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


Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years Eve

Today ends my first year as a blogger. A time to take stock, count up, and reflect on all the joys and sorrows of the year, and look forward to the next year.

First, let's go by the numbers. I am closing on 260 posts, and at the time I'm writing it has been viewed 3,015 times. While the vast majority of these viewers have been from the good ol' USA (2,244), we've also saw a steady stream of occasional viewers and semi-regular followers from Denmark (363), Germany (59), Jolly Ol' (53), Russia (51), Canada (43), Slovenia (26), the Netherlands (12), Australia (11), and China (8). Along the way, I looked into sports, politics, religion, and the stupid nature of humanity. I kept track of "uncommon" animal sightings ( tally as of right now: 62 deer, 19 rabbits, 8 fox, 7 bats, 7 raccoons, 5 groundhogs, 4 black (or as Tina says, "Mexican") squirrels, 2 opossums, 2 meadowlarks, 1 each pheasant, longhorn steers, and 2 unidentified weasel-like creatures.

I explored the woodland and waters near home, and took journeys to Toledo and Cincinnati that were far more exciting than just saying "we went to Toledo and Cincinnati" can express. And people actually read some of this stuff. Here are the top ten posts by view this year:

#10 - Time Machine week 33- Lorne Greene and Ringo; That's The Way I like It at #1.
#9- TM week 23- my look at the R&RHOF nominees, the side story of dropping frozen rats with cardboard wings into Guam, and Run Joey Run at #1.
#8-TM week 31- the Thanksgiving episode, with Batdorf and Rodney and KC and the Sunshine Band at #1 again.
#7- TM week 35- the Fly Away story, and Christmas.
#6-The Time Machine Christmas Special. My own mashing together of the Cashbox and Billboard year end charts.
#5- TM week 19- What "tush" means in Texican, and Falling In Love at #1.
#4- TM week 29- the wrap up of my best songs of the seventies, and the "Superstar" controversy that followed.
#3- The Day Of Judgement According To Combine decent scholarship with Dan Brown on steroids and you get that the world will end in October of next year.
#2- TM week 30- Neil Young says "Turn up the barn"; Fly Robin Fly at #1.
annnnnd #1 by a Vaaaaaaaast margin:
#1 What Government Is For- where my attempt to denounce tyranny of the minority evolved into World War III between creationists and atheists.

Among the most fun posts were my "who's dumber" columns. Here's my personal top ten of idiocy:
#10 New York city councilman Michael Wolfensohn putting a lemonade stand out of business because they hadn't spent in access of a million bucks to purchase a vendor's licence. Typical democratic support of small Business.
#9-5 guys on the Kankakee river who couldn't manage to hang onto 1 oar with ten hands and end up drifting and lost until the cops saved them from themselves.
#8- Cleveland proving themselves a sports Mecca yet again when a drunken Browns fan tackled and knocked down an 8-yr-old boy in a Jets jersey and ran away. And they wonder what's wrong with the Cavs, Browns, and Tribe.
#7- The attorney for Brett Favre's picture recipient Jenn Sterger claiming they presented more than enough evidence to get the NFL to punish Favre- though apparently that evidence was not enough to get him to file charges in an ACTUAL court o' law.
#6- the many amusing e-mails I've received from Nigerian scammers, especially the acronym-filled notice from the "FBI".
#5- the delightful Helen Thomas rising up off her stone-age ass and telling the Jews to move out of Israel. The living (or at least well preserved) symbol of all that is good in liberal media.
#4- a combo entry for the Westboro Baptist "church" with their campaign against good taste and common sense at funerals, and the Dove World Outreach Center and their threatened Koran-burning. Congratulations for setting the world's perception of Christianity back 3,000 years. Who needs Michael Neadow when you got these guys?
#3- The women in New Jersey who went to a back alley "doctor" to have their butts augmented with a mixture that proved to be less Botox and more industrial grade caulk. I would think this would be more the line of depends undergarments than plastic surgery.
#2- the governor in Russia who believes he was abducted by aliens, and the member of the state Duma who wants an investigation into what he may have told the aliens. You can't make this stuff up.
Annnnd finally:
#1- the robber who dressed up in fake tits and clown pants, walked into several businesses, finally robbed the first bank he went into (when the second bank told him they couldn't accept a robbery note written on a deposit slip from the first bank), blew the dye pack up all over himself, and was apprehended by cops sitting in a car that he tried to car jack (but failed when the owner fled with the keys). Was there ever a doubt?

Do I have any resolutions? Like Bob G., I resolved years ago to make no more resolutions, and have kept it ever since. But there are things I'd like to see.

I'd like to see a world where a traitor who puts innocents in danger for his own self-glorification (read: Julian Ass ange) is treated as a traitor, and not a hero by left wing bozos like Michael Moore and dipshit bureaucrats like the lady at the UN who's concerned about his free speech rights.

I'd like to see the African-American community spend less time persecuting cops who are forced to arrest/chase/shoot lazy amoral thugs, and more time taking their young people to task for wasting their lives in such a way.

I'd like to see an education system that stopped fighting over money, stopped playing politics with their union, stopped worrying how our kids compare to those in the EU, and started caring whether the kids are actually learning.

I'd like to see a government that ceased believing that every partisan battle was all or nothing and started working at compromises that put the good of the people back at the paramount position that they are SUPPOSED to be in.

I'd like to see my daughter wake up one morning realizing that she is wasting the best years of her life avoiding education, and settle down and study at least enough to get her stinkin' learner's permit.

And finally, I'd like to see us all safe and sound here next year. May God bless and keep you all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Great Indiana earthquake of '10


....oops, that ain't what happened. But since I saw some of our Facebook friends talking about it, I thought I'd tell our version.

About 7:45 this a.m., a deer came a-grazing into our back yard. Naturally, Scrappy wakes me up, and after a half-dozen aborted attempts, I got my eyes to open enough to see it, munching along in the tall weeds at the edge of the fence row. Acting swiftly, I went to the bathroom and then returned to bed. I knew that where one went, the other two had to be around, so I sat up and watched. Scrappy, tired of trying to watch a deer standing still in the gloaming, went back under the covers. Soon, the remaining 2 came out, slowly working their way along the exposed lawn where the snow melted overnight. They were just beginning to make their move to the cherry tree at the edge of the parking lot (and my view) when the quake hit. Now one of our neighbors occasionally shakes the building with what I can only assume is their washer or dryer. The slight tremor shakes my windows. Last time, when we were listening to Midnight Mass on Christmas ( and booooo to they what made the decision to boot Midnight Mass from TV this year), it shook so that I actually checked the IRIS seismic monitor FOR an earthquake. This was much lighter and much shorter- 5 seconds tops. The deer looked at the building, aiding in my assumption of a mechanical source. Scrappy leapt out from under the covers like Santa Claus was knocking at the window, but swiftly saw that the deer population had tripled and forgot all about it. It was only once I looked at the news 2 hours later that I realized what a harrowing experience we'd survived.

(Evon Wainscott sent this pic of the real quake to Indianasnewscenter from near the epicenter.)

Not quite Santiago or Haiti, is it?

Step into my time machine week thirty-six

Hey, we reach the new year a few days early here at Time Machine- it's already January 3rd, 1976. And you're test for today is: What was originally written by a Beach Boy, first recorded by the Captain and Tennille, first released as a single by David Cassidy? Answer coming up later. In the meantime, we'll stop off and see the Beatles, Lady Diana, and Dick Clark.

First up, we have 7 hot hundred debuts, and 4 of them we know. Coming in at 89 is Dr. Hook's cover of the Sam Cooke classic Only Sixteen; at 88 is Larry Groce with a song we can all commiserate with, Junk Food Junkie. Aerosmith takes its second shot at hit land with Dream On- it had already stalled once after an 11 week tour of the lower reaches of the chart, peaking at 43, and returns after a 25 month absence starting at #86. Finally, we say hello to Jay Huguely, an ad exec ambushed by the developing CB crazy to become Cledus Maggard and the Citizen's Band, hitting with The White Knight at 85.

Remember last week when I made the joke about the Pointer Sisters song Going Down Slowly? Well this week it becomes the double-butt of my puns as it is now going down quickly, 31 notches to 85 to be the week's big dropper. The less than impressive big mover had to clear 4 songs that went up 14 spots- and did, just barely. Or Barry-ly, as the singer is our good friend Barry White with a song in which he's actually doing something besides popping the cork on the Ripple in the boudoir, Let The Music Play. He climbs 16 (wooooo...) to #54.

Around the tops of the other chart years, skipping the 7's to avoid featuring the same songs two weeks in a row, we find that in 1998, the top dog was the second-highest selling single worldwide of all time- Elton John's Lady Di tribute, Candle In The Wind 1997. It was in the last week of its 14-week run. Still on the far side of the aisle, we have former Whammer George Michael on top in 1988 with Faith. 1978 opened with the song that opened the disco siege, the Bee Gees' How Deep Is Your Love. The Beatles top the chart this week in 1968 with Hello Goodbye. And in 1958, Danny And The Juniors were at the top with At The Hop, a song Dick Clark talked them into changing the name to from "Do The Bop". Good idea, Dick.

I was going to announce that we would celebrate the new year by having the first Feelings-less chart since June 14th. But NOOOO... Morris Albert slams into forward yet again, climbing two notches to 45 with the song that will not die, in its 30th week.

Only two songs join airplay alley this week- that's got to be a TM record so far. The Dynamic Duo are: Eric Carmen climbing 6 notches to 36 with All By Myself; and the Eagles' classic Take It To The Limit, rising 11 spots to 35. In the meantime, Fleetwood Mac's first salvo into the top 40 reaches its peak . Over My Head, written by Christine McVie, stops at 18 the next two weeks to capture the far from coveted almost but not quite salute this week.

Our tour of the #1 albums of the 70s takes us this week to May of 1973, where we find Led Zeppelin on top with Houses Of The Holy. Houses, whose title is a reference to the stadia and venues in which the band plays, is probably unique in the rock world in that its title track got bumped off the album in the final cut and wouldn't show up until the next one, Physical Graffiti. The cover, featuring a couple of naked kids in various shots of climbing a hill, was the second idea submitted by a designer from the art company Hipgnosis for the album. The first artist from the outfit submitted a design that featured a tennis racket. Understandably cheesed at the insinuation that their music was racket, that dude was fired on the spot and the next guy came up with the Blind Faith-ish second effort. Making it actually onto the album were the singles D'yer Mak'r (which is supposedly a phonetic spelling of the way Englishmen say "Jamaica", and hit #20) and Over The Hills And Far Away (which might have made it higher than 51 if they'd have chosen a title that one could identify with the song, a constant Led Zep problem IMHO), along with the popular AOR hit Dancing Days and the title track from their film The Song Remains The Same. Houses held the top slot for two weeks before yielding to the Beatles. Their second greatest hits compilation, 1967-1970 (also called "the Blue Album") spent Memorial weekend at the top. As it says, this double album was their greatest hits in that 4-year period, including the #1's Penny Lane, All You Need Is Love, the aforementioned Hello Goodbye, Hey Jude, Get Back, Somthing In The Way, Come Together, Let It Be, and The Long And Winding Road. It was knocked out, ironically enough, by Paul and Wings with Red Rose Speedway, which came to the top on the strength of the #1 single My Love. Recorded live, Hugh McCullough changed the McCartney-written guitar solo to the one we know and love at the last minute, to Paul's enthusiastic approval. Speedway held the top spot the weeks of June 2-16, 1973.

Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out- both former top dogs. That's The Way I Like It tumbles from 7 to 11; Let's Do It Again from 5 to 13.

Former Temptation David Ruffin moves up 2 to take this week's #10 slot with Walk Away From Love. After 3 weeks of sitting at 10, the O'Jays move up 1 spot to 9 with I Love Music. Hot Chocolate, who I learned did the original to the Stories' Brother Louie (and hit #7 in Jolly Ol' with it), jump 3 to #8 with You Sexy Thing. John Denver climbs from 9 to 7 with Fly Away. Sweet roars up from 8 to 6 with Fox On The Run, while the Ohio Players climb just one to 5 with Love Rollercoaster. Last week's top dog, the Bay City Rollers' Saturday Night, slides down to #4. Up one to #3 is CW McCall's Convoy; also up one is Diana Ross' Theme From Mahogany. And now we answer our test question: It was written by Beach Boy Bruce Johnston; the first recording of it was on the Captain and Tennille's Love Will Keep Us Together lp; David Cassidy released it from his album The Higher They Climb in Jolly Ol', where it climbed to #11 in August of 1975. It was shown to our subject singer, who almost declined it because if you misinterpreted the lyrics (as so many idiots did) the singer comes off as a huge egotist. Finally talked into it by Clive Davis of Arista Records, Barry Manilow recorded it on his Trying To Get The Feeling lp, and this week it hits the top. It is, of course... I Write The Songs.

That's it for this time... we'll all be in a different year when we meet again next time!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

news and notes

Item #1: The Gold division wins the 2010 NHFFL All-Pro game. The Gold had 3 rbs and three wrs each get a touchdown to rack up 56 points. 3 T-Cubs (Mendenhall, Bowe, and Wallace), and one each from the division's other tenants; but the star goes to the Clock BBQs Sebastian Janikowski with 4 fgs, 2 of 50+ yds, for 15 points. The Purple come in second with 43, 23 coming from the Arizona D's 23 point Christmas present against Dallas. Jahvid Best, who hadn't scored since his incredible first 2 games of the season, tacked on a 9-pointer as KCAs players scored 37 of the 43. The new Scarlet division limps home with 30, 22 tallied by Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay D. Thus ends an exciting 2010 season. If you think I was excited to win the Super bowl, how about this: I blew up a copy of my post that day with the headline and picture, and put it on our front door Thursday so when my son and his lady-love came over for Christmas, it was the first thing they saw. It's still out there.

Item #2: Brett Favre pays $50K for impeding the investigation of his improper use of his cell phone. He should have read the fine print: "data and Pee-Pee rates may apply". In the meantime, Jann Sterger's lawyer is whining about the wrist-slapping. I find his opening statement a bit curious.

"My client and I are extremely disappointed, but not surprised, at today’s NFL
announcement that Brett Favre did not violate the NFL “workplace conduct”
policy. While I am not privy to how Mr. Goodell reached such a finding, we
strongly disagree with his conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to
support a violation of the policy. To the contrary, our evidence and the personal
testimony of Ms. Sterger clearly showed a pattern of lewd and offensive behavior
by Mr. Favre that lasted all of the 2008 season.
As noted in the NFL’s release,
“there was no evidence to suggest that Sterger engaged in any inappropriate
conduct.” In addition to the offensive messages, there was ample evidence to show
that the sexually explicit photographs were part of Favre’s inappropriate behavior.
Our evidence clearly showed that the photos were sent by Favre."

If this is true, then explain why 1) It took 2 years for the story to come out; 2) at least at the beginning, Sterger was almost as obstructive to the investigation as Favre; and 3) why this is going on in the NFL office and not a courtroom. Personally, I'm a bit skeptical that whatever happened was not encouraged in some way. And not just by Sterger; the whole Rex Ryan's wife's video and Ines Saenz episodes kinda make ya think there's a whole lot of nod-nod-wink-wink things going on in the Jets organization. Kinda ironic in that light that Favre moved from the brothel-like atmosphere of the Jets to the organization that brought us a whole new meaning to the "Love Boat" a few years back.

Item #3: Tucker Carlson, filling in for the apparently temporarily insane Sean Hannity, gives the world his opinion on President Obama's call to the Eagles about Mike Vick:

"I'm a Christian," Carlson quipped mere days after the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. "I've made mistakes myself, I believe fervently in second chances, but Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way. And I think, personally, he should've been executed for that. He wasn't, but the idea that the president of the United States would be getting behind someone who murdered dogs? Kind of beyond the pale."

Thank you, Tucker, for your attempt to make the name Christian synonymous with idiot. By the way, we have more than enough nutbags out there doing that. This is like a "who's dumber" except the competition was eliminated beforehand. I grant you, Vick's crime, whether you believe he's paid his debt or not (which I do), was quite heinous. I'm sure many of us suggested that his punishment be meted out by some of the dogs his circle tortured. But in a world where we can barely get people executed for deserving crimes like murder, rape, child molesting, and treason, I tend to think that trying to assign the death penalty to a charge of dogfighting is JUST PLAIN STUPID!

Item#4: Finally, the threatened working our traditional New year's paid holiday has been averted, at least for Laurie and I, along with the sewers who'd had three 12-hr days trying to catch up. Maybe Scrappy will get his New Years wish of a long morning walk.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-five

Hello Hooray!! We've reached the Merry Christmas edition of Time machine, and this is a week for believing, a big week for the King (at least in our story), and the week I tell the soon to be famous Fly Away story. Let's ho-ho-go!!!

8 debuts in the hot 100 this week, and I knew 1/2 of them! Coming in at 85 is the classic by Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody. With their timing just a hair off, we find the ubiquitous Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with December 1963 (Oh What A Night) at 84. Oh well, I guess the song does say, LATE December. If you are a fan of Art Garfunkel at all, you should check out his album Breakaway. The Title track, my favorite of his solo efforts, debuts at 79 this week. And at 77 Rufus featuring the lovely, voice of Chaka Khan, hits with Sweet Thing. One thing I was going to note is at #88 is a song I noticed coming in a month ago, called For A Dancer by Prelude. Now if you remember Prelude at all, you remember their a capella version of Neil Young's After The Gold Rush. This, however, was so Peter Paul and Mary-like in the clip I listened to that I had to check and see if it was the same act. I'll have to fit this in with a handful of early 70's soft folk acts like Batdorf and Rodney to put on my Pandora station, Scrappy Radio.

Another thing that I wasn't going to note but will anyway, is that Feelings has yet again arrested its fall. In its 29th week on the charts, it slips only 2 to 49. By contrast the big dropper, falling 34 notches to 67, is Venus And Mars/Rock Show by Wings. As per usual, we'll see the big gainer in the top 40 debuts. Also, I see no good candidate for the almost but not quite this week; although I saw that the Pointer Sisters peaked last week at 51 and go down slowly to 54 with a song called, appropriately enough, Going Down Slowly. I can't make this stuff up.

Our looks at the tops on other years' charts takes us into the 6's this week. 1996 had already seen the crash and burn of the old Cashbox chart by this week, but on Billboard the top dog was Toni Braxton's Un-Break My Heart, which was in week 3 of an 11 week run. In 1986 Wang Chung was on top with Everybody Have Fun Tonight. This song always reminds me of the night on Letterman's monologue when he announced that Connie Chung and Maury Povich were going to try artificial insemination, leading him to observe, "This gives new meaning to the phrase, 'Everybody wang Chung tonight.' " One year from our current position in the timestream, we find Leo Sayer at #1 with You Make Me Feel Like Dancing- a song that never did the same for me. The top dog this week in 1966 was the Monkees I'm A Believer, which was in the second of an 8-week run. In 1956 the top song this week was Singing the Blues by Guy Mitchell. Mitchell, a pop vocalist who had 9 top tens including 2 #1s (Heartaches By The Number in '59 was the other), was born Albert George Cernik. He was given his stage name by Mitch Miller, who allegedly said, " My name is Mitchell, and you seem like a nice guy, so..." Singing The Blues spent 5 weeks on top in 1956/7, and two in the UK. Only thing is, in Jolly Ol', the 2 weeks were separated by Tommy Steele's version of the very same song. In the meantime, Marty Robbins was charting a country version that held the top country spot for 13 weeks.

4 new top fortys. Up 2 to 40 is a song I believe I mentioned at its debut a few weeks back, BTO's Down To The Line. Up 14 to #39 is the George Baker Selection's Paloma Blanca, a song later made infamous on commercials by Slim Whitman. From 56 to 38 comes the moaning groanings of Donna Summer and Love To Love You Baby. And our big jumper, from 48 to 22, is Paul Simon and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.

Our album countdown features 3 one-and-dones, in the weeks of April 21- May 5th, 1973. First up was the Alice Cooper band with Billion Dollar Babies. The name was a reference to their sudden unexpected success, and the singles included Elected (26), Hello Hooray (35), No More Mr. Nice Guy (25), and the title track (57). Then Came one of the great albums of all time- Pink Floyds Dark Side Of The Moon. This monster album is claimed to be the 3rd largest-selling album of all time, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller and AC/DC's Back In Black. It remained on the Billboard top 200 albums list till 1988- a total of 741 weeks ( a little humility for YOU, Morris Albert). Never a big singles band, it did include their first American chart hit, Money (13), along with the dreamy Us And Them (101). In fact, the only two top 100 hits in the USA for this legendary band were Money and the #1 Another Brick In The Wall; however, they were much more successful on the mainstream rock chart established thereafter, with 8 top tens there including the #1's Learning To Fly (my favorite), On The Turning Away, and Keep Talking.

Dark Side then yielded to Elvis Presley. He taped a live special from Hawaii on Jan. 14th, 1973, called Aloha From Hawaii which was beamed into 40 countries and seen by 1.5 billion viewers. Of course that was the week of Super Bowl VII in the USA, so American audiences didn't get to see it until April 4th on NBC. The show pulled 50% of the US audience, and is still the biggest ratings pulled by a solo performer. It was also the only film produced by the King himself; and the album resulting, Aloha From Hawaii:Via Satellite, was his last #1. All proceeds from the concert, including Elvis buying his own $1,000 ticket, went to the Kui Lee Cancer center. The album yielded one single, a cover of James Taylor's Steamroller Blues (17).

Two songs enter the top ten, 2 fall out. the droppers are Fly Robin Fly, from 4 to 13; and Sky High, from 5 to 15. Kinda ironic, considering the titles, eh?

Rather than interrupt the countdown in medias res, I'll go next to the Fly Away Story. This was the late fall of our 8th grade year at dear old St. Louis Besancon Catholic School, and we had just went through a traumatic teacher change. 7th and 8th were now in the hands of one Herman Paul Stork, a nice guy for a bearded, warmed over hippie type. He had a lot of patience with the jokesters from our classes (and there were many), as befits a man with such a... er, unusual name. One night, he got permission (I'll never understand how) from Nuns and parents to take us to see the movie All The President's Men, a flick that began my lifelong disgust with Woodward and Bernstein. You that have seen this, all I can say is that the nuns OBVIOUSLY didn't screen it first. In any event, he took us to Pizza Hut afterwards- a Pizza Hut which had, of all things, a jukebox.

Descending upon it, we saw it had our subject song; and yours truly devised an excellent plan. About 4 or 5 songs in, we heard the opening guitar chords and in the midst of conversation, our eyes all met. When John Denver hit the chorus, the 20-some of us as one looked straight at Mr. Stork and as loud as we could, sang, "FLY AWAY". We laughed, he turned his usual shade of red, the restaurant looked at us all confused, and a good time was had by all.

Holding at #10 for a third week are the O'Jays with I Love Music. Fly Away joins us at #9, up 4. Moving from 11 to 8 this week is Sweet with Fox On The Run; KC and the Sunshine Band drop from 3 to 7 with That's The way I Like It. The Ohio Players wake from their week's slumber and resume climbing , up 3 to #6 with Love Rollercoaster. Last week's top dog, Let's Do It Again by the Staple Singers, drops all the way to 5. It is followed by three straight songs that move up 4 big notches- Convoy by CW McCall, from 8 to 4; Diana Ross' Theme From Mahogany, from 7 to 3; and Barry Manilow's I Write The Songs, from 6 to 2. Which Means that this week's #1 song- and the last for 1975, as this is the chart dated 12-27-75- is....

The Bay City Rollers with S-A-TUR-DAY- NIGHT!!
That's it from sunny Honolulu (yeah, right). See you next week in a brand new show!

A snowy walk.

Warmer weather makes snow doable, so out we went the last two days. Today my plan was to go into the woods at the big tree and follow the deer trail across from it into the woods. We had seen yesterday that it had been well travelled since the last snow. Going down it today it was like a four-lane highway, packed with deer, squirrel, raccoon, bunny, and fox tracks. After about thirty yards it explodes into a maze of branches reminiscent of the Wayne Trace-Pontiac intersection (affectionately known as the idiot loop). Two main paths became apparent: One goes north along the ravine and seemingly into the back yard of the people at the west terminus of the street. The other went foreward along the west side of the ravine at the edge of Stony run, turning south until finally veering into the ravine. I chose the easier and less travelled fork that descended into the bottom of the ravine and eventually met up with the south main. This doesn't mean that Scrappy chose it; you'd think that, with such an obvious set of trails to follow, he would follow one. But no, he followed his nose- which never knows- ignoring not only trails, but large patches of deer urine and holes left by squirrels digging up their stash.

We followed the trail down to the path (we thought) to The Spot. Due to snow and lack of familiar vegetation, we crossed into the heavy brush along Stony Run a bit early- quite a bit early, as it turns out. Now, Scrappy is a great companion on a walk. Not such a great companion in heavy brush. Eventually we fought our way down to The Spot, where Scrappy went wading and encouraged me to do the same. (I declined.) Figuring ice cold water on little feet in the snow might not be the best of ideas, I turned us back in the general direction of the main trail. Scrappy knew he was still close to the creek and did everything he could to convince me to go back down so he could get in the water again. This included trying to rush me through stuff that I had to split apart, break off, brush aside, duck under, and/or climb over. As I said, not such a good companion in heavy brush. I fought my way through all this, asking Scrappy to slow down/don't go that way/watch out/turn around. Which he generally ignored until finally a branch snaps me in the face and I respond with a loud snarl. That gets Scrappy to sit down with an "Oh, $#it" look on his face and wait for me.

Soon, though, as we finally reached clearing, he picked up the scent of something long gone and began rushing us again. He was reacting as he usually does for deer, but I saw no tracks on the hardpack of the main trail. I assumed he probably had a whiff of the fox, who we'd seen in the distance yesterday. At the south side-entrance, I heard a chirping and commotion in the tree that towered above us. Two squirrels were in the middle of a serious altercation. One would chase the other up and down the branches until the chased would spin-jump, smack the chaser around, and then take off again. This went on up the tree, to a skinny branchlet about 4/5ths of the way up. Al;l the way out to the end they went, and at the end, the chased turned again at her/his antagonist and smacked him/her. I was sure we were going to watch one or both take a nice dive downward and assume trail temperature. However, the antagonist backed up about twenty feet to the nearest crook, and sat down. The other, still at the tip of the branchlet, did the same; and there they remained for the two minutes that it took me to get bored waiting for them to continue the battle.

Scrappy was not only oblivious, but still full of energy to go. He never slowed down until we were just about home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Time Machine Christmas Special

'Tis the season for a countdown of the fifty biggest hits since we started time machine (IOW the time period from late May to Christmas 1975). This is a warped just for fun hybridization of the year-end Cashbox and Billboard charts, with just a hint of author's discretion. But I will tell you this much- whatever else was disagreed on, #'s 1 & 2 were the consensus picks. Here we GO!

Suprising me to come in at #40 is Sammy Johns and Chevy Van. Though he was a one-hit wonder, he wrote the great country song Common Man that John Conley made famous. At thirty-nine is the first of the "mythical top ten" to make it, Orleans' Dance With Me. For what I mean by the "MTT", you'll have to go back to an earlier TM and look it up. England's Ace featuring Paul Carrack gets #38 with How Long. Melissa Manchester, Barry Manilow's "Sweet Melissa", is at 37 with Midnight Blue. Did you know that Toni Tennille joined the Beach Boys' Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston as the backup vocals on Elton John's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me? Toni and Daryl Dragon aka the Captain are at 36 with The Way That I Want To Touch You, a song that they had released twice before on 2 different labels in 1974 before it finally became a big hit in 1975. Linda Ronstadt has the 35th hit on our countdown with You're No Good. The Eagles hit twice on this countdown; the first is Lyin' Eyes at 34.

The next 2 spots belong to KC And The Sunshine Band; Get Down Tonight at 33, That's The Way I Like It at 32. Another of the "MTT", America's Sister Golden Hair, is in the 31st spot. Michael Martin Murphey, whose 5 top 40 hits pale beside his 12 top ten country hits, is at 30 with Wildfire, which he wrote based on a dream he had involving the stories of a ghost horse his grandfather told him about when he was a child. Silver Convention takes #29 with current top ten Fly Robin Fly; besides That's The Way I Like It, the only song with that distinction. Linda Ronstadt gets her second mention with When Will I Be Loved at 28. Tom Scott, who was a member of the studio version of the Blues Brothers, blows the soprano sax on Wings' Listen To What The Man Said, our third member of the "MTT" and holder of the #27 slot.

Major Harris makes our list at 26 with Love Won't Let Me Wait. The second half of our countdown begins with Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds and Falling In Love at 25. Taking a look at the year 1975 in music, some of the acts getting their start this year were Aussie giants Air Supply and the Little River Band; funk ensemble Heatwave; the Boomtown Rats, who gave us the hit "I Don't Like Mondays"; and Ritchie Blackmore (from Deep Purple) formed Rainbow with Ronnie James Dio, breaking into the music scene with the roar of The Man On The Silver Mountain. Passing at least temporarily from the scene were the Faces, with Rod Stewart concentrating on his solo career and Ronnie Wood joining the Rolling Stones; the Guess Who, as Burton Cummings found himself just as popular in Canada solo; the Raspberries, as Eric Carmen hit with the album whose title was a double entendre- All By Myself; and one hit wonders Stealers Wheel, whose frontman Gerry Rafferty would soon become much bigger with the release of City To City. Acts like 50 Cent, Lil' Kim, Michael Buble, and American Idol's Bo Bice were born in 1975; Peter Ham of Badfinger committed suicide this year, and country music lost pioneer Lefty Frizzell.

Olivia Newton-John takes the #24 spot with Please Mister Please; BJ Thomas was at 23 with (here we go one more time) (Hey, Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song. Barry Manilow salutes Melissa Manchester and cribs from Chopin with Could It Be Magic at 22; and Tony Orlando And Dawn are at 21 with He Don't Love You. Brazillian Morris Albert, originally Mauricio Alberto Kaisermann, is at 20 with the oft-mentioned Feelings. 10cc, who tried awfully hard to make the chart twice with the same song (but I caught my boo boo), settle for one time at 19 with I'm Not In Love. Wikipedia tells us about the Ozark Mountain Daredevils," It is mentioned in the book about the band "It Shined," by Michael Granda, that the band name was derived from "Cosmic Corn Cob & His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils," a name that John Dillon came up with at a Kansas City "naming party" after the band was told that the name they had previously been using, "Family Tree," was already taken. The band shortened the name because none of the band members at the time wanted to be called "Cosmic Corn Cob," and they did not want the name to sound similar to The Amazing Rhythm Aces." The former corn cobs hit at #18 with Jackie Blue.

The Bee Gees have the 17th song in our list with Jive Talkin'. Ballroom Blitz by Sweet, which was released and hit#2 in the UK and #1 in Australia, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland in 1973, was finally released in North America in 1975, where it hit the top in Canada and lands at 16 in our countdown. The Spinners come in at 15 with Games People Play; the female vocal was the late Barbara Imgram, whose Spinners connection included her husband Sherman Marshall writing their hit Then Came You. The next 2 spots belong to Freddy Fender; he puts Before The Next Teardrop Falls at 14 and Wasted Days And Wasted Nights at 13. Another gone but not forgotten figure is Van McCoy, who lands The Hustle at 12. War captures the #11 slot with Why Can't We Be Friends.

Along the way, I've mentioned several songs that I knew but never made it into the top forty. Here's the top ten of the below-top-40s, arranged by their peak on the Billboard charts.

10. I'll Go To My Grave Loving You- the Statler Brothers(93)

9. Never Been Any Reason- Head East(68)

8. Nice Nice Very Nice- Ambrosia (63)

7. Long Haired Country Boy- Charlie Daniels Band (56)

6. Mexico- James Taylor (49)

5. Por Amor Viveremos (the Spanish version of Love Will Keep Us Together)-Captain and Tennille (49)

4. Sail On Sailor- the Beach Boys (49)

3. Welcome To My Nightmare- Alice Cooper (45)

2. Make The World Go Away- Donnie and Marie (44)

1. Katmandu- Bob Seger (43)

The top ten leads off with Janis Ian, who said she was At Seventeen but actually ended up 10th. #9 is Pick Up The Pieces by the Average White Band. #8 is the Eagle's second song on the list, One Of These Nights. Sir Elton John, joining Sir Paul McCartney as nobility on the list, is 7th with Island Girl. John Denver comes in at 6 live from the Universal Ampitheatre in L.A. with Thank God I'm A Country Boy. The 5th-biggest song on our list comes from (and what would our countdown be without) Frankie Valli and the uncredited Four Seasons with My Eyes Adored You.

Earth Wind And Fire are the #4 act with Shining Star; David Bowie, accompanied by the screaming John Lennon at #3 with Fame. And now, the top 2, agreed by both charts. the #2 song of 1975 belongs to...

Glen Campbell, with Rhinestone Cowboy!

And the #1 song- surprise, surprise- issssss.........

The Captain And Tennille, with Love Will Keep Us Together!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed our special journey. See you later this weekend on our regular trip.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This is my Christmas card to all of you who know me from my blog. To all of you who have read, commented, followed either publicly or anonymously, or just stumbled past on your way to what you were REALLY looking for, I hope you have a happy and blessed day, full of the real reason we celebrate the day. Now, I like to check my stat page, and I know that people from many different countries have passed this way. I hope you will excuse online translators if I mess this up, but...
Lystig jul!
Frohliches Weihnachten!
Vrolijke Kerstmis!
Natal feliz!
Munter jul!
Vesel Bozic!
С Рождеством Христовым !

And to all a good night.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


With the end of the Atlanta-Seattle game, the KCAs take the win in the 14th NHFFL Super Bowl Championship. The score is 43-15 KCAs lead the Ragin' Rhinos, with the Rhinos (9-6) out of players and the KCAs (10-5) still having a starter and a reserve in the Monday night game- TE Visanthe Shiancoe and R-K Ryan Longwell.

The KCAs win the big game for their second time, after losing two of their last three regular season games. The back breaker, just as it was in the NFL, was Desean Jackson's mind-numbing punt return on the last play of the Giants game. That score turned a nervous, low scoring affair into a 31-6 rout.

I'll have to wait until after work Tuesday to officially etch the details on the Super bowl cup, but I'll be celebrating all week long. Michael Bush smashed in two tds to finish things out, as the Rhinos managed no scores from rbs and wrs and K Dan Carpenter missed FOUR field goals. At this point, this game is the 3rd worst Super Bowl rout, behind the B2s 52-12 romp over the Beagles (in the first year of the old "Dragons" becoming the new "Beagles") in SBVI in 2002 and Buzz's 64-32 crushing of the hard-luck Angels in SBX in 2006.

Reasons to believe... or not.

As I listened to a pastor this morning, I began looking at the many ways we can come to belief, taught through the Resurrection story. First, of course, is hearing the Gospel. Whether from angelic sources as Mary Magdalene (Matt. 28:1-8), or mortal (John 20:17-18, Luke 24:33-5), the point is hearing the Good News. Second, through knowledge of the Scriptures, as the disciples heading to Emmaus learned (Luke 24:13-32). If one is not too busy trying to find ways to nitpick and twist the Word of God, as the Pharisees and Saducees did, the truth can become apparent here too. Third, by "finding the empty tomb," as Peter and John did (John 20:1-10). This is the essence of belief without seeing; they came thinking to see a closed cave, a dead body, the signs of death. Instead, they saw the open tomb, the empty bier, the folded and arranged wrappings- in other words, the signs of life. They were able to see beyond their expectations. And fourth, by personal revelation, as in Thomas' case (John 20:26-9). Sometimes even those touched by God are too stubborn to submit to anything else.

On the other hand, we see in Matt. 28: 11-5 the guards being bribed to say that the body was stolen- to lie to accomplish disbelief. We can use this as a lesson about the reasons for disbelief, if we realize that the chief priests are symbolic of Satan and his motivations, which is no stretch considering John 8:33-4 ("You are of your father, the Devil..."). First let's consider why the guards would accept the bribe (why people accept the lie). While we can and will see other subordinate reasons, the two main ones are in the passage:
v. 12; When they had assembled with the soldiers and taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers...
Which means they get their desires out of it. Rejecting God means not having to deal with a conscience beyond nuisance level. I can do what I want.
v. 14; "And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure."
In other words, no consequences. "Imagine there's no heaven/it's easy if you try/ no hell below us/above us only sky..."
Beyond these, there are as I said some important subpoints.
1. Belief in Christ "takes away freedom"; but it's a freedom to bondage. Some people think the definition of free thinking means removing God from all consideration. But look at John 11: 47-8:
"Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "what shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will take away both our place and nation."
They were afraid that the belief in Christ would take away the freedom they had, even though that "freedom" was being ruled by the Romans. Just so, free thinkers wish to be free of the concept of God to think as they will, even though this "freedom" is actually bondage to sin.
2.There is a certain fear of believing in Christ; over and over, the Gospels say that the leaders wanted to kill Christ "for fear of the people". Why would they fear the people? Because the people's belief would expose the fraudulent "faith" that gave them their power. To learn about Christ is to strip from me my false beliefs; if I want to maintain them, I must avoid knowing Him.
3.Belief in Christ changes one's concept of reality. In Matt. 26:63-66, the priests ask Jesus if He is the Christ of God; He answers yes, and they reject the answer, accusing Him of blasphemy. They couldn't cope with His answer, for that would expose their sin before God. To maintain everything they believed, they had to reject Him. Just so, many who don't want to believe are just too comfortable in their personal world view to allow Him to change it.
4.Belief is a personal insult. In John 18: 19-23, we see the priests question Jesus on His doctrine; His answer, basically, was go to those who believe and ask them. The officer's response shows that the priests were insulted by this. Many free thinkers it would seem think that belief in God insults their intelligence. This goes back to pride, the original sin.
5. The passage in John 8 gives several more similar reasons. In vv 32-39, they throw up tradition, as if their Abrahamic heritage makes them better. In v. 41, they defend themselves with self-righteousness. and from v.52 to the end, they refuse to acknowledge that Jesus, as God, is greater than them. This is something I've seen in many conversations. They cannot conceive of a God with greater motivations and different moral codes than they themselves have. Therefore, they try to apply their standards to God's actions, and come to the conclusion that...
6. He's insane. In John 7:20, 8:48, and 8:52-3 they accuse Jesus of "having a demon", even though many of them had seen Him cast demons out, and Jesus Himself logically proved you can't cast demons out and have one as well (Matt. 12:22-30). But His ways are so"crazy", as Thomas Jefferson said:
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being."
To which Paul answers in 1 Cor. 1:23-4:
23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
7. It gives others a knowledge they don't have. In Luke 4:24-30, Jesus explains to the People of Nazareth their disbelief by telling the stories of non-Jews such as the widow of Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian. They became furious and tried to stone Him at the mention that somebody beyond themselves might be gifted with knowledge of God. It reminds me of the violent attack of evolutionist/big bang theorists against scientists who work from a Christian POV. Here's an example from the AP:
Scientist alleges religious discrimination in Ky.
Published December 17, 2010
Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – An astronomer argues that his Christian faith and his peers' belief that he is an evolution skeptic kept him from getting a prestigious job as the director of a new student observatory at the University of Kentucky.
Martin Gaskell quickly rose to the top of a list of applicants being considered by the university's search committee. One member said he was "breathtakingly above the other applicants."
Others openly worried his Christian faith could conflict with his duties as a scientist, calling him "something close to a creationist" and "potentially evangelical."
Even though Gaskell says he is not a creationist, he claims he was passed over for the job at UK's MacAdam Student Observatory three years ago because of his religion and statements that were perceived to be critical of the theory of evolution.
Gaskell has sued the university, claiming lost income and emotional distress. Last month a judge rejected a motion from the university and allowed it to go to trial Feb. 8.
"There is no dispute that based on his application, Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position," U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester wrote in the ruling.
Gaskell later learned that professors had discussed his purported religious views during the search process. Gaskell told the AP in an e-mail that he didn't grow frustrated, but felt "one should not allow universities to get away with religious discrimination."
University scientists wondered to each other in internal e-mails if Gaskell's faith would interfere with the job, which included public outreach, according to court records.
The topic became so heated behind the scenes that even university biologists, who believed Gaskell was a critic of evolution, weighed in by citing a controversial Bible-based museum in Kentucky that had just opened.
"We might as well have the Creation Museum set up an outreach office in biology," biology professor James Krupa wrote to a colleague in an October 2007 e-mail. The museum was making national headlines at the time for exhibits that assert the literal truth of the Bible's creation story.
Science professors cited a lecture Gaskell has given called "Modern Astronomy, the Bible and Creation," which he developed for "Christians and others interested in Bible and science questions...," according to an outline of the lecture. Gaskell told the AP he was invited to give the lecture at UK in 1997, and organizers had read his notes.
The wide-ranging lecture outlines historical scientific figures who discuss God and interpretations of the creation story in the biblical chapter Genesis. Also in the notes, Gaskell mentions evolution, saying the theory has "significant scientific problems" and includes "unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations," according to court records.
Gaskell was briefly asked about the lecture during his job interview in 2007 with the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michael Cavagnero, according to Gaskell's deposition. Gaskell said he felt that questions related to religion during the job interview were "inappropriate."
"I think that if I had a document like this and I was advocating atheism ... I don't think it would be an issue," he said of his lecture.
Science professors also expressed concern that hiring Gaskell would damage the university's image.
An astrophysics professor, Moshe Elitzur, told Cavagnero that the hire would be a "huge public relations mistake," according to an e-mail from Cavagnero in court records.
"Moshe predicts that he would not be here one month before the (Lexington) Herald-Leader headline would read: 'UK hires creationist to direct new student observatory.'"
University spokesman Jay Blanton declined to comment Monday because the litigation is pending.
Gaskell said he is not a "creationist" and his views on evolution are in line with other biological scientists. In his lecture notes, Gaskell also distances himself from Christians who believe the earth is a few thousand years old, saying their assertions are based on "mostly very poor science."
Gaskell was uniquely qualified for the new position at the University of Kentucky, according to court records, because he oversaw the design and construction of an observatory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also advised UK during the building of the MacAdam facility. He currently teaches at the University of Texas.
His attorney, Frank Manion, said scientists at UK were too quick to place Gaskell on one side of the creation-evolution debate.
"Unfortunately too many people get hung up on the idea that you have to be one extreme or the other," said Manion, who works for American Center for Law & Justice, which focuses on religious freedom cases. They say "you can't be a religious believer and somebody who accepts evolution, which is clearly not true. And Gaskell's a perfect example of that."

I think it's hilarious/ludicrous that I keep hearing how atheists are persecuted in the USA when every day you see examples of nativity scenes being removed, ten commandment plaques being taken down, school outreaches being shut down, public prayers banned, licence plates on private vehicles being denied,and lawsuits to remove In God We Trust from our money being filed. Atheists like to quote Thomas Jefferson in their attacks, but somehow always forget he also said this:
"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. "
The attacks on Christianity in the public realm only go to prove what I have listed here. If there was just an honest unbelief involved, they would have the same view as Jefferson. To feel the need to attack Christianity, they are aligning themselves with those who Jesus spoke of in John 8:42-4:
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-four

Before we go this week, I want to announce that sometime over the holidays, I'm going to follow tradition with a year end list. But... it's going to be a hybrid of the Billboard and Cashbox lists, and only counting the time period I've been doing TM, so you cheaters that peak ahead won't really know for sure what's coming next. Stay tuned for that, and away we go!

15 debuts this week, including 2 Christmas songs- at 100, Greg Lake of ELP chimes in with I Believe In Christmas; and John Denver comes in at 72 with Christmas For Cowboys. In the regular debuts, we feature 6 tunes- the Commodores at 99 with Sweet Love; Roxy Music at 91 with the classic go-to-the-club-and-get-some song, Love Is The Drug; Natalie Cole at 82 with Inseprable; the Bee Gees at 77 with Fanny Be Tender (which some dude named Gino Cunico also hit with much lower); Yet another great Linda Ronstadt cover, this time the Miracles' great Tracks Of My Tears, at 73; and way up at 69, the Eagles with Take It To The Limits. The big dropper this week are the Four Seasons with Who Loves You tumbling 34 spots to 57; the big jumper didn't even become a competition until the top forty. And finally, take heart ye "Feelings" bashers; Morris Albert at last leaves the top 40, dropping to 49.

Our #1 album countdown this week takes us to March of 1973 and the ascendance of Elton John's wonderfully titled Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player. The title comes from his reaction when Groucho Marx (of all people) made six shooters with his hands and aimed them at Elton. This album bought him his first #1 single, Crocodile Rock, along with the Billboard #2 Daniel. After 2 weeks at the top, it was replaced by Dueling Banjos, the Deliverance soundtrack played by Eric Weissburg and Steve Mandel. The title tune, originally called Feudin' Banjos, was written by Al "Guitar Boogie" Smith, who got no credit. He sued and won a landmark case that convinced moviemakers to be polite and ask from now on. Banjos stayed on top for three weeks, which brings us to another somewhat unusual entry. On April 7, Diana Ross captured her first #1 album with Lady Sings The Blues, the soundtrack to the movie biography of the late jazz star Billie Holliday. It succeeded despite the absence of a big hit single (Good Morning Heartache peaked at 34) but succeed it did, holding the top spot for two weeks.

Let's look at the tops of the other years this week before we go into the 7 count 'em 7 top 40 debuts. This week in 1995, Boyz II Men (whom I slandered last week and will thus leave alone) combine with Mariah Carey on One Sweet Day; in 1985, Mr. Mister hits #1 for the first time with Broken Wings; in 1975, you'll just have to wait to the end of the post; in 1965, the Four Seasons with Let's Hang On, one of my all time favorites and their 5th Cashbox #1 (it only got #3 Billboard); and in 1955, Tennessee Ernie Ford was in his 4th of 7 weeks at the top with Sixteen Tons.

Into airplay alley this week comes Olivia Newton-John; having no more left with Something Better To Do, she re-enters at 40, up 13 with Let It Shine. Up 6 to 39 is the disco remake of the old classic Baby Face by the Wing And A Prayer Fife And Drum Corps, a group of studio musicians put together by one Harold Wheeler, who now is the musical director for Dancing With The Stars. At 38, up 12, we find hard rockers Nazareth with their excellent cover of Roy Orbison's Love Hurts. Up 6 to 37 are Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes with the excellent Wake Up Everybody. The Who's double entendre hit Squeezebox comes in at 36, up 13. The song I thought was going to be the high debut and biggest jumper comes in at 24, up a big 28 notches- the Miracles, sans Smokey Robinson, with Love Machine; and the song that said I was premature comes in at 20, up forty-two notches in just two weeks in the Hot 100, Neil Sedaka's Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

Our almost but not quite this week is Frankie Valli (him AGAIN??) with Our Day Will Come. This remake of the Ruby and the Romantics #1 of March 1963 featured (as did Swearin' To God) the female vocal of Patti Austin, who'd gain greater fame with her duet with James Ingram, Baby Come To Me, which hit #1 in 1983. Our Day Will Come peaks this week at 14.

Two songs enter the top ten, two fall out. The droppers are Nights On Broadway, down 11 to 16th, and My Little Town, dropping also 11 to 18th. By the By, Fly Away climbs from 20 to 13, which means likely next week I'll tell you the Fly Away story. Along with the song and the singers, it involves a human stork, Woodward and Bernstein, and Pizza Hut.

Holding onto the #10 spot are the O'Jays with I Love Music. Also stalled at #9 are the Ohio Players with Love Rollercoaster. Leaping from 19 to 8 come Pigpen and Rubber Duck; yes, CW McCall's Convoy wastes no time trucking into the top ten. At 7th , up 6, is Diana Ross with the Theme From Mahogany-big day for Diana and movies, eh? Barry Manilow moves up 2 to #6 with I Write The Songs. Jigsaw climbs one to 5 with Sky High. Fly Robin Fly descends one spot to #4. KC and the kids drop from top dog to #3 with that's The Way I Like It. The Bay City Rollers climb 2 to the runner up spot with Saturday Night. All of which means that our new #1 song this week is...

The Staple Singers, who let Pop up front this time, with Let's Do It Again.

See you for that special countdown next week, along with our usual fun'n'games.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flip Floppers and Radicals

I've spent some time this evening visiting a blog by a lady "on the other side of the aisle" as it were. The topic has been Marlin Stutzman in general and one of the specifics was his vote in favor of the tax cuts-for-unemployment extension compromise. This lady accuses Marlin of flip-flopping, to her because it was better for him to appease the rich people getting the tax break than to stand on his principle and vote down the unemployment extension. Of course, simply deciding to compromise for the good of the country couldn't possibly be his reason.

Earlier today, I heard Sarah Palin use the same rhetoric for President Obama for his flip-flop on the bill. And I thought the same thing here. Anyone who compromises for the good of the country is a horrible, evil "flip-flopper"; anyone who holds his ground is a radical, a puppet of his/her party's line, the reason why government is so f'ed up.

And maybe she's right (the lady blogger, not Sarah) and Marlin is just lining up his future nest egg. If so, consider this. Who is Obama's core constituency? Is it not the largely African-American chronically unemployed who thought his election would guarantee them a release from their mortgages and a full tank of gas? This group might bitch and complain about rich folks getting the breaks, but at the end of the day, as long as Obama comes through with their care package from IWD, he's all right. Obama may be a flip flopper, but at least he was loyal to the main group that put him where he's at.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Tidbits

Item 1: OT Friday all day. Wallet says Yay! Body says uhhh... Also, we lose our two days off paid for Christmas eve/Christmas. We get Thursday and Friday paid at regular time. I'm not all that upset; when it was announced, I was sure in the minority. A bad day for our supervisor (neither involved nor happy with the situation) to be wearing a "grinch" sweatshirt.

Item 2:Which means that Time machine will either be late Friday or Saturday, depending.

Item 3: The Ass ange/Michael Moore/Oberman thing. Moore tells Oberman that the rape allegations are "Hooey". Oberman gets a good laugh out of it, and then gets run off of twitter by people that think rape sympathisers are Richard Craniums. Moore spends 20k of his hardly earned money to spring Ass ange. (Whatever will Krispy Kreme do this week?) So to sum up, the talking head who can't even follow his media outlet's less than stringent ethical principles gives a forum to the leading proponant of using the freedom of speech that this nation's soldiers die for to bash that nation, and combined they laugh off abuse to women when it is committed by their fellow soldier in America bashing. When these men pass on to their reward, it would ber nice to see them have to ply their respective trades in a world as it would have been if the Communist revolution had actually happened. Can you imagine? Moore would be doing documentaries on how important it is to do and think as the politburo tells you; Ass ange would no doubt have a different idea on how easy it is to do 9 days in prison, as well as leaking something other than secrets or semen; and Keith Oberman would have the most popular heavily-sanitized newsletter in the gulag.

Item 4: Super Bowl XIV is underway, and the KCAs draw first blood on a 58 yard td pass by PHILLIP RIVERS!!!

Item 5: Here's a video that Laurie took, trying to capture Scrappy cuddling with me. What's great is his reaction when he finally sees he's on camera.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And now, Super Bowl XIV

I mentioned last week that the last time the Fiery Beagles and the KCAs met in the playoffs, the KCAs won 73-28 en route to their first Super Bowl title back in 2004. When Ahmad Bradshaw scampered 48 yards through the vagabond Vikings' mail-in defense, it added the last six points to an 80-34 KCAs victory. Michael Turner opened up the lead with his 3 tds after Pierre Garcon kicked things off with 2 scores Thursday, and Malcolm Floyd-from-Phillip Rivers also struck twice, and Desean Jackson anted up a 91-yarder. The 9-5 KCAs, just as they did in 2004, go on to face a team playing in its first Super Bowl. Back then it was the Elks and the best Super Bowl yet played, a 31-30 KCAs victory. This year, it will be the Ragin' Rhinos, who advance with a 35-12 triumph over the T-Cubs. The Rhinos, who have now beaten 2 of the three division winner in the playoffs, took a lead they never relinquished Thursday on 2 scores by unlikely candidate Bo Scaife ( Who KC only picked for Shenan's team because I think the name sounds like some skin disease and he knew it would annoy me) while the 4-time champions got goose eggs from all RBs, all WRs, and both QBs. The only game that the two contenders played this year was a 30-21 preseason win by the KCAs.


In the FCS playoffs this weekend, Villanova proved, at least to me, that they are done screwing around (as they did much of the season); and they proved it to #1 Appalachian State as well, routing them 42-24 in a game where the Wildcats held the App State QB down from the 230+ rushing yards he had against Western Illinois to under 30. 'Nova will face Eastern Washington. The #5 seed scored first in OT and got an interception to end the game in a 38-31 victory over North Dakota State. #3 seed Delaware also moves on after their 16-3 win over UNH last Friday; they play upset minded Georgia Southern. GaSo knocked off Wofford's Terriers 23-20; they've won three playoff games this year (the only team to pull that off thus far) by a total score of 94-51, including knocking out the #2 seed the last week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Step into my time machine week thirty-three

For those of you out there who consider this post a matter of life and death (anybody?), tis the season to get used to later episodes- the dreaded spectre of OT reared its head for the first time today. A half-day, to be sure, but nonetheless. From overtime to back in time, now, as we look back at Earth Wind, And Fire, War, and- Lorne Greene?

13 songs made their debut this week in 1975, and quite a few are of some note. Donnie and Marie, that lovable couple of kids, hit at 99 with their cover of Deep Purple (which I really like, but could do without the Marie voiceover in the middle. At 97 a country singer named Kenny Starr charted his version of The Blind Man In The Bleachers; noteworthy because his country version hit #2, an accomplishment because the former Loretta Lynn protege would never be seen again on the pop chart, and crack the top 30- barely- just 2 more times on the country chart. Needless to say, his cover didn't stack up very well against David Geddes' version (which is at 22 this week and slowing down...) chartwise.

Farther on up, Foghat makes its entrance at 81 with its most famous song, Slow Ride. That entrance alone topped its previous chart peaks outside of Fool For The City. Three notches hence at 78 we find former Raspberry Eric Carmen with the title single from his first solo album, appropriately titled All By Myself. A great album to listen to if you're not a depressed, angst-ridden teenager who can't get a girl to look at him that way; if you were, well...

At 75 we rejoin Mr. David Bowie and his follow up to Fame, Golden Years (wop, wop, wop). The best, however, we save for yet higher up. Neil Sedaka hits with his prozac remake of his 1962 smash Breaking Up Is Hard To Do clear up at 62; and at 61, here comes Rhymin' Simon (Paul, that is) with 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. He said it had nothing to do with Marvel comics, but "sneak out the back, Jack (Kirby), make a new plan, Stan (Lee), no need to be coy, Roy (Thomas)", methinks we stretch coincidence a bit thin here.

Our big dropper falls to 55 from 19- Natalie Cole's This Will Be. One way to get mentioned one last time. I struggled to find a big Mover higher than a 16-spot jump - until our second highest top 40 debut this week. Again, needless to say, we'll let that bird out of the cage a bit later.

Let's do a "specials slam" this week. First, our continuing countdown of the #1 albums of the 70's. We are at the end of 1972 and the beginning of 1973, and overlapping both for five weeks was Seventh Sojourn, the first #1 disc for the Moody Blues. No doubt propelled a bit by the third re-release of Nights In White Satin which peaked #1 Cashbox and #2 Billboard right inbetween the album's two singles: Isn't Life Strange (29) and I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock'N'Roll Band) (12). This would be the last album for the Moodies for some time, as they went on hiatus and solo projects after the tour for this album. Sojourn ended its reign the week of January 6th, 1973, replaced by Carly Simon's No Secrets. This album was headed by Right Thing To Do (17) and of course You're So Vain (1), a song made more controversial not only by A) her refusing to name who it was about, B) one of the candidates thereof singing backup on the tune, and C) having so many candidates to mention for the title. In addition to the previously hinted-at Mick Jagger, and Cat Stevens, who got his due last week on TM, you also have Warren Beatty (widely believed to be the winner), Kris Kristofferson, and the man she married just the November before, James Taylor. No Secrets was followed by War with The World Is A Ghetto. Led by the #2 Cisco Kid and the #7 title track, War held the top spot for the 2 weeks of February 21-27, 1973.

In our looks at the #1s of other years, we are back in the 4s this time. Number one this week in 1994 were those sure RNR HOFers Boyz II Men with On Bended Knee. 1984 sees Chaka Khan, with some help from Grandmaster Mellie Mel and Stevie Wonder's harmonica with I Feel For You. 1974's #1 this week were the Three Degrees and When Will I See You Again. In 1964, we have the curious rock'n'roll phenom Lorne Greene, taking full advantage of his TV fame as Ben Cartwright on Bonanza to place his spoken word hit Ringo at #1. He actually had to say on the album that the song had nothing to do with "the Beatles' wonderful drummer". In fact, it also had little to do with its real life subject, western owlhoot Johnny Ringo (as apparently, neither did his appearance in the movie Tombstone). Finally, we whizz past 1954 long enough to hear the gentle tones of the Chordettes with Mr. Sandman at the top. On with the show.

Seven, count 'em, seven top 40 newbies this week, and they don't all wait their turn. Rising 11 to #40 is the Average White Band with a funky little number (that, alas, I did not recall) called School Boy Crush. At 39, up 15 (and a contender for the big mover for a few more seconds), a song we talked about a few weeks ago when it first came in, Bob Dylan's Hurricane. Up from43 to 36, Paul Anka's Kodak moment, Times Of Your Life. I don't care if it was a commercial first, it still makes my eyes go moist. Knowing me, that was probably a contributing factor. Kiss finally breaks into airplay alley for the first time with their live version of Rock And Roll All Nite, also up 7 to 35th. EWF blast their way up from 41 to 27 with Sing A Song; and any other week, that jump would surely win the high debut, and maybe the biggest jump. BUUUUUT... the big mover goes to John Denver; you might say he flies away with it, with Fly Away rising 49 notches from 69 to 20. Keep reminding me to tell that funny story involving that song when it goes top ten. And the week's high t40 debut goes to CW McCall (nice initials) with Convoy trucking all the way from 49 to 19. Ten-four!

A dual almost but not quite this week. Pete Wingfield (whose song was 18 with a bullet on Billboard two weeks ago) ends his climb with (all together now), needless to say, 18 With A Bullet. In addition we salute Wings with Venus And Mars/Rock Show, which peaks here at 16. Oddly enough, this marked the first time that any former Beatle's single release did not chart in Jolly Ol'. (Bit of a prude about the long hair and "scoring an ounce", I suppose) And one more note whilst we are in the neighborhood. (Oh, I know, this is going to be another "Feelings" update, isn't it?) Why yes, yes it is. Feelings is still in the top 40 at 37 this week, its 27th in the hot hundred. This is its 16th week in the TOP 40- let's put this in perspective. In the 33 weeks we've rode the time machine, only 47 other songs have topped 16 weeks IN THE HOT 100. Only 30 of those made 18 weeks; 19 made 19 weeks; 8 of them saw 20 weeks. Six of those made it to their 21st week on the hot hundred, and only 2- Johnny Wakelin's Black Superman-Mohammed Ali (which never made it higher than #23) and Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy- made it as far as 23 weeks on the hot 100.

Two songs into the top 10, 2 go out. The Way That I Want To Touch You sinks from 9 to 15; and Island Girl drops from 5 to 12.

The O'Jays hit the top ten for the fifth time- an apparently glancing blow, from 11 to 10, with I Love Music. Rolling up 4 spots to #9 are the Ohio Players with Love Rollercoaster. Barry Manilow climbs two notches to 8 with I Write The Songs (or, at least, Bruce Johnston does). Simon and Garfunkel hold at 7 with My Little Town. Jigsaw climbs 2 to #6 with Sky High. The Bee Gees move down one to 5 with Nights On Broadway. The Bay City Rollers move up 2 to #4 with Saturday Night. Silver Convention drops 1 to 3rd with former top dog Fly Robin Fly. The Staple Singers move up to the runner up spot with Let's Do It
Again. And you're getting a picture of them because one thing I won't do again is post another picture of this week's #1 song. For the 3rd straight week, KC And The Sunshine Band with That's The Way (uh-huh uh-huh) I Like It.

I'd have to say that's SOME improvement over Harry Casey...

OKay, see you right here next week!