Sunday, November 30, 2008
My Yearbook Photo
Ever wonder "what if"? My Yearbook Photo allows you to upload a photo of yourself and morph it into the popular yearbook picture style from the 1950's through the year 2000. Here's my simulation from 1982, my actual year of graduation:
A Heart for Dad
We had some issues with our younger daughter this weekend involving her computer usage and some inappropriate language she had picked up from YouTube. Sabrina has always favored her mother, despite my efforts to reach her. She was understandably miffed tonight after I removed her "favorites" from her computer (including the offensive content) and blocked her access to YouTube and several other sites.
Despite that, I performed some sorely needed maintenance on her computer and played games with her this evening. A few hours ago, I walked into the kid's playroom and saw some drawings that Sabrina quickly tried to hide from me. She'd drawn several pictures expressing her love for all family members, with the glaring exception of me, even adding me to one as crocodile fodder. I dispatched her to bed at this point, and sulked a bit.
Later, when I told her older sister that it was time to turn in, she hugged me, said "I love you, daddy" and told me that she had made the following artwork just for me. I'm a little bit teary as I type this:
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday Nite Retro- Beth Orton
Beth Orton, folk-electonica artist, has a voice that was summed up rather well by a commenter on one of her videos: "She has a telephone book voice . . . she could open up the phone book and start singing the entries, and she'd still have my rapt attention".
Orton is a Brit who was born December 14, 1970 in East Dereham, Norfolk. She was raised on a pig farm in Norwich, before moving to East London at age fourteen. Her father left her mother when Beth was eleven, and she lived with her mother, an artist and political activist, and her two brothers, her father dying shortly afterward. She lost her mother to cancer eight years later, in 1989, after which, she took to traveling to Thailand for a short period, residing with Buddhist nuns.
Orton found success as a musician relatively late, having first worked at menial jobs such as as a waitress at Pizza Hut and even owning her own catering company. She was also more interested in acting during her early career, and spent some time touring the UK, Russia and Ukraine with a fringe theatre company.
Her first contribution in music came when she met William Orbit at a London nightclub, when he tried to borrow a cigarette from her. They began a relationship shortly after, and before long he invited her to do some spoken word for his current Strange Cargo project, but she drunkenly decided to sing also. Shortly after, Orton and Orbit began experimenting to pull an L.P. together. It was called SuperPinkyMandy, named after a rag doll which she bought at a garage sale at the age of six. This rare album was released in Japan alone, in extremely limited numbers.
The sound is very much Orbit's, but several songs were co-written, and some tracks were later recycled, in very different versions). "She Cries Your Name" later appeared on what she now considers her debut album (Trailer Park). "Yesterday's Gone" became "Montok Point" for the fourth Strange Cargo release Hinterland in 1995. That album featured Beth on several tracks as vocalist, and also included an alternative version of "She Cries Your Name".
In 1997, Orton toured with Lilith Fair, as well as releasing Central Reservation, her second album (proper). Although retaining the electronic edge of the former, this record showed a notably more acoustic side with several tracks consisting purely of Beth's vocal accompanied by a solitary acoustic guitar, with subject matters becoming more introspective, including "Pass in Time", a song about the death of her mother. Despite this style, the album still provided more polished moments such as lead single "Stolen Car"
Orton has been romantically linked with a number of high profile musicians, including William Orbit and Ryan Adams. Adams' songs "English Girls Approximately", "You Will Always Be The Same" & "Friends/For Beth" were written about her.
Orton gave birth to a daughter, Nancy, in mid-December 2006. She cancelled her September 2006 UK tour because of her pregnancy.
She is a well known opponent of the War on Terror, and played at the One Big No concert in March 2003 at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, organised by Emily Eavis.
In the Telegraph interview she revealed that in the past she had shunned several opportunities to raise her public profile, on ethical grounds. Such opportunities included becoming the face of Calvin Klein, representing Gap (which, according to some sources, use sweatshops to manufacture their clothes), and promoting the sales of her records at Starbucks coffee outlets. While she is a supporter of Fairtrade, she has subsequently relented on this last stance.
All of her recent releases are "carbon neutral", whereby a tree is planted in a poor area of Mexico for every certain amount of units produced to offset the emissions generated when pressing the CDs, and other marketing paraphernalia.
She has also been offered the opportunity to return to her first love, acting. Having played the lead female in the independent film Southlander, she was offered to audition for the role of John Cusack's girlfriend in the film High Fidelity, but didn't accept the invitation (the part went to Iben Hjejle). Orton also wrote music for the Erin Brockovich soundtrack. She does state that she would act, if an appropriate part came up for her.
Orton is a well-known sufferer from Crohn's disease.
Check out her official website HERE.
Edna Parker has died at 115
Lifelong Indiana resident and world's oldest living person, Edna Parker, died on Wednesday at her Shelbyville nursing home. Parker had lived in the farmhouse she shared with her husband Earl, who succumbed to a heart attack in 1939, until the age of 100. She remained active until the end, taking daily walks.
The supercentenarian outlived her two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr. She also had five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.
Teen Turns in Ten Grand
A 17 year old Federal Way (WA) teen found a small fortune in his grocery store employer's bathroom. After a short struggle with his conscience, he turned the money in to his manager and the money was returned to the rightful owner:
“My dad is always telling us in this life you’ve got to work for yourself,” said Moisei Baraniuc, who goes by the nickname Moses. “If you take what doesn’t belong to you, it will catch up to you.”
Instead what caught up with him was the man who lost the money, Fred W. Smith, who paid a grateful visit to the supermarket Wednesday evening.
The night he found the money bag, Baraniuc turned it over to his boss, Suanne Schafer.
Schafer took the bag to a secure area with another store worker, who then counted the money.
They were shaken up by the $10,000 amount – 85 hundred-dollar bills and 30 50-dollar bills.
“Besides being really, really shocked, I had an overwhelming sense of pride for Moses for doing the right thing,” said Schafer, the store’s guest services manager.
“You always hope that people would do the right thing,” she said. “He didn’t even think twice.”
Federal Way police are also praising Baraniuc.
“That was great,” said Cmdr. Stan McCall. “I think that’s very honest and shows a great deal of integrity.”
Steely Dan version. In honor of all of the freaks camped out in front of stores nationwide as I am typing this, awaiting doorbuster deals in a few more hours:
Thursday, November 27, 2008
It Might be a Redneck Thanksgiving if:
You’ve ever had Thanksgiving dinner on a Ping-Pong table.
You’ve ever re-used a paper plate.
You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say ‘Cool Whip’ on the side.
You’ve ever used your ironing board as a buffet table.
On Thanksgiving Day you have to decide which pet to eat.
Your turkey platter is an old hub cap.
Your best dishes have Dixie printed on them.
Your stuffing secret ingredient comes from the bait shop.
Your only condiment on the dining room table is ketchup.
Side dishes include beef jerky and Moon Pies.
You have to go outside to get something out of the ‘fridge.
The directions to your house include “turn off the paved road”.
You consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food.
You have an Elvis Jell-o mold.
Your secret family recipe is illegal.
You serve Vienna Sausage as an appetizer.
Only at Thanksgiving
Things you can say ONLY at Thanksgiving!
1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It’s Cool Whip time!
4. If I don’t undo my pants, I’ll burst!
5. Whew, that’s one terrific spread!
6. I’m in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. Its a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you’ll get some!
10. Don’t play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you’ll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn’t expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You’ll know it’s ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn’t think I could handle all of that!
18. That’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen!
19. How long do I beat it before its ready?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Ten things to know if you're having Thanksgiving with Republicans
Congratulations, liberal/progressive/terrorist! This is the first Thanksgiving in eight years where you represent the political majority. Because you know who voted with you? Oh, just fifty-three percent of the United States of America. HELL YEAH! Who's a member of the fringe lunatic this holiday season? Not you!
But what happens if your right-wing relatives still want to debate the outcome of the election? Defang your conservative loved ones with these ten helpful facts!:
President-elect Obama won by 8 million votes.
President Bush is probably drinking again.
Many media conservatives are furious with President Bush.
Experts say that Al Qaeda's recent video shows that the terrorists are afraid of President-elect Obama.
President-elect Obama is cocky enough to think he can pull this "economic miracle" shit off.
The "socialist" takeover of America's banks happened on Bush's watch.
The "Democratic" Senate has been working with a one vote majority, and that vote is Joe Lieberman. If they get to the "Magic 60," that sixtieth vote is still Joe Lieberman.
The majority of rich Americans voted to have their wealth spread.
President Obama will probably only get to replace liberal judges on the Supreme Court.
Cheer up, the GOP still owns the "racist belt!":
29th Annual Santa Lighting
Courtesy of jnswanson:
Also check out some live from the scene photos by Rachel Blakeman.
Obama Family's Food Drive Visit
President-elect Barack Obama and his wife took their daughters to work at a food bank on the day before Thanksgiving, saying they wanted to show the girls the meaning of the holiday, especially when so many people are struggling.
Ten-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha joined their parents to shake hands and give holiday wishes to hundreds of people who had been lined up for hours at the food bank on Chicago's south side:
2nd Willows of Coventry Fire Destroys Apt Building.
The second blaze in just over a month has left an apartment building at the Willows of Coventry condemned. A fire at 4691 Coventry Parkway caused heavy fire, smoke and water damage on October 20. This morning's occurrence at 5001 Coventry Parkway spread quickly, and firefighters were forced to call for backup after their arrival at approximately 8:50 this morning. The building was occupied, but all tenants were safely evacuated.
One firefighter caved in to stress and started a pushing match with a fellow firefighter during the blaze:
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Ann Coulter's Mouth Wired Shut
Unfortunately, they'll probably have to remove the wires as some point:
WE HEAR...THAT although we didn't think it would be possible to silence Ann Coulter, the leggy reaction- ary broke her jaw and the mouth that roared has been wired shut...
Labels: Ann Coulter
GOP: Stay the Course - Damn the Mood of the Electorate
It's always heartwarming when you see a political party learn from it's mistakes and make an honest attempt to mend it's ways. Take the GOP, for example. Their candidate of choice for RNC Chair is a white, male southerner who just resigned a longtime membership in a whites-only country club:
Katon Dawson, the South Carolina GOP chairman, announced his candidacy for RNC chair yesterday.
And guess what: Back in September, when Dawson was first quietly laying the groundwork for his RNC run, The State newspaper reported that he resigned his membership in the nearly 80-year-old Forest Lake Club. Members told the newspaper at the time that the club's deed has a whites-only restriction and has no black members.
Dawson claimed to the paper that he'd actually been working since August to change the club's admission practices after reading about them in the press. Nonetheless, his membership could become an issue in the RNC chair race.
After all, the paper says he was a member for 12 years, so it seems like a pretty fair question to ask whether he started working to change the club's rules this summer, and then resigned, in preparation for his RNC chair candidacy.
That seems like a particularly relevant question when you recall that the case some GOPers made against Obama over his ties to Reverend Wright was that his supposed silence in the face of Wright's rantings should raise questions about Obama's patriotism.
So, despite a landslide victory by a black American who's been described as "the most liberal Senator in America", the GOP is choosing to stick to it's white southern strategy. Good luck with that, and thanks for playing!
Flatulence in the First Degree
A 13 year old Florida student has been arrested for assault with a bodily substance:
A student at Spectrum Junior-Senior High School was arrested earlier this month after he passed gas and turned off his classmate’s computers, according to a report released Friday by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the report, the incident occurred Nov. 4, when the 13-year-old boy “continually disrupted his classroom environment” by purposely breaking wind. He then shut off some computers other students were using.
A school resource officer placed the boy under arrest after he confessed about his behavior, according to the report. He was charged with disruption of school function and released to his mother.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The year 2000 as seen from 1957 Czechoslovakia
You Tell Me
Monday morning, and time to caption this photo!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
We love to see you smile : )
Phillip Sherman of Arkansas learned that lesson after he left his phone behind at a McDonald's restaurant and the photos ended up online. Now he and his wife, Tina, are suing the McDonald's Corp., the franchise owner and the store manager.
The suit was filed Friday and seeks a jury trial and $3 million in damages for suffering, embarrassment and the cost of having to move to a new home.
The suit says that Phillip Sherman left the phone the Fayetteville store in July and that employees promised to secure it until he returned.
Manager Aaron Brummley declined to comment, and other company officials didn't return messages.
Obama Proposes Massive Recovery Plan
Barack Obama is not playing! His team has come up with a $500-700 billion two-year recovery plan. And he wants Congress to have it on his desk on January 20th:
After more than two weeks of virtual silence on the economy, President-elect Barack Obama's transition team burst on the scene with new ambition and urgency Sunday, demanding swift passage by Congress of a massive two-year spending and tax-cutting recovery program.
Obama aides called on lawmakers to pass, by the Jan. 20 inauguration, legislation that meets Obama's two-year goal of saving or creating 2.5 million jobs. Democratic congressional leaders said they would get to work when Congress convenes Jan. 6.
Though Obama aides declined to discuss a total cost, it probably would far exceed the $175 billion he proposed during the campaign, but would not immediately seek to raise taxes on the rich. Some economists and lawmakers have argued for a two-year plan as large as $700 billion, equal to the Wall Street bailout Congress approved last month.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Obama Announces Plan to Create 2.5 Million Jobs
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday outlined his plan to create 2.5 million jobs in coming years to rebuild roads and bridges and modernize schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars:
Friday, November 21, 2008
Friday Nite Retro - England Dan and John Ford Coley
Last Friday I profiled the work of Jim Seals and Dash Crofts, so it seemed only natural to follow up with music by Jim's brother (England) Dan and his partner, John Ford Coley. The bands were active during the same time span in the mid 1970's. Seals' childhood nickname was "England Dan" because he was a fan of The Beatles, and his affected English accent. John Colley's last name was shortened to "Coley" for ease of pronunciation; "Ford" was added as his middle name for flow purposes, thus England Dan and John Ford Coley.
Dan Seals went on to a solo career in country music after splitting with Coley. In his solo career, he released sixteen studio albums and charted more than twenty singles on the country charts. Eleven of his singles reached Number One: "Meet Me in Montana" (with Marie Osmond), "Bop" (also a #42 pop hit), "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)", "You Still Move Me", "I Will Be There", "Three Time Loser", "One Friend", "Addicted", "Big Wheels in the Moonlight", "Love on Arrival", and a cover of Sam Cooke's "Good Times". Four more of Seals' singles also reached Top Ten on the country charts.
John Ford Coley went on to form another group that released an album on A&M Records. Then, he went on to act in teen films in the 1980s, acquired a small ranch in the 1990s, and wrote songs for film and TV. He returned to touring in 1996 and has an active tour schedule where Coley plays the hits and other favorite songs. Coley plays with groups including Ambrosia, Terry Sylvester, formerly of The Hollies and rides the bill with numerous other acts including Three Dog Night, Lou Gramm (of Foreigner), Christopher Cross, Poco, Stephen Bishop, Al Stewart, Edgar Winter and others.
Palin's Fowl Interview
After pardoning a turkey, Sarah Palin gives an interview in front of other birds being slaughtered. Seemingly oblivious to the gruesomeness going on over her shoulder, she carries on talking for over three minutes:
Thursday, November 20, 2008
G O D and the G O P
It's not very often that I agree with Kathleen Parker. Okay, this may actually be the second time. This was the first. Here's a sample of yesterday's entry:
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.
I'm bathing in holy water as I type.
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.
Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.
Click here to read the rest of Parker's column.
No Love for Bush at G20 Summit
As all of the other world leaders shake hands and acknowledge one another, Bush looks like "the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked." Watch:
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Organ Grown from Stem Cells Successfully Transplanted
If you want yet want more reminder of the difference that an election can make, here's the result from stem cell research in Europe. We should all be grateful to have a president-elect who will not only overturn America's ban on such research, but will work to advance it. If this isn't God's very own hand at work, than I don't know what is. . .
Middle School Teacher Sent to Principal for Principles
Dennis Yuzenas, an American history teacher at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, wore a Barack Obama T-shirt to school after the election. Principal Elizabeth Kennedy, who saw the teacher wearing his Obama shirt on the school's TV news show, took issue with that action, claiming that it was against school board policy, and requesting that Yuzenas sign the following memo which would be placed in his permanent file:
"Last Friday, November 7, you wore a T-shirt that clearly showed which candidate you supported during the recent Presidential Election and appeared with students on the in-school news broadcast sharing your positive view regarding the outcome of the election," the memo read.
"As per the Code of Ethics and the above state School Board policy, students may not know your political view," it continued. "This could be construed as using your position to influence others. It is my expectation, that in the future as you teach students to clarify and express their own political views, you will remain neutral."
Yuzenas asserts that, despite his very liberal views, he remained very apolitical during the campaign. He even went so far as to park his car away from the school to prevent students from seeing his numerous bumper stickers. As for the T-shirt, Yuzenas said it was also part of his lesson plan that day:
"I was talking about the role of art in society," he said, "and tying in this T-shirt to Picasso's Guernica."
The shirt, which showed a red-and-blue image of Obama with the word "Hope" under it, is the work of Shepard Fairey, an obscure Los Angeles street artist. The image, which Fairey made into 300 posters, caught the attention of the Obama campaign, which liked it so much that the image was mass produced, becoming an iconic image of Obama.
"It's making education relevant to kids," Yuzenas said. "How much more relevant can you get in an arts school than talking about the role of an artist in an election?"
Yuzenas has refused to sign the principal's memo because he's not actually in violation of the ethics policy. Indeed, School Board Policy 2.59 allows teachers to express their own "political, social and religious values" if the "total presentations is essentially balanced and fair."
Teachers are expressly prohibited from allowing their interaction with students to further their own "political aims or views."Yuzenas pointed out if he's a propagandist, he must be a lousy one, because his students showed the strongest support for John McCain during a school-wide mock election."I don't want students to think like I do," he said. "I want them to think."
McCain Wins Missouri by 0.12%
John McCain has finally been declared the winner in the state of Missouri - making it officially slower than Alaska in counting the votes. McCain's narrow victory over Obama also breaks a bellwether streak in which Missourians had picked the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1956; unless you count the real results in 2000 and 2004
With all jurisdictions reporting complete but unofficial results, McCain led Obama by 3,632 votes Wednesday out of more than 2.9 million cast - a margin of 0.12 percentage points. Both men spent considerable resources trying to win Missouri, a state that Obama ultimately did not need for his national victory. Missouri's 11 electoral votes make the final electoral vote tally 365 for Obama and 173 for McCain.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Begich DEFEATS Stevens in Alaska!
UPDATE 9:45 PM - It's OVER - Begich WINS!
Anchorage Mayor and Democratic candidate for Senator for Alaska has increased his lead over convicted felon, Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, by over 1,000 votes today alone. Before today's recounts, Begich held a lead of just over 1,000 votes.
The majority of the remaining uncounted votes are coming mainly from Anchorage and the surrounding area, where Begich is leading, and from the state's southeastern panhandle, where he was doing even better. Overseas ballots had to be sent in to election officials by Wednesday.
Dick Cheney Indicted in Texas
A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County's federal detention centers. From KRGV-TV News Channel 5:
Monday, November 17, 2008
George Will vs Paul Krugman
This is what happens when a conservative pundit takes on a Nobel laureate - school time:
You Tell Me
On Monday mornings, I feel just like this poor cat. I wonder if that dog is Chinese. . .hmm. . .I guess you'll hafta tell ME by captioning this photo:
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Nevermind" baby turns 17
Spencer Elden, who appeared on the cover of Nirvana's "Nevermind" album when he was a baby, is now 17 years old and recreating the iconic photo. According to MTV, he attempts to pick up women using the pickup line, "You want to see my penis ... again?":
The Time Machine -Interactive YouTubery!
Your interactive adventure starts here. Good luck!!
Labels: You Tube
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The Blogger Album Project
In an effort to find out what everyone’s musical tastes are, I have been tagged by Robert Rouse to share my favorite albums, as well as enlisting the help of seven of you to share your own.
- Post your list of the seven best albums, the seven bloggers you will tag, a copy of these rules, and a link back to this page.
- Each person tagged will put a URL to their Blogger Album Project post along with a list of the seven best albums in the comment section HERE.
- Feel free to post the “I Contributed to the Blogger Album Project” Award Graphic on your sidebar, along with a link back to this page.
- Post a link back to the blogger who tagged you.
1. Bat Out of Hell - Meatloaf (Steinman)
2. Girl You Know it's True - Milli Vanilli
3. Hell Freezes Over - The Eagles
4. In Through the Out Door - Led Zeppelin
5. Bad For Good - Jim Steinman
6. The Wall - Pink Floyd
7. Nevermind - Nirvana
Hill Country Gal
38 Years Ago
In honor of my wife's birthday, here are some notable events from the year she was born, 1970:
January 5 - The first episode of All My Children is broadcast on the ABC television network.
March 25 - The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight (700 mph/1127 km/h).
April 1 - President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, banning cigarette television advertisements in the United States.
April 1 - American Motors Corporation introduces the Gremlin.
April 10 - Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have disbanded, while at the same press conference, announcing the release of his first solo album.
April 22 - The first Earth Day is celebrated in the U.S.
May 4 - Kent State shootings: Four students at Kent State University in Ohio are killed and nine wounded by Ohio State National Guardsmen at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia.
May 9 - In Washington, D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.
June 10 - U.S. President Richard Nixon signs a measure lowering the voting age to 18.
September 11 - The Ford Pinto is introduced.
September 13 - The first New York City Marathon begins.
September 18 - Jimi Hendrix dies from choking on his own vomit while unconscious due to a barbiturate overdose in London.
October 4 - Janis Joplin dies of a heroin overdose in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 27.
October 5 - The Public Broadcasting Service begins broadcasting.
October 26 - Garry Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury debuts in approximately two dozen newspapers in the United States.
October 28 - Gary Gabelich drives the rocket-powered Blue Flame to an official world land speed record of 622.287 mph (1,001.452863 km/h) on the dry lake bed of the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The record, the first above 1,000 km/h, stands for nearly 13 years.
November 3 - Democrats sweep the U.S. Congressional midterm elections; Ronald Reagan is reelected governor of California; Jimmy Carter is elected governor of Georgia.
December 23 - The North Tower of the World Trade Center is topped out at 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world.
A New "Journey"
CBS Sunday Morning produced a segment on the band Journey and it’s new lead singer, Arnel Pineda. Pineda was performing in a cover band in the Philippines when Neil Schon found him on YouTube. Just like Steve Perry, Arnel has the perfect voice to font this band. He became the official new lead singer in February, 2008. Listen:
Bill Maher's New Rules
Labels: bill maher
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday Nite Retro - Seals and Crofts
Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were both born in Texas. They first met when Crofts was a drummer for a local band. Later, Seals joined a band called Dean Beard and the Crew Cuts where he played guitar; later on Crofts joined the band. With Beard, they moved to Los Angeles to join The Champs. In 1958, Seals and Crofts toured with The Champs.
In 1963, Jimmy Seals, Dash Crofts, Glen Campbell, and Jerry Cole left The Champs to form a band named "Glen Campbell and the GCs" which played at The Crossbow in Van Nuys, CA. The band only lasted a couple of years before the members went their separate ways. Crofts returned to Texas and Seals joined a band named The Dawnbreakers (a reference to a book by the same name). Crofts eventually returned to California to join The Dawnbreakers. However, The Dawnbreakers turned out to be unsuccessful. Crofts married fellow Dawnbreaker Billie Lee Day in 1969, and both Seals and Crofts were introduced and became members of the Bahá'í Faith.
After the failure with The Dawnbreakers, the two decided to play as a duo, with Seals on guitar, saxophone and violin, and Crofts on guitar and mandolin. They signed a contract with Talent Associates and released two LPs, which were largely ignored. The pair signed a new contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1971. Their first album with their new label was also unsuccessful, but their second album, Summer Breeze charted at #7 in 1972.
After a long and successful run of recordings in the 1970s, the two lost their contract with Warner Brothers and set aside music for a while. They held a short reunion tour in 1991–1992 and appeared at several Bahá'í gatherings. Crofts lived in Mexico, Australia and then Nashville, playing country music and making occasional hit singles. Seals moved to Costa Rica and has lived on a coffee farm off & on since 1980, and Crofts now lives on a ranch in the Hill Country of central Texas.
In 2003, Seals and Crofts reunited and recorded a new album (Traces) for the first time since 1998. Check out their official website here.
The Fireside Chat - Obama Version
The Obama campaign has announced today that it will modernize FDR's "fireside chats" by posting the President-elect's weekly radio addresses on YouTube.:
Each address will appear on Change.gov on Saturday, after it airs in audio. An Obama spokesperson says that this innovation is just the beginning of the digital, transparent presidency. The plan appears to be in the mold of what the campaign did with videos like "Four Days in Denver" and Campaign Manager David Plouffe's conversations on the state of the race. These videos allowed supporters to feel like they had a direct connection to the campaign, a connection that bypassed the media. Already, the Obama team has made good on the post-election plan. It posted a video from Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's transition chairs, discussing plans for the new administration. Watch it here:
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Amazing John Williams Tribute
Megadeath Burger…. The world’s hottest burger
Dietician Dr. Julie Gilbert: "This is a food item that actually should not be on the market."
DHL to Leave USA - Thank John McCain
As this campaign ad points out, John McCain was instrumental in bringing about the takeover of Airborne Express by foreign company DHL back in 2003. Now the results of that action are impacting families across the country. As of January 2009, all of these Ohio jobs along with thousands more across America will be gone.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Cemetery Precincts
An amusing little film written by Nancy Nall Derringer. Watch carefully for her cameo appearance!
New York Times "Pranked"
New York City woke up this morning to find that some committed satirists had delivered unto them a remarkably well-rendered facsimile of the New York Times, filled with earnest and hopeful headlines from the future -- specifically July 4, 2009 -- in which the Iraq War is over, Bush is indicted for treason, and columnist Thomas Friedman has confessed: "I have no business holding a pen, at least with intent to write." Click the front page below to visit the parody of the newspaper's website and view some "Gee, can't it all be true??" news:
Breaking: Begich leads Stevens by 3 votes in Alaska
Via The Anchorage Daily News:
The elections division still has over 10,000 ballots left to count today and thousands more through next week, but the latest numbers show Mark Begich leading Sen. Ted Stevens 125,019 to 125,016. The new numbers, reflecting nearly 43,000 absentee ballots counted today, are from all over the state. Election night, Ted Stevens led the Democratic Begich by about 3,000 votes.
The state today is counting a total of about 60,000 absentee and questioned ballots. The Division of Elections said it expects to count roughly 35,000 additional absentee and questioned ballots over the next week.
The counting of ballots in the state of Alaska is making Lake County, Indiana look like Speedy Gonzales!
Chris Elliott's Daughter to Join SNL Cast
Abby Elliott, 21 year old daughter of Chris Elliot, will be debuting on Saturday Night Live this Saturday. Elliot, along with Michaela Watkins, were added to the cast to replace Amy Poehler.
Here's a sampling of Abby Elliott's work:
Americans Want a "Center-Left" Country
A new poll just released by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows that, contrary to the most recent righty radio talking point, Americans want a "center-LEFT" country:
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Michael Jackson of the Skies
Now we know where he really got his moves from. He's actually not a chicken hawk, but a manakin bird:
Bush - 76% Disapproval Rating
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday sets a new record; George W. Bush now holds the highest disapproval record ever, at 76%. In comparison, Nixon held a 66% disapproval rating when he resigned, and Harry Truman, the previous record holder, who had a 67% disapproval rating his last year in office.
On the other hand, Rasmussen Reports has continuing good news for Obama's popularity rating:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Approval Index for Tuesday shows Obama rating is a +18, up ten points from +8 on the night after the election.
The Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve of the way he is handling the role of President-elect. Rasmussen Reports believes that this is a better measure of public perceptions than the overall approval ratings.
Currently, 41% of voters nationwide Strongly Approve of the way that Obama is handling his new role as President-elect while 23% Strongly Disapprove The number who Strongly Disapprove is down nine percentage points since the night after the election.
They were Right about Obama!
Obama has already sat down with an unpopular, aggressive world leader without preconditions:
Thank a Veteran Today
Labels: Veterans Day
Monday, November 10, 2008
Joe Scarborough Drops the F Bomb on Live TV
Labels: Joe Scarborough
You Tell Me
Monday morning once again - I can't believe how quickly it sneaks up on us after the weekend. Neither can this lass. I think there's some snarky "circle of life" comment for this one, but. . .YOU tell ME:
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Pharmaceutical Advertising Pushes the Limits
Okay. . .boxes of tissue, anti-bacterial hand soap, pens, big pharma will use it all to advertise their products. Literally ALL of it - here's proof:
Labels: pharmaceutical advertising
The Huxtable Effect
During the 2008 presidential campaign, many Democrats worried about the so-called Bradley effect — the theory that white voters will express support for black candidates in polls but not in the voting booth — fearing that it could work against Barack Obama. Me? I think the Bradley effect was a result of flawed polling. Some others believe that the "Huxtable effect" may have countered the Bradley effect. THEY may be onto something. . .What is the "Huxtable effect", you ask:
In 1994 Sut Jhally, a professor of communications at the University of Massachusetts — Bill Cosby’s alma mater — persuaded Mr.Cosby to donate $16,000 for research on why his show was so popular among white as well as black audiences. (Mr. Cosby himself had no influence on the study, according to Professor Jhally, and the book that came out of the research, “Enlightened Racism: The Cosby Show, Audiences, and the Myth of the American Dream,” was critical of the show.)
“After Obama won the other night, and listening to the reactions from both the white Americans and the black Americans, it was like a rerun of research we did on ‘The Cosby Show,’ ” Professor Jhally said. “Black families we interviewed were incredibly proud and incredibly grateful that finally there were images that were dignified, and they were represented as human. White Americans would say, ‘Here is an intact black family.’ ”
The term Huxtable effect was coined by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez who often writes about how pop culture portrays minorities:
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, blogger, novelist, and a former journalist who covered culture and the arts and who is the daughter of a sociology professor, cited the Harlem Renaissance in literature and art, which came about 30 years before the civil rights movement, as an example of pop culture’s anticipating political change.
For a certain generation of young voters, she said, “It’s not Ward Cleaver who was the all-American dad; it was Cliff Huxtable.”
Tom Werner, who was an executive producer of “The Cosby Show,” called the series groundbreaking in its effect on audiences. “Bill depicted the Huxtables as an American family that happened to be black, rather than as an African-American family,” he said. “For Bill, family was more important than race.”