Song of the Day

"Before You" ~ Chantal Kreviazuk

Baby, before you
Well, I was bad news
In lettin' me love you
I think I can get through

Oh, baby before you
Well, I was so scared
I was a train wreck waitin' to happen
On the way to nowhere

And now I think it's kinda funny that you say you love me
You tell me that I'm crazy then you smile

And now I think I'll get through
The end of the world
And now I think I'll get through
Bein' a girl
Now I think I'll get through
And now I think I'll get through

Now honey around you
I'm feelin' so good
'Cause you picked me up out of the rough
And you polished me up and made me brand new

And baby before you, ho ho
There was just a black hole
Yeah I was beat down, blacked out
My darling you couldn't even know

But ever since I met you on a cloudy Monday
I can't believe how much I love the rain

And now I think I'll get through
The end of the world
And now I think I'll get through
Life as a girl
Now I think I'll get through
Now I think I'll get through

Ever since I met you on a cloudy Monday
I can't believe how much I love the rain

And now I think I'll get through
The end of the world
And now I think I'll get through
Life as a girl
Now I think I'll get through
Now I think I'll get through

Oh ... ho ...
Now I think I'll get through
Oh ....
Now I think I'll get through
Oh ... ho ...
And now I think I'll get through

And now I think I'll get through
Oh, and now I think I'll get through
Oh, and now I think I'll get through


My Favorite Albums of 2010

#1 without a doubt and no, it wasn't even close ... my favorite album of 2010:

Two Cow Garage - Sweet Saint Me
Once again, this band blows me away by constantly and consistently upgrading the quality of their music.  2010 was a HUGE year for this band from Columbus, Ohio ... from bassist Shane Sweeney discovering the joys of fatherhood to Micah Schnabel releasing a solo album (see "When The Stage Lights Go Out" below for more on that) to blowing up SXSW and leading an impromptu parade through Comfest and two tours that crossed the country, these boys were never home.  Now that the line-up is complete and they've been playing together for two complete albums now, Cody Smith (drums) and Andy Schell (keyboards) round out the amazing sound of the fifth full-length release from the best band you've probably never heard of.

Highlights:  Jackson, Don't You Worry; Sweet Saint Me; What Dying Is For; Brothers In Arms

The rest of the Top 10 ... in no particular order:

The Madison Square Gardeners - Taste The Thunder & Tune It Up, Dime It Out

Released as two separate EP's in 2010, the six-track "Taste The Thunder" and the five-song "Tune It Up, Dime It Out" make a terrific 43-minute trek through the greatness of this band. Aaron Tasjan's lryics continue to grow and I'd listen to Rich Hinnan play me anything on that slide lap steel guitar he has.  They're spending December recording new tunes and playing a residency at Rockwood 2 in New York City; and I can't wait to hear what goodness comes out of these sessions.
Highlights:  Blessing; Shoe Gaze Band; Everybody's Girl; Cross The Line; Love's The Only Way

David Ford - Let The Hard Times Roll

My favorite troubador is back again with thirteen more tunes that have been in heavy rotation in my iTunes/iPod since earlier this summer.  He's had some problems with his record companies seemingly closing up shop overnight, but continues to putting on shows, working his way across America and his native UK.  The lyrics keep getting better, starting with the CD's first song, "Making Up For Last Time" and "Nothing At All" ... introspective, outlandish and socially commentary all at the same time.  It's nice to see him continue to evolve and keep his fires burning.

Highlights:  To Hell With The World; Making Up For Lost Time; Nothing At All; Hurricane

Semi-Precious Weapons - You Love You
I was hesitant to put this on here because it contains four previously releasedsongs from their two independent releases, but they're still opening for Lady Gaga, they're still delivering the glam and the glitz and showbiz to people who either love them or hate them.  The new material is good, I really love "Leave Your Pretty To Me" ... in the words of frontman Justin Tranter, "The Midwest loves a fucking power ballad."  Same with "Look At Me" ... but "Sticky With CHampagne" and "Statues of Ourselves" are just kick-ass fun tunes about living a rock-n-roll lifestyle on the glamours side of the tracks.  Subtlety is not his strenth, so listener beware!
Highlights: Look At Me; Statues of Ourselves, Put A Diamond In It; Her Hair Is On Fire (2010)

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Age of Miracles

I've been an MCC fan going on 20 years now (thanks, neighbor who turned me on to her) and am glad she continues to make great American music that's no longer classified as 'country' ... it's more folk, alt-countrish ... what we now call Americana.  This 13-song collection features a lot of stripped down acoustic tracks that let her voice, and her lyrics, shine.

Highlights: I Have A Need For Solitude; We Traveled So Far; The Way I Feel; Zephyr.

Gaslight Anthem - American Slang

It's not as great as their first release, "The '59 Sound" ... but it still has been rocking my world. They're so throwback to when all you needed was three verses, a bridge, a catchy chorus and and a great hook and riff. This album brings all that.  From the title track to "The Queen of Lower CHelsea" to "Old Haunts" .... there are tracks here that will stay with me my whole life.  "I called for my father but my my father had died. And you told me fortunes in American slang."  ... fucking genius.

Highlights:  American Slang; We Did it When We Were Young; Queen of Lower Chelsea; Boxer

Chumbawamba - ABCDEFG

Say what you will about how tired you got of "Tubthumping" ... you still sing it.  That was really NOTHING like the band is about (as the disappointing album sales to folks who love/loved that song show). I've played songs of this CD for people and they all say the same thing ... "I like this, who is it?" followed by "Really? I never would have guessed that."  They're really rather mellow and fun to listen to. This album includes such fun songs as "Torturing James Hetfield" by forcing him to listen to their greatest hits album (to which Hetfield sings along); "Dance, Idiot Dance" and "The Same So-So Tune" ... none of which have any resemblance to "Tubthumping" ...

Torturing James Hetfield; Dance, Idiot, Dance; Singing Out The Days; Missed

Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer
I had no real desire to listen to this CD ... a friend asked me if it was on my pirate sites ... so I broke all sorts of international copyright laws and downloaded it for her.  After I delivered said pirate CD she asked if I had listened to it .. I said "No, I'm not a fan of Gnarls Barkley."  She gave me the STFU look and said, "You really need to listen to this."    So I did. And then I decided that Cee Lo Green was the love child from an orgy of The Temptations, Gladys Night, Aretha Frankin, all the original members of Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, and several members of the Pips.  It's all sorts of 70's soul and the Motown sound mashed up with all that's good about today's rap/R&B that doesn't involve autotune.  Yeah, I was floored.

Highlights:  Fuck You; Satisfied; I want You; Fool For You; Wildflower

Victoria Vox - Exact Change
Step by step, left right left, this CD just hooked me with the multitude of hooks in songs, choruses, brigdes and verses in a way that no other album did in 2010.  Victoria's approach to songs, songwriting, singing and performance blew me away when I saw her in Columbus. She's a blast to watch live for both the ukalele and mouth trumput.  And she sings songs in French.  Without surrendering to invading German armies. 

Highlights:  Oh I Wonder; Techinocolor Way; Make  A Mess; Shake It Up; Shake It Up

Patrick Park - Come What Will
I don't know how or where this CD came into my collection ... all I know is it really blasted me out of some unhappy mindframes to some hapy mindframes.  That's what I love about music .. that ability to transform my mood from shitty to perfect with just a guitar and some words.  "You Were Always The One" is my song of the year for 2010 ... because ... well ... yeah ... it so fits my life and makes me smile. Because I found my one. And lost her. And found her again. So yeah ... when he sings this, I get it:

"Now mistakes it's true I've made more than a few
and I'm goin to make many others
And it's hard to see why we go through this sometimes
All the things that we do to each other
And I don't understand while I play these games and I trade the truth for lies
Cuz you're always the one I was looking for babe, it just took time to realize"

Highlights:  You Were Always The One; You'll Get Over; Silence and Storm; Starry Night

Bonus CD:  Emma Pollock - The Law of Large Numbers.

She's Scottish. She writes killer lyrics. She sings like she's chasing Satan back to hell to take over. She doesn't give a shit what you think.  I wanna have her babies. That's why she gets the Bonus CD
Highlights: I Could Be A Saint;  Letters To Strangers; House On The Hill; Hug The Piano

The Next Ten:

Doug Keith - The Lucky Ones
Dar Williams - Many Great Companions
Bookmobile - The New Patriot
British India - Avalanche
Ed Kowalczyk - Alive
Steven Page - Page One
Spoon - Transferrence
The Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
Kings of Leon - Come Around Sundown
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now

Your mileage may vary. Tell me who I missed. Who I got wrong. And if your comment contains Eminem, Kanye West, Kid Rock or any other shit fuck suck-ass alleged musician I reserve the right to call in coordinated strategic nuclear strikes to kill you.


Song of the Day

Now that's how you make the mall interesting!  Well done, people.Merry Christmas, everyone.


I couldn't have said it better myself

Dear Patrick Park ... get out of my head.  Sincerely, ME

PS ... thanks for writing a song that made me realize what I had, and what I nearly lost. I love you, man!

You Were Always The One
~ Patrick Park

I've been stuck in my ways
I've been rollin through days
Always afraid that things might get better
I've been traveling down this road 
Liven free I suppose
All the while feelin tired and tethered

And I don't understand while I play these games 
And I trade the truth for lies
Cuz you're always the one I was looking for babe, 
It just took time to realize

I've squandered away on the brightest of days
Always had trouble keeping on the level
And I made a big show of letting ya go
God knows I was some kind of devil

And I don't understand while I play these games
And I trade the truth for lies
Cuz you're always the one I was looking for babe, 
It just took time to realize

It's the hardest thing by far, 
To see who we are
And then let the whole thing go
And float like the leaves 
And hang on the wind
Whichever way it blows

Now mistakes it's true I've made more than a few
And I'm goin to make many others
And it's hard to see why we go through this sometimes
All the things that we do to each other

And I don't understand while I play these games 
And I trade the truth for lies
Cuz you're always the one I was looking for babe, 
It just took time to realize


Song of the Day

The first couple of time I heard this song I never really listened to it.  Then, when I did, I was blown away. The writing of this band is amazing ... Greg Joseph, Scott Blasey, Rob James .. amazing.  It's even better when you see them live and realize they just have fun playing music together .. and have ... for more than 20 years.  It's a shame they never crashed corporate radio.

~The Clarks

They grew up in the shadow of the armory
Land of freedom right out their back door
Brothers near the middle of the century
One of them had to go and fight the war
Somebody had to go and fight the war
And the train goes... woooooo

So he left upon the rails toward Ohiopyle
Youghiogheny flows around the bend
He told his mother someday he'd be coming home
The medals shine and the stars never end
But nobody counts on scars that never mend
And the train goes... woooooo

Cast iron wheels go hungry in the fields
Searching for that silver line a long, long way to go
Cast iron hearts go hungry for spare parts
Searching for a hand to hold on late night radio

He flew missions out of London into Germany
In letters she read once then locked away
With a picture of him smiling at the armory
The colors in that flag all washed away
It's just black and white and a hundred shades of gray
And the train goes...woooooo

That's the way it goes


Yo, Adrian!

Well, once again I'm off to Philadelphia, City of Brothers on Drugs (to quote Spit, Choke & Puke Sports) for a week of all sorts of fun disaster recovery exercises.

And yes, that's sarcasm.

It's been a long time since I've NOT wanted to get in the car and go go go ... I guess that's what happens when you finally realize who and what matters in your life.  All you want to do spend time in that world.

Needless to say, It's been a rather interesting six weeks in my world.   Mentally and emotionally,I've been as low as I've ever been, and higher than I've ever imagined.   I've confronted demons and dealt with angels. I've spent a lot of time digging through my past and I've cleaned out a lot of the clutter in my head and my heart that was holding me back from the happiness we all pursue.  I've laughed. A lot. I've cried. A lot. And I've grown. A lot. And it's been very nice to know my friends are supportive, and for that, I'm appreciative.  And I'm back on the happy side of life, and happier than any other time in my life, except that first time I held my daughter. 

And, most importantly, I was able to share the things that have shaped me, wrongly or rightly, with an amazing woman who understands, who cares, who listens and who loves me like I've always wanted to be loved.  I hope I can give her that same love in return. I plan on doing my best in that department.

I'm happy.  And I like this happy.  It's new to me. And I want to explore, expand and revel in it ... but sadly, at least for this week, t's time to hit the road. Bring on the cheesesteak!

(Dear Mary: Sorry there's no venom here.  Oh, wait, I hate the Detroit Red Wings.  With a passion.  Satisfied now? :P )


Song of the Day

You're My Home
~ Billy Joel

When you look into my eyes
and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
it always comes as a surprise
when I feel my withered roots begin to grow.

Well I never had a place
that I could call my very own
but that's all right my love
cuz you're my home.

When you touch my weary head
and you tell me everything will be all right.
You say use my body for your bed
and my love will keep you warm throughout the night.

Well I'll never be a stranger
and I'll never be alone
wherever we're together
that's my home.

Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike
Indiana's early morning dew
high up in the hills of California
home is just another word for you.

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
but that's all right my love
cuz you're my home.

If I travel all my life
and I never get stop and settle down
long as I have you by my side
there's a roof above and good walls all around.
You're my castle, you're my cabin
and my instant pleasure dome.
I need you in my house
cuz you're my home,..
you're my home.


Song Of The Day

Since I've been kind of on a sad-bastard run lately ... it's time to shake things up.  Just saw this band on Wednesday and it really shook me out of the mood I've been in lately ... so enjoy some happiness, my friends!

"The Best Is Yet To Come"
~ Watershed

I know sometimes it seems we're slowing down to a stop
We don't know where we're going or appreciate what we've got
I've got a cheap guitar and a yard sale amp
All beat up, nothing broke just yet
And we both know, we're overdue, for some luck
And I got a feeling the best is yet to come

Suppose I figured out the whole damn thing a couple hours ago
It don't really matter where you've been
It's more about where you are going
The bad news is, you really messed up
But the good news is, we can fix things up
And I ain't buying that the good old days are done
And I got a feeling the best is yet to come
Take it on the chin wonderin' what might have been
We could blow it off
Maybe drink it off
And spend some time together... right

Don't forget they didn't knock you out
You're just sitting in a corner bleeding from your mouth
Still got a feeling, the best is yet to come


Alone On Thanksgiving, By Design

[ PREFACE:  This is not a passive/aggressive blog post aimed at getting me invited to holiday dinners at random people's houses / family events / commercial buffets, so please don't take it that way. It's merely a single guy reflecting on why sometimes he enjoys being single and alone for the holidays ... and why sometimes he doesn't. Get it? Got it? Good.]

My parents divorced when I was four.  I have one older sister who was six, and a baby sister who was months old about the time the split happened, as far as I remember.

My Mom's parents were together for 55 years until her mom died in 1993.

My Dad's parents divorced before I was born. So I always had three sets of grandparents.  And two sets of parents.

And a fiance and/or girlfriend from the time I was 15.

So that made four, five or six destinations for holidays like Thanksgiving.  Depending on if my mom was with someone or not.

And I got so fucking tired of having to be at Point A and Time 1 and Point B and Time 2 and Point C and Time 3 and so on and so on ... when I became an adult, I picked on place to go every year and said screw the rest.

As a 42-year-old, with an ex-wife, two sets of parents, four family units and various friends to visit on holidays such as this ... I choose to stay home, or go hit some restaurant offering a buffet. I put on the iPod, grab some reading material, and do my best to avoid every other single person on the planet while I project, in my head, the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner.

When I was three.

When my parents still were together.

When we were at my mom's parent's house.

Eating a traditional turkey/stuffing/potatoes/veggies dinner with pumpkin pie.

With Lions football on the TV.

With no need to leave and go anywhere.

No expectations to be anywhere else.

Eat any else's food.

Just one table. One meal. One family.

That's why I like to eat alone. I can still pretend to be there.

The only thing better than that was Thanksgiving with the mother of my daughter when we were dating/married. She always cooked up one hell of a feast. People came to us. Eventually, my mom and sister started coming to eat with us. After we divorced, I still went there because it was comforting to go one place for one meal with people I didn't fear or mistrust or worry about the ridicule that would eventually come.

For many years after we divorced, I still went out there. Even after she remarried and moved. Her new hubby and I get along great. He understood my issues. He was cool with me being there. He and I get along great.

Now they live 8 hours away. And between our work schedules, they're going out for dinner, and I can't make the trip. And I have no desire to have fish and lasagna in a non-traditional setting like my family is having.

So I'm back to drawing blanks.

Sure, I've had offers, including some from great friends here who will read this and wonder why I said no ... but trust me ... my saying no isn't an insult to you ... it's more me knowing I'd rather be alone, or in a big room of people I don't know and remain anonymous, than be the stranger to most at your dinner tables forced to answer questions as to why I'm alone at 42, and why I really don't want to spend the holiday with my nuclear family, in the three, four or five locations they gather.

And that's my call ... please don't feel slighted, and please don't judge me. I do what's good for me. I have to.

Sometimes, I just like being anonymous and silent and under the radar.  It hurts less.

Song Of The Day

Sent out to nobody in particular. If you think this song is about you ... enjoy that total eclipse of the sun.

"This Town"
~ Elvis Costello

That Charlie Sedarka was a playing the piano
Like he was pawing a dirty book
He bit a hole in his big bottom lip
And gave his very best little boy look
And it was a song with a topical verse which I'm
Afraid he then proceeded to sing
Something about the moody doomed love of
The fish finger king

Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd
Nobody 'til everybody in this town
Knows you're poison
Got your number knows it must be avoided
I think nobody 'til everybody in this town
Thinks you're a bastard

Mr. Getgood moved up to self-made man row
Although he swears that he's the salt of the earth
He's so proud of the kick-me-hard sign that
They hung on his back at birth
Well he said "I appreciate beauty
If I have one, then it's my fault
Beauty is on my pillow
Beauty is there in my vault"

Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd
Nobody 'til everybody in this town
Knows you're poison
Got your number knows it must be avoided
I think nobody 'til everybody in this town
Thinks you're a bastard

The girl with the eternity rock
Went down on her bookie to buy some stock
Now all her signs in the shopping arcades say
'The corporation thief is The New Jesse James'
Her clothes and her attention were scant
Her eyes were everywhere, her eyes were like absinthe
The little green figures that dance on his screen
Say, "Everything you want to hear and nothing they mean"

They made love while she was changing her dress
She wiped him off, she wiped him out and then she made him confess
A little amused by the belief in her power
You must remember this it was the fetish of the hour

Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd
Nobody 'til everybody in this town
Knows you're poison
Got your number knows it must be avoided
I think nobody 'til everybody in this town
Thinks you're a bastard

Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd
Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd
Nobody in this town
Nobody in this crowd


Song Of The Day

Julie Roberts - Unlove Me

Unloose this hold you've got on me
Unlock this heart that can't get free
Unlive the night you kissed and hugged me
Undream the dreams that we both shared
Unfeel the feelin' that you cared
Before you leave me, please unlove me

Unlove me
Unmake all the memories I can't forget
Unlove me
Let me go back to the way I was before we met

Back to the days when I was strong
When it wasn't sad to be alone
When I was happy-go-lucky
And I didn't know how good it felt
To hold you and feel my heart melt
Show me a little mercy and unlove me

Unlove me
Untie all the strings between your heart and mine
Unlove me
But do it real slow, so I don't have to lose you all at one time

Before you pack your bags and leave
One thing I wish you'd do for me
Take a little time to just unlove me

Unlove me
Unmake all the memories I can't forget
Unlove me
Let me go back to the way I was before we met

Unloose this hold you've got on me
Unlock this heart that can't get free
Before you leave me, please unlove me
Show a little mercy and unlove me

I do love me some country music ... not quite sure where I stumbled upon her but I'm shocked she's not done better ... must be the name, eh?


Song of the Day

Bowling For Soup

When I came home my stuff was on the lawn
I thought she was happy, but I was wrong
The note she left it took me by surprise
Said I’ve turned into, some other guy
The things she said that she gave up for me
She says it was a waste of her time

Guess I don’t really know, what I was thinking
Would’ve thought we would float, but we kept sinking in
And things were so good
But you were in love, with some other guy
He looked just like me, but I make you cry,
You know I don’t mean to, I’m just an asshole sometimes

I never saw myself as being alone
And maybe that was my problem, cause now she’s gone
And I can’t help but think of how things could be (how things could be)
And I hope she’s happy, happy with out me
And all the things that she gave up for me,
I took for granted time after time

Guess I don’t really know, what I was thinking
Would’ve thought we would float, but we kept sinking in
And things were so good
But you were in love, with some other guy
He looked just like me, but I make you cry,
You know I don’t mean to, I’m just an asshole sometimes

And please don’t think I’m complaining
I was just happy to have her for a time
And if you see her tell her I said
”hello and that I’m doing just fine”

Guess I don’t really know, what I was thinking
Would’ve thought we would float, but we kept sinking in
And things were so good
But you were in love, with some other guy
He looked just like me, but I make you cry,
You know I don’t mean to, no
You know I don’t mean to
I’m just an asshole sometimes

Guess I don’t really know
I’m just an asshole sometimes
Guess I don’t really know
I’m just an asshole sometimes
Guess I don’t really know
Guess I’m an asshole sometimes


I'm really hating the email lately ...

In addition to having to weed through 569 emails following my 11-day vacation from work, I was roaming around my personal inbox and found something that just made me smile ear to fucking ear.

For reals. Ear-To-Fucking-Ear.

Delivered to me via the wonders of Yahoo email, was a missive I've been dreaming of receiving.  And no, it wasn't Anna Kournikova naked.  (That's an old virus, people!) What I received, for all intents and purposes ... was news I'd been waiting to hear for a long, long, time.

FINALLY ... I had an opportunity to break free from Armstrong's One Wire and Infinite Problems.  I work at home I need both internet and phone bundled, and DSL isn't an option where I live, neither is Time Warner (who I loved in Niles)  And there are three reasons I can't get a dish ... first because I live on the wrong side of the building; second because I need better internet speeds than they offer; and finally, because I have to have a bundled phone solution for work. 

So to hear that another option ... and one I wanted ... was finally available in my area ... I was stoked beyond belief.

I'll use the good points from their email in quotes ... read along with my excitement!

"Retire cable. The future is here."    YES ... I can get rid of Armstrong's shitty cable/internet/phone service! So I kept reading what was available based on this finely crafted marketing email ... and hell yeah I was picking up the pimp hand to dial the phone and sign up for this shit!

Check out this impressive list of features:
  • "HD TV and DVR
  • "Record up to four shows at once, play them back in any room
  • "Pause in one room, resume in another
  • "Playback recorded shows on all TVs at once, at different times
  • "TV packages starting at $19 a month. 
  • "Access to 130 HD channels and growing
  • "Schedule DVR sessions and watch TV on your smartphone
  • "Professional standard installation included with most packages
  • "No term commitment
  • "A 30-day money-back guarantee - bring it all home with no risk and all reward" 
How fucking cool is all of that?  Beats the fuck out of Armstrong feature wise, price wise, and since it's all new fiber that's been run to support this ... odds are good I'd not have had to call Armstrong every other week when my shit breaks and I can't porno surf.  (I mean, can't work. Yeah. Can't . Work.)

Then, in what has to be the biggest taint-kick in my recent karma history, I got down to the last line:

"Please call us today at 1-800-FUCK-YOU to enable AT&T UVerse service at your OLD ADDRESS IN COLUMBUS.  HA Fuck you, fanboy.  You suck."

(Okay, maybe I made up some of that statement, but seriously, AT&T finally is offering UVerse in my old neighborhood in Columbus ... and since I asked for it on their website ... oh, two years ago when it wasn't available, they decided to tease me now that it is ... and because I don't live there anymore.)



Dammit, I lost my stress

So ... after more than 15 months of an insane workload that included moving from Columbus back to Youngstown and three large enterprise level projects that pretty much killed my life ... I'm FINALLY going to take some time off work here in September ... basically starting Friday and running through September 14th, when I return to the office.

Except "the office" is now my dining room, as officially, beginning tomorrow, I'm one of the thousands of 'virtual employees' that work from a home-based office.  So, here's my evolving home office:

This isn't the final view ... I've not finalized it yet ... there will be three 22" wide screen monitors rather than the one 22" and one 19" you see ... and a filing cabinet on the left with a printer on top, but this is pretty much what I'll be working with from a furniture point.

This is what it replaced.  So yeah ... huge increase in desk space, work space, looks and ergonomics.

In addition to that ... two of the biggest projects I've ever worked on both ended today.  One of them piggybacked off the huge anti-virus project I was that started in July 2009 ... so I've been kicking ass at work basically since July 2009 without stopping.

Then, as of today, it just stopped.  The projects ended, the speculation as to us being home-officed or forcing to move to another location ... ended.  We're virtual ... and as for the hard-core projects ... I'm back in the general work-flow, not dedicated to huge projects that kill my life.

For the first time in 15 months not only can I breathe, but I feel like I can get stuff done.  Today I did six loads of laundry before noon.  I slept great last night for the first time in probably six weeks (which included two on-call shifts).  I'm just finally in a good point personally and professionally.  It's weird for me, having not had either, basically for three years now.

I think working from home is going to be a HUGE part of that.  There's no stress in driving to work ... I'm not spending $5 on breakfast and $10 on lunch every day;   I have a kick-ass desk, and home office setup. My company is paying for my Internet and phone, and since I'm not working in Youngstown anymore, I'm not paying that insane income tax ... so I'll have more money in my pocket and less stress about getting to work.  A seven-step walk beats the hell out of a seven-mile drive ... especially with winter coming this way soon.

Another big part is the confidence I've gained in these three projects ... I went from standard day-to-day support to three enterprise level projects that impacted 3,000+ servers and forced me to step up my game to deal with something on this scale.

And then there's my personal life, which is also rolling along nicely and enjoyable.  Things with Sarah have had a couple of ups and downs, but we've worked through them and are moving forward. And I'm glad I'll have more time to enjoy it.  I signed a new lease so I'm going to be in Austintown for another year, which is good with me ... I like Austintown ... and to be honest, I really wasn't in the mood to move again.  I like my little box at the top of the stairs. But I have no Indian rug or a pipe to share, sorry.

But yeah ... finally ... I really feel I can relax. I can breathe. I can enjoy my non-working hours doing things I want to do ... and not spending all day and night sitting in front of my computer building servers or cleaning viruses and all that stuff.

Yay me!


"Getting Revealed" - Behind the Scenes

So now Facebook has this thing called "Get Revealed" where your friends can ask questions about you.  And if you answer enough questions about your friends, you can find out who said what about you.

Because yeah, that's why I lose sleep at night, wondering what people really think of me.

So, being the guy who reveals the man behind the curtain whenever possible, I took my current 61 questions, removed the duplicates and decided to not only tell you if you're right or wrong, but expound a bit on it.

With that being said ... I've broken down the questions by how the questions were answered ... Yes or No.  Let's get to me getting revealed:
Things you said NO to:
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever been unfaithful in a relationship? 
Correct. I’m not and never have been a cheater.
Do you think that Eric Broz grinds their teeth while sleeping?
Correct.  I’m not a grinder.
Do you think that Eric Broz has a bad haircut?
Subjective.  It’s hair. It changes every so often.
Do you think that Eric Broz has bad breath?
Correct.  Ahhhh … minty fresh.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever failed a class?
Wrong. I failed Statistics. Twice. Because 2+2 is always four. I don’t care about your probability.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever stolen from work?
Wrong. Everyone steals from work. Time, Internet bandwidth, smoke breaks, office supplies, CDs, DVDs, you get the picture.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever stolen money from their friends?
Correct. I’d rather be broke than screw over a friend.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever used steroids?
Wrong. I was on them a couple of times for injuries. Not for personal use. And I was never injected by Jose Canseco.
Do you think that Eric Broz is a poser?
Correct. Because, tru ‘dat, homie. Damn, those bitches actin’ all Asian ‘n’ shit. That shit is whack!
Do you think that Eric Broz is a tree hugger?
Correct. I have a Cartman tattoo.  I hate hippies.
Do you think that Eric Broz is cute?
Subjective … this is the one that one person voted yes, one person voted no.
Do you think that Eric Broz is dumber than Jessica Simpson?
Correct. But, dammit, I wanted to eat some sea chickens, too.
Do you think that Eric Broz is hyper?
Correct.  I go with the flow.
Do you think that Eric Broz is ignorant?
Correct. I’m not insane, either. My mother had me tested.
Do you think that Eric Broz is lazy?
Correct. Unless it’s football Sunday. Or football Saturday. Or I need to catch up on the DVR. Then I’m a regular couch-dwelling sloth.
Do you think that Eric Broz is socially awkward?
Wrong. Uh, ask me about my crippling social anxiety.  (That’s rhetorical. I don’t want you to ask.)
Do you think that Eric Broz is tone deaf?
Correct. I will admit to being deaf to Nickleback and other shitty bands  like that.

Do you think that Eric Broz likes British accents?
Wrong. Julia Fordam sounds delicious in everything she does. And she’s British.
Do you think that Eric Broz likes chick flicks?
Wrong. “Sleepless in Seattle,” “League of Their Own” and “You’ve Got Mail” are among my favorites.
Do you think that Eric Broz still wet their bed in 6th grade?
Correct.  In 5th grade I started breaking into other classmates houses and wetting their beds.
Do you think that Eric Broz would help an elderly woman cross the street?
Correct. And yes, I was a Boy Scout.
Do you think that you can beat Eric Broz in a fight?
Correct. Because I know kung-fu, and five or six other Chinese words.
Does Eric Broz have a nice butt?
Subjective. My butt’s not for everyone.
Would you go skinny dipping with Eric Broz?
Correct. I don’t skinny dip. I chunky dunk.
Totals for the NO Round: 
Collectively … 15 correct; six wrong and three subjective out of 24 … when you factor out the subjective, you’re collectively five for seven.  Not bad.
Things you said YES to:
Do you think Eric Broz can actually hook up with someone out of their league?
Correct. Have you seen my girlfriend? General consensus is she’s out of my league :D
Do you think Eric Broz is cute?
Subjective. Someone answered this as NO last time, so it’s a wash.
Do you think that Eric Broz brushes their teeth regularly?
Correct. Thanks!
Do you think that Eric Broz can run a mile without stopping?
Wrong. Sorry. I’m old, fat, out of shape and have horrible knees. If you see me running, you better drop what you’re doing and follow me because if I’m running, it’s from something bad.
Do you think that Eric Broz can throw a football with a spiral?
Correct. Every year I wait by the phone during the NFL Draft, but nobody calls. Hell, Tim Couch and Brady Quinn were both drafted.  Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf, too.  Then, again, I am old, fat, out of shape and have horrible knees.  I feel like Joe Nameth. I should grope an ESPN sideline reporter now.
Do you think that Eric Broz has a funny looking nose?
Correct, and I agree. Broken a few times playing hockey, or fighting.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever been in a fist fight?  
Correct. I have. Bobby Hunter in 6th grade was probably the last planned fight. Wasn’t the flag pole at 3 p.m., but it was close. I think I won. He had a black eye when we were done.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever failed a test?
Correct, I have. Spanish in 12th grade. And several Statistics classes.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever fooled around at work?
Correct. I have. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that!
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever had a 1 night stand?
Correct. I’ve had as little as a 20-minute-stand, once; and several one-night stands. One lasted a couple of weeks.
Do you think that Eric Broz has ever played beer pong?
Wrong. I’ve played several drinking games, but not beer pong.
Do you think that Eric Broz has soft hands?  
Correct. I type all day. I don’t do much else with my hands, so yeah, they’re soft.
Do you think that Eric Broz is a good driver?  
Correct. I’m an excellent driver. Dad lets me drive the car. But only up and down the driveway.
Do you think that Eric Broz is a good friend?
Correct. I do my best.
Do you think that Eric Broz is cute?
Subjective. That was asked in the NO section.
Do you think that Eric Broz likes chick flicks?
Correct. As stated before, I love me some chick flicks.
Do you think that Eric Broz owns a nice car?
Subjective.  If you consider a 2001 pine green Saturn 4-door nice, yay you.
Do you think that Eric Broz spends more than an hour on facebook everyday?
Correct. I’m a junkie. But not because of Farmland or Frontierplace or stuff like that.
Do you think that Eric Broz watches porn?
Correct. I was once told there was porn on the Internet I’ve not seen, so I have to keep up.
Do you think that Eric Broz watches the TV show "24"?
Wrong. I watched about half of the first season and realized there’s no way one guy can drive all the way across LA in less than an hour.
Do you think that Eric Broz would look good in tights?  
Wrong. Ever see hair through tights? Not a pretty look. And I’m not shaving my legs. My knees have enough scars.
Do you think your first impression of Eric Broz was right?
Subjective. Not sure who said this or what their first impression was.
Is Eric Broz a reliable person?
Correct. I do my best to be on time, every time.
Is Eric Broz fun to be around?
Correct. I’m the life of the party!
Is Eric Broz's profile picture cute?
Subjective.   The Sarah half of my profile pic is SUPER Cute … my half … meh.
Would Eric Broz make a good spouse?
Would you introduce Eric Broz to your family? Correct. And thanks. Parents love me.

Would you trust Eric Broz with your life?
Correct. And again, thanks. I got your back.
Totals for the YES Round: 
Collectively ... you got 18 correct; six wrong and four subjective out of 28 … when you factor out the subjective, you’re collectively three for four.  Not bad at all.
Grand Totals:
Out of 42 total non-subjective questions, you collectively got 33 correct.  

That’s 78%, congrats, you’ve passed this test!

You know me. You really know me!


You know you're from Youngstown when ...

You know you're from Youngstown when .... 
  • You steal $7 million in a armored car robbery and only make it to a double-wide in West Virginia.
  • When you take a hot date to the Coconut Grove.
  • You think Genitalia is an Italian airline.
  • You think TACO BELL is the Mexican Phone Company.
  • You hooked up with your present girlfriend as a result of a message on the wall of the men's' room at the Club 76 truck stop.
  • If the only reason to go to the convocation center is professional rastling.
  • If you think Jim Trafficant was railroaded by the FBI.
  • If you think high class shopping is going to Walmart and Dollar General.
  • You were acquitted for murdering your first wife after she threw out your Elvis 8-tracks.
  • Your kids take a siphon hose to "Show and Tell."
  • If you think the MVSD is your own private lake.
  • You've ever had to scratch your sisters name out of a message that begins, "For a good time call...".
  • The only time you go to church is for Fish or Pirogi Fridays.
  • Your whole family is Democrats 'cept little Mary. She lernt how to read.
  • You have a bumper sticker that says, "MY MOTHER'S AN HONOR STUDENT AT Cardinal Mooney".
  • You consider your license plate personalized because Jim Trafficant, Lenny Strolo or Phil Chance made it in prison.
  • Your lifetime goal is to own a Zoldan fireworks stand.
  • The drug task force surrounded your house twice so far this year.
  • If your tomato plants get singed because of all the cars getting bombed in your driveway.
  • If your lawn ornament is riddled with bullet holes.


Oh, I'm such a nerd, Part ∞

So ... over the past several months, I've been given two hard and fast rules for dating Shoes.

1. Don't break my heart.
2. Don't cheat on me.

Simple enough, right?

Unless you're my brain.  Which automagically starts creating equations and algorithms on how those two rules coexist and work in tandem in a single line of code that's easily uploaded to my brain to allow me additional storage space so I can recite song lyrics, movie quotes, the manufacturer's part number to the bumper bracket for a 72 Volvo or pertinent information such as ... well ... anything but song lyrics, movie quotes, and the manufacturer's part number to the bumper bracket for a 72 Volvo.

So ... as my thought processes go absurdly apeshit with this, as they do with EVERYTHING, I realize two additional constants:

If I break rule 2, I break rule 1, by default.  (NOTE TO SELF:  NEVER, EVER feed gremlins after midnight, or break rule 2).
If I break rule 1, I am free to break rule 2, by default.  (NOTE TO SELF:  NEVER, EVER, get gremlins wet, or break rule 1).

Now, keep in mind I have ZERO DESIRE to break EITHER rule, or feed gremlins after midnight, or get them wet, let alone break Rule 1 in order to nullify Rule 2.  I've never cheated on anyone I've ever dated, lived with, married or stalked.  

On top of that, I've never been happier in a relationship with a woman in my life.  (Apologies to anyone reading this I dated, lived with, married or stalked.) Hell, most of you (well, not the ones I stalked), have said to me they've never seen me happier; and to her, they've never seen me happier.

(and thanks, the checks are in the mail.  Well, if I wrote checks. Or used snail mail. Paypal is much easier.)

(can I add more parenthetical statemets to a blog?)

(Oh, yes, I can.)

(Because it's my blog.)

(Notice how the punctuation is in the inside of the parenthesis?  That's how it should be. Grammar rules.)


So as I was laying down beside a sleeping Sarah, trying to sleep myself, since it's 4:28 a.m., and since I'm failing miserably, because my brain is running all over the place trying to work some logic to combine those two rules into one rule and do it so I can't break either, and do it logically, without using if-than and goto statements because I'm a nerd who's not a programmer ... and do it using binary constants because I'm a computer guy ... I end up sitting here trying to write all this out because I'm a wordy guy.
(See, hug it out. It's easier.)

Yeah, welcome to my world.  Words. Math. Computers. Binary languages. Sleep deprivation. Love. Sex. Beer. Try for the green area around the $1 because you have twice the chance of winning big money in the Showcase Showdown.  And fuck the first prize package because it always sucks.


I've broken it down to this single line of code, which has been uploaded to my central processing unit:

01001000 01100101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01100010 01110010 01100101 01100001 01101011 00100000 00110000 00100000 00101011 01000011 01101000 01100101 01100001 01110100 00100000 00110000 00100000 00111101 01000101 01110100 01100101 01110010 01101110 01100001 01101100 00100000 01001000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01101001 01101110 01100101 01110011 01110011 00101110

Upload complete.  Yay me!

(for the non-binary speaking individuals, that means Heartbreak 0 + Cheat 0 = Eternal Happiness.)

Yay me!


Being in love is so Punk Rock

I just love how I feel these days.

I hope everyone finds this solid of a connection, someday.


Comfest 2010 Schedule

For those of you wondering ... here's my Comfest Schedule for 2010.

BOLD are the definite shows I'm hitting ... the rest are artists I'd like to see.

Friday (Time --Band --Stage)
12:00 -- Acoustic House -- Flow -- Gazebo
12:45 -- Bronson Bunny Deathwish -- Off Ramp
12:55 -- Angela Perley -- Gazebo
1:15 -- Rain -- Solar
1:55 -- Saturday Giant -- Gazebo
2:55 -- Lydia Loveless -- Gazebo
3:45 -- Phantods -- Bozo
5:15 -- Flotation Walls -- Off Ramp
6:00 -- Colin Gawel -- Bozo
7:00 -- Bush League -- All Stars Bozo

Saturday (Time --Band --Stage)
11:00 -- Tin Hearts -- Bozo
12:00 -- Super Desserts -- Bozo
12:15 -- Monolithic Cloud Parade -- Off Ramp
1:00 -- Old Worlds -- Off Ramp
1:45 -- Historians -- Off Ramp
1:50 -- Church of the Red Museum -- Bozo
1:55 -- Megan Palmer -- Gazebo
2:55 -- Eric Nassau and Friends -- Gazebo
3:40 -- Donna Mogavero Band -- Bozo
5:30 -- The Receiver -- Off Ramp
6:10 -- Miss Molly -- Gazebo
6:25 -- Adult Fiction -- Off Ramp
7:05 -- Hayseed -- Solar
7:10 -- The Wahoos -- Gazebo
7:20 -- Day Creeper -- Off Ramp
7:55 -- Fox N Hounds -- Solar

Sunday (Time --Band --Stage)
11:00 Ukelele Man -- Solar
12:00 Spikedrivers -- Gazebo
12:00 Pig Circus -- Off Ramp
12:45 Blastronauts -- Off Ramp
1:30 Bicentennial Bear -- Off Ramp
1:50 Couch Forts -- Solar
2:00 Josh Krajcik Band -- Gazebo
2:15 Paper Airplane -- Off Ramp
3:55 Jen Miller -- Jazz
4:00 Kim Crawford -- Solar
5:05 Willie Phoenix -- Bozo
5:30 Micah Schnabel -- Solar


What a weird couple of months ...

Well, I feel bad ... neglectful, even ... leaving my blog here to wither and die while I'm out living life and having fun.

/not really

Actually, it's been a rather hectic couple of months in my life.  
  • I finished one big project at work and got immediately got pushed into another big, highly visible project that is actually 180 degrees different than what I was doing.
  • I started doing more photography, including branching out into working with a group that goes to Bike Nights with models to pose with you and your motorcycle looking all sexy.
  • Had a great roadtrip to Maryland and Virginia with my daughter, who's now up in New Castle for a bit, so I'll be seeing a lot of her in the coming weeks :D
  • I got to witness the only professional sports team I've ever had an emotional investment in win their league's championship ... that's right ... the Chicago Blackhawks are your 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Champions.  I hope everyone gets to experience the feeling of their team winning it all (Browns fans, I'm looking right at ya!)
  • I have a wonderful and exciting new relationship with a fascinating woman who just amazes me more and more every day.  In the Lawgirl style of protecting the innocent, I'll refer to her as ShoeGirl from now on.
  • I've been planning my summer activities ... and man is it going to be busy:
  • Highlights include the first weekend roadtrip with ShoeGirl next weekend to see a great band (The Filthy Habits), hang out with friends (both hers and mine)  in Columbus; photograph a lesbian wedding in Cincinnati on Saturday followed by a mad-dash Sunday morning from Cincy to Pittsburgh for the Indians-Pirates afternoon showcase at PNC (Probably No Customers) Park. The following weekend:   Comfest.  That's right ... three days of music, beer, friends and fun in Columbus. After that ... July includes a few random getaways with ShoeGirl, including a trip to Middletown and a couple of random baseball games as time permits.
Outside of that ... just been hanging out with the Silver Surfer, Muppet Jimmy, Basketball Brian and the rest of the gang.

What's new with you?


Based on some recent convos I've had

With some really great friends ...

I give you this perfect Song of the Day:

Safe - Julia Fordham

These tired lips are sealed
Although this angry mouth is filled
With words to fracture an unknowing heart
Enough to tear your very world apart

Turning my knowing look away
Fumbling for something to say
God only knows I've done things I regret
So many I'm trying hard to forget

So if you're wondering
You can be
Safe in the knowledge
That your secret's safe with me
Can't help wondering
What you'd do
If you found out she'd done the same to you

There's no logic, there's no gain
There's no way you can explain
Not that I want or expect you to
We're all the prisoners of the things we do

So if you're wondering
You can be
Safe in the knowledge
That your secret's safe with me
Can't help wondering
What you'd do
If you found out she'd done the same to you

Safe in the knowledge, safe
Safe in the knowledge, safe

So if you're wondering
You can be
Safe in the knowledge
That your secret's safe with me
Can't help wondering
What you'd do
If you found out she'd done the same to you


Song Of The Day

New Thing Now
Shawn Colvin

This is your new thing now
Naked as a rose
Everything exposed
But not quite
This is your new thing now
Cards out on the table
A genius with no label
But not quite, not quite

God, I swear it's good to be back home
Waiting for the newest Rolling Stone
All the other girls are still at war
The best and worst of 1994
Sometimes I see the half and not the whole
Sometimes I see the face and not the soul
Sometimes I think this place has no part
For anyone who ever had a heart

This is your new thing now
And it looks so good in print
Just a poet and her pimps
But not quite
This is your new thing now
A prom dress and a sneer
The woman of the year
But not quite, not quite

Gee, it's good to see a dream come true
People smile and bless all over you
Mixing up those latest junkie-isms
With all the pretty terms of religion
And don't you love the leader of the band
Equal parts Butthead and Peter Pan
All the other kids are sad again
A legend's not a legend 'til it ends

This is your new thing now
And it makes the whole world spin
It's as least as old as sin
But not quite
This is your new thing now
And now you're turning grinning
But maybe no one's listening
And you might lose it all my darling, yes you might

This is your new thing now
And it feels so good to doubt you
I could almost live without you
But not quite


Song Of The Day

Bob Mould
"Sacrifice / Let There Be Peace"
If I ride on the rails
I shall ride them alone
And if I need all this pain
I will find it alone
If I'm wanted for leaving
I will leave here alone
And if I can't resist this
Then I am unfit to go on

A simple solution is all I require
If fire is the passion I only aspire to be free
Let me be free
If the strain on your conscience gets under your skin
And leads you to making a sacrifice
Sacrifice me
Let there be peace

To the grave from the cradle
We don't rock anymore
Now I stand here with both feet
Planted firm on the floor
And if you're planning a future
Of indefinite grace
You'd better start removing
The lines of deceit from your face

A simple conclusion is all I require
If fire is the passion I only aspire to be free
Let me be free
And all of the hypocrites lie through their teeth
Talk about making a sacrifice
Sacrifice me
Let there be peace

How much longer can all this go on?
How many more choices can one person have?
And all of the questions with no proper answers
Continue continue
Have to go on have to go on have to go on

Should I bend down and worship the ground
Of the beautiful people who live without flaws?
Success is a virtue to share with the world
But failure's a lesson that's best learned alone
Respect is a virtue that strong men command
But when words become weapons
There'll be peace in the valley of death when I rise
Peace in the valley of death when I rise


Song Of The Day

"Lost For Words"
Words by David Gilmour / Music by Gilmour/Wright

I was spending my time in the doldrums
I was caught in the cauldron of hate
I felt persecuted and paralyzed
I thought that everything else would just wait
While you are wasting your time on your enemies
Engulfed in a fever of spite
Beyond your tunnel vision reality fades
Like shadows into the night

To martyr yourself to caution
Is not going to help at all
Because there'll be no safety in numbers
When the Right One walks out of the door

Can you see your days blighted by darkness?
Is it true you beat your fists on the floor?
Stuck in a world of isolation
While ivy grows over the door

So I open my door to my enemies
And I ask could we wipe the slate clean
But they tell me to please go fuck myself
You know you just can't win


Song of the Day

Julia Fordham
"I Want To Call You Baby"

I want to call you baby
And you to take care of me
I want to call you baby, baby
God help me
I don't know what's right anymore
I'm robbed of reason in my blind
hurry to your door
Blessed is the blend that's racing
through my veins
And troubled is the mind that brings me
back to earth again
I want to call you baby
And you to take care of me
I want to call you baby, baby
Peel away the layers of
of coming consequence
I feel will follow should we fall
from innocence
Make it safe to lay in your loving arms
And let's pretend there's no one
here to hurt or harm
I want to call you baby
And you to take care of me
I want to call you baby, baby
Gather me up like a child in need
Watch over me while you rock me to sleep
When I'm alone all night in the dark
I blame you for my swollen heart
I want to call you baby
And you to take care of me
I want to call you baby
I want to call you baby
And you to take care of me
I want to call you baby, baby


UFC 111 - My Predictions

UFC 111 - St. Pierre vs Hardy is Saturday in New Jersey ... and playing on the big screens at BW3 starting at 9 with the prelims.  Two title fights, two more fights where the winner *should* get a title shot and two or three "Someone's getting KTFO'ed" fights that will be all out wars!

As always, I'll be at BW3's in Austintown to watch the fights ... the place tends to fill up so get there early if you want to sit down ... and with that, here are my predictions:

George St. Pierre vs. Dan Hardy - To be the man, you have to beat the man. I don't see Hardy having any chance against to take GSP's belt in the 170-pound welterweight division. GSP, who is pound-for-pound the best MMA fighter in the game, is faster, a better wrestler, good puncher and has some bad-ass BJJ.  Hardy's got a mouth like a wrestler and hands like Marvin Hagler ... if he catches GSP it's over, so he has at least a puncher's chance, but I have to go GSP ... he might take him to the distance .... he likes doing that ... but only if Hardy can last that long.  He's never gone 25 minutes before.

Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin - Winner here gets the Interim UFC Heavyweight Title and a date with Brock Lesnar.  Carwin's never gone more than 131 seconds in 11 fights. He's knocked everyone he's fought right the hell out.  And fast.  He made Gabriel Gonzaga look soft.  But he's not a full-time fighter.  He is, however, a tremendous wrestler and Mir doesn't like being on his back.  Mir, though, is a BJJ Black Belt and loves the submission.  Will be curious to see how long this fight goes.  I see Mir winning by submission, but I also see Carwin knocking Mir's head clean off his shoulders and it landing in Lesnar's lap as he sits ringside.  This one's a toss-up ... but if I were betting I'd go Mir due to experience.

Ben Saunders vs. Jon Fitch - Fitch was supposed to fight Thiago Alves, but Alves couldn't pass his medical tests and wasn't given a license.  Saunders stepped up with 48-hour notice, so give him his credit.  If Fitch loses he can say he was training for a different fighter; if Saunders loses he can say "Hey, I found out two days ago. I did my best."  I see Fitch surviving, much like he did against GSP, but this time winning by decision.

Jim Miller vs. Mark Bocek - Bocek is a good wrestler, Miller is a great wrestler.  Miller has great take-down defense and is a better striker.   Bocek has neither. I see this 30-27 on all three cards for Miller.

Nate Diaz vs. Rory Markham - If the real Nate Diaz shows up, Rory Markham is done before he steps in the cage.  Sadly, the real Nate Diaz is hard to find some fights.  Diaz is moving up to welterweight, and doing so against a great striker who loves the KO punch and will stand and trade with Diaz, if that's the fight Diaz wants.  Sad to say, but if Diaz stands and bangs he'd going down ... but if he uses his takedown skills and crazy BJJ, he'll have an arm or leg of Markham's to put in the trophy case.  I think Diaz is smart enough to know to go for the submission.  Diaz, triangle choke with a repeat of the double-finger smile.

Ricardo Almeida vs. Matt Brown - Matt Brown won't be taken down.  And since Almeida can't punch, he's in for a world of hurt.  Almeida's coming down in weight and whatever strength he had won't come with him.  Almedia has amazing BJJ and great takedowns, but leaves himself open for getting hit.  And Brown brings the pain.  Brown, by beatdown.

Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes - A long, boring fight that Pellegrino will win by getting points from takedowns and ground-and-pound.  Camoes won't know what to do ... Pellegrino by decision.

Rodney Wallace vs. Jared Hamman - Wrestler (Wallace) versus Striker (Hamman).  Striker wins by KO.

Rousimar Palhares vs. Tomasz Drwal - Palhares wins the ugly contest, but the Brazillian comes up on the losing end of this fight.  The Polish Hammer by knockout.

Matthew Riddle vs. Greg Soto - I'm glad this is on the prelims and hope I never have to see it.  Soto is making his UFC debut and from what I saw on YouTube knows how to wrestle and tries some submissions.  Riddle should fight at 185 ... which is what he'll weigh when the bell rings, so he'll totally control this fight for a decision victory in a very boring, very mismatched fight.  Dana White loves Riddle, so he's giving him a can to build his confidence after his TKO loss at UFC 105.

(For the record ... my UFC 110 predictions ... 4-5 in the win/loss; 5-4 in the how the fight ended ... total was 9 out of 18 possible points ... so I'm .500 winning percentage.  Last year in the few fights I forcasted, I was about .600 ... so don't use me as a betting guide by any means)


Random Thoughts .. 2010.01

Random thoughts catching up on the DVR: 
  • Heroes = meh. I hated the whole Carnival thing. I'm glad it's over. 
  • Flash Forward is pretty decent, so far. 
  • LOST is becoming interesting as the approach the end.
  • Caprica is the best show on TV. Best. Show. Ever.
  • Yuengling Bock is okay. Yuengling Lager is still my favorite.
  • 60 minutes on the elliptical every day feels pretty good.
  • I miss having a girlfriend.  But I won't settle for less than who I want.
  • My daughter, who just turned 12, is AMAZING.
  • Futurama is a pretty funny show I never paid attention to.
  • I miss seeing good bands.
  • I'm glad my project at work has ended and I can have a life again.


My Views on the Health Care Reform

Imagine you are starving. Two people walk up to you. One of them has a hamburger.  The other has nothing:

Person 1:  Here. Have this hamburger. You look hungry.

Person 2:  You shouldn't eat that hamburger. It's bad for you.

Starving Person:  Person 1 - Thank you.  This is a step in the right direction.  Where can I find a steady source of this food?

Person 1:  Here.  We'll get you on a proper nutrition course to ensure you can eat right from cradle to grave without worrying about going broke trying to afford food.

Starving Person:  Thank you.

Person 2:  No, you really shouldn't eat that hamburger.

Starving Person:  Person 2 - Then what should I eat?

Person 2:  Let me go back to the kitchen for another year and figure that out.

Is a hamburger the best thing for a starving person?  No. 

Is this Health Care Insurance Reform Bill the best thing for America?  No.

But it beats the hell out of nothing.  Get it?