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Drop Dead

Six retired Irishmen were playing poker in Monaghan’s flat in Dungarvan when Sean O’Toole loses €700 on a single hand, clutches his chest and drops dead at the table.

Showing respect for their fallen brother, the other five continue playing standing up.

Michael Lennon looks around and asks, “Oh, me boys, someone’s got to tell Sean’s wife. Who will it be?”

They draw straws.

Cavan Colquhoun picks the short one.

They tell him to be discreet and gentle and not to make a bad situation any worse.
“Discreet? I’m the most discreet Irishmen you’ll ever meet. Discretion is my middle name. Leave it to me”, announces Cavan.

He goes over to O’Toole’s house and knocks on the door.

Brenda O’Toole answers and asks what he wants and Cavan declares, “Your husband just lost €700 and is afraid to come home.”

“Tell him to drop dead!” snarls Brenda.

“I’ll go tell him.” says Cavan.

Ryan Farish – Little Ray (featuring Tiff Lacey vocals)

I’ve been a huge fan of Ryan Farish for years. The fan (@AngelWingsLili) created video below presents Ryan Farish featuring Tiff Lacey on vocals. It’s one of the best pieces of music, in my opinion, that Ryan Farish has ever done.

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The lyrics for this song can be found below.

Ryan Farish launched his music career on the first generation MP3.com. It was at this site where he received 1.8 million downloads of his trademark, electronic/world music. As a result of this momentum, Farish has been noted as a “Download King” by L.A.’s Music Connection Industry Magazine.

In 2004, after many requests as to what genre Ryan Farish considered his music to be, Ryan coined the name “Positive Chillout” to be a reference to his unique brand of uplifting, chillout electronic music.

In November 2006, Ryan published this title, on his owned/operated Live365 internet radio station, “Positive Chillout”, as well as RyanFarish.com and PositiveChillout.com. The Live365 radio station was first created in November 2006 as “Positive Chillout”.

Also in 2006, Ryan Farish gained attention on YouTube when his song, “Pacific Wind”, was featured in a popular video, entitled “Remember Me”, created by a 15-year-old high school student named Lizzie Palmer. The video, a sentimental montage of soldiers in the Iraq War, was ranked as the 48th most-watched YouTube video of all time as of April 26, 2008. To date, this video has received 32 million views.

Ryan is known for his downtempo electronica, chillout, and uplifting dance music. His sound is a combination of anthemic melodies layered with organic downtempo grooves along with a collection of releases that infuse dance rhythms with uplifting themes. Ryan established his self-owned record label in 2008, RYTONE Entertainment, as a home to his own releases as well as those of other collaborative artists.

Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, much of Ryan’s works were featured on The Weather Channel’s Local on the 8s segments and theme track to “Storm Stories”.

In 2010, Ryan re-launched the show on DI.FM’s (Digitally Imported) “Chillout Dreams” channel as “Positive Chillout with Ryan Farish”. The new show brought an emphasis on Electronic Chillout Music, which is considered positive and uplifting.

Ryan’s music is featured across YouTube from fan-created videos that have reached beyond 70 million views.

You can learn more and experience Ryan Farish for yourself by visiting his website at https://ryanfarish.com/

Little Ray lyrics:

Hey Sunshine, where did You come from
And You′re all mine, my Miracle from God
I love to have You in my life, like helium
To paint Your smile is my delight
It’s always in my plan
Did You know I count my blessings everyday
I see You

My very own little ray of sunshine
So special, so sweet, and all mine
My very own little ray of sunshine
You chase the clouds away with Your smile

Hey Sunshine, I love to kiss you
When you′re not around sometimes
O how much I miss You
I love to have You in my life, like helium
To paint Your smile is my delight
It’s always in my plan
Did You know I count my blessings everyday
I see You

My very own little ray of sunshine
So special, so sweet, and all mine
My very own little ray of sunshine
You chase the clouds away with Your smile

18 to 4 to 54 to 56 to 2

Q: What do you get when you fail your drivers test 5 times in a row in Montana?

A: #13 license plates

Though we here in Montana are fairly known for our North Dakota jokes, there are a few made in Montana jokes that we like to tell on occasion as well. These are the kinds of jokes that only a Montanan would understand as it might relate to how our license plates are numbered according to county.

So what’s with the numbers anyway?

I know it’s sort of an odd title for a blog post, but with our Montana history, there’s a bit of significance to it.

Back in the day our Montana counties were numbered according to the population that each county might have had. The higher the county population, the lower the number was for that county, and that number was represented on our license plates.

You could be driving down the road and happen to notice a #4 license plate coming from the opposite direction and know that those folks might be from Missoula county for instance.

Montana counties (tap or click image to enlarge)

Last week I posted a graphic to the Twitters that I’ve had since I’m not exactly sure when and the responses I got from my fellow Montanans were just a series of numbers.

To someone from out-of-state, the comments containing only numbers might appear to be somewhat confusing, but from the Montana perspective, we all knew what these numbers meant.

Suffice it to say that these numbers are sort of a made in Montana form of shorthand for all of the counties one might have lived in over the years. Instead of just writing the county name, we all just used a number. Hence, the title of this blog post.

My wife, being raised in Texas, was unfamiliar with the unique way we numbered our counties in the beginning, but once I let her in on how we did the license plates she got busy and memorized all 56 of them. Now when we drive down the road she’ll occasionally perk up and say things like, Lewis and Clark, or Park, or Powell — She learned the numbers, so she rattles off the counties that she see’s from the on-coming traffic.

I remember back in the day, upon after moving to #2, I had to keep my #4 plates on for at least 6 months until it was time to renew my tabs. Having #4 plates in the #2 county got me the side-eye on a few occasions, but that’s alright — Remember the made in Montana jokes I referenced above? Yeah … there are a few here related to Missoula county as well. We’re all sort of a family here so that makes it all better at the end of the day.

Cody McCracken’s updated version of Montana’s county numbering system (tap or click image to enlarge)

Shortly after I posted my Montana county graphic to Twitter, Cody McCracken (@codymccracken24) came in and posted a graphic of his own of what the county numbers might look like today. It’s an interesting study on how our population in the state has shifted over the years. Even if in the future the state somehow found the money and was given the opportunity to update the county license plate numbering system, I doubt it would ever happen. Prying the #1 from Butte-Silver Bow county’s cold dead hands would sort of be a feat in and of itself, not to mention all of the other counties in the state that will always identify with their own county numbers as a whole and the sticky mess that might be involved if a change were to be suddenly thrust upon them.

Even though updating the the county numbering system for our license plates might not ever be a thing, we are seeing more license plates in the state that don’t have that sort of numbering at all.

Montana license plate (tap or click image to enlarge)

More and more we are seeing license plates having more to do with the interests of Montanans as a whole. Service organization and association license plates are becoming more of a thing here in the state as people license their rigs according to who or what they might support according to their own interests. These license plates make it more difficult to discover which part of the state these folks might from because they don’t have a designated county number associated with them. The fees are a bit higher on these plates, but that hasn’t stopped a great many number of Montanans from purchasing them in an effort to support the cause.

I’ve even gone in on the whole service organization and association license plate deal. We support who or what we support and it’s great that Montana allows us to wear our support right on our own vehicles. Bumper stickers are tacky and at times even creepy, but our Montana license plates are about as sharp as a tack in appearance and do a much better job at getting the point across.

Though I sport a few organization plates on a few of our rigs, I still license our other rigs with #2 and carry on the tradition that we Montanans have become so accustomed to.

Montana fun facts:

Extinct Montana counties:
Edgerton County, Montana Territory 1865, renamed Lewis and Clark County in 1868.
Big Horn County, Montana Territory 1865, renamed Custer County in 1877.

Bighorn County was again created in 1913.

Original Montana counties:
Beaverhead, Big Horn (Custer)*, Chouteau, Deer Lodge, Gallatin, Jefferson, Edgerton (Lewis and Clark)*, Madison, and Missoula.

You might think Montana counties are big now, but I’ll bet it was even a bigger drag renewing your car tabs back in 1865.

Thanks for the read.

Happy Trails.

Ben Böhmer – Beyond Beliefs

This is the first single from Ben’s new album ‘Begin Again’ — Enjoy!

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This piece is excellent — I’ve included it in one of the playlists that I often listen to while coding.

German Electronic music’s brightest rising star, 29-year old Berlin based producer and live act Ben Böhmer has had another monumental year. His sophomore album ‘Begin Again’, released on Anjunadeep in September 2021, has since attained over 40 million streams with remixes from the likes of HAAi, Barry Can’t Swim and The Blaze.

“Ethereal” (Billboard) electronic producer Ben Böhmer releases his sophomore album Begin Again via Anjunadeep, along with single “Home” ft. folk duo JONAH.

Böhmer recently won Best Live Act Award at the AIMs in what has been arguably the most competitive year for live streamed performances, beating out artists including Arlo Parks and beabadoobee, courtesy of his groundbreaking performance with Cercle.

This year, Ben has also been named Spotify’s #1 fastest growing electronic artist with over 60 million streams.
Vogue UA called Ben “the new star of the world electronic scene” while he has garnered support from the likes of Pete Tong at BBC Radio 1 and Anna Lunoe at DanceXL Radio on Apple Music 1.

Buy/Stream single: https://anjunadeep.ffm.to/bbbb.gcn
Buy/Stream Album: https://anjunadeep.ffm.to/bbba.gcn

Ben Böhmer’s works are also available on vinyl.

You can catch up with Ben Böhmer on his website for great music, tour dates, and more.

The Antikythera Mechanism

More than 21 centuries ago, a mechanism of fabulous ingenuity was created in Greece, a device capable of indicating exactly how the sky would look for decades to come — the position of the moon and sun, lunar phases and even eclipses. But this incredible invention would be drowned in the sea and its secret forgotten for two thousand years.

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This video is a tribute from Swiss clock-maker Hublot and film-maker Philippe Nicolet to this device, known as the Antikythera Mechanism, or the world’s “first computer”. The fragments of the Mechanism were discovered in 1901 by sponge divers near the island of Antikythera. It is kept since then at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.

For more than a century, researchers were trying to understand its functions. Since 2005, a pluridisciplinary research team, the “Antikythera Mechanism Research Project”, is studying the Mechanism with the latest high tech available.

The results of this ongoing research has enabled the construction of many models. Amongst them, the unique mechanism of a watch, designed by Hublot as a tribute to the Mechanism, is incorporating the known functions of this mysterious and fascinating ancient Mechanism.

A model of the Antikythera Mechanism, built by the Aristotle University in Greece, together with the mechanism of the watch and this film in 3D are featuring in an exhibition about the Mechanism that is taking place in Paris, at the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

The original fragments of the Mechanism, its main models and the watch designed by Hublot are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.