…a Dog’s Life

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Another saying that must be mostly American is, “It’s a dog’s life!”  And let’s face it, dogs in America have it pretty doggone good (pun intended!)  I’ve been in conferences for the past two weeks and I’ve eaten like a pig…or two.  I’d recently been going to the gym regularly and had lost 8-10 pounds.  I fear now that I’ve put a fair bit of that back on my bones.

Dogs in America eat better (and much more often) than many of the people in the world.  That has been brought home to me again this week while I’ve been in conference with my Medical Ambassadors co-workers who serve in some of the most impoverished and hunger-prone areas of the world where people literally don’t know where the next days’ food will come from…or if it will come at all.

People in those countries will work from dawn to after dark to try to feed their families and get enough water to keep flesh and spirit together.  I am old enough that I probably would never survive in those countries because I no longer have that kind of strength and physical prowess.  There’s a reason why there are not many old people in those areas of the world…they simply cannot survive.  If the diseases or war won’t kill them, inability to work hard enough to provide for one’s needs will.

Today’s photo is of our dog.  I don’t want to make light of the plight I’ve described above, but the simple truth is that she has it made.  She sleeps most of the day, eats twice a day, gets to walk around in safety and won’t be eaten.  Sort of gives new meaning to “It’s a dog’s life”, doesn’t it?

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1965, in the early morning hours of a Clearwater, Florida, motel room, a bleary-eyed Keith Richards awoke, grabbed a tape recorder and laid down one of the greatest pop hooks of all time: The opening riff of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” He then promptly fell back to sleep.

“When I woke up in the morning, the tape had run out,” Richards recalled many years later. “I put it back on, and there’s this, maybe, 30 seconds of ‘Satisfaction,’ in a very drowsy sort of rendition. And then it suddenly—the guitar goes ‘CLANG,” and then there’s like 45 minutes of snoring.” It wasn’t much to go on, but he played it for Mick Jagger later that same day. “He only had the first bit, and then he had the riff,” Jagger recalls. “It sounded like a country sort of thing on acoustic guitar—it didn’t sound like rock. But he didn’t really like it, he thought it was a joke… He really didn’t think it was single material, and we all said ‘You’re off your head.’ Which he was, of course.”

With verses written by Jagger—Richards had already come up with the line “I can’t get no satisfaction”—the Stones took the song into the Chess studios in Chicago just three days later, on May 10, 1965, and completed it on May 12 after a flight to Los Angeles and an 18-hour recording session at RCA. It was there that Richards hooked up an early Gibson version of a fuzz box to his guitar and gave a riff he’d initially envisioned being played by horns its distinctive, iconic sound.

Though the Stones at the time were already midway through their third U.S. tour, their only bona fide American hits to date were “Time Is On My Side” and the recently released “The Last Time.” “Satisfaction” was the song that would catapult them to superstar status. Forty years later, when Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Satisfaction” #2 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” it put the following historical perspective on the riff Keith Richards discovered on this day in 1965: “That spark in the night…was the crossroads: the point at which the rickety jump and puppy love of early rock and roll became rock.”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: One in five adults admitted to urinating in swimming pools, which means 20% of adults in swimming pools have urinated in it. Red eyes associated with swimming are not caused by chlorine. They are caused by chloramine, a chemical that is created when urine combines with the chlorine already in the pool. In fact, the more strong smelling a pool is, the more contaminated it is.  (Don’t go near the water!  Sharks aren’t the only danger!)

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