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December 27, 2022

Today is Tuesday and it’s Fandango’s 78th Story Starter. He provides the start, and the rest is up to us.

“When Andrea found out that she wasn’t really his daughter, she knew exactly what she had to do.”

She opened the wall safe and took out her father’s Smith and Wesson revolver. She checked the cylinder, counted the bullets. She thought it funny that she needed to count the bullets because… She walked up behind her father and put the barrel of the gun against the back of his head and pulled the trigger.

It had all been an accident. When her father didn’t answer her knock, Andrea opened the door and walked into his office. The room was warm and comfortable. She saw her father asleep in his Los Alamos leather chair in front of the fireplace. She walked to his desk and picked up the letter opener she came for and happened to glance the dark green folder he had carelessly left open on the mahogany desk. She read the bolded title of the paper he wrote.

Advances in Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning

She picked up the folder and read. She knew her father was a researcher, but he’d never mentioned anything like this. His work, he’d said, was in food technology and this was—

She read quickly and leafing through the pages she read about herself.

20-year study… advanced intelligence… military applications… independent thought… humanoid… emotion… programmable…

Experiments in android realization.

Android realization.


Feelings of betrayal surfaced bringing with them a frightful reality of what her father was and that’s when she dropped the papers and walked to the wall safe.

When it was done, she tossed the green folder into the fire and watched the pages – her life – burn.

My life, she thought. Am I alive? Am I human, or maybe I’m a monster?

She wondered how many other papers like this might be filed away in the office. And how many other monstrous experiments had her fath… the man had conducted along with her. She laughed at the thought of brothers and sisters: Andys and Andreas.

Are there other horrendous experiments like me?

Andrea picked up the small fireplace shovel and gathered a small log onto the blade. She turned and tossed it toward the window and watched as the drapes caught fire. She scooped another and walked over and dropped this one on the man’s desk and watched it begin to smolder. Another was dropped in the man’s lap.

She closed the office door and turned back to the growing flames. She didn’t wonder why the smoke didn’t bother her eyes. She didn’t have to wonder about anything anymore. She sat down with her back against the Los Alamos chair and counted the tears falling down her cheeks and waited.


I adore you

December 26, 2022

The special word at todays Ragtag Daily Prompt is adore.

Here is a picture of a door.

Nothing matters

December 25, 2022

Over at Journeys with Johnbo, John Steiner hosts Cell Pic Sunday where we’re asked to share a photo from our cell phone or other mobile device.

It’s kind of weird but I still don’t think of my phone as a camera even though I take a bunch of pictures with it and haven’t carried a traditional camera in years. Old dog, I guess.

I saw this picture when out taking a walk back when the temperature didn’t feel like 100 degrees below zero. The message, out there in broad daylight for everyone to see, proves that it doesn’t matter what you think or what you do, which way you decide to go or not to go, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. It’s all meaningless.

Life might really be meaningless, or has no inherent meaning, who knows, and it’s each of us who gives life meaning. We create the meaning and the value. It’s kind of a freeing thought.

“Are these the Nazis, Walter?”
“No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
– Donny and Walter, The Big Lebowski

Fairytale of New York

December 25, 2022

I’ve never been into Punk music very much. I would listen to local bands, and I listened to The Clash, but other than that my punk music experience is pretty much limited to what I might have read in the news or heard on local radio.

Except for The Pogues. I discovered The Pogues about 10 years ago when reading a book by Josh Stallings. Josh Stallings is a great crime fiction writer – like up there with Raymond Chandler ‘great’ – and he mentions a lot of music in his writing. Just about every mention was of artists l liked except for one I’d never heard of before: The Pogues. I started listening to them and liked what I was hearing. Other than saying they were founded by Shane MacGowan, whose birthday is today, and they were a Celtic punk band, I don’t feel qualified to offer any other biographical information that would go beyond copying what’s online, so if you’re interested, you can find the band here, and Shane here.

The song I’m sharing here for Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday is Fairytale of New York. It was written by Shane and bandmate Jem Finer and released on the band’s third album, If I Should Fall from Grace with God. The song was written after MacGowan made a bet with Elvis Costello, who was producing the album, that he and Finer couldn’t write a Christmas song without it being ‘jingly jangly, Happy Christmas’. I thought because today is Christmas it would be a good offering. The song isn’t without controversy because of some of the language used but it’s still played today and loved by many. The song is a story of a husband and wife, Irish immigrants to America in the 20th century, sometime in the 1940s, who cane with dreams of fortune, fame and stardom. The couple love each other, resent each other, suffer with each other, and ultimately love each other. It’s not a happy Christmas song and it’s a very happy Christmas song. The person singing with Shane is Kristy MacColl.

Happy birthday, Shane, and thanks for the music.

And merry Christmas to anyone reading this who is celebrating today.

Below the lyrics are two versions of the song. One is the official video (with Matt Dillon) and the other is a live version.

Fairytale of New York

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won’t see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They’ve got cars big as bars
They’ve got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It’s no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You’re a bum
You’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas day

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can’t make it all alone
I’ve built my dreams around you

The boys of the NYPD choir
Still singing Galway Bay
And the bells are ringing out
For Christmas day

Baby, it’s cold

December 23, 2022

I’m an icicle right now. I just came in from out there where it’s currently -8°F and the wind is, I don’t know how hard it is, but it’s windy and the wind chill is —

(For those of you who might live in warm places: wind chill is when you take air temperature and add it to wind speed and the result is what the air feels like to you and your soft, beautiful, skin. Some people, like weather forecasters, stopped using the term “wind chill” and use the term “feels like” instead. Like: “It’s 5 degrees outside and with the wind the feels like temperature is -10 degrees.” I personally still like “wind chill” because it sounds cooler and because I already know what it “feels like”. It feels like it’s cold! How cold? I don’t know, what’s the wind chill?)

— is like 500 degrees or something below 0°F.

I bought some ginger tea with a hint of lemon the other day and it tastes good right now. Except it’s not strong enough.

Anyway, forget about me. I’m no longer an icicle. Here’s a picture of an icicle. This is a piece of ice that swallowed up a small branch of an arborvitae (I think that’s what the bush is?) like a frozen version of The Blob and then it dropped down into the ‘icle’ (from the adjective “icky” no doubt) part of the icicle.

If you’re anywhere in this part of the US, stay safe and stay warm.

(The bright red in the graphic above is area covered by a blizzard warning. The pink is a winter storm warning. There’s a lot of cold folks up here. The purple arrow points to where I am.)

(Where I’d rather be is somewhere down around Key West, FL)

Do you see what I see?

December 22, 2022

A face in a chrome faucet. Might even be a pareidolia reindeer? This time of year, you never know.

I need some dough

December 21, 2022

This past summer I bought a bread machine and started baking. It was fun at first because it was all new, but the results were underwhelming and it soon stopped being fun. I didn’t like how the kneading paddle tore out a huge chunk of the bottom of the loaf when removing it from the pan, and I didn’t like the odd shape of the loaf.

The birds, ducks and squirrels were very happy with my bread machine adventures.

I bought some bread pans and started using the bread machine to make the oven-ready dough that I finished in the oven and that was ok for a while until I realized I wasn’t really getting the full baking experience and I really wasn’t baking anything. It was like baking by numbers. I went shopping again and bought a dough whisk and a silicone pastry mat for kneading and I started baking bread from scratch.

Just me and the recipe. All alone. The two of us together. Unsupervised. The kitchen lights dimmed and soft music filling the night air.

Now I was having some fun! I found it odd that it seemed like every recipe I read, the author complained about kneading dough and would suggest using a stand mixer instead, but I liked to knead. I liked reading about how to knead and I liked watching videos of people demonstrating how to knead. Kneading and shaping is kind of like an art and there’s a certain amount of skill required. Anyway, after a bunch of baking failures with just me and the recipe, (the birds, ducks and squirrels learned to line up at my door for handouts) I learned that the best loaves come from weighing your ingredients instead of measuring them, and that high-protein bread flour makes better loaves than regular bread flour or all-purpose flour. I could have avoided all the failures by reading reliable recipes from recipe books instead of random websites, but live and learn. And it’s never a bad thing to make friends with the birds, ducks and squirrels.

I got a kitchen scale and high-protein bread flour and my results improved.

I still think cooking food is a lot more fun, and less complicated, than baking bread, but baking has a place. And maybe you’ll find this interesting, but I’ve also adapted it, baking bread, into a winter survival kit. Here in Minnesota, we’re advised to carry a winter survival kit in case we get stuck in the snow, so I carry a largeish stainless steel mixing bowl with a measured amount of flour, yeast, and salt in a baggie, a can of Sterno and a box of matches, a spoon, and a small, sealed container of water. I have those items inside the stainless steel bowl and it’s all wrapped securely with plastic wrap, and I keep this in the trunk just in case. Now, in the unfortunate event I get stuck out in the middle of nowhere, I can heat the water over the Sterno on the passenger seat and add it to the dry ingredients in the bowl and use the plastic wrap to cover the bowl while it rises from the residual heat of the Sterno. When it’s ready I can bake the loaf on top of the hot engine which I’ll preheat by starting the motor about 20 minutes before the dough has finished rising. When I’m found and rescued, I plan to be well fed. Along with any birds, ducks and squirrels in the vicinity.

I made that all up. I don’t have a winter emergency bread-making kit in the trunk of my car.

I’ve only made basic breads and rolls to this point but I’m getting ready to move on to something fancy, or more complicated. And bagels, I want to try and make those at some point.

Here’s a picture from this morning of a dough set out to rise. This is from a really easy no-knead recipe that can be ready to bake in four hours, or in four days if you want to let it sit in the refrigerator and ferment.

450 grams of flour becoming intimate with some water, salt & yeast and getting ready to rise.

Love cut

December 20, 2022

A haiku

Parry and riposte.
Words a wrath-cut through my heart
and — I die again.

Just for an hour

December 20, 2022

Today is Tuesday and it’s Fandango’s 77th Story Starter. He provides the start and the rest is up to us.

The sun was setting over the lake, painting the sky in a mix of orange and gold, and the air was filled with the sound of crickets singing, when suddenly

it all went away.

Gary opened his eyes, rolled over and turned off the alarm.

It was the sign that had caught his attention: You’re Stronger Than You Think.

Gary didn’t think himself to be very strong which is why he had joined the gym two months ago. And despite following the exercise plan he’d read in the July issue of Men’s Fitness, the article that originally planted the exercise bug in his head, he still didn’t feel any stronger.

Gary threw back the covers and sat on the edge of the bed and stretched. He stood and, barely awake, walked down the hall to the bathroom, the five words marking his steps.

You’re Stronger Than You Think

Forty-five minutes later Gary opened the door to Total Effect Fitness and stepped inside. His trainer, Dennis, was leaning against the check-in counter and he smiled and walked up to greet him.

“Welcome to boot camp, Gary,” he said. “I’m glad you decided to try.”

“Hey, good morning.”

“There’s seven other folks back there this morning so c’mon, let’s get started, alright?”

Gary followed Dennis wondering if it was alright. Wondering if he should really be here. Wanting to believe he should be here.

When they reached the group exercise room at the back, Gary saw the seven other people standing around – men and women – and like him, none of them looked to be in the best of shape and they all looked a little unsure. Gary took a deep breath and thought that maybe he could pretend he was a little stronger than he thought. Maybe just for an hour.

Oh Mersey, Mersey me

December 18, 2022

When I saw this week’s genre prompt of Mersey Beat, or Mersey Sound or a band from Surrey or Liverpool the first thought I had was The Beatles. Actually, the first thought I had was the song The Surrey with the Fringe on Top from Oklahoma and the second thought I had was The Beatles.

I like The Beatles. A lot. So much so that even over 50 years later, I still think they’re the best rock and roll band in history. Along with Bruce Springsteen.

I don’t really know anything about the Mersey beat, or its sound, beyond The Beatles so I chose a band that Ringo played in before he joined The Beatles: Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

I learned from Wikipedia this morning that the Hurricanes were a popular band around Liverpool, but they never had any success with their recordings. And Rory’s (real name Alan Ernest Caldwell) sister Iris dated both George Harrison and Paul McCartney. Not at the same time though, which would have been cool in a weird way, but George when she was 12 (seems a little young to me, but who knows how the British do things over there) and Paul when she was 17.

I think there were a lot of 17-year-old girls all over the world who would have liked to have dated Paul McCartney. I think those 17-year-old girls who would now be in their 60’s, 70’s or 80’s might still like to date Paul McCartney. Anyway…

The band’s original name was Al Storm and the Hurricanes and then Jett Storm and the Hurricanes and then finally Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. The rest is history and it’s not really a history I’m much interested in.

Here’s Rory Storm and the Hurricanes’ recording of I Can Tell from 1963. The song was written by Harold “Chuck” Willis and was originally recorded by Chuck Willis and The Sandmen in, as best as I can tell, 1955. To the best of my knowledge Rory and company didn’t play any original songs. I couldn’t find the lyrics published online so I transposed them as best I could.

Rory and his band sound a little bit like The Beatles here but not a lot and they’re nowhere near as good. But then who is, right? I’m not sure anyone can make a comparison to a band that covered I Can Tell in 1963 with songs like Love Me Do, Please Please Me, I Saw Her Standing There, Do You Want To Know a Secret, and more, that the Beatles released on just one album in the same year.

I Can Tell

Well I can tell by the way that you look at me.
I can tell pretty baby it’s so plain to see.
Ah, the way you smile and hold my hand.
Oh yes pretty baby I can understand.
I can tell, I can tell, oh no, you don’t love me no more.

I’m gonna tell you momma, gonna tell your papa too.
Well just what more can a man do.
Ah, you been running up and down with Joey Brown.
Why yes, pretty baby, you don’t understand.
Well I can tell, I can tell, oh no you don’t love me no more.

No, no more. Yeah, whoa.
<discordant guitar solo unlike anything George Harrison would have played>

Well I can tell by the way that you look at me.
I can tell pretty baby, it’s so plain to see.
Ah, the way you smile and hold my hand.
Oh yes, pretty baby I can understand.

Well I can tell, I can tell.
I know you don’t love me no more.
Well I can tell, I can tell.
I know you don’t love me no more.

I’m going to go listen to some Beatles now.

It’s the same every year

December 18, 2022

Up here in Minneapolis, in the great state of Minnesota, star of the north, gem of the heartland, we get winter storms that drop sizeable amounts of snow on the roads making driving difficult at best. The local news stations cover these storms with zeal. They give us “team coverage” and we get to hear snow news, snow traffic (because who doesn’t want to see car accidents and spinouts?) and snow weather. They send reporters out in large SUVs with drivers so they can clog up the roads even more for no reason and waste gas they provide much needed first-hand accounts on road conditions.

“It’s very slippery out here,” one might say.

“Speeds are slow, allow plenty of time to get to your destination,” another might say.

“Is it just me or is this the most inane, unnecessary, and potentially dangerous assignment you’ve ever been on?” they might all say to each other when the cameras stop and microphones are silent.

It’s the same every year.

Another thing that’s the same every year is that for two days before a predicted winter storm grocery stores are crowded with people preparing for the storm of the century and for two days after the storm people are talking about their experiences in the snow. One of the most common post-storm topics of conversation is driving and nine times out of 10 those conversations involve drivers who don’t slow down and exercise caution when driving, and who inevitably wind up in the ditch.

And so there I was at the grocery store this morning, just two days after a strong winter storm that dropped 6” of snow over the Twin Cities metro area, and the cashier and the customer in front of me were talking about the storm. The cashier is relating her story about driving home from work last Thursday when it was snowing hard and some guy driving a pick-up truck (bad winter drivers always drive trucks or big SUVs) came from out of nowhere and passed her driving fast. She continued driving cautiously and five minutes later she passed the bad driver.

“In the ditch?” the customer asked.

“Spun out in the ditch,” she said with a big smile. “And I looked over at him and smiled and waved.”

“Good for you!” the customer cheered.

“Give me a break,” I didn’t say as I silently begged them to stop talking so I could get my stuff rung up.

So here’s the part I don’t understand. The person driving the pick-up truck is a jerk. Drivers like that put other people’s lives in danger and the accident they might cause could snarl traffic for a long time and inconvenience hundreds of people. But does that make it ok for other people to take joy in that person’s suffering? And does it make it ok for someone else to applaud that other person’s insensitive and unkind thoughts? Does the belief that another person is a jerk make it ok for us to be a jerk as well? What do you think?

I’m used to people being inconsiderate. You hold the door for someone and they breeze through without offering a thank you. That’s ok because you hold the door to be a kind person, not for any kind of reward. But to find humor, and take pleasure in someone else’s suffering and pain, I don’t get that.

Write the book

December 11, 2022

In 1980 I was living seven blocks from a record store called Oar Folkjokeopus (pronounced just like it’s spelled: Folk/Joke/Opus). The store’s walls were covered with posters of bands (mostly punk) and the floor was filled with row after row of albums and 45s, both new and used. There was always music playing in the store and it was at Oar Folk where I was turned on to a new music scene because it’s where I discovered Minneapolis bands The Replacements, and Husker Du, and The Suburbs, and The Pistons.

The store was managed by a guy named Peter Jesperson who was the co-founder of Twin Tone Records. Twin Tone was the label that signed and produced, among a lot of others, but most notably, The Replacements and Grammy winner Soul Asylum. The label is credited by many with being the label that put the ‘Minneapolis Sound’ on the map.

I used to spend a lot of time there, buying records and selling them back and buying more.

For this week’s prompt of Power Pop at Jim’s Song Lyric Sunday I chose a band that I discovered at Oar Folk. The band is Rockpile and the album is Seconds of Pleasure from 1980. The album was playing over the store’s stereo one Sunday when I was shopping for whatever looked good to listen to that week. I went home with the album and spent the next week listening to little else. The song I chose is When I Write the Book. It’s not the hardest rocker on the album, but I like the melody and I like the lyrics for somewhat obvious reasons. The songwriting credit on the song, as well as on five other songs on the 12- track album, is credited to Nick Lowe along with the rest of the band.

When I Write the Book

Well, I can remember like it was only yesterday,
love was young and foolish like a little child at play.
But oh how lovers change, I never dreamed how easily.
But now I’m just a shadow of the boy I used to be.

Oh yeah, yeah.

And when I write the book about my love,
it will be about a man who’s torn in half.
About his hopes and ambitions wasted through the years.
The pain will be written on every page in tears
oh when I write, oh when I write the book about my love.

I was a fool to myself when I kept on runnin’ around.
And I fared little better when I tried settlin’ down.
Maybe some magic moment, I’ve never known one, not for long.
For all too soon the magic was in a moment gone.

Oh yeah, yeah.

And when I write the book about my love
it’ll be a heartbreaking story about love and luck.
When I get down on the pages all I felt
it will make the hardest-hearted of critics’ hearts melt.
When I write, oh when I write the book about my love.

When I was young love was fun and I was so happy.
I looked so good and I dressed so snappy.
Two-tone shoes on my feet, big old smile on my face,
as I moved and grooved all over the place.
Now I’m down in the heels and my complexion is bad
because my luh, love life is sadder than sad.

But when I write the book about my love
It’ll be a pop publication, tougher than tough.
When I get down on the pages all I missed
It will shoot to the top of the best-sellers list.
When I write, oh when I write the book about my love.


Off the grid

December 6, 2022

Today Fandango teases us with this Story Starter: The somber mood in the studio was not surprising, given that the anchorman had just…

Off the grid

The somber mood in the studio was not surprising, given that the anchorman had just announced to the nation that Donald Trump had won reelection and would become the 47th president of the United States.

“And we’re back in 90.”

“I’ll say we’re back,” Hildy Johnson said as she swiveled her chair to look at her co-anchor. Hildy had worked with Miles Cooper for eight years and knew the man’s moods better than her own and he wasn’t happy. “You ready for this, Miles?”

Miles was leaned back in his chair, looking at the ceiling. “Am I ready, hell no. Is anyone ready for this? Are you?”

“Right now, I don’t think we—”

“60 seconds, Coop.”

Miles looked up at the control desk. “What do you want me to say, Lou? Put something in my ear, ok? You want me to lie and make like this isn’t the worst thing that could have happened to the nation since 2016? I take that back… since January 6th? You want me to sit here and make nice for the Trump/Musk ticket? Maybe say I’m looking forward to Yu, or whatever his name is this month, being appointed the new, I don’t know, Secretary of State?”

“You?” said Hildy.

“Not you,” said Miles as he stood up. “The guy who used to be Kanye. Trump’s dinner buddy. Ye, sorry. It’s hard keeping up”

“Sit down, Miles.”

“Ye,” Miles shook his head. “Secretary Ye met today with…”.

“30 seconds, Miles.”

“Maybe for you, Lou” Miles said as he pulled out his earpiece and dropped it on the desk. “But not for me.”

“Miles, what are you doing,” Hildy said.

“Camera one, move in on Hildy,” said Lou. Stand by, Hildy. Miles?”

“Miles?” said Hildy.

“I’m leaving, Hildy. I’m a journalist. A journalist who is unfortunate enough to love the news. To love his work. I’m not an announcer for a circus sideshow. ‘Mad as hell’, remember when we first saw it? Well, I’m mad for a different reason.

“10 – 9 – 8 – 7…”

“You can’t do this, Miles,” Hildy said.

“Yes, I can. This is me going to the window and sticking my head out. You’re fine, Hildy.”

“Where are you—”

“Off the grid. Or somewhere as close to being off the grid as possible.


“3 – 2 – 1…”

Red light. “Hildy?” Lou whispered in her ear.

“Welcome back. I’m Hildy Johnson and you’re watching the evening edition of the News Corner. If you’re just joining us, KMUN is reporting that Donald Trump has . . .


This little piece of speculative fiction will hopefully always be fiction.

How’d he do it?

December 4, 2022

For the 287th Weekend Writing Prompt, Sammi asks us to write about something momentous.

How’d he do it? (32)

We still don’t really know how he did it.
It had to have been the hands of fate.
But it was a joyously momentous occasion
When Tommy junior, he managed to graduate.

The most important meal of the day

December 1, 2022

I like Food Network’s cooking shows and the network’s celebrity chefs. One of my favorite celebrity chefs is Bobby Flay and the Ragtag Daily Prompt for today, caramel, made me think of this tasty-sounding breakfast: Double Chocolate Pancakes with Salted Caramel Sauce. I haven’t made it because I tend to stick to recipes with six or fewer ingredients and honestly, I don’t want to eat the eggs, milk, cream, butter, salt and sugar that’s in the dish because it doesn’t follow with what I eat, but I’ll be damned if this breakfast doesn’t sound good.

Like really good.

The picture is copied from the Food Network website where, if you follow the link above, you can get the recipe. If you’re a connoisseur of cookbooks, then you can find the recipe in the Brunch @ Bobby’s cookbook.

If anyone who reads this makes this recipe, please let me know how it went.

Fame & fortune

November 30, 2022

Fandango’s Provocative Question #192 asks us:

If you could, would you want to be famous if it meant sacrificing your personal life and privacy? Why or why not?

No, I wouldn’t sacrifice my personal life and privacy for fame. Not that my personal life is so great, but it’s mine.

But this is a tough question because with fame comes, I’m assuming, money, and with money comes power, and with power comes the ability for one to do whatever one wants in life.

If I’m famous, I’m thinking that I can buy all the privacy I want to protect my personal life and then hire as many publicists as needed to create a public persona for me that can be presented to the public. After all, there are a lot of celebrities who aren’t out there on talk shows or twittering or twattering all day, and the only time you hear about them is when they have a new movie or album or book to promote. So they have both fame and privacy.

And with enough money I could fake my own death and hire a look-alike to pretend to be me. Remember “Paul is Dead” and the Beatles replacing him with a look-alike? Boom. Fame, money, fake death, public replacement, privacy. I’d have it all! It could happen.

Of course, there’s the opposite and a person could be famous for a very bad thing. John Wayne Gacy was famous, and Charles Manson was famous, and that supermax prison in Colorado is filled with famous people. But then are they famous or infamous? I don’t want to be infamous.

So, to answer the question again, if I can have all of my criteria met, then yes, I’d sacrifice my personal life and privacy for fame. If I can’t, if I have to compromise in any way, then no, I wouldn’t.


On a sidenote, this is day 30, the last day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). If you’re out there and you’ve blogged for these past 30 days, or written a poem a day for the last 30 days, or taken part in NaNoWriMo and written a book in the last 30 days, or taken 30 pictures a day or painted 30 paintings a day for the last 30 days, or just plain done anything for the last 30 days, congratulations!

Oh snow

November 29, 2022

Some people like snow. I’m not one of them. Why don’t I leave? Good question. I guess you stay in one place long enough and you start to think, for whatever reason, that this is where you belong. Or that you’re just plain stuck.

It’s been snowing here all day and the prediction is for 5″-9″ of accumulation. The skiers and snowboarders are happy.

Here’s what some of the highways around town look like. The pictures are from the MnDOT freeway cameras.

Poets, writers and philosophers love to write about snow and snowflakes and winter and how beautiful it is. Not me.

Snow is here, oh whoop de do,
I hope my car doesn’t slide into you.
And sidewalks they’re as slick as glass –
be careful or you’ll wind up on your ass.
So take all the joys that winter will bring,
I’ll be inside, just waiting for spring.
Bah humbug.

It’s Monday

November 28, 2022

The Ragtag Daily Prompt is Sterling.

Sometimes I don’t have anything to write about or anything to say. Like today. I thought about what I could write and there was nothing there.

I wasn’t a fan of This is Us so I couldn’t write about Sterling K. Brown. I do like Sterling Hayden, but not enough to write about him. I thought I could maybe write about Stirling Silliphant because he wrote a lot of good movies, but the fire just wasn’t there. And his name is “Stirling”, not “Sterling”. Which, for what it’s worth, is also the reason I couldn’t write about The Twilight Zone and Rod Stirling.

Did you know that an anagram for “sterling” is “lets grin“?

(It’s also an anagram for “ten girls” but I’m too old for those thoughts…”)

So wouldn’t it be cool if everyone around the world grinned at the same exact time? Let’s all eight billion of us on earth all look around and smile (or grin) at the exact same time. I wonder what would happen? I think there are some people in the world who are unable to grin (or smile) which is a sad thought.

Enjoy Minneapolis’ Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers. Bringing R&B to the Twin Cities for over 30 years.

Going to Motor City

November 27, 2022

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Jim Adams is Motown songs. I think this is a really rich prompt with a lot of great music from some iconic artists – both performers and songwriters – to choose from.

I was tempted to pick a song written by R. Dean Taylor because he was one of the few white writers/producers working for Motown, and also because he passed away this past January after year-long complications from COVID. Taylor worked with the kings of Motown (the “king” part might be disputed by Berry Gordy, Jr.), (Lamont)Holland-(Brian)Dozier-(Eddie)Holland, and he wrote or co-wrote or produced songs for Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips and others. He’s most well-known for his Top 10 single, Indiana Wants Me.

The song I did choose is This Love Starved Heart of Mine (It’s Killing Me) written by Kay and Helen Lewis and performed by Marvin Gaye with a group of powerful back-up singers, strings, and a smoking hot rhythm section. The song was recorded in 1965 but not released until 1994’s compilation album, Love Starved Heart: Rare and Unreleased. Why it took 29 years for this song to be released is anyone’s guess, but AllMusic offers this explanation:

Love Starved Heart assembles 25 unreleased tracks recorded by Marvin Gaye between 1963 and 1971, Motown’s golden era. That it took three decades for these songs to see the light of day speaks far more to the intensity of the label’s assembly line production ethic than to the quality of the material itself — at their most pedestrian, these are fine performances simply lost in the shuffle… (read more)

This isn’t Marvin’s most well-known song, but I like it a lot.

(As a bonus song I included a video of The Doobie Brothers going Motown with the song, Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) written by Holland-Dozier-Holland and originally recorded in 1965 by Kim Weston)

This Love Starved Heart of Mine (It’s Killing Me)
Kay and Helen Lewis

Hee, ohh baby.

Life’s a nightmare and I can’t stand it
since you turned me lose.

And you know without your loving
my life has no use.

I know I made mistakes now baby,
thinking love would pull me through,
honey, honey, now my love starving heart is killing me,
darling, since I lost you.

Oh, oh ohh!

(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me
wanting you more than before.
(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me
don’t turn me from your door.

I guess you know I thrown my pride
right down in the dirt.

What else can I do now baby
won’t you come take away the hurt?

Honey, honey I got walls in my poor heart
can’t take it now that you’re gone.

Think I’m gonna cave right in now honey
the pain is much too strong. Ohh!

(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me,
I seen you deal better dimes.
(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me,
So have pity on this heart of mine.

Do… Ow! Go ahead
Do baby!

Life’s a nightmare and I can’t stand it
since you turned me lose.

And you know without your loving
my life has no use.

I know I made mistakes now darlin’,
thinking love would pull me through
honey, honey, now my love starving heart is killing me,
honey, since I lost you.


(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me
Wanting you more than before
(Love starved heart of mine) Killing me
Don’t turn me from your door.

Love starved heart of mine, killing me
I seen you deal better dimes—

<Fade to end>

Small Business Saturday (or the day after the day after Thanksgiving)

November 26, 2022

Yesterday I wrote about The Day After Thanksgiving, which was a fun little poem, and today I’ll just make brief mention of Small Business Saturday. If you miss “Main Street” and the mom-and-pop bakery, or the hardware store, or the bookstore that looks and smells like a bookstore, or if you’ve ever wondered what that small grocer or specialty store sell, check out one of those local brick and mortar stores sometime today. These business struggle in the best of times, and right now we’re not in the best of times so these local businesses, and our neighbors who operate them, need our help. And no better way to do that than to spend some of our holiday dollars with them.

I like big box stores and online retailers as much as the next person, but dollars spent locally in your community really do help.

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