Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Glad All Over & Over & Over...

Another budget LP gambit was to latch onto the masters of an actual recording artist's early, crappy material and release it over and over and over. Usually there would be two "star" tracks padded out with another 8 cuts of indeterminate origin.

The DAVE CLARK FIVE fell prey to this practice. This is kind of amusing in that Dave made it a point to own all his band's masters and then license them out, which is pretty good business sense for a 60s-era pop band! Unfortunately, the DC5 recorded lots of demos and "anonymous" songs that became hot properties once they hit it big.

Here are a few Dave Clark Five tid-bits for your perusal.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tagged By Dorky Dad!

Well, well, well. I've been "tagged" by dorky dad! Seems that I am now duty bound to list either six "weird things that have happened to me" or "six weird things about myself." I am unclear on this concept, but I will try to list six somethings! (Y'know, people have been known to kill over such things!)

First, the rules. Each player starts by blogging about six weird things about themselves. Those tagged must also blog the rules in their blog while tagging a half a dozen people of their own. Now, here's where I'm going to bend the rules. I am not going to foist this "monkey's paw" on anyone. If you want to voluntarily participate, swell! Post a link in the comments section. Now, onto the hilarity!

1. Naked Through Puberty! That get your attention? Good! I rode a weird bubble in the baby boom. Just before I entered 5th grade, it was decided that there was not enough room in our district's elementary schools to accommodate "my" class. The solution? Two classes, each, of fifth and sixth graders were assigned to one corridor on the third floor of Kenmore Junior High School. There were many liabilities to being a 10-year-old thrust into a building full of whacked-out teenagers, but the worst part, for me was their Phys-Ed program.

Gym class was scheduled twice a week. KJHS had a dank, slimy swimming pool and one of the two Phys-Ed days was dedicated to a full period of swimming instruction. The lack of soap and hot water in the showers was bad. The over-chlorinated, gelatinous "water" in the pool was bad. But the worst aspect of it was this: THE BOYS HAD TO TAKE SWIMMING CLASS NAKED! NO SWIM TRUNKS ALLOWED! VERBOTEN!

So from age 10 through 15 we all got to watch each other go through every stage of puberty for an hour a week. Not good.

The only "reason" for this policy was there was a concern that the fibres from the boys' swim trunks would damage the pool filter. Yeah, right. The girls were not forced to take swim class all naked. In fact, they were required to wear industrial-strength one piece bathing suits!

I can only guess that our instructors, Mr. Saliba and Mr. Harvey, were voyeuristic pedophiles of the first degree. They conducted every class fully-clothed and never once went in the pool, BTW.

2. I like grits! I was born and bred in Buffalo, NY but have been living in North Carolina for nearly nine years as of this writing. Several of the local natives find it amusing and amazing that I like grits! I even ate grits before I moved down here, folks.

"Grits remind me of cream of wheat," I explained to one such fellow.

"EEEEEEEW! You eat cream of wheat?" he replied, ashen-faced. "How do you stand it?!?!?!"

3. I don't like professional sports! I'm a guy. I'm from Buffalo, NY. I don't like sports.

Understand that Buffalo is a city where the NFL-Franchised radio station would boast about having "live updates from the Bills' training camp every fifteen minutes!" The topic of every break-room conversation would be "did you see this" and "did you see that" about "the big game."

And if it wasn't DA BILLS then it was DA SABRES (big hockey town!) And there are what, like a zillion hockey games per season.

Spare me, Lord! At least here in NC, all that NFL and NHL stuff takes a back seat to NASCAR...

Aside to dorky dad: Hey, this is brutal! Thanks for "tagging" me! It's been decades since I had such an onerous writing assignment. Oh, well, it's the way of the blog. Must not disappoint...

4. I've played at CBGBs! Oh, sure so did lots of other awesome punk-rock gods and legends. Well, turns out I'm one of them. Just sayin'... LINK

5. I don't own an iPod! I don't have one. Nuh-uh. Sorry. I also don't "text message" my friends and family on my "blue tooth."

6. I have never seen "American Idol!" Nope. Not once! I don't care about the judges panel. No, I "didn't see that guy last night." Don't care. Don't care. Don't care. I'm glad this program gives everybody else in the universe such joy, but I have never seen it and I don't plan to. (Of course, the fact that my one TV is connected to a set of crappy rabbit ears that can only reliably tune in the local PBS station might have something to do with the situation. (Oh please, oh please, oh please could somebody TiVo this for me and send me DVD-Rs of it!?!?!? I also need copies of every other "reality" show. Oh, and Judge Judy! I'm begging you!)

Whew! Sorry about getting all ugly there, folks. See what happens when I don't get to blog about crappy LPs or my daughter for a day or so?

I think I speak for us all when I say, "I need a drink!"

May God bless America!

Monday, January 29, 2007

You're Bringin' Me Dah-hown

Well, I wasn't going to write any more posts about budget records from the 'sixties, but I have been convinced that the nay-sayers represent "the voice of Neville Chamberlain in our times." So here' s another courageous blow for freedom and democracy!

The year: 1966.

The Song: "Winchester Cathedral."

The Artist: The New Vaudeville Band.

Somehow this one-shot novelty-a-go-go tune managed to inspire countless cover versions (Lawrence Welk's, for one!) and innumerable budget bin goodies! Witness:

Now this is rich! The "artists" named here are "The OLD Vaudelville COMBO" rather than "The NEW Vaudeville BAND." Well, har-de-har-har!

Um, I just won this one off of eBay. My only defense is, I had a 99 cent winning bid and the seller is local. Also, this fits in with my HIT RECORDS / MODERN SOUND fetish. So sue me!

Can't Quite make out the performers credited here. It's something like "Happy O'Houlihan and his Teardrops?" Nice photo of a very bored-looking young lady and a stained glass window, though.

I got really excited when I saw the listing for this one! C'mon - "WHERE IT'S AT - BEAT '66" screams garage-punk goodness! Then I saw the "Featuring Winchester Cathedral" banner and all cred immediately vanished. Great cover shot of fruggin' teens almost makes me want to buy this some day, any way.

Well, there you go! Another blow for freedom!

(Hey, come to think of it, "Budget bin Album" sounds like a Terrorist cell leader! Have I been duped?!?!?)


Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's Father-Daughter Day!

Owing to my and my wife's work schedules, every Friday is "Father-Daughter Day!" Every other Saturday is one, as well.

On Thursday night I'll ask Mariel, "What's tomorrow?" and she'll reply "It's Father-Daughter Day!"

Now, what sort of things does Mr. Mom do with the Li'l One all day? Sure, there are toys to be played with, videos to be watched, clothes to be changed and meals to be fed. But some times you just have to get out of the house.

"We put shoes on and go bye-bye?" asks La Petite.

"Yes," replies Daddy. "We'll put your shoes on and go bye-bye. Where would you like to go?"

Mariel usually replies that she wants to go to a store (Wal*Mart, Target, Food Lion, even!) and buy something. Well Daddy is a cheapskate of limited means, so these are the things we usually end up doing.

1. THE PLAYGROUND. A no-brainer! Fun, fresh air and exercise. It's free and it helps to build an appetite for lunch. Bonus - she just might get tired out for an afternoon nap. The biggest down-side is the weather has to co-operate. Be sure to bring a rag along if it has rained the previous night, as water puddles up on the ends of the friggin' plastic slides,

2. THE LIBRARY. With Wubby in stroller mode, we can go and browse the childrens' books and videos. They also have an elevator at the downtown branch, so that's almost like a ten second amusement park ride! A few good books can help to spice up the beddy bye routine. The down side is, you have to take them back sooner or later and she'll be asking for these books long after they've been lent out to someone else. Oh well, time to go back to the library! P.S. Another "free" activity!

3. THE FLEA MARKET STROLL. Yep, strolling through a big flea market can be almost as good as going to a fine museum! There'll be lots of weird stuff for both Daddy and Baby to look at. If it's the indoor/outdoor variety, even better as it will be less weather-dependant. The down side? Telling Mariel she can't have that polio-carrying three-foot-tall panda bear.

4. KRISPY KREME. Now, you'll have to let loose with 89 cents plus tax, here. If you buy the kid a doughnut, you can sit and watch the donut machine crank 'em out while you eat. Bonus: They usually will give out nice Krispy Kreme paper hats to the young 'uns. Mariel loves these hats! I tired to talk my wife into using this as Mariel's Halloween costume. The hat + a white T-shirt + apron! Voila! You have a donut chef costume!

5. HARRIS TEETER. This is a local upscale grocery store. Expensive? You bet! But only if you plan to actually buy something. We make a stop there for one of the free helium balloons they have for the kiddies. Down Side: Once they run out, that's it! Just by stopping in, the kid'll be primed for a balloon. Which leads us to the fall-back plan...

6. PARTY CITY. Yeah, once again you'll have to spend 89 cents plus tax, but when you just gotta have a balloon this is the best recourse. They have bins with all sorts of exotic colors from which to choose. Mariel usually picks a brown or black one. Festive, eh?

7. PETSMART. The pet store is in the same plaza as Party City. Another freebie! Plop the young 'un in a shopping cart and you can go look at the kitties, birdies, mice, fishes, etc. Just steer clear of the pet toy aisle, or she'll latch onto a $6 tennis ball and won't let go!

A final bonus on these trips: Mariel will fall asleep in he car seat if she's tired out and needs a nap. The pretense of going bye-bye is a great way to get Little Miss Groggy to take her nap. When she's in this state, she'll konk out within 10 minutes of leaving the house. When that happens, all Daddy has to do is turn around, drive home and deposit the now-inert youngster into her bed. This is usually good for two hours and Daddy can make a blog entry!

Father of the year? You be the judge!

Friday, January 26, 2007

We Must Stay The Course!

In the comments section of my last post, a good friend replied:

It is an interesting subject but I wouldn't mind you posting about
something else. ;-)

Oh no!

A non-binding resolution opposing my plan to surge the amount of "budget records from the sixties" blog entries.

This may not be the blog I started out to write, but it is the blog that we're in.

We can't just "cut and paste and run" now.

We must stay the course!

The residents of Bloganistan don't know it, and certainly don't appreciate it, but they need more posts about crappy records!

I have never said that we must stay the course.

Oh, look, there's Julie Clark, founder of the LITTLE EINSTEIN company!

May God bless America.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


In a previous entry, I mentioned a fellow who was working on documenting the history of the HIT RECORDS label.

Well, that fellow is Paul Urbahns and he has a web site devoted to the subject! He also started a yahoo message group last month, as well. They both appear to be very new endeavors, so look for more content to be forthcoming.

I'll give the budget record thing a rest for the time being, unless my vast readership screams for more. And how likely is that?

UPADTE: There's also SPIKE'S HIT RECORDS site! Where will it all end?


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blame Canada!

Canada's ARC records released quite a few cash-in LPs in addition to more "legit" product back in the 'sixties. With the exception of the "BEATLEMANIA" LP in the lower left corner, the above albums were credited to "THE MERSEYBEATS OF LIVERPOOL." Never mind that there was an actual group called "THE MERSEYBEATS" they decided to create a happening moniker that would absolutely scream "British Invasion!" I have the feeling that these might have been licensed from the British EMBASSY label, who were the UK budget barons of the era.

Boy, I'll bet these are really smokin' versions of the girl group sound! I'm not familiar with the song "Sweet William" though.

Seems to me I've seen a variety of "instrumental" LPs on Arc credited to "THE PHANTOMS" as well as "THE SHADOWS." Yep, there was already a hit-making British band called "THE SHADOWS!" Do you see a trend here?

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, eh? What must this have sounded like, I wonder?

ARC (and "ARC International") are one of my fave "sound-alike" companies. Too bad it costs so much to buy these things on eBay, which is where I've be (mostly) grabbing these pix.


More Vintage Vinyl Rip-Offs!

Can't help myself. Here are some more budget LPs from the sixties.


When my parents bought their state-of-the-art console stereo from W. T. Grants back in 1967 it came with a 10-LP box set for use as "stereo demonstration discs." These were on the ALSHIRE label. Their big claim to fame is the 101 Strings series, but they also tried to cash in on the teeny-bopper market, as well! Witness these random samplings:

Super Groovy! Actual HIT SONGS from LONDON!

ALSHIRE'S hippy-dippy "answer" to their "101 Strings" was (can you believe it?) "The California Poppy Pickers!" Here are some of "their" albums:

And not to leave any bandwagon un-jumped-on, they even released a "Quad" version of that Aquarius album!

And for you lovers of fine Country-Western music, could there ever be a more anonymous artist name than "John(ny) Doe?" I ask ya!

Next? "Blame Canada!"


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Have You Seen Me?

Well, somebody had to do it...

Tech Support: Link-In-A-Comment

How do you embed a LINK into a comment? See below!

This will result in a LINK, as illustrated by this screen shot of the posting preview:

Hope this helps!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bogus Budget Beatles

As threatened, here's a look at some of the budget Beatles cash-in records that came out in the 'sixties. The illustration, above is interesting to me as I have no idea what that smudgy-looking album in the lower left-hand corner is supposed to be.

I suspect that the two LPs on the outer ends of the top row are the exact same tracks, repackaged for increased sales-by-confusion. The other two?

THE BEETLE BEAT by THE BUGGS has sentimental value to me, as I originally scored this one from the thirty-nine cent bin at the local TWIN FAIR back in the (late) 'sixties. Someone once informed me that these tracks were recorded by an actual British band but I've forgotten the name. Something like The Darts. The twoBeatles covers are hampered by the Hammond B-3 and lack of an "authentic" Mersey Beat vibe, but they rock out in a rather gentle manner. All the remaining tracks have bogus titles like "Big Ben Hop" and "Liverpool Drag." There's a version of the Doris Troy hit, "Just One Look" but even that is given a phony title! The band's solid playing is somewhat compromised by sappy lyrics. Sample: "Sassy Sue / Yeah Yeah Yeah / I Love You / Yeah Yeah Yeah / I know you really love me too!" Still, this is an enjoyable listen and the band has a great groove!

Well, looky here! There are two version of the same cover for WYNCOTE's "BEATLEMANIA IN THE U.S.A." LP! (I have the stark black and white one, myself.) WYNCOTE was the budget-line subsidiary for the CAMEO-PARKWAY label. Again, this LP features competent playing by "The Liverpools" which were no doubt session musicians that cut any number of "twist" records back in the day. The same tunes show up again and again on various other WYNCOTE releases. Which leads us to...

Wow! Here's a double knock-off! Not only do they tap into the Beatles' market but they're also trying to skim money from the Alvin & The Chipmunks contingent. And here's the beauty part: neither entity is directly mentioned on the cover! It's also a direct rip-off of the "actual" Alvin & The Chipmunks LP,pictured below. Is this marketing genius at work or what?

The DIPLOMAT record label has their own entry in the pseudo-beatles sweepstakes: THE MANCHESTERS! They put out two LPs entitled BEATLERAMA. The funny thing is, the second LP might just be a bunch of demos by an actual group called THE CHARTBUSTERS! They had their own hit with an "I Saw Her Standing There" clone called "She's The One!"

And If that weren't enough, they concocted a "girl group" version of the lads and dubbed them "The Beatle Maids!" I don't have a picture of their LP, but they made a highly-touted "guest" appearance on the pictured "Teen Dance Time" album. Scary broads! I like it!

I wish I could promise you that I've exhausted this subject and I won't write any further entries about it. HOW CAN I WHEN THERE'S STUFF LIKE THIS FLOATING AROUND?



I... I can't help myself. Here's another entry about those budget records from the 'sixties!

Here are two LPs of HIT RECORDS 45s that were compiled into a couple of "themed" albums. Part of my theory about this company's disdain for The Beatles (and other British acts) is based on the following observation. One LP is called "THAT ENGLISH SOUND" and features the goofiest illustration of a rock band ever! The alcoholic, I mean "artist", really went out of his way to make this imaginary band look like they should've been called "The Liverpool Froot-Loopers!"

Now, compare that to this LP by "The Jalopy Five" (yes, they used this name for one of their on-going fictious bands) called "I Love That West Coast Sound!" Notice the subtle difference in the LP titles. I kinda get the feeling they secretly wanted to call the other one "THAT @#$%ING ENGLISH SOUND!"

Still not convinced? Look at the photo of these ersatz mop-tops on the front of their "From Britain With Beat" album! These guys seem to be saying, "Hey lookit me! I'm one o' them thar Long-Haired Limey Sissyboys! Hee-Yuk!" (See detail, below)

Whew! I point this stuff out with great affection because, as I said, I really like these records! I might just cook up a post about the Phoney Baloney Beatles records that other budget labels have released...

You've been warned!


Saturday, January 20, 2007


I am a big fan of pop music from the 'sixties. Something that fascinates me from that era is a now-defunct genre of budget knock-off records.

You see, people used to buy music back then. The way it was bought was on things called "phonograph records." They generally came in two types:

1. The seven inch 45 rpm "single" (pictured, above)

2. The twelve inch 33-1/3 rpm "album" or LP.

When, say, Dee Dee Sharpe would have a big hit with a song called "The Mashed Potato" many, many copies of the 45 rpm single would be sold. A lot of people (though probably not Dee Dee) would get rich from the mega-sales of these sort of things.

One group who would make money is the group of record producers who would record their own versions of "The Mashed Potato" and then market them cheaply, in as confusing a manner as possible, so that folks would either buy them by mistake or because they were thirty cents cheaper than the original, hit version.

One such company was the HIT RECORDS label out of Nashville. Quite often many of the same session musicians that played on the original hit version would re-records their parts with session vocalists filling in for the original "stars."

The HIT RECORDS from the early sixties are really good! The producers were very apt at recreating the girl group sounds of the day. Their knock-off of the twist records were also top-notch! As might be expected the C & W hits were rendered very faithfully.

Then something happened. That something was The Beatles. (And to a lesser extent The Beach Boys.)

While these Nashville session players were able to nail just about every musical style under the sun, including frat classics like "Louie Louie', they couldn't reverse-engineer The Beatles' records. Or they didn't want to. I theorize that they were so grossed out by the long-haired lads that the top session guys didn't want anything to do with 'em. I can't prove my theory, but quite a few of their Beatles knock-offs sound like the B squad!

This is not to say I don't like them, or that all of them are bad. For instance, while their version of "Can't Buy Me Love" sounds like it was sung by four Dudley Doo-Right impersonators, their take on "Twist And Shout" is very good!

Another great bonus is that some of the B-sides were original compositions that really caught the "vibe of the day!" Songs like "Bless You Little Girl" and "Right Or Wrong" are gems! In fact, I put together a CD-R of such songs and it is one of my favorite compilations.

I managed to get up with a fellow who had done extensive research into the HIT RECORDS story and is working towards writing a book on the subject. I sure hope this comes to pass, as there are quite a few interesting facets to their story. For instance, one of their staff writers was Bobby Russell, who wrote the Bobby Goldsboro hit "Honey." He later married Vicky Lawrence and wrote her one hit, "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia." That's just one tid-bit about one guy.

I could probably do a whole blog based on my love of budget knock-off records. Heck, maybe even a podcast series! (I wish someone would!)


Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Patient Is Doing Fine

Just a quickie post here. My daughter had her hernia operation this morning, as mentioned in a previous entry. She's home and doing fine. In fact, a little too fine!

Mommy & I figured she's be really groggy and want to sleep all day. Not so! After a brief nap, she was up and at 'em as if nothing had happened.

She finally konked out again, about twenty minutes ago. Whew!

Thanks for everyone's prayers & well-wishes!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Scenes From An Idiot's Marriage

The phone rang Sunday morning as we were getting ready for church.

I answered it. Turns out one of the ladies from church wanted to talk to my wife.

"Honey," I called up the stairs. "It's Nelsonia Depew* on the phone."

"Oh, from church?" she asked.

"No, it's adult film superstar Nelsonia Depew," I replied.

As my buddy, Bernie says, "How does she stand it?"

*Note: This is not the woman's name, but it is almost as distinctive.

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Gluten For Punishment?

I can't tell you how happy I am to announce that my brother, Scott, has discovered he is Gluten Intolerant! Or maybe he has a Wheat Allergy? Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to, I say.

Why would this information make me happy? Do I wish ill health on my onliest brother? Quite the opposite!

You see, this is the key to a major problem he's been having for the last few years. A problem that really only affected one part of his body... the outside!

Scott has always had "skin issues" since his earliest childhood. Eczema, for starters. Couple that with an array of allergies, like house dust for instance and you have one itchy individual.

A while back his skin discomfort got kicked up a few extra notches to where, as far as I can tell, he felt like fire ants were eating him alive 24/7. This lead to a new era of scratching and skin issues. He puffed up. Even his feet started to hurt!

He'd been to doctors, dermatologists, etc. What did they tell him? Mostly "Quack, Quack, Quack, get outta my office!"

A couple weeks back, he mentioned that #1, he gave up drinking gallons of soda pop each day and #2, he was going for a gluten-free existence. This was based on Internet research he and the wife (hey, Lesley!) had done.

The results? Feet stopped hurting. Major de-puffification. BEST OF ALL: Major itching relief!

As I said, I'm so happy for him! Here's a link to one on-line resource.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Little Help..?

Well, week after week Blogger would taunt me with "WHY DON'T YOU SWITCH OVER TO THE NEW BLOGGER?" and "WE'RE OUT OF BETA!"

My fellow bloggers were touting the NEW BLOGGER as being THA SHIZNIT!

I caved into the peer pressure and started clicking on the totally bitchen "switchover to new blogger" link. I would then get the thumbs down from the blogger country club selection committee. "Oh, we're so sorry, but we cannot change over one or more of your blogs at this time," they would smarmily reply. "Please do try again."

Last night I got the nod from the blogger star chamber and "they" (whoever "they" are) agreed to change me over.

HUZZAH! I am not worthy! I am not worthy! At last - the storied land of milk and honey is within reach!


Hey, thanks loads, you friggin' techno-geeks! Way to build an on-line community! I've a mind to not pay this month's blogger bill!!!! Huff Puff Puff...

Ok, I'm back. I put a cold cloth on the back of my neck and took a couple aspirins or something that was in a pill form. I don't think they were chewable, but I chewed them anyway. Why is it suddenly so bright in here? Where was I? Oh, yeah...

So first off, my apologies to all the nice folks who have been leaving comments here since last Spring. I didn't want to strip you of your identities, it just worked out that way.

Secondly, has this happened to anyone else? And if so, can anyone give me some pointers on how to undo the damage? I've been all over my setting options and can't seem to crack this particular nut.

I guess this is what I get for caving into peer pressure. Grumble, grumble... fixin' something that wasn't broken to begin with... All W's fault... Mutter, Mutter... Wheatstone Bridge... Huh? Is this thing still on? Well turn the damned thing off! Push the button, Frank!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Flashback or Deja-Vu?

It's been said that it's a sign of insanity if you keep doing the same thing over and over but expect different results each time.

(I'm not really that political, but sometimes ya gotta grab the low-hanging fruit!)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Scott Adams' Blog!

Folks, Scott Adams' blog is worth a visit, says I. Funny and sometimes thought-provoking! AND he's a world-famous millionaire comic strip guy. Just click on the picture and you're there.

I really need to update my "links" section! Lots of swell people have stopped by and left comments. I hope to do this soon. I'm a b-a-a-a-d blogger!

Monday, January 08, 2007


My daughter (pictured, left) had her three year physical last week. The doctor is concerned about what appears to be a hernia, so he set up an appointment at a pediatric surgeon's office this afternoon. Good father that I am, I'll be taking off from work to go down with Mommy and the li'l one to find out the 411.

Honest, I had heard that little kids liked piggy back rides. I guess her old man is just too big for her to carry around. Oh well, the damage has been done...

UPDATE: Hey - thanks for everyone's concern!

Turns out it is an abdominal hernia and she'll need some out-patient surgery. She's scheduled for the procedure on the 18th.

Going forward, I'll suggest she lifts with her legs. Thanks for the tip, officer gary!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cause and Effect..?

Welcome to my nightmare!

It's been said that it's a sign of insanity if you keep doing the same thing over and over but expect different results each time.

I don't know how many times I've been fired just for pointing this out to my boss!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My New Favorite Phrase

I saw this panel in a Doonesbury comic strip about a week ago.


Something about it just tickles me no end! I looked it up and I guess it means beyond hardcore. Yeah, I can see that.

I just had to share.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sorry 'Bout That, Jerry!

So I unfolded my newspaper this past Saturday morning and there in big, bold typeface is the headline, "SADDAM HANGED!" Wow! I thought it was the sort of thing that was going to drag on for years and years (like this war or whatever it is.) The fact that he was hanged rather than shot, electrocuted or given a lethal injection also caught me off-guard as well.

Huh, Well, I guess they do those things.

A couple hours later, I had packed up my daughter into the family van and was driving down one of the main drags here in Fayetteville when I noticed a church was flying it's flag at half-mast.

"Gosh," I said to myself. "Are they that broken up about Saddam?" Maybe they're making a statement about the death penalty..?

Then I noticed two more flags at half-mast. "This is ridiculous!" I was now saying aloud.

Then I remembered... Gerald Ford just died. You know, an ex-president!

Duh! 100% USDA-certified Doofus!

Well, at least give me credit for not associating it with James Brown's recent passing.