This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Now It's Over--At Least This Battle Is Over ( #BOTB Results )

      Another Battle bites the dust.  Now that it's over we can find out which song won in the Battle of the "It's Over" songs.  And then it will really be over.  At least for now....

Battle of the Bands Results


         This Results post is going up a bit earlier than I originally said it would.  After all, I see the other results posts going up so I might as well do mine now too.  

          My recent Battle was a three-way same title different songs match between three different groups.  With the same title of "It's Over" we had the groups Badfinger, Electric Light Orchestra, and Level 42 presenting similarly themed but rather different sounding songs.  

          My original intent was that I would be voting for Badfinger, a long time favorite group of mine.  When I decided to go with a song titled "It's Over" the first one that came into my mind was Badfinger's song.  This Battle was framed around that song which I assumed would be my pick.  So I went to YouTube to see what other songs had that title since I didn't expect any cover versions of the Badfinger song.

           First I found ELO's hit "It's Over" and figured that since it was a good song that was probably more known to most people that would be a good one to go up against Badfinger.  After all, both groups have a Beatle influenced sound that would make a good match.  I like ELO quite a bit--the strings, big orchestral arrangements, and a flashy pop sound with classical overtones--a package that seems to be in my area of musical preferences.  However, I can't say that ELO is among my favorite groups.  I appreciate what they do, but there is something about them that doesn't quite ring true with me--like it's all a musical gimmick.  That being said you can probably discern that ELO was not going to be my pick in this round and so it was still Badfinger.

        But then at the last moment, I saw the song by Level 42.  I had forgotten this one.  I went through a phase of listening to a lot of Level 42 back in the late eighties and always liked the cool jazzy feel of their music.  They are an outstanding pop/rock group with a style that I enjoy.  Over all I'd still place Badfinger as more of a favorite group of mine, but I've been listening to them far longer than Level 42.

       At this point I started listening repeatedly to all selections--they are all good to my ears.  Despite my preference of the group Badfinger I'll have to say that "It's Over" is not my favorite song by them. It's an excellent song and I love the slide guitar in it, but still it's not as strong of a song as most of their material.  So as I listened to the songs I started putting the Level 42 song on play more than the other two.  Then Level 42's song started playing in my head.  Damn! It's a good song!

         In the final analysis I decided that my favorite of the three songs is Level 42's "It's Over".  This is a group I should go back to refresh my memory. If you've not listened to their music I highly recommend going back to check it out.

         The end result was pretty even, but ELO was the decided favorite as you can see in the results below.


Final Vote Tally

Badfinger                            3 votes

Electric Light Orchestra    6 votes

Level 42                               3 votes

Next Battle on Wednesday June 1st

         Is it really going to be June already!  Summer will be here before we know it.  No more Battles for me in May.  I'm resting...

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

It's All Good! ( #IWSG & #AtoZChallenge Reflections )

       Gonna keep this brief as I have no complaints about writing, blogging, or whatever.  Except this thing about dirty dishes.  Every time we eat a meal we end up with dirty dishes.  But I digress.  This is about writing and blogging...

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 4 posting of the IWSG are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon!

May 4 question - It's the best of times; it's the worst of times. What are your writer highs (the good times)? And what are your writer lows (the crappy times)?

   The Good, the Bad, and Everything in Between

        Most of the time I tend to be a pretty even keeled sort of guy.  If my writerly highs and lows were a roller coaster then it would be a kiddie coaster or maybe more like the miniature train ride that goes in circles.  As I wend my cycles around my writerly life I usually have a nice relaxing ride.  Life things are my biggest obstacles that create frustration, but it's those things that give me some of my highest highs and happiest moments.  The writing is just something for me to do like any other hobby that people might have.

        Not much that I can gage my writing experience against.  Not since my college days when writing was attached to deadlines and grades.  If writing were my sole source of income then I might get stressed, anxious, and even depressed.  And in that scenario, selling my work would be the highlight.  But since that's not happening, writing doesn't impact my life much more than collecting things, listening to music, or watching television does.  Writing is something to keep me busy and entertained.  Not much super good or bad to report.  I'm just between.  Between the lines you might say.  Now make a deadline demand on me and then ask me again.  Maybe I'll have something different to say about it then, but otherwise all is well in my world of writing.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Reflections

Reflections 2022 #atozchallenge

        Several years ago when I was taking blogging a bit more seriously I'd have a schedule set up that would be somewhat demanding on my life of retirement.  The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge put some bigger demands on me.  Then I decided to stop worrying about the blogging and just enjoy it without feeling the need to let the blogging run me.  The Challenge of 2022 was a breeze compared to the previous years.  In fact every year seems to have gotten easier.

         Much of the relief has come from having one of the best blogging teams anyone could ask for.  This super team helped to make things run so smoothly with a high degree of professionalism that I didn't have to worry about whether the Challenge would go as it should.  It did and I was very pleased.

         My deep gratitude goes to our Team Captain J Lenni Dorner who was there to keep the machine finely tuned and organized.  Also Jayden R Vincente for setting up and managing the spreadsheets that helped bloggers find each other and whatever else those sheets help do.  Our newest addition Anjela Curtis did a wonderful job replacing our longtime graphics guy, the late Jeremy Hawkins, with her artistic abilities that gave us all the wonderful badges and other artwork that graced the A to Z Blog as well as so many blogs of participants.  Also with their great creative input, technical knowledge, and willingness to keep things moving through April are our long time team members John Holton and Zalka Csenge Virág.   

        Finally there were all of those great bloggers who were there on a daily basis with some of the most interesting and entertaining posts of any Challenge year.   Thanks to all of you who managed to keep up with their own posts while making rounds to visit the rest of us.  Without you participants there would be no Challenge--or at least not that much of a Challenge.  Thank you every one of you!

        As far as I'm concerned, 2022 was a great year for this blog Challenge.  I did all of my posts ahead of time and that really let up on the stress factor for me.  And I had a lot of visitors who left good comments and inspired me to keep wanting to blog.

         You know something?   I liked this year's Challenge so much that I think I want to do it again next year.  That's the way it should be.

          What about writing or blogging stresses you out the most?  Did you enjoy the Challenge this year?  Do you want to do it again?


gif #AtoZChallenge 2022 WINNER badge animated

Sunday, May 1, 2022

>> It's Over ( #BOTB )


      It's over!  Another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is now behind us.  It was a good one and I'll have more to say in an upcoming A to Z Reflections post.  My Challenge theme was all about music and though the Challenge may be over, the music is not.  Now get ready:  Everybody's singing "It's over!"   Turn up the volume and sing along, dance along, groove along, or just join in to enjoy this musical celebration...

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.

Badfinger   "It's Over"  (1971)

Electric Light Orchestra   "It's Over"  (1978)

Level 42    "It's Over"   (1987)

Time to Vote!
         Which of these songs do you enjoy the most?   I hope you'll at least give the versions a listen to discern your favorite.   
 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 

Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday May 9th
          There's an Insecure Writer's Support Group post that will be coming up on this Wednesday May 4th as well as an A to Z Reflections post.  Yeah, I'll be combining these since there's so much going on this coming week.  And they'll be related so might as well combine the posts.  But do come back on May 9th to see who came out on top in the current Battle of the Bands.