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


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Purdue the butcher

One thing you guys know me for is the love of the nature around where we live.  Much of this nature is on the property of IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne Campus), of which I am an alum (hard is that may seem to believe).  And one thing you have learned from me in the time I have done this blog- IPFW is no friend of nature.

Without going into the many and increasing mistakes this institution of higher learning and no greater wisdom- and they are enormous- I want to take you on a quick review of their land mismanagement in the 7 years or so we have lived here.

It started when the lovely cover- vast honeysuckle hedges- along the canal on the greenway trail- were removed.  This set in motion an erosion that is pushing many areas along the trail west into the canal.  Coupled with injudicious removal of trees on the other side helping to make that edge near the river to fall in along long stretches, it makes sense to me that the trailways committee or whatever they call themselves haven't bothered to improve (ie pave) that section despite five years of promises.

Next came the loop trail they cut into the woods, so they could have some place for their fitness classes to run (as if they couldn't do it from their own River Walk to Shoaff Park; no, that wasn't enough).  This trail, you might recall, followed nearly exactly a trail that the once plentiful deer in the woods used.  I know, Scrappy and I followed it enough, and used to meet plenty of deer.

Then it was the meadow's turn.  On the east side of the woods USED to be a grassy meadow.  Rabbits and groundhogs lived their, killdeers and meadowlarks nested there, foxes hunted there.  And, most importantly, it was where rainwater flowed from the clay soil of the woods and made a plush, green environment- not quite a wetland, but it kept everything in balance.  Then IPFW stripped it down, flattened it out, put in two terraced soccer fields- which quickly experienced erosion as the water still came down and instead of rich soil where grass flourished for it to settle into, it hit the hard packed, UNTILED soccer pitches, meaning that they would only really be useful during dry stretches.  They also removed a clump of trees at the eastern foot of the terrace- leaving one line which, with no other protection, was blown down en masse during last spring's big windstorm.  A windstorm which also took down many of the trees still standing along the greenway trail after IPFW decided to chop out about half of those beautiful trees that lined the trail along the main soccer fields.

Last year, they put in the new ped bridge which connects the north end of the greenway trail to that south of California road.  Not a bad plan- but then they decided to unnecessarily rip all the cover out around it, and that area is already starting to erode into the creek.  With that, they also tore most of the cover around the south and east sides of the woods out.  By this time, you had gone from commonly seeing wildlife to only if you were lucky.  But wait!  The ham-handed attack on nature isn't over yet!

When we took the Bobby G.'s on a tour of our stomping grounds, I took special pride in showing them one of my favorite spots.  Hard against the fenced in south end of IPFW's main soccer field is a trail, with the fence on one side and a row of trees on the other.  The shade they provided made that small stretch of trail an idyllic place to rest up mid walk.  It was where we saw our second fox, as well as many groundhogs and deer.  Just past them was the less glamorous view of the creek's delta with the St Joseph River- an area that was more often than not a stinky mud flat.

Sunday morning, we discovered that IPFW had removed the row of trees.  Every one of them.

What was their offense?  Were they casting too much shade on the corner of the precious soccer field?  Are the runners and joggers so afraid of a mugger accosting them from behind a tree?

IPFW apparently never met a tree it didn't like to cut down.  At least, on our side of the river.  One day, I expect the woods will become a woods of streetlights instead of trees.  Soon all of the beautiful nature that Scrappy and I have know the past seven years will either be soccer pitch, running track, or eroded pit.  Because some one in charge (assuming there is someone IN charge; you can google IPFW news from about the last two years enough to bring THAT into question) just says, "Cut it down", without ever seeing or caring what he is ordering.  IPFW, at least the Purdue half of it, claims to be "one of the nation's elite programs in ecology".  I would have to say from the evidence here that the rain forests of Brazil must be littered with Purdue graduates.  You can see here  and here some of the beauty that has been run off by the so-called Purdue "ecology", which has more to do with getting that last drop of blood out of the turnip.

I am going to try to give Purdue access to this post and see if they want to respond.  I don't really care if they do or not; the damage is done, and by their recent actions in other areas, I would assume that they will continue no matter who gets hurt.  But I am fair, and if they have something to say for themselves, I will print it.  In the meantime, I will continue to spread the word that the Purdue commitment to "ecology" is hypocritical at best, and show the University for what it is- a mere money making machine.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Time Machine week 58

And now we fly all the way back to January 29th, 1966- And what we had last week out east in real time we are having here.  A storm of massive proportions- five feet of snow in Oswego, NY- killed over 200 in a week's time, most of it east of lovely Indiana, which only got bitterly cold temperatures and high winds.

Well, at least we don't have THAT in store for you today on Time Machine- but I did hit a blizzard of things so interconnected that telling it my usual way will just give away all the fun!  Fun which includes yet another new #1 on the M10; a Panel #1 which is also in the UK top ten; a UK #1 song that has four different versions on the US national chart this very week- but not the one the UK has at #1; a six degrees victim smack in the middle of the UK chart; and an event fifty years in the making- no lie!  So, since I don't wanna give things away, I'm gonna wrap the whole story around the UK top ten this week- and watch to see where it all lands!  Put that shovel down and let's go!


I guess the best way to start this is with that which the UK Ten doesn't mess up- the Panel list!  This week the Panel consists of KFXD Boise, KAYC Beaumont TX, WRAW Reading, KOL Seattle, KRUX Phoenix, KLIV San Jose, KXOL Ft Worth, and old timers WABC New York, KDWB Minnesota, WHK Cleveland, WQAM Miami, and outta left field, WDUX in lovely Waupaca WI.

 They collected 26 different songs, and it really spread the vote out.  In fact, four songs reached double figure points without making the final four.  The Raiders picked up 12 points and the top vote in Miami with their hit Just Like Me.  The Beach Boys also claimed 12 points with Barbara Ann; Gary Lewis and the Playboys grabbed 11 with She's Just My Style; and the hardest to believe, Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walking claimed 10 points with the first two #1s I hit- Boise and Beaumont- and never got another mention!  And one more song claimed a number one slot without even getting that far- the T-Bones' No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) - a former Alka-Seltzer ad- in Reading.

The other notable in the panel picks was their lowest charting song of the week.  Beaumont had BJ Thomas' I'm So Lonesome I Can Cry at #4- even though it wouldn't hit the national chart (at #120) until the next week!  And with that, let's look at the Panel Four:

With 14 points, but no top dogs, the national NUMBER ONE- Simon and Garfunkel and The Sounds Of Silence.

With 16 points and the #1 of Phoenix, Petula Clark and the national #8, My Love.

Taking the number ones of Seattle, San Jose, and Cleveland and 20 points, the national # 15 with a bullet, Lou Christie and Lightning Strikes is the panel #2.


And now, our first delving into the English ten- because the Panel #1 is the same as the national #2 (and #10) and the UK #4!  The Beatles were the first to issue an official double-a-side record, and it hit number one on both sides of the pond.  The songs in question are We Can Work It Out and Day Tripper.  Now, on Billboard We Can Work It Out hit #1 and Day Tripper # 5.  On Cashbox they were 1 and 10 respectively.  The majority of the Panel stations combined the two; Miami, Phoenix, and San Jose listed Day Tripper as the prime- and Fort Worth didn't have either song ANYWHERE in its top 40! In England, however, they were charted as ONE song, and that one song had just finished five weeks at #1.

"You mean we could have had two hits at the same time, and they wouldn't let us?  What a bloody break..."
"Don't be a wanker, Paul.  We got paid just the same."


Another hit on the UK chart, at #10 this week was You Were On My Mind.  Not the fast paced version by the We Five that was a major US hit in 1965; no, this one was the cover by Crispian St. Peters, the man who had a hit here with The Pied Piper.  His was a much slower version- in fact, knowing the We Five version first, it was almost a quaalude moment.  It would eventually cross the pond, reaching #36 in the summer of 1967, which would NOT be the longest gap between recording studio and charting single we'll hit today.

The singer of the next song- actually a tender ballad- is by a man who held a Guinness record by telling 1,500 jokes in a 3 and a half hour span.  Comic Ken Dodd had a handful of singles, and would peak at #3 with their number 9 hit this week- The River.

At number eight were the Kinks with a song that wasn't big here- it would peak at 50 in mid-May, but stopped at 8 in the UK this week- a tune called Till The End Of The Day.

The Walker Brothers were on the way down, having stopped at #3 and falling to 7 this week with My Ship Is Coming In.  It was at 89 this week on Cashbox, en route to a peak of 69 here.


And at this point, we have to skip WAAAAY ahead, all the way to the English #1 this week.  The group doing the song, a folk-rock outfit called the Overlanders, did not hit here in the US of A.  However, there were no less than four OTHER versions of the same song on the American charts.  (Only one of them making the Panel list, surprisingly enough).  The highest was a version by famous songwriters Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook (You've Got Your Troubles, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, Long Cool Woman), who were going by the name of David and Jonathan.  Their version of this mystery tune was at #45 this week, and made the Beaumont and Reading top fives.  Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra had a version at #69; and it would be the last entry for the bandleader in the hot 100.  Bud Shank, best known as the alto flute on the Mamas and the Papas' California Dreaming (which also got a Panel vote this week), had a take on it at 93... but it was best known by its unreleased version by the Beatles- Michelle.

There was one more version of Michelle on the Cashbox charts this week, and its story is lodged in the middle of our six degrees- a six degrees that starts with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Not so much about what they've done, but how they got their start.  They were discovered by Al Kooper.  Kooper was a 28 y-o producer in search of an act when he first heard the band in 1972; but at 21, he was a rookie session man who got invited by a friend to the recording of Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone.  He managed to work his way to the keyboard, and despite virtually everyone in attendance thinking he didn't know what he was doing, managed in one take to play the keyboard melody that Dylan heard, loved, and made it the one thing the song needed.

This song was recorded with two other Dylan songs on the first Turtles album; it was named It Ain't Me, Babe, after one of those Dylan comps that became their big hit.  Also on this lp was the FIRST recorded version of the tune Eve Of Destruction.  But Barry McGuire hit first, and so they waited to release it- until 1970, when they finally released it and it went top 40, making it the longest from recording to radio on this week's chart.

Two things to know about the classic protest song.  One is that a band called the Spokesmen did an ultra-conservative response to the song (which was bad and made worse by the lead singer's trying too hard to sound like McGuire) called Dawn Of Correction.  It was this group that recorded that fourth version of Michelle on the chart this week- all the way down at #124.

The other thing was that it was written by PF Sloan, who had a lot of writing credits in the 60s.  Another of those was the song that charted highest nationally- #11- without a panel vote, AND the song that sat at #6 on the UK chart this week- Herman's Hermits and A Must To Avoid.  BTW, it was on the way down in the US of A after also peaking at #6.  Jeez!


Now since somewhere in that last bit I mentioned the Turtles, this would be an appropriate time to intro one of the M10 debuts this week- a Spotify suggestion from 1976 from the main men of the Turtles, Flo and Eddie!  From their lp Moving Targets, coming to you at #8 on the M10- Flo and Eddie!


The song at #5 in the UK this week had actually hit #1 on Cashbox in September of the previous year- The Four Seasons and Let's Hang On!  Frankie Valli and the boys were climbing the US charts this week with Working My Way Back To You.

Having already hit the UK #4, we skip to #3 which is another song of no mean fame in the US- Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass with Spanish Flea, the song best known as the theme to The Dating Game.  While there was a version of Spanish Harlem (by King Curtis at #134) and a version of Spanish Eyes (by Al Martino, who had panel votes from Cleveland and Waupaca, as well as being #18 nationally), there was no Spanish Flea on the American charts until spring, when Herb and the band peaked in late April at #27.

And the song we have left on the UK list was a future #1 by the Spencer Davis Group, who were at #2 with a tune called Keep On Running.  It would find its way over here as well, peaking in March at #75.


And the one thing that sits in its proper spot- this week's M10!

The former #1 for Boz Scaggs, Small Town Talk, slides another 5 down to #10.

And at #9, a young lady named Brooke Annibale, from her latest lp from late last fall...

By now you've listened to #8... last week you listened to #7.  Quiet Hollers move up a pair to that spot with the apocalyptic Mount Blanc.

Diane Coffee also climbs two spots, landing at six with Not That Easy.

Beach House gives ground grudgingly, slipping a spot to #5 with Beyond Love.

Last week's top dog, Ducktails and Headbanging In The Mirror, slides down to #4 this time around.

Alvvays finally puts it in gear, flowing to #3 with Next Of Kin.

Surprisingly to me, Nothing But Thieves remained parked at #2 with Trip Switch.

And now a word from Jack Wood (via a post board), about the M10 #1 that was 50 years in the making:

"In 1966 I sat in and sang with a three piece band playing weekends in a low-down bar in a 
sleazy section of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They liked my voice and asked me to join them. 
Since the bar owner wouldn’t pay any more, they all took a cut in pay so I could get ten 
dollars a night!! This was my very first gig. There was a friend of the guitar player who came 
in quite frequently who was an outstanding guitar player himself and he had a band called 
“The I Can’t Say.” He really liked my voice and said I should make a record. I liked the idea 
and had written a few songs, although I didn’t write “Born To Wander” until several weeks (later).

I distinctly remember writing “Born To Wander” at my kitchen table on a Sunday afternoon 
while living in a microscopic, two-room apartment in a rundown part of the city. It took me 
maybe twenty minutes at the most. I immediately saw the potential in the song and a few 
days later rehearsed it for a couple hours with “The I Can’t Say.” I found two black girls for 
backup vocals and, again, spent no more than a couple hours rehearsing with them. I then 
booked a three hour session for a Sunday afternoon in a recording studio (analog, of course) 
set up in an abandoned movie theater in the tiny village of Sparta, about ten miles from 
Grand Rapids. I knew an excellent saxophone player who played in various bands around 
town and he agreed to play baritone sax on the session. I thought tympani drums would 
add drama to the record so the Friday before the session I called the band teacher at the 
Sparta High School and asked if he had a tympani player. He said he did and agreed to send 
him to the recording studio Sunday. We recorded “Born To Wander” in a couple hours and, 
just to make it a record, also recorded “So Sad”, a song my 14-year-old brother had written, 
for the “B” side. I paid the band and the backup singers twenty five dollars each and ten 
dollars to the tympani player. The entire session, including studio time and 50 records, cost 
me two hundred and fifty dollars which I borrowed from a friend. It took me several years (to pay it back).

The record got a couple weeks of air time on a local AM radio station and I handed out a 
few copies to customers in the different bars I was playing in and to several girlfriends. And 
that was it! Nothing further happened to it for almost fifty years. 

Fast forward now to the spring of 2015. I got a call one day from a local record collector 
who had bought a copy of “Born To Wander” at a garage sale and wanted to know if I would 
autograph it. I was blown away because I didn’t think anybody knew about it and I had 
pretty much forgotten about it myself. I met with him and autographed the record then 
went home that night and told my girlfriend about the amazing thing that had just 
happened. She had her laptop connected to the internet, googled the song and it came up 
on YouTube! Someone had uploaded it back in 2009 and it had received over seventeen 
hundred views. I couldn’t believe it. I found out later that the record and been circulating 
among collectors for a long time and the few copies that were available were often selling 
for $1,500 to $2,000 dollars!

Since I owned all the rights to the song, I thought I might be able to sell a few and so I had 
a new pressing done of five hundred copies. Just to be safe, I also reinstated the copyright 
and registered it with BMI. After I set up a website, I got a few orders right away from 
collectors, mostly in Europe and the UK. One of the people who ordered the record was Ben 
Blackwell, an avid record collector who I found out later is the head man at Jack White’s 
Third Man Records in Nashville, Tennessee. Of course, I didn’t have a clue who he was at 
that time and sent him his autographed copy which I’m sure amused him to no end. Less 
than a month later I received a call from BBDO in New York City, one of the world’s largest 
advertising agencies. They said they were working on a new Bacardi commercial and 
wondered if I would be interested in licensing “Born To Wander” for the music. Of course I 
said “Yes” and a couple days later I received and signed the contracts. I had no idea how big 
and extensive the Bacardi commercial was going to be. It turned out they were planning to 
spend millions on a massive new advertising campaign to appeal to a younger audience and 
my song was about to be broadcast hundreds and hundreds of times on late nite TV, ESPN, 
Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brian, Spike, UFC, Comedy Central, etc., etc. Once again I was in 

BBDO sent me a rough draft of the commercial right away and, remembering that he had a 
connection with some record company (I didn’t even know about Third Man Records at that 
time), I sent it to Ben Blackwell and asked what he thought of it. He immediately got back 
to me and wanted to know if I would consider placing the song with Third Man Records. 
Another shock! At this point I finally figured out who he was and who Third Man Records 
were. They are a great and respected company specializing in vinyl and offering a wide 
variety of music that mainstream Nashville won’t touch. Definitely my kind of people. We 
agreed that they would handle the digital downloads and release Born To Wander as a new 
vinyl 45 on the Third Man label. About a month later I found myself at Third Man Records 
talking with Jack White himself and getting the royal treatment from Ben Blackwell. Jack 
actually said he was “honored” that I had chosen Third Man to handle my song!! Of course, I 
told him the honor was all mine. He is a very sincere, non-phoney, unaffected man whom 
you would never guess is a multimillionaire, world famous rock star if you didn’t know that 

The Bacardi commercial began broadcasting October 20, 2015. Four weeks later there 
were nearly 15,000 views of “Born To Wander” on YouTube and it was being seen by 
millions of people all over the United States on all the major TV outlets. It became one of 
the most downloaded songs on iTunes and people from all over the world were ordering 
their own vinyl copy from the website 

It’s been a wild and highly gratifying journey for me. “Born To Wander” is a record that 
just refused to die and it waited nearly 50 years for the world to discover it. It has been the 
impetus for a much-welcomed revival in my music career. The tremendous response it has 
received has made the music business take notice that there is a vast audience for music 
that defies the bland, cookie cutter drivel that is being spoon-fed to audiences around the 
world by an often cynical and jaded industry. 

Long live “real” music and long live “Born To Wander." 
Jack Wood 
Grand Rapids, Michigan
November 7, 2015

Thank you to the Jack White collectors forum at for that.  Born To Wander is the new M10 #1- the first #1 from the sixties, but maybe not the last!  And appropriately enough, in a week we featured the year it came from!  Tune in next time when we take what I hope will be a less convoluted trip- to 1976! (Flo and Eddie, are YOU next?)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Donald and the debate

Laurie and I were having a political discussion (sometimes a good thing) about The Donald bailing out of the FoxNews debate over this whole Megyn Kelly feud thing.  As Laurie described her POV on the subject ("He's being a big baby" boiled down), I began to ponder what possible good Trump thinks he'll get out of what surely appears to be a debacle.  So I went in search of wisdom.  A nugget here, a scrap there.  And I think I have the whole thing sussed out.  Are you familiar with a Rube Goldberg machine?

Follow me on this one for a moment.  As I sifted through my nuggets (Not that, Al), I first looked at Rush Limbaugh's take- where he pointed out Trump's book The Art Of The Deal, and Trump's not wanting to get entangled in something that is to his disadvantage.  I thought about the whole deal, occurring about the same time as the Kelly deal, with fellow candidate Carly Fiorina and her face, and how they traded jabs that first debate- and then the whole thing faded away.  Why hasn't this faded away?  And then I read the statement FoxNews released (which Rush referenced), where they suggested that the "Ayatollah and Putin" were conspiring to "treat him unfairly" if he became President, so he wouldn't show up to those meetings.  Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that isn't how a legitimate news organization speaks.  (Take yer shots, but you know what I mean.)

To me this all reeks of a set up feud.  Both sides have been over the top on keeping the fire burning- even Rush said he was stunned that Fox spent the whole night discussing such a non-issue.  Now we could frame it, as Laurie did, that we have TWO sides acting like babies.  But, here's the thing.

Add the nuggets together- keeping in mind that what Trump knows about spinning things is more than the other GOP candidates will learn in the next five lifetimes.  And here we have some clearly insignificant- but kept smouldering- thing that all of the sudden, at the debate just prior to the Iowa caucus, suddenly erupts into this big deal.  Frankly, I think there IS no feud, and that when this is all over, the Trump camp and Fox are going to have a good laugh over it.

Because he has an excuse to skip the debate.  No matter it's a piss poor excuse or makes him look bad- his statement about being able to shoot someone in the street and not lose a vote is probably fairly accurate.  And what happens at the debate without him?  One of three things:

1- The candidates focus on their own agendas.
2- The candidates focus on bad mouthing Hillary and Bernie.
3- The candidates play pig-pile on Donny.

But whatever they do, The Donald is away, standing above it all- and no matter which one they choose (my money's on #3), he can spend the next five days before the caucus picking the others off, one by one, at his leisure.  Five days where any point they make is spun Trump's way, any mistake is pounced on.  All the while, he doesn't have to worry about HIS mistakes because, he wasn't there to make one!

So we drop the marble labelled "Kelly feud" into the top of the Goldberg Machine; it trips a lever, swings out an arm, drops a weight down a pulley, tips a water bucket, etc, etc, and at the end of it, a brand spanking new nomination drops in The Donald's lap.

It's a win-win for the main participants- Fox gets street cred standing up to Trump, Trump gets cred not bowing to FoxNews, and the other candidates get lined up like pop cans on a fence rail, waiting for Donald and his BB gun.  Because this guy's that much smarter than them.  And by 6 AM Tuesday in Iowa, I'll wager Trump's poll numbers will be pushing fifty.  And this time next week, at least five candidates will fold up their tents and head home.  They'll grumble about Trump's resources, and blame the stupidity of the voting populace, but in the end what got them was not knowing the Art Of The deal like the man that wrote the book.

(Keep in mind, this is just a plausible- to me- scenario, and does NOT constitute an endorsement of any candidate.  They all still have a shot with me- excepting certain people whose career as SecState was just as glowing as their career on the Watergate committee.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Martin World News

I'm beginning to think we need a better class of idiot this year, because the in-basket is looking so light, I see a couple of stories I tossed in and forgot about.  To wit:

ITEM:  Now here's a solution to the nation's problems...

(From BBC) US police have arrested a man who allegedly plotted to kidnap one of President Obama's two pet dogs.
Officials say Scott Stockert - who is from the state of North Dakota - was planning to snatch one of the dogs, either Bo or Sunny.
Police in Washington DC found weapons in Mr Stockert's vehicle, including a shotgun, a rifle and a machete.
Agents say he made several outlandish claims during his arrest, including that he intended to run for president.
He also said he was the son of former President John F Kennedy and actress Marilyn Monroe, according to court documents.

Yeah, you can see a lot of Marilyn in him...

ITEM:  Whaddya expect, it's a fricking desert!

Visitors to a new Dubai attraction have been left disappointed after it failed to deliver the expected thrills.
Dubai City Slide is a 500m long "slip and slide" but sweltering temperatures and poor water pressure meant that at times the slide was almost completely dry.
Visitors on Friday were asked to leave and were refunded the 170 AED ($46, £30) entry fee.

If you ask me, $46 is a lot for a WET slip'n'slide.  But, it's a seller's market in the UAE...

And now, back to somewhat newer stories...

ITEM: The most unlikely of us can be heroes.  Take this gentleman from Australia...

This is James Ross-Munro.  He and his buddy were sloshed and just sitting around one night as they watched the occupants of that white car break into a service station.  While one filmed the incident, James grabbed the keys out of the getaway car, and then proceeded to chase the would be criminals down the road on foot.  They did manage to get away... but not in the style and comfort they expected.  All because they weren't smarter than the average drunk.

ITEM:  Next up a pair of stupid human trick, female edition.  First, a woman gets into a hairy situation.  A woman who goes by the internet title of  "yourmomiswatchingthinkbeforeyoupost" tried to do a how to of giving oneself a cold wax treatment.  But as it turns, she should have watched one instead of filming one...

She took a cold wax kit out and explained "you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off".
Instead of rubbing them together, though, she used a hairdryer to heat the wax.

She explains: "I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn’t the best feeling, but it wasn’t too bad."

Please with her progress, she continues, quipping that she is "She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire".

Her test session having gone OK, Yourmomiswatching moved on to a more intimate area.

"I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek," she recounts.

After inhaling deeply, she pulled the strip and suddenly she says she was blinded by the pain.

"I think I may pass out," she says, but suddenly she realises there is no hair on the strip.

"Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip…it’s not!

"I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair.

"Then I make the next BIG mistake."

Worried about what action she needs to take, Yourmomiswatching puts both feet on the floor - and instantly regrets it.

"My butt is sealed shut. Sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself ‘Please don’t let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!’

Sadly, this was not the answer, as her buttocks soon became affixed to the bottom of the bath.

Eventually she decided to use the lotion that came with the kit, use it to not-very-gently remove the wax- and toss the kit and use a razor.

"Heck, I’m numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point."

At least it made her vlog popular- the episode is well into its second million hits.  Anyone out there for a guaranteed pubicity- oops, I mean pubLICity stunt?

ITEM:  #2 involves getting something you didn't expect in a delivery- as well as something you didn't see...

A terrified woman dialled 999 (UK version of 911) after spotting a huge poisonous spider in her home that had left her trapped.

The petrified woman believed the creature had travelled from overseas to her home in Wiltshire along with a furniture delivery.

But when a police officer arrived at her house he discovered the creepy crawlie was in fact a piece of dust.

Finally, a pair of "stupid government tricks"...

ITEM:  And we fly out to visit our wild and whacky friends in Tajikistan to see how to properly stamp out radicalism...

Police in Tajikistan have shaved nearly 13,000 people's beards and closed more than 160 shops selling traditional Muslim clothing last year as part of the country's fight against what it calls "foreign" influences.

Bahrom Sharifzoda, the head of the south-west Khathlon region's police, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the law enforcement services convinced more than 1,700 women and girls to stop wearing headscarves in the Muslim-majority Central Asian country.

The move is seen as part of efforts to battle what authorities deem "radicalism". 

Last week, the country's parliament voted to ban Arabic-sounding "foreign" names as well as marriages between first cousins.

Despite attempts, I was unable to learn if radicalism is higher in the 25 US states that allow first cousin marriage.

ITEM:  Meanwhile in Denmark, the government is taking definite action- but nobody knows why...

Politicians in Denmark say they're baffled by a finance ministry order for all state institutions to count how many flagpoles they have on their premises.
An instruction was sent out earlier this month telling officials to complete a spreadsheet with the results of their count, but no clear reason was given for the flag census, the TV2 website reports. Now MP Pernille Skipper, of the leftist Red-Green Alliance, has submitted an official request for information to the Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen, asking him to explain what it's all about. The minister is required to answer within three weeks.

One Danish newspaper tried to solve the mystery last week by calling - with a touch of good humour - a host of politicians to see if they knew what was going on. While some offered theories, most said they had no idea.

Shortly after the order was given, Liberal Alliance MP Henrik Dahl described it as "the most moronic thing I've heard in years". He told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation: "The year is still young, but when we get to 31 December it will still be a candidate for the most stupid piece of bureaucracy."

In true American fashion, the whole affair is being called "flagpolegate".

I read the news today oh boy 
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire 
And though the holes were rather small 
They had to count them all 
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall...

Monday, January 25, 2016

When you know the name in the news story

Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

Today we learned of the death of a former longtime co-worker.  To say that the circumstances were suspicious would be fair.  To say that, to one extent or another, it was self-inflicted would probably not miss the mark very far.

But I am not going into the details, especially when the details aren't a lot more than the local news-sites.  But it did open my eyes to that first statement in a way I hadn't looked at it before.

You see, this man was a study in contrasts.  What we knew about him at work, what his family knew about him at home, what others knew of him from the streets, didn't always seem to paint the same picture.  Would it for you?  The differences were accentuated, in my opinion by the one trait I think we would have all agreed on- he was passionate.  And that passion was part of everything he did.  It was how he dealt his life.

And sometimes, passions can weaken us.  He had his daemons, and in the end it would seem his daemons got him.  But I learned one very difficult lesson in coming to terms with the life- not the loss, but the life- of my own father.  And that is, in looking back, don't look at the daemons.  Look at the good man fighting them.

And make no mistake, beneath the daemons, he was a good man.  He loved his kids- oh, how so- that was part of the passion.  He was a loyal friend, glad to lend a hand, or crack a smile.  The little things that got him down, never had him down for long.

The daemons, on the other hand... well, it seems he never shook them.  In my last Sunday message, I quoted the verse where David said that those who persecuted him were stronger than himself.  And all of us who have daemons, we KNOW that to be true.  Because they come to us when the world has spent its day shitting on us, and we try to find a place to escape, and there they are.  Helping us to close it all off, to just not deal with it for a while.  Thing is, when the "buzz" is gone, the problem remains, and the daemon no longer has to work so hard to get you- because he's got you.  And all of the sudden you're looking over that abyss, and the only "friend" you see is the one who has already got what it wanted, and isn't all that inclined to be of help.  And the only time it's ever like it was the first time, is when you commit yourself to leaving it behind for good.

I was fortunate in that Jesus became part of me.  Doesn't make me perfect, or even better- but I know if I slip, I have someone still holding me up.  And for all the good that was in him, it would seem our friend just didn't have that.  Eventually he fell and there was no one to stop the fall.

There will be people who will see the story, see the name, and say, "Good riddance to another crazy Mexican" (not trying to be racist here, but to make a point- he was Puerto Rican, born in Philadelphia.)  They'll see the story- as I did at first, and make fun of another idiot dying in his foolish misadventures.  And if all we ever know is the surface, that'll be good enough, and it might give us cold comfort that "At least I never got that bad."  But if you knew the person, you might stop and think about how thin the line is that you are dancing on... and hope you have that One who is greater to catch you if YOU fall.

God rest you, mi amigo.  God willing, we'll see you again.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday message- the faith of David

One thing we all are challenged to have is the ability to defend our faith.  I have had a lot of opportunities to do so- trolls seem to know how to find me- but it doesn't mean I have taken those opportunities to do it right.  Because, you see, a troll can be very set in their way- and that way eventually leads to worshipping the error.  I have come to learn that for some, their "Church"- their belief set- passed on down the generations- is the very idol that prevents them from taking the next look forward at their religion and turning it into a true faith in Christ.  Such people expound on how their "Church" is the right church, their pride in the faith of their fathers- but if you watch, they spend very little time on what Paul calls us to in 1 Corinthians 2:

2 And I, when I came to you, brothers,[a] did not come proclaiming to you the testimony[b] of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 

And I challenge them on that,all the time wanting to believe that we are brothers in faith.  But too many are wrapped up in the whole "Them vs Us " thing and refuse to see it.  But am I truly projecting what I believe, or am I just in a debating contest?

I have recently been in a section of Psalms- 142 and 143- that I find really expresses my faith and its basis.  Consider David, the King which God Eternal chose to have His Son descend from.  When we look at his bio, we often say, "Well he was head and shoulders above me, except for the whole Bathsheba thing."  We compartmentalize his grave sin off.  But how many grave sins does a man have to have before he's no longer worthy of our respect?  Think about it- he had two different sons who disrespected him enough that at two different times they came to the point of military revolt against him.

But the point I'm going for is, David didn't see himself as better than us either.  He had a firm grasp on what this world is about.  In 142, he says:

v6 Deliver me from my persecutors, FOR THEY ARE STRONGER THAN I.

No delusions of grandeur there.  He realised the battle we face is against a sin nature we cannot overcome on our own.  And even if we could, even if we could subdue all our personal daemons, that wouldn't be enough.  In 143 he says:

v2 Do not enter into judgement with Your servant, for in Your sight NO ONE LIVING IS RIGHTEOUS.

Now he could have fallen back on the traditions and rituals of his people, for surely they had just as long-held procedures for "getting right with God."  He could have said, like the Pharisees did, in Luke 18:

 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

Like the people I have debated with, the pharisee had a lot of layers he could put between himself and God's judgement:  He obeyed the Ten Commandments (he thought), he had good works he did, he obeyed the rules.  He relied on what we MIGHT call "sacraments."  But note that he was the example Jesus gave of what NOT to do.  Witness the way Jesus called us to follow:

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 

Even though he recognized, as david did, how far he was from God, a distance he himself could NEVER cover, he sought out a personal one on one with God, asking forgiveness.  No, "Look, I went to confession and made it to Church 45 out of 52 weekends", no "I offered up the firstborn goat."  He just came to God.  Alone.  A sinner.

But as a preacher said this morning, just relying on "Let go, let God..." isn't Biblical either- and David had an action plan to help him when his soul and strength were at low ebb.  He spells it out in 143:5 and 6.

1- REMEMBER what God has done.  The line in my Bible is, "I remember the days of old."  This speaks powerfully to me, because my life verse comes from 1 Samuel 7:

v12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Eben-ezer (stone of help), saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us."

I know Satan can never shake my faith because all I have to do is look over my shoulder at all the Eben-Ezers I have put up in remembrance.

2- Meditation.  I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the works of Your hands.  Now the words for Meditate and muse are one in the same- to ponder.  the word "works" are different, though; the first is an action, the other is more like a transaction.  Or to put it another way, the things God has done, against that which He WILL do.  I have faith because not only of what God has done, but in what He WILL do, and IS DOING in me.

3- Reaching out to God.  I spread out my hands to You;  this is more than just anonymous prayer requests; it is taking all that he is and laying it out before God, so that NOTHING is in between him and God- not the High Priest, not the Pope, not any ritual.  Rituals are fine for helping us with REMEMBRANCE; as long as the paramount thing is WHO we are remembering, not the act itself.  Another pastor said this morning, "Jesus didn't say, 'Do this in remembrance of me AT CHURCH, or ON SUNDAY, but as often as you eat and drink."  It's not the ritual, it's what the ritual represents- and that we should call to mind at EVERY meal, at every prayer time, at every moment we are grateful for what He has given us.  Rituals are fine as a tool; but if ritual is all we have, then as it says in the Tao Te Ching, "Ritual is the dead husk of faith, and the beginning of chaos."

4- Truly longing for God's presence.  My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.  David goes on to describe his relationship with God in the next few lines.  He depended on Him for the answers to his cries; he depended on Him for salvation; He wanted God's voice to be the first thing he heard in the morning;  he placed all his trust in Him, and trusted Him to lead him in right paths, to teach him, to keep him safe.

David put nothing between himself and God.  He never relied on the fatted calf to represent him; he came to God himself, recognizing his own lack of worth and that his only out was God's mercy.  That is the faith I have, that I am working for.  I don't need to look up ancient Church philosophers to tell me how to interpret what God so clearly expressed in His Word.  I can rely on His guidance to show me what He wants me to know.  Not because of my innate intelligence or my reading ability, but because I rely on Him to lead me in right paths.  Am I gonna screw up every now and again?  Of course.  Even David did that.  But God has the thing under control.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Time Machine week 57

Forgive me if the ride is a little bumpy today.  The Tardis is a bit balky today.  Part of it is a sporadic reluctance of my keyboard to get it's message across to the computer screen.  The rest is that the last things I put together are the six degrees and the opening bit here.  Well, let me tell you I had to stretch mightily to even get four degrees this week, and the best I could do for what happened on target day January 22, 1978?  Johan Christian Lankes, Ambassador of West Germany to Ethiopia, was declared persona non grata  (Latin, plural: personae non gratae, literally meaning "an unwelcome person," refers to a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country's government.) by the Ethiopian government.  Why?  I really couldn't figure it out (other than a google-translated page that seemed to blame it on the East Germans), other than to learn that he had also been thrown out of Portuguese Guinea in 1972.

Couldn't even find a picture of the guy... so here's a nice picture of Scrappy from 2013.

And so, here we are on what I hope will be an exponentially improving Time Machine, seeing the sights and hearing the tunes of this week in 1978!  Before we get too started, check Wednesday's post for the two songs that debuted on the M10 last week and I didn't get to then (Note to Shady- Molly Rankin!).  Anyway, you'll get two NEW debuts this week, plus an English Ten that actually has 6 songs (or 7, depending) that actually charted here, and a Panel battle that was actually close most of the way through!  What the heck, if you made it this far, whaddaya got to lose?


The panel this week includes CKLW Detroit, WHB Kansas City, WRKO Boston, KTKT Tucson, KEBQ also from Kansas City, WDRC Hartford, WLS Chicago, Chum Toronto, WYSL Buffalo, and one of my old favorites (late at night if the clouds were right), WLAC Nashville, and the Springfield twins- WCVS (Illinois) and WHYN (Massachusetts).  They only managed 18 different songs, and stayed towards the top- their lowest nationally charting choice was Con-Funk-Shun's Ffun, which WLAC had at #5 and Cashbox at #32.  They also managed to have three songs that got #1 votes but didn't make the final four this week- Hartford had Billy Joel's Just The Way You Are at the top; Player's Baby Come Back was tops in Nashville; and the Bee Gees ruled the Illinois Springfield with How Deep Is Your Love.

And the Panel's top four?

With 19 points and the #1s of WHB's side of Kansas City and Boston, the nation's #2, Randy Newman's Short People.  I remember actually having to explain this song to a short girl who was offended by it, no lie.

With 22 points and the #1 from Toronto, the national #4, Rod Stewart and You're In My Heart.

With 26 points and number ones from Tucson and Buffalo, the Bee Gees- yes, them again- with the national #14 with a bullet, Stayin' Alive.

And the top song of the Panel, with 4 #1s and 32 points, the national #1.... or #1s... (that's a clue) stay tuned.


Well, you can't say I didn't tell you that I was going to give you the lamest six degrees ever, so let's get it out of the way fast:  Cue up Barbra Streisand...

Wait... are you saying I'm LAME?

Well, not precisely.  After all, in just ten months you will torture treat us to your biggest hit, You Don't Bring Me Flowers with Neil Diamond.  And before that, you'll hit with the theme from The Eyes Of Laura Mars (which was a better song to me, but y'know...).  But we have a Time Machine, so we can go back to your very first record, which your record company wanted to title Sweet And Saucy Streisand, but you vetoed in favor of The Barbra Streisand Album.  Both really catchy, no doubt.  You had gotten that far singing nights in gay bars like Bon Soir and the Lion, courtesy of the booking help of your boyfriend (who would eventually come out himself), Barry Dennan.  Avoiding the cheap "look what dating HER does to a guy" joke- oh, wait- Barry comes into the equation having been the voice of Pontius Pilate on the original Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.  And who do we find playing that part in a 1993 touring revival of JCS but the lead singer of the band in question, and the writer of the song in question, Dennis DeYoung and Styx, who was at #9 this week- but got no panel love- with Come Sail Away.

Maybe if your Wiki entry had a little more beef in the bio...


The first of the debuts I want to share with you is from a band that showed up in my Spotify suggestions this week called the Quiet Hollers.  While looking up the song sent to me, I read that they had another, supposedly better song- and it was true.  And it is that "chilling" song that I debut at #9 on the M10 this week.

...and I used to worry what clothes I had on 
the school recitals and the manicured lawns 
and I had a laundry-list of people 
I could count on if it all went wrong... 
and then the bomb.


And now, a word or two from Winston Churchill:

A love of tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril; but the new view must come, the world must roll forward.

And now, our new tradition:

So let's take a look at the top ten this week in the UK:

10- Scott Fitzgerald, whose biggest claim to fame was coming in second ten years later in the 1988 Eurovision contest, combines with Dutch songstress Yvonne Keeley for a tune called If I Had Words.

9- I promised you 6 (maybe more) songs that were also on the American charts.  The first of those was at #12 on the Cashbox charts this week- and would end up peaking at 6 in both nations- Chic with Dance Dance Dance (Yowzah Yowzah Yowzah).

8- The second was one of my special favorites that OUR stations wouldn't play but I could hear on CKLW, Bill Withers and Lovely Day.  Over here, thanks to idiot stations like the ones in Fort Wayne, it peaked at 30; there it hit #7- and then it hit #8  as a remix in 1988.

7- This song topped out at 5 in the UK and #2 here, but was on its way down in both countries (it had fallen to #37 here)- Crystal Gayle's Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.

6- The next song wouldn't make it to our shores for another few weeks, debuting near the end of March, but soared to #3 once it did!  It makes it to #4 eventually in the UK- Bonnie Tyler and It's A Heartache.

5- A song that went #6 on the R&B chart here, and was just short of its peak of 21 in the US of A this week- Odyssey and Native New Yorker.

4- The Brotherhood Of Man, a choir who hit big in the US with United We Stand some years back, would end up hitting the top with the song Figaro, which was not released hereabouts.

3- Donna Summer released this one in Europe only, called Love's Unkind.

2- Another future #1 in the UK was the song at #2 by the teenage Jamaican girls Althea (Rose Forrest) and Donna (Marie Reid), Uptown Top Ranking.  It was a cover of a song by an act called Trinity to which the girls added some DJ style ad-libbing, as a joke at first- until it made them famous.

And the song at #1, the song that gives us six-or seven- US charting songs, was the first single to sell 2 million in the UK, one of their biggest hits of all time.  In the US, Wiki says that the flip side was the hit here, and was the one that was at #57 this week, on the way to a chart topping at #33.  BUT, I remember that it was the UK #1 that played here, and it was the one that Casey Kasem played on AT 40, so I don't know where exactly the b-side was the hit.  The song(s) in question?

....Wings with Mull Of Kintyre/Girls School!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And now, the Martin 10...

The Great American Canyon Band (which you may have listened to Wednesday) holds at #10 with their hit Crash.

You already heard the Quiet Hollers with Mount Blanc at #9 in their debut week.

And at #8 a band led by a guy with a name that sounds like a woman.  The band is called Diane Coffee, and the hit debuting at # 8 is this:

Gotta love that lp title- Everybody's A Good Dog.  BTW, the lead singer of Diane Coffee, Shaun Fleming, is a former Disney child voice actor, who played Goofy's son Max in a Christmas direct to video.

The song at # 7 was almost going to be Dent May, but at the last second I changed my mind- Born Too Late falls off the M10, and Little Green Cars hang on, dropping from 4 to 7 with Harper Lee.

Moving up a pair to #6, Alvvays and Next Of Kin, which was also on the Wednesday post.

Whenever I play the M10 for Laurie and the #1 from the week before drops, I always introduce it with, "the king is dead."

The king is dead.  Boz Scaggs drops to #5 with Small Town Talk.

Beach House slips another couple with Beyond Love, dropping to #4.

And why is everybody falling, because of the next two yahoos.  At #3, up 3, is jack Wood with Born To Wander.

And the #2 song blasts its way up from a debut of #7- Nothing But Thieves with Trip Switch.

And that gets us to our number ones.  For the first time, the M10 has its third different number one in as many weeks...

...Matt Mondanile and Ducktails with Headbanging In The Mirror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  For the second time ever, and the second time in three weeks, a song I could NOT have told you right from the start would hit number one HAS hit number one!

And, the panel sayeth...

...Queen with We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is a wrap, and tune in for a hopefully less rocky journey next week, as we hit 1966!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Another one bites the dust

A little while ago, I saw on Facebook that Animal, drummer for The Electric Mayhem, passed away at the age of 66.

I get why someone thought this would be funny- taking the edge off the losses in music we are having already this year.  David Bowie and Glenn Frey in a matter of days is a hard pill to swallow for us classic rockers.  I think we thought these guys were invulnerable and would live forever (at least until The Who played the Super Bowl).  But if we hadn't learned the lesson of mortality before this, we certainly have now.

And that's just with the names you heard on mainstream media.  Let me give you a list of the people who are gone from this vale JUST since Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots kicked off this wave on December 3rd...

Stevie Wright, lead vocal of the Easybeats- who hit with Friday On My Mind in 1966- on December 27th.

Lemmy Kilmister, who was a hard rock pioneer with Hawkwind and Motorhead, one day later.

Natalie Cole, every bit her father's daughter, on New Years Eve.

Robert Stigwood, the manager who built the Bee Gees into the powerhouse they became, on the 4th of January.

Nick Caldwell, member of the R&B band The Whispers (And The Beat Goes On, 1980, and Rock Steady, 1987) the next day.

A pair of old timers on the seventh:  Fort Wayne-born Troy Shondell, who's big hit was This Time (We're Really Breaking Up) in 1961; and Kitty Kallen, who spent 9 weeks in 1954 at the top with Little Things Mean A Lot.

Of course, next was Bowie on the 10th.

The day before Glenn's death on the 18th, two more passed:  Dale"Buffin" Griffin, drummer for Mott The Hoople (All The Young Dudes); and Mic Gillette, founding member of the Tower Of Power horn section.

And that brings us to 2 days ago and Glen Frey.  In an odd happenstance, Glenn's first recorded work was background on Bob Seger's 1968 hit Ramblin' Gamblin' Man.  And Seger made a big hit of the tune Trying To Live My Life Without You, originally recorded and charting in 1973 by R&B singer Otis Clay- who died on January 8th.

I know Glenn had a substantial solo career, but for me, Glenn is early Eagles- Take It Easy, James Dean, Tequila Sunrise.  And two of the five Eagles' #1s are his- New Kid In Town and Heartache Tonight- along with one that Billboard short changed (but not Cashbox, who had it at the top), Lyin' Eyes.  And what kept Lyin' Eyes out?

Elton John and Island Girl.  Look out, Reggie, you're getting up there, too....


In the mean time, here are the two songs from last week's M10 you haven't heard here yet.  First, we have the Great American Canyon Band...

And the second, Molly Rankin and Alvvays...

Monday, January 18, 2016

The coolest cartoon characters!

With nothing like the M50, no big Martin World News list, and no disasters at work worth having fun with (although our inventory last week was just this side of apocalyptic), I came up with something off the beaten path (for me) to do today.

I was thinking about a list of the coolest cartoon characters- the smooth, suave, the hero unnoticed from our (read: my) childhood.  Who is the coolest of the cool, the guy you loved to watch?  Feel free to add your choices in the comments, but here are the dude's I picked.

10 (tie)- Inspector Gadget

The first time I watched this (under the influence of cannabis), and we got to the closing credits, and you heard the child's voice give the company's name, "Dic", I said, "No kidding."  But this rather unique hero with his "Go go Gadget" catch phrase earned a spot on my list, because I know how truly hard it is to be inept and make yourself believe you're cool.

10 (tie)- Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters

Though Meadowlark was the leader and the star of the show, it was Curly that always had to do the "crap" jobs for him.  He took the cocky edge off Meadowlark and stood out doing it.

9- Hong Kong Phooey

Come on, how do you get cooler than being voiced by Scatman Crothers?  And he sung his own theme song!

8- Brian from Family Guy

How do we love Brian, let me count the ways: 1- A dog named Brian?  Really? 2- A martini-drinking dog... 3- An INTELLIGENT, martini-drinking dog; and 4- A dog with an Oedipus complex.  And he still fetches!

7- Fillmore

Not only one of the last Saturday morning cartoons, but one of the best.  Each character on the show had some level of deep character development, despite the utter silliness of the premise, and none more so than the star of the show, field leader of the X Middle School Safety Patrol.  The last cartoon I made a concerted effort to watch every week.  And that was as a 40-year-old.

6- Roger "Race" Bannon

Sidekick of Dr. Benton Quest on the old Johnny Quest cartoon, Race did the heavy lifting for the team and had the coolest name on Saturday Morning.  Johnny and Hadji would no doubt have lived a dull life if not for him.

5- Baloo the Bear

He stole the show in The Jungle Book movie.  Every child's dream of the perfect adult- ready to fight if needed, but content to let life roll happily by.

4-  Riff Raff

The only bad guy on the list, and how not?  With little more than a flower in his lapel and a cigar in his mouth (and a bunch of guys with tommy guns behind him), he stood toe to toe against the super powered Underdog- and looked dapper doing it.  You could see Danny DeVito playing him.

3- Mr Peabody

Did you really think an intelligent dog with a time machine wasn't gonna make my list?  What I loved best about him was the unflappable, dry sense of humour.

2- Sugar Bear

And yes, he had his own cartoon show with other cereal mascot characters, from 1964 until the government decided in 1969 that somehow having a cereal mascot star in a show for kids in which his cereal was advertised was a horrible thing.  It was like having Bing Crosby save the day every Saturday.

And who could possibly be the coolest of the cool except....

1- Bugs Bunny

The snarkiest of the snarky, the master of breaking the fourth wall, I cannot imagine that Bugs isn't the ultimate cartoon character.  Think about it.  Name one quote that you can remember from Mickey Mouse.  I use Bugs' quotes  all the time (my favorite being, "Well, if it's the 'Captain's Mess', let HIM clean it up!").  And there's a zillion of 'em, like:

-I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque!

-Do you happen to know what the penalty is for shooting a fricaseeing rabbit without a fricaseeing rabbit license?

-I wonder what the poor bunnies are doing this season?

-Of course you realize this means war!

-Ah, your brother blows bubble gum!

-Gee, ain't I a stinker?

-It's shameful, but...ehhh, it's a living.

And of course- Eh, what's up, doc?

Friday, January 15, 2016

Time Machine 56- and the M50 finale

Today the Tardis limps into January 15, 1972.  Yesterday the King of Denmark passed.  And as the Danish monarch doesn't get a coronation ceremony- or even a crown- here's what happened today:

At 3:00 pm, at the balcony of the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag proclaimed three times, "King Frederik IX is dead! Long live Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II!" 

And that was the show.

No crown?  Where's that commoner Steve Harvey?  Off with his head!

And thus we enter this week's trip through musical time- a week that brought you the M50 (whether you remember them or not (of course, I have the advantage of a play list, so...)!  This week also has four new M10 debuts, How a fictional song will lead to a fictional band on the six degrees, and the second biggest mandate for a panel #1 in history! Plus all the other fun stuff usually associated with having to put up with an oldies freak like me.  So enter the Royal Chamber, have a seat on the throne (not that one!) and let's be off!


The panel this week in 1972 included KIOW Des Moines, WLS Chicago, WKNR Detroit, fan favorite WFIL Philly, KHJ Los Angeles, WKLO Louisville, WOLF Syracuse NY, WMEX Boston, KGY Olympia WA, KCBQ San Diego, WIXY Cleveland, and WDGY Minneapolis.  They strung together 23 different songs  including Joy by Apollo 100, which was debuting at 91, the lowest charting panel pick.  One of them had a number one that didn't make the panel four- Boston had Harry Nilsson's Without You- and gave me a wide variety to pick for the six degrees, as the national #s 3,7,9, and 10 never got a vote!

But the big news is that our number one ALMOST became the biggest winner in Panel history!  A few months back, the Four seasons' Sherry claimed 9 Panel #1s and racked up a record 52 points.  This week's number one just missed- 8 number ones and 51 points!  And who might that be?

Well, the panel # 4 with 0 #1s and 17 points, the national #6, was Jonathan Edwards and Sunshine (Go Away).

At #3 was the national #12, with 20 points and the #1 from Louisville, Badfinger's Day After Day.

The runner-up, with 24 points and the #1s of San Diego and Los Angeles, was also the national #1- Melanie's Brand New Key.

The runner-up nationally but top dog by a wide margin by the Panel... stay tuned!


And now, hand me three envelopes for the #s 8,9, and 10 songs on the M50! (Drumroll if you care to...)

It was number one just two weeks ago, a surprise to me as it was a song I hadn't expected to grow on me like it did- The Decemberists with The Wrong Year. It is the #10 song of my year.

The spirit's willin'
Flesh is getting bored
Speakers blaring out some long forgotten chord
Some misbegotten, long forgotten chord....

At #9 the song that set the record for highest debut at #4, then sat at the top for 2 weeks- the lovely Molly Pankin and Alvvays with Archie Marry Me.

During the summer, take me sailing out on the Atlantic
I won't set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic
So, honey, take me by the hand and we can sign some papers
Forget the invitations, floral arrangements and bread makers...

At #8, One of the handful of songs that regular radio brought me to.  It peaked at #4 on the alternative charts a couple weeks back, and spent a pair of weeks at #1 here- Silversun Pickups and Nightlight.

If we enter, through the front door
With the keys we stole the night before
Now we have right to be the masters
Of the tangles of disaster

Ladies and gentlemen its time to unveil
If this is the moment now to ask "do we dare?"


Cue up God Save The Queen....

Yes, it's time for the top ten across the pond this week in 1972.

T-Rex hits again this week with a song that charted not at all here but peaked at #2 in London Town- it's called Jeepster, and it holds the 10 spot this week.  This is a great little tune, how did this not hit here?

Johnny Pearson, who hit over here with Sounds Orchestral and was the leader of the TV show Tops of the Pops over there, and his Orchestra were at #9 with a tune called Sleepy Shores.  This 9is an instrumental I knew, but didn't know I knew.  It used to play on a jewelry store commercial many years ago, I believe.

The Panel's #2, Melanie and Brand New Key, was in the #8 slot in the UK, as well as #1 hereabouts.

At number 7 was a song that BJ Thomas would make big here in a few months, but it was Elvis Presley who had the hit in the UK, eventually peaking at #6 with I Just Can't Help Believing.  The arrangement is virtually the same as BJ's so just transpose voices.

Cilla Black, whose only time in the top forty here was a song that Helen Reddy would make popular later- You're My World- was at #6 with a tune called Something Tells Me (Something Is Gonna Happen Tonight), on its way to a peak at #3.  A nice, poppy tune.

Hooray!  One of my favorite unknown-to-America British bands, Middle Of The Road, comes in with one of my favorites of theirs, Soley Soley, at #5.

Over here, they were called the English Congregation, and were just starting a climb at #88, but in the UK, they were the Congregation and were at #4 with Softly Whispering I Love You.

The #3 slot were the guys that brought English audiences such classics as Gatherin' The Mushrooms and Transistor Radio.  That's right, Benny Hill and his gang were there with the bit Ernie, The Fastest Milkman In The West, soon to be #1.

The dude at #2 I had virtually no luck at finding anything out about (Or at least I thought I did; after the fact, I see he's on wiki, so I must have been too lazy to look before typing).  He did have another song that peaked here at #41, but in both nations he was a one-hit wonder.  He was, to my surprise, a youngster (12) at the time, and the song is a real tear jerker for those of us who have lost ours.  As one You Tube commenter said, "MUM is such a small word until you haven't got one to say it to!"

UPDATE:  Boy I was sleeping here, as I forgot both the kid's name (Neil Reid) AND his song (Mother Of Mine.  What an idiot!

And at the top of the UK chart?  Well, it had 4 votes for 5 points on the Panel list between the two versions charting at the time.  The one at the top in the UK was at #13 in the US of A this week- the New Seekers with their tune (that became a classic Coke Commercial by the Hillside Singers) I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing!!!!!!!!


Another three envelopes, pleeeease...

One of two songs that didn't make #1 on the M10 on this top 10 show... Only because she had a heated battle with the song that ended up at #12 and the one that ends up at #4!  Jana Kramer's Boomerang comes in in the #7 spot after peaking at #2.

I’m a train burning down the tracks
I’m a phoenix rising from the ashes
Gone baby gone baby gone
There’s nothing left
There’s nothing left to say
I ain't you’re boomerang
I ain't the kind of thing
That you can throw away and watch it
Circle back around...

Another of those rare radio-introed tunes on the list (4 out of the whole 50!) is the French band Phoenix's #1 alternative from 2009, Lisztomania, which spent 3 weeks at the top and comes in at #6.

Think less but see it grow
Like a riot, like a riot, oh!
Not easily offended
Not hard to let it go
From a mess to the masses...

And believe it or not, a third of those four songs takes the #5 slot!  The third #1 in M10 history, with one of the neatest videos I've ever watched, is Weezer's Island In The Sun.  It was a hit in 2001.

On an island in the sun
We'll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can't control my brain

We'll run away together
We'll spend some time forever
We'll never feel bad anymore

Hip hip

We'll never feel bad anymore
No no
We'll never feel bad anymore


In 1940, Bing Crosby and Mary Martin played unknowingly competing ghost writers for an a-hole of a singer in the movie Rhythm On The River.  Throughout this movie, a certain song was mentioned- a song that didn't really exist called Goodbye To Love.  One day Richard Carpenter watched the film and thought, hey, that would be a good title for a Carpenters' song.  So he wrote a tune and Karen sang it, but it needed something... else.  They came up with the idea of having Tony Peluso, whom they'd met on tour with Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders fame.  He played something sweet, Richard basically said, "No!  Really let loose!" and thus the fuzzy guitar break that made the song was born.

With Lindsay he was, in addition to being another former Raider, the leader of his usual backing band, Instant Joy featuring Tony Peluso.    But occasionally Mark worked with brothers John and Tom Bahler, who fronted a studio group known as the Love Generation.  LG played on some Partridge Family (that fictional band) songs, and in fact wrote one of my favorites, Together (Having A Ball).  They also played on some of David Cassidy's solo stuff too- though not necessarily David's song at #3 nationally that the Panel ignored- his cover of the Association's big hit Cherish.


Three more envelopes, thank you...

The aforementioned #4 spent 4 weeks at #1 on the M10, and was the third chronologically (as much as such a thing exists) on the M10 for Beach House- Traveller.

I was looking out of the window at the sky
Starless vigil of a life that has gone by
Saturn turning and I feel there's not much more
For a vision of the night turn off your light...

The one song from the first week on the M10 that is still on the playlist- and the song most intimately the cause of of the M10's birth- comes in at #3.  Never released as a single, it was a big hit anyway on some New England stations in 1977- NRBQ with Ridin' In My Car.

And over in the corner, all alone with you
Was the boy from last summer singin' songs to you
And he can't sing what I can sing, oh, it's so hard
And I still think about you every time I'm ridin' in my car (Ridin' in my car)

When I'm home alone, I can think of other things to do
But when I'm rollin' in forward motion, I think about only you...

And the worst kept secret of the M50- the #1 comes from a time BEFORE the M10 started!  The highest charting M10 song of the year is, not surprisingly to me, Beach House and Space Song- which if I went solely by points as I do on the Panel list would have Tied with Traveller for most points (74) and most weeks in the M10 (9).  Only one other song has lasted more than 6 weeks- The Wrong Year at 8.

Tender is the night
For a broken heart
Who will dry your eyes
When it falls apart

What makes this fragile world go 'round?
Were you ever lost
Was she ever found?
Somewhere in these eyes

Fall back into place
Fall back into place


And now, this week's M10:

I have four debuts, and I'll link up videos on a couple now and a couple later.  The first debut comes from a Spotify pick called the Great American Canyon Band.  They are from Baltimore, and consist of hubs and wifey team of Paul and Krystal Jean Masson.  Their song is called Crash, and it comes in at #10.

The Wrong Year has already gotten a couple mentions, so I'll just say it slips from 6 to 9 to grab that 8th week.

The song at 8 is the latest one I pulled from Alvvays' debut lp.  A sad tune of love lost, it's called Next Of Kin.  Next week for sure.

The first of the two songs I will link up is a radio tune- it charted apparently just before we got the Alt station in Fort Wayne.  The band is called Nothing But Thieves, and their song...

...sits at #7.

The second video tune is another debut, and a spotify suggestion that hit the nail on the head.  This guy I definitely had troubles finding anything out about.  In fact, here's the scoop on him from Third Man Store:

In May of 1966, the unknown singer Jack Wood recorded two songs at Great Lakes Studio in Sparta, Michigan. These unique, otherworldly songs “Born to Wander” and “So Sad” would be self-released by Wood on his own Lawrence Records imprint in an edition of 100 copies. Going nowhere and being quickly forgotten, it would take Wood ten years to pay back the $250 he borrowed for the entire endeavor. 

And I find it the most impossible thing to believe that THIS is the song that went nowhere...

No such problem here.  It immediately becomes the highest charting '60s song on the M10, debuting at #6.

Unfortunately for Dent May, it's getting crowded at the top, and he got squeezed down a pair to #5 with Born Too Late.

That crowding left the Little Green Cars parked at #4 with Harper Lee.

The source of that crowding?  Ducktails, who leapfrog a couple to #3 with Headbanging In The Mirror.

As I always tell Laurie when I drop a #1... "The King is dead...", for Beach House slips to #2 with Beyond Love.

And now, our three #1s!

Panel says...

...Don McLean and American Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

M10 says...

...Boz Scaggs and Small Town Talk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the number one on the M50 is going to take a bit of explaining, hard to do because I was just listening to it again and as usual did an imitation of a fountain.  Time Crash is a indie band from Chicago and lays claim to the title of the nation's first "Trock" band.  Trock is Time Lord rock, the rage in the UK for Doctor Who fans.  This band has an lp called Regeneration which I discovered on the way to other things.  They mainly do songs relating to the David Tennant era (like Metacrisis Man) with a smattering of Matt Smith ( Little Amelia).  But the song I love is from the heartbreaking end of David Tennant's run, where he holds off his regeneration long enough to say goodbye to his many friends.  They don't have this song on You Tube, so I hope this link thing I found works (it did not, but you can play it- and I hope you will... here.  At #1, I give you... Time Crash.

  And there you have it!  Tune in for our more regular Time machine next time where we go to... 1978!  Allons-y!