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Kitty Dunn

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Posts from January 2013


How Sgt. Pepper changed my life
Every weekend this February, Triple M is featuring 8 Great Albums That Changed the Course of Rock n Roll.

Included on that list is the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. While this is not my favorite Beatle album, I won't dispute that it changed rock music. This was a record that by its very design could not be played live, that involved lots of studio trickery that would be very hard to reproduce. It also was a very loose concept album, with the band taking on the persona of this other band, looking back on a 20 year history. Other bands would take the concept album much farther than the Beatles, and more complex recordings were more common as well.

But how did this album change my life? In 1976, the Beatles released a greatest hits type 2 LP set, Rock N Roll Music, which included the song "Gotta Get You Into My Life," which became a top 40 hit, years after the Beatles broke up.

I liked that song, so I asked for the album for Christmas. My brother Tim got it for me, despite his dislike of compilation albums, but he also got me Sgt. Pepper, saying "this is the way the songs were meant to be heard."

And that got me hooked. I played my new Beatles albums constantly, much to the annoyance of my non-Beatle loving friends. While my collection of Beatles albums grew, I checked books about the Beatles out of the library and learned as much as I could about them. I was a big fan of the Fab Four, a few years after Beatlemania.

And I was still a big fan in the mid-90's when a Triple M fan named Mike  told me about some rare Beatle bootlegs he had, and asked me if I'd like to hear them. I said yes, and we've been together ever since.  So I wasn't really exaggerating when I said the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album changed my life.
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Major New Crime Wave--are you a culprit?
Lock your doors.

Check on your neighbors.

There's a major crime wave we all need to know about. 

I'm not talking about identity theft, or removing tags from mattresses.

I'm talking about COUPON FRAUD.

How did I find out about this very concerning problem? Well I was clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper when I found a pretty good one.  Save a dollar on the purches of 2 Nabisco products.  Sweet! 
But the trepidation set in when I read: "Reproduction, alteration, transfer or sale of this coupon is prohibited and is a criminal offense."  A CRIMINAL OFFENSE!

This raises some pretty serious questions.

What statute prohibits it, and more importantly, who is policing this situation? Are law enforcement officers being taken off the streets to track down felonious couponers?

Will I get in trouble if I give this coupon to a friend, or leave it on the grocery store shelf to delight the next shopper who comes along

And what exactly is the penalty for criminal couponing?

All I know is that if they take away my double coupon privileges I'm going to be really, really mad.


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Please hold..your estimated wait time 43 days
"We're sorry, all of our operators are busy helping other customers. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold."

We've all heard that annoying string of words more than we'd like. But how much more?

Data collection provider Research Now did some kind of scientific (?) survey and determined that the average person will spend 43 DAYS of their life waiting on hold. That is longer than Moses and the Israelites spent wandering in the desert!

Remember the old days when you just got some kind of middle of the road music to listen to while you waited on hold? Now you get to hear advertising for more products from a company you're probably already irritated with, insincere platitudes, and warnings that your call may be recorded for training purposes. Aargh!  Whatever!

I was just chatting with our engineer Tony about this topic....and he had a brilliant idea. Come up with games you could play on your touch tone phone while waiting. You could play "Simon" and try to duplicate keypad tones. Or you could be prompted "touch 1 to enter the castle, touch 2 to slay the dragon, touch 3 to fill your moat with boiling acid."
He also pointed out that it would be fascinating to get tapes of people yelling at the pre-recorded messages. I expect you'd hear a lot of stuff like this..."My call is important to you....blah blah blah....my MONEY may be important to you but I'm not."   "No I don't want to buy another crappy product from you when I've been holding for 15 minutes to complain about your other crappy product.." 

Have any other ideas on this topic? Don't call us..we'll probably just put you on hold.
 
**the above picture is me, on hold with Santa Claus, circa 1964
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Restaurant Week: Merchant
It's Madison Restaurant Week once again--where Madison's best restaurants serve up yummy 3-course meals for dinner starting at just $25.

This time my friend Karen and I went to Merchant, which is located right in the heart of downtown Madison. Both of us chose the buttermilk salad for our first course..and it was huge! The mix of greens was creative...and quite delicious, with big chunks of blue cheese mixed in. Quite frankly that alone could have sufficed as a meal.

















But then came the main course! I chose the Wild Alaskan salmon with beluga lentils, lacinato kale, and buerre blanc. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure what the lentils and kale were, but I thought they were quite tasty. I wanted to lick the plate. (Don't worry--I didn't).

Karen chose the Red Wine Hanger Steak that was served with delicious whole grain mustard potatoes, spinach and shallots. She said it was perhaps the best meal she ever had in her life and gave it five stars!

Luckily we saved room for dessert--I chose the dark chocolate custard, and she picked the dark and milk chocolate with fruit...both nice ways to top off the evening.

While Merchant may be known most for its designer cocktails, we'll be going back for the food!

Click here to check out all the menus for Madison Restaurant Week.
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Dear Abby gone but the song lives on
Just like many of the newspapers her column was published in, Dear Abby has died at the age of 94.

Writer Pauline Friedman Phillips wrote her advice column under the pen name Abigail Van Buren for decades. I think her daughter writes the column these days.

I never wrote Abby for advice, but did once write a letter to Milwaukee Journal advice columnist Mrs. Griggs telling her she was full of it and didn't understand teenagers. But that's a tale for another day.
 
Of course when I heard that Abby had died, I immediately thought of the John Prine song. Now if he wrote an advice column I would make a point of reading it each and every day!


 
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New Muscle Shoals movie looks amazing!
Imagine some of the world's biggest music acts coming to Stoughton, Wisconsin to crank out hits. 

Sounds pretty unlikely doesn't it? Well for some reason, recording studios in a town right around the same size as Stoughton drew every one from Aretha Franklin to the Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, and the Staples Singers. And did I mention the Rolling Stones?

I'm talking about Muscle Shoals Alabama, where a mixture of country, gospel and R & B became known as the Muscle Shoals Sound. An incredible number of hit records were pumped out of that little town in the late 1960's and 70's.

A new documentary tells the story of this little town and the music that was born there, and from the trailer it looks like it's going to be pretty cool. It's set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, but hopefully it will air on PBS sometime after that!
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The No Pants Subway Ride is a thing
Somehow this phenomenon has gone unnoticed by me, until now. 

A group called Improv Everywhere has been doing this No Pants Subway Ride for a dozen years--picking a day, and riding the subway with normal winter attire on top, and no pants below (except for underwear, thankfully!) The most recent just happened on Sunday.
The idea is to just to go about your business like there is nothing unusual going on. Most likely this does not create much of a ruckus in New York.

I like this much more than a Flash Mob, because for some reason those freak me out. If it happened near me, I'd be afraid I had actually just gotten sucked into a movie musical and suddenly I will have to become a pickpocket like the Artful Dodger and face the wrath of Fagen and the evil Bill Sikes.

But I digress.
Back to this No Pants thing. I hope this activity never happens in Wisconsin. I don't want to see anybody's wintertime legs, all alabaster white and unshaven, covered in goose bumps from the cold.

Since we're subwayless and Scott Walker killed the train ,and it doesn't look like Madison will be getting trolleys any time soon, we appear to be safe.

But just in case some of Madison's zany residents get any ideas, I'm staying away from Madison Metro.  And those sandwich shops.

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Will this song be heard around the world?
Madison area musician Pat J. Peterson has been in the fight of his life since 2009, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Since then, he's gone through two surgeries, but kept on making music.

In December, he got some bad news. The tumor had spread and there was no more that could be done. So Pat went home to spend his last days with his family.
 
His last wish is to have his music heard around the world. It was recorded in 2011 on my friend John Urban's show, The Urban Theater, just three months after surgery to have his second brain tumor removed.

Pat has performed as a solo artist and with his bands The Pipe Circus and Avengers Assemble. His lifelong dream was to have his music heard around the world.

We are honored to do our part to help, as Pat takes that "long road to heaven."

 
 
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Richard Nixon vs. The Road Runner
Today is the 100th birth anniversary of the birth of Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States.  Since Nixon was president during much of my childhood, I've formed some pretty clear cut, if not accurate, opinions on the man my family loved to hate.

Ours was a staunchly Democratic household, and we had no love for Nixon. Personally, I did not like the man for two reasons: first, the sweat on his upper lip, and second, the fact that hearings into the Watergate scandal regularly interrupted important television programming.

This fact raised my ire particularly on Saturday mornings, when boring men in boring suits talking non-stop was on TV in place of fantastic shows like The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Inch High Private Eye, and Hong Kong Phooey.

With a brother in Vietnam during part of Nixon's six years in the White House, I had more serious reasons to dislike the man. But my critique of him scarcely went to school with me. Most of my friends parents voted for him, so of course they thought he was a wonderful president....at the time.

After Nixon resigned, all the kids liked to mock Nixon, especially when we were at the city pool. A favorite thing to do was wave two peace signs in the air, say "President Nixon going down," and fall under the water as we shouted "I am not a crook!"  Hilarious!

I'm not sure if I paid attention to it at the time, but I do have to give kudos to Mr. Nixon for appearing on Laugh-In to try and win votes in 1968.  Sock it to me, Tricky Dicky.
 
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Who said it? Elvis or Bowie?
Today is the birthday of two rock stars. David Bowie turns 66, and Elvis Presley would have turned 78. The two stars don't really have a lot in common, or do they?

Check out the following quotes, and guess whether it was said by Bowie or Elvis. Some seem pretty easy, while others are a little tricky!

Answers are below. I thank you very much for not cheating.

1. I'm an instant star. Just add water and stir.

2. Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it, you have it all over.

3. I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.

4. Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.

5. When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.

6. Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

7. I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I'm living on.


 
answers
2, 5, and 6 are Elvis
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Re-opening the X Files
Some television programs just don't stand the test of time, which is something that is very easy to prove these days, with just about every episode of every show available on DVD, Netflix or Hulu.

One of my favorite shows was The X Files. I love that supernatural scary freaky stuff, and really liked the characters of Scully and Mulder, even though I thought Agent Scully was a bit of a fuddy duddy.

Recently I've been re-watching some of the old episodes on DVD, and while I still enjoy them, I often get distracted by the outdated technology.  Wow!  That cell phone is huge!  Dr. Scully is typing on a really old crappy computer, with green print on a black screen. Whoa! They still fax stuff!  Eww..that liver fluke is disgusting.

So I was searching online for an image of one of the two agents talking on a really big phone, so I could go on and on about htat. That's when I came across something amazing. It's a blog where a couple of X Files fans make commentary about every single episode. They're really quite funny. (Check it out  here).

One of the blogs mentions a drinking game, where you take a drink anytime some one says "Mulder."  They bloggers created a video illustrating how many times this happens in just one episode. (It's a lot).

Hey, I'm game. Are you? 

I've got the first four seasons on DVD, so come on over.   I'll make the popcorn if you bring the beer.


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Happy Birthday Sir George Martin!
He's one of the guys that's been called the 5th Beatle, was knighted by the Queen, and has a very smooth sophisticated English accent.
He's George Martin, and he turns 87 today. Not only was he one of the wizards behind the amazing music of the Beatles, he also worked with the likes of Jeff Beck, Gerry and The Pacemakers and America..not to mention all the comedy records he produced before getting his hands on the Beatles.
 
A documentary about Martin's life came out last year on the BBC and is now available on DVD (and perhaps Netflix?). It seems like Produced by George Martin might be a good exploration of Martin's career--although some reviewers say it was slow moving, including one who said he got in two naps while watching it!  Another reviewer mentioned problems understanding the thick British accents..even though there were subtitles!

I recommend you watch the trailer to get the high points. My favorite part involved Peter Sellers reciting.....no I won't ruin it for you. 

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Kitty's Predictions for 2013
A new year has begun...wide open with potential for even more nonsense than we saw in 2012?

I consulted my Magic 8 Ball and listened to my copy of the album "Crystal Ball" by Styx, and came up with a list of things that I'm pretty sure will happen in 2013.

1. Fresh from her divorce from Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore devastates millions of teenagers by marrying Justin Bieber
 
2. So long Jaden and Dakota..the hot new baby name is Fiscal Cliff.
 
3. Mitt Romney endorses a new variety of Ivory soap..it's 47 percent pure.

 4. General Mills introduces a new cereal: Honey Boo Boo Berry.

5. Bad news on climate change. Clay Matthews joins Dancing With the Stars, and his sexy dance raises the earth's temperature 5/10ths of a degree.

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Are the new Beatles mono remasters on vinyl worth it?
Last week, the Beatles re-released their catalog on vinyl, in mono, the way the Beatles wanted you to hear their music. Is it worth spending 400 dollars or so on the box set, or would it be better to just pick up some of your favorites--for around 22...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: John Denver "Fly Away"
John Denver's "Fly Away" was released in 1975, and made it all the way to #13 on the charts. It wasn't one of his biggest hits, but a lot of folks who were listening this morning sure wanted to hear it. It brought back horrific memories for...
Read More
Worst souvenirs ever?
When most people go on vacation, they usually spend some of the time perusing gift shops, checking out cool souvenirs like snow globes depicting ocean views, miniature spoons, t-shirts, or potpourri and candles. When my boyfriend Mike and I go on...
Read More
We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan
It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley. I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"
It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true! "Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a...
Read More
Butch Vig--the actor?
Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a...
Read More
Kitty's Summer's Not Over Checklist
Summer slips through our fingers so quickly. It seems we were just celebrating the longest day of the year--and now Labor Day weekend is upon us! There are some things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't gotten around to yet, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the...
Read More
 
Recent Blog Posts
Are the new Beatles mono remasters on vinyl worth it?
Last week, the Beatles re-released their catalog on vinyl, in mono, the way the Beatles wanted you to hear their music. Is it worth spending 400 dollars or so on the box set, or would it be better to just pick up some of your favorites--for around 22...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: John Denver "Fly Away"
John Denver's "Fly Away" was released in 1975, and made it all the way to #13 on the charts. It wasn't one of his biggest hits, but a lot of folks who were listening this morning sure wanted to hear it. It brought back horrific memories for...
Read More
Worst souvenirs ever?
When most people go on vacation, they usually spend some of the time perusing gift shops, checking out cool souvenirs like snow globes depicting ocean views, miniature spoons, t-shirts, or potpourri and candles. When my boyfriend Mike and I go on...
Read More
We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan
It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley. I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Donny Osmond "Soldier of Love"
It's hard to believe that Donny Osmond scored his second biggest solo hit in 1989, but it's true! "Soldier of Love" went all the way to #2 on the charts. When the song was released, the record company was afraid no one would buy a...
Read More
Butch Vig--the actor?
Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a...
Read More
Kitty's Summer's Not Over Checklist
Summer slips through our fingers so quickly. It seems we were just celebrating the longest day of the year--and now Labor Day weekend is upon us! There are some things you wanted to do this summer that you haven't gotten around to yet, and...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Exile "Kiss You All Over"
Kitty thought this song was an example of country disco and was not a fan...but just about everybody else was. "Kiss You All Over" was #1 for four weeks in 1978, and was probably one of the year's best songs. Exile rocks out with the...
Read More
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