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


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Message

A sermon on hospitality to the poor set me to thinking.  I mean, in America, we have strong views about the poor.  Give or volunteer at the soup kitchen, but no more illegals in our country.  Give in times of disaster, laugh at the lazy dude "working his shift" in front of Wal-Mart with the "homeless and hungry" sign.  It kind of seemed to me that we must have some fundamental flaw in our thinking.  We Christians trumpet conservative political causes, yet Mikhail Gorbachev once called Jesus "the first socialist."  And there was that meme of my friend's that I dissected a while back.  It had some pretty flawed structure, but it made a handful of reasonable points.  So where is the truth?

Let's take a look at the things we as Christians take a stand for when we become political.  Wikipedia has a list that I'd like to use.  First on the list is Education, specifically the voucher system.  In this, basically taxes are remitted a bit for those going to Christian schools to make up for the government dollars spent on public school that these students wouldn't benefit from.  This has been a big fight in Indiana, and to a certain point I see the logic.  Yet, in asking for it, aren't we asking, "I want the same cost as everyone else, but a better benefit"?  Would Jesus stand with us and cry out for fairness and balance, or would He ask, "Is not the pearl of great price worth more?"  I'm not positing an answer here, I just want to make you think.

Second on the wiki list is creationism vs evolution.  This is a bit more difficult, because it involves belief systems and not economics.    And it involves a place where the enemies of God will brook no compromise.  If something scientific can be postulated as proving there is no need for God, that we are forced to believe is "gospel", and no other teaching is acceptable.  Recently, and this will actually appear on a MWN post later, Bill Nye warped the section of the Constitution involving patents into saying that the government had a duty to protect and promote science, therefore Biblical teaching was unconstitutional.  Which, while proving mainly that Bill knows as much about the Constitution as he does about science, also shows the depth to which those who hate God will go to expunge Him from public thought.  A truly open, scientific mind would be able to see the room in the Bible for both a "big bang" beginning to the universe and evolution- IN ANIMALS.  However, we MUST draw the line at man, for man is made in God's image, and God does not change.

Third on the list is sexuality.  I will just touch on this to say that this is the clearest of Biblical principles, and hardest to follow.  We rail at the schools for how they teach it, but how do we teach it to our kids?  How do we obey it ourselves?

Fourth was homeschooling, which has become a point of persecution in pagan Europe.  I have many friends who have homeschooled for Christian reasons, and most of the students have turned out just fine.  I went to a tiny Catholic school, and also turned out fine.  And I have many friends who went to public school who retained the faith of their fathers or learned Christ on their own.  To me, the Spirit shall find you if God wills it.  What matters is what YOU teach your children.  If you can do that most effectively by homeschooling, then you should have that choice.  But I wonder if we are not losing a wonderful opportunity fighting the dichotomy of the educational system vs God by letting the children see both and giving them an educated choice.  And in that, we should not expect the school to be the one teaching God's side.

Wiki next has a catch-all "politics" section, with several subsets.  The first of those is "the role of government"- small government, with fiscal conservatism and freedom of the marketplace.  On the surface, this could be handled by what I have said many times before- that government is SECULAR, and designed for the secular world.  But the recent battles over the religious freedom legislation prove that it isn't always that easy.    And on that subject I have had my say before-  there are Christian ways to fight this battle, and there are legal ways to fight it- and we should choose the way that gives most glory to God.

Abortion and Biotechnology take the next two slots.  Again, abortion is an area I have covered before.  I believe it is wrong, it is a lazy way of contraception, it is murdering an innocent.  But if we are busy protesting in Washington or carrying signs in front of a clinic, who is at home teaching our children?

  All of these political battles remind me of someone having a fever in the Middle Ages going to a doctor and having blood let.  These evils in society are symptoms, and we are spending way too much time trying to surgically remove the symptoms and leaving the true virus to run rampant.  Same with the final thing on the wiki list- sexuality.  WE WILL NEVER END HOMOSEXUALITY BY TELLING THEM IT IS EVIL.  But we can save lives one at a time by teaching that God is good.

And the subject wiki ignores is the one that really got me thinking- illegal immigration.  For a long time, I thought like most "Christian Conservatives", or conservatives in general, do.  That being, that when we open the door to illegals, we bring our economy, our nation, to their level.  The Romans did this when they started to use tax dollars to change the word "barbarians" into the word "frontier army".  Honestly, I am a big anti-NAFTA, protectionist dude.  I would like to see our nation remain great, and free.  But... If Jesus was a border guard, what WOULD he be doing?  Building the fence higher, arming the guards with orders, "Shoot on sight?"  Would he say, "Sure, it's okay to show charity by supporting a sponsored child in Guatemala, as long as you don't bring him here"?

And  I know you can say, "But even if we gave them these privileges, what about the ones that abuse it?"  I get that, and I've no doubt that more than most will be advantage-takers.  The hardest thing in all this is that to do the right thing may make you look naiive, "the big dumb Christian sap".  But you have to follow the examples set by two great men of God.

Noah spent 100 years while the ark was a-building, preaching to his neighbors, trying to get them to turn from their evil ways.  Not one of them came aboard.

Abraham pleaded for the people of the five cities, asking God to spare them if there were 50 good men, then 45, then 40, then 30, then 20, and finally 10.  God agreed to do so... but the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah still fell.

Get the point?  We do what is right, and let those who will listen, follow.  To me, the most powerful verse that Jesus ever said was when Peter, having been told of his final fate, questioned if John was to be so treated.

John 21:22:  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Time Machine week 26

Today, we fly to May 29th, 1976- a nice sunny Saturday for a 1st place showdown between the Cincinnati Reds and LA Dodgers.  The Dodgers had a 2-game lead coming into the series, but the Reds pounded them 9-0 the night before, with George Foster blasting a 3-run homer off reliever Mike Marshall, who gave up 4 runs in 2 innings.  Today, the Reds trailed the visitors 5-3 in the 9th.  Dave Concepcion singled, and the Dodgers took out starter Rick Rhoden and brought in- Mike Marshall.  Mike proceeded to give up a single to Cesar Geronimo, a pinch hit sacrifice bunt to Ed Armbrister, a run-scoring groundout to Pete Rose, a game tying triple to Ken Griffey Sr., and a game winning single to Joe Morgan.  The next day Marshall was nowhere to be seen as the teams split a doubleheader which left the Reds in first by .005, and within a month he would be packing his bags for Atlanta.  The Reds would go on to outpace the Dodgers by 10 games and sweep the Yankees in the World Series.

Yep, another no hard-news day at the Hard News Cafe...

"I'm Ted Koppel, and This... is my lunch..."
Welcome to this week's Time Machine!  This week, we begin doling out the Cashbox 100 biggest hits of summer- but not as a countdown, but scattered throughout the story!  Included in those places are the panel's #1 song, and the shuffle's #9... and they are two different songs by the same act!  I'll be winging the six degrees as I have apparently lost my notes,  (but bookmarked crucial pages!)  Also this week, our first five-timer on the shuffle ten; Bigfoot makes an appearance on (where else?) the unknown song; and another panel runaway!  Climb aboard, and batter  up!


Our panel this week includes WFIL Philly, WABC New York, KERN Bakersfield, KTKT Tuscon, WLS Chicago, CHUM Toronto, WCOL Columbus OH, KKUA, a newbie from Honolulu, CKLW Detroit, WDRC Hartford, WRKO Boston, and WDOV Dover DE.  They only racked up a measley 20 songs, and the winner was by a 43-24 margin!  There were six songs making number one- the top song had six, and the others got spread out, including Shannon, which was top dog (get it, a song about a missing dog, the top dog?) in Toronto, and Gary Wright's Love Is Alive, which was #1 in Columbus.  The top four...

With 18 points and the #1s from New York and Hartford, John Sebastian and Welcome Back.  It was #2 on the national chart.

With 20 points and the #1 from Honolulu, the Sylvers with Boogie Fever, the #12 national hit.

At the runner up spot, with 24 points and the #1 from Bakersfield, the week's #3 nationally, Diana Ross and Love Hangover.

And at the top... I cannot tell you now, but I will tell you it is the #40 song on the top 100 of summer!


Before it ceases to be fresh in my mind, let us do the six degrees, and it starts with Crosby Stills and Nash .

The trio hit #18 in 1982 with Southern Cross, a song that started life in a very different- and for me, local- manner.  Stephen Stills was listening to a tape that contained a song at the time called Seven League Boots.  It was written and recorded by a brother pair from Goshen IN- just under 60 miles from this Tardis' home base, and Stills reworked it with their permission and 50% royalties into Southern Cross.  They were Richard and Mike Curtis, and their claim to fame came when they ran into a pair of young semi-folk singers who'd just left a band called Fritz.  The brothers worked with this couple on their debut lp, and wrote together a song called Blue Letter.  While that song didn't do much on the duo's lp- nor did the young lady of the duo singing backup on Seven League Boots do much for it- but Blue Letter would soon be placed upon a 5X-platinum album, and a song that the duo played live but never recorded would go on to become our six degrees victim.  If you have followed this enough to ask the proper "who"s, here are your answers.  The Duo was Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, the lp was the self titled lp from 1975 by Fleetwood Mac, and the song that they didn't record until they joined Fleetwood Mac was Rhiannon, which was # 9 nationally but got no love from the panel.  Not bad for no notes, eh?


How about some Bottom's Up?

And here are the most notable from the bottom of the national chart:

10 is a song that like many, would have rated high on MY summer list, but on the countdown not so much.  charting at 67 in it's third week, Parliament with Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (We Want The Funk).

9- is on its way down after a 23-week run, stopping at 68- Rufus featuring the lovely Chaka Khan with Sweet Thing.

8- Here's another of those songs that should have charted much higher IMHO, but we didn't know that at this point.  Candi Staton's Young Hearts, Run Free was at 72 in week #2.

7- The Carpenters were at 74, on the way down after 14 weeks, with There's A Kind Of Hush.  While this tune didn't make the countdown, Karen and Richard did land exactly one in the hundred- Close To You, which made the list at 70.

6- ABBA is not a band I usually associate with summertime;  however, they debut this week at 76 with Mama Mia.

5- Our next of 3 debuts sits at 77 this week- Queen with You're My Best Friend.

4- One of my all timers was taking its slow time climbing, falling this week at 79 after 4 weeks- Keith Carradine with I'm Easy.

A song I more generally associate with Autumn- though why I don't know- is at number three on the bottoms Up, spending its second week in the charts at #83- Walter Murphy's A Fifth Of Beethoven.

Our lowest debut this week comes from Lou Rawls, with the classic You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, coming in at 86.  This was not a big song for me at the time... but it grew as the years went by.

And the top bottom this week?

Foghat with Fool For The City, at 95 in its second week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Our unknown song comes to us, with a little digging, from WFIL, where a former dj there- who had moved on to DC- put some fun on the chart.  His name was Alan "Brother Love" Smith, who was with WFIL from '71-'73.  He and a partner, Jonas "Joe" Cash, started a trade mag for radio stations that was eventually absorbed into the Billboard Empire.  But they also partnered in something not so serious- a song that Cash wrote, and Smith sang as "Bro Love:"

Bigfoot peaked nationally at #57.


While they didn't make this week's chart, 1976 did have 3 songs in the hundred:  The Manhattans' Kiss And Say Goodbye was at #30, and Elton John and Kiki Dee hit #91 with the (vastly overplayed in Fort Wayne) Don't Go Breakin My Heart.

But the idea of Sebastian's Welcome Back (of course, the theme to the TV show Welcome Back Kotter) got me to thinking- are their any other TV songs on the list.  Now, I would have had the Happy Days theme by Pratt and McLain, but CB says, NO.  (Even though it gathered three votes for 5 points this week.)  I do have a tenuous TV connection to one song in the 100, though.  In 1975, a summer replacement game show came on, and I had to look it up to remember the name was Musical Chairs.  Contestants had to guess songs based on live snippets sung by the house band- three young ladies who called themselves Sister Sledge.  I fell in love with their work there, but I must confess I was never as impressed with their less-sweet-and-innocent breakthrough in 1979, which included We Are Family, which made the one hundred at # 23.

Now, movie songs were another story.  Here are the movie songs that made the summer's 100 biggest:

At 61, Frankie Valli and the title tune from Grease.

At 47 Henry Mancini with the runaway instrumental from 1969, the Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet.

At 28, The Beatles with their title cut from A Hard Day's Night.

And at 25 Simon and Garfunkel with Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate.

"Time Machine, you're trying to seduce me!"


And now, the shuffle ten.

At #10 is a Hoagy Carmichael composition- a song that never actually charted for the four famous acts that recorded it in 1942- Tommy Dorsey, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra- and Glenn Miller, whose version makes the ten. The song, The Lamplighter's Serenade.

At #9, here is your big clue to the #1 on the panel list.  Remember: " Included in those places are the panel's #1 song, and the shuffle's #9... and they are two different songs by the same act!"  Well, at #9 we have the number 77 song on the summer 100- McCartney and Wings with Band On The Run.

Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle wrote and first recorded a song that by Art Garfunkel is one of my favorites- Breakaway.  Before that, though, they were members of the band McGuinness Flint, which hit #2 in the UK, #5 in Ireland, #35 on CB, #47 on Billboard, and #8 on the shuffle ten- with When I'm Dead And Gone.

As if in honor of John Sebastian making the Panel Four, the Lovin' Spoonful make #7 on the shuffle ten with their #2 hit from 1966, Daydream.

Number six is from our first five timer on the shuffle ten.  That band is Genesis, and this song, from Nursery Cryme, is Phil Collins' first lead vocal with the group.

The song at #5 was a funny story, part of which was told on a previous Time Machine.  The act known as Tin Tin had only written the verses, no chorus, when they were called to the studio to record- Maurice Gibb was there and ready to produce them!  So they did the song with no chorus and only two verses:

Toast and marmalade for tea
Sailing ships upon the sea
Aren't lovlier than you
Or the games I see you play

You more lovely than the day
When the sun is in your eyes
I see through your disguise
Or the games I see you play

The band's drum kit had a broken foot pedal, so Steve Kipner had to push it by hand, Maurice played bass with a broken arm, and the wavering, "wobbly" piano sound came as an accident when an engineer (go figure) leaned the wrong way on a tape machine!  And still it is one of my favorites from 1970, when it hit #20 here and was top ten in Australia.

Cyndi Lauper's first #1- not Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, but Time After Time- from 1984 is at #4 this week.

A b-side that made good, John Denver's Calypso hit #2 in 1975- and #3 on the shuffle.

John  Conlee, the man with the Rose Colored Glasses, comes in at #2 with his chart topping country hit from 1983, Common Man:

I'm just a common man, drive a common van
My dog ain't got a pedigree
If I have my say, it gonna stay that way
'Cause high-browed people lose their sanity
And a common man is what I'll be.

And at #1?

Shuffle says....

....that's right, Wings with Silly Love Songs- the #40 on the summer 100!!!!!!!!!

Wings also made it twice more, with My Love hitting our #18, and my favorite (easily top five on my summer chart, should it ever exist), Listen To What The Man Says at #75.  Their four times will be matched by another act- with two of those in the top 12!  Stay tuned to learn the identity of that act- and if you guess in the comments, I may tell you next week!

And Shuffle says....

Climax Blues Band with Couldn't Get It Right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another song that would surely be in my summer 100, as it never stopped playing!  But CB says, sorry, your points were too early and too low ( they peaked at #7 on CB, #3 on BB).

And that's a wrap!  Same time next week, I hope!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Martin World News

Well, I was just going to rant about work today, but when the simple phrase, "Days like this are why Murphy formulated his law" about covers it, why bother?  Let's just look and see how bad everyone else's lives are...

ITEM:  Anthem came out with a list of who are the healthiest among the 50 biggest metro US areas, and Indianapolis came in DEAD LAST.  C'mon, you fat so-and-sos!  Actually, there were several categories, and the MSA included Carmel and Anderson, but there were only two out of 26 categories that they got a good score on- amount of farmer's markets and golf courses.  Yes, golf courses.  Among the ones they bombed on:

-lowest percentage of any physical activity in last 30 days
- high percentile of smoking, obesity, and diabetes and asthma
- lower in total parkland- INCLUDING DOG PARKS
-and, for God's sake, not enough tennis courts!

Now the top ten healthiest were (you can fill in the MSAs yerselves):

10- San Jose
9- Boston
8- Seattle
7- Portland 
6- Denver
5- Sacremento
4- San Diego
3- San Francisco
2- Minneapolis/St Paul
1- Washington DC.

Hmmm, I smell a liberal bias here....

ITEM:  And another list brings us the ten worst US cities in which to start a business.  This one had a lot to do with cost of living and resources available.  You can just about guess where this one is headed...

10- Anaheim
9- San Jose (but at least they're healthy)
8- Santa Ana
7- Oakland ( a visit to the A's clubhouse would tell you that)
6- Ontario, CA
5- Fremont, CA (Seeing the pattern here?)
4- And moving to the east, Yonkers
3- Garden Grove, CA
2- Jersey City (Wow, these are some surprise, huh?)

And at #1... 

And stay tuned for the "Most wanting to escape" list...

ITEM: Another list?  Why not?  Merriam-Webster added 1,700 new "words" to their dictionary this year.  Among the winners:

Net neutrality
Vocal fry (noun): a vocal effect produced by very slow vibration of the vocal cords and characterized by a creaking sound and low pitch
Jegging- a word that I just learned on Jo-Anne's blog last week
And, in a show of real class, WTF.
Thanks to AWB for leading me to this story- and the next one:

ITEM: A lawyer from Kenya wants to marry 16- year- old Malia Obama.  And he's willing to pay top dollar.  Unlike mama Michelle, which ISIS earlier this month announced would only fetch around $140 as a slave (less as a concubine, no doubt), Malia was priced at 70 sheep, 50 cows, and thirty goats.  According to  a 2001 paper entitled “Valuing Indigenous Cattle Breeds in Kenya: An Empirical Comparison of Stated and Revealed Preference Value Estimates,” that means Malia is worth to him around $30,000 just in cows.

“I got interested in her in 2008,” Kiprono said of the first daughter, who was just 10 years old when Obama won the presidency. “As a matter of fact, I haven’t dated anyone since and promise to be faithful to her. I have shared this with my family and they are willing to help me raise the bride price.”

 “I will teach Malia how to milk a cow, cook ugali (basically a big ball of cornmeal dough that you dip in stew) and prepare mursik ( cows' milk fermented in ash-treated gourds, with blood an added option) like any other Kalenjin woman.”  Wow, charmer here.   And, “as an indication that she is my queen, I will tie sinendet, which is a sacred plant, around her head.” 

Wow, she'll look like a babe in that!

ITEM:  You know, there are about a million reasons why I hope that Islam is wrong about everything.  Here's one:

A Turkish televangelist advised viewers recently that men who masturbate would have to deal with “pregnant” hands after they died.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, a 2000 TV viewer told Muslim preacher Mücahid Cihad Han on Sunday that he “kept masturbating, although he was married, and even during the Umrah [pilgrimage to Mecca].”

Han warned the man that Islam viewed masturbation as a “haram” or forbidden act.

“Moreover, one hadith states that those who have sexual intercourse with their hands will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife, complaining against them to God over its rights,” Han opined, according to the translation provided by Hurriyet Daily News.

“If our viewer was single, I could recommend he marry, but what can I say now?” the televangelist noted, adding that the viewer should try to “resist Satan’s temptations.”

Spock will have siamese twins...
Many of Han’s 12,000 Twitter followers responded by mocking him.

“Are there any hand-gynaecologists in the afterlife? Is abortion allowed there?” one person asked.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” another Twitter user wrote. “The only men not having pregnant hands would be the ones without hands.”

I wonder what that means for those who use other "personal sexual devices"...

ITEM: Christian LeBlanc, a Canuck touring in Thailand, got his camera (which was in time lapse mode) pinched by an elephant.  The result:

...a perfect selfie!  The animalpocolypse is coming, I tell you!

ITEM:  Just to prove stupid crap does occur in Indiana:

Just before 1:00 Tuesday morning, police tried to pull over a vehicle heading into the town of Leesburg on State Road 15. The driver pulled over in the 300 block of East Van Buren Street and everyone inside fled the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies got a tip around 10:00 a.m. regarding one of the occupants. They took Brady Shepherd into custody after he apparently slept overnight in the gravel pit south of town.

Four people were arrested following an early morning pursuit in Kosciusko County. From top left, Santana A. Collingsworth; top right, Bruce K. Tillman; bottom left, Jordan J. Schultz; and Brady L. Shepherd. (Courtesy: Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department)
Four people were arrested following an early morning pursuit in Kosciusko County. From top left, Santana A. Collingsworth; top right, Bruce K. Tillman; bottom left, Jordan J. Schultz; and Brady L. Shepherd. (Courtesy: Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department)
About an hour later, officers were notified that a Warsaw police officer had discovered two individuals sleeping in his personal pickup truck, which was parked next to his squad (car) at his home. Police took Bruce Kitson Tillman, Jr., 24, and Santana Ann Collingsworth, 20, into custody. Tillman and Collingsworth were arrested and preliminarily charged with resisting/fleeing law enforcement, as well as unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. They are both currently being held on individual $10,000 bonds at the Kosciusko County Jail. (Courtesy WANE.Com)

Sometimes, the term "people unclear on the concept" seems overused, but...

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Soundtrack songs- summer

As it is now "celebrational summer" (betwixt Memorial Day and Labor Day), my musical thoughts led me into the subject of summer songs (and stay tuned for an announcement there, fans!).  My research has shown me some interesting things.  One of those is that, when you make it personal, the songs that hit in between these two dates fall into four categories:

4- Hey, why isn't this song showing up?
3- I like this song, but no real summer feel for me.
2- Definitely a summer feel.
1- An honest to God, vivid summer memory is attached here!

For the most part, I'm going to skip #3 and lightly brush #2 here, and address the rest.

It is amazing how many songs directly addressing summer failed to hit big by Labor Day.  Songs like War's Summer, Chicago's Saturday In The Park, Seals and Crofts' Summer Breeze, Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime, the Kinks' Sunny Afternoon, and the Beatles' Penny Lane either just grazed the season or missed it completely.  Heck, look at the Beach Boys.  It would be hard to say that any of their songs don't connect to summer somehow (except Little Saint Nick)- and yet:

Of their 15 top ten songs, one peaked in January (Barbara Ann), one in March (Fun, Fun, Fun), three skimmed the area in May (Surfin' USA, Help Me Rhonda, and Sloop John B), two more skimmed it in September (Surfer Girl and Wouldn't It Be Nice), one in October (When I Grow Up To Be A Man), one in November (Kokomo), and three in December (Be True To Your School, Dance Dance Dance, and Good Vibrations)- 12 of the 15 top tens.

So what constitutes a summer song for me?  Summer memories.  Sometimes, it was watching the run to the top in the long hot summer days of my youth.  In 1978, summer kicked off with a battle between two songs I loved on the charts- Player's This Time I'm In It For Love and Heatwave's The Grooveline.  Further down the list was a fast moving Barry Manilow hit, Even Now.  Just then, my Dad decided we needed to spend three weeks in Florida with my sister's family.  Not to bash Florida, but in the area we were in (Kissimmee), their were two basic radio stations- an all-Elvis all the time, and a nothing but gold records station.  Needless to say, two of the three got NO airplay, and Grooveline I heard once.  However, one chart hit was getting mucho airplay as a possible gold record- the O'Jays' Used Ta Be My Girl. By the time we got back, all of them were off the charts... but Manilow was soon back dominating the late summer with Copacabana.

Just looking into the warm sun brings back memories of the Captain and Tennille's Love Will Keep Us Together, Wings' Silly Love Songs, With A Little Luck, and my favorite Listen To What The Man Says.  1974-5-6 are my glory years, and the songs match it:Radar Love; Tell Me Something Good; Rock The Boat; Sister Golden Hair; Jackie Blue; Magic; One Of These Nights; Jive Talkin'.

The lake and the speedboat with the 8-track was the best.  Chicago's Wishing You Were Here and Old Days, Glen Campbell and the great songs on Rhinestone Cowboy.  The Beach Boys (again) with Sail On Sailor.

Pilot's Magic belongs to the camping trip at Fawn Forest, where the first steps netted my niece a big blob of blackberry bird poop on her shoulder.  War's Why Can't We Be Friends belongs to summer days riding the minibike at my nephew's place, making up new and ridiculous verses.  1976 listening to the top 7 at seven, following the tremendous three way battle between Henry Gross's Shannon, Afternoon Delight, and Gary Wright's Love Is Alive.  1977 and the battle between Manilow's Looks Like We Made It and Andy Gibb's I Just Want To Be Your Everything.  1976 again with the battle between the Beatles' Got To Get You Into My Life and the Beach Boys' Rock'n'Roll Music.

But in the end, it's about where it takes you.  More More More, how do you like it?  The Boys Are Back In Town, won't be long until summer comes...  slow summer nights set to Misty Blue...  I Fooled Around And Fell In Love, and I'm Never Gonna Fall In Love Again... a warm night in a Georgia campground with Moonlight Feels Right... I play the radio on southern stations, 'cause southern belles I hear tonight...Southern Nights... every flower touched by his cold hand as they slowly walk by, weeping willows cry for joy....


I can't begin to pull all the memories out where you all can feel them... but here's what I'm gonna do.  I have listed and pointed all the songs that hit the Cashbox top ten in the Martin Era (1962-79), adjusted a bit (because it wouldn't be an even up fair fight when the tons of great summer songs in 1975 (47 of them) has to compete with a year like '79 with a lot fewer good songs (33), and came up with...

...the top 100 songs of summer!

I will be showcasing them this summer on Time Machine.  I think you're in for some surprising results!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The annual trip to Cleveland

For baseball, silly!  Anyway, here's the trip in a nutshell.

Shortly before leaving US 24 for the toll road, KC pointed out a driver who had had a turn signal on for several miles.

I noted that he was having an extreme hard time staying in his lane.  At first KC was going to hang back, but soon decided to pass him.  Turned out to be some kid, possibly under the influence, definitely singing his fool head off rather than driving, and as we passed, he again drifted and darn near bounced off our rear end.

If you remember our second annual birthday game, you'll remember the delightful story of Howard the Drunk.  We quickly decided this kid was Howard's son, and christened him Howie the Stoner.

Moments later, I and KC asked each other simultaneously, "Did you see that road sign?"  What road sign?  Well, we weren't the only ones to question it because it's available on the internet under "unfortunate names":

"WHO names a road fang boner?" I asked.
KCs friend Jessica says, "You would."
My response:

Jessica preparing to pound KC for pointing at her as he sang I Fought The Law.

At one point we decided to play "Grocery Store."  You know, "I went to the grocery store and I bought (something that starts with a, then b, and so on)".  So Jessica starts with apples.  I added bananas.  KC, of course, added condoms.  Jessica added Dog food, I threw in Ex-Lax, KC put in french fries, and Jessica put in grapes.  Stumped, I said, "Health care manuals".  KC grumbled and tried, but ended up saying, "Health Indexes," and got buzzed.  Jessica then left out Ex-Lax, and I won, and promptly retired.

Because you wouldn't want to open them in heavy traffic.
In Cleveland, they call this construction debris.  In Ft Wayne, they call it modern art.

The dude pictured above came up to a group of us waiting for the cops to wave us across the street.  Holding a wad of bills, jabbering semi-incoherently, he preached to us for a bit, crossed against the cop, kissed (literally) the hood of a car that had to stop for him, and wandered off on his merry way into whatever reality he inhabited.

 KC wanted us to pick who would hit home runs today.  I chose Nick Swisher.  As evidence the broccoli gods were with me, I pointed out this couple and said he'd hit two.  (Final result?  No hrs today.)

As we entered the stadium right at the point they were making pre-game celebrity intros, we didn't get the "free replica jersey to the first 10,000 fans."  In fact, we were told we missed them by an hour.

Cory Kluber, the Indians' pitcher.

Brandon Moss, former A's now with the Tribe.

Carlos Santana eyeing Brandon Phillips after he reached first.

Kluber's first SIXTEEN pitches were strikes.

Brayan Pena after doubling, bringing Jay Bruce to third...

...where he scored from on a Cozart single.  I told the lady behind me, "Well, we can go home now, the Reds are done scoring."  That prediction I got right.

Nick Swisher prepares to hit his first non-home run.

The weatherman, AKA Mr. Irrelevant.  Not a cloud for 500 miles.

Joey Votto doubles... but that was it.

DeScalfani had a no-hitter for three innings and one batter.

And there's Carlos Santana after breaking it up with a double in the 4th.

My first ever Genesee!  Not bad at all, but the harbinger of several future bad ideas.

And I just had to say something about Harry Corvairs.  Who ever heard of a hairy car?

 Here we see the brain trust gathered after DeScalfani gave up the tying run.  Some numbnuts right fielder named Brennan Boesch dropped an easy fly to set up the score, and became the target of every fan in the arena, whether Indians or Reds.  It was only later that we learned that this wasn't manager Brian Price coming to the mound- he'd been ejected pre-game for arguing with the second base ump about last night's game when he turned in the line up card.

Here's Billy Hamilton demonstrating once again, kids:  NEVER SLIDE HEAD FIRST!!!

QuickenLoans arena shooting chemtrails into the atmosphere, causing the 3 hour rain delay in Denver for the Rockies-Giants doubleheader.

Here's Nicky's third non-home run.

Fortunately, Price found another way to attend the game.

"And now, replacing Brennan Boesch in right field for Cincinnati... Seagull!"

Last stand for the Reds... a leadoff runner thrown out at second, game over.

So away we went, and I suggested, as I wasn't driving, we stop somewhere to get me some carry  out beer.  Problem #1- where you can drive two minutes in any direction in Ft Wayne and find a convenience store with a license or a liquor store, we drove around Cleveland for a half hour without spotting one.  So I told KC, just head on home.  He stopped for gas and says, "I have some beer in my cooler.  Do you want to get some ice?"

So off we go, and about ten, I realized the flaw in my plan is that we were crossing Ohio on the toll road and I would have to pee.  By the time we hit US 24, I was working on the end of beer #3, and about ready to shoot pee out my nose.  So around 11 PM we hit the Fallen Timbers Mall.  There was a Red Robin- at the far end of the mall, of course- and KC decided to circle around the restaurant to park.  Some fast walking later, I was relieved, and we proceeded.  And about 10 minutes from home, we repeated the process, complicated by a stop light that refused to change , to which Jessica and KC suggested that Siri (actually a Garvin) had patched into the stop light system to get revenge for all the nasty things we said about her.

And I said," I'm giving it 15 seconds and then I'm getting out and heading for the field."

12 seconds later...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday trip to the park

With a baseball trip planned for Saturday, I decided to give Scrappy two day's worth of walk: a trip to Shoaff park.

A BEEE-yutiful day for it!

Once we got there (half hour from door to entrance) I found a great spot to chill out- as if I could get Scrappy to do so.

"Scrappy, I have clean water in the canteen!"
"I got this, Dad!"

Of course, we didn't notice the nearby dead squirrel at first...

Or the mysetrious creature bubbling in the water just feet away.

We did meet another beagle!  This is Hunter.

My favorite little bitty waterfalls...

 The ripples you see there were from big tadpoles.  Now I should tell you something about me and tadpoles.  I saw some in a puddle when I was little, and never saw any that weren't in an aquarium for about 50 years- till this spring.  And the one I did get a look at here was enormous- Imagine something about the size of two golf balls- no legs yet- and a 2 1/2 inch tail.  I had a good shot at a pic, but was so stunned I stood there with mouth open and camera in hand and watched him swim off.

Now let me tell you something about squirrels.  Shoaff park is the world capital of squirrels.  You normally couldn't throw a rock without hitting six of them.  But we only saw one this trip, and a scrawny one at that.  But, at least he posed.