January 29, 2015

What Is That Song?

As most of you probably know, having read this blog (and my other) throughout the years, I listen to a lot of college radio. For me, college radio is the closest thing to satellite radio (yeah, I am cheap with certain things), which in turn allows me expand my musical horizons (i.e. jazz, techno, salsa, euro, true r&b) to infinity and beyond.

Now, believe it or not, college radio does have a basic rule that it follows, more often than commercial radio: they will tell you what they played. Usually it goes something like this: they'll play a bloc of music, anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes in length, and when it finishes, they'll come back on air and will tell you what it was that you heard. There is one jock in particular who will not only tell you what you heard, but will post it on Facebook as well.

All but one station I listen to follows that basic rule. No matter what the show, they'll come on afterwards and clue you in. However, there is one station that I listen to that often drives me batty, because more often than not, the jock will not tell you what it was that they'd played. Quite often I'll hear a song that I actually like, and I'll become frustrated because they won't say who sung it or what the title was.

I would like to share with everyone a short sampling of songs that I first heard on that particular radio station (WFCS, 107.7 CCSU, New Britain CT), along with one that I heard on both college and commercial radio.

January 26, 2015

The World Wide Web

I was trying to think of a topic to write about, when the ever sensational Granny Annie delivered it right to my door step, in the form of a comment. To whit, she left this comment on last Friday's post:

I left the workplace in 2000. Believe it or not at least half of the workforce did not use email or even know what it was.

That particular comment provided the inspiration for today's post about the World Wide Web.

Most of my readers today and frankly, a whole generation of people (starting with my daughter's age) grew up with the advance technology that is the Internet: good search engines, texting, e-mails, instant messaging and in starting in the mid early 2000's, quality social media and hi-tech video games.

But there is an entire generation of people, starting in the neighborhood of my age (roughly 5+ years south of 49), who actually grew up not only in the pre-Internet age, but in the Internet childhood as well.

To whit: When I started working in an office environment in 1996, that was my first hardcore exposure not only to computers, but to the dawning of the Internet, e-mails, fax machines, etc. etc. etc. Back then, List Servs were the e-mail community of choice. Also, the e-mail system of choice back in the 1990's was something called Groupwise. However, by the early 2000's the e-mail system of choice was Outlook (and we all know how that is).

Anywho, back to the subject at hand, the World Wide Web.

January 23, 2015

Stayed The Vacation

As most of you had probably figured out, I was on vacation from work this week (sadly, I'm back there today). Mostly to decompress and recharge the batteries, and partly to act like a schmuck with the general public and be uncle-social to the family. But I bet you're wondering just exactly what I did on my vacation.

Well...I did this:

1} Blogged. For a rare treat, I had enough time to actually write three blog posts this week, with two of them being a flashback style post, in which I was both windy and erudite.

2} Facebooked. For an even rarer treat, I had enough time to goof off on Facebook. I gained a friend, lost a friend, gained a page like and lost a page like.

3} Wrote. Not necessarily fresh new stuff, although I decided to make serious attempt at doing that on Thursday (epic fail), but I did yet another round editing (see Monday's post for that), gained another beta reader and basically made a menace of myself with my muse.

4} Read. I caught up on some reading. I finished a short story horror anthology by John Lindqvist called "Let The Old Dreams Die", which was basically contained some hits and some misses. I also finished a big ol' non-fiction book about the hacker group Anonymous, which was pretty decent.

5} Wrote More. Not regular writing or blogging, but took a crack at writing another book review (success!). I have a short list of books that I really need to write reviews on and the longer I wait, the less I feel like doing it, especially since I finished most of these books at the end of last summer/beginning of fall.

6} Work. I took the liberty of checking my work e-mail on a daily basis, at least three times a day. Why? Because the last thing I wanted to do was to wade through 300+ e-mails the first day back. And how did I arrive at the number? On the average, I had at least 25 e-mails waiting for me whenever I logged in, so roughly 65 per day for the five days I was out will get you to that figure, give or take. By the way, on the last time that I had logged in to my work e-mail (around 3p) I had a total of 79 e-mails that I had either flagged or need to print out for future use.

And that, my friends is what I did on my staycation. And no, I'm not really ready to face the toddlers at my job, but it's a living.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

January 21, 2015

Curiousity Made Me Research It

I like all kinds of music and songs. You name the genre, I've probably sampled it in the past 39 1/2 years of my life (I started paying attention to music when I was about 10, which is 1975) in some particular way, shape or form. 99% of the time, the songs I listen to pretty much takes me on a journey to the farthest recesses of my memory, both past and present.

It's that remaining 1% that we're gonna have fun writing about today, and maybe, get you to search your memory banks as well.

I've always found exceptionally intriguing, to the point of the blog title, songs that touch upon an actual event. The weird thing about those songs, is that almost all of them touch upon a true crime event. I haven't heard many that don't, but the ones that I like apparently are somewhat dark/macabre in nature.

So gather 'round the BBQ and grab yourself a heaping plate of food and a tall cold one, while I regale with four tales of strange songs that touch upon true crime events. Please be warned that if some of this bothers you or makes you squeamish, by all means, feel free to check out the archives for this blog or for Cedar's Mountain. And away we go.

January 19, 2015

And Thus, A New Beginning...Or An Overrated Ending

No, it's not THAT. It will never be THAT. So please, do not worry about THAT, because THAT, will not happen for at least a year (or longer). And if you have to ask what THAT is, then you haven't been around the blog world for a while, have you? But, if you click on any of the six THATs, you will receive a very brief explanation of what I'm talking about.

Now, on to bigger and better things.

I am on a staycation this week, because to be brutally blunt, 2015 is the year where the real world revolves around me. And because the real world revolves around me (thank you very much), I decided that I needed to get off my twin buttock cheeks and do some writing.

However, the muse overruled my plan attack and instead, took off my glasses, sat down and straddled my waist, draped her arms on my shoulders, kissed my forehead and said in a voice that implied in no uncertain terms that I'm just a conduit in this little adventure, "You...........are going to dust off that punk ass novella and get busy with another round of editing. Why? Because I don't want become just another footnote in your writing journey. I want to be the one that you turn to for each and every story that you write. Understand?"

I raise an eyebrow, but she moves in until I'm forced to look up into her fiery hazel eyes. With cowardice being the better part of valor, I acquiesce.

She taps my face a couple of times, then like in my previous novel, disappears back into my subconscious so as to better monitor my progress.

January 15, 2015

I Was On My Mind

Yes, this is what you get for a post title when you're sitting in front of a blank screen when suddenly this 60's pop hit prances its way to the front of your head.

Nifty 60's pop song, isn't it?

Anywho, back to the business at hand, namely, what to talk about.

I had an idea for a music related post, but I decided to save that for next week, when I'm on my staycation (a staycation is when you to take vacation days from work but don't go anywhere) and thus have time to do it properly. Having put that aside for the moment, we went in search of another topic in which to wax poetically about.

I briefly thought about work, but you know, work sucks major hippo testicles right about now, and the last thing I want to do is go off on a multi-prong tangent of Lincoln Highway proportions. So back to the barrel of canola oil I go (yum!) in search of something semi-nutritious to write about it.

Wait for it....wait for it...wait for it....

I got it!

Word Association!

Lately, I've been having very bizarre word association thoughts. Like this post for example. The title is a direct play off the song.

Another example: I've been buying fruit at work for my lunch time dessert, and what they have for the fresh fruit of choice is....bananas. And what do think is the very first thing that pops into my head after I buy the banana?

No, it's not the banana house

It's this wonderful little sketch by Monty Python.

Still yet another example. I have great co-worker who goes by the name Ken. This song by REM is usually the end result whenever I interact with him.

And that, my friends, is the end of this post. Tune in next week when G.B. gets his act together and decides to touch upon a topic that he hasn't touched upon in quite sometime. In the meantime, check out this video of a song that I spent 20+ years looking for, and I found it, strangely enough, while writing this post.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

January 12, 2015

Yes! It's The Mundane World Of G.B. Miller!

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Remember kids, the proper way to read the preceding sentence is to insert a three second pause between the first and second Blah. Just like Jack Palance in his version of "A Christmas Carol" set in the Old West.

wait for it...wait for it...wait for it....

I'm a anomaly in my particular age bracket (40-49), in that I'm relatively self-sufficient. I can do all the basic Home Ec 101 that was drilled into back when I was but my daughter's age in middle skool and high skool.

I'll pause here for a moment to let all the snickering and snide comments fall by the wayside before continuing.

whistling a tuneless tune

I've always been able to cook for myself, 'cause back in my childhood, a microwave was but a distant blip in the mind of a mad inventor. And I'm not talking about opening a can of soup or Chef Boyardee or can of SPAM either. I'm talking about cooking/making a normal semi-to-unwholesome meal. I've been doing this for myself for the better part of 30 years (yes, that includes the 25 years spend being married).

In addition to being able to more-than-competently find my way around a kitchen without doing my best impersonation of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, I can also work a washing machine and dryer too. In my world, I had two parents, neither of which did laundry, good or otherwise. Because of that, I learned early on that if I wanted my clothes washed my way, then gosh darn it, I needed to do it my way.

Now I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Why is this even remotely a topic of conversation for the blog today?"

Well, the answer is pretty simple.

January 7, 2015

IWSG Post #5!


Guess what day it is! C'mon, guess!

No, it's not hump day, and no, it's not Prince spaghetti day.

It's IWSG day!

The first Wednesday of the month is set aside for insecure writers across the blog-o-sphere to share all of our individual experiences, the gud, the baaaaaad and the plug ugly.

And I am your most excellent host, G.B. Miller.

Today, I want to talk about a topic that while isn't near or especially dear to my heart, but it's something that everyone has probably experienced at one time or another, but first, the obligatory bio that was suggested by the powers that be so that for those of you who are coming by for the very first time know exactly who it is you're reading about. So, without further ado, would you kindly direct your attention to the center ring, specifically, the top front page of my book blog, where you will find a very decent (and very short) bio about moi.

With that out of the way, we now move on the topic du jour: Jealousy.

I have, from time to time, looked upon what some of my fellow writers (primarily Facebook) have created/produced and it quite simply blows my mind. The quantity of verbiage that they have churned out simply has no comparison, and when I compare what I have out to what they have out, I get that very strong urge to let loose with a few choice words.

I know that I shouldn't compare my output to theirs, especially since most of my writer friends have made something of a 2nd career out of it and thus are insanely motivated to be successful. While I would love to be that successful, I know it's not going to happen just yet. Whereas those people who I compare myself to have either been writing a lot longer than I have, or are retired from the real world (seems to a common theme in my circle), the real world has insidiously caused my output to drop down to zero.

I really shouldn't be jealous of other people's success, especially since I could be just like that if I put in the required amount of effort like they do. But, life has gotten in the way of me implementing my modest plan of attack, and until I can get that straightened out, I'll continue to marvel at what others have been able to do, and do my very best not to let my emotions get the better of me when it comes to writing.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

January 5, 2015

Respect Is A One Way Street

Over the years (2008 to the present) I have written numerous posts, such as this post from February 26, 2013, about respect or the complete lack thereof. Today's post will be, strangely enough, a new twist on that particular post. A C.M. Classic you might opine.

Normally, I would start off a post such as this with the well-worn cliché that Respect Is A Two Way Street, then go off on some meaningful and nourishing tangent about how you need to give in order to get.

Captain Bucko says, "Not this time."

This time, the tangent is about the utter lack of respect that I have been subjected to, ad nauseum, since 2006. I've had my integrity questioned, my "lack" of job skills, lies told about me, been thrown under the proverbial bus, car, boat, tractor, horse, motorcycle more times that I can remember, and up until now, have either shaken it off or taken it with a boulder of salt.

Now, it's 2015 and after the fiasco I went through yet again with people mouthing all of the above to people who actually know me/worked with me, I've decide to, in the words of Alice Cooper, not be Mr. Nice Guy anymore.

That's right everyone. No longer will I bend over backwards to help someone out because they give me some kind of sob story. No longer will I carry on multi day e-mail conversations with people who make twice my salary yet have the brain cell capacity of a militant animal rights activist. Most importantly though, no longer will I treat all co-workers like a friend/family member.

Number 1 will be easy to do 'cause I've already been phasing it in with the other aspects of my job, so applying it to the remaining part will be a no brainer. Number 2 will be easy to do as well, simply because I'm simply not going to waste any more effort in trying to get my point across. If you can't understand what I'm giving you for an answer to your question after three e-mails, then I'll simply have you get your union steward involved. Case closed.

As for number 3, that will be a little tougher. I've been doing the same payroll going on 9 years this coming May, and some of those co-workers I get along with quite well. But, 2015 is a new year, and since I don't intend to be a doormat anymore, I'll simply have to quit cold turkey. I'll still be polite but beyond that, what's going in your life will simply be none of my business, and vice-versa.

When you work in the public sector, 75% of the time what people demand they don't often reciprocate. However, if you want respect, look for it from someone else. I'm tired of giving it and not having it reciprocated. The only respect I want and I'll gladly give in return, are to the 9 people who work in my unit and to the 6 others I deal with on a daily basis.


(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

January 2, 2015


Hi-do-ho Neighbors and Neighborettes!

While work is still kicking my buttocks from border (CT) to border (NY) to border (MA) to border (RI) to border (Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound), I did say I would see everyone on the flipside of 2015. Guess what, this is the flipside of 2015, although I'm sure everyone is going "Wasssssssssssoooooooop! Pash me shat boddle of Johnny Walkin'-drunkingly-towards-the-side-the-road-for-the-old-heave-ho!...oh no....excuse me!....." two days after experiencing the mother of all parties as it pertains to your tiny slice of whatever world revolves around you.

Anywho, I spent some time going through Cedar's Mountain for a few retrospective posts to share with everyone, but I came up empty. However, I did find some wickedly nasty and incredibly funny posts from the various January's of 2009 thru 2014, so I may resurrect those C.M.'s blast from the past series in the coming months.

Undaunted by my failure to find any retro posts, I reopened the draft version of this post with the full intention of writing a retrospective of 2014. However, after spending a couple of minutes going through my memory banks, I realized that if I did that, this post would turn into the Big Daddy/Big Mother/FusterCluck of a rant, the likes of which has never been seen in all of its infantile glory in the past 7 years of my blogging existence.

Crinkling my nose at the thought of giving people cannon fodder to crucify me with at work or in the cyberworld, I quickly circular filed that idea toot-sweet.

With nothing left in the tank for twisted verbiage to share today, I leave everyone going into the long weekend with a song from a very strange group that my brother showed me the other day at his house. The name of the band is Ylvis and the song is What Does A Fox Say?

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.