March Ramblin’


For my birthday this year, I had come across this Facebook thing whereby people could contribute $10 in my name to the American Red Cross. I picked them specifically, not only because they do good things, but because they helped me possibly save a life. Back in May of 1995, I successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on an older woman in my church at the time who was choking on some meat, without breaking her ribs. I learned that at a Red Cross training that I took in high school.

Anyway, some people did this, some people were confused by how to do it electronically and instead gave me checks. Hey, it’s all good.

And that was before the Japan earthquake, and aid organizations such as the Red Cross in whatever country you are in can use your help even more.

Still, I got a couple gift cards, one from Amazon, one from Borders. So I got my fix of new music Continue reading

Beatles Island Songs, 23-14

(Confidential to Uthaclena: “Macca”!)

JEOPARDY! answers (Questions at the end)

BEATLES LYRICS $100: “He got o-no sideboard, he one spinal cracker”
BEATLES LYRICS $200: “It always leads me here, leads me to your door”
BEATLES LYRICS $300: “Closer, let me whisper in your ear, say the words I love to hear”
BEATLES LYRICS $400: “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you” BEATLES LYRICS $500: “Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love”
***
Beatles Release Debut Album 48 Years Ago

Macca solo albums expanded editions coming in June

In pictures: Abbey Road Studio Two
***
The rules of engagement

23 Lady Madonna, from A-side of a single (UK), Hey Jude album (US). Initially, I wasn’t positive this last Capitol single even was the Beatles. Continue reading

K is for Keys


I have become fascinated with the word key. It’s a short word, worth 10 points in Scrabble, but it has so many meanings. Reference.com shows some four dozen definitions. And while some are interlocking, most of them address some sort of structure.

There is that metal thing that moves a bolt that I tend to hate because I tend to misplace it. I have a couple duplicates of my house keys, one outside the structure – no, it’s not under the mat – just in case. Someone told me a long time ago that the number of keys one has related to how important they were. The most important person I ever knew, by that definition, was my elementary school janitor.

Then there’s “something that affords a means of access”, such as the key to happiness. The word shows up at least a half dozen times in the Bible in this context Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Fridays: Talking Heads;


“Welcome to Rock ‘n Roll Fridays. We are like other memes in that we will ask you thirteen questions each and every Friday. But our little ‘twist’ is that each week we will pick a singer, band, era or category and pick thirteen of their songs. Each of our questions will be based on the lyrics… Today we picked Talking Heads.”

1. Psycho Killer “I can’t seem to face up to the facts, I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax. I can’t sleep cuz my bed’s on fire. Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire…”
What has kept you from a restful night’s sleep recently?

Actually, the Daughter has had a few nightmares recently. The first time, she and I were awake from 3 a.m. trough the school/work day. Another time, she woke me from an especially sound sleep.

2. Life During Wartime “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco…this ain’t no foolin around. No time for dancing or lovey dovey. I ain’t got time for that now…”
Where was the last nightclub or disco you went to?

It’s been years. I think it was in Schenectady in the early 1980s. I remember with whom I went.

3. Take Me To The River “Take me to the river. Dip me in the ocean. Take me to the river washing me down…”
When was the last time you took a dip in the water?
Continue reading

Roger Answers Your Questions, Rosey and Lisa


Rosey at Dung Hoe Gardening asked:
Do you feel like we as a country have to fight every war for everybody? It’s [a] sticky question.

Well, yes, it is. But the answer to the question is clearly no. I mean, the United States hasn’t gotten involved in the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) yet, has it?

As a matter of policy, at least since Viet Nam, the position has generally been that the US engage in winnable wars, and only when they meet the nation’s strategic interests, whatever they may be at the moment. This has been boiled down to something called The Powell Doctrine, which “states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States”:
Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 84: Cousins


On her mother’s side, Lydia has three first cousins, 10-year-old twin girls and a nine-and-half year old girl. But on my side, we gave my parents three granddaughters about a dozen years apart.

Rebecca, Leslie’s daughter, is 32 and lives in southern California with her husband Rico; she’s the one wearing the coat in the two pictures below. I can tell you that she has been a great, supportive cousin to Alexandria, Marcia’s daughter, who is 20 and lives with Marcia (and lived with my mother) in southern North Carolina. Likewise, Alex has been a wonderful cousin to Lydia.

But until recently, Rebecca and Lydia had never met, though Lydia had seen Rebecca and Rico on the TV show Wipeout back in September. So when Rebecca arrived in NC for my mother’s funeral, we made sure that the two of them had some quality time together. Continue reading

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire


On March 25, 1911, 146 young immigrant workers, mostly female, died in a tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Within 18 minutes, the fire spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those workers trapped inside because the doors were locked and their ladders could not reach the factory floor. This tragedy galvanized a city and state to fight for labor reform and safety in the workplace.

And now a century later, it’s clear that organized labor is under attack. You may have seen the cookie joke. “You know: a CEO, a tea party member, and a union worker are all sitting at a table when a plate with a dozen cookies arrives. Before anyone else can make a move, the CEO reaches out to rake in eleven of the cookies. When the other two look at him in surprise, the CEO locks eyes with the tea party member. ‘You better watch him,’ the executive says with a nod toward the union worker. ‘He wants a piece of your cookie.'”

Just because I haven’t spoken much here about the attacks on labor, in the US and elsewhere, Continue reading

Beatles Island Songs, 33-24


JEOPARDY! answers (questions at the end)
MUSIC OF THE ’60s $100: In 1969 “Something” became the only No. 1 hit he composed for the Beatles
HILLS $400: The Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon was raised in them
SWEET 16 $400: Billboard numbers it as the Beatles’ 16th chart album; you can’t tell anything by its cover
MOVIE SONGS $100: In this 1968 Beatles title tune, “Every one of us has all we need, sky of blue and sea of green”
FINISH THE LINE $100: The Beatles: “Yesterday all my troubles seemed…”
FINISH THE LINE $600: The Beatles: “I think I’m gonna be sad…”
CHORUS LINES $800: The Beatles sang, “Hold me, love me, ain’t got nothin’ but love babe” this often
***
Video: Steve Martin talks collaboration with Paul McCartney on ABC-TV’s The View: “I’ve got to tell you, having Paul McCartney sing a song that I wrote has to be one of the greatest thrills of his life,” Martin quipped.

Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon will do Japan benefit concert in New York March 27.
***
The rules of engagement

33 I’m Down, B-side of Help! single. My friend Fred Hembeck says that this is just McCartney’s remake of Long Tall Sally, and he may very well be right. What hooked me on this song Continue reading

Roger Answers Your Questions, Gordon, Tom, Demeur, and Uthaclena


Gordon of Blog This, Pal!, who had a birthday this month, the day before mine actually, asks:
With all the rampant de-funding that seems to be happening (NPR, Americorps), do you think it’s being done out of partisan motivations? Or simply (as I like to think of it) a case of relatively new legislators playing hack and slash without really considering the consequences?

Gordon, you attribute to these legislators a level of naivete that I just don’t find at all convincing. An opportunity to get rid of Planned Parenthood funding, for instance, is like a dream come true for the GOP, at least since 1994; maybe since 1973. Never mind the facts that 1) the funding, per the Hyde Amendment, cannot be used for abortions and 2) the services that are provided are often the only medical treatment some women get. I find it incredibly cynical that they want to, symbolically at least, support the unborn, while at the same time, imperil the born by cutting programs such as WIC (Women, Infants, Children.)

Getting rid of those damn liberals at NPR will be a savings, at a cost, especially in some rural communities, of having any local radio at all. And speaking of NPR, it distresses me that a faux journalist with a microphone and video camera, can help besmerch the network by clever editing, the same way Shirley Sherrod can be forced out of the Department of Agriculture based on the same clever manipulation.

Let’s be realistic, though Continue reading

J is for Justices


On the United States Supreme Court, the nine judges are called justices. There have been 110 justices since 1789, with 17 of them having served as Chief Justice, not counting some in temporary positions due to the death or retirement of the Chief Justice.

Someone nominated by the President, and ratified by the U.S. Senate by a majority vote, can serve for life. The idea was that the judiciary not be affected by the whims of pedestrian politics. Not that that hasn’t happened on occasion.

Here’s a list of Supreme Court members. I can tell that this picture was taken after the 2006 retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman ever to serve on the high court, replaced by Samuel Alito, and before the 2009 retirement of David Souter. There is a particular order in these pictures. The Chief Justice, in this case, John Roberts, is always front and center, literally. To his left, from your point of view, is the justice with the most seniority, in this case, 2010 retiree John Paul Stevens. To the right of the CJ is the next person in terms of seniority, Antonin Scalia, followed by (far left front) Anthony Kennedy, (far right front) Souter, (near left back) Clarence Thomas, (near right back) Ruth Bader Ginsburg, (far left back) Stephen Breyer and (far right back) Alito.
Continue reading