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Book Trailer for the Audiobook Diary Of A Real Boy

Above is the shorter version of the Book Trailer for the audiobook of Diary Of A Real Boy

This audiobook is a comedy audio performance based on the classic American book of humor The Real Diary Of A Real Boy by Henry Shute. It comes to life with a brilliant and funny performance by a young actor.

More of a little rascal than Spanky or Alfalfa. More a menace than Dennis. This audio book brings alive all the side-splitting situations that have made this classic American work so beloved.

Diary Of A Real Boy audiobook Based on The Real Diary Of A Real Boy by Henry Shute

Diary Of A Real Boy – Audiobook – Book Trailer

Above is the shorter version of the Book Trailer for the audiobook of Diary Of A Real Boy

This audiobook is a comedy audio performance based on the classic American book of humor The Real Diary Of A Real Boy by Henry Shute. It comes to life with a brilliant and funny performance by a young actor.

Below is the long form book trailer that includes the segment “Toads In The Kitchen”

More of a little rascal than Spanky or Alfalfa. More a menace than Dennis. This audio book brings alive all the side-splitting situations that have made this classic American work so beloved.

Diary Of A Real Boy audiobook based on The Real Diary Of A Real Boy by Henry Shute Classic American Humor book

Is there a Book Renaissance Underway? Is Print Dead?

Print-old-fonts

It really infuriates me to see an antiquarian book handled with bare hands! Put on some cotton gloves, would ya, pal ?!?
The-Bay-Psalm-Book-bare-hands
It is said that printed books are dead.

When can you sell your book
for $14,165,000.00 ???

Simple … Print it then wait 374 years
and sell it at auction.

The Bay Psalms book sold
for that much last month.

It was printed by Massachusetts Puritans in 1640 and is basically the first book ever published in America. There are a few copies around but they don’t float around much.

It is reported that the Puritans printed around 1700 copies in 1640 but only 11 are known to exist today.

Old_South_Church-BostonIt is rare to see one up for sale. The last one to be sold was back in 1947 and went for a mere $150,000.00 … a real bargain !

The Old South Church of Boston was the owner who sold this copy at auction. It was estimated to have sold for between $15 and $30 million dollars. So, the sale fell quite short of expectations.

It’s OK though … the church has another copy!

I love antiquarian books and I have quite a sizable collection. However, I’m more into the content rather than the collectible value. My oldest happens to be a 1799 edition of the laws of the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts. I love looking at it magnified to see where the metal fonts dug into the paper when it was printed!

So then it is only new books that are dead? Are ebooks really taking over?

Apparently, according to real sales data, it depends on the subject category of books. Books that are more visual (illustrated) oriented are on the increase, while books that are more type oriented are on the decrease in printed form and increasing in electronic form.

sales-chart-print-ebook

I saw some interesting data from the Association of American Publishers about Electronic Book (Ebook) sales over the last several years back to 2008. Ebook sales growth shot up to peak in 2010.

But it’s growth has been in a nose dive since and seems to be leveling off well below its 2010 peak.

What gives?

There are stats out there that have been telling us that Ebook sales would surpass printed books in 2017.

Is it an economics thing? – or are Ebooks just a toy that has lost its new shine and appeal?

print-is-not-deadOn the cover of the latest edition of a leading trade magazine for the print graphics design industry, they have in large, bold letters covering the entire surface:

PRINT IS NOT DEAD

PRINT IS NOT DEAD

PRINT IS NOT DEAD

… like they are trying to convince someone.

Book stores are indeed closing up.

This speaks more to HOW people are buying books rather than a symptom that seems to say people are not buying books.

Barnes and Noble are trimming back on their numbers.

I remember when Walden’s started selling cheap overstocks. Then they closed.

Books A Million started doing that a few years ago. The writing is on the wall.

And of course Borders is long gone now. Their customer demographic were the very ones who jumped on the e-book trend. Borders could not ride out the period of sales famine.

keep-calm-and-go-with-the-flowNow there seems to be strength returning in the printed book industry. Not because they are all printed in China by communist owned printers … “Printed In The USA” is showing up more and more in book stores.

Look – whenever seasons change there is definitely a change in habits –

… or is it better to say there is more going with the flow.

Do winter coats sell better in June or November?

Do people tend to eat when they are hungry or when they are full?

Obvious questions? Absurd questions? Ridiculous?

Sure …

So why is it not just as ridiculous to have industries cry over sliding sales or what seems to be a loss of interest in what used to be high demand?

Just as Chicken Little freaked out and thought the sky was falling – we would laugh at someone who was freaking out about the planet dying because all the leaves were falling off the trees in September.

the-sky-is-fallingThe same principles apply to longer trends.

There was a huge peak in births in the mid-1950s …

There was also a huge peak of births centering in 1990 …

There was a large drop in births centering in the 1970s …

Think about how that effects EVERYTHING – especially now.

Enough about that …

… other than trends do indeed follow demographics.

Today, it’s all about 20 to 25 year old OR 60 to 65 year old people.

Everyone else is cannon fodder.

Think of this fact: Why did children’s programming (especially Saturday morning animation) absolutely blow chunks in the 1970s and well into the 1980s ?!? Because it was the lowest demographic at the time. Those people are now between their late 20s to late 40s now.

who-has-earsStop complaining that your ice cube sales to Eskimos
are down !!!

Of course they are!

Print is not dead.

Just as radio is not dead.

It’s the same principle that allows some child actors to make the transition to an adult actor.

It’s just time to put on a new pair of shoes.

As it was once said: “Let him who has ears, hear.”

Meanwhile – at the Public Library …

2012-library-info

Ad Production for Bill Anderson’s Grand Champion Southwest BBQ Rub

Logo-Chatham-Artillery-BBQAn ad spot to stream on the web for Barbecue Bill Anderson and his Grand Champion Southwest BBQ Rub.

I had some of Bill’s amazing beef brisket for myself. No wonder he won the National Championship this year!

Bill was also guest on The American Age Radio which I host and we had a ball talking about the history of American barbecue.

Check out his site when you get a chance. The URL is at the end of the video spot.

A Date That Will Live In Infamy

Pearl_Harbor_Remember_poster

pearl-harbor-uss-arizona-memorial

Home, Home on the Range Anxiety

There will always be those who drive the advancement of technological toy making by wanting to be the one who has the latest toy.

Nissan-LeafFolks these days believe the electric car is something new.

Electric cars and trucks have been with us since there were cars and trucks.

Yep – over 100 years !

What is new is being arrested for charging your car.

Especially in Georgia.

If you have a middle school kid who has tennis lessons after school and you find yourself waiting with a Nissan Leaf that could use a little juice …

crossing-guard… don’t plug your car into the school. Especially in Georgia.

This guy probably thought he was quite clever buying that car.

But now he suffers from a 21st century plague that is sweeping those who believe they are environmentally friendly when they are hurting the planet worse than if they had bought a V8 SUV –

handcuffedRANGE ANXIETY !!!

He plugs his car into the school while waiting for his son to finish his tennis lesson.

Apparently, the way the story goes, a cop strolls by and sees his extension cord from his car to a power outlet at the school.

A week later, the man is arrested at his home for stealing a nickel’s worth of electricity.

Yes – ARRESTED with all the accoutrements that consist of a criminal arrest. Like chaffed wrists …

What if some day every parent every day plugged their car into the school for a nickel’s worth of electricity ?

Nissan-Leaf_charge-portThey would be charged (*groan*) with a crime.

What if we plug in a cell phone to charge at work ?

Is that considered employee theft ?

What about this –

You take a napkin at a fast food restaurant or a couple of packs of ketchup.

You have a pack of ketchup and one napkin left over after eating. You take them with you. Did you just steal from the restaurant? Isn’t that better than throwing them away?

Ketchup-packetsNot the same?

What if you filled a drinking bottle with water from the school’s fountain ?

All that considered, without warning, that guy gets arrested for a nickel’s worth of electric power

While at the same time …

… there are people watching newly released movies streaming on the internet from web sites that are making money with click-ads and the movies are pirated copies.

The movie pirates cannot be touched because laws are still in the middle of legislation.

Nissan-Leaf-plug-inHopefully that will be corrected very soon.

But concerning the 21st century problem of range anxiety …

I can see in the not too distant future …

That the free market will come to the rescue.

Someone will start a business providing something similar to a parking meter where you can park you car to go shopping or while waiting to pick up your kid from tennis lessons.

You can drop in a coin and charge your car for a set length of time.

The place where the juice is flowing gets a few cents – the company who made the meters get a few cents and the car owner looses their range anxiety.

By the way –

Yes … electric cars were introduced along with early cars. It was before someone found a way to make an engine that could run on a waste by-product of refining oil – called gasoline – that was usually burned off or poured into the ground.

detroit-electric-cosmopolitan-car

New Book Trailer for the Fantasy Adventure novel Balatar

GBA_generic_thumbnail_150x150Balatar by Robert Marcoccio

Another book trailer I produced for Great Books Alive

See the Book Trailer Production information by CLICKING HERE

JFK: In His Own Words – The Audio Documentary of President John F Kennedy

My own personal site is the last place to get updated … Not that I am lazy – it’s all those other sites that get first attention. So then by the time I get to my own site I have few brain cells and that feeling of creative gumption that drives me to enjoy working all the time. So this audio project was already released and even on Amazon. But I didn’t even mention it here yet !

JFK In His Own Words

JFK_In_His_Own_Words_Amazon_1000wFormat : Audio CD / 2 CD Set

JFK Documentary in a new and unique style.

A dramatic audio presentation in a cinematic style with inspiring orchestrated music and superb narration that is exciting and entertaining.

This audio documentary explores the times and exciting events during the time in office of President John F Kennedy. From the Space Race to the Cuban Missile Crisis with interesting moments in American life in a time that challenged all the strength, intelligence, wit and humor of a nation and President John F Kennedy.

Includes historical audio that is expertly restored and remastered and includes President John F Kennedy in rare as well as historic moments. This JFK audio documentary goes beyond the audio book or plain spoken word recording format to capture the feel of the times during the Kennedy Administration.

A dramatic and sometimes quite humorous presentation that will entertain and inspire.

JFK_NASAThe scope of this audio CD set is to cause the listener to relive or experience for the first time what it was like to live in those amazing times during the JFK Presidency.

With a backdrop of what popular songs were being heard and what hit movies were playing. What the times were like as amazing events were taking place.

The trials an tribulations facing the press and the enemies of freedom. At some times dramatic and surprising. Moments of the sharp wit and humor from JFK.

Also moments of heart and emotion as loss and danger is faced by President John F Kennedy and our nation.

Gain new insight in a new way to the times of JFK and American life as it was experienced then. Understand principles that apply to our time now.

Learn first hand from President John F Kennedy in his own words as he faces determined enemies and events. JFK’s verbal wrestling with the press. His ideas on the prosperity of our nation that were applied and worked.

This is not a political view of President Kennedy but a revealing view of a man, a nation and a time of incredible achievement. JFK in his own words for our time.

CLICK for ordering information from American Family Mall

Also available on Amazon

JFK_In_His_Own_Words_poly_box_cover_600w

Happy Thanksgiving (sans turkey)

The_First_Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving_cover_Saturday-Evening-Post_1924Do we have to have turkey on Thanksgiving?!?

No …

I need to stay awake.

This is a very productive time actually.

I have a tradition of staying out of malls and big box stores in the months of November and December going back to the 1970s.

Actually it has been my tradition ever since I could drive and had my beloved ’64 VW Bug that I didn’t want to get scratched in a parking lot by some irresponsible fool.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday

… and still is.

So we spent the day cooking and munching.

Making stuff that will last for months. Flash freezing, bagging and storing.

thanksgiving-snoopyLike a couple of squirrels …

Or a couple of nuts …

Video games for a few hours.

A late dinner is planned while watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

Such a great day to be with our favorite people !

Thanksgiving_classic_art_-1280x960

You never forget your first Doctor –

tom-baker-dr-who-daleks-600w

tom-baker-dr-whoTom Baker was my first Doctor …

Apparently, that is the primary factor in what makes a Whovian consider who is their favorite doctor.

This is the 50th anniversary of the first airing of Dr Who way back in 1963.

Intended at first to be just a six episode mini-series. It took a break during the 90s but is now done well with all the modern SFX.

However, I still believe that Baker was the best …

… and it is delightful to see how creative they could be with duct tape back then on such a small budget.

Happy birthday Doctor Who !!!

We choose to go …

Today for some is a day of morbid curiosity. To others it is a day that represented great loss personally and to our nation. To others it is a day to reflect and remember achievements and to be thankful for what we have and where we came from.
1963-Chevrolet-Corvette-Coupe
The more times change …
… the more they remain the same.

I can remember a time when all people had a burning passion to achieve.

We had this burning passion no matter what our goal was. No matter what our position in life and society was.

We wanted to build. We wanted to make things.

1963-april-28_space_article_magazineWe wanted to GO !

We could be a writer or an engineer.

We could be a home maker.

A plumber or mechanic.

A jukebox designer or a janitor.

We could be an artist or business professional.

It does not matter as we all attributed an aptitude for growth and excellence in whatever we do.

Many of us still feel that passion.

What makes one person want to take on a challenge while another retreats ?

Those who look for challenges have no time to stop and wonder why. We are too busy climbing mountains to stop and ask why !

We would rather do than think about doing.

On this day of morbid curiosity for some and a time to reflect for others …

All we need to do is to look back at times before the things around us have become so routine.

1963_franklin_half_dollarBefore our GPS and weather satellites … computer maps …

Looking at when such dreams and ideas were considered an act of faith.

Yesterday was an act of faith while today it is an simple act of pressing a button.

But without those who have vision and faith to face challenges – everything stops in its tracks.

And to keep this passion we must keep our basic incentives for growth.

Look beyond the morbid curiosities and time wasting theories into the actual achievements and principles that will work today just as they did fifty years ago.

Veterans Day of 2013

Veterans-Day-2013

“This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

– Elmer Davis (American Journalist)

Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes and even my Great-Granny all knew that Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Water

ice-cube-tray_public-domain-imageIt is a strange phenomenon …

Warmer water will freeze faster than colder water.

Aristotle may have been the first person we know of to have written about this phenomenon.

Bacon and Descartes wrote about it. But even my Great-Granny knew it.

Perhaps this could explain the confusion in the news today and all those bewildered scientists who seem to keep contradicting themselves.

There is also a lot of differing opinions about the observed fact that hot water does freeze faster than cold water.

Isn’t that the main aspect of scientific discovery ? To observe.

Theories have their place in science.

But theories are tempered by sound observation and recorded data.

It can take a very long time in collecting data in order to understand facts in science. It also takes ALL the data and facts without manipulation or denying some data just because it does not fit into a theory.

I remember a professor I had when studying engineering that said the world of physics will always fall apart every five years because they will continue to discover smaller particles on and on. And every time they discover a smaller one they exclaim it to be the smallest there is. The universe is infinitely small and huge. We will never find the end of it.

Wise words. While it is wise to stand on what we now know, it is wiser still to realize we will discover more knowledge in time.

confused-retro-kidIn the early 1970s in school we were all taught that the planet was heading into an ice age.

We were deluged with studies on the Eskimos …

Maybe they wanted to prepare us for living in igloos.

The BBC reported in 2007 that global warming would melt ALL the ice in the Arctic by 2013.

That meant by THE SUMMER THAT JUST PASSED there was to be NO ICE in the arctic.

Uhhh … the ice is growing by 29% a year now.

Time magazine even seems to have forgotten reporting on a coming ice age in the mid-70s. Here are the magazine covers in the middle 1970s and then about ten years ago:

Time-magazine-mid-70s-vs-now-climate

There seems to be even more confusion as about ten years ago the kids were being taught that the ice and polar bears would all be gone by now. But the numbers of polar bears have been increasing.

Now the seas have been measured to be much warmer and the polar ice is now larger than ever measured.

In 1979, Time magazine was making global cooling its cover story:

Time-magazine-cover-1979-global-cooling

My questions are these:

Could the phenomenon of warmer water freezing faster be the reason for the ice now growing in the arctic ?

Could it be that the Earth actually corrects itself ?

Perhaps this could all be due to some grand design. A wonderful design.

Maybe the confusion is coming from those who choose to ignore the difficult observations and data that in reality makes for good science.

Time_Magazine_Cover_Generation_XAll this does seem to point at deliberate manipulation. Of course magazine publishers want to sell more magazines. And nothing sells more magazines than sensational stories about crisis.

“If it bleeds it leads” as the media says … Good news doesn’t sell.

Yet to me it seems the public has been living for a while now with the epitome’ of “the boy who cried wolf” !

Something else Aristotle realized and was repeated by Plato and other philosophers:
“Youth is so easily deceived because it is so quick to embrace.”

Maybe those members of GENERATION X (those born in the 1960s) such as myself are simply doomed to see history repeat itself as we now realize the contradiction but the kids now think it’s all new to them and will not listen or pay attention to real data due to their nature.

USMC on their 238th Birthday – The United States Marine Corps

Samuel_Nicholas_1st_USMC_CommandantOn November 10th, 1775 in Philadelphia two battalions were created and formed to perform as infantry for our Navy.

The new Continental Marines were led by
Captain Samuel Nicholas
and eventually became known as …

The United States Marine Corps

… or as most know them as …

The Marines.

They are celebrating their 238th birthday this year.

Our nation is not protected by bureaucrats and politicians, but brave men such as those who serve in the Marines.

The following film is a wonderful production by The Combat Camera & Visual Information Division:

Free Car !!!

What if you saw an ad on television, radio or in a magazine from one of the big car makers that offered a brand new car for free ?
Hot-Girl-With-Car
“Get a car built for free!”

That would probably grab your attention.

No doubt many people would make a bee-line to the car dealership.

Then, at the car dealership they tell you that you can drive a car – any car – and if you like it, all you have to do is pay a low monthly fee.

three-card-monteWould you feel deceived ?

At what point …

… would you realize the deception ?

Some would realize this “come on” when they see the word “free”.

Others would figure it out at the end of the advertisement because they paid attention long enough to listen to the entire ad.

Snake-BiteOthers would get all the way down to the dealership and into a “conversation” with a salesman only to realize they wasted a lot of time for nothing.

Yet there are some – and enough to make the trick happen for the dealer – who still think they received a free car even as they make their first “low monthly fee payment”.

And the real ironic part of it is that the “low monthly fee” is more than if they had bought a car that wasn’t free!

used-car-salesmanThis happens every day.

This sad state of business in these days we live in seems to be what is a prophecy of ALL business in the future.

Hucksters promising everything for free and the fools who think everything is free.

Free costs a lot of money.

A great example is the offer for a free web site.
free-money-trap
That low monthly fee equals over twice the price in a year than it was just to pay for an experienced professional to build one for you. But it gets built in a 21st century sweatshop by someone in a 3rd world country for pennies on the dollar from templates. And that is just what happens on the surface. Once you get into a contract you cannot get out of, the real fun begins!

Moe-Cooks-The-GulliblesThat’s the reality of “free”

I am wondering how long it will be until car manufacturers will join in on the “free fad” ?

Yet – I am very sure there are a majority out there that understand that nothing is free. People use their labor to make something while others buy those things with money they made from making something with their labor.

That is the ebb and flow of a thriving economy.

burned-weeniesAnything “free” costs more than something with a price tag.

That does – in fact – apply to everything.

The newest fad is the “weird trick” trick. But that is a subject for another day. Do gullible people now rule the economy? Are honest business people being forced to join into deception in order to survive?

You’re a good man Charlie Brown. Don’t fall for it again.

Charlie-Brown-fooled-again

University of Oxford study says Sir-Mix-A-Lot is Right

Oxford-University-Circlet
Yes – it’s official.

Why? Because Oxford has a wonderful department of Women’s Studies and they have spent years sorting it out for us all.

Nature has shown us for years.

We already knew it – we didn’t know exactly why – but we knew it down deep inside.

I’m sure it is like knowing thirst and hunger as a small child and then being taught why when we get old enough to go to school. Before then we just knew we were thirsty or hungry.

The male of the species has instinctively known the results of the Oxford study since the time he woke up with a missing rib.

According to Oxford University Women’s Studies, there is a particular attribute for a woman to have that leads to everything to greater health, smarter children and more.

Imagine that … even her children are more intelligent. She has less health problems. Much lower cases of heart disease and diabetes. The list goes on and on.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UKMagazines featuring sickly looking people who appear malnourished and tubular have been misleading the public for half a century.

Perhaps this generation that have grown up since the middle of the 20th century may prove out to be the generation of experimentation against nature. And will realize the self appointed intellectuals have all been wrong after all and Great-Granny was right all along.

All those things created to replace natural essence with a better life through chemistry are more and more falling to the side while what our grandparents said is being proven by science and statistical studies to be best for us.
hilda-touch-toes
It makes me wonder what else will be discovered in the coming years ?

I was taught in school based on serious minds of science that by now we would be well on our way into a new ice age.

You just can’t fool or manipulate mother nature after all !

Civil War Opponents Share a Birthday

Raleigh-Edward-ColstonBrigadier General Raleigh Edward Colston was known as “a gentleman and slow to believe evil about his fellow man”

Daniel_Butterfield_sMajor General Daniel Butterfield wrote the bugle call “taps” heard at military funerals …

Both share the same day of birth, but in different years apart in the early 19th century.

They served on opposite sides of the American Civil War. Both were very involved in famous battles and situations during that time of terrible trial from America.

Butterfield went on to serve in U.S. Grant’s presidential administration as Assistant Treasurer of the United States and is best known for his involvement in the Black Friday gold scandal in the Grant administration.

It is easy to argue that Grant was the most corrupt US President in history. So bad that Grant’s initial supporter Horace Greeley helped create the “Liberal Republican Party” to try and keep Grant from a second term.
DanielButterfieldonMount
Colston went on to do rail road engineering projects in Egypt later in the 1800s and returned to America to continue an interesting life writing magazine articles and lecturing.

Butterfield went on to be successful in business and banking.

Happy birthday, boys !

Remember that guy that was in that movie ? He was Ed Lauter.

Ed_Lauter_38_PDCharacter actors are always with us.

Leading men and leading ladies come and go like the flavor of the month.

But character actors get seen again and again.

Their careers go on almost forever.

We know them.

They are reliable.

They just don’t have that chiseled look that is so disposable as popularity dictates.

So they stay in there time after time.

Directors keep calling them back for their next film or project because they are reliable.

Yet the public rarely remembers their name.

They remember the face – sure.

So maybe the best place to be for an actor is to be the character actor. Like Burgess Meredith or Ben Kingsley or that guy who was in that movie

Such as the actor Ed Lauter
ed-lauter-promo
As I came up for air after finishing the latest “The American Age” episode, I discovered that he left us.

He was one of those “guys in that thing” we saw again and again …

I remember seeing him in a lot of SciFi productions from X-Flies to Star Trek TNG and even Alfred Hitchcock‘s last movie Family Plot. He did have a look to him that played well in that genre.

He was in over 200 movies and TV shows. What a great career he had and I can only imagine all the fun.

It’s good to know Ed Lauter will always be with us in all those movies and television shows we will continue to enjoy.

Busiot … my new word.

busy-guy-cartoonI coined a new word –

“busiot”

Quick – call Websters !!!

Think of the word “business”.

People pronounce it as “biz-ness”. It relates to work and how we make a living.

But it literally means “a state of being busy” if you break it down into its components.

It’s good to be busy.

im-too-busyDays are getting shorter
as the seasons become colder.

That’s just the Earth on its axis at work.

But it also seems like time is speeding up.

It must be just the old saying that time flies when one is having fun.

I did realize this:

Everyone sets out to do what the want to do …
… and ends up doing what they should be doing.

I should make a bumper sticker out of that one … but to be able to read it would require tailgating!

88 Years For the The Opry / Goodnight Tom Clancy

Tom_Clancy_-_ATTRIB_CC2p0_Gary-Wayne-GilbertWhen I get deep into a work phase, it can be amazing what has been going on when I come up from the cave for some air …

It is with sadness when we learn of a talent passing from us.

Especially when it is such a talent for creating narratives and stories that entertain so many.

Such was the life of Tom Clancy.

Let us celebrate what he did for us. What he contributed to this world.

I am a bit disgusted by the predictable conspiracy theorists who always seem to ooze from the cracks whenever an opportunity arises to speculate when there is nothing to speculate about.

The speculators concerning the cause of Tom Clancy’s departure from among us is just as the grocery store tabloids run front page headlines of how a celebrity couple is on the rocks simply because one of them is not wearing their wedding ring in a photograph … probably because the photo called for no jewelry …

GW BUSHSpeculation without evidence is as evil as gossip.

These things always seem to happen with the intellectually challenged who see government spooks behind every bush.

I choose to remember Tom Clancy for his contributions.

We should all try to contribute in life as he did.

On a lighter note –

88_birthday_cakeIt’s yet another birthday for The Grand Ole Opry !!! It’s been 88 years … wow !

Grand_ole_opry_88_Birthday

Few American institutions contain such a variety of historical and cultural aspects.

Not only containing musical history – but other aspects from radio history to classic architecture. It is amazing that not long ago it was almost lost to the wrecking ball … figuratively as well as physically.
Ryman_Auditorium_-_PUBLIC_DOMAIN_released
The Grand Ole Opry must always be preserved.

It’s not really tied to a particular building. But it cannot be completely removed from it.

Some believe The Opry just isn’t really The Opry unless it’s in the Ryman Auditorium.

The Ryman is a beautiful place. I’ve had the opportunity many times to explore it on my own during daylight hours as well as backstage during the shows. It still has a feeling of reverence about it left over from its days as a place for spreading The Gospel.

Is The Grand Ole Opry a physical thing, emotional, legend or spiritual ?

Perhaps the Grand Ole Opry is a lot of all of those. I’m sure it is.

“Cord Nevers”? What about “Cord No Mores” ?!?

Yet more changes are coming to a dictionary near you … A new group is rising:

cord-no-mores-cord-nerver“Cord Nevers”

These are folks in their early to mid twenties who have never subscribed to “cable”.

They have been streaming things via the internet and have not given into subscribing to “cable television”…

Who subscribes to “cable” anymore ? I thought satellite TV was “tha’h thang” for the last ten or more years ?!?

Yet there is a growing group of people that we have been a member of for quite a while now:

cord-no-more-coaxial_cableI call them “Cord No Mores” –

We joined these folks a while ago. We found we were watching more and more via streaming already.

Satellite was becoming agonizingly boring. What little new programming was just terrible. What quality that might be there was few and far between and we could find it easier, quicker and when we wanted it via the internet and streaming.

So why pay for something that is not necessary – is burdensome – and mainly regurgitated slop ?

“Cord No Mores” are those of ANY age who have finally had enough of paid television and are returning to the legacy style of broadcasting.

cord-no-more-cord-cutting-estimate

“Cord No Mores” are fed up with the same content over and over again by pay TV subscriptions.

cord-no-more-streamingFinished with being force fed garbage in a linear fashion.

They are streaming their news and more.

They are putting antennas up again …

… and getting the wonderful digital broadcasting from their local stations.

They have returned to letting advertisers pay to sponsor quality programs … like the good ‘ole days when stories and the actors had us glued to our TVs.

cord-no-more-cut-cableRefusing to be enslaved to contracts and mega monthly payments for hundreds of channels they will never watch.

We are the new media platform consumers that will bring new life to the “old platforms” like broadcast radio and television.

We are quite tired of channels “going dark” because one big media bully plays games with a big carrier bully using subscribers as pawns.

In my house, we went through that game playing several years ago and could only laugh at the new rounds a few months ago.

And now Disney is (justified) going after the big, bad evil DISH MONSTER who is actually selling technology to steal revenues from creators of quality programming ?!?

How can creators of quality programs have the means to create more quality shows if the carriers allow ads to be skipped over by the carriers of the programming? The carriers are creating a downward spiral and their own demise eventually in a not very distant future. It has already begun and is no doubt unstoppable.

No more … We are the CORD NO MORES ! Hear us ROAR !!! It’s just a natural course for us all eventually.

cord-no-more-chart-broadcast-eng

September 11th 2001 ~ Always Remember ~ Never Forget

911-always-remember-tr

A dozen years go by and it can seem like yesterday.

Especially when your life was touched by such tragedy.

Always remember … never forget …

Honor heroes by living to make a better future for all.

Back to the Moon We Go !

ladee-moon-spacecraft-liftoff-sept-6th-2013Finally …

back to the moon we go!

God speed m’LADEE …

Think of the wealth of minerals there could be used for the advancement of our world for industry and the benefit of all mankind.

It would probably also be a good idea to send up a fence building robot to run some barbed wire around the Apollo 11 landing site to keep the chicom tourists from molesting that historic site …!

We have benefited greatly from our space program.

Just think of LEDs !

Not to mention food and water purification advancements – freeze drying technology – temper foam for better sleeping – firefighting gear and even cordless vacuum cleaners !!!

Especially solar power …

With a way to get to the moon and back with minerals and ore would benefit everyone in one way or another.

armstron-on-the-moonWe have lead the way and should continue to lead the way. It is quite amazing to have seen the first men walk on the moon and now are advancing in so many ways with knowledge and technology.

The night launch was quite a show and could be seen well all up the east coast.

Let’s hope we will see more launches and explorations soon.

Concentrating on the moon would be our best course for now. Mars can wait until we get our chops down better. What better way for us to advance further in our knowledge and technology than to return to the moon?





A Conversation about America between Stephen Fry and Craig Ferguson on the CBS Late, Late Show

jpegWho are those two people you may ask ?

Stephen Fry would be well known to you if you were living in the UK and had been keeping your television license paid up.

Or maybe listen to Harry Potter on audio book. The last I saw of him was driving badly on an episode of UK’s TOP GEAR program.

Geoff-the-robotCraig Ferguson is that guy who talks to a robot late at night on television. He also became a citizen of the United States just a few years ago.

Both are originally from the UK. Both now live in Southern California.

Fry appeared on Ferguson’s very late television show and actually said some honest things about America from one particular British point of view …

See America … Not just one City

NYC_skyline_viewer

I always find it frustrating when someone from Europe – especially the UK – who flies into JFK Airport and stays in NYC for a week or so and claim they have “been to America”

NYC_streetsThey have been to New York City.

Would the British agree if I flew into Heathrow, took a taxi to Piccadilly Circus, got a hotel room and spent a couple of weeks visiting the shops, taking in a few stops along the Underground and a few plays to then say I have seen England?

Of course not. I would have visited London – and probably had a wonderful time also. But I would have no doubt missed “England” …

blue-eyeThe same would be if one would see the cover of a book and then claim to have read that book. Can a person claim to have eaten at a particular restaurant because they have smelled the cooking emanating from its door?

So you want to be able to truthfully claim you have been to America?

Kentucky_bluegrass_regionRent a car …

Drive west through the states and end up in Chicago. Drive down to Nashville. Then over to Atlanta and up to Virginia through the Appalachians and end back in NYC …

Then, you can say you have “been to America” – although you still only saw a very small slither of it.

America_as_seen_by_new_yorkers

Why is what Bono said so shocking to some?

Bono said something shocking ?!? The lead singer of a rock band said something shocking ?!?

bono-on-free-enterpriseIsn’t that what rock stars do ? Shock ?

It is amazing that some people are shocked about what Bono said about the best way to get people who are impoverished out of it. “Capitalism” …

It’s also funny to me that the UK’s “Guardian” ran an article with a tag after the headline: Agree?

Then The Guardian ran a poll after their article where the agrees with Bono ran up to 80% and they shut down the poll.

I don’t want to wax political here – and it’s NOT politics … it’s ECONOMICS … but the term “capitalism” is a term touted by marxists in order to demonize a free market system. How it winded up as the defining word is a testament to keep repeating something and it will be adopted.

You must first identify something with a term and then stick “-ISM” behind it before something can be demonized. If you have read the “communist manifesto” from Marx, it is all in there. (Karl not Groucho)

bono-with-bucksThe FREE MARKETfree enterprise –

Letting people be free to find a way to work that pleases themselves and improve their lives. That really is the answer.

Why does it take a rock star to drive home the truth and reality of it all ???

Why is this so shocking ?

Especially in the test of time and history ?

August 28th ~ Time and History Stops For No One …

As the years roll on, we keep adding to our American History. History, like time, stops for no one.

Tina-Turner-President-G-W-Bush_et_alOf course, the more important an event was depending on the importance we put on an event makes that moment in history live on.

Some events transcend everything else.

Some moments in history go beyond what they appeared to be at the time. Some moments are misinterpreted and then later realized. An event or act that causes great attention may seem political at the time but was really more cultural or social in nature.
Martin-Luther-King-Jr_i-have-a-dream-USMC-09611_PD_IMAGE_GOV
August seems to be when a lot of history happened. We are thinking in particular of today because of the milestone of the 50 year anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s 1963 speech that is known as his “I Have A Dream” speech.

But history is full of so much more. That’s the beauty of recorded history.

If you are into music, especially Bob Dylan

… you will know that also on this day in 1965 he was booed at a concert because he walked onstage with an electric guitar !!!

Bob-Dylan-dont-criticiseHow dare Bob Dylan offend his fans by using electricity !

Exactly five years after the “I Have A Dream” speech, during the Democrat National Convention in 1968 found “anti-war” demonstrators clashing with the police.

Go backwards in time half a century from that and you find that Ten suffragists arrested for picketing in front of the White House in 1917.

Jump back even further to 1830 on this day to find the very first train locomotive in the United States making its first run from Baltimore to Ellicotts Mill, Maryland. The engine was called the “Tom Thumb” … and knowing it’s destination being famous for brewing – they were no doubt making a beer run!

But jumping forward to our living memory, it is full of great events on this day …

Mick Jagger & Jerry Hall have a son in 1965 …

Paul McCartney gets a daughter in 1969 …

apollo_man-on-moon-_-American-flagCountry Music singer Le Ann Rimes
came to Earth in 1982.

In music we saw the goofy pop song
“Monster Mash” get a gold record in 1973 …

Tina Turner gets a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1986 !

Believe me – Tina didn’t get a star in Hollywood by letting history pass her by.

The point is – history happens every day …

Go out and make some history yourself !

The Discovery of Goat Hatred Lives On …

goat_stupid_smileThere was a particular article of mine from just a half year ago that generated quite a bit of interest and chuckles out there … Got Goat?!?

Here is another fellow who no doubt thought goats were a cute critter to have around:

(a listing found on CraigsList from a certain northern Florida Capital city I am more than just aware of and can see the “par for the course” humor)

________

2 Dozen Free Goats

I have 2 dozen goats I need to get rid of. I had no idea raising goats would be this hard. These little b*****ds keep eating all my wife’s flowers and climbing on our goddamn cars. Nobody told me they were such good climbers. The first person to get these d**n goats out of here can have them.

goat on a horsexxx-xxx-xxxx

________

I can only imagine quite well what this guy was thinking when he bought all those goats. I’m sure he and his wife had seen some beside the road and thought they were just so cute.

goat_attack_goatGoats are as close to an incarnation of a demonic plague that you will ever experience.

Baby goats are very cute – they will follow you around like they are in love with you and give you unexpected butts with it’s little head …

That cuteness lasts about a week.

There is nothing funnier than a real life example of the classic television show “Green Acres”

I learned at a very early age that goats were some sort of divine joke placed upon humanity to keep us feeling humble and not so sure of ourselves.

On a relative’s farm once regularly visited I learned many hard facts about life …

Such as goats, electric fences and when a horse wants to do exactly what it pleases to do.

It’s a Man’s Life in U.N.I.T.

.the-brigadier

Yes – It’s a man’s life in U.N.I.T.

I remember one day the Brigadier said to me:

“Pick up that box and put it in that truck.”

… and …

“Remember, it’s five rounds – rapid!”

But that never worked on the Daleks …

Dr Who turns 50 this year in November.

We have been recently rediscovering the show.

I had forgotten just how charming and fun the older incarnations were. Especially the Tom Baker era of the 1970s.

The newer productions are fabulous now that technology has made the production more sensational.

Especially the David Tennant era during the first several seasons of his unique interpretation of The Doctor. And Tennant being such an amazing actor in the role to boot! Even when the scripts became a bit predictable and hollow toward the end of his reign as Dr Who – his talent pulled it through.

dr-who-tom-bakerBut there is something about the older, original shows – even with the low budget props and crazy costumes – that just seem so much better with time.

dr-who-tom-baker-david-tennant

The heart and charm of the past series is no doubt attributed to the great scripts and world class acting.

It is easy to forgive the low budget props and monsters held together many times by grey duct tape when the stories and characters are so enjoyable !

Chill out Chicken Little – it’s only the Perseids !

Nope – the sky is not falling … Well, yes it is. It’s time for the Perseids !!!

2009_Perseid_meteor_and_Milky_Way_-_CC-ATTRIB_Brocken_InagloryFor those who have never experienced this, it is a time when we pass through the debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

They are falling right now – but they peak out this weekend.

Unfortunately, the best viewing is the Northeast USA … and they will not be able to see anything due to the lights thrown out by the cities.

Still, at 70 meteors an hour it should be fun for a lot of folks.

2010_Perseids__CC-ATTRIB_ESOdotORG

It will be best Sunday night after midnight until dawn on Monday.

It is quite a light show some years. It may be pretty good this year.

You only need your own eyes. You just look up into the sky.

If you can get into a wide, open field with a blanket and pillow it will be a lot more comfortable.

It’s hard on the neck to stand looking up for a long period of time. So lay down and get comfortable.

___

mel_torme_auto_picmel_torme_1950s_albumAlso –

What is up with the …

“official” Mel Torme’ web site ?!?

Y’all need some help over there ?!?

The Future ? Jane ~ Stop This Crazy Thing !!! Technology is Wonderful, but People Embrace the Familiar.

During the CBS Late Late Show, host Craig Ferguson sings the line during the opening theme song …

Jetsons_car“Tomorrow’s just your future yesterday.”

Devo encouraged …

“Duty now for the future.”

I agree with George Jetson …

“Stop this crazy thing!”

But of course this is all intended by me to get a chuckle out of you.

However, let’s ask ourselves –

Where are all those great modern conveniences they told us we would have by the year 2001 – or at the very least, by now ?
cyberpunk_does_not_care
Where is my hover car ?

Where is my robot maid ?!?

I was digging through and old box of VHS tapes

my_robot_maid… yeah, VHS tapes …

… and found some recordings of Frank Ogden (Dr Tomorrow), Timothy Leary ( burnt out acid king of the 1960s ), William Gibson ( SciFi author who wrote everything on an obsolete type writer in the 1980s ) and others talking in 1990 about what would be here in 20 years.

It is interesting that Leary said we would put on virtual reality helmets to have meetings in virtual reality environments instead of driving hours in a car or flying for hours in airplanes to meet and do business.

We now ( in their future ) meet simply by what was once called a video phone. But we do it via VOIP over that creepy built in camera on our notebook computer using WIFI.

world-of-warcraft-character-screenWe don’t do business in a field of daffodils as a white rabbit and cheshire cat – that would be distracting.

However, countless people do meet in virtual worlds to role play to kill armies of evil robots or live in a land of elves … such as in the World Of Warcraft.

Sorry Tim – that’s what acid does for ya … warps your vision.

However, Frank Ogden ( born in 1920 and who passed last year at 92 ) was always quite right on with his visions of the future.

Ogden didn’t go out on a limb of fantasy. That is why companies paid him big buck to tell them if their products would be obsolete before they even got started.

james_bond_doll_jet_packWe do not have personal rocket back packs or robot butlers making us breakfast – but look at what we do have.

Technology must fit into practicality.

In 1990s magazines I had an article out comparing broadcasting live (pre-recorded) vs “on demand” before even internet radio pioneers were thinking about recording programs to be played when the web site visitor was ready to “click the play button”.

Even as I was a guest on national talk radio back then I spoke of this practical technology while the hosts wanted me to talk about “that scary Y2K thing”.

“On Demand” was a logical step with that new “internet thing”.

Of course the concept of on demand broadcasting is old hat to us now.

We can now talk anytime to anyone, anywhere – and take motion pictures with sound to send anywhere.

And what are we doing with this technology ?

Geoff_Peterson_the_Late-Late-Show_robot_-_CC-ATTRIB_Jodi-KurlandPosting videos of dogs chasing thier tail and smart phone calling someone to ask “Where you at ?!?”

Ogden demonstrated those white, ceramic knives in 1990 and said they would be the end of those expensive steel knives dominated by a certain German community.

Sure – ceramic knives exist … cheap too. But they are a novelty with the public.

Why? Because while technology is a wonderful thing to embrace, people embrace familiarity more.

So advances in technology must reflect the familiar for a time to catch on eventually.

As we move into the future, it is in the same way we moved into the industrial era – with trepidation, timidity and a side dish of full-on resistance.

As some industries and business based on archaic methodologies die off, just as many are born doing things we never dreamed about just a few years ago.

So, for now … this is how we enjoy robotics at this point in history –

Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day !!!

IceCreamSandwich_PD_image

Nobody knows who started National Ice Cream Sandwich Day … Believe me – I tried !!!

ice-cream-sandwich-Pückler-SchnitteWho cares who started it?

Just enjoy it.

Like this neapolitan style Germanic creation known as Erdbeer, Vanille und Schokoladeneis zwischen Waffeln Fürst-Pückler-Schnitte.

Imagine asking for one of those by name at your corner convenient store !

Apparently, it makes your puckler go schnitte !

It seems we have a day for everything in the United States.

I have always been a big fan of the ice cream sandwich. It seems to be the perfect combination of creamy vanilla ice cream and a thin, chocolate wafer on the top and bottom.

Chocolate-Oatmeal-Ice-Cream-SandwichA few weeks ago, we made very thin oatmeal cookies with coco powder in them.

We smeared about an inch of vanilla ice cream between two of those cookies making up a dozen or so.

We placed them on a baking sheet and into the freezer for a while. Once they were good and hard, we placed them individually in small zip top bags. What a treat !

However, the ice cream sandwich that is common in minute markets and boxed in grocery stores have the perfect balance of all the types of ice cream sandwiches. They were the same when I was a kid in the 60s and will be around forever hence. I am very sure of that !

Take a five minute vacation today and enjoy one.

Wer Kraftwerk Ist ? Musik Fur Jeder !

Es ist ein deutscher, echte Musik mit Technologie …

kraftwerk_retro

Was ist das ? … Que ?!? Portugiesisch !?!

Milton Friedman born on this day in 1912

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have been born in the early 20th century and experiences the tremendous growth in knowledge and technology over a lifetime in that century.

milton-friedman-color-300wI find myself believing that the best time and place to have been born across the entire history of the world would have been in the United States of America in the year 1930.

Being born in New York in 1912 would no doubt come close to that consideration, such as Milton Friedman.

Milton Friedman was an exceptional man with an exceptional mind.

“So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.” – Milton Friedman

milton_smilesA Nobel Prize winner, his knowledge of economics was quite astounding.

Penn Bullock wrote in his 2009 article appearing in Reason Magazine that in essence, the Federal Reserve’s response to the global financial crisis of 2007–08 was influenced by Milton Friedman’s monetary theory.

Milton Friedman lived a long life and influenced many. His contributions continue to be praised by some and demonized by others. Regardless of the heralds or raspberries upon the mention of his name, his influence will be with us forever.

The following is an amazing example of Milton Friedman:

This was from 1979 on the Phil Donahue Show. Donahue was quite a character himself and hosted a very popular and pioneering daytime talk show that originated in Chicago.

Phil Donahue is the one with the big hair …

DEVO? Why not …

devo_promo

HELP! The Movie Premiere in 1965

Beatles_movie_poster_HelpIt was this day in 1965 that the second movie from
The Beatles was premiered.

Even the Queen attended the premiere !!!

After the ground breaking success of their first effort, the black and white pseudo-documentary “A Hard Day’s Night”, there needed to be a follow-up.

This time it would be in color … but they did not want to just make a color (or as they write it in the UK: colour) version of A Hard Day’s Night.

The movie “HELP!” was just as ground-breaking as their first movie. Yet it was a true narrative film.

It was still a wacky take-off of the types of stories popular at the time. Influenced, no doubt by the new sensational movies based on Ian Flemming’s James Bond.

Poor Ringo. He almost lost a finger !

Below is a silent reel of “home movies” made during the making of “HELP!”

Even more (ad nauseum yet interesting) “home movies” of behind the scenes while making “HELP!”

Korean War 60th Anniversary since the Armistice

An armistice is when the opposing sides in a war agree to stop shooting. Neither surrender. The conflict continues, it’s just that bullets cease to fly.
South_Korean_refugees_mid-1950
I have personally interviewed and spoken with people who had first hand experience during the Korean War. Many of them were in South Korea (ROK). First hand accounts from Koreans who were teenagers in 1950 and the horror they had to endure upon the attack of the communist forces.

War is horrendous and terrible. But living under totalitarianism is more terrible than a raging war.

Korea Observation Post OuelletteOne reality is sure:
if communism was allowed to overtake that peninsula in 1950 we would not have the firm example of how prosperous a people can become in a free society as the ROK has given us.

There has been many documentaries about the Korean War. However, nothing I have ever seen has ever come closer to understanding what our brave servicemen had to endure during the Korean War than this documentary :

KOREAN WAR

Anniversary of the First Photos from Mars by Mariner IV

Mariner_4It seems unbelievable that it was 1965 when we took the first close-up photographs of the planet Mars.

Mariner IV sent these first photos on this date in 1965.

It is just as amazing to find out just how many folks believe we did not have a spacecraft go anywhere near Mars until the 70s. But we did several years before we set foot on the moon in 1969.

The photos were a bit crude by today’s digital standards. But they were pure magic to those living then.

Mariner_4_cratersThe really amazing part of the entire mission to me, was the course correction that had to be made about half way there.

That was some fancy flying they had to do – heavy calculations – and they hit it with around only 1% error in what they were shooting for. The craft was back on course and made it as planned.

The first photos were not so great – other than being the first. But soon they had some really stunning shots as Mariner 4 flew by.

Mariner 3 that came earlier could not deploy properly on its way and eventually died from lack of power since it could not extend its solar panels. It is now somewhere in solar orbit somewhere. Where is Mariner 4 now ?

Mariner IV is also bumping along out there somewhere. Hopefully it won’t be picked up by Klingons !

Of course I’m just joking. We wouldn’t dare give evil aliens a map to our planet, would we ?!? Uhhhhh …

Pioneer10-map

Who’s “brilliant idea” was it to put a map to find us and a naked dude waving hello on Pioneer 10 ?!?

For all we know, raising a hand like that to some alien race might be an insult and they’ll use the map to come find who it was that insulted them … ! At least it shows 9 planets so they may miss us completely (hehheh!)

Mars-Exploration-Family-Portrait

A 1971 Time Machine ~ I Remembered the Theme Song but Not the Show

music_is_like_a_time_machineA song can be powerful.

Sometimes it is like a time machine.

There I was, listening to a mix of “Martini Music” …

I have to explain –

“Martini Music” is a type of music (not really a genre but it kinda is) that represents a certain type of mood and style. Usually found in the middle 1950s to the middle 1960s but extending much farther back and forward in time.

pink-martiniSometimes a Cha-Cha, sometimes a Swing number, sometimes a Mambo, sometimes breathy Jazz, sometimes a few exotic bird calls, sometimes a movie theme, sometimes a bit of cowbell, sometimes a pop song

les_baxter_LP_Space_CapadesIt always makes one get happy and wiggle a bit.

That doesn’t really explain it well, does it ?

You will hear a lot of marimbas and bongos … some swing and jazz … cool instrumentals … sometimes no bongos and marimbas but lots of strings with piano … sometimes a Hammond organ with the middle draw-bars pushed all the way in with the percussion tab down and the Leslie speaker on really slow spin …

Uhh … that still doesn’t nail it, huh ?

A process of elimination ? OK … No Beatles … yet there will be a lot of Beatles songs … No Stairway To Heaven either or Hendrix. Yet, there could be if it was arranged right with bongos and cowbell.

pink_martini_hollywood_bowl_posterGRRRRRRR !!! Elimination isn’t working …

How ’bout an INCLUSIVE LIST ?!?

Yeah ~ That’s the ticket …

You will hear cool arrangements like “The Look Of Love” and “Bond Street” by Burt Bacharach, “Fever” and “So What’s New?” and “Hallelujah, I Love Him So” by Peggy Lee, “Beyond The Sea” and “Charade” and “Mack The Knife” by Bobby Darin, “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big” written by Steve Allen and performed by Dave Pell, “Mucha Muchacha” and “My Blue Heaven” by Esquivel, “Love Is Here To Stay” by Harry Connick Jr, “The Pink Panther Theme”, “Mr Yunioshi”, “The Inspector Clouseau Theme”, “Baby Elephant Walk” and a ton more by Henry Mancini.

“One Mint Julep” by Sarah Vaughan, “Not Me” by actor turned singer Robert Mitchum, “Glow Worm Cha-Cha-Cha” by Jackie Davis, “I’ll Drink To That” by John Barry, “Bannana Boy” by Eden Ahbez, “Babalu” by the Miguelito Valdez Orchestra, “Watermelon Man” by Quincy Jones, “Smack Dab In The Middle” by Buster Poindexter, “Voodoo Dreams” and “Quiet Village” by Les Baxter (or the Martin Denny version), a rockin’ go-go version of “Love For Sale” and “Moon River” in a Cha-Cha arrangement or “Summertime” by Barney Kessel, “Under Paris Skies” by Earl Grant, “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” by Nancy Wilson, “Something’s Gotta Give” by Anita-Oday-This-Is-Anita-LPSammy Davis Jr, “Mambo En Sax” by Perez Prado, “The Enchanted Sea” or “M’Gambo Mambo” by Martin Denny a LOT of Martin Denny!

“What Is This Thing Called Love” and other hot tunes by the amazing Anita O’Day, “Love” by Michael Buble, “The Girl From Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto, “Manana” by LaVern Baker, “Frenesi” by Eydie Gorme’, “Bukra Wba’do” with “U Plavu Zoru” and “The Gardens of Sampson And Beasley” by Pink Martini, “Samba De Duas Notas” by Dick Hyman, “The Lady Is A Tramp” by Arthur Lyman, “Rum And Coca-Cola” and “Singapore Sling” and “Manhattan” and “La Dolce Vita” by the Xavier Cugat Orchestra, “Knock Me A Kiss” by Louis Jordan, “Lookin Good” by Jamie Cullum, “A Man and A Woman” by Herbie Mann, “Kiss Me Deadly” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra (former Stray Cats frontman), Don_Tiki“Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” by Dean Martin, “Hawaiian War Chant” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Let There Be Love” and “Daddy” by Julie London, “La Cumparsa” by Harlem Nocturne (talkin’ mega bongo there), “Bla Bla Cha Cha” by Don Tiki, “Perdido” by Dinah Washington and even “The Honeymooners Theme” by Jackie Gleason.

“Music To Watch Girls By” by Billy May, “Speak To Me Of Love” by Enoch Light, a swinging jazzy arrangement of “You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You” by Jamie Cullum, “Lullaby Of Birdland” by Arthur Lyman, “Bei Mir Bisti Du Schon” by Steve and Eydie, “Get henry_mancini_hatari_LPSmart Theme” arranged by Hugo Montenegro, a really cool arrangement of James Bond “Goldfinger” Theme by Count Basie and his orchestra along with another James Bond theme of “You Only Live Twice” (my favorite James Bond movie) arranged by Sir Julian, “Fascinating Rhythm” by the Don Ralke Orchestra, a schizophonic version of “Bluebeard” by Combustible Edison and even some “Pallin’ With Al” by the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Did I leave anyone out? Frank? Of course there’s some cooler Sinatra in there somewhere. Mel? Sure there’s some Mel Torme’ in there too … look – I think that list does it good !

But I digress …

Along comes a song that grabbed my attention. It was a real blast from my past. I knew it well but haven’t heard it in ages. But it was some sort of theme music. Very unusual. The melody was a very early synthesizer sound like a well filtered, distorted metallic whistle.
tv_guide_cades_county
I popped up the display to see what was this mysterious song that pricked my memory. It was the theme from the 1971 television show “Cade’s County”

Cades_CountyWhat? I vividly remember the music –

… but I couldn’t place the show. Of course I was 12 years old then and was more into collecting NFL bubblegum cards, riding my Honda SL-70 and trying to get girls to hold my hand rather than watching much television.

This show was only on for one season. Not that it wasn’t bad – it was quite well done as I remember. The older folks were into it.
cades_county_jeep_jump
It starred Glenn Ford and that theme music was by none other than Henry Mancini !!!

There was also lots of swooping helicopter shots and very remote locations in the American SW desert.

Must have been a very expensive budget for TV.

However, it was replaced in that time slot after one season by the first season of M*A*S*H* of all things ! That’s right – a seasoned cast and crew who were huge box office draws in the cinema were replaced on television by a completely different type of show altogether.

Suddenly – I was teleported back to 1971 in my mind with all the wisdom of hindsight of that era. I realized there was a lot more to that year than just a change in the television schedule. And history became stitched together the more I thought about that year. All brought on by hearing a song!

1971-Color-TVmayberry_rfd_promo_color1971 was quite a transitional year in television media.

I theorize that the large demographic we call “baby boomers” were growing up and moving into the work force.

In just a couple of years the “baby-boomer” demographic would be hanging out at Discos and not watching television.

There was a severe drop in kids watching Saturday morning TV. Just like me.

I was riding “dirt bikes” in the woods on Saturdays.

hair_bear_bunch_peaceGone were the days of Johnny Quest and 1971 was the year of introduction of “Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch!”

… a genuine downward spiral in media culture and the art of animation.

1971_rca_color_tv_ad1971 was also the year when CBS dumped anything that was “rural”.

Or as Pat Buttram, TV’s “Mr Haney” of Green Acres described as:
“…getting rid of any show with a tree in it!”

It didn’t matter to CBS that most of those shows were consistently in the top 10 – like “Hee Haw” and “Mayberry RFD”. From then on it was all concrete and asphalt based in LA or NYC.

ABC cancelled one of my grandparent’s favorite show in 1971 – “The Lawrence Welk Show” after 16 years on the air. And on CBS they introduced “All In The Family”.

Something was happening to audiences in 1971. Even the number one soap opera “As The World Turns” fell from its leading spot it held since 1959 !

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts in the last five seconds of the fifth Superbowl that was a very exciting but strange game to watch that year. Lots of turnovers like the television schedule.

ed-sullivan-show-the-beatlesEven the “Ed Sullivan Show” where we saw many to be famous acts like The Beatles went off the air in 1971 after being a staple of television since 1948.

Also taken away was “The Johnny Cash Show”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Family Affair”, “Hogan’s Heroes” and even “That Girl”. All replaced with a trend towards what was called realism. Lots of detective shows and “realistic” situational comedies (sitcoms). I can see how “Columbo” was realism, but how was the other exaggerations like “All In The Family” considered real?

Did American audiences really want realism in entertainment in 1971 ?!?

I theorize it really had a lot to do with what was going on at the time. We had everything from Apollo landings on the moon becoming routine to the public, domestic terrorist groups such as The Weather Underground causing havoc to terrible tornadoes across the South, Charles Manson and his followers are sentenced to death by a California jury, the 26th Amendment is passed lowering the voting age to 18, The Camden riots explode, Attica Prison riots, the UN Assembly takes in communist China and kicks out Taiwan and so much more crazy stuff fill the headlines.

At least in 1971 we had Led Zeppelin release their fourth album, Intel introduced the 4004 microprocessor and the first UNIX manual was published.

CBS_Evening_News_with_Walter_CronkiteHow could television audiences be craving MORE REALISM on their TV sets with all the commotion of 1971 was going on ?

Gone were stories where the good guy would eventually beat the crud out of the bad guy and save the day.

Enter the no resolution, never ending conflict of an exaggerated conservative bigot arguing with his “meat head” exaggerated liberal son-in-law.

Why would networks cancel thriving televisions shows ? Could it have something to do with the new “Prime Time Access Rule” ??? The FCC rule that shrank prime-time and then was repealed in 1996. I believe so. It had a lot to do with the state of television at the time.

junior-samples-hee-hawBoth “Hee Haw” and “The Lawrence Welk Show” lived on into syndication. It would never fail that when I would run across Jim and Jon Hager (the Hager Brothers) around Nashville it would always only take about 5 minutes for them to mention how ridiculous it was for CBS to cancel a top 5 show. Who ever said television was logical – but it is said that television is disposable! Of course, “Hee Haw” went on for another 20 years.

There was no more big audiences for shows like “Flipper”, “Gentle Ben” or even the Australian export of “Skippy The Bush Kangaroo”. Kids programs were all very cheaply made animation with very badly conceived characters and even worse scripts. Even the clever “Scooby-Doo” that premiered in 1969 turned cliche’ and horrid.

1971 was the year of the last television cigarette advertisement. It was during “The Johnny Carson Show”.

disco_dance_floorInnocence was gone and the future of popular entertainment was disco dancing, nose candy, platform shoes and blow-dried chest hair.

Then, I was transported back to the present.

I now had a better perspective on those times I experienced …

… yet had almost forgotten if it weren’t for that Henry Mancini song I heard.

classic_vinyl_LPA song can bring all that back and put things into perspective.

Go to that dusty box of vinyl you have stashed somewhere.

Get those LPs out and play them.

What you will experience is not just music remembered …

… you will have a ticket to a time machine in your mind !

Chinese Web Spammers Trying to get us to order Fake Products

made-in-chinaFor almost two months now the spam from the chicoms keeps flowing in.

It’s a simple matter to just mark it as spam – but they appear to have as many IP addresses as there are chicoms!

They all point to sites selling fake products – mainly sunglasses and women’s bags …

It is really pointless for them here as I have everything set to be held in cue first.

All of it is really bizarre ! I gave some samples before – here are a few more:

(this first one was posted to a photo of mine I made at the Opry House of Linda Davis)

“You are right. Not all people are the same. I personally like meeting foreigners and I have dated some before but I dont try to talk to them first because they start thinking the girl is too easy, or gringo hunter or after the money or whatever.”

“I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers except this article is actually a good paragraph, keep it up….”

“gurns mmrms gjdsn gjeab byiirmnf vjkfi inajl najsw mxelg uopvwjfngvmakjv hreof wcfsj jnnya ejfw ?? ksjjkon ioker jefuu ftsik ornop fcyzv cmcse rhtlr vtgav nhmbi igkpckbkfq mljxg fxnbc ?? kgmct gelt “

It’s a couple dozen a day ! Sheesh !!!

No – I do not want your fake sunglasses, bags or whatever ! I do not want anything made by chicoms!

Poorly_Made_in_China-cover

Description of the book “Poorly Made In China” by the publisher:

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game is a book by Paul Midler, which chronicles his year spent working with American businessman whose companies’ products are manufactured in communist controlled China. In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don’t stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.

united-we-win-usa-poster

Happy Birthday Ed Ames ~ Always MINGO to me …

Ed_Ames_Mingo_Daniel_Boone_1966One of the coolest television shows on when I was a kid in the 60s was Daniel Boone.

Maybe the coolest character on television was Mingo – Boone’s Native American Indian friend who shared many adventures.

Mingo to Daniel Boone was like Spock to Captain Kirk. An indispensable companion.

Mingo was much cooler than Mr Spock.

Ed Ames was the actor who played Mingo in the television series and was one of the best actors on television at the time.

I will always think of him as Mingo.

ed_ames_ames_brothers_destination_moonHowever, this awesome actor has a successful life before television.

Born on this day in 1927, he was the youngest kid with 8 brothers and sisters before him. His parents had immigrated from the Ukraine. Very early on they discovered they had a great talent singing together so four of the brothers formed a quartet and sang all over Boston, Massachusetts.

Ed_Ames_and_Ames_Brothers_1955In 1948 they were signed to Decca Records – but because of the Musician Union strike, the recordings were never released ! But later, they finally had a record released with another label and their music career took off like a rocket.

All through the 1950s The Ames Brothers were on top of the music scene.

They disbanded in the early 1960s and Ed looked into acting. He did very well on television as well as continuing to record as a solo artist.

This led to his landing the role of Mingo on the television show Daniel Boone co-starring with Fess Parker.

While he was on the Boone show, Ames made an appearance on The Johnny Carson Show with a demonstration of his great skill at throwing a tomahawk. This is one of the most remembered, classic and hilarious Carson moments. You will have to look it up if you are too young to remember it. Believe me, it’s a real classic in the annals of comedy!Ed_Ames_-_album

Ed Ames is still with us and going strong.

Not only was he a great singing entertainer and actor, he is a very wise man who loves the United States of America and what it means to be an American.

It was a long time since he sang on the 1950 hit “Rag Mop”:

However, I will always remember him as Mingo …

Enjoying the Anamorphic Bliss …

cinemascope-robe-throne

It seems like only yesterday that all the movie channels were showing standard definition 4×3 “pan and scan” edits on high definition channels. It was so very annoying !

flower-drum-song-1961-scene-tv-cropTV screen crops are like watching a baseball game through a knot hole in the back field fence !

Yet – what I am always after is the original aspect ratio (screen size to put it simply) of movies.

Movies were framed by the cinematographers based on the aspect ratio they were shooting in. (or at least what it would end up as)

Even if they were using standard 35mm film shot with a standard prime lens, once the sides get chopped off to fit a television screen format there is a real loss to the movie as well as the story.

flower-drum-song-1961-scene-original

As can be seen, the old way of “pan and scan” cropping for the television screen looses so very much. So much of the experience is lost. Because cinema is an experience.

Why? Because film is watched … most of the story is seen and not spoken. TV is by nature disposable. It is more for listening to rather as opposed to being involved into a movie.

aspect-ratio-compareWell … good cinema shows the story rather than just tells it.

Cinema tells the story with images more than the dialog.

And there is also a lot of unspoken dialog in true cinema.

I deeply thank the channels who are finally showing the original aspect ratios with a little black above and below the image.
flower-drum-song-mirror-scene-anamorphic
For example – the “mirror scene” in “Flower Drum Song” is awesome considering the optical printing technology for the time … The multiple mirrors start off reflecting the same Nancy Kwan but then each panel shows her in a different dress. losing half of the image looses that part of the story.

Across an anamorphic screen (panavision / cinemascope or 2.35 to 1 ratio) the entire story is told. Space is explored. Scale is revealed. It wraps around the audience or the single viewer. Even on a smaller screen.

cinemascope-star-warsImagine seeing the opening scene from Star Wars when the huge Imperial Cruiser flies over as it chases the Princess’ ship. It goes on and on and is so huge ! The TV crop just ruins the story. Even the 16×9 version looses so much.

It is refreshing to see the movie channels embracing original aspect ratios.

ditch-cable-and-satelliteAlbeit it is too late for us – we are joining those who are ditching the old 20th century cable/satellite service for the 21st century …

Sorry Epix – Maybe if you didn’t show the same 25 movies over and over for more than a year we might have hung in there.

A Web Missteps ~ Anagram of Spam

Anagram_game-1898Anagrams … Love ’em !

Of course “A Web Missteps” is an ironic anagram for “Website spam”.

Yes – the spammers are at it again …

For cryin’ out loud !!!

I have been getting the weirdest comment posts lately.

This week is is mainly from the chicoms but a couple are from br*zil.

The “br*zillions” are always trying to point to sites that sell fake versions of expensive name brands of women’s handbags, shoes and sunglasses. There is a lot of cheap leather apparently in br*zil … and they get their sunglasses from the chicoms by the shipping container full I’m sure !

Chinese_Propaganda_Poster_haircutI can tell where they are from the link names of course. Some of the chicoms spoof IPs but they aren’t very good at it.

The chicoms are just bizarre ! What are they up to ?

Block their IP and they use others – but they are quite amusing. I do moderate everything so all they can really do is take up knitting as a hobby in their modern sweatshop cubicals. That’s the only way. I’m beginning to feel sorry for these folks if they weren’t so sinister at heart.

You want to see some of these comments ?

Here ya go – enjoy …

cheap shoes…

It’s awesome for me to have a site, which is valuable in support of my experience. thanks admin

No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, thus he/she needs to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained over here….

Why YouTube movies are shared everywhere? I think one reason is that these are trouble-free to take embed code and paste that script somewhere you desire….

Hi, I found your site is very useful, can you sell a link to me? How about $50/month? This link is on the bottom of your site, then tell me to pay by paypal.

straightforward, nevertheless powerful. A great deal of times it is tough to get that a??perfect balancea?? among usability and physical appearance. I have to say that youa??ve completed a exceptional occupation with this. Also, the website masses very…

I wonder who their English teacher is ?

uncle_sam_anamorphicThe “cheap shoes” is obviosly the lone br*zillion ( pun intended – “illion” as opposed to “illian” ) All the others are from chicoms.

Have a great 4th Of July my fellow Americans !!!

And remember –

Keep calm and keep filtering out the spam …

The 21st Century Parasites

spam_manSpam …

Spammers …

How did a pack of parasitic, despicable, loathsome losers who attempt to promote their unwanted garbage on others’ money and works be equated by moniker to an edible meat product ?!?

Lately, there have been loads of idiots from France, Russia, China, India and the other usual suspect loser nations flooding web sites with their gunk.

This web site had become flodded in the last two weeks with idiotic, bad broken English postings.

Where do these idiots come from ?

They are paid for it …

… peanuts of course.

Before, unscrupulous spammers used clever code (“bots”) to scan and spam until smart system admins put in roadblocks to check for real humans.

spam_attackEnter the cheap one dollar an hour “spam labor” (as I call it) in countries like India and the like where Slumdog Millionaire wannabees sit all day and night and manually search for places to spread the crap provided to them by their Spam Lords

The sysadmins and web managers saw through this also – so now many of these scumbags act legitimate by posting friendly responses in hopes you will “approve” the message … thus opening the door for piles of excrement to be heaped onto your hard work.

They are no different than ticks and fleas

They suck the life out of people who actually do something good for others by providing goods and services.

spam_centerThey piggyback by posing as genuine visitors and steal resources from us.

How to combat it ?

Set all your sites for posts to be manually moderated. It’s really the only way.

Never just let people freely post onto your site(s) … hold it in cue to be looked at first and then approves to be posted.

Believe me – a little extra work goes a long way in combating these moronic parasites.

In the very least they try to get backlinks … even if a post only lasts a few hours until they get discovered and then deleted … it does count toward indexing for them … so beware.

spam-communist-center“Spam Labor” is the new sweat shop worker.

Do not support it !

Do not support anything to do with any product that utilizes communist labor or slumdog spam labor.

If you buy or click on anything produced by socialist / communist / suppressed people then YOU ARE KEEPING THEM SUPPRESSED AND ENSLAVED

Any citizen of a free nation who then utilizes a socialist/marxist/communist/slave nation to bring cheap goods into the market has no conscience and no soul. In doing so they insure evil continues.

spam_deceptionNever support the deceivers and spammers.

Sorry to bust your bubble, but that nice guy in Africa who is the grandson of some great poobah who needs you to help him transfer some money and will let you keep some for being such a good samaritan – he’s out to steal everything you have.

Don’t laugh … many fall for it.

Stupid people keep deceivers, spammers and criminals in business.

____________

Some stuff to check out about spammers:

Washington Post article on “The Economics of Internet Spam”

Good info from EKU to combat spammers.

____________

The good kind of spam …

spam_ad_breakfast

A grilled slab of spam with a grilled pineapple ring on grilled bread is actually quite delicious.

I don’t think I’ve actually had any spam since 1972 …

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

shakespeare_portraitHas wisdom become unfashionable ?

“Better three hours too soon
than a minute too late.”

We live in a time where a channel on television named for learning is in reality full of freak shows and the dregs of humanity.

The universal truth in cinema was once understood that movies make stars, stars do not make movies.

The Cinema is now just an expensive cartoon where the poor excuses for stories are not written until a member of a union gets paid first.

There is nothing new.

Just rearrangement …

All the plots were already written by William Shakespeare …

… and Shakespeare plagiarized the Greeks.

________

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

– WS

z = ?

einstein_laughingz = a + b w

Awww, shucks … Corny but dadgum easy !!!

corn_stalks_in_the_sunSome of our corn finally matured and we harvested about half a bushel.

My mom had found a video of a fella who found a way to easily cook corn on the cob in a microwave oven and sent it to me –

It’s amazing how easy this is – and it works like a dream !

If you’ve ever shucked corn, you will appreciate this method like pennies from heaven !

The best ideas are always those ideas that save time. Shucking corn to then boil it is time consuming and messy to get them clean. This method works very well and saves a huge amount of time and effort !

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Combatting the High Cost of Sauce

Cocktail-WeeniesI was inspired to try a recipe for an interesting cocktail weenie concoction that called for Chili Sauce.

I didn’t need a “blow yer face off” hot chili sauce – or an asian style sweet/hot kind … something more like regular chili sauce that is tangy and tasty that will not destroy the taste buds …

As we made our weekly provision run-around, I was aghast to discover the only acceptable prepared chili sauce that could be found was only in one size and from one single company: Heinz !

chili_sauce_heinz_openThe cost was three buckss for this slightly over a cup size bottle to boot !!!

That’s called the “cost of convenience”. However, I consider the cost and knowing what’s in it to be more convenient than trusting a bottle of something merely because it is on a store shelf !

Since chili sauce is merely kicked-up catsup, I decided to find a way to make it from near scratch.

catsup_spilledNote:

Bottled, store bought catsup is merely 1/3 sugar – 1/3 salt – 1/3 tomato … with some water in there and a lot of chemicals thrown in to make it look pretty and not go bad that I would rather not ingest !

Apparently, this is why there is only one maker of chili sauce in one size to be found in local stores: It is something easy to do.

First, I wanted to see if I could make a no-cook version from other ready made condiments …
chili_sauce_homemade_in_jar
Success !!! Here it ’tis –

First, get out a big ‘ole bowl … and I mean “big ‘ole” …

Crack open an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce and slop that in –

Then plop two tablespoons of tomato paste in there –

Then squeeze out the juice of half a fresh lemon –

Dig out two tablespoons of brown sugar … light is better –

Then, raid your spice rack and throw in the following:

1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder

Of course you throw in a couple “dashes” of Worcestershire Sauce

chili_sauce_mixedWhisk it all together –

… you’ll know when to stop by the looks of it.

Stick it in the ‘fridge until the next day.

You can bottle it in something airtight like a squeeze bottle.

Better yet – put it in the empty bottle of the store bought chili sauce to remind you of your triumph of over-priced convenience that comes in the bottle.

Victory tastes sweet !

___

cocktail-weenie-cartoon-slacker-mice

Pencils by Cole Johnson – color and story by Dana Simpson
More at: www.inkandwhitespace.com

Gene Wilder is Still Alive !

Gene_Wilder_as_WonkaYes – he is …

Don’t listen to those rumors flying around the internet last week…

He’s 80 years old TODAY !

As far as I know he still drinks Woolite and loves sheep.

He still shoots with his shaky hand.

He doesn’t like evil little girls like Veruca Salt and kids who steal his Everlastinggobstoppers as always …

Not sure if he still needs his blanket.

… and remember to –

NEVER SELL THAT COW !!!

gene-wilder_dont_sell_that_cow