Thursday, September 24, 2015

10 for 10 (10th Entry)................Defining Earworm with Michael Bolton

Greetings to our blog readers in Ukraine, Turkey, and Ghana.......

Today, we bring you the 10th and final installment of our 10 for 10 series commemorating the tenth anniversary of this very blog, which went up (in its original form) on Sept. 21, 2005. It was a radically different time then as Ari the beloved family tuxedo cat was still alive. Alas, he died just shy of his 20th birthday on March 2nd, 2007. Ok, otherwise, I guess things haven't really changed that much!

We are using an image of Michael Bolton because when we hear the slang word 'earworm,' the junkbox in our minds starts playing "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?"..........which makes us wonder if Dick Cheney urged that this song be played to terrorist or terrorist suspects while waterboarding them at Gitmo, the American naval base in Cuba.

I suppose we will never know the answer to that, but we have three definitions of urban slang words/terms for you:

1) Earworm: A song that sticks in your mind relentlessly, and will not leave no matter how hard you try (applies to Michael Bolton as well as any song by Air Supply).

2) Gold digger: A person who goes out with you for for your money, or someone who dates Tori Spelling!

3) Gender ninja: A person has an uncertain gender based on their personal appearance, hmm....see also the character Pat that was once part of "Saturday Night Live".....

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

10 for 10 (9th Entry): A Quote from Alanis Morrissette

Greetings to our blog readers in Bosnia, Russia, and Denmark.....

Tonight, we quote one of our favorite Canadians the singer Alanis Morrissette who along with the likes of Sheryl Crow, the Gin Blossoms, and the Goo Goo Dolls dominated rock and pop charts in the 1990s. In recent years, Morrissette has also been actress with a recurring part on the Showtime series "Weeds," which wrapped up its long run a few years ago.

Here is her quote:

"I try to keep a low profile in general. Not with my art, but just as a person."

Monday, September 21, 2015

10 for 10 (8th Entry): The First Line of the Novel 'Choke'

Greetings to our blog readers in Macedonia, Belgium, and order to substantially increase our global audience we will name drop Serbian soccer player Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea and German striker Mesut Ozil , who is of Turkish heritage, for Arsenal.

Tonight actually marks the 10th anniversary of our first blog entry here on this blog, to our knowledge only four or five people read that one. Hopefully, at least 98 will read this entry (nudge, nudge, wink, wink....)

On a personal note, we want to send our kudos to Chris Hurst, the 11:00 news anchor for WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, Va. If you watched CNN a few weeks ago, you saw him speak with Anderson Cooper, he has been through a lot. Tonight marks his second week of returning to the broadcast booth. Since Roanoke is our hometown, we wish Hurst the best.

We were hoping a joke about Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who dropped out of the Republican presidential candidate race, but we are running late, and you can see the tweets of his former employee Liz Mair, which are indeed quite amusing.

Tonight, we are going retro with the first line of Chuck Palahniuk's great 2001 cult classic novel "Choke." A few years ago, we had lots of fun with posts about the first lines of novels, such as Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," which we must profess to have never read!

Here is the first line from "Choke:"

"If you're going to read this, don't bother. After a couple pages, you won't want to be here. So forget it. Go away. Get out while you're still in one piece. Save yourself."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

10 for 10 (7th Entry): Virtual Postcard from North Carolina....

Greetings to our readers in Uruguay, Panama, and South Korea....

Our initial choice for a virtual postcard was the quaint small town of Madison, which is hosting a heritage festival on Saturday, Oct. 3rd, with 100 vendors, but we couldn't find a suitable image. Madison is in Rockingham County, which also includes the towns of Eden and Reidsville.

Instead, we opt for this photo of Old Salem in Winston-Salem, some 45 miles west of Madison. Winston-Salem is also the host of the River Run Film Festival in April, and the home of Wake Forest University.

In European soccer action today, Eden Hazard of Chelsea scored a late goal to solidify a 2-0 victory over their London crosstown rivals Arsenal.

In the Netherlands, Heracles upset PSV Eindhoven 2-1. And, in Turkey, the Istanbul powerhouse Galatasaray managed a 1-0 victory over perennial contender Trabzonspor.

10 for 10 (6th Entry): Virtual Postcard from MB, SC

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, England, and Tunisia.............

Today as the Pope is visiting Havana, Cuba, we go back to our old standby that is the virtual postcard. Today's image is of Splash, the mascot of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans who play Carolina League baseball in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Earlier this week, the Pelicans won the Carolina League title over the Wilmington Blue Rocks from Wilmington, Delaware. Pelicans' catcher Victor Caratini was named MVP of the championship series. The Pelicans are an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.

Though summer is the peak tourist season for the South Carolina resort area, many tourists come in the off-season to get away from it all.

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. We are listening to "Snap Judgment," which airs on Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. on WNYC-FM (New York) with host Glynn Washington.

Friday, September 18, 2015

10 for 10 (5th Entry): Love Those Greyhounds

Greetings to our blog readers in Argentina, Israel, and Russia........

The sport of greyhound racing which is popular in many American states including West Virginia is highly controversial, but in recent years, awareness has been made about adopting retired greyhounds, we will provide two links to greyhound rescue organizations in Virginia and North Carolina.

Additionally, we will provide links to animal shelters in Georgia and Florida.....

At this hour, we are delighted to hear writer Steve Almond who has written a critical book on American football on the BBC World Service; we have been a fan of his work since he wrote pieces for "The Oxford American." Almond, a long-time Oakland Raiders fan, also recently wrote an opinion essay on the need for greater civic action to protect football players from concussions.

Here are the dog links: (animal shelter of Albany, Georgia) (animal shelter of Ocala, Florida) (Steve Almond's book)

10 for 10 (4th Entry): Love Those Van Cats

Greetings to our blog readers in Cuba, Colombia, and Egypt.....

Today, we feature an image of a Turkish Van cat, which retail for circa $50 on the streets of Istanbul. Here in the United States, we gather they cost considerably more.

If you are looking for a cat in an animal shelter, you will probably not find a Van cat, but tuxedo cats, orange tabby cats, and calico cats need homes, here are two animal shelter links we are listing: (Humane Society of Spartanburg, South Carolina) (Humane Society of Hagerstown, Maryland)

10 for 10 (3rd Entry): Elephants.........

Greetings to our blog readers in Taiwan, Ghana, and the Czech Republic......

Just because we are featuring the images of elephants, the traditional symbol of America's Republican Party does NOT mean we are endorsing Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Donald Trump again, Jeb Bush, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee........well, you get the idea (excuse the political humor, it should be pointed we didn't go with Carly because we did not want to spell her name incorrectly)......

There are many zoos here in America and around the world where one can discover his or her inner child and perhaps see a live elephant, here are four links you can check out: (Maryland Zoo) (Hogel Zoo of Salt Lake City, Utah) (San Diego Zoo) (Berlin Zoo in Germany)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

10 for 10 (2nd Entry): Our Six Most Popular Entries..........a quote from the athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner

Greetings to our blog readers in Albania, Egypt, and Canada.....

Over our ten years of blogging, we have not been too consumed with which entries get mega-hits and which ones are ignored like the opening act at a Rolling Stones concert, but Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner or Jessica Lange) and Bristol Palin both got us attention in ways we never imagined!

A quote from Jenner (top) and Palin (bottom), the daughter of Sarah Palin, a governor of Alaska who ran with John McCain as the veep nominee for the Republican Party made for entries which both rank in our top image. The Bristol Palin quote is the number one entry, while the Bruce Jenner quote was our third most popular entry, helped in all probability by his stunning gender-change.

Other popular entries include one about how we ate a whole entire anchovy pizza in Washington, DC, during a 2010 trip (anchovies are pict. center), a silly image to fill space for an angora cat, and a quote from Che Guevara, which probably helped us become popular in Cuba and El Salvador.

Here are the six most popular entries.........with entries to the ones which have photos....

1. Things We Learned on Twitter (the Bristol Palin entry). April 7, 2010. 14,416 hits.

2. DC Diary_ I Ate a Whole Anchovy Pizza. Dec. 28, 2010. 5,036 hits.

3. Quote of the Day_ Bruce Jenner. March 6, 2012. 4,765 hits.

4. Silly Photo to Fill Space_Angora Cat. Jan. 27, 2010. 3, 917 hits.

5. Special Quote of the Week from Che Guevara. May 2, 2009. 3,390

6. Special Screening_ Harold and Maude. June 24, 2009. 2,562 hits.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

10 for 10: The Nine Countries Outside of America Where This Blog Is Most Popular..........

On Sept. 21st, this blog will be celebrating its tenth anniversary, and while we are not completely sure how to celebrate, we have chosen to start by acknowledging our blog readers around the world. Though this following list consists of large countries, we want to also thank blog readers from smaller nations like Malta, Slovenia, and Jordan, who have the time to check us out.

The images above are in conjunction with three of the countries on this list, the Russian dolls are for (of course) Russia, the Hindu love god Shiva is for India, and the women at the bottom associated with a bossa nova song about a beach we can't spell represent Brazil (yeah, that was a bit awkward).....

Here is the list, that we dedicate to Bill Griffith, the artist who draws up "Zippy the Pinhead,"our folk singer friend Bruce Piephoff from Greensboro, NC, and the late, great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune:

1) Russia 34, 974

2) Germany 11,421

3) United Kingdom 10,612

4) Canada 10, 085

5) France 6,320

6) Ukraine 4,407

7) India 3,256

8) Australia 2,467

9) Brazil 1,971

Our sister blog is The Daily Vampire:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Celebrating International Literacy Day with Gillian Flynn

Welcome to our blog readers in Croatia, Estonia, and France....

Today we celebrate International Literacy Day, and this list features titles we have not read before or perhaps did but fell asleep in the process. A children's author highly recommended I read more Ray Bradbury. So, we are putting a Bradbury novel on the list, but not the one he suggested, as is our usual fashion, like Matthew Broderick's title character in the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off,' we are a bit rebellious around here!

And, now the list....

1) Cosmopolis. Don DeLillo. 2003 (pict. top)

2) Me and Orson Welles. Robert Kaplow. 2008.

3) The Leftovers. Tom Perrotta. 2011.

4) Gone Girl. Gillian Flynn. 2012 (pict. center)

5) Submarine. Joe Dunthorne. 2008.

6) God's Pocket. Pete Dexter. 1983.

7) Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. 1953.

8) Tender Is the Night. F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1934 (pict. bottom)

9) The Naked and the Dead. Norman Mailer. 1948.

10) The Museum of Innocence. Orhan Pamuk.* 2008

*-originally published in Turkish (Denver Library)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Afternoon Tweets: Dead Chinese Pedestrians

It has been a zany day of news events both here in America, as well as around the globe, as evident from these ten tweets (not all of them are about news items):

1) Male Thoughts: And yet another day I've gone without using calculus (top image)

2) Because I'm a Guy: It can take me anywhere between 0.02 seconds to 3 days to reply to a text.

3) Patrick Radden Keefe (bottom image): Astonishing story. Look both ways indeed: Why drivers in China intentionally kill pedestrians they hit.

4) Anne Applebaum: Europe turned away from crises in Libya and Syria. But now the results have arrived on their shores (center image: Both Turkey and Greece have received influx of refugees en route to western Europe).

5) John McCain: Must-read WSJ-Opinion: Beijing's Martial Display_ China puts on a show of military power and nationalism.

6) Bridget Bowman: Two protests confronting each other in Upper Senate Park (in Washington, DC).

7) Denver Post: Two suspects in custody in connection with Eagle County armed robbery where one person was shot.

8) WRAL News (Raleigh, NC): Just in: Authorities evacuate Chatham County Food Lion after bomb threat (it was later revealed that no bomb was found).

9) PRI's The World: This Afghan teen rapper has gone from poverty in Afghanistan to eating sushi in the US (she resides at a boarding school in Utah).

10) Montreal Gazette: "Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee to make announcement regarding gender change status."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Last 10 Cds We've Listened To: The Go-Gos and The Replacements

This is our first post on this blog since the shooting tragedy which took the life of Alison Parker, 24, a WDBJ-7 (CBS, Roanoke, Va.) news reporter, and video-photographer Adam Ward, 27, in the Smith Mountain Lake town of Moneta, Va. The assailant took his own life later in the afternoon due east of Front Royal, Va., some four hours away from the early morning murders.

Former "Roanoke Times" reporter and respected author Beth Macy wrote in "The New York Times" that the incident had brought the community of Roanoke together as well as 'the Roanoke diaspora' of folks who have moved to other areas. Though the issue of gun violence (a Glock was used in the homicides) has fully surfaced especially given that a gun control activist was actually handcuffed outside the Roanoke Civic Center where a gun show was still held over the weekend.

Here are the last ten cds we've listened to. They include some hip, happening bands from previous decades, including The Replacements (pict. top), The Police (pict. center, well we went with a Czech police officer instead), and They Might Be Giants (pict. bottom).
Here is the list:

1. The Replacements. Don't Tell a Soul. 1989.

2. The Police. Regattade Blanc. 1979.

3. Matthew Sweet. Sunshine Lie. 2008.

4. They Might Be Giants. Apollo 18. 1992.

5. Tom Tom Club. Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom. 1989.

6. The Go-Gos. Beauty and the Beat. 1981.

7. Peter, Bjorn and John. Writer's Block. 2006.

8. Blur. 13. 1999.

9. REM. Out of Time. 1991.

10. Mates of State. Bring It Back. 2006.