Posts Tagged ‘pool’

Random Friday Thoughts — May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  It’s the unofficial kick-off to the summer season.  I hope you have a great one.  It’ll be especially nice for those with a three-day weekend (Ray!).

I wasn’t planning on an installment of Random Friday Thoughts, but here it is.  Surprise!

Pool

We’re running behind schedule this year, but we’re putting up our pool this weekend.

We closed it down in late September, but I’m ready to float the weekends and afternoons away — especially now that we’re enjoying summer-like, above average temperatures in the Quad Cities.

R.I.P. BETH HOWLAND

Beth Howland, who played ditzy waitress Vera, on the long running 1970s-1980s CBS sitcom, “Alice”, has died of lung cancer. She was 74.

Vera

Howland actually died December 31, 2015, but her actor husband, Charles Kimbrough, told The Associated Press that it “her choice” not to have a memorial service or funeral.  That’s why the news is just now coming out.

As a kid, I loved her character and comedic timing.

“GOODNIGHT MOMMY”

For whatever reason, the 2014 Austrian psychological thriller/horror movie, “Goodnight Mommy”, just hit Redbox and I highly recommend it!

Susanne Wuest is incredible in the role as “The Mother” and twins, Elias and Lukas Schwarz, are mesmerizing.

The movie was Austria’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 88th Annual Academy Awards, but it wasn’t picked as a nominee.  Oscar fail!

Before I saw the movie, I wrote, “the trailer definitely creeps me out”.  Wait until you see the movie!

I don’t give too many movies this grade, but “Goodnight Mommy” gets….

GRADE:  A+

LET’S CHARGE FOR PLASTIC BAGS!!!

I know Earth Day is in April.  But, there’s something that we can do to cut back on pollution and some communities are working hard to make it happen.

As I travel across the country (and the world), I see more and more businesses charging for those paper-thin, flimsy plastic bags that Walmart and other stores use.

They’re cheap to produce and many aren’t used again because they rip open before you even get home!  Many end up blowing in the wind or floating in area lakes and rivers.

Ban Bags

More businesses are selling cloth reusable bags and I think that’s fantastic.

Aldi stores sell the reusable bags, but they also have plastic bags.  However, if you want one (whether you throw it away or reuse it), you pay for it.

I know it’d get expensive if you’re paying for the plastic bags at big stores like Walmart, but it’d probably prompt you to buy quality, reusable bags.  And, the environment would love you for it.

Many communities are even banning or proposing bans on the plastic bags.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY (AND EVERYDAY)

Fish Be You

POLITICS TIDBITS

I was wrong!

In my “Random Friday Thoughts — December 19, 2014”, I predicted that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush would be the two candidates on November’s ballot for U.S. president.

Hillary AP

Well, it looks like I’ll be right with the Democratic nominee come June 7th once New Jersey and California vote, but who would have thought the presumptive nominee out of seventeen candidates on the Republican side would be Donald Trump!

DT Masks

Scary, right?  Yes!  I don’t need to wait for an answer!

NEXT VEGAS PLAN CHANGES 

Going to Las Vegas is an annual pilgrimage for me and Ray.

We love to eat, gamble, catch a couple of shows, walk, walk, walk, and see the sights.

Las Vegas

We love checking out the beautiful hotels and casinos — especially the displays made of flowers at the Bellagio.  I really want to visit one December when the glitzy city is decorated for Christmas.

However, our next trip in late July will not include a visit to the gorgeous The Venetian and The Palazzo.

The CEO is donating $100 million (yes, million) to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign! I’m sorry, but I will not help fund in any way that sorry excuse of a man that wants to be president!

There are plenty of other places there to try my luck at the slots — and eat desserts!

We’ll be visiting the Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood.  It’s a tradition for us to eat there and have the weekend champagne brunch at the Stratosphere.

Spice Market Buffet Las Vegas

Have I mentioned how much I love buffets, slot machines, and Las Vegas?

FOR THE LOVE OF NANCY REAGAN

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died earlier this year of congestive heart failure at the age of 94.  Her husband, Ronald, our country’s 40th president, died back in June 2004 at the age of 93.

JustSayNoNancyReagan

Since it’s an election year, I’ve mostly been reading biographies and autobiographies of political figures.  I’ve read books from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jimmy Carter, plus books on presidential wannabees Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee.

I just finished Nancy Reagan’s “My Turn” and Kitty Kelley’s “Nancy:  The Unauthorized Biography”.

What I concluded from Nancy’s book is that she definitely heavily influenced Ronald Reagan in his two terms as California’s governor (1967-1975) and his two terms as president (1981-1989).

Even in her own words, I don’t think she was probably a very nice person (outwardly).  However, I don’t think she was the evil pariah that Kelley made her out to be.

But, reading some of the accusations made by Kelley — including an affair with Frank Sinatra, date rape, and unplanned pregnancies — it definitely makes one wonder what was really going on in the lives of one of the most conservative political families.

nancy.jpg

To restore some of my faith in Ms. Reagan, I read Michael Deaver’s “Nancy: A Portrait of My Years with Nancy Reagan”.

Although it’s a short book, don’t waste your time.  It’s basically the “CliffsNotes” version of Nancy’s “My Turn”.

He told the same stories she did with very little new insight.  The book only one earned its worth when in the last thirty or so pages, he addressed Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s Disease.

RonaldReagan

There’s one thing that I would never dispute about the Reagans — their love for each other in their 50+ years of marriage.  It’s very admirable.

I still have a few more books to read about them — about their love and President Reagan’s autobiography.

PRESIDENT REAGAN, I NO LONGER HATE YOU

I didn’t personally know or like the Reagans (especially the President).

There’s one big reason that I used to despise Reagan and it was much deeper than him defeating my favorite President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election.  Here’s a blog from the summer of 2012 to explain.  (Clicking on this blog link will open a new window, so you won’t lose your place in today’s reading.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/president-reagan-i-no-longer-hate-you/

TWO WEEKS IN CHINA

Since my last “Random Friday Thoughts”, Ray and I spent two weeks in China.  We met some really nice people in our tour group from all over the world, including New Zealand.

We climbed the Great Wall of China, cruised on the Yangtze River (when we weren’t fogged in and unable to move), saw the stunning Gorges, endured the worst smog I’ve ever seen in Beijing where our trip started and ended, and witnessed the lights and glamour of Shanghai, the reason we went to China!

AP Ray Shanghai.jpg

Maybe because it was for a tour group, the food was pretty bland and too Westernized.  I’m ready to enjoy my favorite Asian food in the Quad Cities, Osaka Buffet, in Moline, for some “real” tasty cuisine.

Would I ever go back to China?  Probably not.  Would I recommend seeing it once in your lifetime?  Definitely!

PICK HIT OF THE WEEK

The first time I heard “Faded” by 18-year-old British-born Norwegian record producer Alan Walker (with vocals by Iselin Solheim), I fell in love with the song.

Instantly, I searched out more songs from Walker and much to my chagrin, I found there isn’t an album — yet.

The ethereal, very moody, and captivating song is already a chart-topping smash in Austria, Belgium,  France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vietnam, and eight other counties!

Here is the United States, the song is racing up the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart jumping from #26 to #17 this week and it’s already in the Top Ten on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

It’s getting some airplay at Top 40 radio here, but I hope it really catches on soon.  If you haven’t heard it, here it is.

Call B100 and 101.3 KISSFM here in the Quad Cities and request it.  Just tell them that Anthony from Local 4 requests that you play it. 🙂

“LONDON SPY”

If you’re looking for an intelligent television series to add to your summer viewing, you have to check out this five-part BBC America series. (You can catch it on Netflix.)

“London Spy” stars one of the best English actors working today, Ben Whishaw, who’s also appearing on Broadway in “The Crucible”.

Ben_Whishaw

It doesn’t hurt that Whishaw is charming and adorable, too!  But, I’m recommending this thriller because he’s incredible and the story is very suspenseful.

It also stars Jim Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge!”) and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”).

GRADE:  A

THAT’S IT 

Since I don’t write as much as I used to or as much as I’d like, I appreciate you checking out this week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”.  As always, feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree — just do it diplomatically.

Have a great holiday weekend and remember the great men and women that made this Memorial Day weekend a holiday.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 4, 2014

FINALLY, IT’S FRIDAY!

I don’t use the phrase “T.G.I.F” very often, but I’m really thankful to God that today is Friday and I have a weekend with nothing planned.

Several things are on the docket work wise and public relations-wise the next two weekends, so I’m going to chill out this weekend with Ray and my sister, Tammy.

I hope you have a great weekend and make the best of it.  Here are my random thoughts for this week!

GUILTY!

Last Friday, I shared the story of Jessica Dutro, an Oregon woman on trial for murder, murder by abuse, second-degree assault, and four other charges in the death of her 4-year-old son, Zachary, because she thought he was gay!

Her boyfriend had already pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for his part in the child’s death.

dutro-boggess-canady

Wednesday evening, the jury deliberated a little more than hour before finding her guilty on all seven charges!

“The Oregonian” reports that Dutro showed “no reaction” when the verdict was read.

Her sentencing date is set for April 18th.

LATEST ON MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT 370

Weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on a routine flight from Kuala Lumpar International Airport in Malaysia to Beijing, China, we still don’t know what happened and the families of those on-board are still being fed misinformation.

Malaysia-Bejing Flight Map

It’s now a criminal investigation and Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector general of the Royal Malaysian Police Force, says “As we have said earlier, only the passengers has been cleared. The rest? No.”

This means the pilot and co-pilot are still being investigated.

Last Words MA 370

While it may not be a big deal to some people, it seems the authorities in Malaysia are again showing their incompetence under the scrutiny of the world.

Officials are now reporting that the last words from the cockpit were “Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero” rather than “All right, good night”, which they reported two weeks ago.

For the sake of the families, I hope they find answers and get closure soon.

“12 YEARS A SLAVE”

One of the things I plan on this weekend is finally getting to see the Oscar-winning movie, “12 Years A Slave”, now that it’s out on DVD.

12 Years A Slave

Also, I plan on seeing the Oscar-nominated Martin Scorsese film, “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Yes, that’s all I need — a movie that glorifies the use of the f-word, as if it isn’t one of my favorite crutch words.

If you recall, from my January 17, 2014 “Random Friday Thoughts”, the f-bomb is used 506 times in this movie, which is second only to documentary called “F*ck”, which is about the f-word.  It’s used 857 times in that one!

SUNNY FORECAST FOR WILLARD SCOTT

Former “Today” show weatherman Willard Scott got married earlier this week on April Fool’s Day.

Willard Scott

The 80-year-old married his girlfriend of almost eleven years, Paris Keena, in Fort Myers, Florida.

The couple met back in the late-1970s and remained friends.  Scott was married to Mary Dwyer from 1959 until her death in 2002.

Congratulations Willard and Paris.  I forecast sunny and happy days for you!

BEST WISHES TO SARA & LINDA, TOO

Congratulations and well wishes also go out to “The Talk” co-host Sara Gilbert and record producer Linda Perry.

Sara and Linda

The couple was married this past Sunday in an ocean side Malibu wedding and are now away on their honeymoon.

Sara and Linda have been dating since 2011.

For the reception party, Linda surprised Sara, who loves ’80s female rockers, with a concert featuring Terri Nunn of Berlin (“The Metro” and “Take My Breath Away”), Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons (“Destination Unknown”), Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow (“I Want Candy”), and Martha Davis of the Motels (“Only The Lonely”)!

How incredible would that be!!!!!

You’re probably more familiar with Sara, who starred on “Roseanne”.  But, Linda has produced for Christina Aguilera (“Beautiful”), Pink!, and Britney Spears.

She was also the lead singer of 4 Non Blondes, a one-hit wonder, that reached #14 in 1993 with the smash, “What’s Up?”

While it was a modest hit in the U.S., it reached #1 in Austria, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, and several more European countries.

“FROZEN”

“Frozen”, Disney’s latest animated blockbuster, is now the biggest animated film in history.  It’s crossed the one-billion dollar mark at $1.07 billion!

Frozen

When it was released a couple of weeks ago to the home market, it sold more than 3.2 million blue-rays and DVDs and in February, it became the biggest digital release ever!

I finally got around to seeing it.  Gretel, our 12-year-old daughter, has seen it several times already and loves it.  She says it’s one of her favorite Disney movies.

I guess my expectations were too just high with its box office success and the Oscar win for Best Animated Feature.  While I enjoyed the movie, it was no “Beauty and The Beast” and Belle will always be my favorite.

Beauty-And-The-Beast

GRADE:  B-

PICK HIT

The “Frozen” soundtrack is just as popular as the movie.  It’s the only album that has sold more than a million copies in 2014.  Since its November release, the soundtrack has sold 1.8 million copies and has spent eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart.

Frozen Soundtrack

“Let It Go”, the first release from the album, picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song.  That song by Adele Dazeem has been downloaded around 1.8 million times!

What?  Damn you, John Travolta!  You’re right, it’s not Adele Dazeem, it’s “Wicked” star Idina Menzel!  🙂

John and Idina

“Frozen” is now ready to melt dance clubs across the country.  The song’s remix just debuted on the Billboard Dance Chart.  While Dave Aude’s remix is great, this is my favorite version by Papercha$er.

This will be Menzel’s fourth dance chart hit.  Her biggest hits on that chart were the #5 smash, “Defying Gravity”, from “Wicked” in 2007 and “Gorgeous” from her 2008 album, “I Stand”, peaked at #3.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Jimmy Carter

Train WreckMoscato Strawberry Lemonade

READY FOR THE BACKYARD POOL

That Moscato Strawberry Lemonade has me thinking of hot summer days in our backyard pool.

While the chill has settled in again across the Quad Cities after Monday’s 69° high, I can’t wait to lounge and soak up the sun dreaming of my 50th birthday vacation celebration this October.  It’s only six months away!  Only?

One of these days soon, I’ll write a blog and announce where it is.  Now, I just have to pay for it!

Until then and until we can swim outside, here’s a flashback to the summer of 2010 with Miss ABBA and Gretel that still melts my heart!

Pool Summer 2010

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

This Sunday, country music legend Merle Haggard will celebrate his 77th birthday.

Merle Haggard

Along with Buck Owens, Haggard helped define the “Bakersfield Sound”.

Since his first hit in 1963 to his last Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Country chart in 2005 in a duet with Gretchen Wilson, Haggard charted 84 songs!

Of those, an astounding 74 of them reached the Top Ten!  And, 38 made it all the way to the top of the charts!

My favorite Merle song reached #1 in 1974 and was the lead single from his Christmas album, “A Christmas Present” in November 1973 and his next studio album in February 1974, “If We Make It Through December”.

That song also hit #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, which was his only crossover.

My other favorite was his 1968 hit “Mama Tried”, which topped the country charts for four weeks.

Merle Haggard  -- Young

Happy Birthday Merle!

THAT’S IT

Have a fantastic weekend!  I hope I wasn’t too controversial in my thoughts this week.  I’ll have more to share next week.

Anthony