Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was "Time". The posts are of a more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical bent. No time management tips in this theme, but stuff intended to make you think.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Be Thou My Vision (#BOTB)

Sunday Morning Music

       A good many churches have dispensed with the pew hymnals for which there is often no need because a good number of worship leaders sing the modern praise and worship songs with congregants following the words projected on a screen.  With some prodding by older church attenders, our worship leader will usually add at least one traditional hymn to his song list.  He might change up some tempos or some aspect of the presentation in order to modernize the songs, but still they are recognizable as beloved old hymns like we used to sing when we were kids.

      Those old hymns bring back a lot of memories for me.  We sang them so many times that many of the lyrics are embedded in my brain so that I can still sing the words even though it's been fifty years or so since I used to sing them on a regular basis.  Now we are singing them again and it's kind of cool.  We still get mostly modern worship songs on Sunday mornings, but that's okay too.

      Besides, our praise band is so darn good.  It's a small four piece ensemble, but they can really play.  I don't listen to music like I used to, but at least I get a good dose of well-played music every Sunday morning.  And the selections played almost always includes a good old-fashioned hymn like the ones that were in the old hymnals that we used to have at our seats.  They're gone, but at least we still have got some of the music.

  Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Be Thou My Vision

       This is one of my wife's favorite hymns as well as being one of my favorites.  "Be Thou My Vision" comes from a traditional Irish hymn that dates back hundreds of years.  Many versions of the hymn can be found on the internet with the two that follow being my favorites.

Fernando Ortega  "Be Thou My Vision"   (2003)

        Fernando Ortega comes from Chimayo, New Mexico where his family has lived for eight generations.  He has a degree in music education as well as having recorded numerous albums.  Ortega's version of "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 2003 album Hymns of Worship.

Van Morrison  "Be Thou My Vision"  (1991)

        Van Morrison likely needs no introduction, but if you don't know then you can look him up.  I'll just say that he's been putting out some pretty good music for decades.   His take on "Be Thou My Vision" comes from his 1991 double album Hymns to the Silence.

Time to Vote!

What'll it be, Pilgrim?  Is it the smooth soothing sounds of Fernando Ortega or the pub-tinged Celtic sound of Van Morrison? .   Do you have a preference between these two choices?   Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.

Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands



'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 

Cherdo on the Flipside 

Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday October 20th

         Please vote below and then come back on Friday to see if your favorite version won.  And that's all I have to say about that.  Otherwise, I've got plenty to say, but I'll just wait til some other time to say it if I even say it at all.

            Are there any traditions no longer practiced that you somewhat miss?   Do you have a favorite hymn?   What song from childhood have you not heard for many years, but you still remember the lyrics?  

Friday, October 13, 2017

13 Thoughts: A Friday the Thirteenth Post

Thirteen for the Thirteenth

Rocket Ship Galileo
Rocket Ship Galileo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


       Lately I've had so many things that I've wanted to blog about, but I can't motivate myself to write the posts.   Ideas keep coming to me--ideas that interest me.  Do they interest anyone else?  But, alas, I don't post and I don't even visit other blogs like I used to.  And I'm still cleaning my garage.

           This being Friday the 13th, I thought I might post 13 random thoughts that have passed through my mind of late...

1.    Here's my defense of Harvey Weinstein.................................

2.   This Weinstein thing could take several directions.  Wherever it goes, this story could get mighty big going way beyond Harvey.   Unless there is some kind of cover-up.

3.    By the way, what's happening with that Mandalay Bay shooting?   This is starting to get weirder and weirder--as though it weren't weird to begin with.

4.   I'd never seen the 1950 film Destination Moon until recently.  I was impressed by the accuracy of the science in this cinematic version of Robert Heinlein's Rocket Ship Galileo.  Sure there are gaffs and absurdities, but keep in mind this movie came out nearly 70 years ago.

5.   Girls in the Boy Scouts just doesn't seem right. When I was a kid I used to like the official BSA magazine Boys' Life.  What would they call it now?

6.   I don't care what the Boy Scouts do, but please don't mess with the Girl Scouts.  Gotta have those cookies.  What the heck do Boy Scouts sell anyway?

7.  Now and then I tune into CNN just to see what they are reporting.   Has anyone else noticed how whenever they do a story about President Trump they lead-in with something negative?   I'm sure it's a psychological tactic, but that's one reason why I don't watch much CNN.

8.  I watch even less MSNBC--only now and then out of curiosity to see what they are talking about at that moment in time.   My moments with MSNBC are usually fleeting.

9.   Lately I've been tuning in more to One America News Network (OAN).  They present a wider range of news stories than one finds on the other networks.  This network reminds me of CNN in the earlier years when it was almost exclusively news stories with little to no opining.

10.   Going through a box of cassette tapes that I found in my garage, I reboxed them more neatly, looking at each one as I put it into place.  I remembered them all.  So many great memories of listening to taped music in the 80s and 90s.  The Soundtrack of my Life during those years would be very long, lasting for hours.  That box represents a mere fraction of all the cassette tapes I own.

11.  I haven't heard too much in the media about the Rohingya "Crisis" in Myanmar (Burma).   When I have heard reports they don't seem to correctly jibe with what I've understood about the situation.  This problem has been going on for some time and I think it started with the Rohingya people so I don't have much sympathy for them.

12.  Halloween is coming and that reminds me of my old job as well as many other memories.  My earliest posts on Tossing It Out were all related to Halloween.

13.  Sometimes I daydream of moving to some place where I have no connections.  Lately I've been monitoring the housing market in Marion, Virginia.  Anyone know anything about Marion, Virginia?

          Please be sure to come vote on my Battle of the Bands post that will show up on this blog space on Sunday October 15th.   This round I'll be picking a song that is Sunday appropriate. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Columbus Day Sale!

If you think you've lived your life without offending anybody then apparently you haven't lived...

Christopher Columbus, the subject of the book,...
Christopher Columbus, was an explorer and one of the first European founders of the Americas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Happy Columbus Day!

        Yes I said it even though here in Los Angeles what used to be called "Columbus Day" is now "Indigenous Peoples" day.  Somehow the new day seems more impersonal with an overgeneralizing of all the many peoples who lived in the Americas before the "evil white men" came to destroy paradise. 

        Frankly I'm glad things turned out the way they did because I'm happy with my life and with my country.  Stuff happens and when it comes down to past history there ain't nothin' you can do about it when it's all behind you. 

         So I raise a glass to say, "Thank you Christopher Columbus!"  Without him then someone else would have come along and discovered America.  Mankind is restless and always in search of new ventures and adventures.  Enslaving the indigenous peoples the 15th century Spaniards encountered might not have been what you and I would have thought of doing with our 21st century outlook, but people back in those days thought differently than we today think.   The past is what it is and that's that.

         What Christopher Columbus achieved was by any account pretty amazing and something that few of us would dare try.  Personally I'm going to give acknowledgement to the driving curiosity that drove those men of the past to do what they did.  I'm not their judge and nobody--absolutely nobody--living today is worthy of casting judgement on Columbus or any other from the past.  Our judgement over past humans amounts to intellectual exercises that have no real consequence to the world other than bantering about in intellectual fantasies.  The more important thing is to learn from the past to become better ourselves.

         I will continue to think of October 12th as the actual Columbus Day.  And I will continue to think of him as a hero of his time, though a flawed hero as heroes often tend to be.  Please leave his statues be and please don't start changing names of all of the cities named in his honor.  That would really be a big mess.

Garage Sale Days Are Over

        Though I don't like to say I'll never do something, I'll say in this case that this past weekend was my last garage sale.  It was a lot of work for about 3 hours in the hot sun before I started packing it all in.   The $60 that I made from the sale seemed hardly worth it and I barely made a dent in all the stuff in my garage.  And now I have a huge mess to continue to organize and put back. 

           Hopefully, in putting everything away, I'll organize it all better so that it will be easier to find stuff for the next garage sale.  I mean, I don't plan to do another sale, but you know how that can go sometimes.   Never say never.   But I think I am going to say it and probably stick to it.  Standby Goodwill--I've got a load coming your way.

           Do you think Christopher Columbus is worth remembering and honoring?   Would the Americas be a better place if the Europeans had never come here?   What do you think a world without the influence of "white people" would be like?