Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Influences: Franke And The Knockouts

They were not the greatest band in the world by any means, and as short-lived as their career was in music, they had a huge influence on me and my writing. I simply loved their music.

Their biggest hit was their debut song "Sweetheart" off their debut album called, "Franke and The Knockouts". The song peaked at number 10 on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1981. It was followed up quickly by their second release off the same album, "You're My Girl", which peaked at #27.

I knew the songs, but never bought the album / CD until after I bought their second album, "Below The Belt", a 1982 release. (It was recommended by a friend). I enjoyed each and everyone of the tracks on that album. Their third charted song came from that album called, "Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)". It reached as high as 24 on Billboard's Top 100.

Their third album was released in 1984 called, "Makin' The Point". They released the song "Outrageous" but it did not hit in Billboard's Top 100, even though I thought it was a pretty good album.

In 1999, they would release their fourth album, a collection of their best songs called, "The Sweetheart Collection".

The band was made up of Franke Previte, lead vocalist, co songwriter (and founder). He was with the band from 1980 to 1986.

Leigh Foxx was on bass, and was with the band from 1980 to 1986.

Billy Elworthy was on lead and rhythm guitars, as well as a co-songwriter. He was with the band from 1980 to 1984.

Claude LeHenaff was the drummer from 1980 to 1982.

Blake Levinsohn was the keyboardist and was with the band from 1980 to 1982.

Tommy Ayers was keyboardist and back-up vocals from 1981 to 1986. He was a session musician on the bands debut album, and officially joined the band after the release of the album.

Tico Torres was the drummer from 1982 to 1984.

Bobby Messano was on lead and rhythm guitars, and back-up vocals from 1984 to 1986.

There were other session players that include: Charlie Dominici, who supplied back-up vocals on their debut album. Dominici would go on to front the band, "Dream Theater."

Al Wotten was a session musician (drummer) on their second album, "Below The Belt".

John DeNicola played bass on several demos, including a bonus track on their third album, "Makin' The Point". He also co-wrote the songs, "Hungry Eyes" (sung by Eric Carmen and released in 1987) and "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" (featured in the 1987 film, "Dirty Dancing") with Franke Previte, the original versions of which were recorded during his (DeNicola) tenure with the band but went unreleased, until they both later appeared on "The Sweetheart Collection".

I was fortunate enough to go see them once in concert. Had a great time. It would have been nice if they could have had better success as I always thought they were awesome. They still made a lasting impression on me that I still carry with me today.

The group disbanded in 1986.  

I still have all of their songs / albums / cassettes / CD's. I continue listening to them on a somewhat fairly regular basis. It takes me back to my Navy days in Norfolk, Virginia. Fond memories of a time that I wish would have never ended. Friends and girls that I cherish, and nights that last forever. Everything about my time in the Navy comes back alive when I listen to Franke and The Knockouts. Even a few memories from when I was in / and came back home from Fort Dix when I was enlisted in the Army Reserve.

Great times.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mannequin - By Carroll Bryant

MANNEQUIN - By Carroll Bryant

It means everything
Your eyes looking into mine
I can feel the heat from your breath
It thrills me every time 

Don't say, don't say, don't say no to me
Don't walk away like this or that 
Don't think about leaving me
Don't leave, don't leave

Nothing is nothing 
Your hand is the touch that awakens me
I can feel your heart rip apart
It chills me to the bone

Don't know, don't know, don't know what to do
Don't even think twice, don't even blink
Everything freezes and believe me
Nothing ever changes again

I'm just another mannequin

I captured a merry-go-round
Plastic horses running in the wind
I listen to the sound of another one
As distant as a friend 

Don't cry, don't cry, don't drop the tears
It's a paradox hiding in sin
Don't even think about it
You can never win

Something is something
I've the fastest legs to runaway 
I can sense the end of time
Watch you destroy my brains

Don't know, don't know, don't know what to do
Don't even think twice, don't even blink
Everything freezes and believe me
Nothing ever changes again

I'm just another mannequin

Nothing is nothing 
Your hand is the touch that awakens me
I can feel your heart rip apart
It chills me to the bone

Don't know, don't know, don't know what to do
Don't even think twice, don't even blink
Everything freezes and believe me
Nothing ever changes again

I'm just another mannequin

I'm just another mannequin

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Democrat Hate: Past And Present

Like so many Americans, I, too, am getting very frustrated by what I see on my television screen. So many democrats rioting (under the guise of protesting) and watching them destroy property and start fires in the streets and shutting down other people's right to free speech. It sickens me greatly. To observe so much hatred from so many people for unknown reasons can drive you up the wall. Criminal behavior beyond normal comprehension. I get it. Enough already, right?

Well, sure, however, there is a part of me that tries to always look on the bright side. I mean, let's face it, the democrats have a long history of hate that extends far beyond reasonable measures. When I see their hate in the here and now, since around 2014 to 2017, I think how lucky we are that we're not back in the 1960's or something. Back then, that hate by the democrats was targeted at the African-American community, and the results from that was black people being murdered and killed at a record pace by democrats. They were beating them senseless and hanging them in trees. It was horrible. But that's what democrat hate is all about, taking other people's rights away by any means necessary. Even by murder!

So, yeah, when I see what the democrats are doing with their hate in today's world, I shudder, but for now, at least they are not murdering people. YET!

By yet, I mean, who knows what tomorrow will bring. Hate is a powerful drug that brings about insanity. The manner in which democrats are spewing their hate, it appears to be growing and expanding. Let us not forget that during the campaign for president, outside of many of his rallies, Trump supporters were attacked physically at times. Even after the election, Trump supporters were being attacked. So maybe we are witnessing the evolution of this democrat hate and perhaps, they will soon begin killing people again.

We have already heard some of them, like Madonna, threaten to blow up the White House so, who knows, we could be sliding into history again like back in the 1960's. The only question is, will they (democrats) start targeting black people again? Or will it just be republicans in general, regardless of their skin color? Or gender?

One can only wonder.

This could mean that republicans, or independents like myself that voted for Trump, might want to consider carrying their firearms with them for protection. Let's be honest here, these democrats have a tremendous amount of hate in their hearts. They have shown themselves to be extremely violent when they want to be. It is only wise to protect yourself from these liberal criminals.

So yes, when I see democrats acting in such a violent manner, with disregards towards property, laws, and life, I do become somewhat annoyed and concerned. But when I reflect to the ways democrats used to show their hate in the 1960's, I am grateful that they progressed somewhat slightly. But I also worry for how long? How long before we start to see them reverting back to those days in the 1960's, and how long before they start going on their murderous rampage again?

And who will they target this time?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

William Dampier: The Pirates

William Dampier (baptised 5 September 1651; died March 1715) was the first Englishman to explore parts of what is today Australia, and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. He has also been described as Australia's first natural historian, as well as one of the most important British explorers of the period between Sir Walter Raleigh and James Cook.

William Dampier was born at Hymerford House in East Coker, Somerset, in 1651. He was baptised on 5 September, but his precise date of birth is not recorded. He was educated at King's School, Bruton. Dampier sailed on two merchant voyages to Newfoundland and Java before joining the Royal Navy in 1673. He took part in the two Battles of Schooneveld in June of that year.

Dampier's service was cut short by a catastrophic illness, and he returned to England for several months of recuperation. For the next several years he tried his hand at various careers, including plantation management in Jamaica and logging in Mexico, before he eventually joined another sailing expedition.

In 1679, Dampier joined the crew of the buccaneer Captain Bartholomew Sharp on the Spanish Main of Central America, twice visiting the Bay of Campeche, or "Campeachy" as it was then known, on the north coast of Mexico. This led to his first circumnavigation, during which he accompanied a raid across the Isthmus of Darién in Panama and took part in the capture of Spanish ships on the Pacific coast of that isthmus. The pirates then raided Spanish settlements in Peru before returning to the Caribbean.

Dampier made his way to Virginia, where in 1683 he was engaged by the privateer John Cooke. Cooke entered the Pacific via Cape Horn and spent a year raiding Spanish possessions in Peru, the Galápagos Islands, and Mexico. This expedition collected buccaneers and ships as it went along, at one time having a fleet of ten vessels. Cooke died in Mexico, and a new leader, Edward Davis, was elected captain by the crew.

Dampier transferred to the privateer Charles Swan's ship, Cygnet, and on 31 March 1686 they set out across the Pacific to raid the East Indies, calling at Guam and Mindanao. Spanish witnesses saw the predominantly English crew as not only pirates and heretics but also cannibals. Leaving Swan and 36 others behind on Mindanao, the rest of the privateers sailed on to Manila, Poulo Condor, China, the Spice Islands, and New Holland. Contrary to Dampier's later claim that he had not actively participated in actual piratical attacks during this voyage, he was in fact selected in 1687 to command one of the Spanish ships captured by Cygnet's crew off Manila.

On 5 January 1688, Cygnet "anchored two miles from shore in 29 fathoms" on the northwest coast of Australia, near King Sound. Dampier and his ship remained there until March 12, and while the ship was being careened Dampier made notes on the fauna and flora and the indigenous peoples he found there. Among his fellows were a significant number of Spanish sailors, most notably Alonso Ramírez, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Later that year, by agreement, Dampier and two shipmates were marooned on one of the Nicobar Islands. They obtained a small canoe which they modified after first capsizing and then, after surviving a great storm at sea, called at "Acheen" (Aceh) in Sumatra.

Dampier returned to England in 1691 via the Cape of Good Hope, penniless but in possession of his journals. He also had as a source of income a slave known as Prince Jeoly (or Giolo), from Miangas (now Indonesia), who became famous for his tattoos (or "paintings" as they were known at the time). Dampier exhibited Jeoly in London, thereby also generating publicity for a book based on his diaries.

The publication of the book, A New Voyage Round the World, in 1697 was a popular sensation, creating interest at the Admiralty. In 1699, Dampier was given command of the 26-gun warship HMS Roebuck, with a commission from King William III (who had ruled jointly with Queen Mary II until her death in 1694). His mission was to explore the east coast of New Holland, the name given by the Dutch to what is now Australia, and Dampier's intention was to travel there via Cape Horn.

The expedition set out on 14 January 1699, too late in the season to attempt the Horn, so it headed to New Holland via the Cape of Good Hope instead. Following the Dutch route to the Indies, Dampier passed between Dirk Hartog Island and the Western Australian mainland into what he called Shark Bay on 6 August 1699. He landed and began producing the first known detailed record of Australian flora and fauna. The botanical drawings that were made are believed to be by his clerk, James Brand. Dampier then followed the coast north-east, reaching the Dampier Archipelago and Lagrange Bay, just south of what is now called Roebuck Bay, all the while recording and collecting specimens, including many shells. From there he bore northward for Timor. Then he sailed east and on 3 December 1699 rounded New Guinea, which he passed to the north. He traced the south-eastern coasts of New Hanover, New Ireland and New Britain, charting the Dampier Strait between these islands (now the Bismarck Archipelago) and New Guinea. En route, he paused to collect specimens such as giant clams.

By this time, Roebuck was in such bad condition that Dampier was forced to abandon his plan to examine the east coast of New Holland while less than a hundred miles from it. In danger of sinking, he attempted to make the return voyage to England, but the ship foundered at Ascension Island on 21 February 1701. While anchored offshore the ship began to take on more water and the carpenter could do nothing with the worm-eaten planking. As a result, the vessel had to be run aground. Dampier's crew was marooned there for five weeks before being picked up on 3 April by an East Indiaman and returned home in August 1701.

Although many papers were lost with the Roebuck, Dampier was able to save some new charts of coastlines, and his record of trade winds and currents in the seas around Australia and New Guinea. He also preserved a few of his specimens. In 2001, the wreck of the Roebuck was located in Clarence Bay, Ascension Island, by a team from the Western Australian Maritime Museum. Because of his widespread influence, and also because so little exists that can now be linked to him, it has been argued that the remains of his ship and the objects still at the site on Ascension Island – while the property of Britain and subject to the island government's management – are actually the shared maritime heritage of those parts of the world first visited or described by him. His account of the expedition was published as A Voyage to New Holland in 1703.

On his return from the Roebuck expedition, Dampier was court-martialled for cruelty. On the outward voyage, Dampier had his lieutenant, George Fisher, removed from the ship and jailed in Brazil. Fisher returned to England and complained about his treatment to the Admiralty. Dampier aggressively defended his conduct, but he was found guilty, docked his pay for the voyage, and dismissed from the Royal Navy.

The War of the Spanish Succession had broken out in 1701, and English privateers were being readied to act against French and Spanish interests. Dampier was appointed commander of the 26-gun ship St George, with a crew of 120 men. They were joined by the 16-gun Cinque Ports with 63 men, and sailed on 11 September 1703 from Kinsale, Ireland. The two ships made a storm-tossed passage round Cape Horn, arriving at the Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile in February 1704. While watering and provisioning there, they sighted a heavily armed French merchantman, which they engaged in a seven-hour battle but were driven off.

Dampier succeeded in capturing a number of small Spanish ships along the coast of Peru, but released them after removing only a fraction of their cargoes because he believed they "would be a hindrance to his greater designs." The greater design he had in mind was a raid on Santa María, a town on the Gulf of Panama rumoured to hold stockpiles of gold from nearby mines. When the force of seamen he led against the town met with unexpectedly strong resistance, however, he withdrew. In May 1704, the Cinque Ports separated from St George and, after putting Alexander Selkirk ashore alone on an island for complaining about the vessel's seaworthiness, sank off the coast of what is today Colombia. Some of its crew survived being shipwrecked but were made prisoners of the Spanish.

It was now left to the St George to make an attempt on the Manila galleon, the main object of the expedition. The ship was sighted on 6 December 1704, probably the Nuestra Señora del Rosario. It was caught unprepared and had not run out its guns. But while Dampier and his officers argued over the best way to mount an attack, the galleon got its guns loaded and the battle was joined. St George soon found itself out-sized by the galleon's 18- and 24-pounders, and, suffering serious damage, they were forced to break off the attack.

The failure to capture the Spanish galleon completed the break-up of the expedition. Dampier, with about thirty men, stayed in St George, while the rest of the crew took a captured barque across the Pacific to Amboyna in the Dutch settlements. The undermanned and worm-damaged St George had to be abandoned on the coast of Peru. He and his remaining men embarked in a Spanish prize for the East Indies, where they were thrown into prison as pirates by their supposed allies the Dutch but later released. Now without a ship, Dampier made his way back to England at the end of 1707.

In 1708, Dampier was engaged to serve on the privateer Duke, not as captain but as sailing master. The Duke beat its way into the South Pacific Ocean round Cape Horn in consort with a second ship, the Duchess. Commanded by Woodes Rogers, this voyage was more successful: Selkirk was rescued on 2 February 1709, and the expedition amassed £147,975 (equivalent to £19.9 million today) worth of plundered goods. Most of that came from the capture of a Spanish galleon, the Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación y Desengaño, along the coast of Mexico in December 1709.

In January 1710, Dampier crossed the Pacific in the Duke, accompanied by the Duchess and two prizes. They stopped at Guam before arriving in Batavia. Following a refit at Horn Island (near Batavia) and the sale of one of their prize ships, they sailed for the Cape of Good Hope where they remained for more than three months awaiting a convoy. They left the Cape in company with 25 Dutch and English ships, with Dampier now serving as sailing master of the Encarnación. After a further delay at the Texel, they dropped anchor at the Thames in London on 14 October 1711.
Dampier may not have lived to receive all of his share of the expedition's gains. He died in the Parish of St Stephen Coleman Street, London. The exact date and circumstances of his death, and his final resting place, are all unknown. His will was proven on 23 March 1715, and it is generally assumed he died earlier that month, but this is not known with any certainty. His estate was almost £2,000 in debt.

Source(s) Wikipedia

This work released under CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons

Monday, February 6, 2017

Donald Trump Is "MY" President

I remember the first time I was eligible to finally vote. I think everyone remembers that. I was so excited. However, as excited as I was, the man I voted for was not "MY" president. It was my mothers president. I voted for Ronald Reagan's re-election. I wasn't quite old enough to vote for him the first time around.

My mother was a huge Reagan fan. He was her second "MY" president. Her first "MY" president was JFK. It was also her first time she ever voted. Her third "MY" president was Bill Clinton. Donald Trump is her fourth "MY" president.

Lucky her.

Like I said, even though I voted for Reagan, he wasn't "MY" president. I merely voted for him because of my mother. I was also registered as an Independent.

After that, I skipped the next election. Even though George H. W Bush won, I wasn't inspired by either candidate. And then came Bill Clinton. I was not a huge fan of 'Willy'. My mother was. Instead, I was inspired by Ross Perot. Old Ross was my first "MY" candidate, but because he ended up losing to Bill Clinton, he never made it to becoming "MY" president.

When it was time for Bill's re-election, I ended up voting for him. First off, he didn't do anything to fuck up anything, except sign the NAFTA trade agreement, which I later determined to be horrible for the future of America. (Which turned out to be true.) That action would later cause me to doubt the democrat party.

Second, he came through my hometown, Chillicothe, Ohio, by train. He held a campaign speech where the "Fiesta" drive-in used to be. A drive-in that my mother used to take us kids often during the summers. I got to watch many Elvis Presley movies on that gigantic outdoor screen. It was also where I saw "Exorcist" for the first time.

But, I was there to hear his speech, shake his hand and since my mother was crazy for Willy, I voted for his re-election. But make no mistake, I liked him a little, he still wasn't "MY" president. When Bill was done, it came down to Al Gore and George W. Bush, I passed. Neither was winning me over. For Gore, he basically had no chance of my vote anyway because he was a democrat, and by this point, I learned the truth about democrats. (They are socialists.)

There is nothing American about being a socialist.

I also stayed away from the voting machines with George's re-election.

Then came Obama. I sat out his two elections, as I was not sure about him the first time around. I remained quiet and three years later, determined he was a big suck ass and thus, he began to earn the nickname, Obamatard. (That's what I call him now-days.)

He did great bringing the country together during his first campaign, and throughout the first couple of years, but after the killing of Usama Bin Laudin, it was all down-hill after that. His socialist agenda more than shined through and that was a huge turn-off for me. But after the IRS targeting of republicans, and no one was held accountable for it, and then the Benghazi murders and Hillary Clinton, then secy of state, blamed it on a video when we all knew, and later found out through Wikileaks, that it was terrorists, well, it wasn't long before Obama became Obamatard to me. I think it finally came when he lied about his health care law. 1) Keep your plan. (Lie) 2) Keep your doctor (Lie) 3) Smaller deductibles (Lie) 4) Smaller premiums (Lie) - You get the drift.

But there are so many more reasons why Obamatard earned the nickname, Obamatard.

Then came 2015, and suddenly, the candidates were mounting for the GOP primary. Everyone knew the golden boy was Jeb Bush. I myself was eyeing John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. Then something amazing happened. Trump tossed his name into the mix. The evening he announced he was running for president, and he gave his speech, I was hooked. "Build a wall?" I said out loud, "Count me  in!"

That was when Donald Trump became "MY" president. And finally! I felt that American pride so many have spoken of so many times before. I do believe it was the first time I ever felt it.

I have long since stopped celebrating the 4th of July. With democrats destroying my country and its freedom(s), I no longer felt it was worth celebrating because thanks to the democrats, we have lost many of our freedoms in America since the day I was born. Their stupid war on tobacco is just one of many examples.

Donald Trump is the only one who can fix this broken America. This divided America. (Thanks Obamatard.) And I knew he was the only one who could have any chance of surviving the hate attack the GOP candidate was going to receive by the hate group known as the democrat party. (Now I call them a terrorist organization.)

I was right.

And now he is President Trump. The universe is righting itself as we live and breathe. Not only did Trump WIN / EARN the presidency, but the GOP took over and kept the majority of the House and Senate. As well as gaining an advantage with governor's by the rate of 31 to 19. And because of the continued hate, violence, bullying and intimidation of the democrat party, I am hopeful it will remain like this for quite some time to come.

The continued violence and intolerance of the democrats, along with their evil hate, tells me that Donald Trump was the right choice and will continue to keep democrats on the losing end of mid term elections, and beyond. That's just fine with me. I may have been an Independent that leaned left when I was young, but now I am an Independent that leans anti-democrat party, PERIOD!

Their protests / riots have pushed me to ensure I do everything I can to keep democrats (and get them) out of office at every level. By any means. Especially after John Lewis, a man who got the crap beat out of him by white racist democrats, then joined them after he recovered from his wounds, called Trump "not a legitimate president". John Lewis made a career in politics ensuring that the black community would be uneducated, unemployed and living off that government cheese, and living in poverty. That is not a hero to me, or an icon. He is really an "Uncle Tom".

But Donald J. Trump is "MY" president, and I know he will make America great again. I also hope that his presidency destroys the evil democrat party. There is nothing American about socialism.



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Flag Of Haiti

The national flag of Haiti is a bicolour flag featuring two horizontal bands coloured blue and red, defaced by a white panel bearing the coat of arms. The coat of arms depicts a trophy of weapons atop a green hill,ready to defend freedom, and a royal palm symbolizing independence. The palm is topped by the Cap of Liberty. The motto L'Union Fait La Force ("Unity Makes Strength") appears on a white ribbon below the arrangement.

The first purely Haitian flag was adopted on May 18, 1803, on the last day of the Congress of Arcahaie, about fifty miles north of Port-au-Prince. Haitian lore holds that the newly appointed revolutionary leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines created the flag by taking a French tricolor and ripping out the white center, which he discarded. He then asked Catherine Flon, his god-daughter,[5] to sew the remaining bands together. The white pale removed, the blue was taken to represent Haiti's black citizens and the red the gens de couleur. The story is widely known in Haiti: the anniversary of the date is celebrated as the Haitian Flag Day and images of Catherine Flon have appeared on Haitian currency and stamps.

Following his proclamation as Emperor Jacques I, Dessalines promulgated a new constitution on May 20, 1805. In it, the colors of the flag were altered to black and red. This flag being subsequently adopted by Henri Christophe, the republicans under Alexandre Pétion returned to the colors blue and red, subsequently turning them horizontal and adding the newly adopted Haitian coat of arms.

During the period of the Haitian Empire of Faustin I, his coat of arms was used on the flag and for official functions, but it was subsequently abandoned upon his removal from office.

Between 1964 and 1986, the family dictatorships of François "Papa Doc" and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier returned to Dessalines' black and red design. They included the national coat of arms, but altered the flags in its trophy to black as well.

Because the coat of arms is only used for national and military flags, whereas the civil flag consists solely of the two unaugmented horizontal bands, it was discovered at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics that Haiti and Liechtenstein were using the same flag. This led to the addition of a crown to the design of the flag of Liechtenstein.

Source(s) - Wikipedia

This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA: Creative Commons