Thursday, November 24, 2016

Free Will LBC 11/24/2016

This weeks topic was suggested by Ramana.

Wikipedia says "Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action." On the surface it sounds simple enough. Further examination suggests otherwise.

 Image result for free will and determinism

Christians, for example, claim to have free will. So the God that  created man in his own image created a bunch of flawed human beings that can choose their own way in life, but unless they choose to follow God's way they are doomed. That  is not free will in my book, simply the typical religious my way or the highway proposition. 

Consider  that we live much of our lives by habit. We  cannot handle the stress of making a conscious decision for everything so we make many decisions simply by rote. Coffee with or without cream, route to drive to work and things like that.  That frees up our brain power for the more important  daily issues which must be resolved. Are those  decisions the result of free will?  Some - not all. Some decisions are made as the result of a set of specific causes.

Yep - this free will stuff can be very confusing.  Religion, guilt, cause/effect, praise, sin, responsibility and more can effect decisions. .

Looks like free will is not often free after all. Fate? Is everything  in life predetermined? That's a topic for another day.

 One final comment - today is Thanksgiving here in the USA. I am relatively certain I exercised free will while eating far too much turkey, stuffing and roast pork to say nothing of  sweet potato pie.  Sorry Dr Tyson - we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Check out my cohorts at Ramana 
and Pravin


Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Favorite Cartoon Character LBC 11/18/2016

This week's topic is my  suggestion. My favorite cartoon character is Charlie Brown's pet  Beagle Snoopy. I h ave been a fan as long as I can remember. Truth be told, each character in the Peanuts gang is deserving of the honor but a Sopwith Camel (that looks remarkably  like a dog house)  flying Beagle  is hard to resist.
Snoopy has his own twitter page, a Facebook page and even a  hit song about him.  Snoopy wwi ace lb.jpg 
Not bad for a Beagle. Snoopy is simply the most loyal, lovable pal a guy could  ask for. Just ask his owner, Charlie Brown. And to top it off Snoopy is a better man than most men. Since his debut on October 4, 1950, Snoopy has become one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in the comic strip (according to Wikipedia).Check out my cohorts at Ramanaand Pravin

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Favorite Movie Star LBC 11/11/2016

Ramana lobbed another softball with this topic. It is a welcome respite from our recently concluded presidential election.

Like many things, my favorite movie star is not etched inn stone - more like water. I am old enough to have lived through several generations of actors/actresses.

When I was a kid my favorite actors were Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall. That's hall in the black shirt and Gorcey in the hat with the upturned bill - better known as Slip (Gorcey) and Satch Hall).

The Bowery boys evolved from the movies Dead End Kids and  East Side Kids. I used to see the Bowery Boys almost every Saturday at the Uptown Theater in Pueblo, Colorado.

 The Uptown is also significant for this clip, an early example of the popular Clint Eastwood - easily one of my all time favorites in a film called Tarantula - horror fun in the fifties.

As I aged and developed a taste for more serious film fare my fave was Robert Mitchum, a self professed journeyman actor. Check his bio and credits here.  He never failed to entertain - and he was an interesting character in real life. Heaven Knows Mr. Allison has always been a fave movie of mine along with Thunder Road, Cape Fear, The Night of the Hunter, Farewell My Lovely, El Dorado and many others.

Evolution led me to my current favorite -actor/director extraordinaire Clint Eastwood.  From Rawhide on TV to the Italian spaghetti westerns he captured my eye. His western pedigree is nearly unmatched and who doesn't love Harry Callahan. Those  movies certainly made my day. 

One of my favorite early Eastwood  films is 1971s Play Misty for Me. It was also his directorial debut. It was clear he had directorial chops. I still get chills when I see Jessica Walter in anything to this day.

Clint's last movie as an actor is Trouble With the Curve. Not surprisingly I loved it - the story of  an  aging baseball scout and his relationship with his daughter. 

My  favorite female movie star is Helen Mirren. No question, she has been for decades. She has had a long, diverse career and can do comedy, heavy drama and action. Check her out in the Hundred Foot Journey

That's it for this weeks fun topic. Check out my partners at their blogs - Ramana and Pravin

Thursday, November 3, 2016

My Favorite Music LBC 11/04/2016

Ramana lobbed me a watermelon with this weeks topic. Relax and have a listen. I don't expect anyone to listen to them all but these are  a good example of my somewhat eclectic musical tastes. Genres under represented but still loved include classical, classic Memphis blues and the greatest beer drinking music ever - Zydeco. The last 3 always make my all time top10 and there is also a song in this list inspired by the Kama Sutra - happily snuck by the censors in the sixties. 

I love show tunes - I also love Ed Ames' voice so here is a song that fits both

 I spent 6 months in Hawaii and developed a taste for Hawaiian music  and here is my fave Hawaiian tune.

Being a baby boomer it is only natural I love the British invasion - this tune is from my favorite group back then and it is the uncredited work of my pal Ron Ryan


These guys still tour every year

I am also an old folkie and this song reminds me of home in California and of my late wife

Some tunes - regardless of genre - are simply so good you never forget them, like the next 2

My favorite female   singer?  Back in the sixties the voice of Bev Bivens did it for me - here is a great sample (also a show tune)

If I were to pick a sound I prefer above others it would be the jingle jangle sound of a Rickenbacker 12 string guitar, usually played by Roger McGuinn

Most of the previous songs periodically make my all time fave to 10 but the next 3 always make the list

That's my take on this weeks topic. There are more current artists i enjoy - Hootie and the Blowfish, The Gin Blossoms, 2 Celloes and  others but I really enjoy the older stuff. Greatest songwriter? Lennon.McCartney, Brian Wilson, Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Carol King. Best  songs not on this list? If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot, God Only Knows - Beach Boys.  Artists that never got famous but should have? Ron Ryan, Gary Owen and  John Hesterman  (check them all out on Facebook).