Stuff that happens to me, Vol. 19

I am getting more and more annoyed with FM radio stations, and not just in my hometown. Many of the “classic hits” stations are now shoving stuff from the 1990s into their playlists, meaning if I want to stay tuned to THAT station, I’ll have to put up with bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon Five and who knows what else.

Guys, your core audience is the group of people my age: Over 50, retire or semi-retired, affluent enough to pay the higher ticket prices — that is, whenever bands will be allowed to tour again— and, dare I say it, mostly Caucasian.

As I’ve been listening to some of the old classis, I’ve been noticing, as I’ve been singing along, that some key words are missing from key verses and choruses. Back in the day, when FM AOR stations were the rage, they weren’t really concerned about some of the language that was contained in the album cuts.

Some that came to mind were songs by Steely Dan, The Who, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and the Steve Miller Band, although when I did a Google search for “classic rock and roll songs with bad words,” bands like AC/DC and Van Halen were cited as well as the ones I mentioned for lyrics like “highway to hell” and “runnin’ with the devil.” Oh! Gasp! What is this world coming to?

Anyway, getting back to my original rant, I took the liberty of cutting and pasting some of the lines from some of the songs belonging to some of the bands we know and love.

Where the naughty words were, I’ve changed them to EXPLETIVE. So read on, sing along and use the words that were originally there. I KNOW you know them. And I’m disturbed that we can’t sing along with the radio anymore.

Well, at least we’ve got our Google home units and Alexa. Right?

(For what it’s worth, the one from Dire Straits really surprised me. Hell — I mean, heck — even the president talks like that, doesn’t he?

Show biz kids making movies

Of themselves you know they

Don’t give a EXPLETIVE about anybody else

(Steely Dan)

Come on, come on, who? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Oh, who the EXPLETIVE are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Who are you? (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

Oh, tell me who are you (Who are you? Who, who, who, who?)

(The Who)

See the little EXPLETIVE with the earring and the makeup

Yeah buddy that’s his own hair

That little EXPLETIVE got his own jet airplane

That little EXPLETIVE he’s a millionaire

(Dire Straits)

Money, get back

I’m all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack

Money, it’s a hit

Don’t give me that do goody good bullEXPLETIVE

I’m in the high-fidelity first class traveling set

And I think I need a Lear jet

(Pink Floyd)

Touchin’ down in New England town

Feel the heat comin’ down

I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on

You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around

And I’m goin’ with some hesitation

You know that I can surely see

That I don’t want to get caught up in any of that

Funky EXPLETIVE goin’ down in the city

(The Steve Miller Band)

At least they changed this one to “funky kicks” so you don’t have to sing along over dead air.

Stuff that happens to me, Vol. 18

(Sorry I’ve been amiss at posting daily, but I’m back, I hope. And I’m gonna put stuff here that I would normally put on FB then cut and paste, but too often I would get more negative feedback than I wanted, especially if I was political. Here I can vent to my hearts’ content.)





Just finished watching “Gum Drops,” Episode 5 of season 6 from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as those episodes are being rebroadcast on a DirecTV station I didn’t know we had until recently. Still love the show.

With Grissom teaching at a conference, Nick Stokes and the remaining CSIs investigate a murder of a family in a house in a small town outside Las Vegas. In the house there is evidence of violence, blood and gunfire. The rest of the team thinks that the entire family was murdered, but Nick has the feeling that the little girl, Cassie, is still alive. So they start investigating.

And they discover the motive why the family was murdered (an illegal green house full of pot) and a chew gum in every place they go for searching clues. So Nick believes that Cassie left them telltale clues in the form of gum drops.I cried the first time I saw this and, yes, I did again. George Eads, one of the longest running characters on the show, proved, especially, in this episode, why everyone loved him and Nick Stokes.What a great finish to a great episode. Rock on, George Eads.

OK, that’s all for now.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 17

So by now y’all know I drive cars for an auto auction company in West Michigan. A group of us went to a dealership in Bloomfield Hills on Thursday and happily, the RAM truck I drove back still had SXM radio hooked up. I’ve told my wife on occasion that I can go to one of a number of my favorite stations on certain days and stay locked in there for the duration of my drive back to “home base.” I frequent Channels 6, 7, 18, 25, 26 and 27 and usually they’re good to me.

Thursday was not one of those days as I kept going back and forth between single digits and double digits. One song I had NEVER heard before was the Alice Cooper rendition of Eleanor Rigby which was very, VERY true to the original, though Alice’s voice doesn’t quite have the soul of John’s.

Then there was the trip back to Channel 6 for The 60s at 6. The following tune came up and even though I barely remember it — and I especially had no clue who sung it — by the first chorus I was signing along, then laughing about how silly and simplistic the lyrics were.

Ah, yes, the days of Disco, memorable, but not always fondly. Enjoy Patrick Hernandez. I did!!

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 16

Had to buy some groceries yesterday (Saturday) — don’t ask me why I waited until Sunday night to post this — and I saw some “designer” masks on display at my local “local” boxstore for the low price of $3.99, so I bought one that had red and white horizontal stripes on the lower half and white stars on a field of blue on the upper half.

Feelling a little patriotic, so I thought, “why not?”

Found one that was labeled Large/Extra Large and since I have a fat head — size 7 5/8, so no arguing here — I bought that one. Didn’t open it up until this morning when we were going to get together with some old friends for our monthly Bible study, but when I did, two things disturbed me: 1) Whoever made that mask has a different definition of Large/Extra Large than I do; and, 2) That goes without saying since the label “inside” the mask said — and you’re NOT going to believe this — Made In China.

So now I’m kind of freaking out, wondering and thinking, why the heck am I, a guy who rips on Trump supporters for spending all kinds of money on his hats and flags that are Made In China, wearing a mask that was Made In China to protect myself from a virus that apparently and allegedly originated in China.

Yup, no doubt about it, the Armageddon is near.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 15

Written by Dennis DeYoung while he was still playing keyboards and singing for Styx, and still performed from time-to-time by DeYoung in his solo shows, but not by Styx since he and the band parted ways, “Show Me The Way” could be a song that everyone needs to hear and comprehend as the our country comes seemingly closer to anarchy.

With the death yesterday of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the rush seems to be on for Republican President Donald Trump and his pals in the Republican controlled U.S. Senate to push a conservative nominee through to bend the balance in the nation’s highest court strongly in favor of right-thinking conservatives before the Nov. 3 election.

Liberal Democrats, on the other hand, are looking back to four years ago when there was an opening on the Supreme Court 11 months before the election that pitted Trump against Hillary Clinton, but Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell held up the STOP sign for lame-duck President Barack Obama and refused to take a vote on his nominee, Merrick Garland. Now the highly contentious and very political battle between the right and the left heats up as the Dems are looking for equal treatment while the Republicans are saying that this is a process that can’t wait.

So, is it going to be tit-for-tat or outright hypocrisy?

Let’s ponder Dennis DeYoung’s words:

Every night I say a prayer in the hope that there’s a heaven
But every day I’m more confused as the saints turn into sinners
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay
And I feel this empty place inside, so afraid that I’ve lost my faith

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away
Please, show me the way

And as I slowly drift to sleep, for a moment dreams are sacred
I close my eyes and know there’s peace in a world so filled with hatred
Then I wake up each morning and turn on the news to find we’ve so far to go
And I keep on hoping for a sign, so afraid I just won’t know

Show me the way, show me the way
Bring me tonight to the mountain
And take my confusion away
And show me the way

And if I see your light, should I believe
Tell me how will I know

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away

Show me the way, show me the way
Give me the strength and the courage
To believe that I’ll get there someday
And please show me the way

Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there’s a heaven…..

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 14

Not unlike the “Vanity Cards” writer/produce Chuck Lorre used to flash on the screen after the credits rolled on one or more of his popular sitcoms — they still do, in fact, during reruns of those shows — my reason for these blogs is more to entertain that to inform, but mostly to share thoughts or experiences that have touched or affected me.

The subject of political advertising game up at work today, but luckily, we didn’t start critiquing the “other” guys’ commercials, so calmness prevailed. We all agreed, however, that we can’t wait until November 4 when all the naysaying and mudslinging and criticizing will end … in the commercials, at least.

I pointed out that when I worked full-time for a daily newspaper, we always enjoyed the political “seasons” because the very strict policy for political advertising was simple: Pay the money up front or not ads. Period.

Most of the guys were not aware of that and now you are, too, in case you didn’t know. And that’s all for tomight.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 13

Lazy today, long day at work so I’m just going to post a photo from our recent vacation that makes me feel good. When we took the SS Badger back from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to Ludington, Michigan, we witnessed what I had heard from my brother and others who had taken that trip: The locals love to gather by the waterfront to welcome the boat back “home.” Yes, it was fun.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 12

I have used this space in the past to let people know that my track record for renting quality, viewable movies is poor, maybe even pathetic. If they are first-run movies that we chose to skip on the big screen for the comfort and coziness of home, I’m OK. Recently, I’ve grabbed a couple of decent ones, decent being the catchword whereby a movie gets a little less than 50 percent from rottentomatoes,com, but gets something on the high side of 50 percent from viewers. The one we watched Sunday night, “Open 24 Hours,” fits nicely into that category.

Then we came to Tuesday night and “Doll House.” Not “The Dollhouse” or “Dollhouse” one word, simply “Doll House.” It had a 2020 release date, though we can’t figure out why it ever made it to DVD, but before I pushed “PLAY” on the remote control, I was faced with two surefire warnings that this was to be a crap movie. First, there was only one copy of this film on the video store shelf. ONE. There wasn’t even a BlueRay copy for people with fancier equipment than hours. Then, taking a quick look at comments about this film on the web, two different posts listed two different ages for the little girl in the movie who had a demonic mind, thanks to a dollhouse that was in the room of a “care” home (hey, it was a British movie) that she was placed in.

Other characters including a pantie-sniffing, booger-eating maintenance man and another guy who worked there who was simply annoying. On top that, the female lead, the head of the “care” home, was a mute who spent most of her time writing messages on sticky notes.

Most of the people died at the hands of the dollhouse, even the psychologist who ink blot images all looked like FLOWERS to the little girl, named Eva.

Anyway, long story short, the closing scene pitted Emma, the “care” home caretaker, vs. Eva, the evil little girl who suddenly grew a mask that looked like our stock image of Satan and was able to throw small fireballs at Emma.

Well the good girl won and at the end, at a garage sale, when a guy asked “how much” for the dollhouse, she said, “it’s free, just take it” or something like that.

Unfortunately — and here comes the spoiler — it wasn’t the dollhouse that was possessed and curse, it was the doll Eva carried with her everywhere. And, you want to know how bad the final battle was? Emma finally destroyed the “soul” of the doll but grinding up its head in an electric pencil sharpener.

It was SO bad that I told my wife we should rewatch “The Greenskeeper,” currently, but maybe no longer, our benchmark for bad, bad cinema. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 11

So, my wife and I stayed up rather late on a Sunday night watching a movie because, well, watching the Detroit Lions isn’t tiring anymore because I only watch the last few minutes to see how they’ll blow another lead — and they did, giving up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including two a minute-and-four seconds apart, to lose their fourth consecutive season opener.

Many will blame a rookie running back for dropping the game-winning pass in the end zone on the second to the last play of the game, but some should look first at the conservative play-calling of the head coach when they had a double-digit lead in the third quarter. Blame also goes to placekicker Matt Prater, one of the very best in the NFL, for hitting the right upright on a 55-yard attempt.

We watched “Open 24 Hours,” a bloodbath of a horror movie with the following plot summary: “A paranoid delusional woman, Mary White, has just been released from a mental hospital for setting her serial killer boyfriend on fire. Mary suffers from severe paranoia and hallucinations. Her boyfriend, James Lincoln Fields, is a brutal serial killer known as The Rain Ripper. He enjoyed murdering people and making Mary watch. After being released from the hospital, Mary’s vulnerable demeanor aids her in obtaining employment at an all-night gas station. However, left alone to her own devices, her paranoia and hallucinations return with furious consequences. Things take a gruesome turn when customers and friends suddenly start turning up dead and mutilated all around her.

There comes a point when her delusions slip into reality and it takes a bit of thinking and guessing to determine that, yes, what looks real really is.

I usually check for a rating AFTER I watch a movie so I won’t be unduly influenced while I’m watching. We agreed that the website’s rating of 40% was rather low; we tended more to agree with other viewers who scored it at like 52%.

Critic Amelia Emberwing writes: “There’s nothing terrible about Open 24 Hours, it’s just a bundle of “mostly okay” — that’s open for one hour and forty minutes.” And I’m OK with her synopsis.

Stuff that happens to me: Vol. 10

The Detroit Lions, similar to last year, blew a fourth-quarter lead, only this time they didn’t tie the Arizona Cardinals, they LOST to the Chicago Bears. That, though, did not bother me as I have been NFL = Not For Lee for a number of seasons and I usually turn on the puddytats in the fourth quarter to see how they will blow yet another game.

Be sad, if you will, over a 55-yard missed field goal that caromed off the upright or a dropped game-winning pass in the end zone by a rookie runningback with just seconds remaining in the game. It’s another question mark in a long history of Detroit Lions’ question marks: WHY ARE YOU THROWING TO A ROOKIE RUNNINGBACK WHO IS BACKPEDALING WHEN YOU’VE GOT GOOD RECEIVERS WHO KNOW HOW TO CATCH THE BALL AND ADRIAN PETERSON IN THE BACKFIELD.

As for me, I will be sad because the Detroit Tigers lost again as Spencer Turnbull pitched pretty good (yeah, I know, grammar), but for the second day in a row, the Tigers couldn’t hit shit.

Thank goodness they’re only playing a half season; they won’t loss 100 this time around.