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


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A nice autumn walk

Gotta love the imaginations of chemical manufacturers.  What a clever name.

The Green Hole, still green..

...and full of dens to sniff.

Lots and lots of Fleabane.
In purple, too

This guy tagged along for much of the first half of our walk, but got tired and had to sit down.

No ducks at the duck pond, but plenty of big fat tadpoles

When soccer isn't ongoing, this is one of the best spots- always shady, and so quiet.

All that remains of California Road where it met Coliseum.

A nice sitting spot- at the south end of the woods.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

And More fun tidbits

ITEM 1:  No, I'm Not Really Here

This is one of those long awaited Wal-Mart stories from Laurie.  Let me set this up by mentioning that store rules require a cashier to card the person that buys booze, along with anyone with them.  This can be quite amusing, because there are a LOT of underage/don't have my ID people who, rather than be smart and go stand outside while the legal person makes the purchase, insist on standing there until they are required to produce ID, at which point the purchase can NOT be made, and switching to another cashier does no good- if they are caught, they don't get served.

As you might imagine, such idiots come with a plethora of excuses.  A few nights back, a young-ish couple, guy and girl, came trying this very thing.  His ID checked out, but she refused to show hers.  Laurie explained that as she was with him, she had to show ID or no sale.  "I'm not with him," she said as she stood at the end of the line, "I'm just bagging."

First thing, Laurie was bagging.
Second thing, you come into a store and just randomly bag booze for guys you aren't with often?

ITEM 2:  Work, part one

One of the many things I'd like to share about my job is the decisive action taken whenever a problem arises.  But since I can't, there's this story.

My machine that cuts fabric is basically a 72 inch by 5 yard conveyor belt of plastic composite.  They have lasted through up to 6 months of being cut upon in the past, and the hope is that by setting different base lines to cut on it might last even longer.  But the current one, not so much.

Installed on June 8th, it was a travesty less than 2 months in when a gigantic slit formed lengthwise on the belt.  About five inches in on the side I run things from, about a foot long.   Hitting the slit meant bye-bye blade, so I had to start staggering the fabric (which is 60 inches itself) higher on the belt.  The problem has escalated to a point that between 5-8 inches above my edge there are (I counted) a dozen such slits anywhere from 4- 18 inches long.  Thus 8 1/2 inches of my belt are a virtual no-man's land, and the next four are getting so heavily used that it is developing the "overuse bump" that I normally don't start seeing for another couple months.

Today, I told my big boss that I was running out of places to run to.  He said, "Yes, I need to check up on the new belt.  We know it's in shipping, (meaning en route), but..."

"That's a pretty big, expensive piece of equipment to not know where it is," I said.

"Sigh.  I know."

Part of the problem MAY lie in the installation back in June.  The belt has to be stretched on (requiring 3 big men and one little guy to climb underneath, usually me), welded together with super-hot glue, and then tensioned by a lever on the machine.  That lever was stripped out last time, requiring a panicked rush to Lowes in the pouring rain and some, as we used to say, creative engineering. (Well, we didn't say it like that, but Jesse Jackson will be on my butt if I put it the right way.)  Perhaps the fix has something to do with it... but I think it's just a belt with one bad side.

ITEM 3:  If'n You Want It, or If'n You Don't

I just found out that Microsoft wants you to upgrade to Windows 10.  So much so, in fact, that in the course of your regular updates, they may have (as they did to me) downloaded the framework for it- a multi-gig program set sitting there taking up space until you upgrade- without so much as a by-your-leave.  Leo Notenboom at  can give you the rundown, as he did me in his weekly e-mail, but involves checking your program list for a certain little devil that you must eliminate by A) finding the updates concerned and deleting them, B) checking your update list periodically to see if they show up again, in which case you mark them "hide this update", and C), if you want to, delete the program, which requires you to sign on as an administrator, or use Disk Cleanup to eliminate the unwanted vagrant.  If I had any intent to upgrade, I sure the hell don't now.  Nice marketing move, MicroBully!

ITEM 4:  Work, part two

I confess it, I have a problem with projects sitting "over my head", glaring at me, saying get me done!  You'd think I'd be used to that, with the frequency of stupid crap hot orders that come my way in the course of a day.  But I am getting better at not yelling, kicking, or throwing a tantrum when they come my way.  Today, for example, I decided to have some fun with it before I killed someone...

So far, it hasn't got me fired...

ITEM 5:  More Whining About Blood Monitoring

Last night, 5 PM:  Four sticks, four drops of blood, four of my rapidly diminishing test strips, three error messages, two flat out ignores, and the realization that the meter just does NOT want blood from the fingers on my right hand.

All for a 114.  In case you didn't know, 114 on the Martin scale is really really close to "Why am I bothering?"

ITEM 6:  Work part three

Had a bee in the plant today.  Came to visit my area after scaring one lady half outta her bra.  At 11:30 or thereabouts, I took a freshly folded panel and hit him as he hovered over my scrap bin (Yeah, I know it was a she, but I wouldn't hit a lady).  Didn't see it, it didn't fly away.  I assumed he was either dead or very very concussed.

1:30, I happened to be looking over at the bin when I saw the little dastard rise from the scrap and fly off, back toward the lady he first scared.  I'd have just stayed in the scrap till it got dumped in with the yummy trash, if I were him.  But if I were him, I'd be a her, so....

ITEM 7:  Lats night's Walk

Monday, September 28, 2015

I'm going to have to work harder at finding Martin World News stories...

...because I have nothing in the box again this week, except for a few notes and things.

ITEM:  Here is my view of last night's blood moon:

If you just look a little to the left... right under that.. no, over there more... Oh, hell, this isn't even my picture.  And why should I waste precious short-term memory on such a sight?  But here at MWN, we have a certain rep to uphold, so here, from Friday night, with a little electronic boost, I can give you a "bloody moon"...

"Hey, I was there when you took that picture, and it looked nothing like that!"

ITEM:  Fine, Mr. Smarty Dog, how about I share this story from yesterday?  For approximately a quarter-mile yesterday, we were followed by a man and his black lab, getting closer with each passing moment, to the point that we were at the river bank as they began crossing the walkway bridge- and the lab had a freshly killed ground hog in his mouth the whole time, carrying it like a trophy.  And guess who didn't notice at all....

ITEM:  I know some of you are not sports fans, but this is a story I can easily tell accurately and entertainingly without mentioning any names or stats.

Once upon a time, there was a baseball team in the Nation's Capitol, who were expected to do great things, but had done nothing of the sort all year.  The problem was a manager who never quite got them to live up to their potential, except for one strapping lad who had an MVP type year.  Somewhere along the way, the team traded to get a pitcher- let's call him Douchebag- that was supposed to help turn things around.  Douchebag also did nothing of the sort, and was in the middle of a streak of doing such nothings when he decided that the MVP wasn't playing hard enough.  He said something, the MVP responded- and then Douchebag tried to choke him.  Right there in the dugout.  When the other players got them broken up, the manager sent MVP to bed without dinner, while leaving Douchebag to keep pitching, "Because the game was tied, and he's our closer."

Douchebag proceeded to give up a game-untying home run, and then loaded the bases as a bonus before the manager (let's call him Meathead) took him out of the game.

I told Laurie (Let's call her Laurie) that if Douchebag and Meathead still had jobs the next day, we will know that ownership needs to have a compulsory dementia exam.

Today, Douchebag was told to just go on home for the season.  "You don't need to look for a new job, but you can't stay here."  Which means he will get 561,728.39 for NOT playing the last seven games.  Meat head, on the other hand, is still in town, which means that ownership is NOT insane, but they ARE stupid.

See, told the whole story without naming names!
ITEM:  I do have the dumbest actual news story I've heard in a while.  The Russian ambassador to Poland has been summoned to that nation's capitol to explain himself after mentioning on TV that Poland was partly to blame for World War II.

Just like the mouse on the bottom asked for it.
Mr Andreyev appeared to be blaming Warsaw for blocking alliances against Nazi Germany and declining to allow Soviet troops to transit Polish territory in the run up to war.
He also said the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 – two weeks after the Nazi invasion led Britain and France to declare war on Germany – was not aggression, but a defensive act “to ensure the safety of the USSR".

And now today, after having been chewed by his superiors, no doubt, as well as the Polish Government:

“I regret having been imprecise at one point,” Mr Andreyev said as he left the ministry. "I did not mean to say that Poland is co-responsible for the outbreak of Second World War."
“I had no intention of offending the Polish nation,” he continued, adding that Russia “honoured the heroism of the Polish people in their fight against Nazi occupation”.

Sure you did.  That's why Stalin sent his little lickboots into Poland in 1939, because they "honoured their heroism."

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Message- not as it would seem

Today I am going to string together three personal stories under the heading above, to try to present the point that we tend to see the world through a filter.  This filter, different for each of us, helps us to "take the world as it is," when, if we look past it, the world may be nothing like it.

First story, which I have told in comments over the last couple of weeks, came from a broadcast I heard on the way home one morning.  It was taken from a Charles Swindoll cruise, and the speakers were a husband and wife duo who write and speak on marital relations and God's needed pre-eminence in them.  And the husband was speaking of a critical juncture in their marriage, ten years in.  Now, I had to stop and get gas, so I missed the lead in, but I could do a quick fill in:  It was their tenth anniversary; they had had a disagreement during the celebration, and were out on a drive trying to work it out.  At the point I entered in again, they had stopped, and she had made an accusation that had stung him to his core.  He said that in her words, he could hear Christ saying to him that he needed to repent "of his relationship".  Not with her, but his relationship with God.  That relationship had gone wrong, and was making their relationship suffer- not a good thing when one is a pastor.  She said that she exacerbated the problem by "waiting on him to get it straight", in such a way that "He became my idol".  The crux of the problem came , though, in his next words: "I realized that the ONLY time I was in the Word anymore was when I was working on a sermon."

Wow.  In effect he had degraded his Bible from a tool to open a conversation with the Almighty down to a "source material" book for speeches.  Somehow, my flow of thought from the point of "if that can happen to a pastor" then led me to a conclusion about my own relationship with God.  One of the reasons you don't see me do a Sunday Message every week is for that very reason.  I learned teaching Sunday school that the best lessons are taught by God to you first, confirmed in the Bible second, prayed over third.  I can't just say, "Well this is what I read this week", if I didn't ask God to apply it to me.  So as I thought of the consequences of the man's statement to me, I ended up asking myself a very pertinent question on my own relationship with God:

When I ask God to remove the sin in my life, what am I really asking- to actually remove the sin nature driving me to the sin, or am I asking God to "polish the turd," make it acceptable to Him, so that I can go on committing it, just with forgiveness a "phone call away"?  How honest were my prayers of repentance, after all?

A question I suspect we are all dealing with to one point or another.  But now step back a bit to see what is really happening here.  In one case, you have a pastor who by all outside indications is doing things right- he reads his Bible, gives good solid sermons, tends well to the day to day life of his congregation.  But his marriage was on the verge of falling apart because of the discrepancy between what he saw through his "filter" and reality.  Myself, also,  acting the same way, supposedly taking my sin to God for removal, and instead just allowing myself to see it with "a new paint job."  Now I'm going to give you a more general, but more scary example.

The other morning I was going into work listening to the pastor whose program is on at that time.  He is a good teacher, though sometimes I think he loses himself in that he has a very richly blessed church, and loses sight of what a poor schmuck goes through.  Not the point, but in his usual spiel at the beginning trying to convince listeners to become a monthly monetary supporter of the ministry, he mentioned how faith based non-profits are coming under increasing attack by liberal politicians.  True as far as it goes, but also through the filter.  Take off the glasses for a second and take a wider look.

Yes, liberals lead the "attack against Christianity."  But how many conservative politicians do anything substantive to fend these attacks off, other than what is expedient TO THEM?  I'm not saying that none do, and I'm not saying that there aren't some true men of faith on BOTH sides debating the related issues.

But think on this.  The "liberal attack" is led by lobbyists such as our good friends at the Freedom From Religion Busybody Association.  That means, militant atheists.  But when the end times come, atheists will be not such a factor.  Think about it, what good to Satan is a world that DOESN'T worship?  The AntiChrist will be building a system built around not an atheist system, but the Church Corrupt, led by the False Prophet, and designed to replace God worship with AntiChrist worship.  This will be an institutionalized, government run religious system- and that would sound more conservative than liberal, would it not?  Isn't it the battle we fight today, to keep religion IN institutions, in the government, in the spotlight?

When you take off the filters, you see atheism isn't the enemy.  They are a laughable, feeble distraction from the REAL endgame.  We waste our time in battle with them- a sin I am quite guilty of- and every battle we fight, every victory we win, just builds the bastion for our TRUE enemy.

I helped elect a pro-life candidate.  I ate at Chik-Fil-A.  I signed a petition to keep the Ten Commandments on the courthouse lawn.  Guess what? BIG DEAL.  Did I read my Bible today, and try to listen to what God was telling me?  Did I post a link on Facebook about the terrible things that ISIS is doing, and not pray for the Syrian refugees, the persecuted Christians, the children being seduced into that life?  I bought fifty Bibles for the Chinese- but did I pray that they would bring them closer to God?  I have given those Bibles, and I appreciate that the organization sent me the names of four Chinese Christians that benefited by them, to pray for.  I may not have faces to go with the names, and I certainly couldn't pronounce them on my best day, but I can pray for them.  I don't even need their names for that.

The filters are how we are able to do some little thing, pat ourselves on the back for a job less than half done, and say, "What a good boy am I."  Or look at the world and say, "at least our side is doing something," when all we are doing is leaving grain on the hardpack of the road for the birds to eat.  I have often said, fight the battles that count.  But to fight them, you've got to take the filters off and FIND them.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Time Machine week 42

Today we head to September 25th, 1978- not a good day, as tragedy struck at San Diego.  PSA Flight 182 was coming in for a landing at the airport when a Cessna doing training runs got in the way.  In a combination of the flight crew disobeying the traffic control by losing sight of the little plane, the tower not maintaining radar contact, and the training flight changing course without notifying the tower, the Cessna ended up taking off the right wing of the jet.

The desperately trying-to-save the plane crew had no chance.  The plane hit a house at 300 MPH, compacting everything from the cockpit to the rear stairwell into something roughly the size of a master bathroom.  144 people in the plane and on the ground were killed; only four bodies were left intact, and the captain was never found.  One man who had a ticket for the flight but cancelled was one Jack Ridout, who was a survivor of the even deadlier runway crash in Tenerife just 18 months before.


When you fly Musical Tardis Timeways, though, there's no chance of that disaster (although you have a slight chance of finding yourself on a sinking Titanic!)  This week, as noted, we are in 1978, and we'll take the Ohio Express to the six degrees song; stop in for some good after-hours R&B on the unknown song, and close out with brand new Duran Duran on the Martin Ten!  Fasten your seatbelts and put your trays in the reclining position...


Once again, it's been a bit of a struggle getting enough stations in the time frame this late in the decade, but stepping up to form the panel were WRKO Boston, KBEQ Kansas City, KFMB San Diego, WKAP living here in Allentown PA, WYSL Buffalo, KTKT Tuscon, WDRC Hartford, WHYN Springfield MA, CHUM Toronto, KHJ Los Angeles, CKLW Detroit, and WABC New York!  The dashing dozen recorded a mere 18 different songs, including #1 vote getters Mr. Blue Sky by ELO (Sand Diego) and Anne Murray's You Needed Me (Hartford).  The panel came to a pretty firm number one and a pretty firm #2 (43-32) with everyone else kinda lagging behind.  The Panel Four this week:

With no #1s and 15 points, the nation's #3, Olivia Newton-John's Hopelessly Devoted To You.

With no #1s and 16 points, the national #4, the Commodores and Three Times A Lady.

With three #1s and 32 points, the national top dog,  A Taste Of Honey and Boogie Oogie Oogie.

And at #1, the national runner-up...  stay tuned.


And it's also a struggle here on the late end of the decade to find good unknown songs, as programming had become fairly even across the board.  Our big winner, for example, was #1 on 7 stations, and #2, 3, and 5 on the others, missing just two top fives.  So I go for the highest song on any of the charts that I don't know, and I picked a good one this week.  It just missed the top five on CKLW, and was by a gentleman named Michael Henderson.  Henderson was a jazz-blues influenced bass player playing for Stevie Wonder's band when he was "discovered" by Miles Davis:

Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I’m taking your f***ing bassist."

Henderson also did some solo lps, and the song in question- while making only 88 on the hot 100- charted #3 on the R&B chart.  One You Tube commenter told the story:

Michael  Henderson (was) definitely after hours spot music  when the discos close at 4 0 clock in the morning in New York City,  then you go to the  after hour spot,  if Michael  Henderson  ain't  playing  you better believe Bobby Womack is, good ole days. 


Next, it's Bottom's Up time!

"Tonto!  I hear riders coming..."

10- At #78 in its debut week, Pablo Cruise with Don't Want To Live Without It.

9- One of my all timers, the Kinks' A Rock And Roll Fantasy is on its way down, 82 after 11 weeks.

8- Ironically after the Miles Davis story, Barry Manilow's Copacabana is at 83 and fading in week # 16.

7- Next up are a pair of massive dropping hits, each with 24 weeks logged on the chart!  The first is Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street at #84.

6- The other is that guy we can't get rid of, Andy Gibb with Shadow Dancing at 86.

5- Another long-timer on the chart at 19 weeks is Quincy Jones with Stuff Like That at #89.

4- In a bout of, "you mean they never released this?", the Beatles are on their third week on the chart, at # 92 "posthumously" with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help.

3- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are at 94 with their debut Listen To Her Heart.

2- Justin Heyward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues are at #95, debuting their haunting new single Forever Autumn.

And the top bottom?

...the Atlanta Rhythm Section, on their way down at 97 after 16 weeks with I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight!!!!!!!!

And as is usual when you have so many dropping songs on the BU, we missed the high debut of the week nationally- Foreigner's Double Vision, which started its chart life at #65 this week.


Way back here, nearly two years ago, you can find my story on the many and varied people who made up the Ohio Express.  They were (if you're too lazy to hit the link and scroll about halfway down), an amalgam of acts who'd cast their fate with an outfit called Super K records, and for many years there was a "touring OE" and a "Studio OE".  But Super K wasn't above just taking other acts and recording them under the aegis of Ohio Express.  One such group was the Measles, who recorded two songs on the debut OE album, Beg Borrow Or Steal- I Find I Think Of You, and And It's Time.  The Measles, if you know your music history, were led by one Joe Walsh, someday in the future of the James Gang and the Eagles.  Now Joe joined the Eagles during the recording of Hotel California, which was partially recorded at Criteria studios in Miami Beach.  And there, they influenced an act that was just recording his first US album- that guy we can't get rid of, Andy Gibb.  In fact, Joe actually played on the two number ones I Just Wanna Be Your Everything and Love Is Thicker Than Water!

That  first lp was called Flowing Rivers, and the song that gave it its name was to be the first single, but ended up the b-side to An Everlasting Love.  And that top 5 hit, which is also the the Epitaph on Andy's headstone, is the song that charted the highest this week (#7) but got no panel love.


And now, the Martin Ten!

Three debuts this week, and the first gets a tip o' the hat to Shady once again, who mentioned it in last week's comments!  It comes from the Bar-Kays, who rode the charts in 1981 with the song Hit And Run.  This week, they come in here at #10.

For those of you who are Black Keys fans, their leader Dan Auerbach released a side project called the Arcs.  There debut lp is Yours Dreamily, and they come in at #9 with a tune called Flower In Your Pocket, which I tease Scrappy about:

Put a flower in your pocket
If you seem them boy you drop it
And you run
You Run
They may pretend they like you
But man's best friend will bite you
Just for fun

The final debut this week is from the new Duran Duran lp Paper Gods.  I have a lot of candidates from that record in the top ten list, but I finally went with the single for my #8.  It's called Pressure Off.

Racey moves a notch to #7 with Some Girls, which I played for my son and he had to download it!

Adam Lambert slips three spots to #6 with Ghost Town, currently at #17 on the Adult Alternative chart.  Or was it Adult Pop?  They have a chart for every mood these days...

And at #5, up a pair, another song that KC downloaded, Castlecomer and Fire Alarm...

Family Of The Year is making a big splash here this week.  Their latest moves a big 5 to #4 this week, the new single Make You Mine.

Last week's #1 slips to three this week- Weezer's Island In The Sun.

The runner up this week is Family Of The Year's OLD hit, Hero, moving up a pair.

Before we hit the number ones, I have a quick story.  Michel Legrand is a French composer of jazz-flavored movie scores.  He won Oscars for Summer of '42 and Yentl, and best original song with Windmills Of Your Mind from The Thomas Crown Affair.  He has ten other Oscar nominations, eight Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination and a slew of Golden Globes.  But perhaps a better measure of his success is the talent he passed down the generations.  This week, his daughter Victoria, leader of the duo Beach House, takes the #1 slot on the very prestigious Martin Ten with their hit, Space Song.

From a performance at Manchester Cathedral.

In the mean time, the Panel's number one...

...Exile with Kiss You All Over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These guys were a ton better as a country act, IMHO.

Next time, we go back to the land of Nixon vs McGovern... 1972!  Don't miss it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The stuff you don't get elsewhere

ITEM 1:  Just the facts. Sir

I was looking in my MWN worthy story pile just now (the cupboard being basically bare), and found a pair of lists.  One is the most dangerous place to live list- the US cities over 25,000 where the odds of being victim of a violent crime are best.  Not surprisingly, most of the top ten were in either New Jersey or next to it (#1 Camden, #2 Chester PA, #8 Atlantic City, and # 9 Wilmington DE), or in Michigan (#3 Detroit, #4 Saginaw, and #7 Flint).  The home of my favorite baseball team, Oakland CA, copped the next highest spot at #5; the remaining hellholes were #6 Bessemer AL and #10 Memphis.

On the bright side, the other list I had were the BEST places to live by state.  This was based on a variety of criteria such as price per square foot (Where Indiana , Ohio, and Mississippi were lowest, and Hawaii at some five times Indiana was most), percentage of appreciation from 2013-4 (which Nevada was best), foreclosures per 1,000 (Nevada, not surprisingly high here as well- but not as high as Florida, whose total was over twenty times that of the Dakotas or Wyoming), and burglary rate (I know you're expecting Jersey or Michigan here, but it was actually Arkansas, followed by New Mexico and North Carolina).  The winners were Wyoming, North and South Dakota.  (Which when you consider that they have 6, 10, and 11 people per square mile, tells you all you need to know on the current American take on having neighbors.

ITEM 2:  What the stuck...

So last night I stick myself for the glucose meter.   156!!! I thought, that can't be right; perhaps that's what I get for not changing the needle.  Try again- 45????? All right, there is some nonsense going on.  Clean needle, clean finger, try again- 108.  I gave up.

This morning after the "night fast", 130.  Fairly normal for what I've been getting thus far.

Today, after work and a short walk- NINETY ONE.

Needless to say, I recorded the last night's 108 and opened a Pepsi to celebrate.  Chris gets a "cookie"!!!

ITEM 3: The Untold Story

The other day, I forgot a very important part of the story of a walk Scrappy and I took.  You see, one of his favorite places to sniff ground hog dens is near where the windstorm this summer took down the six trees.  As per usual, Scrappy was off to one side sniffing God only knows when a ground hog springs up and takes off running right in front of me, less than ten feet away.

Why didn't I take a picture?  Laughing too hard.  For in his effort to flee, the little fatty ran directly into a small tree just after he took off.  And then, just to make it look better, he "tried" to climb the tree.  The charade ended when he found he couldn't move his fat gluteus off the ground; then he swerved to one side and continued fleeing.  By the time I could say, "Scrappy! Get him!"  he was gone, although Scrappy followed his trail as if he'd been paying attention.

I know you're supposed to read this as disappointed spring seekers berating Punxsutawney Phil, but just for this, read it as a disappointed ground hog hater berating a dumb beagle...

ITEM 4:  Winner, celebration having least to do with event being celebrated

Event- Yesterday was the 107th anniversary of Bulgaria's independence.  How does one celebrate that?

Answer, anchor waterproof copies of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa to a Black Sea reef and have an exhibition.

That's it for tonight, be safe and be fun!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Catching up with Chris

When we left Chris, he was bitching... er, commenting on a recent Dr's appointment.  Long and short of things, years of Pepsi abuse have left me with a high sugar content- high enough that I get to stick myself in the finger again (I had to for a couple months just before the genesis of this blog, after I had the blood filled balloon on my right calf removed).  I first get put on a new medicine called Invokana, which sounds like a prayer session but actually is supposed to kick my kidneys' ability to pee sugar into the stratosphere.  Unfortunately, it also has an adverse effect on a few things- I find it a no-no to get up fast, difficult to multi-task, and energy seems a thing of the past.

Combined with spending some time with Laurie's family Friday night followed by a Saturday nooner at work, it only took a meal out and three-quarters of a shopping trip to make me virtually useless the rest of Saturday and not a lot better Sunday.  A walk just up  the street to the office about wasted me, but today has been much better- in that direction.

So if you were expecting my usual Johnny Appleseed wrap up today, sorry about that.

So yeah, no buffalo burgers this year.  2015 officially sucks!
Now, the poker is yet another story.  They give you ten needles and want you to change the needle every time.  It took me five tries to figure out how to do it right.  Can you name two things that won't happen as often as directed?  Here's a multi-choice:

a) Changing the needle every time
b) taking a reading twice a day
c) pigs flying out of my butt

(Choose two of three)

Bright side, the Invokana is supposed to aid in weight loss.  Prolly when I decide to just CHOP MY FREAKING HEAD OFF! (sorry for the whine; I know a lot of people are worse off than I am.  But many of them can have Pepsi.)

I am dutifully  trying to adjust my diet to things helpful in lowering my numbers.  I haven't had a Pepsi in 4 days (and it shows...), I've got whole wheat bread, plenty of beans, including a delightful breakfast cereal made of them called Mighty Flakes.  I've laid in some pink salmon for my "one serving of fish per week", and extra tomato juice, as that is perhaps the one thing I usually consume that IS good for me.  Oh, and dark chocolate- one piece of 72% cacao every day or so.  Helps to take the edge off the caffeine withdrawal headaches.  And a pack of blueberries, though I may have an issue getting started with them since I can't put sugar all over them.

In the meantime, what about the Saturday work thing?  That is rooted in a new customer called Misty Harbor (which has been suggested as a good name for an exotic dancer).  MH Is very complicated for a lot of boring reasons.  But they were added to OUR schedule because we expected (our biggest customer) to keep fooling around as they do, leaving us hurting for work.  Well, the perfect storm hit:  We have been way behind designing covers for some of these boats, which didn't stop dealers from ordering those very covers at the dealer meetings in mid-August, so now, we are getting catch-up orders for these covers as the originals get approved for production, meaning that we have a buttload of orders to do dated as far back as mid-August, and now (our biggest customer) is ordering 20% MORE covers than we would have expected in our wildest imaginings, but we still have to do the MH because they were ordered in Ft Wayne's system and though "we want NO OT because we have plenty of capacity at the other plants", we are still stuck with doing these HERE.

Thus the sign near the door- "9 hours per day every day this week- Saturday 6 hours possible."

But into each dark cloud, some light must break:

Scrappy in his semi-usual sitting and sleeping position.

Scrappy at "Damnnit I want my treats" time.
Scrappy chased him up a pine tree Sunday.
I found this bone in the deep woods, and showed it to Scrappy.  He took it and walked off.  When I tried to take a picture, he'd drop it to sniff other things.  Finally just made him sit with it.  Leg bone to some unfortunate extremely bow-legged beast.

And a chipmunk actually posed for a moment!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Machine week 41

The musical Tardis spins this week into the riotous year of 1979, where we see that today-

-Greg Arama, former bassist of the Amboy Dukes, assumed room temperature after crashing his '76 Harley;

- The National Enquirer announced that Penny (Laverne) Marshall and Rob (Meathead) Reiner are getting a "nasty divorce", and that a miracle vitamin was going to eliminate tiredness (something sorely needed there, apparently);

- Filming started on the classic movie musical Xanadu;

-and Jimmy Carter watched Two Years Before The Mast at the White House cinema (yes, apparently there is a webpage that lists every movie Carter watched in the White House.  And what a valuable resource that is!

"Alan Ladd!  Watch out for the Captain, he's a communist!"

I hope I can make the music of the day a tetch more appealing.  This week:  The unknown song makes the Martin Ten- and it should, I went around the world to find it! Also, a tight three song race for the panel #1, a train wreck of a six degrees, and will we have a fourth new number one on the Martin Ten?  Suspense!  Adventure!  Romance!  Oh, wait... that was the movie again!


Our panel features, through no choice of my own, 2 stations from Kansas City- KBEQ and WHB, along with the two Springfields (WCVS in IL, WHYN in MA), KTKT Tuscon, WKCI New Haven, CHUM Toronto, WKMI Kalamazoo, KFRC San Fran, CIHI Fredricton, New Brunswick (yep, hadda double up on Canada too), WRKO Boston, and from waaaaaaay out there, 2UE outta Sydney, Australia!  This group totalled 26 different songs and 7 number ones, including Maxine Nightingale's Lead Me On (Springfield IL), Chic's Good Times (New Haven), the Cars' Let's Go (Toronto), and the Commodores' Sail On (Kalamazoo).  Needless to say, the Sydney chart had some off the beaten path picks including the only votes for Kiss's I Was Made For Loving You at #2 and Peaches and Herb's Reunited at #5.   Two songs were totally unknown to me:  one was by an act called the Two Man Band, with a sports anthem which actually had it's beginnings in a WWI catchphrase, called Up There Cazaly.    Roy Cazaly was a 1916 footballer (if I remember right), and it was a call used to signal the men to leave their trenches back in the day.  The tune, composed by the two men, Mike Brady and Peter Sullivan...

No, not THAT Mike Brady...
...was the biggest selling Australian single at that time, hitting the quarter-million mark.  The other import, I'll be sharing with you just a bit later.

So before I lose track, here's the Panel Four:

With 12 points and no number ones, the week's #6 in America, ELO's Don't Bring Me Down.

With 22 points and the number ones of Tuscon and both KC stations, speaking of Australia- the Little River Band with Lonesome Loser, the national #9.

With 25 points- two behind the leader- and the #1 vote of Fredricton, Robert John with Sad Eyes.

And at the top, the national #1 as well... stay tuned.


Researching the six degrees became a study in tragedy about halfway through- both in the tales and confirming them.  The train wreck was in the band Heatwave (ironic, as one of their biggest hits was The Groove Line).  They had no fewer than three members meet tragic ends... but not everyone was agreed on what happened.  But as I finally boiled it down, founding member Jesse Whitten was killed in a stabbing during being mugged (although some places just said "an accident".)  Lead singer Johnny Wilder (who also wrote the beautiful flipside of The Groove Line, Happiness Togetherness), he was injured severely in a car accident, but like Teddy Pendergrass soldiered on from  a wheelchair.  Then came the story of Mario Mantese, who is mistakenly described as a fellow car accident victim.  But the truth was far worse- his girlfriend stabbed him in the heart after a fight at a party.  Clinically dead for six minutes, he was in a coma for somewhere around a year, and awoke to find himself blind and paralysed.  He eventually recovered somewhat, but remembers nothing of the incident- although he does recall having a near death experience.

I also found a board where someone asked about a rumour that the whole band was killed in a plane crash!  Yeesh, who'd they piss off?

However, what brought me to Heatwave was main writer at the time Rod Temperton.  Rod was one of a pair of celebrity writers who got credits on the Michael Jackson lp Off The Wall, composing the title track along with Rock With You.  Another was Paul McCartney, whose first contact professionally with Michael was the song Girlfriend, which Paul claimed he wrote with Michael in mind (though he also recorded it with Wings).  The tragedy here was that after the several collaborations between him and Michael, Paul said they drifted apart, after suggesting that Michael- who had just bought the entire Beatles portfolio and the royalties therefrom- "give him a raise".  Michael never responded.

And what does all this have to do with six degrees?  Well, the first single off Off The Wall was Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, which might be the lowest we've gotten down the chart before hitting a song that got no love from the panel.  It was #14 this week- a rare occurrence that the top 13 all made the panel list!

" 'Give you a raise'... that's a good one!"

Alright, cue the baby...

What, I gotta do the voiceover too, now?

It's Bottom's Up time!

10- One of my favorites by that guy that looks like me, Dave Edmunds, is Girls Talk.  It was at 69 in its 4th week.

"Yeah, but it works on me!"

9- Jimmy Buffett comes in at #9 with Fins, sitting at 71 after 3 weeks.

8- Kiss makes a second appearance this week.  I Was Made For Loving You was at 43 on the way down; but it's Sure Know Something that takes this spot, at 72 after 3 weeks.

7- A song that has gotten mentioned here before a time or to- the Crusaders with Street Life- is at 74 after 5 weeks.

6- JD Souther is at 78 with a debuting You're Only Lonely.

5- A nod to you hard rockers- Pat Travers' signature Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) is at 79, also in that third week.

4- Van Halen takes this spot with their Beautiful Girl, at 80 after four weeks.

3- Bob Dylan debuts with his lead single off the lp Slow Train Coming, Gotta Serve Somebody, at 83.

2- Here's one of those little heard songs I learned on American Top 40 and remember mainly for the name of the singer- 16-year old France Joli with Come To Me.

Steady, Henry...

And the Top Bottom?

...Chicago's Must Have Been Crazy, which was on the way down after 14 weeks, at #89!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That brings us to the latest Martin Ten!  And, soon, our unknown song!

10- King Harvest holds on by a thread at 10 with Vaea.  It drops 2 from last week.

9- One of those things I wasn't going to do is occurring right now!  Last week, I went with the big hit for Family Of The Year rather than the current hit.  This week, though, they both make the countdown, as the song off their latest lp called Make You Mine comes in at number nine.

8- The number three song on the Sydney chart was by a band called Racey.  They were actually a British act, and the song in question not only hit #2 in the UK and Ireland, but #1 in Australia and South Africa.  It scores it's way to the 8 hole here:

7- Castlecomer moves up a pair with their brand new single, Fire Alarm.

6- The Spandells take advantage of the updraft to move up a notch with The Boy Next Door at 6.

5- NRBQ slip, but only a notch, with the former top dog, Ridin' In My Car, at number five.

4- And the aforementioned big hit by Family Of The Year moves up one to number four:

3- Adam Lambert stays in place with Ghost Town, at 3 for a second week.

Now, the battle for the top spot was a tough battle for me... and truth be told, I wasn't really sure that I would keep it the way I wrote it down!  But I am, and that means Beach House holds at #2 with Space Song.

And the number ones?  Martin says:

...Weezer with Island In The Sun, for a second week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Panel says....

... The Knack with My Sharona!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1978 next week kiddies!  See you then!