Videos

So This Is Christmas… (part 2)

So in a galaxy far, far away I used to be a Worship Leader in a non-denominational church (Yes, it’s true. I have pictures and everything).  I had played in several worship bands for years. But that was another life.

However, during that time I found and really enjoyed the music of an Alt/Punk/Emo Christian band, Relient K. And if you’re old enough, you know the car they’re named after.   They released a Christmas album “Let It Snow… Let It Reindeer”.

Here are two great cuts from the album (that’s before CDs kiddies);

First is “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”.

Second up is “The 12 Days Of Christmas”

I tried so hard to get my worship team to play these. You should have seen the dumbstruck look on their faces.  Made me laugh, especially my 16-year-old lead guitarist.

And for classic “Christmas Music” I just had to pick a song that doesn’t mention the holiday at all, but as soon as you hear it, you know it’s Christmastime. Here is “Lucy and Linus” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” performed by The Vince Guaraldi Trio.  Naturally, this is the dance version.  I absolutely love this show. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

And you can’t do “A Charlie Brown Christmas” without Linus’ soliloquy.  From Luke 2:8-14. (Even though I don’t believe this is a true story, it is beautiful poetry. After all, that’s pretty much what the entire bible is, poetry.

Do you have any other non-traditional Christmas music to add? Or do you think, as I tend to, that it’s all rubbish?  Leave me a comment with your thoughts, please. (And don’t text me, brother o’mine).

P.S. Son, the younger® and I walked around Wal-Mart last night (shudder), and I didn’t hear “So This Is Christmas”. So I’m still waiting.

Peace,
B

So This Is Christmas…

So, is this Christmas? Maybe for the folks that insist on saying “Merry Christmas” and throw a fit if you respond with any other reply other than “Merry Christmas”.  As with most Christian holidays, Christmas is just another pagan holiday that was renamed and re-purposed (i.e. stolen) in an attempt to convert more of the local “peasant” type of folks to Christianity. Easter and All Saint’s Day are two other examples.

But Christmas isn’t the only religious celebration that happens around this time of year.

happy_holidays

Picture source: Unvirtuous Abby on Facebook, but I’m sure others have posted it as well, so I have no idea who originally created it

And despite what my credit card statements say, “Christmas” (and yes that’s the term I use for this holiday) doesn’t start for me until I randomly hear John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas (War Is Over)” played in a random store while, usually, standing around waiting on Wifey® to find “just the right color”, or something like that for someone in the family. My brother and I are the kind that will walk into a store and buys the first thing we see that suits us. Fini! Done! Let’s go have a beer! None of this going into every store in the mall only to go back and buy the thing you saw in the first store.

Plus now with online shopping, other than some clothes, that’s my preferred method of shopping. The holidays bring on enough anxiety as it is.  The stores are usually so crowded I can’t stand it.  The boys, Wifey®, and I went to the mall last night and thankfully it was damn near empty.

Christmas shopping brings on its own kind of  “performance anxiety”. When are enough presents just right?  Not worried about the boys (they’re adults now), but the little girls always make it difficult. They want everything they see on TV, especially if it’s electronic. I don’t want to get them too many things, not only does it promote over-consumption, I don’t want them thinking that I’ll buy them any and everything (even though I probably will – that’s what PaPa’s do). But at the same time, too few gifts under the tree leaves them open for ridicule from classmates and such.  It’s a fine line. Much like my credit line.

1203171715.jpg

We support the artificial tree industry by buying a new tree every two years on average. We only buy pre-lit trees (because I’m lazy) and they seem to burn out quickly. Can’t use real trees as the “fresh pine scent” aggravates my COPD (Pine-Sol does it too).

The girls wanted an “Elf On A Shelf”.  They named her Ginger (I wanted to spell it Gynger – so it sounded more like a stripper name). We know it’s a female elf because it has earrings, which of course means nothing anymore. Plenty of very “manly men” have pierced ears, but the box was labeled “female”, so that settled it. But I would still like to get away from labels.  That’s Gynger, I mean Ginger sitting on the hearth watching the girls put up the Christmas tree.

We figure since we only have the girls on the weekends, Ginger must be an apprentice elf. Since she only has 2 – 3 days to watch the girls, she gets bored sitting around the house.  But that will be the subject of another post, later in the season….  Keep watching this space!

So even though I still haven’t heard “So This Is Christmas” yet (I have at least two more shopping days planned – so get your requests in early), there is still a chance to hear it.  And even though my dear ol’ brother doesn’t like the song, he says the “war is over” should have been left out, but I disagree. He was never in the military (declared medically unfit for service during the Vietnam era).  As a vet, I heartily agree with the sentiment.

So here is the original video of the song.  As since I’m just posting the link, I don’t get to hear it. So if I haven’t randomly heard it by the 20th or so, I’ll come back here and listen to it.  Then, maybe Christmas will begin for me.

Please enjoy the video!

Peace,
B

EDIT:  My brother texted me (why he didn’t leave a comment is anybody’s guess), and corrected me. He does like the song, it’s just the “Merry Christmas” part doesn’t mix with the “war is over” part. He agrees with me that we wish all wars would end. 

Odds & Ends

I haven’t written anything in a while, not that anything is wrong, just haven’t had much to say.  Life has been quiet. So today I’ll throw out a few odds and ends on what’s been on mine and Wifey’s® minds.

Last night we were driving to the gym when a commercial for one of the big cruise ship lines came on. Doesn’t matter which one, because they all do it.  It may only make sense to those of us in Florida, or folks who like to cruise. But this is my blog, so I’m going to tell the story anyway.

The commercial will always say; “Sailing from Miami, Tampa, (sometimes Ft. Lauderdale is added here), and Orlando”.  Has anybody in the marketing departments of these cruise lines ever looked at a Florida map? Maybe they all use a marketing firm from Nebraska or another land locked state.  But in any case, here is a simple map of Florida for you to follow along with.

florida-simple-map

You will notice that Miami and Tampa are on the coast, which is good when you’re trying to dock a big assed cruise ship. Now granted if you’re in Florida you cannot be more than 80 miles from the coast (either the Atlantic or the Gulf). So where does that leave Orlando? Pretty much dead center of the state. I guess if you had a really, really good boat captain with updated charts, you may be able to sail a small, 12 foot or so, boat from somewhere on the east coast to the Orlando area. Not very likely, but just maybe. But a cruise ship? Not a chance.

So where do you sail from if you’re not really sailing from Orlando? Well, Port Canaveral of course. Even though Canaveral has the Kennedy Space Center with the astronaut hall of fame, it doesn’t have the draw that Orlando has with Disney and Universal theme parks. (You know why the Orlando airport is designated “MCO”? It stands for “Mickey Controls Orlando”).

So in truth, the cruise lines are dumbing us down by making folks think they can sail out of Orlando, which is physically impossible. Just more corporate America hoping you’ll buy into their ideas.

Next point. Something that I have hated since the Rolling Stones sold out and let Micro$oft use “Start Me Up” in a commercial for Windows 95. That’s the use of popular music in advertising. Yes, it’s been going on for ages, but it didn’t bother me until “my music” started being used. My music meaning what is generally termed “Classic Rock”, or in my day “AOR” or Album Oriented Radio.

This year’s major defiler of good music is Wal-Mart (a corporation I despise anyway). It started with their use of The Who’s “Who Are You” advertising for Halloween costumes.  It was bad enough when the “CSI” shows used that same song. Now Wal-mart is using “Get Together” by Jesse Colin Young & The Youngbloods for a Thanksgiving ad. The biggest problem? The songs fit perfectly with the ads!  DAMMIT ALL TO HELL!!!@! I want to yell and scream that they messed it up, but I can’t!

Also for all us Southeastern USA folks, the grocery store Publix used The Allman Brother’s “Jessica” as background music in their commercials for years. Guess there’s not much I (or any of us) can do about it.  Except DVR everything and skip the damn commercials.

Last thing, I promise.  And yes it’s more commercials (I hate them). Have you noticed all the medical stuff, the new medications in particular?  I love how they list all the possible side effects from hair loss, to death and everything in between. Then they tell you not to take it if you have any of the following conditions, which goes on forever. One of which is usually a very specific type of cancer or other major disease. But then comes the kicker, “Do not take if you are allergic to <insert medication they are advertising for here>.  Now how in the hell are you supposed to know if you’re allergic to it if it’s so new you’ve never taken it? I remember my days as a paramedic working in ERs and having to ask questions about drug allergies. But that was so we didn’t give the patient something they knew they were allergic to.

I can only imagine a conversation like this;

Doctor:  You have <this> condition I want to give you this brand new drug, “XYZ”, it was just released yesterday. Do you know if you are allergic to “XYZ?”

Patient: How would I know? I’ve never tried it before!

Doctor: Are you sure you’re not allergic to “XYZ”? I don’t want to get sued”.

Whatev’

That’s enough…. Let me go find a video to calm us (me) down.  This has nothing to do with the post but it’s one of “my girl’s” (Wifey® and the granddaughters – which is an awesome band name) favorites.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

 

Dodged A Bullet

On the 9th of this month, I received a phone call from my doctor’s office. The results of my recent blood work were not good. It’s was so bad that they were preparing me for a leukemia diagnosis. Needless to say, I was a bit scared. We scheduled a follow-up blood test for 3 weeks or so.

I took the follow-up on the 24th. The doctor called me back yesterday afternoon. And lo and behold, somehow my scary blood counts had returned to normal. Well, not completely normal, my cholesterol is still wacky, but that’s just wings and beer. I’m down with that.

Today I went to a hematologist, just because I wanted to make sure everything was normal and this wasn’t just a lull in a bigger battle. They took about 8 vials of blood ran several tests in the office and all seems better, although my lymphocyte count is a bit high. So she is sending that test out to see if we can determine what, if anything, the cause is. I go back in about 3 weeks to get the result.

I had a real long diary-like post I had been keeping expecting to tell the story of the diagnosis and my struggles with the disease. Well, it’s been deleted, and I’m back to posting “Random Ramblins'”. Could be worse things in life.

So me and my buddy Harvey the Skull will continue to hang out and post some videos.

1002170950.jpg

Harvey

Here’s one of my favorite Bob “The Noble Laureate” Dylan songs:

Peace,
B

 

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Ok, so it’s only been two days or so of rain. But there are areas in Central Florida that still have high water from Hurricane Irma. I realize we’re in much better shape than Texas and Puerto Rico but it still isn’t easy.

So here’s a video just because I want to…

Peace,
B

EDIT:  It’s now 1210 EDT and Wifey® informs me the sun is out! Guess this little post did its job! (As if I could influence the weather.)

Not Exactly A Useless Post

As I mentioned on my social media yesterday, my older brother and I have been texting about music. Single artists, bands you name it. We somehow ended up on women vocalists, and one of my all-time favorites, Linda Ronstadt, I had posters of her on my bedroom walls as a teenager. (Along with Anne & Nancy Wilson of Heart).

Then while browsing through YouTube I found this video of Linda and her first band The Stone Ponys.

After reading the Stone Ponys Wikipedia page I learned that “Different Drum” was written by Michael Nesmith before he became a Monkee.

Micheal was always my favorite Monkee. I watched the show every chance I got. Not only was the humor perfect for an 8-year-old, I really enjoyed the music too. It was later in life when I went back and listened to their music that realized that Micheal’s music was far better than the polished pop songs they also sang. Now those pop songs were written by some of the finest songwriters of the early sixties. Carol King & Gerry Goffin to name but two.

But it was Michael’s rawer edge that stood out to me. Plus the fact on most of his songs, he insisted that the Monkees actually played on the recordings and just not studio musicians (although they made extensive use of studio musicians on every recording).

A few interesting notes about The Monkees. Stephen Stills (of Crosby, Stills, Nash with or without Young fame) auditioned but didn’t make the cut. He did, however, recommend his friend Peter Tork to be auditioned.  Peter was the only band member other than Michael that could actually play an instrument.  The reason Michael wore a wool hat? It kept his hair out of his eyes while riding his motorcycle. And Michael’s mother invented what was later marketed as “Liquid Paper”.

So here is my favorite Monkee song of Michael’s. The video sucks, sorry. But you get two renditions of the song. The first part, take care to watch the studio musicians listed. The late Glenn Campbell is playing backup for The Monkees! Michael is producing this version, which was used on the show over the version produced by Don Kirschner.

Hope you enjoy it! Leave a comment or two, please.

Peace,
B

Playboy and Politics

When I was 17, way back in 1976, there was a certain southern gentleman running for President. A Mr. James (Jimmy) Earl Carter, Jr. to be specific. And I so wanted to vote for him, but I couldn’t. My 18th birthday was about three weeks after the election. So needless to say, all my friends that were of voting age have much fun at my expense. But Mr. Carter won, so I don’t feel too bad that I could not cast a vote.

I was so intrigued with Mr. Carter that I went to my local book stand (not big enough to call it a store) and bought the November 1976 issue of Playboy specifically for his interview. And I admit this is probably the one and only time I bought Playboy for an article. (It should be noted that Wifey® gave me a subscription to Playboy as a wedding gift – which we kept up until about 1999). And I understand if you doubt that I bought it for the interview. My dad didn’t believe me either when I gave him the copy and told him to read the interview. Dad never told me his political views, in fact asked him in 1980 who he voted for, he basically blew up in my face saying “That’s a personal decision. Don’t ever ask me that again!”  I’m pretty sure he voted for Reagan. I will go on record as voting for President Carter, dad is no longer around to state his case, but I doubt he would anyway. We were not on the friendliest terms at his passing.

I would have voted for Mr. Carter in 1976, knowing that I had already signed an enlistment contract with the US Air Force, to go active duty in October of 1976. As little as I knew of politics, I knew that democrats were very strong in the social aspects of life, while being “soft” on military. I knew that promotions and pay raises would be far and few between. I was also certain that the chances of me being sent to some far off part of the world to support some combat mission was reduced as well. Even though as a member of the USAF’s SPEC (Security Police Element for Contingencies) I was deployable anywhere at a moments notice.

It should be noted that when I did register to vote, just after I turned 18, I registered as “No Party Affiliation” and I kept that registration until 2016. When a certain Senator, Bernie Sanders, by name came along. I changed to democrat just to be able to vote in the primary. Something I had never been able to do, ever. I believe in Bernie’s ideas. I have very strong socialist leanings. I believe in everyone helping everyone else. Unfortunately human nature gets in the way. You could definitely call me a “bleeding heart liberal” something I doubt any of my brothers or sisters (including the in-laws) will claim. My mom’s thing was “charity starts at home”. And while I understand that, I feel it may start there, it HAS to go beyond the “home” (whether that be your city, state, nation or whatever – it’s a global mission).

So now we have a most deplorable POTUS. A man who has no compassion, no empathy, no respect for human dignity at all. All he cares about is himself. There has to be a way to remove him from office legally. I understand that impeachment would be difficult as he hasn’t committed any “crimes”, but what about the 25th amendment?  He is clearly delusional, if not down right paranoid schizophrenic.  Lady Gaga, a musician that I do not always agree with, but sometimes enjoy her music, stated it rather nice (and I hope your fibromyalagia doesn’t bother you anymore lady);gaga

It’s sad to say that this may be a big part of the problem. Add into the fact the San Juan Mayor (one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited) is 1)Female, 2) criticizing Trump and 3) Hispanic tells you everything you need to know.

He can’t handle a woman in power, who’s right when he’s wrong and not WASP.

America, we need to get rid of him and do one thing he promised to do that he never did, Drain The Damn Swamp. He has done nothing but make the swamp water rise. I would love nothing better than to see him removed from office, in any legal manner, then exiled from the USA. We do not need his hate and white supremacy any longer. Let America join the rest of the world in open acceptance of our brothers and sisters. Let America stop its “colonization” of the world. We have done enough damage to the Native Americans, the People of Color, the Immigrants (all the way back to the Irish slaves), and more for a lifetime.

Stop the hate. Go read “Letter From A Birmingham Jail” by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I just reread it last month. A true visionary he was. I’ll end with on of my favorite quotes of his;

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth101472.html

We need Love.  And just in case you’re wondering, the November 1976 Playmate was Patti McGuire (you never forget your first). She was also the Playmate of the Year… Just a FYI…

Enjoy the video:

More End-Of-The-World Craziness

This morning over on Twitter (@beachdaze if you want to follow me), Emily Miller (@emmillerwrites to follow her) of RNS (@RNS to follow them) posted the daily Slingshot. It’s a short roundup on interesting religious articles. I usually find at least one, if not more articles that I find  more than amusing.  Today’s was about Nibiru or Planet X as it’s been called.  Supposedly this “Planet X” is going to collide with earth on September 23, 2017. Yes friends, we have but days, no, just hours to live! Why were we not informed of this earlier? Surely NASA (more likely Elon Musk) could have come up with a rocket to whisk at least a remnant of humanity away to safety.

But no. And why? Because it’s all BS anyway.  David Meade, the crackpot behind all this is using numerology to decipher the dates.  Numerology? And the number 33 specifically. I just can’t make this up!

Read the entire article here.  Make up your own mind. I’m pretty sure come September 24th, around 5:30PM, I’ll be opening a craft beer as usual. Feel free to join me.

And of course there’s a video for you too.

Peace,
B

Nothing To Say…

I have nothing to say today other than we finally had power restored last night, one week after Hurricane Irma hit.

So I figured I’d post a video for the way I’m feeling.. although I’m way past 45…

Peace,
B