Sam’s Choice: My Top Songs for 2014

SamsYeah, so it’s been awhile.  And I can’t really fault you if you’ve stopped coming here since I haven’t posted in ages, but something about having twin 1 year-olds really takes up a lot of time and energy.  But that still didn’t stop me from finding some new music to enjoy in 2014 and as I do pretty much every year, I’ve put together the songs that were new to me this year and which I’ll remember 2014 by.

I’ve also done something new and put them all in a Spotify playlist that’s at the bottom so you can easily push play and let them roll.  They aren’t really in any order, since that would take more time and effort than I have right now.  And finally, here’s all my past top songs posts if you’re interested – 20132012, 2011, 2010, and 2009. Anyway, onto the songs.

1. Southern Skies by Matrimony – A breezy upbeat song that has a shouty chorus.  If you’ve read any of my past lists you can definitely see why this one made the list.

2. Stronger Than That by Bahamas – Love me some Bahamas. His new album is really good and this is my favorite track off of it. Showcases all of his best qualities, namely that insanely catchy guitar hook and smooth vocals.

3. Scarecrow by Counting Crows – The first single off the new Crows album and about what you’d expect from them now. Tight sound, fun lyrics and all around goodness.  For whatever reason there has been an abnormal number of days that I’ve woken up with this song in my head the past year.

4. Southern Sun by Brother Bear – The second entry with Southern in the title.  It’s like I live in the South or something. But this song is also one of those songs that as soon as I heard it I knew it’d end up here. Catchy and fun.

5. Buttons by The Weeks – This is one of those songs that just gets the blood pumping and the feet tapping a little bit. It cemented its place here one afternoon when it came on as I was in a bad mood and I rolled down the windows and turned up the volume and just let it wash over me.  And afterwards I felt better.  So there’s that.

6. Then Came The Morning by The Lone Bellow – New album out in 2 weeks and with their sophmore release the Lone Bellow aim to capture some of the magic that they have in their live shows that doesn’t really translate on their recordings. I love this song for all of its twangy sensibilities and the fact that it really sounds like Brooklyn country to me.

7. Only One by John Butler Trio – Vintage JBT. Fast paced dancy song that keeps you moving. there’s something aobut his voice that is so distinctive but in a familiar and wonderful way.  All of it makes for a great song.

8. Hey Rose by Streets of Laredo – A new artist to me and a really great song that has all the requisites to make it here on this list.  And I love the ending flurry as well.

9. Low Key by Tweedy – My favorite song off of the solo project by Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Wilco. Vintage sound here, catchy and whimsical while sounding so solid.

10. We’re All In This Together by Sam Roberts Band – Another great offering by Sam Roberts and co. Vocal harmonics and great pacing with an anthemic chorus all make for a fun song.

11. Ash & Ember by Augustana – One of the few good songs on their new album.  I love Augustana but the new album that came out this year was not phenomenal, especially given the high level of their previous work.  But this song is still vintage Augustana and warranted an inclusion here.

12. Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating In The Future by Mike Doughty – This song grew on me progressively throughout the year and the beat and way he sings ultimtaly won me over.

13. Congregation by Foo Fighters – I absolutely love Sonic Highways multipart documentary that Dave Grohl and the boys put together for HBO this fall.  It’s been a cool look at some famous music cities and various artists that are identified with those places.  This is the song from Nashville recorded with Zac Brown in his recodring studio, which is an old church.  Vintage Foo’s here.

14. California (Cast Iron Soul) by Jamestown Revival – What a phenomenal song. I had a rough February and this song was on repeat over and over and it always made me feel a little better when I heard it.  Probably my favorite song of 2014.

So there you go. All the songs I’ll remember 2014 by. Enjoy.

Love and Sweatpants.

Advertisements

Things I think I think on a Wednesday

Here are some things that I think I think…

1. I think that seeing The Lone Bellow play a show here in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago was incredibly awesome.  It had been way too long since I’d see Zach Williams play live in person and I have been lacking because of it.  You know it is a good show when you go home and listen to the band’s music for the next week.  If The Lone Bellow are playing anywhere near you you owe it to yourself to go see them.  The live experience of wonderful people making amazing music and leaving it all on the stage is not to be missed.

2. I think that speaking of music, I can’t stop listening to the following bands: the aforementioned Lone Bellow, Lord Huron, and the Alabama Shakes.  If you aren’t familiar with any or all of these guys you need to check them out.

3. I think that I’ve ventured into some new and unknown territory.  Yes, I broke down and joined Twitter.  You can follow me at @samfielder22 but I can’t really promise anything remotely interesting or entertaining.  I’m trying to think of things that I can live tweet that might be funny, like standing in line at airport security, riding the rental car shuttle, or conference calls.  But I suspect those things might A) get me on the TSA no-fly list, B) be too short and uneventful, or C) get me fired, so I’ll keep on working on my ideas.  If you can think of things you want me to live tweet, hit me and let me know.

4. I think that this was the WORST pollen season EVER.  My long-suffering wife disagrees and tells me that I say this every year (I don’t) and has seen/read an article about exaggeration where pollen/allergy season was used as the example, but I still stand by my assertion and I promise that next year I will NOT say the same thing.  (Unless it actually IS the worst season ever, even worse than this season, then I will gladly bestow the title to 2014).

5. I think I was right when I was worried that winter was going to slide right into summer with little to no spring.  It was nice for about a week here in Alabama and now it is muggy and hot.  I want my spring back.

6. I think that having 3 dogs is great.  When we only had 2 the thought of 3 was ridiculous and insane, but now that we have 3 I can’t imagine not having all of them.

7. I think that putting seeds into soil, watering them, and then watching them grow is one of the coolest things ever.  If our garden manages to produce about half of what we planted we’ll be having you over for plenty of veggies…

I think that is about all for now, but thanks for reading.

Love and sweatpants.

Thinking on a Rainy Thursday

It’s rainy outside, the wife is out, and the dogs are asleep on the floor in the office.  I’m finally home after a long trip away and it is so nice to be here.  So here’s some thoughts I have right now, expressed in my former style of 5 Things I Think I Think (check out some former The Week That Was posts if you don’t understand).

1. I think that my time last week with friends from different walks of life taught me two things: First, that you really do have some friends that you will never ever not be friends with no matter how long between visits you go or how different your lives become.  Some people are just friends for life and that’s it.  Second, time with those types of friends, that do live so far away, kinda make me ache for that type of friendship locally.

2. I think that I really, really needed to read the following last night “We need to learn from Abraham’s example and trust in the gospel promises even when we cannot understand what God is doing in out lives.”  And then this morning on the plane “This is the God we serve, the God who knew us before He made us.  The God who promises to be with us and rescue us.  The God who loves us and longs for us to love him back.”  Thank you Vaughn Roberts and Francis Chan for penning those words.

3. I think that as I sit here listening to the rain pound on my roof, the thunder rumble outside, and Joe Purdy singing and playing the guitar on my iTunes, I’m struck by how incredible it is that God actually created all of these things, so different and strange, and yet all under His command.

4. I think that Clam Chowder is the best soup ever.  I ate 2 bowls for dinner tonight and they were both so delicious.  I can’t explain it to you, but know that if you buy me some Clam Chowder you’ll be my hero (it doesn’t take much).

5. I think that I have to have married the most incredible woman on the planet.  She put up with me being gone for a week while both of our dogs were sick and depositing all manner of bodily fluids all over our carpet.  And while she was frustrated, she still kept cleaning everything up, finding new remedies for them to try to feel better, and still loving on both of them.  Pretty sure I owe her pretty big.

Sam’s Choice : Top Songs For 2011

It’s that time of the year again folks.  Yes, the time has come for me to post my highly anticipated and talked about (not really in either case…) list of my favorite songs from 2011.  As always, these are not neccessarily songs that came out this year (although I think that most, if not all, of them did), but just the songs that will make me think about 2011 when I hear them because this is the year I discovered them and subsequently wore them out with tons of plays on my iTunes. And few things are as subjective as musical taste, so these are just my favorites.  But hopefully there is some stuff you like here too.

Programing note: the ordering is mostly just in the order that I think they sound the best, not necessarily in order of my favorites (though the 5 five-star songs did lead off the list…so maybe subconsciously they did.) Anyway, here we go!

1. Rock n’ Roll is Free – Ben Harper

This is the ultimate starter song.  The opening funky bass line with slow guitar and snare build into the jangling guitar rift and they just make your feet want to move.  Leave it to Ben Harper to create my favorite rock anthem of the year and to do it with such a catchy tune that even though I listened to this song all year it never got old.  Turn the speakers up loud when you listen to this one, because it only gets better as it goes on, showcasing Harper’s considerable shredding ability on the guitar (which we all knew was there all along).  And could there be a better opening song for this list?  “Rock n’ Roll is free so come and get it!”

2. My Body – Young the Giant

Another foot-tapping anthem holds the number 2 spot this year.  Young the Giant kills this song with a frantic energy that really makes this song’s catchy hooks and distorted guitars leap out of the speakers and into your head.  I love the “take a breath slow down” at about the 3 minute mark that leads straight back into the frenzied finish.  I saw these guys play this song live on TV this year and the energy they brought was about what I thought that it would take to make this song work live and they threw themselves around the set with reckless abandon and made me think they actually loved making music.  Anyway, I just love this song.

3. Free My Mind – Katie Herzig

This is a great poppy and dancy song that is filled with fun hooks and loops.  The fact that Katie has an incredible voice to sing over all of the great beats is what really pushes this song over the top for me.  Frankly, this song just sounds like summer to me (I have no idea what that means, but it just works…maybe fun, light, airy and dreamy).  I also really love the string arrangement in this song that closes it out as it just wraps things up in a nice bow.

4. The Whole Love – Wilco

This song encompasses everything that makes Wilco my favorite band.  A simple growing start that slides into a full hook that pervades the entire song the rest of the way.  Simple yet complex.  Layered yet stripped down.  This song just draws me in and makes me want to listen to it over and over again.  For me, if a song ends and I immediately want to reach down and replay it, that means it’s probably going to end up on this list.  This was by far the best song on Wilco’s pretty stellar release that happens to be titled after this song.  (Sidenote: The day this album came out I was in the den reading while K (my wife) was watching T.V.  This song came on one of the shows that she watches and I immediately recognized it and said “Hey!  That’s the new Wilco song!” I’d heard it twice at that point.  I’m not sure what this story means, except that I really just love this song.)

5. Hold On – The Alabama Shakes

Wow.  It’s tough to make a song any better than this.  I heard this song once on internet radio (HT to Birmingham Mountain Radio here) and knew that it would end up here.  The funky guitar hook with the great interludes and quiet intensity of singing drew me in immediately and has become on of my favorite songs of all time.  My head bobs to the rhythm every time I heard and I bet yours will too.  Bonus points here for the ending with the piano and fuzzed out sound.  I’d never heard of this band before but they’re on my list to see sometime in 2012.

6. Powerful Stuff – Sean Hayes

Leave it to Subaru to not only create the car that I bought this year, but to also introduce me to one of my favorite songs.  This song has such a great laid back vibe with the catchy guitar rift and Hayes’ homey feeling voice.  Couple that with the great snap breaks near the end and the funky beat and I’m sold.  Just like on the Outback.

7. Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars

My choice for folky, funky song of the year.  This song has a hauntingly catchy quality to it that keeps you humming it even after it has ended.  I love the little parts where the instruments drop out and only the voices and the percussion sound through, which only add to the greatness of this song.

8. Take Me – Jesse Payne

My love for all the songs Jesse Payne has created has been well documented before on this blog, so I’ll spare you.  But even so this song is vintage Jesse.  It has a raw feel to it that is catchy and toe-tapping.  It builds and descends.  It makes use of horns and and an organ.  And then it starts a final move towards the end at about the 3 minute mark that really finishes things off well.  Just a great song and I’d encourage you to buy all of his music.

9. Alabama Pines – Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

Another song that comes to you courtesy of Bham Mountain Radio (seriously, just find this station on the internet and start listening).  Another great folksy song with great guitar rifts and a strong beat (sensing any kind of a theme here?).  There is something about this song that just feels right, which is really saying something since I’d probably more inclined to favorite a song about California than Alabama.  So it must be good.  Even if it does have a little twang to it…but maybe that’s the appeal.

10. Down in the Valley – The Head and the Heart

We enter double digits with a song from my favorite discovered artist of the year.  I don’t think that there is a song by these guys that I’ve heard that I did not like immensely.  It’s got all the hallmarks…piano, stings, guitar, and good beats combined with catchy hooks and slow builds.  Yep, that’s me alright.  And this song would be great in and of itself, but then it kicks into another gear at about the 2 minute mark that really tops things off.  The frantic build up to the finish ensured it’s inclusion in this list and the fact that this is my favorite newly discovered band of the year. (Sidenote: After listening to this band for about a week I remarked to K that I had found this band that I really liked and that I thought she should listen to…and when I told her it was The Head and the Heart she said “Oh yeah, I’ve been listening to them for a while now.  They’re really good.”  Well then.)

11. Keep You Right – Blind Pilot

This is my second favorite newly discovered artist of 2011.  I heard these guys on NPR doing an interview and I liked the snippets of songs they played and their remarks so much I came home that night and got my hands on a ton of their stuff.  This songs has great vocal harmonies and wonderfully melodic backing instruments.  All the pieces are there; guitar, piano, drums; but the way they put them all together sets them apart.  Great song.

12. Roll Away Your Stones – Mumford and Sons

This songs starts with an incredible instrumental opening that leads into a frantic folk song.  In a way, it’s almost like walking from a fancy dinner into a hoedown.  And I think that it is the juxtaposition that makes it so great.  And again, all the things that I love combine to make a great song that moves back and forth from fast and slow, almost like it’s letting you catch your breath.  Tough to beat as far as musical talent goes. And I just love when the chorus of voices join the singing.

13. Chisel and Pick – Through the Sparks

This is just a really catchy tune.  It has a jangly hook that makes use of the piano and then brings in horns and other voices to make a finished product that is ragged and yet smooth (if that makes any sense…).  This is a great track but I really love the way that the end sort of descends into chaos and finishes.

14. Steal Your Heart – Augustana

This song is exactly why Augustana is one of my favorite bands…that is it is catchy, smooth, has a great chorus, and incredible instrumentation.  This is off of their third album and all of three of them are really, really good records.  These guys really seem to enjoy playing music and I feel like that shows through, especially in a song like this.  The cool drum stop at the end doesn’t really hurt anything either…

15. Empire – Rococode

This is a Canadian band that recently formed and contains some guys that I semi-know, who also happen to have played with Tegan and Sara.  This is the first single off their album that is coming out early next year and if this song is any indication, it is going to be a good one.  This song has a great rhythm to it and is pretty much everything I am looking for in a great indie-rock song.  A catchy chorus rounds it all out and makes for the inclusion in this list.

16. These Days – Foo Fighters

What more can I say about Foo Fighters that has not been said?  This song has everything we’ve come to expect from them including great guitar rifts, catchy hooks, incredible drumming and Dave Grohl singing his head off.  For me, this was the standout track on their great new album that came out this spring.  If you haven’t seen the documentary that came out at the same time I’d urge you to do so, as it is really, really good.

17. Allies – MuteMath  NOTE: This is not Allies as there was not a copy available and Warner Brothers does not allow uploading to sample.  So this is Blood Pressure, a good song in it’s own right but not on the list…

As a rule, MuteMath albums are best consumed whole.  Therefore, while it is annoying that I could get a stream of Allies for you to listen to, Blood Pressure works too.  Either way, the new MuteMath album that came out this fall was fantastic.  As was their introduction concert in a small venue with like maybe 400 people or less.  Just get the album already and be done with it and then go see them when they come to your town.  Thank me later.

18. Royal Blue – Cold War Kids

Again, the Record company foils any attempt to get people to listen to their music…so the above is about a third of the song for you to listen to.  Either way this track is a great song by Cold War Kids that features a strong bass line, a great guitar hook, and a catchy chorus.  Even better, it includes some hand claps (which I am always partial to) and a slow fadeout, which is great. Pretty typical of most Cold War Kids stuff, so I’d encourage you to check out their stuff.

19. The One You Should’ve Let Go – Zach Williams & The Bellow

Zach himself best describes his own music “It’s like trying to catch lightening in a shoe box.”  That’s about right.  There is literally nothing else about this man or his music that I can say that I have not already said on this blog.  So watch the video, enjoy the music and buy the album when it comes out later this year.

And that concludes…oh wait.

Honorable Mention for Most Played Out Song of the Year – Pumped Up Kicks – Foster the People

It’s sad frankly.  I really, really liked this song a lot.  And then every radio station and DJ and retail store caught on that it was a good song and started playing it non-stop everywhere I went and I could not escape it.  And thus, it got overplayed.  I did not want to add it to my list but I guess it fits my criteria from above and K said that I had to since it was apparently THE 2011 anthem.  So here it is.

And that is all the songs that were fit to play in my Top 10 (give or take 10) for 2011.  Love or leave ’em, these are the songs that I loved this year and will remember forever as 2011’s best songs.

Love and Sweatpants.

 

Wedding Music

Sorry for not posting earlier.  I’ve had a killer cold and was laid up all weekend.  But have no fear, Kristen has posted all things wedding here for you to read…but I’m adding my own wedding thought here.

If you know me at all  (why would you be ready this banality if not?), then you know I love music. I listen to music all the time, whether reading, studying (which might explain low grades…), washing the car, exercising, showering, really just about anything.  I believe anything is made better with music. So it should come as no surprise that I am agonizing over the musical selections for the wedding. Not the ceremony itself, since that has been figured out, but the reception and the take away.

You see, music is special for Kristen and me. Our first post-high school encounter was centered around it. I came up with the brilliant (I thought so…) idea that we meet up over a cup of coffee and exchange mix CD’s that we’d made each other. It was really just a ploy to get her to meet me, but 13 months later with a ring on her finger, I’d say it worked. And I’ve made her about 10 Cd’s since. So to say I take mixes seriously would be correct. And I consider these wedding ones the most important mixes I’ve ever made (at this point I imagine Kristen rolling her eyes and listing off all the things about the wedding she is/has worried about and thinking I’m a moron for worrying about music and not more important things…so Kristen, I’m sorry.), so I want them to be exactly perfect. I want people to listen to songs they did not know that move them and remind them of loving and of me and Kristen. And I realize that this is a tall order.  Music is a pretty subjective thing.  I’d like to think that I have impeccable musical taste, save for a few guilty pleasures.  And since we’re inviting only a few people to the wedding and they are mostly family, I think that it is a tall order.

But I’m up to the task.  I think that I’ve created the finest reception mix (I’ve even got a fantastic title for it) around but I’m really struggling with the take away CD.  I keep changing directions with it, not bring sure what I am really trying to do with it.  So I went to iTunes the other day to check out their wedding music selections.  It was pretty bad.  They had all different kinds based on your taste and style, but when I clicked on the ones that I thought would appeal to me, they did not.  I then realized that this mix, along with everything in our wedding was designed to help us celebrate our love for each other and the joining of our lives together into one.  It is subjective and individual because that is what we are as people.

So all that to say I’m still working on it.  The mix is coming together, but it is still not a masterpiece yet.  I’ll publish it to iTunes when it is and share the link here, but for now, just listen to the songs that move you and make you move.  It’ll be better that way.  I promise.

Album Review – Wilco (the album) by Wilco

51vfIxeNK3L._SS500_As you know, I am an unabashed Wilco fan.  Maybe a little fanatic.  But hey, they are a fantastic band with a great back catalog and a bright future, as evidenced by their latest release, Wilco (the album).

The record starts at a frantic pace with Wilco (the song) and they audaciously lay out their intention.  “Wilco will love you baby.  They are a sonic shoulder to cry on.”  And you know what, they are actually right.  Given the whimsical album cover, the gratuitous use of parenthesis (which you know I love), and the ability to make wonderful music, Wilco provides a nice escape from pre-packaged pop stars that take themselves too seriously and instead just set about the business of having fun and making a great record. It’s perfect for summertime listening and long road trips.

This album has all of the hallmarks that you’ve come to expect from your Wilco albums.  Upbeat anthems that keep your head bobbing and your toes tapping, wilting guitar solos that meander up and down and all around, and a tight, rock and roll sound that gives you a chance to get lost in the music.  Fans of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (arguably one of the greatest albums ever) will love You Never Know, a piano driven song, and Sonny Feeling, both of which carry that Americana rock edge that makes it so special.  Fans of A Ghost Is Born (easily Wilco’s most experimental and complete album as a whole) will find a home on Bull Black Nova with its repetitive looping sound and fuzzy guitar solos. And really, there are shades of each previous album in this one.  It listens as a reflection of who Wilco is, yet it does not get bogged down in the past.  It nods to the musical heritage that is Wilco and then speeds past that to keep pressing forward.

And while there are easily 5 fantastic standout songs on this album, it still works as a complete grouping.  I felt that Sky Blue Sky never really flowed as well as it ought to have, but Wilco (the album) does not have that problem.  It has all of the best elements of the band’s music that any Wilco fan has come to love and enjoy, yet it is still readily accessible to those people new to them.  There is even a guest appearance by Feist on You and I, which only magnifies the range that this album has.  It really is a complete effort and one that will be in heavy rotation on my iTunes for the rest of the summer and probably longer.  Are you being attacked?  Wilco will love you baby!

The Week That Was

TWTWI decided I needed a logo for The Week That Was, so I made three. I’ll try a new one out each week and then maybe we’ll have a vote or something as to which one you like best.  We’ll see how it goes.  Anyway, onto the stuff…

Music That I Am Listening To and Enjoying – I’ve definitely been wearing out Zach Williams’ new album and by all accounts it was a great release show on Tuesday night in NYC.  Kudos to him and his band for a fantastic record.  I also pre-ordered Wilco’s newest offering that releases at the end of this month and got the single immediately, which was nice.

Customer Service Moment of the Week – Pretty mild as far as things go, but I did get told that Pike Place Roast Coffee was undrinkable and that this man could not believe we brewed that stuff.  I nearly told him that I was not the one making that decision but that he could continue to berate me if it made him feel better, but instead I help my tongue.  But if my head ever explodes at Starbucks, you’ll know why…

Sports Moment of the Week – The Pittsburgh Penguins finished off their Stanley Cup win in a tense game 7, while the Lakers finished off the Magic with a blowout win.  Baseball had interleague play going on, but the best performance of the week was probably not seen by most, but Spanish soccer player Fernando Torres scored a hat trick (3 goals) in 17 minutes in the Confederations Cup.  Simply ridiculous, even against an overmatched New Zealand side.

Books and Movies of the Week – Still reading Paul Shirley and David Livingstone.  But I did recieve some new books I ordered, so I am excited about getting to those.  I did watch some movies this week though, as the weather was quite stormy and not conducive to time by the pool.  So I watched Step Into Liquid, one of the greatest surfing movies ever made.  Even if you do not surf (me) or like surfing, this is a fascinating look at the sport itself and provides an interesting take on life.  I also watched Get Shorty, which was actually the frist time I’d seen it.  Typically Elmore Leonard fare, with witty dialouge (and rough language) and tidy plot twists that tie everything together in unexpected ways.  Pretty funny too.

Video of the Week – I really don’t want to know how long this took to make, but the guy that made it is absolutely brilliant.  And he picked a great song to accompany it.  Simply amazing.

5 Things I Think I Think

1. I think that I am just a little jealous that my girlfriend Kristen got to go to Bonnaroo last weekend.  She got to see Wilco, Ben Harper, Phish, Bruce Springsteen, and many, many others.  I stayed home and worked and watched a lot of TV…indeed, it is summer time.  But I am really glad that she got to go and that she had a great time.

2. I think that I am going to add a new weekly feature to the blog called Single Man Cooking.  I am not trained in cooking nor do I have any particular skill at it, but I enjoy it.  So the plan is to make some of my best and most perfected recipes, take some pictures and give you the reader an idea of how to do it.  They’ll be simple but tasty things that anyone can make with minimal effort and small increments of time.  And if it takes off and you like it, maybe I’ll spin it off into its’ own blog…we’ll give it a test run and see.

3. I think that I’m not a fan of violent storms knocking huge branches off my neighbor’s tree, but I am a fan of breaking out the chainsaw for the first time in like 4 years and the sense of accomplishment that comes in seeing the large branches that were cluttering our front yards now stacked all nicely in 3-4 foot lengths next to the trash cans.  Any day you can use a chainsaw is a good day by me.

4. I think that this travel case thingy is one of the more interesting things I’ve seen in a while.  It looks pretty practical, but I wonder about functionality and ease of use.  If anyone decides to give it a go, be sure and let me know.

5. I think that elections in foreign countries are sadly predictable.  One side claims victory, the other claims shenanigans, then riots ensue.  Say what you will about the U.S.’s electoral system (far from perfect), but we even once had an election where there was no declared winner for 2 months and aside from a few protests, nothing burned (I know because I was there in the center of it in Palm Beach County) and no one died.  But overseas (Iran is the latest example, but this happens all over), once someone is declared the winner, all bets are off.  Crazy to me.

That’s all for now, but I hope that you have a great week and enjoy the summer!

Love and Sweatpants.