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


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tids and bits.

A collection of shorties, because...
#1- the "roll-out" shipping season began today for us. Five trucks, one cart, 5 guys, and one hour OT.  Pretty much the same to be expected I'm guessing for the next three weeks.  Add to a very bad dream, wet shoes from last night, a TMI-sequence of draining bathroom trips, an air turner that left little gray marks on black fabric, tearing a truck halfway apart to find two cushions that defied scanning and another with two shipping labels (one seen and scanned, the other hiding on the side), and a half-hour long plant meeting with the company VEEP of production and El Grande Queso, it was a FUUN day.

#2 to say hi to 2 new followers in the last two days!  First there is Ron AKA the old geezer, a man with a very interesting personal testimony and a pretty interesting blog.  Second is Beliza, who is a member of the Great Postcard Campaign and just got the card I sent here way over there in the lovely land of Luxembourg.  You should become a member of the campaign, too, if you are not already.  This is a great time to join since I've just sent out my cards for the first round and won't have to again until all of you send one to me!

#3 is a partial attempt at one of my favorite features here at TAW, where I instruct scam e-mailers on how to do things right.  My latest victim is one Dr. Oswald Daniel; and I'm not going to go through the whole thing other than to compliment the "good doctor" on his peculiar spin:

 I am using this opportunity to thank you for using the internet daily.Due to your effort, using internet programs indoor and in your office, we want to compensate you and show our Gratitude to you with the sum of $6,000,000.00 United States of America Dollars we have authorized Rev, Donald Raymond in capital city ABUJA nigeria to assist you in getting your compensation checks across to you.

He claims to be part of World Internet Programs, which with a little imagination we can see is the great and wonderful entity that "runs" the internet, and wants to thank li'l ol' me for wasting so much time on his company's product.  One thing he gets a fail on- Having looked this up on one of the many scam-info sites, I noticed that he changed- or tried to- change his contact man from Mr. Kelvin Green to Rev. Donald Raymond.  He gives the contact info for the good rev, but forgot to delete a whole paragraph of info about Mr. Green's part in all this- or at least forgot to swap names.  Damnit, Oswalt, this stuff is important!  I also think that perhaps you should be grateful to those who use the internet OUTDOORS as well!  Overall grade- C+.

#4- Time for all good daddys and their beagle-babies to hit the hay.  Good night and God Bless, as Red used to say.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NHFFL the end of the regular season

First, let me calm any fears- Our ride was 25 minutes longer tonight than usual for the snow, but we survived.  The person in the Honda that couldn't top 20 without her ass end sliding down 1000 east probably added 5-8 minutes all on her own, but it's not like we ever topped 40.  By the time we hit good enough roads, we hit traffic.  Tomorrow should prove interesting- not just for the weather.  Our first retail shipment was supposed to get loaded this afternoon at 1, but as per usual for us and trucking companies, he failed to show until 15 minutes before happy go home time, and thus he will join the 6 trucks we have for tomorrow- if, of course, they show.

Second, I just got the word that Ndamekhum Suh got a two game suspension for being an idiot Thursday, just as yours truly predicted. "He will likely miss the next two games, severely hurting the Lions' chances for the playoffs."  AWWWW.  Maybe if Jim Schwartz could discipline himself, let alone his players, they wouldn't be facing this.

Third, before he slips into media oblivion, let me say one thing about Herman Cain and all the women that the dems and Politico seem to be manufacturing at will.  Wasn't Martin Luther King shacked up with a married woman in that hotel when James Earl Ray shot him?  Just sayin'.

Now, onto the purpose of this post- the end of the regular season in the NHFFL has arrived.  The Rangers finished off their third ten-win season with a 35-27 win against the Angels.  The Aguas return to the league with an 8-4 campaign and second place despite dropping the finale 26-19 to the Beagles.  The Beagles managed to win just 3 games despite scoring 5 more points than they gave up.  Which is ironic since they won a division title last year with an 8-4 record and 22 fewer points scored than given up.  The Greenwoods big return also netted them an 8-4 record and a playoff spot, though the Aguas take second on the tie breaker.  They closed with a 39-25 victory over the KCAs, who go from 7-5 and a Super Bowl championship to 4-8 and time to work on the ol' golf game.

A tremendous back and forth battle was waged between the Elks and the B2s for the Gold Division title.  And in the end, if the Elks could have just counted only Monday night, they'd have had a 33-9 win... but those nine that the Tubers got gave them a 49-42 win and a division title for the first time since they won the first two Dupont Divison titles waaay back in 1997-8.  In fact, they were 16-32 since their last non-losing season (2006, 6-6) until this year. In another twist, the B2s scored one less point than they gave up, making them the second champ in 2 years to manage that. The Elks finish in second place free and clear, though, because the Porkchops first season ended with a 44-32 loss to Buzz.  The Chops end at .500, good enough for the last playoff spot.  Buzz claimed 4th, by the tie breaker against the Ducks, who closed with a 42-20 pasting of the Clock BBQs, who lost their last 4 by a combined 90-157.  When the Bills went cold, so did the CBBQs (who had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson).

So the Rangers, who are 0-8 in the playoffs, get the week off to enjoy their third division title and first since 2004.  They'll await the winner of the Aguas/ Greenwoods game, both of whom have been out of the league since 2001, and the G'woods have been out of the playoffs since 2000. The B2s, who haven't seen the playoffs since a 32-21 loss to the Ducks in 2006, also get a rest while they await the winner of the Elks/Porkchops game.  The Chops, of course, are brand new; the Elks return to the playoffs for the first time since winning Super Bowl XI in 2007.

One last thing- here are the rosters for the all-pro game the week after the Super Bowl.   The Purple will have Angels Aaron Rodgers and LeShon McCoy; the Beagles' Beanie Wells and Vincent Jackson; the Greenwoods Ray Rice, Greg Jennings, and reserve Matthew Stafford; the Aguas have starter Calvin Johnson and reserve Neil Rackers; the Rangers send Mason Crosby and the DET D; the KCAs send the reserve D of CIN.    The Gold division is lead by Buzzies Cam Newton, Adrian Peterson, and Sebastian Janikowski; the B2s' Arian Foster, Wes Welker, and reserve CHI D; the Ducks Michael Turner and Larry Fitzgerald; the CBBQs' Dez Bryant; the Elks GB D and (amazingly) reserve qb Drew Brees; and the Chops contribute reservist Nick Folk.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday message +

This week, in my looking at the propechies of Christ's coming, I am at Psalms 2. Specifically, vv 4-9:

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

7 “I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break[a] them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” 
Okay, the big thing I want to look at here is the term "Begotten".  When I was a wee lad in Catholic school (for which I forever praise God for putting me there), The explanation of begotten was a little bit difficult, because we could recite in the Apostle's Creed, "begotten, not made, one in being with the Father".  Hence it became tied up in a concept of being BEYOND born or created.  A magical, mystical genesis, if you will.  So then we read Psalm 2 and became all confused.  If begotten meant this magical, mystical, always been sort of thing, then what did Psalm 2:7 mean?

So look up the concordance version of "begotten".  It simply means born, creating an offspring.  Nothing magical or mystical.  So just what is going on?  Well let's backtrack by going forward.  The first chapter of John's Gospel explains that Jesus is the Incarnate Word of God.  Always in existance, always part and parcel of who and what God is.  But then, an evolution was made- "and the Word became flesh."  How is this so? Look to Luke 1:35, where the angel describes to Mary that flesh and God are going to combine in her womb; "Therefore, also, that the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God".

Confusing?  Then cast off human perception and follow me.  Who we know as Jesus Christ is and was an always-existant facet of God.  But at a point in time, this essence took on flesh, becoming both God and man.  Thus, God tells Him, "(Now) You are my Son- this day, I have begotten You."  So now, not only is Christ a part of and wholly God, but also has become as flesh the Son of God.

So the way we were taught begotten wasn't exactly on-beam; but it was probably about as close as you could get it to first-through-eighth-graders. Come to think of it, it's not much easier now.  But guess what? We're dealing with a being that is beyond our concepts of time and space, who wove both atoms and galaxies out of the same cloth.  Scientists reject God for this very reason, saying they need "proof" of His existance, and yet to have that proof  would remove God from the very concept of "God".  IOW, some things aren't meant to be understood in this life.  But God gives us enough understanding with which to have faith.  Not to mention , He gave us that understanding in a form that could serve both as a propechy when He gave it 3,000 years ago, and as in instruction 2,000 years after He accomplished it!


Now for the "+" in our story.  First off, be sure to click on that "Chris' Cap Collection " link to see the prizes I got at the 37th annual "Turkey Trot" beer collectables show yesterday.  I assure you, the posts on CCC aren't just dry figures and pictures, but I fill in actual interesting stories, both about the caps and the people who made the beer, as well as how I got them.  (And if that still seems boring, then just humor me!)

Next, a look at the FCS playoffs.  I didn't get a "thromp" of JMU over Eastern KY, but I did get a win.  I said ODU shouldn't (actually, I said "shopuldn't", but since Blogger's spell-check likes to excise whole paragraphs for no apparent reason, that's the way it goes) have any problem with Norfolk St., and they didn't.  I said Central Ark. should beat TennTech, and they did; and I thought I was going to mess up giving Stony Brook the edge over Albany.  But the Seawolves stormed back from 28-10 down to win 31-28 to make me a perfect 4-0 in round one.  So let me try round 2.

Stony Brook gets #1 seed Sam Houston State.  Now, I'm not convinced how much that 11-0 record means in SHS's conference, but I'm pretty sure it means more than what it would in SB's Big South, so Sam I am.  Montana State meets UNH, and I would've had no problem going with State- until they lost their rivalry game to Montana so badly.  I, with severe reservations, will take... UNH.  Next up is Northern Iowa vs Wofford, and neither of these teams were just lighting the world on fire at season's end.  But since I went with them all year, I'll take Wofford for the upset in Iowa.  Montana will be hosting Central Ark., and I will take the home team here.  Then it's Georgia Southern against ODU.  Actually, you have Southern Conf. vs CAA the next two stops, because the next bracket is Appalachian State vs Maine.  I'm pretty confident that the two conferences will split thes games; not so confident on which wins which.  Let's say GaSo and Maine advance.  That brings us to Towson and Lehigh.  Cautiously, he looks around the room and says, "Lehigh".  Which brings us to next week's final game, JMU and North Dakota State.  I've said all along that JMU had no business getting this spot, and NDST was the #1 team for a while, and they're playing in the great plains.  Give me JMU.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My camera-how I love it

This morning I thought I'd try actually recording stuff on our walk.  I was waiting for deer.  Sure enough, we saw them- too far away to get.  But as they usually head for the senior living apartments, we followed the trail that way.  When we got to the edge of the trail, I thought I'd turn it on record, just in case.  After about 45 seconds, the damn thing shut off!  When I checked to see if it got anything, I saw this:


WTF?  I tried again, several times, as we followed the deer (which we had spotted again) through unfamiliar underbrush and places that SOMEBODY had to get all tangled up in.  No matter what I did, I got results like this:

So I says to myself, "You know, I know it's not supposed to work this way, but I wonder if I HELD the record button..."
And a quick test produced this...

Okay, so that must have been the problem, huh?  So when we returned to the main trail, I tried it again as we came around the bend towards the bridge.  After ten seconds the camera FROZE.  As in, the only thing that worked was the on/off.  WTF?  So I tried again as we crossed the bridge.  It saved NOTHING.  Now, I'm thouroughly annoyed.  But rather than throwing the damned thing as far out into Stony Run Creek as I could, I decided to give it one last try- with my finger once again off the button.

Worked perfectly.  I guess the problem was I didn't realize the camera worked on the "Cheap Urologist Curtis Smith"* plan- only a 50% chance of working.

*"Cheap Urologist" is my misheard version of "Chief Meteorologist".  I think it works better.

Friday, November 25, 2011

And so, Thanksgiving

Here are pics from probably the most stuffed Thnksgiving ever!

L-R Laurie's sister Mary (our hostess), her S-I-L Linda, and Laurie

Linda's daughter DJ

Mary's youngest, Emily

Oldest daughter Rachel and her man, Alex

L-R Laurie's nephew Blaine, his daddy (Mary's oldest) Andy, and you've met Rachel and Alex

Laurie's brother Paul

Mary's hubby Jack, with Linda

Mary, Andy, Blaine

Andy's wife, Kristen

The white fluffball in the center is Baxter.

L-R Laurie's brother Art, Mary's other son Josh, (hiding Laurie) Mary's granddaughter Sierra

Art, Paul, Josh, Sierra

L-R Josh, Sierra and Laurie, Sierra's mom (and Mary's middle daughter) Katie, and Linda

Katie's oldest, Jackson

The new face here is Art's lady friend.  Curse me if I remember her name.

This is TJ, Jackson and Sierra's daddy

My buddy Baxter

He actually moved my head off my arm so he could lay there!

step into my time machine week 83

This week, we get two of the more bizzarre stories to be done on TM, probably the most important birthday song we've done to date, and a special announcement!  Shake off the turkey shock- as I am trying to do- and let's go!  C'mon, squeeze it in, pal!

9 songs come into the top 100 this week, and I'll mention three of them.  First, the next release of Boz Skagg's Silk Degrees, What Can I Say? comes in at 92.  If you don't know it, give yourself a treat and youtube it.  Barry Manilow pops in at 85 with Weekend In New England, and the Bay City Rollers make 81 with Yesterday's Hero.  Not impressed?  You should see the top 40 debuts...

I'm going to go backwards of usual on this week's other birthday songs, for a good reason.  In 1961, this week Johnny Cash's original Tennessee Flat Top Box debuted.  I bring in this one because of my years long love affair with his daughter Rosanne, who in the eighties took it to #1 on the country charts.  Having a 45th birthday this week are the Blues Magoos with We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet.  Turning forty this week are I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (both versions), Al Green's Let's Stay Together, as well as a song I mention because of the Valley Of The Dolls post a while back- Heaven Bound featuring Tony Scotti and Five Hundred Miles.

Oh and that big birthday?  Don McLean's American Pie turns 40 this week.  Bye, bye...

Our big dropper has avoided being noted until this moment.  John Valenti was, as the lead singer of a band called Puzzle, one of the few white acts on Motown, with a style reminiscent of early Stevie Wonder.  He went solo in the 70's and his single Anything You Want, which peaked at 43 a couple weeks ago, falls 20 to #72 this week.  Our big mover awaits in the top 40.

I'm thinking of revamping the top songs of other years feature (no, that's not the big announcement), and this may be the last week you see it as it's been.  Or not, I haven't quite decided.  Anyway, the number for this week is the 2's and 1992 this week was topped by How Do You Talk To An Angel, sung by Jamie Walters- Alex O'brien of The Heights- as the theme for the show.  This TV theme- which saw it's show cancelled one week after the song fell from #1- was the first to top the charts since Jan Hammer's Miami Vice Theme did it in 1985.  In 1982 this week, the top song was Laura Brannigan's Gloria.  In 1972, the Spinners' I'll Be Around; 1962, the Four Seasons' Big Girls Don't Cry; asnd in 1952, a repeat featuree- Patti Page's I Went To Your Wedding.

That brings us to our #49 song, AKA the Where Are They Now victim.  And this week we have a fast moving song I've been avoiding because a) I liked it about as much as Bobby G. likes Disco Duck, and b) I wasn't sure anyone would remember it anyway.  It is the big-band-influenced disco hit Cherchez Le Femme by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (Buzzard pronounced buzz-ARD).  This group was the brainchild of one Thomas August Darnell Browder (then going by August Darnell) and his brother Stony (I didn't name 'em).  They put out three lps from 1976-9; and then, playing on their mixed ethnicity, Darnell became Kid Creole and formed Kid Creole and the Coconuts with fellow DBOSB member Andy Hernandez, AKA his sidekick Coati Mundi.  In this ensemble they had three top 10 and 7 top 40 hits in the UK, but pierced our hot 100 only once- getting to 90 with a team up with Barry Manilow called Hey Mamba in 1987.  They did get American exposure through a handful of movie soundtracks, notably the track My Male Curiousity on the movie Against All Odds.  Darnell still leads the Coconuts on tour, and they released a new album, I Wake Up Screaming, a couple of months ago, although the only remaining original member with him is "Bongo Eddie" Folk.

And the top 40 debut list is just as long as the big mover list- one song.  At 40, up 31, is Rose Royce's Car Wash.

I do want to give a Almost But Not Quite shoutout to Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like We Do, which (although it made top ten Billboard) peaked last week at 13, and drops to 23 this week.  It was recorded exactly 36 years and three days ago, and nearly didn't make the lp.  When Frampton submitted the what-he-thought-was-going-to-be-a-single-disc Frampton Comes Alive to his record execs, the response was, "Where's the rest of it?"  So they put together a second disc, and Do You Feel was on it.

The list of songs entering the top ten is also just one tune long, so the only dropper is Beth, falling from 7 to 17.

Alice Cooper cracks the top 10 at the leadoff spot, up 4, with I Never Cry.  Steve Miller's top dog Rock'n Me drops 5 to #9.  Firefall, which was basically a regeneration of the Byrds, moves up 1 with You Are The Woman to #8.  At 7, up three, the Spinners yet again with The Rubberband Man.  Nadia's Theme moves up 2 to #6.  The Bee Gees (and glad to hear that Robin's finally out of the hospital this week) move up1 spot to #5 with Love So Right; also moving one place up is Boston's More Than A Feeling.  And that brings us to a one-man six degrees.

The drummer on Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald was longtime session man Jim Gordon.  By this point, Jim had put together an amazing resume.  In the sixties, he'd played on such classic lps as Pet Sounds and Mason Williams' Classical Gas; as time rolled on, he piled up a discography too long to count, which included lps by the Byrds, Bread, Jackson Browne, Stephen Bishop, Glenn Campbell, and the Carpenters.  He was a member of the Delaney and Bonnie touring entourage, and split off with Clapton to form Derek and the Dominoes.  The Dominoes first gig was being the band on George Harrison's masterpiece All Things Must Pass; then they did the Layla lp, which Jim actually composed and played the piano part of that long, beautiful ending.  He was also the drummer on Seals and Crofts' Hummingbird single, as well as on Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic lp, including the single Rikki Don't Lose That Number.  He was drummer on the lp Alice Cooper Goes To Hell, as well; but then he went into a hell of another sort.

Years of substance abuse began to warp his mind.  "Anyone who has ever wondered about the destructive horrors of substance abuse, " a friend writes, " should know about Jim.  It's one of the saddest stories ever."  He began to hear voices, and this somehow became his mother in league with the devil.  In 1983 he bludgeoned her with a hammer, then stabbed her to death.  In California, his heretofore undiagnosed Schizophrenia was no defense, and in 1984 he got 16 years for the murder.  Twice denied parole, he spent most of this time in the psychiatric ward; and though he should have been released sometime this year, I could find no evidence that it has happened as yet.

Deep breath, pause, move on.  #2 again this week is Muskrat Love, and the story is the same at the top, too- Rod Stewart at #1 with Tonight's The Night.

And now, that annopuncement.  As the Great Sixties Countdown was one of this blog's big successes, with 42 comments over its 16-week run  (Which is a drop in the bucket for some, but almost 6% of all the comments I've EVER got), and I've had two highly influential requests to do this, I'm announcing that, probably next Saturday, I'll be starting the GREAT SEVENTIES COUNTDOWN!!!  I'm still doing some tweaking of the lower rungs, but it will be a 300 song, twenty-a-week format just like the sixties.  Just remember- IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!! And God Bless you for it!  So tune in then.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Okay, so we are all thankful.  For friends, for food, for a wonderful country.  But, you realize that to be thankful, you have to be thankful TO SOMEONE.  Other wise, you're just glad you have something.  Sentence requires subject (I/You), verb (am/are thankful), and object.  For me the Object is God.

Psalm 136 gives us a lot of good reasons to be thankful to God.  Vv 4-9 speak of the creation He has made.  10-22 give a rehash of what He did for Israel, true, but look deeper.  Dig and you will find His deliverance, His power, His ability to lead us through obstacles, His protection, His control despite the mighty of the world, the possessions He has given us.

Verse 23-6 reminds us of His remembrance of us in our lowliness; our rescue from our enemies; and the requirements of life.  But the main reason to be thankful is in every other line of this Psalm:

"For His mercy endures forever."  What is mercy?  The definition is "unmerited favor".  Mercy is getting up each morning to a new day of possibilities. It is the breakfast we start the day with, the job that pays our bills, the roof over our heads.  It is the friend who sends a greeting card, or calls to wish us a happy day.  It is the dog who takes me for a walk, and the friend who is there when we get home.  It is the children who call me "dad", the doctor who calls me "patient", the governor who calls me "constituent."  And it is the Savior who calls me "child".

And lest I forget, it is all of you reading this.  I have made friends here that I am very appreciative of. For those I contacted yesterday, to those I didn't or couldn't get ahold of, Happy Thanksgiving.  I (subject) am thankful (verb) to God (object) for you (you prepositional phrase, you!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

howsabout a hockey update?

Since we've last visited the KHL, SKA St. Petersburg has widened its lead in the Western Conference.  (A reminder- for simplicity's sake, any game going into OT will be massed in the third column of their record by myself.) SKA has rung up a 4-0-2 record in November, including an 8-1 demolishing of Spartak in which SKA spotted them the first goal and then netted 3 in a 1:46 span of the second period.
Dynamo Moscow continues hot in 2nd place- their only loss of the month a 2-1 loss to Nefthekhimik where goalie Tuomas Tarkki stopped 36 of 37 Dynamo shots.  Torpedo has won three straight to inject itself into the leader board, a point behind slowing 3rd-place Dinamo Minsk.  That streak includes back to back shutouts, 1-0 against Salavat Yulaev and 5-0 against Neftekhimik.  Atlant, with their spanking-new coach tops that, winning 4 straight close matches- three of them by 3-2 scores- to pull within one of fifth-place Severstal.  Following them are Red Army and Dinamo Riga, then collapsing Spartak.  Spartak has gone 1-5-1 in November, being outscored 20-7.  Lev's brief renaissance has fallen off, a mix of losses and OT losses dropping them to 7-14-5.  The thug factory in Vityaz continues to be conference doormat, their only RT win this month so far a 3-2 win over Spartak (go figure).

In the East, Amur remains in the hunt despite a bad slump that was finally snapped in a 2-1 win over Avangard. Traktor continues to have the league's second best record at 15-6-3 ( SKA being best at 19-2-6).  They kept ahead of Amur with back to back wins over Lev and CSKA.  They are followed by Avangard and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, who is on a 4-game winning streak. The bad news for double-M is that they came against Yugra Metallurg Novokutnesk, Amur, and Sibir, who've combined to have a 4-10-8 month.  Barys is in fifth, having just had a streak ended by a Red Army 4-2 win. Ak Bars continues to struggle, losing 4 of 5; Yugra trails them in 7th.  Salavat has not found a solution in a new coach; they did rebound to beat Traktor 4-0, but that was the sole RT win, and the 3 losses include a 7-3 pasting by Moscow.  "The other Metallurg" is next, followed by Sibir, who has lost a good start by going 0-4-1 in the month.  Last place belongs to my woebegone Automobilst team.  It's not that they aren't trying- they split 2 OT games and all three losses were by one goal.  The lone RT win was a 4-2 affair against Minsk which they had took the lead with a Ilya Malyushkin goal with just 1:02 left, then hit the empty net with 0:19 remaining.

And here, for the first time this year, is my patented Eurohockey update! 
England's EIHL is being led by Belfast's Giants, 5 pts clear of Nottingham.
France's Ligue Magnus as usual led by Rouen, with Chamonix and Briancon hot on their tails.
In the Swiss National league A, Fribourg, SC Bern, and Davos are all tied for first, with Kloten's Flyers just 3 back.
Italy's Serie A is topped once again by Val Pusteria; Asiago, who snuck into the playoffs and then won them 2 years running, is mired in a 5th place tie, 9 points back.
In Germany's DEL, Adler Mannheim leads by one over Hamburg; my Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg team is puttering around in 7th.
Norway's GET-Ligaen has Stavenger again on top, and with a vengeance.  The 18-2-0 Oilers are 16 points clear.
Sweden's Elitserien is led by HV71 by 3 points.
In the S-M Liiga of Finland, Kal Pa holds the top spot by 5.
SonderjyskE once again is running away early in the Danish AL-Bank Ligan, 16-2-2 and 10 points in front.  Blue Fox Herning, who caught them to win it all last year, is third, 14 back.
Austria's EBHL is 54 games in (each team) already, and the top powers from last season are right there - KAG Klagenfurt holding a 10-point lead on Red Bull Salzburg.
And finally, the earthquake-recovered Asia League is led, as per usual, by Anyang Halla, 1 point up on the Nikko Icebucks.

And now, for your entertainment, I begin a feature on the worst teams in these leagues.  We won't count perpetual doormat China Dragon of the Asia League, because no one can match their 0-12-0 record and average score against of 7.5 to 1.5 (The range here runs from a 5-3 loss to Anyang- the only game they've topped 2 goals- to a 14-0 thrumping against Nikko) .  In all honesty, there are only three contenders right now.  Villard in France is getting outscored at a 5.7-1.1 clip, but are only 8 games in (0-7-1).  The Fife Flyers of the EIHL are a better challenger, with a 1-13-3 record and a usual score of 5.8 to 1.7.  But right now, the top contender for worst team in Europe is Frisk Asker of Norway, with a 2-18-0 record, and an average score against of 6.4 to 1.8.  That's 128 goals against in 20 games!  Now I don't feel so bad about Automobilst (which, in the end, was the reason I did this in the first place.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A few more randoms and then NHFFL

Item: I forgot to say a big thumbs up to President Obama, of all people, last night.  He let Congress know on no uncertain terms that he would veto any attempt to get rid of the automatic budget cuts if the "super" committee failed.  Admittedly, his lack of leadership in the matter (because he's been too busy "not campaigning")  makes it a cherry on top of a turd cake, but nevertheless, I gotta give him credit when he does good.  Hmm, Obama "didn't campaign,"  Clinton "didn't inhale"... I sense a pattern...

Item: in doing fairness research on the Occupistas last night, I tumbled onto a joke they found both funny and profound. (BTW I found it neither.)  Basically, a plate of 12 cookies is set on a tables between a company CEO, a politician, a Tea Partyer, and an Occupista.  The CEO takes 11, hands three to the politician, and tells the Tea Partyer to be careful, the Occupista appears to be preparing to steal his cookie.

(Pause for laughter... let me know when it starts.)

I began thinking about the flawed impression, and how it seems to be a pretty typical impression from the Occupistas I've heard from.  I thought to myself, this joke could actually be funny and profound if reworked a little bit.  Here's my version:

The Tea Partyer comes in and slaps the plate of cookies on the table, exclaiming, "These are the best damn cookies ever made, and I'll kick the ass of the man that says they aren't."  The CEO says, "Hmm... if they're that good, why don't you sell me the recipe?  I'll cut you in for 35%, and we'll hire a dozen bakers, a dozen packers, a dozen shippers, and a half dozen or so jobbers to put them in the stores."  The politician jumps up and says (as he jabs a cookie down his throat) "Not so fast, my friend.  Let me check out your ingredients, baking process, etc, and then I'll decide how big my tax cut will be."  The Occupista grabs a handfull of cookies, and declares, "I don't have to pay for these because I make 1% of the CEO's salary, the Politician isn't listening to me, and I would have made them better than the Tea Partyer anyway."

You see, I'm not ALL that far from the Tea Partyer or the Occupista.  However, I believe that, unlike most of them, I am willing to compromise to get things done.  I believe we could make a lot stronger, sleeker military with fewer, more wisely used dollars.  I believe that lower taxes on businesses should be part of the solution as well as closing each and every damnable loophole that lets GE to get off with no taxes.  I'd be willing to work on cleaner factories if they were running on cheaper energy from our own territory.  You see, the term on my profile "Nixon conservative" means I can give a little to take a little.  I think Leon Panetta crying about how badly the DOD will get raped on the auto-cuts is just as idiotic as Harry Reid burying Obama's jobs bill without even allowing a hearing.  The bad thing about feeling this way is that there are too many on the left side of the aisle who are revisionist historians, pseudo-scientsts and economists, believers in "fluid reality", and out-and-out liars like John Kerry and Al Gore, and I fear that trusting them is tantamount to sticking my noggin in a lion's mouth.

Item:  Ran out of work yet again, off tomorrow thru Monday.  Nice on the butt, bad on the wallet.


Onto the NHFFL.  Well, we know who is in the playoffs, and in the Purple we know who will play who.  The Greenwoods removed all doubt of their playoff spot by handing the Rangers the worst whupping anyone's took this year, 70-19.  Matt Stafford put up 15, and Ray Rice and Jordy Nelson tacked on 12 each.  The Aguas added the remaining extinguisher on the KCAs hopes, downing them 31-24, with David Akers overcoming missing 2 fgs and having another one blocked to score 11 points.  This sets up a Greenwoods-Aguas matchup in two weeks, which promises to be a high scoring affair.  The Aguas won their first meeting 55-34 in week 4, and the Elves evened it up with a 51-34 victory in week 8.  The remaining Purple Div. game had the Angels topping the Beagles 31-24, hanging on despite a ten-point Monday night from Steve Gostkowski.

The Gold actually got tighter.  Both the leaders fell: the Elks dropping to the Ducks 51-39 as five different players put up 6s and Cedric Benson netted 12; and the B2s lost to the Porkchops 27-7, managing only a Eli Manning pass, a single extra point, and 3 defensive points.  New 'Chops QB Matt Moore beat that himself (9).  And the 'Chops win puts them a game back of the leaders with 1 to go.  Also, the Clock BBQs fall into last, losing to Buzz 41-22 behind Cam Newton's 17.

The season finales include Beagles vs Aguas; KCAs/Greenwoods; and Angels/Rangers in the Purple; CBBQs/Ducks (CBBQs need to win by 13 to escape last place); Elks/B2s for the division title and week 1 bye; and Buzz/ Porkchops.    The 'Chops play the loser of Elks/B2s in week 1.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Random Monday

If I can ever get my glasses clean enough to do this, I've a few items to bloviate about.

Item:  Carl Edwards, with the class he showed in losing to Tony Stewart last night, makes it hard to not like him.  But I'm trying.  Maybe he could take a lollipop from a baby or something...

Item:  Up to this point, I have not mentioned the Occupy protests on this blog.  Mainly because a) most of them have no idea what they are doing so it's kinda useless to engage in debate, and b) I'm a firm believer in "If you ignore it, it will go away". And it's been hard, as I've listened to the endless litany of their lawless acts (start here  if you doubt), the endless "99%" garbage (when by their definition I'm in "the 99%" and they don't speak for me), and their inability to understand that using public parks without paying applicable fees is and should be TRESPASSING and FREELOADING (to use Pat Miller's term)- and that King Tom's gutlessness when forced to choose between the good of his city and his core constituency is the only thing preventing them from being dealt with as such.

But what I am finally going to say is on all the bitching about the police turning pepper spray on them.  Guys, you want to play at being noble protesters, standing against "the man" to change things for the "little guy".  Pepper spray, riot sticks, rubber bullets are all part of that.  If you wanna be anti-establishment, TAKE WHAT COMES WITH IT.  I'm sure Sandra Lee Scheuer would have gladly taken a little mace asides of what she got standing up for her beliefs.

Item: Moving on to stupid laws, UK edition:

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.

Brussels bureaucrats were ridiculed yesterday after banning drink manufacturers from claiming that water can prevent dehydration.
NHS health guidelines state clearly that drinking water helps avoid dehydration, and that Britons should drink at least 1.2 litres per day Photo: ALAMY
EU officials concluded that, following a three-year investigation, there was no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.
Producers of bottled water are now forbidden by law from making the claim and will face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the edict, which comes into force in the UK next month.
Last night, critics claimed the EU was at odds with both science and common sense. Conservative MEP Roger Helmer said: “This is stupidity writ large.
“The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.
“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

There you have it (or, "Bob's your uncle" if you prefer).  The same brilliant minds that brought you global warming now bring you this helpful research.  Hopefully the plan for just what the hell TO DO when your dehydrated will be next on their research list.

Item:  Yet again I have died- and this time I'm not alone...

Plot 84, Ajose Adeogun Street,
Victoria Island Lagos-Nigeria
Contact Name: Mr. Norman Briggs.
Position: Executive Director,


Attention: Beneficiary,

We are contacting you to clarify and resolve the misunderstanding and problem at hand.

We do not intend to send to you a scam/unexpected or any sort of fraudulent email because you also need to know if you are being impersonated by the unknown, therefore, this email should not be regarded as unsolicited, as our intention is for your best interest and to protect your human right and our good image and reputation and to maintain our Leadership in professionalism in banking sector as the leading bank in Nigeria.

Be informed that we the Zenith Bank of Nigeria have received instruction to release the approved sum of Fifty Two Million Dollars Only (US$52, 000, 000.00) to you, as your Inheritance/Contract fund. We have with us the entire documentation required for this payment in your favor. We shall be waiting to hear from you for the immediate payment and to guide you on the modalities as the policy of this bank permits us.

(Blah, blah, my inheritance, cleared by authorities, act quickly, blah, blah...)

After this resent approval of your contract/inheritance fund payment of Fifty Two Million Dollars Only (US$52, 000, 000.00) to be released from my bank, Mr. Hancock from Washington DC contacted my bank requesting for the release of your funds in his name as your next-of-kin/beneficiary hence you are proclaimed dead and WILLED everything to him. And the below are his bank account details which he provided to us for the remittance, urging my bank to transfer your fund into his account immediately before it is too late:

His Bank Account Details: (Blah, blah...)

Please, if you are not dead as this man said, kindly provide in the below DETAILS required from you to enable us update your payment documents and put a stop before this person blah, blah, blahh....
Thank you for your understanding

Yours In-Service

Mr. Norman Briggs.
Executive Director,
Plot 84, Ajose Adeogun Street,
Victoria Island Lagos-Nigeria

 Good of Mr. Briggs, so far as it goes. But what I left out was the no fewer than 50 e-mails CC'd by Mr. Briggs.  Among the deceased are one L. Greene, connected with somebody's 36th district court, and Latrice Ponton, who was a psych major at TCU a few years back.  I sure hope you are all feeling better now.

Item:  Actual conversation at work today:

Supervisor (shaking head): "Communications SUCK around this place."
Me (faking stunned):  "Please, TELL ME this is not an epiphany for you..."

Oh, and one last item:  Does anyone else have a problem with Blogger randomly chopping off a sentence or two of your post every time you use spell-check?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

FCS playoffs

2011 Bracket

We have the 2001 FCS bracket here.   I actually managed to correctly pick 26 of the 33 games I called last week. I also hit 15 of 20 playoff teams.  Stony Brook beat Liberty fair and square to take that spot.  Tennessee Tech gets the auto bid from the Ohio Valley conference; somehow, Eastern Kentucky still got a bid, despite the fact that they lost to the only playoff team they played, which was Tennessee Tech.  Delaware's wins against Towson and ODU were deemed not as impressive as JMU's seven to six lead in Division I wins, despite the fact that JMU lost to ODU, UNH, and Maine- in fact, the only winning team they beat all year was Liberty.  Illinois State's loss yesterday to Northern Iowa knocked them out of the mix, and Indiana State fell apart at the end.  Furman blew their tire last week against Elon, even though they fought a valiant battle against the Florida Gators yesterday.

So other than Delaware, who got screwed?  Because someone always gets "screwed" in choices like these.  Other than the JMU/Delaware debate, the one dubious spot is Eastern Kentucky.  I Think San Diego had a legit claim as Pioneer champs at 9-2;  North Dakota loses out because of 3 wins against cupcakes out of DI; for Bethune-Cookman, either the loss to S. Carolina St. or to N. Carolina A&T could be forgiven, but not both.  Duquesne and Georgetown are far outside thoughts.  Harvard wasn't screwed by the selection committee but by the Ivy League, who refuse to allow their teams to play postseason; probably you could put Jackson State into this category as well.  So, IMHO Delaware should be in JMU's spot and San Diego in EKY's, but over all a good bracket.

Instead of picking the whole thiong in one shot, like I did last year (with disastrous results), I'm going to pick this year one week at a time.  Despite the struggles in the top heavy CAA, I see no reason why "we're not worthy" JMU can't thromp fellow "WNW" Eastern KY.  ODU shopuldn't have a lot of problems with Norfolk State; When you consider the quality of their 3 losses (2 FBS teams and #1 seed Sam Houston), I think Central Arkansas should beat TennTech; And the real toss up, I have to give Stony Brook and all those points they score the edge over Albany.

sunday message

Last week, I started a look at the prophecies of Messiah leading up to His birth which most of us celebrate at Christmas.  Today I go slightly out of order to Deut. 18, where Moses describes what God told him on the subject:

15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

Okay, so this tells us that we will find similarities to Jesus in His servant Moses- a subject I have brought up before, so I'm only going to hit some very specific things here.  But first, some of you might say, "Moses was a prophet?  Jesus was a prophet?  I thought prophets were the guys that sat around and predicted the future?"  Not so fast, my friend.  The word "prophet"  means "someone inspired by God".  And as you see, the phrase in v 17 "(I) will put My words in His mouth" covers that.

What I do want to look at are 4 similarities between the ministries of Moses and Jesus.  First, just as Jesus died and returned resurrected on the third day, Moses was seemingly dead- he'd been MIA for 40 years- when he returned with his message.  Concurrently, just as Jesus was betrayed by His own people, so was Moses:

12 So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, “Why are you striking your companion?”
14 Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!”
(Exodus 2:12-14)

And if no one else was around when he did it, that means it was a Hebrew who spread the rumor.

Second, Moses, like Jesus, had two main messages.  Moses had one for the Hebrews, (Rise up, leave Egypt, follow God to a land of milk and honey) and one for Pharaoh (Let my people go).  Jesus, also, had two ministries- leading the people to repentance and salvation and breaking Satan's hold on us.

But like them, we have these things that, in our minds, hold us back.  We have the unwillingness to let go of  what we see as the pleasures of this life (3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”, Ex. 16:3); the fear of what serving God entails (30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”
, Num: 13:30-1); and the desire to "do it ourselves" (42 Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.”
44 But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.
, Num. 14:42-45).

Third, They both plead for us.  When God was desirous of destroying Israel for their sin, Moses stood up for them (Ex. 32:11-14), just as Jesus does before the Father (Matt. 10:32-3).

And a sad fourth, we have trouble waiting on them both.  When Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days and nights (Ex. 32 again), the people declared him lost, urged their priest to "create a God they could see", one that would guarantee them the pleasures of life (1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.
Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.” 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.   

Note here the word "play", which translates to laughing out loud, making sport... MOCKING.  And note more importantly that we have no idea when in the process that the people began this slide in to outright disobedience.  Those that like to play with numbers to prove "when Jesus is returning" , pay attention here.  One thing I've never heard in all their misuse of "one day is as a thousand years to God" is that  if Moses "delayed" 40 days on the mountain, then by that logic  it might still be another 38 THOUSAND YEARS before Christ returns!  (Do I believe it will be that long?  Of course not.  What I do believe is that Jesus has a LOT of wiggle room.)

To demonstrate that point, let's go to the Messianic prophecy that chronologically comes second... the one inspired by God in the pagan prophet Balaam:

17“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;

A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.[b]

18“And Edom shall be a possession;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession,
While Israel does valiantly.

19 Out of Jacob One shall have dominion,
And destroy the remains of the city.”    

That was spoken around 3700 years ago.  2000 years ago, we were told that the time was fast approaching.  The trick is not in knowing when He returns- but to be waiting, not PLAYING, when He does.


Friday, November 18, 2011

step into my time machine week 82

Gather round, one and all, for an unusual trip through the music of 1976 and beyond/before.  In addition to the usual fun, we have birthdays and debuts out debutt, a new top dog, the unusual twist of a big dropper- not big mover, big DROPPER- inside the top 40, and, what you've been warned was coming- the high school parties of my youth top ten!  Strap in, please keep the windows UP at all times, and let's go!

Let's deal with the hot 100 debuts first.  There were a whopping 13 of 'em this week, and I'm going to mention not one, not 5, but EIGHT of them!  Coming in at 100 was the first of many great Bruce Springsteen covers by Manfred Mann's Earth Band (at least the first that pop audiences were going to know about), Blinded By The Light.  At 98 comes the Doobie Brothers version of a Michael McDonald composition that Carly Simon had just missed the top 40 with, It Keeps You Runnin'.  Foghat, always the great party band, comes in at 83 with Drivin' Wheel.  At 81 is a song I heard at Quaker Steak and Lube a week or so ago, a song I had the 45 of, Queen with Somebody To Love.

Donny and Marie come in at 79 with their cover of Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing. George Harrison debuts at 78 with This Song; Bread's swan song, Lost Without Your Love, cracks the chart at 73.  And the top debut 35 years ago this week was Aerosmith with Walk This Way.  With that, we take a deep breath and hit the special list.

This list is the "top ten" songs I have the fondest memories of played at parties by my high school group.  Along with each group, I'll throw out an interesting factoid.  Factoid #1:  The initiation to our group was to be the first with the blindfold played in Lorraine and Phil's basement- an event that usually featured somebody becoming intimate with a metal support pole.

10- Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, Eric Carmen, from All By Myself, Ann and Kathy's collection.  Everything else on that lp was too depressing for words.

9- St. George And The Dragon, Toto, from Hydra, Phil's discs.  Basically the title cut for the album.  Phil had about all the Toto lps, but this song was my favorite.

Moving back to the birthdays this week, first off we have one song with two different birthdays this week- and neither was the best known version.  (I Know) I'm Losing You, for me at least, meant the cover by Rare Earth, with all the echo effects.  But the versions that celebrate this week are the Rod Stewart and the Faces (turning 40) and the original by the Temptations (turning 45).  Also turning 40 were (speaking of Rare Earth) Hey Big Brother, and Betty Wright's Clean Up Woman (which got a mention in six degrees a week or so ago).  Also at the 45-year anniversary is Wilson Pickett's Mustang Sally.  But catch a whiff of all these birthday songs turning 50:  Neil Sedaka's Happy Birthday Sweet 50 16; Bobby Vee's Run To Him; The Lion Sleeps Tonight by the Tokens; Gene Pitney's Town Without Pity; and Joey Dee and the Starlighters' Peppermint Twist!  That's a lot of candles to blow out.

Factoid:  Despite the fact that our school was known as Goat Roper U., I don't remember any of us having goats.
8- Foreplay/Long Time, Boston, Boston, my records.  This was my signature album, and we all had one.  I remember this as being the most popular, though.
7- Bandstand Boogie, Barry Manilow, Tryin' To Get The Feeling, Lorraine's stack.  She had all the Manilows. And all the Carpenters. And most of the John Denvers.

The big mover this week, up 27 spots from 89 to 67, Kenny Nolan's I Like Dreamin'.  And I did, because it was the only way to get a girlfriend for me back then.  The big dropper, surprise surprise, is in the top 40- but as we're not ruining the surprise, I can tell you that it was Fernando, dropping out of the top 10 from 10 to 24- a 14-notch fall.

Factoid:  Signature albums- Mine was the Boston lp; Phil was Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell; Lorraine, (insert Manilow, Carpenters, or Denver album here); Ann and Kathy, probably Seger's Against The Wind.  I remember Vince being involved with Cheap Trick's Dream Police;  I really don't remember what Rosie was into, though I think she got me Gary Numan's Cars one year for Christmas.  (or was it Jay Ferguson's Thunder Island?  I don't remember for sure...)

6- Running On Empty, Jackson Browne, Running On Empty, Phil's wax.  I remember most of us being in the school creative writing club ("Free-lancers"), and Phil's contribution was a poem/song based on this song.

5- Peaceful Easy Feeling, Eagles, Greatest Hits, my stuff. I remember trying one day to express the thought that it was nice to have a friend (Rachel) who was a very beautiful girl, yet such a good friend that there was really no "internal pressure" to fall in love with.  I said, This song reminds me of 'Happy' (her nickname)" .  Lorraine says, "You want to sleep in the desert with her?"  I look at Phil, we both shrug, and I answer, "Well, there IS that..."

Our Where Are They Now nod goes to #49, Eric Clapton's Hello Old Friend. Ol' Slowhand has been a very busy bee, touring last year with the likes of Jeff Beck, Roger Daltrey, and classical Violinist Tom Norris.  He also released a sel-ftitled LP last year, and played the Prince's Trust benefit at the Royal Albert Hall.  This year he's just finished a South American tour.  He married wife Melia in 2005, and they have three daughters:  Julie, 10; Ella, 8; and Sophie, 6.

Factoid:  "Free-lancers" were Mentored by Mrs. Hursh, who planted the seeds of much of my adult musical choices by letting me borrow CSNY's Deja Vu and Jesus Christ Superstar.

4- Her Strut, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Against The Wind, Ann & Kathy's music.  Always hard to say whether he said, "they do respect her, but..." or, "they do respect her butt..."

3. Surrender, Cheap Trick, At Budokan, Not for sure if Phil's or Vince's.  This was the song the seniors played at graduation practice my junior year.  That was the year they let a bunch of birds loose in the gym/auditorium, and our cross-eyed janitor was sent after them with a bb gun.

The top 40 debuts this week include: coming in at 39, up 4, David Dundas with Jeans On; at 34, up 7, the Sylvers' Hot Line; and at 31, up a big 14, Dazz by Brick.
Let's do a quick run through the #1s of other years, the 1s this week.  1991 was topped this week by Prince and the NPG and Cream- a song Prince said he wrote while looking in a mirror, which is all I need to know before deciding not to sample it.  1981 was topped by Olivia Newton-John's Physical, which I would probably prefer Cream to if I knew it.  Isaac Hayes' Theme from Shaft was at #1 in '71; Jimmy Dean ruled 1961 with Big Bad John.  And a repeater at the top in 1951- Eddie Howard's Sin (It's Not A Sin).

Factoid:  Our senior class were the ones that put for sale signs all along the front of the school, and a burnt-out car, an out house, and stop and yield signs in the courtyard planter.

2-Summer And Lightning, ELO, Out Of The Blue, My stuff, among others.  This was me and Susie's song- except that all we ever did was meaningless flirting, and it was only "our Song" in my mind.  Good enough for me.

1-  and could there be any doubt about this- Paradise By The Dashboard Lights, Meatloaf, Bat Out Of Hell, Phil's platters.  A song with truly something for everyone.  Action, adventure, sex, and Phil Rizzuto.

The other two that fall from top ten grace are Disco Duck, from 4 to 12; and If You Leave Me Now, from 9- to 21.

The Ten biggest songs in the land start with a debut in each of the first three slots.  At 10, up 5, are the Spinners with Rubberband Man. At 9, Firefall climbs two with You Are The Woman.  And the high debut jumps 5 to #8- Nadia's Theme by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.  Holding at seven is Kiss' Beth.  The Bee Gees climb two spots to 6 with Love So Right; Boston moves up one to #5 with More Than A Feeling.  Former top dog Steve Miller and Rock'n Me drops one to #4; Last week's #1 The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, sinks to 3.

Which brings us to our six degrees victim- Captain and T's Muskrat Love.  As we've previously discussed, this was first released by America off the album Hat Trick.  Now I COULD go down a VERY familiar road here; Billy Hinsche, Bruce Johnston, and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys sang backup on the title track (And tap dancing was done be Lorene Yarnel of Shields and Yarnel!).  But I'm going to scroll down to the track Green Monkey (which I did sample and it was very good), wherein Joe Walsh supplied some GEE-tar. Now, Joe had just left the James Gang and formed one of the best bands who never get mentioned when their songs play- Barnstorm.  (most of their work is considered "Solo Joe".)  One of the members of Barnstorm was one of those ubiquitous names I recognized- drummer Joe Vitale.  Now I didn't realize that he was a touring member of CSNY (and wrote Live it up and That Girl for them on my Live It Up cd) or the Eagles, nor that he co-wrote Joe's first Barnstorm (AKA solo) hit, Rocky Mountain Way. But I did know he co-wrote my favorite Eagles song with Joe, Hotel California's Pretty Maids All In A Row.  And that he was one of a roomfull of people (including the aforementioned messers Seger and Ferguson) who got writing props for The Long Run's Heartache Tonight.

And with 'Skrat Love at #2, that means that we have a new top dog- and I've seen the future, and the man's pitching a tent.  That man would be...

...Rod Stewart, with Tonight's The Night!!!

No sixties countdown to pimp anymore, so just tune in next week, when things return to a semblance of Normalcy.

Factoid:  Music had degraded so much by the time that we graduated, the week of the event, my top "ten" was Against The Wind, Little Jeanie, and some third song I don't even remember.  So I began to build a time machine...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

They found me...

...but, of course I was never lost.  That is, my personal retinue of scammers submitting their attempts for my advice.  Let's take a look at this weeks crop.  #1...

Us ambassador office (First of all, you might want to make it US, not "Us."
11 Garki Road Lagos
Lagos, Nigeria.

Dear Beneficiary,

),(Next, don't put your name in parentheses!)
Be informed that I have resolved with the Nigeria Foreign Remittance Department to deliver the sum of us$5.5m being the accrued interest from your contract/inheritance fund. I shall be coming to your Country for an official meeting by next week and I will be bringing your consignment containing the fund which has been packaged and sealed in your favor but this time I will not go through Customs because as a USA Ambassador to Nigeria, I am a US Government Agent and have the veto power to go through Customs.
(Wow! Veto power!  Do you wear a cape?) I am scheduled to have a brief meeting with the Secretary of States by next week.

Send your mobile cell phone number and the address where you want me to bring the consignment/fund package. You have really paid so much as I was made to understand and that is why I have personally intervened. Your package (US$5.5m} must be registered as an Ambassadorial package for me to defeat all odds
(Ta da da... It's SCAMMAN, with his amazing Veto Power!)and the cost of registering it is $175.00 only.

The fee must be paid in the next 50 hours via western union
(insert blah blah blah, please hurry and send info, blah blah)

Treat as urgent,
Maccaulley Terence

Okay, two tips here.  #1, you are sending a scam, not fighting Dr. Doom. Tone down the heroic efforts.  Two, your name should be in FRONT of your title, not in parentheses behind it.

Okay, contestant #2.
Official HeadQuaters,
101, Yakubu Gowon Crescent,
Asokoro District P.M.B. 401 Abuja, Nigeria  (Nice touch, giving a legit link to someone who really has nothing to do with you. )
Tel: +2348130 989982

Dear Winner,

This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of One Million
United States Dollars, ($1,000,000.00) for the year 2011 Lottery
promotion which is organized by ECOWAS DONATIONS 2011
.(Okay, Here we have to believe that a West African economic group is actually holding a lottery.  Bit of a stretch, but okay.)
ECOWAS DONATIONS 2011, collects all the email addresses of people that
are active online, among the millions that subscribed to the Internet.we
only select five people every Year as our winners through electronic
balloting System without the winner applying,We congratulate you for being
one of the people selected. (
And how does it help the West African economy to give 5 mil a year to unknowing strangers?  WELL?)

To file for your claims (insert blah blah contact info etc.)

Thank you and Accept my hearty Congratulations once again!
Yours faithfully,
Mr.Peters Brown
Tel: +2348130989982

**KHN Confidentiality Notice**
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Kettering Health Network???  WTF does a health network ourt of Dayton OH have to do with the ECOWAS?  Next time, make sure the computer you are siphoning through doesn't add closing comments.  So much promise wasted.  Okay, #3:


My name is Mr.Kenneth Danquah , a politician and a previous member of Ghana's executive committee on contract awards.

My purpose of connecting you is to crave your indulgence to assist me in securing some funds abroad for safe keeping which I incidentally kept to help me finance my senatorial elections campaign under the party umbrella of National Patriotic Party (NPP) on December 7th 2008, Unfortunately for me I lost the seat to my opposition member under the party of National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But with my immediate contact, I was able to deposit some kickback money emanated from award of contracts awarded to Chinese and Malaysia companies in a security vault with a commercial bank in Ghana pending when I will found a trustworthy person to move out the fund from Ghana to oversea bank account for business investment.
(Wow, basically "I am a crooked politician.  Please help me get some of my ill-gotten gains out of country before I'm found out and become goat pellets.  I like this guy!)

The need to contact you arose from the fact that the present elected government vow to crack down on past immediate government functionaries of (NPP) and trying to trace all the funds that was made through contract awards and other mouth watering deals during our tenure in the office from the year 2000 to 2008, if they succeed in tracing this fund to me, they will seize it and thereby incapacitating my life time opportunities.

I wish to relocate this fund in a foreigner's name to avoid any trace. All I need from you is an assurance that you can handle the amount involved (US$19,500,000) comfortably and that I can also trust you.

Be fully rest assured that there is no risk involved.
(Oh, of course not.) I want you to immediately inform me of your willingness in assisting and co-operating with me, so that I can send you full details of this transaction.

Yours faithfully,
Mr. Kenneth Danquah

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First it's KHN, now PETA?  This is too funny.  Save that spotted owl or we'll sic scammers on you.  Okay, contestant #4:

( ARRANGEMENT)  Attention beneficiary.  (Man, is Benin nothing but one big collection of economic groups?)Why have you decided to abandon your fund by refusing to pay the $85 dollars for the renewal of your transfer file,(This is a question, not a comma!) Be rest assure that as soon you send the $85.00usd they must start transferring of your fund through Western Union within 2hrs after confirmation of the fee without any further delay and this is the only fee you have to pay in this transaction as it was written down already by the Federal government of this country that mapped out the compensation for you ok. (Blah blah, send info etc.)

  So now, it's my fault I'm not rich, because I didn't send you $85 I didn't know about?  You catch more flies with honey, pal.
Contestant #5:
Good day!

How are you today together with your family,i thank God almighty for his infinity mercy upon my life for latter making this business to work out sucessfull.
(Too bad God's "infinity mercy" didn't come with a better Yoruba to English translater.)

I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the funds transferred under the cooperation of the new partner from LUXMBURG, Presently iam in LUXMBURG for investment projects with my own share.  (Or spell check, for that matter.)

meanwhile,i didn't forget your past efforts(?) and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how. (probably because it never happened.)

Out of my sincere heart(?) i have deceided to show gratitude to you and i have signed a cheque on your behalf for your compensation,now contact my secretary in Ouaga, Burkina-Faso, his name is Mr. Arahad Gad and his email address is ( and ask him to send you the cheque worth $800,000 Usd which i kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter and instruct him where to send the amount to you.I appreciated your efforts to assist that time despite that you later disappointed me.(Darn, what an ass I am!  Again, you have to keep positive to your customer/victim.  This is a bad check, as the cheese says.)

So feel free and get intouch with my secretary Mr.Arahad Gad Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together(!) after all the sufferness(?) at that time.

In the moment, i am very busy here because of the investment projects which i and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instructions to my secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mr.Arahad Gad and he will send the cheque to you.

Mr.Dubey sudian

"Sufferness"?  I may have to use that one!  I do like that part about sharing the joy- too bad you srtupidly ruined it by telling me I disappointed you.  Okay, last contestant:

Good News For Your Atm Card This office is writing to inform you about the payment of us$2.5million dollars been approved in your name from World Bank Award Payment Program 2011, after the verification of your payment inheritance fund in our custody, we confirm that the federal united state of America and ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOwAS) has been asigned in agreement with World Bank to distribute all your payment to you in ATM visa card pacific which you should use to withdraw all your fund in any ATM service machine working in any bank in your country. But the maximum amount you will withdraw in a day is ($5000 dollars) till you cash all your fund credit in your ATM account. so if you would like to receive your total fund in new ATM visa Card, please let us know by contacting the ATM payment department with below address information.
Best Regard.
Mr Innocent Yaro.
(Board Members of ATM payment department)

Boy, that ECOWAS really gets around.  And they just want to send me a visa card, right?  As if that isn't a big red flag in and of itself.

So let's grade this out.  Macauley Terrance, AKA Scamman, you get a A for grammar, D for message.
ECOWAS #1,  Credibility score is a D, revealing your bot-computer draws an F.  Kenneth Danquah, for the use of the "Crooked Politician" persona and using a PETA computer to send it, 2 A+s!  Chief Justice of Benin, you were rude and not very interesting.  F's all around.  Dubey Sudian, D for not upgrading your translator, D for being disappointed in me, and  B- for everything else.  And ECOWAS #2, this wasn't the laziest effort I've ever seen, but certainly lazy.  D-.  Overall, I'm disappointed in you all.  Take a lesson from Kenneth Danquah- be interesting, be clever, be informative, be polite, and stick it to PETA!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We make holes in cushions!

Today, I'd like to tell you a little about our job today.  The sewers were all sewing a cushion set that consists of a seat that gets poly-filled and a back that gets a blown filling and a button on front and back.  Due to down season for cutting, Laurie and I got elected to this button job.  Laurie had to take scrap fabric to cut out the little button coverings, and then put them into a machine that magically mounts it on the button.  I got to attach the little buggers, and this is where everything got a tad complicated.

The shell itself is a 25X27 square, with a 4-inch wide band.  It has a 7-inch space left open at the bottom for the fill to be shot in.  When we cut these in mass quantities (as we had here, because these are for K-Mart retail orders going out in a few weeks), you have to use a drill and fabric bit to drill a hole in the exact center of each piece for the button.   With me so far?  Okay, now the fun stuff.

The fabric is a thick, dark maroon-ish with roses stitched in black.  It has been a rip-roaring delight to tell which direction is up on this stuff, but that's another story.  Now once upon a time, we had a "regular size" fabric bit, but then some big fat arse of a customer crushed a cushion beyond its weight limit and the button tore, leading them to bitch that the "hole was too big".  So now we use this tiny pin-prick of a bit that makes hard to see holes in the easiest of fabrics.  Combine tiny holes, dark fabrics, the fact that apparently cutting this fabric at depth (maybe 60 plies) makes the holes "heal themselves", and you know why my first words were "I hope there's not a RATE on this!"  To which my super said, "400 per hour" (jokingly).  The actual action is much like hooking a rug, even uses the same tool with the tip that lays back going in, folds back to grab the thread and go out.  But the very first one they grabbed to show me how to do it proved almost impossible to find the holes.  So we designed a pattern to put a mark where the hole should be.  And it worked pretty good.  But speed is not an option here.  Thousands were being made, and it took me from 7:30 to 4:30 to do 190.

So they gave me a lady to help do them, and asked me to show her what I was doing.  But, I protested, what I was doing was basically blind ass luck.  How do you explain that to a woman who speaks no English (and wasn't real sure what was going on when another lead explained it in Spanish)?  So we made another pattern, gave her a hook (which our super had to run to Wal-Mart and get, as we only had the one).  From noon to 4:30, she had somewhere between 20 and 40.

Then our super discovers we don't have enough plastic buttons- and of course waits until Laurie's used them up to find out.  So now Laurie gets to help by using the pattern to mark the spots where the holes MIGHT BE (and were about 60 % of the time, and within 3/4 inch another 30%, with 10% non-existent for all practical intents).  Which made things go much faster, except for the occasional time that Laurie managed to rub off the marker mark on the table before giving it to me.  And THIS is how we got to the point that Laurie and I got tomorrow off because of the used up buttons and the lack of any other semi-productive labor to foist on us.  In the meantime, the stuffers, finishers, and packers get 6 hours OT on Friday. Go figure.  And the sewers putting together all these loverly cushions get to come in 2 hours late tomorrow.  Scratching your head? Welcome to Arden Corporation, Quality products by any means possible.

On the way home, we were listening to my brand new (replacement copy) of ELO's Out Of The Blue.  This was the ONE album everybody in our group in high school  had, and it got played at most every occasion.  Which got me thinking, and then thinking again, and I've come up with a great (to me) idea.  This Friday's Time Machine will have a special "Top Ten songs of our high school parties" countdown, a countdown that may well apply to many people, but especially to groups like ours, which was basically what you got when you weeded out all the other cliques (including the geeks), and jocks, and we were what you were left with.  Be sure to tune in then (or maybe Thursday, if sitting around the house due to these ridiculous winter-like temperatures in wintertime bores me enough to act early).