Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Stan Lee

Stan Lee is 85 years old today. Stan is the co-creater of Spiderman, Avengers, Ironman, Hulk and many other great Marvel comic book characters.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

Christmas has come and gone. It's been a crazy season, but hopefully things will calm down shortly. The next few days are pretty busy with returns and such. Just wanted to post a note and thank everyone that left me good words for this first Christmas without my Dad. It meant a lot to know that there are so many good people out there thinking good thoughts for me. Thank you all.

Christmas was a good time for all. Mom enjoyed it and many gifts were exchanged. My brother went all out with the meal, cooking a turkey and ham. I hope to post pictures this weekend.

I hope everyone else had a great Christmas and that the new year will be good for everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mom's Coming

My Mom's driving down from Tennessee tomorrow to spend Christmas with me and my brother. She's going to spend a few days here and than head across the lake and go to my brother's house. I'm glad she's coming down. My Dad loved Christmas, he was like a little kid waking up early on Christmas morning, so this is going to be a hard holiday. I know I haven't been posting as much as I normally do or visiting everyone, but this time of the year is so busy with my job and I think it's just been extra hard with this being the first Christmas without my Dad. I don't normally make New Year's resolutions, but this year I promise to get back to blogging and visiting everyone more.

Christmas Music: Beatles

Buddy Miller at VOICES TO HEAR

I know I missed a week, but I'm back. Over at VOICES TO HEAR we feature Buddy Miller this week. Go check it out.

Christmas Music: Run DMC

Happy Birthday James Booker

I'm running a little late on this one, as his birthday is Decemeber 17 and I'm slipping into the 18th now, but it's been a long day at work.

James Booker was born in New Orleans on December 17, 1939. Mr. Booker died November 8, 1983. He was a gifter pianist that could play in any style of music.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Music: Faith Hill

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

For anyone that has read the final Harry Potter book the Tale of Beedle the Bard will be familar. JK Rowlings has hand written seven copies of this book. The first six went to friends that were helpful during the writing of the Potter books. The seventh was auctioned off and the procedures are going to a charity for children. Amazon.com won the auction, the book went for close to four million dollars. You can see more about it here. (Actual pictures of the book and the pages.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke turns 90 today. Mr. Clarke is the author of such science ficiton greats as Childhood's End, 2001: A Space Odyssesy, Rendevous With Rama and too many to list here. He's considered one of the Big Three of Science Fiction writers, the other two being Robert Heinlien and Isaac Asimov and the only one of the three still alive. When I was growing up I read everything of his I could get my hands on. He has been living in Sri Lanka since 1956. In 1988 he was diaganosed with poilo and is confined to a wheelchair. His many predictions in articles in the 1950's were of radar, satellites and many other at the time science fiction but we now consider science fact.

Mr. Clarke's stories fell into that camp of science fiction known as hard science, where the science in the stories always was as accurate as could be. His most famous "law" is: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

If you've never read anything of his give it a try. He has a large body of novels as well as short story collections out there. I remember the first time I read Rendevous with Rama and just being in awe of the story.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Music: Bruce Springsteen

The video on this isn't the best, especially at the start, but than it gets better.

Christmas Music: Benny Grunch

This singer was featured yesterday in my New Orleans' memories, but this is a classic New Orleans' Christmas song so I had to feature it.

Daughty

Billboard has named Daughty's self titled album the number one selling album of the past year. It sold 3.2 million. The next up was Akon's "Konvicted" which sold 2.7 million. Now I know I'm in the minority here (obviously if 3.2 million people bought it) but I did not care for Daughty's album. I found his album represented everything I dislike about a lot of today's music. I found it so generic, drop it in the midst of half a dozen other "hot" hard rock groups of today and they all sound alike. He takes great pride in the fact that his album was so often compared to Nickleback and how much alike they sounded. Whatever happened to originality?

When Chris Daughty first appeared on American Idol I liked him. He and Taylor became my two favorites very quickly. (I never cared for Katherine McPhee. She always came off to me as thinking she was too good for everyone else. I'm not saying that's how she really was, just how she came across to me on the show.) I lost a lot of respect for Daughty though after he did the Johnny Cash song. When I first heard it I thought it was great and a very original take on the classic. The judges all agreed and he didn't say anything to make anyone think he didn't come up with the arrangement. The next week it was discovered that he copied the band Live's version of the Johnny Cash song. Which isn't bad, except for letting everyone think it was your arrangement. After that I wasn't as big a fan of Mr. Daughty.

I did buy his album when it first came out. It's probably the only album I have (and I have a lot of albums) that I have not listened to completely. I just couldn't get through it. I've tried a few times and everytime I find myself hitting the eject button before it makes it halfway through.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Writers Strike

Bush Vetoes Kids Health Plan

No child left behind, right, George?

Ike Turner Dead

Ike Turner was found dead at his home today at the age of 76. Best known as half of Ike and Tina Turner he was presently on something of a comeback. Last year he won a Grammy for best blues album. What was the first Rock and Roll record? The answer to that question could take a lot more time than we have here, but his record "Rocket 88" in 1951 is one of the strongest contenders for that honor. The record was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats. Jackie was the sax player and lead singer, but the song was written by Ike.

Later he met a teenager from Nutbush Tennessee named Anna Mae Bullock and the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was born. Ike and the former Anna Mae, now known as Tina, were soon married and on the road. But Ike proved an abusive husband and eventually Tina left him to go on her own.

While Tina had a hugely successful career on her own Ike's career spiraled downwards and he ended up on drugs and eventually in prison. The last decade of his life he was on the road and recording new music.

Here's their version of "River Deep, Mountain High."

Memories of New Orleans

There's not much more I can say about this video and song, but it describes people I know, the people who live in this small town we call New Orleans.

Christmas Music: Kelly Clarkson

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Music: Darlene Love

In 1963 Phil Spector, back when he was known for being a genius record producer and not a murder suspect, put together a Christmas album that is one of the landmark Holiday albums of all time, A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector. One of the main singers on the album was Darlene Love. Ms. Love was the singer for such gems as "He's A Rebel" credited to the Crystals and she was the lead singer for the group Bobbie Sox and the Blue Jeans. Starting in 1986 Darlene Love has sung this song on the last new show of The David Letterman show before he breaks for the Christmas season. This version she has the USAF singing with her.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Music: John Lennon

One of my all time favorite Christmas songs.

John Lennon 1940-1980

I've been offline for the last week and didn't get a chance to post on December 8. That date is the day that John Lennon was gunned down by Mark David Chapman in New York City. It's one of those days that I will always remember. I was still living at home, I had just turned on the television and the end of the news was on. I caught just the end of someone being shot in New York. I hadn't watched tv earlier that night, so I missed Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football interrupting the game to announce it. After the news MASH came on. I sat down to watch the show. Within about ten minutes they interrupted the show to announce that John Lennon had been shot and killed in New York City earlier.

I was stunned. For me music begins with the Beatles. The first 45 I purchased was the Beatles' "Eight Days A Week." The first album I bought was "Beatles 65." I grew up on the Beatles. And while I thought all four were great, John Lennon was always something of a hero to me.

John was a flawed man and he was the first to admit it. He said and did things that he knew were hurtful. He wasn't the best father or husband. But he tried. He tried to make the world a better place. He wasn't afraid to appear foolish or dumb in that quest.

I have a pile of magazines and newspaper clippings from that time that I have not looked at since. I haven't been able to bring myself to go back and look at them since that day. Maybe one day I will. I have tapes of interviews he had done just before his death. It's heartbreaking listening to him talk about how happy he was and how much he looked forward to the future. He and Yoko had just released "Double Fantasy," his first new music in five years.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Still Here

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still here, just with work and not really feeling that well lately combined with the internet being out for a few days and it all adds up to me not being online much. Hopefully things will change soon and I'll be back to making more posts than most of you want to read in one sitting. b

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New VOICES TO HEAR


I'm running a little late with the new Spotlight over at VOICES TO HEAR. My internet connection was down for the weekend so I haven't had a chance to get it done, but it's up now. Go check it out, the Spotlight this week is on the rock group Marah.

Writers Strike

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Writers Strike Love Story

I found this over at Collen Doran's site adistantsoil.comCollen is a talented artist/writer that has worked for all the major comic book publishers and is the creator of the comic series A Distant Soil. She had this up on her site and I just had to post it here, this is really funny. Really Really funny.

Speechless #16



A side note, the woman in the glasses is Patricia Clarkson who is from New Orleans. Her Mom is on the city council.

Writers Strike

According to United Hollywood site the producers have offered the writers a deal. This is the deal:

When an hourlong episode of television is streamed on the Internet, writers would get a flat $250 payment for one year of reuse. That's $250 as opposed to, for example, $20,000 per episode when it's reused on network television. They proposed nothing new on downloads, it's still the DVD formula for those (ie. two-thirds of a penny for an iTunes download). For theatrical movies, they're offering exactly $0.00 on streaming. Oh, and they want to be able to define any content they like as "promotional" -- for which they would pay zero dollars. Even if they stream an entire film or tv episode, and even if they sell ads on it, they can call that promotional and pay us nothing.


So the writers will be striking for awhile longer.

Christmas Music: Bing Crosby and David Bowie

This one has a little backstory for me. Back when he was alive Bing Crosby had an annual Christmas special on TV. I remember when I was a kid watching the special when David Bowie appeared on the show with Bing. This is the type of match up you would think wouldn't work, but somehow these two great singers make it work.

Bushisms of the Day

President Bush: "Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?"
Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times: "I can take them off."
Bush: "I'm interested in the shade look, seriously."
Wallsten: "All right, I'll keep it, then."
Bush: "For the viewers, there's no sun."
Wallsten: "I guess it depends on your perspective."
Bush: "Touche.
--an exchange with legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten, to whom Bush later apologized, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006

BOOK FUN

What 20th-century muckracker spent the latter years of his life investigating ancient Athens for his book The Trial of Socrates?

Yesterday's answer: Winston Churchill's

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

The classic "Reelin' in the Years" is from what Steely Dan record?

Yesterday's answer: Olivia Newton-John

WORD A DAY

POLLYANNA: a person characterized by irrepressible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything

In her 1913 novel Pollyanna, American author Eleanor Hodgman Porter introduced an orphan whose father had taught her "to find something about everything to be glad about." Pollyanna called her goodness quests the "just being glad game," and she played it to the hilt. The characters in the book admired Pollyanna's ability to look on the bright side, but in the real world people often find such excessive optimism a bit nauseating. That more cynical attitude toward extreme cheerfulness prompted people to start using the character's name as a term for anyone given to blind optimism and what some writers called "sentimental rot."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Music: White Christmas by Bing Crosby

Between now and Christmas I think I'm going to post Christmas music on here. This is from the movie Holiday Inn, a great movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. I really like this song.

Charlie Brown and Scrubs

This is the Charlie Brown Christmas special with the voices of the actors from Scrubs. Very strange.

Writer Strike News

Talks continue between the studios and the writers. I've read that things are going great and things are going terrible. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Carson Daly is back to work on his late night show. David Letterman has been paying his staff while the strike continues and Jay Leno is out on the picket lines delivering donuts. And Carson decides to cross the picket lines...

Speechless

Tune Up

I've worked on the blog some, dropping some stuff on the sidebars, trying to clean it up. I know I have a lot of stuff that probably makes loading it a pain, so I've tried to streamline it some. I've also dropped a few blogs and added some new ones. I've still got some more work to do one here, but it's going to be a little longer to get everything back to the way I want it completely.

Bushisms of the Day

"I've reminded the prime minister-the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship." George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2006

BOOK FUN

What statesman's six-volume series The Second World War opens with The Gathering Storm?

Yesterday's answer: The Annoyance Bureau

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Celebrating her birthday today, "I Honestly Love You" was a #1 hit for this female vocalist in 1974.

Yesterday's answer: The Partridge Family

WORD A DAY

CALUMNY: false and malicious accusation

"Calumny" comes from the Middle French word calmonie, which traced to the Latin word calumnia, meaning "false claim," or "trickery." The original Latin base was calvi, meaning "to deceive."

The 10 Best Books of 2007


This is according to the New York Times. Unfortunately I haven't read any of these books.

American Anthemn

This is from Norah Jones and the end of the Ken Burns' documentary THE WAR. A very moving song without having to resort to the jingoism that a lot of "partriotic" songs seem to.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Entertainer of the Year

Look who was named Entertainer of the Year by Entertainment Weekly! Well deserved. And this is a great magazine to keep up with the entertainment industry. They stay away from the majority of gossip and rumor and talk about what's actually going on.

Speechless

My Day

Where are all the hours going? It seems that I just get started on something and it's the end of the day. I was off today and had some running around to do; Christmas shopping and grocery shopping. Than I came home and worked on the MySpace VOICES TO HEAR page and before I knew it the time was after eight. Where did the day go? It seems all my days are like this lately, I can't get anything finished before the day is over. Are they making the days shorter or something?

VOICES TO HEAR on My Space

I've put a My Space page for VOICES TO HEAR. Mainly just to direct traffic towards the main VOICES TO HEAR site. I've added a few pics from Jazz Fest here and plan to add more pics on this page than probably the main site. Check it out.

Bushisms of the Day

"One thing is clear, is relations between America and Russia are good, and they're important that they be good." --George W. Bush, Strelna, Russia, July 15, 2006

BOOK FUN

What agency, according to a Lucy Frank book, controls everything from screaming babies to unopenable pistachio nuts?

Yesterday's answer: Susan Veerland

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

What T.V. show abouta fictional musical family premiered on this day in 1970?

Yesterday's answer: Goo Goo Dolls

WORD A DAY

VOUCHSAFE: 1a: to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending way b: to give by way of reply 2: to grant as a privilege or special favor

Speechless: More on the Writers Strike

Bushisms of the Day

"See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s**t, and it's over." --George W. Bush, chomping on a dinner roll while talking about the Middle East crisis with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 summit, St. Petersburg, Russia, July 17, 2006

BOOK FUN

Who wrote The Passion of Artemisia, about the first woman painter elected to Italy's famed Accademia dell'Arte?

Yesterday's answer: Christopher Marlowe

Monday, November 26, 2007

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

This band led by Johnny Rzeznik had a number of hit songs on movie soundtracks in the 1990's including "Long Way Down" (Twister), "Lazy Eye" (Batman and Robin), "Iris" (City of Angels).

Yesterday's answer: Warren Zevon

WORD A DAY

RATHSKELLER: a usually basement tavern or restaurant

"Rathskeller" derives from two German nouns: Rat (also spelled Rath in early Modern German), meaning "council," and Keller, which means "cellar." The etymology reflects the fact that at one time many rathskellers were located in the basements of council houses, which were equivalent to town halls. (The oldest rathskeller found in Germany today is said to date from the first half of he 13th century.) The earliest known use of "rathskeller" in English dates from 1766, but the word wasn't commonly used until the 1900s. Although the German word is now spelled Ratskeller, English writers have always preferred the spelling with the "h" - most likely to avoid any association with the word "rat."

Watchmen Movie

For comic book fans Watchmen is the Holy Grail of comic books. Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons it was the superhero comic series that showed such work could be more than just POW! BANG! SMASH! Zach Snyder from 300 is directing the movie version of the comic. Above is a shot from the set. The character walking by seems to be Rorschach.

Kevin DuBrow Found Dead

The lead singer of the heavy metal group Quiet Riot, Kevin DuBrow was found dead in his home. No cause was given yet.


More VOICES TO HEAR



Today is Monday which means it's time for new addition to our weekly spotlight over at Voices to hear. Today's voice we spotlight is a young woman from Boston named Lily Holbrook. Anyone that glances at my sidebar on this blog will know how much a fan of Lily I am. Lily was also the first artist that responded back to me about my Simply Six interview. She emailed me back right before Thanksgiving and said she would do it and get it back to me as soon as she could. This was a big thing for me because I was afraid that my interview requests were going to just vanish in a computer limbo and I might not hear back from anyone. She didn't become the first one posted, Shannon McNally actually emailed me back a finished interview, but Lily let me know I wasn't beating my head up against a wall for nothing.

Manic Monday #13: Rank

Wow, I haven't done one of these in awhile. But I'm going to try and start over again. Today's word is Rank. My choice is the punk-cowboy musical group Rank and File. This group was formed by the Kinman brothers, Chip and Tony - formerly of the punk group The Dils. Another member of this group was the legendary Alejandro Escovedo. He ended up leaving the group before the release of their third album. Their second album Sundown is considered something of a classic in the genre. The Kinman brothers went on to form Cowboy Nation more recently.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bushisms of the Day

"The United States of America is engaged in a war against an extremist group of folks." --George W. Bush, McLean, Va., Aug. 15, 2006

BOOK FUN

What 29-year-old contemporary of Shakespeare's was stabbed to death while arguing over the bill at Eleanor Bull's tavern?

Yesterday's answer: Mexico and Poland

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

From his rowdy Excitable Boy album (1978), the song "Accidentally Like A Matyr," shows this man's softer side.

Yesterday's answer: The Shirelles

WORD A DAY

SEQUACIOUS: intellectually servile

"Sequacious" traces back to the Latin sequac - (or sequax), which means "inclined to follow" and comes from sequi, "to follow." The original and now archaic meaning of "sequacious" was "inclined to follow" or "subservient, tractable." Although that meaning might as easily describe someone who willingly dropped into line behind a war leader, or who was unusually compliant or obedeient in any sense, the concept gradually narrowed into the image of someone who blindly adopts another's ideas without much thought. Labeling a person "sequacious" is not very complimentary, implying a slavish willingness to adopt a thought or opinion. It is also possible to accuse someone of "sequacity," but that would be equally unkind.

New Feature on VOICES TO HEAR

Over at VOICES TO HEAR I've started a new feature called Simply Six. Basically it's Simply Six Questions I've emailed to some of the artists that I've featured on that site. I didn't want to take a lot of their time and I figured six simple quick questions would work the best. And asking the same questions will be interesting to see the different answers from each artist. I have to admit when I sent the first group of emails out I was thinking I might not hear anything back. Voices to hear is far from an established site and they really have no reason to spend the time answering my questions. Well I crossed my fingers and just before Thanksgiving I heard back from one artist that she would be happy to do it and would get the answers back shortly. And than I received an email from Shannon McNally with the answers to the questions. So that was two that had answered from an initial group of five. And it hasn't been that long, so I'm hopeful to hear from some of the others. But I'll admit that I'm pretty happy to hear from the two I have so far. So click on the logo and go check it out. I think it's pretty cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

WKRP Thanksgiving

I've posted this before for Thanksgiving and I'm sorry I know I missed the actual day itself, but felt like I had to post it again. This is one of the funniest moments in Television history. It's two parts, but its worth watching both parts. The ending with Mr. Carlson is classic.



Send A Pencil In Support of the Writers

I got this from United Hollywood Page:

Here's what's being done by fans for the WGA strike: "Now is the time to save ALL our shows. MAIL PENCILS pencils to the AMPTP and to any studios whose shows you enjoy...
Maybe we can help the studios see just how much support the WGA has. And maybe, just maybe, we can give them a graceful way out (not because they're buckling under the writers' demands, but because they care so much about their audience. Us. And isn't that supposed to be their job?"
-- Nikki Finke, 11/12/07


Okay, what is Pencils2MediaMoguls?
We’re asking people to use our site to buy pencils to send to the six media moguls who run the six corporate conglomerates.

Why pencils?
A lot of different fan sites were suggesting that people send pencils to networks and studios. United Hollywood and Strike Points met with some of the television showrunners, and together we decided to follow the fans’ lead.

Pencils have become the symbol of our cause: We are putting them down until we get a fair deal.

Symbolism, whatever. Let’s face it -- isn’t this kind of a waste of pencils?
We were worried about that too, so we found a vendor who makes environmentally sensitive product: California Republic Stationers. Their pencils are made from sustainably harvested wood, which means they don’t deforest.

We’ll also send the media moguls suggestions about where they can donate the pencils to non-profits that teach kids how to write. After all, the CEOs aren’t writers. It’s not like they can use them.

What happens to the money from the pencils?
Anything we have left over from our costs will go into the Union Solidarity Fund, which was created to help non-WGA members affected by the strike.

So who are these “media moguls”?
They are the six men who run the multi-media conglomerates, the companies that control almost everything you see on tv or in the movies. These individual CEOs have the power and influence to make a fair deal and end the strike, if they choose.

Leslie Moonves, President, CEO
CBS Corporation
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
www.cbscorporation.com

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO
General Electric (NBC/Universal)
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
www.nbcuni.com

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO
News Corporation (Fox)
1211 Avenue of the Americas
8th floor
New York, NY 10036
www.newscorp.com

Jeffrey L. Bewkes, President, COO
Time Warner Inc. (Warner Brothers)
1 Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019
www.timewarner.com

Robert Iger, President, CEO
Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
corporate.disney.go.com

Sumner Redstone, Chairman
Viacom
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
www.viacom.com

Why can’t I just buy some pencils and mail them myself?
You can! We just wanted to take our fans' great idea and make it easier. We’re taking a leaf from the Jericho campaign in which fans contracted with one vendor who could pool all their purchases together. That way, instead of individual bags of nuts, fans sent truckloads of nuts to CBS.

We’ve contracted with a single vendor to buy all the pencils for the same reason. We can deliver all of them in bulk, a truckload at a time, so the impact will be (we hope) greater.

You can mail pencils yourself if you want to, but joining together seems to have a better chance of getting noticed. It’s worked in the past.

If you do decide to mail pencils yourself, just make sure they’re not sharpened. And please be polite. (We know how hard that is. Trust us.)

How come it’s a buck a box?
That price covers purchase and delivery of 12 pencils. (They’ll probably be packed by pallets instead of in individual boxes.)

And did we mention the “sustainably forested” thing?

All right, responsible pencils, I get it. But in the end, what are you trying to accomplish here?

We want the media moguls to start negotiating in good faith. We want the strike to end with a fair deal for both sides.

If we get a fair deal, it helps the actors, the directors, and the below-the-line crew members. Their deals are directly tied to ours.

Click to send a message to the moguls: It’s time to make a fair deal. We’re all on the same page.

Writers Strike

Of course I haven't forgotten the Writer's Strike.


Just Read


I just finished reading The Making of Casablanca: Bogart, Bergman and World War II by Alejean Harmetz. This is one of those books I bought at a reduced price sometime ago and has been sitting on my shelf for literally years. The other night I was looking for something new to read and saw it and decided to give it a try. This is a very interesting read. It kept me interested enough that I read it in a few days, I kept wanting to go back to it. It told the story of how the now iconic movie was made and how different it probably would have been if it had been made only months earlier, before the United States entered the War. I would give this book a recomendation for anyone interested in movies or the behind the scenes of movie making.

Bushisms of the Day

"I would guess, I would surmise that some of the more spectacular bombings are done by al Qaeda suiciders." --George W. Bush, on violence in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Aug. 21, 2006

BOOK FUN

What two James Michener books were named after nations?

Yesterday's answer: The Snow Leopard

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

"Dedicated to the One I Love" and "Soldier Boy" were hits for what girl group in the early 1960s?

Yesterday's answer: Bernie Taupin

WORD A DAY

APHELION: the point in the path of a celestial body (as a planet) that is farthest from the sun

"Aphelion" and "perihelion" are troublesome terms. Which one means "nearest the sun" and which one means "farthest away"? An etymology lesson may help here. The "ap" of "aphelion" derives from a New Latin prefix that means "away from" (just remember "a" for "away"); "peri-," on the other hand, means "near." And how are "aphelion" and "perihelion" related to the similar-looking astronomical pair "apogee" and "perigee"? Etymology explains again. "Aphelion" and "perihelion" are based on the Greek word helios, meaning sun, while "apogee" and "perigee" are based on gaia, meaning "earth." The first pair refers to distance in relation to the sun; the second pair refers to distance in relation to the earth.

Friday, November 23, 2007

BOOK FUN

What title for Peter Matthiessen's 1978 account of his Himalayan journey was inspired by an elusive Nepalese cat?

Yesterday's answer: Cousin Bette

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

On November 10, 1973 Elton John hit #1 with the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Who is his lyricist and co-songwriter on the record?

Yesterday's answer: Dave Mattews Band (DMB)

WORD A DAY

ELDRITCH: weird,eerie

"Curse," "cobweb," "witch," "ghost" - all of these potentially spooky words have roots in Old English. "Eldritch" also comes from a time when otherworldly beings were thought to inhabit the earth. The word is about 500 years old and is believed to have come from the Middle English oelfrice, from the Old English oelf and rice (words that meant, literally, "elf kingdom").

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving and Work

I was going to say tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but technically it's Thanksgiving now since it's after midnight. I plan to post more later in the day, after I've had a few hours sleep, but I've just got home from work and doing a little blog checking and posting now. So anyone reading this now: Happy Thanksgiving! The next few days especially are going to be rough. I work in retail and everyone knows what the day after Thanksgiving is like. I'm lucky that the place I work at is closed on the holiday itself, a lot of retail establishments are starting to open on Thanksgiving itself. My last place, Service Merchandise, opened on the holiday. I remember one lady coming in on that day to shop and commented that it was so terrible that we had to work on Thanksgiving Day. Well, you know what I wanted to say to her: that if people like her wouldn't go out and shop on Thanksgiving Day than we wouldn't be open, but I smiled and thanked her and went on about my business. I predict that we will be opening on Thanksgiving before long, it's getting harder and harder for stores to hold out when everyone else is opening around them. No holidays are safe. It's really a shame.

All this means that if I disappear from posting now and than it's just because I'm overwhelmed at work, not that I'm vanishing for good. The days can get awful long and sometimes all I want to do is come home and go to bed, so we'll have to see how things go on a day to day basis.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Writers Strike News

Press Release from Writer's Guild:
On Thanksgiving Day (November 22), a group of Writers Guild Of America members will begin posting Public Service Announcements featuring A-list Screen Actors Guild talent as part of an independent WGA membership's "Speechless" campaign conceived by director/writer George Hickenlooper and writer Alan Sereboff. For the first time in the TV and movie industry, high-profile SAG actors will be taking their talents directly and exclusively to the Internet -- the very medium which is at the center of the current WGA labor strike against the Alliance Of Motion Picture & Television Producers.
The spots will begin appearing on Thursday morning which will begin posting Thanksgiving Day and run exclusively on DeadlineHollywood.com through Sunday night. Beginning Monday, they can be found on SpeechlessWithoutWriters.com with links on UnitedHollywood.com and every day thereafter during the duration of the strike.
Included are SAG talent such as Sean Penn, Holly Hunter, Laura Linney, Alan Cumming, Jay Leno, Harvey Keitel, Kate Beckinsale, Tina Fey, Tim Robbins, Gary Marshall, David Schwimmer, Patricia Clarkson, James Franco, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Martin Sheen, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, Andre 3000, Chazz Palminteri, Jason Bateman, Christine Lahti, Patricia Arquette, Jenna Elfman, Olivia Wilde, Richard Benjamin, Paula Prentiss, Eva Longoria, Justine Bateman, Joshua Jackson, Rosanna Arquette, Diane Ladd, Rebecca Romjin, Minnie Driver, Nicollette Sheridan, Robert Patrick, Matthew Perry, Ed Asner, and America Ferrera and the cast of Ugly Betty. Arrangements have been made to also shoot Woody Allen, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jane Fonda, Marisa Tomei, Ethan Hawke, Jason Alexander, Charlize Therone, Minnie Driver, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Many, many more are also in the works.
Here's how the PSAs came about: During the first day of the strike, director/writer George Hickenlooper (Factory Girl) and writer Alan Sereboff (The Red House) were struck by the talent surrounding them on the picket line. Hickenlooper suggested to Sereboff that they focus their energies on a creative campaign. That night, they met at WGA Headquarters with writers Ian Deitchman (Life As We Know It), Justin Zakham (The Bucket List) and director Josh Marston (Maria Full of Grace). After conferring, the team came to an agreement: What better way to bring attention to the issues regarding the Internet then to use the Internet itself?
Hickenlooper, evoking the style of Factory Girl, suggested shooting Warhol-esque screen tests of major SAG talent not saying anything on camera, thus showing their solidarity with the WGA. And Sereboff offered the concept "Speechless," where prominent SAG actors stood silently in front of the camera, ultimately writing and holding up a sign that simply read, "Speechless". Campaigns combined under one name, Hickenlooper and Sereboff joined with WGA/SAG member Kamala Lopez (I Heart Huckabees) and began reaching out to fellow creatives. Within a few days, Hickenlooper/Sereboff had recruited fellow DGA members Wayne Kramer (The Cooler), Paul Haggis (The Valley of Ellah), Rod Lurie (The Contender), WGA writers Steve Pink (Gross Pointe Blank), Jordan Mechner (Prince of Persia), two-time Emmy winning writer Jill Kushner (Ellen), Chic Eglee (Executive Producer, The Shield) in addition to the writing staff of The Tonight Show. SAG board member/actress Justine Bateman became involved and was instrumental in recruiting many of her fellow SAG actors to participate.
The "Speechless" idea quickly took off and, after a single day of filming, the team learned that the support of major A-list SAG talent was so overwhelming that many wanted to do more than just a screen test. After extensive conversations with various actors, it was decided that the screen tests might be expanded to improvisational scene work that would be done to entertain those of the public who might not be aware of the importance of the writer, and at the same time create mystery and intrigue surrounding the UnitedHollywood.com website.
On the second day of filming, the screen tests quickly evolved into actual short moments and sometimes full-fledged scenes. The result is a unique series of PSAs bringing together talent in solidarity. The "Speechless" campaign has thus far stockpiled several dozen very creative and innovative spots in black & white, ranging in length from 15 seconds to 4 minutes long.
The "Speechless" campaign support team includes music composer Anthony Marinelli, who is dedicating his time to scoring the spots; Clint Bennett, sound engineer; Joel Marshall, technical advisor; Jill Kushner production manager; Kamala Lopez and Melissa Cochran, editors; Mical shemesh, editor; Justin Schumacher, production sound; and Ian Deitchman who is putting together the website.
For more information regarding the "Speechless" campaign contact SpeechlessWithoutWriters@gmail.com.

Bushisms of the Day

"And I suspect that what you'll see, Toby, is there will be a momentum, momentum will be gathered. Houses will begat jobs, jobs will begat houses." --George W. Bush, talking to reporters along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Miss., Aug. 28, 2006

BOOK FUN

What Balzac novel concerns Lisbeth Fischer's plans for vengeance on her more fortunate relations?

Yesterday's answer: Cousin Bette

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

This artist has numerous hits, a loyal following and an acronym for his band's name. His 1996 record Crash contains the #1 track "Crash Into Me."

Yesterday's answer: Mountain

WORD A DAY

SPIEL: a voluble line of often extravagant talk: pitch

There's more than one "spiel." Today's featured noun sense is well known, and most people realize that "spiel" can be used as a verb for the act of talking extravagantly. The verb can also mean "to play music"; in fact, that was its original English sense, one it shares with its German root, spielen. In Scottish English, "spiel" is also sometimes uses as a shortened form of "bonspiel," a name for a match or tournament of the icy game of curling.

Buffy on Maxim Cover

Speaking of Sarah Michelle Gellar (like I have a habit of doing quite often on this blog) she is the cover girl and the 2008 Woman of the Year for Maxim magazine. This is a mag I normally don't pick up, but you guessed it, I got this one. Not bad looking for 30 years old, huh?

Exxon Smiling All The Way to the Bank

The stock market rose from a three month low due to surging profits lifted Exxon Mobil's stock due to raising oil prices. Now I'm all for a company to make a profit, but doesn't the oil companies keep claiming they have to keep raising the price of gas because of the raising price of oil just to stay even. Than why do they keep showing higher profits everytime the price of a barrel of oil goes up in price? I think they are glad for the raise in oil, it gives them bigger profits. While we pay $3.00 and more for a gallon of gas.

Bush Lied?!

I know it's hard to believe, but our beloved President might have actually lied about what he knew as far as the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame goes. According to his Press Secretary at the time Scott McClellan Bush knew more than he let on. At the time he said the President, Vice President, and Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leak that led to the discloure of Plame as a CIA agent. But according to McClellan's new book:

"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

Hard to imagine, isn't it?

Monday, November 19, 2007

New VOICES TO HEAR


The Spotlight for this week's VOICES TO HEAR is up. It's Patty Griffin. Go check it out and learn about this wonderful singer.

New Award

I have to thank Dawn over at Kids, Cats & Books - What Else Is There? bestored this award on me. “This badge is for bloggers who make their blogs their own, stay with it, interact with their readers, and have fun!” I want to thank Dawn for the award.

Veronica Mars Credits done Buffy Style

A mash up between two of my favorite shows. Veronica Mars opening credits done to the theme music for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and done in the same style and lettering as Buffy was done. Pretty cool.


TV Icon Number 45

Entertainment Weekly made a list of the top fifty Television Icons of all time in their latested issue and my favorite made it as Number 45.

45. SARAH MICHELLE GELLARIt's weird to think that in the beginning, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a movie, not a TV show. Even weirder: imagining anyone other than Gellar in the title role. Whether performing quippy comedy, ass-kicking, or intense drama (Buffy's struggle with the sudden death of her mother in ''The Body'' was one bravura hour), Gellar defined the full-service cult-pop diva. Her maybe-it's-Maybelline celebrity status among young women helped build The WB and usher in the era of demo-driven TV.

Alicia Keys

I've really been enjoying listening to Alicia Keys lately.

Mr. Whipple Dies

The character actor Dick Wilson died today at the age of 91 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital. He played various parts on the tv series Bewitched but is best knows as Mr. Whipple on the tv commericals for Charmin tissue.


Bushisms of the Day

"I've reminded the prime minister-the American people, Mr. Prime Minister, over the past months that it was not always a given that the United States and America would have a close relationship." George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2006

BOOK FUN

What Megan McDonal heroine has a bug-eathing plant named "Jaws" and a brother she calls "Stink"?

Yesterday's answer: Candace Bushnell

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Today's "Brain-Rocker" clues are:

1. Power trio
2. Leslie West
3. "Mississippi Queen"
4. Large hill

Yesterday's answer: Jakob Dylan

WORD A DAY

DRACONIAN: often capitalized 1: of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws associated with him 2: cruel; also: severe

"Draconian" comes from Draco, the name of a seventh-century B.C. Athenian legislator who created a written code of law. Draco's code was intended to clarify preexistent unwritten laws, but their severity has long been associated with the Athenian's name. In Draco's code, even minor offenses were punishable by death, and failure to pay one's debts could result in slavery. "Draconian," as a result, became associated with things cruel or harsh, but not necessarily as dire as Draco's laws. Today the word is used in a wide variety of ways and often refers to measures (steep parking fines, for example) that are relatively minor when compared with death and slavery.

Garth Brooks Refuses to Cross Picket Lines

From the Country Standard Time:

Thursday, November 15, 2007 – Garth Brooks canceled his appearances on The View and Ellen in support of the writers strike underway in Hollywood.
Brooks was going to appear on the shows to support the release of his greatest hits plus disc, "The Ultimate Hits."

His publicist said, "This is the first time in many years that he has not done television in support of his music. His first appearance on television was to have been The Tonight Show, however the strike happened that day. We believe he is the first artist with product in the marketplace to not have the support of these appearances. Garth is proud of the position he has taken since he hopes to be a writer in the not too distant future."

I've never been a fan of Mr. Brook's music, but he has my upmost respect for his actions.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Service Merchandise

Why I was looking this up on You Tube I have no idea, but this store is where I spent 25 years of my life working until they went out of business.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bushisms of the Day

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --George W. Bush, interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, Sept. 6, 2006

BOOK FUN

What author loosed 4 Blondes protagonist Janey Wilcox on the Hamptons, in Trading Up?

Yesterday's answer: Edward Gorey

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Nearly the entire collection of songs roots-rockers The Wallflowers have releases, including the hits "One Headlight" and "When You're On Top," are written by who?

Yesterday's answer: Temple of the Dog

WORD A DAY

HALLOWED: 1: holy, consecrated 2: sacred, revered

The adjective "hallowed" probably doesn't give you the shivers - or does it? "Hallowed" is the past participle of the verb "hallow," a term that descends from the Middle English halowen. That word can in trun be traced back to halig, Old English for "holy." During the Middle Ages, "All Hallows' Day" was the name for what Christians now call All Saint's Day, and the evening that preceded All Hallows' Day was "All Hallow Even" - or, as we know it today, Halloween.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Riding With The King

And since John Hiatt introduced the Neville Brothers video I figured I should show something by him. In this video he performs with Sonny Landreth, one of the great slide guitarists from Lafayette Lousiania. I saw Sonny perform at what might have been Gatemouth Brown's last show.

Neville Brothers

In recognition of the Neville Brothers coming back for next year's Jazz Fest here's a video of them perfroming. The person that does the introduction is John Hiatt.

Bushisms of the Day

"The Patriot Act has increased the flow of information within our government and it has helped break up terrorist cells in the United States of America. And the United States Congress was right to renew the terrorist act -- the Patriot Act." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. , Sept. 7, 2006

BOOK FUN

Who sketched mysteries like The Fraught Sette and The Dripping Faucet from the comfort of Elephant House in Yarmouthport, Massachuesetts?

Yesterday's answer: The Hundred Secret Senses

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

"Hunger Strike" and "Say Hello 2 Heaven" are from this 1992 tribute record whose band was comprised of members from Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.

Yesterday's answer: Jim Seals and Dash Crofts

WORD A DAY

PUTSCH: a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow a government

In its native Swiss German, Putsch originally meant "knock" or "thrust," but these days it's used in both German and English to refer to the kind of government overthrow also known as a coup d'etat. "Putsch" debuted in English in June of 1920, just three months after the tumultuous Kapp Putsch, in which Wolfgang Kapp and his right-wing supporteres attempted to overthrow the German Weimar government. Putsch attempts were common in Weimar Germany, so the word appeard often in the stories of the English journalists who described the insurrections. In 1923, Adolf Hitler himself attempted a putsch (known as the Beer Hall Putsch), but he ultimately gained control of the German government via other means.

Help The Writers!


Go sign the petition in support of the Writer's Strike here. Also get more information on the strike at this site.

Writer's Strike: The Actors

Writer's Strike: Not The Daily News

Strike News


David Letterman and his producers have said they plan to pay the staff of Late Night for the rest of the year even though the show isn't on the air due to the writer's strike.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thirteen Thursday Number 26: 13 Voices to hear

It's been awhile since I've done one of these things. For about 24 weeks straight I didn't miss one, but things have been kind of hectic lately. I'm going to try and get back into them, I really liked doing them. This week will tie into my new site Voices to hear. It's going to be 13 voices to hear, that have or will appear in the future on the site. If you like these samples try out the site itself.

1. Will Hoge: "Ain't No Sunshine"




2. Shannon McNally: "Now That I Know"



3. Theresa Anderson: "Borderline"


4. Susan Cowsill: "Just Believe It"


5. Lori McKenna: "Mars"


6. Waifs: "Bridal Train"



7. Alejandro Escovedo: "Gravity/Falling Down"



8. Kelly Willis: "Nobody Wants To Go To The Moon Anymore"



9. Ani Difranco: "32 Flavors"


10. Buddy Miller: "Worry Too Much"



11. Lily Holbrook: "Mama, I'm Coming Home"



12. Maggie Brown: "Forty Dollars"



13. Richard Thompson: "1952 Vincent Black Lightning"

Harlan Ellison Interview Part III

Bushisms of the Day

"We're going to -- we'll be sending a person on the ground there pretty soon to help implement the malaria initiative, and that initiative will mean spreading nets and insecticides throughout the country so that we can see a reduction in death of young children that -- a death that we can cure." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2007

BOOK FUN

What supernatural Amy Tan novel opens: "My sister Kwan believes she has yin eyes"?

Yesterday's answer: Doga

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

What are the first names of the Rock/Pop duo Seals and Crofts?

Yesterday's answer: 3 Doors Down

WORD A DAY

IDEE FIXE: an idea that dominates one's mind especially for a prolonged period: obsession

According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the term idee fixe was coined by French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830, who used it to describe the principal theme of his magnum opus, the Symphonie fantastique. That reference goes on to say that at about the same time the French novelist Honore de Balzac used idee fixe in Gobseck to describe an obsessive idea. By 1836, Balzac's more generalized use of the term had carried over into English, where "idee fixe" was embraced as a clinical and literary term for a persistent preoccupation or delusional idea that dominates a person's mind. Although it is still used in both sychology and music, nowadays "idee fixe" is also applied to milder and more pedestrain obsessions.

Neville Brothers Return to Jazz Fest!

This Jazz Fest the Neville Brothers will return to their rightful place of closing the Fest on the final Sunday. The Nevilles have played the Festival and closed the Festival for more years than I can remember. The first Jazz Fest I ever went to they closed the Fest. Since Katrina the Brothers have been spread across the country, Cyril living in Austin, Aaron in Tennessee, Charles in Massachuetts and Art still lives in New Orleans. The last two Jazz Fests since Katrina have had Art playing with his other group, The Meters. This is great news. Not having the Neville Brothers play Jazz Fest is like having a part of the city's soul missing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Harlan Ellison Interview Part II

Bushisms of the Day

"I'm a strong proponent of the restoration of the wetlands, for a lot of reasons. There's a practical reason, though, when it comes to hurricanes: The stronger the wetlands, the more likely the damage of the hurricane." --George W. Bush, New Orleans, March 1, 2007

BOOK FUN

What Jennifer Brilliant book on yoga for pooches presents asanas like the Happy Puppy and the Pup's Pose?

Yesterday's answer: J.D. Salinger

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

What Mississippi band's record Away From The Sun, released five years ago this month, contained the #1 song "When I'm Gone?"

Yesterday's answer: Bachman-Turner Overdrive

WORD A DAY

VACUOUS: 1: emptied of or lacking content 2: marked by lack of ideas or intelligence: stupid, inane 3: devoid of serious occupation: idle

As you might have guessed, "vacuous" has the same root as "vacuum": the Latin adjective vacuus, meaning "empty." This root also gave us the noun "vacuity" (the oldest meaning of which is "an empty space") as well as the verb "evacuate" (originally "to remove the contents of: empty"). Its predecessor, the verb vacare, is an ancestor of the words "vacation" and "vacancy," as well as "void." All these words suggest an emptiness of space, or else a fleeing of people or things from one place to another. "Vacuous" first appeard in English in the middle of the 17th century, literally describing something that was empty. It acquired its figurative usage, describing one who is lacking any substance of the mind, in the mid-1800s.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Marvel Heroes Online

Marvel Comics, publishers of Spiderman, Hulk, X-Men and a host of other superhero comics, is going online. According to USA Today:

Called the comic book industry’s “first online archive of more than 2,500 back issues, including the first appearances of Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.”, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will offer the archive in a high-resolution format on computer screens for $59.88 a year, or at a monthly rate of $9.99, at Marvel’s website.

To Help push this Marvel will offer a free 250 issue sampler for readers to try out. New issues will not be available online until six months after their publication date.

I spend a lot of time on the internet and get a lot of information from it. I like reading the different blogs and websites, but for me the way to read a comic is laying on your back with the comic on your chest, flipping the pages as you try to find out what happens next. I know I'm the wrong generation, this is aimed at the younger generation that doesn't mind reading comics on their computer screen. I wonder what long range effect this will have on the monthly comic book itself.

Comic Superheroes Part V

For those that have been watching this series and thought I forgot about it here's the fifth part.

Harlan Ellison Interview Part I

Bushisms of the Day

"My hearts are with the Jeffcoats right now, that's what I'm thinking." --George W. Bush, after meeting with California wildfire victims Kendra and Jay Jeffcoat, San Diego, Calif., Oct. 25, 2007

BOOK FUN

What reclusive novelist published nine short stories in 1953 under the enigmatic title Nine Stories?

Yesterday's answer: My Friend Rabbit

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Randy, his brother Robbie, a friend Tim with the same last name and vocalist/bassist Fred Turner formed this group in 1972.

Yesterday's answer: Smashing Pumpkins

WORD A DAY

DEEM: 1: to come to think or judge: consider 2: to have an opinion: believe

In the Middle Ages, "demen" was a fateful word. Closely related to "doom," this precursor of "deem" meant "to act as a judge" or "to sentence, condemn, or decree." These meanings passed to "deem" itself, but we haven't used it that way since the early 17th century. Though it's still frequently used in legal contexts, today "deem" means "to judge" only in a broader sense, as in "the act was deemed unlawful" or "the defendant is deemed to have agree to the contract." Outside the law, "deem" usually means simply "to consider." Some usage commentators view "deem" as pretentious, but it's well established in both literary and journalistic contexts.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Update on VOICES TO HEAR



A new weekly feature is up today at Voices to hear. This week I talk about an album instead of an artist or group. The album is Song of America and it's a 3-cd set of songs from our history. This is a unique album and worth checking out.

In addition I've added a few other posts on some concerts I've seen.

Go check it out...and leave some comments. Let me know what you think.

Bushisms of the Day

"All I can tell you is when the governor calls, I answer his phone." --George W. Bush, San Diego, Calif., Oct. 25, 2007

BOOK FUN

What Eric Rohmann book finds Rabbit recruiting a bunch of animals to help retrieve poor Mouse's airplane from a tree?

Yesterday's answer: Primary Colors

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Billy Corgan formed what grunge rock band in Chicago in 1987?

Yesterday's answer: John Mellencamp

WORD A DAY

PURPORT: to convey or profess outwardly as the meaning or intention: claim

The verb "purport" may be more familiar nowadays, but the noun "purport" (a synonym of "gist," as in "gave the purport of her speech in a few words") is a bit older. The noun passed into English from Anglo-French in the mid 1400s. Anglo-French also had the verb purporter (meaning both "to carry" and "to mean"), which itself combined the prefix pur- ("throroughly") and the verb porter ("to carry"). But English-speakers apparently waited another six decades to employ the verb. The first recorded use of "purport" as a verb doen'st appear until 1528.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bushisms of the Day

"We're going to -- we'll be sending a person on the ground there pretty soon to help implement the malaria initiative, and that initiative will mean spreading nets and insecticides throughout the country so that we can see a reduction in death of young children that -- a death that we can cure." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2007

BOOK FUN

What anonymously authored 1996 bestseller includes the acknowledgment: "I would like to thank some people who don't know who I am"?

Yesterday's answer: Ngaio Marsh

ROCK N ROLL HISTORY

Who released the heartland rock record Scarecrow in 1985 containing the #1 hit "Lonely Ol' Night?"

Yesterday's answer: Grateful Dead

WORD A DAY

INVEIGH: to protest or complain bitterly or vehemently: rail

You might complain or grumble about some wrong you see, or, for a stronger effect, you can "inveigh" against it. "Inveigh" comes from the Latin verb invehere, which joins the prefeix in- with the verb vehere, meaning "to carry." Invehere literally means "to carry in," but extended meanings include "to force one's way into," "attack," and "assualt." Eventually "attack with words" was added to the word's list of meanings, hence the current meaning "to protest bitterly." A closely related word is "invective," which means "insulting or abusive language."

Stupid Commercial

Burger King may not have some of the stupidest and ickest commercials anymore. What has beaten BK out of its top slot honors? Those terrible Wendy commercials with the guy with the red wig in pigtails. These are some of the worst commercials I have ever seen. What were they thinking? Did Wendys go to the same ad agency that does the BK commercials?

A Sleeping Dog

It's been awhile since I posted any pictures of the Wonder Dog so I thought I'd make up for it today. Of course I snap a picture of Buffy in her normal activity.....sleeping. Ooops, busted! She caught me taking her picture.


A Veteran


My Dad joined the Navy when he was 17 years old. He didn't join to see the world or to serve his country. At the time it was a job and it was a way for him to escape an abusive relationship at home with his Father. He spent four years in the Navy and ended up in Memphis where he met my Mom. He didn't re-enlist after that first four year stint. He drove a bus for awhile but decided that he wanted to be in the Navy. He rejoined. He was an aviation ordinance man, which meant he loaded the bombs and missles on the planes. He traveled through Eurpoe and the Mid-East while he was in the Navy. He spent some time off the shores of Korea. While I was growing up every year he would spend two weeks aboard an aircraft career. He raised up in the ranks until he ended up as a Master Chief. I remember the day he retired. I was out of school, just graduated so I went with him and my Mom to the ceremony. They ring a ship's bell to "ring" him out of the service. He tried not to let anyone see it but I could see the tears in his eyes as he bid an end to a big part of his life. For my Dad he was a sailor for his whole life. I think that is part of the reason he had such a dislike to our current President. He hated the fact that Bush was sending so many young men and women into harm's way. Towards the end of his life he would literally break down in tears he would get so worked up about these brave service men and women dying for reasons that Bush never could make clear.
For this day I'll remember a veteran that I still miss.

Nov 11


Whereas it has long been our customs to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and Whereas in the intervening years, the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and
Whereas the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (44 Stat. 1982), calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351) , that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and
Whereas, in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day:
Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America , do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 , as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.
I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.
In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.
Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the Year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

Two Minutes

Boo! to Ellen

Ellen Degeneres is a PUTZ! for crossing the picket line. For more on Ellen go check this out.
And just to give credit where it's due, I first found this and the Harlan Ellison video over on Collen's blog A Distant Soil.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Harlan Ellison on Writer's Getting Paid

This isn't about the Writer's Strike, but it ties into it very well. Harlan Ellison for my money is one of the greatest writers out there.

Still More on the Writer's Strike

You're probably getting tired of me talking about the Writer's Strike. It's not like I'm part of it, but to me it's important. I see a lot of words being thrown about how the writers are trying to rip people off, how they should be happy making what they're getting, etc and etc. In the scheme of the creative people involved in the making of the movie or tv show: the writer, the director, the actors; they are probalby the lowest paid of the bunch. And in most cases command the least amount of respect. Everyone calls the director a genius if the movie is good, but he's following what the writer put down on the script. There's an old joke about how dumb the starlet trying to break into movies is that she screwed the writer for a job. I guess since I like to write a little and always have hopes of one day doing more my heart belongs on the writer's side of things. But think about it, without the written word at the beginning there is no movie, there is no tv show. Why shouldn't the writer get a piece of the pie? If a movie makes 10 million dollars the writer should be able to reap part of that windfall. And finally, yes there are some writers that are making a lot of money, but there are a lot more that don't make much. If you sell a script for ten thousand dollars but don't sell anything else that year, your yearly income is only ten thousand dollars.

Ok, here's another video that explains the strike better than anything I've seen so far.

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