Five On Friday: My Blogging Rules For Myself

Have you ever noticed this specific blogging phenomenon known as the “my blog is better than your blog” attitude? I see it often, and it always reminds me of high school interactions or shitty co-workers. These bloggers know everything about everything, and feel the need to troll or spam other bloggers with their arrogant, know-it-all personal attacks.

Some petty little asshat recently got all butthurt over me asking it to respect the boundaries of my blog. Sorry sunshine, you have your own blog. You do your shit your way, and I’ll keep on keeping on doing my shit my way. Because, you know, this is MY blog. I’ve never told you what to write, have I? That answer would be no. So, don’t tell me what to write, m’kay? It’s pretty fucking simple, but even simplicity is far above the heads of some.

With that, here are the five rules that I have for myself when blogging, and have stuck to them from day one…for the most part!

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1. Don’t react to other people’s inane bullshit. What they say isn’t about you – and if it is, it is most likely baseless bullshit. If they don’t know you personally, then what they say is moot.

2. Respect the rules of another’s blog. If you aren’t sure what those rules are, then ask – don’t assume.

3. Don’t jump in the middle of a conversation in the comment sections of other people’s blogs, especially if you really don’t care about the topic being discussed. Saying something just to get attention is weak, and egging others on is pathetic. Let them duke it out verbally. Just grab the popcorn and watch the fun!

4. If you comment, be sure that the comment is about the topic. It makes no sense to mention murder victims on, say, a post about photography or planning a wedding – and yes, I have seen those very comments. It is also a good thing to keep in mind if responding to a person’s comment on a blog which isn’t yours or theirs. Derailing conversations is pathetic.

5. Last, but certainly not least: just have fun! Write, write, and write some more – there are no limits for the truly creative! Some people need prompts or other tips to get ideas, and that’s fine – not everyone is dependent on grade-school level topics. I find that adults tend to appreciate adult things, and ‘Adult’ doesn’t always mean sex-heavy or gratuitous pornography. For me, it means that I will use adult language from time to time!

Those are my personal blogging rules for myself, which spill over into gaming and any other online interaction I might engage in. They’re straightforward, and they work for me. With that, enjoy these three songs to get the weekend started early!

Five For Friday: Gaming Conventions!!!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m ready to do some intense gaming today and over the weekend, which made me think back to September of last year. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know by now that I’m an absolute geek for video and computer games, but had never attended a gaming convention. That changed when the hubster and I attended PAX West in Seattle, Washington! I had so much fun; far more than I expected, and am looking forward to the next time we can go. Conventions offer the opportunity to mix and mingle with programmers, designers, representatives, and gamers galore: pick up some collectibles, t-shirts, or other sweet swag, or sit and game side-by-side with that noob who regularly pwns you in AvA! Conventions are also great places for people to meet others, face-to-face, who have similar interests and are hardcore geeks about those interests. I’m one of those gamers who’s into role-play, cosplay, and LARP (live-action role-play), so I’ve found that conventions are the best places to meet others who are into it as well. I’d rather talk with someone in person, not worry about some strange head-trip being played, or engage in an unnecessary guessing-game online. Far too many people do that already!

Our travels for this year are done for the most part, as budgeting and financing roof repairs has taken top priority, but we’re frugal and will have the money saved again before we know it. So, today’s “Five for Friday” post lists the five gaming conventions, not including PAX West, that I would like to go to in the near future. I listed them in alphabetical order because some days, it’s just the best and easiest way to do it. With that – on with the show!

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1. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): The Electronic Entertainment Expo, referred to by most as “E3,” is one of the premier events for gaming fans around the globe. When the gaming industry began to explode in the mid-90s, the necessity for a trade show for retails became glaringly apparent. The first E3 was held in 1995 and drew more than 40,000 attendees. By 1999, that number had nearly doubled. The most recent E3 was held in Los Angeles and closed its doors yesterday; attendance was over 60,000 people.

2. Emerald City Comicon (ECCC): The Emerald City Comicon, held in my home city of Seattle, just had its 15th event back in March of this year. The legendary Stan Lee was present to mark the occasion, according to the Seattle Times. From the article:

“United in their love of “nerdy things,” nearly 90,000 people are expected to swarm into the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle for the 15th annual Emerald City Comicon, from Thursday through Sunday. They will be coming to breathe the same air as comic-book legend Stan Lee, look at rare, collectibles comics (and perhaps buy some), meet celebrities, hear panelist discussions, cosplay and celebrate among like-minded individuals.

“It’s something I look forward to all year,” said 19-year-old Seattle University student Leah Dooley, who will be wearing three costumes during her fourth consecutive convention. “There’s so many things to look forward to: the costumes, the shopping, the panels, the community of people. Everyone is kind of united over a common love of nerdy things, and it’s a good time.” It’ll be the seventh year in a row for Colleen Mold, of Renton, who first attended in 2010 with her best friend, her best friend’s husband and their newborn son. While not a huge geek herself, attending with her friend’s family has become a tradition she wouldn’t miss.”

I’d say that the attendance of ECCC rivaled that of PAX West 2016!

3. San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC): The San Diego Comic-Con is possibly the oldest of the conventions. It started out as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970, then later became the San Diego Comic Book Convention. Originally it primarily showcased comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film and television, but has since expanded to include a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements from virtually all genres, including horror, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, and video games, to name a few. It has been listed by Forbes magazine as the largest convention of its kind in the world, drawing crowds of 100,000+ over a four-day period. In 2015, the attendance was listed at approximately 167,000.

4. Sakura-Con: This convention is another that isn’t solely about video games, but is centered around another one of my passions – the world of anime and manga. I’ve been into these for about as long as I’ve been into gaming, but am pretty selective about the anime and manga that I consume. It typically offers, amongst other things, anime game shows, anime music video contests, art shows, dances/raves, collectible card gaming, cosplay contests, and Japanese cultural arts presentations including aikido demonstrations, kabuki performances, kendo swordsmanship, and taiko drumming. Sakura-Con also hosts charity events, raising monies for programs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bloodworks Northwest. Definitely an event worth supporting!

5. Twitchcon: I know very little about this convention, other than the fact that you get an awesome, personalized hoodie if you attend! I have my own humble little Twitch channel, which is mostly active on the weekends when I’ve gotten tired of the leveling grind and want to take my frustrations out on others in some nice, competitive AvA action. I’m slowly getting more viewers; each time I get involved in the salty chat on the bi-weekly Bethesda / Zenimax Online TESO broadcasts, I gain at least one new ‘friend’ and one new follower. Progress is slow and steady, which is fine with me! Taking the time to learn about and getting to know people is always best.

5 Friday Faves: “Author! Author!” Edition

LOL – see what I did, there? I used a movie title just to draw attention to this post, which is really about my five favourite writers of fiction! I read quite a bit, and have a long list of writers whom I admire and always look forward to their latest writings. They’re also great in that their older works are worth re-reading from time to time; like a nice, classic outfit, they never really go out of style.

I had to think long and hard about these writers, but was finally able to come up with why these specific five are awesome! I’m not doing a numbered list this time; instead, I have listed them in order by their last names. I’m listing past and present writers, as two people on this list are deceased. With that disclaimer, here we go!

Octavia Butler (22 June 1947 – 24 February 2006): Octavia Butler is still one of my favourite authors, even years after her untimely death. She was a science fiction writer, earning multiple Hugo and Nebula awards for her many excellent books. She was also the first science fiction writer to earn the MacArthur Fellowship, which is nicknamed the “Genius Grant.” I have all of her books, and I think it is time to pull them off of the shelf and give them a re-read! I usually go five years between re-readings, so that the stories are somewhat fresh. One can never have too many books, I think.

Harlan Coben: I happened upon this author when I was browsing the shelves of a bookstore that sold or traded used books. I was looking for some Jonathan Kellerman and Patricia Cornwell books, and since books were listed by genre and alphabetical order (by last name, of course), I saw Coben’s name just ahead of Cornwell’s. The title of one book caught my eye, so I took it along with the other selections that I’d already made – very glad that I did! I love a good mystery / psych-thriller, and his writings are perfect. He sprinkles funny lines in his tales, similar to Stephen King, and does quite well at throwing in unexpected twists that might keep most people guessing until the last page. I don’t think that I have all of his books yet, but I’m certainly working on it!

David Gemmel (1 August 1948 – 28 July 2006): David Gemmell was a phenomenal writer, and I enjoyed his books immensely. His untimely death in 2006 almost spelled the death of a series he was in the middle of working on; fortunately, his wife was able to do it justice and complete the works under a joint authorship. She did quite well, I have to say! I have all of David’s books, and again, must pull them off the shelves and give them another go – starting with Legend, of course.

Stephen King: Stephen King is the author whom I’ve been reading for most of my life. I think that the first short-story of his that I read was the one about the little toy soldiers that come to life and kill the head of a company. I was eight when I read it, then was re-introduced to his writings in 6th grade. He slowly overtook Piers Anthony and V.C. Andrews during my junior high years, and then firmly established himself as my favourite author for close to seven years. It was around that time that I was introduced to this next author’s writings by a close friend.

Dan Simmons: I had finished reading Octavia Butler’s Kindred and was talking with a friend about good sci-fi novels. He had just finished reading Hyperion and was starting on The Fall of Hyperion, so he lent me the first book – I was hooked from the first page! When I went to the local bookstore to look up what else he had written, I was pleased to see that he wrote horror and mystery novels as well. In fact, he has won multiple awards, including the Hugo, the Bram Stoker, and the Locus, to name a few. I have most of his books, if not all of them…and, I have a tattoo of the Shrike. It’s just fitting, for me!

Fun Friday Facts: My 5 Favourite…

This “5 on Friday” post is about my five favourite British comedies, inspired in part by the “Whovian” post I did a few weeks ago. They are listed in reverse, from fifth to first…so, let’s get to it!

5. Red Dwarf. This sci-fi-based comedy was accidentally introduced to me by my two older brothers during a Friday Dungeons & Dragons game-night. We had the TV on when there was a break in the action and were dealing with the minutiae of experience points, levels, and divvying up of treasures. One outburst of “Oi, you smeg-head, get me a smeggin’ curry!” from the television speakers made me whip my head around to see what the hell was going on, and I was promptly hooked! That show was hilarious, and I wish it would get the re-airings that it deserves. It just might, now that I think of it!

4. One Foot in the Grave. This sitcom was about an elderly gent who was forced into retirement. Curmudgeonly Victor Meldrew drives his wife, Margaret, to distraction as he wanders about the house and tries to stay busy while she goes to work and keeps up the bills. He’s a decent enough sort, but never seems to get on well with others – try as he might! An Aussie friend of mine introduced me to this show about 15 years ago and I’m quite glad that he did. I have the whole series on DVD so I can watch it at my leisure, and enjoy it just as much now as I did when I first watched it. It’s funny, poignant, and deliciously dry – in short, it’sgreat!

3. Absolutely Fabulous (AbFab). Most people here in the States only know of the show because of the movie which came out last year, but I first saw AbFab on Comedy Central just before Y2K. Blame my Aussie buddy for turning me on to this hilarious sitcom about two boozing, drugging, party-hearty broads who hate the idea of getting old! Patsy and Edina act as if they’re high-schoolers getting up to all sorts of antics, driving Edina’s straight-laced daughter, Saffron, mad with their shenanigans. That series will be the next one purchased on DVD, as soon as I’m able!

2. Blackadder. I had been a fan of Mr. Bean, but knew nothing of the conniving and cunning Edmund Blackadder until a co-worker at one of the radio stations I worked at introduced me to that series. He lent me the first two seasons to take home and watch – they were still on VHS at the time – and I howled with laughter! That show was only aired on PBS during their annual fund-raisers, so didn’t get to watch it as much as I wanted to back then, so I bought the entire series on DVD to view whenever I wish!

Finally, the number one spot on my list goes to The League of Gentlemen. This show shouldn’t be confused with the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as they are completely different animals! It aired on Comedy Central not long after AbFab was taken off; again, my Aussie buddy encouraged me to give it a chance, and I’m glad that he did! The little town of Royston Vasey has a unique population, to say the least. The only answer to the question “Are you local?” is “Yes!” This show was warped,dark, demented, and insanely hilarious – emphasis on “insanely,” LMAO! Of course, I simply had to get the series on DVD, and I even recorded one of my favourite lines from it on my phone so that people hear it if they call me and get my voice mail. One of my sisters had called the other day, and all I could hear was hysterical laughter on the voice message! She wasn’t expecting to hear what she heard, and it definitely took her off guard. My sense of humour isn’t compatible with most others, for sure!

This post wouldn’t be complete without at least one clip from each of these shows. A bit of laughter is perfect for this fun Friday, and the best way to start the weekend off with a smile. Enjoy!

Friday Fun Facts: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Edition!

Well, here it is – the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place tonight! It will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for the third time. Presented by Klipsch Audio, the ceremony will be broadcast on cable channel HBO, and will also be aired on SiriusXM. From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website:

Artists are eligible for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first recording. The 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Performer Inductees were chosen by more than 900 voters, as well as the aggregate results of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s online fan vote. The top five artists from the fan vote comprised the Fans’ Ballot that was tallied alongside the other ballots to determine the 2017 Inductees. Four of the winners of the Fans’ Ballot (ELO, Journey, Pearl Jam, and Yes) will be inducted as performers in 2017…Klipsch Audio, a leading global speaker and headphone manufacturer, is a strategic partner and presenting sponsor of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, its Induction Ceremony events and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s Main Stage. Klipsch’s renowned products deliver the power, detail and emotion of the live music experience throughout the iconic museum.”

Six bands / artists are in the Performer Category, and one musician / producer won the Award for Musical Excellence. For this “Five on Friday” post, I will list the ones who have made the biggest impression on me in my life with their music. I’ll do it “Top 40” style, listing them from fifth to first – so, here we go!

The band Journey is at number five for me. They were big in the 80s, with many great hits such as “Lights,” “Send Her My Love,” “Oh Sherrie,” and, of course, the well-known smash “Don’t Stop Believin’.” From Wikipedia:

Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973, composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between 1978 and 1987. During that period, the band released a series of hit songs, including “Don’t Stop Believin'” (1981), which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century.[2][3] Its parent studio album, Escape, the band’s eighth and most successful, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, “Open Arms”. Its 1983 follow-up album, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching No. 2 and spawning several successful singles; it broadened the band’s appeal in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. Journey enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid-1990s and later regrouped with a series of lead singers.”

The Journey song that I selected for today is “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” – I love the guitar work in it!

Nile Rodgers, fourth on my list, is the genius behind the band Chic, described as a “sonic innovator” on his official website. Rock, funk, disco, and EDM – his notable riffs have been fundamental in all of those musical genres. I think that nearly everyone is familiar with the Chic smash hit “Freak Out / Le Freak,” but the song that I selected by them features Carly Simon on lead vocals. The song, called “Why,” had an instrumental-only version on the B-side of the single. I always enjoyed listening to the song and singing along, then flipping the record over and singing with the B-side – it was excellent practice for choir!

I was elated to see the band known as Yes finally get inducted! Their induction was long-overdue, and I know that I’m not the only one who thinks so. The progressive-rock band from London was originally formed in 1968 by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, and has undergone many formations over the years. Chris passed away on 28 June 2015 – you can find my tribute post to him here. I have enjoyed their music for as long as I can remember, and some of their music videos aired on MTV were ones that I looked forward to! “Owner of a Lonely Heart” was their biggest hit of the 80s, but I’d have to say that a good majority of their musical offerings are well-worth listening to. Transcendental, multi-layered, and semi-operatic are words that I would use to describe this fantastic band. The song that I selected is one of my personal favourites: “Love Will Find a Way.”

Number two on my top five list is the Seattle grunge-rock super-group, Pearl Jam. I first saw them at a downtown Seattle club called The Vogue, and was instantly hooked on their style of music! They, along with groups such as Nirvana and Soundgarden, placed Seattle back on the musical map. The city is now known for more than rain and the Pike Place Market, I’d say! The song that I selected is “Even Flow” – I love the lyrics and the musical arrangement, and Eddie Vedder’s voice is sublime.

Finally – number one on my list of the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees! That honour goes to the supergroup known as the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). This band formed in Birmingham in 1970. I think that I’ve heard more songs by ELO than almost any other artist or band, and that’s saying a lot! I’ve listened to hours of The Moody Blues, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac, to name just of few of the many artist that I enjoy. I think that the first song of theirs that I heard was down at a little, local burger joint called The Snack Shack. I was walking past on a fairly nice summer day and heard an awesome beat and crazy sounds drifting out of the open door. I wandered in and looked at the jukebox to see what song was playing; it was “Don’t Bring Me Down.” I had a couple of quarters on me, so I played the other two ELO selections offered on the machine: “Telephone Line” and “Twilight,” respectively, and I was hooked on them from then on. My dad had started working at the local radio station at that time, and he liked playing “Rockaria” and their rendition of “Roll Over Beethoven” quite often! I never saw the movie “Xanadu,” but absolutely loved the ELO-backed soundtrack. The ELO song that I chose is “Evil Woman,” of course – it’s one that I always crank up and rip the knob off when I hear that familiar opening of the stringed orchestra. Such a versatile band, more than deserving of their induction!

Last, but certainly not least, I’m very happy that Tupac Shakur was also finally inducted. Many will disagree with him being honoured in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but I think that he deserves it as much as Joan Baez – if not more so! From Rolling Stone:

Two decades after his death on September 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur endures as one of hip-hop’s most iconic figures and its most powerful enigma. His life was a tapestry of often contradictory images: the concerned young father cradling his son in the video for “Keep Ya Head Up”; the angry rapper spitting at cameras as they swirled around his 1994 trial for sexual assault; the artist who animatedly, yet eloquently, pushed back at Ed Gordon’s questions during a memorable BET interview; and the man who seemed to predict his own demise when the “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” video, released weeks after his death, depicted him as an angel in heaven. Although he is no longer with us, the myth of 2Pac the thug angel remains. No other artist better illuminates hip-hop’s fault lines between regional pride and mainstream success, and the struggle to transcend and elevate beyond humble origins while honoring the streets that raised you. His wayward, conflicting expressions of pride, militancy and gangster-ism resonates in a world when black men and women celebrate their heritage and collectively organize against a racist America, yet are also cautious to protect themselves from each other.

Fans – particularly East Coast rap listeners who, after all these years, still harbor a grudge against him – will continue to debate whether 2Pac’s albums can measure up to Nas’ Illmatic, the Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die, or Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt. But no one can deny the way he transformed hip-hop into his singularly muscular, tattooed, bald-headed, bandana-clad image.”

Love him, hate him, or even if you’re completely indifferent – there is no denying Tupac’s influence and sheer genius. I wonder what music he would be putting out if he had lived to see the current social and political quagmire here in the USA? I’m betting that it would pull no punches, and would make more than a few people uncomfortable and angry. That is how it should be, in my not-so-humble opinion!

MLB Monday: Opening Day 2017!

Finally…Spring Training is over and baseball season has officially begun! Today marks Opening Day of Major League Baseball (MLB), with the first games of the season for teams across the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The official ‘Home Opener’ for my Seattle Mariners is next Monday, 10 April, but they do play today down in Texas against the Houston Astros. I sure wish that the home opener was being held today! The weather is picture-perfect, so the retractable roof would be wide open to let in the warm sun and gentle breeze. Safeco Field is one of the nicest MLB stadiums that I’ve seen, and I acknowledge that I might be slightly biased, LOL!

Watching the game on television is all right, but nothing compares to seeing a game live, in-person, at your local ball-park and cheering along with other fans! I was hoping to do so at least twice this year, but unexpected roofing issues have cropped up, so house repairs will eat into our savings this year. At least taxes are out of the way…

The Seattle Mariners website has five Opening Day facts listed, so I figured that I’d do a bonus ‘Five Fun Facts’ and post them! I learned a few things about my team, hopefully there is something of interest to other baseball fans as well:.

HOUSTON — With Seattle set to begin its season Monday night against the Astros, here are five interesting facts related to Mariners’ Opening Day.

1. The churn continues

Only seven of the 25 players who’ll be in uniform Monday were on the Opening Day roster last year when general manager Jerry Dipoto and Scott Servais started their new tenures. The select seven: Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Leonys Martin, Nelson Cruz, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Nick Vincent. Seven others joined the team midway through last season: Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia, James Paxton, Ariel Miranda, Edwin Diaz, Evan Scribner and Dan Altavilla. The other 11 players were added in the offseason.

2. Opening Day newbies

While the Mariners have a solid veteran core, eight players made their first Opening Day roster, including starting right fielder Mitch Haniger. The other first-timers are Taylor Motter, James Pazos, Dillon Overton, Miranda, Heredia, Diaz and Altavilla.

3. The King’s reign continues

When Hernandez takes the mound, he’ll be making his ninth consecutive Opening Day start, the longest active streak in the Majors. Next closest is Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch his seventh straight opener for the Dodgers. No one else has more than four in a row, and both of those are having their streaks snapped, as Adam Wainwright will pitch the second game of the season for the Cardinals this year and David Price is opening the year on the disabled list with a strained elbow in Boston. King Felix has not only pitched a lot of openers, he has been extremely good. In nine Opening Day starts — he also started Opening Day in 2007 before beginning his current streak in ’09 — Hernandez is 6-1 with a 1.49 ERA. The lone loss came last year at Texas despite allowing just one hit.

4. Don’t feel left out

When Jarrod Dyson starts Monday’s game, he’ll become the eighth different Opening Day left fielder in the past 10 years for Seattle. The revolving door has seen Raul Ibanez (2008), Endy Chavez (’09), Milton Bradley (’10-11), Mike Carp (’12), Michael Morse (’13), Dustin Ackley (’14-15) and Norichika Aoki (’16) precede Dyson.

5. They open well

Thanks in large part to Hernandez’s mound mastery, the Mariners have the fourth-best Opening Day record of any franchise in the Majors since their inception in 1977. Seattle is 24-16 in season openers, trailing only the Mets (29-11), Orioles (26-14) and White Sox (25-15) in that span. Seattle had won nine straight until last year’s 3-2 loss to Texas, which left the Mariners one shy of the MLB record of 10 straight by the Boston Beaneaters from 1887-96. Of course, Hernandez started eight of those previous nine openers, with Erik Bedard starting the only other game in 2008 in a 5-2 win over the Rangers. Seattle has not allowed more than three runs in any of its past 10 openers. This will be the first time they’ve opened against the Astros, but the eighth time in the past nine years they’ve debuted on the road.”

My Opening Day post wouldn’t be complete with the song “Centerfield” by John Fogerty. I also added some of the best Mariners-related commercials, just for the hell of it! Whomever you’re rooting for, I hope that your first day of regular-season Major-league baseball is awesome – unless, of course, you’re rooting for the Astros…then, no hard feelings, either way. It’s just a game, after all! Game-time is at 1700 PDT; you’ll have to check your own local listings for your respective team(s). With that…PLAY BALL!!!

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Final Friday Fun Facts: 31 March 2017

This is an “official” final Friday, where the last day of a given month falls on a Friday! My five fun facts for today involve my first love: music, and my favourite radio DJs who make it come alive.

SiriusXM(R) Satellite Radio is what I listen to; yes, I have a lifetime subscription. Some things are worth paying for, and the saying is true: “You get what you pay for!” I love it for multiple reasons, the main one being how necessary it is when travelling cross-country. Only with satellite radio can you enjoy the music of your choice, instead of being driven batty by local radio stations and the limited crap they push out. Nothing but cows mooing and spittoons ringing from stations in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Nothing but bible-thumping hypocrites on stations in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Missouri. Or, on those long stretches of road in Nevada, nothing but static! With satellite radio, you take all of your music with you to be enjoyed anywhere, at any time.

The portable control panel can be anywhere: your home or an outdoor shop; in your car, or even on your motorcycle. We have 10 stations programmed and can switch them at the touch of a button – but, there are literally hundreds of stations to choose from! For those people who only want to hear people jaw on and on about nothing, there are talk-radio stations. For the person obsessed with sports, there are sports-related stations. There are apparently even (GAG) porn stations for people who want to hear the contrived moans and groans of people being paid to simulate sexual activity. Yep, there’s something for everyone on satellite radio!

I listen to many different stations, some more than others, but I have a few favourite DJs whom I love hearing more than others! Here are my top five, along with the respective station that I listen to them on:

1. Earle Bailey – Deep Tracks: He’s on top of the list because he plays the variety of music that I like. He doesn’t limit himself and plays a bit of everything on any given day. His show runs on weekdays from 0900 to 1600 (PDT), and for one of those hours he does his “Daily Bailey Head-trip” in which he plays songs with a specific theme. I’m most likely to hear at least one Frank Zappa song when Earle is on the air, which certainly makes him the most versatile and eclectic DJ on my list!

2. Pat McKay – The Joint: I hear Pat’s soulful, soothing voice on “Marley Mondays.” Every hour, on the hour, a great Bob Marley song is played, but those songs aren’t just limited to hourly offerings! I get my reggae fix on this day, which is the way I start my week off. It’s also nice to hear a bit of reggae after I’ve gotten my blues fix on Sunday; makes each day flow into the next in a smooth, relaxing fashion.

3. Luc Carl – Ozzy’s Boneyard: The self-proclaimed “Ayatollah of Jack & Cola” is always upbeat and entertaining, playing all of the metal that I thrash to on Thursdays! He plays all sorts of hard-rocking songs, from AC/DC to ZZ Top, and everything in between. Of course, the Boneyard wouldn’t be complete without some classic Black Sabbath, stuff from Ozzy Osbourne himself, and of course, tour dates of whichever metal bands are touring at any given time. He’s also a fan of sports, and lets his listeners know when certain basketball, baseball, or football teams are playing – college or pro! His sign-off at the end of his show always gets me giggling, too…you’ll just have to listen to his show sometime to hear it yourself. I don’t do spoilers, LOL!

4. Jim Ladd – Deep Tracks: From “high in the Hollywood Hills,” Jim Ladd picks up where Earle Bailey leaves off. He’s most likely to start off with a selection from AC/DC, then toss on some U2, Jimi Hendrix, Cars, Rush, and a bit of ZZ Top before slowing things up with something by Fleetwood Mac or Dido. He’s also fairly well-rounded with his musical choices, and like Earle Bailey, he will have an interesting story or anecdote about some of the songs or background history of the bands. He’s solid gold, in my not-so-humble opinion!

5. Keith Roth – Ozzy’s Boneyard: Keith plays an awesome selection of tunes and is a lot of fun to listen to. The only reason he’s last on the list is because he loves “Uncle” Turd Nugent just a little bit too much! Letting people know your political leanings is all well and good, but pretending to not understand why “the Nuge” is a waste of air, space, and skin is mildly annoying. Other than that, he’s almost as funny and engaging as his colleague, Luc Carl – still worth listening to, as far as I’m concerned!

I’m working on a proper post for tomorrow, putting the finishing touches on the next excerpt from my NaNoWriMo short fiction, and getting ready to watch the latest live broadcast from Bethesda studios before jumping into my game for some more merry mischief-making! With that, here are three radio-related songs to get the weekend started off right. I think that it’s been a while since I last played these songs, so I’m fairly certain that I’m in no danger of being redundant! Have a wonderful weekend, all…now, get up and dance!

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Five Friday Facts: St. Paddy’s Day 2017!

I was thinking of what five fun, Friday facts to post today – so, here’s my St. Patrick’s Day edition!

1. My maternal great-great-great-grandmother was of Irish descent, as was my paternal great-great-great-great-great-grandmother…so, the mitochondrial DNA on both sides clinches it!

2. I only have one tattoo – my first (and only, so far) is a Róisín Dubh. I love the Thin Lizzy song of the same name, obviously!

3. I’m a natural redhead who, thankfully, doesn’t suffer from pasty, freckled skin. I do use a higher SPF than others who share the same ethnicity and natural hue as I, though! My hair looks very, very, VERY dark brown, most days. In the summertime, when I relax in the sunshine and let my dreadlocks hang freely, the dark auburn highlights come forth and shine brightly. That, along with the fact that dyeing one’s hair needlessly exposes it to harsh chemicals, is why I quit dyeing my hair in my mid-20s. If your hair is like straw, you’ve most likely screwed it up permanently for the sake of stupid, silly vanity! Age has nothing to do with hair health…just sayin’.

4. “Irish-American” whites hate me – but nearly every person from “the Eire,” face-to-face, have been quite open, honest, and genuine. (On a side note, I prefer speaking with people in person, since it is really the only way that I’m able to successfully communicate with others. Face-to-face interactions make it far easier to determine how honest any individual is, IMHO!)

5. Ireland has always been one of the countries on my “must-visit” list, for as long as I can remember! Some parts of the world “call” to me louder than others do. Ireland’s voice isn’t as loud as the ones from Ghana, the Ivory Coast, or Somalia, but it is far louder than the voices from New Zealand or Japan! Don’t bother me with any assumptions on that…if you can’t relate, then kindly STFU.

With that, here are five fun, Friday songs to really get the weekend started with a bang! Happy St. Paddy’s Day, dear readers – be sure to check out my epic gameplay on my Twitch channel, as this weekend will be devoted to shameless laziness and hedonism as my birthday approaches!

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