This Is An IFTTT Test

The BBC’s Test Card F, featuring the lovely Carol Hersee (source: Wikipedia)

Damien Riley, whose blog you should be reading, has been doing a lot of crossposting between WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and LiveJournal using IFTTT. I haven’t been quite as active on it, because I allow WordPress to post to Facebook and Twitter. I asked him why he doesn’t do that as well, and he told me it was because he couldn’t control what was being posted to social media as well with the WP built-in function.

© IFTTT (source: Wikipedia)

I thought about it, and you know, he’s right. It works all right for Twitter, but on Facebook it just dumps part of the text of the post in my timeline and says there’s more, and doesn’t really put a link post out there. So, I’m going to try doing both of these with IFTTT and see if the result is more aesthethically pleasing. If you see the Facebook link post and/or the Tweet, how do you like the way they’re coming across?

I’m already using IFTTT to publicize my posts to Pinterest, where I have a board specifically set up for my posts here. I haven’t quite got the hang of Pinterest yet, but I’ve gotten better. I’m still publicizing to Google+ through WordPress, because IFTTT doesn’t post to it, and no one seems to know what the future holds for Google+, anyway….

We now return you to our regularly-scheduled program.

Stuff and Junk #socs

I typed “stuff” into my keyword box, and it suggested “new stuff,” “random stuff,” and “strange stuff.” I guess I use the word “stuff” a lot. I also use some synonyms, like “junk,” “crap,” and of course, “sh*t.” I think I use “stuff” when I want to use the last of these, to be polite.

I had a work friend who sent me an email when she left the company, and the subject was “stuff and junk.” Obviously she figured out that I use those two words a lot.

A couple of years before she died, Mom was starting to divest herself of all her stuff. I’d travel to Chicago on one of my trips in for business, and she would send me home with stuff. “When you get tired of it, just pass it on to someone else. It’s just stuff.” After she died, we cleaned out her house to sell it, and it was loaded with stuff. She was a real packrat. Really, stuff from several generations: her stuff, our stuff, her parents’ stuff, her grandparents’ stuff, Grandma Holton’s stuff… For someone who had the attitude that “it’s just stuff,” she sure amassed plenty of it.

And I’m just as bad. My office is packed with stuff. And I don’t want to get rid of it. Don’t ask me why. Really, old pads of paper and notebooks. A whole bunch of CD’s, even though I’ve moved all my music to the cloud and no longer need the physical disk. Computer hardware that’s either burned out or that I no longer need. Paper copies of things I’ve moved into Evernote because I don’t want the paper sitting around, but it still is.

Part of me wants to just get rid of it, another says, no, keep that, you never know when you’ll need it… but I don’t.

Here’s a song about stuff. Actually junk. From Paul McCartney’ first album…


This is a post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, guest hosted by Pavowsky for Linda Hill. All the information is over at Linda’s blog

The Friday Five: Christmas Surf!


Okay, gang, Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas shopping season has begun! One of the local TV stations here said this year’s Black Friday hasn’t been like other ones, and has pictures on its website of less-than-full prking lots at the local malls. Perhaps a lot of shoppers finished their shopping last night, maybe people are doing their shopping online, or maybe things aren’t as good for people as the government would have us believe.

But no matter. It also means my self-imposed embargo on Christmas music has ended, and nothing says Christmas like twanging guitars and surf music, right? Here are five Christmas tunes done surf style.

  1. Jingle Bells – The Ventures: We have to start with the quintessential sur band, The Ventures. This is off one of their later Christmas albums (not sure which).
  2. I Wanna Go Surfing With Santa – The Hollyberries: Heard this for the first time today, and had to include it. The video is fun and so is the song.
  3. Aloha Christmas – The Dukes of Surf: Another new one for me. The Dukes are based in Hawai’i but came from beach towns around the USA, according to their website, which also tells me they’re big in Japan.
  4. Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys: I have a feeling that if I didn’t include this one people would be asking why I didn’t. You can’t have a list like this and not include the Beach Boys.
  5. Sleigh Ride – The Ventures: Okay, I have two from The Ventures. You think surf rock guitar, they’re the first band most people think of. Besides, I like this version of “Sleigh Ride,” because it combines the melody with the rhythm part of their biggest hit, “Walk, Don’t Run.”

And there’s your Friday Five for November 27, 2015.

The Thanksgiving Ten: Songs About Food


What else would I write about on Thanksgiving? Just so you know upfront, my usual stringent requirements for choosing songs for these lists go out the window today. It’s a holiday! Anyway, here we go…

  1. R. C. Cola and a Moon Pie – NRBQ: The New Rhythm & Blues Quartet has been around for years, flying under the radar of most of the music press. The closest they came to a hit was “Get That Gasoline Blues,” which reached #70 on the Hot 100 in 1974. Still, they have plenty of fans, making them something of a cult favorite.
  2. Fried Pies – Wes Montgomery: I had to include this one from the legendary jazz guitarist.
  3. Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs – Kelsey Grammer: A short segment of this was used as the musc over the credits for Frasier, but here we stretch it out to almost four-and-a-half minutes, throw in some Manhattan Transfer-type harmonies, and let the guys in the band air it out.
  4. That’s Amore – Dean Martin: A love song that compares love to pizza, wine, and pasta e fagioli (pronounced like “pasta fazool” like they do in old Napoli).
  5. Road Food – The Guess Who: The title track from their 1974 album, which I thought was better than the critics did.
  6. Cheeseburger In Paradise – Jimmy Buffett: No collection of songs about food is complete without this one.
  7. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) – Hank Williams: I decided on this version instead of the one by the Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty playing multiple instruments). A song about bringing his best girl Yvonne home to meet the family in Cajun country, and you just know there’s gonna be food.
  8. Eggs and Sausage – Tom Waits: I believe this is from Tom’s appearance on WTTW’s Soundstage, which as I recall was taped at The Quiet Knight, a nightclub in Chicago that he played at frequently. There was a diner next door to the club (the name escapes me; I ate there once, a less-than-memorable occasion) where I think this was filmed.
  9. Hi-De-Ho – Blood, Sweat & Tears: A song by Goffin and King that talks about “that old sweet roll.” It’s off their third album (called, oddly enough, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3), one of the only listenable tracks on it.
  10. Green Onions – Booker T. & the M. G.’s: A great rock instrumental by a band known for their instrumental ability.

Most of these selections came off the top of my head, but the rest can be found on this extensive list of songs about food.

That’s your Thursday Ten for November 26, 2015. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!


Well, So Much For That Idea…


I’m sure some of you read that I was using a new theme and immediately swapped over to see what the new theme looked like. Well, my brother Kip did from his cellphone and he couldn’t read anything. Evidently, whoever built the theme I had intended on using didn’t include a corresponding mobile theme, so WordPress just used the desktop one, shrunk down to fit iOS and Android phones. I thought that switching on the mobile options would fix it, and it only got worse.

So, I’ve restored the theme I had out here, at least until I can find a theme that looks as good on smartphones and tablets as it does on a 27″ monitor. For those of you who use, you might want to set up a test blog where you can test things like that.


#1LinerWeds from The Comics Curmudgeon

Awww, looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays, if by “a case of the Mondays” you mean “a nagging realization that life is a joyless cycle of repetitive, meaningless tasks.” I think that’s what most people mean by it, right?
Josh Fruhlinger, “The Comics Curmudgeon,” 11-23-15

A blog that I read daily (and you should, too) is The Comics Curmudgeon, written by Josh Fruhlinger. His first entry on the current site was made on October 13, 2004, and the blog had been running on a Blogger site before that, so it’s been going for some time. His original purpose in running the blog was to comment on the “soap opera” comics (e.g. Mary Worth, Judge Parker, Gil Thorp, Mark Trail, and especially Apartment 3-G, which ended its 50-plus year run last Friday), by which I mean he makes snarky comments about them. Other targets include The Family Circus, Archie, Slylock Fox, Barney Google & Snuffy Smith, Marvin, the comics of Tom Batiuk (Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft), Herb and Jamaal, and Hi and Lois, about which the above comment was made. He opens his blog up for comments, some of which are funnier than Josh’s articles, and there is a weekly feature called “Comments of the Week,” where he takes the better (in his opinion) comments and features them in the post, with the one he decides is the best being featured in the heading of the blog the following week. If you’re a fan of the comics, like I am, you’ll love the site, and if you aren’t, Josh’s acerbic wit will certainly entertain you.

One-Liner Wednesday is hosted by the currently-vacationing Linda Hill. Helen Espinosa is moderating Linda’s blog hops in her absence.

#TwoForTuesday: Elton John and Bernie Taupin


According to Elton John’s website, in 1967, 17-year-old Bernie Taupin submitted a number of his lyrics to Liberty Records in reply to a solicitation in the New Music Express. At the same time, Elton John replied to the same advertisement, and Ray Williams at Liberty put him in touch with Taupin. They began writing songs together (though never in the same room), and became one of the most prolific and popular songwriting duos ever.

In addition to writing songs specifically for Elton, they’ve written music for other artists, particularly in the late 1960’s when they were staff songwriters for Dick James’s DJM Records. One of them was Lulu, who performed John and Taupin’s “I Can’t Go On (Living Without You)” for the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest, where it finished sixth (out of seven). It’s been covered by a number of other artists, among them Sandie Shaw and Cilla Black. Here’s Lulu’s original version.

In 1973, John and Taupin wrote the song “Candle In The Wind” as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe. Elton recorded it for the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and released it as a single. It rose to #11 in the UK, #5 in Australia, and #8 in Ireland. (The flip side, “Bennie and the Jets” was a #1 hit in the US and Canada.) When Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car accident in 1997, Elton asked Bernie to write new lyrics for it. The result, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” was issued as the B side of “Something about the Way You Look Tonight,” and the single went to #1 around the world, selling over 33 million copies worldwide. Elton played it at his friend Diana’s funeral. Here’s that performance.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin, your Two for Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Thanks!


This playlist is relatively short; I had originally intended on coming up with ten songs that had “thanks” or “thank you” in the title, but I only found six. When I looked at the six, I realized that yeah, I have a lot to be thankful for, and that the songs I had chosen tied in with what I’m thankful for.

  1. Thank You – Led Zeppelin: This beautiful song captures the way I feel about Mary, for whom I’m thankful every minute of every day.
  2. Thank You For Being A Friend – Andrew Gold: Naturally, with my obsession with TV themes, I immediately associate this one with The Golden Girls. In fact, until today I didn’t realize the theme was an actual complete song. When I was in the hospital after my stroke, one of the TV stations they had was (I think) Lifetime, and they must have shown half a dozen reruns of this every day. I think that stay in the hospital made me truly appreciate being alive, and I’m thankful to the doctors and staff at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital for helping me get back on my feet, and for working things out for us financially because I was two weeks away from my insurance with my new company at the time kicking in.
  3. Thank You Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Again – Sly and the Family Stone: Of course, this one is for my family. I tell people that I was born a Gypsy and stolen by a roving band of Irish schoolteachers, but really, I’m eternally grateful to them for putting up with me and for making me what I am today (whatever that is).
  4. Thank You For The Music – ABBA: Music is an enormous part of my life, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now. I miss playing the guitar, at least to the degree I was playing before the stroke, but I’m thankful to all the people who make the music, who write it, and who post a lot of it on YouTube so I can share it with you.
  5. Thanks For The Memory – Bob Hope and Shirley Ross: From “The Big Broadcast of 1938.” This is for the memories I have, good and bad, that provide me with lots of things to talk about here. It’s also for comedians like Bob Hope who have brought me lots of laughs and good times all my life.
  6. I Thank You – Sam and Dave: This is for my cats, both past and present. I’ve already said, if I get to Heaven and they aren’t there waiting for me, I ain’t going in. There’s a crowd waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge, and Pope Francis did say they’d be there…

I got through the whole list, and I realized I forgot one of the most important things I’m thankful for: YOU, my readers. You make doing this worthwhile. So, let me share one more song, which I didn’t include in the playlist because (a) it doesn’t have “thanks” or “thank you” in the title and (b) it’s from a Christmas movie. Here are Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, from the movie “White Christmas,” with “Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep.”

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 23, 2015. Thanks for watching!

The Big Before-Thanksgiving Week That Was!

The Week That Was is sponsored today by Cool Whip. Tastes like you went to a whole lot of trouble.

Thanksgiving here in the US is Thursday, where we take a day to give thanks for all we have. Then comes the first day of the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday, the day that department stores and other businesses go into the black (i.e. show a profit, maybe for the first time all year). In recent years stores made a habit of opening at midnight on Black Friday, and more recently opening as early as 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving. A few chains have halted this practice, so their employees can have the day off with their families. I think that’s a good idea. Anyway…

The Week That Was

It was a busy week here, and I crossed a milestone yesterday….


I’m not especially good at putting pictures into my blog entries. I found a bunch of ancient disks of clip art (the source of the above graphic), most of which has to be converted from WMF or PCX (which I just learned was a format developed by “the now defunct ZSoft Company of Marietta, Georgia”) format into something a little more modern, say JPG or PNG. I’m having trouble finding a program (freeware, if at all possible) that will convert all of them in one big ol’ batch. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

Monday’s Music Moves Me featured Big Band music. Since my folks were Big Band fans, I was familiar with the genre. Everyone who commented seemed to enjoy the selections.

Two for Tuesday featured the songwriting and production team Stock Aitken Waterman, the big names in British Eighties Pop music, having written and/or produced hits by Bananarama, Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue, and others. Annalisa said they were definitely music from her childhood and young adulthood, and that at one time they dominated the British charts. Willowdot21 said she enjoyed dancing to the tunes, even as a mother with young children. I was in my late twenties and early thirties, was traveling a lot, and eventually bought a house and moved us to Georgia during their heyday, so as you can imagine their music is significant in my life.

For One-Liner Wednesday, I used a quote from Antoine Leiris, whose wife was killed in the terrorist attacks on the Bataclan in Paris on Friday the 13th. He wrote an open letter to the terrorists on Facebook that went viral. I linked to the article, which includes a video where someone reads it. It’s bitter, angry, resigned, and defiant all at once. If you haven’t seen or heard it, it’s beautiful and worth a read or a listen.

The Thursday Ten featured the top ten songs from the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which was won by ABBA and their international hit “Waterloo.” One thing I’ve noticed is, in the earlier days of the contest, English was just one of several languages used by contestants. For example, in 1974 only four songs were in English (three were in French, and one each in Italian, Spanish, and Hebrew). This past year, nine of the top ten songs were in English.

I posted The Friday Five later than usual, and chose songs with “night” in the title. Arlee, who’s a HUGE Bruce Cockburn fan, suggested one of his songs, “The Coldest Night Of The Year.” And Lauralynn appreciated that I included a Beatles song, and I appreciate her for appreciating it.

I also announced the results of my most recent Battle of the Bands on Friday (I know I said I’d post them on Saturday, but I forgot to change the post date and it published right away). The Battle was between Paper Lace and Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, both of whom had a #1 hit with “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” in 1974. In a head-to-head contest, they split the votes evenly, about what I expected would happen.

Finally, the prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (chosen by Helen Espinosa in Linda Hill’s absence) was “to/too/two.” Naturally, I thought of Certs, for years advertsed as “two, two, two mints in one!” I also talked about the difference between “to” and “too,” often confused for one another, even by reasonably well-educated people and authors of e-books. Helen commented that, if you’re going to self-publish, it’d be a good idea to proofread, maybe even get another set of eyes or two on the manuscript to catch stuff like that. I made the comment elsewhere that the dative case of noun declensions in Latin was used for “to” or “for,” and maybe we should use “for” instead. I mean we say, “I’m going for coffee,” right? I’m not sure “I’m going for the store, want anything?” would really work there, but it was a thought. Everyone thought including Mocedades’s international hit “Eres Tú” was a nice touch.

So, that was The Week That Was for this week. As always, thanks for reading the blog, and be sure to join me this week for more music, random thoughts, and general craziness. Bye for now!


John Holton's blog


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