Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bye, Bye Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan has resigned from being the men's head basketball coach at the University of Florida.

One really can't blame Donovan for leaving to try coaching at the next level the NBA. After a sub par season with the Gators last season he was going to have a challenge there. Likewise with the Oklahoma City Thunder he will have a challenge. You can read about him joining the Thunder here from an article by USA Today.

I wasn't taking a shot at the Coach. As a college basketball fan I have nothing but respect for the man. As a Gator fan I love what he has done with the program. I feel sorry for the Gators next coach. It is always a difficult challenge to follow a legend and that is exactly what the coach will be doing.

At the college level and mostly at Florida Billy Donovan has had a Hall of Fame career. He certainly has become a legend. In 21 years of College Basketball head coaching he has compiled a 502-206 record. His first two seasons were with Marshall Thundering Herd.

His stats are quite impressive at the University of Florida. In his 19 years at the school he delivered two National Championships and four Final Four Appearances. In the 77 years of Gator basketball before Billy the Kid arrived they had only gone to one Final Four and zero National Championships. Before Donovan the Gators had only won one Conference Championship and zero conference tournament. Billy guided them to six SEC Championships and four conference tournament championships.The best stat for his legacy might be that he averaged 24.6 wins a season in the 77 years before him the team averaged 11.5.

Beyond the stats Billy Donovan knew the game and spoke intelligently about it. He developed nine first round NBA picks. He was a coach who delivered and as a fan you always had hope for your team with Billy Donovan being courtside. Donovan turned a football school into a basketball power. The Blue and Orange of Gator Country will certainly miss him! I look forward to see how he meets his next challenge and wish him the best of luck with the Oklahoma City Thunder!

A to Z Challenge: ZZ Top

I am ending the challenge with a little Rock and Roll band from Texas. I hope everyone enjoyed the challenge.

Here they are with "Gimme All Your Lovin'"...

I think during the challenge we all wanted a little love for our blogs. Did your blog get the love you were looking for?

This song I am dedicating to Joanne's Word Splash who did a Texas theme during the challenge.

Her L selection was on LaGrange visit it if you would like. I dedicate the next one to all the ladies. I heard this is what you like?

What is your favorite ZZ Top song? What is your favorite ZZ Top Z
Memory? Please share in the comments.

I will leave you with this treat. The late great blues man John Lee Hooker with ZZ Top performing "Boom Boom."

Thanks for visiting I hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Yes the band

Guess I have a progressive music theme going this week sharing yesterday about the Landless Theatre Company and their prog metal Sweeney Todd. Perhaps not metal but progressive still the same today's topic on the A to Z: Challenge will be the band YES!

Here they are performing "And You and I"...

Here is a vintage performance of "Yours is no Disgrace"..

 I came up a few years later and the song that turned me on to this group was "Owner of a Lonely Heart"..

Hope you enjoyed the videos. Have you ever heard of Yes? What are your favorite Yes songs?
Please feel free to share in the comments.

Yes! One more day left in the challenge. Please stay tuned to this blog because I have another Battle of the Bands post coming up on May Day and some other fun stuff to blog about!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z: Xanadu and the Landless Theatre

About two and a half years ago I reviewed a performance of Xanadu which was produced by the Landless Theatre Company. It was a fun, entertaining and crazy show. You can read my review here. I also blogged about Xanadu on this blog here as I would blog about shows I reviewed and add a little bit more in my blog.

I am revisiting Xanadu because today is the letter X on the A to Z: Challenge! Only two more posts to go on the challenge so the end is near. Xanadu was what kept popping up in my mind for X. After re-reading my original blog post I realized I really didn't give the Landless Theatre Company a proper shout out! Even though their production of Xanadu is yesteryear's news the theatre company is producing new shows which are worth mentioning.

How about a clip from is Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) performing the title track..

Theatre and music fans might enjoy this song from the 2008 Tony Awards featuring Cheyenne Jackson and Kerry Butler performing "Don't Walk Away" from the musical...

The Landless Theatre Company has continued to produce crazy, entertaining and fun theatre. This summer they are bringing their Prog Metal version of Sweeney Todd to the Atlas Theatre in Washington, D.C. Last year the shows debut was nominated for three Helen Hayes Awards which are like Washington's version of the Tony Awards. You can learn more about this theatre group here. Interestered in reading a review about the prog metal Sweeney Todd? Here is one from Think about a musical being reviewed by a Heavy Metal site that is the craziness of Landless. I wish I could catch this show.

Stayed tuned as the A to Z: Challenge nears the end!

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Welcome

Welcome to the last week of the A to Z: Challenge

To all the participants in the A to Z: Challenge who might be stopping bye to visit. Welcome to the last week of the A to Z: Challenge. Congratulations! The end is near! If you are thinking of giving up don't just a few more posts to go!

Welcome to my blog

If you are new to my blog welcome and thanks for dropping in!I hope you enjoy your visit and come back soon! If your one of my regular readers welcome back! You are always welcome at my blog! Thanks for the feedback, You all make the blog better. The comments add to the content. You let me know when links aren't there or don't work! You let me know when you have trouble reading my blog. Which gives me a chance to make the blog better. So, I thank you!

Welcome to the workweek!

To those of you who have a day job (who are we fooling, day, night, and all hours in between job,) Welcome back to another workweek. Trust me I don't want the workweek to start today! I was having too much fun yesterday which was my only day off of the weekend. I was at Jazzfest in New Orleans and my friend wanted me to go to an after party. Which I knew would be blast! However, reality is I had a long car drive back home and work today.

A lot of welcomes today! I hope you enjoyed your visit and I look forward to your return! I'll leave the blog open!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z: Is for Violent Femmes

Thought I would return to the blog with some music this weekend! Violent Femmes start with V so they are my choice for V Day on the A to Z: Challenge!

They are probably best known for their song "Blister in the Sun"

But I can go on and add a few more videos for your musical pleasure! Here is "American Music"

Here they are with "Kiss Off"...

Do you remember the Violent Femmes? Have a favorite song by them?
Well the A to Z: Challenge will continue on Monday. I have work today, a possible road trip tomorrow, so Monday could be interesting stay tuned!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z Challenge: U is for Upside

Sometimes it is too easy to look at the downside of things. Sometimes it is because they hit you in face! Sometimes people point it out! However, most of the time there is an upside. Sometimes the upside hides or is hard to find. Sometimes it is hard to realize what the upside is.

Kind of like the saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." The lemonade would be the upside.

Life isn't always easy. Troubles come and go. But look out for the upsides!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you find the upside!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge: T is for Temple, Shirley Temple

Today is the 87th anniversary of Shirley Temple's birth. She passed away in February of 2014 and you can read my tribute to her here. Clips of "Curly Top," "The Good Ship Lollipop," and part of The Kennedy Center Honors can be found there.

Today on her birthday I will once again pay tribute to her. However, I will be sharing different clips.

Here she is with the extended version of "Animal Crackers in My Soup"

She had a long and successful career leaving behind a great legacy to choose from which makes a blog log this easy. Here she is with "When I Grow Up"

Here is a short interview with Regis and Kathy Lee..

What are your favorite Shirley Temple movies? Favorite moments? Please feel free to share in the comments. Thanks for visiting and I will have a new post soon!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A to Z: S is for snakes

Today is Earth Day so it would be fitting that I blog about an animal. Today's subject is snakes. Some people find snakes neat and interesting animals. A lot of people find snakes to be terrifying serpents. I tend to find them interesting creatures who deserve respect like most wild animals.

I try to share this with my kids. Earlier this month my daughter had the opportunity to hold an albino Burmese Python.

My daughter's mom was not impressed with me letting her hold the snake. She tends to be on  the terrifying serpents point of view. Looking at my daughter's smile she appears to be enjoying holding the snake.

Where we live it is not uncommon to see snakes. I've told her to be on the lookout for them, If she sees one to leave it alone and come get me, Because I want to see the snake!

It is important to observe what is around you.  I take my daughter fishing and swimming and humans are not the only ones who enjoy fishing and swimming.

I believe a healthy respect of animals is important than an unhealthy fear.Worse is someone who doesn't have any fear and quite a bit of foolishness.

Here is an article about someone who was bitten by a Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) because they found one and kept it on their bed in a pillow case. I wouldn't even recommend doing that with a non-venomous snake.

Venomous snakes inject venom which caused the guy to go to the hospital. Snake venom can kill people! A python like the one my daughter is holding is a constrictor which kills it's prey by squeezing it to death. Snakes have teeth! Just because a snake is not venomous or a large constrictor it should be treated with respect,

Have you had any experiences with snakes? Have a favorite snake? Do you think they are neat? Do you fear them?

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z Challenge: R is for Ribbit

My blog has gone to the frogs today!

Kermit the Frog takes the Ice Bucket Challenge..

Here is a tree frog hanging out..

Here is a frog making a ribbit or a call

Here is a clip from my favorite frog movie..

I like the singing better than their ribbits.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Q

Today is the letter Q in the A to Z: Challenge so I decided to select Q from the James Bond movie and novel franchise.

Here are some quick clips from Q in the movies..

A new Q is introduced in the movie Skyfall...

A bit of trivia for all the book lovers out there. The character Q never appears in Ian Fleming's novels. However a Q Branch is mentioned.

Below James Bond meets Q in From Russia with Love..

Are you a fan of the James Bond novels or movie? What is your favorite Q moment from one of the films?

Thanks for visiting! I will be back tomorrow with another A to Z post! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Percy Sledge

I would have done this post earlier if it wasn't for the challenge. However, a few days late might be a better way to show tribute to a great singer.

The 74 year old musical legend passed away April 14, 2015. He has been inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and roll Hall of Fame. He is also honored in the Delta Music Museum. Percy was a Pioneer Award Recipient from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and his album Blues Night won a Blues Music Award for Best Blues/Soul album

He is best known for this song..

Here is a news clip about his death..

This song from 1974 was probably his last hit called "I'll Be Your Everything"

His songs had some great advice like "Take Time to Know Her"

I know I have a lot of music fans who visit my blog what are your favorite Percy Sledge songs? Do you have any Percy memories? Please feel free to leave comments.

Percy Sledge certainly will be missed. He had a voice that won't be replaced. His songs will live on.
Thanks for visiting and I will continue on with the A to Z Challenge on Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Oceans

Above is a picture of the Atlantic Ocean taken by me a couple (probably a few) of years ago. Location Neptune Beach, Florida if anyone is wondering. The Oceans change constantly. They wash away things. Things crumble into them. Things wash up from them. Oceans get moody. Still something about oceans that are a constant for me.

Maybe the ocean is a parallel or a refection of my life, my dreams, and my existence. Don't our lives change constantly? Doesn't life wash up surprises on us? Don't we loose things in this journey?

I don't live on the beach but it is a very short drive. Funny thing is the area I am at is known for the white sands. The white sands are due to the Appalachian Mountains that have been reduced to sand. Ironically I moved here from an area in the Appalachians.

Above Perdido Key on the Florida Alabama border I believe.

The Gulf being a little moody..

Above is the Gulf of Mexico from Pensacola Beach, Florida. Maybe I will just sail off into an ocean..

The view of Destin, Florida from a boat in the Gulf of Mexico...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Northern Lights

Today on the A to Z Challenge I thought I would share something I have never seen but I would like to see the Northern Lights.

Here is a display of them..

Here is a video on how the Northern Lights come about..

Here is another video of Northern Lights?

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? What are somethings you have never seen but want to see?

Thanks for visiting! Come back soon another A to Z Challenge post tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands and A to Z Challenge: Mr. Big versus Maxi Priest

It is a Blog Hopping double helping at my blog today. Today marks the halfway point of April. In addition to my Battle of the Bands entry this post will also be my post in the A to Z Challenge. Today's letter is M.

I am doing the Battle of the Bands because this is what I would do on any first of the month. I like the blog hop. My blog isn't changing for the A to Z challenge. What you see during the challenge is just how my blog goes.

Since more readers may be popping in it is probably even more important for me to explain what is going on and who else has battles!

Regular rules, listen to the song clips in the blog post. In the comment section vote for the one you like the best. Feel free to explain why you voted the way you did. The battles take place on the first and 15th and winners will be announced on the 7th and 21st. I will normally post the winner in the comments. Of course have fun and enjoy!

The below list is edited to welcome some new battles and unfortunately some battles have taken a break. If you are still looking for more musical fun after you vote, you can check out these sites for more battles:

Tossing it Out


 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands


 'Curious as a Cathy'

DC Relief Battle of the Bands

A to Z visitors please check out my friends above, they post some pretty neat stuff! 

Since today's letter is M so I picked a song by the artist formally known as Cat Stevens and now going under the name of Yusuf Islam. The simple reason the song is a masterpiece. I am going to mix it up with my contestants.

Here is the original, which is not eligible to win.

Let the fun begin! 

Contestant One Mr. Big

In my younger days I really enjoyed this band. Of course their is an M in Mr. so the band fits today's theme as well.

Contestant Two Maxi Priest

I stated I was going to mix it up. Going from a rock groups ballad version to a reggae version by Maxi Priest is certainly mixing it up. M in Maxi makes this choice fit the A to Z: Challenge. 

Testament to a great song that it can be  performed by different artists and still come out sounding great!

So which version did you like the best? Please vote for Mr. Big or Maxi Priest in the comments! Winner will be announced soon! Please feel free to share your thoughts! Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon with another A to Z post.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Looming a dark haiku

Photo by Michael M Koehler Photography

Poetry is where writing really began for me. As we continue on the A to Z: Challenge I thought I would write a new haiku style poem called "Looming."Nice change of pace to add in some creative writing as the challenge moves forward. I hope you enjoy my dark haiku..

Looming in the dark
In the distance far away
Growing as it comes

Where did your writing start? Do you ever return to that writing place? Thoughts on the small poem?
Feel free to share in the comments. Tune in tomorrow as I will have a combined Battle of the Bands post and A to Z Challenge post.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A to Z Challenge: King of the Blues BB King

I used J for Joni Mitchell because she had health problems that put her in the hospital since the challenge started. The great B.B. King has also been hospitalized since the challenge started so  Iwill play tribute to him with this post.

I've blogged about him a few times in the past. Most notably a year ago and you can read that post here. I have been fortunate to see him several times. Besides being a great guitarist and legendary blues man he has other traits as well. He is an incredible storyteller and his facial expressions really pull you into the story. He also is humble and willing to share the stage with some many. Probably things which help make him a legend.

B.B. with a song about his guitar..

I think Lucille has a few more notes left in her, or at least I hope. Below "Sweet Little Angel"

Blues lovers may like this jam with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and Jimmie Vaughan..

The song was "Rock Me Baby." Are you a fan of B.B. King? What is your favorite song? Any favorite memories of jams? Feel free to share. I wish him fast healing and better health. I hope you enjoy and see you soon!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Joni Mitchell

As many Joni Mitchell fans know the singer was hospitalized earlier this month. Since she has had health issues and her name starts with J she is my choice for my blog subject.

She is a great songwriter. To call her a folk singer would be an injustice. Her guitar playing which featured many alternative guitar tunings even influenced Jimmy Page. Her music stretched to other genres including jazz. She is an artist not just with music but with her paintings as well.

Here is vintage Joni performing "Both Sides Now"

Here she performs "Coyote" with Jaco Pastorius

An interview with her from 2014...

Below is her song "Circle Game"

I hope she gets better! Thanks for visiting and I will be back soon!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Ink on the body

It appears to me more people are putting ink on themselves in the forms of tattoos. I see more tattoos at work, out at concerts and festivals, at the mall, heck  I even know a couple of tattoo artists. I have nothing against tattoos. Will I get inked? I doubt it. I am too indecisive and tattoos are pretty permanent,

Here is a video of extreme tattoos...

If I ever got inked it would not be on the face. Some people get tattoos of writing on their backs. It might be impolite to stare but if you are going to show it I am going to read it!

What do you think of tattoos? Do you wear any ink? If you want you can share your tattoos in the comments. Anyone thinking about getting a tattoo? If so what and where?

If you are thinking about getting some ink here is a video about it...

Thanks for visiting I hope you enjoyed this post about body ink. I will be continuing the challenge tomorrow moving from tattoos to something to do with J.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Huskies Three Peat

 I wrote about the Connecticut Huskies men and woman's basketball teams last year in the A to Z: Challenge because both teams won the 2014 NCAA Championships. You can revisit that post here.
This year the men's team faded. This year the women's team won another championship their third in a row!

In the past tow seasons they have combined 78-1 record. It is their fifth title in seven years so I think it is safe to say that Coach Geno Auriemma has a legit dynasty going on!

Highlights from the game..

It is the second straight year they have defeated Notre Dame in the finals so the girls at Notre Dame have an awesome team as well! 

In tribute to the Irish here is their intro video from this season that ended Tuesday..

Here are highlights of UCONN blowing out Memphis this season..

Hats off to the Lady Huskies at the University of Connecticut for their three straight championships!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A to Z Challenge: G for Geoffrey Lewis

Yesterday actor Geoffrey Lewis passed away from natural causes the actor was 79. He was an actor who performed in several Clint Eastwood movies. He also appeared on television in shows ranging from "Flo," "Law in Order" and "My Name is Earl."

He was also a talented storyteller in the storytelling group "Celestial Navigation" below he tells the tale called "The Dwarf."

In a movie career spanning from 1971 to 2012 Geoffrey Lewis appeared in over 70 movies.He played the role of Stacey in the western "High Plains Drifter" featuring Clint Eastwood. Enjoy the clip below..

He received a Golden Globe nomination for his role on the television show "Flo." Below is a preview of the sitcom.

Here is a news clip of his passing..

His legacy will live in on reruns of television shows and through his film. He will be missed by his wife and children. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A to Z: The Firm

In hindsight this Super group should have been bigger than what they achieved. The Firm consisted of Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company fame on vocals and legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The band also featured drummer Chris Slade and bassist Tony Franklin.

A promo pic from the 80's..

The Firm.jpg

The band released two albums in their short lived history. In my opinion the bands biggest hit was "Radioactive" which peaked at #28 on the US Charts..

Here is another song "Satisfaction Guaranteed"

Here is "All the King's Horses"

A little retro music flashback on the A to Z Challenge!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A to Z Challenge:Evel Knievel

Photos below from Evel Knievel's website.


Evel Knievel was already an established legend when I was growing up. My mom is probably happy I didn't follow in his footsteps. In his career he suffered more than 433 broken bones so perhaps there are some medical professionals wishing I had.

This quote from his website kind of grabbed me "Evel Knievel made the leap from rural county fairs to sold-out stadiums through a unique combination of bravado, determination, and promotional genius."

Why you may ask? Well I was at a rural county fair yesterday and their was a group of motorcycle jumpers who were one of the fair's sideshows. 

Times of course have changed since Evel Knievel was doing stunts. It has changed so much since he passed away in 2007. To me growing up in the 70s and 80s and I am sure to those who grew up slightly earlier he defined daredevil to us.(It is debatable if I have or will ever grow up.)

 I wonder if he would be a star today? Would d he even make it on television?  Would he just be a youtube hit maker? Is there a place left for daredevils?

Last year when I participated in the challenge I chose to post about excitement. You can revisit that post here. I stated excitement was a need and for people like Evel Knievel I am sure it was. He also provided a service to people by showing the impossible could happen if you try. The 433 broken bones showed he had his share of failures but in the end he is remembered as a hero by many.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

21 years ago the end of Nirvana

In my late teens and early twenties Seattle's grunge scene was becoming quite popular on rock radio, MTV(yes they once played music) and among my friends. One of the most popular of these groups was Nirvana.

Nirvana ended 21 years ago today when the frontman, singer, songwriter, guitarist for the band blew his mind out with a shotgun joining the infamous 27 Club. I describe his death rather bluntly. There music was blunt, it was rock and roll. For the bluntness I offer..

"All Apologies"

One of their biggest hits and a song I remember hearing a lot of in my college days was "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Nirvana would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. The band has also sold 25 million albums in the United States and over three times that world wide. In 1992 the band won two MTV Music Awards.

"Come As You Are"

It is hard to believe it has been 21 years since Kurt Cobain passed away. It sames like it was not that long ago. However, the music lives on in video and recordings. Thanks for visiting. I will be back soon kicking off week two of the A to Z: Challenge.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A to Z Challenge: D for Destin

Above is a picture of a sunrise over Destin, Florida. The city claims a great motto "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village." I've had some luck fishing out of there so I can vouch for the slogan.

The town is also a popular destination for tourists. Jimmy Buffett has one of his restaurants down by the water...

Jimmy's Margaritaville...

You might even see a Pirate ship...

However, I like the peacefulness of the wee hours. When people are scarce and the bustle comes from the towns other residents,.

Makes me wonder if the early bird gets the fish? I hope you enjoyed the photos I took of Destin, Florida. Thanks for visiting! I will have an A to Z post regarding E on Monday!

Friday, April 3, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Catfish

My post is a little late. My daughter did not have school today and I was off from my day(evening/night) job. So, I took my daughter out to one of my favorite bayous where I was having some luck of late to try and catch her a fish.

A view from the Bayou..

Luck wasn't on our side at the bayou. However that was fishing wise. Sharing a picnic lunch with my daughter, seeing an Osprey, turtles and spending quality time of course makes me very lucky. I made the call to go to the catfish farm about an hour drive from where we were..

The drive was through the countryside so we had plenty of rivers to cross and plenty of horse farms. My daughter loves animals so seeing horses was a small bonus,

When we reached our destination we were joined by another fishing enthusiast.


That is a Bald Eagle.

Now the mission was for my daughter to catch a fish and she did!

She ended up catching a 19" catfish, which she reminded me is an inch bigger than my big catch of the day. However, it was worth this smile..

After all that is what fishing is all about, the big smile!  I was going to get a picture of her holding it which she tried but did not have success. Now I am enjoying a big catfish feast! I will be back with a post related to D.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A to Z Challenge: Blue, Great Blue Heron

Maybe at one time these big birds were daytime creatures. Sure, I have seen them many times during  the day. However, I have found them to be my fishing companions in the overnight hours. Maybe they are like people open 24 hours a day. Maybe I was were they come to roost and maybe they liked the company.

They are big birds. Large beaks. They are predators. I have come to discover they are also very intelligent. The one below spent part of the night sneaking around trying to steal some of my bait.

They don't need hand outs as they are quite capable of catching their own meals.

They really don't mind me sticking around and taking pictures of them. All photos were taken by me. What I do when I am not working, booked up with the family, or writing. Just hanging out with birds of a feather!