This is an easy post if you want to read just a little bit of stuff or want to watch/listen to videos I made in 2014. Why this kind of post? One, it’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve got stuff to do (even though I put this together ahead of time). Two, you probably have stuff to do and after that last post on blogging, which was pretty long, I figure you might want something that you can just listen to… if you’re interested at all.
Also, I created lots of videos this year between my two video channels, and a few of those videos I actually liked a lot more than others. Yes, I went back and watched, aka listened, to every single one of them, some more than once. When I needed a boost I listened to my motivational videos along with the same from other people. Sometimes I forgot it was me; now that’s really getting into it.
Without further delay here are my 10 favorite videos of 2014, not in any specific order. A couple of these are interviews, which means they will be a bit longer than the rest. Let me know what you think, please watch, and have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve and New Years Day! 🙂
Tomorrow I’ll be doing a live presentation and I’m going to be spending today rehearsing and getting ready for that. Since the last post was so long I decided it was time for a shorter and more fun post again. So, following along the lines of other musical posts I’ve done, I decided to share my top 5 favorite songs from the 60’s, which some of you have no recollection from, and the rest might have other songs to highlight instead.
Before that, though, I’d like to share some of my previous posts, in case you’re new to the blog or just missed them:
5. Happy Together, The Turtles – I can’t even tell you why I always liked this song. Maybe it was the relatively simple melody. Maybe it was the fairly non-threatening lilt in the way Flo & Eddie (it was 2 guys by the way) sang together. I couldn’t tell you, but it makes my top 5.
4. Daydream Believer, The Monkees – I remember this song for many reasons. One, of course it was on the TV show. Two, it helped close out 4th grade for me, and man, was that a grade that just had to end! I remember a party at school near the end of the school year where this song played a few times and, because of the show, I could sing along with it and it brought comfort to me. Yeah, I missed the love song part of it, but so what. lol
3. Soul Man, Sam & Dave – My mother bought this album when we first came back to the United States from Japan back in 1966 and for the next 20+ years it was the first song she played every single Friday night; yup, you read that correctly. It was the first song on the album, and it was a great one; always made me smile, and still does.
2. Sugar Sugar, The Archies – This was a cartoon and on the cartoon the characters had put together a band. In the 3rd season of the cartoon they released their second album, and the main single from the show was this one, which ended up going all the way to number one.
1. I Want You Back, The Jackson Five – This was the first #1 song of 1970, but it was released in 1969. I’ve told this story before, but the day my dad left for Vietnam the Jackson Five showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time and performed this song, and they and Michael Jackson himself were my favorites from that point on.
The day before Christmas, and I thought I’d go in a much different direction than normal. I wrote this poem back in 1993, probably the last poem or anything like it that I ever wrote. I’ve had it for years, but can’t say that I’d thought about it in awhile.
Me being me, it’s probably not a traditional Christmas poem, but it’s my style. I hope everyone is going to visit someone they care about this holiday season, regardless of what you believe, and if not, I hope you have some peace during this time, even for only a few days if that’s all you can get. Happy Holidays to all.
The Three Roses of Christmas
There were three roses of Christmas
Discussing the coming day
The trip they were to undertake
And what they were supposed to say
The first one was a cynic
Said “Man, we’re being used
This cat’s afraid to speak his mind
So we’re to plant a clue
I looked into the brother’s eyes
I’ve seen the signs before
He figures that by sending us
He’ll get a foot in the door
This dude will freak when she reacts
Cause this stuff never works
The ladies like a man who’s strong
Not one who acts a twerp
Man, this way’s a cop out
The girl will see right through
Got too many eggs in the basket
This Christmas he’ll be blue”
The second was a romantic
Said “You’ve got this thing all wrong
It’s such a lovely gesture
Like writing someone a song
Every Christmas love’s in blossom
It’s a perfect time of year
When an exchange with someone special
Brings a sentimental tear
I think our overt statement
Sends a message very clear
It’s sent from someone special
To one that’s very dear
You and your misgivings
Open up and see
We’re the symbol of Christmas love
Like the tree’s for family unity”
The third one had been quiet
Taking in every word
He listened to the argument
And thought it quite absurd
“Why of course we’re a sign of love
We’re not a sign of hate
But love has many levels to which
I hope you can relate
There’s love of just one person
There’s love of family
There’s love of all mankind
Though for us intent’s the key
We can’t be sure of one’s motives
For human’s are a sensitive lot
They never seem happy for very long
When they can’t get what they have not
You two just can’t see how close you are
On the feelings the season brings
You probably see different reasons for
So many Christmas wedding rings
For the cynic, why not send a dozen?
For the romantic, why not send just one?
So many relevant theories are born
With each rising of the sun
And what about the religious
Who know why the day was named
If believers were our destination
Would our meaning be perceived the same?
I think we should be happy for
The feelings we hope to impart
An outward reaction of a smile
And a touching of the heart”
Finally the three were silent
It was time for them to go
There are so many different meanings
That they may never know
Though flowers may enhance someone’s feelings
It’s the receiver who has to adjust
So a specific message may not be conveyed
By any three roses of Christmas.
Last week I was honored to have Chris Brogan stop by this blog for the first time and leave a comment. Of course, I’d been talking about his post regarding ways to write multiple posts in a day. He stated something interesting in the comment: “The qualifier might be USEFUL posts a day”.
It got me to thinking about how often I’ve been “useful” to those who visit this blog. I know that my business blog is useful, if tough for some people to get into, but what about this blog? Is it supposed to be useful or entertaining? Can it be both?
As I get close to post #900 I decided that I would take just a quick look at topics I’ve written on over the past 3 years, but I’m going in a different direction. For instance, I’ve written around 55 posts on entertainment topics. Out of all those posts, only one could be considered as useful, that being when I spoke on how to create playlists on Windows Media Player. Certainly a post like Saturday’s top 20 sports movies isn’t useful, but it’s fun and, in my opinion, is the type of thing where some folks might enjoy comparing their favorites to mine; an outlet for expression that anyone who likes movies can comment and know that there are no wrong responses (that is, unless someone actually thinks The Fish That Ate Pittsburgh is a top 20 film).
I then looked at personal posts, where I get to talk about anything I want to, sometimes things that have nothing to do with my norm here (do I even have a norm?). I’ve written around 50 of those, and I have to admit that determining what’s useful or not is a little bit harder. For instance, my update post on my gym workouts might not be useful to a majority of people, but if there’s someone who’s been thinking about joining a gym to lose weight and reads my post on my travails, have I given them something useful to think about, since I mention it also takes changing one’s diet? Personally I’d have found something like that useful before I joined the gym, but what about anyone else? Anyway, based on my own criteria, I think at least 7 of those posts were fairly useful; the others, well, at least half are subject to interpretation.
And of course there’s the Sunday Question, which may or may not be useful to people. Its intention is to get people thinking most of the time, and to me, that’s useful. However, I’m not sure people learn anything from it, unless they’re learning something about themselves that they never thought of before.
Anyway, based on the quick review, it would seem that I’m useful at least 80% of the time on this blog; I really hadn’t expected that at all. I’ve talked about blogging, writing, software, plugins, product review, health, social media, motivation and posted some interviews. There are more topics, of course, but you get the drift. For me, it’s been an interesting mix of things over time, and I hope to continue it.
Still, I figure it’s time to ask this question; how can I be of more use to you? Are there topics I haven’t covered that you might want to see me tackle, if I’m able? I’m not going to ask what you don’t want me to talk about because, well, I’m going to write what I want to write about, even when it’s a tough topic to discuss like issues of race. And I will tell a story or two here and there, like my story about The Keys. But I figure why not ask, as it’s the holiday season, I’m on the cusp of 900 posts, and who knows, there might be other posts in your questions as well.
Go ahead; let’s see what I do and don’t know as far as helping you out. But if you ask me how to build a car; ain’t gonna happen! 😀
Y’all know that I like list posts; truthfully, who doesn’t? Many of them leave us having great debates, although I’ll admit that I wasn’t really expecting much debate when I wrote my opera post. Be that as it may, when we know what the topic is, we love debating it, and I think there should be a few people around ready to talk about this one.
Only it’s not my list. I got this list from a site called the Bleacher Report, which writes only about sports stuff, and they got together and put out what they called The 100 Greatest Sports Movies Of All Time. It’s an interesting list, especially because some of the movies aren’t sports related at all; what the hey? Still, they’ve got a list, and it was pretty ambitious. Way more ambitious than I’m ready to be, so I’m only going to comment on their top ten; this isn’t going to be pretty.
No. 10: Slapshot – this is a movie about a rogue minor league hockey team, and you’d think I would like it more because it was filmed right here in Syracuse. But it was filmed before I got here, and even with Paul Newman it just got on my nerves.
No. 9: Hoop Dreams – this was actually a documentary that followed two kids for many years that had dreams of becoming professional basketball players; no, they didn’t make it. Roger Ebert really loved this movie; once again, I didn’t get into it.
No. 8: Caddyshack – one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, even if it was surrounding golf, a sport I don’t like all that much except for Tiger Woods (now don’t start with me). It had Rodney Dangerfield in one of his best performances and Chevy Chase and Bill Murray at a time when not only were both at the top of their game, but they had to bury the hatchet to make this movie together. And it had the gopher; ’nuff said.
No. 7: The Natural – one of my favorite movies of all time; if I’m turning the channels and it’s on I stop what I’m doing and watch it until it’s over. It’s a baseball movie about a guy who gets derailed as a young player and comes back many years later and shows everyone he’s a star, only because they didn’t have 24/7 access to TV or sports back then no one remembers who he was. This is a beautiful movie, start Robert Redford, and you’ll love it whether you like sports or not.
No. 6: Rocky – I’m actually surprised this was so low on their list. Like everyone else, I had no idea who Sylvester Stallone was, but I knew who Burgess Meredith was, though I only knew him as the Penguin from Batman; now that’s a shame! There can’t be anyone who has no clue who Rocky is, so I’ll just leave it with this: “Adrian!!!”
No. 5: Bull Durham – I liked this movie, but for the life of me I really can’t figure out why so many sports guys think it’s so great. Sure, it had Kevin Costner before he started irritating all of us, along with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (who hooked up and lived 19 years or so with each other), but as a baseball movie I keep thinking there were better performances, or at least other movies that touched or entertained me more.
No. 4: Rudy – never saw this one, and I haven’t been compelled either. I just know it’s the supposedly true story of a team manager for Notre Dame that got to play in a game; maybe someone else can enlighten me and tell me why I need to see this.
No. 3: Raging Bull – now this is what I’m talking about. A movie about the one time middleweight champion of the world Jake LaMotta, it was one of the best performances by any actor in history, and in this case it was Robert DeNiro. He had to first get into great shape for the boxing scenes, then gain more than 60 pounds to play the same character as an older guy; it was the first time any actor did that. And it was filmed in black and white; great stuff. The funny thing is that the real Vicki LaMotta was prettier than the actress who played her; that rarely happens.
No. 2: Field Of Dreams – another baseball movie, and once again one that has never really captured me; my favorite baseball movie, very apparent now, is The Natural. But almost everyone knows this line, even if they don’t remember it came from this movie: “If you build it, they will come.” Another Kevin Costner movie.
No. 1: Hoosiers – Gene Hackman won an Oscar for this movie as best actor, and that’s about the only thing I know about it because I never saw it. It’s about a small town high school basketball team in Indiana that ends up winning the state title. That’s all I’ve got.
Anyway, that’s my commentary on someone else’s list. Of course you know that within the next couple of months I’ll be putting together my own list of top whatever number of sports movies I determine I need. And you can bet my top 10 list will have some “real” football movies on it; yeah I said it!