Saturday, December 13, 2008

Flip, Blog & Fly

...I don't care if I die!  Great drinking song, btw...

Okay, they had a massive ice storm in New England that put millions in the dark this week, it snowed in New Orleans and we're getting January weather here already and winter doesn't even start officially for another week.  A nice little cold front is supposed to charge through here tomorrow afternoon and drop the temps. about 40 degrees by tomorrow night and it's not even going to get out of the teens on Monday.  Time to recite my annual refrain:  Global Warming, my ass!!

For the fourth straight year, the Northwest Missouri State Univ. Bearcats lost in the Division II championship game today in Florence, Alabama, this time to Minnesota-Duluth, 21-14.  Unlike the first three times, however, this game wasn't a heartbreaker that got away from them lateNWMS struggled all day long on offense and turned the ball over way too often.  Now the Bearcats will go down in infamy with the Buffalo Bills for reaching the title game four straight times and losing it.

DENNIS YOST, 1943-2008
Here's a name that might've slipped through the cracks for you in the news this week, but sadly, singer Dennis Yost of the Classics IV passed away this week at age 65 of respiratory failure in Cincinnati.  He'd been in nursing homes since a 2005 fall left him with brain damage.  Yost had such a smooth voice on those Classics IV classics "Spooky", "Stormy" and "Every Day With You, Girl", among others, in the late '60s.  Unfortunately, his career stalled out when the group broke up.  Rest in peace, Dennis.

It was announced this week that 2008 will be the final year for the TD Pack Band, the Kansas City Chefs' in-house stadium band that originated in 1963 when the team moved here from Dallas.  The band is being disbanded mostly because the team decided not to include a space for them to play in the remodeling plans for Arrowhead Stadium.  The band was originally led by 96-year-old trumpeter Tony DiPardo, who has been one of the team's most beloved and ardent boosters, throughout good times and bad, and his daughter Patti now leads the group after Tony's retirement some years ago.  Sadly, the quality of the music has declined since he stepped aside, and about all they play now is "Duh-duh-da-dut-da-DAHHH!"

Meantime, one of our local TV stations broke this story at 5AM the other morning after it snowed here the night before and I tuned in to get the latest road conditions.  These fools actually sent one of their reporters out to Arrowhead to deliver to us this "Breaking News", never mind that it was pitch-black outside and you couldn't even see the bloody stadium in the background!  Yeah, that really enhances your credibility there...

During a visit to Border's books the other night, in the CD section I came across one of those "20 Century Masters" best-of CDs for Swing Out Sister.  The "Breakout" group?!?  They had one lousy hit (and it most definitely was lousy!) and they rate a greatest-hits package?  Oh-bee, kay-bee...

During that same visit to Border's the other night, in the DVD section, there was one shelf labeled "Cult Classics", and on that shelf was that legendary Danny Bonaduce flick, H.O.T.S.!  Cult classic?  Which cult is this, the cult of people that need two hours to watch "60 Minutes"?

"Can I Put You On"ELTON JOHN (1970)  "And the van that comes around weekends, selling fancy city things..."  This one's a bit obscure, but a great old songI thought Elton was singing about "selling facts instead of things."  My brain isn't always wired too tight...

I want to acknowledge Dr. Sardonicus and Randy Raley for their fine responses to my "Overrated" list a couple posts back.  For the good Dr., I want to clarify what I meant by the term "White Trash noise" in regards to the MC5 and the Black CrowesI'll paraphrase what a critic once said about another band:  "Rock 'N' Roll can be mindless fun, but it shouldn't be this empty-headed..."

For Brother Randy regarding The Boss:  I, too, have been greatly touched by his music.  Back in 1999, I had a little rendez-vous with a female friend whom I'd become friends with on-line and we met for the first time in person about a year-and-a-half later in Denver and wound up having the mutual hots for each other that weekend.  While concerned about the effect "going all the way" would have on our existing friendship, I told her, "You know that Bruce Springsteen song 'Human Touch'?  That's what this weekend means to me."  Next morning, while at a grocery store shopping for some protection, who should I hear playing overhead, but The Boss himself singing "Human Touch"!  That "voice from above" told me that what we were about to do that night was okay, and I'll take that weekend to the grave with me.  And, oh by the way, she and I remain friends to this day.  Still and all, I think Springsteen gets a tad too much praise for practically everything he's doneas if he can do no wrong.  Let us not forget that even The Beatles put out a few clunkers (found mostly on the White Album and Let It Be) too.

In both your cases, I look forward to reading whatever you plan to post on your blogs in the future on this subject, which is certainly a fun one for debate.  Meantime, I'd forgotten one on my list:  Van Morrison.  His voice always sounds so bland to me, and he's about as dynamic a live performer as the great Roger Whittaker!  In the words of Airman Adrian Cronauer, "Boring as whale shit..."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

History re-visited

I was rummaging through the archives here this week and came across some funnies that someone sent to me via e-mail about ten years ago.  The following are actual answers to 6th-grade history tests.  Given the state of our public school system in this country, these answers aren't terribly shocking.  But, they're highly entertaining, all the same...

  • Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics.  They lived in the Sarah Dessert.  The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.
  • The Bible is full of interesting caricatures.  In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.  One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother’s son?"
  • Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without ingredients.  Moses went up Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments.  He died before he ever reached Canada.
  • Solomon had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
  • The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them, we wouldn’t have history.  The Greeks also had myths.  A myth is a female moth.
  • Actually, Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of that name.
  • Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice.  They killed him.  Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.  After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
  • In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits and threw the java.
  • Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul.  The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king.  Dying, he gasped out, "Tee hee, Brutus."
  • Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing fiddle to them.
  • In midevil times most people were alliterate.  The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.
  • Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.
  • Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen".  As a queen she was a success.  When she exposed herself before the troops they all shouted "hurrah."
  • Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes.  He wrote Donkey Hote.  The next great author was John Milton.  Milton wrote Paradise Lost.  Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.
  • It was an age of great inventions and discoveries.  Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible.  Another important invention was the circulation of blood.  Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.  And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
  • Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim’s Progress.  The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers.  Many died and many babies were born.  Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.
  • One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea.  Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps.  Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
  • Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress.  Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were singers of the Declaration of Independence.  Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand."  Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
  • Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility.  Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
  • Meantime in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time.  Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.  Gravity was invented by Isaac Walton.  It is clearly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.
  • Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children.  In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic.  Bach died from 1750 to the present.  Bach was the most famous composer in the world and was Handel.  Handel was half German half Italian and half English.  He was very large.
  • Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf.  He was so deaf he wrote loud music.  He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him.  Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
  • The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon.  Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t have any children.
  • The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.  Queen Victoria was the longest queen.  She sat on a thorn for 63 years.  She was a moral woman who practice virtue.  Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
  • The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions.  People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine.  The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up.  Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.  Louis Pasteur disocovered a cure for rabbis.  Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species.  Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers. 
  • Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest President.  Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands.  Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation.  On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show.  The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor.  This ruined Booth’s career.