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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Friday, May 22, 2020

Take Your Mask and Shove It! ( #BOTB results )


       Okay everybody!  Comply!  Wear your masks!  Stand in lines!  Keep your distances!  Forfeit your humanity!   Listen and obey!   The New World of the Future is coming for you!


Take Your Mask and Shove It!
Image result for tragedy and comedy masks
Traditional Tragedy and Comedy Masks
        Ugh!  I'm uncomfortable having to wear those crazy face masks--not just physically, but mentally.  Something's not right here.  Looking around at all of the other folks in masks I am a bit disturbed.  Where exactly is this all going if we stay with this trend?  What will be next?

          You might be the compliant type who insists that everyone should be wearing a mask.  I say go ahead and wear yours if you wish.  Or better yet just quarantine yourself in your locked down house and wait until the world is a totally safe place for you.  Enjoy your wait.  As long as the power and water stay on you might be okay.

         About these masks though...

          After reading an article recently, I was reminded of something I had heard about a few years ago.  The word "hypocrite" comes from a Greek root word that refers to someone who is a fake, a cheat, or a liar which is based on the stage actors of ancient Greek theater who wore masks instead of showing their true faces.

           This article discussed how much we rely on facial expressions to provide some indication of the intent or emotion of another person.  As humans--as well as many animals--we use the outward appearance of a person to read what that person might be thinking which in turn might help us determine their potential action in a certain situation.  A mask covers that up.  It's not only difficult to read another person who is wearing a mask, but sometimes it's hard to even recognize who they are.

           Shades of masquerades!   Or perhaps banditry? 

           So today we accept mask wearing as a norm and even a requirement.  So how about another practical solution to maintaining order in society?  Maybe some kind of mark or number on each of us?  What a great idea!  No more ID cards needed and all of the information about each of us encoded in a mark that can be read by a scanning device.  The fast track solution to getting through security checks and moving easily about society.  Much easier than a mask too--you can breath better and it doesn't hide your face.

            If you don't mind the mask then the world government mark will be a breeze for you.  How about it?  Are you ready to accept that as well?


Battle of the Bands Results




        This recent Battle of the Bands contest between Dorris Henderson and Melody Gardot performing the traditional work song "No More My Lord" was one that I went back and forth on.  The guitar work in the Henderson version was appealing to me, but I preferred the vocals on Gardot's version.  The delivery of the Melody Gardot version was more entertaining and listenable in my estimation so that is the one I settled my vote on.

        At the outset it looked like Dorris Henderson was going to run away with the win, which she did, but in the end Melody didn't have too bad of a showing.


Final Vote Tally

Dorris Henderson        11

Melody Gardot              8



Next Battle on Monday June 1st

         Hard to believe that summer is almost here again.  For now I'll plan on doing this next Battle, but a break might still be in the cards for me.  Come back on June 1st for the Battle and maybe something else...

Do you have any special summer plans?  Or have you put plans on hold to see what is going to happen with the pandemic scam?   I'm not saying that the COVID disease isn't real, but the response to it is indeed a scam.  Have you figured that out yet?  If you don't think it's a scam then are you ready for that identification mark?






Friday, May 15, 2020

No More My Lord (#BOTB)


       Personally I'm tired of all this COVID stuff.  I hate the lock downs, the masks, the social distancing.  There's a devious plot afoot the way I see it.  I feel badly for a lot of the younger folks who have had their lives overturned and diminished from what is going on.  This is unlike anything we've ever seen.  I have my theories as to what is going on, but I'll save those for myself or for anyone who wants to hear what I think--but I won't say much in this blog post.

      Recently I was reading about the Hong Kong Flu pandemic.  I recall the name, but couldn't have said when it happened until I started reading about it.   This pandemic was from fall of 1968 to sometime in 1970.  That was my senior year in high school and the beginning of my first year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  I have no recollection of a pandemic going on at that time even though about 1 million deaths worldwide and 100,000 deaths in the United States were the results.

       Maybe we were tougher then.  Or maybe more callous?  Or maybe we just wanted to live our lives.  I don't know what the difference between then and now is.  I can guess, but does anyone really care?   All I can say now is I'm ready for all of this to end.  Please!  No more my Lord...


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 excepting over these summer months.   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.



No More My Lord

           This is a "Negro prison song" first collected by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax many years ago.  There are many renditions to be found on YouTube.  For this Battle I've chosen two versions by female artists.  Take a listen and pick your preference...




Dorris Henderson   "No More My Lord"  (1967)









Melody Gardot  "No More My Lord"  (2010)








Time to Vote!

         How does this song make you feel?    Which song version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  '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 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday May 22nd

         I plan to be here then, but probably not before.  Hope you'll come back to see which version won the most votes.











Friday, May 8, 2020

Solitaire Room ( #BOTB Results )


I'm pushing bedtime as the sound of traffic passes below.  It's a steady sound.  I thought we had stay-at-home orders or something like that.  Not many people have been staying home from the traffic I see when I'm out and about...

Solitaire Room

         My computer has been taunting me again so I've retreated into my Solitaire Room.  It's really my wife's office which also serves as a room for guests.  In that room I also have an older computer that I only use to play solitaire before I go to bed.  When the weather gets warmer like it has been today I open the window to allow cooler breezes to blow in along with the traffic noise. 

        Hopefully my computer will decide to behave tomorrow so I don't have to use my wife's computer.  Just another thing to think about in frustrating times.  So might as well move on to...


Battle of the Bands Results  












        My previous Battle was with Iggy Pop and Voltaire with their renditions of the David Bowie hit "China Girl".   I had added this song to my BOTB queue several years ago because I like Bowie's version quite a lot and noted that there were a number of covers from which to chose.  In the end I went with Iggy Pop for historical value and I did think it was kind of cool.  Voltaire was my other pick because I like the artsy rock style and the violins.  As you might guess the latter was my pick.

       Voters overwhelmingly agreed with my pick.  At least Iggy ended up with a tiny contingent of fans.  Thanks you few folks for avoiding a shut-out.

Final Vote Tally

Iggy Pop            3

Voltaire              13

Next Battle on Friday May 15

      Hope to make it if computers are willing and the COVID don't rise...





Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Finding Writing Inspiration ( #IWSG & #AtoZChallenge Reflections )


Whenever I stop writing for any period of time then I will read or pursue other creative interests.  Then after a while--usually pretty quickly--I will be inspired to write again.  And sometimes just the act of writing will inspire more writing.  I guess that's the writer's zone that I tend to be in...



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 May 6 posting of the IWSG are Feather Stone, Beverly Stowe McClure, Mary Aalgaard, Kim Lajevardi, and Chemist Ken!




May 6 question - Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into the ZONE? 

In The Zone...

         Being a somewhat lazy person I usually have to push myself to write.   Maybe laziness is not my biggest problem though since when it comes time to do something I can be a hard worker.  My biggest problem is that I'm more of a thinker than a doer.  So many plans left unfinished or never started are the result of a certain inability to focus and stay on track.  I am very easily distracted.  

        The "zone" of inspiration and motivation is not something that is easy for me to conjure out of the blue.  Where do ideas come from and what motivates me to pursue them?  Inspiration is everywhere it seems--maybe a song I hear, a news item that catches my attention, or something I see that fascinates me.  The bottom line is that unless I just sit down to write the act of writing will not happen until I just do it.

         Sadly, much of the time I don't just write to be writing for my pleasure, but I write out of a certain sense of duty.  Fortunately I can enter the Zone better through blogging.  Staying on a schedule of publishing posts provides me with an obligation to write something and hopefully write it well enough to attract readership--my own little circle of readers, but someone reading nonetheless. I create this deadline to deliver the goods to my blog and that keeps up some semblance of being a writer.

         And since it is blogging for the most part that keeps me writing, what better way to immerse myself in the act of writing (and reading) than the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge which I have just completed along with a few hundred other dedicated bloggers meeting their own blogging deadlines.

        
Winner Badge #atozchallenge 2020
Another Challenge under my belt!

       A to Z 2020 Reflections

Reflection #atozchallenge 2020


       Okay, I did finish and I am relatively pleased with my work.  This year I did very little planning or pre-Challenge preparation.  I meandered through April with a stream-of-consciousness approach which is just the way I like it--my favorite way to write.

        Sorry to all the bloggers who I didn't get around to visiting during this 2020 Challenge.  It's just me with my poor blogging habits again.  Oh well, there is still next year as well as the upcoming A to Z Road Trip during which I just might get inspired to make my visiting rounds.  Hopefully I'll get in that "Zone" at least a little now and then.

          Thanks to all who visited my blog posts during April and especially to those who commented.  Now let's get back to whatever we need to get back to...




Roadtrip #atozchallenge 2020






Friday, May 1, 2020

China Girl (#BOTB)


      It's back to blog normal at Tossing It Out.  Another A to Z Challenge is wrapped up and now I can go back to my lazy blogging schedule...



China Wants to Dominate World, but Will U.S. Values Survive?
ForeignPolicy.com
China Girl

        My Battle for this round has been sitting in my someday line-up for quite some time.  I figured that now is as good as any time to use the song "China Girl".   Maybe I've been craving Chinese food.  Or maybe it's just something in the air.

         Conventional BOTB wisdom suggests that one should avoid using an original version of a song, but in the case of "China Girl" I think the original might not be well known to many people.  Most of you might think that David Bowie released the original version in 1983--that is the version that was the big hit.  Actually David Bowie wrote the song in collaboration with Iggy Pop who released a version in 1977 with Bowie playing keyboard, saxophone, and toy piano as part of the back-up.

         Enjoy the two versions of "China Girl" that I've presented here and tell us which version you like best...   



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 excepting over these summer months.   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.





Iggy Pop   "China Girl"   (1977)







Voltaire   "China Girl"  (2006)





Time to Vote!

         After you listen to "China Girl" you might have your appetite whetted to hear it again.  Go ahead and listen away!   Which song version do you prefer?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind.  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

 ‘Storms and Stardust’ 

  '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 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday May 8, 2020

       Now that blogging will be back to normal, maybe the world around us will get back to normal.  I could use that, how about you?  Please come back next Friday to see who won this round of Battle.