Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Jersey National Guard

Air National Guard security forces training at Fort Dix,New Jersey on 19 November,2013.A Tech. Sgt. mans an M240B machine gun while playing an opposing forces member during Military Operations on Urban Terrain training.Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht photo.

Friday, December 27, 2013

About Today's Song "Coming Home"

"Coming Home" is by Diddy-Dirty Money,a group that was formed by hip-hop artist Sean P. Diddy Combs for his sixth studio album,"Last Train To Paris"(2010).Born Sean John Combs in Harlem,New York City,Combs,44,grew up in Mt.Vernon,New York.He attended Howard University in Washington,DC,studying business.*
Beginning his career as a record producer and developer of talent,he eventually recorded his own material for his first album,"No Way Out,"which won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.A song from that album,"I'll Be Missing You,"also won a 1998 Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.The video for the song won a 1997 MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.*
"Coming Home" was one of four singles released from "Last Train To Paris."It reached #12 on the Billboard US Hot 100;#4 in the UK;and #7 in Canada.The album garnered both critical acclaim and airplay.*
Besides being a musician and record producer,Combs is an actor and entrepreneur,guest starring on the TV series "Hawaii Five-O" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."His clothing line "Sean John" has been both critically well-received and controversial at times.Combs was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is worth an estimated 580 million dollars,according to Forbes magazine.He has five children,including twin girls.For a time,he dated singer,dancer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
In between the tracks,this major talent has presented with a rather complex and mercurial personality over the years,as "Coming Home" suggests.

Diddy - Dirty Money - Coming Home ft. Skylar Grey

The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb (1966)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lockett Meadow Basin seen from Peaks saddle

Looking east from the saddle of the San Francisco Peaks with snow in June.Brady Smith photo,USDA Forest Service,Coconino National Forest,Arizona.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Edition:Music and NBA Basketball

The music almost didn't get here tonight.There were more technical problems,but,with persistence,I was finally able to bring it to you.It was challenging,believe me.It's a marginal situation.The slightest defect somewhere along the line can wreck the posting.So you got an old classic,"Chestnut Mare,"and one a little less old,"Holiday."I think it's a good gift for everyone.It's great to hear the Byrds' narrative song,a song that really tells a story.It's a blast to see Madonna dance as well.*
The Golden State Warriors did not get a gift.They got a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking,losing to the San Antonio Spurs 104-102 Thursday night in Oakland.This dropped the Warriors to 14-13,and lifted the Spurs to 21-5.
Stephen Curry and David Lee were outstanding for the Warriors.It was Lee's tenth consecutive double-double game,and Curry made several remarkable shots,both close-in and outside of the paint;but they were hindered by repeated turnovers to the Spurs.You cannot win NBA games that way.*
We never give up,said the Spurs' Marco Belinelli.Everyone was good on defensive and offensive rebounds.It was really tough.This is the NBA,it's nothing easy.We just try to come from the bench and be very aggressive.*
Season's Greetings to all.Happy and Merry Christmas,dear readers.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Jersey National Guard

Air refueling mission.Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Bowen guides the flying boom from a KC-135 Stratotanker to a C-17 Globemaster.Tech. Sgt. Armando Vasquez photo.

Houston Dims Golden State;Snowy Jerusalem

The Houston Rockets overpowered the Golden State Warriors 116-112 Friday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.The fourth period was a closely fought battle after the Wariors had trailed by about 10 points most of the game.In the end,however,the Rockets' powerful combination of James Harden,Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard was just a bit stronger than the Warriors' top performers David Lee,Harrison Barnes and Stephen Curry.
Dwight Howard said he had been working a lot with the NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwan and Rockets coach Kevin McHale.He contributed 18 points,11 rebounds and 3 assists to the winning effort.James Harden led the Rockets in scoring with his 26 points,2 rebounds and 9 assists.Chandler Parsons added 23 points,1 rebound and 3 assists.
For the Warriors,David Lee topped with 23 points,10 rebounds and 2 blocks.Big man Andrew Bogut impressed with two one-hand jams as the Warriors narrowed the gap and even led briefly late in the game.Warriors star Stephen Curry had an off night with 20 points,2 rebounds and 9 assists.He is 6th in the league in points and assists.*
A vast snowstorm is moving eastward across the United States,buttressed by a stubborn dome of cold air from Canada.It is spanning more than 1,000 miles/1609.3 km.Plowable snow will extend from Missouri east to New Jersey,North to Maine and South to Virginia.
The extent of the snowpack in the US is extraordinary for this date.Last year it covered 30.8% as of 12 December;this year it covers 58.6%.It also goes farther south than normal,reaching all the way to North Texas.This is attributable to the persistent arctic air that has spread so widely.*
Overseas,there has been a rare snowstorm in the Middle East.Jerusalem was in chaos as it faced the worst snow in 50 years,receiving up to 4 inches/10.16 cm.Airports,roads and schools were closed,and the snow even spread into the Egyptian desert just outside Cairo.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Great Moments in History

Great Moments in History by K. Kendall
Great Moments in History, a photo by K. Kendall on Flickr.

Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama,August 1996.Obed Zilwa photo.

Giant Step Forward for Humankind

Nelson Mandela with the Dalai Lama,August 1996.Roland de Bar photo.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Deadly Arctic Outbreak,Winter Storm Slam Several States

An arctic outbreak and winter storm struck a large portion of the US Friday,bringing record low temperatures and an ice storm that knocked out power to 250,000 in North Texas alone.At least nine deaths are being attributed to the frigid weather system,including the demise of four homeless people from hypothermia in San Jose,California.A record low of 30F was recorded there Friday morning.*
The wintry conditions swept from South Texas through the Midwest and into Northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes.More than 1500 flights were canceled in Dallas,and many vehicles were stranded on I-35.*
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Utah's Wasatch Mountains;Western Uintas;Wasatch Plateau;Book Cliffs;and Southwest Wyoming from early Saturday to Sunday evening,with snowfall ranging from 3-5 inches in the lower elevations to up to 20 inches in the mountains.*
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Maryland from early Sunday into Monday,with a wintry mix of snow,sleet and freezing rain expected.*
This blog is recognising the passing of the heroic Nelson Mandela by posting a video featuring South African musicians,Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al,"filmed in South Africa's neighbour Zimbabwe.

Paul Simon: Call me Al, concert zimbabwe / South Africa

Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug

Sunday, December 1, 2013

St Andrew's Day

St Andrew's Day by UKinUSA
St Andrew's Day, a photo by UKinUSA on Flickr.

St.Andrew's Day at the British Consulate.British Embassy Washington photo.

St Andrew's Day

St Andrew's Day by UKinUSA
St Andrew's Day, a photo by UKinUSA on Flickr.

St.Andrew's Day at a British Consulate.British Embassy Washington photo.