Ideas, Politicians, And Party

Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton

When I worked in network radio in the 90’s, Stan Major would often to talk about the seven sisters of the media, and how those organizations are controlled by liberal ideology. They were, according to him, Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC, CBS, and NBC. I guess those sisters now have had children now with the advent of MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News over the past few decades.

I’m a believer that the world of politics has three plateaus. Regardless of whether or not you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist, or a believer in some other party or movement I didn’t mention, these plateaus exist.

First you have the most pure process of the three: the idea. Ideas are to politics what the ace is in most card games. They’re bulletproof. An idea can’t be killed no matter what legislation or humanity passes with time. Once an idea’s time has come, it happens. Think of healthcare in America, for example.  It took a long time to implement healthcare here, and when it got passed in 2009, many conservatives say it got rushed in. Now with a Republican president (though I think Trump is more of a De facto Independent), and Congress, the GOP can’t seem to find a single way to replace the healthcare system.

Politicians are the next step down. How do they implement these ideas? How do they maneuver and manipulate? The execution of ideas by politicians determines who the good politicians are, and who the bad ones are. Leaders lead by the vote of the people, and are sometimes repellents to those who vote. Only Hillary Clinton could have lost to Donald Trump a year ago. Put Bernie Sanders in there as the Democratic nominee, and that likely would not have happened.

Then we get to political parties. They are to society what an adult video store is to a city. It’s where ideas get degraded and prostituted. I see a “mob mentality” in both parties. Those who don’t “get with the program” get way too easily ostracized, and which party’s “mob” sticks together often decides who carries the day.

Ideas, politicians, and party. Somewhere in that link of chains, the system is broken. Where the break is, and who’s to blame – well, that’s something that isn’t very clear. Both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump elements of our society can’t really be sure in their heart of hearts if they are on what will be the right side of the history books. That’s why I try to stay impartial, follow my heart to determine what’s right, and even that isn’t easy at times with the various news outlets prostituting either the DNC or the GOP.

As things stand now, the political climate is bound to for more calamity before things improve.

Flashback: “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino

Feels like I’m doing a “RIP” almost every week. Two weeks ago, it was Tom Petty. Wednesday past, word came down that Antoine “Fats” Domino had passed at age 89.

The song is among the 500 best in Rolling Stone’s list of all-time pop song, despite Fats’s version only reaching #10 in 1955. Pat Boone’s cover was his first pop chart topper, and could probably win you a bet or two at your local bar. The Four Seasons also covered the song in 1963 in their own menagerie of vocals, as have a few others.

In 1980, Cheap Trick covered the song once again, scoring a minor hit with a cover on the same live album from Budokan Hall in Japan where the more famous “I Want You To Want Me” was recorded.

To me, the Fats Domino of the song can’t be topped.  Rest in peace, bud.

Footnotes To Victory

I made it back to home base on Tuesday night just in time to watch the first World Series game, which the Dodgers won last night by a score of 3-1 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Here’s my little review of Victory Cruises, which I can now give you with the trip in my rear view mirror: it was the best gambling ship experience I’ve had, but not as good as casinos I’ve been to on terra firma, including the Hard Rock in Tampa. It was a nice getaway, yes, but they are in an area (East Central Florida) where no one is competing with them with what they offer.

The buffet really wasn’t a buffet where items are laid out and you can pick and choose what you could get. It was more like a lunch you’d get in school if you’re my age or a little older, and the whole setup was rushed and confusing. The servers are offering you food and I was trying to figure out what everything was, leaving me continuously asking, “What’s that?”

The slot machines looked on the old side. Didn’t see any of the newer games I’ve been seeing on Brian Christopher’s YouTube page, which prepared me a bit for this trip. It’s not like there’s some grandiose strategy you need to beat the slot machines. You hit the button, or you pull the lever, and you get a result.

They made a big deal out of everyone who won. “Congratulations, Mary. You won $600 playing (name of the slot game) on the second deck.” I’m glad I didn’t win – I don’t think I would have been okay with my win being publicized like that! It also gave the impression that people were winning small, but that no one was winning big. It would just seem to me as an outsider that if they did the reverse of what they were doing, they’d be fine.

Would I recommend going? If you were close by, yes.

Somewhere In The Atlantic

For only the second time in this blog’s history, I’m typing this from somewhere other than my home. Where I am specifically I don’t rightly know, other that I’m on the Victory Casino cruise somewhere in the Atlantic a few miles out to sea.

This was the trip I was going to take last month, but Hurricane Maria had other plans. Right now, I’m on the fourth deck, with an empty entertainment stage to my right. It’s dark in here, which kind of reminds me of the strip clubs I use to frequent when I was younger. The swaying of the boat is another experience entirely.

The main entertainment here is gambling, which like a strip club, serves the same purpose: to entertain you while ridding you of your money. Playing those slot machines did that after a brief see-saw session, which wasn’t too bad. It gave me time to write this entry. Almost like I had drawn it up, I suppose.

The bus ride over was smooth. You take 275 to 4 to a couple of toll roads, 417 and 528. It took about two and a half hours to get over here, despite a bottleneck near the Tampa Airport and another east of Tampa on I-4.

Despite the loss, I’m enjoying myself. After all, it was a gift from my mother who thought it’d be good for me to get in a getaway day. It’ll be after sunset when I get home in a few hours. Meanwhile, the sounds of nearby slot machines keep me company.

Ma And Pa Pinstripe


It’s late on a Saturday night as I type this, and if I guess correctly what’s to come in the next few minutes, the Houston Astros will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series beginning on Tuesday. The Astros are the first team, thanks to realignment, to go to the World Series representing each league, while the Dodgers made their first Series since their dramatic upset of Oakland in 1988.

With the help of the Tunein premium service, I listened to about half of the playoffs on the radio. Most of that time I spent listening to the Yankees games off of their radio network, with the branding of WFAN, the top sports station of the Big Apple. I found the broadcasts hosted by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman strangely entertaining as the young squad made a run the stopped a game short of the American League championship.

Sterling I remembered from his days with the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. One night in particular stands out in my mind: the night Rick Camp, a relief pitcher, hit his only career home run to extend a marathon battle between the Braves and Mets on July 4, 1985.

Waldman is the only woman currently serving as a play-by-play or color commentator in the major leagues on a day-to-day basis. It’s somewhat interesting to hear their banter, and how they interact, and sometimes get in each others way.  With Sterling nearing 80, and Waldman in her 70’s, I do wonder how long they’ll stay a team. Reviewing some Yankee fan sites, a lot of Yankee fans don’t seem to like the pairing, but I didn’t mind them.

Congrats to the Dodgers and Astros, and may the best team take it all in a few short days.

The Art Of The Score

I’ve now gone through the last four weeks without watching an NFL game. On the whole issue of the kneeling before the national anthem before an NFL game, I just happen to believe the President is right. There are other ways for these great athletes to air their grievances than to show disrespect for the country they reside in. Every week they kneel is a week I won’t watch.

That being said, I still pay attention in other forms. One Twitter feed I recently discovered is called Scorigami. This will take a bit of explaining, so get comfy.

My fascination with the uniqueness of football scores goes back to August 29, 1980. On that night, my mom and dad took me to Tampa Stadium for a preseason game between the Bucs and Redskins. The Bucs won the game 11-6, an odd score in the era before the NFL instituted the two point conversion. Prior to that night, the Bucs never scored a safety in any game in their history. That night, they scored two safeties in ONE game. If it were a regular season game, it would have been a Scorigami, but they only count regular season and postseason games.

Some of you might remember the Bucs played a 11-6 game in 2000, but were on the losing end of the NFC Championship that year to the St. Louis Rams. That officially made that particular score a Scorigami – no such score has occurred since then.

Football games often have final scores that are frequently seen. For example, a 21-14 game is a pretty common score. In fact, there are just over 1,000 different final score combinations that have ever occurred in an NFL game dating back to 1920. Keep in mind with 32 teams playing 16 games, there are 256 games presently played each year.

Did you forget to divide by two?

A Scorigami occurs when a final score is rendered that has never taken place before. For instance, the Saints just beat the Lions last week 52-38. That was what the feed considers a Scorigami, since that was the first time that score had occurred when the game ended.

The most unique Scorigami out there would probably be some combination with a 4 in it. In American football, a team scoring two safeties, two defensive two point conversions or one of each – that’s very rare. It’s only happened once in NFL history back in 1923 when the league was still in its infancy, with the Chicago Cardinals beating the Racine Legion 10-4.

There’s a rarer bird out there, and it ever happens in my lifetime, I’ll be amazed: a team scoring 1 point in a game.

But enough of my geekery.

The Harvey Card


Let me introduce you to one my silly little theories about life. Also, let me tell you up front how accurate or inaccurate my theory is, just that it’s based on what I’ve noticed in the world in my 46 plus years on it.

I believe that what most people called conspiracy theories are basically just a series of facts that people don’t want to admit to for a variety of reasons. Further, totally different sets of these facts or theories can have a symbiotic relationship most of us can’t comprehend, and thus, when society has a hard time believing one set of ideas as fact, sometimes another set of events occurs or is revealed from recent history that’s easier to believe. It’s almost of it these subsequent events happen as if you would draw a card from a Monopoly game if you landed on the “Chance” or “Community Chest” spaces.

We just had such a duality of events these past two weeks. People weren’t believing some of the events as were being described in the aftermath of the shooting in Las Vegas, such as the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, could have acted alone. It was also hard to believe someone in this day and age couldn’t have left “electronic footprints” on social media or on the Internet, but this guy allegedly did just that.

Almost as if some higher power in the media had a magic wand, we found out this week of a story in Hollywood that had to have been known in some circles for a few decades about the film mogul Harvey Weinstein. A menagerie of  actresses (including some household names such as Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd) came forward accusing Weinstein of various degrees of misconduct and sexual harassment. reminiscent of the sudden convergence of accusations that clouded now disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby a few years ago.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying these things being alleged didn’t happen. I’m saying it’s worth noting how one allegation triggered another allegation, and so forth and so on. Another thought that comes to mind that if a big-time bigwig like Weinstein could get away with something like this for many years, it makes me wonder what went on in the so called “B-movies” Hollywood puts out that place emphasis on horror and sex. I imagine the tales in that realm were a bit creepier and more lurid.

Am I surprised this goes in Hollywood? Hell, no. I’m saying stories like these put trust back in the media (the same media that quashed the story a few times in the last decade or so) whenever they seem to lose trust elsewhere. Just trying to keep perspective when the news media often seem to lose theirs. Weinstein will get his day in court if criminally and/or civilly charged, and the chips will fall from that as they may.

Flashback: “This Is It” by Kenny Loggins

Kenny’s coming to town next week as part of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, which is usually one of the big musical shindigs in these parts. Also on the bill is Michael McDonald of The Doobie Brothers before launching a solo career of his own.

Loggins and McDonald will probably team up on this classic song at Coachman Park, released in November of 1979, reaching #11 on the Billboard charts a few weeks later, and becoming a song instilled in the pop culture of the era.

Dogs And Buns

When I worked in the radio business back in the 1990’s, I’d go up and down the busy thoroughfares of Pinellas County, Florida. The busiest such road at the time (and still is) was Ulmerton Road, which connects to Interstate 275 over to Tampa and all other points away from the area.

In the early 1990’s, someone got the bright idea to vend hot dogs on the side of the busy road. Then someone got the even brighter idea that the vendors should be women wearing these relatively new bikinis revealing a lot more derrière than before.

I’m sure if I said I used to go get hot dogs there just to eat that it’d go over as well as saying that I read Playboy just for the articles. Honestly, it was a little of both. The women weren’t bad to look at, though I think some of them were a bit hassled being ogled by horny men. Never had a bad experience food wise, though.

One day, I read in the papers that a couple of these female vendors were stationed a bit too close to each other on US 19. What happened next left many men wishing they had been there to eyewitness: a brawl broke out between the two ladies, with must have been a test of the fabric they scantily wore.

After that, the city governments started cracking down on this local amusement of sorts, regulating what bikinis the ladies wore, making sure they were a bit less exposed.

It wound up being another one of those numerous cautionary tales about killing golden geese, and there being too much of anything good, and how such things don’t last.

The Great Crepitation Contest Of 1946

There was a lot of sad news this past week, and with the current headlines striking no resemblance to good news or no end to current controversies, I thought you all could use a laugh – I know I can use one. I know this is in a bit of poor taste, but considering what passes for good taste these days, I didn’t think most of you would mind.

(This was originally referred to on here back on December 27, 2011, back in the infancy of this blog. I thought it was worth mentioning again.)

I used to hear Neil Rogers play this bit around the holidays (either Thanksgiving or Christmas), to fill some airtime. Listeners would be busy with their lives (or not – Neil used to openly fear that those who listen to him live vicariously through him) around those times, or perhaps making travel plans to visit friends and family those times of the year. He wouldn’t get too many calls, and the calls he’d get around the holidays would request to hear this bit, as it had become a staple of the “Neilies” of that time who’d listen to his midday shows on WIOD (simulcasted up here in Tampa on WSUN for a time, which is how I heard of it) and later WQAM.

This was recorded in 1946, mind you. (I thought for sure when I first heard the bit it was recorded in the 50’s, maybe even the early 60’s.) World War II had ended the year before, and radio was still the medium of choice. Televisions were around, but really wouldn’t become a common medium for up to another decade. Up in Canada, CBC sportscaster Sidney S. Brown and producer Jules Lipton recorded this up in Toronto as an in-house practical joke. But the recording somehow made the rounds, becoming a novelty party record of its era. I couldn’t imagine Joe Buck or Bob Costas having the chutzpah to pull something like this off, but it worked for Mr. Brown, I suppose.

Oh – if you haven’t figured out what crepitating is, it will become clear once the “contest” gets going.

Flashback: “Don’t Do Me Like That” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

As many of you know by now, Tom Petty passed away on Monday night at the age of 66, a few hours after CBS already had him in the grave.

Petty had a lot of hits in his career, though he never had a Billboard number one. The closest he’d come to that honor was his duet with Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” that peaked at number three in September of 1981. “Don’t Do Me Like That” was his biggest hit in collaboration with his “Heartbreakers” band, peaking at number ten in February of 1980, while “Free Fallin” was his biggest solo hit in early 1990, peaking at the number seven spot.

His career spanned over four decades, culminating with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Rest in peace to my fellow Floridian.