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


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sitting around the campfire (well, the monitor screen...)

Here we are, with me again tapping joyfully at the keys and Spotify playing on the psychedelically-flashing speakers (Boz Scaggs with Miss Sun right now).  Last night's WWI post was inspired in part by listening to Miss Sarajevo by the Passengers (U2, Brian Eno, and Luciano Pavarotti).  The sad look at the lack of a normal life in a war zone had me wondering just what kind of murdering bastards prefer a world held at gunpoint.  These thugs aren't there for Allah, or Ireland, or Palestinian freedom, or any of the other cover stories given over the millennia.  Boil them down, and all you get are mass murderers in search of "legitimacy".

Is there a time for keeping your distance
A time to turn your eyes away
Is there a time for keeping your head down
For getting on with your day

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for curling hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear 

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown 

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colors
Different names you find it hard to spell 

Is there a time for first communion
A time for East Seventeen
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen

Here she comes
Beauty plays the clown
Here she comes
Surreal in her crown 

I listen to this song and it just rips at me, the senseless, thoughtless brutality that these monsters thrive on, sucking not only life but living from the innocents who are trapped in their path.  And as paradoxical as it might be, I'd love to drop the bomb on every one of them, erase them from history like the stains they are.  Whether that speaks better for me than for they, I cannot tell.

Helluva banner for a beauty contest- "Don't let them kill us".

Anyway, I've managed to move past today, with the help of a beauty contest winner named Nature.

Almost next-door neighbors in the Halloween spirit.

These neighbors undoubtedly did the best job...

...but I have to take points away because they've had them up since the second week of SEPTEMBER.

Big ol' bug, trying to get under a big ol' rock.

Picture doesn't do justice- orange on the road, yellow on the trees, and sunlight combined to make the living scene almost iridescent.

Lots of aqua green water in the creek... but don't worry, it's still a couple miles from Ft Wayne's water treatment facility...

And a new bloomer this late!
(The Vogues are singing Moments To Remember right now...)

Oh, and I have to tell you a Scrappy story or two.  Friday, I let Scrappy choose our path, and he did pretty good.  But he was pretty beat by the time we were at the fence row between us and the Plex when we heard...


A little black cat, friendly as all get out, greeted us.  She liked petting and didn't mind Scrappy, as long as he stayed out of her face...

She even tried to follow us home, until Scrappy decided to try a face-sniff again, and got a right hook to the eye.  He had a mark for a few hours.    But was completely polite about it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WWI Update

The Great War had now been raging for three months, and already names that would etch themselves on the history of Europe had risen from obscurity.  Tannenberg.  The Marne.  Liege.  Przemysl. Ypres.  The world had been changed.  Belgium was a army without a country, and a country without a home.  The east of France had been shattered.  So had the myth of overwhelming Austrian might coming to bear on Serbia.  And men; men too had risen from obscurity, for good or ill.

General Alexander Samsonov had allowed poor communication, a hatred of the man that protected his flank, fellow General Paul Rennenkampf, and a total misreading of the situation before him lead to his army's surrounding and annihilation by the German forces he faced.  “The Emperor trusted me. How can I face him after such a disaster?” He is quoted as saying, moments before disappearing into the woods they were trapped in and putting a bullet in his head.

Rennenkampf, who was excoriated for not coming to Samsonov's aid at Tannenberg (the same thing Samsonov accused him of at the Battle of Mukden against the Japanese in 1905), went on to get trounced twice by the armies of Hindenburg and Ludendorf- once barely a month later when he fell into the selfsame trap at the Mausurian Lakes, and again in the heart of Poland at Lodz in November.  Rennenkampf was forced into "retirement" after Lodz brought up questions of not only his incompetence but his Baltic-German heritage and his true sympathies.  In 1918 the Bolsheviks asked him to lead a Red Army, and executed him for refusing.  Samsonov, a German site on Tannenberg tells me, was at first lost in the pile of bodies; but an amulet he wore identified him, and his body was turned over to his wife for burial in Russia.  He got a monument; Rennenkampf got an unmarked grave.

Another tale of two men came on the French front.  The German advance, so close to victory on September 5th, was split by the heroic ( and disputed by some sources) efforts of the 10,000 Parisian taxis who bussed soldiers from the Paris garrison (at a blazing 16 mph) into the breach between General von Kluck and the rest of the German Armies.  This would mark the end of the supreme command of Helmuth von Moltke the Younger.  Moltke took a lot of blame from his contemporary superiors and from later historians for the failure of the modified Schlieffen Plan.  But when looks at the facts a little closer, there were some interesting things the history books missed:

One was that it was an entirely different situation that Moltke faced than Schlieffen envisaged.  Schlieffen's world had a Russia recovering from defeat by Japan and revolution.  Thus, he did not game-plan for a two-front war.  Also, his plan called for approximately 20 divisions more than even existed, and they weren't created by the time the keys to the war machine were tossed to Moltke.  Finally, the fact of the matter is, the germans were gassed- it had been a long road, pitted by shells that they had fired, and the men were exhausted.  Given that Schlieffen would have added a sweep through Holland to the mix, he wouldn't have made it, either.

But it's Moltke who gets the blame, and the credit for the apocryphal statement to the Kaiser, Majest├Ąt, wir haben den Krieg verloren! (Your majesty, we have lost the war!)  The accuracy of this quote is debated; but nonetheless, the command of the war then passed to Erich von Falkenhayn.

Falkenhayn would fare little better than Moltke in the stalemate the war would become- the failure to completely destroy the French at Verdun was his legacy there- but he redeemed his legacy in a war of movement when sent to Romania where he easily defeated a numerically larger enemy.  But the thing you don't hear about was an amazing story I read here, on how, when assigned later to Palestine, he saved the Jews from an extermination event like the Armenians were facing in the Caucasus and the Greeks in Smyrna.   Here's an excerpt from than link.

Last month, Falkenhayn's biographer, Prof. Holger Afflerbach of Leeds University told me, "Falkenhayn had to supervise Turkish measures against Jewish settlers who were accused of high treason and collaboration with the English.  He prevented harsh Turkish measures -- Jamal Pasha was speaking about evacuation of all Jewish settlers in Palestine."

The professor continued, "The parallels to the beginning of the Armenian genocide are obvious and striking: It started with Turkish accusations of Armenian collaboration with the Russians, and the Ottomans decided to transport all Armenians away from the border to another part of the Empire.  This ended in death and annihilation of the Armenians.  Given the fact that Palestine was frontline in late 1917, something very similar could have happened there to the Jewish settlers."

"Falkenhayn's role was crucial, " Afflerbach explained.  "His judgment in November 1917 was as follows: He said that there were single cases of cooperation between the English and a few Jewish radicals, but that it would be unfair to punish entire Jewish communities who had nothing to do with that.  Therefore nothing happened to the Jewish settlements.  Only Jaffa had been evacuated -- by Jamal Pasha."

Ironic, no?  A German officer saving Jews in 1918... 20 years before his successors began murdering them.  Moltke died before the war was over, during the funeral of another German commander in Turkey, one Marshall von der Goltz.  Von der Goltz had been the one to suggest to Enver Pasha to deport Armenians from the war areas in the first place- scrambling to undo his recommendation when he realized the Turks saw it as the perfect opportunity to practice ethnic cleansing under German auspices.  Let this be a lesson to those of you that wonder why the Turks today won't help against ISIS.  The Turks have a history of preferring murdering their minorities to being of any useful purpose to the world.

Jeremiah 13:23 King James Version (KJV)

23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Apparently Moltke left a scathing pamphlet on his take on who started the war.  So scathing that it was "buried" with him in 1916; his widow failed in many attempts to have it published, and the full manuscript has never seen the light of day.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Message- any other gospel

Last week, I had a lot of response on a message about misunderstanding.  Thus it was not surprising what I was trying get at was somewhat misunderstood.  It was taken in parts as an attack on the Catholic Church, and in one case a questioned attack on Jews- NEITHER of which was anywhere close to the intent.  I was trying to use as Jesus did in His conversation with Nicodemus, the use of comparing right against wrong to highlight what He considers good versus what others consider "good".  I got the idea from the posts that I was seen as being divisive- at one point being told the famous Rodney King line, "Can't we all just get along?" (paraphrased, of course).  One thing that I should point out about that, is remember Matthew 10:

Matthew 10:34. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';
36 "and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'

My job here as a "Sunday messager" is to write what HE has given, what He has said.  Sometimes it's not going to be touchy-feely or politically correct.  And today is another such message.  Because I saw a passage this week that made me question "religious leaders" who don't know the Bible.

We should all at this point be acquainted with Ferguson, MO.  Most of us probably have a Ferguson in our own back yard.  And maybe we have also had the privilege of having vultures like the "Reverends" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton come swooping in, spreading their message of racial dividedness in the name of "protecting from The Man."  Well, if any of them- if anyone from the Mom that complains her criminal son was "a good boy turning his life around" to Eric Holder coming in "to protect us from the brutality of police racism" to those who look at bad experiences with the law as an excuse to paint ALL the law as corrupt and "fascisistic", let me reacquaint you with the first half of Romans 13:

Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject to the higher authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the authorities that exist are ordained by God. 
Rom 13:2  So that the one resisting the authority resists the ordinance of God; and the ones who resist will receive judgment to themselves. 
Rom 13:3  For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire to be not afraid of the authority? Do the good, and you shall have praise from it. 
Rom 13:4  For it is a servant of God to you for good. For if you practice evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of God, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil. 
 for it is a servant of God, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil. 

Rom 13:5  Therefore you must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 

Rom 13:6  For because of this you also pay taxes. For they are God's servants, always giving attention to this very thing. 
Rom 13:7  Therefore give to all their dues; to the one due tax, the tax; tribute to whom tribute is due, fear to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due. 

So let us unpack the points here.
1- God has established the authorities that are on earth.  Does that make them all good?  What do you think?  God moves in the wider picture, and knows what is needed for his good purpose.  God indeed sent us an Abraham Lincoln to lead us through the Civil War and bring us to the end of slavery.  But first he had to give us a James Buchanan to to let things get to that point, and the Daniel Websters, Henry Clays, and John C Calhouns to hold it together until that point.  He gave us a George Washington to weld us into a nation, but a Thomas Jefferson to keep slavery in the Constitution in the first place.

He gave us a Hitler, and a Stalin for him to break his strength on.

2- And do you desire to be not afraid of the authority? Do the good, and you shall have praise from it.   Plain as the nose on your face.  You don't want to be in a position to be harassed by the man?  Don't put yourself in it.

On my semi-Martin World News post, I mentioned the football player arrested for shoplifting.  He told the police, in a moment of utter brilliance, had he known he would be arrested, he would not have stopped when the security guard stopped him.  Guess what?  It's not the guard's fault you were arrested.  YOU BROKE THE LAW.  That's why you were arrested.

3-  for it is a servant of God, a revenger for wrath on him who does evil.   IOW, they aren't there to pat you on the head.  They are servants, their master is the Law.  You disobey that master, you're gonna get it.

Am I saying that we shouldn't speak out when the government is going the wrong way?  Not at all.  But God has a reason for the authorities He puts them in place (In our President's case, I believe that reason to be the old saw, "A nation gets the government that it deserves"), and at the end of the day, God calls us to obey- with the caveat that Peter gave us, "Are we to serve men or God?"  We can stand up to the government if it requires us to do something inherently evil.  We can protest, we can speak out, we can elect someone else.  But "standing up to The Man" doesn't quite fit that bill, does it?

4- Rom 13:5  Therefore you must be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.  You don't obey the government, the police, just because you're scared of them (which you wouldn't be if you were doing good), you do it because it is the right thing to do, because God commanded it.

But my point in all this isn't obedience to authority, but that this is all caused by misunderstanding the Word of God.  Or outright ignoring it;  we'll let the Reverends look in the mirror on that one.  This world wants to fight religious battles on political battlefields.  Every time you turn around, someone is mad because a bakery doesn't want to bake a same-sex wedding cake or that I bought a sandwich at Chik-Fil-A on the way to getting my craft items at Hobby Lobby.  But the REST of Romans 13 tells us were the battle SHOULD be fought:

Rom 13:8  Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law. 
Rom 13:9  For: "Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not lust;" and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 
Rom 13:10  Love works no ill to its neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law. 
Rom 13:11  This also, knowing the time, that it is already time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. 
Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 
Rom 13:13  Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in carousings and drinking; not in co-habitation and lustful acts; not in strife and envy. 

Rom 13:14  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not take thought beforehand for the lusts of the flesh. 

Jesus was all about loving one another.  It was the last instruction He gave His apostles before the supper ended;  It was the thing that kept the rich young ruler from following Him.

Mar 10:17  And when He had gone out into the way, one came running up and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 
Mar 10:18  And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one, God. 
Mar 10:19  You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and your mother. 
Mar 10:20  And he answered and said to Him, Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth. 
Mar 10:21  Then Jesus, beholding him, loved him and said to him, One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, take up the cross and follow Me. 
Mar 10:22  And he was sad at that saying and went away grieved, for he had great possessions. 

Do you get that the thing he lacked was love for others?  Jesus knew his attachment to his riches precluded him from spending it on such "wasteful" activities as helping the poor.  He'd have put it in the collection box, built a new wing on the Temple, finance a mission trip to Podunk- but serve at a soup kitchen?  Buy a beggar a good meal?  Why would he do that?  He could have followed Jesus as a rich man.  He could not follow Him if the riches were more important.

And therein lies the problem with "religious battles on political battlefields".  You don't fight for God there, you fight for The Agenda.  You base your stand on the next piece of legislation.  You forget about loving the people you are fighting against- and you lose the battle.  You call down fire from heaven, and forget what kind of spirit you are supposed to have (see Luke 9:54-6).  Jesus wants you to put down the fight against "The Man", and love one another.  Will you do it and follow, or will you walk away cast down, because of your many possessions battles?

My battle on Sunday is the spiritual battle.  My cause is the Word of God, and it is my weapon.  There are times I can embrace everyone because the battle is to love them.  But if I love them, sometimes I can't just nod my head and say, "Okay".  Sometimes, my battle, my love, cannot allow me to just get along.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Time Machine week 26

It's October 17th, 1972, and today President Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act.  What, he preferred perrier?  No, he did propose the legislation to Congress, but they inflated it- as per usual- first to $18 and then an "unconscionable, budget breaking" $24 Billion .  Congress overrode it the next day- but he fixed them by impounding over half of the money.  After screaming "impeach him" (the only words those idiots knew, apparently), they would finally get a court to agree that Nixon overstepped his authority (try getting a judge to do that to the current President), but by that point, he was back in San Clemente drinking perrier.

Not my first choice of meme... but this IS a family show...

Welcome to Time Machine for a very busy week.  A week that first heard the strains of the Temps' Papa Was A Rolling Stone, Jim Croce's Operator, the Stylistics' I'm Stone In Love With You, Albert Hammonds' It Never Rains In Southern California, America's Ventura Highway, and The Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie-Woogie Flu by Johnny Rivers.  This week a special treat- a look back on the songs of Summer '72; the #6 Top Top Ten; the #7 One-Hit-Wonder's next hit; and WTH the Chris Stainton Band is!  On yer mark; gisset; GO!

I was thinking at work the other day- not about work, natch, but about the top songs from the Summer we just drifted through.  But I didn't want to just do it any old way, so I consulted the charts of the various cities I have access to.  I decided to look at the top fives every week of June-July-August- and found that the charts of KHJ Los Angeles, KQV Pittsburgh, WCFL and WLS, Chicago, and CKLW Detroit combined to put a whopping 45 songs in the top five in that time period!  By contrast, Cashbox itself posted a mere 18!  So let's take a stroll down through the songs that were unique to one chart before we do the rest.

KHJ had uniques in War's Slipping Into Darkness, Derek and the Dominoes' Layla, Chicago's Saturday In The Park, and surprisingly, Tower Of Power's You're Still A Young Man.  Their chart seemed to drag behind the others, except in the case of Chicago.

KQV had a couple week run at the top for Love Unlimited's Walking In The Rain With The One I Love, and also was the only one to give Elton John's Rocket Man a top five berth in the time frame.  This station seems to always be the most eclectic.

Unlike WLS, who had no uniques, WCFL had a ton- mainly because they were the most volitile of the charts.  They had 28 top fives in the frame, with Pittsburgh next at 22.  Among their uniques were Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken, Ringo Starr's Back Off Boogaloo, Bread's Diary, Cher's Living In A House Divided, Donny Osmond's Too Young, The Eagles' Take It Easy, America's I Need You, and Procul Harem's Conquistador.

CKLW was always a mishmash of Canadian must-plays and Motown, and they generated quite a few uniques as well.  They include The Royal Scots Dragoons' Amazing Grace, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' I Miss You, this week's Cashbox new #1 (not telling yet!), Joe Simon's Power Of Love, the Four Tops' Nature Planned It, and this week's Cashbox #2 (again, not telling yet!)


Let's pick up on our two other ongoing features- first, the One Hit Wonder's next hit.  The Cascades (and yes, they got the name from "a nearby box of dishwashing detergent") had their big hit in 1963 when Rhythm Of The Rain made it to #3.  Glen Campbell was among the "Wrecking Crew" band that backed them up on the record, and it was arranged by Perry Botkin of Nadia's Theme fame.  Their next single crapped out, though, at #60.  And deserved far better.

(Psst- don't the dudes 1st and 3rd from l-r look like young versions of Bart Starr and Roger Staubach? Okay, maybe not...)

And on the Top Top Tens, we are up to 1973, the second week of August in particular, for the sixth best top ten of the Martin Era.

10- Feeling Stronger Every Day, Chicago.    Back when the horns were the thing, man!

9- I Believe In You, Johnnie Taylor.  I believe I did not remember this one- which means the rest of the group really picks up the slack!

8- Smoke On The Water, Deep Purple.  Who doesn't go "Da Da Da, Da DAH-DAH-Da!" with the riff on this one?

7- Yesterday Once More, The Carpenters.  One of their many songs that make me cry.

6- Let's Get It On, Marvin Gaye.  Is this not a better bedroom song than any of the Barry White stuff?

5- Brother Louie, The Stories.  Another of those handful of songs I like more with every hearing.

4- Get Down, Gilbert O'Sullivan.  This was a song, back in the day, I had a hard time deciding whether I liked it or hated it.  Guess which one won?

3- The Morning After, Maureen McGovern.  I'd still put the original The Poseidon Adventure in my top 15 movies, I think.

2- Live And Let Die, Wings.  Still the BEST Bond theme.

ANNNNNND at #1 that week-

1- Touch Me In The Morning, Diana Ross.  Once again, the top dog was a weak link for me.


So if you take the top fives and score them 5-4-3-2-1, three of the cities agreed with what was the song of the summer.  And the two that didn't had it at#2 or tied for #2.  There were only four songs that were in everybody's top ten- the top three of the summer overall plus Billy Preston's Outa-Space, which was #10 in LA, WCFL, CLKW, and KQV, and #8 on WLS.  But before we give you the tops of the tops, let me tease you a little longer by stopping with this factoid.  On CLKW, Bill Withers' Lean On Me, came out on top.  And in the truly odd WCFL chart, a #1 that had me saying "Seriously?"  A  song that spent one week each on just two other charts-  The Stones' Tumbling Dice.


This week on You Peaked, we have a list of three.  Rick Springfield peaked last week at 15 with Speak To The Sky;  Neil Diamond's Play Me stopped at 16; and a video we had 2 weeks ago, Gladstone's A Piece Of Paper, topped out at 38.

Now I have an odd story about our biggest mover within the countdown- odd in how slowly it caught fire.  The song is Austin Roberts' Something's Wrong With Me, a song I loved back on those bus rides 1/4 mile down the road to St Louis Besancon school (no lie!).  A few weeks back, it was bobbing along on what Billboard calls the "bubbling under" charts, at 111, then 108, then another week at 108, then 101, finally cracking the hot 100 the next week at 100.  Then it was at 98, then 93- and then it fell backwards all the way to 104.  Last week it woke back up and returned to 93, and this week it takes a 16 notch leap- after only covering 18 in the previous 9 weeks- to land at 77 this week.


All right, done messing around.  When you combine the points of all five charts, we come up with what I declare the winners in the Song of Summer '72 contest.  I'll give you the top ten, but keep in mind, the top three were head and shoulders above the rest- and the top one was in a league of it's own.

10- If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right, Luther Ingram.  This was in 3 of the top tens, highest a 6th place tie in Detroit.

9-Where Is The Love, Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway.  It was on the top tens in Pittsburgh and Detroit, again highest in Motown at 5th.

8- Outa-Space, Billy Preston.  But you probably knew that was coming.

6 tie-  Nice To Be With You, Gallery.  The first one to also make the CB top ten (which wasn't figured in) at a sixth place tie as well.

6 tie- Too Late To Turn Back Now, Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose.    It was as high as the #4 spot on KHJ, and was- surprise surprise- tied for 6 on CB also.

5- School's Out, Alice Cooper.  At #3 in both Detroit and Pittsburgh.

4- Song Sung Blue, Neil Diamond.7 in LA, 2 on WLS,  and #8 for Cashbox.

3- Brandy, Looking Glass.  It posted #s 5, 3, 4, 9 (on CKLW and Pittsburgh),  and shared 2nd on Cashbox.

2- Lean On Me, Bill Withers.  Detroit's top song, it was 2,,3 2, and 2 on the other stations, and tied with Brandy on CB.

And at #1 for LA, WLS, Pittsburgh, and CB, the top song of Summer '72...

Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again Naturally!


Okay, on to the top 40.  I Am Woman moves 14 to come in at the #40 slot.  Then comes Nilsson with the song Spaceman at 37, up 7.  Lobo comes in at 34, also up 7, with I'd Love You To Want Me.  And at 33, up 9, is Joe Cocker's version of the Allman Bros hit Midnight Rider.  Now, Joe is credited with the Chris Stainton Band, so I had to look into this.  Chris was a session keyboardist who basically was the leader of Joe's ever shifting band of musicians back in the day, and afterwards spent a long time with Clapton, and also played the keys on the Who's Quadrophenia lp.  In January of '72 Chris put together a band of his own (the CSB), and they also played on Joe's self-named 1972 album.  While a website I saw also mentioned the ubiquitous Glen Campbell in this group, he was not on the lp in question.  But among those that were, were;

Alan Spenner, who played with Joe at Woodstock, and was also on the original Jesus Christ Superstar disc;
Neil Hubbard, another JCS alumnus who also played with Roxy Music;
Alan White, a drummer who was in the Plastic Ono Band for a time at John Lennon's request, as well as the drummer for Yes for several years;
Jim Keltner, who it seems has been on about 75% of recorded music;
Jim Horn, who has played on songs as varied as Good Vibrations and Frank Sinatra's Strangers In The Night, with the Travelling Wilburys and Jose Feliciano, and spent years with George Harrison;
and back up singer Gloria Jones, whose resume included being the girl pal of T-Rex's Marc Bolan (and driver of the car in which he was killed), singing with Clapton and Leon Russell, and writing the disco hit Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet for the band Gonzales (#26, 1977).


Only one dropper from the top ten this week.  That would be Saturday In The Park, which slips fro 6 all the way to #32.

James Brown can Get On The Good Foot, but can't get off that #10 spot.

Former top dog Black And White by Three Dog Night tumbles from 2 all the way to #9.  Must have gotten caught in Chicago's backdraft.

The one new entry into the top ten, and it's a biggie- The Moody Blues' Nights In White Satin, up 3 to #8.

Bill Withers climbs a pair here to #7 with Use Me.

Elvis burns up a pair to #6 with Burning Love.

Last week's top dog, this week's #5- Mac Davis, and I guess she didn't get Hooked On him.

The Raspberries continue to try to take their own advice, up a pair to #4 with Go All The way.

Michael Jackson makes a big move from 7 to 3 with Ben.

Chuck Berry plays his way to #2, up a pair, with My Ding-A-Ling.

And the new #1?  Why, it's...

...the Main Ingredient with Everybody Plays The Fool!!!!!!

Well, dig this:  That's a wrap!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

And WHY is my BP so damn high???

Well, here I am with my two latest addictions- my Spotify playlist (titled "Scrappy", natch) and News360, which is basically Spotify for news stories.  It has one unfortunate flaw- a side effect of being based in San Fran- a lot of gay rights stories that I keep flagging as "I don't want to see this", they keep saying, "We'll try to keep this kind of story out of your feed," and, well...

Anyway, here we are with the Guess Who playing The Key off the lp Canned Wheat (good Christian message, nice long drum solo), and day three (four?) of rain preventing any new picture posts, so I guess I'll sing a few verses of "woe is me" for you.

My last (I thought) manouver for last night was to check my e-mail one last time.  But, it gave me the old "we need your password" business.  So that meant we try my usual PW.  No dice.  Oh, wait, I'll bet it's the one for Comcast.  This meant daring to get into Laurie's arcane filing system, which involves several showers of random loose papers on the way to the one with the PWs on it.  As I returned to the computer, I looked up at the decorative pouch on the wall where I put my "to be dealt with" papers (Not so decorative as jammed full as it was), and said, "I can't very well throw stones at Laurie when I told myself three days ago to clean that out and I haven't."

I tried the PW- no dice.  So I rebooted.  When it came back up, my speakers weren't working and my Kapersky AV was missing in action and refused to be found.  A system restore later, speakers were back, but KAV and e mail were still down.  After several attempts to find a solution myself, I gave in and tried chatting with a Microsoft Tech. (And silently vowed- well, maybe not so silent- that by the time I was done that night, KAV's absence would be permanent, as this is the second time it fled the scene under fire).

Marika was very nice and helpful (though she wouldn't write me an excuse to take off work the next day), but the MS system was not so kind.  I had to request a security code so they'd let me reset the password.  But the options were to send it to the e-mail (and we know how helpful that would be) or set up a second "dummy" e-mail to send it to.  Once that was done, I was to re-submit the info I just gave them, and they'd get back with me with what to do in the morning.

So I moved on to KAV- or rather, sent my payment to Norton and said, sic 'em!  That enterprise was not without adventure as well- and the loading process gave me the time to sort out that pouch full of assorted important garbage, but by the time Laurie got home from work, it was all but taken care of.  Last time I buy anything involving security from Russians, lol!

So we move on to "dummy" e-mail part two.  They sent me a link to that which I had already filled out twice, and asked me to fill it out a third time- which I did before work, with a sigh.

(Now playing-  The Buckingham's Kind Of A Drag.  On so many levels.)

Moments later, they sent me what appeared to be the same link ayet again.  But I had left for work.  I gave it a tiny bit of thought at work, and thought, did I capitalize the PW I retrieved from Laurie's avalanche paperwork?  So, when I saw MS had sent me the same thing yet again, I tried the PW one more time, making sure to capitalize correctly.

Guess what?  Got right in.

(Now playing- Better Than Ezra, "God save the King of New Orleans...")


Today the visiting nurse confirmed what the Kroger BP taker told me Saturday- that despite my dutiful taking of my medicine, my cutting of potato chips to a trickle, carefully limiting my other sodium, cutting down my food intake, and some minor honest to God exercise, my BP had creeped back up again.  She said, "Don't get frustrated... probably let your sodium go up blah, blah.. have to adjust medications... blah blah... listen to some music on the job, blah blah..."

Easy for you to say.  You're not the one going through the supermarket aisles shouting, "I am NOT going to live like this!!!"  I texted Laurie, "I'm ready to eat chips and pepsi till my head pops off!"  But I am grudgingly being good... though e-mail adventures, car repair bills, MONDAYS, and our geographic shift to a rainforest area aren't helping.

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away...

But I am listening to music...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oddities and endities

So yes, there was no post yesterday.  For one thing, the comment section on this Sunday's message was post enough!  For another, yesterday at work was like a Monday superimposed over another Monday.  Bad enough to just put it the same way I did to a co-worker:  "Y'know, I guess when you start the day by getting toothpaste on your shirt, you should just. Go. Back. To. Bed."

Today I figure up our fantasy football games.  I haven't been posting them online as I have in the past, out of sheer laziness.  Now I'm glad of that.  Before I say why, let me explain.  Our fantasy league is 12 teams- 4 for me, 4 for KC, and 4 for Laurie.  Each of us has a main team that we work the hardest for (And one of Laurie's teams is the Fiery Beagles, which is Scrappy's team).  My main team- the team I started long before our league, when I first started playing around 25 years ago, named after my then-infant son and my favorite sports team, is the KCA's.

This week, out of 12 teams, ten of them are at 3-3.  One of the 2 teams that are not:  The KCA's.  They aren't really as bad as their 1-5 (!) record shows... Every team the KCA's have lost to have had their first or second highest point total of the season against me.  I've lost 47-35, 39-38, 59-35, 48-33, and 51-31.  Alright, whine over.

Also in a sports heavy post, I told you last week about the China Dragon hockey team figuring out how to win again after a five-YEAR drought.  Well, I think I have found their successor as worst team in the world.  I while back, just for fun, I had KC pick out a team in each of the leagues I follow, just for fun.  In the Polish Hockey League, he took Katowice.  Katowice, to say the least, is having a rough start to the season.  Today they had their biggest offensive output in a 14-2 loss.  That's right, they were the one that scored 2.  Their other games have been losses of 14-0, 15-1, 12-0, 9-1, and 16-1.  They have given up 80 goals; the next three worst combined have given up 101.

Moving on, I have a couple of sport stories that are worthy of a Martin World News post.  First off, we have the sad story of Dallas Cowboy RB Joseph Randle.  Randle makes almost half-a-million bucks per year right now... or at least he did.  It seems that that wasn't enough for the back, who just had his best game ever Sunday, because Monday night he was arrested for shoplifting.

The arrest report states that store security officers, watching via the closed-circuit surveillance system, observed Randle purchase an item at the perfume counter before walking to the underwear section and concealing merchandise in his Dillard's bag. He then exited the store before being stopped by security in the parking lot. (per ESPN)

Joseph Randle
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Joseph Randle, who has a base salary of $495,000 in 2014, is accused of stealing underwear and cologne from a Dillard's in a suburban mall.

The store security officers recovered from Randle a two-pack of black Polo underwear valued at $39.50 and an almost full "tester" bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne valued at $84.

And if the stupidity of this act isn't enough for you, let's add on what happened when he opened his mouth:

After being placed in the back of a police car, Randle told Frisco police officer Jason Kimbrough that he would have just kept walking to his car when confronted by security officer Raymond Wymer -- the "old guy," Randle called him -- if he had known he would be arrested, according to the arrest report.

As, Laurie put it:  "What did he think the guard was going to do when he stopped him? 'Oh, thank you for stealing from our store, have a nice day?' "

And please don't think that only the pros making the big bucks are this stupid.  Remember last year, all the trouble Johnny Manziel got into for selling autographs?  Getting paid for signing stuff is against NCAA rules.  Remember last WEEK, when Georgia rb Todd Gurley got suspended for the same thing?  Ready for some people just won't learn?

Multiple Las Vegas sports books halted betting on the Notre Dame-Florida State game Tuesday as uncertainty surrounding the status of Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston escalated.

Jameis Winston
Melina Vastola/USA TODAY 

Florida State is investigating more than 900 Winston autographs that were authenticated by the same company that has been linked to suspended Georgia running back Todd Gurley.

I think they should be made to spend the rest of their careers wearing an "I am stupid" jersey on-field.   Whether you feel that the rule is unfair (as my son does) or not, the fact of the matter is clear- There is a rule.  You saw others break it.  You broke it, too.  NFL drafters occasionally look for intelligence in the players they draft.  Your draft stock has just went down in their eyes.  Nice job.

Anyway, here are some nice pictures!

From a distance, I thought we may have had a fox sighting...

...but it was just a kitty cat.

I was trying to get a good pic of Scrappy and I sharing his favorite human food, the one snack he'll stop a walk for- BabyBels!  But, he has the best avoidance timing...

Meanwhile, the Green Hole is still verdant..

Years ago, a little tree picked a damn bad place to grow...

And Sunday, the Hurshtown Dam must have been closed.  Half the channel was mud flat!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Message- misunderstanding

I wasn't convinced about today's subject until reading two very sage blog posts beforehand.  Later on, I'll share links to them, but right now I don't want to distract from the point- which kinda is the point of the message.

You see, I heard a sermon today that touched upon our using the invisibility and non-physicality of the Holy Spirit to "understand" Him in any of many mistaken, anthropomorphic ways.  And as I was in John 13-14, I was also seeing how Jesus' words were being taken out of context, even by the knuckleheads who'd just followed Him around for the last three years.  And so, I made a list of the items just in John's Gospel that Jesus said and the people messed up, whether they said, "Amen" or not.

1- Miracles and magic tricks (Jn 1:47-50)

Nathaniel is amazed that Jesus could see him when He wasn't even there, and declares Him the Son Of God.  Jesus' response?

Joh 1:50  Jesus answered and said to him, Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.

In other words, a miracle is a result of faith, not faith itself.  What if some huckster with a partner and a two-way radio had done the same thing?  There shall come a time that this very thought process will be used by the Antichrist against the world.  Miracles should always compliment faith.  They are not the stuff of waving a magic wand.  Jesus had declared Nathaniel a Jew without guile, or deceit, because he questioned whether Phillip had actually found the Messiah.  That is the attitude- question.  And learn.

2- Coming to Jesus (2:1-5)

Our Catholic brethren are among the most faithful of God's people, so it is natural that Satan would heap a lot of misconceptions and mis-directions upon them.  The wedding at Cana is among the most powerful, for it becomes the excuse for coming to someone other than Jesus- be it Mary or some "saint"- in order to reach Jesus, when Jesus repeatedly tells us that none get to the Father EXCEPT through Him.  Where the Catholics see Cana as an example of Mary's intercession, they refuse to see that Jesus REFUSED Mary's intercession, and only acted after Mary told them "Do as HE says," and got out of the way.  Praying EXCEPT to Jesus is but a waste of time, when it is so much easier- and is HIS Word- to come to Him directly.

3- Spiritual speech as opposed to physical (3:4-20)

This is where Nicodemus, a teacher of the Law, asked two questions that got to the heart of the problem.  The first- how can I climb back into the womb now? when told he must be born again.  It seems ridiculous in a way, but we are asked to do something actually much harder- to mentally and spiritually become a whole new person.  The second, and often overlooked, was this passage:

Joh 3:9  Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How can these things be? 
Joh 3:10  Jesus answered and said to him, Are you the teacher of Israel and do not know these things? 

The Scriptures testified of Jesus- of God's plan, of God's love, and how belief in both was necessary to be saved.  But like atheists who point out what happened to the poor Sodomites, the poor Canaanites, the poor Benjaminites, as examples that "Yahweh is a cruel God and not worth following", Nicodemus was reading the stories and missing the core meaning woven throughout all.

4- Tradition and booklearning ((4;6-26; 7:15)

Not long ago, a Facebook friend posted an article defending the Church Fathers" as being pre-eminent over the scriptures.  I caught one section in particular:

  •  "St. Augustine describes the type of person fit for the proper study and understanding of scripture in On Christian Doctrine. Fr. John Whiteford summarizes for us in his helpful tract on Sola scriptura. Such a person:
    1.Loves God with his whole heart, and is empty of pride;
    2.Is motivated to seek the knowledge of God’s will by faith and reverence, rather than pride or greed;
    3.Has a heart subdued by piety, a purified mind, dead to the world; neither fears, nor seeks to please men;
    4.Seeks nothing but knowledge of and union with Christ;
    5.Hungers and thirsts after righteousness; and
    6.Is diligently engaged in works of mercy and love.

    Absent from this description is the kind of Ph. D. they have acquired, the university that granted it, or a mastery of the finer points of Ancient Near Eastern history. While all of these things (the six points above) are great in their own right, they neither guarantee nor even suggest that a person with that sort of experience is equipped to understand the scriptures as part of holy tradition. Without rejecting scholarship, we must be careful to balance scholarship with the necessary holiness, piety, and mystical union with Christ—which can only take place in his Body, the apostolic and catholic Church—of the interpreter."  
So, to me, this is saying, knowing the Bible is great, but to really understand it, you must be a seminary graduate or equivalent, and that is why we need the Church Fathers and cannot rely on personal reading.  Which I suppose is true to a point, but answer this- Peter, the "Head of the Church"- what booklearning did he have?  He neither read nor studied under the Pharisees and scribes of his day.  Or, as Jesus put it:

Joh 7:14  Now about the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
Joh 7:15  And the Jews marveled, saying, How does this man know letters, not being taught? 
Joh 7:16  Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
Joh 7:17  If anyone desires to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or I speak from Myself.
Joh 7:18  He who speaks of himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
Joh 7:19  Did not Moses give you the Law? And yet not one of you keeps the Law! Why do you seek to kill Me? 

So here, Jesus brought out two points: one, God is our teacher, our ultimate authority, and He teaches whom He chooses; and second, many of those who were "learned" hadn't the first clue of what they should have learned.

Which is much like the discussion of tradition between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.  She brought up three things to defend tradition- and they are actually three worst things about tradition.  First, "I am a child of Abraham."  This was like me, using the phrase, "That's okay, I'm a Catholic" when two friends tried to bring me to Christ.  Jesus would later tell the priests, "I can make descendants for Abraham out of these rocks".  I had a discussion a while back on this same friend's site when he posted the meme "I am a Roman Catholic (big letters), and I believe in Jesus Christ (small print)".  You wouldn't believe the derision I got from one lady who disagreed with my point that the focus should be on the second, not the first.

Second, the woman told Jesus, "Our Fathers did thus and so..."  We're only doing as we were told.  I thank God I was never like that.  When I was a teen, I told my Dad I was registering to vote as an independent.  "We are Democrats," he said.  I replied, "maybe you are... I want to choose for myself."  Counting tradition higher than the Word of God is just like that.  It takes away your option to learn, to choose.  To see what Jesus REALLY meant.

Third, she was more worried about WHERE to worship than HOW to worship.  Jesus didn't say, you must go to this denomination, this group, or this building.  He said, Worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.  Period.  The person who argued against me had a real hard time with Mark 9:40/Matthew 12:30/Luke 9:50- a point important enough to make it into 3 of 4 Gospels:

Luk 9:49  And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out demons in Your name. And we prevented him, because he does not follow us.
Luk 9:50  And Jesus said to him, Do not prevent him, for he who is not against us is for us. 

If I am not a Catholic, I am a heretic.  Simple as that.  That is the gift of prioritizing the Church Fathers.

5- Example and the simplicity of it all ( 6:60; chapter 13)

As this is getting windy, I'll finish up here with two quick ones.  Chapter 6 contains the discourse on the "eat My Flesh and drink My Blood" thing.  Which of course, the Church Fathers turned into the whole distracting and unnecessary transubstantiation debate, and the disciples turned into a difficult teaching (while the Pharisees and Romans turned into a cannibalism thing).  The point is easy if you read the WHOLE thing:  Even manna, the food from heaven itself, was just food.  What God was giving them now would feed their souls.  But, to be worthwhile, this Bread would have to be crucified in our name- and we would have to share in it.  But tied up in the parable-like phrasing, the people who weren't willing to look beyond their stomachs said, this is too hard.  So Jesus boiled it down.  No one can come to me except as granted by My Father in Heaven.  But they were still trying to dope out having a Jesus-and-mayo sandwich, and gave up.

Jesus taught by example.  By actions beyond mere words.  Peter messed that up- one of many times- when he rejected Jesus washing His feet.  The point was to be willing to humble yourself before others.  Jesus didn't mind, because He knew the Glory that awaited Him.  Peter only saw his hero acting like a slave.  The Bible doesn't make things hard.  Jesus didn't make things hard.  We make them hard.

Isn't it time to follow Jesus' example and hit the easy button?  Not that the doing is easy, far from it.  But if you REALLY hear what He's saying- rejecting the physical, the traditional, the "learned"- the UNDERSTANDING is a piece of cake.

The links I promised:  

Disconnected's Is God Dead?