Friday, February 27, 2009

Drama Queen, Pay As You Go, -and- Stop the Presses!

Drama Queen - man jailed after fight with wife over her TV habit
Pay As You Go - airline may charge $1.40 to use restroom
Stop the Presses! - Colorado's oldest newspaper closes

On this day in history: February 27, 1859 - Congressman Dan Sickles of New York shoots and kills Philip Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott Key (who wrote the Star Spangled Banner). Sickles later pleads insanity and is acquitted.

Born on this day in history: February 27, 1932 - Elizabeth Taylor (1932– ) Born in London, film star Elizabeth Taylor was a child actor, notably in "National Velvet" (1944). Later films included "Butterfield 8" (1960), which earned her an Oscar, and "Cleopatra" (1962), which led to her well-publicized marriage to Richard Burton. With Burton, Taylor made several more films, including "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966). In 1985, she founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research. She has been married eight times, including to U.S. Senator John Warner (1976–82). Taylor became a dame in 1999.

Scripture of the Day: For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. — Isaiah 41:13

Video of the Day: Chris Isaak - "Wicked Dream"

Imagine my surprise when I saw the message on this traffic sign while driving to my office this morning!

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

Chris Isaak I have always enjoyed Chris Isaak's music. Last evening, Laura and I watched the premiere of Chris Isaak's new show - "The Chris Isaak Hour." We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Chris Isaak presents "The Chris Isaak Hour," a weekly one-hour interview show featuring music's most popular artists. Intelligent, thoughtful and sometimes irreverent, Isaak invites musical guests to relive the highs and lows of their careers through a blend of storytelling and performance. Whether it's a spontaneous acoustic number or an onstage performance, each musician plays their own material as well as the songs of those who most inspired them.

Trisha Yearwood was the guest last evening. Yearwood performed solo and with Isaak. It was highly entertaining. The show is on the Biography Channel each Thursday evening at 7 PM. Last evening's premiere will air again tonight at 8 PM.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Show Me the Money, Matters of Life and Death, -and- Alien Nation

Show Me the Money - atheist Richard Dawkins wants $100,000 for hour-long debate with Christian Ray Comfort
Matters of Life and Death - Democrats block move to stop forced abortion funding
Alien Nation - scientists find natural explanation for UFOs

On this day in history: February 26, 1974 - A U.S. Senate report reveals Ford Motor's involvement in Nazi Germany's war efforts, for which CEO Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler himself. After the war, the car company was paid nearly $1M reparation by the U.S. government to compensate for one of its plants that was bombed within the Reich.

Born on this day in history: February 26, 1932 - Johnny Cash (1932-2003) Born in Kingsland, AR, singer Johnny Cash, one of the greatest stars of country music, recorded his first hits, "I Walk the Line" and "Folsom Prison Blues," in 1956. In 1968, he married June Carter (1929-2003), a member of country music's famous "first family." Cash was inducted into the Country Music Association (CMA) Hall of Fame in 1980.

Scripture of the Day: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. - Isaiah 41:10-11

Video of the Day: Johnny Cash - "Hurt"

Johnny Cash. Click to enlarge.

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003) was a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Primarily a country music artist, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll (especially early in his career), as well as blues, folk and gospel.

Cash was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, the "freight train" sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, his demeanor, and his dark clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black." He traditionally started his concerts with the introduction "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."

Much of Cash's music, especially that of his later career, echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption. His signature songs include "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," "Get Rhythm," "Hurt," and "Man in Black." He also recorded humorous songs, such as "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue," a duet with June Carter called "Jackson," as well as railroad songs such as "Hey Porter" and "Rock Island Line."

He sold over 90 million albums in his nearly fifty-year career and came to occupy a commanding position in music history.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's Up Doc?, Hic!, -and- May I Take Your Order?

What's Up Doc? - CA dentist claims groping part of treatment
Hic! - booze bust nets 1,382 beer cans on boat
May I Take Your Order? - McDonald's worker drive-through drug dealer

On this day in history: February 25, 1932 - Austrian Adolf Hitler granted German citizenship, to meet a "minor" technical requirement in order to run for president.

Born on this day in history: February 25, 1943 - George Harrison (1943-2001) Born in Liverpool, England, musician George Harrison played lead guitar and sang with the Beatles, developing an interest in Eastern music and religion. After the Beatles' break-up, he made solo albums, including "All Things Must Pass" (1970), and performed with other artists, notably "super-group" The Traveling Wilburys (1988-90). He also produced several films, such as "Monty Python's Life of Brian" (1979). Harrison died after a long battle against cancer.

Scripture of the Day: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. - Numbers 6:24-26

Video of the Day: "Motorcycle" - submitted by Jay

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this lightning strike while driving to my office this morning! Click to enlarge.

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

Grilling: The weather yesterday was beautiful. It was sunny, warm, dry, and calm. I tossed a gargantuan London broil onto the grill last evening, as the sun set and the frogs in the neighbor's pond began to croak. Earlier, I had prepared salads with heart of Romaine, cluster tomatoes, large white mushrooms, and green onions. I grilled the large hunk of animal flesh over a high flame—nicely charring the exterior while leaving the center rare. It was a delightful meal.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fighting Back, Bible Proof, -and- Lost in Space

Fighting Back - 75-year-old man tackles 230-pound thief
Bible Proof - archaeologists discover seals from Kingdom of Judah
Lost in Space - $273 million global-warming satellite goes missing, crashes

On this day in history: February 24, 1868 - President Andrew Johnson impeached for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. There are no other presidential impeachments until Clinton's in 1998.

Born on this day in history: February 24, 1955 - Steven Jobs (1955 - ) Born in San Francisco, CA, computer inventor and entrepreneur Steve Jobs and ex-Hewlett-Packard engineer Stephen Wozniak (1950? ) founded Apple Computer in a garage in 1976. Their brainchild, the Apple II computer (1977), helped to launch the personal computer revolution.

Scripture of the Day: The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands. — Psalm 138:8

Video of the Day: No God in School - This is a must-see video! - submitted by Don.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the enormous rainbow trout caught in the lake behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

The Weather: The sun is shining brightly, the sky is blue and clear, there is but a gentle breeze, and the birds are singing loudly and with great abandon. This shall be a glorious day—made all the better by the charring of animal flesh upon the grill this evening!

I had intended to grill the gigantic London broil that sat—wonderfully dry-rubbed—in our refrigerator last evening. The rain was very, very light and did not impede me in the matter at all. The wind, however, was fierce! I have not seen any official reports, yet I estimate the wind at well beyond 75 MPH! The large, heavy trash container that I pushed to the alley behind my office yesterday morning was emptied by Waste Management in the early afternoon. I heard the rumbling of the large truck and the subsequent sounds of it emptying my trash container but decided to wait until such time as I was leaving for the day to return the container to its station behind my office. At 4 PM, when I exited my office, I saw that the wind had borne the container across the alley and well into the parking area on the other side of the alley! I have never encountered such a wind in this area previously!

The wind howled throughout the night and was howling yet when I went abed. I am certain you can well imagine my glee upon arising this morning and finding that the wind had departed!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fighting Back, Drop That!, -and- Get Thee Behind Me Satan!

Fighting Back - holdup victim grabs knife, kills robber
Drop That! - collect a rock on Federal land, forfeit your car
Get Thee Behind Me Satan! - MTV to air new reality show featuring teenage Wiccans

On this day in history: February 23, 1885 - The British hangman at Exeter Gaol tries three times to hang John Lee of Devonshire, for the murder of Emma Keyse. The trap refused to open. His sentence was commuted to life, and he was eventually released.

Born on this day in history: February 23, 1965 - Michael Dell (1965 - ) Born in Houston, TX, entrepreneur Michael Dell founded Dell Computers as a college student, with the idea of selling custom-made PCs directly to customers. The company now brings in about $18 billion a year. Dell's breathtaking success made him, at age 27, the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company in history.

Scripture of the Day: Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy. - Exodus 15:6

Video of the Day: Huge Street Racing Bust - submitted by Darin

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning!

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

The Weather: The weather Saturday was beautiful. I should have grilled the enormous London broil upon which I applied a wonderful dry rub! As it happened, however, we watched several episodes of "Boston Legal" on DVD from Netflix, lounged, had a backgammon tournament (ending in a tie!), snacked on specialty cheeses, salami, Triscuits, and sliced Jalapeños. We snacked a bit too fiercely and did not find ourselves harboring sufficient hunger to warrant grilling. Since the weatherpeople had been incorrect when forecasting Saturday's weather, I offered that their forecast for Sunday would be incorrect, as well. It was not! Sunday's weather featured non-stop rain and incredible winds. There was not the remotest possibility of grilling on Sunday. I made potatoes O'Brien, New York style breakfast sausages, and fried eggs for brunch, following the service at Harvest Christian Center. The London Broil will bide its time in the refrigerator and will get tossed onto the grill Tuesday. The weather today is still most foul, but forecasts show sunshine and dryness returning tomorrow.

The Academy Awards: Laura said that she wished to watch the Academy Awards last evening. I graciously allowed her to do so. I perched in my recliner and putted the comforter over my head. I napped through the majority of the program.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fighting Back, $10,000 Challenge, -and- How Ironic!

Fighting Back - cleaning lady turns tables on would-be robbers
$10,000 Challenge - Ray Comfort v. Richard Dawkins: Christian author throws down gauntlet in challenging celebrity atheist to debate
How Ironic! - man burns dog, dog burns house, house burns man

On this day in history: February 20, 1971 - An erroneous warning is emitted on the Emergency Broadcast System causing a number of stations to go off the air, and others to completely ignore the alert (thus pointing out that many key stations would not react to any emergency broadcast over the system.)

Born on this day in history: February 20, 1967 - Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) Born in Aberdeen, WA, musician Kurt Cobain and friend Krist Novoselic formed rock band Nirvana (1986), which performed music dubbed "grunge." Nirvana's breakthrough hit "Nevermind" sold ten million copies, earning a reported $550 million in the U.S. alone. Cobain, who married rock singer Courtney Love in 1992, began using heroin and suffered in and out of treatment until his suicide by shotgun in 1994.

Scripture of the Day: A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24

Video of the Day: How to Eat Sushi - submitted by Darin

NEW from DeWalt: THE 16-D RAPIDFIRE - A new Nail Gun, made by Dewalt, has just been introduced. It can drive a 16-D nail through a 2 X 4 at 200 yards. This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence. Just get your wife to hold the fence boards in place while you sit back, relax with a cold beer and when she has the board in the right place, just fire away. With the hundred-round magazine, you can build the fence with a minimum of reloading. After a
day of fence building with the new DeWalt Rapid fire nail gun, the wife will not ask you to build or fix anything else again. Click to enlarge.

Recommended New Site: Ishi Archery Club I just completed the construction of this new site and invite all to visit and see what the club offers!

The Weather: Yesterday was a beautiful day. The afternoon temperature was 67°, the sky was blue and clear, there was no wind, and the birds sang loudly. Today promises to be equally excellent. There are storms predicted for Saturday and Sunday. Looking at the sky this morning, this seems unlikely, but the weather can (and does!) change rapidly here. We shall see.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

'Scuse Me While I Sue this Guy, Matters of Life and Death, -and- Photo Op

"Scuse Me While I Sue this Guy - Estate of Jimi Hendrix says it wins trademark suit over namesake vodka
Matters of Life and Death - North Dakota house passes bill outlawing abortion
Photo Op - bird thought extinct photographed for first time, then eaten

On this day in history: February 19, 1998 - Lt. Col. Larry Wayne Harris (Aryan Nations) and William Leavitt are arrested in Henderson, NV for possession of the biological toxin anthrax, military grade, enough to kill an entire city. Their Mercedes is hermetically sealed by authorities and brought to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for hazmat.

Born on this day in history: February 19, 1940 - Smokey Robinson (1940– ) Born in Detroit, MI, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson formed the Miracles vocal group, which signed with Motown Records (1958). Robinson composed and produced many hits, like "My Girl" (1965), and helped perfect the "Motown sound."

Scripture of the Day: I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. — Ezekiel 36:23

Video of the Day: Ballad of Bernie Madoff - submitted by Cap'n Jack

Gee, that did not go well at all! Click to enlarge.

Sunshine, Blue Skies: Today is beautiful! The sun is shining, there is no wind, the sky is blue and clear, and the birds are singing! Two days like this will prepare us for more rain this weekend. Perhaps I shall grill Friday evening. I am suffering from grill withdrawal!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fighting Back, Don't Call, -and- Brave New Schools

Fighting Back - woman tackles would-be car burglar
Don't Call - 14-year-old girl arrested for texting in classroom
Brave New Schools - elementary school boy forced to clean toilet with bare hands

On this day in history: February 18, 2001 - During the Daytona 500, NASCAR phenomenon Dale Earnhardt crashes into the wall and dies instantly.

Born on this day in history: February 18, 1931 - Toni Morrison (1931 - ) Born in Lorain, OH, writer Toni Morrison is known for novels that capture the deep passions and rhythms of African-American life, including "Song of Solomon" (1977) and "Beloved" (1987), which earned a Pulitzer Prize.

Scripture of the Day: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9

Video of the Day: Radio Shack 8-track Deck Commercial - submitted by Jay

If you have not already tried it, may I recommend the new Diet Coke with Bacon? It is a great departure from traditional diet colas!

The Weather: Yesterday, the forecast for today through Saturday was for dryness, warmth, and sunshine. That forecast has been amended this morning and now shows partially overcast conditions for today, with the possibility of rain. Looking outside, I would venture that rain is probable, but I am not a weatherman, I do not play one on television, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fighting Back, The Taxman, -and- Missing

Fighting Back - homeowner shoots, kills masked intruder
The Taxman - Oregon proposes 1900% beer tax hike
Missing - 150 bowling balls disappear from bowling alley

On this day in history: February 17, 1989 - The cinematic masterpiece "Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure" starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter opened in theaters.

Born on this day in history: February 17, 1963 - Michael Jordan (1963 - ) Born in New York City, basketball star Michael Jordan played with the Chicago Bulls from 1984, and was named the National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player five times. He holds the record for most points in an NBA play-off game (63), and scored over 50 game points 34 times. He earned his nickname, Air Jordan, for his remarkable athleticism.

Scripture of the Day: For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. -Isaiah 54:5

Video of the Day: Amazing Northern Lights Time Lapse - submitted by Laura

Imagine my surprise when, upon entering the back of my office this morning,
I was greeted by this vulpine creature, welcoming me! Click to enlarge.

RAIN! It has been raining nearly without respite for several days now. The water levels of lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks have risen significantly. The forecasts are for the rain to abate tomorrow. That will be good—should these forecasts prove correct. The ground must be allowed to absorb some of this water.

For dinner last evening, I cooked a box of Barilla thick spaghetti—stopping the cooking process just prior to it becoming al dente. I sautéed fresh grated ginger, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and sea salt in extra-virgin olive oil. I added 90 medium cooked, deveined shrimp and stirred until the shrimp were heated throughout. I added the pasta and slowly stirred until it was incorporated. I sprinkled dried chives and a ground Cayenne pepper / ground chile de arbol mixture atop the pasta. At the table, we added fresh cilantro leaves, red pepper flakes, and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. It was delicious. A quantity followed Laura to Chico this morning, and an amount sufficient for another dinner waits in the refrigerator.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fighting Back, Forget About It, -and- SSSSSS!

Fighting Back - quick-thinking good Samaritan with a concealed weapons permit used his gun to stop an armed robbery
Forget About It - pill could erase bad memories
SSSSSS! - Florida man sues Walmart for in-store snake attack

On this day in history: February 16, 1978 - The first computer bulletin board system goes live on an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System still kinda runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have.

Born on this day in history: February 16, 1959 - John McEnroe (1959-) Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, and raised in New York City, tennis player John McEnroe is one of the most successful players in the history of tennis. He racked up 17 Grand Slam titles, 77 career single titles and 77 doubles titles, and is known for his intense playing style and his rivalry with Swedish tennis player Bjorn Borg.

Scripture of the Day: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. - Galatians 5:6

Video of the Day: MercyMe - "Finally Home" - submitted by Laura

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." - Thomas Jefferson Click to enlarge.

World History 101

For those of you who slept through World History 101 here is a condensed version. Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were:

1. The invention of beer
2. The invention of the wheel

The wheel was invented to get man to the beer, and the beer to the man.

These facts formed the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals
2. Conservatives

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs, the evolution of the Hollywood actor, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide all the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, firemen, lumberjacks, construction workers, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history.

It should be noted that a liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

A conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be forwarded immediately to other true believers, and to more liberals.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Armed and Dangerous, Bang!, -and- Searching

Armed and Dangerous - sheriff deputy investigated for discharging weapon in station
Bang! - gun dealers experiencing shortage of ammunition
Searching - fortune hunter plans to search for a buried treasure using Google Earth

On this day in history: February 13, 1917 - Mata Hari is arrested for spying.

Born on this day in history: February 13, 1944 - Stockard Channing (1944-) Born Susan Williams Antonia Stockard in New York City, actress Stockard Channing landed the role of Rizzo in film musical "Grease" (1978) and won a Tony on Broadway in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (1985). In 1999, she joined the cast of TV's "The West Wing," earning an Emmy for her portrayal of First Lady Abby Bartlett.

Scripture of the Day: If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. - 1 John 4:20

Video of the Day: Aurora Borealis - submitted by Laura

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this sign at the entrance to the dock at the lake behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Recommended Link: Hear Ray Comfort debate Darwinism

Friday the 13th Here is all you could ever hope to know about Friday the 13th:
The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskev (?a?as?e??) (meaning Friday), and dekatres (de?at?e??) (meaning thirteen), attached to phoba (f??a) (meaning fear). This is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen, and is also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia. The term triskaidekaphobia was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.

According to folklorists, there is no written evidence for a "Friday the 13th" superstition before the 19th century. The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in an 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini:
Rossini was surrounded to the last by admiring and affectionate friends; and if it be true that, like so many other Italians, he regarded Friday as an unlucky day, and thirteen as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that on Friday, the 13th of November, he died.

However, some folklore is passed on through oral traditions. In addition, "determining the origins of superstitions is an inexact science, at best. In fact, it's mostly guesswork." Consequently, several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.

One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.

In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century's The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday was the day that Jesus was crucified.

On the other hand, another theory by author Charles Panati, one of the leading authorities on the subject of "Origins" maintains that the superstition can be traced back to ancient myth:

The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil - a gathering of thirteen - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as "Witches' Sabbath."

Another theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. According to one expert:

The Knights Templar were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 C.E., whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy. Threatened by that power and eager to acquire their wealth, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 - Friday the 13th.

The connection between the superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code, however, some experts think that it is relatively recent and is a modern-day invention. For example, the superstition is rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common. One author, noting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907 but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lawson's popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth, in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.

Social impact
According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day". Despite this, representatives for both Delta and Continental Airlines say that their airlines don't suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.

Rate of accidents
There are conflicting studies about the risk of accidents on Friday the 13th. The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) on June 12, 2008, stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home; but statistically speaking, driving is a little bit safer on Friday 13th; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500. However, a 1993 study in the British Medical Journal that compared the ratio of traffic accidents between Friday the 6th and Friday the 13th, stated that there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents on Fridays the 13th.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crime and Punishment, Burning Down the House, -and- Homeland Insecurity

Crime and Punishment - PA judges accused of jailing kids for cash
Burning Down the House - 19-year-old woman who sang about blaze charged with 7 arsons
Homeland Insecurity - 67 computers missing from Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory

On this day in history: February 12, 1976 - Actor Sal Mineo killed in the carport of his West Hollywood home. There were rumors of a gay crime of passion but in 1979 it turned out to be a routine mugger who stabbed him for his money.

Born on this day in history: February 12, 1809 - Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) Born near Hodgenville, KY, 16th President Abe Lincoln (1861-5) was the first president elected from the anti-slavery Republican Party in 1860, which led Southern states to form the Confederacy. In the civil war that followed, the inexperienced Lincoln proved an extraordinary leader and eloquent public speaker in such addresses as the Gettysburg Address (1863). Lincoln preserved the Union during the American Civil War and brought about the emancipation of the slaves. He was assassinated by Southern fanatic John Wilkes Booth.

Scripture of the Day: We love because he first loved us. - 1 John 4:19

Video of the Day: Happy Valentine's Day 2009!

Happy Valentine's Day! Click to enlarge.

Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. In the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines." Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British models. The popularity of Valentine cards in 19th-century America was a harbinger of the future commercialization of holidays in the United States.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, behind Christmas. The association estimates that, in the US, men spend in average twice as much money as women.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Vacancy, Calling All Cars, -and- Animal Kingdom

No Vacancy - California to release tens of thousands of inmates due to overcrowding
Calling All Cars - man calls 9-1-1 when Burger King runs out of lemonade
Animal Kingdom - 118 cats removed from couple's filthy trailer

On this day in history: February 11, 2004 - Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling arrested by the FBI. He is later found guilty of no less than 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, making false statements and insider trading.

Born on this day in history: February 11, 1969 - Jennifer Aniston (1969-) Born in Sherman Oaks, CA, actress Jennifer Anniston achieved fame in her role as Rachel Green in acclaimed TV series "Friends" (1994?2004). She has gone on to star in films. Anniston?s widely publicized marriage to Brad Pitt (2000) ended in an equally publicized divorce (2005).

Scripture of the Day: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - 1 John 4:18

Video of the Day: Fix a Flat with a Lighter - submitted by Frank

Never offer a ride to a stranger!

Cold and Dry: It is considerably warmer (39° this morning and 29° yesterday!) today. Ten degrees makes a considerable difference. It is also dry. Once again, the weatherpeople have forecast incorrectly. California needs rain. The lakes, streams, rivers, and creeks are low, and the fish are thirsty! Rain is predicted for today, Friday, and Saturday. We shall see.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Animal Kingdom, Mommie Dearest, -and- All Clear!

Animal Kingdom - 100+ animals taken from Buffalo apartment
Mommie Dearest - Polish student reports mother to police for torture
All Clear! - bomb squad called over toilet float

On this day in history: February 10, 1863 - Midgets Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren married in a ceremony promoted and orchestrated by P.T. Barnum, reception tickets $75 (adjusted for inflation, $1250 in today's dollars). Commodore Nutt served as best man.

Born on this day in history: February 10, 1961 - George Stephanopoulos (1961-) Born in Fall River, Mass., political commentator George Stephanopoulos worked for then-House majority leader Dick Gephardt. In 1991, he signed on to Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, and served as senior advisor in the White House. Stephanopoulos is now a TV analyst for ABC News.

Scripture of the Day: In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. - 1 John 4:17

Video of the Day: Don't Be Afraid of Dead Zones

Here is Laura (on the left) at her company's annual Employee Appreciation
Dinner last month. Click to enlarge.

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! The AccuWeather Gadget indicated that it was 29° as I perched in my recliner, gathering news items for today's blog post on my HP notebook. It was 6 AM, and the house was warm, but it was obviously cold outside! Fortunately, it was very dry as well, so there was no ice on Mr. Nitro's windshield. The rain that was forecast for today and tomorrow has not appeared. Weather forecasts still show rain, so perhaps it will come later today. Meanwhile, it is cold! I am now at my office, it is 7:30 AM, and the outside temperature has reached a frosty 31°. The temperature gauge in the office showed 60° when I arrived. All the computers keep the building relatively warm.

I am enjoying a great treat this morning: Laura had lunch at Hula's Chinese BBQ yesterday, and she brought me her leftovers. I am enjoying a rice, noodle, beef, and vegetable delight. It is tasty indeed, and the crushed red peppers I added are helping to warm me.

Pranksters hack into electronic road sign: Someone hacked an electronic road sign on Cohasset Road in Chico yesterday morning and altered its message. For several hours, the sign read "CHUCK NORRIS FOR PRESIDENT." While I certainly do not condone hacking electronic road signs, I find the premise of the message to be excellent!

The full story can be found here.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fighting Back, To Serve and Protect, -and- Never Too Old

Fighting Back - two crime victims kill their attackers
To Serve and Protect - confidential internal affairs report mistakenly put on Internet
Never Too Old - 56-year-old becomes first woman to swim Atlantic Ocean

On this day in history: February 9, 1989 - Officials for the World Wrestling Federation testify before the New Jersey Senate that their matches are actually rigged.

Born on this day in history: February 9, 1944 - Alice Walker (1944 - ) Born in Eatonton, GA, poet and novelist Alice Walker is best known for her novels, notably "The Color Purple" (1982), which won a Pulitzer and was made into a successful movie.

Scripture of the Day: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. - 1 John 4:16

Verizon Dead Zone Axe Guy
Video of the Day:

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon this unusual specimen while photographing birds near the lake behind my office! Click to enlarge.

Zeus' New Trick: Sunday morning, I arose at 4:45 AM. I quietly slithered from the bedroom, allowing Laura to continue sleeping. I turned on the light in the refrigerator door and toasted an English muffin. I turned on a lamp in the dining room, sat in my recliner, turned on my Microsoft wireless mouse, and pushed it across the mouse pad slightly, causing my HP notebook’s 17" LCD display to become active. I nibbled on the English muffin while solving the first of the three crossword puzzles I do each Sunday morning. (I solve five crossword puzzles each Monday; four each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; and three each Saturday.) Suddenly, the house fell into near darkness. Only the glow of the HP’s display pierced this darkness. "The florescent light bulb in the lamp must have expired," I thought. This did not surprise me, since it was approximately five years old.

I employed the X-10 remote to engage a lamp in the living room.

Imagine my surprise moments later, as I walked into the kitchen to make a cup of green tea with honey and noticed that the cord for the lamp in the dining room had been unplugged from the wall socket, with Zeus close beside, staring up at me for kudos of his handiwork!

If Zeus is capable of this, of what other devious deeds may he be capable? My mind is awhirl considering the possibilities!

Zeus will necessitate closer watching, I fear!

The Weekend: Friday afternoon, I boiled 17 chicken wings for 20 minutes, removed from the pan, allowed them to cool, and patted them dry with a paper towel. I placed the wings in a zip-seal bag and coated them with Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce. I sloshed the wings about in order to ensure they were fully coated with the hot sauce. I then poured in a quantity of barbecue sauce, sloshed the wings about, removed the excess air, sealed the bag, and placed it in the refrigerator. Saturday afternoon, tossed the wings onto the grill. Laura poured the sauce mixture that remained in the bag into a glass measuring cup and handed the cup and a brush to me. I grilled the chicken wings for 40 minutes—turning them and basting them with the sauce mixture every 10 minutes. Laura cooked OrIda curly fries in the conventional oven. It was a delightful meal.

Sunday morning, I put a spicy dry rub on a huge tri-tip, covered it with aluminum foil, and placed it in the refrigerator. Sunday evening, I made a salad with heart of Romaine, sliced white mushrooms, chopped green onions, and diced cluster tomatoes. I seasoned it with sea salt, ground black pepper, dried parsley, and sesame seeds. I dressed it with extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, and lime juice. I grilled the tri-tip until it was nicely charred on the outside and rare in the center—spraying it while it roasted with a mixture of 1/3 extra-virgin olive oil and 2/3 balsamic vinegar. It was a delicious meal. We intend to enjoy a redux this evening.

The weather was mild throughout the weekend. Just as I began grilling Sunday afternoon, the wind suddenly became fierce, and the rain began falling greatly! Yikes! I pulled the hood of my jacket over my head and sallied forth—determined that I would not be deterred from my appointed task!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Up in Smoke, What Stinks?, -and- Never Too Old

Up in Smoke - Kellogs to drop Olympian Phelps
What Stinks? - New York City solves syrup smell mystery
Never Too Old - 60-year-old Canadian woman gives birth to twins

On this day in history: February 6, 1951 - Radio personality Paul Harvey is arrested for trying to break into Argonne Atomic Lab.

Born on this day in history: February 6, 1911 - Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) Fortieth president of the United States, governor, actor. Born Ronald Wilson Reagan on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois. Leading what was known as the Reagan Revolution, Ronald Reagan ushered in a new era of conservatism in American politics when he became president of the United States in 1981. Perhaps as a precursor of things to come, he served as student body president in high school. He was also active in sports, such as football, and in drama.

After high school, Reagan attended Eureka College where he continued to participate in student government and theater. He graduated in 1932 with a degree in economics and sociology. Working as a radio announcer and sportscaster for a time, Reagan made his way to Hollywood after securing a film contract with Warner Bros. in 1937. His first film, "Love is on the Air," was released later that year.

During his Hollywood years, Reagan made more than 50 films of varying quality. One of his best remembered roles was as George "The Gipper" Gipp in the sports drama "Knute Rockne All American" (1940). He also turned in strong performances in "Brother Rat" (1938) and "Dark Victory" (1939) with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. Reagan earned his greatest kudos, however, for "Kings Row" (1942), in which he played a rich young man who loses it all, but later redeems himself.

In addition to a successful film career, Reagan's personal life was also thriving. He married actress Jane Wyman in 1940. The following year, the couple welcomed their first daughter Maureen. Four years later, they adopted son Michael. Their marriage, unfortunately, did not last. They divorced by the end of the decade.

During World War II, Reagan served in the Army Air Corps, making several training films for the military. Reagan was honorably discharged in 1945, having reached the rank of captain. In 1947, he was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild-a post he would hold several times during his career. He also testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee that same year. Initially a Democrat, Reagan became more conservative over the years. He also held strong anticommunist views and was a member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an industry organization opposed to communism. Other members included actors John Wayne and Gary Cooper.

By the 1950s, Reagan's film career was in decline. One of his most famous films from this time was his co-starring role opposite a chimpanzee in the family comedy Bedtime for Bonzo (1951). Finding love again, Reagan married actress Nancy Davis in March of the following year. Their first daughter, Patricia, arrived that fall. The couple appeared on screen together in the war drama Hellcats of the Navy in 1957. Their son Ronald Prescott was born the next year.

In 1962, Reagan officially became a Republican and soon focused much of his time on politics. He ran for governor of California in 1966 and enjoyed the support of such stars as friend John Wayne. Taking office in 1967, Reagan soon announced his presidential ambitions. He failed in his 1968 bid for the Republican nomination, but he was reelected governor in 1970. One of his most notable acts was his effort to cut enrollment in the state's welfare program by signing the California Welfare Reform Act in 1971.

Undeterred by his earlier failure, Reagan pressed on in his quest for the highest office in the nation. He lost the 1976 Republican nomination to then-president Gerald Ford, but he was victorious in his efforts to represent his party in the 1980 election. Scoring a huge upset against Democratic president Jimmy Carter, Reagan took office in 1981.

Only months after becoming the country's commander in chief, Reagan shot by a would-be assassin on March 30. He was wounded, but later made a full recovery. In the interim, vice president George Bush briefly took over as president.

Reagan is remembered for advancing his conservative policies. He lobbied for increased defense spending, especially such programs as the so-called Star Wars missile defense system. His fervor over military expansion and arms development earned him the nickname "Ronnie Raygun" in some circles. In foreign affairs, Reagan remained true to his anticommunist views. He maintained a tense and sometimes adversarial relationship to the Soviet Union and other communist states.

On the domestic side, Reagan seemed to take a hands-off approach to improving the economy. He did work for tax cuts, but he sought to reduce the government spending by cutting social programs, which caused some uproar. He did, however, make history at home by appointing Sandra Day O'Connor as the female judge to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. No matter what happened, Reagan remained quite popular with most voters, easily winning re-election in 1984 against Walter Mondale.

After leaving office in 1989, Reagan maintained a busy schedule of events and other activities for a number of years before being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He spent his final years in seclusion. On June 5, 2004, Reagan died in his Los Angeles home from pneumonia. He was given a national funeral in Washington, D.C. and later laid to rest at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Scripture of the Day: No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. - 1 John 4:12

Video of the Day: Tribute to Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan. Click to enlarge.

Ronald Reagan:As you will most likely surmise, Ronald Reagan is my favorite President. His moral values and conservative positions mirror my own. No other American President has ever embodied the spirit of pride and faith in this country and its citizenry. In fact, none have ever come close to doing so.

Sleep: I generally retire of an evening at 11 PM or shortly thereafter. Last evening, Laura declared herself to be most tired and expressed the desire to go abed at 9 PM. She cautioned me that it would be far too early for me to repose, yet—albeit in full agreement with her caution—I retired at that hour. I awakened at 3:45 AM and knew that more sleep would be difficult and would, most likely, result in prolonged lethargy. I arose, performed toilet, brewed a large mug of green tea with honey, toasted two blueberry waffles, nestled into my recliner, pulled my HP notebook to me (It resides upon a wheeled notebook table.), and began my day. At a time when the sun rises earlier and the weather is more seemly, I would have journeyed to my office to begin my day. With the wind howling, the temperature low, and the sky dark, I did not feel an invitation to do so. Three hours later, Laura was astir, the cats were beginning their day of frolicking, and daylight was beginning to pierce the darkness. I clutched the large bag that holds my Nikon camera gear and drove to my office. Here I am. It appears that today shall be a day most pluvial.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fighting Back, Armed and Dangerous, -and- Don't Forget to Floss!

Fighting Back - angry clerk mops up shoplifters
Armed and Dangerous - man files suit following curbside strip search
Don't Forget to Floss! - man pulls out 13 of his own teeth with pliars

On this day in history: February 5, 1979 - Woodrow Bussey files suit against the Adolf Coors Brewing Company for failing to warn him that their product, Coors Beer, is an intoxicating beverage.

Born on this day in history: February 5, 1962 - Jennifer Jason Leigh (1962-) Actress. Born Jennifer Leigh Morrow on February 5, 1962 in Los Angeles. The daughter of actor Vic Morrow and screenwriter Barbara Turner, Leigh became interested in acting at a young age.

Scripture of the Day: Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:11

Video of the Day: Catfish Noodling - submitted by Darin

I encountered this scene while passing the park this morning. This little girl needs to learn how to control her temper! Click to enlarge.

Rain? The weather forecasts all indicate there will be rain today and tomorrow and the possibility of thundershowers tomorrow. They show clear skies and sunshine for Saturday and mostly sunny on Sunday, with a slight chance of showers. California really needs rain. Lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks are all dangerously low, and water will become a premium if we do not get rain soon. I realize this, of course, and I hope that the forecasters are correct. Nonetheless, I certainly enjoyed those sunny, warm days we enjoyed last week!

Zeus: My cat, Zeus, is undergoing a transmogrification: Traditionally, he has vehemently opposed being held and would never deign to nestle in one's lap. Of late, however, he has become greatly accepting of being held and purrs with great abandon while being petted. He has taken to climbing into our laps and spending long periods of time there. We would never have imagined this of Zeus. He has eschewed such behavior for many years. He is truly a changed kitty!

Zeus and Thor: Zeus and Thor (Laura's cat) traditionally showed no interest in milk whatever. In the nearly 7 years that they have lived with us, they have been offered saucers of milk several times, and never have they done more than briefly taste it and walk away. For the last several weeks, however, both Zeus and Thor have been enjoying daily saucers of milk. They lap greedily at the milk and do not complete this procedure until the saucer is empty. They are truly changed kitties!

Zeus has ambitions: Zeus is an ambitious cat. He often comes to me with ideas that he proposes and seems fully sincere regarding the execution of these ideas. This morning, he told me he had decided that he wished to move to Beverly Hills and become a street vendor, selling maps to the stars' homes. I will not encourage him in this endeavor, since I do not believe he is prepared to address life as an outdoor cat. Nonetheless, I do not dissuade him from expressing his ambitions.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Somebody's Watching You, Flying High, -and- Stupid Criminals

Somebody's Watching You - Google offers free software to track people
Flying High - passengers remove totally drunk pilot
Stupid Criminals - 9-1-1 caller puts police dispatcher on hold to make a drug deal, lands in jail

On this day in history: February 4, 1983 - Karen Carpenter dies of anorexia nervosa. She frequently took laxatives and induced vomiting to prevent weight gain. At the time of her death she was pencil thin.

Born on this day in history: February 4, 1913 - Rosa Parks (1913-2005) Born in Tuskegee, AL, civil rights advocate Rosa Parks was a community activist best known for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, which resulted in the famous bus boycott led by Martin Luther King Jr. (1955–6). Parks is honored as the "mother" of the civil rights movement.

Scripture of the Day: This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. — 1 John 4:10

Video of the Day: Flying Motorcycle - submitted by Darin

I happened upon this scene yesterday afternoon while driving home from my office. It was a beautiful afternoon, and I decided to take the scenic route—around the lake and past the park. Imagine my surprise when I encountered this makeshift hot tub! Click to enlarge.

As many of you know, I maintain a list called "The Ultimate List of Car Songs." (There is a link to this in the Links section, below the Web cam image.) Yesterday, I received a submission email that contained four song titles and artists' names. As I always do when I receive submissions for this list with which I am unfamiliar, I performed Google searches for the songs. They were all songs, and the artists' names supplied by the submitter were correct. However, none of the four songs refer to an automobile in any way. I emailed the submitter, thanked her for her interest in the list, and explained that her submissions did not meet the requirements of the list, since they were not songs about cars. She replied saying that she felt it was discriminatory to exclude songs from the list strictly on the basis of their not being car songs. At first, I thought this was a joke. Several emails later, I had no option but to accept the validity of the woman's proposal. I said, "I believe that this issue would best be resolved—and the concept you propose best served—were you to begin your own list of non-car songs! I have not received a reply.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fighting Back, Speeders, -and- Jersey Girls

Fighting Back - TV anchorwoman fends off burglars
Speeders - drivers full of excuses
Jersey Girls - trio of young women exact revenge

On this day in history: February 3, 1959 - The Day the Music Died: A small plane carrying The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), Buddy Holly, and Richie Valens crashes near Mason City, Iowa, while en route to a show in Fargo, North Dakota.

Born on this day in history: February 3, 1956 - Nathan Lane (1956-) Born Joseph Lane in Jersey City, NJ, actor Nathan Lane made a splash on Broadway in 1992, opposite George C. Scott in "Present Laughter" and went on to win awards in several plays written by Terrence McNally. In 1996, Lane made it big in films with a scene-stealing performance in "The Birdcage" (1978). In 2001, Lane lit up Broadway again in the Mel Brooks mega-hit "The Producers."

Scripture of the Day: This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. - 1 John 4:9

Video of the Day: "Oh Boy" - Buddy Holly Live

In one of music's most tragic accidents, a light plane carrying three people who changed the face of rock forever crashed in an Iowa field shortly after leaving a concert on February 3, 1959. Buddy Holly had chartered the plane to take his band to their next gig in North Dakota while other artists and staff took the usual means of tour bus.

Ritchie Valens had just released "La Bamba" a month before the accident claimed his life. He was 17 years old. He is the first Latino rock 'n' roll artist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Jimmy Page once said, "Valens was my first guitar hero and I played that bridge to 'La Bamba' a thousand times." Led Zeppelin later ripped off Valens' song "Ooh! My Head," renaming it "Boogie With Stu," and took credit for it. They were sued and settled out of court. The Ramones did a cover of the Valens song "Come On Let's Go" and Los Lobos' note-for-note redo of La Bamba went to #1 on the charts. He has not, to date, been inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.

Jiles Perry Richardson, age 28, AKA The Big Bopper had his start as a hilarious and energetic radio DJ and was famous for "Chantilly Lace" - the third-most-played radio song of 1958. He wasn't even supposed to be on the plane. He was sick with the flu and worn out, so he asked Buddy Holly's bassist, Waylon Jennings, if he would allow him to have his seat on the plane so he could rest and have time to see a doctor once they landed.

Buddy Holly, age 22, is considered one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll and was rock's first major songwriter, making a historic impact after only 18 months in the business. Here's a lesson for those who hear "no" and get discouraged; Decca Records told Holly he wasn't quite good enough when they first signed him and to go back home to Texas and practice. He did and made "That'll Be The Day." Buddy Holly and the Crickets brought such classics as "Peggy Sue" and "Rock Around the Clock" to the world. Click to enlarge.

While all tragedy saddens me, certainly, there is no tragic event in music history that saddens me as much as does the death of these three young performers. On the anniversary of this tragedy each year, I still feel great sadness. The years have not diminished this.

I was 14 years old when this tragedy occurred. I was a budding rock star, and a good deal of my early guitar technique came as a result of playing along with Buddy Holly records.