Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Friday, October 20, 2017

Randomness and #BOTB Results

My days can be pretty random sometimes, but mostly they seem the same.  

A "Ron Lee" Clown from my parents' collection
(Photo by Arlee Bird)
A Few Random Thoughts

Sometimes I'll just stay quiet about things rather than risk offending anybody.   Other times I'll just prattle about this or that--nothing with intended controversy.  Some people will manage to find an argument in anything.

Which is the most important knowledge to have:  Who you are?  Where you are?  or Why do you exist?

Much of the time I tend to think of things geographically.  I think we all probably slant our perceptions in regard to occupations, loved ones, our own feelings, or whatever the case might be.

I'm fixing a small batch of chili for supper tonight.  It's gotten cooler outside of late, but another heat wave is supposed to be coming next week.  Somehow chili seems like a good thing to have today.

Good chili in restaurants has been somewhat difficult for me to find over the years.  I've often been disappointed.   Ironically, Chili's Restaurant doesn't have chili that I'd recommend and I had high hopes for their chili. What a disappointment.   Personally, I like the chili at Wendy's.  But when you come down to it, no one makes chili or spaghetti better than what I make.   That's my objective opinion.

 Just heard a bunch of fireworks and people outside yelling.  I was trying to remember if it was some special Mexican holiday or something of that nature.  Then I turned to the local news and heard that the Dodgers had won their game and would be going to the World Series for the first time since 1988.   Maybe I can get a little more thrilled about this as the Series starts.  I'm not much of a sports fan these days...

Battle of the Bands Results

      My latest Battle pitched Fernando Ortega against Van Morrison both singing their renditions of the hymn "Be Thou My Vision".    Morrison definitely had the edge of familiarity working in his favor and came out of the chute in the lead and stayed there until the end.  Van the Man won this match while Fernando proved a worthy opponent.

      Morrison is a favorite of mine and his Hymns to the Silence album is still an album that I play on occasion.  However, I could listen to Ortega all day any time of day.  His voice and orchestrations are so peaceful and calming.  My vote went to Fernando Ortega.

Final Vote Tally

Fernando Ortega       8 votes

Van Morrison            13 votes

Next Battle on Wednesday November 1st
       That will also be the day of the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group posting, but I will try to meld the two posts seamlessly.  Or something like that.   You might even see a post or two before that one.

          Are you ready for November 4th?  What will you be doing that day?   How about a big ol' batch of biscuits and country sausage gravy?  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Be Thou My Vision (#BOTB)

Sunday Morning Music

       A good many churches have dispensed with the pew hymnals for which there is often no need because a good number of worship leaders sing the modern praise and worship songs with congregants following the words projected on a screen.  With some prodding by older church attenders, our worship leader will usually add at least one traditional hymn to his song list.  He might change up some tempos or some aspect of the presentation in order to modernize the songs, but still they are recognizable as beloved old hymns like we used to sing when we were kids.

      Those old hymns bring back a lot of memories for me.  We sang them so many times that many of the lyrics are embedded in my brain so that I can still sing the words even though it's been fifty years or so since I used to sing them on a regular basis.  Now we are singing them again and it's kind of cool.  We still get mostly modern worship songs on Sunday mornings, but that's okay too.

      Besides, our praise band is so darn good.  It's a small four piece ensemble, but they can really play.  I don't listen to music like I used to, but at least I get a good dose of well-played music every Sunday morning.  And the selections played almost always includes a good old-fashioned hymn like the ones that were in the old hymnals that we used to have at our seats.  They're gone, but at least we still have got some of the music.

  Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Be Thou My Vision

       This is one of my wife's favorite hymns as well as being one of my favorites.  "Be Thou My Vision" comes from a traditional Irish hymn that dates back hundreds of years.  Many versions of the hymn can be found on the internet with the two that follow being my favorites.

Fernando Ortega  "Be Thou My Vision"   (2003)

        Fernando Ortega comes from Chimayo, New Mexico where his family has lived for eight generations.  He has a degree in music education as well as having recorded numerous albums.  Ortega's version of "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 2003 album Hymns of Worship.

Van Morrison  "Be Thou My Vision"  (1991)

        Van Morrison likely needs no introduction, but if you don't know then you can look him up.  I'll just say that he's been putting out some pretty good music for decades.   His take on "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 1991 double album Hymns to the Silence.

Time to Vote!

What'll it be, Pilgrim?  Is it the smooth soothing sounds of Fernando Ortega or the pub-tinged Celtic sound of Van Morrison? .   Do you have a preference between these two choices?   Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands



'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Cherdo on the Flipside 

Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday October 20th

         Please vote below and then come back on Friday to see if your favorite version won.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Otherwise, I've got plenty to say, but I'll just wait til some other time to say it if I even say it at all.

            Are there any traditions no longer practiced that you somewhat miss?   Do you have a favorite hymn?   What song from childhood have you not heard for many years, but you still remember the lyrics?  

Friday, October 13, 2017

13 Thoughts: A Friday the Thirteenth Post

Thirteen for the Thirteenth

Rocket Ship Galileo
Rocket Ship Galileo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


       Lately I've had so many things that I've wanted to blog about, but I can't motivate myself to write the posts.   Ideas keep coming to me--ideas that interest me.  Do they interest anyone else?  But, alas, I don't post and I don't even visit other blogs like I used to.  And I'm still cleaning my garage.

           This being Friday the 13th, I thought I might post 13 random thoughts that have passed through my mind of late...

1.    Here's my defense of Harvey Weinstein.................................

2.   This Weinstein thing could take several directions.  Wherever it goes, this story could get mighty big going way beyond Harvey.   Unless there is some kind of cover-up.

3.    By the way, what's happening with that Mandalay Bay shooting?   This is starting to get weirder and weirder--as though it weren't weird to begin with.

4.   I'd never seen the 1950 film Destination Moon until recently.  I was impressed by the accuracy of the science in this cinematic version of Robert Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo.  Sure there are gaffs and absurdities, but keep in mind this movie came out nearly 70 years ago.

5.   Girls in the Boy Scouts just doesn't seem right. When I was a kid I used to like the official BSA magazine Boys' Life.  What would they call it now?

6.   I don't care what the Boy Scouts do, but please don't mess with the Girl Scouts.  Gotta have those cookies.  What the heck do Boy Scouts sell anyway?

7.  Now and then I tune into CNN just to see what they are reporting.   Has anyone else noticed how whenever they do a story about President Trump they lead-in with something negative?   I'm sure it's a psychological tactic, but that's one reason why I don't watch much CNN.

8.  I watch even less MSNBC--only now and then out of curiosity to see what they are talking about at that moment in time.   My moments with MSNBC are usually fleeting.

9.   Lately I've been tuning in more to One America News Network (OAN).  They present a wider range of news stories than one finds on the other networks.  This network reminds me of CNN in the earlier years when it was almost exclusively news stories with little to no opining.

10.   Going through a box of cassette tapes that I found in my garage, I reboxed them more neatly, looking at each one as I put it into place.  I remembered them all.  So many great memories of listening to taped music in the 80s and 90s.  The Soundtrack of my Life during those years would be very long, lasting for hours.  That box represents a mere fraction of all the cassette tapes I own.

11.  I haven't heard too much in the media about the Rohingya "Crisis" in Myanmar (Burma).   When I have heard reports they don't seem to correctly jibe with what I've understood about the situation.  This problem has been going on for some time and I think it started with the Rohingya people so I don't have much sympathy for them.

12.  Halloween is coming and that reminds me of my old job as well as many other memories.  My earliest posts on Tossing It Out were all related to Halloween.

13.  Sometimes I daydream of moving to some place where I have no connections.  Lately I've been monitoring the housing market in Marion, Virginia.  Anyone know anything about Marion, Virginia?

          Please be sure to come vote on my Battle of the Bands post that will show up on this blog space on Sunday October 15th.   This round I'll be picking a song that is Sunday appropriate.