Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Alive!

Reborn this evening amidst the dramatic booms of thunder and shockingly-bright flashes of lightning so common to our Central Floridian skies this time of year, Mildred has risen from the dead.

It's sweet because I like to think of Mildred, if she were humanoid, as looking like a cross between Joan Crawford and the Bride of Frankenstein.

I've not yet completed all her tweaks, upgrades and enhancements yet, say nothing of reinstallation of the essential software that I'd accumulated over the years. But her LCD illuminated eyes beam up at me, blinking so innocently, filled with hope and trust as I restore her to her former glory.

So watch closely for the posts I make from the new and improved Mildred.

Coming soon to a creepy laboratory near you!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Code Blue!

We have an emergency on the computer desk!

Mildred has had a relapse and the symptoms are worse than ever. Major trojans and virus everywhere. So many...oh my! Like a fast-acting cancer, it's spread throughout affecting performance, speed, usability. Pop-up messages, warnings, bleeping and other assorted noises constantly going off every few seconds.

I have no choice but to do a brain transplant.

Though a computer's CPU hardware is commonly thought of as its "brain", actually, it's the Operating System that is the true "computer". Without it, the CPU could be running fine but all you'll be able to do is configure the BIOS. Not very useful.

So since I can't find the boot disk that came with Mildred for her Dell-installed OS, it's off to Best Buy I go to get a copy of Windows 7. Scratch that...just found out it won't be out 'till October...ugh! I'll have to get Vista.

At least she'll be getting the latest and greatest.

So expect a tiny delay between now and my next post. I'll be very busy reinstalling all my software. Huff, huff! Not looking forward to it.

It's my long weekend before I start my new shift, darn it! I should be relaxing!

Oh well, I guess my baby is worth it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Is Well...Hopefully

Whew! It was rough for a while there but I was able to get accurate information (thanks to Wikipedia and the referred site Bleepingcomputer.com) and their recommendation to use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware program to eradicate the nasty threat to my beloved Mildred.

I am happy to report that the surgery was a success and Mildred is expected to make a full and speedy recovery!

But I do see the issue with the graphical purple and green dots, which seem to manifest during times of heavy CPU and/or memory usage, is still present. More tests will be needed to determine if this is software or hardware related. It seems to be more common if using Firefox. Not sure why.

Since this crisis hit, I am trying to shore up straggling issues with Mildred's performance that have been accruing for some time. I own PC Tools Registry Mechanic but had not run it in some time. After scanning today, it found over 600 errors. I'm already noticing a marked improvement in performance. I am slating time later for further registry clean up and consolidation and will follow it all with a nice, hot and refreshing defrag. She's due, and she's worth it!

Though I am still unable to find the OEM OS disc that came with this PC from Dell, I feel the actions taken to rectify her situation will be sufficient. And, thankfully, will have cost me nothing.

So, once again, Mildred and I thank the YouTube members, Wikipedia contributors and personal anti-spyware blogs out there in posting honest and helpful and, most importantly, no-cost information on how to thwart the efforts of these baddies out there and get back to normal.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mildred Death Watch

I have shocking news to report.

Mildred is dying!

She has for months now been experiencing symptoms of some unknown ailment which has affect graphics display, especially during high CPU or memory usages. Purple and green dots stretching across the screen. At first I only noticed it when using Firefox to access graphically-rich sites. Then it infected my games. First Peggle and then gosh-forbid, my precious Civilization.

Around the same time I noticed a dramatic drop in the speed of my dear Mildred, especially in terms of Internet speed.

Lately it had progressively worsened to where pages would seem to take a dial-up speed to loading and even offline processes such as right-clicking to bring up options would take a couple of seconds...an eternity in our super-fast electronic world.

Just today though, Mildred had what would be best categorized as an "attack".

While I was innocently cruising a variety of Internet gay porno sites (nothing unusual in that) I experienced a browser failure (using IE 7 since Firefox is more prone to the purple and green dot problem). When I tried to re initiate the browser, I suddenly got pop-ups and a change to my desktop background warning me of viruses on my computer.

I knew immediately that Mildred had fallen victim to a serious malware/spyware attack.

Sure enough, it's the System Security malware and though I've found lots of help via web searches, all, so far, seem to also indicate that only by paying for the service could you be protected.

The above screen shot is of my scan using the now Symantec-owned and trusted PC Tools Malware Doctor to scan and eradicate the infection.

But, like the fuckheads who made this Trojan in the first place, they demand payment to help me. Otherwise, I'm, left to fend for myself.

Assholes! Why is it that we have to pay to remove malevolent software that the industry inspired to create in the first place? Isn't this like paying the local gangster "protection" money against "misfortune" when really you're just paying the mob to avoid you in their regular raids and robberies? How legal is that?

So I sit here at my desk, searching for cures for my poor child Mildred. At work I told my friends that it felt that my baby was sick. They laughed like I was joking, but really, if Mildred is ill...so am I.

My preference, for both it's simplicity and thoroughness would be to just reformat the drive and reinstall everything. Though tedious, it's the most sure way to rid a computer of malware and free up years of cluttered files and registry edits to make the computer run like a young and vibrant gazelle. But, despite scouring the house a few times now, I can't find the OS disk. Without this I'm screwed. I have to fix Mildred by performing precision operation. Otherwise, I'd have to buy a whole new OS (like Vista) retail. I could afford it, but I was hoping to hold of on the computer budget category impacting in a big way for a few more months 'till I may spring for a brand new system altogether.

Well, my patient is currently experiencing a lull from the constant nuisance pop up thanks to some advice from one helpful website, but I gotta get back to my delicate operation to remove every fragment of this virus from my darling.

'Cause if Mildred dies, before I can afford an immediate successor...well, I just don't know what I would do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Small Step...

Congratulations to all the men and women who 40 years ago accomplished what President John F. Kennedy had challenged them to do just a few years before.

Just a dream when JFK made his landmark speech heralding the abilities of American scientists and daring them to achieve the impossible, the vision became a reality when Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin made it to the moon and back.

July 20, 1969...a great day indeed for all mankind.

On a side note...

Right now my name is orbiting the moon, in digital form on a tiny microchip.

So, in some small way, I too have a connection to the legacy of those who have reached for the moon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Whisps Of Dreamtime Weirdness

You know when you first wake up and you're kinda between consciousness and semi-consciousness? And you remember some fragments of your dreams? Most times they fade away within minutes but here are some recent dream vignettes that stuck with me:

I'm in my "parent's house" but it's a house they never lived in. I sneak in and make my way to a back bedroom. I'm cold, dirty and tired. I get in the bed to catch some sleep. My mother passes by the open bedroom door, sees me in the bed and doesn't seem surprised. She just says, "Oh, Michael is here."

John N. and I are in some attic somewhere in the present day, yet he still looks like he's a teenager. He's on the phone and tells the caller that he and I are "partners" but I know he is referring to our stage act. We are performers in a traveling troupe of comedians or jugglers or something. No, that's not it...actually, we are drag queens. Yes, that's it, drag queens.

I'm moving furniture around a bedroom that I know is mine but it's not like any I've had in real life. As I'm pushing the bed across the hardwood floor, I reach up and grab my hair. I pull the hair and detach my head from my body. I nonchalantly put my head on the bed. It looks just like me except that the top of the head is slightly deformed with ridges and bumps and it tapers to a slight cone. The hair is patchy and sparse. My neck is a mere giblet of wrinkled skin dangling from the bottom of my head. My head's eyes are open and looking around. I don't know how I can "see" all this since my body no longer has a head, and, of course, no eyes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Can't They Just Leave Michael Alone?

The Michael Jackson craziness continues, weeks after his death.

Now suddenly, 25 years after the event, new never-before released video surfaces showcasing the 1984 accident causing Michael's hair to burst into flames during the taping of a Pepsi commercial.

I remember the event and there was some video broadcast then especially on the celebrity tabloids shows.

So now it seems pretty similar. A quick view of a few seconds of his hair on fire, then a crowd engulfing Michael trying to put out the flames and aid Michael as he is escorted to the hospital.

People, he is dead. Let's let bygones be bygones.

Why must we plaster image.


After image.


After image.


After image.


After image.


Of a horrific incident which happened so long ago?

Sorry...tee-hee-hee...I just couldn't resist! ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FLASHBACK: Summer 1976

I couldn't help but stare at it.

It seemed to glow with its orange fluorescent halo.

It wasn't big, it wasn't deformed...I was just transfixed by it.

I couldn't take my eyes off of David P.'s genitals!

David and I seemed to gravitate toward each other within a few weeks of our summer program at the Woonsocket YMCA. Kinda like a summer camp, the program had all kinds of activities us kids were signed up for during our time there. Unlike summer camp, it wasn't for a set duration at a woodsy, lakeside resort, it was just every Saturday, at the downtown Y, in the city. We went home after the sessions.

But the staff at the Y did a great job filling our day. Usually it would start with some arts and crafts program, lunch, then swimming lessons, then athletics. I loved the arts and crafts...I remember making these wire-frames, twisted in the shape of flowers, then dipped in some chemical which caused a colorful film to fill up the space where a petal should be. This chemical goo, colorful as it was, smelled horrifically pungent and made us kids dizzy as we inhaled the fumes. No doubt today it would not be used as it probably had some nasty cancer-causing chemicals involved. Think paint remover and poppers and you got the idea.

Both David and I were a little bit on the shy side and we sensed each other out. Before long, despite our shyness, we struck up a conversation and found lots in common. We were soon fast friends.

David was a very pale and somewhat freckly redheaded kid, thin and a bit awkward. He wore horn-rimmed glasses and spoke in a faint, delicate voice. For some reason, I felt an immediate and intense attraction to him.

Since he and I were only 12, the concept of physical sexual attraction was not yet fully gelled in our minds. And, what's more, we were both boys, so it didn't cross my mind, at least, and perhaps not his, that we could be so attracted to each other.

But a sweet and innocent, yet highly sexually charged and passionate relationship ensued.

David and I hung out every second we could during our time at the Y. If we had different classes, we hung out 'till the last available second before we were summoned to attend.

When we were both assigned to the same swimming class, I was, for some unknown reason, delighted. We swam next to each other and we both visually and with fervent strokes of the arms or legs, were able to physically enjoy each others smooth bodies. We didn't know it at the time, but we were actually flirting and exploring our sexual compatibility.

In the locker and adjoining weight rooms, it was still the days of an acceptable nudist policy at the YMCA, that is, members could, and were encouraged to not have to be clothed during workouts on the equipment and within the locker room. The YMCA fitness area was still strictly a "Men's Only" club. Here, David and I stayed naked far longer than we needed to while showering and re-dressing into our street clothes. We were subconsciously advertising to each other our newly enhanced and now important assets of our dicks and asses.

But being too shy, and unaware of the way of the world, we didn't know how to interpret our urges. I focused on the orange glow of David's cock and perhaps he focused on the silky smooth luminescence of my taut, and hungry I might add, bubble butt.

David and I stayed good friends during that summer, I even remember one afternoon sitting on the ledge in the back of the YMCA building, sharing a box of Hot Tamale candies and David resting his head on my shoulder as we gazed off into the distance. I felt so content in that moment as I'm sure he did too.

By summer's end, David and I exchanged contact information. I gave him my phone number and address and he gave me his number and his Uxbridge, Mass. address.

But, as often is the case in such circumstances, we never got around to contacting one another. Perhaps we didn't know what step we should proceed with next. Surely, during that time, a romance could not even in the slightest be conceivable. And a friendship, between two boys from towns some 50 miles apart...well...

And so time marched on and we lost touch. But I'll never forget my magical summer Saturdays with him for as long as I live.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Late Night Infomercial Mania

Man, late night TV sucks! Here's literally in order of succession, the stupid infomercials I stumbled across during a recent wee-hours channel surfing:

Shark Steam Pocket Mop
-Clean your home with steaming hot water...sounds inexpensive huh? Think again.

Ab Rocket
-20 minutes a day and you'll soon be sportin' a hard as a rock six-pack

Free packet of Miracle Spring Water
-From a sacred spring in southern Russia...no pressure to donate really...

Shortcut to Internet Millions
-More like "Shortcut to The Suckers List"

H2O Mop ULTRA
-Oh why have just one brand of hot water mop? It's trendy, baby!

Girls Gone Wild
-Oh yes, they're still going wild! ...and going, and going...

Free Prayer Cloth
-Is it cut from the Shroud of Turin? No, but Jesus still loves you...more so if you use this cloth to pray with...and donate some money, of course!

Garry Vacuum Cleaner
-It's just like the Dyson, but even newer, so that's better, right?

Pos-T-Vac
-"Pump up" your sex life without drugs like Viagra. Think tubes and pneumatics...hot lovin', here I come!

Think & Lose
-Screw dieting and exercize...hypnotize your way to unbelievable weight loss. Yeah, it's unbelievable alright!

ExtenZe
-Fuck those Pos-T-Vac losers. Pop our (herbal supplement) pill and you'll not only get hard, but suddenly bigger as well! And like Bob, you'll have a permanent psycho grin on your face.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Playing The Call Center Game

If you've never worked in a call center, you may want to consider yourself lucky. Nearly every one of the ones I've worked in have had some really annoying common practices and for some, these border on terms and conditions that smack of 21st century neo-slavery.

Though I'm currently determined to "cognitively restructure" my thoughts and feelings regarding my employment, I can't help but take note of the fact that this job seems to epitomize all that is "bad" with call center work. Policies like the ones now being clarified to us new trainees are the basis for the reputation the industry has become associated with.

1. You must be available and prepared to take calls the second your shift starts.

Well this isn't bad. It's logical. Your job is to answer the phones and you agreed to be on-time for work. BUT...

It can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes even for savvy computer users like me to insure that your computer is up and running, your systems are ready to go and you've read and been informed of any changes or updates that would be important in your communications with customers. So in reality, the expectation, though they say you "shouldn't" is to come into work early and insure these tasks are performed before your shift starts. And it's not paid time. It's illegal, but they get away with it because they "say" you shouldn't be getting prepared before your shift start. Yet, if you're not ready and logged into the phones at the start of your shift, you'll be coached and may lose 10% of your incentive bonus since you'll be regarded as tardy.

2. If you're on a call and your scheduled break or lunch time has begun, you can't just end the call (ie. shrug off or hang up on the customer...duh, of course) so when you do get off the phone, you are now out of adherence. This will affect your stats and potentially jeopardize your incentive bonus, and, of course, you'll be coached.

3. You must maintain an 80% sales attempt rate. So even if the customer you have on the line is highly irate and complaining about fees or high finance charges, which policies demand you not waive whatsoever for any reason (unless they fall into a certain category of a profitable yet low risk customer, which is rare), you have to attempt to sell and rebuttal them on an enhancement to their credit card like Fraud Detector that costs a monthly charge. Oh, that's really fun.

4. Oh, and speaking of sales...here's the two "products": Fraud Detector which doesn't provide much more in benefits and protection against fraud than a credit card holder would already get via agreements with VISA or Master Card, and Payment Protector which is essentially a payment deferment service offered if the cardholder is unable to pay the minimum monthly balances on their credit card but for limited acceptable reasons and the balance will still be there when the deferment ends so it's just procrastinating on what really needs to be done first if you are in financial trouble...that is paying off your credit cards. Ask Suse Orman!

5. And they want you to hard sell, though, again, they SAY that you should not hard sell. I could tell as much the first week looking around and seeing the kind of people working there. Type-A, cocksure, mainly Hispanic or black younger guys, the same demographics as in boiler room telemarketing. So I better learn to do some fast talkin' and slippery pitches, and probably out-right lie to get the 100 to 120 quota of sales per month. 'Cause with my consultative-style it ain't gonna cut it. I got 2 so far. In two days.

6. Oh, and speaking of consultative-style...forget that. AHT, baby...it's all about the AHT. They are really stuck on this stat. It means Average Handle Time, the number of seconds you take for each call, on average. They want it to be less than 235 seconds. That's a little less than 4 minutes. Think that's plenty of time? Think again. What if you had an issue with your credit card that caused you to call into customer service? Would your issue be resolved to your liking in 4 minutes? Oh, but remember, I gotta read my sales pitch and rebuttal to you after I resolved your issue and before you hang up. Even speed-talking like the FedEx guy I don't know how I'll do all that in 4 minutes!

Add in all the monitoring, and coaching and misdirection, management double-talk, faulty equipment and facilities, and mentally unstable co-workers and managers (oh, I can't wait 'till the Roast, really, it'll be a blast!) and I can't help but sit back, laugh to myself and take it all in.

And like the carney-game sucker that stubbornly blows all his cash vainly trying to win the big stuffed panda, I'm gonna let it ride, try to hide my "I knew it" smirk, and just play the game.

Cue the crazy carnival music...

If I Only Had A Brain

Here's proof that sometimes, coincidences can seem so very freakin' weird!

In an online news article yesterday, this was reported:

Michael Jackson's body is being kept in a previously unused crypt belonging to Motown Records owner Berry Gordy, while the megastar's surviving family members squabble over his final resting place, reports the New York Post. The King of Pop's remains will lie -- without, incidentally, a brain, which is still being held by the coroner's office -- in an above-ground vault that Gordy had bought for himself in the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn cemetery, until it can be decided where the singer will be interred.

When reading this, I remembered that in the 1978 movie "The Wiz", Michael played The Scarecrow...and what did that character lack?

A brain!

I know! How freaky is that!

Queue the eerie Theremin music....OOOOOuuh, EEEEE, OOOOOOOOuuh!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Wow! Four Years Already

Time sure flies.

Today is the 4th anniversary of the start of this blog. Woo hoo!

If I may pat myself on the back...I don't see too many blogs that endure for such a stretch without either big lapses between posts or content shift to a new replacement blog.

People change over the years and the way they want to express their feelings change. It's understandable.

I occasionally click the "Next Blog" button on the top of most Blogger blogs (like up above on this one) and I've found it usually lands you on a freshly created blog.

It's fun to watch the evolution of personal blogs. So many times the author has no idea what to say, and they admit as much in their first few posts. But then they find their voice, or their muse, or their mot de guerre and run with it. Or they just give up and the blog sits on its little spot on the vast Google servers for an eternity, nevermore updated, perhaps nevermore read by anyone ever again. Like a forgotten ruin overgrown with copse and weeds over the eons.

I like to think that this blog will in someway be my legacy to the world. I don't know if a blog is eventually deleted after x amount of time of disuse like old time Geocities personal web pages...but that was back in the days of expensive and limited storage capacity on the service provider's servers. Now, I think, it's not so much an issue. I would expect that conceivably, the blog could stay viably on Google servers (or whatever Google becomes in the future) forever. Why not, right? In fact, it could be our century's Rosetta Stone for some far distant future descendants...or whatever other intelligent lifeforms inhabit this world then.

I can envision a team of archaeologists in what we would call the year 4529 uncovering the crumbled and buried remains of a 21st century office building in what was once Mountain View, California. Their digging reveals a long dead array of what once were known as servers. They determine this was once an important hub of a network of clunky machines known as computers. They find and are able to resurrect the binary information stored on the ridiculously obsolete devices once known as hard drives.

And there under the pale moonlight, on their portable device used for displaying archaic 2-dimensional computer graphics, some 2500 years from now, they read my post on this blog where I talk about my dream of being a fabulous drag queen.

I can't even imagine what their reaction would be:)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

My, How The Tables Have Turned

Just a mere few weeks ago, I was the one in dire straits, having no income and lackluster job prospects.

Unemployed and denied benefits, it was looking grim there, for a while.

Ric on the other hand was rather polite about my predicament (for Ric) but he had an unspoken air about him that suggested "well, there you go again" and voiced clearly spoken terms of "don't look at me for bailing you out", and "don't even think of asking to move back in".

Now I have an apparently secure and good paying job and have a bit of extra cash in savings since I am continuing to keep expenses low and haven't put myself into a credit hole during my time out of work. And Ric, the fiscal "conservative" (so he thinks) with a long-term job is finally feeling the waves of consequences that have come crashing down on the employees of his beleaguered company, non-other than the notorious bailout recipient AIG.

Ric is 99% sure he will be fired this Friday. The complaint of one prospect caller who was handled a tad indelicately (according to Ric's account of the story) by Ric since the caller was rude and uncooperative apparently found its way to the attention of someone important at AIG. Someone who is under pressure to reduce costs including slashing labor costs.

Ric, a tenured eight-year employee, makes a chunk more due to annual raises than a brand-new rookie (if they had new rookies that is, business has plummeted, of course, so they haven't been hiring for months). It's this factor, as well as the fact that his unit is finalizing its new ownership deal under the Farmer's brand. And he thinks it's a lot of "out with the old, in with the new" house cleaning mentality.

So Ric and I did what we always do whenever there's some significant life-changing event that occurs for either of us. We went out drinking. I picked up the tab...$103 with the tip. Ain't I a nice guy? And yes, I heard you gasp, we can easily drop a C-note in one evening!

Here's the kicker. Despite all the stress and drama that we'd been through while we were roommates, he told me he's posting an ad on Craigslist to rent out my old room, and suggested, if I wanted...

Oh no! I graciously told him. I like it where I am.

Poor A/C, septic tank issues and teensy-tiny size aside, it has one thing I am totally infatuated with...freedom.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Frontiertown Saved

As you may know, some asshole giant media corporation (Warner Music Group) has been a prick and has made YouTube disable thousands, if not millions of amateur videos because they featured music owned by them without proper copyright compliance. (ie. they didn't get paid).

So we simple amateur video creators, just putting up our fun, little, certainly not-for-profit or commercial-use videos, that happen to feature a song by a Warner owned (re: pwned) artist ('cause let's face it musical artists of the world...if your publisher can say who can and cannot hear your art, then you are a slave to them) get our videos censored or effectively banned.

Well, YouTube has at least a stop-gap solution. Audio swap. You can substitute the music in your video that is "inappropriate" for a selection from their rather large list of public domain or free usage stuff.

So here is my personal and a tad painful memorial video to my childhood memories of Vietnam spurred by recollections of a trip to an upstate New York lake resort in the early 1970s...redone. No narration of me reading my FLASHBACK post that was the inspiration for the video, but a really neat song replacing the verboten "American Pie" by Don McLean. I've also included the text of the original voice-over below.



Aunt Ruth (my father's sister) who we refered to as simply "Ruth", or, as we pronounced it "ROOT", announced to us kids that we were going to go with her and Memere (her mother/our grandmother) on a trip to Lake George!

Lake George, New York, then as now, is a tourist attraction due to it's beautiful surroundings and, most likely, proximity between Montreal and New York City.

It sports great entertainment and lodging, but also, has it's share of campy "tourist trap" venues.

We went to this "themed" attraction called "Frontier Land". It was basically a replica of an Old West frontier fort (ala "F-Troop") and the adults bringing their kids were probably thrilled by it's policy of "immersion" of the "young ones" into the "atmosphere" of the Old West.

Before I knew it, I was being sworn into the "U.S. Army" with an official pledge and "realistic" looking parchment document which I had to sign.

Then I was ordered to march out into the coutyard of the fort with about 40 other kids and made to stand at attention for review from our commanding officer.

The uniformed officer barked terse commands and sounded like a movie-version drill sargeant. He demanded that some kids stand more upright for attention and others to spit out their gum.

Everything for the adults (and I guess most of the kids) was all done "tongue-in-cheek" and in simulation of an old west indoctrination into the frontier army to, no doubt, "fight injuns", but I was either too stupid or too sensitive to see it as "play".

I remember in my minds-eye back to this event that I really didn't "get it". I didn't see this as a simulation, but I actually thought that some how, I, at the age of 8, was actually going to be called up to fight (and likely die) in Vietnam.

Nowadays we have the V-Chip in Tvs to resticts what kids watch. But let me tell you from experience...the worst stuff for a kid to watch on TV won't be blocked by a V-Chip. It's the Nightly News.

In 1972, I watched Walter Cronkite diligently every evening...yes, even though I was only 8. I had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and the TV News was one of the quickest and most dependable sources of information. But, for a youngster without either the parental care and concern for what I was watching or the intellectual capacity to effectively reinterpret what I was witnessing, I was entirely left to my own assumptions.

And, though I "knew" that the Frontier Land attraction was a paid entertainment venue, I misinterpreted that acting and role-playing as "real", and that though touted as "entertainment", this attraction was in fact a drafting station to feed more young boys to the "Evil War Machine" that was Vietnam.

I broke down and cried.

The other boys were laughing at me and that made me even more embarrassed, so I cried harder.

When I was "dismissed" from the reviewing line, I went to Ruth, but she looked around frantically and scolded me sternly in a low voice, "You are such a baby....you're embarrassing me!! You're embarrassing me!!"

Summer Song 1979

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I wanted to showcase the Summer Song competitions I spoke about with a few little multimedia presentations. Here's the first.

As I mentioned, 1979 was really the first year for these awards. The selection was a difficult one since there were many great songs that summer.

This little slide show video pays homage to the winner and two runners-up. I've included a bit of a montage of newsworthy events that happened that year as well.