Well, Rummy is finally gone. Good riddance to the son of a bitch. Don't know anything about his replacement, but let's hope he's not the douchebag Rummy was.
In answering questions, Bush actually ADMITTED that he lied last week to reporters when asked if Rummy would be replaced. He said he lied in order to get them to move on to the next question! Sheesh.
Anyway, here's today's Daily Update, which just happens to be the longest one I've ever done. But it's well worth the read. Enjoy!
Currently Reading (fiction): Warlock, Wilbur Smith. This is the second book of the Ancient Egypt series. Actually, it’s the third book, but the second book is set in modern times, and centers on an archaeological search for the burial chamber of the pharaoh who is buried in the first book. So it’s a sequel, but not really. Thus, in re-reading this series, I skipped the second book and went right on to Warlock, which picks up a few years after the end of River God (the first book). After I finish Warlock, I will go back and re-read the second book (The Seventh Scroll), which I have long considered to be the best of the three books. It was, in fact, the book that partially inspired my own book, The Fourth Sign of the Falcon.
Currently Reading (non-fiction): The Tao of Sobriety. Can’t remember the authors’ names, but they are two PhD’s. This is a really good book that is offering some valuable meditative exercises for overcoming addictive behaviors. One of the first teachings is learning to understand the innate “innocence” of ourselves, and learning to let go of useless feelings of regret and guilt.
Currently Listening To: Coast of Carolina, Jimmy Buffett.
Rush Lyric of the Day: Who can face the knowledge that the truth is not the truth?
New Buffett Album Update: Take the Weather With You is a GREAT album. It has grown on me. I said at the time (2003) that Far Side of the World was Buffett’s best album since 1986’s Floridays. But even Far Side of the World had a few “filler” songs on it that I could give or take. In fact, I’d say that every Buffett album since Floridays has had at least one or two “filler” songs. However, with Take the Weather With You, I honestly don’t think there is a single bad song on it. It is solid from beginning to end. Here’s a detailed run down, with my ranking at the end of each blurb (10/10 would be a song like Brahma Fear or Migration...5/10 would be a song like Makin’ Music For Money...1/10 would be a song like Math Sux):
1) Bama Breeze – Yes, it’s a total sell-out song, written by big time Nashville songwriters, recorded for the sole purpose of having a “hit song” off the album in order to generate sales. However, it’s still a catchy country song and enjoyable to listen to. 7/10 (probably would give it an 8/10, but the lyrical style reminds me too much of something Kenny Chesney or Toby Keith would sing).
2) Party at the End of the World – One of the few on the album that Buffett had a hand in writing. A good song, centered around a trip that Buffett took to Ushuaia, in the southernmost area of South America (Tierra del Fuego...near the Arctic circle). 6/10
3) Weather With You – Title song of the album, written by a New Zealander who is a featured artist, strangely enough, on one of Hailey’s Wiggles Albums. A great groove, especially on the chorus. 8/10
4) Everybody’s On the Phone – Another written partially by Buffett, talking about how everyone “salutes the satellite.” Reminds me, in terms of the music, of Lady I Can’t Explain, from the Volcano album. 7/10.
5) Whoop De Doo – Despite the name, an excellent ballad song. Written by Mark Knopfler, who also plays guitar on the song. 9/10.
6) Nothin’ But a Breeze – Written by Jesse Winchester, the same singer/songwriter who wrote L’air De La Louisiane and Defying Gravity. An upbeat song with clever lyrics. 8/10
7) Cinco de Mayo in Memphis – A good song with an interesting mix of calypso, traditional Spanish sound, and mariachi. 6/10.
8) Reggabilly Hill – A soothing song with a very pleasing sound. Nice and laid back. 7/10.
9) Elvis Presley Blues – A song about Elvis’s life and death, with a rockabilly sound. 5/10.
10) Hula Girl at Heart – A nice Caribbean sound. Good beach song. 6/10.
11) Wheel Inside the Wheel – A little more edgy than the others, probably the only one on the album that I would say comes close to being “filler,” but still out performs any of the “filler” songs on his albums of the last 10 years, and it’s not a song that requires skipping on a regular basis. The only major complaint about this one is that he does the “speak/sing” thing on the verses, where he’s half speaking, half singing, and I don’t particularly care for that. But he makes up for it with a very good chorus. 4/10 (mainly because of the spoken verses...the chorus, if judged alone, would probably get a 7/10).
12) Silver Wings – An old Merle Haggard song. A nice “Solid Gold” country sound, with a little Buffett-esque steel drum to boot. 7/10.
13) Breath In, Breath Out, Move On – Co-written by Buffett, and in competition with Whoop De Doo for the best song on the album. It’s a song about the destruction of New Orleans by Katrina. 9.5/10
14) Duke’s On Sunday – A song with the same kind of laid back beach sound as Hula Girl at Heart. 7/10
Election Update: Lexington re-elected Ben Chandler, who had been the only Democrat from Kentucky in Washington (our 2 Senators, and the other five members of the House, were all Republicans). However, Louisville ousted one of their Republican members of the House, in favor of a Democrat, so we know have two Democrats in Washington. Louisville also re-elected its Democratic mayor, Jerry Abramson, for a 950th term (he’s been mayor of Louisville since about 1732). Lexington, unfortunately, voted out its mayor, who was a liberal, in favor of a more conservative candidate. Lexington’s mayoral race is non-partisan, but everyone generally knows which parties the candidates are affiliated with.
School Update: Everything is still going really well with school. I had another presentation last night, which I felt went pretty well, and I also had a test, which I also think I did fine on. So far, we’ve only had two grades in that class...our first two tests...and I’ve gotten 100% on both. I still haven’t gotten anything less than a 98% on anything I’ve done in any class. And the two tests that I got 98’s on (both in Medical Terminology) both had words on them that we had not gone over in class, and that is why I got them wrong (she tells us that we don’t have to know anything that we don’t go over in class, and then she forgets to go over some words that are on the test, and then despite the majority of the class missing the words and telling her that she didn’t go over them, she refuses not to count off for them....But, oh well). The only reason is bothers me is because there are other people in the class who may not be making A’s, and those words could be the difference between an A and a B, or even between passing and failing.
Today in History, November 8:
35 – Birth of Roman Emperor Nerva.
1519 – Cortez enters the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan and is heralded as a god.
1656 – Birth of Edmund Halley, who predicted the return of the comet that would eventually bear his name.
1861 – The Trent Affair occurs, after a Union ship stops and detains a U.K. mail ship carrying two Confederate envoys. They detain the envoys before allowing the ship to continue on to England. It sparks a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and U.K., and nearly brings the U.K. into the Civil War on the side of the Confederates. However, Prince Albert, sick with typhoid and only weeks away from death, intervenes, stopping a belligerent ultimatum that was to be sent to the U.S. demanding an apology, and rewrites it, softening the wording. This action ultimately helps the U.S. and U.K. to avoid war, and may have played an important role in changing the entire outcome of the future of the U.S. (they may likely have lost the Civil War if forced to fight England as well as the CSA). It was to be the last official act of Prince Albert, before succumbing to typhoid.
1864 – Abraham Lincoln wins re-election over George McClellan. McClellan, a former Union general, was nominated on a peace platform, even though he personally supported the war. This election was the first time in history that a democratic election for a head of state was held during an active war. Lincoln won in a landslide in the electoral college, and won 55% of the popular vote. McClellan won only the states of Kentucky, New Jersey (his home state), and Delaware.
1887 – Death of Doc Holliday, from tuberculosis.
1892 – Grover Cleveland wins the presidential election, becoming the first an only president in U.S. history to serve non-consecutive terms as president. An interesting side note is that despite being a president of the United States in the 19th century, his son just died in the 1990’s. During his first term, he had married a woman nearly 30 years younger than him, and they had a number of children. The last, a son, was born in 1903 and lived until 1995. Cleveland still has a number of living grandchildren. His most famous child, Baby Ruth (who was born to much fanfare while he was in office, and for whom the candy bar was later named), was a sickly child who ended up dying at the age of 12.
1895 – The Father of Radiology, Wilhelm Roentgen, discovers X-rays, paving the way for my chosen career path 111 years later.
1923 – Adolph Hitler leads the Bier Hall Putsch in Munich, Germany, in what would prove to be a failed effort to overthrown the German government.
1939 – Adolph Hitler narrowly avoids an assassination attempt while celebrating the anniversary of the Bier Hall Putsch.
1942 – Allied troops land in North Africa, beginning Operation Torch. This operation plays a role in my most recent short story, which is posted on The Writing Desk. The main character’s beau is killed during the initial invasion.
1950 – The first jet-to-jet dogfight in history occurs, with U.S. pilot Russell Brown shooting down two North Korean MiGs.
1952 – Birth of John Denny, the pitcher who gave up the first major league hit to my childhood Redbirds hero, Jeff Doyle.
1971 – Led Zeppelin IV is released, an album which includes the song Stairway to Heaven.
1978 – Death of Norman Rockwell, at the age of 215. He had first gained fame as the painter who helped win the Revolutionary War. Afterwards, he began painting warm scenes of Americana.
2003 – Birth of Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward, and 8th in line for the British throne.
2006 - The Republicans LOSE!!!!!!!