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


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Open your eyes

There are times I really regret living in this world.  All we do is fight and drift farther from any kind of agreement.  And the thing I regret most about the fighting are the armies of Christian Brethren marching under a banner, fighting to "turn the tide", trying to carve a kingdom on earth out of the dust.

Hop in my tardis; let's go back a ways in time.

In the three hundreds AD, Constantine turned the world upside down by making Christianity Rome's official religion.  Did he really see the vision, "In my name, Conquer" at the Milvian bridge?  Or was he just latching onto to a sociological fix for the cracks threatening to tear the Roman world asunder?  I cannot answer for the soul of the Emperor, but there is one thing I do know.

When Christianity entered the government of the world, it ceased to be Christianity.

Thirteen hundred years were spent proclaiming Jesus as wanting to conquer the Holy Land, favored one royal family over another, condemned men who saw Him in a way the Holy See did not.  By the time Luther's teachings set off one last religious war in the 1600's, the only one whose honor was not being defended by force of arms was Christ.

Paul appealed to Rome.  Did he appeal over the right to not have to make tents emblazoned with "Eat at Jupiter's"?  No, the only right he appealed for was the right to preach Christ Crucified.

Jesus overturned the tables of the traders at the Temple not once, but twice.  Did He do it to force a change in the government, to win a victory over the unfair, pagan Romans or the Jewish elders who clung to the Romans like remoras?  No, His beef was the disrespect being shown to God.  Period.

But here we are, fighting over what fraction of money we make but never see goes into paying insurance for women who may get abortions, but may not.  Making a big deal over whether we have to sell flowers to a wedding we don't have to attend.  I have said over and over again that we as Christians fight the wrong battles- petty little skirmishes that test our ability to make humorous memes and enable us to stand up to the wicked judges of the world.  But now, I'm going to move this one step farther.

It is time for Christians to prepare for life in a world where we don't make the rules.

We have had it so good here in the western world.  Laws have been based on the legendary "Judeo-Christian ethic" for a few hundred years now, and now we have a pretty big sense of entitlement.  We fight legal battles as if the Kingdom promised us was the kingdom based in Washington.  We stand in our statehouses calling down fire from heaven, forgetting totally what Jesus said when James and John tried the same thing.

But the thing is, as I've said before, government is SECULAR.  It is for the non-believers.  And the non-believers have figured it out.  Some people might say I'm overreacting.  I say- go look up what is said by the members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  You'll quickly figure out their goal has nothing to do with equal rights, it has to do with destroying the Christian faith.  Again I say, go look 'em up if you don't believe me.  I have done battle with atheists who believe that the only difference between the ethics passed down by the faithful of God and those expounded by Satan is the name on the letterhead.  No ultimate good and evil, just a different set of rules.  I have done battle with LGBTs whose most civil and intelligent response to my opinions is to call me a "vagina lover".

But they are just the obvious ones.  How many more tear at the walls of God's will by patting themselves on the back for being "tolerant", protecting "civil rights", calling for everyone to just get along.  There can't be anything wrong with that, can there?

These political battles are a losing effort.  LOSING.  Does that mean I advocate rolling over?  No, as always I am advocating, choose the right battles.  Why fight abortion law in Indianapolis when you aren't teaching your children why they should save themselves for marriage?  Why fight for whether I should eat a chicken sandwich or not when you should be showing your youth how to help others BY THE WAY YOU HELP others?

It used to be the thing to wear those WWJD bracelets.  I wonder how many who wore them ever really ASKED the question.  The day is coming, and is nearly here, that we will have to live that question as the battle for Christian rights recedes from Facebook forums and becomes a very, very personal thing.  Do you not GET IT?  The days when everyone stood against believers is returning.  Instead of appealing to Rome over what kind of wedding cake we can make, it is time to be thinking about what we are going to do when Rome no longer hears the appeal.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Martin World News

ITEM:  A short stack this week, as I worked on nothing until Friday.  At that point, I finally began to get my snark back on, but wasted most of it on Facebook.  And why, do you ask, was that?

Mainly because you would think the ONLY news in this nation was the Religious Freedom law Indiana just passed, thereby making the multiverse stop dead in its tracks and tumble into the abyss.  I'm really pretty done with the whole thing, but I would like to point out the different types of "Facebook experts" weighing in on the topic.

1- First, you have supporters who have done the homework, read the law, and have a firm grasp on what it is meant for.

2- Next on the scale, you have the supporters who hope to use it as the opponents fear they will- as a tool to spread actual racist, intolerant thought.  These are the ones that add a one-liner to any discussion they happen onto, pat themselves on the shoulder, and- thankfully- usually disappear.

3- Next, you have the opponents who conceive of " a thoughtful, well-argued response" as an insulting meme which they borrowed from any one of a million other threads and still think it's clever.  These are the ones I wasted my venom on, pointing out over and over the stupidity of their meme and the lack of original thought they put into the thing.

4- Then comes the opposite of #1- those who oppose the law, and then go on to discuss their well-thought out reasons why.  These may start with a meme, but more likely draw others who think their well thought-out argument needs an insulting meme to be complete.  I have found a grand total of two of this type.

5- Businesses and communities trying to point out their self-righteousness by calling for a boycott of Indiana, attaching any hateful, insulting idea onto their post in order to rally those who'd rather not think for themselves on any subject to their side.  Including such "I'll be so sad if you go" boycotters as Seattle, San Francisco, and Angie's List.

6- And of course, George Takei, the genesis of all the retarded memes that make their way onto Facebook.   I'm still waiting for the meme with his picture that says, "To boldly go away- and never come back."

And where am I?  Lurking behind the herd, picking off stragglers.

ITEM:  Well, one of the good bits I missed last week was the Great "What happened to Putin" crisis that broke out the week before last.  Apparently, 36 hours away from the media made half of Europe think something happened to the BMOK (Big man on Kremlin), and the jokesters were out in force:

ITEM:  Just when you think it never happens in Fort Wayne:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A 20-year-old Auburn man is facing a public indecency charge after he apparently took off all of his clothing inside in an Allen County Library.

According to the police report, the manager of the Allen County Library at 536 E. Dupont Road called police at about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The manager told police the situation started after she confronted a man at a computer station wearing only his shorts – no other clothing.

The manager told police that she told the man, who police identified as Donn Avary Schmidt, that he needed to wear more clothing while in the library. The manager said Schmidt questioned the policy but left to get more clothing. However, as he was walking out, he took off his shorts and walked out completely naked.

The manager said that Schmidt then came back in, with his shorts back on, and asked to see the policy that required him to wear more clothing. She asked him to leave, and Schmidt again took off his shorts and walked out completely naked.

The manager followed him out and waited in the parking lot until police arrived, according to the police report. Schmidt was taken to the Allen County Jail.

Wonder if he was trying to read Naked Lunch?

ITEM:  Not to bring up the RF law again, but here's an example of #3, right in the State House:

An Indiana Democratic state representative made a shocking claim during a floor speech earlier this week when she said a Republican colleague’s 18-month-old toddler was scared of her because she’s black.

Rep. Vanessa Summers was debating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Monday when she speculated that Republican Rep. Jud McMillin’s young son is a fledgling racist.

“I have told Representative McMillin I love his little son, but he’s scared of me because of my color,” Summers speculated. “And that’s horrible.”

It couldn't be that the child is just scared because she's a big-mouthed, scary, stupid stranger.   No, it's the color, it's ALWAYS the color.

ITEM:  Remember this one from the MWN of April 28th, 2014?

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.

Well, they found him a couple of weeks ago, buried in a common grave with a bunch of other people, including his wife.   Once the spend another hunk of money they don't have on dividing the group by DNA so they can get the bones that are actually his, they intend to re-bury him right where they found him, in a brand new coffin- that is, after they let a bunch of tourists check him out to "honor the 400th anniversary" of his death.

The remains of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra- and a few close friends.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter message

It strikes me that in the story of Easter morning, there are three people who get "first dibs" at seeing the Risen Lord, and each are at a different point in their journey with Him.  Who are they, and why do we only hear what happened with one of them?

The first is Mary Magdalene.  She was the prostitute, the one from whom seven demons had been purged.  She was the one who "prepared the Lord for burial" at Simon's feast. This is a story I have puzzled about.  In one gospel, we hear that Simon is a pharisee; in another, that he had been a leper.  Perhaps he was one of the lepers that were cured by Jesus but never came back to thank Him.  So, at this feast, he eagerly invited Jesus in, but was still a long way from understanding what truly inviting him in meant.  Mary however, knew where she had been and where Jesus had brought her.  And by John's account, she was the first to speak to the risen Lord.

Peter was next.  In Mark, Mary is told to talk to Peter in particular, and the evidence that this was a one-on-one is found in 1 Corinthians 15:5.  There was something very personal that happened to Peter, related in Luke:

Luk 22:60  And Peter said, Man, I do not know what you say. And immediately, while he still spoke, the cock crowed. 
Luk 22:61  And the Lord turned and looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, Before the cock crows, you shall deny Me three times. 
Luk 22:62  And Peter went out and wept bitterly. 

And this required a personal repair before the public one could be effected.  What happened, we'll never know.  Where Mary's repentance and forgiveness became part of public record, that of Peter- the man who believed and still failed- is not.  Peter and Jesus are allowed a private coming together- and their next public words forgive him publically, and establish his ministry.  Now, if you continue the reading, you'll find that there is one more private one on one.

7 then He appeared to [c]James, then to all the apostles; (1 Cor. 15)

The James here is a point of contention for our Catholic brothers; but who could it be besides the Lord's own Brother, a man that, to this point, had not believed.  Again, a personal, private appeal to the one who did not believe- but would lead his family, and eventually, the Church- into belief.  He didn't believe because he grew up with the man; and because he grew up with the man, He gave him this one more chance, and James took it.  Not only for himself, but at least one other of the four brothers- Jude, followed his example.  And why would Jesus, who'd once intoned, "Who are my Mother and my brothers?", give this chance?

To show that the Resurrection reached across time and boundaries, not only taking in those who believed before it occurred (like Mary), but those who believed but no longer felt worthy (like Peter), and even those who never believed like James- past, present, and future, all bound up in the one moment, the one action.  Is it a wonder that the three who had the most reason to believe themselves undeserving became the first to receive Jesus' personal appeal?

And while you wonder where you fit in on this continuum, think of two other people.  Think of Simon, who thought that the cleansing of his body was enough... did he ever learn that next step?  And think of Thomas, who lost 2 weeks of valuable time with the Lord because he demanded a God that "proved it to him".  Now, where do you fit in?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alive enough to type

The week's hiatus is over.  I am 80% back to health (as long as I stay indoors), and just in time.  The "I don't have a life" section of our work season is about to begin, and when I go in Monday, I start an hour earlier.  Plus, I get to train a new person starting Tuesday.  So posts might still straggle; but on the bright side, next week's Time Machine is under construction, so there is that.

In the meantime, I want to update the hockey board.  We are at a point where it will be easier to keep track of who's still playing amongst my 23 teams, and KCs 23 rivals.  And yes, we are keeping a head to head record, with 5 points for a win, 4 for an OT win, 3 for a shootout win, etc.  At this point, KC has outpointed me with 39 of the last 56, but I still have a commanding 284-151 lead overall.

And we have each now claimed a league title!  Miskolci won the Hungarian MOL liga title for KC, and Tohoku claimed the Asia League crown for myself!  In the meantime, here's who's left and where they stand:

In the Czech Extraliga, my Trinec and his Sparta Prague face off today in the start of their best-of-7 semifinal series.

In the Canadian Junior Leagues, my Brandon and Sherbrooke and his Red Deer, North Bay, and Shawanigan are in their opening playoff rounds.  Only my Windsor Spitfires (13-40-15) failed to make the cut.

In Norway, my Stavanger team is up 3-0 on arch-rival Valerenga in the semis.

In Latvia, KCs Kurbads open their championship series against Mogo tomorrow.

In the UK, my Sheffield and his Fife open the two-day circus which is the Elite League playoffs against each other today.

In Denmark, my SonderjyskE team has won into the finals, and his Esbjerg are a win away from joining them.

In Switzerland and Finland, it's just my guys.  In the NLA, Servette needs to win the next two to upset Zurich and make the finals;  in the Liiga, Jyvaskyla is the first to win through to the semis.

In Germany, it's also just me;  Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg is down 1-0 in the semis to Adler Mannheim.

And that leaves the four NHL teams, still in the regular season;  KCs Columbus Blue Jackets are 11 out of a playoff spot with 8 to play, but our other three seem solidly in.  Current standings would have a Pittsburgh (KC) vs NY Islanders (me) opening series, while my Blackhawks would face longtime rival St. Louis.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Okay, just forget this week even happened

As I type here I am having a massive breakfast of carnation breakfast milk and dry toast- The toast being my first solid food since Saturday afternoon.  Therefore, with three prime research days gone and no idea when I'll feel like reading, let alone writing, I am putting the blog on a week's sabbatical.  So don't feel bad if you don't hear much from me  for a while.  Hopefully I'll be up for work tomorrow, but I gotta get something  other than mucus in my system first.  Have a good week, I'll be back as soon as my brain allows it.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Time Machine week 17

Well, I had thought you might be delayed in getting this week's trip.  It seems the dreaded whatever I've had for the last couple weeks rose again after Wednesday's walk, and I was 50-70% dead at work, where OT was coming and threats of Saturday work are on the table.  At 11 AM, as 4 ibuprofens taken but 3 hours earlier began to lose their efficacy, I looked at a co-worker and said, "A merciful God would make this day go faster."

10 minutes later- no kidding- we were sent home because of a gas leak.

So I have drugs in me and am ready to write the post you will see on March 20th- the 670th anniversary of the day that French "scholars", citing a conjunction of Saturn. Mars, and Jupiter in the 40th degree of Aquarius, claimed the Black Death began.  (Yeah, tell that to the peoples of Asia and Eastern Europe who'd been dying of it already for the last 25 years.)  Of course, we won't be going back to 1345- just to 1970, where on this day General Lon Nol capped off his overthrow of Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia by attacking NVA and Khmer Rouge units near the border with Vietnam.  Oh, and Betty Friedan called a women's strike to be held on August 26.

A plague in and of herself.

Welcome to Time Machine for the week in which we heard the first notes of the Guess Who with American Woman/No Sugar Tonight, Vanity Faire with Hitchin' A Ride, and the Ides Of March (only a week late) with Vehicle.  This week, the guy who wrote the Youngbloods' hit Get Together (or says he is...), the lead singer of the Crickets- but not Buddy Holly- and his unknown hit, the finale of the Great Nineties Countdown... and this trivia poser:  On the shuffle ten this week, all the songs are by first timers except 2- and they are both the third time for the acts, a duo and a band.  The question- who's the guy who was a member of BOTH?  Here's one big, fat, gimme clue...

Our panel of stations this week include old familiars WDGY Minneapolis, KQV Pittsburgh, CKLW Detroit, WMCA New York, WFIL Philly, and newbies WIFE Indy, WLOF Orlando, WPEP Taunton MA, KIRL St. Charles, MO, WLKE Waupun, WI, KFMS San Fran, and KOWN, Escondido, CA.  They put together 22 hits in their top fives, including the number ones in San Francisco (the Beach Boys' Add Some Music To Your Day) and Detroit (ABC by the Jackson Five).  And believe it or not, they came up with a number one song in points 40-29 that actually trailed 5-3 in number one votes!  Our top four this week-

The week's #5 nationally, Edison Lighthouse with Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes, came in fourth, with the #1 vote from Philadelphia.

The week's #2, the Jaggerz with The Rapper, comes in third with the #1 vote from Taunton.

The week's #12 and climbing, with the # one votes of Pittsburgh, Orlando, St Charles, New York, and Escondido- The Beatles with Let It Be.

And the top song, here and on the national chart... stay tuned.


Our unknown hit comes to us as the #4 in San Francisco, a tune called But For Love by a guy named Jerry Naylor, who is a member of the rockabilly Hall Of Fame.  But his real claim to fame came when Buddy Holly and the Crickets split, and they took him as a lead singer on a handful of songs, including the top ten UK hit Don't Ever Change.  That fun didn't last long, and he tried to build a country career.  The apex of that effort was a #27 song in 1975, Is That All There Is To A Honky Tonk.  Prior to that came this tune:

A close look at the writing credits there shows the name Terry Cashman- the Talking Baseball guy.  But For Love peaked at 69 two weeks after this chart appearance.


And now, we end the Great Nineties Countdown!

5- Counting Crows, Rain King, 1993.  My personal theme song rose to #66 on the pop charts.

Me I only want the same as anyone
Henderson is wai-ai-ai-ting for the sun
Always the night endlessly begins and ends
after all the dreaming, I go home again....

4- Soul Asylum, Misery, 1995.  A #1 alternative, #20 pop hit for the guys who brought you Runaway Train.  Another tear producer for me, though I don't know why.

We could build a factory and make misery
We'll create the cure; we made the disease

Frustrated, Incorporated
Frustrated, Incorporated
Well I know just what you need
I might just have the thing
I know what you'd pay to feel

Put me out of my misery
All you suicide kings and you drama queens
Forever after happily, making misery

3- Pearl Jam, Black, 1991.  An lp cut from their debut album Ten, and my signature karaoke song.

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a star
In somebody else's sky, why
why can't it be
can't it be mine....

2- Hootie and the Blowfish, Time, 1995.  #14 pop and 26 MSR- and another one that makes my nose run thinking...

Time I don't understand
Children killing in the street
Dying for the color of a rag

Time hey, there red and blue
Wash them in the ocean, make them clean
Maybe their mother won't cry tonight

Can you teach me about tomorrow
And all the pain and sorrow running free?
But tomorrow's just another day
And I don't believe in

Time is wasting time is walking
You ain't no friend of mine, I don't know where I'm goin'
I think I'm out of my mind, thinking about time
And if I die tomorrow, just lay me down in sleep...

And, those of you who have seen some of my New Years' Eve posts will know what's coming... and why.

1- Counting Crows, A Long December, 1996.  #6 pop and alternative... and for the rest, read here. 

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 AM and talked a little while about the year
It seems the winter makes you laugh a little slower
makes you talk a little lower
'bout the things you could not show her and it's been
A long December but there's reason to believe
maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
to hold on to these moments
as they pass...


Our six degrees starts with Chet Powers AKA Dino Valenti, who apparently wrote the song that became the Youngbloods' hit Get Together.  Well, there's no real controversy there, but the problem comes in when his folk band The Leaves recorded the tune Hey Joe, which he claimed to be the writer on.  Problem was, a man by the name of Billy Roberts already had a copyright on it since 1962.  One thread post apologist claimed that Roberts and Powers/Valenti met in jail when the latter was down and out and signed it over to him to help him out.  A bit shaky there, since Roberts sued when a friend pointed out the Leaves' version.  So Roberts wrote it... or did he?  His girlfriend at the time, a lady named Niela Miller, also a post board frequenter, claims he built it from a melody line in her song, Baby Please Don't Go To Town.  She also claimed that, knowing the shaky ground her claim was on, she didn't choose to litigate.

Hey Joe is the song made famous by Jimmy Hendrix from his lp Are You Experienced- and that title cut was covered by, believe it or not, Devo on their lp Shout.  (Here's where the story picks up speed!)  Another song covered by Devo was their hit from the Heavy Metal soundtrack, Working In The Coal Mine.  This song was written by Allen Toussaint, who also wrote Ernie K Doe's hit Mother-In-Law.  Ernie recorded that on the old Minit Records label;  Minit also had in their stable a group called the Showmen.  The Showmen eventually evolved into the Chairmen Of The Board, whose hit Give Me Just A Little More Time was the highest nationally charting song that got no love from the panel, sitting at #11.


And now, the shuffle ten:

Rick James' second charting hit, which hit 41 pop/3 R&B in 1978, was the funky Mary Jane.  It comes in at #10 on our list.

Three Dog Night comes in at #9 with their #5 from 1969, One.

Go Away Little Girl is one of a handful of songs that hit #1 by two different artists- but the one that makes our list at #8, by the Happenings, crapped out at #12 in 1966.

The Beach Boys' celebrated their 50th anniversary with the lp That's Why God Made The Radio.  At our #7 is a cut off that lp, called Shelter.  This makes their third trip into the shuffle ten- which means our mystery man played in this band!  Know who it is yet?

At number six is Blue Oyster Cult with everyone's favorite monster, Godzilla!  This non-charting cult classic came out in 1977.

Gladys Knight and the Pips make it into the top five with their 1973 hit Neither One Of Us, which hit #2/and #1 R&B.

Are you ready for the mystery man?  Why it's Daryl Dragon, "Captain Keyboard" of the Captain and Tenille, who make the ten with their third hit, Lonely Nights/Angel Face, which hit #3 in 1976.  The Captain played on early 70s Beach Boys lps like Holland, Sunflower, and Carl and the Passions: So Tough.  It comes in at #4 on this week's shuffle.

This week's foray into the contemporary Christian charts brings us a tune from the CCM Magazine's seventh-best Christian lp of all time- a cd that Laurie introduced me to by a band called Love Song.  This band makes our #3, led by former Hondell Chuck Girard, with a tune called Welcome Back.

Sometimes you just don't know what you're missing till you leave it for awhile
Wo, oh, oh, welcome back
Wel - come   back
Wel - come   back, welcome back to Jesus...

Don Williams, a country star with 18 #1s from 1974-86 to his credit, lands one of them at our runner up spot this week.  It's called Tulsa Time, from 1978.

And at the top...  Survey says....

Simon and Garfunkel with Bridge Over Troubled Water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and shuffle says...

Rainbow with Since You Been Gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like Godzilla, a song that got screwed by coming out before Billboard started a MainStream Rock chart, it peaked on the main chart at #57 back in 1979.  It hit #6 in a less disco-oriented UK.

And that is a wrap!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

IPFW is no friend of wildlife... unless you're a muskrat...

We took advantage of the last day I won't be working OT for a while the sunny day to take a walk.

Tons of cardinals out and about, and robins, and the occasional squirrel.  And a shadow that made me wonder what was running across the grass- until a brain cell sprouted and I looked up.

Maybe if he woulda let out a screech...

As for any bigger wildlife, no chance.  IPFW has torn out more of the brush along the woods that gave them places to hide.  Their idea of "forest management" is to make the woods an open, sterile place fit for nothing but being overrun by squirrels and geese... like, say, Shoaff Park.  Of course, the park is smart enough to leave up enough plant life (as well as not removing natural wetlands for vital soccer fields) that they don't end up with the bunches of low spots on their way to becoming muddy, smelly ponding spots like what IPFW is creating.  And smelly, muddy ponding spots aren't real good for seeing deer.  They are perfect, however, for...


This guy was munching about in the pond near the bridge into the Plex.  When he saw me, he went under and disappeared...

Until he popped up here, about six feet away, peeking to see if I was still around.

We did run into some ducks, a welcome change from all the damn geese playing "Occupy Hefner Soccer Fields".

Hey, Chris, what kind of geese do you have?


Monday, March 16, 2015

Martin World News- Naked women and penises edition

...because that's all I could find....

Annnnnnnd let's start right off with...

ITEM:  Spicing up the ol' election campaign:

A mayoral candidate in Spain has given new meaning to the term "political transparency."

Yolanda Couceiro Morín appears nude in a campaign poster, a move she has said is an attempt to raise awareness about corruption in politics in Spain...

Her "banners" say, "Politicians have left us stark naked."

Morín believes the campaign will be “eye-catching,” according to 20 Minutos, which added that the uninhibited candidate also hopes to get voters thinking about “the problems of their neighbors.”

The current mayor of Portugalete is Mikel Torres of the Socialist Party of the Basque Country.

Morín is quoted in 20 Minutos as saying she aims to “position ourselves at the center of attention in the town to be a real alternative to the parties of the [political elite].”

Aren't you glad Hillary isn't campaigning this way?

Let's not go there... no really, let's NOT go there!

ITEM:  And on an nauseatingly similar note:

(NEWSER) – A Palm Beach woman better hope she makes the dance team after an apparent dare from the unnamed group landed her in jail. Shakara Monik Martin was spotted sitting naked outside a Dunkin' Donuts on Sunday, yet rebuffed numerous offers of clothes, the Palm Beach Post reports. By the time police arrived, a "fully exposed" Martin, 32, was apologetic and revealed the stunt was part of a pledge for a dance group, according to police documents, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel. She was charged with indecent exposure and released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Monday.

And trust me... Bill wouldn't go there either...

ITEM:  Recently, the mayor of a South American city got in trouble, because he "didn't realize" the entertainment he hired for National Women's Day were actually male strippers.  Not to be outdone was this church in Florida...

Property Appraiser Dan Sowell said Panama City Beach's Life Center: A Spiritual Community has lost its tax-exempt status after authorities discovered it has been hosting late night spring break parties as "Amnesia: The Tabernacle" since Feb. 28.

The events hosted at the facility included an "anything but clothes" body painting party and a slumber party billed as "a pajama and lingerie party hosted by the sexiest ladies on the beach."

Let's not tell Shakara Monik Martin about this...

Not really sure what "denomination" they might be, but it's good to know that Florida knows the difference between a church and a... whatever... at least seasonally...

"A bottle club, charging $20 at the door and selling obscene T-shirts is not being used as a church," Sowell said. "A God-fearing, God-honoring church in January does not sponsor this type of debauchery in March."  February, April maybe, but not March.

ITEM:  By now, many of you have no doubt heard about the world's first successful penis transplant, or as it is colloquially known, an "addadicktomy".  It occurred where all successful first time transplants come from- South Africa.  The thing that brings this to a MWN level is the one thing that made me uncomfortable:

The patient had to have his original amputated after complications from circumcision. 

Point being, I don't know that I would go for a penis transplant to the hospital that LOST me my original one...

ITEM:  You ever get bored and watch one of those sites that track things... for example, flight paths of aircraft?  You never know what you might see...

Users of, a website that shows the flight paths of planes around the globe, noticed a private plane flying over Florida Thursday had taken a strange route...

"Looks like drawing objects on Flightradar24 is a new hobby," a message posted to FlightRadar24's official Twitter account read Thursday.

ITEM:  Finally, slowly shifting away from the subject... sorta... remember a previous MWN featuring India trying to get men to stop urinating on walls by painting murals of gods on the walls?  (didn't help) Well, an outfit in Germany may have a better solution:

HAMBURG, Germany, March 6 (UPI) -- Leaders in the "party district" of St. Pauli in Hamburg, Germany, are discouraging public urination by covering walls in paint that "pees back."
The St. Pauli Interest Community released a YouTube video explaining the most frequently-soiled walls in the district are being covered in a super-hydrophobic paint that causes sprayed liquid to bounce back in the opposite direction -- causing public urinators to make a mess of their own pants and shoes.

The walls treated with the paint are labeled with signs reading, "Don't pee here! We'll pee back!"

"Watch out! From now on, it's Peeback time," group member Julia Staron said in the video.

ITEM:  Moving on, here's yet another example of what's good for the goose is NOT good for the gander:

WASHINGTON –  A plan that would dedicate two public high schools in suburban Washington to immigrants and students struggling with English is pitting black and Hispanic communities -– usually allies -- against one another.

The Prince George’s County, Md., chapter of the NAACP is strongly opposing the plan -- which would take effect next school year, and cover about 800 students having English language difficulties -- claiming it will pull resources from other students and unfairly redistribute them to Hispanic students. Some critics go so far as to compare the plan to segregation.

“It’s a slap in the face,” Bob Ross, president of the Prince George’s County branch of the NAACP, told 

There are a lot of people who don't believe there's such a thing as reverse discrimination.  Many of them are the same ones who tell me I am a bigot for opposing our current President.  Funny isn't it, when the skin isn't black enough... or the accent is Spanish, or Vietnamese, or Burmese, instead of ebonics... the "we all stand together" rainbow rhetoric gets a bit... cloudy.

ITEM:  And then, the just plain stupid...

Stark County Jail records show Robert Daniel Collins, 39, of Alliance, called 911 Wednesday night and accused his wife of theft.

"[He] called 911 because he claimed that his wife stole his cocaine," jail records state.

Police arrived and found Collins, who was wanted on an active warrant for failing to pay fines on a previous case, in possession of a glass pipe he identified as being for smoking marijuana.

I can't find my rolled up $20 bill, either...
ITEM: Finally, the latest in Wal-Mart etiquette:

Now police allege that an angered Walmart customer in Wakulla County, Florida, Mary Frances Alday, 61, waved a loaded  Smith & Wesson .38 Special at employees after her “dollar-off” internet coupon wasn’t honored on March 1.

While in the process of checking out, Alday became “extremely upset” when Tracy Stockslager, the assistant manager, explained that they could not accept the printed voucher.

According to a report from the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office, after Alday’s coupon was rejected, she called Stockslager a handful of foul names and ran into her with a shopping cart, before being escorted out of the store. “If you follow me, I have something in my car for you,” Alday warned.

Stockslager did follow Alday out to her car in order to take down her license plate number. However, when she reached the passenger side of the car, (Which, of course, is where you often find one's licence plate) Alday pulled out a gun from her vehicle and began “waving the gun in the holster,” reported investigators.

After removing the .38 from its holster, she then waved it at the employees near the entrance and said, “I have something for y’all.”

Police were able to catch up to the suspect, who fled the Walmart parking lot in her 2011 Ford Escape. The Smoking Gun reported that when a sheriff’s deputy pulled her over and asked if there was a firearm in the SUV, Alday admitted to it.

“Yes, I have a concealed weapons permit and you are not taking my gun,” she said. Then, after refusing to exit her vehicle, Alday reached over to get her weapon from the center console and was tasered.  (All's well that ends well, eh?)

She has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of battery.

Unfortunately, the sheriff’s report did not specify what she was trying to buy in the first place.

Betting it was something from Mary Kay...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Sunday, but not a message...

...just to let you know if I was thin or absent on comments Saturday, it was because the "weekend flu" raised its hoary head again.  I took a pair of Wal-Acts (which may have been worse than the disease ) at 7 AM and headed back to bed.  And the rest of the day was much like those next couple of hours, chunks of eating and reading in between half-consciously trying to fathom what was happening on TV (which included such deep topics as the NASCAR Xfinity race and a couple of hockey games).

Today I seem to be a bit better, as may be evidenced by the fact I took Scrappy on a frosty morning walk.

This is the frozen curve onto the back trail in the woods, which I usually try to avoid this time of year.  We tread the inside (left on your screen) side to avoid breaking through and getting wet- a feat nearly futile.  At top left, you can see where the icy water (or watery ice) breaches the side?  Well, only careful adjustment of path to "where ever you see a fallen branch" avoided my plunging into 3-5 inch deep water.  Scrappy didn't care, he don't wear shoes.

That brings up a walk story I didn't tell you about from Wednesday.  We ventured into the open field, and at one point were pinned between the tree line and a big puddle of slush.  We tried to escape by following the rim of the Green Hole, but alas, a tree stands athwart the path.  And so, I fell- as I believe I have now the last three years- in the steeply sloping slop charitably called "mud"- right on my wallet.  About ten minutes later, Mr. Beagle forced me through a section of "snow" that was about 2 inches of water underneath.  And to wrap things up, we found Mr. Fox's current favorite spot to eat.  It consisted of the bloody and pulverized down of a recently consumed bird, and a far-from-consumed (and far-from-recent) deceased muskrat.  Let's just say he wasn't THAT fat when he died.

Which also brings up a week-and-a-half old story I forgot to tell.  The last night we had actual snow on the ground, I was looking out the bedroom window (with Scrappy amazingly passed out).  Suddenly, some small animal- I thought a small cat at the time, but might have been a small 'coon) dashed for the trees, followed closely by the aforementioned Mr. Fox.  They disappeared into the bramble on the right side of the path, followed by a loud, "Row.. ROW..."; and then, the triumphant fox emerged from the bramble and disappeared down the path.  None of with made my "sharp-sensed companion" so much as snore louder.

I did managed to update the hockey list Saturday, and a handful more of our teams bit the dust for the year.  Chief among them my beloved Lokomotiv Yaroslavl from the KHL, who fell in their series with Dynamo Moscow and end their year at 25-23-18.  Also dropping out this weekend:  KCs teams from France (Grenoble, 25-9-11), Sweden (Lillehammer, 18-24-7), and  Finland (Turku, 21-35-13), along with my teams from Sweden (Farjestads, 23-22-19) and Slovakia (Martin 18-26-16).  We still have playoff teams going in Italy, Poland (just me), Latvia, Hungary (just KC), the Czech Republic, Asia (just me), Denmark, Switzerland, while the UK and the North American leagues are still in the regular season.

A special shout out here for a guy named Jesse Dudas.

Jesse is a Canadian who, after several attempts to make it in North America and getting the short end, went to Europe- to Miskolci, KCs team in the Hungarian MOL Liga.  Last night, they played a game that, if they won, would put them into the championship finals.  Jesse, a defenseman who never recorded more than 14 goals in a season over here, and his team quickly fell behind 4-0.  But Jesse put his team on the board with 4 minutes left in the second period.  Two teammates (one with an assist from Jesse) pulled the score to 4-3 early in the third, and at 12:38, Jesse got his second to tie the game at 4.   They went to OT, and 6 minutes into OT, Jesse got his hat trick, winning the game 5-4, and the series 4-0.  Good luck to Jesse (and congrats for the best game of his career) and Miskolci in the MOL finals this week!

Finally, one of the things I use twitter for (obviously not for commenting, lol!) is an app I heard about where some astronomical outfit did a huge, detailed mapping of the Andromeda Galaxy.  They release snaps from that undertaking several times a day, so I've been following, hoping to catch a neat one... like this one:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Time Machine week 16

Today our musical Tardis lands in March 13th- unlike today, a Wednesday, not a Friday- 1963, where we find Ernesto Miranda has been arrested- yes, THAT Miranda.  In and out of reform school and jail since 8th grade- thirteen years from being a stabbing victim in a bar fight, Miranda gave a full confession, was positively IDed by the victim of the kidnapping/rape that led to his latest trouble... but the cops forgot to tell him he had a right NOT to confess, and the right to an attorney.  Along came the ACLU to the rescue, and fought all the way to the Supreme Court, and got the conviction thrown out.

"... I respect your relentless battle for the rights of scum.  But I ain't you."  Wolverine to Matt Murdoch (AKA Daredevil)

Nevertheless, even with his confession out of play, a second trial nailed him, thanks to the testimony of a common-law wife with a grudge.

And went on to make a (brief) living signing miranda warning cards.

Welcome to Time Machine for the week that saw the debuts of the Drifters' On Broadway, Gene Pitney's Mecca, Peter Paul and Mary's Puff The Magic Dragon, and little Peggy March's I Will Follow Him.  This week, we enter the top ten of the Great Nineties Countdown; A couple of unknown songs... really unknown this time;  One really weird member on this week's panel;  the "worst f'n song" Sinatra ever heard (and he sang it); and a very good, rather oddly distributed shuffle ten!  You have the right to read on...

This week's panel consists of WEEZ, Chester PA;  KBIX Muskogee OK; WKBW Buffalo; WSPR Springfield MA; WABC New York; KEWB San Francisco; KRLA Los Angeles; WLS Chicago; WQAM Miami; WDRC Hartford; WAKR Akron; and KBOX Dallas.  They put 23 songs into the mix, including #1 votes for the Four Seasons' Walk Like A Man (Muskogee, as well as the national chart), the Cascades' Rhythm Of The Rain (Chester), Paul and Paula's Hey Paula (New York), and Lou Christie's The Gypsy Cried, which was actually two weeks into its descent down the national chart (Dallas).  Before we get to the panel's picks, I want to bring up the oddity that was the Muskogee chart this week.

In addition to having the only vote fore the national #1 in their top slot, their #2 was the #63 nationally tune by Brian Hyland, If Mary's There (Which kinda goes with the 6 degrees victim coming up later).  Then in their third slot we find Brenda Lee's She'll Never Know, which was actually the b-side of her top 40 hit Your Used To Be.  In all fairness to Okie Nation, I thought She'll Never Know (which peaked at 47 to the a-side's 32) was a better song.

In their fourth slot was another b-side but this time neither side actually charted nationally.  This was Tommy Roe's Don't Cry Donna, which again I actually found better than the A-side flop Gonna Take A Chance.  Here, see for yourself:

BTW, the number five on KBIX was Elvis' One Broken Heart For Sale- which was the #11 "flop" between the #2 Return To Sender and the #3 (You're The) Devil In Disguise.

The other oddity I spotted, quite by accident, was way down the WDRC chart.  I spotted the simple name at #28 - "Ann Cole, Have Fun."  Ann Cole (actual Coleman) started out with a family Gospel act called the Colemanaires, in which she got sorta discovered... and ended up being the uncredited backup vocal on Fats Domino's 1958 hit When I See You.  She would go on to have a handful of R&B hits, of which this one, a #10 peak, was the last:

Unfortunately, we wouldn't have the benefit of that voice for long.  Shortly after this song charted, Ann was in a serious car accident that left her wheelchair-bound and unable to perform professionally.  I couldn't let this go by without a prayer that somehow, Ann managed to follow her own advice.


So what WHERE the panel's picks?

At #4 was the Orlon's South Street with 15 points, #14 nationally this week.

At #3 were Ruby and the Romantics with Our Day Will Come, the #3 song on Cashbox, with 21 points.

The runner up, with the #1 votes of Springfield and Chicago, Skeeter Davis' The End Of The World, with the #6 national placement and 27 points.

And the numero uno.... stay tuned.


One last note on a very strange panel this week... At #5 on Dallas was a song listed on the original chart as "All I Do Is Dream- Dick Chamberlain."  Don't recognize it?  If you look at #26 on Cashbox, you'll find it was REALLY  "All I Have To Do Is Dream by RICHARD Chamberlain."  Of course, they also had the fast-dropping The Gypsy Cried at #1.


And now, the penultimate Great Nineties Countdown!

10- Someday, Sugar Ray, 1999.  A number 7 both pop and alternative.

When my life has passed me by
I'll lay around and wonder why you were always there for me
One way
In the eyes of a passerby
I'll look around for another try
And fade away
And fade away
And fade away
And fade away....

9- Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand, Primitive Radio Gods, 1996.  With the sample from BB King's How Blue Can You Get, it hit #10 pop and #1 alternative.

We sit outside and argue all night long
About a God we've never seen
But never fails to side with me
Sunday comes and all the papers say
Ma Teresa's joined the mob
And happy with her full time job... do do do do do...

I been downhearted baby, 
I been down I been downhearted baby
Ever since the day we met
Ever since the day we met...

8- Mary Jane's Last Dance, Tom Petty, 1993.  With those Indiana boys on an Indiana night, it hit #14 pop.

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer closing in and I'm tired of this town again...

7- I'm Still Remembering, Cranberries, 1994.  An lp cut from To The Faithful Departed, an instant tear bringer for me.

They say the cream'll always rise to the top
They say that good people are always first to drop
What of Kurt Cobain will his presence still remain?
Remember J.F.K. ever saintly in a way

Where are you now?
Where are you now?
Where are you now?
I say, where are you now?

6- Winds Of Change, Scorpions, 1991.  Their tribute to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the promise of the future was a #4 hit.

I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change
An August summer night
Soldiers passing by
Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change.....

Next week... the top five.


And that brings us to 6 degrees time, and that starts with... the Name Game!

This was of course that fun nonsense song made into a hit by Shirley Ellis.  The writer was one Lincoln Chase, who also penned lyrics (which I have never heard) to one of my favorite instrumental hits, Burt Kaempfert's Wonderland By Night.  That chart topper from 1961 was composed by a man who got involved in a controversy over another of his song credits.  It seems that a man by the name of Ivo Robic wrote the melody, but sold it to Kaempfert when he was unable to turn it into a profit.  Kaempfert apparently didn't give credit when he turned the song into- Strangers In The Night.  This was Sinatra's all time most hated song, who called it "The worst f'n song I have ever heard." It didn't help his mood when his session guitarist- one Glen Campbell- had to fake his way through since Frank liked to do stuff in one take and he hadn't rehearsed.  Frank asked the booth man, "Is this guy with us, or is he sleeping?"  We come to this song because one of the co-writers- Eddie Snyder- was also co-writer on the highest nationally charting song this week that got no love from the panel-  the #9 What Will Mary Say by Johnny Mathis.


And now, the shuffle ten!

The Four Seasons make their second shuffle ten with one of their lesser known hits- the #45 from 1969, And That Reminds Me.

A second straight 60's hit comes in at #9- the Cyrkle with their other hit, Turn Down Day, which was a #16 in 1966.

Three in a row?  Tommy James and the Shondells collect their second shuffle ten with the song at #8- 1967's Getting Together, which peaked at 18.

Now we shift to mid-seventies for a while, with that run kicking off here at #7 with Bread's second shuffle tenner, 1976's Lost Without Your Love.  It peaked at #9 back then.

At six on the shuffle ten, a surprising FIRST appearance, finally, for KISS, with Christine Sixteen, which made it to #25 in 1977.

Also from 1977, also from a band that surprisingly took this long to make the shuffle ten, Styx with my all time favorite from them, Crystal Ball.  It peaked at 109....  deserved better.

1977 one more time- from the lp For Him Who Has Ears To Hear, Keith Green gets his second shuffle ten.  It's one of the contemporary Christian artists' most fun songs- He'll Take Care Of The Rest.  The lp was listed by CCM magazine as the #5 all time Christian lp, and as a proud owner I'll vouch for it.  The song sits on our chart at #4.

Another album cut comes in at #3, and the album it comes from is a cult favorite- the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle.  From 1968, the song is the beautiful Hung Up On A Dream.

At number 2, we return to 1969 for Sly and the Family Stone with their #22 hit Stand.  The b-side, though, had become the more enduring hit, despite peaking at #60- (I Want To Take You) Higher.

And, at number one?

Survey says....

The Chiffons with He's So Fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They were at 12 and climbing nationally- but collected half of the week's number one votes and racked up 35 points.

And, shuffle says...

Better Than Ezra with Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You just saw these guys at #21 on the G90sC a couple weeks back- 30 pop and #1 alternative in 1995, and the glue that held me together in the great summer of my discontent.

And that wraps up this week's show!  Tune into next week's show for the Great Nineties Countdown finale!