Saturday, February 28, 2009

Missed Old School Fridays

Somehow I forgot it was Friday yesterday and didn't post an Old School Fridays. The theme for this week was 10th grade. I hate to admit it but when I was in tenth grade it was 1975. If I had made a post it would have been this. Patti Smith released her album Horses in 1975. Now I wish I could say I was such a hip 10th grader that I was into Patti Smith, but I wasn't. I was bout as square and unaware of music like this as someone could be. It was only later that I discovered Patti Smith. Here is Patti Smith:

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U2 on Letterman

All this week on Letterman U2 will perform. Also this Tuesday sees the release of their new album. I just read two reviews of the new album from two different magazines from Time-Warner. Time magazine pretty much rates it a flop, about on a par with Pop. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A. That's about as far about as can be. I have to admit that most of the reviews have been very good for the album, calling it their best work since Actung, Baby! I personally am very anxious to get the new album and am upset because Monday and Tuesday I have to work overnight so I'm going to miss their appearance on Letterman.

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Speaking of Samuel Clemens

In my post about Philip Jose Farmer I made mention of Mark Twain. Today I just happened to pick up a biography of Mr. Twain by Ron Powers. I am a big fan of Mark Twain and am looking forward to reading this.

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Circuit City

Eight days left is what the sign on the outside of the building says. My television in the bedroom gave up the ghost the other day. While watching a DVD the picture disappeared as the voices continued from the speakers and suddenly smoke starting drifting up from the back of the set. I'm not in desperate need of a new tv, I still have the main one in the living room. It's just that I like watching my dvds of tv series on the bedroom set. So I've been pricing sets lately. I almost forgot about Circuit City. There is no store in Slidell, but one about thirty minutes away in Covington. I wasn't sure how much longer they had before the final day, so I wasn't sure what they would even still have in stock, but decided to go give them a look.

When I entered the store I realized that I wasn't going to be finding my new tv there. The walls were empty. A few display tvs sat on counters, but I wasn't going to buy a display from a store that I couldn't return it to.

I was surprised that they still have about a hundred cds and dvds left. Both were being sold at 60% off. I managed to find about eight cds and two dvd sets. The second season of Brotherhood, the Showtime show that most critics compare to The Sporanos was on sale for twelve dollars, which was a steal. I would have been glad to pay the original price of thirty dollars for it, I throughly enjoyed the first season. I also picked up the first season of Mad Men, which I haven't seen yet but keep reading how good it is. I was not about to pick it up for the original price, since it's pretty expensive for around a dozen episodes, but at their reduced price it was around sixteen dollars.

I manged to pick up some cds that I've come close to buying before, but always pass over. More from cost than anything else. Cds from Lee Ann Womack, Sam Philips, Tegan and Sara, BoDeans, Elvis Costello, Feist, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Neil Diamond and Tristan Prettyman. A pretty good haul if I do say so myself.

Back in the day I used to buy the majority of my music from Circuit City. When I lived on the Westbank, probably close to twenty years ago, there was a Circuit City across from the Mall. Their prices were good and they had a large selection of music. That was one of the things I liked about them. I could find a lot of stuff that you wouldn't think you would be able to pick up from a big box retailer.

And I bought my first computer from them. And a lot of other stuff. But than I stopped shopping there. I moved but there was always a Circuit City not that far from me. But they changed. And not for the better as far as I was concerned.

Their music selection shrank drastically. It became mostly whatever was coming out and a little of the big names back list. If I wanted something that everyone else wasn't looking for it became impossible to find there. And their prices went up. I'd say their prices for an average cd was at least a dollar more than Best Buy. Not a lot you might say, but when you buy a lot of music it adds up.

And trying to buy eletronics or computers from them became so difficult. No one seemed to know anything about the product, if you could find someone to wait on you in the first place. In what had to be one of the stupidest moves in retail history they let go of their more experienced associates and hired new people for as little as they could. There was no way they were going to attract anyone with any real knowledge for the wages they were willing to pay.

I'm sure that the economy had a lot to do with their eventual demise, but they've been going out of buisness for years before the economy took a nose dive. It's just finally caught up with them. I hate to see any business close but I can't say I was suprised by it.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

No Reunion For Slash and Axl

NEW YORK - APRIL 17: Slash of Guns 'n' Roses p...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I guess fans waiting for a reunion of Guns n Roses will have to wait a bit longer. Like maybe forever, at least according to this article. Truthfully, though I enjoy their music, I've never been a fan of Axl Rose.
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A Date For Them To Come Home

WASHINGTON - JULY 8:  Presumptive Democratic p...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

President Obama has announced an official time table for the troops withdrawal from Iraq. Go read about it here. By August 31, 2010 the majority of our troops will be out of Iraq.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Philip Jose Farmer Dies

Philip Jose Farmer, one of science fiction's greatest writers died Wednesday. He was 91 years old. I can't remember the first story I read by Mr. Farmer. I've got at least two dozen or more of his novels and probably half a dozen collections of his short fiction. He was not a writer that you could type, he was as comfortable writing pulp fiction as well as writing stories involving sex with aliens. He straddled the new wave and the old vanguard of science fiction. I've been reading his work just about as long as I've been reading. Along with writers like Isaac Asimov and Harlan Ellison Philip Jose Farmer has been one of the constants that I can always go back to and enjoy. When I was younger, in my teenage years, science fiction reached out and grabbed ahold of me in a big way. For about ten years that was probably all I read. I gradually moved away from just reading science fiction until today it's a genre that I rarely read. I don't ignore it, but at one time I could name all the major writers and what they had done, today I'm not sure who would be considered some of the big names in the science fiction field. I'll pick up something science fiction now and than and read it. Except there are always a few I can always go back to and read, no matter how many times I've read their work I know I'll enjoy it again. It's why I hold onto books like gold and rarely if ever throw one out, it's always a thrill to reach back and read something that once gave me joy. Mr. Farmer's work was one of those that I always enjoyed, no matter how many times I've read it. For me his greatest work was his Riverworld novels. This was a collection of novels where everyone that had ever lived and died on earth woke up on the banks of a huge river on another world. It was on this world we read the adventures of Richard Burton (the adventurer, not the actor) and Samuel Clemens and so many others.

I think it might be time for another visit to the Riverworld.

Rest in peace, Mr. Farmer and thanks for all your words.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lee Harvey Osmond

I just discovered this over at No Depression. It's a strange video but I kind of like the music.

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Tonight's Lost

Ok, I don't want to say too much about this week's episode, but what did you all think? I was surprised by the final scene between Ben and Locke. That's all I'll say for the moment, until everyone has seen it. In the division between Jack and Locke I've always sided with Jack, but it seems that Locke was more right about things. I know they're supposed to be starting to give us answers, but it seems things just get more confusing each week.

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The Music Scene In New Orleans Since Katrina

Rolling has a really good article about the music scene here in New Orleans since Katrina. Go here to read it. The article was written by Alex Rawls, a local that writes for the New Orleans local free paper Offbeat.

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Mardi Gras Come and Gone

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 24:  Mardi Gras reveler...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Yesterday was Mardi Gras. It's officially over now. I didn't go to one parade this year. I even forgot to blog about it. Mardi Gras is one of those things that I can't go to every year. It can be fun, but it can also be daunting. It's best when you're with people that have never been. As much as I didn't want to go this year, I'm glad for the years I've went and think it's something that everyone should experience. People that I know that live out of state don't understand it. One friend was telling me about parades in his hometown, but I tried to explain it's different. The city of New Orleans shuts down for Mardi Gras.

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Two Series Picked Up

Two series have been picked up for an additional season new year by the CW. Smallville will be back for a ninth season. This is a season that has a few dips now and than but overall I've enjoyed quite a bit. I'm glad to see it continue now, even though they've pretty much moved the action from Smallville to Metropolis. Maybe a name change is in order.

Also being picked up is Supernatural for its fifth season. From what I've read of the creator the fifth season should be the final, as he said from the start he had a fiver year plan for the series. This year has been really interesting with Dean's rescue from Hell by an Angel. Things are really heating up for the Winchester boys.

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New Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks' newest album is coming out next month. I was a big fan of him on American Idol and was thrilled when he won. I bought his first album and while I have liked it more over time, I still don't feel it was the best he was capable of. You can preview his new album here. I haven't listened to all of it yet, but from what I hear I'm really liking this one. The first song on the album "The Distance" is already the best thing I think I've heard from him. I'm getting excited about this album now.

Update: Since just writing the above I've listened to "Seven Mile Breakdown" and have to say this is really, really good. This is the type of music that I always imagined Taylor to be capable of making. I love this song.

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Things I'm So Tired Of

The Octomom who has to be living in her own little delusional world. I think she figures all these kids will get people to give her money and stuff so she doesn't have to work. And it makes her a public figure, getting her on TV and in magazines. Her own personal path to celebrity. Whatever I'm tired of reading and listening about her.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

State of the Union

Even though President Obama doesn't have to deliver a State of the Union since he just took over the state tonight's speech was essentially that. After a lot of speeches telling the public how dangerous the economic crisis is tonight's speech was one that focused more on hope. He didn't get into specifics, but mainly wanted to let the American people know that no matter how bad the situation was the country would prevail.

It's nice that we have a President that can actually put words together to form coherent sentences.

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Next Republican Candidate

Think we're looking at the next Republican candidate for President? For giving the Republican counter point to President Obama's speech he made sure to highlight his life and achievements as Governor of my state. I think someone mentioned he's already been to Iowa recently. He's starting to run for President pretty early.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Police

I just finished reading Andy Summer's book Last Train about his days as musician before and with the Police. At least half of the book deals with his life before he joined the group and even after he joined the book isn't one of those books that tell all these dark secrets and such of the group. He really doesn't get into a lot of the behind the scene stuff with the Police. He mentions drugs and groupies and fights but mostly in an offhanded way that doesn't tell you a lot. He talks more about his early days with groups like the Animals and breaking in as a musician. He's actually a good writer and most of this book is very good. I tend to get bored when he started talking about some of his drug trips and my eyes would glaze over. He doesn't try to paint himself as the hero and everyone else the villain of the piece. He takes his lumps and admits to being something of a jerk, especially during the heights of fame during the Police.

The Police are one of those groups that when they were first around I was in love with. I saw them in concert and bought up each album as it came out. But somehow over time I find myself less in love with them. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I'm not that in love with them anymore. I have the same situation with the Eagles, another group that at one time I was very into and now don't really care as much for. I like the Police still, but for me they haven't held up over time as well as others.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey

In the Beginning album coverImage via Wikipedia

I did something today that I thought I would never do. I bought a Journey album. I've never been a fan of the group. Back in their heyday I openly hated them. When friends were going to a Journey concert, I was nowhere around. I just couldn't stand their sound.

It was strange when Steve Perry released his first solo album I actually liked what I heard. I never bought the album but the songs I heard on the radio and MTV at the time I enjoyed.

So today found me buying their greatest hits. Maybe I've mellowed. I can't say I've become a big fan, but there is something about the songs. And there's something I'm writing where one of the characters is a Journey fan so I guess I can claim I bought it for research.

So now I own something I once thought I'd never own. A Journey album.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Old School Fridays: Jackson 5

Some early stuff, check out how young they look and Dick Clark looks like he always does.

This meme was developed by Marvalus View and Ms. Grapevine. The rules are simple:

1. Anyone can participate; any music genre
2. Old School is defined as music created before 1999
3. No offensive words allowed, please use edited radio version
4. Post a video of your favorite Old School song to take us back down memory lane
5. Add your name to the meme list so that others can check you out
6. Have fun & don't forget to leave comments for other participants

Balloon Ear

I came home from work yesterday and when I went to pet Buffy I noticed one of her ears looked like a balloon. Her left ear had swollen up like a balloon. I immediately got on the phone to her vet to find out what was going on. Regular readers might remember Buffy has ear problems, which is compounded by the fact that she won't let me clean her ears, I have to bring her in to the vet to get her ears cleaned. Well, it seems that he more recent ear problems are caused by her shaking her head. The blood vessels in her ear have pretty much broken and her ear is filled with blood and who knows what else, causing it to balloon. The vet gave me some medicine that hopefully will help. She said what usually ends up happening is surgery where they have to cut into the ear to drain the buildup. She doesn't seem to be in any pain, and her head shaking is almost gone, so hopefully when I come home from work tonight her ear will be a little smaller. One side affect of this can be her ear literally exploding. It's not as bad as it sounds from what the vet says. Basically all that blood needs someplace to go and it does. The blood is thinned with whatever else is in her ear so it will be thin and very messy the vet said. What's worse when this happens of course the dog starts shaking her head, throwing this mixture all over. I'm really hoping this doesn't happen with Buffy.

She's lying next to me as I type these words, seeming all right with the world for the moment.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Dresden Files

Jim Butcher & Paul BlackthorneImage by Mirka23 via Flickr

I love the series of novels featuring Harry Dresden that are written by Jim Butcher. This is one of my favorite series. I don't have the sci-fi channel so I didn't catch the television series that was made from the books. I finally picked up the DVD series when it went on sale.

Now in a lot of ways this tv series is not the series that was featured in the books. Harry is never seen in his trademark duster. His beloved blue beetle is missing. Murphy is not blonde (which might seem a minor point, but I think the writer made her blonde for a point, lightness against Harry's darkness), Bob is too much a good guy...I could go on, but you get the point. The first show or two I watched was slow getting through. In fact I started watching the series so many times over a period of time that I kept starting over with the first episode that I must have seen it half a dozen times. But I finally decided to sit down and watch a few more episodes.

And you know what? Even though I still can't connect this Dresden with the one in the books I ended up liking the tv series. It had a heart of its own. It's not going to become one of my top shows, Buffy has nothing to worry about, but it is a nice, quirky little show that I would have liked to see continue. I think towards the end the writers, actors and producers were just starting to find their voice for the show.

It only lasted one season which is a shame.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost Tonight

I've missed the last few episodes of Lost, having to work. I forgot that they show last weeks' episode before the new one, so I didn't turn in until nine to catch the new episode.

So now they're back on the island. They go back to the island to save the others left behind, right? So they were ready to sacrifice a planeload of innocent people to get back to the island. I have trouble with that. I find it hard to believe that they all wanted to get back to the island that bad. Ben, yes. In fact his comment to Jack on the plane was on target for him. But Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sun, Sayid....all willing to have all those others die to get back to the island. Not sure I buy that. But as it looks the others on the plane didn't die. Jack, Kate and Hurley appear on the island, no sign of a plane crash. I think somehow they just vanished from the plane to appear on the island.

Otherwise that did everyone else think about this episode?
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Snooks Eaglin

Snooks Eaglin, a New Orleans treasure died today. Eaglin began his career in 1947 at the age of 11. Snooks has been blind since his first birthday. His first recordings under his own name were done when he was a street musicain in New Orleans.

Snooks played r&b, blues and pretty much anything. I've seen him countless times over the years and he has always been a wonder. He played pretty much every year at Jazz Fest and I think I probably seen him every year I went.

At the first Jazz Fest after Katrian, when the Edge from U2 came down this was picture I took at Snooks show. Edge wanted to see this man play his music.

This is a video he did at the Rock n Bowl with George Porter from the Meters. That was Snooks, just as quick to talk to the auidence as sing, he was always a joy to watch. His like will not be seen again.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Need A Glove?

Michael Jackson, cropped from :Image:Michael J...Image via Wikipedia

Did you want that glove Michael Jackson used to wear? How about one his gold albums? His American Award for Thriller? Now's your chance to get them. Evidently Michael is really hard up for some extra cash and is auctioning these and a lot more off. Go see what you'd like to bid for here.

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More Troops To War

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 11:  U.S. combat...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

President Obama just ordered 17,000 more troops into Afghanistan today. They're part of a surge that could raise the amount of American troops in the area to 60,000 before long. Read more about it here. I know the plan is to take the troops from Iraq, I just hope we're not going to shift them over to Afghanistan. I really hope that the President has a plan to not keep these American men and women in harm's way indefinitely. I have a lot of respect for our current President so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in this situation and hope he knows what he's doing.
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Analog to Digital

Go here and read more about the whole mess.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Word of the Day: Sniper

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Kristin Ferris...Image via Wikipedia

Sniper: The snipe, a Eurasian bird common in wetlands and marshes, isn't the easiest thing to catch. A hunter generally sneaked up on it, disguised to blend in with the scenery, begrimed in mud and damp, and took a shot from as close as possible without alarming the bird. The term transferred to the hunting of humans in war or crime in the early nineteenth century, and the connection to the bird has been all but forgotten.

No, I'm not going back to do a word a day, but thought this was interesting and will post some once in awhile.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Cramps

I missed posting about this when it happened but thought I'd post something now. Lux Interior, founder of the band the Cramps, died on Feb 4. He was 62. He started life as Erick Purkhiser. He met his future wife while she was hitchhiking in California. She changed her name from Kristy Wallace to Poison Ivy and they formed the band the Cramps. They moved from there to Ohio and than to New York City where they were part of the beginning of punk music. They called their music pyshcobilly.

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Stormy For Senate

Stormy Daniels, American pornographic actress.Image via Wikipedia

Stormy Daniels, a porn star, is thinking about running for the Senate seat now occupied by David Vitter. Vitter is the Republican hypocrite that was caught in the D.C. Madame sting. At least we will know about Stormy's sexual escapades upfront. Read more about it here or go sign the petition for Stormy for Senate here. How serious all this is I'm not sure, but as always Louisiana politics is never boring.
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Film Maker Daughter

Journeys with GeorgeImage via Wikipedia

The Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi. Her daughter is a documentary film maker. She made a film called Journeys With George, which was about the campaign of the second Bush to occupy the White House. She's made a new documentary. To read more about it go here.
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