Music on Mondays (8-17-15)—Good thing the City of Chicago didn’t sue!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Generally I’m not a fan of cover versions of songs, tending to prefer the original group and the original song. I should define “original song” as “the version that I first heard” because lots of the first Beatles songs in the ’60s were cover songs of earlier songs from the ’50s.

What do I do when the original group re-records the original song to “update” it? Such as this one:

“25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago, 1970

“25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago, 1986

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The original version spent 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Summer 1970, peaking at #4.

The 1986 version was also released as a single, spending 8 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in September & October, and peaking at #48.

Chicago apparently really liked the 1986 version because in addition to releasing it as a single, they made it a B side, too. TWICE! Meaning that it was released three times!

It appeared as the B side to the “Will You Still Love Me?” single released in November 1986, and then again as the B side to the “What Kind Of Man Would I Be?” single released—ready for this?—in December 1989! Three years later!

I like both versions but I am partial to the 1970 original.

Chicago was formed in 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, as Chicago Transit Authority. Unfortunately, the original Chicago Transit Authority sued, forcing them to shorten their name to just Chicago. Good thing the city of Chicago didn’t sue!

Chicago has released 23 studio albums, 3 live albums, 10 compilation albums, and 63 singles. Their most recent album, “Chicago XXXVI: Now,” was released on July 4, 2014. I have all of their music in my collection, and their latest is another fine collection of classic Chicago.

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It doesn’t look like Earth

Out & About

One of the most beautiful areas of San Diego County is La Jolla at low tide.

There’s nothing quite like it with its natural beauty looking like something from Mars; its pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, and seals; and its opportunities for great sunsets.

Here’s a slide show to illustrate:

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Look how children are being indoctrinated

Out & About

One of the things I noticed while teaching chess in elementary after-school enrichment programs is the beauty of the schools.

Sadly, though, they are fenced, locked, and secured after hours so one can’t just wander the school grounds to look at the beauty.

That’s where I come in!

I wandered and took pictures to share.

These really show just exactly how the students at this elementary school are being indoctrinated.

The following is Bird Rock Elementary School in La Jolla, an enclave of the rich in San Diego, California.

birdrock location

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I think it’s interesting that each graduating class, and sometimes other grades as well, present a gift to the school.

My elementary school, Charles H. Flato Elementary in Kingsville, Texas, was no beauty when I was there in 1965-1966, having been built in the 1930s or so, and we certainly didn’t give anything back to the school when we left….

Click on the pictures that are NOT stamps and you can get a bigger version.

img_0623-0624 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

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img_0604-0606 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

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img_0607 and 0610 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

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img_0612 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0615 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0616 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0617 birdrock elementary school stamp

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They make use of all their space. For example, the following two pictures are of the back of the wall that holds the basketball goal.

img_0618 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0619 birdrock elementary school stamp

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No, I did not put these words on the steps using Photoshop…….

img_0621 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0620 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0625 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0627 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0628 birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0629-0632 panorama birdrock elementary school low res

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img_0622 birdrock elementary school stamp

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IMG_0611 mural birdrock elementary school stamp

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img_0613 birdrock elementary school stamp

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In the third picture above, the text reads, “If we are to reach real peace in this world…. we shall have to begin with the children.”—Gandhi

How wonderful it would be if our children were indoctrinated first with things like logic, reasoning, and science before being indoctrinated with religion. That’s my opinion, and at the age of 60, I’m sticking with it.

Child abuse isn't always physical

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Pay someone a compliment

Out & About

A collection of pictures taken near the Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach and the neighborhoods nearby (map location at end).

Cat utility box

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Brick walkway with child's police car toy

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Walkway landscape

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Walkway stairs

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Ocean Beach near the Crystal Pier Hotel

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Pelican statue at Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

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Octopus art at Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

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Pay someone a compliment graffiti

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Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (8-10-15)—It’s a very, very mad world

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

I have been trying to watch one movie each day. Surprisingly it’s a lot easier to do since I canceled cable TV back in September 2012. I used to turn on the TV to watch a movie, and as someone more famous than me said,

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m in a dystopian/science fiction movie mood lately, having watched just this month things like

“Brave New World” from 1980
“A.I. Artificial Intelligence” from 2001
“Equilibrium” from 2002
“Aeon Flux” from 2005
“Babylon A.D.” from 2008

I even watched all three movies from “The Hunger Games” franchise and am looking forward to the fourth movie scheduled to hit theaters in November. Since I don’t go to theaters, though, and don’t rent movies, I probably won’t see it until Summer 2016.

Whenever I watch a movie and am intrigued by actors and actresses whom I know nothing about, I turn to Wikipedia to track down their filmography. Jake Gyllenhaal is one such actor. I first became aware of him in “October Sky” from 1999, then “Brokeback Mountain” from 2005 but never kept up with him after that.

He’s got quite an extensive filmography for a 34-year-old actor, and one of the movies is “Donnie Darko” from 2001. He starred in it along with Maggie Gyllenhaal (his sister), Patrick Swayze, and Drew Barrymore. The soundtrack is music from various groups that I am quite familiar with, such as Tears for Fears, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Pantera, and INXS. The song for the closing credits was by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews, “Mad World.” I was familiar with the song by Tears for Fears but not the very haunting, piano version by Jules & Andrews. Here it is:

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I did like the movie.

For everything about the movie, see the Wikipedia entry for “Donnie Darko.”

Here’s the original “Mad World” by Tears for Fears from 1983:

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Never again

Picture of the Moment

It’s rare that people are in my pictures but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

img_0575 pelican crystal pier la jolla stamp

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That giant pelican is located near the Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach:

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Crystal Pier Hotel in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

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The Lemon Grove Mummy

Out & About

Although I live in La Mesa, I’m just a hop skip and a jump away from Lemon Grove.

After a recent visit to the San Diego Museum of Man, I discovered that Lemon Grove once had more than just lemon groves.

The Lemon Grove Mummy was found there, kind of. Looks like this:

img_0487 lemon grove mummy stamp

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Looks absolutely nothing like King Tut!

The story of the Lemon Grove Mummy:

It was first discovered in Chihuahua, Mexico, and then “rediscovered” in Lemon Grove. The two men who discovered the mummy in 1966 brought it back to Lemon Grove and put it in storage in a friend’s garage. Before they could decide what to do with it, they were drafted into the Vietnam War. Everyone forgot about it.

In 1980, the friend’s mother was cleaning out the garage when she opened an unfamiliar box and discovered a curled up human body in it. After her initial screaming (might have been worthy of a “Friday the Thirteenth” movie), she called the police.

I checked YouTube but the actual 911 call has not been released. I do have a transcript of it, though:

911: This is 911. What is your emergency?

Mom: I found a body.

911: You found a body?

Mom: Yes, a body!

911: And you just found it?

Mom: Yes!

911: Where did you find it?

Mom: In my garage!

911: In your garage?

Mom: Yes, in my garage!

911: And you found it?

Mom: Yes, I told you! I found it in my garage!

911: Did you know it was there?

Mom: No, I said I found it!

911: But it was in your garage?

Mom: Yes, in my garage!

911: So you didn’t know it was in your garage?

Mom: No!

911: Is it male or female?

Mom: I don’t know.

911: You don’t know if the body is male or female?

Mom: No, I don’t.

911: Describe the body.

Mom: It looks like it’s about a thousand years old.

911: And it’s in your garage?

Mom: Yes! I found it in my garage!

911: When was the last time you were in your garage before finding the body?

Mom: Yesterday.

911: You were in your garage yesterday?

Mom: Yes. Yesterday.

911: You said the body looks like it’s a thousand years old?

Mom: Yes.

911: But you were in your garage yesterday?

Mom: Yes.

911: Why didn’t you see this thousand-year-old body yesterday when you were in your garage?

Mom: It was in a box.

911: Who put it in the box?

Mom: I don’t know! I found it today!

911: So you found a thousand-year-old body today in your garage in a box and you don’t know anything about it?

Mom: No, I don’t.

911: Okay. I’m going to send a sheriff to your home. What’s your address?

Mom: 1234 North Mummy Mountain Road….

The mummy is that of a woman who lived about 800 years ago. It is an example of a natural mummy, a body that is preserved without using any preservation methods. In this case, the body dessicated rapidly in the hot, dry environs of the Chihuahuan Desert, the second largest desert in North America.

Since it was removed illegally from Mexico, it belongs to the Instituto Nacional de Anthropología e Historia in Mexico City and is on loan to the San Diego Museum of Man.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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