Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tulips To Turkey.

I’m sure that like most people, you know that Holland is famous for it’s Tulips, don’t you? But did you know that Tulips are not native to Holland at all?

No, Tulips originally hail from eastern Turkey and central Asia and were originally propagated and extensively cultivated by the Ottoman Empire and especially in Istanbul. But an angry uprising in the 18th century saw the demise basically of all of Istanbul’s Tulip gardens, and it is only now that this city of nearly 12 Million people is starting to get its tulips back in a big way as part of a planned drive to remind the world of where tulips first began. Thus a huge Bulb planting program that began three years ago is now blossoming in a sea of red-orange blooms, not to mention the whites and yellows and other colours too!

What about you? Was there something that originated with you once upon a time that you have lost control of and others are now getting the fame and credit for? Have you become lazy and neglectful over the passing of time and now is the time to do something if you want to regain your glory again? Do you, like Istanbul, need to make a planned and extensive action effort to restore your original glory and fame? What say you?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

J. D. Loudermilk.

Just to finish off my recent series on singer/songwriters: Tell me who or what you think the following names all have in common:

Bruce Sprinsteen, Norah Jones, Peter Gallagher, Glen Campbell, Petula Clark, Nancy Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Richard Clayderman, Nina Simone, Sue Thompson, Lou Rawls, Marianne Faithfull, Jewel, Brenda Lee, The Ventures, The Casinos, Nashville Teens, Eddie Cochran, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, Paul Revere & Raiders, Shocking Blue, Eric Burdon & War or The Animals, Box Tops, Frankie Valli, Dobie Gray, Perry Como.

What about? Marilyn Manson David Lee Roth, Jefferson Airplane, Bill Wyman& the Rythem Kings, Tommy Emanuel, Boney M, Status Quo,

Or even: George Hamilton IV, Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, Carl Perkins, Kitty Wells, Chet Atkins, Stonewall Jackson, Bobby Bare, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Waylon Jennings, Flying Burrito Brothers (Gram Parsons), Barbara Mandrell, Eddy Arnold, Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Fardon, John D. Loudermilk, Johnny Tillotson, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Box Car Willie, Garth Brooks, Tony Joe White, Hank Snow, Pat Boone, Duanne Eddy, Roy Orberson Anne Murray, the Byrds, Oak Ridge boys, Crystal Gayle, Lynne Anderson, Lonnie Doniegen, Jimmy Buffet, Hank Williams Jr, Freddie Fender, 5th Dimension, Andy Williams Connie Francis, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Jimmy Dean, Guy Mitchell, Bobby Darin, Rod McKuan, Lee Hazelwood & Ann Margret, Tracy Ullman, Sammi Davis Jr., Doug Kershaw, Roger Whitaker, Jim Nabors, David Hassellhofff

Just so the Aussies don’t feel left out there is also: Johnny Chester, Bobbie & Laurie, Jade Hurley, Wild Cherries, Slim Dusty & Joy McLean, Bee Gees, Frank Ifield,

And finishing off with: James Brown, Solomon Burke, Jim Croce, Don McLean, even Michael Jackson’s Jackson five, and for those South Africans, Leon Schuster.

Before I answer that question, how many of the following songs have you heard and what do they all have in Common?

Turn Me On, Abilene, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, Tobacco Road, Windy and Warm, I Wanna Live, A Rose and a Baby Ruth, Indian Reservation, Break My Mind, Sad Movies, Torture (Coeur Blessé), God Will, The Little Bird, Angela Jones, You Call It Joggin', Bad News, Norman, Amigo's Guitar, Road Hog, Waterloo, This Little Bird, Calling Ben Casey, Language of Love, Paper Tiger, Sittin' In The Balcony, Ebony Eyes, Talk Back Tremblin' Lips, Weep No More, It's My Time, Out Of Gas. -----------------

Well the answer to both questions and the common connection is the Title of this Blog. John David Loudermilk singer and songwriter for the past half-century and still going strong.

Although he has always recorded his own stuff, he hasn’t really had a hit of his own but many of his songs have been either hits or recorded and performed by many, many artists. The ones above are only a few but at least names that I know of. I have left all the more obscure artists off this list.

My focus today is on the fact that although most people today have no idea who J D Loudermilk is, (Or even care), most have heard of either his songs or the people who have recorded them. So although John himself is not famous outside of a select few, his music or talent/gift is. Although he is still with us, he has also left a large and varied body of work to the music world for all to enjoy. From pure comedy songs to sensitive and moving love ballads.

What about you? Your name might be as little known outside of your own circle, as John’s is, but you too can leave something positive behind to your community or group. So when you leave, what will you be leaving behind? A body of work to be enjoyed by later generations, or just a body to be removed and buried AQAP? What say you?

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Ultimate Hamburger And Waste Of Money.

Read in the paper of a Hamburger soon to be available in selected stores in London next month. It will contain Kobe beef from Japan, and will be garnished with Foi gras (a Pate made from Goose Livers) and rare blue Cheese. The only draw back is that this deluxe hamburger is going to set you back about $180 Australian.

I could hardly justify spending that much on one meal, let alone on a crummy hamburger, no matter how special they make it out to be. However I am sure that they will have no shortage of buyers who will be prepared to flaunt their wealth and waste their money, on what after all are only status symbols snack and not even a real meal.

What about you? Are there some things that you have brought, not because you really wanted or needed them, nor thought them good value, but just to show of your wealth or prestige? Do you buy (and live) for prestige or for real need?

Do you look for value and quality and need in what you purchase, or simply spend to flaunt your wealth over other people? If you do need to flaunt your wealth, then you have a major attitude problem, but even then, if you must flaunt your wealth, do so by giving to Charities or other good causes please. Don’t waste it on flashy things that have no real value or satisfy any real physical need, like satisfying Hunger. So if today you feel you have that sort of money to spare that you could buy one of these Hamburgers (Or something equally as senseless), please think again and give the money to Charity, or failing that, to Me! Just kidding on that last bit, but do please spend your money responsibly. Please?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Elvis: The Gospel Singer.

In reply to my blog, ”Elvis: Not original but unique anyway!” I received the following response: ”Hi Walter, Some years ago we went to see an Elvis impersonator who only sang his Gospel songs. At the time he told us that Elvis recorded more Gospel songs than he did rock and roll ones. I'm not sure if this is correct but others have told me that he recorded an enormous number of Gospel tracks so maybe it is correct. Evidently in his younger days he was a very active Christian but that obviously fell away in his later years prior to his death.”

Now I don’t know if it is true whether Elvis recorded more Gospel songs than Rock ones, or whether He was or wasn’t an active Christian. However I do know that before the period that Elvis blasted upon the Music scene and turned the then fledgling Rock scene into the popular World scene, Gospel Music was an important music stream within the then American Music scene.

In fact many of the soon to be household names of the Rock area, like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, were major Gospel stars, before they lost most of their Gospel audience and Market by selling out to the Rock Market Scene and even greater fame. Even Johnny Cash started out trying to record Gospel songs at the beginning of his career. At this distance in time and in Mileage, from the American scene, we don’t quite realize how important Gospel music was and still is, to some people there, as a distinct stand-alone market.

Some choose to stay in Gospel music and relative obscurity, doing and recording what they really wanted, while others took the route of Elvis and Johnny Cash, and moved on to the bigger markets, still doing mostly what they wanted, especially in Johnny’s case, less so in Elvis’ case.

As to who is right, I will leave it up to you to decide, but money, fame, and financial success is not the be all and end all that you might at first suspect. Some have gone that route, only to regret it.

What about you? Are you happy where you are or do you wish to move on up and over to bigger markets? Whether that is right for you, only you can decide, but when you read or learn about the personal lives of Both Elvis and Johnny cash, one can only wonder whether they both may not have been happier with less success but more control over their lives. What say you?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

VFL Park Waverly And You.

When we first joined our current church, it was in the throes of Change due to a decline in attendees. So much so, that soon after we joined, it was evident that they/we could not afford to maintain the property properly, and so the painful decision was made to sell the property and move onto a rented Hall for the time being. Although that was very painful and upset a few people among us, the Property was sold to another Church group, and we, as a congregation were able to move on and are now into our second year there in the Hall, and doing fine, although I ‘m sure we could always find a seat for you if you wish to join us anytime.

What happened to our Church is neither new nor unique. It happens in all forms of Life too.

I was reminded of this as I pondered on the changes in Australian Rules Football here in its home base of Melbourne during my lifetime. They are currently celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the first Game of ”Aussie Rules” football in the world being played here.

Despite what some unkind people imply, I was not around then but only since the 1950’s and only really getting into “Footy” in the mid 60’s. At that time one Kenneth G Luke and others of like mind were in charge of the then Victorian Football League (whose 12 Teams all were within Melbourne or surrounds, with the furtherest being 40 odd Miles away).

It was KG’s dream for the VFL have to have their own Ground and base in Melbourne and so land was bought at Waverly and finally VFL Park was built and opened. At that time, although the name indicated it was the Victorian Football league, the real focus was on Melbourne as the Mecca of the Game. With the passing of KG and his generation, a new generation arose who had their focus on spreading the game from a local to National Game and so soon there was a move to move existing Clubs interstate and finally to create new clubs there, so that there are now 16 clubs, (2 more in the pipe-line) with at least one Club in 4 States other than Victoria. Thus the name was changed to the Australian Football League (AFL) to cover this change from Victorian Football to Australian Football.

Somewhere along this process, to the great disgust and dismay of many, the decision was made to abandon the VFL Park Ground at Waverly and sell it off. The Ground and sporting Facilities themselves still remain and are enjoyed by the surrounding Community, but much of the remaining property was sold off for Housing Development. So the Ground itself remains, but the purpose has changed.

A bit like with our old Church property and us. The old premises that we could not maintain, were sold to another Church who could, and is now being maintained as it should; and we, as a congregation, are still continuing but in a different place and way.

What about you? Have you long held dreams that finally came to fruition, only now to find that the time has again come to let go and move on again? Not necessarily to let all that has happened be destroyed and go to waste, but to allow it to blossom and bloom under others but perhaps in a different way to what you first imagined. Are you stuck in the past, or prepared to build on the work of others who came before you but to perhaps take it into a slightly different direction to that first envisaged, like how KG Luke and Co’s, view for VFL Park differed from those who followed? Over to you for comment!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Once again we came to ANZAC Day, the day when we remember the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, under British command on Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on April 25th 1915.

The landing at Gallipoli was part of a campain to force Germany’s ally, Turkey out of World War One. Unfortunately that never happened and after 8 months of little progress and great loss of life on both sides, the ANZACs were evacuated in December of the same year.

Even though it was a defeat, it was a time when the ANZACs came of age as a fighting force, and that event has became a part of both nations common heritage. A time to look back on with pride. Not to dwell on the defeat there, but to honour and celebrate the courage, endurance and discipline, not to mention mateship of the two countries’ troops.

Even 83 years on, this day is a public Holiday in Australia, and remembered with Great pride. Sure some just use the Holiday without much regard to its origins, but rather than its importance dying out with the old soldiers, the event itself is becoming more and more imbedded in the youth of today, with many regarding a trip to Gallipoli on the day itself, as a right of Passage of sorts.

How do you look at your defeats? Do you tend to forget them and all the lessons learned from them, both the good and bad, or do you use the lessons learned from your mistakes, to build a better and brighter future on? Are you ashamed of your failed attempts or proud that you at least tried and gave it your best shot? (Sorry about the unintended pun there!) What say you?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Shane “Kenny” Jacobson’s Success Story.

Shane Jacobson is currently appearing at the Princess theatre in a stage presentation of “Guys and Dolls”, and currently is considered hot property on both stage and film, ever since he came out of no-where to star in the Movie “Kenny”, and become another overnight success. But? Did he really come from out of nowhere? No! Shane long harboured and nourished His acting talents, starting out with the Scouts Gang Shows way back in his youth. , Theatre -restaurant slapstick, and playing warm up man to others, and MC'ing wherever he could all followed in his attempts to make it in the industry. For years doors slammed in his face, as he became another journeyman working on the margins, addressing corporate lunches, inventing radio characters and singing at weddings; doing what he could to stay in the business, even if only on the fringes.

He also worked at other things to keep the money coming in; jobs such as managing a lighting and production company; and through this work, became friends of a toilet delivery company manager. Yep. The same one who put up the money to film the Movie “Kenny”! So never despise those who do ‘dirty “ jobs. You never know who may be the one to help you in your time of need, do you?

No Shane didn’t just burst on the scene as an overnight success but had long been there on the fringes practising and honing his skills and abilities doing everything that was available to further his experience and exposure. Do we do the same? Do we make the most of every opportunity?

Do we seek out each and every opportunity? Are we prepared to work and work hard at our desired gaol or do we expect it all to be dumped in our laps without us even asking? If you really think that, sorry and welcome to the real world were you have to work hard and take and make every opportunity work for you.

Again, what about you? Are you really prepared to get down and dirty and do the hard yards, not waiting but working, towards your future successes? Will you make the most of every opportunity even the unlikely ones? Well will you? Over to you for your input now. Walter

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Eye Test.

Went to have my Glasses upgraded recently. Technically I went for my annual eye test, but I could already see (Pardon the pun! Actually couldn’t see that well, was the problem.) that I needed some stronger help. Actually the doctor had a good news, bad news scenario for me. The bad news being that the left eye definitely needed boosting while the good news was that the right eye had barely changed at all. Now to you, that may have been good news, but as I have known for over 45 years now, that my right eye was considerably weaker than my left eye and still is it, was of no real cheer.

When I was around 8 or 9, there was an eye test conducted at our school and I failed. Thus had to have further tests done at The Royal Children’s Hospital. There they discovered that I had a lazy eye and that it was then too late to do anything about it, except to live with it. So I did and never needed to get glasses till I was in my early 40’s and then mainly for the small print although there was also a minor problem with long-range vision too and so I got a pair of multifocal lenses.

When I was in my mid-20’s I also had my eyes checked again because I thought I had a problem with the vision in my right eye, but the specialist then said that although the vision in my right eye was weaker than my left there were many, many people who would be happy to have the sort of vision I had in my right eye, in both theirs compared to what they had then.

The weakness never really caused me any noticeable problems even now but I guess I really became aware of the weakness in my right eye a couple of months after my 18th Birthday when I went for my driver’s licence.

In those days, you made an appointment at your local Police Station, rocked up on the day, answered some questions. If you got that right, you did an eye test and if you got that right, you did a practical test on the road with the Policeman beside you, (actually Mum was beside me and the Policeman in the Backseat!) And if you got that right, you drove home with your own provisional Licence.

Well when I came to the eye test, I covered my left eye first and struggled with the eye chart quite noticeably. However when the left eye was uncovered and allowed to regain composure and the right eye covered, I breezed through the rest of the test much to the Policeman’s amazement and obvious relief.

The lesson I learnt from that was, that every time from then on in, when I had to take an eye test, was to do the weak one first, and then dazzle everyone with an amazing finish, showing that despite any initial misgivings they might have had, there really was no real problems. In other words I learned to live with and minimize my weakness, by using it to display my strength in the other eye.

What about you? Are you minimizing your weakness and maximising your strengths or the other way around? Never let you your weakness be your handicap, but use it/them to highlight your other strengths. Yes your weaknesses in one area may change your life or limit certain options available to you but learn to live with them, by minimizing them and then using them to maximize your other talents. Others have, as have I, and so can you. Have a great day, despite your weaknesses: Walter

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Steve Forde

Can’t say that I am a fan at all of Steve Forde (Formerly of Steve Ford and the Flange). Yet despite, (or because of,) my lack of support, Steve is now an up and coming Australian Country Music Star. However that wasn’t always so and he had to work very hard at it, even to financing his own early recordings. He's since gone on now to become one of Australia's leading live acts and is among the most recognised personalities on the Country Music Channel here in oz. He's also helped establish a number of festivals and has been acknowledged for introducing a younger demographic of fans to country music, according to some in the industry.

That’s now. However, when Steve started out, everyone in the business shut the door on him, so he went out and created a career on his own. He financed his own albums, wrote his own songs and even started building his own stages to perform on - stages which other leading acts now also use.

I saw an excerpt on TV of how he designed his own Touring Bus complete with an Hydraulic stage, making touring and performing just that so much easier to do, with only himself in mind, to make things easier for a one man band situation. As such it was an innovation and an innovation that others also wanted access to because of its success and ease.

So much so that other artists started asking if they could hire his Bus for themselves.

What would you do if that happened to you? Tell them where to go, or hire it out to them?

Well Steve took a lateral take on the last option. He hired it out to other artists, complete with a free opening act. Himself.

So everyone who hired his bus and portable stage, hired Steve too as their opening act, and thus gave him far greater exposure than he would have got otherwise. Steve used some lateral thinking and benefited from it as well as helping others.

What about you, do you too make every chance a winner? Or do you try and keep the best to yourself, without being able to fully exploit it for your own benifit as well as others.

I may not admire Steve’s music abilities but I admire and champion his initiative in making every point a winner, when and where he can. Again can the same be said about you and me? If not, why not? And what are we going to do about it? Over to you! Walter

Monday, April 21, 2008

Loudon Wainwright 111.

Way back in my slightly miss-spent Youth, I heard a song that caught my attention both for its content and its singer’s name. The song was “Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road “ and was a sizable hit all around the world. So much so that nearly 15 years later (while I was at Bible College,) I heard the Singer was still touring the world, including Australia, on the strength of that one song some 15 years earlier. Now some 20 years later from even that time, I read somewhere recently that he is still going strong in the entertainment world, having recorded some 20 Albums of his own and has had some bit parts in acting in 11 films, (including, Big fish, The Avatar, 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked up). As well as all that, he is currently the Musical Director of the David Letterman Show. So for a man with a funny name and really only one big song to his name he has done all right for himself. Both then and now. Yet still, the name Louden Wainwright the 3rd, is still not that well known out side of his circle of fans, is it? I mean had you ever heard of Him?

In fact, to most people today and especially the young, when you mention Loudon’s surname, they repeat it and say, "Don’t you mean Rufus Wainwright?” To which I reply that, “If I wanted to talk about the son, I would have said so! I am talking about his father!”

Yes, despite his ongoing fame and exposure Loudon is best known these days not for his own success, but for the success of his son (& also his slightly lesser known Daughter, Martha Wainright/McGarrigle. Both singer -songwriters in their own rights!)

What about you? Does this sound familiar to you? You have had success in your own right, but long ago, and even while still being successful now, are being overshadowed even by your own Children or someone that you trained or introduced to the world!

Well learn form Loudon. Enjoy your success when it comes, as he did with ‘“Dead Skunk In The Middle Of the Road “ back in the early 70’s (1972). Milk it for all it’s worth as he did up into the 80’s (and probably still), by touring where he could. Yes indeed do all that, but don’t stay there forever. Loudon moved on, and is now the Musical Director for a popular TV Show. So yes Loudon enjoyed his initial success and turned it into an enjoyable and productive life, and one that he is still enjoying the reflected fruits of! But even more, he is also basking in the knowledge that he has also produced two young people, successful in their own right.

Loudon can bask in both his own success and the success of others. Can the same be said of you and me? Walter

Sunday, April 20, 2008

God/Heater Illustration.

Seeing as though it is a Sunday I thought I would share with you a true illustration I used in a recent sermon of mine.

“Bad Illustration time. I realise that it is not a good illustration to compare God to a Heater, but I hope it gets the message across that we need to make the connection to God before we can get His benefits. Anyway, please bear with this illustration, as bad as it is.

God is a bit like the central heating of our house, with which we had a minor problem with recently. The central Heating System of our house is always there but it is not automatic. If we want its full and proper benefits, we have to first switch it on. When we do, we then can choose whether just to heat a few rooms or the whole house by shutting some rooms off. The experts tell us that we are not supposed to do this, as it is not good for the whole system, yet sometimes we do it anyway, don’t we?

Then, if conditions suit us, we often just don’t bother with the heater at all, do we? Then sometimes after a long period of inactivity, when we decide that we finally want heat and we try to switch it on again at the flick of a switch, we find that the pilot has gone out. And often, like a couple of weeks back in our cold snap, it was with some great difficulty that we have to go through to relight it again and get everything up and running like it should, all because we had not been maintaining the system.

Any of this beginning to sound like how we treat God? We try and restrict Him to only certain parts of our lives and even then call on Him only when we want His help or benefits, yet fail to keep the system operating and then wonder why we have so much trouble reigniting with God again when we try!

There are many wonderful and mighty promises in the Bible, particularly in Isaiah 9; 6 –7, but they are also promises that only God can bring about for as Isaiah 9:7 says,” The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Thus we must remain ever connected to Him, don’t we?”

Yes it is the Lord of Hosts, (God almighty - Emmanuel - Jesus Christ), that will give you all you need for eternal life and peace in this one. All we can do is connect and stay connected to this power through our faith and walk with Christ as laid out in His word the Bible. Will you do that? As shown repeatedly, God has done all that needs to be done, and now all we have to do is to walk in that Connection. Will you? Will you now? If so turn to God in Prayer now.”

Hopefully this will give you pause for thought on this Lord’s Day. If not, hold out for tomorrow’s musings instead. Walter

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Elvis: Not original but unique anyway!

In an earlier Blog (Freddie Bell was no Ding Dong.) about Freddie Bell I mentioned how it was he who introduced Elvis to another way of presenting Mama Thornton’s big hit “Hound Dog.” And thus taking “Black” music over to the wider “White” market. I also mentioned how it is also believed that Elvis copied and perfected Freddie’s’ energetic stage Performance too.

This started me pondering about Elvis, who according to many, but definitely not my brother-in-law, was not really a good singer but rather more of an average “Belter” of songs, when it came to his delivery style – definitely no Sinatra there!

So, my question is, if Elvis was not original with his style of Music, nor his selection of songs, nor his stage delivery, nor even his singing style; what was it that made him so unique and so popular.

Let’s face it, there are many singer’s today touted as the new or latest “King”, The new Elvis” or some such tag, and some at one time or another even touted as greater than Elvis, but are soon now largely forgotten, while Elvis still "Sings” on long after his physical demise, doesn’t he? So again what made/makes Elvis unique, if not his originality?

Whilst Elvis was not the first nor the best, he was able to take all the best from others before him and craft both his weaknesses and strengths into one whole package and present it to the world as his own, even if it wasn’t all original or unique to himself.

What about you today? Can you learn from Elvis? , Can you too, like Elvis observe and adopt, and adapt from others? Can you not also craft both your weaknesses and strengths into one whole working package, and then present it to the world as uniquely your own?

This last is as important to the others. Even when Elvis had his package ready, he still had to market to the world. He still had to get out there and presents it to the World.

I know that it is hard to believe after seeing Elvis on the big stages, that some of his first performances were at fair grounds of the back of a truck, like many before him and many after him and like many today.

So, if you have Dream, Follow that dream, like Elvis did. (Sorry, Pun unintended originally.) Not just follow, but pursue that dream actively & passionately. Get your package together first by all means, but then go out and market it wherever and whenever you can. The markets don’t normally come to you first. You have to go to them first. What say you? What can you do now to present your own particular gifts and talents to the world? Walter

Friday, April 18, 2008

Merle Haggard’s Wayward Youth.

In recent Blogs I have mentioned my admiration for the music and success of Merle Haggard, since the late 60’s, when I first became aware of him and his music.

That is not to say that I admire everything about the man however. In fact there is much not to like about his past! However he overcame his wayward youth and used it to full advantage in his later musical career.

I remember reading in an old book about him (late in the 80’s) that there was a Book called “America’s 19 Dumbest Crooks” (?) It was so popular that they put out a second Volume. Guess who made it into the second volume?

It seems having taken to the booze and crime, Merle and a buddy as young delinquents, decided to break into a restaurant in the middle of the night. However being so drunk that they mixed up the time, they “broke in” while the restaurant was still open and of course got caught red handed and muddle-brained. He ended up spending time in prison for it. During his time in prison he became a member of their county Band. Not with any genuine enthusiasm, but initially just out of boredom; however was eventually really inspired to take it up as a carer, when Johnny Cash performed there.)

Later he cleaned up his act and became a singer songwriter to quite some success, but his real success came later when he started writing songs that including a lot of material from his misspent youth and alcoholic ways.

Of course not all written in his songs is the whole truth, but rather based on truth and elaborated on to fit the song and theme. As he himself has supposedly said, “I didn’t turn 21 in Prison doing life without parole (As stated in his song, "Mama Tried;) but you have to admit it sounds better than, "Turned 21 in prison doing 9 to 16 for Grand larceny!” (Which He did.)

So Merle was finally able to overcome his wayward past and eventually use the knowledge gained form it to his own advantage, to set himself up in life.

What about you? Yes you may have had, or still have for that matter, a lousy past, but you can get past it. You may need help, (Mother like with Merle, or other family, or medical or other professional help) and inspiration (Johnny Cash), but it can be done and like Merle, you to can use some of the lessons and experiences of your past to help you, and even others, to move on to a successful and fulfilling life. Can’t you? What say you?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Merle Haggard and George Jones. 11/4/2008

In my recent blog, “Merle Haggard, who’s she?” I mentioned that I admired Merle greatly and that he would be high, very high indeed among my most favourite singers, along with some other “Singer/songwriters, even when their singing (Like Merles) is not the purest I have heard.” Yes Merle’s voice is not the purest in my humble opinion, but he uses it to its full advantage on the songs he both sings and writes.

Another of the same era and of similar, if slightly lesser stature in Country Music’s Hall of Fame is George Jones. George is also still around, and performing. George however never quite received the same exposure on Australian/Melbourne Radio as Merle in his younger days. Thus although I had heard of him I had never really heard George Jones as such that I would have known his music or singing style. Sure heard of Him, but not knowingly heard him. This changed a few years back when I saw a cheap Cassette of his Greatest Hits for sale for 50 cents. Which I brought, only because he had two of Merle’s songs on it and I wanted to hear how they sounded coming from someone else other than the writer, who always in my humble opinion, has the edge.

Well listening to the Tape I found I quite liked George’s singing (and now have a couple of His CD’s. Yes! Only Greatest Hits! And Cheapie’s too!). However, listening to George, I was taken by two things. First his voice was much clearer and purer than Merle’s and quite enjoyable. Yes quite enjoyable, when he didn’t sing Merle’s songs, that is! On Merle’s two songs, a pure sweet singing voice was inappropriate and completely out of place. It really did need a gravely voice to sing a gravely song like Merles two there.

So although I like and admire the talent of both singers, Merle is high up there in my pantheon of top singers, but George would be lucky to make my top 50 of all-time favourites.

The lesson in this is not to be too occupied by being the purest and best but to always give your best and in everything put your whole heart and soul into it.

So don’t always go for the purest and sweetest*, but go with what is appropriate for the task you want it to perform. What say you?

* Having implied that their voices were like Chalk and Cheese, you might like me, be surprised to learn that they have produced an album of Duets together during their careers. Unfortunately I have not heard any tracks from it to say how they blend together.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Merle Haggard, who’s she?

I love it when people ask me who my favourite Singer is. Not that I actually have just one favourite singer, but because although that often changes from time to time depending on mood and who I have recently been listening to,* I often, for fun say either Merle Haggard or occasionally Gene Pitney, and invariably I get the response, “Who‘s she, never heard of her!”

Well for those of my generation I’m sure you know by now that Gene Pitney was a man and a very, very successful singer songwriter of the 50’ & 60’s.

For others of the same generation, but not into American Country Music, Merle is also a man and among the top half dozen recording stars of his Genre, and still touring in the States even as I write this.

I first heard Merle back in the late 60’s when my oldest brother encouraged me to listen to his then latest Album** which was getting played quite a bit on Commercial Radio in Melbourne at the time, and along with my brother have been a fan of his ever since, even if few others in this country have ever heard of him!

Three questions for you today. Have you heard of Merle? If you hadn’t what was your first reaction to the word “Merle”? And finally, do you often make assumptions or predictions based on just hearing a word or a name? Such as the assumption that “Merle” must be women, as you have never heard of another male with that name. Well not all female sounding names, are female are they?

As well as Gene Pitney (often heard as Jean), there is also that well known, but now late, manliest of all he-man actors Marion Morrison too, isn’t there? Well okay I have to admit here, that he changed that to something else didn’t He? Any one tell me who to?

Anyway don’t always jump to conclusions at first hearing. Allow people and facts to reveal themselves fully before making final conclusions.


*I would probably have a dozen, maybe even 20, including Merle, I could name as among my best, without ever coming to a final, final decision. (Probably, no I most definitely have a bias towards singer/songwriters, even when their singing (Like Merle's) is not the purest I have heard.

** Merle Haggard, Live from Muskogee and Philadelphia. (Which in essence, was a greatest hits (till then) album.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Bit Of A Feliciano Fan.

As Teenager in the mid to Late 60’s I grew up with that music and of the decade before. It was a period of many and varied styles of music and so when Jose Feliciano burst on to the scene with his own style of Music, he fitted in quite well with that scene.

Although it is only recently that I have gotten around to actually buying a CD of his, and a “Best of at that!” I have always been interested in his more famous songs. Whilst not totally into his style of singing completely, I have always greatly admired his guitar playing and resilience.

Although long from the charts now, his early hits of “Light my Fire”, “High heeled Sneakers” and his own "Feliz Navidad", which comes out every Christmas, made him so well known that he still tours the world today playing “His” Music and is currently in Australia. No, I don’t plan to go see him, but was interested to read that he is currently celebrating his 52nd year in Show biz. Not bad when you consider that he is only 62 to start with, is it. Not bad for the 4th son of 11 Children born in Puerto Rico, but raised in New York is it? Even more impressive when you learn that he was born blind? He learnt to play the Guitar by spending up to 14 hours a day playing while listening to pop records.

How did he succeed? He knew he was different and he used those factors for good and got on with doing what he liked.

In His words, “ I knew what I wanted to do. I guess I was a different type of kid. A lot of kids don’t know what they want to do when they are teenagers, let alone at nine. I didn’t know I would become famous, but I knew music was something I wanted to get involved in. I knew where I wanted my life to go, and I went. I haven’t stopped.” He is also known for his wicked sense of Humour and is often playing up to peoples consciousness of his blindness, like when he goes into a restaurant with his sunglasses on and the waitress asks if he would like to see the Menu now? He always replies with, “Lady, I’d like to se anything!”

However my favourite ait the moment is his response to why he plays a guitar. “ The Guitar? Because it’s portable. Have you ever seen a pianist try to serenade women at her window with a piano?”

I don’t know about you but I think his attitude to learning and his sense of humour are a couple of big reasons he has been so successful. He has worked hard to get where he has, and he has learned to take the hard knocks with a laugh and not to take himself too seriously and even to laugh at himself.

What about you? Like me, you were/are probably a lot older than nine when you worked out what you want a do, but having done that, you still need now to work at it and practise, practice, practise, and when you have done that, practice some more. All the time taking the knocks and learning from them and even using them to perfect your craft. The questions are, are you prepared to work for your goal and take the bad with the Good, or just sit there and complain how tough your life has been? Likewise are you going to use your problems for sympathy or laugh at them like Jose? Your choice!

My response to the question of whether I intend to just sit here and moan and complain, is a resounding and pun intended, “NO WAY JOSE!”

Monday, April 14, 2008

Steve Miller Band.

Bob Miller was a well-known professional Musician in America around the middle of last century, and later past on his talent and love of performing to his son Steve, who went onto even greater fame in the early 70’s. Although a more than accomplished Musician, singer and songwriter, Steve wasn’t all that original or creative when it came to naming his band, finally giving it the simple moniker of “Steve Miller Band”. (After first being called, “The Steve Miller Blues Band!)

As stated above he/they were fairly successful in their time too and they had 5 big records that got considerable Australian airtime back in their prime. (Take the money and Run”; “Abracadabra”; “Rockin’ Me”. “The Joker”; Jet Airliner), plus and another better known for being later covered by Seal, called. “ Fly like an Eagle”)

Anyway, the other day I came across and bought a CD titled; ”Steve Miller Band, Young Hearts, Complete Greatest Hits.” Which had those 6 songs and another 17 that I had never heard before. Anyway playing it I was pleased with the original half dozen, but not particularly taken by the rest. Even my wife replied that she didn’t think that much of it when I played it in my car CD Player. However I left it in there and a few days later I found my wife bopping along to one of the songs that she at first said she didn’t like. When challenged she said that it was starting to grow on her. I knew what she meant! I too was starting to get a feel for some of these other songs as they too were starting to grow on me after a while.

Now I know that not all things that start to grow on you are necessarily good, but I couldn’t help wondering if there were other things in life that I may have missed out on because I never gave then a fair trail to start with.

I hasten to add right here, that I am not actually encouraging you to go out and buy a Steve Miller Band CD! It hasn’t grown on me that much! But maybe there are some things in your life that you too need to either give another go to, or at least give them a fair go to start with? What say you?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Freddie Bell was no Ding Dong.

Ever heard of Freddie bell? Might help if you grew up in the 50’s and was into Rock ’n’ Roll!

Freddie started his own group in the very early 50’s and called them the Bell Boy’s, and their one seminal hit everywhere but his native America, was a ditty written by himself called “Giddy up a Ding Dong”. (Although about a horse, it was also another parody on his name!)

Freddy and the boy’s were never that big in America and ended up being a main stay in Vegas. Even after they broke up in the mid 60’s, Freddie played Vegas himself right up into the 1990’s. As well he and the Bellboys appeared as themselves in the 1956 Movie “Rock around the Clock” plus a couple of other Music based films later.

Apart from Freddie’s own personal success, his Group in 1957 became one of the first American rock and roll acts to tour the UK. They began in 1952 and were one of the first white groups to play the R&B hits of the day, and honed their act in the Midwest before landing a booking at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. It was there that they were seen by Elvis and the King was impressed enough by Freddie’s Vegas performances of Hound Dog. So much so, that he famously covered the song (Thereby drowning out Freddie’s cover of it) and took it to number one in the US charts. It has also been suggested that Freddie’s energetic stage presence was another influence on Presley.

It is rather ironic isn’t it, that despite his own person achievements, Freddie is most remembered today, if at all, as the man who introduced Elvis to Hound dog, and not for his own many other achievements

Despite His lack of international or even American wide success, Freddie had a long and sustained career doing what he loved most. Can the same be said about you?

Or are you still stewing over lost opportunities and might have-beens? Whatever the past, it is just that, the past. Now is now, and now is the time to move on! Forget what might have been and move on to what is now available to you and make the most of it and enjoy all the success that you do have. Don’t miss out on any thing simply because your mind is still in the past and unable to enjoy the now. Freddie, as my title indicates, was no Ding Dong, so don’t you be either. He made the most of his situation, so you do the same and have a great life: Walter

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My introduction to the Music of the 50’s & 60’s.

Although I spent all my teen years in the 60’s and enjoy that music greatly, I also lived in a generation that was still enjoying the best of the “56 Rockers”. (Who changed and influenced the music world so greatly.) So although I was a generation later than many of these artists at their peak, I still got to enjoy the best of their Music. In fact if you were to look at my old Record collection and now CD collection, you will find mostly “Greatest Hits” and “ Best Of “ albums among my collection and very few original Album releases.

One reason for this is that often I like particular songs and not particular artists per se’ and so a “Best Of” or “Greatest Hits” Album, gives me “all” from them that I really like, and not a lot of songs that I don’t particularly like. For that reason I also like compilation Albums/CD’s with the best songs of various artist. (My collection has a lot of those too!)

My children on the other hand, tend to buy artists they like and first releases too, rather than wait for "Best Of's", etc, like their dear old Dad, hence they pay full price for them. Me, I buy the cheaper ones, hence they are always complaining that although I started buying CD’s after them, I still have twice as many as them. I try and tell them that although I may have twice as many, I only paid half as much or less for mine.

Also if you were to look at my collection, there would be very few names familiar to most people today, as I still prefer the music of my youth, to most of that available today. Even when I hear an old song re-covered today, I still tend to prefer the original, best.

What about you? Are you happy with the “Golden Oldies” of your youth (whatever that might be) or are you continually looking for the new, all the time.

Sometimes when I listen to some of the old songs, I may shake my head and wonder why I used to love that particular song so much then but now find it so trite! So, I am not saying that all that is old is good, nor am I saying that all that is New is bad, but is the new always worth the extra cost to buy, particularly when oft times, it is simply the old re-packaged, or should I say “Re-mixed”, which seems to be the Buzz word in the music industry theses days? What say you? Walter

Friday, April 11, 2008

Buying Gifts for friends.

In a response to my Blog on “Why Buy Expensive Toys”, where I mentioned that Little Ones often appreciated the simpler things over the more expensive and complicated ones, I received a comment about buying gifts in general for other people, not necessarily kids, where the point was made that we often buy things for others, and often quite expensive ones, that we would like for ourselves.

And I believe that in general this is quite true, but it can also be quite dangerous if our friends don’t happen to like what we like and this got me to wondering just how well we do know most of the people we buy gifts for. This is actually quite relevant for us at the moment as we have an engagement party coming up for a relative that we have only seen a couple of times in the past 20 years because of distance and other things.

So my query today is, just how well do we know our family and friends? Well enough to pick a present that they would genuinely love, or just well enough to buy them a present we would love? Over to you for comment here. Walter

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Are You Building?

Recently received an e-mail about a housewife and mother of 3, who was feeling a bit depressed about how her life had turned out when compared to the lives of some of her more “successful” former classmates.

“One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'”

What the lady didn’t realise but her friend did, was that she too was building mighty works of architecture in the form of her own family. And like none of us today have much of a clue as to who built many of these old Cathedrals of Europe, many don’t acknowledge the silent ones who have made mighty monuments out of their children by bringing them up properly and with Love.

What about you are you feeling a bit of an underachiever, unloved, and unappreciated in what you are doing now, seeing it as unimportant and unnoticed?

If so take a lesson from this lady and from the Cathedrals of Europe and keep on giving your best as you are building and creating your own special and unique monuments, (Whether it be your children or some other project,) even if only a few close and observant people, or no one, notice. Your work will not go unnoticed or unappreciated for ever. So when feeling a bit down or discouraged, don’t be; and don’t give up, just keep on keeping on and build those monuments that may take many, many years to be fully appreciated. Walter

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Biggest selling Cookbook of 2007.

If you are into Harry potter and Books you will not be surprissed to learn that the last Book in that series to be released, was the biggest selling International Book last year. But would you believe that in the number two position of that category was a self published Cookbook by two unknown Queensland cooks and housewives? (Rachael Bermingham & Kim McCosker).

These two ladies, against the advice of all the professionals, self-published their own little cookbook because no one else would. It is not a fancy book and in fact its biggest boast is that every dish in their book contains no more than 4 ingredients.

In fact that is its Name “4 Ingredients”, and each recipe uses everyday ingredients, only a few measures, a basic method and just four ingredients. As busy working mums they didn’t have time for fancy cooking and so were looking for something simple and when they couldn’t find one started to compile their own, that would suit their time, talent, family and budget.

Not being able to find a publisher did not deter them and they published the first 2,000 copies themselves and started flogging them, themselves to all and sundry including local bookshops. The first run print soon sold out and more was required and printed. Now some 420, 000 sales later (in just 12 months) they are both millionaires and working on their second Book.

What about you? Have you ever had to come up with your own inventions or creations because no one else has, but that is as far as they have gone because no one, including yourself, has had the required faith needed to push that idea out into the wider market? These two ladies had ago because they believed in what they had, even if the ”Money men” didn’t and were prepared to get behind it themselves, even if they did wisely in my opinion, start off modestly small in the number printed and went from there as the market dictated. It worked for them and may even work for you. Unfortunately I don’t have a product of my own to sell to the world, but maybe you do and maybe you can both learn and take inspiration from these two ladies, who by the way are not the first to go down the self-publishing route. Of course most aren’t as successful as them but at least their work is out on the market. What say you? Walter

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Apple A Day.

Remember the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away"? Seems we all remember these old sayings but how much store do we put in them? And even should we put any store in them? It seems like every day we are encouraged to forget the old and buy the newest and latest thing, aren’t we? Whether it be Technology, gadgetry, or even food products themselves. But should we willy-nilly accept all these things by throwing out the old?

It seems that antioxidants are the latest thing to be acquired for good health theses days and people can’t get enough of them; and if you want more of these antioxidants, then Blueberries are even better for supplying them than Tea. However, did you know that one single apple has one and a half times the antioxidants of a 75g serving of Blueberries; and more than twice the amount of a cup of tea?

“The Apple Report, a review of scientific research published over the past 10 years has found apples are one of the only foods to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers – two of the biggest causes of death in Australia*.”

It also reported that on average “Australians eat an apple a week but if everyone ate just one more serve of fruit or vegetables every day, more than a $150 million a year would be saved on healthcare costs for cardiovascular disease alone.”

My memory may not be that great, but I am pretty sure that is what my Primary School Teacher uses to try and teach us, way back then. But like thew apple a day saying, is seems to have gotten lost in the intervening years, only to now being rediscovered and touted as the next great revolution in Cardiovascular care or prevention.

I can’t help but wonder what other “old” things will soon be “rediscovered” and touted as a “wonder-helper” of some kind or another. As I think on this I am pondering what other “old forgotten” things that I can remember and put into action in my own life right now. Any suggestions. Walter

(*Reported on P.8. Herald Sun Melbourne. 7/4/2008)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Are you becoming another Robert Mugabe?

Although I have only passed through Zimbabwe, (very briefly) a couple of times and not actually lived in (only the country next door), I thus cannot speak as an expert on the subject of Robert Mugabe. However, I have followed his and Zim’s fortunes a bit in the last 20 years or so, and it would appear that although he has been President for the last 28 years, it seems that he has hung around about 20 years too many.

From what I have gathered over the years, his first couple of terms as President were fairly good and had he left the Presidency then and retired to a quite life, somewhat like Nelson Mandela in next door South Africa did after one Term, Mugabe would probably still be remembered today with much affection and may be even missed. However by staying on too long, he has blotched his record irretreivablely now.

What about you? Are you in a similar situation where it is really time you moved on for everyone’s sake, but you are reluctant to do so because you like the perks of the present situation? I truly believe that each one of us has unique and important gifts that we can bring to a group or organization; but also that there is a time limit as to how long the group or organization benefits from our contributions and sometimes, like in Zimbabwe’s situation with Robert Mugabe, everyone starts to suffer.

What about you now? Have you contributed all that you can and now it would be to everyone’s advantage for you to leave the scene gracefully and not have to be dragged kicking and screaming like seems to be the situation in Zimbabwe?

What say you? Will you leave at the right time and leave a lasting legacy of your time there, or will your time there be remembered, not for all the good that you initially achieved, but for the hardship that you caused, all because you stayed past your prime time for them? What say you?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rameses 2 and You.

Was reading an Archaeological journal* and came across the following statement about Rameses 2. (Whom many believed was the Pharaoh of Moses’ time. Others believe it was his son, Merenptah. Yet others believe Rameses2 left no heirs, so I don’t really know!)

Anyway, here is the quote about Rameses 2, who definitely ruled Egypt sometime: “ Rameses 2 was the greatest pharaoh who ever ruled Egypt, if you listen to what Rameses said. It is true that he built a lot of temples, erected many obelisks, and had a lot of statures of himself made, but he only really fought one major battle and he nearly lost that at Kadesh. Nevertheless he made the most of it recounting the battle at length in his inscriptions on the walls of his temples.”

Sounds like a guy I once knew. Another friend said about this Guy: “He gets so tired from patting himself on the back that he is too tired to do anything else!”

What about your achievements? Are they so small that you feel that you have to tell every one about them, just to build them and yourself up, but then have no time to do anything more of real significance?

I once heard a cutting comment about the difference between two people, (one the Father in-law of the other). “The First was always talking about what He was going to do, while the other is always talking about what he has actually done.”

Which are you? The one who is always talking or the on who is always doing first then talking? There is nothing wrong in being proud of your achievements. Just that it helps if you first have something decent to talk about. Again what about you? Are you a “Gunna” or a “Dunna”? What say you? Walter

(* “Diggings” Oct 2007. Vol. 24,m No 10 ISSN 1320-4424)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Monkees revisited.

I mentioned that I recently watched a program called, “The Making of the Monkees”, in my blog, Don Kirshner & The Monkees. There I mentioned that Don Kirshner believed in the Bubble Gum formula of selling millions of records. That is music that was light and almost meaningless lyrics* with fluffy beats to it, and that was why he was giving the commission of creating what is now regarded as the first “Boy Band” ever, the Monkees. A good looking group put together of 4 young wannabe actors almost off the street, with the sole purpose of looking good on TV and selling lots and lots of records and other merchandise. Which they did for a while until their final acrimonious parting form Kirshner, where the Monkees and Don each went their own separate ways.

It seems as well as having an eye for a formula that sold millions of records to Teenagers; Don Kirshner had one other talent too! That of keeping the Monkees united. Sadly, it was only united against him, and when he left and the boys were left with their own creative freedom, freedom that they had fought so hard for, they started to turn on each other.

Up till then, they had been united within themselves against a common enemy. Yes, while Don was still around, they had a common enemy and they united around one of them in the fight against him, but when that common enemy was finally dispatched, they started turning against one another.

Sounds very typical of life in general doesn’t it when you get a group of diverse people together, for a common purpose? As long as there is a common enemy or a single prominent goal, there is no problem and all are united. But without a common goal or focus, the once united group starts to, (usually slowly at first,) disintegrate, unless another common goal can be found and fast it seems.

Is that how it is with you at the moment? You have lost your focus or common goal and have become somewhat bitter and in danger of fragmenting? I have no quick and easy solution for you. Only for you to just stop for a moment and rethink things through again. Maybe you can regain that common goal and focus again and continue on. Maybe you can’t and you have to go your separate ways. But if so, just remember not all of the Monkees were able to quickly find their focus in life. Some did immediately and some only just recently nearly 30 years down the track, and at some great personal cost too! Are you prepared to pay that cost, or are you really far better off where you are now? Only you can answer that question. Consider carefully and wisely: Walter.

{*For examples, try: “Yummy, Yummy, (I have love in my tummy)” by “Ohio Express”; “Simon says” by “The 1910 Fruit Gum Company” and of course, “Sugar, Sugar” By “The Archies”.}

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Don Kirshner & The Monkees.

Recently we went in to the city for our Last-Born’s graduation which I have already told you about in “Graduation again.” In a following blog, “Lost IN Melbourne On A Rainy Night, I told of our trip home. Because of this delay in getting home, we were a little late to watch a show on TV about “ The Making of the Monkees”. However what we did see brought a few thoughts to my mind.

Although not really into the Monkes when they first arrived on the scene, I never did object to a little “Bubble Gum “ music every now and then, including some of their earlier stuff.

However it seems the Monkees themselves were never really keen fans of Bubble gum Music and were often fighting with their producer Don Kirshner as to what music they should release.

Don Kirshner believed in the Bubble Gum formula and selling millions of records, which his formula did. In fact that was why he was giving the commission of creating what is now regarded as the first “Boy Band” ever. A good looking group put together with the sole purpose of looking good on TV and selling lots and lots of records and other merchandise. Even when there was an acrimonious parting of the ways with the Monkees, Don proved his point when he went on to create a purely fictitious group called the Archie’s (who were just then nameless backing musicians,) and had more number One hits with them.

The Monkees however continued on for a while in their own right and way, and performed their own style of music and still had hits but they were not quite as successful. So who was right? Well if you were to ask both parties now, which the program did, you will find that both parities still believe that they were and still are right. And both are. For themselves, just not for each other, that is.

You see unlike most groups, where people come together almost homogenously*, the Monkees were just four guys almost literally picked off the street and given a producer and a formula to follow. They were never given any say or input into what they did or even looked like. At first that was fine but when they became big, they wanted a say in where their lives were heading and some control over how they got there and started to speak out.

It is true that they may have been even bigger or lasted even longer, had they stayed harmoniously with Don Kirshner, but none of the four today are complaining too much how their lives turned out because in the end at least, they had control over where their lives went and why.

What about you? Do you have that control over your life? Are you prepared to pay the price to get your goals but then to walk away and do your own thing? And if you don’t have it now, are you prepared to pay the price to get it? Like with the Monkees, it might cost you loss of long-term financial benefits. It might mean a shortening of your time of fame and notoriety in the public eye, etc. So will your inner peace be worth it or can you exist and be happy the way you are now, without change? What say you?

* Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This

ho·mo·ge·ne·ous /ˌhoʊməˈdʒiniəs, -ˈdʒinyəs, ˌhɒmə-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hoh-muh-jee-nee-uhs, -jeen-yuhs, hom-uh-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation



composed of parts or elements that are all of the same kind; not heterogeneous: a homogeneous population.


of the same kind or nature; essentially alike.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lost In Melbourne On A Rainy Night.

Recently we went in to the city in daylight for the evening graduation ceremony of our last –born told in the blog, “Graduation again.” Although we only live about 30kms for the Melbourne GPO, we seldom go any where near the city if it can be avoided and especially at night, even if I did know my way around there a bit, 20 or so years ago.

Anyway, so we went in earlier as we weren’t a 100% sure exactly where the place was and where we would be able to Park. Well we found both places quite easy and while having a little time to spare decided to walk around the block anti-clockwise, as clockwise the car park and the place we were going to were close together. So we went the long way around to fill in a little time, and also bought a paper. When we arrived back at the place we needed I decided to go and put the paper in the car and top up the parking Meter. Well when we drove past the place originally in the car, we didn’t fully realize how far away we parked the car and so not going far enough this time on foot, couldn’t find it at first. Anyway with plenty of time to spare and plenty of daylight, I eventually found where I had parked the car, just a lot further on than we had originally thought. So no real hassles there.

After the Graduation service we came out to a cold and wet drizzly night and had to get to the car as quickly as we could, which we did, and then headed for home, but because of the drizzle and my lately unfamiliarity to the road, I missed the turn off that I should have taken and ended up in Richmond.

Which being a Tiger Supporter wasn’t that bad and the names Swan St and Church Rd were familiar even if the roads themselves were not but having become disorientated by this stage, even when I found a road I knew, I had no idea which way on it I was heading. The interior light in my car was not bright enough for me to read my Street Directory and of course I had left the torch at Home, and it was too wet to stand in front of the headlights. Eventually I was able to pull up outside a Motor bike display room and able to go up to their window under shelter, just to read my street directory and get my bearings again and then turn around and go back on the same road but in the opposite direction till I found the exact road I was originally looking for.

As it turned out, I had eventually stumbled onto the right road but was heading in the wrong direction. Making good time too, just going in the wrong way. That’s all. Fortunately with a bit of strong light and some clear directions I was soon able to correct that situation and not that much later we were both safely home again.

What about you? Do you sometimes start out on a journey seemingly all prepared but leaving something basic (Like a torch) at home? Do you sometimes miscalculate the true distances between objects and miscalculate where you should be at any given time. Do you sometimes miss the right turn off and continue on blindly. Like me making good time but going in the wrong direction?

Or like me also, try and find your way back with out proper direction from the map. Do you too, like me eventually, just have to stop and go to a brighter source of help to get you back on the right track? Are you sometimes making great speed but with no real idea where you are headed or even if it is the right way?

If so what do you do? Keep on blindly going? Or stop and get some advice or help and turn and go the right way. Will you do it, or just keep stumbling on blindly? What say you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy New Year April Fool!

Have you ever gone along and accepted something without ever knowing or caring how it ever came about? For instance I am sure we have all been the butt of an April Fool’s day Joke even if we never pulled one ourselves. And I think I would be pretty safe in saying we have all tried to at one stage or another! But do you know how it all came about and how April first became April Fools day?

It seems that we can blame the Church for this too! Well why not? We seem to blame it for just about everything else. It seems that Pope Gregory way back in the 16th Century caused a little confusion to the world when in1582, he changed the Roman Calender from the less accurate Julian system to the more accurate Gregorian system.

Which was bad enough as the world lost 10days doing this, but what was more confusing was that it moved New Years Day from April First to January 1st.

Then like now, there were a few who would not accept it or had memories like mine and they would forget this change and try and “Party On” on April 1st like before. When they did this, others called them fools and played tricks on them.

According to Wikapedia: ”Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April.”

That apparently is how April fool’s Day came about. Not sure what good that information will do for you, but at least now you know how April Fool’s day came about, don’t you?

So for those who still follow the Julian Callander, Happy New Year!

To the Rest, happy April the first, and watch out for those jokers out there.