Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Passion of Self-Love & "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" BOTB Results

English: Merry Christmas.
 Merry Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some FaceBook Nonsense--Or Not?

      A while back someone whom I know expressed the following on FaceBook:

Hating so many things allows me to be passionate about the things I actually love.

      Knowing what I know about this person, I was not particularly impressed by this thought.   In fact, I was dismayed, though not very surprised.   However, I have mixed feelings about this statement.  I see a perverse sort of truth to it while at the same time seeing an outright arrogance and selfishness to the statement.  I've never heard this before, but maybe there is an origin to it other than the mind of the person who said it on FaceBook.

       What do you think about this quote?   Have you heard it anywhere before?

Battle of the Band Results:  
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town





         This Battle was another crazy back and forth race to the finish.   I enjoyed the Cimorelli Sisters, but my favorite version remains the energetic piano playing of Jo Ann Castle.   Surprising to me, this means no clear winner.  I really thought that Jo Ann Castle would have this win in the bag, but I guess Santa's bag is so full of toys that there was no room for a winner.

       With my vote added in, the contest is a tie.

Jo Ann Castle       12 votes

Cimorelli               12 votes

         Oh, and the JC was of course the one whose birthday we celebrate this week.  But you knew that didn't you.

        Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your holiday.  

        I'll be back on the blog on January 1st with another Battle of the Bands.   This next one will be a quirky post-Christmas Battle with a song that is not thought of as a Christmas song, but I'll tie it into a Christmas related theme.   I'll try to make it a fun post to start off the New Year.

        What in the world kind of song will I be using?  (hint:  It will have something to do with what I got for Christmas.)    What would you prefer to get this Christmas--presents or presence?    Is there anything under your tree yet or do you even have a tree?

           

        

Friday, December 19, 2014

Deja Vu Again! 2014 Edition



        The Deja Vu Blogfest has become an annual event hosted by D.L. Hammons.   This is the time when bloggers can rerun a neglected or favorite blog post from the previous year in hopes that more will see it.  

       Looking over the past year, I realize that much of my blogging has pertained to the Battle of the Bands posts.  You can find these posts by looking at the first and fifteenth of each month on Tossing It Out.   My participation in BOTB has cut back on my visitation stats to some degree though traffic has remained fairly consistent so I'm okay with that for now.  After all I enjoy the Battle of the Bands a great deal and I hope more of you will join me for my upcoming BOTB posts and vote on them.

     However, I did post about other things as well.  My choice for the Deja Vu Blogfest of 2014 is one of my lesser visited posts.  The post I've chosen first appeared on March 17th.  There were actually quite a few comments so many of you might remember this post.  Whether or not you commented then I'll hope you'll enjoy this rerun and leave your thoughts in the comment section.

I Can Hardly Wait Until...

        There used to be this lady who worked at the corporate office of the company for which I worked.  She'd been working there for several years before I started managing the West Coast operation.  She handled things like payroll and accounts receivable and payable.  She would email me frequently when she had a question or a request concerning my office.  Her tag line before her signature was always "Hurry Friday!"

         She was one of those TGIF people who existed for the weekends.  I never understood that philosophy.  Maybe when I was in high school, but not really.  I had favorite TV shows during the week and I did okay going to school.  Didn't care for it all that much, but I very easily tolerated it.

          Still the "can hardly wait" idiom frequently appeared in my language. "I can hardly wait until my vacation" or Christmas or whatever.  I still catch myself saying these types of phrases or even thinking the thoughts.  The truth though is  that I can wait.  I don't want time to hurry any faster than it already does.  I'd like to savor every moment.  Or a least all the good ones.

          I don't really wish such and such a date would hurry and get here.  Life is short and I don't need to make it any shorter.  Even those times when I feel kind of bored.  In reality there's never a legitimate time for boredom as there is something interesting about every situation in every moment of the day.  I think of boredom as a stubborn display to reject what we think we don't want to do.  Or a tedious time as something I know I don't want to do.   The state of boredom is a lie which we begin to believe and if we openly express this lie we become more and more frustrated--or bored.

         But I digress.  My real point is that we--or I and you if you want to--we should savor each  present moment as much as we can.  They fly by so it's difficult to catch a moment, but sometimes time seems to pause--just for a moment to wait to see if I've noticed.

            "TGIF" or  "Hurry Friday!" even on a Monday the lady in our company would end her emails to me.  She still had a whole week ahead.  Every day would be a "Hurry Friday" day except for when it was "Yay! It's Friday!" day.

            You can wait for most things.   Sometimes you might need to go to the bathroom after waiting and there may come a point where you can't wait any longer.  There are things like throwing up    "Blechhhh!" If there's any waiting necessary for that then you can figure that waiting's not gonna happen.

            I wait if I have to.  What choice do I have in those cases?   There's always something to listen to and to look at or at least think about.  Waiting can be a blessing.  Waiting holds options if we choose to see them.     Waiting is not really all that bad.  Besides, once we've reached whatever we are waiting for then there's something else to wait for.

          That's life.  We're all ultimately waiting for something.

           Where do you dislike waiting?   Do you get impatient or unpleasant in any way when you have to wait?    What are you waiting for at this moment?


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town




          Christmas is almost here and Santa has made his ubiquitous presence known throughout much of a world who believes in him.   The guy is like a superhero--or a god.  What a power and what a universal symbol of the Christmas season.  And it's  time for my second Christmas installment of Battle of the Bands, the blogging event first introduced by our friends at Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th and conveniently these days fall on Mondays this December.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action 

        As I did in my previous BOTB segment I'm racking my brain to figure out why the initials "JC" seem to be such an important part of Christmas.  Santa Claus is "SC" so it's not him even though he seems to have become the most iconic presence of the season.  Plenty of songs have been written about Santa.  In this Battle I offer one of the most well known--"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town".


Jo Ann Castle "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Boogie" (1985)

      As a boy and into my teenage years I had a crush on Jo Ann Castle, the ragtime piano playing sweetie from the Lawrence Welk Show.  Yes, I will admit that I was a regular viewer of that iconic broadcast of senior citizenry and bubbly champagne music.  After all I grew up on this show that introduced me to some of my first loves--the ever charming Lennon Sisters.   Jo Ann Castle struck me even more with her effervescent personality and energetic piano playing.   I could have sworn she was flirtatiously looking right through the television screen at me in my living room.

       There's a darker side to the Jo Ann Castle story that I won't go into in this post, but you can read more by clicking on the link on her name above in the subtitle of this section.  I'd rather keep this post light and in keeping with the happy holiday spirit.   Here she is with that Christmas Santa favorite performed in her inimitable style.   You might have to watch this video if you aren't familiar with Jo Ann Castle just to get an idea of how she did what she did so well.



Cimorelli "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"  (2012)

      With six Cimorelli sisters in the line-up I figured that at least one of them would have a first name that begins with the letter "J".   I was wrong so I guess I'll cheat on this pick.   Maybe we can say that this version of  "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is somewhat similar to an earlier version done by the Jackson 5.   Jackson Cimorelli?   Works for me.

        This is a fun video and these girls have some nice harmonies going on.  Check it out.




Time to Vote!

           Which do you prefer?  Please vote on your favorite or you might end up on Santa's naughty list.   Let us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one you chose.  Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around.   And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

 DISCCONNECTED’ 

 ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER 


 Alex J. Cavanaugh

           The results of my Battle will be announced on Monday December 22nd.  I'm still dealing with my travels back east to tend to the affairs related to the passing of my mother so posting at Tossing It Out will remain a bit sporadic until after Christmas.   I'm now home, but holidays and a visit by one of my daughters and her family will keep me busy I'd say.   But like the Terminator, "I'll be back". 

          Have I come up with the right "JC" Christmas connection yet?    Are you a fan of the Lawrence Welk Show?   What do you think of sibling singing groups?


Monday, December 8, 2014

Judy, Judy, Judy--Good Night John Boy


        I'm still in a sort of blogging limbo for an indefinite period of time, but I've got my Battle of the Bands posts mostly already set up so the next one scheduled for December 15 should appear without a hitch.  Likewise I'm going to make a point to get the winner announcements on my blog.  That's what I'm here for today.

        My most recent BOTB contest put up versions of the Christmas song "White Christmas" with versions by Johnny Cash and Judy Collins.  Some readers readily made the connection between the "JC" initials and the "reason for the season", which was somewhat impressive, but not necessarily surprising knowing about many of my readers.  My next BOTB post will again be Christmas themed and will continue the "JC" theme.

The Winner Is...

        If Bing Crosby had been in the running, his version would have been the clear winner.  A couple voters insisted in voting for Bing thus negating their votes.   Neither of the recordings I used in this Battle were overwhelmingly popular so I thank voters for at least picking one of them.

         My vote nearly went to Judy Collins due to her vocal and lovely instrumental backing.  However, Johnny Cash receives my vote.   Collins's version seemed a bit cold to me--maybe appropriate for a song about snow, but not so pleasing to my ears.   Judy Collins does have a beautiful voice and the addition of the cello for the instrumental interlude nearly won me over.   In the end though Johnny got my vote for the fun sound of the arrangement and the singing and playing.  It's the version that would hold up best for me with repeated listenings.

         Bottom line though is that my vote didn't really matter.   Judy trounced Johnny with nearly twice as many votes. 

The Final Count:

Johnny Cash      9 votes

Judy Collins       17 votes

        Hope you'll be here on Monday December 15th for another Christmas themed Battle of the Bands.  This next one will be kind of unique and I think you might have fun with it.  It may even stir up a memory or two for some of you.  

         Have you got the Christmas spirit yet?   Are you expecting a white Christmas this year?   Do you prefer your Christmas songs to sound bouncy happy or melancholy peaceful?  



       


Monday, December 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands: White Christmas



      Yes, it's that time again!   Christmas--can you believe another year is almost to its end?  It's also time for Battle of the Bands, the blogging event first introduced by our friends at Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th and conveniently these days fall on Mondays this December.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action  Since we are in the holiday season, I'm going to use a song with a holiday theme for this Battle.

Johnny Cash  "White Christmas"

       When I think of Christmas I think of someone with the initials J.C.   Who could the singer be who has these initials?    Johnny Cash?   His name doesn't stand out for me as a Christmas icon, but his initials fit the bill.   With a song of the season, from one of his Christmas albums, I offer Johnny Cash's rendition of  "White Christmas". 




Judy Collins "White Christmas" (1996)

      Another J.C. could be Judy Collins.   Again, she's not someone I would associate with Christmas, but she sings the songs of the season quite beautifully.  Here she offers a version of "White Christmas" in a live performance at the amazing Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina.



Time to Vote!

           Which do you prefer?  Please vote on your favorite before heading outside to play in the snow.   Let us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the one you chose.  Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around.   And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

 DISCCONNECTED’ 

 ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER 


 Alex J. Cavanaugh

           The results of my Battle will be announced on Monday December 8th.  I'm still dealing with my travels back east to tend to the affairs related to the passing of my mother so posting at Tossing It Out may remain a bit iffy on my blog as internet time has not been as easy to find as it is when I'm at home just living my normal life. 

          Cash got too much twang for you?   Is Collins too much of a bore?   Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?




Monday, November 24, 2014

In Memory of my Mother, Lois K. Jackson

        Here is the obituary for the passing of my mother.  I will continue to be sporadically on line for next few weeks.


Lois Jackson, 85, died Friday morning November 21, 2014 after an extended illness.
She was preceded in death by her husband Robert Lee Jackson who passed in 1990 and her companion of 15 years George Lechelt who passed in 2012.
Lois leaves five children:  Robert Lee and his wife Betty with their children Dan, Ada (spouse Tom Zdanowicz), Diana (Jeff Bowen), Emilee, and Angelina; Joy and husband Jim Melchionda; Joni (whose late husand was Jack Katon) and daughter Jamie (Barry Habel) ; Jay and his wife Hallie with their daughter Cynthia (Sean Baxter);  and Jeff.   Six great-grandchildren include Marley, Hallie Jane, Lillee, Grace, Celeste, and Madisynn.
Born and raised in Morgantown, WV, Lois was the daughter of Paul and Lessie Trevillian.   She attended West Virginia University where she met Bob Jackson, her husband of 40 years.  They moved to Maryville in 1966.
Lois was a dancer whose specialty was acrobatic and tap.  After having met Bob who was a popular basketball player at WVU and a juggler, the two married and  put together an acclaimed juggling act that eventually included their five children.  They performed throughout the United States for four decades.
Ever the congenial hostess, Lois welcomed visitors into her home and was much beloved by her many friends as well as friends of her children.
Funeral arrangements are with McCammon-Ammons-Click.   Friends are welcome to join the family at a graveside service at Grandview Cemetery on Tuesday November 25, 2014 at 3 PM.


Friday, November 21, 2014

BOTB Results: Watertown


      I'll be keeping today's post brief as I am still dealing with my mother's illness.   As indicated on my previous post, I'll be blogging sporadically until further notice.

  Battle of the Bands results:

       In my latest round of Battle of the Bands I offered Frank Sinatra's version of "What's Now Is Now" against the version of the same song as done by the group Cake.   The song comes from Sinatra's little known album Watertown.

       As I had indicated in my posts in regard to the BOTB, I have a longstanding appreciation of Sinatra as an artist and Watertown is among my all time favorite albums.  I think Sinatra does a tremendous job with my song choice.  For these reasons you might expect my preferred version to be the one by Sinatra.  However upon hearing Cake's version I was impacted by how much they demonstrated the rock nature of this song.   They pull it off with a convincing sincerity.   I especially like the guitar work in their presentation.   Simple, steady, and altogether pleasing to my ears.

        I was surprised to find that I was not alone in my preference for the Cake version.  Sinatra still squeaked by with a win.,

Final tally:

Cake      14

Sinatra   15

Thanks to all for your votes.  Next Battle of the Bands post will appear December 1st.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blogging Break Due to Family Emergency



        I will be away from my blogs  for an indefinite period of time due to a family emergency.  More details to come later.  Your prayers and positive thoughts would be appreciated especially for my mother and all of our family.

        My Battle of the Bands results post will hopefully appear this Friday November 21st as planned.

         If you've not yet done so I hope you will consider visiting the Battle of the Bands post and vote on the song version you like best.   I'd love to get at least another 10 or preferably more votes added into what is there already--it would certainly pick me up in a down time.

        Posting on Tossing It Out as well as my other blogs might temporarily stop, although there is always that possibility that if I find time I could post sporadically.   I will have my Battle of the Bands posts scheduled for December however and any other already scheduled posts will appear.    

        There's a good chance that I will have some idle time during which I hope to continue to visit your blogs and leave comments.  However, if I'm a bit scarce I hope you will understand.

        Thanks for understanding.  I hope to be back on regular schedule within a couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands: What's Now Is Now



          What's now is Battle of the Bands, the blogging event helmed by our friends at Far Away Series and  StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens twice each month on the 1st and 15th and since the 15th comes on a Saturday this November I am posting special on this day.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action  So now is the time to start:

Frank Sinatra "What's Now Is Now" (1970)

         With a singing/acting/entertainment career that lasted for 60 years, Frank Sinatra is not an artist who can be discredited for his accomplishments.  Whether you like him or not, the fact remains that a lot of people did like him and he stayed on or near the top of the heap throughout his lengthy career.  Those who do like Sinatra undoubtedly have their favorite phases of his career and can cite albums that stand out among the others.

         I'm particularly fond of the work he did during the 50's with Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Billy May.   Those were the albums from my parents' collection that I listened to back in junior high thus honing my appreciation for Sinatra's song stylizing.

          My all time favorite Sinatra album is one of his least known.  Watertown (1970) is a concept album with songs composed by the team of Bob Gaudio of the Four Seasons and Jake Holmes, who was also the writer of the Led Zeppelin classic "Dazed and Confused".   The song cycle tells the story of a small town husband and father whose wife leaves the family.  The songs describe the heartbreak, sense of loss, memories, and hopefulness the man goes through as he deals with the loss of his wife.  For me these are some of Sinatra's best performances and taken as a whole the album is a powerful piece of work.   The album was critically acclaimed but essentially tanked with the public.

           On my memoir blog Wrote By Rote I have more to say about this album and the memories that I connect with it.  I hope you'll click on that link to read my story about Watertown, but first here's one of my favorite songs from the album:





Cake "What's Now Is Now"  (2011)

        My first encounter with the band Cake was in the latter 1990's when I overheard my daughter playing her copy of their second album Fashion Nugget (1996).   I began listening closely to the album and eventually borrowed it to listen more.  The band has a unique sound that uses a trumpet to great advantage.  The band displays an eclecticism that appeals to my musical tastes, performing catchy tunes with intelligent delivery.

        I was previously unaware of the album Showroom of Compassion on which their cover of the Sinatra tune appears.   In fact, I was surprised to see that any of the tunes from Watertown had been covered by any other artists since the album seemed to be in the dustbin of musical history.  Now that I know that more than one of the cuts from Watertown have been covered, I will undoubtedly be using some of them in later Battles.  After all, it's one of my favorite albums and I want those who don't know about it to be persuaded to listen to more of it.   You can find Sinatra's complete version of Watertown on YouTube.

       But I digress--first let's listen to Cake's version of "What's Now Is Now":




  Now What?  Let's Vote!

         These are two great versions of one great song--at least I think so and I hope you've enjoyed hearing them both.   But surely you prefer one over the other.   I'll tell you my preference on my post of Friday November 21st.  I'll also be announcing the winning version on that day.   Please vote for your favorite in the comment section and let us know why you prefer that one.   After you vote here, make sure to visit the links listed below for other possible Battles.


FAR AWAY SERIES’ 

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

 DISCCONNECTED’ 

 ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER 


           Are you familiar with Sinatra's Watertown album?    Do you like Cake (I mean the group not the food)?   What about cake (the food)?    Can you think of a relatively obscure song that you like that you were surprised to hear covered by another artist?