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Friday, January 31, 2014

A NEW BOOK, SOME FAVE MUSICIANS, AND "GO, REDSKINS!"

Fifteen individual musicians or groups that I liked who I wish were still popular and/or still alive:  Roy Orbison, James Brown, Chicago, Three Dog Night, Joe Walsh, Roy Buchanan, Phil Collins, Supertramp, Journey, Jefferson Starship, Norman Greenbaum, The Clash, Duran Duran,  Greg Kihn Band, and Blondie.  There are more but you get the point.  The music of today can’t touch the old stuff……….For anyone who is wondering, the answer is no, M. C. Hammer didn’t have a chance to make the list……….What would you do if you were Amanda Knox?  She was guilty, not guilty, and guilty again.  If I was her I would cancel any vacation to Italy and buy some glasses with the nose and mustache attached and head straight for underneath Funk and Wagnall’s porch………Here is a shocker:  NBC and their cohorts at MSNBC have reached the top of the list of networks that people don’t trust.  Gee, really? They always seem so open minded and classy!……….Great line sent from my buddy Allen in New Hampshire:  “Hmmmmmm….and yet another day has passed and I didn’t use Algebra once. Very interesting.”  I flunked it twice in high school but they gave me a “D” the second time since I showed up for class every day in summer school.  I’m glad I never needed it!..……….One has to wonder how Carnival ship cruises stay in business.  Another one had to scram back to port in Houston last Friday because of a virus outbreak that had everyone spewing from both ends.  Last week a Royal Caribbean ship had the same problem and I don’t know if they ever did get that cruise ship off its side in Italy a couple years ago.  With these incidents I think there are some good cruise deals out there but you may want to take your own provisions and a good life vest………If you know much about past American presidents you probably know that Calvin Coolidge was one of the quietest guys to ever live in Washington.  The man who was the pride of Vermont simply never had much to say but the nation grew fond of his peculiarities and often exaggerated them.  In one often told story it is said that a woman sitting next to Coolidge at a Washington dinner gushed “Mr.  President, my friend bet me that I wouldn’t get you to say three words tonight.”  Supposedly Coolidge replied, “You lose.”……….That story comes from a fine book by Bill Bryson that anyone who appreciates the history of the United States will enjoy.  It’s titled “One Summer, America, 1927”………Here is some good news:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname has been ''presented in a way that honors Native Americans.''  I hope that statement puts a stop to the nonsense that the name “Redskins” is demeaning to the Native American culture.  Some people need to acquire a sense of humor and not take themselves so serious.……….This response to Obama’s State of the Union is from Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic:   “The speech itself, however, demonstrated what a spent political force Obama has become.  He may as well have been wearing a sign saying “I’m a lame duck.”……….Finally:  If you live near Cave Creek, north Scottsdale, Grayhawk, Carefree or anywhere in the vicinity of those places where the Images AZ  magazine is in store racks or mailed, I have a story in the February edition about a interesting bit of history in north Scottsdale.  Check it out if you can.  See ya!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

WHAT? PAY FOR YOUTUBE?, KOOKIE, AND CORRECT USE OF "COOL"

Edd "Kookie"  Byrnes (c. 1959)
Of "77 Sunset Strip," ABC-TV hit
from 1958-1964.  Cooool!                                   

I do not “Tweet” and I do not “Facebook.”  Most of the stuff on those sites are boring to me; especially Twitter.  Reading 140 characters about Kim’s unhappiness with the public for not liking her latest gown or that Miley has increased her slut personality after years as a cute kid on Disney, does not interest me.  Do you care what Dennis Rodman has to say?  Me either.  However, this Tweet from some guy in Phoenix during the recent arctic temperatures around the country is pretty good:  “I’m a little chilly here in AZ today…oh, wait, no I’m not.  Sorry, rest of America!”……..Money can’t buy you brains department:  J. R. Smith, who plays for the N. Y. Knicks in the NBA, was recently fined $50,000 for “unsportsmanlike conduct” because he continuously likes to untie opponent’s shoestrings during free throw attempts.   It’s another example of how some sports stars have plenty of money but no class or brains……..Steven Seagal for Arizona Governor? He says he has an interest but I don’t see it happening……..This had to happen I guess:  There is a possibility that charges may be incurred for items brought up on the internet.  It is compared to cable companies charging for premium programming like HBO and could affect your viewing of popular YouTubes and other items.  So, you know that great YouTube video of Black Sabbath you watch regularly on your computer?  It may cost  to watch it in the future.  Stay tuned……..Is John McCain losing his mind?  Of course he is; he is looking for contributions to his campaign for 2016.  Maybe he can get some Democrat votes but the Republicans in AZ have basically told him where he can stuff his aspirations.   Are you listening, Jeff Flake?........In my Air Force and college days in the 60’s I loved to drink beer.  I was a Falstaff and Schlitz man for many years until they disappeared.  Hamm’s was big in Missouri as Della Reese sang about the glory of it being “from the land of sky blue waters.”  Has anyone seen a bottle of Hamm’s lately?  I didn’t think so although I hear that Miller brews it now.  Budweiser is owned by a Belgian company and my treat of a six pack of Rolling Rock on a 1960’s Friday night disappeared when I heard it is now brewed in Newark, New Jersey instead of the home of Arnold Palmer, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  Newark?  Please!  Thomas Wolfe was right:  “You can’t go home again.”……..It hurts my ears to hear the way a lot of people try to use terminology from the days of my generation; especially the use of the word “cool.”  Unless you remember the late 50’s or early 60’s, forget about that sacred word.  I hear people use a clipped version all the time as if they are trying to remember it from a dream where they spent an evening in 1959 at Dino’s Lodge on the Sunset Strip with Edd “Kookie” Byrnes but can’t quite pull it off.   “Cool” had to be pronounced “Coooooool” to savor the true meaning of the word.  It could also be added to something that was REALLY cool by adding “sville” to the end as in “That ’57 T-bird is strictly “coooolsville” especially when driven by that cooool blond from Santa Monica.”  Keep practicing that and someday you may actually be cooool………Will there be more grammar lessons on my next blog?  Maybe, so don’t get over confident………Closing thought:  Do you remember the pop hit "Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb!"?  Do you remember who recorded it?........ Adios for now.  JM

Thursday, January 02, 2014

NFL GREED, A GREAT NEW BOOK, AND MORE

Anne Hillerman takes over for father Tony with "Spider Woman's Daughter"

Cruisin’ and perusin’ on a January afternoon in warm Scottsdale.  I see where Boston has 14”of snow; too bad!……..Thanks to everyone who has commented favorably on the blog getting back to the old format.  It’s almost like when the blogs started at AZ Central on December 5, 2006.  If they hadn’t cancelled them we would be starting our 8th year.  Actually we are; it’s just not called AZ Central anymore.  Too bad in a way; I have always missed having readers being able to post photos or other items………Speaking of snow I see where three of the four NFL teams in the playoffs this weekend have been unable to sell all their tickets in order to avoid a local blackout of TV coverage.  I think a lot of it is about greed.  The public can only take so much and when parking, refreshments, tickets, and souvenirs get priced too high there will eventually be a backlash.  Plus, unless you are like 109,000 hockey fans who sat in 12 degrees plus snow this week for the NHL Winter Classic game, wouldn’t you rather watch football from the comfort of a bar or your living room on a large flat screen TV? Someone must agree; Green Bay can’t even sell out as of this writing.  I guess they forget the great “Ice Bowl” game of 1967.  Too bad “Dandy Don” Meredith and Bart Starr can’t play anymore……..Has anyone been reading the “Seeing Red” blog that I have mentioned before?  If you like a conservative political point of view from a good Phoenix writer, check it out……..If you are a Tony Hillerman fan who enjoyed his mysteries involving the Navajo Tribal Police in Arizona and New Mexico, there is good news!  Tony unfortunately died in 2008 at 83 but his daughter Anne has taken his place continuing the Navajo police stories.  I’m 73 pages into her first book and she writes just like her dad……..We’ve seen the demise of newspapers up close with the decrease in the circulation and size of the Arizona Republic.  A couple months ago they cut the payroll by 29 more people in addition to two earlier personnel cuts.  The neighborhood inserts have been cut to three per week and have fewer pages.  It’s not as though they were doing that well anyway since as early as 1942, 73% of Americans relied on radio for news and as early as 1933, radio commentators were ordered not to report news that was less than 12 hours old in order to justify the need for newspapers.  Why?  Because ONE FOURTH of all radio stations were owned by newspapers!  It all seems a bit quaint now as we watch some formerly great papers go down the tubes.  Is it progress?  In some cases, yes……..What would Benson would do if the Republic folded?……..I did a blog a couple weeks ago about the great radio and TV show “Amos ‘n’ Andy” that ran on radio from 1928-1960 and TV from 1951-1953.  Strangely, that blog with its accompanying film clip has disappeared from Google.  Is this big brother at work?  I don’t care what anyone says; it was a popular show enjoyed by blacks and whites and never portrayed black people in any other way than as middle class Harlem residents of their era that had jobs and families and got into funny incidents the same as whites would in a sitcom.  Shame on Google for deleting my post……..Thanks for reading…….. later.

Bart Starr of Green Bay plunges into the end zone for the 
winning  touchdown in -17 degree weather to win the 1967
NFL Championship Game over Dallas. (AP)