Archive | March, 2015

5 things you didn’t know about Issac Hayes

31 Mar

Long before artist such as L.L.Cool J, Ice T and Will Smith had successful crossover careers music, television and movies there was Issac Hayes. In 1968 Issac Hayes burst on to the music scene with his second album Hot Buttered Soul. Over the net 40 years he took that success and went on to not only have a great recording career but also acting in more than 60 T.V. Show and movies.

Outside his music and acting there are several things you may not know about Mr. Hayes. The following is just five of those:

South Park

Issac Hayes was the voice of Chef for 136 from 1997-2006 when he quit the show over religious differences. It was that year that the producers of South Park came up with the idea of doing an episode that poked fun at Scientology. The script did not go over well with Mr. Hayes who had been a member of Scientology since 1993.

Academy & Grammy Awards

In 1971 Mr. Hayes won an Academy Award for best original song for the Theme from Shaft. The award made Mr. Hayes one of the first African-Americans to win an Oscar. That same year the soundtrack also garnered him 3 Grammies and a Golden Globe Awards.

Scholarships

Issac Hayes was offered 7 music scholarships after high school. He turned down all of them and opted to join Floyd Newman’s band where he played both piano and saxophone.

Hall of fame

At the age of 60 Issac Hayes was inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of fame. At his induction he was recognized for his contributions to disco, urban-contemporary music and rap.

Food

Issac Hayes opened a soul food restaurant in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. On the menu for his restaurant he had a platter named for the album that started his career. Mr. Hayes also had his own BBQ sauce and wrote a cookbook.

Happy birthday James Lovell

25 Mar

Today we celebrate the 87th birthday of one of the most famous astronauts of the Gemini and Apollo programs. A man that flew on four mission (Gemini 7 & 12, Apollo 8, &13) and survived the most infamous missions in NASA history. A man that would go on to be enshrined in both the United States Astronauts hall of fame and the National Aviation hall of fame. That man is James A. Lovell Jr.

On this date in 1928 James Arthur Lovell Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after he was born hi parents moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he grew up building model rockets and dreaming of one day traveling into space. As many other children did of that era he went into scouting where he reached the level of eagle scout. He went on to go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison before transferring to the United States Naval Academy where he graduated in 1952.

In 1952 Mr. Lovell started his naval career where he flew F2H Banshee fighters. After 6 years he enter a 6-month long test pilot training course. The same year that he became a test pilot Mr. Lovell applied to NASA to become one of the astronauts for the upcoming Mercury program. He was not selected in that group but later re-applied when there was a second call for astronauts for the Gemini program. In 1962 he became one of the second group of astronauts.

Not long after he started his career at NASA he was chosen to be part of the backup crew for Gemini 4. He later made his first flight when he was paired with Frank Borman to be the crew on Gemini 7. That flight made the first space rendezvous when it docked with Gemini 6A. Mr. Lovell’s next flight was as part of the crew of Gemini 12 where he was teamed with Buzz Aldren, who later became the second man on the moon. His third mission was Apollo 8 where he was once again teamed with Frank Borman where along with William Ander became the first men to orbit the Moon. On that flight Mr. Lovell did a famous Christmas Eve reading of the first 10 verses of Genesis. His fourth flight was the infamous Apollo 13 where an explosion endangered the mission and crew. On that flight with the courageous work, of the crew (James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise) and mission control, Apollo 13 made it back to Earth.

50 years ago Gemini 3 flew into space

24 Mar

It was 9:23 am (EST) the morning of March 23, 1965 in Cape Canaveral, Florida that a Titan II rocket set on launch complex 19. On top of that rocket was the Gemini 3 capsule containing astronauts Virgal “Gus” Grissom and John W. Young. The two were strapped in tight as they listened to the countdown and knowing that in on minute they would be launched into orbit around the Earth. The Launch would mark the first manned mission for the Gemini program. It was to be a flight full of first including using the Houston mission control center, using the OAMS (orbital attitude maneuvering system), the first astronaut to fly twice and the first corned beef sandwich.

In 1965 NASA (national aeronautics and space administration) replaced the Mercury mission control center, at Cape Canaveral in Florida, with the mission control center in Houston, Texas. Gemini 3 was the irst manned flight that would be monitored by that control center. The Houston center would continue to be mission control through not only the Gemini program but Apollo, Skylab, the space shuttle and still used today.

The Gemini program introduce the use of the OAMS (orbital attitude maneuvering system) that controlled the 16 thrusters during re-entry and splashdown. The OAMS system has been intergrated into all space vehicles since that time to assist in docking, stage separations and repair maneuvering.

When Gemini III lifted off astronaut Virgal “Gus” Grissom went into orbit for the second time. The first was when he flew the Mercury 7 mission. Mr. Grissom later was on a third mission, Apollo I, that tragically burned up with Grissom and two other astronauts aboard.

As a joke fellow astronaut Wally Schirra purchased a corned beef sandwich that he gave to John Young to smuggle onto Gemini 3. After they achieved orbit Mr. Young showed the sandwich to Mr. Grissom. Mr. Grissom took the sandwich and ate it causing crumbs to float throughout the capsule creating a safety risk. The incident caused NASA to be more strict on enforcing their rule on what food item can and can not be taken on space missions.

“Where did that come from?” Gus Grissom, the mission’s commander, asked his crewmate.

“I brought it with me,” Young replied, somewhat matter of factly. “Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it?”

5 thing you didn’t know about the Beach Boys

22 Mar

In 1961 brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson joined force with cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jadine to form the Beach Boys. The group created the California surf sound that became part of the American culture of the 1960’s.

That culture blossomed with other groups like Jan & Dean and the Ventures among others. The beach sound also inspired the beach movie craze that made household names of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. After 5 decades the rest of that beach culture is gone but the Beach Boys still remain as an icon American band.

There has been plenty written about the Beach Boys in their 5+ decades. The following are a few things that are not so widely know about the award winning group.

Murders among them

A year before the rest of the nation heard of the murderous Manson family they had an encounter with the Beach Boys. In the summer of 1968 Dennis Wilson, the Beach Boys’ drummer, met and befriended Charles Manson. He allow Manson and his “family” live with him at his Sunset Boulevard house. After awhile Mr. Wilson came aware of how unstable Manson was but afraid to ask him to leave. So, Mr. Wilson just walked away from the house letting the lease expire.

Captain & Tennille

Before they became a husband and wife singing team the Beach Boys played a part in getting the Captain & Tennille together. In the early 1970’s Daryl Dragon was a part-time keyboard player with the band. In 1971 Daryl “Captain keyboard” Dragon met Toni Tennille. The two of worked on a play that Ms. Tennille wrote before she also joined the Beach Boys on tour.

Pet Sounds

49 years after the Beach Boys released the album Pet Sounds, in 1966, it is still considered the number 2 greatest rock albums of all-time. The album introduced us to such icon songs as Wouldn’t it be nice, God only know and Sloop John B. Paul McCartney of Beatles said of the album that it was a direct influence behind Sgt. Pepper.

Kissing Cousins

Among the 6 times that Dennis Wilson married one of them to the Shawn Love, the daughter of cousin Mike Love. The marriage drove a wedge between the cousins and that took out mutual restraining orders.

What is in a name?

Before they were known as the Beach the group recorded under the name Pendletones. They had also considered the names Carl and the Passions or Kenny and the cadets.

Best Easter egg hunts in Seattle

22 Mar

Easter is a celebration of resurrection of Jesus and the the re-birth of the Christian spirit. The main symbol of this re-birth has always been the egg that is the beginning of a new life. A big part of any Easter celebration is the hunting of these eggs that is usually done by children.

In the greater Seattle area there are plenty of places that provide Easter egg hunts along with other fun activities for the whole family. The following is just a few of these events.

Cha!Cha!

At the Rainforest cafe in Westfield’s Southcenter mall is sponsoring 3 Easter breakfast & egg hunts. You can choose either March 28, 29 or April 4 dates to attend ne of the events. No matter which of the 3 events you choose to attend the admission is free but there is a charge for the breakfast buffet. At each of the events there will be goodie bags for all the children, a free Easter basket raffle, egg hunt and appearances by the Easter Bunny. The hours for all 3 events is from 8 am to 10 am.

Bunny bounce & Easter enrichment for the animals

The day before Easter bring the family to Woodland park zoo and join the animals as they dine on a special Easter breakfast. While you are there the children will be able to join in on an Easter egg hunt, crafts and bunny encounter throughout the day. The April 4 event starts at 9:30 am and last until 3 that afternoon. The cost of attending range from $9.25 to $13.75 with children 2 & under admitted free.

Kiwanis Easter egg hunt

If you in the city of Kirkland and looking for a place to take the children on Easter then Peter Kirk park is the place to go. Starting at 1:30 pm the Kirkland Kiwanis will be hosting an Easter eggs hunt for children aged 1-12. There will be approximately 15,000 chocolate eggs hidden among 3 separate areas, each designated for a different age group, of the park.

Lil’ ones egg hunt

At Mercersdale park on Mercer Island you can sleep in and still take the kids on an Easter egg hunt. It is an evening hunt that starts at 5:00 pm and last until 6:00 pm. There will actually be two hunts one for the 1-3 age bracket and one for ages 4-6. Both will have plenty of eggs, candy, prizes and a special golden egg. If you have older children from 7-10 there will be a flashlight Easter egg hunt at 8:30 pm. All of this fun will be held on April 4.