No Mystical Forces Making Us Do Anything

I am not big on the idea of fate, destiny, or karma being in charge of our lives and for the most part we have a lot of control over how we are going to turn out.  There is nobody pulling our strings, or any set plan that people must follow.  If you get off to a good start in life, that will give you more control about what type of person you will become.  If we don’t have good parents, or any parents, then we will be left at the mercy of everything that is trying to tear us down.  The decisions that you make in your life will have a greater impact than the circumstances that you face.  Life is not always easy, and anyone can end up in difficult situations, but we can control a lot of things in life.  If we want to be liked by others, then we must bathe, comb our hair, brush our teeth and be presentable, as nobody likes a slob.  If you want to be smart, then you must read, and pay attention in class.  If you are on page 86 in math class and the teacher is discussing a problem on page 92, you are most certainly going to be lost.

Since everyone has free will, we all have some control over what we eat, how long we sleep, where we go, and what we do.  You have control over how you think about yourself, so if you think you are a loser, there is a good chance that you may become a loser.  Every person has control over their own happiness, as it is just as easy to smile as it is to be sad.  People that feel they can control their own happiness are generally much happier than people who don’t think that have any control over this.  Having a positive attitude can take you a long way in life.

Written for Sadje’s Sunday Poser #118, oops #27 where she asks, “Do you think how we turn out is in our control?  Are we what we are made to be, or are we what we make of ourselves?”

Watching Her Go

Kenny Loggins co-wrote ‘What a Fool Believes’ with Doobie Brothers lead singer Michael McDonald.  Loggins put his version on his album Nightwatch, which was released in July 1978, five months before The Doobies included it on their Minute by Minute album.  Loggins’ version was never released as a single, but The Doobie Brothers took it to #1 in the US in April 1979 and it was nominated for a Grammy Award and won for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.  The song is about a man trying to reconnect with a woman he knew in the past.  A man who tries to convince himself that the woman he loves will come back to him, as they had some sort of relationship in the past.  The man intends to use this meeting as an opportunity to rekindle the old feelings he had with his former love interest, but sadly this lady was never really interested in him.  She only chose to meet him out of respect, as at one time they had fun together, but she knew when it was time to move on.  She was the best thing that ever happened to him, and he is refusing to throw in the towel.  She apologizes to him and excuses herself to leave, but he doesn’t catch her signal, believing he still has a shot with her.  Love has made him into a fool, and even a wise person can’t figure out the reason why it goes away.
Minute by Minute was The Doobie Brothers eighth studio album and their last album to include drummer John Hartman (until Cycles) and lead and rhythm guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter who was formerly from Steely Dan.  The Doobie Brothers featured more of a soft rock sound with Michael McDonald as lead singer after they lost lead singer Tom Johnston due to illness in the mid-‘70s.  The Doobie Brothers bassist Tiran Porter was a good friend of Kenny Loggins and he suggested Loggins to McDonald when McDonald got stuck on the bridge of the song.  Michael McDonald started writing this on his own and he had the first verse, and the general storyline.  He knew that this song was about an old ex-couple that had broken up, and they were meeting again to catch up.  The man thinks they’re about to rekindle things and the woman is just being polite, but the man just can’t let go of what he thought they had.

He came from somewhere back in her long ago
The sentimental fool don’t see
Trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created
Once in her life, she musters a smile for his nostalgic tale
Never coming near what he wanted to say
Only to realize it never really was

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
Than nothing at all keeps sending him

Somewhere back in her long ago
Where he can still believe there’s a place in her life
Someday, somewhere, she will return

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be (if love can come and love can go, then why can’t love return once more?)
Is always better than nothing
(Who got the power?)
Than nothing at all (oh, now)
What a fool believes he sees (I believe she’s never gone away)
No wise man has the power
To reason away (to reason away)
What seems to be (oh, if love can come and love can go, oh, mama)
Is always better than nothing (better than nothing)
Than nothing at all (oh, I believe)

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme this week is Yacht Rock suggested by John Holton.

Nowhere at All

‘If Not for You’ was written by Bob Dylan and recorded on his 1970 eleventh studio album New Morning.  This song was issued as a single, but it did not chart for Dylan.  It celebrated the simple pleasures of nature, and it was written as a love song to his first wife Sara.  Bob was telling his significant other that she means everything to him, and that without her, he wouldn’t have anything and there would be nowhere for him to go, as she has become his entire world.  Sarah after she took care of him after his motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966, and it is possible this song was a way for him to say thanks for all the time and effort that she put into helping him recover.  Dylan sang and played acoustic guitar with Charlie Daniels on bass and Al Kooper on keyboard and Russ Kunkel on drums and Ron Cornelius playing lead guitar.  Dylan has the ability to assemble simple lyrics together to create a poetic masterpiece.  Many of Dylan’s songs became big hits for other artists.

One month later, George Harrison released a version of this song on his first solo album, the triple album All Things Must Pass, which featured him singing, playing acoustic guitars, Dobros, and harmonica, with Peter Frampton on acoustic guitar, Gary Wright on piano, Billy Preston on organ, Klaus Voormann on bass, Alan White on drums, and Ringo Starr playing the tambourine.  Another well-known cover of the song was recorded by Olivia Newton-John, which was her first major hit on an international scale.  She had the only US charting version of the song which reached #25 on the Hot 100, and her 1971 cover went to #7 in the UK.  When Newton-John recorded this, she had never heard Dylan’s version, only Harrison’s.  ‘If Not for You’ was played at the 1971 NYC fundraiser for refugees from Bangladesh and that featured George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston.

If not for you
Babe, I couldn’t even find the door
I couldn’t even see the floor
I’d be sad and blue, if not for you

If not for you
Babe, the night would see me wide awake
The day would surely have to break
It would not be new, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn’t hear a robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love I’d be nowhere at all
I’d be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldn’t hear a robin sing
I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you

If not for you

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2023 Day 5 where today is a user choice.

Smooth Music

Yacht rock refers to the soft rock that dominated FM radio airwaves in the late 1970s and early 1980s characterized by glossy production, breezy vocals, and bouncy rhythms.  The name “yacht rock” didn’t enter the popular imagination until decades after its heyday in the early 1980s.  Yacht Rock was a public access comedy show that gave this genre its name.  It was an 12-part series that followed the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s which was created by JD Ryznar, Hunter D Stair and Lane Farnham.  It evoked the breezy marinas of southern California along with the soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s that were playing Smooth Music.  Some people consider this genre akin to musical wallpaper, marshmallow fluff, whiter-than-white bread snore-tunes or sax-heavy Sominex-inducing elevator Muzak, but these songs would sound great on a yacht as you sip your pina coladas and get caught in the rain.  Yacht Rock has been described as being as slick as an oil spill, part smooth pop, part light rock, that is both funky and jazzy with a little bit of bubblegum music added to it.  Songs that fit into the genre’s guidelines were determined by J. D. Ryznar, Steve Huey, Hunter Stair, and David Lyons, and they must have been released between 1976 and 1984, but you will know it when you hear it.  Most of the songs have tight harmonies, strong background singers, with added horns or strings.  It’s not lounge music, but it’s music to lounge to and something that you can tap your feet along with.  Some artists commonly included in the yacht rock genre are: The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Christopher Cross, Robbie Dupree, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Fleetwood Mac, Michael McDonald, Rupert Holmes, Toto, and Steely Dan.

Last week we had Latest Movement where the theme was to find New Wave Music songs.  This week the theme is to find Yacht Rock songs which was suggested by John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Suggestions
• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about The Doobie Brothers song ‘What a Fool Believes’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Top of the World’ by the Carpenters.  The upcoming prompts will be:
February 12, 2023 – Sunshine Pop suggested by John Holton
February 19, 2023 – Bubblegum Pop suggested by John Holton
February 26, 2023 – Swamp Rock
March 5, 2023 – Rockabilly music

Hold You for a Million Years

Di of Pensitivity101 suggested the Love Is In Da Blog prompt for today which is a love song that is specific to you and your spouse (or significant other, may it be human or in any other form).  I am going with the song ‘Make You Feel My Love’ which was written by Bob Dylan for his 1997 thirteenth studio album Time Out of Mind.  This song is new to me, so I can’t say that it is specific for me and a significant other, but I would like to hope that one day I will find somebody who can feel my love.  Billy Joel included a version of this song on his Greatest Hits Volume III album and Adele covered this song on her 2008 debut album, 19.  Garth Brooks cut a mellow country rendition for the soundtrack of the Sandra Bullock romantic drama Hope Floats.  The sheer number of covers (which includes more than 450 artists) prompted Rolling Stone to suggest that the song may one day qualify as a true American standard.

This song isn’t one of Dylan’s best-known tracks and it is a fairly unadorned ballad, but in this song, he pledges unconditional devotion.  In the song, a guy offers comfort to this girl that he has fallen for, saying that he will embrace and hold onto her.  She has not made up her mind about him yet, even though he has.  He is willing to go hungry, get bruises and go crawling down the avenue for her.  He will face storms, raging seas and go out on the highway of regret to win her love.  He hopes that she will change her mind about him, so he can make her dreams come true.  He says that he will go to the ends of the Earth for her.

When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

I know you haven’t made your mind up yet
But I will never do you wrong
I’ve known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong

I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
You ain’t seen nothing like me yet

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true
Nothing that I wouldn’t do
Go to the ends of the Earth for you
To make you feel my love
To make you feel my love

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2023 Day 4 where today’s prompt comes from Di of Pensitivity101 where she wants us to find a love song specific to you and your spouse (or significant other, may it be human or in any other form).

I Should Eat More Salad

I know that I am a big fat bastard and that is why my bed frame broke, but I filled out a Warranty Claim and they are sending me a new part to fix it.  I heard back from the manufacturer the same day that I submitted my claim, and they approved it and my new part is being sent to me already.  When I contacted them, I expected to pay for the new part and the shipping, but they are sending it to me free of charge.  My bed is just over two years old and the brace on left side that holds up the wooden slats which the mattress sits on top of broke, making the mattress sag.  I get in and out of my bed on the left side all the time and sometimes I just sit on that side of the bed when I am getting dressed, so it gets a lot more use than the right side.  I may try to install another brace under the new brace, so it will be able to better support my weight.

This is not the first time that I broke something by sitting on it.  My friend invited me over to his house for a barbecue and he gave me this chair to sit in which crushed under me and after I crushed three more of his flimsy chairs, I had to sit on his patio steps.  I am not fond of salads, and I don’t care for fruit either.  I guess the only kind of salad that I like is a chef salad and it must have croutons and lots of dressing, which basically defeats the point of eating a salad.  I am not too keen on lettuce, as I think that is for rabbits, but I will eat the hard-boiled eggs, some ham, tomatoes, and cheese.

Written for Paula’s TGIF challenge.

Absolutely For the Birds

1.    COOT – This word is used to describe very old birds.

2.   DUNLIN – This is a character in The Angry Birds Movie.

3.   HOBBY – This is Big Bird’s cousin from the Muppets.

4.   KNOT – This is a type of swan that can twist their neck.

5.   RUFF – This is a bird that is trained for cockfighting.

6.   SCAUP – This is the name of the raven from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem.

7.   SERIN – This is Howard the Duck’s middle name.

8.   SMEW – This is the name of a penguin in the Happy Feet movie.

9.   SNIPE – This is the bird named Kevin in the movie Up.

10. TWITE – This is the name of Beep-Beep the Road Runner’s wife.

Written for Di’s Fibbing Friday.

Infinity

I had this idea which relates to the Big Freeze that physicists propose will be the fate of our universe, since they discovered that it is expanding. They predict that the cosmos will suffer a cold and lonely death as it continues to expand forever and eventually all matter will reach a final uniform state. I know that I won’t be around when this happens, but I worried about this and I thought that if our universe is expanding, that it must be expanding against something. The first thing that came to me was a balloon getting bigger, but when I realized that the universe was unlikely to pop, so I switched my thinking to waves. Since I like water, I thought about the edge of the universe being like water waves crashing against it. Wave are oscillatory and they build momentum till they crash on the shore. This momentum is a transfer of energy, so when all the stars in the universe are depleted, we will still have some energy left, which could possibly reverse itself and start warming us up again. Although I think this is highly doubtful and maybe I am just a crackpot, or a crackhead, or my brains have been scrambled from thinking too much about infinity.

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Natural numbers begin with 1 and proceed by ones up to infinity ∞, which is not actually a number, it is an idea.  Infinity is a powerful concept that deals with something that is an absolutely unattainable value.  You may think that you are getting close to infinity, but you can never reach it, because infinity goes on forever and it never ends.  The odd thing is that infinity plus one is still equal to infinity, so nothing can be bigger than infinity.  Infinity is the largest of the large and the smallest of the small, as having an infinitesimal amount means that something is infinitely small, being too tiny to be measured.  This is the idea behind that is behind Calculus, as this form of mathematics allows us to be able to break lines down into smaller pieces, so curved lines would act like straight lines.  Calculus is used to determine…

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Listen to Your Heart Bleed

I feel bad for the people in Ukraine, because so many of them are suffering ever since the insane Putin became bent on taking over the world.  My mother’s mother came from Kiev in the Ukraine and all of this bloodshed is unnecessary.  I wasn’t able to come up with a love song for Ukraine and all other countries troubled by violence, but I do have this R.E.M. song titled ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)’, which I feel relates.  I feel fine about the way the people of Ukraine have been doing in this war which started on February 24, 2022, as the initial prediction was that it might be over in a week when Russia invaded with all of its tanks.  Actually, this war has been going on a lot longer, as this is just a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began on February 20, 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and I am hoping that Ukraine can push Russia out and take back all of their territory.

R.E.M. released this song on their 1987 fifth studio album Document, which peaked at #10 on the Billboard 200.  The single went to #69 in the US and it was written by drummer Bill Berry, mandolin player Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and lead vocalist Michael Stipe who were the four members of the band at this time.  Stipe said that he had a lot of dreams about the end of the world, and destroyed buildings which played into this apocalyptic song that was written in a stream-of-consciousness writing style, which is probably more of jumble than a stream, as it is a flurry of words that never seems to stop.  Most of these lyrics were written just to make people smile.  Supposedly this song has to with a dream that Stipes had about party that the members of R.E.M. attended just as the band was forming in 1980.  Lester Bangs a music journalist who wrote for Creem magazine, Rolling Stone and the Village Voice was the birthday boy and he was there along with the American conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author, and humanitarian Leonard Bernstein, the Soviet politician Leonid Brezhnev and the American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and actor Lenny Bruce.  Stipes said that he was the only one at the party that didn’t have the initials of L. B.  The only thing that was served at the party was birthday cake and jelly beans, and since they were all starving so they ate that.  This song is said to be influenced by Bob Dylan song ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’.

… That’s great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

… Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs
Don’t mis-serve your own needs
Speed it up a notch, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter
With a fear of height, down, height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn’t coming in a hurry
With the Furies breathing down your neck

… Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

… It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

… Six o’clock, T.V. hour, don’t get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crush, uh oh
This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… The other night I drifted nice continental drift divide
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right, right

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

… It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

Written for Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog 2032 Day 3 where we are supposed to find a love song for Ukraine and all other countries troubled by violence.

Hickory Dickory

The now retired Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger visited his namesake in London, Big Ben the clock he was named after due to his imposing build being 6’5” in height, which was unusual for quarterbacks at the time, but QB height has increased since then.  The tallest QB to play in the NFL was Dan McGwire, at 6’8” who was the quarterback for both the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins in the 1990s.  Roethlisberger posed in front of Big Ben for photographers, and he looked up at the giant clock and said, “How is it going big fellow?”  The clock struck “Two” just as the mouse ran down and all of London started scrambling as the symbol of British Empire became infested with rats.  Rats have been a part of London for centuries, and aside from pigeons, they’re probably the animal you most associate with London.  You probably won’t believe this, but the Boomtown Rats an Irish rock band originally formed in Dublin showed up to play their hit song ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and Ben chimed in saying that he hates Monday Morning Quarterbacks.

Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Ben.