Saturday, July 30, 2005

Baseball: The National League West Sucks...

Seriously does anyone want to win in this division? The Padres, Dodgers, Giants and Rockies are below .500. I am a life long baseball fan but lately I am more interested in watching stats than actually watching a game. My team, the Giants, is freaking pathetic with out Barry in the line up. Padres are in the lead with a .495 winning record at 51 and 52. It comes down to who is going to lose less than who is going to win more. It's downright deplorable. Imagine this though, the Padres win the west and advance to the World Series and beat the Red Sox. God would that suck! A sub 500 team winning it all. Stranger stuff has happened. But this one may rank with the worst sports has to offer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Some good music: Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson

I got into this I-Tunes thing and it is a riot (and it's gonna get expensive) I stumbled into a recent classic. The VH1 Storytellers with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. I am truly a rock guy but for some reason I have written about Johnny a lot on here. Well, he was a rock guy first but... This album is a classic. I downloaded the thing for $11.99. 14 or 15 songs of fun.

It's sort of soothing yet compelling to hear two guys that had been around for a long time. They saw the ups and downs of being country music stars for 5 decades. For some reason, no matter what happen they always had what was true to them: their music. Willie and his beat up ole guitar and his gift for songwriting. Johnny and his voice. Can anyone ever sound like this again?

The album starts out with a Cash classic, "Ghost Riders in the Sky". There are duets through out the album but this one fantastic. The guys have very different vocal styles but yet, when you put the two together they mesh very well. You really get this in the 3rd track "Family Bible". The song nearly gets out of Cash's range but when you hear him try for those notes something great comes out of it. Some great classics here like Cash's "Don't take your guns to town" and "Folsom Prison Blues" and Nelson's "Funny how time slips away" and "Crazy". They really don't tell much about the songs and sometimes I wonder what Vh1 expected with the songwriters they had on there. Dave Matthews was funny on there because he was stoned out of his mind. But Willie and Johnny really didn't need to say much about the songs. These songs were stories. Who writes a song these days like Folsom Prison Blues with it's line "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"? The end is great with Willie and Johnny playing, "On the Road Again"

These two guys were and well, still are bad asses. I know Johnny has passed but recordings like these will always carry on. Something about this music in this old house we live in. I can play Metallica, U2 or I don't know, one of my wife's bleeding heart chick-band singers and nothing sounds better than Johnny and Willie here.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Mac Mini and that dreaded I-Tunes

We bought a Mac Mini this weekend. Scratch that, I bought it and she was forced kicking and screaming to accept it. (She accepted it with the grace as she always does) I was in the market for a new home computer. The one we have is fine, were not gamers or into massive amounts of CPU power to due the things we need to do. We both have a couple of laptops as well. So I stopped at the Apple Store at the local mall to have a peak at an I-Pod and came out with a power house of multi media that you can hold in the palm of your hand.

I bought the decked out one with the blue tooth wireless, air card, super drive, 80 gig hard drive and 1 gig of DDR RAM. Sheer amazement when I opened the box, plug it into the TV and the thing just worked instaneously. I just put my name in and that was it. Crazy stuff. Now I just got to learn this OS and quirks not found on a Windows based computer.

I-Tunes comes free so I tried it out and well, we're onto the 3 CD. I just bought the Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson VH1 Storytellers album. The scary thing about it? No teenaged degenerate with multiple piercings on their face standing there to run my bank card.

I bought this thing just for the multimedia aspects not found so easily on PC, like the photo programs, audio and video, DVD and CD creators and what not. Plugging it into the TV is ok if you have HD. I have had to do a lot of font adjustments so I don't fry my eyes. Widescreen is cool and so is having the internet access right at your entertainment system.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Stephen Pearcy: Hey look they're at it again!!!

But this time the state of California is helping them. Flashback to February of this year when I dazzled and excited you all with my coverage of the "terrorists down the street". The Pearcy's had placed that soldier effigy on their house here in Sacramento. No not their primary residence, just the one they use when they visit Sacramento and want to start controversy.

Stephen Pearcy, neighbor, lawyer and well, a pain in the ass if you are Pro-America, has done it again. You see, Mr. Pearcy doesn't like the Bush Administration. Which is totally fine, we elect a representative government every 4 years. This is a democracy not a freaky dictatorship. People have the right to free speech... but how about when it's offensive? Anyhow, Mr. Pearcy is an artist. His art though is different and is probably only well-liked in a few circles. But, his audience now is down at the California State Department of Justice near the office of my personal favorite elected official, Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Pearcy is presenting some artwork from 2003 and it is anti-Bush. See the photo below from News 10 here in Sacramento. (Read News 10's story as well)

OK kids, let's think about this one for a second. The Supreme Court of the US just ruled that the public display of the Ten Commandments is not ok in a Kentucky courthouse but ok in Texas Capital buildings. Fine, we could debate the pro's and con's of having the display until were blue in the face and you'll have 33% of the people fight for the Ten Commandments, 33% fight against it's display and 33% just flat out don't mind or don't care. Those of you that argue against the Ten Commandments on public display have many reasons but mainly argue the first amendment and some myth about the "separation of church and state". (Forgetting that the first amendment clearly states "Congress shall..." and ignoring the fact the judicial branch of government is not controlled by Congress) But I'll take your other argument against the Ten Commandments, and that's tax dollars. Many people do not want their money going to support a "God". And I can agree with that argument to a point because there are many religions that don't want your money. But there is historical significance in the Ten Commandments where some of US Law is derived from.

So then, is it ok for OUR TAX dollars being used to support Mr. Stephen Pearcy's upkeep and security of his art while on display down on California State Government Property? I mean, I don't support this message and I don't believe the United States is going down the toilet so that would mean I was offended. Any other display where a significant portion of the population was offended would most likely get this art taken down. And trust me, I can think of a large portion of population that would be offended by this art. Yet we have no recourse here because this art is supported by the State Attorney General Bill Lockyer. In my argument for the Ten Commandments, there was historical significance display it on a government building due to our country's history. But with the Pearcy's art, there is not, it's just a politcal opinion like a cartoonist would illustrate in a magazine that I would have a choice in paying for. And if this art is allowed to stay up, maybe America is going down the toilet, but fortunately it is NOT because of our President.

Visit Move America Forward for more on this story.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Observations Part 19: The political activist at 35,000 feet.

Our flight back here to Sactown was a bit late. Delays from fog in San Diego and record heat in the desert. We made it back safely with our livers still intact. (see post below).

We flew Southwest Airlines. Not at all a bad experience for a low fare flight. I mean they jam those planes full, have respectable promptness in loading and unloading of the craft and a friendly flight staff that will bend the rules to let your family stick together if your boarding passes don't have the same letter.

So there we were flying along three to a row. I had the aisle seat, my wife had the middle and the granola-like looking woman had the window. So we flew along. This is where one thing I remember from the Fight Club comes into play. Single serving friends. The small talk that develops from Southwest's lack of technology when it comes to in- flight entertainment. My wife, is peacefully studying her Japanese and I am reading a Golf Magazine and Motor Trend. You see, I really dig that Mustang, I just wish I could afford it. Then it starts... The freckle faced blond lady gets inquisitive of my wife's Japanese flash cards. The small talk starts, the lady lives in Sacramento and works in Las Vegas and my wife announces she's a teacher and well its on. The lady starts going on and on. My wife likes to listen to people whether she agrees with them or not. That's probably one of her best qualities. All I hear is leftist rhetoric that defies all sense of logical imagination. The lady went on and on about the world's poverty and starvation in Africa, and protesters not being able to protest Bush at some rally for fear they were a terrorist threat. Money grubbing people who eat $50 Filet Mignon meals at fancy restaurants, povery, anti-Bush this, anti-Bush that. The world's problems spewed out from a single serving friend on a short hour and ten minute puddle jump from Vegas to Sacramento. Woo Hoo. Couldn't she tell we were tired?

It got me thinking on the way home. Bush DID NOT create the situations regarding poverty in this country, starvation in Africa or the global terrorism problem. It was there long before he was. The crap that came out of this woman was non-stop and tightly sealed into an ideology of anti-Bushism/solution to all the world's problems. And that my friend's can be the real problem in the world when you listen to political stuff from both sides of the fence. Far and away left and far and away right all you sort of get to is an ideology that won't work because of the threats to humanity, the global economy or the safety for all that live in freedom by implementing each ideology. I really don't know what to classify this lady as, as I don't know a liberal that far left. But it's interesting. If you listened to her talk she sounded like a televangalist in away. Think about this one, pop on some Christian guy on Sunday morning, substitute "evil" for Republican Party, sub "satan" for Bush and Hillary Clinton or Ralph Nader for "Jesus" and basically they say the same thing, just from a different angle. The lady would not mention God like Jimmy Swaggert would because in her mind, God doesn't exist.

It's frightening world we live in. Pass the wine...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Ah... Red Square's ice bar at Mandalay Bay in Vegas. This was the USSR flight of vodka shots. They have well over 200 different types of vodka here. I had this sampling here last night. Notice the bottle of Guinness. I used it as a chaser. How cool is that? There are more photos from Vegas here, here and well.......... here. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 15, 2005

They made it back...

Katie and Tina made it back from London this week.

Man, they took a lot of pictures. I posted a few for fun for them on my photo blog seen here.

Cheeky!!! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Who knows, I could just be dying...

I don't profess to know anything more than the doctors I am "forced" to see at Kaiser. My very first post on this blog dealt with my life and going to the doctor and how I don't always seem to get a straight answer when I go.

I suffer from migraines. Probably a family trait that's been inherited from previous generations. I didn't always have them though. I had a few of those dull, sight-impairing headaches where you can't make out peoples faces or the words on a piece of paper when I was younger but nothing for a long time. Even through college where I worked 2-3 jobs AND was a full time student. I never got a day off for those 4 years unless it was summer.

Headaches first came after a concussion I experienced in April of 2002. Hard to believe it was 3 years ago. I hit my head pretty hard at work. I proceded to go down, but not out. I was dizzy for hours and stuff didn't make sense. I went to the emergency room and was told I was fine. Meanwhile, I had headaches and dizziness until that fall. Suddenly they all stopped. It was great. Then comes the spring 2004 and this crazy pain in my ear. They thought it was an earache but the pain got worse. I saw the ENT Doctor and basically said there was nothing he could do. Then the headaches came. Day after day, AM or PM, days I drank coffee and soda and days where I only drank water. It didn't matter if I skipped a meal or ate like a pig, these things kept coming. I have dealt with them for the last year and a 4 months and have had nothing change. I take some sleep aids and those seem to help. They aren't classic sleeping pills but something different and much, much safer. I'll never let the pain stop me, I just keep going and working and doing the things I like.

2 months back my left wrist started hurting. I don't know if it was my golf swing, my guitar or all the driving I do but man, what a pain. It's a constant cold pain in my wrist. Does it stop me? No... I keep going and just deal with it. It keeps going and so do the headaches. I went to the doctor on Friday and well, it just so happens it all may be connected. At least, that's the implication the physical therapist gives me. I get to go back on Friday. We'll see what happens.
It's one of many things: I am a wimp, There is something wrong, or????

Read my first post here. One of my best stories on here.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Observations Part 18: The Chaos of Terrorism Hits Close To Home


I have been suffering a lot of pain in my hands lately. It's either my torrid golf swing or typing on my damn computer or my cell phone/steering wheel combo driving position or my 12 string guitar. Whatever it is, it hurts like hell. I get to see Kaiser tomorrow for an exciting time at the ole physical therapist's office. Great! Meanwhile, I get to take Vicodin in the evenings for pain and so I can type little posts like this. And when a day like today comes along or if I experience something unique, I like to include them in my Observations posts. Check around my blog and see my other Observations. What an observation I will bring you today.

Meanwhile, back to the Vicodin, you know how it makes you sleepy. It actually cranks me up a notch. I absolutely could not sleep last night but I was in no pain. I went down to the basement to watch TV at like 1:00 am. I dozed in and out and I ended up on CNN at 2:00 am. Then it happens, Breaking News.

I perk up and see news of an explosion or power surge and some British guy who had a bad way of articulating what he saw. I was like, dude spit it out, what's going on? So 2am, insomnia, British guy babbling, London... HEY, wait a second!!!!

On July 6th, my sister in law and her best friend left for a trip they had planned for a while out of San Francisco to London. They left at 4pm on Wednesday, their plane was arriving at Heathrow right around the time this is all going on. I sat stunned in horror. What was I going to do? Wake my wife? Hope my sister in law would call? I see London get shut down. I hear horror stories of what's going on. I can't put it all together but there is something horrific. Was it 9/11 again?

I have been to London before. That town is full of people everywhere, in the subways, on the roads and in the big red busses. Did we have terrorists there now? Were they suicide bombers? Were they coming for us again? I felt panic and I was disturbed. I thought about my poor sister in law and her friend and what they may be going through. Was the bombing over? How do my wife and I get a hold of their parents? Oh wait, they're in San Francisco at hotel and not even home. Maybe it was this pain medication for my hands but, my thoughts spiraled out of control. You see it on the news and you see it all the time. People getting hurt. People dying. The terrorists really aren't that far away from you when it's happening like this, even though you are 6 to 7,000 miles away. Especially when you have family and friends going right to the middle of it. You couldn't just turn the page.

I woke my wife at 4:30am. I told her she needed to listen to what I was saying. I calmly spouted it out and she responded. She came down. She saw the news. I had to leave for work soon and well she really rallied the troops. We listened to the news and even when I had left, we were on the phone to each other. I was tuned to the radio and she to the TV and we listened to hear what was going on. Since we'd been to London, we knew the geography. We figured if the transportation was shut down, my sister in law and her friend would have missed the trouble and they were safe, even though they were probably tired and trapped in the vast Heathrow Airport but how could you really know unless they were right there? My wife called to wake her parents. They had no knowledge as it wasn't quite 6 am yet. For two hours as I drove to work, all I could do was listen and complain about the traffic; it was a helpless feeling. My wife and I convinced ourselves that everything would be fine, they'd be safe. I flipped throughthe news channels, I called my parents. Was it truly a dayto dread full of the unknown and hopelessness? I told my wife Kristen, if they called and were stranded and need money, head to Western Union, give our credit card out over the phone, do anything. I'd buy the return trip penalty to comeback ASAP, it did not matter. I truly was in panic mode.

At around 9 am, our time, Katie called my wife. They'd made it to Hyde Park. They were safe. The express train from the airport was still running out of Heathrow. Once they got to Paddington Station, they walked for a couple of hours but they were safe. The hospitality of Londoners is world renown and they got some great directions to get where they needed. It was a bit scary because they had just got off the plane while the bombs were going off. Security was everywhere. What a thing to walk into when flying 10 hours straight on a 747 and see some real life tragedy. Especially in a big spread out city like London where public transportation is its life's blood and that's exactly where you needed to be. I called my in-laws just to say they were safe. It was a relief.

By 9 am, I had called almost everyone I knew. Maybe it was just me or maybe I am just strange. It was almost like 9/11 again. Though I was 3,000 miles away back in 2001, the imagery was unfathomable. This morning, CNN was telling you what they could at 2 am PST. The British guy could only babble. The video told you there was more coming and a lot more wrong with the situation. To know somebody close in the middle of it all, well.... I just kept repeating the call. Then the relief to just call them back to say they were ok. To tell my parents they were ok. I wanted nothing more then to come home and write this post this evening. Just to tell you, they were ok.

My heart goes out to the United Kingdom today and for the days to come. I only wish I had a picture of John Lennon pointing back at the Union Jack to post today. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Liberal Bizarro World: Bring It On....


Welcome to Bizarro World!!!

Remember the Superfriends? They used to be on bright and early on Saturday mornings on ABC. I grew up on them. My favorite episodes involved the evil Bizarro Superman who lived on that Cubed- Planet Earth like place. Superman would have to go there and give him the blue Kryptonite to weaken him and save the square backwards people of Bizarro World. Bizarro Columbus must have sailed off the edge there...

Anyhow, the folks over on Bring It On are liberals. I have stated many times on my blog that liberals in general are moral, compassionate people. I just don't agree with their thoughts. There is no crime in that. Lately though I have been over there, getting in trouble and immediately the arguments go a bit sour and distasteful toward me. Alas, I can handle it, it's all in good fun really if you think about it. I mean we all have the same goals right? We just want our country to be the best. Unfortunately, stuff like what I am about to post happens. Its rare and unfortunate but I thought my readers would like to see it. The following is an argument that just started with one of the top contributor's wife. I also have the link to the entire post here, so you can read it and judge it on your own. It's purely about experiences during 9/11 that she and I are refering to. In fact, read the whole thing, it's quite interesting. Here is my last response in the comment section. It's quite interesting. It starts where the wife rips me. I have responded and she responds and well you can tell it goes back and forth. You'll kind of get what I was saying as you read along but after three responses, you'd think she'd get a clue. Those of you that can't stand foul language, warning. Here goes:

Ms. Bastard:

Your first reply to me is as follows:

would you prefer 'fuckwit'? Shut it about 9/11
becuse 3000 people died & my husband was almost
one of them. Don't be so smug about events that you don't comprehend. Here is hoping NONE of us NEVER have to live through such an event again!

Posted by: mrs bastard | July 5, 2005 02:26 PM

First why call me a "fuckwit"?
Second, you said "shut it about 9/11..." Implying that I don't know anything, without reading anything I wrote previously to this post or writing factual support of your statement to me about shutting up.
Third, "Don't be Smug to events you don't comprehend" Listen to your husband, that's smug. And who are you to say I don't comprehend anything? That's childish slander at its best.

Then your next post:

I am not 'calling' you names, merely suggesting alternatives to the current moniker. I think I addressed you as 'Steve', no?
Moving along, Steve, I don't think I am 'better' or 'more knowledgeable' I simply have more practical, real life experience in this one arena.
It does not cloud my poltical judgement, if anything it draws into sharp focus the fact that the polticians in this country are sleep-walking through their elected duties and endangering all of us! Except themsevles of course, as they have secret locations and bomb proof bunkers.

Posted by: mrs bastard | July 5, 2005 03:55 PM

First you start off and you say, " I am not calling you names..." What the hell is a "fuckwit" in the previous post, a compliment?

Then you say, " I simply have more practical, real life experience in this one arena." What the hell does that mean other than, "my experience is better than yours".

Then again you post:

Well, that was uncalled for. What isn't practical about it my experience? I was nothing but polite and calm and respectful in my comments and I don't appreciate you belittling me. Also, you didn't respond, you attacked. I feel having lived through 9/11 first hand gives me different
perspective on this one thing. Where do you live?
Appx of course(no malice). I thought I clarified that on this one issue I had more 'real' experience. I shared my experience, how about you sharing yours? Where were you on that day of days?
Believe me I would much rather have been living anywhere else that day and trade in my experience.
How do you make the leap that I 'assume that you don't know shit'? Where did you get that? I am certain you know a great deal of things on many issues otherwise you wouldn't be on this blog. Perhaps that is a wrong assumption? Don't put words in my mouth.
How are they not sleep-walking? Airport security is a joke, the colour-coded alert level thingy laughable. How are they fulfilling their duties?
The Patriot Act? Be careful what library books you check out.
Do you want a dialogue or not? Do you want to discuss these matters like an adult or just shout down the computer? It is up to you.

Posted by: mrs bastard | July 5, 2005 06:52 PM

You indicate that you were "respectful and calm" Where were you polite, respectful and calm in calling me a "fuckwit" or calling me "smug" or saying "you don't comprehend". Where do you live, Bizarro World??? Do you even read what you are saying? Hello-o-o?

Posted by: steve | July 5, 2005 08:10 PM

Quite funny... Quite funny... Quite funny...

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Bush Conspiracy Generator: This thing is a riot!!!

The Bush Conspiracy Generator

Look out!! If you are liberal blogger you too can have your own Bush Conspiracy. Pre-loaded with all of Bush's "evilness". You can use it to do all the things you need to get other liberals to agree with you. You'll be the genius of the coffee house. You'll have hits in no time. Piss off Neo-Cons everywhere. Click heading above and create your conspiracy now!!!

Look here at some examples:

George W. Bush had Michael Jackson arrested so that Republicans could kill transgendered people.

George W. Bush invaded Iraq so that SUV owners, Rush Limbaugh, big corporations, and white men could conquer minorities.

George W. Bush has not captured Osama bin Laden so that Ann Coulter, SUV owners, Rush Limbaugh, big corporations, and the Jews could oppress The French.

George W. Bush lowered taxes so that the Jews and oil companies could upset welfare recipients.

Get all of these and more by clicking the heading. Soon you'll be whining with the rest of them!!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8: Bi-Partisan Outrage!!!

I am 31 years old. (I still like Frosted Flakes too) I watched Live Aid back in 85 and first became a U2 fan right there. What did I know I was 11 that summer. I pushed pause on our $400 RCA VCR my parents bought a a few years back on a few commercials while my brother was taping the concert. Our remore was attached to a cord. It was cool back then. Imagine the whole world united for a cause.
Granted there are huge political implications here today with Live 8 trying to give a message to the world and the G8 that Africa is in serious trouble with starvation throughout the continent. It's scary yet honorable stuff. These artist banding together for a cause. From what I have seen today, the artists, especially Bono, are pretty into this. It doesn't look fake and it looks sincere. On one hand of the political spectre you'll have a liberal attitude of needing to do this and a conservative aspect of finding the money to help out. Good, honorable stuff!!
Enter MTV and VH1... The whole thing today is to get the word out and not asking for our money though, I feel more inclined to donate to the cause now. Live 8 is trying to show the G8 that this is what the world wants, relief for Africa. I damn honorable cause. And what happens, music fans are glued to MTV and VH1 to see the thing. What happens?
MTV, that's what happens. MTV ruined the experience, the experience I sort of remember from 1985, the experience of good hope I learned back then. Music sold the concert and not MTV. MTV had the privilage to show the thing. Yet, they cut into the performance of a band, Pink Floyd, that many fans have waited to see live again with Roger Waters for the past 25 years! 25 freaking years and they cut into the 2nd verse of Comfortably Numb to tell us they we're going into the commercial break and how awesome Pink Floyd is and then, play about 1/2 the actual guitar solo because they realized they screwed up and then cut the song short to show us what? A break that had know mention of Africa and freaking Bam Margera commercial. Gimme a break MTV, you totally sucked the big one on this. For what? Money... your money. It was said today that 2 Billion people were watching the freaking concert. Granted we all weren't all probably watching Pink Floyd all at one time, however to show nothing on Africa and the cause and another freaking Bam Margera commercial. Guess what, the millions or even billion of us watching Pink Floyd don't need to see what Bam Margera is going to do to his parents next on the next episode. What a transparent performance for MTV. Bravo!
Forward my link to this post to MTV, let them know how you feel as well. Thanks!