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


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The A to Z blogging mash-up, part two

Well, today (or tomorrow, as I type) is "Z-day", the end of the month long A to Z blogging challenge.  So here is part two of my mini-version.

O is for Oscar Rafael Say Cumez, the first child we sponsored through Children International.

Oscar dropped out of the program at the age of 15 to help support his family (One of the CI rules is they have to be enrolled in the CI school.)  I often wonder how he is doing and what he is doing.  One thing I do know- he is a fine young man and I wish him the best.

P is for Al Penwasser, who has dropped off the face of Blogger Earth to work on his latest novel.  I still keep up on FB and Words With Friends, but it's not the same as his wonderful sense of blogging humor.  Hopefully he'll get the damn thing writ and come back soon!

Q is for queer, another one of those insensitive words that we're not supposed to use.  You know, like "whitey", "religious zealot", "right wing terrorist", or, as I've seen on gay protest posts, "vagina lover".  I'll admit, my son and I were naming off our least favorite baseball teams and came up with the "queer" Mets, the "lesbian" Phillies, the "gay" Yankees, the "homo" Cardinals, etc.  And when those other terms disappear from the lexicon of those who don't like Caucasian, Christian, Conservative, straight people, I'll worry about my use of the ones I used at home.

R is for racism (Geez, you going for alienating the REST of the audience?).  The recent lifetime ban of LA Clippers owner Don Sterling for telling his bi-racial mistress not to bring blacks to his basketball games is interesting, but to me only from the point of view of money and hypocrisy.  Stealing a bit from fellow blogger LC over at Back In The USSR, I find it funny that a man who had been busted for his racism SEVERAL times was going to get a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP, was cutting checks to several grateful black players and a black head coach, all without a peep until TMZ shoved it in their faces.  NOW he's a hate-mongering imbecile who isn't worthy to work in polite company.  Well guess what?  You've all been more than happy to take money from this same man for all these years- and it was no secret what he was like.  Kinda like the bi-racial mistress who is being sued by his wife for return of some $1.8 million worth of sugar daddy gifts she received.  You might even call her a whore.  If the shoe fits, NAACP, players, and Doc Rivers...

S is for sliding into mediocrity.  A few days back, I heard a convo between our production manager and the corporate big boss which led me to one inescapable conclusion:  Our main customer is so screwed up, that they cannot afford to unscrew without collapsing into a hot steaming pile.  And that to work with them, they require a supplier to be just as screwed up as they are.

A few days later, we had to hot rush some items for a new customer.  Why the rush?  Because someone at corporate had sent the orders to our Missouri plant instead of us.

That day, I announced in the break room, " A few days ago, I told someone that (our main customer) cannot function unless their suppliers are as screwed up as they are.  GUESS WHAT?  WE MADE IT!!!"

T is for tornadoes.  We watched on TWC all last night as town after town in Mississippi were raked not once, but twice, by monster storms.  The nightmare is beginning to happen again as I type, this time seemingly with Alabama and North Carolina as the targets.  Please help us pray for these people.

U is for Ursula, my mom's name.  I never knew how hard it was to spell Mom's name until she died.  We were in the Catholic Church then, and we would watch the bulletin for the days where someone would pay to have a mass said in her name.  In three weeks, I saw her name misspelled three different ways- the last one (and only one I truly remember) was "Urusual". 

Laurie's Mom's name was Laurice.  We have the unusual in common.  And just wait till my grandchildren (long may they wait) ask me why they have a dad named KC or a mom named Shenandoah.   (Answers:  #1- Their grandma is an idiot.  #2- I liked the song from the movie.)

V is for Valetudinarian.  I was looking on Google under "V is for" and quickly learned that unless I got Bobby G. to come over to do a "V For Vendetta" mini-bit, I'd have to just consult a dictionary.  And there I found this word.  This word describes one who likes to discuss "one's poor health or ailments".  How about that, Grandma Girardot was a valetudinarian!  She'd have probably told me, "Now, Christ (small "i", she always added the "t" for some reason), you daresn't (her favorite word) use such language."

W is for Woody, my Dad, Louis Woodrow Martin.  Called Woody all his life since Louis C. Martin was his Dad.  My Dad had a LOT of warts which I have discussed over the years.  But the bottom line is that he did the best he knew for us, especially me, and helped raise 5 semi-well adjusted kids.  It has taken a lot of years- and is still a battle- to see him in a positive light.  But that light is there, especially in my sister's two boys, who think the world of him.

Mom and Dad with niece Raine at her first communion.

X is for the "Unknown Soldier".  Huh?  Well, think about it.  It is the third least used letter in the language (.015 % of words use it) behind q and z.  So it is used in science, math, even entertainment (see X-Factor) as the symbol of that which is unknown.  I think that perhaps when we use the letter, perhaps that would be a good time to remember the Unknown Soldiers in OUR lives as well.

Y is for yet.  Yet is one of the most powerful words in the language.  It shows that beyond politics, beyond the eyes, beyond even the imagination, something exists.  When Galileo was forced to preserve his life against the inquisition by recanting his theory that the earth moves around the sun, he ended the recanting with, "And yet, it moves."  Yet is what holds the spheres in place; yet fills our lungs with air.  We cannot live without yet.

Z is for Moose.  Huh?  Well, that was the first thing that came up on Google.  It was a kids book by Kelly Bingham and Paul Zelinsky, in which a Zebra was trying to match every animal with a letter.  But Moose got mad when M went to Mouse.  Hilarity ensued.  I haven't read it but it sounds pretty good.

And there you have it!  See, why do a post every day of the month when you can accomplish all in two?  (Oh, yeah, the "challenge" thing.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You give 'em books, they eat the pages

This is a phrase an ancient co-worker (as in, "a past co-worker", not "an elderly co-worker") used to use a lot at our old job.  (He also used to say, "If it were up your a$$ kicking footballs, you'd know where it was", but I digress.)  Today I thought I might be away from those who would cause me to say that, as I woke up (in fact went to bed) achy and exhausted and called off work today.

However, all-day sleep was not to be mine today, as I had made an appointment to get the brakes checked in the Impala.  Since we are a one-car duo, I would have to rent a car to work through this.  So, plan was, go get the rental car at 3, drop the Impala off at the service center.  We went in to the rental place, got Laurie's end of the proceedings done, and I told her, "Go on ahead."

Minutes pass, and I am driving the tiny, wind pushed Mazda to the service center.

No Laurie, No Impala.

Call her.  "Where are you at?"
"You told me to go on."
"Oh, DUH!!!"

Yes, she had completed half the job and went home.  As she started on her way to defeating the idea of doing things efficiently, I went in to the service center and told the lady, "I have a funny story to tell you."
"I'm here to drop off a car I don't have."

Nonetheless, the job is now done, and the teeny little temporary member of the family is ensconced in the parking spot of honor.

"...and here's the keys to your new Speck...."

As long as you're here, here's some Scrappy walk pics from Sunday...

Brother Hawk was out and about...

I believe there is a family of chipmunks or gophers that live under the bridge.  They are driving Scrappy nuts... well as into risky searches.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Martin World News

No offense, Bobby G., but I think I found a new symbol more appropriate to the type of people I usually report on...

Whaddya mean, it don't work this way?

ITEM:  When you keep switching between capitalism and communism, you get stuff like this- from the Phnom Penh Gazette:

Free-market competition turned into a market free-for-all in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district on Friday.
According to police, two fruit vendors were arguing when one grabbed a cleaver and took a swing at the other.
He missed, but the intended victim grabbed the cleaver and allegedly hit his attacker in the head and arm, injuring the man’s nephew in the process.
Police apprehended the vendor, but could not offer a motive. Onlookers, however, said the two often vied for customers.

Me, I think we can safely blame it all on arugula.

ITEM:  A story on North Korean News- always a fount of fun stuff- talked about the "human rights racket" the US of A was running.  By this, as I learned, they didn't mean a racket in the "racketeering and corrupt activities" sense, but in the "making a lot of noise we don't want to listen to" sense.  In the midst of this, a couple of things cracked me up caught my eye.  The first:

Such frantic racket is aimed at tarnishing the image of the dignified DPRK at any cost and bringing down the ideology and social system chosen by the Korean people in the long run.

(DPRK standing for "Democratic People's Republic of Korea, of course.)

After downgrading US attempts to get human rights issues into the UN agenda as "such nonsense", they go on to this vivid description:

Great irony was that they let such riff-ruffs as so-called "defectors to the south" appear at UN Security Council and European Parliament in a bid to stir up an atmosphere of accusing the DPRK.
As far as those riff-ruffs the U.S. considered as "witnesses" are concerned, they are the criminals who fled after committing thrice cursed crimes against the country and its people. They are terrorists who stood up against the social system in the DPRK where the popular masses are leading a happy life as masters of the state and society.

Uh, yeah.  Moving on...

ITEM:  Headline from The Australian:

A MAN who attracted police attention after he scaled the outside of his inner-city Brisbane apartment block was found with a “brick’’ of cocaine in his unit, a court has heard.

Apparently our young brain surgeon, one Damian Noel Mayfield-Smith, 33,  climbed up the side of his own apartment building, into his own room.  When the police arrived to explain that this was an unsafe and illegal means of entry, they also discovered a half a kilo (aprox. 1 lb) brick of cocaine, as well as:
-an 11.5 g rock of coke;
- marijuana;
- a taser concealed inside a torch;
-and stolen jewelry.

They also found a brick press and clip-seal bags- everything for the young cocaine entrepreneur save two things, apparently- a brain and a room key.

ITEM:  Another chapter in "You Think Your Congressman Is Bad", this one from Zimbabwe:

Mike Gava, Zanu PF’s Mhondoro Ngezi Member of Parliament, is being held in police custody after running amok at the Kadoma Hotel and Conference Centre on Thursday, firing a volley of bullets, before kidnapping his ex-girlfriend.
The Daily News is reliably informed that Gava was arrested after he fired three shots in the sky in the hotel casino following a heated altercation with his ex-girlfriend, only identified as Thandeka.
The legislator, who was said to be tipsy, reportedly met Thandeka at the hotel and started charging that she had refused to sire a child with him.
After getting a cold shoulder from the girl, the former youth leader allegedly used force, threatening Thandeka, verbally and physically abusing her.
Witnesses in the casino said there were attempts to restrain the lawmaker from assaulting and insulting the woman, but Gava allegedly pulled out his gun and fired three shots in the sky, causing pandemonium in the casino.
After causing havoc at the hotel, it is alleged Gava kidnapped Thandeka and drove to his farm in Kadoma, where she managed to escape.
The legislator is facing charges of discharging a gun in public and kidnapping.

About all you can say is "smart girl... unless she voted for him."

ITEM:  Yesterday, there was a story that a drunken passenger tried to hijack or make a terrorist strike aboard a Virgin Australia jet en route from Brisbane to Bali.  Truth of the matter is...

Matt Lockley told Bali police after his arrest that he banged on what he thought was the toilet door for a last-minute bathroom break before the Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed.
The door was actually the cockpit door and the pilot, Neil Thomas Cooper, responded by alerting Indonesian traffic controllers of a possible hijacking. Crew members then seized Lockley and handcuffed him.

But was he drunk?  No, just highly medicated:

After taking blood samples from Lockley, police said the Australian had taken several painkillers, including four Panadol and two Voltaren pills. Police initially had said Lockley was drunk.

Apparently as of Saturday, Lockley was still in police custody, as "He is depressed and needs to rest."

ITEM:  Like eating au fresco?  Not in this neighborhood in South Africa:

One Soshanguve resident got a rude surprise for lunch.
Koketso Mabunda of Soshanguve's Block M was enjoying lunch under a tree in his yard a loud explosion sent sewage spewing out of the ground - and onto his plate.
Mabunda - and his lunch - are the latest victims of blocked drains in the township about 25 kms north of Pretoria. He says these kinds of bursts happen often, and that he and his neighbours are tired of reporting the same thing all the time.
Residents say that block drains frequently send human waste, and used condoms and sanitary pads gushing out onto the ground - sometimes near the Tipfuxeni Primary and Tiyelelani Secondary schools.

And he is p.o.ed:

"Our health is in danger," Mabunda told OurHealth. "Imagine the consequences of eating human waste from your plate?
"The thing just spoiled my lunch," he added.

ITEM:  Gotta love animal stories, right?

First, I found a 2-year old story of three deer joining a horse race in Washington, PA. 

Race announcer Roger Huston didn't miss a beat. He began calling the race as it unfolded, saying things like: "As they race down the track, Bambi has the lead. Here comes Rudolph from the outside."

Huston declared Bambi the winner.

Next, in Barnaul, Siberia, a husky puppy was upset over being left in the car whilst daddy went into the Siberian version of Home Depot.  In his rampage, he managed to accidently hot-wire the car and drive it into a couple of parked cars.

An eyewitness who worked in a nearby store said: 'It was about 3 pm when the driver from the 2106 VAZ left a husky puppy inside the car. The puppy went mad and managed to pull the wires which led to the engine's ignition. 

'The car was parked on a small hill which helped it get going. The puppy was even steering the wheel, so that the car made a small semicircle and crashed into a parked Mercedes and then a SsangYong car.'

Onlookers said the normally stern traffic police 'were in stitches of laughter when they realised what had happened'.

'When (the owner) came he put all the blame on the puppy, much to the fury of the drivers of the Mercedes and Ssang Yong cars.'

Finally, another criminal dog was caught in Brampton, Cumbria (UK).  His crime?  On unattended morning walks, he went on a six month spree of biting the tires on cars parked along his way.

Caught by CCTV was a border collie named Jess.  Their young JD committed at least ten "tire-slashing", and the elderly couple have gone around and paid for the damage once their young vandal was arrested.

ITEM: An article I found a couple weeks ago pointed out "the 13 worst predictions from the first Earth Day" in 1970.  Among them:

- According to Harvard biologist George Wald, we ceased to exist no later than 2000.
- Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich (author of The Population Bomb, 1968, and several of these lovely prophecies) said between 1 to 2 billion people should have starved to death by 1980.
- "Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions.... By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine." - North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

- By 1980 we would have to wear gas masks, outside, and by 1985, sunlight would be cut by one-half, according to Life Magazine.

-Ecologist Kenneth Watt said we ran out of gas 14 years ago.

- And Watt one more time:

 "The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age." 

Of course, current PC science tells us that the temps have actually went UP about 0.6 C (around one degree F.)  Thank God for global warming, eh?

ITEM THE LAST:  In a matter of great concern to this blog, Spanish forensic scientists are going to try to find the lost body of Author Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, who wrote Don Quixote- without which this blog wouldn't have a name.  The author, who died penniless in 1616, is allegedly buried in a pauper's grave at the Convent of the Trinitarians in Madrid.  The team is going to use satellite tech to scan the grounds for the gravesite.  The supposedly-teetering-on-the-edge-of-bankruptcy government will be forking over in excess of $100,000 for the search.  There seems to be no real motive for the search, which makes it a perfect candidate for a government grant.

Mr. Magoo as Don Quixote, 1964.  He'll be playing Forensic scientist Jose Diego de la Vallencia in this remake.

Friday, April 25, 2014

And now... Time Machine Volume III

It's April 25, 1972... and welcome to the world of instant pictures, as Edwin Land demonstrated the Polaroid SX-70 for the first time... remember what fun they were?

And welcome to the new era of Time Machine, the trimmed down, pumped up, instamatic version!  I'm still trying to figure out the "batting order" on the fly, so bear with me as we look at this week in 1972- the week that Isn't Life Strange by the Moody Blues, Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones, Diary by Bread, and Billy Preston's Outa-Space first hit the charts.

First off, let's see who makes the list on "You Peaked!"  A former #1 in Ireland, Wings' Give Ireland Back To The Irish had it's two weeks in the top 40 here, peaking at 38, and is on its way down.  Another international hit, future disco-god Giorgio Moroder's first hit single- Son Of My Father- stopped at 34 last week and discos on down; and I am heartbroken for the Guess Who's Heartbroken Bopper, which topped out at 26, though it alone of the three gets one more week in the top 40.

Yep, they look heartbroken to me...

Now, this week I promised to look at the original CBC 50 Tracks, a list arrived at over a ten-week period by a group of experts with some fan contributions, of the most essential songs in history.  This show, hosted by one Jian Ghomeshi, featured different celebrity guests every week (unlike the Canadian version) and apparently was a little more listener driven.  On looking over the list, I saw four categories develop.  The smallest of them were tracks never released as singles (but should have been).  The Beatles, not surprisingly, had two of these tracks- In My Life (which was #2 on their overall list) and A Day In The Life (which was #12).  Also, not surprisingly on this list was Led Zep's Stairway To Heaven (#7), along with the Clash's London Calling (#13).

Another, far larger category, was songs before the Martin Era.  They actually had their list divided into decades, going clear into the twenties.  Among the highlights here were Somewhere Over The Rainbow (#6), Glenn Miller's In The Mood (#9, which to my shame I know better by Ray Stevens' "Henhouse Five Plus Too"), This Land Is Your Land, Stardust (Satchmo's version), Hank Sr.'s Your Cheating Heart, and Bing Crosby's Brother Can You Spare A Dime.  Closer to our time frame, they had Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode (#10), Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel (#18), Bill Haley and the Comets' Rock Around The Clock (#29), and Ray Stevens' What'd I Say (#31).

Yet another, then, had to be those who fell in after the ME.  This included U2's With Or Without You (#4), Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit (#5), Guns 'n' Roses' Sweet Child Of Mine (#11), Michael Jackson's Billie Jean (#24), and, of course, Alanis Morrisette's You Oughta Know (#30).

Oh, big deal, you made both lists bashing me.  Nyah Nyah Nyah!

Okay, so if you've been keeping track, we've already hit 11 of the top twenty, and Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit from 1939 makes twelve, taking the 20th spot.  So how many Martin Era BB chart hits made the 50?  Good question, and the answer is... well, I'll tell you in a minute.

Right now, let's flip over to this week's top 40 debuts, and there we will find 5 of 'em.  At #40, the Fifth Dimension, featuring the insomniac Marilyn McCoo, with Last Night (I Didn't Get To Sleep At All), up seven places.  And at 39, also up seven, is our "I met this song through Time Machine" hit.  Written by rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce and released from the band's lp Killer, here's Alice Cooper:

Gladys Knight und der Pipsters come in at 38, up four with their take on Help Me Make It Through The Night; and the two big jumpers were- from 60 to 37, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen with Hot Rod Lincoln, and from 70 all the way to #34, the Chi-Lites with Oh Girl. 

Another thing to note would have been the 50th birthday songs of the week- but I didn't know any of them.  But of course, there is the Beatles' "Empire" to report on.  This week, the Fab Four had nine singles on the chart- three of them still climbing (All My Loving at 33, Love Me Do at 35, and Thank You, Girl, at 62); one of them holding in place (that place, no surprise, being #1 with Can't Buy My Love) and the rest on the way down (Twist And Shout at #4, She Loves You #21, I Want To Hold Your Hand 22, Please Please Me 24, and Roll Over Beethoven 52).   By contrast, the best American act of the day, the Four Seasons had three hits-  Ronnie rising at 11, and Dawn (Go Away, 36) and Stay (31) going down.

Okay, so who were the magic "most essential" Martin Era chart hits according to our friends in the Great White North? 

11- Stop In The Name Of Love, Supremes (44)
10- Walk On The Wild Side, Lou Reed (38)
9-Temptations, My Girl (33)
8- Stayin' Alive, Bee Gees (26)
7- Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen (19)
6- Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys (17)
5-Mr. Tambourine Man, Byrds (16)
4- Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf (15)
3-(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Rolling Stones (8)
2- Like A Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan (3)
And the one you KNOW I'll complain about at #1-

Imagine, John Lennon (1).

Before I make my comments, let me mention that my pedestrian tastes knew 29 of the fifty.  I'm willing to bet cats like Arlee Bird and Stephen T. McCarthy know a bunch of 'em that I don't, so if anyone is interested (Or just wants to see the list so they can bust me over, "You left Fight The Power by Public Enemy out", here is the link to the Wiki article. 

That said:

Walk On The Wild Side is one of the most overrated songs of all time IMHO, and this proves it to me.

Imagine?  Grrrrrr.  That's all.

Stayin' Alive?  Essential?  And Brother Can You Spare A Dime was #32.  Hmmm.

On the bright side, Hey Jude was nowhere to be seen.

And now, to the top ten.  With one new entry, one falls out- and that one be Puppy Love (7 to 24, arf arf!)

Yes gains the top ten with the shortened version of Roundabout, still one of my favorite summer songs.

Heart Of Gold and Neil Young give ground stubbornly, slipping from 6 to 9.

Sonny and Cher edge up a notch with A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done at #8.

Up 3 notches to #7, Aretha Franklin and one of those rare songs of hers I can actually stand, Day Dreaming.

The Stylistics at 6, up a pair, with Betcha By Golly Wow.

America slips from 3 to 5 with A Horse With No Name.

The Dramatics continue to move up, one more notch to #3 with In The Rain. 

Bobby Day took Rockin' Robin to #2 in 1958, kept from the top by Tommy Edwards' six-week hold on the chart with It's All In The Game (CB crapped it out at #4).  Young Michael Jackson took it to #1- for just one week.  He falls back to #2 this week.

Which means the first #1 for TM Vol. III is......

...Roberta Flack with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face!!!!

So what do you think of the new line up?  Suggestions?  Ideas?  Let me know, so that I can ignore them properly!  Until next time...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hump'n'dump time

Two things were unusual about today's walk.  One, Laurie got to come along (Wal-Mart didn't require her presence today).  Two, we were passed on the greenway trail by a group of about 20 young people- on Segways.  Have I officially seen it all?  No, but I'm getting closer.

Meanwhile, we hit the bark park on the way home and found... beagles!!!!

Oh, and a boxer.  His name was Duke, that beagle was named Brawley, I think...

...and the white-faced one is Jazz.


Scrappy sniffed her stuff.  She told him to knock it off on no uncertain terms.

Laurie and Jazz.

A new contestant entered... never got a name.
They had a circus together.  Duke was a big sweetheart, Jazz was usually quiet and gentle.  Brawley was the firecracker of the bunch, and howled at Scrappy anytime he got too friendly.  Once right in the ear, which I laughed at.  At one point, a nearby car's alarm went off, and the dogs gathered to figure out why.  Brawley started baying at the vehicle.... and it shut off!  A great time was had by all.   Duke doled out several 4-oz-of-slobber kisses to dog and man alike, and tried to leave with us.  His owner called out, "Hey!  I'M your mom!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Walk pictures! But first...'s time for that announcement I promised.  It is not one I want to make, but have debated it out and come to an inescapable conclusion...

(Geez, WTH is he going to do to himself???)

Okay, nothing that earth shaking to all of you... but a big deal to me.

Last Friday was the END of Time Machine, vol. 2.

This hurts to say, because, as I have always said, it is a labor of love.  Emphasis on the labor.

I have enjoyed raising it from a barely noticed post to a "radio show without the radio" over the past few years.  It is my pride and joy, irrespective of the "ratings" it got.

But I have come to a point where 6 hours spread over two nights is just not feasible.  Energy wise, time wise.  Scrappy's coming to hate typing night.  I'm coming to hate research night.  Not the neat stories, but the constant website to website work of it all.   I'd love to keep doing it if I were retired, but none of you have forked over that lottery ticket, so this is it.

Rising from the ashes will be a Time Machine vol. 3 that I hope will be more of a "two hours-one night" thing.  It will have four main every week features- the top ten, obviously; The song I didn't know of the week- there have been a lot of those, some good, some stinkers, and I will put up a video of one each week; Something to do with top 40 or hot 100 debuts, I still haven't quite worked that out;  and "you peaked", featuring songs that hit their high water mark that week, but more like the old Almost But Not Quite, with only certain of them making the grade.

In addition, I will run a revolving feature, with one of the following:  the 45 @ 45; six degrees; World hop, aka what's at the top of the worldwide charts; wheel of fortune, where a random song from a random week and year of the Martin Era gets their story told; and perhaps variations on my favorite of the week (or my favorite number ones of that week throughout the Martin Era).

I'm hoping to maybe work in the birthday songs- perhaps only those turning 50.  We'll see.

The first week- this one- will have as its feature my report on the 50 tracks international list I promised last time.

I hope TM will still be able to thrive truncated like this.  I hope something good comes of it.  Time will tell.


Okay, so here's Saturday's walk in brief, because someone would like a Tuesday walk:

One thing we'd never done was walk that grassy meadow off the back trail- where we used to get all those great deer pics.  Here we go!

Someone's long-ago dinner... this isn't looking good.

Stony Run turns into a mini-flood plain back here.  Swamp to one side, briers to the next...

"...on the trail of the lonesome pine..."

There's where we SHOULD be...

...and that's what we had to cross to get there.  "Easy for jou, deefeecult for me..."

Meanwhile back at the river...

Scrappy takes a dip...

...Daddy takes a nap.

My favorite spot... view of Reed Island, and the dam warning sign

And back to the swamp, AKA turtle beach.

And Daffodils!

Apparently I took some Sunday, too, but I forget what they were.  Let's have a look...

Oh, yeah, the squirrel...

...and a trip to The Spot!  Erosion seems to be edging it towards the creek.

That next step's a doozy!

Isn't he adorable?

Everything between the last ridge and the creek is water.  Never seen so much of it there...

The end of South Canal, near Coliseum Blvd.

In the weeds again...

Surveying the bridgework on Coliseum.  For all that noise, they should be making SOME progress...

Why this pic?  Well, I had decided to use the construction porta-pot.  Just as I came up, a ground hog sprang from amongst all that turquoise metal, running towards the u-stor unit beside it.  Scrappy was perusing the other side of the unit, and the groundhog was under it faster than I could switch hands with the camera- or Scrappy could be bothered to look up as it passed within ten feet of him.  Seconds later, Scrappy stumbled onto what happened, but by then I was... "occupied".

And more turtles.