5 On Friday – December 2


Five on Friday was a long standing blog meme that came to an end with the move of the original meme master.  This has now been picked up by Mike Golch and open to anyone who still blogs anywhere to join in.  Pick any topic that suits your fancy and come up with five musical pieces that fit.

This week I’m in a mood for a salute to Autumn before it departs and gives way to winter.  Fall  just happens to be my favorite season of the year with its cooler weather, damper air, onset of the rains and the skies that seem to be closing in with a mood.  This week, the first two pieces are the same song simply because it is beautiful in any language.  My preference is for the Yves Montand as it is preceded by the original poem that became the song.

If you are female, like men and are not seduced by Yves Montand, what is wrong with you?

The incomparable Billy Holiday with a salute to a great city

A little lunacy with Neil Young and the Harvest Moon

And every Fall marks the passage of time with the Leaves That Are Green and too soon turn to brown.

The very simple rules”

1.    Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.

2.  Go to Playlist.com or you’re welcome to use any type of media to share your Sets. Such as Youtube.com

3. Be sure to sign Mr Linky Mike Golch’s site so everyone can visit your Set.
No tags, but feel free to invite your friends to play along if they need a post topic on a Friday.


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New Word


Noun:  Kakistocracy – Government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.

Word Origin and History for Kakistocracy

1829, “Government by the worst element of a society” coined on analogy of its opposite, aristocracy, from Greek “kakistos – worst”.  Superlative of kakos “bad” (related to the general word for defecate.

At which point after the recent election and watching the forming of the incoming Trump cabinet we all get to say, “Oh Shit!”

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Why The Service Is So Bad

Things to consider the next time you are considering the Electoral College and why more and more people are being deprived of their vote or why your representative doesn’t represent you at all, you can consider this.

Great Britain has approximately 64 million people.  The House of Commons has 650 members.  The US has approximately 319 million.  The House of Representatives is frozen at 435 never to change unless there is a law passed to change it.

This means that in the UK, the member takes care of about 92,000 people.  In the US each Representative represents an average of about 700,000.

A low population state like Wyoming has 584,000 people but still gets 1 representative and 3 electoral votes.  A major state like California has 39 million and 53 Representatives taking care of 736,000 people and 55 electoral votes.  Due to populations shifts taking more and more people away from the center of the country, and the freeze on the House size since 1911, fewer and fewer people have more impact on Presidential elections than the majority.

This year for the second time in recent history and very extreme this year, the popular vote exceeds the electoral vote in a way to totally divide the nation.  It’s time to reform either the number in the House, the Electoral formula or just go to a direct popular vote.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow the bark returns.  Just for today …


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History, Kennedy And So It Goes

kennedyThis post has become something of an annual tradition just to keep people updated on the after effects.  It was originally written by my son with a lot of research help from me for a school project.  He was to write about what happened the year he was born.  By fudging a bit on the time line since he was born in February, he wrote about November 1962 to November 1963.  This was what happened then.

Had she or hadn’t she? Sleeping pills, yes, but what? Thalidomide – the name haunted her and every other pregnant woman in 1962. Those babies! – Her baby? She was scared and would stay that way until next year.

El Camino Real – beautiful as only Northern California can be in the October sun. The radio blared away with the Four Seasons’ “Sherry”. They were young, a baby on the way, and happy – at least on this day. The President interrupted the music, “Today I have ordered a blockade of Cuba!” Suddenly their bright world was dark. They waited. The world waited. Six days later the Russian ships turned around and the sun came out again, but for how long?

“You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more” sounded like as good a promise as any following the November elections. Vaughn Meader had them all laughing with his satire of the Kennedy White House, “Goodnight Jackie. Goodnight Bobby. Goodnight Ethel. Do you have your bear, Teddy?”

“Puff the Magic Dragon” welcomed a baby boy into the world on February 21, 1963. His mother counted fingers and toes in time to the music. He was beautiful, perfect, loved. She was politically aware and terribly liberal, but at this moment, it didn’t matter that the South was in an uproar over integration or that the Supreme Court had reaffirmed the right of peaceful assembly. Christopher Alan was here and safe. Let the world take care of itself. She had bigger responsibilities.

The baby went to the movies right along with mommy and daddy. An infant-seat made seeing “The Birds” and “Lawrence of Arabia” easy. And to think it wasn’t that long ago that she thought Hula Hoops were the greatest invention ever!

Divorce was becoming the great American pastime. She was just one more casualty that May. There were lots of casualties – her kind and the “advisors” in Viet Nam. It was a time of commitment and she was supposed to care about the Green Berets, care about the Peace Corps, care about LSD and Timothy Leary, care about so much, but there just wasn’t time. Being a single working mother took all of her hours. Given her choice of trends to lead, this wouldn’t have been it. She and Tony Bennett had both left their hearts in San Francisco. Rod McKuen might think that love had been good to him. She disagreed. Oh well, McDonalds sold 15-cent hamburgers. At least she didn’t have to cook.

JFK was a Berliner at the wall, and Camelot was in full swing. Pope John XXIII died; the world mourned a good man. Fanny Hill fought its way through obscenity trials, while Bob Dylan led the war protesters with “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Martin Luther King had a dream near the Washington Monument – too late for Medgar Evers murdered the previous June and not in time for the four young girls bombed to death in church the following September. The US/USSR hotline was installed, and the “red phone” became a symbol of the unthinkable. Could anything else happen in this crazy year?

Los Angeles baseball fans were in heaven, and Kofax and Drysdale were patron saints! A four game sweep of the World Series had the city pretending it was New Year’s Eve, as confetti and champagne rained down on the heroes! Those beautiful no-hitter bums!

Her child was ten months old now, but for three days he slept almost constantly as if he understood that this was no time for a baby to cry. The tears fell uncontrollably from much older eyes. The drums of November marked a national tragedy. “Where were you when you heard?” would become the question a generation could answer. Kennedy dead and two days later his accused assassin died “live” on TV. On the television: the flag, the riderless horse, and the constant pictures of a nation stunned by grief. She hovered over the sleeping infant, her tears dropping on the blond curls. What have we done to you? What will become of you? Was there any hope left for the world or this new person? They would have to wait and see – together.


For those curious as to “then what happened”, Christopher is now past 53. He retired from the U.S. Army and now lives and works in the state of Washington. He is divorced with two sons. His parents remarried only to divorce again seven years later (another story). He has a sister and two beautiful nieces.

His mother is a retired writer and editor and is still happily single. As with most of the country, she is no longer a sixties liberal and has settled somewhere around fanatically moderate Democratic/Republican: Social issues left, fiscal issues right with more than enough exceptions in between to give anyone political schizophrenia.  This year she is still in  state of denial that Hillary Clinton is not the president elect.  History continues to move on.

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