This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

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

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Monday, July 22, 2019

A Hot Race for a Hot Season ( #BOTB Results )

Summer is a-sizzlin' here in New Jersey.  If I could have brought my California weather here this would be darn nice weather-wise.  Otherwise it's still nice here with family...

Still on Vacation

      Maybe it sounds weird for a retired person to talk about being on vacation since it always seems like I'm on a bit of a vacation.  I guess it's just the different routine that makes it seem like vacation.  That and the traveling and the difference of scenery and people I'm around.  So I guess this is a vacation.

        Having a wonderful time!



Battle of the Bands Results



The "Fly Like an Eagle" Battle

         Keeping it quick so I can fly like an eagle myself, here are the results of my recent Battle between old artist Trini Lopez and newer artist Rus Reppert.   This was a neck and neck Battle right to the end.  It was a nicely matched fun Battle.

          I went back and forth with my thinking on who I preferred, but I kept going back to the version by Trini Lopez.  It was interesting to see this artist presenting his updated take on the song, which is pretty good for a guy who is now past 80 years old.   Trini's version had more going for it production-wise with more variety.  My vote goes to Trini.   What a race it was!


Final Vote Tally

Trini Lopez        8 votes 

Rus Reppert       10 votes

Next Battle on Thursday August 1st

       I'll be back on the road for this next Battle so I hope I can keep up okay.  I'll manage I'm sure, but I might be late making rounds.  Hope you're having a great summer without getting overly heated.


        Do you think of retirement as a sort of  extended ongoing vacation?   If you're not working in an employment sense, do you like to keep busy doing stuff?   What are your favorite things to do during summer?





Monday, July 15, 2019

Fly LIke an Eagle ( #BOTB )


Forget Waldo.  Where am I now?  No matter--at least I've managed some attempt at another band Battle...

Where's Waldo Face Poster


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 blogs 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.


Fly Like an Eagle

         Since I'm out here on vacation all across America I've been doing a lot of flying with my wheels on the ground.  As this current Battle of the Bands round takes place, I'm at the midway point of my annual pilgrimage back East and then back again to wacky L.A.   Perhaps though not literally "flying" I'm still metaphorically up in the air in more ways than one.  So let's just fly into this Battle with that old song from Steve Miller Band...


Trini Lopez  "Fly Like an Eagle"  (2014)

        As I do, some of you might recall Trini Lopez from his sixties hit "Lemon Tree" which was his cover of a song that had been released a few years before his version.  I don't recall hearing much about Lopez since then, but it looks like the guy is still around.  Here's his version of "Fly Like an Eagle" set against some California scenery...






Rus Reppart  "Fly Like an Eagle"  (2016)

       With a video shot in Clarksburg, WV where my father was from, Rus Reppart takes the song with an indoor shoot and some fine guitar playing.   How does this compare with Trini's version?  Take a listen and decide for yourself...





Time to Vote!

     From the desert of California to a warehouse in West Virginia we have two artists flying like eagles in the musically metaphorical sense.  Which artist do you like best?   Pick one and have some fun!  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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday July 22

        I should be able to manage this announcement post okay despite a busy activity schedule with family.  Ain't it fun being a grandparent?  I should also have no trouble making the rounds to everyone else's Battles.  I've been mostly offline while on vacation, but I do manage an hour or so each morning before the kids get up.  But it's vacation so I'm going to just do what I can.  Hope you all are having a great summer.

         Are you anyplace special right now?   Is where you live special?  Do you wish you could actually fly like an eagle?




Monday, July 8, 2019

Summer Sizzle ( #BOTB Results )


         Keeping things short and sweet.  Hope you're enjoying the summer heat!...



Battle of the Bands Results


Misirlou Results for You

         As some readers might recall, I bought a ukulele last year and have been playing around with it since that purchase.  In order to gain some greater insight into the playing of that instrument, a few weeks ago I started watching uke tutorial videos to help and inspire me.  That's when I ran across the amazing performance of "Misirlou" by the duo of Honoka & Azita.   I was blown away by the video and inspired to put together my Battle of July 1st.

         My most recent Battle was a three-way match with three versions of the song "Misirlou"--that often recorded song that many of us associate with surf rock of Dick Dale and others from the 60's.  I thought all of the versions I used were entertaining and quite good.  But I imagine readers can see what my preference was in this contest.

          As one who plays violin I definitely enjoyed the performance by Sephira.  Icy Hot Club displayed some outstanding playing as well.  Both were winners for me had they been put up against other artists.  However, the flashy playing by those lovely young ladies with ukuleles won my heart as well as my vote.

          This turned out to be another good competition.  Each artist won some love from voters.


Final Vote Tally

Icy Hot Club                   4

Sephira                            9

Honoka & Azita              5


Next Battle on Monday July 15th

         As long as I have computer access, that next Battle should happen.  If not, I'll tell you about it all in August.  Barring any problems I'll be here on July 15th.

       
       Enjoy your summer!








Monday, July 1, 2019

Misirlou ( #BOTB ) ( #IWSG )

         Happy Birthday U.S.A.!  The Fourth is upon us along with the downslide toward the coming next year.  Let the fireworks commence!   We'll clean up the mess later.  Please don't start any fires and be safe...

Image result for america's birthday

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

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




The co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


July 3 question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

       When I write fiction I immerse myself into the story as much as I possibly can so therefore it is perhaps inevitable that I'll write myself into the characters.  In fact, I would postulate that what any of us write is actually a look into our personal psychologies and a projection of self into the written work. 

       Though I cannot cite any specific references at the moment, I can recall having read or heard others say something similar.  But from a strictly personal perspective I know that I have written characters with great similarities to who I am and those characters might be analyzed as particular aspects of who I am or who I might have been at some past point in time.

        This is probably why I've been gravitating more towards memoir writing in recent years. Why write cloaked fictional accounts of my life story?   And it's not just wanting to tell a story of my life, but more than that it's a matter of voice--leaving a legacy of what I might have learned from life that I can share with others.

       However, back to the question of writing personal traits (or interests or the like) into fictional characters, one thing that I will often incorporate into my characters is an interest in music, whether it be a matter of style preference or a focus on a particular song or work of music.  And even if the music is not the specific focus within the story, I will usually write with a song in mind about each character or with an imaginary soundtrack playing in my mind as the story proceeds.

        This line of contemplation inspires an idea:  Maybe I should go back through my old stories and book ideas and start turning them into musicals.  Hmm...it might be something for me to consider.

          In the meantime let me turn to the Battle of the Bands....


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 blogs 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.


Misirlou

        In honor of the Fourth of July I'd thought I'd go another try with that all-American tune "Misirlou" which was revitalized in the nineties with an appearance in the film Pulp Fiction.  Oh, but wait--it's not a tune with American roots as was detailed so nicely by Debbie Doglady when she featured the song in her Battle from last year.  For more background about the song please click on the preceding link.  As for my part I'm just going to keep things short by presenting three selections from which you can choose your favorite.


Icy Hot Club    "Misirlou"  (2010)

        Let us start the contest with the song performed by two guys with guitars.




Sephira   "Misirlou"  (2012)

     Or perhaps you'd prefer two viragos with violins




Honoka & Azita    "Misirlou"  (2016)

      Or how about two young ladies with ukuleles.








Time to Vote!

     Three's a charm or something like that.  But one of these choices might be more charming to you than the others.   Which group do you like best?   Pick one and have some fun!  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

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday July 8th

          It's vacation time so  I might be rushed to get my results up--I'll try my best to post according to schedule, but it might not be much of a post.  But maybe it doesn't matter too much.  Things have been slowing down in blogland.  For me at least and from appearances I'd think you too.  Hope summer is kicking off nicely for you.

          What big plans do you have for the summer?   Do you think your writing reveals much about your inner self?   Can you think of a story you've written or read that might be a good musical?