Thursday, February 28, 2008

David Archuleta

In My Absence

I know I haven't been very good with keeping up with posting on here lately. The last month at work has had me traveling out of town every at least a few times each week and when I'm in town things have been very busy. But it all ended this week, so hopefully things will get back to normal. I have some ideas for some long, thoughtful posts coming until than I thought I'd just post this commercial that tickles me every time I see it.

More MacDonald

What with all the traveling and work lately I haven't had much time for anything, but of course whenever I go anywhere I bring a book with me. I just finished Slam the Big Door by John D. MacDonald before and grabbed another MacDonald from my stack. (The stack is a about two dozen MacDonald paperbacks from the 50s and 60s I purchased as a lot from Ebay awhile back.) This one was Where is Janice Gantry?

Like any MacDonald book this was a great read. A few interesting points about it. The book opens in Horseshoe Bay, the same setting from the book I just read by MacDonald. I put it down to the writer just wanting to use the same locale. About halfway through the book he mentions a car crash that happened in the previous book. Neither book relayed on anything from either book but MacDonald let the reader know the books were taking place in the same world.

This book, the main character is a prototype for his more popular series character Travis McGee. Besides McGee he has a sidekick character for the main character Sam Brice that I see as insipartion for Meyer, his sidekick for McGee. Brice is far from McGee's tarnished knight but in him you can see the inklings of the character that would become McGee.

At less than two hundred pages this was a quick read and very enjoyable. This was written in the early sixties when MacDonald was cranking out his paperback thrillers, but even with the quanity he was producing he was writing quality books.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recipe For Me

I got this from Trav.

The Recipe For John

3 parts Inspiration

2 parts Aspiration

1 part Charm

Splash of Brilliance

Shake vigorously

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Question to Everyone Reading

If anyone has noticed this year I have not posted any of my daily regulars: Rock n Roll History, Book Fun or Word A Day. I planned to, I have the material ready to do so, but I thought I'd put the question out there to everyone. Did anyone read those daily posts? Does anyone want to read them again?

I liked doing them for nothing else that they made me blog daily and a lot of the time if I was going to do those posts I ended up doing others.

Ok, fill my box up with those answers now while I'll be out of town for the next few days.

More Vinyl to Ipod

It's been busy around here lately, with me not being home long enough to do much of anything, but today I spent a little free time converting some more vinyl to the Ipod. I have a 4 hour drive tomorrow, so I need some tunes on the Ipod. (Actually according to Itunes if I started now it would take me almost twenty days to listen to all the songs I already have on my Ipod.)
First up was the first album by the Rainmakers. This is a mostly unknown band from the 80s. They were one of my favorite groups when they first came out. Their music was full of passion and really rocked. They put out a few albums and than kind of drifted apart to come back together once or twice, but never really did much else. The lead singer and writer of the group Bob Walkenhorst has put out a solo album that I don't have. In researching more on this group I've discovered I'm missing a few albums that they put out later that I need to get, including a live one.
I realized that I don't have any Who in my Ipod. Now at one point in my life I wouldn't make it through a day without listening to some Who. While I'm not quite as fanatical about the group now I still like them a lot. So I had to figure out which album to download. I wanted to put their classic Who's Next but for the life of me couldn't find it. (As I'm typing this I just realized where it is. I have about a dozen albums in frames hanging on the wall. And this is one of those albums. Duh!)
Finally I managed to download Bob Marley's Legend album too. In fact that's the album I'm listening to now as it copies to the computer. Not a lot of albums this time, but it takes time and that's something I've been in short supply of lately. Another two weeks of this and hopefully things will be back to normal.

Slam The Big Door

I just finished re-reading John D. MacDonald's book Slam The Big Door. MacDonald is better known for creating the character of Travis McGee, one of the best mystery series ever written. But his other novels are just as good. MacDonald toiled in the paperback field, back when such an undertaking ususally meant that the writer wasn't good enough to produce hardback books. That was definintely not the case with MacDonald (and a host of others too). His books could stand up the best of the more "literary" hardbacks. But his novels were mainly mysteries or potboilers, stories that weren't taken seriously. Yet in his novels you could learn more about the human condition than in many more important works. In most of his novels there was always a moral pointman, a man that knew what was right and what was wrong. In some of his earlier novels you can see the blueprint for Travis McGee being written. Every few years I go back and re-read the entire Travis McGee series, starting from the first and ending with the last one written. In interviews MacDonald used to say that he had written a "final" McGee novel, but we've never seen it so I guess he didn't. Which while it would be interesting to see how he would have ended the McGee series probably is for the best, we can imagine the beach bum knight still out there, helping out those that need help and sitting on his boat "The Busted Flush" and watching the new crop of beach bunnies invading his turf. Which is as it should be.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Press Conference for End of Writers Strike

Shelby Lynne: Anyone Who Had A Heart

Writers Strike Over!

I've been remiss lately in posting about the Writers Strike, but now I don't have to worry about it, it's over. I know, this is old news for most of you, but I've been kind of absent from here lately and am trying to get back up to speed. From the sounds of things the Writers have gotten much of what they wanted, like any bargaining I'm sure there are some things that they had to take off the table to get other things they felt more important. For more information check out some of these sites: fans4writers (where I got this picture), United Hollywood and for some of the best talk about what was going on with the strike Mark Evanier's blog (besides his insightful words about the strike he always is talking about something interesting).

Back Briefly

I'm in the middle of traveling for work right now, with an actual two days off before I have to head off for Alexandria (a four hour trip) Monday and start the madness over again next week. Five more stores to finish and than things will be as close to normal as they ever get around here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Steve Gerber R.I.P.

Most of my heroes have been more of the literary bent. I actually was thinking along these lines earlier today, how most guys can tell you all about what type of bat you should use, the difference between gloves, etc, but some reason none of that held much interest for me. While other boys were worshipping at the shrine of Mickey Mantle or Micheal Jordan I bent knee for names like Stan Lee or Harlan Ellison.

One of these heroes of mine just died last night. His name was Steve Gerber and he wrote comic books for a living. But what comic books he wrote. In the 70's he wrote comics for Marvel. He wrote Man-Thing, Defenders, Omega the Unknown and many others. Reading a Steve Gerber comic was like reading no other comic book. And of course he created Howard the Duck. Unfortunately the character is mostly remembered today for a movie that is considered to be one of the worst ever made. The movie did not come close to capturing the spirit and life that Steve brought to his four color creation.

Mr. Gerber had pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that turns the lung tissue to scar and destroys the lungs ability to function. He had trouble breathing. I can imagine the pain and struggle he took to just breath, having seen this in the past year with my Dad. It's heartbreaking to watch someone you love just struggle to take a breath, to not even be able to walk across the room without being out of breath.

Even today some of my favorite comic books are those that Mr. Gerber worked on. His run on the Defenders is one of the best team comic books ever done. His Man-Thing took a character that literally had no personality and created a comic like no other. His Howard the Duck will always be a high water mark for any comic creator.

I never met the man, but tonight I am grieving. He's talked about his illness in various places, so this isn't a complete surprise, but you always hold out hope for the best. For more about the man go read Mark Evanier's more eloquent post or read some of Steve's last posts himself at his blog.

Sometimes someone that you never meet can touch you in ways that you never imagine. Steve Gerber was one of those people.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Out of Town

I've been out of town for the past few days for work. Mainly working fifteen-sixteen hours overnight and getting a few hours sleep and than doing it all over again. I hope to be home Monday evening, only to back out Tuesday. But Wednesday I'm off and may spend the day sleeping. I'm typing this on my laptop, mainly to see if I can post from it. I really hate typing on it. I keep hiting the mouse pad and moving things all around. I haven't had time to visit anybody, so I hope everyone is doing good. When things get back to as normal as they ever do I'll be back visiting.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Over at Voices to hear this week's spotlight is Alexa Ray Joel. I saw her last year at Jazz Fest and was very impressed with her. That's a pic of me and her after the show.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow's new album "Detours" is out today. This song and the entire album is amazing. Her last album "Wildflowers" I didn't like that much. But this album grabbed me from the first song and never really let go.

Out In Paperback

Out today in paperback is the new Harry Dresden novel White Night. This is a great series that I just picked up on this year.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Peter Wolf

In the 70s and 80s the J. Geils Band was a hard working, blues rock band from Boston. Their lead singer was Peter Wolf. One of their first hits was the song "Love Stinks." But they really didn't hit it big until "Centerfield." This song was a big hit and actually not a lot like most of their previous material, being a lot more pop oriented.

If it was the change in musical direction or the pressure of being "Big", it wasn't long afterwards that the group broke up. Peter Wolf went on to a solo career, even though he hasn't released enough albums. Wolf is an exceptional singer, reaching back for inspiration from those old R&B singles and blues singers. This video is from his first solo album and is the title song "Lights Out."

The Giants Win

A football dynsaty. Archie Manning, the former Saints quarterback, and his two quaterback sons, Eli and Peyton.
In New Orleans Archie Manning is considered special. I remember back in the day when he was traded from the Saints to Minnesota (I think that's who it was). The city was in shock. Archie stayed loyal to the New Orleans team during seasons where if he had played with a better team he would be known as a much better quaterbck. Even with the Saints Archie was elected to the Pro Bowl multiple times.
Now both of his sons have done what he was unable to accomplish and win a superbowl.

Shelby Lynne: The Albums

Shelby Lynne: Dead Flowers

My Favorite Commerical

Everyone knows the important thing during the SuperBowl is actually the commericals. So far I haven't been all that thrilled with any of them. And speaking of thrilled, the new Michael Jackson commercial for Pepsi is allright, but I'm so tired of Michael Jackson. The Justin Timberlake Pepsi commercial was cute.

But the one I love is the Coke commerical. I'm sure it'll be on YouTube before long and I'll post it than, but basically it's a battle between the giant ballons of Underdog and Stewie for a giant ballon Coke. The Coke ends up escaping from between their grasps and ends up in the hands of the giant ballon of....Charlie Brown. A winner for once!

It's going to be tough to beat this one.

Superbowl: Tom Petty

I have to admit upfront that I'm not a big fan of either team. But two things make me pull for the Giants. One is that I don't like New England and I gotta go for the hometown boy, Eli. Now I am a big fan of Tom Petty and enjoyed his halftime show. From what I've seen so far New York has done a good job of putting the pressure on Tom Brady. Now if Eli can make some points.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More vinyl converting into the IPod

I've added a bunch more albums to the Ipod. I thought I'd list a few that I've been able to convert from vinyl to digital and put on the IPod.
Pictured above is the Red Rockers first album, Good as Gold. This is actually a local group from close to two decades ago. The lead singer is John Thomas Griffith who sings and plays guitar with Cowboy Mouth now. The guy third from left is Darren Hill who used to work with me back in the old Service Merchandise days when I lived and worked on the Westbank. At the time I knew he played guitar but didn't know he had a band. The Red Rockers didn't appear though until after he left the store, so maybe at that time he didn't have a band.
Alannah Myles: Alannah Myles. Her best known song is "Black Velvet" which I think is a fantastic song. She has a very good voice and the other songs on this album are pretty good, with a good rock to them. I have no idea what happened to her after this album though. Is she still around?
Richard and Linda Thompson: I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight. Richard Thompson got his start in the English folk group Fairport Convention. After he left the group he met and married Linda and they put out some amazing music until their divorce. Richard still writes and records today. Linda did one solo album and than disappeared for twenty something years, until a recent comeback. This is a classic album with great songs. Richard is one of those guitarists that other musicians are in awe of. I had a bootleg album of John Mellencamp doing a Richard Thompson song and talking about how great he thought Thompson was.
Rick Nelson: In Concert. By this point in his career he had dropped the y from his name and was just Rick. Rick, because of his tv show never got his due as a good, solid singer. After his teeny pop days Rick moved more towards country rock and Dylan. Some very good stuff here from the early 70's.
Bob Seger: Live Bullet and Ranblin' Gamblin' Man. I love Bob Seger. I've already copied one of his early albums onto the Ipod and have more to go after these. Most of my Bob Seger albums were on vinyl and not on cd. I have a few of his more recent ones on cd, but most of his stuff was done before cds so they're on vinyl. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man is his first album on a major label, this one being Capitol. Live Bullet is the album that help push him into super stardom. It is also one of the best live albums ever.
John Mellencamp: Scarecrow. This was the album that proved that John Mellencamp had to be taken seriously. His previous albums showed some of what he was capable of, but it was on this album that it all came together.
Chuck Berry: St. Louis to Liverpool. What can be said about Chuck Berry? He all but invented Rock and Roll. This is one of his classic albums with such hits as "Little Marie" (better known as Memphis), "Promise Land" and "No Particular Place to Go."
I have so many more to go. Except for the Bob Seger I've stayed away from doing more than one album by any one person. I'll do an album and than see another album that I just have to get recorded, so if I've already did one album by that person I'll put the next one off to the side to get something different.

Friday, February 01, 2008

How Much Is Too Much?

Exxon Mobil released its yearly and quarterly earnings statement.

Revenue in the quarter rose 30 percent to $116.64 billion. For the year,
the company pulled in $404.55 billion, slightly larger than the 2006 gross
domestic product of Turkey, the world's 17th largest economy.

Aren't they claiming that the price of gas has to be so high because they aren't making money with the price of a barrel of oil being so high?

The company's full-year earnings of $40.61 billion set a new record for
U.S. profits -- beating out its own previous mark for 2006.

Now if I read that right, they made 40 billion in profits! They have made more profits than a U.S. company ever has. And I don't mean to imply that I don't think they should make a profit, that's what they are in business for. But the cost of gas keeps going up and up.

Does anyone really think that a gallon of gas will ever go below two dollars a gallon again? Or even two-fifty?

The Concert

Well I do have this picture from the Miranda Lambert concert, but it's not of Miranda. It's of me and Krista. Why do I always look so goofy when it comes to pictures? And of course I didn't shave, so I really look wonderful. The picture was taken by someone from a local radio station and they than put all the pictures on their website. I was trying to figure something out on my phone when she walked up and took the picture, her flash blinded me and of course my eyes are closed. I just take bad pictures.

Miranda Lambert Tonight

Just got back from the HOB Miranda Lambert show. The weather was terrible earlier. In fact it was so bad that they canceled all the Mardi Gras parades for tonight. I was worried about being able to make it to the show. I wasn't looking forward to crossing the lake in the storm. But luckily the weather passed over fairly quickly and it actually wasn't that bad by the time it was to leave for the show.

Let me say right now, Miranda Lambert rocks! This woman keeps the energy level high and puts on an amazing show. Hopefully I'll have some pictures from the actual show. Krista took some really good pictures and is supposed to make me some copies. I took some on my camera phone, but she looked like an alien in my pictures.

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