The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Oude Maasweg (#BOTB)




Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind th...
Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind the
vehicle containing the mirror
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
         Another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is now in the rear view mirror as we head back into blogging normalcy--whatever that may be. There will still be one more thing regarding A to Z and that is the A to Z Reflections post coming up on Monday May 9th and running up until May 13th.  You're free to put up your Reflections Post anytime between now and then, but the Linky List won't open until May 9th at which time you can add your link that leads directly to your A to Z Reflections post.  For more information please watch the A to Z Challenge Blog.

       However, today is May 1st and that means it's time for another Battle of the Bands!!!!

Battle of the Bands

          Battle of the Bands is the blogging event hosted by Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th.   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.



The Amazing Stroopwafels  "Oude Maasweg" (1981)

       Popular in their homeland, Dutch band The Amazing Stroopwafels recorded "Oude Maasweg" almost as an afterthought when they needed to fill their second album with more time.  Since this song had been part of bandleader Wim Kerkhof's repertoire for many years, the band decided to include it on the album.  To the band's surprise the song was one of two on the album that got picked up as a single though only receiving minimal attention at the time.  Peaking at #50 for one week the song faded back into Dutch music history.

       However in 2008 the song reappeared on the Dutch Radio's Top 200 year end show and has retained a position on that prestigious list ever since.  Initially underrated, this song has become a classic of Dutch pop music.  You might even recognize it when you start listening to it.





Leon Russell  "Manhattan Island Serenade"  (1972)

        Many of you recognized "Oude Maasweg" as the Leon Russell song "Manhattan Island Serenade" from the 1972 album Carney.   Sorry, but I wanted to make one more stop with my April Manhattan theme.  This is such a great song that I had to squeeze it in before I left Manhattan.  This song is probably already a favorite of some of you.  If the song is new to you, please listen and enjoy...






Time to Vote!

        Choosing the winner of this sly Battle is in your hands.  Let us know what you think about these two versions. Is there one that you prefer over the other?   I already know my favorite, but what's your opinion?   If you're visiting a Battle of the Bands post for the first time then let me briefly explain.  Please give each song version a fair listen to decide which one you enjoy the most.  If you don't like either then at least tell us which recording was least innocuous to you. This comes down to your preference and it's as easy as that.

     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:

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Cherdo on the Flipside  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Janie Junebug Righting & Editing.
  
J. A. Scott  

Quiet Laughter

Holli's Hoots and Hollers

Be ReInVintaged



Results on Monday May 9th

     On Monday May 9th I'll have my A to Z Reflections post on this site, but I'll be keeping it short this year so as not to overwhelm readers.  In this same post I will be announcing the winners for this current Battle of the Bands match.  Be sure to be here for both!

*********************

Question of the Month




       
The Question of the Month is hosted by Michael G D'Agostino from A Life Examined. The first Monday of each month I'll be answering a question posed by Michael prior to event day. Click on the link to his blog for more participants. 


This month’s question is:

“If a friend came to you looking for advice on starting a blog, what three pieces of advice would you give them?”

        I could elaborate greatly on this subject and indeed have in many past posts, but let me just give a simple answer this time:   Start a blog with a purpose in mind, but be prepared and flexible enough to change direction if what you are doing is not working or is boring you.  Focus on content that you find interesting, but that will be interesting to others as well.  And be intrepid in your blogging.  That's it for now.

        What is your advice to a person starting a blog?   Has your blog changed much since you first started it?    How do you handle a blogging slump or for that matter anything which loses its luster for you?







75 comments:

  1. Hi Lee - well done on organising and administering the A-Z once again ... enjoy your battling with the bands! Cheers and many thanks for all things - Hilary

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    1. Hilary, thank you for supporting all those who blogged A through Z.

      Lee

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  2. Well done Lee on yet another excellent A to Z challenge. I thank you and all the team who made it run smoothly.....despite my shaky start getting hacked all went well after.
    I enjoyed Leon Russell's version, I haven't heard the song before but that is the one I preferred.
    Enjoy your Sunday.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, thanks for being a part of the April fun.

      A first vote goes to Leon Russell

      Lee

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  3. My blog has changed in that I don't like to rant about the things that go wrong, or even give away too much info about my life anymore like I used to when I started. Having had some stuff from my blog come bite me in the ass, I learned my lesson. So I'd probably tell people not to give away too much of their private lives. I am still blogging b/c I have friends and family who aren't on FB.

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    1. JoJo, depending on how one rants, ranting can be a turn off to a lot of visitors, but certain kinds of ranting people enjoy. I like what you've been doing. I try to be careful about how much I reveal on my blog.

      Lee

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  4. Hi, Lee!

    Leave it to you to find interesting recordings from the four corners of the world. I'm going to practice purism again today by voting for the Dutch band's original recording "Oude Maasweg." I prefer their clean, simple production, smooth vocal harmony and the guitar solo in the middle. The Amazing Stroopwafels fleshed out the song and conveyed the gloomy mood, both in English and in their native language, and did so w/o having to resort to gimmicky thunderstorm sound FX. Please record my vote for the Stroopwafels.

    My answer to the Question of the Day, advice that I would give to a person starting a blog, is as follows. Be yourself. Don't be afraid to chart your own course and do it your way. Blogging can be a business, but I prefer to keep it ad free, sponsor free and maintained purely as an art form. A blog can be about anything and can be presented in any style. Don't feel compelled to post every day or every other day just because other people do. Don't play the numbers game. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Don't bring more friends into your circle than you can handle. It is much better have a few genuine friends than to have hundreds of Twitter tweet followers who give the bare minimum. Running up high numbers of followers and leaving and receiving generic, carbon copy comments is the opposite of good blogging, the opposite of real communication and the opposite of genuine friendship. Don't feel pressured to be a joiner and follow the crowd. If joining every blog hop that comes down the pike runs contrary to your style and your vision of what blogging can and should be, then remember the words of Nancy Reagan and "just say no." Dare to post only once a week and make it special - an event. That's my concept of responsible blogging and I will be delighted to follow a newbie who practices such restraint.

    Thanks, Lee!

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    1. Shady, your advice is worthy to be heeded by bloggers old and new. I often post more than once a week mostly because of BOTB and just the urge to say something I want to say. One needs to blog in their comfort zone.

      Lee

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    2. OH, and a vote for:

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  5. I'm going to miss your Manhattan series. I really enjoyed it.
    As for your battle: I prefer the Dutch band The Amazing Stroopwafels version best. I really liked the overall sound and the guitar solo in the middle. Nice song!

    As for the QOTM: I think that in order for a blog to be successful, you have to have regular commentary in order to build up a following but you also have to not tax yourself and get overwhelmed with putting on content just to put something up, thereby getting burned out and then end up abandoning it all together. Some people can blog everyday. I'm not one of them. And I learned early on to not beat myself up for not posting something every day. I'm happy if I post once a week. That, to me, is keeping my blog fresh. Sometimes I post more than that but at a minimum, I post once a week. Blogging has to be fun and something you look forward to. If it turns into a chore and more like work, well, what's the use? That's not fun! And I'm all about having fun...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I done the trial by fire everyday blogging for a solid year and know I can do it, but my individual posts get far more attention if they're up for more days. Once or twice a week for me--and sometimes 3.

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  6. LEE, at first I thought I didn't know this song. But then when Leon Russell started singing I recognized his voice and that piano style and I thought, "Wait! I DO know this song."

    But then I kept waiting for Leon to break out into that familiar chorus but... it never happened.

    And that's when it dawned on me that this sounds a good deal like Leon Russell's hit 'TIGHT ROPE'. I always liked 'Tight Rope' but I never knew who did it... until now.

    Unfortunately for Leon though, I prefer the recording by The Amazing Stroopwafels. They were really good and I dug that electric guitar sound they had.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, Carny has so many great songs on it, but they all have that distinctive style. Your vote surprised me though.

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  7. Lee, thanks for the reminder of the A-Z Reflection post reminder. I set myself a note to get on that. I can't say with certainty that I recall Manhattan Island Serenade or not, but I really like it a lot. In fact, I liked both contenders and had to listen to them both twice. The Dutch band's harmonies and music arrangement clicked with me the best, so please give my vote The Amazing Stoopfwafels.

    You offered some excellent advice on how to start a blog for a newcomer. I think I would say the same sorts of things. I have changed directions many times and I feel more change in the wind. It's a growing process. Whenever I hit a slump sometimes I take a break and other times I do what I'm comfortable with until I find myself again.

    Thanks for stopping by to cast your vote in this round of BoTB! Have a good week, my friend!

    It's Magic #BotB showdown.

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    1. Cathy, I guess the more we blog the more we learn--that's how it should be at least. I couldn't resist ending up my Manhattan series with this great Leon Russell song.

      Another vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

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  8. Lee,

    Congratulations on another successful A-Z theme! Though I missed quite a few o your posts, I liked what I did get to see.

    Nice song, but I wasn't familiar with it. That said, I do like it, and especially enjoyed The Amazing Stroopwafels' version.

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    1. Dixie, This song is a Russell classic though I guess it's mostly only familiar to fans who know the Carny album.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

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  9. Another vote for the dutch guys. Agree with shady both on the song and the QOM.

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    1. CW, looks like the majority is going "Dutch" today.

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  10. I liked them both pretty much equally, which is surprising because I always thought the "Carney" album was a dreary affair. I'll cast my vote for the Dutch guys.

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    1. John, I wasn't particularly excited about Carney either at first--it took a good while to grow on me and now I love it.

      Amazing Stroopwafels again.

      Lee

      Delete
  11. I like the guitar riffs on the first version, so I'll go with Stroopwafels (sounds like something edible) rather than Leon. He's a bit draggy on this song, which really doesn't appeal that much.

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    1. DG, actually stroopwafels are something edible according to the article about the group. They are those crispy waffled cookies that you might have seen in the stores. They're pretty widely available in North America. Excellent with ice cream--essentially they are a waffle cone turned into a cookie.

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  12. I like Leon Russell with the rain...his voice seems to have some sadness I. It which appealed to me. If you start a blog, have fun, don't get bogged down with all the guilt stuff that can come up if you don't respond right away or visit right away. Everyone has a life and things can get in the way. Don't fence yourself in to one category. I started out just with card making and hardly got any responses but somehow I found my way to other blogs and have been enjoying card making and talking about movies, my life, anything. Have fun

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    1. Birgit, for the most part I think fun is the bottom line when it comes to blogging, even if one is doing it as a business.

      Leon Russell gets another vote.

      Lee

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  13. The Stoopwafels are totally new to me and I liked their version - but then you had to put them up again Leon Russell and they had no chance, lol.

    As for Michael's question, well, I gotta put that on my blog tomorrow. ;-)

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    1. Cherdo, I wanted to use this song to connect to my "Manhattan" theme and my choices were limited--very limited.

      A vote for Leon Russell.

      Lee

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  14. Hi Lee -

    What an interesting contest! Like StMcC, at first I didn't recognize the song... then I did. Of course, I'd never heard of "The Wonderous Stool-wafflers," but those clog-wearing mo-fo's did a pretty good job with the song. The are a high point of the Low Countries. Their rendition is Boer-ing. Despite this praise, I am not voting for the phlegms.

    Since you have seen me vote for him in past battles, it will not surprise you that I am casting my vote for Leon Russell.

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    1. SBB6, you're just full of the puns this morning (or last night I guess it was). This early I'm doing well just to keep my eyes open after rising from my netherworld of sleep.

      An unsurprising vote for Leon Russell (though at this point all of the voting has been surprising).

      Lee

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  15. My three pieces of advice:

    1. Pace yourself (new bloggers burn out easily it seems)

    2. Reciprocate with visits and comments (friends are made this way!)

    3. Blog to make YOU happy, not others

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    1. OE, good advice. Burn out is often a regular frame of mind for those to whom it happens. The best bloggers are persistent, dependable, and have a lot to talk about. I think our blogging happiness is very transparent and most people don't like to read something that brings them down because it's not a sad or troubling story.

      Lee

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  16. Sadly I failed A-Z this year but as always am incredibly grateful for the chance to participate and the new blogs I found as a result

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    1. Paula71, it happens. That's part of the Challenge as well: Picking up the pieces and trying again. Just keep on blogging!

      Lee

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  17. I like the Amazing Stroopwafels song. It has a folk song feel to it, thoughtful, rambling and roving. I also like Stroopwafels.
    Great advice to bloggers. Congrats on completing he A to Z Challenge, and thanks for starting it!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Mary, thanks for being a part of A to Z.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

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  18. I think taking a break from blogging can be a way to break out of a slump. My experience with bloggers is that they are understanding and willing to welcome you back when you are ready. I took a year off to focus on writing a novel and when I came back I stuck to blog hops. Things are better now than ever.

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    1. Tamara, I've never taken a complete break from posting though I have slacked off at times due to circumstances such as limited computer access. I can see how what you are saying would work for a blogger like yourself. Some bloggers just disappear from the scene without notice or warning and I think that's probably a bad idea.

      Lee

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  19. My vote goes to Leon's version.

    Your advice is great. A blog should have focus. A blog about anything and everything can be too much.

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    1. Chrys, I tend to blog about anything and everything, but I think I focus on whatever I'm blogging about at the time.

      A vote for Leon Russell

      Lee

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  20. Lee, this is a really tough battle. I'm feeling very torn about this match-up. I think I'm going to go with the Dutch guys, but I really liked the Leon Russell version too.

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    1. Robin, I agree it's kind of tough, but I guess that helps make it a Battle.

      A vote for Leon Russell

      Lee

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  21. I'm actually unfamiliar with this song. My preference goes towards the first, Amazing Stroopwafels.
    I agree with your blogging advice. You have to write what interests you. But if it doesn't interest anyone else, be prepared to have no following. And yes, a blog must naturally evolve. When I started my blog, I did a lot of Doctor Who related posts. But after awhile I felt I did all I could with the material and there were a bazilion more bloggers blogging the same material I was. So I had to allow my blog to evolve. Otherwise, I was getting bored with it, and if we are bored with our own blog, how are we supposed to grab anyone else's interest?

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    1. Isn't it the truth! My interests often move on rapidly and I like to think about a lot of different things--my blogging typically reflects this. I couldn't stay very long in a job that bored me to tears, and if I'm not getting paid to work like I do with blogging I especially don' want to get bored doing it.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels.

      Lee

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  22. First, here's to a wonderful. After April we all need May!

    As to the two songs, I'm going with Leon Russell. It just appeals to me more than the first one.

    My blog started out because I was told by my publisher I had to do it. Knowing nothing allows for great latitude in any new endeavor, so latitude I took. It's taken several years to figure out how to blog and I'm still working on making it more interesting and effective.

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    1. C.Lee, I've heard that many blogs were started by authors under direction of their publishers. It's essentially a free method of promotion other than the time involved which is further evidence that nothing is really free. But still for a writer, a blog is a natural forum for putting forth ideas as well as promoting books. I think we are always learning as we blog which is as it should be with anything we do.

      A vote for Leon Russell.

      Lee

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  23. Our advice would probably just be this: be genuine. Write what you mean, actually start a dialogue with people, be open to criticism. We've seen so many people start a blog with the idea of making money (yeah, that doesn't work), put up crappy content, give crappy comments ("Nice post!") and then just fizzle out and give up because they have no traffic. You have to blog for yourself above all.

    For the battle, I like Leon Russell much better, though I do love the Amazing Stroopwafels' name.

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    1. Beer, the money-making opportunity is what initially drew me to blogging, but as you say the money from blogging is rarely found. When I discovered how much I enjoyed the blogging, the money didn't matter--well not as much, though it would still be cool to make some money from all this time I put into this blogging endeavor.

      What's in a name? The vote goes to Leon Russell.

      Lee

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  24. I'm not familiar with either version, but I really enjoyed Leon Russell's version the best. Please cast my vote for Leon Russell.

    As for blogging advice - as I've only been doing this for a year or two, I would say, "Don't go in with big expectations, and be original."

    Mary
    Battle of the Bands: Plant vs Plant

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    1. Mary, I got psyched up by all the promises that there was big money to be made in blogging. The money was there as promised, but I didn't expect the fulfillment and fun to be had from blogging.

      Another vote for Leon Russell

      Lee

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  25. #1 gets my vote indeed.

    Well you know my feelings on it as I rambled away at my blog. But yeah, so many are just in it for the "look at me" factor and are fakes. Then people get wise and they go. Or you know they try and do it for money, pffft, to that. Then there are the authors that only post when they have a book to sell. Other than that, screw everyone it seems with them. Could go on and on too.

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    1. Pat, it important for anyone who gets into blogging that it is a form of SOCIAL media. I repeat--"Social".

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels.

      Lee

      Delete
  26. Nice tie-in to Manhattan;-) I usually like Leon Russell but not this time. Not so bad, the amazing Dutch guys were still singing the Manhattan serenade, right? Works well for everybody:-)
    Since it is the question of the month - and an excellent one at that - I'll incorporate my answer into my A-Z Reflections post.

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    1. Diedre, good plan regarding the Reflections post.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  27. When I first started my blog it was a vehicle for my New Experience Challenge. After that, I had to find new content to blog about and I've somehow managed to keep it going for another year and a bit.

    A Life Examined

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    1. Michael, there's always something out there to blog about and it doesn't matter that much if you change direction unless you're a big hit and change to something no one cares for.

      Lee

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  28. I have changed my blog a lot since I first made it public last year with the A to Z. I tried a few different things over the course of last year and I'm glad I found some that worked for me. Keeping things interesting and flexibility are definitely good tips!

    I listened to both songs, and I like the Stroopwafels version. They have great harmony.

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    1. Elizabeth, if you don't try new things now and then, a blog can get kind of stale. Glad you found things that worked for you, but keep experimenting every once in a while to keep things interesting.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels.

      Lee

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  29. Amazing Stoopwafels get my vote

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    1. Mike, to the point...

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  30. Sorry that I missed most of the A to Z posts, both here and at the sites of others. While I didn't really enjoy doing it, I do enjoy following some of the themes. Yours was very creative.

    At for the BOTB, those Dutch boys are really very good and I enjoyed their version, but my heart and vote belong to Leon.

    As for the question of the month...I would tell someone to think long and hard about starting a blog and their reasons for doing so. Blogging can be great and help you to connect to a world bigger than your own, but it can also be addictive and a great big time suck. It seems so many writers started blogging to promote themselves and connect with the writer community to better their craft, and have become merely typists, blogging away and leaving the real writing to somebody else. Of course, I have been a part of that. Something that I'm working sincerely on changing.

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    1. FAE, wise assessment from your vantage point as a blogger. I think it varies from one blogger to another and as with anything, blogging is a matter of ones attitude and how the endeavor is approached.

      I had a feeling about where your vote would go on this....

      Leon Russell

      Lee

      Delete
  31. Wise but simple answer. Nice.

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  32. I don't remember this song, but I like it. I vote for the Amazing Stroopwafels because their voices are beautiful, and I've always wanted to be a Stroopwafel.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, I don't know about being one, but I've seen stroopwafels in the grocery store, but I think they were called something else so as not to confound us Americans.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  33. I so enjoyed the A to Z Challenge! As for changes in my blog, I started December 2014 mostly for product reviews but I quickly added other topics and now it's endless about what I write!

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    1. Martha, glad you enjoyed the A to Z Challenge. It's nice to be able to branch out on ones blog. Topics truly are endless.

      Lee

      Delete
  34. I liked both, they each have their merits. Love that rain sound with Leon; but somehow it wasn't spectactular. I really liked the easy sound to the Dutch boys, and that bell at the end just cinched my vote for them. It really sounded good the second time in Dutch too. My vote goes for the Dutch version.

    My blogging advice: keep it simple and interesting to you and the followers you want to attract; don't get hung up in the "social" aspects; remember followers do not necessarily equal sales.

    You always have good advice Lee. Kudos on surviving the A-Z again. Wow, your little idea sure took over the blog-verse, lol. Now that it is over, I might have a few posts to schedule.

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    1. Dolorah, complex posts might attract complex people, but it might also keep many away. In the end, what we post should reflect what we hope to accomplish with our blogging.

      Saved by the bell! Amazing Stroopwafels.

      Lee

      Delete
  35. I like the Dutch version better, though I know no Dutch.

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    1. PopTart, I usually listen to the overall effect of the music so I guess that's partly why I like a lot of music in foreign languages.

      A vote for Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  36. Congratulations on another successful run with the A to Z Challenge. I enjoyed your Manhattan theme and hope to visit one day. ☺

    Clever intro to the BOTB post! My vote goes to the Stroopwafels (and those are delicious!). They have lovely harmonies and I'm a sucker for a guitar solo.

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    1. Debbie, Thank you for you kind words. I should look for stroopwafels when I go to the store today.

      Amazing Stroopwafels

      Lee

      Delete
  37. Congratulations on the A-Z.
    Simple, sweet, and yet right on target advice to first time bloggers. I like it.
    As for my blog. It has changed many times. I went through a phase where I catered my posts to promoting other authors, but authors are sometimes very difficult to work with. Now I do more of whatever makes me happy. I still enjoy promoting authors, but I'm not putting too much effort into offering someone free promotion.

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    1. Toinette, I don't know how much author promotion helps when I do it on my blog, but I don't imagine it can hurt the one being promoted. I do see my blog hits and comments going down on most of these posts so I don't do too many of them.

      Lee

      Delete

Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee