Apr 28, 2006

Living with war

Like Neil Young? Freedom / Ragged Glory era Neil? Hate Bush? The warmonger / destroy the environment era George? Like free music? New music for free before it comes out. Like asking questions? I like to follow them up with a sentence.

Neil has finished recording a new album called Living with War. Apparently, Neil is pissed at the way the country has been run for the past 6 years or so. He tried to say something on Greendale but it was too subtle for most Americans. (BTW, a great album. If you haven't heard it do so immediately) Going back to some hippie-ness that remains in this great man he decided to just say it. Grunge-style.

Below is a CNN interview that is just great. The anchor is doing ye olde "Why do hate America" routine (and it isn't even Fox) and Neil puts a verbal bitch slap on. Here check it out yourself:

Hopefully you have by this time in the post had an opportunity to watch the interview. Notice he said he would be using the internet to get the album out? You can hear the whole album for free right here. It is one of his best albums in a decade. I have listened to it many times already and I will still buy it when it comes out. I doubt I will download it because I love the packaging that comes with CD's. At least for the really good albums. Anyway give it a spin click and tell me what you think. I care what you think.

Sidenote: it seems Neil has gotten pretty web savvy. He even has a myspace account and 7952 friends. Somehow, that strikes me as amusing. I would like to be his friend. I would not like a myspace account.

Sidenote II: I know you have probably just seen the clip but how awesome is this exchange:

Sophia Vargas: . . . you have one song called Let's Impeach the President. What is this song about? [ed note: they let her write her own questions apparently]

Neil Young: Well (chuckles) the song pretty much follows the title just with a bunch of reasons. Y'know. It's a long song.

Apr 24, 2006

Figured it out, I think

First off, thanks to every and any one who has had the patience and time to vote for "Snakes!" by F Bomb. I have figured out how to vote and some technical issues. Here we go:

1) You have to sign up. It is free and they send you relatively little cap after the initial onslught of thank yous.

2) Must use Windows Explorer to hear music most of the time. Firefoxers like me can weep, bitch and get violent but it won't help.

3) After you sign up and log in you may follow the links to vote. There is no search there is no sort by drop down, nothing. I recommend clicking teh ctrl+F (Find) and typing in "F Bo" and clicking "find." If it doesn't find it click next artists and find again.

I appreciate the votes. For real. I am beating Ween by a vote which is way cool.

This weekend I won three of four poket tournaments and took the three-toed dog swimming for his first time. That and images later. Thanks again for voting.

Apr 21, 2006

Snakes in Trouble!

OK, I was all ready to have the link on Wednesday to the Tagworld contest to vote for my beautiful and moving final version of "Snakes!" I was also going to include the beautiful PhotoShop collage I created of Leo, my three-toed dog. Complete with an extra special close-up of the three-toed paw throughout the course of recovering from surgery. It was going to be my coup-de-gras post; my epic ala Whitman's Leaves of Grass. But those bastards at Tagworld apparently cannot put together a website. I will not disgrace Leo by including him in the post with Tagworld. He will have his own something special later.

As Don Corleone would say, "Disgrazia!" More appropriately as Samuel L. Jackson would say, "I want this motherfucking Tagworld out of my motherfucking movie!"

I may be that now that I have one song recorded I have become a diva. But I don't think so. I just really like green M&M's. Here is my issue, the website only works some of the time. It may the amount of people on it, it may be that they did a poor job designing the site. Could be that I just had issues because user names with just one F are hard to translate into HTML. Who knows?

All that said, I would appreciate the votes. I have put a lot of time and energy into the recording of my song for the inclusion in one of the greatest movie phenomenons in the history of cinema. In true B-movie fashion they have align themselves with a sub-standard organization is all. Here is the link to the voting page. When I finally got there I was happy to note that I already had votes. Two. One less than Ween, one of my favorite bands.

Anyway, the name of my band is F Bomb with the hit single "Snakes!" You can view my Tagworld homepage and listen to the song here but I would greatly appreciate it if you would vote for me. You get ten votes total so you can throw one my way I would love it. With the trouble that the site creates, if I can get enough votes I think I can win this bitch. Currently, I am two votes away from being in assuming the voting ended today.

Also, if you could comment on any good or bad experiences you have with Tagworld, I would appreciate it. I would like to know what is happening out there.

Anyway, thank in advance. Three-toed dog coming soon.

Apr 18, 2006


Tomorrow is the day. A sweet, sweet day. The day Smussy should bring her goggles; Killre should stay in the cab of the truck and ignore all knocking, and everyone who reads this blog should bring Visqueen to protect their keyboards and mice. Tomorrow, after weeks of saving it, I blow my load. I shoot my three-toey, snakey, caniney, planey load. And on this magical day you will all be my bitches*.

But alas, it be not tomorrow yet. It is but today. And today, I speak of dreams. The dry kind.

It seems that a drinker like me may soon see their dreams realized. The British have always had a very different way of viewing drinking than Americans ever had. For example, here if you are an alcoholic, you go to AA and stop drinking. In Britain, they teach you to drink "responsibly". Meaning: you are "cured" when you can go to dinner and have only one glass of wine, go home, and not miss it. In the US you are never "cured" you are "diseased," you learn to live with your disease appropriately. Why do I feel like Carlin without jokes right now? I digress.

My point being the British love their drinking and think of it differently than us. When was the last time you had a drink at lunch and were not on vacation or at a holiday party? In Britain, it is called Friday. I digress again. I will stop doing that.

The British have recently begun work on a hangover-less beverage that will "get merry but not legless, wake without a hangover, and avoid effects such as nausea, memory loss, depression and aggression." Do I believe it? Not really. At least not the way I define "merry." But I didn't think the White Sox would win a World Series last year, either. So who knows? I find that this makes me "merry" so maybe the magic potion has already been invented.

See you tomorrow. Oh, and wear something sexy.

*Except of course my lovely wife who I love even more than my wonderful bed that I enjoy very much sleeping in.

Update: No, no leave it on, leave it ion. It's not you, honey, it's me. Just take a little more.

Apr 15, 2006

Two Eggs (Over Medium)


Sparks, Nevada, is Reno's ugly sister. The two towns, er, cities were founded within a few miles of each other and have grown into one boisterous community with an imaginary, zig-zag line somewhere in the middle-- like a hairline crack in a fresh egg. No one knows exactly where the line is, except the politicians. And the post office. Sparks is the part of town where all of the heavy lifting gets done: Grocery stores all over Reno, for example, are supplied by giant distribution warehouses in Sparks. Those warehouses are in turn stocked mainly with goods from California-based suppliers. Commerce in the greater Reno area (in all its forms) is heavily dependent upon California. This can be a problem sometimes. Reno's logistical ties to the golden state are tenuous, especially in winter.

New arrivals to northern California are told by established residents that when winter comes, there is good news and bad. The good news is it isn't as cold as wherever you're from. The bad news? It rains. Every. Day.

Relatively warm Pacific winds march in from off of the whitecapped waves, burdened with so much moisture that it seems to defy science. They trek across relatively flat land for several dozen miles, spilling a good portion of their watery load as they go, causing denizens of the golden valley to scowl, pull up their collars, hunch down their heads, mutter things like, "Noah was no schmuck," and call their agent for more mudslide insurance. The prevailing winds press onward until they reach the high, sharp ridges of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Here they pause, briefly. They pile themselves up, up and up into the stratosphere. They seem, almost, to take a deep breath or two... And then they unleash themselves into frenzied, screaming, laughing, writhing, unending multiple orgasms of heavy snow.

Reno's major lifeline, Interstate 80, runs through Donner Pass. Donner Summit sits high atop an exposed ridge on the very spine of the Sierras. At over 7200 feet, it is the second-highest point on the big, transcontinental road. When snow starts to fly, Cal-Trans (the California D.O.T.) moves quickly and in force to impose tight travel restrictions.

There are three major truckstops in the immediate Reno-Sparks area. Whenever Cal-Trans begins to swagger and hitch their belts and talk like John Wayne, the truckstops quickly fill to overflowing. For most truckers on the Nevada side of the mountains, it's an easy choice to simply stay put. Nevada is a playground, while California is --by far-- the single least trucker-friendly state in the Union.


I had lost at the poker table again dammit, so I decided to treat myself to breakfast. After all, there's nothing like clogging your arteries with mediocre, lard-based food that you know you shouldn't eat to make you feel better about chasing an inside straight that you know you shouldn't have chased dammit.

The waitress pulled out a pen and a notepad as she approached the guy two booths away from me. She was doing a pretty good job of pretending that she wasn't too dog-tired to care, but it showed just a little bit around the edges. The guy ordered bacon and eggs. "Sausage and eggs," she said. "We don't have any bacon. Our truck didn't make it over the hill."

I couldn't help grinning at the irony: Truck drivers, stranded by bad weather, running out of food because other truck drivers were stranded elsewhere.

She flipped a page on her notepad and walked over to me. I smiled. I ordered sausage and eggs. Over medium, please. "Homefries with that?" she asked. No, actually, I wanted hashbrowns. "We don't have any hashbrowns," she said. "Our truck didn't make it over the hill."

I chuckled. Ironic AND the epitome of paint-by-the-numbers cooking. Hashbrowns and homefries are (as I'm sure you know) the same thing: cut-up, fried potatoes. The only difference is in how finely you cut them. Yet, here was a restaurant that was forced to admit that they'd run out of one but not the other, because every item on the menu basically comes pre-packaged. All they really do is program the microwave and then throw it on a plate.

There's an old travelers' maxim, "Eat where the truckers eat-- they know where all of the really good (and inexpensive) food is." Well, take it from a truck driver: If you eat where the truckers eat, you won't learn where all the really good food is. What you'll learn is where all the REALLY BIG parking lots are.


P.S... Bud "Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is An Oncoming Train" Selig must go.

Apr 14, 2006

Dane is a silly bitch

I was among the many that paid way too much to see Dane Cook perform at the All-State Arena last night. Very funny. I highly recommend giving the HBO special coming out in two months a watch. I will not try to replicate the jokes here but I will say that it was as good as the Retaliation CD. Just a heads up that you don't want to miss this when it comes out.

Q: What do you say to an atheist that sneezes?
A: "When you die nothing happens."
~D. Cook

Apr 13, 2006

Eggs, Over Easy

[1] Psst. Hey. Don't tell anybody I told you this, but the letter "W" is a masonic symbol. It means: "The Smirking Marionette."

[2] To the best of my knowledge, there is no nationwide union for short order cooks. Despite this, breakfast cooks in restaurants everywhere seem to have collectively decided that when a customer asks for "eggs, over easy," what he or she really wants ...are under-cooked eggs.

[3] Don't be silly, those two movies are nothing alike. Hoosiers, which was released in the mid-80s, is the based on a true, Cinderella story of an all-white basketball team from a small town that defeats an all-black powerhouse to win the high school state championship, some 35 years prior. Glory Road, on the other hand, is the based on a true, Cinderella story of an all-black basketball team from a small town that defeats an all-white powerhouse to win the collegiate national championship, about 35 years ago. They couldn't be more different.

[4] I can't wait until that silly little Arena League baseball team on the south side of Chicago puts up a statue of Frank Thomas or Paul Konerko or some other franchise icon so that I can call it, "A pale hose in a hale pose."

[5] Did you know? Many reptiles never blink ...and neither does Dick Cheney. It's okay, though: The Smirking Marionette blinks twice as much as normal people. Poker players call that sort of thing a "tell." Republicans apparently call it a "balanced ticket."

[6] There are people who get lost in freeway rest areas. Oh, you think I'm kidding, but it's true. Dozens of people every week, all over the country, driving around in circles, unable to figure out how to get back onto the highway. Think about that.

[7] Trust me on this one: When in doubt, go with chocolate.

[8] Am I the only one who finds it ironic that baseball's so-called "dead-ball era" actually featured a much more lively style of play?

[9] I don't know who the hell Suzy from Santa Cruz is, but I wish she'd stop giving the guys that hit on her my cellphone number.

[10] Calm down, now. Don't get upset. You can handle this. Just tell him, "Son, in the only League that really matters, 'DH' stands for 'double-header.'" With luck, he will never learn the appalling truth.

[11] It's been more than seven months since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and I have to admit that for most of that time I thought New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was stupid. I was wrong. It turns out he's crazy, too. Poker players would call that a "bad read."

[12] I saw a headline earlier this week, "Scientists Find Blue, Red Rings Around Uranus." How embarrassing... I didn't even know they were looking!

[13] Bud "Don't Know My [donkey] From The Hole In The Ground That I Bury My Head In" Selig must go.

Apr 12, 2006

Lost Lenore

I think my first, semi-conscious thought must probably have been, Was that a knock?

My second thought was another question: Where the hell am I, again?

As a long-haul trucker, I ask myself that second question three or four times a week. I'm a heavy sleeper, and I usually struggle out from under the pressing shroud of slumber like a guy who can't swim who suddenly realizes he's standing in ten feet of water. All too often, I spend the first few moments of bleary-eyed wakefulness trying to remember where I'm parked.

On this occasion, I was parked in a pretty spooky place. I was at the dead-end of the last side-street in an industrial park that was shut down for the night. Some zoning official, either half-crazed or well-paid, had platp down an industrial zone in the middle of a large agricultural district about five miles outside of the city. The city was one of many mid-sized cities that populate California's vast central valley. Which one, specifically, doesn't matter-- They're all pretty much the same. They all have the feel of some great, clamorous machine that has received very little maintenance and has been steadily losing momentum for about twenty or thirty years.

But I digress.

On one side of the broad, dimly-lit street where I'd chosen to spend the night stood a hulking, brooding steel-processing plant. On the other side, stretching away into the swaying shadows of night, was a damp, too-quiet produce orchard. Oranges, I think. The nearest highway was over a mile away. I was in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, and all alone.

Or so I'd thought.

I think I may have laid there, flat on my back, for anywhere from a few seconds to a few weeks. It's hard to tell. I alternated between blinking myself awake and simply staring into the near-total darkness. I wondered if I'd really heard somebody knock on the side of my truck. And I tried to decide which was more important to me-- finding out, or going back to sleep. But then I heard it again: A short series of knocks, about four feet from my head.

Oh, I thought, this can't be good.

There's a heavy curtain that separates my sleeping compartment from the cab. I sat up and peeked through it. The dashboard clock read 4:30 am. I glanced through the windshield and noticed that a thick, thick fog had formed while I'd slept. That was good, because the last thing I wanted was for the situation to be a little less creepy.

I eased my head forward a few inches. It's a little trick: From a certain angle, I can use the driver's side mirror to see anything along that side of the truck, all the while staying hidden from anyone who might be outside, looking in the window. I didn't like what I saw. There was a dark lump with wild hair hanging from my door.

I didn't know whether to be worried or annoyed.
Solomon-like, I decided to be a little bit of both.

Scowling, I thrust my scarred, shaved head through the curtain and looked directly through the window. It was a woman. My initial reaction was to relax a little. I felt less threatened by a woman. Then I told myself that that was stupid: Women, when they want to, can be just as dangerous as men. I took a quick look around. Every window, every mirror: All I saw was fog. I was in an isolated spot. It was the dead of night. There was a stranger at my door. And she could have just about anything up her sleeve.

I lurched forward into the driver's seat and cranked the window down about halfway. She was neither pretty nor ugly, although with that wild mane of dark hair she was ready-made for Halloween. All she needed was a big, black, pointy hat.
"Did I wake you up?" she asked.
I answered with something witty. I think it was, "Mhyuhhm."
"I'm stranded out here. I need a ride into town," she said.

It's an unlikely place to be stranded. The only road in is the only road out. Nobody goes there without a reason. And at four in the morning there are very, very few good reasons and a lot of bad ones. I looked at her and tried to figure out if she had a gun under her coat. Or a knife. Or a ballpeen hammer. Or any of a hundred things my sleep-addled brain hadn't thought of, yet. Then I gave that up and went back to straining my eyes into the fog --there might, after all, be somebody with her-- but I couldn't see much more than about thirty yards.

One thing was sure: I wasn't going to give her a ride.

Perhaps you think me overly cautious; maybe even paranoid. But, you see, hardly a week on the road goes by that I don't cross paths with somebody who's working some kind of scam. Once inside the truck, it would be all too easy for her to conk me over the head and/or steal something while I wasn't looking. She could also, conceivably, decoy me into some weird sort of ambush-- although that didn't make much sense. I was already parked in the perfect spot for an ambush.

"How the hell did you get out here, anyway?" I asked.
"I came out here to a party with a girlfriend," she said, "but she got drunk and passed out. Now I'm stranded." She had virtually spat the "got drunk and passed out" part.

I was sleepy and slow-witted. Questions about her story swirled through my head almost too quickly for me to remember them. There were no houses nearby, so where was this party? Why had she chosen to walk home? Most importantly, why had she wandered away from the highway and down this gloomy stretch of road that didn't go anywhere?

It didn't matter. I still wasn't going to give her a ride.

I think she must have sensed my reluctance. I don't know if it was because I was shaking my head back and forth, or because I kept saying, "No," at regular intervals, but I think she must have sensed my reluctance...

...because then she said, "I'll make it worth your while."


Oh, I see: One quick ride deserves another.

Instinct can be a hateful thing, sometimes. Just when you think you're well-evolved, something happens to remind you that you still have a caveman living in some flickeringly-lit corner of your brain. I had absolutely no intention of letting this crazy lady into my truck, but when she said, "I'll make it worth your while," I automatically, unthinkingly, instinctively gave her a quick, appraising, speculative, visual once-over.

In other words, I checked her out.

Pure instinct. Automatic. No conscious thought involved. I actually caught myself doing it. It was one of those unexpected, slap-in-the-face insights into one's own nature (and human nature) that makes you want to sigh in irritation and roll your eyes. By the way: Any man who says he wouldn't have done the same thing is either lying to you or lying to himself. Maybe any woman, too, but who knows anything about women?

She had played her trump card and lost. She said, "Please" and "I'm stranded" and "I'll make it worth your while," a few more times, but I shook my head and said, "No" and "I can't" and "NO," a few times of my own and she finally gave up and walked away into the fog...

...back in the direction of the highway.



P.S... Bud "Light" Selig must go.

Open Thread

It has been a while since I have opened this bitch up for your comments. Anything you want our opinions on? Any investigative items that I may assist you with or Killre will tell you? Need more info on the St. Valentine's Day massacre? Hate a state? Just let us know. Wanna add a caption to the picture?

Got back from NC. Will write about that later this week. I finished "Snakes!" the theme for the SoaP movie. I have recently entered it in the Tagworld competition. I will give a link of where you can hear / vote for it soon as it is available (April 19th). Bulls are on a roll and the Cubbies swept the Cards. Anything else?

Apr 6, 2006

Things, bitches

Things are happening:
Will be off in beautiful NC this weekend. Talk to y'all Tuesday.

Apr 5, 2006

New Feature, know-it-alls!

The right hand column of this lovely blog now contains the predictions that the brave among us (Killre, myself, and x.g.s.) have made. Are you a man, woman, or mouse? Make you predictions here and let's see how we all fare.

If there is interest in posting the rest of the division, league, AAA teams post it in the comments and I will add them. Enjoy and good luck!

Winner gets a picture of a three toed-dog. Seriously. It may have the name of my fake band on them, too. I don't need a real band for a "band T-shirt". Especially when I know Photoshop and a guy who will do it for $5 a shirt. More info later.

Apr 3, 2006

Must be baseball

The Cubs season officially starts today at 1:10 in Cincinnati. Pres. Bush in an effort to increase his popularity will take a vacation from his vacation to throw out the first pitch. Al, the guy who runs Bleed Cubbie Blue, listed the four other times that a sitting President has been in attendance at a Cub game and the results.

Cubs vs. Pittsburgh (5/29/1909): 8-3 Cubs; President:Taft
San Fran vs. Cubs (9/16/1909): 2-1 Giants; President: Taft
Pittsburgh vs. Cubs (9/30/1988): 10-9 Pitt; President: Reagan
Milwaukee vs. Cubs (6/30/1999): 5-4 Cubs; President: Clinton

So logic dictates that we have a 50/50 chance of winning. The odds with a Republican president in attendance: 33%. The odds if the President is known as "The Big Dog"; 100%. The odds with a President with under 40% approval rating: 50%*

*Assuming the Payne-Aldrich Act was passed between 5/29 and 9/16 in 1909.

Update: Baseball Prospectus Power Rankings are in.
Update II: Cubs vs. Cincinnati (4/3/2006): 16-7 Cubs; President: Bush

Apr 2, 2006

Pickin' and Grinnin'

Okay, now, before I begin, permit me to get one small bit of unpleasantness out of the way: Bud "My Hair Looks Like This From Sticking My Head In The Sand" Selig must go.

There. I feel better.

Take a deep, deep, soul-cleansing breath, everyone. Do it outdoors. Take a ball and glove with you when you go. Use it to continue the never-ending quest for that sublime, subtly resonant "pop" of the ball perfectly hitting the pocket. Clear your mind. Soak in some sunshine. Baseball season is here; Earth is a good place to be.

Mighty pleased was I to cast my eye upon the sacred schedule and find that this year's National League season opens with Chicago playing Cincinnati-- the way God intended. God, of course, is Alexander Cartwright. (To those of you who hadn't figured that out yet: Uh... sorry to spoil the ending.) For it was Cartwright who spake unto Noah, "Set your bases apart to a distance of ninety feet; Comprise your teams of nine players each. Move the shortstop to the infield, and have your pitchers and catchers report early.

"Oh, yeah, and one more thing: For goodness' sake, don't play in the rain, ya putz."

With the new season comes another chance for us all to test our prognosticational prowess. To pick, in other words, our own personal peck of pickled playoff teams. Perhaps even to predict a potential pennant-winner.

Let's get started in the West. Once again, I'll advise you that I've compiled an awfully good record over the years, forecasting how the West will be won. Go ahead and scoff, if you feel you must. Or, wager accordingly. It's entirely up to you.
Many of the so-called experts are picking San Francisco, but I don't think the Fighting AARPs have it in them. Arizona has gotten worse, and neither San Diego nor Colorado has gotten much better. (Side bet: Who will be worse-- the Rockies or the Marlins?) Anyway, I'm going with the Trolly-dodgers to win the division.
My projected order of finish: LA, SD, SF, AZ, CO.

On to the Central, where the theme is, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I hate to have to say it, but the Cardinals are the class of The League again. I'm not actively predicting a pennant-winner --I'm merely picking which teams will make the playoffs-- but it's a pretty safe bet that the Championship will go through Saint Loo.
My forecasted standings: STL, HOU, CHI*, MIL, CIN** and PIT.

*The Cubs will again tantilize their fans by hovering around on the outer edges of contention. They won't actually BE in contention, mind you... just close enough to be frustrating.

**The Reds have a lot of pop, but very little speed and virtually no pitching.

Now then, the East. This one's a toughie. Part of me wants to pick the Braves; Part of me wants to pick the Metropolitans. I think it'll be a very close race, and I'm not at all sure where the loser will stand with regard to the wildcard. On a hunch, I'm going to go with New York to come out on top... but it's a very close call.
Order of finish: NY, ATL, PHI, WAS, FLA.

...Which leaves us with the wildcard. The main contenders will be San Diego, Houston and whomever finishes on the short end of the Atlanta-New York dogfight. Other squads with an outside shot include the San Francisco Retirement Home All-Stars, the Philly-fellas, the Milwaukee Miller Lites and the aforementioned Chicago Underachievers and Bird-watchers Society.
My pick... Houston.

So, there you have it. This year's playoff teams will be the Cardinals, Dodgers, Mets and Astros.

Enjoy the season... at least until June.