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


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunday Message

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

                                       -John Lennon, Imagine

For certain intruders have stolen in among you, people who long ago were designated for this condemnation as ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.[f]


Now I desire to remind you, though you are fully informed, that the Lord, who once for all saved[g] a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their own position, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains in deepest darkness for the judgment of the great day. Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust,[h] serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Yet in the same way these dreamers also defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones...Woe to them! For they go the way of Cain, and abandon themselves to Balaam’s error for the sake of gain, and perish in Korah’s rebellion... 12 They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved forever."

                                                   - The Book of Jude

Have a great Labor Day!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Time Machine week 83

Today is August 30th, 1971, and today, the Beach Boys release the lp Surf's Up.  A critically acclaimed mish-mash of stuff glued together by one Jack Rieley, a former DJ who got the job as the band's producer by lying about a Peabody Award he received while at NBC.  While the Wiki article claims he "returned the band to acclaim", his two-lp tenure netted singles that charted at 89 (Long Promised Road), 79 (Sail On Sailor on the album Holland, though it did chart later and peak at #49), and 84 (California Saga) along with one that didn't chart at all (Surf's Up, a victim of not really being a pop single, though a beautiful song).  And Surf's Up was a rework from the Smile lp that wasn't finished until decades later, while Sail On Sailor was shoehorned into Holland because the record company didn't hear a single.  Now, I don't tell the tale with my usual snark to bash the Boys- just the company they chose to keep back then.

Now, the day before, well, the earth-shaking news of that day was Yemen Prime Minister Hassan al-Amri shooting dead a professional studio photographer whom he got pissed at.  The president, happy to take advantage of the last straw, demanded he be tried by Shiara Law, but he got out of the country before the police got him, and he spent the rest of his days wining and dining on Egypt's dime.

Sir?  Your first virgin is here...

Welcome to Time Machine, where you'll find only the classiest stories- including a six degrees featuring Tommy James, an obscure 18th-century composer, and one of the biggest porn stars of the seventies!  Also, more Autumn Madness, the return of "debuts worth note", two big international hits finally go down, and- The Cherry People(?)!  As the late, great Maria Muldaur might say, "send your camel to bed, and let's go!"

First, let's swing by the tops of the charts, shall we?  We quickly learn that what is hot locally isn't necessarily hot overall when we note where the local number ones are on the big chart!  In fact, the song that is #1 this week on Cashbox dropped off one of the local charts 2 weeks ago, off another last week, and averages a placement of 22.8 on the other five!  Anyway, Detroit's 2 stations agree with Go Away Little Girl (#15 on CB this week) at the top; Minneapolis has I Just Want To Celebrate (#18), L.A. has Liar (in the top ten), Chicago is split between Smiling Faces Sometimes (#12), and Uncle Albert (#28), and Pittsburgh has Ain't No Sunshine (#14).

Internationally, Michel Delpich's Pour Un Flirt has fallen out of the top spot after a 8-week run, replaced by blind pianist/vocalist Gilbert Montagne's The Fool.  According to his website, it hit the top in 12 nations- however, he didn't feel like listing which ones.  I can tell you at least four of them where it isn't- South Africa, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany are all now ruled by Sweet with Co-Co, a song that will peak at #99 in the Us of A. In Germany, they have unseated Daniel Gerard's Butterfly after a 14-week run.  The only remaining changer on the international scene is Canada, who now agrees with the Cashbox chart and ...oops, almost got me!  Stay tuned for that song later.  Chicago's Beginnings now tops the AC chart, Tammy Wynette's on top with her 9th country #1, Good Lovin' (Makes It Right), and Spanish Harlem tops the R&B list.

And that brings us back to America, and out of 13 debuts on the hot 100 this week, we have three "of note" tunes.  Carole King is way up at 60 with my favorite, So Far Away.  One of our AM contestants this week, the Carpenters' Superstar, comes in at 68.  And the Free Movement, an LA band that sounded like maybe they shoulda done laxative ads, come in at 100 with Found Someone Of My Own (you can see them facing a sad jar of their old laxative as they sing the first line of the chorus, "I said, I found somebody else, to take your place...")  Shame on me, that's a good song.

Before we hit the birthday songs, let's move over to... AUTUMN MADNESS!  (Where the votes are a lot more important than the points on Who's Line Is It Anyway, but count about the same).

This week, we have the second set of regionals from Atlantic City in the East:

Close To You- Carpenters, vs Rag Doll, the Four Seasons (our experts vote 2-1 for the Carpenters):  My deepest memories are in play here.  I remember that when I was little, I didn't mind going to the Dr's office, because Dr. Dahling always had easy listening WPTH on his muzak, and I knew that either this one or We've Only Just Begun would play.  The vividness of the song in my mind is incredible.  But Rag Doll is yet another one of those songs I like a little more every time I hear it.  I don't know if I would have went with this tourney idea had I known just how hard it would be!  ARRRRGH!  Rag Doll by a nose.

Georgie Girl, the Seekers, vs Fall On Me, REM(2-1 for Georgie Girl):  Michael Stipe or Judith Durham.  No contest here, the Seekers move on.

In the Midwest, at Chicago:

Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money, vs Theme From A Summer Place, Percy Faith ((2-1 for Eddie):This isn't even fair.  Eddie's song is one of the most brilliant ideas, perfectly executed, in music history.  But the FIRST song I remember is A Summer Place.  It's what I imagine hearing as my soul rises to heaven.  Percy moves on.

Surfer Girl, the Beach Boys, vs To Know Him Is To Love Him, the Teddy Bears (2-1 Beach Boys):  For three reasons- a)an all time favorite, b) beach music and the whole "desert island" concept, and c) I owe them after trashing them in the teaser.  Beach Boys.

Out west, in L.A.:

Shannon, Henry Gross, vs Mandy, Barry Manilow (2-1 for Barry):  Really?  This is like the third no-win scenario for me.  Either one eliminates a song very precious to me.  I really thought, the beach, the desert island connection, would swing it to Shannon, but I can't escape

...Shadows of a man,
a face through a window,
crying in the night,
as night goes in to morning, just another day...

Mandy, the first record I actually bought.  But not by much.

We've Only Just Begun, the Carpenters, vs Money For Nothing, Dire Straits (2-1 Carpenters):  Money For Nothing is a tremendous song.  I drank a lot of beer to that tune that summer.  Carpenters, easy.

And finally, the Southeast region in Memphis:

Her Town Too, James Taylor and JD Souther, vs, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Everly Brothers (3-0 for the brothers):  Long ages ago when I was going to night classes at IPFW, I remember about a hundred times (maybe half-a-dozen, but bear with) I would make that last turn onto old 30, the church looming less than a mile ahead, a bright moon over the road as I faced east, and Her Town Too would come on the radio.  I always sang Souther's parts.  James and JD for me.

Wishing You Were Here, Chicago, vs Hello It's Me, Todd Rundgren (3-0 for Todd):  The last verse, Think of me, You-oo-oo... rips through me every time.  But in my mind, we're kids, on the speedboat at Snow Lake, coasting through the channel into Lake James, and Peter Cetera and the Beach Boys are on the 8-track singing, ooo-ooh wishing you were, wishing you were here...  Just no contest.  Chicago wins and I go against BOTH unanimous voter picks.  Sorry, guys!  I'll tell you this, though, this has been the single hardest round yet... and we're not out of the first round yet!

Birthday song time!  Turning 30 this week, we have the Police with King Of Pain; Dolly and Kenny with Islands In The Stream; ZZ Top's Sharp Dressed Man (yikes! watch out for the Duck Dynasty fans!) and something I neglected last week- that 1983 big four.  The fourth, the Fixx's One Thing Leads To Another, comes in this week at 80, while the others await above- True sits at 27, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All sits at 31, and Total Eclipse Of The Heart at 32- in other words, in reverse order of where the finished on my chart and Billboard.

With no one turning 35, we move to our new 40-year-olds.  One of them is a bit obscure, but still my favorite all-time John Denver song- Farewell, Andromeda (Welcome To My Morning).  Also hitting 40 this week, Bob Dylan's Knocking On Heaven's Door and Gladys Knight and the Pips' Midnight Train To Georgia.  Turning 45, another of my obscure favorites- Max Frost and the Troopers with Shape Of Things To Come.  And the song from which Eddie Money's genius sprang- the Ronettes' Be My Baby- turns 50 this week.  Blow out the candles...

We have a pair of big droppers this week- The Temptations (who just peaked at 40 last week) with It's Summer, and former top ten Freda Payne's Bring The Boys Home both fall 37 spots- the first to 77, the second to 80.  Climbing the fastest is Rod Stewart with Maggie May, up 18 spots to #66.

Our 45 at 45 this week gives us a relatively unknown at #45 back in '68, a song called And Suddenly by a combo calling themselves The Cherry People.  But it really wasn't them, per se... you seel they were a psychedelic group from the DC area  who had been  the Intruders and then the English Setters before becoming the CPs.  A local outfit of some renown, they opened local concerts by national acts like the Beau Brummells, Neil Diamond, and the Young Rascals.  But it was opening for the Jimi Hendrix Experience in New York that they attracted the attention of a producer from MGM records, who signed them to their Heritage label.  But in the end, they were yet another victim of the bubblegum craze; this producer picked out the songs they would sing (with only two of their own songs making it onto their album, a song called I'm The One Who Loves You being the better known), picking their single (And Suddenly was a tune written and first recorded by The Left Banke as the flip side of their #119 hit Ivy Ivy), even basically replacing the band members with studio musicians as they felt like it.  And Suddenly peaked at 44, and The Cherry People more or less returned to the bar scene within a couple of years.

That brings us to this week's top 40 debuts, and a couple of almost but not quite shout outs.  First, the newbies:  For a second week, #41 moves up a notch to 40, this time it's Barbra Streisand covering Carole King's Where You Lead.  The Guess Who rocket up 14 spots to 33 with Rain Dance; and Joan Baez climbs a like amount to 30 with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.  As for the ABNQs, the previously-mentioned Beginnings by Chicago peaks at 11; while somewhat lower, Bread tops out at 45 this week with Mother Freedom.

And now, next week's contestants:

In the East, from beautiful Greenwich Village:

ELO's Telephone Line vs Paul Young's Every Time You Go Away and the Wings' Coming Up (live from Glasgow) vs England Dan and John Ford Coley with Nights Are Forever Without You.

In the Midwest, from St. Louie, MO:

Bobby Darin's Mack The Knife vs Culture Club's Time (Clock Of The Heart) and Merilee Rush and the Turnabouts' version of Angel Of The Morning vs the Bee Gees with Nights On Broadway.

Out West in Honolulu:

Wings yet again with Listen To What The Man Said vs Asia's Heat Of The Moment, and the Skyliners' Since I Don't Have You vs Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse Of The Heart.

And in the Southeast, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama:

J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' Last Kiss vs Jackson Browne's In The Shape Of A Heart, and Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense And Peppermints vs Bobby Vinton's Blue On Blue. 

Three songs join the top ten, three fall out.  Dropping are Never Ending Song Of Love (9 to 17), You've Got A Friend (8 to 19), and the Isley take on Love The One You're With (10 to 31).

LATE BREAKING UPDATE:  While pausing to consume processed cow flesh, I tumbled on to an addendum to the Cherry People story.  Apparently, the Left Banke recording of And Suddenly was about as much Left Banke as the Cherry People version was Cherry People.  Keyboardist and writer Michael Brown basically recorded it and the a-side as a solo adding session people to create the "Left Banke"  Among these were guitarist, actor, comedian, and future Spinal Tapper Michael McKean.  The remainder of the band was cheesed, organized the fan club against the single, and finally, DJs and record execs alike pulled the 45 off the market.  But the band would kiss and make up, record a second lp, and on three of those songs appeared a young back-up singer named Steven Tyler- yes, THAT Steven Tyler.

Moving up 3 notches to #10, Three Dog Night comes in with Liar.

Up 5 to #9 is Aretha Franklin's Spanish Harlem.

Canada's Five Man Electrical Band hit the top ten, moving 4 to # 8 with Signs.

Tom Clay's medley holds at #7 this week.

Jean Knight tumbles a pair to #6 with Mr. Big Stuff.

CCR hitchhikes their way up a spot to #5, with Sweet Hitchhiker.

Marvin Gaye moves up one to #4 with Mercy Mercy Me.

And that brings us to that long-awaited six degrees, with Draggin' The Line dropping one to #3 for Tommy James.

As we all know, Tommy and the Shondells recorded for Roulette, which was basically a mob money-laundering operation.  Roulette somehow managed to sign some top talent from the mid-fifties onward, from Count Basie to Duane Eddy, from Bill Haley and his Comets to the Three Degrees.  But the act that raised my eyebrows you know best from her starring roles in such movies as The Devil In Miss Jones...

... you old-timers remember Marilyn Chambers, right?  Well, it seems that Marilyn saw the success fellow porn star Andrea True had when she hit the top ten with More More More, and wanted to try it too.  She got together with disco producer Michael Zager and released a single Benihana in 1976.  While it didn't go very far, Zager did better with Spinners vol. 2 and their late hits Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl and Cupid/I've Loved You For A Long Time.  The Four Seasons cover was written by the team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.  In addition to several other FS hits, the team also turned the Minuet In G Major into the Toys' A Lovers' Concerto.  For years thought to be the composition of the world famous JS Bach, in the seventies a different story emerged.  It seems that it was found in a book from Bach to his second wife titled, Notebook For Anna Magdalena Bach.  Within it were songs and tunes done by Bach himself... but in the empty back pages sat the Minuet and other compositions- compositions NOT of Bach- which the family liked to play at home and added over the years.  Two of those were written by the much less famous but respected composer Christian Petzold (1677-1733)- one of them, the Minuet In G Major.

The runner up spot this week belongs to John Denver with Take Me Home, Country Roads moving up a notch to #2.

Which means the winnah, and still champeen, is...

...the Bee Gees with How Do You Mend A Broken Heart!!!!

Next week, the end of round one.. and the regional championships!  Tune in, or ... well, just tune in, okay?  I get so lonely without you!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The latest from Martin World News

I'm actually going to lead this one off with a joke, which will lead into a couple of stories from the lovely French Republic.  The joke was part of a friend's Facebook post on looming war with Syria and France's announcement of being "willing to punish Syria" for their use of Sadaam Hussein surplus poison gas (innit funny how we people who "hate Obama for no reason" and aren't convinced that GW Bush was a total idiot have been proven right about where those WMDs went?).  The joke read, "French military surplus rifles:  Never used, dropped once".

In what has to be one of my slicker segues, the latest example of French  resolve seems to be the battle vs... er... wolves in the south of the country...

"In France, no one knows how to hunt wolves!" cried Laurent Cayrel, head of Var prefect in Provence, as he met with sheep farmers recently. Cayrel proposed that local authorities call in experienced hunters from the US and eastern Europe to try to stem the rising number of attacks on sheep. 
He may be joined by others in calling for armed intervention from hunters from across the pond if the so far fruitless attempts by locals to kill the wild animals continues for much longer.
Not a single wolf was killed during a recent 150-man hunt to cull the animals in the nearby military camp of Canjuers, in Provence where up to 80 percent of all wolf attacks in France have taken place. The military allows farmers to let their sheep graze on the plateau in Provence, which houses western Europe's biggest military training ground. 
And a plan to cull 24 of the predators in the region has so far only resulted in one dead wolf and one injured one.
 Other regions in France have also seen a surge in wolf attacks on animals recently . Europe1 reported that attacks in Mercantour National Park near the Italian border have gone up by 18 percent in one year, while farmers in nearby Drôme region say more than 2,200 animals have been slayed in the past twelve months - three times as many as the year before.
"It is impossible to defend ourselves," Drôme farmer Jean-Pierre Royannez told Europe 1. "We've tried everything without success. The wolves adapt, the attacks are multiplying and today no one has any control over the situation."
"This will mean the end to cattle farming in many areas across all of France," the exasperated farmer added.  (This story and next from France Local)
Moving on from the travails of the French citizen-soldier, there was also the tragic story of three little kids apparently abandoned by their parents.  Last Wednesday, the younger two, 2 months and 2 years old, were dropped off at their respective nannies... but never picked up.  Two days later, a six-year-old daughter showed up at her nanny's house alone, apparently sent via taxi by good ol' mom.  Yesterday, we finally found mom and dad... and guess where they were...

...that's right, the sun-soaked beaches of Marseille, where dad had just gotten picked up for smoking a joint.

According to Le Parisien newspaper he said he couldn’t understand why he was in trouble because “he had left his kids with their nanny.”  Next time, you might wanna leave a forwarding address...

Next up, let's check out Liberia, and their perfect education record...(Courtesy BBC)

Liberia's education minister says she finds it hard to believe that not a single candidate passed this year's university admission exam.
Nearly 25,000 school-leavers failed the test for admission to the University of Liberia, one of two state-run universities. The students lacked enthusiasm and did not have a basic grasp of English, a university official told the BBC.

Liberia is recovering from a brutal civil war that ended a decade ago.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel peace laureate, recently acknowledged that the education system was still "in a mess", and much needed to be done to improve it.

Many schools lack basic education material and teachers are poorly qualified, reports the BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh from the capital, Monrovia.However, this is the first time that every single student who wrote the exam for a fee of $25 (£16) has failed, our reporter says.

It means that the overcrowded university will not have any new first-year students when it reopens next month for the academic year.

Students told him the result was unbelievable and their dreams had been shattered, our reporter adds.

Education Minister Etmonia David-Tarpeh told the BBC Focus on Africa programme that she intended to meet university officials to discuss the failure rate.

"I know there are a lot of weaknesses in the schools but for a whole group of people to take exams and every single one of them to fail, I have my doubts about that," Ms David-Tarpeh said. "It's like mass murder."

That's okay, they can move to Nigeria and Benin and become e-mail scammers!  Next up, how NOT to pack for vacation... (courtesy Moscow News)

Strange sounds coming from a parcel in Kirov led police to evacuate post office employees because of bomb fears, but the object inside the package turned out to be a self-pleasure device.
Around noon on Friday, employees of Kirov's Oktyabrsky district post office called the police after buzzing noises aroused suspicions, Interfax reported.
After everyone was evacuated to safety and the area was cordoned off, the police called the owner of the package, a Kirov woman who quickly decided that she did not want to mail it anymore.
When forced to open the parcel the woman revealed that its buzzing content was a vibrator.
The woman planned to take a trip and was sending the battery-powered device to herself after deciding against bringing it in her luggage, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported.
After the incident the post office returned to normal operations and sent the dildo on to its intended destination.
A police spokesperson thanked the post office employees for remaining alert.

So, to save herself from being a "suspected terrorist" at the Airport, she became a "suspected terrorist" at the Post Office.  Moral of the story:  remove batteries after use.

And finally, Laurie got to sit in on the Gang of Three at the Bark Park a couple evenings ago.  Here's some of how that went...

Scrappy and Vinnie... together again!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Sunday afternoon news.

And topping the list is everyone's favorite wonder dog, Scrappy.  Friday night he had his second venture into the bark park, with two male dogs this time- and Airedale named Vinnie and a great slobbering English Mastiff named Drake.  It looked something like this:

I say "something like this", because I had a camera problem that I will go into in a bit. Scrappy and Vinnie were like a couple little kids, play fighting, running around, while Drake followed at a slightly slower pace and tried to inject himself into the middle when the slowed.  Then they'd get tired, and one of two things would follow.  The first was, they'd all wander around, sniffing various things until either Scrappy or Vinnie (they took turns) would come up to the other and start things up again.  The second was really clever on Scrappy's part.  He would sit down between Drake's front legs.  As Drake slowly came to the conclusion that this presented a humping opportunity, Scrappy would wait until Vinnie's back was turned and leap out after him.  That boy really earned his name that night, as well as a shower ( between Vinnie's play bites- which I also received, and can guarantee were harmless- and Drake's slobber, he was soaked).

Now the camera thing.  For whatever reason, my camera's chip went spastic and would not download the pictures I took.  I tried everything in my arsenal, but no go.  So I took a picture of the camera screen with my phone, and that is what you see above.  I decided to charge the battery and try again in the morning.  Now here is where my camera's adorable little quirk comes in.  It is a Sony, and thus makes you download through their PlayMemories Home program.  Which is a good thing, EXCEPT on a full battery.  Then, it absolutely refuses to recognize the camera through the USB  until enough time passes and it gets back to some seemingly arbitrary level.  So, Saturday morning, after several moments of fighting THAT battle again, I decided to take a walk and just take pictures with the phone, which I could then e-mail to the computer.

River's way down, eh?

Area inundated with visitors to the annual Shindigz Soccer Festival (or as I call it, Soccerpalooza).
And sure enough, by the time I got home, the camera was drained enough to get PMH to open.  Unfortunately it still wouldn't download anything until I got rid of Friday night's pictures by re-formatting.  And that's why you get the fuzzy Scrappy picture.

So now, I move onto three news stories I've collected this weekend.  Our first story comes from, and makes me shake my head yet again at the FWPD's ability to get the job done:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Police said a man is facing seven charges after he led police on a moped pursuit Friday night near the southeast side of Fort Wayne.
According to Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Mark Brooks, an officer pulled over Lagrant Smith, 40, who was driving a moped near Eckart and Winter Streets around 10:15 p.m. Friday.
Brooks said Smith initially pulled over but then refused to speak with the officer and took off on his moped.
More than 10 FWPD squad cars followed Smith on his moped. The pursuit led police around a large side of southeast Fort Wayne, according to Brooks.

Brooks said the pursuit speed topped out at around 20 miles per hour.
Smith was finally apprehended in the 5300 block of South Anthony Boulevard, after leading police around for about two miles.
Police said Smith got off his moped and attempted to flee on foot. Officers had to use a stun gun on Smith and arrested him shortly after, Brooks said.
According to police, Smith hit several cars during the pursuit.
Brooks also said a police officer suffered a minor leg injury during the pursuit.

So tell me how it is that not only did the FWPD need TEN officers to catch a guy that most people could have taken down by themselves on foot, but managed to get hit- several times- by this elusive snail  perp?

As long as I'm picking on, figure this one out.  I'll separate out the offending lines.

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) - Officials said a Steuben County Sheriff's Office deputy was flown to the hospital after he hit a tree and was pinned in his squad car for over an hour Saturday night.

According to police, the deputy was responding to the Story Lake area to assist DeKalb County police with a 911 call regarding a man with a gun threatening to shoot people at a large gathering.


The deputy was driving southbound on SR 327 just north of CR 400 S in a fully marked 2010 Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser at around 11:40 p.m. when he came over a hill and saw another vehicle driving the same direction on the road.

Police said the deputy tried to avoid a head-on collision with the other car by going off the east side of the road. He then lost control, drove across SR 327 and hit a tree on the west side of the road.


According to officials, the deputy was pinned in his patrol car for over an hour before fire rescue crews were able to extricate him. He was flown to Parkview Trauma Center via Samaritan Helicopter.

The man suffered a head injury, along with ankle and wrist injuries, according to police. His condition was not released.

So, tell me how you can have a "head-on collision" with a car "driving in the same direction"?


The third story, though, pisses me off because it is the kind of legal mumbo jumbo (sorry, Nain) that runs this country straight down the tubes.  Most of us have heard about the three "bored kids" who livened up their day by killing the Australian college baseball player who was just out for a jog.  Here's what is aggravating in this, from FoxNews:

An Australian baseball player who was allegedly shot and killed at random while he was jogging wasn't targeted because of his race or nationality, the prosecutor in charge of the case said Friday.
Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old student at East Central University, was shot in the back and killed last week while jogging in Duncan, a southern Oklahoma community where the three teenagers accused in his killing live.
"At this point, the evidence does not support the theory that Christopher Lane was targeted based upon his race or nationality," District Attorney Jason Hicks said in a statement.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards, Jr., 15, have been charged as adults with first-degree murder. Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, is charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder. He is considered a youthful offender but will be tried in adult court.
Jones named Luna as the gunman. 
Hicks acknowledged that social media posts allegedly made by some of the defendants are racial in nature, but he said "the evidence is insufficient to establish that race was the primary motive" in Lane's slaying.
The Daily Caller reported that racist tweets were posted on an account belonging to Edwards. One tweet from the account reads, "90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM." Another post read, "Ayeee I knocced out 5 woods since Zimmerman court!:)"
The Daily Caller's report noted that 'woods' is used as a derogatory term for white people. 
Police Chief Dan Ford said the victim appeared to be chosen at random, and that one suspect told officers that he and the other boys were bored and they followed Lane and killed him for "the fun of it."
One of Edwards' friends, Serenity Jackson, told The Associated Press she didn't believe race was a factor in the shooting. She noted that Luna's mother, Edwards' girlfriend and Jones are white.
"It has nothing to do with Chris being white. They didn't even know who he was," said Jackson, 17, who grew up with Edwards.

So a black kid can expose himself as a racist publically, kill a white guy, and it's not racist.  Even though we all know of a similar case where the killing was an outrage and sparked the wearing of hoodies in protest because he was black, and that was racist.

Let me ask you something, when society gives me this message, how am I as a white supposed to NOT be racist?  Let's call a spade a spade, as it were.  I do not doubt that these kids were so morally bankrupt that they wouldn't kill a black IF THEY HAD A REASON sufficient for murder in their little pea-sized brains.  But this prosecutor wants me to believe that they would have killed a black just for fun, as soon as a white?  I don't buy that for a minute.

An accusation that was never proven of racism for George Zimmerman was enough to make him the most hated cracker in America.  But James Edwards, a black, can post clearly racist stuff on the WWW and I'm supposed to believe that killing a white man for fun wasn't racially motivated.

You know what?  I don't like using this word on my blog, but there's no way to avoid it:



Finally, we're on the second to last week of the AIHL season, and this is how things shook out.

Adelaide had one slight hope to make the playoffs (which as I understand it are a four team bracket, one-game series, one date, one venue affair), and that was to sweep the Melbourne Ice this weekend.  Saturday, with time running out and the goalie pulled, they let in a score by Tommy Powell (his second of the game) to put them down 5-3.  But Josef Rezek scored with 34 ticks left, and Matthew Heywood 13 seconds later, and the hope was still there (albeit slimmer) as they went to the shootout.  But in the SO, Heywood and Powell cancelled each other out, and the Ice's John Gordon popped home the game winner for the 6-5 final.  Sunday, Melbourne rolled 5-2 and it was all over for 8-12-8 Adelaide.

The two top teams, Sydney's Ice Dogs and Newcastle, each had but one game to play.  The Dogs blew down the crosstown rival Bears 4-1, while the hyphen boys (Pier-Oliver Cotnoir and Nick Orford-Quirk ) each scored twice as Newcastle knocked off Melbourne's Mustangs 6-1.  The two losers met Sunday, with the 'Stangs topping the Bears 6-2.

And resurgent Perth got the joy of playing two this weekend against the woebegone Canberra Knights, recording 7-2 and 6-2 wins.

Which means we know who will be going to the playoffs (the 17-6-4 Ice Dogs, the 16-7-3 North Stars, the 17-9-2 Perth squad, and the 16-7-4 Melbourne Ice) just not who will play who.  Three games are left to close out the season- Saturday will have the Newcastle North Stars vs the Ice, while the Ice Dogs play 2-24-1 Canberra.  Sunday, it's Newcastle again, against the Mustangs (12-10-5).  And with skillful mentioning of records along the way, the only one left to mention are the 7th-place Sydney Bears (7-20-1).

Sunday Message

This is going to be another 5-book post just like last week, for the same basic reason... but a long talk with KC on related subjects has helped me resolve some issues,  which leads me to typing this at 3 AM.  And again this week the whole thing stars basically at the end- in I Peter.  You see, this week is all about your favorite topic- submission.  What, not your favorite?  No wonder God felt He needed to go on about it for so long!

Frankly, none of us like to submit on practically everything.  But if Christ is to be our example, this is what He exemplified- submission to the Father to take on human form, submission to death on the Cross- two ways we will probably never be asked to submit.  But our writers this week- Paul, James, Peter, and whomever actually composed Hebrews- found many other examples we need to go by.

In the first 12 verses of first Peter, he goes into the concept of submitting this life, the now, for the next, the future.  This may seem the same concept, but there is a subtle split.  This life for the next being to set anything in this world as a second best for what we earn in heaven; the now for the future reminds us that while some of us may see that future on this side of life, most of us won't- and like the ancients who awaited salvation in the form of Jesus, we must be patient in awaiting the Promise, and not expect all the best in this life.  This kind of picks up some of the threads in the other books as well.  In Philemon, for example, we see Paul preaching and saving the escaped slave of a buddy.  Paul says he'd really like to keep Onesimus (the slave) there with him.  But he submits his authority for the greater good- the honorable thing of  Allowing Philemon his legal decision and Onesimus his chance to redeem his sin.  Onesimus has to then submit his freedom to do so.  Sometimes we have freedom in this world; sometimes, we work our way into having authority.  Paul shows that both must be submitted for the greater good- both here and in the next life.

From chapter one v 13 to 21, Peter brings in the concept of submitting one's conduct, to "be holy as I am holy".  This gets fleshed out in James, where most of chapter three is the expounding about that wicked tongue.  But before that James hits some other highlights as well.  In 1:6, he advises us to pray "in faith, with no doubt".  In 1:21-2, he advises we lay down our filthy rags and be doers of the word.  Chapter two down to v 13 talks of the need to submit our judgment and pick up mercy.  And the rest of chapter two dwells on faith plus works.  So that conduct we need to be doing involves the submitting of doubt for faith, sin for obedience, judgment for mercy, and finally, our bodies for good works.  In other words, our skeptical attitudes for a faithful outlook.

The last two of which lead into Peter's next subjection, which he covers in 1:22-25, that of submitting love of self for "sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart."  The flip side of this is where he goes on to describe us as "living stones" used to build Christ's temple, being a "chosen people" rather than the free agency we like to believe we have.  And this leads into his submission of "fleshly lusts which war against your soul, having your conduct honorable among the gentiles..."  Giving up sin not just because it offends God, but giving up fleshly desires in order that others may be drawn to Christ by your example.  Is all of this getting complicated?  Actually, it is just different facets of just a few simple concepts.

In Titus, Paul admonishes his young fellow worker about submitting to masters:  in chapter two, vv 9-10, he says to exhort servants to be obedient to their masters, mentioning three qualities-

-Be pleasing;
-not answering back;
-and be honest.

At the start of chapter three, he mentions being submitted to political rulers too, embracing similar qualities:

- obey them;
-speak evil of no one;
-and being peaceable, gentle, and humble.

In summary, our attitude when faced with authority is to be a) obedient, b) of kind words, and c) all the qualities that go into being honorable.  You see me having trouble here, do you not?  And yet, Peter goes on to ask us to respect our rulers "that by doing good we put to silence the ignorance of foolish men", and our masters (IOW bosses) because that is "commendable before God".  And God realizes that we deserve commendation for putting up with many of them.

Finally, Peter hits on submission of husbands and wives- the wives, that they may win their husbands "without a word"; the husbands treating the wives "with understanding, giving honor to the wife as the weaker vessel, and AS BEING HEIRS TOGETHER OF THE GRACE OF LIFE, that your prayers may not be hindered."  Guys, do you get what all of this means?

-Treat with understanding- means you have to see things from her eyes as well as your own;
-with honor, recognizing that the lion's share of life's burdens are yours;
-"as heirs together", as the leader of an EQUAL partnership;
-and that failure to do so WILL effect your relationship with God.

So where does the central book, Hebrews, come in?  That as our ultimate example, Jesus gets all things submitted to Him- AFTER He submitted all for us.  So when you feel like saying to God, "When do I get mine?", you know the answer- AFTER you give it.

Wow, that's a lot of submitting.  But it can really be simpled down to some basic ideas:

-Submit your works to God;
-submit the "me" for the" everyone else";
-submit the now for the forever.

If you get them covered, the rest will come easy!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Time Machine week 82

It's August 3rd, 1971, and the Cubs are in contention in the old National League East division despite a loss to the Reds the night before, 4 1/2 back of the Pirates at 74-43.  But that wasn't good enough for hotheaded manager Leo Durocher.  He ripped into pitcher Milt Pappas for his "stupidity" in giving up the winning run.  Another famous hothead, Joe Pepitone, stood up for the pitcher, followed by fellow pitcher Ken Holtzman and Pappas himself.

That's when Leo lost it. He tore into every player on the team in a legendary expletive filled tirade. Among those he ripped was team captain Ron Santo. He said that Santo was a malingerer who played politics with the front office. Among his charges was that Santo was pouting and demanding a Ron Santo day.  (From fan blog One Bad Century.)

Santo, not surprisingly, had to be restrained from throttling Durocher, and from there on it was the team vs. the manager.  The Cubs would go 21 games before they would win even two in a row again, a 5-16 skid.  Pappas himself started out proving the manager wrong, going 2-0 with a 2.62 ERA in the first 3 starts after the blowout... but then gave into the team malaise the rest of the way, finishing with an 0-4 record and ERA north of 12 the last six games.

Welcome to Time Machine, where we play 'em out to the bitter end!  This week we have more Autumn Madness, a BIIIG mistake by yours truly in the top ten, a 45/45 with the Bee Gees, a cameo for Chuck Woolery (!), And a in-post contest coming up next!  Batter UP!

Well, the last cameo didn't come off too bad... maybe I'll be okay...

And that contest comes to us because I didn't know ANY of the fourteen hot hundred debuts this week!  So I thought, "Why not list them and see if anybody can guess the highest charter?"  But as I reviewed there (Billboard) chart positions, I learned that FIVE of the 15 actually made the BB top 40.  So here's the task- I'll give you the songs- you guess which of them are the lucky five!  Here are your contestants:

Wilson Pickett- Call My Name, I'll Be There;
Heaven Bound featuring Tony Scotti- He'd Rather Have The Rain;
James Brown- Make It Funky, pt I;
Barbara Lynn- (Until Then) I'll Suffer;
Diana Ross- Surrender;
Detroit Emeralds- Wear This Ring (With Love);
Engelbert Humperdink- Another Time, Another Place;
Joni Mitchell- Carey;
Ray Charles- Feel So Bad;
Kris Kristopherson- Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again);
Lynn Anderson- How Can I Unlove You;
Denise LaSalle- Trapped By A Thing Called Love;
The Dells- The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind);
ANNNNND Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds- Annabella.

We'll get back to that later... for now, let's check out the birthday songs.  Still no one of note turning 30; turning 35, though, we have The Who with that classic CSI theme, Who Are You; Steely Dan with Josie; David Gates' Took The Last Train; Hall and Oates with It's A Laugh; and Journey with my favorite of theirs, Lights.  Hitting 40 are Ike and Tina with Nutbush City Limits, along with the DeFranco Family with Heartbeat, It's A Lovebeat.  (40?  Really?)

We have a passle of songs turning 45 this week, starting with Chuck Woolery!  He was the lead singer of the Avant Garde, who charted for the first time this week with Naturally Stoned.  If you don't know it, it is worth a listen.  Others turning 45 are Jeannie C. Riley (the C stands for.... Carolyn) and Harper Valley PTA; the Grass Roots and Midnight Confessions; Iron Butterfly's Inna Gadda Da Vida; OC Smith (I can't tell you what the C was for because he got "OC" from his first name, Ocie) with Little Green Apples; The Chambers Brothers with the tick-tocking hit Time Has Come Today; and Dionne Warwick's take on Always Something There To Remind Me- which despite being the b-side of the song Who Is Going To Love Me, which peaked 35 notches higher, which one do YOU remember?  And two songs hit 50 this week- Essex's He's A Walking Miracle and a member of that one-hit-wonder list we did a while back, the Jaynetts' Sally Go 'Round The Roses.  Blow out the candles...

Our big mover upwards is, ironically, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, which climbs 26 spots to #44.  The big dropper goes to the Flack/Hathaway take on You've Got A Friend, which tumbles from it's peak at 28 down to 55.

ANNNNNNNND now, it's time for me to pick my winners on the Autumn Madness!

Quiet Village vs Summer Breeze- This one is not much of a contest.  Three voters and I all go for seals and Crofts.

Sister Golden Hair vs Abraham Martin and John-  Jeez, why are there so many hard ones in the first round?  STMC mentioned in his vote that you go for the one that brings the tears-  but for me, they start on the opening note of AM&J.  America got two votes, though, so we all had a tough choice there.

For You vs Mr. Blue-  The only thing odder than this combo was (to me) that an obscure Manfred Mann song that peaked in the 90's got two votes!  But the Fleetwoods have my heart.

That Girl Could Sing vs Love Child-  My first reaction was for the song that gave me childhood dreams about Diana Ross.  So, after checking my e-mails to stall for time...I've decided that this is a tough one, too.  Love Child... by a whisker.  Votes were 2-1 for Jackson Browne.

Moments To Remember vs No Time- another no contest for me, although this time there was one dissenting vote.  I'm sure no one who knows me is surprised that this one goes to the Guess Who.

The Voice vs The Ballad Of Davy Crockett- If I was pulling them out of a pile under normal circumstances, this would be much closer.  On a desert island, watching the waves, it's no contest for the Moody Blues.  Voting went that way too, 2-1.

Juice Newton's Angel Of The Morning vs Wichita Lineman-  I am a lineman for the county....Votes went 2-1 for Juice.

Caroline No vs Superstar- I might get my Beach Boys license revoked- and voting went 2-1 against me- but I gotta go with Karen and Richard.

Stay tuned for next week's contestants.  Next up, what was at the top around the country this week, as well as the world.  Detroit was agreed on Donny Osmond's Go Away Little Girl at the top; Minneapolis and LA were united behind Three Dog Night's Liar.  Chicago was split between Smiling Faces Sometimes (WLS) and Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (WCFL); Pittsburgh was tuned into Take Me Home Country Roads.  The American specialty charts remained the same (AC- If Not For You, R&B- Mercy Mercy Me, Country- I'm Just Me), and the only change internationally was in Ireland, where the #1 song was Never Ending Song Of Love... but not the one charting here by Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, but the version by the New Seekers.

Which brings us to the 45 at 45.  This week, that spot on the 1968 charts was the Bee Gees I've Got To Get A Message To You.  Written with Percy Sledge in mind (and he would record it in 1970), this song has the oddity of being recorded five different times at 3 different speeds.  The original stereo album was recorded at 103.8 % of the original speed, and ends with the full re-sing of the chorus, though cut off sooner.  The single was recorded at 98.8% speed, and picked up the ending chorus repeat at "hold on...".  The correct speed was finally released on the box set Tales Of The Brothers Gibb in 1999.  There was also a mono recording of the album version, for a mono mix that was never released- until re-discovered and added to another box set, The Studio Albums, in 2006.

Are we ready for the hot 100 debut contest?  Here we go in order of lowest charts:

Barbara Lynn, who's known for her 1962 hit You'll Lose A Good Thing, did not chart on the BB pop chart with her song.

Joni Mitchell's Carey (which is not about James Taylor, as sometimes rumoured) topped out at 93.

The Detroit Emeralds stopped at 91 with their ring.

Tony Scotti (of Valley Of The Dolls fame) and his band died at 83.  Which was too bad, because it was a good song.

Ray Charles peaked at 68.

Lynn Anderson unloved her way to #63.

Wilson Pickett ended up at #52.

Hamilton and co.  stopped at 46.

Engelbert Humperdink's "Another Place" was at #43.

So the fab five were:

Diana Ross' Surrender at 38;
The Dells The Love We Had at 30;
Kris Kristopherson's Loving You Was Easier at 26;
James Brown's Make It Funky at 22;
and Denise LaSalle takes Trapped By A Thing Called Love to 13... we'll have to see how high she gets on Cashbox in a few weeks.  How'd you do?

And now, the top 40 debuts for this week.  Inching in at 40, up one spot, the Temptations with It's Summer (a little late there, huh?).  Not near so slow is Paul McCartney, leaping 25 in a single bound to land at 38 with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.  Al Green takes an 18-notch climb to 37 with Tired Of Being Alone.  The Moody Blues climb 16 to 35 with The Story In Your Eyes.  The Honey Cone with the original version of Want Ads, a song first called Stick Up, up 13 to #34.  George Harrison comes in at 32, up 14, with Bangla- Desh.  And the high debut, the Partridge Family ( who would actually do a version of the Heaven Bound song, switching the gender to She'd Rather Have The Rain on their second album, Up To Date), with I Woke Up In Love This Morning moving up 16 to #26.

A shout out to the Canadian band Cymarron, which peaks this week at #17 with their song Rings, which was a #3 hit in the Great White North.  And goodbye to our lone dropper from the top ten this week- Indian Reservation, which tumbles 5 to 22.

And now- next week's Autumn Madness lineup:

The East returns to Atlantic City for the Carpenters' Close To You vs the Four Seasons' Rag Doll, and the Seekers' Georgie Girl vs REM's Fall On Me.

The Midwest is back in Chicago with Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight vs Percy Faith's Theme To A Summer Place, and the Beach Boys' Surfer Girl vs Phil Sector and the Teddy Bears with To Know Him Is To Love Him.

The West returns to Vegas with Henry Gross' Shannon vs Barry Manilow's Mandy, and the Carpenters' We've Only Just Begun vs Dire Straits' Money For Nothing.

And in the Southeast we go back to Memphis for James Taylor (with JD Souther) and Her Town Too vs the Everly Brothers with All I Have To Do Is Dream, and Chicago (with the Beach Boys) Wishing You Were Here vs Todd Rundgren's Hello It's Me.  Vote early, vote often!

And now, the top ten:

And we start with Chris' big mistake- remaining at ten is Love The One You're With, but NOT, I repeat, NOT Stephen Stills' original- but instead, this version is the Isley Brothers.  Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for me!

The Delaney and Bonnie and Friends version of Never Ending Song Of Love moves up 3 to enter the ten at #9.

The James Taylor version of You've Got A Friend drops 5 to #8.

The Tom Clay Medley moves up a pair to #7.

CCR hitches a two-notch ride to #6 with Sweet Hitchhiker.

Marvin Gaye moves up a pair (sensing a pattern here?) to #5 with Mercy Mercy Me.

Jean Knight isn't getting the memos about songs that have dropped continuing to do so, holding again at 4 with Mr. Big Stuff.

John Denver climbs to 3, up 3, with Take Me Home Country Roads.

Tommy James holds at 2 with Draggin' The Line, which means, as the Who say, "neet the new boss..."

"...same as the old boss..."  The Bee Gees hold at the top (like McGuinn and Mc Guire, they can't get no higher) with How Do You Mend A Broken Heart!!!!!!

Be back next week, when I run around naked and toot!  (Not really, but I'm having dinner withdrawls...)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Scrappy loses his virginity... sort of...

He has now spent time in the bark park with other dogs!

Scrappy and Lila

Scrappy meets Obie...

They had a grand time.  The owners of the other two brought a Frisbee.  Lila was fast as lightning to it, but Obie was the one who would grab it... but was more interested in starting a pull-battle with Lila than bringing it back.  Scrappy watched bemusedly, wondering why anyone would waste time with toys when they could be sniffing the whole world.   As the time wore on, though, he became more focused on... well, what any male dog focuses on around two lady dogs.  In any event, a good time was had by all.

Monday, August 19, 2013

And then I got looking...

My blogging friend at DiscConnected latched onto the 100 Greatest Debut Albums of all time at that bastion of taste and objectivity, Rolling Stone.  He posted the first few of them as part of a 4-part look at their list, and one that he started a blog party with a while back.  (You can see links to both if you click the link to his page.)  I made the comment that as much as I love music, I would be woefully unqualified to play along, as much of my album buying had been of the greatest hits variety.

You see, it was few and far between when I was a kid that I got to go to what passed for a record store, and rarer yet that I got to buy anything.  So it became a mortal sin to buy anything I didn't know what I was getting.  If it wasn't a greatest hits collection, it almost had to be on its fourth single release before I stuck my neck out. 

With training like that, it is no surprise that a huge bunch of the debuts I bought came from mine and KC's alternative era (1993-6).Many of them didn't have the lasting power of the greats- for example, Tracy Bonham ( a girl I saw on a free ticket at Pierre's), Sponge's Rotting Pinata (which I still love Molly (16 Candles), but barely remember the rest), or Smash Mouth's Fush Yu Mang (prior to Shrek making All Star such a hit).  Still, I decided to figure out how many debuts I'd actually owned, or at least listened through.  After I found a whopping 5 (count 'em) on the Rolling Stone list, and 6 more on DC's collected links, I did a little more digging and I found....

29.  Yep, that's it.  29 debut lps.  Let me give you my most significant entries, in no particular order, except:

The Five From Rolling Stone

Ten, Pearl Jam.  In our crowd, it was "the album they issued you with your house."

Boston.  I'm not sure how a rock and roll band could put together a more technically excellent album.  The second album I ever bought, right between Eagles Greatest 1971-75 and Best of Bread.

Weezer's Blue Album.  One of the many cassettes on the list that I have since lost.  Damn it.\

Van Halen I.  How many nights we drank at the party woods, with this one echoing through the trees.

The Cars.  Bought this and a rocking chair at a garage sale for $5.

From the DiscConnected lists

Bat Out Of Hell, Meat Loaf.  File this under "one of the albums my old neighbor played at every party."

Counting Crows, August And Everything After.  I played this a million times when I fell in love with Mr. Jones.  And another million for Rain King.  And another million for Anna Begins...

Get The Knack, The Knack.  A seriously good album by an overperforming band.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  I remember when nephew Troy got this for Christmas, none of us ever heard of them.  Nephew Shawn says, "That guy looks like a fag,"  and walks away.  Troy and I look at each other, saying "I thought it looked like Shawn!"

Asia.  God how refreshing Heat Of The Moment, Only Time Will Tell, and Soul Survivor in an era of unremitting disco.

Ozzie Osbourne, Blizzard of Oz.  See the comment on Van Halen I.

Stuff I Played The Crap Out Of

Travelling Wilburys, Vol. 1.   Great talent, great album.  My all time favorite Roy Orbison (Not Alone) and Bob Dylan (Congratulations) songs are on this.

Bush, Sixteen Stone.  Though I rarely listen to it now, I did a lot then.  Used to do Comedown and Little Things at karaoke.

CSN&Y, Deja Vu.  I don't know if you can really classify this as a debut, but one list I saw did, so I said okay.

Hootie And The Blowfish, Cracked Rear View.  The only one that would come close to Boston if I was doing a countdown.  Plays like a greatest hits lp even now.

Everyone I Haven't Yet Mentioned

Alanis Morrisette, Jagged Little Pill.  Actually, I could have put this on the "played the crap out of" list.

Third Eye Blind.  Oddly enough, the song KC loves the best on this one- Jumper- is the one I never cared for.

Pablo Honey, Radiohead.  I just bought this for Creep, like everyone else.  That was my specialty at karaoke.

Brian Wilson.  Love And Mercy is still one of his best.

Alannah Myles.  The (ex) wife loved Black Velvet.

Everyone Else Is Doing It, Why Can't We?, The Cranberries.  Truth be told, I didn't know we even had it until Zombie (on the next album) became such a big hit.

Toto.  One of the best of the "my neighbor plays it at every party" lps.  "You supply the night, baby, I'll supply the love..."

ELO, No Answer.  The best self-titled album that got a name by accident in history.  Only a fair debut, though.

Steppenwolf.  Traded my sister 2 Andy Williams and a Nat King Cole for it after mom died.  First time I played it, Born To Be Wild skipped.  A cornflake fragment placed their by one of her kids was removed, and all was back to normal.

And finally, where would we be without Laurie's copy of The Monkees on vinyl?

Monday's news, brought to you Sunday night.

WARNING:  This post contains news stories, walk pictures, and AIHL updates.  Proceed at your own risk.

Every now and then, I come across one of those articles that pushes some long-established hot button, and I have to rant.  Beware, this is one of those.

Daniel Seaman, who until this weekend WAS the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, was suspended this week, for something I have said for a LOOOOOONG time.  Now mind you, he wasn't exactly diplomatic, so I guess there was grounds for dismissal.  And I suppose in this PC world of revisionist  history being taught at your nearest liberal university, the Government of Israel DID have to publically disassociate itself from the remark.

I guess I wouldn't be able to hold a government post in Israel either.

So what did he say that pissed the PC world off?  Basically, he posted on Facebook (the world's official record, dontcha know) that he was "sick to death" of peace groups memorializing the people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the two atomic bombs, when the Japanese had killed so many more that no one wants to talk about.

Aw, poor Japanese.  How intolerant of him!

Let's just choose to forget the facts.  According to Wikipedia, high estimates of the death toll 4 months after the bombings were a combined 246,000.   Japanese troops killed more than that in their six-week orgy of rape and mass murder in the ONE CITY of Nanking, China.  Every woman in the city, with missionary aid groups inside the city estimating the youngest victim being SIX MONTHS OLD and the oldest, 83, was raped, many repeatedly, many until dead, and many executed thereafter.

And that's not counting the other civilian casualties of the Japanese Army in China, Korea, Manchuria, Vietnam, Burma, Malaya, and others- a toll that Professor Emeritus RJ Rummel estimated at 5, 424,000- which is more than 22 TIMES the deaths attributed to the atomic bomb.  Note, this is CIVILIAN, not military deaths.  How rude of Seaman to think those deaths of more weight than those who died in order to END the war JAPAN started.

Okay, end of rant.  Pictures, anybody?

Oops, how did this get in here?  This is niece Robin, me, nephew Troy, niece Raine (who sent the pic) and niece Linette celebrating somebody's birthday.  Linette was the youngest, and if she was about 3 here, that would put the year at 1973 and the birthday (9 candles) would have been Raine's.  That would have but me and Robin around 10-11.

Damnit, I've had enough of this draft BS, take me for a walk!

Okay, there ya go!
"Hello, Hello, Hello....."


Guardians of the bridge...
"Shall we shat upon them?"

"Ah, I think not... this time..."
And now the hockey report.  Adelaide did not lose this weekend... nor did they play.  Sydney's Ice Dogs did the sweep of Melbourne this weekend, taking down the Ice Saturday 5-3 behind a pair of Simon Barg goals, and the Mustangs Sunday 3-1.  The other Sydney team, as usual, was not so fortunate.  Travelling to Perth, they dropped two to the hometown Thunder, 4-0 and 5-3.  The only other game this weekend was Saturday's weekly rout of Canberra, this time 8-0 by Newcastle.  Beau Taylor had a hat trick and Pier-Oliver Cotnoir added 2 more.
The Ice Dogs (16-6-4) now have a 55-51 lead in the standings over Newcastle, with Perth pulling into a 3rd place tie with the fading Melbourne Ice, 7 points off the lead.  Adelaide returns to action next weekend, with a pair against the Ice.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday message

One of the most amazing testimonies to God is how He gets His points across through sinful man.  And if you keep track of such things, you might look at this morning's tale and say, "Wait a minute, Chris, aren't you one book short this week?"

That I am.  Part of being a sinful man.  But God plans ahead of my sin, just like He forgives ahead of my sin, and thus it was that the last lines of the chapter that I finished with this week- which wouldn't have been the end, had I not been sinful- actually begins and ends what God wanted to say.  Those lines are from 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So the story is, how does Scripture equip us?  Well, let's look at what I did read to get an answer.

Instruction- Colossians

This book's first three chapters is a primer on the things we need to know.  It contains teaching on the Divine nature of Christ (1:15-18), how he delivers us from condemnation (19-22), the Mystery and how we are to communicate it (24-29), things to avoid like vain philosophy, the judgment of men, improper worship, and false doctrine (2:8-23), and what to seek out, for example mercy, longsuffering, and love- in other words, all that comes with "putting on the new man" (chapter 3), and extending beyond the Church into your family and work life as well.

Encouragement- I Thessalonians

This book is about the reciprocal nature of encouragement- Paul draws encouragement from their faith, and encourages them, when he can't get there himself, by sending Timothy.  So many times we come to the Bible or come to God in need of encouragement- but Paul teaches us that we draw it by giving it.

The Promise- 2 Thessalonians

This entire letter is telling of the promise- that we will be drawn to Christ before the terrible end of the world, to be with Him forever in heaven.  No matter the horrors of what the world is becoming (which he goes into in a bit), the Hope is in the next world.

The Charges- I Timothy

This letter was written to a fellow teacher about what is necessary to carry out our ministries.  Near the end of the 3 chapters I read, there are the more stringent qualifications for Bishops and Deacons- and I can tell you from bitter experience that if they are not followed, it will not come out well.  I was asked to be a Deacon in my former Church.  I had a HUGE problem because of the phrase "Let deacons be the husband of one wife..." At this point, I was divorced (which I thought should have disqualified me in the first place) and to me, this qualification didn't mean as much "don't have more than one wife" as, "you need a wife to give you the strength and emotional stability to do the job."  The Pastor, though, really felt strapped for helpers and was willing IMHO to "poo-poo" this.  I agreed on the firm condition that I be tested according to v10, "But let these first also be proved; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless".  This also got "poo-pooed" with a "the deacons and I talked it over".  And the results were far from spectacular, and IMHO not all that close to "average".

But the charges are for those not called so high, as well, and include being willing to "wage the good warfare", being gentle and humble in instructing those against you, and praying for ALL men, with an emphasis on our political leaders.

The Qualities- 2 Timothy

Paul warns us of what is to come- much of which is being vividly demonstrated in today's world:

 (Chapter 3) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.

And to combat such apostasy, Paul tells us to have certain qualities:

Be a teacher not only able to teach others, but raise up teachers- in other words, mentoring.

Being single minded, avoiding that which the world will use to distract you from being a soldier for God.  Definitely not my strong point THIS week.

Like the farmer, we must have the patience to endure hardship.  Think about it this way- no matter how bad things are for people of faith now, we have a ways to fall to get as bad as things were in Paul's day.

Be diligent in your work, keeping the goal in focus.

Make sure you keep yourself a sanctified vessel, remembering it is the untarnished chalice that gets the good wine.  How?  Paul says, "Avoid youthful lusts", which to him meant rejecting all the extraneous crap that isn't important.

Finally, be a gentle servant.  Teach with patience, humility, because you never know who God might be using you to save.

Do you note a recurring theme?  On one side is diligence, not getting off-tracked by sin, cleaning yourself and keeping it clean.  And on the other, cultivate humility and gentleness to both save and instruct others.  That is truly the overview of the equipment we need.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


A short story from our little fantasy football league's draft.  First, to up to speed the newbies, the owners are me, KC, and Laurie, each of us overseeing 4 teams in a point-only format.  This is our 17th season, and the Fiery Beagles (Scrappy's team, under Laurie's supervision) is the defending champion.  We draft in what is called a "serpentine" manner; the last place team from the preceding season goes first, down to the top team, and then from the top team back up to last place, back and forth through the draft.  We pick 2 QBs (one's a backup)  2 kickers (ditto), two defenses (ditto again), three RBs and 4 wide receivers/tight ends.  Now you are set up.

KC came into it with a battle plan- to go heavy on running backs.  Unfortunately for him, this was everybody's plan ( the cheat sheet website we used had 9 of the top 12 running backs), and the first of his teams, the Clock BBQs, drafted 3rd behind Laurie's Angels and my State Ducks; thus, right off the bat his top two desires, Adrian Peterson (who plays for his favorite Vikings) and Doug Martin, were, as the Eagles say, Already Gone.  Which wasn't so bad, as he got Arian Foster.  But with running backs the main course ( the first wide receiver was taken at #23, which HAS to be a record for any league I've been in in over 20 years of playing), KC began to plan, putting aside sleepers to draft in later rounds, circling the names in the FF magazine he bought.

But planning by geniuses in fantasy drafts is ofttimes undone by idiots, and one by one, Laurie and I picked off his sleepers before he thought they'd ever be drafted.  And the fifth round nearly capped it off.  I took DeSean Jackson with the second pick of the round.  "NOOOOOO!" he screamed.  "Why would you take him now?  I had him CIRCLED! LOOK!!!"

Sure enough , he did.  He then said, "I'm going to screw you over. I'm circling someone who'll hurt you; you'll never figure it out."  See, he was planning ahead; drafting towards the end of the round, he knew my Aguas team had drafted Robert Griffin III from the Redskins.  He assumed I'd want the best 'Skins receiver, Pierre Garcon, to go with him, but thought he wouldn't go for a couple of rounds yet.  So he took Andre Brown from the Giants next (a RB) for the Clock BBQs and my B2s drafted next.  What he hadn't counted on was that my eyes were strained so bad at this point, even a vet like me was virtually picking at random.  But see, when he picked Andre Brown, he said Antonio Brown, a wide receiver from the Steelers, and by the time we straightened that out, I was just about to draft this other Brown... when my eye drifted down the list.

"Pierre Garcon,"  I said.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!" KC shouted as the draft mag flew across the room.  "How did you know?"

"What, you have got to be kidding?"  I said.  "THAT'S who you circled?"

But it wasn't over yet.  After Laurie grabbed yet another of his sleepers, time rolls on to round 9, when we were taking our backup QBs.  At The top of the round, he said, "I've got two QBs circled."

"Kiss of death," said I.

"You won't get these" he assured me.

"I'll get one of them,"  I said.

Laurie led off the round, and KC suggested a slew of QBs still out there.  None of which, I noted to myself, was the one I was sure he wanted.  She took Tony Romo. 

I took the Dolphin's Ryan Tannehill (more out of pity for my favorite team than anything else) for the Ducks next.

KC's Clock BBQs were next. "Alex Smith," he said confidently.  It was time to lower the boom- I drafted for the B2s next.

"E.J. Manuel," I said.

"OMG!!! HOW DID YOU KNOW???"  he screamed as magazine met carpet yet again.  When I managed to stop laughing, I said, "I know how you think."

After all this, as we wrapped up, he asked if I'd trade him Manuel.  I said, "Sure.  I only took him to piss you off."  I ended up trading back ups with his Sunset Rangers, swapping Manuel for Cam Newton (last years #2 pick, this year's 77th.  Last year's #1, Aaron Rodgers, went 8th.)

After KC left, I was watching NFL Network.  "Breaking News", came the announcement that I would laugh at... and then text KC:

"EJ manuel needs minor knee procedure out rest of preseason.  Thx for the trade!"

Moments later, my loving son texted back:

"Bitch ass"

And that, gentle readers, is why I play fantasy football.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Something to look at

Walks have been fewer, and not seeing a lot of really amazing stuff.  But beauty is really all around.  Anyway, here's what we've seen lately.

A set of what I assume were mating hawks.  Unfortunately, I never got them both in the same picture.  She was shy, doncha know.

New bridge coming along... but temp bridge now gone.

One froggy...

...two froggy...


About this time, we ran into (or rather she caught up with us) a lady walker who was out enjoying the evening as her son played with the socceristas at the Plex.  We clued her in on the neat trails in the area, and she made friends with Scrappy.
At this point (right now), Blogger is having another of its famous "sh!t fits" and doesn't want me to put in captions on pictures when I put up more than one picture at a time.  It thinks the "Add Caption" function means "move the picture two pictures up".  So I'll just have to narrate from here.  Anyway, about the only sounds in the woods were me, Scrappy, a lone runner, and one bird.  But we did get to see this-

Lovin' him some nectar!   As we left the woods, we came down "Ground Hog Way" and sure enough-

Yep, good ol' Grandpa!  And shortly thereafter, Scrappy was busily sniffing out where he came from- until I pointed out where he WENT.