Saturday Surprise — Potato Chips!!!

Happy Saturday, Friends!!!  I hope you all have plans to get outside and do something fun this weekend.  It is gorgeous here, with temps in the 80s, though I hear they are supposed to start climbing later today.  Hugh … did your mountain of snow finally melt?  Daughter Chris is in Chicago this weekend for a Pipes & Drums band competition, so it’s just me and Miss Goose.  We lead a very quiet life when the chatterbox is gone!  Goose works on her art, I work on my writing, and we set our phones for an alarm every two hours so we remember to have a brief conversation – it usually consists of “Hi … I love you … are you hungry yet?”  “Hi … I love you back … no, but are you?”  “Nope … talk to you again in a couple of hours.” And then we return to what we were doing.  This weekend, though, we have promised ourselves that we will watch Wreck It Ralph with a big bowl of popcorn.  This idea came thanks to Roger, who told me he was chuffed to find that Wreck It Ralph II will be out in November.  And if you don’t know what Wreck It Ralph is … Google it!wreck-it-ralph


Every now and then, odd and random bits ‘n pieces of things pass through my email.  Most I just toss, but sometimes the subject line catches my eye and I dig a little deeper.  One such tidbit came about this week and as soon as I saw it, I thought it might be a fun bit of trivia to share with you for Saturday Surprise!  It has a bit of mystery, a bit of history, and a bit of controversy … all surrounding, of all things, the origins of the potato chip (or potato crisp as they call them across the pond).

The story comes courtesy of Tuan Nguyen, writing for ThoughtCo.com

George Crum

George Crum (born George Speck; July 15, 1824 – July 22, 1914) was a renowned chef who worked at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York during the mid-1800s. According to culinary legend, Crum invented the potato chip during his work at the restaurant.

The Potato Chip Legend

George Speck was born to parents Abraham Speck and Diana Tull on July 15, 1824. He grew up in upstate New York and was hired at Moon’s Lake House in the 1850s.

Moon’s Lake House was a high-end restaurant that catered to wealthy Manhattan families when Speck was hired. A regular patron of the restaurant, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, frequently forgot Speck’s given surname. Vanderbilt often asked waiters to relay various requests to “Crum,” thus giving Speck the name he is now known by.

According to popular legend, the potato chip was invented when a picky customer (Vanderbilt himself, according to some reports) repeatedly sent back an order of French fries, complaining that they were too thick. Frustrated with the customer’s demands, Crum sought revenge by slicing a batch of potatoes paper-thin, frying them to a crisp, and seasoning them with lots of salt. Surprisingly, the customer loved them. Soon enough, Crum and Moon’s Lake House became well-known for their special “Saratoga chips.”

Disputing the Legend

A number of notable accounts have disputed the story of Crum’s culinary innovation.

Recipes for frying thin potato slices had already been published in cookbooks by the early 1800s. Several reports on Crum himself, including a commissioned biography of the chef published in 1893 and his own obituary, were curiously missing any mention of potato chips whatsoever.

Crum’s sister, Kate Wicks, claimed to be the real inventor of the potato chip.

Wick’s obituary, published in The Saratogian in 1924, read, “A sister of George Crum, Mrs. Catherine Wicks, died at the age of 102, and was the cook at Moon’s Lake House. She first invented and fried the famous Saratoga Chips.” This statement is supported by Wicks’ own recollections of the tale, which was published in several periodicals during her lifetime. Wicks explained that she had sliced off a sliver of potato that inadvertently fell into a hot frying pan. She let Crum taste it and his enthusiastic approval led to decision to serve the chips.

Crum’s Legacy

Visitors came far and wide to Moon’s Lake House for a taste of the famous Saratoga chips, sometimes even taking a 10-mile trip around the lake just to get to the restaurant. Cary Moon, the owner of Moon’s Lake House, later tried to claim credit for the invention and began producing and distributing potato chips in boxes. Once Crum opened his own restaurant in the 1860s, called Crum’s, he provided every table with a basket of chips.

Crum’s chips remained a local delicacy until the 1920s, when a salesman and entrepreneur named Herman Lay began traveling throughout the south and introducing potato chips to different communities throughout the country.

At that point, Crum’s legacy was overtaken by the mass production and distribution of potato chips on a national scale.

I don’t imagine Mr. Crum ever anticipated the wide variety of (mostly bad) flavours we see on the grocery shelves today! chips-1chips-2chips-2chips-3

Now that you are craving potato chips, why not fire up the grill and make some burgers to go with those chips?  Whatever you do this weekend, keep safe and enjoy life!  And to send you on your way, how about a little song … one of my old favourites that can bring a smile to faces young and old!

Jolly You-Know-What Day …

Good Monday morning, friends!  Welcome … please overlook the mess … I was lazy this weekend and the house is a bit shaggy around the edges.  I do have a special treat for you though, so grab a cuppa and since it is Monday morning, the lead-in to a brand new week, let’s find something to make us laugh, shall we?


Apparently Allison Barron’s father was not too keen on the idea of her marrying her boyfriend, Levi Bliss.  Poor Bliss had gone to a lot of trouble to set the scene for his bended-knee proposal, having conspired with relatives to set up letters spelling “Marry Me?” on the side of a large hill alongside a highway.  As he and Allison drove down the highway, the lettering came into view, and Levi pulled over to ‘pop the question’.  He was on bended knee in front of his beloved when on top of the hill, out popped her father holding a sign that read: SAY NOTurns out it was all in good fun.

“We immediately both started laughing. My sister was behind us so we turned to her and was like, ‘Is this real?’ He was like laughing and smiling — he was proud of his sign. It was very my dad, in like a great way — he’s awesome. Always with the dad jokes and he finds them hilarious. We love it.”

Levi’s mum was none too happy about it, though, and was said to be a bit angry.  I suspect, with her son marrying into the Barron family of jokesters, she better learn to lighten up a bit.


Do you guys remember last year in July when I wrote a Jolly Monday post that featured ‘avocado art’?  I was just amazed at the intricacy with which the artist, Jan Campbell, was able to carve the delicate avocados.  And it was just a little sad to know that her artwork had a shelf-life measured in hours, for avocados begin to go bad the minute their insides are exposed to air … just like … bananas!  Well now I have found yet another artiste, one whose medium is … yep, you guessed it … bananas!Meet Stephan Brusche, an artist in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who has been drawing on and carving bananas for nearly 7 years now.  I’ll let Stephan tell you a bit about how he got his start in banana art …

“I wanted to test out Instagram filters when I was at the office. There wasn’t nice scenery or anything fun to draw or take a picture of, but I did have a banana from lunch. So I figured, what if I drew a little happy face on it? I discovered it’s actually pretty pleasant to draw on a banana with a ballpoint pen. The texture of the peel and the pen is really smooth. The next day I thought, let’s do another face. And then I thought, let’s see what else I can come up with to draw on the banana. From that point on I started experimenting and I never stopped.”

And here are just a few of my favourites …

Chiquita featured Stephan on its website last year.  Check it out for some cool links!


The Detroit Zoo is trying out a new promotion, but somehow … I just don’t really think it’s going to go over too well.  According to NBC News …

Free buckets of 5 pounds of animal manure, dubbed Detroit Zoo Poo, will be handed out on April 14 as part of the zoo’s GreenFest celebration. The event precedes Earth Day and will showcase how the zoo recycles waste.

Buckets will be available to the first 1,000 visitors to the zoo’s anaerobic digester educational display.

The digester converts 500 tons of animal manure and other organic waste each year into methane-rich gas to help power the zoo’s animal hospital. Nutrient-rich fertilizer is a byproduct. The zoo notes the compost “is great for putting in your garden.”

Um … thanks, guys, but maybe not this year …


Imagine waking up one morning, only to find out that you’re dead. Such was the fate of poor Constantin Reliu who learned in January that he is dead – at least officially, though Mr. Reliu continues to breathe, eat, and all the other things we think of as being consistent with life.

In 1992, unable to find work in his native Romania, Mr. Reliu went to Turkey where he found work as a cook.  His wife opted to remain in Romania, and when he returned for a visit in 1995, he found she had been unfaithful to him.  Still, he hung around for a few years, but in 1999 decided to return to Turkey.  Last December, Turkish authorities discovered that his visa was long expired and deported him back to Romania.  And that is when his troubles really began.

Upon landing at Bucharest airport, he was informed by border officials that he had been officially declared dead and underwent six hours of questioning and tests. They measured the distance between his eyes to see if it corresponded to an old passport photograph; they asked him questions about his home town, such as where the town hall was; they checked his fingerprints.  Finally, he managed to convince the immigration authorities and he was allowed to leave.  But now to obtain new papers … not so fast, Mr. Reliu!

It turns out that his wife had him declared dead in 2016, and it is much easier to have a death certificate issued than to have it overturned!  After months of trying to get the death certificate declared null and void, last week Mr. Reliu exhausted his last avenue and was told in no uncertain terms that he must remain dead. A court in the northeastern city of Vaslui refused to overturn his death certificate because his request was filed “too late”, and the court said the decision is final.

“I am a living ghost. I am officially dead, although I’m alive. I have no income and because I am listed as dead, I can’t do anything. I think I am going to cry.”

His wife is now living in Italy, but no word from her on this mess.


Wait a minute!!!  Isn’t Jolly Monday supposed to be … well … JOLLY?  That was a sad, sad story!  Try again, Filosofa, and this time make us laugh, or at least smile!!!


Since the late 19th century, canines, aka dogs, have figured prominently in police work.  They have served in a protective capacity, but also as drug-sniffing dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, and let us not forget the most noble, Search & Rescue dogs.  Man’s best friend.  But felines … cats, aka moggies … have been ignored by police and military.

Last week, the Troy, Michigan, police department hired their first ever cat!  They interviewed 5 kittens from the Michigan Humane Society, and finally made their selection, though it will be a few weeks before the cat is able to begin her new position.  The kitty remains, as yet, nameless, and the department plans to hold a contest among the schoolchildren in Troy, with the child who submits the winning entry being rewarded with a pizza party!  Isn’t this a great way to promote police-community relations?And now down to the nitty gritty … what is the job description?  Well, I believe there will be some undercover work, for the police department spokesperson seemed a bit reluctant to provide too many details.  But what she did say was that the kitty would be involved with community outreach, helping bring attention to the needs of the Michigan Humane Society, and will also be in charge of the department’s Twitter feed.  Hmmmm … the Significant Seven always give me that old excuse about not having opposable thumbs whenever I try to get them to do something useful, like write this blog!


And now, folks, since I seem to be having a problem with my sense of humour this morning, I think it’s time for Jolly Monday to wind down with a few cartoons, then ♫ Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It’s Off To Work You Go … ♫  Please, dear friends, share those lovely smiles with others today … make somebody feel just a little bit more loved.  Have a great week and keep safe!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-maxine

 

Jolly Post-Easter Monday!!!

Good Monday morning {yawn} and welcome, friends {yawn}.  You may notice I’m a little {yawn} sleepy this morning because the weekend was busy, what with Easter and trying to finish up on several tax returns that will be due in just a short two weeks.  Even though Miss Goose will be 24 later this year, we still dye & hide eggs, do Easter baskets, and the works.  So, once again a holiday has passed and now we can get back to our normal routine.  I am a creature of routine and always feel just a little out of sync when it is disrupted, even for fun things like holidays.  So, how was your holiday?  Did you get enough chocolate bunny ears to last you for a while?

Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee … sorry, Steve, no donuts today, but help yourself to some Easter candy … and let’s share a few chuckles to start out this week, shall we?


Grumpy Goose …

When I worked at Standard Publishing, one spring a goose wandered onto our property, built a nest, and laid goose eggs.  It might have gone unnoticed, except that she began attacking people.  Clients and sales reps would park in front of our building, get out of their cars, and seemingly from nowhere here came this goose, spitting, hissing, flapping her wings, and given the chance, pecking.  The client would run back to their car and call us, whereby we would contact one of the maintenance guys to take a broom for protection and escort the client in.  One day she attacked one of the maintenance men, Chester, so viciously that he gave his resignation the very next day!  This video of a goose attacking soldiers at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, brought back memories of those days …


Distracted Drivers …

There are a lot of distracted drivers out there these days … I mostly blame cell phones.  I was talking to my friend Herb while he was driving home in a snowstorm not long ago, and all of a sudden he let loose a rhyming expletive and said, “I’m stuck!!!”  Sometimes it’s better not to talk and drive, I think.  Herb, by the way, was able to extricate his car without too much trouble.  Two stories caught my eye this week about people who weren’t quite ‘with it’ and the results, while humorous, might have ended in catastrophe.

The first is this Okaloosa County, Florida, mom who was getting ready to go somewhere with her husband and young daughter.  Just as she was preparing to pull out of her parking spot, she remembered something she had forgotten in the apartment, so she ran back in.  When she came back out, this is what she found …

Oopsie!

Dad and daughter were able to exit the car safely, so all is well except … well, the car.  The Sheriff’s office had some fun with it, joking that it gave a whole new meaning to the word “carpool”.

And then this one …

An Uber driver in San Francisco was on his way to pick up a third passenger, and surely he must have been distracted, for he made a wrong turn onto a pedestrian walkway and …There were no injuries, and the driver is blaming his GPS.  But the troubles didn’t end there!  As a tow truck was attempting to pull the car off the steps, the cable snapped and the car plunged into a city trash dumpster and a fire hydrant!  One should really use common sense when following the directions of a GPS, don’t you think?


Circus Clown

Now, when I first started this Jolly Monday feature more than two years ago, I promised that it would be entirely non-political.  And I’m keeping that promise, even today, but I could not resist this story.  There is a real, true-to-life clown running for South Carolina’s 5th District seat in the U.S. Congress.  His name is Steve Lough, and he is a former Ringling Bros. circus clown!  He even calls his website Clown for Congress.

He has a sense of humour, saying that if his opponents aren’t afraid of clowns yet, they soon will be.  I almost like this guy!


Darling Donkeys (aka Adorable Asses)

It wouldn’t do for me to fail to give you your weekly fix of cute animals.  Now, I think all animals are cute and can even find cuteness in such critters as armadillos and hyenas. Even so, I never gave much thought to ranking donkeys high on the scale of cuteness, until …Sparky is a week-old miniature donkey at Ashington Park Stud In Melbourne, Australia. He has a surrogate mum and companion in the form of a teddy bear called Ted.

A donkey introduces her 5-hour-old baby to her friend, the horse

Rock-a-bye Donkey


Feline Friend …

Sometimes kids can be cruel under the best of circumstances, and 7-year-old Madden Humphries doesn’t exactly have the best of circumstances.   Madden was born with a cleft palate and heterochromia iridum — a rare condition that causes the iris to be multicolored and occurs in only about 1% of the world’s population.  So, young Madden was a prime target for the school bullies.

Madden’s mum is a wise woman, and she encouraged him to create a video to explain his unique qualities and remind friends to be kind. The June 2017 video was popular, garnering more than 220,000 views and 3,500 shares.

Then guess what happened?  I’ll let Madden’s mum, Christina tell you …

“Last week, a friend posted an image of the cat in our cleft moms group. This kitty was taken in by a rescue group in Minnesota. We knew immediately that this kitty was meant to be part of our family. Not only does he have a cleft lip like our 7-year-old son Madden, he also has complete heterochromia iridum, like Madden. They were destined to be best friends. Funny how a pet can make you feel less alone. We have friends that kindly helped fund a road trip so that we could travel from Oklahoma to Minnesota to adopt this sweet kitty and bring him home.

We’re usually not spontaneous people, but we knew that we were meant to love this kitty. Moon, the kitty, and Madden are the perfect companions for each other.  In a world full of bullies and hateful words, we will choose to chase love. I think it’s safe to say that this kitty is love, and was certainly meant to be part of our journey and Madden’s journey.” A picture is worth a thousand words, so take another look …


And just as all good things must come to an end, so must our time together this morning.  I have … laundry, house chores, a post to write and about a ton of email to catch up on, for I’ve been lax lately.  And you have jobs or naps to attend to.  If there is one thing in my life that I don’t get (or give, I fear) enough of these days, it’s smiles.  So, I’ve left a basket full of ‘em by the door … please take a few as you leave, to share with others today, for we all need them … they help chase away the tears and the ugly scowls like the one I find myself wearing most of the time.  Have a happy week and keep safe!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!


All too true … sigh.

Saturday Surprise —

Good Saturday morning, friends, and YAY – it’s the weekend!  Unfortunately, we are predicted to get what may turn out to be our biggest snow of the winter … four days into spring!  But, I’m hoping this is just winter’s last hurrah and we can then move on to a bit of warmth and sunshine.  I hope your weather is better and that you can get out and enjoy a fine Saturday!

I hope you will forgive me, but this is likely to be a short Saturday Surprise, for I find I am exhausted tonight (Friday) and just cannot do much more.  Not to mention that the Significant Seven are driving me nuts tonight!  😺 😺 😺 😺 😺 😺 😺


The Sony World Photography Awards winners have just been announced, and some of these photos are so awesome that I couldn’t resist sharing them with you.  Since there are 94 of them, I couldn’t share them all, but picked out a few of my favourites.

 

Deadvlei, Namibia

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

U Bein Bridge, Myanmar


I came across this tweet today and it made me laugh


Now for your daily does of cute … if this doesn’t make you grin, then you need to go back to bed …


And what say we wrap up with a few cartoons?

Have a great weekend, friends!  Do something fun, even if it’s just helping the neighborhood kids build a snowperson!  Love ‘n hugs!

Saturday Surprise — On Sunday!!!

Okay, I was trying to come up with some elaborate and convoluted reason that Saturday Surprise is happening on Sunday, one day late.  But, while I have got an imagination, it seemed to fail me here, so I am going to come clean and admit that on Friday night, as I was writing my post for Saturday morning, I completely forgot what day of the week it was.  I worked along on my post about the meeting between East and West, popped it into Word Press, proofread, fixed the pictures, scheduled it for 3:00 a.m., then went to bed, where I fell almost immediately asleep with a book on my stomach and a bottle of water in my hand.  I awakened on Saturday morning at about 7:00 a.m., and my very first thought was “Oh crap … it’s Saturday morning!!!”  Well, not much to be done at that point, so I decided to make it a Sunday morning Saturday Surprise.  Please forgive my strangeness, forgetfulness, and all my other ‘ness-es’, for it has been a strange few weeks and I am still a bit boggled.

I recently discovered a website, Tedium, that has some fun things from time to time, and when I was cruising through there yesterday evening in search of something humorous, I came across a piece about ‘sniglets’.  You all know what a sniglet is, right?  I use them all the time.  The official definition is a word that isn’t in the dictionary, but should be.  You are dying to know, of course, where the sniglet got its start, right?

Do you guys remember the HBO program, Not Necessarily The News in the 1980s?  It featured sketches, parody news items, commercial parodies, and humorous bits made from overdubbing or editing actual news footage. It was based on the British series, Not the Nine O’Clock News, and was where Conan O’Brien first got his start.  One segment by comedian Rich Hall, was called ‘Sniglets’ and quickly became one of the most popular segments of the show.  Here’s a clip …

Sniglets became so popular, in fact, that merchandise included a board game, a word-a-day calendar, mugs imprinted with especially popular sniglets, a syndicated daily comic panel, and six sniglets books, three of which were New York Times best-sellers.  You can find them on Amazon, by the way.  Here are a few of my favourites …

  • Snackmosphere: the pocket of air found inside snack and/or potato chip bags.
  • Flopcorn: the unpopped kernels left in a bag of microwave popcorn.
  • Napjerk: a sudden convulsion of the body just before falling asleep.
  • Expresshole: A person that brings more than 20 items to the express lane in the store.
  • Anticiparcellate: Waiting until the mailman is several houses down the street before picking up the mail, so as not to appear too anxious.
  • Arachnidiot: A person, who, having wandered into an “invisible” spider web begins gyrating and flailing about wildly.
  • Carperpetuation: The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of lint at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up. I do this one ALL the time!!!

(Hey Herb — now you have a word for Tom!)

You can find a list of more sniglets on Google.


Miss Goose sent me this one yesterday afternoon from Bored Panda  .  The headline reads

89-Year-Old Japanese Grandma Discovers Photography, Can’t Stop Taking Hilarious Self-Portraits Now

“Most people think that technology is for young people, but nobody told Kimiko Nishimoto that. She’s an 89-year-old Japanese grandma who’s been snapping and editing her own pictures for the last 17 years, and as you can see below, her style is certainly unique!

She didn’t get into photography until she was 72 years old. Her son was teaching a beginner’s course and so she decided to enroll, unaware that she was about to awake a passion and a talent she never even knew she had. She instantly fell in love with photography and set about snapping various quirky and comical self-portraits. She had her first solo exhibition ten years later, at a local museum in her home town of Kumamoto, and now she’s about to have her work exhibited at Tokyo’s Epson epsite imaging gallery.” 

I love these pictures and think you will too!  So much better than sitting home watching Duck Dynasty, eh?

This is just wrong…. isn’t it better to hang wet grandmas by their feet?


Just one last thing before you go get started on your Saturday Sunday funday … what would Saturday Surprise be without at least one cute animal picture?

Mama and Baby

Cute Sloth

Cute Monkey

 

 

 


Okay folks … I hope I made up for missing yesterday and that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me!  Now go have a wonderful weekend … what’s left of it!

Saturday Surprise — This ‘n That

Well the long week is finally over, we can look forward to two days of … cold, snow, chopping wood for the fire, shoveling, chattering teeth …  Take heart, I am just kidding.  Hopefully you will all have a fun weekend and enjoy something special before having to return to the grind on Monday.  Me?  I think I will plan to stay in and catch up on some things around the house, but that could change a bit later on.  My girls like to go out on Saturday, so who knows?  For today’s Saturday Surprise, I decided on a hodge-podge with no theme other than the goal of making you smile, laugh, or shake your head and roll your eyes.  So pull up a chair, and let’s share a few minutes together before you head out to the mall!


Our first story takes us to Scotland, where a young farmer, Bruce Grubb, was holding a housewarming party in his cottage.  Now, Bruce had some cows out in the barn who were ready to give birth at just about any time, so periodically he left the party to go check on the cows.

Bruce Grubb with cowsWhen Bruce excused himself to go out and check on the cows, he got the fright of his life, for as he shined his flashlight among the resting cows, he saw a TIGER!  Its eyes glinted in the light, and Bruce knew he needed to get help … and quick!  Bruce dashed into the house and called the local police who wasted no time coming to the rescue.  Well, they wasted just a bit of time, first contacting the local zoo to see if any of their tigers were missing.

Once at the scene, armed officers from the North East Police Division surrounded the place. And they waited for the tiger to move.  And they waited … and waited … and after 45 minutes, they began to think that perhaps something wasn’t quite right.  Now, why they didn’t shine a bright light, or approach, I don’t know, unless they were trying not to scare the poor pregnant cows.  Finally, though, one of the officers cautiously approached the tiger and found …

stuffed tiger.png

Yep, you got it … a stuffed tiger!  Talk about some sheepish grins.  And you can only imagine the ribbing the officers took from the online community once the story was posted on Facebook

“The farmer was very complimentary about the attending officers, summarised by saying “they’re grrrrreat!”

“Hmmmm never seen a real tiger with a seam up it’s back and legs.”

“Could’ve been a ‘big cat astrophe.”


Who knew that Amazon sells a giant  beach ball …

The Beach Behemoth Giant Inflatable 12-Foot Pole-to-Pole Beach Ball by Sol Coastal

Price: $95.96 FREE Shipping for Prime members Details

giant ball

One customer gained attention when he gave the ball only a 2-star rating and wrote the following review:

“We took this ball to the beach and after close to 2 hours to pump it up, we pushed it around for about 10 fun-filled minutes. That was when the wind picked it up and sent it huddling down the beach at about 40 knots. It destroyed everything in its path. Children screamed in terror at the giant inflatable monster that crushed their sand castles. Grown men were knocked down trying to save their families. The faster we chased it, the faster it rolled. It was like it was mocking us. Eventually, we had to stop running after it because its path of injury and destruction was going to cost us a fortune in legal fees. Rumor has it that it can still be seen stalking innocent families on the Florida panhandle. We lost it in South Carolina, so there is something to be said about its durability.”

And of course others had to jump on the bandwagon with their comments …

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For the price, I think I’ll pass …


reading toon

And since I haven’t given you any cute baby animal pictures lately …

baby ant eater

Baby Ant Eater

baby dik dik

Baby Dik Dik

 

baby dolphin

Baby Dolphin

baby duck

Baby Duck

baby gibbon

Baby Gibbon

baby lemur

Baby Lemur

Jaguar cub

Jaguar cub

leopard cub

Leopard cub

And, thanks to our friend Roger, this one has been on my mind all week …

Calvinball.png

And that, my dear friends, is about all we have time for today!  I hope you found something to make you smile here, and I wish you a wonderful weekend.  And what would Saturday Surprise be without at least one song chosen from my own personal favourites?  Keep safe, be happy, be kind.  Love ‘n hugs to you all …

 

 

 


 

End

 

Saturday Surprise — Music with Soul

Saturday kittensWelcome, my dear friends!  Once again it is the weekend and I’m sure you all have big plans for fun things, yes?  My weekend is beyond quiet, for daughter Chris is in Kansas City, Missouri, for a band competition.  Although she is not competing this year, she and some of her bandmates have gone for the fun and experience (I think a few go just for the barbecue!) Since Miss Goose and I are both quite reclusive, we have to set our alarms for every few hours so we remember to talk to each other.  The house is eerily quiet, and it is snowing outside, so a rather peaceful weekend.  That said, I am still under the spell of mind bounce, simply cannot stay focused, so I decided to just let it bounce and share a bit of this and a bit o’ that for the Saturday Surprise.  Let us start with a nice bit of music to set the ‘Saturday mood’ …

The live clips are never of the same sound quality as the studio recordings, but I like watching these guys.  The song was written by Robert Lamm, the keyboardist and singer for Chicago, after a particularly exhilarating 4th of July spent in New York’s Central Park, where there were steel drum players, singers, dancers and jugglers.

Like most Chicago singles, this didn’t make the charts in the UK. In the U.S., however, it was their biggest chart hit to that point and also their first gold single, which at the time meant selling more than a million copies. This song contains some of the most famous nonsense singing in rock: after Robert Lamm sings the line, “Singing Italian songs,” he sings some made up words approximating the Italian language.

Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
People talking, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
(Fake Italian lyric)
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For Saturday

Another day in the park
You’d think it was the Fourth of July
Another day in the park
You’d think it was the Fourth of July
People dancing, really smiling
A man playing guitar
Singing for us all
Will you help him change the world
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For today

Slow motion riders
Fly the colors of the day
A bronze man still can
Yell stories his own way
Listen children all is not lost
All is not lost
Oh no, no

Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day’s the Fourth of July
People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For the day

Chicago

Hey Keith … you do like Chicago, right?


That was fun … let’s try another …

Sam Cooke … ah, they don’t make ’em like him anymore … King of Soul.  Did you know how he died?  At only 33 years of age, Cooke was shot in the chest by Bertha Franklin,   the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California.  Franklin claimed that she acted in self-defense after he broke into her office residence and attacked her. Her account was immediately disputed by Cooke’s acquaintances.  It’s a long and strange story, still an unsolved mystery, but one which I will not go into, for this is supposed to be a happy post.

Now that I’m into music mode, how about one more?

 

One of my all-time favourites and I usually belt that one out as I mop floors on Friday, or in better weather when I walk ’round the track at the park … and I dance to this one, too!  No comments from the peanut gallery, please!  Shortly after recording Dock of the Bay, Redding was killed in a plane crash, and the song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts.

Well, it seems like this post had a mind of its own and decided to make this a musical Saturday Surprise.  Have you got time for just one more?  Please?

What’s not to love about Ray Charles, eh?

Well, friends, I know you have errands to run and things to be done, so i suppose this ends our time together for this Saturday.  Thanks for joining me for a brief trip down memory lane … I had fun and I hope you did too!  Keep safe and warm … until next week …

Happy Saturday.jpg

 

Saturday Surprise — Music, Music, Music

I had all but forgotten that today is Saturday, as I was preparing to write my a.m. post last night.  With all the news popping up yesterday, I was still trying to catch my breath and decide which direction I needed to go, when it hit me that it would be Saturday in just a few short hours and I hadn’t even thought of a theme for my Saturday surprise.  Along about then, a friend sent me a music clip to listen to, and as I listened, I found my mind drifting and wondering:  what were we listening to 50 years ago?

Then I remembered that when I was asking for suggestions for this new feature, several of the suggestions involved music.  I didn’t think it would be too fun to put only a bunch of music clips, but I am combining some things … a few clips, some interesting ‘this day in history’ facts pertaining to music, and a blurb or two about some of the songs that we were listening to 50 years ago.  So let’s start with the #1 song of 1967 by a Scottish singer named Lulu … the song is, of course, To Sir With Love

 

The song was, of course, the title song in the movie, based on a book of the same name,  a 1959 autobiographical novel by E. R. Braithwaite  In the movie, Sidney Poitier had the starring role as an unemployed black engineer who takes a job teaching an unruly class of white students in London’s East End. By the end of the film he has won over the undisciplined youngsters and has taught them to have self-respect.

Although To Sir With Love was never released as a single in the UK, it was the flip side of Neil Diamond’s The Boat That I Row in the U.S., and Lulu fared far better than Diamond on that one, spending five weeks in the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, from October 21st through November 25th.

Other notable songs on the charts around this time in 1967 included two from the Monkees, I’m a Believer, and Daydream Believer. Also, a few that I still remember and like …

How about a bit of trivia?  On this day, December 2nd, in …

  • 1957, Al Priddy a DJ on US radio station KEX in Portland was fired after playing Elvis Presley’s version of ‘White Christmas’ The station management said, ‘it’s not in the spirit we associate with Christmas’. Wow …
  • 1967, The Monkees album, ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd’ went to No.1 on the US album chart. It was their fourth album to sell over a million copies, following ‘The Monkees’, ‘More Of The Monkees’ and ‘Headquarters’.
  • 1969, Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes was kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man who worked in the building she lived in. She later escaped unharmed by jumping out of his car on the San Diego freeway. The kidnapper was arrested in Las Vegas four days later.
  • 1976, The first day of the photo shoot for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover took place at Battersea Power Station in London, England with a giant inflatable pig lashed between two of the structure’s tall towers. A trained marksman was hired ready to fire if the inflatable escaped, but was not needed on this, the first day. Unfortunately the following day the marksman hadn’t been rebooked, so when the inflatable broke free from its moorings, it was able to float away, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had ‘scared his cows.’

I hope you enjoyed a musical trip down memory lane this morning.  Have a great weekend, my friends!  And I end this post with one of my favourites, Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

 

On Rainbows, Kermit, and … Russians???

Kermit-1Who could NOT love Kermit the Frog?  Remember seeing Kermit singing The Rainbow Connection in The Muppet Movie?  WHAT???  You don’t remember Kermit the Frog???  Oh woe, woe, and thrice times woe! (Did I do it okay, Roger?) Well here … check out the original of Kermit singing the song in the movie, and then we can proceed.

Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?  It’s actually one of my favourite songs and resides high on every playlist on my phone and ipod, though what I listen to is the version sung by the Carpenters.  Well … to get on with this story … no, first I must show you the lyrics so you understand where I am coming from:

♫Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.

I know they’re wrong wait and see.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.

The lovers, the dreamers and me.

 

Who said that wishes would be heard and answered when wished on the morningstar?

Someone thought of that and someone believed it.

Look what it’s done so far.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing and what do we think we might see?

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.

The lovers, the dreamers and me.

 

All of us under its spell.

We know that it’s probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?

I’ve heard them calling my name.

Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors.

The voice might be one and the same.

I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.

It’s something that I’m supposed to be.

Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.

La-da-da, de-da-da-do

La-da-da-da-da-de-da-do ♫

 

Okay, so now to the point of this post.  The other day, as I was going about my house chores and singing (terribly off-key and with only half the lyrics right … I once mistook the line “Hey, I’ve looked” for “Help me Agnes”) and I found myself, quite unbidden and without conscious thought, singing the following lyrics …

kermit

♫Why are there so many thoughts about Russians and who’s on the other side?

Russians are visions, but only illusions, and Russians have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.

I know they’re wrong wait and see.

Someday we’ll find it, the Russian connection.

The Sessions, the Kushners and Trump. ♫

 

Mind you, this came completely unbidden, without malice aforethought … it just popped out of my brain/mouth as I flapped the towels for rolding. I ask myself, and you, dear readers … have I been spending too much time on the ‘dark side’?

My apologies to Kermit the Frog, the late Jim Henson, songwriters Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher … I meant no harm.

A bit of history, to try to make amends for my faux pas …

The song was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, though it didn’t win either; instead it reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, appeared in every subsequent Muppets film, and has been covered dozens of times. And it all started with Jim Henson’s voice in a swamp.

On March 27, 1996, a New Zealand man invaded a radio station and held its manager hostage. His main demand? That the station, Star FM, play “Rainbow Connection.” Before the song could be played, police retook the station and arrested the man. “Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on the morning star,” indeed.

And still my favourite is the one done by the Carpenters, released in 2001:

kermit-4