Wednesday, May 31, 2006

TODAY I AM A (very old) MAN.


Well I made it. Today is my 30th birthday, I am now officially old.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Top 50: 41-50. Redux

When I first started this blog, I used some of my old material to keep myself at it each day. I got 5 days of posts out of my favorite of all my lists. I have lists of top movies, of top songs in a year and of course my top 5 famous people I can sleep with list. But my all time favorite list is by far my Top 50 songs. This is my list of the songs that are most important and enjoyable to me. I am in now way saying that these songs are the best ever written or played, I am only saying that they are my favorite. I have made a few changes to the list, one of which is a bit impetuous. But here it is none the less, my new 41-50.

# 50 Bridal Train - The WAiFS. Ok to here it is, my impulsive decision. I have only known of this band, and this song for a short time but, I was struck by how amazing both are the very first time I heard this track. This tale of Vikki and Donna's grandmother's train ride across Australia to catch a boat that would carry her to America to be reunited with her US sailor husband is what song writing is all about. This Aussie folk/rock outfit is quite simply amazing.

# 49 Eau d'bedroom Dancing - LeTigre. This track from Kathleen Hanna's post Bikini Kill group was at #51 on my last list, but the more I listen to the methodical bass line and the synth drums capped by the distant sounding yet ever present guitar, the more I loved this song. Hanna's lyrics are simple and straight forward, which make the music pop all the more. As far as punk-feminist music goes you don't get much better then LeTigre, or BK, and in my mind there are only 48 songs better then this one.

(see the link above to see the full capsules from the original post)

#48 Seen All Good People - Yes. A small slip from 47 but still a classic

#47 Take on me - a-ha. Still one of the best videos of all time. And a great tune

#46 Khe Sanh - Cold Chisel. This track moves up from 50 to 46 and the more I listen the more I think it will end up in the top 25 with in a few more years. An Aussie classic, and a great example of how awesome rock can be.

#45 Einstein on the Beach - Counting Crows. Only a one spot slip to make way for a heat seeker.

#44 Self Esteem - The Offspring. See above.

#43 Devil Inside - INXS. This Aussie group gets bumped one spot by...

#42 The Special Two - Missy Higgins. Like Cold Chisel this track is going to make it's way in to the top half of the list before much longer. Missy is an amazing writer and singer which would be all you need if she wasn't also an incredibly good piano player and a crafty guitar player as well.

#41 Divorce Song - Liz Phair. Just page through my blog to see how much I love Liz Phair and you will see why she is here. This song is my fav, but there are two others that could have been here as well.

The Top 40 stayed the same this time around, but the list, much like Paris Hilton, is infectious. Check out another top 50 on Cum Granum Salis.

_

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Is it the accent, or the out source?

When you have a computer problem, or need to call for assistance or service on any item in your home, do you dread getting representative from the far east. Almost everyone has had an experience with a company who has out sourced it's telephone jobs to India or the Philippines and not many of them have been good. Aside from the language barrier made worse by the absurd use of "Anglo" names some are offended that the jobs are taken away from our country. I am one of those people, and being as I have done a telephone job before, I know that it isn't the greatest job in the world, but it is a job.

There are plenty of people here in the good 'ole US of A that could be answering the phone for big computer and credit card company's, and now the companys can save on overhead by having people do the job from their own home. By using a high speed internet connection people can take phone calls through their computer and service a customers account. All secure information is blocked and the companies can cheaply and easily monitor the calls. Sounds like a good solution to the problem right? Keep the jobs in the US and make us happy as consumers when we have to call.

Of course the corporate fat cats can't even get this one right. They have decided that the only problem they face is the issue of people not liking the Indian accent. So they are going to start sending jobs to Australia, so you can get your tech support from someone with arguably the most easy to listen to accent in the world. Don't get me wrong, I love the Lucky Land. It is one of my favorite places in the world, and given the opportunity I may move there and work for one of the big companies taking phone calls in my flat just outside Melbourne. But, the problem here is to keep the jobs in the US not to send them to a nicer more understandable group of people. Ironically, it's stuff like this that makes me want to move to Oz in the first place.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

It's Memorial Day, Time to raise the Flagg.

I posted back in March about my forth coming 30th birthday party, which is going to be GI Joe teamed. The star of the show it the USS Flagg, which is the massive GI Joe aircraft carrier that is almost 8 feet long. My folks wouldn't get me the Flagg back in '85 and '86 when it was first put out, and I have been bitching about it since then, so my mother stepped up and bankrolled my acquisition of the toy earlier this year. It has been sitting in pieces in my basement for two months, because everyone knows you can't play with the gifts before the party, but now it the time to Raise the Flagg! This weekend is a short one for me, because I am working Saturday and Monday so I only have Sunday to get the job done, but I think I'm up to it. More on the Flagg, and my party later.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Record Review: Dresden Dolls

I've spent the last few nights listening to the new record from the Beantown duo The Dresden Dolls. The disc, "Yes Virginia.." is the sophomore effort of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione and is far and away better then their self titled debut. The first single from this record is "Sing" but I think the one that may make a splash on radio is "Shores of California" which is lead by Palmer's sexy throwback voice and her skilful piano line.

Her vocal style has been described as borrowing from 1930's German Cabaret but I think she is in a file of it's own. So, too, are her lyrics as they are cool, smart and provocative while being poetic at the same time. "Shores" recaps the dating world around the country through the eyes of girls and guys. The girls "really (want) that fickle little bitch romance" but the guys have their minds on something else. "He's been trying with limited success, to get this girl to let him get into her dress." She summarizes that this push and pull leads to a situation where "the girls are crying and the boys are masturbating."

The record sports a number of stand out tracks all heavy with Palmer's acerbic story telling and blistering observations. "Mrs. O" is a slow drum and piano backed open letter to the title character that is packed with dramatic sarcasm. "We all know, there's no Hitler and no Holocaust, no winter and no Santa Clause. And yes Virginia all because the truth can't save you now. The Sky is falling down, everything they ever told us shakes our faith and breaks their promise. But you can't stop the truth from leaking, if you never stop believing." I found much of the record to be intriguing and thought provoking, and although I'm sure there are places I could go online to find the meanings of most of the songs I would rather spend a few more listening reminding on them myself.

The straight forward song on the record is "Sing" which is a wonderful commentary on the state of freedom of speech in the world to day. "There is this thing that's keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked. It's called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance." The songs continues in poignant juxtaposition "sing for the president, sing for the terrorists, sing. Sing for the soccer team sing for the janjaweed, sing" before wrapping up "You motherfuckers, you'll sing some day..." When all is sung and done this album is just some damn good work out of Dresden Dolls. Go out and pick it up and you will be glad you did.

_

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

More Fun then should be allowed.


For those of you who sit in front of a computer all day at work and need something else to do other than update your blog, myspace page and check email I offer you monk-e-mail from Career Builder. With this service you can type in phrases or words for the CB monkey to say and then pick a voice with which he or she will say it. You can change their outfit and other acoutramonts and have an all around great time with it. I have to say thanks to Inky for tipping me off on this one, and to her sister for getting the whole thing started .

Monday, May 22, 2006

Christina: Still better than Brit.

In a world where people have been paying attention to Britney Spears ostensibly for only her looks I can't figure out why Christina Aguilera isn't a bigger deal. Let's do the list on this one: A) Christina is much better looking than Britney anyway and B) While Britney was playing the good girl who acts bad, Christina was being a real girl who was bad on occasion . C) and perhaps most importantly while Britney was forcing out album after shitty album or over produced, unimaginative teen drivel, Christina has taken her time and put out records that have gotten better and more substantive with each effort.

But here we are in a world where the dumb hick who against all odds has kept the spawn of her jackass husband alive for all of 9 months, is still seen as the queen of the pop world. I know her perch is faltering, but the "it" label is not one that requires you to actually do anything to earn it, just as Paris Hilton. All Christina has done is make some damn good music (even if you don't like her music at least you have to agree that the girl has an amazing voice) and to top off her music she also throws us fodder for gossip from time to time. Like last week when her GQ cover article hit the stands where in she takes on Mariah Carey and takes off all of her clothes. For anyone who reads my blog you know That Christina is #3 on my list of famous people with whom I can have an affair, and it is ever cemented by the 4 photos in the GQ spread. This woman is beautiful, compared to her Britney is just a trailer park ho. I just don't know why people don't see that, or why they don't take the time to tell her that it's some good work out of her to keep making real music. Well it is.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Attn Horses: If you see this guy..... RUN!

This weekend was the second leg of the "Triple Crown" of horse racing, of which I am not much of a fan. I keep my eye on the big three to see who wins, but I haven't been to a race since I was 18. I only went then because I was old enough to bet, but it didn't draw me in like it does to some. I do remember being awe struck at how fast they can run, and how graceful they can look doing it, all the while being whipped by an angry imp on their back.

If I didn't know before, I know now why horses can run so fast. Enter Mark Woollen of England, who plead guilty the other day to sex with a horse. Let me say that again, this guy, MARK WOLLEN, had sex with a god damn horse! I don't know if I should be shocked, horrified or amazed that he could pull that off without getting kicked to Ireland. I have never ridden a horse but I have all of these residual memories of people telling you never to walk behind them or you may get kicked, and that is just walking, not getting on a step stool and throwing it the high hard one. Hasn't this guy heard of sheep?

Anyway, Woollen has been forbidden from ever going to a stable or any other place where horses live, which I guess is good work out of the judge, but I would have gone for a more creative sentence. The owner of Molly, the horse Woollen "rode" must own a male horse. So I would have set up a turn the other cheeks situation in which the male horse could ride Woollen. It only seems fair to me.

_

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why Won't People Just Admit It?

Over the last few months I have noticed this strange pattern of people telling me that they really aren't TV watchers, only to regale me with plot lines of the "one or two" shows they do admit to watching. Then they will join in on conversations about other shows and add "yeah, I was flipping by one night and saw that. Bullshit! Why won't people just admit that they watch fuck loads of TV and get over themselves? We are a TV watching society, and it doesn't have to make you feel like you are dumb. If you care who wins Idol then own up to it by all means, but don't act like that is all you watch.

The other thing that drives me crazy is the people who bash one show for being unoriginal or implausible and then shot a load about another just as unoriginal or unbelievable program. Lets face it people there isn't a whole lot that hasn't been done yet. All most of us want is a good story line to follow and a cliff hanger or "when are they going to fuck" sub plot. It is for that reason that I don't like reality TV, not that I begrudge people there enjoyment of it. Each of those shows is just as produced and planed as a drama or comedy, but the network gets to save cash by not paying actors.

So do me a solid when someone asks you about your TV watching... tell the truth. That would be good work out of all y'all.

_

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Boys will be bo... er... Girls?

Forget the fact that the US is pretty much the only English speaking nation who have yet to elect a woman as their leader. The girls here in the US are catching up to the boys on campus. No, this isn't a rant about female vs male graduation rates, or math scores. This is a commentary on girls hazing one another like the boys do.

First and foremost let me say that I have been hazed before, and I looked forward to it. It was safe, and pretty much supervised and you weren't part of the school until it happened to you. So when the first snow fall came at St. Joe's Seminary and the upper classmen dragged us from our beds and rolled us in the snow, shoved our faces in snow and the snow in out shirts and pants I was happy. That was the end of our hazing ritual and it meant there were no more calls of "Freshman get me this" or punches, shoves, or other stupid harassments.

Now the girls of Northwestern's Soccer team can line up with all the other stupid jocks and Greek organizations who load their "newbies" up with beer and make them do all manner of weird and sick shit. In a newspaper report out today one of the women on the team said that no one was forced to do anything they didn't want to do, and that the event was all in good fun.

Indeed one would imagine that the women who put the event together wouldn't have posted the pictures on the web if they thought they were doing anything wrong. As long as no one is being forced to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol or put themselves in physical danger who should care? The underage drinking argument is bull shit, because the 18 year old drinking age is a joke. I will always fall back on the point that if you are old enough to die for this country you should be able to tie one on.

If you are not mature enough at 18 you most likely won't be at 21 either. So if the problem people have with hazing, in it's stupid ritual forms mind you not the binge drinking, running through traffic forms, is that people do something humiliating to be part of the group then they might want to take a look at "grown up" life. Every day in this country people do shitty jobs, jump through government hoops and lower themselves to ever plummeting lows of self worth just to make a buck, find love and friendship or even a bit of joy.

So while the idea of hazing may be stupid, sophomoric or arcane it isn't much worse than everyday life. And isn't nice to see that girls can behave just as poorly or childishly as boys. God Bless America.

_

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Record Review: Pretty Girls Make Graves

For the second in my queue of CD's downloaded from emusic I present "Elan Vital" from Seattle five piece Pretty Girls Make Graves. First and foremost PGMG get some special bonus points for putting this disc out in Oz a month before they did in the states. That's good work out of you. Plus it doesn't hurt that the disc pretty much rocks from start to finish. Andrea Zollo's vocals are haunting, mysterious and sultry especially on the book end first and last tracks: "The Nocturnal House" and "Bullet Charm." On "Pyrte Pedestal" the music is a bit more light than the plodding bass driven arrangement on the previously mentioned tracks and so too is the vocal.

In my humble opinion the best track on the record is "Parade" which serves as a call to arms aimed at those who toil for the man. "We're throwing down our push brooms. We're hanging up our apron ties... we've walked so far, but we can walk all night." Sung over smooth percussion and a fat bass line Zollo's lyrics almost seam too sweet to be modern day rabble rousing, but there she is asking "are you ok with what you got?" There really are no let down tracks on the disc, and "The Magic Hour" could end up being my favorite after a few more listens as it too is a cool fucking song.

_

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Footy in the USA.

I have posted on more than one occasion about our trip to Australia, and my love or their culture in general and their biggest sport specifically. While in Oz I started watching Aussie rules football, or footy, and since then I have been following the Geelong Cats of the AFL, the country's major league. I'm happy to say the Cats got back on the winning track early Friday morning US time with an 18 point triumph over St. Kilda, and for the first time in a year I also got to watch a full game of footy.

The Baltimore - Washington Eagles are an American Aussie rules club, and on Saturday they played a game on Charm City's east side against the Magpies from NYC. The EAFL match up was the second of the season for the BWE squad, and although they are now 0-2 they put up quite a fight against the team that won the division last year. There was some great ruck work by both sides, and the Eagles put on a great show of kicking, handballing and marking in the second half to close the gap New York had opened in a one sided second turn.

It was a great team effort to not just hang their heads and roll over, plus it was very enjoyable to watch. There was also a very hospitable group of club members on the side of the pitch selling food and drinks and cheering the eagles on. All in all it was a great way to spend a Saturday, and it has caused me to think about trying to get into good enough shape to play a few games with the lads next year. Or at worst, maybe just umpiring or becoming a social member of the club.

_

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Record Review: Neko Case

It's been a while since I reviewed a record, and since I just signed up for emusic.com I am flush with new material. The first one I want to write about is "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" by Neko Case who is also in the band The New Pornographers. On her own Case is often described as a country artist or even country noir or alternative country, but the truth lies somewhere in between those labels.

What is undeniable is how amazing Case's voice is, and how well she writes to complement it. On "Fox Confessor" some of the tracks sound as if they could be right off a Patsy Cline or Loretta Lynn album and then the pendulum can swing to tracks like "John Saw That Number." This is one of the stand out tracks on the disc in my opinion, but it sounds as if it comes from a southern revival church rather than an indie rock artist. "God told the angel, 'go see about John' ... "Crying holy, holy to the Lord." accompanied by twangy guitar, and tambourine and full backing vocals in harmony with Case, this song is in short breath taking.

The other really transcendent track on this record is "Hold On, Hold On" which begins "The most tender place in my heart is for strangers. I know it's unkind but my own love is much too dangerous." This is not as fast or up tempo as "John" but has a toe tapping pace and very clear and strong vocals from Case and the background. All of the tracks are short with all but a handful wrapping up in less than three minutes, but the effect is not lost due to brevity. In contrast the longest song, "Star Witness" feels much shorter than it's 5:15 running time and is a fantastic track. I also really enjoyed the radio friendly "That Teenage Feeling" which could be at home on country, pop, or indie radio.

I of all people can be guilty of putting labels on so much in pop culture, like movies, music and even sports, but I think Neko Case defies being labeled. All at once she seems like she would be just as at home on the stage of a small, smoky club in LA or NYC with hip indie kids, as she would in a honky tonk populated with boot 'n hat wearing good ole boys and girls. One of the things I love so much about music is that you don't have to do what they tell you.

Much like Jenny Lewis, who I reviewed a few months ago, Neko Case is living the American experience by painting from a pallet that features so many varied hues and textures. That's where the really good stuff comes from, and it takes someone like self professed "everybody's in between girl" to bring it to us. This record, and the whole sub-genre in fact, is some work out of Neko Case and those like her.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006



I don't think this is what Tariq had in mind when when he said "Boy I could really go for a little head right now."

The Best Work out of any player ever?

I think #5 will be #1 on a lot of lists by the time he is done playing my favorite game. This year I have had to get my baseball fix from sources other than my beloved Baltimore Orioles. And while others are watching the race for second place in San Fran I am getting on the band wagon of another race now. I think if we are told we have to make a big deal out of Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth for second all time on the career home runs list then we should be getting geared up for Albert Pujols' race to hit more than 61 this season.

But Greazy, Didn't Bonds, McGuire and Sosa already kill that record and push the mark to 73? The short answer is yes, the long answer is that none of those guys can hold a candle to Fat Albert who has been subject to testing for steroids for almost his whole pro career. He was tested in his short, but very successful stint in the minors, and has been tested over the last two full seasons in the bigs as well as this year. His numbers are beyond reproach.

A glance at AP's stats will show an amazing similarity to Hank Aaron's. He has never had a huge year of homers in the high 50's, but has been amazingly consistent in each of his 5 + seasons. As of today Albert has 18 dingers for the season and if he kept up things at that pace he would have a big year this year indeed, with a total of 85 HR and 204 RBI. That is not going to happen, of course, but a season of 60 HR and 180 RBI is more than possible because unlike Bonds, the Cardinals have more than one player you have to worry about in the line up other than their star.

What would it mean if Pujols hit 62 home runs this year? For one we would have quite a dilemma on our hands. How would St. Louis, the team for whom Big Mac crushed 70 most likely chemical aided round trippers, deal with honoring that type of season. All of us know Sosa, Bonds and Mac can't claim with a straight face, to have been clean when they did what they did. Albert's biggest plus will be the minus of press about steroids, because he will be able to say "I've been tested and I am clean."

Pujols is only 26 years old and has already clouted 219 homers as of today. If he played 15 more seasons he would be on his way to 800 to 900 HR with that kind of production every season. But, you are supposed to fall off as you get older (not get ripped like an Olympic weight lifter Barry and Mark) so he may only end up with 795 or so. ARod will probably be the record holder by then which would be fitting because Pujols could pass a Yankee for that record... just like he will do this year when he passes Roger Maris for the most clean home runs hit in one season. This is all some good work out of you Albert Pujols now just remember to play for team USA in the next World Baseball Classic. You did go to high school and college here after all. By the Way in his first College game he had an unassisted triple play and hit a grand slam. Wow!

_

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

She's not fat, she's been boned... Again.

One of the things that sucks about working overnights is that your sleep rhythm gets messed up all the time. And So it was last night when I decided to ditch work and try and get my self back on track. I was flipping through all of the stupid shit that is on TV a little after midnight when I saw my nemesis. Like Jerry said when he saw his most hated adversary I then said her name aloud. "Vacant Blond." There she was reading the Late Show Top 10 list in her short bus like drawl and trying to be funny with Dave, and like all of you on the highway passing a wreck, I couldn't turn away.

Then she announced that she was indeed knocked up again, proving that the stupidest among us really are the most fertile. Moma's don't let your babies anywhere near KFed, he can get them pregnant with only a glance. I'm going to say the same thing about Brit and Kevin as I do about all trailer trash... People need to learn that kids are not toys. They are not what you do, because your are supposed to. And they will not fix your broken marriage.

_

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

OK Fine, New Number 5


My wife has taken umbrage with me setting Stacy Keibler as an alternate choice on my top 5 list. She seamed to think I was flouting the rules of the arrangement, and that I was in some way trying to have 6 people on my list. So I will be removing Angelina Jolie from my list and moving Nicole up to 2, Christina up to 3, and Lauren will be at 4. When Angelina is no longer with child, She will be back on the list. Happy Inky?

Monday, May 08, 2006

First alternate: Stacy Keibler.

A few months ago I posted my list of women I am allowed to cheat on my wife with. The top 5 list is a version of the storyline from "Friends" where each of us are able to pick 5 famous people with whom we can have one night of sex without getting in trouble. It can't be that guy at work, or the girl next door, it must be someone with which we would have no real chance of meeting. As it turns out, I did have a very real chance of meeting the lady who I am appointing my #6, or first alternate: Stacy Keibler. Ms. Legs and I happened to work for the same company in the Baltimore area but I never bumped into her in the elevator.

I feel the need to appoint an alternate for a few reasons. First and foremost being the disadvantage I am put at when a member of my list is unable to perform her appointed duties. A friend of mine recently asked me if I was into pregnant women, seeing as I have Angelina Jolie at #2. I am not one of those guys with some sick fetish about women in a family way, but it would be down right rude to drop her from the list all together because she is with soon-to-be hot child. So I racked my brain to come up with a solution, Enter Stacy (Quote Michael Scott: "That's what she said.")

I can't see placing her on the list full time at this point despite her quite obvious assets. She has really only been on my radar for a year or so. The reason is that I don't watch WCW where the Charm City girl was working before getting a higher profile, if not just as poorly judged shot on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." The show put Stacy's legs on display to thousands of men and women who don't watch wrestling, but can get their minds around actors dancing to really bad versions of popular songs. I made the sacrifice to watch the show the first time around in order to see the hotness that is Kelly Monaco, but when Stacy showed up in the second season I was hooked. All that said, I don't want to bump Lauren, Christina or Nicole from the their spots for a newcomer and as I have said before I don't see anyone toppling Sheryl from #1 any time soon.

So for now, with Angelina awaiting the arrival of her bundle of joy I will have Stacy hold down a spot on the list. Who knows, if she is able to stay famous for a while, maybe pump out a movie or twelve she may crack the fulltime list one day. If she becomes a B-List name I wouldn't be able to consider her for the list because even a loser like me can get with a second string star, just look at scum Paris Hilton has mounted. I do see a change in the list coming up, however, because I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on the body of work of one of my favorite rockers and one of the woman on the list has kind of fallen of the face of the earth. We shall see.

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jesus Dave! What are you doing online still?

In the classic, all be it incorrect, film and book "2001: A Space Odyssey" the crew of the Discovery rely on the HAL 9000 computer for everything. He controls the air they breathe, the food they eat, how they communicate with those they love or work with, and of course, he kills them when he decides they have become too big-headed.

Although the story from the book, and movie, was set 5 years ago and written almost 40 years ago I think we can all see a time when it is very possible. Arthur C. Clarke may have missed when it came to the date the events occurred but so much of what he envisioned has come to pass. Are we not on our way to becoming a society dependent on our computers?

Just today, I picked up a copy of the student newspaper on the campus of my Alma Mater in which a student writes an article about how to recognize 'internet addiction.' The author cites research that states that net addicts have risen from 1% of the population to almost 10% in the last five years. She goes on to note that half of those deemed "webaholics" have also been been addicted to another vice in the past such as sex, drugs or alcohol. Some may say that it is just the young people who are in danger, and the ones who have addictive personalities at that, but I would venture to guess that the same was said about TV viewers 50 years ago.

There may have been an article just like this one about the dangers of being entranced by the boob tube then, and now we live in a world where more people vote for American Idol than the American President. What I don't know is if Harry Truman spoke out about the dangers of modern pop technology like our current President did this weekend. While making a speech to the graduates at Oklahoma State this weekend Bush said "With the Internet, you can communicate instantly with someone halfway across the world and isolate yourself from your family and your neighbors." This all may be a prelude to efforts to curb our access to some types of information on the net, or there may be a real worry here.

Do we spend too much time surfing the web? One employee must have been because Toquir Choudhri lost his job over the matter in the New York City Department of Education this month. His boss gave him the ax despite the recommendation of a New York Administrative Court Judge, John Spooner, who said that personal use of the internet is to be expected at work these days. "It should be observed that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work." This sacking sounds like a load of crap to me, even though the AP article says Mr. Choudhri was warned to cease his non-work related surfing. What next?

So are we too reliant on our computers or not? Well it is hard to take anything seriously from the guy writing on his blog, while listening to an Australian youth radio station on live steaming audio. My humble opinion is that as long as we use the net as a source of information, entertainment, or enrichment and not as the be-all-end-all of our lives we should be ok. It is the people who can't pull their assess out of the chair to get out and see life IRL who we need to worry about.

_

Friday, May 05, 2006

Look Before You Sit.

You just have to love small town newspapers. In a bigger city some stories may not make the cut when it comes time to put the rag on the street, but in a place like Salisbury, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, you can find a great nugget every once and a while.

For the second time in the last two months a man was found glued to a toilet in Salisbury, this time at a Wal Mart. The last incident occurred at a Denny's, which probably isn't the first time a person has been stuck to a seat in that establishment, but this time it was with glue. I don't know what how bad these men had to go, prompting them to sit on a public toilet in either Wal Mart or Denny's without looking first but it must have been bad. I'm sure you have all seen a public toilet that you didn't even want to look at, let alone sit on, and in this general area I've heard stories of some awful things done in a mega store bathroom.

I can only guess what the horror of finding your self stuck when trying to get up must feel like. While sitting there waiting for some minim wage restroom cleaner to come and find you while thinking about what you will say and how they will react. Then there comes the moment when you must force the words out of your mouth "help! I've been glued to the seat." God that makes me laugh. And while the act it self is not good work out of the person who did it, the aftermath sure makes for a few great laughs.

_

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Show Review: Lisa Loeb

On Monday night I accompanied my wife and her sister to the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville PA for a fantastic show by Lisa Loeb. As a young man in the 90's I was hooked by Loeb's song "Stay(I missed you)" just as much as the next guy. As the years wore on and I attended college I came across more of Lisa's work and developed a great appreciation for her singing, guitar playing and song writing. When the movie "Twister" came out I heard the song "How" for the first time and then went out and bought "Firecracker" and found that there were other really great songs on that record.

All that being said, this was the first time I have seen Loeb live, and it really does amplify the effect of her songs. She stood in the middle of the stage all night bantering with her band and the audience, and strumming her acoustic guitar while singing in her eternally young voice. It is amazing to note that Lisa is coming up on her 40th birthday, because when you hear her sing, or speak for that matter you would assume that she was closer to twenty. Her youthful exuberance flows though her singing and story telling between the songs in a wonderful, refreshing way. She played for almost two hours, and aside from a few set backs from the concert goers around me, the show was a smashing success.

She played all or her most recognizable songs like, Stay, How, I Do, Do You Sleep? and the theme songs to both of her TV shows. I was also happy to hear her sing Furious Rose, Taffy, Firecracker, Underdog, and most of all Bring Me Up, which is one of my favorites off of the album "Cake and Pie." Her band was on target, adding something more to her performance than if she had been solo with only her six string as was the original booking. As I said the only detractor was the guy next to me who was farting and picking his ear, when his lady friend wasn't getting up and down 12 times that is. Then there was the old guy in front of me who kept jerking about at odd times in the songs, as if for emphasis, when he wasn't taking pictures and jotting down notes.

My last little laugh slash annoyance of the night came with the smattering of applause that arose about three bars into "Stay." It's not that I have a problem with people clapping when an act plays their "big song" because I don't. I want to hear the biggest hit too. I can best explain my disdain for these few fans by turning your attention to the unplugged album by Eric Clapton. If you listen Layla, EC speaks before he and the band begin to play, he says "let's see if you can spot this one." Once he starts to play 95% of the people clap with the realization that Clapton has taken his rock classic and slowed it down for the unplugged genre. Good on 'em, I have no problem with them. It's the ten or twenty people who clap as soon as the vocals begin that piss me off.

You missed the chance to show how cool you are through your recognition of the song. You don't get to clap till the end fuckers. Where are you going with this Greazy? I'll tell you. As Lisa stood tuning her guitar she began to tell a story about how she had written this next song with Darrell Hall in mind, and at that moment 5% of the people knew which song it was, although I was not one of them. As soon as she went into the part about getting heard by Ethan Hawk, and Ben Stiller I knew, as did most of the rest of the folks on hand, that this was the big hit. Ok maybe some people needed to hear her mention that it was in the movie "Reality Bites" but thats OK too, at least they got it. For the last few people with a clue Lisa made a joke about how much she really still likes the song even though they have to play it every day, classic one hit wonder fodder. (Even though she isn't one in my mind.) Then when she began to play the song those few who came just to hear that song chimed in this there claps. Idiots.

Wow sometimes it feels really good to be judgmental and superior feeling. You should try it. Any way, that's good work out of you Lisa Loeb, I hope to see you again soon. Next up on the Show Docket: Missy Higgins and Cat Power in NYC!!!

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Monday, May 01, 2006

The house that my tuition built.

On Saturday my Alma Mater opened the new fitness center for business. As an alum who dropped 45k on my education and a donation or two since I was able to get the grand tour... with about three thousand others who did the same. The place is amazing, and it is a considerable upgrade from the facility that was in place when I was in school from '94 to '98, which is an understatement.

Along with a field house for pick up games, classes and club sports there is a full work out center that would rival a golds gym and a pool fit for a king. The students will have the ability to use a rock climbing wall, or take classes in the dance studios, and when they are all done they can grab a snack in the cafe. The center piece of the whole complex, in my mind, is the Wolf Gym II. Our old sad sack of a gym carried the same name, but was a rat cellar in comparison. The floor was made of cork tiles glued to cement and was very hard on the lower body. The lighting was woeful, and it only held about 800 souls. To be fair, when I was in school and the team was going through a run of sub .500 seasons that was more then enough.

But over the last two years the team was a combined 53-8 and made two trips to the NCAA tournament and one final four appearance we needed a few more seats. Now we have 1,700 and should be able to pack 'em in for men's and women's baskeball and volleyball as well as regional and high school events.


Living so close to where I went to school, I get to see a lot of these upgrades as soon as they happen which cause me some conflict early on. At first I was upset that while I was there we didn't have all of the cool stuff the current and future students will get to enjoy. I am so proud to see what my school has become, and take the opportunity to brag about it when ever I can. If you are young and are looking for a place to go to school that won't kill you in the wallet but will give you a great education check out YCP. It is a campus on the rise!

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