Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hanukkah Song

A holiday tradition, Adam Sandler's Hannukkah Song has become as popular this time of year as any other carol we hear or sing. This guy of the funny lines and famous parents really knows how to hit homeruns of his own. The Hanukkah Song is funny, poignant, and incredibly original. I just love it and I know I am not alone.

As Hanukkah began tonight at sundown, this seemed fitting indeed. Enjoy!

Wednesday's Author

One of the most popular authors to come along in recent years, Douglas Clegg has a talent for the macabre and the supernatural that gives his books a flair that is all his own. Titles like Lady of Serpents, Isis, Priest of Blood and The Hour Before Dark are always eye-catchers, but once you get into the stories you simply cannot put them down. Having read most of his novels, I have to say that Douglas leaves me wanting more every time I finish one. I just can't wait for the next book to come out.

With a massive following and an ever present social network on Facebook and Twitter, Douglas is always winning over new fans. I've interviewed him and he's as personable to talk with as he is superb at writing. He's one of those guys who people gravitate toward first because of the enigma of his talent and then his charm wins them over. It's no surprise how this man became such a success.

Wicked Wednesday

Seems Like Old Times

On May 13, 1993 Knots Landing aired the last original episode of its fourteen season run on CBS. One of the biggest hits of the prime time serial genre, Knots Landing began as a spinoff from Dallas, featuring Gary and Valene Ewing. That was in 1979. Oh how times changed as Knots Landing became the top rated of the nighttime soaps. By the time series came to an end it was an institution and a staple of the CBS line up.

Unlike the Dallas finale, everyone had a happy ending on Knots Landing when it faded into the sunset. Greg and Paige got it together. Anne and Nick flew off into the future with the money they swindled out of Sumner. Claudia did the same…almost. Kate left town to get over Gary. The bad guys who’d held Val hostage were either killed or caught. Karen and Mack were reunited and as solid as ever, and Gary and Valene were once again the centerpiece of the series. All seemed well, even when Abby drove up and announced that she was moving back to the cul-de-sac.

This final scene always gets me every time I see it. It perfectly captures the essence of Knots Landing and why it was so popular with viewers for all those years. Still a hit in syndication, the show also had a reunion in 1997, and the cast reunited for a retrospective in 2005. People just didn’t get tired of this show and this clip shows just exactly why in grand style.

This Day in History: December 1

1835 - Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.

1909 - The Pennsylvania Trust Company, of Carlisle, PA, became the first bank in the U.S. to offer a Christmas Club account.

1913 - Ford Motor Co. began using a new movable assembly line that ushered in the era of mass production.

1913 - The first drive-in automobile service station opened, in Pittsburgh, PA.

1919 - Lady Astor was sworn in as the first female member of the British Parliament.

1925 - The Locarno Pact finalized the treaties between World War I protagonists.

1942 - In the U.S., nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect.

1943 - In Teheran, leaders of the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom met to reaffirm the goal set on October 30, 1943. The previous meeting called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security.

1952 - In Denmark, it was announced that the first successful sex-change operation had been performed.

1955 - Rosa Parks, a black seamstress in Montgomery, AL, refused to give up her seat to a white man. Mrs. Parks was arrested marking a milestone in the civil rights movement in the U.S.

1959 - 12 countries, including the U.S. and USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity.

1969 - The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.

1973 - David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel and its first prime minister, died at the age of 87.

1984 - A remote-controlled Boeing 720 jetliner was deliberately crashed into California's Mojave Desert to test an anti-flame fuel additive. The test proved to be disappointing.

1986 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan said he would welcome an investigation of the Iran-Contra affair if it were recommended by the Justice Department.

1987 - NASA announced four companies had been given contracts to help build a space station. The companies were Boeing Aerospace, G. E.'s Astro-Space Division, McDonnell Douglas Aeronautics, and Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International.

1989 - Dissidents in the Philippine military launched an unsuccessful coup against Corazon Aquino's government.

1989 - East Germany's Parliament abolished the Communist Party's constitutional guarantee of supremacy.

1990 - Iraq accepted a U.S. offer to talk about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis.

1990 - British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel finally met under the English Channel.

1991 - Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union.

1991 - Shiite Muslim kidnappers pledged to release American hostage Joseph Cicippio within 48 hours.

1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin survived an impeachment attempt by hard-liners at the opening of the Russian Congress.

1992 - Amy Fisher was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco.

1993 - In Minnesota, 18 people were killed when a Northwest Airline commuter plane crashed.

1994 - The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to the 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

1997 - Michael Carneal, 14 years old, fired upon a morning prayer group at Heath High School in West Paducah, KY. Three students were killed and five were wounded. Carneal pled guilty but insane and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole for 25 years.

1998 - Exxon announced that it was buying Mobil for $73.7 billion creating the largest company in the world to date.

Wednesday's Flashback

Yvonne Elliman scored one of the biggest hits of the disco era in 1977 when she covered a Bee Gees song for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. If I Can’t Have You streaked up to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and firmly ensconced the Hawaiian born Elliman as a diva of the highest order. Despite the song’s disco beat, the groove has a unique pop sound to it that has kept it contemporary for more than thirty years. Radio still plays the hell out of this one.

Yvonne was unable to repeat the mainstream success of If I Can’t Have You, although she did reach the Top 40 a few more times after the monster hit that her signature song became. She continues touring and drawing huge crowds almost everywhere she goes. In Europe, the UK, and Australia she remains a top pop star. Here in the US people just can’t be still whenever this song plays.

In a clip from the 1978 Grammy Awards, Yvonne Elliman performs If I Can’t Have You before an adoring crowd. Something tells me this one will still popular in another thirty years.

Thought For Today

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson