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Just keeping the blog name relevant here..

Seems to me that Mars (AKA the red planet) is turning into an interplanetary Club Med.  The UAE, China, and now NASA have all sent rockets out that way.  I’m thinking that a Motel 8 with an attached Denny’s will be built soon.  But we all know that it all comes crashing down on 5 April 2385.  What, you don’t watch Star Trek: Picard?  Shame on you.


Seems mother nature is at it again.  #Floriduh is once again in her sights as a tropical storm is bearing down on us.

But it’s only a tropical storm so us natives don’t get too excited. We just check the battery cabinet, grab another adult beverage and call it a day.  Besides this is, as of now, a rather disorganized storm. Not to mention it is expected to cross over Hispaniola and its rather tall mountain range, a known storm killer.  As the image show, the current track takes it east of us which means the strongest part of the storm will be on the other side, out in the Atlantic.  I am so very happy that I am not working my last job anymore.  I would be getting ready for another stay in the lovely EOC if the storm does hit.  Tropical storms are anything but predictable, so this may change.  Watch this space!


On the genealogy side, I found two cousins that appear to be on the Campbell side!  This is most unusual, as I’ve always maintained that my Campbells won’t do a DNA test lest we be connected to a 15th century cattle raid.  We Campbells’ aren’t the most trustworthy lot, after all.  As both these matches are just beginning their family trees, I can’t yet place them on my tree.  Hopefully, they will take my offer to help them get going and we can find our common ancestors.  Only time will tell.


I did enjoy the way many of our news outlets stated the testimony of several of our big tech companies had before members of congress yesterday.  To paraphrase “Congress to grill tech CEOs”.  I offered to bring the charcoal, but nobody took me up on the offer.  Their loss.


Things here at the house are changing.  Seems that our granddaughters will be here full time.  Meaning my thoughts of a “quiet retirement” have been changed.  Not that it bothers me.  I look forward to having them here to do their remote schoolwork.  The tech available at our house is much better than what is available at other family members homes.  I will have to get at least a part time job to offset the additional costs that are associated with having two more folks here full time, but in all honesty, I was already looking. 


Remember this meme from before the 2016 election?

It’s becoming more and more true.  Our “Dear Leader” will not say if he will accept the November election results if he loses, and today floated the idea that the election should be delayed “…until people can properly, securely, and safely vote???”.   The “last president” indeed.  I do fear a civil war is brewing.


For those of us here in #Floriduh (and I can call it that as a native-born son), our “Dear Leader” Governor Ron DeSantis has spawned several new memes.

I have long referred to him #GovRonDeMoron or #GovRonDeVirus, but #DeathSantis fits so much better.  Once we can get rid of him we can go back to being #Florida.  Yes, #FloridaMan and #FloridaWoman will still help keep us #Floriduh, provided of course that they survive.


Seems that beers sales are bouncing back.  Well, I had nothing to do with that for once.  I’ve been avoiding beer as of late, although the growler of Pale Ale son-the-younger brought home from his work last night was very tasty.  The main reason I’ve been avoiding beer is the carbohydrates.  I am trying to lose weight although at my age that’s neigh on impossible.   I’m hoping that even a part time job will get me out of the house enough removing me from the snack box.  Whisky on the other hand is a genuinely nice substitute.


Wifey and I are ready to go back to Scotland. Who’s with us??


Have to figure out where all the coffee is going. It seems we are buying bags and bags of beans every week. You don’t think my being home all day has anything to do with it, do you? Nah…


Finally, get out and #VOTE.  Yes, I’m talking to you.  I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, nor ask you who you did vote for.  I will ask you if you plan on voting.  I will vote via mail this year.  Having been in the military for so long it seems second nature to me.  Plus, I hate standing in line for anything!


Here is a totally unrelated video for you.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Singer-Songwriters – Chapter One

Before we begin this series, I need your input; what exactly (in your most humble opinion), is a “Singer – Songwriter”?  Does one have to be a solo act, or are band members in amongst this talented group?

Case in point – Paul Simon (you can read my thoughts on Paul here).  He is most definitely a singer – songwriter, but does he qualify for his solo work only, or does his work recorded under the Simon and Garfinkle duo count as well?  The same could be asked of any of The Beatles or Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

As per my usual, I asked my brother his thoughts.  He says, and I tend to agree with him, that anyone that has written the song that they’re singing qualifies. In that way, any of the gentlemen in The Beatles or CSN&Y qualify.  For the most part, I will limit myself to solo artists for now, with some exceptions such as Mr. Simon and maybe a few others.

So, I ask you, dear reader, to leave a comment with your thoughts.  I won’t guarantee I’ll take your advice, but let your vote be counted anyway.  Also, please let me know any folks you would think qualify for this list (or any other of my series).  As with my other list, Guitar Gods (in the process of being expanded to Guitar Gods & Wizards), this list is in my head only.  As such names are likely to be forgotten (hey – I’m old!) and a reminder now and then would be helpful.

One last note on suggestions.  Please leave all comments here on the blog.  Anything placed on the various social media sites are not likely to be seen quickly.  I have become very scarce on most social media, and Facebook particularly.  Now, on with our first of the “Singer – Songwriters”.


Carole King Klein (born Carol Joan Klein; February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1962 and 2005.

King’s major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King’s success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.

King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored. She is also a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.

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

As most young kids of the time, my musical introduction to her was the Tapestry album.  I bought a pirated 8-track (told you I was old!) at a flea market, and promptly wore it out.  I was lucky enough to see Ms. King live on Halloween night, 1975.  It was a David Crosby and Graham Nash concert and she joined them for a couple of songs.  It was spectacular. 

As the quote above mentions, along with her then husband she wrote so many songs that other artists recorded.  I remember how surprised I was when I learned that they wrote “The Loco Motion”.  As far as I was concerned that was a Grand Funk Railroad tune, not to mention the Herman’s Hermits hit “I’m Into Something Good” or Aretha Franklin’s monster hit “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. I could go on and on.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter Three

For us music geeks the sad news this weekend that Peter Green had passed away came as a real blow.  May folks may not know who he was, so here’s a quick recap.  He was the guy that replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.  Still not ringing a bell?  He was a founding member of Fleetwood  Mac.  Surely, you’ve heard of that band!

Of course, the version of Fleetwood mac you probably recognize is not the original group.  Seems that back in 1966 (I won’t mention who young I was) Peter left the Bluesbreakers taking drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, who had only been with the Bluesbreakers for a few weeks to start Fleetwood Mac as a blues band.  Fleetwood Mac didn’t really become the commercial juggernaut of rock/pop fame until Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham came along a bit later.

Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum; 29 October 1946 – 25 July 2020) was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross“, “Black Magic Woman“, “Oh Well“, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World“, appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians.

Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing; he was interested in expressing emotion in his songs, rather than showing off how fast he could play[8] and used string bendingvibrato, and economy of style.

Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. His tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Green_(musician)

Peter was featured on the Bluesbreakers album A Hard Road in 1967 with two of his songs making the album.  One of which is featured below.  I have also featured one of my favorites of his originals here.

It seems that Peter may have really messed his head up with a bad acid trip in March 1970 while in Munich.  Most reports say this was the beginning of his mental illness issues.  He did spend time getting treatment and managed to get back to playing about 1979.

In 1988 Green was quoted as saying: “I’m at present recuperating from treatment for taking drugs. It was drugs that influenced me a lot.  I took more than I intended to. I took LSD eight or nine times. The effect of that stuff lasts so long … I wanted to give away all my money … I went kind of holy – no, not holy, religious.  I thought I could do it, I thought I was all right on drugs.  My failing!”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Green_(musician)

He was 73 when he died in his sleep on the 25th of July, 2020.  He will be missed.

Peace,
B

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Another Friday Feeling

“There is something very odd going on ‘round here” said Colonel Mustard to Miss Scarlett. 

OK, maybe that’s not a real quote.  But what I’m getting at is that certain posts on this blog have way more traffic than they deserve. 

I have noticed over the last few months or so that the That Friday Feeling post shows up on the stats page every Friday.  It’s not that I mind, it’s just weird.  I don’t think that someone has bookmarked it as a way of finding this little happy assed blog.  No, every time it’s a Goggle search and it seems to come out of the UK.  So welcome again to whomever it is!

On that note, two other posts seem to show more often on the stats page. Both are quite old posts too.  It does seem that someone(s) have bookmarked the How We Spent Our Thanksgiving Week – Day 3 from 2017, and they use that to navigate this site.  Wouldn’t have been easier just to bookmark the Home Page?

The other frequently seen post is Sit, Stand, Kneel… Good Dog.  This is also a 2017 post.  I can see why this post continues to be viewed as it has to do with Colin Kaepernick and the BLM movement. 

Obviously, I had nothing interesting to write about today.  Deal with it.  Here’s a random video for you.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter Two

Today is a 3 for 1 blue light special!

No, I’m not trying to get through my list quick.  I thought it would be cool to combine several of the gods in one post.  There is an exceptionally good chance that all these gentlemen will appear here again.

This is a song written by George Harrison, and the lead guitar on the original recording (on The Beatles AKA “The White Album”) is played by Eric Clapton, and here is Peter Frampton doing it live.  I also saw covers by lots of other guitar wizards, but I went with this one mainly because as I was starting this post, as only a 2 for 1, with George and Eric. Then I heard Peter’s cover playing on the radio.  So, I changed the video and went with this one.

As I mentioned this was originally on the White Album; 

While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. The song serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles following their return from studying Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band’s initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.

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

I have featured this song here and here.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 18 July

On one of the (too many) news feeds I read, Far Out Magazine has been posting a look back at some early songs by The Beatles. The web site (linked above) covers a very wide range of music and other artsy things.

This particular track was mentioned a few days ago and although the song itself hasn’t stuck with me the way John intro’s the song has. The video has a little bit of an interview that isn’t really all that interesting. The good part starts about 50 seconds in.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Guitar Gods – Chapter One

So…  Happy anniversary to me!  Today marks the 3rd anniversary of this here silly assed blog, AND the 12th anniversary of me on Twitter, which is even more silly assed!  So, I got that going for me.

But of course, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (been a while since I’ve used that line and thank you Mr. Guthrie).

For those of you that have been paying attention you may have noticed my every now and then mentioning a certain list of guitar gods.  On this most auspicious day (see paragraph one above) I feel it’s time to start honoring those gods (and goddesses).  As a reminder, this list has not been written down, it’s all in “me ‘ead”.  As such, it is a very fluid list.  Any ranking on said list is purely whimsical and is subject to change depending on my mood and/or alcohol consumption.

For those that know me best the artist I’m using to start this series off may come as a surprise.  Those that have been reading this blog (and thanks to each and every one of you) know that my “top three” guitar gods, both chronologically and favoritism are Mike Nesmith, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton.  I have featured each of those artists many times, so I went with someone else this time.

I guess it’s not all that surprising that my favorite songs by this gentleman are instrumental. After all, Carlos Santana doesn’t sing on his recordings. He is first and foremost a guitarist.  I can’t say for sure, but I would think the name Santana, as a band, first hit me with Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen. After all the AM radio stations didn’t play tracks like Soul Sacrifice it just wasn’t radio friendly. Along with the aforementioned Soul Sacrifice, the other great instrumentals I can dig are Samba Pa Ti and Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile).  

I remember the first time I heard Europa. When that track hit the stylus on my turntable everything else stopped. The sustain Carlos gets out of his guitar then followed by the machine gun like riffs just blew me away.

To see a young Carlos and band, check out the footage from Woodstock.  Rumor has it that Carlos was tripping on LSD while on stage.  Their set was delayed by a rain storm and Carlos was hanging out with Jerry Garcia (he of course is on the list as well) in the artist trailer and well, you can imagine what happened.

Major rock music promoter Bill Graham, a Latin Music aficionado who had been a fan of Santana from its inception, arranged for the band to appear at the Woodstock Music and Art Festival before its debut album was even released. Its set was one of the surprises of the festival, highlighted by an eleven-minute performance of a throbbing instrumental, “Soul Sacrifice”. Its inclusion in the Woodstock film and soundtrack album vastly increased the band’s popularity.

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

Here is a live video with two my favorite instrumentals.  Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 29 June

Coronavirus Edition Part 8

So… Yesterday we celebrated Father’s Day.  Yes, we were a week late (for the USA), but this was the first time in about 4 years we’ve had both of our sons together.  We are a military family.  For new readers, I am a retired US Army and son-the-elder is active Army.  So, we are very used to celebrating holidays that don’t match everyone else’s calendar. We really don’t give a rat’s ass. We celebrate when we want to.  Get over it, we don’t care if it messes with your calendar. My son and I have dedicated over 30 years to protecting your way of life.  We understand that you may not agree with either of our outlooks.  But understand that we have protected your right to have a difference of opinion.  If you don’t like that fact – go the fuck away. Plain and simple.

So anyway, while over-imbibing on various adult beverages, this silly assed clip came up. Between the several veterans in attendance (although this clip had nothing to do militarily with this post), all felt this was worthy of a post.  It does bear to note that we are all of Scots descent, and that does bear to mind this post.

Wifey and I are just over a year since our trip to the homeland, Scotland, just in case that hasn’t jumped out at you yet. One thing that stands out for me, is that it’s funny that I have problems with TV shows with characters with any kind of accent, be it British, Scottish, Spanish, etc., I have major problems understanding the dialog.  But while in country, I had no problems at all.  Therefore, I blame it on TV. My ears are fine (no, not really).   But still, TV sucks.

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

P.S. Next weekend is Granddaughter-The-Elder and Wifey’s birthdays. Just and wait and see what happens then!

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What’s Stuck In My Head – 16 June

Coronavirus Edition Part 7

Before I get into the music, let’s do a quick catch-up since it’s been awhile since my last post.

Wifey starts her new job today.  She was laid off due to the coronavirus on St. Patrick’s Day (17 March for those that don’t have a calendar handy). She’s back in a law office, which is what she was doing for the last 5 years or so.  And trying to claim unemployment here in #Floriduh has been a pain.  But we made it work (again).

Obviously, I made it through the cardiac ablation fine.  I haven’t had a follow up with the cardiologist that did the procedure yet, but I did have a follow up with my regular cardiologist and have a tele-medicine call with my family doctor tomorrow. No big warning signs have popped up, although my blood glucose is trending a bit high as well as my blood pressure.  I’m blaming the blood pressure on the fact that I have had the anti-arrhythmia drugs stopped.  Plus the fact that I am more than a bit overweight, which adds to both the blood pressure and glucose issues.  Neither of the “problems” are serious at this time.  Wifey and I are trying to maintain a better diet and now that my heart is beating normal again, we have restarted our walking in the mornings.  The biggest issue I have from the procedure is the itching from where they shaved my groin for all the catheters they used.  By my count I had one catheter in my right femoral vein, four in my left femoral vein and one in the left femoral artery.  Even though I had stopped the Eliquis (blood thinner) two days prior to the procedure, I still bruised badly.

Other good news is that son-the-younger also has found a new job, and son-the-elder has finally made it back stateside from his Europe deployment, but back home quite yet.

Now, on to the music.

I have no clue why this is stuck in my head.  I am not that big of fan of Mr. Springsteen.  It is notable that the line “Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk” is what keeps repeating.  Realizing of course, that “talk” rhymes with “walk”, I’m more used to hearing that guitarists strive to make their instruments “sing”.  But then again, Bruce doesn’t really sing all the well either.  Not that I do any better, but still.  In retrospect, it’s no worse that Eric Clapton and George Harrison using the line “Then I told ‘bout our kid / Now he’s married to Mabel”.  Mabel rhymes with “table” the last word of the previous verse.  Artistic license as it best/worst?

I picked this version of the song simply because of Melissa Etheridge.  I had a cassette tape of her first album when I was stationed in Korea.  I wore that tape out.  I love her voice!

Enjoy!

Peace,
B

P.S. I had blood work done yesterday and I just got the results. My glucose is firmly in the normal area. So disregard the above!

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Quiet Time

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late, but I am just overwhelmed with everything that is going on. Between the coronavirus, the riots, and being back in the hospital with cardiac issues, I’m not sure where I am most days. Plus, I have to back in the hospital on Tuesday for a cardiac catheter ablation procedure. Not really looking forward to the procedure but hoping that it will stop the A-Fib I’ve been dealing with for about 5 years now.  We’ll see.

So, dear readers, please keep safe and healthy.

Peace,
B

#BlackLivesMatter