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


Monday, November 30, 2015

Martin World News

ITEM:  And back we go into the odd, the stupid, the somewhat insane.  Beware of falling PC!  Here we go:

ITEM:  We are going to start off with a grouping of criminal tales, leading off with an amusing article I found yesterday on four unusual ways that prisoners of the Indian penal system have escaped.

Our first contestant was handcuffed to a PLASTIC CHAIR that his guarding officer was sitting in.  When the officer left to "run an errand", the prisoner simply put the chair on his head and took off.

The Indian Express reports that when "the policemen went through the CCTV footage, their jaws dropped".
Police officers have since admitted that handcuffing a suspect to a plastic chair possibly wasn't the best idea.

"Ya think?"
Contestant number two was being held in a rural police station when a swarm of bees from a nearby tree entered the station.  The cops fled.  So did the prisoner.

As The Times of India put it, "no one saw this one coming".

Number three managed his escape by pocketing the seal with which visitors to the prison are stamped, stamped himself, and left.

The police inquiry found that "a casual approach by the prison guards and lack of due diligence in cross-verifying the claims of Manjunath [the convict] led to his escape".

Our final scofflaw had to be a bit clever.  He complained of being unable to move his legs.  So they moved him to a hospital section and put him in a wheelchair.

The man eventually asked to be taken to the toilet, where after 30 minutes, he walked out of the toilet in front of three policemen who were supposed to be keeping watch.
A senior official told the paper that the policemen had seen the man only on the wheelchair, which meant that they were unable to identify him when he walked out.

"But sarge, we all look alike..."

ITEM:  Next criminal is a dude in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, who tried to rob a convenience store  in a pseudo-Darth Vader Costume.

Despite having a gun in his hand, and more guns and ammo in his backpack, he was driven off when the clerk hit him in the schnozz with a bottle of bleu cheese dressing, giving him the cut you see above.  This caused him to both take off the helmet and flee to his vehicle- both witnessed by onlookers, and thus causing the swift arrest of one Jacob Jeremy Mercer, 32, of Tonawanda, N.Y.  I get the feeling his heart really wasn't in this robbery attempt- God knows his brain wasn't.

ITEM:  In Wollstonecraft, Australia, a gentleman was questioned by the police after neighbors heard screams, followed by shouts of "I'll kill you!"  Rather than explain what happened, I'll let you read the police Facebook post on the incident:

21/11/2015 Wollstonecraft 2.00am. Police received numerous calls in relation to a violent domestic, with reports of a woman screaming hysterically, a man yelling “I’m going to kill you, your dead! Die Die!!”, with the sounds of furniture being tossed around the unit. Numerous police cars responded to the address and began banging on the door. A man answered the door, out of breath and rather flushed with the following conversation:
Police: “Where’s your wife”
Male: “umm I don’t have one”
Police: “Where your girlfriend”
Male: “umm I don’t have one”
Police: “We had a report of a domestic and a women screaming, where is she?”
Male: “I don’t know what you’re talking about I live alone”
Police: “Come on mate people clearly heard you yelling you were going to kill her and furniture getting thrown around the unit”
At this point the male became very sheepish.
Police: “come on mate, what have you done to her.”
Male: “it was a spider”
Police “Sorry??”
Male: “It was a spider, a really big one!!
Police :”what about the women screaming?”
Male: “Yeah sorry that was me, I really really hate spiders”
As it turns out the male was chasing a rather large spider around the unit with a can or mortein. After a very long pause some laughter and a quick look in the unit to make sure there was no injured party (apart from the spider) we left.

ITEM:  Tell me you've heard this one before:

RICHMOND HILL, Ontario, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A Canadian man was arrested after calling police to help start his car while intoxicated. The 27-year-old driver called York Regional Police around 2:30 a.m. to ask for assistance with starting his car. The police report says that the caller could hear the engine revving in the background over the phone.

When police arrived, they discovered the vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the road with the driver displaying "obvious signs of being impaired by alcohol."

Clue number one:  If you need help starting a car that is already running, you MAY be too drunk to drive.

ITEM:  Our final "criminal":

A gent from London paid (equivalent of) $7.50 for all day parking during a Winter Wonderland festival at Hyde Park.  When he returned to his vehicle, he found a bill for (wait for it...)

Apparently a while back, he had parked at the same place and the gate system malfunctioned on his way out.  "I booked into the car park on August 23 but when I was exiting there was a problem and it wouldn't work," he said. "I had to call for assistance and the operator lifted the barrier to let me out. As far as I know they never registered me leaving."

And since they never marked him out, when his day was done on the 22nd of November, he was charged for 93 days.  It took National Car Parks (yet another example of the UK's wonderful nationalized businesses, I guess) a week to decide, "Yep, that's our bad, here's your refund."

ITEM:  From the, "God, why can't we do that here" file, Serbia's version of the FCC is moving all reality shows into the "late night" time slot.  Why?

As in many countries, reality shows have proved popular in Serbia since the first was launched there in 2006. But concerns that the behaviour of some participants is inappropriate for younger viewers have grown in recent months, with an online petition to have four of the shows banned gathering more than 100,000 signatures, the Balkan Insight website reports. Contestants have had sex on screen, traded punches and on one programme - The Farm - a housemate is a convicted criminal whose jail sentence was reportedly delayed so he could complete filming.

"...contestants have had sex on screen..."  Don't you miss the good ol' days when the worst thing you heard on TV was...

ITEM:  Facebook friend and former congressman Mark Souder posted this link last night, from a book that is full of "spurious correlations"- unrelated things that seem to go up and down with each other.  For those too lazy to click the link and look at graphs, the page from their book included these correlated items:

US spending on science, space, and technology AND suicides by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation;

Drownings by falling in a pool AND # of Nicholas Cage movies released;

Per capita cheese consumption AND deaths from becoming tangled in bedsheets;

Per capita margarine consumption AND the divorce rate in Maine;

Murders by steam, hot vapors, or hot objects AND the age of Miss America;

US computer science doctorates issued AND total revenues from arcades;

Civil engineering doctorates AND per capita mozzarella consumption;

Number of people killed by venomous spiders AND number of letters in the winning word of the national Spelling Bee;

Suicides by crashing your vehicle AND Japanese passenger cars sold;

And my favorite...

Deaths by falling out of a fishing boat AND marriage rates in Kentucky.  There's a certain sense to THAT one...

ITEM:  Finally, the statistic you've all been waiting for- somebody figured up the likelihood by state that you would be involved in a Black Friday shopping brawl.  The top ten most likely:

10- South Carolina
9- Kansas
7- Oklahoma
6- West Virginia
5- Missouri
4- Louisiana
3- Alabama
2- Tennessee
And #1- Arkansas!!!!

No, I don't notice the correlation with "states most likely to have a Confederate flag over the statehouse..."

The safest states, according to Estately are Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, and Vermont.

Now, change the study to "brawls in a donut shop", and see who's on top..."

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday Message- Hey! Brontosaurus Brain!

When last we gathered here, I was dealing with the repercussions of losing a good internet friend after a time of terrible suffering.  I told you of the argument I had with God about suffering and how we deal with its existence.  But there were really some things about my arguing that I didn't understand, things that made the battle so much the worse for me.

Basically, I had two false arguments going with God.  One was easy to see- I thought myself deserving of some knowledge that God in His wisdom says I can't handle.  The other was a bit more subtle- if I didn't understand this knowledge I wouldn't be able to explain it to others.  And that is not to say that GOD would look bad for not having servants to explain it, but that ME, myself, would look bad, and God by extension.

Ironic then, that in the climax of the book of Job, God finishes His lesson to Job by describing Behemoth- which, if you read the description, is what we used to call in school a brontosaurus, a giant, plant eating dinosaur.  Without going into the debate of how Job would have known about dinosaurs for God to use it as an example, let me point out this much.  God goes to great lengths to describe its size and might, far beyond anything a man could harm.  "He is the first of the children of pride", God concludes.

So I find it ironic to connect this "king of pride" with his tiny brain size.  Despite outweighing ten elephants, the bronto's brain was about a pound.  William Diller Matthew of the Smithsonian put it like this:

...the dinosaur’s brain was comically small for its size. This sauropod was not an intelligent, behaviorally complex creature, Matthew argued, but a dim-witted leviathan devoted to a lazy lifestyle. “Hence we can best regard the Brontosaurus as a great, slow-moving animal automaton,” Matthew wrote, “a vast storehouse of organized matter directed chiefly or solely by instinct and to a very limited degree, if at all, by conscious intelligence.”

My point being, the prouder you are, the dumber you get.  And just when you think you know it all, you are probably at your dumbest.  And that's where I was.

Knowing this, I ordered Ravi Zacharias' book On Suffering.  It has been great at understanding the philosophical end of things, and I am getting a lot out of it.  But the answer I needed was something far simpler.  In a section on Job, he mentions that all Job really needed to know was that God was still there with him.  He shows that in Job's statement, "I had heard of You by ear, but now I have seen You."  And in seeing Him, he realized just how small- how "behemoth-brained"- his arguments were.

But being me, and still a bit in the throes of the argument, I wasn't getting that.  I really wasn't seeing where I was, until I backtracked to Elihu's soliloquy before God let Job have it.  And one heretofore unnoticed verse caught my eyes:

Job 37:21  And now the light in the sky is dazzling, too bright for us to look at it; and the sky has been swept clean by the wind. 

So here is man, who sees the sky, knows it to be blue, but when he peers into it to discern the shades, he cannot bear it.  He knows it, but it's too bright to KNOW.  And that's not even going to the sun, a minor star in a smallish galaxy.  And I'm supposed to understand anything of God.  Hey, "behemoth-brain"!

And from that point I could go in a variety of directions here, but the point I'm shooting for comes in both the analogy of pride I've hit and one more verse from Job- again, amongst the things Elihu tried to get through to Job:

Job 36:21  Beware! Do not turn to iniquity; for you have chosen this rather than affliction. 

So in trying to escape affliction, we turn to sin instead.  CHOOSING affliction- dealing with it, rather than escaping it- is the better part.  Job was denying his suffering was fair, and that was his sin.  Bottom line, we don't understand suffering- and we're not supposed to.

One of the philosophical points made by Zacharias and his co-author is that if we could go back in time and remove any bit of the suffering we (or others) experience, we wouldn't come out as the person we are.  And THAT person is the one God designed right from the start.  We don't become who we are intended to be without suffering.  And we are a link that helps build everyone else that God is SPECIFICALLY making- somewhere down the line is someone who wouldn't be what THEY are supposed to be without our suffering.

And just why does God choose to build us that way?  I don't know- but the answer is somewhere in that brilliant, cloud-swept sky, if we can look long enough.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Time Machine week 51

Wow, we have a lot going on this week, and we're going to do it in November of 1964, and we're going to do it AS I figure out the Martin Ten!  Last time I tried that, I hit the magic button of death and deleted half the post, so light a candle for me (this is time travel, it'll work) and I'll do my best to miss that-which-I don't -know-where-it-is-or-why-it exists.  Today, is actually the day after Thanksgiving in 1964, and today filming starts on a new science fiction pilot for TV called Star Trek...

A smiling Spock- NBC wanted to get rid of the guy with the pointy ears...
And that's how we kick off the 1st year anniversary episode of Time Machine.  If you add up the various incarnations (89 posts for Volume I, 116 for Vol. II, 30 for Vol. III), stand alone specials (three holiday shows, the first Beauty Contest, and the Hal David memorial), and the countdowns (16 each for the Great '60s and Great '80s, and 18 for the Great '70s), this marks our 341st flight!  And I've only ever changed transmissions and got the brakes worked on a time or two...  And this week, I start the six degrees with Betty Boop, hit up a trio of recently released Billboard's greatest lists, and maybe get a M10 done!  Hang on tight, this is a risky Enterprise!


BILLBOARD LIST #1:  They have actually put together their greatest all-time albums list, singles list, and artist list for each of those!  Now, I'm going to modify a couple of things a scosh, but this first list I'll give you as published:

Top album and singles acts!  They had some differences in the two, so I'll base us around the singles list and go from there.

The top act, both lp and 45, is of course, the Beatles.
Madonna was #2 on 45's, but fell to 17 on lps.
Elton John drew 3 on singles and 5 on lps.
Elvis was 4th on 45s and 38th on lps.  Are you kidding me?
Mariah Carey was pretty balanced- 5th on singles and 6th on lps.
Stevie Wonder copped the six spot on singles, but only 22 on lps.
A Jackson at last at #7- Janet.  Michael follows at 8th.  But Michael beat her on lps, 10th to 28th.
Whitney Houston goat-yells her way to 9 on the singles chart, 15th on lps.
The Rolling Stones took the 10-spot on singles, but trailed only the fab Four on lps.

The lp top ten that missed the singles chart were Babs Streisand at 3, Garth Brooks at 4, Herb Alpert at 7, Taylor Swift at 8, and Chicago at #9.


The panel this week consists of WILS Lansing MI, WDRC Hartford, WFNC Fayetteville, KQV Pittsburgh, WKY Oklahoma City, WMCA New York, WXYZ Detroit, WCOL Columbus, KTEO San Angelo TX, KJR Seattle, WAKR Akron, and WLS Chicago.  They blew it out with 27 different songs, and had 8 songs get #1 votes and NOT make the panel four- as only 3 songs got more than one #1 vote, and one of them didn't make the panel four!  Those that did not make the P4 were:

Baby Love by the Supremes (Hartford) I Feel Fine by the Beatles (Pittsburgh- in their usual fashion, it wouldn't even hit the national chart till next week, as well as Seattle), drummer Sandy Nelson's Teen Beat '65 (Oklahoma City), Going Out Of My Head by the Lettermen (New York), the Supremes again with Come see About Me (Detroit), and Herman's Hermits with I'm Into Something Good (Chicago).

And as for the widely scattered panel vote:

With 14  points, the #1s from Akron and Columbus, and the national #6, the Kinks with You Really Got Me.

With 15 points, NO number ones, and the national #5 slot, the Zombies with She's Not There.

With 18 points, 5 back of the leader (ironically), the #1 from Fayetteville, the national top dog, The Shangri-Las with Leader Of The Pack.

And at #1... not the Beatles!  Stay tuned to find out who.


Last week, the rookie act Islandis debuted in the M10 with a song I described as reminiscent of America in their later stages.  Here's a listen to that tune.

Does it remain in the top ten?  It's a damn crowded field...



Rather than do the top lps, some of which you may or may not know (that's my story, etc, etc...), I am about to treat you to the highest ranking albums yours truly has listened to ALL the way through at least once...

10- It was 59th on their list, and I heard it a couple of times after borrowing it from HS English teacher Mrs. Jane Hursh (along with CSNY's Deja Vu)- The Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.

9- Coming in at #54, a cd I actually currently possess, The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

8- At their #45, one of the best alternative lps of all time, Pearl Jam's debut lp Ten.

7- Come on, you know there are 2 discs that HAVE to be here- the first came in at their #43- Saturday Night Fever.

6- How can you have lived in the seventies without Frampton Comes Alive?  It was their #38.

5- I had this on cassette till it broke- Hootie and the Blowfish's debut, Cracked Rear View.  They have it at #30.

4- The other "you gotta know" lp on the list, Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.  They have it at #15.

3- Carole. King.  Tapestry.  They have it at #10.

2- Their #7 is Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill.  You live, you learn.

Before I give away the top one I've heard the whole way through, the two that finished above it- they had Adele's 21 at the top, the Sound Of Music soundtrack at #2.

And their #3, my #1?

Yup, Thriller.  Amazingly enough, I have heard that through at least once.


I think I got the M10 down to 9.  Hey, I got four strong contenders trying to take that spot!  Not as easy as it sounds.


Meet Betty Boop.
Now meet the real life woman she was based on:

This is Helen Kane, a 1920's singer who had as her signature the tune I Want To Be Loved By You, famously done by Ginger (and Maryann) on Gilligan's Island.  She also had a tune called He's So Unusual, which was decades later covered in a 45 second burst by Cyndi Lauper on her big hit lp She's So Unusual.  Another song on that lp was a tune written by Prince, When You Were Mine.  Another cover of this song, produced by John Cougar Mellencamp, was the last hot 100 hit for the legendary Mitch Ryder, peaking at 87 in 1983.  One of his famous songs was Jenny Take A Ride- which was a medley containing the song CC Rider.  That song, also represented as See-See Rider, was an old tune (1929 by Ma Rainey) that a man named Chuck Willis rocked up.  Chuck also wrote the song that was charting the highest this week without garnering a panel vote Dean Martin's The Door Is Still Open To My Heart, which sat way down at 13, one of the lowest six degrees victims ever.


Okay, I got the M10!  But first...


You get the biggest singles within the Martin Era (1962-79 for you rookies) on their all time list.  Now you leave a lot of good music off in doing this, both before (#3 Mack The Knife, #21 Theme From A Summer Place, #34 Battle Of New Orleans for example) and after (Santana's Smooth at #2, Jewel's You Were Meant For Me at #18, Eye Of The Tiger at #24)... as well as some not so good stuff IMHO (The Macarena at #7, Physical at #8, Endless Love at #16).  So without further doo-doo, the Martin Era's greatest:

10- Their #39, the Bee Gees (who'll be back in a bit) with Night Fever.

9- Their #38, Marvin Gaye and Let's Get It On.

8- Their #37, Wings and Silly Love Songs.

7- Their #27, Andy Gibb with I Just Want To Be Your Everything.

6- Their #23, the Bee Gees (told ya) with How Deep Is Your Love.

5- Their #22, Chic and Le Freak.  Le gag.

4- Their #17, Rod Stewart with Tonight's the Night.

3- Their #10, the beatles and Hey Jude.

2- ARRRGGH!!! It had to finally happen here on Time Machine! After 340 times we managed to avoid it, their #9... Debby Boone and You Light Up My Life.

And their number one, which qualifies for the martin Era because of its SECOND trip to the top-

...Chubby Checker and The Twist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


All right, the spanking new Martin Ten:

Well, two of the Titanic Three are gone, but Jana Kramer comes back with her big country hit, debuting here at #10:

After a huge battle for this spot, I decided to leave number nine right where it was last week- with the Preatures and Is This How You Feel.

Debuting at #8 is a band called the Decemberists, with a song that they took to #20 on adult alternative this past spring- The Wrong Year.  Stay tuned for this one next week.

My boy KC introed me to the next debut last weekend.  It's by Avril Lavigne, and it hit #4 on the Hot 100 back in 2002, so some of you might know it.  It's called I'm With You, and it comes in at #7.

Cage The Elephant slips from #2 to #6 with last year's big hit Cigarette Daydreams.

Oooops, back up we go!  Victims of the squeeze last week, World Party returns up the chart, ascending from 8 to 5 with Is It Like Today.

ELO moves up one more notch to 4 with One Step At A Time, apparently taking its own advice.

The Apache Relay amazingly holds at three for a second week with Katie Queen Of Tennessee.

Sliding down an notch, four-time champ Beach House with Traveller.  And at #1?  The M10 says...

...the Silversun Pickups with Nightlight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I loved the way they got their name- when they were starting out, some of the members lived across from a liquor store called the Silversun.  So when everyone gathered together, somebody would have to go across the street and make a "silversun pickup."

And the Panel pick?

....Bobby Vinton with Mr. Lonely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so now you can go back home, but be back next week for- 1963!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A few quick things before we observe internet silence for Thanksgiving

We got a nooner on Wednesday to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend.  Which didn't mean diddly to me since I am on what I call "Richards Saving Time" (IOW coming in an hour early, thus by noon I have 7 hours in already).  Still nice, and gave Scrappy and I a chance to enjoy the beautiful day.

Ahh... nice, relaxing... where's Scrappy?

I'm coming, I'm coming!

This water is a bit colder than I like...

"Us, too!  We're going south for the winter!
(Click on the pic and you'll see I actually captured a flock of birds flying by)

So the news has Turkey shooting down a Russian plane.  Yeah, I'd fight with Russia too if I were the Turks, they do so well against them:

1568- 70% of the Ottoman army freezes to death in retreat.
1676- after losing 20,000 men, Turkish general is imprisoned when he got home.
1686- One of at least 3 times Russia conquered the Azov region and had to give it back at treaty-time.
1711- Oops, the Turks actually won this one- mainly because the Russians were tired from fighting a 20 year war with the Swedes.
1735- The Russians teamed up with Austria on this one.  The Austrians got hammered, but Russia fought to a stalemate and withdrew due to plague.
1768- The first really serious ass-kicking by Russia.
1787- Again the Austrians help, this time they both beat the Turks.
1806- Beat the Turks bad enough the sultan got deposed.  Called a truce so the Russians could go home and clobber Napoleon.
1828- This one got sparked by the Greek War of Independence. The Turks took an early lead, but faded early in the third quarter and got toasted.
1853- The Crimean War.  Okay, Turkey won this one, but they had Britain, France, and Sardinia (Italy before it grew up) on their side.

Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia- "We gotta do something about Italy being put together soon.  Everyone thinks I rule a bunch of fish in mustard sauce."
1877- The BIG butt-kicking.  Only the meddling of Angela Merkel Otto von Bismark kept the Turks from being booted from Europe altogether.
1915 (WWI)- A battle so incompetent, both sides collapsed.

So Russia has an 8-2-2 record in 12 wars over 450 years.  Yep, that's a fight I'D pick.

So yeah, it's a mucky deal- much like the former river where the island sits.

Can we cross it?  Yeah... but Mommy will be cheesed when we come home like that.

Okay, we'll wait till it freezes over.
In the meantime, got a couple of curious spam comments lately.  Here's one:

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studentѕ ԝ&#1211ο ɦаԁ tҺе 
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&#8557hecқ oսt my Ь&#8572&#1086ց &#1088&#1086st ...

Might wanna stay off that top bar, dude....

Oh, yeah, we had our first snowfall the other night.  Yay whoop-de-doo...

Once when I was younger, I would have enjoyed this.  But now it's too cold, too wet, and I was too sick.

The other spammer was easier to read, if not to understand...

What's up, this weekend is nice in support of me, for the reason that 
this time i am reading this fantastic educational piece of 
writing here at my residence.

Also visit my site - torrent 

Always a good thing when your weekend is nice in support of you.

Yeah, here's the asswipe wagging his tail after whupping me 54-24 this week.  Well guess what?  I might still go to the playoffs.  I'll send you a card while you watch 'em.

Finally, last night I was feeling what I have to be thankful for, and posted this on FB:

Before I forget, before we eat, before we start a long weekend and get swept up in the heartache that is Black Friday.... Lord, I am thankful for what you have given. You loved me too much for betrayal to make a difference. Too much for the price to make a difference. I am humbled by your mercy.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and we'll pick you up for Time Machine bright and early Black friday!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Some things should be simpler to look up

So tonight in perusing my news sources, I saw that a group of Iranian refugees has decided to protest their inability to get out of the Balkans and into mainstream Europe.  Now I can understand their frustration; after all, they've crossed mountains, deserts, seas, and mountains again only to have nations such as Croatia and Slovenia tell them, go mess up someone else's front lawn.  But these men decided that a viable protest means would be:

Hunger strike?  Not quite.

A 20 foot paper mache sculpture of a nude Angela Merkel?  Thank God, no.

No, they decided to strip to the waist and sew their mouths shut.

A spokesman told BBC, "Mmmhff mrfgh mmmmbbbl mmmmh!"  Not a real effective way to get one's point across, though it does show a willingness to work in Europe's sewing industries.

Which got me thinking- what are the stupidest protests of all time?  I mean, out side of this and the naked Spanish clowns in Palestine.  Surprisingly, the internet search wasn't all that fruitful, unless you were a conservative bashing the Occupy movement, a liberal bashing the Tea Party, an atheist bashing Christians, or just had a funny PETA or Westboro Baptist Church story to share.  However, I did find a couple of qualifying offers.

1- Apparently there was some protests when Charles Manson was arrested, based on the idea he had been working with the Beach Boys on some music, and "he might have a Good Vibrations in him."  Kids, I've listened to Cease To Exist.  He didn't.

2- A Swedish feminist movement thought it not so nice that women earned roughly 100,000 kroner less than men on average.  So, to protest, they burned 100,000 kroner.  "If I can't have it, nobody can" doesn't really apply when you HAVE it.

3- I gave in and allowed one PETA protest- dressing up in KKK garb to protest dog breeding as "racial purification".

Next for PETA- dressing like Hitler to protest kosher hot dogs?
4-  My favorite "cut off your nose to spite your face" moment, more or less- a 25 year old Egyptian man in 2009 cut off his weiner, because his family wouldn't let him marry into a lower class.  Now THAT'S love.


That damn dog, part two:  several weeks ago, my beloved fantasy football team, the KCA's, fell into last place after Scrappy's team, the Fiery Beagles, hammered me 75-31.  But I rose up, won four in a row, and was in a position to make the playoffs.  But this week, I played Scrappy again.  He had lost 4 straight, never scoring more than 36.  This week, the 6-4 KCAs played the 2-8 Fiery Beagles again.

And lost 54-24.

Next year, I'm switching Scrappy to the other division, so I don't have to play him.  I'll bring over KC's Clock BBQs.  I always beat them...

Friday, November 20, 2015

An open letter to those in favor of Syrian refugees

In the last few days, I have been involved on FB and on blogs about the idea of allowing in Syrian refugees.  To be fair, can any of you say you see this as anything but just what's happening in Europe- hundreds of thousands of economic parasites trying to make a better life in lands they hate?  It is a real cluster over there, and I can't believe that anyone in their right mind wants to see that here.  I use that qualifier because seemingly even the most intelligent have been reduced to a meme battle- and I call out specifically one liberal blogger who is wasting his proven intellect by engaging in such fear baiting as "conservative xenophobes" and "Christian hypocrites".  But he is far from alone, as the distinction between refugee and immigrant has also been contested as a result of a meme that (not quite correctly) labelled the Chattanooga shooter as a refugee.

Enter a link written by a man named Scott Hicks, who names himself an immigration lawyer.  His piece was a detailed, step by step description of what he says is the current refugee vetting process.  Mind you, I am not disputing him at all, and if the story is true, then we should be looking at our leaders fighting resettlement and saying, "What is your problem?"  (You can read his full story here.)

But here's the thing.  IF this story is true, then President Obama (or any candidate that wants to make the anti-refugee crowd look like idiots) could shut down this whole thing by going on national TV and saying, "I understand your fears.  Here is how the law protects you.  And I pledge to follow the letter of the law."  At that point, the argument against refugees loses all teeth.

But he hasn't, and neither has anyone else.  Instead, he uses the same fear-baiting you see on social media, "The GOP is afraid of women and children."  THIS DOES NOT ADD UP, now does it?  The inaction of the President, though it is yet another example of his unwillingness to lead a united people, makes no real sense.  To me, one can reach only one of three possible conclusions:

1- The story isn't true, and he knows it.  I tend not to agree with this conclusion, because Hicks' article seems too well put together.  However, if it IS true, this leads to the next conclusion:

2- President Obama is a big jackass, playing partisan politics to the detriment of both refugees and the Nation he is supposedly leading.  However, the fact that so many other assumedly intelligent men are following right along with him tends to shift one back towards conclusion #1.  And while I have no problem in seeing Obama as helplessly clueless, the sheer volume of lemmings pouring over the stupidity cliff with him leads to:

3- President Obama has in mind to skirt the law like he does so many others and "fast track " refugees in, casting caution to the wind to give himself a greater legacy and let Hillary deal with the repercussions.  Thus, it would not serve his best interests to point out the law he'll soon be ignoring.  This would be the most logical thought, save for that same trail of lemmings still going over the cliff.

-a) This could mean that there is absolutely no intelligent life in Washington, DC;

-b) This could mean that the conspiracy theorists are right and both parties are working for the Illuminati or the NWO or whatever the flavor of the week is.  (Keep in mind that believing this scenario may also require believing that Sandy Hook and last weekend in Paris never really happened and the US government flew planes into the Twin Towers);

-c) This could mean that both parties and their minions are so blinded by ideological BS and hate that common sense is a virtue they can no longer afford.

To me, I kinda think 3 (c) covers it nicely.  So in closing, I have NO PROBLEM with Syrian immigrants under the system Scott Hicks outlined.  I have BIG PROBLEM with any Euro style open door policy, any "fast track" approvals, and the level of gameplaying going on one way or the other.  I'm sure that most combatants in the battle will now name me a xenophobe racist hypocrite or a communist collaborator, but I don't really care.  If you were listening to anything but your own soundbites, you'd see I'm at last making sense.  Thanks to my wonderful FB friend for steering me to Hicks' article, thanks to Mr Hicks for a well-written explanation.  And Mr. President?  If you are done insulting me, I think an explanation is in order...

Time Machine week 50

Today the Tardis (police box blue with a bright orange "PLAGUE:  BEWARE sticker on it") lands to spread the love in November 20th, 1974.  As our usual, we arrive in time for a plane crash (a Lufthansa Boeing in Nairobi killing 55);  the filing of the lawsuit that led to Ma Bell being converted into Baby Bells-

"BabyBels?  I love..."
-no, not those BabyBels!; and Gerald Ford was becoming the first sitting President to visit scenic Japan (on his way to a Vladivostok hookup with sexy Leonid Brezhnev), while his veto of a strengthening of the Freedom Of Information Act was being overrode by Congress (one of a whopping 12 times that happened to him, tied with Harry Truman for second all time behind Andrew Johnson).  In the meantime (or if you will, in the cosmic everymoment), it is the fiftieth Time Machine volume four post (which means, given one week that got skipped, a week shy of a year)!  I have some special stuff lined up, and to go with it:  Not one but 2 lp reviews(!); a super tight panel race (the top 4 separated by 6 points!); pop stars on Country charts in the six degrees; and... the M10 order changeth- the Titanic Three shattered!  Is there a new Dynamic Duo on the way?  Let's get to it!


In 50 weeks with a total possibility of 200 entries, 151 acts have made their way to the panel four so far- quite an assortment!  Picking this week, our panel is made up of:

WKAP (Living here in) Allentown PA, WFIL Philly, KCPX Salt Lake City, KFRC San Francisco, CKLG Vancouver BC, WABC New York, WISM Madison WI, WDRQ Detroit, KCBQ San Diego, KIMN Denver, WCFL Chicago, and WPGC Washington DC.  They collected 25 different songs, including six #1 votes that missed the panel four-  Carl Douglas' Kung Fu Fighting (Salt Lake and SF), Carole King's Jazzman (New York and San Diego), Reunion's Life Is A Rock (Vancouver), and BT Express and Do It (Till You're Satisfied) (Washington).  With so many #1s spread around, the 6-point spread in the panel four is less than a shock.  The four, maestro:

With 18 points and the #1 of Philadelphia, the national #6, the Three Degrees and When Will I See You Again;

with 20 points and the #1 of Detroit, the national #2, Bobby Vinton and My Melody Of Love, also know by the Polish title of... oh, well, you can't pronounce it either so who cares?

With 23 points and the #1s of Madison and Denver, the world's best roller skating song, Billy Swan with I Can Help, the national #3.

And with 24 points, the national top dog as well... stay tuned.


I went looking to see which of the 50 posts (actually 48, since this one wasn't written and you had just begun to view last week's post) was the most popular with you gentle readers.  I was a bit surprised to see posts from 1976 taking the #s 1 and 4 spots.  It was almost in the center- week #26- which won the title.  It featured Bro Smith's Bigfoot novelty in the unknown song, Foghat's Fool For The City on the Bottom's Up, the amazing mixed up story of Tin Tin's Toast And Marmalade For Tea in the shuffle, and Climax Blues Band's Couldn't Get It Right at the Panel #1.  It garnered at that time 97 views, with week # 39 (1969) second with 88, week # 42 (1962) third with 86, week # 47 (the most recent 1976 post) fourth with 82, and week 19's 1975 post at 78 for fifth.

Of course, the best part of that #1 post was in the comments:

ARLEE BIRD:  "Actually I had a difficult time focusing on this post once you mentioned "A Fifth of Beethoven" as my mind started going back to the summer of 1976 when I worked a short stint on a carnival girlie show. One of the strippers--one of the finest looking women I ever laid eyes on--used that song for her dance. She was so hot, but had no interest in any kind of relationships as she said she had a boyfriend back home. Stripping on the carnival show was her summer job to put her through college where she majored in math. When she wasn't stripping in front of a bunch of drooling goons she was studying math.

My favorite math problem that she did was a matter of subtraction. When she took away everything, nothing was left other than sheer beauty.

Now I'm really distracted. I think I need to go do some grocery shopping."

ME:  "Jeez, how come I never saw THAT carnival? The Shriners sure don't do that!"

SHADY:  "Gosh, the only strippers I ever saw in my neck of the woods looked like Granny Clampett!"

ME:  "You and your Granny! I want a stripper with SOME meat on her bones.... preferably not withered, either!"

ARLEE:  "Actually I guess these gals were not so much strippers in the tradition of burlesque, but sexy dancers who took off their clothes while dancing around on stage.

One was a young black lady who called herself "Sunshine". Her routine consisted of her dancing with a chair and a hand puppet named "Hungry". When the emcee introduced her act he told the audience that they were going to see how "hungry" that puppet was. Yeah, that puppet seemed pretty hungry most of the time."


This week I mentioned that there may be a new Dynamic Duo in the making.  I also mentioned an lp review, and we are going to kill two birds with one stone here with the first of this week's music videoes.  Jeff Lynne's ELO finally released the awaited album Alone In The Universe last week.  You've already had the chance to hear the lead single, When I Was A Boy, here.  Now we find out that there was a good reason Jeff called it "Jeff Lynne's ELO"- other than a few background vocals by his daughter Laura on two songs, he was alone on the album as well.  After listening to the whole thing, I can say:  while I enjoyed it, it wasn't to my taste as good as Zoom, much less any of the classic lps.  The second single (which will be showing up here in the coming weeks) was pretty good (better than the first single), and a track called Ain't It A Drag stands out as something that would have fit well on Face The Music.  But for me the best song- which will come crashing into the Martin Ten here in a bit- is this one.

And yes, this is one of the two that you can hear Laura on.


So out of 50 number ones on the Panel Four, did anyone catch multiple times?  Just three acts.  The Supremes hit the top twice.  Elton John did it three times- three-and-a-half if you give him points for the chorus on Neil Sedaka's Bad Blood.  And who else but the Beatles, nailing the #1 spot four times.  So 44 different acts hit #1 on the P4 so far.


BOTTOM'S UP- a tradition since week # 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our 32nd Bottom's Up looks like this:

Speaking of Neil Sedaka, he has Laughter In The Rain at the 10 spot, sitting at 47 after six weeks.

Ninth is Jethro Tull's Bungle In The Jungle, #52 after 5 weeks.

Eighth is the first of five songs in their debut week- The Carpenters' Please Mr. Postman at #70.

Seventh, and second debut, is Donnie and Marie with Morning Side Of The Mountain, at #71.

Sixth is Barry Manilow's first hit, Mandy, at 72 in its second week.

Fifth goes to Frankie Valli (and the uncredited Four Seasons) with My Eyes Adored You, 75 after three weeks.

Fourth is one I just had to throw in, at 79 after six weeks- Frank Zappa's Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.

Third is the kings of BU, the Guess Who, with Dancin' Fool debuting at 81.

Get out yer lighters!  Lynyrd Skynyrd debuts with Free Bird at 85.

And the top Bottom?

...AWB with Pick Up The Pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Once upon a time, there was a bit of controversy about pop acts crossing onto the country chart.  Linda Ronstadt never seemed to catch any of that flack, though.  She's made the country top ten ten times- 6 solo and four with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris as The Trio.  One of those solos was the Everly Brothers cover When Will I Be Loved, which she took to the top.  Tanya Tucker also did this one, with a little help from Phil Everly, on her self titled 1974-5 lp.  The big hit there was Lizzie And The Rainman, her only top 40 pop hit.  Co writer on that one was one Kenny O'Dell, whose career spanned everything from playing in Duane Eddy's band to writing Mama He's Crazy for the Judds.  He also wrote Behind Closed Doors for Charlie Rich.  Now Charlie had 7 pop crossovers of his own, so it strikes me funny that, in apparent drunken protest of a "pop singer" winning the CMA song of the year in 1975, he lit the envelope on fire before announcing the winner.  And that winner, which sat at #4 nationally but got no panel love, was John Denver's Back Home Again.

Rich burned some bridges too... he'd never again make the pop chart.


So what are your favorite years to see on TM?  Well, the numbers by average page view say you like 1976 the most, followed by 1975, 1962, 1963, and 1970.  Your least favorites?  1974, 1979, and 1964, and that last one means you'll prolly not like how our last special feature turns out.  The question I put up:  Who is the king of the panel four?  Who put the most songs in the p4?  The envelope please (Charlie, geddouddahere):

Three acts put up 4 songs each- The Supremes, Donna Summer, and Elton John.

Two more acts put up 5- the Rolling Stones and Three Dog Night.

But the most- 11 songs making the Panel Four- goes to the Beatles.  Like you hadda ask?


And now, the M10!

I have two debuts from acts from Sydney, Australia, this week.  The first is so new that the only thing I found about the group itself is on its Facebook page:

Entwining sun-kissed days on the beach with the endless rolling hills of a relaxed country adventure, Islandis brings James Chave-Dubois (East Sydney) and Ben McInerney (Country NSW) together to form something that blends land and sea.

Formed in the depths of winter, Islandis is a brief moment of reflection across the years of escaped summers the two best mates have shared, whilst reveling in the excitement of the approaching warmth of a new season. Its nostalgia and anticipation rolled into a single emotion. 

For me, the band Islandis- whose song Home comes in at #10- is a lot like what America might sound like if it was still recording.

The other act actually came out a couple years ago, and this tune, debuting at #9 on the M10 this week, was the #8 song of the year in Oz back in 2013.  The band is called the Preatures (spelled that way so they could still be the "Preachers" without being sued for name infringement), and the song is called Is This How You Feel.

World Party is a victim of the ongoing squeeze- Is It Like Today slips 3 spots to #8.

And the first of the Titanic Three to fall is Jana Kramer's Boomerang, dropping from 3 to 7.  Fear not, though- her latest hit on the country chart just missed the M10 this week, and may well get its day in the Time Machine next week.

Debut number three was #8 alternative last week, and comes into the M10 at #6.  Part one of a potential Dynamic Duo, I give you the Silversun Pickups:

And the other half of the new power couple you already heard - ELO's One Step At A Time coming in at #5.

WILSN finally released a 5-song ep last week, including the M10 hits Walking For Days and Unmeet You.  Four out of five are really good, refreshing, old-style pop magic.  The other one was so-so.  Unmeet You drops to #4 from their runner up spot of last week.

The Apache Relay move up a quick 6 from 9 to 3 with Katie Queen Of Tennessee.

In a surprise for me (and I'm the one putting this together!) Cage The Elephant moves into the 2 slot after being jammed at 4 the last two weeks with Cigarette Daydreams.

And, our number ones... on the M10, Beach House breaks the anomaly by spending its fourth week at #1 with Traveller.

And on the Panel #1....

...B-B-B-Bachman Turner Overdrive with You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next week, more Beatles fun from 1964!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You've been warned!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And sometimes the fever's a good thing

I don't want to make this post a huge thing, since my schedule includes a) taking a nap and b) working on tomorrow's Time Machine.  So in brief:

I was sick all weekend, and my work week looked like this:

Monday- feeling wretched, can't breathe, can't talk, took day off.
Tuesday- Can't breathe, can't talk, but feel better, work the day.  Suggested to my boss I should have come in with a horn.

Wednesday- wake up in middle of the night freezing with fever.  Feel wretched, can't talk, can't breathe.  Craving for banana with tomato juice.  Took day off.  Computers were out between 10 AM and noon, power goes out at work around 2 PM.  Glad I missed the mess.

Thursday- No fever, talk a little, could breathe until last 15 minutes.  Worked the day.  Boss lets me work 8 hrs instead of 9 this week due to being sick, six hours on Saturday ahead.

I did have a little balance episode when my right ear popped and the world suddenly took on about a 35 degree slope for about 4 seconds.  But I am alive, just so's you who don't know me on FB know.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Time Machine week 49

Today we will be setting down in November 13th, 1968.  And today Bob Gibson, pitcher for the Cardinals, collects the NL MVP award to go with the Cy Young he already claimed.  And in a couple days, Denny McLain of the Tigers will do the same in the AL to make the first time the 4 awards are split between two pitchers.

Also today, the Supremes release their Love Child lp.

  And speaking of music, the animated Beatles movie Yellow Submarine comes out today.  The funny thing, other than a bit at the end, no Beatles were used in the making of this movie.  The voices of the Fab Four belonged to:

John was John Clive, an English movie and TV star who had parts in A Clockwork Orange and two Pink Panther movies.

Paul was Geoffrey Hughes, a veteran of the UK soap Coronation Street, as well as playing the part of clerk Mr. Popplewick during Colin Baker's swan song as the Sixth Doctor during the 1986 Trial of a Time Lord series on Doctor Who.

Ringo was Paul Angelis, whose biggest American claim to fame was playing a henchman named Karageorge in the Bond flick For Your Eyes Only.

And George was Peter Batten, who... well, he really didn't do anything else, and in fact didn't get a credit for this. Bad karma, huh?

The Beatles- Peter, George, John, and Paul.  Wait, what?

Welcome to this week's Time Machine.  This week, the curse of  Bobby Russell; a six degrees that crashed into the ten most performed songs  from 1940-90;  a five-debut Bottom's Up, and a runaway (40-24) Panel winner!  Climb on in- we ain't yellow, but we're watertight!

I think I'm thanking the Palehawaii blog for this...

Okay, so onto the panel this week, and we have KQV Pittsburgh, KMEN San Bernardino, WKYC Cleveland, WMCA New York, WKY Oklahoma City, KUDL Kansas City, WCFL the Voice of Labor in Chicago, WKNR Keener hits Detroit, WYND Sarasota, WHYN Springfield MA, WSGN Birmingham, and WDGY Minneapolis.  They put together 24 different tunes this week in 1968, including the #1 vote getters Hey Jude by the Beatles (Pittsburgh), Tommy James and the Shondells with Do Something To Me (San Bernie), and the Bob Seger System with Rambling Gambling Man (where else? Detroit).  And for a change both Pittsburgh and Birmingham were well-behaved; the lowest charting song for either of them was Glenn Campbell's (a name we are not done hearing) Wichita Lineman at 31.  And their top four:

Dion's Abraham Martin and John, the national #16 after a 25-notch jump, pulled i n 16 points and the #1 from Detroit.

Steppenwolf's Magic Carpet Ride, the national #5, was third with 18 points and a number one courtesy Birmingham.

Mary Hopkins' Those Were The Days, the national top dog, collected 24 points and the #1s of Chicago and Minneapolis.

And at #1....  I'll give you a clue, you've heard the name before on this post.


When we get to the Martin Ten this week, you'll find there was but one debut this week- a surprise to me as I was doing the list!  It is by a folk-rock group with the best name for a band I've heard in a while.  Here are, from last year, the Apache Relay:


So the six degrees kinda got broke up into two distinct non-six degrees parts.  The one will give away the song that charted highest without getting panel lovin's, so we'll start with the other.  I found in trying to make a six degrees that in the early 1990's music licenser BMI did a list of the 50 most performed songs from 1940 to 1990.  Of which, we will now share with you the top ten.  Mind you, these are over all performances by all artists.

A song made famous by Ray Charles, Georgia On My Mind, is the number ten.  (Interesting note:  his I Can't Stop Loving You was 11th.)

Paul Simon, who'd already been in the top 50 once before, took 2 spots in the top ten.  Mrs. Robinson is the first of those at #9.

You've Lost That Loving Feeling, top ten by both the Righteous Bros and Hall and Oates, sits at #8.

Paul Simon #2- Bridge Over Troubled Water, takes 7th.

George Harrison, who couldn't even get a famous voice actor to play him in the movie, takes the 6th spot with his Beatles comp Something.

At #5 is the instrumental More, most famously done by Kai Winding:

Oh, how I have always loved that tune!

Two Glen Campbell signatures take the 4th and 3rd spots.  Gentle On My Mind at four- and the reason I found this thing in the first place, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, at 3.

Number two, and the second big hit for The Association in the top fifty, Never My Love.

Not surprisingly, it was a Lennon-McCartney comp that takes the top spot- Yesterday.

Now, By The Time I Get To Phoenix started all this because the lp from which our victim came from also contained this cover.  But the scary thing that comes with it is the Curse Of Bobby Russell.  Bobby, who wrote a passel of big hits including Honey and The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, also wrote our poor victim, but oh what he did to those who recorded it.  Nearly simultaneously, three acts recorded and released it.  For Country star Roger Miller, who made it to #39, it was the last time he would top #80 on the pop chart.  For fifties legend Patti Page, it was her last time in the hot 100, peaking at #96.  And for our hero, who eventually took it to #2 but was stuck at 4 with no panel love this week- he would never break the top 30 again.  The singer?  O.C. Smith.  The song?  Little Green Apples.

Come to think of it, after he wrote the Night The Lights Went Out for then-wife Vicki Lawrence, she never topped #75 again...

Okay, I'm on my head.  Could ya speed it up?  Yer gonna mess up my soft spot...

Yes, that sweet little kid ushers in our Bottoms Up for this week, so let's hear 'em!

At number ten, a song that was also on that 50 most performed list- Judy Collins with Both Sides Now, at 60 after 3 weeks.

Ironically, the Temptations are at #9 with Cloud Nine, debuting at #61.

Derek and his hit Cinnamon are at #8 on the BU parked at #62 after a 10-week run.

Oh, here's one of my faves- the Lettermen with Put Your Head On My Shoulder, at 64 after a couple of weeks.

Definitely NOT one of my favorite, the hoarse screamings of Joe Cocker's cover of With A Little Help Fro m My Friends is at 75 also after 2 weeks.

Marvin Gaye debuts at 78 with I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

BJ Thomas was at 81 after 4 weeks with Hooked On A Feeling.

Three debuts left.  Our number three is the Vogues with Till, coming in this week at 84.

The runner up was a band featured on an earlier Time Machine post (in fact, this one ), Young-Holt-Unlimited with Soulful Strut.  It comes in at 93.

And the top bottom?  Why, our second straight debuts-at-#100 is none other than...

...the Bob Seger System with Rambling Gambling Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And now, the somewhat more static Martin Ten!

Family Of The Year slides down to #10, a four spot fall, with Carry Me.

Our previously listened to debut, The Apache Relay with Katie Queen Of Tennessee comes in at #9.

The Housemartins fall three to # 8 with Happy Hour.

Last week you heard Pure Bathing Culture's Pendulum at #10- this week they climb to #7.

D A Wallach manages to find a comfortable home easily this week-  he parks HIS Time Machine at #6, climbing one notch.

And World Party sits at #5, up 4 spots, with:

From here on, it gets very familiar...

Cage The Elephant holds at four with Cigarette Daydreams.

Jana Kramer holds at three with Boomerang.

WILSN holds at 2 with Unmeet You.  BTW, she finally released her new 5-song EP, which includes Unmeet You and Walking For days- two days ago- it is called Don't Give It Up.

And the number ones?  Well, on the M10...'s Beach House with Traveller, which brings us to one of those statistical anomalies:

The M10's first two #1s (You're In The Army Now and Ridin' In My Car were number one one week each.

The next two, Island In The Sun and Space Song, each held the top for 2 weeks.

And now the next two, Lisztomania and Traveller, have held the top spot for 3 weeks.  Is there a four weeker out there somewhere... and can it top Traveller?  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, the panel #1...

The title tune from the just released lp, Love Child by the Supremes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Next week is volume IV's 50th anniversary!  I don't know how we're celebrating yet, but we'll be doing it in.... 1974!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do not miss it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Martin World News

ITEM:  First, I want to thank all y'all who commented on that last post.  Mine wasn't the only nerve it hit, and I quite literally had a run of uninterrupted comments for about 2 hours after I hit the publish button when you count the Facebook link, instant messaging, and even a text!  I know my friend is looking down and smiling at you for every one of your comments... and that she can't wait to Gibbs-slap me for the post.

Last night, I had what an old friend would have called an "epiphanous moment"... Not a revelation so much as admitting to what really bugged me... and while I have no more answers, I am back to my old self.  I told a co-worker, "It was like a big zit in my brain got popped."

ITEM:  A couple of personal updates:  One, my camera went on strike Sunday morning.  I believe it is demanding a new USB cable, and one is winging its way here now.  So new walk pictures are going to be problematic for a bit.

Second, the dreaded words I knew were drawing closer with each passing day of industrial grade stupidity finally arrived- I'm back on the 5AM to 1:30 PM shift.  I actually had my choice to start it now or next Monday, but when I confirmed it got me off the 9-hr OT thing, I said, "Sold".  One hour earlier so I can (theoretically) get something done before my co-workers come in to louse it up, plus off at 1:30?  I can deal with it.  Especially when the best way to describe today is, "We found the pooch's every orifice and filled them."  Nuff said.

ITEM:  Going from oldest up, our first story is that a website called Influencer has tabulated the most popular Halloween candy for each state (Now that's solid science!)  The results, please?

Alabama- Airheads (" a tangy, taffy-like, chewy candy" which I don't think I had heard of), and Washington as well.  Other candies I never heard of include Toblerone (Arizona), Pixy Stix (Georgia), and Swedish Fish (Pennsylvania and Louisiana).

A lot of chocolate lovers out there- they include Milky Ways (Ohio and Colorado), Twixes (DC and Iowa), 3 Musketeers (New Mexico and Delaware), Hershey's Kisses (Mississippi and Missouri), Crunch bars (Florida), $100,000 bars (Hawaii and Minnesota), Whoppers (Kentucky), M&Ms (Michigan and Oklahoma), Tootsie Rolls (New Hampshire), and Kit Kats (Montana).

Some people feel like a nut- or peanut butter at least.  That bunch include Snickers (Alaska and Illinois), Reeses in either pieces or cups (Rhode Island, Connecticut, Virginia, and the Hoosier State), Almond Joy (Vermont and Maryland), and Butterfingers (Idaho and North Carolina).

Sour/tart treats are favored in several states, including Skittles (Arkansas and Nebraska), SweetTarts (New York), Jolly Ranchers (Nevada), Starburst (Maine), Nerds (Utah), and Sour Patch Kids (North dakota and New Jersey.

(BREAKING NEWS:  Laurie knew of all the ones I didn't.  But none of them are chocolate, so who cares?)

Laffy Taffy (Wisconsin) and Twizzlers (Kansas) wrap up the chewy side.

Two states had to be difficult.  I didn't know you really considered Life Savers a Halloween candy, but California does.  And having a bit of a struggle with the definition of "candy", West Virginia took Oreos.

But the biggest single candy, hitting the top in Oregon, Wyoming, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas-

CANDY CORN!  Sorry, Bob!

ITEM: And if you cringed at Candy Corn, Bobby, you'll really hate me for this one.  Y'see it is a fact that I can attest to that squirrel can make a darn tasty meal.  However, you might want to read up on its proper preparation, lest you end up shelling out big bucks...

It all started when Khek Chanthalavong reportedly used a blowtorch to burn off a squirrel's fur on the balcony of his Holland Township (MI) apartment in October of 2012. When he went inside to prepare the carcass to eat, he left the torch unattended. According to MLive, Chanthalavong shared the apartment with then-girlfriend Barbara Pellow, who told police she only found out about the critter controversy and planned meal when she woke to find Chanthalavong screaming and battling a fire on the deck.

The fire spread, causing serious damage to the apartment complex and displacing 29 renters, though none were injured.

However, two insurance companies are not-so-politely requesting over $2 million in damages from the couple.  But if you are using a blowtorch to skin home-cooked squirrel, I'm betting you aren't sitting on that kinda money from your day job.

ITEM:  You are a police detective.  You have just received an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for your diligence in getting drunk drivers off the road.  What is the ONE THING you shouldn't do at the ceremonies?

 Pinellas County deputy Michael Szeliga arrived at a Fort Lauderdale MADD training event in July and got pretty tanked on Jameson Irish whiskey cocktails. He skipped training, hung out at the Hyatt Regency's pool, and played a "cornhole" beanbag game with other deputies, WFLA reports. "The plot thickens" from there, says a former MADD director and anti-DUI lawyer. "It seems to be a lot worse than originally presented."

Indeed, a sergeant claimed he saw Szeliga in the hotel hallways looking "pretty drunk" and wearing "nothing but boxer shorts" during a fire alarm, and Szeliga allegedly mouthed off to a police chief who told him not to enter the awards banquet while intoxicated. According to the 274-page internal affairs report, Szeliga’s supervisor soon got him to skip the banquet altogether. Szeliga disputes some details of the account, but was suspended with pay for a day. 

Detective Szeliga has since been re-assigned to "a unit investigating crimes against children."  Let's hope he gets no awards or commendations on THAT watch.

ITEM:  You know, there are a lot of sites with a lot of time on their hands.  One of them did a survey of the top ten most "Instagrammed" foods.  Everybody's gotta get that food porn, right?  Anyway, here's THAT list:

10- Hot Dogs.  Unless you're Tony Packo's, why?????

9- Curry.  With one-and a- quarter billion Indians out there, I'm not surprised.

8- Ramen.  Yeah I know, a lot of Chinese out there too, but seriously?

7- Donuts.  Because, donuts.

If you thought it was fun to look up Christie Oreo memes, try Christie donut memes...
6- Tacos.  I'm assuming this is due to the 51% stake Taco Bell has in Instagram...

5- Brace yourselves... BACON is clear down at #5.    WTH???

4- Burgers!  Burgers!  Burgers!

3- A big fat still softly mooing steak.  Hopefully with a baked potato.

2- Sushi.  Really?  Cold dead fish?


mffh, mnnch, Pizza... Mnnnh....
ITEM:So let's close by checking the spam mail sack and see what we have there.  Here's a pretty young thing... what say you?


I need a man, who wants to build future and life with love and passion. 
In people I value sincerity and goodness. Are you noble and family-oriented man? I would be happy to meet you. 
I am a small and cute girl with long hair and black eyes. 
Friends know me as sympathetic person, who is always ready to listen and to help. I am hopeless dreamer and I live by soul, I like to be myself. I waited for you very long and maybe we will find love. 
Goodbye, Galja. 

And no, I didn't click the link.  Next time, enclose a picture, right?

The other letter in the mail bag was a work at home offer.  Two things I have to mention here, so spammers, pay attention.

First, the letter was sent by "Connor Spence" and signed by "Alexis Burt".  Lessons here?  Number one, set your "random name picker" to give you first and last names instead of two first names.  Then, pick just ONE of them.

Second, I have to chuckle at this line, allegedly describing said job:

Just go on the internet for at least several hours a day and you will already be on your way to all of your desires in life.

I didn't know they paid you to surf porn now...