Jul312014

It’s My Rant


I have been thinking a lot over the years over one big design flaw. When you grow up in the era of muscle cars and the head turning hot designs of the cars of those years well, there has been nothing since then that compares. The current commercials give you blaze and blitz and clever smokin’ camera angles along with music that pulses but……..that’s it. When they finally show you the car in the two minute commercial that all the hype is leading to well, my opinion of it sinks quite a bit. They make it seem like there is this dream car that has a personality of its own that can send a message to whoever sees it or rides in it. It exudes all you have ever wanted. They give it a life of its own but in reality it is quite a disappointment.

Who is designing these lame excuses for a car?

When I think of a car that catches my eye there are many things that have to happen. As an artist I have a critical eye for design. When you chose a car first and foremost the design has to speak to you. There are way too many bland cars with neutral, boring details that cast a very poor reflection on the industry. Good design is always in the details. Anything can be made better if thought is given to the details.  I am shocked as I look in a line of traffic, specifically to see which car catches my attention. I’m afraid it’s not many. It is a long line of boring, boring, yawn, boring vehicles. What has happened along the way?

New technologies and designs arrived as the jet age came into full swing in the 1950’s. The cars became longer, lower and wider. Designers took their cues from the transportation industry of Europe in trains and airplanes. Chrome was added as a feature part of the design. The 1950’s saw the U.S. auto production profits increase dramatically and exceed that of Great Britain, France, Japan, and Sweden. Demand for cars after the Depression and World War 11 created an excess of the ‘50’s with tail pins (or fins) and chrome was in.  The jet set lifestyle was here and car manufacturers aimed to capitalize on the new rage. The “fabulous fifties” saw some of the most beautiful and outlandish cars ever made. Plain looking family cars were outfitted with wings, turbines, and after burner tail lights. How cool was that?

The Cadillac proved that America was coming out of the war unscathed and demonstrated a new found prosperity in expanding this vision to suburban neighborhoods. The Jet Age was here.

Tailfins, V-8, MUSCLE BOOM and hot rods. Smaller companies were feeling the pressure of competition. By the ‘60’s ten car companies became four. The end came for Studebaker, Nash, Kaiser-Frazer, Hudson, Packard, Willys and Crosley.

1960’s muscle cars and part of the Classic Car era appeared when Detroit (Motor city or Mo Town) was trying to stop the invasion of (no, not the Beatles) but imported cars from Volkswagen, Datsun, Corvair, Fiat and the Valiant.

Then came the big guns of muscle; Pontiac GTO (or “goat”) led the way followed with the Barracuda, Superbird, Cyclone, Camaro, Firebird, Super Sport, Road Runner, Mustang and Toronado. Then we have the Ford Torino and Chevy Chevelle.

Pony cars came and went. The 70’s were bad for the automobile and they began to face more challenges. Regulations such as safety issues, the Clean Air Act, and the OPEC oil embargo leading to the gas shortage began to affect the industry. Consumers now looked to foreign cars and the smaller more affordable and efficient models were now in demand. The Volkswagen Beetle or “Bug” was the counterculture rave with 15 million sold in 1973. This hippy car never changed its look year after year.

In the 80’s the Japanese had watched and learned how to create a better car to entice the disillusioned Americans. They began to lead with their Honda Accord a top rated and best- selling car in America by 1989. Toyota, Datsun, Mitsubishi followed as popular new cars trends. Saab, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo also kept up their share of the demand of the market with trend setting European styles.

Then the 90’s came and there you see the evidence in the downward spiral of design in my opinion. Round is the new out of shape style I see. The new lines of LH cars are streamlined, cabin-forward styling maximizing interior space. Gone is anything unique in the design or style of the automobile. The colors are for the most part, bland with ho-hum details and interiors. Where is the excitement in that? I want something that speaks to me from the other side of the parking lot and I don’t mean with a chirp or other stupid sound. And as with any successful design, it’s always in the details such as some of the current cool wheels out there. Real nice. All it takes is adjusting or adding something to bring the notch of the product up from okay to outstanding. It’s not hard. It just takes vision. I don’t see that. I mostly see dull. Take the challenge and the next time you’re in a parking lot see which vehicles make you take a second look, nod your head and say, “oh yeah”.

Who are these automobile designers of today’s blahmobiles?

I miss the chrome and the classic edge to the overall look and the muscle cars for their sharp looks and the ‘take it with no nonsense’ style it evoked with wicked class. All guts and glory.

We all remember our first car. There’s always a story with it. Here’s mine.

It was the summer of ’73. I needed a car to get me to college as I was commuting starting in September. Our local newspaper had a listing for sale that I could afford with my saved up summer job money. It was a black, 4 speed, dual exhaust, hardtop convertible Mustang. I mean, I just needed a car to get me there and back, right? It did seem pretty cool and I hadn’t learned yet how to drive a standard but I inquired to the phone number listed. Turns out it belonged to a guy a few years ahead of me in high school and he did NOT want to sell it to me. I mean after all I was a girl and he had a cool car. What would he tell his friends? But the $250 cash I presented to him made him hand over the keys and I went on my merry way learning how to drive it in time for college.

Cadillac, Chrysler, Chevrolet were competing for a wide open market after World War 11 and consumer spending money was available.

Debbie Curtin writes stories about people, places, events and other topics of interest that engage the reader. As a member of the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Debbie keeps ‘in the game’ with other like minded people. She has been an artist and creative person all her life and uses the unlimited sources of inspiration that abound everywhere in her writing as another art form.

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Jul312014

The Fixx this Weekend at Tupelo! Gregg Rolie, David Knopfler, and Quinn Sullivan just booked!

NEW HAMPSHIRE TICKET UPDATE
THE SMITHEREENS- Selling Fast!
THE FIXX- Selling Fast!
MARTHA DAVIS
- SOLD OUT!
DANA FUCHS- Only 32 tickets remain!
ANA POPOVIC- SOLD OUT!
KINGS X- SOLD OUT!
BILLY COBHAM- Selling Fast!
ENGLISH BEAT – Selling Fast!
JOHN MAYALL - SOLD OUT!
MIKE PETERS – Only 38 tickets remain!
JON BUTCHER AXIS- SOLD OUT!
ROBIN TROWER - SOLD OUT!
ERIC JOHNSON – Both shows SOLD OUT!
LIVING COLOUR – Only 50 tickets remain!
CARL PALMER – Selling Fast!
THE TUBES- Selling Fast!

OUR NEXT NEW HAMPSHIRE SHOWS

July 31 THE FIXX
They’re ready to hit the road this summer—and they want YOU to choose what they play live!! It’s “The FIXX – By Request” just get a hold of them via email at thefixx.com, on Twitter at #FIXXSONGS or at facebook.com/thefixx and tell them your city and what FIXX song you want us to play live.
They’ll tally up the votes each night—and play the songs YOU DECIDE!!

Hits include
“One Thing Leads To Another”
“Red Skies”
“Saved by Zero”

August 1 THE FIXX
This show is almost SOLD OUT. Same format as show description above.

NEW BOOKINGS
September 21  GREGG ROLIE (at Pinkerton Academy)
This is a rare opportunity to see Rock N Roll giant, vocalist and keyboard player Gregg Rolie with a FULL BAND. Gregg Rolie is responsible for co-founding and providing lead vocals for legendary supergroups SANTANA and JOURNEY. Launching- along with Carlos Santana – the now legendary act, Rolie also co-produced Santana’s first four groundbreaking albums. His unforgettable lead vocals on many Santana hits including “Black Magic Woman” “Evil Ways” and “Oye Como Va” helped skyrocket the band to the top of the charts. After Santana, Rolie went on to establish Journey with fellow ex-Santana mate, guitarist Neal Schon. In addition to lending his considerable keyboard prowess to the endeavor, he also provided lead vocals on the band’s first 3 albums and co-lead vocals on “the next 3. Rolie co-wrote and co-produced the band’s first seven albums, including the hugely successful 1981 live double album “Captured.”

The Gregg Rolie Band is composed of 4 musicians from Santana (2 of them now in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame) and 3 other highly accomplished players. Having worked with some of the biggest names in music over the years and having toured the world many times over, these musicians have the skills to interpret this music in the way it is meant to be interpreted, as Gregg so intimately knows. (Listen)

October 23 DAVID KNOPFLER
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, David Knopfler grew up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North of England. By fourteen, David was performing his own songs in folk clubs and having learned guitar, piano and drums in his childhood, it’s not surprising to find he’s mastered many of the instruments he uses on his recordings. Despite a college degree, he can’t recall any other aspirations beyond composing and playing music.

David founded Dire Straits alongside his brother Mark, and recorded three albums, touring the stadium circuit extensively, before resigning three years later to follow his own path of independent, singer-songwriter. For more than two decades has faithfully pursued his musical vision, writing and producing his own music on nine solo CDs to date.

David creates songs of substance. They are by turns deep and captivating, elegant and thought provoking, with clever, gripping lyrics, his exquisite sense of melody blending effortlessly. More attentive listeners might even find themselves decoding the frequent buried references David includes. An example is found in “Jericho” (from his 2002 album Wishbones), the words to which conceal titles of previous albums and songs.

David Knopfler has been fortunate enough to reach a wide audience without compromising his art. While he’s enjoyed the respect and admiration of his musical peers, widespread critical acclaim, international awards and worldwide chart successes, he’s managed, in his own country, Britain, to keep a profile so low as to be nearly invisible. He lives quietly in the English countryside, notching up an impressive list of writing credits.

An understated integrity and honesty define Knopfler in both his work and private life. A family man and a lifelong member of organizations like Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Adopt a Minefield, David has always made uncompromising life choices. “I don’t regard what I do as remotely glamorous. I write and record music because I completely love doing it, despite any so called “celebrity status” that sometimes comes with the job.” (Listen)

November 30 QUINN SULLIVAN
15 year old Quinn Sullivan is quickly gaining quite a reputation among today’s most respected guitar players and musical artists. He has been touring the world with his mentor and friend, Buddy Guy, promoting his latest CD, “Getting There,” produced in Nashville with multi-Grammy winner Tom Hambridge.

Since the age of 7, Quinn has been sharing stages with legendary players like Eric Clapton, BB King and Buddy Guy at iconic venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, and Red Rocks. He has also performed at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals including Montreux Jazz, Austin City Limits, and Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival.

In 2006, Quinn made his national television debut on the Ellen DeGeneres show and brought the crowd to its feet with his rendition of the Beatles classic, “Twist and Shout.” Then, in 2007, Quinn had an encounter that changed his life forever. He met blues legend Buddy Guy at a theater in his hometown. Buddy invited Quinn on stage that night after witnessing his ability during a backstage visit. Shortly thereafter, Buddy asked Quinn to record some guitar tracks on his album “Skin Deep,” released in 2009.
In 2011, Quinn released his debut CD, “Cyclone,” which peaked at #7 on the Billboard blues album chart. He performed the title track on Jimmy Kimmel Live in March of that year and continued to tour throughout the U.S. and Canada, gaining thousands of new fans and followers along the way. Quinn released his second CD, “Getting There,” in June of 2013. He continued touring and exploded onto the national television scene making appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, before returning to the Ellen DeGeneres show a second time in January of 2014. (Listen)

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Jul302014

Police Log for Londonderry

Police Logs for 7/14/2014-7/19/2014

On Thursday, July 17th, multiple people called into the Police about a car swerving in and out of traffic. After the motor vehicle stop, Amanda Hartwell was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or liquor and possession of a controlled/narcotic drug. The 20 year old was held at $5,000 cash bail and had a court date of July 18th.

 

On the same day, July 17th, Kyle Witham of Londonderry was arrested and charged with criminal mischief (vandalism) and possession of controlled/narcotic drugs after a complaint about him arguing at his mothers residence. The 22 year old was taken in with his bail set at $3,000 cash. He will be in court on August 11, 2014 in Derry.

 

 

 

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Jul302014

Who’s Really Responsible?


Like many of you, I’ve watched cable TV footage, this week, of women and children in the Gaza Strip, frightened and dazed, and often filmed in front of piles of rubble that were once their homes.   It ruffles a level of compassion in me that rarely comes to the surface.  People should not be forced to live in that kind of environment and endure the continuous threat of death and destruction just because a small radical faction of their society believes it acceptable to use them as cannon fodder and human shields.  I believe that is what Hamas is doing to its own people these days and accusing Israel of being the perpetrator.

Public media attention is well-focused on these heartbreaking scenes and, as usual, generally blames Israel for a massive over-reaction, just because a handful of terrorists lob a few missiles into their country.

I try to weigh that factor too.  So, let’s look at Israel.  Here we have a nation of people, biblically referred to as God’s Chosen People, who were pretty well dispersed from their ancestral lands over the course of the last two thousand years.  Many emigrated across Europe and Asia, where they didn’t quite find a hearty welcome, primarily from Christians, with whom they ironically share a strong faith bond.  They were persecuted for years, culminating in the Holocaust of World War II, when the Nazis did all they could to wipe the Jewish people from the face of the earth.  As the short story goes, Jews from all around the world then began to migrate back to their ancestral lands in the Palestinian territory during and after the war, and in 1947, had the “audacity” to declare the state of Israel a sovereign nation.  That act was not accepted by most of the world, among them, Britain, which had been administering the Palestinian territory.   Even in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the Jews weren’t given many breaks on the global front.  Maybe the world was just tired of hearing about Jews throughout the war…  Initially, only the United States publicly recognized the “new” nation of Israel.

The newly declared state of Israel, above all, upset their neighbors, the Arab nations that surround the small country on three sides.  Israel’s fourth side is the ocean and it was precisely into that ocean that a number of Arab nations tried to push them over the next 20 years.  Then 40 year after that.  All without success.

But why?  Apparently, simply having Jews in their area is a threat to these Arabs, many of whom only pause in their fight against one another to find common ground in hating Jews – God’s Chosen People who have settled back into their ancestral lands with no intension of leaving.  I don’t understand a hatred that deep.  And it continues to this day.  In a part of the world where Muslim brothers bitterly fight and kill each other, primarily Sunni against Shi’ite, annihilation of the Jews is the one goal that apparent most of them can agree upon.  That’s a powerful, focused hatred.

Yes, some of that hatred is from Arabs who have also lived in that area of Israel for thousands of years.  And that’s neither inconsequential nor trivial.  As with the Kurds in several Middle East countries, the Basques in Spain, the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland,  Native tribes in the United States and Canada, and, oh yeah, even those wandering Jews of Europe, the Palestinians in Israel mirror history.  These are nations within nations that either learn to live with their situation, leave to go elsewhere, or remain entrenched – bitter and bolstered by a small minority of fanatics who seize local control and incite the population against the government of the country that has formed around them.  Then they begin to do stupid things – like lob rockets into the neighborhoods of the nation they refuse to recognize.  History has often been unfair to some of these folks, although it has occasionally responded to true compromise.  But it looks like hatred will trump compromise with the Arabs’ latest “Jewish Question.”

In modern history, the state of Israel has never been the first to attack its enemies.  They are firm believers in the status quo – “you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone.”  But Israel is not the hornet’s nest that you want to kick.  Because they also believe in the Bible paraphrase “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  Israelis know that their very survival depends on a strong reaction.  When they are kicked, they kick back hard.  Real hard.  It’s a tough situation to be in, when your neighbors – many of whom are thousands of miles away from you and not even on your borders – publicly call for the annihilation of your people.  They aren’t just calling bad luck down on you or wishing you ill.  They want you dead, buried, and gone.  How would you react to neighbors like that?

It was Ho Chi Min, the father of Vietnamese Communism, who told his people that if they continued their struggle again the forces that wanted to “control” their country – such as the French or a democratically elected government in South Vietnam or the United States – that their enemies would eventually grow tired and leave.  And he was right.  Perhaps this is the strategy that Israel’s neighbors ascribe to.  But Ho Chi Min wasn’t driven by pure hatred – and he believed in patience.  I don’t think Israel’s enemies possess Ho’s qualities.

Perhaps that is the strategy to which many of Israel’s neighbors ascribe.   If so, I don’t see Israel bending on that one.  And I doubt that anyone truly believes that there would be peace in the area if only Israel would just peel off a part of the country for a new Palestinian State.  Those who want them dead would certainly gloat over a little step like that – a step in the right direction toward total annihilation of the Jewish race.

But we’re still left with this current situation.  So someone needs to tell me again why Hamas is not responsible for the horror that ordinary Palestinians, their own people, are facing lately in Gaza.  And why Israelis are always the bad guys when they defend themselves against people who want them exterminated.

Of course, that’s just my take on it…  Prove me wrong.  Please.


Joe’s Two Cents – It’s Great To Be Alive is Joe Paradis’ first published book and gathers 40 of his most popular stories, enhancing them with humorous photography. The book is a compilation of forty of Joe’s best short stories.

Injecting humor into topics from everyday life, Joe answers those earth-shattering questions we all have about the beach, the bathroom, the junk drawer. From guys’ tools to girl talk. High school seniors to the senior years.

This classic collection has been updated to include pictures and a short introduction for each story. Until now, only God knew what possessed Joe to write about these things. Now you can too!

Joe Paradis is one of Londonderry’s most popular columnists and authors. Visit his web site at www.joes2cents.com today and order his latest autographed book, “It’s Great to Be Alive!”

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Jul302014

Another Tequila Sunrise: Eagles Tribute coming to Whippersnappers!

The best Eagles Tribute band in the land is coming back to New Hampshire! Another Tequila Sunrise puts on an amazing Eagles concert performance. They will be performing at Whippersnappers Sunday, August 24th from 7pm to 10pm.

For eight years, Another Tequila Sunrise: Tribute to the Eagles has toured all across the United States getting famous for their skills. Some songs include Desperado, Wasted Time, Best of My Love, Lyin’ Eyes, Take it easy, and Hotel California. Another Tequila Sunrise plays all of the Eagles greatest hits! They also play the hits from the solo careers of Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Glenn Frey.

If you love the Eagles, you will love Another Tequila Sunrise! Click here to purchase your tickets.

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Jul302014

Londonderry 12 Year-Old All-Stars

Londonderry’s 12 year-old all-stars (NH Dawg Diamonds) arrived in Cooperstown on the same weekend as the legends of baseball are honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The team checked into their barracks on Friday night and spent most of the day on Saturday settling into the scene.

The team enjoyed the opening ceremonies complete with a parade, skydivers and a skills competition.  Ryan Dooley competed in the Golden Arm challenge, Tyler Kayo hustled around the bases in the Road Runner race, and Nick Cote represented the team in the King of Swat competition.  The other members of the team did well in the Around the Horn contest.

Along with the individual players listed above, this year’s team includes Alex Peters, Ben Doris, Chris Tutt, Nolan Lincoln, Jake Slide, Zac Luongo, Zack St. Hilaire, Sean Cavanaugh, Cooper Bartlett, and Reece Manor.

Below is  the teams progress so far:

Started off with a win against Lenape Valley Rebels 10-2
Lost to the Orchard Park Heat 13-8
Lost to City Baseball 16-4
Lost to Slammers Colorado Black 8-4

You can keep up with the team and watch a few live games by visiting the Cooperstown Dreams Park website.

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