Posts Tagged ‘Steve Winwood’

Random Friday Thoughts — October 18, 2019

While I’ll still post a few new blogs before the end of the year, this is the next to last the “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2019!

As always, if you disagree with me, do it diplomatically and have a great weekend!


While I’d love for Hillary Clinton to make an “eleventh hour” entry into 2020 Democratic race for president, I don’t think that’ll happen.



Before you even say it, Ronald Reagan ran for president three times before winning in 1980!

However, I think I’ve already figured out her next role in the history of U.S. politics.

In early 2021 when the Democratic 46th president * takes office, I think Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will step down from the bench and Hillary will become the new Supreme Court Justice!

* Oh, a technically — it might the 47th president of the U.S. if 45 is impeached or forced to resign and that despicable Mike Pence becomes #46 for a few months!

Or, maybe Hillary could be Vice President and then ascend to Commander in Chief!


Spoiler Alert:  As the sixth and final season of the CBS hit, “Madam Secretary” kicked off earlier this month, it’s now “Madam President (sort of)”!


The show has never been subtle that Secretary of State (now president) Elizabeth McCord (Tea Leoni) is based heavily on real life Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


The final season premiere was a very powerful and pointed episode.  It made no effort to mask “real life” in America today with these lines about Elizabeth’s opponent:

“…his disgusting attacks on immigrants, the media.  He’s not fit to be president.”

“He won the nomination, but that doesn’t mean honorable people should get behind him and validate his worst impulses.”

“His politics WILL divide the country even further!”


President McCord realizes near 100 days into her presidency that Iran COLLUDED to release information on her competitor, which may have led to her winning the election!

This would make her an “illegitimate president”!


Trump Putin

However, unlike Donald Trump, President McCord tries to find out how this happened and not make a love nest with a Vladmir Putin!


Here’s a tweet that I responded to when I read his tweet about his “great and unmatched wisdom”!

DT wisdom


Weeks later, people are still talking about comedian/talk show host Ellen DeGeneres sitting with former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game.

Ellen Bush

Many in the LGBTQ community blasted her for being friends with such a devil.  A couple of days after the game, I tweeted Ellen:


Elton John is now defending her.

While I agreed with a few things that George W. Bush did as Texas Governor when I lived in Lubbock in 1997, we were usually at odds in our thinking process, especially when he was Commander-in-Chief.

One of the things I’m most proud of came early in his presidency.

In his 2003 State of the Union message, President Bush committed $15 billion (that’s billions with a “B”) to fight AIDS in Africa in what would be knows as PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).

It’s still one of the biggest programs ever to fight a single disease by any country.

Laura Bush

By the way, I love former First Lady Laura Bush and I’d enjoy meeting President and Mrs. Bush one day to chat!


This quirky ten-episode Showtime series wraps up its first season this weekend.

It stars Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst as Krystal Stubbs, a struggling minimum-wage-earning water park employee near Orlando, Florida.

She schemes her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise (FAM), a cultish, flag waving, multi-billion dollar organization that made her family lose all of its money.  It also indirectly caused her husband’s death (a very interesting one at that)!

22-year-old Canadian actor Theodore Pelleren co-stars as pyramid scheme victim Cody Bonar.  He’s incredible and I’m calling it now — he’ll get an Emmy nomination in 2020!

In late-September, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” was renewed for a second season!

As much as I enjoyed season one, I don’t think I’ll return for season two!



I was really intrigued with the gut-wrenching HBO Israeli series, “Our Boys”, since I have an indirect connection to it.

The events it dramatizes were happening in the months leading up to my trip to Tel Aviv, Israel, in October 2014, to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Tel Aviv Mediterranean Sea

Tensions were still running rather high on my visit and we were advised not to visit Jerusalem for safety reasons.

This series focuses on the murder investigation of Arab teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

Abu Khdeir was kidnapped and burnt alive in retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teenagers by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

While the entire series is compelling, “Chapter 7: Judging by its End” is so tense and heartbreaking.

The series features standout performances from Shlomi Elkabetz (Simon), Adam Gabay (Avishay), Jony Arbid (Hussein, Mohammed’s father) and Ruba Blal-Asfour (Suha, Mohammed’s mother).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a boycott of the series because it portrays Israelis in a bad light.   Um, okay!!!!!!



I can’t wait until November 17th for the return of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, “The Crown”!

Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies will play Prince Philip, replacing Matt Smith.

The third season covers the years 1964-1976, including Harold Wilson’s terms as prime minister until 1976.

Sexy Josh O’Connor (“God’s Own Country”) will play Prince Charles.

This trailer is so clever in how it prepares us for the transition from a younger Queen Elizabeth in seasons one and two to a more mature Queen (Oscar winner Colman in seasons three and four)!

The fourth season will include Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files” and “Hannibal”) as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and it’ll introduce Lady Diana Spencer.


If you want to get a taste of O’Connor before the new season of “The Crown” arrives, check out “God’s Own Country” on Netflix.  It was my 8th favorite movie of 2018.

Along with O’Connor, this stunning English drama stars Romanian actor Alec Secareanu.

O’Connor plays Johnny, a young man living with his father and grandmother on the family farm in northern England.  Johnny now has more responsibility after his father’s stroke.

He leads a lonely existence and drowns his sorrows in alcohol and cheap, meaningless sex.

The family hires Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, for the upcoming lambing season and sparks begin to fly between the two young men.

But, can Johnny admit his feelings for Gheorghe and come out to his family that may or may not be accepting?

O’Connor won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actor beating out his co-star for the honor.



This book by John Dean and Barry Goldwater, Jr. covers the Arizona Senator’s life and his 1964 Republican Presidential campaign.  He lost to President Lyndon Johnson.

Pure Goldwater

While Goldwater was very conservative, in the 1980s when he was in his 80s, he turned against the close-minded values of the Republican party and was supportive of his gay grandson, Ty Ross.

Ty Ross 1

Ross, a former Zoli model turned interior decorator, says this about his grandfather, he “knew I was gay since I was a teen. He was fine with it, and it was never an issue. He wasn’t terribly religious. It was all kind of a non-issue in the family.  In the early 1990s, I went to go protest in support of a local ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity into the city charter, and there was this raucous debate.  My grandfather happened to be at our house when I got back. ‘I heard you went downtown. Good job, standing up for what you believe in.'”

Ty Ross 2

Ross adds, “He was aware I was in POZ. I was never dealt any shame about it or met with adulation. It was neither, which was good for me because I didn’t have to feel any guilt. We never really talked about me being HIV positive. Without a doubt, he knew I was positive and was supportive of me more in that I was involving myself in standing up for gay rights.”

Additionally, in June 1993, after consulting with military experts, Goldwater realized that gays posed no security risk and declared that the military should lift its ban on gays.

He was quoted as saying, “you don’t need to be ‘straight’ to fight and die for your country; you just need to shoot straight.”

Two months later, he told the LGBTQ magazine, “The Advocate” that people being worked up over gays in the military was “pointless” and “stupid”.  He added that the GOP’s stance on gays was “dumb”.


As a 17-year-old in Chicago, you’ll never guess who was a “Goldwater Girl”, campaigning for the Republican in the 1964 presidential election!

Hillary Clinton Goldwater

Appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in November 1993, Goldwater told the story of Hillary campaigning for him, “I remember her going around in a gingham dress trying to get people to vote for me.  Trouble is, she didn’t get around to enough of them.”

In October 1996, less than two years before Goldwater died, Hillary made a surprise visit to Goldwater at his Paradise Valley home!

Goldwater Hillary

And, if you didn’t know, Hillary was raised in a very conservative household in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.

I’m just glad Hillary was much quicker to get away from the Republican party than Goldwater. 🙂


Whitney Houston is back on Top 40 radio!

“Higher Love” with Kygo is at #27 on Mediabase today!

The reworked song is from the Japanese version of Houston’s third album, 1990’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight”.

The video is so sexy and cute and the song will sound familiar — it’s a remake of Steve Winwood and Chaka Khan’s 1986 #1 hit, which is one of my all-time favorite songs!


The new holiday offering from the United States Postal Service this year is artsy, but I’ll be looking for an alternative for my Christmas cards this year.


I may go with the same ones I used last year!


As I stated in my blog last November, “I’m very intrigued by Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights… It symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”.  We could really use that in the world these days!!!!!!!!”

Diwali (also known as Dipavali) is celebrated in the fall in the northern hemisphere.  This year, it’ll be on Sunday, October 27th in the U.S.


Lea Michele (“Glee”) will be releasing her first holiday album, “Christmas in the City” on October 25th.

Lea Michele Christmas

It’ll feature duets with two very sexy men!

Jonathan Groff (“Glee” and “Mindhunter”) joins her on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and Darren Criss (“Glee” and “American Crime Story:  The Assassination of Gianni Versace”) sings “White Christmas” with Lea.

Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, who was amazing in “Bad Times at the El Royale” and will star in the upcoming “Harriet”, joins Lea on “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

Other classics included on the album will be “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”, “O Holy Night”, “Silent Night”, “Silver Bells” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

“Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from “Frozen” is also featured.  (By the way, Groff is also the voice of Kristoff in the “Frozen” movie franchise!)


I also read George Stephanopoulos’ 1999 book subtitled “A Political Education” this fall.

All Too Human George Stephanopoulous

It covered the years 1992, when he worked to get Bill Clinton elected president, through 1996, when he resigned from being Clinton’s Senior Advisor shortly after Clinton was re-elected in November 1996.

Stephanopoulos talked openly about his abrasive relationship with Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.


With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!


Random Friday Thoughts — February 15

Happy Friday! I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day.  I might have to be naughty and go to the store and buy some unneeded half-price chocolates for the weekend.  Here’s a shocker — we’re staying home this weekend.  Yes, we’re in the Quad Cities!  Since we’re friends, you know I have many random thoughts and it’s Friday, so I’ll share some of them with you.


As I announced last night, I’m heading back to television weather.  I’ll be the morning meteorologist for CBS4 in the Quad Cities.  My first day on the air is Monday, March 4, 2o13.

Thank you very much for the kind words and the vote of confidence over the past four months!  I appreciate it more than you know!


Dessie Birthday 1989

This picture is from my mother’s birthday, February 15, 1989.  Today would have marked Dessie’s 70th birthday.  As many of you know from my blogs in the past, my mother died more than 22 years ago, at the age of 47.


If you read my blog earlier today, I made a few changes to the forecast for late next week.

After a cold start to the weekend, Sunday looks warmer.  We could see some rain and snow Monday and Monday night, but the big story is the chance of a winter storm next Thursday.

While this is still six days out, it could easily be the biggest snow of the season and it’ll need to be closely watched.  The first map is for Thursday, February 21, 2013, at noon and the second map is 6 hours later Thursday at 6 p.m.

The storm appears to be coming in slower, but it still looks like we could be seeing heavy snow somewhere in the Midwest and it could be over the Quad Cities.  Stay tuned…..

Thursday February 21 NoonThursday February 21 6PM

Only 10.7″ of snow has officially fallen this winter in the Quad Cities, which is 13″ below average.  Remember last winter, 2011-2012, when we only had 16.9″of snow!


As I was walking on the treadmill this week, I thought to myself that the timing for my forced vacation, i.e. contract not being renewed, was all wrong.  There is never a good time to lose your job, but I wished that if it were going to happen that it would have been in March when I could work in the yard with spring planting.  Or, that it had happened last November (2011) and I could have spent every hour of every day in Miss ABBA’s last few months.  But,  it didn’t.  🙂


Here are a couple of pictures from this week back in 2011.  Speaking of Miss ABBA, she was always so patient with Mr. Panda, the blind shar-pei from Chicago that stayed with us for several months.  And, Mr. Panda tolerated Gretel trying to teach him how to dance!

ABBA Tolerating Panda's Playfulness February 2011Panda February 2011


Puppy HeavenJesus   Right SizeGrammy Dress Code

By the way, what was that memo about a dress code at the Grannys?  Didn’t it say something like, “Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack.”

Thank goodness Katy Perry didn’t “get” or get the memo.  Oh wait, did I say the grannys?  I meant, the Grammy Awards.


When I’m walking on the treadmill, I quickly get bored.  That’s why I always have magazines to read.  The day the new “Entertainment Weekly” comes in the mail, I start reading it.  I also dive into “Instinct”, “The Advocate”, and “Out” when they arrive.

However, I’m really far behind on some magazines that I used to subscribe to.  I finished all of the old “Time”.  But, I really need to get caught up on “Details” (October 2009, four issues left), “Rolling Stone” (May 2010, 22 issues left), “Men’s Journal” (April 2010, 8 issues left), and “Boston” (June 2010, 11 issues left).

Why do I have “Boston” and why do I still have all these old issues?  We thought we were going to Boston on vacation  in 2011, so I wanted to be prepared.  And, I keep the old issues because I already paid for them and when I read through them, I find some interesting articles or something that I may have missed.

Rick Owens

For instance, from “Details”, April 2009, American-born, Paris-based designer Rick Owens:  “Working out is modern couture.  No outfit is going to make you look or feel as good as having a fit body.  Buy less clothing and go to the gym instead.”

In the September 2009 “Details”, I learned that “The sweet spot for a washboard stomach is between the ages of 15 and 35.  After that, there’s no need to try so hard (unless you’re contractually obligated to).”  Don’t worry, I gave up on that 30 years ago when I was just at the younger end of that age range!

And, if I hadn’t read that issue and just recycled it, I would have missed this photo of Matt Lauer!


But, then again, if I had just recycled the old magazines, I would have missed this one of Octomom, too!


My eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!


For today’s ’80s flashback, I was going to use Steve Winwood and Chaka Khan’s #1 hit from 1986, “Higher Love” because I love it and yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  However, it’s not available in the U.S. on YouTube for some reason?

English singer Winwood got his music start as a teenager with the band, The Spencer Davis Group, and was also a member of the band, Traffic.  However, he had a very successful solo career in the 1980s, too.  He charted with nine hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  All of his solo hits cracked the Top 20 with six of them making the Top Ten.

By far, his most successful album was 1986’s “Back In The High Life”, which went triple platinum (selling more than three million in the U.S.) and produced three of his Hot 100 hits including the aforementioned “Higher Love”.  He would have one more #1 hit, “Roll With It”, in 1988.

Another one of my all-time favorites from Winwood was his first solo hit in 1980.  “While You See A Chance”  was released in December 1980 and it peaked at #7 in the spring of 1981.


Lady Gaga fans already know this, but Mother Monster was forced to cancel the rest of the “Born This Way Ball” tour due to  “synovitis”, which is severe inflammation of the joints.

The New York Times is reporting that “tests showed that the pop diva had torn a ring of soft elastic tissue, called the labrum, in her right hip that will require surgery to repair.”

Here’s to a speedy recovery Lady Gaga.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.

For Little Monsters that will not see her perform this spring, I hope that enough of the tour was captured last year when it kicked off in April in Seoul, South Korea, and continued through December 2012, in Moscow, Russia, to produce a concert DVD.

The North American leg of the tour started in Vancouver, British Columbia, on January 11, 2013, for 18 shows before the rest of the tour was cancelled.  We saw her in Las Vegas, on January 25, 2013, and she was fantastic.  Here are a couple of short videos from that concert — her entrance and some of “Bad Romance”.

My friends, have a great weekend!