Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This Will Surely Inspire Some Debate...

Tom Watson's undies are in a bunch over the National Review's published list of the the top fifty conservative rock and roll songs by John J. Miller. Number one: "Won't Get Fooled Again". Score one for the Misanthrope! Looks like Chrispy gets delt a blow since the conservative rag claims both "The Trees" (#11) and "The Red Barchetta" (#22) as anthems of GOP ideology.

I was excited to see Iron Maiden's name on the list since we've talked about them in this context until I saw that the tune selection was “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”(#29). Oh well...

The Stones (#3 & 33) and The Georgia Sattellites (#32) get a nod.

Unfortunately, John Miller and NRO lose all the fake steam generated by such a silly (but fun) list by adding a Creed song to it. Somebody probably needs to clue them in.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Baghdad E.R. revisited...

Michael Yon has some feedback after seeing HBO's "Baghdad E.R." following his return from Afghanistan.

Mike, Metal, & The Music In My Life...

Another long one, so here goes...

Fred Wilson over at A VC sent me an e-mail link to Mike Doughty's blog where Doughty revisits his past love for heavy metal with the eloquence of a 50 year old novelist. Mike’s a few years younger than I am, but seems to have embraced the same bands and records at the same period in his life that myself and my gang of crazy misfits did. Oh yeah, it’s worthy of mention that he grew up at the United States Military Academy at West Point too. My youngest sister knew him a little and has even bumped into him at reunions and his shows when he’s in town, but I’ve yet to get an introduction. Now that I’ve read his latest blog post, I must place a higher priority on making this happen.

I’ve given a lot of thought to my musical listening evolution over the years and have had a couple of “awakenings” throughout my life so far. My youthful self was a very fixated one, and ripe for pop music fandom. My first rock idol was Elton John. Meaning, his were the first records I plunked down legal tender to buy. This begot a love affair with top 40 AM radio and many trips to Murphy’s Mart to buy .99 cent singles, some of them good ones by my today’s standards, but Elton records were the first long players to be purchased. My devotion ran deep too.

I remember arguing the merits of Elton’s music with a kid named Mike Blue in my fifth grade class in 1975 who was equally obsessed with Alice Cooper (he won, I became a fan myself largely due to his debating skills and persistence). Elton’s records at the time were very heady lyrically and most of it went WAY above my head, but I liked the melody of his music. A short time later, I abandoned Elton for “the harder stuff” of Kiss following the release of Elton’s emasculating duet with Kiki Dee, “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”. “Philadelphia Freedom” I could take, since the Bicentennial celebration was in full swing and everywhere in my life the world was swept up in it, but the utter and total lamness of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” could not be denied and I’d have felt foolish, and no doubt mocked viciously, if I defended Elton to my classmate Mike after that. The Kiss thing was an inevitability anyway as it was for most males my age during that time.

Kiss began the next great obsession (i.e. I listened to NOTHING but Kiss) and it lasted a year, but I quickly began to realize that there was a lot out there to listen to and limiting myself to a single artist was very foolish and, dare say, childish. While I opened myself up to listening to other bands, other genres were a different story. While there were a few exceptions, at this point whatever it was had to have what I called that “grinding guitar”, the correct term for which I discovered later was distortion.

I was plenty busy collecting hard rock records during this period simply because it was a target rich period for this particular variety of music. Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zeppelin, etc… It was during this age of my life (1977) that I made the emotional connection between lyrical prose and the music itself (WOW!!!), how it could amp me up while skating ramps and terrorizing the streets. I also became obsessed with the surfer/skater/rocker look too. It was an emersion far deeper than where I’d been before. I think girls had a lot to do with it also. I became far more wild and welcomed any opportunity to try anything above and beyond the mainstream. I drank my first beers, smoked my first joint, got hauled down to the police station, etc… and hooked up with others who liked what I liked. This provided an easy segue to what happened next.

Metal was born sometime during my freshman and sophomore years in high school. We didn’t know it was a genre of it’s own then, but we knew what we liked (most of the time when something can be cited as a genre, the genre has run its’ course). Metal was simply everything, and nothing else was worthy. As a matter of fact, if you weren’t able to religiously commit to the total devotion that was required, you were written off as a pretender and lover of all things lame. We would have suspected and accused you of actually having a secret affinity for Elton and Kiki’s “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” itself. We drew some pretty hard lines back then.

Metal was to us everything Mike Doughty describes it was for him:

“Rob Halford, Vince Neil, and Bruce Dickinson were like outcast heroes, standing against a world of Reaganite conformity (and believe me, growing up among the military at West Point, I knew something about conformity, not to mention deeply buried anguish, and post-traumatic stress disorder). They were the superhero versions of what Paul Westerberg came to mean to me; figures of anger and angst.”

Fucking brilliant.

A funny thing happened during the latter part of my junior year and most of my senior your in high school while completely sequestering myself from all those who were naïve enough not to understand the wonder that was metal: I actually figured out that non-metal lovers were also fun to hang out with and more than a few of the girls were pretty hot too. I also figured out if I didn’t ridicule the music they listened to, they might even want to hold a conversation with me. This awakening caused quite a schism amongst my metal friends as my tastes began to widen to more than what Angelwitch’s next record offered. What was also happening was what Mike details in the previous paragraph to the one above:

“What happened? I sought more emotional music as my own emotions became more complex; as I shedded identity after identity, each one I discarded wholly. But as the documentary moved from the Priest/Maiden/Halen years to the hair-metal, Poison/Cinderella power ballad years, I realized that a change in the attitude (and the popularity) of the music alienated me.”

Again, deadly accurate. The music became a marketing juggernaut for MTV and all was ruined (we were incensed for many years that MTV wouldn’t play metal music and when they did, they ruined it). Again I found it hard to defend what it was becoming to the detractors like I had back in fifth grade. I knew it was getting lamer by the day (sitting in a bar listening to Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” was like hearing a new version of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” all over again). I was glad to be reading more books and interested in other music. I even began what would become my life long regret of having not paid more attention in school, and made the ultimate decision to take a crack at going to college. Even so, I mourned the shedding of my metal identity. I loved it so much and was so thoroughly immersed in it that it was worthy of mourning.

It took a while to feel comfortable in my skin as one who was no longer ashamed of enjoying a wide variety of music. I was grateful for never getting rid of ANY of my records and “Madman Across The Water” returned to my turntable as did many other non-metal LP’s. This time I enjoyed the music and the subject matter the lyrical prose had to offer. I've made, as Perry Farell says, "Ocean Sized" discoveries since then and have enjoyed a few obsessions ta boot (heard any Rolling Stones lately?), Hell, I even rediscovered my metal favorites over time just like Mike did recently. But even as much as I might enjoy the Rolling Stones, I don’t think I’ve ever been as deeply devout in the biblical sense as I was during my metal days and have the Iron Maiden tattoo to prove it. It’s old and faded like the rest of me and I don’t really notice it too much anymore, but like the name of a long gone girlfriend, every now and then it reminds me of who I was back then and I enjoy a laugh at my youthful naivety.

While my friend Jackson was a year or two younger, he can share many similar experiences. He recently resurrected the Paul Di Anno/Bruce Dickenson debate himself over on his blog to few peoples notice, even drawing some good hearted mocking. But now I realize how all the Star Wars freaks feel about the ridicule that gets directed at them even from me sometimes. No matter how narrow or simple Star Wars or metal music was it spoke to us, and in my case, was a huge part of who I was back then. I can honestly say, like the roadies Mike Doughty mentions, I can’t help the uneasy sensitivity I feel to comments by the “outsiders” amongst us.

Great post Mike. I sincerely hope that I get a chance to meet you one day.

P.S. Jackson, we will get back to the greatest Aerosmith album debate in due time...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What's This New Fangled Internet Radio Thing...?

My long lost audio engineering friend Kevin Christopher sent me a link yesterday to Vault Radio ("The best radio never heard") and I clicked over this morning and have been rocking out all morning. Tons of great rare classic rock stuff.

They played a bluesy Elton John tune that I'd never heard before titled "Can I Put You On". After some serious digging, I discovered that it's from a soundtrack for a film he and Bernie did back in 1970 that's no longer in print. Forntunately for me, it's on a box set of his old, MUCH better, material and have made the purchase (yes capitalists, I bought the whole album, on CD no less).

This Vault Radio thing could mean a rise in stock price if this morning is any indication...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Call Out to Musician's...

You gotta go over and read Peter Case's last three blog posts about the music bidnis'. Very entertaining to say the least! The meeting with the publisher is priceless.

Something We Can All Get Behind...

Jackson commented recently on how upsetting it was seeing a dead doodle dog while lending a hand with clean up down in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. I got queazy just hearing him talk about it. No doubt many who didn't survive remained behind to care for their pets, a choice all of us would hate to have to make. Well, there's an effort afront to address this and Jazz at Running Scared runs it down in detail.

The bill passed in the House 329-34! No bullshit here, let's see if we can't get dialed in and make this thing happen. Make the call, send the e-mail, write the letter. A couple of asshats in Georgia are on the list of those opposing and they will hear from me. What do you say?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Green Alligators (con't)...

Very good multimedia photo essay here by Phil Zabriskie and Yuri Kozyrev of TIME Magazine on the increasingly dangerous situation in Afghanistan. The recent airstikes in the southern providences certainly indicate that coalition forces are stepping up efforts to counteract the Taliban insurgency. It would also appear that Michael Yon and his other colleagues are scooping the likes of the NYT and WAPO on this "Forgotten War".

The opium harvest continues to be the dark force in this extremely tricky situation. A quick synopses:

Afghanistan is about to harvest a bumper crop of opium from the seemingly endless amount of poppy fields growing just about anywhere water can be found in the country. Government supported alternative crop programs abound, but farmers are reluctant since so much more can be earned from growing poppy. That's the simply part of the problem and one that there are many solutions for, all of which take time and consistent focus, but should work in the long run.

The equally pressing part of the problem right now is related to the act of harvesting itself. Poppy pickers make a good wage in Afghanistan. So good that, when harvest time arrives, it's hard to find anybody to do any other work.

The wholesale revenue that will be reaped from this years poppy harvest will buy a lot of weapons and influence for the Taliban. Their other streams of revenue have been significantly cut off due to the efforts of the international community, so opium is their biggest cash cow.

Coalition forces have the ability to virtually eradicate the opium production in Afghanistan and came close to doing just that two years ago, so eliminating the problem at the source is not the issue, the back blast of what would result unfortunately is. Eliminating in one fell swoop a major source of income from so many who rely on the harvest, would put the public support for the Karzai government and coalition forces in severe jeopardy. At the same time, allowing the Taliban a major windfall to further embolden their forces is obviously a losing option as well.

This is not a partisan debate but rather a difficult predicament with huge consequences for Afghanistan, without even addressing the burden of tons of cheap heroin that will be hitting America’s and the rest of the world's streets in short order.

Given all these facts, the only option I see assuming nothing major changes soon, is to allow the harvest to be picked and put the alternative crop programs on the fast track. In addition, step up efforts in the Southern providences and along the Pakistan border, and prepare coalition forces to fight a better equipped army in the coming year. In my mind, losing the support of the general population at this critical period would be a more severe blow given the two options.

I also think this is where legitimate, albeit hindsight, criticism of our involvement in Iraq comes to bear since our ability to send more troops to shore up the trouble Afghanistan is squeezed.

Any other thoughts or ideas?

Monday, May 22, 2006

HBO's Baghdad ER...

I watched this last night before the Sopranos and Big Love. This is a well put together documentary about the day in the lives of those who man Baghdad's Green Zone ER.

Quick thoughts...

If you can get through the grisliness of it, one thing that cannot be denied is that the best people in the world are there in that hospital doing exceptional work. The professionalism the Army medical teams display is shocking in it's efficiency and effectiveness.

Soldiers who are brought in and are conscious are informed that they will be shipped to either Germany or Walter Reed and their first reaction is, "You mean I'm not going to return to my unit? Can't I just go back to my unit?" Amazing. Simply the best America has to offer.

Helicopter pilots are heroes of the highest magnitude. Michael Yon recently commented that if those in command of Helo jocks knew all of what these men and women do that is not approved or otherwise advisable when flying missions, they’d all be court marshaled. Helicopter pilots will ALWAYS go the extra mile no matter what whether it be providing cover fire, rescue operation, or medical evac and they prove it in this film. They are truly angels to all combat units.

Ultimately, the film takes the war to the human level. I have no objection to this at all. We need to be reminded of what is going on everyday in this war.

WARNING: This film is NOT for the faint of heart. As you might imagine, there are many graphic scenes of the worst nature. If you elect to watch it, prepare yourself for it.

You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive...

"In the deep dark hills above Eastern Kentucky
That's the place where I traced my bloodline
It was there I read on a hillside gravestone
You'll never leave Harlan alive..."

Tragedy and mining seem to go hand in hand these days.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ramadi rocks!

Since I can't link to streaming video I'll point you to Yoda Jackets post of this. Soldiers having some fun with the SNL "Cronicles of Narnia" rap bit. Very funny! A side observation, check out these guys karate skills. I'm glad they're on our side.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are Alligators Green?

I haven't really blogged much about a book I referenced in a couple of comments on other blogs going back a few months ago called "Stolen Valor" by BG Burkett. The author, a Vietnam vet himself, documents the history of misconception regarding Vietnam vets, the war they fought, and what the world has come to know them as. It is a well written, thoroughly researched, and carefully footnoted tome. Needless to say, what you read will shock you. Why? Because we are all conditioned thinkers, myself included, and conditioned thought is a tough nut to crack. Think you’re not a conditioned thinker? Ask yourself this, before I created the context, did you believe alligators to be green?

Michael Yon writes about this in his most recent post from Afghanistan. Yon grew up in Florida and in addition to being a student of all of nature’s creatures, he lived amongst gators all his life. Yon’s been in Afghanistan for a month now and his experience so far contradicts what we see in the MSM. He is very concerned about plans to begin drawing down US troops in the fall and having them replaced by UN forces. He points to a bumper crop of opium about to harvest as a big part of what he sees as a potential backslide into chaos there. This concerns me to no end because I place a great deal of faith in what Michael writes, and what he writes contradicts my perceptions up to this point. I must wrestle with my preconceptions and accept the reality. I think Donald Rumsfeld and the American people ought to do so as well. Yon is calling for the MSM to pay attention and asks them to dig deeper about the goings on in Afghanistan and I echo his thoughts. We have facilitated big positive changes there, but it will be all for not if we don’t pay attention to this “Forgotten War”.

We can ill afford to claim victory prematurely in Afghanistan and pull our troops out too early without giving the new government a chance to secure the country for themselves in both Iraq or Afghanistan. As Michael quotes Gen. Galloway as saying in an earlier post, “When U.N. troops start taking casualties, U.N. Troops go home…”. This is, after all, where the 9/11 bombing plot was hatched. Even the most dove minded amongst us should be behind this train of thought. Let’s not NOT learn something from the “Mission Accomplished” fiasco. Letting Afghanistan degenerate would simply be disastrous.

I’ll leave you with Yon’s final thoughts:

"Misunderstanding the nature of the beast is the root cause of a lot bad decisions. This “Green Gator Phenomena” applies to a lot current situations. For example, no matter what the press says, we are making tremendous progress in Iraq. And no matter what the press says, Afghanistan is a growing problem. Getting a lot of people to say otherwise won’t change the facts, but it might cause some to make bad decisions based on a totally wrong commonly held 'truth'.”

P.S. For those who don't read the linked post, alligators are actually black when they are wet, and gray when dry. Don't feel bad, I thought they were green too.

UPDATE: Operation 19th Hole...

Yoda and I have recieved some very promising feedback on our quest to collect golf gear for the troops. So far, the manager of our local Edwin Watts Golf Shop has pledged a bunch of stuff, the pro shop at Northwood Country Club has pledged some gear, and my fathers club, Flat Creek, should have some equipment for us to pick up this Saturday when we go down and play eighteen.

Anything anybody has that could be put to good use, please let us know.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Bruce Dickenson For Secratery Of State...

Two weeks ago, Jackson and I were sharing a couple of beers and watching an Iron Maiden video he’d purchased out in my back yard pavilion when the conversation turned to the Paul DiAnno/Bruce Dickenson contrast discussion. As we were running down our favorites by each, I commented that I was surprised that he’d never quoted the opening lyrics to “Revelations” to me during any of our world affairs discussions since they seemed so eerily prophetic to his point of view on the current state. Here’s the lyric:

"O God of Earth and Altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die,
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us
But take away our pride."

These words, brilliantly sung by Bruce Dickenson, were actually written by G.K. Chesterton as part of an English hymnal. Jackson reprinted them on Savage Distortion this week and an hour hasn’t gone by since I first read it yesterday that the tune hasn’t been playing in my head. Last night I pulled the album out and listened to it from beginning to end and would charge that perhaps Jackson’s position is represented by yet another lyric from “Die With Your Boots On”:

"Another Prophet of Disaster
Who says the ship is lost..."

If Jackson listened to the rest of “Revelations” he’d find these words which I find more suited to my feelings and again strangely prophetic:

Bind all of us together,
Ablaze with Hope and Free,
No storm or heavy weather
Will rock the boat you'll see.
The time has come to close your eyes
And still the wind and rain,
For the one who will be King
Is the Watcher in the Ring. It is you

The light of the Blind - you'll see,
The venom that tears my spine,
The Eyes of the Nile are opening - you'll see.

Nostradamus like ( I hope)…

Monday, May 15, 2006

Doing My Part...

Jackson wrote last week about how good it felt to do his part in a worthy cause and has inspired me to do the same.

While down in Florida golfing with the USMA grads last week, I got a chance to meet a grad who is sponsoring a most worthy cause. It's called Operation 19th Hole. The engineers in Iraq and Afghanistan have built a couple of driving ranges and putting greens for our troops to use to pass the time and stay tuned up while off duty. Talk to any soldier and he or she will tell you having activities to do other than watching crappy second run B movies while deployed to "The Suck" is a big morale boost. I was heartened when most all of the tournament prizes handed out at the awards dinner Saturday night were promptly donated to this cause. This was some top shelf gear too. Lot's of expensive drivers, putters, fairway woods, etc...

I wrote Yoda Jacket about it this morning with the idea that between me, him, my Dad, and my brother(s)-in-law we could come up with a ton of decent gear to send over and surely a ton of golf balls. Yoda Jacket and I are the country's greatest golf ball finders and have amassed a huge shag ball bucket. I also told him that I planned on stopping by a couple of golf retail stores to see what they might want to kick in. Needless to say, Yoda's on board. He took it a step further and is contacting a local radio show host to see if we can't get a mention on the air and has established an e-mail box for anybody interested in helping us and the troops out

If you've got any golf gear sitting idle out in your garage that could be put to use by our troops, or want to buy a box of balls for the cause PLEASE contact us. We'll be glad to make the donation process easy.

The USMA Golfing Grads...

Back in the land of the living. Had a great time in St. Augustine at the World Golf Village playing in the Golfing Grads tournament. I have to thank my Dad for welcoming me into his world of friends and memories. The men I played golf and broke bread with (not to mention a few beers) down there are truly the finest cut. I was the "youngster" amongst the Class of 62' team and took the opportunity to play Johnny cub reporter for IDM.

Lessons learned:

1. Old guys have to pee allot. Frequent stops to the club house, or slow play due to trips into alligator infested woods were the norm.

2. Old guys don't hear very well. While the graduates gathered for their class dinner, the noise level was deafening and we hadn't even started drinking yet. A quick look around and it became apparent that most of the men were wearing hearing aids. My roommates’ hearing aids actually served as my alarm clock. Hearing aids feedback when left out of the ear.

3. Old guys drive slow. Despite this, my Dad got pulled over at the Mayport Naval Station for an illegal U-turn. My brother in law, the retired general we were with, and I had a good laugh at my father's expense over this incident since I am the one who typically has the run-in's with MP's in our family.

4. These guys truly love each other. Some of the attendees hadn't seen one another since graduation and within minutes were laughing and enjoying each other as if they'd been next door neighbors for their entire lives. The bond created by their shared experience at West Point is really something else and quite enviable honestly. They went out of their way to include me and for that I am grateful.

We were able to play our round with my brother-in-law at the Mayport Naval Station as we had planned and he was a most excellent host. I'm am truly glad my sister married him. Other than the Navy thing, I consider him my flesh and blood brother.

My father and I contributed exactly ZERO points towards the class total, but despite our null set contribution, the class of 62' did walk away with a few awards for team play.

I don't know where I'll be next year, but if I'm invited, and my wife will let me go, the Golfing Grads can count me in.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Golf and Florida...

I will be heading down to the World Golf Village with my dad tomorrow morning to help the USMA Class of 1962 win the Association Of Graduates coveted tournament cup (a mess hall coffee cup from Sylvanus Thayer's era). I know you may find this hard to believe but, I'm feeling a little guilty making the trip and leaving my two women fending for themselves back home, especially since I'll be gone for Mothers Day.

The tournament is a first class event and should be a lot of fun. My father and I will be stopping in Mayport Florida tomorrow to play a round with my brother in law who’s a Chief Petty Officer assigned to the USS Doyle currently in port. We may even spend the night on the ship which will be cool.

I will try to get a post or two in while I’m down there if I can get on the internet. If not, have a good week and I’ll see you all Monday.

Letter to Bush from Ahmadinejad: "Let me tell you what you're doing wrong..."

I'm sure you've all read this, or are up to speed on it. Let's just say that when Iran holds a truly FREE election without disqualification of any cnadidates we'll let them be heard on the success or failures of democracy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

George Will and Chrispy: Two minds who think alike (okay, just this once)

George Will delivers a soundly centric piece in the latest issue of Newsweek regarding America's whiny consumer driven mindset. He uses the latest gas price hullabaloo to slap around the spoiled American consumption machine, and then takes aim at GOP elected officials for phonying up a “crisis” response to a market driven problem they all are surely well versed in.

I was reminded of it again when Chrispy commented with steely conviction to Fred Wilson and Bob Lefsetz indictment of Flea's condemnation of the theft and subsequent posting of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's upcoming album on the internet. You can read and link through here from A VC.

Chrispy first slays the giant capitalists with this David like rock:

"Flea's essential point was that he wants you to hear the music the way it was intended. This is completely legitimate, and I'm tired of people forgetting that, for the vast majority of musicians (and recording engineers) this career is not about money. It's about creating. Unfortunately, a lot of people have no understanding of this because they aren't creative, they are pure consumers. Now they can add nothing and take everything."

A direct target hit. He then finishes them off with this:

"Consumers are so caught up in having it "their way" that they've forgotten that they have no "right" to this music and no "right" to receive it the way they want. Until not long ago, the only music you could hear was performed live. If you couldn't play or go see someone play, tough. We've become so spoiled, so lazy, so quickly, that we forget that, for some of us, music (and sound) are sacred. It's not just another commodity or way to get rich. It's of an importance far deeper than someone like Bob can comprehend."

Game over.

It's fucking art people. Artists own it. Artists decide how they want it to be displayed and listened to and it has nothing to do with simple convenience. Lefsetz and Fred would have us believe that it's the evil record companies preventing our egocentric iPod generation from getting unfettered access to e-music, when in reality, artists and their labels have found a rare piece of common ground, even if their motives may differ. This is not and has never been solely a copy protection issue.

The album concept is something near and dear to recording artists. They are collections of songs written and recorded in most instances as a complete package. Occasionally, THEY will decide to release a single to be purchased on it's own. Perhaps labels are unilaterally driven by profit motive to keep the album concept as a mainstay. For me, it doesn't matter whether that's true or not. Artists seem to be weighing in and they are saying it will be them who decides how their art is “consumed". If that means you have to listen to an entire album, then so be it. Never killed anybody has it? If it means having to take an extra step to digitize it for all of your various playback devices, so be it. Buy the disc and do with it what you want. If they sit on shelf and are no longer of use to you, call me. I'd be glad to come collect them, open each one, throw it into my CD player, sit back, and listen.

UPDATE: Jackson weighs in here and he's angry my friends.

UPDATE II: It's getting bloody over in the A VC comments!

Go, you will find him there in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes...

Last week my dad was digging around up in the attic through boxes of documents that belonged to my grandparents and came across this:

When my daughter was born, I was typing e-mails on my cell phone with a portable keyboard. As soon as Katie arrived, out came everybody's cell phone.

A lot has changed in 40 years...

"You will die with a wimper..."

I was all for putting an end to this guys life, but really saw this sentencing phase as a win/win situation. Killing him would save the taxpayers of our country from having to feed his worthless face. On the other hand, he wants to die a martyr and subbing that for this would serve justice as well:

Once in prison, Moussaoui will be in lockdown for 23 hours of every day, with one hour of recreation daily. He'll also spend that one hour alone.

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said Moussaoui most likely will be locked up inside the federal Supermax prison facility in Florence, Colorado, which is sometimes known as the "Alcatraz in the Rockies.”

"It is a place of extraordinary security, 23 hours a day in cells, one hour of recreation," Toobin said. "It is as close to permanent solitary confinement as exists in our prison system."

There's no doubt that this guy has thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle of his trial, but I think now that it's over, the above outlined incarceration will be worse punishment than setting him on fire.

Good riddance and let’s not ever mention the guys name again.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

If you don't own this album or don't go out and buy it right away you're dumb...

Instead of copying A VC's Nuggets post, Jackson's always on target record reviews, and Chrispy's famous "The Best Ever" series (he needs to continue with the series, it was awesome), I've decided to start a series over here at IDM of my own. It’s called: If you don't own this album already, or don't go out and buy it right away you're dumb...

The inaugural feature is this:

I was actually turned onto this album by a guy who looked a lot like George “Lighting Licks” Johnson who happened to be the guitar player in my band. My affinity for this record is unusual considering, that during my heavy metal years, anything that wasn’t metal sucked in my mind.

These guys have a huge discography that I will slowly accumulate, but this was the one always found in most peoples album collections in the late 70’s and 80’s. This Quincy Jones produced disc is genius stuff. Mind blowing bass playing by Louis “Thunder Thumbs” Johnson. I almost forgot about it until I happened upon it by accident and had a copy sent next day air from Amazon.

Added plus for Hazmat and I, George Johnson is a fellow lefty.

As the title states, If you don't own this album already, or don't go out and buy it right away you're dumb...

Train Wreck

Holy Shit! $50 million dollars, last of three wives in jail for meth production and distribution, slumping game, etc...

I feel bad for the guy, but it's up to him at this point.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bazaball has bin berry berry gud to me...

Yoda Jacket makes a good case defending the game of baseball here. I agree with him completely. It might not be for everyone from a participation perspective, but I just can't see how anyone could NOT have a good time at a MLB game.

We were wondering where he was yesterday, certainly while I struggled to install our new all in one scanner/printer/copier. IT guys... Can't live with'em, would die a certain death without'em. Especially when they live next door.