Election 2016 vs. 2018

This is being hailed as the “Most Important mid-term election ever.” Why? The answer depends on which side of the fence you’re on. Some may even say it depends on which side of the wall.

When people say they’ll vote or try to vote or want to vote, how many times do they actually vote? This time more are predicted to turn out possibly than ever before because you can’t complain if you don’t vote.

On the one side of the fence; You cannot look back on past losses or mourn them for too long in the public eye. Why because many of your sympathizers will leave you eventually. Looking at the past is always a loss. If you don’t take the basic step of showing up at the polls to make your voices heard, you hardly have a chance.

From the other side the current administration has the slogans “Drain the swamp;  Make America great again; and “Democrats create mobs, Republicans create jobs.” Haters should remember that there is some truth to every side of an argument. The North Korea threat has at last been neutralized, veterans were finally brought home after 65 years! The economy is the best it has been in decades business is booming from coast to coast. ISIS has been decimated-all positive.

It is an important election. Maybe its like how every Geico commercial tells you to “switch now and see how much you can save?” Regardless, if you’re a registered voter, by all means, do so. Our veterans shed their blood to give you that right.

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Decoration season has begun

Happy Halloween!

At least for me, Halloween kicks off the holidays season. Who’s with me?

Here are some seldom known Halloween facts for you.  All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, is celebrated today the 31st of October. The Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day starts the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, it’s the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed.

You may know that many of the Halloween traditions originated in Britain and Ireland from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween. Many believe that Halloween began as a Christian holiday dating to about 1745 with the origin meaning hallowed or holy evening.

So tuck that away somewhere in your useless trivia details.

Anyway, as you take in all the decorations and begin the takedown remember to keep the Christmas lights handy. One more question; how many set-up decorations for Thanksgiving? Speaking of which nobody can ever be too thankful for all the blessings they have received. Things we take for granted are pie in the sky in other parts of the world.

Nashville cats

Nashville is known as Music City USA. It’s much, much more than the Grand old Oprey,  as so very many stars got their start on a local stage inside a bar. This mural on the wall outside of Tootsie’s orchid lounge is one of the most famous venues for starting artists.

Today there are dozens of clubs that feature live talent day and night. I would compare Tootsie’s to the Apollo where the people determine the best talent. The difference is these clubs have band’s in front, back and on multiple floors.

In particular everyone knows Nashville is the country music Capitol featuring music row a road lined with record companies. There are also museums for many of the biggest stars like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and more.

If you’re not familiar with those names perhaps you’ve heard of Ray Stevens. We got to see him perform at his own venue called CabaRay. He said he was a “frustrated architect” seeing all the flaws he encountered over the years. His club was incredible much like the very old Vegas style.

Ray is not only a great singer he’s an awesome comedian. Our faces hurt from laughter. Many of his songs crossed all the genres including Everything is Beautiful, a lesson for today.

In only a days time

This only goes to demonstrate that a lot can happen in a days time. Seventeen years ago on tomorrow September 11th terror reigned down on the World trade center towers, the Pentagon and another plane was prevented from killing others by courageous passengers.

Some might compare the act to the attack on Pearl Harbor that put the USA in WWII. Regardless, those that perpetrated these attacks, mass murders were self-serving psychopaths. That act 17 years ago began the war on radical Isam.

Where were you during 911?

That week 17 years ago I flew in North Carolina for national sales meetings. On my arrival the airport it was bustling, busy with business nearly elbow to elbow with people. It should also be mentioned that the airlines had their own security there wasn’t a TSA. Then our sales meeting was suddenly disrupted by the first plane and we saw the second one live on TV in horror. After all, we were about 280 miles away from the Pentagon tragedy.

I was supposed to leave on Friday afternoon but all flights were canceled. I called the airline over and over day after day and finally got on the first flight out on Sunday which they claimed could be overbooked.

I arrived at the airport, there was nobody in sight except military personnel. All the stores, restaurants and appeared even airlines were closed. I reported to my gate before my time, I was the only person there. Finally, a few more passengers showed up and more as the departure time drew near. At the last minute, a ticket taker popped out of the wall and we started to board.

The entire experience on my departure was eerie. From the airport to all the passengers suspicious of each other and the plane wasn’t even half occupied. Fear had taken over. The primary function of our federal government is to protect the people. On that day they failed miserably.

How do you progress?

Progress is something that’s desired and acquired day after day. Progress isn’t the same for everyone. Something as simple as a geographical destination for each person using GPS the results should be the same right? No it depends on your point of origin and more importantly if you veer off course your path is bound to be different.

So direction is key in achieving most any goal. Speed is not of importance what is paramount is staying the course putting one foot in front of the other so to speak. When we do that reaching our destination or goals is making progress.

Years ago I used to work as a DJ for weddings and at parties and even a nightclub. I had a set of music that was suitable for the clients and of course I did requests. Looking back it was a lot of fun, setting up all the equipment myself was the most taxing part. At a wedding for example as the day or usually night went on I had dozens of people come up and say, “You know, you’re the greatest.” Generally I know it was the liquor talking but it felt nice to be appreciated.

I closed nearly every show with my best wishes for the bride & groom or customers as they imparted on their walk of life. Then I would play Walk of Life by Dire Straights, an awesome song about where you’re going.

When it rains it pours

Arizona has unique weather. The song from the “70’s” “It never rains in Southern California”  I believe is more appropriate for Phoenix. The above tree damage is one of hundreds if not thousands around the valley. We’re at the peak of “Monsoon” season where we get a dust storm, at least this past week, every night with high winds and sometimes is accompanied by intense rain.

Phoenix has been in a drought for about 20 years or more, we go for six to nine months without a trace of precipitation. But, the summer monsoons always wreck destruction on the valley and while the rain is damaging it’s still a blessing for us.

Anywhere else in the country when it rains people seek shelter but when it’s coming down kids and oftentimes adults are dancing in the street. You have to take the good with the bad. Water is always good, it’s natures way in Phoenix when it finally happens it really pours!

Working for the weekend

Is everybody working for the weekend? Especially if it’s for a holiday weekend the answer would be a strong yes. This year the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday breaking up the week without the three or four day weekend we’re accustomed to. I couldn’t remember the last time but it wasn’t that long ago as it happened in 2012.

This mid-week holiday was not only tough on us but was equally tough on the businesses that count on holiday weekends as their Black Friday sales event. So do you plan on celebrating the holiday on the days leading up to it or after including the weekend? Of course, everyone did some celebrating on the 4th but not to excess if you had to work the next day.

For those planning travel to see relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday together they had to make their arrangements and decided in advance. For those that had vacation days, they had to decide sometimes a month in advance to get off.

Regardless of your plans remember what Independence Day stands for. If it’s taken for granted or you need a refresher course here you go. As a little kid, I remember Red Skelton, though I don’t remember this clip on the Pledge of Allegiance.  It’s so apropos for today.  Enjoy.

 

Concert report

Just over a week ago my wife and I saw Kansas in concert in Scottsdale. I saw Kansas way back in the “80’s” but my spouse hadn’t and she didn’t know they incorporate violin in many of their songs which sets them apart from most classic rock bands. It was great, they did Carry On Wayward Son as the encore!

Late last summer we saw Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and the Edgar Winter Band where Alice who is an Arizona resident was an incredible showman. Deep Purple is the oldest touring group and it’s their final tour. That’s probably a good thing and Edgar Winter doesn’t sing much but he still plays well.

Just over a year ago we saw Ann Wilson of Heart at the Celebrity Theatre which slowly turns ensuring you get a good look at the group. It’s sad that the Wilson sisters cannot mend their fence because they were so good together. Ann is the lead singer and she did most of their hits but carefully selected those where she didn’t have to hit the high notes. We saw Heart almost seven years ago when they were here with Def Leppard, Journey, and Billy Squire. Heart was the best of the show.

At the same venue in Scottsdale just over three years ago, we saw the Moody Blues outdoors which was the coldest May night in history. It was a great show and the Moody Blues said: “We asked our agent to book us in warm climates, I thought this was Phoenix, where’s the heat?”

 

A special day

It seems every birthday many of us take a retrospective look at our lives. That was the case for my wife and I who celebrated our birthdays this past Memorial Day weekend. Today is also time to take a retrospective look at all of the Daily Prompts as this is the final day.

I for one have really enjoyed the Daily prompts seeing how others put their spin on the word of the day. It was also a motivation for me to write a new blog entry. I’m not sure where I will look now for inspiration. At least they are keeping an archive of the past entries online.

If you saw the picture above of birthday balloons in our front room; my wife’s associates were going to fill her office with balloons but fortunately they went this direction instead. Seeing the big cat balloons I commented that I haven’t seen balloons that large since the Macy’s parade.

Wherever she’s worked her staff has always shown that kind of appreciation for her on special occasions. She’ also stayed in touch with many of these people years later. Some of these people are now spread across the country.

As a kid, I thought it was really neat that my birthday was often so close or even on a national holiday. In fact, we were in Williams, Arizona on my birthday about ten years ago having lunch at a Route 66 restaurant watching the Memorial Day parade go by when it started snowing! Now that was a day to forever remember.

Old fashioned love song

Three Dog Night’s Old Fashioned Love Song is reminiscent of the 70’s culture movement. This old-fashioned or archaic idea is expressed in the new Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle movie the board game is replaced by an electronic version. The game has the same effects as the first one but is even more comical than the original with Robin Williams.

Within the title, the Song Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses shows up at the very end in case you were wondering. I’ve seen Iron Man many times but never tire hearing the Black Sabbath song at the end of the Marvel masterpiece.

Just because some ideas are old fashion doesn’t make them archaic in fact a lot of manners that were around in the 1970’s have fallen by the wayside and humanity is suffering as a result. Simple things like opening a door for a lady was a good thing that is seldom practiced anymore. Advancement doesn’t mean you can throw the baby out with the bathwater.