Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Idol Is Addictive

There must be some of you out there who, like I, have become addicted to watching American Idol. It really is a showcase for some really good young singers. And, of course, a number of the contestants, win or lose, have gone on to become stars. As a case in point, I predicted that Kellie Pickler from season five would do great things in country music, and she recently won three awards at the CMA's.

As to this season, last night Christy Lee Cook was eliminated from the competition. I am again predicting that she has a future in country music. With her looks and singing ability she has got to be a winner. Good luck to her.

For those who remain, David Archuletta is more than likely going to win the whole thing. Randy, Paula and Simon have been very complimentary of his talent, but of course the fans who vote will make the final decision.

My favorite is Jason Castro. Jason has a good voice and an ability to play the guitar, piano and even the ukulele as he did in his version of "Over the Rainbow." But what about his looks -- those dreadlocks on a white boy -- when have you seen that? He is laid back and really gives the impression that he doesn't even know why he has made it this far.

What about Carley Smithson? That huge tatoo on her right arm is also strange. But she is star material as well.

Good things can also be said for the remaining contestants. Again I think it is a great opportunity for young people to make something of themselves. They should be role models for the millions of young people who watch American Idol, and God knows we need some good role models.

Even though I am sure many people think that American Idol is just another one of those reality shows that add nothing to society, but I beg to differ. Sure, those people who concocted the idea have made millions of dollars from their efforts, but I think they have made a tremendous contribution, particularly to teens thoughout the country.

Bravo to American Idol -- may it last longer than two more years as predicted by Simon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Political Junkie Likes Democrat Race

The Democrat race for the presidential nomination has been exciting this year, whereas past races by both Democrats and Republicans have been a little dull.

We now have a great opportunity to go back to the way political conventions were held in my younger years. Rarely did anyone have the nomination wrapped up before the convention. It was always a fight on the convention floor and usually a number of votes had to be taken before a particular candidate received enough votes for the nomination. A lot of wheeling and dealing went on and many decisions were made in so-called "smoke-filled rooms."

Those were the good old days and exciting days at that. And the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver on August 25-28 could be a return to those days of yesteryear.

Senator Hillary Clinton said in a recent interview that she was prepared to take the nomination fight all the way to the convention floor as she and Senator Barack Obama will neither have reached the magic number of delegates to be nominated prior to the convention.

Senator Obama is leading Clinton by about 157 pledged delegates and there is apparently no way she can overcome this lead even though she wins the Pennsylvania primary and some of the remaining states like North Carolina and others. Of course you have the votes of the "super delegates" who are not pledged for either -- there will be a fight for those.

And then there is the big fight about seating the delegates from Florida and Michigan since those states' voters have been disenfranchised because the officials who set the primaries in those states defied the rules of the Democrat Party and moved the dates of the primaries. Both Clinton and Obama agreed to the actions of the party and did not campaign in those states. Now Hillary wants to change the rules and have those delegates seated.

Of course there are problems with Senator Clinton lying about being under enemy fire as she deplaned in Bosnia. Turns out that that was a fabrication to which she has now admitted. There are some other untruths that are surfacing for which she has not repented.

Senator Obama has had some difficulties in explaining his association with his pastor, the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., who has made some very nasty statements about the United States. Then you have his endorsement by Louis Farrakhan.

There are other problems that both of these candidates have brought upon themselves, but Obama's campaign seems to be a better executed plan. President Bill Clinton has placed his foot in his mouth more than once thus hurting Hilliary with some voters.

But at this point I am hoping and praying that August in Denver is going to be hot, and I don't mean the weather. I yearn for one of those heated battles of days gone by -- that will be the epitome of political entertainment. I can look on with glee in that I really don't have a dog in that hunt.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Why Not Acupuncture

Sometimes when one has some sort of painful malady he or she will resort to most anything for a little relief. Now I am not advocating voodoo, witch doctors or the like, but acupuncture has been practiced by Chinese physicians for several thousand years. It must be safe -- haven't heard of anyone dying from the procedure. The one main problem is that these practitioners do not accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Anyway, I was in Winston-Salem last week during spring break, and Amanda made me an appointment with Sarah Girard L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM) -- that's what her card says, but I don't know what those letters mean.

Ms Girard specializes in acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and gua sha. I'm sure I got the acupuncture and maybe the cupping -- moxibustion sounds like it may be a little bodily invasive, and who knows what gua sha is -- sounds like number 26 column A on the Chinese menu.

For those of you who are not familiar with acupuncture, Chi, the vital force or energy, circulates thoughout the body along fourteen major channels called "meridians." I think that the idea is to keep the Chi in balance in the workings of the bodily organs and systems which require prodigious amounts of energy.

I believe that Ms Girard found my liver and lungs to be a little out of balance, but when she got though sticking my body with a bunch of tiny stainless steel (hopefully sterile) needles my Chi got all ok. The Chi is stimulated when the needles are placed in the "acupoints." She left me for probably a half an hour looking like a pin cushion. Upon her return she removed all of the needles (at least she thought she did) and told me to rest until I felt like getting up. I got up, put on my shoes, go out the door to face a full length mirror, run my fingers though my hair and shazam there was one of those needles sticking right out of the top of my head. Ms Girard was a little embarassed at not completing her procedure. Let me not mislead you, Sarah was extremely nice, and I am sure she is good at what she does. I did feel a little relaxed, but the pain was still there -- what does one expect from one visit? She is trying to find me a practitioner in the Memphis area. I think I would be more comfortable if my next acupuncturist as least has a Chinese name.

I'm glad I did it just for the experience. I wonder if they teach acupuncture at the DeSoto campus of North West -- I need a new job.


Well, I am back for a couple of posts, and then I will probably disappear once again for a while. The problem is that I have really been a little to busy, and to be perfectly honest, I have run out of material -- I must lead a dull life.

To the subject at hand.

My wonderful daughters and sons-in-law apparently were in a quandry as to what to get me last Christmas. They became aware that Celtic Woman was in concert at the FedEx Forum in February. They also were aware of how much I love these girls and their music.

I'm sure some of you are probably wondering who is this group called Celtic Woman? If you are you must not watch public television because many times when there is a fundraiser the station airs one of the Celtic Woman concerts. WTOK in Memphis loves to run the shows. Lots of pledges must come in when these girls appear.

There are usually four or five of the singers plus a girl who is an accomplished fiddler -- some would call her a violinist, but she in my book is a fiddler. Their music tends to be Irish or Celtic in nature, but they do sing some other old standards. And I might add that none of them are hard to look at either.

So Melinda and I motor down to the Forum, sit in our great seats and enjoy a wonderful concert I will not soon forget. It is about as close as I will get to Ireland -- hint, hint -- next Christmas.

Thanks so much to Amanda, Laurette, Rob and Travis -- you could not have pleased me more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

I've gotten a little carried away with this Auld Lang Syne. Since I made a typo on "rendition" on the previous post, I felt I needed to give you another rendition. Enjoy!

Auld Lang Syne

This is a little different redition of Auld Lang Syne. Enjoy!

A Happy And Healthy New Year To All

I suppose this will be my last post until 2008 rolls around. Can you believe that in just three days we will start a brand new year? As usual it will take two or three weeks before I stop using 2007 on my checks.

Some of the family will be present in the Clark mansion for New Years Day. I expect to have Wallie, Manny, Travis and Mary Peyton as Rob will go back to Winston-Salem on Sunday. We will miss him and wish that he could be here to help us celebrate.

The usual fare will be on the dining table -- pork roast, blackeyed peas, sweet potatoes, cabbage and probably some other goodies I may decide to have. Traditionally, one should have hog jowl, but I'm not much into that part of the pig and will substitute the pork roast. Blackeyed peas are a must as they are said to bring good luck in the new year. Something green, some say, improves the finances, so I hope that the cabbage is green enough for that.

I usually fall asleep on New Years Eve before the old clock tolls midnight. But maybe this year I can at least watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York which, of course, is 11:00 our time. Does that count?

Who knows what 2008 will bring for any of us -- my guess is that it is a good thing that we don't know -- takes all of the fun out of living.

There is so much turmoil here and abroad that one can only hope and pray that somehow we can have peace on the planet. But that is probably asking too much -- it has never happened and unlikely to happen in this new year. We can continue to pray and maybe each one of us can make some kind of difference in the hearts of our brothers and sisters who walk this old Earth.

My wish for each of you is that the new year will bring to you the spiritual joy that you may be seeking and God will bless you and your loved ones.

I'm not much of a singer, and you are fortunate there is no sound to this post (I don't know how to do that), but I would like to leave you with this to sing in your own melodious tones:

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Sould auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.