The Tom Petty Diet

You hear a lot about “eating clean” these days.

But what are you feeding your brain? Check out this clip from the Broken Record podcast — it’s an episode with Tom Petty’s daughter Adria, and she talks about how her dad fed his brain and nourished his soul:

I love that clip! First of all, I love Tom Petty, and I think this clip helps explain how he was able to continue to make great music for 40 years.

“He would feed the well with only this really, really good information, and take all the rest away. He didn’t really take a lot of noise and negativity into his diet.”

Adria Petty, talking about her father Tom

[Semi-sidebar: The Broken Record podcast is great if you’re a music fan. You’ll find interviews with established artists like Bruce Springsteen and Santana, and up-and-coming artists like S.G. Goodman and Deep Sea Diver. If you’re a Tom Petty fan, you’ll love the episode with Adria, as well as the interviews with Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Check it out.]

Even if you’re not an aspiring rock star, there’s a lot to learn from TP on how to “eat clean” for your mind, your heart and your soul. It’s way too easy to binge on empty calories… endlessly snacking (or doomscrolling) on tweets, spending hours at the all-you-can-eat Facebook buffet, sucking down pop culture listicles, stuffing yourself with “reality” TV, bellying up to the 24/7 news bar. There are countless temptations that can consume endless hours of your time on earth, and they mostly just weigh you down with “noise and negativity” as Adria put it.

Instead, take a cue from Tom Petty, and read a good book, watch a classic movie or a documentary, listen to some great music.

If you eat clean, you’ll feel better.

Wally-World… or zero degrees of separation

40 years ago, the movie Stripes started shooting in Louisville, Kentucky. And my buddy Walter was in it – he shot a scene with Bill Murray.

Walt’s scene is one of the first ones in the movie – he and another kid get in Bill Murray’s cab, then run away without paying the fare when they reach their destination.

White pants were “in” back in 1980!

A TV station is Louisville published some archival footage of the 1980 news story about the movie production. Wally’s interviewed in this clip:

You’d think that brush with stardom would be enough for one person. But no, that’s not how Walter rolls. You see, when Wally was just a wee lad, his parents were close friends with another family that had a son a year or two older than Walter. Kid’s name was Tom. Tom Cruise. I hear he turned out to be quite the party boy in high school.

Walter has a picture of him and Tom Cruise together, from Wally’s 6th birthday party.

Walter also was a high school football star in Louisville. And he’s been an attorney, a teacher, a football coach, and a border patrol agent. He’s packed a lot of action into his 56 years.

Ol’ Willie Shakes is right, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”… but in my next life, I want Walter’s agent.

It’s all over but the crying…

None of us should be surprised that Donald Trump is protesting the election results. It’s par for the course for “Denyin’ Donnie.” Oh, and speaking of par for the course:

The Trumpster Fire’s ego won’t allow him to admit defeat. It should come as a shock to absolutely no one. He and his nattering nabobs of negativism (and nepotism too!) have been denying science for four years (climate change, COVID), so why should we expect them to accept simple math.

Maybe instead of watching Faux News, Denyin’ Donnie should change the channel to Sesame Street and brush up on his counting skills.

“You lost by nearly six million… ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

True to form, the alleged “leaders” within the hollowed out husk of what once was the Republican party (Turtle Boy Mitch and his reptile friends) are aiding and abetting the latest Trump Tantrum. Because they care more about political power than they care about doing the right thing.

It’d be “sad, very sad” if it weren’t so nefarious.

“The result is crystal clear and, yet, the incumbent is creating ambiguity by baseless claims.”

 Ryan Enos, a Harvard social scientist

“I would not consider this a grassroots movement by any means. Stop the Steal is a highly coordinated partisan political operation intent on bringing together conspiracy theorists, militias, hate groups and Trump supporters to attack the integrity of our election.”

Ben Decker, the CEO and founder of Memetica, a digital investigations consultancy, in this CNN article.

Here are the facts, from a joint statement from ELECTIONS INFRASTRUCTURE GOVERNMENT COORDINATING COUNCIL & THE ELECTION INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR COORDINATING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES:

The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.

When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary. This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.

Maybe it’s better that Denyin’ Donnie is focused on fake fraud. It’ll leave him with less time to fire more government employees who have “betrayed” him, take away healthcare from millions during a pandemic, gut any remaining regulations that hamstring the unfettered greed his cronies, and pardon the unpardonable (including himself).

He had all the answers

Alex Trebek passed away Sunday. We all know him as the longtime host of Jeopardy. But we old timers also remember him as the host of The Wizard of Odds and High Rollers.

Comedians have been parodying him for decades.

I’ll admit, I took some shots at him… to me, he sometimes came across as pompous or condescending. I thought “heck, it’s easy to be a know-it-all when you have all the answers written down in front of you.”

But I do think he softened up over time. And think about this: every show was different, and featured more than 60 clues, across all sorts of categories. Alex really had to know his stuff – and he used his voice and diction more than any other host in game show history. Every word of every clue mattered.

Pat Sajak can phone it in on Wheel of Fortune, because every show is rather rote. If you’ve hosted one Wheel, you’ve hosted ’em all. In fact, that show could arguably go on without a host. But Alex Trebek had to know the categories, the clues, the pronunciation, he had to do math on the fly for daily double wagers… he made it seem easy, but there was a lot of prep work involved.

Voting rights… and wrongs

It’s Election Day in America.

Thanks to everyone who has voted early.

No thanks to partisan politicians who tried to make early voting more difficult.

Thanks to the poll workers – especially during the pandemic.

No thanks to anyone who shows up at the polls with a weapon, attempting to intimidate voters.

Thanks to the elected officials who represent their people.

No thanks to politicians who care more about power than principles.

Thanks to the League of Women Voters for providing information to help voters make informed decisions.

No thanks to PACs and dark money, who fill airwaves, mailboxes and the internet with lies and half-truths.

Thanks to fair elections.

No thanks to the power brokers who have gerrymandered districts to give them an unfair advantage.

Thanks to the American people for voting.

No thanks to foreign countries trying to influence, interfere with, or even hack our elections.

Thanks for democracy. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a privilege to have it.

Write, right?

“It’s the cheapest psychiatry there is. I love writing; it takes a lot off my shoulders. Everyone should write. There’s no way you can lie to yourself; you can try, but you know better. When you get it down on paper, it’s like you’ve taken off a load and you feel lighter. Confession is good for the soul; at least it is for my soul.”

Billy Joe Shaver

“Outlaw country” singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver passed away Wednesday at the age of 81. He led an interesting life for sure. This article from Paste provides a nice overview.

There was a lot of heartache too – especially losing his song Eddy, a great guitarist and his bandmate in Shaver, to the scourge of heroin.

Eddy died of a heroin overdose on New Year’s Eve, 2000. The father had a hard time surviving that blow, but as he did with all his crises, he wrote his way out of it. He turned that impossible pain into the elegiac song, “Star in My Heart,” that he sang at every show the rest of his life.

From the Paste article linked above.

Billy Joe Shaver has left us, but thanks to the writing he did, he’s gonna live forever.

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