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...

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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

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'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. 





Monday, October 9, 2017

Columbus Day Sale!

If you think you've lived your life without offending anybody then apparently you haven't lived...


Christopher Columbus, the subject of the book,...
Christopher Columbus, was an explorer and one of the first European founders of the Americas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy Columbus Day!

        Yes I said it even though here in Los Angeles what used to be called "Columbus Day" is now "Indigenous Peoples" day.  Somehow the new day seems more impersonal with an overgeneralizing of all the many peoples who lived in the Americas before the "evil white men" came to destroy paradise. 

        Frankly I'm glad things turned out the way they did because I'm happy with my life and with my country.  Stuff happens and when it comes down to past history there ain't nothin' you can do about it when it's all behind you. 

         So I raise a glass to say, "Thank you Christopher Columbus!"  Without him then someone else would have come along and discovered America.  Mankind is restless and always in search of new ventures and adventures.  Enslaving the indigenous peoples the 15th century Spaniards encountered might not have been what you and I would have thought of doing with our 21st century outlook, but people back in those days thought differently than we today think.   The past is what it is and that's that.

         What Christopher Columbus achieved was by any account pretty amazing and something that few of us would dare try.  Personally I'm going to give acknowledgement to the driving curiosity that drove those men of the past to do what they did.  I'm not their judge and nobody--absolutely nobody--living today is worthy of casting judgement on Columbus or any other from the past.  Our judgement over past humans amounts to intellectual exercises that have no real consequence to the world other than bantering about in intellectual fantasies.  The more important thing is to learn from the past to become better ourselves.

         I will continue to think of October 12th as the actual Columbus Day.  And I will continue to think of him as a hero of his time, though a flawed hero as heroes often tend to be.  Please leave his statues be and please don't start changing names of all of the cities named in his honor.  That would really be a big mess.

Garage Sale Days Are Over

        Though I don't like to say I'll never do something, I'll say in this case that this past weekend was my last garage sale.  It was a lot of work for about 3 hours in the hot sun before I started packing it all in.   The $60 that I made from the sale seemed hardly worth it and I barely made a dent in all the stuff in my garage.  And now I have a huge mess to continue to organize and put back. 

           Hopefully, in putting everything away, I'll organize it all better so that it will be easier to find stuff for the next garage sale.  I mean, I don't plan to do another sale, but you know how that can go sometimes.   Never say never.   But I think I am going to say it and probably stick to it.  Standby Goodwill--I've got a load coming your way.

           Do you think Christopher Columbus is worth remembering and honoring?   Would the Americas be a better place if the Europeans had never come here?   What do you think a world without the influence of "white people" would be like?  





Friday, October 6, 2017

Garage Sale Time! (#BOTB results)


If you are looking for my #IWSG contribution for October then scroll down to my next post.  Otherwise, keep on reading for BOTB results after an opening word from our blogger...


Out of Control

       How can I rule the world if I can't keep my garage in order?   Forget about wanting to run the world.  I don't need that headache.  So next best thing is a garage sale, right?

       Our community has scheduled a neighborhood sale this coming Saturday.  Since this is a gated community we all have to do sales at the same time, which is good if a lot of home owners participate.  For the most recent sales it doesn't seem like there were many participants.  Consequently browsers and buyers have decreased over the past few years.  But no matter.  Being the community minded guy that I am I'll participate.

       Really it has nothing to do with my community spirit.  I just need to get rid of stuff in case I move in the coming years.  I sense that a move is imminent so I want to start getting ready. And if it's a matter of something else then I want to be ready for that as well.  Whatever the case, I've got a lot of stuff in my house that my wife and I don't need.

         I've also been running across some things that are making me think about my life and also my blog.  Maybe I'm going to take a detour with my blogging in the upcoming days or weeks.  I'll just have to mull this around a bit and see what I think next week.  After that stupid garage sale.

         At least I've been finally cleaning our garage.

Battle of the Bands

 


         Speaking of ruling the world, my October 1st Battle was two artists with their versions of the Tears for Fears hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World".   First up was the version by Lorde which a good many concurred as being dark.   Since this version came from the Hunger Games soundtrack I figured some fans would lean toward Lorde.  But it was the perky version from Christian group Relient K that won most voters over including me.  I also think that version stepped things up from the original version.  Relient K does some excellent music.  And we needed some perky music this past week.

Final Vote Tally

Lorde                 6   votes

Relient K          15 votes 

Next Battle on Sunday October 15th                                           
        I'll probably have more posts before then.  Most likely I'll post again this coming Monday the 8th.   Let's see how this garage sale turns out.  It's supposed to be hot on Saturday so I'll likely only stay out until ten AM--or at the most eleven.  No point in wearing myself out selling stuff.  It's going to take a week to get that darn garage back in order. 

         How often do you have garage/yard sales?   Do you ever shop at such sales?   Do you think you are capable of ruling the world?


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Everybody Wants to Rule the World (#BOTB & #IWSG)

    Who is in charge of your life?  The answer to this might not always be easy.  However, the characters in a written story have an obvious answer--the writer is in charge of their lives...




Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


Co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!


It's My World and I'm the Boss

October 4 Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?


        In my view the writer is in charge of the story as well as the characters of that story.  As the creative director of the world on paper (or wherever the story ends up), we channel ourselves into that world we have created and all inhabitants thereof.  No character slips into the story unbeknownst to the writer.  As a matter of logical deduction, my premise goes on to say that every character contains some part of us whether intended or not.  

        Sometimes writers will say that their character took over and carried the story in a different direction.   Okay, that's a fun way to dramatize what happened, but let's be truthful:  A writer controls story and character and that writer's mental DNA is all over the creation.  Write enough of what you know then you will undoubtedly slip some private information into the mix.

         In stories I've written, my characters are often modeled on composites of people I know, have observed, read about, or the actors who portray characters in movies or television shows.  More than once have I inserted actual conversations I have heard or events that have been a part of my life.  If someone relates something that I find interesting then there is a possibility what I've heard will be disguised and used in some future story.  I've done it many times and will likely continue to do so as long as I continue to write.

          The way I see it is that we are all like blenders.  Life pours in the ingredients and our brains mix it all up into a ever growing mishmash of knowledge, facts, and anecdotes. A writer might not be aware that they are tapping into that mixture on a regular basis to personalize the information they use in a story, but when the personalization happens then there's that writer smack dab in the middle of the story somewhere.  Or woven and blended all through it. 

         When you think about it, you'll probably come up with writers who write about a geographical  area they know well, their occupation, or a field of special expertise.   Lawyers sometimes end up writing about the law profession, doctors about doctors, and even writers about writers.  And when you get so close to who you are then some information will slip into the writing by habit or instinct.  Other information you will purposely use because you know it is real and that's when your story becomes more real.  

         We are our stories.  We live and breathe them until we move on to the next one.  We invest our time and energy into the writing.  Even our soul and spirit.  With that much of us in the story we write, we will slip in some personal information now and then, whether it be accidental or on purpose.  But maybe our stories could be thought as crime scenes where leaving fingerprints isn't really all that big of a deal.  Besides, having the bits and pieces of the writer scattered throughout the writer's work gives the critics and scholars more to chew on later. 

         Do you believe a character could actually wrest control of the story away from the writer?   Do creative endeavors drain you or energize you to keep on doing more?   Is writing a catharsis for you or is it an escape from your real life?

        


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.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

       Almost everybody has some kind of opinion about how things should be run and what current administrations are doing wrong.   "If that person can run a country, then why not me," some might be inclined to say.  And I say thank goodness they are not.  The United States has so much incompetence in government and we don't need any more.   From my perspective I think things in our government are being run well, but the media and the liberal leftists loudmouths would have us believe otherwise.  But I also think they are trying to rule the world.

        The song for this Battle is in honor (and rebuke) to all of those who complain and think government is not running the way it should be.  Released in 1985 by the British New Wave band Tears for Fears, this song became the group's most iconic hit.   Don't vote on the original, but if you want to listen the version by the group that introduced the song then you can find the video by clicking here.  Below are the two competing cover versions of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"...


Lorde "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (2013)

        Lorde's version appears on the soundtrack for Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  Dark and foreboding, this version drags the rhythm to a dirge--a far cry from the original version by Tears for Fears.  Appropriate for the movie as well as a dramatic rendering of this eighties classic.





Relient K    "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"  (2011)

          This Contemporary Christian group from Ohio has delivered a number of albums since they first got together in 1998.  Their version of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" comes from their 2011 album K Is For Karaoke which is a compilation of song covers.   The group stays fairly faithful to the Tears for Fears original.






Time to Vote!

    
    You might not rule the world, but you are in charge of your opinion in this Battle.   D
o 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 (though this round I might be the only one):

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'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 6th

          This year is rapidly winding down to its end.  Maybe I can gear up for more frequent posting.   I'm going to take things as they go.  But you can count on my BOTB results post coming this Friday.  Hope to see you back then.