looked down from the window to the back porch.  I saw Chip nibbling up seeds and near him were what I thought typical residents of the Mafia- a male and female sparrow.  I watched them seem to kiss, and thought, "Well, that's certainly one for the books"- but it wasn't QUITE what they were doing, as I found out later.

As you look at the picture above, you notice three "hogs at the trough" and the one sitting on the gate.  That is the female in question.  For whatever reason, she would not go to the feeder...

...even though, as you see here, other females did.  But as I watched, there was one male fighting his way into the group...

Here's a shot of him landing on the fence...
But what he would do is, get a mouthful, fly away, and then land on the fence...

And when he landed, his mate would come up...

...and he was FEEDING her.

This was what they had been doing on the ground as well!  I have no idea what it is that makes her in need of feeding, but I certainly saw that he was willing to fight for a spot on the feeder to get her some.  After weeks of watching Chip, Red, and Stubby NOT getting along, this was a sweet story that makes it all worthwhile.


UPDATE:  More Sunday pics.

While having lunch on the patio, I heard scratching on the neighboring paper birch.  Two little Woodys making a snack.

Meanwhile, during an ill-advised walk (though not as ill-advised as Saturday- a story for another time), Mr Monarch trailed me through the Swamp.

Beating the heat, taking a nap

Yep, scared another heron.  Sorry, Heather...

Quite a bit of "foresting going on lately... But you HAD to take the 'secret' from the entrance to the ravine trail?  Really?

New English drama- "Rabbits of Ground Hog Road"

And a quick snap of Stubby, so he don't get his wittle feelings hurt...

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Message: The earthquake that changed the world

This morning, I was listening to a Creation Science show talking about a specific debate between the secular scientists that don't believe in the "young" earth" shown in the Bible, but in an "old earth" that says that life is millions of years old.  I don't want to get into that debate, because, like the Creation scientists say, "We weren't there".  What I do want to talk about is what it says in the one thing we can go by- the Bible.

Now on the one hand, you can use Psalm 90 and 2 Peter 3 to say, "Since to God a thousand years is like a day" to argue that the six days of creation are symbolic.  But I'm going to go against that for two reasons.  One, because in Genesis 1:4-5:

Gen 1:4  And God saw the light, that it was good, and God separated between the light and darkness. 
Gen 1:5  And God called the light, Day. And He called the darkness, Night. And there was evening, and there was morning the first day. 

...God establishes time.  Why bother if He's not going to use it as a measurement for man?  And second, if we are going to accept the extreme ages of Adam's genealogy in Genesis 5, then we pretty much have to accept the Days of Genesis 1 as approximate days.

Which I do.  So having established I accept these ages and why, I want to shift back for a second to the scientific argument.  Most science chronology is based in radiocarbon dating.  Basically, they count the amount of a certain radioactive form of carbon atoms in an ancient object.  If you have a certain amount of this form (called an isotope) TODAY (note my emphasis), we know exactly how long it would take half of that amount to decay away, leaving inert material.  That time is called a half-life.  So scientists measure the isotope, make an estimate of how much of it there SHOULD HAVE been when it was new (ie living material), and then figure out how many times you'd have to cut that in half to get to where it is now.  Add those times up, and you have your age, right?

But it's not that easy, and the Bible shows you why.  First of all, everybody who's read the genealogies knows that ages dropped precipitously after the Flood.  Noah lived to 950; by the time you go ten generations- something over 200 years, by the chronology in Genesis 11- Abraham lived 175 years, a drop of over 80%.   Something FUNDAMENTALLY changed the conditions on earth after the Flood.  Further evidence of that is that Noah no more got off the Ark and God told him that he and his would have to become meat eaters as well as plant eaters- there would be something missing in the nutrition gained from plants from here on.

But I'm going to show you that this wasn't the LAST fundamental change.  I want you to stop and think a moment.  Genesis 7 tells us that the Flood itself was a two pronged event.  First, the "fountains of heaven were opened"- many believe that Genesis 1:7 involved the creation of a protective liquid canopy around the earth, and this canopy's collapse led to rain beyond anything we can see or imagine.  The second prong of the Flood is that "the fountains of the deep were opened up"- that a great expanse of pressurized, underground water ( causing the mists that watered the earth in Genesis 2) then broke loose.  After which two things had to happen- the waters had to gather in what became the ocean basins- which is IN the Bible- and the earth's crust, no longer supported by the pressurized water, would have to shift and collapse- which isn't in the Bible.

Or, isn't it?

One of my favorite verses is Genesis 10:25:

Gen 10:25  And two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 

Now, Peleg was the sixth generation from Noah, born 101 years after the Flood.  By this time, it can be assumed (but since Ham's lineage was not given ages as Shem's was, we're just guessing) that this is around the time Nimrod started the Tower of Babel, and thus this "division" is merely the division of peoples after God divided the tongues.  That is NOT what the Bible says.

Genesis specifically speaks in the Babel story of God dividing the tongues, and the people dispersing as a result.  In the verse above, "earth" means "earth".  And Peleg?  Peleg means, "earthquake".

The earth was physically divided here- maybe the 'plate tectonics' that science believes happened over billions of years (because they cannot accept the 'young earth' or the worldwide Flood despite EVERY people having it in their mythologies), maybe not.  But let me show you what else we CAN know from the Bible.

After the trauma of the Flood, ages went from the 950 years of Noah to the 500 of his son Shem- a drop of 52%.  After Shem, there came Arphaxad (438 years), Salah (433), and Eber, the father of Peleg (464).  Then came the earthquake, and Peleg... and Peleg lived to 239 years.  A drop of 51%.

Just a fluke?  Peleg's son Reu also lived 239 years, his grandson Serug 230, his great-grandson Nahor 148 (the anomaly that proves the rule) and Abraham's father Terah 205.

The earth was FUNDAMENTALLY changed by Peleg's "earthquake", and it is reflected in the SUDDEN drop in ages, as the change after the Flood was.  What were these changes?  I haven't a clue.

BUT... if these two events changed the world so fundamentally, how can we believe that the world's physical properties- like, say, the half-life of radioactive carbon- weren't changed as well?  Answer- we can't, and neither can 'old earth' scientists.  Whatever happened, you really have two choices- believe God's Word, which gives us dates that science can't disprove, or trust science, which gives us dates they can't prove.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Time Machine co-ordinates VICXII55071277

Well, I would have to say that July 12th, 1977, is the most 'nothing happened' day in the HISTORY of Time Machine!  I went through 12 pages of Google and the closest to a noteworthy event is that TOMORROW, Somalia declares war on Ethiopia.  Wikipedia sagely adds to that, " starting the Ethio-Somali War."  Which I'm sure none of us would have got without being told.

But speaking of history, our co-ordinates tell me this is the 550th overall post under the Time Machine aegis.  That means almost a quarter of all my posts are under that banner- 21.79 %!  And that means- well, it means nothing, but it makes for small talk until I figure out how to bring this lead in to a drizzling end...

Hey, doofus, just tell 'em about the chicks, man!
Right you are, EP!  This week we have the Starland Vocal Band as our POTM-es, and that means the lovely Taffy Danoff and Margot Chapman will be here!  Plus, this is the week that we do the top summer hits of the 60s, two new M10 debuts, King Leg makes the all-time top ten, and we take you on a trip to- Tannu Tuva!  Is that a tropical island?  Not exactly...  But you'll see why we go there on the 6D, of all things!  Let's have at it!


All right, let's bring out the Starland Vocal Band!  We have Bill Danoff, Jon Carroll, and... uh, fellas, where are the girls?

B:  They decided to skip to do the beauty parlor thing...

J:  Yeah, you know how that is...

Are you freaking kidding me?  Last week I get Toni the Tiger and a manikin with a hat, and I look forward to these two beautiful women on my set ALL WEEK, and karma does me like this?

Damn, this is too funny, y'all!
Shut up!  Ahem, my apologies, it's been a rough week...

B:  I get ya.  After a week like this, me 'n' Jon are kinda glad to shake 'em for a little bit...

J:  Yeah, all that Afternoon delight is good 'n' fine, but sometimes you'd RATHER just go fishin'!

Sigh... I guess... well, we better get on with this.  Only 14 contestants from 38 stations.  This week, your're gonna get 2 2-vote songs among the 1-vote wonders, and then the finalists.  Here's your list.

B:  Okay, so I see here we start off with Meri Wilson and her novelty song Telephone Man at #27...

J:  I can't say I ever really liked that one...

B:  From the look on Chris's face, I'm guessing we're all in agreement...

Elvis:  You sure he ain't still just steamed about the girls?

No, fathead, I don't like the song, either.  Would you mind tending the concessions, please?

E:  See, yer still sore...

J:  The next song on the list is the Commodores with Brick House.  This was an ahead-of-release album cut, and the single wouldn't hit big till November.

B: Now this here song is a first for the show, according to this.  Two weeks ago, in 1975, this tune was in the Panel Picks at #1 in Australia.  Last week, in 1976, it was charting in the USA, but not on the Panel.  This week it's back, in 1977, because it's #1 in South Africa- John Paul Young and Yesterday's Hero.

J: Wow, he sure gets around!  Our first song with 2 votes is this week's Australian #1- Dr Hook covering the Rooftop Singers' hit Walk Right In.  It's at #80 on the Cashbox chart.

B: Johnny Rivers gets a vote at #53 with Swayin' To The Music.

J:This next one is not only on the Panel, but it is a CB debut at #82 and is the UK's #1 song this week- Hot Chocolate and So You Win Again.

B: The other 2-vote song is Rita Coolidge with (Your Love Lifted Me) Higher And Higher at #15- uh-oh, I see that look in Chris's eyes again...

Possibly the most overplayed song of my lifetime.  I never liked it, and our local stations made sure every day to remind me how good and sick of it I was...

J:  Now, Chris, one man's trash, another man's treasure!  Kenny Nolan had Love's Grown Deep at #32...

B:  Black Betty by Ram Jam was at #31...

J:  ...and I Just Wanna Be Your Everything by Andy Gibb was at #8.  That's it for the loser's bracket.

So that leaves us with a 4-song final- and it wasn't really close.  Guys?

B:  Yeah, pick from Alan O'Day's Undercover Angel at #2...

J:  ...Shaun Cassidy's Da Doo Ron Run at #1... there's that eyeroll again...

Yep.  Never really cared for it when the Crystals did it, but SC's version was an affront to my ears...

B:  I get the feeling you're just not in a very good mood today!  Anyway, also we have Fleetwood Mac with Dreams, falling this week to #34- that MIGHT just be a clue...

J: ...and Peter Frampton with I'm In You at #6.

Thanks, fellas, give my best to the ladies...

...'Cause HE sure couldn't, hee hee...
Didn't I run you outta here once??  Anyway, so Alan, Shaun, The Mac, and Peter are your choices, see how you do at the end.  Because right now, its time for the first slice of the top summer hits of the 60!

18 (tie), It's Now Or Never, Elvis Presley, 1960

     (tie), I Get Around, Beach Boys, 1964

     (tie), Honky Tonk Women, Rolling Stones, 1969

17- A Hard Day's Night, Beatles, 1964

And finally, half of a 6-way tie for 11th...

11 (tie), Quarter To 3, Gary US Bonds, 1961

     (tie), I'm Sorry, Brenda Lee, 1960

and (tie), Cathy's Clown, Everly Brothers, 1960.


Our two newbies on the M10 are a bit up in the countdown.  The first comes in at #7- and it's brand new from Russia with love, Alkonost:


So what is a Tannu Tuva?

Up until 1911, this remote place on the map was a part of Imperial China, but became part of Mongolia when it broke away during the first revolution.  The Tuvan people, though, tried to get their own independence, but Russia claimed a protectorate during WWI from 1914 until their own revolution in 1917.  It basically became independent then, first as the name I remember from my old Colliers Atlas, and then from 1926 on as the Tuvan People's Republic.  As you might guess, the new Soviet Union had a lot of influence at that time, and in 1944, the were finally absorbed as a constituent republic of the USSR.

And we care why?  Because Tuva is the home of something called Tuvan throat singing- a skill I don't quite grasp, where you can sing two separate notes simultaneously!  Not many non-Tuvans had even heard of it, let alone do it.  But in 1984, a dude by the name of Paul Pena was exposed to it- and was so fascinated, not only did he learn how to do it, he taught himself Tuvan so he could go there himself and compete for a prize in their 1995 symposium, winning an award and becoming a fan favorite, earning the nickname  "Cher Shimjer" (which means "earthquake") because he naturally singer lower than most Tuvans.

Still don't get what the deal is?  Well, Paul Pena (who was blind by the age of 20) on his 2nd lp, titled New Train (which was recorded in 1973 but wasn't released until 2000 because his record company was stupid) recorded the original version of the song that is at #3 this week in 1977 without a Panel vote- Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner.  A lot of different lyrics, same essential story.  Kind of a Joe Cocker without all the gravel.  The throat singing... well, that'll be an acquired taste.


Let's have the next chunk of the top summer hits of the 60's, starting with the other half of the 11th-place tie...

11 (tie), Sukiyaki, Kyu Sakamoto, 1963.

     (tie), Fingertips, Pt 2, Little Stevie Wonder, 1963

     (tie), Windy, the Association, 1967

And now, a 4-way tie for 7th:

7 (tie), Everybody's Somebody's Fool, Connie Francis, 1960

    (tie), Rag Doll, the Four Seasons, 1964

    (tie),  I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), the Four Tops, 1965

and (tie), Mrs, Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel, 1968.


If you thought new entrant into the M10 all-time top ten King Leg channeled Roy Orbison on the big hit Seeing You Tonight, wait until you hear this... at #6 this week...


Let's swing through the Stat Pack for this week, starting with the song I HAD at #1.  You see, I was keeping a top ten at this point, and in Cashbox's top ten there were not one, not two, but three songs that I had at the top on my list at one point or another- Barry Manilow's Looks Like We Made it at #5, I'm In You at #6, and I Just Wanna Be Your Everything at #8.  I'm going to guess that Barry, who was at my top for a considerable length of time, was probably at his last of 3 or 4 weeks at the top, with Frampton sneaking a week afterwards and before Andy Gibb took over for a month or so.

The #77 in'77 was a dude named Bruce Foster, who wrote a Beatles tribute called Platinum Heroes while sitting in a laundromat.  I gave it a bit of a listen, a little too Shaun Cassidy for my taste.

The big mover was the Zodiac dating service extravaganza known as Float On by the Floaters, up 17 from 90 to 73.

The #101- and it was at its peak- was Johnny Taylor with something called Your Love Is Rated X.

And the major debuts this week included BJ Thomas's nice cover of the Beach Boys' Don't Worry Baby at 100, Heatwave and Boogie Nights at 98, Bob Seger and the boys with Rock 'N'Roll Never Forgets at 83, Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop at #75, and Leo Sayer with another of my eyerolls for this week, How Much Love at 70.


All right, here are the last of the top summer hits of the 60s BEFORE the #1...

6- Herb Alpert, This Guy's In Love With You, 1968

4 (tie), (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Rolling Stones, 1965

   (tie), Tossin' And Turnin', Bobby Lewis, 1961

3- In The Year 2525, Zager and Evans, 1969

And 2- Roses Are Red, Bobby Vinton, 1962

And one clue- #s 1 and 2 are both from that same year... just like me.


The rest of the M10:

Piroshka falls from 5 to 10 with Everlastingly Yours.

Last week's 2 debuts each up one spot- Frankie Cosmos and Windows to 9, Silversun Pickups and Simpatico at 8.

Foster The People and Imagination up a pair to #5.

And with the 7 points that come with spending its tenth week on the M10 at #4, King Leg's Seeing You Tonight, not only knocks Moonlight Baby out of the all time top ten, but knocks a bunch of others out of the way, climbing into the #4 all time position.  Anything better than 7th next week will put it into 2nd.

Maybird moves into the third spot with Keep In Line, but they may need dynamite to get any farther!  With its 4th week at #2- with a week at the top thrown in as well- Agnes Obel and Riverside.

And a third week at the top for...

ELO and Mama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the tops of the 60s summer songs?

...Ray Charles and I Can't Stop Loving You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the Panel?  Well, Da Doo Ron Ron, Fleetwood Mac, and Peter Frampton combined totaled 31.57%... but the winner, with 36.84%....

...Alan O'Day and Undercover Angel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So next week is our time change, as we go back to 1955, and bring Alan O'Day and the biggest summer hits of the 70's with us!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

A melancholy walk...

For the first time, I went to Shoaff without Scrappy Tuesday afternoon.  A lot of it was memories...

Our slime mold returned last weekend...

Check it out!  No, not the mattresses- we're getting a crosswalk!

The river, not quite 3/4 of a mile in...

Here's the one-mile mark- just past the St Joe Ctr boardwalk

I interrupted a blue jay party.  Four of them flew out of a bush on my left into higher perches on my right.  Sorry, dudes!

The stairs into Shoaff park.  How many doggies we met there, how many stories started...

This speeding chip was the first of many...

This might have been the longest I traveled into the park before seeing a squirrel.  I was getting concerned...

...because the chips heavily outnumbered them.

Hey, Woody!

And yes, stumbled into another blue jay party...

Our favorite tiny waterfall is having an erosion problem...

...nothing pretty ever stays the same...

The boat landing.  Not the same without someone to wade in and get a drink...

...but I got my toes wet in his honor.

But you know, it's all right.  A beautiful day, friendly people, animals- see?  I'm smiling... kinda...

2 mile mark- just think what a nice picnic spot that'll be once these trees get big.

Here, let me try that smile again... oops! #photobombedbythesun

Next, I scared a heron at the wetland pond.  Sorry, dude!

I thought I saw a deer's ass back there... photographic evidence shows not only a rear, but a front!

Then, moments later, I scared THIS one from his siesta in a big bush at the edge of the pond...

Sorry, dude!

Ah, no need to worry for the squirrels...

They are all on the far side of the golf course digging up acorns!

This gentlerodent is mad because I scared him and a buddy up that tree- and it was HIS tree, and he just tossed his buddy back out of it.  Sorry, dude!

I think this was mile 3.  The heat was getting to me a bit.

If you click to expand this, you'll see Mr Blacksquirrel was munching on a twig of some sort... I was literally 5 feet away before he noticed me.

First step onto the trail back out, I see this guy... I thought for a second he was taking a crap on the trail!  He would have, if Scrappy were with me...

And what would a picture post be without a bunny!  Caught in mid lift off, Clark 'Bugs' Kent within instants donned his red cape and flew away.

Here's mile 4- mere steps from mile 1! Note: That is most definitely NOT me on a bike.

Little snapper having a sun

Me and Scrappy used to always 'cheat' by slipping down the hill to the lower course on the way home... just didn't want to do it without him.

By this time I was pretty pooped, so you didn't get pictures of "Duck IHOP all dried up", "The old footbridge facing the wrong way to help when I crossed the canal", "The narrow path through thistles crossing the canal", or "Squirrel looking at me like I'm nuts because I just came up out of the canal."  That crossing, though, left me about 2/10th of a mile short of getting mile #5.  But hey, I figure the temperature was worth a few hundred yards.