Monday, January 31, 2011

A Ham in A Baloney World

Personally, I'd rather have a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich (grape, thank you!), but, since I've been known to "ham it up" on occasion, we'll stick to that for blog title purposes.

Actually, as I was putting this post together, images of the media attack on people like Sarah Palin, John Travolta, the Prez -- and even some little old(er) woman named Betty White -- came to mind.

They hit us right between our TV-glued eyes, expecting us to believe one is anti-American, one is gay, another is an alien (non-Martian. I meant foreign) and one is oversexed (you figure out which one is which). The "news" anchors of tabloid shows use words like "unnamed sources" or "a source close to ..." with machine-gun speed. And we're supposed to believe every word of it. (I can just see these people now, filling out an application for McDonald's™ or something: "Last Job Held" They write: "Unnamed Source")

Honestly, there's so much baloney being spread around that you'd think the exec producer of these "entertainment newsmagazines" is Oscar Meyer! Look ... you want the truth?? YOU CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH, can't you? So check out the facts about someone before you fall for the junk that the tabs shovel out about him/her!

And then there's another type of baloney called Skins. (Mr. Meyer, Esq. certainly has his hands full producing this one) Will somebody tell me the purpose of this "show" on MTV?? I mean, it's bad enough to have all that stuff they call "sex" on this show ... and it's bad enough that they've taken what Mike Nesmith had once designed as a rock VIDEO network ...

but to have children -- young teenagers -- in the sexy, sultry and flippant roles?? B-A-L-O-N-E-Y!! In fact, it's more than that ... it's friggin' I-L-L-E-G-A-L!!

But getting back to Ms. Palin: I'm not a rabid fan of hers, but I do believe she has the right to say what she wants ... including gaffes ... without being dissected, inspected or expected to say something wrong. We've taken a woman who could've been our V.P. and made a media pincushion out of her.

Why??

Because the media has an obvious hunger for baloney!!
I think it's time we fired Oscar Meyer and found someone who can dish out something wholesome ...

maybe Mrs. Dole is still available ...

stay tuned ...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is This The "Vinyl" Answer?

This music business can be downright strange sometimes ...

Remember a few years/decades back when record-company bigwigs said that the vinyl record would be obsolete -- giving way to (in order, please:) 8-Tracks/cassettes/CDs/DVDs/digital downloads?

And, all the while, a few of us saw a resurgence in the groovy black platters. "Someday ..." we assured ourselves, "they're gonna make a comeback ..."

Well, guess what happened last year, hmmmmm??

Yep -- they're baaaaack!!

One of the few bright spots in the 2010 album sales figures was the continued increase in sales of ... vinyl albums! Their sales were up 14%, which beat the digital download increase of 13% and is showing an upward trend here in the 21st century. And it's not just because there are a lot of collectors out there, either; more and more acts are strutting their stuff on the LPs these days -- and kids are buying them!!

Now ... if we could just get RCA to produce those little portable record players again ...
For more about vinyl record collecting, just click here.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We're All In This Together

We're now down to two blogs here in RockCentral (by choice, btw), and, when a post pertains to both the main event (Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots) and the cheesers at The Mouse Clique, it'll be simulcast on both.
This is one of those. Enjoy:


Looks pretty tricky, doesn't it??

No, it's not done with Photoshop® but by an ingenius kid with time on his hands. He took a pic of the area behind him, converted it into desktop wallpaper, then placed his laptop so it'd look like a Windows window.
But it's more than a pic; to quote from The Cyrkle's Red Rubber Ball, "There's a lesson to be learned from this ..."

Whenever we find ourselves in a bind (read: quandary, conundrum, hog-sloppin' mess), we tend to panic a little -- maybe even throw up our hands in utter disgust, wondering if we'll ever find a way out of it. We start getting some serious blues that take over our thoughts and, consequently, everyday life.

Now, a few years ago, my buddy Lloyd Thaxton sent me a copy of his book, Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!). Yardbirds, this man was the epitome of optimism and positivity (I love the tribute someone sent me shortly after his passing: "Mr. Thaxton was the Keebler Elf of Rock").
Throughout the book (co-written with the incredible motivationalist John Alston), he reminds you time and again that We're All In It Together. It doesn't matter what "It" is ... we're not alone when it comes to the troubles and rigours we face. Whatever we face ... no matter what it is ... from toothache to holy terror ...SOMEBODY has faced the same thing ... and conquered it!

Which brings me back to the pic at the top.

When we're faced with any dilemma, we can go to our computers, get online, pull up our Google® or Bing™ (Crosby had the name first), type in our problem, and find someone to help us with it.
Then we can line it up with what we're going through and -- voila!: We have a window that'll complete the picture and help us see through whatever's blocking our view!

One of my favourite bands of the Sixties was The Pirates. Though they're history now (due to the passing of supreme guitarist Mick Green last year), their music will stand as some of the gutsiest, rockin' blues ever created by man.
In 1978, they released a song called We're All In It Together. If you listen to the album cut's intro, you'll hear a unique instrumental arrangement that some have said reminds them of a baby eagle first peering out of its nest, then hopping to its edge -- then jumps ... to spread its magnificent wings in resplendent glory as an adult!

When we search for answers to our problems (btw, let's get Mr. Webster to trash that word, okay? From now on, let's call them challenges! Same thing ... less hassle ... more noble ...), we're peering over the nest edge. When we finally find someone who can show us how to overcome, we're on that edge. Finally, we're ready to try them ourselves. We jump -- and, as we find they work, we begin to grow ... and spread our wings magnificently!

So, have fun with your flight. It's beautiful up there -- above the troubles!

Stay tuned ...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rock n Roll 101 (Pt. I)

I ran this series of posts on Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots awhile back -- but, since we have a passel of new readers spanning three blogs, and because it's a solid way to begin the New Year of BlogPosts, I'm reprinting them here and simulcasting weekly to the gang over at the Mouse Clique as well as our Ashland Journal readers.

Okay ... you're probably wonderin' why I've put a church service here at the start of this post. Welllll, Rockaholics, guess what?? This is where it all started!

Y'see, back in the 1800s, African-American sailors would see their ships swaying with the ocean, from front to back, side to side (gettin' seasick yet? I am! Let's move on ...). In describing this in letters home, they'd say the ship was "rocking and rolling."

When they arrived home and settled back into their church-going, they noticed the spirit-filled choirs would also sway back-and-forth and side-to-side. Their music would spotlight shouting, charismatic singers and could make the congregation move.

So, in the sailors' words, they were ... rocking and rolling! And the first mention of "Rock-and-Roll" on a record was on the Little Wonder label back in 1916, with "Camp Meetin' Time".

Now, as early as 1929, in Montana Taylor's "Detroit Rocks", the charismatic gospel sound -- and its new name -- began to make a crossover into the secular music. Then, Buddy Jones, a white Country and Western artist, recorded "Rockin', Rollin' Mama", which completed the identity.

But it took a blues artist named Wynonie Harris to really drop-kick it onto the charts. Y'see, in 1947, singer Roy Brown did a song called "Good Rockin' Tonight", that caught a mythical (and comical) Deacon Jones and Elder Brown ... well, "rockin'" in a ... ummmm ... "secular" way with the ladies of the church. Still, the song was a bit draggish ... not really uptempo enough to suit most secular listeners. And that's where Harris stepped in, adding a rock rhythm on the 2nd and 4th beat, and some rollicking hand-clapping.

Meanwhile, a 37-year-old Aaron Thibeaux ("T-Bone") Walker was already rocking audiences with his lively singing, cool humor (who else would record "I Know Your Wig Has Gone"?) and wild guitar antics onstage (including outrageous splits). Prior to T-Bone, rock-and-roll (still, at the time, considered Rhythm & Blues by white audiences) was largely brass.

It's been said that, if Wynonie created the rock fuse-box, T-Bone provided the first electricity for it. (His hit, "Stormy Monday", was later covered by the Allman Brothers). Soon, this electrical current began running through most of the blues shouters (singers who, due to the loudness of rowdy audiences and weak microphones, had to shout their vocals. Though these artists, including Brown, Harris, etc., were some of the first, they certainly weren't the last -- The Beatles had to do the same thing at the Kaiserkeller and Star Club fifteen years later!) and primed us for the 1950's -- and the first volleys of what was to become a revolution!

PART II coming up next week ... so stay tuned ...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dylan's Six-Pack

They were two of the greatest musical acts back in the Sixties.
They are two of the greatest musical acts here in 2011.
And, in one form or another, they were also guests on The Lloyd Thaxton Show.

We all know the story of Sonny and Cher -- from their rise as background singers (she was one of the chorus behind the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Loving Feeling amongst others) to the spotlight as RDS (rock duo supreme). And, on Uncle LL's 5 PM (EST) show, Sonny touched thousands of fans with a new song he'd written and dedicated to Cher, Laugh At Me.

Well, today, with the song You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me topping Billboard's dance chart, Cher becomes the first artist in history with #1 songs (on any chart) in each decade from 1960 to 2010! The tune, in case you didn't know is from her current movie, "Burlesque."

Of course, we all miss Sonny, who perished in a skiing accident on 5 January 1998. Still, he also made quite a name for himself, having gone from singer/producer to actor to Mayor of Palm Springs, California -- to United States Representative!

And Bob Dylan -- who, to mainstream America, embodied the spirit and heart of the folk movement -- was a target of the Thaxton lip-sync parody, most memorably (perhaps) with LL's treatment of Desolation Row (from Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited).
In that hilarious segment, Lloyd sat in front of a black backdrop with an acoustic guitar and, with a plaintive look in his eyes, began the eleven-minute song.
Break for commercials (which normally ran about two minutes). Returning to the program, we find Lloyd -- still lip-synching the song, the studio empty, old newspapers blowing by him (via offscreen wind-tunnel)!

Well, sandwiched between his appearances and recording, Dylan has signed a six-book deal -- one that includes two sequels to his top-selling "Chronicles: Volume One" and a book based on his satellite radio show on Sirius XM.
Now, I couldn't find an exact clip from the show, so you'll just see the ATCO® record label whilst Sonny sings his hit "Laugh At Me". This song holds so much truth, even in today's society, doesn't it?


CASHING IN

Look -- there are times when we all need some extra bucks for an unexpected bill or emergency. It can be embarrassing to face them with an empty wallet, especially when an immediate payment can ease the situation.
Now, there are many "cash advance" places -- perhaps quite a few in your own home town -- that offer their services to relieve your worries, but they often "pad" their payouts with steep interest rates, strict re-payment policies or just plain shoddy service.
If you need to apply for payday loans , you want everything to be honest and friendly, with reasonable interest rates and, of course, speedy and friendly service.
And that's exactly what you get by clicking on the link you just passed. But you'll get more than the loan service you're looking for: You'll also find blog articles that'll bring you up-to-date on phone security, tips for beating the winter blues, and much more -- all great reading! They even have a Title Loan Service for up to $25,000 -- but you get to keep your vehicle!
An amazing site, with more to offer than any storefront could ever give you! So if you need quick, quality service from a staff who really cares about your need and will treat you with respect, just click the link and apply today!

Anyone For Cake??

Will somebody please explain this to me??

A Sacramento-based, alternative-rock band called "Cake" has made it to number 1 on the charts, according to Neilsen's SoundScan® ... but they've only sold 44,000 albums!
Now, I don't know these guys -- they're probably pretty nice fellows and have a good sound, but ... forty-four thousand?!? Geez ...

Actually, I do have an idea how it was done. A few years ago, there was a band known as the Arctic Monkeys who pulled off the same musical enigma.

So how'd they do it?? Here's what our sister-blog, Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots, says:

(today's acts have) "everything at their fingertips -- they use computerized, sanitized and synthesized "apps", put their finished product on YouTube, iTunes or something and --
BAM!
They're in front of ready-made audiences of Facebook and MySpace friends, visitors to their websites ... and tons of internet radio stations (and, let's face it: the Arbitrons® are showing that radio is heading in that direction -- which means, unless there's a humongous push, terrestrial rock-radio has an eroding shelf life!)"

Now, maybe I'm just getting old and "out of it", but this seems like a huge slap-in-the-face to the acts that brought these kids to the dance to begin with.

You see, we didn't have the techno-stuff, the sampling, the loops; if we wanted to get our music out, we had to (horror of horrors!) play live again and again, from venue-to-venue (and we had to put down a lot of shoe leather to find those!).

And the kids had to shell out a little cash (and I do mean a "little". Can you believe that the first Springsteen tickets went for just four dollars?) to see their faves at shows, festivals and/or teen clubs.

They had to go out and buy their records -- or go to a friend's who had their latest single or album.
They didn't have the iTunes, YouTubes, weThis or theyThats to listen and download for free (or nearly that).

And, if the bands did make it, it was because they worked hard for it. They couldn't rely on anyone but themselves and whatever physical managers, A&Rs, press agents and labels they had.
Today, it just takes a few hours of recording on web-based doodads (sometimes using gadgets like AutoTune to make their voices sound better), doing a quick film on digital camera, synchronising it all on another doohickey, putting it all on the internet and ... BAM!! Instant success ...

for ... what? A month?? Six months?? Or until the next act to use that trick (and there are loads of them these days) gets their stuff online?? Then where are they??

Look ... if I mention PXR or Eventide (or even Cake) to you, you might say "Who??" But suppose I say The Beatles, Crosby/Stills/Nash or The Who to you; wouldja know who they are? You see, these acts stood the test of time because they worked at it ... refined their sound ... and all without the internet or electronic "networking" of today. They worked their socks off -- or as the old commercial used to say, "they EARNED it!"

Now, I wish Cake a lot of success (as I would any act) ... but it's going to take a lot more than the internet and electronic networking to do it. They're gonna have to go out there and sweat a little ... work their act out there in the real world, accepting the good and learning from the bad -- and all to hone that act into what could, one day, be legendary.

And the world of rock -- REAL rock-and-roll -- needs new legends-in-the-making ...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Golden Globes

...and there I was, innocently settling down before the Great Black Magnavox with a hot cup of coffee in my hand and Cool Dude on my lap (HEY!! I meant my cat, alright?? I don't ... I mean, I'm not ... er, let's go on:) when, BAM!! I noticed a slight blotch on the screen -- and nothing I could do would get it off there!
Upon closer examination (my, I do need glasses), it turned out to a small, hairy Gervais -- so, no harm done ... I sat back down to watch the annual Golden Globe Awards.

Actually, the show -- where mega-media stars were given funny round paperweights for their work in movies, television and promoting dress designers -- presented the picks of the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association. And, for the most part, it was pretty smooth ...

There were a few highlights:
Justin Bieber. Robert Downey, Jr. -- who, in my opinion, is the true "comeback kid" of moviedom. I mean, this guy has fought back against some seriously hard-hitting demons to regain his place in the celluloid elite (by the way: Did anybody else notice how much he and Depp looked alike when they were chatting at the end of the show?).

Justin Bieber with glasses. Katey Sagal (whose win was wayyyy overdue).
Chris Colfer -- a lad whom I'd not heard of before the show (other than his work on Glee) -- won me over big time when he sent a strong message to kids who fear they can't be who they want to be: "Screw that!"

Sweet, almost intimate, moments, when Camera 3 caught the lovely Angelina Jolie either resting her head on her husband's shoulder (sorry ... I didn't catch his name) or looking up tenderly at him. She didn't look like a "superstar"; she looked like ... she was in love!
And Justin Bieber (now, why was he there again?? I ... I forgot ...).

When Ricky Gervais (aka "former-emcee-in-2012") opened his mouth to change feet and, instead, introduced Bruce Willis as "Ashton Kutcher's dad", I momentarily remembered my old days as wrestling announcer -- for sure, we were gonna see a "smackdown"! Fortunately, Bruce has more panache than Gervais (but so does a house plant ...).

Of course, there was the big finale, where Michael Douglas appeared to a thundering (and long) standing ovation! Apparently cured of his throat cancer, he made a very humble-but-triumphant return to the stage with his quip "There's got to be an easier way to get a standing ovation."

Now, if you want a list of winners, just go here and scroll down (but read the story first). Want the best and worst moments? Here ya go.

Okay ... enough of my palaver. Gotta get some more work done, so ...

stay tuned.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Standing By ...

Like many of you, The Relic has his own Facebook® page (shameless plug #101: C'mon, friend me ...) -- and has met some of the most fab people in the universe on there.

But there's one eternally-young lady who's touched my soul over the past 24 hours -- and all she did was send a special video set to Ben E. King's classic Stand By Me. (King performed the classic on Uncle LL's show, if you remember ...)

You see, I've opened my doors to anyone who needs someone to understand or care (nope, don't care who you are, or what your situation -- I'll be there for ya if you want ...).
Well, the sunbeam-in-question (who, though we high-schooled together, stopped aging decades ago) sent a vid that shows various buskers doing King's song. And it's more than something you see and hear ... it's one you just have to feel ...

Now, I don't have an embed for it, so let me just share the link -- right here. But, as you prepare yourself to be touched, let me challenge all of you, right here and now, to stand by your friends ... neighbours ... anyone who needs a little of your warmth and understanding.

Thanks again to Dianne for this amazing video ... one I'll cherish for years ...

WHO'S STANDING BY ETTA?

In music news: A few days ago, the husband of blues legend Etta James ("At Last") filed a motion in which he asked the courts to grant him control of her estate.
In the motion, Artis Mills indicated that Etta is suffering from dementia and being treated for leukemia.
However, she'd already granted power of attorney to her sons and daughter-in-law in 2008, and son Donto James wanted a third-party overseeing expenditures.
So, in a court hearing yesterday (Friday, 14 January), a Riverside County, California judge allowed the release of $60,000 in her money to be used for her medical care.
(Oh ... speaking of Etta James: Did you know that she was discovered by the great Johnny Otis ["Willie and the Hand Jive"]? )

When Etta and her family needed him to stand by her, it seems that Mills was more concerned about the money! Somehow, that smacks a little of another well-known singer's dad, doesn't it? Whilst his son had passed from this earth, this guy was more concerned with what he could get from the estate than standing by the singer's mum, family and children. No wonder the courts told him to Beat It.

INCIDENTALLY ... does anyone know if Jermaine Jackson made it out of Burkina Faso yet? Seems that, when he was ready to leave after his trip to the west -African nation, he was grounded until he coughed up about $94,000 in back child support!

BECAUSE YOU ASKED: Whilst the future of The Fore is still in abeyance, I can tell you that lead guitarist Matt Hardy is creating some beautiful music from Bognor Regis! I'll be posting more info on this amazingly-talented young superstar very soon, so watch for it!

And RelicRadio will be back on-the-air in just a couple of weeks -- this time, in conjunction with the blognet that includes Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots and Ashland Journal.

So stay tuned ...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hey Bo Diddley (HoF Bound)

Hey, Mousers! Didja hear about the new Hit Parade Hall of Fame inductees for 2010?

There are some pretty heavy hitters on there -- and some made it to Uncle Lloyd's show back then (you'll know which ones when ya see the list):
They include ABBA, Eric Clapton, Jackie DeShannon, the Diamonds, Bo Diddley, Dan Fogelberg, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, the Rascals, Paul Revere & the Raiders, the Righteous Brothers, Dusty Springfield, James Taylor and Roger Williams.

Now, amongst these, there's one that always excites your Cousin Relic: the man who wrote the book on the savage beat: Roger Williams! (Uh, wait a minute -- lemme check my notes here. That doesn't sound right ...)

Natch, I'm talking about Elias Otha Bates McDaniel himself -- aka Bo Diddley! (oh ... FYI, I loved Roger's orchestrations and piano work)

The McComb, Mississippi musicmaster was the one who took a mess of the blues, jived it up with the famed "shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits" variation on floor and mount toms, added a healthy dose of maracas and short, stabbing lines, and transformed the music into a style that became synonymous with rock.

From the great Johnny Otis to the likes of Buddy Holly, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith, The Troggs and many more, that wild beat would blast from our AM dials, in one form or another, every day. His style was OIND (often imitated, never duplicated) -- and he kept serving it up piping hot until his death in June of 2008.

Incidentally,some of you've read my posts on him at the other blog and have asked the story behind his famed "square guitar". Well, the body was built by Bo himself; he just took the neck and pick-ups from a Gretsch model and put them on it.

In 1958, he got Gretsch to build a square guitar just for him (he called it "the Big B"). Then, 21 years later, an Australian named Chris Kinman built him a new one which he called "the Mean Machine."
It's the one he used (see pic) until his passing. Another version of the guitar is used by the reggae singer Aashid (formerly "Little Archie") Himons.

Now, over on the Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots blog, we talk about how one "Professor" is saying that Rock and Roll is dead.
Obviously, if he thinks that, he doesn't know ... Diddley!

Stay tuned ...

Friday, January 14, 2011

The OTHER "Lloyd"

By now, every Mouse in the House knows that this blog's been in honour of our fearless leader and friend, our favourite "uncle", Lloyd Thaxton.

But, this past weekend, I had the pleasure of talking (via interweb magic ... oh, okay: Facebook) to another Lloyd: one of my all-time favourites and a true rock-and-soul legend, the awesome Lloyd Price.

If you'll turn back a couple of pages in the History of Rock songbook, you'll find his hit, Personality, (sung and co-written by Price, it was released in 1959, peaked at #2 in the Billboard charts, #1 in the R&B charts -- and was even used as a backdrop for an NFLshop.com TV spot last year!), still wildly popular amongst young and old alike.

Other hits of his have been covered by the industry's best: Just Because and Lawdy, Miss Clawdy by Elvis, and Stagger Lee by Grand Funk Railroad, amongst others (by the way, didja know that, for his first hit [Lawdy, Miss Clawdy], Lloyd's producer Art Rupe hired a band to back him -- one that included a young guy called Fats Domino on piano?)

And, people, this man is living, breathing personality in action! Still youthful at 77, the man puts on tremendous shows, takes time to interact with his fans, and has a neverending, pleasantly-contagious positive attitude! I've got no doubt that Uncle Lloyd would've loved our (should I say it?) "Cousin" Lloyd! The two were so much alike: lively, humourous, creative, fan-friendly ... and great enterpreneurs as well:
Y'see, Lloyd is more than just a musical masterpiece! He's also manager of Icon Food Brands®, which makes some fantastic Southern-style foods, including Lawdy Miss Clawdy food products.
Now, that line ranges from canned greens (and, listen ... if you don't eat greens and grits, then you just ain't Suthhun!!) to sweet potato cookies, and a line of Lloyd Price foods, such as Lloyd Price's Soulful 'n' Smooth Grits (now, I've tried 'em and, friends, it's as close to heaven as your mouth's gonna get with food!!) and more ...

I'm gonna try to get us an interview with Lloyd, because, across this little blog network we have (this one, Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots and Ashland Journal), this guy's got thousands of fans!

But, until then, let's listen to the man ...


GOOD FOR THE STOMACH

We've heard it call our "muffin tops", had it poked in the old "Alka-Seltzer®" commercial (No Matter What Shape by The T-Bones, who later became Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds) and ridiculed by our friends.
It's called stomach fat.
Of course, we want to lose as much of that as possible, not so much for health reasons (which is an excellent purpose) but because it just makes us look sloppy and unkempt.
The question is, though: Where can we go to find reliable weight loss products?
Well, the best products for getting rid of stomach fat can be found right behind that link you just passed! You'll find the best, most recommended and customer-satisfied products on the market. Not only that but they'll even give you the info you need to know about each one ... and the lowest online price!
So, if you're looking for a slimmer and healthier "you" at prices your wallet can afford, then click on that link now ...
and get ready for a happier, healthier, more "youthful" Spring!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Checking It Out


Man, just when I'd seen it all ...
Whoever came up with the John & Yoko version of the "finger people" must have a sense of humour. I know that Uncle Lloyd would've gotten a kick out of this.
I knew the Beatles catalogue had gone digital, but I thought that meant something else, really ...

But it's not the first time I've seen the Fab Four frontman and his missus fingered. About a year ago, I was in one of our area's fine department storesokay: Wal-Mart. Satisfied?? when a little kid came running up to his mum, who was waiting to check out:
"MOM! Come SEE! Her showin' us her thanger!"

Now, I'm an adult male. And, being so, I shuddered to think what would happen if her boss caught her (not really. I thought a "naughty" and wondered how they could employ some terrible floozy like that!).

I had to check it out (no, not for ... that ... reason. Got more taste than that ...)

Sure enough, over at the jewelry counter, a young saleslady had drawn smiley faces on her fingers, and was entertaining the customers' children with them. And, right in the middle of the big five (yes, she included her thumb!) was ... Mr. and Mrs. Lennon (except she'd drawn John with long hair parted in the middle)!
She said her mother had learned how to do that from a TV show she watched years ago -- one where the guy had drawn people on his fingertips and done songs with them. She thought it'd be fun to do that for the kids who came in. It made everybody feel good, in fact ...

I felt a sense of pride as I smiled and told her about how Unclle Lloyd had been "the guy" her mum had seen. After telling her about him, I left and looked skyward, quietly whispering,
"Ya done GOOD, Chief! Now ... if we can just vote 'finger-people' into Congress, we'd be set!"
Stay tuned ...

ZIT-ZAPPING

No matter who you are, you've most likely had trouble with acne at some point in your life. And finding the right medication can take more time and money than you care to spend. Even then, there's no guarantee that it'll work as promised.
So where can you find the most effective acne scar removal cream -- preferably one that's easy on your wallet?
Well if you click that link you just saw, you'll learn more about the ones that are most recommended by users (and who would know better, right?). These top acne meds are matched up to criteria that guarantee they're the most effective!
But you're also shown where you can get these creams at the best online price. So, as you're enjoying a return of your good complexion, your wallet's enjoying the savings!
So, when you're done reading this, how about going back, click on the link and check them out? You'll be glad you did!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who Made Them Puppets?

Okay ... I know this is going to be controversial, but it has to be addressed, mousers:

According to the The Hollywood Reporter,
"Primetime TV shows that appeal to teenagers are promoting the 'sexualization' of girls at an alarming rate, including more portrayals of underage females being objectified than adults, especially for laughs, according to the Parents Television Council.
The watchdog group is calling on producers, advertisers and government regulators to take an honest assessment of the sexually provocative way girls are portrayed on TV and take it down a notch. Or two."
(click on the link up there to read the entire story, btw)

Gents, may I suggest taking it down about a dozen notches??

You know, during the days when Uncle Lloyd's show ruled the teen airwaves, we didn't have problem one with a teen being depicted as anything more (or less) than a teenager!
And, somehow, teen America survived!

But, today, you've got sheer idiocy as MTV (the-network-that-turned-its-back-on-music) and VH1 (see previous description) and other nets are promoting teen girls as wild and immoral and calling them "reality shows". It just doesn't make sense!

UPDATE As I was getting this post together, the news hit about the shootings in Tucson ... so let me tailor this subject a little:

On the one hand, we have media that often sexually exploits our children (one of the worst is that crap called 16 and Pregnant, which seems to glamourise underage sex). It not only influences our kids to think it's alright to "do it", but also excites molesters, predators and pedophiles!

It seems that, in the mad rush for the money, the initialed juggernauts that were supposed to feature cool music vids (at least that's what Nesmith envisioned) has turned into a factory of (dare I say it? 'Sokay ... I'm over-60 now) filth that's influencing our kids and grandkids to act impulsively in sex, talk, action -- even, in some cases, to become violent!

Which brings me to the shootings.

We may never know the exact reason why that young man pulled the trigger and injured so many -- including Congresswoman Giffords (though it's torn my heart out that an innocent 9-year-old girl was amongst the fatalities). But, given his age and apparent savvy (he had an active "MySpace®" page), he was either influenced (subliminally or consciously) by the "reality" shows (and I use that term TOO lightly ...)
or
by the violence that's portrayed in so many video games. From the time these things are promoted, the kids keep them in the front of their minds until they're (a) bought, (b) practised time-and-again, (c) studied for little tips and tweaks to help them win, then (d) compete repeatedly -- either against a friend or the computer itself.

And we all know it can be very addictive.

Soon, the action on the videos begins to seep into a young man's subconscious -- then into his daily thought-pattern. His frustration with "being shot down" or "losing the game" begins to depress or anger him. He feels he can change actual situations at-will, in the same way he can shoot down bad (or good) guys in the game.
Coupled with the effect of the "reality shows" on television, he may begin to think that murder, robbery, rape, drugs or whatever are things he can do to "get even" -- and that he can walk away from.

They should know that, in real life, there ARE no "commercial breaks"; there ARE no "games" you can continue later; there ARE no "channels" to change! As with everyone else, they have to pay for their actions -- and, the stronger the "wager" (severity of action) , the more you have to "pay" ...

But, again, it comes back to the influence of the media. They want the kids to be commodities -- pawns to bring in that Almighty Dollar!
And that's got to stop! For as long as they use children that way, we're going to continue seeing a rise in youth violence of all types, in illegitimacy -- and more ...


Thanks for letting me get this off my chest, yardbirds. It had to be said ...
Tomorrow, we return to the business-at-hand ... what this blog's set out to do: ROCK!

Stay tuned

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Keeping The Dream Alive ...

In just a few days, we'll be honouring the birthday of an American legend ... a man who devoted his life to brotherhood amongst all races.

It's interesting that, whilst Martin Luther King, Jr. was sticking his neck out for civil rights -- and peace as a whole, the 'flower-children' soon picked up on it all and spread the same message in their own inimitable way.

But, when I think about them, I also have to think of another champion of peace and equality: Lloyd Thaxton!

When you go back and think of all the shows that Uncle LL had, you're bound to recall that -- from musical guests to kids dancing in the studio -- all races were honoured (remember: this was during the most volatile of the civil-rights years). No one was ever refused or turned away due to his or her colour.

And his zaniness was something that didn't exactly fit the stodgy mold of mid-Sixties daytime TV, either.
But his reason? He told me he wanted to bring something more to the table than just the music. He included skits, lip-synching, finger-people and a load of just plain improvised fun!
In other words, he wanted the kids -- whether at home or in the studio -- to have a wonderful experience.

And that concept was one that was formed by Lloyd's honest desire to share the happiness with all people, no matter what age, colour, faith or whatever.

Just like Dr. King.

We've witnessed the Mouser-In-Chief at work with his Today Show® segments, the tests on Fight Back! with David Horowitz (quick ... what character did LL play on that?), and, of course, his book Stuff Happens (and then you fix it!) with John Alston.

Throughout it all -- from his radio stint to teen shows, to consumer-oriented segments, a best-selling book and his special oneness with every fan -- he promoted peace, knowledge, understanding and happiness for all people!

Dr. King would've been proud ...

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They also have daily specials, great return policies (though their products are so good, you may never need to!), news and reviews and even a way that you can sell your items there as well!
So what are you waiting for? When you've read the last word here, go there and stock up on some great deals!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Who's Arthur??

Okay ... it's a "given" that I'm over 60, but I still didn't expect to meet the old guy so soon.

He didn't give his name but, simply by the way he treated me, I knew in a flash that it was the famous pain-in-the-(you select the area) Arthur Itis. Amongst all the resolutions, revolutions, absolutions and saline solutions that I made this year, he was definitely not one of them!!
Now, it's my understanding that this freeloader's planning to stay indefinitely -- which means that CVS® pharmacy and I are going to become very close over the next year.

How will I handle it? I've had suggestions: Exercise (hmph ... don't I do that already? Running into trouble, jumping to conclusions, dodging the bullet [or at least BBs -- here's what I mean]. Besides, I already walk seven miles a day ...); try yoga (I occasionally do. But I have to modify it a bit due to this mild CP. Ah, but if ya can't do yoga, hatha yoga will do, right??); mix decaf martinis; concentrate on something else (like, why do my cats never seem to get arthritis? Maybe if I do what they do, I ... naaah. I don't feel like lickin' myself ...)
After watching the People's Choice Awards a couple of nights ago (and didn't Queen Latifah do a bang-up job as hostess??), I now have more appreciation for couch-potatoes worldwide.
Yes, TV's resident elf, Conan O'Brien (who, according to the above before-and-now pics, hasn't aged since 1932) won the favourite talk show host category ... over Her Majesty, Oprah Winfrey!
I'm not surprised, really. Whilst Oprah is a legend, Conan is the "comeback kid" of television. And, from the "Tonight Show" debacle (awww, let's call it like it is: he was stiffed!) to his tour and now to TBS, the man hasn't lost a joke!
It seemed to surprise him as much as it did us (remember: the tally was done somewhat differently than the other, stuffier award shows). But he really deserves the group nod as top talker ...
So COCO-CONGRATS, man -- you worked hard for what you got! (yeah ... like this is gonna get to him somehow ...)

Wait ... I just figured it out: Just MAYBE I got arthritis sittin' down by the rhythm reviews! (from Roll Over, Beethoven by Chuck Berry) After all, I do earn my crust by writing about the music, soooooooo ...

Hmph ... maybe I oughtta switch to opera for awhile?? Hmmm ... arthritis or boredom?? Which ... can ... I ... handle??

Stay tuned ....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Built Out Of Love (A Special Invention)

We interrupt our regular ramblings ... er, postings to bring you this VERY SPECIAL SIMULCAST (it also appears on my other three blogs). If you know of anyone with cerebral palsy, I urge you to read on. We'll return with our regular madness -- er, posts tomorrow:

As readers of this post already know, I've had mild cerebral palsy for years. However, there are those who have a more severe form of this disorder -- and need help with some functions that we often consider mundane or everyday.

Well, today there is a bit of that help, thanks to a man who created it ... out of love for his wife ...

You see, Mark Jackson, of Louisa, KY, invented and patented the Jackson Peg Tube to help his wife, Tina (who has the disorder and is also paralyzed). This amazing invention eased the frustrating struggle to feed herself. (To read the whole story, go to Tim Preston's article in the Ashland (KY) Daily Independent.

If you know of ANYONE with this debilitating disorder, share this link: http://www.jacksonpegtubestands.com" -- and order one FOR them, okay?

This item was built out of love and understanding ... let's share the news with the same purpose in mind. Thanks ...

and stay tuned ...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts On A New Year ...

Hey ... didja notice somethin' a little, well, strange about last night??

Y'see, whilst we were waitin' for the big ball to drop at Times Square here on the East Coast, our mousemates over in England were already finishing up the last verse of Auld Lang Syne and enjoying the first majestic moments of the New Year.
And when it finally hit here, it was still 2010 over at Aunt Barbara's.
It meant that, if I emailed a friend in the UK at, say, 10 PM my time and he responded, I'd be gettin' a note from the future. And if I did the same with one on the West coast at midnight here and got a quick response, I'd be gettin' one from the past.

Très étrange, non? Sounds almost like a Twilight Zone episode (now, for you youngsters, that was a sci-fi show we watched before the invention of cable. Has nothing to do with the current "vampire" series ...)

A QUOTER FOR YOUR THOUGHTS: These are some quotes I found that are soooo appropriate for the entry of 2011 A.D. And before we resume our regularly-scheduled program, I wanna share these with all my mousey cousins, here and abroad and beyond -- and wish you all the HAPPIEST of NEW YEAR'S:

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." (Edith Lovejoy Pierce)
Friends, now, I ask ya: Is there a better way to put it than this?

"This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself." (Aisha Elderwyn) It's 'cause you are the best when you're like that. Uncle LL believed it ... and he lived that "resolution" every day.

and, finally, my wish for you this year:

"Drive your life this year as you would your car. Be sure you steer correctly, that you use just enough power, that the brakes work, and that you keep everything in running order. Fuel up when necessary. FOLLOW THE ROAD-MAP. And keep it all between the lines ..."

Stay tuned ...