Archive for the ‘music’ Tag

08-31-2016 Journal – The Big Easy!   Leave a comment

Well, my better-half and I arrived home last night after spending 6 glorious days in the party capitol of the USA . . . New Orleans.  If I disregard our god awful experiences with Jet Blue then we had a great time.  It’s been a number of years since I visited NOLA but I was thrilled to see that it was the same old exciting place that I remembered.  The evidence of Katrina’s visit eleven years ago has been all but erased.

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I grabbed this shot from their website because mine was blurry as hell.

I booked our hotel in an off-the-beaten-path location located in the old creole section of NO on Burgundy Street, 2 blocks north of Bourbon Street. The St. Pierre hotel was once the NO Jazz Museum but has since been converted into an hotel.

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It consists of a group of 150 year old creole homes joined together with small intimate courtyards and swimming pools hidden from street view.  If you ever visit there you need to know this is not the Hilton or Weston style of hotel.  This is an old building with 150 years of character and an 1850’s atmosphere.  We loved going native for a few days and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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This pool was 30 feet from our room. This is the view looking down from the balcony.

The weather was typical NO. It was 90 plus degrees all week with never less than 80% humidity. It was feel-like temperature of over 100 degrees.  Even though the heat was brutal that pool made it bearable. We visited it twice a day to cool off and have a drink and meet people from all over the world who were also staying there. Just fabulous.

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Another view of the courtyard from our balcony.

This posting is just the start of our trip. I’ll probably continue posting on our other activities for the next week or so. There was a lot to see and maybe I can give you a little taste of how it felt to be there.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE WEEK BUT WE’RE GLAD TO BE HOME.

07-23-2015 Journal – Love Me, Amy!   Leave a comment

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‘My New Workout Buddy’

I had a great workout yesterday. Normally I’d spend forty-five minutes on the treadmill and all the while watching some ridiculous television rerun.  I’ve been doing my workouts every other day for the last year and a half but as time goes by it becoming more of a boring task than a healthy approach to my life. On top of that I’m tired of hearing myself bitching and complaining about it endlessly. I’ve discovered over the years that I have the uncanny ability to annoy even myself and not just others.

With the upcoming cutting of my TV umbilical cord I’ve begun taking steps to prepare myself for what I’m sure will be a certain amount of withdrawal from my life-long television addiction.  It will difficult I’m sure but absolutely necessary.

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‘I’d judge that as a 9.5’

I’ve turned away from my exercising in front of the television to embracing an old love . . . music. I’ve never considered turning to music  on the treadmill because I’ve always loved music and hated mandatory exercise. Mixing the two seemed somehow wrong. I was forced to rethink my entire approach to these things because cable television is making me insane.

I’ve had an IPod full of thousands of songs for years but have used it sparingly.  I’ve always disliked wearing ear buds because the accompanying loss of hearing of my surroundings makes me wary and uncomfortable. Yesterday I jumped on the treadmill, put in my ear buds, and turned on my IPod. The silence of the world was replaced for the first twenty minutes by those politically incorrect Dixie Chicks who pissed me off years ago as they did a large segment of the country. I still love their music but detest their political naiveté.

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‘President Bush’s Fav’s’

The next twenty-five minutes were consumed by the late darling of the British Isles, Amy Winehouse.  I love her brash lyrics and low and sexy sound.  She made the remaining time fly by and I actually found myself totally entranced by her music and my memories of her. It was wonderful.

I guess I accomplished three things yesterday.  I kicked my TV habit, I had a kick-ass workout, and I began a new love affair with my IPod and Ms. Winehouse.

To quote one of Amy’s lyrics, "Where is my moral parallel?". My answer is the same as hers . . ."I have none."

FADE TO BLACK

01-02-2015 Journal – Welcome to 2015!   Leave a comment

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Well we’ve all survived another year.  I guess we should be congratulated but maybe not.  Over the New Years holiday I made the mistake of catching up on some TV watching. I should have known better but as always I thought there might be something interesting on. How stupid am I?

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I was working on a project and had the TV playing in the background. I was excited about the project since I’ve been working on it for more years than I care to think about.  I was working intently but my subconscious was inundated with three hours of religious doom and gloom. The "End of Days" and "Armageddon" we’re just some of the topics I was hearing and it depressed me enough that I turned the channel. I then found myself in the midst of a mini-marathon of the Walking Dead program which for me was even worse than the religious nonsense. 

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The bottom line was that I disconnected the damn TV and fell back on the good old reliable music that I love.  I recently created a new playlist which is killer. It’s a collection of three of my all time favorite female blues singers, Anita Baker, Billie Holiday, and Amy Winehouse.  It was absolutely wonderful with Billie singing Loverman,  followed closely by Amy singing Back to Black, and then Anita bringing it home with Sweet Love. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

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Back to this crazy project of mine.  Over a ten year period back in the nineties I created a collection of collages containing articles and things from my life. Some were four feet square with an variety of other sizes as well. I called them my life panels.  I always intended to have them framed and then put together to create a wall.  Here I am twenty-five years later and even though they’ve been in storage for all of that time they still look pretty good. They’ve never been displayed at all but have moved from place to place with with me awaiting enough wall space to put them up. 

This current man-cave of mine has slowly turned into someplace special but I still don’t have enough wall space.  I solved that problem this week by turning my life panels into the ceiling above my computer desk. The picture that follows was taken as I was lying on my back on the floor looking up.

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What better way to start 2015 than to resurrect my life panels and to display them proudly.  I can now lean back in my chair and see more than twenty years of my life displayed for my enjoyment. Happy New Year to me. . . .

AND TO YOU!

11-26-2014 Journal–The Music Never Dies!   Leave a comment

I started collecting music at a very young age.  I didn’t just collect everything because that would be impossible.  I have my musical likes and dislikes but as everyone else the music of my twenties and thirties holds the biggest attraction.  I collected first on eight tracks, then cassettes and later on CD’s which resulted in a collection of more than 400 albums of what are now called classic oldies.  Ten years ago I decided to make the move to digital and spent months with a software package called Audiograbber and converted all of my CD’s into MP3’s.  It was a massive job but it permitted me to take my entire collection and install it on my first 80 gig IPod.  It was one of my better purchases because I’m still using it today, 11 years later, on the original battery.

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Most of my music is from the late 1950’s through the early 1970’s.  Only a few albums and artists have been added over the years because I only collect what I really like. I could sit here and attempt to razzle-dazzle you with song titles and artist’s names but what would be the point of that. We all love the music we love and some of us don’t like much of anything.  Some people only enjoy the music for its ability to create an atmosphere that will lead to social gatherings at bars and clubs, drinking, dancing, and the occasional bout of recreational sex.

I’m fairly eclectic in my music tastes and enjoy quite a variety which doesn’t include Hip Hop or Country & Western.  Only a very select few from those genres made the cut.  Salt & Pepa, En Vogue, Delbert McClinton, and Bonnie Raitt are just a few that did.

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Every so often when I’m alone for a few hours or when I’m working on the computer I’ll crank up certain selections and rock the house down.  One day last week I decided to celebrate some of my favorite artists that had tons of musical talent and died before their time. I spent two hours listening first to my two favorite balladeers, Jim Croce and Harry Chapin.  Then I moved on to the Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and Buddy Holly.  I saved the best for last with Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and ended the montage with Jim Morrison and Freddie Mercury.  Wow. . . it was more than just a little wonderful.  I’m still humming and singing those songs in my head and will be for quite some time. 

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After two hours of that music I found myself extremely sad to have lost them before their time and could only imagine all of the fantastic music that died with them.  The only positive thing I can think of is that they and their music will outlive us all and be enjoyed by millions in future generations.  They found their immortality albeit in a most unpleasant fashion.

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I look toward to many more special moments listening to their songs as I’ve enjoyed doing in the past.  With that:

R.I.P.

01-21-2014 Journal Entry-Boredom!   Leave a comment

It’s a terrible thing to be bored.  It’s doubly terrible when you’re in Maine and it’s Winter.  It feels like being up in the air on the “Vomit Comet” flying very high, then diving straight down, and then pulling back up again to what is supposed to be normal.  That weightlessness between dives in my mind is the ultimate boredom.  You’re just floating around in a pointless manner, accomplishing nothing, and feeling even worse.

Maybe if you were like me and had a fifty year love affair with adrenaline, the ultimate aphrodisiac, it would help you to understand a little.  Hang gliding, sky diving, bungee jumping, and smashing down doors to apprehend criminals or mental patients can in no way be considered boring. Defying death or serious injury was never the point for me.  The point was experiencing the dangers and not giving a shit what happened.  Putting your entire existence into the hands of fate and doing so with no regrets. Most people never get to that point and don’t really want to, unless they can feel the adrenaline rush without committing to the danger.

So you have your regular run-of-the-mill boredom and then there’s the adrenaline-free boredom which is even worse.  I’m drifting through life living vicariously through my own past experiences to help keep my head above water.  Unfortunately once you reach a certain age with all of the physical limitations that come with it, your choices become strictly limited.  Writing a blog, painting a picture, sculpting, sketching, remodeling a home or even walking in the woods are a just a stupid laundry list of poor substitutes.

I actually attempted for a while to live vicariously through others but OMG what a mistake.  Many of the people in my sphere of influence, not all of course, put me into a deathlike comma.  They’re lives have taken boredom to new heights and they don’t know the difference since they have nothing to compare it to. I may sound a little harsh in my criticisms but so what.

So I’ll start another day writing this blog, walking a couple of miles on my treadmill, reading a book, watching some TV, petting my cat, and then walking outside and screaming at the top of my effing lungs.  Now don’t you feel a hundred percent better about your life?  You should.

Here are a few boring things from my list of thousands.

  • Celebrity Worship
  • Baseball (Except for Little League)
  • Soccer (I don’t consider it a real sport.)
  • Politics and Politicians (Pundits and  Talk Shows too)
  • Sermons (Religious or Otherwise)
  • Musicals
  • Shopping War Stories
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • “Wives of”  (From any City. State, Country, or Planet)
  • Sports
  • Country Music
  • Waiting Rooms
  • Commercials of Any Kind
  • Soap Operas

09-12-2013   Leave a comment

Last week I offered up a trivia quiz which was more than a little difficult. So after being prompted by a younger reader I decided to do a quiz that is a little more up to date.  Although I’m forced to admit this quiz seems more like a current events test than trivia.

So lets get started.  I took this quiz myself and scored a measly six points.  That’s same mediocre results as the last quiz which really irritates the hell out of me.  Oh yes, one more thing, good luck Lily, let me know how you do.

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1. Who won the 6th season of American Idol?

2. What type of forbidden weapons were Syria accused of using against its people?

3. What band, formerly fronted by Adam Gontier, released their album "Reborn" in 2013?

4. Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain all died at what age??

5. Who released the song Pata Pata with a non-English title?

6. What kind of house did Ed Sheeran sing about in his 2012-2013 hit?

7. What was the complete name of the most recent Indiana Jones film?

8. Which band’s 1994 self titled debut is commonly referred to as “The Blue Album?”

9. What happened to the two terrorists that instigated the Boston Marathon tragedy?

10. What is Miley Cyrus’s real name?

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As usual the answers will be posted tomorrow.  Good luck to you folks over thirty.  Here’s a little joke to start your day.

Two old drunks in a bar. The first one says, "Ya know, when I was 30 and got a hard-on, I couldn’t bend it with either of my hands. By the time I was 40, I could bend it about 10 degrees if I tried really hard. "By the time I was 50, I could bend it about 20 degrees, no problem. I’m gonna be 60 next week, and now I can almost bend it in half with just one hand" "So," says the second drunk, "what’s your point?" "Well," says the first, "I’m just wondering how much stronger I’m gonna get!"

Posted September 13, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Humor, Trivia, Useless Crap

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09-05-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve stated thousands of times in the past that I’m NOT a fan of Country music.  My constant exposure to it as forced on me by my better-half has really and truly dulled my senses.  I’ve made my peace with that because I had no effing choice but just between you and I, I still hate C & W music.

I could give you any number of reasons why I hate it from the nerve shattering nasal twine of many of the singers to their choices of really stupid song titles and lyrics.  The following song titles have been discovered and passed on to you just to prove my point.  I’m not saying any of these titles made the Billboard charts but  they are just as stupid as I predicted.

  • I’ll Marry You Tomorrow But Let’s Honeymoon Tonight
  • I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well
  • She’s Looking Better After Every Beer
  • I Ain’t Gone To Bed With No Ugly Women, But I Shore Woke Up With A Few
  • I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Like Having You Here
  • I’ve Got Tears In My Ears From Lyin’ On My Back and Cryin’ Over You
  • She’s Actin’ Single and I’m Drinkin’ Doubles
  • I Still Miss You, Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better
  • Her Teeth Were Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure
  • How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?
  • I Fell In A Pile Of You And Got Love All Over Me
  • I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You
  • I’m Just A Bug On The Windshield Of Life
  • If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me
  • My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don’t Love Jesus
  • My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him
  • She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
  • Thank God And Greyhound She’s Gone
  • You Can’t Have Your Kate And Edith Too

So to those of you shit-kicking country folk out there you’d better get on-line as soon as possible and order this list of songs.  I’d hurry if I were you because rumor has it that the demand is huge and you might be placed on a waiting list.  They also may require that you take a short  IQ test to insure you’re stupid enough to own them.  

I’m writing this while my better-half is at work and I’ll do whatever I can to keep her from reading this posting tonight. She’s sure to throw a hissy fit and make me listen to even more of this alleged music than before. I’m not sure I could survive that.  Hep me Jesus and Yee Haw, Y’all.

07-04-2013   Leave a comment

Well, today was the Fourth and for a change the weather was absolutely perfect.  Ninety degrees with a slight breeze along the shore to keep things just cool enough.  We made our way to the town of Old Orchid Beach late in the morning and found the place already jammed with tourists.  The beach was packed with thousands of people and if the car license plates we saw were accurate most of Massachusetts and Quebec had moved in for the holiday weekend.

The local business people decided to start early gouging as many visitors as possible with a new and higher parking lot charge, $25.00 for the day.  Since last year the cost was between $10.00 and $15.00 we decided to find a parking spot in town on the street and to feed the parking meters.  A huge pain in the ass but at the end of the day we saved about $15.00.  Luckily we found a spot only two blocks from the beach so our walk wasn’t too bad.

We dropped our blanket under the Pier out of the sun and started snapping pictures in between trips into the water to cool off.  We’ve been coming here for years and it was as crowded as we’ve ever seen it.  After an hour or so we decided a meal or snack was in order. We trekked back to the car and did a quick strip tease on the street to change out our wet clothes.  Thankfully the foot traffic in the area was light so my better-half’s rear half didn’t scare anyone too badly.

We ended up sitting on the shaded deck of the Surf 6 Club for a few refreshing drinks and a nosh of onion rings and chicken fingers.  We met a few visiting tourists and were able to chat and have a great time.  The band started playing at eleven am and were pretty good. They were playing not only for the customers of the club but for the hundreds of people nearby on the beach.

The OOB Pier extends out into the ocean for at lease three hundred yards and is covered with small shops and eating establishments.  We worked our way to the end of the Pier for a a quick drink at the “Pier” bar and to take a few more photos of the beach goers from a different angle. The place was packed with tourists and  everyone seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere and the dozens of bikini wearing female customers.  We stayed only a half hour because we had to go and to feed the parking meter.

Next was the better-half’s favorite thing, shopping.  We started hitting the shops to look through the tons of touristy junk with really unbelievably high prices. She was forced by her shopping addiction to make a few purchases and then we were off to the Arcade.  She kicked my ass playing Air Hockey and followed her victory with a little Skee-Ball. We then strolled over to the amusement park.

We agreed that the cost for tickets on the rides was ridiculous so we took lots of photographs and just walked around enjoying the atmosphere.  We hit a few more  of the smaller shops in town as we made our way back to the car. The nicest part of these visits is that we live only seven or eight miles away and we returned home in short order.

Lounging on our deck and enjoying the cool breeze and a cooler drink was a perfect ending to a great day.  The better-half just couldn’t stop herself from peppering the yard with firecrackers and Roman Candles.  That was her extremely loud way to celebrate the country’s birthday. I was also pleased to see so many of the people in town and at the beach wearing red, white, and blue swim suits, head ware, t-shirts, and beach equipment.  The meaning of the holiday wasn’t lost on most of us and that was nice to see.

We both hope your day was as nice as ours. Happy Birthday America!

06-20-2013   4 comments

Welcome to a new day.  As promised yesterday I’ll be giving you the answers to the ten mystery music trivia questions.  I imagine getting the right answers without cheating and using Google or Bing was difficult.  As my collection of totally useless information continues to accumulate I’ll be testing your knowledge of many different subjects.  One of the things I like best about  collecting trivia is that it’s fun and even interesting at times.  Here’s your answers, I hope you did well.

1.   In 1926, the police raided Mae West Broadway show ‘Sex’ and jailed her on vice charges. What did the rise wisecracking blonde sexpot claim when she was freed after serving 8 days of her 10 day sentence?

A: That it was the only time she ever got anything for good behavior.

2.   Who was the first person ever awarded a gold record?

A: Glenn Miller, for Chattanooga Choo-Choo.

3.   What singer named Clara Ann Fowler at birth adopted the name of the milk company that sponsored her first radio show?

A: Patti Page. The company was the Page Milk Company of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

4.   What famous entertainer was known as Annie Mae Bullock before she adopted her stage name?

A: Actress-Singer, Tina Turner.

5.   The singing duo of Caesar and Cleo only achieved fame under another name. What was it?

A: Sonny and Cher.

6.   Country music comedienne, Minnie Pearl,  always wore a hat with a price tag on it when she performed. What was the amount written on the price tag?

A: $1.98

7.   Who was the only cast member of the hit rock musical Hair who refused to shed her clothes in the nude closing number?

A: Diane Keaton

8.   What top rock group took it’s name from a song by blues great Muddy Waters?

 A: The Rolling Stones. Water’s song, of course, was "Rolling Stone".

9.   Under what name did New Wave singer-songwriter Declan McManus gain fame?

A: Elvis Costello

10. What famous singer, after receiving an honorary degree from Georgetown University, enrolled as a freshman and earned a BA in Theology?

A: Pearl Bailey. She received her BA in 1985 after seven years as a part-time student.

06-19-2013   Leave a comment

As you already know I really love passing on my never-ending lists of totally useless crap to my readers.  I hope it helps make all of you  moderately good Trivial Pursuit players as well as the winner of many a bar wager.  I thought I’d take a somewhat different approach this time and make things a bit more interesting.

Usually I just supply the facts for you to enjoy but not today.  I had a few readers give me some grief recently about never having any interesting facts from the music sector.  The following ten questions need answered and it’s up to each of you to provide them. Are you up for the challenge?   Even if you’re a true musical aficionado these music related questions should challenge even you. I’ll supply the answers tomorrow  so let’s see just how good your trivia skills really are.

1.   In 1926, the police raided Mae West Broadway show ‘Sex’ and jailed her on vice charges. What did the wisecracking blonde sexpot claim when she was freed after serving 8 days of her 10 day sentence?

2.   Who was the first person ever awarded a gold record?

3.   What singer named Clara Ann Fowler at birth adopted the name of the milk company that sponsored her first radio show?

4.   What famous entertainer was known as Annie Mae Bullock before she adopted her stage name?

5.   The singing duo of Caesar and Cleo only achieved fame under another name. What was it?

6.   Country music comedienne, Minnie Pearl,  always wore a hat with a price tag on it when she performed. What was the amount written on the price tag?

7.   Who was the only cast member of the hit rock musical ‘Hair’ who refused to shed her clothes in the nude closing number?

8.   What top rock group took it’s name from a song by blues great Muddy Waters?

9.   Under what name did New Wave singer-songwriter Declan McManus gain fame?

10. What famous singer, after receiving an honorary degree from Georgetown University, enrolled as a freshman and earned a BA in Theology?

I told you they weren’t easy.  I’m guessing anyone who scores more than five correct answers really knows their stuff.  Check back tomorrow for the answers.  I think you’ll find them interesting.

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