Monday, June 30, 2003

Oooga flort

The scratchy throat has evolved into a stuffy nose and a throat where one side is sandpaper and the other raw skin. My head a slightly congested ball of small pain that is too tired to digest the printed word and too distracting to sleep. I lay in my bed as my torso gets too warm and my uncovered head and feet get too cold. I pull the blanet over my head until it gets too warm. I throw the whole thing off until I get chilled again. I get up and take a snort of the Ny-Quil that neither Wendell nor I can decide where it came from. Strange, that it should sit there so long, unclaimed and unopened until my summer cold.

Back in my room I turn the light back off and those stupid glow-in-the-dark stars try and cheer me up. I think the Ny-Quil is working because the stars have an almost three dimensional feel about them. Or I could just be exhausted. I put on a bootleg Bob Dylan concert to pass the time. This one is from 1999 and it's a soundboard recording. Bob's voice, which sounds like my throat feels, is eerily high in the mix and soothing like an exfoliating sandstone.

I think I sleep but I don't know. I wake and get a drink of water. Go to the bathroom. Gross. I do sleep this time and I dream of someone I hadn't seen in years that I loved once. I dreamed I was reading her blog and she was recalling a concert we had been to and she had nice things to say about us but it was vague and I think I was projecting...

I sleep again and wake up among cats, one by my head and the other curled up in the my legs. In my confusion I almost roll over the one curled in the crook of my legs. I think he left I can't be sure. Around 5 a.m. I hear a strange sound. Like a banging from the bathroom. I investigate and find a cat in the bathroom. He is hungry now and so is the other. I feed them and then go back to sleep until my alarm goes off.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Tom Waits

Remarks like this show why I love Tom Waits so much: "You know what I really love? The CD players in a car. How when you put the CD right up by the slot, it actually takes it out of your hand, like it's hungry. It pulls it in, and you feel like it wants more silver discs. "More silver discs. Please." I enjoy that." From an interview on the Onion.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Ready Reference

We have a website we use at work that we use for what we call "ready reference." Kind of a FAQ reference thing. It's had a few different looks over the years and I revamped the site over the last couple of days. I think it looks better and is more "user friendly." You can view it here.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I'm on a roll tonight, man

Rarely do you ever get to read such a fine example of using fear and superstition to forward an agenda. Of course they don't tell you that the reason they want a Jewish state is so that the apocalypse will begin and those Jews they profess to support will eventually have to convert or die. But when you're an extremist what's a few million deaths just as long as you reach your goal?

Let me say this: Jennifer James you are a bad person. Every gullible person that reads the tripe you write and takes it as truth you will have to answer for when you pass on. You are tainting your essence. You would do your soul more good by smoking crack in a burnt out gas station and having sex with smelly bums for drug money rather than printing obvious lies disguised as news.
No means no. I said "no." I mean it. No, no, no! I mean it, no. I'm going home. I don't care what your side thinks. Wah, wah, wah!

The pigheadedness and inflexibility as shown in this interview with MPAA president, Jack Valenti, displays quite satisfactorily why everyday joes hate the MPAA and the RIAA.

I download one song. I listen to that song. I then delete it without sharing it or burning it to a CD. As far as they are concerned I am a thief. Everybody does this so everyone is a thief. Are these guys really that fucking dumb?

These guys are grasping at straws. All this talk by these people reminds of the braying of a wildebeast that has a crocodile's snout up its ass. Which, by the way, is no longer against the law in Texas and North Carolina. Rump bump bump.
A step in the right direction

Although this is a good thing I can't wait until the day that we no longer have to identify ourselves as black, white, gay, straight, donkey fucker or nude bread maker and can just say, "Howdy, I'm Fred. I'm a human being that lives across the street from you." We're eliminating bad laws so maybe we can soon eliminate the bad labels that lead to the creation of those laws.
Boys and their toys

I love high-speed photography. Check out the flash animation of the exploding grenade.
Ferret-faced weasel

Headline: Man praying against legalized sodomy has the appearance of someone being sodomized.

Ever notice how a lot of these christian whackos (besides being un-christlike) have these pinched faces and weak chins?
Dumbest thing ever?

Finally something made that makes the Kiss Kasket seem reasonable. I give you the Iraqi Freedom SUV. Excuse me while I laugh myself sick.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The funniest things I heard in Marine Corps bootcamp

10) Who woulda thought a weird fuck like you could shoot so goddamn good?
9) Left! Right! Left! Fucking Right! You get it!?!?! On 'left' you put your left foot down! On 'right' you put your fuckin' right foot down! Do you fucking get it? (He didn't)
8) Holy fucking shit! That's just beautiful! That's just goddamn beautiful!
7) Oh, scratching your ear? Way to go, Guide. (The guide was the head recruit. Ours was a dumb-ass dickhead from Texas)
6) When you pass our office you have your backs to us. We don't want to see your nasty fucking faces.
5) Stop, do it again.
4) I'll fuckin' kick your ass, boy. You don't fuckin' think I can. You just fuckin' try me.
3) Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! Who the fuck whistled?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!? (it was me and, boy, did I pay for it)
2) "This fucking shit not that fucking hard, now is it?" "No, sir!!" "Fuckin' A, it's not."
1) Holy screaming eagle shit!!
The real reason the RIAA wants to sue you

From a Washington Post article: "Von Lohmann and other advocates of legitimizing file sharing have suggested that Congress consider legislation to establish an intellectual property fund that would pay artists and record labels when their materials are downloaded over peer-to-peer networks."

There you have it. If we start paying the artists there won't be any reason to have record companies. I don't want to live in a world that doesn't have record companies. It would be a dreary world full of uncontrolled music and creativity.
My hero

You gotta love it when an old radical hippie protester is still out there putting his ass on the line.

Speaking of "free speech zones" they have got to be the most ludicrous things to pop up in recent years. These douche bags are saying, "Sure, sure you can protest. In fact we even reserved a nice comfortable spot for you about 1/2 mile away from the person you are protesting. Have a good time and be sure to keep it down over there because we won't be able to hear you no matter how loud you shout."

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


I don't know if you remember that i mentioned I had a cousin, Jason King, who was a helicopter pilot in the army and he got wounded in Iraq? I linked to a story about him in the home town paper. Now it turns out that the paper Stars and Stripes did an article on him here.

End it all now

If your job includes using phrases such as "new level of corporate partnership" go home tonight and blow your brains out. You've wasted your life and there is no need to go on.

Soon words in our dictionaries will be have a corporate sponsorship. I can see it now, if MSWord continues to be the inferior word processor of choice the will soon start selling the rights to companies to words printed by their program. Here's how your next paper will turn out:

After 1872 (presented by Johnny Walker Red) the (Presented by Ford, The name in motorsports!) Patwerbon Indians were forced (presented by Mike Johnson, Attorney; A Force of Law) beyond the borders (Borders Books and Music) of the Ohio (Come visit Ohio, it's flat and full of corn!) River (Riverboat Gambling! It's keeping Iowa out of the shitter!) where they were ravaged by the pox.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Today's second floor men's room aroma

It's been a while since I brought back this ever popular segment of the blog. This afternoon I walked in the men's room and it was like someone took a turd and stuck in my mouth and used his hand to force me to chew like you do with a dog when you have to give him a pill.

I as I got the hell out of there another homeless guy walked in, grimaced and said, "damn, man! Flush!" I was afraid to open my mouth to agree with his proper solution.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

The next Rocky movie: how it should be

OK, just in case I get ripped off. This idea was posted on June 22, 2003.

Since Stallone is now in his fifties he should bring back the Rocky character and show him dealing with brain damage from the poundings he took in his fights. It would be perfect. With such high profile boxers like Ali and Frazier and never wases like the guy I helped looked up a news report about a fight he had several years ago showing such obvious adverse affects of the boxing life it would be a great fit for Rocky.

The movie could open with an ill-fated comeback where Rocky gets all beat up and the fight is stopped. Old boxers, like race car drivers, don't know when to stop. Then the movie jumps a few years into the future and Rocky starts having trouble with his balance, motor skills and speech.

Man, I can smell Oscar in this for Stallone. If Stallone would like to buy this idea from me he can email at the address listed on this page. I look forward to hearing from him.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Things rarely work out this well

I did a google search a couple of weeks back looking to see if I could find anyone who had copy of shows by the Australian singer/songwriter, Paul Kelly. I came across a posting by a guy on some bulletin board. In his posting he announced he was looking for recordings because he wanted to put together a compilation CD of Paul Kelly's American tour from the winter of 2001.

On a whim I emailed the guy and he said he had the compilation done and that it was four CD's long and had a bunch of songs on it from the Asheville show that Chris, Wendell and I went to. I was...excited by this news.

I should note that Chris loves Paul Kelly. He loves Paul Kelly so much that if Chris could have surgery that would allow him to carry and give birth to Paul Kelly's child he would submit to such surgery.

I get the CD's in the mail and I immediately searched for the piece of resistance of these recordings: Chris doing call and response with Paul Kelly on the song "To Her Door." Naturally the song we wanted to hear the most was the last song on the last CD of four. Wendell and I sat here last night and heard Chris and Paul Kelly trading lines on "To Her Door." It was beautiful and very funny.

Chris came by later and I played it for him also. He was both embarrassed and proud. It means a lot to me to have in my possession something that was so powerful and cool live. Things never work out this well. Chris and I spent two hours last night writing down the set list of the first two CD's. Thank god there are fanatics out there to put such documents together.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

People are fucking dumb

"One hospital worker saw a mother bring her son, who uses a wheelchair, to touch the wall with his legs." Maybe evolution is a lie or it's just a lot slower than originally thought. I always forget we have only been a species for a little over 100,000 years. We gots lots of evolving to go. I bet putting a sniper on top of that hospital might speed of evolution a tad.
What a load of crap

From NY Times: 'But in the "Global Issues" section of the draft returned by the White House to E.P.A. in April, an introductory sentence reading, "Climate change has global consequences for human health and the environment" was cut and replaced with a paragraph that starts: "The complexity of the Earth system and the interconnections among its components make it a scientific challenge to document change, diagnose its causes, and develop useful projections of how natural variability and human actions may affect the global environment in the future."'
Die, music industry, die!!!

Imagine these giant record companies perishing like a mammoth in a desert, like a whale on the moon, like a bucketful of slugs dumped into a barrell of salt! Oh, how exciting. Imagine a world full of hundreds and hundreds of small labels putting out nothing but good music. It would be like wiping the slate clean and starting all over again. Radio would play good music and people like Shania Twain would be priced out of existence.

Walter Cronkite

Mr. Cronkite is going to write a weekly opinion column. That's pretty cool but I think he should just get a blog. Heck, I'll even set it up for him and coach him along over the phone if he wants me to.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


Usually when people find out you do the telephone reference thing they axe you what whacky questions you have answered. I'm generally stumped because I forget about most calls after I answer them unless they've been particually interesting or especially hellish. Like say someone calls for information about Steinbeck, I'll remember that. Conversely I will also remember a call if someone calls me an asshole and hangs up.

I was just thinking after a call that the type of patron, beside our pantheon of steady wackos, that calls with the hardest and most obscure questions are little old ladies. I swear, if you get a call from a curious octogenerator you will have five books open on your desk and one of your co-workers doing a furious google search and the other checking online resources. But the payoff is worth the struggle. Old southern ladies say thank you like no one else in the world.
Master of the Obvious

Bush told reporters at the end of a meeting in the White House Cabinet Room. "Iran would be dangerous if it had a nuclear weapon," he said.
Rock Show: The White Stripes come to Charlotte's Grady Cole Center and blow the roof off the fuckin' dump

I tore myself away from my King James' Bible long enough last night to venture out into the world and scream and holler at Meg and Jack White. My hope was that my holy presence might turn them away from rock and roll and put them on a more wholesome and spiritual path.

In attendance were me, Chris, Super Wendell and Snow. I saw James walk in during the opening band while we were out in the smoking yard trying to top our nicotine needs before the White Stripes started. The opening band may have been good, they were definately just out of high school, but we weren't listening. We were smoking instead.

We went inside when I felt the White Stripes were getting ready to start. We ended up waiting about half and hour which was OK because the Stooges album Funhouse was being played on the sound system. I waited, contented.

The lights went down, Iggy's howls were slowly silented, Jack and Meg White came out, the crowd went apeshit and bing, bang, boom, it was on. Jack howled, abused his guitar, Meg's deceptively simple and steady drumming filled the gaps. They shifted timing in songs, they stopped songs midway through and did em different. They teased with riffs from songs they didn't play. They played Jolene like she was in the audience. When Jack would get really excited Meg would smile at him in the way that only someone who has seen you in your underpants can. Jack White's stage demeanor seems to tell me that he wants to be both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page all at the same time.

I don't have a setlist, neither did they, and I am not going to go into a lot of detail about the stupendous show I saw last night. I have seen a lot of rock and roll shows over the years and I now have to make room for this one in my top ten. I went there looking to save souls only to have mine corrupted and I'm better for it.

It's not often you get to see a genuine rock and roll show on the scale of last night's. It was special because most of us in the audience were starving for a taste of this band. We've got the albums and bootleg shows but nothing beats watching someone screaming and sweating and smiling at the reactions of the fans on the floor. It was powerful and genuine without rock star posing but it did have rock star prices. Let me make one critical statement. If they had charged 15 or 20 dollars instead of 28 then maybe the place would have been full instead of half empty. Of course, if it had been full I wouldn't have been as close I was but the ticket prices just seemed inordinately high, that's all I'm saying.

On a positive note maybe more shows like last night will help Charlotte shrug off the undeserved reputation as a band rock and roll town. I hav seen Charlotte crowds go this beserk only on two other occasions, the KISS reunion tour and the 1998 Page and Plant show. We deserve more better shows and maybe last night will help.

Would you like to see some pictures of last night's show?

Here is a partial setlist I found on a message board. It's fairly accurate:

The White Stripes
At The Grady Cole Center, Charlotte, NC
June 17th, 2003

01. Black Math
02. Let's Shake Hands
03. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground
04. Jolene (Dolly Parton)
05. The Hardest Button To Button
06. In The Cold, Cold Night
07. Good To Me (Brendan Benson)
08. ? (might have been Jumble, Jumble)
09. Hotel Yorba
10. ?
11. Seven Nation Army
12. Do
13. Apple Blossom
14. You're Pretty Good Looking
15. Hello Operator
16. St. James Infirmary Blues
17. Small Faces (Public Nuisance)
18. Wasting My Time
19. We're Going To Be Friends
20. The Same Boy You’ve Always Known
22. The Union Forever

24. Ball and Biscuit
25. I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
26. Boll Weevil

One Last Observation

I couldn't believe the number of women at the show last night that had obvious eating disorders. Ug, I've never seen such a collection of skeletons. It's a sick culture that forces people to be so unhealthy so that they may feel they are attractive. Such extremes I see, fat cow people in the trailer parks and stick figures in the suburbs. What the heck is goin' on around here, anyway?

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Hard hitting investigative journalism

Tom sent me this link. You have to admire a paper that's not afraid to address those tough issues.
Because I can

"...the Reagan administration in 1982 decided that it needed Iraq’s dictatorial regime as an ally. Saddam, while brutal and possibly maniacal in Washington’s calculations, at least had not allied himself with the Soviet Union."
How to design a concentration camp

For the beginning dictator who may be wondering what dimensions he should use for his cages in his new concentration camp maybe this will help: "they were kept in small wire-mesh cells, about 6 1/2 feet by 8 feet , in blocks of 10 or 20. The cells were covered by a wooden roof, but open at the sides to the elements."

How about a guideline to how prisoners should be treated and excercised in your beginning concentration camp: "Under the current routine, a majority of the prisoners remain in their cells but for two 15-minute periods a week, in which they walk around the cage and take a shower."

Those that are responsible for the deplorable conditions at this camp are monsters. I guess we shouldn't expect much more from the same society that brought you our prison system.
A new blog

I have to link to this blog. Anybody that would take the time to attend and then write a review of a show by X deserves a few hits.
As of now

It is twelve hours until the White Stripes start playing that rock and roll we all love so well.

Monday, June 16, 2003

I read this

"Telling the story of the '27 Yankees as they roll over everybody -- Ruth homered and then Gehrig homered [isn't as rich a story] ... There's something poignant about the Red Sox. ... They're flawed as the rest of us are flawed, whereas the Yankees seem to go through life above the storm."
- David Halberstam.
Good story on the writings of the average guy

If focuses on reviews.

Speaking of reviews. I am in the best profession of the world. Where else are you encouraged to type of book reviews for your employer's website while you are at work?
Headlines you would see if I was editor

San Antionio celebrates NBA title, rest of country celebrates end of NBA season

Israel and Hamas pledge to continue killing as many of the other as possible

Japanese representatives fight movements to save whales because their economy depends on whaling.

At the forefront of technology: AOL introduces spam filtering

Iranian protesters called "heroes of democracy," WTO protesters still pinko commie fucks

Inoperative missile defense system hailed as deterrent

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Like an oven

I learned something last night when I went to see Southern Culture on the Skids at Tremont Music Hall. Tremont is basically an old warehouse that has no air conditioning. What I learned was when you are already tired you shouldn't wear your hair down and put a hat on when you are in a non-airconditioned building in the middle of June in North Carolina. It gets really hot and unbearable when you do that. I had to sit outside for about 20 minutes and cool down.
Does this make sense?

Our fearless leader: "I believe that some day freedom will prevail everywhere because freedom is a powerful drive."

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Move over Evil Antique Lady here comes Washington D.C. lady!

For the longest time the rudest and dumbest regular caller was a spawn of Satan we call Evil Antique Lady. The way she operated: she has an item, it may actually be collectible in some way, and she will convince herself that it is a prized piece and worth a shitload of money. What she actually does posses is a reading copy of a 1999 paperback Nancy Drew book.

Now, Washington D.C. lady is a diff'rent story. She calls with her TV blaring so loudly you can hear the Television better than you can hear her. She talks over the ends of your sentences and then gets frustrated when you ask her to repeat what she said. When she is calling for telephone numbers in D.C she will radically change the name of the person she wants you to find after you can't find the listing for first misspelling of the name. Here is an exchange I just had with her that will display clearly what we are dealing with:

Me: What is the name of the post office you are looking for.
WDCL: Cannon, it's cannon.
Me: Alrighty, is cannon the name of the branch or the street it is located on?
WDCL: Yes.

I'd cut off the tip of one of my pinkies to witness a conversation between her and Tom. He'd have a fucking stroke.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Ah, racin'

I wrote recently about the fantastic trip Chris and I took to the Lancaster Speedway on a Saturday night. The recent fiasco of NASCAR moving the labor day race from Darlington caused me to rethink my experience in Lancaster.

I have seen video of old Southern 500's that are run in Darlington, SC. They have been running these Labor Day races since 1950. I remember telling Wendell and Chris that I wish I could travel back in time and attend a race at Darlington in the 50's or 60's. It looked to me to be very raw and exciting and so very southern.

Now, as I reconsider my trip to the Lancaster Speedway, I realize I witnessed what it was like to be in Darlington in the 1950's. Yes, friends, seeing a dirt track race in South Carolina is equivalent to being at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
The treachery of the TV dollar

There hasn't been a heist of sports history of this magnitude since Los Angeles lured the Dodgers to leave Brooklyn.
No woman, no interview

Of course after telling everybody I know about how excited I was about the prospective job in Washington I was not offered a face to face interview.

I did receive a lot of encouragement from the manager of the reference department I wanted to work for and she did recommend I apply for some jobs that are going to open this summer in their regional libraries. I guess it wasn't a total loss.

You know a job market is tight when the interviewers tell you how wonderful you interviewed and still tell you to stay home.

Man, I really wanted that job.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

What the hell, how about another Neal Pollack quote?

"Personally, I see nothing wrong with examining documents based on 25-year-old spy materials and using them to arrest people in secret in the middle of the night and subsuquently hold them indefinitely without charges. Falsifiers of the truth, like Cassel, still seem unwilling to realize that we're at war, facing a faceless enemy without name. Any one of her friends, or enemies, or someone she sees at the store, could be a terrorist who wants to kill her. No amount of paranoid dissembling is going to change that reality. "
A short piece

There were six people on the beach that night. They were laying on their backs staring up at the sky. Lake Michigan was nearly silent. The only sound from the inland ocean was a soft plopping of the surf that was barely noticeable like the soft breathing of a sleeping cat. There was no wind and temperature was around 72 on this July night. I remember it being what I like to think as a 'the perfect temerature.' The conditions you are thinking of when you refer to room temperature. It was the kind of weather that you could work all day in and not sweat too much yet you could still wear shorts at night. That is July in northern Michigan.

This night has always been fuzzy in my head. I was less than ten years old and we were laying on the beach waiting for shooting stars. I don't know if this was taking place during a regularly scheduled meteor shower or if we just ended up on our backs. I do know the activity was suggested and coordinated by my step-mother's parents. Were the adults drinking? I don't know. All I remember is being half asleep most of the night because it was real late. It doesn't get dark up there in the summer until after ten pm. I am drifting in and out of sleep and occasionally I see a white streak pass among the gazillion of starts that have always blazed just beyond our reach.

Soft spoken announcements emit from each of us. "There's one." "Another one, there!" "Oooh, that was a good one." "I just saw two!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Living up to expectations

Ever read about a live show that is an event? A happening? One of those cool shows that has the potential to be a landmark? Ever been to one? Me neither.

A few weeks back I heard about the Stooges reuniting for a big festival in California called Coachella. I was especially excited when I learned that Mike Watt of the Minutemen was going to be on bass. Boo Yaa! Sounds like fun.

So, being poor, I naturally couldn't go to California for a festival even if it did have the Stooges and the White Stripes on the bill. I saw a few pictures of the show, read a couple of reviews of it and that was that. Seemed to me like everyone had a good time.

Lo and behold, a few days ago the show pops on a bootleg newsgroup. I was ecstatic. I downloaded and burned it without even previewing it. I didn't care about the sound quality, I just wanted a little taste of the event. How does the show sound? It sounds great. A little heavy on the bass but the crowd is appreciative and Iggy is just being Iggy. Musically the Stooges are not Zeppelin but they do know how to lay down a groove that Iggy can howl over.

I knew it was going to be special and this recording proved it, dammit.
Fuck the poor

From duh NY Times: The majority leader's defiance of the White House reflected growing frustration among conservatives about pressure from the administration to provide a benefit to millions of minimum-wage families who pay little or nothing in federal income taxes. (Found this via Tom Tomorrow)
Concentrating on what's really important

And what's the first merchandise supporters can buy to celebrate Charlotte's new NBA team?

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Another diplomatic brain fart, screw up, fumble and botch job

How can anybody think that this is a good idea or will repair our already shitty world reputation? Who the fuck is in charge of PR for these dill holes, anyway?

You gotta wonder why these people are still being held when you read shit like this: "After the detention center opened in January 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld called the detainees ``among the most dangerous, best trained, vicious killers on the face of the Earth.'' But, after lengthy interrogation, many are thought to be low-level former Taliban fighters and unlikely prospects for commission trials."

You have to admire the gall of this adminstration when they preach peace and wage war and extoll our freedoms yet run a concentration camp in Cuba.

Monday, June 09, 2003

blog quote

Liberal or conservative, politicized food just gives me gas.
If you repeat something enough times people will believe you

"Iraq had a weapons program," Bush told reporters during a meeting of his Cabinet. "Intelligence throughout the decade shows they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced that with time, we'll find out they did have a weapons program," Bush said.
Doing a good deed

One day I decided that it was odd that I could never find a bootleg live recording by the blues artist, Junior Kimbrough. Granted he didn't tour like your average jam band but he did play some dates opening for Iggy Pop during the 90's and I know people record Iggy's shows. Why couldn't I find any Junior Kimbrough? It was not a concern as disturbing as el presidente's diction but I was perplexed.

One day I decided to see what google could do. To see what the sumbitch really had under the hood. I searched for about two hours for a live recording of Junior Kimbrough. I trade so many variations of the key words 'junior kimbrough' and such phrases 'show list' and 'tape list' and whatever other variation of those words I could think of. People list their show collections on their personal websites and I figured someone out there must have a listing a Kimbrough show.

I found one eventually. I emailed the person who had the list published and he wrote back the following day only to tell me that his burner was on the fritz. I tried again last month and we worked out a trade.

I immediately notified a group of blues nuts on a mailing list I am on and offered to start a CD tree. I got over thirty enthusiastic (some blathering with joy) responses to my announcement and I started sending the disks out to the branches of the tree today. It really felt good to distribute this show to so many people who so obviously were dying to get their hands on something that truthfully can be called 'rare.' Or as rare as anything created in the last ten years can be. Maybe I should call it 'hard to find.' It was my good deed for the month.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Kickin' Butt

I had an interview today for a job in Olympia, WA. It's a job that is similar yet different to what I am doing now. That's a rather open statement. If I ride my bike in one direction today and another tomorrow am I not doing something similar yet different? You didn't know I was a philosopher, did you? On that note, we're all one and life is an illusion we are experiencing subjectively. Actually Bill Hicks said that.

Of all the interviews I have dones since I became a degreed librarian this was by far the strongest. I guess a little practice helps. I had some standard answers ready to questions you get axed in all interviews. That helped, a lot. Doing well on an interview feels a lot like passing a test in school that you were stressing on.

Today marked a first. When the interviewer signed off she told me that "this was a very good interview." Who knows, she may just be polite and say that to everybody. I felt good when she said it.

Fellow library employees take note: she told me that an application coming from a staff member of the Charlotte public library really caught her attention. She said she admires what our library has accomplished. So, don't be afraid to move on, our library system looks good on a resume. I guess that is a testament to my co-workers.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

First time for the lifetime

Ever come across a piece of music or spoken word comedy and know immediately it's going to be with you for your whole life? That's only happened to me a couple of times. Like when I first heard Tom Waits and the White Stripes.

Another time that happened was when a friend of mine, one of the two Kevin's from my high school days, played a tape for me by the comedy troupe called Firesign Theatre. I call him one of the two Kevin's because there were these two guys that were a year older than me and they were each named Kevin. No, they were not related. The Kevin that turned me onto Firesign Theatre was the Kevin that drove the old Volkswagen Beetle. It was the Kevin that was on the football team with me that introduced me to Jimi Hendrix's 'Electric Ladyland.'

The two Firesign albums that Kevin played for me were 'Waiting for the Electrician or someone like him' and 'Don't crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers.' 'Electrician' came out in 1968 and 'Crush dwarf' came out in 1971.

What first struck me about the Firesign Theatre was their amazing word play. They make up and combine words in a way that initially feels random and nonsensical. After repeated listenings the apparent nonsense began to gell and develop an odd clarity and work with the convoluted and also initially nonsensical storyline. Along with intertwining storylines and Lewis Carroll-like dialogue the albums also featured dense and realistic sound effects that offered me an audio experience unlike any other. It took me years of listening and living to even begin to digest what is offered on these recordings. Even now I throw them into my CD player occasionally and they never disappoint. I bring something new away each time like I with any great music album.

I was overjoyed a couple of years ago when the guys came out with a new album for the first time in years. It was called 'Give me immortality or give me death.' It is the story of radio station broadcasting on the last day of 1999 as the world descends into fear, madness and zaniness. It's a brilliant snapshot of the mindset of a nation at a certain point and, like their older works, will be relevant and educational for a very long time.

The Firesign Theater have been often referred as a comedy troupe that encapsulated their time period. They did do that but their wordplay and the brilliant characters voiced by David Ossman, Phil Austin, Peter Bergman, and Phil Proctor deserve your careful listening. This ain't just comedy, it's art.

All hail technology!

This is great. The Model-T Ford got 25 miles to the gallon. The Ford Explorer gets 16 miles to the gallon. Civilization, Ho!!!

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Neal Pollack cracks me up

What a great line from today's entry: "The Sammy Sosa bat-corking incident calls into question what it means to be an American, and therefore human."
Interesting column

I recommend reading this thought provoking column by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times.
When did this start?

Have you noticed this strange trend recently of clubs and bars posting pictures of the red-faced and drunken clientele in their newspaper advertisements? That's my dream, to show up in an ad for a bar in my local newspaper.

In other news, I saw a webpage for a local uptown upscale upyuppy bar today. I found the webpage in an advert in Creative Loafing. Check it out here. Check out the pictures of the customers. If you find any of them people intriguing you may never read my blog again.
Neato Keen Stuff

Ever seen dogs with glasses!

That was pretty funny, admit it.

Monday, June 02, 2003

The song has been digitized and is awesome

Friday after work Wendell was kind enough to drive me to Manifest so I could buy the new Led Zeppelin DVD. Most of the reviews I read ranged from positive to enthusiastic so I couldn't resist, I had to buy it.

My response to my first viewing of the DVD: Holy Fucking Shit.

If you are a Zeppelin fan and you don't own this, you are a big loser. The biggest, ever. If you are a casual fan and you have a friend that owns it you should beg that friend to allow you to view because you will then, along with us big fans, finally realize that they were the best band ever.

I won't go into long boring details about a 5 1/2 hour long video but here are a few observations:

The footage from 1973 in New York at Madison Square Garden is an amazing view of a band in full 'rock god' mode. Singer, Robert Plant had a package of gym socks or a bratwurst stuck in his pants. It both disturbed and fascinated Wendell.

The concert from 1970 has a long version of Dazed and Confused and after the violin bow noise fest in the middle of the song there is a fast portion that just explodes like a top fuel dragster out of the start.

The drumming by John Bonham on the 1979 version of Achilles Last Stand. Sounds like a goddamn machine gun.

The subdued and gorgeous acoustic portion of the 1975 show.

Chris came over to watch it Friday and he wasn't prepared for how good Zeppelin was live. It knocked his socks off.

Wendell remarked, during Jimmy Page's long violin solo on Dazed and Confused, that he "got every single noise out of that configuration that he could."