Friday, December 24, 2010

My Favorite Scene From The Movie, "A Christmas Story"


Since Christmas is here again, I thought that I would like to write about my favorite all-time Christmas movie scene. If you have been a reader of my blogs very long, you might have guessed it already. It's the "Chinese Restaurant" scene in the movie, "A Christmas Story."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Story
It's the story of a little boy named "Ralphie" who lives with his family in middle America back in the 1940's and all he wants for Christmas is a "Red Ryder BB gun." The whole movie revolves around this theme. The movie was made in 1983 and it's definitely become a family favorite and a classic Christmas movie this time of year. I can't tell you how many times through the years that I have watched this movie. My wife, son and I have always made it a tradition in our family to watch this movie together during this time of the year especially when our son was younger. Now that he is older and his interest are much different, it's kind of hard to get him to sit down and watch this kind of movie with his ole mom and dad.
Anyway, most importantly, as families do together at Christmas, they sit down at the table and have a Christmas dinner. This is what Ralphie and his family were getting ready to do in the movie. But while Ralphie's mother is preparing the Christmas meal and turkey, the neighbor's dogs somehow get in the house and eat their special holiday bird. So, Ralphie and his family end up going to eat at a Chinese Restaurant on Christmas day because everything else in town is probably closed. And what happens to make this particular scene of the movie really funny and endearing, is when the Chinese servers along with their boss gather their table and try to sing a certain Christmas carol to their American family customers. Instead of singing, "Deck the halls," in the correct way they sing it in their Chinese accents, "Deck tha halls with bows of faree, fa ra ra a ra a ra ra." And then they bring out a Chinese cooked Christmas duck to the table and chop its head off right off the neck, right in front of Ralphie and his family. It's a hilarious scene and probably very true at the same time. I can visualize that happening in real life at one time or another.
Believe it or not, my family and I have eaten Chinese food on Christmas day on several occasions. Usually, it was Christmas day night after all the Christmas ham and turkey has been eaten or we had grown tired of holiday food. So if your dog ever eats your Christmas turkey or ham on Christmas day, try a Chinese restaurant or Chinese take-out. However, just watch out for that Chinese Christmas turkey!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Radio Music: D-93 FM WDNS, Bowling Green, Ky., 56 AM WHBQ And Rock 103 FM, Memphis, Tenn.











Music is life. I think it reflects what's in the inner human soul. It inspires us. It makes us sad. It makes us happy. It makes us cry. It makes us look back into our lives in an introspective way perhaps. It's there for us during the good and bad times of our lives. And it's has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry that started years ago with the dawn of the radio age and the recording industry. It's something that we can all relate too. We all have grown up with music. Whether it's rock, blues, country, classical, jazz or whatever, most people love music. I know I do. And that's why I wanted to write about music and radio today. Mainly, I love rock music or commonly known as "Rock & Roll," or perhaps, "Hard Rock," even.




During the Christmas season, I always tend to get a little sentimental and begin to reflect back on my youth. One of the ways I do this is by the music I listen too. I listen to a lot of music everyday and usually it's via FM radio in my work vehicle and one of my favorite radio stations is a Classic Rock station in Bowling Green, Ky., where I live, by the name of "D-93 WDNS FM," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBKYgyx4FF0 I have been listening to these guys for years and they do a great job. They play some of the greatest rock music ever and they really have a format that is wide-open and there's a lot freedom in the choice of different types of rock music that they can play. The play a lot of Kiss, Ozzy, Peter Frampton, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Journey, Styx, Rush and on and on. They type of music I love. They also play a lot of the newer bands like Nickleback, Guns & Roses, Slash, Velvet Revolver and even some of the newer younger generation of rock music that is springing up such as Bowling Green's own "Cage The Elephant." Another awesome thing about this station is that will take your requests and play them on the air. Their radio personalities are incredible funny and friendly such "Rockin' Rhonda," "Bryan 'The Official Long Hair Guy' Locke," "Tommy Starr (with two "R's")," and "Brother Greg Martin" from the Kentucky Headhunters and Rufus Huff who hosts the "Low Down Hoe Down Blues Show" on Monday nights. And of the best things about D-93 is the stuff that give-away in their radio contests! Just by being a listener, you can win tons of free stuff. I know it to be true, because I have won lots of free stuff through the years (since 1988) by being a loyal listener (concert tickets, gifts certificates and free food among other things!)




My radio listening and "winning stuff" days goes a long ways back to when I was kid growing up in Memphis, Tenn., in the 1960's and early 1970's. One time, I won the double rock album "Tommy" by the band, "The Who," by being the right caller. WHBQ mailed it to my house and my older brother opened it and started playing it before I got home from school. I remember I got really mad at him for doing that. But I got over it like always. (Well, most of the time.) I used to listen to Rick Dees in the mornings on 56 AM, WHBQ radio and this guy was incredibly funny too who used to make fun our mayor by saying in a deep voice, "Yes sir, Mr. Dees!" Rick went on bigger and greater things by moving to Los Angeles, Calif., work for a super station out there and ended up hosting the music television show, "Solid Gold." He also had a couple hit songs which one of them was "Disco Duck."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxf2KCSyvgQ




Another great radio station that had a important role in my life growing up after I moved to North Mississippi in the mid-1970's as a teenager from Memphis was "Rock 103 Fm" in Memphis. These guys were one of the Mid-South's great rock stations. They had a awesome radio personality by the name of "Red Beard" who had a deep voice and who always interesting to listen to too. He was smart and knowledgeable. He was a pretty nice guy too because I met him once at the Mall of Memphis back in 1982 years before it was tore down. They played all the latest hits in the rock and roll scene during its heyday and even did a lot interviews with the latest bands traveling through the city who would play concerts at The Mid-South Coliseum or the Memphis Auditorium in downtown. They were always promoting a band or a concert and usually played host to the event. I remember when I was in college at Ole Miss they did a pre-concert live broadcast from the Mid-South Coliseum when Judas Priest was playing there. Apparently, the Judas Priest concert was professionally filmed and you can still buy it on Amazon.com or find it at your local record store.




Again, I love music and our local rock radio station and I'm sure millions of other people all over the world feel the same way I do about their favorite music and radio station too. And I want to thank D-93, WBHQ (which I think no longer exists) and Rock 103, for many good years of listening pleasure! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Rock On!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just In Time For Christmas: The Kentucky Whoopie Pie




Whether you're a Kentucky native or not and you're looking for that perfect Christmas gift for a friend or relative who loves the "Bluegrass State" the Kentucky Whoopie may be just for you.


But they don't have to love Kentucky to become a big fan of the Kentucky Whoopie. If they love sweets such as cookies, cakes and pies, then they will love the Kentucky Whoopie. And one the best things about the Kentucky Whoopie pie besides its great taste, it's made in Franklin, Ky., about 20 miles down the road from Bowling Green, Ky., from where I live. Let me tell you, this product says, "Pure Kentucky!" I know, because I've eaten a couple of them already and they are incredible!


Here's what the Kentucky Whoopie web-site http://www.kentuckywhoopies.comsays about it's own awesome product, "Kentucky Whoopie is a fun little dessert snack created by Linne & Minnie Baking Company. Whoopie pies are not new, but the Kentucky Whoopie is. We like to say they are "Whoopie Pies Southern Style". If you've ever eaten Southern food you know what we're talking about. So pull up a chair and stay a while. You're gonna love the Classic Southern flavors we offer."


Also, according to the web-site, it says, "The product has its origins in the states of Maine and Pennsylvainia and is known as a Whoopie Pie. A Whoopie Pie is basically a two cake-textured cookies stacked together with a fluffy filling. Here at Kentucky Whoopie, we've taken that concept and specialized it in our home state of Kentucky. We've stepped it up from basic to gourmet by use of variations in design, size, flavors and especially delicious ingredients. Whoopie Pies Southern style. All Kentucky Whoopies are baked in a certified commerical Kitchen."


Some of the flavors of Whoopie Pies that Minnie & Linnie offer are the Classic Whoopie. This pie is kicked up a notch with a topping of their rich dark chocolate. Or the Peanut Butter Chocolate Whoopie. This one combines classic chocolate with the perfect peanut butter cream, iced with rich chocolate and a few peanut butter chips. Or for the Christmas Season, the Red Velvet Whoopie. It's a classic paring of red velvet cake, cream cheese and a festive topping of white chocolate which will add to any holiday or occasion. Some of the other flavors they offer are Chocolate Macaroon Whoopie, Chocolate Covered Cherry Whoopie, Strawberry Dipped Chocolate Whoopie, Chocolate Chip Whoopie, Raspberry Vanilla Whoopie, Pumpkin Whoopie, Jam Cake Whoopie and the Classic Whoopie With An Attitude.


All Kentucky Whoopie pies are available online at http://www.kentuckywhoopies.com/ Go there to place your order and they will be shipped direct via UPS. Or for more information, call (270) 586-7676. Here's their Facebook linkhttp://www.facebook.com/kentuckywhoopie to become a fan. Get em' early before Christmas arrives and just tell them, "Galen sent ya!"


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Worst Comedian Ever

A Critic From The South: The "World's Worst Comedian" Is Apparently From Bo...

A Critic From The South: The "World's Worst Comedian" Is Apparently From Bo...: "I was looking at Bowling Green, Ky., on Wikipedia the other day and I scrolled down to where it says, 'Notable Persons From Bowling Green.'..."

The "World's Worst Comedian" Is Apparently From Bowling Green, Ky.


I was looking at Bowling Green, Ky., on Wikipedia the other day and I scrolled down to where it says, "Notable Persons From Bowling Green." And I came across the fellow by the name of "Darrell Bluett." I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I know of a Darrell Bluett and there's only one Darrell Bluett in Bowling Green that I know of and I actually know him." So when I clicked on his name and it showed that his name had been taken off as a link on Wikipedia. However, he is on a site called "Uncylopedia" http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Darrell_BluettNow, my curiosity was peaked. Then I went to Google and typed his name and there it was-"Darrell Bluett, 'The World's Worst Comedian,'" on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qg6AkhIYVs When I typed his name into Youtube and played the video, "The World's Worst Comedian," I thought that Darrell was actually pretty funny and not that bad.

And can you believe it? This guy has had over a half million hits on Youtube! Although, Darrell Bluett maybe dubbed as the "World's Worst Comedian," he's getting a lot attention from people from all the world. Someone on the comments section claims that Darrell spent $10,000 to have the video made of himself doing his comedy skit. I don't know if that's true or not. However, I would like to know the story behind the video. Who made it and did he actually pay $10,000 to have the video made? Also, I would like to know who put it on Youtube and titled it the "World's Worst Comedian"? Did he or someone else do it?. There's a big story behind that scenario somewhere. If Darrell did pay $10,000 to have that video made, I don't think he got his money's worth because it's not really that good of quality. Also, Darrell is not the most articulate comedian when it comes to delivery of his comedy skit when it talks about a really fat woman at the Greenwood Mall in Bowling Green, women on a diet or the new birth control pill invented for men by the Japanese.

But nevertheless, I think Darrell gets his points across in the short video and I think he is kind of funny regardless. He seems kind of quirky. Perhaps, people think he's the "World's Worst Comedian" because of his style of delivery or because he sounds "Southern" or maybe they think he looks stupid or something. But what can you can say? He's got over a half million hits on Youtube and that must mean something! Yes, I think he should have a link on Bowling Green's Wikipedia page because he is notable person now and he's has brought us some more attention to our small, college town of 65,000 citizens in Southcentral Kentucky. Don't count this guy out, because we just might see more of this comedian in future. Regardless if he's the "World's Worst Comedian" or not, Darrell is still a notable person from Bowling Green.
Postscript: Later on in the day after I wrote this blog about Darrell, I found something else about him on internet that was on a Bowling Green publication called "The Amplifier's" web-site.http://www.bgdailynews.com/articles/2010/08/13/the_amplifier/stage_and_screen/doc4c65a085486e5888394475.txt
It's a real short piece where it talks about Darrell appearing on the "Comedy Central Channel." It seems that he was flown out to Hollywood, Calif., and they taped a brief segment where he gets advice from some comedians and does a short skit with Arsenio Hall.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

HBO Documentary Films: Wartorn 1861 - 2010 Trailer (HBO)

Finding Understanding In HBO's "Wartorn: 1861-2010"


Life is strange and unusual sometimes. Or perhaps-right on time.

Again this year, I was sitting in my work vehicle in the Sonic Drive-In in Tompkinsville, Ky., on Veterans Day listening to the radio and eating my lunch. And again, I flipped channels several times and I came upon this radio show where the segment was about war and war veterans which is not "unusual" for Veterans Day, I suppose. But the radio show was something that I could really relate to. The interviewer was asking the producer of a new HBO documentary, "Wartorn: 1861-2010,"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvIrpyzpcR4&feature=player_embedded#! questions about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other questions about his recently released documentary. The producer's name is James Gandolfini, who is better known as "Tony" from the HBO's hit series, "The Sopranos." I watched the documentary on cable television's "Demand" this past Saturday afternoon.

Through out the whole documentary, I couldn't stop thinking about my late father, Ret. Army Major Vester Brooks Smith (World War II and Korean War veteran) of Memphis, Tenn., and North Mississippi, who also suffered from "PTSD," but wouldn't have ever admitted it. The film shows cases where soldiers who had returned from war committed suicide, became alcoholics and began to suffered from mental illness-anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia. The film also shows that a lot of recent returning war veterans have even ended caught up in America's legal and prisons systems because of their disorder.

Although, I am not a war veteran myself nor have I ever served in the military, I feel that, I, along with my late mother and siblings who are still living were also affected by father's "PTSD." My mother always said, when my father came home to Memphis from the Korean War after being in combat for a year, that he was not the same person when he left. I once called into the "Gordon Liddy" radio talk show after the Iraq War had begun back in 2003 and I warned his listeners and the American people of the effects of "PTSD" and how it not only affects the war veterans themselves but their families also. Mr. Liddy said that he did not agree with me or nor believe in "PTSD." Although, I disagreed with Mr. Liddy, it is now proven that this disorder is very real and not only does it affect the individual themselves and their families but society as a whole also.

My father didn't talk about the wars that he fought in very often not unless he was drinking. Then, he'd open up. And it wasn't always pretty either. However, "Wartorn," is a fascinating documentary that gives a dark account of the damage that "PTSD" causes in American veterans returning from war. This documentary does a excellent job of educating viewers as that "PTSD" is real and that our solders are authentically affected by it whether people want to believe or not. In the past until recently, there has been a prevailing notion that "PTSD" in previous wars prior to Vietnam that it didn't exist-"Shell Shock" as it was known in War War I and "Battle Fatigue," as it was known in World War II and the Korean War. General George Patton during World War II was said to have slapped a young solider who suffering from battle fatigue and sent him back to the front line. These suffering soldiers were said to have a "lack of gut fortitude," and this was placed on their military records as a stigma.

From the beginning of the documentary where it starts with the Civil War in 1861 all the way to the Iraq War of recent times, I think "Wartorn" is a well produced film and it will have a positive impact on our government, military personnel and military officers and prompt them to continue to pay closer attention to the signs "PTSD." And hopefully, military medical communities such as the VA (Veterans Administration) will continue to look for new treatments for the disorder. I think we owe this to our returning solders, their families and to the American society.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Critic From The South: Tea Party Baby Boomers Hip To New Social Media Tec...

A Critic From The South: Tea Party Baby Boomers Hip To New Social Media Tec...: "As I waited for newly elect U.S. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul to appear with his family, I was standing right under the podium on ..."

Tea Party Baby Boomers Hip To New Social Media Technology During 2010 Mid-Term Election


As I waited for newly elect U.S. Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul to appear with his family, I was standing right under the podium on the floor in front of the stage. I was among some of the most skilled journalists and photographers from some of the greatest publications and media outlets from all over the world-Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall-Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, the Bowling Green Daily News and Western Kentucky University's College Heights Herald, just to name a few. Behind me, on another stage, was some of the greatest broadcast media outlets in the world,-ABC News, Fox News, CNN News, NBC News, CBS News and Bowling Green's WBKO News, among many others. I was in the epic center of "All The World's A Stage," for one moment for one day in one month in one year for one moment in history.

Here I was, a former journalist, a former newspaper reporter and a former journalism student, standing there just as confident and comfortable with my surrounding as the others who heaved large cameras on their shoulders while shooting photo after photo with one in their hand. Although, I have journalism skills, however, I had no note pad or pen with me. And I did not have a microphone either. I was not there to do an interview. I was only there to see my friend, Dr. Rand Paul accept his victory over Democrat Jack Conway and I was there to record history with my little Kodak Digital camera, making a couple of short video clips to broadcast on my Youtube channel. (To view the victory speech of Rand Paul, click here.) http://youtube.com/galenasmithsr1 That, I did indeed do. I suppose you could call me an amateur journalist, a Youtuber and a blogger, (this site) while I work a regular full-time job. Too me, it's easy and it's not intrusive. This type of journalistic endeavors does not require an appointment, credentials or even much knowledge about your subject. Of course, there's no pay involved either.

I think the biggest difference in the election of 2010 compared to the election of 2008 of President Obama's victory, is that us "Baby Boomers" were not in tune with the new technology of social media, social networking and other mega-popular sites such as Facebook and Youtube, back then. Most of us were not on Facebook yet and most of us did not have the high tech cell phones, iphones, Blackberries or a G4-phone where you can get your e-mail, texting, streaming video, movies, television or a video phone with "applications (apps-as it's commonly known) on on one unit. Because Baby Boomers and most Americans have low concentration skills this day and age because we are bombarded with television, radio, print publications, cell phones, internet and etc., it's hard to grab our attention. Each form of media is now desperately competing for our attention. However, the most popular social networking site, Facebook (millions and millions of users) among Baby Boomers took off in December of 2008, and we have been going full-swing ever since. And with this election, we were able to post videos, blogs and articles on Facebook and blogs on blogging sites that pertained to a particular candidate that we supported along with comments and messages that we were stating to our friends and readers on these site. Perhaps, some of our friends or readers did not agree with our postings but I found very few hostile rebuttals on the sites. I would say most exchanges of information or ideas were civil among friends and readers in my opinion. I would also say, most who did not agree with me, probably just ignored my postings or blogs.

All I can say after this "Tea Party Tidal Wave,"-the biggest win for Conservative Republicans in our American government (Congress, State Governors, State Legislators and etc.) since the 1930's is that the playing field is now even. No longer does the younger generation and the liberal, left-wing Democrats have the cutting edge on us. Now, Conservative Republicans and Tea Party, Baby Boomers are on the bandwagon with social media, social networking and high tech communication technology.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bowling Green, Ky., Home of Pauline's, Hillbilly Jim and John Carpenter

When I first moved to Bowling Green, Ky., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XliBdscCSQk&t=27s(Pop. 65,000) in 1988 there were several famous or infamous people from this town that I quickly heard about.

It was not long before I found out that Bowling Green once had a famous (or infamous, however you want to look at it) brothel called, "Pauline's. The madam of the brothel was a woman named Pauline Tabor who had a red brick house on Clay Street in Bowling Green and she kept a group of women to service clients who entered the home. The house was later torn down and now a feed mill is located there. Once Pauline retired she wrote a book and did a book signing tour. She even appeared on the Johnny Carson show to talk about her book and career as a Madam. By the time I had moved to Bowling Green, Ms. Tabor had already moved to Texas to live with her son where she later died in the early 1990's. Unfortunately, I never did get to meet the well-known madam. However, I was able to purchase a copy of her book http://www.amazon.com/Paulines-Memoirs-Madam-Clay-Street/dp/B000HOCAHA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287939216&sr=1-1-spellon Amazon.com a couple years ago.


I also found out that the WWF Wrestling great, Hillbilly Jim (Jim Morris)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillbilly_Jim was from Bowling Green. I had met and been to his mother's house when I did some service work on it back in the early 1990's. I remember she was a super nice lady. At that point, I had never met Hillbilly Jim either. However, I saw him at Sears in Bowling Green once when I was working part-time in the hardware department. Later on, when Hillbilly Jim moved back to Bowling Green and got involved with the Kentucky Blues Society and I saw him play with his band in Downtown Fountain Square in our town. Finally, I got to meet him in front of a Bowling Green Minit-Mart store. Hillbilly Jim is a really cool and an incredibly nice guy. He's very friendly and down to earth to say the least.

Finally, I also heard that the famous movie director and producer, John Carpenter (Halloween) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carpenter is from Bowling Green. His father was a music professor at Western Kentucky University after he and his family had moved from New York in 1953. John had moved to Bowling Green when he was age five. Growing up here, he went to high school at College High which is at Western Kentucky University where he also attended before he headed out to California to begin his film career. I finally got to meet him at the first annual Southern Kentucky Book Festival at the Sloan Convention Center here in 1998. He gave a great talk about the movie business and shared some of his experiences in the industry. I was able to get an autograph photo of him that he was giving away on a first come basis. John was very friendly to his hometown crowd that day. The Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has even produced a brochure called, "John Carpenter's Reel Sites, Real Scary" which is a driving tour where you can find the streets and locations that are mentioned in John's films as well as his childhood home and other sites associated with him.

On the back of the brochure, there's a quote from him talking about Western Kentucky University where he grew up. "I suppose that most of who I am and what I believe in was figured out walking around the grounds of the Kentucky Building after dinner when the sun's going down... I don't think I've been in a more beautiful spot in all my life. And the thoughts of life death, people, beauty, cruelty, fear...whatever I was thinking about. I thought about walking by myself there. I was a loner but I grew up in a paradise. I kind of became who I am now." (John Carpenter Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni Video.)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kentucky Republican U.S. Senate Candidate, Dr. Rand Paul, Has Been A Watch Dog Of Your Tax Dollars For Years


He is sharp. He is smart. He is extremely articulate and his knows his stuff. This man knows what he is talking about when it comes to the government spending your hard earned tax dollars. Kentucky Republican U.S. Senate Candidate has been a watch dog of how your American tax dollars have been spent for years.

I know this personally because he is a friend of mine. I first met Dr. Paul, MD., an eye doctor and surgeon, when he first came to Bowling Green, Ky., (population 65,000) to work for Dr. John Downing, another eye doctor and surgeon, in the nineties. My wife went to work for Dr. Downing in 1995. My wife told Dr. Paul that I was former reporter for the "Bowling Green Daily News," and he told her that he was interested in talking to me about something. When I first met him, I was impressed with his good natured personality and his extreme intelligence. He informed me that he was chairman and founder of the "Kentucky Taxpayers United," and that he would like to know if I would be interested in helping him with the organization. I asked him what it was about and I then gave him a little background about my journalist endeavors of the past. I told him that I would be glad to help him out with some public relations in the organization. He was pleased with my response. I suggested that we do a local television talk show since I was already doing another talk show in Bowling Green at the time called, "Writer's Corner."

We taped three shows called, "Eye On Taxes" at the local cable company and on the last show we interviewed the newly elected mayor of Bowling Green at the time. I even rode with Dr. Paul to Russellville, Ky., one time to his wife's hometown, which is about 30 miles west of Bowling Green, to see him speak to a local Lion's Club group about Kentucky Taxpayers United. I was also an invited guest to meet and have dinner his father, Dr. Ron Paul, a Texas congressman, along with his mother, Mrs. Paul, at a Bowling Green Chinese restaurant. I have also been to Dr. Paul's home several times on business and personal visits such as a Christmas party that was once held at his house for the office and staff of Dr. Downing's. Kelly, his wife, is a super nice, friendly lady as well an excellent wife and mother. At the time, Dr. Paul's children were very small. Now, all three boys are practically grown.

Dr. Paul is a solid doctor, husband, father, Christian and family man. He will make a solid politician also. It was great to see him again after a couple years at the recent Tea Party Rally in Bowling Green. Of course, he remembered me and shook my hand several times. I had a chance to say "Hello," to Kelly also. She still has her super, friendly smile as always. Dr. Paul gave one hell of a speech and I strongly feel that he is going to win the election on November 2, against Democrat candidate Jack Conway.

In a recent mailing, Dr. Paul states, "I want to go to Washington because Washington is BROKEN. The system is corrupt and steals our freedom and tax dollars. I will go to fight for balance budgets and term limits. I will fight everyday for the Constitution, to return our country to the sound principals upon which it was founded. I will look at EVERY federal agency and regulation to see if it is Constitutional and whether we can afford to keep doing it."

Believe me, Dr. Paul, will get the job done in Washington. He means business because he has been watching your tax dollars for years. And if elected, he will make sure that every one of your tax dollars is spent wisely and not wasted, I can assure you of that.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marching Towards A Mega Growth Global Economy


When I left the newspaper business in 1995, working as a reporter and book reviewer, I didn't realize that I would one day be working for a global corporation based out of St. Paul, Minn., which provides sanitation and hygiene products and services to the hospitality industry nationally and world-wide.

Basically, I got out of the newspaper business because I needed to make more money with better benefits since my wife had left her good manufacturing job as a human resource clerk to go back to work in administration in the medical field. Plus, prior to me going to work for the newspaper, I had worked for a national company for about six months that offers the same type of work that I am doing now where I drove around in a company vehicle taking care of customer's accounts providing service work. The best thing about the type of work I currently do is the freedom and peace of mind that I have along with the financial rewards that it provides me and my family as well as the long term benefits such as the retirement, 401k and stock options. Not to mention the satisfaction of a job well done along with customer appreciation and recognition. This also goes along with the appreciation and recognition I enjoy shown to me by the corporation for my commitment and hard work.

In a recent article in our corporation's employee magazine titled, "Big Trends Point To Big Global Opportunities Ahead," it talks about some shifts and trends in world populations, markets and resources that offer an opportunity for our corporation to expand immensely anywhere in the world wherever our customers need us regarding food safety, sanitation, hygiene and other related services that we provide.


Here are some of the trends revealed in the article.


1.) Emerging economies are growing-fast. "Rapid economic growth in some the world's most populous developing countries, especially Brazil, Russia, China and India, is the fueling the rise of businesses, factories, schools and a growing hospitality industry."


2.) Personal incomes are rising, too. "More people in emerging economies are taking home higher pay." "As incomes rise, more people will move from a grain-based diet to more protein. This is a positive for our corporation's food and beverage division."


3. More people are populating the Earth. "The United National estimates that the earth is currently home to about 6.8 billion people, a number projected to rise to 9 billion in just 30 to 40 years. The implications are, of course, far reaching." "70 percent more food will be needed by 2050 to feed the world, especially as incomes and demand for protein rise, increased demand, more complex supply chains and greater potential for food safety events."


4.) Populations are getting older. "In the hospitality market, as greater number older people find time for travel and they will rely on more health services."


5.) Fresh water is getting scare. "Conservation will be critical across wide areas-and customers know it." "Many customers food and beverage plants don't have the resources to cut water use." "By applying our water care, cleaning and sanitation, and waste water expertise to provide comprehensive water-in/water-0ut solution. Our company can help plant mangers fill the resource and knowledge gap and reach their savings targets while maintaining world-class food safety standards." "Also, 70's percent is used to produce food-most of it for crop irrigation, but significant amounts also for food processing and production."


Although, I only work locally in Southcentral Kentucky for my corporation, it really exciting to think of the unlimited future growth for us that is far-reaching globally and for other major American corporations as well. And a lot of corporations are already hitting that mark such as McDonalds, Wal-Mart, KFC , Starbucks, Google, Coke, Fedex, Kraft Foods and General Motors, just to name a few. As for me, I will continue to do my part here in Southcentral Kentucky to ensure that we as an American corporation march towards mega growth globally.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

KFC's Secret Hiding Place


One of my favorite things to read in a Tuesday's Bowling Green (Ky) Daily News newspaper is the "American Profile" magazine insert. A particular section which intrigues me the most is called, "Tidbits-Did You Know?" I always pay close attention to this section because it's about my part of the country, the American South.

One week recently the tidbit of information was about my state-Kentucky. Under the headline, "State Of Kentucky," it read, "Col. Harland Sanders' handwritten recipe for his famous original Kentucky Fried Chicken was placed in a new electronic vault last February (2010) at the corporate headquarters in Louisville, Ky. The recipe, on a single sheet of yellowing paper, is protected by an array of high-tech security gadgets, including motion detectors and camera that allow guards to monitor the vault around the clock."

For some weird reason, I was amazed and impressed. The first thing that entered my mind was, "Is this a publicity stunt? Is this for real?" After thinking a few minutes about it, I realized that it must be for real because I have always heard rumors that KFC which is owned by Louisville based YUM Brands Inc. is very protective of their secret recipe just like the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Atlanta is very secretive of their original Coke formula. Colonel Sanders was also secretive about his recipe. I've even heard that Coke also has their recipe in a vault and it is separated and no single person knows the whole formula. It takes two people who has a half of recipe to formulate the Coke.

It's incredible to think of the great lengths that these companies go to in order to preserve their secretive recipes. But I had to realize that the reason that these world famous name brands are being preserve and protected is not only for a financial means (because billions and billions of dollars depend of recipes especially since both are global products) but also for historic purposes as well. When I think of KFC or Coke, I always think about consumers in China eating KFC and drinking Coke. I can also picture Chinese people shopping at Wal-Mart and eating at McDonalds in China too. I wonder what secret recipes or formulas that Wal-Mart or McDonalds is hiding and protecting from the world? Maybe, it's the secret formula for global dominance in their markets.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Amazing, Incredible Power Of The Soybean, "Silk Milk"


I discovered something that I really like to drink in the last several months. It's soy milk. Yes, it's true! It is made from soybeans which is a stable emulsion of oil, water and protein and it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water. I like this stuff and there's one particular brand that I really like and it's called, "Silk." You can find it at Kroger usually on sale for two for five dollars with your Kroger card. (No, Kroger and Silk Milk are not paying me to write this).


The following information comes from the web-site, "Wikipedia.org" regarding "Silk" and soy milk.


""Silk" is a brand of soy milk and other dairy-substitute products, including soy yogurt and almond milk. The company was founded by Steve Demos in 1996 and it's distributed by Demos' company "White Wave Foods," a subsidiary of Dean Foods. The name "Silk" is a portmanteau of "soy" and "milk." Apparently, Silk soy milk sales comprise roughly three-fourths of the refrigerated soy milk sales in America."

"Some of the health benefits of drinking soy milk is that it has about the same amount of protein (though not the same amino acid profile) as the milk of a cow. Natural soy milk contains digestible calcium as it is bound in the bean's pulp, which is insoluble in humans. To counter this, many manufacturers enrich their produce with calcium carbonate available to human digestion. Unlike cow's milk, it has little saturated fat and no cholesterol. (I really like this!) Soy products contain sucrose as the basic diaccharide, which breaks into glucose and fructose. Since soy doesn't contain galactose, a product of lactose breakdown, soy-based infant formulas can replace breast milk in children with galactosemia. Soy milk is also a source of lecithin and vitamin E, lack casein, it is safe for people with lactose intolerance or milk allergy, contains far less saturated fat than cow's milk and contains isoflavones, organic chemicals that may be beneficial to health."


Believe it or not, when I drink a cold glass of "Vanilla Silk," the Mississippi Delta on sunny day comes to my mind. I can remember seeing miles and miles of soybeans being grow from the edge of the Mississippi bluff where I lived back in the late 1970's and early 1980's. The Mississippi Delta farmers probably still do grow the soy beans down there. Soybeans were literally everywhere like "Mississippi Kudzu." I'm sure the soybean was not as big of a "cash crop" back then as it probably is now for those farmers. Thank God for the Mississippi Delta and for the Chinese who discovered the soy milk around A.D. 25-220!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The legend of "The Legend of Boggy Creek" movie


One of the scariest movies that has lingered in my psychic for the last 38 years is the, "The Legend of Boggy Creek," which is supposedly based on a true story. I was 10 years-old in the Summer of 1972 when I saw this movie with some of my best friends at the Malco Theater on Popular and Highland avenues growing up in East Memphis. That movie literally scared the holy, crap out of me and for a couple of years, I was scared to death to walk home at night from my friend's house located at the bottom of the hill where I lived. The worst part of the walk home was when I would get to a long row of mulberry bushes in my yard at the top of the hill and I hated walking past them. I was always afraid that the "Boggy Creek Monster" was going to jump out and grab me. But it never did because my heart would start racing and I was run as fast as I could. Then I would jump onto the front porch and in through the front door. My dad would always ask me, "What's wrong?" And I would say, "Aw, nothin'."


About a year ago, I had been thinking about this movie a lot and how it had horrified me as child. So I decided to order a copy of it on eBay or Amazon.com. I don't remember which one I ordered it from to be quite exact. But anyway, when I received it in the mail a few days later, my wife and I watched it and I thought, "Heck, this ain't that scary! This is so stupid!" I wondered what made me so scared as a kid when I watched it. However, a little bit of the sensation of horror did come back to me as I watched it though. It cause me to be able to relive the movie a little bit in my mind and remember how I felt when I was a youngster. But too me these days, the most interesting aspect of the movie is the movie itself-the success of the movie and how it was made on such a low budget turning a gigantic profit for its creator, Charles B. Pierce, an advertising salesman. Mr. Pierce who was from Texarkana (Texas-Arkansas border town) borrowed $100,000 from a local trucking company and used an old movie camera and hired locals (mainly high school students) to make the 90 minute film. He actually filmed the movie in the Fouke, Ark., area swap lands. In the last 38 years, the movie has generated approximately $20 million dollars and still can be found on DVD. Another modern-day, horror flick along the sames lines with a low production budget and incredible success is "The Blair Witch Project" from the 1990's. These type of movies usually find a way to tap in the psychic of Americans. Movies like this always seem take place out in the woods or out in the water somewhere with natural surroundings. It's one of those things that makes you ask each other, "Is there something out there?" which can run chills up and down your spine every time for sure.


Here's what the back cover of DVD says, "Is the monster still on the prowl? A 1970's documentary-style drama questions the existence of a hair 7ft tall Sasquatch-type monster that lives in a swap outside of Fouke, Ark. According to the locals the monster walks on two feet, has a characteristic smelly odor and kills chickens, cattle, dogs and livestock but so far it hasn't killed any people. The monster supposedly harassed two families in the late 1960's, but since then few have seen the monster yet it can be heard in the swap at night. Actual interviews with the area residents tell the tale. Could be real or a conspiracy of a backwoods community looking for attention."


If you want to see an old, somewhat, scary flick, this movie could be for you. You may laugh at the silly acting and how country the actors look, talk and etc. However, you have to keep an open mind and realize how amazingly, this low budget movie caused such a stir at the time in America's psychic in the early 1970's. It is similar to the scare tactic that the movie, "Jaws" used to horrify the holy, you know what out of Americans and kept them away about America's beaches in the middle 1970's for a while. You probably won't be able to find "The Legend of Boggy Creek" at your local video rental store either. You will probably have to buy it on eBay or Amazon.com like I did, if you want watch it.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Gift To All Rush Fans...The Movie....Rush:Beyond The Lighted Stage







The documentary movie, "Rush:Beyond The Lighted Stage" is a gift that keeps on giving. (sorry for the cliche). This movie is really a gift from the Rock group "Rush" to all its fans-from the past, present and future. The band that has been around for more than 40 years and has more than its shares of ups and downs in the world of rock and roll and in their own personal lives.



The reason that the movie is a gift from Rush is because they did not have to allow the filmmakers into their private lives to make a documentary about the rock band's history and their unconventional rise to fame and glory. But they did it for their fans. It's for all those middle-age men with greying hair who are located around the world. But they did allow it to be made. That's the most important thing. Rush fans have been peg by critics as white, middle-aged men in their 40's and 50's with greying hair who hold down steady jobs probably with families. I would even dare to say that some of these fans are grandfathers. And believe it or not there are women Rush fans out there too.



I can attest to this because my son and I made our way down to Nashville, Tenn., for the first showing of the movie at The Belcourt Theater near Vanderbilt University on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. June 15th. Naturally, we got lost in Nashville and turned around but finally we found our way to the theater. When we arrived there was a long line that outside the building and it curve around the corner onto another street. I thought, "Oh crap, we'll never get a seat." However, when we got inside, there was plenty of seating. There were some other men with their sons and maybe even their grandsons too. We found the perfects seats while my son went to the concessions stand to grab us a couple of cold drinks. While we were waiting in line outside, I observed the typical Rush fan and what he looked like. Like I said, most of us were white and looked about my age 48 years-old with greying hair and wearing glasses. Some of us had big bellies or smaller bellies (If you're lucky). I saw very few Rush fans with long hair these days. Most of us were dressed in casual clothes. I would say most of us had jobs or careers and probably had some sort of higher education. (I just assuming now from my journalistic observations). Also, a Rush fan walked toward the back of the line where we were standing and offered a free ticket to another Rush fan. I would say most Rush fans are kind and polite towards one of another and have a generous free spirit of giving like Rush musicians themselves, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. After the movie, I observe the Rush fan who received the free ticket thank the other Rush fan who gave him the ticket in the men's restroom. Now, isn't that in the giving spirit of Rush shining through here?



Too me, I was just totally enthralled and entertained throughout the movie. It starts from the beginning days of Rush in Toronto, Canada, where the trio....Geddy Lee, Bass, Alex Lifeson, Lead Guitar and Neil Peart, Drums, all grew up. Geddy and Alex were raised in the suburbs of Toronto and Neil grew up on a farm outside of Toronto. The film shows footage of Alex and Geddy while they were in high school and Alex quit high school to play music. I'm not sure about Geddy quiting school. I didn't catch that if he did. The movie also shows interviews with all three band member's parents which I thought was very touching. Geddy parents were Jewish prisoner death camp survivors from World War II and Alex parents where Yugoslavian immigrants. Neal parents owned a parts store where he worked as a teenager. The original drummer John Rutsey had to be replaced because of health reasons and that's when they brought Neil into the picture.



Probably, the one thing that intrigued me the most about the film was how Rush decided to be just themselves and independent of everyone else on the rock scene at the time during the early and later years of the 1970's. They produced these abstract, conceptual albums like "Caress Of Steel," "2112" and "Hemispheres" against all the odds of their record label but they were able to survive and remain themselves. They didn't change. I think that's the one thing that appealed to me when I first heard the band in the Fall of 1976 when my friend Donald Dillingham brought the "2112" album over to my dad's lake house in North Mississippi, was the band's really cool and freaky sound. When he put it on and we were just blow away by it. I had never heard anything like it before in my young life. Rush's music appealled to the psychics of our little minds. At the time, we were feeling like outcasts living in our own little worlds by our own choosing. Rush took us took us to a different world like the other rock groups did, but in a different way than Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. It was a mental escapism with the combination of their music and some of mind altering substance which I quit using years ago. I won't say which one. I'm sure a lot of middle-age men had the same experiences with Rush as I have had when they were first introduced to the band.



And movie goes on to show concert footage when they toured with bands like Kiss and Thin Lizzy just to name a few. The movie shows how Rush evolved to eventually to become the main headliner band on the scene at the time. And then they hit the big time with the album, "Moving Pictures" in 1981 where had such mega hits as "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" which was being played on rock stations all over the world, over and over again. This was the heyday of Rush when they filling concert halls and arena all over the world. But they still do filled these halls and arenas to this day! As a side note, I saw Rush in concert four times. It was the one band that I saw more times in concert than anyone else.



Probably, the saddest part of the movie, is when it explains the tragedy that about Neil's daughter getting killed in a car accident and then shortly loosing his wife due to an illness. Neil is a painfully private person and you could tell it was hard for him to be interviewed for the movie. I thought he was pretty uncomfortable with the interview. That's just my opinion. I may be wrong. But regardless, he did manage to do the interview because he did it for us Rush fans. Thank you Neil! The movie goes on to show some stuff on how the group regrouped after being away from it for four years because of Neil's tragedies and how he managed to cope with it by riding a BMW motorcycle 55,000 miles all over North America. He even wrote a song and book about his experiences of that road trip called, "Ghost Rider," which is on the "Vapor Trails" album.



Regardless, if your a big Rush fan or not, this documentary movie will have you cheering, laughing, crying and cheering again. It is a must see for all Rush fans! Like I said, it's the gift that keeps on giving....from one Rush fan to another.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memphis Magazine: A Blast From The Past


I always look forward to receiving my "Memphis" magazine in the mail every month. I started getting this particular magazine in the mail several years ago. My brother-in-law, Bill, who lives in Bartlett, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, sends me a subscription to the publication every year for Christmas. It's one of my favorite Christmas gifts that I look forward to receiving. Also, Bill has been sending me "Guidepost" magazine probably for the last 30 years and still is. But to me, there's no other publication like "Memphis" magazine. It's a very special magazine to me.


Since I am a native of Memphis (born in 1962) there's a lot of things in the magazine that always appeal to me. Of course, I moved away from Memphis in 1976 and moved just South of the state-line down to Hernando, Miss. I lived in North Mississippi for 11 years before I moved to Kentucky in 1987. North Mississippi is basically a suburb of Memphis. I know when I lived in Mississippi, we went to Memphis quite often for a lot of activities like shopping, dinning, entertainment and for medical purposes. But since I have lived in Kentucky all these years, I really don't know how much things have changed down there. Of course, I have visited a lot through the years. But I really know exactly how things have changed. I have heard a lot of negatives since I have been up here in Kentucky. But then again, I have heard about a few positives things also. Mainly, the magazine keeps me updated in printed form of what's going on in Memphis and the Mid-South rather than just looking on the Internet at the "The Commercial Appeal," the Memphis newspaper web-site.


One particular section of the magazine that I really like is a column call "Ask Vance." Vance Lauderdale (I still wonder if Vance is a real person or not) will take a question about something in Memphis' history and will do research and find out what happened to the person, place or thing. Here's a link to Vance's blog regarding "Lakeland" an amusement park that used to be Northeast Shelby County, Tenn., the county where Memphis is located. My parents used to take us there a lot as kids when we were growing up there in Memphis. Here's a link where Vance blogs about "Lakeland." http://www.memphisflyer.com/AskVanceBlog/archives/2010/05/04/visit-lakeland-on-the-next-southern-routes


In the latest issue (June 2010) of "Memphis" magazine, Vance wrote a long piece in his column where someone wrote in and ask about the time some people got stuck in a ride called the "Skyride" during a storm at Lakeland. They were stuck for over nine hours hanging 90 feet above a man-made lake. It happened in 1968 and I remember when they happened! Wow, my memory is good! I was only 6 years-old. I thought it was a great piece because it brought back a lot of memories for me. "Memphis" magazine always takes me back as well as keeping me up to date what is going these days in the city. Again, it's great magazine and means a lot to me. Thanks to the staff of "Memphis" magazine and to Vance (If you really are a real person :) ) for entertaining us subscribers and readers as well as informing us.


Below is a video from YouTube where the public television station in Memphis (WKNO television) does a really nice segment on "Ask Vance" for it's viewers. It's called "Southern Routes-Lakeland"

Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering My Father, A Deceased War Hero








My father, the late Ret. Army Major Vester Brooks Smith, was a decent human being. He was not perfect. He had his character defects and flaws like most people do. In 1993, he died at the age of 73 in Memphis, Tenn. He lived his whole life practically down south except for time when he lived out west as a child. I will always honor him and his memory as a father and as a war veteran.  Most importantly, he was a war hero. He enlisted in the United States Army National Guard at the age of 17 in 1937. He lied about his age because in those days they didn't have computer system to keep up with people's Social Security numbers and etc. Apparently, during the depression years in America, a lot of young men lied about their age in order to join the military forces. It was way out of poverty for these boys and their families.
After his graduation from high school in 1939, he was called up to go fight in War War II in the European theaters as well in Burma. After the war was over, he came back to Memphis and met my mother in 1946 when they married. In 1950, after he had finished Officers Training School (OTS) and his college degree at Memphis State University, he was called into to the Korean War where he served for a year in combat in artillery with his National Guard Unit from Memphis and earned the "Bronze Star Medal" for bravery.
After the Korean War, he lived his life out in Memphis and North Mississippi working as a professional accountant and bookkeeper. He continued to serve in the Memphis National Guard where he retired after 27 years of duty. Prior to his retirement in the guard, in 1968, two U.S. Marshals, showed up at our house on Rolling Oaks Drive in East Memphis, to notify him that his guard unit was being activated to protect the City of Memphis during the Martin Lutheran King riots. My mother took my brother and me to Arkansas to escape the violence. She was afraid the rioting would reach East Memphis. But it never did. It was contained to Downtown Memphis, thanks to my father and his unit and the Memphis police.
In 1974, after 27 years of marriage and five children with my mother, my parents divorced. Being the youngest, I was devastated. However, I survived it like most children of divorce do. My father suffered from "Battle Fatigue." Nowadays, they call it "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder." (PTSD). But health professionals back then did not recognize it, the way they do these days. The medical community knows how to treat the condition now. However, my father's philosophy and in dealing with his problems was "You work hard and you play hard." He never did quit working hard or playing hard. Thank you, dad, for serving our country and being a decent human being.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Does Anyone Know How To Stop A Leak?


My wife and I cancelled our vacation plans for a trip to the Gulf of Mexico this past week. We were planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Orange Beach, Ala., for a couple of nights. However, after the BP off-shore oil drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico about 37 days ago, we decided not to go down there out of the fear of oil washing ashore of the beautiful white sand beaches of Alabama. Also, we had a lot of questions that really couldn't be answered by anyone via phone at the hotel or from even a friend who lives in Mobile, Ala. Even recent news reports were apparently of no help in trying to determine which direction that the oil was heading. There were no guarantees that there would be no problems to affect our visit there regarding the thousands and thousands of barrels of oil that are leaking into the ocean.

It is really ashamed that this has happened not only for our vacation but for the Gulf Coast tourism and economy but more important, the environment and the planet. And more disappointing, there has not been nothing done yet stop the leak. I'm sure BP executives and engineers have been pulling there hair out trying to figure a way to stop it. They're latest attempt by pumping cement and mud to seal off the leak might work. But who knows? BP now even has a link to a web-site where you can watch a live camera of the leak in action at the bottom of the ocean. http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.htmlThe other night, I was looking around on Youtube and I came across an interesting video that really makes a lot sense to me. Believe me, I not a big environmentalist or "Going-Green" person. However, I do recycle and I do not believe in littering. I am extremely against littering. I believe trash has it proper place along with recyclables and etc. But this video clip "Pale Blue Dot" on Youtube by Carl Sagan, the late famous astronomer, who wrote and narrated the highly acclaimed PBS television series called, "Cosmos," is about our planet, "Earth." In this short video clip, Sagan tells us that our planet is the only planet like it in the universe that sustains life as we know it. Our planet is very unique and it's the only home that we know in the universe. The other night on my Faceback, I posted the "Pale Blue Dot" video and commented, "This is the only home we have in the universe. Perhaps, we should find better ways to drill for oil in our oceans in the future."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

HBO's Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam Of Crystal


I really didn't know much the infamous Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss until recently. The other night I watched the HBO documentary "Heidi Fliess: The Would-Be Madam Of Crystal." The documentary shows Fleiss during her efforts in 2006 to create a brothel for women in Nevada where prostitution is legal. The name of the brother was going to be called the "Stud Farm." She buys land and a house in a small town called "Crystal" located in Death Valley after moving there from Los Angeles. During the first segment of the documentary she has a homeless guy who works for her but she fires him after they go out to the desert one night to collect rocks. He forgot to bring the flashlight and they get into an argument. He goes back to Los Angeles to live. She runs into several roadblocks when she applies for a license from the city and county where she was trying to establish the brothel. Even a local saloon owner is against her and states that Fleiss is going about everything the wrong way. Also, the president of the Nevada Brothel Association speaks out against her and says that she is bringing negative attention to the brother industry in the state with her notoriety. She evens became a witness in an FBI investigation after being brief business partners with another brother owner who was being watched by the Feds.

The documentary also shows portions of interviews with Fleiss where she talks about her past as a Hollywood Madam and her time served in prison for federal charges when she was convicted in 1996. Lately, she can be seen on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She admits on the documentary that she addiction problem to crystal meth but was currently sober from the drug. Probably one of the more interesting parts of the documentary is where Fleiss befriends an elderly neighbor who loves and collects exotic birds. The sickly woman who is on oxygen lives in a trailer next door to her property and has about 20 or 30 birds in cages surrounded by her in the bedroom and the living room. Fleiss falls in love with one particular bird and eventually learns to love all the birds. When the elderly neighbors dies, the woman leaves all the birds to Fleiss. At times, it seems that she is overwhelm with her new duties with keeping all the birds. Even her brother-in-law comes over from Los Angeles to build an extra room on her house for the birds. She finally gives up the idea of building the brothel after hitting the roadblocks and buys a laundry mat in the small town and calls it "Dirty Laundry."

I found Fleiss to be a highly intelligent woman from a well to do family who learned to hustle at young age. Besides making millions as a former madam, Fleiss has also made a lot of money from her notoriety by writing books, being portrayed in movies and documentaries and appearing on reality shows. I really liked this particular HBO documentary and I highly recommend it if you want to be introduced her and perhaps seen a kinder, softer gentle side of Fleiss instead of the Heidi Fleiss most of us have heard about, read about or seen on the national news.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rush: The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame?


There's going to be a documentary movie at the theaters this Summer regarding one of my all-time favorite "Classic Rock" bands, "Rush"-the trio from the Great White North (Canada) who has been making tremendous, incredible music for over four decades now. The movie, "Rush:Beyond The Light Stage," is going to be showed for one night only (June 10th) in theaters across the United States. I am hoping it will be shown in Nashville which is about an hour south of Bowling Green, Ky., where I live.
My hope for this group who has managed to have mega-hit songs such as "Limelight," "Tom Sawyer," "The Trees," and "Closer To The Heart," just to name a few, is that these guys deserve to be inducted into the "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame." Come on, these guys, Geddy Lee, bass and vocals, Alex Lifesome, lead guitar, and Neil Peart, drums, are incredibly talented, awesome musicians! Seriously! I've seen Rush in concert four times-once in 1979, twice in 1981 and once in 1982 at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tenn., while living in North Mississippi. I also feel that these guys should have won at least one Grammy already. Yes, their music has been labeled for by Rolling Stone magazine for geeks or techno nerds because of their extreme concept albums and album cover artwork through the years as well as their style of rock music. Also, the lyrics that Peart (The Professor) writes are so deep and very abstract with such themes regarding the atom bomb, the human brain and the free spirit of the radio.
It's been said that Rush is a "cult band" with a cult following. Even Lee has admitted this. If that be case...so be it. Then I am part of their cult and I am a follower. Rush songs have been woven in the fabric of my life through the years. I can put a certain Rush song on and certain memories will come flooding back to my mind. Most of those memories involve high school and college. Perhaps, Rush has a way of making us middle-age, baby boomer men and women feel young again. Isn't that the trend with most Classic Rock bands from the past? They make us feel young again. That's probably why that movie, "I Love You, Man" has a character who is about my age or maybe a little younger (from my generation) who is a Rush fan. That's why you see so many Classic Rock bands going on tour again these days especially during the Summer months. They are milking it for all it's worth and I don't blame them. Let's keep knocking on the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's door to encourage them to open up and let Rush in.