Tornado season again

Yes, it seems to be the night for sad news blogs for me. Not that most would know, as with the exception of a very few people, the 2 are pretty well separated, it must be said. As I proved last time around, I dont have a strict US posting load here, and a UK one at the other, I do to some extent tend to write along those lines, as it reflects where most of the respective readership comes from.

Thankfully I’ve never experienced a tornado. I might in September, I guess, but hopefully not! But for much of Kansas, and the surrounding states, they are a way of life, from time to time. Sadly, yesterday was one of those times! Arkansas caught the worst of it, and 16 people (at the latest count) sadly lost their lives. Not that Kansas escaped it, as Baxter Springs got hit pretty badly, and to put it into perspective, its about 50-60 miles from Cherryvale, as the crow flies! I’ve seen the pictures, looks pretty awful to me, but I am an outsider, not used to it, so…

Anyway, should anyone see it from the area, my best wishes to all in those areas, with all my heart.

Of course, the most ‘famous’ Kansas tornado is a fictional one, the one that took Dorothy to the land of Oz, of course. But in reality, they are terrifying things, that do horrific destruction.

So alright, then I come up with this video! Probably not the most apt title for the locals, but a fair comment on what happens to buildings that get in the way of tornadoes

Oh, and any Brits reading this, I’ve got my PMJ ticket now, so feel free to book! In fact, the Manchester concert has proved so popular, its been moved to a larger venue! Sadly not so central, sadly (for me) all standing, and I know how my knees objected to that fact at the OMD concert, ouch! Ah well, the walk back to the station afterwards ‘might’ be painful!

They don’t know about us

Funnily enough, on Friday I was on a day shift at work, so therefore got home in time for the weekend local news and sports program. As is the way with the ‘wonderful’ coverage of sport on BBC Yorkshire, under normal circumstances, when it comes to Rugby League coverage, nothing exists below the Super League. You would never know there were 2 leagues below that, with plenty of local teams, if you didn’t, like me, support one of them.

Now this weekend, there were no Super League matches, as it was the last 16 round of the knock out, Challenge Cup. And yes, my team, the Keighley Cougars, proudly lurking in the Championship division below were still in the competition. So were Hunslet, a league below us, but you would never have known from the coverage! But fine, as I say, all this is nothing new.

Funny thing is, we won! Alright, only against Swinton, not one of the big names, but now we’re in the last 8! But seriously, unless we draw another Yorkshire side, do I expect them to mention us, probably not! I know, money talks nowadays, but it would be nice if we get a little acknowledgement from time to time. Mind, giving credit, where credit is due to the best county, nearly all the West Yorkshire sides got through. Hunslet had an impossible task at Wigan, and Featherstone lost narrowly to Leigh, but otherwise, Leeds, Castleford and Bradford all joined us in the last 8, Bradford slightly against the odds though.

Lets be honest, pretty much the only reason Bradford still has a rugby team is because the league management has backed them financially. Without that, they’ve spent so rashly over the years, they are in big financial trouble. Which amuses, and annoys us little Keighley fans, as we share the same district council! To say they get preferential treatment over us, would be to put it mildly! So yes, there is nothing more that we would love, than to draw them in the quarter finals at home…and beat them! Unlikely, but we minnows can dream…

Even the BBC might mention us then!

The video, well the singer is Kirsty McColl, the woman in the film definitely isnt, I have no idea who she is. But I cant find a live video of Kirsty, so…seems quite apt

Patriots Day, Boston

Ideally I wanted to post this yesterday, but hey, little things like work have a bad habit of getting in the way!

Thankfully, yesterday, Patriots Day passed off peacefully in Boston. So alright, fine, the Red Sox lost, but I cant have everything! Nearly pulled off a dramatic win (I got home in time for the bottom of the 8th innings), but it wasnt to be. But everything else…was beautiful, in its own way.

Unlike a year ago. Ironically, the Red Sox won that day, a walk off hit against the Green Monster gaining the result. The team then went off to get ready to fly out to Cleveland, where they were next playing. Meanwhile, downtown, the Boston Marathon was in its final stages, the winners having long since finished, the fun runners now filing in. As is known, 2 bombs went off near the finishing line, killing 3 people, and injuring over 200 more, an awful event. One policeman died 3 days later, when they were trying to capture the bombers.

Back at Fenway Park, they heard the explosions, just as they were about to leave for the Airport. By the time they got there, and even more so, by the time they reached Cleveland, it was all over the news. Ironically, Cleveland were now managed by a former Red Sox manager, Terry Francona, so the whole occasion was especially sad for more than just the visiting team.

Anyway, what happened next, is now history. The team picked up on the whole ‘Boston Strong’ matter, and for the rest of the season, said emblem was seen at Fenway Park. Neil Diamond turned up in person to sing ‘Sweet Caroline’, a Red Sox tradition now, and the team turned on the performances. Yes, thats right, they went from worst, to first, in one glorious year.

And on the celebration parade, at the point where the bombs exploded, the bus stopped, the players got off, and paid their tributes, a touching moment. Lets just forget the beards they grew though…facepalm!

So alright, I guess I ought to put up the Neil Diamond video, right? Wrong, this is much more fun. Besides which, I know my dear friend Kate cant stand the whole Sweet Caroline thing, so she might appreciate it more this way.

Given my love of vintage, discovering Postmodern Jukebox was an absolute delight for me. I have to say that my office is nothing like this, I only wish it was!

What is more, later this year, they are going on tour, dates below, and they are coming to Manchester, the UK version, though I have seen its on a Saturday, so might be tricky for me! But I will try to get there, I suspect. The dates:

We’re going on tour! Come visit the Postmodern Jukebox universe (preferably, while wearing your best vintage clothes)!

Confirmed shows (with more dates on the way):
June 2 – The Great Hall; Toronto, ON
June 3 – Cabaret Mile End; Montreal, QC
June 4 – Brighton Music Hall; Boston, MA
June 5 – Toad’s Place; New Haven, CT
June 6 – The Met; Providence, RI
June 9 – Highline Ballroom; New York, NY
June 10 – The Hamilton; Washington, DC
June 13 – Whelans; Dublin, Ireland
June 14 – The Ruby Lounge; Manchester, UK
June 15 – O2 ABC; Glasgow, UK
June 16 – The Institute; Birmingham, UK
June 17 – Dingwall’s; London, UK
June 18 – De Roma; Borgerhout, Belgium
June 19 – Divan du Monde; Paris, France
June 20 – Sugar Factory; Amsterdam, Netherlands
June 21 – DR Concert Hall; Copenhagen, Denmark
June 25 – Lucerna Music Bar; Prague, Czech Republic
June 26 – Magazzini Generali; Milan, Italy
June 29 – Bikini; Barcelona, Spain

Yes, they’re playing Boston, which is why I didnt mind sneaking this in. I would love to go to the Ruby Lounge, in vintage clothing, but given I would have to get there, and back by train, on a Saturday night, I suspect not! But if anyone has a vintage car, and wants to take me, boop, boop a doo! Might even be rumble seat weather by then, at least for going over!

Friday (and Saturday) night

As some of my readers will know, I live in one town in West Yorkshire, and work in another, about 15-20 miles or so away. As I dont drive, I carry out this journey (unless I finish at 10 pm) by a delight known as public transport. This involves getting a bus, and a train, which can be ‘entertaining’ to say the least. Not for good reasons, rush hour commuting can be called a lot of things, but fun is rarely one of them!

But working in a call centre, I work a variety of what we shall call, varied shifts, so sometimes I miss the crush one way or another, but in a sense, that is when the real entertainment can start! Most of the week, in the evening, it doesnt matter when you travel, there will be a few people around, generally other shift workers, like me, just trying to get home. But then again, there are 2 ‘animals’ known as Friday, and Saturday evening, when it seems a good number of the population seem to either get drunk directly after work (prevalent on a Friday), or go out to get drunk (principally on a Saturday, though I suspect if I had to get a train after 10 on a Friday, I might meet them too) and then get a train home!

Yes, there are a lot of loud, drunk people about, and it really isnt my scene. But fine, they’re generally harmless (one VERY minor incident), but when you’ve done a 9-10 hour shift, the last thing you need is an off tone drunk singing somewhere in the vicinity, often something as banal as the name of his football team, over, and over again!

I know, I’m old, and getting older, but I cant understand what pleasure these people get, in getting ridiculously drunk, and presumably waking up the next morning with an incredible hangover? I know, I was probably boring (still am, really) but beyond one occasion (In Jersey, on holiday, with my friend), I dont think I’ve ever got really drunk in my life! But I must be resilient (or was back then), as after being sick, I was fine, and indeed had a full cooked breakfast about an hour later, with no after effects! But these people seem to do it week after week, probably twice in a weekend, and I just dont see it.

Ironically, the only 2 times I’ve felt in any danger when commuting were both on a Sunday afternoon/early evening. One, I caught the same train as a large number of football fans, returning from a game in Newcastle (many pretty drunk) and the atmosphere was charged to say the least. When I got off, all the police on board headed for one carriage, I gather trouble had already broken out, or was about to!

The other was actually at a bus stop, got mildly assaulted (pretty much just groped) by a man, clearly drunk as I was trying to get on. Having tried to protect myself from him, by hitting back, I found myself shoved down on to the entry area of the bus, and him proclaiming loudly. Thankfully the bus driver, shoved him off, drove off, and I never saw him again. Well, not strictly…a week or two later, in the local paper, was an article about a man attacking someone on the train, who got off at Huddersfield. Yes, they had a CCTV picture, and it looked a LOT like him!

So fine, I might drink the odd glass of alcohol, once in a while, but thats it. Getting drunk, no chance! But some seem to enjoy it, I just cant see why.

The video, well its Friday night, so…

Everybody’s beautiful

So fine, sue me, thats not exactly the title of the video, but the sentiment is pretty close. Oh, and if there should be any white supremacists reading this, or homophobes, then I should look away now!

This last weekend, close to Kansas City, where I will be visiting in September, a horrible event took place. No, I’m not going to turn this into an anti guns thing, or anything, I suspect this guy would have had a gun under the circumstances, regardless of the rules.

In Overland Park, an area in Kansas, close to Kansas City (indeed part of the metropolitan district, or whatever its called) a shooting took place this last weekend, in which 3 innocent people died. A 73 year old, former member of the Klu Klux Klan took a gun into a Jewish community area of Overland Park, and randomly killed 3 people, assuming he was killing Jews, who seemingly he hated. Unfortunately for him, 2 of his victims were Christians! So he couldnt even get that right. Thankfully he was quickly arrested, and with luck, will not see freedom again in his lifetime!

No, this gentleman was not from KC, or indeed Kansas, but a Missouri community about 180 miles from the area. For that I’m grateful, even if it is only a small mercy, and no consolation for the families of the victims. I know, I know, I might only be 20 years younger, but I come from a whole different generation, though I know there are many, of my age, or younger who would support his views, but anyway…

I just feel its a shame, that even now, people feel this way about others, just because they have different views, or religions.

But its funny how times have moved on, even in my lifetime. When I was a child, not only was homosexuality regarded as sinful in my country, it was illegal! Even when it was legalised, there was plenty of homophobia around, and though things have improved dramatically (now we even have single sex marriages legal, at long last), there are still plenty around with deep centred views against such people. Funny thing is, lesbian porn is supposed to be a turn on for many men! But maybe I’m wrong, but has it always been worse for gay men, than gay ladies? Hmm…?

Maybe one day, the last part of LGBT will have equal rights, I think its fair to say that transgender rights are still way behind others, even if it is slightly better than before. But there still seems to be too much hate for these people, principally men, and that is a great shame. Of course, transgender women, becoming men, are probably less noticeable than the other way round!

Ah well, one day, all will be equal, though probably not in my lifetime!

The video, a wonderful song, nearly 50 years old, hard to believe.

21 (US States) and counting

I have no idea how many American’s have actually visited all 50 states, but I suspect, even ignoring politicians (and they are best ignored), there are a good number who have done so. Equally I imagine there might be a few who would fail to beat my total of 21! But again, a limited number I suspect. In my defence, I am British, living in the UK, so it is easier said than done. Oh, and in definition of our current counties, I have been through every one in the UK at some point or other, but we are a smaller country, so…

Oh, what, my initial target was 30, I thought I would make that at some point, 25 comfortably, but old age is catching up with me fast, so… but the lower target still makes a good goal. This year looks a good chance to do some ‘state bagging’ at least, was always going to add Kansas to my list (Mid West, and Deep South are 2 large blank areas), but now it seems I’m going to add Missouri to the list as well, given the plan is for me to fly into Kansas City in September, to meet up with Kate. Of course that holds special resonance for me now, given that KC was Jean Harlow’s birthplace, and where she lived for many years.

So that edges me closer, at 23…and yes, should I pass over the state lines, I have never been to either Oklahoma, or Nebraska as of yet. Originally, when I was doing this trip in May, and Albany in September, someone was going to take me to Vermont, to allow me to add that to my collection, but given that trip will now be November, and even more so, Thanksgiving week, I guess that string may not get added to my bow just yet.

No surprise, the 1 other state, not yet visited that I’d love to go to, is Alaska. Not likely to happen, unless I do a stopover both ways, as my body, even now, isnt up to that sort of long haul! Hopefully one day, though I fear my time for that, short of a lottery win, has passed.

Oh, and for those who think Twitter is an unnecessary issue, I posted about the trip to Kansas on there, specifically Cherryvale, and received a reply from the Chamber executive director, wow! The city museum only normally opens on a Sunday, but she can get me in, whatever day we get there, as they are planning a special birthday display for Brooks’s birthday in November, and I can get an early peek. A wonderful gesture, from a wonderful city, I’m looking forward so much to going to.

The video, all 50 states, and 50 capitals, from the Animaniacs gang, specifically Wakko. Why them, simple, Kate’s avatar at the Garden, is the cute one, Dot!

Moving forward a decade

No, dont panic, time travel isnt happening just yet. Just my hairstyles, thats all. And yes, I have to say that the fringes in the 30’s are a lot more friendly for a middle aged lady like me, than the ones in the 20’s were. The one thing I have to do now, is get my hair longer, but thats hardly a hardship, lets face it. In fact, it will be good, because more hair will mean more curls, and waves, so that has to be good?

Yes, in the end, it wasnt coloured, just extensively highlighted. Why, because my roots are dark, and my hair isnt in perfect condition, which is related to both my age (I suspect), and the fact I’ve had it done a few times before, so…but for now at least, you’d never know! And yes, it has some curls to it, gentle waves of blondeness. Oh, and with some good advice, the curling/wave wand has now been ordered from Amazon, should be here at some point next week.

So yes, out with the 20’s, in with the 30’s, and my attempt at the Harlow look at least. OK, so because of a slight tremor in my hands (life long, related to polio), I wont be applying multiple layers of mascara to my eyelashes, but apart from that, I’ll take it on. Actually had my eyelashes tinted yesterday, to help on that front, but that will be it, unless someone kindly does it for me.

Due back in 5 weeks, just before my holday, so if anyone has a magic hair growing formula I can use in the interim, let me know lol!

Other than that, I lost a few hairs today. But that was planned too, waxing…as a guinea pig for someone. Dont get me wrong, it would have been done before my holiday, but someone had done their training, needed someone to practice on, and I volunteered. She was fine, too. So my head might have some curls, but my arms have no hairs!

The video, well, its a touch of the 20’s, as decades pass by. The recording though is new, by a group called Postmodern Jukebox, who I know little about, but love their sounds!