Saturday, November 10, 2007

Veterans Day - November 11, 2007

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
~Douglas MacArthur

Veterans Day
From Wikipedia

Veterans Day is an American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is celebrated on the same day as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to United States national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.


The Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to insure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. After protests by veterans groups, it was moved back to November 11 in 1978 (most states had reverted to the original date during the 70s). Even though it is a federal and state holiday, it is formally observed in most parts of the United States only by government offices and banks. Some schools and almost all businesses stay open on regular schedules. Most public transit systems thus stay on regular schedules. Most businesses cite the holiday's proximity to Thanksgiving (when many businesses close for a four-day weekend) as the main reason for staying open on Veterans Day, but some schools and most businesses also stay open on Columbus Day, a full month earlier.

World War 2 Band of Brothers

SGT Harold Finke discusses his service in WWII.

An interview with World War II Veteran Cecil Clevenger.

"Before You Go" is offered as an expression of heartfelt gratitude to those who fought and won the Second World War - for their bravery, gallantry and sacrifices that assure the continued enjoyment of freedoms unprecedented in the history of mankind. It can be viewed Here.

Lyrics for "Before You Go"

Quietly you’ve all turned gray
You did your job you saved our way
Our life and freedom you preserved
We’ve thanked you less than you’ve deserved
You never boasted, bragged or asked
For adulation for your past
You did the job you knew was right
And quietly, you cry at night
For bodies maimed and comrades lost
For sights beyond our furthest thoughts
For what you’ve lived and felt and seen
For what the cost of freedom means
You leave us blessed with every breath
That cost you arms and legs and death
You won the worst and greatest war
We owe you more, we owe you more
Thank you for your wondrous feats
For open speech and quiet streets
For worship as we choose to pray
For preservation of our way
Before you go, we need to show
That in your silence we still know
What you accomplished and what you did
For who we are and how we live
So go with love from wives and sons
and daughters for a job well done
From kids who’ve never seen a tank
We give you thanks, we give you thanks
Thank you for your wondrous feats
For open speech and quiet streets
For worship as we choose to pray
For preservation of our way
For homes and jobs and baseball games
For many colors many names
You saved our lives and we’re still free
From shining sea to shining sea
Thank You, Thank You,
Thank You…. Go in Peace

On March 23, 2007, 200 people paid their respects to Army Corporal Howard Ramsey, the last known WWI combat veteran from Oregon, who died February 22nd, just one month from his 109th birthday.

There are some living WWI veterans but they are not from the United States.
John Babcock from Canada is now 107.
Henry Allingham, who is 111, is Britain's oldest war veteran and one of the last Great War veterans still alive.
Harry Patch is the last British Tommy to see action in the treches of the Western Front. He was wounded at Passchendaele on September 22nd 1917. He celebrated his 109th birthday on June 17th 2007.

“We've got to continue to find ways to honor our 25 million veterans that have served our country with such honor and distinction.”
Zack Wamp

Dear fellow Veterans,
Thank you for your service.
Your sacrifice will never be taken for granted.
I am blessed to live in a Nation of democracy and freedom.
For those blessings I thank you.
I honor you for protecting and securing my freedom.
Thank You.
God Bless.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Feast One Hundred & Sixty Eight


Which snack do you like to get when you go to the movies?



What year did you start using the internet?



What is your first name in Pig Latin?


Main Course

Name something you are picky about.

There is a place for everything and everything must be in its place.


Fill in the blanks: I ____ ____ yesterday and I ____ ____ today.

I watched the sunrise yesterday and I will watch the sunrise today.

To visit the rest of the Friday Feasts
Click Here


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen (24th)


1. Law of Cat Inertia- A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the opening of cat food or a nearby scurrying mouse.

2. Law of Cat Magnetism -All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

3. Law of Cat Thermodynamics -Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

4. Law of Cat Elongation-A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.

5. Law of Dinner Table Attendance-Cats must attend all meals when anything good is served.

6. Law of Obedience Resistance- A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.

7. Law of Bag/Box Occupancy- All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.

8. Law of Cat Embarrassment- A cat's irritation rises in direct proportion to her embarrassment times the amount of human laughter.

9. Law of Furniture Replacement- A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.

10. Law of Cat Landing- A cat will always land in the softest place possible; often the mid-section of an unsuspecting, reclining human.

11. Law of Cat Disinterest- A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

12. Law of Pill Rejection- Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.

13. Law of RandomComfort Seeking- A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New York Yankees–Boston Red Sox

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
~Douglas Adams

This joke comes via my dear friend Chatter.

On the first day of school a first grade teacher explains to her class that she is a Yankees fan.

She asks her students to raise their hands if they, too, are Yankees fans.

Wanting to impress their teacher, everyone in the class raises their hand except one little girl.

The teacher looks at the girl with surprise, "Janie, why didn't you raise your hand?"

"Because I'm not a Yankees fan," she replied.

The teacher, still shocked, asked, "Well, if you are not a Yankees fan, then who are you a fan of?"

"I am a Red Sox fan, and proud of it," Janie replied.

The teacher could not believe her ears. "Janie, why are you a Red Sox fan?"

"Because my mom is a Red Sox fan, and my dad is Red Sox fan, so I'm a Red Sox fan too!"

"Well, " said the teacher in a obviously annoyed tone, "that is no reason for you to be a Red Sox fan. You don't have to be just like your parents all of the time. What if your mom were an idiot and your dad were a moron, what would you be then?"

"Then," Janie smiled, "I'd be a Yankees fan."

Yankees-Red Sox rivalry
From Wikipedia

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is one of the longest and the most bitter rivalries in professional sports. For over 100 years, baseball's New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox of the American League have been chief rivals, compounded by their geographic proximity.

Since the Red Sox' defeat of the Yankees in seven games in the 2004 American League Championship Series, the rivalry has become more intense than ever before. USA Today has dubbed it "the fiercest rivalry in sports.

On September 28, 2007, Boston won the AL East after a win against the Minnesota Twins and a loss by the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles. This was the Sox first AL East Championship since 1995, ending the Yankees' nine-year reign in the division.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

James Taylor

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.”~James Taylor

James Taylor - "Secret of Life" – 1992

At his home in Massachusetts during his pre-tour rehearsal.

James Taylor

From Wikipedia
and James Taylor - Official Website

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, born in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Taylor's career began in the mid-1960s, but he found his audience in the early 1970s, singing sensitive and gentle acoustic songs. He was part of a wave of singer-songwriters of the time that also included Joni Mitchell, Tom Rush, Cat Stevens, Carole King, John Denver, Jim Croce, Don McLean, Jackson Browne as well as Carly Simon, whom Taylor later married.

James Taylor - Long Ago and Far Away

His 1976 album Greatest Hits was certified diamond and has sold more than 11 million copies. He has retained a large audience well into the 1990s and early 2000s, when some of his best-selling and most-awarded albums were released.

Early years
James Taylor grew up in Carrboro, North Carolina, where his father Isaac M. Taylor was the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine from 1964 to 1971. His family spent summers on Martha's Vineyard.

Early career
Taylor first learned to play the cello as a child in Carrboro (near Chapel Hill), and switched to the guitar in 1960. His style on that instrument evolved from listening to hymns, carols, and Woody Guthrie. He attended Milton Academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, and summered with his family in Martha's Vineyard, where he met Danny Kortchmar. The two began playing folk music together. After dropping out of school, he formed a band called The Fabulous Corsairs with his brother, Alex. Later, he was committed to McLean Hospital for depression. He earned a high school diploma while in the hospital, and then left and formed a band called the Flying Machine with Kortchmar and Joel O'Brien in New York City. The band was signed to Rainy Day Records and released one single, "Brighten Your Night with My Day" (B-side: "Night Owl"). The single was not a success. (A UK band with the same name emerged in 1969 with the hit song "Smile a Little Smile for Me".)

While living in New York City, Taylor became addicted to heroin. One night, after receiving a desperate phone call, his father drove to New York and "rescued" him. Taylor later wrote a song called "Jump Up Behind Me" that paid tribute to his father's help during a time of desperate need. The song also reflects on Taylor's memories of the long drive from New York City back to his home in Chapel Hill.

In 1968, Taylor moved to London. He was signed to Apple Records after sending a demo tape to Peter Asher (of Peter & Gordon) and released his debut album, James Taylor. Despite the Beatles connection, and the presence of Paul McCartney and George Harrison on one track, the album did not sell very well, and Taylor's addiction worsened. Moving back to the United States, Taylor checked into a hospital to treat his drug problem in Western Massachusetts outside of Stockbridge (where he lives today). By 1969 he was well enough to perform live, and had a six-night stand at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. On July 20, 1969 he performed at the Newport Folk Festival. Shortly thereafter he broke both hands in a motorcycle accident on Martha's Vineyard and was forced to stop playing for several months.

Once recovered, Taylor signed to Warner Bros. Records and moved to California keeping Asher as his manager and record producer. His second album, Sweet Baby James, was a massive success, buoyed by the single "Fire and Rain", a song about his experience in an asylum and the suicide of his friend, Suzanne Schnerr. The success of this single and the album piqued interest in Taylor's first album, James Taylor and propelled the album and the single, "Carolina In My Mind", back into the charts.
Taylor worked with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys on a film, Two-Lane Blacktop, but this was unsuccessful at the time. 1971 saw the release of Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, another hit album. He won a Grammy Award for his version of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend".

In 1972, Taylor returned with One Man Dog and married fellow singer-songwriter Carly Simon on November 3.

The joy they had performing this song is evident in this video!
Mockingbird - Carly Simon and James Taylor

James Taylor & Carly Simon - Close Your Eyes

His next album, 1974's Walking Man, was a disappointment but the following one, Gorilla, was a success partially because of a successful single cover version of Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)". This was followed by In the Pocket in 1976 and then a greatest hits album that included some re-recordings of Apple Records-era material. It became a huge hit and remains Taylor's best selling album.

Taylor signed with Columbia Records and released JT in 1977 winning another Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his cover version of "Handy Man". The snazzy song "Traffic Jam" from the album has since become a favorite jingle for rush-hour radio traffic reports.

After collaborating with Art Garfunkel and briefly working on Broadway, Taylor took a two-year break, reappearing in 1979 with the cover-studded album Flag featuring a Top 40 version of Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Up On The Roof." Taylor also performed at the No Nukes concert in Madison Square Garden and appeared on the album and the film from the concert.

1980s and 1990s
In the early 1980s Taylor's career was again beset by drug problems. Additionally, Taylor's wife, Carly Simon, was unhappy with his extended absences due to touring. After an ultimatum that he spend more time with their children, Taylor responded with the 1981 album Dad Loves His Work. He and Simon divorced in 1983.
In 1985, Taylor married his second wife, actress Kathryn Walker, who helped him through recovery of his substance addictions. According to Taylor, he remains clean and sober to this day.
Taylor's two albums of original material from the 1990s were notably successful. His thirteenth album, New Moon Shine, went platinum in 1991 and he won the Grammy for Best Pop Album in 1998 for Hourglass.


In 2001 Taylor wed for the third time, marrying Caroline ("Kim") Smedvig. Part of their relationship was worked into the album October Road, on the song "On the 4th of July". The couple has twin boys, Rufus and Henry, born in 2001 to a surrogate mother via in vitro fertilization.
In 2002, Taylor teamed with bluegrass musician Alison Krauss in singing "The Boxer" at the Kennedy Center Honors Tribute to Paul Simon. They later recorded the Louvin Brothers duet, "How's the World Treating You?"
In 2004, after his Columbia/Sony record contract was not renewed, he released James Taylor: A Christmas Album with distribution through Hallmark Cards.
In December 2004, Taylor appeared as himself in an episode of The West Wing entitled "A Change Is Gonna Come". He sang Sam Cooke's classic "A Change Is Gonna Come" at an event honoring an artist played by Taylor's wife Caroline. Taylor's rendition was then released over the Internet.
In 2006, Taylor performed Randy Newman's song "Our Town" for the Disney animated film Cars. The song was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for the best Original Song.
Taylor performed the National Anthem at Game 2 of the World Series in Boston, Mass. on October 25, 2007.

James Taylor - Fire and Rain (Beacon Theatre)

James Taylor "Still Crazy After All These Years"
Taylor's performance at the The Library of Congress
Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in honour of Paul Simon.

James Taylor's music embodies the art of songwriting in its most fundamental form. He has been at it for decades: transforming introspective meditations into lyrics, melodies and harmonies that comfort and reassure the listener with the sense that these sometimes painful, sometimes celebratory moments are a part of life, shared by us all. In 1971, James was featured on the cover of TIME magazine, who heralded him as the harbinger of 'the singer/songwriter era". Today, the quintessential singer/songwriter has seen that era crossover into the 21st century. James currently resides in The Berkshires with his wife, Caroline and their sons Henry and Rufus.

Starbucks will Release:
'One Man Band' DVD/CD: November 13, 2007

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday November 4, 2007

Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you - gently, with love, and hand your life back to you.
~Tennessee Williams

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