Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Festivus Everybody!!!

As my buddy Yoda Jacket and John Cole have both pointed out, today begins the wonderful season that is Festivus. Since this blog is pretty much dedicated to airing of grievances 364 days of the year, I’ll abstain from taking active part in the first day of Festivus festivities and prepare to partake enthusiastically in the Feats of Strength and the Wrestling the Head of the Household (dad, you’re mine this year!).

I was actually pretty busy yesterday and was unable to draft the most excellent post I had worked up in my mind, but it looks like Poobomber beat me to it anyway. The new GNR record, OOPS!... I mean Axl’s solo record is pretty fucking awesome really. No, it’s not Appetite for Destruction and how could it be? That was a Guns and Roses record. Other than the ‘Lies’ follow up to Appetite, there really weren’t any other GNR records made. While the Illusion albums do have a few interesting highlights, they weren’t made with the original line up and dissolved into a double dose of Axl driven indulgence and disappointment. I don’t fault Axl’s ambition to write and record an epic, but not after your first album dude. Nope, ‘Chinese Democracy’ is not a GNR record, but that doesn’t at all make it a bad record by not being so. I read with interest everybody's reviews and waited for all the hoopla to die down before picking it up and do what I usually do when these trumpeted releases drop: stick it in the car player and listen to it for a week without analyzing it in the granular sense. After doing this, what I hear is a pretty damn good collection of songs performed passionately by Axl and the extensive cast of assembled players. Yes, I know he’s a freak, and he’s impossible to work with, and 13 years is an excessive amount of time to record a record, etc, etc… None of that factors into whether or not ‘Chinese Democracy’ is a good record or not.

My only complaint about this album is that it’s an obvious ProTools product. After MANY years debating internally and with all my music friends the issue of whether or not DAW (digital audio workstation) based recording has had an overall positive or negative impact on the recording arts, I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s been a bad thing mostly. Nobody tracks songs live anymore and I miss it. The art has suffered badly. This album could have been as big as Axl wanted it to be if he’d actually taken his meds, held a band together (didn’t have to be GNR), and recorded this material the traditional way. Despite this, the material is pretty damn solid and I’ve not taken it out of the player for 10 days or so.

It may take me awhile to read through all the liner notes and determine who played what on what though…

So, this is my last day of ‘work’ (and by that I mean hanging around blogging and Facebooking until my boss leaves) until like January 5th or something like that. Since it’s such an unusually long holiday break (most everybody here is off until the 5th too), one of my buddies here at work has agreed to, along with me,forgo shaving the entire two weeks and grow Stanley Cup beards. We’ll come back on that Monday looking like Muslim brothers. Good times.

Anywhoodle, It has certainly been a trying year for all of us and 2009 looks to be an even tougher one. I hope everyone makes a concerted effort to avoid watching the news and distract themselves enough to drink up the holiday spirit like I am. It’s been harder to do that this season, but I’m committed. Whether you actually believe in baby Jeebus or not, here’s wishing everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mathdude's Favorite Video...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh, the outrage! and other stuff...

- DHC pinged me with this story thinking it would be a good blog post (she's right of course), and I was immediately reminded that uber music blogger Beth and two other "friends" couldn't make it to my birthday gathering at the Mike Doughty show back in March because they had tickets to see the gawdy asshat that is Barry Manilow. In Dana's words...

"Apparently, a group of kids with cancer were scheduled to appear on the "Today" show on the same day as Barry Manilow was to appear. When the kids got to the studio, they were ushered to the "green room". Allegedly BM threw a hissy fit and told the Today show people to keep THOSE kids OUT. The kids were quickly ushered to a closed down food court with filthy bathrooms and no food where they waited for a long time to appear on the show. A mother of a cancer victim called the Today Show and Barry's rep to complain, and even joined the "Barry Manilow fan club" on line so she could post a comment about this to his "fanilows". She referenced her deceased daughter's website in the process. WELL...she got HATE COMMENTS from MANY "fanilows", both on the BM fan club site AND on the caring bridgesite.

It would be really sad, but here's the one that got EVERYONE going: a woman named Kaaren Radecki from Pittsburgh wrote a comment on caring bridge about how Barry "would never do something like this" and how he is such a "caring person" (and she knows this because...?). It gets better: she followed up with a threat (I paraphrase): "Because of your actions, I will never again watch Marlo Thomas's St. Jude Children's Hospital "phonymercials" and never ever give another dime to St. Jude's". SERIOUSLY??? All over Barry Manilow's HONOR??? OK, I don't know what's worse...that someone is wacky enough to actually post something like this on someone's cancer website, OR that there are still (and ever WERE) rabid Barry Manilow fans who worship him enough to actually POST hate mail on a cancer website when they think that their dear Barry was slighted???? If ANYONE seriously needs to get a life, it's THESE pathetic souls...!!!"

The internets seem to support the story. Puts him in contention for Douche of the Year for sure.

- This post pretty much satirizes my feelings on civil disobedience and activism. It's good to laugh at yourself once in a while, right?

- This past weekend, I was digging through some old stuff and found a list of students I studied art with in England during the summer of 1985. I immediately sat down and Googled my three roommates (one fellow American, one Brit, and one Russian) who were all top shelf individuals and enormous talents. My British roommate Peter Woodward was by far the most talented guy I ever had the chance to know personally and it was great to actually track him down. It is obvious that his considerable talent has carried him far. I hope to pick up one of his works in the new year. You should too.

- Lastly, because it's badass...

Friday, December 12, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming....

When I got back from lunch today I was made aware of two firings: One deserved the other not. Unfortunately, I discovered a message in my in box notifying us that 30 MORE co-workers were going to be let go next month. What. a. fucking. nightmare. So far I've yet to find out who these folks are specifically, but it's hard to hear this kind of news since we're just sort of coming to terms with the last round of layoffs and some of those folks are actually still here through next week. I WILL be drinking heavily this weekend.

Directly under that ominous message in my inbox was another from my father with a link to a story at Go Army Sports dot com reporting that Stan Brock, Army's football coach of the past two seasons, the one I've been directing a shit ton of ire at these last few months, has been fired. I feel for him and his family personally, but needless to say, the guy had to go. It'll be up to AD Kevin Anderson to conduct a REAL search for his replacement. Someone who knows academy football and the option offense. This article leaves out Charlie Taffe's name, but it's a great list nonetheless.

I wish I had it in me to be witty and snarky right now, but I just don't. The little bit of cheerfulness I've got left I must save for my gals when I get home. Have a good weekend and hopefully next week will be a better one, right?

Friday, December 05, 2008

It's that time of year again...

Click play on the Old Grad Voki Avatar for a special message!!!


Thursday, December 04, 2008


Since everyone is tired of hearing me gripe about this fucking cold that won’t go away, I’ll gripe about something else for awhile. Actually, I’ll refrain for just a minute to thank the good Doctor’s Huck Tater and Mini Mozart for inviting me up to Decatur this past Sunday to catch up with them. MM and his lovely lass have built themselves quite a life in the happening section of Atlanta. Both are bringing the enlightenment of education to lucky few who have them as teachers, elementary, undergrad, or post grad. Huck is equally happy doing good work out West applying his vast knowledge and mastery of the environmental and biological arts. Two guys who actually apply their confirmed and bountiful degrees in their chosen careers. What a concept. Quite enviable too.

Back to the griping… What the fuck is the City of Atlanta even “Brainstorming” about, let alone considering, building a new dome for the Falcons? Atlanta is about to appeal to the Fed for relief from it’s colossal budget shortfall and we’re talking about building a new dome?! The only saving grace is that there is a better chance that K-Fed will reconcile with Brittany than this idiotic idea ever seeing the light of day. I love Arthur Blank and the Falcons, but if they want a new dome, they can pay for it themselves. Not a PENNY of taxpayer dollars goes towards this thing. Hell, they played their first season in the thing back in 1992!

Anyway… I’ve got to go blow my nose.