Songs Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately (obvious). So I thought I would do a post about my top ten favorite Christmas songs. I got halfway through the list when they said we could leave work early so I chopped it to five so I can get out of here.

5. Dean Martin - A Marshmallow World

This is the most famous version of this song recorded by the coolest man to ever live. No real significance to this tune. Nothing profound about it. It’s just a fun, bouncy song performed by a funny old drunk.

4. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm – Red Norvo with Mildred Bailey

Here’s a nice version of this song from 1937. Known as Mr and Mrs Swing, Red and Mildred were highly influential to Depression-era Jazz. This is more of a winter song than a Christmas song so you don’t hear it too much around the holidays, but Mildred’s vocal expressiveness here makes it a classic.

3. Poklon Jezusowi – Poznanskie Slowiki

I have a soft spot for chorale music. Poznanskie Slowiki is a chorus I discovered about four years ago that is not only from Poznan, which is my ancestral part of Poland (the name translates to “The Poznan Nightingales”), but is an accomplished choir with a rich history of Christmas arrangements. Poklon Jezusowi, which means “bow down before Jesus”, is my favorite song on their Christmas album “Za Gwiazda”. I had to place it high on this list.

2. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

They sobered Shane MacGowan up long enough to record this classic from the Pogues album “If I Should Fall From Grace With God”. The song is about an Irish immigrant sleeping one off in the New York City drunk tank on Christmas Eve who is reminiscing about a failed relationship. The song becomes a duet between MacGowan and the late British singer Kirsty MacColl as the two alcoholic lovers who blame each other for ruining their lives and crushing their dreams. I love this song because it isn’t afraid to admit that, for many, Christmas is a time of regrets.

1. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid/ Band Aid II/ Band Aid 20

Since 1984, the proceeds, vendor profits and VAT from all versions of this record have been donated to The Band Aid Charitable Trust which has handed out over £93 million to famine relief projects across Africa. While it isn’t the catchiest tune and it doesn’t have the most profound lyrics (although I use “clanging chimes of doom” a lot in everyday conversation), I can’t think of a Christmas song that has done more good for the world.

Other songs that might have made the list if I had to work a full day:

- Celia Cruz – El Cha Cha Cha de la Navidad
- Cocteau Twins – Winter Wonderland
- Queen – Thank God It’s Christmas
- Run-DMC – Christmas In Hollis
- Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
- Ramones - Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)
- "Weird Al" Yankovic - Christmas At Ground Zero
- Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy

Unfortunate Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This year, the poor kid in the picture almost didn't get a birthday cake. Anyone care to guess his name? Click here for the answers to all of your questions.

Screaming Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tonight was my nephew Simon's Christmas pageant at his school. He is in Kindergarten this year and something that I have learned about Kindergartners is that they love to perform. For your entertainment, here is my cell phone video of the whole screeching performance.

Happy Thursday, November 27, 2008

Royal Monday, November 17, 2008

People who know me know that I like to gamble. I go to Vegas a couple times each year and hit the casinos in Detroit when I can. It's just my thing and I've gotten pretty good at it over the years. So I was sitting around tonight playing online poker and watching "Cool As Ice" on HBO when I picked up the second royal flush of my life. This time I was able to get a screen shot so I thought I'd post it and brag a little.

Yup Yup... Let's G-O..

The odds for this calculate like so:

There are a total of 2,598,960 five card poker hands that can be made from a 52 card deck:

(52*51*50*49*48)/5! = 311,875,200/120 = 2,598,960

There are four ways to make a Royal Flush

A,K,Q,J,10 of spades
A,K,Q,J,10 of clubs
A,K,Q,J,10 of diamonds
A,K,Q,J,10 of hearts

2,598,960/4 = 649,740 so that's a 1 in 649,740 chance or
1/649,740 = 0.000154%

Reunited Sunday, November 9, 2008

This is a great thing...

Suggestions Thursday, November 6, 2008

As President-Elect Obama starts his transition process, I have a few suggestions that he may want to consider.

Chicago is one of the finalist cities for the 2016 Summer Olympics. As a wildly popular new President from Chicago, it shouldn’t be a problem to use your new influence as a world figure to seal the deal.

When you receive your first daily security briefing later this afternoon, the first questions you ask should revolve around space aliens, UFOs and any colonization efforts that may be underway. Oh, also, the Kennedy assassination, the Trilateral Commission, the ruling council of the Illuminati, the warehouse that stores the Ark of the Covenant, reverse vampires, Al Qaeda determined to attack U.S., weather control by the space shuttle, the current whereabouts of Tupac, the final Clinton body count, Project HAARP, reverse speech, remote viewing, the real purpose of water fluoridation, black oil, the smallpox vaccination genetic catalogue program, and the Templi Resurgentes Equites Synarchici are all things that may be of great interest.

Commit to space exploration. Either give NASA a larger budget and project guidance or release public funds to private companies to develop commercial space applications. I sound like a giant dork here, but the great dream of my life is space tourism. Any public funding commitment to space technologies gets me closer to the possibility of dreams becoming reality.

For the love of God… no spinners on the Presidential limo.