This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Theme for 2022 is My Vinyl Record Collection. This will be about the music I still have on my shelf. Be sure to check the links for samples of the albums and music I'll be talking about. There will be a lot of interesting music ahead for your listening enjoyment.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Might As Well Hibernate ( #BOTB Results )

 The way things have been going lately I'm thinking that maybe it would be better to hibernate for the winter.  

Of course, when I'd wake up, things probably wouldn't be much better than they've been.  I'm not really complaining, but I'm just saying.  After all, things could be worse.  And I suppose they will be.  But it's just fine with me.  How about you?

Battle of the Bands Results

Hole in my Pocket Battle

        My most recent Battle was a 3 way featuring different songs with the same title of "Hole in my Pocket" and it was a pretty close outcome.  The two more well-known acts--Sheryl Crow and Europe--were both pretty good by my estimation, but my vote went to the sixties band The Rockets. 

       Those who might recall my musical preferences might have noted that the Rockets song had a very distinctive sound of a rock violinist.  This violinist was Bobby Notkoff, who for many years was an acclaimed classical violin player who turned to rock and roll in the mid-sixties. He played with the early supergroup The Electric Flag before joining up with an L.A. rock band called The Rockets.  This band would later go on to become Crazy Horse, the band that has been Neil Young's back-up band for much of his career.

        I first became aware of Notkoff from Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album on the song "Running Dry (Requiem for The Rockets)".  Eventually I obtained a copy of The Rockets first and only album which I still have to this day.  Notkoff has also appeared on a number of other albums over the years.

        The Rockets made a respectable showing in this Battle, beating out Europe but falling behind favorite Sheryl Crow by only one vote.  Pretty good outcome this time around.

Final Vote Tally.

The Rockets       5 votes

Sheryl Crow       6 votes

Europe                3 votes

Next Battle of the Bands on Wednesday March 1

       I plan to be back again with another Battle as well as another post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Until that time I'll be thinking about my current computer issues.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll even do something about it all.  That would be nice.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Hole In My Pocket ( #IWSG & #BOTB )

      I'm back!!  Well, kind of...

      After a trying two months of November and December, I was looking forward to an upgrade of my internet with the installation of fiber optic delivery of my internet service.  At the beginning of January the service was put into place and everything seemed to work great in our house---except for my computer.  It would not connect to the internet.  Annoying hours of time spent with the tech support of my internet service arrived at no satisfying conclusion. I'm pretty sure they are just looking at their manual of common solutions and so far I haven't spoken to any actual experts.  For now I've decided to give this a break.  I've actually been enjoying time mostly away from the internet, but this cannot remain.  I've got to find the solution which I know is there somewhere.

     Contacting the tech support for the manufacturer of my computer was even worse.  The guy on the other end of the line sounded like I was bothering him and, indeed, he was probably on the other side of the world asleep when I called.  He suggested that I buy a new computer.  Of course he's probably right, but my computer had been working just fine before the transition to fiber optic.  I let that guy go back to sleep and tried my provider again to no avail.

       So here I've been without internet for a month now.  I managed to borrow time on my wife's computer in order to compose this current post, but I can't park myself on this one like I used to do on my own.   I'm still pondering what to do.  My trusty Lenovo was bequeathed to me by my step-father who died over ten years ago.  He had bought it about a year before he died so I guess in computer years my machine is pretty darn old.  But still--it was working fairly good.

       I do need a new computer to do my blogging and other internet activities.  But I'd also like something that would be especially good for composing music and supporting good software for that endeavor.   Any suggestions?

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 February 1 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

        I've got nothing for this month's question, but since I missed January's posting I sure didn't want to miss another.   So here's my acknowledgement of writing insecurity.  And with this computer issue weighting my mind I've been somewhat insecure these days.  

        And looming on the horizon now?   The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is rapidly upcoming!  The A to Z Team has been on top of things getting ready for April.  A big thank you to them!  Be sure to check out the new header on the A to Z blog page.  The Team is doing a great job without me so I feel good about that aspect of my blogging world.

        Hope many of you will join us this year for another year of blogging through the alphabet.  And hopefully I'll have things in my house in order by April.

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.

Hole in my Pocket

       As I've indicated above, I'm looking at some potential computer expenses ahead of me in addition to all the usual household expenses.  If you have natural gas in your home you have a good sense of what I'm talking about.  Those prices have quadrupled for us.  And our $90 charge on our last bill is nothing compared to the $300+ bills I've been hearing about from other people.  What are people going to do?

      Add to all of that you've got price of gas for your vehicles and groceries.  Eggs have gone crazy!  When I went to Costco last week people were scooping up eggs like they did toilet paper in 2020.  Grabbing a meal at McDonalds has taken on the financial aura of a meal in a fancy restaurant in days of not all that long ago.  Eating out in a normal sit down restaurant is like a major investment.  We just don't go out like we used to.

      I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like they've got a hole in their pocket where money is rapidly pouring through.   Can it get any worse?   Of course it will.  Maybe I'll stop eating.  Eating a whole lot less would probably do me a lot of good anyway.  That's just not the way I pictured losing a few pounds.

       So with all this in mind why not have a Battle of the Bands featuring songs about having a hole in your pocket.  There are a number of songs with the title "Hole in my Pocket" so there was no problem in coming up with a few.  Here's three different sounding songs from over the past fifty-some years.  Take a listen and tell us which one you like best.

The Rockets   "Hole in My Pocket"  (1968)  

Sheryl Crow  "Hole in My Pocket"   (2002)

Europe  "Hole in my Pocket"   (2015)

Time to Vote!

           It doesn't cost you anything to play along with us and it only takes a few minutes!  Just listen and appreciate.  Which song 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


'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Battle Results on Wednesday February 8th

           I plan to post results then.  I hope.  And I'm pretty sure I will.  I just don't know which computer I'll be using to do it on.  I'll be doing my best to visit as many posts as I can, but please bear with me if I'm not too quick about it.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Snowball that Swallowed my World ( #IWSG & #BOTB Results )

       I was just hanging out waiting for the holidays when a massive snowball rolled up behind me.  I tried to get away, but then it just swallowed me up and kept on rolling.   And here I am now, rolling to who knows what... 

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 December 7 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!

December 7 question - It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

         When November started I had little idea of what was to come.   Then, things started happening and the month started flying like no other November I can remember.  Unexpected things that were good for the most part, but very busy for my life.

         First, there was a surprise trip to East Tennessee courtesy of the son of my best friend who was to celebrate his 50th anniversary with his wife.  I had not planned on going for the anniversary luncheon, but my friend from my high school days really wanted me to come so his kids surprised him by bringing me there.  It was a delightful four day whirlwind that also allowed me to spend some very good time with my brother and two sisters.

        Then, a couple days after my return home, my oldest daughter and her family came for a week and a half visit for the Thanksgiving holiday.  They treated my wife and I to a mini-vacation in Scottsdale Arizona at a magnificent resort that was all decked out for Christmas.  It was spectacular!

         After that four day excursion, we had an enjoyable few days leading up to Thanksgiving.  I prepared a feast that included turkey, ham, and all sorts of sides upon which we all gorged ourselves.  I'll pat myself on the back for that achievement, which is something I hadn't done for the past few years.  Two of our daughters came with their families and we had a great time.

         Then after everyone had left, my wife came down with a mild bout of COVID (of course!).   As she was recovering I came down with a bit of an irritating cold that set me back a bit.  Fortunately I tested negative for COVID, but still I didn't feel like doing too much for several days.

        As we recovered, my wife's father went to the hospital and was diagnosed with COVID as was her sister who lives with their father.  My father-in-law has been in declining health for the past many months and going to the hospital didn't help.  He's still there as I write this post and my guess is that he will likely pass away today or soon after.  After all, he is 98 years old and was having a difficult time doing anything for himself.   He's had a long run in his life so I think we can be thankful that he made it this far.

      That's just November, and any writer goals I might have had didn't get very far for this busy month.  So, to answer the IWSG question for December, I think it's probably safe to say I'm going to be falling way behind on the writing plans that I had been considering and likely I won't gather much momentum in the weeks ahead.

       But who knows?  I don't need much more in my schedule, but I'm ready for anything.  I'm pretty sure there will soon be a funeral and family gatherings.  And next week my wife and I will be having our 25th anniversary.  What a combination of events and occurrences!  That's the way it goes sometimes.   I'm not even sure about Christmas and New Year.  I'm going to take it all as it comes.  I can do writing later I guess.

Battle of the Bands Results


         My most recent Battle was an example that goes against the grain of conventional BOTB thinking of not pitting a more unknown song version against a more known version that was a "hit".  My song choice was "Rock 'n Roll (I Gave You All the Best Years of my Life" using the relatively obscure version by Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw up against the more known Mac Davis version that made it to  #15 on the Billboard charts back in 1974.  

        The Davis version hasn't aged too well and like a few noted it's kind of a lifeless schlocky tribute to rock music while sounding insipidly poppish.  Mac Davis tanked in this Battle with most of the votes going to Doug Kershaw's up tempo version.  Add my vote to this latter group.

Final Vote Tally

Mac Davis                2 votes

Doug Kershaw          11 votes

Next Battle of the Bands on ?????

          As I noted earlier, I've been busy and things might not let up too much for a while.  I'll decide about my next Battle in the weeks ahead, but I'm thinking it might be January 15.  I'll see what everyone else is doing as well.

        Have a wonderful Christmas and an excellent year to come!