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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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

In the Still of the Night (#BOTB)

Forget about a Liberal Arts education if you really want to be useful in this world.  Learn a trade or something in the medical profession.  A solid knowledge of computers is valuable.  I wish I'd known all this way back when...

Fall colors in Tennessee trees (photo by Arlee Bird)


           The last time I posted on this site I mentioned that my computer had died and I was looking for a new one.   I'm still going to be looking, but--wonder of wonders--my Lenovo desktop that I've had for the past seven years decided to return to the world of the living (and the blogging).  Not sure what happened, but I guess I've been granted a reprieve for the time being.

         Maybe there's something symbolic or metaphorical here, but I'll just settle for stuff happening in the mysterious (to me) world of computers.  I still want another computer though.  For now there's no hurry.  Instead, in this lull of computer concerns, I'll have another Battle of the Bands.  What better way to pass time in this still of the night...


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.


In the Still of the Night


          In the Still of the Night was written by Cole Porter for the 1937 film Rosalie.  Originally sung in the film by Nelson Eddy, the song has been recorded by many artists since.


Tommy Dorsey Orchestra   "In the Still of the Night"  (1937)

          Here's one of those BOTB candidates that might be a tough one to beat.  I know there are more than a few big band fans out there.  I dedicate this Battle to you.   This recording first hit the pop charts on October 16, 1937--82 years ago!  The recording eventually peaked at number 3 on the hit charts.  Is it a hit with you?





Aaron Neville and the Neville Brothers "In the Still of the Night"  (1990)

         When I first heard this version it was on an ABC television special that coincided with the album release of  Red Hot + Blue, which was to raise awareness and benefit AIDS.  The songs on the album were versions of Cole Porter tunes done by several popular artists.  The Neville Brothers blew me away with their version.  I thought Aaron Neville had the voice of an angel.  Still sounds good to me.  How about you? 







Time to Vote!

        Okay, don't just sit there being still.  Get busy and vote!  Which version 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





Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday October 21st

         In the meantime I'm going to be enjoying some visiting family in the upcoming week, but I'll try my best to make it for my results post.  That is, computer willing.  I'll still be a bit on edge with this computer thing.  But that's okay.  Things always seem to work out somehow.

           Do you think a college education is a necessity in today's world?   If you were (are) considering going (back) to college, what would you likely major in?  Has fall weather come to your town yet?









Monday, October 7, 2019

Computer Connection? ( #BOTB Results )



       I'll be keeping this post short and basic.   Looks like my Lenovo desktop computer has gone kaput.   I really can't complain since I inherited it from my late stepfather in 2012 and he'd had it for a couple years prior to that.  I guess I shouldn't complain about a good computer that has given me seven years of reliable service.  I'm going to miss that good old computer.

      For now I'm using my wife's computer, but that is going to have to be a very short term solution.  My old notebook computer kind of ground to an interminable state of slowness and is no longer functional.   I guess that means New Computer Time!  Any suggestions?

      What I want to find is not only a basic warhorse for composing blog posts, looking up stuff, taking care of business, and checking emails, but also something good for doing home music recording and some video editing.  Currently I'm doing research regarding this, but any input from those in the know might be helpful.

       Any thoughts?  In the meantime my online activity will be drastically curtailed until I find the best solution for me.  Maybe if this crash was destined to happen then this might have been a good time for it.  Still, I'd rather not have to deal with this expense and computer search.

       C'est la vie!

Rainbow Connection Battle

         My most recent Battle was between The Carpenters and Willie Nelson performing The Muppet Movie song "Rainbow Connection".   What a great turnout for a fight to the finish Battle!  At first it looked like Willie was going to take a handy win and then the Muppet fan club must have entered the fray to bring them up to the leader. 

         As some of you also indicated, The Carpenters did a lovely version though it was a bit saccharine like sugar infused maple sugar on sweet hotcakes.  That was my take as well.  I thought Willie gave a more genuine performance that exuded more sentiment than sweetness.  My vote goes to Willie and that brought the final tally to a tie vote.   I'm okay with that since that means the race was pretty even...



Final Vote Tally

The Carpenters                13

Willie Nelson                   13



Next Battle on Tuesday October 15th

         Well, this will happen hopefully as long as I can resolve my computer situation.  I will do what I can until then.  Why can't they just make computers that last forever...

          What kind of computer do you use?   How long have you been using it?   Where have you found to be the best place to buy a good new computer?


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Rainbow Connection (#BOTB) ( #IWSG )

"I've heard that story before--a lot. Every time I hear it, there might be a few variations, but it's still basically the same story.  A good story is always worth retelling..."
                --a possible character from some future work I might write?


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 October 2 posting of the IWSG are Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!




October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


           As I typically try to approach things, I'm going to address this question with logic--or what seems most logical to me.  Using the old philosophical position that art imitates life, we might further extend it to a simpler concept that simply says "Art imitates".  Art is essentially the reproduction of that which has been seen or imagined.

           Monkey see, monkey do is the beginning of the process of learning and creating.  Learning to write and learning to read go hand in hand.  One cannot learn to write without first learning to read. And then there are the rules that must be learned so that we are all reading and writing from the same or a similar fundamental perspective.  Reading provides us with a sense of the rules of language and gives us examples of the ways in which other experienced writers use language.

          When we read more, we learn more and gain more experience.  We establish our voice by reading and hearing the voices of others.  We build our world upon the worlds others have built before us and with the help of those building the world around us.  By reading we keep up with trends in the literary market (good business sense) and try on the voices of others in order to further develop our own voice (good artistic strategy).  

          We should never stop reading because then our writing voice and idea development can stagnate.  If we stop our reading at our last favorite book then we are more likely to parrot that book rather than amalgamating many ideas, concepts and styles into something that is more true to who we are as writers.  Reading what others have written is perhaps comparable to a writing education in which we learn what exactly appeals most to us as writers.
       
          It's kind of like the song from The Muppet Movie where Kermit ponders the question: "Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"  We all have seen rainbows and the impact on each of us is our unique experience.  And when we've seen one rainbow we don't mind looking at the next one.

        Which brings us to a Battle of the Bands match using versions of Kermit the Frog's "Rainbow Connection"...

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.

Rainbow Connection

       This song was written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher for the 1979 film The Muppet Movie.  In the film the song is sung by Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) and has since been recorded by numerous artists.   I dedicate this Battle to our BOTB "host" Stephen T. McCarthy as I know he likes both of the artists I'm using.  For me this is a very tough choice as each artist brings their own special touch to the song.

        I also dedicate this Battle to all of the dreamers out there which means all of us.  If we aren't dreaming, we aren't living...


The Carpenters    "Rainbow Connection"  (1981)




Willie Nelson  "Rainbow Connection"   (2001)








Time to Vote!

        Now it's time for the music connection.  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





Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday October 7th

          I'll be tallying the votes on Sunday so you've got a few days to get yours in.  But don't delay!  Vote now!

           What types of literature do you predominately read?   What do you tend to avoid reading?  For those who write, does reading the works of others tend to lead you to imitation or inspiration?