Bad Luck or a Smiting?

This is one of those stories that give me more questions and smart-ass answers than any single person should have:

Story is here. Basically, in short form, 18-year-old Corey Williams left the pole vault pit at Carbondale Community High School, Illinois, and was struck by lightning and died at the scene.

Witness said there were no dark clouds, just a light rain. With no previous thunder or lightning. Just a big ol' boom and a kid on the ground.

The obvious statements before the questions:

Pole vaulting involves fiberglass poles, so they bend. I'm ruling out the lightning rod issue, because of the fiberglass *and* the fact the story doesn't mention if he had a pole in his hand.

And he was referred to as a runner, not a pole vaulter.

However, he was near the pole vault pit.

I've seen a pole vault setup. All the framework is metal. That's a lightning rod if ever there was one. So the practical tall thing in storm + metal = lightning attraction is true, again. Don't fool with Mother Nature.

Now the questions:

Knowing the whole pole vault metal structure thing ... has this ever happened before?

Was it just a freak of nature?

Or, is this, perhaps, a smiting?

Is running or jogging really *that* good for you?

Here's an 18-year-old kid who would disagree. Same with the dude remembered for inventing jogging as a sport - Bill Ficks. He died, of a heart attack, while jogging. DOH!

These are the things that keep me awake at night.


At least someone got it right

Heh heh. I'm moving to Texas. At least one state in this union still believes in the rights of the individual:

From Yahoo News:
DALLAS (Reuters) - Criminals in Texas beware: if you threaten someone in their car or office, the citizens of this state where guns are ubiquitous have the right to shoot you dead.

Governor Rick Perry's office said on Tuesday that he had signed a new law that expands Texans' existing right to use deadly force to defend themselves "without retreat" in their homes, cars and workplaces.

"The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human nature," Perry said on his Web site.

The new law, which takes affect on September 1, extends an exception to a statute that required a person to retreat in the face of a criminal attack. The exception was in the case of an intruder unlawfully entering a person's home.

The law extends a person's right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force, the governor's office said.

The reasonable use of lethal force will be allowed if an intruder is:

- Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes

- Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place

- Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.

The law also provides civil immunity for a person who lawfully slays an intruder or attacker in such situations.

Texas joins several other states including Florida that have or are considering similar laws.

Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas, underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Remember - Gun Control means using both hands.


Song of the Day

Wrong Man
~ Henry Rollins

You say we're all the same.
You don't even know my name.
Sometime somewhere someone once hurt you
and I'm one of them
So I take all the blame?
You think you know about me?
You don't know a damn thing about me!

I'm not all men
I'm not all men
I'm just one man
I'm not that man!

Here's one subject that everyone enjoys.
I heard the boys talk the talk to the boys
I heard the girls say the same thing to the girls
Oh man... It's all the same, neither one's worse
I didn't always tell the truth
But then again. neither did you!

I'm not all men
I'm not all men
I'm just one man
I'm not that man!

Get away and leave me well alone,
Take your damage and take it on back home
I'm not the blame for your misery
Take your threats away from me
Take that damage and leave me all alone!

I won't try to patronize you
and say, "I know everything that you've been through."
You know... it just might be
You got no problems with me!
I'm not a rapist in waiting
I'm not the one you should be hatin'
Check it out...

I'm not all men
I'm not all men
I'm just one man
I'm not that man!

You take your fear and you pull it inside
It builds up and the rage starts to rise
You push it out and your anger is blind
And you see me as an enemy
That's not the way it oughta be

You generalize and tell me lies
Like all I want's between your thighs
All the things that I put you through
And all the things that I might do
Don't wonder why I run away
When you show me it's my time to pay
For all the tears and all the pain
And all those terrible things I never did

Ya better look deep inside
And check out your mind
Take a good long look at what you're looking at
When you're looking at me!
I'm not that man!

There can be only one

Well, looks like I was wrong, again.

UFC just bought PrideFC for about $70 million. Story here.

On one hand, that means all the best fighters belong to the UFC.

On the other hand, I'd so much prefer a ring to a cage.

Then again, I liked Betamax, too.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Nothing to read here people. Just a spacer for the blog workshop I'm doing. Move along.)


I’m not in such a hurry to call you girlfriend

I'm not in such a hurry to call anyone girlfriend.

Because, if you know me, you know my past tendency to rush into things. As a friend once said, "You seem to fall, fast."

In my life, I've had a few relationships. While they've started, and ended, both for various reasons, some better than others, I still call most of them are successful.

Because I've been able to learn, and grow from them.

Which is why, in the last two relationships, I've been very slow and hesitant to move forward into making it a relationship. I guess I'd rather wait and see what internal and external pressures exist in the dynamic and make sure that getting involved is the right idea, the right woman, the right time, the right situation.

I'm not hesitant in life.

I live my life with a "Why the fuck not" attitude.

I'm not the guy to ask why. If you do, I'll turn that back on you. Because I'm the guy who will ask you "Why not?"

I like to do things. A lot of things:
  • If I want to go somewhere, I just take off and go.
  • A band I want to see? I'm there.
  • A movie? I'll drive to the theater I like, not the theater that's close.
  • An event I want to go to? Buh-bye. I'll see you there.
Because I just tend to do what I want when I want, with anyone that wants to go along for the ride.

I'm not hesitant in life.

However, I've learned to be hesitant in love.

I used to fall in love with any woman who gave me any kind of attention at all, like Joel Barrish. That's changed.

Like a lot of other things.

While we all have our rules, our standards, our wants, our likes, I think there are times where you have to chuck those out the window, reboot and start over. So now I'm taking the approach that whatever rules I've stood by in the past obviously haven't worked ... so why keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

Isn't that the definition of insanity?

So yeah, I'm not in such a hurry to call anyone girlfriend.

And I'm not in such a hurry for anything, at all.

An unsung hero

Unsung Hero
Written by Tina Arena / Performed by Tina Arena, Also performed by Terri Clark

You sit in silence in the shadows
You don't complain or criticize
And while the world may see me as a fool
They're not looking through your eyes
No questions asked, you're there when I need you
With a love that inspires me to be everything you deserve

you're my unsung hero
And I know it's not easy to walk in your shoes
Day after day you continue to amaze
Now I sing this song of love for you

While others long to steal the spotlight
You work your magic quietly
you're not in it for the glory
The love you give comes naturally
I may not have much but what I have I give it to you
This song that I sing is my gift
And I swear that I mean every word

Cause you're my unsung hero
And I know it's not easy to walk in your shoes
Day after day you continue to amaze me
Now I sing this song of love for you


Life is this radio

Life is so not the radio of today. Back in the day, yeah, life was a radio. I remember finding a good radio station and just listening, over and over again. Today, I listen to Bob & Tom and little else on the radio - mostly have the iTunes going at home, the MP3 CD's in the car. Because I hate modern radio.

One of the reasons I hate the radio is the generalized crap they play. The Clear Channel / Infinity powerplay of the 90's gave us a lot of radio stations that all sound the same.

McRadio, for lack of a better term.

Every major city has same flavors of corporate radio, playing corporate bands, and corporate DJ's (if they exist) shill corporate objectives.

Even in your major markets where independent stations still exist (CD-101 in Columbus), but the dumbing down of the radio listener has forced them to change, too.

CD-101 plays a lot of hip-hop and electronica that, to me, isn't alternative.

And they won't play the good alternative / indie stuff that's available to them.

Case in point: Last year, Autumn Under Echoes had the 9 p.m. Main Stage slot at Comfest. Mark introduced them as the best new band he'd seen in Columbus. The week leading up to ComFest, CD-101 was playing all the local bands that had legit releases to help boost the show.

Except Autumn Under Echoes.


Depends on who tells the story, like all things, but it comes down to the fact that there are bands who get radio play, and bands that don't. And it all depends on the one person who approves the records, the program director.

Now don't think this is an attack on Andy. I love Andy. In fact, I spent about 30 minutes talking to him Friday at the excellent Two Cow Garage show in Columbus.

It's just part of that problem of corporate radio - even in the indie radio leagues. Used to be that indie radio played what they wanted. Now with the internet, they see what other indie radio stations are playing and add that.

And add what's popular cause they need the listeners to attract the advertisers.

And the advertisers kill the indie spirit.

So while I will always love CD-101, they lost their edge a long time ago.

I'll stick to college radio. Much easier to play music that matters when profits don't.


I am reflecting on suitcases

I am reflecting on suitcases ... and moving boxes.

I've been on the road a lot this month. And last month. And the months before that. In a year, I've put nearly 40,000 miles on my car. I drive.

A lot.

I like it. The solitude is nice. It's a welcome part of me - the aloneness, the simplicity of driving, the road, the music. The sights, the scenes. I'm the guy who'll drive six hours to see something he likes, then drive six hours home (hello Swigtooth at "The Garage" in Winston-Salem, NC, in October).

I like being alone because I've spent most of my life on the outside.

Originally because we moved around a lot when I was a kid. I went to five school systems in 13 years (one twice; half of kindergarten, then half of 6th, 7th, 8th, and part of 9th). All told, I went to school in 9 different buildings, the longest - three years, 10th-12th grade, so making friends and keeping friends was hard.

Now I find myself on the outside by choice.

I like it there. I have a few close friends ... and the distance they live from me makes no difference in my life. Because that nomadic spirit never left me. I've lived a lot of places. While I've lived most of my life in Ohio, I have lived in three other states (Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania), and lived in the Virgin Islands for a bit.

In Ohio, I've lived in or around Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Youngstown and Pittsburgh. The longest stay at one address was when I was married - that was five years.

I've more than made up for that in the past 25 months. I've moved FIVE times since September 2004.

Seriously. Twice for work, three times for personal reasons (read: Love, or the lack thereof!)
  • 2004-09-03 - moved from New Castle to Leetsdale. (Personal)
  • 2005-01-09 - moved from Leetsdale to the near east side of Columbus. (Job)
  • 2005-04-15 - moved from the near east side of Columbus to Reynoldsburg. (Personal)
  • 2005-10-30 - moved from Reynoldsburg to the north side of Columbus. (Personal)
  • 2006-10-18 - moved from Columbus to Niles. (Job)
As I'm creeping closer to 40, and realize my life is a third over (thank you Drew Hastings.), as I said to a dear friend the other day, I starting to think I'm ready to sell my camels.

I just don't feel up to starting over again, again.

There are endings to all things

There are endings to all things ... including my week here in Columbus. Training has been quite informative, educational and frustrating at the same time. This could totally be a three day class. But it's five. So there's downtime and drag in the class, and inefficiency drives me crazy.

Anyway ... tonight I'm heading out to see Two Cow Garage at Andyman's Treehouse, which, to me, is the perfect way to end the week, and a grand finale to my final week in Columbus. Tomorrow morning I wake up, put Columbus in my rear view mirror (again) and head north to Norwalk to help my mom move back to Niles.

Don't get me wrong ... I've enjoyed my week in Columbus. It was nice hanging out with old friends, meeting some new friends, hunting midgets with Brian and making two trips to both the Funny Bone (Drew Hastings, Jake Johannsen) and Andyman's Treehouse (Ryan Cox, Two Cow Garage).

But as I said earlier this week, the love I used to feel for this city is gone. Just gone. I spent a lot of time driving around this week, old neighborhoods, new neighborhoods, uptown, downtown, east and west. And I just wasn't feeling it. I don't see myself spending any more long weekends here hanging out. Coming down for shows, yes (Aaron Tashjian, April 6th, at the Treehouse; Cinco de Mayo with Watershed [that's on May 5th for you Gringos] if they have it, and they better; Comfest, June 22-24, for sure!)

It wasn't all bad ... I had a couple of great offers to do photography ... one wedding, two albums and three personal shoots. And yeah, I'm not a big fan of wedding photography, but these two crazy kids are worth the work. Granted, I'll have to drive to Tiffin in June of 2008 ... and while I'm a busy guy, I'm not too busy to schedule that far out.

But yeah, weddings aside, quite possibly, coming soon to a wrecka sto near you (shout out to my Prince "Under The Cherry Moon" fans), me fulfilling one of my life-long dreams - having a credited photo in an album. I don't care if it's the cover, or the inside shot ... I've always wanted a photo credit on an album. That could possibly happen this year! With one or both musicians who asked.

So on Saturday, I'll be back in Niles. Ready to find things to do there. And stop looking 183 miles southwest.

Endings to all things, indeed.


And beginnings of secrets to tell

Hmmmm ... beginnings of secrets to tell.

Well, my blog is pretty much an open book when it comes to most of my life, so there aren't all that many secrets to tell.

And those that aren't told, probably won't be told.

But in the spirit of the song, and in my blog, I'll list my top 10 guilty artists - the ones you know you love and hate to tell people because, well, of who they are.

And before you wonder, no boy bands, no sexy girl groups (well, one, but you've not heard of them), and remember, I do love me some 70's music.

So here are my top 10 guilty artists:
  1. John Denver
  2. Barry Manilow (no, I'm not gay)
  3. Elton John (really, I'm. Not. Gay.)
  4. The Kinks (their 70's stuff = best decade ever)
  5. Duran Duran
  6. Night Ranger
  7. REO Speedwagon (again, their 70's stuff, upto Hi Infidelity, 1979. After that, meh.)
  8. Whitney Houston (pre-Bobby Brown)
  9. Alabama
  10. The Carpenters

A train is the gospel

Your Every Color
~ Train

I can see the red, white and free in you
You light the night up like the moon
And underneath your clouds, I see the blue

You're hopeless 'cause you tell the truth
The stars are jealous of your shine
If you were mine
There's not a thing I wouldn't do

You're black and beautiful, yellow, tan
You're white as light and soft as sand
With greens and greys and oh for days
A silver lining on the way you cover everyone
Just like a morning sun
You turn me into someone I would rather be

I love your every color
I love your everything
You wear the day around you
Like it's yours to stay around you
Maybe I could stay around you too
If that's alright with you

You're coffee brown and bubble gum pink
And oh I think the shade of you is on the brink
Of changing all the ways I see the world
I could drown inside a single drop
Of all the kinds of things you got
And all the kinds of things I'm not

Might just give me a chance to see
From way up where you are
Above the silent stars
Just dancing in the sky

You're better than any rainbow
You're brighter than the sun
You look like my first day of summer
When my spring is on the run
You're gold and more gold
And you're platinum too
With snow toned, copper attitude
I don't know what I'd do without you
I don't know what I'll do about you


She thinks this is bitter to feel

So once again I'm forced to send my 2005 taxes to the University of Lost Paperwork (I mean, Phoenix) for Financial Aid, because the previous six times I sent them, despite four acknowledgments from them, they don't have them. Again.

After the last email beatdown, my adviser told me my financial aid counselor said I was bitter.

I'm bitter? Because someone can't - or won't - do their job? HA!

So if she thinks this is bitter to feel that way, I bet she'll love this: Basically, I fired her. Here's the email:


I hate to sound like a bad guy ... but how many copies of my 2005 taxes do you need?

I've faxed it six times.

Due to various issues from my previous attendance on campus in Pittsburgh, and my duplicate IRN and duplicate info in your systems, some of my records live in the campus world, some of my records live in the online world.

It took several weeks for someone (that being me) to start asking why the forms I'm being given to fax aren't going to the right locations. After the 4th fax, I started making phone calls, wondering why I'm doing what I'm asked to do and you keep asking me for the same stuff. I realized the form I printed from your FAW website had me faxing things to the campus side of the FA house.

So I tried to contact you. That's been as successful as my serial faxing.

Since you have yet to return a single phone call I've made, I ended up calling and my admissions counselor, she had her supervisor and their FA rep at the Pittsburgh location help me figure things out.

I finally faxed my 2005 tax returns to the right number. Twice.

And called you to verify that they were received nearly a month ago.

Again, I have yet to have a phone call from you.

So I called and spoke to someone else in FA who verified the FA office had all the information needed. Why you don't have that is a mystery to me, as are several other things.

I understand that in order to get financial aid I have to fill out the forms and dot the I's and cross the T's and sit, beg and roll over on your command, and I'm going to do it, but really, I'm starting to wonder what's going on with you when you constantly ask me for the same stuff over and over and over, I send it over and over again, and when I try to call you to find out if you've received it, you won't even give me the courtesy of a call back.

Seriously. What's going on? Why is this such a difficult process?

And since I'm asking questions, why do you give me 48 hours to complete a task? If UoP is an education built for busy working adults, perhaps giving me more than 48 hours to complete a task should be taken into consideration, or did you just realize you still don't have this info that's been floating around for the better part of two months now.

I'm sorry to say your 48 hour deadline won't be met. I'm not at home this week. I'm traveling for business. I don't have access to my 2005 taxes to fax you, even though I've done that six previous times, and your office has verified they have at least one copy.

So I ask, again, why is this such a difficult process?

And yes, based on our history, that is probably a rhetorical question. I don't expect an answer. really don't care to hear your answer, either.

In fact, if possible, I'd like a new FA Counselor.

When I'm back at work on Monday, I'll fax my forms, again. But it won't be by 3/23 because I won't be home until 3/25.

And it's obvious you don't have them. Or a clue.

For the record, and by some bizarre twist of fate, I did happen to have my portfolio, with my tax return, and the six previous confirmation sheets from the six previous faxes. But being the nice guy I am, I just sent her the tax forms. And an email requesting a reply that she has received them.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on that ding in my inbox.

Because it's 11:36 p.m. I still don't have it. I'm not surprised.

And you have your right of ways

One of the first lessons I learned while driving was about having the right of way.

And how little that really matters.


And you can have your right of ways ... because the right of way is a good concept. However, if someone blows a stop sign, and kills you, trying to argue that you had the right of way is a minor detail, really.

It makes no difference, if you're dead wrong.

Much like prolonging arguments. I stopped caring who's right or wrong. If you need to be right, that's your issue. I'd rather forget the argument, fix the issue, and move on.

And if we agree to disagree, that's cool, too. Just respect my point of view. You don't have to agree with it, but don't belittle it, either.

It's just a point of view. Opinion is not worth fighting over. Regardless of who has the right of way.

Clean streets on your dirty days

This is, perhaps, the most interesting line in the song for me - "Clean streets on your dirty days" ... because that's my how life is, some days.

No matter what's going on, there are days where you're feeling clean and you step in a puddle, spill your coffee, drip your breakfast on your tie, have a kid leave monster tracks on you, etc.

Or it's just the opposite - you're wearing the worn-out, ripped jeans, beat up t-shirt, or the sweat-pants ... and you realize that everyone around you is well dressed, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. Yep, clean streets on your dirty days.

And not dirty in a good way.

The dichotomy of this line is what draws me to this song.

Much like this photo.

It's just wrong to look at a computer lab full of iMac's and see Windows XP running on them. iMac's with Windows apps, desktops, and screen savers.

Yeah, I understand Parallels. In fact, back in the late 90's I was running Windows 98 on my PowerPC through an OrangeMicro PC card on a Cyrix 233MHz with 128mb RAM all running on a 7" PCI card. So the concept of PC on Mac isn't new, or surprising to me.

However, this isn't Paralles. This is Windows XP running natively on iMacs. Using BootCamp. And the tech guy here at the training center says the iMacs run XP and VISTA better than any other machines in the building.

While I'm not surprised, cause I'm old-school Mac, still, I gape and shudder (with a shout out to Two Cow Garage and their new album, III, out April 27th) .

And, I say in my best Eric Cartman voice:

"It's wrong. Wrong I say."

Clean sheets of iMacs running Windows XP for dirty days. Ugh.

You can see the heat move through

Ever have one of those times were you are so on at whatever it is you're doing, you get that warm feeling that you're right on top of your game? Sometimes they call that being in the zone. Last night I was so in the zone ... last night I was smokin' ... had you looked at me, I'm just guessing, you could have seen the heat move through.

Why? Well, I learned a new trick with my camera last night at Andyman's Treehouse, where I was hanging out talking to friends, and listening to the acoustic styling of Ryan Cox and his awesome acoustic tribute to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" ... basically, dude sat down, played side one of the album, acoustically, on guitar. Took a break, played side two. He's doing what's called a showcase - same show, same day, same place - it's every Tuesday in March. You have one chance left. Be there, cause I can't be.

Anyway, here are a couple of examples of just how the heat was moving through me last night (click each photo for a larger image):


And August is a blessing

And August is a blessing ... because it is featured one of my favorite Boomtown Rats songs ... "August Was A Heavy Month" ... so that'll be my song of the day.

I had something else I was going to write about for August, but it doesn't really matter.

"August Was A Heavy Month"
The Boomtown Rats

I'll take another photograph
Before the old one fades
It reminds me of those things that past
And quickly passed away
But it comes on in the early night
Creeping up on you
Those scenes of devastation
Crushing down on cue
These days are growing colder now
The light is growing dim
August was a heavy month
And now the nights are drawing in
Poor Baby Blue's wrapped up again
Inside her final pain
I'd help her if I could I say
She puts us all to shame
Alright, alright I know I've got a lot
Left to answer for
But am I the only one to blame
And anyway who's keeping score
But the grass seems so much brighter now
She's spilled her blood again
August was a heavy month
Wash it down September rain

Baby Blue picks up her life tonight
And rushes for the Chelsea train
All the stars shine down on her tonight
And August was a heavy month

The photograph is cracked and torn
From being picked up, put down
Like some holy relic
Whose worshipers are found
Searching through their sacred books
For the holy grail of "why"
But the total sum of knowledge
Knows no more than you or I
Alright, alright says Baby Blue
Who doesn't really understand
August was a heavy month
But winter came at last.

It’s the end of an era

Wow. First the Kahiki. Now the first Wendy's.



Yeah, it is the end of an era.

There's a lot of good eats in Columbus. But two of my favorite in the downtown area have bit the dust.

Kahiki was the shit. Good Polynesian food, great atmosphere.

Now the original Dave Thomas founded Wendy's restaurant downtown closed.

March 2nd.


And I still love you

And I still love you.

How many times have we heard that from someone we've broken up with?

Or said that to someone who broke up with us?

If you're like me, it's happened. A couple of times.

And it's happening again.

Differently, this time, but still, happening, again.

The love is there, and always will be. But the appeal has faded to the point where I'm wondering what it ever really was.

If that makes any sense at all.

I guess it's the truest case of falling out of love.

You always hear songs about people who fall in love.

You seldom hear songs about people who fall out of love.

"Falling out of love is suicide
But it's a crazy, crazy ride"
~ Janine stoll, "Crazy Ride"

(Yeah, leave it to me to find a redheaded Canadian singer-songwriter who can write a breakup song. Shocking.)

But the past couple of days I've been realizing that the love I used to have is really, really distant.

Sure, it will always be there. But not like it used to be.

And I'm a bit sad about that, because it had such promise.

Such is life.

Yes, I used to be totally in love with the city of Columbus. Now, not so much.

I will always love you, you big city in the middle of the state, but I'm not in love with you, anymore.


What was the thing in the picture

What *was* the thing, in the picture, I felt?

Well, that really depends on the picture.

As a photographer, and a writer, there are a lot of ways I could go by writing about, or showing the photos. That's like watching someone else's vacation videos. You get it, but you don't really care.

As a photographer ... when I see a picture I've taken, and declared a winner, I *know* what is the thing in the picture.

And when I see the work of others, I know, instantly, what I see that I like, or, don't like. There are very few photographs that leave a lasting impact on scores of people. It's all subjective.

In your world, however, the big question is what do you see in a photo? Everyone sees things differently. Ten people can look at one photo and see ten different things. That's what makes being a photographer difficult. It's that same way with all creative ventures.

Every so often you see, or, if you're lucky and have a camera in your hand, and everything is configured right, and your timing is right, and the camera is pointed in the right direction ... and ... and ... and ... perhaps you can capture that moment.

And the attention of others. At least for a moment. Create a memory by capturing a memory.

There are many photos we've taken, of our lives, and those who share them, that have captured those memories for us.

Those are the photos that shape our lives.

Those are the things we love.

That's the thing in the picture.


I felt radiate like napalm

The last pain I felt radiate like napalm had to be when I last wrecked my bicycle. I remember this because my bicycle's getting the annual spring-tune up now. I'm sure they'll need to do something ... I ride hard. Check this out ... I ended up needing a whole new wheel and some other work one day after a ride in Gahanna.

I was riding on the sidewalk (and waaaay too fast) after having a cop yell at me for riding on the main road there. Cause that's a very narrow road, and it is dangerous, so I did the sidewalk ride. I was heading from Hamilton towards 670/270 there by the park. While crossing a street way too fast, with the light, I soon realized the sidewalk alternatives on the other side of this crosswalk were bad.


How bad?

I had the following options:
  • I could attempt a very sharp 90-degree turn to the right and hit a big stone wall.
  • I could go straight and attempt to stop before hitting a cast-iron fence and probably die as I fly over the handlebars into the river below. Or at least get really really hurt really really bad.
  • I could attempt to go back out in traffic and get hit by a car and probably die.
  • I could hit the 4" high stone barrier around a light pole THAT'S RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK ACCESS RAMP.
Light Pole. Fence in background. Note big concrete barrier.

Light pole on left, stone wall on right.

I chose the light pole. And I hit it. Solid. As with most high-speed impact while on a two-wheeled vehicle, I headed up over the handle bars.

That's where fate was smiling on me, because somehow I caught myself, with one arm, on the light pole. Stopping my forward velocity. Had I chosen the fence in the background, I'd have wound up in the creek. Oddly enough, I never hit the ground.

Sure, there was some impact velocity, and as the bike stopped moving, the back tire went up, I headed up over the handlebars, but upon catching myself, ended right back up on the seat, in a perfect riding position. Right hand in a deathgrip on the brakes, left arm wrapped around the pole.

It happened so quickly and so precisely it looked like I had practiced that move many times.

I shook my head, shocked to still be on the bike, moved around the concrete barrier and the light pole, and continued on to the park, which was just on the other side of the river.

As I was in the park, I realized something was wrong. With both the bicycle, and me.

As for me, I couldn't move the left side of my body above the waist. I thought I either broke my arm or collarbone (again) because I couldn't feel anything. I found out later it was because my head hit the light pole and had a concussion. So I wasn't really feeling anything. Or thinking all that much, either.

My back brakes - from being squeezed, hard, both when I hit the barrier and when the back tire hit the ground as we returned to earth - were wrapped around the rim, along the spoke wall. I eventually managed to pry them off, but the cable was stretched too far, so they weren't working. At all. The right front tire was bent. Usable, but bent.

To sum up: I had no use of my left arm, no thought processes working, my back brakes were non-functional and the front wheel was bent and wobbly. I was 10 miles from home (lived in Reynoldsburg at the time), no cell phone. No cash. And my then-girlfriend (Rebecca, the redhead with the cool glasses, from New Jersey, originally, [yeah, both her and the glasses. Don't argue with me on grammar]) wasn't home. I tried to call collect - from a payphone - no answer.

So after sitting for about 10 minutes, decided to ride home. Slowly. Because of the damage to the bike, if I went fast, it was unsteady. And I had no brakes. So I was using my feet to slow me down. And I had limited use of the left side of my body. And, oddly enough, while most of central Ohio is very, very flat, there are hills on the east side of Columbus, and is just enough of a grade at several points in the road from Gahanna to Reynoldsburg to coast fast enough to start bouncing on the bad front wheel, thereby increasing the pain that was rapidly returning to my arm.

That really sucked.

When I got home, Rebecca was not home, but I saw a note that had the address of the payphone booth in Gahanna I dialed (www.payphoneproject.com allows you to find the address of a lot of payphones, some with photos). So I called her cell phone, told her I was home. She was all freaked out and out searching for me. I told her I was fine, just was calling to tell her they had her favorite flavor at Rita's (BY THE WAY - their sugar-free stuff is TASTY).

When she got home, she asked me where I got the bruise on my forehead from. I said "What bruise?" She showed me the bruise in the mirror. She asked me why I gave her just a one-armed hug, and winced. I told her I wasn't really okay. I kinda wrecked.

She said "Your car looked fine." I forgot to say my bicycle. Then again, I was concussed.

I showed her the bike. She put it all together - big bruise, non-working arm, beat-up bicycle, smart guy not making sense. Luckily, she was girlfriend enough to realize I was in no shape to drive and took me to the ER.

End result: Two broken ribs, bruised collarbone with a hairline fracture. That was the end of my riding for a couple of months. And my last helmet-less ride, too. The bicycle needed a new wheel, new brakes and a new cable.

Concussions are a beautiful thing. NOT.


A shining light

I See A Light

I'd really like to see you now
In your father's combat boots
I'd really like to be with you
Cause we could be so dark
It was only for the grace of you
That I got this attitude
I'll show you my gratitude
When I make it a though

I see the light at the end of the tunnel now
Someone please tell me its not a train
I see the light at the end of the tunnel now
No time to speak, no time to explain

Sometimes I imagine you
Lying in your bed
Sometimes do you imagine too?
Do you sometimes lust
For the grace that others have inside
The simple peace they make with life
They feel love like some summer's night

I see the light at the end of the tunnel now
Someone please tell me its not a train
I see the light at the end of the tunnel now
No time to speak, no time to explain

I take the last boat home to my Ohio

According to the mystics and statistics, so says Warren Zevon, someday California will slide into the ocean. And while I won't quite be able to take the last boat home to my Ohio, we will have a whole lot less fucking hippies to deal with.

Like this idiot I'm taking an online class with. We'll call him Brandon. Well, cause that's his name.

The class is on Business Systems, yet we've spent a lot of time focusing on outsourcing and globalism. Okay, both systems, true, but I had forgotten how theory based higher education is ... and how I'm a practical person.

And a pragmatist. A realist. Not a visionary of how wonderful the world truly should be.

Like Brandon.

Who, like most liberals and hippies (not mutually exclusive groups), cut and ran when confronted with the truth, and when he had his own words used against him.

Witness the following display (all grammar mistakes courtesy of the respective authors):

Brandon, responding to the question about has globalism hurt or helped:
I have lived in many countries and have witness the negative impact of Globalization on 3rd world countries. Small businesses struggle to compete with large low price warehouses like Amazon and Walmart driving a further cap between capitalism and the working poor. Personally, I feel the cloud of consumerism reaching every crevice of the world is taking us quickly in the wrong direction if we plan to continue living on this planet. The addiction to stuff is causing use to eat up our natural resources and pollute our environment.

Hopefully globalization will cause people to seek the best solution for how to consume while reusing and not destroying our resources
Sebron, another classmate responding:
I think that people are forgetting that business is not just about making money. Everyone seems to be forgetting the people component in all of this. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. We as Americans, live in the top most strata of wealth and privilege. Is making our lives even more comfortable worth sacrificing many others?
Me, well, being me (a.k.a. takes out big stick. Stirs the pot:)
The purpose of business is profit. Period. No business ever created to simply employ people to better their lives has turned a profit or survived in an open market in this country prior to globalization. And in any other country before, or during, the current globalization craze.

The whole point of business is profit. Return on the investment. In order to make profit, to have a return on your investment, or the investment of your stakeholders, you must provide a product or service that the market wants, needs or demands.

The quality of your product is driven by the those demands - the market price is based on the quality of your product.

If you make a million bales of hay, and sell them for $1 each, that's good. If you make a million bales of hay, and sell them for $2, that's better. But if I can make a million bales of hay, and set up my tractor next to yours, and sell my hay for 50 cents a bale, you need to convince the consumer that your hay is twice as good as mine, because it's twice the price.

Think about it in your own life. What products do you purchase because they're the brand name that you like (not talking trendy, or what the kids *have to wear to look cool at school*)?

Personally, I'll spend $100 on a pair of Rockport shoes without blinking an eye because they last almost two years, I can walk in them all day without my (six-times under the knife) surgically repaired knees hurting all day, and they look good.

Does Rockport make a better shoe? I'm no shoe expert, so from a process standpoint, I can't say yes or no. But as a consumer, it's a big yes. Do I think it's five times better than a $20 shoe? Again, a big yes. I've had my share of $20 shoes that lasted three months. And left my knees hurting. So to me, that lack of pain, alone, is worth 10 times the $20 shoe. And its even better when I can find the Rockports on sale. As a Rockport consumer, the value, longevity and pain-free existence, to me, is worth the extra cost.

While yes, taking care of employees is always a concern, because better morale equals a more productive workforce, profit is the number one concern of every single profitable business. It has to be.
Brandon's response to me:
I think the point Sebron is making, and one I strongly agree with, is with all this human energy and global resources being focused on turning a profit little room is left for what matters in life. That's fabulous that Rockport makes comfortable shoes, but at what and whose expense? Is it worth $100 for a pair of shoes that in the end they'll end up in a landfill and what progress has been accomplished?

Businesses NEED to put the interest of the public first rather than their wallets, the consequences are already apparent when the U.S. contributes more CO2 to the environment than any other country in the world. We need to wake up and realize it is all about OUR dream not MY dream.

There is not a single product that I purchase now a days whose company is not out there with people's best interest in mind as a whole.
My response ... to which there hasn't been a reply for two days:
To some ... including the majority of for-profit corporations, making a profit *is* what matters in life.

Did Henry Ford make cars to help people? No. He did it for profit.

Does Rockport make shoes to help people? No. They do it for profit.

Was the University of Phoenix created to help people?


If so, would they have spent $154.5 million for a 20-year contract to name an NFL stadium after themselves?

No. They'd give scholarships. Or help the spotted owls.

Not give money to an-already wealthy NFL team to help them, as the team's vice president said, field a competitive team.

We could argue all day about global warming ... and C02 emissions, but I won't go there, except to ask if you can remember the 1970's when man was responsible for the global cooling and we were all urged to cut back on everything, too.

I'm glad you take the time to research your purchases based on how "nice" a company is. You obviously chose wrong with UoP then based on their business practices and the fact they're a for-profit university.

One final question - so you think me spending $100 on one pair of shoes that wind up in a landfill is better than spending $100 on five pairs of shoes that will eventually wind up in a landfill? I can't go barefoot. I have to wear shoes. And Ho-Chi Min sandals are so off the corporate dress code - open toed shoes made from spare are prohibited. Some 'safety' regulation' to protect me from injuring myself and suing them for letting me be stupid.

But that's my opinion. Then again, I was raised in what's now the rust belt. We drank orange water cause it was good for us (more minerals). We breathed in polluted air (when we *had* steel mills because it put the food on our plates.

Most of us lived.

To wait to know what I feel like

Well, I was able to eat last night. And not have issues. So no longer do I have to wait to know what I feel like.

I feel better.

I'm back at work, too. And that's good.

Going to have some Mexican tonight ... haven't had Mexican since Mad Mex in Columbus back in November. In fact, this is my first foray into the Mexican food world in an area not all that populated by Mexicans.

But I hear it's good.

Well, the writing exercise is going well. I'm finding ways to tie things together. And I was thinking that the end of this song would be harder than the start ... so far it's turning out to be just the opposite - the end is coming quite easy.

What's funny about it is until I used the Tim Easton lyric "Lookin good but feeling rough" as the blog title I had only ever really *thought* about doing something like this. I'm pretty happy with the concept and the results, so far.


And who isn’t answering a cellular heartbeat

That would be me - I'm not answering anything today. Because I'm home sick. I'm not answering anything but work calls. Sorry.

It's just a touch (well, touch is a bit generous. It's a gut-stomping) of food poisoning. I've had food issues enough to know I'm a delicate flower digestively. Something I ate didn't agree with me ... not unusual.

However, not very pleasant to be around, either. And something, that for the sake of others, requires a home game. So I left work early yesterday. Got home without incident. (20 minutes is a long time to be away from a bathroom with what I have. That's all I'm sayin'). After a quick call to my doctor (who I'm glad to be 30 minutes away from again, rather than three hours), a description of my symptoms (which I'll spare you), and a perusal of what I had left in my medicine cabinet from this adventure last year (not good reading for the faint of heart), she gave me the okay to take the medicine I had left as it was what she's prescribe.

So I spent most of yesterday between the couch and the computer in various states of alertness and sleep, resting or sucking down gatorade to stay hydrated.

I haven't eaten since a vending machine fruit pie yesterday (not one of my brightest decisions, but when it's all you eat all day - and you don't really digest it, anyway, it's not all that terrible of a food item).

Maybe tonight I'll make my specialty - dry wheat toast.

I'm an excellent toast chef.

And I make a mean bowl of cereal, too.

You know you want me. I got mad skillz.

On an engine that roars its goodbyes

I've decided in life that there's nothing wrong with being an engine that roars out goodbyes, rather than one that slowly slips away, whispering maybes.

Because of events in my life, I've always been that one to just slip away, looking backward, hoping for the best. Trying for the best.

No more.

If it's not right - I'm going to say what I have to say, not maliciously, not with intent to injure, but a simple, "This isn't working." or "I'm not interested." or "I don't think we're all that compatible."

And drive away. On a roaring engine.

And not look back.

Objects in mirrors may be closer than they appear, but if you don't look back, you won't see them.

Two more questions before you cave in

New Son Volt album? New Wilco album? Two more questions. For most, both is the answer. For me, there really is no choice.

I have both. (yeah, I know, Wilco "Sky Blue Sky" doesn't come out until May 15th, where you shop. I have my sources. That's all I'm saying. No, you can't have a copy, don't ask, any of you.)

I've listened to both. I'm currently on run three through "Sky Blue Sky" ... which I got today. "The Search" I nabbed when it came out last week (yeah, I buy CD's. Shut up.) I've heard it about a dozen times.

My verdict:

The new Son Volt album fucking blows the doors of the Wilco album.

Again, this is only my opinion. Which really means nothing, but I give it anyway. Your mileage may vary.

Lyrically, Jeff Tweedy is superior to Jay Farrar, still. But really, musically, I can't get behind "Sky Blue Sky" ... there are a couple of songs that might stay in the iTunes playlist. With a few other Wilco gems. But I listen to entire Son Volt albums. I'm an album-kinda guy. And "Sky Blue Sky" is weak. It's hard to listen to because it's all over the place. It's not cohesive. At all.

"The Search" from Son Volt ... much much much better to listen to from start to finish. It's consistent, it delivers. Rock. From the start to the finish.

"Sky Blue Sky" jumps all over the place. And the music is so ... well ... meh ... that it makes the lyrics not all that enjoyable. Which is why presentation does sometimes trump content.

So ... April 19th, Mr. Smalls, in Pittsburgh - time for some Son Volt.

Let’s make them both lies

So I signed up for Vonage back in November because they're a "better phone service for less."

Both lies.

They're not better. They're not cheaper.

In fact, in reading deeper ... I come to find they offer no guarantees of anything for your $30 a month after taxes & fees are added:

2.12 Service Distinctions. The Service is not a telecommunications service and we provide it on a best efforts basis. Things beyond our control may affect the Service, such as power outages, fluctuations in the internet, your underlying ISP or broadband service. Other things may affect Service, such as maintenance.
They also offer no guarantee of 911 service, for many reasons, and are not responsible if it works, or not.
1.4 Service Outages ... (paraphrased) Vonage is not responsible for you having no 911 service during power outages or disruptions; service outage on your ISP; disconnection of your account; your ISP blocking ports or "for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, those reasons described elsewhere in this Agreement" including their own network congestion, your network congestion, or general internet congestion.
1.6 Disclaimer of Liability and Indemnification. We do not have any control over whether, or the manner in which, calls using our 911 Dialing service are answered or addressed by any local emergency response center. We disclaim all responsibility for the conduct of local emergency response centers and the national emergency calling center. We rely on third parties to assist us in routing 911 Dialing calls to local emergency response centers and to a national emergency calling center. We disclaim any and all liability or responsibility in the event such third party data used to route calls is incorrect or yields an erroneous result. Neither Vonage nor its officers or employees may be held liable for any claim, damage, or loss, and you hereby waive any and all such claims or causes of action, arising from or relating to our 911 Dialing service unless such claims or causes of action arose from our gross negligence, recklessness or willful misconduct.
And ... if you DO happen to have all of the above working, and you still can't get through, it's still not their fault. Despite the fact they charge you the federally mandated E911 Cost Recovery Fee - that means they're allowed to charge you for their costs of becoming 911 compliant - they don't guarantee you'll ever get to the 911 Center in your local area.
Emergency 911 Cost Recovery Fee applies to each line of service. This fee is used to recover costs directly associated with developing, implementing and maintaining a nationwide E911 in compliance with FCC regulations, Vonage 911 dialing and the Vonage national 911 emergency call center.
That's genius boys. And as an IT guy, I know how the system works. I know why they have to have all of those disclaimers. But still, choose carefully if you choose to do business with these bastards. Cause they make it tough to quit them - and expensive:
3.6 Disconnection Fee (Does Not Apply to Business Plus Customers). You will be charged a disconnection fee of $39.99 per voice line if your Service is disconnected, subject to applicable state and local laws. However, if your Service was activated on or after February 1, 2007 and is disconnected after two (2) years following your activation date, the disconnection fee is waived. If your Service was activated on or before January 31, 2007, the disconnection fee is waived if your Service is disconnected one (1) year following your activation date.
So after they bill me for that, they send me an email with this:
We appreciate your business and it has been our pleasure to serve you. If you wish to sing up for our service in the future, please visit our website.
I'm going to combine quotes from a friend and a movie: Remember the first Major League - specifically, what Jake Taylor said when Lynn's fiance Tom asked him to stay away from her:

"Suck my dick."

and I'm adding a Dave Johnson piece of genius to that:

"You cock-sucking monkey fuckers."

I'll use two soup cans and a string first.

I’m not in such a hurry to call you tonight

Because you are one of the knobs on my learning team.

Welcome to the first post of a writing assignment I created for me to work off of the ideas of others. Basically, I've taken a song I love, listed the lyrics line by line, and am going to write a blog entry somehow relating the line to something going on in my life.

Forcing my topic de jour to conform to someone else's title.

And I have to do it in the first line.

How's that for a writing challenge?

So why am I doing this? So when I look at the month of March 2007 in my blog title dropdown, I'll have the full and complete lyrics to a song. Cool, eh?

Yeah, cause I'm nerdy like that.

Anyway, we got our learning assignments today. I should have known this was coming, but I was put in a group with this genius woman who said computers have been around for centuries ... and the guy who said this:
"The Loveletter virus of 2000 which impacted many mainframes, personal hard drives and businesses caused Congress to institute this act."
(This act being the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Which deals with corporate accounting in publicly owned companies hoping to regulate full disclosure to prevent another Enron. Not a virus out break. But it gets better - or worse - depending on how dumb you can make yourself:)
"Further acts such as 9/11, identity theft and hackers were also a factor in creating this ACT."
WHAT THE FUCK? Hackers, identity theft and Arabs crashing planes into buildings kick-started the corporate accounting transparency laws? I guess school is educational. Cause when I read the required articles I saw mention of all of those things as issues facing corporations; but nowhere did I see they were inherently responsible for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Damn.

Reading is fun-duh-mental.

No, I'm not in such a hurry, to call you, either of you, tonight.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(Nothing to read here people. Just a spacer for the blog workshop I'm doing. Move along.)

Feelin' good but lookin' rough

With props to Tim Easton for the great blog headline ... from his awesome clean-and-sober anthem "Dear Old Song and Dance" ... I give you my weekend wrap-up:

Well, home after an eventful week in Cincinnati highlighted by a spectacular drive on US Route 62 from Grove City (from south of Columbus ... and a big hello my friends in GroveTucky!) to Salem (hello all you witches in Salem). The drive on US 62 is awesome. There are parts of that road where you can forget you're in Ohio. Slate-rock cliffs line the road, with evergreens as you drive through Amish country and past lakes, swaps, near-mountains and a lot of interesting cool little towns along the way - including Millersburg, which I've heard of but not visited before. Cute town.

Friday: The previously-mentioned Tim Easton at Seattle's in Wooster!

Tim Easton

(Click photo to see it larger. Click here for more shots in a cool new flash gallery concept I'm playing with. Not sure it will do what I want ... but still playing and learning. Let me know what you think of the flash gallery by clicking here.)

As usual, Tim put on a great show ... sans opening act who canceled, and it was probably just as well. Seattle's is small, and with Tim being a native of central Ohio, he tends to draw a crowd there to see him like they did back when nobody was showing up to see him play except friends and family. It was a very intimate gathering ... and opening act would not have worked, in my mind (well, unless it was someone cool like this guy).

Ended up going with an old friend who enjoyed the show muchly, but had a very interesting observation about the quality of the drinks at Seattle's ... they got significantly weaker as the night went on. I didn't notice, as I had my single tall Hoegaard Beer (as Tim says, Belgian beer's the best) on arrival, then a couple of glasses of ice to crunch, then a coffee, and a couple more glasses of ice to crunch. Iron deficiency. Yeah. That's my story.

Saturday: Hanging out with the kids ... Jess, Gage, Cammi & I went to this very cool place in Boardman called "Glow Fore It" which is an indoor, black-light glowing mini-golf that opened in a strip mall in Boardman on Market Street ... now that was some cool shit. Lots of fun, not too expensive, and they had a blast ... as did I. (Thanks again for the recommendation, you who recommended it!).

Then we hit Best Buy to get some new headphones for the girls for their music devices; and some Krispy Kreme's for coffee time. I had a glazed, cream-filled. My favorite kind of donut. And only one - you can really only ever eat one glazed, cream-filled donut. Yeah, that's my story, there, too. Saturday night was spent on call for the DST patch ... luckily we had one issue, so it was quiet.

Sunday: Recovering from a late night Friday, and a late night Saturday ... still on stand-by for call, but after that ended went to dinner with a friend, and after she perused my massive collection of movies, decided nothing I had was to her liking at the moment ... so we rented Transamerica and watched it on her 65" Sony Wide-screen. It's official - I got television envy. (And yes, I had to spell television out. You don't use the phrase 'TV envy' after discussing a transgender movie. Yeah. That's my story, there, too).

Today: Back at work. Doing expense reports to clear up my corporate card this week before I go to Columbus for training next week. Conference calls from 11:00-Noon and 1:30 - 2:30 and 3:30-4:30. And I'm on call from 8-5 so if anything breaks I gotta fix that, too. AND I have some school work to do ... and I'm tired-as-fuck from the time change. IT ALWAYS MESSES ME UP. I should move to Arizona or something.

They looked at the rest of the country and said, "Fuck it. Our clocks don't change. It's too hot to adjust them."

Or that's how I see it went down. That's my story.


Turnin' My Collar to the Wind

When did it start?
Or should I say when did it end?
And I wonder how long we were gonna pretend
And now we're apart and we've got wounds we must mend
We both lost a partner
We both lost a friend

But to go on and on hand in hand down a path
Of a future that's paved in the past
That was another place, place and time
And we both realize we're too young for the lines
That we told each other year after year
That read like a nursery rhyme

I know we'll get by
We'll do what me must to survive
I'll find a smalltown girl
You'll find an artist inside

It's nobody's fault
We just looked through the world with different eyes
You need your independence
I need someone in my life

But to go on and on hand in hand down a path
Of a future that's paved in the past
That was another place, place and time
And we both realize we're too old for the lines
That we told each other year after year
That read like a nursery rhyme

Although I know I'll never stop loving you
I also know it's time to go
And there'll be nights when I am missing you
And there'll be nights I hurt inside
And way down deep I wanna cry
But I'll stop myself before I begin
Cause I know that I must be strong
Can't get lost in what went wrong
Gotta turn my collar to the wind
          ~ Jeffrey Gaines
          "Nursery Rhyme"


Friday's Random Thoughts

Subject: Relocation.

So, after spending the week here, my boss asked me if I'd consider moving to Cinci to fill a position that's open at this office, and then he could hire someone to fill my job in Youngstown.

He gave me the weekend to think it over.

My answer is no.

I'm still not unpacked from the last time I moved. I'm NOT ready to move again. And Cincinnati's too far away. I moved back to Youngstown to be closer to my daughter, and my family.

Subject Whiplash: Insanity renewed.

You know how you do something over and over and expect a different result? That's the definition of insanity.

I know it well.

Yet I'm about to do something, again, I've done, many times before.

And swore I'd never do again.

(Shhhhhh. I have a date tonight. Just kind fell into it about 10 minutes ago. Her name - Michelle. But she's not a new Michelle - I've known her for a long time, since, I think, she was 10, I was 15 ... I used to hang out with her sister. And for the record, yes, she's crazy ... but she's your garden-variety crazy ... that I can deal with!)

But yeah, I know. My jaw hit the floor on both the fact I'm going on a a date and the name.

Subject Whiplash: Daylight Savings Time Changes

First - I hate the time change, on both ends. It messes me up mentally.

Second - This year, it's worse, because it's been changed. So we've had to update 2,000+ servers to make sure it works right. So I'll be on a conference call from 1:45 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. going from Saturday into Sunday. Yay me.

Subject Whiplash: Good Driving Music

The Clarks. The Kinks. Watershed. Bruce Springsteen. That is my musical company for the trip back.

Song & Video of the Day

"Rearview Mirror"
Pearl Jam

I took a drive today
Time to emancipate
I guess it was the beatings made me wise
But I'm not about to give thanks, or apologize

I couldn't breathe, holdin' me down
Hand on my face, pushed to the ground
Enmity gaged, united by fear
Forced to endure what i could not forgive

I seem to look away
Wounds in the mirror waved
It wasn't my surface most defiled
Head at your feet, fool to your crown
Fist on my plate, swallowed it down
Enmity gaged, united by fear
Tried to endure what i could not forgive

Saw things
Once you, were in my
Rearview mirror

I gather speed from you fucking with me
Once and for all I'm far away
I hardly believe, finally the shades are raised

Saw things so much clearer
Once you, once you were in my
Rearview mirror


Song & Video of the Day

"I Was Wrong"
Social Distortion

When I was young, I was so full of fear
I hid behind anger, held back the tears
It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
But the world fought back, punished me for my sins
I felt so alone, so insecure,
I blamed you instead and made sure I was heard
And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, I realized now that I was wrong

And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too?
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
How can you love when you don't love yourself?
It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
But the world fought back, punished me for my sins
And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say

Well I grew up fast, I grew up hard
something was wrong from the very start
I was fighting everybody, I was fighting everything
but the only one that I hurt was me
I got "society's" blood running down my face,
Somebody help me get outta this place
How could someone's bad luck last so long?
until I realized that I was wrong

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, the only one that was wrong was me,
I was wrong.


Song of the Day

Over And Over
Jeffrey Gaines

I’ve been walking around
With my head in the clouds
Thinking only of you
And the where, the when and how
It’s so long overdue
My memories get me through

A reoccurring dream
Of you and I laying ‘round
In the sand by the sea
With the sun going down
It’s just you and me
The way it’s supposed to be

I keep playing that night
In my mind over and over
And what I do to get by
Is hit rewind all over again

You’ve been in every thought
Running ‘round in my head
I wish I could just run off
To be with you instead
Time apart goes so slow
Off to my daydreams I go

I keep playing that night
In my mind over and over
What I do to get by
Is hit rewind all over again

I’ve been walking around
With my head in the clouds
Thinking only of you
And the where, the when and how
Time apart goes so slow
Off to my daydreams… high

I keep playing that night
In my mind over and over
And all I do to get by
Is hit rewind all over again

Ryan Cox Rocked "The Wall"

Great show last night by Ryan Cox of Bullet Jones.

In case you missed this blog, Ryan is doing an acoustic tribute to Pink Floyd's epic album "The Wall" every Tuesday in March at Andyman's Treehouse in Columbus.

And last night's initial performance was quite an enjoyable evening. Complete with some kick-ass pictures (as if I'd go to a show sans camera! And for the one of you out there who knows that I left my camera in the car for both Wilco and Gomez and had to resort to using my camera phone ... shhhhh!)

Quick tease through last night's shots gave me this keeper:

(click to see larger)

More to come as time permits.

Why? Well, I'm tired. I left work in Cincy at 5:30; was napping by 6 at the hotel; up at 7:30 to drive to Columbus; left the Treehouse about 1:20; dropped off Donnette (who was also in my camera's focus cause she was pretty relaxed laying on the big comfy couch at the Treehouse during the performance), made it back to the hotel in Cincy at 3 and was at work at 8.

Here is said picture of Donnette looking comfy on the couch.

(See, I tell people magic happens in my camera viewfinder. They don't believe me until they're presented with the evidence.)



Song & Video of the Day

David Mead

On a childhood highway through a night alone
I was barely breathing, I was crawling home
Well it's not quite London or the south of France
Or an Asian island or a second chance

Going back to Nashville, thinking about the whole thing
Guess you gotta run sometimes
Maybe I'm a fast train rolling down the mountain
Watching all my life go by

You're a distant memory, you're an exit sign
I was talking crazy on the drivers side
And I know i hurt you but I won't confess
Was that blood or a wine stain on your wedding dress

Going back to Nashville, thinking about the whole thing
Guess you gotta run sometimes
Maybe I'm a fast train rolling down the mountain
Watching all my life go by

Going back to Nashville laughing at a bad break
What's the use in wondering why
Maybe I'm a storm front rolling through the valley
Tearing up a good July

And its safe and warm where nothing ever happens
Would it be so hard to realign a star or two
Change a southern night for you

Well it's not quite evening and it's not New York
There's a scar in the blue sky by the old airport
And I'm talking crazy on the driver's side
I will always love you like a long goodbye.

A reason to be happy

Great story in the LA Times about life, love and the ability to overcome.


Song & Video of the Day

Today I saw someone with Lisa Loeb glasses.

I <3 Lisa Loeb glasses. And I make passes at women in glasses.

Cause I like the smart ones. So today's song of the day is this ... in video and word form:

Lisa Loeb

You say I only hear what I want to.
You say I talk so all the time so.

And I thought what I felt was simple,
And I thought that I don't belong,
And now that I am leaving,
Now I know that I did something wrong
'cause I missed you.
Yeah, I missed you.

And you say I only hear what I want to:
I don't listen hard,
I don't pay attention to the distance that you're running
Or to anyone, anywhere,
I don't understand if you really care,
I'm only hearing negative: no, no, no.

So I turned the radio on, I turned the radio up,
And this woman was singing my song:
The lover's in love, and the other's run away,
The lover is crying 'cause the other won't stay.

Some of us hover when we weep for the other who was
Dying since the day they were born.
Well, this is not that:
I think that I'm throwing, but I'm thrown.

And I thought I'd live forever, but now I'm not so sure.
You try to tell me that I'm clever,
But that won't take me anyhow, or anywhere with you.

You said that I was naive,
And I thought that I was strong.
I thought, "hey, I can leave, I can leave."
But now I know that I was wrong, 'cause I missed you.

You said, "You caught me 'cause you want me
And one day you'll let me go."
"You try to give away a keeper,
Or keep me
'cause you know you're just so scared to lose.

And you say, "stay."

You say I only hear what I want to.

Randy Couture is AMAZING

Captain America strikes again.

Randy Couture, at age 43, totally dominated Tim Sylvia for 25 minutes. Sylvia is bigger (6'7" to 6'2"); heavier (263 lbs to 222 lbs); and had a 12.5" reach advantage (72" to 84.5").

Numbers meant nothing in this fight as Couture spent the entire fight beating Sylvia's ass all over the Octagon in Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

Couture said he saw holes in Sylvia's game.

He was right.

He beat him black and blue.

Closed his eye.

Took his belt.

All three judges saw Couture win all five rounds - 50-45.

At age 43.

Beat. His. Ass.


I love technology. Really.

So I'm the PBOC this week (that's primary bitch on call) ... and it's been an interesting week.

But also, tonight, Saturday night, is a UFC fight. And I loves me some mixed martial arts.

But I'm not paying $40 to buy it and watch alone, at home, when I can spend half that, have a crowd in the room, and get fed.

So I took my phone, my laptop and my MMA lovin' ass to BW3's in Austintown because they have big screen TV's, damn good food, decent beer (Blue Moon on tap) and Wi-Fi access.

And yep, I'm here. Plugged in, connected to the office, with the phone, at the ready, waiting to solve the world's problems while watching the ass-kicking that is the UFC.

Yeah, I love technology.

Geek-boy - OUT.

Well, that's werid

So after a few attempts I was finally able to get my home phone service set up with Ohio Bell uh Ameritech uh SBC uh AT&T (yeah, those people).

Only to discover a SHITLOAD of static on my line when they turned it on Thursday.

So I called, they said it would be fixed on Friday.

Friday was the same day they were hooking up my DSL so I can dump my damn cable internet that's slow and expensive.

So I get home Friday - and there's no static on my phone.

None at all.

There's also no dial tone.

None. At all.

Yet me being me, I get the DSL wireless gateway set up, get everything loaded up and configured, and ready to go, so when the phone service comes back, I can switch over.

And the DSL is working. I still have no dial tone. But I have DSL.

That's weird.

Song of the Day

Won't Let You Down

There's no one to guide you
Anyone can feel like this
There's no one beside you
I put a kiss upon your lips
Our love might let you down
But I want you to remember this

No one outshines you
Anyone could feel like this
There's no one inside you
You're the one that I still miss
Our love could let you down
Remember that you told me this

When the fog has twisted
And all the sands have drifted
There is one thing to remember
You're not gone

If you're feeling older
The weight will lift from your shoulders
There is one thing to remember
I'm not gone

I'm gonna find you
Put a kiss upon your lips
No one outshines you
And I want you to remember this
Love won't let you down
If you can remember this

When the fog has twisted
And all the sands have lifted
There'll be one thing to remember
I'm not gone

When you're getting older
The weight will lift from your shoulders
There'll be one thing to remember
You're not gone

I won't ever let you down
I won't ever let you down
I won't ever let you down

I'm gonna find you
I want you wrapped around my hips
Love will let you down
There's one thing to remember

When the fog is twisted
And all the sands have drifted
There is one thing to remember
You're not gone

When you're getting older
And the weight will lift from your shoulders
There's one thing to remember
I'm not gone

I won't ever let you down
I won't ever let you down
I won't ever let you down
I won't ever let you down
I promise


Words are bad. Bad. Bad.

So apparently in New York City and Miami there is no crime.

The schools are perfect.

Homelessness doesn't exit.

Life is a beautiful thing.

I say this because politicians in these two fine examples of how humanity co-exists without hate, crime or violence, are starting to make up laws because apparently there's nothing else to do.

They want to outlaw words.

Yep. Words.

In Miami, a state senator wants to force people not to use the words "illegal alien" when referring undocumented non-citizens who are in this country without the knowledge or approval of the Department of Immigration. In other words - illegal aliens.

A state legislator whose district is home to thousands of Caribbean immigrants wants to ban the term "illegal alien" from the state's official documents.

"I personally find the word 'alien' offensive when applied to individuals, especially to children," said Sen. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami. "An alien to me is someone from out of space."

She then said, and I heard her say this part on the radio, "An alien to me is someone from out of space."

First of all, the whole "kinder, gentler offensive word thing" aside ... WHAT THE FUCK IS 'OUT OF SPACE'?

Is that like from outer space?

Next thing you know she's gonna fade into Bolivia with Mike Tyson.

Click here to read more about it. For the record - if this passes and you do happen to use those banned words - there is no penalty. Another great toothless law trying to be enacted by Democrats to make people feel better.

In New York, however, it's even more ridiculous.

It's now against the law in New York City, to say the word nigger. The City Council of New York City unanimously declared a moratorium that carries no penalty but aims to stop youth from casually using the word, considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language. The New York City measure follows similar resolutions this month by the New York state assembly and state senate

Again, another crime without penalty.

And the powers that be are trying to get those responsible for handing out awards like the Grammys to not nominate any song that uses such a bad word.

At least there are some people out there haven't lost their fucking minds:

A Grammy spokesman said he doubted the academy's 11,000 voting members would support any measure that might censor artists.

"They are not going to be supportive of something that excludes someone simply because they are using a word that is offensive," said Ron Roecker, vice president of communication for the Recording Academy.

Comedian Chris Rock said, "What, is there a fine? Am I going to get a ticket? Do judges say, '10 years, nigger!"'

Rock said politicians were trying to divert attention from real problems: "Enough real bad things happen in this city to worry about how I am going to use the word."

Rock on, Chris Rock.

Cheap Trick sang about the Dream Police ... now we have the Word Police. It's only a matter of time before the Thought Police get here.

Oh, and by the way ... the two politicians in New York who sponsored the bill AND the senator in Florida - Democrats.

So don't think that it's another conservative Republican control grab here.

Tuesdays in March - Be There.

Tuesdays in March at Andyman's Treehouse:

Ryan Cox, the excellent frontman for Bullet Jones is doing an acoustic tribute to Pink Floyd's "The Wall." 

I love Ryan's voice. I'm curious to see how he does the whole album.  If you're interested, he'll be doing it every Tuesday in March at Andyman's Treehouse. 

Five Good Reasons you should go see Ryan:
  1. Dude can wail.  And that's a high compliment from me.
  2. He's a good songwriter, too. His band's album was number 3 on my top 10 for 2006
  3. He was a finalist on Acoustic Idol
  4. His girlfriend is an unabashed conservative (and has great blogs)
  5. Supporting live, local music is always a good thing.
  6. I'll be there on the 6th and the 20th. (see, told you there were 5 good reasons)