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


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Moscow Man Wakes Up to Find His Testicles Stolen

So read the headline in the story that was making news all over Russia yesterday.  Married man meets woman, woman leads him to a steamy sauna... man wakes up sans cell phone, tablet, some money... and two once valuable parts of his anatomy.  But my interest in this MWN-like story has less to do with the story and more with the analogy... Russia, a nation that one day woke up to find its balls missing.

I remember when Boris Yeltsin sat atop the tanks and declared the independence of the Russian Federation.  The USSR crumbled in an unmourned heap of ashes, and at least a dream of western-style freedom washed over a nation tired of being drab, isolated, paranoid.  And we rejoiced with them, because the world's 75-year nightmare was at an end.   Involved in all this was a Yeltsin protege named Boris Nemtsov.  Nemtsov went on to become a mayor of a major city, and later, an arch nemesis of Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin.

Today, on the eve of a major protest against the government's policy in the Ukraine- a protest which had already found its other main leader in "protective" police custody- Nemtsov was gunned down on a public street, right in front of the Kremlin.  Russia of course called the act "provocative" and promised to fully investigate, which I'm sure they will.  And show of hands those who believe Putin will quickly bag a "killer or killers" which will not only show that Russia will bring the bad guys to justice... but as an article suggested, will find a way to suggest it's Nemtsov's own "dirty dealings" that led to the murder.  From Sputnik News:

Committee representative Vladimir Markin confirmed that the investigation is focusing on two charges: illegal transfer of arms and murder.

Set 'em up, knock 'em down.  The old familiar Russian game from the old familiar KGB hand.  Not surprising that Putin had earlier described Nemtsov- as he did many of his powerful foes- as an embezzler, a plutocrat, an "Al Capone."  And wow, look everyone, he was an ARMS DEALER on the side.

And more sanctions will come, the winter will get worse.  The Russian people will look at the bounty they so recently had, and the mean spirited westerners jerking them away.  They will fall back into a drab, isolated, paranoid existence.  And they will see their choices one way or another boiling down to one man.  You know who.

Another article I read speculated on the events of the last year...  that the plan was to seize Crimea, and Ukraine would collapse into an ungovernable, untenable heap which would then be accepted into Putin's Novorussia.  But Ukraine fought back, and now Putin is trapped in a web of sanctions pulling ever tighter, making him ever more desperate as he faces his last days.

Nice article, if you were talking about a western nation.  But this is Russia.  Keep in mind, Russia didn't have democracy RESTORED with Yeltsin.  They never once had democracy- and when you boil it down to the man in the field, their wasn't much difference in being in the KGB's gulags and the Tsar's gulags, other than it got a bit more crowded under Stalin.  If the article's author doesn't grasp Russian history, Putin sure does.  And in the end, Putin is not a "Stalin", as Nemtsov named him.  He is a Peter the Great, an Ivan the Terrible, a Nicholas II- sure of the twin towers of Russia through the ages- the rightness of the ruler, and the serf's need to be ruled.  The Russian people have downtrodden serfdom in their blood, the rule of an autocrat in their veins.    All they needed was a little drabness, isolation, and paranoia to remind them.

And up steps the US of A and the European Union.  For Putin, problem solved.

But, Chris, the Ukraine is still fighting!  He's not getting EVERYTHING he wants.

Yeah, really?  The natural gas Ukraine uses to heat their homes and fuel their industry comes still through Russia.  (See, the EU didn't want to help with that back when we were all buddies, because it might piss off Putin, remember?)  And by next week, Russia is threatening to cut that source off... again.  Just like they do every time the Ukraine gets a little rambunctious.

Leonid Bershidsky over on Bloomberg concluded his very telling article, The Russia That Died With Boris Nemtsov, with these words:

I seriously doubt that Nemtsov's death will invigorate  the anti-Putin protest movement. It is too weak to present a threat. Convincing others of the regime's criminality is a weapon that's too heavy for Russian liberals to heft these days. Still, I cannot help but wonder now what my country would have been like had Yeltsin made a different choice back in 1999. 

Under President Boris Nemtsov, Russia could have been a country where I could have kept living and working. With his death, that unrealized future has died, too.

That unrealized future is Russia's man that woke up to find his balls cut off.  Because freedom has to be a waking thing- and America's on the verge of learning the price of being more than half asleep.

Mikhail Khodorksky, former tycoon opponent of Putin, thinks Putin is a "naked king,"  that  "Russia will have to stand long in agony by the bed of the sick emperor. It will be painful for the population and dangerous for the West." His opinion is not shared by all.  Mikhail Gorbachev, for one, thinks that American opposition to Russia in the Crimea and the Ukraine has pulled us all into a new Cold War, one that could become hot:

"If our country gets involved [in the fighting], it could spark a fire so strong the whole world won't be able to put it out." Gorbachev said.

And the truth of it?  We may never know.  It may be like the end to the Moscow man's story...

The LifeNews video showed a doctor saying that the operation had been carried out by a professional — "by a veterinary doctor at the very least."

Despite the precision of the surgery, the victim ended up in intensive care two days after the chance encounter.

The victim's wife was shown in LifeNews footage crying and saying her husband had told her he was going into hospital for a planned operation, but didn't tell her which hospital.

"Interestingly, the wife of the victim is still convinced that her husband was hospitalized as the result of an operation on his sex organs necessitated by a serious illness," LifeNews observed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Time Machine week 14

Welcome to Time Machine for February 27, 1967- a day so devoid of news, Google led me to this Chicago Tribune article from that day's paper:

Why, of all the articles in that day's paper Google took me here, I don't know.  It must be the mystical power of Ras Tafari....

By the story I read, he's more likely Noah...

Despite that, it was a good week for music- the world got it's first radio tastes of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever, Mamas and the Papas' Dedicated To The One I Love (both in the top 40), Penny Lane (the a-side of Strawberry Fields, with its own entry), the Royal Guardsmen's Return Of Snoopy And The Red Baron, Martha and the Vandellas' Jimmy Mack, and Harper's Bizarre with The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy).  And on today's show:  the highest charting 6 degrees victim of the new TM; Two more unknown songs... and one by a bunch of little kids; and the return of the man with the most hot 100 songs to never hit the top 40!  Gather the herd, and let's go!

This week, our friendly group of panelists include:  WSAI, Cincinnati; KDWB, Minneapolis; WQAM, Miami; WKBW, Buffalo; WKIX, Raleigh; KJR, Seattle; WMCA, New York; WRKO, Boston; KASH, Eugene OR; our old friends CKLW, Detroit; KFWB, Los Angeles;, and a reeeeeal stretch... KPOI, Honolulu.  One of their unique contributions was their #3- a song by a lady who went by the moniker of France Gall.

As you can see, France Gall was more than just Gallic rudeness.  She was a big hit in her home country, singing what was known as ye-ye music- the French version of "yeah-yeah", like the Beatles.  The song she charted with in Hawaii wasn't released as a single, but was getting airplay anyway.  It was a French-language tribute to the son of the late President Kennedy called Bonsoir, Jon-Jon.  It was written as JFK talking to the boy after his death, and was pretty and sad.

Bonsoir Jon-Jon was one of a record 30 songs that were on the top fives of our 12 panelists.  Thirty-two if you count the two b-sides that were also mentioned on the charts, (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone on the flip of I'm A Believer by the Monkees, and There's No Stopping Us Now on the back of the Supremes' Love Is Here And Now You're Gone.  Another oddball I thought I would mention was the two versions of the song There's A Kind Of Hush that appeared this week.  Most of them were the Herman's Hermits' big hit version... but one was by a group called Gary and the Hornets.  The thing about Gary and the Hornets, though, was...

...they were 7, 11, and 14 years old.  Gary, Steve, and Greg Calvert from Franklin, OH, hit #5 on the (surprise surprise) Cincinnati chart this week.  They later parlayed their "fame" into an appearance on Carson, where they did Devil With A Blue Dress.

Anyway, the shakedown of the thirty songs gives us the following top four:

The Buckinghams pulled 15 points and the #1 from Eugene with Kind Of A Drag, which was #4 nationally as well.

The Turtles racked up 15 points as well, but with the #1s of both Detroit and LA, with Happy Together, which was 39 and rising nationally.

The aforementioned Love Is Here by the Supremes vol. 1 pulled in 22 points and top picks in Miami, Raleigh, and Beantown.

Before I tell you the winner will be mentioned later, I should also say that the 3 songs that got #1 votes but didn't make the final four were:  I've Been Lonely Too Long  by the Young Rascals (Honolulu), Let's Spend The Night Together (although because they agreed with Sullivan that the title was too suggestive, listed it as "Let's Spend IT Together") by the Stones in Seattle, and Ed Ames...

...yes, THAT Ed Ames, with My Cup Runneth Over in (once again) Cincinnati.  And now:  The number one song on the survey is... coming up later!


Unknown song number one comes to us from the good people of Raleigh, who had as their #4 pick a duo from (AGAIN!) Cincinnati who were named Linda Parrish and Patti Valentine, but performed as the Two Of Clubs.

(Google, on the same image page, had a pic of Dick The Bruiser.  Not sure how that ties in, either.)

You have virtually all the facts I could find about them, other than their sweet little tune called Walk Tall:


Next up, the Great Nineties Countdown!  This week we have numbers 20-16:

20- You Were Meant For Me, Jewel, 1996.  Hit #2 pop.  Covered by about everyone.

...I pick a book up and then I turn the sheets down
And then I take a deep breath and a good look around
Put on my pj's and hop into bed
I'm half alive but I feel mostly dead....

19- Man On The Moon, REM, 1992.   A second single from the Andy Kaufman tribute soundtrack, it made #2 alternative/ #30 pop.

Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

18- Zombie, The Cranberries, 1994.  A heartfelt telling of the war in Northern Ireland from a mother's point of view.  #1 alt, 22 pop.

It's the same old theme since 1916
In your head, in your head they're still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,And their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are dying...

17- Fade Into You, Mazzy Star, 1994.  This is THE most mellow lp I ever listened to.  Took 15 points off my blood pressure all by itself.  #44 pop, #3 alt.

Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there.

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew....

16- Till I Hear It From You, Gin Blossoms, 1995.  One more time for these boys, with a tune that hit #5 alt and #11 pop.

Still thinking about not living without it
Outside looking in
Til we're talking about it, not stepping around it....


Our second unknown was a bit more well known than the first- it was on Cashbox at 57 this week, headed for an eventual peak near #36.  It was the #3 on both Miami and Eugene, and it came from a group called the Mojo Men.  They were a San Fran outfit headlined by one Jim Alaimo- the brother of Steve Alaimo, who hit the hot 100 nine times from 1962-72 without getting any higher than #46- a record for top 40 futility.  Both brothers had been members of a band called the Redcoats (should have been here last week with the Sons Of Liberty, lol), who were the backing band for several acts during Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars tour in '67.  The Mojo Men got their first start with a little help from the producer who would become better known as Sly Stone.  Sly grafted himself onto the band ( Sly and the Mojo Men, no lie), but the guys didn't like any of the songs he was in on, and scrapped it.  By themselves, they took this song into the national top 40:

(Yeah, I know, this is FAR from what I was figuring on from "Mojo Men", but it ain't half bad...)


Our six degrees is as always based on the song that sat highest nationally that got no votes from the panel... and with 30/32 songs to choose from, you'd think this would be a fairly low down in the "do I know this?" end of the chart... put it is actually the highest charting 6D we've ever had!  And it starts... with Roger Miller.

Now after his big hit, Roger's song was answered by a lovely yet unrelated singer named Jody Miller.  Her response ended up being her biggest hit, Queen Of The House.  Among her other resume points was a good showing at the San Remo (Italy) music festival with a song that would one day become, in English, Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.  Another chart hit for her- though not a big one, peaking at #54- was a song made more famous later by Linda Ronstadt, Silver Threads And Golden Needles.  This tune was first charted by a UK outfit called the Springfields, and it was the first UK hit ever to chart on the Billboard top 20, back in 1962.  Hmm, Springfields, where has that come up before... Oh, of course, they were composed mainly of Dusty Springfield and her brother Tom.  But Tom's main fame was as a writer for a more well-known band... Judith Durham and the Seekers, who were sitting with Tom's composition Georgy Girl at #2 this week- the highest song on the charts that didn't get a vote from the panel in our history!


And now, the shuffle ten!

At number ten, a big hit in Canada- which was cool, because I listened to CKLW back then-  Lighthouse, in their second trip to the ten, with their big hit One Fine Morning.  #2 in Canada, #24 here, in 1971.

Chicago also claims their second trip to the shuffle ten.  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, a #7 in 1970, rests at #9 this week.

Reaching WAAAAAAY back to 1955, the Four Aces are at #8 with Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, which they topped the charts with.

At number seven is a song I discovered while researching other things.  It's from Poco's 1975 lp Head Over Heels, an unreleased cut called Down In The Quarter. If you have the time, it's well worth a listen.

The Righteous Brothers also claim their second shuffle ten song- this time, they have their 1965 #4 Unchained Melody- yes, the "Ghost" song- at number six.

Longtime followers have heard about this one before, I discovered it in the midst of a long, convoluted trail first told way back in Volume one week 30, or in laymen's terms, here.  I discovered it in amazement to learn that once upon a time, Rick (Super Freak) James and Neil Young were in a band together, called the Mynah Birds.  The song itself was about to be released as a single in 1966- just before Rick got arrested for going AWOL- but got pulled and didn't see the light of day again for almost 40 years!  It's called It's My Time, and you can click on the link and scroll down for the story and the video.  And... it's our #5 today.

Ronnie Milsap's country crossover from 1981, There's No Getting Over Me- #5 pop and numero uno country- sits at #4.

Yet another of those songs that got drastically cut airplay because of certain lyrics- not sure if it was "We made love to bombs bursting in air..." or, "I said, Hi, she said, "Yeah, I guess I am..." "- but I heard it way after the fact and fell in love with it.  Oh, it's called Ariel, it's by Jersey boy Dean Freidman, and it topped out at #26 back in 1977, and it's at #3.

Anne Murray flies in for the first time with her 1970 #8 Snowbird (apropos, no?) in the runner up spot.

And, the number ones this week?

Survey says....

The Stones and Ruby Tuesday!!!!!!  Amazingly, this was the b-side of Let's Spend "IT" Together, but we know how THAT turned out...

And shuffle says...

... The Alan Parsons Project with Damned If I Do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the lp Eve, this was probably the first time most people heard them and it climbed to #27 in 1979.

And that is a wrap for this week, kids!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is this stuff contagious?

Normally I would vent about stupidity on a Martin World News post, but this isn't all "world news", so I'll do it here.

First up, a blog I was visiting (You know who you are, lol) had as the day's post a question involving if you could hypnotise someone for one day, who would it be.  And right before I had a chance to comment, another commenter came up with a liberal classic- he wanted to hypnotise a group of conservatives and ask them "Why they really hate Obama."

I gave a polite response, and warned my lovely host, but here in the privacy of my living room, I have this to say:

What an ass-wipe.

I am sick to death of liberals who cannot conceive that someone might possibly have a world view they don't agree with.  If I hate Obama, I MUST be racist.  Or I have been deluded by FoxNews.  Never mind that I have had my share of black friends, never mind that my political orientation was formed LONG before there was a FoxNews.  Never mind that in my heart of hearts, I believe that Obama and his associates' conception of what is good for America is fundamentally flawed.

So to him, I say, go ahead, hypnotise me.  Maybe you'll find out there are more genuine opinions about politics and life than your own- if you have the wherewithal to cope with that.

The next thing I found completely raving stupid today... well, here, read this paragraph from The Independent:

The leader of a right-wing volunteering organisation in India has accused Mother Teresa of only seeking to help poor people in order to “convert those she served to Christianity”.

This is sad on so many levels.  Let me try to help this person and her ilk to understand.

Mother Teresa is a NUN.  That means she is a member of a religious order of the Catholic Church, and thus a Christian.

That means that, in her world view, it would be a waste of her time to FEED people in this world if they are GOING TO HELL in the next anyway.

You don't have to agree with the Catholic Church, God, heaven and hell, or anything else to grasp the if-then logic here:  If she is a Christian, yes the goal is to save souls.

Okay, a third and less controversial rant:  I get my secondary news (such as this last gem) from an aggregator called News360 (yes, I've mentioned this before).  Now, it spreads a pretty wide net, but has an option where you can dislike a story and theoretically see less stories like them.  It does work, to an extent; and in a recent revamp, they've also given the option to tell them why you don't like the story.  It normally gives you four choices on this option- one is usually the news source itself, another the main person involved, and the other two one of the subjects "tagged" for the article.  Unfortunately, I have had a hard time convincing News 360 that I do not consider celebrity or entertainment news as "top stories."  So today, I notice an article about the latest news on The Bachelor, and thought, here's yet another opportunity to school them on my thoughts about celebrity stuff.  I clicked the thumbs down; I clicked the "tell us why" button.  My choices came up:

You Don't Like:

-Los Angeles
-United States Of America

And perhaps there is a reason, had I read the article I didn't want to see, that those would be perfectly logical reasons why I didn't like the article on The Bachelor.  What I was hoping for was more along the lines of "really stupid reality shows".

I'm hoping News360's next upgrade includes an "other" button.

Finally, I received a spam comment that tells me my continued admonitions to the population of Benin about getting keyboards where the keys don't stick are falling on deaf ears:

Hello myy loced one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all important infos.
I'd likie to see more posts like this .

Sttop bby my site: earth4energy review () 

"...I'd likie to see..."  sounds like the Beninese are learning English from the Mexicans at my old job...

NOTE:  My red squiggly line quickly let me know that in the above, I had typed "Eniglish" rather than "English" at first.  Hmm, I thought.  Eniglish- "enigma English".

I almost left it in.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Martin World News

Well, I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the ranks of the stupidly funny this week.  Not a lot to choose from... but, we shall troop on.

ITEM: I should leave a story like this to my friend Gossip Girl, who is much more versed in this level of hillbilly technology, but I couldn't resist.  From the Knoxville, TN, PD's Facebook Page:

Knoxville Police Department
Blinded by the Light...NOT!

Flashlights are NOT Headlights!

Flashlights are great for providing light at night, but not as vehicle headlights!

A Sweetwater resident was stopped not once, but twice in an eighteen hour period for driving his vehicle after dark while only using flashlights to light up the roadway. The motorist had strapped flashlights onto his bumper with a bungee cord. The motorist was first stopped at approximately 2:00 a.m. on February 2, 2015, in East Knoxville. The same vehicle was stopped by another officer at approximately 8:00 p.m. on the same day in North Knoxville. In both traffic stops the driver was cited for Improper Headlights, Violation of the State Registration Law, and Driving Without Insurance. 

Bungee-cording two flashlights to the front bumper of a vehicle is not acceptable as proper headlights and is very dangerous to the driver and other vehicles sharing the road.

Now, before you think about what a nitwit this guy was, keep these noted in mind:  1- The police OBVIOUSLY let this guy go at least once. 2- They allowed him to drive without insurance- in Indiana, don't we get the car IMPOUNDED?  It might be a great post about safety, but doesn't say much about the local constabulary...

ITEM:  Next up, Remember Indian PM Modi and his amazing suit that was pinstriped with microscopic repeats of his own name?  Well, I think he got his money back out of it...

An Indian diamond trader has agreed to pay 43.1m rupees ($690,000; £450,000) for a suit worn by PM Narendra Modi.  Winning bidder Hitesh Patel told BBC Hindi: "We will keep the suit at our factory and it will be a source of inspiration."

Critics attacked Mr Modi when it was revealed the suit was decorated with pinstripes spelling out his name.  He auctioned it along with hundreds of gifts he has received, vowing to use the money to clean the river Ganges.

Mr Patel said he entered the winning bid on behalf of his father Lavji, the owner of Dharmanandan Diamonds, a company with a annual turnover of $900m.  A rival bid for 50m rupees was rejected after narrowly missing the deadline of 17:00 (12:30 GMT).

No word on whether Hosni Mubarek is going to donate his suit to the Clean The Nile Fund.

But, speaking of clothes...

ITEM:  Canadian MP Pat Martin (No relation, I swear) had to hurredly leave during a one-by-one vote- because his underwear was too tight.

Mr Martin drew applause and laughter from the chamber when he explained his temporary absence.

"They had men's underwear on for half price and I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me. I find it difficult to sit for any length of time."

The speaker of the house said he initially ordered Mr Martin to sit back down when he wanted to leave.

"I did not understand his explanation at the time and I am not sure I understand it now", he said.

Thank God it was a male MP.  Can you imagine a woman MP having this problem?  "Sources say the MP was tight-lipped on the subject..."

ITEM:  There's one in every Parliament, it seems.  This one is in the UK, but his target was Vladimir Putin:

An alien-obsessed councillor has claimed that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is being advised on the conflict in Ukraine by a race of of reptiles from outer space.  Serial sky-watcher Simon Parkes is adamant that recent hostilities in Eastern Europe can be put down to extraterrestrial intervention.

Specifically, he blames a group of alien reptiles he calls the Nordics for President Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

Coun Parkes, who has previously laid claim to having ‘hundreds’ of alien encounters, was speaking to an audience of around 30 people in Wallsend, North Tyneside.

The North Yorkshire councillor, who represents Stakesby in Whitby, said the Nordics were supporting Putin against perceived American influences in the area.  He said: “Putin had been part of a group advised by reptiles. Nordics made a counter offer to Putin.

“The technology the Nordics are giving to Putin is on a par with America.  The Nordics have told Putin he no longer has to toe the American line, hence his resistance.”

He also told the audience at The Vault that, in the eyes of universal law, his legal father is a reptile.

Y'know, I'm surprised it was Putin he "outed", and not our friend, London Mayor and half-American Boris Johnson.

ITEM:  Book of lists, part one:  Gallup polled people around the country about whether employers in their state were hiring or firing, and used the difference betwixt as the indicator of "States with best hiring climates."  Here are your top five for getting you hired...

North Dakota

Indiana came in 14th here, and a quick look shows that the states from the old Big Ten (not including Rutgers and Maryland) all finished in the top 15- except for (surprise surprise) Illinois. which chimed in at #23.   The bottom five:

New Mexico
West Virginia

ITEM:  Book of lists, part two: In the UK (The Mirror is a usually great source for fun stuff), Diet Coke asked 1,000 women what their greatest regrets in life were.  The top ten:

Not trying hard enough in school, 34% (obviously didn't talk to my daughter... or her mom, in fact)
Not losing weight on their diet, 34%
Choosing the wrong career path, 32%
Not getting on the "property ladder" 22%
An unwise one-night stand, 21%
Not being spontaneous, 20%
Not being a good enough friend, 20%
Not being a better daughter, 18 %
Not being impulsive enough, 18%  (didn't this get covered in "spontaneous"?  Or "One night stand", for that matter?)
annnnnnd... Not travelling before starting a family, 13%

So that got me wondering if anyone had asked the guys this question.  And I found several of these surveys, and I just took the first one, on AskMen.  Yer top ten:

Not going after the hot girl
Not spending enough time with Dad
Ignoring health (jeez, they struck Martins there!)
Being a workaholic (sure didn't hit many there, though)
Not sleeping with all willing parties (wow, I would have thought "not finding any willing parties might have been bigger...)
Getting married too soon
Not splurging on a Badass car (I would think for most of us, you'd have to have "Making more money" on the list before this one came into play)
Not getting into a fight (WTH?  I was in a fight once.  Did me no favors.  Yes, I like how I look with a black eye and concussion, thank you)
Not staying in touch with friends
Annnnnd... not playing a team sport.

I think maybe I shoulda went with the next site....

ITEM: Out of the 46 international teams KC and I are following this season, the first ones out belong to me.  This would be the Debrecen team of the MOL Liga (Hungary and a couple others).  Debrecen
finished fifth of 8 at 16-19-7, and then got a quick bounce from the playoffs 2 games to one.  The team that beat them played KC's team, Miskolci- who swept them away in a 4-0 series.  Miskolci now awaits the other semi-final winner for the championship, which begins sometime in March.

ITEM:  Finally, a little bathroom "humor":

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A man who was thrown out of a Rhode Island bathroom by an explosion was able to walk away with only a bruised knee.
Jeffery Oppenheim said he was visiting friend Andrew Pessin in Providence on Sunday when an explosion threw him out of the home's bathroom.

"It happened in an instant like getting hit by a cannon," he told WLNE-TV.

Pessin was in the kitchen with his sons, ages 9, 7 and 5, at the time of the blast.

"I was in the kitchen with my kids and immediately smelled the burning smell and we just picked them all up and ran out of the house," he said.

Pessin said he went back inside the home for the boys' coats and shoes.

Oppenheim said he suffered only a bruised knee from the incident.

"I'm just very grateful it was me in there and not one of the Pessin children who are little. They could have gotten killed," he said.

The cause of the explosion was unclear Monday.

Another lesson learned about eating at Taco Bell...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday message- David, Bathsheba, and Martin

One of the things I like to do on my weekend is awaken in the wee hours to listen to preachers, because it seems that is my most vulnerable time to hear.  Unfortunately, my body has this concept of, if you are now awake, you want to go to the bathroom- for a long time.  TMI, I know, but it is important in the story of David and Bathsheba- and Martin.  Because the true meaning of this story is what's important.  And as I sat there in the bathroom, I realized that the reason I was there was because it is the relationship with God, not the preacher, that's important.

It seems preachers had been talking about David and Bathsheba a lot lately.  Why Chris, is it trying to tell you something?  Yes- maybe not what you'd think.  Because once I realized that the relationship with God was the important thing, I began to confess my sins... and at that point, the furnace kicked off, and I could hear the message from there to here.  And the first thing I heard was about Uriah.

For those that need the story in a nutshell:  David was the King, and one day he got a naked glimpse of a beautiful woman.  Despite his faith and righteousness, he began to stumble.  Problem was, she was the wife of one of his top soldiers, his Mighty Men.  And once he got her pregnant, he had to cover it up.  So home comes Uriah from the war, and D & B try to line things up so that he has sex with his own wife so no one will know he didn't get her with child.  But Uriah refused their attempts, and in the end David has him killed.  Everything swept under the rug, everything just fine- until Nathan the Prophet confronts David with the sin he thought covered up.

So back to me, God, and the bathroom.  As I thought about Uriah, I thought- why didn't the plan work?  Why wouldn't a husband on leave from the army make love to his own wife?  Because for Uriah, something was more important than his pleasure, more than even his wife- his honor, his responsibility to his God and his fellow soldiers, and even to his king.  Even when the pleasure wouldn't be wrong, the pleasure was secondary to his responsibility and his honor.  The way these things HAD been more important to David- until now.

Because David chose the sin, and now the most important thing was hiding it.  Everything- Bathsheba's honor, Uriah's life, Joab's integrity, and the fate of his people, were now subordinate- not to the pleasure he chose, but in the covering up of the sin. (Secondary lesson- honor permeates all things; sin pollutes all things.)

I began to realize that fighting sin, and confessing it, is a more complicated battle than I gave it credit for.  Jesus taught us last week that He EXPECTS that we'll be coming to Him over and over again, just because of how hard a thing this is.  Having returned to the bedroom, the preacher began to talk about this subject and pointed out that the Greek words for confession is the concept of "repeating back as it has been done".  In other words, not confessing the sin as you perceive it, but as God sees it.  Which was why when David finally made his confession, he skipped past the effects of the sin on Bathsheba, Uriah, Joab, and his people, and said, "Against You have I sinned, and You only."

And for me, that brought me to a very important revelation.  You see, being in the image of a Triune God means that we are likewise Triune- Body, Mind, and Spirit.  And for me, that means that, unlike my self-image, I am this little bitty undermuscled spirit, longing for the good things of God, fighting against both Mind and Body for how I will behave, what I will seek after.  The good guys, as it were, are like Samuel L Jackson said in The Avengers, "Horribly, laughably outgunned."

But that doesn't matter if...  IF?  Yes.  You see, in the end, the story is not about David, Bathsheba, joab, or Nathan.  It is about Uriah.  In the safety and comfort of his own home, he did what was right.  On the front lines, he did what was right.  And when Joab, under David's orders, pulled back the army and left him horribly, laughably outgunned... he did what was right.  When it was easy and when it was hard.  And because it was a part of ALL he did, it was as easy to die that way as to live that way, to deny himself as to be denied.

So why did David fall?  He too, had been a mighty man of war, he too had been faithful in the good and the bad.  He too had known the power of God with him, even when he was alone, when he was horribly, laughably outgunned (remember Goliath?)  He fell because, just once, he let his guard down.  And there are two truths about when you let your guard down.  The first is, Satan will find the open spot in the armor.  The second, God will allow you to be tested, that you might learn.  And the test might be a lifetime, if you fail to get the answer right.

For me, this morning, the answer was looking at the sin as God sees it.  Not, "OMG (does God say that?), Chris did thus-and-so"; but "Chris has never let that measley little spirit develop muscle".  Sometimes, we question God on His assurance that "but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Cor. 10:13)."  But if you go to the concordance as I just now did, you see the word able listed as both "able" and "possible";  that perhaps we should translate it as, " tempted above your POTENTIAL to resist..."  And that potential rests on how strong you have made your spirit, and what you will do when your guard slips just a bit.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Time Machine week 13

Today we land on February 20, 1968- a day that wasn't a big deal unless you were Brit director Anthony Asquith (you died), or a protester at Alcorn A&M (you got tear gassed by the cops), or a looter in Hue (Soldiers were given orders to shoot you on sight).  But one thing the world rejoiced to see was a list of 10 ways a man should treat his wife in public.  The list came from author and Presbyterian minister Dr Charlie W Shedd, and was published today in the Chicago Tribune.  Among his wise bon mots were...

1. When you enter the room, take her arm and come in smiling. If you look happy, she will, and God knows the world needs encouragement. (Willing to bet on THAT one?)

2. Walk proud! Act like you are thinking "How could I be so fortunate?" If you stick out your chest she will too. Most women look better that way.  I like a woman with her chest sticking out...

3. Say something nice when you introduce her. I mean about her. This is good practice and it lifts her spirits. If you make her feel good, you feel good also.   You really had to explain that?

4. When you sit down to dinner, hold her chair! Then pat her on the shoulder and smile. Keep smiling till she looks up. She'll soon catch on and it becomes a ritual. This is a very good thing.
She'll soon catch on to you're up to something, more like it...

5. When the conversation lags ask her a question! Be sure you choose one she can answer. Make it one of her favorite subjects and always wait for her reply. Never forget, smart people make others feel smart.  And of course, you ARE smarter than her...

6. Never, and I mean never, fuss over little points in her story. Who cares whether the roses were true pink or only a faded red? If she is all wrong, somebody else can set her straight. But not you.  Someone that's a bigger jackass than you can set her straight.

7. After dinner, if you get separated, look her up once in a while. Be sure she is pleasantly situated, Tell her you missed her and ask if she is all right.  Let's see.  Marlin, Marvin,..oh here, Martin!

8. When you are ready to go, hold her coat, take her arm, and open the car door for her! Not many men do and she knows. it. This makes her somebody special.  Might wanna put the coat ON her...

9. On the way home take her hand and tell her how proud you were to have her along. A very good procedure. It pays off later.  Depending on what you're hoping for tonight...

10. Sometime when you are with her mother alone, tell her how much you appreciate her daughter. No woman alive could keep this to herself, and nothing does more for your wife than a compliment coming in side- ways!   This sounds like the lead into a bad porn movie...

Welcome to Time Machine, the week the Troggs' Love Is All Around debuted on the charts.  This week, I have three unknown songs... and a story about one (or 2) that includes the Sons Of Liberty, the lead singer of the Archies, and the OTHER band called Eighth Day!  Also, another walloping victory for the panel's #1 pick, and the first ever three time act on the shuffle ten!  Pat your wife on the shoulder, smile, and climb on in!

Frankly, I'm still laughing at the list, so give me a moment to clear my eyes and I'll intro this week's panel.  We have longtime friend KQV Pittsburgh, WOR New York, WQXI Atlanta, KFRC San Fran, KOIL Omaha, KGB San Diego, WKY Oklahoma City, KXOK St Louis, old friend WKNR Detroit, WGEM Quincy IL, WKIZ Key West... and a little troublemaker called WCOL Columbus, Ohio.  And I'm going to get to them and the unknown songs first for reasons that will soon become apparent.  Not the least of which is that one of our unknown songs is at #1 on their chart!

That song, which is also a song that debuts on the Cashbox hot 100 this week, is by a duo by the handle of Gene and Debbie.  Gene was Gene Thomas(son), who had tried to chart on his own and never topped #50.  He became a writer then, until he met a young lady whose name was either Debbie Neville or Nevills (depending on the source) who was also looking for an in.  They had a hit with the single Playboy, which would eventually hit #17:

Though he stayed in the business for quite a while, he rarely surfaced, mostly when people covered his song Sometimes.  Debbie seems to have vanished from the sight of man after the single.

At this point, I'll fess up to another reason that I jumped to this one...the two songs that got #1 votes from the panel but didn't hit the final four were  Playboy by Gene and Debbie- and Judy In Disguise by John Fred and the Playboy Band!

Well, now that THAT cat is out of the bag... let's see how the top four came out...

Dionne Warwick's Valley Of The Dolls Theme (which also tried to sneak into the shuffle ten) comes in 4th, with 15 points but no #1 votes.

1910 Fruitgum Company's bubblegum hit Simon Says got 15 points and the #1 from Key West to finish third.

Otis Redding's posthumous hit Dock Of The Bay gathered 23 points- some 24 behind the leader- and the #1 from, not surprisingly, San Francisco.

And at #1... geez, you KNOW you have to wait on that!


And now- the next installment of the Great Nineties Countdown!  This week, we're at 25-21.

25- The Passengers (U2, Brian Eno, Luciano Pavarotti), Miss Sarajevo, 1995.  This benefit for the victims of the Yugoslav Civil War, absolutely the most haunting song you'll ever hear, was never released in this country, though it got AOR airplay.

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colours
Different names you find it hard to spell
Is there a time for first communion
A time for East 17
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there a time to be a beauty queen
Here she comes... surreal in her crown...

24- Duncan Sheik, Barely Breathing, 1997. It hit #16 on the pop charts.

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
Don't know who I'm kidding
Imagining you care

And I could stand here waiting
A fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price
It's worth the price, the price
That I would pay...

But I'm thinking it over anyway
I'm thinking it over anyway...

23- B52s, Roam, 1990.  One of the best all around party songs ever- next to Love Shack, Baby!  It was #3 on the hot 100s.

Take it hip to hip rock it through the wilderness
Around the world the trip begins with a kiss...

22- Follow You Down, Gin Blossoms, 1996.  I told you these guys would be back... and they will be back again.  It hit top ten on all three charts, including #9 pop.

How you gonna ever find your place
Running in an artificial pace
Are they gonna find us lying face down in the sand
So what the hell now, we've already been forever damned...

21- Good, Better Than Ezra, 1995.  This was my theme song through the end of the century, and helped me through my divorce.  #30 pop, #1 Alternative.

Sitting around the house, 
watching the sun trace shadows on the floor.
Searching for signs of life, but there's nobody home.
Well, maybe I'll call 
or write you a letter.
Now, maybe we'll see on the Fourth of July.
But I'm not too sure, and I'm not too proud.
Well, I'm not too sure and I'm not too proud to say...


The other unknown song comes in at #5 on the Columbus chart, and it's by a band called Eighth Day.  Now we ran into Eighth Day a while back- another name for the band 100 Proof Aged In Soul, so they could have two singles climb the chart at the same time.  But that isn't the band in question.  No, this band was not a soul band at all, but started out as a folk group from Ohio called- believe it or not- the Sons Of Liberty.  The SOLs were basically that, until they heard of a guy that knew a guy, and one thing led to another, and the guy set up a trip to New York and an audition for the boys with Gene Allen (who wrote Bobby Vinton's Mr Lonely) and Ron Dante (the all-purpose man otherwise known as the Archies and the Cuff Links, and later Barry Manilow's producer).  Singing their original songs, they wowed the pair.  The next step was the adding of two female singers by the producers, and the guy who knew the guy knew two girls from the same area that would work perfectly.  Marketing them as competition for the Mamas and the Papas, they got their names changed to Eighth Day and began work on an album.

Thing was, as often happened back then, the producers didn't especially care for them to do their original stuff- they wanted them to record Ron Dante songs.  One of them was the song that became the hit- which I could not find- called Hey, Boy.  Another was one of the ones the band thought would be a hit, called Brandy (Doesn't Live In This Town Anymore).

You can here more of their music (and it is worth it) on the Eighth Day Home Page (it plays in the background of the page).  Anyway, they got about halfway through the recording when three of the four Sons said, this is bogus and went home.  The girls (who later told a SOL that "We never made a dime") and the remaining SOL were then joined by another band who would become Eighth Day, originally called Opus 4.  Opus 4's claim to fame was Rob Parissi, whom you know best as the dude that sang Play That Funky Music for Wild Cherry.  But things didn't go well.  The O4 treated the girls like crap, Dante hated Parissi's voice, and the remaining five songs Dante ended up singing lead himself.

The remaining SOLs were SOL for a while, but finally managed to record a single, called Love Babe.  It did well in some regional markets, but with no idea how to distribute, it "kind of died off."  In the meantime, the owner of the record company Eighth Day was signed to  (Kapp Records), sold out to MCA when the lp was released, but MCA basically plundering equipment and didn't bother to promote the act.  So no one got nowhere, a lot of good music got wasted, and MCA looks like a bunch of real idiots.  Here are the SOL, without the girls, and their "hit".  And thank you to the combined authors of the above referenced page for all that info!


Next, the six degrees, and they start at the Hotel California.

Don Felder is the Eagle who composed the melody line to Hotel.  One of Don's first bands was also one of Stephen Stills' first bands- an outfit called the Continentals.  (geez, the Continentals, the Sons Of Liberty, you'd think this was a July 4th post!)  Now Stephen, in addition to being both a solo artist and a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, also did some session work, and one notable example of that was on Bill Withers' classic Ain't No Sunshine.  Much of the rest of Bill's band on that tune was Booker T and the MGs, with Booker T doing the production work.  Now everyone knows that Bill repeated the phrase "I know" some 26 times on that song... but that's not a record, because the song that gets the six degrees spot, for having no votes from the panel despite being at #5 this week on CB, repeated the word "no" 31 times- not once, but twice!  And that would be the Human Beinz with Nobody But Me!


A quick perusal of the You Peaked archives (non- top tens that hit their highest this week) shows us the Faces' Itchycoo Park at 13, the Strawberry Alarm Clock's Tomorrow at 14, To Give (The Reason I Live) by Frankie Valli at 21, and Henson Cargill's Skip A Rope at 22.


And this week's shuffle top ten:

Stone Temple Pilots make their second trip into the ten, with a song called Big Empty.  It only made #50 pop in 1994, but was top ten both MSR and Alternative.

At the other end of the spectrum, the family that was the inspiration for the Partridges, the Cowsills, score a #9 slot with their number two from my kindergarten year (AKA 1967), The Rain, The Park, And Other Things (AKA I Love The Flower Girl).

I was amazed to see that Elvis hadn't entered the building- until now.  His 1970 top ten The Wonder Of You comes in at #8.

Another surprise to me was that Glen Campbell hadn't graced the shuffle ten until now.  Gentle On My Mind was released twice, and people were screwed in the head both times.  In '67, it made the country charts at 30, but only 62 pop.  The next year, it made the pop top forty at 39, but only got to 44 country.  Here, it gets a well-deserved # 7 spot.

Asia's hit The Smile Has Left Your Eyes comes in at #6 this week.  It was 34 pop/25 MSR (and played like a top ten around here) back in 1983.

Toad The Wet Sprocket was just on the Great 90s Countdown last week at #28 with the song Good Intentions.  This week, they get the #5 slot on the shuffle ten.

What was Huey Lewis' follow up to the News' first big hit, Do You Believe In Love?  If you said Heart And Soul, take one giant step backwards!  They hit #36 pop with one of my favorite chorus sing-a-longs in 1982, Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do.  And this week, they are at #4 on the shuffle ten.

Roseanne Cash returns to the ten with the first song of hers I knew, Seven Year Ache.  It hit #1 country in 1981, kicking off a 5 top ten/3 number one run on the country charts, which was followed one song later by a 7 number one/9 top ten run.  It made #22 pop, and comes in this week at #3.

And the Steve Miller Band, who took Fly Like An Eagle to #3 in week one and The Joker to #9 in week seven, become the first act with three songs in the shuffle ten.  This week, they place Jungle Love, their 1977 #23, in at the runner-up slot.

And at #1- Survey Says....

Paul Mauriat with Love Is Blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It collected 8 number one votes, plus the Cashbox title!

And, shuffle says....

Men At Work, with It's A Mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This early 80's cold war tune was the last of their string of American top 40s, peaking at #6 in 1983.

And that's a wrap!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scrolling through Facebook

So I was looking down my Facebook news feed for something, and I got thinking about what I found.  I have a lot of pages and friends that involve themselves in current events.  One of the hot topics today was the amazing revelation that Joe Biden likes to hug/touch/fondle people... a good deal of them women.  Suddenly he's a pervert on the level of Bill Clinton or Bill Cosby.  Well, guess what?  If you followed me around the last 30 years or so, you'd have been able to take pictures of me doing those very things... most of them with women.  At this point, I'd say the one thing I have in common with Joe is, neither one of us have got slapped for it yet.

Next up is this CNN chick (?) who came up with the idea that ISIS are terrorists because they are poor and have no jobs.  Never mind that they might have jobs if they hadn't spent most of the last 36 years destroying the infrastructure needed to HAVE jobs... much of which the US of A built FOR them because 50-100 years of British rule never helped them to learn how to build anything in the first place.    In all fairness, let's see what she actually said...

 "We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether…. "She went on to suggest that the United States government should work with governments in the Middle East to help boost their economies.

What she didn't tell you- but I can with just a little research and not the Poly-Sci degree she got from IU- is that of the five countries that have contributed the most per capita fighters to IS, three of them are considered "high income" by Gross National Income per capita (#8 Sweden, #9 Denmark, and #20 Belgium), and the other two are in the "Upper-Middle group" (#103 Jordan and #111 Tunisia).  All that time studying the Middle East and like so many others, just can't grasp the concept of simple hate.

Marie Harf:  Proud product of an IU education, just like me
I am proud to say I have blocked out all but the most recent game requests, so there is that.  And food porn I can live with (though unless you caught me hungry, I'm not reading it muchacho).  But you know what?  A lot of posts keep me in touch with family and friends who might otherwise escape my smartass comments.  A lot of posts are from friends sharing their triumphs, their sorrows, and unfortunately their "post this in ten minutes or you'll have bad luck" garbage.  One friend got a post from her husband about what a beautiful woman she is.  I have had the privilege of watching three little girls grow up between FB and blogs.  And faithful Christian friends posting words of encouragement and hope. And of course, those of the other persuasion who feel the need to comment their particular brand of stupidity- one of which ALMOST became the star of this post, because of a comment made on another friend's Bible verse post.

But, God taught me another valuable lesson tonight.  I never found it in Proverbs, but it sure belongs:

"It's no use talking to a horse's rear.  It has no ears- it won't listen."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lesley Gore

"Of course, you know she was..." the guy told me.  Yep.  I know.  Don't care.  The music's the matter here.  Fricking name droppers anyway.

Here's some of what we didn't know about her...

It's My Party, #1.  It was the first hit for producer Quincy Jones, but almost wasn't.  Someone told Phil Spector about the Gore demo- without telling Jones- and Spector tried to do a rush job with the Crystals.  Jones found out about it before a show, and sent a printing of 100 records out to djs to beat him.  Co-written by Wally Gold, who also co-penned It's Now Or Never.

Judy's Turn To Cry, #5.  The quicky-conceived sequel, it was written by Beverley Ross, who also had a co-write (and a #20 hit) with the 1958 song Lollipop.

She's A Fool, #5.  One of a pair of her hits co-written by Mark Backlan (Musical genius for the old Banana Splits TV show) and Ben Raleigh (who wrote the Scooby-Doo theme).

You Don't Own Me, #2.  On Cashbox, this was the last non-Beatle #2 from February 15, 1964, till April 25th (9 weeks), when Hello, Dolly! paused for a week there.  The writers were John Medora and David White, also responsible for Danny and the Juniors' At The Hop and Len Barry's 1-2-3.  They were also The Spokesmen, who did the Eve Of Destruction reply Dawn Of Correction in 1965.

That's The Way Boys Are, #12.  Wiki makes a deal about how it was "kept out of the top ten by British Invasion acts the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. "  In all fairness, they weren't alone in keeping her out- though they were at #1 (Can't Buy Me Love), 3 (Do You Want To Know A Secret), 4 (Bits And Pieces), 7 (Glad All Over), and 10 (Twist And Shout) the week it peaked.

Maybe I Know, #14.  Co-written by Beauty Contestant Ellie Greenwich, as was second single The Look Of Love (#27) from the lp Girl Talk.  Another song on that lp was one Lesley wrote herself:

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows, #13.  It was actually off her second lp, but wasn't released until put on the Frankie Avalon movie Ski Party.  Composed by the Entertainer himself, Marvin Hamlisch.

California Nights, my very favorite, #16.  What it was:  Another Hamlisch/Howard Liebman composition.  What it wasn't: for the first time, a Quincy Jones production.  This one, her last trip to the top 40, was produced by The Four Seasons' Bob Crewe.

The music is all.  And I'll cry if I want to.

Martin World News

ITEM:  I have tried to limit the phallic items that this phallic obsessed world keeps sending my way.  So let me dive right into the "Acts like one, don't look like one" list:

ITEM:  If you are in our neck of the woods, you've seen the Jimmy John's ads about their unbelievably fast delivery.  Recently, we learned how they accomplish that.  Laurie decided to order from them, knowing that there is one right between her work and here.   She was told that we were "out of their delivery range."  She was directed to call their other nearby store, which told her the same thing.

You'll note that both stores are within 1 1/2 miles of our door.  So, unless you work for one of the businesses clustered around the Coldwater Road Wal-Mart or live in an IPFW dorm room, you are SOL.

Guess what, JJs?  You ain't that good.  And you are SOL.

ITEM:  The other day, I was explaining to the girl that relieves me at lunch about a particularly difficult part of a cover we had to cut.  I Told her, the section was "A shark jumping over a canoe full of little indian kids and he eats one."

What would you call it?

Note: the crosshairs are in the middle of the canoe...

ITEM:  A website called OfficeTeam was doing an article on how you quit a job can effect how you fare getting the next one.  They had several real life examples of how NOT to quit:

"An employee baked a cake with her resignation letter written on top."

"A marching band accompanied one guy in his announcement."

"The worker threw a brick through the window with the words 'I quit' written on it."

"The individual sent an email blast to all staff."

"A worker threw a cup of coffee and walked out."

"One woman created a music video to explain she was leaving."

"One person quit via Facebook."

"Someone resigned on a video conference call."

"One person made his wife call to say he was not coming back."

"The worker sent a text to his colleague and asked her to forward it to management."

"An employee's parents let the company know their son was resigning."

"The employee said she was stepping out to buy new boots, but was never seen again."

I'm guessing Brick Guy fared the worst at exit interview...

ITEM:  In the continuing effort to expose both Boko Haram and the Nigerian Army for the poor excuses they are, we present the story that BH attacked into the nation of Chad last week- and, as usual when fighting somebody who gives a crap, got their heads handed to them. But the telling blow came from the poster child of incompetent bureaucracy, the UN:

The United Nations special representative for West Africa said Friday that Nigeria's military needs to show "greater resolve" in the widening fight against the extremist group Boko Haram. "I think we all expect more from the Nigerian military," Mohammed Ibn Chambas said at the U.N.

ITEM:  North Korea has released 310 new patriotic slogans to inspire the poor starving populace that love the fata$$ who's starving them so much.  Among them:

Let us develop friendly and cooperative relations with all countries that respect the sovereignty of our nation and are friendly to us!   And those countries would be... ah... uhm...

Let us resolutely frustrate the anti-DPRK "human rights" schemes by the US and its vassal forces!  Because we all know what an evil idea Human Rights is...

Read the minds of producers first before measuring the quantity of their products!  Because when you're starving, it's the thought that counts.

Let us make the whole country resound louder with the song We Are the Happiest in the World.  Gee, and I thought that Denmark was the happiest country.  Go figure!

Let us establish the guerrilla's way of studying throughout society!  Mind explaining that one?

No, no... GUERILLA, not GORILLA!

When young people are astir, the whole country becomes astir and a revolutionary upsurge is brought about on all fronts of building a thriving socialist country.  Yeah, let me talk to the kids of Tiannamen Square and Hong Kong and get back to you on that.

Let us turn the whole country into a land of the arts and make the arts mass-based!  "Mass-based?" Like, "You lot there, paint those walls!"

Let us turn the whole country into a socialist fairyland by modelling it on Pyongyang, capital of the revolution!  "...and I hear the USSR will be open soon... as Vacationland for Lawyers in Love..."

Let this socialist country resound with Song of Big Fish Haul and be permeated with the fragrant smell of fish and other seafoods!  Ah, the fragrant smell of fish... AKA "You know you aren't culturally connecting when..."

And then, my favorite of all:

Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialised!
Guess what?  Already there...

There are so many of these, I might just feed a few more through next week- if SONY doesn't hack me before then...

ITEM:  Yet again, London Mayor Boris Johnson makes the MWN.  What is he doing THIS time?

Boris Johnson says he intends to renounce his American citizenship to prove his "commitment to Britain".  He told the Sunday Times that his citizenship was "an accident of birth that has left me with this thing. I've got to find a way of sorting it out".  Mr Johnson said he would approach US ambassador Matthew Barzun to explore what steps he had to take to give up his American nationality.

The Conservative politician - who was born in Manhattan in 1964 and holds a US passport alongside a British one - said that relinquishing his citizenship was a "laborious business, they don't make it easy for you".

Yep, renouncing American citizenship to be more of a Brit.  Or was it really...

In January he settled a US tax bill he had previously described as "absolutely outrageous".  Mr Johnson had faced a demand from the US authorities to pay capital gains tax on profits from the sale of his house in north London.

American law requires all citizens to pay US taxes even if they live abroad.

In this case, it was a bill that has been estimated to be as high as $150,000 plus by some tax experts, though the Financial Times says the settlement was nowhere near that high.

ITEM:  Finally, the zoo story for the week:

TOKYO, Feb. 10 (UPI) --A zoo in Tokyo dressed a worker in a cartoony snow leopard costume to stage an animal escape drill and test out the zoo's response.
The Tama Zoological Park drill involved worker Toshiya Nomura donning the leopard suit and running wild around the zoo -- at one point staging a mock attack on a zoo worker -- before being brought down by a tranquilizer dart.

Nomura played asleep for the drill and staff members ensured the "leopard" was sedated by poking it's head with a stick.

"We focused on making this drill as realistic as possible. One of our staff being knocked down and injured was a part of that," said Yukata Funda, director of the Tama Zoological Park.

I'm outta here!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday message- keeping count

3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  (Luke 17)

Once upon a time, there was a man who had a problem with cursing in the heat of battle.  It usually didn't take much more than a minor irritation- a pen dropped, a special order, a material problem.  He paid it little mind, despite the exhortations of James of what comes out of the mouth:

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. (James 3)

One day, the boss proclaimed that the language on the shop floor was too "salty".  He threatened to set out a "cuss jar."  And the man knew it would be a good thing for him to break this bad habit and negative witness.  So he prayed about it, "putting it in God's hands" to break the habit.  And he kept score, because that is how he dealt with things he felt he was failing at:  Put up a scoreboard to watch for improvement.

But the first day of this new resolve went badly.  Things kept happening.  Glitches, lost parts.  He even cursed over cursing at things.  He promised he would try anew to put it in God's hands.  And the second day was more of a disaster than the first.

Things that always happened, happened.  Things that never happened, happened.  And as the second morning wore on, he could almost sense the presence of mischievous, maleficent demons putting every little nagging stumbling block in his way they could think of.  And the man called out to God, asking why He would allow such testing in the midst of an honest effort to do what was right.

And God pointed out a few things.  First, He pointed out that the scoreboard was keeping track of the man's achievement- hence, negating his "putting it in God's hands."

Second, He pointed out that all the scoreboard was- all his scoreboards ever amounted to- was a tool for Satan to use, to show the man what a failure he was.

But the man had always used scoreboards.  How else was he to know if he did well or not?

And God said, "You don't need a scoreboard.  I don't keep a scoreboard.  Not since My Son died to erase it."

To put it in God's hands meant he would have to take his scoreboards down.  After all, it wasn't about what the man could do- it was about what God would do.  And he reminded the man about the verse above from Luke.  And the man smiled.  And he shut down the scoreboard, and changed his prayer from changing his outside to changing his inside. And to remember that living a life like Christ isn't about "I don'ts", but about "I dos".

And then, something so annoying, so stupid, so frustrating happened, and the man cursed.  And God said, "Not keeping score."  And the man submitted it to Jesus for forgiveness.

Because if God can expect us to forgive over and over, will He do any less?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Time Machine week 12

Today, we land on February 13th, 1978... and a big mess in Sydney, Australia.  It seems that a big Commonwealth meeting at the Hilton was interrupted when a bomb planted in (of all places) a garbage dumpster exploded.  It went off when the dumpster was picked up, killing two garbage collectors and a cop.  Accusations ranged from the Australian security forces to the Hare Krishnas;  a guy aligned with a similar group later claimed responsibility, saying that he had been ordered by a fellow Ananda Marga member told him to.  The other member was convicted, then acquitted, and the battle over whether the confessor actually did it or not led him to say, 20 years after the fact, "I guess I was quite unique in the prison system in that I had to keep proving my guilt, whereas everyone else said they were innocent."

Welcome to this week's Time Machine, where I have got one really long story for you, that starts with the unknown song and travels through Star Trek, the Original Series, and ends with who dated who.  In addition, more of the usual stuff, including the Great 90s Countdown, a six degrees starting with Janis Joplin, and the FIRST shuffle top ten since the first one that I didn't bounce anyone for the five week rule!  We'll have a blast!

Since I almost forgot, this was the week that saw the first chart appearances of a plethora of songs, including:  Rod Stewart's Hot Legs; Andrew Gold's Thank You For Being A Friend; Gordon Lightfoot's The Circle Is Small;  Parliament's Flashlight; Jackson Browne's Running On Empty; Styx's Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man); The Trammps' Disco Inferno; Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaway's The Closer I Get To You; and Willie and Waylon with a former shuffle top ten, Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.  Whew!

Our panel this week includes KBEQ  Kansas City; WLS Chicago; KTKT Tuscon; WCVS Springfield, IL; WDRC Hartford; CHUM, Toronto; KCPX Salt Lake City;  WABC New York; WYSL Buffalo; CKLW Detroit; WHYN Springfield MA; and KYNO Fresno.  They came up with 15 top five hits, and the biggest rout in Time Machine history thus far!  The winner racked up a 55-25 win and sucked up 10 of the 12 #1s.  The one song that got a #1 but didn't make the final four was Samantha Sang's Emotion, which topped the Tuscon charts.

The other song with a #1 came in fourth- Randy Newman's Short People, which topped the Hartford chart.

Billy Joel claimed #3 with Just The Way You Are.

Andy Gibb grabbed #2 with Love Is Thicker Than Water.

And at #1... stay tuned.


And to start the long story that I have to tell, we go to the unknown song for the week.  Falling from a peak of #16 this week on the CHUM charts is a gentleman named Peter Pringle.  Pringle was an early talent, being a member of the Canadian Opera's children's choir from age 6.  After a few lps, one of which contained the song I'm getting to, he dropped out of music for a time, and wrote a one man play on Noel Coward.  Later, he returned to music as a devotee of an instrument called the theramin... and that's where the long story will branch from... but in the meantime, back to the song.  His tune was called You Really Got Me Needing You Now... which wasn't too bad.  However, it was another, unreleased tune that I sampled that caught my ears... and I'm going to share it with you instead.


Now, back to the story.  I got looking into this theramin, and I clip I listened to sounded a LOT like an electronic version of playing a handsaw.  It was invented by a Russian named Theramin who was researching proximity alarms back in the 30s.  Somehow, Pringle fell in love with it, and his site is littered with clips of different variations.

So anyway, as I read on, I saw a comparison of the instrument to several soprano colatura singers, including one Laulie Jean Norman, best known for singing the wordless vocal on the original Star Trek series theme.

And as I read on, the wiki article said that she had also been the high note on the Tokens' The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  And I said, "Gee, I just did a deal on that, and I don't remember her name..."  So I went back to the earlier post, and found another wiki article claimed the honor for Beauty Contestant Anita Darien..

So what was up?  As I dug, I found the preponderance of evidence was leaning towards Anita... the wiki story, though, seemed to stem from a memorial site to the late Ms. Norman (now Price), and was about the only other site that gave her any claim.  Finally, though I did find a couple more sites that claimed for Laulie- but none of them gave the info, such as the names of the two producers that picked her, that Anita's side had.  I kept up digging, and found a couple of comments on a message board.  First, for Ms. Norman...

On the original Tokens record in 1961, the female soprano part was sung by one of LA's very best session singers, Loulie Jean Norman. I know because I dated two of her three daughters.  So says Bill from Los Angeles.  Then, enter Lisa from Port Jefferson Station, NY...

I know Anita Darian and she definitely sang the soprano. She is a wonderful singer and a great person. She was called in last minute, late at night to do it, and did the part 1,2,3...

So somebody finally got fed up and went to the source... that would be Jim from Rocky River, OH:

I just received an email from Jay Siegel-The Tokens
I asked him who sang the female high part in "Lion"
The original recording in N.Y. 1961. His reply---
Quote: "Anita Darian was the one & ONLY"
The mystery is where does Loulie Jean Norman fit in?

And to that, I'm wondering if Grandma Laulie "gilded the lily" over the years- a little bit of musical Brian Williamsism?  But, we will never know... unless maybe I start dating one of Anita Darien's granddaughters...


And now, onto the G90sC!  This week, we have #s 30 to 26:

30- Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want, 1999.  "I say all the right things at exactly the right times, but I mean nothing to you and I don't know.... why..."  Story of my life.  Hit #1 on the hot 100.

29- Radiohead, Karma Police, 1997.  "This is what you get, when you mess with us..."  #69 pop, 14 on the Alternative charts.

28- Toad The Wet Sprocket, Good Intentions, 1995.

But life gives little relief
Give us reprieve, ohhh
And when everyone is cold as ice
I clinch my fists and close my eyes
Imagining the world outside
But I can see that I'm not blind...

Didn't chart pop, #20 Alt. Deserved a LOT better.

27- Stone Temple Pilots, Tripping On A Hole In A Paper Heart, 1996.  "I am I am, I said I'm not myself, I'm not dead and I'm not for sale..."  #36 on the hot 100, 3, Alt, and a #1 on Mainstream Rock.


26- Gin Blossoms, Allison Road, 1994.  " she filled up her sails... with my wasted breath... each one more wasted than the others, you can bet..."  These guys will be back.  This one hit #11 on the Alt charts.  (Bobby, I think you'd love the GBs!)


Our six degrees, as promised, starts with ol' Pearl... Janis Joplin.

Two of her most recognizable hits, 1971's solo Cry Baby, and 1968's Piece Of My Heart with Big Brother and the Holding company, were penned by one Bert Berns (who had a few other aliases as well).  Bert and Phil Medley (apparently no relation to the Righteous Bro) were also the writers on Twist And Shout, first done by the Isleys, and then by the Beatles.  Twist And Shout was also covered on the lp Green Onions by the legendary Booker T. and the MGs.  A founding member of that group, and an accomplished session man, was guitarist Steve Cropper.  Among his many guitar credits was on a cover of (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Wanna Be Right that you can find on the lp Footloose And Fancy Free, from which came this week's highest song on Cashbox that didn't get a top five vote from the panel... Rod Stewart's You're In My Heart, which sits at #10.


One of those things I've been meaning to do here and keep forgetting is bringing back one of my favorite features- You Peaked!  And with Cashbox actually functional again, I can get away with that.  So, without further doo-doo, here are the songs that hit their peak this week:

Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, the disco version by Santa Esmerelda, at #14;

Serpentine Fire by Earth Wind And Fire, which was high on my charts (no thanks to Ft Wayne radio which never played it), at #15:

Lovely Day by Bill Withers (ditto the last comment- I listened to CKLW a lot back then), #23;

Long Way From Home, Foreigner, at #27;

Believe this one or not- Breakdown by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- stuck at #33 for three weeks;

And one that got a lot of AOR play (and a spot on a previous Time Machine, back in volume I), Stillwater's Mindbender at #43.

Mindbender... that's my name....

For the first time since the first week, the shuffle ten didn't bounce anybody for having appeared in the last five weeks... and I have to say this is possibly my favorite list so far!

Blondie's 1979 American chart breakthrough #1, Heart Of Glass, takes the #10 spot this week.

At # 9 is a song you know I really love, if you have followed the last two versions of Time Machine- the 1972 #18 for the Latino band Malo, Suavecito.

At number 8 for their second trip into the shuffle ten, Crosby, Stills and Nash from 1989 with the #9 hit Wasted On The Way.

One of our two unreleased tracks in the shuffle ten comes in at #7.  It is Genesis' second time in the ten, and it is from the lp And Then There Were Three- right after Steve Hackett left.  A Tony Banks comp called Undertow, from 1978.

Amazingly enough, it has taken until now for the Rolling Stones to make the shuffle ten.  They come in at #6 this week with a tune that got banned by many radio stations and only made it to #48 here- 1968's Street Fighting Man.

The song at #5 is probably older than you realize.  Those that know it at all probably remember Donnie and Marie's cover (which I also have around here somewhere), but the song was written as a piano tune in 1933, and was one of Babe Ruth's favorites!  It acquired lyrics in '38, and it was in 1963 that Nino Tempo and April Stevens took it to the top- Deep Purple.

Also returning to the shuffle ten this week is Dionne Warwick- and she brings a Message To Michael with her to #4.  This was a top ten in 1965.

The other unreleased tune comes in at #3- and it is maybe my second favorite song by Todd Rundgren's Utopia.  It was from the lp Adventures In Utopia, and it was the leadoff track- The Road To Utopia.

When day is over and I'm trying to sleep
It comes so easy 'cause I'm not counting sheep
I am counting the smiles on the road to utopia

And I may lose my way again and again
But I'll cross that borderline in the end...

Runner up this week is a #3 hit from 1966, from the Whiskey A Go-Go, and from Johnny Rivers- Secret Agent Man.

And Numero Uno esta semana?

Survey says....

C'mon, dudes, you can't be surprised... The Bee Gees with Staying Alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, shuffle says...

...10cc with I'm Not In Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wiki was kinda all over the board on this one- in various spots claiming it hit 1, 2, and 7!  Long story short, Billboard says, #2 in 1975.

Wow, that was a full post!  Tune in next week for more fun!