Sunday, September 30, 2007

Graduation Day

Now this is an old picture of me and my Dad. It was taken on my graduation day from high school. God, that was so long ago.

Bruce Is Coming!

Two more days until Bruce Springsteen's newest album "Magic" hits stores. He's back with the E Street Band and all the reviews are raving over the album. I can't wait.

Mighty Mouse

This is from 1942, an old episode of Mighty Mouse. It's a different Mighty Mouse than I remember, no "Here I come to save the day..." and his costume is a different color. (But that could be just a bad print of the cartoon, I'm not sure.)

Shannon McNally with Charlie Sexton

Thus we end our month featuring Shannon McNally. I hope that a few of you out there that might not have heard of Shannon before will come away from this month with an appreciation of the singer. Shannon is one of my favorite performers and if you ever have the chance to see her live I would recommend you take it. Now we have to get ready for a new month and a new artist to spotlight.


These are pictures that were made the day of my Dad's funeral. The first picture is of my Brother and my nephew at my Mom's house.This was at the church for the funeral. My nephew, me and my brother.
All the pallbearers: my cousin Rabbit, my nephew, my brother, my cousin Tony, my Uncle Troy and me.

Present to My Dad

On my last trip up to see my Mom last month I brought back a few things with me. The above book was my Dads. I'm not that big a Sherlock Holmes fan. I enjoy the stories, but that's about the extent of it. My Dad loved Sherlock Holmes. This book is a huge two volume collection that has all the novels and short stories about Sherlock Holmes that was written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It has notes on all the stories, from what certain words mean to fashions to what things meant in the time that stories were written. It's two big books. This was the first really expensive gift I ever gave my Dad for Christmas. I was just out of high school and working my first real job, going to college, earning a big $2.35 a hour. This box was, I think, $50.00. For me at that time, this was a major purchase. But I remember being so happy when I bought it, knowing how much my Dad would love it. And he's kept it over the many years since than. My Dad loved to read and he would read a lot, but he would donate his books to a local library or salvation army or whoever needed reading material after he was done with them, he didn't collect a lot of books. (Unlike me who has trouble parting with any book.) But my Dad kept this book over the years and the moves they made. My Mom was asking if there was anything of my Dad's that I would like and I realized that I wanted this book. It's a little piece of my Dad.

Bushisms of the Day

"As yesterday's positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured." --George W. Bush, on the No Child Left Behind Act, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007


What tomboy detective solves the mysteries of the Hollywood Mummy and Runaway Elf, in Wendelin Van Draanen novels?


Rock and Roll pioneer and piano man Jerry Lee Lewis was born on this date in 1935. He also known to many by his nickname, the ________.


MACEDOINE: 1: a confused mixture: medley 2: a mixture of fruits or vegetables served as a salad or cocktail or in a jellied dessert or used as a garnish

Macedoine is the French name for Macedonia, a region on the Balkan Peninsula that includes part of Greece, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria. Historically, this area has been home to a richly varied population encompassing many ethnic groups, and linguists believe that its cultural heterogeneity may have inspired people to use its name as a generic term for any kind of wildly jumbled mixture. English-speakers borrowed the word early in the 19th century, and later in the century it took on the more specific "salad" sense.

Vote in the Poll

Off to the left, right on top, so no one can miss it is a Poll I'm taking for the next two weeks. As many of my regular readers will have noticed lately there have not been any of my regular daily features: Word-A-Day, Rock n Roll History and Book Fun. It's not that I don't like doing these, it's just been difficult to sit down on a daily basis lately and get them done. I like doing them, I have fun with the features and it gives me an excuse to make myself sit down and work on this blog daily. Once I get started I find it easier to do some other things on here. But I thought I'd take a poll and see if anyone else out there likes them or even reads them. So vote if you like them or vote for the ones you like and as they say in and vote often.

: The Race To The Moon

It's been decades since man walked on the moon, but that may all be about to change. The USA are not the only country interested in exploring our lunar cousin. Japan says that by 2020 they plan to send astronauts to the moon and within a decade of that date have a lunar base. China is planning to launch a robotic lunar obiter this fall. India, Russia and Europe have all said they plan on getting to the moon too. The USA has their Constellation program whose aim is to have men back on the moon by 2020. It's good to think that we as a race will venture back into space, it used to be that is was assumed that it would be Americans on the moon, but perhaps not.

Gingrich Will Not Run For President

Newt Gingrich has said he will not run for President in the coming elections. Good! I think this man is evil personified.

Miss MoneyPenny Dies

Miss Moneypenny, or rather the actress that played her in the James Bond movies, Lois Maxwell died in Australia at the age of 80. She starred as the secretary to M in 14 Bond movies, from "Dr. No" to "A View to Kill."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

This Monday Check It Out

Last week was a skip week so there was no issue, but this Monday TopBlogMag will be back! Make sure and check it out. My column Voices to Hear will be there and instead of a single voice this issue I talk about the new album Song of America.


Earlier this week the spacecraft Dawn was successfully launched. It has a 3 billion mile journey to the heart of the asteroid belt. It should arrive there around 2011. Than it's on to a 2015 date with the dwarf planet Ceres.

The ship's rockets are the first to use ion propulsion engines, the same type of engines that the TIE Fighters used in Star Wars. The engines use electrically charged xenon gas to generate thrust.

Friday, September 28, 2007

New Show on DVD

Now that I've finished Smallville it's time to move on to a new series on DVD. Can you guess which one I've chosen. I decided to go ahead and watch the first season while the second season is just getting started. This was about the only show from last year that I made a point of watching when it came on, or later on if I missed it, so I've seen all the episodes. (The only one I think I missed was the one where they went to the future.) I'll see what I might have missed on the first go round.

Shannon McNally: The Hard Way

Haven't We Seen This Before?

A vampire fighting crime and other vampires and things that wait in the dark. He lives in Los Angeles. Hmmm, where have we seen this before? The whole premise sounds so much like Angel that the creators should have to give royalities to Joss Whedon. I hate to say anything bad about a show I haven't seen seen yet, it could prove to be a lot more imaginative than its premise and surprise me, but it's not starting from a good point. At the very least why not put the vampire into another city?

Hilary Clinton - Pandering Too

Just to show that I realize the other side of the political fence isn't above pandering to do what it takes to win. Back when W first wanted to go into Iraq Hillary voted for the invasion. She can claim she won't do it now if she knew what it meant all she wants, her actions speak louder than words. At the time that was the popular thing to do, to vote no would have made it look like she was soft on terrorism and she didn't want that. So she voted yes. I would have liked her to show a little more courage and voted against it. Sometimes people in politics have to vote for their beliefs and not what they think will be best for them in the long run. I'm sure even then she was planning on running for President and being soft on terrorism would not have been a good move on her part. But knowing what's right doesn't mean you're soft on terrorism.

Romney - Flip Flop

What makes a person want to be President so badly that they'll change their beliefs? As governor Mitt Romney supported gay rights and some form of abortion. Now he believes both are products of the devil. Anything to try to win. The Republicans still feel that they can't win without the support of the conservative christain right that has had such a strangle hold on the party for the past few elections. I'm hoping that people are becoming a little more tolerant.

McCain - President?

As most readers of this blog know I'm not a big fan of the Republican party. Doesn't mean I'm a big fan of the Democrats either. I think too many times the Democrats are afraid to stand with the ideals of what make their party great and pretend they're just Republican-lite. I'm a registered Independent. I don't vote for a party, I vote for an issue or a person. Saying that I will also say that I used to like John McCain. During his first run for the president I had a lot of respect for him and thought he might make a decent President. (I'm sure he would have done better than the current one.) But with this one I feel like desperation has overcome his values. Mr. McCain wants to be President too badly, he's willing to jettison his beliefs on certain subjects and pander to the conservative christian right. So I have to say that I would no long vote for him if he was one of the choices, which I really don't think he will be. He's pretty much self-imploding.

Linda Ronstadt

I was watching The Best of the Johnny Cash show and Linda Rondstadt did a song on the dvd. I had forgotten how talented she is. And how pretty. She's one of those people that have been around so long and almost become part of the landscape, I forget about her most of the time. But she had an amazing voice and at one time was very popular.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dylan Coming


According to the Houston Chronicle:

The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily.
Now if I'm correct there are only 365 days in a year, right? So at 418 days and counting W has already taken off over a year in a 8 year job. Now I get four weeks off a year where I work starting this year, before it was 3 weeks and for the first year it was 2 weeks. So even if I figured it up at four weeks a year that would still mean I only took 160 days off in an eight year period. And four weeks a year is a lot for vacation, I know a lot of people that get a lot less. Well, I guess we could be thankful. Imagine all the other mistakes and problems he could have caused if he was working more.

But this year he is working longer, taking shorter vacations.

Even so, this year's August vacation for Bush is a contrast to previous years such as 2005, when he dragged out vacation in Texas to five weeks. That was also the year Bush remained on vacation immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit.
And we all know how much he helped on that matter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Jerry Juhl Day

Almost missed this one, today is Jerry Juhl day. Jerry was the head writer for the Muppets for decades. On this day in 2005 Jerry passed away. His wife and friends wanted to remember him in joy instead of sadness so they propose anyway that wants to celebrate this day to do something silly. Click on the banner for more information.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Shannon McNally: Sweet Forgiveness

Bettye Lavette

Child of the Seventies was recorded at the famous Muscle Shoals and would have been Bettye Lavette's first full length album. Atlantic Records decided not to release it. Twenty years later a record company in France leased the album from Atlantic and released it to near universal praise. This album could have established Bettye as a major soul singer at the time.
In 2005 she released her next album I've Got My Own Hell to Raise. This woman has an amazing voice and makes these songs written by others her own.
And today her newest album, recorded in Muscle Shoals, a return to the scene of the crime, was released. She recorded this album with the Drive by Truckers providing musical help.


Just in time as I finish up the DVD of Season Six the new season starts tomorrow. Before I started watching season six I was kind of thinking I was getting a little burned on Smallville, but once I started it was like popping a can of Pringles, you can't stop with just one...I kept watching it. I didn't catch a lot of these episodes when they first aired and when I did get a chance to see a new one I had missed so much of the storyline I think it effected my outlook on the show. I finally got a chance to see the "Justice" episode where the heroes that had previously appeared on the show all returned as a group. It made my fanboy heart go pitter patter.


This is a new show on CW that has been a lot of good buzz from the critics. The premise is that Sam's parents sold his soul when he turned 21 to the Devil. The show starts of course on the twenty first birthday of Sam. I enjoyed the first episode. It didn't become a must watch with me yet, but has become a continued watch and let's see what develops. There were a few really funny scenes in the show. It's definitely worth another try. The one character I'm not too sure I like is Sam's best friend, the crazy funny sidekick. He just seems a little over the top. Maybe he'll grow on me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Wonder Why

"Republican presidential candidates can't be any more clear: President Bush isn't welcome on the campaign trail."
- Associated Press

Health Care

Check out this article about a speech Hillary Clinton gave on universal health care. I think this is one of the most important things that we as a country can do. Other countries do it, why can't we?

Shannon McNally with Theresa Anderson

Bill Clinton on the Daily Show

Hey Look! It's A President that can actually speak.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Never Even Got A Name

Tropical depression 10 never even got a name. It came ashore in Florida and the tropical storm warning has been discontinued. We might still get a good bit of rain, but pretty much nothing too serious.

Will Hoge: Draw the Curtains

1. When I Can Afford to Lose
2. These Were the Days
3. Dirty Little War
4. Silver or Gold
5. Sex, Lies and Money
6. I m Sorry Now
7. Midnight Parade
8. Draw the Curtains
9. Washed by the Water
10. The Highway's Home

Anyone reading this blog knows how I feel about Will Hoge. He's one of the best and most unknown artists out there performing today. For the last few years he has been self releasing his material after leaving Atlantic Records after a bad relationship with the company. Well this October he has signed with a new label, Rykodisc and on October 9 he has a new album coming out. I can tell you it's worth the price of the album just for the song "Washed By The Water," Will's post Katrina song. But I'm sure the rest of the album will live up to the one song. It's also going to be released on vinyl as well as cd. This is an album definitely worth looking for and buying.

John Fogerty

  1. Don't You Wish It Was True
  2. Gunslinger
  3. Creedence Song
  4. Broken Down Cowboy
  5. River Is Waiting
  6. Long Dark Night
  7. Summer Of Love
  8. Natural Thing
  9. It Ain't Right
  10. I Can't Take It No More
  11. Somebody Help Me
  12. Longshot
This album drops October 2. When John Fogerty is at the top of his game no one can touch him. Here's hoping this is him at the top.

An Unlikely Pairing

With all the news lately about the Led Zepplin reunion there's another project that Robert Plant is involved with that might just slip through the cracks. He's doing an album with Alison Krauss. Yes, Alison Krauss the bluegrass singer. They're doing covers of old country blues. The album is produced by T-Bone Burnett the producer of the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and a lot of other great music. I'm really interested in hearing this album, actually probably more so than I am in the Zepplin reunion. The album comes out Oct 23.

The War by Ken Burns

"THE WAR, a seven-part series directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history — a worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America — and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives."

This should be really good.

Bushisms of the Day

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's (Nelson) Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam killed all the Mandelas." --George W. Bush, on the former South African president, who is still very much alive, Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2007

Speaking of Buffy

As in the previous post I mentioned the collection of the first storyline from the Buffy Season Eight comic book. That's the cover for it and it will be out Nov 15. Why so long I don't know, but I guess we'll just have to wait. The collection has the first five issues, which is the four issue first storyline and the stand alone issue that featured a new slayer. All five issues are written by Joss Whedon.

Buffy Season 8 comic book: Faith

We never stray too far from the subject of Buffy on this blog. The new arc for the Buffy Comic Book Season Eight is out. The new storyline features Faith. This is the first of the series not written by Joss himself. Brian Vaughan, the writer of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina, is handling the writing part for this part with Joss acting as director, much like he did with most of the tv series itself. The best thing I can say about this is that as I was reading it I could hear the actors saying the words, Vaughan has captured the personality and speech of Faith and Giles (who puts in his first real appearance in the comic book series save for a brief one in the first arc) perfectly. I would love to see a storyline featuring Giles, I think he has so much potential as a character. If you haven't picked up this series, this is a great place to jump on board. I'm sure the first storyline will be collected as a book soon.

Shannon McNally: Geronimo

This is the title track from Geronimo.

Song of America

This 3-cd set just came out on Sept 18. It was conceived by Ed Patterson and his Aunt Janet Reno (yes that Janet Reno). Ed had just written a folk song that took place in America's past and his Aunt suggested a project that encompsed all of America's history in song. Thus this sprawling project was started. The songs range from the 1400's to today. Harper Simon (son of Paul) does Yankee Doodle Dandy while John Mellencamp does Woody Gutherie's "This Land Is Your Land." The track list for the three tracks:

Disc: 1

1. Earl Bullhead - Lakota Dream Song [3:08]

2. Julie Lee - Once More Our God Vouchsafe To Shine [3:07]

3. The Blind Boys of Alabama - Let Us Break Bread Together [3:49]

4. John Wesley Harding - God Save The King [3:49]

5. Elizabeth Foster - Young Ladies In Town [3:01]

6. Malcom Holcombe - The Old Woman Taught Wisdom [6:30]

7. Ed Pettersen - The Liberty Song [4:59]

8. Harper Simon - Yankee Doodle [3:29]

9. The Wilders - Jefferson & Liberty [2:10]

10. Steven Kowalczyk-Santoro - Hail Columbia [2:56]

11. Take 6 - The Star Spangled Banner [2:04]

12. Beth Nielsen Chapman - Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child [5:09]

13. Freedy Johnston - Peg and Awl [4:34]

14. BR549 - Sweet Betsy From Pike [4:23]

15. Will & Jehnean - Trail of Tears [4:35]

16. Minton Sparks/Pat Flynn - Declaration Of Sentiments [4:34]

17. Fisk Jubilee Singers - Go Down Moses [3:44]

18. The Mavericks featuring Thad Cockrell - Dixie's Land [6:13] Various -

Disc: 2

1. Marah - John Brown's Body [2:40]

2. Joanna Smith - Battle Hymn of the Republic [5:15]

3. Janis Ian - Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye [2:09]

4. Tim O'Brien - Thousands Are Sailing To Amerikay [4:24]

5. Otis Gibbs - The Farmer Is The Man [3:03]

6. Joni Harms - Home On The Range [4:30]

7. Jake Shimabukuro - Stars & Stripes Forever [2:28]

8. Judith Edelman & Neilson Hubbard - Sleep, My Child (Schlof Mayn Kind) [4:47]

9. Jen Chapin - Over There [2:31]

10. Andrew Bird - How You Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm [5:04]

11. Karen Parks - Lift Every Voice and Sing! [5:11]

12. Danielson - Happy Days Are Here Again [3:05]

13. Andy Bey - Brother Can Spare A Dime? [6:30]

14. Jim Lauderdale - Seven Cent Cotton and Forty Cent Meat [2:11]

15. Old Crow Medicine Show - Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) [4:56]

16. Suzy Bogguss - Rosie The Riveter [2:31]

17. Folk Family Robinson - Reuben James [4:04] Various - Song of America

Disc: 3

1. Elizabeth Cook and The Grascals - The Great Atomic Power [2:45]

2. Devendra Banhart - Little Boxes [4:08]

3. The Del McCoury Band - The Times They Are A Changin' [3:49]

4. Scott Kempner - Apache Tears [3:42]

5. Kim Richey - Get Together [4:01]

6. The Dynamites with Charles Walker - Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud [4:32]

7. Ben Taylor - Ohio [2:40]

8. Anthony David - What's Going On? [5:02]

9. Martha Wainwright - I Am Woman [3:27]

10. Matthew Ryan - Youngstown [4:14]

11. Gary Heffern & Chris Eckman - Wave [4:35]

12. Shortee - The Message [6:34]

13. Bettye LaVette - Streets of Philadelphia [3:49]

14. The Wrights - Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning [5:30]

15. John Mellencamp - This Land Is Your Land [4:10]

I had to special order this set from Barnes & Noble. It's released from Split Rock Records/Thirty One Tigers, so it's not a big label. But this line up looks amazing. I just got a call earlier that it's in, but it was too late to go get it, the Barnes & Noble is across the Parish from me. I work this weekend, closing both nights, so I probably won't be able to get it till Monday. I'm not the most patient person when it comes to things like this. But I'll guess I'll just have to wait.

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 24 January 2007 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact John @ This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. To get your own policy, go to