Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Whenever You're In Trouble

If you've never heard this song nor seen this video, it's a must see.

Hunger In America

Here's another report on hunger in the richest nation in the word.

And a Bill Moyers Journal update from July 2009 on Hunger In America:

Premiere of Sarah Palin's Book

If it wasn't for the language that's usually in the show, I'd show this to the kids. :o)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Excitement Over Sarah Palin's Book Release
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Jack's Mannequin

This is from the Daily Show. It's a segment worth watching. I bought the DVD, it's very emotional.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jack's Mannequin - Swim
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

CNN Heroes - Efren Penaflorida

CNN Heroes - Doc Hendley

CNN Heroes - Andrea Ivory

Here's one of the heroes from CNN, I wish there were more like her, and more free mammogram programs.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Using Current Multimedia In Fictional Writing

Here's a blog that was posted on the tweet from Changing Hands Bookstore:

Whither The Blog Technology In Fiction

Do you feel there needs to be more use of current technology by fictional characters?


This is what you are hearing about Dubai now:

This is the part of Dubai you probably didn't know about. Caution: this is not for young children to view. This is from Frontline World on PBS.

Dubai Night Secrets

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thinking This Gives Reality TV Shows A New Low

Apparently the couple who crashed a White House State Dinner are vying for a spot on Bravo Channel's The Real Housewives of D.C. This is giving a new low to reality television, but is still not tops compared to Levi Johnston.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just When You Thought The Remnants of Cheney Were Gone

Watch this video, and see what operations have been operating beyond the scope of our own military councils. It's all coming out now.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Bohemian Rhapsody

Eighteen years ago yesterday Freddie Mercury passed away. I don't condone his lifestyle, but I enjoyed the music.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Law changes way teachers contract with districts

I can see why this law was made, but with the stinky pay teachers get now, this is going to make public schools in this area even less desirable to work for.

Law changes way teachers contract with districts

The Perils of Being A "Fanilow"

What is a "Fanilow"? It's a fan of Barry Manilow. I think most people know that, but there might be a few who don't.

This past week saw a shakeup of some sorts in Manilowland. First, though, a little backstory.

For years, fans of Barry Manilow have been the butt of jokes worldwide. A few months ago, Barry was in Britain performing for a concert there called the Proms In The Park. While there, he made the circuit of talk shows and radio shows to promote it. He went on a show called Jonathan Ross and got a little bit of a surprise:

What were they showing Barry?

And Barry's reaction?

You, know, it's really a shame Barry gets sea sick.

Why would fans go so gaga over Barry and do things like this? Well, this might give you an answer: it's the gift Barry gave Jonathan Ross to give to his wife.

Barry and his management team for years have been plugging the "sex god" image with his fans. The problem is that this can draw some very interesting people to his fan base. You've seen it before, the crazed fans who become the stalkers? Not everyone is like this in Manilowland, but sadly, there are enough of them and they seem to think they should determine what can be said on the My Manilow Network.

The sweet woman who made these pictures was in tears when she saw that Barry had seen her creations and now knew that she existed. I'm not kidding.

Then we have the fans who feel that neither Barry nor his management team can do no wrong, and if you voice an opinion on there that is not so flattering towards them you get blasted for it.

Some of these people clearly exhibit signs of codependency, but that's what Barry's management love: because no matter what garbage they dish out, these are the people who keep coming back for more.

There is also the group (and a sizable one at that) who feel it's okay to spread bootlegged videos of Barry around. I remember when this was done back in the 1980's and it was always advertised by word of mouth. Now, with the advent of the internet and email, keeping things from going viral that shouldn't can be a full time job.

A little while ago a fan was posting all over the place about how they were sent a letter from the legal team representing Barry because they found out she was making and selling bootlegged dvd's of old concerts that were not available for the public to purchase. They were doing this right around the time that ManilowTV was about to come out, so everyone could see the reasoning as to why the management waited until then to do this.

People were smelling blood wanting to know who it was that ratted this "innocent" person out, and reprimanding Barry's management for going after a fan. There was no communication then, and no hotline message with their point of view sent out to the fans, so what were they to think?

Then came the message this past week:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

URGENT ManilowTV Message

Several days ago we started to receive emails from friends who were concerned that a ManilowTV subscriber in Europe had started selling illegal bootleg DVD copies of the Manilow TV broadcasts. Like all of us, they were surprised that someone who pretended to be a fan was really out to rip off Barry and all the other musicians, artists, songwriters, casts, and crews who are involved in the production of these programs. Like all of us, they were offended that someone who had previously agreed not to be a bootlegger, would again try to rip off everyone while pretending to just be a good fan. Right.

This person has again been notified by the legal team and has again promised not to engage in illegal activities. This time, however, we have also notified the authorities in the host country and have blocked all ManilowTV access for subscribers in the host country and for those associated with the bootlegger. Hopefully this will stop the bootlegger and allow ManilowTV to continue.

It’s interesting to note that quite a few European countries have bootlegging laws much stronger than the US. Bootleggers routinely face fines, prison sentences and lifetime denial of internet access for infractions that many in the US would consider minor. Hopefully, our actions and the risk of further action by local governmental authorities will encourage this person to finally stop before we are forced to shut down ManilowTV.

To all of you who took the high road and shared both your concern and
your disgust….thank you.

As you can expect there were two very heated opinions coming out of this message: Who did this? and Who turned them in? I'm not kidding, I thought I saw a few pitchforks being raised on some of the messages on the message boards.

Do I support the managements actions with this? Yes and no. Yes, I agree that something needed to be done if a fan continues to make and sell bootlegged dvd's.

However these are fans who feel they are doing Barry a favor, because they are "sharing" the love that Barry brings to their lives to others. While this is clearly illegal, it wasn't really pursued until the advent of ManilowTV. At least not publicly pursued.

The management, as well as Barry himself, have been making money for years off of these fans, taking advantage of their codependent behaviors to squeeze yet another dime out of them. There are some fans who go to almost every concert, if not every concert, Barry appears in. They feel they need their "Barry fix".

I'm glad they are finally putting their foot down about the bootlegging, it is after all illegal, but it would be nice to see Barry and his management team actually do more to bring up the topic of unhealthy behaviors with some of these people. These are wonderful people, but what's going to happen with them if Barry decides to retire?

Just another note: not everyone is like this, but there are enough of them that it should be a concern.

Just my honest opinion.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Health Net Security Breach

If you have Health Net as your health insurance company, or did at some point or other, you'll want to read this article in the Arizona Republic.

Insurer didn't tell Ariz. about security breach

Friday, November 20, 2009

Somehow I'm not surprised by this.

Roche/Genentech's lobbyists got 42 members of Congress to place text from the company into Congressional Record. What is it Ralph Nader says, "a government by the Exxons, for the Mobiles and of the Duponts"?

Here's the source:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Cinderella's Castle has been dipped in sugar... here's the result!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Spike of Homeless Children in Las Vegas

This is also true in Arizona as well.

Health Care Issues In Small Business America

It's A Real Shame...

Elizabeth Warren didn't run for President. But, then of course, she would have had to run as an Independent which means she would have been treated like Ralph Nader was. Don't understand what I'm saying? Watch the video and see if she doesn't make some sense to you.

Teacher shortage gives way to a teacher glut

This article comes out of Kansas, but has become a national problem. The funny part is, that there are other articles telling people to become teachers, because that's where the jobs still are. They obviously haven't met these people.

Teacher shortage gives way to a teacher glut

Tuition aid not just to needy

By all means, folks, read it. Read what a convoluted mess this has become. We're putting a lot of money to help un-needy kids get into private schools instead of fixing the public schools.

But that would require parents to allow their children to mingle with "those kinds" of kids, right?

Tuition aid not just to needy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ralph Nader, Fiction Writer

I have the book. At 733 pages, I may never get it read. I'm still trying to finish Blink.

Ralph Nader, Fiction Writer

GOP Hopefuls Jockeying Early for 2012 Presidential Race -

I won't get into the fact that we're, what, 3 years away from the next Presidential election? Goodness. I wonder what Ralph Nader is planning on doing in 2012?

GOP Hopefuls Jockeying Early for 2012 Presidential Race -

Posted using ShareThis

Best and Worst Inventions of 2009

It's close to the end of the calendar year, so the lists are starting up to rate all kinds of things for 2009. This one, shown on CNN, is a list from Time.

Tip on Edwards' $400 haircut from Obama camp

Tip on Edwards' $400 haircut from Obama camp

Kind of makes you wonder what else got "leaked" from the Obama camp, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For The Veterans In Our Lives

Don't forget to tell them you love and remember them:

Ammon A.W. Vaughn (2nd great- grandfather, center grave) - Co. E. 10th Indiana Infantry - Union - Civil War

Donald Robinson (uncle) - U.S. Army - WWII

Charles B. Sells (my father) - U.S. Army - Korean War

Ralph Michael Sells (my brother) - U.S. Army

If you're wondering if the service to our community stopped there for my family, you need to read the post for Father's Day last year: The Parable of the First Responder.

I love my country, not just in words but also in how I live my life. I've had some great role models to follow.

Happy Veterans Day to those who have sacrificed so much to keep our nation free and our lives so richly blessed.

God Bless The USA

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Have you seen the videos on They show them on the BYU channel, so I love watching them. Check them out!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Manilow TV: Episode 2

If you missed Episode one, click here.

The video on this was a little fuzzy, but the sound was fantastic. Barry, as usual, had a performance that was just superb. Some of the songs he performed on this I've never seen him perform before, so this was such a treat. Thank you, Barry.

Episode #2
November 1st 2009
PNC Bank Arts Center
Holmdel, New Jersey
Sunday August 4th, 2002
3pm Matinee after the Friday night flood

Here’s the second episode of Manilow TV.
This is the special Sunday Matinee we performed because of the legendary flood that happened on Friday evening, August 2nd.

The Friday show was supposed to be our first of three final concerts of the Manilow Live 2002 tour we had been on for 9 months. We were all feeling sad, but tired and ready to go home.

The day was beautiful.
Not a cloud in the sky.
No prediction of rain.
We were sold out with an excited audience.
The brilliant Curtis Stigers was our opening performer for that tour.
Curtis had finished his set.
I was walking from my dressing room to my entrance.
The band had taken their positions on the stage.

About ten seconds before I gave the cue to begin the opening music, Steve Ernaut, my stage manager, said to me, “Hold on Chief, it’s beginning to drizzle out there. Let’s wait a few minutes to see if the rain passes."
So we all stood there waiting to see what the weather would do.

Remember: Over 5,000 people all seated inside the pavilion and thousands more out on the lawn.
The band in the dark at their positions.
Me standing in the dark in the wings.

We all could hear the rain begin on the roof of the Pavilion very quietly.
Then we heard it get louder and louder.
Then it sounded like Elephants running on the Pavilion roof.
And then we heard the screams of the audience.
The storm hit without any warning and poured down on the thousands of people on the lawn.
They were soaked within seconds.
They started to run for cover under the pavilion roof.

Then the flood began.
There’s a huge, round hole in the ceiling of the PNC Pavilion.
Very pretty.
The water began to pour through this hole like a waterfall, soaking the people in the pavilion.

The water began to rush down the aisles, filled with garbage from everyone’s lunch and dinner.
Filled with mud from the lawn.
The water rose up to the audience’s waists.
That’s when we heard the screaming.
I peeked out of the wings and saw pandemonium.
People trying to get out of the way of the water.
Running to the side aisles, grabbing their kids, trying to scramble on to the stage.

The Fire and Police Departments arrived within minutes and tried to control the crowd.
It was awful. Just awful.
No one will ever forget it.

Doing a show was out of the question.
Even though some brave souls stayed,
hoping that the Fire Department would allow the show to go on, (they wouldn’t), we couldn’t anyway because all the sound system was soaked.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Just soaking wet and terrified.

Barry on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Hopefully it wasn't too muddy outside yet after the rainstorm that hit a few nights before. Barry's probably used to the bright spotlights, but was taking a little time adjusting to the sunlight.

You have to read his account of what happened before watching this show, as you understand why he performed as he did for this concert. You'll enjoy it all the more.

Why are you in my hotel room at this hour of the morning?

I Can't Smile Without You... in a sea of signs.

Brittany and Jimmy...

and Mom Andrea.

New York City Rhythm

Curtis Stigers

Here at the Mayflower... yes, that's right, he sang some songs from the Mayflower cd. And striking his sex god pose for the ladies. ;o)

The Best of Me... I've never seen this song performed, so I have to give Barry a big thank you. I'm sure the audience appreciated the sentiment he gave them for coming on a Sunday afternoon after having been drenched a few nights before. Hopefully it's also a message to those subscribing to watch this as well. :o)

At the Copa, Copacabana... the hottest spot north of Havana...

Let Freedom Ring... I think this song has taken on new meaning since Sept. 11, 2001. This was just shy of the one year anniversary and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. I know I was on the verge of tears just watching it.

These pictures are from the end of the show (It's A Miracle) and had to include them for the smile factor.