Entertainment

I'm A Hallmark Movie Widower

In all honesty, I’m not just a Hallmark Movie widower, I’m a TV widower. I just do not care for much TV. Sure, I watch some cooking shows (food is very important in this house), and the occasional NCIS episode. I also enjoy a few shows on Discovery, Animal Planet, and the National Geographic channels. Even the new HBO show Avenue 5 has my interest. For two main reasons, Hugh Laurie, and it’s only 30 minutes per episode. The Army taught me you can put up with damn near anything for 30 minutes. Case in point I had an Army dentist try to do a root canal on a long dead tooth. I was in the chair for over 4 hours while she drilled and poked and tugged to no avail. And quite a bit of that time the novocaine was not exactly effective. So, it can be done.

But as far as your usual sitcoms and other reality shows (thinking Below Deck here), I just cannot tolerate them. So I either have to go to another room, or put in earplugs. I have issues reading with the TV going. Music doesn’t bother me, but the spoken dialog interrupts whatever I’m reading.

As Jackson Browne sings;

“It’s like a song playing right in my ear
I can’t sing
But I can’t help listening”

For A Dancer © Swallow Turn Music, Wb Music Corp

The fact that Wifey likes these shows doesn’t bother me. She can watch whatever pleases her. She doesn’t watch when I have one of my few sports on. She’ll read or play a game on her tablet. Besides, I usually fall asleep within 30 – 45 minutes anyway. TV basically bores me.

But these Hallmark movies are so very strange. They’re pretty much the same story just with different actors. Lately it’s been the Hallmark Mystery Movies that have taken over the TV. At least they don’t all have Candance Cameron Burke staring like the majority of their Christmas movies seem to. Some people are just too damn cheery.

And what’s up with Christmas movies on in July?? Talk about your holiday creep! I rant and rave about anything Christmas that comes out before Halloween as it is. But July?? Give me a break.

So, what do you watch, or avoid? Oh – Wifey is in the living room watching some cop show while I’m typing this. I would be in our bedroom relaxing, but the granddaughters are currently in our bed playing a game on Wifey’s laptop.

Here’s today’s vaguely related video. It talks about a TV show, and besides it’s my favorite Dire Straits song. Now excuse me, I need another beer.

Peace,
B

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Fun With Photos

Yes, I know just yesterday I said I was done with genealogy, I did say I would continue to post family stories. But, then one of the sites I use often added a new feature. Colorize any black and white photo. Normally I am not a fan of colorizing black and white photography or films. But I had to go play around with it just the same.

So I took some old photos from both my family and Wifey’s family and ran them through the process. Some worked better than others, not surprised there.

I will display them with the original on the left, and the “new colorized” version on the right. I’ll start with Wifey’s family, since I was taught ladies go first.

Now, for my family.

And for the last photo I give you my father doing his Clark Gable impersonation. The colors really look good in this one!

As I said, generally I am not a fan of colorizing black and whites, but this last one really came out nice.

These were done with the free tool at My Heritage (Click here). I don’t know if you need an account with My Heritage to use the tool, but it’s free to create an account.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What's Stuck In My Head – 9 February

Here’s another WTF post. I have no idea why this is stuck in my head today. Now, I was talking with my friend Mel about this song and artist, but that at least 2 months ago. maybe it’s because I’ve started the process to get my medical marijuana card – specifically to help with my sleep. And these weird ass dreams are part of that. Who knows…

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What's Stuck In My Head – 28 January

Ever have one of those nights where it’s nothing but disjointed weird ass dreams all night? That was me last night. Waking up every 90 minutes or so wondering – WTF is going on???

Luckily just before Wifey’s alarm went off, this song was running round and round my fuzzy brain.

I really enjoyed this group. I mean, what’s not to like? George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and please don’t forget Jim Keltner on drums.

I’m sure my very intelligent readers already know this, but the song’s writer will be the first vocal you hear on the song. So this song is a Harrison composition.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What's Stuck In My Head – 22 January

Some mornings I wake up with a song that I have no idea why it’s stuck. Now this is indeed, my all-time favorite early Beatles song, I can’t say exactly why. I will admit that as a teenager I could relate to the story the song brings out. But that was a long time ago.

The track doesn’t really have all that strong of a guitar part, so George (my favorite of the Beatles) isn’t really featured. It is primarily a Lennon composition, and as I’ve mentioned before both my brother and I consider John as the best rock and roll composer ever.

This track was released originally in the UK on the 1964 album Beatles For Sale and in the US on the Beatles ’65.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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A Very Delayed Post

I have to apologize to ya’ll. We took our Campbell Christmas Vacation as planned, leaving here on December 26th. While the vacation was a joy, I became very ill, and was hospitalized on our return. That will be the subject of my next post, as I am still sorting out details of the whole vacation/illness. So this will be a quick post with some pictures of the vacation aspect.

The plan was to leave here on the morning of the 26th, and we actually made it work. We piled Wifey, Son-The-Younger, both granddaughters and myself into the car and headed north. Our destination was Maggie Valley, NC. We rented a larger cabin than the one Wifey and I rented two years ago for a five night stay. The weather was good, and for once, traffic not an issue at all. We all got our suitcases unpacked and stuff put away in our rooms and away we went!

The cabin’s living room.

Friday was Son-The-Younger’s birthday and we promised him we would take him the Sierra Nevada Brewery just outside of Asheville, NC. Wifey and I visited the brewery and took the tour two years ago. Son-The-Younger was looking forward to this trip. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway over the mountains to Asheville. We stopped at many of the scenic overlooks and the girls took many pictures.

We arrived at the Brewery just in time for our scheduled tour (you have to make reservations), and Wifey and the girls went to “The Back Porch”, an open area that has food, a garden and even – get this – beer! Although there wasn’t any live music that day, they do have an outdoor stage, as well as an indoor area in case of bad weather. And is very dog friendly.

We drove home and had a great BBQ dinner, which was another “requirement” for this trip.

Saturday was a planned “quiet” day. In the morning we took the girls to do some “gem” mining. Then Son-The-Younger and I visited Elevated Mountain Distillery, while Wifey took the girls to a little store we enjoyed on our last visit.

It was a good thing that we didn’t have much planned for Saturday. I woke up about 3AM with fever and chills. So after the short morning excursions, I went back to bed for the afternoon. I think I sweated through my clothes twice that afternoon. The rest of the family went tubing (man made snow, sadly) while I basically sweated every ounce of liquid out of my body. Son-The-Younger tried to get a fire going in one of the outside fire pits, but it was rained out.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling better, but not great. I knew I was still fighting whatever bug I had picked up, I just didn’t realize how badly I was losing that fight.

But not giving up, we again went over the mountains, but this time from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. We went right through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and we hadn’t even gone half a mile into the park when we came across a herd of Elk. The girls were so happy.

We made it to Gatlinburg with no issues. We even found a Mexican restaurant that Wifey and I had tried almost 20 years ago! And it was right next to the Ripley’s Aquarium which was our first scheduled stop (after tacos of course). Then the real fun began.

The plan all along was to get me a wheelchair while at the aquarium. My legs were still heavily impacted by the back injury, so I figured I would not be able to walk the entire distance required. Turns out I couldn’t even make it into the aquarium!

Going up the steps to get to the wheelchair I passed out. I was so lucky that there was a guy right behind me who saw it coming, probably before I realized what was happening. He was a strong enough guy that he grabbed me and set me down so I only ended up with was a scrape on one knee where it hit the pillar I has holding on to. Luckily it passed somewhat quickly and by the time the kids met us with the wheelchair I was coherent, and some of my strength returned. It was nice have everyone push my wheelchair so I could see the major parts of the aquarium, and there were plenty of places that I could be parked while everyone else went to see something that would have been a tight fit. We got in a few other attractions that afternoon, then head back to our cabin in Maggie Valley.

I will leave the health issues for the next post. I knew I was sick, but I really didn’t feel any worse or better for the rest of the trip.

Monday found us in Cherokee, NC. I really didn’t expect the girls to enjoy the museum as much as they did. They were asking questions about the displays and had good comments when their questions were answered. it’s really nice to see them getting inquisitive about things that aren’t covered very well in school. The Cherokee people have an absolutely beautiful creation story. Personally, I find it every bit as relevant as any other creation story. It is no more, nor any less credible the one most of us have been force feed all these years.

Outside of the museum in Cherokee.

Every time I visit a museum of this sort, I am saddened beyond words how native peoples have been treated by we white people. On every continent we have hurt if not straight out destroyed entire cultures. They had a veteran’s display in the museum. It told of a Cherokee medical doctor that was on a landing craft on D-Day. I didn’t know they had any doctors on the landing craft. But it makes me wonder were there any “white” doctors on any other landing craft? Then there was a display of Cherokee Medal of Honor Recipient. I’m sorry I don’t have names for these, and the other Cherokee’s enshrined in this part of the museum. I was so overcome, and still am, with emotion I had to leave the area and just sit down in the lobby. Knowing that chances are that these gentlemen had already been forcibly removed from their ancestral homes to the squalid desperation of a reservation, but still answered the call to serve this nation (not the Cherokee Nation, but the “white man nation”) amazes me. Sadly, most of the town of Cherokee was closed for the season, so shopping was limited.

However, Son-The-Younger conquered the elements and got the fire pit going. I am told the s’mores were wonderful!

The next morning we loaded everything back up in the car and headed home. We only stopped long enough to visit with Lil-Big-Sis at lunch. There are so many more stories to tell of this trip, but I just don’t have the energy to keep this going, nor a voice to dictate to Wifey, so dear reader this will have to suffice.

But I leave you with What’s Stuck In Wifey’s Head this morning. Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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I Didn't Know That!

So, just now I’m flipping through my Twitter feed and see this;

This was news to me (and my brother). I am a big fan of The Bangles. They really appeal to my “Pop-Music” side. I knew Prince wrote lots of songs that other artists made famous. Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Nothing Compares 2U (1990) made it to number one, Chaka Khan’s 1984’s hit I Feel For You made it number three on the charts. And another I didn’t realize, Stevie Nick’s Stand Back (1983) made it number 5. That is just the short list. Rolling Stone Magazine has a short article with 15 songs.

The song was on The Bangles second album, Different Light, which also had their monster hit (and a favorite of my granddaughters), Walk Like An Egyptian.

Manic Monday” went on to become a number-two hit in the US, the UK and Germany, outsold at the time only by another Prince composition, his own “Kiss“. The band’s second album Different Light (January 1986) was more polished than its predecessor and, with the help of the worldwide number-one hit “Walk Like an Egyptian” (written by Liam Sternberg), saw the band firmly in the mainstream. The song was sent to them in mid-session and the group was divided about whether it would be a failure or a success. When the song was released the group was amazed to discover that it brought them a new audience of female fans, most of them very young. Commented Michael Steele to a Nine-O-One Network Magazine writer: “When I go out now it is usually girls who recognize me.” Three additional hit singles released from the “Different Light” album were: “Following” (top 40 in Ireland), “Walking Down Your Street” (#11 on the US Billboard Hot 100), and the wistful “If She Knew What She Wants“, written and first recorded by Jules Shear (which reached 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1986 and was in the German Top 20 for 13 weeks).

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

I highlighted my favorite Bangles tune, a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Hazy Shade Of Winter way back in 2017. So here’s there awesome video for Manic Monday.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What's Stuck In My Head – 17 December

The year was 1965, I was 7, and like all the other kids, thought this song about Snoopy. But alas, it’s not.

“My Girl Sloopy” was first recorded by the Los Angeles-based R&B vocal group, the Vibrations in 1964, for Atlantic Records (45-2222). It was a hit, reaching number 10 on the R&B chart, and number 26 on the US pop chart. In April 1965, The group members were Don Bradley, Carl Fisher, Dave Govan, James Johnson, and Ricky Owens. The song then became a local hit in the Pacific Northwest in a cover version by James Henry & the Olympics (Jerden Records), but it was quickly eclipsed in August when the Indiana pop group the McCoys released their iconic retitled version. “Hang On Sloopy” went to number one in the U.S. in October 1965.

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

And just who were “The McCoys“?

The original members were all from Union City; however, the Zehringer boys were initially from Fort Recovery, Ohio. The band members were guitarist and lead singer Richard Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums, and bassist Dennis Kelly. This first line-up was known as The Rick Z Combo, and later known as Rick and the Raiders. When Kelly left for college, the Zehringers were joined by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, saxophonist Sean Michaels, and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon. This was the line-up that took the name of “The McCoys”. Brandon left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Bobby Peterson on keyboards.

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

Never heard of these guys? Well, The McCoys may have been sent to the “one hit wonder” pile of the 60’s, but that Rick Zehringer guy didn’t. You will know him better as Rick Derringer, he of Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo fame. The McCoys did have other hits on the charts including “Fever” (Billboard #7) and “Come On, Let’s Go”, Billboard #21). But this on hit #1 on 2 October.

Mr. Derringer is, supposedly, the subject of Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. But probably not;

Just to clear up a generation’s worth of rumors about the lyrics of “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” Walter Becker stated for the record in a 1985 interview in the pages of Musician that the “number” in question was not slang for a marijuana cigarette (“send it off in a letter to yourself,” supposedly a way to safely transport one’s dope back before the post office abolished general delivery mail, was held up as the key line), and an uncharacteristically forthcoming Donald Fagen has similarly revealed that the “Rikki” in question was simply a woman he’d had a crush on in college. It says something about Steely Dan’s reputation as obscurantists that even a straightforward lost-love song like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” could be so widely over-interpreted. … It’s unsurprising that “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” ended up becoming Steely Dan’s biggest commercial hit … as it’s one of the group’s most gentle and accessible songs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rikki_Don%27t_Lose_That_Number

Talking this selection over with Wifey™ we both remember this as Hang On Snoopy. We’re completely wrong of course, but that’s how we both remember it. We seem to recall a cartoon of Snoopy set to this song. But maybe that’s just wishful remembrance.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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It Has Begun!

As I have mentioned several times (most recently here), the Christmas Season can’t begin until two things happen. I have to hear John Lennon’s Happy XMas (War Is Over) in some random way and I have to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

I am (somewhat) happy to report that both of those requirements have been met. The Official Christmas Season® may now begin. You’re welcome.

Yes, I’m a Grinch. Thank you for noticing…

And as dear old dad always said, “Merry bah humbug!”

Peace,
B

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