Friday, November 29, 2013


Here we are at the day you’ve all been waiting for. NO, not that horrid shop till you drop, punch em, kick, em, do what it takes to get the sale price day. It’s the day we announce the winners of the first round of BATTLE OF THE BANDS.
If you remember, or if you read the rules, the person who voted the most at the three participating sites {Far Away Series, Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends and tossing It Out} would be the winner. In the case of a tie, Mr. McCarthy devised a highly scientific method to determine the winner.

Holy Moly! We had a four way tie. The finalists were C. W. Martin, Disconnected, Luckymama13, and Robin. Utilizing his ‘highly scientific method’ Mr. McCarthy was finally able to determine the winner.

Congratulations C.W. Martin. If you will get in touch with the ‘Contest Master” , Mr. McCarthy and give him your selection we will see that you CD of choice is speeding it’s way towards your home soon.

That’s it folks. A winner has been chosen. Don’t forget to return on Sunday, December 1 for the next round of BATTLE OF THE BANDS. The criteria for winning the next contest is going to change a little and become a teeny bit more random. Stay turned and sometime soon we’ll ‘splain it to ya.

Monday, November 25, 2013


A few weeks ago I received an invitation to a party. It was a special 'Blog' party hosted by Al Diaz, you might know him as Father Dragon. It was a little bit mysterious, but I was informed that I and a whole list of other bloggers were invited to his his special guest on November 24th. Never one to pass up a party, I marked it on my calendar and planned to attend.

Now, let me tell you a little about what has been running through my head the past few months. I've seriously been thinking about closing down my blog. I often feel as though I'm shouting into the wind. I've felt particularly unfunny, 'dumb', and even more grammatically challenged than normal. My comments have fallen off and I have not had the time, energy, or enthusiasm to visit some of the blogs I have been highly entertained by in the past. Add to all of this ongoing computer glitches, and I've had a hard time planting my butt in the chair at my desk. Frankly, if I had not gotten so into the bi-monthly Battle of the Bands contest, I would have been long gone.

Anyway...yesterday I did attend Father Dragon's blog party. You can check it out , if you like at The Dragon Cave This was to celebrate his one year anniversary in blog land, and to do that he decided to celebrate his friends. It was a wonderful experience. I quite literally had tears running down my face reading the post and that was even before he mentioned anyone, including me, in particular. Al said some really nice things about everyone invited. The things he said about me, made me stop and think that maybe, at lease for one or two small seconds, I'm not just shouting into the wind. Maybe every so often although I might not be very smart, funny, articulate or even very interesting, I blab on enough that I say something that touches someone else's heart. Can you really ask for anything more than that? I can't.

Here's the award Al gave to me along with all of his other blog friends and what he has to say about it:

"I offer you, my Guests of Honor, the Golden Scale Award. An honorable promise is required in order to take it, though.  Displaying the Golden Scale Award on your blogs implies that you've promised to become your own hero. It means you won't wait for any special thing to happen so you can be happy (i.e. when I get this or that I'll be happy; when I no longer suffer this or that, I'll be happy).

The Golden Scale Award is not for the things you did, but for the things you'll be doing to be happy on daily basis. It's for the courage you promise to show when facing adversity. The determination you promise to have when standing for your dreams and for what you believe in. It's the wisdom of knowing life is sometimes way too difficult but overcoming those difficulties is the only way to grow into a better person and to learn something. We face our fears to find ourselves and our own worth.

There is no wisdom without experience, and knowledge is empty without wisdom. Accepting this award means you are willing to work hard to start working miracles in your own life. I want to make clear I am not suggesting you stop believing on a High Power. I believe too. I am just inviting you to take responsibility of your life, like I did, and release all your true potential.

This promise I ask of you is not to me, but to yourselves. I won't know if you keep it or not. I will go on with my life and fight my own battles, seeking to win my personal wars. But if there is any kind of Father Dragon's essence I can give you, this is it. It's up to you to take it or leave it."

I'm a big believer in personal responsibility. I do believe that LIFE IS FAIR, but sometimes you have to wait around for a while until the good things come to you (sometimes it isn't even in this lifetime). I don't always like them, but I do accept the consequences of my actions. So, Father Dragon with extreme gratitude I accept this award and the challenge that goes along with it.

I do want to take this time to say that I have many special blog friends, some who are very dear to me (You know who you are!)and have seen me through a lot and continue to do so. Many of them know just what an ornery curmudgeon I can be, and don't give me awards, dedications, or publicly say all those flowery things, but please know that I appreciate you just as much if not more, and only hope that I have made even the smallest difference (in a good way, of course) in your lives.

As Thanksgiving approaches I realize just how much I have to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Once again I owe all of my readers and commenters an apology. It's my policy to at the very least, visit everyone who comments here at my site. Well, as most of you know, that didn't happen this past week. Between me trying to figure out the operating system on this computer, and it's basic incompatibility with 'google" (it doesn't seem to recognize a whole lot of your blog addresses) and the fact that I have been dealing with a taxing family crisis - I was a major slacker. I promise to do better in the future.

Anyway... I bet you're all anxious to see who I'm voting for in this last BATTLE OF THE BANDS contest and see the overall results. So, let's get to it.

I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of either Bobby Darin or his number one song 'Mack the Knife'. This particular BATTLE was suggested to me and I had to give it some serious consideration. I did fall in love with Louie Armstrong's version and that's where my vote is going. Next, I do want to say that after doing some research on Bobby and listening to more of his music I gained a whole new appreciation for the man. He was a very talented individual and was a lot more diverse that I had previously given him credit for. But, I still have a great big 'what was he thinking' when he tried to crossover into the hippie/folk/troubadour style.

Satchmo, on the other hand can seem to do NO WRONG. He takes a piece of music no matter the genre and makes it his own. I have one other favorite of his that I plan on using somewhere along the line in a future BATTLE, for for now I'm gonna let him rest on his laurels.

The final tally including my vote was -

                                             Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong 10 votes

                                             Bobby Darin 6 votes

Not at all how I expected this BATTLE to go. I was pretty sure Ole Bobby would run away with this one. Just goes to show what I know. Absolutely nothing!

Now head on over to Tossing It Out the home of Arlee Bird and Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends the home of Stephen T. McCarthy and see who won their contests.

This marks the end of round one in the 'Official Contest' stay turned for a post at all three sites announcing the winner, sometime before the 1st of December.

Come back on the 1st of December where I will be posting a new BATTLE OF THE BANDS with my favorite; Christmas Music!

My 'family crisis' hasn't completely resolved itself, so just in case I don't make it back here before the 1st of December - I wish all of you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving. I truly am thankful for all of you, who so faithfully have returned time and time again to read the ramblings of this dumb blonde.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Ta Da! It's the fifteenth of the month AGAIN, ALREADY! You know what that means don't ya? It's time for another BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

Time sure flies when you're fighting with a new computer operating system that you have no idea who to drive having fun. Ah well, you guys know me. This dumb blonde and Windows 8 = a mild computer meltdown.

So whaddaya say we just get on with the BATTLE. But first a little info on the song I've choosen for you today 'Mack the Knife'. Think this is a toe tappin', finger snappin' kind of song. Well, just in case you never actually listened closely to the lyrics, read on and learn yerself somthin'. OK, I have no idea why this dumb machine bright and shiny new piece of crap computer won't print this in my signature blue, but we'll be here until 2020, if don't just type on.

The Threepenny Opera

A moritat (from mori meaning "deadly" and tat meaning "deed") is a medieval version of the murder ballad performed by strolling minstrels. In The Threepenny Opera, the moritat singer with his street organ introduces and closes the drama with the tale of the deadly Mackie Messer, or Mack the Knife, a character based on the dashing highwayman Macheath in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (who was in turn based on the historical thief Jack Sheppard). The Brecht-Weill version of the character was far more cruel and sinister, and has been transformed into a modern anti-hero.

The play opens with the moritat singer comparing Macheath (unfavorably) with a shark, and then telling tales of his robberies, murders, rapes, and arson.

The song was a last minute addition, inserted just before its première in 1928, because Harald Paulsen, the actor who played Macheath, demanded that Brecht and Weill add another number that would more effectively introduce his character.[1] However, Weill and Brecht decided the song should not be sung by Macheath himself, opting instead to write the song for a street singer in keeping with the moritat tradition. At the première, the song was sung by Kurt Gerron, who played Police Chief Brown. Weill also intended the Moritat to be accompanied by a barrel organ, which was to be played by the singer.[2] At the premiere, though, the barrel organ failed, and the pit orchestra (a jazz band) had to quickly provide the accompaniment for the street singer. [3]

"Mack the Knife" was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956, but the song is most closely associated with Bobby Darin, who recorded his version at Fulton Studios on West 40th Street, New York City, on December 19, 1958 (with Tom Dowd engineering the recording). In 1959 Darin's version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Black Singles chart, and earned him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record the song because of the perception that, having come from an opera, it wouldn't appeal to the rock & roll audience. In subsequent years, Clark recounted the story with good humor. Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his "L.A. Is My Lady" album, called Darin's the "definitive" version. Darin's version hit #3 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[7] In 2003, the Darin version was ranked #251 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. On BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, pop mogul Simon Cowell named "Mack the Knife" the best song ever written.

The song has been parodied many times. Steve Martin parodied "Mack the Knife" in his opening monologue to the premiere of Saturday Night Live's third season in 1977. In the mid-1980s, McDonald's introduced Mac Tonight, a character whose signature song was based on "Mack the Knife." American political parodists the Capitol Steps used the tune for their song "Pack the Knife" on their 2002 album When Bush Comes to Shove. (courtesy of Wikipedia - if you can believe them)

Alrighty then. As finger tappin' and toe snappin' as this song might be, it certainly leans to the morbid side of silly. I especially like the idea of the 'Mac Tonight' parody, which BTW was mentioned to me yesterday while discussing this BOTB with a friend.

Well, here they are the two 'originals' (as least according to Wikipedia).

First up Satchmo, or Mr. Louis Armstrong:

Next Mr. Sandra Dee or I mean Bobby Darin:

Now, without a moments hesitation hurry on over to Tossing It Out the home of the inquisitive and controversial Mr. Arlee Bird and Ferret Faced Fascist Friends the home of that 'That Man About Town with an Ace up his Sleeve', Mr. Stephen t. McCarthy, and see what they have cooked up for us in their Battle of the Bands numero ocho!

Check out the comment section for other participants and those of you participating leave a comment to direct others to your site - come on now, just do it, don't be shy.

Just realized that because I'm on a stupid new new and improved computer, I can't easily publish the rules to the official contest, but I'm trusting that Mr. McCarthy will have them up on his blog - please go over there for a quick review.

Now vote and let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Well we have a first in these BATTLE OF THE BANDS contests. A SHUT-OUT. Every single vote cast was for the Glenn Miller version of 'Moonlight Serenade'. It doesn't really matter how I vote, but just so ya know (like that would have been hard for you to figure out after my introduction), I also cast my vote for Glenn Miller. That makes the final talley.

Glen Miller and his Orchestra 15 votes

Chicago 0

There was more than one comment about the lyrics. I admit that the Chicago version might have been better if they simply went with the in strumental version, but there is an interesting little bit of trivia about the tune and surrounding the lyrics:

The recording used a clarinet-led saxophone section, which is widely considered[citation needed] the classic Glenn Miller style. Miller studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger,[3] who is credited with helping Miller create the "Miller sound", and under whose tutelage he himself composed "Moonlight Serenade".[4]

The song evolved from a 1935 version entitled "Now I Lay Me Down to Weep", with music by Glenn Miller and lyrics by Eddie Heyman to a version called "Gone with the Dawn" with lyrics by George Simon,[5] and "The Wind in the Trees" with lyrics by Mitchell Parish. In his biography of Glenn Miller, George T. Simon recounted how vocalist Al Bowlly of the Ray Noble Orchestra sang him the Eddie Heyman lyrics to the Glenn Miller music of "Now I Lay Me Down to Weep" in 1935. The Noble Orchestra never recorded the song. Finally it ended up as "Moonlight Serenade" because Robbins Music bought the music and learned that Miller was recording a cover of "Sunrise Serenade", a Frankie Carle associated song [2], for RCA Victor. They thought "Moonlight" would be a natural association for "Sunrise".[6]

"Now I Lay Me Down to Weep" was composed in 1935 with lyrics by Eddie Heyman and music by Glenn Miller. After "Moonlight Serenade", originally released solely as an instrumental, became a smash hit in 1939, Mitchell Parish wrote new lyrics for the music under that title.
(This note is courtesy of Wikikpedia, but had the reference to the Glenn Miller style had previously been made by Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy in his very first BOTB)

When I found that information on Wikipedia I thought; 'Mitchell Parish, that name sounds familiar', and sure enough he also complosed the lyrics for another 'old standard'; 'Stardust'; music written by Hogey Carmichael. Apparently, Mr. Parish was a noted lyricist of his time, known for adding words to beautiful haunting melodies.

I'll have to agree with most of you that this is one of the most haunting melodies I've ever heard. Pure Romance!

Just for fun here is a version of 'Moonlight Serenade' sung by the lovely Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

Now go on over to Ferret Faced Fascist Freinds The home of Mr.  Stephen T. McCarthy and Tossing It Out The home of Mr. Arlee Bird and see how their BATTLES turned out. Also, check out anyone else who participated in Battle VII.

I simply can't help myself. Last night after I finished watching a video I flipped on the TV. The local cable company (cable is included with my rent) recently just caught my landlord with an illegal connection, changed things over and I now only have the very basic of cable - read the basic networds and every shopping channel known to man, also three Spanish language channels. Anyway, there wasn't much on, but the CMA's (Country Music Awards). I really like Country Music, so I thought I would watch.

Holy Carp! What have they done to Country Music. I was assaulted, treated to hip hop and even some rap; sung by guys with baseball caps on backwards and enough facial armour (piercings) to set off a metal detector a mile away. Thank Goodness for a tribute to George Jones done by Alan Jackson and George Strait (who BTW, looked like Country Music performers from their jeans on up to the Stetsons on their heads) or I would have been sure this was some kind of joke.

At least the voters (Country Music performers) had the good sense to award George Strait the 'Entertainer of the Year' award. Upon reflection, I suppose some of these new guys with the backward baseball caps, facial armour, and tattoos are just the new 'outlaws' of country Music, but I wouldn't be surprised if Johnny, Waylon and Merle not to mention a few others, are rolling in their graves.

Now, please don't hate me because I like a little 'twang' with my Country Music. I seem to have offended a lot of folks lately and I don't mean to do that, but I still want my Cowboys back. Oh man, what must Roy (Rogers) and Gene (Autry) be thinking?

I'm still working on an unfamiliar computer, so I hope I've made sense and the errors aren't too great.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I'll admit that I don't always do this, BUT I am trying. Don't let your insecurities, fears, worries and other concerns keep you down. Reach for the stars. You just might find out that you can fly. If I could I would fly away. Someday!

I'm still having computer problems, so this is another short version of my IWSG post. To learn more about the 'Insecure Writers Support Group' click on over to it's creator 
Alex J. Cavanaugh, click on the IWSG Icon over there on the right, and work your way down the Linky List to see what others have to say. You might find out that you are not alone in your insecurities.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Before I get into today’s Battle of the Bands I want to tell you a little story.

When I was a kid, that wacky duo that I call Mom and Dad used to whisk me away each summer for a couple of weeks up to the Minnesota north woods for Daddy’s annual fishing expedition, at a primitive resort, on a rather remote lake. We stayed in a lovely cabin that did have indoor plumbing, but not much else by way of modern conveniences. It was the absolute best of times. Of course, this is where I took a royal beating with a fiberglass fishing pole for calling my mother an old walrus, but that’s another story entirely that I have already told.

What I recall most about those summers up at the lake was the fact that there was no TV, no telephone or other worldly distractions. Each evening we would be down at the lodge where the jukebox had a wide collection of ‘old old’ standards, mostly by the famous ‘Big Bands’. There was something so romantic about it. Here I was introduced to tunes like ‘Harbor Lights’ and ‘Stranger on the Shore’ and the popular version of my BOTB selection for today.

I can remember sitting out on the end of the dock listening to the dreamlike sounds of this music wafting over the water as a big ole moon rose up in the night sky casing it’s searchlight beacon over the softly rippling water. As a very young girl, I recall that I felt surely it didn’t get any more romantic than this. I would imagine that one day I would be sitting at the end of that dock with someone who loved me, gently draping their arm around my shoulders while softly humming this sweet melody into my ear.

Well different lake, in a different part of the world, but I do live at the shore today. One can always hope. No matter the place, I’ll never look out over the water on a warm summer evening, without hearing this tune in my head and thinking where has all the romance in the world gone.

Recently, after hearing this song as part of a movie soundtrack a friend said to me that it was almost a spiritual experience for him. OK, I can go along with that, but first and foremost ROMANCE is what comes to my mind.

Carrying on with my theme of TRADITION I’ve chosen for my selection this time one of the most romantic songs I know. Coming to us from an era when a man took a woman into his arms and held her gently as they glided around the dance floor. They did not hold each other in a lustful clutch, but passion was obvious as they danced cheek to cheek among the beautiful strains of this song.

First up…Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with ‘Moonlight Serenade’.

Next, for the less traditional minded, we have a more modern version by another 'big band'. (my keyboard is dead, there are letters that won't type, so I am unable to name this band in print. It is the same as where I was born-got that)

Now you know the drill. Cast your vote and tell me why you chose as you did. Then get yourself on over to Tossing It Out the home of the very suave Mr. Arlee Bird and F- FFF the home of the multi-talented and effervescently handsome Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy to see what they have picked for their Battle of the Band selections.

Don’t forget to scan the comment box at each of the contest participants for others who might be posting a BOTB and vote there also. Likewise, if you are posting a ‘Battle’ at this time, leave a comment with a link so others may find you.

Following are the rules for the official contest.

Find The True Purpose For Voting On ‘Battle Of The Bands’ Installments: Win Compact Discs!-Compact Discs!-Compact Discs! Spectacular, Super-Colossal Blogosphere ‘Battle of The Bands’ Voting Contest!

Here’s The Deal: By voting on the ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits here and at the ‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’ blog, you can win the compact disc of your choice. Every 4 months, Stephen and I will add up how many times you voted on our blogs, and the person who has participated most often (i.e., submitted the most eligible votes) will get to select one compact disc that contains any one of the songs that were included in either of our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (“Super-Colossal” expensive boxed-sets, imports, and ‘out-of-print’ compact discs not included). In the event of a tie, the names will be put in a Stetson and the name drawn from the cowboy hat will win the CD.

Rules For Voting: Stephen and I post new ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits on the 1st and 15th of each month. We also post our own personal votes for the respective blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month (i.e., six days later). For your vote to be counted, it must be submitted in our comment sections BEFORE we post our own votes (BEFORE we make our own votes known on the 7th and the 21st).

Every 4 months there will be a new compact disc winner. In other words, ‘Battle Of The Bands’ #1 was posted on August 1, 2013, so at the end of November, one of you lucky voters is going to win a CD that includes one of the songs we’ve featured in our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (you get to choose, and it doesn’t matter if the song won or lost its battle – if you like it, it’s YOURS!)

Alright, now... VOTE ON and ROCK ON! (while we ‘Count On...’)