Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Walking Dead - Season Finale

Okay, dudes and dudettes! Tonight at 10:00 p.m. EST on AMC, The Walking Dead will air its first season finale. The show has been a super hit for AMC and it has really hooked me, which is uncommon for a horror concept to do, but there you go. This series has really been a big thing. A second season is filming now and the franchise is growing exponentially. Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, and Sara Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead is sure to continue to its hit streak when the next batch of episodes airs.

Combining concepts from 28 Days Later, Zach Snyder's 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, and the original classics by George A. Romero, The Walking Dead winds up its first season in style. Just view the trailer below to get a glimpse into the finale of the season's biggest suprise hit.

And don't forget to watch tonight. It looks wicked.

Sunday's Author

David Thackston is a writer from my home state of Georgia. We first became acquainted when I was doing Web Digest Weekly e-magazine. David got in touch and we did a couple of interviews that I found very enjoyable. David has a talent that is unique. He can take a subject and put his own spin on it so that it comes out as a very original, very enthralling idea. The books that result from these ideas are simply impossible to put down.

Loose Ends, 70's Glam Rock, Leaving America Parts 1 & 2 are only a few of the titles available from David. I'm ashamed to say that I've yet to meet him, especially with us being only about an hour apart, but reading his work is a look inside what motivates him. His genuine concern for the world as it is and what it could be are something that I can relate to indeed. David has won over a lot of fans and I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an author who can capture the imagination and not let go until he's ready.

Ode To Winter

The devil came to Georgia,
Looking for an ass to freeze.
Well, he must have got mine,
For I chapped my behind,
In his cold December breeze.

33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors


America to Celebrate the Careers of Five Extraordinary Artists, Sunday, December 5, 2010.

Honorees: Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney & Oprah Winfrey to Receive 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors.

Gala will be broadcast on CBS on December 28, 2010 at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the selection of the individuals who will receive the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. Recipients to be honored at the 33rd annual national celebration of the arts are: singer and songwriter Merle Haggard; composer and lyricist Jerry Herman; dancer, choreographer and director Bill T. Jones; songwriter and musician Paul McCartney; and producer, television host and actress Oprah Winfrey.

"The Kennedy Center celebrates five individuals who have spent their lives enriching, inspiring and elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein."The honesty of Merle Haggard’s music and poetic lyrics has helped to shape the world of country music for nearly five decades. Jerry Herman’s musicals rank him in the pantheon of Broadway’s Golden Age and will keep audiences humming along for generations to come. The inventive style and imaginative artistry of Bill T. Jones has had an invaluable impact on the varied landscapes of dance and theater. Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most influential and successful songwriters and musicians of all time, whose work has continuously altered both the creation and perception of music all over the world. For more than 25 years, Oprah Winfrey has established one of the most innovative careers in the entertainment world, with distinctive accomplishments in television and film."

"The Kennedy Center Honors continues to be an evening like no other and one of the most prestigious telecasts of the television year," said Leslie Moonves, President & Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. "The intersection of Washington, New York and Hollywood for this event speaks to the importance of the performing arts to all of us. We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with the Kennedy Center and privileged each year to be part of a broadcast that honors those whose talents and achievements influence our arts, entertainment and culture in such a profound way."

The annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural year, and its broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season. On Sunday, December 5, in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens, the 2010 Honorees will be saluted by great performers from New York, Hollywood, Nashville, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Mrs. Obama, the Honorees will accept the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes. …More

The President and Mrs. Obama will receive the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominate them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The 2010 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concludes with a supper dance in the Grand Foyer.

The Kennedy Center Honors medallions will be presented on Saturday, December 4, the night before the gala, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

The Honors Gala will be recorded for broadcast on the CBS Network for the 33rd consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Tuesday, December 28 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).

George Stevens Jr. , who created the Honors in 1978 with Nick Vanoff, will produce and co-write the show for the 33rd year. Stevens and his son Michael Stevens received Emmy Awards for the second consecutive year for Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Special. The Honors telecast has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to Broadcasting and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America.

The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television—are selected by the Center’s Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.

Previous Honorees, as well as members of the Kennedy Center’s national artists committee, made recommendations of possible 2010 Honorees. Artists making recommendations included: Alan Alda, Emanuel Ax, Harolyn Blackwell, Joel Coen, Barbara Cook, Nora Ephron, Denyce Graves, Thomas Hampson, Bill Irwin, Hugh Jackman, Evgeny Kissin, Patti Lupone, Terrence McNally, Sherrill Milnes, Mark Morris, Edward Norton, Kid Rock, Meryl Streep and Frederica von Stade. Previous Kennedy Center Honorees, including Edward Albee, Warren Beatty, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Elton John, James Levine, Steve Martin and Brian Wilson, also made nominations.

Supreme Sunday

A radio staple during the holiday season, The Supremes performing My Favorite Things has become a tradition. Originally a track from The Sound of Music, this song has been a favorite for more than forty years. Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard certainly gave it a fitting rendition in 1966. As they performed the song on The Ed Sullivan Show, they were setting a precedent that led to many, many covers of movie soundtrack songs that fit in perfectly with their repertoire.

The girls had never seemed more cohesive than they did during this time in their career. Halfway between their original ascension to stardom and the scandal that ended with Flo’s dismissal from the trio, they were thrilling audiences the world over and topping the Billboard Hot 100 on a regular basis. This was perhaps the most exciting time in The Supremes’ history and as this clip from Sullivan clearly shows they were enjoying their position at the apex of pop music with glee.

This might be my favorite Supremes track that was not one of their hits. My Favorite Things is a nice title for a song that has become just that…Well, one of them anyway.

This Day in History: December 5

1492 - Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti).

1560 - Charles IX succeeded as King of France on the death of Francis II.

1766 - James Christie, founder of the famous auctioneers, held his first sale in London.

1776 - In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.

1782 - The first native U.S. president, Martin Van Buren, was born in Kinderhook, NY.

1792 - The trial of France's King Louis XVI began.

1812 - Napoleon Bonaparte left his army as they were retreating from Russia.

1839 - General George Armstrong Custer was born in New Rumley, OH.

1848 - U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California.

1876 - The Stillson wrench was patented by D.C. Stillson. The device was the first practical pipe wrench.

1901 - Movie producer Walt Disney was born in Chicago. He created his first Mickey Mouse cartoon at the age of 27.

1904 - The Russian fleet was destroyed by the Japanese at Port Arthur, during the Russo-Japanese War.

1908 - At the University of Pittsburgh, numerals were first used on football uniforms worn by college football players.

1913 - Britain outlawed the sending of arms to Ireland.

1932 - German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the U.S.

1933 - Prohibition came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

1935 - In Montebello, CA, the first commercial hydrophonics operation was established.

1936 - The Soviet Union adopted a new Constitution under a Supreme Council.

1944 - During World War II, Allied troops took Ravenna, Italy.

1945 - The so-called "Lost Squadron" disappeared. The five U.S. Navy Avenger bombers carrying 14 Navy flyers began a training mission at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. They were never heard from again.

1951 - The first push button-controlled garage opened in Washington, DC.

1955 - The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO.

1956 - British and French forces began a withdrawal from Egypt during the Suez War.

1958 - Britain's first motorway, the Preston by-pass, was opened by Prime Minister Macmillan.

1961 - United Nations forces launched an attack in Katanga, the Congo, near Elizabethville.

1962 - The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to cooperate in the peaceful uses of outer space.

1971 - The Soviet Union, at United Nations Security Council, vetoed a resolution calling for a cease-fire in hostilities between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

1976 - Jacques Chirac re-founded the Gaullist party as the RPR (Rassemblement pour la République).

1977 - Egypt broke diplomatic relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and South Yemen due to peaceful relations with Israel.

1978 - The American space probe Pioneer Venus I, orbiting Venus, and began beaming back its first information and picture of the planet.

1979 - Sonia Johnson was formally excommunicated by the Mormon Church due to her outspoken support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

1983 - In west Beirut, Lebanon, more than a dozen people were killed when a car bomb shattered a nine-story apartment building.

1983 - The video arcade game "NFL Football" was unveiled in Chicago. It was the first video arcade game to be licensed by the National Football League.

1985 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 1,500 for the first time.

1986 - The Soviet Union said it would continue to abide by the SALT II treaty limits on nuclear weapons. This was despite the decision by the U.S. to exceed them.

1988 - Jim Bakker and former aide Richard Dortch were indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina on fraud and conspiracy charges.

1989 - East Germany's former leaders were placed under house arrest.

1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin kept the power to appoint Cabinet ministers, defeating a constitutional amendment that would have put his team of reformers under the control of Russia's Congress.

1998 - James P. Hoffa became the head of the Teamsters union, 23 years after his father was the head. His father disappeared and was presumed dead.

2001 - In Germany, Afghan leaders signed a pact to create a temporary administration for post-Taliban Afghanistan. Two women were included in the cabinet structure. Hamid Karzai and his Cabinet were planned to take over power in Afghanistan on December 22.

2008 - The iTunes Music Store reached 300 million applications downloaded.

Sunday's Flashback

Stevie Nicks has certainly had an exciting career. This gifted songbird flew to early fame with Fleetwood Mac, a gig she still enjoys whenever the band gets together. On her own, she launched a solo career that rivals the popularity of The Mac in almost every sense. With awesome platinum albums like Bella Donna, Wild Heart, and Rock A Little, Stevie crafted her own place in pop history by making the kind of music that only she can make.

After The Glitter Fades is my favorite track from her Bella Donna album. With a decidedly country swing to it, the song is autobiographical in nature with lyrics that really capture the essence of the performer she was as a young woman. The video was a rousing look inside her recording session for this song. It’s a gem in itself.

Still as popular today as she ever was, Stevie tours on her own and with The Mac when it regroups every few years. She can still sell out concert halls around the globe and her adoring audience sings along with her on most every song. After The Glitter Fades is a great example of why she has such a devoted following. Stevie Nicks is one of a kind.

Thought for Today

"Every calling is great when greatly pursued." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes