Posts Tagged ‘Crisis’

Random Friday Thoughts — April 18, 2014

It’s Friday and it’s Easter weekend.  I hope it’s a nice one for you and if you’re going to church, enjoy the services.  I hope your Easter egg hunts are dry and fun and your Easter feast is a tasty one.

I’m working Saturday, so Ray and Gretel are celebrating with Ray’s family in northwestern Iowa and my sister, Tammy, is visiting her granddaughters in Tennessee.  So, I’m home alone and I plan on sleeping in Sunday, having pancakes, and watching a couple of my favorite movies again.

Easter Bunny

If you’re thinking of what to buy someone for a great Easter present and bunnies come to mind, make it a chocolate bunny!

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  Thank you for checking them out.

AIRLINE THREATS ARE NOT FUNNY

Before the 1970s, it was a much different world when it came to flying.  High profile plane hijacking changed the rather lax airport security.

I remember seeing a cartoon during my childhood of a man raising his hand to his friend and yelling “Hi Jack” before being arrested.

After the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11, it’s hard to imagine anyone making a joke of threatening an airline, an airport, or a plane.

However, last Sunday night, it happened when a 14-year-old Dutch girl, “Sarah”, sent a threatening tweet to American Airlines.

AA Threat

Once she realized that this was turning into a big deal with the police involved, she tweeted, “I was joking and it was my friend not me, take her IP address not mine. I’m so scared I’m just a 14-year-old white girl I’m not a terrorist.”  She was arrested the next day!

airport security

I have two things to say about this.  I don’t care how old someone is when they threaten to bomb a plane.  It’s not a joke and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Secondly, if this tweet is proven to be sent by a “14-year-old white girl who is not “a terrorist”, she’s truly offensive.  Implying that a “white girl” couldn’t possibly be a “terrorist” is racist!

Sadly, the only leeway I’ll give her on that one is immaturity, but even a teenager should know that the tweet would cause fear in some people and that is terrorism!

More Threats 1 More Threats 2 More Threats 3

Incredibly, this has caused a rash of similar copycat tweets to American and other airlines.  Real threats or not, this is just mind-boggling!

HAPPY FLIGHT

On a happier airline note, I sure hope this flight attendant is working my next Southwest Airlines’ flight.

I hope this made you smile.

HE CUT OFF WHAT?

Rapper Andre Johnson, also known as Christ Bearer, is recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after severing his penis and jumping off the second floor balcony of his North Hollywood apartment!

Andre Johnson

Those present say that no one was using drugs and that they believe he suffered from mental illness.

TMZ reports that efforts to reattach the appendage were unsuccessful.

If Johnson is mentally ill, I hope that he gets the help he needs.  If he isn’t ill, this was a very painful and horrific plea for attention!

And, as a man, this is just painful to think about!

WHILE WE’RE IN THAT MIND SET…

Now that “How I Met Your Mother” has ended its nine-year run on CBS, Neil Patrick Harris is getting rave reviews for his upcoming Broadway performance in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

NPH Hedwig

If you’re not familiar with the rock musical/love story, Hansel is an East German that falls in love with an American soldier.

Since the couple wants to get married and the laws says that it has to be a man and a woman, Hansel’s mother changes his named to Hedwig (her name) and finds a doctor to perform a sex change.  The operation is botched leaving Hedwig with the so-called “angry inch”.

hedwig-680

Harris’ performance as Hedwig on Broadway runs from April through August.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

MichelangeloCollege  Dog

TATTOOS

Do you have a tattoo?  While still somewhat controversial, getting inked is becoming mainstream.

Even Miss Kansas 2013, Theresa Vail, is tattooed with the Serenity Prayer and a military medical insignia.  She says, “If I were crowned Miss America, bearing my tattoos, do you realize the stereotypes and stigmas it would break?”

Miss Kansas 2013

If you’re in your thirties, there’s a 40% chance that you have a tattoo.  If not, 30% of people in their 20s and almost 30% of people in the 40s are getting inked!

More women than men and Hispanics more than whites or blacks have body art.

Two years ago this week, I join the group of white men in their 40s to get a tattoo.  It was a painful, almost four-hour process and I’m very happy to sport it and show it off.

Tattoo1

As you know, my sweet golden retriever and my best friend , Miss ABBA, went to “puppy heaven” in February 2012.

Two months later, I turned her beautiful face into body art.  Here’s the picture from Halloween 2011 and you can see the final product.

ABBA Inspiration For Tattoo Anthony ABBA Tattoo

John Kautz, from O’Toole Design, in Rock Island, Illinois, did an incredible job.

You can read about the entire experience here:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/miss-abba-ill-cherish-this-piece-of-art-forever/

“LATE, LATE AT NIGHT” WITH RICK SPRINGFIELD

I recently finished Rick Springfield’s memoir about his life, his battle with depression, his sexual addiction, and his music and acting career.

Late, Late At Night

It was a fun book.  I’ll share the link again if you didn’t read my blog about the book.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-ups-downs-of-rick-springfields-rock-star-lifestyle/

However, one thing that I forgot to mention in the blog was his one year affair with “The Exorcist” star Linda Blair.

Linda and Rick

At the time, he was 25 at the time and she was only 15! I guess things were different in the 1970s and in Hollywood!

“Don’t Talk To Strangers” hit #2 in 1982 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was the second biggest hit of Rick’s career behind the number one, Grammy-winning smash, “Jessie’s Girl” the year before.

“OUT OF THE FURNACE”

Christian Bale is one of the best actors in the movie business today.

“Out of The Furnace” is a little seen movie that came out about a week before his Oscar-nominated role in “American Hustle”.

Out of the Furnace

In the movie, Bale plays Russell Baze, a West Virginia steel mill worker that has a beautiful girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) that wants to have a baby, a brother (Casey Affleck) with a gambling problem and is struggling with life after serving in the war, and a dying father.

He works every day and is paying off his little brother’s gambling debts.  After stopping for a few drinks after work one night, he’s involved in an accident that changes his life forever.

Also, his little brother disappears and Russell feels it’s up to him to find out what happened and to make things right.

The movie features incredible performances from Bale, Affeck, Saldana, and Woody Harrelson as a New Jersey sociopathic, inbreed, drug dealer named Harlan DeGroat.

GRADE:  A

DAVID DUCHOVNY IS COMING TO NBC

Once Showtime’s “Californication” wraps up its seventh and final season in late June, David Duchovny will star in the new NBC series, “Aquarius”.

david_duchovny_02

The 13-epidsode drama take place in the late-1960s.  Duchovny stars as a Los Angeles police sergeant “who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his ’cause.’ The name of that man is Charles Manson.”

Young Charles Manson

NBC goes on to say that “the twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons.”

Here’s my two cents.  I love David Duchovny and I’ve always been intrigued with serial killers.  I’ll be watching.

NBC, if “Crisis” and “Hannibal” are not renewed, please write Gillian Anderson into the script and let her work with Duchovny’s character!

Gillian David The X-Files

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The first concert that Ray and I went to together was Keith Urban and Taylor Swift in Moline in June 2009.  Both were amazing performers and this was before I quickly tired of the teen sensation.

Keith Urban Moline 2009

Since his first hit on the Billboard Country chart in 1999, “It’s A Love Thing”, reached #18 (his first four releases from 1990 and 1991 didn’t chart), Urban has been a force to reckon with on country radio.

Of his 33 Top 40 hits, an incredible 31 have hit the Top Ten, the aforementioned “Love Thing” and “Blue Sky” by Emily West, which he was just featured on and so, really that one doesn’t count!

keith_urban

28 of his hits have made the Top 5 and 15 have topped the Country charts.

The ones that spent multiple weeks on top are:  “Somebody Like You” (6 weeks, 2002), “You’ll Think Of Me” (2 weeks, 2004), “Days Go By” (4 weeks, 2004), “Making Memories Of Us” (5 weeks, 2005), “Better Life” (6 weeks, 2005), “Sweet Thing” (2 weeks, 2009), “You Gonna Fly” (2 weeks, 2012), and “We Were Us” (with Miranda Lambert, 3 weeks, 2013).

Keith’s current hit, “Cop Car”,  recently reached #4 on the Billboard Country chart.

HAPPY EASTER!

Have a great weekend!  Here’s a flashback to Easter 2001 and Miss ABBA and the Easter bunny.

ABBAEaster2001

That’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts.

Let me know what you think.  I always appreciate feedback — good or bad.  Well, obviously, I like the positive comments more!

Anthony

 

Random Friday Thoughts — April 11, 2014

The weekend is upon us!  While I have a couple of work-related events to take part in this weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday, I plan on taking full advantage of my down time.

Have a great weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts this week.

GIVE YOUR LOVED ONES AN EXTRA HUG

We all get overwhelmed and sometimes we forget to do simple things like show others how much we care.

alexhribelshackles

You just never know what will happen that day.

Who would have thought this innocent-looking 16-year-old boy is now suspected of stabbing 21 students and a security guard earlier this week in a Pennsylvania school?

To my friends, I appreciate you.  To my loved one, I’m thankful you’re in my life!

RE-WRITING THE BIBLE

Failed presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee wants you to know he is not homophobic.

Huckabee

That’s what he told a crowd earlier this week at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Spring fundraiser.

Huckabee says, “I’m not against anybody. I’m really not. I’m not a hater. I’m not homophobic. I honestly don’t care what people do personally in their individual lives…but… when people say, ‘Why don’t you just kind of get on the right side of history?’ I said, ‘You’ve got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible, and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it’s not my book to change.’ Folks, that’s why I stand where I stand.”

I admit that Huckabee knows more about the Bible than I do, but I really don’t think that God put his signature on the first one, much less rewriting it, signing it, and sending it down now!

HIT THE ROAD, JACK

After thirty years of marriage, it’s over for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila.

Putin

Unless she’s like him, I wonder why it took thirty years?  Who knows (or cares)?  Maybe his hateful, ignorant attitude is something relatively new.

They have two daughters.

COUNTRY MUSIC SHINES ON CBS

Last Sunday night’s Academy of Country Music Awards show on CBS brought in some big numbers with 14.2 million people watching.

While I had no desire to watch it, I did flip over from “Crisis” on NBC during a couple of commercial breaks and I have three observations to make.

49th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards - Show

In her performance with husband Tim McGraw, Faith Hill looked amazing.  I didn’t really care for the song they performed and I really wish that she’d release an incredible album that country radio would have to embrace.

Meanwhile, show co-host Luke Bryan (left, below) looked incredibly hot.  Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.  As for Blake Shelton, not so much.

Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton

I didn’t watch the opening monologue and I know that the point is to poke fun at pop culture.

I thought Blake’s comment about marriage equality was funny, “A year ago, same-sex marriage just meant once you got married, you had the same sex over and over and over again.”  From what I’ve read, his wife, Miranda Lambert, in the audience, mouthed, “Thank you” to him!  It might have been a cold night in Las Vegas in their suite that night!

But, I didn’t care for one of his other “jokes” that I’m sure others thought was funny.

When the hosts were talking about the upcoming live performances on the show, Shelton added, “And if you don’t like live music, you have to go down the block and see Britney Spears”.

Britney Las Vegas

Stop!  I’m laughing out loud.  Not really.

I know it was a joke and they have writers, so I’m saying this in fun.  Blake, when you get own residency in Vegas and can ask for $800 a ticket and $2,500 for a VIP/Meet & Greet ticket, give me a call!

HERE’S THE KICKER TO BLAKE’S JOKE

Rascal Flatts, performing their new single, “Rewind”, on the ACMs now admit to lip-syncing (badly)!

Rascal Flatts

The band says, “After having performed several shows earlier in the week, Gary lost his voice.  So instead of canceling our commitment to do the show, we made a last-minute decision to lip-synch. We’ve never done it before, and we’re obviously not very good at it. We look forward to singing live again in the very near future!”

“WTH” FASHION STATEMENT

And, my last ACM Awards comment is about Miranda Lambert.  She is a beautiful woman and she looks amazing in the right and left pictures from Sunday night.

Miranda Lambert

However, in the middle picture, from the braided hair to the demin shirt and the belt, the whole ensemble had me censoring myself and just saying, “WTH”.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

 

Freaking StupidDog Social MediaPeas and Hominy

WAY TO GO, NOTRE DAME

In life, there are good and bad Democrats and Republicans.  There are good and bad straight people and LGBT people.  There are good and bad <insert group here>.

The University of Notre Dame, a Catholic college, in South Bend, Indiana, is making strides to be on the right side of history.

Matt Dooley

Watch this amazing video the University released after tennis play Matt Dooley came out as gay.  It’s incredible and touching.

REMEMBERING RYAN WHITE

It was 24 years ago this week that 18-year-old Ryan White died of complications of AIDS.

Ryan White

It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.  We have come so far in the fight against AIDS and today, with proper medication, it’s no longer a death sentence and people can now live a full and long life.

That wasn’t the case back in the 1980s.  Ryan, a hemophiliac, was infected with HIV from contaminated blood in December 1984 and was given only six months to live.  He surprised doctors and the world by living for another five years.

While he posed no threat to other students, he was expelled from middle school because of his diagnosis.  Many parents and teachers in Kokomo, Indiana, fought against him returning to school and the family left Kokomo after bullets were fired into their house.

elton_John_ryan_white MIchael Jackson Ryan White

In life, Ryan became good friends with Elton John and Michael Jackson, along with John Cougar Mellencamp, and former President and First Lady Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Before he died, Ryan became a national spokesperson for bringing AIDS discrimination to the forefront in America.  Sadly, he died a month before graduating from high school.

Ryan, your memory is still alive.  And, to all of the Ryan Whites in the world today, live life to the fullest.

Here’s Elton John performing “Skyline Pigeon” at Ryan’s funeral.

DID YOU KNOW?

On a lighter note, now that it’s warming up, ice cream sounds like a great treat to enjoy outdoors.

In the July 2013 issue, “Better Homes and Gardens” reported that the average American eats 24 pounds of ice cream a year!

rocky road ice cream

While I love many flavors of ice cream, if I had to choose only one, it’d be Rocky Road.  And, if I could add one ingredient, it’d be coconut.

Now, there are many ranking of favorite flavors.  My favorite, Rocky Road, barely makes the Top 15.

Most rankings have Strawberry at #4, Butter Pecan at #3, and Chocolate comes in second place.

What’s shocking to me is that Vanilla is the favorite by a three-to-one margin!  Maybe because of its versatility?

PICK HIT

Pharrell Williams is hot right now.

As a solo artist, he’s at #1 with his song, “Happy”, and last year, he was featured in two of the biggest songs of the year, “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and “Blurred Line” with Robin Thicke.

I don’t really care for “Happy”, but I love him accompanying other artists.  I first became aware of him when appeared on Madonna’s album “Hard Candy” and on her 2008’s #1 dance smash, “Give It 2 Me”.

Pharrell is featured on one of my favorite songs from Kylie Minogue’s latest album, “Kiss Me Once”.

kylie_pharrell

“I Was Gonna Cancel” is the album’s second single and the follow-up to the #1 Billboard Dance hit, “Into The Blue”.

Radio programmers, add this to your playlist now!

“THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY”

While it’s a Christmas-themed movie, I recently watched “The Best Man Holiday”, the sequel to Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 hit, “The Best Man”, and I loved it.

The-Best-Man-Holiday-Poster

The $17 million movie brought in an incredible $71.6 million in theaters.  While I didn’t see the original and know the history of the characters, I could still follow the storyline.

In the movie, Mia and Lance invite their group of friends —  boyfriends/girlfriends, spouses, and a couple of single friends to their ritzy, gorgeously Christmas-decorated mansion to share a secret with them.

However, Mia and Lance’s secrets aren’t the only ones revealed.

“The Best Man Holiday” is funny, cute, and sentimental!

GRADE:  A-

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Earlier I talked about Luke Bryan, so I’ll feature him in my segment of some of my favorite country songs.

In just seven short years, the 37-year-old Georgia native and married father of two boys has racked up an incredible 15 Top Ten hits on the Billboard Country chart.  Of those, 11 of  have reached the Top Three with seven making it to the #1 spot!

His latest, “Play It Again”, is at #3 this week and it could top the chart, too.  However, he’d have to knock himself out of the top spot since he’s featured on Florida Georgia Line ‘s “This Is How We Roll”, at #1.

luke-bryan-nbc-today-show-650-430

I really like many of his hits like “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and “Rain Is A Good Thing”, but his first hit, “All My Friends Say”, which reached #5 in 2007, is my still my favorite.

THAT’S IT

Thank you for checking out my random thoughts this week.  As always, feel free to let me know what you think, whether you agree or disagree with any of them.

Have a great weekend.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 21, 2014

Well, according to the calendar and astronomy, winter is over and spring is here.

After six straight months (since October 2013) of below average temperatures in the Quad Cities and more than 64″ of snow, I’m ready to work in the yard and mow it and plant a garden.

I hope you have a great weekend.  Here are my random thoughts for this week.

FRED PHELPS IS DEAD

The founder and leader of the cult group, Westboro Baptist Church, in Topeka, Kansas, died Thursday at the age of 84.

While I will not happily dance around or protest his funeral, I’m not saddened by his passing.  And, that is a little sad.

fred-phelps

The man and his family, for years, have protested the funerals of soldiers and celebrities with their signs telling us everything that God hates, mostly gay people.  However, the group doesn’t choose words as gentle as “gay”.

If you took these protests at face value, you’d come to the conclusion that his God is not a very happy God since he hates so much.   All I know is that his God is not my God!

And, is this really what you want the children of the future to grow up thinking?

WBC Kids

I feel for Phelps’ family that are mourning his death.  However, with Fred gone, there’s a little more love in the world today and a little less hate.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Wet My PlantsPlaneEffective

GREAT NEWS ABOUT AIDS

In New York City, for the first time since 1983, AIDS is no longer on the list of the Top Ten causes of death.

STOP AIDS

In 2012, there were 609 deaths from AIDS.  That is still 609 too many!

One year earlier, there were 766 deaths, which ranked AIDS as the 9th leading cause of deaths in New York City.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett says that better treatment is allowing people to live longer.

Also, here’s some other great news out of the “Big Apple”.  The number of new HIV cases has dropped there unlike other parts of the United States where the number of cases of men who have sex with men is still rising.

While that’s very encouraging, people must also remember that people are still getting infected with HIV and AIDS is still killing people.  It hasn’t gone away.

“THE NORMAL HEART”

78-year-old activist and author Larry Kramer was one of the most vocal advocates in the 1980s to make government officials aware of the HIV/AIDS pandemic that was killing so many gay men and he forced them to take it seriously.

Larry Kramer

Kramer was the founder of the political action protest group, ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, in 1987.

A few years before he wrote “The Normal Heart” and it played Off Broadway in 1985.  It’s now an upcoming HBO movie by “American Horror Story” and “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy.

The Normal Heart HBO

In the movie, Mark Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, a writer and HIV/AIDS activist that chose loud public confrontations to quiet private meetings, just like the real-life Kramer.

“The Normal Heart” also stars Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Jim Parsons, Jonathan Groff, and Taylor Kitsch.

It premiers on HBO on May 25, 2014.

PICK HIT — DOUBLE FEATURE

It’s time now to lighten the mood just a bit and to steam up the windows now that it’s spring.

I just bought the new CDs from Kylie Minogue “Kiss Me Once” (amazing and fun) and Enrique Iglesias ” SEX+LOVE” (still need to listen to it).

Kiss Me OnceEnrique SEX AND LOVE

The beautiful singers even have a duet together, “Beautiful”, which is featured on both albums.

While Kylie’s current single is the incredible “Into The Blue” and Enrique’s current hit is “I’m A Freak” featuring Pitbull, I’m featuring two versions of a new release from Kylie called “Sexercize”.

If you like looking at sexy women, the first video is for you.  If you like gorgeous and hot men, the second is the one you should check out.

And, of course, we can’t leave Enrique out.

Something tells me that Kylie and Enrique are obsessed with sexy people and I’m okay with that!

“CYNDI LAUPER:  A MEMOIR”

I just finished reading Cyndi Lauper’s memoir and it was incredible to learn more about talented and zany singer that has been entertaining us for thirty years.

Cyndi Lauper A Memoir

She talks about music, videos, love, her commitment to the LGBT community, Cher, Madonna, and much more in the book.

From my Wednesday blog about the book, “She had a rough childhood with a creepy stepfather, school problems, keeping a job, losing a baby, sexual assault by former band members, and several health issues.”

If you’d like to read the entire blog about Cyndi and her book and to relive some of the classic videos, here’s the link:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/cyndi-lauper-is-unusual-but-most-of-all-shes-an-ally/

If not, enjoy this #3 hit from 1987, “Change of Heart”, from her second album, “True Colors”.

“CRISIS”

NBC’s newest drama, “Crisis” debuted last Sunday night with a “soft” opening with 6.5 million viewers.

“Entertainment Weekly” gave the show a grade of C+ and I definitely think the first episode was better than that.

Crisis

A group of elite teenagers of very powerful players in Washington D.C., including the President’s son, are ambushed and taken hostage.  We don’t know why or how this will play out over the 13 episode season.

But, I’m excited that I get another hour of television that features my favorite female crush, Gillian Anderson.

Crisis - Season Pilot

Her recurring role as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier on “Hannibal” (NBC, 9 p.m. Central) is not enough for me.

“Crisis” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Central on NBC.

“ALL IS LOST”

I just saw the latest Robert Redford movie, “All Is Lost”.

All Is Lost

While there was Oscar buzz and his performance was commanding for a one-man show, there wasn’t much else in the movie.

We never learned who he was, why he was out in the Indian Ocean, and why we should really care if he lived or died other than because he was a living person.

All I lost with this movie is the 106 minutes that I’ll never get back.

GRADE:  D

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

Today in this feature, I’m showcasing two artists that I’ve already seen in concert, but they’re heading back out for the “The Grits and Glamour Tour”.

Grits Glamour Tour

I met Pam in Bettendorf, Iowa, in November 2012, and she was a sweetheart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This past December, we saw Lorrie’s Christmas show at Opryland Hotel.  She was so beautiful.

IMG_4551

Both women still sound amazing and it’ll be fun seeing them together.

Pam has had 22 hits on the Billboard Country charts with 13 of them making it to the Top Ten.  Of those, ten scaled the Top Five.

Her only #1 hit was 1995’s “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)”.

“Shake The Sugar Tree” is one of my favorite Pam Tillis songs.  It peaked at #3 in early 1992.

Lorrie has scored 25 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Country charts.  Of those, 14 have reached the Top Ten, and 11 made the Top Five.

She’s topped the charts three times: “Five Minutes” (1990), “What Part of No” (3 weeks at #1, 1993), and “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” (1995).

One of my favorite Lorrie songs failed to reach the Top Ten.  Sadly, “Something In Red” stalled at #14 in 1992.

THAT’S IT

Thank you for checking out my blog this week.

Happy Spring everyone!  I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

Anthony