Tuvalu #atozchallenge

Well, how about that? We’ve made it to the last week of the 2017 A to Z Challenge! Hope you’re ready for seven straight days of posting.

TUVALU


Tuvalu. By TUBS [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, Virginia, there is a Tuvalu. It’s an archipelago in the South Pacific roughly halfway between Australia and Hawai’i that used to be called the Ellice Islands, when they were a colony of the United Kingdom. At that time, they were lumped in with the Gilbert Islands, which are now the country of Kiribati.

You can read all about Tuvalu here at your leisure; there’s quite a lot about it, and there are links to even more information and articles about the place. About 10,000 people live there, and they don’t get many visitors. Makes sense; there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot there and, judging from the map, it’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere. Which, I’m sure, makes it very attractive to some.

Ever had the desire to go to Tuvalu? Had you even heard of it before now?

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Traveling Songs

Guess who got to pick the theme for today? The letter of the day for the A to Z Challenge is T, so I picked a theme that started with that letter: traveling songs. Here are a few I came up with.

Elvin Bishop, “Travelin’ Shoes” Elvin Bishop was one of the original members of the Butterfield Blues Band who left in the late Sixties to front his own band, The Elvin Bishop Group.

Canned Heat, “On The Road Again” Canned Heat were a Southern California band that started out doing a lot of blues. Both founders, vocalist Bob “The Bear” Hite and guitarist/harmonicist/vocalist Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, were avid blues fans. Blind Owl sings this, which rose to #16 on the Hot 100 in 1969.

Vanity Fare, “Hitchin’ A Ride” A British band, they had their greatest success with this song, which reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #3 in Canada in 1970.

The Grateful Dead, “Truckin'” I kind of blow hot and cold on The Grateful Dead. They were really popular in the Sixties and Seventies, which might be attributed to the chemically-induced mental state of the fans. They were never much for the Hot 100, although this song spent eight weeks on the Singles chart, reaching #64. It’s from their 1969 album American Beauty.

Wes Montgomery, “Road Song” To watch Wes Montgomery play, you’d think he didn’t know what he was doing, but when you heard him, you realized he was one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the post-bop era. After years recording for Riverside and Verve, two jazz labels, he signed with Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and adopted a more commercial sound. Hardcore jazz fans questioned the move without noticing that he recorded some great music for A&M, including this, the title track from his third and last album for the label, recorded shortly before his death in 1968.

So there are a couple of traveling songs. Can you think of others? There are a ton of them out there.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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A Rainy Week That Was In Georgia

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Totes Umbrellas.

We’re at Starbucks right now, and the rain is pouring down. See?

The Week That Was

I’m glad it’s raining. It’s been very hot and humid here, and we’re trying to hold off on using the air conditioning. So, here’s the week in review.

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

My latest battle was which theme song for The Avengers you preferred, the original by Johnny Dankworth or the newer theme written by Laurie Johnson. Johnson’s, which was the theme most of us were familiar with, was the clear winner by a 3-to-1 margin.

I discovered my new front porch and stairs are becoming a nest for carpenter bees, and played five songs about bees. Thanks to all who made suggestions on how to get rid of the bees, by the way; we’re trying everything possible.

Gladys Knight & The Pips were the featured artist this week. Everyone seems to like them, or at least not dislike them. I can’t promise the same for other acts I’ll be featuring. Which ones they are, I have no idea.

1linerwedsbadgewes

One of Kristen Lamb’s posts provided this week’s one-liner. It’s a good post, and I encourage everyone who’s a blogger, especially if blogging is something you do to promote your work, to go read it.

The prompt asked what I would choose as my new career. I always wanted to be a musician full-time, which I realize isn’t all that practical, but then, that’s no reason to consider it. I think I gave up on it too soon, to be honest.

I created a playlist with the fourteen “lady” songs you suggested, and after that I added several more to the list, because I received another suggestion and thought of a couple more. Go have a listen.

socsbadgecropped

The prompt yesterday was “spell,” and after expressing my contempt for spell checkers, I was on a roll and included “digital assistants” like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa, as well as software added to computers that you don’t want and can’t uninstall. As Uncle Jack pointed out, I was in a mood.

a2z2017

This week’s letters were N through S.

  • Monday’s topic was Necco wafers, a candy that’s been around since the Civil War (or, if you prefer, the War of Yankee Aggression). Evidently wintergreen Life Savers (called Wint-O-Green in Life Saver parlance) will also spark when you break them in a dark closet. No idea why wintergreen wants to set fire to the house.

  • Tuesday I used a Venn diagram to discuss overlapping. Apparently it brought back bad memories for some of you. It’s interesting that Venn was a philosopher, not a mathematician, and used his eponymous drawings as a graphic representation for logic problems. I had trouble with them at first, mostly because Sister Antagonista demanded that the circles be perfect.

  • Wednesday we discussed the milk additive PDQ, made by the people who brought us Ovaltine. PDQ sponsored a game show back in the Sixties that went by the same name. There’s a video of the pilot episode in the post, if you’d like to see it.

  • We discussed the British names for musical notes on Thursday. I was introduced to them by Logan’s Tutor, the book I used to learn to play the bagpipes. A quaver is better known as an eighth note, a semiquaver is a sixteenth note, a demisemiquaver is a thirty-second note, and after that we’re talking about notes only Liberace could play.

  • Friday’s word was “rumpus,” which reminded me of Maurice Sendak’s award-winning children’s book Where The Wild Things Are. That beloved classic was written in 1963, when I was seven. Does that make me a beloved classic, too? Don’t answer that.

  • Yesterday’s A to Z entry was a stream-of-consciousness effort based on the word statement, which has many meanings. A very useful word!

Thanks to the calendar, we’ll be doing entries for the last seven letters of the alphabet, T through Z (whether you call it “zee” or “zed”). I chose the theme for tomorrow’s M4, which is songs about traveling. We’ll have another act from the Top Ten lists from when I was in high school, another one-liner, and all the other regular features.

And that’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. Have a good week!

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: “The Avengers” Theme Results

BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (BOTB Top Photo)

To review: The last BotB was a choice between two themes for the British TV spy-fi series The Avengers. The exercise was to choose between the original theme, written by Johnny Dankworth, that was used the first four seasons (1961-1964), and the newer theme, written by Laurie Johnson, which was used from 1965 until the series ended in 1968.

The results didn’t surprise me.

Johnny Dankworth: 3
Laurie Johnson: 9

No doubt Johnson’s version of the theme was more familiar, because it was the theme when the show aired in the US. The show itself was different when it started airing here: Steed was a more quirky character and the stories were a little lighter in tone. If you get a chance, watch the older episodes, and you’ll see what I mean.

So, congratulations to Sir Laurence, and a pat on the back for Sir John, which I’ll deliver to his lovely wife, Dame Cleo Laine.

May 1’s Battle is already written and ready to go. Join us then!

Statement #atozchallenge

STATEMENT

Here’s one of those words that has a bunch of meanings. The simplest definition is that it’s “something that’s stated,” like “I am eating a cookie” or “I like cookies.” We learned in English class that a statement is one type of sentence, the others being a question, an exclamation, and a command. At least those are the ones I can remember; there are probably others. Or maybe I just made all that up.

You also get a statement from the bank every month, as well as the credit card companies and everyone you owe money to, like the gas company. It’s a document that tells you how much money you have, or how much you owe. For years, the post office used to process millions of pieces of mail, most of which were statements of one kind or another. Most people now get their statements online, which is a good thing: it saves money for the bank or company mailing out the statements, and it prevents people from going into your mailbox and taking the statement out and using the information to clean out your bank account or take out an auto loan for a BMW Nazca M12, which this article says costs almost $650,000 (US).

Speaking of the BMW Nazca M12, it’s what some people say is a statement car. A car that makes a statement. I honestly wonder what statement a person who buys one of them is trying to make. There’s a joke that compares a BMW to a porcupine, which I won’t tell unless someone asks me in a comment.

We used to have a cartoon on the door of one of the rooms in our apartment, where a couple is sitting in their run-down living room, and the man says “They say each room should make a statement. This one’s must be ‘KA-BOOM!'”

And let’s not forget the use of statements in writing computer programs. I spent years writing programs in COBOL that had statements like this:

MOVE 'N' TO END-OF-FILE.

If this seems to have gone off in all different directions, remember: it’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.