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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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