My Favorite Years QUESTION

Note that we DIDN’T pick 2004, the year Lydia was born.


Possibly around the time I was writing about nostalgia, the Wife and I were talking about the favorite years in our lives.

I picked 1969, the year I turned 16, and my parents let me have a huge party. I had a girlfriend, I got elected president of the student government, which made me an irritant to the new principal, and I was figuring out who I was politically, especially compared to the transitional 1968. Music was great that year, too.

Then there was 1978, the year I worked at the Schenectady Arts Council, got a girlfriend, and finally stopped my nomadic existence.

1984 was the year Continue reading “My Favorite Years QUESTION”

30 Day Challenge: Day 26-A Picture From One Of The Greatest Days Of Your Life

I wrote about my JEOPARDY! experience extensively, starting my first month of blogging; in fact, writing about the daughter and writing about JEOPARDY! were the only purported reasons I even started the blog.


Hey, nothing in the instructions said it had to be a picture of me!

Above is a picture of Alex Trebek , host of a game show called High Rollers, which I would occasionally watch 30+ years ago. But more to the point, he has been the host of the game show JEOPARDY! since 1984.

To be honest, I’m not sure if that picture of him is from the day I was on JEOPARDY! But it WAS from one of the programs that was filmed in Boston, and the two weeks of programming in Boston was filmed over a two-day period, five shows per day, so I have a 50% chance of it being from the day I was taping, though not necessarily the episodes. Continue reading “30 Day Challenge: Day 26-A Picture From One Of The Greatest Days Of Your Life”

Brian Wilson Raps!

Brian Wilson’s 68th birthday is today.

Back on the January 28, 2010 episode of JEOPARDY!, there was a whole category devoted to THE SONGS OF BRIAN WILSON:
$200: One of Wilson’s Beach Boys classics asks this girl to “help, help me” to get another girl “out of my heart”
$400: “I’m picking up” these, “she’s giving me excitations”
$600: Title that precedes “If we were older, then we wouldn’t have to wait so long”
$800: Wilson wrote, “I have watched you on the shore, standing by the ocean’s roar, do you love me, do you” this lass
$1000: “There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to”, it’s here

Answers below.
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I’ve been playing my Beach Boys and Brian Wilson albums for the past couple weeks in anticipation of Brian’s 68th birthday, which was this past Sunday. I get to Sweet Insanity, a 1991 album that Brian’s record label, Sire, rejected as uncommercial. Friend of mine provide me with an “unauthorized copy.” I dunno; I like quite a few of the songs, several of which show up on later albums.

Then there’s Smart Girls, a rap song that features bits from Beach Boys songs. Musically, it’s strange and goofy but not awful – at first; but eventually the snippets override the beats and it becomes a real mess. The lyrics indicate that he was once a sexist pig seeking out, and singing about none-too-smart females, but now he values intelligence in women; seems overwrought.

Here’s a clip, and if that doesn’t work, try this one.

Interestingly, the 1970 album that came to known as Sunflower, the first Beach Boys album on the Reprise label after the group left Capitol, was also initially rejected by the new company, with some of the purged pieces showing up on later collections, but others never showing up on any compilation.
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When Brian was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors a few years back, there was a group named Libera who performed in his honor – here’s the YouTube of Love and Mercy (from Brian’s 1988 solo album).
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Answers to the JEOPARDY! queries: Continue reading “Brian Wilson Raps!”

Spoilers QUESTION

I haven’t been watching LOST, but I have it on good authority that the island is really…

Per usual, I was watching JEOPARDY! recently, and the show had a whole category devoted to spoilers! In an unJEOPARDYlike fashion, I’ll give you the questions, but NOT the answers, until the end. Planet of the Apes (2001), The Sixth Sense, Chinatown, The Usual Suspects, The Crying Game.

So when is the RIGHT amount of time to give away the “spoiler” ending of a TV show or movie? In early 2005, noted critic Roger Ebert wrote about this regarding Million Dollar Baby when critic Michael Medved and faux critic Rush Limbaugh revealed the crucial plot point because they didn’t LIKE the crucial plot point. (I STILL haven’t seen the movie, but learned that plot point at the time. Now I’m feeling the need to rent it.)

With LOST coming to a close, how long can someone recording the program to watch later expect NOT to hear the details? Will it be in the newspaper the next morning? Will it have a spoiler warning, and will that matter? (I haven’t been watching LOST, but I have it on good authority that the island is really Continue reading “Spoilers QUESTION”

P is for Periodic Table

sodium (Na) and fluorine (Cl) hook up to make sodium fluoride (NaCl)

Before I get started, a JEOPARDY! Daily Double from 4/14/2010:
ONLY ONE VOWEL $2,000: Though it has only one vowel in its name, this element’s periodic table symbol is 2 vowels.

It’s been a long time since I took high school chemistry. Check out, if you would, this nifty dynamic periodic table. If you put the cursor over a category, it will highlight those elements in that category. If you click on the category, it will give you an encyclopedic interpretation of the group. This is likewise true for the individual elements.
Continue reading “P is for Periodic Table”