Ms. Ronstadt excels at Christmas music too

Here is Linda Ronstadt singing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,”

from her 2000 album “A Merry Little Christmas”. It should come as no surprise that it had the highest sales of all holiday albums released that year.

It took her a long time to record a holiday album, and she chose only half-a-dozen of the standards. She branched off into traditional English and Welsh carols and one Spanish one to make up the rest of the album. There’s a fine duet in which she partners with Rosemary Clooney to sing “White Christmas” here.

Ms. Baker knows what’s going on

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Anita Baker.

She had a rather odd career, filled with arguments with record companies and subsequent absences from the charts and radio. Her biggest hit was her second album, Rapture, released in 1986. A collection of “adult R&B”, it sold 8 million copies. She announced her retirement via Twitter in January of this year at age 59.

This song was written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and has since been covered by dozens of performers.

What a peculiar coincidence.

Amanda Marcotte at Salon notices something odd: “Now we find out that many of these journalists who seemed convinced that Clinton had a deep, dark secret were likely harboring guilty secrets of their own.”

“When one looks down the lengthening list of prominent male journalists who have been credibly accused of sexual harassment, one thing that sticks out is that they were all obsessed with those godforsaken emails. Charlie Rose, Glenn Thrush, Mark Halperin, Bill O’Reilly: Besides being apparent sleazeballs, they were all big fans of the idea that the thousands of Democratic emails, some released by Clinton herself and some stolen by presumed Russian agents and leaked on WikiLeaks, would somehow turn into an earth-shattering scandal.

[snip]

In September 2016, Lauer did two hour-long interviews with each major-party presidential candidate. He gave the softball treatment to Donald Trump, letting Trump lie repeatedly without challenging or confronting him, and without really digging into Trump’s multiple real scandals. With Clinton, however, Lauer spent a full one-third of the interview on emails, even though her email history had been public, at that point, for a full year, and there was absolutely no way that interesting new information was coming out of it.

What a surprise, huh? All these guys displayed sexist and misogynist behavior toward Hillary Clinton during her campaign, which offended many of us, but a year later we have learned that they all displayed that same behavior toward their female subordinates, many of them for years.

It’s not too much to say that by their behavior they helped put Donald Trump in office. Thanks guys!

Oy! Auto detailing is not cheap!

My poor Mini has had its exterior paint damaged by the sun and by age. It’s now twelve years old, after all, and we have no garage or carport; it’s lived without a roof over its head for at least the five years since I bought it.

Trying to sell it “as is” may be all I can do, but I’ve been looking into having it detailed, figuring most buyers want a prospective purchase to be attractive. I have four estimates so far. The least costly is $150. The highest is $380. Considering that the Kelley Blue Book value of a 2005 Mini in “fair” condition is $1900, I might have to spend more than 10% of the prospective sale price to make it pretty. One of the estimators said after seeing it “there’s no way that can be considered “fair” condition,” which isn’t at all encouraging.

Dammit.

Let the season begin, but not for another five days

Yes, yes, I know Christmas is coming. I even have two Christmas gifts already in hand. I will undoubtedly start posting Christmas/seasonal music videos as always, but not until December 1. I have my standards!

I’m handicapped this year, too. My computer speakers have finally given up the ghost, or at least the one who lives on the left side of the monitor has retired. I bought some new ones, but they won’t be here till the week of Tuesday, December 5 — Monday, December 11, according to Amazon.

There are some new entries into the Christmas music catalog this year. Try these:

Grrr. Safeway, you’re letting us down

We’ve been buying a ready-made Thanksgiving turkey dinner from Safeway for at least twenty years, if not more. It used to be almost all-inclusive; all we had to add were sweet potatoes and green veggies. It had a 10-lb. bird, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, a dozen rolls and a pumpkin pie.

A couple of years ago rolls were deliberately left out of the package. We shrugged and said we could buy rolls, but we mildly objected to the price hike of ~$5 even as they left out one item.

Roll forward to this year. Now the package has neither rolls nor pumpkin pie. The price is the same as last year — $59.99 — but now it’s short two items. Rolls are a couple of bucks, so that’s not an issue, really. Pie, on the other hand, is anywhere from $8 – $15 depending on where you buy it. Buying those two items separately makes the cost of the meal between $70 and $80. That’s starting to get into the expensive range for a prepared meal.

I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, but it’s beginning to tick me off.

Unbelievable, Trump. Really? A pedophile?

Donald takes the word of a pedophile that he didn’t do any of the horrid things attributed to him while at the same time calling the sleaze ball’s opponent, a man who prosecuted and convicted two of the KKK members who helped to blow up the Birmingham Church in 1963 and killed four little girls “soft on crime.”

I remain amazed, disgusted and shocked that enough of my fellow citizens voted for this worthless human being to elect him President of the United States. Maybe I shouldn’t be, though. Read what Jim Wright says on Facebook and see what you think.

We’re not better than this.

As I said on Twitter, I am continually appalled by otherwise intelligent people who persist in this denial.

We’re not better than this.

THIS. IS. AMERICA.

This is who we are. This is who we’ve become. We’ve been on our way to this point for quite awhile now. Bit by bit, inch by inch, day by day. Until we fetched up here.

If this wasn’t who we are as a nation, Donald Trump would never have made it out of the primaries. But see, the thing is, he wasn’t the only one. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the GOP candidates was unashamedly pushing the same message of intolerance, fear, anger, religious fanaticism, war, and xenophobia.

Trump was just better at it.

Republicans unabashedly told the entire world what they were going to do if they got into power. This isn’t a secret, it’s the party platform.

Pettiness, thy name is Trump

Colbert and his writers are quick on their feet.


The really funny thing is that Trump got played by Mr. Ball.

His tried-and-true strategy for promoting the family products is to troll people with a higher profile into speaking his name and, thus, grow the family business along the way.

He did it with Michael Jordan, with Steph Curry and with LeBron James, and now he’s done it with Trump.

Obi-Wan saves the day

If you’ve never seen “The Bridge on the River Kwai” this is a spoiler, but it’s Sir Alec Guinness delivering a line with such pathos that the scene has to end this way.

It’s a wonderful film (it won seven Oscars, including Best Picture), one of many excellent films set in World War II in the 1950s (“Kwai” was released in 1957) and 1960s. Think of “The Caine Mutiny,” “Stalag 17,” “From Here to Eternity,” and “Run Silent Run Deep” in the first decade after the war, and then think of “The Great Escape,” “The Longest Day,” “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Guns of Navarone,” “Von Ryan’s Express” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” in the second.