Friday, August 31, 2012

Songs (And Bands) With States In The Titles: Part 1 Of 5

I thought it would be fun to find a song and/or band named after each state in the Union. Since there are 50 of them, and that takes more time than I have in one day, I'm going to do 10 at a time. Going in alphabetical order, today I will cover Alabama through Georgia. Next time, Hawaii through Maryland. The third installment will include Massachusetts through New Jersey. The fourth will cover New Mexico through South Carolina. And the fifth and final installment will go from South Dakota through Wyoming. I've included a video link for each song and/or band whenever possible. Some states have multiple songs to choose from, and I couldn't decide on one, so I picked two of them. Enjoy!


1)  ALABAMA:  There's a highly successful country band that goes by the name Alabama. You might've heard of them? They've had a lot of hit songs throughout their career, especially in the 1980s. This was one of those hits...



Then, of course, there's the classic song by the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd that you may have heard a time or two...




2)  ALASKA:  Songs about Alaska are a little harder to find, but they do exist. Here's one by John Denver...


Here's another Alaska song, this one by Johnny Horton...




3)  ARIZONA:  This one's pretty straightforward. This Kings Of Leon song is simply called "Arizona"...




4)  ARKANSAS:  I'm not exactly sure what this song has to do with the state of Arkansas, as there aren't any actual lyrics sung, but both the song ("When Electricity Came To Arkansas") and the name of the band (Black Oak Arkansas) contain the state's name, so there you go.




5)  CALIFORNIA:  There are dozens of songs I could've picked for this massive state, but I narrowed it down to just two. Forgive me if I omitted your favorite California song. First up, The Eagles' "Hotel California"...



Next up, The Mamas & The Papas' classic song, "California Dreamin'"...






6)  COLORADO:  Another straightforward song here. "Colorado" by The Flying Burrito Brothers (which, incidentally, is an awesome name for a band!)...




7)  CONNECTICUT:  Songs about Connecticut are apparently few and far between. This one, called "I Live In Connecticut," by the rock band Aerosmith, is a one-minute-long instrumental. Even Aerosmith couldn't find anything good – or bad – to say about Connecticut, I suppose...




8)  DELAWARE:  Even more obscure, apparently, are songs about Delaware. The only one I could find was a nonsense song by Perry Como which made very bad puns about the names of all the states, and I couldn't bear to post that here. Instead, here's a Norwegian alternative rock band called Delaware singing a song called "Wish For." Quite a good song, actually....




9)  FLORIDA:  Okay, so this is the most desperate I've been so far to find a song. There just aren't that many songs written about Florida, and many of the ones I did find were either directed politically (and negatively) toward the state and/or contained explicit lyrics, and I didn't particularly want to post those here. Then I remembered that there's a secular rapper who goes by the name "Flo Rida", and that's pretty close to "Florida", right? Well, most of his songs were also explicit. In searching some more, I saw that Flo Rida had rapped on a song by Lady Gaga called "Starstruck" which (surprisingly) didn't contain any explicit lyrics (unless she's using double entendres that I don't understand), and so that's my "Florida song" here. I know it's reaching, but I was in a pinch. Don't listen to it if you don't want to...




10)  GEORGIA:  Finally, a state with lots of good songs about it! But, like California, I'll limit it to just two here. And they're both classic soul songs! First up, Gladys Knight & The Pips' "Midnight Train To Georgia"...



And last but not least, Ray Charles singing "Georgia On My Mind"...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things I Find Fascinating: Stupendously Strange And Silly-Sounding South Carolina Place Names

Much like I've done before for Pennsylvania and Florida, I've compiled a list of oddly named towns, cities, and place names from South Carolina. I have no idea where or why they came up with the names for these places that they did, but they're funny, weird, and altogether interesting. Enjoy!


1)  GIVE ME YOUR DIGITS!  There seem to be quite a few numerically-named places in South Carolina. Maybe there was a logical reason behind each name, or maybe the towns' founders just wanted to prove they could count. Who knows? 1...2...3...let's go!

Four Hole Swamp
Five Forks
Six Mile
Seven Oaks
Sixty Six
and
Ninety Six


2)  COLOR ME IMPRESSED:  Most states have a preponderance of towns and cities with colors in the names, and South Carolina is no exception. Case in point, the following place names:

Green Sea
Greenville
Greenwood
Grays
Red Bank
Orangeburg
Whitesville
and of course...
Blacksville



3)  WHY IS MY STOMACH GROWLING?  It's also not uncommon to hear of a town named after food, especially a fruit. But some of these are ridiculous...

Cherryvale
Plum Branch
Cheddar
Pumpkintown
and the ever-popular
Ketchuptown



4)  OUT OF THIS WORLD:  Some South Carolina towns and cities may remind you of things you learned in science class years ago. Like these, for instance...

Galaxy
Mars Bluff
Starr
Lone Star
Sunset
and
Moonville



5)  WHICH WAY WAS I HEADED?  If you're not sure where you are, several places in South Carolina will be happy to remind you at least where you're headed. Like these oddly named towns...

East & Southern
North
North Area
West Metro
and
Due West



6)  THAT SOUNDS STRANGELY FAMILIAR...  When you're traveling through South Carolina, you might pass through a town or city that sounds like somewhere you've been before, or at least read about it in books or seen on television. Like these, for example...

Hollywood Hills
Broadway Lake
Norway
Denmark
Switzerland
Florence
Waterloo
Parris Island
and
Paris Mountain



7)  RAMPANT ANIMALIA:  It's also not uncommon for various animals to appear in the names of towns and cities. And South Carolina has plenty of those, too...

Cowpens
Spiderweb
Turkey Hill
Tigerville
Dovesville
Buffalo
Swansea
Goose Creek
Bull Island
Cat Island
and
Goat Island


8)  NATIVE AMERICAN NAMES:  No disrespect intended whatsoever, but some of the strangest-sounding towns, cities, and other places derive from Native American words and phrases. Call me weird – and I am – but I just happen to love 'em! Here's a few good South Carolina examples...

Ashepoo
Socastee
Callawassie Island
Awendaw
Lake Jocassee
Yemassee
Pocotaligo
Taxahaw
Chechessee River
Coosawhatchie
Wattacoo Creek
Salkehatchie
and last but not least...
Wassamassaw Swamp


9)  JUST PLAIN WEIRD!  Following with tradition from previous posts of this nature, here's a bevy of South Carolina place names that defy explanation, and can't easily be grouped elsewhere. Why? Because they're just plain weird! And yes, there will be appropriately snarky (and perhaps groan-worthy) comments for each. Here we go...

Effingham  (home of euphemistic pork haters)

Drunken Jack Island  (where Drunken Jack goes on vacation)

Townville  (where thinking creatively is strictly prohibited)

Fingerville  (I don't think I want to know...)

Fair Play  (sounds like a lovely place to live, actually)

Lucknow  (what we all could use a little more of)

Round O  (renamed a few years ago, when 
they realized that Square O was illogical)

Thicketty  (because it is)

Jalapa  (junkyard capital of the world)

Wisacky  (how Drunken Jack pronounces "whiskey")

Daufuskie Island  (named after a 
very unfortunately named person)

Secession Lake  (yeah, about that...they never 
got around to renaming it after the War)

Mixville  (home to many bakers, paint dealers, and deejays)

Goodale State Park  (where Drunken Jack
goes to purchase his favorite beverages)

Lugoff  (spontaneously named during a tire change)

Dentsville  (the "wannabe" junkyard capital of the world)

Boggy Head Bay  (named by Drunken 
Jack in a moment of almost-clarity)

Little Kilsock Bay  (what did the sock ever do to you, Shorty?)

Arkwright  ("Noah" would've been a lot shorter, ya know)

Prosperity  (what we could all use a little more of)

Welcome  (where you always are)

Southern Shops  (something for everyone,
except if you're a Yankee)

Powdersville  (talcum capital of the world)

Startex  (just down the road from Stopex)

Coward  (a popular retirement spot for military deserters)

Sans Souci  (it means "worry-free"; apparently 
"Hakuna Matata" was already trademarked by Disney)

Irmo  (how Drunken Jack says "Elmo")

and finally...

West Ashley Inside Mark Clark
(I can't even begin to guess how this place was named!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This Week In Sports: Notable NFL Transactions

For those of you who don't already know, this is the week when NFL football teams have to pare their rosters all the way down to 53 players in preparation for the first game of the season. Needless to say, a lot of hard decisions have to be made, and many players will be cleaning out their lockers and calling their agents, looking for another chance with another team. Some are perhaps even facing the end of their careers, and not by their choice. I felt it only appropriate to catalog a few of the more notable players who were waived, released, terminated, placed on the injured reserve or physically-unable-to-perform lists, or otherwise notified that their services would no longer be required.

If you were hoping for an insightful analysis of why each of these players was released, and perhaps even my predictions of where they might be headed next, you have come to the wrong site. In my own twisted way, I will be theorizing about why these players parted ways with their teams, but my reasons have been formulated strictly for laughs (hopefully!). I can neither confirm nor deny that any of these are the actual reasons for the players' departure. In other words, I'm making it all up...


1)  Jimmy Sadler-McQueen was released by the Houston Titans when the team tailors threatened to go on strike if they had to take extra time out of their already-busy schedules to sew all the letters of Sadler-McQueen's name onto the back of his jersey.

Jimmy "Why Couldn't My Name Just Be Smith?" Sadler-McQueen



2)  Frank Zombo was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list by the Green Bay Packers when a fellow teammate (whose face Zombo had recently attempted to eat) broke Zombo's leg in three places.

Frank Zombo, undead and loving it!


3)  Jojo Nicolas and Joel Reinders were waived by the New York Giants because their names were too reminiscent of the holiday season. Apparently, Nicolas' and Reinders' teammates had been spending an excessive amount of time exchanging Christmas lists with each other and not enough time lifting weights, and the team was not happy about this.

Jojo Nicolas –  he's no saint!

Joel Reinders, doesn't pull sleds for Santa


3)  Jason Slowey was waived by the San Francisco 49ers when the team realized that he only ran fast when donuts were dangled in front of him, and that this unusual setup would not be feasible during an actual game.

Jason Slowey – he runs on Dunkin'


4)  Matt Cleveland was waived by the Cleveland Browns for being redundant.

Matt Cleveland – he didn't want to play for the Browns anyway


5)  The Chicago Bears terminated the contract of John McCargo when it was determined that he was just dead weight.

John McCargo, always has to pay extra before boarding a plane


6)  Pep Levingston was waived by the Seattle Seahawks when he just flat ran out of energy.

Pep Levingston, out of breath and out of work


7)  Kyle Newhall-Caballero was waived by the Oakland Raiders, which had recently hired a new group of tailors who had previously worked for the New York Giants (see #1 above).

Kyle Newhall-Caballero, really wishes he'd made
the team, now he's stuck with this stupid haircut


8)  Emmanuel Acho was placed on injured reserve by the Cleveland Browns when he sneezed one time too many and ruptured his spleen.

Emmanuel "Gesundheit" Acho, hates allergy season


9)  Edawn Coughman was waived by the Seattle Seahawks when the team realized they could no longer increase their Nyquil budget.

Edawn Coughman, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching,
 stuffy-headed, and can't rest – but at least he has his health


10)  Jameson Konz was waived by the Seattle Seahawks when the team realized that they had been played for a fool.

Jameson Konz – fool you once, shame
on me; fool you twice, shame on you...


11)  Solomon Elimimian was waived by the Minnesota Vikings when local sportscasters threatened to go on strike if they had to pronounce Solomon's last name five times per game.

Solomon Elimimian – what would you prefer? Jones? C'mon, I'm Nigerian!


12)  Jason Spitz was placed on injured reserve by the Jacksonville Jaguars due to chronic saliva overproduction. It was either that, or they'd have to put in artificial grass, because Spitz had caused half the end zone to erode in the team's preseason games.

Jason Spitz, expectorator extraordinaire


13)  David Clowney was released by the Buffalo Bills, because he just couldn't be serious for one lousy minute, for crying out loud, and the coach had had just about enough of his foolishness.

David Clowney – why so serious?


14)  Al Everest, special teams coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was told to take a hike when it was clear that he was at less than peak performance as a coach. According to the team, Everest had failed to reach the highest heights for quite some time, and had been dangling by a very thin rope all preseason long.

Al Everest, feeling lower than he's ever felt before

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Videos Of Animals Eating Fruit

And now for something completely random...well, you already read the title. This is exactly what it was advertised to be...videos of animals eating fruit. Many of these either fascinated me or cracked me up – I don't know why. A couple of them were slightly boring, but they went with the theme, so I included them. (And yes, I realize that apples show up twice here, but both videos were too good to pass up.) Enjoy?


1)  A Koala Eating An Apple



2)  A Monkey Eating An Orange



3)  A Box Turtle Eating A Strawberry



4)  A Cat Eating A Banana



5)  A Dog Eating Blueberries



6)  A Squirrel Eating A Lemon



7)  A Raccoon Eating Cherries



8)  An Iguana Eating Grapes



9)  A Goat Eating Watermelon



10)  A Hippopotamus Eating A Pumpkin



11)  An Elephant Eating A Pineapple



12)  A Llama Eating An Apple


Monday, August 27, 2012

Words You Can Make Using Letters From The Words "Back To School"

DISCLAIMER:  Though I am married to a teacher who is starting back at school today, she neither suggested nor "defined" any of the following words. This is all me. True, I have heard plenty of teacher horror stories, but not just from my wife. I also have several close friends and relatives who are teachers. And on the other side of the desk, as it were, I know and am friends with quite a few students (and believe it or not, I actually was one a long time ago!). So, this post is not based on the experiences of any one teacher or student that I know, but is an amalgamation of all of them. With that being said, enjoy!


1)  Boathooks:  Tools that some teachers might wish they could use to gather in unruly students to where they're supposed to be.



2)  Sackcloth:  Fashionable apparel for mourners, and perhaps teachers who did not want to go back to school today.



3)  Cockatoos:  What noisy students sound like to weary teachers.



4)  Klatsch:  A casual social gathering, usually for conversation. Or, what some students think school is designed to be.



5)  Tobacco:  A substance that some teachers – and unfortunately, some students – may use to deal with the stresses of school.



6)  Cahoots:  What some students are "in" with each other – usually against another student, but sometimes against a teacher.



7)  Accost:  What some students, unfortunately, occasionally do to other students. Also known as bullying.



8)  Block:  A method of scheduling the six-hour school day into "blocks" of class time. A block schedule keeps students in class for longer periods of time, reducing the amount of time students spend transitioning between classes, and giving students and teachers more opportunities to get to know each other. Some teachers and students love block scheduling, and some absolutely hate it. It just depends. (Definition copied directly from Education.com.)



9)  Chalk:  Do teachers even use this anymore? With the preponderance of dry-erase boards and SMART Boards, I'm not sure they do. But they did in my day (oh BOY, do I sound old!).



10)  Scotch:  A beverage that some teachers – and, unfortunately, some students – may use to deal with the stresses of school.



11)  Cocoa:  A much better option for teachers and students to drink to help deal with the stresses of school.



12)  Clock:  A device for telling time, which is watched quite frequently by both teachers and students.



13)  Achoo:  A sound that is heard often in schools, usually followed by a "Bless You!" from the teacher, or perhaps another student.



14)  Halos:  What some parents think their kids wear on a regular basis, especially when they're at school.



15)  Blah:  What teachers' words sound like to students, especially in triplicate. (i.e., "blah blah blah...")



16)  Cool:  What a few kids actually are, and what all the rest of them want to be.



17)  Coast:  Where most teachers (and most students, too) would rather be than at school today.



18)  Shock:  What first-year teachers are experiencing today.



19)  (A) Blast:  What parents hope their kids will have on the first day of school.



20)  Chaos:  What teachers know will actually happen on the first day of school.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Wishes Of Fishes Swishing In Dishes," "Up Your Alley," And "In The Garden Of Eden, Baby": Three New Drabbles

I told you the other day that I had three more drabbles ready to post. These are those. Hope you enjoy!




"WISHES OF FISHES SWISHING IN DISHES"

"I wish they'd put us back in the fish bowl."

"Patience, kid, ya know they're cleaning it."

"I don't care! This dish is disgusting. Anyway, our bowl wasn't even dirty."

"Yeah, right! Like you don't poop in it every day."

"Sure I do, but my poop doesn't stink."

"Really? I swim in the same bowl as you, and you're gonna tell that lie?"

"Well, it wasn't that dirty!"

"Whatever, kid. Just shut your piehole and keep swimming!"

"Might as well. Got nothing better to do in here."

"Ya wanna fin-wrestle?"

"Nah, you'll cheat."

"Ya know me well..."

"Unfortunately, I do."



"UP YOUR ALLEY"

I was at the record store the other day – Can you believe they still have record stores? I mean, mostly they're downtown in college towns, 'cuz nobody besides college kids and indie rockers even listens to records anymore – but anyway, I was at the record store, trying not to get a headache from all the incense they were burning – probably trying to cover up the scent of pot, 'cuz I'm pretty sure the guy at the counter was high as a kite! – but anyway, I saw this record and knew you'd just love it. Looky here – Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits!



"IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, BABY"

You just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you? He told us that tree was off limits, but did you listen? No! You had to go and eat it anyway! How could you be so stupid? What part of "no" didn't you understand? You know what this means, right? It means that you're gonna die! Then what am I going to do? I'm gonna have to learn to cook and clean and everything! How about giving me the recipe for that pie you made before you kick the bucket – what kinda fruit did you put in it? It was WHAT?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

7 Things I Don't Want On My Hamburger

I'm not the pickiest of eaters (though I used to be), but there are still certain things that -- try as I might -- I just don't like to eat. Many of these undesirable edibles are often served on hamburgers. Some are not as typical on hamburgers, but I still dislike them, and so here they are...


1)  Pickles:  I don't mind the smell of pickles, or even the taste of the juice -- I get my Chick-Fil-A sandwiches with pickles so the juice gets on the bun, then I pick the pickles off before eating -- it's the texture I can't stand. Biting into a pickle is somewhat akin to biting a cat's tail (not that I've done that or anything) -- it gives in ways that you think it shouldn't, and at the same time it's just a little too firm to be palatable.



2)  Lettuce:  For the life of me, I don't know why humans chose -- many, many years ago -- to eat leaves. There are so many better things in this world to eat -- why leaves? In all honesty, I do like the "leaves" of cabbage and spinach and, if forced to, I can eat the occasional salad provided it's made from a 50/50 mix of spinach and baby greens (which I then tear up by hand into smaller pieces). However, my tolerance for lettuce does not extend to hamburgers. Especially since a lot of lettuce-clad hamburgers that I've encountered have huge pieces of iceberg piled onto them. I've tasted iceberg lettuce, or at least what there is to taste of it. To me, it's sort of like eating crunchy air. I don't like the texture, and there's barely any taste at all. What's the point?



3)  Tomatoes:  This food aversion is an anomaly, I know. I adore ketchup, and I am fully aware that ketchup is made from tomatoes. But I hate tomatoes. The smell, the texture, even the look of tomatoes is utterly unappealing to me. I can't explain it. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with tomatoes, and I might even could force myself to like them if I really tried, but why would I? I mean, as long as there's ketchup.




4)  Slaw:  This isn't always a topping on hamburgers, but in some places it is. And it's nasty! I love cooked cabbage, especially when it's boiled with pork chops. The flavor infusion of the pork takes away the bitterness of the cabbage and just makes it delicious. But I don't like slaw. Not at all. There's something about the mix of the different ingredients in slaw that just turns me off. The only place I've ever had slaw and actually liked it was when we went to Jamaica. They cut their cabbage in long, skinny strips and lightly dressed it with a tangy but spicy sauce, and it was simply delicious. It helped that the slaw was also sharing a plate with jerk chicken, which was absolutely delectable. But still...




5)  Avocado:  This one seems to be a growing trend, especially depending on where you get your hamburger. Adding avocado to a burger seems much more common in "sit-down" restaurants. I'll admit it -- I've had a burger or two with avocado as a topping. And I ate it, but I didn't particularly care for it. The thing is, avocado doesn't have a whole lot of taste and it too has a funny texture. I don't like guacamole, either, for the same reasons.




6)  Ham:  When we went on missions trips to Mexico with our church a few years back, the people that we were staying with would often make us toned-down (read: less spicy) versions of classic Mexican dishes for our nourishment and enjoyment. Every now and then, they'd do their own version of an "American" dish. Case in point: the hamburger. They were good hamburgers, but they took the name a bit too literally when they added a thick slice of ham as a topping to the burgers. Being courteous to our hosts, we ate the hamburgers without complaint -- and really, there wasn't a whole lot to complain about anyway. Burgers are good. Ham is good. The two together? Hmm... It's not that it wasn't good, it was just a little weird. But hey, when in Mexico...




7)  Egg:  In keeping with the breakfast theme here, egg is also not a topping I enjoy on my hamburger. Truthfully, I've never tried it, and I might would change my mind if I did. But I don't think so. This is just a strange combination to me. For the same reason that I never eat steak for breakfast, I don't want to eat egg for lunch or supper (unless my entire meal is a breakfast-type dish).




You may be wondering, if I dislike all these common hamburger toppings, what DO I like on my hamburger? Good question! Most of the time, I just eat it with bacon, cheese, and ketchup. But I also like mayo, BBQ sauce, grilled onions, fried onions, and even -- on rare occasions -- apple slices as toppings for my hamburger. Mmm, mmm, delicious!

Friday, August 24, 2012

10 People I'll Bet You Didn't Know Were From North Dakota

1)  JOSH DUHAMEL, actor



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  Before he was the lead actor is TV's Las Vegas, and before he had starring roles in all three Transformers movies (so far), Duhamel was a soap opera star in the long-running series All My Children. These days, he's known mostly for his work in films. Josh was born in Minot, North Dakota.



2)  LOUIS L'AMOUR, novelist



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  One of the most famous writers ever of Western fiction, L'Amour penned 89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and 2 works of nonfiction during his lifetime. Twenty-four years after his death, L'Amour's works are still very popular and many have been made into movies for television and the silver screen. Louis was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.



3)  JONNY LANG, singer/songwriter, guitarist



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  Lang is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist in the blues, gospel, and rock music genres. As a guitarist, Jonny is known for his impressive guitar solos and his constant use of wide vibratos. Lang's 2006 album, the gospel-influenced Turn Around, earned him his first Grammy Award (so far). Jonny was born in Fargo, North Dakota.



4)  ANGIE DICKINSON, actress



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO SHE IS:  A veteran of over 50 films, including Rio Bravo, Ocean's 11 (the original version), Ocean's Eleven (the remake), Dressed To Kill, and Pay It Forward, Dickinson may still be best known for her starring role in the 1970s hit series Policewoman, for which she was thrice nominated for an Emmy Award. Angie was born in Kulm, North Dakota.



5)  SACAGAWEA, famous Native American



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO SHE WAS:  A Lemhi Shoshone woman, Sacagawea accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition in their exploration of the Western United States between 1804 and 1806 as an interpreter and guide. Since 2000, Sacagawea has appeared on the face of the U.S. $1 coin, which is more commonly referred to as the "Sacagawea dollar." Sacagawea was actually  born in what is now Idaho, but spent the majority of her life in the Fort Lisa area of North Dakota.



6)  LAWRENCE WELK, bandleader



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  Welk was the host of the popular TV variety show that bore his name – The Lawrence Welk Show – which aired from 1955 all the way to 1982! If you watched much PBS growing up like my family did, you probably saw at least a few episodes of this show, which – even in reruns only a decade or so after the end of its run – seemed to me to be VERY dated! But apparently some people liked Welk's "champagne music" quite a bit, because it was still being shown on PBS a few years ago on Saturdays – for all I know, it still is. Welk was born in Strasburg, North Dakota.



7)  TRAVIS HAFNER, baseball player


WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  Unless you're a Cleveland Indians fan, you might not know who Hafner is. If you are a Cleveland Indians fan, Hafner is probably not your favorite player. Blessed with tons of superstar potential (or maybe chemically enhanced with it – who knows?), Travis has spent nearly as much time in his career on the disabled list as he has on the field – or at least that's the way it seems. When he's played and been healthy, he's been really good. But he has a hard time not getting injured. Having hit exactly 200 homeruns (at the time of this writing), Hafner has the most career homeruns of any North Dakotan Major League Baseball player. (For whatever that's worth.) Travis was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.



8)  WIZ KHALIFA, rapper



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  If you're a fan of mainstream rap (I'm not), you might be familiar with this guy's music. I haven't personally heard a single bar of Wiz's "wizardry," and I'm not really that interested in doing so. Khalifa (whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz) has enjoyed considerable success from his hit singles "Say Yeah" and "Black And Yellow."Apparently, a significant number of his raps are centered around the acquisition of and the smoking of marijuana, which Wiz himself boasts of doing on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, when Khalifa made a stop at East Carolina University as part of his "Waken Baken" tour (???) a couple of years back, he was arrested for possession and trafficking of marijuana. Wiz spent the night in a Greenville jail, posted his $300,000 bail the next day, and went on about his business. Khalifa was born in Minot, North Dakota.



9)  ALF CLAUSEN, composer



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  You might never have seen his face before now (I hadn't), but there's a good chance you've heard some of Alf Clausen's music. Why? Because Clausen has spent the majority of his career composing theme songs and incidental music for several popular TV shows, including Moonlighting, ALF (ironically!), and The Simpsons. Alf has also written music for several successful films such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and The Naked Gun. Clausen's work has been nominated for an Emmy Award an astonishing 30 different times, and has won 2 Emmys. Clausen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but spent the majority of his childhood in Jamestown, North Dakota.



10)  PEGGY LEE, singer



WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO SHE WAS:  A jazz and pop music singer whose career spanned six decades, Lee first came to national attention as a singer in Benny Goodman's big band. Peggy (born Norma Deloris Egstrom) is probably best known for her hit song "Fever." In addition to being a successful singer and songwriter (though she didn't actually write "Fever"), Lee was also a popular film actress, appearing in the 1952 remake of The Jazz Singer; singing and voicing four different characters in Disney's The Lady And The Tramp (for which she also wrote several songs); and starring in Pete Kelly's Blues (a role which earned Lee an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress). Peggy was a three-time Grammy Award winner. She was born in Jamestown, North Dakota.