Ego Vero Seek and you shall find... Ask and the door shall be opened - page 7

On Earth Peace….Good Will Towards Men

On Earth Peace….Good Will Towards Men

I would like to take time to sincerely wish a Merry Christmas to all my friends and family, and to all my readers.  May your Christmastime be filled with Peace and Love, and may your New Year be happy and prosperous.

My gift to you – from the heart:

Everyone who reads this has received a gift of Love….from me!  Merry Christmas to All!

A Puppy’s Tale – a fortunate encounter

A Puppy’s Tale – a fortunate encounter

Once upon a time, there was a puppy – a medium sized female with all black fur – that was not treated well by the humans whose control she was under.  One day she was tied up with an electrical extension cord around her neck, which turned out to be a bit of luck for her because she was able to chew through that extension cord and get away from those people who had mistreated her.  After her escape, she wandered the neighborhood and discovered a space where she felt safe.  This space happened to be a public school with some temporary buildings under which she could take shelter.  After a few days passed. the school authorities became aware of the puppy’s  presence.  Since they believed it might be a hazard to the students, or at least a nuisance, they contacted the authorities to have  her removed.

On the day that the animal control authorities arrived and were attempting to catch the puppy, one of the teachers at the school was watching.  Apparently the puppy did not feel threatened by the teacher and she ran willingly to her and allowed the teacher to place her in the back of her car.  The teacher informed the authorities that she would take responsibility for the dog and they agreed to let her do so.  The teacher brought the puppy home with her that day.

When she arrived at her home with the puppy, the teacher’s two children were excited and happy to have another dog to go along with the two they already had.  The teacher’s husband was somewhat less excited at the prospect of adding a third dog to their “pack”, so it was decided that they would take the puppy to the vet for her shots and to be spayed – and to be put up for adoption.  The family took the puppy in to the vet and left her there for a few days while they went on a short vacation, expecting that by the time they returned, the puppy would have been adopted.  But…the puppy was not adopted.  And so when the family returned from their vacation, they picked up the puppy and took her home with them. The teacher’s husband remained skeptical of the three dog plan and still hoped someone would want to adopt the puppy.  Then after only a few days, the husband found himself purchasing a pink plastic squeaky ball.  The transaction was a confirmation of something he attempted to deny, but that he knew was true – he had come to love the black puppy and any thought of adopting her out was banished.  The teacher and her children were happy, since they had wanted to keep the puppy all along, but they new that dad would have to be OK with it and now he was.  So the puppy stayed and they indeed became a three dog family.

To be continued……

 

I am – therefore I blog

I am – therefore I blog

I have been struggling the last few weeks to find time for blogging.  I will not give it up.

I had thought about starting a blog for many months (perhaps close to two years) before I actually buckled down and got it started nearly a year ago.  During that time, I was unemployed.  Two of my wife’s brothers were also unemployed and started an Amazon Storefront website to which they added a blog – The Men Out Of Work Blog – and  I was invited to contribute, became and still am the primary contributor.  Once I found myself contributing to someone else’s blog, I knew that I owed it to myself to start my own as I had been planning for some time.

The Birth of a Blog

The Birth of a Blog

Now nearly a year later, two out of three of the Men Out Of Work are no longer out of work – one of the newly employed being me.  The new job takes a lot of my time – long hours – but I am grateful for the opportunity to earn and I do like the job and the people I work with.  It’s a great environment.  But it does leave less – way less – time for writing.  I am dedicated to carving out the time to write.  Perhaps there will be more free time after the holidays.  Until then there will be new posts added here, though it may be sporadic.  If you are a regular reader, please do not give up on the blog – I won’t.

A Date That Will Live in Infamy

A Date That Will Live in Infamy

I would be remiss is I did not note that today is the 73rd Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an event that brought the United States into World War II and changed the course of history.  We should never forget:

 

Sunday Music Friday – Postscript Edition

Sunday Music Friday – Postscript Edition

Too many good songs on the 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 to cover in only two posts.  So here’s the PS – which I could have entitled “Music Friday – Unrequited Love Edition”.  This is dedicated – ala Casey Kasem – to the unrequited lovers of the world.  You know who you are:

 

Have a great week!  Love to all!

Saturday Music Friday – 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 Overflow Edition

Saturday Music Friday – 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 Overflow Edition

In the  1969Billboard Hot 100 post I noted that nearly all the #1 songs that year were (are?) really great songs – some by lesser known artists and others  by music icons.  Click the link here for the chart and see for yourself.  Of the seventeen songs that reached #1 that year, all but a handfull are commonly heard today in heavy rotation on classic rock or oldies stations.  And because there are so many, I felt that I should feature a few of them besides the “winners” I posted yesterday.  A couple of them (in addition to the two that I mentioned in yesterday’s post) I had featured in earlier posts:  Henry Mancini’s Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet,  and Every Day People by Sly and The Family Stone.  OK.  So I have established that I like these songs, therefore they are “great”.  Whether you like them or not, you will have to agree with me that one of them is universally known and heard even today in movies, in commercials and of course on the radio or streaming media.  It’s been covered by many successful mainstream artists.  I doubt that more than a day or two goes by without one hearing it in some form somewhere.  If you’ve looked at the chart, you can probably guess which one I’m talking about:  I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye:

Oh, yeah.  That’s some R&B right there.  Alright.  Next up is a song that nearly defines the band that recorded it, a band that is one of the most successful of all time and is still recording and touring today with nearly their original lineup.  Pretty amazing, considering that this song hit #1 just a little over 35 years ago.  The song and band?  Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones:

So there you have it.  1969 was a very good year.  And perhaps….my peak music year.  We shall see.

Music Friday – 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Music Friday – 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 Edition

Hello everyone.  Sorry to make you wait two weeks for this installment in my project to discern my Peak Music Year.  It won’t happen again.  Unless it does.  Anyhoo, here goes.  We are now up to 1969 – if you wish to catch up on 1965-1968 you can just scroll down, down and further down or click here for 1965, here for 1966, here for 1967 and here for 1968.  I’ll wait while you get caught up……all caught up or don’t care?  Well, you must care at least a little or you wouldn’t be reading this far.  So good.

Let’s go:  the 1969 BillBoard Hot 100.

I have a feeling that this may be my peak music year simply by looking at the roster of #1 songs and seeing how many of these are among my favorites and are songs that are currently in my collection, on my playlists, or have been featured on my blogs as a Music Friday subject or as part of another post.  Of the 17 different songs that charted at #1 in 1969, I regularly listen to 15 of them.  The two exceptions are Sugar, Sugar by The Archies (who were not even a real band) and In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans, though the latter is somewhat of a classic in it’s own right and was the subject of a previous Music Friday post.  Another surprise – The Beatles don’t win walking away.  It’s kind of a tie with The 5th Dimension since both groups had two #1 songs that year.  The 5th Dimension edge out The Beatles slightly in total weeks at #1 since their two songs spent a total of nine weeks at #1, and The Beatles’ two songs spent a total of 6 weeks at number one.  However…I am going to have to call it for The Beatles, because of the iconic status of their #1’s.  While The 5th Dimension’s songs, though representative of the music of the period, are really just footnotes to the history while the Beatles’ tunes are the history.  So the winner is…..drumroll…..The Beatles!  Big Surprise, I know.  I also know that I haven’t told you the titles of the songs.  Don’t worry – I’ll tell you the titles and you can listen to them too.  I’ll present all four songs – two by The Beatles, and two by The 5th Dimension and you tell me if I made the right choice.

I’ll do this like they do the Miss America Pageant – we’ll start with the “runners up”.  Should the winners be unable to fulfill their obligation, the runners up will be named the winner.  Not really, but I’ve always wanted to say (write?) that.  Here goes:

Second runner up is The 5th Dimension’s Wedding Bell Blues, sometmes A.K.A. Marry Me Bill:

First runner up is The 5th Dimension’s Age of Aquarius / Let The Sun Shine In which I featured in a previous blog post titled Was That The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius?

Not bad, but when was the last time you heard either one of those songs?  Not recently, I bet unless you are me.  And you’re not.  Now for the Winners:  The Beatles’ (featuring Billy Preston on keyboards) Get Back which spent six weeks at #1:

And The Beatles’ Come Together / Something which spent only one week at the top spot in 1969.  What I don’t understand is that the BillBoard chart lists as a medley what I believe are two individual songs, even though two songs can’t share the number one spot.  Or can they?  Anyway, here are both songs :

 

So there you have it.  1969 winners are The Beatles.  They are on a roll…a rock and roll?  Sorry, bad pun.  But they’re looking hard to beat, but since they broke up in 1970 they can’t win more than one more year.  And 1971 – 1975 will be wide open!  Hope you enjoyed…stay tuned for the obligatory encore post following right behind this one.  Or right above this one.  Or something.

Stephen Hawking Expresses “concerns” about A.I.

Stephen Hawking Expresses “concerns” about A.I.

Hmmm…I sense a trend.  And the trend I’m sensing is that lately some very intelligent people – movers and shakers in the world of science and technology are expressing concerns over the development of Artificial Intelligence or AI.  Back in October I wrote about Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, voicing his concerns.  Then about the same time there was an article in Popular Mechanics titled “Elon Musk and Other Visionaries Are Worried About The Future of AI”.  And now today I read at BBC news that  none other than Stephen Hawking has concerns as well.  Hawking was being interviewed by the Beeb  and in discussing new computer software that Hawking uses to speak, the subject of AI came up.  While Hawking concedes that the primitive forms of AI that have already been developed are very useful, he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.

It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate,” …  “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” – Stephen Hawking

Pretty much the same sentiment has been expressed by Elon Musk and James Cameron who, though he is a film director, is a very smart guy and has invested a ton of money into science and research projects.

But don’t worry!  According the the Beeb,” others are less pessimistic”.  One of those others is Rollo Carpenter, creator of something call Cleverbot.  Cleverbot is learning software that is capable of carrying on a conversation so well that if can fool people into thinking they are conversing with another person.  Carpenter says “I believe that we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the worlds problems will be realized”.  Oh.  Alright then.  As long as we remain in charge of the technology for a “decently long time” everything will be fine.  But how long is a decently long time?  Long enough for Rollo Carpenter to make a lot of money on Cleverbot and be safely tucked in his grave before Skynet decides that the most logical way to solve all of the world’s problems at once is to eliminate mankind?  I’d rather listen to Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk and others’ advice.  Err on the side of caution.  Because the solution to all the world’s problems could turn out to be the world’s biggest problem.

Cross Posted at Men Out of Work Blog

Explanation (Excuse?) for Light (Non-Existent?) Blogging

Explanation (Excuse?) for Light (Non-Existent?) Blogging

I owe my legions of faithful readers an explanation for my long absence from the keyboard *eyeroll*.  I have recently become un-involutarily retired.  In other words, I found a job.  So yay.  And the Blogs have taken the back burner.  In fact they’ve been in the freezer.  I’m going to do my best to keep them going, but I’m still trying to find time to schedule all the things that filled my life during my long involuntary retirement.  Don’t Worry!  I’ll work it out!  Things may  lighten up after the Holidays.  Please be patient.

No doubt coming soon to a theater near you…

No doubt coming soon to a theater near you…

…I hope.

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