Summer is officially here. It’s been feeling like it for weeks now in the Quad Cities.
Last weekend, we were in Fort Dodge, Iowa, for Papa Ray’s (Ray’s dad) 80th birthday party and are ready to chill out at home this weekend.
Have a great one and I appreciate you checking out my “Random Friday Thoughts”.
STAY COOL THIS SUMMER
It was a very sad week in Orlando, Florida, last week following the previous weekend’s shooting death of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie of “The Voice” fame and the Pulse nightclub massacre that left 49 dead and 53 injured.
Then, last Tuesday night, a two-year-old boy visiting Walt Disney World from Nebraska, was wading in the water at a Grand Floridian Resort and Spa beach when he was dragged away by an alligator.
His body was found the next day and an autopsy showed he died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
My heart breaks for Luke and his family. What was supposed to be a fun trip to Disney will now be a nightmare for the rest of their lives.
While there were “no swimming” signs posted at the beach, there were no warnings posted about alligators.
I’m sorry, but I don’t need a sign to warn me about alligators in waters in Florida and Louisiana (where I took picture above). If you’re the least bit familiar with those states, you know there are alligators.
And, there’s no way I’d be wading in water when it’s dark and I can’t see what’s around me!
When it comes to blame, there’s enough to go around. I just hope we don’t see another tragedy like this (or the other two I mentioned).
What are you thoughts? How much of the blame is on Disney?
HE’S ALIVE AND STILL FULL OF VILE
Twisted “Christian” mouthpiece (note “quotation marks” and mockery) Pat Robertson of “The 700 Club” shares these words of advice to haters
“Christians need to just let Muslims and homosexuals kill each other off.”
I guess now Florida will probably see a hurricane this summer to punish them for their sins.
That’s not my forecast. That just how Robertson thinks.
If you think I’m kidding, check out this blog I wrote about him and his forecasting skills about four years ago. (This will open in a new window for you.)
I hope you smiled through the insanity.
ISRAELI SHOOTINGS & DAILY CHICAGO GUN VIOLENCE
In last week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”, I was going to talk about the gunmen that fired upon a Tel Aviv, Israel open-air market in early June killing four people.
However, the mind-boggling massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, stunned the nation where more than one hundred people were shot — 49 of them died.
Now, I want to revisit that.
I visited Tel Aviv in the fall of 2014 for my 50th birthday and it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I’d go back there in a heartbeat!
Before we went, there was heightened tensions around Jerusalem, so we didn’t visit the holy city. People kept asking, “aren’t you scared to go the Middle East”? Of course, you think about it, but I wasn’t afraid.
In early June, four Israelis were killed and five others were injured in a shooting by two attackers, identified as Palestinians, at a popular food and shopping market.
I want to comment about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict and how many Americans fear visiting Israel because of the the violence and put it into perspective. (And, this was before the massacre at the gay nightclub in Orlando.)
Over the past few years, shooting deaths and injuries have gotten out of hand in Chicago.
So far this year, 1,819 people have been shot in Chicago (through June 23rd). Of those, more than 200 have died! (Last year, there were 2,988 shooting victims in the “Windy City”.)
Last weekend alone, the “Chicago Tribune” reported 59 people shot and 13 of those people died. That was in a 60-hour period from Friday afternoon through early Monday morning over Father’s Day weekend.
I lived in Chicago for four years (1994-1996 and 2002-2004) and I never felt unsafe. I can’t say that now when I do make it back to the city.
As a matter of fact, I would feel much safer in Tel Aviv, Israel!
TRAGIC ENDING FOR PROMISING ACTOR
Anton Yelchin was a charismatic, attractive young actor that I thoroughly enjoyed watching on screen and listening to talk (yes, he has a very sexy voice).
The 27-year-old died tragically last weekend in a freak accident when his Jeep pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar attached to a security fence outside his home.
TMZ.com reports that his death certificate shows he died from “blunt traumatic asphyxia” and he didn’t suffer — he was dead within a minute of impact.
It’ll be interesting to see how, if any, a spring recall on his Jeep’s year and model will play into the death investigation and if the accident could have been avoided.
I loved Yelchin in “Alpha Dogs”, “Odd Thomas”, and his two “Star Trek” movie in 2009 and 2013. The latest, “Star Trek Beyond” arrives in theaters July 22, 2016.
Also, I’m really looking forward to seeing Anton and co-star Patrick Stewart’s critically acclaimed movie, “Green Room”. It comes out on DVD on July 12th.
This is “red band” trailer (adult language and situations).
IT’S SUMMER — TOO SOON TO THINK CHRISTMAS?
Summer officially began here in the Midwest this past Monday evening. While we have three months of hot weather to look forward to, is it too soon to think winter?
Maybe not since Christmas is only six months from this weekend!
I’ve already found my first holiday movie that I want to see.
It’s directed by David E. Talbert, who was behind “Baggage Claim”, one of my twenty favorite movies of 2014.
“Almost Christmas” features an all-star cast including Oscar winner Mo’Nique, in a much different role than her Academy Award turn in “Precious”.
It arrives in theaters on November 11th.
This week’s pick hit, “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris and Rihanna, is already a Top Ten hit in America at pop radio and in dance clubs and it’s an international smash. I’m featuring it because the video is new.
Calvin Harris is one of the world’s highest paid club DJs. He’s also placed 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with four of them reaching the Top Ten.
Meanwhile, Rihanna has charted an amazing 48 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 since her debut in 2005. Of those, 29 have made the Top Ten and 14 have hit number one!
Will lightning strike twice for Harris and Rihanna? Their last collaboration, “We Found Love”, spent ten weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2011.
Okay, I know they’re just friends, but I have to throw this out there.
Rihanna is so beautiful and stunning and Calvin is so gorgeous and hot, I just want to ship them like my teenager daughter does with “Star Wars”. Could you imagine how beautiful their children would be?
In case you’re less familiar with Calvin and didn’t see what I’m talking about in his fifteen second cameo in the video…
MORE FIRST LADIES
Last week, I started sharing a few tidbits about president’s wives after reading “First Ladies” by Betty Boyd Caroli. I covered Martha Washington to Letitia Tyler.
And, now on with a few more. We all need a little bit of useless (or useful) trivia. 🙂
Julia Tyler: She married President John Tyler 18 months after his first wife Letitia became the first First Lady to die in the White House. She’s remembered for starting the “Hail To The Chief” tradition and she hired a press agent to promote herself.
Sarah Polk: She became the most outspoken and politically involved First Lady since Abigail Adams.
Margaret Taylor: Delegated First Lady duties to her daughter. She was so obscure that no authentic likeness of her exists. In her obituary, “The New York Times” just referred to her as “Mrs. General Taylor”.
Abigail Fillmore: She established the White House library and she died about a month after President Millard Fillmore died. She caught a cold during the inauguration of her husband’s replacement, President Franklin Pierce.
Jane Pierce: She wasn’t very happy being in Washington and was regularly depressed after the death of her son, Bennie. (Their other two sons died in childhood, too.). From the public’s perspective, it was acceptable for her to grieve, but not her husband for they saw it as a weakness for the president.
Mary Todd Lincoln: She was known for freely spending money and received plenty of criticism. She was also institutionalized by her son to a private mental hospital near Chicago. Ms. Lincoln was thought to be insane because of her erratic behavior.
Eliza Johnson: She mostly remained out of sight as First Lady unlike her predecessor.
YOU MIGHT AS WELL SWEAT — IT’S SUMMER!
I don’t know what floats your boat, but the video to “Work From Home”, the recent #1 song from Fifth Harmony, is too freaking hot!
It’s an equal opportunity crowd pleaser.
I can’t believe I’ve listened to the song thousands of times, but never watched the video. Big Mistake! Big! Huge!
Fifth Harmony’s second album, “7/27”, came out in late May and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
EVEN MORE FIRST LADIES
Julia Grant: She was the first First Lady to write her autobiography once out of the White House. It wasn’t published until 1975, almost one hundred years later.
Lucy Hayes: Unlike fun-loving Julia Grant, Ms. Hayes was known as a “tight-lipped moralizer” because of attending daily prayer meetings each morning and singing hymns Sunday evening. Also, for refusing to serve alcohol in the White House.
Lucretia Garfield: She continued her teaching job in New York during her first years in the White House. After her husband’s assassination, she became the first presidential widow to participate in her husband’s public memorial service.
Ellen Arthur: She died before her husband became the 21st president.
Rose Cleveland: She was the sister of bachelor President Grover Cleveland. As a hostess, she was often bored and was happy when he married and his young wife became First Lady.
Frances Cleveland: She was 21-years-old when she married the president, who was 28 years older than her! Frances was the daughter of a former law partner to President Cleveland and he had known her since she was born. He also bought her her first baby carriage!
Okay, that’s just downright creepy and a perfect place to end this week’s blog.
Thank you for checking it out and feel free to share your thoughts on any of my random thoughts.
Have a great weekend!