Saturday Odds & Sods: I Can’t Stand The Rain

Landscape in the Rain by Vincent Van Gogh.

It was the week from hell in New Orleans. There turned out to be much more human error involved in the flood I wrote about Monday. It has led to an orgy of recrimination and paranoia. The bottom line is that the city’s pumping system is in poor shape at the peak of hurricane season. It makes me glad to live in the so-called sliver by the river but it still bites the big one.

Mayor Landrieu has been re-enacting my Russell Long meme:

Comparisons to Katrina and the Federal Flood remain overwrought but things should not have gotten as bad as they did. It was also my birthday and in the future the August 5th flash flood will join the list of local flood dates. Heckuva job, Mitch. Btw, your fantasies of a presidential bid are underwater, both literally and figuratively.

This week’s theme song was an easy choice since I live in a city with marginally functional drainage as of this writing. I Can’t Stand The Rain was written by Ann Peebles, Don Bryant, and Bernie Miller. It was a big hit in 1973 and could be the theme song not only of this post but of the city of New Orleans in the summer of 2017. Heckuva job, Mitch.

Here are two versions of this superb song: the Ann Peebles original and a live version from the great Paul Rodgers. Rodgers recorded the song in Memphis for his Royal Sessions album. It was one of my birthday albums. It’s a good ‘un.

I’m feeling terse and not particularly funny as I write this on Friday morning. I’ve been on the receiving end of some extraordinarily bad customer service this week and I’m still fuming as you can see from this tweet:

The post was already assembled so I’ll play hurt as it were. We’ll see how that works out after the break. At least I’m not concussed…

I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated with genealogy. I’m an avid viewer of Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are? Yes, I actually watch something on TLC even though there’s precious little learning to be done on The Learning Channel. Holy misnomer, Batman. I had a Lou (my late dad) moment whilst watching an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring John Stamos who is Greek-American. It turns out that Stamos’ people are from a small village not far from my grandfather’s village, Levithi. In fact, he searched for documents in the archives at Levithi. Purt near everyone in that neck of the woods is related. Lou would already have claimed Stamos as a relative. Dr. A thinks I should too but I have hair envy when it comes to maybe cousin John so I’m biding my time.

Our first segment is a great piece from the WaPo about-you guessed it-genealogy.

DNA Detectives: Libby Copeland takes a look at some people whose genealogical research led to some major surprises. Spoilers abound in this story and I shan’t spoil them for you. I hate spoil sports. Click here and be enthralled.

Speaking of families, dysfunctional and otherwise.

Happy Valley: It’s no surprise to you lot that I have a weakness for crime fiction. I am the pulp fiction guy, after all. I love a good cop show and the BBC’s Happy Valley is a great cop show. It’s also an outstanding family drama with moments of both high tragedy and low comedy.

I love English regional accents and Happy Valley is set in Yorkshire. There have been two series thus far and the second was as good as the exceptional first season. The most jarring thing for us as viewers was seeing James Norton, who plays the dishy Vicar on Grandchester, as the super villain of the piece. Norton is one of the best-looking actors on the scene today so I guess he’s shooting for a Ralph Fiennes-type career. He’s phenomenal as are Sarah Lancashire and the rest of the series regulars.

Here’s the trailer for the first season:

Happy Valley is streaming at Netflix. I give it 4 stars, an Adrastos grade of A- and an exuberant Ebertian thumbs up.

It’s time for one of our stolen features. This one was pinched from Spy Magazine.

Separated At Birth: There’s been a lot of discussion as to who to cast in a movie about the Trump campaign and/or administration. When it comes to Paul Manafort there’s only one choice, Chazz Palminteri.

Btw, I always pronounce the crooked former Trump adviser’s name: Manafor-te. Who’s he kidding by removing the vowel? He’s clearly Italian-American as is Chazz whose name still ends in a vowel. Palminteri is a nice man who specializes in playing hiss-provoking villains. Manafort is a corrupt fucker who should be hissed at every turn.

Tweet Of The Week: It comes from a certain former squid and requires no explanation.

One way to improve the mood of a cranky blogger is good music, especially power pop.

Saturday Classic: When Badfinger first emerged, many people thought they were the Beatles working under a pseudonym. They, of course, were not BUT they were good enough to be confused with the Beatles. That’s pretty darn good. Straight Up is their masterpiece,

Since I’ve been banging on about Aimee Man of late, here’s her cover of Baby Blue:

That’s it for this week. Here’s hoping they give diplomacy a chance on the Korean peninsula. If not, we may have to resort to Wormplomacy:

2 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: I Can’t Stand The Rain

  1. I represent United Steel Workers Members at a number of locations, and one of those is a major corporation in NJ that services turbines – huge machines that start at the size of panel trucks and go up from there. I was touring the plant this spring, and there was a very old piece, quite large and complicated, that looked like nothing else in the shop. Turns out it was a turbine from the NOLA pumping system – apparently from sometime prior to WWII. They have a few spares, and they rotate them through the repair facility somewhat regularly. Fascinating piece of machinery, but very old.

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