If I Could Only Exist On 25 Songs and 25 Albums


Let's Say That The First Digital Music Storage Type Device Had Just Been Invented and That It Only Had Room For 25 Songs And 25 Albums. That's The Music I Would Be Limited To Have On A Portable Basis.
What Would I Put In There? Here's My Lists:

I Feel Fine -- Beatles
Daydream Believer -- Monkees
Good Vibrations -- Beach Boys
End of The World -- Skeeter Davis
Reach Out I'll Be There -- Four Tops
California Dreaming -- Mamas and Papas
Bus Stop -- Hollies
Pretty Woman -- Roy Orbison
Downtown -- Petula Clark
Can't Help Falling In Love -- Elvis Presley
Cherish -- Association
Never My Love -- Association
Yesterday -- Beatles
Happy Together -- Turtles
Satisfaction -- Rolling Stones
Ruby Tuesday -- Rolling Stones
Can't Get Used To Losing You -- Andy Williams
Classical Gas -- Mason Williams
I'd Like to Get To Know You -- Spanky and Our Gang
Pretty Ballerina -- Left Banke
Someday We'll Be Together -- Diana Ross And Supremes
Your Song -- Elton John
Summer Song -- Chad and Jeremy
You Lost That Lovin' Feeling -- Righteous Bros.
I'm A Believer -- Monkees

Rubber Soul -- The Beatles
Beatles '65 (U.S. Capitol Release) -- The Beatles
Revolver -- The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper -- The Beatles
Beatles Second Album (U.S. Capitol Release) -- The Beatles
The Early Beatles (U.S. Capitol Release) -- The Beatles
Hard Day's Night -- The Beatles
Help! -- The Beatles
White Album -- The Beatles
Abbey Road -- The Beatles
Pet Sounds -- The Beach Boys
Aja -- Steely Dan
Days of Future Passed -- Moody Blues
Nashville Skyline -- Bob Dylan
Greatest Hits -- Beach Boys
Greatest Hits -- Petula Clark
Greatest Hits -- Simon & Garfunkel
Greatest Hits -- Rolling Stones
Greatest Hits -- Nat King Cole
Greatest Hits -- The Monkees
Greatest Hits -- Elton John
Greatest Hits -- Neil Diamond
Greatest Hits -- Sam Cooke
Greatest Hits -- Elvis Presley
Tchaikovsky -- Nutcracker Suite
West Side Story -- Motion Picture Soundtrack



I grew up in Chicago.

All the pinball machines created for the U.S. and the world were made in Chicago.

As a boy, they were everywhere. By the time I was 7 or 8, I loved throwing in a dime to play a game of pinball. 1950's and 1960's machines had incredible works of art on the playfields and backglasses. They are a much under-appreciated American art form. But other than that, the ball moved very slowly and it easily left the playfield. Other than a few bumpers, there was really nothing exciting to do and the sound was a bunch of chimes.

In the late 70's the ball started moving faster, digital scores displays and electronic sounds were introduced (it was really freaky hearing it the first time) and there were some additional things to do besides just bumpers. And the cost per game became 25 cents.

In the 80's, pinball had to compete with video games and this required a major change. The ball was now going extremely fast and there was numerous toys, contraptions and other things to do on the playfield. And lots of movie themes.

In the 80's and 90's, most of the companies went out of business as video games and home video consoles took over completely. The remaining few pinball companies made some incredible games but they were getting harder to find in public places. Few of each title were being made and most were being sold to private individuals for home use.

Few new pinball machines are made today.
I have usually had a machine to play at home. At one time I had 5 machines. I have estimated that I have spent at least 10,000 hours in my lifetime playing pinball.

Any old pinball machine has become very valuable and are restored by companies and individuals.

One of the biggest problems of owning a machine is a flipper goes out, a display stops working, the logic of the game stops working, the ball won't eject...numerous problems that are expensive for the few experts in each city to come and fix. Also, pinball machines are quite large and heavy. And you are limited to playing one game over and over.

One of the most sought after machines is the 1978 KISS rock group pinball. The few times it shows up for sale, it instantly gets between $4-6 THOUSAND dollars!

However, something quite wonderful has been developing over the last decade--by hobbyists. 

I now have KISS, 

 Visual Pinball Version

Twilight Zone, Funhouse, Taxi, Playboy, The Addams Family, Simpsons, Fireball, Eightball Deluxe, Captain Fantastic and 99 of the most sought after machines all in one regular pinball size unit! It's called VISUAL PINBALL (sometimes Virtual Pinball) and it is total 3-D electronic versions of popular pinball games all in one machine. Mostly an East Coast and Midwest phenomenon, I found a man in Los Angeles who had built himself the ultimate VP pinball and he needed the space, so I am the new owner of this marvelous digital wonder.

I can play games I played as a kid, in high school, in college, second childhood and so on--all on one machine.

And there are no mechanical parts to fix.

The playfields look authentic, the ball moves and interacts like a real pinball would respond (the physics are amazing), and all the original machine's sounds, music, effects, graphics are all present as well. And all of this is being done by hobbyists who digitize the original playfields and then make them respond exactly like the original physical machines. and they all share the games with each other and anybody is welcome to make improvements if they wish in a new version.

This is affecting my sleep so I have to make some specific timeslots to follow. There are a few of these up for sale on Ebay, but they are mostly from back East. 

I had heard about this going on but until I actually played it and it was just like a real pinball machine--I can see these are going to become very popular among pinball aficionados.



12 Years A Slave - An Important Film

I disconnected TV about 3 years ago.

So I did not even see the Academy Awards.

I waited for about 3 hours to check on the Internet to see if
"12 Years A Slave" won Best Picture and it did.

This is a very important historical film. And here's why:

Probably for the first time in a film about slavery, it really lets you

The degrading selection process of slaves on the auction block;

How having your family broken up and parted out to
different plantation families actually felt;

The brutal treatment of slaves on the cotton plantations;

The manipulation of slaves who were allowed one minute to
hold dances amongst themselves, or given cookies as a special treat, or allowed to attend a church gathering and then thrown back into the horror of extreme working conditions with severe punishments (abusive psychological techniques of back and forth to make them think they were actually very lucky);

The fact that there were white people who stood up and protested this "peculiar institution" and treated blacks and slaves as human beings

This is going to become the ultimate film for students to see to put them in the time and place and develop an understanding of what really happened.