Friday, December 30, 2005

Food for thought

"By burning coal and gas and oil in such enormous amounts, we have raised the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere far above what it has ever been during event eh very long period one can study with ice cores. As such, a brand-new experiement is taking place, one that is out of control." - Bill McKibben

Mmmm...yummy, more food for thought

"If we do not apply it to our own situation and make the myth a reality in our own lives, it will remain as incomprehensible and remote as the rules of a board game, which often seem confusing and boring until we start to play." - Karen Armstrong from her book "A short history of myth."
Rock and Roll

Ah, rock and roll. I love it. Who doesn't? Last week I spent a Sunday at the Double Door Inn basking in the rockin' glory of the Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll. Kind of a mouthful. Those in the know refer to them as the FBRNR. They even have a theme song.

Once year around Christmas time this band reforms and plays a show at the Double Door. This year was especially good. So was last year and the year before and the year before that. You get these five guys on a stage together and it's going to be good.

The following picture is of Lenny Federal during the recent show. The guitar neck in the frame belongs to Bill Walpole. He plays slide guitar.



This next picture is of Bill Walpole. That's his lovely wife, Marysia in the foreground.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Predictions

What would a new year be without predictions? Here is a list of things that will happen in 2006. All of these predeictions are guaranteed so go ahead and bet as much money as you can on these prescient proclamations.

1) The Simpsons will continue only making me smile. Laughs and hysterics are in the past.

2) 42short will return and will use his shift key just to shake things up.

3) Munich will win an Oscar for best picture.

4) I will win my fantasy football league next year.

5) Mark Martin will not complete the 2006 season with Roush Racing.

6) I will go to Darlington again.

7) I will continue to wear boxer briefs.

8) Jesus will not return although the virgin Mary will still continue to appear in mold, fading paint and rock formations.

9) John Paul II will be sainted and then eaten.

10) Bob Dylan will continue touring.

11) Wendell will go see Lenny Federal at the Comet Grill at least 25 times.

12) I will pinch your bottom if you ask.

13) Flying saucers will continue to appear only before the stupid.

14) I will read thirty books (more of a resolution).

15) George Bush will resign in disgrace and fucking Cheney will go with him.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bigger is better

Does anyone know which movie theater in Charlotte has the biggest screen (other than Imax, Mr. Master of the Obvious)? This is important shit and I need to know.
Boo boo

I think I made a boo boo yesterday when I bought a new center channel speaker for my home entertainment thing. You know how you sometimes buy something you really can't afford? Story of my life. It's not like I am going to go hungry and have to beat up old ladies for gas money but I'll just have to be careful with my dough for the rest of this pay period. You know, behave opposite the way I did yesterday.

Satan on the net

I may have mentioned this before but you know what is especially Satanic on the internet? Those fucking webpages that have URL's purposefully similar to the URL of a popular web page. When you hit one of those pages about five pop up windows appear, the page tries to install spyware on your computer and then axes you if you would like to make this virtual beasty your homepage. No, I'd like to find the cock sucker who is responsible for this shit and choke him to death.

Bonus 42short

Since his blog is deader than a doornail I invited him to write a guest column here on my blog. Here it is. I believe it's about buttons.

buttons.

next to my collection of plastic buddhas buttons are the most fascinating objects in my life. i have buttons on my boxer shorts, buttons on my levi's and my belly button is my best friend when i have some free time, a good movie and some peanut butter. my mother used to save the extra buttons that come with nice shirts for the times when they were needed. i was the only boy in that one-room mountain school with hand-me-down shirts with all the original buttons. i love my mom.

buttons are like jewels in their variances. buttons remind me of my youth, sitting under a willow tree twisting the buttons my mom sewed on my overalls in my little pink fingers. buttons remind me of college when I had to unbutton the sleeves of my thrift store bought work shirt so the red cross nurse could get that needle in there to take my blood. buttons remind me of telephone reference because of the time i got the button on my sleeve caught in the carousel and it flung me across the room. buttons are like eyes, most are attractive but some can be very beautiful. i had a teddy bear with buttons for eyes. my sister set it on fire and forced me to kiss his crumbling charcoal-y face. It left me with a halloween style hobo beard on my soft pink face.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Music o' the year

Is it that time yet? Why not. Here is a list of stuff I've bought and or acquired this year that stuck out.

Waco Brothers - Freedom and Weep. Typical Waco Brothers album. Great lyrics and sterling musicianship. Someone once said they were capable of songwriting on a varsity level.

White Stripes - Get Behind me Satan. I didn't know how I felt about this album at first. I guess it is a little uneven at times but like Paul McCartney said about the White Album: hey, it's the White Stripes. It's great.

Constantines - Tournament of Hearts. Like the White Stripes album, probably not what I expected. A mellow album that is still full of energy. They are masters of the slow burn.

Otis Taylor - Below the Fold. I just bought this the other day. Another masterful trance blues record by a guy who considers himself a songwriter, not a bluesman. I have got to see this guy live.

Robert Plant - The Mighty Rearranger. I love this album. I thought Dreamland was good but this album blows it away. I've probably played this one in my car more than any other album this year.

Sleater-Kinney - The Woods. A big meaty album. I like it because it rocks.

Heartless Bastards - Stairs and Elevators. A new artist from the guys at Fat Possum. Awesome bloozy rock and roll band fronted by a tough-ass yet still vulnerable chick.

Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the back yard. I played this one night while reading and caught myself humming along. Paul can still write a catchy tune. The bastard.

Rolling Stones - A bigger bang. First Stones album since Some Girls worthy of more than two listens. I played "Back of my hand" six times in a row the first time I heard it.

Honorable Mention:
Alice Cooper - Dirty Diamonds. Worth it just for the Ballad of Jesse Jane.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

President Dunderhead

This whole domestic spying thing has got me confused. I've gotten it from two different sources that the court Bush is bypassing has OK'ed thousands of requests since it was created back in 1978. It's denied less than ten. In fact you can spy on some poor bastard and then go to the court and ask them if it was OK to do that. This allows you to do it quickly which means Bush is lying about his reason for bypassing the court which is supposedly to speed up the process.

My question is what exactly are these guys doing makes them unwilling to take their requests to a court that has been rubber stamping government requests for over 25 years? I can only assume it's something a court that has a 5000:1 ratio of approval to denial would disapprove of. Knowing how much this administration sucks it's pretty frightening to consider how illegal and foolish this behavior will turn out to be when it's eventually revealed.

As always, may god continue to bless George Bush.
Suuuuuuuuuper Cable

Even though Timewarner is hosing us with bundling charges we decided we could no longer live without the Daily Show and ESPN. I called a few days ago and arranged to have a cable guy come by and hook us up. It turns out TW was having a special where you get the loaded digital cable for a big discount for six months. Along with that they dropped five bucks off the charge for the cable modem. I know I've railed against TW and their shitty practice of bundling but I couldn't take it no more. Must...have...daily...show and, of course, Chris Berman.

I was watching Sunday night football on ESPN sometime last year when the broadcast took a break and Berman did a quick promo for his halftime highlight show. He did his usual thing which is just him being full of enthusiasm and humor. When the broadcast switched back to the game announcers one of them said, "Does anybody in the world have more fun doing his job than Boomer?" Amen. I got to watch Berman do his primetime footall highlight show last night and the guy is just so much fun to watch. Truly no one has more fun than him at broadcasting sports.

Trashing the one I live with

I don't know if my roommate will read this, it doesn't really matter. I just don't understand the guy. He spends no time at all in his room. If he reads, he's in the living room. Playing guitar? He's in the living room. Sleeping on weekends? He's in the living room. Napping after work? In the living room. Napping after the trip to the mall on Saturday? In the living room. Listening to music? In the living room. Just plain vegetating? In the living room. He's the only person I've ever met that doesn't treat his bedroom like a fortress of solitude. I don't get it. Your room should be a special place you can go to be alone. He's just a different breed of cat.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Xmas

A holiday thing that drives me crazy. My answers to the usual questions axed me during the holidays by those clueless: Yes, my family lives far away. No, I'm not going up there over the holidays. Sure, I miss them. Yes, it's been a while since I've been up there. Yes, I probably should go see them pretty soon. Yes, I do talk to them on occasion. Yes, I miss them. Yes, they send me cards. On and on and on and on. It's weird, people find out your family lives 1000 miles away and they think they have free license to grill you into a mild depression.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Yahoo Serious

President Bush today: "In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment," Mr. Bush said forcefully from behind a lectern in the Roosevelt Room, next to the Oval Office. The White House invited cameras in, guaranteeing television coverage.

He said the Senate's action "endangers the lives of our citizens," and added that "the terrorist threat to our country will not expire in two weeks," a reference to the approaching deadline of Dec. 31, when critical provisions of the current law will end. His statement came just a day before he is scheduled to make a rare Oval Office address to the nation, at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, celebrating the Iraqi elections and describing what his press secretary on Saturday called the "path forward."

Is here kidding, or what? Does he actually think anyone still believes he is capable of doing anything worthwhile? Give it up, monkey boy, you are an incompetent lame duck. Oh, and you spy on Americans. I feel safer.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Goodbye, farewell and amen

Well, it looks like this guy is going to cap his blog like it's Old Yeller. I guess it's not the saddest thing in the world. Nothing lasts forever. Ole 42short has been around for three years and seven months. Many things have lasted longer than his blog. Things like World War II, the first new Star Wars movie and George Bush's alcoholism. But other things have lasted for less time than the 42short blog. Things like all my romantic relationships, the career of Jimi Hendrix and the tenure of the Seattle Pilots major league baseball team.

What really bums me out is that half the hits I get for my blog come directly from him. What am I going to do now that all his married female fans stop clicking on the link to me every now and then? My hit count is going to go right in the shitter. The only reason I am continuing through this shock and depression is because I like reading my archives just to see what I was doing three winters ago.
Me no read

Brian Williams interviews our fearless leader:

Williams: Do you read this kind of stuff?

President Bush: No.

Williams: You don't read the news weeklies?

President Bush: I really don't. I'm interested in the news. I'm not all that interested in the opinions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Crusing around in my automobile

"How do you remember to stay on the left side of the road?" Mike asked.

"Easy, the steering wheel is on the right side and the driver sits next to the yellow line," I said.

"That's it?"

"Also, I have it burned into my brain that the right turn is the hard turn. You know, like back home the left turn is the hard turn?"

"Yeah."

"Well, once you have it seared into your head that the right turn in Japan is the hard turn then it all falls into place."

"I guess that makes sense."

"Have you ever seen me screw up yet?"

"No, but have you?"

"Once on base. It was early and Tim was riding with me and we were driving past the football field and for some reaason I was driving on the right side of the road. I didn't even notice until Tim said, 'are you screwing around, Ed, or have you actually forgotten which side of the road to drive on?' I felt pretty stupid."

"That's the only time?"

"Honest. I figure doing it on base, which seems more like home than the streets off base is excusable. I was the only car on the road too. I think that made a difference."

Monday, December 12, 2005

OSC says go see it

Interesting. Orson Scott Card liked the movie "The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe" more than the book. I read the book a couple months back because I saw that the movie was coming out. I had read the books back in the fourth grade and really didn't remember them. I was under-impressed with the book when I read it this time. Since Card liked the movie I am more inclined to go see it. My roommate Wendell didn't seem too impressed by it but what the hell does he know, he likes Wilco.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Serendipity in action

Last night Wendell and went to the Double Door to see Duwayne Burnside. Duwayne is the son of R.L. Burnside so we decided we should see what he has to offer. We thought maybe he would have some musicians in his band from the Mississippi hill country he is from.

We hadn't been to the Double Door in a while. Wendell and I used to frequent the place back when they had this weekly show called Americana Night. I loved Americana Night. Whoever booked that night for a few years introduced me to Deke Dickerson, The Blazers and the Sprague Brothers. We walked in last night and the guy at the door saw Wendell and said, "What are you doing here? Lenny isn't playing tonight." I guess we've neglecting the venerable old Double Door. I'd like to go there more often but they just haven't been bringing in people I want to see.

It turned out that two members of Duwayne Burnside's band, the bassist and drummer, had been hurt in a car wreck. The replacement bassist he brought with him was Garry Burnside. Garry Burnside played bass for Junior Kimbrough and his work is all over those awesome albums Kimbrough did for Fat Possum before he died. He also played bass with David Kimbrough (a son of Junior Kimbrough) at Junior's juke joint in Chulamhoma, MS the glorious night Wendell, Chris and I went. The drummer he brought with him was Cedric Burnside. Cedric played drums for and is the grandson of R.L. Burnside. Cedric is one of my favorite drummers to see live. He's the blues version of Keith Moon. He's all over the place on the drum set and he beats the hell out of the drums. He does all that with a giant smile on his face, his head rocking back and forth with the beat and he lays down incredibly intricate beats while having fun behind the kit. He's flatout amazing.

I was so happy that Cedric and Garry were there to lay down a killer rhythm all night long because I was a little disappointed in Duwayne Burnside. He's a great guitar player, he's got a great voice and good stage presence but his performance is too much Stevie Ray Vaughan and not enough Mississippi. There were a lot of jam band hippy kids there last night that must have heard of Duwayne via his stint with the North Mississippi Allstars and they seemed to enjoy the repetitive overlong soloing but it was wearing on me. If Cedric and Garry hadn't been there last night I probably would have left after the first set. I don't want to sound too critical, I did enjoy the show but I felt he was pandering a bit to the crowd and their expectations. Screw the crowd, play what you want.

Garry and Cedric has a two-piece band going called the Burnside Exploration. I bought the CD from Cedric last night and from the little I've heard so far, it's pretty good. I'd like to see that duo perform. I have a copy of a recent show and it's nice. So, there you go. Sometimes you go to a show expecting one thing and then you get a treat like I did last night. Listening to Garry and Cedric play together was just a special experience. If the solos went on too long I just tuned them out and listened to that Burnside groove and got a little hypnotized.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Those were the days

It's strange to me that the first year or so of my time here in Charlotte was fifteen years ago. If my math is correct and I am here for seven more years then I will have spent half my life living in Charlotte.

I arrived here in July of 1990. My Marine buddy Cal and I pulled up to my parents' home in a suburb in south Charlotte. He stayed the night and drove off to Delaware the next day. I didn't do much for the first couple of weeks since I was officially in the Marines for another month and was pulling a paycheck until early August. After almost four years of the Corps I was so ready for a little down time. It was exsquisite. I felt like I had been released from prison. I remember a running joke I had at the time was that I thought they should have given us a new suit when we left base for the last time.

I really enjoyed that first few months in Charlotte. I saw KISS that July at what was still called the new Charlotte Coliseum. I discovered the 1313 club and spent many a nights there enjoying live music. I remember one night driving down South Blvd on my way to the 1313 for a night of music and meeting people and I just felt good. I was 22, I was exploring a new city, I was free of the Marines, I hadn't been granted a credit card yete and I had no worries because my parents were allowing me to live with them for a while. It was one of those moments in a life where you are just right where you want to be.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nice pens

I'm a sucker for nice pens. Today at lunch when I was at the Harris Teeter I bought a pack of fine-pointed Pilot Precise Zing pens. A pack consisting of two pens. I've gotten accustomed to having a good pen in the pocket my shirt now and I find myself feeling under dressed if I can't reach in there and pull out fine point pen that costs at least one American dollar. Anything else is just so ghetto. I cannot stand grasping a flimsy Bic pen that came out of a bag of twenty other cheap pens. I require quality to write down the call numbers of books on true crime, teen pregnancy and bible dictionaries.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wookin pa nub

Wookin pa nub

There is a guy, right now, sitting at a computer in front of the reference desk and he is on a dating site. It makes me wonder if two strangers have ever sat down at public computers and logged onto dating sites and decided to go get lunch or some coffee. I have seen two people in the same computer lab looking at dating sites. They never acknowledge each other. Maybe each person is hoping to find and hook up with someone better than the other. An ever quickening spiral of denial. Love is like a pair of white socks, they don't have to match in order to look good. No wait, love is like an apple, mysterious and sweet. No, that's no good. Maybe love is like a vacuum cleaner, it scares cats and the bag needs to be changed every few months. Or maybe love is like a waterfall, ancient yet constantly changing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Warming the cockles

Doesn't it just cause your heart to swell with pride to see the secretary of state in Europe proclaiming to the allies we despise that the United States does not torture people? It's amazing the way that the Bush people have pushed forward the subject of international dialogue. Jesus, maybe we should just invade Austria and then say it was ours to begin with. That way we could have our very own little European country to render America haters to.

Monday, December 05, 2005

In cold pajamas

Over the weekend I plowed through a good chunk of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I was inspired to read the book after seeing the movie Capote. The book and movie work well together. The book is about the family and their killers. The movie is about the Capote and his relation with the town and the killers. The two works barely overlap and each is richer because of the existence of the other. I had never read anything at all by Capote and I'm satisfied that I finally did. I'm glad I saw the movie before I read the book. If I had done the inverse I would probably say the same thing concerning that order. Because of the movie, as I read the book I just pictured this member of the New York intelligentsia living and working among rural Kansas folk. Getting a taste of who Capote was adds even more color to a rich work because I have more of an image of the writer's personality and that influences the feeling I had as I read the nonfiction novel.