Posts Tagged ‘Pride’

Random Friday Thoughts — July 1, 2016

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and that means the first half of the year is already behind us.  Time flies when you’re having fun or so they say.

Have a safe holiday weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.  As always, feel free to let me know your thoughts.

NO DOG IN MY FUTURE — MAYBE EVER!

ABBAAnthonyLD2009

It’s been almost four-and-a-half years since Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven and people understandably ask, “When are you getting another dog?”.  I always thought that we would one day.

However, over the past week, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t think I need one!

As you know, Ray and I built our first fish pond a few years back and last summer, we expanded it from a mere 200 gallons to 1,000 gallons.

Fish Pond

It’s so much fun to watch the 50-plus fish at feeding time and the sound of the waterfall is so relaxing.

Sadly, it’s likely that Blizzard, the largest and most recent fish we acquired, or one of the small koi we just bought was sick.

Without warning, Blizzard died early last week.  It came as a total shock and then the real trauma hit me.

Last Friday, my favorite fish, Pumpkin Pie, the one I saved from the mink last summer, died.

Pumpkin Pie is the orange one with black spots and Snowflake is the yellowish/white one.

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

I held her (or him) as it died.  It was heartbreaking and I cried.  At that point, I realized that I’ll not ready for the heartbreak of losing another pet.

After Blizzard and Pumpkin Pie, two days later, Strong, a koi that we adopted from our friends Nathan and Amanda died, followed by one more large fish, Norma Bates, the next day.  (Yes, we name the big ones and a few of the small ones.)

As hard as we work to keep the fish pond clean and happy, the fear quickly set in that this wasn’t just a coincidence and that a fish bacteria or virus was raging through the pond.

The pond is now being treated by a strong anti-virus treatment and we hope that the last of the five or so large fish survive.  So far, none of the 40-plus small fish (mostly goldfish) have been affected.

In memory of the four fish, we planted ornamental grasses around the pond.

Here’s a another look at a happier day not too long ago when Pumpkin Pie, Strong, and Norma Bates were alive and well!  (All three are in this video — the largest ones!)

PEOPLE NEED SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN

Many people choose the Bible when they need something to believe in.  However, others put their faith and money, money, money into self-help books and motivational speakers.

Look at 56-year-old infomercial star Tony Robbins.  He’s made so much money convincing people that they can do almost anything they set their minds to.

That trust and faith sent dozens to the hospital late last week in Texas.

About thirty people were burned and had to be treated after walking on hot coals in a fire walking event at a seminar in Dallas.  Several were hospitalized and others were transported to medical facilities that treat burns.

Coal Fire Burns

Jennifer Connelly, a spokesperson for Robbins says, “The fire walk portion of the event has been celebrated for 35 years.”

She adds that the goal of the exercise is to have guests to feel no discomfort afterwards, but it’s “not uncommon to have fewer than one percent of participants experience ‘hot spots’, which is similar to a sunburn, which can be treated with aloe.”

Um, I think she has this terribly wrong.  Burn treatment at a hospital sounds much different than hot spots and a sunburn.

Seriously people, believe in yourself and not some person that wants your money because they know you’re weak!

PRIDE HIGHLIGHTS

Pride parades were held all across the world this past weekend and earlier in June.

Years & Years, the English dance band, with openly gay lead singer Olly Alexander played the annual Glastonbury Festival in England last weekend.

IFDecked out in a rainbow flag outfit, he told the crowd, “As you might be able to tell by the way that I’m dressed, I’m gay. And in fact, I’m really, really, super gay.

And, then he got more serious about the recent tragedies like the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida earlier this month.

“But what I keep thinking about in the last year, some crappy and messed up stuff has happened.  As a queer person, as queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared and we know what’s it like to live with fear as part of our every day. But tonight, at Glastonbury, I would like to ask you to join me on Pride weekend and say, ‘no thank you fear. Bye fear bye.  Shove a rainbow in fear’s face.  All I have to say to finish is, I am here and queer and sometimes I am afraid but I am never ashamed of who I am.”

Jessie-Eisenberg-London-Pride

Meanwhile, on Pride weekend in London, “Now You See Me 2” actor Jesse Eisenberg left a West End stage rehearsal of “The Spoils” and walked by an anti-Pride Christian group.

He was asked “Is your mind closed?” by a man offering a brochure.  Eisenberg responded, “That’s so f*cking sad.”

The man asked the same question again and Jesse scoffed and laughed adding, “Is my mind closed?  That’s so f*cked up” and walked away.

Hillary PrideBack in the the United States, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit and walked in New York City’s Pride parade.

NO PRIDE HERE, JUST SHAME!

As many of you know, Pride parades and celebrations started 46 years ago when the gay community took a stand and said we’re not hiding away in the shadows of society any longer.

We’ve made so much progress and there’s still so much more room for advancement.

Sadly, in the LGBT community as it is in society in general, there are those that do things that shine a really bad light on others.

Tennessee Violent Crimes

YouTuber Calum McSwiggan claims that three men attacked him outside a West Hollywood, California gay bar earlier this week.

But, police now say that he faked the report and actually injured himself inside the cell with a pay phone to cover up his arrest on vandalism charges!

I’m not sharing McSwiggan’s picture because if he lied (and police and a witness say he did), he’s just desperate for fame and attention and I’m not giving him face time.  Pulling a stunt like this makes him scum of the earth.

Pulse

As we saw at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and from all the hate talk that comes from politicians, the Westboro Baptist Church, and other haters, the LGBT community has to be vigilant enough already without having some media whore desperate for attention lying about an anti-gay attack!

McSwiggan is now being charged with filing a false police report.

THIS WEEK, THE POPE SAYS…

While I’m not Catholic, much of my family is.

I believe that Pope Francis, who began his papacy in March 2013, is good for Catholicism and is working to bridge the religious and real world divide between the Church and LGBT people.  However, he’s really hard to figure out.

This is what he said in the summer of 2013.

Pope Francis

While he opposes marriage equality and he thinks being a practicing homosexual is intrinsically immoral, he believes gay people should be treated with respect and love.

He’s making headlines again.  On a trip to Armenia last weekend, Pope Francis declared on the flight, “I think that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it offended, but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons.”

He’s not the first Pope to apologize for Catholics and Christians, but he’s the first to ask for an apology to the LGBT people.  In 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II apologized to several groups including Jewish people, immigrants, women, and indigenous peoples.

It’s a step forward if he doesn’t contradict his statement the next time he speaks on the matter!

CLUELESS CAITLYN

I applauded Caitlyn Jenner for coming out as transgender, but I never had any faith in her advancing the cause for my transgender brothers and sisters.  So far, I’d say I’m correct.

Caitlyn

The more I see her name in the press and the more she opens her mouth, the more I cringe. Okay, that’s a polite way of expressing how I really feel about her views.

Jenner’s latest ignorant and misinformed statement:  “Trump seems to be very much for women.  He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns. With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”

Maybe she meant to say that Trump is “very much behind” on issues regarding the LGBT community!

I agree with the Huffington Post calling it a “WTF of the week”!

NATE SILVER PREDICTS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT

American statistician and writer Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com has spoken and he predicts that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.

HIllary Flag

If you don’t know him, you definitely don’t follow politics as closely as I do.

The baseball and politics analyst successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008’s U.S. Presidential Election.

In the next election cycle, in 2012, Silver successfully called all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Earlier this week, he made his first prediction for the 2016 presidential race and gave a big edge to Clinton.  Here’s how he made his prediction.

538 Predicts

PICK HIT

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony was one of my favorite songs of last year.

Earlier this year, the band released the first single, “Work From Home”, from their new album “7/27”, that came out in late May.  It topped the airplay charts at Top 40 radio.

It’s an incredibly catchy song with a super hot, sexy video.  (I featured it last week, so just glance back one week to watch it.)

Their new song, “All In My Head (Flex)” is already racing up the charts and it’s catchy, too.  It features the hot ladies of Fifth Harmony, more sexy men, and rapper Fetty Wap.

By the way, what the hell is Fetty Wap singing?

ANOTHER PICK HIT

Michael Ray topped the country radio airplay chart last year with “Kiss You In the Morning”.  It ended being one of my favorite songs of last year and his self-titled album was my #9 album of 2015.

He’s back with a new video for the third single from the album, “Think A Little Less”.

If you’d like to know more about Michael Ray and his incredible album, here’s my blog review.  (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/michael-ray-could-bring-me-back-to-country-music/

FIRST LADIES

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing little known (or well known) tidbits about the wives of the presidents of the United States from the book I read by Betty Boyd Caroli called “First Ladies”.

I’ve covered Martha Washington to Frances Cleveland.  Here’s more trivia that may help you in “Jeopardy” or “Trivial Pursuit”.

First Ladies

Caroline Harrison:  She became ill in the last year of her husband’s presidency and died a few weeks before the 1892 election becoming only the second First Lady to die while in the White House.  She’s best remembered for having electricity added to the White House during 1891’s spring renovations and for starting the White House china collection.

Frances Cleveland:  She served two non-consecutive terms in the White House as First Lady.  In my last blog, here’s what I wrote about her:  “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”.

Ida McKinley:  She was very sick and frail as First Lady.  In public, she was prone to seizures.  President McKinley would have a white handkerchief on hand and he’d place it over her face when she had a seizure and would remove it when it was over.  They would continue on in conversation as if nothing had happened.

Edith Roosevelt:  She controlled the information going out to social reporters very carefully and handle criticism well.  Once a famous woman was quoted in a national magazine that the First Lady “dresses on 300 dollars a year and looks it.”  She happily clipped the column and placed it in her scrapbook.

Helen Taft:  She was known to push her husband into positions that would align him to become president one day.  She was influenced by the years she spent in the Orient and as First Lady, she had thousands of Japanese cherry trees planted and the spring blossoms are now a major tourist attraction in Washington D.C.

Ellen Wilson:  She became the first First Lady to address Congress to improve housing conditions in Washington D.C., especially the slums, with “Ellen Wilson’s Bill”.

Edith Wilson:  President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife was highly criticized for “petticoat government” after he suffered a stroke in the fall of 1919.  She kept people away from him until he recovered enough to carry out his presidential responsibilities.  That’s why people didn’t really know who was running the government.  Meanwhile, she set a good example during World War I by having “meatless days” at the White House and she even brought in sheep to graze the lawn to save money and would auction off the wool to raise cash for the American Red Cross.

Florence Harding:  She was known to manipulate the White House press corp.  Because of that, the public never knew how sick she and the president really were and thus their deaths came as more of a shock.  Publicly, she blamed their extended illnesses on food poisoning and other things.

Grace Coolidge:  Her husband, President Calvin Coolidge, was very strict and never allowed her to give interviews.  While he often demeaned her, he spent a lot of money to buy her a lavish wardrobe.

Lou Hoover:  She was a geologist who moved to China with husband and then added Mandarin to the languages she spoke.  She embraced radio and gave many speeches with a feminist slant.

I’ll have the final installment next week.

THAT’S IT

I hope you found something interesting this week in my many random thoughts.  As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me, even if we disagree.  Just do it diplomatically.

Have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend.  Happy 240th Birthday America!

Anthony

Deadly Gay Nightclub Attack — We’re all “One”

The worst mass shooting in American history took place Saturday night in an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub called “Pulse”.

In a story that’s still developing as I write this Sunday, Orlando’s mayor says 50 people are dead and another 53 are hurt. (Monday, the total was updated to 49 victims inside the club, plus the shooter.)

Pulse.jpg

This is deadlier than the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 or Sandy Hook five years later.

I pray for each and every person — gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or straight — in that nightclub.  I pray for their families and their friends that someone took it upon himself to come into that nightclub to destroy the lives of everyone there and for the people who love them.

This is a disgusting act of cowardliness and it’s a sad expression of where some in humanity stand in life.  It’s pathetic and heartbreaking!

The motive is still unknown as I write this.

If this shooting and mass murder took place because it was a gay nightclub, that compounds an already inhumane act.

Hate is hate!  No one has the right to inflict emotional or physical pain or death upon another person because they think being gay is a sin.

Let God decide that when the time comes.

Learn to be human and talk about your differences or move along down the road in a different walk of life.

PrideFlag

June is the month for Americans to celebrate “Gay Pride”.

It’s a time to celebrate diversity and everything that we in the LGBTQ community has had to fight for in life — from being discriminated against for who we are, to having others neglect them and kick them out of their homes for being different, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Stonewall_Inn_1969

“Gay Pride” was established in 1970 after the Stonewall Riots in New York City in the summer of 1969.

Bar patrons, who already had to hide in the shadows to meet, said to police who came in harassing them on a regular basis, “enough is enough”.

They fought back with bottles, rocks, and whatever they could find to protect themselves. Harassment, even at the hands of police, who demeaned and mocked gay people at the bar, is harassment and is wrong.  (You read can more about the “Stonewall Riots” at the bottom of this blog.  I re-posted my blog from four years ago.)

Stonewall_riots

The “Stonewall Riots” started a revolution!  Gay people could be themselves anywhere in America — whether it be Mayfield, Kentucky,  Pocatello, Idaho, or San Francisco, California.

When America is faced with an act of terrorism, such as the 9/11 attacks in September 2001 or terrorist attacks on a smaller scale, we stand strong in the face of sadness, tears, and blood.

As Gay Pride events take place this month, I hope all our friends embrace the LGBTQ community and look out for us, just as we would do for you — we are one!

I’m thinking of the U2 song, “One” right now and I think it’s appropriate.

I hope America and the world come together at this sad time to open their arms and open their hearts to their brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community.

We’re human just like you — we love and we want to find love, we work and pay taxes, we’re someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew, friend, or co-worker.

And, when some coward charges into a nightclub armed with “an assault-type weapon, a handgun and “some type of (other) device”, we bleed and die just like the rest of America and the world.

All we want is peace, love, and understanding.

peace_love_understanding

That starts at home, at schools, and at work.  That starts with each one of us.

Please pray for those hurt and killed, their families and friends, and the world.  We all need that prayer now.

Anthony

If you want to read more about the “Stonewall Riots”, I posted this in 2012, so it’s now been 47 years, not 43.

Click here:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/push-comes-to-shove-43-years-ago-the-stonewall-riots/

My 20 Favorites Movies of 2014

The movie with the most buzz in 2014 didn’t have anything to do with “Star Wars”, “Star Trek”, “The Hunger Games”, or hobbits.

Because of hacks at Sony and threats against movie goers, “The Interview”, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco playing a television show producer and host that are asked by the U.S. government to kill the leader of North Korea, was the most talked about movie of the year.

Sony cancelled the Christmas Day premiere and then after a huge backlash across the country and from the President of the United States, the movie was released in more than 300 theaters on Christmas Day and it was made available online for $5.99.

Sony is now calling “The Interview” its “top grossing online film of all time” after it made more than $15 million in digital rentals and purchases in its first four days.  It also made almost $3 million in limited release at theaters in its first four days.

I still want to see it and one year from now, we’ll see if it makes my 2015 list.

2014

Here are my favorite movies of 2014. Notice I said, “favorite”.  These may not be the “best” movies of the year that Oscar will shine on, but these are my favorites that I enjoyed and would watch again.

This is 20 to #11.  The top ten will be posted tomorrow.

#20

“PRIDE”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $1.4 MILLION

WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $7.5 MILLION 

19

“THE FAULT IN OUR STARS”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $124.9 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $304.2 MILLION 

#18

“FLOATING SKYSCRAPERS”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  —

17

“JOAN RIVERS:  A PIECE OF WORK”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $2.9 MILLION 

#16

“OUT OF THE FURNACE”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $11.3 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $15.4 MILLION 

15

“BAGGAGE CLAIM”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $21.6 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $22.5 MILLION 

#14 Movie

“SNOWPIERCER”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $4.6 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $86.8 MILLION 

#13

“DIVERGENT”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $150.9 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $288.7 MILLION 

12

“UNBROKEN”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $47.3 MILLION 

TOTAL WORLDWIDE BOX OFFICE:  $47.3 MILLION 

11

“GLORIA”

U.S. BOX OFFICE:  $2.1 MILLION 

2014

Thank you for checking out #20 to #11.  Which ones have you watched and did you see any that you might want to check out now?

Check back tomorrow for my ten favorite movies of 2014.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/my-ten-favorite-movies-of-2014/

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — June 7

The weekend is here and I hope you have a great one.  In the Quad Cities, Gumbo Ya-Ya is taking place in the District of Rock Island.  While I’ve broadcasted weather live from the event, I’ve never actually gone to it.  So, this evening, I’ll be there an hour or so for work and then I may sample some of the culture and the food.

On Sunday,we’re heading to Chicagoland to celebrate Gretel’s birthday a month early.  Two years ago, we took her to the “Glee Live” concert.  This time it’s Ke$ha and Pitbull.  While I was the one that really wanted to go, Gretel was very excited about getting to see the show, too.

KE$HA & PITBULL IN CONCERT

Ke$ha Pitbull

While I know that Ke$ha is strange and her songs are auto-tuned to the max, she’s still fun to listen to and who doesn’t love someone that’s not afraid to let their freak flag fly.  Her current album, “Warrior” is amazing.

The reviews of the concert are really good.  From what I’ve read, Ke$ha comes out first and performs about 55 minutes and then Pitbull brings his Latin magic to the stage for about 75 minutes.

Ke$ha’s new song, “Crazy Kids” featuring will.i.am is currently racing up the chart and is already Top 30 at pop radio.

KAISER’S LAST  WALK

In a heartwarming show of respect last Friday in Massachusetts, several Plymouth Police Department personnel gathered outside an animal hospital to salute Kaiser, their 2.5-year-old K-9 companion, as he walked into the veterinarian clinic to be put down.
Remembering Kaiser

The German Shepherd was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure this March, but his health problems became too severe early last week for him to work and the decision was made to end his pain.

Kaiser was one of the youngest dogs to ever attend the training academy – at just 10 months old.  After finishing the four-month Patrol Dog Academy, he was certified in human tracking, criminal apprehension and evidence recovery and was assigned to Plymouth Police Officer Jamie LeBretton.

LeBretton posted this on the Plymouth Police K-9 unit’s Facebook page, “I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue.”

Rest in peace, Kaiser!

TRAIN WRECK AMANDA BYNES HAS CROSSED THE LINE

Troubled actress Amanda Bynes is giving people plenty to talk about and it has nothing to do with her acting!

Following her last arrest on May 23, 2013, she tweeted, “Don’t believe the reports about me being arrested. It’s all lies.  I was sexually harassed by one of the cops the night before last which is who then arrested me. He lied and said I threw a bong out the window when I opened the window for fresh air. Hilarious. He slapped my vagina.  Sexual harassment…The cops were creepy.”  Um, okay.

Amanda Bynes

And, then last weekend, she was upset with “People” magazine and posted this on Twitter with a gay slur.

Amanda Bynes

Before it was deleted, RuPaul got wind of it and had this come back.

RuPaul

Amanda, you need help, but let me give you some advice.  You should really watch your mouth, especially dropping that f-bomb because one thing you don’t want in your twisted little life is for the LGBT community to come down on you, especially a 7-foot tall drag queen (with heels and wig)!

RuPaul

You better work!

YUM!

I finally had the new Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita and it was pretty tasty.  And, the nice thing is that it’s only 199 calories.  While it has more calories than a glass of wine or a vodka/diet tonic, I would not want to have more than one or two of them at a time anyways.  It seems more like a cordial or a dessert drink to me.  Also, I bet it would fun to make my own variation of the drink for a party!

strawberrita

As many of you know, I love making fun drinks or having a vodka tonic or a glass or two of wine, so this cartoon is rather fitting for me. 🙂

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Forecast  Know it allHuman

PRIDE PROTEST SHAME

Last weekend was 6th annual Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  I’ve attended three of them now.  Two with Miss ABBA and this one with Ray and Gretel.  I hear the turnout on Saturday was phenomenal!  Thank you, Quad Cities!

We went on Sunday and it wasn’t as busy during the afternoon.  As many of you know, I’m very outspoken about matters that are true to my heart.  I believe in equality for all and I stand behind my convictions and I don’t hide.  What you get is what you see!

As we were leaving Pride, Ray pointed out the two protestors standing by the entrance/exit.  While thousands attended the Quad Cities Pride, two people took it upon themselves to let us know that we were sinners in God’s eyes.

Pride Protestor

If this is a relative of yours, I offer my apologies on several levels.  But, most of all, if you have the nerve to condemn people on God’s behalf, please have “pride” in yourself that you don’t hang your head in shame when someone takes your picture.  I know there are many people who believe as this man does.  On the other hand, I know there are many more people who are proud to stand up for the rights of their LGBT brothers and sisters.

Gretel, who turns 12 next month, asked, “What is he protesting?”  I told her, “he thinks God doesn’t want your two dads married”.  And, her response was priceless, “Why?”  I ♥ my little girl!

I can hear the angel Whitney Houston singing in my head, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”.  So, I’ll share it with you now.

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

It’s been almost 16 months since the incredibly talented and beautiful Whitney Houston left us.  Her music still sounds as good today as it did when she blasted onto the music scene in 1985 with her first hit, “You Give Good Love”.  From that first Billboard Hot 100 hit that peaked at #3 to her last Top 40 appearance in 2001 (“The Star-Spangled Banner, #6), Whitney scored 30 Top 40 hits.  Of those, 24 reached the Top Ten, and eleven made it all the way to the top of the chart!

As a matter of fact, from 1985-1988, Whitney topped the Billboard Hot 100 with seven consecutive songs:  “Saving All My Love For You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional”, and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”.

In addition to those seven consecutive chart toppers, Whitney also reached the top with “I’m Your Baby Tonight”, “All The Man I Need”, I Will Always Love You”, and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”.

She also topped the Billboard Dance Chart fourteen times.

DONUT VODKA LAST YEAR AND NOW WHAT?

Last year at this time, I was anxiously awaiting the “Glazed Donut” vodka from 360 Vodka, which the company called the “irresistible taste of America’s most-popular donut.”  I wasn’t impressed when I bought it, so I need to try it again to see if I was wrong last summer.

Today, on National Donut Day, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering not only a free donut with the purchase of a beverage, but it’s also offering a new, relatively healthy breakfast (or I guess, anytime) treat, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich!

donut-sandwich

The company describes the 360 calorie, 20 fat grams sandwich this way, “The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors.”

So, would it be overkill to have this new Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich and a 360 Vokda Glazed Donut cocktail for dinner tonight??? 🙂

Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, the chain’s Moline, Illinois, store on Avenue of the Cities that was struck by a hit and run stolen pickup truck almost three months ago is still closed.  And, it will remain that way indefinitely.  While I’m not a regular customer there, I thought it was rather odd that it has taken so long to re-open.  So, I did some investigating and no building permit has been requested from the Moline Building Division for the repair work.  Interesting!

I guess if I really want my free donut and to try this sandwich today, I’ll have to go to Davenport!

“THE WALKING DEAD”

While we’re still months away from the start of the fourth season of “The Walking Dead”, I got excited earlier this week when it was announced that season three arrives on DVD on August 27th!  Yes, I’m one of those people who don’t watch enough television to pay Mediacom’s outrageous prices for cable.

I can’t wait to see the third season because I hear it was fantastic.  And, yes, I’m aware that some of the main characters die since you can’t avoid spoilers these days, especially if you wait for shows to arrive on DVD.

The season 3 finale was watched by 12.4 million people making it the most-watched drama series telecast in basic cable history.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-3

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), I’ll see you in less than three months!

“DEXTER”

While I love “The Walking Dead”, my favorite show is “Dexter”.  The final season begins June 30th on Showtime!

Dexter The Final Season

And, guess who graces the cover of my favorite magazine, “Entertainment Weekly’?

Dexter -EW-COVER

While my issue will arrive in the mail today, I already know part of what it says about season 8.  Since I don’t believe in spoiling things for others, in case you’re not caught up, here’s what I’ll let out of the bag.  According to “EW”, the final season picks up six months after the shocking season seven finale.  Debra has a new job and Dexter is desperate to get close to his sister again after the all of the turmoil she faced last season after she found out what Dexter is!

And, this sounds like an awesome new storyline:  “Enter Dr. Evelyn Vogel (Charlotte Rampling), a psychiatrist with a secret: Decades ago she helped Dexter’s father write the Code that he’s used to manage his psychotic impulses. Now she’s being stalked by a mysterious killer and wants Dex’s help.”

Ray and I just watched Season 7 and I have to say that it was my favorite season so far, but season one is very close!

Since I love ranking and grading pop culture, here goes:

Season 1: (A+)   — Three words:  Ice Truck Killer!  Plus, I love Sergeant Doakes (“Surprise Motherf***a”)!

Season 2: (B)  —   I gave it a higher grade for Doakes and a lower grade because of Lila (you gotta love Paris)!

Season 3: (B-) —  This season had so much potential especially when Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits) saw Dexter kill someone early on, but the show lost its way for most of the season.

Season 4:  (A) —  The Trinity Killer & Rita taking a much deserved bath!

Season 5:  (B-) — Lumen got old fast, but having Jonny Lee Miller (Jordan Chase) on the show saved it from getting a “C”.  However, the story line was weak.

Season 6:  (A-)  —  The “Doomsday Killer” and the Book of Revelations killings were intriguing.   The “Nebraska” filler episode dropped the season back a partial grade.

Season 7:  (A+) — The dynamics of Dexter and Debra this season after she witnessed his kill at the end of season six were incredible.  Debra’s fragility of discovering what Dexter is and having to compromise her position with Miami Metro to save her brother was a powerful story to watch unfold.   And, it was fun seeing Dexter as the mouse in the “cat and mouse” game with his every move being watched by not only Debra, but also by Isaac Sirko and the Koshka Brotherhood (the Ukrainian based international crime syndicate).  If that wasn’t enough, he and Debra then had to come up with a strategic plan after Captain LaGuerta found evidence that Doakes wasn’t the “Bay Harbor Butcher” and she started investigating Dexter!

And, the icing on the cake, I finally got a Christmas “Dexter” episode!

RENT THIS!

If you’re looking for a movie to rent this weekend, I suggest “Silver Linings Playbooks” (A-), “The Life of Pi” (A), and “The Impossible” (A).

the-impossible

“The Impossible” is about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that struck many southeast Asia countries on December 26, 2004.  Indonesia was hardest hit with the most damage and casualties.  Around a quarter of a million people died.

This movie follows a British couple played by Naomi Watts (who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance) and Ewan McGregor and their three sons on a holiday vacation to Thailand.  After enjoying opening presents for Christmas, the movie moves on to their fight for survival during and after the waves hit their resort.

Watts’ performance was subtle, but very touching.  In a weaker Oscar race year, Tom Holland, who played the couple’s 12-year-old son, Lucas, would have have nominated.

The special effects of the tsunami and the aftermath of the raging water that turned land into an extension of the Indian Ocean were so realistic.

A must-see!

AND, TAKE A CHANCE ON THIS!

K-11

This was one of the craziest, but entertaining, movies I’ve seen in some time.

It’s the directorial debut of Hollywood veteran script supervisor Jules Stewart, the mother of the “Twilight” series star Kristin Stewart.  At one point, K-Stew was attached to the movie, but had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict.  Her brother, Cameron Stewart makes his acting debut as a prisoner.

The movie stars Goran Visnjic, of “ER” fame, as hard partying, boozer, and druggie music producer Raymond Saxx, Jr.  He ends up in jail one night after a blackout and then mistakenly (one guard bribing another is more accurate) gets taken to K-11, a part of the Los Angeles County Jail, that houses gay or transsexual inmates to keep them “safe” from the general jail population.

K-11 is a cesspool of drugs and bad behavior and is controlled by Mousey, a street wise transsexual inmate played by actress Kate De Castillo.  De Castillo is incredible.  It’s a case of Julie Andrew’s “Victor Victoria” gone bad.  A woman playing a man dressing as a woman.  I seriously thought that De Castillo was a man playing a woman or a transsexual.

The movie is violent and does have drug and rape scenes, so it may not be for the faint of heart.

GRADE:  B

OBSESSED WITH THIS VIDEO!

I love the latest song and video from singer and songwriter Hailey Rowe.  When I first saw the video, I loved it because it was fun and both Hailey and video “boyfriend”, actor Blake Peyrot, are so damn cute.  Now, I just can’t stop watching it.  And, the song was added to the playlists at stations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Palm Springs, California.  I think it would be so awesome for this song to take off at Top 40 radio this summer!

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

A mini-vacation sounds nice right now, but we don’t have any planned.

However, last year at this time, Ray, Gretel, Betty (“Mom”) and I spent the weekend at “Four Mounds”, a little getaway in Dubuque, Iowa, overlooking the Mississippi River.  They have a little cabin that we’ve rented several times.  We just relaxed, played cards, walked in the woods and along the River, and ate some good food like my favorite meal that Ray makes — chicken piccata.  That’s also the first meal he cooked for me and Miss ABBA in early 2009 when we met.

June 8 2012 Betty AP Ray Ray AP June 9 2012 Ray Gretel June 8 2012Chicken Piccata June 8 2012

Okay, that’s enough random thoughts.  You know I always welcome your thoughts on anything that I’m talking about or something totally off the subject.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

May 2013 005

I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

february-3-2012-daddy-a-abba

On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony