Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Night Tweets: Big Ben and Domestic Politics

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, France, and Mexico........

We are closing out July with three consecutive blog entries (hmmm.....yea, we changed our mind), this one is dedicated to tweets that were posted during the 9-10 p.m., eastern US time, many of which dealt with the partisan political divide in the country.......

1) Big Ben (yeah, that clock in London, pict. top): BONG BONG

2) UbertFacts: Osama bin Laden was obsessed with Whitney Houston (pict. late) and wanted to make her one of his wives (alas the pop singer died a few years ago as did Osama)....

3) The Daily Signal: Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky; pict: bottom) commits to Planned Parenthood defunding vote next week (He does NOT have the support of comedian Sarah Silverman who mocked pro-life groups with a video that is causing quite a stir)

4) Urban Dictionary: White Man_ A term used to describe a group of people who are blamed for all the problems in the world.

5) Adam Owens (A tv news reporter for WRAL, Raleigh, NC): Raleigh Police investigate fatal accident on Roy Road....

6) Psychological Facts: If you think someone is starting at you: 1. Yawn 2. If they yawn, they were staring

7) Martin DeGarmo: The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers (a quote from Ralph Nader as the tweeter cited)

8) Jon Winokur (Advice to Writers): Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. (a quote from Maya Angelou as the tweeter cited).

9) The Job Guy: "The only limits are, as always, those of vision," James Broughton, a late American poet. (This might not be the same job guy we mentioned!) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Top Ten Comics from The Roanoke Times (Sunday Edition): Trudeau Jabs Trump, Read All About It

Greetings to our blog readers in Costa Rica, Hungary, Kenya, as well as those of you who may be checking in from Sacramento, Calif., where the Monday 9:00 a.m. work day is just getting started.

Today, we look at our favorite comic strips from yesterday's "Roanoke Times," the daily newspaper for Roanoke, Va. Our chart-topper this week is Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury," where the cartoonist lampoons Donald Trump (pict. top) and his bad hair. This is followed by a clever edition of "Zits," which features a hand grenade gag (of all things), and "Jump Start" in which two kids ask each other what they think of aliens (pict. bottom, "Alf").

For those of you who might be herding sheep in Mongolia, Trump is one of 15 (or is it 16 or 17) Republicans running for president. We just learned that the conservative magazine "The National Review" has Carly Fiorina on its cover. Like Trump, she has zero political experience as well. (Her name is not spelled right on our tags, but we've learned from the Donald to not apologize).

Here is our top ten:

1. Doonesbury

2. Zits

3. Jump Start

4. Garfield

5. Pearls Before Swine

6. Speed Bump

7. Get Fuzzy

8. Dilbert

9. Family Circus

10. Pickles

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Top Ten Comic Strips from Comics Kingdom: We Like Bizarro

Greetings to our blog readers in Panama, Denmark, and Singapore.
Happy 72nd birthday to Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones.
This week, we take a look at our ten favorite Sunday comic strips from the Kings Comics Distributor, which features strips as diverse as "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith" by John Rose of Harrisonburg, Va., and "Zippy the Pinhead" by Bill Griffith, from Hartford, Conn., actually we are not really sure where the cult cartoonist lives, but last we heard it was somewhere in the Nutmeg State.
The images are of 1) The original "King Kong" (1933) with the late Fay Wray is an image we are using for "Bizarro," which showed King Kong's fist and Fay Wray (the barefoot woman in his hand has also been played by Jessica Lange and Naomi Watts) going through the Empire State Building; 2) Tony Hawk, the skateboarding legend now in his mid-40s, is used for "Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog" which showed the boy in the strip getting carried with skateboarding tricks; and 3) a chemistry lab is used for "The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee."
Those three comic strips are three of our top favorites from Kings Comics, but we also  liked "Rhymes with Orange," which featured a man on a couch.
Today, we will also mark which comic strips are in "The Washington Post" (Sunday edition) with a WP, and "The Denver Post" (also Sunday edition) with a DP as well as the "Mrytle Beach Sun" in Myrtle Beach, SC, with a MBS.
1. Bizarro
2. Dustin WP; MBS
3. Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog
4. The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee
5. Rhymes with Orange WP; DP
6. Take It from the Tinkersons
7. Pardon My Planet
8. Retail
9. Zippy the Pinhead
10. Hagar the Horrible WP, MBS

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ten Songs Heard on Steve-FM; Roanoke, Va: Today's Tom Sawyer

Here are ten songs we heard in consecutive order from the 7:00-8:00 p.m. hour on Steve-FM (106.1-Roanoke,Va.); most of the songs were from the 1980s, including "Tom Sawyer" from Rush, which was NOT a top 40 hit and became popular mainly through MTV (back in the day), "If You Leave..." a hip new wave ballad from OMD for the Molly Ringwald film "Pretty in Pink," and "Need You Tonight" from INXS.

Also from the '80s, we heard Talking Heads' "And She Was," which was a cool pleasant surprise.

The image of the yesteryear boxing bout is in reference to Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," a 2003 hit that we were completely oblivious to when it came out!

Here is the list:

1. "Tom Sawyer," Rush. 1981.

2. "If You Leave....," OMD, 1989

3. "Long Run," The Eagles, 1979

4. "Need You Tonight," INXS, 1987

5. "Fighter," Christina Aguilera, 2003.

6. "And She Was," Talking Heads, 1985.

7. "The Joker," Steve Miller Band, 1973.

8. "Honey, I'm Good," Andy Grammer, 2014.

9. "Funky Cold Medina," Tone Loc, 1989.

10. "When I Come Around," Green Day. 1995.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top 10 Sunday Comics from the Washington Post: Prickly City Gets 1st Place for the 1st Time

Greetings to our blog readers in Chile, Spain, and South Africa......

The images above are of: 1) Adam West and Burt Ward from the '60s tv version of "Batman," 2) R.Crumb's "Fritz the Cat" and 3) the late Bob Denver as Gilligan on another '60s tv series "Gilligan's Island." These are in reference to our top three finishers: 1) "Prickly City," 2) "Lio" and 3) "Non Sequitur." This is the very first time Scott Stantis' "Prickly City" has been our top choice, though it is frequently in the top ten.

In "Prickly City," the two title characters, a cat and a little girl, are blind-folded and they say: "Now, we finally see eye to eye" or something to that effect. In Mark Tatulli's "Lio," the title character, a ten-year-old boy named Lio who never ages (but he is otherwise quite different from Charlie Brown and Dennis the Menace) gets pulled by an angry cat to a liquor store. And, in "Non-Sequitur" by a cartoonist named Wiley, a man's hops to get off the desert island are dashed.

Here is the list

1. Prickly City

2. Lio

3. Non Sequitur

4. Brewster Rockit: Space Guy

5. WuMo

6. Candorville

7. Pearls Before Swine

8. Speed Bump

9. Sherman's Lagoon

10. Foxtrot

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Last Ten Movies We've Seen (as of Wednesday)........Are We the Doom Generation?

Greetings to our blog readers in South Korea, Romania, and Egypt......

Happy Ramadan to our Muslims friends.....

Today, we look at the last ten films we've seen; this is an idea we originally got from "Film Comment" magazine, where Gavin Smith is the editor-in-chief.

The last ten films we've seen, include two that are in theatres ("Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl;" "The Overnight"). The earliest Hollywood film on the list is "The Brothers Karamazov" (bottom image) which is a 1958 film which marked the film debut of William Shatner (Captain Kirk on "Star Trek") and the earliest film overall is "Torment" from 1944, a Swedish film with a screeenplay from a young Ingmar Bergman.

The other two foreign-language films on the list are "Inside" (Yeralti) by Turkish director Zeki Demirkbuz and "Stray Dogs" (center image) from Taiwanese filmmaker Ming-ling Tsai.

It is not very often that we have a film from the 1990s, or the "Seinfeld" decade as we like to call it, on the list, but the very last film we saw on this survey is a strange spree killers road movie called "The Doom Generation" (top image: Courtney Love, we are using her symbolically as she is not in the film) which features a supporting character played by Parker Posey, who is one of the film's few highlights! (We agree with the late Roger Ebert who called it an awful film!).....

Here is the last ten:

1. "The Doom Generation." director: Gregg Araki. 1995.

2. Stray Dogs. Taiwan. dir: Ming-ling Tsai. 2013

3. The Dark Crystal. Jim Henson and Frank Oz. 1982.

4. Next Stop, Grenwich Village. Paul Mazursky. 1976.

5. Death Hunt. Peter R. Hunt. 1981 w/ Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin

6. The Brothers Karamazov. Richard Brooks. 1958.

7. The Overnight. Patrick Brice. 2015 w/Jason Schwatzman

8. Torment. Sweden. Alf Sjoberg. 1944

9. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl. Alfonso Gomez-Rejan. 2015

10. Inside. Turkey. Zeki Demirkubuz. 2012

Monday, July 6, 2015

Top Ten Comics from the Sunday Roanoke Times: Jump Start Gets the Bronze

Greetings to our blog readers in France, Russia, and Bulgaria......

Today, we bring you the last installment in our favorite Sunday comic strips of the week series.

This was a week when Bill Griffith used his comic strip "Zippy the Pinhead" (not in "The Roanoke Times") to make fun of another comic strip "Funky Winkerbean" (which is in "The Roanoke Times"). Both strips share the same distributor Kings Features.

Our favorite comic strip from "The Roanoke Times" was "Speed Bump" http://www.gocomics/speedbump which featured several ducklings taking selfies of each other. Second place goes to "Get Fuzzy" in which a cat and a dog fight over a baby rattler, which one can presumably find at a Toys R Us ............. Lastly, we went with "Jump Start" for third place which revolved around an African-American and a white mother with children almost colliding in the produce aisle of a grocery store

Here is the top ten:

1. Speed Bump

2. Get Fuzzy

3. Jump Start

4. Non Sequitur

5. Garfield

6. Agnes

7. Pearls Before Swine

8. Dilbert

9. Doonesbury

10. Zits

For a look at our favorite comic strips in the "Martinsville Bulletin" go to our sister blog at

Friday, July 3, 2015

Last Ten Songs We Heard on Simon (98.7-FM,Greensboro,NC): Slow Ride

Greetings to our blog readers in Argentina, Belgium and Italy.....

Last night, we experienced major technical difficulties while trying to listen to Simon-FM, 98.7-FM, Greensboro, NC, but we were able to catch an hour of songs between the 9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. (21:00-22:00) hour last night.

The oldest tune that was played on the variety mix 'we play everything' rotation was "Drive My Car" by The Beatles, which is celebrating its' 50th anniversary as it was released in 1965 (middle image, year it's a Delorean, which came out some 20 years later).

The second newest song in the lineup was the last one in this mix: "Slide" by The Goo Goo Dolls (pict. bottom) which hit radio stations in 1998. The Goo Goo Dolls have a post-game concert following a Milwaukee Brewers game on Aug. 15th.

The most current release was actually a cover of a bluegrass standard "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show; the band plays at Clinton Presidential Park in Little Rock, Ark., on July 16th.

The top image of an Andrew Jackson twenty dollar bill is an homage to Eddie Money, but of course, you already knew that! Mr. Money plays at the Santa Barbara County Fair in Santa Maria, Calif., on July 15th.

For those of you in Spain, Twisted Sister, one of the bands listed here, is playing the Barcelona Rock Fest on July 24th.

Here is the list:

1) Take Me Home Tonight, Eddie Money, 1986.

2) Drive My Car, The Beatles, 1965

3) Pump Up the Jam, Technotronic, 1989

4) Don't Stand So Close to Me, The Police, 1981

5) Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show, 2004

6) We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions, Queen, 1977

7) Slow Ride, Foghat, 1975

8) Dancing Queen, ABBA, 1976

9) We're Not Gonna Take It, Twisted Sister, 1984

10) Slide, The Goo Goo Dolls, 1998

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Last Ten Films We've Seen: Looking for Prozac Nation

Greetings to our blog readers in Cuba, Slovakia, and Finland......we are delighted that full diplomat relations have been established between our country the United States and Cuba!

Here are the last ten films we had seen as of last week. "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "Prozac Nation" have been notoriously hard to find, so we glad to have them off of our cinematic bucket list. "Love and Mercy" is the new film about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. He was played by two actors: Paul Dano (the young Wilson) and John Cusack (the older Wilson).

The pedestrian stop and go lights at the bottom are a holdover from East Germany in Berlin; "A Coffee in Berlin" is the only foreign-language film on this particular list, though "Prozac Nation" has a Norwegian director.

Fun thing we learned while putting this list together is that over $1 million of $7 million budget for "Dazed and Confused" went to film's soundtrack; we assume this means Foghat's 1975 rock hit single "Slow Ride" is expensive!

We originally got this idea from "Film Comment" magazine

Here is the list:

1. Looking for Mr. Goodbar. director: Richard Brooks. 1977 w/Diane Keaton

2. Prozac Nation. dir: Erik Skjoldbjaerg. 2003.

3. The Lineup. Don Siegel. 1957

4. Bone. Larry Cohen. 1972.

5. A Coffee in Berlin. Germany. Jan Ole Gerster. 2012.

6. The Immigrant. James Gray. 2013.

7. Trishna. Michael Winterbottom. 2011.

8. Dazed and Confused. Richard Linklater. 1993

9. Entourage. Doug Ellin. 2015.

10. Love and Mercy. Bill Pohlad. 2014.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Our Top 10 Favorite NPR Series: Catch The Moth

Greetings to our blog readers in Germany, Greece and Ukraine........hopefully, those of you in Greece are recouping from the economic fiasco as well as one can.

Here are our ten favorite National Public Radio (NPR) shows, some of which we tune in on out of town public radio stations since they don't air here in Virginia.

The images are in reference 1) a moth is for The Moth Radio Hour, Rachel Dratch of "Saturday Night" fame is on this week's show; 2) the '80s Journey record is for "Sound Opinions,"  a show in which Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis decide which new records are worth listening to (they both happen to loath Journey; we don't); 3) Serbian food, which we are not using for "The Splendid Table," but rather "The Dinner Party Download," which ranks fourth in our top ten.

Here is the list:

1. The Moth Radio Hour

2. Sound Opinions

3. This American Life

4. The Dinner Party Download

5. Radiolab

6. Snap Judgment

7. Studio 360

8. The TED Radio Hour

9. On the Media

10. Only A Game

East Coast NPR stations: (New York) (Philadeplphia) (Washington, DC)  (Richmond, Va.) (Charlotte, NC) (Louisville, Ky.)