Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

Random Friday Thoughts — September 25, 2015

Fall is here and I hope it’s off to a great start for you.  In the Midwest, it’s starting out very warm and dry — just as summer ended.

I feel inspired to write about a few things that crossed my mind, so here’s a guest appearance of Random Friday Thoughts!

HOLY STAMPEDE

I’m really baffled by the stampede at the annual Hajj pilgrimage outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.  It’s reported that at least 700 were crushed to death and about 900 were hurt!

I know that about two million people take part in this, but what happened to orderly fashion?

Hundreds were also killed in stampedes in the past and in 1990, 1,426 people died in Mina, which leads to the holy sites.

While I love attending Christmas mass, I’m not going to trample over people to get there!

“FEAR THE WALKING DEAD”

I’m guilty of it and I bet you are, too.  How many times have you started snacking while waiting for dinner just because you’re hungry?

Pastries

I’m doing that with “Fear The Walking Dead”.  While I’m enjoying the show, it’s so slow and the fourth episode was so uneventful until the very end of the hour.

I actually got excited when the previews of the next show came on at the end and it said something like “only two episodes left”.

I know the final two shows will likely be great and move faster, but I’m really ready for dinner to be served — the season six premiere of “The Walking Dead” on October 11th.

The-Walking-Dead-Season-1

SUMMER IS OVER

While we enjoyed the pool this summer, we took it down last weekend.

Pool

But, that doesn’t mean we’re ready for winter and snow.  We dived into the biggest project ever and it turned out fantastic.

MOVING UP TO THE EAST SIDE!

You’ve heard me talk many times about the fish pond we built back in May 2012.  It held about 250 gallons of water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recently, some of our friends gave us three of their goldfish and koi and this fall, we were going to acquire a dozen more that our friends decided not to keep.

So, we expanded the pond last weekend.  It’s now three feet deep and holds almost a thousand gallons of water!

Fish Pond

We now have 33 gorgeous fish and because of my recent mink encounter, the pond has added security!  (If you missed that mink predator ordeal, click here).

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/08/17/my-first-hand-encounter-with-a-predator/

SINCE WE’RE TALKING FISH….

Fish Be You

DAMNED IF YOU DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON’T

Whether it’s pizza, wedding cakes, or marriage licenses, controversy arises when two sides see things differently when God (or one’s perception of God being judgmental) is involved.

I’ve always been a strong advocate of equal rights for everyone, especially the LGBT community since I’m part of that subculture of humanity.

But, when we advocates raise awareness about people who deny others equal rights, there’s also a backlash.

MarriageEquality-711906

When marriage equality became the law of the land in the United States, there were many reports of gay bashings the weekend after the Supreme Court of the United States made its ruling.

When a small Indiana pizza joint spoke out against marriage equality and when bakeries refused to make wedding cakes for gay ceremonies, the LGBT community spoke out and the media extensively covered the stories.

Rainbow Cake

The restaurant and some of the cake makers started getting donations in the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for taking a stand against the LGBT community.

And, when a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, refused to do her job and issue marriage licenses to gay couples, she became a martyr for standing up for her religious rights.  (No, I’m not posting a picture of her or saying her name.  She’s had enough celebrity and hopefully her fifteen minutes are up soon!)

Now, just in time for Christmas, I read that she’s penning a religious book with an advance of seven figures.  Becoming a millionaire for refusing rights to the LGBT community and standing on the wrong side of history?

A Christmas Carol

I sure hope that when she is confronted with the ghost of Christmas past, it’s less haunting for her than for Scrooge!

gays_in_church

But, I’ll still raise awareness for LGBT equality.  I just wish the price wasn’t making celebrities out of people who use God and religion to hate!

AM I A “BELIEBER”?

Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is a superstar.

Justin

While I’ve never declared myself a member of either camp, I have to admit he is a beautiful (and slightly troubled) young man.

Now, I’m beginning to think I may be a psuedo-Belieber (defined as a HUGE Justin Bieber fan)!

I loved his last song, “Where Are U Now” with Skrillex and Diplo, which hit the Top Ten in America (and #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart).

And, “What Do You Mean?”, the lead single from his upcoming album has already topped the charts and is one of the biggest songs of the year just weeks after its release.

COUNTRY RADIO, SEXISM OR CUMULUS MEDIA?

I’ve written several times before that I think that country music radio is ageist and sexist.

There are many women’s new music in country that I’d love to hear in heavy rotation on the radio other than Reba, but she ignites that fire for me.

Now, I think it’s more than just sexism and ageism.  I seriously think those elements are still there.  But, I’m now convinced it’s Reba’s affiliation with Cumulus Media, which is a part of her new label, Nash Icon, that is the major problem.

Reba Until They Don't Love You

Case in point is the second single from her #1 country album, “Love Somebody”, “Until They Don’t Love You”.  It’s an incredible song and sounds great live.

It was released to country radio August 7, 2015, and now seven weeks later, it only being played on 61 stations (out of more than 260 reporting country stations) with 879 plays.  (To put that into perspective, the #1 song on the chart was played 13,901 times.)

George Strait

Earlier this week, country legend George Strait released “Cold Beer Conversation”.  It’s now being played on 163 stations and got 830 plays in just two days!.

Yes, George is country music’s “king” to Reba’s “queen”, but obviously royalty isn’t being treated equal.

So, yes, there’s still the sexism thing.  But, moreso, I think Reba made a big mistake by allowing Cumulus Media to play and promote her music, thus shutting out the larger radio groups.

I guess we can listen to “Until They Don’t Love You” and her new music at home because we won’t find a home at country radio or high on the country music charts.

PICK HIT

“Communion” by the English trio, Years & Years, is one of my favorite albums of the year.

“Desire” is the new release here in the U.S. and I hope it gets more airplay than their first American hit, “King”.

The band will be in San Francisco at the Fillmore Monday night.  I’ll be there, too, but sadly the concert is sold out and I don’t have tickets. 😦

If you missed my album review of “Communion” and you want to know more about the album, here it is again.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/years-years-communion-is-definitely-king/

“THE AGE OF ADALINE”

One of the best movies I seen lately is out on DVD.  I mention DVD only because it’s late September and I still have not been to the theater this year to see a movie.

Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl” and “Savages”) and Michiel Huisman (“The Game of Thrones” and “Nashville”) star as a couple that falls in love.

The problem is that Adaline is 107 years old, but doesn’t age due to a freak accident.  So, while everyone else in her life, including her daughter, played by Oscar-winning actress Ellen Burstyn, ages and dies, she stays the same.

GRADE:  A

“GOODNIGHT MOMMY”

A movie I’m really looking forward to seeing is the Austrian psychological thriller, “Goodnight Mommy”.  The trailer definitely creeps me out.

“DEXTER”

Although it’s been a couple of years now since my favorite sexy serial killer signed off Showtime after eight seasons, he’s still alive for me through books.

dexter-season-6

I’m reading Jeff Lindsay’s eight-book series that the television show was originally based on.  I’m on book six now.

I’ve decided in January, in the heart of winter, that I’m going back and watching all 96 episodes again!

It so interesting to see how much different the television show and the books are with characters that died in one format and are still alive in the other.  Also, the differences in the cases between the book and the show.

THAT’S IT

Thank you for checking out my Friday Random Thoughts.  Feel free to share your thoughts with me — what you agree with and what you don’t.

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

Advertisements

Random Friday Thoughts — April 26, 2013

Happy Friday!  The last weekend of April 2013 is almost upon us.  I hope you have fun plans.  Since the weather is going to be nice, I hope to get outdoors and prep some things for spring planting.  Last weekend in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Ray bought several plants that we’ll be putting in the ground.  I hope they are hearty because I don’t trust this Midwestern weather!

Fort Dodge Plants

Old Farmer’s Almanac says to “plant trees and shrubs while it’s still cool and wet”.  Ray and I did just that two weeks ago with a couple of trees.  Gretel and I really want a cherry tree and we saw a nice one last night, so maybe we should get it.

Although I have to work Saturday afternoon and evening, I still plan on getting out and enjoying the very nice weather this weekend and maybe even mow the yard for the first time this season.  All of the recent rains have really greened up the lawn and the grass is growing.  By the way, don’t expect to see me on the air Saturday.  I’m only there as behind the scenes support for our new weekend meteorologist, Kyle Kiel, who is making his Quad Cities’  and CBS4 debut.  Check him out!

Even though we have a few days of mostly dry weather in the forecast, this April is already going down in the record books as one of the wettest Aprils on record in the Quad Cities.  And, we still have four more days to go and rain is expected Monday and Tuesday.  (This graphic was from earlier in the week.  We now stand at 7.21″, since we’ve added a whopping 0.01″ more!)

Wettest Aprils

ANOTHER REASON TO WATCH CBS EARLY IN THE MORNING

Other than joining me for your latest Quad City weather forecast Monday through Friday from 5-7 a.m.  on CBS4 and to get live updates during the national morning show from 7-9 a.m., national publications are telling you why you should check out Norah, Charlie, and Gayle on “CBS This Morning”.

cbs-this-morning

“Broadcasting & Cable” recently commended the show for being a “bright spot” in the morning.  And, affiliates like mine, CBS4, are happy, too.   Chris Cornelius, the chairman of the CBS affiliates board, told the the group at a recent gathering in Las Vegas, “We’ve got a wonderful advantage in that we do [hard] news in the morning.”

It’s working.  While those other two national morning shows are fighting each other for number one, mediabistro.com just reported, “The big winner again is “CBS This Morning” which, while still trailing by two million viewers, is up +24% in viewership vs. last year.”

Up 24%!  Incredible!

DO YOU THINK ABOUT DYING?

Normally, I’m a care free kind of guy that always looks and plans for the future.  I rarely think of dying except in mid-February when my mother’s birthday and the anniversary of my father’s death comes around (February 14th & 15th) and in early November around the anniversary of my mother and grandmother’s deaths.

However, lately, I just get a weird feeling that the hereditary curse of my father (brain cancer) and grandfather (colon cancer) is catching up to me.  I know I’m getting older, but I’m noticing more and more aches and pains internally that I didn’t have before.  I know it could very well be from the lack of sleep with my new position at work.  Is three or four hours enough sleep to thrive on during the week? 🙂

I saw this on someone’s Facebook page the other day and it got me to thinking even more!  Luckily, if I were to die tomorrow, I don’t share four of those regrets:  I definitely have the courage to be true to myself (#1), I express my feelings (#3), I do a relatively good job staying in touch with my friends if they want to (#4), and I allow myself to be happy (#5).

The only regret that I have is #2, working too hard in life.  But, short of winning the lottery, how do you get around that one?

Dying Regrets

“I’M TOO SEXY” FOR THIS COUNTRY

After that buzz kill random thought, let’s lighten the mood.  “Out Traveler” is reporting that three men have been kicked out of Saudi Arabia because they were “too handsome” and that women “might fall for them.”  Seriously!  One of the men is actor/poet/photographer Omar Borkan Al Gala from Dubai.

Too Sexy

Now, you can thank me for getting that #1 hit from 1991 by Right Said Fred stuck in your head for the day!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Boston Adam Sandler Tweet  Never Give UpArk StrangeMarriage EqualityNew England

I LOVE FOOD, BUT NO THANKS!

My friend, Joan, always teases me that many of my blogs and posts have to do with food.  Yes, I love food.  I love talking about it, posting pictures of great culinary treats that I make, and restaurant entrées or buffets that I’ve sampled.  However, I came across an entrée in a past “Boston” magazine food review that I had to say, “no thank you” to and turn away!

Fish, no thanks

I’ll just have the fish and chips, please!

BEY BEY BEY

There is no doubt that Beyonce is gorgeous and hot.  Okay, there are a couple of pictures that you can argue about and I want to share  one of them with you!

She’s now less than two weeks into “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour”, her new 65-date, three-leg concert across Europe, North America, and South America.  While some are surprised that the concert doesn’t feature any new music (her new album is due later this year), one thing that is definitely turning heads is the costumes.

This one has me saying “Bey Bee” (baby)!

Bey1

And, this one has me saying “Bey BOO!”

Bey Boo!

You go on with your bad self!  Lady Gaga and Madonna, watch out, Bey has gone “Boobie-liciuous”.

AWESOME SURPRISE FROM HELEN REDDY

Last month, I blogged about finally getting to see one of my childhood idols, Helen Reddy, in concert in St. Charles, Illinois.  As you already know, back in the 1970s, she was one of the biggest pop stars in the world.  In 1992, Helen gave up touring and started enjoying life and doing whatever she wanted.  Luckily, for her fans, she decided that she wanted to tour some more this spring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although I didn’t get a chance to meet the 71-year-old singer after the show, her great fan club president and Facebook page administrator, Jim Keaton, made my day recently.  Look what he got me!

Helen Reddy Autograph

Jim and Helen, thank you very much!

CHRISTMAS IS ONLY EIGHT MONTHS AWAY!

Too early to think about it?  I don’t think so considering we had just snow flurries in the Quad Cities last weekend!

While Christmas is still eight months away and I have no desire to even think about what to buy people this Christmas, I already have the first new Christmas album on my list to buy.

Erasure

Erasure, the new wave/dance band from the 1980s, is recording a Christmas album that is expected to come out in November or December!

While the duo of Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have dominated the Billboard Dance charts with 21 hits, 15 of which have made the Top Ten, and two reaching #1, they’ve only charted with three Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100:  “Chains of Love”  (#12, 1988), “A Little Respect” (#14, 1988), and #Always” (#20, 1994).

Since this isn’t my Flashback ’80s hit, I’ll share “Always” from 1994 with you since it has a wintry, holiday feel to it.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Three years ago this week, we purchased two “King Winter Hawthorne” trees for our front yard.

Interestingly enough, we didn’t have to convince Miss ABBA and Gretel to help us dig the holes for the news trees.  ABBA thought it was fun because she got to dig in the yard without getting reprimanded and Gretel pretended to be a ghoul rising up out of a grave!  The trees have done very well in the three years since we planted them and I can’t wait for the new leaves to sprout out so I can share a new picture with you from this spring to show how they’ve grown.

042410 ABBA Digging For Trees Gretel 042410

And, this awesome photo is from April 28th of last year.  I wasn’t lucky enough to “catch” the lightning streak.  I had to cheat.  I recorded a video and was able to capture frames from the video.  Nevertheless, it’s a cool shot.

042812 Lightning

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Why not have another dose of Erasure?  I met the band briefly when I was a writer for “Fox News Chicago” when they were on the morning show about ten years ago.  They even signed my VHS copy of “Erasure Live!”

April 2013 001

The synthpop band first charted on the U.S. Dance chart with 1985’s “Who Needs Love Like That” and first topped the dance chart in 1987 with “Victim of Love”.

When I was a club disc jockey in the 1980s, “Oh L’Amour” and “Sometimes” were two of my favorite Erasure songs.

MY FINAL “THE FOLLOWING ” THOUGHT BEFORE THE FINALE

Emma

“The Following” season one finale is Monday night at 8pm Central on Fox, that other network!

Have yourself a great weekend and thank you for checking out my weekly random Friday thoughts.

Anthony