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


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dog vs. duck

Scrappy gets his new baby:

Scrappy's baby- AFTER:


I hope everybody enjoys- especially after all the grief I got from Blogger trying to upload them.

In the mean time, I have to report three more deer, in the woods on Friday morning's walk (once again our intrepid hunter saw them just before they disappeared out of sight), a chipmunk who disappeared down a heretofore unknown hole in our front yard, and the bat that joined Scrappy and I watching for the approaching storm last Saturday (our new totals 24 deer, 6 bats, and 4 chipmunks). Also, a couple weeks ago, we saw about 20 yds ahead of us a couple of almost mouselike things with long tails carried low to the ground, dashing back and forth between the greenway path and the weeds in the raised dirt above it. Thinking some sort of ground squirrel, but never got a good look; though Scrappy could smell them, he has yet to figure out the here and there of a scent.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Step into my time machine week fourteen

Hey! here's a quick supplement musically. I discovered a website called where they collect greatest album lists and collate them a million ways to get you the greatest albums of all time. You can add your own, as I did. You can see mine at , and rate it if you like.

Anyhow, on to this week's trip. While we had 13 debuts this week, including one from the Chairman of the Board, ol' Blue Eyes, the only ones I recognized were: at 81, the Spinners with Games People Play; at 75, David Geddes tear-jerker Run Joey Run; and at 70, the Carpenters with Solitaire. Our big droppers were a tie between Misty at 65 and Wildfire at 68, both falling 45 spots. We'll meet our big mover in the top 40 debuts.

Our saying goodbye segment features Show Me The Way by Peter Frampton, which was not the live hit, but the studio single for Peter Frampton which died at 81 last week; and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Saturday Night Special, which peaks this week at 41. And our wayward almost-but-not-quite segment returns this week with Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion, and my second goof admission of the week. It was this song's peaking at 36 this week that allowed Dream On to be re-released after flopping at #59 it's first trip. I originally presented this as the other way around. Proving once again that one shouldn't rely on memories without research at my age.

Coming into the realm of airplay (also known as the top 40) this week were 5 songs. Inching in at 40 was Al Green's latest attempt to tweak Let's Stay Together with different lyrics, this attempt titled Oh Me Oh My (Dreams In My Arms). Our big mover rockets in from 64 to 38, a 26 spot leap for ZZ Top with Tush. Another song I didn't recognize was Harold Melvin's Bluenotes featuring Sharon Paige with Hope We Can Be Together Soon at 37, up 5. Paul Anka and Odia Coates shoot up 19 to 33 with (I Believe There's) Nothing Stronger Than Our Love, another candidate for the BJ Thomas award for unnecessarily long titles. And finally we see David Bowie (with some screechy contributions from John Lennon) move up 16 to land upstairs at 32 with Fame.

The trip through other years' top dogs is in the sevens this week. Tops on the Alternative chart of 1997 was the chronically overplayed Push by Matchbox 20; no pop this week as we ran out of Cashbox in September of 1996. 1987's top dog this week was Heart with Alone; 1977 was Bee Gee jr. Andy Gibb with I Just Want To Be Your Everything (see note on Paul Anka); 1967 proves we can't get away from Frankie Valli, as Can't Take My Eyes Off You was back on top in it's month-long battle with The Association's Windy. And in 1957, Phil and Don Everly were on top with their first hit, Bye Bye Love.

Almost forgot the running tour of my top hundred of the 70's. Helen Reddy takes 85 with No Way To Treat A Lady; the aforementioned Bluenotes at 84 with If You Don't Know Me By Now; 83 is the also aforementioned Misty; 82 is Yes with Roundabout; and 81 is Three Dog Night with the only song I know of recorded in a men's room for that special echo, Liar.

One comes into the top ten, one goes out. The dropper is Rocking Chair, which rocks on down from its peak of 10 to 17. Leading off the top 10 is Listen To What The Man Says, slipping from 6 to 10. War enters the top 10 at 9 with Why Can't We Be Friends, yes kids, the original- no Schrek here. Melissa Manchester moves up 1 to 8 with Midnight Blue; while Frankie Valli (!) stops at 7 with Swearin' To God. The Hustle slides down 3 to 6 this week; while Sir Elton Duck (tee hee) moves up 3 to 5 with yet another member of the Mythical Top Ten, Someone Saved My Life Tonight. 10cc climbs 1 to number 4 with I'm Not In Love; and the Eagles abandon their nest at the top with One Of These Nights, dropping to # 3. Bee Gees sr. move up 2 with Jive Talkin' in the runner up spot. Which gives us a new #1-our 11th in fourteen weeks- Olivia Newton-John with Please Mister Please. So lay off that B-17 till next week, everybody!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Three cheers for Sir Elton!

Those of you who know me personally will know that I have been less than kind in certain "entertaining" statements I've made over the last few years about Elton John. However, as I have joked in private, I shall apologize publicly. I was astounded, given the climate of celebrity culture, that he was a big enough man to be the featured entertainer at Rush Limbaugh's recent wedding. Then, on the heels of that mighty blow to my smart-assery, comes this tidbit via FoxNews:

Never one to back out of a performance to make a statement, music icon Elton John offered some choice words for his fellow musicians who choose to boycott Arizona over the SB 1070 immigration law.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, while performing at his sold-out concert at the Tucson Arena, he said:
"We are all very pleased to be playing in Arizona. I have read that some of the artists won't come here. They are f***wits! Let's face it: I still play in California, and as a gay man I have no legal rights whatsoever. So what's the (expletive) with these people?"
John is known for not giving into outside pressures when it comes to playing concerts in politically charged environments.
Last month, he ignored calls for a boycott of Israel, playing in Tel Aviv amid debates about an aid flotilla.
"Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That's what we do," he said of artists like Elvis Costello and Santana, who canceled performances in Israel. "We don't cherry-pick our conscience."

Bravo, Sir Elton. I remember when the whole Costello thing came out, and decided against ranting because attention is all he wanted. It was cute when he was a nobody and played his guitar in the street in front of a record company's offices in order to get his first contract. But now that he's a typical brainwiped liberal pseudo-intellectual moralist who only accepted the gig in Tel Aviv so he could breach his contract in front of a group of adoring toady-reporters and look like Moses up on Sinai (sans God, though), he just looks like a spoiled worm. Thank you, Elton John, for putting the entertainment industry back into perspective.

In hindsight, I really shouldn't be so hard on Mr. Costello. After all, his "sudden attack of conscience" isn't any more fake than the "aid" in the "aid flotilla".

The picture? C'mon, how long did you think I could go...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why we need those sermons

Our treat at church Sunday was a fill in sermon by Boyd Lacy. If you've never heard this man, look him up.(Unless, apparently, you are a deer.) Anyhow, He was preaching on the story of Nicodemus in John 3, how this was a very religious man- Knew the Law, Attended synagogue. He was a Pharisee, a teacher of the Jews. But when it came to a relationship with God, he was clueless. He didn't understand truly the difference between faith and religion (much like our friend Joshua, although he came to Jesus because he was willing to learn). OK, this doesn't sound like anything new, does it? That's what I was thinking to myself- In a church that was 99% regulars, what meaning does a sermon like this have? He came to a point where he was trying to explain why religion does not equal faith. He said, "There isn't one thing that we do on any Sunday morning that we couldn't do if God wasn't even there" - and then repeated for emphasis. At this point a lady behind me commented to a friend, "But God is everywhere!"

And I said, that's why we need this sermon- she missed the point! God is indeed everywhere at a "I am in all things" level. But worship occurs when we invite him- each one, personally- into the worship. God was in our church, in the synagogue Nicodemus attended, and in the mosque that would go up on its slab 650 years later. But if we want God to participate, we need to invite Him to the festivities.

Pastor Lacy then, towards the end, touched on vv. 14-15-"14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e] " This is one of those verses that I've always struggled with, but I see the point now. Christ, like the bronze serpent in Exodus, was lifted up- put on display- to bring to mind not the suffering that was the obvious, but the reason behind the suffering- which is put so eloquently in the next verse. And I got thinking, didn't the Israelites end up missing the point too, and worshipping the snake? Sure enough, in 2 Kings 18:

1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.... 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called [b] Nehushtan. [c] )

And the thing that gets me was the translation for this word "nehushtan". My Bible translates it as "bronze thing." Thing? These guys were burning incense to something that was so far removed from its original purpose, even they called it a "thing"! I grew up in a Catholic church, I get the concept of burning incense to things that represent something that may or may not symbolize God, even if we're paying enough attention to know what it's supposed to mean. So here's why we need sermons like this one: so that we know that no matter what other trappings surround our worship, the key to our worship is that next verse:

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Or to put it in a non-Christian light, this is from Chapter (?) 38 of Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching of Lao-Tzu:

When the Tao is lost, there is goodness.
When goodness is lost, there is morality.
When morality is lost, there is ritual.
Ritual is the husk of true faith,
the beginning of chaos.

Just exchange "Tao" for "faith", and then ask yourself everyday, which line am I on?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The continuing saga...


The July trade market -- or, at the very least, Oakland's season -- has changed significantly: Athletics right-hander Ben Sheets has re-injured his troubled elbow, has learned.At the very least, Sheets will be placed on the 15-day disabled list. But a source close to Sheets says there is very real concern that the elbow has blown out again and that he is finished for the season.The Athletics signed Sheets to a one-year, $10 million deal this season figuring that he either could help them contend in the AL West or, if not, he could become a valuable trade chip.

So here we are at the end of July, and the end of Sheets. As I warned about Sheets and already-out-for-the-year Justin Duchscherer way back when, so it has become. The two combined for 147 1/3 innings, a 6-10 record, and a 4.52 ERA (most of all of that belonging to Sheets. Add that to my commentary on Eric Chavez and Coco Crisp, who together this year have put up stats (so far 207 ABs 49 hits, 4 HRs and 27 RBIs and a .236 average) roughly equivalent to Chavezs'

combined numbers for the past 3 years (220 ABs 51 hits, 3 HRs 25 RBIs, and a .231 average). And yet, despite this and a MLB 3rd-worst 63 HRs (thanks to Cust starting the year in AAA), the A's are at .500 as we speak, 48-48. Is it the managing of Bob Geren?

Raising the White Flag: Geren Again Proves His Legacy of Incompetence
Steven Resnick (Senior Writer, Bleacher Report) on July 24, 2010

Bob Geren's legacy as manager of the Oakland A's will always be his legendary incompetency. No manager in Major League history is as clueless at using their bullpen as Geren has been.

Um, Perhaps not. Is it the rousing cheering of the home fans? The A's have drawn an average crowd of 18,499 at home through 50 games, 10,166 below what they draw on the road. At least they outdraw Florida and Cleveland. So, that's not it either. They are batting .261 as a team, which in Oakland with its huge foul area is like hitting .275 in decent ballpark. And at 3.57, they have the 6th-best ERA in the majors, Duke and Sheets notwithstanding. Is it the 16-6 record against Baltimore, Kansas City, and Seattle? Well, that helps. But it gets balanced by the 9-17 mark against the Angels, Twins, Yankees, and Blue Jays. So, what does keep us afloat?

I'll tell you. It is because of the curse that was levied on us that makes it so Geren will be our manager and we will play in the old Colisseum forever. Because if we sucked, the manager would be fired and the team would move. And that is why, even if every player on the major league roster goes on the DL and the rest of the state slides into the ocean to poison it forever, we will finish 81-81.

Bits and Pisses, chapter 3

I've been playing around with the new features e-mail blogger sent me this morning, and I love that new stat thing! Imagine, my humble blog has been read in Denmark, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Czech Republic, Russia, and the UK! Not often, mind you, but still kinda cool!

I've also been turning in my points for surveys and cashing them in on Amazon. Right now I'm on Toluna and Opinion Outpost, as well as a couple others that I basically ignore. This was the first time I turned in on Toluna, and it netted me the second and third volumes of Neil Gaiman's Sandman (which is a very cool comic book) along with a cd of "The Good Life" by Firetown (whose claim to fame is that they eventually hired Shirley Manson to sing and became alternative rockers Garbage). Then I saw I had enough to turn in on O.O. for a second time (I'd already gotten a 50 check from tem last year) and translated it into a Four Seasons greatest hits box set, Kiss' Smashes Thrashes and Hits, and Days of Future Past by the Moody Blues. Two books, five cds, a $65 value on Amazon, mine for $5 shipping. Cool, eh?

Also again, with a little help from our printer, I've brought Laurie into the world of registered voters. Too bad we can't vote in Nevada and California and help them rid us of Reid and Pelosi.

And the KHL has finally solved its 24th team problem. HC Lev, which was going to play out of the Czech city of Karlove until the Czech federation threw a hissy fit and wouldn't allow it even for a hefty bribe, picked up its marbles and moved to Poprad in Slovakia, where they will become HC Lev Poprad and play in the same divsion as the the 3 (basically ) Moscow teams, St. Pete, and Riga.

Well right now I'm having a spot of trouble with one of these lovely new features, so I shall post this, before I have to retype it all.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Step into my time machine, week thirteen

Okay, this is the week that, among other things, I'll tell the dreaded Swearin' To God story. Also, ten debuts, two new top tens, a new top dog, and lotsa lotsa Elvis. Let's go!

Debuting in the hot 100 amongst those ten are five that made an impression. Leon Russell's gorgeous Lady Blue came in at 93 this week in 1975; Tavares reached at 88 with It Only Takes A Minute; The Osmonds hit with their cover of the Four Seasons' The Proud One at 86; and way up at 73 comes America with their follow up to Sister Golden Hair, the soft and lovely Daisy Jane. Our big dropper this week was former top dog When Will I Be Loved, falling 48 places to 70; while the big jumper was ZZ Top' Tush, backing up the chart to 64, a 19-spot climb. This week we also lose Mac Davis' Burning thing, which peaked at 52 last time.

Coming into the top 40 this week are 5 tunes: Earth Wind And Fire switching to mellow with That's The Way Of The World at 40; KC and the Sunshine Band with Get Down Tonight at 38; Helen Reddy with Bluebird (a song which, surprisingly for someone who loves Helen Reddy, I did not recognize) at 36; The Isley Brothers' rowdy Fight The Power a 34; and Ambrosia's Holding On To Yesterday at 33. I could not find a good candidate for the almost but not quite salute this week. I suppose at this point I could delve into my younger mind and say that probably my favorite this week would have been a battle between Could It Be Magic at 26, Fallin' In Love at 22, and the upcoming number 8 song.

Speaking of my mind, this would be a good segue to the next five of my personal top 100 of the 70's. 90 is the Four Seasons (boy, they're getting the airplay today!) and Who Loves You; 89 is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street, featuring that awesome sax lick by Raphael Ravenscroft. Allegedly Ravenscroft was paid £27 for the session (which today comes out to $42) with a check that bounced. I've a feeling he got more after the song hit #1. 88 is Wings with Band On The Run; 87 is Dr. Hook and Sylvia's Mother, a true story that happened to songwriter (and cartoonist, poet, children's book writer, and a few other things) Shel Silverstein. Finally this week, 86 is Sugarloaf with Green Eyed Lady.

Two songs into the top ten, 2 drop out. Losing their spots were Love Will Keep Us Together at 12 and Magic at 15. Those two songs seemed to play forever that summer. was time really so much slower then? Now its only that slow at work.

Onto the top ten. Holding at 10 this week is Gwen McRae's Rocking Chair. Coming in at 9, up 2, is Melissa Manchester and Midnight Blue; the debut at number eight, up 4 is the autobiographical account of Elton John's suicide attempt, Someone Saved My Life Tonight. At 7, up one, is Swearin' to God, and my embarrassing story. Back then there was a Bert Convy-hosted game show called Tattletales, which involved sets of married celebrities. One pair that was on the show a lot were Bobby Van and Elaine Joyce. For whatever reason, I always imagined that they were the singers on this song (presumably because a) we watched the show all the time and b) I knew of no other reason why they were celebrities). Not sure how many months later I finally glommed onto Frankie Valli's name being attached to the song and said oh, duh. I still see her doing the background line whenever I hear the song.

Listen To What The Man Says tumbles from three to six this week; up 2 to 5 is 10cc's I'm Not In Love, who's background choral line is the four members of the group singing the same note overdubbed on itself 256 times. Also, the whispered "big boys don't cry" was courtesy of the receptionist at the recording studio. Weird wild stuff, as Johnny Carson used to say.

Time now to look in on the other top dogs of yesteryear, this week we're doing the sixes. 1996 was the last year for the Cashbox charts, and this week back then Toni Braxton was on top with You're Making Me High/Let It Flow, yet another tune I don't know from Adam. On the Alternative charts that week was Pepper, a not-too-bad song by a band with the idiotic name of the Butthole Surfers. 1986 saw a curious happenstance. Our date is about midway between the two publishing dates that year. On the Early side of the date, we have Genesis with Invisible Touch; on the later side is Genesis alumnus Peter Gabriel with Sledgehammer. One year frrom where our time machine lands, the Manhattans will be on top with Kiss And Say Goodbye. In 1966 this week, the top dog was the Trogg's Wild Thing (but not for long; They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Ha by Napoleon XIV will leap to the top from #20 the next week). And in 1956, Gogi Grant's The Wayward Wind is on top in a battle with Pat Boone's I Almost Lost My Mind, a battle that has seen them switch places every week for the past month. One month later it will all seem academic; Elvis Presley will start a 15 week run at the top with Hound Dog (4 weeks), Don't Be Cruel ( 6 weeks), and Love Me Tender (5 weeks).

On with the top 4. The Bee Gees leap 5 to 4 with Jive Talkin'. Van McCoy hustles back down from top dog to number 3 with The Hustle (probably the last time I'll make that joke). Olivia Newton-John climbs two hard notches with Please Mister Please; and the new top dog is... the Eagles, with One Of These Nights, their second #1.

Thanks for riding along. See you next week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hey! It's time to playyyyyyy.......

.....WHO'S DUMBER!!! We have 3 contestants tonight, and none of them are Barack Obama!
Our first contestant is a group effort, courtesy AP through

BASS LAKE, Ind. (AP) _ Northwestern Indiana police have rescued
five boaters who got lost on a tributary of the Kankakee River
after losing their boat's oars.
The Starke County Sheriff's Department rescued the boaters about
1 a.m. Monday from the Yellow River and took them back to their
vehicles in the northern part of the county.
Police got a call late Sunday night from a man who said he and
four friends had gotten their boat to shore after losing their oars
and getting lost on the river.
After their rescue, the boaters were issued citations for having
too many people in the boat and for not wearing life jackets.

How many idiots does it take to lose an oar? 5! Perhaps they would have been better off at least putting a life jacket on their paddles, eh?
Okay, contestant two is the weather girl at the aforementioned WOWO, who informed us tonight that we could expect possible HEFTY rain. Hefty rain?
Is this rain that needs to avoid falling on their local McDonalds?
Contestant #3 is a customer of ours who ordered (bear with me here) an L553G76B. Gobbledygook? Perhaps, but allow me to explain. The L553 tells me that the shell (cushion) will be made of THIS fabric.
The G76 is the pattern we make out of the fabric. Only in this case, we had no idea what it was. So I contacted our neighborhood engineering lackey, Jeff. He found out that it was the same as another pattern that we did have, only it was a special that required L553 for the cushion and L806 for the welt cord binding. THIS is L806.
As any other idiot can see, this is not necessarily a very good combination.
As a concerned worker for my company, I feel I should let our customer know that further information on their cushion may be found
So who's the winner? You pick .

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Doesn't this just kick a$$?"

This is Captain Phil Harris' custom Titan Radical Rigid, a 1750 cc chopper that was airbrushed with fantastic sea scenes by Mike Lavalee and is being sold by the family on e-bay. play the video to see Phil's special option:

A flame thrower! How cool is this? Proceeds are going to the Children's hospital and the Fisherman's Memorial. Phil, if you haven't followed this blog or Deadliest Catch, passed away in February from a massive stroke and complications. If you have watched, you know he was very special, the kind of guy you can watch on tv and feel he was one of your best friends. Last week and this they've told the story of his death on the show, and it's been very hard to watch. But this? this is fun, just like he was.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Step into my time machine, week twelve

All kind of stuff to look at this week in 1975: a new top dog, 2 top 40 and 10 top 100 debuts, and this week in 1955, the rock'n'roll era begins. Let's go!

First, a little housekeeping, as it were. In the 12 weeks of time machine, I've mentioned 45 songs that I remember debuting on the hot hundred. Out of these, the vast majority are still climbing. 5 songs that missed the top ten have peaked and are on the way out. In fairness to them, here they are, with their peak positions on the Cashbox charts. Hey You, who got BTO the almost but not quite spotlight last week, at 16; Steely Dan's Black Friday, at 31; Charlie Daniels' Long Haired Country Boy, at 50; Kiss' Rock and Roll All Night, at 57 (they never did do well on singles);and Donnie and Marie's Make The World Go Away (which I had thought got much higher), just this week at 54.

Coming into the Hot 100 this week included 4 that made some noise: Austin Roberts at 96 with Rocky, the song about his girlfriend who died (and hit #1 country by Dickie Lee in November this same year); Orleans' first top 40 hit, Dance With Me, a song that made my "mythical top 10" (a concept I'll go into another time... or maybe later on today), at 91; ZZ Top's Tush at 83; and Paul Anka and Odia Coates way up at 69 with (I Believe There's) Nothing Stronger Than Our Love, as he continues his amazing comeback. Anka went from not having hit the top 15 since 1962 to hitting it 5 times in 1974-5. We have a big dropper tie at 52 notches down: AWB's Cut The Cake at 84 this week, and one last mention for the leader in mentions so far, the Doobie Brothers' (Take Me In Your Arms) Rock Me, pausing at 81 on the way out. Our big jumper this week is Johnny Rivers, doing the comeback thing himself with Help Me Rhonda, which would become only his second peek into the top 40 since 1967's Summer Rain.

Let's throw in the latest installment of the top 100 of my favorite 70's songs here, shall we? 95 is Just Remember I Love You by Firefall. So many of my favorites were born nights listening to Ron Gregory on WOWO, and a lot of songs I have a strong connection between them and that venue. One of those is the 94 song, Breakaway by Art Garfunkel (I watch the distant lights out on the runway/ disappear into the evening sky/ Oh you know I'm with you on your journey/ never can say goodbye...). 93 is another appearance for Anne Murray, this time with her version of Danny's Song (even though we ain't got money...) ; 92 is Carly Simon sounding hopelessly cynical on That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be; and 91 is the gorgeous voice of Marilyn McCoo and the 5th Dimension with One Less Bell To Answer.

6 songs crack the top 40 this week: the Moments with a richly orchestrated ballad I didn't remember, Look At Me, I'm In Love; at the other end of the spectrum, Bad Company at 39 with the raucous Feel Like Makin' Love; Barry Manilow at 35 with Could It Be Magic; Janis Ian's heartrending At 17; Hamilton, Joe Frank, and the artist known as Reynolds way up at 26 with Fallin' In Love; and James Taylor finally makes all those weeks of being the big jumper pay off, landing at 25 with How Sweet It Is. Now it's time for this week's almost but not quite salute, this time to another member of the "mythical top ten"- those songs that, though back then I hadn't ever ranked them on paper, aligned themselves as my unofficial top ten all time favorites. This was a nebulous group that probably varied between 7 and 12 actual songs at any one time, and one of them was Ray Stevens' country take on an old Jazz standard, Misty. Originally written as an instrumental in 1954 and gaining lyrics 5 years later, it was a much covered song, notably by Johnny Mathis, but never like Ray did it, and his efforts earned him a grammy for best arrangement. Noted mainly for his novelty insanity, this would be his last top 40 hit, though he'd still have some country success.

Two come into the top ten, two go out. The two droppers are Wildfire, sliding to 14, and Try to Remember/The Way We Were slipping to 15.

The top ten this week stars out with 2 debuts. At 10, up 2, is Gwen McCrae with Rocking Chair, her answer to then-hubby George McCrae's #1 from last year, Rock Your Baby. Debuting at 9, also up 2, are the Bee Gees with Jive Talkin'. Frankie Valli moves up a notch to 8with Swearin' to God, which if it stays on long enough I'll have to tell you an embarrassing story about. The cleanup spot goes to 10cc with I'm Not In Love, up 1. Love Will Keep Us Together gives ground slowly, slipping 3 to #6; Magic holds onto the 5 slot for a second week. Olivia Newton-John leapfrogs it to 4 with Please Mister Please; McCartney and Wings drop out of the top dog spot with yet another member of the "MT10", Listen To What The Man Says; and now... we break for the tour of other decade's #1s, this week the 5's. 1995 on the pop charts was headed by TLC with Waterfalls (at last one I recognize in the 90's!), and on the Alternative chart by U2 with Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me. 1985 was Prince's Raspberry Beret; 1975 was ************ (hah! wait till the end, like you're supposed to!) ; 1965 saw the first of 8 number ones for the Rolling Stones, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction; and 1955 this week was the second official week of the rock'n'roll era- the second week at the top for Bill Haley and His Comets and Rock Around The Clock.

2 choices left. #2 is the Eagles' One Of These Nights; that means our new top dog this week is the late Van McCoy with The Hustle.
Lookin' fly, dude! That's it for this week, gang. Thanks for coming along and see ya next trip!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Abby (no wonder I always preferred Ann Landers)

With thanks to Lorraine for this e-mail.

Dear Abby, A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby, I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his.

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby, I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby, My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

Remember…These people can vote!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A plethora of Monday nothings.

Let me start off with this fun item, since it involves most of the copy/pasting

I need to do.

CHICAGO -- Jesse Jackson criticized Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert on Sunday, saying Gilbert sees LeBron James as a "runaway slave" and that the owner's comments after the free-agent forward decided to join the Miami Heat put the player in danger.

Shortly after James announced his decision last week, Gilbert fired off an incendiary letter to Cleveland's fans, ripping the 25-year-old and promising to deliver a title before James wins one. He called James' decision "cowardly" and later told The Associated Press he believes James quit during a handful of Cavaliers playoff games.
"He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert told the AP in a phone interview late Thursday night. "People have covered up for [James] for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."
Jackson said Gilbert's comments were "mean, arrogant and presumptuous."
"He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner-employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract."
Messages were left Sunday night seeking comment from Gilbert, the Cavaliers and James.
Jackson also called Gilbert's comments an attack on all NBA players and said the owner should face a "challenge" from the league and the players' association.
NBA spokesman Tim Frank declined comment.

I've got a more accurate term for how Gilbert and Cleveland see James, especially after his lay-down-and-die performance in the NBA semis this year. I think the Rev. Jackson might be familiar with it, too. The term? CARPETBAGGER.

Also, would Jackson had opened his yap if it would have been former owner Robert Johnson of the Bobcats complaining? Just sayin'.
Second, the second of our walks Saturday (which was begged for from 4 pm on and finally given into at 8 pm) Netted us yet another deer (right in the middle of the greenway, disappearing down the trail to Scrappy's landing) and Mr. bunny rabbit (in the back yard). Then Sunday morning was greeted with yet another deer just crossing the parking lot when we woke up. So the running total for the year is now 21 deer, 16 rabbits, 5 bats, 3 chipmunks, 3 groundhogs, 2 each of raccoons, opossums, and skunks, one black squirrel, and our famous longhorn steer (who since he's in a corral only gets counted once.
Next, got this apparently final comment from Joshua that ends the long debate back on "what government is for":
Joshua said...
I'm sorry, but it is at this point where I must opt out of this conversation. My college course load has just picked up and I just have no time to post comments anymore.Thank you for the semi-intellectual discussion (Mainly on CW Martin's part)I can only recommend that you read up more on the Theory of Evolution because I don't feel that anyone in this forum quite understands the concept. (The Anon who posted the comment about irreducible complexity definitely doesn't)It was fun even if I didn't change anyone's viewpoint. "If you could reason with religious people, there's would be no religious people" -HouseAnd finally I bid you farewell. I'll probably still check the comments for a while, but I probably won't be commenting anymore
I know how he feels about the workload, as I've spent most of this tete-a-tete underneath all that OT. I thankfully accept his semi-compliment, though it would've meant more if it was based more on respect for my intellect and less about his more heated debate with Anon. In concluding, I have to say that anyone who can look at the irreducible complexity in nature and has any sort of common sense probably doesn't have time to waste on "understanding the concept" of evolution. If that sounds rough of me, follow the thread and see how short shrifted my personal relationship with Jesus Christ got. And I shudder to think what kind of grief Anon or I would have gotten for quoting a tv character. (probably "that does nothing to add to your point.") But it has been interesting to get a first hand look at the closed mind of a "free-thinking " atheist who isn't subject to the "brainwashing" we Christians got.
In looking over past posts tonight, I see I also left out that HC Budivelnik Kiev will not be playing in the KHL this coming season. Something about the league preferring that teams actually have an arena to play in. Kiev seems to be a bit deficient on that point.
Finally, thanks for the comment on time machine, msnkrey! These songs are like little bubbles of the best part of my life, and it makes me happy and sad at once to take them out and shine 'em up like this.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Step into my time machine, week eleven

This week, we have 11 debuts in the hot hundred (but only 2 I remember), a whopping 6 in the top 40, and 3 new top tens. Also, all the usual fun and a new feature! Let's get started.

Out of eleven debuts, including one by the Jackson 5, the two I actually remember are the awesome live Show Me The Way from Frampton Comes Alive at 94, and the nifty Johnny Rivers cover of Help Me Rhonda at 85. Our next stops are the week's big movers, with James Taylor making the big jump for the second straight week with How Sweet It Is going up 25 to 43. Last week's "almost but not quite" I'll Play For You by Seals and Crofts, plummets 42 spots to 77 for the biggest drop.

The top 40 is joined by 6 songs. Aerosmith climbs its way in at 40, up 6 spots (a movement shared by four out of the six) with Sweet Emotion; Freddy Fender breaks the surface at 39 with Wasted Days and Wasted Nights; the Rolling Stones climb in with a terrible song that I listened to when it debuted and thought it was not worth mentioning. But here it is at 38, the appropriately named I Don't Know Why. Michael Jackson precedes his brothers into the 40 at 36 (up 7) with a song that was catchy but apparently (to me) not very memorable, Just A Little Bit Of You. Same comment for the Commodores with Slippery When Wet, which was their second chart hit and first to crack the top twenty, at 35. Finally, a song I mentioned a couple weeks back when it first hit the hot 100, Tony Orlando and Dawn's Morning Beautiful, jumps 12 to land in the 40 at 30.

This week's almost but not quite is Hey You by Bachman-Turner-Overdrive. It peaked at 16 last week and now slips to 23. The tidbit on this one is that at the time reports said that it was directed by Randy Bachman at former Guess Who bandmate Burton Cummings (You realize now/You should have tried now, /oooh/The music's gone now/You lost it somehow). just like Silly Love Songs was McCartney's answer to John Lennon's opinion of his songwriting. Boys, play nice!

Three go into the top ten, three drop out. Falling to 13 is Major Harris' Love Won't Let Me Wait; at 17, Jessie Coulter's I'm Not Lisa; and at 24 Linda Ronstadt's former top dog When Will I Be Loved.

This week's look at the tops of other decades takes us into the "4's". 1994 this week saw Ace of Base on top with Don't Turn Around in pop, while the modern rock chart was topped by Toad The Wet Sprocket with Fall Down, a very good tune reminiscent of the Eagles. 1984 saw the start of Prince's 4 week run with When Doves Cry; 1974 was the Hues Corporation's Rock The Boat; the incomparable Frankie Valli (whom we'll see in a few minutes) and the Four Seasons were on top this week in 1964 with Rag Doll; and in 1954, the top song this week was a sweet little number, Little Things Mean A Lot. It was recorded by Kitty Kallen, who'd had ten top tens from 1943-5 with Jimmy Dorsey's and Harry James' bands, including Wayne Newton's later signature Besame Mucho. But at the top of her fame,( which was enough that she has three imposters, one of which died and everyone thought it was her) she lost her voice for an extended period and was just starting to come back nine years later when she had this, the biggest hit of her career.

The top ten leads off with a medley by Gladys Knight and The Pips, The Way We Were/Try To Remember, which featured a lot of spoken lyrics. They moved up 1 to get there. Up 3 to #9 is ,despite "official" billing on other songs, the first truly solo Frankie Valli single ever released, Swearin' To God. Leaping six to take home the number 8 spot is 10cc with the heavily overdubbed I'm Not In Love. Michael Murphy drops 4 to 7th with Wildfire; Olivia Newton-John's Please Mister Please climbs 2 to number 6. Magic climbs 1 to # 5 for Pilot...

We interrupt for yet another new feature. Starting this week, I'll count down the top100 of my humongous 1226-song list of my favorite songs of the seventies, 5 at a time. Numbers 100 and 99 are both by Canadian acts, both hit 8 on the billboard charts and 1 on the Canadian, and while one followed a Charlie Pride song on that chart at 1, the other preceded a Charlie Pride song. (wow, huh?) 100 is the Stampeders' Sweet City Woman, 99 is Anne Murray with Snowbird. We jump to 1978 for the number 98 song, Boston's Don't Look Back; KC and the Sunshine Band's Keep It Coming Love is 97, and Dream Weaver (inspired when Gary Wright got some religious literature from George Harrison) is the 96th best song for me. For me, these songs bring back the almost interminable (it seemed )wait for Boston's second album; hearing KC and the guys on the Midnight Special; and the long hot summer when Dream Weaver came out. Now, on with the countdown.

Soaring six notches to number 4 are the Eagles with One Of These Nights; the Captain and Tenille drop out of the top spot to 3 with Love Will Keep Us Together. But it's airplay was such that on Billboard's charts it would hit number 1 a week before and stay there a week later, for a four week run. Van McCoy and his Soul City Symphony moves up 2 to 2 with The Hustle; less than a year later, he would be dead of a heart attack. And the new top dog for this week in 1975, McCartney and Wings with Listen To What The Man Says from the album Venus and Mars. That's it for this week's trip.

A typical walk part IV, no pictures

When we woke up this morning, the baby bunny and what appeared to be his slightly larger sibling were scampering out in the back yard. Right then I knew what I was in for. If you can imagine a beagle looking at you and saying, "C'mon. daddy! Let's go out and chase the bunnies! PLLLLLLEEEEEASE?" you know what I was looking at. Even as I tried to put my belt in my pants, he was standing on the bed with a paw on each shoulder as if giving advice (which of course would have been, hurry up!) After convincing him we weren't going anywhere until he got breakfast ate, we took off.

Today's route was down the plex road until reaching the fence row that leads to the middle entrance of the woods. I could see by the parked cars further down that one of "fields 15-19" were being used, and wanted to avoid the soccer crowd. As we turned into the edge of the meadow, I saw what I thought was an unusual sight - a pack of little brown butterflies on a piece of poop. I soon found that there was a little brown butterfly convention in town, as we ran across a couple hundred in the next 10 yards or so. On the grass, the dandelions, a dead bunny- there were so many Scrappy even managed to step on one (not that he'd notice).
Before you reach the woods at entrance #2, there's a gap in the fence row, and we could see that the soccer crowd were well to the south. Once we got into the woods, I decided to off-trail and wander around (mainly so's I could find a place to pee). Now there are many good things to say about Scrappy- "he's a great dog to take through the woods" is not among them. He charges onward usually with very little regard for whether dear ol' dad can fit through, beneath, or around whatever he's just went through, beneath, or around. Generally, though, he takes the following instructions well, so it's a minor inconvenience.
On the west side of the woods are the senior living apartments and medical parks that dot north Clinton between Coliseum and Washington Ctr. We were heading in that general direction when I saw two deer about 30 yards down a trail that followed the wood's edge south. As usual, Mr. Boy was oblivious and with difficulty I turned him towards them as they took off farther south. The trail became somewhat regular as we went, but I figured we'd seen the last of them. But when we reached the spot I first saw them, I saw that they had turned east towards the main trail and were again watching us. Right about then the mighty hunter Doggy Nimrod finally caught their scent on the trail and we went careening south even as I watched the deer disappear towards the main trail.
By the time he hit the spot where they turned east, Scrappy overran the scent and began circling aimlessly even as I tried to convince him which way they went. Seeings as we were far enough south they wouldn't exit the woods for running into the soccer crowd, I thought we might have a slight chance of seeing them again once we hit the main trail. But they must have veered south and headed for the ravine, and by the time we made it, I was ready to be done. We took the dirt trail back to the addition, which had been blocked near the entrance by a fallen tree when last we went that way a week or two ago. It had been cleared, which was a good thing , because just then a gnat decided my eye would make a good funeral home. Oh, and we also saw Mr. chipmunk on the way out. Of course, as usual, that "we" was just me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I thought about calling this random thoughts..

...but really it's not so much a random stream of thought as just one thought up in the shower, where I have neither pad, nor paper, nor a secretary to take dictation while I rinse. I've been thinking about this whole debate thing going on the last couple of weeks, and here are some things to chew on.
Joshua deadpanned one of anon's sources because he was a "young earther" as if that meant automatic discreditation because today's scientific thought discounts it. And just for the record here in this post, if you weren't there you can't prove it. I thought about that I am also a "young earther", but am I? Regard: time did not start until God had created the heavens and the earth. God is beyond and outside time. Regard: if a day is properly the interval between the earth's rotations, how is it that four days passed before the sun was created? Light was made in the physical realm first ( the big bang?) and then light and darkness were separated (the settling of energy into matter, perhaps?) and God named that day and night. The point? time does not follow the same scale on mortal and divine levels, and what scientist say took 10 billion years or what have you could easily match the speed with which God describes creation. Or it could've been done in six days. Not crucial to salvation, therefore a topic for debate with out any real chance for solution.
The early books of the Bible, especially Genesis, was a story inspired by the Holy Spirit, told to men well after the events- or passed down over the years until writing came along. Remember Homer wrote from a 700 year old passed down source, and archaeology has proved much of him as well. These were simple men whose comprehension of concepts such as General relativity and higher dimensions was, shall we say limited. So the story was told in such a way that they could understand and benefit from it. Not really dumbing it down, but relying on faith to make the transition from fact to comprehension.
God could easily be the explanation for many things to which we have or have not grasped the physics of yet. For example dark matter. You know, that stuff that has to be there in the universe and in vast quantities to make everything work the way quantum physics says it should? We cannot see it, tell what it is made of, or point it out as being here or there. But it is believed in because we can see the evidence of it. God is the same way. You know, instead of constantly denying God because of his illogic, I wish Joshua would stop and play out this scenario: if there is a God, hypothetically, and He acts in the way (plug in the religion) says He does- why does He act that way? What would be His motivations? Say to yourself, if I was an omnipotent, all-creating deity, why would I do the things I do? Not why do men do what they do- type in News of the Weird, and you will learn as I have, that man is a fairly stupid creature for all his knowledge and potential. I'd like to see Joshua spend some time doping out what he would do in the Master's shoes.
A while back, Joshua said something about God making no sense to him because why give him a mind to reason with and yet expect him to take Him on faith. But if you look back through the annals of man conceptualizing god, and it boils down to one point- mortals are created for one reason, to worship their creator. Perhaps He gave us reason because He didn't want stupid worshippers. (Of course, there goes on of my points right there.) Or perhaps He wanted worshippers competent to make a choice for Him.
Anyway, I need to add some news and some animal sightings. The news- we are at long last back to 10 hour days!!!!!!!!! Animals are a raccoon up by the office two mornings ago, and two more bunnies. Plus, Monday night we spent about 45 minutes watching at least 2 bats out the bedroom window. That was one I forgot to list, and I think that makes about 5 sightings this year.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A (not-so) typical walk part 3

So this time we take the long road to IPFW. First stop is out the Plex and onto California road.

California road is not usually this dry; it runs right along a swamp on the south.

Along the way, there was a deer across the channel from us. Of course, by the time I could react, he was a fluffy white butt flying through the brush. He was but a harbinger of what was to come- unfortunately, the wonderful pictures a good camera could take were generally lost on this one. That model again is GFM model DV150.

Rounding the curve you get your first view of the really nice foot bridge IPFW built.

About this time Mr. Bunny Rabbit made a brief appearance. Scrappy gave him little notice, because here is his favorite place: the "beach"- actually an old boat landing. Note the warning sign for the dam.

Here's the bridge from on board, with views toward Coliseum Blvd. and back towards home.

On the other side is IPFW, with its magnificent tree walk. Over a hundred different species with plaques explaining each one.

Yes, that's my thumb and not a bald midget.

About halfway down this walk (which is as far as we went) is a nice picnic area with a gazebo. Across from it is a tree-filled garden, which was full of flowers in the spring. At its edge is a mammoth Beech with all the "Joe loves Jane" carvings of the ages.

Joe Cool, college stud.

I tried desperately to capture this cute family of Momma Duck and 3 ducklings, but not much luck.

By this time, Scrappy was ready for a refreshing dip. Come to think of it, he is a ... well, never mind.

We came back a slightly different route. Across from the bridge is where the former IPFW ball diamond was before they moved to the much-better watered Carrington Field. I think it will someday be IPFW parking, but for now it's a park with a stone road down the middle. Beyond this used to be fallow field punctuated by a pond, but now the telltale signs of construction are everywhere. In the background, so's you know where we are is the Coliseum and the Holiday Inn.

And this is the hidden entrance to the IPFW woods.

Going out the south entrance, you enter "fields #s 15-19" of the Plex. Yes, there are THAT many fields.

There are three breaks in the fence row that separates these fields from the main body of the Plex. We went through the south one, only to see another deer. I managed to take the first two of several attempts to photo the deer here, thwarted time and again by this camera's far-sightedness. The deer went through to the other side, so we went through at the second break to try some more. This time he was just to our north. While he got a good look at us, Mr. Boy was as yet oblivious. We crossed back and went through the north break, this time coming out north of him. Scrappy by this time had finally picked up his scent, though he never saw him until we moved closer and he ran off to the woods. Scrappy tried to chase, but amazingly was too tired to bay at him.

If you click on these and really squint, you can see the deer left of the nearest goal in the first picture and galloping between the leftmost and center goals in the right-hand picture.
Finally we head home, and as we cross into the addition we run into a cat that actually runs from Scrappy and Scrappy actually tries to chase- both very unusual occurances.
So when you factor in the post this morning and the chipmunk at IPFW I failed to mentioned, we are now up to 17 deer sightings, 11 bunnies, and 2 chipmunks for the year.

Step into my time machine, week ten

Before we step in, two things. Last night's walk we spotted yet another deer, and Monday on the way into work saw another in the same spot. Also, a garter snake on this morning's walk.

Second, The big sighting on this morning's walk was the car sitting upside down just down the street. The driver was a young black man in cornrows, and he apparently had another couple of young men, one white, one black, with him. He had to have sped around the curve in front of our house, blew off the curve following it, bashed the tree on the passenger side corner and flipped- I assume the curb put him airborne before he hit the tree. He allegedly told first responders he "just looked up and saw the tree". I saw no evidence that said tree lept in front of him. After the wrecker finally got him tipped upright, the cops cuffed him and took him downtown, I didn't hear the charge. He didn't look intoxicated, just not real bright.

OK, on to the countdown. Kind of a ho-hum week, with only three of the 12 new debuts making a dent in my mind despite debuts by such acts as the Temptations, 3 Dog Night, and the Stylistics, and only three top 40 debuts. However, out of that three top 100 newbies is one who comes in in the top 40. The other two new chart hits that I knew were Neil Sedaka's That's When The Music Takes Me at 77 and Earth Wind and Fire's second chart hit, That's The Way Of The World at 69. Also, our big jumpers and droppers were in the nether reaches as well. James Taylor hops up 24 with How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) at 68, and Chicago's Old Days has gotten old enough to drop 47 spots to 74.

The top 40 newbies start out with Everytime You Touch Me (I Get High) by Charlie Rich at 40, then comes Ringo Starr with It's All Down To Goodnight Vienna at 37. In the interests of drumming up a little suspense, we'll cut in here with the almost but not quite salute. This week, Seals and Crofts hold at 35 with I'll Play For You, a song that really has grown on me over the years. This was not a song that I was able to find a ton of interesting tidbits on, but I did learn that among the musicians on the song were the future nucleus of Toto, David Paich and Mike Porcaro. Interestingly, the Billboard chart (which adds airplay to sales) had this song peaking at 18 this week. This can only mean that Seals and Crofts fans are cheap bastards, or else that Jim and Dash's Baha'i faith led a lot of their fans to share. Or not.

Now we come to that high debut, making its first appearance all the way up at 33. That would be Elton John with Someone Saved My Life Tonight. We have 2 top 10 debuts, so 2 drop out. That would be thank God I'm A Country Boy dropping to 21 and Alice Cooper's Only Women, which peeked in last week and now falls to 20.

Let's do our tour of other years before hitting the top ten; this week we hit the 3's. Seeings as I never know any of the 90's top hits, I'm going to add the top song on the Modern Rock Charts, which at least I have a chance of knowing. Janet Jackson was top on pop this week in 1993 with That's the Way Love Goes; Porno for Pyros held the top spot on MR with Pets. In '83, Irene Cara was ending a 6-week run with Flashdance (What A Feeling); in '73 it was George Harrison with Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth); in 1963, Kyu Sakamoto was ending a 4 week run with Ue O Muite ArukĊ, a Japanese language song much better known by its nickname of Sukiyaki; and in 1953, my man Percy Faith and his Orchestra were ending a nine week run at the top with the Theme to Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart)-which makes the fifth song I've mentioned this week with a subtitle. What is this? Anyhow, this was another beautiful instrumental by the man that brought us to " A Summer Place" and this time I did recognize it.

Now, the top ten. Jumping 8 big notches to roost at the leadoff spot are the Eagles with One Of These Nights. Linda Ronstadt tumbles 5 to 9 with former top dog When Will I Be Loved. Number 8 is the debut for Olivia Newton-John's Please Mister Please, up 5 from 13. Batting cleanup is the falling Jessie Coulter with I'm Not Lisa; Pilot flies to 6 with Magic, up 3. Major Harris drops 2 to 5 with Love Won't Let Me Wait; Van McCoy Hustles up 3 to #4 with The Hustle; Michael Murphy finds it crowded at the top and falls to 3, down one, with Wildfire. McCartney and Wings soar 4 notches to 2 with Listen To What the Man Says. And believe it or not, we finally have our second multi-week top dog, Love Will Keep Us Together by the Captain and Tennille. See you next week and have a happy and SAFE 4th of July.

Friday, July 2, 2010

They were the best of POTUS, they were the worst...

Siena College has released its annual poll of a bevy of eggheads as to who were the best and worst presidents in US history. Of course, I know better and am going to point out some of the goofs these esteemed scholars made.
(Pictured, FDR and Buhannan.)

First, let's look at the categories. The first is background (family, experience). According to the Eggheads, a man like Adams (either one) scores higher (being from an elite family) than, say, Obama (who was raised by a single parent) or Lincoln (who, OMG, had to work for a living). Another dubious category is called Luck. They also included categories for Executive and Judicial Appointments. Finally, they asked them how they would rank the guys straight up and included this total. So, according to this category the top 5 were Lincoln (who finished 3rd), FDR (1st), Washington (4th), T.R. (2nd), and Jefferson (5th). My question is, if you have this category, why do you need the others?

Ok, now lets go category-by -category. Family background shows us that the most privileged of Presidents were Jefferson, JQ Adams, Madison, Adams #1, and FDR, while the poor turds at the bottom of the family bowl were Harding, Andy Johnson, Chet Arthur, Filmore, and Benjamin Harrison. Outside of the fact that Johnson, Harding, and Filmore are in most of the bottom 5 because they just sucked, I have to say that having been to Harrison's home and museum, I fail to see the logic here.

They gave reluctant kudos in party leadership to Reagan (5th) and LBJ (3rd), Communication to Reagan (again, 5th), and LBJ on ability to suck-up in congress (1st). Outside of the usuals, Jimmy Carter picked up a 5th from bottom in party leadership and handling congress, and GW Bush makes one of his 12 bottom 5's in Communicating. Clinton made #3 in handling the economy ( because "it's the economy, stupid" is catchier than "whip inflation now"). Not so surprisingly, Carter and GW Bush both took bottom 5's here. However, I think Hoover's dead last in this category is misinformed. He was just the guy in the chair when the house of cards collapsed. Perhaps in reference to this inequity, he also got a dead-last in Luck. Amusingly, this is the one case you can make for WH Harrison getting any ranking (seeings as he didn't even get the chair warm before he died) and HE comes in second-last. Who were the luckiest Presidents? Washington, TR, Reagan(?), Andy Jackson, and FDR. OK, now Reagan got shot at by one guy who hit him; Jackson got shot at by hundreds of Indians and they all missed. But Ron is luckier. Go figure.

I'm skipping the appointments for two reasons. WH Harrison doesn't live long enough to appoint anyone, and still manages to beat out at least 5 people on each category (OK, I can see where Grant (4th worst), GW Bush (3rd worst), and Harding (dead last) beat him out, but, c'mon...) Also, of course Washington got #1- look at who he had to pick from compared to these days.

Integrity was an easy call on the good side- Lincoln, Washington, the Adams family, and Madison. I'm sure it galled them that they couldn't find a spot for Nixon at the bottom of this list, but they made up for it by putting him dead last on Intelligence. Read any of the man's books and you'll agree that they totally discredited themselves here. Ditto for Hoover at 4th.

Overall ability was well done with Lincoln, FDR, TR, Washington and Jefferson; GW Bush at 4th from the bottom is a bit of a stretch (but not much of one). Woodrow Wilson got his one top 5 in Imagination ( a good pick) and Harding got dead last- I guess banging your mistress in the Oval Office broom closet would rank him higher on risk taking than imagination or intelligence).

As nice as they were to LBJ on other categories ( top 5s in Party Leadership, Handling Congress, Court Appts., and Domestic Accomplishments) I was shocked to see him take the booby prize in Executive Ability (where Obama should be keeping him company soon). They actually ranked WH Harrison here. On what, extrapolated data?

Anyway, they came out, as I said before, with FDR, TR, Lincoln, Washington, and Jefferson at the top, Andy Johnson, Buchanan, Harding, Pierce, and GW Bush at the bottom. I've always thought Johnson got a slightly bad rap here; I think Buchanan was far and away the worst. I'll have to see if I can find the list I made when they did this last year and post it someday.