Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time Keeps On Ticking, Ticking, Ticking, Into The Future

And just like that, the sun sets on 2014.  And we look forward to 2015...

(image from 2003)

But first a look back at my resolutions for 2014.  Last year I made 3:
1) More Photography.   I took a lot more photos, posted a LOT more, experimented with a couple new venues....  Overall, I'm satisfied.
2) More Walking.  Well, my goal (+20%) was dramatically over-optimistic. My actual increase was just under +5%.  BUT, I did improve, and was a lot more consistent.
3) Lose weight.  Sigh.  Down, but hardly enough to matter. 

Overall?  Well, I'm not on the honor roll, but I think I met continuation requirements.  And beyond those trivialities, it was a good year. Not without stresses, but with way more good than bad.  And I hope everyone reading this can say (at least) the same.

Looking forward?  Well, I may post some resolutions once it is actually 2015.  But they'll probably look a lot like 2014's, at least in the macro sense.

Thanks all for checking in occasionally, and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! And let's be careful out there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 1974

A little late this month, but continuing the series, (Jan, Feb, Mar ,Apr, June, July, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov):

December 1974... 40 years ago this month.  The last episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus...  Catfish Hunter granted free agency...  The Man With The Golden Gun released...

Meanwhile....  What was happening in music?

Albums released in December include:

A remarkably quiet month to close out a pretty impressive year......

As for singles, 3 songs topped the charts in (the 4 weeks) of December 1974:

  • King Fu Fighting - Carl Douglas (12/07/74 and 12/14/74)
  • Cat's In The Cradle - Harry Chapin (12/21/74)
  • Angie Baby - Hellen Reddy (12/28/74)

A few really good songs made their Top 40 chart debuts.  Notables (IMHO) include:
  • Best Of My Love - Eagles (peaked at #1)
  • Fire - Ohio Players (peaked at #1)
  • Some Kind Of Wonderful - Grand Funk Railroad (peaked at #3)
  • Dark Horse - George Harrison (peaked at #15)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame - Class Of 2015

Well, the RRHOF has announced their latest slate of inductees.... 

Here they are, with a note of how many times they appear on my iPod
As early influences:  The  5 Royales (0)
And the Award for Musical Excellence - Ringo Starr (10)

Not positive, but this is probably the inductee class with the least representation in my collection ever.  I can be solidly behind Stevie Ray and Green Day.  But the others??  I just don't know.

Maybe I'm just old, but it seems to me that the picking get slimmer each year.

Abstracted... Or distracted... Or perhaps compacted...

also on Instagram
Just a little something that attracted my attention.  I was really impacted by the way the light diffracted. 

I'll stop now.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Wade Chapel, Wake Forest

The 3rd in a series of NC college landmarks, this is the chapel at Wake Forest University.  Wake's a beautiful campus, and was my son's favorite (slightly edging Duke).  He still has a couple of years before he needs to start making firm decisions.  If we start playing the lottery now, we might be able to afford it!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Carolina Calling...

As noted in yesterday's post, My son is starting to think about college.  He's got a couple of years before he has to make a decision, but it is never too soon to start getting educated about the options.  So, while we were in North Carolina, and running over to Duke, we dropped by UNC.  

Now, way back when I was a student at Duke, I never went to the heart of Carolina's campus.  I was around campus a lot there was a great record store, and a couple of clubs.  And I did see the B-52s over there (in 1981).  But that was just the fringes.  So this trip was my first time "really" seeing the campus.  Verdict?  Eh....   It seemed pretty random and disorganized, and we had a heck of a time finding our way around.  We did (finally) find the admissions office, and checked in.  

Overall, my son was unimpressed, and ranked it 0 out of 10.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Duke Chapel

During our recent trip to North Carolina, we made a run by Duke.  Where my wife and I met.  Where we both graduated.  Where we were married.  Good stuff.  It had been quite a while since we had been back, certainly more than a decade.  Now my son is at the age to be thinking towards college (he's a freshman in high school), it was fun showing him around.  We even managed to catch part of an Organ recital at the Chapel!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Starry Night

Moravian Stars, on the bridge between Old Salem grounds and the Visitor Center.  With reflections....

Title is from the Chris August song, btw.

Larger version here

Thursday, December 04, 2014

God's Acre

The Salem Moravian Graveyard, Winston Salem, NC.  This is the final resting place of several of my relatives including my maternal Grandparents, some of my mother's siblings, and three of my cousins.  We spent a while wandering the grounds last week, looking up all of them.  It seemed rather appropriate for Thanksgiving week, as I'm thankful for each of these family members, event the couple whom I never knew.

Larger version here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

This Is A Room With A View...

Looking east from the Rondthaler-Gramley House at Salem College.  That's the May Dell amphitheater across the way.

The title is from the Let's Active song.  Let's Active, of course, is an 80's band from Winston-Salem

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Single Sisters House, Old Salem, NC

Posted larger over at Happenstance Photography.  The main building here is the Single Sisters House (ca 1785).  Behind the streetlight is the South Residence Hall (ca 1805).  Taken on a misty evening walk during our visit to North Carolina last week.

Pop Music - December 1974

Wordle from lyrics of Fire

Looking at American Top 40 charts for December, 1974... 40 years ago this month: What songs made their Top 40 debut? What was new and trending?

Well, there were 20 songs entering the Top 40 during December 1974 (4 weeks).  Including a whopping six (6) eventual #1s!  Here they are, ranked by eventual peak:

  •  Best Of My Love  - Eagles - #1
  • Please Mr. Postman  - Carpenters - #1
  • Fire  - Ohio Players - #1
  • Pick Up The Pieces  - Average White Band - #1
  • Mandy  - Barry Manilow - #1
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds  - Elton John - #1
  • Some Kind Of Wonderful  - Grand Funk Railroad - #3
  • Morning Side Of The Mountain  - Donny Osmond - #8
  • Never Can Say Goodbye  - Gloria Gaynor - #9
  • Get Dancin'  - Disco Tex and The Sex-O-Lettes - #10
  • Doctor's Orders  - Carol Douglas - #11
  • Rock 'N' Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)  - Mac Davis - #15
  • Dark Horse  - George Harrison - #15
  • Ride 'Em Cowboy  - Paul Davis - #23
  • Dancin' Fool  - Guess Who - #28
  • From His Woman To You  - Barbara Mason - #28
  • Dream On  - Righteous Brothers - #32
  • Ruby, Baby  - Billy "Crash" Craddock - #33
  • The Entertainer  - Billy Joel - #34
  • The Heartbreak Kid  - Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods - #39
I was able to find 17 of these 20 songs on Spotify.  And added to a playlist covering all of 1974.  It includes 228 of the 251 songs which entered the Top 40 in the entirety of 1974. I'm pretty impressed that they have over 90% of these songs...

Check it out:

Spiral Architect

During our recent visit to North Carolina, we were able to stay at the Rondthaler-Gramley House on campus.  This ca. 1888 house was more than large enough to hold both the Illinois Lawheads and the Pittsburgh Lawheads.

The post title is rather random, form the song.

Of all the things I value most in life, I see my memories and feel their warmth
And know that they are good

Monday, December 01, 2014

Spam Commenting

The majority of the (few) comments I get here are spam.  Sometimes there's amusing, but other times just odd.  Over the weekend I received an odd one from my Thanksgiving post:

"Anything that appeared such as the functions of a massive organization, Phacil and Payne's material"
here's my homepage; businessman Louis Lagasse" [link not included here]

I would think that the average phishing scheme would try to actually entice a target to click the link.  Really, they should at least try to be creative.


Home Moravian Church, Old Salem, NC

Home Moravian is on the grounds of Old Salem, and was constructed in 1800. The Moravian Church is the oldest Protestant demoniation, founded in 1457.  The Moravian Church is not well know in USA, with about 140 congregations in 17 states (Over 1/3 of which are in North Carolina).   But my mother's family was (and is) Moravian, and my associations with the church were a notable part of my own faith journey.  I especially relate to their motto:  "In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; and in all things, love".

Meanwhile, The guest house where we stayed last week is directly behind this building.