Saturday, December 30, 2006

Piccu's Top Albums of 2006: The Dirty Dozen Part 2

Well, it's time to reveal my top 6 albums of 2006. These are the 6 cds I enjoyed the most this year and the 6 albums I think you should check out for yourselves. Let's begin.

My number 6 album this year is The Black Keys with Magic Potion. This album is full of gut-bucket, swamp blues rock. The album features drums and guitar and a whole lot of power. The guitar sound is perfect for this style of music and the riffs are very tasty. Just check out track 4, Just a Little Heat, for the best riff of 2006. The Black Keys will force you to love the blues with this album, your power to resist is futile.

My number 5 album could be looked at as my country album of the year, if it were actually a country album, it's Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins with Rabbit Fur Coat. By country I don't mean the "country" music you hear on today's radio, but old fashioned 70's style country mixed with some rock. Jenny Lewis sounds like a woman on a spiritual journey on this album, her lyrics tell her story and The Watson Twins, Kentucky born and bred, back her up with the best harmony vocals in the business. Even if you are not a country fan or a folk fan, I believe this album will break through your prejudices against those types of music like it did mine. If nothing else, go to iTunes and get the cover of The Traveling Wilburys' Handle with Care. It's the best cover of the year.

Now let's get back to the rock with my number 4 pick with Wolfmother's self titled debut. I bought their EP a year or so ago and knew that this band was going to be special when they released a full length album. Wolfmother are old school. They are not exactly metal, but they bring it in some songs. They remind me more of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, White Stripes, Black Sabbath all rolled into a three piece band from Australia. All the songs hit you right in the face. Their lyrics harken back to Ronnie James Dio circa Rainbow, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. If you haven't heard these guys and are a rock fan, go buy this cd immediately.

At number 3 we have more rock with Tool's 10,000 Days. If you do not know about Tool, then this would be a perfect record to introduce them to you. Tool are what some call prog rock or sometimes math rock because of the extremely long songs and the crazy time changes that sometimes occur in these songs. I just think they are one of the top 3 rock outfits in the game today. 10,000 Days has everything Tool is known for, sludgy, heavy guitars, a tight rhythm section and a lead singer who doesn't lead the band so much as use his voice as just another instrument in the music. The songs range from our obsessions with reality TV to lead singer Maynard James Keenan's mother's passing. Tool's music can be both beautiful and profane all at the same time, but it is always good.

At number 2 we have My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade. I have to tell you I am a sucker for a huge, over the top, rock opera concept album and The Black Parade delivers. I must admit that it seems at some times to be a little too over the top, but rock music is supposed to be big and brash. I am not exactly sure what musical genre My Chemical Romance would fit into, but this album has music that sounds inspired by Queen, T-Rex, Broadway show tunes, and punk music. Every song flows effortlessly into the next. From hard charging riff rockers to somber piano ballads, I think this is THE rock record of the year.

What is number 1? I'm sure you can guess, I didn't buy into the hype, I just think this is the biggest "holy crap, this is so good" album of the year. It's Gnarls Barkley with St. Elsewhere. As far as I am concerned no other album could be as groundbreaking but still palatable to the masses. When I first sat down and listened to this cd the whole way through, I immediately listened to it again after I finished. It is amazing the sounds and styles that are all blended into this album. We have hip-hop, soul, R&B, and rock and anything else you can think of to list. What may be the most amazing thing is that Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo got this right on their first try. I can only imagine what the follow-up will bring. I know you have heard Crazy and are probably tired of it, although it is the best song of the year, but don't let that stop you for enjoying the rest of the album. If there is only one cd you by this year, make this the one.

That's it. I know I am sure I missed some of your favorites and I am sure I missed some that I will buy later and realize I should have included them on the list, but these 12 are as good as you will find for the year 2006. On to 2007, happy new year to all!!

Hard Candy

So we watched the above titled movie last night; it was pretty intense. It was suspense movie like no other that I have seen. It is disturbing on so many levels and of all of them the pedophilia may not even be the most disturbing. The premise is this: a pedophile "convinces" a 14yo girl to go to his house and things are not what they seem. I probably won't watch it again for a while, but I would reccomend maybe even for the Halloween fest.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why scientists aren't a smart as we had hoped...

I'm not going to waste much time on this subject simply because researchers/scientists shouldn't be spending any more time on this work than I should blogging about it.

The article I have linked is about how researchers are studying the affects of holiday baking on the Puget Sound in Washington. Apparently the Sound is being flavored with cinnamon and vanilla as we speak and the levels rise during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The sad part about this is that these morons are open and proud of their work. It's the most popular story on Yahoo! today. Unfortunately I'm sure they are too stupid to realize that they are being laughed at by everyone who received it in their email.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Piccu's Top Albums of 2006: The Dirty Dozen Part 1

Back for the bottom half of my Dirty Dozen of 2006. These are 6 of the 12 cds that I enjoyed the most this year. Take note that these are not necessarily in any order.

Leading the bottom half is She Wants Revenge's self titled album. When I first noticed this cd, it was the reviews it was getting. I do not believe I read one good review on it. The funny thing was that every song I heard from the album sounded great. I think some snobs thought this band might have been ripping off other bands, bands that I didn't listen to, and that this was some sort of Johnny Come Lately group trying to make money. Well, what rock band doesn't sound like somebody else? What rock band doesn't want to make money? The music is very synthy and electronic, very 80's sounding. The lyrics are very dark and somewhat disturbing. Not the feel good cd of the year, although I got many hours of enjoyment from it.

Now we come to Under the Influence of Giants' self titled album. This is much different from She Wants Revenge, it is very poppy, bordering on disco. The singing is done in mostly falsetto and I admit I am a sucker for good falsetto singing. I am not a dancer by any means, but I can say that this cd makes me wish I were. Good grooves, great to sing along too, I give it a 10.

Speaking of being a sucker for great falsetto we now come to the Scissor Sisters' second album, Ta-Dah. At first I wasn't impressed by this album basically because it wasn't a carbon copy of their debut. But the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. The songs on Ta-Dah are more mature and less disco-y (what can I say, I lived 6 of my years in the 70s). The songs on Ta-Dah are more Elton John like, good pop songs that you would hear on 70's AM radio. Don't get me wrong, this cd will make you want to dance, but these songs are so much more than dance songs. I highly recommend you get this as well as their debut cd, which had an unbelievable disco cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.

Now after going disco on you for a moment, let's return to the land of rock. This is not a hidden gem, it is Audioslave's third release Revelations. I have already said I thought this was their best and strongest release yet. They finally found a way to merge Chris Cornell (the best singer in rock) with Rage Against the Machine. You have the soul of Cornell and the funk and fury of Rage without one overshadowing the other. There is not a bad song on the disc. This is a must for Cornell or Rage fans who maybe have never checked out Audioslave or gave up on them after the first two albums.

My next pick is The Raconteurs with Broken Boy Soldiers. This is an old sounding album, very 70's like vibe. Jack White and Brendan Benson make a great lead duo, trading verse and guitar licks. Nothing against Meg, but it is great to hear Jack White backed by a bass player and a more competent drummer. It's a great mixture of blues and rock. I will admit that some of the songs lyrically are a bit silly, but that is what rock 'n' roll is about. This is just a flat out great rock record and I'm sure it will be in many end of year top album lists.

Rounding out my 12-6 picks is the Eagles of Death Metal with Death by Sexy. This is not a very polished or produced cd, it's ragged and raw and it's the fun-nest rock record to come out this year. The songs are so tongue in cheek that you actually believe every word that Jesse "Boots Electric" Hughes says. The music is a punk Rolling Stones sound, bluesy and groovy in parts. If nothing else, go to iTunes and buy the track called Don't Speak (I Came to Make A BANG!). It is the best rock song you will hear this year. Much like Under the Influence of Giants' and Scissor Sisters' music, the EODM's music will make you want to dance, but you will feel bad afterwards. It also features two of my favorite things in music, falsetto singing and liberal use of a cowbell.

There you go, six of my top twelve of 2006. I will be back with my top 6 of 06.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Brush with a "celebrity"

Yesterday afternoon, I went by the gym for a workout in between morning and evening church. As I was wrapping up the weights, I saw a someone walk into the far side of the gym from where I was. It was pretty far away, but the person had a "unique" look that was unmistakable. There was bright red bushy hair and relatively big dude. I think by now you have figured out that it's Carrot Top. I have to say that he is pretty thick, but is much much shorter than I expected. The older men in the gym talked to him a lot. He seemed pretty nice. I heard him say that he was here for family stuff and would be here this week.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Reason for the Season? Roman Pagans

It's the time of year where countless church signs will say "Jesus is the reason for the season." And while most people do celebrate Christmas as the observed birth of Christ anniversary, the truth of the matter is something quite different.

The link above helps to explain how this Christmas came about. When you study up on it you see that Christmas was more about Catholics wanting to establish a festival to rival that of the Roman pagans. Yet some people will fight you tooth and nail these days over the religious signficance.

I am in that minority that doesn't observe Christmas as a religious holiday. I choose not to for several reasons. The first being the aforementioned origin of the holiday itself.

The second is that as a Christian I realize that Christ's birth in and of itself did little for me in terms of salvation. It is His death, burial, and ressurrection that defeated death and gave me and other Christians the hope of salvation from my sins.

And three is for spite. Just kidding. Three is that I am a firm believer in the bible as the word of God. And God has no mentioning of a celebration regarding the birth of His Son. Rather, we are to observe Jesus' sacrifice with the Lord's Supper, which the apostles did on the first day of each week.

I won't bash people who observe the religious significance of Christmas. I think it's ok to think on Christ on Christmas Day, but it's foolish to do it only on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's trailer time!!!

I stumbled across this on the Pop Candy blog, it is on the Rolling Stone website and it is the best re-cut movie trailers of the year. I had only seen two out of the 10 or so that are available to view. You can see a trailer for The Ring, a movie about a woman who is dying and needs to reunite her family. There is a trailer for The Graduate about a stalker; there is also a heartwarming trailer for the movie Shining.

A couple of the them are a little too long but most are very cool and makes you want to send youtube a Christmas card for all the gifts they have given us throughout the year. Click the link and enjoy!!

Just in time for Christmas.

Here is something to put a smile on your face this holiday season. Click the link for My Charlie Brown Christmas, a reworking of A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Scrubs gang. It is really good but it is also about 10 minutes long, so it may take a while to load on slower connections. Merry Scrubs-mas and enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What do Merlin, illegal drugs, and Jimmy Hart have in common?

Last post today, I seem to be in a very prolific mood. I saw this on Yahoo, it is an article on marijuana being the US’s biggest cash crop. According to the article, the US produces $35 billion dollars in marijuana, more than corn and wheat combined. It also was concluded that five states produce more than $1 billion dollars in marijuana apiece. One of those states? Ding! Ding! Ding! If you said Kentucky, you are correct. Also among the big pot producers, California, Tennessee, Hawaii, and Washington state.

This brings me to a story, or two, about a cousin of mine and an uncle of Merlin. He went by the name Doc and was a pharmacist of sorts. He has been called a genius by many in my family but he became consumed by drugs. Merlin tells a great story about running into a friend of Doc’s after he had passed away, at too young an age by the way. Merlin said this friend also claimed Doc was a genius. He also gave an example of Doc’s genius-ness. He said Doc was so much smarter than every one else because he brought heroin to the OC instead of everyone always having to go to Nashville to get it. It’s kind of a mountain to Mohammed thing.

I’m sure Merlin could further elaborate on that subject, but I recently found out something else about Doc that I am not even sure Merlin knew about. A co-worker of Bratch’s was talking to him about the Power Team the other day. The Power Team is a group of Christian body builders who travel the land spreading the word of God and crushing concrete blocks and tearing phone books in half. One of the members lied and said he was the Junkyard Dog in the WWF. I guess that guy did not know that the Junkyard Dog died in 1998 in a car crash, but I digress.

This led Bratch and his co-worker into a discussion on pro wrestling, of which I used to be ate up with, and about the Memphis area wrestling promotion that used to travel to towns in the area and put on shows. Bratch’s co-worker talked about a show that we had also attended. One of the “personalities” at this show was a manager known as “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. He was one of these guys who had no business being a wrestler but had charisma out the wazoo and could fire up a crowd. So Jimmy Hart was used as a mouthpiece for wrestlers who maybe were not quite as charimatic and comfortable during interviews.

Speaking of firing up a crowd, at this show, after a match with some of Jimmy Hart’s wrestlers, as Hart and his wrestlers were heading to the locker room, there was a commotion over near the locker rooms in the small gymnasium where we were watching the show. I could tell something was going on because people were swarming to that side of the gym. I had heard later that someone had pulled a knife on Jimmy Hart and threatened to cut him. But I never had confirmation on that point.

Bratch’s co-worker was apparently in that section of the gym or knew somebody who was because she knew the story of what happened. The story goes that when Jimmy Hart was headed back to the locker room, Merlin’s Uncle Doc, perhaps too high to realize that wrestling was fake, jumped out of the crowd and punched him in the face. Doc, who was no stranger to a jail cell, was then cuffed and stuffed and taken off to the county lockup.

That is the story as I remember Bratch telling me and I am sure he could further elaborate if needed. I know most of you couldn’t give two craps about either of these stories, but I know Merlin, Bratch and I will have many fond memories of a man called Doc.

It looks like Miss USA has turned into Miss AA.

I am sure you have seen the hub bub that Tara Conner, Miss USA, has caused. Donald Trump even had to decide whether to strip her (which sounds good to me) of her crown or give her a second chance. In the end he decided to give her have a second chance and Miss Conner has decided to enter rehab. What?!?

When was the last time you heard anything about a Miss USA or Miss America after they won? Well, at least since the Vanessa Williams debacle. Apparently Miss Conner, who is only 20, had been hitting the bars and clubs in New York as if she were Tara Reid, not Tara Conner. I am a little sad that she wasn’t stripped of her title because I can only imagine where she would have ended up. Ring! Ring! Uh, hello, Mr. Hefner?

I hate to admit that she is a native of my home state Kentucky, but she is. As if Kentucky needs anything else to make us look idiotic. What can I tell you, when a Kentucky girl goes to New York and they wear shoes and have indoor plumbing, that would mess with anyone’s head. You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl.

On what day does Jack Bauer celebrate Christmas? December 24

Here is another video for you, this time it is a holiday piece. If you are a 24 fan, you definitely need to see this. I am also sure those who are not fans of 24 will also like it. Click and enjoy!!

Seinfeld, horror has a new name

The Michael Richards saga will not die. Check this out, it is a mock trailer that has been formed from clips of Seinfeld. This trailer seems to be for a thriller/horror movie and Kramer seems to be the killer. Some of the stuff does not work that great, but altogether it is pretty funny. Click the link and enjoy!!

Piccu's Best Music of 2006: The Honorable Mentions

Well, the end of the year is near and that means one thing, it's time for all those silly best of 2006 lists. So I thought if everyone else is doing it, then why don't I? Because I am a huge music fan, I thought I would list my favorite albums of the year. I admit I haven't exactly listened to every album that has come out, but I have bought anywhere from 40 to 50 2006 issue cds. I know, it's a sad case, but nonetheless I thought if anything, perhaps I could turn someone on to a band they may have never heard of before.

Before I get into what I call my Dirty Dozen of 2006 I thought I would give you a few honorable mentions that just barely missed the cut. While they are not in my top 12, they are very worthy of checking out. I must tell you that I am not a music critic per se, but I know what I like and these are the albums I listened to or enjoyed the most this year. Let us begin.

The first that just missed the cut was a band called Damone with Out Here All Night. This cd was one of those I bought because I heard a cool song on the radio. Damone's cool song was Out Here All Night. When I listened to the whole album it gave off a Rick Springfield mixed with Judas Priest vibe. Sounds weird but it works. The songs are pretty heavy without going over board, with hard driving rhythms and nice solos. To top everything off the lead singer is a very capable female named Noelle. If you are into retro rock you should look into this. Also check out the cool acoustic cover of the Iron Maiden classic Wasted Years, it is unbelievable.

Next we have Bratch's favorite album of 2006, The Killers with Sam's Town. I like this cd but it almost seems too over the top. I also am getting tired of the band's silly mustaches. With that being said it is still a great album. It takes the elements of their first album Hot Fuss and adds better writing and more...well more everything. Sometimes the words get in the way of the songs, which may be the reason it isn't in my top 12. Even though it sounds like am only halfheartedly recommending this cd, I really do think it is something you should pick up, especially if you liked Hot Fuss.

Next is a band called Priestess with Hello Master. I can almost bet you have never heard of this band. I read about them in Spin or Rolling Stone and decided to try them out. I was not disappointed. This is a flat out rock cd, mixing Thin Lizzy with Judas Priest and throwing in a little Steve Miller Band for flavoring. All the songs are intense, with some dual guitar solos, and a lead singer who can sing/scream without being annoying. There is even a healthy dose of cowbell. Priestess is a band you need to know about.

Next is the Yeah Yeah Yeahs with Show Your Bones. This is a supposed alternative/art band but this cd is full of great pop songs. Gold Lion and Phenomena are two of the best songs I have heard this year. This band is a three piece with a drummer, a guitarist, and a Karen O. She really controls this album with her singing, shrieking and some of thee best rock screaming since Roger Daltry in Won't Get Fooled Again. The band may not want to hear this, but I thought this was perhaps the best rock/pop album of the year.

Now we move on to the heaviest cd so far, The Sword's Age of Winters. This group is super heavy. They have a Sabbath-y groove but also have some heavy thrash elements ala early Metallica. This band will literally try to bludgeon you to death when listening to their cd. The grooves are heavy and sludgy, just the way I like it. If you have played a little game I like to call Guitar Hero 2 you already have heard one song by The Sword. Their song Freya is in the game and is the song that bogged down my progress for a time. If you are a fan of old school metal with heavy riffs and lyrics about warriors and wizards then this is the cd for you.

That's it for my honorable mentions, but I would also like to recommend a couple of reissues, if you will. The new Beatles cd Love is excellent and very much worth checking out. You have heard all the songs before, but you haven' heard them in these arrangements. While there are 26 tracks on this cd, I had read that over 100 songs were used to arrange these 26 tracks. It is definitely cool to listen to the demo version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps with a brand new string arrangement behind it. This cd will give you chills.

Also I have to tell you I have been very into David Bowie this year, especially the cd Hunky Dory. This is a pure pop cd that is mostly piano driven and includes my favorite song right now, Life on Mars. If you were like me at one time and thought Bowie was too weird to really get into, take a chance and pick this cd up. You won't regret it. I'll be back with the bottom half of my Dirty Dozen.

We playin' basket-brawl, we playin' basket-brawl.

Did you see this brawl this past weekend? The New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets decided to go all Pistons-Pacers at Madison Square Garden this weekend. The Nugs were up 19 points and still had starters in to run up the score and the Knicks decided they would start dishing out hard fouls. Then all hell breaks lose. Players are flailing at each other, at one point some players tumbled into the crowd. Luckily they weren’t in Detroit or the crowd would have taken this as an opportunity to degenerate into WW 3.

I think there are many to blame for this, the players are to blame mostly for cementing the NBA’s rep as being full of thugs. George Karl is to blame for trying to run up the score, probably because the Knicks sent his buddy Larry Brown packing after one season. Isiah Thomas is to blame for sending players into the game to be thugs and issue out hard fouls. Most everyone involved got some sort of punishment whether it is fines or suspensions.

The player I want to focus on is Carmelo Anthony, you know, Melo, the guy who is supposed to be the face of the NBA with Lebron and Wade. Melo proved to the world what he really is, a punk. Melo sucker punched a Knick player in the face and then ran away after doing it. He looked like a scared little 5 year old girl hitting and running. Melo wants to be all hard and represent because he comes out of the projects in Baltimore by appearing in Stop Snitchin’ drug dealer videos, by getting busted with weed. Well, he showed how hard he was. It may be hard to go back to the 'hood after his homies have seen him run away like a corn rowed chicken.

I hope this stays with him for the rest of his career. I hope the NBA pretty much locks him out of any kind of publicity opportunities. I hope he loses all those sponsors who want to be involved with him. The NBA wonders why no one really likes their product. I think this little incident shows why you never hear anyone say that the NBA is their favorite sport to watch.

This leads into a whole other issue with athletes packing guns around with them or having an arsenal of illegal guns in their homes. This means you Tank Johnson. These athletes fought their way out of the ghetto to get to the place where they make money and don’t have to worry about drugs or getting shot and they start buying guns. It makes no sense. They want to stay “hard” for their peeps. Well, I heard a caller on the Colin Cowherd show sum all this athlete/thug life up by saying, “There’s not enough hours in the day to be hard AND play sports for a living” And this was from a guy who seemed to definitely know what he was talking about. So please, athletes of the world stop doing stupid stuff and making sports fans embarrassed to be sports fans. And that is specifically directed at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Justin Timberlake at his best...

First off, I'm not much of a fan of Justin Timberlake. His music is pretty much canned crap, but he has my respect for bagging Cameron Diaz while she was metamorphasizing (yeah that's a new word) into a crazy dope smokin' hoochie. You remember, that time she had that MTV reality show where she and her friends traveled the world glassy-eyed and laid out on the beach all day.

Anyway, Piccu mentioned that Timberlake was hosting SNL this past Saturday and I wondered if they ever did another Barry Gibb Talk Show. I don't know if they did since Jimmy Fallon isn't even on the show anymore, but check out The Barry Gibb Talk Show on YouTube. There are three of them, but this is the best one.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gettin' called up to the big leagues

I am now working with medical students to test them on psychiatry. They have something called an OSCE (pronounce os-key for you those of you not fluent in med school-ese). In this standardized patients pretend to have different psychiatric disorders and then students are tested on whether or not they handled them appropriately. I was staffed to run a VCR and then make sure no one cheated on part of it; however, one of the residents who was going to act called in sick. You got it; I got called up!

I portrayed a person having a panic attack for five twenty minute sessions over a few hours. It was spectacular. At the end of each scenario, students were saying "you were making me nervous." That was music to my ears. The most fun was going from someone having melt down to completely normal breathing and calm when the bell went off.

Now, I am aspiring to reach the pinnacle of OSCE acting in psychiatry: schizophrenia.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Bridal Suite...

So here it is. I can't tell you how many people in our community have asked me about "that hotel room," but it has been a lot.

Our local high school soccer team made the Final Four state championships this past soccer season and we had to make the trip up there to cover the game or games if they had won the first game. The whole reason why I didn't get a hotel room earlier in the week when I'm sure several were available was because of simple superstitiousness.

I figured that if I had gotten a hotel room that they were sure to lose because while we didn't want to make the 3 hour drive home at 10 p.m. at night, it was a possibility. Turns out we probably did jinx it, but I digress.

Anyway, we snagged some lunch shortly before we were going to leave for the game and asked a soccer dad which hotel everyone was staying in so we could pile in with folks that we knew.

We got the number of the hotel and The Don made the call to get a room. The nice receptionist who answered the phone told us that we were in luck and that one room was available. It was $110 and that scared the Don off for a second and he told her he would call back. It was at that point that she gave us a 10 percent discount since we were with the soccer team and folks from the OC had that joint filled.

The 10 percent discount was all The Don needed to hear and we had our room.

About three and a half hours later we get to the hotel and check in. We get up to our room and walk in. I was looking at how nice and somewhat large it was and The Don says, "I don't think I like the bathroom arrangement."

Then I turn around and see the photo that you see above and say, "If you think the inside is bad, you should see what I'm seein'."

It was at that point that we joked about it for a minute and I then said, you are going to have to write a column about this. We pretty much had to use tour bus etiquette because if you "harmed" the bathroom you were harming everything and that wasn't cool and privacy doesn't happen behind a shower curtain. Not to mention there wasn't a shower so if we were going to bathe it was going to be in a stinkin' bathtub that you could see the TV from.

Either way, for the last month all I've heard is cracks about how nice that room must have been for us guys. Some from perfect strangers.

So there is "The Love Hole" in all its glory. It featured a nice queen size bed and a pull out bed from the couch. It was a smoking room and as you can see it had a large bathtub, large mirror and sparkling white toilet that would have been in perfect view of people outside of the hotel window had we not been on the second floor.

So next time you and your buddies are heading out to a hotel and you get the very last room in the joint and it seems a little expensive...

Ask why.

The Shadow returns and Christmas at the Liberty Theatre.

The Shadow is rising from the grave. Or at least from the garbage bin in Hollywood. Sam Raimi, Evil Dead genius and Spider-Man director, has gotten the right to produce The Shadow for Columbia Pictures. The Shadow was an old time radio show that starred Orson Welles for a time. Since Bratch has gotten me hooked on old time radio, it is one of my favorite shows. Click on the link to read more about it.

This brings me to our church’s annual Christmas program. In the past since we were kids, we always did a Christmas play at our church on the Sunday before Christmas. The last play we did was not very good, at all, so last year we did a program of readings. It went a lot better and was so much easier and less stressful to pull off, especially without memorizing pages of lines. This year, we decided to kind of do the same thing.

That is until I had my brainstorm of an idea, and this is where we come full circle to The Shadow. I thought it might me cool to do an old time radio version of our Christmas program. I thought we could record our readings, have a choir sing, and have an announcer to tie everything together. The setting is Hollywood and all of your favorite stars are in the program. Bratch and I are doing a two page play set in a library and the announcer reminds the audience at the end of our piece that you can look for us in the MGM production of Chinese Checkers.

It seems like a great idea, it’s different, it’s weird and it will have a good message. Once we record everything, Bratch will just play it over our church’s speakers. Our aunt will portray a grandmother gathering the kids around the radio for some Christmas cheer. At two points during our telling of the Christmas story from the gospels, there will be a microphone set up off to the side and the kids will sing Away in a Manger and Go Tell It on the Mountain. We even have a great old radio as a prop. Otherwise there is nothing to watch. I am depending on the audience being able to stay focused and not want to go to sleep or wander off during the program.

I can’t say I haven’t had second, third, and fourth thoughts about the presentation. To make matters worse, Bratch’s brand new iBook is cheating us by placing a buzzing noise under our recordings so we only have about 20% of the play recorded, with no choir and we are days away for show time. We think we have the kinks worked out in the recording and hope to get the choir and all the lines recorded on Wednesday. Otherwise we will go live and perform it like I imagine they did in the 30’s-50’s and just do it in front of the audience. But I would still keep my aunt and the kids listening to the radio and just put the actors on the opposite side of the “stage.”

I hope things work out and I hope it is something that people will enjoy. Maybe next year we will pull out the stops and do a whole old school “live” radio show in front of a live studio audience. I am also hoping that we are able to burn the show on cd so anyone who wants a copy can have it. As I write this, it seems like it may have been a bigger production than if we had just done a play. Well, I guess we will find out on Sunday night.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Wii played the We or was it We played the Wii

Little something called eggnog milkshake night, led to bustin' out the Wii this past weekend. Our friends bought the system a while back. I think it is the next step towards the virtual reality room on Star Trek, but it's not there yet. I think it is uique and creative, but I am worried that the limitations of the sensitivity of the system will ultimately limit the sophistication of the games. I hear the Zelda game is off the chain, but I did not experience that one. I did play Ray man which was fantastic if you like slaughtering bunnies reminiscent of Donnie Darko. Overall it was fun, but I am not sold on buying one at this point.

Friday, December 08, 2006

26 Years Ago Today...

John Lennon was shot and killed by a nut.

Peter Gammons was asked about Lennon this morning. For those who don't know, Gammons is a Hall of Fame baseball writer, but also a rock n' roll enthusiast.

Gammons brought up an interesting thought. What would John Lennon have become if he'd lived? He was only 40 when he was murdered and he had already established himself as the most interesting Beatle. He was very anti-establishment. Would that have continued through the 80s? Would he have become an AIDS activist? Or maybe he would have just laid low.

The Beatles were the first real rock 'n roll superstars and they, along with Elvis Presley, crowned the golden birth of rock 'n roll.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The first snow...

I get up this morning to the soothing images of a blizzard. Well, not really but here in Kentucky it was about as blizzard as it gets before we start talking Blizzardo Diablo.

I take off for work and notice that the roads have a nice little layer of snow covering them. Nothing crazy, but there three different types of drivers in this world when snow/ice is involved.

The first type are those of us who will get out, but have enough sense and skill to negotiate the roads without killing ourselves or others. A little common sense goes a long way.

The second type of driver is the one who will go out and buy supplies for a week before the snow gets there and will not step foot outside of their home until the last flake is gone. Which is usually 36 hours after the snow starts, if that long.

The final type of driver is the one who totally disregards the chilly white substance on the asphalt. Usually because they think that because they have front wheel drive or four wheel drive that they are pretty much driving an M-1 tank that can't be stopped. The problems of course arise when it comes time to actually stop and then hijinx ensue.

Case in point. I pull into Wal-Mart before coming to the office so I can snag some blank DVDs and as I pull in there is a 3-way stop that doesn't involve me because I going toward Wal-Mart. It would be a four way stop but they want you to come too them and keep you there not hinder your progress in their direction so everyone else has to stop whereas I can do and go wherever I want so long as it is in the general direction of Wal-Mart.

I see the old Ford pickup heading to the stop sign on my left, but didn't think too much of it because he wasn't going that fast. Little did I know that his method of negotiating stop signs was lock up his brakes at the stop sign itself and not an instant before.

So as I'm entering the intersection this dude is already past the sign and making a B-line toward my door. It was at that point that I weighed my options.

I couldn't turn too sharply to the right because I would end up in a skid. I did, however, happen to check the driver of the other truck as I was cruising into the intersection to see if he was attempting to try and making things worse at the wheel, but he wasn't thankfully and simply looked at me with this "dude, I'm sorry" expression on his face and I returned a look as if to say "you f#$% face."

I was just about ready to jump the curb and he stopped about 3 feet from hitting me as I cruised through, but he had me square if he didn't stop.

There were probably a dozen or more accidents from this first snow that now 3 hours later is almost gone.

Winter is here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yee-haw!! Ride 'em cowboy!

Here is something I saw the other day on the Daily Nut. It is a segment from a show in England. The clip is called Big Stranger Rodeo. In it, a guy waits in the background until he sees a “big” stranger and then he leaps on the stranger’s back and sees how long he can stay on before getting bucked. He then runs away. I have to say that I thought this was hilarious, maybe it’s just me. Enjoy!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Safe Sex in a Can!!

Cures for cancer and AIDS can wait because scientists are working on the problems that really plague the world. For example, we may FINALLY be able to rid ourselves of those annoying little condom packages in favor of a spray on latex system that is akin to sticking your Special Purpose into a small (how small is debatable) car wash. It, the aforementioned Special Purpose, will be sprayed with latex from all sides.

No word on whether or not Motel 6 will be installing these devices in all of their rooms.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Are You Happy Sharon Stone?

Years after the most famous crotch shot in cinematic history, the orifice has found its way back into the news.
It's no surprise that Britney Spears is doing anything she can to keep her skanky self in the news, but I must admit that even I am a bit shocked by this one. Purposely opening yourself up for the paparazi to get shots of regions is probably the most desperate cry for attention I've seen.
And of course if you mention the word skank, who else should come to mind but Paris Hilton. The woman who is famous for being famous has been seen with Britney who is the mother of two I might add, drinking, partying, rubbing up on guys and skipping out on wearing underwear.
And that's not enough, why not throw Lindsay Lohan into that mix. My goodness these former Disney Princesses have a way of really hitting bottom don't they? Who would have thought that Christina Aguilera would end up the "normal" one?
So now we've got three skanks walking around allowing any camera with a zoom to zoom in on their "special purpose." And this is what we've come to. This is it. Admit it, you've always wondered where it would get. When it was fashionable to dress slutty, then became fashionable to show cleveage, then fashionable to have a sex tape, now its fashionable to flash your cha-cha.
Back to one point before I leave this subject. Britney Spears is a mother. Think about your mother for a minute. What's the most embarassing thing she's ever done to you? A silly Halloween outfit? Wiping your face with a Kleenex moistened with her own saliva? Maybe she's even the town drunk. But you know what, at least you're not Britney's kids. My goodness there have to be shrinks lining up outside that house like lawyers chasing an ambulance. Good luck kids. We'll be seeing you on E!'s True Hollywood Stories soon enough.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

YEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! David Caruso's Greatest Hits

Another great find by me today. As some of you may know I love David Caruso. He is just so damn “eccentric” in his acting style. He never looks anyone in the eye while talking to them, except on rare occasions when he has sunglasses on. He takes his sunglasses on and off for no obvious reason and with no regard for whether he is inside or outside. In just about every show he utters what I consider his catchphrase, “MMM-HMMM.” As in, “It looks like we could be dealing with a gang hit, Horatio.” “MMMM-HMMM.” He must be a S.O.B. to work with, but he is so enjoyable to watch.

With all that said, I bring you this piece of Youtube mastery. One thing that never fails in a CSI:Miami episode, is that Caruso always begins the show right before the theme music blasts in with a bada** one liner, and about 95% of the time, before, during, or after the bada** one liner, he slides his sunglasses on and walks out of the frame. It is genius.

I bring you seven minutes of David Caruso’s bada** one liners before the theme song hits. Trust me; watch as long as you can. The longer you watch, the funnier it gets. Maybe this will convert the rest of you who do not consider Caruso an acting god. Enjoy!!! MMM-HMMM!!!

The Dude + the Wii = Gold, Jerry, gold!!!

Man it has been a long time. I have been looking over the internets today and I found something that all you Big Lebowski fans will love. Apparently the new Nintendo Wii has a sports game that includes bowling on it. Well someone with more talent than I used this game to recreate the scene involving the Dude, Walter and Donnie discussing the “Chinaman” that urinated on the Dude’s rug. It is pretty good. It makes me wish I were the one who did this. I must warn you that just like the movie, The Big Lebowski, the f bombs do fly. Otherwise, enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New KISS Alive box set for $1.49?

More KISS news. As I was on my way into work Piccu called me and told me something interesting. Today KISS released a new box set called Alive 1975-2000. It is a collection of their first three Alive! albums and a previously unreleased Alive IV album. It's roughly 70 songs.

Piccu looked it up on iTunes probably to listen to a little bit of the songs that he had never heard before. However he noticed something odd. On iTunes the entire album that consists of 4 discs if you buy it at a store was only $1.49. Piccu likes to buy the CDs whereas iTunes is good enough for me.

So I bought all 70 songs for $1.49 instead of $25 or $30 it like ultimately will be. Also note that individual songs off the set are 99 cents. So for 50 cents extra you can have 69 more songs.

I don't know what the deal is, but if I get an invoice in my email for anything other than $1.49 I'm going to fight it. I took a screen shot of iTunes so I have that as proof.

Anyway, as of this writing, if you like KISS you can get a boatload of them for a buck and a half if you act now. LOL

Dogs and Cats Living Together! MASS HYSTERIA!!

A woman in Brazil claims that her cat was impregnated by a neighbors dog and has given birth to both puppies and kittens. Dogs and Cats. Cogs and Dats? Putties? Kippies?

If this is true, could it be an unrevealed sign of the apocolypse? Is it time to stop playing Guitar Hero: Supreme Geek Version and correct our lives? Or is it just some more freaky stuff.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Tuesday is a big day for fans of Idol, Rockstar:SuperNova, KISS, and Seinfeld.

Good news, good news, tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 20, is a big day in the world of DVD/CD releases. For American Idol fans, and more specifically, all you Chris Daughtry fans, you can pick up Chris’ new album. I think it is called Daughtry and I believe that is the name of his band. I bet those guys love that. I have absolutely no interest in this, just like about 90% of all American Idol fans. I love the singers on the show, but I wouldn’t be caught dead buying their cd.

Speaking of wouldn’t be caught dead buying their cd, Rockstar:SuperNova’s debut comes out tomorrow. Like American Idol, I loved the show, but with Udo(Lukas) as their lead singer, I can’t imagine being able to enjoy the music. Speaking of RockStar:SuperNova, if you go to the iTunes podcast section and search for Rock ‘n’ Roll Geek Show, I recommend downloading it. In the latest edition, the host, Michael Butler, and a friend of his preview a song on the new cd and chat about it.

Also, as a bonus, the first part of the latest Rock ‘n’ Roll Geek Show is a listen to a bootleg Paul Stanley show that the host went to. It doesn’t have a whole lot of music because Butler is scared the KISS Army lawyers will sue his face off, but he plays all the stage patter and I thought it was pretty cool. But then again I am a huge KISS geek.

Speaking of KISS, we have the only cd release I will buy this week, the KISS Alive box set/collection. I told you about this a few weeks ago and it includes KISS Alive 1-3, as well as the 4th version that was never released. The 4th looks like KISS circa Psycho Circus tour. This will be a great companion to your already purchased DVD collection, KISSology Vol. 1.

On DVD this week we have the release of Seinfeld Season 7, I will pick this up in addition to the KISS Alive collection. I already have the first 6 seasons and I see no reason to stop now. Some of the episodes included are, The Maestro, The Marble Rye, The Cadillac, The Wig Master, The Bottle Deposit, and the all time great Soup Nazi. Luckily I won $50 in an NFL knockout league on Sunday so I have free money to buy these things. Unfortunately I lost the $240 I would have won if I finished first. I curse Donovan McNabb, a pox on his team.

I'm Out There Jerry!

Racism is alive and well in America. That's not news. What's news is when it is spewed out of the mouths of the rich and famous. Names from Jimmy the Greek to Mel Gibson to Rush Limbaugh have been lambasted for racial comments. Now we can add Michael Richards to the list. Click the title for the full story, but apparently Richards was doing a stand-up routine and was being heckled by a couple black gentlemen. His racial tirade is recorded in print in the article, but let's just say he used a word that rhymes with "trigger."

First of all, this is clearly disappointing. Richards was the actor behind one of the most memorable characters in TV history as Kramer on Seinfeld. Second, don't heckle. If someone's not funny, just leave. Heckling is just a punk thing to do unless you're enduring a standup routine by Osama Bin Laden, reserve your comments for yourself and your inner circle. Or else someone will drop a racial slur on your punk butt.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Best Game Console Of All Time

the PS3 mania and shooting had me thinking, what's the best game console of all time? This is a perfect question for the board as everyone on this board has been alive for all of the console's debuts except for Pong maybe.

Obviously the latest are the best in graphics and gameplay. But which console changed the world more than any other? Which one really shook things up?


Let's hear some worthless opinions.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I've got a fever and the only cure is...a PS3.

Have you got PS3 fever? I do. Not that I want to play a PS3. No, I am a capitalist at heart and I want one to sell on eBay. There are units preordered that are selling for 2 and 3 thousand dollars. That is a pretty nice profit considering you will pay roughly $615 retail for a PS3. That is if you can get your mitts on one.

Sony had planned on shipping 1 to 4 million consoles to North America on the release date of Nov. 17. That number was slashed to 400,000 and the world is going nuts. Even at our little small town Wal-Mart had two geeks sitting in line starting yesterday morning. Our Wal-Mart has set up ten chairs for people to sit in and wait for the units to go onsale. All Wal-Marts are supposed to have 10 consoles available, ours has two 60 gig models and two 20 gig models and 6 rainchecks because Sony probably sent the others to Best Buy. Sony has claimed that they will be airlifting the rainchecked consoles to the stores every week until the rainchecks are filled. They are hoping to have 1 million available by year’s end.

I plan on looking into all this because I will probably go to my local Wal-Mart and see if there is a chance of my getting one or at least a raincheck. I did some snooping yesterday and in addition to finding out how many they had in stock and how many rainchecks they have, I found out that there is someone calling about every hour asking about this same kind of stuff. It is beginning to seem like I will not be able to just walk in and buy my golden goose. Although the last big onsale our Wal-Mart had was for the Xbox 360. The had the same set up with the chairs for people to wait in, but the last unit didn’t sell until about 5 or 6 in the morning. Perhaps these are two of the geekiest geeks in the county and I will be able to just walk in at 11:59 PM and pick up a PS3. But I am not holding my breath.

I have dollar signs in my eyes, and there will probably not be a more anticipated game console event like this for at least…3 days. I have found out that the new Nintendo Wiis are also causing a bit of frenzy and those come out on Nov. 20. I am afraid I will also have to look into that. Right now pre-orders are going for 7 and 8 hundred dollars on eBay. There go those dollar signs twinkling in my eyes again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Breaking News: O.J. has found the real killer, it's himself.

Good Lord, talk about onions. O.J. is back and just when you think he couldn’t be any more of a scum bag than he already is, check this out. O.J. reportedly has a book coming out on Nov. 30 entitled, If I Did It. What is this book about you ask? It is about how O.J. would have gone about killing Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. This guy has got balls. I guess he figures he has no chance at ever being accepted into society again, so what the hell. Everyone knows he did it, at least anyone with a quarter of a brain. What has he got to lose?

In addition to the new book, FOX (of course) is blessing us with a two part special with O.J. called O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened. FOX is the same network that brought us When Animals Attack, Man vs. Beast, and The World’s Deadliest Toddlers, or something like that. Early word coming from the set is that O.J.’s hypothetical take on the murders are pretty spot on. It is almost as if he HAD done it.

I am not one to call for someone’s death, but would any of us really miss O.J. if someone decided to put him out of his misery? I can’t imagine O.J. having such a great life. It’s obvious that he needs money or at least wants even more notoriety; otherwise he would just stay on the golf course looking for the real killers, instead of “hypothesizing” about murdering people. It is a shame that this case wasn’t tried today. Today when people hear DNA, your a#* is grass. I guess the science was too new for the jurors to believe, either that or the jurors were congenital idiots, but I digress.

I think we can go ahead and nominate O.J. for scum bag/d-bag of A.D. As of right now, it’s his to lose.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Veterans' Day...

The thing about Veterans' Day is that it's a holiday that is overlooked a lot of the time. Sure people have little ceremonies and honor the men and women who fight for our freedom, but it isn't a holiday that is greeted to very much fanfare. Heck, most people thought it was on Friday this year because the courthouse was closed. Turns out it was on Saturday.

However, on Friday I went to visit a veteran that we were going to do a feature story on in the paper. My editor gave the story to our high school intern which is kind of a possible double-edged sword, but I'm sure she'll do fine with it.

I say it is a double-edged sword simply because she doesn't have much experience with these types of stories because when we started to speak to Mr. Smith our story jumped up a notch.

See, Mr. Smith saw the first flag raised on the hilltop at Iwo Jima. The famous picture of the men planting the flag is actually of the second flag they planted, but he saw the first one.

The obvious reason that we decided to do the story was from all of the hype surrounding the new Clint Eastwood film "Flags of Our Fathers." And Mr. Smith adores our flag. He has 102 displayed in his yard and in the guest room where we did the interview there were flags everywhere.

I would say that Mr. Smith has a good reason to love our flag.

His mother had to sign his enlistment papers in 1942 for him to join the Marines at age 17. From there he fought on Iwo Jima and helped the U. S. take four other islands in the South Pacific in World War II. From there he left the Marines and joined the army. And in his words, as soon as he joined the Army, "They put me in charge." Back then Marines were held in very high regard and most of them that joined the Army trained soldiers.

He likely helped train soldiers for the Korean War and then fought in the Vietnam War where he would volunteer to take the place of soliders headed out into the jungle on patrols or missions. He said that if he knew that a man had 3 or 4 kids back home he would take their place instead. The ironic part about that was he had 5 kids back home.

Sitting there listening as he spoke about Iwo Jima and Vietnam we couldn't help but notice such a different tone he spoke with. Granted they were two very different wars, but when he would get two words into a sentence about combat at Iwo Jima he would instantly get choked up, but would almost joke about all of the death he saw and was apart of in Vietnam. I guess with Vietnam they just somehow coped with it that way. It probably helped them get through life thinking about it that way.

He openly talked about his time on Iwo Jima which lasted something like 25 days. The boats that dropped them off on the beach actually couldn't make it to the beach because of a reef. So they had to wade in chest high water to the beach where Japanese machine guns would spray the water with bullets killing many of the soldiers before they could reach the beach.

Then when they finally made landfall there were short 3 to 4 foot solid fences that were built out of banana logs they had to negotiate to advance forward. Of course these too were covered by the Japanese as well. The only way they would get over the fence without being shot or killed was to send up a troop of flame throwers. The flame throwers would open up 35 to 40 feet of fire streams and and infantry behind them would shoot through the flames and jump the fence when the flame throwers stopped. Hoping everything on the other side was clear.

That was just to get onto the island and he never got a scratch. In Vietnam he was nothing short of a trained killer for the most part. I know that almost disrespectful to say, but that's what he did and he was damn good at it. He got a bronze star for organizing 32 men to take out 60 VC and their vehicles.

Few soldiers from the WWII and Vietnam era ever talk openly about what they did and saw, but at age 83, or 84 depending on which branch of the military you ask, he realizes the significance of what he did for his country and I suppose he tells those stories so that people won't take for granted that what they see on TV from Iraq as just "the news."

As I said, most veterans never talk about their experiences during battle, but as far as I'm concerned few others deserve the kind of respect most of them shy away from.

When an 80 year-old stroke victim says he's ready to go back if they need him, there aren't words to describe the respect I have for that man.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Two words: scorched colon...

Just click the link. It's short and it involves fireworks ending with a scorched colon.

If this had happened in America we would have had quotes and eye witness accounts, but over in the UK they apparently give out just the facts and a little speculation.

Also, if this had happened in America the dude would have sued the company that created the firework that he attempted to shoot out of his rectum. Most likely for failing to adequately warn him on the packaging that lighting that particular firework while in his rectum was not a good idea.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Get your Van Halen rumors here!!

Here we go again. It seems that Van Halen is gearing up for a summer tour in 2007. I know, I know, we have heard this before. I don’t care, I love Van Halen and I am ready to listen to any and all rumors about the band, especially if it includes the rumored return of David Lee Roth to sing lead on the tour. That is the other rumor going around. Apparently the VH boys and DLR are negotiating and DLR will tour with Van Halen. There will be no new album or any future albums. This appears to be a pure money making venture and once again, I don’t care.

Unfortunately, it seems that bassist Michael Anthony has left the band or at least will not be on the tour. It has been confirmed, however, that Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, has been rehearsing and writing with his dad and Uncle Alex and will play the bass on the upcoming tour.

Now, I love Michael Anthony, but if anyone is replaceable in Van Halen, it is him. We have already seen that DLR is only somewhat replaceable and Eddie and Alex are irreplaceable. It would be very interesting and cool to see the traveling Van Halen family with David Lee Roth at an arena near you.

So there is your Van Halen getting back together with DLR rumor of the month. Stay tuned to Incongruent-Affect for further updates as well as your Guns ‘n’ Roses Chinese Democracy release date speculation.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss?

Well, the Democrats have gotten what they wanted, at least in the House. Dems had a great run yesterday and have a chance at also claiming the Senate to go along with claiming the House and many governorships. We seemingly have a change of power in Washington. Why do I feel so cynical about this change in power? Why do I feel that when America seems to sweep out the “corruption” in Washington, we always seem to replace them with same people, different party?

I voted yesterday, as I hope you all did, and even though I think voting is important, I just felt like any choice that I made was a wrong one. Am I the only one who feels that way? I think that it is time for a change, if for no other reason than to see if a different group could do any worse than the current one.

I already have a bad feeling about this new regime that seems to be taking over, especially when Nancy Pelosi is in charge of the House. I’m sure she is a nice person, but she seems to be just like the ones who are leaving office, unwilling to cross party lines to actually do something good for the country.

Pelosi promised that “Democrats intend to lead the most honest, the most open and the most ethical Congress in history." Read that again. Isn’t this said every time there is regime change in Washington? When I hear grand, sweeping statements like this, I know there will be only problems down the line. I also feel like there will be no working together of all parties in Washington and the Dems will be just a partisan as the GOP was when it was in power.

All in all, while this is certainly an exciting time in this country’s history, I am afraid the excitement will pass in a few months or years after we realize that we replaced the crooks with more crooks. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, said that Americans "have come to the conclusion, as we did some time ago, that a one-party town simply doesn't work." He is right about that, I just hope that he and the Dems do not forget about this when it comes time to work with the GOP to get things done in this country.

Kentucky, the land of bourbon, basketball and...snake handling?

Just when you thought Kentucky’s reputation as a backwoods state filled with inbred hillbillies couldn’t get worse. It seems that a woman in London, Kentucky, has died from a snakebite “stupposedly” suffered during a church service. She was bitten by the snake at the church. Neighbors that live next to the church claim that snake handling is a part of their services. Just when we Kentuckians get indoor plumbing and start wearing shoes, we get morons like this who take us back to medieval times. I better break out the still and start running shine.

What is going on with some of these people? It says in the bible that a true believer has the power to “take up serpents” without being harmed, but I am not going to try it. Of course, these idiots who actually practice this as a part of their religion aren’t smart enough to use non-poisonous serpents. It also says in the bible to not wear “mingled” clothes, which means no 50% poly and 50% cotton fabrics, you can only wear 100% of a fabric. I wonder if those who are taking up snakes practice this as well as snake wrangling.

Between these crazies and Ted Haggard, Christians are really taking it on the chin this week. Haggard has personal problems that need to be dealt with, but I can solve this problem of getting bitten by a snake during church services…STOP MESSING WITH POISONOUS SNAKES DURING CHURCH. Problem solved. Isn’t it hard enough to try and live a Christian life without the risk of getting pumped full of snake venom? I sure think so. I’ve got to go find a copper pot.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Butcher of Baghdad to be Hanged

In a judgment that a tree stump could have made, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by the Iraqi justice system. Almost an afterthought of the conflict in Iraq, the trial has been marked by outbusts and hunger strikes as well as assasinations. But Hussein's ultimate guilt seemed a forgone conclusion. He'll likely fight it and it still has to be approved by a judicial council, but Hussein will hang. Iraqi law says he must be executed within 30 days of the sentencing.

But here's why I bring this story up. Former attorney general of the United States, Ramsey Clark apparently sent a memo to the judge calling the trial a travesty.

Ok, I get it. It probably wasn't a very fair trial, but does any sane individual doubt that Hussein deserves to die? No. Clark is fighting for the wrong person. If you want to make your stand defending someone by saying they deserve a just and fair trial, this isn't your subject. He's the most brutal and ruthless dictator of the last twenty years at least. He's killed his own people using chemical weapons of mass destruction. So why would a formerly noteworthy United States citizen make this stand and choose this case? Easy, politics. Clark was even one of Hussein's defense lawyers. This is a guy who tried to assasinate a sitting president of the United States and he's being defended by a US lawyer?!?

Clark is a democrat. He was anti-Vietnam, anti-Gulf War, and he's anti-Iraq War. He tried to organize the impeachment of George W. Bush. He attended the funeral of Slobadan Milosevic and was quoted saying that Milosevic was right and was innocent. He's a democratic nutbar.

An Inauspicious Start

You know your week will go bad when it starts like this.

I went out for a nice morning run this morning. It was very nice outside. Cool, but not cold. The sweatshirt I was wearing was just to get the body temp up a bit. I could have gone without it. On the way out from the house I ran past a German Shepherd mix and a black lab who noticed me, but didn't seem to mind me. Good.

On the way back in I noticed the two dogs were nearer to the end of the driveway. In fact, the lab was out in the street. The shepherd started barking first. No big deal because he didn't move. Then the lab turned around and sprinted toward me. I kept running, remembering that if you don't show fear they'll leave you alone. I don't know where I heard that. It must have been the Liars Weekly Journal because the dog sprinted past me only long enough to come at me from behind.

I guess I've either got the advantage because I'm warmed up or I'm at the disadvantage because my overweight self is already tired. It turned out to be the latter. The dog's in hot pursuit and it's gaining rapidly. I turn to jab step toward the dog, hoping to spook it and trigger it's flight instinct. I spooked it, but it didn't last over a nanosecond and he takes off after me again.

Now I'm sprinting (which is kind of like watching a hippo going full tilt, it ain't pretty but the speed is adequate) Praise God the dog gave up. Honestly. I'm not being blasphemous, I'm very thankful because if that lab had caught me I'd have a big bloody dog bite to tend to first thing on a Monday morning. Instead, I got a good workout. I think I'll get him a Milkbone as a reward for the motivation.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Kanye West is what we like to refer to as a nutbar...

Apparently Kanye West didn't receive the memo.

You know the one I'm talking about. Memo that told every band member, artist or pop star in the world that MTV, beit Europe, America or South America, picks and chooses everything. They pick the videos they want to play and they pick who they want to win their awards. Fans don't vote for anything and when they do, it is never taken into consideration.

For those of you who haven't read about it, it seems that Kanye was at the MTV Europe awards and felt as though he should have won for best video. When the actual winner took the stage, Kanye stormed the stage, grabbed a mic and proceeded to go nuts. He stated, in an expletive laden tirade, that he had to win the award for best video because if he didn't the show would "lose all credibility."

He also stated that he had to win the award for his video because it "cost a million dollars" and "Pamela Anderson was in it." As if it's hard to get Pam into a video of any type.

Kanye is that we like to refer to as a nutbar. He's gone off the deep end and for some reason he has chosen to bite the hand that spoon fed him his millions.

I know I'm going to be generalizing here, but if you are in the pop music or rap genre of music, MTV picks and choses who lives and who dies. Everyone talks about how talented and amazing Kanye West is, but I can't tell if he is any better than the next guy. But if MTV decides they'll put your video on TRL and they play it in their 3:30 a.m. to 4:15 a.m. block of video time, you are going to be a platinum selling artist.

As I said before, they chose who wins and who loses. In their awards shows and in their careers. From the get go they've never actually let fans chose who they like, they've been shown who to like and Kanye was chosen to be one of the few. Kanye was chosen to be added into the formula of overexposure and accolades that keeps the cycle of pop music and rap music going.

Record companies find good looking singers, give them some songs they didn't write, make an album and MTV makes sure that everyone gets paid. Usually more than the star does. That's how it works and Kanye is either as naive as the day is long or has been sheltered from the business. Maybe he just makes music and performs and no one has ever told him that MTV handed it all to him? Maybe he thinks his talent got him where he is?

One thing is for sure, he doesn't know how much about MTV's role in the music business. Now we just have to see what MTV does with him. He technically doesn't need them anymore, but you are talking about a serious record sales hit with them.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bob Barker, COME ON DOWN!!!

Now that the pet population is finally under control and he's harrassed his quote of Barker's Beauties, TV icon Bob Barker is announcing his retirement from the Price is Right. In honor of this, today we'll ask the question, what's your favorite Price is Right game?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wrong Ribbons

I know everyone and their mother has seen the ribbon magnets on the backs of cars that support our troops. Some are camoflauge, some are yellow, some are red, white and blue. I don't know which came first, the concept of the yellow ribbon around the oak tree or the Tony Orlando and Dawn song, but we're getting out of control.

For one, any ribbon that says anything political is just wrong. It's against the noble idea of supporting countrymen and women who are risking their lives for the mission.

Two, I saw a ribbon today that said, "Support our Troopers." I'm not a fan of cops. It's not that individual policemen are bad, it's things like this. The idea of the yellow ribbon is to signify that someone is gone and we want them to return home. If you come home everything, that's defeating the purpose. Another thing that gets me about policemen is when they call you up and ask you to support the Fraternal Order of Police. Unless I've misunderstood, that's their union. Support yourselves. You attack us into giving money to your union by making us think we're doing this great thing to support law enforcement when really we're doing nothing of the sort. It won't get you better cruisers, equipment or technology. It will get your lobbyists more clout in the state houses and capitols and it will get you more power at the bargaining table.

Back to the ribbons. If you've got a yellow ribbon on your car, God bless you. I don't. Not because I don't support our troops because I certainly do, but because I don't like yellow. Call me fickle. But if you have a ribbon that does anything other than support our troops, then take it off and understand why it's wrong.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Best/worst road trip ever...

Bit of a crazy weekend...

I haven't posted in a while and that's pretty much because I've been following local football and soccer teams across the state, but I thought I would write a little about that.

Friday, Travis and I made a little trip to Murray, Ky. to do a radio broadcast of football game and it went from the single greatest road trip we had ever had to make to the worst ever in about 5 minutes time.

First off, it rained off and on the entire 125 miles of the trip down there, but we found the restaurant we were looking for without even having to turn around. Bonus.

It's called Jasmine and it's in Murray and it is a Thai/Japanese place that is very nice, reasonably priced and the sushi was dynamite. Travis enjoyed his pad thai noodles as well.

We got our food and we had plenty of time to eat and make the game. We get out of the restaurant just lovin' life because we made great time getting down there, had a great meal and it had stopped raining. And on top of that, we figured our team was going to win big too, so we were primed for a very successful and enjoyable road trip.


We get to the football stadium and find that the press box is a small block building just tall enough to stand up in. Then we find out that everyone covering our team was assigned to a single section of the press box only big enough to comfortably seat three people along with some coaches. Unfortunately, there ended up being five of us and one was filming the game and couldn't see the whole field from one specific spot in the press box so he kind of had to move around.

Travis and I decide to take one for the team and run our headsets out of the press box into the bleachers right in front of the press box. Also note that it had been raining for the previous 48 hours and the bleachers were made of concrete meaning they held water like a bowl so if we didn't stand on top of the slick metal bleachers we were standing in an inch or two of water.

Then it started raining.

The wind started swirling around and it was a very cold, wet and miserable broadcast. Then on top of all that, our team lost badly to a team that barely averaged a touchdown per game in a mud bog of a game and they didn't make the playoffs because of it. Well, that and another game that didn't go our way. It also rained pretty much the entire 125 miles back as well.

So it jumped from best ever to probably worst ever road trip we've made.

Saturday I got to go back down to far west Kentucky for a soccer match and since our team won I gotta go cover them in eastern Kentucky this week. Between traveling the world over following the local sports teams and getting new computers at the office and working on the big basketball preview, I'm about ready for everything to stop and the school year is only a quarter of the way through.

The good news is that fall sports are over this Saturday and basketball is up next and I won't have to worry about tromping around in mud and rain.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Guitar Hero II is here in less than two weeks, so here's some news.

Click the link for the Guitar Hero 2 website. It is nothing special, but they do have the set list up and 30 second snippets of most of the songs. They all sound pretty good and this game should make the original Guitar Hero look like a game for pre-schoolers.

Here are my impressions on the snippets I listened to.

Tonight, I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight, made famous by Spinal Tap, sounds like it it will be cool to play, a straight up rocker.

Heart Shaped Box sounds boring to me, but I am not a huge Nirvana fan.

Message in a Bottle, made famous by the Police, sounds like it will take time to get down, tough rhythms.

Carry on Wayward Son, made famous by Kansas, may have some small problems. The singing is not as good as the original and the music sounds a little different but I am still looking forward to playing it.

Monkey Wrench is my favorite Foo Foo song and the music sounds perfect.

The mandatory punk song on this edition is Search and Destroy from Iggy and the Stooges, it sounds funner to play than I Wanna be Sedated from the first Guitar Hero.

War Pigs, made famous by Black Sabbath, will have to be played after drinking some cough syrup fro maximum enjoyment, but will be a blast to play.

Who Was in My Room Last Night, made famous by The Butthole Surfers, will cause fingers to bleed. It has a tough and fast rhythm, but a good groove.

Sweet Child O’ Mine sounds dead on, not sure about the singing but I wouldn’t have known if Slash was playing or not.

Freya, made semi-famous by The Sword, will be a blast to play, lots of chunky riffs to blast out, very Sabbath-y and Metallica-y.

Stop, made famous by Jane’s Addiction, will be a SOB, with tough rhythms and a blazing solo at the end.

Carry Me Home, made semi-famous by The Living End, is super tough, will take a few times playing through to get the rhythm I’m sure. Maybe the toughest rhythm on the whole game.

Hangar 18, made famous by Megadeth, will be the funnest track to play with a partner, very fast and uptempo with 11 solos to end the song.

A Haunting in the OC.

It is Halloween time and last year about this time, I told you of the many misadventures I and my idiot friends had as we…vandalized is too harsh a word, as we pranked our way all over the county. I have no more tales of Halloween mischief. I do have an experience to tell you about. Many of you have heard this story because I love to tell it, even though it did not happen to me.

The setting is late fall of 1994 or 95, and I am going to pick up a cousin and some pizza and we and Bratch will be dining and watching a late delay UK basketball game. The game starts around 10:30 PM and we stay up until halftime. My cousin decides he is going to bed. My parents are out of town (and this is the craziness we get up to when home alone as teenagers, well, that’s not quite true, but I won’t go into it here, I’ll just leave you with these words “fuzzy dice tag”), so he is going to sleep in my parents’ bed. Bratch and I also go to bed, but we continue to watch the game on TVs in our rooms.

My cousin said that he went into the bedroom and sort of swung the door shut without it actually shutting. You know how a door can close, but not necessarily latch? My cousin said that he never heard it latch, but it was shut. He then go into bed and tried to go to sleep. My parents’ bed at this time was a waterbed that was not more than three feet off the ground, so you could actually hang your arm off the bed and touch the floor.

As my cousin tried to go to sleep, he remembered looking at the clock and then closing his eyes. He reopened his eyes and looked at the clock and saw that only 3 or 4 minutes had passed. He then noticed something at the foot of the bed. It looked like someone was on their hands and knees; he could only see a shadow with no features. He said that the shadow started crawling up the floor towards the head of the bed. My cousin thought that this shadow was either me or Bratch trying to scare him.

As the shadow got within reach of him, he thought he would scare whoever was trying to scare him. He took his arm and swung it at the shadow and said, “Get out of my face.” Well, his hand went right through the shadow and the shadow disappeared. At this point he said he was petrified and could not move. As he lay there for a few seconds freaking out, he said he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He looked over and whatever it was disappeared.

Somehow he was able to go to sleep. The next morning was Sunday morning and parents or no parents at home; we were expected to go to church. My cousin forgot his “church” clothes so his mom brought him some that morning. His mom sent his sister in with the clothes. I am a very light sleeper, so I heard her come into the house. I also heard her come down the hall and go to my parents’ bedroom door. I heard what sounded like her trying to get in but eventually knocking on the door and telling my cousin she was hanging his clothes on the doorknob. When my cousin got up, he saw that not only was the door shut and latched, but the door was also locked. His sister also said it was locked and that was why she hanged the clothes on the door.

Now this is not exactly The Exorcist, but it is something that we have remembered and remembered clearly ever since. My mother was the only one who slept in the bed at night because my father worked third shift at the mines. Every night, as long as I can remember, she leaves the door half open and has a light on in the room. I asked if the ghost was the reason for this, but she said no it wasn’t.

A few years after this incident, a group of us was messing around with an Ouija board (I know, I know, this is stupid, but I just can’t see a board game company putting out a board game that opens up a portal to the other side. Although it is freaky and I doubt I will ever mess with one again.) We “rellegedly” talked with a spirit who said that our house was indeed haunted by an 18 year old guy. I have no idea about the history of the land before our house was built. I do know that the cornerstone from my Mammaw’s childhood home was used in the foundation. I am not sure if that has anything to do with it.

In later years, I have heard things. I have heard what sounds like footsteps in the hall, things falling, sometimes bangs; I have even sometimes thought I had heard someone say something. I have no proof that anything supernatural is going on and I do not think I would want proof. So, there is my ghost story of the Halloween season, it is not exactly the Bell Witch, but it made for a very interesting memory.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Heroes Heating Up

Heroes continues to inch toward something big happening. Meanwhile, lots of interesting small things are going on.

What we know:
  • The cheerleader is in danger, most likely from her father who is most likely the main bad guy, Sylar (spelling?)
  • Hiro is going to be a big time player in all of this as he came back from the future to speak to the younger Petrelli (Peter) telling him to save the cheerleader, save the world.
  • Peter's ability to fly may not be the only power he posseses, as he was able to finish Isaac's heroin inspired painting.
  • The older Petrelli is as greasy as fried Spam.
  • Next Ali Larter goes ballistic on her ex, who I think may be helping Sylar.

What we don't know:

  • When all these people will get together.
  • Who is responsible for the bomb (just six weeks into the future) that threatens NYC.
  • Why is Sylar doing what he's doing and does he have powers?
  • How the pyschic cop fits in.

Either way, what a great show.

Friday, October 20, 2006

We have a new nominee for Moron of the Year, Jake J. Brahm

I assume that many of you have heard the nasty rumors going around about certain NFL stadiums being targeted for some sort of terrorist attack. The powers that be have already said that this was a hoax earlier in the week. Why someone would do this, who knows. Well, the hoaxster has been busted and it appears to be some hippie in Wisconsin. Why do I think he is a hippie? Because he worked at a co-op health food store. Click the link for the story and this guy’s high school picture.

Who, in this day and age, spreads internet hoaxes about terror attacks for a month online? Did this idiot think that the authorities don’t monitor internet chatter for things like this? The government already listens to our phone conversations, I think they would have no problem reading your chatter on Geeks ’R’ Us. This guy is being busted at a time that President Bush can declare him or anyone an “enemy combatant” and send him to Gitmo never to be heard from again.

I am not sure who the moron of the year should be. We have the guy who confessed to killing JonBenet. We have President Bush for just being President Bush. Mark Foley for being at best a skeevy old creep and at worst a pedophile. And now we have Jake J. Brahm, the douche bag who thought it would be cool to make terror threats at a time crap like that is not something you want to put out there. I am afraid that even writing about this numbskull will cause the FBI to start a file on me.

Let this be a lesson to you kids, don’t be stupid. Flush a cherry bomb down the school’s or co-op’s toilet, set off a stinkbomb while playing hackey-sack, those are relatively safe pranks. Look at this guy’s picture, if he thought high school was torture; wait until the government breaks out the old waterboarding. It makes swirlies look like a fun way to wash your hair.

'Bully' hardly a 'Columbine Simulator'...

I'm not that too many people have heard of Rockstar Games' new release Bully. Piccu said something about it a few days ago and I didn't really think too much about it until I started checking out the press it was getting.

See, there are some games out there that you simply have to buy if for nothing but the historical value. That's why we see these little Atari 2600 joystick games with a dozen old titles on them. They can't hold a candle to today's games, but the historical significance of Pong, Pac-Man and Yar's Revenge cannot be denied.

In fact, I'm thinking that I may have purchased a Playstation 2 simply to play Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Another spectacular offering from Rockstar Games. The game that put them on the map because of it's gratuitous violence. It is a game I feel everyone should own because of the controversy it sparked and the fact that it's ridiculously detailed and fun.

Rockstar's new title Bully is in fact based on the GTA engine. But before anyone goes off of the deep end like they did back in August, Bully involves no guns and no killing. In fact, it is rated T-for teen and not M- for mature like Vice City and other GTA titles.

While I've only played about 10 minutes of Bully since buying it yesterday, I can already tell it's going to be awesome.

The plot is you are a troubled teen named Jimm Hopkins who has been sent to the Bulworth Academy boarding school. Where they turn boys and girls into men. The whole place is corrupt and you basically navigate your way through the school and surrounding areas and be Jimmy. Meet girls, go to class, fight bullies that pick on you, maybe even play a sport.

From what I can see about the game and what I've read, it's simply high school life cranked up to 11. The hot girls are ridiculously hot, the jocks are ridiculously stupid and the bullies act like Mike Tyson.

What makes the game cool is that you can interact with anyone you see and from what I heard on a podcast with one of the games developers, each person you see in the game is a unique character. So you aren't going to see 15 people that look exactly the same.

To me, the lure of this game is seeing how involved Rockstar makes this game. Everyone has seen or played GTA: Vice City or San Andreas. Say what you will about the violence, but those games are far more detailed than anyone could imagine. So in Bully's case, I want to see how detailed they make the environment and what you can do in it.

Getting into another issue, back in August a lawyer was fighting to ban Bully from being released. That's probably why Rockstar kept it on the down-low until its release because this lawyer that had never played the game or had even seen it labeled it a "Columbine simulator."

There is nothing I hate worse than people going on TV giving out their opinion on something when they've not researched anything to support their opinion. As far as I can tell from reading reviews and owning the game, the are no guns in this game.

At all. Not one. I'm not sure there is even a holstered gun.

It's like listening to congressmen talk about how the internet is a system of tubes. Do a little research, wrap your head around the concept and then formulate your f-ed up opinion.

Or better yet, ask a kid.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

KISS is back, shockingly with music.

Just when you think KISS can’t find anything else to sell, they come out with their own signature fragrance. I know I have always wanted to smell like Ace Frehley, but something more important is happening in the world of KISS. And oddly enough it is focused on the music, live music, that is. Apparently KISS will be screening a 1976 concert from Detroit for one night only in select theaters throughout the nation. Unfortunately for Bratch and me, we live in the country’s armpit and will have to travel to Louisville or Lexington to see this show. I am not opposed to doing this by the way, hint, hint.

Besides that, KISS will be releasing a boxed set of all their live recordings, including remastered editions of Alive, Alive II, Alive III, and the previously unreleased Alive IV on Nov. 21. That might be something worth looking into, even though I own the first three editions in some form of recording. Also on Halloween, KISS fans will be getting a two disc DVD set of concerts and backstage footage called KISSology Vol.1 1974-1977. Those were good years, before KISS cologne and KISS caskets.

All in all, it looks like a KISS bonanza for Bratch and I this fall. While the Alive box set intrigues me, I will definitely be checking out KISSology. Click the link for Kiss On the Big Screen and for locations where you can see it.

Gay marriage!!!! That should get us some hits...

Here in the office we were discussing political advertisements that we have been seeing on TV. Unfortunately for those of us in Kentucky, we are relegated to watching Indiana political ads since our closest TV stations are based in Evansville.

November is just around the corner so the political ads are out in full force. A couple of days ago I mentioned to some of my co-workers that all of the political ads had nothing to do with improving anything. We've gone from a political landscape where false promises had to be made about cutting taxes to putting above all else making sure gay men and women can't get married and that no one can burn an American flag.

There is also the occasional, "we can't let the liberals get control," as if the Republicans are doing such a great job.

I honestly believe that I would rather have a politician lie to me and tell me that he's actually going to help me by cutting taxes or something of that nature, than to hear them tell me that he's going to make sure that my morals aren't compromised. That really bothers me. Especially the flag burning deal.

As far as I'm concerned, if you want to see some flags burned, pass a law saying it's illegal. They are going to have to put a stiff penalty on it if they think that any flag will be safe beyond that day, my friends. And frankly, I've never seen a flag burned in person and if I feel as though I don't want to see it on TV I can turn it to Sportscenter. There problem solved.

I had never really given gay marriage much thought until this week. I've always realized that it isn't a moral issue so much as it's an economic issue since there are hefty tax breaks with marriage. However, it did just dawn on me why the tax breaks mean so much.

See, there aren't all that many gay men and women in this country and if they got married it wouldn't mean too much of an economic hit to this country. However, I think the politicians need to tell the truth. The reason they are against gay marriage is because, people aren't stupid.

If they ever granted the tax benefits to same sex marriages, every straight guy on the planet would be trying to find a buddy who would marry them. All they would have to do is go through a 10 minute process, sign a few papers and then get fat checks in the mail every year at tax time.

I'm not saying that I would do such a thing, but I understand the concept and can appreciate its value.

However, I don't want my tax dollars being spent on my representatives arguing over moral issues. With everything going on in this world, these are the last things politicians should be discussing.

Lie, mud sling and lie some more, but don't waste time and money arguing about insignificant moral issues.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My two cents on the SC Trip

I think this year was a success again! I concur with Bratch that we need to skip the beacon on the Friday night. I think we should go with cooking out that night too, or at least just cooking up something easy to cook.

Other than the mediocre trip to the beacon the snacks and other food was as usual excellent. I'll let Piccu relay his impression of small batch bourbon. I have had it before and was not dissappointed in the least, again.

The movies were fun. I completely agree with Piccu's assessment of the movies. I have been thinking about and believe that I have been tricked as to my favorite Friday the thirteenth movie. I really think it is number 2, that we are confusing.

The boat was excellent and a fun ride around the lake, although it is loads more fun in the warm weather.

As to the remainder of the "month of Halloween." What other flicks is everyone squeezing in before the month is out. I may have a private movie madness this weekend. I may throw in something old and something I haven't seen. Not sure what I want to check out. I have this list of the best 80's horror movies that are seldom seen. I acknowledge that it leaves off the fact that it doesn't include the mainstream likely best of them, just those most people haven't seen. I haven't seen any of these so if anyone has tell me to watch it or skip it.

Happy Birthday to Me
The Sender
Watcher in the Woods
Prom night
One dark night
Night of the Creeps

Oh, and Piccu, the movie I was trying to think of is called The Town that dreaded Sundown.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A little about the SC trip and the Beacon Drive-In...

So Piccu and I just finished up a successful trip to South Carolina to meet down at the lake house for Monster Movie Marathon (MMM). Last year's MMM was a success so we thought we would try it again.

I have to give mad props and big ups, as the kids say, to Mike and Amanda for giving us directions for an alternate route to get down there. It made a huge difference. Especially on the return trip. We shaved almost an entire hour off of our time. Of course we started our return trip at 11 p.m. EST Saturday night. We pretty much drove half way across the state of Kentucky and saw maybe 25 vehicles coming and going. That means fewer stupid people around to kill you. The only draw back was that the heat was out in my truck. Instead of heat it was more like cool which was just a notch above cold which was the temperature outside.

We made it down there around 5:30 p.m. EST Friday afternoon after leaving home at about 9 a.m. Central time. It's a trip and a half, but instead of heading to Nashville and taking I-40 all the way across Tennesse, we took an alternate route along the Cumberland Parkway toward London, Ky. and then headed south to Knoxville.

It doesn't sound like a very good idea since it is a little less direct of a route and adds a little north-to-south distance, but the lack of traffic on the Cumberland Parkway more than makes up for it.

After making it to SC we decided to make a trip to Spartanburg to the "world famous" Beacon Drive-in. Last year Piccu got screwed after he ordered the catfish and it came out fiddler-style instead of fillet-style. So this trip was the second chance because eating catfish fiddlers is too much like work.

Piccu went with a no-brainer and got a burger this time, but I saw that they had fried liver on the menu and every now and again you just get a craving for liver. At least we country folks do on occasion. So that is what I got.

Unfortunately when I sat down to partake of my gigantic plate of liver, fries and onion rings I picked up a piece of liver only to find out that I had received a plate of gizzards.

For those of you who don't know what gizzards are, no one else does either. They taste similar to liver, but not nearly as strong in flavor and they can be a bit chewy and tough depending how they are cooked. And getting a plate of them cooked right is like winning the lottery, it just doesn't happen.

The gizzards that I received were dog toy tough. Piccu picked one up to try and tried to take a bite of one. But biting off a little bit was useless, once you had one you had to commit and eat the whole thing at once. They aren't that big, but some are a little more than you want to take at once since you are in a public place and trying to show that you have some sort of table manners.

We also got screwed last year on the world famous Beacon Drive-In iced tea. It was the best lemon tea I had probably ever had, but I don't like lemon tea so it was a let down. I'm sure that many people say that you aren't "southern" if you don't put lemon in your sweet tea, but those people are in fact morons. Last time I checked the woods around my house, I didn't see one damn lemon tree. It would be different if the stinkin' lemon tree was indigenous to this country or even continent of North America. But it is not and it pretty much just grows in Florida where no southerners actually live unless you consider all rich old people southerners.

So that's strike two for the world famous Beacon Drive-in. I can appreciate it, but at the end of the day it's 0-for-2 in my book and I don't think they serve anything that isn't deep fried in God-knows-what and sometimes you want to take it a little easy on yourself.

I'm sure that Piccu will say something about the trip since this is getting long so I'll leave that to him, we had a blast as usual. The boat also wasn't broken so we tried to break it and I got to see the lake.

So Merlin and French Toast need to thank the rest of the family for us for having us down so we could have fun and see the baby. We call him Texas or Tejas. For the most part he seems to be a pretty happy go lucky kid when he's not projectile vomiting.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More Guitar Hero 2, including FINAL track listing. Woo Hoo!!!!!

Ok, here is the FINAL track listing, according to the Guitar Hero 2 Wikipedia entry. There are a few new names since the last post regarding the track list. Some of the songs I did not know or had not heard in a long time. There will be 40 main songs and 24 unlockable songs. On the first Guitar Hero, all the unlockable songs, except for 2 were from bands of the members of the game developer. This time, the unlockable songs will be by indie type bands that you may have heard of, including some bands from the Warped Tour and other indie bands that that contacted the game developers to offer their songs.

As Bratch said, we have already pre-ordered our copy of Guitar Hero 2 and got a 4 song demo in the November issue of Official Playstation Magazine. Already, even though it is pretty rough, Strutter by KISS is my new favorite song to play.

Some other songs I am looking forward to getting a crack at are, Cheap Trick’s Surrender. This is a classic in all senses of the word and I am a huge Cheap Trick fan. Also, Kansas’ Carry on Wayward Son will be b*#^h to play I am sure, especially in the breakdown. War Pigs is my favorite Sabbath song and it should give me a good dose of carpal tunnel syndrome. I am an idiot, but I love Cherry Pie. It ought to be fun to play, but perhaps not as challenging as most songs on here.

I have already heard that Sweet Child O’ Mine is a perfect song for this game, and I heard it just the other day and it sounds like it will be tough. Others I am interested in is, Freya by The Sword, Thin Lizzy’s Bad Reputation, Avenged Sevenfold’s Beast and the Harlot, Megadeth’s Hangar 18 and of course, the Bark at the Moon of this Guitar Hero, Free Bird. Free Bird should have me wanting to break stuff after a half hour.

Here’s the full track list and if you want to catch an interview with the creators, click the title for the link. So far it is part 1 of a supposed 3 part interview. I am making my way through it as we speak.

1. Opening Licks
• Mötley Crüe - "Shout at the Devil"
• Danzig - "Mother"
• Cheap Trick - "Surrender"
• Wolfmother - "Woman"
• Spinal Tap - "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight"

2. Amp-Warmers
• KISS - "Strutter"
• Nirvana - "Heart-Shaped Box"
• The Police - "Message in a Bottle"
• Van Halen - "You Really Got Me"
• Kansas - "Carry On Wayward Son"

3. String-Snappers
• Foo Fighters - "Monkey Wrench"
• Alice in Chains - "Them Bones"
• Iggy Pop and The Stooges - "Search and Destroy"
• The Pretenders - "Tattooed Love Boys"
• Black Sabbath - "War Pigs"

4. Thrash and Burn
• Warrant - "Cherry Pie"
• Butthole Surfers - "Who Was in My Room Last Night?"
• Matthew Sweet - "Girlfriend"
• The Rolling Stones - "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"
• Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine"

5. Return of the Shred
• Rage Against the Machine - "Killing in the Name"
• Primus - "John the Fisherman"
• The Sword - "Freya"
• Thin Lizzy - "Bad Reputation"
• Aerosmith - "Last Child"

6. Relentless Riffs
• Heart - "Crazy on You"
• Stone Temple Pilots - "Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart"
• Stray Cats - "Rock This Town"
• The Allman Brothers Band - "Jessica"
• Jane's Addiction - "Stop!"

7. Furious Fretwork
• Anthrax - "Madhouse"
• The Living End - "Carry Me Home"
• Lamb of God - "Laid to Rest"
• The Reverend Horton Heat - "Psychobilly Freakout"
• Rush - "YYZ"

8. Face-Melters
• Avenged Sevenfold - "Beast and the Harlot"
• Suicidal Tendencies - "Institutionalized"
• Dick Dale - "Misirlou"
• Megadeth - "Hangar 18"
• Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"

Bonus Tracks
• The Last Vegas - "Raw Dog"
• Drist - "Arterial Black"