Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Actually, there is Hope

The guest pastor this past weekend used the phrase 'hopelessly human', which reminded me - as I'm sure it would've reminded you - of this 1977 Kansas song:

The pastor's message was that, at least since Genesis 3 (in the Bible, not the Collins/Rutherford/Banks band), we are 'hopelessly human', in that we can't be anything but.  Nonetheless, our situation - thanks to the Advent and the Redemption - is not without hope.  We may inhabit a sin-filled world, but we are not necessarily condemned to be of it, if we choose wisely.

Though the song is not overtly Christian, its composer Kerry Livgren did subsequently convert to Christianity, and has remained active in his faith, a more recent project being Cantata: The Resurrection of Lazarus.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

From the mailbag...

Sure, I swiped that from Paul Harvey.
  • Apparently my name is causing quite the stir in the former USSR, as I continue to get fan mail from lovely Russian ladies, wishing to make my acquaintance.
  • Why, just this morning, lovely Aleksandra sent the following:
Cheer, my friend. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! My name is Aleksandra. I like your profile strongly. Now I shall tell you a few details about myself. I’m 28 y.o. I am blonde girl with green eyes. I live in N.Novgorod in Russian Federation. Now, some information about my interests. I like reading, chat with my friends, walking and ect.. I adore watch TV and cook various delicious stuff. I love sports and fitness. I work as an accountant. It’s rather boring but I enjoy my job. I’m looking for a man who wishes to have meaningful relationships. I don’t need any flirt and I believe that you don’t need it, too. If you want to go on our talk, write to me. Goodbye. Aleksandra.
  • She sounds like a good catch, and I like her sense of irony "If you want to go on our talk, write to me."  Plus, how can you not be enthralled by a girl who likes walking, and adore watch TV and cook delicious stuff?
  • But alas, I already have over, like, $1000 in airfare invested (on the advice of my friend Paul, the stockbroker), to get Irena or Yenchna (wait, that was a character from Neil Simon's Fools) to the United States for happiness relationship.
  • I guess my stable's just full of gift horses - this morning I deleted an email promising me another $10.5 million.
  • Hey, with all the other millions about to roll in, I just don't think my mailbox - or the vault at my bank - is big enough to hold all those riches.
  • In addition, a geology firm, Rock Hard, has also been sending a few emails.
  • ED Solutions - What's that, continuing education?
  • And finally, Mr. Peter informs me that he has a $2.5 Visa gift card waiting for me (money that I apparently misplaced in Africa, of all places).
  • Maybe he should do some co-branded marketing with the geology firm instead...
  • Good day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday's Surmise

Taking a look back at the week, and preparing for the week to come.
  • As expected, Middle Son attended the opening day showing of the new Star Wars movie.  He reports that it was awesome.
  • I'll wait until it's in the dollar theatre.
  • Guess I should say 'discount theatre', as even Cinemark's Movies 8 in NRH is two or three bucks these days.
  • The mistrial of Officer Porter in the Freddie Gray case - what does it mean?
  • It's widely accepted that the prosecutor thought she could best get a conviction for Porter, and then leverage him against the other five officers.
  • Plenty of punditry going on about that issue.  Will Maryland continue with its retrial plans for Ofc. Porter?  If it does and he's acquitted, will the other officers be tried?
  • Mr. Gray died while in police custody.  If any - or all - of the officers' actions were the direct cause of his demise, then of course they should be held accountable.  But if they're simply being tried in order to placate that element of society that is demanding its pound of flesh because of other perceived injustices - then shame on the prosecution.
  • It's been reported that Mr. Gray had a history of  'crash-for-cash' lawsuits against police, though it's not clear if the ride leading to his death was one of them.
  • Watched a few minutes of the Democratic debates on ABC last night, mainly HRC's close.  Although there's no way in the world I would vote for her, her supporters could reasonably claim that she gave a nearly flawless performance.  My belief that she has not the temperament or positive history of accomplishments to become President remains unchanged.
  • To a large degree, I feel the same about Mr. Trump - his disposition does not well suit being President, although he has a slightly better résumé.
  • Last night's SNL, with Tina and Amy hosting, was pretty good.  As well, it was a treat for Darrell Hammond to reprise his Trump impersonation, and Maya Rudolph had a small bit as well.  I thought that Springsteen was booed after his first performance, until I read that it's a tradition for his audiences to respond with elongated 'Bruuuuuce' after his songs.¹
  • Full disclosure: I rarely stay up much past Weekend Update.
  • While I do agree with Mr. Trump's assertion that we should control our own borders, his comments about banning all Muslims is crazy.  
  • I assisted a hajib-wearing woman the other day at my work, with the same level of professionalism, courtesy and enthusiam as I give all of my customers.  It's the right thing to do.
  • On the news yesterday or Friday, some local Muslim leaders were taking the initiative and contradicting some of the CAIR narrative.  They called for followers to denounce the bastardization of their faith and to openly show that they wish to support assimilation into American culture.  I think that's a good thing.
  • I'm reminded that, in the late '80s or early '90s, I had a generally neutral-to-positive opinion of the Nation of Islam movement, as they seemed to be preaching a message of accountability and work ethic to a community that had - since at least LBJ's time - been indoctrinated into claiming perpetual victimhood.
  • I have known for some time that the English actor Peter Mayhew, who portrays Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise, lives in north Texas.  I had thought I read that he lived in the Granbury or Glen Rose area, but it's reported in Wikipedia that he lives in or near Boyd.
In this photo, he looks a bit like Marty Feldman,
except 19" taller.

Who knew?

That I'd be so blessed at Christmastime?

I mean, just in the last three days, the following strangers or organizations have contacted me - unselfishly - to give me riches beyond anything that I've earned or deserved:
  • Ambassador James F. Entwistle
  • Paul Crowell (a 110kg metal box marked 'Money')
  • Reverend Favor Chinenye
  • Jim Harry ($2.5M)
  • Nancy Partner (dinner for two at McDonald's)
  • Walgreens ($150 gift card)
  • Starbucks ($100 gift card)
  • CVS ($50 gift card)
Of course, that's not to mention the $2M that Michelle Obama recently emailed me about - apparently they'd found it between and under the seat cushions of Air Force One during their many vacations.  Nice to see she's not sore at me for maybe being a bit critical of her idiot husband.

But even if a couple of those are not on the up-and-up (I sure hope I didn't waste $3700 in shipping fees for my 110 kg of  'money' - if it's boxes of quarters, I should still be about $1300 ahead), I do know - at Christmas and throughout the year - that I'm heir to the most high kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

And He hasn't even emailed me asking for an international money order.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

So much news.

  • The circus blogger frequently speaks of 'idiocracy'. 
  • I prefer the term 'idiocy'.
  • Either way, we seem to have a bunch of it going on.
  • Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth.  Not to mention Baltimore.
  • Keith over at Bag of Nothing already posted about Yale, but apparently Harvard tried to arm its wee little minds with talking points so that they could tell their backwards parents out in the hinterlands how to be more sensitive, inclusive, and diverse.  
  • In the name of social justice.
  • Fail.
  • The good news, for now, is that the BLM agitators are learning that they can't just round up a half-dozen cops and put them all away because they're mad at 'the system'.  Officer Porter may yet get convicted in a subsequent trial, but the inauspicious start of having a deadlock on all four counts does not seem to bode well for those using the courts for their political purposes.
  • The Yale exercise about repealing the 1A reminded me of a Watters' World bit.
  • Is it true this guy wants to be a District Attorney?

    • Just kidding.
    • I watched some M*A*S*H episodes last night.  I much prefer the Col. Potter era to the Henry Blake/Frank Burns episodes.  Blake's character was simply uninteresting, but Burns' was outright annoying.  Wayne Rogers' Trapper John was a very good character, and he would have fit in either era, but I can understand Rogers' frustration with Trapper's role being subordinated to Alda's Hawkeye.
    • Side note: It was cool to see Alan Alda in The Last Ride.  I thought it was a good movie, even if I did have to cover daughter's eyes when Scott Eastwood bagged the hot chick.  I had the plot resolved about 30-35 minutes before the end, and even surmised the deus ex machina about a minute before it was revealed.
    • Also caught a couple of rounds of To Tell the Truth, this episode with Ralph Bellamy, Betty White, Johnny Carson, and, of course, Kitty Carlisle.  Decades before they were Randolph and Mortimer Duke on Trading Places, Bellamy and Don Ameche were panelists on the game show.
    • For about an hour this evening, the theme song from Texas Country Reporter played in my head.  I have no idea why.
    • There seems no way to avoid the Star Wars merchandising effect under the Disney regime.  Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Aldi, Kroger - everyone's in on it.  
    • Daughter and I attended a Christmas party last weekend at the home of a former colleague.  In the Chinese gift exchange, I received a super soft Star Wars throw/lap blanket.  Since I was #18 of  21, it was not stolen from me.
    • At least not until the drive home.  ;-)

    Think they'd like a do-over?

    As I've written on these pages prior, I'm not so much the fan of the presidential candidate who shares my first name.  Nonetheless, he is correct to assert that the U.S. should control its own borders.

    When you go to bed at night, you probably lock your doors first.  I lock mine, too, and it would be a generally poor idea for someone to dismiss the message of the locked door.

    Likewise, when you have a party, you likely restrict attendance to those on your e-vite list (unless you're that pool party twit from McKinney), because - hey, salmon, champagne and caviar are expensive, and besides, you don't want unwelcome visitors looting your grandmother's Sheffield flatware.

    Fueled by immigrant labor, the North American continent was linked coast-to-coast on May 10, 1869.  Subsequent waves of newcomers helped build America's factories during the industrial revolution, its skyscrapers; harvest its crops and expand highways.   But we've run out of room.  With no frontier left to tame, people no longer migrate here to contribute, but because we've become the world's night shelter.

    Here's hoping the next President can revive the American Dream, and put the nanny state in time-out.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    Funky safety tip #47

    Kids, let's be safe out there.  And if that means telling Dad or Grandpappy to take safety precautions, well, you can show you're adding wisdom and maturity to your young years.

    Why, just look at this hapless fellow, preparing to operate a chainsaw:

    He's not off to a good start, as he's forgotten his gloves, eye protection, and earplugs!

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    Somebody give the dolt a vowel

    The San Bernardino shooting victims' blood not even dried, and the perpetrators at that time not yet found, our clueless SOBIC yesterday was already issuing press releases calling for more "common sense gun safety" laws.

    Mr. President, if you weren't so damned self-absorbed with your gun control and global warmism agendas, you'd know already that the foremost gun safety organization is the National Rifle Association.  But of course, you're too busy vilifying them, and the members they represent.  And, it's not really gun safety you're after, it's gun eradication.  Your Alinsky inculcation demanded that even in the absence of facts, you not let the opportunity to advance disarmament of American citizens slip by.

    The left's heir apparent to one of the most disastrous presidencies in recent history was equally obtuse, stating: "We must take action to stop gun violence now."  Just where was her sense of urgency when U.S. diplomats in Libya were begging for protection?

    Today, with the backdrop of knowing that the murderers were fanatical Muslims killing people at a Christmas banquet, the dumb bastard will only allow that "It is possible that this is terrorist-related, but we don't know."  Interesting that he could [correctly] divine Dylann Roof's ill motives just hours after the Carolina shooting, but in the instant case can't quite connect the dots.

    Mine is not a plea for "more guns", nor an argument against preventing mental defectives or other undesirables from purchasing firearms.  We should - and do - have basic standards for lawfully acquiring guns, it's called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  Though not perfect, it works reasonably well for a program operated by the federal government, and necessarily constrained by the accuracy of its underlying database(s).

    But, we must not confuse the San Bernardino terrorists with crazed loners.  Like Fort Hood, Boston and Chattanooga, (and the foiled Garland, Texas attempt), this was radical Islam at work.  The United States cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the clear and present danger to our society.  

    The pathetic pacifist pultroons currently in leadership positions have inflicted too much damage already - it's time to change course.

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    I'm Retiring

    Well, apparently my ship has finally arrived, as I've been notified by the First Lady that I'm due US $22M (even though we had not previously been active pen pals):


    How are you today?

    I am Mrs. Michelle Obama and I am written to inform you about your Bank Cheque Draft brought by the United Embassy from the government of Benin Republic in the white house Washington DC which contains the sum of $22.000.000 millions us dollars credited from the bank of America, the delivery of your funds has been mandated to be deliver to your address on Friday being october 7TH of September 2015 to you as soon as you get back to me with your home address and your cell phone number.

    Bear in mind that I have taking my time to be in charge of your funds as instructed by my husband to ensure that you received your funds successfully from the white house to reduce the economy and I’m the only one that has your funds in regard to my husband Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II and you will have to pay the sum of $500.00 only before your Bank Cheque Draft will deliver to you on Friday, the reason why the fee is required is to have your funds clearance paper from the origin of the funds to avoid any harassment from the authority and you are also expecting to be announce as winner of the said amount by Friday as soon as your fund is delivered to you.

    So you are urgent advised to get back to me with your home address and also the payment information today for immediate effect of your delivery. Note that the $500 is the only fee and final payment you have my assurance.

    However, according to our agreement with the originated Benin Republic, all our communications should be on email for record purpose so follow my instruction accordingly, even if you don’t have the $500 try to borrow it and send it immediately because this is your life opportunity and I don’t want you to lose the chance any more.

    Please I will advice you to urgent make the payment this morning via western union or money gram money transfer to the listed cashier information as instructed you by the originated authority. I will look forward to received your email today with the payment to enable the origin secure the required clearance papers required at White House Benin to deliver your funds. Note that it will take only 14hrs to deliver your Bank Cheque Draft in receipt of the $500 payment.

    Please find the payment data below to send the $500via western union or money gram.

    Receiver Name:
    Country Benin Republic
    City Cotonou
    Question: Urgent
    Answer: Needed
    Amount: $500.00
    MTCN reference number............
    Sender Name...........
    Sender's Telephone……
    Sender's Address........

    I look forward to your respond to your email with the payment today.

    Mrs. Michelle Obama
    The White House
    (Official Residence of the President of the US)
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20500 USA

    Sounds legit, right? And as soon as the USPS gets me that fresh batch of Republic of Texas money orders, I'm gonna claim my fortune.

    Friday, November 20, 2015

    Blogpost Sausage

    Taking a page from Combat Kevin, here are some draft 'snippets' that have been languishing in purgatory.
    • Most of the terrain on my bike rides is fairly flat - so much so that I never shift gears, even though the bike has, like, 18 or 21 speeds.  There are 3 or 4 areas, depending on which route I take, where I like to do some light technical riding - slowly maneuvering in and around obstacles or moguls - just to keep my coordination up.  Update:  Now that it's getting dark earlier, I am going to have to make a concerted effort to get in my bike rides - during the summer I was riding about every other day.
    • My favorite feature is a pathway through a lush garden, featuring a small arched bridge.  The path runs less than 50', but curves through the garden and bushes intruding into the path, it requires a bit of concentration.
    • Was reminded recently that it's a bad idea to use the strobe feature of my bike headlamp on a moonless night.  The lighting is so herky-jerky that at one point I purt'near ran off the trail into some trees.  Better to just use the solid beam in total dark conditions.
    • Purchased a stereo Bluetooth speaker that I need to build a handlebar 'dashboard' for.  I don't like wearing earbuds when I ride, because I can't hear the ambient sounds.  Hopefully my selection of tunes won't annoy others using the path.  Update:  But who doesn't like '70s dinosaur rock?
    • Lesson learned: One jalapeño cream cheese taquito at 7-11 will do to me in one hour what two of their pepperoni pizza slices will do in 2 hours.  Update: But one pep/jala pizza slice, judiciously 'blotted' to remove excess oil, does no harm.  I guess it's all about the equilibrium.
    • In other food news, I had lunch at Wendy's today, ordering some nuggets and [small] fries, with water.  The teen behind the counter asked me if I'd like a "senior cup" instead - "It doesn't cost any extra, and you can get whatever fountain drink you want."
    • Senior cup, my @$$ foot!  Whippersnappers.
    • Yeah, I took it...
    • Still, the punks better stay off my lawn.
    • One of my recent thrift store finds was a soft/hard-boiled egg cooker.  I used to think that it was no big whoop to cook hard-boiled eggs in boiling water, but sometimes I would get a batch that were just tough as all-get-out to peel, so I didn't mind risking the $2-3 to give it a try.  This little gem uses a few tablespoons of water to steam cook 6 eggs perfectly, and they shed their shells faster than a barfly doing tequila shots.
    • Oldest son invited me to go to see Roger Creager Band tonight after church.  Since Sabado Gigante has come to an end, I didn't have anything else to do on a Saturday night, so why not?
    •  It was an excellent show - didn't hurt that he played some Waylon (I Don't Think Hank Done It This Way), Journey, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Bad Company, Mellencamp, and John Denver (Country Roads) for the sing-alongs.  His drummer did a top-notch cover of the R&B classic Let's Get It On.
    • Which I'm pretty sure the leggy twentysomething chick in short shorts, cowboy hat and boots - pole dancing sans pole about a dozen feet in front of us - did after the concert.  Daughter-in-law observed said chick and rolled her eyes.  Although the twentysomething appeared to be totally OEM, I saw at least a couple of more mature females pass by who seemed to have been significantly assisted by Jessica Rabbit's animators.
    • Bag of Nothing and other media outlets have noted that Tom Hanks officiated Alison Williams' nuptials at a luxe guest ranch near Saratoga, WY last weekend.  When I first read about the event (before seeing Geeding's post), I was puzzled that the couple had guests - who are probably not short of coin - fly in to Denver and drive/be driven three hours to the 23 square mile ranch near Saratoga.  Heck, they could've landed their Lear/Citation/Hawker/Astra/Gulfstream/Chinooks hit by RPG fire easily at Shively Field and been at the ranch less than 20 minutes later.
    • The ranch is in a beautiful area adjacent to Ryan Park in the Medicine Bow Mountain Range.  My folks have frequently snow-mobiled just a few miles from there.  Update:  I was talking with Dad a couple of weeks ago - apparently the large hospitality chains are buying up many of the legacy ranches in WY.  Marriott owns the the ranch where Alison Williams got hitched.
    • Middle son wondered if Hanks said to the couple "I may not be a smart man, but I know what [true] love is."
    • The A-A Ranch, about 20 miles due south, covers about 150 square miles near the CO line, and has its own 5700' runway (albeit at an elevation about 500' above Shively Field, and with a crown near the southern end).  Its terrain is more open/windswept than at Brush Creek.
    • About a month ago, my good friends from Dallas invited me to go with them to Thackerville to see Jackson Browne.  Although we had seen him a few years ago at Verizon, this was a much better show.  It was my first time to go to WinStar.
    • With the recent events at Mizzou, Dartmouth, and the like, I've spun several blogposts in my mind that have not made it to the keyboard.  Possibly for the best, n'est-ce pas?
    • Middle son and daughter celebrated their birthday last Sunday (they have same BD, a few years apart).  
    • On a recent trip to the [indoor] shooting range, the light pipe for the front Hi-Viz sight of my P-90 shot loose, not to be found.  While replacements are not expensive, I'm cheesed that even if I buy a half-dozen spares, I'll still spend more on postage than on the actual merch.
    • I intend to use some super glue or nail polish (po' boy LocTite) to prevent a repeat performance.
    • Black Lives Matter - Is no black man safe from the Kardashians?
    • As best as can be discerned, the hotel bombing in Mali was not carried out by activist Seventh Day Adventists, agnostics, atheists, bloodthirsty Baptists, barbarian Bahá’ís, Buddhists, callous Catholics, chapped Christian Scientists, Confucians, depraved Druid dudes, Greek Orthodoxists, homocidal Hindus, Jews, lunatic Lutherans, Methodists, Moonie mercenaries, Mormons, pissed Pentecostals, Presbyterians, raging Rastafarians, savage Shintos, wicked Wiccans, or zealous Zoroastrians.  Naturally, this mystery will have the squatter-in-chief at 1600 Pennsylvania quite flummoxed.
    • In September, I posed the question "Whither Mitt Romney?", and proffered my 'fantasy election' R-ticket of Romney/Fiorina 2016.  Since then, Messrs. Trump and Carson have jockeyed for the lead, while Jeb has struggled in the polls.  I was seemingly wrong about predicting that Veep Biden would get his party's nod (although one supposes it could still be plausible if/when Hilary implodes), but I stand by my (R) pick.  And just this evening, I saw this article.  I double checked to make sure it wasn't datelined 2014.

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    A not so hearty welcome

    The Wimp-in-Chief  made a trip today to Roseburg, Oregon  to try to leverage the evil tragedy of a loser who killed 9 innocents at Umpqua Community College last week into support for an authoritarian state.

    The audacity of mope of this clumsy ass-clown's fumbling efforts to exploit their loss - while likely trying to divert attention from his utter failure to productively lead the USA either domestically or in international affairs - was not lost on the people of Roseburg.  Some 250 protesters rebuked the POTUS, many with signs denouncing his naked ambition to infringe the Second Amendment.

    Some there chided the President, for his seeming indifference to the death toll din that continues unabated in his previous hometown of Chicago.

    Still, that's not to say there weren't also supporters.  It appears, though, that in so doing, they at least had the decency to hang their heads in shame.

    You just knew they'd be in Spandex, didn't you?

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015

    The Late Warren Zevon

    Hard to believe he's been gone already a dozen years.

    Even though Zevon penned the title tune to Linda Ronstadt's best album ever, it probably wasn't until this century that I actually listened to his version.

    I've had her version on my phone playlist, but it's low recording level/EQ doesn't reproduce well through my Bluetooth stereo speaker on bike rides, so I recently added this version, which I've found I like quite a bit:

    Another trivia bit - Perhaps I knew this before but had forgotten, but the other musical personnel on Zevon's Werewolves of London were none other than Waddy Wachtel (guitar), and Messrs. Fleetwood and McVie on drums and bass. Wachtel also played guitar on Linda's version of Hasten, and has been lead guitarist on all of Stevie Nick's solo albums.

    Thursday, September 24, 2015

    Land of the Free, Home of the...Gullible?

    • So, right on the heels of a hoax by an Irving teen's family, which the national - and international - media initially lapped up like Pavlov's dog, we now have an event in our nation's capital, in which a young Hispanic girl mysteriously defeated phalanxes of Secret Service and Swiss Guards to hand the visiting Pontiff a telegram t-shirt requesting assistance for the village of Santo Poco illegal immigrants to defeat the nefarious El Guapo United States' national sovereignty.
    • No word yet on whether the POTUS has invited the girl to bring her t-shirt invention to the Oval Office.
    • Evidently. the plight of the poor, downtrodden, illiegal immigrants is not so onerous as to preclude taking off from work to travel cross-country with one's family to troll international media sentiment.
    • Once you fall from grace, the narrative continues: A Fox News headline tease that Paula Deen nearly ruined Tracy Morgan's surprise Emmy appearance.
    • Of course, on reading the article, one learns that they simply crossed paths in a hotel lobby, and snapped a photo together, after which Morgan's crew simply requested Deen to keep it under wraps (off social media) until after the Emmy's had aired.
    • Rubble-to-riches: Texas Tiny Houses.
    • Donald Hugh gives the Other The Donald the what for.  I agree with Donald Hugh.
    • And although I scribble this silly blog, I also don't tweet, instagram, pinterest or facebook.
    • Donald Hugh's new CD, Cass County, arrives tomorrow.  As I understand it, it's been ready for release for months, maybe years, but he wanted to wait until the various Eagles' tours were over so that he could tour to promote it.
    Odd thought: Wonder what he would look like with Spock ears?
    • In 2008, I took the kids on a side trip from Jefferson to Linden, specifically to see the community where Henley grew up.
    • Not really that much to see. I'd like to go to a concert at Music City Texas Theater sometime though.  Apparently J. D. Souther appeared there the night before his recent Kessler Theater show in Oak Cliff.
    • I have a pair of Johnston & Murphy 'Passport' dress casual loafers, that I got at a resale shop.  After some initial buyer's remorse (they weren't as attractive as I thought), I began wearing them as houseshoes, as they're easy to put on/take off.  I also found that they're near indestructible - they've outlasted 2-3 pairs of other shoes of similar style.
    Not mine, but same model, on Ebay.
    • I don't know who comes up with this stuff, but AOL has declared this song as the most 'feel good' tune ever.  Although I am a self-admitted dinosaur rock aficionado (albeit not a huge Queen fan), and have completed two college level rock history courses, I was not familiar with the song.
    • If I were nominating from my vinyl or CD library, Jay Ferguson's Thunder Island, Frampton's Baby I Love Your Way, Jackson Browne's Running On Empty, Heart's Crazy on You, Fleetwood Mac's Say You Will Go Your Own Way, or any of half a dozen of Chicago's brass-infused numbers could easily top my list.

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    The End Times

    • If it's not official, it may as well be - they're near.
    • Evidencing such, I present to you that since the weekend, Bill Maher has agreed with my position (as noted in a prior post), as well as Richard Dawkins, and, as of this morning, Liberally Lean (albeit in a roundabout fashion), regarding the story of an Irving teen who 'invented' and took a repackaged digital clock to his high school.
    • Hard to say if the kid hatched the plan or not, but the more compelling explanation appears to be that his dad was trying to create an opportunity to gain stature in the Muslim community, possibly bolstering his chances for the presidential ballot in his native Sudan.  If that was the plan, it's so far been fairly successful: The family has scored invitations to visit Google, the United Nations, and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, as well as Mecca (although it's not clear if that's a gratis trip or not).
    • Meanwhile, actual conspiracy theorists think that the incident is part of a jihadist plan.
    • Wrapping it up - File this story under: The Boy Whose Dad Made Him Cry Wolf.
    • Indicative of the state of modern politics, Jeb Bush - who is no Donald Trump - gets heckled in Houston, by Hispanic protesters.  OK, I understood Hispanics protesting Trump - but Jeb Bush?  Heckling a moderate candidate doesn't strike me as smart PR.
    • Tip o' the hat to Geeding - about 20 years ago, a friend left an Imation CD, marked only 'Eva Cassidy', that I never listened to, inasmuch as it had no track listing, on my front porch.
    • I'm listening to it right now.
    • There's quite the touching story making the rounds about an elderly man serenading his dying wife.
    • It sort of reminds me of that Kathy Mattea song, "Where've You Been?"
    • For some time I've been intrigued by the tiny house movement.  Here's a college guy that built his own tiny house.
    • If I had a tiny house, I would get this tiny car.  The fact that the Pope rode in such a car on his arrival to the U.S. is neither a plus or minus for me, though the make's general reputation is kind of a drag.
    • The mesquite thorns on the bike bath apparently laid my front bike tyre low over the weekend.  Tonight I patched the inner tube, will see if the repair held up in the morning.
    • I'm always buying specialty teas.  Last night I scored some Red Roobios/Orange Peel/Cinnamon. Caffeine-free, it will make a great drink before bedtime.

    Sunday, September 20, 2015

    Chase/Hawn, Part II

    This is the other Goldie Hawn/Chevy Chase film:

    No Title Sunday

    • It seems nearly every day I see a car in traffic with my initials as the license plate prefix.
    • A friend sent me the following picture:
    • My first thought was "Have my folks bought a classic GM truck?"  Then I checked the tag and found that it wasn't their county.
    • I noted recently that I don't favor DJ Trump getting the GOP nomination for President.  But I did agree with his dismissing criticisms that he didn't correct a participant at one of his rallies who posited that the current POTUS is a Muslim and was not born in the U.S.  Said Trump: "I'm not obligated to defend [him]."
    • Trump was correct to ignore the comments, as they have no bearing on the 2016 campaign.
    • The upshot of the most recent debate partially supports my suggestion for a qualified '16 GOP ticket, and recent news reports hint that the Veep will join his party's race.
    • Still, it's over 13 months to Election (Emancipation?) Day 
    • If we get that far...
    • Because the apocalypse must be imminent - Bill Maher agrees with me.
    • Murphy's Law made a very good point in asking whether the Irving teen would've made it past TSA to board an airplane with his 'clock'.  
    • A co-worker - who, ironically, graduated from MacArthur HS - suggests the incident is a 'black flag/false flag' operation.  I think his terminology is wrong, but I believe there's some deception going on and suspect significant PR contrivance in this event, and that it was possibly planned as such.  
    • Provable?  Probably not.  But apparently the teen's father is no stranger to controversial publicity stunts.
    • BTW, I attended elementary school about a mile from MacArthur HS, but we moved before my high school years.
    How long do I haz to sit and pose?
    • Last weekend, I attended a memorial service for a man from my old church.  He and his wife had been married for 32 years.  His widow commissioned a professional singer/videographer to record a tribute, the refrain of which was "Of all the men in the world, I'd choose you again."
    • Wow. It was way cool.
    • About a hundred years ago, a woman told me "I'd follow you anywhere" and "I'd live with you in a shack (or a cave?)".
    • Well, of course that didn't happen.  The older I get, the more I wonder if I can ever be comfortable accommodating someone else's schedule into mine.
    • Walking across the Kroger parking lot after church last night, I was passed by a Power Stroke Diesel...followed by a Nissan Leaf.  Quite the contrast.  It begs the question whether they should have a 'beeper' on electric cars at low speeds - sure would be easy to not know one was approaching.
    • Went for a bike ride Friday night.  The upside was that areas where I usually have to make some effort, I barely noticed.  Downside was that about half of the ride near the creek path was through clouds of gnats.
    • Gnats?  I don't know if I met the "perfect" gnat, but I'm pretty certain I inhaled a few.

    I wonder if the Pontiff will be swarmed by gnats?
    • I think the exercise is paying off.  Last week's trip to a Sam's Club health screening indicated cholesterol of 157, and 'normal' fasting blood glucose.  And the Kroger BP machine last night showed 103/73, BMI 24, and 17.9% body fat.

    Sunday, September 6, 2015

    There's [gonna be] an Old Kid in Town

    Because John David Souther will bring his musical odyssey to Oak Cliff's Kessler Theater.

    Glenn Frey's bandmate in Longbranch Pennywhistle, Jackson Browne's roommate, Linda Ronstadt's boyfriend, sometimes considered the fifth or sixth Eagle for his frequent writing collaborations with the band, and known as Watty White on ABC's Nashville, he will bring a low-key touring trio to the intimate venue (375 capacity) on September 13.

    JD with the song's co-writer JT and Robert "Waddy" Wachtel (on sunburst acoustic).
     Also seen are legendary bassist Leland Sklar, keyboardist Don Grolnick,
     drummer Rick Marotta, and guitarist Dan Dugmore, who,
    like the Wrecking Crew before them, virtually defined the '70s SoCal soundscape.

    Another song co-written by Souther:

    Thursday, September 3, 2015

    Romney 2016?

    For weeks, as the field of allegedly Republican Presidential candidates has swelled, I have wondered "Whither Mitt Romney?"

    Initially, I reasonably well understood the former Mass-a-CHU-setts Governor's decision to step aside at the urging of the supposedly better organized Jeb Bush campaign (unlike some, I did not take a vow to stay home on election day if Jeb became the eventual nominee).  But as the [circus] tent became larger, and most notably with the arrival of one Donald John Trump, I began wondering what could prevent the type of fiasco that occurred in Hartford, CT, July 6, 1944.  Specifically, was there any chance Romney might return to the race?

    To my surprise and delight, about a week or so ago, I came across a pundit piece pondering the same question (I've since seen several more).  As it was written by some Washington wonk, and not just a mere mortal such as myself, it noted that there is actually precedent for such an upset: The 1976 Democratic primaries had a record number of contenders, including Governor Moonbeam, Mo Udall, George Wallace, and Bobby "Pork Barrel" Byrd - allowing an unknown and untalented (though I wish for God's blessings on him in his current fight) former Georgia Governor to cinch the nomination, for which it was a given that such candidate would become President, given the post-Watergate national mood.

    So, here we are with the other The Donald careening about the deck of the USS Americana like a loose cannon.  His statements and actions are well-known, his motivations murky.  I have said for months I'm unconvinced that Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton will be her party's nominee, not because of the email scandals that have since dogged her, but because she lacks the temperament and disposition (as well as any record of positive accomplishments) to be President.  Mr. Trump is similarly unsuited for the highest office in the land.

    But Mitt Romney is another story.  He was the best candidate in 2012 - a point acknowledged even by many who voted for the current President.  He has the experience, skill, and bearing to restore respect to the Presidency and the United States.  Perhaps the events of the past 2-1/2 years will have given voters better clarity about who we want in the White House.  I don't know that Mr. Romney will be the R's standard-bearer, but I believe he would be the best person for the job. Romney-Fiorina could combine two capable leaders with considerable business experience and accomplishments - one with government experience, and the other an outsider.

    BTW, expanding on my HRC prediction, I'm leaning toward believing VP Biden will ultimately get his party's nod.

    Nothing in life is sure...

    The claim to the "best movie ever made" is overblown, but it is one of my favorites:

    It was the Meathead's second turn at directing (the first was This Is Spinal Tap).

    Sunday, August 30, 2015

    Back when movies were funny...

    Of the two movies Chase and Hawn did together, I usually cite the other as my favorite - but the truth is they're both great.  And this one features a hilarious segment with Dudley Moore, a year before 10, and three years before Arthur.  The albino character was played by William Frankfather, originally from Kermit, Texas, in his first film role.

    And I swear I won't tell anyone if you find yourself singing along with Barry Manilow...

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Stuck in Charlotte's Web

    No Mendacity Allowed

    While UHF channel surfing after my evening bike ride, I happened across an episode of  To Tell the Truth.

    Not really paying any attention at first, but I recognized a familiar voice, and there - in vivid black and white - was Johnny Carson, on a panel also including Tom Poston, Jayne Meadows (aka Mrs. Steve Allen), and Kitty Carlisle.  Johnny looked very young, while Poston looked scarcely different from his Newhart role over three decades later.

    My research indicated that the episode, sponsored by Anacin (helps drain all eight of your sinus cavities) and Sani-Flush, and announced by Johnny Olson (Bud Collyer hosting), was recorded in October 1961 - I probably wasn't even walking yet.

    Carson of course went on to become the greatest late-night host of all time. Fortunate, as he was not so good at discerning the real Jo Thornton or Henry Gross.

    Would Annie Lennox lie to you?

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015

    Lighting the way

    The other day, I posed the question of who would provide leadership to the hooligans that we have been seeing 'protesting' on a regular basis.

    The next morning, quite by coincidence as best I can tell, my friend Paul emailed me this video which may provide the answer.

    Perhaps there is hope.

    Monday, August 10, 2015

    It's Quiz Time!

    So, let's say that you believe one of your best pals was senselessly shot and killed last year walking down the middle of the street minding his own business. To memorialize your good friend, do you?:
    1. Hold a candlelight vigil with your church group on the anniversary of his unfortunate demise.
    2. March peacefully with placards along the main thoroughfare, or in front of city hall.
    3. Drive up and down the strip with a PA system to spread your message.
    4. Place a stolen pistol in your waistband to go see what's happening.
    If you chose #4, you chose poorly, young Jedi.  Please step up and claim your Darwin Award.  That's apparently how 18 year old Tyrone Harris chose to honor his dearly departed chum, Michael Brown.  Caught up in the revelry that undoubtedly enveloped the solemn occasion, young Mr. Harris got involved in a gunfight, including shooting at an occupied police van, culminating in police returning fire.  

    Who'd a thunk it?

    For his lack of discretion, Mr. Harris now lies in a hospital bed, critically wounded. Maybe on account of their training and stuff, the police are apparently better marksmen.

    Sixty years ago, Pete Seeger wrote the hauntingly beautiful anti-war circular folk song Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  During the Vietnam War, the song was popularized by Peter, Paul & Mary - its message of breaking the cycle of the so-called military-industrial complex resonated with the youth culture of the '60s and on college campuses.

    Today, it's not a land war in southeast Asia, Mr. Vizzini, that's killing our youth - it's lawlessness in blighted communities, following the same tired cycle, generation after generation.

    In the 21st century, where's the next Pete Seeger who will bring the message that continual hooliganism will deliver a bitter harvest? 

    Tuesday, August 4, 2015

    Otra vez, estudiantes, ¿Quién es más macho?

    Este Keniano con sombrero del zopenco y pantalones de la madre, quien vive en la Casa Blanca:

    Image result for obama with bicycle helmet

    O este Cubano-Canadiano-Tejano-Americano:

    ¿Preguntas, alguien?  ¿Alguien?  ¿Señor Bueller?

    Tocino, sí!  Es el sabor mejor.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Easy Money...Faithless Women

    The queen of diamonds let you down, 
    She was just an empty fable 
    The queen of hearts you say you never met. 
    Your twisted fate has found you out 
    And it's fin'lly turned the tables 
    Stole your dreams and paid you with regret.¹

    ¹ G. Frey, J.D. Souther, D. Henley, J. Browne

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Sleep-in Sunday

    Having gone to Saturday's church service, I pushed the snooze button this morning, and slept long after I would've normally risen.
    • Maybe it was because I was having some cool dreams.  In one, I had just gotten hired as Executive Vice President of a local bank, even though I was still the manager of another business just down the block. I don't remember what the other business was - maybe a small/medium hardware-dry goods store.  
    • Both businesses were on the east side of a north-south street.
    • I learned that the same woman cleaned my office at both places.
    • On my first day at the bank, I didn't know anyone there, and had no recollection of the hiring or interview process.  I was vaguely aware that it was a pretty cool gig to be a top manager of two local businesses, though.
    • No one that I actually know from banking featured in the dream.
    • The bank was a relatively new entity, located in an historic building which had not previously been used as a financial institution - I recall my interest being piqued by their novel approach to adding a small motor-bank feature.
    • As my administrative assistant showed me around the bank, we also toured the remainder of the building, during which I pointed out to her some of its historical features, and explained some of the prior uses/tenants.
    • I can't think of any actual building that formed the basis for this dream. Carter-Ivy Hardware was once a bank building, but that wasn't the building in the dream (it wasn't in Weatherford), and the non-bank job, though not central to the dream, was in a one-story building.
    • Since I awakened, I am available should you know of an Executive Vice President vacancy that needs filling.  
    • No, I hadn't been drinking before bedtime - just one red beer prior to 8:00 p.m.when I rode my bike down to the park to see the guy who could save popular music.
    • The Kimbell Art museum hosted Scotland Kimbell Fest on its campus lawn yesterday.  They had Lancaster shut down between Arch Adams and Van Cliburn Way.  Three stages for Scottish dance and music demonstrations, and lots of food trucks along Lancaster, but otherwise not much there to hold my interest - will go back another weekend for Botticelli to Braque, a collection on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.
    Introducing the McMaserati Quattroporte - because 
    what says Scotland more than an Italian car?

    No less a wise-acre than his Dad, #1 son texted me, asking "Does it do 185?"
    To which I responded, "Sure, and if Life's Been Good to you, it can be yours for
    just $159,900, plus TT&L and luxury taxes.¹"
    • Since I'd already parked at TCOM, UNTHSC, a quarter mile away, I took the opportunity to check out the Amon Carter, always one of my favorites. The main hall is undergoing renovation, but they have a fantastic exhibition - Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection - in the upstairs gallery.  Of course, I couldn't not at least pay homage to the partial Remington/Russell collection still on display.  If Ben Stiller ever falls asleep on the job and Fall of the Cowboy and Old Stage Coach of the Plains are not there the next morning - well, you didn't see nuthin', m'kay?  There were also some neat side-by-side comparisons of some of Remington's bronzes, showing the difference in detail between sand-cast, and lost wax casting methods (the latter is way superior).
    The docent gave her permission for this photograph.
    • I would like to do my own wood collage someday, in the style of George Morrison:
    • QT has brought back egg rolls to their 'roller' repertoire.  Yay!  Very good when slathered with a packet of Grey Poupon.
    • Made it to church with time to spare - was the first in the auditorium - very rare for me.
    • I had never heard of Lucas Jack before yesterday, but four songs into his set last night, I turned to a guy nearby (who also had never heard him), and remarked "This guy's material is as strong as any of Billy Joel's".  

    • A couple of songs later, he announces that he's going to do some covers, then launches into Tiny Dancer, a funky/jazz Bennie and the Jets, Piano Man, and a brilliant Maybe I'm Amazed, and tells the audience Billy Joel is his hero.
    • His original material shows excellent songwriting chops, great piano work, a strong voice and good falsetto (Bronson reminded me of Where to Now, St. Peter?), backed by a superb drummer and bassist.  With all the dreck that proliferates on the airwaves these days, it was refreshing to hear good pop songs.
    ¹ The luxury tax ended in 2006 for automobiles.

    Don't Go Under

    This was playing during my evening bike ride:

    From Souvenirs (1974), possibly Fogelberg's best album, with contributors Gerry Beckley (founding member of America, born in Fort Worth); Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner.  Produced by Walsh.

    Thursday, July 16, 2015

    Thankless Thursday

    Where to begin?
    • At a 'big box' store today, I saw a woman wearing a Richland Rebels t-shirt, prominently featuring a starred bar.  We are, of course, given to understand - in the modern era - that any depiction relating to the Confederacy, or 'Rebel', is ipso facto racist.
    • Did I mention that the woman was African-American?  And quite possibly old enough to have been born when there were still separate drinking fountains?
    • Circumstances were not such that I could inquire what the Rebel images meant to her, but I saw nothing in her demeanor that suggested her shirt was anything other than an ordinary article of clothing to wear shopping.
    • Blogger Denney Crane today referenced an article about author and political commentator Dinesh D'Souza.  In 2010 and 2012, D'Souza likely offended the current socialist/progressive regime with a book - and later film - critical of the present administration, and last year, he was convicted, sentenced to a halfway house and fined for illegal campaign contributions in 2012.  Even noted liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz said of D'Souza's prosecution that "...it smacks of selective prosecution."
    • This week, upon release from the halfway house portion of his sentence, the Judge in his case ordered him for continuing psychological 'counseling', because he apparently hasn't fallen into line with respect to his commentary on the current body politic.
    • Those of you who came of age before MTV may remember that it was a favorite tactic of the former USSR to host its dissidents in the loony house in an attempt to dispel the dissidency from them.  Names like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Natalya Gorbanevskaya may come to mind - the latter of which was the subject of a song co-written and performed by Joan Baez on her 1975 From Every Stage live album.
    • I never thought we would see 're-education camps' in the U.S.A., but then, there are a good many things today that were unimaginable back when I was still in knickers.
    • Wonder if Joan Baez will write a song for Mr. D'Souza?  Won't hold my breath...
    • Kevin Sorbo speaks to the media regarding faith-based content and lack of moral value in much of today's entertainment.  He will be figuratively pilloried for his comments.
    • I sometimes use the local library's computer lab.  A few days ago, I glanced over at another patron's screen, noticing she was putting together a PowerPoint presentation, and was using a text of  "Human Sexuality" as a source.
    • I have no idea the context, but at one point I saw this image - don't know if it was going onto the presentation or if she was just looking for something else.
    • Also, no idea what the presentation was about - not my business - though I saw the letters GSD on what I assume may have been the title page/screen.  As I am a frequent reader of Lagniappe's Lair, my curiosity was piqued, wondering  (fearing?) what German Shepherds have to do with human sexuality.
    • Later, I researched the term, finding that it stands for Gender/Sexual Diversity.  Apparently, as various letters of the sexual universe were added, the LBTQIA acronym train stretched farther than New York to San Francisco, so the up-and-coming term is now GSD.  (Just something else I could not have imagined knowing 40 years ago...[sigh]).
    • We learned today of a deranged murderer in Chattanooga who killed four Marines, and injured several others, before he was himself killed by police.  May God comfort those Marines' families.
    • Not to put too fine a point on it, but somehow, mere hours after the deadly attack, the CIC stated that "We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks."  No inkling of what might have prompted the rampage from the CIC.
    • In contrast, the CIC was quite omniscient about the motives of another deranged murderer, in Charleston, SC, back in June, when he opined "We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history. But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress. (Applause.) An act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination; violence and suspicion. An act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin."
    • I guess some dots are easier for the CIC to connect than others.  Bias much?
    • But lest anyone lose heart, as of last evening we have a new Profile in Courage: Caitlyn Jenner.
    • Heaven help us!    

    Wednesday, July 8, 2015

    Wistful Wednesday

    • I may have mentioned recently that I'm taking some Coursera MOOC classes.
    • In two weeks' time, I've passed two Project/Time Management courses.
    • Around the same time I started the earlier one, I began History of  Rock, thinking it'd be a fun diversion.
    • Well, it's fun, but it's also a fairly serious course - via the University of  Rochester - I'm only 30% through it.  Currently, I'm up to the 1960-63 'dance craze' era, pre-British Invasion.
    • That lecture sort of bored me, and I was about to shut down for the day (it's self-paced), when there was a short segment on The Folk Revival, including The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul, and Mary, so I hung in theres.  But since he didn't go into any significant depth, I'm almost talking back to the screen "Dude, what about The Limeliters, The Brothers Four, and The Chad Mitchell Trio?"  I could've provided about 6-8 minutes of commentary for that episode, but I'll spare you.
    • If some think my affinity for music trivia insufferable now, well...I have some bad news.
    • A guy who saw my screen when I was taking my Rock class came over and asked if I'd seen the Brian Wilson bio-pic, and also mentioned the Wrecking Crew film.  So, obviously, there are other talented folks out there.
    • Since I completed another course yesterday, I registered today for an industrial design course.
    • At 1:00 today, my weather-watcher friend had gauged 1.14" of rain in our town.
    • Tomorrow I think I'll go to HPB to see if I can snag a copy of Peter Schiff's The Real Crash.  Could be timely reading.
    • Anyone have any experience with the Yaesu or Wouxun portable ham rigs?  I'm thinking those could be handy WTSHTF.  Not that I'm a hard-core prepper, but still...
    • Am going to have to buy some fruit fly traps.  The instructables DIY versions I made don't seem to be doing the trick, even though I loaded them with some plum wine and blueberries.
    • Carter Bloodcare finally posted my results today, from Sunday's donation:  My hemi-goblins were not too scary, at 15.6, and BP was a quite respectable 110/75 even though I'd not taken any Lisinopril that morning.  Total cholesterol was 172 - the lowest it's shown during the times I've donated at Carter since 1999 (it's never been over 199).
    • I have donated 9 units (I think it's more, but at least that, since 1999).  I'll never catch up to Todd the Blogger, but since the gal Sunday was gentle, I can get back on a regular giving schedule.
    • Saturday morning, Sam's Club has its monthly free screening, so I can check my blood glucose and LDL/HDL.  Plus, they give you goodies like protein shakes, vitamins, free OTC meds, and samples of Depends, or somesuch.
    • You look forward to weird things as you age, huh?

    Or beyond the last...

    After tracking J. D. Souther's  You're Only Lonely LP again this morning, I was reminded of what a great song The Last in Love was.  I went looking for the Linda Ronstadt version, believing it to be a better interpretation of the work, but could not find it on Youtube, but did find that George Strait had done a nice recording of the song - I had no idea.  So I decided I'd go with that.

    Maybe he was just Prince George back then?

    Then, a couple of my brain cells finally rolled out of bed, and I remembered it wasn't Linda, but the late Nicolette Larson, frequent collaborator with Neil Young and Commander Cody's Lost Planet Airmen, who'd recorded the JD song on her eponymous debut album:

    Blues outside my door
    I don't even know if it's raining
    But I've been here before
    and I don't wanna be here again

    Every now and then
    Voices in the wind
    Call me back to the first time
    Far away and clear
    you can hear the teardrops
    Falling for the last in love

    Excerpted music & lyrics by John David Souther 1979

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    Black Roses

    Wouldn't we all like to have someone who cares when you lose?

    This song was playing in my mind when I got home, so I [first] dug out Linda Ronstadt's 1978 Livin' in the USA LP, and tracked three cuts, including White Rhythm & Blues. Don Grolnick's electric piano on the song is mesmerizing.  Nonetheless, I felt obliged to spin J.D.'s version as well, on account of he wrote it and such.  It doesn't hurt that he enlisted Phil Everly for harmony vocals, and that Henley, Frey, Felder & Browne also contributed.

    Just in case you're interested, here's Linda's version:

    I don't think a diamond elliptical stylus had touched either of these sweet black disks since, oh, about 1979 or 1980.  I had to go to my archived liners for information on the Ronstadt version, as it was my custom back in the day to play a disk once or twice and record it to CD cassette, and to preserve it in a special inner liner.  For a while in high school, I even recorded some stuff on Scotch/Maxell/BASF reel-to-reel tapes, though not that much, since they wouldn't fit the Radio Shack or Sanyo player in my car...

    As a bonus, here's JD performing with Jackson (in the early '70s, JD and Glenn lived upstairs from Browne).  Apart from his music, JD was a pretty busy guy in those days, dating both Linda and Stevie.