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Saturday, May 09, 2015


Some Miscellaneous Rambling…..

Reader “Joy” was kind enough to inform me of a site where you can enter your birth date to find out what was the number one popular song in America on the day you were born. In my case it was “Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)” by Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra. Right now many of you are probably wondering who Jimmy Dorsey was. Jimmy and his brother Tommy were big time band leaders in the 1940’s dance era and they both sold millions of records. Jimmy died in 1957. If you want to check out your own birthday song or any other song simply go to

Are you considering buying a new Apple Watch? Do you have tattoos on your wrist where the watch would rest? Apparently you can’t have your cake and eat it too if you have a dark ink tattoo. I realize that for all the cool people out there who wait in line through fog, rain, and the gloom of night to have anything that is new from Apple may be a bit discouraged. Apple has stated that “Many factors can affect the performance of the Apple Watch heart rate sensor. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor making it difficult to get reliable readings.” So, is your decision yes or no on the Apple Watch? I would advise not buying one. The cheesy one is about $400 and will probably be obsolete before you get tired of it and want something else ridiculous from Apple. Plus, you have probably already paid off your tattoo.

The Movoto Real Estate Blog rates the following cities as the “10 snobbiest big cities” in the United States: 1. San Francisco 2. Washington, D. C., 3. Seattle 4. Scottsdale 5. Oakland 6. Portland 7. Irvine, Calif. (tie) 7. Honolulu (tie) 9. Madison 10. Atlanta.

At first glance it may appear that “snobby” is a type of insult but upon further review it is high praise since Movoto defines snobby as places with enviable qualities. Residents of these places are well educated and well paid. Their homes have high median prices and there are more private schools and art galleries and fewer fast food restaurants. I live in Scottsdale and have listened for years to out of town residents jokingly call the city “Snobbsdale” or the “Beverly Hills of the Desert.” It’s all in fun but if the truth were to be known they probably are thinking about how much they wish they could live here. We have vacancies so if you wish, come on down. It’s always fun to tee off on New Year’s Day with the temperature 70 degrees.

Looking back:  Remembering Bob Dylan.  If you are under 50 your response may be “Bob, who?” It isn't that long ago that such a thought would be absurd since almost everyone knew Bob Dylan. However, Dylan will be 74 on May 24 and his following isn't what it used to be. But, he does have a following which is something that a lot of pop and rock stars would kill for if they could have pulled it off.  Dylan HAS pulled it off and while the road to popularity is strewn with the remains of many other once popular single acts, groups, and genres, a lot of people still remember and enjoy many of Dylan’s songs.

Dylan in the early 1960's.
In a recent AARP Magazine interview, Dylan discussed his latest project which is to record 10 of his favorite American standards under the album title of Shadows in the Night. It will include numbers like “Autumn Leaves,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” and “Some Enchanted Evening.” None of those titles sound like anything Dylan would have done in his protest youth of the early 60s but not many thought he would ever play an electric guitar until he did it in the mid 60s. He says he never thought much about doing standards until he heard Willie Nelson do Stardust in the 1970’s.  

Arriving in New York City from Minnesota at the beginning of the 1960s, Dylan packed a lot into his first five years in the Big Apple. It was the “folk” song era and he rode a wave of success along with acts like Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Kingston Trio, and the Village Stompers who had a huge hit in 1963 with Washington Square. He stayed unplugged through his early successes of Mr. Tambourine Man and Blowin’ in the Wind but by 1965 he went electric to a tumultuous crowd at the Newport Jazz Festival with Like a Rolling Stone. That success led him  to put his standard guitar into semi retirement.

He has had quite a career for a guy born in the icy cold of Duluth, Minnesota. It includes more song writing, some acting roles, and touring with popular acts like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Grateful Dead, The Traveling Wilburys, and others.

Regardless of his long and successful resume with other musical genres, Dylan is determined to do Shadows of the Night. I think it is a good idea and possibly a final opportunity in his mid 70s to show his love of some great American standards. One of his idols is Frank Sinatra so I’m sure the new album will include a couple of his tunes. It should be interesting so stay tuned.


Jim McAllister said...

Nice blog, Jim.
As for the tattoos..........never could understand why people wanted to do that to themselves.
The only ones I can understand somebody wanting to keep are those numbers on the arms of the prisoners at places like Dachau, Belsen-Belsen, etc., and only to remind others that things like that really did occur.

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Larry.

I agree; to me tattoos are just a fad with the young of today who have no idea of what it was like to serve in the military. They will grow weary of them and want them gone when the next fad comes in.

I'm sure the dermatologists are salivating at the extra business they will have !

Glo, It Ain't Me, Babe said...

Hi Jim,

I saw this app and found out that my birthday #1 song was Vaya con Dios (May God Be with You) by Les Paul and Mary Ford. Strangely enough, when I played the double keyboard organ in the mid-to-late 60s (before it was repossessed due to lack of payments, thus ending what could have been a musical career), that was one of my fave songs to play.

Apple watch? Yeah right – I still have a 2008 flip-open cell phone. I have no need of an iPhone and certainly not of a watch that does anything else except tell time (Duh! The purpose of a ‘watch’).

Bob Dylan, born Bob Zimmerman. I think many of the songs he wrote were fabulous, but not as sung by him, except for Lay Lady Lay. His songs done by other people were superb, such as PP&M, Joan Baez, the Byrds, the Turtles, and Simon & Garfunkel – even Olivia Newton-John! Did you know that Dylan had a long affair with Joan Baez in the 60s, and she wrote her hit song Diamonds & Rust to denote their relationship? She was quite a folk singer, and in college I had many of her albums and played them over and over. I have them on CD now.

I actually created a custom CD of ‘Dylan Not By Dylan;’ i.e., him singing a song and then another singer(s) doing the same song.

I think a lot of people think snobby when I say I live in Carefree. So what? I worked my curvaceous butt off to get to this point in my life, and I don’t think twice … 

I would keep a camp tattoo if I ever had one. In writing my recent manuscript (just finished and submitted for evaluation), I had a character who pretended to be a camp internee to escape after WW II. What I found in my research was interesting: only Auschwitz tattooed their prisoners, not the other camps, and if someone had a tattoo number in another camp, it meant he/she was transferred there from Auschwitz.

Jim McAllister said...

Ray Wiseman
6:30 PM (58 minutes ago)

Jim, as usual I had fun reading your latest blog. We get the Wall Street Journal on-line, and today there was an article titled "The guitarist Bob Dylan worshiped" The article was actually devoted to telling about a new book out on the biography of Rev. Gary Davis, a mosly blind guitarist. The article quoted Dylan as saying that Davis was one of the wizards of modern music.

Today I was listening to some of my favorite discs - Teddy Wilson and Errol Garner. It is just amazing how many artists we have had, through the years, and all of them with different styles of music.

I was surprised at a Madison being cited as having good qualities. I have never been in Madison, but I think of it as a hot-bed of liberals!! Well, Portland OR is, too, but it is a nice city. I am glad that Scottsdale made the list at #4.

Thanks for your blog.


CJinPhoenix said...

My song was "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" by Elvis Presley. Nope, Not really. But I do miss Middy.

No tattoos & no Apple watch either Funny how Apple ushered in the era of Big Brother in 1984 -- no, it isn't exactly as written in the book but Orwell was a visionary author not a prophet ... And now Big Brother isn't just watching you, it is using a watch to do it. I refuse to strap the forbidden fruit to my wrist (Not mixing my metaphors ... Apple is both.)

For a fad, tattoos have been around a strangely long time. I am beginning to think they are simply a change in American values.

Joe Finnerty said...

In over ten years of singing with a chorus that entertains elderly residents of assisted living places all over the Valley, I have never seen anyone in our audience sporting a tattoo or carrying a cell phone.

Our one-hour long programs generally include timeless melodies taken from Broadway and Hollywood musicals. One year we included, “This Land is Your Land.” They might enjoy hearing us twang out “Blowin’ in the Wind,” but not as much as when we include a song such as “As Time Goes By.”

Jim McAllister said...


Too bad about losing the double key organ. With your intelligence and drive you may have become the next "Crazy" Ray Manzarek or or rod Argent; two of the best I have ever heard play the Hammond!

I'm with you on phones. Maybe if I was still a hot shot salesman I would have something more sophisticated than my flip top cell phone. I don't even use it; Barb carries it and rarely uses it either. For $15 a month it's cheap enough to keep though.

When I was selling, it was all about pay phones and credit card calls. Those items are in museums now.

I remember Dylan fooling around with Joan B. I never was fond of her and her protest complaining. "Lay, Lady Lay" was pretty deep into his career, probably early 70s. He sounds great on that one with "Lay, lady lay; lay across your big brass bed."

I laugh when people put down Scottsdale. It's usually envy so they have to live with it. I like knowing that the house I bought in 1999 is now worth about $200,000 more than I paid for it.

I've never understood people maiming themselves with tattoos. Who cares what they represent; they are stuck with them.

Jim McAllister said...

Hi Joy,

Teddy Wilson and Errol Garner are two of the best. Garner had such a unique style on the 88s; it's one we never forget. His "Misty" will remain as the best version of that song forever.

Dylan is a unique guy having grown up in the protest days of the 60s. I was never a big fan of his at the time because I was in the USAF and not into all the anti war stuff. But, he did have some good music after that period and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with his new album of American standards. He mentions doing "Some Enchanted Evening." Somehow I can only picture Ezio Pinza doing that one!

Madison is a sore thumb in that list of cities. I agree with you; another liberal college town with a bunch of people who are clueless but thing they are superior. Plus, it is located in a cold, wet place like Wisconsin. Surely that was a misprint!

Jim McAllister said...


Middy seems to have dropped out. I rarely hear from him anymore. I hope he is OK.

You may be right about tattoos; they are probably part of the lifestyle anymore. I never have been a fan of them since it seems silly to maim oneself with something that is hard and expensive to remove.

Apple is amazing. Every time they introduce some new gadget, the sidewalk outside their stores is packed with people who can't wait to spend money on gimmicks. They are lucky they don't depend on me for a sale.

Jim McAllister said...

Hi Joe,

I agree on cell phones and tattoos. If I was still working in sales a cell phone would have been a must since pay phones don't seem to exist anymore. However, these days I never use the one I have nor does my wife. We only keep it for emergencies of which there has never been one.

Tattoos make no sense to me at all. I see a lot of young people covered with them and I wonder what they were thinking to do that to themselves. It's a different culture now I guess.

Keep me in touch where you do your one hour shows. I love that stuff and would like to see you perform.

midnightsstaff said...

I still read the blog every couple of days, but as you know I have a problem with posting and waiting for it to finally get past inspection, I guess it's just my libertarian instincts rising to the surface.

Due to the inherent shortcomings of an autodidact education I'm forced to go back and self edit practically every post I make, so waiting a day or so to clean up my misteaks just is a bridge too far.
..sometimes I have to go straight to edit to correct incorrect spelling of words such as from to far too two far..
English gets tricky.

But it's owner makes the house rules and that is the way I want things to be, one squeaky wheel shouldn't stop the circus... so to speak.

Yeah tattoos.. didn't like them on men for the most part of my life and now when I see them on women it is as big of a turn off as finding out she was named Butch at birth...which is not that extraordinary any longer, so it makes a handy built in excuse to stay away from society- as tho I need any more reasons.

Plus I tend to rant on and on as you know at the drop of a hat; after posting thousands of mini tomes on various hare brained subjects I have come to realize no one other than Rick was reading them anyway.. haha and now he is living in the only barn in Missouri with a green screen, sorry Rick that's probably a sore issue.

..Nope, everything is just hunky dory on this end of paradise, I just had my daughter spend a satellite work week vacation, now my son's out for a week of getting out of the snows of Springtime Colorado.. no black ISIS flags visible from the balcony yet- but if I see one I will certainly call the White House.


CJinPhoenix said...

Yep, that is what I was missing. My HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY is complete now.

FYI, I am in the process of joining the DAR. So if you all are ever wondering what I am up to these days now that the blogs are basically a wash, I will be hanging out with white haired ladies doing patriot things ... I guess. I will find out more after they vote me in.

I have never been much of a joiner but this fits right in with my interest in genealogy. I am actually excited by this now.

Jim McAllister said...


That's great. I am a big fan of the DAR and last October I gave a talk to the Winfield Scott chapter about north Scottsdale history. One of the ladies in that group who enjoyed my stories in "Images" magazine asked me and I was very flattered to accept.

They are a great group; you will enjoy your time there.

Jim McAllister said...


When I see some old vet with a tattoo it is usually a one color anchor or something similar that they usually say they would like to have removed. Probably something picked up in a port during a night on the town off ship or during the war. At least those guys served and are not a bunch of immature people, male and female, who get overdone tattoos all over their bodies like we see now.

The dermatologists must be salivating for the day those fools come to their senses and want that ugly stuff removed. I Remember some years ago when so many babes just had to have that eagle climbing from their asses up their back? They wore hip huggers and short tops just to show them off. A few years later they came to their senses and realized how dumb it was. At that time I remember a woman doctor in Phoenix being interviewed by a local magazine saying that she was being kept really busy by those people and that it was not a case of just zapping off the tattoo; it was a year long expensive process to remove.

Did they live and learn? Probably not in this society of having to be in style regardless of the silliness of it. Now I'm looking forward to see what all the fools who stretched out their earlobes are going to do. It should be interesting.

Mike Slater said...

Hi Jim, I never served in the military but was in the 1969 draft and my number wasn't picked so I went to a community college instead. My two brothers were in the army after Vietnam and my dad served in WW11 as did one of my uncles. My other uncle was in the Korean war and Vietnam.

Only my uncle in the navy during the Korean war had a tattoo.

Iv'e never had a desire for a tattoo and think it must be something the younger generation likes. I used to work with a kid at the phone company that had both arms with tattoos and since he had to deal with customers the company made him wear a long sleeve shirt at work as to not scare them.

Jim McAllister said...


I was Air Force from 1961-65 and I can't remember any of the younger guys having tattoos, Some of the older guys had simple ones and that is about all.

Today it is ridiculous the way so many guys are defacing themselves with the ugly damn things. The women are pretty much into it to. They think I am wrong when I tell them they will be sorry when it is too late to remove them but they just laugh. I've always looked at stuff like that as a fad. How many people do we see today wearing clothes from the 60's and 70's? The nice thing is one can throw away old style clothes. Tattoos? Not so easy or cheap to remove.

It seems like everyone has to learn the hard way these days.

Rick Kepple said...

Since the house fire, kind friends have been helping to remodel the hay barn to include a home, kind of thing. Bachelor pad with guitars and an e-drum set.

Song when I was born? June 12-18, 1957 was Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley, True Love by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, Love me by Elvis Presley, Don't Forbid Me by Pat Boone, Young Love by Sonny James. Seems foreshadowing.

No Apple Watch. No thanks. The 10 places I am not invited to move.

My favorite song by Bob Dylan at the moment is Maggie's Farm performed by Rage Against The Machine. I prefer FM and SN, and as the construction continues, I feel like listening to them little by little.

I've not been out, but I read that we're expecting a terrorist attack in the U.S. and I'm slightly concerned. You don't want to know the grapevine talk.

Jim McAllister said...


I remember June of 1957. I turned 16 in March of that year and had a beat up '54 Ford Mainline 6 banger business coupe to drive. I used to buy oil by the gallon at Sears for it. It was a heap but great for someone 16.

All great memory songs, Elvis was huge, Boone was huge, and I really liked Young Love by Sonny James.

I agree on Maggie's Farm. Dylan has had a quietly successful career in his later years it seems. I remember him playing the Sundome in Sun City about 1995. I couldn't believe he was there with that crowd of old timers.

Jim McAllister said...

I have to inject this because I think it is a good line. It comes from 82nd Airborne on Twitter:

"There Is A Problem When You Have To Work To Pay Taxes To The Federal Government, Yet If You Don't Work They Pay You!"

Rick Kepple said...

I thought that creating a music studio in my hay barn, that I could create jobs, because everyone loves music, right? I tried to be smart like Jim and it didn't work. I put everything I had into it and people just used me and now they are laughing. It's time to let people believe what they choose to believe.

I miss the old days when I had a strong back and I never had to depend on anyone. But now I'm old.

Rick Kepple said...

I've probably heard half a dozen Dylan songs today and didn't know it. The guy wrote most of the songs used by the music business.

I got this old smartphone with a cracked glass. I don't care. It works. Nobody calls, texts or even comes by to jam anymore. I watch movies mostly. Tend the garden.

I'm thinking of freelance writing for various publications and only for the big money. Yep, be the mysterious eccentric writer. It's the adventure, you know.

Well, I was planning to move to Portland, but not anymore. I've heard nothing but bad about most of those places. Snobby about what?

Jim McAllister said...


Portland is like Seattle and all those other liberal places. Not worth visiting much less living there.

Rick Kepple said...

I don't have the luxury of choosing where I'm going to live.

Jim McAllister said...

Missouri is pretty nice; no need to leave there. I enjoyed 3 1/2 years there working for Uncle Sam under Kennedy and Johnson.

Rick Kepple said...

It's not the 1960's anymore, Jimmy. This isn't the Missouri that you knew. I've got the farm up for sale for $60,000 now. You like Missouri so much, it would be a good investment for you.

Rick Kepple said...

Well Jimmy, if you like Missouri so well, then why don't you buy this farm as originally agreed? No codes. No delivery men. Just a cashiers check. The way that I hear it, Arizona's about to become ISIS held by November 2016.

Rick Kepple said...

I read that Ringo Starr said that the real Paul McCartney died in 1966 and the Sgt. Pepper album has all the clues to prove it. That would leave Mr. Conductor as the only original Beatle left. Back in the day, I guess the big wigs gave Hard Advice and profits trump even love. And besides, they were all manufactured bands anyway. Music industry lies, news at 11.

Rick Kepple said...

You'd like the kitchen, Jimmy. The kitchen counter is lower so I can sit and do dishes. I'm trying to design the barn as a bachelor pad. Need one of those mini-fridges with the big freezer on top, a new entertainment cabinet of a specific size. The last one was solid oak. Need a new couch. New tile in the kitchen and the bathroom. Dell Mack called bummed out that I've shut the studio down. Wasted all that money trying to help musicians and they don't believe in me. I'm nobody. Thought about recording my own album and sound like a cross between Neil Young and Crash Test Dummies. I'll name the album, Life Sucks.

Rick Kepple said...

Since I resigned from music, Dell Mack is receiving a lot of Facebook page likes now. See, I don't belong in music. I mean, who in their right mind would even think that I know anyone other than Dell? Nothing to do but watch TV.

Rick Kepple said...

Hey, nice blog. Had nuked cheesy chicken and nuked Uncle Ben's rice. Watching movies. I have a music play list too with some Bob Dylan songs, but by other bands. The entertainment system is a laptop with cables piped in through the wall from the control room (kitchen) to the studio (living room) with real pipes. If I lived in Scottsdale, I'd have to use copper pipes with fittings for the fancy look. In Missouri, I just use PVC. Heh heh heh.

Rick Kepple said...

Jim, what's shakin? You get your protest money yet? I heard protestors got paid in Ferguson. I figured they paid well in Scottsdale. Probably chanted some Bob Dylan songs and few people knew who wrote them. I don't go anywhere and no calendar, so I lose track of time. I thought it was Labor Day Weekend. Forgot it was May. Surviving in the Barn. I picked up a bale of straw for my stall today. RISAL

Jim McAllister said...


The whole country is going nuts. That Waco thing with the bikers is something. Same with the cop in Cleveland who killed the black guy and was "not guilty" so the natives are restless there now. What the hell; plenty of good stores to loot there and maybe they can break into the Rock and Roll Hall and steal something. Then they wonder why people look down on them. I hope the cops are prepared in Cleveland.

I'm not sure if they will ever change. This has been going on as long as I can remember: Detroit, Cincinnati, L. A., Ferguson, Baltimore, Oakland, etc. The riots are nothing but an excuse to steal. Look at the photos of them walking out of stores with TVs, alcohol, etc.

I loved that Korean family in Ferguson that got on the roof of their dry cleaning store with rifles and plenty of ammo and dared the bastards to try and burn their store. We need more like that.

When I was a kid during a more placid time I would have laughed if someone told me that someday I would need to carry a weapon for protection. Well, here I am in 2015 and I never leave home without my .38 loaded and ready for action.

So much for progress in race relations.

Rick Kepple said...

When I read about the "Draw Muhammad" contest in Phoenix, my mind is going ... TRAP.

"Mama, put my guns in the ground; I can't shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin' down; I feel I'm knockin' on heaven's door." Bob Dylan.


Jim McAllister said...

This is probably get worse before it gets better. Those guys in Phoenix were nuts. Now they are both history. We won't miss them.

Rick Kepple said...

Well, I take it that radicals didn't take the bait. There should be a Bob Dylan song for them. More blood tests coming up.

"Trying to get to heaven," - Bob Dylan and it seems appropriate for Phoenix, Muslims, bikers, the flood victims and these confusing years of mine. My friend Jen insists that I go back to the doctor.

"The air is getting hotter; There’s a rumbling in the skies; I’ve been wading through the high muddy water; With the heat rising in my eyes; Every day your memory grows dimmer It doesn’t haunt me like it did before; I’ve been walking through the middle of nowhere; Trying to get to heaven before they close the door"

So no real bad crazies today. Cool. Maybe there is hope afterall.

Read more:

Rick Kepple said...

Well Jimmy, it appears that my instincts were correct. I have a liver of a young man now, it appears. There have been studies done proving that marijuana has a beneficial effect on liver damage and can cure liver cancer.

Had a kid get in my face and threaten me yesterday because I scoffed at his intention to get on disability for video game related repetitive injuries.

Jim, did you notice that the day after nothing happened in Phoenix that the Patriot Act was allowed to expire? That's pretty cool that so many people showed up in Phoenix and Don told me a lot of the details. No violence. Pretty cool. Bob Dylan should be proud.

Jim McAllister said...


Glad to hear you have a healthy liver. You must have listened to your mom as a kid when she said "Be sure you eat your liver!"

I watch the way kids act today and just roll my eyes. Trying to get disability over playing board games doesn't surprise me. They all have that liberal mindset that the government owes them something because they are too stupid to apply common sense to anything. I've said it many times: The military draft should never have been discontinued. A lot of guys grew up to their benefit when they served a hitch. The young guys of today have no concept of that.

Rick Kepple said...

So you guessed my secret. I actually eat liver for a healthier liver. The onions are a binding agent.

The REAL problem with Social Security is that the kids can get on their parents' account LEGALLY and having never worked and throw in Food Stamps and they're in hog heaven.

Yep, the draft definitely needs to come back, but unfortunately the DoD is downsizing and it's too late. However, I think at some point they privatize because war is profitable and that and marijuana stocks, the market should jump from 18,000 to over 20,000.

Jim McAllister said...

I agree, Rick.

The military hitch made a lot of kids into men. Look at some of the twerps today and compare them to guys from about 40 years ago. They have no concept about proper appearance, manners, stability, respect, or maturity. During the draft years guys learned quickly how to get used to being on their own. Today some never leave the safety of Mommy's hugs.

Hell, if Elvis and Willy Mays had to serve, everyone should!

Rick Kepple said...

I didn't want to leave home, but after my parents died, I was thrown under the bus. I envied those families that stuck together through thin and thinner. I've grown up distrustful of people and perhaps it made me better at what I did for work.

Dell Mack served and it's done him well in his life. His new publicist can't spell too well, but they are gaining lots more Likes on Facebook. They have new equipment and a couple of clients. The tenant thing isn't working for me and I hear that she's moving her trailer out. They don't pay at all! Then they complain that I complain too much about the rent. So adios. None of them served in the military either.

I need to find better friends more like you, Jimmy. Hard to find though. Don's a good friend too.