Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Where's That Girl

You know what some people hate, is going to a concert that starts late. What I  hate is going to a concert, no matter how promptly it begins. So I don't go, and I'm happy.

But in New York, here are two fans, suing Madonna Louise Ciccone for damages.  They want money because they went to her concert and it started two hours late. The litigants call this "flippant difficulty."

These fellows are named Michael Fellows and Jonathan Hadden, and they are hauling Madonna, and concert promoters LiveNation, and concert hall the Barclays Center into court, because in December 2023, her "Celebration Tour" show happened late.

Not hearing Madonna for two hours should be considered a bonus, but that's me.

"The concerts at the Barclays Center were advertised to start at 8:30 pm, but Madonna did not take the stage until after 10:30 pm on all three nights, with most concert attendees leaving the Barclays Center after 1:00 am," said the court documents.

And it said, "Madonna had demonstrated flippant difficulty in ensuring a timely or complete performance... (that) resulted in the ticketholders waiting for hours for the Concerts to begin. Others were left stranded in the middle of the night because they missed their arranged ride home or public transportation."

And this bombshell was in the court papers: "Madonna has a long history of arriving and starting her concerts late, sometimes several hours late."

No surprise, Barclays Center, LiveNation, and Madonna's representative all had no reply.

Madonna has had medical problems of late, as have many people of 65 summers. 

No one is saying that physical problems have anything to do with her not starting to work on time, but I am past her age, and I attest that there are days when I just don't feel like a virgin. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

It's a Holiday!

 The Castles Made of Sand offices are closed today in observance of Presidents Day. 

We'll be back tomorrow at the same crazy time. I like to think about my family connection to the presidency, which is that Warren G. Harding patted my father on the top of his 7-year-old head during a 1920 campaign parade in Baltimore.

There was no space atop Mt Rushmore for Harding, a president (1921-1923) who presided over a lackluster, scandal-ridden administration. But it is said that on a clear day, at the very mention of the 29th president, Lincoln's head (above) can be seen shaking vigorously.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sunday Rerun: Everyone's a judge

 Mike Nudelman and Shana Lebowitz wrote an interesting article in the Business Insider website called "9 small things you do that people use to judge your personality."

So, since I didn't already have enough to worry over, I read it. And now I am sizing myself up in 9 new ways. Let's look over the list! By the way, Nudelman and Lebowitz got a lot of research from Quora, an interesting site to pose and answer questions.  

The list:

1. Your handshake.

Everyone knows a person with a weak "wet fish" handshake tends to be wimpish and feeble.  As soon as you clasp their paw, you can't wait to get it back so you can apologize to your own.  

But the bruiser who habitually crushes walnuts in his hand and then shakes yours is not so great either.  With him, you want to get your hand back ASAP so you can wrap an icepack around it.

Good advice is to go for a handshake right in the middle of those two.  Best advice is to forgo the shake and do the fist bump.

2. Your punctuality.

When I was a supervisor, I used to shake my melon in surprise at how many people would show up late - not just for work, but for the job interview in the first place! Many of us seem to take a very casual approach to showing up on time. Most people who are in charge of things don't. If you catch my drift...

3. Your handwriting.

My father would leave me notes listing chores, etc, and the notes themselves should be in the Calligraphy Museum, so precise were the letters.  My mother won handwriting awards for the Palmer Method all through high school.  My handwriting looks like when you're trying out a new cheap ballpoint pen. I know I lose points on this score.  

4. Your favorite color.

Mine is brown, plain brown, like the color of a suede jacket, or a brownie (so THAT'S why them call them that!) and while that marks me (so THAT'S why they call me that!) as hopelessly dull and square, at least I don't have to explain liking "wenge," "celedon," or "sarcoline."  Runner-up for me is fuchsia, because it's just one typo away from being hilarious.

5. Your taste in music.

Hank Snow (1914- 1999)
Again, I'm in trouble here.  It would be better if I could say that my favorite tune was "Pachelbel's Canon in D" or that other song with the cannons. But if you're sizing me up and I tell you my favorite songs include "90 Miles an Hour (Down a Dead-end Street") by Hank Snow and the Rainbow Ranch Boys and "Meet Mister Callaghan" by Les Paul and Mary Ford, you might walk away shaking your head, as have thousands before you.

Would liking "They All Laughed" by Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra help any?

6. Your eye contact.

Do you look people in the eye when you speak to them? People think you are weak-willed and unlikely to follow through on assignments in a dependable manner if your gaze wanders to their shoulders or down the street. And for heaven's sake, don't ever get caught being told, "My EYES are UP HERE!"

7. Your choice of pet.

Where you come down on this issue says a lot. Some love dogs and dislike cats, or vice versa. Some like fish, hermit crabs, parakeets, or ferrets. Safest way to have people really like you is to have two of everything and change your name to Noah.

8. Whether you bite your nails.

Let's consider a person's overall grooming and appearance.  He or she can be well-dressed, well-coiffed, well-shod and well, nice to look at, but if you see their fingernails all chewed like the ends of #2B pencils during a math test, it takes away points.  

9. How you ask a question.

I was in one of those sensitivity training classes many years ago when the "facilitator" (that's the term they use to mean "person who makes you feel inadequate until it's time to go home, and then asks how to find their way back to the parking garage") said that any time one asks a question that starts with the word "Why," it "automatically puts the other person on the defensive and is a sure-fire way to get them to stop sharing."

I raised my hand and said, "Why?"

Saturday, February 17, 2024

The Saturday Picture Show, February 17, 2024

Centuries from now, people digging through the detritus and rubble we leave behind will notice that we downplayed our natural fear of giant reptiles that could eat us alive by portraying them as small smiling animals playing the accordion while wearing silly hats.
When the Beatles came along, it was a free-for-all among sellers of schlock merchandise. Before entertainment attorneys got smart enough to stick copyrights all over their stars, anyone could make and sell "Authentic Beatle Toothpaste" or whatever. I'm sure these crummy shirts were less than satisfying to those who sent their money to P.O. Box 2948, Des Moines, Iowa.
Movie producers slapped together all sorts of films with that popular juvenile delinquency theme, starring Corey Allen, so memorable as "Buzz" in "Rebel Without a Cause" and more people you don't know. Anne Whitfield is known to me for playing Phil Harris's daughter Phyllis on the radio, though. 
Barron Trump had a great time at the annual Trump family picnic this year, easily winning the "shortest tie" competition.
It's almost a miracle these days if you see people even slowing down at a stop sign. And then when they get popped for a moving violation, they claim the police ought to be out catching bank robbers.
Someone ordered their burrito to go and specified "No Olives." They received this artwork on the go-box.
As we say goodbye to football for the year and prepare for baseball, let's have a look at my favorite college player ever, #14 in your program but #1 in your heart, Jack Kerouac.
I have never met anyone who saw this and was disappointed! It has everything for everyone, plus Markie Mark!
The Hand Jive dance was invented by English teenagers who crowded into a malt shop that had a jukebox but not enough room to dance. So they stood still and danced with their hands. With these instructions, you can join the fun, as soon as you put on some pink socks.
Our Salute To Celebrity Drivers' Licenses rolls right along, with Jackass Johnny Knoxville's recent renewal, under his real name of P.J. Clapp, which, to me, is almost as funny as "Johnny Knoxville." Would that we all dressed like Chippendale dancers to get our photos.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Sign here

I'm a bit of an autograph hound; I have signed baseballs and photos and other bits of memorabilia around because I am a sentimental soul, and looking back at a baseball where Brooks Robinson or Cal Ripken, Jr, signed their name for me brings back a wonderful flood of memories.

I have no such attachment to my liver, and I only use it for the standard blood-filtration purposes. I would have no interest in having it autographed. What am I, gonna pull it out and show it around?

But there's this English dude - former Dr Simon Bramhall - who admitted using an argon beam machine - a teeny sort of gas torch - to autograph patients' organs with his initials while practicing surgery at Birmingham, England's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Perhaps he needed more practice time.

England's Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service called this "an act borne out of a degree of professional arrogance" and said  said his actions "undermined" public trust in the medical profession.

On Monday, after several years of suspensions, Bramhall was struck off the list of physicians allowed to practice.  

Former Dr Bramhall really looks like a character in a Ricky Gervais show

It was the decision of that MPTS board that Bramhall's actions "breached" the trust between patient and doctor, and he was shown the door.

Yes, it's true, the tribunal "accepted that no lasting physical damage was caused to either patient," but Bramhall's actions had left one of them with "significant emotional harm," knowing he carried his initials around on a vital organ. They called the whole thing a "gross violation of his patients' dignity and autonomy".

The whole thing came up during a routine checkup when initial reports said his...initials...were tatted inside his patients.

Initial reports, get it?

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Ask me anything

So the question came up on Facebook, that font of all wisdom: "What song was #1 on your seventh birthday? That song will define your 2024."

Hallelujah, I am lucky, because the #1 song when this old boy hit the 0-7 mark was "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley, and that gives me a chance to tell you about one of the most interesting men ever in the show business world. 


  • Sheb was born Shelby Frederick Wooley in 1921.
  • He was married at age 19 to the cousin of Roger Miller, the great songwriter and singer who wrote "King Of The Road" and "England Swings" and dozens more hits.
  • Sheb had novelty hits in the rock 'n' roll field ("Purple People Eater") and in country songs as well ("Almost Persuaded #2) under the name Ben Colder.
  • Sheb was an actor of some renown, playing in "Rawhide" on TV and in movies such as "High Noon," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," and "Hoosiers," where he played the inebriated assistant coach.
  • Have you ever been watching a western movie where a guy gets shot by an arrow, or the original "Star Wars" movies? You have heard this sound effect a million times and just now you're reading it was the original recording by Sheb!

Sheb passed away in Nashville at the age of 82, but what a good time he had along the way!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day!


What the world needs now is love, sweet love 

It's the only thing that there's just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some, but for everyone
Lord, we don't need another mountain
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross
Enough to last 'til the end of time
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, but for everyone
Lord, we don't need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheatfields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, Lord, if you want to know
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No, not just for some, oh, but just for every, every, everyone

 - lyrics by Hal David