More bad music and picks

I don't get it.

Panda Bear - "Person Pitch" is getting lots of votes as the best album of 2007 in many lists, including "Pitchfork" ... perhaps the leading indie propaganda rag.

I thought it sucked.

Seriously. Sucked. Maybe because he used "Pitch" in the title?

Then again, I thought Radiohead "In Rainbows" and "The National" by Boxer sucked, too.

At least Paste has better taste in their picks ... but Magic #1? I am was a huge Springsteen fan. I like it more than most albums ... but nowhere near my top 25. Lyrically ... it's too cliche-ridden. And song titles and choruses repeated like an infomercial ... like "none of this has happened yet" and "you'll be coming down" ... ugh. There are a couple of good songs ("I'll Work For Your Love" and "Last To Die" ... too many lyrics on Magic seem to have been spewed from the "Bruce Springsteen Song Lyric Generator."

As for the music ... too much of sounds the same as The Rising, which I liked. A lot. For the lyrics ... and the obligatory sax solo. Ugh.

So ... guess I'm out of touch with the mainstream and the indie scene. Nothing left for me to do now but start a music blog, eh?


Obama just 'wowed' me. Seriously.

Ya know I'm not a big fan of the political process. As Michael Savage says, the Republicrats and Democrins are just different puppets controlled by the same puppet master.

However, Sen. Barack Obama has finally gotten my attention with this:


For those of you who subscribe to the TLDR (too long, didn't read) lemme summarize:
  • Our planet is in peril. Our health care system is broken, our economy is out of balance, our education system fails too many of our children, and our retirement system is in tatters.

  • At this defining moment, we cannot wait any longer for universal health care.

  • We cannot wait to fix our schools.

  • We cannot wait for good jobs, and living wages, and pensions we can count on.

  • We cannot wait to halt global warming, and we cannot wait to end this war in Iraq.

  • The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result. And that’s a risk we can’t take. Not this year. Not when the stakes are this high.

  • In this election, it is time to turn the page.

  • I walked away from a job on Wall Street to bring job training to the jobless and after-school programs to kids on the streets of Chicago.

  • I turned down the big-money law firms to win justice for the powerless as a civil rights lawyer.

  • I took on the lobbyists in Illinois and brought Democrats and Republicans together to expand health care to 150,000 people and pass the first major campaign finance reform in 25 years; and I did the same thing in Washington when we passed the toughest lobbying reform since Watergate.

  • I’m the only candidate in this race who hasn’t just talked about taking power away from lobbyists, I’ve actually done it. So if you want to know what kind of choices we’ll make as president, you should take a look at the choices we made when we had the chance to bring about change that wasn’t easy or convenient.

  • For the first time in a long time, we have the chance to build a new majority of not just Democrats, but independents and Republicans who’ve lost faith in their Washington leaders but want to believe again — who desperately want something new.
  • I know that when the American people believe in something, it happens.

  • If you believe, then we can tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.

  • If you believe, then we can stop making promises to America’s workers and start delivering — jobs that pay, health care that’s affordable, pensions you can count on, and a tax cut for working Americans instead of the companies who send their jobs overseas.

  • If you believe, we can offer a world-class education to every child, and pay our teachers more, and make college dreams a reality for every American.

  • If you believe, we can save this planet and end our dependence on foreign oil.

  • If you believe, we can end this war, close Guantanamo, restore our standing, renew our diplomacy and once again respect the Constitution of the United States of America.

Okay. I believe.

UFC 79 - Nemesis - Preview & Predictions

As per my usual, I'll be at BW3's in Austintown watching UFC 79 on Saturday. if you're looking for something to do, swing by. If you're not an MMA fan, come get schooled. I've been a fan for going on five years now, moreso of the now defunct PRIDE organization, but haven't missed a UFC since 40.

Mark Bocek vs Doug Evans -
Bocek, submission.
Jiu-Jitsu beats striking and wrestling, especially since Evans isn't a master of either.

Roan Carneiro vs Tony DeSouza - Carneiro, submission.
Carneiro is training with American Top Team, DeSouza's not fought since 2006 and has a suspect chin he covers with a wild beard ... and he's easily cut (two of his three losses are due to cuts).

Jordan Radev vs Dean Lister - Lister, submission.
Lister is a multiple ADCC champion, Olympic wrestler and has been working strong on striking. Radev's intro by Bruce Buffer was longer than his last fight, as it took was last seen getting KTFO'ed in 33 seconds by Drew McFedries in June.

Nate Mohr vs Manny Gamburyan - Gamburyan, decision.
Gamburyan is short and stocky and not known as a finisher. Mohr is a striker. Gamburyan was beating devastating striker Nate Diaz before separating his shoulder in The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale and can take a shot.

Luis Cane vs James Irvin - Cane, TKO, knees.
Irvin, a.k.a. The Sandman, can knock anybody out with his fist of death, but Cane will take this one. Like most Brazilians he has mad jiu-jitsu and knees that do big damage, and solid strikes with his fists, too. If it goes to the ground, Irvin's out of his element.

Soa Palelei vs Eddie Sanchez - Sanchez, strikes.
Palelei's had one fight in three years - it lasted 5 seconds. He's huge - 6'4" and 265. Sanchez hung with Cro-Cop for nearly a round before the fight was stopped. And he hurt Cro-Cop, too. I see Sanchez getting KO #6, early.

Rich Clementi vs Melvin Guillard - Guillard, strikes.
Clementi's great on the ground, but Guillard has fists that come fast and furious and with bad intentions. And these two dudes don't like each other, as Joe Rogan will tell us, over and over.

Lyoto Machida vs Sokoudjou - Sokoudjo, strikes.
I watched in stunned silence, as did most everyone else who was a fan of PRIDE, when Sokoudjou knocked out Antonio Rogerio Noqueira (Lil 'Nog) in 23 secods at Pride 33. Six weeks later battered Ricardo Arona in two minutes. The African Assassin is now training with Team Quest. Machida is a great technician, but so are both Nogueira and Arona, and neither could find their game before the punches came.

Chuck Liddell vs Wanderlei Silva - Silva, strikes.
Silva has beaten Quinton Jackson, twice. Jackson has beaten Liddell, twice. Liddell has lost his last two fights (Jackson knocked him out in 1:53; and a split decision to Keith Jardine in which he was solidly rocked). Silva has lost his last two fights, both by highlight knockouts (Dan Henderson demolished him at Pride 33; and in the Open Weight GP in 2006 he was another victim of Cro-Cop's head kick). The difference - Silva has taken 8 months off, taken his time, learned from his losses. Liddell has taken fight after fight as soon as he could. My only concern for Silva is how will he handle being in a cage for the first time since 2000's five-round decision loss to Tito Ortiz. However, I see Silva teeing off on Liddell, often, and in tight, as his his style. With knees, elbows and fists flying. I see Chuck either retiring or taking serious time off in 2008 to regroup, as Silva did in 2007.

Matt Hughes vs Georges St-Pierre - St-Pierre, knockout.
St-Pierre took this fight after Matt Serra's serious back injury, and it's for the interim welterweight title. I don't see how this late in his MMA career Hughes can go from being a dominating wrestler to anything else. St-Pierre is the most well-rounded MMA fighter, ever. He can wrestle, strike, evade and work the ground. He dominated Hughes when he took the title in November 2006, knocking him out in the second round with a knee Hughes said he had no idea hit him. Hughes doesn't have the all around ability to defend himself. St-Pierre has continued to evolve and will be the dominant welterweight moving forward, as Hughes was for five years prior to his loss to GSP.


Leapfrog is a kids game

So why do grownups play it?

In cars?

On the interstates?

Driving to Chincoteague to spend Christmas with my daughter I had the joy of this guy beside me:
  1. I'm driving along at 70 mph on the interstate.
  2. He runs up behind me at 75.
  3. He passes me at 75.
  4. He pulls in front of me and slows down to 65.
  5. I pass him at 70.
  6. I pull back into the cruising lane at 70 when I've gotten far enough ahead of him to be safe.
  7. He runs up behind me at 75.
  8. He passes me at 75.
  9. He pulls in front of me and slows down to 65.
Over and over and over again. For the whole fucking state of Maryland. WTF?

So, black Scion license SEFIER ... you're on my list.


Song of the Day

~ Carolyn Dawn Johnson

I'm so scared that the way I feel,
Is written all over my face.
When you walk into the room,
I wanna find a hiding place.
We used to laugh, we used to hug, the way that old friends do.
But now, a smile and a touch of your hand,
Just makes me come unglued.
Such a contridiction, do I lie or tell the truth.
Is it fact or fiction,
Oh the way I feel for you.

So complicated, I'm so frustrated.
I wanna hold you close, I wanna push you away,
I wanna make you go, I wanna make you stay.
Should I say it? Should I tell you how I feel?
Oh, I want you to know.
But then again, I don't. It's so complicated.

Oh..just when I think I'm under control.
I think I finally got a grip.
Another friend tells me that,
My name is always on your lips.
They say I'm more than just a friend,
they say I must be blind.
Well, I admit that I've seen you watch me
from the corner of your eye.
Oh, It's so confusing. I wish you'd just confess.
But think of what I'd be losing,
if your answer wasn't yes.

So complicated I'm so frustrated,
I wanna hold you close, I wanna push you away,
I wanna make you go, I wanna make you stay.
Should I say it, should I tell you how I feel.
Oh I want you to know, but then again I don't, It's so complicated.

Oh, I hate it. 'Cuz I've waited.
So long for someone like you
Oh, what do I do.
Oh should I say it.
Should I tell you how I feel.
I want you to know,but then again I don't.
It's so complicated..
It's so complicated..
It's so complicated.

Eric's Top 20 Albums of 2007

My Top 20 Albums for 2007:

(for a really pretty one with covers and links and detailed descriptions of the Top 10, click here because tables and HTML formatting in blogger doesn't get along with what I made up in Adobe Contribute that's prettyful [thanks for that word SarahSue!])

  1. Semi Precious Weapons - We Love You
  2. Two Cow Garage - Three
  3. David Ford - Songs For The Road
  4. Saving Jane - One Girl Revolution
  5. Scott Blasey - Travelin' On
  6. Chantal Kreviazuk - Ghost Stories
  7. The Whiles - Sleepers Wake
  8. Grammar Debate! - Cheetah vs. Helicopter
  9. A Fine Frenzy - One Cell in the Sea
  10. Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion
  11. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
  12. Feist - The Reminder
  13. Blonde Redhead - 23
  14. Megan Palmer - Take You Away
  15. Paula Cole -C ourage
  16. Dolores O'Riordan - Are You Listening
  17. Brandi Carlile - Story Book
  18. Son Volt - The Search
  19. Fratellis - Costello Music
  20. Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Calling
What I'm looking forward to in 2008 ... new albums from:

Aaron Tasjan - Hard Love and Free Luck (2008, unknown)
Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers (March 4, 2008)
Bob Mould - District Line (Feb 2, 2008)
Julia Fordham - China Blue
Marah - Angels of Destruction

and releases from Two Cow Garage, Quinn Fallon and Red Wanting Blue.

So ... other than Wilco, The Boxer and Radiohead, which I discussed earlier in the week as not impressing me as cohesive albums or collections of songs, tell me what I missed in 2007!


Eric's Annual Grammy Picks

50th Grammy Awards: My Picks. Cause my music sucks less than this stuff:

For The Record: I don't vote on Country, Instrumental, R&B or Rap because I don't like enough of it to be considered a qualified intelligent voter. Hmmm .... wish more people would act like that, especially around November.)

Album of the Year:

[X] Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters

[ ] These Days, Vince Gill

[ ] River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock

[ ] Graduation, Kanye West

[ ] Back to Black, Amy Winehouse

Who Should Win:
Foo Fighters
Who Will Win:
Kanye West. Cause his mamma died.

Song of the Year:

[ ] Before He Cheats, Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins (Carrie Underwood)

[X] Hey There Delilah, Tom Higgenson (Plain White T's)
[ ] Like a Star, Corinne Bailey Rae (Corinne Bailey Rae)

[ ] Rehab, Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse)

[ ] Umbrella, Shawn Carter, Kuk Harrell, Terius Dream Nash & Christopher Stewart (Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z)

Who Should Win:
Plain White T's, cause it's hooky and I like it
Who Will Win:
Umbrella. Cause it's stupid

New Artist:

[X] Feist

[ ] Ledisi

[ ] Paramore

[ ] Taylor Swift

[ ] Amy Winehouse

Who Should Win:
Who Will Win:
Amy Winehouse ... which is good because it's a kiss of death award (see Starland Vocal Band; Debbie Boone; Christopher Cross; Sheena Easton; Bruce Hornsby; Jodie Watley; Marc Cohn; Arrested Development; Hootie & The Blowfish; Paula Cole [I still miss her]; Shelby Lynne; Maroon 5; et. al.) ... and she's gonna die soon. Why not make it memorable?

Female Pop Vocal Performance:

[ ] Christina Aguilera - Candyman

[X] Feist - 1234

[ ] Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry

[ ] Nelly Furtado - Say It Right

[ ] Amy Winehouse - Rehab

Who Should Win:
Feist - Cause it's hooky and I like it. (And she's Canadian)
Who Will Win: Feist

Male Pop Vocal Performance:
[ ] Michael Buble - Everything
[ ] John Mayer - Belief

[ ] Paul McCartney - Dance Tonight

[X] Seal - Amazing

[ ] Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around ... Comes Around

Who Should Win:
Seal, cause he's banging Heidi Klum
Who Will Win:
Paul McCartney cause the academy loves the old dudes

Pop Performance by a Duo/Group:

[ ] Bon Jovi - You Want To Make A Memory

[ ] Daughtry - Home

[ ] Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder

[X] Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah

[ ] U2 - Window in the Skies

Who Should Win:
Plain White T's - cause it's hooky and I like it.
Who Will Win:
U2, cause the academy loves the old dudes

Pop Vocal Album:
[ ] Lost Highway, Bon Jovi
[X] The Reminder, Feist

[ ] It Won't Be Soon Before Long, Maroon 5

[ ] Memory Almost Full, Paul McCartney

[ ] Back to Black, Amy Winehouse

Who Should Win:
Feist. Cause it's a good album
Who Will Win:
Paul McCartney cause the academy loves the old dudes

Solo Rock Vocal Performance:

[ ] Beck - Timebomb

[ ] Paul McCartney - Only Mama Knows

[ ] Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

[X] Lucinda Williams - Come On

Who Should Win:
Lucinda Williams. Cause she rocks
Who Will Win:
Paul McCartney cause the acadamy loves the old dudes

Rock Performance, Duo/Group:

[ ] Daughtry - It's Not Over

[X] Green Day - Working Class Hero

[ ] Nickleback - If Anyone Cares

[ ] U2 - Instant Karma

[ ] The White Stripes - Icky Thump

Who Should Win:
Green Day, cause the Lennon Tribute is good.
Who Will Win:
U2, cause the acadamy loves the old dudes

Hard Rock Performance

[ ] Evanescence - Sweet Sacrifice

[X] Foo Fighters - The Pretender

[ ] Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop

[ ] Queens of the Stone AGe - Sick, Sick, Sick

[ ] Tool - The Pot

Who Should Win:
Foo Fighters
Who Will Win:
Foo Fighters

Metal Performance:

[ ] As I Lay Dying - Nothing Left

[ ] King Diamond - Never Ending Hill

[ ] Machine Head - Aesthetics of Hate

[ ] Shadows Fail - Redemption

[X] Slayer - Final Six

Who Should Win:
Slayer. Cause you don't vote against Slayer.
Who Will Win:
Who knows with the Grammy's, probably Michael Buble cause he's metal.

Rock Song (Songwriter):

[X] Lucinda Williams - Come On

[ ] The White Stripes - Icky Thump

[ ] Daughtry - It's Not Over

[ ] Foo Fighters - The Pretender

[ ] Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere

Who Should Win:
Lucinda Williams. Cause she writes a mean song.
Who Will Win:
Bruce Springsteen, cause the acadamy loves the old dudes

Rock Album:

[ ] Daughtry, Daughtry

[ ] Revival, John Fogerty

[ ] Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, Foo Fighters

[ ] Magic, Bruce Springsteen

[X] Sky Blue Sky, Wilco

Who Should Win:
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
Who Will Win:
Bruce Springsteen, cause the acadamy loves the old dudes

Alternative Album:

[ ] Lily Allen - Alright, Still ...

[ ] Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

[ ] Bjork - Volta

[X] The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

[ ] The White Stripes - Icky THump

Who Should Win:
The Shins. I like it.
Who Will Win:
The White Stripes. Cause I don't like it.

Contemporary Folk/Americana Album:

[X] Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Calling

[ ] Ry Cooder - My Name is Buddy

[ ] Steve Earle - Washington Square Serenade

[ ] Patty Griffin - Children Running Through

[ ] Tom Waits - Orphan

Who Should Win:
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Who Will Win:
Probably Tom Waits. Cause the acadamy loves the old dudes.

What Soldiers Fear

(this is a joke, people. a funny joke, but still, a joke)

Chelsea Clinton recently discussed current events with a U.S. soldier.

She asked if, as an American fighting man, anything scared him.

He told her there were only three things he feared:

"First," he said, "I fear Osama."

"Understandable," said Chelsea. "He can convince men to kill in the name of Allah."

"Second," he said, "I fear Obama."

"Understandable, again," said Chelsea. "We don't know much about him. And third?"

The soldier smiled and said, "Yo mama."

Song of the Day

The Story
Brandy Carlile

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true . . . I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true . . . I was made for you


Song of the Day

"What I Didn't Say"
~ Saving Jane

Secrets told in the pictures on your skin
Hours fade into days that never end
I see myself reflected in your eyes
And I hate the way I'm wearing all these lies

So I let you go
And I watch you leave
And I hold my breath
So you don't hear me scream
When you walk away
But the words are only in my head
It's not what I said
It's what I didn't say

Is she everything you wanted her to be?
Yeah, I bet she never breaks your heart like me
So it's one more night I cover up with you
And I hate myself for what I didn't do

So I let you go
And I watch you leave
And I hold my breath
So you don't hear me scream
When you walk away
But the words are only in my head
It's not what I said
It's what I didn't say

Should've known better, now
All I have left is a permanent stain
The only part of you I get to keep forever
To prove I lived this pain

Maybe I was never as smart as I thought
Maybe we can never be as good as we want
Maybe you just didn't need me enough
Maybe we're too clever to be falling in love like this
Like this

Secrets told in the silence of my sin
And I'm the one who loses in the end
(be well, book girl. I'll miss you)

Questioning the critics ...

Like that's new, eh?

So in getting ready to list my favorite albums of 2007, I take the time to peruse what others are listening to ... and being me, I hit the cool hipster indie websites.

And every single one of them is singing the praises of "Boxer" by The National and "In Rainbows" by Radiohead.

So I gave them both a two-week listen. And now, after two weeks, I don't get it.

Let's start with Radiohead. They made history by making it available for whatever you felt like paying, initially, to download it. And I'm sure a lot of people did. I'm an old school Radiohead fan. "Pablo Honey" is one of my top 10 albums of the 1990's. And "The Bends" and "Kid A" are decent pieces of work, too.

However, "In Rainbows" just doesn't rock like I like my Radiohead to rock. It's trippy, it's mellow and heavy in points, but really, for me, and as always, your mileage may vary, too mellow. I think they must have forgot that anyone can play guitar - cause there's very little of it on this album.

Now for The Natural. Really, it's not bad. However, it's not good, either. Musically, it's very enjoying. Very mellow and melodic and even engaging. And the lyrics are decent.

But Matt Berninger's voice never changes. It kinda drones on in the same tone. For forty-four minutes.

Every. Single. Song. Is. In. The. Same. Tone.

See how hard that line was to read? That's how hard this album becomes to listen to as the songs flow from one to another. As I said, it's not bad, but it's not an album to listen to often, or on repeat. It's nothing I'll ever have in heavy rotation start-to-finish, as my albums of the year list encompasses, but will be a nice "oh yeah" when it hits in the shuffle mode.

So "Boxer" won't be on my list ... neither will "Sky Blue Sky" by Wilco, because as I said at the time of my review, it's not an album I'll listen to. I like the songs, but not the album.

And that's how I judge my "Albums of the Year" list - the whole album. As presented by the artist.


Weird and Random Thoughts

If scientists can turn fruit flies gay, and then straight ... as this report has done ... when all is said and done .... are they still 'fruit' flies? Or just annoying little asexual gnats?

Speaking of my weird thoughts ... I had another weird thought Saturday at the mall as I walked past a smug-looking man in pink oxford behind the wheel of a Range Rover parked in the fire lane.

His plates were issued in Trumbull County. I've lived far too much of my life in Trumbull County, and have covered damn near every square mile during the three years I worked as a newspaper reporter covering the outlying townships and school district at a county level. I've lived in both Warren and Niles, as well as Cortland, Gustavus, Brookfield and a couple of other places. I know for a fact our county contains no desert, no mountains nor any other terrain the Range Rover is made for. So that, alone, and his pink shirt made him, at best, pretentious; at worst, an asshole, individually for wearing a pink oxford, and individually for parking in the fire lane ... and a double-asshole for combining the shirt and fire lane parking.

However, as I walked on, laughing at him, I noticed, also parked in the fire lane, both a Lincoln Navigator and a Chevy Tahoe. Both with men behind the wheel. Waiting.

And all three of them were STILL in the fire lane, waiting, as I left the mall 20 minutes later.

So I wonder: Does being a dick in life make you susceptible to the sales pitch and lead you to buying a massive-sized over-optioned SUV that you'll never take off road ... or does buying a massive-sized SUV with full-off-road capabilities you'll never take advantage of turn you into a dick?

Why do some people take everything so seriously?

Stay tuned - massive photo updates coming soon. Studio work, SPW, RWB, Razorbliss, Lollipop Factory ... all coming soon.

Also, both my 2007 Grammy Preview and my annual "Best Albums of 2007" list.


Fuck Yeah, I'm #1


Type "i hate labor unions" into Google.

Or click here

See ... I'm #1.

I shall soon rule the world.


I can has life now?

Well, welcome to Day 1 of me not on call since the 17th of September, in one way or another. In fact, I'm not on call -- at all -- until 12/17. When hell starts again with two solid weeks of 24/7 on-call. But I'll be free on New Year's Eve.

But between now and then ... I'm working two days each of the next three weeks using up what's left of my vacation. On the five days a week I'm NOT working ... here's a list of what I will be doing:
  • I'm gonna get back to work on my certifications.
  • I'm gonna go to Virginia for Thanksgiving and see the kids.
  • I'm gonna go to Columbus and see some bands.
  • I'm gonna go to Columbus to see some friends.
  • I'm gonna have Crazy Eric's semi-annual eBay sale of parts, pieces, computers and other assorted items.
  • I'm gonna sleep.
  • I'm gonna finally start doing something with all the video I recorded this summer.
  • I'm gonna watch some TV. Might even get around to watching Season 1 of Heroes.
  • I'm gonna answer all those emails that have been piling up (Lukey, I'm lookin' right atcha).
  • I'm gonna get rid of the two bottles of never-been-opened spoiled milk in my fridge.
  • I'm gonna do some other stuff too.
  • Hell, I might even go out on a date or two.


Song of the Day

Only Love Can Set Me Free
The Alarm

Somewhere in this world
I know that love exists
I've known it in a kiss
Sometimes in my sleep
I've been searching
For more than these few glimpses
For a love that lasts all eternity

There is a light, a light that never dies
Oh no, see it shine, shining in my sorrow
There is a light, a light that never dies

I'm all alone now
The crowds have all gone home
There is a silence
Silence in my world
I wish that every moment could be peaceful
But I guess that's something
I can only pray for

There is a light, a light that never dies
Oh no, see it shine, shining in my sorrow
There is a light, a light in my desire (see it shine)
See it shining, shining for tomorrow

Only love can give me an answer (only love)
Oh I know that love can heal (only love)
From the dust a new hope rises up
Only love can set me, set me free

This world is crashing down
In oh so many ways
I get so scared
Scared and so alone
Life I desire
But what is life without love
You say that's nothing
To me it's everything

There is a light, a light that never dies
Oh no, see it shine, shining in my sorrow
There is a light, a light in my desire (see it shine)
See it shining, shining for tomorrow

Only love can give me an answer (only love)
Oh I know that love can heal (only love)
From the dust a new hope rises up
Only love can set me, set me free

I need a friend someone to turn to
Someone to turn to in my hour of need (someone)
Someone to give me an answer (someone)
Someone to give me the love I need

Only love can give me the answer (only love)
Oh I know that love can heal (only love)
From the dust a new hope rises up
Only love can set me, set me free

Set me free

Only love can give me the answer (only love)
Only love can set me free


Offshoring is good food

So I received a 'job notification' in my email today. I did a couple of resume updates, added some skills to get better keyword results ... and sure enough, they're working.

Sort of.

So I saw the email with the job description and started reading it.

Or attempting to read it. It took a while for me to read and deciphered it. After I did, I realized just how badly it was written, including several varying (and all of them incorrect) ways the author used the word requirement. I also then realized that while I may not be actively job searching, I do have requirements for those I search, or who search me.

Mainly, the ability to speak, read and write in English.

Yes, I know, the world is flat. Thank you Thomas Friedman. Yes, I know, offshoring is here to stay. Yes, I know, foreign workers in foreign countries work for less money, which is why a lot of jobs are being offshored.

But recruiting? Really?

Check this opening line from the job posting:

We have following requirement in Columbus,Ohio.

My first thought: OMG. This is an email Boris from Underdog! Yeah. Where's Natasha? (Oh, wait, I just dated myself with an Underdog cartoon reference. Oh, well, seems lately I date myself a lot. Oh, shit, did I just say that out loud? Oh well, at least I know where I've been.)

Anyway ... let's get back to offshoring.

Are native English speakers the only ones who get the concept of articles? (Articles ... parts of speech ... a ... an .... the ... hmmm ... I think Schoolhouse Rock so needed an article song to go with such classics as Conjunction Junction's and ... or ... but .... Schoolhouse Rock was awesome ... back when cartoons were ONLY on Saturday morning ... before cable. (There I go again dating myself.)

Because there's more here that made me laugh. Like the short description:

Perform defect and enhancements under the direction of a Nationwide Lotus Notes Techncial Lead part of the Custom Rapid Solutions team.

How does you perform defect? And how is that a useful skill later in life?

Interviewer: "So tell me about your last job. What did you do?"

Me: "I performed defect and enhancements."

Interviewer: "Okay. Thanks for coming. Next?"

But the closing statement - the one thing that really made me realize they hired the wrong resume searcher to sift through the job boards was this fine piece of writing:

If you are interested for this requirement.Please Send your Updated resume with contact information and rate immediately.

Grammar people ... help me out here. Is that first 'sentence' even a sentence? We have subject + verb (you are). We have the beginnings of an interrogative statement (that's a question, non-grammar people) with IF. But we're missing something.

I believe the appropriate phrase to ask is "And then?"

But sadly we have no "and then."

Offshoring ... it's not just Mexicans making car parts anymore.


New photos ...

From the Semi Precious Weapons Halloween show at the Newport Theater.

Best SPW show of the nine times I've seen. Can't wait to get the pro-shot video and soundboard audio that was taken (Hello? Mike? Brother? Hook me up!)

Wanna see what you missed? Look on my website.

But ... as always ... here's a tease ... click each picture to see it full size.


Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Hate me cause I hang with rock stars.

While dressed as a nun.

Hanging with Aaron Tasjan

Hanging with Justin Trantner of Semi Precious Weapons

(BTW, Justin wasn't in costume. He dresses that way every day)


SPW - "We Love You" album review

It never fails ...

I find a band I love ... and then am blown away by a song they've not released yet. Then I can't wait for the CD to come out so I can have that favorite track.

Like "The Great Gravitron Massacre" from Two Cow Garage

Then the CD comes out.

And there's a song I like even better on the disc.

Like "Should've California."

Well, it's happened again.

The Band: Semi Precious Weapons

The Song: "Time Zones"

The CD: "We Love You" hits the shelves on October 30, 2007.

I've had "We Love You" for about a month now. Cause I got connetions. (Not really. I picked it up at their September show in Columbus. And I paid cash for it. And you should, too.)

And before I had the CD, I was so looking forward to the Tony Visconti produced version of "Time Zones" I was drooling. (Yeah, *that* Tony Visconti. The genius who produced amazing albums for David Bowie, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues. Adam Ant, and my 1989 Album of the Year, "Change" by the Alarm. Hello "Love Don't Come Easy." Yeah baby.)

Anyway ... back to Semi Precous Weapons and the song I was waiting for ... "Time Zones" ... or, as I referred to it when talking to SPW frontman Justin Tranter, my "Song of the Year, whatever year it's released."

I now have to backdate that to be my "2006 Song of the Year." Because, in my defense, I did get an MP3 of it late late late in 2006 (December 28 the email says) ... cause I do have connections ... so it has to be my 2006 Song of the Year.

Why? Well ... as I said before .... I get the album and found a song that I like even better.

"Genius" (off the forthcoming "We Love You") is my 2007 Song of the Year.

The vote's not even close (Sorry David Ford's "Train" ... you get the silver medal. Thankfully Aaron Lee Tasjan's CD won't be out until 2008.)

Do I like this song? Um ... yeah.

It's one of those pound-the-steering-wheel power-ballads. I know this because I actually dented the Ford emblam in middle of my steering wheel pounding out the beat while driving down the highway rocking out to this song.

The song is dramatic (hello? It's Justin!) ... "They're all gonna question my worth / but I've been a walking statement since birth" to give you a hint of lyrics ... and the bridge ... is .. well, genius:

"Sweet heart I'll let you go
With bloody hands just say you know
We're the love that legends live for
We're the love that don't exist no more"

And the chorus ... again ... show why the song is aptly named:

"Don't tell 'em I'm a genius
Don't tell 'em I mean it
Don't tell 'em how hard I try
Don't tell 'em I'm a genius
Don't tell 'em I mean it
Let me smile while they cry
They'll love us when I die"

The other eight tracks on the CD are a mix of some old favorites from the first two EP's ("The Precious EP" and the "The Magnetic EP" ... both available on iTunes) and new songs that have been favorites at live shows like "Taste" and "Her Hair Is On Fire" and "That's K***" ... a happy little audience participation song about a sweet innocent girl named Holly.

Is is the best album I've purchased in 2007? It's kunt.

'nuff said.

Buy this shit when it comes out. Good music and good musicians need paid.

Sonng & Video of the Day

You ever have that band you might kind of like ... what you've heard on the radio sounded good.

And you meet someone who has that band as one of their top five, ever?

Yeah, me too.

That's how I got into the Alan Parsons Project. Granted, it was a dumb-sounding name for a band who made some great, melodic, hypnotic music with stories ripped from the headlines of mythology, history, and fantasy packaged in a way that was radio friendly without being a sell-out.

My roommate when I was in the air force was a huge Alan Parsons Project fan. He had, at the time, most or all of the cassettes, and we made mix tapes of each other's collections, and he really turned me on to some kick-ass Alan Parson Project songs. This one, however, was one I knew of ... cause it was kind of a hit.

And it just seems fitting to be today's song ... and video ... of the day.

"Eye in the Sky"
The Alan Parsons Project

Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of chances before
But I'm not gonna give anymore
Don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows
What you're thinkin'

Don't say words you're gonna regret
Don't let the fire rush to your head
I've heard the accusations before
And I ain't gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind

Don't leave false illusions behind
Don't cry cause I ain't changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain't gonna live anymore
Some of the lies
While all of the signs
Are deceiving

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind.

Heh heh heh ... I'm famous. And cool.

Well, here it is ... the blog mentioning how cool I am for being called cool in another blog.

(The blog about me being called other things ... however ... you'll have to wait on. Blank. Stare.)

But be warned ... the link below goes to a comic strip that most people will find offensive. Not this particular panel, but the name of the strip, and most of the rest of the panels ... are rather offensive. Which is why I like it.

And this particular strip is funny because it talks about being sued by the RIAA ... for copyright infringement for using lyrics in the previous comic strip. Odd how my story about my coolness appears below a story about being sued by the RIAA.

(Wait. That's not funny. I don't pirate music. I support musicians. I buy CDs. Really.)

Anyway ... http://officialjesuschrist.com/main.php?strip=247 is the strip.

You've been warned.

(And that's not Charles Manson. His name is Charlie Brown.

And the R ... he's a Robitussin addict.

And the talking bottle of Robitussin is who said, "It takes a nation of muppets to hold us back."

Which is on the shirt.

Which I wore to a party.

At a hotel.

That was also hosting a meeting of the Islamic Temple.

With a nun outside the hotel trying to convert the "godless heathens."

I so know how to party.

Cause I'm that cool.

Which is why I get written about on other blogs.

Some of which I'm too spineless to mention ... but I survive nonetheless.)


Song of the Day

The Clarks
"You Know Everything"

You lift me up to knock me down
But I don't want to play your game
I'm giving back this thorny crown
And there'll be no one else to blame

I used to think you had a heart
Then you picked up that poison pen
I should have known right from the start
That all good things come to an end

I'm not gonna waste my precious time
I know I'm never gonna change your mind

Cause you know everything
You know everything
You know everything

You hung my pictures on the wall
But nothing in this world is free
Now you won't even catch my fall
It's murder in the first degree

I've been torn up I've been knocked down
That's all you ever meant to do
You've taken back your thorny crown
Now you be me and I'll be you


Pot. Kettle. Black.

So apparently Ticketmaster is in a huff over someone or something scalping tickets online.


Their complaint is this company is using a proxy to bypass the line waiting for tickets thereby taking the premium seats out of pot that goes to the general public for purchase.

Thereby forcing those who want good seats to pay scalper prices.

Oh, wait.

Doesn't Ticketmaster *encourage* that with their own system of TicketExchange that allows you to scalp them ON THEIR OWN SITE?

Yes, they do. Click the "buy from fans" tab next time you can't get tickets for the event you want to see. And lube up, cause those 'fans' are uh ... not very fanly.

But what's even worse - and makes Ticketmaster look like the corporate whores they are ... their 'premium seat auctions' that sell tickets at a, well, premium.

Like, say, the Hannah Montana tour that's all the rage these days.

The opening night is October 18 in St. Louis.

The highest priced face-value ticket is $63.50

But the 'premium seat auction' ON THEIR WEBSITE ... is listed ....

Not double the face value.

Not triple the face value.

Not even ten times face value.

We're talking Ticketmaster is selling the seats they bitch scalpers are taking for nearly 20 times the face value (18.97 to be exact).


Front row seats to see a 14-year-old Disney star, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, are being whored out by Ticketmaster for ... get this ...



(probably plus fees. And convenience charge. [when has getting ass-raped by company - either Ticketmaster or the venue - ever been a 'convenience' worth paying for? Why not be honest and call it the "Fuck it, you wanna come, you'll pay any fee we charge you" fee. I prefer honesty from those who fuck me. I'm petty like that].)

So in light of all that ... Ticketmaster has the balls to say they're pissed off about scalpers?

Pot. Kettle. Black-as-fucking-coal.

I don't say it often, but Ticketmaster is, by all accounts, a bunch of cock-sucking monkey fuckers.

Unless it's someone I NEED to see ... I don't buy from Ticketmaster.

Fuck those fucking fuckers.


Holiday wishes

To my Canadian friends ...

Happy Thanksgiving. Send me some MacIntosh Toffee. Bars, not the drops.

To my American friends ...

Happy Columbus Day. If you're a banker, postal worker or government employee, enjoy your Monday off.

To my socially conscious friends ...

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day. Now move on to your next complaint. Cause you always have them.

To those pissed off about the whole Columbus Day thing ...

Happy European Invasion of the Western Hemisphere Day

(and get over it, shit happened in 1492, as the song says. You can't change it.)


Random Thoughts

The German Women's Soccer Team won the Women's World Cup. Anyone aware it was even going on?

First US Report on Blackwater shooting outsourced to... Blackwater. Nice.From cnn.com — A Blackwater contractor wrote an initial U.S. government report about how his colleagues killed Iraqi civilians in a September shooting that strained U.S.-Iraqi relations. Darren Hanner, drafted a two-page "spot report" on the letterhead of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which outsourced positions to Blackwater and another private firm.

Want the new 7.10 version of Ubuntu? http://shipit.ubuntu.com/ (BTW, it's awesome. And free. And they name the release by the year and the month, so 7.10 is October 2007)

I'm currently dual-booting between Vista 64-bit and Ubuntu 7.04. I gotta tell you ... 64-bit computing f'n ROCKS.

Gee, good thing I don't have AT&T DSL for my high-speed, right? AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that leave plenty of room for interpretation. From our reading of it, in concert with several others, what we see is a ToS that attempts to give AT&T the right to disconnect its own customers who criticize the company on blogs or in other online settings.

In section 5 of its legal ToS, AT&T stipulates the following:

AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

Cause ... well, I ranted on them once.

Well, this will be an interesting lawsuit soon to be filed in the Commonwealth of Pennsyl-tucky. From outside of Philly ... apparently a woman ran her legs over at a drive thru.

PHOENIXVILLE — The Phoenixville Police Department is investigating a freak accident in which a borough woman ran over both of her legs in the drive-through lane at McDonald’s, 651 Nutt Rd., Friday afternoon.

According to Cpl. Pat Mark, a black Chevrolet Blazer, driven by a 53-year-old borough woman, was in the drive-thru lane at McDonald’s around 1:55 p.m. September 28.

“For some unknown reason, her legs were run over by her vehicle,” said Mark. “We are investigating how this accident could’ve happened.”

What police are trying to determine is how the woman exited her vehicle and how her vehicle rolled over both legs.

And finally ... oh how the times have changed. From a published article in an industry magazine published during World War II ... 11 Tips on How to Handle Women Employees.

From the July 1943 issue of Transportation Magazine -- apparently this was quite serious at the time and written for male supervisors who had to deal with women in the work force during World War II.

There is no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.

Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject:

  1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters. They are less likely to be flirtatious. They need the work, or they would not be doing it. They still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

  2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It is always well to impress upon older women, the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

  3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

  4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses that would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.

  5. Stress, at the outset, the importance of time; the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

  6. Give the female employee a definite daylong schedule of duties so that they will keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.

  7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.

  8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.

  9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they cannot shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.

  10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she will grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

  11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point cannot be stressed too much in keeping women happy.


What I'm listening to ...

Since I'm bored and not all that interesting in writing here about anything that's going in in my life ... here's what's new in my heavy music rotation:

Semi Precious Weapons - We Love You.

Yeah, I know that kick-ass banner says it's not out until October 30th. (Cause I made that kick-ass banner.) But I have the CD. I listen to it. A lot.

It fucking rocks.

It's my favorite album of 2007.

Straight up serious. So how did I get it? Well, I know people. (And I paid for it.)

And believe me when I tell you this ... if you're not a fan, you should be.

Bullet Jones - The Bullet Jones EP.

Great American rock and roll. Period. And "The Ballad of Bullet Jones" is in my top 5
fall tunes in heavy rotation.

David Ford - Songs For The Road.

His debut album blew me away (and was my Album of the Year for 2006. The follow-up does NOT suffer from the typical sophomore slump. In fact, "Train," "Songs For The Road," "Requiem," "St. Peter" and "Go To Hell" have been live tracks I've been digging on bootlegs for about a year. "St. Peter" and "Songs For The Road" were instant favs of mine when I saw him open for Gomez in May 2006.

Aaron Tasjan - Hard Love and Free Luck.

Again, not yet released, and not coming out until 2008, but hey, I know people.

Two Cow Garage - III

All I need to say about that was said here.

What are you listening to?


Dollar Bill assumes Room Temp

Eva Peron once begged an entire country not to cry for her. Or maybe it was Madonna as Evita. Makes no difference.

Right now, there's not a hockey fan in the city of Chicago shedding a tear that Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz is, or is rapidly approaching, room temperature.

(That means he's dead, Jim)

It's a well-known fact I love hockey, but hate the NHL. Except for the Blackhawks. Or, as they've been known as of late, the Bleak-hopes.


Well, I could tell you in my words ... but allow someone with a bit more clout: ESPN.com's Jonah Keri, who listed Wirtz at number 5 in the "Owners We Love To Hate" posting on Page 2 of ESPN.com ... published two days before Wirtz became worm food.

Why? Well, I'll use Keri's words:

5. Bill Wirtz, Chicago Blackhawks: Estimated to be worth nearly $4 billion, "Dollar Bill" is the embodiment of the greedy, frugal owner who refuses to invest in his franchise and instead watches it fall into ruin. His refusal to pay Bobby Hull and Jeremy Roenick led to both players' leaving Chicago. He's also presided over the departures of Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Phil Esposito, the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field and Lake Michigan. As a final slap in the face, Wirtz has blacked out Blackhawks home games for years.

So yeah ... no tears here. Or Chicago.

Hopefully, VP Bob Pulford was close enough to catch the cancer from Wirtz (What? Cancer's not contageous? Fuck.)

So ... despite the fact the season hasn't even started, I'm already waiting until next season.


Cause I'm a Blackhawks fan. I'm used to disappointment.


Happiness = socks

Happiness is a good pair of socks.

This is one of several deep philosophical thoughts I had while spending seven hours in the Emergency Room last night. It was either spend the time inside my brain or listen to the ambiance that is St. Elizabeth's ER Room 6: the drone of a diesel engines of ambulances bringing people in was in one ear; in the other ear was the TV on the other side of the curtain. The guy I shared the room with - and never saw - was watching, at one point, one of those annoying infomercials about buying a car -- any car you want -- regardless of credit history. The catchline: You can buy any car with ZERO down EVEN if you have a ZERO credit rating. Which is funny, because the lowest possible credit score is 300, so my cynical take is "Well, the zero down is only for people with a ZERO credit rating. You, however, have a credit rating of 302 so you don't qualify for that offer. Sorry."


Happiness is a good pair of socks.

Those socks you like to wear on cold, wet days that make your feet feel warm and dry and safe.

And sometimes, one of those socks disappears. Dryer gremlins are probably to blame. They're like gravelings, but rather than causing your death, they steal your happiness by taking one sock.

I've not been happy for a while. I've been struggling to find out why.

Recently, a dear friend said to me, "Life can be so fun when we just let ourselves be happy. I always have to remind myself of that."

And people wonder why Eric likes the smart girls.

(Oh, I was at the ER for wild abdominal pain that had been going on for three days. Verdict: gastritis. So I have the following dietary restrictions: No coffee, no carbonated beverages, no alcohol, no spicy foods. And I get Nexium. Little. Purple. Pill. For 10 days. And Mylanta. Orange Creme is yummy.)


So you tell me ...

Wow, I think I have dated "Heather"

(BTW - 1 - the link is to a very offensive comic strip called Leave It To Jesus. Odds are it will offend you. You have been warned.)

(BTW - 2 - I love that comic strip. 'nuff said.)

(BTW - 3 - If you see me wearing a shirt that says "It takes a nation of Muppets to hold us back" ... it's from that site.)


New Computer Specs

Since I've had a few people ask me about the beast I'm building ... here are the specs:
  • Asus M2NPV-VM main board
  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 6000+ - two 3.01GHz cores with 1MB L2 Cache per core
  • 4GB PC800 DDR2 RAM (yeah 4 GB)
  • 2.1 TB Storage (one 400GB, six 320GB and one 300GB SATA-II Western Digital Drives, the 400 is the video scratch disk); the 300 is the system drive, the six 320's are a RAID5 storage array)
  • NVidia 6150 video with 256mb VRAM
  • Coolermaster Centurion 534 Plus Tower (yeah, cause it has a Cylon name and is silver and black. I'm gonna replace the blue LED's with RED ones. Cause I'm *that* nerdy)
  • Coolermaster 700 watt power supply
  • Sony 16x DVD-RW Dual-layer, dual-format
  • 7 USB 2.0 ports (three in the front, four in the back)
  • 2 Firewire ports (one in the front, one in the back)
  • HDTV Output with DVI or Composite; S-Video or RCA output
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • NOD32 for Vista, cause it RULES and is the only AV product worth the $40 to purchase and $27 to update every year.
So is it fast?

Um, yeah. It is.

My old computer (Intel 2.8GHz single-core with HT; 2GB RAM) took about 3 hours to render a 1.4gb AVI file to DVD. New machine - 53 minutes.

So I'm gonna rebuild the old computer with a single 80gb EIDE drive, an additional 250EIDE drive for storage, a DVD burner and sell it, and the 21" Sony CRT monitor ... anyone want a kick-ass system, cheap? It's a Dell, comes with a licensed version of XP Pro ... it's loaded and in good shape. Just too slow for me. I'll throw in a new keyboard, too. All for $200.

(Yes, old friends, you see my days of Gigabyte/Intel CPU requirements have ended, eh?)


Showing off my Kitchen Skills

So it's a well-known fact I'm not all that skilled in the culinary arts.

As any single person will tell you, cooking for one sucks.

In addition to that, I had the weight-loss surgery almost four years ago and really don't eat a whole lot. Food is fuel to me these days, not the hobby it used to be.

Because of the surgery, there are some things I can only eat in very limited moderation. Like ice cream. I average about three or four spoonfuls once or twice a month.

Same with Oreo cookies.

A pint of ice cream, in the freezer, as long as it stays frozen, will last me three months before it gets freezer-burned. Oreos, however, are flawed in their packaging.

I, however, have worked some kitchen magic, to solve this issue, at least for me.

Here's the problem.


Once you open them, Oreo cookies tend go stale in like three days cause the package is not air-tight once the seal is broken, and you can't reseal it, either. It's a marketing gimmick to make you eat them in a couple of days, or they taste like crap, and you go buy more.

However, I eat two Oreos a week, maybe three. Yeah, a week. (see paragraph 3 above).

My kitchen-magic:


And the end result:


Yeah, I got mad kitchen skills.

(Oh, and for the record, no I don't dunk them in milk. I'm lactose intolerant)


Red Wanting Blue photos posted

Went up to the House of Blues last night to see a couple of friends play with their band. I will totally admit it was weird not driving, but the knee's still not up for that.

I spent most of the night on a stool, sitting beside the stage snapping photos. Worked out well. Collected on the beer Mark McCullough owed me ... and finally went to a show with another crazy rock photographer, despite the fact we've known each other for more than ten years.

In fact, I might have to steal the stool from the singer more often ... I like the way these shots turned out.

Scott Terry of Red Wanting Blue

John Kengla of Red Wanting Blue

Eddie Davis of Red Wanting Blue

Mark McCullough of Red Wanting Blue

Greg Rahm of Red Wanting Blue

See all the photos here.


Grammar Alert: Articles are 'pretentious'

According to ESPN's 57 Rules for College Football Fans ...

9. You are allowed to root freely against the following schools for no specific reasons: Notre Dame; Notre Dame in their puke-green jerseys; Notre Dame when playing on "Triumph of the Will"-shaming propaganda house organ NBC; USC; any school that plays its fight song approximately 4,387 times per game like USC; Michigan; Miami; Ohio State; any school like Ohio State with a pretentious "the" in front of its name, because otherwise how would we know which Ohio State university they were talking about?; any school coached by Steve Spurrier; any school coached by Nick Saban.

Can I get a ruling from the Grammar Police on that? Is that indeed pretentious? Or is the "Entertainment and Sports Programming Network" as they once billed themselves forgetting they once used an article before just becoming ESPN?

Then again, it is ESPN. And they did lose a bunch of highly marketable big games to The Big Ten Network. Which nobody has. Or watches outside of bars.

And ESPN did cave into threats from the NFL to stop production on the 'pro football' show "Playmakers" after it apparently hit too close to home on issues that happen outside of the football field.

And ESPN did turn their back on the NHL and forget it even exists (welcome back to Some-SportsCenter. Here's today's action on the cricket scene).

So basically ... I guess if they want to call it pretentious, who's to stop them? Anyone have Paul Tagliabue's number?


Daytime TV sucks

My old boss had a great saying ... there's NOTHING that will make one feel better, faster, than watching daytime television.

Today ... while flipping channels, I saw the third or fourth redux of Family Feud. Starring the guy who was Tim Taylor's assistant on "Tool Time" ... Richard Karn.

But it was a special "For Charity" Feud that featured ... a 70's flashback ... of Disco Divas versus the Village People.

For real.

It was filmed in 2003 and featured such Disco Divas as Thelma Houston, Evelyn "Champagne" King and Martha Wash of the Weather Girls.

I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I watched it.

I wish I was able to walk / drive / or sleep.


My 25 Favorite Photos

Since I am the list maker ... and the quantifier ... here's my current 25 favorite photographs I've taken.

Knee = not good.

Well, one week after surgery ... time for the first follow-up.

I'm now 40cc's lighter. The doc drained 40cc's of some of the most disgusting looking stuff I've seen come out of my body. Three different draws from three different spots in my knee.

The good news is the pressure I was feeling is reduced.

The bad news is the pain is increased.

And I get to spend the next 72 hours with lots of ice, rest and off the knee as much as possible.

Oh, and I'm not allowed to drive or return to work until at least 9/17 now.

Good thing I have Heroes on DVD to watch, eh?

Oh, and Season 2 of Dead Like Me.

And the current season of The 4400.

I love TV on DVD.


A visit from Dr Cammi

This is soooo cute. It's my adorable daughter taking care of me after my knee surgery. And please note ... I said "Doctor Cammi" cause she's a blonde, not a redhead :D. The video was shot by her big brother Adam!

Surgery was successful!

Hello. Well, I'm at my ex-wife's house resting after surgery. Went in about 8:30; went under about 9; woke up about 10:30 and left the hospital about 12:45. I'm sitting here with my daughter, drinking a Dunknin Donuts Iced Coffee watching Cartoon Network :D

I'm sure I'll have some pain as the days go on, but for now, today, I'm doing well.

Thanks for all the kind words and well wishes.

I have pics taken from inside my knee I'll post when I get home and have a chance to scan them in.



Danielle Lyn Photos posted

While waiting for my pain meds to kick in tonight I did manage to get the Danielle Lyn photos from Sunday's show at the Mahoning River Blues Festival posted on my website.

Click here to see the page.

Here's a tease:


Knee surgery on Tuesday. Will update as I'm able.

Still to come:

  • Two Cow Garage, August 25, 2007
  • Two Cow Garage, August 10, 2007
  • Semi-Precious Weapons, August 18, 2007
  • Other stuff as I find it.


Catching up

Semi Precious Weapons:

Stunning. As usual. Don't believe me?

JustinJustin "Precious" Tranter

Chest Rockwell

Washington DC:
One of those cities I'd like to spend weeks exploring, not a couple of hours. Especially at night, since most of the cool sites are now cordoned off by concrete barriers and police. Maybe the terrorists have already won. I have a couple of good photos of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol taken at night, but that was all I got.

Projekt Revolution:
Linkin Park was quite fun. They had a very rockin' entrance, slowed it down in the middle, then blasted out again at the end. Love the fact they're not afraid to push the envelope still, after eight years, but did realize that their song "Shadow of the Day" is damn near a note-for-note iambic pantameter rippoff of "With or Without You" by U2. Hey, if you're gonna steal, steal from the best.

My Chemical Romance was as I expected it to be. Very good corporate alt rock that's radio friendly save the occasional f-bomb put in places easily masked or edited for radio/tv. They could have headlined if not for Linkin Park. Lots of MCR fans.

Taking Back Sunday surprised me. From what I heard while waiting in line for my $8 pizza. I like their CD's ... their live show was pretty much as you'd want. Not a whole lot of change from the recorded versions, but that live energy and boost.

Now comes the bad. Specifically, HIM. Goths from Finland. Sounds promising ... but oh, well, uh ... here's where I was shocked. I've seen and heard so much about this band. I've seen so many people talk about how great they are. I can't figure it out. I've seen dozens of bands that ripped off Ronnie James Dio much better.


Cut Me, Mick

Well, it's official ...

Surgery is required to fix my knee.



At least it's coming quickly. Tuesday, August 28th.

Gonna go get 'scoped and cleaned and re-aligned. By the same doctor that did it 8 years ago.

Odds are I'll be off work for a week or so, and holed up in my little box at the top of the stairs, to quote Neil Young ... but I'll be able to get caught up on my photos and videos I need to work on.

But the knee will be better ... and the pain will be gone ... once the surgery heals.


Weekend Update

Jane, you ignorant slut.

Oh, wait. That's soooo dated. Most of you won't get that.

Anyway ...

Had an MRI on my knee this morning. Been having some problems and not too sure what, but I've had problems before with that knee and surgery, too ... so it's damaged, to say the least. Lately it's been really, really bad, so I'm back to the Orthopod who fixed it last time ... 7 years ago.

But MRI's are weird ... and like anything else in life ... when they tell you not to move your leg, all you want to do is move your leg. Like when you're having surgery, and they tell you not to eat or drink after midnight, at 1:30 a.m. you're starving and dying of thirst.

But I go back on Tuesday to get the results.

Another fun weekend ... today (Friday) I'm taking Jessy and Mandy) to the Projekt Revolution tour ... Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, HIM, Placebo and other screamers ... two of Jessy's favorite bands are Linkin Park and MCR. I like Linkin Park ... the rest of the bands are cool ... but for the most part, I'm being the cool dad/uncle.

Saturday morning picking up Carolyn and heading to Washington, D.C. to be tourists. (Oh, and see Semi Precious Weapons ... cause they rock!)

Sunday is my ex-wife's company picnic at Kennywood so we're all going to that, too. Quite a fun, busy weekend, but that's me.