.
Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
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This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 15th of each month and six days later, on the 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
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Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
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[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Saturday, September 26, 2015

FAVORITE MALE MOVIE / TV CHARACTERS (Or, YOUR TOP 25 FAVORITE MOVIES?)

Here's a nice cover of a Nils Lofgren song to get us started:
'TAKE YOU TO THE MOVIES'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFvnKKBMEj4

My blog buddyette BIRGIT recently posted a series naming her Top 10 Favorite Male And Female Movie And TV Characters: 
http://createdbybb.blogspot.com/2015/06/my-top-10-favourite-filmtv-characters.html

I promised her I'd get around to doing the same... eventually.

Well, below is my list of favorite Male characters. My list of favorite Female characters (which will be slightly shorter, because women are usually shorter than men) will come later. 

As I told Birgit, who doesn't care for Meryl Streep: "Hokey-Smoke! Lots to think about, and it's real tough when Movies AND TV shows are combined. Not to worry about Meryl Streep though. She won't be gettin' nuttin' from me - I find her on the boring side."

My list is NOT in any particular order at all. It was just randomly thrown up here, like it's some kind of an Ed Wood production.
 
BILL FOSTER (Michael Douglas)
'Falling Down' - 1993

A mild-mannered defense worker loses his job and loses his patience with the way society has fallen and how the city has become overrun by criminals and other assholes. On a sweltering day in a traffic jam, he loses his cool, abandons his car and starts walking through the city. The city won't forget that walk anytime soon. Before he goes out on that long pier (which isn't really in Venice Beach, by the way), he will be "rolling back prices to 1965", and he will "give you something to fix". Ha!

Did you ever wonder where my self-created nickname D-FensDogG came from? Well, now you know.



ROOSTER COGBURN (John Wayne)
'True Grit' - 1969

It's "The Duke" as a hard-riding, hard-drinking marshal with "grit". The freeze-frame ending is as American as apple pie and mother. 100 points if you know the name of Rooster Cogburn's cat. (Only 50 points for me, as I could only remember his rank.) 



GEORGE BERGER (Treat Williams)
'Hair' - 1979
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Very rarely does an actor just light up the screen with "presence"... Treat Williams in 'HAIR' is amongst them.

When I first saw this movie in the theatre, I labeled Williams a can’t-miss soon-to-be-superstar. Though his work in 'Prince Of The City' was highly acclaimed, somehow Williams whiffed. I thought Kenneth Branagh’s performance in 'Dead Again' was going to propel him to megastar status, too. (Remind me of these misjudgments the next time I tell you that I’m never wrong.) It’s the ultra-cool confidence and dynamic presence Williams exudes that carries this movie and keeps it moving. He is the follicle of 'HAIR'. (I’m sorry! I really can’t help myself.)

Although Forman ultimately comes down on the side of the Hippie Movement, he takes jabs at, and also embraces, different aspects of the two social armies engaged in a cultural war that took place at home concurrent with an American “police action” on another continent. And Berger, despite his narcissism and hedonism (the real foundation of the counterculture) which often antagonizes the “authorities” and widens the Generation Gap, is also the peacemaker who can empathize with others and effect a reconciliation. He’s a complex, interesting character and worthy of deep analysis.


R. P. McMURPHY (Jack Nicholson)
'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' - 1975

Although I could write an entire thesis on the R.P. McMurphy character, I thought about choosing 'Cuckoo's Nest's' nutjob Charlie Cheswick, just because he makes me laugh so much.

This is one of my Top 5 favorite movies ever made, and perhaps the one I quote from most frequently. 

My move to Reno, Nevada, had me a bit nervous while driving a 20' U-Haul trailer towing my truck behind it. When I stopped for gas in Kingman, I let my Brother, Nappy, know that I was OK. It was the most humorous text I've ever sent, but if you don't know the 'Cuckoo's Nest' movie really well, you probably won't catch the reference in it. (Brother Nappy caught it.)

03/12/2015
@ Kingman, Airheadzona. Don't forget Winona. [I'm] OK so far but [I'm] still humming POPEYE THE SAILOR MAN. Ha!-Ha! ~STMcC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI_4HtIJYDM


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGSbyH2dv68



MONTE WALSH (Lee Marvin)
'Monte Walsh' - 1970

'MONTE WALSH' is haunting and lyrical; a slow, dark, and melancholy poem on celluloid. It's Henry David Thoreau in a Stetson and down on his luck.

This is a very special movie that addresses the loneliness of those who feel distanced from their surroundings; caught up in forces that strip them of relevance in their times. This is NOT an action-packed, rip-roaring, shoot-em-up, and it will disappoint anyone who comes looking for exaggerated Hollywood gun duels. 'MONTE WALSH' is a character study that takes a hard, and realistic look at Western men and women who cling to each other for support during the halcyon "hour" of soft, golden light and elongated shadows.

I am Henry David Thoreau in a Stetson and down on my luck. Monte Walsh is me.

ARCHIE BUNKER (Carroll O'Connor)
'All In The Family' - 1971-1979

"Archie Bunker For President!"


The greatest character in television history, played flawlessly by a real-life political liberal. Now THAT'S "acting"! 

"Meatheads" to the left of him, "Dingbats" to the right - there he was, stuck in the middle with them. 

Archie: "What about John Wayne?! ... Before you say anything, let me warn you. When you're talkin' about the Duke, you ain't just talkin' about an actor. You're talkin' about the spirit that made America great. ... The Duke's special was all about America, and I mean the real America." ...
Meathead: "It was all about John Wayne."
Archie: "Well, John Wayne is what's good with America!" 


FLOYD LAWSON (Howard McNear)
'The Andy Griffith Show' - 1960-1968



'ODE TO A BARBER'

Somewhere in the heart of Dixie, yonder in the South
There's a small place called Mount Airy
But as living mythology embraced in my mind
It goes by the name Mayberry

Her favorite citizens enter into my house
Slipping in by way of TV
And in just thirty short minutes they lighten my life
And they teach my heart how to see

There's the round Mayor Pike and the round drunken Otis
Sheriff Taylor and Barney Fife
Who at five feet seven, a hundred, thirty-eight pounds
Is built like a thin-bladed knife

Of course there's Goober, Gomer and the sweet Thelma Lou
and the ever-cooking Aunt Bee
There's Helen and Howard and don't forget Opie and
With the first whistled notes, there's me!

Only a few doors down Main Street from Andy's courthouse
You'll come to a famous "clip joint"
This small shop is the business of barber Floyd Lawson
And this brings me now to the point

Floyd is a fair barber and a right nervous fellow
In his shop the men come to sit
They get hair cuts, play checkers, and tell their Fish Tales
Or just "loaf" as Opie calls it

In this tape's Episode One, Floyd's dream is realized
A shop with "two chairs - no waiting"
But unbeknownst to him the new man is a bookie
Just barber-impersonating

When Barney goes undercover as an old lady
He breaks up the gambling ring
And Floyd Lawson with his dream handcuffed and arrested
Goes back to one-chair barbering

In Episode Two, while writing to a rich widow
Floyd is really stretching the truth
Claiming to be a man of business enterprises
and also a little more youth

But being a "prince of a fellow", Andy steps in
And he helps Floyd to save the day
But only to find that with his very next letter
Floyd has once again gone astray

In searching old files Deputy Fife discovers
The case of a punch in the nose
And reopening old wounds between Floyd and Foley
Soon the town is coming to blows

The Sheriff is able to repair the strained friendship
And a Mayberry riot avoid
And in the final scene we see One-bullet Barney
Fork over a nickel to Floyd

Here's my favorite sit-com and it always has been
Ain't an episode I don't know
I'd say two of the three episodes presented here
Represent the best of the show

I would place 'The Deceiver' and a 'Punch In The Nose'
Right firmly in my own Top Ten
I own Hair-Raising Adventures on videotape
And watch it again and again!

This collection is worth every Star that I gave it
It's better than gold or a dog
I'd rather have it than seventeen supermodels
or a lifetime supply of grog

Don't you call me a liar and dispute what I say
Or although I'm just Stephen T.
I'll pick up a rock and heave it right through your window
Just as though I were Ernest T.

 
NICK CHARLES (William Powell)
'The Thin Man' series - 1934-1947

Nick and Nora Charles (with their dog Asta) were private detectives. Nick always got his man drink. And someday I'm going to get all 6 movies in the series on DVD. The movies are as entertaining as a drunk on an escalator, and "In Glorious Black & White".

Nick may have loved his liquor as much as he loved his wife, but don't make the mistake of thinking he was ever too intoxicated to deduce the identity of the criminal. No one could out-drink or out-think Nick Charles! Like Columbo - who should have made my list (and George Bailey should have, too) - there was a razor-sharp mind behind that unimpressive exterior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1tnbPBCtnI 


Learn more about Nick, Nora and their dog, Asta, by clicking HERE.

TERRY "The Toad" FIELDS (Charles Martin Smith)
'American Graffiti' - 1973

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4Tlob3U_1o 


When I was a kid, of course I liked Milner the best, because he was cool, tough, and had "the fastest wheels in the valley". But when I got older and tough-guy personas didn't impress me as much, I switched my loyalty to Terry the Toad, because that character really makes me laugh.

I got to meet Charles Martin Smith in 1980 on the set of the Disney movie 'Herbie Goes Bananas'. He was really nice and patiently answered all my questions about the movie... 'More American Graffiti'.

DAVID ADDISON (Bruce Willis)
'Moonlighting' - 1985-1989

This show turned Bruce Willis into a major star. He played wise-cracking private detective David Addison. One of the all-time greatest and most entertaining TV characters. I wanna be a "David Addison" too, when I grow up stop acting my age.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QTVtAsVrEg


CAL TRASK (James Dean)
'East Of Eden' - 1955

Young, intense, emotionally tortured and feeling unloved, Cal Trask was played by the most naturally gifted and imaginative actor of all time, James Dean. When I was a teenager, I expressed a desire to act, and that's when my Ma told me about James Dean. The first time I saw him on the silver screen in 'East Of Eden' my desire to become a professional actor shifted into overdrive. This is the first performance that ever blew me away. It's still #1 on my list.

In MY opinion, the following is NOT the "best scene" in the movie, but it's definitely a damned good one! (And most of you gals'll go wild)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64Vy5g6weX8


PIKE BISHOP (William Holden)
'The Wild Bunch' - 1969

"If they move, kill 'em!"
He liked whores and robbing railroads, but not in that order. He left his partner-in-crime when the Law moved in. Saying that he shared "very few sentiments with" his "government", he stole guns from the U.S. Army and gave them to Mexican bandits led by Germans preparing for World War I.

So, why is he on this list? See the greatest Western movie ever made and find out!

When money, women, and tequila couldn't ease Pike Bishop's conscience, he armed himself to the teeth and went back to save his half-dead "Angel". ("Pike Bishop" was my first online pseudonym. I 'spose THAT says sumpin'.)

DOC HOLLIDAY (Val Kilmer)
'Tombstone' - 1993

In my opinion, only 2 other young actors have ever exploded on the silver screen with as much stunning charisma as Val Kilmer did in 'Tombstone'. That would be James Dean first (Cal Trask), and Treat Williams (George Berger). Not surprisingly, all 3 of these young performers made my list. 

Everybody's seen 'Tombstone', so I don't need to say much about this one. Y'all know the lines by heart: "I'll be your huckleberry", "Nonsense. I've not yet begun to defile myself", "But then again... you may be the anti-Christ", "Maybe poker's just not your game, Ike. I know... let's have a spelling contest", "You're no daisy! You're no daisy at all!" The dialogue was memorable, the delivery was perfect. I still use those lines frequently.

Surprised to find so many cowboys on this list? 
You shouldn't be, because...

'MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTkZS6prZps


~ Stephen T. McCarthy

And now, a special message to YOU from my friend Kevin (and me)...

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 25 FAVORITE MOVIES EVER MADE?

I was hoping that YOU would participate in a fun survey a friend and I have done a couple of times in the past (1994 and 2004) with people all over the USA. The survey is NOT going to be published or distributed to the general public, but if you want a final copy we can send you one when it is finished in late 2015 or early 2016. 

My friend Stephen T. McCarthy and I are asking folks to come up with their Top 25 Favorite Films of all time. Not what you believe to be the 25 greatest, but what films are your all time favorites? 

It is really fun to participate in, read the final results and see what films were popular in the final tally. I would also encourage you to get as many friends and family to join in as possible. The more, the merrier!!

There are a few simple rules and requests if you decide to participate (and I hope you do because I included you hoping you would take part)

What you need to include:

YOUR NAME
STATE
FILM TITLE & YEAR

When listing the film, make sure to include the year of the film, so if the movie you have chosen is a remake we will list the RIGHT version. A great place to verify film years is the Internet Movie Database: 

Also, the year included will help us determine WHICH movie in a series the person means, when they get lazy and write "Alien" instead of "Aliens", or get lazy and don't add a number, like, I, II, III, IV.
.
Top 25 lists should be in TWO PARTS: The Top Ten, and The Next Fifteen. You don't need to order them as #1, #2, #3, etc. You can alphabetize them if you want (that's helpful), or you can just list them in any random order, so long as we can tell the Top Ten from The Next Fifteen (because 'Top 10' movies will receive 3 points, while 'The Next Fifteen' movies - in your Top 25 list - will receive 2 points).

And, according to our old rules, a person can list singly a movie from a series, or they can take the ENTIRE SERIES and list it in one spot. But they CAN'T pick and choose installments and then try to lump them all into one slot. Examples:
.
These are OK:
1: "Back To The Future"
or
1: "Back To The Future" Trilogy

But THIS is NOT acceptable:
1: "Back To The Future" and "Back To The Future" III
In a case like that, we would count BOTH of those movies ("Back To The Future" and "Back To The Future" III) as separate entries, and whatever is last on your list is going to get dropped off. 

I really hope YOU will participate in this fun survey. Take your time thinking about it. No rush, but I would say a good due date to have this completed would be October 31, 2015. Again, feel free to pass this along to anyone else you know who enjoys watching movies. We have had people participate from east to west, even outside the USA, in the past. Husbands, wives, sons and daughters can ALL participate. We look forward to your response!

Sincerely,
ZooKeeperKevin, and...
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

MY GIRLFRIEND BIT ME, MY DOG DIVORCED ME, BUT IT'S THE BOTTLE THAT LET ME DOWN

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(Or, 'GOD BLESS KELLY "ANDY" ANDERSON & A BIG THANKS TO SHEBOYGANBOY SIX')



It was today, in 1986, that the best friend a guy could ever have did what he did. So, I'm drinking beer and listening to songs that make me think of him.

You shouldn't have done that, "Andy". But then you already know that. I miss you, you stoopid, Coors-suckin' Redneck. Dogged if I don't miss you still, after all these beers.

Well, you lived and died "your way", and that's more than most can say.

'HOUSE AT POOH CORNER' - Kenny Loggins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G5x3fpfpFI


'PANCHO & LEFTY' - Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT9NSmZFE_Q


'I THINK I'LL JUST STAY HERE AND DRINK' - Merle Haggard
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM0w6CgRjKc


'REDNECKS, WHITE SOCKS & BLUE RIBBON BEER' (Or, 'COORS, OF COURSE') - Johnny Russell
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HjX4iRTLMU



'GOING WHERE THE LONELY GO' - Merle Haggard
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jz6YxVZDyk&list=PL1l71WFqYDtFKFs4o7ytiO2SHNGugu6FD




The sun yawned and thought about calling it a day
Kelly and I sat at the entrance to his garage on gasoline cans
His old truck looked beautiful, parked with the last of the sun’s rays
Glinting brightly on the dings and dents
And the cavity where an engine belonged.

I loved Kelly and his truck and I loved myself
And the blood in my veins, the heart in my chest, pumping
The beer in our bottles dwindled, just liquid sand in an hourglass
A lovely moment
A short reprieve


~ Stephen T. McCarthy

I miss those moments, and I miss those friends.
Hope you’re OK.
Blue Skies
- Andy
Nov. 8, 1985


[My sincere thanks to Sheboyganbrother Six for the photo of the Disneyland Tribute Window, and for the 2-CD set 'The Greatest Country Drinking Songs'. I thank you, and Kelly thanks ya from... The Beyond.]

"You know what Merle Haggard says..."

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015, SEPT. 15TH: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, DUKE ELLINGTON VS. NANCY WILSON)

Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
.
BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
.
.
Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
.
Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
.
Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
.
This is another song that was introduced to me by my Ma when I was young. The funny thing is that I have always associated this tune with Count Basie, and I had every intention of using Basie in this BOTB installment. But when I went looking for a competitor, I realized that Basie's version isn't the one I heard first.

Now, I have NO IDEA who was responsible for the recording that my Ma often played. So, I'm starting this BOTB installment on an even playing field.

In my last blog bit [click HERE], I mentioned that my very favorite bar in Reno is 'Roxy's Lounge' and it's located in the Eldorado casino. Well, it just so happens that the piano player almost always plays 'SATIN DOLL'. And that got me to thinking that I should use it in a BOTB contest.

Wackypedia sez: "Satin Doll" is a Jazz standard written by Red Garland and Billy Strayhorn with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. 
[Damn! What songs DIDN'T Johnny Mercer write?!] 

Written in 1953, the song has been recorded countless times... Its chord progression is well known for its unusual use of chords and opening with a ii-V-I turnaround.

Johnny Mercer was often asked to write lyrics to already popular songs. The lyrics to "Satin Doll" were written after the song was already a hit in its instrumental version. 

Bill Doggett recorded a version on his 1959 tribute album... 
[I own the Bill Doggett version. It's on a compact disc that my Ma gave me one year for Christmas or my birthday. And yet, that's still not the version I grew up listening to, which my Ma played frequently. That's probably a mystery that'll never be solved. Where's David & Maddie when you need 'em? ...Well, where else would they be? Working on "The Anselmo Case", of course!] 
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
. 
'SATIN DOLL' - DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrytKuC3Z_o 
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
.
'SATIN DOLL' - NANCY WILSON 
 
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
. 
Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 
.
After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Friday, September 11, 2015

IN DOWNTOWN RENO (Or, AT SIRI'S CASINO)

On Saturday, August 29th, I decided to ride my bicycle to downtown Reno and have a few Martinis at my favorite bar, Roxy's Lounge in the Eldorado casino. I was about to leave my house and thought about first changing the shirt I was wearing.
.
I had on my bright red Great Basin Brewing Company 'Chilebeso' T-shirt, which says in big, bold letters on the front "FIRE UP", and has a picture of a skull on the back. The bar is a somewhat classy piano lounge, and normally I wouldn't want to wear such a loud shirt to it. (Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised they even let a Santa Monica/Venice "Dogtown" urchin like me in the place, regardless of the shirt I wear.)
.
.
But at the last second I decided to wear the bright red, loud shirt. Remember this, you'll need it later...

So I rode to downtown and had a few Martinis at the lounge.
.
.
Right toward the end, I was looking at the TV on the wall and began seeing double. This shocked me because even when I'm very drunk, I never see double. Seeing double is kind a drinker's joke, but it's rarely a "real thing".

So, I was kind of mystified by my strange vision as I left the bar. Instead of getting right on my bicycle, I decided to walk under the Reno arch sign and just down the street for a block or two.

Right after I went past the Reno arch, on the East side of Virginia Street, I heard and saw some commotion in front of little Siri's Casino. There were three really big Black guys and a number of White guys - some of them biker-looking individualist rebels with tattoos. You know... the usual. 
.
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'SIRI'S  CASINO'  IN  BRIGHT  BLUE,  VISIBLE  UNDER  THE  WORD  "BIGGEST" IN  THE  RENO  ARCH  SIGN.
.
Black Guy "A" was somewhat tall, but also rather overweight, and he seemed to be at the center of the argument, raising his voice while some of the White guys hollered back. I couldn't hear any words distinctly, and I was just leaning against a pole watching to see what would happen. It looked like a brawl was going to break out at any second. (By the way, the double vision was already gone at this point.)

Then the biggest of the three Black guys, "B" (who seemed gigantic), got between "A" and the White crowd and began pushing, or rather straight-arming him, backwards, trying to separate "Mr. A" from the scene. "B" kept pushing and urging "A" backwards, South, toward the corner of Second Street. All the while, "A" was still shouting at the crowd and flailing his arms around, and the White guys were yelling back at him.

Finally, B got A to the corner and they turned it and headed West on Second Street, out of sight of the crowd at Siri's Casino now. 

I was thinking how they did the right thing, avoiding an unnecessary brawl (which they were gonna lose anyway, based on the numbers). I was thinking how Jesus would approve of their "turning the other cheek", so to speak. And that they potentially "turned a corner" in their lives when they turned that corner. I had these thoughts of how I wanted to tell them that Jesus approved of their walking away from the violence.

Then I felt I wanted to, or should, walk to the corner and see where they'd gone. So I headed in that direction. When I got to it, I looked down Second Street and saw them about half a block down, talking amongst themselves on the sidewalk. Then I thought I wanted to, or should, walk past them to hear what they were saying and see if anything happened when I went by. I don't know why, but I really felt compelled to walk past them, on the same sidewalk.

So, I crossed Virginia Street and headed toward them down Second Street.
.
As I got close to them, Black Guy A looked at me and said, "Hey, man, you saw that shit!"
(I was surprised that he spoke to me, and really amazed that he had seen me at all, because I was completely across the street during the ruckus, and he was in the midst of a crowd and very angry. How he could have noticed me on the other side of the street when he was damn near coming to blows with the White guys was mystifying to me. It later occurred to me that he probably noticed me because of the really bright red T-shirt with the big, bold yellow printing across the front of it. Thinking about it after the fact, I began to believe that I was MEANT to wear that shirt, and that's why I didn't change into something more subdued just before I left the house on my bike. I also began to think the "seeing double" might have had more to do with The Holy Spirit coming upon me than it had to do with unholy "spirits" working within me.)
.
So, he says loudly, "Hey, man, you saw that shit!" As if he expected me to agree that he'd been wronged in some way.
.
I answered, "Yeah, I saw it, but I don't know what it was all about. And it doesn't matter. All I know is that Jesus---"
.
At that moment, Black Guy B held out his upturned palm toward me and said, "Hey, take a snort of this." In the middle of his HUGE palm (it was like a massive bear's paw) was a round spot of cocaine.
.
Right then, Guy A grabbed Guy B's wrist and said, "Man, put that shit away!"
(I don't know if Guy A thought I might be an undercover narcotics officer, if he feared cops were observing this from somewhere nearby, or if he felt the Spirit and instinctively knew that offering me cocaine was inappropriate.)
.
I also reached out my hand and grasped Guy B's forearm (which was like a tree trunk) and I gently pushed it away. At that same moment, these words just came out of me, totally unpremeditated. I still can't even believe I said this:
"No. But Jesus Christ told me to tell you that right now - RIGHT NOW!! - you are on the path of Truth!"

And with that, I immediately turned and continued walking West on Second Street. I couldn't hear a word being said behind me. I don't know if they had fallen entirely silent, or if I was, like, in some sort of Spiritual bubble that "this world" couldn't penetrate for awhile. All I know is that there seemed to be complete silence.
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Then I walked straight to my favorite Catholic church (I'm not Catholic) - a block or two further West on Second Street - where Jesus had answered my passionate prayers in 2001. And I was sitting on the steps of the church when I texted my Brother Nappy and another friend and said that I'd just had an amazing Spiritual experience.


And that's the entire story. I didn't see the Black guys later when I went back to the Eldorado casino, unlocked my bicycle and rode home.

Hearing this story for the first time, Brother Nappy replied: "Wow, that was interesting. The words just came to you?"

I wrote back: "Yeah, they just came out in an instant. NO WAY would I presume to speak for Jesus, if I took even one second to think about it beforehand."


Jubilant Sykes - 'If I Got My Ticket'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBy3209BIec 

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Friday, September 4, 2015

ALL THE SCRUPLES THAT GO DOWN IN GIN AND VERMOUTH

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DogGs & DogGettes ~

If you haven't yet voted on my current 'Battle Of The Bands' post, do that first by clicking HERE.

The dreaming has begun again. The last two nights I had some wild ones. 

I told my friend Gem Julie about the one the night before in her most recent blog bit's comment section ('Empty Nest Insider'). I was a librarian / security guard, and I was in trouble because I couldn't put the books away, etc. (I think it may have been the pickles, buttermilk, and candy "orange slices" I consumed just before bedtime.)

Last night, I was in a cool bar with my Pa. He was intoxicated and in jeopardy of being permanently banned from the bar, and I was trying to reason with him. After that, the dream started to get weird.


At some point much later, Keith, this guy I just recently met, entered the dream, and then so did my dear ol' saddle pal, Kathleen. She accidentally spilled some of my Gin & Tonic. She sipped some spillage from off the table top and said, "Ohhh...."

Well, according to Keith and Kathleen, I'm in jeopardy of dying soon. So, if you never hear from me again, you can assume that I or my computer (which has been acting up badly recently) died.

I woke up this morning with one of my all-time favorite Van Morrison songs playing in my mind.

Some bloggers will do almost anything, ANYTHING - jump through any hoop - to gain a new blog 'Follower', or to keep from losing a current 'Follower'. That's not me though. I prefer a 'Following' that is smaller, smarter, with strong scruples.

That's why I'm saying... if you don't like this song,
DON'T COME BACK!

[He's just joking.
 No, he's not!
 Yes, he is.
 No, he's not!
 Is.
 Isn't.
 Is!
 ISN'T!!]

'IF YOU ONLY KNEW' - Van Morrison
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR191xUO4vk



If you haven't yet voted on my current 'Battle Of The Bands' post, do that last by clicking HERE.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015, SEPT. 1: BATTLE OF THE BANDS (Or, AEROSMITH VERSUS ROGER DALTREY)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...
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BATTLE OF THE BANDS! (‘BOTB’)
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!
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Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ (‘BOTB’)
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Alright, let’s get on it...
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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In 1963, Rufus Thomas released the song he'd written, 'WALKING THE DOG'. It went to #10 on the Billboard charts and became his biggest hit.

It has been covered by many musicians, and it seems many of 'em like to improvise some of the lyrics. However, below are the lyrics as Rufus wrote 'em:
 
Mary Mack, dressed in black
Silver buttons all down her back
High, low, tipsy toe
She broke the needle and she can't sew


Walking the dog
I'm just a-walking the dog
If you don't know how to do it
I'll show you how to walk the dog


Come on, now! Come on! Come on!

I asked my Mama for fifteen cents
See the elephant jump the fence
He jumped so high that he touched the sky
He just got back 'til the Fourth of July


Walking the dog
I'm just a-walking the dog
If you don't know how to do it
I'll show you how to walk the dog


Mary, Mary, quite contrary
Tell me, how does your garden grow?
Why, you got silver bells and cockle shells

Pretty maids all in a row

Walking the dog
I'm just a-walking the dog
If you don't know how to do it
I'll show you how to walk the dog


Oh, ju-ju-ju-ju-ju-ju-ju-just a-walkin' the dog

In this BOTB installment, you get to choose between two "Classic Rock" artists. For me, this has proven to be one of the toughest BOTB contests of all time. I really dig BOTH versions and right now, I STILL haven't decided which recording I will be voting for, despite having listened to both COUNTLESS times! 

I keep thinking: Got it! I'm gonna vote for THIS one because of A, B, C. Four minutes later it changes to: No, wait! I'm gonna vote for THAT one because of X, Y, Z.

Back and forth, back and forth I go. Damn, this is a toughie!
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GOODNIKS  VS.  NO-GOODNIKS
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AEROSMITH included a cover version on their debut album in 1973. Play it LOUD! Up to eleven!

'WALKIN' THE DOG' - AEROSMITH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLDXEwTYucc 


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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Two years later, on his second solo album 'Ride A Rock Horse', ROGER DALTREY, the former lead singer for THE WHO, released his own very different version of the song. Play it LOUD! Up to eleven!

'WALKING THE DOG' - ROGER DALTREY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X0oxklL8iw


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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Alright now, “you know the gig”... I welcome you (whoever you are) to vote for your favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. 
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to the blogs of the other 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' participants to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to their blogs to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)
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Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
@ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
@ 'BOOK LOVER' by clicking HERE.
@ 'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CURIOUS AS A CATHY' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING' by clicking HERE.
@ 'DCRELIEF - BATTLE OF THE BANDS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'THE DOGLADY'S DEN' by clicking HERE.
@ 'CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE' by clicking HERE
@ 'ANGELS BARK' by clicking HERE.
@ 'JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE' by clicking HERE.
@ 'WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME' by clicking HERE.
@ 'J.A. SCOTT' by clicking HERE.
@ 'NOVELBREWS' by clicking HERE
@ 'HOLLI'S HOOTS AND HOLLERS' by clicking HERE.
@ 'QUIET LAUGHTER' by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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