Archive for August, 2012

They Said What??? — Hugh Hefner, Hank Williams Jr., Rihanna, Crazy Politicians, & Madonna

HUGH HEFNER, “PLAYBOY” FOUNDER

“The fight for gay marriage is, in reality, a fight for all our rights. Without it, we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time.  Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, you’ll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyone’s sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.”

ALAN CHAMBERS, LEADER OF “EXODUS INTERNATIONAL”, AN “EX-GAY” CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION

“Do I think there are people living a gay Christian life who are going to be in heaven with me?  I do. If they have a relationship with God.”

MORE CHAMBERS

“For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”

HAS-BEEN COUNTRY SINGER HANK WILLIAMS JR.

(at the Iowa State Fair):  “We’ve got a Muslim President who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!”

MISSOURI REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE TODD AKIN

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.  But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

DEE SNIDER OF THE ROCK BAND TWISTED SISTER

“I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan’s use of my band Twisted Sister’s song, ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ in any capacity.  There is almost nothing he stands for that I agree with except the use of the [workout program] P90X.”

RIHANNA

(to Oprah about her 2009 attack at the hands of ex-boyfriend/singer Chris Brown):  “No one could feel that more than me. Nobody felt what I felt. It happened to me in front of the world.  I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched. Switched in a night. I couldn’t control that.”

ACTOR JEREMY RENNER (“THE HURT LOCKER” & “THE BOURNE LEGACY”)

“‘I talked to some other friends of mine about the rumours when I first heard them. I said, ‘Have you seen this?’ and they were like, ‘Dude, do you know how long that’s been online?’ Look up any actor and it’s the second thing that comes up. So I have gay rumours – guess I’ve made it!'”

ELTON JOHN

“Being the child of someone famous is a huge ball and chain around your ankles.  It’s going to be very difficult.  At school other children will say, ‘You don’t have a mummy,’ we’ve come a long way, but there’s still homophobia and will be until a new generation of parents don’t instil it in their children.”

MADONNA

(before singing “Masterpiece”, the song that won a Golden Globe Award this year over Elton John’s “Hello Hello”):  “I’d like to dedicate this next song to a Mr. Elton John.  I know he’s a big fan of it.  And I know he’s a big fan of mine. And you know? I forgive him. Gotta start somewhere.”

ED KOCH, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR

“”The Western cultural elite is rallying to the defense of the disrupters in the cathedral…”I would assume that many Pussy Riot supporters would take a different position, and rightly so, if here in the U.S. a black church were invaded and three men or women engaged in comparable conduct insulting holy places within the church and the pastor. I recall when I was Mayor in 1989 and the AIDS activist group Act Up, unjustifiably angry with John Cardinal O’Connor, invaded St. Patrick’s Cathedral and interrupted the Mass, throwing the Communion wafers – which for Catholics are the actual Body of Christ – to the floor.”

Anthony

 

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Oh No, He’s Thinking About Random Things

Most of my blogs are specific to one topic.  However, every once in a while, I like to do what I call a “this and that” blog where I write a little bit about whatever I’m thinking about it.  So, continue reading and enjoy.

HEALTHY EATING

I’ve talked quite a bit in the past about the success that Ray and I are having with losing the weight we’ve gained over the past three years.  He lost about 30 pounds and I dropped 25.

When we went to his high school reunion two weekends ago, we ate whatever we wanted and didn’t count calories.  And, once we returned home, we haven’t been too diligent about eating healthy and it shows.  Since dropping back to 142.6 pounds, I’ve gained six of the pounds back and I lack motivation to lose them.

However, since Thursday was Miss Gretel’s first day back at school (look at how cute she is),

we took her to lunch at my favorite place, Osaka Buffet, in Moline.

I pigged out and since Ray’s birthday is this weekend, we got him a cheesecake.

After that, I’m determined to get back on track , drop those pounds, and maintain a weight of 145.  I’ve indulged long enough and now it’s time to work it off.  Bad boy!

THOUGHT PROVOKING?

TOO SOON TO THINK ABOUT FALL?

With the recent cool weather, I’m really been thinking about and blogging about fall.  I can’t wait to wear long sleeve pullover shirts and pajama bottoms, curl up on the couch as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, make soups and chili as it turns cooler, and watch the trees and peppers turn colors.

Here’s a picture from last fall with Miss ABBA enjoying her rawhide in a neighborhood yard decked out for Halloween.

NUCLEAR POWER

The world’s population is growing at an alarming rate and the same is happening in the United States.  The population in the U.S. is roughly 314 million.  That’s up from 281 million in 2000 — up about 11% in just 12 years.  With the price of coal, gas, and oil continuing to rise, I hope that we seriously starting considering alternative sources before it’s too late.

I stand behind nuclear energy, as does the president and about 70% of Americans polled, and I would not be opposed to living near a new reactor.  The United States has more nuclear reactors in operation than any other country in the world.  In March 2011, “Time” magazine stated that there were 104 in the United States and they supply 20% of the power in the country.  Several of those are located in Iowa and Illinois.  Yet, the last new reactor went into service in the U.S. in 1996.

Yes, we’ve heard the horror stories about Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, which was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history.

And, then in March 2011, the 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami that followed in Japan destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.  According to a June 2012 Standford University study, the radiation released could cause 130 deaths from cancer (the lower boundary for the estimate being 15 and the upper boundary at 1100) and 180 cancer cases (the lower boundary being 24 and the upper boundary 1800), mostly in Japan. Radiation exposure to workers at the plant was projected to result in 2 to 12 deaths.

I know that we can build nuclear power plants that would be safe from tsunamis in the United States, but the biggest problem will be the cost.  That is followed by the fear of nuclear plants.

NEW MUSIC THAT I’M INTO NOW

22-year-old German DJ/producer Zedd (Anton Zaslavski), who has opened for Lady Gaga on her “Born This Way Ball” Tour and remixed her hits, “Born This Way” and “Marry The Night” is now climbing the American charts with his first hit featuring singer Matthew Koma,  “Spectrum”.

“Spectrum” just hit #1 on the Billboard Dance chart this week holding Madonna’s “Turn Up The Radio” at #2.  Madonna should top that chart next week and that will be her 43rd #1 dance hit, extending her lead over Janet Jackson in second place with 19.

Check out this amazing remix with Far East Movement, who scored at #1 hit in 2010 with “Like A G6”.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Patrick Abner (left) and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts are getting married this fall.  The couple met 12 years ago on September 30th.  I hope they choose that date to get married because I know another couple that will be celebrating their one year marriage anniversary on that same date! 🙂

I’M READY FOR MY VACATION SEASON TO START

It’s no secret that I love being a meteorologist, but I’m not shy about loving my time off, too.  Mom (Betty) is coming in a few weeks, we’re heading to Houston at the end of September, and then to Las Vegas to see Madonna for my birthday in October.

I’m excited about a few movies this fall and the first three I want to see are “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (limited release — September 21, 2012), “The Paperboy” (limited release — October 5, 2012), and while in Vegas, I want to see “Argo”  on opening day (October 12, 2012).

RECOMMENDED ALBUM

I bought a new album, “Hello” by Karmin, that I love.

It only has seven songs, but Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan are so hip and fun that the album will take you by surprise.

They’ve already scored a #1 dance hit, “Brokenhearted”, that reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their new release, “Hello” is already racing up the top 40 and dance charts.

Both Amy and Nick have great voices and the music is fun.  However, what will really surprise you is that Nebraska-born Amy can rap with the best of them.  Watch out Nicki Minaj!

GRADE:  A-

AND, THE FINALE

Since I’ve ruffled a few feathers in the recent past!

Peace out!

Anthony

It’s A Special Day!

UPDATE:  September 3, 2013

After reading this blog one year later, I have an update.  Ray is now 50-years-old and we’re not going to Hawaii.  He chose a Danube River cruise in Europe for his milestone birthday trip.  We’ll be doing that in October.

ORIGINAL POST:  August 25, 2012

It’s August 25th and there are 128 days remaining in 2012.

On this date in history in 1916, the United States National Park Service is created; in 1944, in World War II, Paris is liberated by the Allies; in 1981, the “Voyager 2” spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn; and eight years later on this date, “Voyager 2” makes its closest approach to Neptune!

And, noted celebrities like Regis Philbin (81), Kiss’ Gene Simmons (63), director Tim Burton (54), chef Rachel Ray (44), and Alexander Skarsgard (36) are celebrating birthdays today.

Now, that I have your attention after all the historical stuff and celebrity birthdays, look at this little sweetie!

Yes, it on this day back in 196o-something that little Raymond Forsythe was born in a Fort Dodge hospital elevator.  He just couldn’t wait to come into the world!

Sing along:

Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*
¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Ray!!!!! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Isn’t it funny how some little kids can be so adorable and then when they get older, they’re not as cute.  That didn’t happen to this little cutie.

All together now, a collective “ahhhhhh”.

And, one more blast from the past.

We started celebrating his birthday early.  Yesterday, for lunch, I grilled ribeyes with sauteed lemon pepper/basil grilled shrimp.

And, for dessert, “Red Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake” from “A Little Slice of Heaven” in Davenport, Iowa.  It was incredible!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, we’re going to celebrate with lunch at Carlos O’Kelly’s (Ray’s choice) and gifts.

For his big birthday next year, we’re planning a fantabulous trip to Hawaii.

Happy birthday Ray Ray!

Anthony

Tammy, Happy Anniversary!

One year ago this weekend, we were gearing up for a big move.

No, ABBA and I weren’t leaving the Quad Cities.  Ray, ABBA, and I were heading south for a seven-hour-plus drive to western Kentucky to meet my sister, Tammy, for her to make a life-altering change for the better.  We were moving her to Moline, Illinois.

Miss ABBA always enjoyed rides in the car and especially the rest areas for walks by bodies of water.  This is in Rend Lake in southern Illinois.

After stopping at a very gross “Jack in the Box” (really, how can you screw up a fast food burger), we made it to Grand Rivers, Kentucky, as the sun was settling over the Land Between The Lakes and meeting up with Tammy to go to my favorite restaurant, Patti’s 1880s Settlement.

This would be Tammy’s last night living in the South.  Other than a brief period in Michigan in the early-1990s, she had always lived in Kentucky or Tennessee.

(Hey, look at Ray and Anthony 20-30 pounds heavier!)

If you ever visit western Kentucky or if you’re just passing through, you have to stop at Patti’s in Grand Rivers.  It is a beautiful place and the food is out of this world.

(Food – top to bottom — Fried onion blossom and deep-fried beer-battered cheese sticks, Tropical Pork Loin, and Beef Oscar).

And, as much as I love to take pictures of food, I was so excited when the desserts arrived that I didn’t take pictures of them.  However, this is my favorite, the Sawdust Pie, that I borrowed from the web!

It’s been one year now that Tammy and her dog, Cocoa, moved to the Quad Cities.  This weekend she is moving into a new place in downtown Moline and I wish her the very best.

The past year has come with many changes and obstacles for her.  I know she misses her two granddaughters in Tennessee and she survived a heart attack last December, but I know she is much happier now.

Tammy, I’m so proud of you.  Happy Quad Cities’ anniversary and here’s to many more good years.  It’s great having you around — especially the holidays!

Anthony

“Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks”‏ — Special

Every Friday, I flashback to the 1980s, which was and is still my favorite decade of music.  I feature at least three of my favorite songs from those years by many different artists.  However, when Donna Summer died earlier this summer, I devoted all three picks to her.  And, this week, I’m honoring Laura Branigan, who died this week in 2004.

Laura Branigan was from New York and in the early-1970s, she was in a band called Meadow, but they never charted.

As a solo artist, Laura’s first four releases didn’t make an impact at radio or on the charts.  The biggest of those, “All Night With Me”, which was the first release from her debut album, “Branigan”, peaked at #69 in 1982.

However, everything changed with the second single from that album!

“Gloria” — Laura Branigan

Not only did “Gloria” reach #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, it earned Laura a Grammy Award nomination for “Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female”.  However, she lost to Melissa Manchester’s “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.”

The follow-up album, “Branigan 2”, came out in the spring of 1983.  The first single, “Solitaire” hit #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Solitaire” — Laura Branigan

The second single, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You”, made it to #12.

In the spring of 1984, Laura released her third album and the title track, “Self Control”, is still my favorite Laura Branigan song to this date.  It made it all the way up to #4.

“Self Control” — Laura Branigan

That album was Laura’s best-selling album and it did produce another hit, “The Lucky One” that stalled at #20.

Laura Branigan would go on to release a total of seven studio albums.  Six compilation albums were also released.  She was part of the Grammy Award-nominated soundtrack to “Flashdance”.   Her contribution was the song, “Imagination” and throughout her career, her music appeared on a total of 11 soundtrack albums.

In 1995, Laura released the last music video of her career for the album, “The Best of Branigan”.  It was for the remake of the Donna Summer classic, “Dim All The Lights”, in which she was partying it up with a group of drag queens. It reached #36 on the Billboard Dance chart.

She withdrew from the music business in 1994 to care for her husband, Larry Kruteck, who had colon cancer.  He would die in the summer of 1996.

Laura Branigan died in her sleep on August 26, 2004, of an undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm.  Her ashes were scattered over Long Island Sound.

Even today, her four-octave range voice still brings back wonderful memories.

Anthony

A Republican I’d Love To Meet

I will not deny it.  When you mention the word “Republican” to me, happy thoughts do not cross my mind.  Scary images of Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, womanizer Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and Jesse Helms fill my mind with images scarier than any boogeyman or Halloween costume.

Breathe, my Republican friends, there are many scary Democrats, too.

However, in my quest to be a well-rounded individual, I do read magazines and surf the internet for more than the latest Madonna, Reba, Lady Gaga, or Britney news.  I like to educate myself so that when I play “Jeopardy”, I can answer questions in many categories.

So, in my quest for knowledge, I ran across an article on a Republican that I’d love to entertain over dinner.  As a matter of fact, his 81st birthday is coming up next weekend.  So, maybe I could have cake and ice cream with him.  But, I’d probably have to go to Wyoming and I want no part of that!  Sadly, the only images I have of that state are of Matthew Shepard and “Brokeback Mountain” and neither of them had a happy ending!

Former Republican U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (1979-1997) of Wyoming is one of those politicians, like President Jimmy Carter, that never stopped working for the good of the people after he left political office.  Most recently, he served as the co-chairman for President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010.

In the past, Senator Simpson wrote this in the “Washington Post” about “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, “‘Gay’ is an artificial category that says little about a person. Our differences and prejudices pale next to our historic challenge.”

However, it was his bold commentary on the “Hardball With Chris Matthews” show in April 2011 that pushed Simpson toward the top of my list, Democrat or Republican.

Simpson:  “You’ve got homosexuality. You’ve got, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. We have homophobes in our party. That’s disgusting to me. We’re all human beings. We’re all God’s children. Now, if they’re going to get off on that stuff, Santorum has said some cruel things. Cruel, cruel things about homosexuals. Ask him about it. See if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago, foul. Now, you know, that’s the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket, you know, it makes you sort out hard what Reagan said, you know, ‘stick with your folks.’ But I’m not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, you know, moral values, while you’re diddling your secretary, while you’re giving a speech on moral values. Come on, get off of it.”

And, as you can tell by that quote, he’s just not about speaking out for gay rights or homophobia.  Here’s what he said about abortion:

“Who the hell is for abortion? I don’t know anybody running around with a sign that says ‘Have an abortion, they’re wonderful.’ They’re hideous. But they’re a deeply intimate and personal decision and I don’t think men legislators should even vote on the issue.”

Amen!  Now, if we had more politicians like Mr. Simpson and President Carter, the world would be a better place and the word “politics” would not have such a stigma.

Gentleman, if you’ve ever in the Quad Cities, contact me and I’ll take you to dinner.  I could learn so much from both of you.
Anthony

Fall Was Just Teasing Us, It’s Still Summer

There are different signs that alert people that summer is slipping away.

It could be the leaves changing colors and dropping to the ground or Halloween and Christmas displays popping up in stores in August, but one of the biggest signs is those big yellow school buses.

Yes, many kids are back in school now and some may already looking forward to Labor Day, the unofficial last day of summer, for that first day out of school (excluding weekends) for the new year.

Miss Gretel started back to school today.  I can’t believe our little girl is not so little anymore.  She starts sixth grade, which I guess at her school might be considered middle school since she’s in a new building?

Gretel is only school until noon today and tomorrow and we’re treating her to one of her favorite restaurants today for lunch, Osaka Buffet.  Her other favorite is Noodles.  Good luck this year, Gretel.

With August drawing to a close, that means that fall can’t be too far behind.  I’ve really been spoiled lately with the daytime highs in the 70s to around 80° and lows in the 40s and 50s.  But, it’s getting hot again.  Yesterday, we hit 91°, and we’ll see highs of 90° or better today, Friday, and, maybe even, Saturday.

That means we’ve already hit 90° or higher 38 times this year, which ranks in 19th place as years with the most days with highs 90° or higher.  If we reach 90° through Saturday, that would push that ranking up to 14th place.  The year with the most days with 90° of higher was 1936, the hottest year on record in the Quad Cities.  We saw 59 that year.

The good news is that there’s a storm system coming in this weekend that could drop some really beneficial rains.  While it may dampen outdoor plans Sunday, I can’t wait.  Maybe I’ll have to get the crock pot ready for a big batch of homemade soup or chili!

So, for you summer lovers, it’s still summer and it’s still hot, so enjoy my nature pictures from this week.

Have a great rest of the day!

Anthony