Monday, February 27, 2006
I took the test. Normally I take these things for fun, and with a massive grain of salt. I scored a 135 on an on-line IQ test. I'm doubtful of the accuracy of that test. Fred hipped me to the Personal DNA test on his blog. Here's my score.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Recent discussions on Dave's blog, and recent purchases at the Alva household have prompted me to re-visit yet another Kiss LP.
Kiss Alive II is one of the worst all time live records at the same time as being one of the best Kiss records. The live portion is recorded awfully, which is telling of the Kiss machine at the time. Kiss was on the fast track with 9 year olds, and silly notions like sound quality were relegated to the back seat in favor of merchandising and packaging.
The packaging of this album is excellent - full color booklet, stickers, poster, and the ever important Kiss Army membership info card.
The sound of this record suck ass. Except for side four. Side four contains five studio cuts, two of which are possibly the best songs Kiss ever recorded. Kiss beat Genesis to the Three Sides Live concept by six years.
'Rocket Ride', the Ace Frehley song kicks ass, and does indeed contain the lyric:
"Baby's on her knees
Baby wants to please"
'Larger Than Life', one of two Gene Simmons tunes on side four, is a slice of pure 70's balls out rock. The word blistering comes to mind. Whoever plays lead guitar on that song, and it's decidedly not Ace, offers a mind blowing performance. The song contains the lyric:
"My love is larger than life"
I don't think he's talking about an emotion, or his tongue.
I remember Christmas 1977 at 68b (or was it still 69 at the time) Schofield Place. My Grandmother asked my mother to pick up a present for me, ostensibly from her. When I opened my gift from Granny that Christmas to find Gene's blackened soot covered blood spittled face staring back at me I was elated. My Grandmother gasped, "How revolting?"
Cool. I had a new record, and a new word to play with.
Where's my hockey gear, time to listen to Kiss.......
Apparently 1.2 million Brazillians think the Stones are still relevant. I suggest actually listening to the latest Stones record, 'A Bigger Bang', before suggesting otherwise. I think the gazillions of dollars they made this year offend some folks. I think the gazilllions of dollars they make every year offend some folks.
Neil Young has a new concert movie in theaters called 'Heart of Gold'. The Legal Diva and I saw it this past weekend, and I recommend it highly. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it's beautifully shot on location at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville (home of the Grand Old Opry). Demme does for Neil what he did for the Talking Heads, which is to say that through lighting and staging he captured the essence of the artist without inserting much of 'Jonathan Demme' into the mix.
The set list was mostly the new record, 'Prairie Wind', plus a few fan favorites at the end. 'Prairie Wind' is another Nashville record, like 'Harvest', 'Comes a Time', and 'Harvest Moon', but it's an autobiographical record as well. After Neil's aneurysm a year ago, he began writing this record, and put this film into production while still undergoing medical treatment.
Neil is an artist. The movie, like the record, tells his story through song. What a wonderful thing.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The cream is over. If you own Haagen Dazs stock, sell it. So long sausage, goodbye butter, bacon, and yes....Cheese. Oh cheese, I'll dearly miss you.
I got the results of my blood work back from the doctor. Not good. My cholesterol is 'out of wack'. Apparently that's a medical term.
Those who read this blog regularly will understand how this news will have a huge impact on my life. I suppose I can still prepare those sinful dishes, but I can't partake. It's fish and steamed veggies for Jackson.
Actually, I'm kind of excited about the prospect of investigating a whole new gastronomic terrain. I love fish, I just can't wrap it in bacon anymore. No more shellfish either. That sucks.
I'll most likely be taking medication as well, which will be interesting since I've spent so much time in my professional life in ballrooms developing powerpoint slides for Crestor and Lipitor sales meetings. I know all the questions to ask.
I guess I'll have to check in with Hazmat to find out where to good vegetarian joints are. That used to be an oxymoron to me.
My diet has been very fat oriented for many years, and on top of that, high cholesterol is hereditary as well as dietary. I've known that for a couple of years, and having a father who has battled his cholesterol for years, this news is no big surprise.
I hope that I can get it under control, and occasionally indulge in my favorite foods. Maybe. Someday. For now - fahgetaboutit.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
In 1981 Kiss released 'Songs From The Elder' despite Ace Frehley's pleas to make a rock n' roll record instead. In 'Behind The Make-up' (2001) Producer Bob Ezrin admits to abusing heroin during the recording of the 'The Elder', and that he now believes that Ace Frehley was right.
Yes, and no.
Ace Frehley was right, because the world, then and now, is not ready for a serious album from Kiss. The merchandising, marketing, make-up, pyro, and endless rhyming of 'knees' and 'please' created a monster that could not be un-made.
But the album is very good. If it had been made by a different band, it may be considered a classic instead of a bargain bin inhabitant.
It's a concept record, a fantasy adventure; the classic battle between good and evil, innocence versus corruption. It failed miserably.
I love it. The production is lush. Bob Ezrin on smack is still a force to be reckoned with. Bob even brought in the likes of Lou Reed to help pen some of the tunes.
There are some unfortunate moments. The opening 'fanfare' is particularly weak, and the closing number 'I', an anti-drug anthem, doesn't belong anywhere near the record. The meat of the record is quite good, however. Songs like 'Odyssey', 'Under The Rose', 'Only You', and 'A World Without Heroes' suggest an adult sensibility so alien to Kiss that the knee-jerk reaction in 1981 was a resounding 'huh?'.
I certainly don't expect anyone to run out and buy this record, though if they did, they'd end up with the re-sequenced reissue, which is even better than the original release. If, however, you have a copy lying dormant these many years, I suggest you bust it out for a fresh listen. You might be surprised.
It's necessary for survival, but unchecked, it will kill the things you love.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Guns don't shoot people, Dick Cheney does.
Friday, February 10, 2006
The question is, how will Roger Waters respond to this?
"NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) -- More than a discerning palate has determined that thousands of cans of Hermes and San Giovanni brands of extra virgin olive oil weren't quite right.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration tested the chemical composition of the oil and found it was really less expensive soybean oil, prompting Thursday's seizure." - CNN
Finally my tax dollars are being used to actaully benefit me.
"In an article published on Friday in the journal Foreign Affairs, Paul R. Pillar, the CIA's national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, called the relationship between U.S. intelligence and policymaking "broken."
"In the wake of the Iraq war, it has become clear that official intelligence analysis was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made," Pillar wrote." - CNN
If I was Michael Brown, I'd get on the phone with Ollie North pronto.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
There's a link to this site just to the right of this post, Hue put it there for me, and today he sent me this link.
FOX is not news, it's propaganda. There should be a law about how to represent reality on a 'news' broadcast.
Hue hipped me to this funny illustration.
I didn't watch, I was with Chris and Just One actually making music. Somebody's gotta be on the clock. Anyway, it seems this year we saved some face, and gave some face.
You know I'm loving this. Sly 'mutherfunking' Stone does it up with a Jackson approved hairdo.
And this guy, along with his band, shut down the Mimi Machine. Nice! It's always good when an artist, or a group of artists win over a media whore record company trophy slut.
There may be hope for us all America.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Chris' impending sojourn to Hong Kong got me thinking again about one of my favorite trip ideas - the Cheese Tour.
First we stop in Cheddar, located in Sommerset, England. Besidses the Cheese they have a Gorge with caves you can explore.
Next stop, Jarlsberg, Norway. Mmmmm
Norway is also the home of Ekte Gjetost. A cheese favored by Goerge Vitray, and yours truly.
We'll swing by Sweden for some SCANDIC GRAND FONTINA, and to say 'hi' to Chris' relatives.
In Denmark we'll check out some Esrom, or Danish Port Salut.........
..........as well as some Havarti. Havarti is named after the farm in Denmark where Hanne Nielsen first made it.
Leaving Denmark heading south we hit Germany. First stop, Tilsit.
This cheese was discovered by Dutch cheesemakers, living in Tilsit which was then in East Prussia. Next stop, Limburg.
This is a very stinky and salty German washed rind cheese. While there we can visit the Schaumburg Castle.
Ahh, the Dutch. We'll visit Edam, Holland.
After which we'll stop by Gouda.
So many Cheeses, too little time. We'll have to hit France, Switzerland, and Italy on a seperate tour.
Chris is going to Hong Kong next week. I think it's very exciting. Hong Kong is certainly a very interesting place. Unlike the disputed Taiwan, Hong Kong is part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which includes Hong Kong Isalnd, Lantau Island, and a peninsula conected to the mainland, namely the Guangdong Province, called The New Territories. Taken over by England after the Opium Wars, Hong Kong flourished as an international trade zone under the Brittish, and continues to do so today under Chinese rule. Hong Kong is the world's 5th largest banking center.
"Hong Kong's continued economic success is thanks to the government's basic policy of minimum intervention and maximum support for businesses. Practices of low taxation, a free and fair market competition, an orthodox legal and financial framework, a fully convertible and secure currency, a highly efficient network of transport and communication, a skilled workforce, the enterprising spirit of locals, a high degree of internationalization, and cultural openness has opened doors to the country's economic growth and stability.
Life forms existed more than 6,000 years ago at many sites along the winding shoreline of Hong Kong.
The Portuguese were the first to reach China in 1555, but the British dominated foreign trade in the southern region of Guangzhou (Canton) during the early stages of Western connection in China.
The British East India Company tried to equalize its huge purchases from China by doubling its sale of opium to the Chinese. The sale of opium saw a huge success by the beginning of the 19th Century. Fearful of the outflow of silver, the Chinese emperor banned the drug trade in 1799 but to no avail. Smuggling came about as neither foreign traders nor Guangdong merchants were inclined to forego the profitable business. Throughout the next few years, the British enjoyed a fruition of success from opium. When they lost monopoly of the trade, other foreign traders stepped into the illegal opium business for a share of wealth." - www.marimari.com
While Chris is in Hong Kong, not only can he discover the rich cultural history of the region, but he can also visit Honk Kong Disneyland!
Chris can also visit The Wisdom Path.
Near the Giant Buddha.
Or, Chris can enjoy the variety of cuisine available around Honk Kong.
I hope Chris' associates in Hong Kong take him out and show him a good time. It's the least thay can do after all those e-mails.
It belongs to B.B. King. Mr. King is offering an autographed Guitar, one of his Lucille's for the return of his dog - you guessed it - Lucille.
She's just a little doggie.......
They were all Baptist Churches. I'd say start there. Who hates the Baptists? Personally, I think it's Tom Cruise.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The administration defended President Bush's $2.77 trillion budget plan Tuesday against criticism that it would damage education, health care and farm programs in the name of combating budget deficits.
Critics noted that the deficit for the current budget year would rise to an all-time high of $423 billion and they questioned Bush's projections for declining deficits in future years.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, said the explosion of federal deficits was adding to the national debt, requiring the administration to come to Congress in the next few weeks to raise the $8.18 trillion debt ceiling.
"America is borrowing 80 percent of the world's annual savings. We are handing our children and our children's children a set of obligations they will owe to foreign central banks," Baucus said. - CNN
They must be using the 'new math' over at the White House. Can we apply the term 'Intelligent Design' to the budget?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Continued corruption in Iraq could damage efforts to create a democracy there, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday, adding that it is up to the Iraqis to seize control and take more responsibility for their country.
"It's true that violence, corruption and criminality continue to pose challenges in Iraq" and are "so corrosive of democracy," he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. -CNN
Ya think? It's like giving your poor relations a Ming Vase, and then stopping by to find out they are using it for a piss pot. Giving the gift of democracy doesn't preclude the fact that some people have no idea how to use it, or want it to begin with.
Is this a matter of the West not being sensitive to Islam (formerly Isalm), or are they just insane. I don't know.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
My niece Jessica turns fifteen today. I'm sure she's not all that excited about having to share her special day with the Steelers and the Seahawks, but it'll be better that it would have been if the Jets had managed to make their way in.
Ha hahha ha hhha ha. The Jets in the Super Bowl........he hhe haa. That's funny.
Anyway, I wish her a happy birthday.
I wish I could go back in time and visit my fifteen year old self. I'd kick my ass. Then my fifteen year old self would ask me; 'What was that for?" I'd reply; "For smoking." And he'd say; 'But I don't smoke!" I'd reply; "And maybe now you never will."
I'm such a dick.
Friday, February 03, 2006
I spent some time this morning reviewing past posts. Since I started blogging two years ago I've managed to offend my girlfriend, my brother, and my two closest friends.
It's time to rethink my approach.
I don't think I can quit smoking and blogging in the same week, but I do need to slow down and think before I strike.
"Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), they smashed lamps with bamboo sticks, threw chairs, lobbed rotten eggs and tomatoes and tore up a Danish flag. No one was hurt."
That quote was in reference to Muslim protest over a Danish cartoon depicting Mohamed. It's eerily similar to Chris' response to my inferences about his opinions of Frank Zappa.
Like the Danes, I got a reaction I wasn't quite expecting. Like the Muslims, Chris was offended by my remarks.
Unlike the Danes, I apologise for my offense.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Texarkana - Out of Time
I Remember California - Green
Oddfellows Local 151 - Document
These Days - Life's Rich Pageant
Turn You Inside Out - Green
Fireplace - Document
Country Feedback - Out of Time
Just a Touch - Life's Rich Pageant
Driver 8 - Fables of the Reconstruction
Don't Go Back To Rockville - Reckoning
Dan Baird is a genius. This album is the proof. Start to finish, it's the greatest album ever made by a gap toothed hillbilly with a telecaster, and there's been a lot of those.
Highlights include every damn song on this life changing LP.
Frank Zappa's 1976 release Zoot Allures is so good that you are an idiot if you don't run out now and buy it. If you already have it, you should run home now and listen to it.
"I got a girl with a little rubber head
Rinse her out every night just before I go to bed
She never talk back like a lady might do
And she looks like she loves it every time I get through" - Ms. Pinky
When I was at the Clermont Lounge in Atlanta last month it was kareoke night, and a cute little brunette got up and sang 'Now I'm Here'. I was floored by her choice, and when she was done, I told her so, she said that if they had had 'Tenement Funster' she would have opted for that. I told her I would have done 'Flick of the Wrist', and then we spent the next half hour trading Queen lyrics from their best record, 'Sheer Heart Attack'.
Forget about 'Bohemian Rhapsody', forget about 'We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions'. 'Sheer Heart Attack' is the only Queen record you need. If you don't own it, you are stupid.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
A word not previously in my vocabulary. It's in there now. Chris and Dave, I'm sorry, but I am abandoning you. As of today, February 1, 2006, I am no longer a smoker. Let me qualify that. I am no longer a tobacco smoker.
I remember, fondly, my first smoke. Outside the teen club with Linda R. That was in 1981. By 1984 I was a pack a day smoker. Twenty-two years is long enough, it's time.
Tonight will be tough. If I can get through a session with Geek Farm without smoking, well then I can go all the way I suppose.
It's wing time. As you prepare to watch the Steelers beat the Seahawks in a very close and highly entertaining Super Bowl, you might be thinking of what food to prepare for your Super Bowl Party.
Red Hot (Frank's Original Red Hot, immitators will let you down) and butter. 2 parts Red Hot to 1 part butter. I like a little chili powder, garlic powder, white wine, and black pepper, but the main thing is the butter and the Red Hot.
Go to town.
Checking in with the Hockey.
Tony's Thrashers: 23/24, 11th in conference.
Hue's Wild: 25/24, 11th in conference
Jackson's Canucks: 30/18, 5th in conference
Who is Stanley anyway? I mean, his cup will be in Vancouver later this year, so I'd just like to know.
In an effort to establish my hockey fandom on a honest, factual basis, I have consented to be interviewed by myslef:
Jackson: What is 'icing'?
Ted: I'm not sure.
Jackson: Name a Canuck.
Ted: Todd Bertuzzi.
Jackson: Name another.
Ted: I can't.
Jackson: Have you ever seen the Canucks play?
Jackson: What was the last NHL game you went to?
Ted: I haven't ever been to a NHL game.
Jackson: When was the last game you saw on TV.
Ted: The whole game?
Jackson: Yes, the whole game.
Ted: I haven't ever watched an entire NHL game.
Jackson: When was the last time you were in Vancouver?
Ted: I have never been to Vancouver.
Jackson: Have you ever played hockey?
Jackson: How long ago?
Jackson: What do you have to say for yourself?
Ted: Go Canucks!
(CNN) -- President Bush called in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night for the United States to break its "addiction" to Middle Eastern oil using technological solutions.
Wasn't that Al Gore's whole platform in 2000?
The following are excerpts from the transcripst (really):
"we seek the end of tyranny in our world"
Start with the man in the mirror George.
"On September 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state 7,000 miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country."
This is a lie.
"Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror."
This is wishful thinking.
"Their (terrorists) aim is to seize power in Iraq, and use it as a safe haven to launch attacks against America and the world."
This is fact, and they are glad you made it available to them George.
Just read the whole thing here, and make up your own mind. I think he's a madman.
The following is a transcript.
Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, members of the Supreme Court and diplomatic corps, distinguished guests and other people I bought.
Today our nation lost a beloved, graceful, courageous woman who called America to its founding ideals and carried on a noble dream, or so I'm told. Tonight we are comforted by the hope of a glad reunion with the husband who was taken from her so long ago, nice shot Andy, and we are grateful for the good life of Coretta Scott King, who also penned our national anthem.
Each time I am invited to this rostrum, I am humbled by the privilege, and mindful of the history we have seen together. We have gathered under this Capitol dome in moments of national mourning and national achievement. We have served America through one of the most consequential periods of our history -- and it has been my honor to serve with you.
Hell, I just made that up. Rostrum - hah, I got no idea what that even means! Mindful of history! Yeah right!
Anyway, in a system of two parties, two chambers, and two elected branches, there will always be differences and debate. But once all these parts are brought under the control of one group, indeed, one voice, even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences won't be allowed to harden into anger. Arrests will be made before that happens. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another -- as long as you are one of us, white, anglo-saxon, protestant rich guys, and I will do my part. Tonight the state of our union is strong -- and together we will make it stronger.
Yes OUR union.
In this decisive year, you and I will make choices that determine both the future and the character of our country. That's why I hired you. We will choose to act confidently in pursuing the enemies of freedom, as I have defined them; basically your towel-head types, and the commie pinko lefties who want to retreat from our duties in the hope of an easier life. We will choose to build our prosperity by leading the world economy -- or shut ourselves off from trade and opportunity. I haven't decided which, but I can't do both, it's far too much work, and would cut into my poker nights, I'd have to get earlier tee times, it's a hassle.
In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting to weak minded liberal pussies -- yet it ends in danger and decline. The only way to protect our people ... the only way to secure the peace ... the only way to control our destiny is by my leadership -- so I will continue to lead, my way.
End of Part One.
Looks like I have reason to be. Brown shirts on the way......
Jackson's State of the Union: "We're fucked."
You can arrest me now you facist fuckheads.