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Kneeling for a Better America

Kneeling during the National Anthem does not mean you are un-Patriotic. It does not mean you do not respect the service of veterans. It does not mean you do not like America.

 

To the contrary, it means you care so much for this country that you want it to live up to its Declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

 

Kneeling professional football players are exercising the First Amendment to the Constitution which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

 

This is the platform they have to air their incredibly legitimate grievances. If the peaceful protests are not allowed, it is a violation of the Executive Oath of Office which the President took in January when he stated, “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  So help me, God.”

 

It does not seem that he is preserving, protecting, or defending the Constitution in this situation.

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The Guitar Train Is Going to Europe!

Arc de Triomphe

Quirky T is planning a future trip to seven countries in Europe. This won’t be a music related trip, so no sightseeing of Beatles related places. In looking over my itinerary, I realized that I am not familiar with music from any of these countries. I do however associate some songs with these countries.

 

  1. France – The Beatles’ song “Michelle”
  2. Germany – German versions of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (“Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand”) and “She Loves You” (“Sie Liebt Dich”)
  3. Italy – the music of Italian-Americans Lou Monte and Louis Prima https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/quirky-ts-favorite-christmas-songs-2/

    Von Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont, USA

  4. Austria – the songs from the movie “The Sound of Music”
  5. Switzerland – yodeling and the alp horns which were (still are?) used to call in the cows
  6. Liechtenstein – I don’t associate any music with this small country which I very excited to visit.
  7. Luxembourg – Just like Liechtenstein, I don’t know the music but I am excited to visit the country.

 

Since I’ll be on a group tour and not on my own often, I am not sure how much of each country’s music I will actually hear. Also, not speaking all the languages of all the countries I am visiting, I wouldn’t even understand what I am hearing. Still it would be nice to hear music in different languages.

Buckingham Palace

Now I just have to re-watch the movies “Charade” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/quirky-ts-favorite-instrumental-movie-soundtracks/

and “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and I’ll be ready for my trip.

 

Guitar Train passengers, do you like music from any of the countries I will be visiting? Which musicians would you recommend I seek out?

 

Off the Music Track – It’s Okay to be Cold and Alone

 

 

This month, Quirky T conducts The Guitar Train off the music track to discuss a pet peeve. I don’t want to have any pet peeves or complain about people or issues but maybe getting this annoyance out to the world will either correct the situation or get it out of my system as an issue and I can make peace with it. The latter occurred after I wrote The Guitar Train stop called “Sports Trash Talking”.

https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/sports-trash-talking/

That former annoyance is now a non-issue for me.

So my pet peeve is people who feel like they need a consensus to be cold. I’ve often been in situations at a work office or a store where an adult has complained of being cold and then has asked me if I am cold also. No, actually I am not cold; I’m perfectly fine. In fact, I would much rather be cold then hot and sweating. When you’re cold, you can always add more layers of clothing, gloves, and a hat to make yourself warmer. If you’re hot, there’s only some much clothing you can take off. And even then, you’ll probably still be hot and uncomfortable.

When someone is in a house or a car and playing the role of hostess or host, then it is acceptable to ask others if they are cold because an adjustment can be made to the temperature controls to make the temperature more comfortable. In that situation, the need for a consensus is relevant. If the hostess is the only one feeling cold, then she has to be an adult and put up with the discomfort for the sake of her guests. But when you are in a large office building, supermarket, or another place where there is no way to adjust the temperature, then complaining is useless. Do the cold complainers think if they get a majority of people together to agree that it is cold, they can all march over to management and demand a higher temperature that will interfere with the safe management of the office or the products in the store but will make them nice and warm?

 

It has gotten to the point where when someone asks if I am cold at work, I answer that I am not because I work there every day so I dress accordingly. I don’t understand adults who don’t prepare themselves and then complain every day. If you know you tend to be cold, than dress accordingly. If you know your work atmosphere tends to be cold, than dress accordingly. I have heard people complain about how cold it is in a supermarket when they walk in from 90 degree heat and humidity. First of all, anything is cold compared to 90 degrees. Second of all, I would not want to shop in or buy food from a supermarket that was not air-conditioned in the summer. I would hate to see what the fruits, vegetables, and icing on the cakes look like at temperatures above 70 degrees in a building with all the windows closed. I have seen some customers come prepared for the cold and put on lightweight jackets when they enter the store. They don’t complain; they just come prepared and go about their business of shopping.

If the cold complainers are not trying to gather an army on their side to complain to management about the temperature, then why do they need to know if other people are cold also? Why are they so fearful that they are the only ones who are cold? I have never heard that feeling cold while indoors in air-conditioning for a short period of time is a sign of a serious illness or impending death and should be remedied immediately. If that was true, then I would want a consensus to know it’s not just me and I won’t be “catching my death of cold.”

 

So I am pleading with adult cold complainers to not act like whiny children and complain to me about something out of my control. No, I don’t know why “they” (the management) keep it so cold. Nor can I walk up to a thermostat and raise the temperature to please you for the few minutes you are in the building. Please don’t bully me into saying I’m cold just because you are. I guess all I can do when asked the irritating question if I am cold also is to reply pleasantly, “No, I’m not but I‘m sorry you are.” Really, everyone, it’s okay to be cold and alone. You’ll survive.

 

Guitar Train passengers, does this situation bother you? Have you ever been asked if you were cold and how did you respond if you weren’t?

 

Quirky T’s One Hit Wonders

Are there any songs which just grab your ear and you really enjoy them? Yet, not enough to want to seek out more songs by that artist? There are several songs which I have liked in the past that are isolated from the rest of the musicians’ work. I call these songs my one hit wonders. Songs from movie soundtracks easily lend themselves to this category as well as top ten hits.

 

Here are my one hit wonders:

“Sweet Freedom” – Michael McDonald

I taped this song off the radio back when it came out and played it frequently. The song was in the great 1986 movie “Running Scared” starring Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines.

https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/quirky-ts-favorite-movie-soundtracks/

Michael McDonald, of course, is far from a one hit wonder. I do like several of his other hit songs but none as much as this one. I never actively sought out his music but maybe now I should.

 

“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” – Billy Ocean

Another song from a movie soundtrack, this one is from the 1985 Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito film, “The Jewel of the Nile”. A good movie, good song, and fun music video. Again, Billy Ocean is not a one hit wonder and I have heard his other hit songs.

“Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves

This is the third one hit wonder of mine from a movie. I originally heard this fun song in the 1989 movie “Look Who’s Talking”. This band probably does fit in the one hit wonder category in America as here this song is their one and only huge hit. Yet it continues to be used in movies, TV shows, and commercials. I did listen to the band’s self-titled 1985 album (on cassette) but this song is still the one hit of theirs which I really like. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/do-i-want-to-hear-more-katrina-and-the-waves/

“This Time I Know It’s For Real” – Donna Summer

I bought a cassette single of this song when it came out in 1989. It was the only cassette single I ever bought. That proves how much I liked this song because I was willing to pay so much for one song when for a few dollars more, I could have bought the whole album on cassette. Again, Donna Summer was not a one hit wonder but this was her last hit song after her disco dominance in the decade of the 70’s.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which songs are your one hit wonders? Have you ever considered listening to more music from these musicians or bands?

Quirky T Stumbles Upon a Way to go “Back in Time”

Walking through the center of a small town recently I was shocked to see the famous DeLorean time machine from the fantastic “Back to the Future” movies. There it was (well, a replica) complete with the lightning rod, hoverboard, and the case holding the plutonium needed to fuel it. I took photos but unfortunately they did not come out as well as I had hoped. (I wish I could use the DeLorean to go back to that day and take more and better photos). I did get to sit in the car which was very low to the ground and smaller than I thought it would be. I’m not a car person but it would the coolest car to own.

photo by Quirky T

“Back to the Future” is one of my favorite movies. I wrote about it in the Guitar Train stop called “The Guitar Train Goes ‘Back to the Future’” on May 21, 2015. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/?s=Back+to+the+Future Part of the reason I loved the first movie was the Huey Lewis and the News soundtrack and Huey’s small part in the movie. I saw Part II when it came out but I didn’t like it was much as the original. I guess that put me off seeing Part III as well as the fact that I don’t like Westerns. I recently watched all three movies. I still love the original. Part II is still not a favorite; too violent for me. So after all these years, I finally watched Part III and I loved it. It had the charm and fun of the original. To see those familiar characters again was great, even in the Old West setting. It was like watching a reunion. I’m a little mad at myself for taking so long to see the movie yet it was a gift to see something so great for the first time.

photo by Quirky T

Of course being in a “time machine” leads to the question of what period of time I would like to travel to. As I wrote in the Guitar Train stop two years ago, I would definitely go back to experience Beatlemania first hand in either England or the Unites States. Even if I wasn’t lucky enough to go to an actual Beatles concert, I could buy their records as they were released as well as buy the Beatles related memorabilia.

photo by Quirky T

As for traveling to the future, I am not sure what I would want to see. I feel like time goes by so fast that the distant future will be here before I know it. The big attraction to visiting the future is for assurances that situations work out well for yourself, family, friends, and the world. So purely for fun and curiosity, it would be interesting to go ahead 50 years and see if Beatles music is still played and praised 50 years after the release of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. I remember June 1987 when it really “was twenty years ago today” and I can’t believe 30 years has passed since then. So 50 more years will be here in the blink of an eye. The future always seems scarier than the past yet humans have endured incredibly scary times in the past. Happiness from listening to Beatles music will always be needed.

 

Guitar Train passengers, where in the future would you take the DeLorean and why?

Quirky T’s Top Four Fave Steve Winwood Songs

This month’s list of favorite songs of musicians other than Quirky T’s absolute favorite musicians is another artist I has seen in concert – Steve Winwood. I saw him as a solo act in 2010 in a small theater. He was the least personable of all the musicians I have ever seen in concert but maybe that was because he really seemed to be into the music. Unfortunately, he didn’t play all my favorite songs of his. Here they are

 

Gimme Some Lovin’

 

While You See a Chance 

 

Back in the High Life Again 

 

Roll With It

Again, as with the other Guitar Train stops about Billy Joel, Elton John, and Richard Marx, I only listened to the hit songs of Steve Winwood. Most of those hits were from the 80’s so I have decades of songs to listen to if I want to explore more of Steve Winwood’s solo work and in various bands.

 

Guitar Tran passengers, what are your favorite Steve Winwood songs?

Quirky T’s Top Four Fave Richard Marx Songs

Continuing my monthly list of top favorite songs of musicians I like other than my absolute faves, this month’s musician is Richard Marx. I was fortunate to see him in concert in 2010 as a duo with Matt Scannell from Vertical Horizon. It was an acoustic set with just the two of them on stage in a small theater. They were very personable – funny and humble. What I liked most was how they would give some background about writing a song before they sang the song.

 

So here are my top four fave Richard Marx songs:

“Don’t Mean Nothin’ ”

 

“Hold On To The Nights”  <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/LBmNTLxclXE?list=PLJNiH2w8efpG4GQrBmMpvbTmFYR0cbYo0

 

“Right Here Waiting” <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/S_E2EHVxNAE?list=PLJNiH2w8efpG4GQrBmMpvbTmFYR0cbYo0

 

“Hazard”  <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/gdmHHoI9beM?list=PLJNiH2w8efpG4GQrBmMpvbTmFYR0cbYo0&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe

 

I was a fan of Richard Marx in the 80’s but I always resisted buying his CDs telling myself I’d wait until his greatest hits CD came out. Maybe now is the time to revisit all his CDs, not just his hits.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite Richard Marx songs?

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