30 November, 2006

Next on our slow news day, a parakeet saves a baby from eating a lightbulb

Penn Law of all places is where I heard one of the most honest and insightful takes on lawyers. For the purpose of this post, I am going to use this bit of wit in a context removed from the halls of academia. To set up the story, the scene was the two-day symposium on global warming. The speaker was a law professor (not from Penn), whose specialty is corporate law, and yet he was speaking on the scientific aspects of global warming.

At the tail end of his presentation, he leaned back and smiled.

“You know what’s interesting about being a lawyer?” he asked. “Lawyers seem to have this notion that they can do anything and comment on anything, simply because they have a law degree. This is, of course, not the case at all. However, most of the public seems to trust lawyers to comment on just those things, following them despite no real reason to do so. That’s why I still have a job.”

Cut to Michael Jordan in a Birmingham Barons uni swinging wildly at a weak changeup. Cut to Isiah Thomas on the sideline, head-in-hands after final game in a 65-loss Knicks season. Cut to Dennis Rodman.

I love the round-the-clock coverage of everything the internet provides. Conversely, I really detest the rumor mill and slow news day dregs that are posted for the sake of having content. There isn’t much of this posting for the sake of posting going on at major news and technology sites; the practice seems almost exclusive to the sports world.

Coupled with this need for ‘news’ is the fact that athletes exist on their pedestals, and sometimes we forget that they are professionals in their given sport because they’re good at what they do. Granted there are the Bo Jacksons and Deion Sanders’ of the world, but they are exceptions rather than the norm. This creates an environment of wild speculation and some altogether ridiculous ideas.

Here are three recent examples, with commentary on each. Though none is very likely, the listing goes from least to most viable.

Rumors surfaced that Tom Izzo, coach of the Michigan State men’s basketball team, was a candidate to take over the job of Michigan State football coach. A recent statement by Izzo squelched those rumors.

Seriously? Sure, the guy is a decent coach, but managing a field of players as opposed to just five on the court could be, you know, challenging. I rolled my eyes hard enough to bruise my optic nerve at this idea. Good thing, because so did Tom Izzo.

An article on ESPN.com theorized that LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers Tailback, might make a better quarterback than many QB’s currently serving as NFL starters.

The guy has 10 passes this season. Give him a few more, you know like two or three in a row, and see how well he does. He’s a back, but not of the quarter variety. The reason he’s successful throwing the ball is that he runs so well (it’s kind of his position and all). If teams thought he was going to throw primarily, he’d start quickly going the way of Michael Vick.

Another article on ESPN.com made light of the fact that fallen-from-grace sprinter Justin Gatlin worked out with the NFL fresh/soph equivalent Houston Texans, and speculated that he may be joining the team.

You know that scene in Forrest Gump where he ran straight downfield and scored the TD? Yeah that never works. Has Gatlin ever had to juke in the middle of a 100m sprint? Don’t think so. He’s never even had to turn his head to look for a ball. With pads and a helmet, and a handful of bigger dudes trying to break him. Yeah, in 10th grade he did. Dude’s 24, not 16.

So yeah, none of these will happen, but ain’t speculation fun?

In the next post: Why I find certain Disney characters severely disturbing.

28 November, 2006

The weekend is looking up

The Ravens are on Thursday night football this week. That's awesome, but not really the point of this post. This Friday, Dec. 1, is going to be great (here's hoping). I'm working my hours at Penn this week so I can have Friday off. Not that I don't do that usually, but this week I need to get up before noon. I found out that The Slip is playing a free show at the Electric Factory at noon for WXPN. I RSVP'd on the stations website, and I plan to getting there real early to make damn sure I get in. Then later that night, I am going to see them play AGAIN at the Electric Factory, opening up for My Morning Jacket. Not that I like MMJ, but still.

That's right, I'm seeing The Slip twice in one day. If all goes well I'm going to record both shows. Apparently the afternoon session (slated for 45 minutes) is going to be up on npr and the WXPN site. My digital recorder does surprisingly well in live music situations, so if it turns out well I'll put it up somewhere online.

If anyone wants to go with me to the afternoon show, let me know. I think you still have to RSVP or risk not getting in, though.

I think I'll head to Bel Air on Sunday, just for the day. I want to pick up a few things, notably some camping accessories and the little space heater for the bedroom.

Sidenote, is anyone else shocked that Dallas released Mike Vandermahoven? Bill Parcells is out of his mind. He's also gotten a lot fatter this year. Seriously though, I know the guy is 36, but come on, you signed him for a ton of money. He's having the worst year of his career, which is surely still better than Martin Grammatica. No seriously.

"It was an upbeat meeting," said NY Giants center Shaun O'Hara about a Monday players-only meeting. "It was a good meeting. It was just what we needed."

I'm assuming that when he said upbeat, he meant that the team took turns beating the defensive line with a sack of oranges.

27 November, 2006

Catchy jingle, shiesty service

After the denial for a credit card through Citizens Bank came in the mail, I signed up with freecreditreport.com to run a check on my credit. I wanted to know just why I was denied, and I figured it had something to do with my lack of credit to this point in my life.

I've accrued some 'credit' as it were, from having bills in my name and having a clean banking record with both Citizens and Wachovia, and my credit score seemed pretty decent. I know I should have a credit card, I was trying to get one, and I plan to continue my efforts to that extent.

However, I found out shortly after signing up that freecreditreport.com is something of a huge scam, wherein they give you a month for free and then charge you $80 for a year of monitoring. Also, it is really hard to cancel, as there is no real information on their site that leads you directly to a page where you can cancel or a number to call.

After some quick searching online, I found that there are hosts of people who have fallen afoul of this scam as well. I also found that they got in a bit of trouble with the FTC over their practices. I also found the address and number to their office in California, which I called this afternoon. I have only been signed up for two weeks, so there shouldn't be any charges on my card.

For anyone who was, is, or is thinking about signing up for that service, the address and number to cancel are here:

One City Blvd. Suite 401
Orange, Ca, 92868
Phone: (888) 888-8553,
Fax: (978) 978-0059

If that doesn't work try calling the Garden City Group at (888) 988-2229

The umbrella company may have signed you up under any one or more of the following smaller companies: CIC Credit Monitor SVC; Consumer Info; Consumer Information; creditmatters.com; freecreditreport.com; homeradar.com; I Place; I Play Innings; QSpace.com

That means if you've signed up with any of those companies and don't cancel now or sooner, you will be in a world of shit in terms of ever seeing your money again.

When I called I only waited on hold for a few minutes before being connected to an operator somewhere in India. Despite having to transfer twice, the whole cancellation process took under 7 minutes. Good time, considering that it took weeks to cancel Verizon services. The uplifting aspect of the whole process is that the operator said she was going to put me on hold for a minute while the cancellation was processed. I was sitting at my computer at the time, and while I was on hold, I received an e-mail saying that the triple advantage credit monitoring service was sad to see me go. Seconds later the operator returned, said my account had been canceled, and did I have any further questions. Kind of neat.

Now, if charges pop up on my card, even so much as a single penny, I will rescind this whole post and embark on what will surely be a series of irate phone calls. Until that time though, I found that the whole service was fairly easy to cancel. Not that they make it that way, but a few minutes of internet digging led me to an easy route.

I still don't have a credit card, though. Oh well.

There is nothing like spending your early evening reading through credit horror stories. No, seriously. Would I lie?

Thanksgiving was nice, no need to hash over the details. I can’t pick out a single moment when I was not full or on the brink of being full. That’s what the holidays are for. Gwen’s house was relaxing, and it was nice to see James and Glenn (as well as a smattering of other MM’s from camp.) I really do wish I could work next summer. If I am still jobless (full-time, anyway) and idle come May, we’ll see…

22 November, 2006

Enjoy your holiday

Print this out and give it to someone you love. Or anyone. Thanks Maddox!


21 November, 2006

Eff Pith

I feel listless. I go to work at Penn, which is wholly unsatisfying in itself. I do freelance work here and there. Nevertheless, I don't feel satisfied with it, the job or the freelance writing. I hate writing stuff that is 250-300 words. I wish I could work on something longer, 1,000+ words at minimum. Something that isn't "pithy and to the point." I hate pithy. I can do it, but I don't like it.

I really would like to write some longer pieces that require more than one interview; something requiring research. I'm not saying I want to write for the Sunday New York Times (although I'm sure they pay well). I remember writing the cover piece on R5 for Origivation; how satisfying it was to write an article longer than a page. Sure, it was for a newsprint mag, and ultimately was read by maybe 20 people, but it's still satisfying. Writing for the Citypaper is great, and I get some steady work from them, but I hate having to boil things down so much. That's the way it goes freelancing; you take what you can get.

Part of the reason I feel so off lately is that I miss the outdoors. I spend so much time outside during the summer, away from TV, cars, and everything post 1910. From late August, though, that crap is overwhelming, especially living in the city. I love television, but I hate that when it's on I can't ignore it. I love riding my bike to work, but I still have a car and bitch about finding parking. The upstairs neighbors play music all night, and sometimes it's hard to get to sleep.

What I'm getting at is that I really want to go backpacking or something for a weekend. It isn't too far to the Pine Barrens in NJ, which are nice. I would also love heading to Dolly Sods in West Virginia; it's beautiful in the pre-winter cold, and the trails really aren't hard. There is a section of the Appalachian Trail not too far from Philadelphia, and there is a round trip loop, thus no backtracking. It's only 10 miles, an easy hike for one day. I'd love to take a longer trip though, like Friday Night/Saturday morning-Sunday evening. Take along some steak and potatoes to cook on a fire. That would be great. I think Gwen mentioned going hiking about a month ago, so we'll see. Can't go alone, you know.

Cold be damned, I need to get outside at some point. I think the two people with whom I am doing the C.O.P.E. weekends this spring (more on that later) mentioned going to the camp where the weekends will be held sometime soon. That would be awesome.

I was thinking about playing racquetball again, too. I found out there is a YMCA on Arch street that, apparently, has a court or two. Before any of this comes to fruition, though, I need to go to Md. and get my racquetball things, as well as my backpacking equiptment.

Survivorman influenced this post, by the way. Damn you Les Stroud. I love that show.

13 November, 2006

At least it's not the BSoD...yet

If you get the reference in the title, you know where this post is going. If not, refer to this Wikipedia page before continuing. This is also a tech update for my own mental health. I don't profess to be the best at computers, but I can hold my own with most problems that arise. That said...

...if you ever see this screen pop up on your computer, let me know. Here's why:

This evening I wanted to do some work and write an article or two. Instead, I think I may have irritated the neighbors. You see, my computer fell victim to a host of problems. First a Trojan from the Virusbursters program (an anti-virus program nonetheless) found its way onto my computer, and a good one at that. I was at a tech website and an embedded video indicated that I needed a new codec to play it. Normally I ignore these things, but I just downloaded the new version of Windows Media Player, so I figured it needed updates that I hadn't acquired yet.

Immediately two new buttons appeared on my bottom right toolbar, with a relentless balloon that informed me that my computer was infected with a Trojan and I needed to buy the full version of Virusbrusters to get rid of it. Great. A poorly contrived, pixelated windows update graphic accompanied the balloon. My first though: Fuck. I need more coffee.

Let me break that down simply: Virusbusters installed a fucking Trojan on my system. The purpose? To get me to buy a program to get rid of Trojans. If I ever, and I mean ever, find the sick fuck who made this program, I will beat the shit out of him/her with the brake lock from the trunk of my car.

Anyhow, I didn't do the bright thing and just revert to a system restore point that I had set about 5 minutes prior after finishing my mild weekly cleaning of my hard drive via spybot, adware, etc. and defrag. No, of course I had to go and fix things myself.

So I found a McAfee thread on their message boards (my favorite source for tech fixes) and after an hour of tinkering, removed all remnants of the bastard from my system. I hate deleting .dll files and altering things in my system folder, but this time it was met with success.

Of course I restart in safe mode sans networking, run my virus scanners, spyware programs and the lot, and a program I found on that same forum posting to ensure a drive free of Virusbursters. Phew. Trouble averted.

I muddle around on the internet, and then I figure hey, I haven't updated Windows in a while, and I bet there is some sort of security update that may have dealt with this problem. I should download their updates and if there is a scrap of crap on my hard drive, it'll find it, right? and answer to that seemingly rhetorical question is of course, FUCKING WRONG.

I update windows, and restart my computer (per instructions.) Even before the logon screen pops up, something is clearly wrong. My mouse cursor is a third the size of my monitor. Then my logon screen came up. It was splotchy. And 800x600 resolution. And PINK. I, of course, screamed a string of obscenities, sending Millie and Walter to the rear of the apartment and surely disturbing the upstairs neighbors from their bowling or tap dancing or whatever the fuck they are doing up there for a moment or so.

So I type my password, and enter into the world of shit that is (was) my computer. Half of the programs are gone. The display driver is nowhere to be found. In fact, the graphics card isn't even running correctly, I find. Great. I think back to moments before, when I had chosen to update Windows, in particular when I decided I would get an update to my graphics driver. And Internet explorer. Hmm.

I started to download the drivers again, and prepare a tumbler of the only liquor in the house (Hennessy, of course), and settle in. Then I think to myself "wait a second... This is ridiculous."

I head to my system restore points, select the point which I had set only hours earlier, and click. My computer whirs down, and hums back up again. Lo and behold, everything is the way it was when I walked in the door from work this afternoon.

I've turned windows update off. Yes, I realize that this was all a product of my own stupidity, but if I were using a Mac or running Linux, the seed of the Trojan wouldn't have run on my computer.

If you want to buy me a Mac, see my e-mail address in the sidebar. I also accept monetary donations.

And I'm serious about the brake lock.

The word moist makes me feel awkward

While riding the 20+ blocks to work on my bike in the pouring rain this morning, I thought about how I will be sitting in my wet pants and shoes for most of the day(corduroys=the worst), and how I will forget to put a bag over my seat so it will be soaked on the ride home(true), and (after I check weather.com when I arrive to work) how I am definitely going to have to ride home in the rain. I think about these things every time it rains, and think "why the hell am I doing this and, alternately, do I really need this?" The answer is, of course, yes. It pays my rent and bills. My soggy corduroys will remain thus until I find a job to which riding my bike becomes impractical.

I enjoy riding my bike, it's just a pretty silly way to get to work in the rain. I could always drive, but I would have to pay for parking when I got to Penn, and then I would have to find a spot when I got home. Both ends of that situation disagree with me, so I prefer to just be slightly damp all day. I'm sure it's better for my health anyway. The riding, not being perpetually damp. It is high time for some ingenuity. I'll need two large umbrellas, some twine, and about 20 minutes.

Below is a candid picture someone took of me riding to work this morning:

Went to the North Star Bar last night for a show. I haven't been to see live music in so long, and I worked for most of the weekend, and needed to do something to get out of the apartment. Seriously, after sitting at my computer for hours, the last thing I want to do is turn around and sit in front of the TV (most of the time, anyway).

The shows headliner was Zox, a melodic but upbeat American Eagle meets reggae meets Yellowcard. Yeah, that sounds awful, I know, but it's really kind of an interesting mix, especially live. I balk at saying they're good musicians, save for Spencer Swain. He's simply disgusting on the electric violin, playing it like a guitar at times. I was kind of disappointed in their setlist, since I am familiar with their older stuff almost exclusively. They played three older songs, but their set was lacking their brilliant cover of Pachelbel's Canon in D (heard live here) as well as Butterfly, another of my favorites. However, the show was really decent altogether. Their energy on stage is palpable, and even playing songs I'd heard only once, I definitely got into the music.

HOWEVER, the two acts that opened, Tally Hall and Parker House & Theory, were worth the price of admission. I generally will not like a band upon hearing their live stuff before hearing a recording, but for both of these bands, that did not hold true. If I had the cash on me I would have picked up both of their CD's (also it would have helped if their CD's were not more than the cost of admission to the show).

Tally Hall looks like an amalgamation of BYU dropouts and the guys from Office Space. Of course, their music sounds like Sublime meets They Might Be Giants and the Bloodhound Gang. Only they don't suck like the Bloodhound Gang. Very crisp, but quirky. And yeah, they wear the ties and shirtsleeves onstage. It's what's called a 'shtick.'

Parker House & Theory sounds like Blues Traveler revisited. They're amazing, and the dude Andy who plays the keyboard, piano and harmonica is sick. He can bend notes on the harp further than I've heard (live) before. Not that I've heard much harmonica playing live, I'm just sayin'.

I've been listening to the new album, Eisenhower, from The Slip pretty much nonstop all weekend. Pretty good, much more studio-sounding, less of the jam-rock feel of past albums. Seeing them live on Dec. 1 is going to be pretty fantastic. I'm going to record the show if I can, simply for my own purposes.

James: there are a ton of live Mike Doughty recordings posted here. Thought you might want to know. In fact, for anyone interested, there are a ton of live recordings from lots of artists here.

The only person still reading this is Paul Tsikitas. Even he probably left me somewhere around the third paragraph.

Since I lead such an exciting life, my mission today is a second cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee from Bucks County. It's that good.

09 November, 2006

She makes ice seem so... tropical

The security desk receptionist at Penn is a frosty cold woman. I'll start at the beginning...

So when I started working here, I didn't have a Penn ID card. I still don't, and never will (which is more than annoying on several levels, this being only one of them.) So every day I have to sign in at the security desk and engage in a cat-and-mouse question and answer session, in which she attempts to find out what I'm 'really doing here.' For the first two weeks this session lasted about 5-7 minutes on a daily basis, despite my boss coming down on the first two days (at her bequest, none the less) and explaining that I do indeed work there and to please just let me through.

She continued this for almost two full weeks, asking for my name, phone number and ID every single day. EVERY DAY. So finally she acquiesced to just letting me sign in and show her photo ID every day. As if one day she might catch me using another ID or something and have reason to deny me admittance to the building. Who knows, I might steal something from the library. Of course, there's a security guard there, too, who always asks for my ID as well.

As I was coming in this morning, there was a couple standing at the desk. They had been in line in front of me at the coffee shop minutes before, and I knew that he is a student here, but that she goes somewhere in upstate NY and was down for the extended weekend to visit. He is a 1L, and wanted to show her around the school, I guess.

So they're in front of me at the desk. The girl is rooting through her jacket pocket, obviously looking for ID. I can almost hear desk guards thoughts. Something along the lines of "OH HELL NO." The girl had several credit cards, a napkin, some hair ties and other assorted things spread on the counter, but no ID.

She explained to the guard that she had been robbed only last night (details at right), and hadn't had time to get a new license, so she was looking for her student ID. Apparently the credit cards and assorted other nonsense weren't in the wallet at the time. She found it, apparently, and handed it to the guard. The guard looked at it, glanced up at the girl and shook her head.

She didn't let her in because the ID didn't have a birth date. It's a photo ID for fuck's sake, isn't that what you need? The girl came to Philadelphia, got robbed only hours ago, and this overzealous guard won't let her in when she has a photo ID? Incredible. Couple all that with the fact that I say hi and ask her how she is doing twice daily and she has not once even acknowledged that I posed a question, or my existence beyond querying me regularly on my motives for entering the building, and you get a recipe for small divergences from what's expected.

I've started writing different names in the guest log, by the way, and she has yet to notice. You'd think someone so damn security conscious would check those logs after grilling people for 5 minutes about who they are, but whatever.

Fergie (of the Black Eyed Peas) was at Penn Law yesterday. It says so in the log. Jack Del Rio is visiting on Monday, I believe.

People taste like Bacon. Which is awesome, because bacon rules.

08 November, 2006

Nancy Pelosi isn't a man(!), although her stance on gay rights leaves one to wonder...

I don't delve much into politics, although when I do read the occasional political article I understand what's going on. Unlike, say, a woman in my office this morning who I overheard talking about how "those awful republicans are out" and how she thinks it's "important to understand all the issues and candidates thoroughly before voting." Then she said that Nancy was an odd name for a guy. She was talking about Nancy Pelosi, of course, who is not, in fact, male. She's the first female speaker of the house for fucks sake, pictured at left (hint: she's the one in the middle waving.) Talk about being informed. Oh, and she also divulged this pearl of wisdom to whomever she was speaking to: "The house and the Senate aren't the same thing as Congress." Thanks.

I was cracking up every time they said the words "Situation Room" on CNN last night because all I could think of was 24. Also, the words 'blog' and 'blogosphere' no longer have meaning for me. That happens when you hear they constantly, over and over, for hours, out of the mouth of Wolf Blitzer (best name on TV). I suppose that the group of 'bloggers' that CNN assembled together did kind of resemble CTU, only much nerdier and without guns. Also, there was a Warren Zevon reference tossed out last night by the old guy sitting next to James Carvell. Score.

My favorite part of the storm of election coverage which was rained on my inbox, my desk and through just about every other media medium, is the humble, "can't we all just get along?" attitude adopted by the Republican party members.

Two years ago when Bush was re-elected and the Republicans held the majority over all branches of the government, it was seen as a referendum by the party to engage in the equivalent of political playtime, claiming "a mandate to shape both foreign and domestic policy and set out to establish long-term dominance for the Republican Party."

Obviously that didn't turn out too well.

According to a NYT article,
"Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke of trying to move the debate on important issues out of the partisan political arena during an appearance on Fox News.

Drawing comparisons with World War II, he said the “threat of Islamic fascism” was neither “a Republican threat nor a Democratic threat” and that there was “no reason we can’t work on a bipartisan basis on an issue like that.”
Yeah, you mean the partisanship created by the Republican party when they thought, collectively, that they would be hold that majority for much longer than two years? How about the Democrats just spend the next two years fixing the foibles of the past 12, hmm? Okay cool. Fuck you and your olive branch.

Political Ads are funny... and scary. I don't like that the tactic on both sides is to say the most damaging thing about the opponent, truth be damned. It sticks in the mind of the voters and won't easily be shaken by, say, a retraction or apology. That's fucked. I think people that run outright lies such as this one. Every single person there is an actor, who has never met Harold Ford Jr., and yet there is no indication of that. The whole fucking ad is a lie. That is unbelievable.

In my favorite quote from today, in a completely unrelated article about the MTV show Laguna Beach: The OC, Jennifer Steinhauer writes "Anyone out of high school forced to watch more than an hour of “Laguna Beach” might possibly feel the urge to beat themselves about the head with a large stick." (NY Times, 8 Nov. '06)

Speaking of the New York Times, which I have obviously been reading, I've now finished the crossword for almost two weeks steady. I rule.

Sweet (real) picture of Saturn eclipsing the sun looking back into the Solar System. Check out the outer ring, right around the 10 o'clock position. That small glowing dot is earth.

06 November, 2006

I do not believe what I said when I said that this man was not on drugs.

You really shouldn't listen to any Frank Zappa recording if you want to get any semblance of work accomplished. The chance to get caught up in one of those "what the hell did he just say?" moments is simply to great.

Then, of course, you have to Google pictures of Frank Zappa that perfectly illustrate those lyrical moments. See for reference the picture at left, found on the MySpace page of Miss Hightimes 2006 (true royal status unknown). Exactly.

I wish I knew how to play the tin whistle so bad. I know, I'm sure it's simple enough to learn and all. It's so annoying on its own though, and I'm sure the learning curve on such an instrument would scare Millie half to death.

Nov. 4 was the two year anniversary of my gmail usage. In that span I can't even begin to imagine the countless e-mails, nor the estimated repair costs I would accrue from banging my head against the wall if I had to go back to using any other e-mail program.

Bucks County Coffee had the Irish Cream roast this morning, which always makes me really happy. Yesterday it was Swiss Chocolate, and last Thursday (I don't go there on Friday) it was Chocolate Rasberry. Is it just me, or is there something weird about having chocolate and or fruit in your coffee? I think it's gross to have too much going on, I'd really rather just have a really good cup of darkly roasted coffee, French Pressed without cream.

I'm keeping busy with things this week, work-wise. I also need to get a new tire for my bike. I have had to ride the old one to work these past two days, and while it's fun to ride sometimes, it kind of makes me think of a car you know is going to die at any moment but you keep driving it anyway. The chain slips even after tensioning, the internal gears are going up and need grease, the brakes need adjusting (new wiring), as does the gear shift, and the fromt hub needs to be replaced. I still kind of like the bike, though, despite all it's misgivings. Still, the new bike I have is really fast, and I get to work quicker.

Riding this old bike, I feel like I'm in that scene from Wedding Crashers where Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams are riding bikes at her fathers place in Annapolis, with that Mungo Jerry song "In the Summertime" playing. Except that it's not summer, I'm freezing and my bike sucks.

Tejas Style...

Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is pissed that Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)
"ate the last fucking Motz stick on Capitol Hill."
Now what the hell is the Senator supposed to eat
for lunch? Damn Frist...

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day. While I don't maintain any sort of distinct, clear cut political opinion (I'm pretty much a very moderate Republican), I still think that the ideas in this editorial from the Nov. 5 New York Times hit things just about perfectly on the head.

Who knows, I may even go vote tomorrow if I can get to the polling place in the Manor at Ogontz & Olney in time, since I forgot to re-register with my current address. I'm an idiot. I love that after only a few weeks into his term, grizzled old Bob Kerrey, then Senator from Nebraska, was quoted as saying "Santorum, that's Latin for asshole." He may be old, but he's still sharp, that Kerrey.

I may not know too much about politics, but I know that Rick Santorum is a vicious asshole, bigot, homophobe, racist and one of my all around favorite characters in the Senate. I love the fact that he's such a loose cannon, because it always makes for a good laugh when he speaks "with authority" on anything.

I love reading sports prediction columns again after the game has already happened. I read Bill Simmons' column this morning, and his ire at the Colts seems more like a kid banging his fists against the wall than someone bring up salient points. I suppose that's the problem with sports columns, in that they're so transitory.

Seriously though, more one-hit wonder songs. Go!

Weekend's worth of writing

If you get the chance, head over to the MySpace page for the band The Tressels (or here, alternately) and listen to the songs they have up there. Really good band, great new self-recorded and released album out now. There's a review of it up on the Wonkavision site (or at least there will be soon) written by moi.

Speaking of Wonkavision, I've been doing some reviews each week for them, the link on the sidebar should take you right to it. I'm also writing for the magazine. In what other job do you get to review a line of products called Fuzzyballs and Gwar toys in the same weekend?

The Piebald album Barely Legal / All Ages is really effing amazing. I just listened to it for the first time in a long time.

Another weekend has come and gone, and I think the last remnants of warm weather have finally passed. Yeah, watch it be like 67 this week. I'm sure it will be. Global warming: still a myth. Anyhow, this weekend was fairly uneventful. I did get a lot of work done, though, but there is still a pile of it to get done. I find a newfound appreciation for the brew known as UFO, though. I know James loves it, and for good reason. I've had it before, but on Friday it hit my pallet in just the right way. Very good beer. I also did laundry. Gwen and I threw down 6 loads at the laundromat in just over an hour. Success!

Speaking of Gwen, I love that she falls asleep on the couch almost every night while I am working. I wish I could fall asleep like that. It seems to easy, she just slumps over into a deep sleep, peaceful and oblivious to any music or noise I may make. Must be nice. She and Millie both have that uncanny ability. I feel like the odd man out (appropriately so, I guess).

Find some time in your schedule to see that movie "Totally Awesome" that VH1 will be showing almost constantly for the next few weeks. I managed to watch it twice this weekend alone. Really funny. I don't think there are many people who could pick out all the shitty movie references (except Drew and Drew, perhaps).

I also found a program that submits songs I play on my ipod to last.fm, so my profile there will be a much more accurate reflection on my listening habits. Not like anyone except for record execs and gigantic musical dorks gets anything out of that site, anyhow. I just like being able to see what I listened to in, say, August of last year. Pretty much the same thing I listne to now, I'm just saying...


Keep the suggestions for the second singles from one-hit wonder albums coming. The idea was not just to name artists, but also to name actual songs from albums. Take, for example, the song "Treehouse" from Nada Surf's High/Low album. Great song, could definitely have been a single if it weren't for the ironic one-hit wonder status of their song "Popular."

I CAN NOT stop watching the videos from this site. Absolutely amazing. Nobody ever believes me when I tell them this thing exists. When I told Paul from Yawgoog at the beginning of the summer about it he said it couldn't be done. He called me a few weeks back to tell me that he saw one in the store and that it does indeed work. Again, it's freaking amazing.


01 November, 2006

Musical Commentary Requested

I love one-hit albums. To that end, I've been thinking about what the 'Best (proposed) Second Singles from a One Hit Wonder album' could be. There are a lot of bands that are technically one hit wonders, from the music of my days alone, but I guess what I'm asking is what bands didn't desere to end up that way? I'd like ask any readers to throw their suggestions into the comments, and see what we can come up with. Paul, Stev, Drew, I know you guys will probably have something. They don't have to be actual second singles (which flopped, obviously) but they can be.

Here's a short list of folks or bands who had one and only one a single hit that I know of, that I could think of off the top of my head.
Modern English
Lisa Loeb
Nada Surf
Del Amitri
Spin Doctors
The Buggles
Tommy Tutone
Timbuk 3
Meredith Brooks
...Let's hear it.

There are two Supreme Court justices from Trenton New Jersey. Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito Jr. The other justices are from places widely spread around the United States: Melrose Ma, Sacramento, Ca, Pin Point (Savannah), Ga. But there are TWO, from the same shitty city in the same shitty state. Wonder of wonders.

Let's play a game, it's called 'what's in the box on the left?' Hint: It's not canned goods, cash, or anything that's actually helpful. I detest U2. Bono, and the whole band, seems two-faced. I've always thought that if you're going to get into music for the money, say so. Don't put a veil of altruism over your own greed. Anyhow, I love reading things like this. They make me feel validated in my opinion of the band as a whole. Also, their music has turned into complete crap. As I was writing this post I was listening to the Joshua Tree album. I really do like this album (and most of their early work), I just hate the political agenda that's been slathered over everything they do as a band now. As a sidenote, the song 'Bullet the Blue Sky' sounds like the entire Sixteen Stone album by Bush.

In no particular order, here is a list of albums I have been listening to and enjoying lately:
Passion 'The Fierce Urgency of Now'
Regina Spektor 'Begin to Hope'
Hellogoodbye 'Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!'
One Dead Three Wounded 'Moving Units'
Nirvana 'Unplugged in New York'
Norma Jean 'Redeemer'
Blues Traveler 'Four'
Bob Dylan 'Banjo Tape / NYC Town Hall'

I've been reviewing music for Wonkavision's new reviews website. Check it out weekly. Mediocrity ho!

And finally, here's a list of the lists in this blog:
One hit wonders,
Supreme Court Judge Hometowns,
Why I don't like U2,
Albums I've been listening to,
This list