T is for Thirty-Three and a Third

As you may be aware, sales of physical manifestations of music have been dropping like a stone, in favor of digital forms. The Record Industry Association of America notes that, from 2007 to 2009, the sale of digital music (i.e., downloads) grew from 23% to 34% to 41% of the market in the United States.

Yet the statistics also reveal a countervailing trend. The sale of long-playing, and extended play records (LPs and EPs), made from vinyl, has INCREASED over the same period, from 1.3 million units to 2.9 million to 3.2 million. These are minuscule numbers compared with the hundreds of millions of albums sold annually in the LP’s heyday in the 1960s through the early 1980s, when compact discs were introduced. Still, it’s an interesting phenomenon. Continue reading

Wicked Macca

Wednesday Wickedness is “like other memes in that we will ask you ten questions each and every Wednesday. But our little ‘twist’ is that each week we will pick a famous person and pick ten of their quotes. Each of our questions will be based on the quotes.” The one from September I decided to pick, in honor of him receiving the Kennedy Center Honors in December, is Sir Paul McCartney.

1. “George wrote Taxman, and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what could happen to your money.”
No one likes paying taxes. But do you think the tax system is fair?

Well, no. It is well-documented that the so-called middle class’s wages have been basically stagnant over the past 3 decades, while the richest Americans have become super rich. In Washington state, they were having a fight over having an income tax only on the richest folks; Bill Gates supported it, but most of the other wealthy folks opposed it. Thing is that I’d be willing to pay MORE for human need (i.e., universal health care), but LESS for military expenditures that even the Secretary of Defense suggests can be cut.

2. “I definitely did look up to John. We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest.”
What did you think of John Lennon? Continue reading

November Ramblin’

I’m watching this brief video Jaquandor posted, and it suddenly reminded me of an incident from when I was a teenager. Our next-door neighbors were taking down a tree on their property. I witnessed my father going over and telling the adult male, “Hey, the way you’re chopping that, the tree is going to hit your house.” The guy said to my dad, “Why don’t you mind your own business?” So, naturally, next thing you know, the tree topples into the house, with large branches penetrating the roof. I can’t help but think that if he’d just hired someone who knew what he/she was doing – or actually LISTENED to my father – he could have saved himself a lot of money and grief.

(I blame Mike Sterling for getting the song Zoot Suit Riot stuck in my head.)
You may have heard about the woman on the game show Wheel of Fortune who solved a puzzle with only one letter revealed – see HERE. But I found it even more entertaining the way I initially viewed it, Continue reading

Mainstream Christianity QUESTION

Arthur, in his response to my post last week about Christian yoga, asked me to “look at how mainstream Christians can get attention (and differentiation) when overshadowed by the loud—and often flaky…fundamentalists.” I’d love to, but I can’t, and I’ll tell you why.

During one of the debates during the 2004 Presidential campaign, the candidates were each asked about their faith stance. George W. Bush gave his standard response about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. John Kerry gave what I thought was a fine answer about how his Roman Catholic faith compelled him to respond to the social gospel, i.e., to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, et al. But after the debates, more than a few pundits suggested that Kerry had somehow evaded the question. And, according to that PBS series God in America, that I keep recommending, Kerry himself concluded that he had “blown it” on the religion issue.

So the junior senator from Illinois was out making speeches in 2005 and 2006 Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 78: Dilly-Dally

Ah, bad daddy, with no current picture; this one’s three years old.

One of my primary functions in the weekday is to get Lydia to school on time. Despite, or possibly because of, living virtually across the street, it is a challenge to get her there without feeling rushed. Sometimes, it’s her need to go to the loo one last time. But mostly, it’s that she gets distracted, by a book, or something she wants to draw, or by dancing to the music that is quite evidently in her head.

Conversely, when it’s something else that SHE wants to go to, and we’re taking longer than the daughter expects, she complains. Lately, she’s taken to say, “Don’t dilly-dally!” This is not a phrase in the front part of my vocabulary, and my wife uses it only rarely, so I don’t know know WHERE she got this phrase.

One of the things she does to procrastinate Continue reading


Thanksgiving: thanks to the Census Bureau.

The “event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.”

We are thankful that FDR provided that extra shopping period. Otherwise, Thanksgiving would have been a week later in 2000, 2006 and 2007, and would be a week later in 2012, 2017, 2018, 2023, 2028, 2029…

Seriously, I am thankful for all sorts of good things, not the least of which is music:

Sam & Dave – I THANK YOU.
Led Zeppelin – THANK YOU.

My daughter’s current favorite joke:
Why did the turkey cross the road?
Because it was the chicken’s day off!

Beatles Island Songs, 193-184

The rules of engagement

193 The Long and Winding Road from Let It Be, a perfectly adequate song from MCartney, but the epitome of funereal, from a Beatles POV.
192 Do You Want to Know a Secret from Please Please Me (US), Introducing the Beatles/the Early Beatles (US). A Lennon and McCartney original, with a weak, though endearing, Harrison vocal.
191 Don’t Pass Me By from the white album. It’s most famous attribute may be its place in the “Paul is dead” myth: “You were in a car crash, and you lost your hair.” Written and sung by Ringo.
190 Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand” German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”; released in US on Something New. It’s fine; I’ll wait for the English translation. This probably ranks higher than the other German song from sheer exposure.
189 All Together Now from Yellow Submarine. Sounds like a kiddie song, but with lyrics like “Can I take my friend… to bed?” Continue reading

S is for Sorry…and Second Chances

An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal recently: I’m Very, Very, Very Sorry … Really? We Apologize More to Strangers Than Family, and Why Women Ask for Forgiveness More by ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN. Fascinating stuff. Also intriguing is this graphic indicating the hierarchy of apologies, from most to least effective.

There was a sidebar called “Saying ‘I’m Sorry'” which declares, “A ‘comprehensive’ apology is more likely to win forgiveness, researchers say. There are eight elements Continue reading

The Time Traveler Meme

I found this particular Sunday Stealing rather interesting.

Emily’s Rules:

1. Depending on your age, go back 10, 15, 20, or even more years.
2. Tell us how many years back you have traveled and why.
3. Pretend you have met yourself during that era, and tell us where you are.
4. You only have one “date” with this former self.
5. Answer these questions.

Okay, as we start, what year is it and how old are you?

My sense is that younger people are picking smaller numbers, so I’ll randomly pick 25 years ago, which would be November 1985; I’m 32. As it turns out, that’d be the year in which the movie Back to the Future is set. We probably met at a comic book show.

1 . Would your younger self (YYS, from here) recognize you when you first meet?

Not sure. Continue reading

The important theological question of our time

I found this interesting: Yogatta be kidding me

…”Christians who practice yoga are embracing, or at minimum flirting with, a spiritual practice that threatens to transform their own spiritual lives into a ‘post-Christian, spiritually polyglot’ reality.”

Then others…took it a step further, calling Yoga “absolute paganism”: “Should Christians stay away from yoga because of its demonic roots? Totally. Yoga is demonic… If you just sign up for a little yoga class, you’re signing up for a little demon class.”

…Shawn Groves [in] “Death of Discernment”…made some great points about many things that we do that have some pagan roots. Things like tortillas, Halloween… even paper and Thursday (the day of the week).

Maybe it’s just me Continue reading