Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yet Another Commemoration—April 20-23, 2017

CELEBRATION 2017 will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson; as the world marks the first anniversary of his passing.

The four-day festival, April 20 through April 23, will be held at his Paisley Park Museum in Chanhassen, MN. Featured events: live music, presentations and panel discussions focused on Prince’s tremendous talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker.

It will also bring together musicians, creative personnel, special guests and friends who worked closest with Prince and knew him best. Artists who will be performing include Prince’s former backup band the Revolution, Morris Day and the Time and members of other Prince bands — the New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL.

Organizers said the event will “reflect the spirit” of the singer’s inaugural “Prince: A Celebration” June 2000 concert, which featured performances and events over four days.

Four-day VIP passes at $999, and general admission passes at $499 are now available. Individual day passes will not be sold. VIP tickets include priority concert seating, on-site parking, photo and autograph sessions, exclusive merchandise and a meal pass.

Sheila E is speaking publicly about the in-fighting among Prince’s family and the trust managers.

Her representatives have confirmed her frustrations about the situation, telling People magazine: ‘Sheila is concerned that [Prince’s death] will result in exploitation for profit by people who may have been seeking personal financial gain from him while living and may now see the opportunity to do so in his untimely death.

Sheila has concern for the protection of Prince’s music – both released and unreleased – and has promoted that the family or Paisley Park representatives have the final decision in regards to the usage of his name and likeness.’

Sheila and Prince met in 1978 at one of his concerts in Oakland, California, and went on to work together on a string of hits, including her biggest, “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre.” She also sang on a number of his tracks, providing backup vocals on “Erotic City” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” as well as playing percussion.

She remained close with Prince in his final years but has previously stated she was unaware of any serious illness from which he may have been suffering. Prince died on April 21, 2016 from an accidental overdose of the powerful and addictive painkiller, fentanyl.

For ticket information, click this link: Celebration 2017

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Prince 4Ever

Last month it was announced that Prince fans would soon have the opportunity to hear previously unreleased music on a new greatest hits album entitled Prince 4Ever. The album, which was released on November 22, features 39 tracks considered to be “the best of” Prince. Only one track, “Moonbeam Levels” is “new;” but only new to some of us, as there has been a bootleg version of the track circulating for many years.

The majority of the featured tracks are being called “fan favorites,” although I have seen several fan comments that have been critical of the choice of tracks. Some of the truly favorites have not been included. The selections have NOT been remastered, merely “cleaned up;” but even the whiners said, they would still buy the album.

On the morning of November 22, ABC-TV had the honor of premiering “Moonbeam Levels” to their audience and a small group of Prince fans who were hearing the track for the very first time. The previously unreleased single was recorded in 1982 while Prince was working on his fifth studio album, 1999. The track was part of another album that was shelved when Prince began work on the Batman sound track. Prince performed the track in concert, but it was never officially released.

I have listened to the new “Moonbeam Levels” and it is excellent. It would definitely have been an instant hit had it been released when it was first recorded.

The good news is: Warner Bros./NPG has announced an “early 2017” release date for a remastered, repackaged edition of “Purple Rain” — Prince’s most beloved album. The LP is being released in accordance with arrangements agreed to by Prince before he passed. The package will also contain a second album of previously unreleased material.

According to those in the know: There is enough new material in the vaults in Paisley Park, to be able to release a new album every year for the next 100 years. Prince’s music really will be 4Ever.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thank Goodness

Here’s a question. Why are we co-mingling, every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, with people that we only see once a year? Could it be, that is the main reason we moved away from “home” in the first place; because we don’t want to see them any more often than that?

There is always someone who can hardly wait to stir up trouble over dinner, by bringing up the topic of politics or religion; or, when all else fails, the topic of money! How can you possibly be thankful to have these people as family members? How can they even be our family members?

As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving was always a source of drudgery, because it was a lot of work and the bulk of the responsibility usually landed on one or two people. It’s one of those holidays that begs for the proclamation—It’s Thanksgiving today, and we are going to enjoy this day, whether we want to or not!

Even after I was old enough to move away, I still came home for Thanksgiving. And every year I would ask myself “why” am I doing this, and I would vow not to subject myself to the torture ever again. But, you know how it is.

When we were very young, our family would usually get together with my mother’s college girlfriend and her family, thus trading off the burden every other year. That was fun. But eventually as we got older and added boyfriends, college roommates and other people to the family circle, the ritual changed.

Now, I’m old, and it’s hard for me to travel. My dad is gone and I miss him. There aren’t any children/grandchildren in our immediate family, so nothing is really new. It’s just the same core group, doing the same things they’ve always done and just getting older, one year at a time. None-the-less, I still like being part of the group.

As you get older, you start to realize that life really is short. So, my advice is: if you do get the chance to spend time with your family and enjoy a delicious meal, just do it! And if the actual holiday doesn’t fit into everyone’s schedule, then schedule it for another day when everyone can be available. For years, we have had our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday instead of Thursday. That way, it gives those of us who have jobs, time to do our cooking on Thursday rather than staying up all night trying to get everything done for the next morning. It works.

So, eat, drink and be merry; and thanks for reading this.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Constant Symbol of Good Living

I used to cook professionally and still enjoy cooking for friends. Last weekend I learned something very exciting. On Sunday, I tuned into a cooking show on PBS, that I haven’t seen in a while—Cook’s Country. They regularly have a segment where they do a blind taste test of commonly used products.

This week it turned out to be butter—one of my favorite “food” items.

The host of Cook’s Country, Christopher Kimball, does the final tasting in addition to a small audience who also tastes each of the unidentified items. Kimball gives a descriptive opinion for each one, he votes on his favorite and least favorite, and then the brands are revealed. Ta da

In this particular taste test, the winner was LURPAK, made in Denmark. I made a point of seeking it out when I shopped at Fairway on Monday, and they had it. It is pricey in comparison to other similar butters including organic which I usually buy; BUT, I bought it anyway, and I have to say, it is really yummy.

I’m a devoted believer in Martha Stewart's philosophy when it comes to butter—you can never have too much butter. Ha-ha. It’s always a treat when you discover something that wonderful, but on the down side, you never want to go back to what you used to buy. Oh well...

Here are a few of the other favored choices from the taste test:

But, there's more to the story of butter.

Controversies surrounding butter.
In the second half of the twentieth century, butter got a bad rap and was linked to a host of health problems. We now know that butter’s negative reputation was undeserved, and instead that butter substitutes and manmade trans fats are the real threats to our health. Recent studies show just how important butter is to a healthy diet. It supplies our bodies with vitamins and minerals; boosts our immune system; helps hormone production; and supports our bones, organs, and most importantly, our brain. Good natural butter is satisfying and can even help with maintaining a healthy weight.

Fat doesn’t make us fat. Good animal fats, like butter, are very satisfying and make us less likely to overeat or snack between meals.

A low fat diet is not necessarily good for us. It turns out that diets low in fat leave us hungry, depressed, and prone to illness. Over time, as we replaced animal fats with trans fats, sugars, and other refined carbohydrates, we didn’t lose weight—we gained it. We forgot that fat and protein were satisfying, while starches and sugar led to cravings and weight gain.

Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Fat supports the essential building blocks for our body—our cells.

Polyunsaturated fats are not better for us. All fats are not equal. Highly polyunsaturated fats are very unstable and oxidize easily, especially when heated, which makes them unsuitable for cooking. Oxidized fat makes us sick and damages our cells’ DNA. If these fats are hydrogenated to make them stable at higher temperatures, they are full of trans fats. In addition, polyunsaturated fats can suppress our immune system, and our increased consumption of them has adversely affected the balance of the essential fatty acids in our bodies.

Most of us are getting too much omega-6 fat because we consume large amounts polyunsaturated fats. Too much omega-6 restricts our intake of omega-3 and is linked to cancer, heart disease, liver damage, learning disorders, weight gain, and malfunction of the immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. We all need more omega-3 in our diet and that omega-3 is found in butter and the fat from grass-fed animals.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

The Clintons — Plan B

Hillary insiders are starting to talk. She has been telling her friends that she is considering a run for mayor of NYC. But given her present state of mind, anything she says shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

After her loss to Trump, she had a complete emotional break down and couldn’t stop crying. She was barely able to speak for two days. She cried until her doctor finally decided to sedate her. Is that someone you want as leader of the most powerful country in the world?

Yesterday she spoke at a previously scheduled charity event, and presented herself without any makeup. Her hair looked like she had just rolled out of bed. She and her la-la friends did not even consider the possibility that she was not going to be the next president; and now she can’t cope. There was no Plan B.

The Clintons are temporarily short on fund raising ideas, and the Foundation is virtually worthless without a pay-for-play incentive linked to it. So now, they are trying to persuade Chelsea to consider running for a political office. There is a NY state legislator position that will soon be available; but Chelsea feels that the state legislature is “beneath her.” She has zero charisma and is the most disliked member of the Clinton family; but, if Chelsea was active in the political scene, there is a chance the Foundation could be revived.

From all outward appearances, it seems Chelsea has a “loser” for a husband. Marc Mezvinsky is an investment banker and co-founder of the hedge fund Eaglevale Partners. He used the Clinton Foundation to raise money for his hedge fund; but since he is not very well liked, Chelsea was the one who had to make most of the phone calls on his behalf. She is Vice-Chairman of the Foundation that bears her name, so they easily raised over a billion $$. But easy-come, easy-go; and in no time at all, he managed to lose every penny of the investors' money!

The hedgefund was dissolved in 2015; so now, Chelsea has to figure out how to support herself, the husband and the two kids in the manner to which she has become accustomed. Everyone describes her as a “spoiled brat.”

The Mezvinskys are currently living in a $12 million town house in Manhattan that was purchased with Clinton Foundation money. The latest emails that Wikileaks hacked from Podesta’s emails have revealed that Chelsea also paid for her lavish wedding with Foundation money. Mommy and Daddy Clinton have recently purchased another house in Chappaqua, NY and Chelsea, et al. are planning to move in there.

The Clintons are like cockroaches—you just can’t get rid of them.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekend Highlights—SNL and 60 Minutes

I always watch SNL every week. Some weeks it is great—some weeks horrible. This week the opening skit was Kate McKinnon doing her “Hillary” character and singing Hallelujah. It was partly a tribute to Leonard Cohen, who died this week, and partly as a funeral for the election. It was a bit of a tear jerker. At the end she said “I’m not giving up and neither should you, and live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” I believe it. The Clintons are like cockroaches! [I have already heard that Hillary is considering a run for mayor of NYC. I don’t know if there is any actual truth to that or if it is just gossip. We'll see...]

This week’s Host was Dave Chappelle. He is one of my favorite comedians. He is really smart and tells the most interesting stories, but he has a very bizarre sense of humor. This morning, Len and Todd on WOR radio were talking about SNL. They are upset because Chappelle used the “n word” a couple of times in his opening monologue; but, that is a big part of his stand-up act. A little-known fact about Dave Chappelle is that he and his family live on a 65-acre farm outside of Yellow Springs, OH that is in southern Ohio and between Springfield and Xenia, OH—just five miles from where I grew up. Yellow Springs is the home of Antioch College where Chappell’s dad was a professor in the 1970s. Antioch is a private, very affluent college that has always had a reputation of being highly intellectual. Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone is an Alumnus.

This is a snippet of Chappelle’s opening monologue:

[Talking about Trump’s victory] “I haven’t seen white people this mad since the O.J. verdict… I’m not saying I’m enjoying it. I’m just saying I’ve never seen this before. I watched a white riot in Portland, Oregon, on television the other night. The news said they did $1 million worth of damage. Every black person was watching it like — Amateurs.”

Chris Rock regularly uses the “n word” in his stage performances and HBO specials, etc. Interesting that Chris Rock made a surprise appearance in one of the skits. He recently got a divorce, got a new haircut, and now he looks a lot different than he did. He has been quoted as saying he now has the freedom to work as much as he wants, so I guess we may be seeing more of him.

I thought the 60 Minutes interview of Donald Trump and family was very unimaginative—same old boring questions and Leslie Stahl’s lipstick was distracting. I think it was below her lip and on her face at one point. I realize it is her distinguishing characteristic; but tonight, it seemed like too much.

The only thing new we learned is that the Trump Power Kids are planning to stay in NYC and run the Empire. Melania will be a more than qualified confident/counselor. Go Trumps.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Prince’s Paisley Park Adds New Guest Activities

Not only will Prince fans soon be able to dance to his hits every weekend at Paisley Park, they can also try to hit his falsetto notes in a recording studio. Two weeks after the Chanhassen City Council approved the rezoning of Prince’s home and studios as a public museum, Paisley Park officials introduced several new guest activities.

Among the new options for visitors will be "Paisley Park After Dark" every Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning December 2-3 and a “Sunday Brunch Experience” starting December 4, that is packaged with the $100 VIP tour. A menu of Prince’s favorite foods has been created with pricing; but there has not been an official announcement as to whether these items will be the offerings for the Sunday Brunch.

On Thursdays, Recording Studio B will be open for guests to record their own vocals to a Prince song and save it onto a USB flash drive. This will be an option included in the $100 VIP tour, but only on Thursdays.

The weekend parties will be the biggest change in the museum’s operations. A $60 ticket, good for both nights, will include a dance party with a DJ in the NPG Music Club room on Fridays beginning at 6 p.m., and a “movie night” on Saturdays with screenings of his films and concert footage. It has not yet been established how late the parties will go.

Chanhassen mayor, Denny Laufenburger, said all of these new activities fall within the ordinance approved by the city council and will hopefully generate and sustain interest in Paisley Park, while staying true to the vision Prince saw for his home and studios.

Mayor Laufenburger thinks that, so far, these new changes fall in line with that. Prince often hosted late-night parties in the practice studio, going back as far as New Year’s Eve, 1987. He even held a dance party there the weekend before his April 21 death.

Paisley Park is now operated by Graceland Holdings—which also runs Elvis Presley’s home museum in Memphis. Additional information about tickets and events can be found at the web site:

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Wins

During the presidential campaign, I tried my best not to share my personal views about the candidates, but as the lies started getting uglier and crazier and the dirt was being served up by the shovelfuls, I couldn’t hold back any longer and I did make a few comments about “Crooked Hillary.”

I hate to gloat, BUT, I am SO happy right now! I started getting very nervous on election day and was starting to feed into the mass hysteria the mainstream media was dishing out, but then I got a grip on reality. I knew it couldn’t be possible for someone so horribly evil to win in the end. The good guys just didn’t deserve that. I had already seen the videos and read the books, so I was well aware of Hillary’s history of corruption, even before Arkansas and the Rose Law Firm.

Over the same period of time, I followed the shenanigans and questionable business dealings of Donald Trump. I was never a big fan, but like most people, I didn’t really know him. I have to admit, I did watch every single season of The Apprentice and even blogged about each episode every week. It made for some really good TV and Trump does seem to have a very magnetic charisma. Using his children as judges on The Apprentice gave us a glimpse into their personalities and the apples don’t fall far from the tree! I think everyone can agree, his kids are outstanding as business executives.

So, when Trump announced his candidacy I made it my goal to find out as much as I could about him. I wanted to be able to make an unbiased decision in the primary election. Hillary had basically little competition for her party’s nomination; and even though Bernie Sanders held his own, there were too many hints of rigged results. Poor Bernie—another victim.

What I soon realized is that Donald Trump is a lot smarter than I ever thought. He was starting to make a lot of sense. I was really going for his message. He’s been called a clown, and emotionally unfit to be president, but those big mouths are the same ignoramuses that aren’t smart enough to “get it.” And because so many wealthy donors had their hopes pinned on Hillary—she just had to win—no matter what. It got to the point where Hillary and her people would have said ANYTHING if it would get her elected.

The Hollywood celebrities who were willing to stand up and make themselves look like asses and/or idiots, now look like fools; and that is pay back enough for me. Let them cry their eyes out. Hopefully they will learn something from this experience. To the six expert astrologers “from around the world” who convened in Costa Mesa, CA and who were actually guest speakers at a seminar on predicting events by using birth charts and the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets and who predicted Hillary’s victory—Ha-ha. I have more-or-less believed in astrology my whole life and now, I am finally free of the delusions.

The big question is still: What should we do with Hillary? I think she should be convicted, but, excused from serving time—as long as they immediately release the poor sailor who is locked up for doing NOTHING and others who are serving time for doing much less than Hillary did. But in reality, I don’t care what they do with Hillary—I’m just glad she wasn’t elected president. I can’t say it enough—I am SO happy right now.

Trump’s visit with President Obama seemed cordial and professional. I honestly believe Obama secretly admires Trump for accomplishing this unbelievable victory in spite of everything he had to overcome—being an inexperienced political outsider. They are all buddy-buddy now, so it just goes to show how phony the whole political system is.

I truly believe Trump will make every attempt to keep every one of his campaign promises and I feel sure, he will accomplish most of the changes that need to be done as soon as possible. He has already started working on his biggest promise:

Good luck President-Elect Trump.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Prince's Legacy Lives On

I wasn’t planning to write about the five-hour tribute concert, because it didn’t interest me that much. Since I didn’t personally attend or see any video of it, it is impossible for me to give an opinion on how it was or how it went. I have watched other bands and performers “cover” his music, but for me, it was all about the performance of the real artist. No one else can take his place.

Although several super-star performers originally committed to their appearance at the tribute concert, several of them dropped out.

The major headliners were Chaka Kahn and Stevie Wonder. “It is an emotional night for me and I’m just trying to keep it together because I miss him.” Wonder told the crowd toward the end of his set. “We talked about so much… so many plans just to make the world a better place.”

Christina Aguilera cancelled her scheduled appearance as she was fighting a “vocal illness.” A representative for Aguilera said “she has been advised by her doctors not to perform due to a vocal illness she has been trying to shake all week.”

Pop star John Mayer bowed out of the concert, citing a “change of schedule.”

Singer Anita Baker cancelled her appearance just before the event, but a publicist for the show did not know the reason.

Sheila E. had a previous, conflicting commitment.

All the media reports indicated that the concert was excellent and went off without a hitch. “[They] paid their respect to the Purple One by performing upwards of 45 songs from the many fantastic albums Prince provided us over the years.”

But, there is much bigger news.

The vault is open and Prince will live 4Ever.

Prince's estate along with NPG Records and Warner Bros. Records have announced the first music to be released since the Purple One's death on April 21. The first album will be a 40-track greatest hits collection entitled Prince 4Ever that will drop on 11/22 in the U.S. and 11/25 around the world. A deluxe, re-issue of Purple Rain will be released in early 2017. The re-issue was initially announced in 2014 and tied to the 1984 film's 30th anniversary. As Billboard notes, plans for the Purple Rain reissue “were agreed with Prince before he passed away.” Both albums will include unreleased music from the Paisley Park Studios vault. The compilation will bring together a selection of Prince’s best-loved songs including “1999,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let's Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “U Got the Look,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “I Wanna Be Your Lover and more.

Plus, 4Ever will come complete with a 12-page booklet of never-before-seen photos by acclaimed photographer Herb Ritts.

The following is the track list for Prince 4Ever:

In early 2017, a re-mastered, deluxe version of Prince's iconic work Purple Rain will arrive, plans for which were agreed upon with the superstar before his untimely passing. The exclusive re-issue will be accompanied by a second album of unreleased material, but more details will be revealed closer to the release date.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Be Afraid America—Be Very Afraid

This is a scary and revealing video about Hillary's past.

Must see...

Please consider everything very carefully before you vote.

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