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


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

"The things I have to put up with!"

OMG, NOW we get invited to another dinner?

"Well, if the damn thing is going to take this long, I'm taking a nap!"
There's our lovely cook, hard at work.

The bird du jour, courtesy the wonderful people at Dowco.

The appetites.

They went for two...?

Ah, THERE'S a score to be thankful for!

The thermometer popped!!!!!!
Believe it or not, 5 minutes INTO the first round...

Munch, munch...
Munch munch, ummmm....

Friday, November 29, 2013

Scrappy World News

This is Scrappy Booogle, and I'm just chillin' (literally in these temps) and hoping everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.  My Daddy has the nicest work- he got let off at 1 PM Wednesday and got paid for the whole day, and has been home ever since!  I'm not sure what "paid for the whole day" means, but hopefully he'll never have to go to work again.

He has some news stories I'm supposed to tell you about, but first let me tell you about our walk yesterday.  When we got in the woods, I knew something was up; Daddy, though, got distracted by two girls running by who wished us a Happy Thanksgiving.  I could smell something was over by that big hollow tree that I climbed in the other day, and then we saw a FOX running away!  I tried to keep up with it, but Daddy's so slow, and... well, sometimes I just run faster than I can sniff.  I knew where he went, but not where he WENT, y'know?

Not much happened after that.  We got down to the woods bridge and Daddy saw a heron take off.  I missed it, because... well... I went down the hill on the other side of the road to take a #2.  Daddy teased me about "wanting to watch it roll downhill", but you know how it is, trying to find a proper place to go.  He doesn't get that.  He's just happy if he can sit down.

Later, we went to the pond at the Alumni Center (whatever that is), and it was ALL ICE!

But the funny thing was, as I was sniffing around, I found something just underground at the water's edge...and I started digging.

It was a hole*!  It went out to the water and back to under the bank of the pond.  Something was just inside it, but I couldn't get to it.  Daddy thought it might be a mole hole, and even sent Stick in after it.

(* at least, it was a hole after Scrappy got done digging.  I'm not sure, it took me too long to get the rushes away to see what he was about.)

Okay, so now for Daddy's stuff.

ITEM:  First, a little Time Machine stuff.  KC (my boy) challenged Daddy last night with, "What is your favorite song released on Thanksgiving?" Now Daddy figured the best he could do was come up with his favorite songs that were released on Thanksgiving week since he was born to 1979 (He says music wasn't any good after that.)  And then he got a top ten and played it for us!  It went like this:

10.  From 1971, the Guess Who with Sour Suite.

9.  From 1963, Bobby Vinton with There I've Said It Again.

8. From 1966, the Monkees with I'm A Believer.

7. From 1973, the Love Unlimited Orchestra with Love's Theme.

6. From 1975, Helen Reddy with Somewhere In The Night.

5. From 1969, Elvis with Don't Cry Daddy (he did anyway...).

4.  From 1974, The Eagles with Best Of My Love.

3.  From 1967, Donovan with Wear Your Love Like Heaven.

2. From 1970, George Harrison with My Sweet Lord.

1. And from 1971, Don McLean with American Pie.

ITEM:  In Argentina, they found the world's oldest public toilet- 240 million years old, they say.

It was a toilet for dinosaurs!  And it was a big one;

A density of 94 poos per square metre was recorded by the researchers. And the excrement was spread across patches 900 square metres in size.

That's bigger than my back porch!  And they say it was one kind of dinosaur who pooped it all:

Daddy says he's called a.. what?  Oh, a Dinodontosaurus, and was about the size of a Rhino (which doesn't help me any because I haven't seen a rhino...).

ITEM:  Daddy says there's some people in Russia who got mad at their boss...

Investigators have detained two people in Nizhny Novgorod suspected of burying their boss in cement over a labor dispute.
The body of a construction foreman was discovered encased in cement in the basement of an unfinished building, RIA Novosti reported citing the regional Investigative Committee.
The 33-year-old man was beaten with metal rods and then encased in cement by nine construction workers who reportedly complained that he refused to pay them, according to the statement from the regional Investigative Committee.
Authorities are searching for the other suspects.

Daddy says if you think that's bad, he found a "mafia boss" in Italy got fed alive to a bunch of pigs!

Relax!  It tastes just like... well...

ITEM:  More Russian stuff:  A blog post was explaining how if you're a foreigner in Russia, you need to learn Russian anecdotes to tell people who want to hear a story.  You see in Russia, they don't want you to tell YOUR anecdotes, they want you to tell THEIR anecdotes.  (Otherwise, Daddy says they wouldn't know where to laugh."  So this guy printed his three favorites:

1) The first anecdote is really old but, like fine wine, only becomes better with age. If you are an inexperienced Russian anecdote teller, it is a safe place to start:

A man returns home in a drunken stupor. His wife begins to smack him over the head and scream at him asking, "Are you going to keep on drinking?" The man just sits there moaning which, of course, just upsets his wife even more, so she smacks him even harder and demands, "I asked you, are you going to keep on drinking?" The man is practically sobbing as he squeaks out his answer, "Fine. You talked me into it. Pour me another one."

2) If the first anecdote produced the desired effect, try this one:

Several wealthy Muscovite businessmen go to the far Russian north to go bear hunting . A local tribal guide begins to lead them from his village across the tundra. They walk for one day, then two days. On the third day, they finally see a bear. To their surprise, their guide just picks up a rock and throws it, hitting the giant bear in the head. The bear becomes angry and begins chasing the hunting group. The group begins running away back towards the village. They run for an hour, then two hours, then four. It is getting close to evening, and the businessmen are getting tired of running, so one of them turns around and shoots the bear. The guide looks at them says, "What did you do that for? Now you get to drag him back home."

3) Is your Russian anecdote confidence growing? Let's see if you can pull this one off. Show that you have the skills. This is my absolute top favorite Russian anecdote. I must give credit to my good friend Roman for teaching it to me, together with the important gestures that imitate both a camel and a desert mouse: If no one laughs, it is neither the anecdote's fault, nor the audience's. You are the only one to blame.

A camel gets lost in the desert. It walks in the baking heat with no water for a week. (At this point it is customary to go into detail about how camels have humps on their backs which is a backup water supply so that they can last for long periods of time in arid climates). So, of course, after a week with neither water nor vegetation, the camel was quite fatigued as the sweltering temperatures offered no respite. However, it continued its journey. The camel's tongue had swollen in the camel's mouth by the third week and the camel had indeed seen its share of mirages. But alas, those hallucinations provided neither sustenance nor the life-giving liquid the camel so urgently needed. Finally, the camel collapsed in the heat, ready to die. It then heard a curious sound and managed to open an eye to see a desert mouse scurrying to and fro under the scorching rays of the unforgiving sun. Eventually, the mouse noticed the camel laying in the blistering sand and cautiously approached the camel.

"Comrade Camel," inquired the desert mouse, "what has happened?"

The camel then began to relate the sad tale of how he had become lost in the desert for weeks with no water and was now about to die from the heat.

"No, no, Comrade Camel," replied the desert mouse. "You have it all wrong. See, you just need to do it like I do. I run around in the sun and it creates a wind, just like an air conditioner. You should really try it!".

The camel, realizing that he had nothing to lose, summoned his last iota of strength, jumped to his feet, ran 30 yards, fell over and died. The desert mouse of course was in shock by what had happened. He walked over and checked the camel's pulse.

"Poor guy," said the desert mouse (savor the pause here), "He froze to death."
Daddy told me not to mind the boos and hisses, whatever that means.
ITEM:  The Germans are like us- every year they have a "new words of the year" thing.  Daddy said the funny part isn't the words that won, but one of the ones in the also receiving votes category:
Other words to make the top five this year are: fame (great, super, famous), gediegen (super, cool, easygoing), in your face, and the "Lion King"-inspired Hakuna matata, which simply means "no worries."
Daddy says, they realize that movie came out NINETEEN YEARS AGO, and no one says it in America since the turn of the century, right?  But the Europeans are so far ahead of us...
BTW, the winner this year was "babo", which is apparently Turkish slang for boss.  Daddy sings, "I put my Ba-Bo in the Cement-o, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da..."
ITEM:  Daddy thought this story about an Austrian art scandal was "a good example of Obama economics":
"One of the biggest cultural scandals seen in Austria has come to an end after a case against the former Director of the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna was settled.
Accused of financial mismanagement of the museum's funds, a court has asked Peter Noever to pay 104,000 Euros to the museum. HOWEVER, Noever, who resigned from the position after 25 years at the helm, will receive 231,000 Euros in return to cover OUTSTANDING SALARY AND BACK PAY."

Daddy says, "so in the settlement for his crime, Noever comes out 127,000 Euros (almost $173,000 American) to the good.  Is he covered by the Teamsters or what?"

ITEM:  Daddy says he's not sure who's dumber in this one, Bob Dylan or the guys suing him:

The Council of the Croatian Community and Institutions in France (CRICCF) filed a lawsuit with a court in Paris, over Dylan's statements made last fall.
While promoting his album "Tempest", Dylan was interviewed by the Rolling Stone magazine and compared the contemporary United States with the Civil War era, to say that the country was "still obsessed with skin color."

"People at each others’ throats just because they are of a different color. It’s the height of insanity and it will hold any nation back – or any neighborhood back. Or anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery – that is they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that," he said, and added:

"If you’ve got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood." The court in Paris accepted the lawsuit, and a representative of the Croatian association said that they were not demanding "material damages, only Dylan's apology."

It is unclear if the musician plans to show up for the trial.

Daddy says, "I know I wouldn't."

ITEM:  Daddy says, finally we have to share this video (that many of you may have already seen) that he found on Facebook the other day:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NHFFL regular season finale

Get ready to glaze your eyes with excitement, as this is the promised end of the regular season fantasy football post.  First, let me put up the final standings...

And now, a little bit about how we got here.

Last week, no fewer than five teams were still in the running for the two Purple division playoff spots that hadn't been claimed by the division winning Greenwoods.  The Aguas dropped out of that race with a season-ending 38-25 loss to the Greenwoods which dropped them to 5-7 and out of the picture.  The Fiery Beagles had a shot at claiming the second spot outright with a win over the out-of-the-picture Rangers.  But the Rangers forced the game into overtime, and won on bench points 17-11 to capture a 51-45 OT win.  That didn't knock them out, and an Angels win over the KCAs would have still given them a spot.  But the valiant KCAs, given up for dead 3 weeks ago, stunned the Angels to force a 3-way tie, 48-30.

Now the first tie breaker would be record of the three teams against each other.  But the KCAs swept the Beagles while being swept by the Angels, and the Angels and Beagles split, forcing us to the second tie breaker, overall score in those games.  Here the Angels were a +18 and took second place; the Beagles were -7 and got the remaining playoff spot; and the KCAs were -11 and 4 points shy of forcing the next tiebreaker.  So next week, it will be the Angels vs the Beagles, with the winner to face the Greenwoods.  The two games that they played earlier were a 41-35 Beagle win and a 49-26 Angel win.

In the Gold division, things were settled a long time ago.  The State Ducks started 7-0, lost a pair, and closed with three straight wins.  Their 570 points, 47.5 per game, were 54 more than anyone else.  The Elks looked to run roughshod over everyone else, but a pair of losses in the last two games dropped them to third- the killer was the season ending 50-31 loss to Buzz which pulled the Lightyears into second place.  These two teams, who opened the year with a 61-29 Elk rout, face off next week for the dubious privilege of playing the Ducks in the next round.

The Ducks closed with a 51-26 win over the Porkchops, which not only gave the Ducks a tie (with last year's Porkchops) for most wins in a 12-game season (AKA since 2005), it also gave the Porkchops the second-worst fall (from 10 wins to 3), only surpassed by the Clock BBQs who dropped from 11 games to 2 in the 14-game 1998 season.  Speaking of the BBQs, they capped off their 5-game losing strek that knocked them out of the playoffs with a 37-34 loss to the B2s.  However, their earlier 45-13 win over the B2s gave them 4th place.

So, next week its Elks vs Buzz and Angels vs Beagles- or to put it another way, three of Laurie's teams vs one of KC's, with one of mine and the last of Laurie's teams waiting in the wings.  Whose league is this anyway?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts on Thanksgiving and other matters

As I warmed up leftover Pizza Hut tonight, I considered, "What the world really needs is a delivery pizza box that can go in the microwave.  It's not right that you can eat right out of the box on the first meal, but subsequent warm-ups have to dirty a plate."  Perhaps a box whose top is coated in garlic butter, which could drip down and coat the remains.  Why not an edible box, you ask?  Because I wanna eat a slice of pizza, not a box.

Why wasn't there a Sunday Message this week?  You'll have to ask God; to me, this week I was given a task in confidence.  Perhaps you'll see the fruits of it later, perhaps not, we'll see.  That was the outreach.  The inreach is involving reading the same chapter every day this week;  perhaps next Sunday will explain that, perhaps not.  I am trying to leave things that are rightfully in God's hands in God's hands.  And that is hard for me, because Satan is constantly flaunting idiots he has made puppets of in front of me, egging me on.  And I'm trying to counter that by asking God to lift His blinding of their hearts this week, if only for a moment, so that they can figure out, in some small corner of their seared consciences, that they are being idiots.  Alas, most of them seem more in the hands of Forest Gump than Jesus Christ's.

Tomorrow, I will be inflicting you with the results of our fantasy football league's end of the regular season.  But Chris, you already have your NHFFL page at the top up there, and it has an amazing 36 pageviews over its 11 weeks of existence! (Isn't it funny that "pageviews" is a word on your blogger dashboard, but the spell check gives it a red squiggle?)  I know, but the last week of the season means the start of the playoffs!

And today, I'm letting you know that as half of my Time Machine workday is Thursdays, and Thursday is Thanksgiving, I won't be planning a Time Machine this week.  I know someone will start the ugly rumour that I did it because Imagine goes to #1 this week; that, I assure you, is just a fortuitous side-effect.

However, in the spirit of the weekly journey, I thought I would share with you some "music of the season.  To remind us to be thankful for who we love...

...for who loves us...

...and for what we have.

Take a little time to take to heart.  I'll talk to y'all tomorrow.

Sha-na-na-na-na, It'll be all right....

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years Gone

I remember it like yesterday... even though I was a toddler watching soaps while my mom napped, sitting on the training pot.  Walter Cronkite's baritone made the announcement.  And I didn't TRULY comprehend what it meant, except that someone important was dead.  But I learned.

I grew up in a catholic Democrat family.  My sister had a portrait of Jack and Bobby on her bedroom wall.  I leafed through The Torch Is Passed many times.  We had a set of Colliers' yearbooks to go with our encyclopedia, and I read and re-read Jack's career as president in its day-by-day format.

Years passed, and I learned about his past, his family, his service.  Though in many households such as ours he attained almost a saint status (before you think that's silly, I remind you of the National Enquirers' campaign of sorts to get Grace Kelly named a saint after her death), I got to know him as he was- an imperfect man.  Like the rest of us, only richer.  And braver.

He reminds me of Ronald Reagan in many ways.  Beyond their similar policies, they brought a similar love for the people they served.  They brought a similar hope for their nation.  They had a shared, deep, and abiding hatred for the grey walls of communism- and not so surprising that one stood before the grey monolith of the Berlin Wall and said, "I am a Berliner", and the other stood side by side with young people sick of the grey and shouted, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Their world was a world with all the colors of freedom and opportunity- a rainbow over the promise of a new world- a Camelot.  And those who love the grey walls hated them both, and one of them died because of it.  And with Jack's death, and Bobby's soon later, the grey walls won for a time.

Years later, Reagan tore down the grey walls again... but it seems that there were even more of those who love the grey walls in his day than in Jack's.  It took two deaths to end Jack's dream... only one retirement to end Reagan's.

A lot of people take the opportunity the anniversary gives to go over all the conspiracies tied to JFK's assassination, and that's okay.  It needs to be discussed even now, so that the lovers of the grey walls know that there yet live men who won't submit to the grey.  But for me, the whole thing is moot.  When I think of who shot Jack Kennedy, who shot Bobby, MLK, or Lincoln, I have only one thought about them.

YOU MAKE ME SICK.  I hope that your eternal fate includes the grey walls you loved so much.

And on the hill, four men who will yet say, "I forgive you.  You didn't know what you were doing."

Time Machine week 95

It's November, 22, 1971.  Yesterday, the Indian Air Force inflicted a defeat on their Pakistani counterparts as the two nations edged closer towards confrontation in Pakistan's civil war, in the tiny river neck of Boyra.  One of the Pakistani pilots shot down and captured would eventually (in 1996) become Pakistan's Chief of Air Staff; the pilot who shot him down sent him a nice congratulatory letter, thinking that he'd never hear back- but the CoAS sent back a letter, thanking him for the wishes and commending him on his skill in the air.

Today, Idaho's Supreme Court threw out an old law that said that in the presence of multiple applicants to the estate of a dead child, the male applicants take precedence.  In the case at hand, the father was a little more than indirectly involved in the death, and the lower judge was trying to award power over the estate to him.

In two days, a man known to legend as DB Cooper would leap from a plane into mystery as the first man to hijack a plane.  Who he was, whether he survived, and where all the money went is still a matter for conjecture.

artists depiction of "Cooper"- who may have gotten his name from a Dutch comic book...

And now, you're reading Time Machine for this week, where we'll look at the many faces of Will You Love Me Tomorrow; the band that ALMOST had Janis Joplin for a singer, and why; and four new members of the top ten, including two that make leaps of at least 12 notches!  Ready, aim, fire!

So let's open the fun as always  with the #1s around the world.  Three changes this week internationally:  France  has at the top of its chart one Michel Sardou with his tune La Rire du Sergent
(The Laughing Sergeant).  Sardou is another artist to owed his fame initially to being banned; his first hit was Les Ricains (The Yankees) in which he, in light of anti-American sentiment over Vietnam and France's pull out from NATO, reminded Frenchmen of the debt owed to America.  The subject did not find favour with DeGaulle, and he "suggested" that the song not be played.  Sardot, the scion of theater star parents, has gone on to make a career of edgy political views.

Also new at the tops Over There, Ireland has adopted the UK #1 Cuz I Love You by Slade (a very good song, a la Come On Eileen);  and New Zealand will spend the rest of the year with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey on top.

In the US of A, a consensus has formed behind the Shaft theme; LA, both Chicagos, and one Minneapolis station has Isaac Hayes at the top.  Detroit is united behind Family Affair; the other Minneapolis station has Baby I'm-A Want You, and Pittsburgh favours Have You Seen Her.  (Why am I using the English spelling of favour today?  Because it pisses my spell-check off.

"I say, Mr. Davis, I had no idea we were so popular in the Motor City..."

This week, we had 12 hot 100 debuts, of which I'll mention three.  At #61, Rod Stewart and the Faces hit with their version of (I Know I'm) Losing You;  at 86, it's rare Earth with one of their best, Hey Big Brother; and Betty Wright at 89 with her big hit Clean Up Woman.  Here's a didja know-  Wright was a member of a family gospel outfit called the Echoes Of Joy; as such, she was singing professionally at the age of 2, and discovered George and Gwen McRae when she was 14!

Oh, and something else I should mention at this point, kind of an Almost But Not Quite- Mamy Blue, the Pop Tops version, has peaked at #68 on the Cashbox countdown.  But is still on top in at least 8 other countries...

This week's birthday song list is going to have a story attached at the end.  Turning thirty this week:  Barry Manilow's Read Em And Weep ( which I mention not because it was a big hit or because I'm a Manilow fan- the first is false, the other true- but because it was the fourth top forty hit in a matter of months written and produced by Jim Steinman.  The others?  Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, and his own soon to debut Rock And Roll Dreams Come True.), Rainbow's Street Of Dreams, and the Moody Blues with Blue World.  Turning 35, we have Olivia Newton-John's A Little More Love, Nicolette Larson's hit of Neil Young's Lotta Love, Gerry Rafferty's Home And Dry, Don Williams' country crossover ( later covered by Eric Clapton) Tulsa Time, Gong Show contestant Cheryl Lynn's Got To Be Real, and Ian Matthews (without the Southern Comfort) and Shake It.  That song attached itself for me to a girl in high school on the flimsiest of reasonings- she and some other friends of the female persuasion were students in advanced Spanish, and somehow the line "she has a purse that was made in Mexico" stuck to her picture in my brain.

Turning 40, we have David Essex's Rock On... and the star of our coming story.  At 45 years old this week, Dusty Springfield's Son Of A Preacher Man and CCR's I Put A Spell On You.  Turning 50, Martha and the Vandellas Quicksand and the Murmaids with Popsicles, Icicles.  Hitting 55 this week we have the classic Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Platters, and Jackie Wilson's Lonely Teardrops.  And finally, turning 60, Eartha Kitt's take on Santa Baby.

And now, the story.  One of the songs turning 40 this week was a cover by Melanie (Brand New Key) of the Carole King comp Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow.  First thought was-  I don't know if this is going to be real good, with Melanie's somewhat screechy pipes; second thought was, gee, a LOT of people have recorded this song.  Let's look and see how many we find.

The Shirelles, of course, had the biggest with the first, hitting #1 in 1960.  But a wide cross-section of people have also recorded it, from Mike Berry...

You know me, mate!  I was Spooner on the UK comedy Are You Being Served!
... to Ronnie James Dio with his band the Prophets...

His version was "then"... in 1962.
Now as far as those what actually hit the charts, we have the Four Seasons making it to #24 in 1968; Roberta Flack got to #76 in 1972; Jody Miller, a country star who had made a living doing covers of 60's hits in country style (top 40 country with songs like He's So Fine, Baby I'm Yours, Be My Baby, To Know Him Is To Love Him, and... House Of The Rising Sun?) made it to #69 on the country charts in 1975...

Whatever it is, I'm there...

...a band called Morningside Drive had a disco version that hit #33 in 1975 as well; Dana Valery, a singer of all trades who is now a hypnotherapist, hit #95 with another dance version in 1976; and Dave Mason made it to #39 with his last top 40 hit in 1978.  Carole, of course did an excellent job on her massive hit lp Tapestry in 1971; but she says (allegedly) that "the definitive version" was done by the Bee Gees on the tribute album Tapestry Revisited in 1995- it was pretty darn good.  That lp also contained Rod Stewart on So Far Away, Amy Grant on It's Too Late, Faith Hill doing Where You Lead,  the Manhattan Transfer on Smackwater Jack (I'll have to check at least THAT one out!), and Celine Dion on You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.

Oh, and Melanie's version which started this all?  It was DAMN GOOD.

The biggest mover in the countdown is up in the top 40... the big dropper, Al Green and Tired Of Being Alone, falling from 18 to 51.

Our 45 at 45- one more time for newbies; the 45 at #45 45 years ago this week- is on its way down.  It's Piece Of My Heart by Big Brother And The Holding Company, who had been an unconventional instrumental band until they auditioned Janis Joplin to be their first lead singer.  Now she was also being courted by another band from down home in Texas- the 13th Floor Elevators, reputed to be the first truly psychedelic band.  They had had a national hit in 1967 with You're Gonna Miss Me (#55), and had a big rep in their home state.  Janis' connection to them was through her friend  Clementine Hall, wife of 13FE electric jug player Tommy Hall.  Clementine was like a den mother to the band, especially to the increasingly-disturbed leader Roky Erickson.  She chose the Holding Co., though; and when she went solo, much of the band joined Country Joe and the Fish for a time, before briefly reforming with new female singer Kathy McDonald, who may (if you read her wiki story) or may not have been one of the female vocalists on the Stones' Tumbling Dice (credits list two other ladies "and friend").

Eight songs hit the top 40 this week.  Tom Jones' Till, which we mentioned a couple weeks ago and is an AWESOME vocal performance, moves up 3 to #40;  Yes moves up nine to #37 with Your Move (better known, perhaps, as Seen All Good People); Van Morrison's Wild Night moves up 7 to #35; Neil Diamond comes in with a song called Stones at 34, up ten; Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band climb a quick 18 to #33 with the instrumental Scorpio; Melanie (ain't it funny how THIS works out?) climbs nine to #32 with the aforementioned Brand New Key; the big mover, up 28 to 31, Three Dog Night with An Old Fashioned Love Song; and the highest spot in the top 40 goes to the Staple Singers with Respect Yourself, moving up 18 spots to #29.

Yeah, if I get two mentions, I oughta get a picture...

With four new songs coming in, four old ones drop out.  The four droppers were Superstar (10 to 24), I Found Someone Of My Own (8 to 17), Maggie May (4 to 16), and Yo-Yo (5-15).

Marvin Gaye slips from 6 to 10 with Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).

The Jackson Five jump from 21 to 9 with Got To Be There.

A more modest move of four notches take the Grass Roots to #8 with Two Divided By Love.

Bread rises (you knew that was coming again, didn't you?) two spots to #7 with Baby I'm-A Want You.

The big move- 17 spots from 23 to 6- belongs to Sly and the Family Stone with Family Affair.

Another more modest jump of 6 puts the Chi-lites and Have You Seen Her at #5.

The former Cat Stevens (well, he wasn't former then but.. oh, you know) goes from 7 to 4 with Peace Train.

Cher drops a notch to #3 with the former top dog Gypsies Tramps And Thieves.

John Lennon moves into the runner up spot with Imagine.

And that means the winnah and still champeen for this week is...

...Isaac Hayes and Theme From Shaft!!!

Next week, more music and pictures of pretty girls!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Life is like a blog post...

Well, it tries to be when we go for a walk.  A good walk is a good blog post; but a bad walk is still a good walk, it just doesn't make a good blog post.  Today's walk had elements of both.

There was a cute story;  as we approached the woods, a lady and her dog, a big black one that kinda was built like Vinnie the Airedale, were moving up the side of the woods.  About 20 yards away, this dog (whose name, we learned soon later, was Baxter*) saw Scrappy.  Scrappy saw him just a bit later.  I was trying to go slow enough to give her a chance to clear us (as it looked like Baxter was giving her a bit of difficulty), but Baxter slowed to match us.  Finally, she shouted, "Come on, Baxter!"

And he sat down.  He refused to move, until she said he could come meet Scrappy.

The meeting was cordial, and after a thorough sniffing, an invitation from Baxter to roughhouse, and the near-avoidance of the inevitable tangling of leashes, we went our merry way.  Well, Scrappy and I did.  Baxter sat back down when we left and wouldn't move until he was sure Scrappy wasn't coming back.

(*- I find Baxter's name ironic because Laurie's sister has a mini poodle, white, named Baxter.  So now we know one at each end of the scale.)

A good post-walk includes lots of pictures, too.  But this one had one at the start-

- tree starting its descent to the forest floor, right at the corner of Main Trail and Loop Trail North.

And it has one picture from the end-

- the river so low that Scrappy didn't get to go down as we had about 10 yards of gooey mud flat to get to it.

However, there was one spot in the middle that made it all worthwhile.  For those of you that play along on "The Map", this is on the south side of the Swamp.  We were walking the far south end when I saw something move up against the woods...

Two foxes!

Mr. Fox had gotten up to shake himself else I'd have never seen them.

I wish they had been getting along better. Hard to get them in one shot when they sit so far apart!

The Mrs.  was content to watch us pass from a distance as she sunned herself.

While he got up and left when we got the closest (which wasn't very close), this little stinker was content to continue sunbathing until we were long gone.


More pictures in a sec (one really cool one, IMHO), but I notice by my junk folder that it's time to play a brief round of spam e-mail instruction, a public service to make your spam more intelligent ( and intelligible.)

First, a while back a friend of mine warned us that a new blogroll engine called Feedspot was trying to take the place of the lamented Google Reader, and using some questionable tactics to draw an audience.  I have a hard time taking FS seriously when they send me stuff like this:

Your Blogspot blog "Chris' cap collection" has 23 new followers onFeedspot

Hi CWMartin,
My name is Anuj. I'm Founder of Feedspot - A Google Reader replacement with built-in Search and Sharing features.http://www.feedspot. com
We recently launched Feedspot and got reviewed by TechCrunch.
I'm writing this to let you know that your blog 'Chris' cap collection' has started getting new followers on Feedspot. You can view your blog and its followers on Feedspot from here. If you need detailed monthly/yearly analytics on how your blog is performing on Feedspot, please let me know.
As your blog is adding value to Feedspot, I'd like to give you one year Feedspot Premium subscription for free. Please use (my e-mail)_FEEDSPOT as promocode to enable your annual subscription.

Well, Anuj, let me give you some tips.  My Caps blog has about 5 followers, is mainly read when I beg my regular readers to go see some new cap I found, and I doubt that 23 people in the whole world have stumbled onto it, let alone friended it on FS.  Certainly if you are a REPUTABLE BUSINESS, you can go about this a bit more honestly.  BTW, Anuj Agarwal IS the name of FS's founder.  Either he is a no-moral idiot or a spammer he's allowing to work for his company is. Either way, I believe I shall pass.

Next up, Yet another 2 and a half million bucks I foolishly left in a bank in Benin.

There really IS a Benin.  Just take a right at Togo...
Anyway, the hook to this one, as we learn from one Barrister Miracle Joseph, (or Joseph Miracle, it's hard to tell), goes like this:

Remember,the reason why your total fund was arranged on ATM CARD is because many People complain about Freud stars every day from Benin and we are trying to stop this fraudulent from Benin and am assuring you that it will stop because we are now working with the internet operation such as YAHOO MAIL, HOTMAIL,MAILLOL and also the united state FBI and Economic financial crime commission (EFCC). And many people have been scammed by bank wire transfer going around the whole African and the reason to STOP paying money to the fraud stars So the scam can be eradicated in this country and I want you to follow your fund code which follow bellow, and wish is given to you by the Federal high court of Benin and the code is (746*78F*GN)
Now obviously the pertinent question is, are they "Freud Stars" or "Fraud Stars", and whichever one they are, what the heck are they?  Google it and you get a band called the Radio Stars headlined by a dude called Freud.  And by the way, MJ, the terms "ATM card" and "Yahoo Mail" don't exactly scream legitimacy to most Americans.

This next one is just too full of fun not to share the whole thing.  With my comments within:


Hello my good friend,

Compliment of the season! (Which season would that be?)

You may not understand why this mail come to you, (no foolin'?) But if you do not remember me, you might have receive an email from me in the past regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that the multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from U.K who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. ("Logical"?  How about "successful"?)

I thank you for your great efforts to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my new partner's account in China that was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed during the course of the transaction. I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of USD 500,000.00. (Now at this point, I have to point out yet again-I don't have amnesia, and if I don't have amnesia, this scam will never fly.  I think I'd remember a half-million buck business deal.)

I have left a certified bank draft for you worth of Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only. My dear friend I will like you to contact my Account Officer with heritage bank in Benin on his direct email address (tontonforkids@yahoo .fr) for the collection of your bank draft with him, his name is Mr. Tony COLEMAN,i authorized him to release the Bank Draft to you whenever you contacts him for the collection.

 At the moment, I'm very busy with my partner because of the investment project which I and my new partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart, Also comply with Mr. Tony's (Mr. Tony, how cute!) directive so that your draft can reach you without delay.

Note her contact again below:

Name:  Mr. Tony COLEMAN

Yours sincerely,
Mrs. Elise Edward.

Tonton, I found out, is some international internet TV site, and it kinda looks like it features Bollywood dramas.  What it would have to do with my $500,000 business deal in China which I never made, I don't know.

Finally, we have a letter from the First National Bank of Reno, Nevada.  They are taking a VERY proactive stance on scam victims:


I am Mr.Frank Anthony, Chief Cashier,of The First National Bank U.S.A. This is 

to bring to your notice that The U.S Government received a letter from the 

British Colony Government and also African Development Organization concerning 

Scam Victim's, after the meeting the African Development Organization/British 

Colony Government and United Nation Organization, agreed to pay each and 

everyone his or her name appeared in the list as a victim with the sum of $6, 

Million United State Dollar.

Hey, I've been scammed!  Give me six mill!  BTW, the address sent with the e-mail was the location of a bank- a Mutual Of Omaha Bank branch.  I didn't know Marlin Perkins branched into banking, I thought he was strictly an insurance guy.

Because ANYWHERE in Nevada can seem like a Wild Kingdom...

And now, the other pictures I promised, from a previous walk...

This guy and his mate were circling overhead, screaming their joy to the world.

I thought I missed the shot- till I enlarged it.  Ain't it cool?