Saturday, January 27, 2007

Top 5 Songs of All Time

See if you don't agree with these selections. I'll count down from 5 in order to let the suspense build.
5. "We All Live in a Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles. When I was in basic training in 1970, we went on long marches. In order to make the time seem somewhat less than interminable, we sang certain songs that seemed to go well with the activity. As some of you know, when one marches, one puts his left foot down with the established beat. This classic Beatles hit was perfect for marching.
4. "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" or whatever the actual name of that song is. It is impossible to hear that ditty and not get the Christmas spirit.
3. "TheEggplant That Ate Chicago". Never heard it? Go here and enjoy Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band's classic hit. Quit laughing. I'm serious.
2. "Then Came the Morning". Bill Gaither's stirring work that illustrates why the resurrection is history's most important event.
1. "Do You Want to Dance?" by Bobby Freeman tops my personal chart. This masterpiece came out in the 50's, I believe, and caused me great angst since my legalistic urges were flaming at the time and dancing was considered the unpardonable sin.
There you have it. I'm sure this group of 5 has never been in a group of 5 before. Feel free to chime in with yours, but I don't expect anyone can top these.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I watched "24" for the first time last evening. That may cause you to wonder where I've been lately. Well, I don't watch network TV. I watch science documentaries or live sports. To me, network television means having to watch gratuitous sex and violence, sprinkled heavily with profanity. I'd rather watch caterpillars morph into butterflies, thank you.
But back to the show. The acting was superb, the special effects riveting, and the storyline was gripping. I wasn't a big fan of the torture scene. But my biggest problem is with the concept of showing stateside terroristic operations.
I know the bad guys already know how to blow up a mall or a subway or a transit bus. I know all that. But I think the show is harmful on two counts: by actually portraying such terroristic acts, I think, it makes such acts more appealing to those who may be planning them but haven't consummated them. They may think, "Wow, this is doable. It is disruptive!"
Secondly, I don't like what such scenes may do to the impressionable minds of teenagers. It goes without saying that teens who do violent things most often credit the idea to some program or movie they saw. They are so easily led down the wrong path. I submit such portrayals may plant the seed.
I saw this morning where a spokesman for the Bush Administration said, "It crossed the line of civic responsibility and commerce."
I agree.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

It's Coming

I'm not sure what this means but Carole and I are "hunkering down". When I finish this, I'm gonna look up "hunker". I hope it means what I think it does. Anyway, a major ice storm is coming (they say) and it appears that we will be marooned in our house for two or three days.
After this is over, we will kick ourselves for all the undone household tasks that we could have crossed off the "to-do" list. But right now, we seem to be locked into fun surfing the 'net or working the crosswords in the Saturday paper and monitoring the National Weather Service.
Big fear: losing our power. We don't have firewood to make a survival fire for warmth. We do have food and blankets. But I doubt that Carole can survive without a computer or I without access to the NFL playoff games today and tomorrow.
Hopefully the next post will describe a happy ending to what's about to happen.
P.S. Why is it that we only get ice storms and not SNOW?!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Strange Psychology of Winter Storms

I've been watching with great interest some weather developments. Famed meteorologist Joe Bastardi (yes, that's his real name) started sounding the alarm about a week ago to be ready for a winter outbreak the likes of which haven't been seen in 50 years. Sure enough, now the local weather service forecasters are on to the same thing, calling for the first shot of ice/snow to arrive next weekend.
I simply cannot figure out why this excites me. Ice storms in particular have no redeeming qualities other than providing the subject for fantastic pictures and video. Mostly, they hurt. Downed power lines, impossible travel, enormous inconvenience...even the joy of school being cancelled is tempered by the reality that eventually the school day will be made up, on a beautiful spring day I might add.
The last time we had an ice storm here, I desperately wanted to go get the morning paper. But there was an ice rink between the front door and the paper. I ended up saddling up my John Deere lawn tractor to go get it. BTW, I had so much fun, I spent an hour doing figure-8's on a flat area of our property. (My neighbor had to wench me out when I slid into the gulley next to road.)
But basically, ice and snow are troublesome and dangerous. Yet I'm sitting here tonight and my heart is overruling my head saying, "Bring it on!"
So stupid.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Good Samaritans, er, Rockwallians

Today, Carole and I took a walk down the country road next to our house. We were just about finished when we heard what sounded like a distressed kitten meowing from somewhere. It took about 3 minutes to locate the source. The kitten you see above was huddled inside a hole in a tree stump.
Carole began sweet-talking the kitten, hoping to get her to leave the protection of the stump and come to us. Between us and her were thorny vines and two fences. But she came. We carefully clutched her and headed home. Our cat expert neighbor identified her as a Himalayan, which is a cross between a Persian and a Siamese. We fed her and gave her water.
Now you must understand that we don't like cats. We have two already and are desperately trying to find homes for THEM. But this precious little kitty, trying to survive in the elements, needed help. We have put a sign up on the road telling the world that we found a Himalayan kitten and giving our phone number. If we don't get a response fairly soon, we will turn the kitten over to Adopt-a-Cat or some no-kill shelter.
If you read this and want a gorgeous kitten, email us at I've deliberately quit holding her now...afraid that I'll fall too in love with her and not want to let her go. But during the hour or so I held her this afternoon, she kept looking up at me with those drop-dead eyes, melting my heart and seeming to say, "Thank you."