Thursday, September 30, 2004


Kerry just kicked Bush's behind. My unofficial tally of good points (minus the 6 1/2 minute trip to the laundry room):

Kerry: 26
Bush: 7

TKO, in my opinion.

Bush was very defensive and repetitive. Oh so, repetitive. I'm pretty sure he thinks the war on terror is "hard work" and that Kerry sends "mixed messages." Kerry talked circles around him. If you scored this purely on debating skills Kerry whupped behind.

Major kudos for John Kerry mentioning our insane desire for bunker busting nuclear weapons. That news almost gave me a stroke the first time I read that. Did Bush's supporters notice that he thinks nuclear proliferation is bad and that his administration wants to start new research on bunker busting nukes? Talk about your mixed messages.

One thing that chaps my hide is Bush's assertion that to even debate his decisions sends the wrong messages to our troops and the world. Hey, fellow American, it's called a fucking election and your decisions are being questioned. Defend them without looking so...defensive. I mean, Kerry could say to Bush "you shouldn't be so hard on me because if I win then it would look bad to the world that my opponent said such harsh things about me."

I was amazed by how directly Kerry called the Iraq war a "colossal mistake" and Bush didn't react as strongly as he should have if he believed in his policy. Has such strong language been used about such an important issue before in a presidential debate before? Probably, but it felt good.

I also thought it was good that Kerry was able to point out that he voted for the authorization to use force and did not vote for the war as Bush stated. I was hoping he would get that point out there. I think that Bush making that statement is very misleading. Not truthful. Not a lie, of course, just not within the full confines of a true statement. Of course if Kerry had more balls and had opposed the war from the start like he should have he would have a stronger leg to stand on. And since we're doing a Truth Watch here the cost of the Iraq war is right now around $120 billion, and not as Kerry stated, $200 billion. But I guess $200 billion is right around the corner. Why would you do that? Isn't $120 billion a big enough number? According to the Guardian UK, both candidates did a little fudging of facts tonight.

One thing I found curious, if I heard this right, is Kerry asserted that we should begin bilateral discussions with North Korea. Bush said we couldn't because it would disrupt the discussions between N. Korea and China and others. I think Kerry said we could and should do that because we have a treaty with North Korea from the Korean War and we have that right. Did I hear that right? Walt, do you know? You're a history guy, you should have the goods on that.

I thought tonight's debate was really important and I think Kerry's performance should help close any gap there is between Bush and Kerry. If there is a gap. Polls are crap.
A quick prayer

Dear Lord,

You know I don't believe in you but could you please make it so that George Bush falls on his face during the upcoming presidential debate tonight? Thank you.

Your buddy,

Tee hee hee

I don't care what side of the debate you fall on, you just have to admit that Al Franken makes Bill O'Reilly look like such a boob with such joy and ease.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The clouds part

It's nice to feel mostly human again but, as we say in fantasy football, I am day to day as far work goes. Call it a game-time decision.

Internet Radio

Today I was messing with Winamp and was surfing the internet radio stations they have bookmarked and came across one called Not bad, I am liking it more than the comedy channel on Netscape radio. Netscape's comedy station starting getting repetitive and their bandwidth dropped unless you coughed up some dough. I'm all about free internet content.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Being sick sucks balls

I don't remember the last time I slept for basically 15 hours. You'd think that much sack time and you would wake up feeling a shitload better. I didn't sleep straight through for those 15 hours I did wake up occasionally just so I could feel miserable. At least I caught up a little on my video watching. Bob Dylan bootleg concerts will get you through.

Monday, September 27, 2004

And I thought 4-year-olds were repetitive

I am about sick of this garbage from Smirkboy the President: "It's been a little tough to prepare because (Kerry) keeps changing positions on the war on the terror," he joked (about the upcoming debate).

A few thoughts
1) The war on terror is fake.
2) This dipshit has a real war he should be focusing on, not the fake war he invented.
3) What's worse flip flopping (as he says) or lying about the reasons and then inventing new ones for his ill-conceived fiasco in Iraq?
4) John Kerry should just put in a videotape of that great piece they did on the Daily Show where Governor Bush and President Bush debate each other on nation building.. End of flip flop issure right there.
5) My cat's breath smells like cat food.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

What a night

Last night Wendell and I went out to the Visulite Theater here in town and saw Dave Alvin. I first became aware of Dave's music after Lenny Federal played a Dave Alvin song "King of California" a few times. I asked who wrote the song and he told me. My old roommate, Chris had one of his CD's and I've been following his output since then.

The opening act last night was the singer/songwriter Amy Farris. She had a delightful voice and a charming stage presence and she wooed the crowd before her set was over. She is also fwiggin' gorgeous.

She finished a little before ten and Dave Alvin and his band called the Guilty Men came on about 20 minutes later. They came out smoking and didn't stop until the last song. It's impossible to put such a fantastic rock and roll show into words but it only could have been better if Dave had set himself on fire. The band could stop and start on a dime in the middle of songs. They had that tight-but-loose thing going on where every song was very elastic, hardly any guitar solo was done note for note as it appears on the album and the whole band was just smiling the whole evening.

I did have a nice short interaction with Dave last night. Since he was with his band he was doing the oughta control rock and roll thing and near the end of the evening there was a portion of one song where the keyboard player had a nice long solo. Dave was kneeling down sipping his Bud Light when a girl who had been dancing all night came up next to me and slipped him a napkin on which she had written "California Snow, Please!" This song is a very slow sad sad sad acoustic song about a border guard finding a family of illegal immigrants frozen in the snow. Not the kind of song that would even remotely fit into the evenings high voltage rock and roll set.

He was polite and said "Sorry, we're doing the electric crazy thing tonight."

I said to him, "Well, it is a good song."

Dave said, "I know, I wrote it" and that got a good laugh out of me.

I sure hope he knew I was joking with him.

So if Dave Alvin comes to your town you got to go out and see him. He writes fantastic songs and his band kicks ass. Rock and roll shows don't get a whole lot better.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Flip flop flip flop, don't watch the bodies drop

Thanks to the wise and wonderful David for this wonderful link.

I need to email this to my mother. I'm hoping someday she'll stop watching that goddamn Fox "News."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

What a guy

Just how good has Cubs' pitcher Greg Maddux been over his career? Top ten of all time? Possibly. Look at it this way: he is the only guy to win 15 games 17 years in a row. Pretty amazing when you consider he is going up against those guys from the dead ball era that routinely got over 25 wins in a year. His closest competitor in that streak is the guy they named the annual pitching award after.

On the baseball reference sit he is credited with two of the top ten adjusted season ERA's of all time. All of that with a fastball under 90 mph. What a guy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Crazy lady needum new story

Got a call from a former coworker at the main library yesterday afternoon. She had read the entry about the crazy lying lady and her project on Keith Sweat and called to inform me that the same lady was at that moment downtown pulling the same stunt. Today a coworker at my current branch said the lady came in yesterday morning with the same sob story, fake tears and Keith Sweat obsession.

Coming soon to a library near you: One whacked out chick.

What I want to know is what she is doing with all these printouts we have been giving her. I know she's probably getting the same information and pictures over and over again since we are all probably using Google to find this crap. She's going to have to acquire a new homeless-carrying-around-detritus bag since she's about to fill up the two or three she's got.

Bill Hicks

I have been messing around with a new file sharing program called Shareaza. I recommend it if you are looking for a filesharer with no spyware and no popup adverannoyments. Last night I got home from work and a Bill Hicks show from 1993 had finally finished downloading. It took a couple of days but it was a video I hadn't seen show up anywhere else. It's shot from the back of the club by a video camera with the sound piped directly into so it looks kinda crappy but sounds great. It consists mostly of material from the Rant in D Minor album but Bill never does the same show twice and never does his routines the same way twice. I couldn't be happier.

Digital Camera agony

I went into Wolf Camera today where I bought my digital camera last August to get a print out of the receipt. It turns out that the cost to fix it will probably be equal to how much it would cost to buy the same model new. Crap. Again, I say crap.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A magic night

Saturday night Wendell and I went out to the Tremont Music Hall for a farewell night/happy birthday for the longtime club owner, Penny Craver. Penny has always been one of those people that I can't really call a friend but she has been someone I have known since the first year or two I lived in Charlotte. I first met her when she was promoting shows at the old 1313 club in the early 90's here in Charlotte. Not long after she took over the Milestone Club and a couple friends and I used to go there on nights when there was a band there we really wanted to see and on nights when we didn't know the band just because we knew Penny brought in good music.

My buddy Jeff would come with us and he was more a classic rock kinda guy and he would not like about half the bands but he enjoyed sitting at the bar and talking to Lawrence. Eventually Penny opened Tremont and I went there a lot the first few years but I have gone less frequently because I don't go out as much and she is bringing in fewer bands I am into. Directly because of Penny I have met many interesing people over the years and been to a lot of great shows. Becuase of her I saw Iggy Pop. What more can I say?

This Saturday was special though. Six bands played short sets and gave tribute to Penny. The music opened with Bellglide which I hadn't seen before. They grew on me after a few songs. I think I'd like to see them again.

I think the next band was Les Dirt Clods which I really enjoyed. The singer mentioned that Penny gave him his first gig. Next up was Jeff Williams who I found out was in a band called Odd Job and he was also in Lodestar. I remember seeing Odd Job once at the 1313 and they blew me away.

Next up was Antiseen. This Antiseen performance was unique in that it was in the small room at Tremont and, since this show was under the radar and not promoted, a lot of their meathead fans weren't there. It was fun watching Antiseen plow through an awesome set in front of room not there specifically to see them. They were great. Jeff Clayton was very funny onstage. He mentioned that, in finding Penny, the band finally found a club owner as rascist and homophobic as they are. The highlight was a smoking, and I mean smoking, rendition of "Beat on the Brat" by the Ramones. Clayton prefaced this song by saying that not only are we here tonight to pay tribute to Penny but to say goodbye to another Ramone. Holy crap did they do that song justice. It could only have been done better by the Ramones. No one else in the world other than the Ramones could have played that song with such vigor.

Next up was Big Brick Building. I saw them a couple of times in the early 90's and they played an excellent set but I feel sorry for any band that plays after Antiseen. It was nice to see those guys again they have a unique bouncing Talking Heads meets Primus sound. I did notice that there were about twenty people up front really into what Big Brick Building was doing.

The highlight of the evening was the final band: The Blind Dates. The blind dates consist of Gina Stewart (Doubting Thomas), Deanna Campbell (Second Skin aka Violet Strange, now doing great solo stuff), another lady joined them on guitar and Penny played drums. Deanna told Wendell and me that the Blind Dates was her first band and she was still learning to play guitar when they formed. I had always wanted to see this band. They broke up in 1989 which is one year before I moved to Charlotte. I had heard things here and there about how good they were and I had always wondered how Deanna and Gina would sound when they sang together.

I am so happy I got to see them play Saturday night even if it was only for about 20 minutes. They were fantastic. Not only can Penny beat the piss out of a drum set, she's a fine drummer. She's got power and great rhythm. Deanna and Gina singing together was as beautiful as I thought it would be. They did a nice interweaving vocal in the middle of one song and I looked over Rob, a friend who came in a litle late, and said, "Wow." He said, "They can do that all night." I wish I could remember the name of the second guitar player she whipped off some nice unique solos during the set. They carried the last song out for about 30 seconds. You could tell they really didn't want to stop but I am sure they played all the songs they had rehearsed for the reunion. The crowd response was wonderful. Every person that had migrated in and out for the other bands came in for the set by the Blind Dates. It was really that big of a deal to those who came out.

What a cool night. It was one of the most special local music nights I have enountered here in Charlotte and, despite what some may think, there have been a lot and a many of them occurred because of Penny Craver. Forget what I said before, she's not an aquaintance she's a friend.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap and shit

Today I was downtown and fired up my digital camera to take a picture of some construction. The damn thing was broken. The lense was stuck in the full telephoto setting and each time I tried to pull the setting back to wide I could hear the little plastic gears inside grinding together.

I called support at Sony and it looks like I am going to have to mail the camera in and have them work on it. A minor inconvenience but I am so used to having the camera on me all the time and I miss it already.

At least the customer service rep for Sony that I talked to was really friendly and helpful. I was impressed. It's funny how good service like that can really incite some brand loyalty into you almost immediately.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Heads up

If I see one of these on the streets in Charlotte one day I will not be responsible for my actions.

You know, the other day, after passing a line of giant SUV's at the Harris Teeter I thought to myself that the next step for the selfish bastards could only be to buy modified tractor trucks.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It's 1,2,3 what are we fighting for? Don't ask me I don't give a crap, Here I am in Iraq. It's 5,6,7 open up the pearly gates, we ain't time to wonder why. Whoopee, we're all gonna die.

"'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday."

There is no way I can possibly put into words the contempt I have for this fucking shitty-ass fake cowboy president we have. But I think this column helps.

Oh, and this one in this week's Creative Loafing is helpful also.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

That noise?

That noise you are hearing is not air leaking out of your car's tires nor is it the silent-but-deadly release of the coworker next to you. It is the relieved exhalations of bespectacled girl-nerds all over North Carolina as their beau has returned from the sea of self examination. Their computers are no longer widow's walks but once again are their windows into the soul of an economic and shoe-size girly man.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ba ba ba, bum ba buh

Did you notice last night during the Monday Night Football game on CBS, in which our boys got mauled, that when Condoleeza Rice appeared onscreen that the stadium sound system was playing the Imperial March from Star Wars? We did at my place and so did Al Michaels in the broadcast booth because when they cut back to him and Madden he had a huge grin on his face and he chuckled through the next two plays he called. Now that was good television.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Bush Bashing (it's been a while)

How would you caption this picture? Is he gassy or does he not know where his heart is located?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Q: How do you know she's lying? A: Her mouth is moving.

First thing this morning at work a lady with bad B.O. came up to the reference desk and, while pretending to almost cry, informed us that her apartment burned down last night. Ok, that was lie number one.

My co-worker expressed sympathy. Her second whopper was that she was doing a school project and need biographical information, tour dates and pictures of...Keith Sweat which we provided. We hoped if we gave her enough information quickly she would, you know, go away.

She was such an obvious homeless bullshitter that you had to admire her audacity. She knew that we knew that she was lying but she was probably familiar with how a public library functions and was confident that we wouldn't call her on her bullshit. It's shysters like her that actually created this great country.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I know, I know

I know you are waiting for my reaction to our Commander in Chief's inability to fulfill his cushy Natinal Air Guard obligations. What can I say? Is anybody actually surprised? Hell no, the public is going to be as surprised about this as they were about Clinton's affair. Those that might care about this and cause it to change their decision won't because they are already voting for Bush because he is against the rights of women to choose and he hates them queers. He's in the clear with his non-service during Vietnam.
Stealing from the best again

Thanks to Josh Marshall for this great quote: "This story is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry's accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true.
Go Garrison, go Garrison, Go Garrison

Thanks to this blogger for this great link.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Gun safety

I had two dad's growing up. This is old news but it sets the scene. Both my dad and my step-dad owned guns and were hunters. Both of their families were outdoorsy. Hunting, like high school sports, was just something you did in northern Michigan. You're a teen? You hunt and play football. Football I stuck with. Hunting I gave up after blowing one squirrel straight to hell.

The reason I mention all that is because in order to get a hunting license at 13 you needed to take and, of course, pass a gun safety class. The class was given in a classroom in the high school wing of the public school I attended. The class was given by the father of a kid I kinda knew. I was surprised when he walked in. It was one of those revelations about a person that strikes. I thought my dads knew a lot about guns. This kid's dad actually taught classes about guns!

I remember two things about the class. First, everything this guy went over my step-dad had already taught me. My opinion of step-dad went up a couple of notches. I remember thinking that my step-dad could probably have done a better job. I don't think it was a biased opinion because he and I never really gelled. Two trains running parallel with two miles of swamp between them.

The second thing I remember is still a vivid moving image in my head. Like all firearm instruction he pointed out to us that no gun is ever completely safe.

"No matter how careful you are in determining that a gun is not loaded and that the safety is on," he said, "it is never completely safe. Always treat a gun as if it is loaded."

While going through this routine he was using an old rifle to demonstrate the proper way to unload and clear a weapon. He was very careful to show is that the gun's safety was on. He then dropped the gun so that the butt hit the floor. It hit the ground and dry fired.

He said, "Did you notice that the gun fired? I did that to show you that a gun is never, ever completly safe. Now, I demonstrated that this way because this rifle has a safety that doesn't work. I haven't used it in years so I know it's safe."

Even as a dumb 13-year-old I knew what he had done contradicted everything he had said that evening. I have a third memory of that night now that I think about. I remember that my step-dad and I discussing the class while driving home in the early evening dark. He fouly expressed his disdain for the unsafe stunt of the instructor when I brought the incident up.

Bill Maher is funny again? When did this Happen?

"And finally, New Rule: You can't run on a mistake. Franklin Roosevelt didn't run for re-election claiming Pearl Harbor was his finest hour. Abe Lincoln was a great president, but the high point of his second term wasn't theater security. 9/11 wasn't a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation.

Now, don't get me wrong, Mr. President. I'm not blaming you for 9/11. We have blue-ribbon commissions to do that. And I'm not saying there was anything improper about your immediate response to the attacks. Someone had to stay in that classroom and protect those kids from Chechen rebels.

But by the looks of your convention, you'd think that the worst thing that ever happened to us was the best thing that ever happened to you. You just can't keep celebrating the deadliest attack ever as if it's your personal rendezvous with greatness. You don't see old men who were shot down during World War II jumping out of a plane every year. I mean, other than your dad.

But even your dad didn't run for re-election based on a recession and his propensity to barf on the Japanese. Now, I know you'd like us all to get swept away with emotionalism and stop sweating the small stuff like the deficit and the environment, and focus on what's really important: how you look in a fireman's hat. But crying during your speech? I mean, come on! There's no crying in politics! It's not fair! That's a trick chicks use. How are we supposed to discuss this rationally if you're going to cry?! There's a name for people who exploit their participation in historical events for political gain. They're called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

So I say, if you absolutely must win an election on the backs of dead people, do it like they do in Chicago, and have them actually vote for you."

I tell ya, it's a crazy-mixed-up world when Dennis Miller turns into Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher starts making sense.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Good and scared yet?

Our belived vice president speaks: "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."
Heartless money-grubbing bastards

I think this paragraph by David Poole that was printed in Today's Charlotte Observer perfectly displays the shitty attitude by the NASCAR brass: "Former NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr. was crowing that a story on NASCAR made the front page of
Los Angeles Times Sunday. Such a thing certainly would not have
happened, France said, if the circuit had been in Darlington, where it
had been on Labor Day weekend from 1950 to 2003. France told a
reporter to make sure he pointed that fact out to me in light of a
column I wrote for Sunday lamenting the loss of the Southern 500's
traditional date. Is it possible France really believes trading 54
years of history for one front-page story in the Los Angeles Times is
a good deal? If so, that's right sad."

If they weren't such obvious money whores all these stolen races and track closings in Carolinas would be easier to deal with. I may have said this before but they are correct in stating that Rockingham and Darlington don't sellout but, and this is a huge but, they have done nothing to help stimulate interest in the races held at these tracks. They didn't try to give them better dates. They didn't build any kind of entertainment facilities around. I belive it was the professional sports version of compassionate conservatism.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Cool, baby

Hey everyone, Neal Pollack is back. "The war in Iraq isn’t going as poorly as its critics imply. After all, not everyone is dead yet."

I did my duty as an American last night and suffered through the speech by our swaggering president. He was heavy on the 9/11, bashed Kerry for wanting to tax and spend, mentioned a bunch of programs he wanted to start that would require spending, illogically stated he wanted to make his tax cuts permanent, avoided the deficit completely, once again said "we will prevail" and seemingly vowed to keep us at war against a strategy for the next four years. I'm sorry to say that it was an effective speech. It was all BS but it was good BS. I was hoping he would fall on his face but he didn't. The son of a bitch has learned how to give a speech. Dammit.

I was most impressed by the protestors. When was the last time something even remotely like that has happened? I thought it was beautiful.
Actual Sports Headlines that could be read as kinda dirty

Pats end preseason with blowout loss

No contact means no stopping some WRs

Welcome to the big time

Bryant trial may be gone but stench lingers

Ichiro moves closer to Sisler in loss

Greatest show on Earth

Jaguars shut out sloppy Patriots

Mix of young and old at Pebble Beach

Ladies European Tour allows transsexual players

Learn from Tiger

Hamilton Jr. takes over Craven's ride

Annus says he won't return gold medal

U.S. men left to wonder what went wrong

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Stealing from the best

"This whole confab has been built around militarism, the seductions of the mentality of seige and insecurity both from without and within, and the sort of no-rules-win-at-all-costs-lie-if-it-works mentality that will lead this nation to grief."

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Heads up

As a ten-year public library veteran I have come to realize that any phone call that begins with the patron asking your name is going to be a nightmarish exchange. Generally when they axe you your name they are then going to begin every sentance with your name as they attempt to dominate the phone call and turn a simple question that could be answered in 30 seconds into a ten minute ordeal.


I tried to watch Arnold's speech last night but after his fourth movie reference in the first minute of his speech I turned it off. I am definately going to watch some of Cheney's speech tonight because that man can whup a crowd into a frenzy.