Thursday, August 16, 2007

Closed For Repair

Gonna close this down for a few days. Got a daughter to move and other things happening that require some time and space. I guess you can say, I am under construction to serve you better.

Enjoy the tunes. See ya.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins

Silently closing her bedroom door

Leaving the note that she hoped would say more

She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief

Quietly turning the backdoor key

Stepping outside she is free.

She (We gave her most of our lives)is leaving

(Sacrificed most of our lives)home

(We gave her everything money could buy)

She's leaving home after living alone.

For so many years.

Bye, bye

Father snores as his wife gets into her

dressing gown

Picks up the letter that's lying there

Standing alone at the top of the stairs

She breaks down and cries to her husband

Daddy our baby's gone.

Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly

How could she do this to me.

She (We never thought of ourselves)is leaving

(Never a thought for ourselves)home

(We struggled hard all our lives to get by)

She's leaving home after living alone

For so many years.

Bye, bye

Friday morning at nine o'clock she is far away

Waiting to keep the appointment she made

Meeting a man from the motor trade.

What did we do that was wrong is having

We didn't know it was wrong fun

Fun is the one thing that money can't buy

Something inside that was always denied

For so many years. Bye, bye

She's leaving home. Bye, bye

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Playin Radio

The new "Top 40 Jukebox" is pretty close to being set. I can only download three songs from a particular artist and the songs play at random. There are some pretty groovy songs on the jukebox and I am adding more as we speak. All the hits from 1955-1979, to me, the glory days of top 40 radio. Click on the arrow icon and enjoy.

The other one is a great "album oriented" jukebox, with all your faves and guaranteed stuff you haven't heard. That's not all bad, eh?

Enjoy them both, tell your friends about Randy's music channel without the help of any consultant, just me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brooke Astor

Brooke Astor, who died at 105 Monday of pneumonia at Holly Hill, her Westchester County estate, was perhaps New York City's last grande dame, an all-but-extinct breed. Socialite, philanthropist, self-confessed flirt and expert charmer, she enriched the city she lived in with wit, style, and unstinting largesse.At the end of her life, the image of a woman bathed in good luck was marred by a public family squabble, when her grandson, Philip Marshall, sued his father, Anthony Marshall, accusing him of mismanaging her care. After several months, the headline-making dispute was settled out of court late last year, when a Manhattan judge ruled that allegations of intentional abuse were not substantiated.Born Roberta Brooke Russell in Portsmouth, N.H. on March 30, 1902, she came from she described as a "good family," but not one that enjoyed the extreme wealth she acquired much later in life.
She was the only child of Gen. John Henry Russell Jr., a Marine Corps officer whose work took him around the globe. Brooke passed her childhood in a range of foreign locales: China, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Hawaii. She briefly attended the Madeira School in McLean, Va., before dropping out to pursue her social life full-time."My mother was afraid I would learn too much and become a bluestocking," she told her friend, the late New Yorker writer Brendan Gill.She married her first husband, John Dryden Kuser, just after her 17th birthday. The alliance was a disaster. Kuser was an alcoholic who beat and abused her, finally insisting that they divorce in 1930 so he could remarry. "Our marriage was an unsound tree and there were many woodpeckers about," she wrote in "Footprints," her autobiography. She counted her relationship with Kuser (who went on to become a New Jersey state senator) as her one regret, notwithstanding the child it produced: Anthony, born in 1924.The young divorcee found an apartment at 1 Gracie Square in Manhattan and began to hobnob with such Jazz Age celebrities as Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Arthur Rubenstein, and movie-star sisters Lillian and Dorothy Gish. She wrote book reviews for Vogue by day and partied by night.In 1932, she married the stockbroker Charles Henry Marshall, who by all accounts was the love of her life. They tootled back and forth between the United States and the small castello in Portofino, on Italy's Amalfi coast, that they purchased on their honeymoon. There was tennis with the poet Ezra Pound, whom she described in her memoir as "an extremely uncouth man with bright red hair and an enormous stomach." They also enjoyed conversation with the caricaturist Max Beerbohm and tea with novelist Evelyn Waugh. In New York, Brooke Marshall worked as an editor at House and Garden Magazine.That 20-year idyll came to an end on Thanksgiving day, 1952, when Marshall died in her arms at their country home in Tyringham, Mass.Within a year, the widow remarried, this time to multimillionaire Vincent Astor, grandson of Col. John Jacob Astor IV, who had gone down on the Titanic. Astor had a reputation as a sour and cantankerous depressive. "He had a dreadful childhood... But I think I made him happy," his wife told the New York Times in 1980. "That's what I set out to do. I'd literally dance with the dogs, sing and play the piano, and I would make him laugh, something no one had ever done before."When husband No. 3 died of a heart attack in 1959, he left her four homes and $67 million, plus another $67 million to the Vincent Astor Foundation, which she controlled. The foundation's charter defined its mission as "the alleviation of human misery," but Brooke Astor saw its purview more narrowly, reasoning that since the Astors had made their money in New York, it should be spent in New York. She took the helm with gusto, growing its endowment and dispensing nearly $200 million to such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pierpont Morgan Library, Rockefeller University and the New York Public Library.Manhattan's major intellectual meccas were not the only beneficiaries of the Astor inheritance. She also steered the foundation's money to youth services and public housing, designating large sums to prevent the deterioration of Bedford Stuyvesant. She supported historic preservation, saving swaths of old New York from the wrecking ball.She also gave smaller grants for, among other things, windows for a nursing home on Riverside Drive, fire escapes at a homeless shelter in the Bronx, and a new boiler at a youth center in Williamsburg. Because "old people tend to have old pets," she gave a $250,000 to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan to provide free veterinary care to the companions of the aged and poor.Mrs. Astor, as everybody called her, made a point of visiting each potential beneficiary, which kept her out and about, dressed in designer finery, decked out in jewels, always beautifully coiffed. She relished her public role of benevolent dowager, and thrived on daily explorations of her adopted city."Imagine the fun of it," she wrote in the foundation's annual report for 1995. "I get into the car and head off to a part of New York that we haven't visited before, where we meet the determined and enterprising people who in their way contribute so much to improving the quality of life in our city. Sometimes I wish we could take busloads of people along with us to share in the pleasure of what we see and learn."The pleasure of giving on such a large scale came to an end in 1997, when Astor gave away the last of the foundation's millions and shut it down. Though others among the ultrarich -- Bill Gates and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for instance -- gave away far more than she had, it was the ever-gracious Brooke Astor who came to symbolize the glamour of noblesse oblige.Besides her son, Anthony, and her grandson Philip, Mrs. Astor is survived by another grandson, Philip's twin brother, Alec.

Can you imagine being a member of the high society in New York pre-WWII? Driving a Packard and listening to pre war Tommy Dorsey? What a trip that must have been. I'll give her the benefit of the doubt because

a) she made it past a hundred

b) she gave a shitload of money away.

My dad was about this age. It's always fascinating to read about how people lived back then.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

In Praise of The Marshall Tucker Band

This is an example of me really, really liking a group when their first album came out and 34 years later saying, I like these guys even more, even after all of those listenings. Of all of the so called "southern rock" bands, these guys had the sweetest music. I first heard The Marshall Tucker Band right after the first LP came out because a friend of mine just returned from St. Louis and told me about this great song called "Can't You See" that he had heard on KSHE. I went to my favorite record store and they happened to have the LP opened and available to be played at the store. One listen to "Take The Highway" and I was gone. Lately, I have had a lot of MTB in the CD player.
It still sounds as sweet as ever. When working at KY in Kansas City, I found out that Tommy Caldwell had been hurt in an accident and I called the news station in Spartansburg and got the name of the hospital he was at. I talked to Toy personally and wished him and his brother well from all of the MTB fans in Kansas City. He was very appreciative and very nice. Tommy died two days later, then Toy passed a way in 1992 from a supposed cocaine overdose. George McCorkle, another member just recently passed (see previous post). With that in mind, here are my top ten MTB songs...

1. "The Last of The Singing Cowboys" 1979. This was their swan song, and what a way to go, wonderful, poetic lyrics and just about some of the best playing around.
2. "Take The Highway" 1973. Way too many memories for this song not to be in the top two. This song was an outlet for my wanderlust.
3. "This Ol' Cowboy" 1974. Southern redneck love song, I know every word to this. This was released the summer I got married and was listened to greatly.
4. "Desert Skies" 1977. Sleepy, loping ode to a guy who wants to "die with his chaps on". Yeah, I can relate. So laid back, it saunters.
5. "Searchin For A Rainbow" 1975. This may have been the highpoint of the band. Another story about a cowboy that's getting ready to leave. It that time in my life, so was I and I was determined to find that rainbow.
6. "Fire On The Mountain" 1975. Another great song from this release, the heyday of rock radio, too.
7. "Can't You See" 1973. This just gets points taken away because I have heard it so much. this is their "Stairway to Heaven"
8. "How Can I Slow Down" 1974. This song cooks. Nuff said.
9. "Heard It In A Love Song" 1977. Another song about a guy getting ready to go...hmm, someting new. I was glad that these guys got their big hit.
10."A New Life" 1973. A song about leaving prison, sung with emotion and passion.

Here's a video of The Volunteer Jam in 1975. At the 2:34 mark, there is a scene with Tommy and Toy Caldwell along with George McCorkle, all dead.
Charlie Daniels kicks ass.

The Greatest Generation

I have read this book twice along with "The Greatest Generation Speaks"

Day after day, I am consistently amazed at the hardships and tough lives our parents had. This is the thing I have been thinking about lately, from some reason. I guess that when I think about my daughter moving away, it saddens me as it should. But, oh my, how lucky I am that I never had to endure what our folks did. Let me put this in perspective if I can. My brother was born in 1948, at that time, my mom was 22. Being born in 1926 on a dirt farm in the middle of nowhere was not conducive to fostering a happy, structured lifestyle, especially when her dad would get drunk and mean. I digress. She was 19 in 1945 when her boyfriend was called away to war and never returned. The strength and guts it took to drop everything and have her and vitually everyone in the country united in one cause overwhelms me. Some of the men and women returned, enjoyed a couple of safe (and prosporous) years then The Korean war (and the prospect of going to war with China) appeared with more young men and women dying. From 1953- 1965 or so, peace and prosperity pretty much ruled the land, but by then, it was the Russians that had us running and hiding under our desks. How did the country pay The Greatest Generation back? We sent their kids to Vietnam.

I remember very vividly when my brother left for Vietnam. We had to drive him to the airport in Springfield about an hour away. It was very cold that day. It was one of only two times I saw my father cry; it was one of the worst days of my life. I just remember how tortured my mother was and how she quickly descended into the bottle after that. Some payback for your blood, sweat and tears.

My long extended point is this: while it sucks that my daughter is leaving, I know that she is leaving to experience things I did not in a wonderful college setting. I am not sending her to war or to a place that is extremely far away, for that I am eternally grateful. She is going away to find herself. I only wish her a life as fun as mine has been. My hat is off and my heart is open to those of the Greatest Generation.

I look to them and what they went through as inspiration and encouragement. The sacrifices (I lived down the street from a woman who lost her husband in WWII and her son in Vietnam) will always inspire my heart. Always. God bless them.

What I am going through isn't a pimple on their butts.

Rick Ankiel

If you are a baseball fan, how can you not be rooting for Rick Ankiel? With all of the negative things that have been happening in sport, this is the kind of thing that keeps me a fan. If you don't know the story, it goes like this...Once a phenom left-handed pitcher with a mid-90s fastball and a devastating curve, Ankiel was second in the 2000 Rookie of the Year voting with the St. Louis Cardinals. But as quickly as he had success, he endured a legendary bout of wildness in the playoffs that season, throwing five wild pitches in one inning, in front of the entire baseball world, the most since 1890.
The problem got worse in 2001, and he was sent back to the minors. Then he developed an elbow injury, missing almost all of the 2002 season and all of 2003. He made it back to St. Louis briefly in 2004, pitching out of the bullpen, and the control problems seemed to be in the past. Then the wildness returned in a 2005 spring workout, and Ankiel decided he had enough, and started over as an outfielder in the low minors which included a stop in my old home town.
In 2006, he injured his knee in spring training and missed the entire season. But this season, he hit 31 home runs for Triple-A Memphis in 381 at-bats. He arrived in the big leagues on Thursday and was greeted with a standing ovation before his first at-bat. He hit a three-run home run to help the home team win in the seventh, and there was a curtain call.
"I was young and I don't think I understood the magnitude of what was going on,'' Ankiel told the Associated Press Thursday, about his first career as a pitcher. "That seems like a long time ago. It's ancient. I'm a different guy." The following night, he hit two home runs and made a spectacular catch in the outfield.
"I was so young then. I guess we all were.''
Roy Hobbs, the character in The Natural, was also a pitcher and came back as an outfielder years later. He also hit a few memorable home runs. Both are left-handed, too. The similarities pretty much end there, but Ankiel's story is still developing. And we all love an underdog story.
"I set a goal for myself to get back here, so I feel good that I reached it,'' Ankiel told the AP. "I'm looking forward to reaching my next goal, which is staying here.''

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