Thursday, July 31, 2008

President Greed

In case you needed any further proof that our country's decisions are being dictated by oil companies (including the choice to occupy and stay in Iraq), this useful tidbit was released today:

Exxon has reported record profits earned for the past quarter, breaking their own record from first quarter. No other company in the history of this country has made more profit than Exxon has made so far this year.

So how much are we talking about? In just three months, Exxon has taken in a profit of 11.68 billion dollars. Break it down and that equates to $1,485.55 per second.

It's not my place to judge, but I believe there's a special place in hell for these folks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Supporting "Traditional Families"?

The term "traditional families" has become a weapon used by conservatives wishing to attack gay families for their own political gain. Five minutes after watching McCain stutter over his answer to a question about whether he supports gay adoption (he says he only supports the traditional family), I found this little nugget over at goodasyou.org:

"The Family Equality Council's Kara Suffredini, Director of Public Policy had this to say about McCain's statement:

These are the facts about American families. According to the 2000 census, the vast majority - more than 75% - of American households differ in structure from two married, heterosexual parents and their biological children. We are a nation of blended and multi-generational families, adoptive and foster families, and families headed by single parents, divorced parents, unmarried parents, same-sex couples and more. As an adoptive parent himself, McCain should be well aware of this. As a presidential candidate, he should seek to honor and support the many kinds of families that exist, rather than dismiss the vast majority of households in this country as second-tier."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"bring them to justice"

Most Americans with a television remember the days after September 11, 2001 when President Bush addressed a grief-stricken country at ground zero. He assured New Yorkers, and the rest of the country, that the criminals who killed 3,000 Americans would be tracked down and brought to justice. To wild applause he told the crowd, “I can hear you. I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Almost seven years later Osama Bin Laden, the identified ringleader behind 9/11, is still at large. We now have over 4,000 American solders dead because of the war in Iraq.

My questions: Who is going to hunt down those responsible for the thousands of American casualties in Iraq (aka the Bush administration) ? Who is going to bring them to justice? If it is true that nobody is above the law (how many times did we hear this when President Clinton was being brought to trial?), then why is Bush not being prosecuted? How is it possible that this story is not getting any news coverage, and most importantly, how we are not all outraged?

Look through my window

It's wicked sticky & hot out there today.

But wait there's more...

This Elaine Donnelly gal (seen in previous post on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell") is a hoot! I bet she's a riot at parties. You can read more of her enlightened comments on gays in the military over at the Washington Post. I love these self-proclaimed Christian types who are soooo out there that they become cartoons.

Dana Milbank: "Sorry We Asked, Sorry You Told"

Stewart on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Once again, The Daily Show says it better than anyone else:



Or if you prefer: link to video

Monday, July 28, 2008

McCain on Affirmative Action

John McCain was on Larry King tonight. When Larry asked McCain to clarify his views on Affirmative Action he gave a response that was solid gold. This isn't a direct quote, but McCain basically said that he does not believe in quotas (not surprising), and then he said that if people want an example of the most equal opportunity employer out there they need not look any further than the UNITED STATES MILITARY. I swear to God I'm not making this up.

Hey John-John. I'm gay. Can I enlist in the military? No? WELL THEN THAT'S NOT EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. In fact, that's the exact opposite of EQUAL. Here's how it works, see: if the employer discriminates in the hiring process, then they forfeit the title of "equal opportunity employer". Get it? You know, when you get a moment, Johnnyboy, you might want to look that up on Google or Wikiped - -oh I forgot that you don't know how to use a computer.

The thing is, McCain said it all with a smile, almost beaming as he boasted about how anyone can enlist, and they'll get great benefits and they can get their schooling paid for...except they have to be straight or at least pretend to be straight.

The Prosecution of GWB for Murder (dedication)

It was a little late in arriving, but my book finally showed up today, and I've started reading it. The book's dedication, by author Vincent Bugliosi, is sobering:

"To the thousands upon thousands
of men, women, and children
who have lost their precious lives
in the senseless Iraq war
and to all the loved ones they left behind
whose suffering will never end,
with the hope that this book will
help bring those responsible
to justice."

I encourage every American to read this book. If you do read it, or if you already have, I would be very interested in knowing what you thought.

Peace.

6:40 am

What I'm reading:

So it's not just me




Sunday, July 27, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

On my turntable: Dennis Wilson - Pacific Ocean Blue

As expected, this little beauty showed up on our front porch this afternoon. I tried to listen to all six sides, but I was sooo tired and kept dozing off. So I get to listen to it again now.

The only solo album released by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, Pacific Ocean Blue (1977) has been carefully and beautifully repackaged as a three LP set on blue vinyl, with all original artwork and photos, plus some awesome extras. The most special part of the package is the inclusion of a wealth of tracks from the ill-fated Bambu sessions.

Some of the major highlights:
  • "It's Not Too Late", an unreleased Bambu track, a duet with Carl Wilson. Absolutely gorgeous. According to the liner notes, this recording was done at a bit of a crossroads between Dennis & Carl's relationship. Carl was going through the process of cleaning up his own life at the time, and Dennis, who was dealing with increasing substance issues, got painted out of the picture.
  • "Holy Man", an unfinished track from POB, has now been completed with new vocals by Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters). Taylor does such a good job on this track that I didn't know it was him at first, because he actually sounds quite a bit like Dennis. The completed instrumental track for "Holy Man" is also included, showcasing Dennis' gift for arranging.
  • "Love Surrounds Me", a track that eventually wound up on the Beach Boys L.A. (Light Album) (1979), is included here in its original stripped-down form, without the overdubbed vocals from the group. The simplicity of the track as it is presented here is beautiful.
I haven't always been a fan of Dennis' post-Holland vocal work. The more I learn about this part of his life, however, the more I appreciate the fragility and raw emotion in his voice. These tracks were really the last burst of creativity that came from Dennis. When the Beach Boys' Brother studios was sold in the later 70's, the sessions for Bambu started to unravel, along with pretty much everything in Dennis' life.

Wilson watch

A couple of weeks ago I received a $25 certificate for Amazon.com. Without much thought I quickly logged on and ordered the new Dennis Wilson 3-LP vinyl reissue of Pacific Ocean Blue. I've been tracking the shipment, and I'm excited to say that it arrived yesterday in St. Paul, so it should be on my turntable later today. I'll keep y'all posted...

New Wendy & Lisa!!

Huge thanks to Kyle for the heads-up on this one...

Wendy & Lisa have a new album called White Flags of Winter Chimneys, and you can download the first track, "Balloon", now at WendyandLisa.com. According to the website, W&L will be putting new tracks up over the coming weeks until the full album is released.

"Balloon" features mainly Lisa on lead vocal. What struck me most on the first listen was those unmistakable Wendy and Lisa chord changes. These gals have a way with creating moods through their song structure -- it's hard to explain, but those of you familiar their stuff will know what I mean.

So exciting!

Friday, July 25, 2008

On my turntable: Debbie Harry - KooKoo

I've considered myself a Blondie fan since '79, when I bought my first copy of Parallel Lines (1978) on a crappy sounding cassette. I saw my first Blondie concert in the summer of '82, plus a couple of times since then. So why did I choose to pass on Debbie's 1981 solo album KooKoo? Maybe it's because there weren't any real radio hits from this record (at least not on Minneapolis radio). Whatever the reason -- I'm glad I finally bought it this week.

KooKoo is a good, but not phenomenal, record, produced by Edwards & Rodgers of Chic fame. It doesn't sound much like a Blondie album (especially the Edwards/Rodgers tracks), which I'm sure was intentional. Prior to this album's release, most people didn't understand that Blondie was the name of a BAND, and not Debbie's actual name. I was one of those fans that used to get fully agitated whenever somebody said "Oh Blondie? I love HER".

Best track on the album by far (IMO): "The Jam Was Moving".

Videos:
"Backfired" (cool video!)
"Now I Know You Know"
"The Jam Was Moving"

MN gay couples looking to sue state

I learned about this from Eleventh Avenue South, and I hesitate to say that I have mixed feelings about it. In my core I know that it's the right thing to do, but the Scandinavian Lutheran in me says "don't rock the boat" and "don't draw attention to yourself". My Catholic faith tells me that we need to stand up for the rights of those who are marginalized in society. One thing I know for certain is that Leo and I will be relying on the support of all our friends and family, should we choose to involve ourselves with this lawsuit.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

6:40 pm

The 1980s were the last great decade for the 7" single. This is a format that deserves to be resurrected. Last week I saw a British music magazine, one that usually has a free compilation CD affixed to the front, with a free 7" attached instead. Perhaps the winds of change they are a-blowin'...

On my turntable: Best of Blondie

I tend to not blog about "best of" albums unless there's something that makes them unique. This particular compilation features special mixes of "Heart of Glass", "Sunday Girl", and "In the Flesh" by producer Mike Chapman, but aside from some new sounds added to "Heart of Glass" and some French lyrics on "Sunday Girl", the mixes aren't that "special", IMO. Still, The Best of Blondie (1981) is a great, albeit not definitive, collection. For a more comprehensive career-spanning collection, Greatest Hits CD+DVD (2006) is a much better set (although so far unavailable on vinyl).

Obama World Tour '08

I'm watching Obama's speech live from Berlin. HOT DAMN. Powerful speech, in front of tens of thousands.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On my turntable: The Time - Pandemonium


Monte, Jellybean, Jesse, Morris, Jimmy Jam, Jerome, and Terry are performing on Leno tonight. So exciting!



Video:"Jerk Out" (1990)

White Castle

I just saw Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) for the first time, and I laughed pretty hard. One of the highlights for me was when they finally got their sliders - their expressions were priceless, and completely appropriate considering the feast laid out before them (see clip):


I've been hardcore veggie since 1990, but I've always said there were two meatforms that I still miss. One is fried SPAM, and the other is White Castles. They're not even really food, but they are friggin' delicious.

McCain goes to the supermarket

McCain is all over the news today, doing what appears too be "research" at some local grocery in Pennsylvania, talking to regular Americans about how tough things are. He looks completely uncomfortable and out of place in his wannabe President suit, and actually looks like a bit of a pest walking down the cereal isle with some of these shoppers. I imagined one lady saying "Hey John McCain - I have a kid here with a foul diaper who is five seconds from screaming his head off, and you want to talk to me about the price of milk?". Turns out McCain was interested in the price of milk, telling CNN how he's learned that a gallon of milk is now over $4. Yeah - news flash. "Regular Americans" are probably not impressed that you didn't already know this, Johnny.

Thank you, Dennis Kucinich

For the first time in a very long time I feel like someone in government has been paying attention. It appears that the ugly truths that so many of us have suspected about the Bush administration will finally get their proper forum at an Impeachment hearing this Friday. Kucinich has released this 6 minute video that I recommend watching. Nothing flashy or entertaining here - just the facts:


For more information visit: kucinich.us

On my turntable: Bee Gees - Mr. Natural

As a general rule I try not to blog about the same LP twice, but I'm making an exception today. Mr. Natural (1974) is an album that I've heard on CD more than on vinyl, having bought my first copy in the early '90's on CD. I obtained this new vinyl copy a couple of years ago on eBay, and the sonic difference is striking. What a good album.

(previous Mr. Natural entry: 2/25/06)

Video:
"Mr. Natural"
TV interview, Mike Douglas Show, 1974
"Heavy Breathing" Japan, 1974 (low quality, but interesting clip)

Pepe for president

Showing some love for my fave Muppet, the king prawn that is Pepe. Here he is in a classic bit with his former comic partner Seymour. I *love* that Pepe can be such a hothead:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some quick thoughts on Iraq.

First of all, I realize that most regular readers of this blog are lefty liberals like myself, so this rant is mostly preaching to the choir. So here comes the preachin':

Obama is out there communicating with the world. He's talking, listening, connecting, and it's pretty cool to see, even though the wacko right is criticizing him for being presumptuous, arrogant, etc. Whatever. Here's what's getting my goat today: Obama has suggested a 16 month withdrawal timetable from Iraq. The Prime Minister of Iraq has stated publicly that he agrees with Obama. Iraq wants US troops out of Iraq. Done deal, right? NO.

McCain and the oil war mongers are insisting that a time-table is jumping the gun, and that we need to "win the war on terror" before we come home. What does that even mean? How do they define WINNING? I don't even think most of them know. This war is bankrupting our country, yet lining the pockets of Haliburton. Billionaires are getting richer and richer, while thousands of innocent people die. I'll say it again: If the majority of Iraqis want us to leave, including the Prime Minister, then who the hell are WE to insist on staying? If we continue to stay after being asked to leave then we are occupying a country, pure and simple.

Tee of the day

Purchased on the Ramones' Adios Amigos tour, 1996.

"Back to the big discs"

I found this interesting article over at the awesome VinylFanatics website that talks about how LPs are made, including comments on vinyl's comeback. Jay Millar of United Record Pressing explains that vinyl sales really started kicking with the advent of the mp3 player. Quote: "People don't need their discs to be compact anymore, because you can't get much more compact than MP3. So it's back to the big discs."

Full article

"Wrong lads"

A clever commercial, and smart promotion, since The Beatles were promoting Anthology at the time, and The Monkees were gearing up for their 30th anniversary tour. Little piece of trivia: Peter Tork is pretending to eat the pizza in the ad, since he doesn't eat cheese, tomatoes, or pepperoni.

Product plug: Marconi Hot Giardiniera

My brother found this stuff last weekend at the grocery store by our campsite, and we both decided we needed to stock up on it before heading home. For all we knew, this small town in Wisconsin might be the only place in the universe that sells this delicious concoction of hot peppers, carrots, cauliflower, gherkins, and spices. I'll eat the stuff straight out the jar - it's that delicious (see pic).

Come to find out, the stuff isn't hardly as exotic as we thought, as I saw it at Cubs last night. Oh well. At least now I can rest easy knowing my fridge will never be without the magic that is the Marconi Hot Giardiniera.

Cause for concern?

I'm listening to Dawn's New Ragtime Follies again. This record has received more airplay in the past month than any other LP in the house. I think I may have a problem.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On my turntable: Queen - The Miracle

Methinks I may have unfairly misjudged this album, because it sorta rocks. Looking back to when The Miracle was released in '89, I wonder if my distaste for the record came from the album cover. Because really, that big-headed, five-eyed Queen beast is pretty creepy looking.

"I Want It All" is probably the album's most recognizable track (isn't it being used in a Burger King commercial or something?), but the LP generated several other singles: "Breakthru", "The Invisible Man", "Scandal", and the title track. The band sounds very together on this record (The liner notes state: "All tracks performed exclusively by Queen"), and Brian May's guitarwork is particularly stunning. Following this album the band would record just one more original album (1991's masterful Innuendo) before losing Freddie Mercury to AIDS in late '91.

Videos:
"Breakthru"
"I Want It All"
"The Invisible Man"
"Scandal"
"The Miracle"

bumper sticker wisdom

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Now with even more extra added fanciness!

I added two new fancy features to the blog today:
  • Fancy Mixtape: Did you know that over at muxtape.com you can create your own mixtapes for you and your friends to stream? It's uber fancy! I'm going to try to upload a new mixtape around the middle of each month with the tunes that I've been listening to, so that you can listen to them too. To check out my July '08 mixtape, just click on the little orange cassette tape in the sidebar to the right.
  • Fancy Bloggers: I've finally gotten around to adding a small blogroll of blogs that I enjoy. For now I'm going to try to keep this list limited to just those blogs that I read frequently. Some of these bloggers frequent this site as well, and you'll see their comments here from time to time.

Fave radio station: Radio K

I admit I don't listen to much radio, but when I do it's usually online or in the car, and it's almost always Radio K. I like to support Radio K because it has turned me on to a lot of new artists over the years (most recent examples: The Ting-Tings and Lyrics Born). Plus, the station is run by U of M students (go gophers!), and tends to be a bit rough around the edges, which I like.

wake-up song: "Charity Ball"

Legendary 70's female band Fanny (from the Sonny & Cher show):

Saturday, July 19, 2008

On my turntable: Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic

My good friend Jan and I talked about this record today at the neighborhood coffee joint. I picked up Toys in the Attic (1975), my first Aerosmith LP, just last week at the thrift store for a quarter. As a child of the 70's I was always aware of Aerosmith, but they never grabbed my interest enough to earn my limited record monies.

Toys is a very good album. On first listen I already knew five of the songs: "Sweet Emotion", "Walk This Way", "Big Ten Inch Record", "Adam's Apple", and the title track (although I must admit I was more familiar with REM's version of this one). As much as I enjoy this album, and I'm glad I bought it, I doubt that I'll be rushing out to get any more Aerosmith albums. Seems to me that if you're going to own just one Aerosmith LP, this is the one to have.

On my turntable: Sonny & Cher - Greatest Hits

I was putting some records away tonight when I saw this album and decided I needed to hear "When You Say Love". This song may be the only record in history to be based on a beer commercial. True story: Budweiser introduced its "When You Say Bud" campaign around 1970, which was so successful that Sonny & Cher released their own version of the jingle in 1972. The single ended up being the duo's last Top 40 hit, peaking at #32.


Friday, July 18, 2008

What I'm reading: The Gita (A new translation)

There are several things that have always attracted me to Hinduism, but the most prominent is its stance on non-violence, which includes the killing of animals for food, which is a violent act (modern factory farming of animals for food, even without the killing, is also mercilessly violent). Even though I'm a practicing Catholic I remain convinced that vegetarianism is the way to go (although I no longer get in people's faces about this).
The Bhagavad Gita, as I've always seen it, is essentially the Hindu bible. I've probably owned 4 or 5 different copies over the years, but this one is by far the easiest to understand. The Gita: A New Translation of Hindu Sacred Scripture (2007) is a beautiful new translation by Dr. Irina N. Gajjar. I picked this up just yesterday, so I've not read it all yet, but I plan to be reading it over the coming weeks. I'm finding that reading is a lot better for my blood pressure than watching the cable news networks!

Super cool website of the week: SendKarlRoveTo Jail.com

AMEN!


Few things would restore my faith in America like sending this pig to the big house. If you're so inclined, add your name to the growing list by signing the online petition:

Life begins at 40

According to the fancy site meter at the bottom of the page, this blog has reached over 40,000 visits since my first entry in September '05. This whole blogging thing has been a trip. I've always said that blogging is a bit of a narcissistic, self-absorbed activity, but perhaps that's the point? Dunno. I've got a good half dozen blogs that I check out on a daily basis, and I've met some swell online friends through this experience, so it's fun to just be a part of an online community. Thanks to everyone who continues to read my rants and share their views/input/experiences. You all kick ass.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

change schmange.

Around the campfire last Saturday my brother and I tried to convince our friends that the "mp3 generation" has been missing out on the thrill that we experienced growing up, of being fully engaged in the activity of listening to records. Some of you will remember a time when listening to new music consisted of getting home from the record store, cracking the seal on your new LP, and planning on spending the good part of an hour absorbing the music, which was played through actual speakers (or headphones, but not ear buds), while you looked at the artwork and read the liner notes.

During the campfire discussion one of the friends suggested that I was not accepting change, and that most people simply don't care about the "experience" of listening to music. Pardon the drama, but if this is true, then I think it's quite sad. Of course, the good news is that vinyl is currently enjoying a renaissance, and a significant portion of record buyers are young people who are discovering vinyl (and with it, the "vinyl experience") for the first time. I know that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to jump on the vinyl bandwagon, but I have to think that there are enough of us out there to keep this format alive and thriving for quite some time.

11:00 am

The lighting was poor, but I needed to take this pic of Leo & Simon snugglin' in the bed. Simon is as soft as he looks, and he smells great. Yeah, Leo smells nice too.

wake-up song: "Somewhere Friday Nite"

Woke up this morning with this song by The Turtles in my head:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I agree with Jesse

So Jesse Ventura was on Larry King a couple of days ago, and two of the points he discussed have really stuck with me:
  1. Sometimes being a "flip-flopper" is the right thing to do. Think about it. If you make a decision on something, but then later learn more about that something that allows you make a revised, more informed decision, isn't it appropriate to change your mind and/or your course of direction? Why is this so hard to comprehend? Lately every single contradiction from one of the candidates triggers the "flip-flop" accusation. Earlier this week the right issued a statement to the press labeling Obama as a Serial Flip-Flopper! Ridiculous.
  2. Nowadays you apparently can't run for president unless you have an affiliation with a church or pastor. When did this become a requirement? In fact, the rules now imply that you MUST be a Christian, because somehow we've become an exclusively Christian nation. So now we've marginalized all religious minorities, especially Muslims, and practically demonized them. I find it so offensive that Obama is constantly having to remind people that he is a Christian. As Jesse pointed out on Monday, whatever happened to the separation of church and state? What happened to religious freedom?

On my turntable: ELO - Balance of Power

I had little interest in Balance of Power (1986) when it first came out, and I can still take it or leave it. Overall this holds up as a decent mid-80's album, but it's a mediocre ELO album, in my opinion. By this point in ELO's career, leader Jeff Lynne was also apparently disinterested, since he very quickly moved on to being George Harrison's music partner/producer, and eventually a member of the Traveling Willburys.

Videos:
"Calling America"
"So Serious"

"Man Sized Wreath"

The official video for the best song (IMO) on the new R.E.M. LP. I friggin love this song:

On my turntable: Frank Sinatra - Cycles

At first glimpse, Cycles (1968) sounds like an aging rat-packer trying desperately to connect with a new generation of record buyers. I don't know whether his attempt was successful, but I'm going to guess it wasn't. At least not with this record. Younger generations would find their way to Sinatra, but not because he was trying to reinvent himself by recording the "hip tunes" of the day.

Cycles is far from being a bad record, though. Don Costa's arrangements here are downright lovely, and when you hear it there's no question that you're listening to a Sinatra record. Most of the songs are recognizable as the popular soft rock/folk tunes of the era: "Both Sides Now", "Little Green Apples", "By the Time I Get To Phoenix". Overall, it's a nice little piece of history.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Daltrey: "The CD was a confidence trick"

In a CNN article on The Who (honored on VH1 this Thursday), Roger Daltrey shared his views on the killing of the vinyl LP:

CNN: He laments the way technology has shifted how people regularly interact with music, saying the scrapping of long-play records signaled the death of the music industry.

"They've destroyed the form, as soon's it went digital. The CD was a confidence trick," Daltrey said. "It wasn't just music that people used to buy, it was a total art form. ... I think that's what people like. They like it personal. They like vinyl because if you scratch vinyl, it'll be scratched, but it'll be your scratch. It will only be on your record."

"Now for people, (music) is just not a big part of their lives. It's like background noise. There's just so much else going on, isn't there?" he said.

"Step up to be TALL"

Leo brought this home from the thrift store this morning. I expect that within a few days the bunnies will have claimed it as theirs to play on, under, and around...at least until we catch them chewing on it. It does look sorta delicious.

I've said it before...

...and I'll say it again.

George W. Bush is a LIAR.

Who taught you to lie like this, George? Was it (your favorite "philosopher") Jesus? We know that God has talked to you in the past, like that one time when you said God told you to attack, oh I mean liberate Iraq. Yeah. Heckuva job, there Bushie.

Blech.

"It's A Game"

I've had a lot of coffee this morning, so I'm wired as it is. When I found this Bay City Rollers video online a few minutes ago I got really excited, like a dog who knows he's going for bye-byes in the car. I never knew this video existed.


Yes, I was a geeky boy fan of the Rollers when I was a kid (we were rare, like unicorns). I still am a geeky fan, because they rock. This here clip is an official promotional film for "It's A Game", the opening track from their spectacular 1977 album of the same name. What's really interesting about this video is the presence of Pat McGlyn, who joined the group after Ian Mitchell's abrupt departure, and stayed with them through the recording of It's A Game, but then left the band before the album's release. The video is actually quite nicely done:

at long last...

Some awesome YouTuber has posted a gorgeous color version of the intro to the Hudson Brother's Razzle Dazzle Show, which was recently released on DVD.

Look through my window

We're expecting a scorcher today in Minneapolis. Leo put this reflective stuff on the some of the windows that tend to take in a lot of the heat. It's not pretty to look at, but if it helps keep the house cooler, I'm all for it.

Super cool website of the week: Fight the Smears

Even though it angers me that we even need a website to battle the ridiculous lies against the Obamas, I'm glad that it exists. The website lists different smears that have been used, and addresses them head-on. Example:
Hey IDIOTS - if he wasn't born in the US, he couldn't run for President. Obama has made his birth certificate public, and anyone who knows how to google can find it. The right is creating complete fiction, hoping to reinforce this idea that Barack is un-American. Luckily for the right, some people will believe anything they are told.

I hope that people take the time to look at it, and better yet use it, instead of simply believing these baseless untruths made up by the right.

Monday, July 14, 2008

thoughts on the New Yorker cover

Satire. Commentary. Ever heard of them? It appears that most of the country hasn't, because they are treating this New Yorker cover as the smoking gun, the ultimate proof that the Obamas are indeed dangerous Muslim extremist flag-burning America haters.

Today's biggest headlines appeared to be the New Yorker cover, Brangelena's new offspring, and Miss USA tripping on her gown (which by now I've seen at least a dozen times). Wow - is this really the biggest news of the day? How about the impending Bush & Cheney impeachment movement that is picking up speed? Is that not newsworthy? What about Bush lifting the ban on offshore drilling, or granting immunity to the phone companies that helped to illegally spy on Americans? NOPE - sorry. America cares more about celebrity babies and a cartoon drawing on the cover of a satire magazine.

Of course I understand that it was a bad idea for the New Yorker to put out this cover the way they did. It was short-sighted of them to think that everyone would see it as a commentary on the ridiculousness of the spin machine. But come on - does anybody have an attention span anymore, or the ability to think critically? Enough already.

We've hit yet another new low in America.

best LPs of 2008 (so far)

I've obtained many great new vinyl LPs so far this year, but the only albums in this list are those with an actual 2008 release date. It's been a good year for music so far!

10. Juno (Music from the Motion Picture)
9. Elvis Costello & the Imposters - Momofuko
8. Liam Finn - I'll Be Lightning
7. Black Hollies - Casting Shadows
6. Bob Mould - District Line
5. Radiohead - In Rainbows
4. Lyrics Born - Everywhere at Once
3. Weezer - Red Album
2. B-52s - Funplex
1. R.E.M. - Accelerate


LPs anticipated for the 2nd half of '08 include We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings, That Lucky Old Sun by Brian Wilson (8/19), Pacific Ocean Blue (expanded reissue) by Dennis Wilson, Modern Guilt by Beck (7/22), and Parallel Play by Sloan (7/22).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

pink.

The camping trip was great. I laughed a lot with my friends, and enjoyed being in the outdoors for a change. When it comes to being outdoors, being of Swedish, Norwegian, Swiss, German and Irish origin, I try to be extra careful about using sunscreen. I tried to stay in the shade yesterday when I realized I was out in the sun without any SPF, but I wound up getting a little pink anyways. I'm not too pleased about it. Harumph.

It's great to be home!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

checklist

Camping essentials checklist:
  • lantern...check
  • sleeping bag...check
  • tent...check
  • whisk broom (because a tidy tent is a happy tent)...check
  • cooler...check
  • clean undies...check
  • remote control fart machine...check
  • ear plugs (so I don't kill my snoring brother in his sleep)...check
  • Tylenol PM (because sometimes ear plugs aren't enough)...check
  • awesome camping hat...check
This weekend is our 22nd annual camping trip in Wisconsin. We camp in the small town (it's a village, technically) where my dad grew up, which has more significance since his passing. Back when (way back when) we started camping I decided I needed a special hat, so I bought this snazzy number at K-Mart. I chose this one because thought it looked like the Partridge Family bus. It's OK to be jealous.

Happy Beatles Day

Liverpool is celebrating its first "Beatles Day" today.

Coverage at the Liverpool Echo

Look through my window

Stormy weather.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

On my turntable: The Monkees - HEAD (Original Soundtrack)

When The Monkees started working on what would become their only feature film, HEAD (1968) they were at the top of their game. They were producing their own gold & platinum records, writing many of their own songs, selling out worldwide concerts, and they had a top-rated tv show. By the time the movie was released in October that same year The Monkees tv series was off the air and the band was in speedy decline. The fact that the film failed miserably at the box office likely played a role in it's eventual cult status. If you've never seen it, I highly recommend. It's a very interesting and colorful movie.

The film's soundtrack, produced by The Monkees and compiled by Jack Nicholson (who also wrote the film's script) is equally colorful and interesting. Anyone who doesn't think The Monkees belong in the rock & roll hall of fame should listen to band's first album, followed by HEAD. The musical progression is pretty astounding when you remember that The Monkees had to fight hard for the freedom to be involved in the making of their own records.

HEAD Videos:
"Porpoise Song (theme from "HEAD")"
"Circle Sky (live)"
"Can You Dig It?"
"As We Go Along"
"Daddy's Song"
"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?"

Original theatrical trailer:

FOX trashes Michelle

And I just shake my head (and sign the petition):

Sometimes stereotypes are true

The more I read the entries at StuffWhitePeopleLike.com, the whiter I feel. Case in point: Turns out that white people, according to the site, "will frequently show up to various events 15-35 minutes early for no reason at all". I thought that this was a learned behavior, but no -- it's because I'm white that I have this drive to be freakishly early to everything. Also, the site's observations on white people & sweaters (especially cardigans) was spot on. (at right: me in one of my fave Izod cardigans).