A Longish Week That Was

This edition of The Week That Was is sponsored by Tandem shampoo. Now, of all the things you wear, the most exciting can be your hair!

I need to make another list of commercials I’ve used so I don’t repeat any, and maybe I should make another list of the ones I want to use…

The Week That Was

I spent most of the week sick with a cold, so I’m sorry if I didn’t get around to you. I have a system by which I read my RSS feed, sending to Pocket those I want to comment on, but for most of the week I’ve just let them accumulate there, so if you get a comment on a week-old post, you understand the reason. Trust me, I’m getting through them, as well as to your comments here. I think I’m caught up as far as the blog is concerned.

I did two entries to M4 this week, one listing the Top Five on WCFL for October 3, 1968, and the other (the official one) on songs from Elvis movies. I guess someone was supposed to choose a theme for last Monday, but didn’t, so Marie whipped one up at the last minute. Anyway, on the former, The Grass Roots’ “Midnight Confessions” was Janet’s and Dan’s favorite, while Arlee liked The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown’s “Fire.” The Beatles’ double-sided “Hey Jude”/”Revolution” was at #2, and Lauralynn and I discussed whether the single version of “Revolution” or the version from the white album (“Revolution 1,” a slower, acoustic version) was better. I think we decided the latter, because that’s the way John Lennon wanted to do it. With the Elvis-themed post, I mentioned that I had seen most of his movies on WLS-TV as “3:30 Movies,” which were heavily edited to fit in the 90-minute time slot (and edited further to fit in all the commercials, news breaks, EBS tests, etc.). Fortunately, they left nearly all the songs in. Twila said she still loves his “I Can’t Help Falling In Love,” a beautiful song from Blue Hawai’i. The melody for that is based on “Plaisir d’Amour,” a love song from 1784 written by Jean-Paul-Égide Martini. Here’s the magnificent Nana Mouskouri’s version.

As I told Birgit, a lot of music from Elvis’s movies never made the Hot 100, but there are som real gems.


Monday was also Question of the Month day, and my answer to the question was emotionally difficult to write. Many thanks if you read it and commented. I think I was starting to come down with the cold.


Rosemary Clooney was the featured artist. Fabulous Auntie Jill commented over on Facebook that she saw Ms. Clooney about a year before she died of lung cancer, and she didn’t sound good at all. Which would about figure. Uncle Jack said she was his kind of singer, and I had to agree: she was wonderful, as a singer and an actress. May didn’t know of all the family connections, so I sent her down the rabbit hole looking for those.


My One-Liner was a quote from a news story from NBC 10 Philadelphia about a man who decided to pedal a three-wheeled contraption down a major thoroughfare on a Sunday afternoon. They called it a “big wheel,” leading me to believe he was on one of the kids’ toys. What really got me was all these people in their cars with their smartphone cameras and no one bothered to call the cops to get the dummy off the road. Guess he knew they’d be making videos of him, which would end up at NBC 10 Philadelphia, who would then send one of their junior reporters out to get people’s reactions.

I also posted something my brother Jim wrote on Facebook, discussing his impression of last week’s vice-presidential debate and how the two candidates really didn’t respect each other. He then told a beautiful story about his father-in-law, which I can’t do justice to, so go read it, but the upshot was that athletes generally have a great deal of respect for their opponents and leave their competition between the lines. I think we’d do well to emulate them, and remember, in what has turned out to be a bitter and vituperative election season, that we can’t allow differences of opinion get in the way of our relationships with family and friends. I’ve learned that the hard way. As I told Hilary, we had a saying that you should always avoid discussions about religion and politics. We need to get back to that.

I replied to the prompt, “10 things you love about your job.” Being retired (for all intents and purposes), blogging has become my full-time job, and I gave ten reasons I love it. Number One was “the interaction with other bloggers and readers,” and Joey said that’s what it’s all about. And now I have “The Hokey-Pokey” going through my head.

Seriously, thank you all who passed along good vibes about the blog. I learn from the best. (That would be you.)

Using another of Kat’s prompts, to write a post based on the word “change,” I produced a list of five songs that had the word “change” in their titles. Thanks to everyone who suggested songs; I’ll either publish your selections tomorrow or Friday (probably the latter).


Linda’s prompt was “coin,” so I wrote about the time I nearly crippled my mother (rather, she crippled herself trying to hit me for tossing my brother’s coin collection into the yard), then launched into a discussion of the coin as a probability tool (along with dice and playing cards), ending with the story of me deciding to learn to cast the I Ching and tossing a handful of pennies to build each of the lines of the hexagram (that’s what they call it, although it has nothing to do with the six-sided polygon we all know and love from geometry). In the post, I mentioned something about calculating the probability of throwing five dice and coming up with a Yahtzee (five of the same number) on a single roll. Problem was, I was thinking of a long straight (1-2-3-4-5 or 2-3-4-5-6), since I haven’t played Yahtzee in a long time. Martin and I are having a discussion about it; he correctly said that the probability is 1 in 1296 to get a Yahtzee on a single roll, but when you start to consider the second and third rolls, it gets way harder, plus there are strategic considerations (e.g. your first roll gives you three 3’s, so you roll the other two dice hoping for two more 3’s, but instead you get two 4’s, so you decide to take the full house instead). Sounds like the beginning of a Master’s thesis in Statistics, doesn’t it? I did find a blog post about it, which mentions Markov chains, which are kind of like decision trees… yeah, maybe I should just play Yahtzee and try not to think of it… Martin said he’ll turn some of his sixth-formers (the equivalent of senior year of high school) on it.

The professor is Edwin S. Lowe, inventor of Yahtzee (source: Wikipedia, Fair Use)


Battle “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life,” which pitted Barbra Streisand against Dusty Springfield, was won by Barbra, in rather definite fashion, 9-2. There will be another battle this Saturday, using the same song bhut featuring two male performers. Be sure to be with us then!

And that’s it for this edition of The Week That Was. Be sure and join me this week, because every day will involve a surprise, because I haven’t figured out what I’m gonna do yet…


2 thoughts on “A Longish Week That Was

  1. Hi John – thanks for the mention … and I do hope you’ll be feeling easier and the dreaded lurghi will have gone away. Take care – cheers HIlary


Comments are closed.