From 2005 through 2012, I pretty consistently wrote my Sunday Morning Tuneage blog. It continued inconsistently through 2013 before being abandoned. Each year was punctuated with a series of “Best” lists. While the blog still remains retired, I’m reviving the year-end summary.
BY THE NUMBERS
4,216,588 steps (that is less the four weeks in June that I went without a FitBit)
246 beers logged – 130 that were new to me this year.
0 times with the hiccups
25 books read (2nd year in a row of meeting 25 book goal)
0 concerts attended
55 films directed by Alfred Hitchcock. All the films from Silents to 1976.
24 movies seen in theaters (best year in a decade but one short of goal)
14 States visited
60 unique Bloody Marys and a Bloody Mary Convention.
9 games played before abandoning the project because it was hard to find the time.
100 unique bags of potato chips
45 Peanuts TV Specials watched. All the specials and four of the movies.
1 – 1st place Crafthouse Trivia (of less than 5 attempts)
BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2017
1. Weir – The Martian
2. King – The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
3. Willingham – Fables: Camelot (V.20)
BEST POTATO CHIPS OF 2017
With 100 options to choose from, many of them get blended together. My overall observations aren’t too different than cereals. The best are the basics. Those are the ones that will invariably be your favorites over time. There are interesting one off flavors that are good for a bag but won’t ever replace a classic. Here’s the best I had during this project.
1. KETTLE BRAND BACKYARD BARBEQUE. This is the most consistent brand out there and they do barbeque really well. This could easily be my every day chip.
2. ZAPP’S NEW ORLEANS KETTLE VOODOO CHIPS. Like bbq and vinegar had some kind of love baby. I really like this brand. It’s probably at your local store, just hidden.
3. RUFFLE’S ALL DRESSED. I wouldn’t make them my only chip but they are by far one of the best additions of the recent years. Maybe I should be moving to Canada.
4. LAY’S FLAMIN’ HOT. I love my spicy.
5. RUFFLES JALAPENO RANCH. This is the best sandwich friend out there.
6. KETTLE BRAND TROPICAL SALSA. Tastes like a flavor that should have been around for years.
7. BOULDER CANYON RED CHILI. I want more of this right now.
8. RUFFLES ORIGINAL. Easily my favorite chip for over 40 years.
9. LAY’S LIMON.
10. ZAPP’S HOTTER ‘N HOT JALAPENO. Another spicy entry that goes great with beer.
MOST PLAYED JUKEBOX TUNES IN 2017
It’s hard for me to not become jukebox DJ at a bar. Thanks to modern technology, I can pull up the history of what I’ve played in 2017.
1. SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS – 100 DAYS / 100 NIGHTS. This will improve the night of every drinker at the bar.
2. THE BROTHERS JOHNSON – STRAWBERRY LETTER #23
3. TOM PETTY – BREAKDOWN. For obvious reasons this has been on extra play the past few months.
4. GEORGE MICHAEL – CARELESS WHISPER. One of the best bar sing-a-long songs out there.
5. AL GREEN – LOVE & HAPPINESS. I play Al at almost every stop, this one just happened to make the top five.
I used to have lists on here about DVD’s I purchased and music I bought. Those days seem quaint now. I still listen to music but in ways that are less easy to quantify. I listen to XM and CDs in the car and working out, walking, and at work I listen to Amazon and Spotify. Thank you, Spotify, for keeping stats for me.
MOST PLAYED SONGS FROM SPOTIFY IN 2017
1. A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation
2. Jurrasic 5 – Juarass Finish First
3. William Bell – I Forgot To Be Your Lover
4. The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By
5. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
6. Nappy Roots – Po’ Folks
7. Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit
8. Jurrasic 5 – Quality Control
9. Heavy D & The Boyz – Now That We Found Love
10. Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize
BEST BLOODY MARYS OF 2017
I chose to explore the world of Bloody Marys this year. The project got me to to some bars and restaurants that I would not have made it to otherwise this year. It’s a drink that I only kinda liked before this year. Now it’s something that I seek out. The secret is in the mix and in the garnish. I prefer at the very least three olives and bacon is a nice touch.
1. POTATO SHACK. This was a total surprise. A potato restaurant in Huntsville served up a perfectly spicy Bloody Mary. So good that I went back later in the year for another.
2. GUY FIERI’S VEGAS KITCHEN & BAR. A little crazy with the garnish. Essentially it’s a meal on your drink. But it’s a crazy good drink.
3. ROCKIN BAJA LOBSTER. Maybe I’m biased because I love this San Diego taco joint. But this went very well with brunch.
4. BUFFALO WILD WINGS. As far as chains go, they didn’t always live up to the hype. This one comes through in spades. A wonderful addition.
5. TEQUILA BAR & GRILLE. Another San Diego entry shows that atmosphere also goes a long way.
6. WITHERSPOON DISTILLERY. The vodka is important too. This craft liquor bar made me a little work of art that was really good.
7. BANG BANG BAR. Cute dive bar in San Antonio wins for out of the way trip for a Bloody Mary and excellent juke box.
9. 3 STACKS
10. CHILI’S. Including this since I never have anything nice to say about the place. I was surprised to find that they have a really decent mix.
MOST MISSED OF 2017
Last year was a harsh year for celebrity deaths (Bowie, Prince, etc), so this year was going to have a hard time living up to the taking out of icons. Well, 2017 took a good run at it. Here’s the deaths of the most influential to my life this year.
1. TOM PETTY. Musically if we are going to pull from the Rock ‘n’ Roll genre, this is one of the biggest for me. He’s been a fixture in my music life since the early ’80s. It hurts that I never got a chance to see him in concert.
2. HUGH HEFNER. Good or bad or as uncomfortable as his legacy might be in today’s standards, the man defined a certain lifestyle, published some great authors, and got the conversation about sexuality going.
3. DICK ENBERG. “Oh my” this voice is one of the top three voices of MLB and NFL for me.
4. WALTER BECKER. Always a Steely Dan fan, this is a guy that did fame his own way and I respect that.
5. ROSE MARIE. Sally from the Dick Van Dyke Show is still one of the cleverest and sassy characters of all-time.
6. JERRY LEWIS. I always feel for actors that outlast their fandom. By the time he passed, his brilliant comedic routines with Dean Martin were largely forgotten. There was more to Lewis than the “Nutty” guy we saw in the ’60s.
7. HEATHER NORTH. Maybe a surprise to the list but not if you know me. She was the original voice of “Daphne” on Scooby-Doo for the first twenty years.
8. GLEN CAMPBELL. If for no other reason than the brilliant “Gentle On My Mind”.
9. SUE GRAFTON. This author is a late addition to the realm of the dead this year. I’m always supportive of people with lifelong projects. Her Alphabet series will end with Y because of her death. I’m on Q now. Her mysteries are fun at best but I respect her commitment to the characters.
10. GEORGE ROMERO. The man who created a genre. People had heard of zombies before Night of the Living Dead but c’mon, they had never visualized it like this. My obsession with shows like The Walking Dead are because this man and Dawn of the Dead.
THINGS FROM 2017 THAT DIDN’T MAKE ANY OTHER LISTS
1. THE ECLIPSE. A very memorable few minutes of the year when people stopped being upset about everything else. Also the picture of Trump staring directly into the eclipse.
2. PEGGY WHITSON. She commanded the International Space Station and last year set the record for the most days in space by an U.S. astronaut.
3. HOUSTON ASTROS. Considering the hurricane circumstances, this was more rewarding than a Cubs victory again.
4. FIONA THE HIPPO. Baby hippos rule.
5. COLLEGE GRADUATION. So proud of Christian for getting it done early and without debt.
6. LITTLE ELM CRAFTHOUSE. Friday’s book/beer/patio is the best way to end a week and even though it’s not every week, it’s often enough to give me peace.
7. TACOS. Just need to remind you that they are still awesome.
8. CAJUN NAVY. Hurricane Harvey brought out country folk in their own boats who had themselves been rescued in Katrina.
9. BASKETBALL. My son plays basketball 12 months out of the year and I haven’t grown tired of watching him play yet.
10. CRAFT LIQUOR. I hope this trend of local small batch whiskey and vodka continues into the new year.
Speaking of 2018 – THE WINTER OLYMPICS may provide extra interest this year in the Ice Dance competition as my niece looks to qualify next week.
Thanks for all the time you’ve given me. I appreciate your patience with me through the year with my silly little projects. I hope to meet up with even more of you this year to accompany me with these shenanigans.
“What are we gonna do
Roses are red and violets are blue
Love is good and plenty if you get plenty good lovin’
Kiss you where you’re hot to what I got to keep you bubblin'” – Heavy D
What are we going to do with it in 2018. Stay hard.