The Price Was Right!

After working in sales & marketing for 3 decades, I knew I had to follow my instincts. The $0.99 price was wrong. I just knew it. I could smell it. Sure, I had been making money at that price. Royalties for my book of short stories had been rolling in for 3 months in a row. Take a look at the royalty notifications in my email.

It’s been nice, but not enough to support the cost of my habit of taking soothing foot baths in baby’s tears, especially with COVID driving up the costs.

I knew I had to run a sale. My nostrils flared at the thought of a sale, and I could feel my heart pounding and working harder. Maybe that was from my high cholesterol, but regardless, I just knew it was the right time for a sale. And so, I dropped the price over last weekend … down to $0.00. Okay, maybe that was a bit extreme, but take a look at the results.

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The Importance of Being Ernst

This picture featuring ultra-conservative Republican (redundant) Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has been floating around social media.

I was disappointed to read that her poster was photoshopped. It’s so hard to tell these days. This is what the actual poster showed.

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Forgotten One-Hit Wonders – Inaugural Edition

I warned you. I’m starting a new series of musical posts despite the undeniable lack of popularity of my music-themed blog posts. So, why am I doing it? Because I want to. As with all my posts, I will try and make them interesting with little twists and tidbits for you, like in my last music post where I revealed that my oldest daughter had been the nanny for the children of Ted Nugent’s private pilot. Now that’s information you just can’t Google!

This series of posts will feature forgotten one-hit wonders. I will try and stay away from wacky novelty songs like “Disco Duck” by radio deejay Rick Dees. I want to remember legit bands or solo artists that did their best to break through, but only had one single, solitary hit before retreating into musical obscurity.

Our inaugural edition features a very talented band that has spawned a modern day music mystery. The band released their debut album in 1976 and found themselves with a hit single on their hands that reached #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. I’ve got a video for you of their lip-syncing performance of their one hit on The Midnight Special. Even better, they were introduced by none other than the lovely and talented Helen Reddy! Take a look and listen.

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New Music For Old Rockers – Michigan Edition

At one time, Michigan was known for the Motown sound and building cars in the Motor City of Detroit. These days, Michigan may be more well known for its beaches. I can attest to the fact that Michigan has amazing beaches with giant sand dunes and beautiful waters. You may be thinking, “Really? A state stuck in the middle of North America has great beaches?” Yep, thanks to the Great Lakes. Michigan’s southern border is nothing special with Ohio & Indiana on the other side. Build the Wall! But head west, and you run into Lake Michigan where the sunsets are amazing. To the north lies Lake Superior and its cool, clear waters. And to the east is a bit of Lake Erie and a whole lot of Lake Huron. There are water and beaches everywhere in Michigan.

So, why am I about to plug a couple songs from an L.A. band for a Michigan music post? Well, the band is Lord Huron, and it was started by Ben Schneider who grew up in Michigan, spending his summers at Lake Huron. After moving to L.A., he formed Lord Huron, which I believe he named after English poet Lord Byron. Anyway, they’ve got a 4th album coming soon, and if the first two songs they have released are anything like the rest of the album, it may be their best yet.

But before I get to Lord Huron’s music, here are two obscure connections to Michigan music that my oldest daughter has …

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FREE Book!

I had planned to shamelessly and incessantly plug my book of humorous and contemplative short stories about the afterlife from the beginning of the year until now. However, I got derailed with this local election race which I surprisingly won. To get back on the promotional track, I’ve decided to make my book available to you, the loyal followers of this blog, for FREE through Monday. Just link to www.bit.ly/beyondtales to download my book for FREE for your reading enjoyment on your Kindle or Kindle app.

There really are no strings attached. Just download. I hope you enjoy it, and I would be most appreciative if you leave a rating or review on Amazon. Read on!

Spontaneous Spontaneity

I love being spontaneous. Just this morning, I had errands planned. In this order, I would:

  • Buy some gas
  • Make a deposit at the bank
  • Go to the Post Office and buy stamps

So boring, right? And then, at the very last second, I made a right turn, eschewing the gas station for a spontaneous change of plans. Instead of that boring list of tasks, I drove off to do this:

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Party On? No! Party Off!

We’re scheduled to head to a wedding in Nebraska in July. Thankfully, not in Florida. Here’s how they plan a reception in Florida. They pick a cool house and just show up. Here’s the story from the AP …

Now that should have been the end. Police arrive and the wedding party leaves, right? Oh no, not in Florida. The wedding couple were not there just for the cool house with bowling alley, pool, hot tub, etc. They were on a mission …

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Embracing Mother Nature with Bonus Mulch Ado About Nothing Cartoon

I dirtied my hands this past weekend, and it felt good. Saturday and Sunday were spent digging in the yard, cutting back dead branches from trees & shrubs, and generally wasting time in an effort to avoid any indoor projects that may require actual skill or thought.

Saturday started off great as I headed out with my radio. I had to turn on the switch for outside power to my pond to listen to my radio, so I got the sounds of running water along with my music, as if I were listening to a concert alongside a babbling brook. I know that my pond doesn’t sound very natural if I have to turn on the power for it. But what if I told you that my pond’s pump is powered by a small wind turbine and solar panel? Pretty cool, right? Well, it’s not. The pump just plugs into a power outlet outside. But the end result still was the sound of running water and some good music, until this happened …

No, my neighbor didn’t propel himself around the neighborhood with his leaf blower. That only happens in Florida, because, well, Floridians. But he did don his jetpack and blow every speck of debris off his lawn while drowning out my music and water sounds.

Fortunately, that didn’t last too long as I puttered and pondered the nature of our very existence.

EDITOR’S WARNING: This idiot is about to wax philosophical. The last Mite Be Funny cartoon was about René Descartes, Cartesian dualism, and of course, dead skin flakes. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Stop reading now. Or, click on through to continue reading at your own risk.

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New Music For Old Rockers – Channelling Steely Dan

Walter Becker of Steely Dan passed away a while back, but take a listen to this new song by the band PREP released in the US in late January and see if you hear Steely Dan in this song …

I know you are asking, “Why would Jim post a YouTube video where nothing visually happens?” Ah, but there are subtle movements in the video that complement the music.

I definitely hear Steely Dan in this song by PREP, and I think this song would fit nicely on the Aja album. The vocals in the high register remind me of Donald Fagen but in the lower register sound more like Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. And you can’t tell me the chord progression at the 3:44 mark isn’t pure Steely Dan.

Now, if you like this song, I have a special treat for you …

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Vaccinated & Feeling Woozy

I am now fully vaccinated as of this morning. With this card and its slightly altered birth year, I now expect to be able get into any exclusive nightclub or swanky restaurant without reservations or waiting in line.

I do feel some pressure though. Two dear friends were fully vaccinated before me, and had no reaction to the second dose. I feel like they are exercising a power block, and I can’t react. But I’m feeling woozy already just a few hours after the shot. Of course, I was feeling woozy before the shot. And in fairness, I’ve spent much of my life woozy.

I want to feel some reaction to reassure myself that the vaccine is working, although I understand that some people don’t react at all. I know my card shows I got the Pfizer vaccine, but what if they gave me the Placebo vaccine by mistake? I did stump the nurse administering my shot with this question …

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The Return of Me & Live Music to Chicago or How I Almost Made a Huge Mistake

On Good Friday last week, we took a drive to meet our oldest daughter on Montrose Beach in Chicago on Lake Michigan. It really is a beautiful beach. How can a beach in a city of millions of people be beautiful? I dunno, but take a look for yourself.

On our way there, we passed an interesting and familiar sight. I swore I had seen something similar to this on Twitter …

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I Lost But Still Won

That’s the problem with today’s world. I come in 4th place, but I still am considered a winner. It looks like my Third Runner Up finish is good enough to claim to be elected.

I may have been able to do better, but I think I lost some votes during the swimsuit portion of the election.

This is an unexpected win for me, and I know my opponents did not expect it. They were appalled that anyone dare run against them. They make me think of this line I like from Patrick Kane of the Chicago Black Hawks.

To those who may think I don’t deserve to win, am not qualified, didn’t campaign fairly, or maybe even rigged the election, all I can say is, “That’s democracy, baby!”

New Music For Old Rockers – Fab Four Edition

I actually got to see some live music over the weekend which I will tell you about in an upcoming post. But for now, here’s a quad pack of new music for you. You may have heard these already, but maybe one or two will be new for you.

How about some new music FROM an old rocker, specifically an old Beatle? Ringo Starr is 80 and still cranking out new music. He’s dedicated his last couple decades to spreading his message of peace and love, and this song is all about that.

Okay, so there’s no music video and the song is nothing special. But it sounds so comfortably Ringo with Beatlesque overtones, and the dude is 80! Let’s see you spread such an important message about peace and love in such a listenable way at 80. Rock on, Ringo.

Now, how about another new track from a former Beatle that sounds nothing like the Beatles?

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