Archive for March, 2012

Totally Miscellaneous Blog Entry

I hope you’re all having a great Saturday and weekend.  I’m back to work, so it’s my Monday.  I was just looking at the calendar and it’s only 35 weeks until the end of November.  What a joyous time that will be — everyone will be out shopping and getting ready for the Christmas season.

I wasn’t going to blog again today, but thanks to my friend sharing this cartoon with me on Facebook and making me laugh, I had to share it.  Thanks Liz!

LMAO!  That’s the clean version.  Here’s my “MDNA” response, “LMFAO”.

So, this leads me to a this and that blog, a miscellaneous blog, a blog with no agenda, just a blog with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The Kentucky Wildcats are playing in the Final Four men’s basketball tournament against the Louisville Cardinals.  In Kentucky, you can’t root for both teams.  You’re either blue or red.  I grew up blue and will die blue!  Go Wildcats!!

However, I will say that if Kentucky loses and Ohio State wins today, I will have gone from the bottom three in the NCAA basketball pool at work to the near the top since 19 people picked Kentucky to win it all!

Here’s another cute email or post that I saw the other day and this would be a perfect time to share it.  This is what I call “Golden Heaven”, since we’ve been thinking a lot about Miss ABBA this weekend.  God, it’s only been eight weeks and it feels like an eternity.

And, finally, a friend, Cindy Carney, suggested something for my blog and I think it might be fun.

If you’re still reading, private Facebook me and ask me a question if there’s something you want to know.  On the first of each month, I’ll answer  some of them in a blog.  I always like filling out those silly questionnaires that people usually forward by email.

By the way, my favorites colors are orange, yellow, and green in that order, so you don’t have to ask that one. 🙂

Peace ☮


My Fantasies … Are on Hold!

One of the three winning Mega Millions tickets sold for Friday’s record $640 million jackpot was right here in Illinois (Red Bud, near St. Louis), but I will be at work later today and the next four days because it wasn’t me.

The other two winning tickets were sold in Maryland and Kansas and each of the tickets will be worth $213 million before taxes.

In all reality, what would a person do with $640 million, $213 million, or even, $100 million?

If I won a big lottery, I personally would donate a lot of money to my favorite charities, including golden retriever rescues.  Then, I’d buy my sister, Tammy, and mom, Betty, a new house each and put enough money in an interest earning account, that each of them couldn’t touch, that would pay for the upkeep and taxes on the house.

As for us, we’d buy a place in several key cities that we’d like to live and spend time at each.  Let’s see, one in Chicago overlooking Lake Michigan down below, one in Paris, one in Palm Springs, California, and maybe one in New York City or some foreign destination.

Okay, enough of the fantasy talk since we bought two tickets for last night’s drawing and matched only one number on each line.

I’m just ready for my vacation season to really kick in.  After spending the weekend at the cabin in Dubuque, Iowa, a couple of weeks ago, I’m wishing my life away for all of the other getaways to get here.

Gretel doesn’t know it, but Ray and I are planning on taking her somewhere fun for her July birthday.

Already on the books are some inexpensive getaways:  Indianapolis, Indiana for a few days in mid-May (Ray has a speaking engagement and I’m going along for the ride); Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day at Ray’s parent’s place located on the Lake; Fort Dodge, Iowa, for Ray’s 30th high school reunion in August; and western Kentucky in September for my 30th high school reunion.

Ray also have a conference in Houston, Texas, at the end of September that I will tag along for and go sightseeing while he works!  And, everybody (but Madonna) knows that I’m going to Las Vegas for my birthday in October to see Madonna.

And, (Mom) Betty is visiting us in June.  So, I guess we have some things to do this year, even if some of them are just sitting around with family.

I hope that if you’re reading this that you matched enough numbers on the Mega Million ticket to win a lot of money to make life more exciting.  If you’ve got travel plans this year, look forward to them and enjoy.


“MDNA” — How Many Disco Balls Does It Earn?

Looking at the calendar, it’s almost April 2012, right?  If you turn on Top 40 radio these days, you’ll hear Rihanna (“We Found Love”), The Wanted (“Glad You Came”), Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry over and over and over.  However, this week, those upstarts might take a cue from a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s.

The two top selling CDs are from Madonna and Lionel Richie!

The last time those two were both in the top five on the album chart together was in October 1986, almost 26 years ago!!  Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” was at #1 for the second week and Madonna’s former #1, “True Blue,” was at #5.

I bought “MDNA” by Madonna, which will debut at #1 on the new Billboard Top 200 Album chart, and “Tuskegee” from Lionel Richie, which will enter the chart at #2, next week.  However,  I confess that I haven’t listened to Lionel yet, because I can’t stop listening to Madonna.

“MDNA” can be summed up by guest star Nicki Minaj on “I Don’t Give A” when she gleefully exclaims, “”There’s only one queen and that’s Madonna, bitch!”   (I wonder if that’s a hidden jab at Britney Spears, who opened “Gimme More” with “It’s Britney, bitch”?

After Madonna released “Hard Candy” in 2008, which went on to become her second least successful album of her career, selling only 740,000 copies in the United States (“American Life”, released in 2003, only sold 677,000 copies), I was really hoping that Madonna would hit the dance floor again!  I’m not disappointed.  Madonna is definitely ready to keep you dancing until last call.

The first five songs on “MDNA” are 20 minutes of Madonna musical bliss!

The disc starts off with Madonna’s new single, “Girl Gone Wild”, a throbbing dance number and it’s followed by “Gang Bang”, a very dark and undeniably one of the best and most unlike Madonna songs on the CD.  “Gang Bang”  has been omitted from the “clean version” of “MDNA” because it’s probably un-editable.  It sounds more like a soundtrack song for a violent Quentin Tarantino movie.

Guns and violence show up in several songs on “MDNA” and I’m sure that will be an underlying theme, along with failing to meet the Catholic church’s expectations, on Madonna’s new “MDNA World Tour” this summer and fall.

The wonderful dance club vibe continues with “I’m Addicted”, “Turn Up The Radio”, and “Gimme All Your Luvin'”.  When “Gimme” was released the weekend before Madonna’s Super Bowl performance, I thought the song was catchy, but definitely not one of her best first releases from a new album.  However, now I see it for what it is, a fun and bouncy number.  Try listening to it and not be in a good mood.

“I Don’t Give A”, “Love Spent”, “Masterpiece”, “I F*cked Up”, and “Best Friend” are all incredible, standout songs and are my early favorites.

There are two versions of “MDNA” out now.  There’s the clean version, which features 11 songs.  The aforementioned “Gang Bang” has been dropped because of the language and the violent nature of the song.

There’s also a “Deluxe” version of the “MDNA” that features five additional songs, including “I F*cked Up” and a “Party Rock Remix” of “Gimme All Your Luvin'” with Nicki Minaj and LMFAO.

Of the 17 songs on the “Deluxe” version off “MDNA”, there are only two ballads.  “Falling Free” will have to grow on me, but “Masterpiece” from the movie, “W.E”, that Madonna directed is just that, a masterpiece.  There’s a reason it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song this year.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.

There is only one song that I feel should have been cut from the CD.  “B-Day Song” is fun, but it feels so out-of-place.  Maybe if Madonna explains why she felt it was important for her to include it on the album, I might listen to it with a more open mind, but for now, I just want to fast forward past it.

If you want a fun, party dance album for the summer, “MDNA” is that.  Who knows more about dance music than Madonna?  Also, pay the extra four dollars and get the “Deluxe” version.

If not, you’ll miss out on “I F*cked Up” and “Gang Bang”.  One of the eight co-writers of “Gang Bang”, English singer Mika, tweeted this of the song, “weird as f*ck, underground and lyrically cool, it’s amazing and bizarre. I love it, she sounds so good singing words so harsh.”

“Gang Bang” is definitely one of my favorite songs on “MDNA”, along with “Girl Gone Wild”.

On my own disco ball chart from one to five, I give it

Snow Disco Ball Clip Art Snow Disco Ball Clip Art Snow Disco Ball Clip Art Snow Disco Ball Clip Art
Here are some samples of my favorite songs from “MDNA” and trust me, these snippets do not offer the full effects of the songs.

“Girl Gone Bad”

“Gang Bang”

“I’m Addicted”

“Turn Up the Radio”

“Gimme All Your Luvin'”

“I Don’t Give A”

“Love Spent”


“I Fucked Up”

“Best Friend”

“Give Me All Your Luvin'” (Party Rock Remix) featuring Nicki Minaj & LMFAO

“Peeps’ Flashback ’80s Fridays”

Are you ready for the weekend?  Here’s some of my favorite songs from the 1980s to get you going this morning.

I was born during the first British invasion in the 1960s, but I was graduating high school when the second invasion took place in the early 1980s.  Culture Club, with cross-dressing front man Boy George, got America talking with “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”, which peaked at #2, in 1982.  The follow-up, “Time (Clock of the Heart), also hit #2, in 1983.

Culture Club — “Time (Clock of the Heart)

In the 1970s, I was all about country music, but in high school, I veered toward pop and dance music.  However, there was room for rock & roll, too.  As I was graduating high school, in 1982, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts spent seven weeks at #1 with “I Love Rock & Roll”.  I also love Britney Spears’ remake of the song from her 2002 movie, “Crossroads”.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts  — I Love Rock & Roll

When British singer Samantha Fox crossed the Atlantic in 1986, she was known for her sexy persona as well as her provocative first song that peaked at #4 in the U.S. in 1986.  “Touch Me (I Want Your Body) was a huge hit in Sweden (8 weeks at #1) and Canada (7 weeks at #1).  Fox went on to have three more American hits, “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too) peaked at #3 in 1988, “I Wanna Have Some Fun” (#8 in 1988), and “I Only Wanna Be With You” (#31 in 1989).

Samantha Fox  — Touch Me (I Want Your Body)


“National Organization for Marriage” Wants Discrimination, Not Sanctity of Marriage

Nothing is getting done in this country because Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree to disagree, yet they do.  It doesn’t matter if Barack Obama, John McCain, or Mitt Romney is running the country.  A nation divided is a nation set up to fail.  There’s a reason for the expression, “divide and conquer”.

As you know, I’m a strong and vocal advocate for marriage equality in every state of the United States and the country as a whole and I hope that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) goes the way of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

And, now the secret records from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a joke of an operation with one loud windbag after another spouting off, have been released.  It goes to show that NOM’s directors Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown want to pit one minority against another to further their hateful anti-marriage equality agenda.

Here is one the exposed memos:

The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” one of the memos bluntly says. “Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of his party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates. . . find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally.”

After Californians voted down same-sex marriage with Proposition 8 in 2008, the influence of black voters was a topic of discussion in that defeat.  Now, it’s apparent that NOM has been working hard to further discrimination and it doesn’t stop with one minority.  Here’s a memo dated 2009:

The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so [sic] in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity – a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”

Because of the message NOM is spreading, some leaders are defecting and speaking out.  Louis Marinelli, the former organizer of the group’s bus tour, left in 2011 and said, “We have to stop seeing things in black and white all the time and that is, I’m afraid, what NOM does in terms of marriage.   The world isn’t black and white, it’s yellow, it’s green, it’s purple, it’s red, orange, it’s blue.”

Maggie, Brian, and NOM, you can crawl back under the rock anytime.


Would You Prefer A Rain/Snow Mix or a Freeze?

While many of us remember or have heard of Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal”, I’m more familiar with Bob Barker’s “The Price is Right”.  If you were the big winner going into the  “Showcase Showdown”, you could look at the first showcase and bid on it or pass it to the runner-up.  That’s how I feel about the weather next week.

This morning we woke up to a cold 39°, which is still warmer than the average of 34° in late March and earlier this week, Monday’s above average high of 59° seemed downright chilly since we’ve enjoyed highs in the 60s, 70s, and 80s since March 10th.

Temperatures this March are running 15.1° above average and this will go down in the record books as the warmest March on record in the Quad Cities and those records date back to the 1870s!

Showers and storms later today, tonight, and Friday will hold highs in the 60s, but warmer temperatures are on the way this weekend with a near record high Sunday in the low-to-mid-80s.

However, some big changes are on the way.

This is NOAA’s GFS model for Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. from last evening.

Notice that blue line southwest of the Quad Cities, that is the freezing line of temperatures at 5,000 feet above the ground.  That could translate to highs in the 40s or 50s for us.

The green would be rain, snow, or a rain/snow mix over the Great Lakes and northern Illinois.

The latest models from this morning are backing away from bringing that really cold air down this far.  However, it’s still days away and things will change many times before then.

The bottom line is this:  We could see some very chilly air for a couple of days next week (Monday night to Wednesday) and maybe again late next weekend into early the following week (April 8-10th).

So, if this model is correct, the first showcase would offer clouds, a chance of rain or snow, and temperatures in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.  And, if the cold air does come down and the clouds break up, we could experience a frost or possible freeze.

The second showcase would keep the really cold air north and it’ll just be a little chilly here.  I’ll take this scenario.  I don’t want a frost, freeze, or any snow at this point in the season.

More 70s and 80s please, so things will continue to bloom and grow.


Cracking Under Pressure & That’s No “Bulls#*t”!

This is no “bulls#*t”!

“Rick Santorum is becoming more desperate and angry and unhinged every day.”  Those are the words of  Mitt Romney spokesman Ryan Williams, who added  that Santorum was “panicking in the final stages of his campaign.”

Here is a bit of what prompted that response.

This blown fuse interaction was near Racine, Wisconsin, in response to “New York Times” reporter Jeff Zeleny asking Santorum why he said Romney was the “worst Republican in America”.

I have no love for Santorum’s hate and illogical thinking, so this could not be happening to a better person.  And, it’s ironic to see this tempestuous behavior and the use of the word, “bulls#*t”,  from squeaky clean Mr. Religious and Mr. Conservative.  Maybe he’s more human than he lets on.

Even Fox News’  Brit Hume said this of the exchange, “Santorum, excuse me, could easily have said, ‘Look, that was in the context of Obama care. You’ve heard me say it a million times. And that’s what I meant.'”

The pressure is definitely mounting for Santorum.  He trails Romney in the delegate count 565-256, with 1,144 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination.

And, the next two states, Wisconsin and Maryland, and the District of Columbia, that go to the polls next Tuesday have high stakes.  All three are “winner takes all”  races.  So, there’s no runner-up prize for 98 delegates.


March 28, What a Special Day!

It’s March 28th.  Today is the 88th day of the year, since it’s a leap year, and there are 278 days left in 2012.

On this date in 1920, there was a major Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in the Great Lakes and the Deep South;  in 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania partially melted down; and in 2005, an earthquake rocked Indonesia with a magnitude of 8.7.  This was the fourth strongest quake since 1965.

However, this date is known for other things.

It was on this date 57 years ago that my idol, Reba McEntire, was born in Kiowa, Oklahoma.

Also, today, Lady Gaga turns 26 years old.

And, it was on this date, back in 1964 that my parents married.  It’s hard to believe that if they were alive today, it would have been their 48th anniversary.

Happy birthday Reba and Lady Gaga and Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Here’s a piece of cake in your honor!


Drugs Are Bad — “Just Say No” To Molly & Tina

“Just Say No” was a very popular anti-drug campaign started back in the 1980s by former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

While I’ve never done drugs, I know people that do drugs or have experimented with them.  When I first started clubbing back in the 1980s, some of my closest friends smoked marijuana.  I’ve never even took a puff off a cigarette, much less something stronger like pot.

Back in the early 1990s, when I went to Las Vegas with one of my best friends, it was our goal to try ecstasy.  Once we got there, it never presented itself and we never pursued it, although some offered me cocaine, which I politely declined.

And, now I have a very dear friend of mine struggling with a crystal meth addiction after partying it up in New Orleans a couple of years back.

So, why, you may ask am I going all Nancy Reagan on your ass and talking about the downfalls of drugs?

Saturday night, Madonna made a surprise appearance at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Florida, to introduce hot new DJ, Avicii, who remixed her latest hit, “Girl Gone Wild”.  While addressing the crowd of 165,000 party-goers, Madonna asked, “How many people in this crowd have seen molly?” and the revelers erupted in cheers.

To most people, that comment would have gone over their head.

However, it caused Canadian DJ Deadmau5 to rant on his Facebook page, “Very classy there madonna”, “quite the f’n philanthropist. but hey, at least yer HIP AND TRENDY!” and he topped his rant off with this, “I can appriciate (sic) her meteoric career, and all good deeds done, but WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?  That’s your big contribution to EDM [electronic dance music]? Thats your big message to ultra attendies? hipsterspeak for looking for drugs? fuck off you fucking IDIOT.”

For those that don’t know, “Molly” is a slang term for MDMA, the active chemical in “ecstasy”.  If you’re unfamiliar with EDM concerts, raves, and “circuit parties”, the use of drugs, especially ecstasy, “X”, and crystal meth, “Tina”, are rampant.

I’m addressing this issue because I’ve been very excited and promoting Madonna’s new CD, “MDNA” that was released yesterday.  She admits that the title could be a reference to ecstasy, to Madonna DNA, and or a shorter version of her name.

Here’s my take on things.  Drugs are bad, bad, bad.  They can kill and they destroy lives of the the people taking them and the people around them.

However, people like Deadmau5 (real name – Joel Zimmerman) have no business criticizing Madonna because she possibly made a reference to a drug that is as much a part of “circuit parties” as are sex and dance music.

Someone even called Zimmerman out on this after Facebook bashing of Madonna, “do you need to be reminded that you would be pointless if it wasn’t for molly and ecstasy?” to which he replied, “i’d give up my entire career to remove the fucking rampant stupidity thats plagued my favorite type of music in an INSTANT.”

Somehow, I find that hard to believe.

Monday night, Madonna took to Twitter to promote “MDNA” and Deadmau5 tweeted Madonna, “You’re a role model to 100’s of millions. You have a powerful voice, EDM could use your positive influence, not “molly” talk.”

Madonna then texted him a picture of her in mouse ears with this quote, “From one mouse to another. I don’t support drug use and I never have. I was referring to the song called ‘Have You Seen Molly’ written by my friend Cedric Gervais who I almost worked with on my last album …”  (That song is a house music track where a computerized female voice states that Molly helps her dance and she’s looking for Molly at a crowded rave.  It very well could be referencing ecstasy, too.)

I don’t think people should promote drug use or unsafe sex, however, I don’t think we should shy away and be afraid to mention it either.

I stand behind Madonna and her album “MDNA”.  I can’t wait to jam to it when I get home.  And, when I see Madonna in concert in Las Vegas in October, I’m sure I’ll see many people with Molly and I’m sure they’ll be dancing and having a good time.  I’ll just smile and say a silent prayer that they are only a “recreational” drug user (which I don’t condone) and I hope they never develop an addiction.


Shhhhhh!!!!! Madonna Fans, I’ll Let You In On a Secret

Madonna loves me, she really loves me.  Okay, Madonna doesn’t really know me and I’m sure it was Live Nation that loves me for the amount of money Ray & I spent for our Las Vegas Madonna tickets in October.

Yesterday, Live Nation sent us two “clean version” copies of “MDNA” with 11 songs.  However, being the die-hard fan, I also bought the “explicit” deluxe version of “MDNA” with 17 songs.

And, now the Smirnoff Co. (think yummy vodka and flavored vodkas) is offering ‘The Smirnoff “MDNA” Nightlife Edition Remix Album’ to die-hard Madonna fans.

The “MDNA” Nightlife Edition Remix Album features seven remixed tracks from Madonna’s new album, “MDNA”, and several different remixes of her recent #1 dance club smash, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” — 14 songs total!

And, here’s the kicker, it’s only $3.50.

This exclusive download is sure to become a collector’s album and can only be found on the Smirnoff US Facebook page.

You can get it here: