The Week That Was, Or Is, Or…

This last weekend was a bit tough, physically and mentally. Both Wifey and I had trouble sleeping which carried over into just being plain grouchy. Not to mention whatever the problem is with my back and/or legs was extremely bothersome all weekend. I have had 3 of the 4 tests ordered by the neurologist done, with the last one, an EMG, scheduled for tomorrow morning. I had an EMG before, and it’s not all that fun. It’s not painful, but not it’s not exactly comfortable either. Hopefully I’ll know more by the follow up appointment early next month.

Ont the plus side, the hole in the kitchen wall has been patched. So hopefully, no more froggies under the sink.

But I woke up feeling better this morning, so I thought I’d post a fun little video. I went looking for something by The Monkees first. The Monkees were my favorite band when I was a youngin’. I still listen to their CDs when I get tired of the radio. (Check out this post from some Monkees fun!) Instead of using a (silly) Monkees video, and I went slightly off-course. Which, of course, is par for the course for me. (Let’s see how many more time I use “course” in this post!)

I recently finished an older book by one of my favorite Florida authors, Dave Barry. For those that don’t know who Dave is (@RayAdverb on Twitter), he is a long time humor columnist. I grew up reading his column in The Miami Herald. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988.

The book I just finished, Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs made me wonder about the musical tastes of his readers. The basic premise is that Dave wrote a column about a particular artist, which I won’t mention so you can buy the book and read it for yourself. This opened a floodgate of responses, that went on for several columns. The book is the result.

Not surprisingly, there are songs listed that I totally agree with (see the chapter on Barry Manilow), some that I’ve never heard of, and some that I disagree with. It’s one of the latter that I want to talk about.

Gee.. I wonder what song he’s talking about??

I will admit that the fact that the horse is not named at any time during the song (they do spend many days in the desert, and don’t let the horse go until after day 9), so there was plenty of time to name the horse. Even “Jim” would be a good name.. Obviously I’m talking about A Horse With No Name.

The band America has always been a favorite. A simple little acoustic group with good harmonies and simple lyrics. Well, may not simple lyrics. While Daisy Jane, Sister Golden Hair and Lonely People are straight forward, Ventura Highway is any thing but. And I won’t even get into Muskrat Love.

(Song writer Dewey) Bunnell has explained that “A Horse with No Name” was “a metaphor for a vehicle to get away from life’s confusion into a quiet, peaceful place”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Horse_with_No_Name

I can dig that.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Foodie Post

Today would have been Julia Child’s 107th birthday (15 August 1912 – 13 August 2004). Wow! Where does the time go? My grandmother, Nanny, and I used to watch her shows often. But I must admit I much preferred Graham Kerr and The Galloping Gourmet. Most likely it was the accent. Julia was a bit hard for my young ears to understand.

Later in life, it was Emeril Live! that kept me glued to the TV. Now it’s Alton Brown and damn near any BBQ show.

So, in recognition of “The First Lady” of cooking, here is my favorite clip of her.

Peace,
B

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P.S. You can find MY foodie stuff on Instagram!

What’s Stuck In My Head – 13 August

(A.K.A. The Woodstock Edition)

This week will be the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “Woodstock” music festival.  Admittingly, I was too young to attend, not to mention it was many miles away from my south Florida home. 

Just in case you’re unsure about the whole thing let me quote from the wiki page;

Woodstock was an American music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000.  Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.[6] It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodstock

I was healthy 9 years old at the time, so my musical tastes were more inline with The Monkees and The Beatles than Jimi Hendrix.  But that all changed when my sister brought home the 2-album set. I listened to those records constantly.

All this week SiriusXM is featuring music from the festival. The Deep Tracks channel is playing the complete tapes.  Every band and every song all week long. While I haven’t heard Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” and it’s now legendary audience involvement, I did hear something that I don’t remember being on the albums.  Before I get to that let’s mention a few of the other performances. 

Richie Havens opened the show, 3 ½ hours late. He was scheduled fifth on the bill on the opening day. Problem was, all the acts for that day were stuck several miles away at the area motels reserved from them.  The roads were blocked by cars that had just parked in the street since there was no other place to go, so the bands couldn’t get their gear nor themselves to the concert area.  Richie had the least equipment, one guitar for him, one guitar for his lead guitarist, and a set of conga drums for the percussionist, was all that was needed, so they were the first to be helicoptered in.  Richie was a bit afraid to be the first one on.  Since the show started so late, he was worried that the crowd would be angry and hostile. Needless to say, that was anything but the case.  

Joan Baez closed out the fist day (the “folk” day), she was 6 months pregnant! Her set was from roughly 1 – 2 AM.

Santana did a 45-minute set on day 2, and Carlos Santana was totally tripping the entire time.  The video of that entire set is electrifying!

John Sebastian (best known as part of the Lovin’ Spoonful) was not on the bill but was there enjoying the show (he had a house in the area). He played a short set while, again, other performers were delayed in arriving.

And who can forget Joe Cocker’s physical rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends”? This single performance catapulted him into the US conciseness. Also giving John Belushi a new act.

Crosby, Still, Nash & Young doing an hour at 3AM. I still get chills listening to their set. To produce such vocal harmonies, live, and at that time of night, blows me away.

Let’s get to what is stuck in my head.  I heard just the end of this yesterday.  (I have SiriusXM streaming while at work) I wasn’t exactly sure just what I was listening to, and there was no mention, that I heard, of the performer.  I recognized the song, but not the artist.

Another thing that was interesting, was that I had just finished reading an article about the song which was written by John Lennon.  This song stunned all The Beatles when John first played it.  The entire band, George Martin (producer) and everyone in the studio all thought it was “stunning”. And then I hear it again on the way to work this morning.

Here is Richie Havens’ “Strawberry Fields Forver”.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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The End Of The Line…

(Genealogicaly speaking..)

Faithful readers of this blog (both of you) probably have noticed my love-hate relationship with genealogy.  But after almost 20 years and way too much money, I think I’m calling it quits.

I am still stuck in Pennsylvania in the early to mid-1800’s.  Every lead I get on that ever elusive “immigrant ancestor” just seems to fall away after more digging. Even more importantly, no one in my family has any desire to keep the research going.  

But I did have some wonderful finds along the way. The time I found my oldest sister’s baby book in a box in our mother’s shed. It gave me the name (which I later confirmed via census records) of our paternal great grandfather, Samuel W. Campbell.  The one and only Campbell DNA match, that gave me the next male Campbell in that line, James Campbell. Do you have any idea just how many James Campbell’s there are in that time and place? It’s maddening!

My favorite find was identifying my father’s first wife, Gertrude Mary (Trudie) Lyman.  That was just some good detective work and lots of help from the wonderful folks on the Blair County (Pennsylvania) Genealogical Society. 

So, for now, I have suspended my various genealogy and DNA service accounts.  I have not removed my data from any of the services (Ancestry, My Heritage, GEDMatch, Family Tree DNA, etc.. etc..), but I am no longer paying for the services.  Since my data (DNA and Family Trees) are still fully searchable there is a hope that down the road, someone, somewhere will make that connection that I can’t find.  And maybe, just maybe, when I do finally retire, I will head up to Pennsylvania and do some hands-on research. You never know.  But for now, I’m tired. And broke.

For anyone that would like to see my various family trees, compare YDna, mtDNA or atDNA, leave a comment and a way to connect with you and I’ll answer. You will also find my various social media links at the bottom of this and every post, as well as in the side bar.  Twitter is best contact method after email.

I’ll leave you with End Of The Line by The Traveling Wilburys.  And that’s what we want to become, The Traveling Campbells.  In fact, the First Annual Campbell Christmas Vacation is in high planning mode as I type this. Well, not as I really type this, everyone else is still asleep. But you get the picture.

Peace,
B

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Well, that’s 3 minutes I won’t get back!

As I have mentioned several times here, I am not a big fan of TV. The majority of sitcoms are boring to me, but that’s not always been the case. I enjoyed M*A*S*H, Cheers, Barney Miller, and even Big Bang. I thought Saturday Night Live was a great show, but it came on too late for me. I’ve never been a night owl. I’ve tried other shows, but usually after a season or two, I’m done with it. There are others I’ve enjoyed, such as Eureka and Warehouse 13, but they’re not on the basic channels; these two were on the old SciFi (now Syfy) channel, so their production values were better.

I will watch some sports, with the sound off since the majority of sportscasters are idiots. Seems they’re either wanna be players or wash outs usually.

But I do enjoy documentaries and science shows, even the “pop science” shows. Mythbusters is all time favorite of mine and my family.’s And this leads me to the major problem I have with American TV.

Narrators. Let’s use Mythbusters as an example (just one of many shows in this format). A TV show in America that is broadcast for one hour contains, usually, only 42 minutes of the actual show. The remaining 18 minutes are commercials spread out in breaks during the hour. Remember this point, I’ll be back to it in a bit.

In this format you’ll get about 20 minutes of the show before the first commercial break. When the show returns, the narrator will explain everything that has happened before the break. And this happens after every single damn break. Why? If you’ve been watching the show from the beginning, you know what’s going on. If you came in sometime after the show started, too damn bad. There’s this new invention called a DVR – learn how to use it. I’m so over “Before the break …”. What would be better would be to have all the commercials between each show and not interrupt the show itself. Hey – it works in Europe!

And that’s where I was going with the comment about multiple commercial breaks. But of course, American advertisers are greedy and hope that you’ll sit and watch their idiotic ads waiting for the show to begin. Again – DVR it and skip the damn ads!

Here’s another example. The Orville was one of the shows I enjoyed for the first season, then lost interest in the second season. One of the reasons I quit watching it was Fox (the network the show was on) went to what they called “limited commercial interruption”. It was anything but limited. As opposed to the usual 3 minute or so commercial break, they would have only 90 seconds or so, then right back to the show. What this created in my mind, was instead of maybe 6 commercial breaks, there would be about 10 breaks per hour episode. It was maddening. Just as the action heated up, BAM! some erectile dysfunction commercial would pop in.

I read that Seth McFarlane, the creator and star of The Orville, has moved the show to subscription streaming service Hulu to avoid that 42-minute limit to the show. I fully understand that reasoning and would love to support this endeavor, but I’m not paying for yet another service to watch a show I really don’t care for anymore.

Services I enjoy are CuriosityStream and The Great Courses. Yes, both are subscription, but to me they are worth it. My granddaughters love to watch the animal shows on CuriostiyStream, and I even saw granddaughter-the-elder watching a show about how babies are formed in the womb. This was about 2 months before her half-brother was born. Just the fact that at 9 years old (at the time) she had a safe place to watch something like this made the yearly fee well worthwhile.

The Great Courses are a little different in that they have lectures to watch. Some have only 2 or 3 lectures, others more than 20 on a single subject. I watched an amazing lecture series on King Arthur that granddaughter-the-elder wanted to watch with me. When she realized it was just someone talking about King Arthur, she lost interest. That was sad, but wow, what a series. I would love to keep watching lectures, but the cost is a bit prohibitive at this time. (See my post with the hole in my kitchen wall to understand).

So, where does this leave us? Well, I can’t say for you, but for me, this leaves me without any American television to watch. Currently, there are no sitcoms, dramas, or documentaries that hold my interest. And now that the women’s world cup football is over (that would be soccer for us Americans), there really are no sports to watch until the next olympics. So, I guess, I will return to my books and put in my earplugs while Wifey watches her shows, and bliss will continue.

So, I will leave you with this brief video of one of the TV shows I grew up with and still dearly love. The original Star Trek series. Fun Fact: during the episode “The Devil in the Dark”, we had 2 tvs die at the exact moment that Mr. Spock used his phaser on the Horta (the “devil in the dark”). I found it strange that 2 tvs would die at the same moment of the same episode years apart. But, hey, that’s tv, Baby!!

Peace,
B

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Mama Told Me There Would Be Days Like This

On the way in to work this morning, I had great post in my head, even tied in with a video. Then I showed up and let’s just say, it all went to hell in a handbasket really quick.

But (and there’s always a but, isn’t there), it really started last week. During my younger days, back when I was active duty Army, we averaged 22 months between moves. You read that right. We moved on average, every two years. This meant two things; we lived out of boxes quite a bit, and we didn’t collect much stuff.

We’ve now been in this house just over 22 years. Not only is there crap everywhere, it’s falling apart. We have had the entire house repiped for inbound water already. Now we seem to have a drain leak under the slab as well. We only found this out after having the majority of the kitchen drain system replaced.

Yes, you can see right through the kitchen wall!

Luckily, our home owner’s insurance is working with us. Otherwise we would probably just walk away from the house and let the bank take it back. We’re that fed up with the whole situation.

But that has nothing to do with today. Well, not a lot about today anyway.

I had a task set for early this morning at work. I am usually the first tech in every morning, so I had set up to do some work on a computer before everyone else showed up. Shouldn’t take more than an hour tops. Cue the “best laid plans” meme…

Starts off, my tool kit was missing from my desk. I do have a second set, but the pieces are nowhere near as useful as this kit. The screwdriver bits are not exactly the correct size, and as I still have my wrist in a brace, it’s difficult to get hand tools to work correctly at any time.

The main task was to clone a hard drive. Not the most difficult thing believe me. We have hardware and software to make this as close to hands-off as we can be. Naturally, it was anything BUT hands-off.

To make this as quick and painless as I can for those not tech oriented, here’s how it went down.

  • Can’t find my good tools
  • Had to use the old crappy tools
  • Took replacement drive down to the machine to clone it
  • System will not boot to my USB drive (Hiren’s) to use the software
  • Bring both drives back up to my desk to try the hardware
  • Let the clone device run for 30 minutes, nothing happening
  • Plug the dock into my Ubuntu laptop – and nothing. The laptop won’t even boot with or without the dock
  • Plug the dock into my laptop and boot to the Hiren’s USB to clone
  • 2 hours later the software says complete! Yay!!!
  • Plug the new ssd into a test machine – won’t boot (There is no joy in Mudville)
  • Reclone the drive using a different test machine
  • Same error after that clone attempt
  • Did a quick repair, well actually, a co-worker did the repair since he has that test machine we were using
  • Took the new SSD back down stairs and tested
  • Finally!! It booted. (And the peasants rejoiced!)
  • Total time for the “one hour max” job – 4 hours!

I will say this once again – I hate Micro$oft! Windows is without a doubt the biggest computer virus of all time.

Early morning texts this morning with Wifey;

The “pig” is a local brewery, The Red Pig. In retrospect, I’m not sure beer will be strong enough for today. May have to go straight to the whisky!

But, it’s finished for now. Here is the video I had planned for today, even if I can’t remember what I was going to post! It’s my favorite Bob Dylan song Tangled Up In Blue. In a way, it’s still kind of fitting. I’ve been tangled up in something all day, and my language has been quite blue!

Blood On The Tracks is also very telling for today….

Peace,
B

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P.S. Feel free to send me a beer, or a scotch, or a bourbon.

What’s Stuck In My Head – 17 July

This is day 3, of 5, in my Certified Ethical Hacker class. It’s been 2 days of review for me, so I’m bored. But that has nothing to do with what’s stuck in my head.

When Cracked Rear View came out in 1994, I was immediately taken in by the group’s sound. It was a great blend of acoustic and electric pop rock and the emerging new country sound. But was so different that the “grunge” style that was just gathering steam. To me, it was an updated Loggins and Messina.

Contrasting with the sound of their grunge contemporaries, the band’s music was described as “a mainstream pop variation of blues-rock” with “equal parts of jam band grooves and MOR pop.” The band’s sound was also described as heartland rock, roots rock and jangle pop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hootie_%26_the_Blowfish

I also found the band name silly; Hootie and the Blowfish. I remember seeing front man Darius Rucker on an interview and he said that the name came from the nicknames they had given two guys while in college. It wasn’t exactly a nice nickname either. May not be a “nice” nickname, but it makes for a great band name! And it proves that something good can come out of USC. (That’s the University of South Carolina, not the University of Southern California).*

So here ya go!

Peace,
B

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(*) I have have no dog in any fight over any college, sports team, or whatever. I only says this because my SC family seems to think that Clemson is the only university in the state, maybe the country. I have no idea why. Not a single one of them have attended any college, in any state or country. But I do have one nephew that graduated from Clemson, so I guess that’s it.

Where Does The Time Go??

Seems like today is the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to give my faithful, and casual, readers a big thank you! I realize that I do not post anything world-changing. In fact I tend to post mostly useless stuff!

But if you really want useless stuff, then today is also my eleventh anniversary on Twitter! Talk about useless stuff. You should see my feed, it’s all over the place.

But such is life!

Totally irrelevant video..

Peace,
B

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And Another Thing..

Next week I will be doing some (hopefully) intense training. Nothing physical mind you, I gave that up when I retired from the Army, all those years ago.(*) This is looking to be a 40 hour week staring at several computer screens, along with a tablet and phone, taking a Certified Ethical Hacker class. And before you ask, yes, this is a real certification course.

I have been watching some older versions of this training for almost 2 weeks, so I *think* I have a grasp of the basic context. I’m lucky that my employer allows me to sit at home and take the training remotely. It would be next to impossible to sit at my desk and concentrate on this stuff. The phone rings constantly, and no matter any signs you put up that say “In Training! Do Not Disturb” and such are ignored.

So, I’ll sit here in my PJs and particpate in the training. Since I won’t have much time for anything other than the class, I thought I’d just get the few little things running through my brain(**) out and turn them into electrons for your enjoyment.

  • Seems no matter which direction I’m driving, on-coming traffic always has priority. Very seldom do I get the “lead green”.
  • I’m not very familiar with Scotland’s football teams (those would be soccer teams here in the US), so I am unsure as to which team to throw my vastly overrated loyalty to. Please leave a comment with any suggestions. And be prepared to backup your choices!
  • Need recommendations for a PodCast manager/player for Windows and Android (and not iTunes). Thinking of giving Miro another look. I used it many years ago on a Linux box.
  • I am looking forward to finishing this class and doing a little more genealogy for a few weeks before starting the certification process. That may prove to be my undoing. I have avoided certification for years as I usually say that certifications aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. But this one sounds interesting.

Who knows, maybe this time next week I’ll be hacking into your email! Nah… ain’t no fun in that.

Peace,
B

(*) George Harrison’s All Those Years Ago
(**) Jackson Browne’s Cocaine

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That Friday Feeling

It may not be Friday on the calendar, but it is in my mind. Tomorrow is the 4th of July, which here in the colonies uh, states is Independence Day.

This makes it my Friday, and you know what that means!

And of course…

And to top it all off, I’ll leave you with little video of Friday On My Mind.

Peace,
B

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