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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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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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The Day The Music Died

61 years ago (3 February 1959) the plane carrying Buddy Holly, “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson), and Ritchie Valens crashed killing all three along with the pilot.

The sad event was captured in Don McLean’s 1971 hit American Pie. That was where I first heard of the tragedy. I played that song a lot. I was about 10 weeks old when the accident occurred.

It’s interesting that Waylon Jennings, who became a country music star later, gave up his seat to Richardson and Valens had won a coin toss with band member Tommy Allsup and took his seat.

Here’s Buddy Holly doing Peggy Sue on the Ed Sullivan show. 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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Burns Night

I have to admit that I have never attended a Burns night celebration. Just what is Burns night? Why it’s just the celebration of the birthday of Scotland’s poet laureate, Robert Burns.

Rabbie, as he is known, is probably best known for Auld Lang Syne, which is traditionally sung on Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve as we Americans know it.

Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is also in English and a light Scots dialect, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.

As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and “Scots Wha Hae” served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include “A Red, Red Rose“, “A Man’s a Man for A’ That“, “To a Louse“, “To a Mouse“, “The Battle of Sherramuir“, “Tam o’ Shanter” and “Ae Fond Kiss“.

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

Of course, the traditional meal served at a Burns night dinner is haggis, neeps and tatties. So what are these foods?

If you don’t know what haggis is, that may be a good thing. True haggis is illegal in the USA due to some of the organs used in the traditional recipe. The joke is that a haggis is a small furry creature found in the highlands of Scotland. The legs on one side of it’s body is longer than the other side so it can run around the mountain side. Funny, but not true. Click the link above to see what it really is. I don’t know if the haggis we had in Scotland was traditional or not, but I really enjoyed it. Wifey, not so much. Neeps are mashed turnips and tatties nothing more than mashed potatoes. The neeps and tatties are not to be cooked together. And don’t forget the dram of Scotch whisky!

The traditional Burns night dinner.

Rabbie so enjoyed haggis he wrote a poem about it. It’s in the old Scot’s language so don’t expect it to understand it. This Wikisource page has the English translation.

“Address to a Haggis” (1787)
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

Pipers welcome guests to the dinner, and then after dinner a ceilidh (dance) begins.

Enjoy!

The piping in of the haggis and the Address to a Haggis. (I would turn the volume down if anyone is sleeping or you’re in a public place). The pipes are not appreciated by everyone, sadly.

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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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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So, This Is Christmas?

Faithful readers (I do have a couple of faithful readers, right? RIGHT??), will remember that I do not start the “Christmas Season” until two things happen. First, I have to hear John Lennon’s, Happy XMas (War Is Over) and we’ve seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

We can control when we watch the movie, but hearing the song has a more strict requirement. I have to hear it while out of the house, and it can’t be played at my request. It just has to be on a random playlist, usually while shopping. But this year, I’ve only been to the mall once, and even then I never left the little pub. I still can’t walk long distances, so I sat and had a few beers while Wifey and son-the-younger did the shopping.

As usual, I do most of my shopping, holiday or not, on-line. Since Amazon doesn’t have background music like the mall stores do, the chance of hearing Happy X-Mas is slim to none. And Slim just walked out the door.

We did go to Wifey’s office Christmas party last night and they had Christmas music playing in the background. The song may have played, but luckily they had the volume low enough that I could only catch brief bits of the music hear and there. So I don’t know if it played or not. They didn’t have the old standards playing so it may have, but I didn’t hear it.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I really, really, really don’t like the usual Christmas music. Granddaughter-the-elder had her class Christmas program earlier this week. It was quite enjoyable. Other than the hand bell part, which was the old standards, the rest of the program was new music. They even did We Will Jingle, set to the tune of Queen’s We Will Rock You complete with foot stomps and hand claps. That was cool. And even better my wee bonnie lass had a small speaking part and she nailed it!

I’m thinking we will probably watch the movie this weekend. I’m sure it’s available on one of the streaming services I pay for. If not, Pay For View is always an option. As long as I can find it without commercial interruption. I absolutely despise commercials.

Today is also the Army Navy football game. This is probably the only football game I care about. And even then, not that much. I won’t watch the game since son-the-elder is currently overseas with his Army unit. But as an Army retiree, I have to say #GoArmyBeatNavy.

What are your holiday requirements and/or traditions? Get the conversation started by leaving a comment!

Peace,
B

P.S. Wifey has the old The Monkee’s TV show playing while I’m writing this, so here’s a totally unrelated video…

My favorite Michael Nesmith song!

P.P.S. The Monkees have ended and the old Partridge Family show has come on. Wifey said she didn’t remember how ugly the clothes were back then!

P.P.P.S. This is, what day 14 of the “official” Christmas season and not a single bit of the craptastic music has been played. ‘Nuff said.

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