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!

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.