Showing posts from 2021

The Ten Worst Songs Of The 1970s

After years of listening to the local oldies radio station and the ‘70s music channel on cable TV, this list gradually formed in my head. I know I'm not the first person to make such a list. Do a Google search and see how my list compares. The Ten Worst Songs Of The 1970s 10. Space Oddity -David Bowie (1972) An amateurish, inaccurate, dystopian interpretation of America’s space program. 9. Blinded By The Light -Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (1976) As written by Bruce Springsteen the opening line is “Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.” But the enunciation is so poor that what everyone heard was “Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, into the roner in the night.” What they were really saying became a hot topic of conversation in 1976. Really. Some who claimed to know said the word was “deuce” but nobody believed them because deuce doesn’t have a “sh” sound in it. In fact the whole song is loaded with mispronounced words. Howev

The Trump Demandments

Not long ago the Republican Party was the party of Christian family values and The Ten Commandments were, or so they claimed, core principles of their political beliefs. Not anymore. In the era of Donald Trump the Republican Party’s Christian values have been thrown out the window and replaced by unwavering loyalty to one man. Instead of following The Ten Commandments Republicans now blindly adhere to a new code I call... The Trump Demandments. 1. You shall recognize no other authority except me.   2. You shall engrave my name and likeness on everything. You shall bear my name on your clothing and on your flag, for I, your leader, am a jealous leader who requires constant reminders of how much you love me.   3. You shall not mock my name, even as I mock yours.   4. You shall let me play golf on the Sabbath.   5. Inherit the fortune of your father and mother. Make sure they like you best so your brothers and sisters inherit less. 6. You shall carry guns and threaten to use them o

Who has access to your phone records?

There has been much ado in the news the last few days about Trump's DOJ getting access to the private phone records of at least two Congressmen, their staffers, and their families. The data reportedly came from Apple Computer.    I have a question that nobody else seems to be asking. Why did Apple even have phone usage records of these people? Apparently Apple had complete records of every number these people called. The problem here is that Apple is a phone manufacturer, not a phone service provider. How and why does Apple collect user data from AT&T, Verizon, et al? Are Google and Samsung doing the same thing?   I'd really like to know.

Lookit, It's A Radial!

Today I'd like to share the story behind one of my favorite aircraft images. It was a case of being at just the right place at just the right moment. It was August 1997 at the California International Airshow in Salinas. The plane is a Martin 404 converted for executive use and painted in the colors of the former Pacific Air Lines. At airshows there are usually lots of people around the planes walking around in their shorts and tank-tops, sucking on sodas. It can be a challenge to get good shots of the planes without background distractions, so I would focus on details. I was composing a shot of the plane's engine when this little girl came through on her daddy's shoulders. I knew I had something here, but I wasn't sure if I had everything set right yet. I had half a second to decide whether to click the shutter or not. I didn't notice at the time, but just as I snapped the picture she reached out to touch the propeller. It turned out to be my favorite shot of

A message to my e-mail subscribers.

As I mentioned in my last post , Google's Feedburner service will no longer be sending automated e-mails to my subscribers (all four of them) to let you know when I've posted a new Mental Note. The next day someone named Karolina added a comment suggesting I try switching to to replace the Feedburner service. Normally I might have dismissed this suggestion as spam, but since I had few other leads I checked it out. Online reviews indicated is a reputable company based in Oregon, and their basic free plan is widely regarded as a superior replacement for Feedburner. So here we are. If you came to this post via e-mail then your subscription has been successfully transferred to the new service. I'm still new to the system, but as far as I understand it you should not have to do anything further to continue receiving notices of new Mental Notes, rare as they may be these days. You may, however, have the opportunity to change your preferences as to h

Mental Notes gets a makeover, plus a few announcements.

One year and one week ago I announced the makeover of my main website, the Monterey Peninsula Toy Box . That massive project took me a full year to complete. Last week I decided that this blog deserved an update, too. That was a much simpler task as it merely involved selecting a new theme from a list and a few days of tweaking colors and fonts and such to my liking. My aim was to give this blog a look that was similar to that of the Toy Box. The finished product is now before your eyes. For the background image I wanted to have something that represented the Monterey Peninsula, and after a little experimentation I chose my photograph of Midway Point (aka The Lone Cypress)and converted it to a monochrome blue to match the color scheme I had in mind. The famous parts of the image are hidden behind this text, but the areas surrounding the blog entries display the beauty of Carmel Bay. Once I made the color conversion I realized to my delight that the blue photograph looked pretty good